QBullet: UN Rejects Saeed’s Delisting Plea; Cong’s First List Out
1. UN Heat on Pakistan, Rejects Hafiz Saeed Delisting Plea
With international pressure mounting on Pakistan to list Jaish-e-Mohammed (JeM) chief Masood Azhar as a global terrorist at the United Nations Security Council, the UN Wednesday rejected an appeal by Mumbai terror attack mastermind and Jamaat-ud-Dawa (JuD) chief Hafiz Saeed to remove him from the list of UN-sanctioned terrorists.
Pakistan, meanwhile, sealed the Lahore headquarters of JuD and its charity wing Falah-i-Insaniat Foundation (FIF) as part of the ongoing crackdown against banned organisations. The government “has taken complete control of the banned JuD and FIF headquarters in Lahore and Muridkey”, the Home Department of Pakistan’s Punjab province said on Thursday, 7 March.
2. Congress First List Out, Priyanka's Name Missing; Sonia to Contest from Rae Bareli
Ending speculation about Sonia Gandhi’s retirement from politics, the Congress on Thursday announced that she would contest from Rae Bareli, while party chief Rahul Gandhi would seek re-election from Amethi.
The party announced its first list of 15 Lok Sabha candidates – 11 from Uttar Pradesh and four from Gujarat – after a meeting of its central election committee. Making a point to the SP-BSP alliance, the Congress fielded candidates from seats held by the two parties, including from Badaun which is currently represented by Mulayam Singh Yadav’s nephew Dharmendra Yadav.
3. One Killed, 32 Hurt in Grenade Attack at Jammu Bus Stand; Suspect Held
One person was killed and 32 others injured in a powerful grenade explosion on Thursday morning at the General Bus Stand in Jammu, exactly three weeks after 40 CRPF jawans were killed in a terror attack in Pulwama.
Within hours of the incident, police claimed to have cracked the case with the arrest of a youth from Kulgam district of Kashmir. The cops also said that the youth has confessed to having lobbed the grenade on the directions of Hizb-ul-Mujaheedin terrorists.
4. Army to Put More Combat-Worthy Officers from HQ at Forward Units
The Indian Army has decided to put more “combat-worthy” Army officers on the field, with the Defence Ministry Thursday approving a proposal to increase the number of officers for forward units. The ministry has also approved the creation of the post of Deputy Chief of Army Staff Strategy to deal with operational and force planning.
5. Ayodhya Title Suit Appeals: Supreme Court to Rule on Mediation on 8 March
A five-judge Constitution Bench, led by Chief Justice of India Ranjan Gogoi, on Friday, 8 March will pronounce orders on the limited issue of whether or not to send the Ayodhya dispute for mediation.
The Bench has pushed "negotiated compromise" as a means to heal hearts and minds. It has said the dispute was a festering wound, which has touched the religious sentiments of the Hindu and Muslim communities for decades.
(Source: The Hindu)
6. Two Kashmiri Dryfruit-Sellers Beaten in Lucknow, Five of Little-Known Outfit Held
Two Kashmiri men selling dry fruits in a Lucknow market were assaulted and verbally abused Wednesday evening by a group of men linked to Vishwa Hindu Dal, a little-known local religious outfit, police said.
Five men were arrested on Thursday, 7 March in connection with the incident, including the two main accused who have been identified as Bajrang Sonkar and Amar Mishra, and the Dal’s president Ambuj Nigam. Sonkar has a “criminal history”, with around 12 cases registered against him, including charges of theft, loot and murder, said police.
7. Driving Licences, Registration Certificates to Be Uniform Nationwide
The Union government on Thursday, 7 March notified rules for common smart card formats for driving licences (DL) and vehicle registration certificates (RC) in a bid to standardise the documents across all states and prepare a centralised digital repository that can also help in checking forgery and duplication, according to an official.
(Source: Hindustan Times)
8. India Inks over $3 Billion Deal with Russia for Nuclear Submarine Despite the Threat of US Sanctions
India on Thursday, 8 March inked yet another mega defence deal worth over $3 billion for the lease of a nuclear-powered attack submarine from Russia, despite the threat of US financial sanctions still looming over the earlier $5.4 billion contract inked for Russian S-400 Triumf missile systems in October last year.
Defence sources said the over $3 billion (around Rs 21,000 crore) contract for the Akula-1 class submarine, which will be ready by around 2025, includes a comprehensive package for refurbishment of the nuclear boat lying mothballed at Severodvinsk, its sustenance and spares support for 10 years, as well as training and technical infrastructure for its operations.
9. Press Groups Slam OSA Threat by Govt, Jaitley Flags National Security
A day after Attorney General K K Venugopal claimed in the Supreme Court that reports on the Rafale deal were based on documents “stolen” from the Ministry of Defence and threatened to invoke the Official Secrets Act against two publications and a lawyer, Union Finance Minister Arun Jaitley on Thursday said the government respects press freedom but “national security is an exception”.
Media bodies condemned the AG’s remarks as “reprehensible… threats” with the “potential of sending out a chilling effect to one and all in the media”.