QBullet: 14 Dead in Rajasthan Accident; 4 Militants Killed in J&K
Top headlines of the day.
1. 14 Killed, 50 Injured as Tent Collapses in Rajasthan Dust Storm
At least 14 people were killed and over 50 injured when a big tent supported by metal poles collapsed during a dust storm at Jasol in Rajasthan’s Barmer district on Sunday, 23 June.
Barmer district collector Himanshu Gupta said the tent was erected for a religious programme – Ram Katha (Lord Ram’s story).
“Prima facie, it appears the 14 people died after the metal poles fell on them... Some people also died due to electrocution after electricity cables snapped and fell on the poles,” said additional police superintendent Ratan Lal Bhargava.
“However, a clear picture will emerge after the post-mortem,” he added.
2. Four Militants Linked to Al Qaeda Affiliate Killed in J&K Gunfight
Four militants affiliated to the Ansar Ghazwat-ul-Hind (AGH) were killed on Sunday in a gunfight with security forces in south Kashmir’s Shopian district. The AGH claims to be an affiliate of Al Qaeda.
According to the Jammu and Kashmir Police, the encounter broke out at the Panzar area of Shopian on Sunday morning after security forces launched a cordon and search operation following reports that militants were present in the area.
“During searches, terrorists fired upon the search party. The fire was retaliated, leading to an encounter,” said police.
In a statement, Colonel Rajesh Kalia, Srinagar-based defence spokesperson, said: “Total four terrorists eliminated… weapons recovered.”
3. India Scraps Israel Anti-Tank Missile Deal After DRDO Says It ‘Will Deliver’
India has scrapped a $500-million deal with Israel for the purchase of Spike anti-tank missiles from defence contractor Rafael Advanced Defense Systems after indigenous developer Defence Research & Development Organisation (DRDO) claimed that it could deliver an alternative within two years.
Government officials associated with the approval of the deal said Israel has been informed about the contract being abandoned in favour of DRDO, which claimed that it was developing a similar missile at a lower price in partnership with VEM Technologies Ltd.
Officials said domestic production of the missile was favoured as DRDO’s effort in creating a man-portable anti-tank guided missile (MPATGM) was “progressing fast” with the second stage of testing concluded. The DRDO claimed it successfully test-fired the MPATGM at the Ahmednagar range last September.
4. Jharkhand Man Dies Days After He Was Assaulted for ‘Theft’, Made to Chant Jai Shri Ram
Days after a mob tied him to an electricity pole, beat him up and allegedly forced him to chant “Jai Shri Ram… Jai Hanuman” after accusing him of committing a theft, Tabrez Ansari (22) died on Saturday.
A video of the incident, which took place in Dhatkidih village of Jharkhand’s Seraikela Kharsawan district early on Tuesday, shows the mob beating Ansari and asking him to chant “Jai Shri Ram” and “Jai Hanuman”. Ansari is seen chanting and pleading with the mob to stop the assault.
On Saturday morning, Ansari, who was in judicial custody for theft, complained of ill-health and was rushed to Sadar Hospital and then to Tata Main Hospital, Jamshedpur, where he was declared dead on arrival.
5. Southwest Monsoon’s Current Rainfall Deficit is 38%, Says IMD
With the southwest monsoon running late, the country faces a 38 percent current rainfall deficit, according to the India Meteorological Department (IMD).
The IMD said the country, as a whole, received 70.9 mm rainfall so far this monsoon season, whereas the long period average is 114.2 mm. This leaves a shortfall of 38 percent.
The rain deficit has depleted reservoirs, besides delaying sowing of summer foodgrain crops. Parts of central and peninsular India are staring at a drought for the second successive year.
6. India Rejects Pakistan’s Charge of ‘Politicising’ FATF
India on Sunday rejected Pakistan’s allegation that it had sought to “politicise” deliberations at the Financial Action Task Force (FATF), which concluded its plenary last week with more strictures against Pakistan.
According to sources, the government has taken a strong view of Pakistan’s accusation that India had launched a “malicious campaign” to use the FATF’s process for its own “narrow, partisan objectives” against Pakistan.
Pakistan’s Foreign Ministry was, in turn, responding to India’s statement that time was running out for Islamabad to show action “Against Money Laundering and Combating Financing of Terror (AML/CFT)” by groups that pose a transnational risk.
7. Leadership Crisis Hurts Congress’ Poll Preparations
The Congress leadership ‘crisis’ will complete a month next Tuesday, but there is still no clarity on how long it will take for the party to resolve it.
The uncertainty seems to be hurting the party in states such as Maharashtra, Haryana and Jharkhand, where Assembly elections are scheduled later this year.
Going by the previous schedule, the elections in Haryana and Maharashtra are expected by October and in Jharkhand, by late November-December.
However, the Congress is yet to undertake any organisational restructuring in these poll-bound states as there is no clarity on who should initiate such a restructuring exercise.
8. Mayawati Gives Key Posts to Brother, Nephew; BJP Says ‘Promoting Dynasty’
Bahujan Samaj Party (BSP) president Mayawati on Sunday appointed her brother Anand Kumar as national vice-president and nephew Akash Anand as the national coordinator of the party.
Mayawati announced the changes in the party organisation to prepare the cadre for future elections – bypolls to 11 Assembly seats likely in September and 2022 Uttar Pradesh Assembly election.
Danish Ali, party MP from Amroha, has been made the leader of the party in the Lok Sabha while Nagina MP Girish Chandra has been appointed chief whip.
A few BSP leaders expressed surprise over the appointment of Kumar as the party’s national vice-president.
9. Kohli Fined 25% Match Fee for Breaching ICC Code of Conduct
Indian captain Virat Kohli has been fined 25 percent of his match fee for breaching Level 1 of the ICC Code of Conduct. The incident occurred in the 29th over of the Afghanistan innings when Kohli advanced towards umpire Aleem Dar in an aggressive manner when appealing an lbw decision.
“Kohli was found to have breached Article 2.1 of the ICC Code of Conduct for Players and Player Support Personnel, which relates to “Excessive appealing during an International Match”, an ICC release said.
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