QBullet: India, US Vow to Work Together; PM on Jharkhand Lynching

Top headlines of the day.

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US Secretary Mike Pompeo with EAM S Jaishankar on Wednesday, 26 June.

1. India, US Vow to Work as Friends to Resolve Issues

India and the US on Wednesday agreed to work through differences on trade issues and New Delhi’s arms purchases from Russia, with secretary of state Mike Pompeo adopting an “accommodative” and “very problem-solving” stance at meetings with India’s top leadership, people familiar with the developments said.

India’s concerns about US threats of sanctions on the $5.2-billion deal to procure S-400 missile defence systems from Russia, trade-related differences, tensions in the Persian Gulf, and the Indo-Pacific figured in Pompeo’s discussions with Prime Minister Narendra Modi and external affairs minister S Jaishankar. Pompeo also met National Security Adviser Ajit Doval.

(Source: Hindustan Times)

2. PM Speaks Out on Jharkhand Attack: Saddened, Guilty Must Be Punished

Prime Minister Narendra Modi in the Lok Sabha during the Monsoon Session of Parliament on 26 June.
Prime Minister Narendra Modi in the Lok Sabha during the Monsoon Session of Parliament on 26 June.
(Photo: LSTV/PTI)

In his first remarks after a Muslim man died after being attacked by a mob in Jharkhand, Prime Minister Narendra Modi said Wednesday that he was saddened by the incident and the guilty must be severely punished.

Arguing that it was “our constitutional responsibility to ensure the safety of every citizen of the country”, Modi said all incidents of violence, whether in Jharkhand, West Bengal or Kerala, should be treated with the same yardstick and law should take its course.

(Source: The Indian Express)

3. Indore BJP General Secretary’s MLA-Son Beats Official With Cricket Bat, Held

Akash Vijayvargiya, a first-time BJP MLA from Indore and son of the party’s high-profile national general secretary Kailash Vijayvargiya, was arrested and sent to judicial custody Wednesday for beating a municipal corporation official with a cricket bat while opposing a demolition drive in the city.

Video footage showed the 34-year-old Akash chasing and beating house inspector Dharmendra Bais, who was also assaulted by BJP workers accompanying the MLA and local residents. Another corporation official also suffered injuries in the attack.

(Source: The Indian Express)

4. Freedom for Assam Woman Wrongly Sent to Jail as Foreigner 3 Years Ago

Almost three years after she was wrongly arrested, a 59-year-old woman was on Wednesday released from a detention camp for foreigners in western Assam’s Kokrajhar.

Her freedom came less than 24 hours after officials started the process of correcting a clerical error that made a retired teacher in southern Assam a ‘D’, or doubtful voter 22 years ago, thus depriving her of inclusion in the National Register of Citizens (NRC) being updated.

Madhubala Mandal was released after the police admitted before a Foreigners’ Tribunal that they had erred in picking her up instead of Madhumala Das in 2016. Both belong to the same village – No 1. Bishnupur in western Assam’s Chirang district.

(Source: The Hindu)

5. Balakot Air Strikes Planner Is New R&AW Chief, Kashmir Expert Appointed IB Chief

Prime Minister Narendra Modi has appointed Samant Kumar Goel as the next chief of India’s external spy agency, Research and Analysis Wing (R&AW) and Arvinda Kumar as the Director, Intelligence Bureau. PM Modi, as chairman of the Appointments Committee of the Cabinet, also cleared the empanelment of 1986 batch IPS officer in the rank of Director General.

Both are Indian Police Service officers of 1984 batch with Goel belonging to Punjab cadre and Kumar, to Assam-Meghalaya cadre.

(Source: Hindustan Times)

6. Govt to Start Jal Shakti Abhiyan for 255 Water-Stressed Districts From 1 July

The Centre is set to initiate the Jal Shakti Abhiyan to ramp up rainwater harvesting and conservation efforts in 255 water-stressed districts from July 1, in line with the government’s promise to focus on water.

Though water is a State issue, the campaign would be coordinated by 255 central IAS officers of Joint or Additional Secretary-rank, drawn from ministries as varied as Space, Petroleum and Defence, according to a notification issued by the Department of Personnel and Training on Wednesday. The campaign seems to follow the model of last year’s Gram Swaraj Abhiyan, where central officials monitored the implementation of seven flagship development schemes in 117 aspirational districts across the country.

(Source: The Hindu)

7. Centre Denies Intelligence Failure in Pulwama Attack

A file photo of Army soldiers standing guard near the site of suicide bomb attack at Lathepora Awantipora in Pulwama district on 14 February.
A file photo of Army soldiers standing guard near the site of suicide bomb attack at Lathepora Awantipora in Pulwama district on 14 February.
(Photo: PTI)

The Pulwama terror attack was not a result of intelligence failure, minister of state for home affairs G Kishan Reddy told Parliament on Wednesday.

Replying to a question by Congress’ Syed Nasir Hussain in Rajya Sabha, Reddy said, “All agencies are working in a coordinated manner and the intelligence inputs are shared among agencies on a real-time basis”.

(Source: Hindustan Times)

8. Ranjit Singh Statue to Be Unveiled in Lahore Today

A life-size statue of Maharaja Ranjit Singh, who ruled over Punjab for close to 40 years in the early 19th century, is to be inaugurated in Lahore Thursday, on the occasion of his 180th death anniversary.

The statue has been located in an open space outside the Mai Jindian Haveli in Lahore Fort, close to the building that houses the Ranjit Singh samadhi and the Gurudwara Dera Sahib of Guru Arjun Dev. The haveli, named after Ranjit Singh’s youngest queen, now houses a permanent exhibition of Sikh artefacts and is called the Sikh Gallery.

(Source: The Indian Express)

9. World Cup 2019: Pakistan Live to Fight Another Day

Pakistan remained alive in their fight for fourth place after chasing down a target of 238 to beat New Zealand by six wickets at Edgbaston on Wednesday. Babar Azam produced a sublime unbeaten century under pressure as the men in green continued their revival in the World Cup by halting New Zealand’s unbeaten run.

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