QBullet: J&K DSP Lynched to Death; PM Modi’s US Visit to Begin

Read the top headlines from around the country in QBullet.

5 min read
Relatives wailing near the coffin of slain DSP Mohammad Ayub Pandith at his residence in Srinagar on Friday. The officer was lynched to death by a mob outside historic Jamia Masjid in downtown Srinagar during the wee hours of Friday.

1. Mob Lynches DSP Outside J&K Mosque

A frenzied mob, raising pro-Pakistan and pro-al-Qaida slogans, lynched a senior police officer outside Srinagar's Jamia Masjid on Shab-e-Qadr, the holiest night for Muslims during Ramzan.

Deputy superintendent of police Mohammad Ayub Pandith, 57, was part of the security grid deployed for devotees attending Thursday's night-long prayers which were led by the mosque's custodian, Kashmiri separatist Mirwaiz Umar Farooq.

Around midnight, as the Mirwaiz was delivering a sermon inside the mosque, a huge mob gathered outside, raising slogans hailing Pakistan and al-Qaida operative Zakir Musa, who recently threatened to behead separatists, including Mirwaiz, for calling Kashmir a "political issue" and not Islamic jihad.


2. Looking Forward to Build a Forward-Looking Vision for India-US: PM Narendra Modi

A day ahead of his visit to Washington DC on 24 June, Prime Minister Narendra Modi said he is looking forward to building a forward-looking vision for India-US partnership. PM Modi on Friday tweeted:

Modi will start his three-nation trip to US, Portugal, and the Netherlands this weekend. He will reach Washington DC on Saturday evening (Sunday morning, according to IST), after his half-a-day visit to Portugal.

It will be PM Modi’s first visit to the US after Donald Trump took over as the president.

3. Lalu Prasad Yadav, Nitish Kumar in War of Words

A day after Opposition parties fielded former Lok Sabha Speaker Meira Kumar in the presidential election against NDA nominee Ram Nath Kovind, a war of words erupted in Bihar between Nitish Kumar and Lalu Prasad whose parties make the ruling coalition in the state.

RJD chief Lalu Prasad, who called JD(U)‘s decision to support Kovind a “historic blunder”, took a swipe at the Chief Minister, wondering how Nitish Kumar could claim to be working for a “Sangh-mukt” (RSS-free) country by backing an “RSS man”.

Nitish Kumar hit back, saying the Opposition had started with a “losing strategy” and wondered if this was how it was “preparing for 2019” when the next Lok Sabha polls are due. He said the JD(U) decided to support Kovind because he was “Governor of Bihar and had been completely non-partisan”.


4. DU First Admission List out, Cutoff Percentage Drops

The restraint shown by school education boards in doling out marks and the drop in the Class XII results pass percentage of many boards have resulted in a majority of colleges recording a decrease in cutoffs for different courses.

According to DU officials, 2017's cutoffs are what they used to be in 2013.

The drop in cutoffs ranges from 0.25 percentage points to four percentage points among the 20 colleges whose lists were accessed by TOI. And among these, the highest cutoffs – after a gap of five years – has not crossed 99 in the best-of-four for humanities aggregate: Lady Shri Ram College (LSR) recorded 98.5 in aggregate in the best of four for Psychology (H), which is the highest. The highest score for science was recorded by SGTB Khalsa for B.Sc Electronics with 99.66 percentage in aggregate.

5. China Refuses to Budge, Says No to India's NSG Membership

China has once again said there is no change in its stance on India’s admission into Nuclear Suppliers Group (NSG) on Friday.

NSG meeting is currently underway in Switzerland’s capital Bern. China’s Foreign Ministry spokesperson Geng Shuang, as quoted by news agency PTI, told a media gathering: “As for non-NPT countries being admitted to the group, I can tell you there is no change to China’s position.”

Shuang was responding to a question whether there is any change in China’s stand at the plenary meeting in Bern. He further added that: “I want to point out that the NSG has clear rules on admission of new members and the Seoul plenary made clear mandates on how to deal with this issue. With these rules and mandates, we need to act as they dictate.”


6. With 42 Deaths, Bloodiest Ramzan in Kashmir in Years

At least 42 people, including nine policemen, were killed in Kashmir in June in what could be the bloodiest Ramzan in the Valley in recent years. The toll includes 27 terrorists and six civilian deaths.

A senior police officer told TOI that Friday's lynching has resulted in fear among the lower rungs of security forces. Although the killing drew criticism from all quarters, security forces believe it's insufficient to deter people from acting against cops.

"Although she (Mehbooba) was very hard in her statement against the attack on police, we have got the signal not to act severely against the wrongdoers, even local militants because of political reasons," the officer said.

7. Bengal Govt Protests Sikkim CM's Support for Gorkhaland, Writes to Rajnath

A day after Sikkim Chief Minister Pawan Kumar Chamling expressed full support to the cause of a separate state of Gorkhaland, the Mamata Banerjee government shot off a letter to Union Home Minister Rajnath Singh condemning Chamling’s move.

In the absence of chief minister Mamata Banerjee, who is on a tour to the Netherlands, education minister and Trinamool secretary general Partha Chatterjee wrote the letter to the Centre pointing out that the Sikkim CM has no business interfering in the matters of West Bengal.

“In the letter Partha Chaterjee pointed out that the action of Sikkim chief minister is against the federal structure of the country, where a particular state government cannot interfere in the internal matters of another state,” said a state cabinet member aware of the contents of the letter.


8. Mansarovar Pilgrims Stranded as China Denies Entry, MEA in Talks With Beijing

India has initiated discussions with China after a group of pilgrims headed to Manasarovar was denied permission by the neighbouring country to cross over the international border.

“Some difficulties are being experienced in the movement of Kailash-Mansarovar yatris via Nathu La. The matter is being discussed with the Chinese side,” the ministry of external affairs said.

Earlier, the 47 pilgrims who had been stranded on the Indian side of the border since 20 June after being denied access to cross over the international border, returned to Sikkim’s capital Gangtok on Friday evening.

Sources in the 17th Mountain Division of the army said that possible landslide on the Chinese side could be a cause for the denial of permission.

The pilgrims who were given accommodation in Gangtok said they were not given any reason for the denial of entry to China.

9. Central Ministers Give Rashtrapati Bhavan Iftar a Miss

No central minister showed up for President Pranab Mukherjee’s Iftar at Rashtrapati Bhavan Friday – this was the last he was hosting there before the end of his term next month.

“There was not a single minister, not a single government representative and not a single BJP leader. In all these years, I have never been to an Iftar hosted by the President where there has been no representative of the Government of India,” CPM general secretary Sitaram Yechury told The Indian Express.

SP Rajya Sabha MP Javed Ali Khan, among those invited, said,“I could not spot a single minister at the Iftar hosted by President Pranab Mukherjee. In the past, I have attended three Iftars at Rashtrapati Bhavan and I remember seeing ministers like Rajnath Singh, Mukhtar Abbas Naqvi, Mahesh Sharma and Vijay Goel. This time, no one was there.”

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