QBullet: China Defiant on India’s NSG Bid; SIT for Agusta Probe

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Prime Minister of India Narendra Modi (left) hugs Mexican President Enrique Pena Nieto., following a joint statement to the press, in Los Pinos presidential residence in Mexico City, Wednesday, June 8, 2016. (Photo: AP)

1. Mexico Backing India on NSG; China Still Won’t Budge

President Barack Obama and Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi. (Photo: AP)
President Barack Obama and Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi. (Photo: AP)

A US-led push for India to join a club of countries controlling access to sensitive nuclear technology made a headway on Thursday as several opponents appeared more willing to work towards a compromise. China, however, remained defiant.

Mexico changed its longstanding stance to support India for membership in the Nuclear Suppliers Group (NSG). Its expression of support comes within a week of Switzerland’s.

Also Read: Resistance to India’s Nuclear Suppliers Group Membership Softens

Even South Africa, New Zealand and Turkey have relatively softened their stance, opening the door to a process under which non-NPT states such as India might join, diplomats said. With the Vienna meeting over, India will now focus on the “hold-out countries” in the next few weeks, with an official saying that they were “cautiously optimistic” on the way forward.

2. Opposition Parties Slam Indo-US Joint Statement

In this 25 January, 2015 file photo, U.S. President Barack Obama (left) and Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi  shake  hands after they jointly addressed the media in New Delhi, India. (Photo: AP)
In this 25 January, 2015 file photo, U.S. President Barack Obama (left) and Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi shake hands after they jointly addressed the media in New Delhi, India. (Photo: AP)

While Modi may have invited a thunderous applause at the US Congress, oppostion parties aren’t too kicked about the Indo-US joint statement and are voicing their concerns over it, according to The Indian Express.

While the CPM said the joint statement “cemented” New Delhi as a “junior strategic partner of the US” and dove-tailed India’s policies to the strategic interests of US, the Congress had a word of caution, “US has destroyed all those countries to which it extended a hand of friendship.”


3. EC Doesn’t Cancel Rajya Sabha Polls in Karnataka

Chief Election Commissioner Nasim Zaidi and Election Commissioner AK Joti met on Thursday to decide the fate of the elections. (Photo: PIB)
Chief Election Commissioner Nasim Zaidi and Election Commissioner AK Joti met on Thursday to decide the fate of the elections. (Photo: PIB)

The Election Commission on Thursday decided against cancelling or postponing Rajya Sabha elections to four seats from Karnataka on 11 June, on the ground that the sting operations were not evidence enough to prove that money was used to influence the voting MLAs.

The Commission is not satisfied that the whole electoral process, now in progress, for the biennial election to the Rajya Sabha by the members of the Karnataka Legislative Assembly is so vitiated by the...allegations that it should not be permitted to continue.
The EC Order

The Commission also said “such punishment (of cancelling or postponing of polls) to the state legislative assembly and the people of Karnataka would not be commensurate with the demeaning act of few members of its legislative assembly.”

The poll panel, however, ordered that the Returning Officer file an FIR against Independent MLA Mallikarjuna Khuba under the relevant provisions of the Prevention of Corruption Act, 1988, for openly demanding money for his vote. It will also write to the Centre to initiate a CBI probe into the matter.

Also Read: Rajya Sabha Polls in Karnataka Will Not Be Cancelled: EC


4. Plea in Court for FIR Against Akhlaq’s Family

A petition seeking registration of an FIR against Mohammad Akhlaq’s family was filed in the Surajpur court on Thursday, and the matter has been listed for hearing on 13 June, according to The India Express.

The petition, filed by Bisara resident Surajpal, urges the court to direct the police to register an FIR against Akhlaq’s family members on charges of cow slaughter and animal cruelty. The development comes nine days after a Mathura forensic lab said the meat found in Akhlaq’s fridge ‘belongs to a cow or it’s progeny’.

According to the petition, a stray calf (bull) from Bisara village had gone missing and was allegedly slaughtered by Akhlaq, his brother and other family members. The petitioner said a group of residents had seen Akhlaq throw some meat in a polythene bag near the Bada transformer in the village. The petitioner claimed the mob got out of control and beat up Akhlaq and his son Danish. Akhlaq was beaten to death.


5. Nilgai Culling Starts War of Words Between Two Ministries

Two Union ministers — women and child development minister and animal rights activist Maneka Gandhi and her environment and forests colleague Prakash Javadekar are sparring over the ongoing culling of nilgais in Bihar, reports The Times of India. While Maneka slams the ongoing killings that are aimed at controlling the damage inflicted by the animal on crops a “massacre”, Javadekar says the decision was in accordance with existing law.

Also Read: Culling Nilgais in Bihar: Is Killing Animals the Solution?

“As per existing law, when farmers face a lot of problems and their crops are completely damaged and when a state government sends a proposal, only then we allow (culling) and grant approval to the state government’s proposal”, said Javadekar.


6. CBI Forms SIT to Probe AgustaWestland Case

(Photo: Reuters)
(Photo: Reuters)

According to The Indian Express, the CBI has formed a Special Investigation Team (SIT), under Additional Director Rakesh Asthana, a 1984-batch IPS officer of the Gujarat cadre to exclusively probe important cases like the AgustaWestland VVIP chopper deal and alleged loan fraud by businessman Vijay Mallya.

The SIT will now probe who the actual beneficiaries of the kickbacks were, and look into the chain through which the money was routed to them. Both CBI and ED are probing the flow of alleged bribes in the Rs 3,600-crore AgustaWestland deal.


7. Rajnath for CM? Speculation is Rife

With just three days to go for the BJP’s national executive meeting in Allahabad, speculation escalated that the leadership could consider giving Singh, a former UP CM, a chance to be its CM candidate, according toTimes of India.

Although the party has so far refrained from commenting on the speculations, it’s clear that Singh will play a “prominent” role in the campaign even if it does not necessarily declare him its choice for the top political office in the state.


8. You Can’t Enjoy Google’s Street View in India, Thanks to MHA Curtain

The Union government has rejected Google’s plans to map Indian cities, tourist spots, hills and rivers for its platform, Google Street View, which would have allowed you to explore through 360-degree images, according to The Times of India.

The ministry of home affairs, after consultations with the defence and other ministries, has conveyed to Google that its plans to add Indian locations on Street View cannot be permitted as the security establishment is wary of allowing such a scale of image-capturing. given that the planning for 26/11 is believed to have involved photographic documentation of targets by Pakistani-American David Coleman Headley. The ministry believes this could compromise India’s security.


9. “Radical” Reforms in Film Certification Soon: Jaitley

Finance Minister Arun Jaitley. (Photo: PTI)
Finance Minister Arun Jaitley. (Photo: PTI)

Amid a raging controversy over censorship in Udta Punjab, Information and Broadcasting Minister Arun Jaitley on Thursday said that movie certification norms should be “liberal” and “some very radical changes” will be announced over the next few days.

Stating that he was “not satisfied” with the existing system of film certification, Jaitley said some changes were about to be made. “You will probably have a system where you will have to have a certificate. The correct word is certification and not censorship. Certification norms will have to be liberal,” Jaitley said at a function here.
The Indian Express Report

His comments come in the wake of the raging controversy on the Censor Board’s proposed cuts in Udta Punjab.


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