QBullet: Dalit Suicide Unites Oppn, Modi Targets Manmohan & More

Read the latest news fresh from the publications this morning.

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India
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Students protesting against Rohith Vemula’s suicide. (Photo: PTI)

1. Dalit Scholar Suicide: Oppn Demands Dattatreya, Irani Resignation

Opposition parties demanded the resignations of HRD minister Smriti Irani and the vice-chancellor Bandaru Dattatreya on Tuesday for allegedly driving a Dalit scholar in Hyderabad to suicide, as rivals closed ranks to attack the NDA government over the issue that has sparked off a huge political storm, reports the Hindustan Times.

Police booked Dattatreya and two ABVP members for abetting the suicide of the 26-year-old student, who was among the five research scholars suspended by the institution.

The five were allegedly suspended after Dattatreya last year wrote to HRD minister Smriti Irani describing the university as a “den of casteist, extremist and anti-national politics.” Irani came under opposition fire after the emergence of five letters written by the HRD ministry to the university, seeking a response to Dattatreya’s complaint against the alleged attack on an ABVP activist.

From The Quint:
Rohith Wasn’t Alone, It is Not Easy Being a Dalit Science Scholar
Hyderabad Protests Intensify, FTII Students Sit on Hunger Strike

2. Modi Targets Manmohan Singh at a Rally in Assam

Prime Minister Narendra Modi targeted his predecessor Manmohan Singh, at his first BJP election campaign in Assam, reports The Times of India.

“Assam has been sending Manmohan Singh to Rajya Sabha and the state has given a Prime Minister for 10 years and yet it has such a long list of problems,” he said. “I believed that since Assam has given a PM for 10 years, the state must be fully free from all sorts of problems.”

“I commit myself to fulfil the promises I make,” Modi said at a rally in Kokrajhar. In Guwahati, he ridiculed the Congress for its inability to look beyond “beta” and “beti”. “When it comes to the progress of youths, Congress only thinks of its beta and beti. When I think of youths, images of crores of young people come to my mind.

Read the full report on Times of India.

3. Step Up or Step Back, Omar Tells Mehbooba

While PDP president Mehbooba Mufti is keeping a silence on government formation in Jammu & Kashmir, a senior party leader said on Tuesday they were looking for “concrete assurances” from the Centre on the issues listed in the agenda of alliance.

Former Jammu and Kashmir Chief Minister Omar Abdullah has asked Mehbooba Mufti to recommend dissolution of the Jammu and Kashmir Assembly if “unable or unwilling” to assume the chief minister’s office, reports The Hindu.

Omar Abdullah  (Photo: PTI)
Omar Abdullah (Photo: PTI)

If you are unable or unwilling to assume the responsibilities... recommend to the Governor to dissolve the Assembly, and let the people make a fresh decision.

Read The Hindu’s report here.
Also read on The Quint: Would Be Terrified If Put in Mehbooba Mufti’s Place: Omar Abdullah

6. Private Schools Will Need Approval to Hike Fees: HC

Private unaided schools allotted land by the Delhi Development Authority (DDA) cannot hike fees without the government’s permission, the Delhi High Court ruled on Tuesday. The verdict has implications for close to 400 private schools in Delhi, according to an Asian Age report and comes as a major relief for parents forced to accept annual fee hikes.

However, experts and a few schools accepted that in light of the high court’s direction, fees may not increase from new academic session starting April in many schools.

Read the Asian Age report here.
From The Quint: No Management Quota in Delhi Schools? Think Again

5. 15,000-Strong ‘Dharma Sena’ in UP Readies for War With ISIS

According to a Times of India report, an outfit known as Hindu Swabhiman from the outskirts of Delhi to the Uttarakhand border, is raising and training what it calls a “dharma sena” to wage war against the Islamic State (ISIS), which it believes will occupy western UP by 2020. Its leaders claim there are already 15,000 “soldiers” who are ready to die to safeguard their faith.

The Quint earlier travelled into the interiors of the region to meet members of these groups, their sympathisers and young Hindu recruits who are being trained and indoctrinated in this emerging brand of religious extremism. We sought to understand their psyche, question their inspiration and document their modus operandi.

Watch: The Wild West of Uttar Pradesh: Rise of the Hindu Fringe

6. SPG Tells SC We Need Big Cars to Protect, So Relax Ban

In a quandary over the ban on the registration of diesel SUVs and high-end vehicles with engine capacity of over 2,000 cc in the national capital until 31 March, the Special Protection Group (SPG) wants an exception to enable it to protect VIPs, reports Indian Express.

The SPG moved the Supreme Court with a request to exempt it from the prohibition because its fleet of vehicles to protect present and former prime ministers and their immediate family members consists of sedans and SUVs with engine capacities of 4,000 cc and more.

Read the full report here.

7. Nitish Keeps Election Promise, Rolls Out 35% Reservation for Women

The Bihar cabinet chaired by Chief Minister Nitish Kumar on Tuesday approved 35 percent reservation for women in all government jobs in the state.

Women click selfies with Bihar chief minister Nitish Kumar in Patna (Photo: PTI)
Women click selfies with Bihar chief minister Nitish Kumar in Patna (Photo: PTI)

The state government is already providing 35 percent reservation for women in recruitment as police constables and sub-inspectors and 50 percent reservation as primary school teachers and in the Panchayati Raj system.

Read The Quint’s report here.

8. Pak Border is Not Yet Well-Guarded: J&K Guv

Jammu and Kashmir Governor NN Vohra on Tuesday said the Pathankot terror strike could have been prevented had lessons been learnt from previous attacks, with focus on securing the International Border with Pakistan, which is not yet “well-guarded”. He was delivering a speech on “National Security Management: Some Concerns” at a function to mark the 7th Raising Day of the NIA, where Union Home Minister Rajnath Singh was the chief guest.

According to The Tribune, Vohra said the Border Security Force, with its limited capacities, could not effectively guard the International Border (in Jammu and Kashmir and Punjab), a long stretch of 200-250 km

Read the full report here.
From The Quint: Pathankot Attack: Troubling Questions for India’s Security Forces

9. Jaish Jihadists Came Within 250 Metres of Key Pathankot Airbase Assets

The six heavily-armed Jaish-e-Muhammed (JeM) terrorists had managed to come within 250-300 metres of the technical area of Pathankot air base, reports The Times of India.

Army personnel take positions on a rooftop of a building outside the   airbase in Pathankot,  Saturday, 2 January 2016. (Photo: AP)
Army personnel take positions on a rooftop of a building outside the airbase in Pathankot, Saturday, 2 January 2016. (Photo: AP)

High-value military assets, including MIG fighters and attack helicopters, were parked there, but commandos had taken positions blocking their further advance while some structures prevented them from taking a direct shot.

Read the full report here.

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