QBullet: Delhi Rape Survivor Sues Uber; Forces Sent to Darjeeling
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1. Darjeeling: More Forces for Hills
The Centre on Thursday sent four additional companies of forces to Darjeeling following a request from the Bengal government, on a day violence escalated in the hills and the Gorkha Janmukti Morcha announced an indefinite general strike.
The Union Home Ministry had earlier sent 10 companies of forces to the hills. With this move, 14 companies will be in Darjeeling to tackle any possible law and order situation. There are around 100 soldiers in each company.
The hills were gripped by uncertainty after the Morcha announced the strike and suspected party supporters torched government property following a raid on Bimal Gurung's office. The violence spread far and fast to Kalimpong.
In Delhi, Morcha General Secretary Roshan Giri met Union Home Minister Rajnath Singh on Wednesday and sought Central intervention over the hill party's demand for Gorkhaland. The BJP, an ally of the Morcha, is yet to make its stand clear on the statehood issue.
(Source: The Telegraph)
2. Delhi Rape Survivor Sues Uber for Obtaining Her Medical Records
A woman sued Uber Technologies Inc on Thursday claiming top executives at the ride-hailing company improperly obtained her medical records after she was raped by a driver in India, according to court documents.
The lawsuit, filed in a California federal court, comes two days after Uber Chief Executive Travis Kalanick said he would take a leave of absence from his troubled company to grieve for his recently deceased mother and to work on his leadership skills.
Kalanick, under fire for fostering a culture of sexism and rule-breaking at the company he helped found, is also named as a defendant in the lawsuit. The lawsuit cites several media reports, which said Kalanick and others doubted the victim’s account of her ordeal.
3. Govt May Ease Cattle Trade Rules to Allay Beef Ban Fear
On a day when the Supreme Court sought a response from the Centre on its new cattle trade regulations, there were indications that the government will tweak the rules to demarcate an area in livestock markets for the sale and purchase of animals for slaughter.
The distinct areas for milch animals and older, sometimes infirm, cattle meant for slaughter could address concerns that farm livestock get mixed with less healthy animals in cattle trade marts as well as concerns that the rules have acted to reduce the supply of meat and impose a dietary code.
Also Read: Decoded: Cattle Market Rules, 'Beef Ban'
4. TDP MP Diwakar Reddy in Airport Row, Barred From 3 Airlines
Telugu Desam Party MP from Anantapur, JC Diwakar Reddy, on Thursday became the second lawmaker in three months to be banned from flying for unruly behaviour with an airline staffer.
Confirming the MP's aggressive behaviour at the Visakhapatnam airport on Thursday morning, an IndiGo spokesperson announced a flight ban on him late in the evening. Soon, Air India and SpiceJet too banned the MP from flying and other airlines are likely to follow suit.
Even after creating a ruckus at the airport, Reddy had his way after ensuring the intervention of Civil Aviation Minister Ashok Gajapathi Raju, who happened to be there at the time.
5. Karnataka-Born 'ISIS Operative' Declared Global Terrorist by US
Mohammad Shafi Armar, a one-time Karnataka resident charged by the National Investigation Agency (NIA) with playing a key role in Islamic State (ISIS) operations targeting India, has been named a specially designated global terrorist by the US, a statement released by that country’s Treasury Department said on Thursday. The designation prohibits “any transaction or dealing” with sanctioned individuals.
The statement also sanctioned three other alleged ISIS figures, Bahrain national Mohammed Isa al-Binali, Iraqi Umar al-Kubaysi and Belgian Oussama Ahmad Atar as specially designated global terrorists, among dozens similarly sanctioned in recent months.
6. Yogi Adityanath Govt Announces Dissolution of Shia, Sunni Waqf Boards
The Uttar Pradesh government on Thursday announced to dissolve the Shia and Sunni waqf boards in the state in the wake of corruption charges against them. The Minister of State for Waqf Mohsin Raza said that Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath has approved to the dissolution of the boards.
Raza further said the dissolution process has been initiated after reports of corruption were found against the Shia and Sunni waqf boards related to their properties.
The chairman of the Shia Waqf Board, Wasim Rizvi along with minister for waqf in the previous Samajwadi Party government, Azam Khan, came under the scanner after an inquiry was conducted by the Waqf Council of India.
7. India, Russia Reject Pakistan Claim of Mediation Offer by Vladimir Putin
The Ministry of External Affairs on Thursday rejected Pakistan’s claims that Russian President Vladimir Putin had expressed his intention to mediate between India and Pakistan. “No offer of mediation between India and Pakistan was made by Russia to India,” MEA spokesperson Gopal Baglay said.
Russia is well aware of India’s position to address all issues with Pakistan bilaterally in an environment free of terrorism and violence.
A senior diplomat in the Russian Embassy in New Delhi also rejected the reports adding it was Pakistan’s “wishful thinking.”
“We do not have any information about such an offer made by our president. Russia is clear in its position that Indo-Pak issues need to be resolved, bilaterally, and we will never ever suggest anything contrary to that. It seems wishful thinking on part of Pakistan,” the diplomat said on the condition of anonymity.
8. Kochi Metro Inauguration: PMO Steps in, Puts Metro Man on List of VIPs
The Prime Minister's Office on Thursday revised the list of dignitaries to be on the dais of the Kochi Metro inauguration scheduled for Saturday, thus putting an end to the controversy over the guest list. As per the revised list, 'Metro Man' E Sreedharan, who is the architect of the project, and Opposition leader Ramesh Chennithala will share the dais with PM Narendra Modi.
However, the attempt of BJP state chief Kummanam Rajasekharan to announce the decision before the state government's formal communication triggered war of words between the CPM and the BJP. Rajasekharan told reporters on Thursday he was informed by the PMO about adding Chennithala and Sreedharan on the guest list.
Tourism Minister Kadakampally Surendran, who had criticised the Union government's move on Wednesday, slammed Rajasekharan and said it had become a practice of the BJP state president to claim credit for the actions of the state government.
9. PN Bhagwati, One of India's Most Distinguished Jurists, Dies
The father of public interest litigation (PIL) and judicial activism in Indian legal jurisprudence, Justice PN Bhagwati is no more.
The 17th Chief Justice of India, Justice Bhagwati passed away in New Delhi on Thursday evening after a brief illness. He was 95 and is survived by his wife and three daughters.
Justice Bhagwati began his career as an advocate in the Bombay High Court. He became a judge of the Gujarat High Court in 1960 and was subsequently elevated to the Supreme court in 1973.
Justice Bhagwati is considered one of the most distinguished jurists of India since Independence. He presided over the Supreme Court as its Chief Justice until his retirement in 1985. Under his leadership, the apex court developed comprehensive human rights jurisprudence. He retired as the Chief Justice in 1985.
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