QBullet: First Real Test for Odd-Even, Indian Consulate Attacked

QBullet: The Quint’s morning compilation of the stories making news from all over the country.

6 min read
Drivers in Delhi-NCR will have to adhere to the odd-even rule or be prepared to pay the steep Rs 2,000 fine. (Photo: iStockphoto)

1. Kid Gloves Off for Rule-Breakers in First Real Test of Odd-Even

Violators of the odd-even rule may have been spared on the first two days of the Delhi government’s ambitious drive to tackle air pollution, but starting Monday, enforcement agencies have promised that they will show no mercy. Drivers will have to toe the line or be prepared to pay the steep Rs 2,000 fine.

Starting Monday, enforcement agencies have promised that they will show no mercy to violators of the odd-even rule. (Photo: <b>The Quint</b>)
Starting Monday, enforcement agencies have promised that they will show no mercy to violators of the odd-even rule. (Photo: The Quint)

Only 567 car owners paid the Rs 2,000 penalty during the first two days of the ambitious drive to clean Delhi’s air. Many rule-breakers were let off with a lecture and a rose as the focus was on creating awareness.

Transport Minister Gopal Rai thanked Delhi-ites for the success of the last two days and warned that enforcement teams will come down hard on errant drivers. Open and hidden cameras have been installed to catch violators.

Read the full story in the Hindustan Times.

2. Indian Consulate in Afghanistan’s Mazar-i-Sharif Attacked

Explosions and gunshots that lasted approximately twenty minutes were heard near the Indian consulate in the northern Afghan city of Mazar-i-Sharif late on Sunday evening. Gunmen attempted to enter the compound, a spokesman for the local governor said.

(Courtesy: Google Maps)
(Courtesy: Google Maps)

Local media has confirmed that two attackers have been killed and that two more could be hiding in a building under construction. Afghanistan Security Forces and the Indo-Tibetan Border Police commandos (ITBP) engaged the attackers in a fierce gun battle.

There have been no casualties among the consular staff. The Consulate building was evacuated.

Read the full story on The Quint.

3. Saudi Severs Ties with Iran Following Execution of Shiite Cleric

Saudi Arabia has severed ties with Iran over the storming of the Saudi embassy in Tehran, in a worsening diplomatic crisis between the regional rivals following the kingdom’s execution of a prominent Shi’ite cleric.

Iranian protesters stormed the Saudi embassy in Tehran early on Sunday and Shi’ite Muslim Iran’s top leader, Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, predicted ‘divine vengeance’ for the execution of Sheikh Nimr al-Nimr, an outspoken opponent of the kingdom’s ruling Al Saudi family.

Iranian demonstrators chant slogans during a protest denouncing the execution of Sheikh Nimr al-Nimr in Tehran. (Photo: AP)
Iranian demonstrators chant slogans during a protest denouncing the execution of Sheikh Nimr al-Nimr in Tehran. (Photo: AP)

Adel al-Jubeir, Foreign Minister of Saudi Arabia, has said that Riyadh would not allow the Islamic Republic to undermine the Sunni kingdom’s security.

The kingdom, in light of these realities, announces the cutting of diplomatic relations with Iran and requests the departure of delegates of diplomatic missions of the embassy and consulate and offices related to it within 48 hours. The ambassador has been summoned to notify them.

Adel al-Jubeir, Foreign Minister, Saudi Arabia

Read the full story on The Quint.

4. Pathankot Attack Fallout? India May Reschedule Pak Talks

Foreign-secretary level talks between India and Pakistan, slated for later this month, may be rescheduled. The postponement is in response to the Pathankot air base attack, which is thought to have been carried out by banned terror outfit Jaish-e-Mohammed (JeM). Pakistan is expected to use the extra time to crack down on the terrorist group.

The national security advisers of the two countries may meet soon to explore how Pakistan could act against the JeM and reaffirm its commitment to the peace process before their foreign secretaries sit down for formal negotiations. The revelation came as Prime Minister Narendra Modi held a brainstorming session with his key foreign policy advisers.

Report in the Hindustan Times

The Pathankot Air Force was subjected to a major terror attack yesterday, allegedly carried out by Jaish-E-Mohammad. Just when it seemed that things were finally sorted –government officials claimed on Saturday that all the attackers were eliminated, and combing operations were underway to neutralise any threats – an explosion suddenly rocked the base again.

According to the Union Home Ministry, the death of only four terrorists have been confirmed, while the status of the other two is still unclear. Media reports also claimed that the security forces were keen on capturing the attackers alive. Seven security personnel have lost their lives in the attack.

Read The Quint’s report on the attack here.

5. Malda Tense as Anti-Tiwari Rally Turns Violent

A violent protest rally against Akhil Bharat Hindu Mahasabha leader Kamlesh Tiwari led to arson and gunfire in Bengal’s Malda district on Sunday. Two people are thought to have sustained bullet injuries. Tiwari was attacked for his alleged derogatory remarks against Prophet Mohammed. Two dozen vehicles and the Kaliachak Police station were set on fire.

The violence broke out when the protesters, who were taking out the rally on National Highway 34, came across a bus that was trying to negotiate past them. A group of protesters got into an argument with the driver of the bus and soon the situation spiralled out of control. As the passengers got off the bus, the protesters burnt it down.

Report in The Indian Express

6. RSS Shiv Shakti Sangam: Change in Mindset Can Bring Equality

RSS chief Mohan Bhagwat stressed on the fact that India’s ‘culture’ is its ‘true strength’ and the fact that Indians cannot rely only on the Constitution to seek equality. Bhagwat said that it was important that Indians change their ‘biased’ mindsets, which ‘lacked values’.

RSS Chief Mohan Bhagwat. (Photo: PTI)
RSS Chief Mohan Bhagwat. (Photo: PTI)

Speaking at the Shiv Shakti Sangam programme in Marunji village, in front of 1,58,722 swayamsevaks and spectators, Bhagwat said, Dr Ambedkar had said that till economic and social inequality remains, political equality will always be under threat. “Laws alone don’t bring equality; protecting values and culture is equally important because they have the power to change people’s minds.”

Report in The Indian Express

7. Rich Don’t Need Law as Much as the Poor Do: Retd Justice Vikramjit Sen

Justice Vikramjit Sen served three years as a Supreme Court judge, before retiring on 30 December. Upholding the Kerala government’s restrictive policy on liquor and the ruling that a single woman can be appointed the sole legal guardian of her child, without the consent of the father is among his key judgements. In an interview to The Indian Express, he discussed the Uniform Civil Code, Section 377 and Kerala’s liquor policy.

Speaking about the validity of IPC Section 377 that criminalises homosexuality, he said:

I think the time has come for Section 377 to go. Why do a penal law and a court have to regulate what you do in private? Personal choices are to be validated if they do not violate anybody else’s rights. The Supreme Court judgement wanted Parliament to take a call on this. Why is Parliament not doing it? Parliament has to change laws.

Retired Justice Vikramjit Sen

8. Ajit Jogi Hits Back at Cong, Says Plot Against Him, Will Sue

The Indian Express report on purported tapes that seemed to imply that the Antagarh by-poll in 2014 could have been fixed opened a can of worms. The Congress sought an explanation from Ajit Jogi and his son. The former Chhattisgarh Chief Minister, Ajit Jogi, went on the offensive.

Former and current Chief Minister of Chhattisgarh, Ajit Jogi and Raman Singh respectively. (Photo: ANI screengrab)
Former and current Chief Minister of Chhattisgarh, Ajit Jogi and Raman Singh respectively. (Photo: ANI screengrab)

He said he had written a letter to Congress president Sonia Gandhi asking for permission to sue his own party’s state president Bhupesh Baghel for defamation. In the aftermath of the purported tapes that indicate financial inducements may have been offered to get the Congress candidate to withdraw, Jogi said Baghel had cast aspersions on his character.

Report in The Indian Express

9. Nepal Parties, Madhesi Front to Form Task Force to End Crisis

The Business Standard reports that Nepal’s three major political parties and the Madhesi front have decided to form a task force to find a common ground on demands put forth by the latter. The protests by the Madhesis against the Constitution have sparked an ongoing political crisis in the country.

Nepal’s ruling coalition, the CPN-UML and CPN-Maoist and the Opposition Nepali Congress met with the agitating United Democratic Madhesi Front (UDMF) at the Prime Minister’s official residence.

The meeting is said to have gone off well.

Read the full story here.

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