QBullet: Crowds Throng RBI to Exchange Old Notes; Blast at Odisha
The Quint brings you the stories making headlines in dailies across India.
1. Chaos and Desperation Outside RBI Office on Last Day to Get Old Notes Exchanged
“Respected Governor sir, I humbly submit that I am a physically challenged man. I have Rs 3,000 in old notes which are out of circulation now. Signed, an Indian citizen of yours.” This handwritten letter, signed by Narain Saini (40), a hearing- and speech-impaired man, yielded no help on Friday.
Showing every policeman and paramilitary officer posted at the Reserve Bank of India the letter, he tried to explain to people – by writing on a notepad – that he had reached the RBI office at 8.30 am from his home in Burari and stood in a queue till 12.30 pm, only to be turned away when he reached the gates.
Getting no clarity on the rules or eligibility for exchange of old notes, Saini lingered at the gates till around 3 pm before giving up and heading home –still unclear on why the guards at the gates let some people in and turned away others, including him. While hundreds had thronged the RBI office on Friday, the last day to get demonetised currency exchanged, many learnt that the option only exists for those who were outside the country between November 8 and December 30 last year.
Also Read: Meet the Humans of Demonetisation
2. Highway Liquor Vends, Bars Must Close from Saturday: Supreme Court
The Supreme Court on Friday refused to revisit its order banning liquor vends within 500 metres of national and state highways from 1 April and ruled that this would also bar hotels and restaurants on highways from serving liquor to guests.
In its 15 December order that kept in mind the large number of deaths on highways due to drunken driving and the easy availability of alcohol, the SC had ordered that no liquor vend could operate within 500 metres of NHs and SHs.
It had also said these vends could not be visible from highways and nor could hoardings be put up advertising their proximity to the highways.
3. Life Term for Killing Cows, CM Vijay Rupani Says Want 'Vegetarian' Gujarat
The Gujarat government Friday amended the state’s Animal Preservation Bill to entail a maximum punishment of life imprisonment and a minimum of 10 years for cow slaughter after it was passed in the assembly in the absence of the Opposition Congress and with the visitors’ gallery packed with saffron-clad Hindu priests.
Speaking on the amendment, Chief Minister Vijay Rupani said that while he was “not against any food”, he wanted to make Gujarat “shakahari (vegetarian)”, “We do not want Jersey cows, but Gir and Kankreji cows instead,” he said.
Rupani also described Gujarat as a “unique state”, which followed the tenets of Mahatma Gandhi — “non-violence and truth”. “This is Gandhi’s Gujarat, Sardar’s (Vallabhbhai Patel) Gujarat and (Prime Minister) Narendra Modi’s Gujarat,” said Rupani.
4. Indian Student Survives Brutal Attack in Poland, Sushma Swaraj Seeks Report
An Indian student, who was allegedly brutally assaulted in Poland and was reported to have died, has survived the attack, according to external affairs minister Sushma Swaraj.
Swaraj spoke to the Indian ambassador to Poland Ajay Bisaria on Friday regarding the assault on an Indian student in Poznan city whose name was not disclosed.
She asked Indian ambassador in Poland Ajay Bisaria for a report after an Indian, Amit Agnihotri, tagged her and the ministry to a media report that said an Indian student was “beaten to death” in Poznan city of Poland.
(Source: Hindustan Times)
5. Blasts in Odisha Rail Station
Protesting against the proposed visit of Prime Minister Narendra Modi to Odisha, Maoists triggered blasts at the Doikalu railway station in Rayagada district of the State on Thursday.
Naxalites set off an explosion in the office of the station master and tried to damage the engine of a goods train through another blast. But they did not harm the railway staff. Many trains were detained at various stations due to the blasts. Doikalu is situated between Rayagada and Titilagarh.
Maoists left behind handwritten banners and posters in Odia at the station, attacking the policies of the Modi government at the Centre and the Naveen Patnaik government in Odisha.
6. Permitting Dalai Lama in Arunachal Is India's Mistake: China
Unable to block the upcoming visit of the Dalai Lama to Arunachal Pradesh, China is now emphasising that India is committing a major mistake in allowing him to visit the border state.
"This will have serious damage on bilateral relations (sic)," Chinese foreign ministry spokesperson Lu Kang warned on Friday. "China firmly opposes the Dalai Lama carrying out any activity in the relevant region and we have expressed our concerns to the Indian side," he said.
China's protest highlights the dichotomy in its stand on the China-Pakistan Economic Corridor where Chinese construction companies are building infrastructure in Pakistan-occupied Kashmir, a region claimed by India. Beijing says India need not worry about CPEC work because it will not affect its policy on the Kashmir issue.
7. Muzaffarnagar: 70 Girls Asked to Strip to Check Menstruation
The Muzaffarnagar district administration Friday sacked the principal of a UP government girls’ school in Khatauli following allegations that around 70 students aged between 11 and 14 years were stripped to check for signs of menstruation after bloodstains were found inside a school toilet five days ago. The principal was also the warden of the residential facility, officials said.
“The guardians of children studying in Kasturba Gandhi Residential Girls School complained about the incident. An inquiry committee was set up by the district administration to look into their concerns. The committee found that the incident took place following which principal of the school, Surekha Tomar, was sacked. Her contract has been terminated. The principal has alleged that she was just helping out students, checking if they were menstruating. But this is not acceptable,” said Chandra Kesh Yadav, Primary Education Officer.
Tomar, however, dismissed the allegations and said they were part of a “conspiracy by other school staff”.
(Source: Indian Express)
8. Arrest Me, Imprison Me, Karnan Dares SC
In an openly confrontational hearing, controversial Calcutta High Court judge, Justice CS Karnan on Friday challenged a seven judge Bench of the Supreme Court to “arrest and put him in jail” for contempt.
Countering an order of the Bench led by Chief Justice of India JS Khehar to file an affidavit explaining his disparaging remarks and allegations of corruption against fellow High Courts and Supreme Court judges, Justice Karnan accused the Bench of robbing him of his mental and physical balance and his dignity by stripping him of his judicial and administrative powers as a High Court judge.
Justice Karnan was appearing for the first time before the Bench in the contempt action against him. He had refused to appear before it despite repeated notice from the apex court summoning him.
9. Cops Go to TVF CEO Arunabh Kumar's Home Twice, Don't Find Him
Arunabh Kumar, founder and CEO of The Viral Fever, was not found at home when the police went there on two occasions on Thursday and Friday, after a second molestation case was filed against him.
The second FIR was filed at Versova police station on Thursday by a former employee of TVF. Soon after, a police team went to Kumar’s home in Yari Road, Andheri West, to arrest him, but did not find him there.
A senior police officer said that that the police team returned to his home on Friday, but Kumar was again absent. “We are maintaining constant surveillance at Kumar’s home and are waiting for him to return,” said the officer.
So far, two women have filed criminal complaints against Kumar, alleging he sexually harassed them. The first FIR was lodged at MIDC police station on Wednesday by a former staff.
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