1. Centre Moves to Quell J&K Unrest With Might
Unable to restore normalcy in turbulent Kashmir since the encounter death of Hizbul commander Burhan Wani on 8 July, the Centre has finally drawn the red lines to quell the unrest in the shortest possible time through a substantial surge of security forces.
Sources said the government has drawn up plans to silence the violent protests within two weeks by carrying out intelligence-based counter intelligence operations (CI Ops) to weed out the militants who, exploiting the over two-month-long unrest, have milled among the protesters.
The government move follows a briefing by intelligence agencies that the protests are increasingly having religious overtones that may prepare a fertile ground for IS elements.
While dealing tough with the “trouble maker” resistance groups, the government has asked the administration to show compassion to the “gullible youth” who have been instigated to join the protests but do not have any criminal background otherwise.
2. Arvind Woos Punjab Farmers
The Aam Aadmi Party today released its 31-point manifesto for farmers, offering loan waivers, crop-loss compensation and free power.
National convener Arvind Kejriwal tried to boost volunteers’ morale by highlighting a silver lining to the sex and corruption scandals that have hit the party in Delhi and Punjab.
AAP is the only party that sends its own ministers behind bars. We have expelled three ministers till now. Has any other party done so?Arvind Kejriwal
Among the promises made to farmers are plans to re-enact two British-era debt relief laws and form a bank debt settlement committee to work out a waiver plan.
The other promises include a Rs 20,000-per-acre compensation for crop loss, higher minimum support prices, full payment to farmers within 72 hours, 12-hour free power supply for farming, and free medical facilities.
The key to power in Punjab lies with its 62 per cent rural population, a large chunk of which appears unhappy with the Badal government.
Read more on The Quint.
(Source: The Telegraph)
3. Bihar Government Shifts Man Behind Alcohol Prohibition
The government today removed K K Pathak – the man who authored one of the most controversial pieces of legislation in the state’s history, the Bihar Prohibition Amendment Act, 2016 – from the post of principal secretary in the excise and prohibition department.
Pathak had clamped down on prohibition with an iron fist, leading to the arrest of over 13,000 people in five months, and ensured that the new law – which gives sweeping powers to police and excise officers – leaves no loopholes for prohibition violators to exploit.
Principal home secretary Amir Subhani, who has a reputation of being an upright officer, has been given charge of excise and prohibition.
Pathak’s removal became a foregone conclusion when he went on indefinite leave, asking the state government to find his replacement.
Pathak is believed to be upset over the Nalanda district administration taking action against an excise official who had arrested a JDU leader on the charge of storing liquor bottles in his house.
Read more on The Quint.
(Source: The Telegraph)
4. Amid Slogans of Progress, Need to Give Judiciary More Judges: CJI
Chief Justice of India, TS Thakur, on Sunday reiterated the urgent need to increase the number of judges in India, and said that “we may keep on inviting foreign direct investment and raising slogans about progress” but it is essential that the judicial system also improve to deal with disputes arising from this progress.
Speaking at the first conference of judicial officers in Chhattisgarh, at the Bilaspur High Court, Justice Thakur said:
Today, there are only 18,000 judges in the country and we have a huge backlog of 3 crore cases in subordinate courts… Not only the judiciary but the entire country faces, because we may keep on inviting foreign direct investment, we may keep on raising slogans about how the country is progressing but the judicial system also needs to improve to deal with disputes that will arise out of this progress.
(Source: The Indian Express)
5. Special Category Ache in Andhra
A state-wide shutdown called by Opposition parties went off peacefully on Saturday but Andhra Pradesh is seething at the Centre’s denial of special category status, a promise made by the UPA government in Parliament.
Protests by political parties and people’s organisations had broken out since Thursday, a day after the Centre made it clear the state would not be receiving the status.
The two Naidus – chief minister Chandrababu Naidu, a BJP ally, and Union minister Venkaiah Naidu – are taking most of the flak for failing to persuade Prime Minister Narendra Modi to accord the status to the state.
Venkaiah had vociferously demanded the status for 10 years after then prime minister Manmohan Singh had offered it for five years. The BJP politician had then promised during the 2014 general election campaign that if elected to power, an NDA government would grant the status for 10 years.
(Source: The Telegraph)
6. Railways Claim Success in Surge Pricing Experiment
The Indian Railways on Sunday claimed that there had been a positive response to its surge pricing initiative, with around 50,000 tickets being booked at higher fares in Rajdhani, Shatabdi and Duronto trains since the roll-out on 9 September.
Railway Board Member (Traffic) Mohammad Jamshed said 30 percent of the tickets booked in Rajdhani, Shatabdi and Duronto trains on Friday and Saturday were flexi-fare tickets. The Railways has introduced surge pricing beginning Friday under which fares will increase up to 40 per cent with every 10 percent tickets sold in these premium trains.
In the highest fare segment, 2,700 tickets were booked on 9 September and 3,200 tickets on 10 September.Mohammad Jamshed, Railway Board Member (Traffic)
Jamshed added that the railways had earned additional revenue of Rs. 80 lakh per day on September 9 and 10.
7. Cabinet Set to Okay Deal for 36 Rafale Fighter Aircraft
Sixteen months after Prime Minister Narendra Modi announced the deal to buy 36 Rafale fighter aircraft, the Cabinet Committee on Security (CCS) is set to approve on Monday the closure of negotiations between the Defence Ministry and French manufacturer Dassault Aviation.
The settled price for the twin-engined multi-role fighter is about 7.8 billion Euros with deliveries from 2019 and annual inflation capped at 3.5%. Top sources told Hindustan Times that the Defence Ministry has sent the finalised deal to the CCS after making requisite changes to its offset section.
The deal involves the manufacturer outsourcing 50% of the total amount of the deal from India.
The cost of 36 fighters will be around Rs 7000-8,000 crore lower than that what was being offered to the previous UPA regime in the now cancelled contract for multi-role medium range combat aircraft (MMRCA). Rafale had been shortlisted as the lowest bidder in the MMRCA tender.
(Source: The Hindustan Times)
8. Will Not Accept Amantullah Khan’s Resignation, it’s His Family’s Internal Matter: Manish Sisodia
Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) on Sunday refused to accept the resignation of its legislator Amanatullah Khan, against whom an FIR was registered a day ago following molestation charges leveled by his sister-in-law.
Reacting to the demand for Khan’s resignation, senior party leader and Deputy Chief Minister of Delhi Manish Sisodia said it will not be accepted as “whatever is happening with Khan is his family’s internal matter.”
We refused to accept his (Khan’s) resignation. It’s a six-year-old family matter and his in-laws are dragging him into it. We have found out in our investigation that he is being dragged into it.Manish Sisodia, Deputy Chief Minister of Delhi
9. No Trace of ISIS Recruits, Say Tehran and Kabul
A month after 21 persons from Kerala went missing and are suspected to have joined the Islamic State in Afghanistan via Iran, both Tehran and Kabul have informed India that the group could not be located.
The immigration records of the 21 people show that all of them had flown till Tehran, Iran’s capital, before going off the radar.
We had asked Iran and Afghanistan for information on the movement of these people. Since they travelled so far as Iran, we wanted to know their mode of journey till Afghanistan. Both countries have said they have no information.Senior Official of the Union Home Ministry