QBullet: Navjot Singh Sidhu Joins Congress; Serial Rapist Caught
Read The Quint’s compilation of important stories in national dailies across the country.
1. In ‘Rape’ Trips to Delhi, Tailor Abused Schoolgirls
He came to Delhi by the Sampark Kranti Express and no other train, travelled only on odd dates and wore the same set of clothes – a red jacket and a pair of blue jeans.
Delhi was a happy hunting ground for him. He could find a prey easily – schoolgirls between the age of 7 and 11 – and get back home safe after raping them.
He did it for 13 years. The red jacket was his lucky charm.
But, on Saturday 38-year-old Sunil Rastogi’s luck ran out. A tailor from Rampur in Uttar Pradesh, he was arrested from east Delhi’s Kalyanpuri.
2. Navjot Singh Sidhu to Formally Join Congress on Monday
Congress on Sunday announced that cricketer-turned-politician and BJP turncoat Navjot Singh Sidhu will formally join the party on Monday, releasing his pictures with Rahul Gandhi, but not before a myriad theories swirled over backstage bargaining.
Though his arrival was in the works, delays set off speculation that he might have been asked to take on Punjab deputy CM and Akali scion Sukhbir Badal in Jalalabad. As it turned out, Sidhu will contest the Amritsar East seat previously held by his wife and a part of his former Lok Sabha seat of Amritsar.
3. China Must Come Around to India’s NSG Bid, Says US
The outgoing Obama administration has lashed out at China for blocking India from becoming a member of the Nuclear Suppliers Group by describing the Communist giant as an “outlier” in its effort to bring New Delhi on board the elite grouping.
“Clearly there is one outlier that needs to be addressed and that is China,” Nisha Desai Biswal, Assistant Secretary of State for South and Central Asia said.
The US statement comes a week ahead of the Obama administration passing on the baton to the Trump administration.
4. Cycle to Bicycle Pump? Samajwadi Party Fight Throws Many Poll Symbol Options
Samajwadi Party’s internal wrangling over its symbol – the bicycle – has fuelled speculation about what could be the possible logo of the factions led by Mulayam Singh and his son Akhilesh in the upcoming assembly polls in Uttar Pradesh.
They could be looking at an array of free symbols such as “mortar and pestle”, “wool and needles”, or “dumbbells”, which are up for grabs, to make their pick.
The Election Commission is expected to give a verdict on Monday on whom among the father and son duo will get to ride the bicycle in the February-March elections.
5. Behind Bihar Boat Tragedy: No Security Review, Patrol Boats Diverted
A surprise announcement to vacate the venue of a kite-flying festival attended by hundreds; an unauthorised private boat engaged in a hurry by visitors to reach a government ferry that could not dock as the landing platform had caved in; disaster response boats on patrolling duty diverted to carry other passengers to Gandhi ghat in Patna, 500m across the Ganga. It was mainly a combination of these factors that led to the overloaded private boat capsizing just 25m from the Sabalpur Diara river bank in Saran on Saturday evening, killing 24 people, witnesses and officials at the disaster site told The Indian Express.
Apart from the local factors that led to the tragedy, officials said that no security review was conducted either by Chief Minister Nitish Kumar or his deputy Tejaswi Prasad Yadav, who is also the minister in charge of Saran district.
6. Jawans Taking Complaints Online Will Face Action: Army Chief
Army Chief Gen Bipin Rawat Sunday said that jawans who take to social media to express their complaints could be punished as their act lowers the morale of those guarding the frontiers of the country. He also said that despite Pakistan’s continuous engagement in proxy war against India, “we want to restore peace on the Line of Control”.
“But we will not hesitate from giving a fitting reply in case of any ceasefire violation,” he asserted. The Army Chief was addressing the Army Day celebrations, where he awarded gallantry medals to soldiers who showed extraordinary courage while performing duty.
7. Government May Set Limit For Cash Deposits to Be Scrutinised
In a bid to curb possible harassment of taxpayers during investigations into bank deposits post-demonetisation, the government is looking to lay down norms for tax officers, including a threshold below which scrutiny will not ordinarily be initiated.
Even as estimates of cash deposits made by individuals are still being worked out, the tax department is analysing a mountain of data related to demonetised currency notes that were deposited in bank accounts between 10 November and 30 December.
8. West Bengal: Six Die in ‘Stampede’ at Ganga Sagar Mela
Six elderly women died at the annual Ganga Sagar Mela – one of West Bengal’s biggest religious fairs – at Kochuberia in South 24 Parganas district on Sunday. According to eyewitnesses, the pilgrims died in a stampede at the Kochuberia jetty where a crowd was waiting to board a boat.
The state government, however, denied reports that it was a stampede.
9. Meghalaya Sex Scam: Guest-House Owned by Home Minister’s Family Under Probe
A guest-house owned by the family of Meghalaya Home Minister H D R Lyngdoh is being investigated in what the officials fear could be a wide-spread sex racket involving several influential people.
On 6 January, Independent MLA Julius Kitbok Dorphang was arrested in Guwahati after a hunt of three weeks. Police officials confirmed that a 14-year-old, who filed an FIR on December 16, has said that she was taken to the guest-house, Marvelene’s Inn, located in posh Shillong locality Rilbong, several times to “serve clients”.
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