QBullet: Patels to Protest in US, Saudi Diplomat Flees and More

Here’s a wrap of all the news and views from the papers this morning.

4 min read
Narendra Modi at the Madison Square Garden in New York in 2014. (Photo: Reuters)

1. Hardik Echo in US, Patel Groups Prepare to Target PM Modi’s Visit

In sharp contrast to his last visit, a protest will be organised by members of the Patel community in the United States on the morning of September 25 as Prime Minister Narendra Modi goes there for the annual meeting of the UN General Assembly, reports The Indian Express.

The protest is the community’s attempt to rally behind the ongoing Patidar agitation in Modi’s home state, Gujarat.  The protestors have obtained permission from the New York Police to stage a protest outside the United Nations headquarters.

We are fighting for our poor brethren back home. Our Patel parents are selling their homes to get college admission for their sons and daughters. You must remember it is because of the reservation system in India that more than 10,000 Patel engineers and doctors are in America today.
— Alpesh Patel, US-based businessman

Read the full report here.

2. Saudi Diplomat Leaves Country; MEA Tries to Save Face

The Saudi Arabian diplomat charged with confinement and rape of two Nepalese women, has left the country.

We have learnt that the first secretary Majed Hassan Ashoor who was allegedly accused of raping two Nepalese women has left India. The first secretary being a diplomat is governed by the provision of the Vienna convention on diplomatic relations.
— Vikas Swaroop, Spokesperson, Ministry of External Affairs

The MEA statement seems to be at odds with the statutes of the Vienna Convention on Diplomatic Relations 1963, which clearly states that diplomatic immunity may be revoked in the case of a serious crime.

Read The Quint’s full report here.

3. 88 MPs Made Wrong Claims on Poll Funding, Finds ADR Report

According to a report by the Association for Democratic Reforms (ADR), 88 Members of Parliament – 70 of them from the BJP – submitted poll spending reports that do not square with those that their respective parties submitted to the Election Commission reports the Hindustan Times.

A total of Rs 17.09 crore were declared as received by 88 MPs – 70 MPs from the BJP, 11 from the Congress, five from the CPI(M) and one each from the NCP and CPI – and their names were missing from the list of candidates to whom a lump sum amount was given by their parties.
— Association for Democratic Reforms (ADR)

Read the full report here.

4. Home Ministry Tells Delhi High Court: Fighting IS can Lead to ‘Sectarian’ Conflict in India

In an affidavit submitted to the Delhi High Court, the Ministry of Home Affairs has said that it did not want Indians to travel to Iraq and Syria or fight against the Islamic State (IS) as it may “directly result in sectarian conflict in India”, reports The Indian Express.

Allowing any sect to take part in the conflict in Iraq/Syria would have had repercussions on other sects in India. This could directly result in sectarian conflict within India, which is not in the interest of the nation.
— Home Ministry affidavit 

Read the full report here.

5. Civic Bodies Under-reporting Dengue toll, Hospital Data Shows

An analysis of data from various hospitals shows that dengue figures in the capital may have been grossly under-reported. 13 deaths were reported by 8 government hospitals as of Saturday, but only five have been confirmed by municipal corporations reports the Hindustan Times.

Read more here.

6. Govt Offers Fresh Talks to end FTII Logjam

The I&B Ministry in a letter addressed to FTII Students Association (FSA) President Harishankar Nachimuthu made a fresh offer to resume talks with striking FTII students in an effort to end the three-month-long protest reports The Times of India.

The ministry said that progress towards ending the stalemate could not take place on previous occasions due to stiff preconditions laid by the students.

In case you are keen to end the stalemate and resume academics, you are welcome to discuss the issues with the ministry without any preconditions.
— K Sanjay Murthy, Joint Secretary (Films) 

Read the full report here.

7. After LAC Face-off, India and China to Hold Joint Exercise

After the recent face-off between Indian and Chinese troops at Burtse in Ladakh and the consequent ceasefire, the armies of both countries are getting ready to conduct bilateral “Hand-in-Hand” (HiH) military exercise as a confidence-building measure between the world’s largest and second-largest armies, reports The Times of India.

India will earmark a detachment of soldiers from the decorated Naga Regiment to match their combat skills with the troops of the People’s Liberation (PLA), at the HiH exercise which will be held at Kunming in China from October 11 to 23.

Read more here.

8. Robert Vadra Taken off Airport ‘No Frisk’ List

The government has met Robert Vadra’s demands; his name has been taken off the no-frisking list. Sonia Gandh’s son-in-law had earlier mocked the Modi government for not taking his name off the list.

Until now, 46-year-old Vadra, businessman and husband of Priyanka Gandhi, was exempted from frisking at airports when he travelled with an SPG protectee.

The previous government gave Vadra the facility only when he was travelling with an SPG protectee. Now, he has himself asked to be removed from the list.
— Mahesh Sharma, Minister of State, Civil Aviation

Read The Quint’s full report here.

9. Indo-US Hackathon to Provide Solutions for 2 Modi Initiatives

To mark Prime Minister Modi’s visit to Silicon Valley, Indian IT body Nasscom will partner with a clutch of startups in India and the US, and hold a hackathon, reports the Hindustan Times.

The 15-hour marathon software coding session is expected to produce IT-based solutions for two of the Prime Minister’s favourite missions – ‘Digital India’ and ‘Skill India’. The hackathon’s output will be presented to Modi during his visit to the Google headquarters.

Read the full report here.

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