QBullet: Probe Blames Vemula for Suicide; Toxins in Soft Drinks
Read the latest news from across the country.
1. Have Proof of Surgical Strikes In PoK, but Will Not Release It: Ministers
The army has handed over video evidence of its 29 September surgical strikes on terrorist launchpads in Pakistan-occupied Kashmir but the government doesn’t see the need to make them public, two senior ministers said on Wednesday.
Prime Minister Narendra Modi has asked his ministers not to indulge in chest-thumping over the raid, sources said, adding the army, too, is not in favour of making public the details of the sensitive operation.
Urban development minister Venkaiah Naidu rejected the opposition’s demand for proof of the strikes, saying any further discussions would be an “insult” to the army.
Meanwhile, Sri Lankan Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe, while endorsing New Delhi’s concerns on cross-border terror on Wednesday, said it is a “core issue” on the SAARC table and will not end even if the regional club falls apart.
2. Probe Alleges Vemula Mother Faked Dalit Status, Blames Him for His Suicide
Rohith Vemula’s mother ‘branded’ herself a Dalit to avail the benefits of reservation; expelling him from the hostel was the ‘most reasonable’ decision the university could have taken; personal frustration, not discrimination, drove the 26-year-old PhD scholar to suicide; Union Ministers Bandaru Dattatreya and Smriti Irani were only discharging their duties and there was no pressure on the Hyderabad Central University authorities.
These are the salient conclusions of the inquiry conducted by the one-man judicial commission set up by the HRD Ministry on 28 January this year, 11 days after Vemula killed himself in his hostel room.
Its 41-page report submitted by former Allahabad High Court judge AK Roopanwal in August.
Vemula’s decision to commit suicide, according to the probe, was wholly his own and not abetted by either the university administration or the government.
3. Government Study Finds Toxins in PET Bottles of 5 Soft Drink Brands
A government study has found five different toxins – heavy metals antimony, lead, chromium and cadmium and the compound DEHP or Di(2-ethylhexyl) phthalate – in soft drinks produced by PepsiCo and Coca Cola.
The study, commissioned by the top Health Ministry body, the Drugs Technical Advisory Board (DTAB), found that these toxins leached into five cold drink samples picked up for the study — Pepsi, Coca Cola, Mountain Dew, Sprite and 7Up — from the PET (polyethylene terephthalate) bottles they were in. Mountain Dew and 7Up are owned by Pepsico, while Sprite is owned by Coca Cola.
The results of the test, conducted in February-March this year, and reviewed by The Indian Express, also show a significant increase in leaching with the rise in room temperature.
Source: The Indian Express
4. AAP Finalises 40 Names for Punjab, Goa Assembly Polls
Expected to be the first off the block in zeroing in on candidates, the Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) on Wednesday finalised a list of approximately 30 candidates for Punjab and 10 for Goa.
A marathon meeting of the Political Affairs Committee (PAC), the party’s top decision-making body, met with key representatives from Goa and Punjab units to finalise the second and third lists, respectively.
While no names are being made public – they are expected to be announced in a couple of days – sources said among those who have made the cut from Punjab are former journalist Kanwar Sandhu (Kharar constituency) and Sukhpal Singh Khaira (Boluth). A former Punjab Congress leader, Khaira had joined AAP late last year.
Source: The Indian Express
5. BCCI Legal Cell Chief's Stunning Revelation
While the BCCI faces, possibly, its biggest crisis with the matter coming up before the Supreme Court on Thursday, the Board’s legal cell chief, PS Raman, made a stunning revelation to The Hindu on Wednesday.
“The legal cell of the BCCI has not met in the last two months to discuss the Lodha Committee report and the pending matters before the Supreme Court. I can tell you this because I am the panel’s chairman,” Raman told The Hindu.
“I do not wish to comment whether I would have dealt with the matter in a different manner than what the BCCI has done till now,” he added.
Source: The Hindu
6. Islamic State Module Busted by NIA Cites Zakir Naik as 'Source of Inspiration'
Manseed alias Omar al-Hindi, the chief of terror group Islamic State's (IS) module busted by the NIA on Sunday, had worked for 12 years as part of the intelligence wing of Popular Front India (PFI), reporting on activities of RSS and its functionaries in Kerala.
The module headed by him was plotting Nice-like attacks on community events, particularly an all-religion gathering in Kochi, and had even been transferred Rs 38,000 from abroad through Western Union to buy a second-hand heavy vehicle to be driven into the crowd, killing and maiming a large number of people, sources said.
A link with controversial cleric Zakir Naik has also surfaced with all six members of the al-Hindi module speaking of the televangelist as a source of inspiration, saying they were motivated by his speeches and social media posts.
Source: The Times of India
7. From Jobs to Renting Homes, HIV and AIDS Patients Get More Rights in New Bill
The Union cabinet approved on Wednesday amendments to a 2014 bill that expanded protections for HIV-positive people and those living with them, prohibited discrimination in jobs and education and improved healthcare access and privacy statutes.
The proposed changes to the HIV and AIDS (Prevention and Controll) Bill, 2014 also have a provision for slapping a jail term of up to 2 years and a fine of up to Rs one lakh on anyone proved to be discriminating against the affected people. These people can no longer be denied health insurance.
8. Paris Climate Agreement to Take Effect in 30 Days
A global agreement to combat climate change by shifting the world economy away from fossil fuels will take force next month after passing a threshold for ratification on Wednesday with support from European nations.
Support for the Paris Agreement has widened to nations representing 56.75 percent of global greenhouse gas emissions, above the 55 percent needed for implementation, a UN website showed. The deal will formally start in 30 days.
European Union countries including Germany, France and Slovakia, which have completed domestic ratification, helped trigger the formal entry into force after a green light from the European Parliament on Tuesday.
Read the report on The Quint.
9. Chief Justice Seeks Details From Judges
Chief Justice of India TS Thakur has initiated a process of discreetly seeking information from his colleagues on their family members who are practising as lawyers. The Chief Justice is likely to make public the details of the kith and kin of Supreme Court judges practising in various courts or working with law firms.
The initiative, sources said, is intended to dispel any misgivings among the public about the “conflict of interest” of sons and daughters appearing in different courts when their father is a judge.
Justice Thakur's two sons and a daughter are practising lawyers but they have consciously kept themselves away from the Supreme Court right from November 2009 when he was elevated to the Supreme Court.
Source: The Telegraph
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