QBullet: Uttarakhand Fire, Parrikar to Detail Agusta Scam Facts

Read the latest news from the publications this morning.

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A fire that broke out in forests near Rudraprayag of Uttarakhand on 30 April  2016. (Photo: IANS)

1. Uttarakhand Fire: IAF Chopper, 6100 Personnel Deployed to Douse Fire

More than 6,100 personnel, three IAF choppers fitted with Bambi bucket to carry water have been deployed in Uttarakhand to douse the forest fire that engulfed large part of the hill state.

One MI-17 chopper were stationed at Bhimtal near Nainital which was being loaded with water collected from the waterbodies in the area. They sprayed water over affected areas. Rudraprayag forest division also took help from the army for fire-fighting operations especially along the highway.
Shatrughna Singh Chief Secretary 

2. UPA II Helicopter Probe Moved at a Snail’s Pace

Documentary evidence in the AgustaWestland VVIP helicopter deal reveals then Defence Minister AK Antony approved a ban on procurement from all companies including Finmeccanica group, only on the last of polling of the 2014 Lok Sabha elections, reports The Hindustan Times. Antony’s acton came days before NDA government took over in New Delhi.

Defence Minister Manohar Parrikar on Sunday said he will place all facts along with the detailed chronology about the controversial AgustaWestland chopper deal before Parliament on 4 May, amid a row over blacklisting of the company and graft allegations.

The Congress, however, appeared not to be enthused with its Chief Spokesperson Randeep Surjewala saying Parrikar should first answer why the Modi government “undid” the blacklisting of AgustaWestland company.

Read the full report here.
Also Read:
Sonia Gandhi Rejects Allegations in AgustaWestland Chopper Deal
CBI Approaches MEA to Get Italian Court’s Order on AgustaWestland

3. Uttarakhand Crisis: Rawat Admits His Presence in Sting CD

Ousted Chief Minister Harish Rawat on 1 May virtually admitted his presence in the controversial sting CD, but said it was not a crime to meet a journalist or an MLA. He dismissed the conversation shown in the video as “meaningless”.

Alleging that the sting operation and the CBI probe into it were part of a “criminal conspiracy” by BJP to topple an elected government, he dared Prime Minister Narendra Modi and party chief Amit Shah to put him in jail if he is found in the wrong.

Read the full report on The Quint.

Also Read:
Rawat Outmaneouvred: SC Stays U’Khand HC Order Revoking Prez Rule
CBI to Probe Rawat Sting on Centre and Uttarakhand Govt’s Request

4. Some Corrupt CBI Colleagues Took Bribes to Fix Coal Case: Investigating Officer

A three-page letter signed ‘Honest Investigating Officers, CBI’, reached the investigating agency in March, listing specific details of 24 cases, and alleging ‘huge amounts exchanged hands,’ reports The Indian Express.

In one case, the complaint alleges, where closure was reported to the Supreme Court, the case re-opened when the director of the company being investigated refused to pay the bribe.

As per directions of the Honourable Supreme Court of India, the CBI is not in a position to share any information relation to inquiry/investigation in coal cases. However they confirmed that Sinha who received the letter in early April has taken cognisance of the complaint because it alleges 24 specific cases.
CBI spokesperson to The Indian Express

Read the full report here.

5. Pollution up in Odd-Even Phase 2; Surge Pricing Back

Air pollution levels in Delhi rose 23 percent during the second phase of the odd-even registration rule, from 15 April to 29 April, over the previous 14 days (1 April to 14 April).

On a day the ban on diesel-run cabs came into effect, taxi aggregator Uber on Sunday brought back surge pricing in Delhi, prompting Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal to warn the operators of “strong action,” reports The Hindustan Times.

Uber had introduced the provision during the odd-even scheme, which was objected to by commuters and Kejriwal had asserted that such demand-linked hikes would be banned permanently.

Read the full report here.

6. JNUSU President Kanhaiya Kumar Shown Black Flags in Patna

JNUSU president Kanhaiya Kumar was shown black flags at a function in Patna on 1 May by two unidentified people who were roughed up by his supporters and detained by the police for questioning.

The accused, belonging to a little-known outfit, Youth Swaraj also raised slogans of ‘Bharat Mata Ki Jai’ while Kanhaiya was speaking at a function. The function, ‘Azadi’, was at SK Memorial Hall and was organised by AISF and AIYF.

Read the full report on The Quint.

7. Bankrupts May be Barred From Contesting Elections

The Joint Committee of Insolvency and Bankruptcy Bill has recommended that a bankrupt person may be disqualified from being elected to any public office, reports The Times of India. India’s bankruptcy law dates to 1909. The number of businessmen has been rising in Parliament and assemblies, with some having chequered record of repaying loans.

If the recommendations are accepted by the government and incorporated in the revised Bill expected to be tabled during the current session of Parliament, the ban could extend to people contesting elections for municipal bodies, state assembly and Parliament. 
The Times of India Report

The Ethics Committee of Parliament has already recommended the disqualification of absconding liquor baron Vijay Mallya as he remains mired in litigation with banks over non-repayment of Rs 9,000 crore in debt.

Read the full report here.

8. Museum Renamed After Nirbhaya in Shambles, Awaits Promised Funds

The Children Resource Center Museum in south Delhi renamed after the brave heart Nirbhaya in February 2013 looks distinctly shabby and is a victim of extremely poor maintenance, reports The Hindustan Times.

The South Delhi Municipal corporation which had done the renaming, had promised to provide a fund of Rs 20 crore for its renovation and upkeep. But three years later, the promise remains unfulfilled.

Read the full report here.

9. Madhya Pradesh Panel Member Wants Christians Tried for Sedition

Bajrang Dal activists stormed into a church in Satna on 27 April and stopped a wedding, alleging the couple had converted in the presence of a member of the Madhya Pradesh Backward Classes and Minority Welfare Department who enjoys minister of state status, Laxmi Yadav. This is according to a report in The Indian Express.

This is the first case in the country when Christians were caught red-handed converting and marrying OBCs. Arun Kushwaha and Subhadra Kushwaha can marry only in a temple. We will reconvert them, purify them after sprinkling Gangajal and hold a Hindu marriage for the couple. I am seeking legal opinion on whether sedition charge could be invoked against the Christians for waging a war against the country.
Laxmi Yadav

Read the full report here.

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