QBullet: Yogi at Helm; Biren Singh Wins Floor Test in Manipur
1. With Yogi at Helm, Largest Meat Processing State Could Lose Rs 11,350 Crore a Year
The Bharatiya Janata Party, in their Uttar Pradesh election manifesto, promised to close down all “illegal” abattoirs in the state if it comes to power. BJP national president Amit Shah, however, went on to state that all slaughterhouses will be closed down on 12 March, a day after counting of votes.
His remarks came just before the first phase of the Assembly elections in February. It has been 216 hours since the results came in, 48 hours since the BJP chose Yogi Adityanath as the chief minister, and 24 hours since his swearing-in.
In a press briefing on Sunday, when reminded about Shah’s promise, BJP minister Shrikant Sharma told reporters that a decision on the issue will be taken when the state Cabinet meets. Adityanath asked his ministers to resist from making comments that would hurt anyone’s sentiments, Sharma added.
2. Ganga and Yamuna Are 'Living Persons' With Legal Rights: Uttarakhand HC
In the first order of its kind in the country, the Uttarakhand high court on Monday decreed that the the Ganga and the Yamuna as well as their tributaries and sister bodies be declared "legal and living entities having the status of a legal person with all corresponding rights, duties and liabilities".
This, the court said, was to ensure "preservation and conservation of the two rivers and to protect the recognition and faith of society".
A division bench of Justices Alok Singh and Rajiv Sharma noted that "the extraordinary situation has arisen since the rivers Ganga and the Yamuna are losing their very existence."
3. UNGC Releases List of 23 Fake Universities in India
The University Grants Commission has said that there are 23 fake universities in the country, out of which seven are in the national capital.
Minister of state for human resource development Mahendra Nath Pandey told the Rajya Sabha recently that the ministry had written to state governments to investigate the matter and register police complaints against fake universities.
States have also been asked to initiate proceedings against those involved in defrauding and cheating students “by misrepresenting themselves as ‘universities’ awarding degrees with their name,” Pandey told the Rajya Sabha.
4. Uphaar Fire Tragedy Case: Gopal Ansal Surrenders Before Tihar Jail Authorities
Hours after the Supreme Court rejected Ansal brother’s plea asking for more time to surrender, real estate baron Gopal Ansal on Monday evening surrendered before the Tihar Jail authorities.
“Ansal surrendered around 5-5:30 pm. He is currently lodged in the hospital at Jail No 3 as he complained of some health issues,” said a jail official.
“Sorry, we can’t,” said a bench of Chief Justice Jagdish Singh Khehar, Justice DY Chandrachud and Justice Sanjay Kishan Kaul as senior counsel Ram Jethmalani urged the court to give a few more days to Ansal to surrender.
Last week, the Supreme Court had dismissed Gopal Ansal’s plea to not serve the remainder of one-year jail term in the 1997 Uphaar fire case, and had directed him to surrender by 20 March.
5. ED Attaches Assets Worth Rs 18.37 Crore of Zakir Naik's NGO, Others
The Enforcement Directorate on Monday attached assets worth Rs 18.37 crore of the Islamic Research Foundation and others in connection with its money laundering probe against controversial Islamic preacher Zakir Naik.
The agency issued a provisional order under the Prevention of Money Laundering Act (PMLA) attaching mutual funds worth about Rs 9.41 crore and five bank accounts containing deposits worth Rs 1.23 crore in the name of Naik's NGO Islamic Research Foundation (IRF).
The order also attached a school building valued at Rs 7.05 crore belonging to Islamic Education Trust Chennai and a godown building in the name of Ms Harmony Media Private Limited worth Rs 68 lakhs.
6. Manipur’s First BJP CM Biren Singh Wins Floor Test in Assembly
Manipur Chief Minister Nongthombam Biren Singh won a floor test in the 60-member Manipur assembly on Monday.
The Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) had lodged all its legislators in a Guwahati hotel along with an independent and a Trinamool Congress lawmaker since Thursday.
Biren Singh was sworn in as the first BJP CM of Manipur on 16 March.
Only two BJP MLAs, including the chief minister, were inducted in the BJP-led government.
A total of four berths were allotted to National People’s Party, and all four of the party’s MLAs were made ministers.
7. Doctors on Indefinite 'Leave', Mumbai Hospitals Postpone Over 300 Surgeries
Over 4,500 doctors from across 14 medical colleges in the state and Mumbai civic hospitals sent in individual applications to take indefinite leave on Monday. The protest follows a series of assaults on doctors in public hospitals that, doctors say, have instilled fear in them.
In Mumbai, 2,500 resident doctors from JJ, Sion, KEM, Nair and RN Cooper Hospital joined the statewide protests against lack of security forces in hospitals. With a massive dearth of medical staff in major hospitals, over 300 surgeries were postponed on Monday.
Since 12 March, five episodes of assault on doctors have been reported in Dhule, Shirpur, Nashik, Aurangabad and Mumbai.
8. President Gives Gallantry Medals to Surgical Strike Heroes
Two of the Army daredevils who were part of the audacious cross-border "surgical strikes" against terror launch pads in Pakistan-occupied-Kashmir last year were among the military personnel awarded with gallantry medals at a defence investiture ceremony at Rashtrapati Bhavan on Monday.
Major Rohit Suri (4 Para), who killed four terrorists in close-quarter combat during the surgical strikes on 29 September, received the Kirti Chakra, the nation's second highest gallantry award during peacetime, from President Pranab Mukherjee at the ceremony.
Naib Subedar Vijay Kumar, in turn, received the Shaurya Chakra.
9. Grilled in Pakistan Over Alleged RAW Links, Dargah Clerics Return Safely
The two Indian clerics said to have gone missing in Pakistan returned on Monday but the reason for their detention remained shrouded in mystery. After their return, they met foreign minister Sushma Swaraj and thanked her for efforts made by the government to secure their release.
According to a report in Pakistani media, the two clerics, Syed Asif Nizami and Nazim Ali Nizami, had been detained for links with the Re search and Analysis Wing (R&AW), India's external intelligence agency. The clerics said Pakistani officials had sought details of their visas.
"I was taken to a place quite far from Karachi, with my face covered. I was accused of working for R&AW . First they were rude but later we were offered food when the Indian mission intervened," said Asif.