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QBullet: Rahul-Jaitley Face-Off, Mahasweta Devi Passes Away & More

Read The Quint’s compilation of top stories in dailies across the country.

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1. Arhar Modi: Rahul Goes after PM Over Price Rise, Jaitley Returns Fire

As commodity prices skyrocket in the country, a debate on inflation snowballed into a war of words between Congress Vice President Rahul Gandhi and Finance Minister Arun Jaitley in the Parliament on Thursday.

While Gandhi blamed Modi and his government of being unable to contain inflation in the country, he also mimicked BJP’s 2014 electoral slogan of “Ghar Ghar Modi” by saying that kids are now saying “Arhar Modi, Arhar Modi!”

Jaitley hit back at Gandhi saying that there was a “policy paralysis” during the UPA rule and that the government has undertaken several steps to manage spiralling prices.

It (inflation) is under control and I expect it to reduce further with a good monsoon.
Arun Jaitley, Finance Minister

Read The Quint’s full story here.

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2. Author-Activist Mahasweta Devi Dies in Kolkata at 90

Veteran social activist and eminent writer Mahasweta Devi passed away at the age of 90, in Kolkata, on Thursday.

The Sahitya Akademi award-winning author suffered a cardiac arrest following a multi-organ failure.

A Padma Vibhushan awardee, Mahasweta Devi is well known for spearheading protests against the West Bengal government’s industrial policies in Singur and Nandigram. Apart from her literary legacy, she also left an indelible mark on Indian cinema through film adaptations of her short stories and novels.

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3. Would Have Saved Burhan Wani: Mehbooba Mufti

Jammu and Kashmir Chief Minister Mehbooba Mufti on Thursday said rebel commander Burhan Wani would have been given a “chance”, had security forces known he was in a south Kashmir hideout where he was killed.

How do we know about an encounter? What can I say? I believe that had they known he was there, he (Wani) would have been given one chance as the situation was fast improving in the state.

She seemed to suggest that had anyone known that Wani was in the hideout, the government would have made proper arrangements to prevent the situation “from turning to what it is today” after his death.

Source: The Hindu

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4. GST ‘Outcome Soon’, Signals Congress Leadership

As a final push to the Goods and Services Tax (GST) Bill, Congress leaders on Thursday hinted that “some progress has been made“ in negotiations and that an outcome was possible.”

This comes a day after the Cabinet approved key amendments in the bill, and a few days after Finance Minister Arun Jaitley met state finance ministers.

Congress leaders have raised the possibility of the bill being considered by Rajya Sabha next week if specifics of a mechanism to determine the tax rate are agreed upon.

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5. Captured LeT Militant Reveals Pakistan’s Terror Plot

Read The Quint’s compilation of top stories in dailies across the country.
Minister of State for Home Affairs Kiren Rijiju (Photo: PTI)

A suspected Pakistani militant who was arrested from Kashmir’s Kupwara district on Tuesday, had crossed over to India to attack security forces and fuel more unrest in the valley, counter-terror officials said on Thursday.

The suspected militant, identified as Bahadur Ali, was trained by the Pakistan-based Lashkar-e-Taiba (LeT) at its Baitul camp, officials added.

Minister of state for home Kiren Rijiju termed Ali a “big terror catch” and hinted at using his confession to nail Pakistan.

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6. India’s Doping Disgrace: 687 Athletes Banned Since 2009

Wrestler Narsingh Yadav’s doping case might have shattered India’s Rio hopes, but the country remains to be full of athletes caught in the doping net, National Anti-Doping Agency (NADA) records revealed.

A shocking number of 687 athletes have been banned for doping-related offences since 1 January 2009, implying that an average of 100 athletes have been banned each year.

As a further reiteration of how alarming the trend is, India was ranked third in the world’s doping offenders’ list, behind only Russia and Italy.

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7. At Ground Zero of Topper’s Scam: 844 Students on Paper, 2 in School

Read The Quint’s compilation of top stories in dailies across the country.
Saurabh Sresth and Ruby Rai, the students allegedly involved in Bihar’s ‘topper’s scam.’ (Photo altered by The Quint)

In an inspection across 25 schools spread over eight districts in Bihar, it has been revealed that most of these schools show fake number of students and teachers on official papers, while the ground reality is completely different.

As part of its investigation into Bihar’s notorious ‘topper’s scam’, The Indian Express has illustrated the abysmal conditions of the state’s examination and affiliation systems in plus-two schools.

While one school houses a three-member family in Vaishali, a school in Muzaffarpur had 844 students on paper, but only two on a working day.

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8. Massive Six-Hour Long Jam Brings Gurgaon to a Standstill

Read The Quint’s compilation of top stories in dailies across the country.
Heavy rain left the Delhi-Gurgaon expressway inundated on Thursday. (Photo Courtesy: Twitter/ Cryptic Mind.)

As heavy rain left the Delhi-Gurgaon Expressway inundated, commuters were stuck for several hours on Thursday, with massive traffic jams choking the roads.

Water-logging on the roads cause vehicles including – Kanwarias, cars, two-wheelers, buses , to remain stuck at a spot for six-seven hours.

Commuters lamented the unavailability of any administrative official and took to social media to vent out their anger.

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9. Dalit Couple Beheaded on Mulayam Turf

Read The Quint’s compilation of top stories in dailies across the country.
The Dalit couple was hacked to death with an axe. (Photo: ANI)

A Dalit couple was axed to death in Uttar Pradesh’s Mainpuri district, allegedly over a meagre amount of Rs 15, which they were unable to pay back to a shopkeeper.

The accused, identified as Ashok Mishra, who owns the grocery shop, has been arrested.

Mainpuri is the Samajwadi Party chief Mulayam Singh’s constituency. The incident has followed a slew of others in the country where Dalits have been targeted, mostly by “cow vigilantes”.

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