QBullet: PM Slams Oppn on CAA Unrest; Politics Over R-Day Tableaux
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1. Congress, Allies and Their Ecosystem Rising Against Parliament, Silent on Pakistan: PM
Holding the Opposition responsible for protests against the new citizenship law, Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Thursday slammed the “Congress, its allies and the ecosystem they created” for “rising against the Indian Parliament” and protesting against “the Dalits, the downtrodden and the exploited” who came to India from Pakistan and sought refuge.
Addressing a gathering at Siddaganga Matha in Tumkur in Karnataka, Modi accused the Opposition of remaining silent on Pakistan’s “atrocities on Hindus, Sikhs, Jains and Christians” and said “jis tarah ki nafrat hum logon se karte hain, vaisa hi swar ab desh ki sansad ke khilaf dikh raha hai. In logon ne Bharat ki sansad ke khilaaf hi andolan shuru kar diya hai (The way they hate us, a similar voice can be heard against Parliament now. These people have started protesting against India’s Parliament).”
2. Man Dead 6 Years, 2 in Their 90s Get UP Police Notices
Banne Khan, 87, who died six years ago, has received a notice to apply for bail to prove that he does not pose a threat to peace in Firozabad. Similarly, 93-year-old Fasahat Meer Khan, who’s been bed-ridden for months, and 90-year-old Sufi Ansar Hussain, who is suffering from pneumonia and has just returned from Delhi’s Sir Ganga Ram Hospital, will also have to visit the magistrate’s office to apply for bail.
The three are among nearly 200 people who have been identified by the Firozabad police as potential threats to peace during any anti-CAA protests in the region in the near future.
Interestingly, Fasahat Meer Khan and Sufi Ansar Hussain are both members of local peace committees. In fact, Firozabad DM Chandra Vijay Singh and SP Sachindra Patel had met Hussain two weeks ago and asked him and others to spread the message of peace in the area.
3. Four in Muzaffarnagar Freed After 10 Days in Custody, Police Admit They Had No Evidence
At 7 am on 30 December, Ateeq Ahmed (24), Mohd Khalid (53), Shoaib Khalid (26) and a clerk at a government office were released from Muzaffarnagar jail – ten days after their arrest – after police admitted they failed to find evidence linking them to the violence in the city on 20 December.
SP City Satpal Antil said the four were released as per Section 169 of the CrPC as police had submitted a report saying they did not find evidence against them. “We are undertaking a very fair investigation and if we find that somebody was not part of rioting or stone-pelting, accordingly we are taking action,” he said.
Asked why were the men picked up in the first place, Antil said there was stone-pelting happening on top of the clerk’s house, and that the others were believed to be part of a crowd. He denied allegations of beating or denying food and water. “Lathis were only used during riot control. Everyone’s human rights were ensured,” he said.
4. After WB, Maha R-Day Tableau Rejected, Oppn Cries Centre Bias
A day after the defence ministry rejected Bengal’s tableau proposal for the Republic Day parade, it further fuelled a political row by turning down Maharashtra’s presentations on Thursday.
Three opposition parties – NCP, Shiv Sena and Trinamool Congress – have accused the Centre of prejudice even as the defence ministry said in a statement that “only a limited number of tableaux can be shortlisted” for the parade, keeping in mind the overall duration of the function.
The proposals of six states have been rejected for this year’s parade. While four of them – Maharashtra, Bengal, Kerala and Delhi – are ruled by opposition parties, the BJP and its allies are at the helm of affairs in Bihar and Haryana.
5. Parties Trade Barbs Over Dead Kota Kids
Facing criticism after the deaths of over 100 infants at a hospital in Kota since the beginning of December, Rajasthan chief minister Ashok Gehlot on Thursday asked rivals not to politicise the issue.
The Centre, meanwhile, rushed an expert team to Rajasthan, and Union health minister Harsh Vardhan assured all support to Gehlot.
Bahujan Samaj Party (BSP) leader Mayawati questioned Congress general secretary Priyanka Gandhi Vadra’s “silence” on the issue, and tweeted that “CM Ashok Gehlot and his government are still insensitive, disinterested and irresponsible”.
6. CDS Seeks Plan on New Air Defence Command to Boost Security in Skies
India’s chief of defence staff General Bipin Rawat, in his first official directive after taking over as CDS, has asked top officials of Headquarters Integrated Defence Staff (IDS) to prepare a proposal to create an Air Defence command to enhance military synergy and optimally utilise the resources of the armed forces.
A defence ministry spokesperson said on Thursday that Rawat has set a 30 June deadline for the proposal to be submitted.
Air defence refers to protecting military assets from an aerial threat by the enemy. An Air Defence command will include air defence resources of all the three services.
7. After Kerala, Aghadi Leaders Mull a House Resolution Against CAA
Following the Kerala legislative assembly’s resolution against the Citizenship Amendment Act (CAA), leaders of the ruling Maha Vikas Aghadi in Maharashtra will meet soon to decide if such a resolution could be passed in the next session of the state assembly.
Cabinet member and NCP spokesperson Nawab Malik said that since the state government comprises three parties, the proposal would have to be discussed at a joint meeting of senior leaders of the Congress, NCP and Shiv Sena. “Any proposal would have to be discussed in the meeting so that consensus is secured,” Malik told The Times of India.
Deputy CM Ajit Pawar said heads of all three political parties have already opposed the CAA. “The NCP, Congress and Shiv Sena have opposed the proposal on the floor of the House. Any further decision will be taken by the leadership of the parties,” Pawar said.
8. Maharashtra Plans Tough Security Law to Deal With Naxals
The Maharashtra government is considering the introduction of a Special Public Security Act, on the lines of Chhattisgarh, to “keep a check on Naxal activities” in the state.
“To keep a check on Naxal activities, a decision will be taken on bringing in a law on the lines of Chhattisgarh government’s Special Public Security Act, after discussing it with the Chief Minister,” said Maharashtra Home Minister Eknath Shinde.
Officials said Shinde, who visited Gadchiroli district last month, held a meeting with senior police officers earlier this week to discuss issues raised by officials there.
9. Sit-in Continues at Shaheen Bagh After Being ‘Called Off’
A prominent organiser “called off” the anti-citizenship law protest in south-east Delhi’s Shaheen Bagh on Thursday citing political interference, but other groups rejected his stance and hundreds of people showed up at the demonstration that has captured the attention of students, activists and civil society, but also thrown traffic out of gear.
Sharjeel Imam, a student at Jawaharlal Nehru University, said in the afternoon that he and others were withdrawing from the protests – where locals have blocked a key arterial road to Noida for 18 days – because of “politicisation” and “growing threat” of violence.
“They (political parties) are trying to tarnish the image of the movement,” he said.
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