QBullet: PM Denies Pan-India NRC Agenda; Jharkhand Poll Results

Catch the top headlines across newspapers here.  

5 min read
PM Narendra Modi

1. No Talk of NRC at All, Lies Being Spread About Detention Centres: PM Modi

In his first remarks following the week-long protests against the new citizenship law, Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Sunday distanced his government from a pan-India National Register of Citizens (NRC) and said Muslims who are “sons of the soil” have nothing to fear from either the Citizenship (Amendment) Act or NRC.

In a clear departure from the refrain of his ministers and party colleagues, including Home Minister Amit Shah, Defence Minister Rajnath Singh and BJP working president J P Nadda, Modi said his government had not held any discussions on a pan-India NRC yet.

2. CAA Unrest: ‘Simi-Affiliate’ PFI Role Under Probe, Says UP Dy CM

A vehicle torched allegedly by protestors  in Kanpur
A vehicle torched allegedly by protestors in Kanpur
(Photo: PTI)

Uttar Pradesh deputy CM Dinesh Sharma on Sunday said the government is probing the alleged role of Islamic fundamentalist outfit Popular Front of India (PFI) in violence in the state during anti-CAA protests last week even as UP DGP O P Singh said a total of 879 people have been arrested and 5,000 ‘bound down’ (detained) so far as a preventive measure.

Describing PFI as an affiliated group of the banned SIMI, Sharma said: “Popular Front of India, jo SIMI ka chhota sangathan hai, uski sanliptata dekhi ja rahi hai (We are seeing the involvement of PFI, which is a smaller version of SIMI).” He also blamed ‘outsiders’ who had ‘infiltrated’ protesters’ ranks for arson and said six people from Bengal’s Malda district were arrested.

3. Jharkhand Results Today, BJP Trashes All Exit Polls

Polling for the fourth of the five-phased Jharkhand Assembly election began in 15 constituencies on Monday, 16 December.
Polling for the fourth of the five-phased Jharkhand Assembly election began in 15 constituencies on Monday, 16 December.
(Photo: Arnica Kala/The Quint)

A day before the Jharkhand assembly results, BJP on Sunday rejected the exit polls which gave the opposition an edge, saying the serving party will return with a bigger mandate, even as the mahagathbandhan put up large hoardings of JMM working president Hemant Soren and Congress’s Sonia Gandhi and Rahul Gandhi at major locations in the city in anticipation of a big win.

Monday’s verdict will decide if Jharkhand, a tribal stronghold, reinstates the non-tribal Raghubar Das or ushers in a tribal CM. Both BJP and mahagathbandhan exuded confidence about forming the next government.

BJP state president Laxman Gilua said, “We have our eyes and ears on the ground and are confident of making the next government under BJP’s leadership.”

4. PSA Detainee from J&K Dies in Uttar Pradesh Jail

Photo used for representational purposes.
Photo used for representational purposes.
(Photo: iStock)

A member of the banned Jamaat-e-Islami Jammu and Kashmir, who was booked under the Public Safety Act (PSA) in July, died inside a jail in Uttar Pradesh where he was lodged, relatives and officials said.

It is the first death of a political prisoner from the Kashmir Valley in a jail outside the state since 5 August, when the central government revoked the special status of J&K and bifurcated the state into two Union Territories.

Officials said PSA detainee Ghulam Mohammed Bhat died inside the Naini jail in Prayagraj. Bhat was among 600 persons from J&K held under “preventive detention”, including over 200 in jails outside the Valley, mainly in UP.

5. India, Iran Agree to Accelerate Chabahar Development

Image used for representational purposes.  
Image used for representational purposes.  
(Photo: Liju Joseph/ The Quint)

Days after his visit to Washington, External Affairs Minister Subrahmanyam Jaishankar met with Iranian Foreign Minister Javad Zarif for a meeting of the 19th India-Iran joint commission, including talks on the Chabahar port, during a visit that could see him dealing with concerns of Indian expatriates over the Citizenship (Amendment) Act as well.

In a tweet after the meeting on Sunday, Zarif said they had “excellent discussions on closer bilateral relations and regional and global issues affecting our respective countries,” adding that India-Iran ties are “ancient, historic and unbreakable”.

Jaishankar said the meeting with Zarif and the Iranian delegation had been “very productive”. “ [We] reviewed the entire gamut of our cooperation [and] agreed on accelerating our Chabahar project,” he said in a tweet.

(Source: The Hindu)

6. Madras HC Dismisses 3 Judicial Officers for Corruption

Madras High Court
Madras High Court
(Photo Courtesy: The News Minute)

The Madras high court has cracked the whip on corruption and inefficiency in the Tamil Nadu subordinate judiciary and ordered the dismissal of three judicial officers, while denying service extension to eight others.

In a first, it also permitted criminal prosecution of one of the dismissed district judges under the Prevention of Corruption Act, 1988. Another judge was given five increment cuts with cumulative effect and will be under “strict watch”.

The crackdown has come four years after a total of 10 district judges were removed in batches during the tenure of Madras HC CJ Sanjay Kishan Kaul.

7. UDAY Scheme Loses Power, Sharp Spike in Discom Losses

Photo used for representation. 
Photo used for representation. 
(Photo: iStockphoto)

Four years after it was launched, UDAY – the NDA government’s “path breaking reform” to revive electricity distribution companies (discoms) – is unravelling.

Discom losses, which had progressively reduced in the first couple of years since the scheme’s rollout in November 2015, have rebounded in FY ’19 to nearly double the losses recorded the previous year.

The UDAY (Ujwal Discom Assurance Yojana) scheme now seems to be charting the same course as the earlier two unsuccessful attempts to set right the distribution sector.

8. Detention Centre for Illegal Immigrants near Bengaluru Gets Finishing Touches

Photo used for representational purposes.
Photo used for representational purposes.
(Photo: Aroop Mishra/The Quint)

The security towers at two corners and the barbed wires on the walls suggest that the green compound and building at Sondekoppa village, around 30 km from Bengaluru, is a secure facility.

Inside is an L-shaped building with seven rooms, a kitchen and bathrooms. There are 15 beds in the facility, where finishing touches are being applied.

A policeman stands guard at the gate and a few workers from Karnataka social welfare department walk around the main building and an under-construction staff quarters.

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