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QBullet: Paradise Papers Create Stir; TN Cartoonist Arrested

Here’s a roundup of the top stories of the day.

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1. Paradise Papers: Biggest Data Leak Reveals Trails of Indian Corporates in Global Secret Tax Havens

Two days before the Government observes “Anti-Black Money Day” to mark the first anniversary of demonetisation, comes the largest ever leak of financial data, of two firms Bermuda’s Appleby and Singapore’s Asiaciti with 19 tax havens across the world which help the global rich and powerful, including from India, to move their money abroad.

This cache of 13.4 million documents named “Paradise Papers” tumbled out 18 months after Panama Papers: both sets of data were obtained by German newspaper Süddeutsche Zeitung and were investigated by the International Consortium of Investigative Journalists (ICIJ) working in partnership with 96 news organisations.

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2. Cartoonist Bala Arrested for Criticising Tamil Nadu CM Palaniswami, Officials

G Bala, a freelance cartoonist based in Tirunelveli, has been arrested by Crime Branch wing for a cartoon he posted on social media criticising the district administration and Chief Minister Edappadi K Palaniswami.

Here’s a roundup of the top stories of the day.

One of the most popular cartoonists in the state with over 65,000 followers on Facebook, Bala’s political cartoons discussing various issues have had a key role in social media debates in Tamil Nadu.

3. To Protect Indian Culture, Protect Gau: Adityanath at Meeting of Cow Vigilantes

“There is only one way to protect Indian culture: to protect gau (cows), Ganga, and (goddess) Gayatri,” pronounced Uttar Pradesh’s chief minister Yogi Adityanath at India’s first national convention of cow protectors (gau rakshaks) in Lucknow organised by the Vishwa Hindu Parishad to set “the agenda for the future” .

“Only the community that can protect this heritage will survive. Otherwise there will be a huge crisis of identity, and this crisis of identity will endanger our existence,” he said to a round of applause from hundreds of gau rakshaks who had come to listen to him from across the country.

(Source: Hindustan Times)

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4. Suspicious Transactions Involving Rs 17K Cr Detected After Demonetisation

After last November’s demonetisation, over Rs 17,000 crore was deposited into 58,000 bank accounts and subsequently withdrawn, the corporate affairs ministry said on Sunday, announcing what is perhaps the most significant instance yet of possible tax-fraud or, worse still, money laundering after the exercise to clamp down on black money by invalidating all old high-value currency notes.

Regulatory agencies unearthed these suspicious transactions on the back of intelligence gathering and data analysis after demonetisation, the ministry said.

“In one case, a company with a negative balance as on 8 November 2016 (the day note ban was announced), deposited and withdrew Rs 2,484 crore post demonetisation,” the ministry added in its statement.

(Source: Hindustan Times)

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5. Railways to Unveil Its 'Gold' Standard Today

The railways will showcase its first 'Swarn' train (gold standard) on Monday. The New Delhi-Kathgodam Shatabdi Express will be the first to be launched as part of the railways' 'Swarn' project which aims to renovate India's premium trains, including Rajdhanis and Shatabdis.

From new on-board entertainment to trolley service for catering, new coach interiors and clean toilets with automatic doors, these elite trains are being upgraded at a cost of Rs 50 lakh each.

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6. Centre's Special Representative on Kashmir 'Open to Hold Talks with All Stakeholders'

The Centre’s Special Representative Dineshwar Sharma will begin his five-day visit to Jammu and Kashmir from Monday to carry forward the dialogue process.

The former Intelligence Bureau (IB) Director will spend the first three days in Srinagar and the rest in Jammu.

Sharma is expected to hold talks with various delegations, and invites have already been sent to several political parties.

(Source: The Hindu)

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7. Rein in Prices or Quit Throne: Rahul to Govt

Congress vice-president Rahul Gandhi attacked Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Sunday, saying the government must stop delivering "hollow" speeches and vacate the "singhasan (throne)" if it could not control prices.

In a tweet, Rahul said, "Mehngi gas, mehnga ration, band karo khokhla bhashan, daam bandho, kaam do, varna khali karo singhasan." This roughly translates to "costly gas, dearer food items, stop delivering hollow speeches, fix prices, give jobs or quit the seat of power".

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8. Cross-LoC Trade, Bus Service to Start After 4 Months' Hiatus

After a four-month hiatus, cross-LoC trade and bus service between India and Pakistan through the Poonch-Rawalkote route is likely to resume this week, government officials said.

Here’s a roundup of the top stories of the day.
An Indian soldier along the LoC. Photo used for representational purposes. 
(Photo: Reuters)

The development follows India's decision to approve medical visas for Pakistani nationals in "deserving" cases and also the release of prisoners and fishermen by both countries last week.

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9. NHRC Slams Police, Officials for 'Turning Blind Eye to Salwa Judum Killings'

The National Human Rights Commission (NHRC) has slammed Chhattisgarh police and Sukma district officials for “turning a blind eye” to the alleged murder of seven people and the burning of homes by special police officers of Salwa Judum in 2007. In a sternly-worded notice seeking a reply from the state government in eight weeks, the commission has also said these acts suggested that the state or district administration abetted these crimes.

On 5 April this year, the NHRC directed the complainant in the case, Sudha Bhardwaj of the PUCL, to collect more information about the case, a report of which has now been sent to the commission.

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