QBullet: 26 Dead in Kerala Rains; Kanwariya Destruction Rages On

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QBullet: 26 Dead in Kerala Rains; Kanwariya Destruction Rages On
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1. Kerala Rains Claim 26 Lives, CM Pinarayi Vijayan Says Flood Situation ‘Really Serious’

Heavy rains and landslides have killed 26 people in Kerala, forcing authorities to open shutters of 22 dams in the state including Idukki reservoir, Asia’s biggest arch dam, after 26 years, the home ministry said Thursday, 9 August.

“Flood situation is really serious. We are forced to open 22 dams in the state due to incessant rains. Such a situation never arose in the recent past. We have sought the army, navy and air force’s help and control rooms will be opened in six worst-affected districts,” the CM said after an emergency cabinet meeting.

He said the state was facing “a disaster of unprecedented magnitude”, and sought everyone’s help to tide over this.

Four units of the Army were deployed in worst-affected Idukki, Wayanad, Kozhikode and Malappuram districts, while units of the Navy and the Air Force are on standby as weathermen predicted heavy downpour for one more day.

(Source: Hindustan Times)


2. Road Blockades in Delhi-NCR and Uttar Pradesh as Kanwariya Destruction Rages On

Unruly mobs in the garb of religious devotees continued to unleash terror on Thursday, 9 August the annual menace that citizens have come to associate with the kanwariya pilgrimage, as the police preferred to adopt a no-guns-just-roses approach to law enforcement.

Fresh incidents of wanton violence and random road blockades by several angry kanwariyas were reported from UP and parts of Delhi-NCR, where they were extended floral welcomes by some administrative functionaries and police officers.

Some kanwariya groups engaged in clashes with locals in places as diverse as the riverside town of Varanasi and the glass-and-steel Millennium City of Gurugram. While Delhi Police arrested one man over Wednesday’s incident of a young couple’s car being vandalised in Moti Nagar, a video of a group of kanwariyas collectively destroying a police van in Bulandshahr was widely shared on social media on Thursday.

(Source: Hindustan Times)


3. Gauri Lankesh Murder Case: Vegetable Farmer Who Runs Dhaba 12th to Be Arrested

The Karnataka Police Special Investigation Team (SIT) probing the murder of journalist Gauri Lankesh arrested a 37-year-old vegetable farmer who runs a small dhaba in Belagavi on Thursday, 9 August, on charges of playing a central role in the execution of the crime.

According to sources, the SIT’s probe has found that Bharat Kurne, who allegedly has links to a Hindutva fringe group in Maharashtra, was part of a two-man team which waited in a car for the shooter and an accomplice to finish the murder and drove them away to a safehouse on the outskirts of Bengaluru.

A three-acre farm run by Kurne was used for training dozens of people recruited for a radical Hindutva outfit in using guns and physical combat, the probe has found.

Kurne is the twelfth person to be arrested in the case out of the 13 persons named so far for allegedly executing and planning the murder.

(Source: The Indian Express)


4. Intel Input Says Masood Azhar’s Nephew in India, Agencies on High Alert

JeM chief Masood Azhar. 
(Photo: Reuters)

Ahead of Independence Day celebrations, security agencies are on their toes after intelligence input was received that the nephew of Jaish-e-Mohammed chief Masood Azhar and his younger brother Abdul Rauf’s former bodyguard have infiltrated India and are suspected to have set up terror modules in Delhi and Srinagar.

According to the input, accessed by The Indian Express, Mohammed Umer, son of Azhar’s elder brother Ibrahim, infiltrated into Jammu and Kashmir in the last week of May. In the same month, Rauf’s former bodyguard Mohammed Ismail is also learnt to have entered Kashmir. Rauf is a key accused in the IC 814 hijacking which led to Azhar’s release from captivity in India.

Worryingly, Ismail was learnt to have visited Delhi immediately after infiltrating into Kashmir and is now back into the Valley after, perhaps, setting up a module.

(Source: The Indian Express)


5. Maharashtra Bandh: Violence in Pune, Aurangabad; Railway Station Attacked, Vehicles Set on Fire

The morcha was organised by the Sakal Maratha Samaj, an umbrella organisation of several Maratha groups.
(Photo Courtesy: Twitter/Suyash Desai‏)

The appeal by Maratha community leaders to observe a peaceful bandh came to a cropper on Thursday, 9 August, as protests turned violent in many parts of Maharashtra, with incidents of arson, roadblocks, and clashes with police being reported.

Though the shutdown by Maratha outfits, to press forward their demand for 16 percent reservation in government jobs, got off to a peaceful start in the morning, reports of vandalism in Pune and clashes in Aurangabad began to trickle in as the day progressed. A dozen public and private vehicles were damaged in other parts of the state.

While the Maratha Kranti Morcha held a sit-in protest outside the office of the Mumbai Suburban Collector in Bandra (East), the Sakal Maratha Samaj carried out the bandh in Mumbai and other parts of Maharashtra. However, only token protests were held in Navi Mumbai and Thane.

(Source: The Indian Express)


6. BJP-led NDA Candidate Harivansh Narayan Singh Elected New Rajya Sabha Deputy Chairman

The new Rajya Sabha Deputy Chairman Harivansh Narayan Singh (centre). 
(Photo: PTI)

The BJP-led NDA's candidate Harivansh Narayan Singh was on Thursday, 9 August, elected new Rajya Sabha deputy chairman with 125 votes. The UPA's candidate, Congress MP BK Hariprasad, got 105 votes.

"I congratulate Harivansh ji on behalf of the whole house. He has been blessed with the talent of writing. He was also a favourite of former PM Chandra Shekhar ji," said PM Narendra Modi, right after the results.

Harivansh is a JD(U) Parliamentarian from Bihar and a former journalist. Hariprasad is Congress MP from Karnataka. The RS deputy chairman post fell vacant after the retirement of Congress' PJ Kurien on 1 July.

Following the failed no-confidence motion against the government in the Lok Sabha last month, the contest for the post of RS deputy chairman was being seen as the next big test of opposition unity.

(Source: The Times of India)


7. Kanwaria Attack in West Delhi: Police Make First Arrest, Accused Found to Be Involved in Past Crime

Two days after kanwarias vandalised a car in west Delhi’s Moti Nagar, police made their first arrest in the case.

A 25-year-old man identified as Rahul alias Billa was on Thursday, 9 August, arrested by the Delhi police. The accused, a resident of Uttam Nagar, was also found to be involved in a case of theft in the past, a senior police official said.

Vijay Kumar, DCP (West) said that the police inquiry revealed that on Tuesday evening, a car which was being driven by a woman, brushed past one of the kanwarias.

This led to the spilling of ‘jal’ (holy water) he was carrying. After an altercation broke, the kanwarias turned violent and damaged the car with sticks and baseball bats.

They also toppled the car gradually, damaging it badly.

(Source: The Indian Express)


8. Accept Driving Licence, Registration Certificate, Other Documents in Digital Form, Govt Tells States

Traffic in Delhi. 
(Photo: AP)

States have been asked to accept driving licence, registration certificate or other documents in 'electronic form' presented through DigiLocker or mParivahan platforms, the government said on 9 August.

"The Ministry of Road Transport and Highways (MoRTH) has issued an advisory to states to accept Driving Licence, Registration Certificate or other documents in 'electronic form' presented through DigiLocker or mParivahan platform as valid under the Motor Vehicles Act, 1988 and treat them at par with the certificates issued by the transport authorities," according to the ministry's statement.

This is in response to a number of grievances and RTI applications received in the ministry where citizens have raised the issue that the documents available in DigiLocker or the mParivahan app are not considered valid by traffic police when asked to produce.

(Source: The Times of India)


9. BCCI Gets Relief From Supreme Court on Key Lodha Panel Recommendations

File photo of the BCCI’s headquarters in Mumbai.
(Photo: Reuters)

In a huge boost to the Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI), the Supreme Court modified its earlier order on the ‘one state, one vote’ policy for the members of the cricket board on Thursday, 9 August. It also granted permanent membership to the cricket associations of Mumbai, Saurashtra, Vadodara and Vidarbha.

A bench headed by Chief Justice Dipak Misra also approved the draft constitution of the cash-rich apex cricket body in the country with certain modifications and asked the Registrar General of Tamil Nadu Societies to bring on record the approved BCCI constitution within four weeks.

The bench restored the permanent membership to Railways, Services and Universities.

It also directed the state cricket associations to adopt the BCCI constitution within 30 days and warned them that non-compliance would invite actions in accordance with its earlier order.

(Source: Hindustan Times)

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