Get your weekend started with the top 5 stories from today’s edition: Latest on the Udaipur killing; Why the BJP and Shiv Sena are sparring over the Mumbai Metro-3 carshed once again; weekend film recommendations; and more.
1) The recent killing of Kanhaiyalal Teli in Udaipur was “meticulously planned” and “instigated” by a person in Pakistan identified as “Salman bhai”, according to the National Investigation Agency’s (NIA) probe of the incident. One of the accused, Mohammad Ghouse was allegedly told that he must “do something spectacular” in response to the remarks on the Prophet since “peaceful protests will not yield any result”, The Indian Express has learnt.
🔴 What we know: The two accused, Ghouse and Muhammad Riyaz Atari, who was seen in a video attacking Kanhaiyalal with a cleaver, had participated in the protests early last month against remarks on the Prophet made by BJP’s Nupur Sharma.
🔴 The ‘Salman Bhai’ connection: According to sources, Ghouse had gone to Pakistan in December 2014 to attend a 45-day programme on the invitation of Dawat-e-Islami, a “Pakistan-based radical Islamic organisation”. They said that after returning in January 2015, he joined a few WhatsApp groups and was in touch with “Salman bhai” and another person, identified as Abu Ibrahim, in Pakistan.
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🔴 NIA’s findings: According to the NIA’s preliminary probe, Ghouse and Atari had started planning the attack “around June 10-15”. They are learnt to have told the agency that a man identified as “Babla bhai”, who hails from the Dhanmandi area where Kanhaiyalal’s ‘Supreme Tailors’ was located, had targeted 10-11 people over the remarks — and assigned different groups to attack them. “The role of Babla bhai and other details are being investigated,” said a source.
2) Shiv Sena leader Uddhav Thackeray may have stepped down as Chief Minister of Maharashtra, only to be swiftly replaced by rebel leader Eknath Shinde. Still, the political crisis in the state is far from over. The latest bone of contention between the two warring factions is the Mumbai Metro-3 carshed.
🔴 The latest: In the first war of words between Uddhav Thackeray and Devendra Fadnavis after the latter was made the deputy Chief Minister, the former CM opposed the move to shift the Mumbai Metro-3 carshed back to Aarey, asking the new state government “not to play with the environment and Mumbai”, even as the BJP leader insisted that Aarey was the right place for the project.
🔴 What Uddhav said: “I am sad because of the move on Aarey car shed. Do not harm Mumbai and Mumbaikars just because you are angry with me. Hurt me, not Mumbaikars. The Aarey plot is important for the environment… Don’t project anger on Mumbaikars.”
🔴 Long-standing disagreement: The dispute over the construction of a Metro car shed at Aarey has been ongoing since 2014.
The BJP-led Maharashtra government, under then Chief Minister Fadnavis, had planned to build a car shed for the ambitious 33.5 km underground Colaba-Bandra-SEEPZ Metro project at Aarey Milk Colony, an 1,800-acre urban forest in suburban Goregaon surrounded by concrete structures, which is home to over 300 species of flora and fauna.
The Sena, which was a partner in Fadnavis’s government, had opposed the move, with Yuva Sena leader Aaditya Thackeray in the lead.
3) In our opinion section today, Soumya Kanti Ghosh, Group Chief Economic Advisor, State Bank of India, writes on how the RBI has done well to balance inflation and growth during exceptionally trying circumstances: “The RBI has innovated admirably under its current stewards during the pandemic, keeping in mind the task of reinvigorating the economy. Despite the existing targeting framework, it did not get fixated on a one-point agenda, daring to look beyond the inflation print.”
4) In the latest edition of Express Adda, Union Minister of Housing and Urban Affairs and Petroleum and Natural Gas, Hardeep Singh Puri, spoke about how India will be a critical driver of demand in the next 30 years. “We have a population which is economically more active, and our per capita consumption is one-third of the global average… I have a feeling the international arrangements that are in place are going to fundamentally change,” he said.
🔴 On the rise of biofuels in India: “Our biofuel blending in 2014 was 1.4 per cent, and today we are already blending 10 per cent. We had a target of 20 per cent for 2030 and we have brought that target forward to 2024-25. E-20 or Ethanol 20 per cent blended will be available on our petrol pumps, according to our ministry’s statement by April 1, 2023… And it may be well before that.”
🔴 On rising fuel prices: “You don’t need to be an economist to know that fuel prices at $120 a barrel make global economic activity unstainable…You are not looking at recession with a capital R, you are looking at even more serious things in the short term.”
5) 🍿 What to watch this weekend
This week, Shubhra Gupta reviews the latest Madhavan-starrer ‘Rocketry The Nambi Effect’: “R Madhavan who has written and directed the film, as well as acted in the titular role, teeters between the two aspects of Nambi’s life: the bright, cocky student of science who knows much more than his professor at Princeton and who tirelessly pushes for what he wants, and the responsible family man pushing back at the calumny heaped upon him. This makes ‘Rocketry, The Nambi Effect’ a somewhat patchy effort — effective in some parts, and over-the-top amateurish in others.”
The Express Saturday quiz
Since last week, Australia has been killing millions of bees in a bid to contain the spread of a deadly external parasitic mite, which recently reappeared in the country last week. What is this mite that is posing a threat to the country’s multimillion-dollar honey industry?
- Varroa mite
- Demodex mites
- Red spider mite
(🤫 Pssst… the answer is in today’s edition of The Indian Express. Get it here)
Until next time,
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