Good morning readers,
Among the top stories today, the bhoomi poojan plan in Ayodhya remains undisturbed even as an assistant priest and four cops deployed on the spot tested positive for Covid-19 and with the anniversary of the abrogation of the special status in J&K coming to a close, a top cop tells The Indian Express about the massive drop in violence in the last one year.
The Big Story
The stalemate over Pangong Tso continued on Thursday with Beijing’s ambassador to New Delhi Sun Weidong saying that “China’s traditional customary boundary line is in accordance with the LAC” on the northern bank of the lake. While he rejected suggestions that China has expanded its territorial claim in the area, New Delhi said the process of disengagement has not yet been completed.
Bonus reading: Sources in the Indian Army said there has been no de-escalation on the ground for more than two weeks now and the issue is likely to be the focus of the fifth round of talks at the level of the Corps Commander.
From the Front Page
The visuals of J&K police personnel pulling away Congress leader Saifuddin Soz as he tries to talk from behind a wall has come in stark contrast to the government’s claims at the Supreme Court that he was under no restrictions and is not facing any “illegal detention”.
Just six days ahead of the bhoomi pujan, an assistant priest and four policemen posted at the Ram Mandir site tested positive for the novel coronavirus. However, there is no change of plans and the event is expected to be attended by around 250 people.
A Supreme Court bench yesterday pulled the curtains on a 38-year-old case, acquitting a Sonepat-based trader in a case of adulteration which was registered after “four living mealworms and two live weevils” were found in 600 gm of turmeric.
Amid a continuous surge in coronavirus cases, Dr Anthony S Fauci, one of the world’s leading experts on infectious diseases, has said that India’s private sector, as the “world’s leading manufacturer of vaccines”, has a “very important role” in the global battle against the virus.
Speaking of vaccines, with several candidates entering phase 3 of human trials, the government has begun engaging with multiple stakeholders on the logistics and to decide to which section of the population the vaccine needs to be administered on priority.
Ever since the abrogation of the special status last August, Jammu and Kashmir has witnessed a drop of almost 78% in law and order incidents in the first six months of this year compared with the corresponding period the previous year, Director General of Police Dilbag Singh told The Indian Express.
“…but how did we come to 44… We were 200-plus in 2009. Frankly, it should also be looked into where you failed” — newly elected Rajya Sabha MP Rajeev Satav appeared to be the most blunt about the Congress’ gradual downfall in the recent years, during a meeting with party interim chief Sonia Gandhi and some of the key figures in UPA II yesterday.
In a relief for former Samata Party president Jaya Jaitly, the Delhi High Court on Thursday stayed the four-year rigorous imprisonment sentence awarded to her by a lower court in a 2001 case related to a sting operation by Tehelka magazine for a purported defence deal.
- The Enforcement Directorate is examining whether it can probe the death of actor Sushant Singh Rajput from the perspective of money laundering.
- Rajasthan Chief Minister Ashok Gehlot on Thursday said the “rates” of MLAs have risen manifold ever since Governor Kalraj Mishra agreed to call the House session from August 14.
- Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Thursday said that India’s development cooperation does not come with any conditions and is not influenced by political or commercial considerations.
- The Karnataka health department Wednesday issued fresh guidelines for management of bodies of Covid-19 patients, with emphasis on protection of tradition and dignity of the dead.
- The University Grants Commission on Thursday stood by its direction to universities and institutions to conduct final-year exams by September-end.
From the Tamil classic Tirukkural to Jawaharlal Nehru’s The Discovery of India, from biographies to journals — As many as 8,376 books have been discovered at late Tamil Nadu chief minister Jayalalithaa’s Veda Nilayam residence in Chennai’s Poes Garden area.
Delhi confidential: Some in the government admit there is a need for awareness to remove the stigma against Covid-19 patients and those who have recovered. Recently, Union Minister Prakash Javadekar insisted on being seated with PIB Director General K S Dhatwalia, who had tested positive earlier, to send the message that once recovered, one is perfectly fine.
🎧 In our latest episode of Three Things Podcast, we discuss the arrest of Delhi University assistant professor Hany Babu MT in connection with the Elgaar Parishad case.
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