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Your Daily Wrap: Activist Teesta Setalvad arrested, Section 144 imposed in Mumbai amid political turmoil; and more

From the arrests of activist Teesta Setalvad and retired DGP RB Sreekumar to the Mumbai police imposing Section 144 banning unlawful assembly in the city, here are the top stories of today.

(Clockwise) Activist Teesta Setalvad and RB Sreekumar, police officers put a barricade outside Shiv Sena Bhawan in Mumbai, Sadiq Ali and Sharad Pawar, and Joe Biden.

◾ A day after the Supreme Court upheld the clean chit given to then Gujarat chief minister Narendra Modi in 2002 riots case, the Gujarat anti-terrorist squad (ATS) arrested activist Teesta Setalvad in Mumbai while Ahmedabad Detection of Crime Branch (DCB) arrested retired DGP RB Sreekumar. The action comes hours after Union Home Minister Amit Shah, in an interview, accused Setalvad of giving baseless information about the 2002 Gujarat riots to the police.

◾ As the political turmoil in Maharashtra refuses to abate, the Mumbai police on Saturday imposed Section 144 of the Criminal Procedure Code banning unlawful assembly in the city. Earlier in the day, the national executive of the Shiv Sena, a meeting of which was chaired by CM Uddhav Thackeray, passed a resolution stating that no one would be allowed to use the name of the party or Balasaheb Thackeray to form a new group. This came after Shiv Sena leader Eknath Shinde, who is leading a revolt against Uddhav, decided to name his faction ‘Shiv Sena Balasaheb’.

◾ Shinde’s rebellion is reminiscent of a similar revolt in Maharashtra in 1978, then the first of its kind in the state’s political history. The rebel group then was led by none other than Sharad Pawar, who had succeeded in toppling the Vasantdada Patil government – formed after two splinter groups of Congress had joined hands – and becoming the youngest chief minister at the age of 38.

◾ In the midst of the turmoil, a remarkable analogy has been drawn between Uddhav’s tense face-off with Shinde and party founder Bal Thackeray’s strained ties with Shinde’s mentor Anand Dighe. Just like Uddhav and his son Aaditya Thackeray marginalised Shinde in the Sena and government affairs despite the latter’s unofficial No. 2 position in the party, Bal Thackeray also sought to sideline the Thane Sena strongman Dighe after getting wary of his rising popularity.

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◾ In Punjab, corruption accused IAS officer Sanjay Popli’s son, Kartik Popli, allegedly died by suicide at his house in Chandigarh. The incident took place in the presence of a team of Punjab vigilance bureau, which brought his father to his house during a search on Saturday. The police said that Kartik killed himself on the first floor of his house. His family members, however, allege that the state vigilance sleuths shot Kartik.

◾ In the big international story of the day, US President Joe Biden signed the most sweeping gun violence bill in decades, a bipartisan compromise that seemed unimaginable until a recent series of mass shootings, including the massacre of 19 students and two teachers at a Texas elementary school. “Lives will be saved,” he said at the White House. Citing the families of shooting victims, the US President said, “Their message to us was to do something. Well today, we did.”

Political Pulse

◾ In recent months, an uneasy calm has prevailed between the BJP and its ally Janata Dal (United). The relationship between the two parties has strained over a number of issues such as caste census, anti-Agnipath protests, and “rewriting of history”. In the last three days, Prime Minister Narendra Modi has made two political gestures to possibly signal that all was well between the allies. But even as the BJP central leadership reached out to its ally, state BJP president Dr Sanjay Jaiswal and JD(U) parliamentary board chairperson Upendra Kushwaha were involved in a spat on Friday. The two leaders have held a grudge against one another for a long time. Read Santosh Singh’s report.

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◾ After 10 years, the Gorkhaland Gorkha Territorial Administration (GTA) election will take place on Sunday. Once where it led the agitation for a separate Gorkhaland state, the Gorkha Janmukti Morcha (GJM) is a much-diminished political force at present. GJM general secretary and close Gurung aide Roshan Giri spoke to The Indian Express about people’s hope in the party as one that can stand for Gorkha interests, the GJM’s future strategies, tussle with BJP and alliance with the TMC, and the changing political dynamics of the Darjeeling Hills. Read edited excerpts here.

Express Explained

◾ The automobile industry, encompassing thousands of companies, millions of workers and billions in sunk costs, is undergoing a once-in-a-century change. Automakers are moving away from outsourcing towards internalizing most of the production. What catapulted this change? What are automobile companies doing? Is ‘Teslafication’ the way out? We explain.

◾ The United States Supreme Court overturned by a 6-3 majority ‘Roe v. Wade’, the court’s landmark 1973 judgment that made abortion a constitutional right. The decision will transform life for women in America. What is Roe v. Wade, why is it significant, and what will happen in the US now? Read here.

Weekend Reads

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◾ How Meherwan Irani made our chai pani America’s new favourite

◾ Doctor in the House: Is child obesity the looming epidemic in India?

◾ Shah Rukh Khan rings in 30 years in the Hindi film industry: What does he mean to Indian audiences?

◾ How the documentary Trans Kashmir individualises a community which is often kept at bay

ICYMI: Here’s a list of best news reports, Opinion, Explained, and features from The Indian Express this week

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◾ Yashwant Sinha interview: ‘BJP doesn’t have numbers (for presidential polls)’

◾ Bangladesh awaits its bridge of dreams across the mighty Padma

◾ Sudheendra Kulkarni writes: A suitable President

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◾ Eknath Shinde’s rebellion spotlights Shiv Sena’s stubborn problem: Its decision-making process

◾ Why PM Modi mentioned Abbas Ramsada in his blog

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First published on: 25-06-2022 at 08:35:00 pm
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