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Thursday, January 21, 2021

Daily briefing: Talks today, farmers to Govt: Will only discuss repeal, MSP legal guarantee; Cash squeeze in mind, Navy looks at ways to cut costs

From farmers' talks with the Centre today to the Indian Navy looking at cutting costs; here are today's top stories

By: Express Web Desk | New Delhi | Updated: December 30, 2020 9:00:38 am
Daily Briefing: Govt calls for talks on Dec 30, says pressure won't work on PM Modi; Tesla preparing to start operations in India by early 2021A look at the top news today, January 19, 2021.

Big story 

Ahead of today’s talks with the Centre, representatives of the 40 farmer unions said they want the Government to stick to the four-point agenda, including finding the best way to repeal the new farm laws and  providing a legal guarantee on minimum support price. A tractor rally that was scheduled for today will take place tomorrow if talks were to fail, again. 

From the Front Page

In Punjab, the police have fanned out across the state to restore power supply to around 2,000 cell phone towers of  Reliance Jio Infocomm after being vandalised, allegedly by protesting farmer groups. And no FIR has been filed as only electricity lines were cut. 

A trader firm owned by two brothers duped at least 22 farmers in Madhya Pradesh of nearly Rs 2 crore. The case brings into focus two critical aspects of one of the farm laws that deals with registration of traders in private markets and dispute resolution. The case came to light after the cheques issued by the trader bounced. 

Chinese have “fully deployed” their air assets to support troops along the Line of Actual Control in Ladakh, according to Air Chief Marshal R K S Bhadauri. The Chinese, he said, also “have a large presence in the second tier, and large presence of radars and surface-to-air missiles, and surface-to-surface missiles in the reconnable area”.

Only in the Express

Jammu & Kashmir Peoples Democratic Party leader Waheed Ur Rehman Para allegedly paid Rs 10 lakh to terror outfit Hizb-ul-Mujahideen to ensure its support ahead of the 2019 Lok Sabha polls, an investigation by the National Investigation Agency (NIA) is said to have found. Para, who is in jail, recently won the District Development Council (DDC) polls. 

With the Covid-19 pandemic hurting the economy across sectors, including defence, the Navy may have to downsize its budget for 2020-21 despite an increased capital outlay. For example, a senior officer of the force told The Indian Express that the Navy has revised some numbers in key acquisition projects.

The Army is in the process of taking over proceedings against a Rashtriya Rifles officer in the Shopian fake encounter case from a civilian court where a chargesheet has been filed against him, The Indian Express has learnt. The Army has decided that the officer, an Army Captain, will be tried in a court martial.

Must read

Till several years ago, the Kolar Leaf-Nosed Bat was found in only two caves in the village of Hanumanahalli in Kolar district of Karnataka. For reasons that are still unknown, the bat became locally extinct in one of the two caves. And now, the Karnataka Forest Department, along with the Bat Conservation India Trust, is on a war footing to save the remaining bats.

A viral video of a Dalit man trying to dig a grave for his parents has shaken the conscience of the public and triggered widespread protests in Kerala. The couple died of burn injuries after being accidentally set on fire while resisting attempts by the police to evict them from the three cents of disputed land. 

ICYMI

 At least six persons who have returned recently from the United Kingdom have been found positive for the new Covid-19 strain. 

Karnataka Legislative Council Deputy Chairman S L Dharme Gowda was found dead on a railway track in Karnataka’s Chikmagalur district early Tuesday morning. 

Actor Rajinikanth, whose much awaited announcement of a political party was to be made on December 31, issued a statement on Tuesday and clarified that he will not join politics, or form the party, in view of ill-health and the prevailing pandemic situation.

The Madhya Pradesh government Tuesday approved the Freedom to Religion Bill 2020 as an ordinance in a special cabinet session, after which it was sent to the Governor for her nod.

Tata Sons will purchase 32.67 per cent stake in AirAsia India from Malaysian AirAsia Group Bhd, taking its holding in the joint-venture airline up to 83.67 per cent. 

And Finally

 The Delhi arm of London’s famous Madame Tussauds wax museum, “temporarily closed” ever since the lockdown was announced on March 20, will not reopen at all,  as its holding company, Merlin Entertainments India, has decided to shut shop. Even though the company had announced an investment of 10 million Euros in India when it launched Madame Tussauds Delhi in November 2017, it had received a tepid response from visitor

Delhi confidential: As India  and Bangladesh plan to jointly commemorate the 50th anniversary of the 1971 Liberation War, the Congress too has begun parallel efforts to celebrate the event. 

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