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Daily Briefing: Two Kerala politicians hacked to death in purported political killings; Youth killed in Punjab over ‘sacrilege attempt’

Read the latest an alleged sacrilege bid at a local Gurdwara in Punjab, purported political killings in Kerala, our Idea Exchange with New Zealand’s left-arm spinner Ajaz Patel and other latest news here.

By: Express Web Desk | New Delhi |
Updated: December 20, 2021 8:55:58 am
daily briefing, india news, pm modi, kashi vishwanath temple, omicron newsA look at the top news today, December 20, 2021.

The Big Story

In the second such incident in Punjab within 24 hours, police said that an unidentified man was killed in Kapurthala for an alleged sacrilege bid at a local gurdwara. According to officials, the man, a migrant worker from Gopalganj in Bihar, was beaten severely by a mob and locked up inside a room in the gurdwara while local police tried to obtain his custody. When a police team entered the room forcefully, a member of the mob allegedly stabbed the man with a sword, they said.

Only in The Express

In this edition of the Idea Exchange, New Zealand’s left-arm spinner Ajaz Patel, who became only the third bowler in Test cricket to take all 10 wickets in an innings,  talks about transitioning, first as a child moving to New Zealand and then rising up the ranks in the game while battling racism.

From the front page

Kerala woke up to what appears to be tit-for-tat political killings — of a Social Democratic Party of India (SDPI) leader late Saturday and, less than 11 hours later, of a BJP leader early Sunday. While SDPI state general secretary K S Shan, 39, was riding a two-wheeler at Mannanchery in Alappuzha district, a car-borne gang hit him from behind and then hacked him as he fell off the vehicle. He died around 11.30 pm at a local hospital. Around 6.30 am Sunday, death came knocking at the door of BJP OBC Morcha state secretary advocate Ranjith Sreenivas (45) in Alappuzha municipality, which is 10 km away from Mannanchery, where the SDPI leader was killed.

Incidents of violence marred elections to the Kolkata Municipal Corporation with parties in Opposition in the state — the BJP, Congress and the CPM — complaining that polling agents were driven out of booths, candidates were beaten up, and booths were rigged by workers of the Trinamool Congress. In three areas, crude bombs were hurled, leaving three injured. As many as 453 complaints were lodged with the West Bengal State Election Commission, and the police arrested 209 persons in connection with incidents of violence. Among those arrested were BJP candidate for Ward 63, Naveen Mishra, and his election agent Ravindra Choudhary.

External Affairs Minister S Jaishankar on Sunday said India and the Central Asian countries had similar concerns and objectives in Afghanistan, and flagged the goals of “a truly inclusive and representative government, the fight against terrorism and drug trafficking, ensuring unhindered humanitarian assistance, and preserving the rights of women, children, and the minorities”.

Must Read

A day after the searches conducted by the Income Tax Department, SP president Akhilesh Yadav alleged that his phones and that of his party leaders are being tapped by the government. He also hit out at Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath accusing him of snooping on their phone conversations. 

The Jammu and Kashmir administration sought the Army’s help as a strike by employees of the power department affected essential services, including a hospital, and plunged large parts of the Union Territory into darkness amidst a harsh winter. More than a third of Jammu division remained without electricity as the employees protested against the administration’s decision to privatise assets and delay in payment of salaries.

After two dismal summer seasons for tourism in Kashmir, winter has brought cheer back to the Valley. With peaks capped with snow early this year, tourists from across the country are arriving in droves. With Gulmarg bursting at its seams with tourists, the Jammu and Kashmir administration is planning to open some more destinations like Sonamarg and Dodapathri to start with. 

‘Sell in stock markets and buy in IPOs’ seems to be the motto of foreign portfolio investors (FPIs) these days. While FPIs have been pulling out funds from stock markets in the wake of monetary tightening plans of global central banks like the US Federal Reserve and Bank of England, they have been major investors in initial public offerings that hit the primary market in recent months. 

And Finally

The riders on Kidambi Srikanth’s World Championship silver are as many as jockey’s silks on a derby-day race course: depleted field, easy draw, not a single seeded opponent. What is undeniable though, is that the 28-year-old Indian has this week, crossed so many mental barriers of his own, that the second-best place finish cannot diminish the glorious sight of him bolting out the stallion blocks. The fighting wins against Chinese, the asserting of class against Lakshya Sen, the rushing of the net, all point to a Srikanth that the world always expected to contest all the big finals. 

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