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Daily Briefing: Nagaland killings survivor says army ‘shot right at us, no signal to stop’; Farm unions to take call on protests

Read our exclusive interview with the survivors of the Nagaland incident, the farmers' protest, Parliament Winter Session and more here.

By: Express Web Desk | New Delhi |
Updated: December 8, 2021 8:52:58 am
A look at the top news today, December 8, 2021.

The Big Story

“Direct marise… they shot right at us,” says 23-year-old Sheiwang softly, one of the only two survivors of the Army ambush on a group of eight miners in Nagaland’s Mon district Saturday evening. Union Home Minister Amit Shah in a statement in Rajya Sabha Monday said the vehicle “was signalled to stop” and was fired upon after it “tried to flee.” However, Sheiwang says: “We were not signalled to stop. They killed us directly. We were not trying to flee…we were just in the vehicle.”

Only in the Express 

Nearly two years into the pandemic, with severe economic distress all around, this is one set of bills the Jharkhand Cabinet could have done without: over Rs 42 lakh from vendors for two unofficial cricket matches involving MLAs and mediapersons held in March, including one in which Chief Minister Hemant Soren was man of the match. Of the total amount, RTI data show that the cost of new kits alone added up to Rs 33 lakh — tracksuits, t-shirts, caps, kit bags, socks and shoes. Both the matches were tennis-ball cricket games, which usually don’t require protective gear, such as pads, gloves, guards and helmets.

From the Front Page

Maintaining that it had not yet taken a decision to end the agitation, the Samyukt Kisan Morcha, which has been spearheading the farmer protests at the borders of Delhi for more than a year now, said it “received a written draft proposal from the government which was discussed at a meeting of 32 farm unions at the Singhu border protest site.  Indicating that most demands had been met, the SKM said it was seeking “further clarifications on a few points” and would meet again today at 2 pm.

Meanwhile in the Lok Sabha, former Congress president Rahul Gandhi present a list that he said contained names of farmers who had died during the year-long protest against the three agricultural laws, adding that the government has said it had no such details.  He demanded that the families of the “700 farmers” who were “martyred” be provided compensation. The Congress leader said the party’s Punjab government had given compensation of Rs 5 lakh each to 400 farmers.

Days after ousted leader Aung San Suu Kyi and others were handed jail terms by a Myanmar court, India termed the verdicts as disturbing and said that the rule of law and the democratic process must be upheld. It said any development that “undermines these processes and accentuates differences is a matter of deep concern”. Suu Kyi was handed a four-year jail term for inciting dissent. Her sentence was later reduced to two years in jail.

Must read

India stands out as a “poor and very unequal country, with an affluent elite”, where the top 10 per cent holds 57 per cent of the total national income while the bottom 50 per cent’s share is just 13 per cent in 2021, according to the latest World Inequality Report 2022. The report has also flagged a drop in global income during 2020. 

From pendency of cases, lack of infrastructure to appointments and transfers of judges, the Lok Sabha debated critical issues related to the judiciary. Initiating the debate on the High Court and Supreme Court Judges (Salaries and Conditions of Service) Amendment Bill, 2021, Congress MP Shashi Tharoor said the judiciary had failed to stem the tide of “militant majoritarianism”. 

Chief Minister Biplab Deb has consolidated his position within the BJP with the overwhelming results in the party’s favour in the recent civic body polls in Tripura. However, the results also indicate that the Trinamool Congress (TMC) is rapidly making inroads in the state. From 0.30% in the 2018 Assembly elections, the TMC’s vote share went up to 16.39% in the recent civic polls. In the Agartala Municipal Corporation, it emerged as the second biggest party after the BJP. 

Even as the government and operators are focused on expanding the infrastructure at airports to deal with the increasing crowds from international flights, an analysis of schedules at the country’s top two international airports — Delhi and Mumbai — points to a bunching of international flight arrivals during one part of the day. At Delhi, for instance, of the 78 international passenger flights that arrived on Monday, 37 were scheduled to arrive in the 8-hour window from 2am to 10 am.

And finally…

Delhi confidential: BJP president J P Nadda turned emotional when he saw visuals of Prime Minister Narendra Modi inaugurating the Rs 1,011-crore AIIMS and the hi-tech lab of the Indian Council of Medical Research-Regional Medical Research Centre in Gorakhpur on Tuesday. According to sources, Nadda recalled that as health minister, he had visited Gorakhpur following the outbreak of the deadly Japanese Encephalitis disease. As health minister, it was he who had initiated both these projects, which BJP leaders say would contribute to development of eastern Uttar Pradesh.

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