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Saturday, January 23, 2021

Daily briefing: New worry as states with fewer cases see Covid spurt; Tunnel used by four Jaish men killed in Nagrota found

From states with relatively smaller caseloads reporting a spurt in Covid cases to the BSF and police detecting a cross-border tunnel in the Regal area of Jammu’s Samba district that was used by four Jaish-e-Mohammad terrorists to enter J&K, here are the top news today.

By: Express Web Desk | New Delhi | Updated: November 23, 2020 9:02:45 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.

The Big Story

Even as fresh Covid cases continue to decline—or remain stagnant—in some of the worst-affected states, there has been a spurt in cases in states with relatively smaller caseloads such as Himachal Pradesh and Rajasthan. And the Centre dispatched high-level teams to help them tackle the spread of the disease.

From the Front Page

15-20 feet deep and nearly 150 metres long: A cross-border tunnel originating from inside Pakistan was discovered by security forces in Jammu three days after four Jaish-e-Mohammad terrorists were gunned down in an encounter. They believe it was used by the terrorists to infiltrate J&K. Cement bags with Pakistani markings were found inside.

With Opposition parties slamming the Kerala government’s ordinance to mandate a jail term for any “offensive” social media post as “harsh and draconian”, Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan was forced to step in and clarify that it would not be used against “free speech” or “impartial journalism”. The CPI, a constituent of the LDF in Kerala, is upset with the move, too.

The Congress’s organisational “system has collapsed”; “our leaders have lost connection with people on the ground”; “five-star culture” in the party during elections. That was senior party leader Ghulam Nabi Azad’s blunt assessment of the Congress performance in the Bihar election and bypolls in other states.

We caught up with some of the candidates contesting in the upcoming District Development Council polls. And for most of them this election is about the larger questions surrounding J&K’s politics, including special status and changes to land laws, as well as the issue of governance.

Must Read

On August 10, 2017, Manoj Soni’s family from Indore visited the famous Saibaba temple, where his wife went to take a look at the shops nearby. But she has not been seen since. And now, Soni’s relentless efforts to find her have prompted the Aurangabad Bench of the Bombay High Court to ask Maharashtra’s top police officer to probe similar disappearances reported from the famous temple town and investigate the angle of human trafficking.

Investigations in over a dozen similar complaints made by police officers in three states
of someone creating fake Facebook profiles in their name and seeking funds from their friends have led the Karnataka CID cyber unit to an organised cybercrime network.

A territorial clash between two big cats left one of them dead and the miscarriage of its four foetuses, in Umred Paoni Karhandla (UPKWS) Wildlife Sanctuary, 50 km from Nagpur. “A lot of signs of the violent clash, like blood trail, disturbed forest floor vegetation, drag marks and puncture marks on its neck, are indicative of the clash with another tiger.”

Only in the Express

Assam Minister Himanta Biswa Sarma was the guest at the Idea Exchange session moderated by Liz Mathew, during which he said the Bihar poll results will have a positive impact for BJP in both West Bengal and Assam, argued that his problem is not with Assamese Muslims but the ‘threat’ to composite Assamese culture, remained hopeful of Naga peace talks, and claimed he has ‘no personal ambition left’.


India is set to host the G-20 summit in 2023, instead of 2022 — the 75th year of Independence. Indonesia will assume G-20 presidency in 2022 after a swap with India.

Madhya Pradesh Home Minister Narottam Mishra has stated that the state government is examining the kissing scenes shown in ‘A Suitable Boy’ and considering action.

The Indian Medical Association has slammed the government decision to allow Ayurveda practitioners to perform general surgery such as ophthalmology and dental procedure.

A Mumbai court has sent comedian Bharti Singh and husband Harsh Limbachiyaa, who have been arrested by the NCB, in judicial custody till December 4.

A team of CBI probing the alleged rape and murder of a 19-year-old Dalit woman in Hathras took the four accused in the case to Gandhinagar for brain-mapping and polygraph test.

And Finally…

The BCCI has some big numbers to show in its report card for this year’s IPL in UAE. The Indian cricket board earned “Rs 4,000 crore” in revenue and TV viewership was about 25 per cent more than last year”. The BCCI treasurer also said the board managed to cut nearly 35 per cent of the cost as compared to the last IPL.

Delhi confidential: The LOK Sabha Secretariat has asked MPs to send their detailed bio-profile for publication of “Who’s Who: Seventeenth Lok Sabha”. The members are required to send their bio-data by Monday. However, about 32 first-time members and 70 re-elected/previous members are yet to send their updated bio-data.

In this episode of the Three Things, we look at how the encounter of four terrorists revealed possible plans to disrupt the upcoming elections in J&K, why farmers in Punjab have decided to remove blockades and allow the movement of trains, and what PM Modi said at the G20 summit.

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