Good morning readers,
Thursdays serve as a reminder it’s still not Friday, and that it has been a really long week. Hang in there, the weekend is almost here. Almost. That said, the political crisis in Rajasthan has also been long and drawn out. The action moves to the top court today. We are also looking at the apex court allowing a former cop to join the panel to probe gangster Vikas Dubey’s encounter and the contempt proceedings against senior lawyer Prashant Bhushan.
The Big Story
An ex-DGP who had mostly served under the BJP government led by Kalyan Singh has been appointed to the expanded panel to probe the killing of gangster Vikas Dubey. However, it was just days ago he said in a TV debate that it was not right to doubt the police over the encounter. When contacted by The Indian Express, he said: “Now we have to work more and speak less. We will be objective and fair to the inquiry.”
From the Front Page
Today’s first edit argues that the contempt proceedings by the Supreme Court against lawyer-activist Prashant Bhushan for his tweets is “off-key and jarring, not least because of its timing.” It notes that two tweets have “riled Their Lordships” at a time when matters affecting citizens’ lives and livelihoods vie for its attention.
We now have a date for the ground-breaking ceremony to begin work on construction of a Ram temple. Prime Minister Narendra Modi will be attending the event slated for August 5 in Ayodhya, said the Ram Janmabhoomi Teerth Kshetra Trust. Incidentally, August 5 will mark one year of the abrogation of Article 370 and the bifurcation of the State of Jammu & Kashmir into two Union Territories.
There has “never been a better time to invest in India”, PM Modi told US investors at the India Ideas Summit last night. Underlining that India is emerging as a land of opportunities, he gave the example of how “there are more rural Internet users than even urban Internet users” and that it presents opportunities in the frontier technology of 5G.
When migrants began returning to Bihar on Shramik special trains, private vehicles and even on foot, the state government had raised an alarm about the potential spread of infection and started quarantining them. But now, the Covid numbers tell a different story — only two of top 10 migrant recipient districts are now among the 10 districts with the highest case counts.
New research has examined the relationship between cancer and Covid-19. It has found that cancer patients diagnosed more than 24 months ago are more likely to have a severe Covid-19 infection. So are cancer patients of Asian ethnicity or who were receiving palliative treatment for cancer.
Bread, cheese, coffee, and jams but less fruity cakes — these were the items that saw maximum demand as we remained under lockdown and cocooned in our homes in April and May. While consumers bought a lot of hand sanitisers — but not so expectedly, they also bought large quantities of household insecticides.
Even after being carried in a cooking vessel across a river to reach the nearest hospital, a pregnant woman in Chhattisgarh gave birth to a still-born baby, allegedly due to negligence of the staff at the community hospital. “We have received the complaint and are investigating what happened that night. Due action will be taken,” BMO Ajay Ramteke said.
Given up by his underage parents as soon as he was born, married off at the age of 13, arrested two years ago for the alleged murder of his wife, herself a child, a 17-year-old Anantnag boy at a Srinagar observation centre was sent to live with his father. The hope now is that the juvenile’s life may finally turn the corner. But given the past, no one’s guessing what will happen next.
- Home Minister Amit Shah on Wednesday called on BJP veteran L K Advani, ahead of the former deputy prime minister’s scheduled hearing in the 1992 Babri Masjid demolition case.
- Rajasthan Assembly Speaker C P Joshi has moved the Supreme Court, seeking an interim stay on the High Court’s direction to defer action on the disqualification notices to the 19 MLAs till July 24.
- The Supreme Court will hear Thursday two petitions urging it to allow resumption of iron ore mining in Goa.
- The wife of one of the suicide bombers who struck churches across Sri Lanka on Easter in April 2019, has fled to India fearing arrest, the police of the island nation has said.
- Three foreign experts, involved in control operations at Oil India Limited’s Baghjan 5 well in Upper Assam, were injured after a fire broke out near the wellhead area on Wednesday.
On Tuesday, Kapil Sharma shared a photograph of two men in PPE suits applying make-up on him while a teaser promises that his show will be back soon. While television actors begin returning to the sets to negotiate a new normal, the challenges that remain are how to ventilate rooms where shooting takes place and how to keep the spirit of the cast and crew up.
Delhi Confidential: The pandemic may have interrupted physical hearings in the Supreme Court, but courtroom humour is still alive. A videoconference hearing soon turned into a conversation over the pleasant weather with Solicitor General Tushar Mehta eyeing Senior Advocate Mukul Rohatgi’s table to see what was on it. Justice Arun Mishra asked if it was something Mehta could not afford, to which Mehta said, “No my Lord, but I come from a different state of Gujarat.”
🎧 In today’s episode of Three Things Podcast, we discuss how several junior athletes are struggling due to the economic slowdown.