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Wednesday, January 27, 2021

Daily Briefing: Farmers’ protest, Muzaffarnagar riots, DDC polls and more

From two Covid-positive passengers from the UK going missing at Delhi airport, to the new 'Kisan Mall' at Tikri border catering to the basic needs of agitating farmers, Here are today's top stories.

By: Express Web Desk | New Delhi | December 24, 2020 8:46:09 am
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Good morning,

Big story 

Even as no immediate solution is in sight to break the deadlock over the farm laws, what is clear is that the farmers and the Government are open to talks. However, each side has a caveat of their own for coming to the negotiating table. The farmer unions are looking for a “concrete proposal” and not “meaningless amendments”. And the Union Agriculture Minister says they can only “add…or subtract” from the Centre’s proposal.  

From the Front Page

The People’s Alliance for Gupkar Declaration has gone past the majority mark in six District Development Councils in the Kashmir division and has the chance to wrest control in six other Councils with help from the Congress. But they are not celebrating yet because of fear that winning Independent candidates or even their own may support the BJP

BJP MLAs Sangeet Som, Suresh Rana and Kapil Dev might get to drop “inflammatory speech” from their next election affidavit if the Yogi Adityanath government succeeds in withdrawing a case filed against them in connection with the 2013 communal riots in  Muzaffarnagar in which 65 were killed and around 40,000 were displaced.  

Army Chief Gen MM Naravane at Line of Actual Control (LAC) in Ladakh.

Only in the Express

In part-2 of The Indian Express series ‘From the Punjab Fields’, we speak to a farmer-mother with three school-going children to support about her experience of dealing with private players and traders. Other small and marginal farmers also express their fears about large corporates with deep pockets taking advantage of the farm laws. 

Despite the Health Ministry’s detailed SOP for UK travellers after a new, more transmissible strain of the novel coronavirus was detected, five Covid-positive flyers from the UK went untraceable soon after landing in Delhi airport. But where did they go? Well, while three of them were traced and admitted to a hospital in the capital, one managed to reach Ludhiana while another reached Andhra Pradesh, before they were brought back on Wednesday. 

“Would I be happy if there was only Rapid chess? I don’t know. But in 10 years, it matters more what the next generation does,” said 51-year-old former world chess champion Viswanathan Anand. In an interview with the Indian Express, he talks about his biopic, why classical chess may go the way of Test cricket, and what he binge-watched during the pandemic.

Must read

With the holiday season right around the corner, the Pramod Sawant-led Goa government is under pressure to bring meat into the state after the BJP government in Karnataka proposed a more stringent law banning cattle slaughter. Goa relies solely on Karnataka for a bulk of its beef — supplied either through transport of live buffalo and bull or carcass from the neighbouring state’s abattoirs.

A third aircraft carrier is an “operational necessity” for the Navy, a top officer from the force said, days after Navy Chief Admiral Karambir Singh stressed on the importance of aircraft carriers at the Navy Day press conference. But Chief of Defence Staff General Bipin Rawat does not entirely agree. 

Hyderabad-based Bharat Biotech has claimed that its indigenous Covid vaccine candidate, Covaxin, which is currently in late-stage clinical trials, triggered immune responses and was well-tolerated with no serious adverse events in its Phase 2 trials. But researchers say that its efficacy can be evaluated only in the Phase 3 clinical trials. 


The Indian government has been ordered to pay $1.2 billion in retrospective tax to global oil and gas major Cairn Energy PLC after losing an arbitration in a tax dispute. 

A CBI special court handed a life sentence to the Catholic priest and nun found guilty for the murder of sister Abhaya, nearly 28 years after her body was discovered inside a well at a convent in Kottayam. 

The Karnataka government on Wednesday announced a 11 pm – 5 am night curfew in the state from December 24 to January 2 to prevent the spread of a new strain of the novel coronavirus found in the UK. 

Renowned Malayalam poet, conservationist and women’s rights activist Sugathakumari, who was on life support for the past two days after testing positive for Covid-19, passed away on Wednesday. She was 86. 

Days after hosting Home Minister Amit Shah for lunch, Bengali folk singer Basudeb Das Baul said that the BJP did not help him in any way and Shah did not talk to him after the lunch on Sunday. 

And Finally

While lakhs of farmers continue to brave the cold and relentlessly protest against the Centre’s controversial new farm laws in the national capital, a new ‘Kisan Mall’ is taking care of their daily necessities. Started by international NGO Khalsa Aid at Tikri border, the ‘mall’ is providing farmers with all their basic needs — from soap and toothpaste to mufflers and heating pads. 

Delhi Confidential: If global diplomatic travel resumes by next summer, Prime Minister Narendra Modi will be headed to Portugal for the India-EU summit. As Indian and Spanish foreign ministers and officials held discussions on Wednesday, the two sides were exploring the possibility of holding the summit in May 2021. 

In today’s 3 Things podcast, we discuss a possible Rajinikanth-Kamal Haasan alliance in Tamil Nadu, Farooq Abdullah’s house being seized, and an event for farmers PM Modi will be attending. 

Until tomorrow, 

Leela Prasad G and Rahel Philipose

Express Cartoon by EP Unny.


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