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Monday, March 08, 2021

Daily Briefing: After 18 months, 4G back in J&K; Told farmers we can amend laws, says Tomar

From the latest on the ongoing farmers' protest, to the appointment of IIT-Roorkee's new chairman; here are today's top stories.

By: Express Web Desk | New Delhi |
Updated: February 6, 2021 8:11:13 am
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Good morning, 

The Big Story

As the government faces increasing criticism at home and internationally for imposing curbs on the Internet, widely seen as a core human right, it ordered the restoration of 4G mobile Internet in all of Jammu and Kashmir. Mobile Internet services were suspended in the Union Territory on August 4, 2019.

Only in the Express

Ahead of today’s nationwide chakka jam called by farm unions, Rakesh Tikait, spokesperson for the Bharatiya Kisan Union, speaks to The Indian Express on why UP farmers won’t be part of the jam and claims the “movement” is still strong.

The Baghpat district administration issued notices to leaders linked to the ongoing farmers’ protests, asking them to sign personal bonds worth Rs 2 lakh to “ensure peace” is maintained. “By issuing these notices, the administration wants us to stop supporting the farmers,” former RLD MLA Veerpal Singh Rathi, who received one such notice, said. 

In a letter to the men and women creating New India through unity in purity, Pratap Bhanu Mehta writes: “As nationalists, you are maligned by others. You are, after all, creating a new India. How dare any relics of old India stand in the way? Unity in Diversity was a great fraud. Unity in Purity is what we need.”

From the Front Page 

Signalling that the government is ready to amend the three agriculture laws at the centre of protests by farmer unions, Union Agriculture Minister Narendra Singh Tomar told Parliament that he had made such a suggestion to the delegation of farmers while making clear that this should not mean that there was a “mistake in the laws”.

More than a month after his arrest in Indore on charges of hurting religious sentiments, the Supreme Court stayed the Madhya Pradesh High Court order rejecting comedian Munawar Faruqui’s bail plea. The bench also stayed a warrant for Faruqui’s production in connection with a case registered in Uttar Pradesh.

Due to concerns over Serious Adverse Events, an expert body under India’s apex drug regulator has recommended against granting approval to Pfizer’s Covid vaccine under emergency circumstances. The American drug giant decided to withdraw its request and resubmit with additional information. 

Must Read 

Three years since the government withheld the formal notification of scientist Anil Kakodkar’s appointment as chairman of IIT-Roorkee, the Ministry of Education has given IIT-Hyderabad chairman, BVR Mohan Reddy, the additional charge of Roorkee. In 2017, Kakodkar’s name was approved for the post by then-President Pranab Mukherjee. However, in an unprecedented move, his appointment was not formally announced. 

From Greta Thunberg to sugarcane dues to communal harmony — a mahapanchayat in Shamli, meant to rally western UP support for the farm protests, saw speakers explain a host of issues to an estimated 10,000-strong crowd. 


India will begin vaccinating its third priority group of those who are 50 years and above in March, Union Health Minister Dr Harsh Vardhan announced.

The nationwide ‘chakka jam’, or road blockade, by protesting farmers is set to take place today. Barring Delhi, the blockade will take place in other parts of the National Capital Region, and the rest of the country, including the southern states.

Two family members of the UP farmer who died in an accident in Delhi, have been booked on the charge of disrespecting the tricolour after they allegedly draped it on the farmers’ body during his funeral procession on February 3. 

The Senate approved a budget resolution that’s a key step towards the  passage of President Joe Biden’s USD 1.9 trillion coronavirus relief plan without support from Republicans

And Finally

Towards the fag end of the day, Joe Root swept Ravichandran Ashwin over deep mid-wicket for a six. It was the first sweep that the England captain played in the air all day, but the extra effort resulted in a cramp, forcing Root to go down on the turf. We break down how England dominated its hosts on Day 1 in Chennai. 

Delhi Confidential: NCP MP Supriya Sule is known to treat members seated near her with sweets or nibbles. On Friday, she was seen opening a packet of chocolate candies during the break and distributing it among MPs.

 Until tomorrow,

Leela Prasad G and Rahel Philipose

Express Cartoon by EP Unny.

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