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Wednesday, March 03, 2021

Daily Briefing: Delhi court acquits Priya Ramani; Congress sweeps civil polls

From the latest on the Covid-19 pandemic in India, to the Telangana-based lawyer couple hacked to death on a highway; here are today-s top stories.

By: Express Web Desk | New Delhi |
February 18, 2021 8:29:44 am
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Good morning,

The Big Story

In a landmark judgment in India’s #MeToo movement,  a Delhi court acquitted journalist Priya Ramani in a criminal defamation case filed by former Minister of State for External Affairs, MJ Akbar. The court said that the right of reputation cannot be protected at the cost of the right of life and dignity of woman” and that she has the “right to put her grievance” on “any platform of her choice… even after decades.”

Express Editorial: “In India, it has been much harder to call impunity to account. In the entertainment industry, women have faced a backlash for speaking up, while men accused of grievous abuse have been reinstated. The allegations against a former chief justice of India were disposed of with a flagrant lack of due process. The allegations against Akbar were backed up by accounts of no less than 20 journalists. And yet, it was a woman who had to stand trial, who was the accused.”

Only in the Express

Speaking about China and India’s ongoing disengagement along the disputed Line of Actual Control (LAC), Northern Army Commander Lt General YK Joshi said: “The fact is that it is a huge success for us. Firstly, PLA is moving back beyond our claim line that is Finger 8. Secondly, this agreement denies them the advantage of patrolling till Finger 4.”

From the Front Page

In what is being described as ““semi-finals” for the Assembly polls due early next year, the ruling Congress recorded a landslide victory in the Punjab civic body elections. Such has been its dominance that the BJP lost even strongholds like Pathankot, Sujanpur and Batala. And Bathinda will get a Congress Mayor for the “first time in 53 years”. 

Two Dalit girls, aged 13 and 16, were found dead in their family’s field in Unnao district, along with a 17-year-old in a serious condition. The elder girls were sisters and the 13-year-old was their cousin. The brother of the girls claimed they had been found with their hands and feet tied up.

West Bengal Minister Jakir Hossain suffered serious injuries in his hands and legs after some unidentified attackers hurled crude bombs while he was waiting at a railway station with his supporters. Hossain is known to be close to Suvendu Adhikari, former TMC minister who joined the BJP in December.

Must Read

From Rajiv Gandhi’s Man Friday to the Gandhi family’s sherpa in Amethi and Rae Bareli, veteran Congress leader and former Union minister Captain Satish Sharma, who died in Goa Tuesday after a brief illness, was known in Congress circles for his loyalty. Once an airline pilot, the 73-year-old followed Rajiv Gandhi when he entered politics in 1983, abandoning his flying career. 

Genome sequencing of random Covid-infected samples has found E484K mutation in one sample in Amravati and N440K mutation in another sample in Yavatmal. Doctors say the presence of E484K could explain why entire families are testing positive in Amravati that has recorded 2,843 new Covid-19 cases in the last one week. The E484K mutation was found in the fast spreading South African, UK and Brazilian variants of the coronavirus

Lawyer couple G Vaman Rao and G Nagamani, who practised in the Telangana High Court and were known for their activism, were hacked to death on a busy highway while scores of people watched without offering assistance. They were attacked in Peddapalli district by two people between 2:15 and 2:30 pm when they were coming to Hyderabad. In a video shot by a passerby, Rao named one of the assailants as K Srinivas. 

ICYMI

The Bombay High Court granted three-week transit anticipatory bail to advocate and activist Nikita Jacob, against whom a non-bailable warrant was issued in Delhi in the Greta Thunberg toolkit case.

The Union Cabinet approved a Rs 12,195-crore Production Linked Incentive (PLI) scheme for domestic manufacturing of telecom and networking products such as switches, routers, radio access network, wireless equipment and other internet of things (IoT) access devices.

The Union Home Ministry denied permission to 600 Sikh pilgrims intending to visit gurdwaras in Pakistan citing the security and COVID-19 situation in that country, officials said.

India will work with the US to put together a ‘fresh’ trade package, as the long-awaited mini trade deal that was close to finalisation between the two countries last year may no longer be signed, according to Commerce Minister Piyush Goyal.

And Finally

Before she became known as a labour rights activist following her arrest in Haryana last month, 24-year-old Nodeep Kaur — now at the centre of an international campaign for her release — just wanted to complete her education. After graduating from Class 12 in 2018, she dreamt of joining Delhi University, but instead started working to support her family. Along the way, she began her association with the Mazdoor Adhikar Sangathan, a local labour rights organisation.

Delhi Confidential: The next round of talks between the government and protesting farmer unions is unlikely to take place in the next few days as Union Agriculture Minister Narendra Singh Tomar, who was appointed BJP in-charge for the upcoming Assam assembly elections, is on a three-day tour of the state. 

 In today’s episode of 3 Things, we talk about the South Africa Covid variant in India, how the Congress swept the Punjab local body polls, and the latest on the Indian Express investigation which revealed testing gaps in Bhagalpur

Until tomorrow, 

Leela Prasad G and Rahel Philipose

Express Cartoon by EP Unny.

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