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Wednesday, April 14, 2021

Daily Briefing: No proof of planned attack against Mamata, says EC; NIA arrests Mumbai cop in connection with Ambani bomb scare

From the DGCA's covid protocol for travellers, to the latest on the upcoming Assembly polls in four states and one Union Territory; here are today's top stories.

By: Express Web Desk | New Delhi |
March 14, 2021 8:20:22 am
Daily Briefing: Amid Covid second wave, govt rethink on offline CBSE Board exam; 102 test positive at KumbhA look at the top news today, April 14, 2021.

Good morning, 

The Big Story

Ruling out that the Nandigram incident was a “premeditated” attempt on Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee’s life, the Election Commission’s Observers in West Bengal, in their report to the poll panel, said the incident which led to her injury was a security lapse. The observers did not describe the incident as an accident either, given that there is little evidence to arrive at any conclusion. 

Only in the Express

At an early age, Sumit Antil took to wrestling. He was a regular at local dangals. Things were going as he had planned until a tractor hit his bike. The accident left him in the hospital for 53 days and doctors had to amputate his left leg. Six years later, Antil broke the world record in javelin for para athletes. And now he is heading to Tokyo for the Paralympics.

From the Front Page 

Assistant Police Inspector Sachin Vaze was arrested by the National Investigation Agency in connection with the bomb scare at Mukesh Ambani’s Antilia residence. Earlier, Vaze posted a message on social media alleging that his colleagues in the force were falsely implicating him. He signed off saying the “time to say goodbye to the world is coming closer”.

At a time when “vaccine nationalism” is widespread, with developed countries securing 60% of global vaccine supplies for themselves, India has delivered 586 lakh doses of Covid-19 vaccines to 71 countries. Of the 71 countries, at least 37 have got the vaccines free, 17 through Covax, many a combination of these two and commercial sales.

Climate activist Disha Ravi, who spent 10 days in police and judicial custody after her arrest in the tool kit case, spoke for the first time about her ordeal in jail and the courtroom. “In all the years that someone had asked me where I see myself in 5 years, I would have never answered ‘jail’ but here I was,” she said in a four-page statement. 

Must Read

Travellers who do not adhere to Covid-19 protocols onboard flights could attract legal action, the Ministry of Civil Aviation said in its latest circular. During their time on flights and inside airports, passengers must always wear masks and practise social distancing, the circular stated. People who do not wear masks properly even after repeated warnings could be deboarded before departure. 

As Assam votes on March 27 in the first of a three-phase election to the 126-seat Assembly the anti-CAA protests that saw violent clashes, at least five deaths and steady protests, no longer seems to be a major rallying point. While the BJP is trying to ensure the shadow of the anti-CAA protests recedes from public memory, it is still a major election plank for the Congress.

Decision 2021

Former BJP leader and Union Minister Yashwant Sinha joined the Trinamool Congress in Kolkata in the presence of Rajya Sabha MPs Derek O’Brian and Santanu Sen. “The tipping point was the attack on Mamataji in Nandigram. It was this moment that I decided to join TMC and support her,” Sinha said.

Speaking to the Indian Express on the LDF’s prospects in the upcoming elections, state finance minister and CPM leader Thomas Isaac said, “It’s very important for CPM in Kerala and in India. There’s a jinx in the state’s politics that every 5 years, there’s a change in government. It’s like an iron law. But the spell has already been broken.”

An increase in maternity leave from six months to one year, a law for 75% job quota for residents of Tamil Nadu, a cut in fuel prices, and LPG subsidies — these were some of the promises made by the DMK in its 400-page manifesto released yesterday. 

And Finally 

Across India, artistes are keeping theatre alive — by thinking small. The pandemic has impacted the budgets of every group and practitioner and, with the country in the middle of a possible second wave, the situation is unlikely to improve soon. Intimate venues, restricted entries, limited cast and pared-down scripts are the new normal as COVID shrinks theatre.

Until tomorrow, 

Leela Prasad G and Rahel Philipose

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