March 21, 2021 8:34:43 am
The Big Story
In an explosive letter to Maharashtra Chief Minister Uddhav Thackeray, former Mumbai Police chief Param Bir Singh, who was removed from his post three days ago, accused Home Minister Anil Deshmuk of meeting arrested Assistant Police Inspector Sachin Waze at his official residence “several times in the last few months”, and repeatedly asking him to collect Rs 100 crore every month, including Rs 40-50 crore from some 1750 bars and restaurants in Mumbai.
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Former union minister P Chidambaram, in his weekly Sunday column, argues why coalition governments are better than “single-party autocratic regimes”. “Given a number of exclusive parties, coalitions have shown the way for more inclusive politics. In the current elections, Muslim- and Dalit-founded parties have found space for themselves in coalitions in Assam, Kerala, Tamil Nadu and West Bengal,” he writes.
From the Front Page
Urging Prime Minister Narendra Modi to grant political asylum to refugees fleeing Myanmar, Mizoram Chief Minister Zoramthanga said “India cannot turn a blind eye to this humanitarian crisis unfolding right in front of us in our own backyard.” He also said the Union Home Ministry’s advisories to deport the refugees “is not acceptable to Mizoram”.
US Secretary of Defence Lloyd J Austin said he had a conversation with Indian Cabinet ministers about human rights issues. Government sources told The Sunday Express that the human rights situation came up only as “shared values”, and not about the situation in the country with any Indian interlocutor. External Affairs Minister S Jaishankar who, sources said, told Austin that the “US should not let down the minorities in Afghanistan”.
The new RSS general secretary or sarkaryawah and the effective No. 2 in the organisation is 67-year-old Dattatreya Hosabale from Karnataka. Hosabale has an MA in English Literature from Bengaluru University and is fluent in Kannada, Hindi, English, Tamil and Sanskrit. . A senior leader who knows him for long said he is considered close to Prime Minister Narendra Modi but has a “mind of his own”.
Cheetah’s will be returning to India’s forests for the first time since they were declared locally extinct nearly 70 years ago. The country will receive its first batch of large cats from Africa by the end of this year. Within a week’s time, two expert teams — one from Namibia and the other from South Africa — will arrive to train Indian forest officers and wildlife experts on handling, breeding, rehabilitation, medical treatment and conservation of the animals.
A bomb scare outside Ambani’s home. A ‘stolen’ vehicle. A body found in a creek. The mystery deepens, but at the centre of it all is Assistant Police Inspector Sachin Hindurao Waze. Even after BJP leader Devendra Fadnavis accused the officer of being the mastermind behind the bomb scare, Waze did not shy away from speaking to the media. “Unko bhi jawaab doonga main… Main Sachin Waze hoon… (I will answer him too, I am Sachin Waze).”
While campaigning at Thuckalay near Nagercoil in Tamil Nadu, Stalin introduced himself as Karunanidhi’s son, reminding voters of all of his father’s accomplishments over the decades. Accusing the AIADMK of introducing communal politics in the state, he says, “I want to tell the BJP…don’t forget this is the Dravidian land, the land of Periyar, Anna, Kamaraj and Kalaignar (Karunanidhi)…your tricks won’t find success here.”
Of the 282 candidates announced by the BJP so far for Assembly polls in West Bengal, 46 are those who joined the saffron party less than two years ago after the 2019 Lok Sabha elections. A bulk of them — 34 candidates — are from the Trinamool Congress, six from the CPM, four from Congress and one each from Forward Bloc and Gorkha Janmukti Morcha (GJM).
In a major setback for the BJP in Kerala, Assembly poll nominations of NDA candidates in three constituencies — Thalassery, Devikulam and Guruvayur — were rejected for faulty submissions.
The ongoing Covid-19 pandemic is not the first public health crisis India’s medical experts have had to deal with. But experience tends to give a false sense of confidence. During the last pandemic, caused by swine flu, the cases occurred over a period of months and remained in a manageable range. The impact of Covid, however, was unprecedented. A year after the pandemic first gripped the nation, an epidemiologist reflects on what he has learnt.
Leela Prasad G and Rahel Philipose
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