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Saturday, April 10, 2021

Daily Briefing: PM Modi, Sheikh Hasina unveil roadmap for India-Bangladesh future; 10 Covid patients killed in Mumbai hospital fire

From the latest on the upcoming Assembly elections, to the high-stakes billion-dollar Tata-Mistry corporate battle; here are today's top stories.

By: Express Web Desk | New Delhi |
March 27, 2021 8:49:02 am
Daily Briefing: Maharashtra stares at lockdown as Covid-19 cases surge; Indian crew on Suez ship; all safe, says firmA look at the top news today, April 10, 2021.

Good morning, 

Big Story 

Underlining the importance of Indo-Bangla ties, Prime Minister Narendra Modi, who was in Bangladesh to take part in the country’s 50th anniversary celebrations, unveiled his roadmap for a shared future that he said was “just waiting for countless…moments full of goodwill, and of mutual trust”.  Citing the Land Boundary Agreement and cooperation during the pandemic, PM Modi said “solutions can be found for all issues”. 

Only in the Express 

A letter highlighting the plight of a trainee Army officer who suffered serious injuries at the National Defence Academy is now at the centre of a debate within the Defence community on the need to sanction ex-serviceman status for those who get disabled during military training. 

From the Front Page 

At least 10 patients receiving Covid-19 treatment at a hospital on the third floor of a shopping mall in Mumbai were killed in a fire. Most of the patients who died were from the hospital’s intensive care unit. A fire audit conducted at the end of 2020 had revealed that the mall’s fire exits were blocked.  

The Vijay Rupani-led BJP government is preparing to amend the Gujarat Freedom of Religion Act, 2003, to include promises of a better lifestyle and of divine blessings as allurement towards religious conversion, and hence punishable. The Bill also seeks to prohibit acts like forcible religious conversion by marriage or aiding a person to get married. And, like the “love jihad” bill in Uttar Pradesh, it places the burden of proof of innocence on the person who caused the conversion.

“It is not as though the operations under the Scheme are behind iron curtains incapable of being pierced.” That was CJI SA Bobde’s observation before dismissing a plea seeking a stay on sale of electoral bonds ahead of the Assembly elections. 

Road blocked between Panchkula and Hallo Majra, Chandigarh during the Bharat Bandh on Friday, March 26, 2021. (Express photo by Jaipal Singh)

Must Read 

The coronavirus pandemic appears to have taken a toll on the functioning of courts, with the pendency of cases increasing significantly in all levels of the judiciary. According to the National Judicial Data Grid (NJDG), backlog of cases in district courts rose sharply to 18.2% between 2019 and 2020, while it increased by 20.24% in the country’s 25 High Courts, and 10.35% in the Supreme Court. 

Allowing an appeal by the Tata Group, the Supreme Court set aside a December 2019 NCLAT order which had restored Cyrus Mistry as the executive chairman of the over USD 100 billion salt-to-software Tata conglomerate. Coomi Kapoor explains the background of the high-stakes billion-dollar corporate battle, which set off tremors in the Bombay Stock Exchange and sent shock waves in the entire business world.

Decision 2021

With the first phase of the Assembly Elections in West Bengal set to begin today, many residents of the state’s tribal belt are still waiting for the jobs promised to them during past polls. Local people acknowledge the change in their lives since the Trinamool Congress came to power and the bloodshed stopped. But hurt by corruption by local TMC leaders, they are now forced to look for options.

As the Kerala Assembly election campaign enters the last fortnight, the issue of entry of women into the Sabarimala temple has returned to haunt the CPM. The Opposition hopes to use the issue to push the CPM, particularly popular Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan, into a corner.

Like in every election in the state of Assam, floods have returned as a poll issue. While Home Minister Amit Shah has been promising a “flood-free” Assam, the Congress manifesto emphasises “intensive usage of (GIS) Geographic Information System, (RS) Remote Sensing, and other scientific approaches”.

And Finally 

In Amol Gupte’s admiring biopic ‘Saina’, Parineeti Chopra nails the body language of the top flight badminton player. As Parineeti serves, drops and smashes, the action on court is wholly believable, and helps us get past the wobbly bits of the movie. 

Delhi Confidential: PM Narendra Modi on Friday said that he participated in a satyagraha in 1971 in support of Bangladesh liberation fighters. However, this was not the first time he said so. He first made reference to this in 2015 when he was in Dhaka. 

Until tomorrow, 

Leela Prasad G and Rahel Philipose 

Express Cartoon by EP Unny.

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