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Friday, September 17, 2021

Daily Briefing: Assam, Mizoram keep forces at the border, no backing down; Pulwama attack prime accused killed in encounter

Police said the commander was the mastermind behind the attack on a CRPF convoy in Pulwama in 2019 that had left 40 dead.

By: Express Web Desk | New Delhi |
August 1, 2021 7:58:09 am
Daily briefing: Delta surge makes Quad rethink, rollout may be year early; Article 370 disputed, 371 can be a way out, says ex-J&K Deputy CM Muzaffar Hussain BaigA look at the top news today, August 1, 2021.

Good morning, 

Big Story 

The Assam-Mizoram border crisis continues as both the states decided to not honour the summons they had issued to each other over the July 26 border clashes. Both states also have their forces at the border, along with the CAPF — neither ready to back down. 

Express in Tokyo 

Growing up in Haridwar, there were many in her neighbourhood who didn’t want Vandana Katariya to play hockey. But her father Nahar Singh took on those who were against girls pursuing sports seriously. On Saturday, Vandana became the first Indian woman to score a hat-trick at the Olympics — her three goals helping India win their final pool match. 

From the Front Page

A top Jaish-e-Mohammad commander, who police said belonged to the family of Masood Azhar, was among two militants killed in a gunfight in South Kashmir’s Pulwama. The commander was also the mastermind behind the attack on a CRPF convoy in Pulwama in 2019 that had left 40 dead.

The body of Danish Siddiqui, a Pulitzer Prize-winning Reuters photojournalist who was killed in Afghanistan on July 16, was badly mutilated while in the custody of the Taliban, officials said this week. One Indian official said the body had nearly a dozen bullet wounds and that there were tyre marks on Siddiqui’s face and chest.

The NITI Aayog has mooted that candidates who have studied any three of the 14 subjects in Class 12 as proposed by the AICTE (All India Council for Technical Education) in its new norms for engineering may be “allowed to compete” in the all-India entrance examination. As such, the new norms will do away with the mandatory requirement of physics and math for undergraduate engineering programmes.

Must Read 

After a year of lockdowns and restrictions, restaurants, cafes and shopping malls are finally seeing patrons return in larger numbers, albeit still not at pre-pandemic levels. Several key indicators, including an increase in visits to retail establishments, point to an uptick in economic and business activity— but with a clear caveat. Experts concur that consumption levels remain subdued due to incomes hit by the pandemic, enhanced household spending on health and fears of a third wave weighing heavy.

During a recent meeting with the BJP, leaders from 35 affiliates of the RSS urged the Uttarakhand government to come up with a population control policy to ensure a “demographic balance”. They claimed that the Muslim population has increased — particularly in Dehradun, Haridwar, Udham Singh Nagar and Nainital — over the years, and there has been unauthorised development of Muslim religious sites.

Praveen Kumar has been walking from Saharanpur for the last four days. His destination — the Supreme Court, which he plans to approach for being wrongly named in a religious conversion racket by Uttar Pradesh ATS last month.

For the residents of Lailapur in Assam, the violent clashes that took place at the border with Mizoram — leaving six policemen dead and scores more injured — brought back memories of similar “maati ka tension (tension over land)” that has taken place in the past. A daily wage labourer recalls the death of his son during clashes that broke out in October 2020, another businessman remembers how he helped impose an economic blockade that was later lifted. But most agree that this time, the battle is at a much higher level. 

And Finally 

At the 2017 Art Basel, Gurgaon-based artist Subodh Gupta laid out a seven-course feast for over 20 guests. The message of the art installation was this — “Food might have become politicised and factors such as religion and ethnicity might have come to influence it, but it certainly has the ability to bring people together.” Gupta is not alone. Many artists have been exploring our essential relationship with food to defy prejudice, mark history and nurture connections. 

Until tomorrow, 

Rounak Bagchi and Rahel Philipose

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