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Sunday, October 17, 2021

Daily briefing: Rahul Gandhi heads to Lakhimpur today; businessman among 3 civilians killed in Kashmir

Rakesh Tikait said they have “given a week to the government to arrest” Union MoS and BJP MP Ajay Mishra’s son for his alleged involvement in the deaths of four farmers.

By: Express Web Desk | New Delhi |
October 6, 2021 8:36:39 am
Top news, Top news, today, Daily briefing, Lakhimpur kheri, Pandora papers, Rahul Gandhi, Lakhimpur deaths, Kashmir civilians, Climate change, Indian expressA look at the top news today, October 11, 2021.

Good morning,

The Big Story

With no arrests yet in the Lakhimpur Kheri episode so far, farm leader Rakesh Tikait said they have “given a week to the government to arrest” Union MoS and BJP MP Ajay Mishra’s son for his alleged involvement in the deaths of four farmers. On Tuesday, one of the four victim’s families even held up cremation alleging that he had been shot by Mishra’s son Ashish. Tikait said that “they; will gather here again on the day of bhog” — 13 days after the deaths — to “decide future strategy”.

But how did the government defuse escalating tension in Lakhimpur Kheri? By roping in Tikait for mediation. Tikait is learnt to have asked the officer coordinating with him from Lucknow to keep away Opposition leaders as that would make convincing and pacifying the farmers harder. 

Pandora Papers 

In part-3 of the Pandora Papers, investigation of records by The Indian Express revealed that two former officers of the Indian Revenue Service, one who was arrested for alleged corruption and money laundering, and another who was an Income Tax Chief Commissioner, have Swiss bank accounts.

Niranjan Hiranandani, the founder of Mumbai-based real estate major Hiranandani Group, and key members of his family were beneficiaries of a Trust with assets of over $60 million. Niranjan was also the “reserve director” in at least three firms set up in the British Virgin Islands (BVI) by his Dubai-based son.

Rosy Blue, among the largest diamond-trading firms in the world, has figured in every offshore leak since the HSBC records in 2015. The Pandora Papers are no exception. Records show a continuing offshore company formation spree in tax havens such as Cook Islands and in Guernsey, the Channel Islands. Also evident is the rejig of Rosy Blue’s assets in tax havens, mostly in the year 2017, shortly after the Panama Papers expose.

Meanwhile, businessman Tushar Vashisht’s health and fitness app HealthifyMe has been linked to Lang Capital Fund owned by Kirill Androsov, a former aide of Russian President Vladimir Putin, AsiaCiti Trust records show. As per documents, questions were raised on some of the transactions of the LCF to various entities including HealthifyMe Pte Ltd, Singapore, the holding company of HealthifyMe Wellness Private Limited. 

From the Front Page 

A prominent Kashmiri Pandit businessman, who ran two medical stores in Srinagar including one started by his family in 1947, was among three persons killed Tuesday in a series of attacks by suspected militants in J&K, police said. A street food vendor in Srinagar, who hailed from Bihar, and a taxi stand association president in Bandipora were also killed in the attacks, police said.

Must Read

Despite their astounding 100 per cent cut-offs, top courses at premier Delhi University colleges have had many takers. Interestingly though, a majority of applicants with perfect scores have been students from the Kerala Board. In Hindu College, for instance, of a total of 120 admissions for Political Science, all but two of the applicants were from the Kerala Board. Meanwhile in Ramjas, around 80 per cent of students applying for courses such as B.Com were from Kerala.

Across blocks in Kalahandi, one of the six Odisha districts affected by Left Wing Extremism, patchy internet, erratic electricity supply and poor banking penetration have made digital transactions a tedious, long-drawn affair for villagers. In these areas, each bank branch often caters to nearly 200 villages. In fact, Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik recently brought up the issue in a meeting with Home Minister Amit Shah, asking the Centre to improve banking facilities in LWE-affected areas. 

And Finally

For the first time ever, the Nobel Prize for Physics was awarded to three climate scientists — one shared jointly by Syukuro Manabe and Klaus Hasselmann and another to Giorgio Parisi for “groundbreaking contributions to our understanding of complex systems”. We explain why this recognition is significant, and break down the seminal studies that won them the prestigious award. 

Delhi Confidential: Home Minister Amit Shah is likely to visit Jammu and Kashmir later this month as part of Centre’s outreach programmes in the region. This will be his first visit to the region since August 5, 2019 when he announced in Parliament that J&K would no longer enjoy special status under Article 370 and bifurcated the then state into two Union Territories.

In today’s episode of ‘3 Things’, we look at the political fallout of the Lakhimpur Kheri incident, India’s biggest heroin bust, and finally, why India is witnessing an unprecedented fuel crisis. 

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