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Daily Briefing: No UPA now, says Mamata; HC grants default bail to Sudha Bharadwaj

Sudha Bharadwaj is the first among 16 activists and academicians arrested in the case to have been granted default bail. Poet-activist Varavara Rao is currently out on medical bail.

By: Express Web Desk | New Delhi |
December 2, 2021 8:21:06 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, December 2, 2021.

Good morning, 

The Big Story 

“What UPA? There is no UPA now…” 

That was Trinamool Congress chief Mamata Banerjee responding to questions from the media after her meeting with NCP chief Sharad Pawar. She also took a dig at Congress leader Rahul Gandhi when she said: “You can’t be abroad most of the time.” Banerjee, who was once part of the  UPA (United Progressive Alliance), also stressed that it will be “very easy to defeat the BJP” if “all regional parties are together”. 

Bonus read: We explain how political exigencies led to the formation of the UPA and the many challenges it faced including arm-twisting by some allies, desertion of many constituents between 2004 and 2014

Only in the Express

A kitchen store-room, an office that cannot be traced, a plaque and little else, a rented hall that was once a godown, the list goes on. Of as many as 16 centres for research that the five-year-old Mahatma Gandhi Central University (MGCU) in Motihari, Bihar, has launched during the pandemic lockdown only two have the approval of statutory bodies. 

From the Front Page 

The prime accused in the lynching of AASU leader Animesh Bhuyan died allegedly in a road accident while trying to flee police custody. Niraj Das was among the 13 arrested, including his father and brother, after Bhuyan was beaten to death on a busy street in Jorhat town. Soon after the incident, Special DG G P Singh, appointed by Chief Minister Himanta Biswa Sarma to personally supervise the inquiry into Bhuyan’s killing, tweeted: “For every action, there is an equal and opposite reaction – Newton’s Third Law.”

“The unprecedented scale and spread of anti-Muslim violence in Gujarat in 2002 took place under which government?”

This was one of the questions that appeared in the CBSE’s Sociology test in the Term 1 Board Exams for Class 12. Options offered to the multiple-choice question were:  “Congress”, “BJP”, “Democratic” and “Republican”. The Board apologised for it, called it “inappropriate”, and promised “strict action” against “responsible persons”.

The Bombay High Court granted default bail to lawyer-activist Sudha Bharadwaj, an accused in the Elgar Parishad case, but rejected the pleas of eight others who had applied for bail on similar grounds. She is the first among 16 activists and academicians arrested in the case to have been granted default bail. Poet-activist Varavara Rao is currently out on medical bail. Jesuit priest Stan Swamy died in a private hospital on July 5 this year, while waiting for medical bail. 

Must Read 

For a chilling 66 hours, four residents of Jharkhand’s Tilataand village in Bokaro found themselves trapped inside a discarded coal mine after one of its entrances collapsed. “For two days, we remained at the same spot because we could still hear the stones falling above…Then, we felt the air coming in from somewhere, which lifted our hopes,” Anadi Singh, one of the four, recalled. On Monday morning, the residents of Tilataand were shocked to see the four men emerge near a temple about 3 km from where they had entered.

In a first for the Madhya Pradesh police, a woman constable has been allowed to undergo a gender reassignment surgery. The 30-year-old constable had moved an application for sex reassignment operation in 2019 after undergoing the required psychological and biological tests, police said. She is likely to undergo the sex reassignment surgery at AIIMs in Delhi. 

Funds released under the Poshan Abhiyan Programme stand severely under-utilised, according to data released by the Women and Child Development (WCD) Ministry. Of the Rs 5,31,279.08 lakh released for the programme, which is aimed at curbing malnutrition in the country, only Rs 2,98,555.92 lakh has been utilised. A closer look at state-wise spending shows that while West Bengal hasn’t utilised any of the funds allotted to it, UP has spent only a small fraction.

And Finally 

“I am still dealing with it. It’s still in the process.” It’s been four months since shooting ace Manu Bhaker returned from the Tokyo Olympics, where a spot in the finals eluded her in the three events she took part in. But the 19-year-old, who was considered a favourite to medal at the Games, is yet to overcome the demons of the Tokyo disappointment.

In today’s episode of ‘3 things’, we discuss the big takeaways from India’s Q2 GDP data, the Centre’s revised guidelines after the discovery of the Omicronvariant of coronavirus, and the  details of lawyer-activist Sudha Bhardwaj’s default bail. 

Until tomorrow, 
Leela Prasad G and Rahel Philipose

Express cartoon by EP Unny.

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