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Karnataka police may have caught Gauri Lankesh’s killer, and Delhi CM’s dharna goes on

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Gauri Lankesh ‘killer caught’: The special investigation team (SIT) probing the murder of journalist-activist Gauri Lankesh has arrested Parusharam Waghmare, believed to be the man who pulled the trigger on the Bengaluru-based journalist, reports Rohini Swamy for ThePrint. Besides Waghmare, four others were arrested in May for allegedly plotting the crime. Amol Kale, arrested in May for links with the Lankesh murder, has turned out to be a crucial link between the murder of Lankesh and those of other rationalists such as M.M. Kalburgi, Govind Pansare and Narendra Dabholkar.

Kejriwal dharna to continue: Unrelenting in his demand that the lieutenant governor order IAS officers to end their nearly four-month-long “strike”, Delhi CM Arvind Kejriwal has made it clear that his dharna at Raj Niwas will continue. State minister Satyendar Jain has launched an indefinite hunger strike over the demands, but so far remains the only one following the Gandhian path, reports The Indian Express

Press Council of India to decide if media can use the word ‘Dalit’: Days after the Bombay High Court asked the I&B ministry to consider issuing a direction to the media to stop using the word Dalit, the Press Council of India (PCI), the print media watchdog, is likely to issue an advisory on the issue, reports The Asian Age.

Mayawati lashes out at the Narendra Modi government: BSP chief Mayawati Tuesday accused the Narendra Modi government of “insulting” the judiciary, referring to the row over the appointment of judges, reports The Telegraph. Her statement follows union law minister Ravi Shankar Prasad’s comments that the executive was not committing a “cardinal sin” in seeking the reconsideration of some recommendations made by the Supreme Court collegium.

Madhya Pradesh spiritual guru ‘commits suicide’: Self-styled model-turned-spiritual guru Bhaiyyuji Maharaj shot himself in the head in Indore, reports The Hindustan Times. He reportedly left behind a suicide note saying he was “stressed out” and “fed up”. The spiritual guru was said to have been close to many prominent politicians. The member of a Narmada conservation panel, he declined the state government’s offer of a minister-of-state rank in April. Known for his good looks and conspicuous presence at the swearing-in of Prime Minister Narendra Modi in 2014, he was often described as the “the metrosexual godman who walked among the movers & shakers of government”.

File image of Bhaiyyu Maharaj | YouTube
File image of Bhaiyyuji Maharaj | YouTube

UK judge wants Op Blue Star file to be made public: Dismissing the argument that the move could hamper diplomatic ties with India, a UK judge has ordered the declassification of documents that can shed further light on Britain’s involvement in Operation Blue Star reports The Times Of India. The files that must now be released in full include papers on UK-India relations from 1983 to 1985 — covering a meeting between the then British PM Margaret Thatcher and Indira Gandhi’s adviser, L.K. Jha, the situation in Punjab, Sikh activities, and the assassination of Gandhi.

India welcomes Trump-Kim summit: The ministry of external affairs, Tuesday, said the meeting would usher in “lasting peace” and urged that Washington’s diplomatic breakthrough with Pyongyang address the Pakistan-North Korea nuclear and missile links too, reports The Hindu.

Indian highways get a health check: The NHAI will conduct a pre-tender health check on highways and share data with bidders, reports The Business Standard. As part of the exercise, consultants will establish how good an asset is, its age, and the material used in its construction.

Health expenses pushed 55 million Indians into poverty in a year: A study conducted by experts from the Public Health Foundation of India has estimated that about 55 million Indians were pushed into poverty in a single year because of having to fund their own healthcare, reports The Times of India. Cancer, heart diseases and diabetes account for the largest chunk of spending by households on health and is the reason behind the ‘catastrophic expenditure’ for many.

Business Class

After its failed bid to sell Air India, the government is considering another attempt to sell it, and may offer buyers a 100 per cent stake, reports Business Standard.

The winning bid for Ruchi Soya, the edible oil firm, came from the Gautam Adani-led Adani Group, at Rs 6,000 crore, reports The Economic Times. Baba Ramdev-promoted Patanjali Ayurved stood second with an offer of Rs 5,700 crore.

News its just kinda cool to know

‘Digital textbooks’ a hit with Tamil Nadu kids: New textbooks introduced for classes I, VI and IX in Tamil Nadu include QR codes that link to relevant videos, reports The Hindu. To date, there have been nearly 3.8 lakh distinct users of the QR codes to access online resources, hosted on DIKSHA, the national digital platform of the HRD ministry.

Point of View

The historic summit between US President Donald Trump and North Korean leader Kim Jong-un has evoked a variety of views. The Hindu, in its editorial, writes that it’s a bold beginning that must lay the foundation for a stronger US-North Korea relationship.

North Korean leader Kim Jong-un shakes hands with U.S. President Donald Trump | Getty Images
North Korean leader Kim Jong-un shakes hands with US President Donald Trump | Getty Images

The Karnataka police SIT has reportedly arrested journalist Gauri Lankesh’s killer. The Times of India, in its  editorial, writes, “If journalists and intellectuals are felled by bullets and afterwards justice is not served, it seriously undermines freedom of opinion in the country and India’s fair name as a democracy gets tarnished.”

The Centre’s notice inviting private employees for stints in the bureaucracy ignited a debate about civil service reforms. Academicians Milind Sohoni and Oshin Dharap write in their column in The Indian Express that it is a much-needed step and similar attempts should be made at the state level.

As the 2019 Lok Sabha polls draw near, political parties have begun to “compete with each other in promising the moon to farmers”, journalist T.K. Arun writes in his column in The Economic Times. “Politicians are scrambling to waive loans, raise procurement prices and promise more handouts. These will change little. Radical, multi-faceted reform is needed, and that calls for politics, not magical promises to double farmer incomes by 2022,” he adds.

Media Watch

Reporting on large-scale corruption in India is not easy, and if you come from a small town, the consequences can be immediate and far-reaching. The Hoot reports how T. Srinivas Rao, a part-time reporter with a small district newspaper covering the ongoing saga of alleged corruption in the mega Polavaram Multipurpose Project was mobbed outside his home and had to flee to safety. The incident highlights the dangerous challenges that frank and fearless reporting continues to pose.

Prime Time

L-G’s ‘inaction’, CM’s dharna

On NDTV India’s 9 pm show, Nidhi Kulpati elaborated on what led to Arvind Kejriwal’s dharna and Satyendar Jain’s ‘indefinite fast’ at lieutenant governor Anil Baijal’s residence. AAP’s Saurabh Bharadwaj, while holding a copy of the Civil Services Conduct Rules, said despite the fact that ‘Rule 7’ prohibited civil servants from joining any kind of strike, officials had been doing so for four months and the L-G, who alone had the power to act on it, had taken no actions against them.

“This is nothing more than a drama. They are used to lying. All officials are working and have taken no leave,” countered the BJP’s Rajesh Sharma. Sudhir Krishna, a former secretary in the union government, said, “I know all the officials personally, they have good intentions and great capacity.”

Arvind Kejriwal, Manish Sisodia, Satyendar Jain and Gopal Rai stage a dharna outside the L-G’s office | Facebook

‘Can extend a helping hand’

On CNN News18, anchor Maha Siddiqui questioned the effectiveness of Arvind Kejriwal’s dharna. “Continuously indulging in conflict and blame game is not the way. The state will suffer,” said Congress member Sharmistha Mukherjee. Defending his party, AAP member Ashish Khetan remarked that it was in the nature of the opposition to defame the party and accuse it of doing nothing for Delhi. “How can the bureaucracy stop functioning in a state? It’s unconstitutional,” said Khetan. Former bureaucrat Sushil Chandra Tripathi reached for the middle ground. “The LG can play a major role in solving the issue, he can invite the CM and deputy CM and hold talks to solve the issues and extend a helping hand,” he said.

Ramzan ceasefire a good idea?

Times Now’s Anand Narasimhan focused on the attacks on security forces in Kashmir despite the Ramzan ceasefire. He played a video where a youth can be seen throwing an object, which Narasimhan said was a grenade. Accompanied by the hashtag #EndRamzanCeasefire, a so-called survey (why doesn’t Times Now give us the survey sample?) and a graph that ran through the show told us that most viewers wanted the ceasefire to be called off.

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