Tuesday, May 30, 2023
Support Our Journalism
HomePlugged InPlugged-In: Mecca Masjid acquittal, Kathua trial starts & Trudeau govt's U-Turn

Plugged-In: Mecca Masjid acquittal, Kathua trial starts & Trudeau govt’s U-Turn

Text Size:

Front Page

Eleven years after a blast at the Mecca Masjid in Hyderabad killed eight people, injured 58, and resulted in riots, NIA court judge Ravinder Reddy acquitted all the five accused, including Swami Aseemanand, Monday. He then resigned hours later citing “personal reasons”. Read The Indian Express for the full coverage. Also, ThePrint’s Apurva Vishwanath reports that the judge’s resignation could be connected to allegations of corruption against him.

Mecca Masjid blast accused Aseemanand, who was acquitted by a special NIA court in Hyderabad | PTI

The weather isn’t small talk in India, it’s front-page news. Hindustan Times tells us that, according to Met predictions, “India’s June-September monsoon, the lifeblood of the world’s third-largest economy, will be normal this year.” With the election year coming up, this spells major relief for the BJP in the backdrop of agrarian distress.

The trial in the Kathua rape-murder case began Monday under principal sessions court judge Sanjay Gupta, with the seven adult accused pleading not guilty. The Times of India reports the “SC also sought J&K’s response to a petition filed by the victim’s father seeking shifting of the trial to Chandigarh”. Meanwhile, The Hindu reports that the apex court has asked the state government to deploy cops in plain clothes to protect the girl’s family and their lawyer Deepika Singh Rajawat. The next hearing is on 28 April.

Kathua and Unnao
A protest demanding justice for the victims of the Kathua and Unnao cases, in Mumbai Sunday | PTI Photo by Shashank Parade

Trudeau’s government seems to have changed its mind about who caused the ‘Sikh extremist’ row with India during the Canadian PM’s visit. Justin Trudeau’s national security adviser Daniel Jean said, in rare public testimony, Monday in Ottawa that “it was definitely not the government of India” that was behind the appearance of an attempted murderer (Jaspal Atwal) at a reception with the Canadian prime minister in Mumbai.

Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau with Jaspal Atwal
Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau with Jaspal Atwal | @CandiceMalcolm

Surendra Nihal Singh, veteran journalist and former editor of The Statesman and The Indian Express, among other newspapers, passed away in Delhi Monday, days before he would’ve turned 89. Known for being a liberal democrat in his editorial outlook, Nihal was a pioneer of fearless journalism.

Bringing out the big guns, India demonstrated the might of its Air Force during the 15-day Gaganshakti-2018 — the largest exercise by the IAF since Operation Brass Tacks in 1987. “More than 1,100 aircraft — half of them fighter jets — have logged over 6,000 flight hours in three days,” Hindustan Times and The Times of India report. The Indian Express also carries the news in a major section on their second page.

In this photo provided by the IAF, soldiers board a C-130J during Gaganshakti-2018 | PTI

Road trip, anyone? A new Gurgaon-Mumbai expressway is going to be built in the next three years, highways minister Nitin Gadkari said Monday. Plans are that it will pass though “the country’s two most backward districts — Mewat in Haryana and Dahod in Gujarat” — and cost about Rs 60,000 crore, The Times of India reports.

Business Class

Many investors of India’s largest online retailer Flipkart have agreed to sell their stakes to Walmart, the world’s largest retailer, reports The Economic Times. But the biggest of all, SoftBank, is asking for a better deal.

Logo of Flipkart
Flipkart logo| Bloomberg

Government is on its way to sell a major share of Air India to private players. RSS sarsanghchalak Mohan Bhagwat sounded a note of caution, saying “the government shouldn’t allow foreigners to gain control of state-owned national carrier Air India”, reports The Economic Times.

News it’s just kinda cool to know

Qutab Minar was lit up red Monday as part of a World Hemophilia Day campaign to increase awareness and understanding about this genetic disease, The Economic Times reports.

The Qutab Minar on 16 April 2018. | Rama Lakshmi

The 2018 Pulitzer Prize winners were announced Monday. Kendrick Lamar won a Pulitzer for music, making him the first rapper, and non-classical or non-jazz musician, to win in the category since its conception in 1943. Yup, ‘Damn’, is definitely the right word here. Check out The New York Times coverage for the full list of winners and more.

Kendrick Lamar | Commons

This isn’t an episode of Black Mirror, robot bees are an actual thing. Flying robot bees named ‘Marsbees’ will help researchers collect accurate data about our neighbouring planet for the purpose of creating topographic maps. The project was awarded $125,000 by NASA’s Innovating Advanced Concepts programme last month for “extraordinary development in space exploration”.

Point of View

Crude oil prices in the international market are moving north. The Hindu, in its editorial, criticises the petroleum pricing policy, writing “In the current situation, it appears that the government has only tied itself up in knots over the petroleum pricing policy, and with it, its reformist credentials.”

Former finance minister and senior BJP leader Yashwant Sinha has criticised the Modi government in his column in The Indian Express for not fulfilling the promises made to voters in 2014. He writes, “The government has now completed nearly four years in office, presented five budgets and used up all the opportunity available to it to show results. At the end of it, however, we seem to have lost our way and the confidence of the voters.”

Yashwant Sinha talking to press
Former finance minister Yashwant Sinha | PTI Photo

The administrations of private schools gathered at Ramlila Maidan on 7 April to protest against alleged government interference in their affairs. Author Gurcharan Das writes in his column in The Times Of India, “Industry was liberated in 1991, but education’s shackles are growing heavier.”

Of late, there seems to be a rethink in the government about foreign policy moves. Suhasini Haidar, in her column in The Hindu, writes, “Bold moves to normalise ties with China and Pakistan will enhance India’s standing.”

With gruesome incidents of rape and murder in Kathua and Surat, there has been a demand to strengthen laws on child rape with provisions for death penalty. IPS officer Abhinav Kumar, in his column in The Indian Express, writes better policing, not tougher laws, will curb the crime.  He writes, “Outrage over heinous crime cannot be a replacement for strengthening rule of law. Civil society must start — and sustain — a debate on the need for improving the quality of policing.”

Students hold placards as they shout slogans during a candlelight march against the Kathua and Unnao cases. | PTI

Subscribe to our channels on YouTube & Telegram

Support Our Journalism

India needs fair, non-hyphenated and questioning journalism, packed with on-ground reporting. ThePrint – with exceptional reporters, columnists and editors – is doing just that.

Sustaining this needs support from wonderful readers like you.

Whether you live in India or overseas, you can take a paid subscription by clicking here.

Support Our Journalism

Most Popular