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The Indian Express remembers the 32-year struggle of Hashimpura survivors & victims’ kin

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Overturning a trial court verdict of 2015, the Delhi High Court sentenced 16 personnel of the UP Provincial Armed Constabulary (PAC) to life imprisonment for the 1987 Hashimpura massacre, reports The Hindu.

More than 40 Muslims from Hashimpura in Uttar Pradesh were rounded up in a PAC truck in May 1987 and shot. Thirty-eight died, but five survived to recount the horror.

Putting the story of the survivors and relatives of the victims on the front page, The Indian Express writes, “They had to rely on donations to attend court, while staying afloat on meagre pay in power looms, local shops and construction sites.”

Hailing the Delhi High Court verdict, The Hindu writes in an editorial, “The en masse acquittal was a travesty of justice… It is to the credit of the Delhi High Court that it was not content with merely examining the evidence produced before the trial court.”

In other big news, the Supreme Court Wednesday directed the government to furnish the details of the pricing of the Rafale fighter jets in a sealed cover, reports The Indian Express.

In another report, The Hindu quotes AAP leader Sanjay Singh, one of the petitioners, as referring to the court order as “a slap” on the face of the Narendra Modi-led dispensation at the Centre.

Meanwhile, calm seemed to have returned to the RBI-government relationship. In a statement issued Wednesday, the government asserted that it respected the autonomy of the RBI but that this independence was subject to provisions of the RBI Act, reports The Economic Times.

Business Standard reports, “Liquidity crisis: Centre, RBI see eye to eye in ‘public interest’”. RBI governor Urjit Patel has called a meeting of the board on 19 November to discuss the matter.

Former union minister M.J. Akbar Wednesday recorded his statement in a Delhi court in the defamation case he filed against journalist Priya Ramani, reports The Indian Express. The paper quotes Akbar as having said, “I was attacked in my personal capacity about alleged and fabricated non-events allegedly done two decades ago. I chose in that environment to seek justice in the personal capacity…”

Ramani is one of nearly 20 women who have accused Akbar of sexual harassment. The only major English newspaper to put the Akbar report on the front page is The Hindu. Hindustan Times has put it on Page 8, The Times of India on Page 13, and The Indian Express on Page 8.

On the front page of The Indian Express Thursday, a former Taj Hotels employee who accused former MD and CEO Rakesh Sarna of sexual harassment went on the record with her story. The alleged harassment had happened in 2014-15.

Prime Time

Statue of Unity mean to score a political point?

India Today anchor Rajdeep Sardesai led a debate on whether the Statue of Unity was being reduced to political symbolism, amid the row kicked up by allegations that opposition leaders were not invited to its inauguration Wednesday.

BJP spokesperson Sambit Patra said, “Why should we invite anyone from the Gandhi family in order to unveil the statue? They almost owned the country and the country was their property.”

Congress spokesperson Priyanka Chaturvedi hit back, “The problem is that instead of respecting Sardar Patel, the BJP is trying to gain political mileage by building his statue.”

Lines between ‘Hindutva’ and ‘Rashtravadi’ blurring?

On CNN News 18, anchor Anand Narasimhan discussed whether the lines between ‘Hindutva’ and ‘Rashtravadi’ were getting blurred ahead of the 2019 elections.

The debate stems from Congress president Rahul Gandhi’s recent remark that “I am not a Hindu leader but a leader of the nation”, and Uttar Pradesh CM Yogi Adityanath’s reply that “a nationalist leader and a Hindu leader are synonyms”.
RSS supporter and academic Geeta Bhatt said Rahul Gandhi was a political Hindu.

“He uses this word [Hindu] only for political reasons and for religious rituals,” she added.
Lawyer Mehmood Paracha said, “The country is facing a problem with the RSS and the mentality of the RSS… they want to build a Hindu rashtra. The minorities of the country are not against Hinduism but against RSS.”

News it’s just kinda cool to know

NASA has launched an eight-episode podcast series – On a mission – that follows the explorer InSight as it attempts to land on Mars on 26 November, IANS reports.

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