India Flash

Times Top10: Today’s Top News Headlines and Latest News from India & across the World

5 THINGS FIRST

Maldives President Ibrahim Mohamed Solih on a 4-day visit to India; Data release – manufacturing PMI for July; Bombay HC hearing on PIL against Maha govt’s decision to rename Aurangabad; EC to start campaign to link Voter ID with Aadhaar card; 2nd T20– India Vs West Indies at Basseterre, St Kitts

1. Shiv Sena MP Sanjay Raut arrested by ED after raid on house
1. Shiv Sena MP Sanjay Raut arrested by ED after raid on house
The Enforcement Directorate (ED) on Sunday raided the Bhandup residence in Mumbai of Sanjay Raut, Shiv Sena MP of the Uddhav Thackeray faction, a day ahead of the party’s hearing in the Supreme Court today against the Election Commission’s proceedings in the Shiv Sena symbol row with the Eknath Shinde faction. He was later detained by the agency.

Why is Raut on ED’s radar?

  • The ED had summoned Raut in connection with a money laundering case related to redevelopment fraud of Goregaon’s Patra Chawl in Mumbai. Raut however, refused to appear twice, citing the ongoing parliament session and had sought exemption from appearance till August 7, which was refused by the ED.
  • According to the ED, Raut’s wife Varsha, along with Swapna Patkar — estranged wife Sujit Patkar, a “close associate” of Raut — and now a prime witness for the ED, purchased a land parcel in Alibaug with money diverted by Pravin Raut, a friend of Sanjay Raut and a shareholder in Guru Ashish Construction (GAC), which is a subsidiary of HDIL.
  • GAC paid Rs 50 crore to Pravin Raut for his stake in the company with HDIL paying him another Rs 45 crore for a land deal at Palghar. The ED arrested Pravin in February this year and also attached his properties worth Rs 72 crore.

Remaining defiant

  • Just prior to Raut’s detention by the ED, former Maharashtra Chief Minister Uddhav Thackeray said Raut “may get arrested” and that the “ED guests'” raids were part of a “conspiracy to finish off the party” as the “Shiv Sena gives strength to Hindus and Marathi people.”
  • Raut, who claimed he is innocent and had committed no wrongdoing in the Rs 1,200 crore money laundering scam involving the redevelopment of Patra Chawl, swore his allegiance to both Shiv Sena founder Bal Thackeray and the party, saying he would never leave it.
2. Bid to topple Jharkhand govt? Cong, BJP trade charges
2. Bid to topple Jharkhand govt? Cong, BJP trade charges
Alleging that the BJP was trying to topple the JMM-led government in Jharkhand by offering Rs 10 crore to each MLA, the Congress on Sunday said it had lodged a police complaint against its three legislators arrested in West Bengal’s Howrah with a huge amount of cash. The Congress and RJD are part of the JMM-led ruling coalition.

3 MLAs held

  • Acting on a tip-off, the West Bengal Police on Saturday evening intercepted an SUV in which Jharkhand Congress MLAs Irfan Ansari, Rajesh Kachchap and Naman Bixal Kongari were travelling, and allegedly found a huge amount of cash in the vehicle. After questioning, they were arrested on Sunday afternoon.

Allegation against Assam CM

  • “Rajesh Kachchap and Naman Bixal Kongari were asking me to come to Kolkata and were offering money, promising Rs 10 crore per MLA. Ifran Ansari and Rajesh Kachchap wanted to take me to Guwahati from Kolkata where according to them a meeting was fixed with Assam chief minister Himanta Biswa Sarma,” Bermo MLA Kumar Jaimangal claimed.
  • Jaimangal had lodged the police complaint against his three party colleagues for allegedly luring other MLAs with Rs 10 crore each and a ministerial berth if the BJP forms government in the state. The three legislators have already been suspended by the Congress party.

Sarma’s ‘friends’

  • Meanwhile, Assam CM Sarma said in Guwahati that he continues to be in contact with Congress leaders because of his long association with the party, downplaying the allegations of his involvement in a plot to topple the Jharkhand government.
  • Before joining the BJP in 2015, Sarma had been a minister in the then Congress-led government in the state.

BJP hits back

  • Rejecting the Congress charge, BJP spokesperson Syed Zafar Islam in Delhi accused the grand old party of shifting the blame for its own legislators’ wrong-doing and made the counter-claim that Jharkhand has become a “den of corruption”.
3. Is there a message behind the new Delhi police chief’s appointment?
3. Is there a message behind the new Delhi police chief’s appointment?
The Ministry of Home Affairs (MHA) announced the appointment of Sanjay Arora, an IPS officer of the 1988 batch belonging to the Tamil Nadu cadre as Delhi’s next Commissioner of Police. He will take charge today from Rakesh Asthana, whose extended term ended on Sunday.

Who’s he?

  • Arora has served as superintendent of police (SP), special task force formed to tackle the Veerappan gang against whom it achieved notable successes and for which he was awarded the CM’s Gallantry Award for Bravery and Heroic Action.
  • Currently serving as Director General of the Indo-Tibetan Border Police (ITBP), Arora, who’s served in various capacities in the Tamil Nadu police, has also been awarded the Police Medal for Meritorious Service in 2004, President’s Police Medal for Distinguished Service in 2014, Police Special Duty Medal, Antrik Suraksha Padak and UN Peacekeeping Medal among others.
  • An NSG-trained commando, Arora played a key role in establishing the special security group (SSG) in 1991 to provide security cover to the Tamil Nadu chief minister during the peak of LTTE insurgency.

Brewing discontent?

  • Arora’s appointment as Delhi’s top cop is the second successive instance when the Centre has roped in an officer form a outside the Arunachal Pradesh, Goa, Mizoram and Union Territories (AGMUT) cadre to head the national capital’s police force — with outgoing police commissioner Asthana belonging to the Gujarat cadre.
  • This is also the first time that two back-to-back police commissioners of Delhi do not hail from the AGMUT cadre, though Arora has been inducted into the AGMUT cadre on deputation. The last time — prior to Asthana — a non-AGMUT cadre IPS officer became Delhi’s police commissioner was in 1999 when Ajay Raj Sharma of the Uttar Pradesh cadre took charge.
  • Arora’s tenure, which is expected to last till his superannuation on July 31, 2025, also means that several IPS officers of the AGMUT cadre of the 1989-90 batch will also superannuate by the time he retires and officers from some subsequent batches may also not be in the reckoning for the top cop’s job as they will have less than 10 months of tenure, which could work against them.
4. Is South Asia facing a new terror threat?
4. Is South Asia facing a new terror threat?
India’s federal anti-terror agency on Sunday conducted searches on 13 premises of “suspects” with possible links to the Islamic State (IS) across six states — Madhya Pradesh, Gujarat, Bihar, Karnataka, Maharashtra and Uttar Pradesh.

The NIA case

  • A case in the matter was registered suo motu by the National Investigation Agency (NIA) on June 25 under sections 153A, and 153B of Indian Penal Code and sections 18, 18B, 38, 39 & 40 of Unlawful Activities (Prevention) Act.
  • The searches conducted on Sunday have led to the seizure of incriminating documents/material.

One detained

  • A madrassa student, hailing from Karnataka, was detained for questioning by an NIA team for suspected terror links.
  • The student, Farukh, was staying in Deoband of UP’s Saharanpur. He is fluent in many languages and was allegedly in touch with a module of the Pakistani intelligence agency ISI via a social media app.

UN report

  • Meanwhile, a UN report claims the Islamic State in Iraq and the Levant-Khorasan (ISIL-K) seeks to strengthen its capabilities by recruiting members from other terror groups and if succeeded in regaining control over the lost territory in eastern Afghanistan, the outfit may prove difficult for the Taliban to reverse such gains.
  • The 15th report of the Secretary-General on the threat posed by ISIL (Da’esh) to international peace and security and the range of United Nations efforts in support of member states in countering the threat said on Saturday that the militant group views Afghanistan as a base for expansion in the wider region for the realisation of its “great caliphate” project. More details here
6. ‘Routine snags, no cause for alarm’
6. ‘Routine snags, no cause for alarm’
Aviation watchdog DGCA’s chief Arun Kumar on Sunday said technical snags faced by domestic carriers in recent weeks did not have the potential to cause havoc and that even foreign airlines that came to India reported 15 technical snags in the last 16 days.

Protocols followed

  • The country’s civil aviation space is “absolutely safe” and all the protocols laid down by the International Civil Aviation Organisation (ICAO) are followed, he said.
  • In recent times, more than a dozen instances of Indian carriers facing technical snags have become public, especially in the case of SpiceJet.
  • From April 1 to June 30 this year, a total of 150 incidents occurred to the aircraft operated by scheduled airlines due to component and system malfunction, according to the civil aviation ministry.

Foreign airlines

  • “All the snags experienced are routine and happen with all airlines and all types of fleet. In the last 16 days, even for the foreign operators who come to India, we have seen 15 technical snags, which have been attended and rectified,” Kumar told PTI.
  • Specific details about snags that were faced by the overseas carriers were not disclosed. According to Kumar, the snags faced by the foreign operators were similar to that encountered by the Indian carriers.
7. Russia invites UN to probe Ukrainian prisoners deaths
7. Russia invites UN to probe Ukrainian prisoners deaths
  • Acting “in the interests of conducting an objective investigation”, the Russian Defence Ministry on Sunday said that it has invited experts from the United Nations and the Red Cross to investigate the deaths of 53 Ukrainian prisoners of war (PoW) held in a jail in Dontesk region by Russian-backed separatists during a bombing last week attributed to Russian forces.
  • Moscow, which has denied that it bombed the jail, blamed Ukraine for the attack while the latter said Russian artillery deliberately targeted the prison to hide evidence of the mistreatment of the PoWs held there. Moscow in fact claimed that Kyiv carried out the attack using US-supplied Himar missiles as a deterrence against intended surrender by the Ukrainian forces.
  • Ironically, Russia’s invitation to the UN and the Red Cross came on the back of massive missile strikes on Ukraine’s southern port city of Mykolaiv carried out on Saturday night and early Sunday morning which resulted in the killing of the owner of one of Ukraine’s largest grain producing and exporting companies, Oleksiy Vadatursky, founder and owner of agriculture company Nibulon, along with his wife.
  • The killing came just a day ahead of the expected departure of the first grain-exporting ship from Ukraine today, according to a statement by Turkish president Recep Tayyip Erdogan. However, Ukraine’s president Volodymyr Zelenskiy warned that war could result in Ukrainian harvest this year “to be twice less” — or in other words, half as much as usual.
8. NASA’s concern about Chinese rocket debris
8. NASA’s concern about Chinese rocket debris
A Chinese rocket fell back to Earth on Saturday over the Indian Ocean but US space agency NASA said Beijing had not shared the “specific trajectory information” needed to know where possible debris might fall. Social media users in Malaysia shared a video of what appeared to be rocket debris.

Norms violated?

  • “All spacefaring nations should follow established best practices and do their part to share this type of information in advance to allow reliable predictions of potential debris impact risk,” NASA Administrator Bill Nelson said. “Doing so is critical to the responsible use of space and to ensure the safety of people here on Earth.”
  • Aerospace Corp, a government funded nonprofit research center near Los Angeles, said it was reckless to allow the rocket’s entire main-core stage — which weighs 22.5 tons (about 48,500 lb) — to return to Earth in an uncontrolled reentry.

What China said

  • The Chinese Embassy in Washington did not immediately comment. China said earlier this week it would closely track the debris but said it posed little risk to anyone on the ground.
  • The Long March 5B blasted off July 24 to deliver a laboratory module to the new Chinese space station under construction in orbit, marking the third flight of China’s most powerful rocket since its maiden launch in 2020.
  • Fragments of another Chinese Long March 5B landed on the Ivory Coast in 2020, damaging several buildings in that West African nation, though no injuries were reported.
9. Did Prince Charles accept money from bin Laden’s family?
9. Did Prince Charles accept money from bin Laden’s family?
  • A Sunday Times report has said that Prince Charles’ charitable foundation, the Prince of Wales Charitable Fund (PWCF), accepted £1 million (Rs 9.66 crore at current exchange rates) from Al Qaeda founder Osama bin Laden’s family as donation despite several of Charles’ closest advisors asking that he return it. According to a statement by Clarence House, the official residence of Charles and his wife Camilla, while Charles did not personally accept the money, the charity he heads accepted the money after “thorough due diligence was undertaken.”
  • The donation, which came in 2013 — two years after Osama bin Laden was killed by US forces in Pakistan — after a meeting of Charles with Bakr bin Laden, the septuagenarian patriarch of the wealthy Saudi family and his brother Shafiq — both of whom are half-brothers of Osama bin Laden, the man who masterminded the 9/11 attacks in the US that killed almost 3,000 people in a single day.
  • This is not the first time that Charles’ charity has courted controversy — earlier this year, in another report, the Sunday Times revealed that the future British monarch had personally accepted cash totalling €3 million (Rs 24.3 crore at current exchange rates) between 2011 and 2015 in three lots from Qatar’s former PM, Sheikh Hamad bin Jassim bin Jaber Al Thani. Clarence House had tacitly admitted to this, saying Charles accepting bags of cash for charity “would not happen again.”
Answer to NEWS IN CLUES
Answer to NEWS IN CLUES

Ellora caves will become the first monument in the country to have a hydraulic lift to facilitate easy movement of people in wheelchairs, according to a statement by the Archaeological Survey of India (ASI). The caves, which have temples dedicated to Buddhism, Jainism and Hinduism, also house the largest rock-cut Shiva temple, called Kailasa Temple in Cave 16. Since it’s located in village Verul in Maharashtra, with Leni being the local word for caves, they are also called Verul Leni.

Follow news that matters to you in real-time.
Join 3 crore news enthusiasts.

Written by: Rakesh Rai, Tejeesh Nippun Singh, Jayanta Kalita, Prabhash K Dutta
Research: Rajesh Sharma

Source link

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.