Today’s Big Stories
2 dead, several wounded in police firing as thousands defy curfew to protest against Citizenship Bill in Assam
Violent mobs torched buildings and clashed with police in Assam, leaving two people dead and 11 with bullet wounds, as protests escalated against the Citizenship Amendment Bill, which became law on Thursday night after the President's approval. Thousands of agitators descended on the streets defying the curfew while mobile internet and SMS services remain suspended. Curfews are also in places in several Assam towns and districts.
‘Internal issue’?: As protests simmered through the Northeast, Bangladesh’s foreign minister AK Abdul Momen and home minister Asaduzzaman Khan called off their visits to India. Momen cancelled after saying that the contentious Bill could weaken India's historic character as a secular nation and rejected the allegations that minorities are facing religious persecution in Bangladesh.
Running late: Meghalaya CM Conrad K Sangma postponed a scheduled meeting with Union Home Minister Amit Shah as his cabinet colleagues failed to reach the Guwahati Airport to board a plane to Delhi, amid curfew and violent protests in the neighbouring state.
Voters turn out in huge numbers for historic general election in UK, results to be declared today
Millions of enthusiastic voters flocked to polling stations across the UK for the country's first December election in nearly a century to determine the fate of Brexit. The first exit poll result will be declared in the wee hours of Friday (22.00 GMT) as soon as polling stations close. The snap election had been called by Johnson in a bid to win a majority for his Conservative Party and get his Brexit deal through Parliament. The UK is due to leave the EU but has failed to find parliamentary consensus on the terms of that exit, missing repeated deadlines - the last one being on October 31.
In Other News
At last: A fortnight after Uddhav Thackeray was sworn in as chief minister, the Maharashtra Vikas Aghadi finally distributed portfolios. All key ministries have been divided between the six ministers - two each from Sena, NCP and Congress - who were sworn in along with Thackeray. The list, however, did not include any designation for the deputy chief minister's post.
Double trouble: In twin shocks for the economy that is battling a prolonged slowdown, the retail price based consumer inflation has spiked to a three-year high while the index of industrial production has contracted.
Dismissed: The Supreme Court on Thursday dismissed all the 18 review petitions challenging a Constitution Bench's order in the Ayodhya case that had cleared the way for construction of a Ram Temple at the disputed site.
Telangana encounter: The Supreme Court appointed a three-member inquiry commission headed by former apex court judge VS Sirpurkar to inquire into the circumstances leading to the encounter killing of the four accused in the Telangana gang rape and murder case. The commission will submit its report in six months.
Jharkhand polls: Over 62 per cent voter turnout was recorded at the end of third-phase elections, in which 17 assembly seats of Jharkhand went to polls. Amid tight security voters exercised their franchise in the 17 seats across eight districts. Police said the polling passed off peacefully.
On Our Specials
Good fences make good neighbours: The fact that Bangladesh is India’s friend has been reiterated several times in the recent past both in words and gestures. Ministry of external affairs spokesperson Raveesh Kumar said it was most appropriate that the first day-night pink ball test match in India be inaugurated by a “good friend of India”. Maha Siddiqui writes that while it is true that the two countries have reflected utmost bonhomie since Sheikh Hasina returned to the helm of affairs, amidst the friendliness, tough and tricky questions have also been asked away from the public glare.
The many layers of the onion: The year 2019 has been an eventful one for me. From being a humble ingredient and garnish that lent its aroma and flavour to make curries thicker and gravies more sumptuous, I have grown in stature to become perhaps the most important political issue in India today. Rakhi Bose recounts the year for the onion in this autobiographical account.
Curated and compiled by Chitwan Kaur