QBullet: 2 Protesters Killed in Assam; SC Junks Ayodhya Petitions

1. Two Killed in Northeast Firing as Citizens Protest Citizenship Law

At least two people were killed on Thursday as violence spread to more regions within India’s north-eastern states against the Citizenship (Amendment) Bill, or CAB, with police and paramilitary reinforcements struggling to control massive crowds of protesters who defied curfews in some areas.

The state worst-hit by the violence, and the subsequent lockdown, was Assam where military reinforcements have been sent and a near-total ban on internet services clamped in some regions on Thursday, triggering comparisons with Kashmir by some opposition political parties who have criticised the new law as “discriminatory” and “unconstitutional”.

(Source: Hindustan Times)

2. Ayodhya Verdict: Supreme Court Dismisses Review Pleas

The verdict in the Ayodhya case will be declared on 9 November.

The Supreme Court on Thursday dismissed a clutch of petitions seeking review of its December 9 judgment in the Ayodhya case, which cleared the way for construction of a Ram temple at the disputed site.

A five-judge bench headed by Chief Justice of India S A Bobde, which took up the petitions for consideration in-chamber, said it did “not find any ground… to entertain” them.

(Source: The Indian Express)

3. Congress, Allies Fanning Flames in Northeast: PM Modi

In his first public comments on the Citizenship (Amendment) Bill after it was passed in Parliament, Prime Minister Narendra Modi reached out to Assam, where violent protests against the Bill entered the second day Thursday, assuring people that their identity and culture would be protected. He also accused the Congress and its allies of spreading confusion over the Bill’s provisions and fanning the flames in the North-East.

Taking to Twitter, Modi posted: “I want to assure my brothers and sisters of Assam that they have nothing to worry after the passing of #CAB. I want to assure them — no one can take away your rights, unique identity and beautiful culture. It will continue to flourish and grow.”

(Source: The Indian Express)

4. Industrial Output Contracts for 3rd Month in a Row

Industrial output contracted for the third successive month in October, dragged down by a sluggish manufacturing sector, while retail inflation soared to a near three-and-a-half year high in November on the back of double-digit food inflation, largely led by vegetable prices.

The two datasets unvieled by the National Statistical Office (NSO) on Thursday highlighted more pain for the economy, already in the grip of a sharp slowdown.

(Source: The Times of India)

Also Read: Nov Inflation at 3-Year High of 5.54%, Oct Factory Output Negative

5. Three-Member Panel to Probe Hyderabad 'Encounter'

The Supreme Court on Thursday set up a three-member inquiry commission headed by retired top court judge VS Sirpurkar to find the truth behind the alleged encounter killing of four suspects by police in the Hyderbad veterinarian's rape-murder case, slamming the naming of the dead men in an FIR as a bid to scuttle a fair probe.

The court's comments came after the Telangana government refused to prosecute police personnel involved in the incident on the ground that there was no case against them.

(Source: The Times of India)

Also Read: QBullet: Anti-CAB Rage in Northeast; MEA Slams US on Seeking Curbs

6. 16 Dec Convict’s Review Plea to Be Heard on Tuesday

The Supreme Court will hear on Tuesday the plea filed by one of the four men convicted of the December 16, 2012 gang rape and murder of a physiotherapy student in the national capital, seeking review of its 2017 judgement awarding him death penalty.

A three-judge bench will hear the plea filed by convict Akshay Thakur, whose lawyer has questioned in the review petition the capital punishment at a time life is getting “short” due to rising pollution. Death penalty entails “cold blooded killing” and it does not provide convicts the chance to reform, the review plea said.

(Source: Hindustan Times)

Also Read: QBullet: CAB Passes Parliament Test; Curfew & Army in Guwahati

7. Bangladesh Ministers Cancel Visit to India

A day after Parliament passed the Citizenship (Amendment) Bill, two senior Bangladesh ministers — Foreign Minister A K Abdul Momen and Home Minister Asaduzzaman Khan — on Thursday cancelled their visits to India.

Momen, who had said on Wednesday that CAB could weaken India’s character as a secular nation and rejected allegations that minorities were facing religious persecution in Bangladesh, was scheduled to visit India for the 6th Indian Ocean Dialogue from December 12 to 14.

(Source: The Indian Express)

Also Read: Bangladesh Foreign, Home Ministers Cancel India Trip Over CAB

8. Human Rights Not Part of 2+2 Talks, but J&K to Come Up: US

Human rights issues aren’t part of the second India-US 2+2 ministerial dialogue in Washington next week though Kashmir-related matters and India’s threat perceptions are expected to be on the agenda, the Trump administration’s pointperson for South Asia has said.

Defence minister Rajnath Singh and external affairs minister S Jaishankar will meet their US counterparts Mark Esper and Mike Pompeo in Washington on December 18 for a comprehensive review of cross-cutting foreign policy, defence and security issues.

(Source: Hindustan Times)

Also Read: 2+2 Indo-US Dialogue to be Held on 18 December in Washington: MEA

9. Demand Grows in Congress for Rahul’s Return as Its Chief

As the Winter Session concludes, Congress leaders are all set to step up their demand to bring Rahul Gandhi back as party chief. The Congress has planned a rally against the government’s economic policies December 14.

The rally is likely to be more a show of strength for Mr Gandhi than an attack on the NDA government on its economic policies. At the rally, Congress workers will insist on getting Mr Gandhi back, wear Rahul Gandhi masks and trend with the hashtag #BringBackRahul on the social media.

(Source: The Asian Age)

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