QBullet: Agusta Middleman Reaches India; 4 Arrested in Bulandshahr

1. Agusta Deal Middleman Michel Brought to India

British businessman Christian James Michel, 57, the alleged middleman in the multimillion-dollar AgustaWestland helicopter deal, was on Tuesday, 4 December, extradited to New Delhi from Dubai, in a move that many see as a significant win for the Indian government.

The extradition coincides with a visit to the UAE by India’s External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj. Both the Central Bureau of Investigation and the Enforcement Directorate have filed cases against him. Michel landed in a chartered flight along with Indian officials at 11:05 pm at the IGI Airport’s Terminal 3.

The move is even more significant because Michel is a British national being extradited to India from Dubai.

(Source: Hindustan Times)

2. UP Cop’s Killing: 4 Held, Main Conspirator From Bajrang Dal on Run

Twenty-seven people were named in an FIR registered on Tuesday, 4 December, over Monday’s violence in Bulandshahr’s Syana in which station officer Subodh Kumar Singh and an 18-year-old youth, Sumit Kumar, were killed, while cases were lodged against 60 unidentified people.

Four people – Chaman, Devendra, Satish and Ashish Chauhan – were arrested while the main conspirator, Yogesh Raj, who is the district convenor of Bajrang Dal, is still on the run.

On Tuesday, additional director general (intelligence) SB Shirodkar arrived in Bulandshahr and began a probe into the violence sparked by a rampaging mob protesting against alleged cow slaughter. He is expected to submit his report within 48 hours.

(Source: The Times of India)

3. BJP Leaders Cry Conspiracy as UP Govt Comes Under Pressure

Two Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) lawmakers attempted on Tuesday, 4 December, to draw a link between the Bulandshahr violence and an Islamic congregation held nearby, drawing flak from Opposition parties that blamed the ruling party of fanning communal passions before the 2019 general elections.

Police officials pay tribute to Police Inspector Subodh Kumar Singh, during a wreath-laying ceremony in Etah.

Union Minister Uma Bharti called the violence, which left two people dead, “both worrying and serious.”

“The administration should have been alert to the fact that a huge crowd had gathered there for “Ijtema” and they should have found out from where the carcasses of cows, which were found dumped outside the village, came from,” she said in Madhya Pradesh, referring to the Tablighi Ijtema, a three-day Islamic congregation that concluded on Monday.

(Source: Hindustan Times)

4. Guv Satya Pal Malik Assures ‘Re-examination’ of J&K Bank’s Accountability to Legislature

Less than a fortnight after turning the Jammu and Kashmir Bank into a public sector undertaking, Governor Satya Pal Malik on Tuesday, 4 December, said that the government will re-examine the accountability of the J&K Bank to State Legislature.

Jammu and Kashmir Governor Satya Pal Malik.

According to an official spokesperson, the Governor in a meeting with a delegation of J&K bank employees said all Government owned/controlled companies are accountable to the legislature in some respect, “however, in view of the concerns expressed, and to give comfort to the employees, the government will re-examine the issue of accountability to the legislature.”

He also pointed out the “word PSU has no legal connotation,” adding that the Bank is registered as a government company under the Companies Act and it continues to be a Government Owned Company. “No new changes are being made here,’’ he added.

(Source: The Indian Express)

5. We’ll Work Everything Out, Says US on India’s Defence Deal With Russia

The US and India steered past a few wrinkles in announcing on Monday, 3 December, that they are strengthening their burgeoning defence and military ties based on a common vision of promoting peace and security across the region and the globe.

Defence Minister Nirmala Sitharaman with her US counterpart James Mattis. 

In a warm bilateral meeting with defence minister Nirmala Sitharaman at the Pentagon, her US counterpart James Mattis brushed aside questions about India’s purchase of the Russian S-400 air defence system, saying, “We’ll work everything out, trust me”. The threat of US sanctions had loomed when India signed the $5 billion S-400 deal with Russia.

Mattis also recognised India’s stakes in Afghanistan that some analysts suspect will be sidelined following President Trump’s recent outreach to Pakistan PM Imran Khan. “We are looking for every responsible nation to support peace in the subcontinent, and across this war in Afghanistan,” Mattis said.

(Source: The Times of India)

6. 2-3 Solutions Available to Kashmir Issue, Says Imran

Prime Minister Imran Khan has said Pakistan is looking at two or three different options to resolve the Kashmir issue, which, he added, can be settled only through dialogue in a phased manner. Khan made the remarks during an interaction with a group of Pakistani TV anchors on Monday. However, he declined to go into specifics of the options being considered by Islamabad.

Pakistan is looking at “two or three solutions” to the Kashmir issue that can be implemented in a “gradual way or in phases, but I can’t speak about them in public till the dialogue (with India) starts”, Khan said.

“There are two ways for India and Pakistan to settle their issues – either dialogue or war. It is unimaginable for two nuclear-armed countries to go to war because it will have unintended consequences,” said Khan. “Once it begins, war doesn’t remain in your control. Neither they nor us can win a proxy war.”

(Source: Hindustan Times)

7. SC Lets I-T Dept Reopen Gandhis’ Files

The Supreme Court on Tuesday, 4 December, allowed the income tax department to proceed against Congress chief Rahul Gandhi and his mother, Sonia, by reopening their tax assessments for 2011-12 relating to Associated Journals Ltd, the publisher of National Herald, but restrained it from enforcing its assessment order during the pendency of their plea before it.

The apex court said that it was not possible for it to adjudicate the petition of the Gandhis this month and that it was necessary to pass an interim order because the reassessment would be hit by a time bar.

(Source: The Times of India)

8. Left Alone, We Can Get Along

Had the cow carcasses been allowed to have been buried as the villagers of Mahav had wanted, matters are unlikely to have spun out of control and ended in blood spill.

Proof was on display, not too long ago and not too far away.

Over the weekend in another village in Bulandshahr, Hindus had opened the doors of a temple to Muslims caught up in a snarl en route to a renowned religious congregation.

As hundreds of Muslims had begun to arrive from across the country to Bulandshahr town for the three-day religious congregation that started on Saturday, many local people could not reach the mosque in Jainur village nearby in time to offer namaz because of traffic snarls.

Mahav – where the carcasses were found, igniting the flare-up – and Jainur are around 35km apart.

In Jainur, Hindus held a meeting and decided to throw open the gates of the Shiv temple to let Muslims offer prayers in the compound.

(Source: The Telegraph)

9. Earmark Courts for Pending Cases Against Lawmakers: SC

The Supreme Court on Tuesday, 4 December, asked high courts to designate more courts to fast-track the disposal of criminal cases pending against sitting and former lawmakers, pointing out that 430 such cases are about grave offences carrying up to life imprisonment as punishment.

Chief Justice of India Justice Ranjan Gogoi. 

A bench led by Chief Justice of India (CJI) Ranjan Gogoi issued the directions after going through a report giving the current status of the pending cases. Submitted by senior advocate Vijay Hansaria, the amicus curiae in the matter, the report says that charges are yet to be framed against MPs and MLAs in 1,991 out of a total of 4,122 cases.

Calling the contents of the report “alarming, disturbing and scary,” the top court said more courts were needed to hear these matters. At present, 12 special courts in 11 states exclusively hold trials of cases against sitting and former lawmakers on the directions of the Supreme Court to the state governments.

(Source: Hindustan Times)

. Read more on India by The Quint.RSS & BJP’s Nehru-Netaji ‘Cosplay’: Irony Dies a Thousand DeathsQBiz: RBI to Inject Rs 10,000 Cr Through Open Market Operations . Read more on India by The Quint.