1. AIADMK Merger Plan Hits a Roadblock
After the initial euphoria over the possibility of a quick patch-up, the warring AIADMK factions are now locked in a stalemate. While the AIADMK Amma group says it is willing to participate in merger talks, the rival camp led by O Panneerselvam continues to be combative, setting preconditions for the talks.
On Thursday, leaders of both factions spoke in defiant tones, indicating that the merger is unlikely in the near future.
AIADMK Amma leaders said they were “willing” to hold talks with the OPS faction and had already constituted a committee. Addressing reporters, Finance Minister D Jayakumar said, “They [the OPS faction] said they were ready for talks. If they fix a date and approach us, we are definitely willing to engage in talks.”
(Source: The Hindu)
2. India Again Seeks Consular Access Over Kulbhushan Jadhav
India has made a 15th request to Pakistan for consular access to the former Navy officer Kulbhushan Jadhav, who was sentenced to death for alleged espionage and sabotage.
A External Affairs Ministry spokesperson said the request for consular access and the process of appeal was made on Wednesday. He maintained that Pakistan had not informed India about Mr Jadhav’s physical condition and location.
“We would like to know officially, what are the options in terms of the process of appeals and how that can be exercised [in Pakistan],” said Spokesperson Gopal Baglay, revealing the demands that India had communicated to Islamabad during the meeting with the Deputy High Commissioner of Pakistan in Delhi. However, he maintained that Mr Jadhav’s health and wellbeing were a cause of worry for India.
(Source: The Hindu)
3. Kalyan Singh Resigned After Babri Masjid's Demolition in 1992, Why Can't He Now, Asks Congress
Stepping up the attack on BJP's senior leaders for their alleged role in the demolition of Babri Masjid, the Congress has demanded resignation of Rajasthan governor Kalyan Singh on moral grounds as he was among the accused.
Leader of opposition Rameshwar Dudi and Congress state spokesperson Pratap Singh Khachariyawas have said that Singh should step down to face the trial ordered by the Supreme Court. "If he does not resign, we will approach the President to get him sacked," Dudi said on Thursday.
A day earlier, the Supreme Court, while resurrecting criminal conspiracy charges against BJP's senior leaders, exempted governor Singh owing to constitutional immunity from prosecution enjoyed by governors under Article 361. Singh was the chief minister of Uttar Pradesh when the Babri Masjid was demolished by a mob on 6 December 1992.
(Source: Times of India)
4. SC Told of Bias Against Forces
Operations against militants or insurgents may be affected if FIRs are lodged against the army, the Supreme Court was told today.
The army also told the apex court that it cannot be subjected to FIRs for carrying out anti-militancy operations in insurgency-prone areas like Jammu and Kashmir and Manipur, while alleging local bias in the judicial inquiries conducted against it in these regions, which have tarnished its image.
"Judicial inquiries that are biased because of local considerations have tarnished the image of the army. Military operations cannot be dissected in a particular way. The army cannot be subjected to FIR, otherwise military operations cannot be carried out," attorney-general Mukul Rohatgi told a bench of Justices MB Lokur and UU Lalit.
(Source: The Telegraph)
5. After China’s Renaming Move, India Reiterates: ‘Arunachal Pradesh is an Integral Part of India’
A day after China ‘standardised’ names for six areas in Arunachal Pradesh, reportedly following the Dalai Lama’s visit to the state last week, India on Thursday made it clear that renaming or inventing a name does not make illegally-held territory legal. In a statement to the media, Ministry of External Affairs Spokesperson Gopal Baglay did not mince his words: “Arunachal Pradesh is an integral part of India.”
The six names renamed by China are as follows: Wo’gyainling, Mila Ri, Qoidengarbo Ri, Mainquka, Bumo La and Namkapub Ri. The corresponding names with their latitude and longitude taken into account list these places as Tawang, Kra Daadi, West Siang, Siang, Anjaw and Subansiri respectively.
While China’s latest move is being seen by some experts as a means to underscore its territorial sovereignty, China said it was a part of a census exercise indicating that more could follow.
(Source: The Indian Express)
6. UP: Hoardings in Meerut Ask Kashmiris to Leave, Cops Take Action Against Accused
Giant hoardings asking “stone-pelting Kashmiris” to leave Uttar Pradesh have sprung up across Meerut in the communally sensitive belt, raising concerns over security of hundreds of students from the militancy-hit state.
Police said on Thursday they have asked the controversial ‘Uttar Pradesh Nav Nirman Sena’, which admitted to have put up the warning signs, to pull down the hoardings or face action.
A case has been registered against Amit Jani, the leader of the organisation, for allegedly spreading communal hatred and will be arrested soon, police added.
(Source: Hindustan Times)
7. Second Wagah: India, Pak Agree to New Ceremony, Beating Retreat on Punjab Border
Amid frosty ties between India and Pakistan, the Border Security Force and Pakistan Rangers plan to open a new front of bonhomie on the Punjab border.
The security forces of the neighbouring countries plan to develop the Sadiqi joint check post (JCP), 13 km from Fazilka, and adjoining Sulemanki in Pakistan as a tourist spot on the lines of the Attari-Wagah JCP soon.
“Sadiqi and Sulemanki have tourism potential so both nations have made up their mind to develop the JCP. It may later lead to the opening of trade and traffic from Pakistan here,” a BSF official said on condition of anonymity.
(Source: Hindustan Times)
8. Supreme Court Sets Alimony Benchmark: 25% of Ex-Husband’s Net Salary
The Supreme Court has set a benchmark for maintenance to be paid by a husband to his estranged wife, stating that 25% of his net salary might constitute a "just and proper" amount as alimony.
A bench of Justices R Banumathi and MM Santanagoudar made the observation while directing a resident of West Bengal's Hoogly, earning Rs 95,527 a month, to set aside Rs 20,000 as maintenance for his former wife and their son, turning down the man's plea that the amount was excessive. The court said the amount of maintenance or permanent alimony must be sufficient to ensure that a woman lived with dignity after separating from her husband.
(Source: Times of India)
9. Political Muscle Flexing Over Champaran Centenary Events
The Central Board of Secondary Education has told schools affiliated to it that educational institutions are not commercial establishments and sale of books, uniforms and stationery by them is a violation of norms.
An advisory has been issued following complaints from parents and stakeholders that schools are indulging in commercial activities by way of selling books and uniforms within the school premises or through selected vendors.
Read the full story on The Quint.
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