QBullet: Army Uses Human Shield in J&K; India Calls Off Pak Talks

1. Video of 'Army Using J&K Youth as Human Shield' Triggers Storm

A video of a Kashmiri youth tied to the fender of an Army jeep as a "shield" sparked a major controversy even as Army sources maintained on Friday that the man was a stone-pelter and that the move facilitated safe passage of a five-vehicle convoy without a bullet being fired.

Protests from human rights groups and criticism from most political parties after the video went viral, however, saw the Army order a probe into what was purportedly an operation to "extricate" trapped security personnel.

Former Jammu and Kashmir chief minister Omar Abdullah posted pictures and a video on Twitter along with a comment:

This young man was tied to the front of an Army jeep to make sure no stones were thrown at the jeep? This is just so shocking!

Source: The Times of India

Also Read: Man Tied to Army Jeep in Video Identified as Budgam Resident

2. Kulbhushan Jadhav Issue: India Retaliates, Calls off Security Dialogue With Pakistan

Kulbhushan Jadhav, who Islamabad claims is an Indian spy, was sentenced to death by a Pakistani military court for espionage. (Photo: The Quint)

Amid fresh turmoil in ties with Pakistan over the death sentence to Indian national Kulbhushan Jadhav, India has decided to put on hold all bilateral exchanges.

The government on Friday called off talks between the two countries on maritime security which was scheduled for 17 April. India officially conveyed to Pakistan that it wasn't prepared to host a delegation of Pakistan Maritime Security Agency (PMSA) which was supposed to travel to India on Sunday.

As first reported by ToI on 27 March, the two countries had approved dialogue between PMSA and Indian Coast Guard in a sign that they were looking to break the stalemate caused by the attack last year on an Indian army camp in Jammu and Kashmir's Uri.

Source: The Times of India

Also Read: Kulbhushan Jadhav: Pakistan Stands on the Wrong Side of Law

3. Quit as Defence Minister Due to 'Pressure' of Key Issues Such as Kashmir: Manohar Parrikar

Manohar Parrikar. (Photo: IANS)

Goa chief minister Manohar Parrikar on Friday said the pressure of some key issues, like Kashmir, was one of the reasons why he opted to quit as the defence minister and return to the coastal state.

Parrikar was sworn in as the Chief Minister for the fourth time last month after BJP managed to stitch together a coalition after the assembly election in the state. Parrikar, who held the cabinet position, resigned from the post to take up the chief ministership.

“The pressure of the issues like Kashmir while working as defence minister in Delhi was one of the reasons why I chose to come back to Goa,” Parrikar said while addressing a gathering on the occasion of the 126th birth anniversary of Dr BR Ambedkar.

Source: PTI

Also Read: How Parrikar and the BJP Got a Fix on Power in Goa

4. Yogi Adityanath: No Holidays in Schools on Birth or Death Anniversaries of Personalities

Yogi Adityanath. (Photo: IANS)

Schools in Uttar Pradesh will no longer get holidays on the birth or death anniversaries of great personalities, Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath announced on the 126th birth anniversary of Bhimrao Ambedkar on Friday.

The tradition of closing schools on these occasions should come to an end and institutions will remain open on such days to hold two-hour special events on the life of these personalities, and their contribution to the country and society, Adityanath said.

The UP government had recently ordered primary schools across the state to organise programmes on the life and ideology of Ambedkar on 13 or 15 April.

Source: The Indian Express

Also Read: Yogi Barely Bearable: Does Modi Truly Believe UP Needs Adityanath?

5. Maya Names Brother as No. 2, Says Ready for 'Anti-BJP' Front

Bahujan Samajwadi Party chief Mayawati. (Photo: PTI)

Weeks after the BSP’s dismal poll performance in Uttar Pradesh, party president Mayawati on Friday appointed her younger brother Anand Kumar as the party’s new national vice-president, officially designating him as her No 2. Mayawati also said she is ready to join hands with “other anti-BJP parties”.

While the political reach-out was mainly in the context of her allegations of tampering of electronic voting machines, the decision to elevate Kumar came as a surprise and drew charges of nepotism from dissenting voices within the BSP.

Addressing party workers at Ambedkar Memorial in Lucknow on the birth anniversary of BR Ambedkar, Mayawati also defended her election strategy of fielding 100 Muslim candidates. She said the community was part of the BSP movement.

Source: The Indian Express

Also Read: ‘After 5 Years of Hell Under SP, People Want Mayawati to Rule UP’

6. Defer Delhi MCD Polls Until EVMs Are Equipped With Paper Trails: Kejriwal to State Election Commission Chief

Arvind Kejriwal told reporters that the poll panel was using “redundant” EVMs. (Photo: The Quint)

The Election Commission (EC) should defer the Delhi civic polls by a month or two if it cannot equip all electronic voting machines (EVM) with paper trails, Delhi chief minister Arvind Kejriwal said on Friday.

The Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) chief also told reporters that the poll panel was using “redundant” EVMs in the Delhi Municipal elections that could be hacked “even by a child”.

“I am an engineer from IIT, I can tell you 10 ways to tamper with EVMs,” he told news channel NDTV in a separate interview.

Source: Hindustan Times

Also Read: EVM Row: Kejriwal Wants MCD Polls Deferred, SEC Turns Down Request

7. Parliament Panel Seeks Law to Keep 'Non-Serious' Parties Out

Welcoming the Election Commission’s decision to de-register 255 political parties that existed only on paper, a House panel has sought more stringent provisions relating to registration of political parties to ensure non-serious parties are not able to register.

In its recent report, the Standing Committee on Personnel, Public Grievances Law and Justice, headed by Anand Sharma of the Congress, noted that participation of political parties in Lok Sabha elections has increased three-folds since 1989.

It said:

The possibility to regulate registration of political parties and suspension/cancellation of their registration through a law of Parliament may also be explored to prevent misuse of facilities/benefits available to registered political parties by unscrupulous elements.

Source: The Indian Express

8. Wife of Indian Techie Who Killed Himself in US Attempts Suicide

The wife of a techie who allegedly committed suicide in the US earlier this month sought to kill herself in Hyderabad on Friday after her husband’s family blamed her for his death, her family said.

Swati consumed toilet cleaner at her house in Kuthapet area. Family members rushed her to a hospital, where her condition was critical.

Madhukar Reddy Gudur was found hanging from a fan in his house in Seattle on 4 April. Swati was also working as a software professional in the northwestern US city. The couple, who recently moved to their new home, have a four-year-old daughter.

Source: Hindustan Times

9. Six Months on, No Trace of Najeeb: Delay in Tracing Auto Driver, No CCTV Footage Bring Probe to Halt

It was an auto driver who last remembers seeing JNU student Najeeb Ahmad, who went missing exactly six months ago. For a month after the case was registered, however, the special investigation team (SIT) of the south district — which was probing the case — could not trace the driver. The case was then transferred to the Crime Branch, which managed to trace him within three days.

According to sources, had the SIT traced the driver — who claimed to have dropped Najeeb at Jamia Millia Islamia — earlier, they would have gained access to CCTV footage and got clues about where he had gone.

Source: The Indian Express

Also Read: ‘Will Send Najeeb to 72 Virgins’: JNU Student Recalls Mob’s Threat

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