OpIndia Evening Dispatch: Thursday, 7th February, 2019

A quick round-up of people and events that made news today.

In the hustle and bustle of the day, it is only natural to miss some of the biggest developments that impact the nation. The OpIndia Evening Dispatch will catch you up on the day’s event even if you have been busy thus far.

1. Congress spreads fake news by saying India is global number 1 in fake news

Today the Congress party posted a tweet from its official Twitter handle saying that India has become the number 1 country in the world for fake news. Quoting a report by dubious website newscentral24x7, the party mocked the Modi government for this ‘achievement’.

But when we checked the original survey report by Microsoft, we have found that there is no truth in the claim that India is number 1 in fake news. According to the report, Argentina tops the list of fake news, followed by Columbia and Hungary.

2. Bihar: Worshipping Bharat is against our belief, said Afzal Hussain, a school teacher as he refused to sing Vande Mataram

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A scuffle broke out in Katiyar, Bihar, on 26th January when Afzal Hussain, a school teacher refused to sing Vande Mataram on Republic Day.

As per reports, for the Republic Day function in school when everyone was to sing Vande Mataram, Hussain refused to join in. Those present at the venue were surprised and asked Hussain to get up from his seat and participate in singing. But he refused to get up. He said, “I only worship Allah. And it is not written in the Constitution that I need to participate in singing Vande Mataram.”

3. Winner of Nobel Prize in Economics rubbishes ThePrint report about him helping Rahul Gandhi on election promises

Nobel laureate Angus Deaton has denied Shekhar Gupta’s ThePrint’s report which claimed that he is helping Congress shape the minimum income scheme.

On 31st January, ThePrint ran a report by one D. K. Singh who claimed that Angus Deaton, a British economist who won the Nobel Prize in Economics in 2015 along with French economist Thomas Piketty are advising the Congress on its minimum income guarantee program.

However, when OpIndia reached out to Deaton, he denied being associated with Congress or Rahul Gandhi. In a one-line email, Deaton said that he has had no contact with Congress on this or anything else.

4. A bad, sexist joke is still fine, Shatrughan Sinha, but you came up with a bad example

Last night, at a book launch, rebel BJP leader Shatrughan Sinha took a jibe at #MeToo movement which took the nation by storm where many men in the powerful position were called out by women for allegedly being sexual predators.

Sinha cracked a sexist joke saying that in the era of ‘#MeToo’, there is no hesitation in saying that behind every successful man’s fall also there is a woman. As if the sexist joke which in a sly manner blames women for calling our their sexual predators which led to ‘downfall of successful men’, Sinha went ahead and added “I think I have been fortunate that despite doing all that I did, my name hasn’t popped up in the #MeToo”.

5. More troubles for Congress as Vadra asked to appear before ED in Jaipur on February 12

Congress General Secretary Priyanka Gandhi’s husband, Robert Vadra, who is accused of being involved in dubious land deals and is also facing probe in money laundering case, has now been asked to appear before the Enforcement Directorate on February 12. Yesterday, Vadra was grilled for hours at the ED office yesterday where his wife, Congress General Secretary had dropped him off.

6. Andhra Pradesh Assembly passes resolution demanding SC status for ‘Dalit Christians’

A resolution has been passed in the Andhra Pradesh Assembly appealing to the Central government that ‘Scheduled Caste Christians’ be provided the benefits of reservations despite converting out of the Hindu faith.

The resolution was proposed by Chief Minister Chandrababu Naidu. He said that ‘Dalit Christians’ had been fighting for reservations for decades and that their demand was justifiable. He said that ‘Dalit Christians’ should be treated on par with Dalit converts to Sikhism and Buddhism. The resolution was also supported by BJP MLAs in the Assembly.

7. All 7 seven accused convicted by court in Kawal double murder case which had triggered the 2013 Muzaffarnagar riots

A sessions court on Wednesday convicted seven accused in the Kawal double murder case of August 2013, which is said to have triggered the infamous Muzzafarnagar riots, which had left almost 60 people dead and more than 50,000 people were displaced. Five of the convicted are already in prison, while the bail of the other two stands cancelled.

Muzassim, Muzammil, Furquan, Nadeem, Jehangir, Afzaal and Iqbal have been convicted for beating to death Gaurav and Sachin on the day of August 27, 2013. They were convicted by the court after examination of 10 prosecution witnesses and 6 defence witnesses.

8. Kerala: University denies permission to north Indian students to perform Saraswati Puja as it is ‘secular campus’

The Vice Chancellor of Cochin University of Science and Technology in Kerala has declined permission to ‘North Indian students’ to perform Saraswati Puja in the Kuttanad campus of its Engineering college. The reason cited is that its a “secular campus” and therefore, can’t permit the Puja.

It is the same college where students had claimed last year that they were misled into eating beef. The Principal was accused of feeding beef to his students to satisfy his ego.

It is also interesting to note that Christmas is regularly celebrated in this same ‘secular campus’.

9. In Congress-ruled Madhya Pradesh, family of 8-year old gang rape survivor asked to vacate house

The Indore Development Authority (IDA) has told the family of an 8-year old gang-rape survivor from Mandsaur who were allotted a house and a shop in the city by the previous BJP government, to vacate their home. The officials claimed that no official order was issued by the previous BJP government.

The child was abducted, gang-raped and had her throat cut by the perpetrators last year. She had to struggle for her life for five months in a hospital.

10. Congress promises to scrap anti Triple Talaq law if voted to power

Addressing All India Congress Committee’s meet, Congress leader Sushmita Dev said that if Congress comes to power, then Congress will scrap the Triple Talaq Bill, which was brought in by the Modi Government making triple talaq an offence.

“Through Triple Talaq Bill, Narendra Modi has given a reason to Muslim women to fight with Muslim men and send them to jail,” Dev said to a cheering audience. Congress, ironically, wants to bring about the women reservation bill even as they promise to allow triple talaq.

11. Vijay Mallya has links with corporate lobbyist Deepak Talwar: ED before court

The Enforcement Directorate (ED) has claimed before the Patiala House Court in Delhi during the hearing of the AgustaWestland case that fugitive businessman Vijay Mallya has links with corporate lobbyist Deepak Talwar. ED said that Talwar and Mallya are linked in a money laundering case related to negotiations favouring foreign private airlines and causing loss to national carrier Air India.


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