OpIndia Evening Dispatch: Wednesday, 6th 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. Two top UPA leaders planted the 2012 Indian Army ‘coup’ story, claim media reports

According to a report on The Sunday Guardian, top leaders in UPA-2 wanted the Intelligence Bureau to prove the ‘coup attempt’ by the Army and eventually planted a news report in the media.

The report states, “The top leadership of the UPA 2 government, in the last few months of 2011 and early 2012, had informally indicated to the Intelligence Bureau (IB) to try and establish that the Army, under its then chief, General V.K. Singh, was attempting a coup to topple the government.” When the IB reported that there was no way V.K. Singh would carry out any coup, “this fiction was “leaked” to the media, which carried the story.

2. Madhya Pradesh: 3 persons charged under NSA for cow slaughter, first instance under Congress rule

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In what is reportedly a first, the Congress government in Madhya Pradesh has invoked the stringent National Security Act (NSA) on three persons arrested for cow slaughter in the state. As per reports, three days ago, the police in Khandwa received information that some people have slaughtered cows in the Moghat area on January 31.

Though the three accused were initially booked under the sections 4,6 and 9 of the Prohibition of Cow Slaughter Act, upon the recommendation of the SP, the district collector has sanctioned charges under the NSA.

3. JNU sedition case: Patiala House Court pulls up Kejriwal government over case delay, fixes next hearing for 28th February

The Patiala House Court in Delhi today fixed the next hearing in the JNU sedition case for 28th February. The Court asked the Delhi Police to get Arvind Kejriwal-led Delhi Government to expedite the matter and provide sanction for the JNU sedition case charge sheet. The court said that they (the government) cannot stop the file.

The Delhi government had received the charge sheet on January 14 but no action was taken on it.

4. Robert Vadra appears on posters outside Congress headquarters the day he is summoned by ED in money laundering case

Days after Robert Vadra, Congress President Rahul Gandhi’s brother-in-law, got interim protection from arrest till 16th February, he appeared on posters put up outside Congress headquarters welcoming his wife and Rahul Gandhi’s sister Priyanka Gandhi formally in the party.

5. UN Refugee card holder Rohingyas among six arrested for theft on Noida metro tracks

At least four UN Refugee card holder Rohingyas were among the six nabbed by the Police for allegedly stealing copper wires from the metro stations and metro tracks in Noida and Delhi. According to reports, the accused would steal copper wires by climbing over the station’s wall and have multiple cases of theft lodged against them.

6. Madhya Pradesh: Officer summoned by CBI in Bofors case found dead under mysterious circumstances

SC Khatua, a junior works manager (JWM) of the Guns Carriage Factory was reportedly found dead in a drain behind section 2 of the factory area in GCF in Jabalpur, Madhya Pradesh yesterday.

As per reports, the 45-year-old Khatua was summoned by the CBI for an inquiry into the charges of supply of Chinese spare parts for the production of indigenised Bofors guns used by the army.

7. Kerala: Kanaka Durga gets a court order to enter her in-law’s house after she was not allowed for desecrating Sabarimala temple

Kanaka Durga, one of the two women who had entered the Sabarimala shrine on 2nd January said she was finally able to enter her in-law’s house after a local court ordered that she be allowed to enter.

We had reported earlier that Kanaka Durga, one of the two women who had desecrated Sabarimala Temple, was involved in a brawl with her mother-in-law after she returned home from her adventure and was denied entry.

8. Supreme Court issues notice to Prashant Bhushan on contempt plea filed by Centre and Attorney General

On 5 February the union government had filed a contempt petition against advocate Prashant Bhushan in Supreme Court, a day after Attorney general KK Venugopal had lodged a similar petition, accusing Bhsuan of exercising vindictiveness and recklessness while tweeting about the appointment of interim CBI director M Nageshwar Rao.

Now following which, the Apex court today issued a notice to Prashant Bhushan regarding the contempt plea.

9. Another activist turns politician, Hardik Patel may contest upcoming elections from Amreli

The Patidar leader from Gujarat, Hardik Patel on Wednesday has declared that he will contest the upcoming Lok Sabha elections. The announcement came at a rally he was addressing in Lucknow. Hardik Patel is on a two-day rally in Rajasthan after touring Uttar Pradesh.

Though it is not clear if Hardik is going to contest the elections from a political party or as an independent candidate. Hardik might contest the Lok Sabha polls from Amreli in Gujarat.

10. While the temple board does a U-turn, Supreme Court reserves its judgement on the Sabarimala review petitions

Almost four months since the SC allowed women of menstrual age into the Sabarimala temple, the court today began hearing the review petitions challenging its September verdict.

The five-judge bench of Supreme court, comprising of CJI Ranjan Gogoi, Justice Rohinton Nariman, AM Khanwikar, DY Chandrachud and Indu Malhotra are hearing 65 petitions that urge a review of the previous verdict.

The total 65 petitions include 56 review petitions and 4 fresh writ petitions.

11. Congress General Secretary Priyanka Gandhi reaches ED Office with her husband in connection with money laundering case

Congress General Secretary and Congress President Rahul Gandhi’s sister, Priyanka Gandhi reached the Enforcement Directorate (ED) office with her husband, Robert Vadra. Priyanka dropped off her husband at the ED office and then left. Priyanka Gandhi’s office’s ‘exclusive pictures’ of her door and name-plate had gone viral on the social media yesterday after various media channels ran the ‘exclusive’ report.

Vadra has been summoned by the Enforcement Directorate today in connection to the money laundering case and dubious land deal cases.

As many as 7 officers were present during the questioning and about 42 questions were prepared by the investigating officers.

Opinion:

Coverage of Priyanka Gandhi’s closed office door is one of the lowest points of Indian journalism

Prominent Indian journalists, household names, all standing outside the door of a nondescript room, presumably in the Congress Headquarters, bombarding us with breathless coverage of the name plate.

Or maybe I should call it a “surname plate” because that is all they came to see. They saw the magic surname written in magical letters, drank the psychological nectar and then went home, much fulfilled.


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