Morning Brief: Army Jawan Abducted, Killed In Kashmir; Bhima Koregaon Accused Organised Lecture In JNU; More Trouble For Chidambaram In Aircel-Maxis Case

Morning Brief: Army Jawan Abducted, Killed In Kashmir; Bhima Koregaon Accused Organised Lecture In JNU; More Trouble For Chidambaram  In Aircel-Maxis Case Army Jawan abducted by terrorists from Jammu and Kashmir. (ANI)

Good morning, dear reader! Here’s your morning news and views brief for today.

Army Jawan Abducted And Killed In Kashmir

A jawan of the Indian Army, who was abducted in Pulwama in Kashmir on Thursday morning, has been killed by the terrorists. The body of the jawan, identified as Aurangzeb, was found by a team of police and Army at Gussu village, nearly 10 km away from Kalampora, in Pulwama district. The jawan was shot in his head and neck. A resident of the state’s Poonch district, the jawan was involved in the encounter of Hizbul Mujahideen terrorist Sameer Tiger. He was abducted by heavily armed gunmen while returning home onboard a bus after completing his duty. The jawan was attached with the 23 Rashtriya Rifles. The jawan’s father retired from the Indian Army, his uncle died fighting terrorists in 2004 and his brother is also an Indian Army soldier. In a similar case in May last year, terrorists had abducted Lieutenant Ummer Fayaz, while he was attending a family wedding and killed him.

Bhima Koregaon Accused Organized Lecture In JNU

Four men arrested in connection with the Bhima Koregaon violence were allegedly involved in planning and executing a series of lectures in Delhi’s Jawaharlal Nehru University “in memory” of a Maoist killed in police encounter, police told a court in Pune on Tuesday. After the accused were produced before it, the court extended the police custody of the four till 21 June. Public prosecutor Ujjwala Pawar told the court that the accused were asked to execute the lecture series plan at the behest of the Communist Party Of India (Maoist) outfit. She also noted that enticing students to join the banned organisation is a deep rooted conspiracy, and called it “a big threat to national security”. Funds were provided to the four accused to execute “anti-national activities”, the prosecutor told the court.

More Trouble For Chidambaram In Aircel-Maxis Deal Case

The Enforcement Directorate (ED) may call former Department of Economic Affairs (DEA) Secretary Ashok Jha for questioning in connection with the Aircel-Maxis deal case. The Foreign Investment Promotion Board (FIPB) meeting in October 2016, during which Foreign Direct Investment (FDI) was approved for Aircel Televentures, was chaired by Jha. The agency has already questioned former finance minister P Chidambaram and his son Karti Chidambaram in the case. According to the agency, P Chidambaram granted FIPB approval in the Aircel-Maxis DFI case even though he was authorised to accord approval to project proposals only up to Rs 600 crore and required an approval from the Cabinet Committee on Economic Affairs for projects beyond that. The ED is now investigating “the circumstances of the FIPB approval granted (in 2006) by the then finance minister.”

Goa Chief Minister Parrikar Returns To India

Goa chief minister Manohar Parrikar, who was being treated in the United States for advanced pancreatic cancer since more than three months, has returned to India. Parrikar was received by state Health Minister Vishwajit Rane at the airport. He did not speak to the media and went directly to his residence in Dona Paula. Parrikar is expected to chair a meeting of the state’s council of ministers on Friday. However, some reports claim that the cabinet meeting, scheduled for today, has been cancelled. Parrikar had been monitoring the affairs of the state from the US. He had left for the US on 7 March after forming a cabinet advisory committee to guide the state administration on governance and other issues, in his absence.

Railways To Deploy Undercover Men To Check Service Quality

The Indian Railways is planning to deploy ‘undercover men’ to keep an eye on the services offered in trains and at railway stations. Dressed in plain clothes, these men would monitor the quality of food, staff behaviour, and other services offered onboard trains and at the railway stations while acting as normal passengers. The identity of the ‘mystery shopper’ to be deployed by the Railways will not be revealed at any point to field officials. This is one of the many proposals that the Railways is considering to monitor the quality of its services. The Railway Board is deciding if the Quality Council of India can also be engaged for the purpose.

India Rejects UN Report On Jammu and Kashmir

A report prepared by the Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights, which alleged that India was violating human rights in Kashmir, was on Thursday categorically rejected as “fallacious, tendentious and motivated” by New Delhi. India has questioned the intent behind the report and termed it to be a selective compilation of largely unverified information. UN human rights body chief Zeid Ra'ad Al Hussein, a controversial figure, has called for an investigation into "all civilian killings since July 2016" and also into "the excessive use of force by security forces including serious injuries caused by the use of pellet guns immediately." The 49-page report is the first of its kind on Kashmir. Reacting to the report, the Ministry of External Affairs said the entire State of Jammu & Kashmir is an integral part of India and Pakistan is in illegal occupation of a part of the Indian State through aggression.

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