Morning Brief: Rahul Gandhi Hints At Sabotage After Flight Develops Snag; SC To Resume Hearing Ayodhya Case; China Increasing Fighter Jets In Tibet: IAF Chief

by Swarajya Staff - Apr 27, 2018 08:11 AM +05:30 IST
Morning Brief: Rahul Gandhi Hints At Sabotage After Flight Develops Snag; SC To Resume Hearing Ayodhya Case; China Increasing Fighter Jets In Tibet: IAF Chief Congress President and Lok Sabha MP Rahul Gandhi. (Sonu Mehta/Hindustan Times via Getty Images)

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

Rahul Gandhi's Plane Develops Snag, Congress Suspects Sabotage

After a special plane carrying Congress President Rahul Gandhi from Delhi to Hubli in Karnataka developed technical sang, his party said that it may have been intentionally tampered and demanded an investigation into the matter. In a letter to Director General and Inspector General of Police Neelmani N Raju, Gandhi’s close aide Kaushal Vidyarthee said that the plane with four people on board developed "unexplained technical failure" during the flight. According to him, the plane tilted heavily to its left before landing and started losing altitude with violent shuddering. The Directorate General of Civil Aviation has issued a clarification on the issue. It has said that there was a snag in autopilot and noted that such incidents are not uncommon. The Congress, however, has filed an FIR against the pilots.

SC To Resume Hearing Ayodhya Dispute Case Today

The Supreme Court will resume hearing in the Ayodhya-Babri Masjid land dispute case today. The top court is currently hearing 13 appeals filed against the 2010 judgment of the Allahabad High Court that mandated a three-way division of the disputed site. Earlier, the court had dismissed all 32 intervention petitions, including one filed by Teesta Setalvad, in the case. The court has also declined a plea by the Sunni Waqf Board and other Muslim petitioners to refer the case to a larger bench. A bench comprising of Chief Justice of India Dipak Misra, Justices Ashok Bhushan and Abdul Nazeer is hearing the case. Bharatiya Janata Party leader Subramanian Swamy on Monday moved the apex court seeking urgent hearing of his plea for enforcement of his fundamental right to worship at the birth place of Lord Ram.

China Increasing Deployment Of Fighter Jets In Tibet: IAF Chief

Just hours before Prime Minister Narendra Modi embarked on his visit to China for an ‘informal’ summit with Xi Jinping, Indian Air Force Chief (IAF) B S Dhanoa said that the country has significantly increased the deployment of fighter jets to the Tibetan plateau. Dhanoa pointed out that the deployment of fighters such as Sukhoi 27 and J-10 fleets to the plateau, which remains covered with snow for the most part of the year, affords the Chines a “year round capability”. Earlier, the Chinese used to deploy aircraft to the plateau only during the summers. He, however, noted that the Chinese face disadvantage due to altitude, cold temperatures and the lack of basic infrastructure. Dhanoa’s comments came just days after the IAF concluded the Ganagn Shakti exercise, its largest combat drill by some accounts.

Bengal Panchayat Poll On 14 May

Panchayat polls in West Bengal, which were earlier scheduled in three phases on 1, 3 and 5 May, will now be held on 14 May, the State Election Commission (SEC) has said. The date was proposed by the Trinamool Congress (TMC) government in the state. The Calcutta High Court had stayed the poll process and directed the SEC to reschedule the election after opposition parties filed a plea, alleging that TMC members were not allowing them to file nominations. The decision to hold a one-phase poll has been criticised by the Opposition, which raised questions about the security arrangements for nearly 58,500 polling booths. The state government has informed the SEC that about 58,000 police personnel will be available during the poll.

At Least 60 Naxals Surrender In Chhattisgarh

Just days after at least 39 Naxals were gunned down by the 60-C Commandos in Maharashtra’s Gadchiroli, 60 Naxals from Abujmarh have surrendered before Bastar Inspector General Vivekananda Sinha in Narayanpur. The rebels, which included 40 men and 20 women, cited disenchantment with the ideology as the reason behind their move. This development comes amid indicator of shrinking influence of Left-wing extremists. Recently, the government removed 44 districts from the list of 126 Naxalism-hit districts of the country. The number districts worst-affected by Maoist violence has also gone down from 35 to 30. According to officials, violence related to Left-Wing Extremism (LWE) has seen a 20 per cent decline in the last few years. The number of LWE-related deaths have come down 34 per cent in 2017.

Government Considering National Policy For Retail Trade

To ensure orderly growth of the fast-growing sector, the government is considering a national policy on retail trade. The Commerce and Industry Ministry has written to the Department of Consumer Affairs to set up a task force for framing the policy. As the consumer affairs ministry is the nodal agency for regulating internal trade and is already in the process of formulating guidelines on e-commerce, it would be appropriate for it to come out with norms for retail trade. Because retail trade is also governed by the Shops and Establishment Act, the commerce ministry will have to take on board state governments while framing the norms.

North’s Kim Jong Un Meets South Korean President

North Korean leader Kim Jong-un walked across the border into South Korea on Friday, becoming the first ruling member of the Kim dynasty to set foot on southern soil since the end of the Korean War in 1953. He met South Korean President Moon Jae-in for talks aimed at ending their decades-long conflict and easing tensions over the North’s nuclear weapons programme. Kim was accompanied by nine officials, including his sister Kim Yo-jong. This comes ahead of Kim’s planned meeting with US President Donald Trump to discuss denuclearisation.

MUST READ OPINIONS AND COLUMNS

Couple Therapy: The Modi-Xi meeting in Wuhan city is not centred on outcomes but on greater understanding of the other.

Payroll Data Defangs Dubious Critics: The government has done well to put the data on public domain. This may rob some people of the pleasure of frivolous nit-picking and of the opportunity to indulge their unfounded prejudices.

SWARAJYA SPECIAL

DMK, Congress Complicated Cauvery Dispute, Mr Stalin!

There’s a century-old history to the Cauvery river water dispute and involving several different players and many moments of action or lack thereof. Treating the problem as if it is of Modi’s making is to ignore the facts and play politics.

We hope you enjoyed reading our morning brief. Have a great day ahead!

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