Morning Brief: Pakistan Habitual Ceasefire Violator; Fodder Scam Ruling Today; Macron Elected French President

Morning
Brief: Pakistan Habitual Ceasefire Violator; Fodder Scam Ruling Today; Macron Elected French
PresidentBSF soldiers guarding LoC in Jammu and Kashmir. (AUSEEF MUSTAFA/AFP/Getty Images)

Good Morning, Swarajya Readers! Here's What You Need To Know Today.

Pakistan Violated Ceasefire Every Day In 2015-2016, Says Ministry: The Union Home Ministry has said that at least one incident of ceasefire violation by Pakistan has been reported daily along the Line of Control (LoC) in Jammu and Kashmir in 2015 and 2016, with 23 security personnel being killed in the two years. Responding to an RTI query, it also said that 1,142 terror incidents were reported in J&K between 2012 and 2016 in which 236 security personnel and 90 civilians were killed. In the same period, 507 terrorists were killed in encounters, the ministry said. According to the reply, Pakistan violated the ceasefire across the LoC 449 times in 2016, as compared to 405 violations in 2015.

Crucial Fodder Scam Verdict Today: The Supreme Court will today deliver its verdict in the fodder scam involving Rashtriya Janata Dal (RJD) chief and former Bihar chief minister Lalu Prasad Yadav on Central Bureau of India’s (CBI) application. The apex court earlier on 20 April reserved its judgement in the case and asked all parties concerned to give their submissions within a week. The fodder scam relates to fraudulent withdrawal of around Rs 1,000 crore by the Animal Husbandry Department from various districts when Yadav was the chief minister from 1990 to 1997.

Strategic CRPF Command Shifted To Chhattisgarh: The Central Reserve Police Force (CRPF) has shifted its strategic anti-Maoist command headquarters to Raipur from Kolkata to bring focus on combing operations in Chhattisgarh. The move comes ahead of the meeting to be attended by the chief ministers of 10 Maoist-hit states on Monday. It is in line with the Centre’s plan to redeploy its forces from almost peaceful West Bengal to Maoist hotbeds of Abujmad in Chhattisgarh. The plan is likely to face resistance from Mamata Banerjee-led West Bengal government.

Kejriwal Faces Corruption Charges: Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) leader Arvind Kejriwal, who rose from being an anti-corruption crusader to Delhi Chief Minister, became the target of a graft charge on Sunday as his former water minister, Kapil Mishra, accused him of accepting Rs 2 crore from a cabinet colleague. He said he saw Kejriwal take Rs 2 crore from Health Minister Satyendra Jain and demanded to know what the money was for. “When I asked Kejriwal what is this for, he refused to answer and said such things happen in politics and he will explain to me later,” he said. Deputy Chief Minister Manish Sisodia dismissed the charges against Kejriwal.

India-Russia To Sign Fighter Jet Design Deal: After years of delay, India and Russia are likely to soon ink a "milestone" pact to finalise the detailed design for the fifth-generation fighter aircraft and move ahead with the multi-billion dollar co-development project. A top official involved in the negotiations said the contract for the detailed design would be signed in the second half of this year and that will be a major milestone. Asked whether India has linked the project to full-scale transfer of technology, the official said both the countries are co-developers and India will have equal rights over the technology.

Cash Transactions Back In Trend: Despite the central government’s push for a less-cash economy post-demonetisation, cash transactions are back in trend, Reserve Bank of India (RBI) data on ATM cash withdrawals indicate. Withdrawals from ATMs in March this year stood at 2,259 billion – 0.6 per cent more than what people withdrew in the same month last year. “March trends show that people are getting back to their old habit of using cash and the withdrawals have touched the same level despite restrictions and inadequate cash supply,” economist Nirupama Soundararajan of Pahle India Foundation said.

India Will Play In Champions Trophy, Says BCCI: Ending a month-long speculation, the Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) on Sunday confirmed India's participation in the upcoming Champions Trophy. The board was deliberating its next move after it got outvoted in the International Cricket Council (ICC) over a revised financial model. It has decided to keep legal options open, while continuing with the ICC in the best interests of the country."Some of the state associations were of the view that India should boycott the Champions Trophy but then better sense prevailed in the interests of cricket," said a senior member who was present at the event.

LeT Militants Offer 'Gun Salute' To Slain Associate: Four Lashkar-e-Taiba (LeT) terrorists fired from their automatic rifles into the air to pay "respect" to slain ultra Fayaz Ahmed Ashwar, from Kulgam district of south Kashmir, during his funeral on Sunday. Witnesses said at least four militants appeared at the funeral and fired a volley of bullets in the air in the form of “gun salute”. Ashwar, a resident of Kaimoh, Kulgam was killed in retaliatory fire by police on Saturday night after militants attacked a police party, which had gone to Mir Bazaar area to investigate a road accident. Three civilians and a policeman were also killed in the attack.

Macron Elected French President: Emmanuel Macron has decisively won the French presidential election. According to the projected results, the centrist candidate defeated far-right Marine Le Pen by about 65.5 per cent to 34.5 per cent to become, at 39, the country's youngest president. Macron will also become the first president from outside the two traditional main parties since the modern republic's foundation in 1958. He said that a new page was being turned in French history. "I want it to be a page of hope and renewed trust," he said.

MUST READ OP-EDS

Making Sense Of Modinomics: Taking stock of the economics ideology of Prime Minister Narendra Modi and how it has impacted India in the (almost) three years that the NDA has been in power. Some of the big-ticket decisions, such as demonetisation, suggest that Modi’s economics ideology has logic.

President Polls: Atal Behari Vajpayee Or Congress Way: The moot question is, will BJP with the potential to exploit the contradictions in the opposition ranks, accept the opposition challenge and allow a contest to emerge unassailable. Or, will the Prime Minister make the presidential election a non-event by fielding some apolitical personality of eminence and thus spoil the party of his detractors as Vajpayee did in 2002.

Four Ways To Recharge Uttar Pradesh’s Power Sector: Electricity has always been an integral part of politics in India, and more so in Uttar Pradesh, the epicentre of it. Fixing Uttar Pradesh’s electricity supply is a tough job but the Yogi Adityanath government can start by picking the low-hanging fruits.

Are Consumers’ Interests Safe In A Digital World? The revelations in the Uttar Pradesh petrol pump scam have proved that the rights of the consumer are not safe anywhere. Digital transactions are a fact of life today, but the consumer was being cheated yesterday and he is being cheated today.

SWARAJYA SPECIAL

Shahabuddin, Gangs Of Lalu Land And The Cacophony Of The Damned: Chitra Subramaniam on why she is disappointed with the media’s reaction to Republic TV’s exposé on Lalu Yadav.

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

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