Morning Brief: Soldiers Mutilated: India Vows Retaliation; Petrol Pump Chip Scam Probe; Blair Is Back
Brief: Soldiers Mutilated: India
Vows Retaliation; Petrol Pump Chip Scam Probe; Blair Is BackIndian Border Security Force soldiers. (TAUSEEF MUSTAFA/AFP/Getty Images)

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

Soldiers Mutilated: Defence Minister Jaitley Vows Retaliation: Branding the mutilation of two Indian soldiers by Pakistan’s Border Action Team as an “extreme form of barbaric act”, Defence Minister Arun Jaitley on Monday insisted that their sacrifice won’t go in vain. While condemning the act, Jaitley said the armed forces will give a befitting reply to their neighbour at an appropriate time. On the ground, however, the Indian Army retaliated with full force. According to an India Today report, the Indian Army destroyed two Pakistani bunkers and killed seven Pakistani soldiers.

Seven Killed In Bank Van Ambush: Five policemen and two bank security guards were killed in a militant attack in Kulgam district, 75km south of Srinagar, on Monday. The incident took place around 4pm when militants ambushed a cash van of Jammu and Kashmir Bank on the outskirts of Pombai village in Kulgam district. Terror outfit Hizb-ul-Mujahideen later claimed responsibility for the attack. Sources said the van was on its way back to the district headquarters after distributing cash to branches in the Damhal Hanjipora belt of the district when it was ambushed.

India Top Investment Hub, Says Modi: India was never a more promising investment destination than it is today, Prime Minister Narendra Modi asserted on Monday. Addressing the India-Turkey Business Summit in New Delhi, Modi said his government has launched several initiatives to reform the economy and administrative processes. Seeking Turkish investments, the Prime Minister said there is a huge potential and opportunity to enhance bilateral engagement. “Today, Indian economy is the fastest growing major economy in the world. In addition to maintaining this pace, our focus is to remove the inefficiencies from the system,” he said.

Kashmir A Bilateral Issue, India Tells Turkey: India sternly told visiting Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan on Monday that a solution to the Kashmir issue can only be found through bilateral talks with Pakistan, rejecting his suggestion for multilateral dialogue on the matter. The Kashmir issue has a “prominent dimension of cross-border terrorism” that needs to be stopped by “those who are perpetuating it”, External Affairs Ministry spokesperson Gopal Baglay said. Erdogan and Prime Minister Narendra Modi had a “detailed discussion” on terrorism and the two leaders agreed there could be no justification for terrorism wherever it is committed.

Probe Ordered Into Petrol Pump Chip Scam: Oil Minister Dharmendra Pradhan ordered on Monday an inspection of all petrol pumps in Uttar Pradesh and random checks on others across the country, responding to a massive racket that cheated customers in the northern state. This comes after Uttar Pradesh authorities raided petrol pumps last week over allegations that petrol and diesel were being stolen by manipulating fuel dispensing machines through remote-controlled electronic chips.

SBI Cuts Term Deposit Rates: The country’s largest lender State Bank of India (SBI) has slashed interest rates on term deposits by up to 50 basis points. Deposits of two-to-three years maturity will now generate a return of only 6.25 per cent annually as against 6.75 per cent earlier. The revision in interest rates came into effect from 29 April and takes into account the growth in deposits following the merger of associate banks. The lender, however, kept lending rates unchanged for May, including the marginal cost of funds-based lending rate (MCLR). The one-year MCLR is 8 per cent.

Nepal's Prachanda Government In Crisis: The government of Prime Minister Pushpa Kamal Dahal “Prachanda” plunged into a crisis on Monday after one of its coalition partners – the Rastriya Prajatantra Party (RPP) – withdrew its support. The RPP cited the impeachment motion registered in Parliament against Nepal’s Chief Justice Sushila Karki as the reason behind the move. The motion to impeach Karki was registered on Sunday after a dispute arose over the appointment of the Nepal police chief, with allegations that the judge tampered with the performance evaluation of candidates for the post.

Tony Blair Is Back In Politics: Former British prime minister Tony Blair is returning to politics to fight Brexit during the 8 June general election and is ready to get his “hands dirty”. The 63-year-old former Labour party leader, however, made it clear that he will not be contesting the 8 June general election, according to Daily Mirror newspaper. He said he wants to have an influence on the negotiations of Britain’s exit from the 28-member European Union. "This Brexit thing has given me a direct motivation to get more involved in the politics. You need to get your hands dirty and I will."

North Korea Warns Of Nuclear Test: In the latest rhetoric to fuel jitters in the region, North Korea warned on Monday that it will carry out a nuclear test “at any time”. Tensions on the Korean peninsula have been running high for weeks, with signs that Pyongyang might be preparing a nuclear test — and with Washington refusing to rule out a military strike in response. A spokesman for the North’s foreign ministry said Pyongyang was “fully ready to respond to any option taken by the US”.


It’s Time To Bring In The Private Sector To Make Our Submarines And Fighters: While there can be no firm assurance of success, opening up has largely had a positive impact across critical sectors like transport, telecom and energy. So, at one level, this reform has been delayed for far too long due to unseen fears. The time has never been more apt to make the switch.

Balancing The Scales: We have a unique opportunity right now. The sanctioned strength of the high courts is 1,079 and there are 447 vacancies in the various high courts. Will a historic imbalance be set right? That blind-folded woman who holds up the scales might just approve.

Sebi Reforms: It Is Time For A Swachh Market Abhiyan: The regulator’s real grit, however, will come from heavy punitive action against errant traders and promoters. For too long, India has tolerated a culture where traders and promoters caught red-handed get away with limp fines and continue to be active in the market even when they are barred from it.

Indian Stocks: Euphoria Without The Essentials: The big problem with celebrating Sensex record high is that it is not unique. The Indian government, like the one in the US, would be wrong to hold up the stock market as a barometer of its performance.


Why All Is Fair In Dealing With Pakistan And Its Rogue Army: Dealing with Pakistan has to be through the strategy of subterfuge and denial. And the strategy to deal with the Valley has to be thought through and progressively reviewed beyond just the exhaustion and attrition models.

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

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