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The Morning Wrap: The Politics Of Babri Masjid After 25 Years; Protests Mark Rohith Vemula's First Death Anniversary

Our selection of interesting news and opinion from the day's newspapers.

18/01/2017 7:47 AM IST | Updated 18/01/2017 8:16 AM IST
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The Morning Wrap is HuffPost India's selection of interesting news and opinion from the day's newspapers. Subscribe here to receive it in your inbox each weekday morning.

Essential HuffPost

The Uttar Pradesh Assembly polls are taking place in the 25th year of the demolition of the Babri Masjid. Election eve is a good time to reflect on how the event so large then, influencing so significantly the politics and elections of that time is viewed today. Read our analysis here.

A Nandigram-style land agitation has just erupted in the outskirts of Kolkata. At Bhangar — in the South 24 Parganas district of West Bengal — thousands of villagers came out armed with lathis and pieces of bricks on Tuesday. They placed tree trunks in the middle of roads to prevent the police from entering the area.

The Madhya Pradesh government has said it will maintain a record of habitual drinkers. All the liquor shops will have to identify and record names of the persons who frequently buy liquor from them. This record has to be kept by all the country-made and Indian Made Foreign Liquor shops and sent to the government.

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Main News

The two major train accidents near Kanpur which resulted in the deaths of 151 passengers and injuries to 200 others were carried out on the instructions of Pakistan's external spy agency ISI, Bihar police alleged. The ISI's hand was exposed following the arrest of three criminals Umashankar Patel, Motilal Paswan and Mukesh Yadav from Motihari on the Indo-Nepal border who were working at the instance of an ISI agent, a Nepalese citizen based in Dubai.

Finally ending days of speculation, amid a power tussle within the Samajwadi Party, Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Akhilesh Yadav and the Congress Party confirmed that they would forge a pre-poll alliance for the assembly elections next month.

Finance minister Arun Jaitley is likely to significantly increase public investment in infrastructure in Union Budget 2017, offering fiscal stimulus to boost economic growth at a time when private investment shows no signs of a pick-up, says Mint in a pre-budget prediction.

Off The Front Page

"Pakistan must walk away from terror if it wants to walk towards dialogue with India," the prime minister, Narendra Modi, said while inaugurating the second edition of the Raisina Dialogue in New Delhi. "It also has to be Pakistan's journey to make," he said. However, he extended a hand of friendship to China, which has been Pakistan's ally for decades now.

Protests shook the University of Hyderabad on the day of the first death anniversary of Rohith Vemula, the research scholar and anti-caste crusader who committed suicide on 17 January 2016. Police and university security guards prevented the entry of more protesters into the campus by barricading all entrances to the building.

Media tycoon Indrani Mukerjea, on trial for allegedly murdering her daughter Sheena Bora, has moved a special CBI court seeking permission from the probe agency to divorce co-accused Peter Mukerjea. Indrani, who had married Peter in 2002, also said she wanted to change her will and donate the money to charity organisations.

Opinion

In The Indian Express, Raja Chaitanya Kumar Vemula, the brother of Rohith Vemula, looks back on the events of the past one year since the Hyderabad University student and anti-caste crusader committed suicide. On the anniversary of his death, Raja Vemula revisits the struggles his family have been through, but says their fight is far from over. "A year later, we realise that nothing has changed," he writes, "Caste discrimination continues everywhere. But we will fight. Our fight is for freedom, for justice and social equality."

An editorial in Mint predicts tough times ahead for India in Afghanistan, especially since Pakistan seems to have managed to sell the theory that the Taliban could be used to fight the insurgents of the Islamic State of Syria and Iraq.

"How India treats its armed forces is rarely revealed by soldiers at the lowest ranks," Nishant Gokhale writes in The Hindu. "Little attention is paid to serious concerns about the systems of military justice." Since a spate of upheaval in the forces, with soldiers taking to social media to complain against the food provisions allotted to them, an outcry has been raised about protocol. But in reality there are few legal safeguards available to those facing such hardships in service.

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