04/02/2015 9:05 AM IST | Updated 15/07/2016 8:24 AM IST

The Morning Wrap: Uber Driver Denies Rape Charges, ISIS Kills Jordan Pilot

Hindustan Times via Getty Images
NEW DELHI, INDIA DECEMBER 8: Police escort Uber cab driver Shiv Kumar Yadav (C, in black) who is accused of raping a woman, following his court appearance at the Tis Hazari court on December 8, 2014 in New Delhi, India. Shiv Kumar Yadav was remanded in custody for three days while police investigates the case. Delhi government banned Uber from operating in the Indian capital for failing to do background check on Shiv Kumar, who had previously been accused of assault. (Photo by Raj K Raj/Hindustan Times via Getty Images)

The Morning Wrap is HuffPost India's selection of interesting news and opinion from the day's newspapers

Main News

The Reserve Bank of India opted for the low-fanfare step of encouraging bank deposits, but kept lending rates unchanged from a fortnight ago. The markets, expectedly, were disappointed and slipped by 122 points to close at 29,000.14.

The BJP , which appears nervous over its performance in Delhi, is now dealing with public and oppositional flak for describing Indians from the North-east of India as "immigrants" in its vision document.

Bihar may see the return of Nitish Kumar as chief minister after RJD chief Lalu Prasad Yadav--a key component of the state's coalition government-- appeared jittery over incumbent CM Jitan Ram Manjhi's public approbation of the BJP.

Salman Rushdie's new work will be out this year after a gap of almost five years, but that's way quicker than 88-year-old Harper Lee, who will be out--this July-- with a sequel to her 60's classic, To Kill A Mockingbird, which is the only novel she's ever published.

A day after the Islamic State militants publicly executed the second Japanese hostage, a new video's out purportedly showing the captured Jordanian pilot--who was at the centre of the months-old hostage drama-- being burnt alive in a cage. A Jordanian official said the authorities would swiftly execute several militants in retaliation.

Rape-accused cab driver Shiv Kumar Yadav and agent-provocateur for the ban on several app-based taxi services such as Uber in Delhi has claimed innocence before a fast track court and added that "he had no idea" why he was being implicated.

Stand-up comic group AIB tweeted that it has "taken down" its show 'AIB Knockout - The Roast' after reports that the Maharashtra government was investigating them. Meanwhile Censor Board member Ashoke Pandit fulminated against the programme on Twitter and likened its celebrity stars' jokes to "masturbate(ing) on stage with clothes on."

Off The Front Page

Schools in Rajasthan will now, by government order, have to say prayers, sing the National anthem and National Song, take the pledge, devote 10 minutes to Surya Namaskar and meditation and another five minutes to reading out Hindi and English dailies, all before the day's first lessons have even begun.

Apart from the usual public notices about not littering, a mall in Bhandup, Mumbai also asks patrons to refrain from any "kissing or overt display of affection" within its premises. Nayan Shah, the director of the mall, said the notice is meant for those who behave "illegally."

Probably inspired by Dharmendra in vintage classic Sholay, an enraged but sober Savitri Devi, a resident of Agra's Akola block, climbed a water tank to broadcast her protest against the local administration's apathy to water-logging and poor road conditions.

A Big Bazaar book store in Delhi, along with vegetable, fruits and rice also sells books by the kilo, Thus J K Rowling's 'Harry Potter And The Order of the Phoenix,' at 924 gms costs Rs 180, at Rs 200 a kilo, and Stieg Larsson's thriller, 'The Girl Who Kicked The Hornet's Nest' is a better read at 490 grams.

Former Uttar Pradesh CM, Mayawati, while not known for her humility, upped the ante by likening herself to former British PM Winston Churchill. In a new volume of her autobiography "A Travelogue of My Struggle-Ridden Life and BSP Movement", Mayawati wrote that just as Churchill had emerged victorious in World War II but lost the next election at home in 1945 she too had done great work but lost the state elections.

The Calcutta High Court has ordered the Army, no less, to stand guard and help the Life Insurance Corporation of India conduct its recruitment tests for lower division clerks. This was following the company's complaints of intimidation and interference by trade union factions linked to the ruling party.


Upendra Baxi in The Indian Express says that legislators and ministers are bound to uphold the sanctity of the Preamble as it follows from their stated oath to observe "the Constitution as by law established."

Sunil Purushottaman in Mint writes that Narendra Modi's "developmentalist rhetoric," as well as his positioning of his party as ideologically inseparable from the nation, was actually a Nehruvian innovation.