28/01/2016 9:07 AM IST | Updated 15/07/2016 8:25 AM IST

The Morning Wrap: Balloon From Pak Shot Down; Indian Carriers To Carry Handcuffs For Unruly Flyers

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An illustration of air rage

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A US-made, helium-filled balloon that was shot down by a Sukhoi-30 fighter aircraft over Rajasthan had possibly come from Pakistan and could have been an attempt to gauge India's response time, top government sources said. India had decided to take up the issue with Pakistan.

The women's outfit spearheading the campaign against a centuries-old ban on females entering the sacred platform at Shani Shingnapur temple in Maharashtra took their fight to Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis for the lifting of the restrictions. The leaders said Fadnavis responded favourably to the demand.

A Pakistani fan of Indian batsman Virat Kohli was arrested for hoisting the Indian flag atop his home in Punjab Province which he had done to show his love for the cricketer.

An African virus is spreading in the Americas, apparently causing the babies of infected mothers to be born with deformed heads. The Zika virus is carried by mosquitoes and spreads when the insects bite. And though it appeared in the Americas just nine months ago, the World Health Organization said it will soon spread to almost all countries in the Americas, including to the US.

The US and China agreed on the need for a significant new UN Security resolution targeting North Korea after its January 6 nuclear test, though there were few signs of concrete progress. US Secretary of State John Kerry is on a two-day visit to Beijing.

Main News

In a move aimed at keeping his ministers on their toes, Prime Minister Narendra Modi decided to hold monthly meetings with his council of ministers to review the execution of decisions. These meetings will be held on the second Wednesday of every month, source said.

In a fresh setback to the Mumbai attack trial, a Pakistani court dismissed the government’s petition seeking voice samples of 26/11 mastermind Zaki-ur-Rehman Lakhvi and six other suspects in the case. It also rejected another plea of the prosecution requesting that Kasab and Faheem Ansari be declared absconders.

Two Kathmandu-bound flights were evacuated minutes before takeoff following a bomb threat while authorities were scouring the skies following reports of a “suspicious” balloon hovering over the area. The same Jet Airways flight was delayed by six hours on Saturday over a bomb threat.

“Cow slaughter” was cited by Governor Jyoti Prasad Rajkhowa as a sign of complete collapse of law and order in Arunachal Pradesh while recommending imposition of President’s Rule in the state. This was disclosed in the Supreme Court, which asked the Centre and Rajkhowa to adduce all relevant materials showing good reasons for the imposition of President’s Rule in the state.

A music launch in Mumbai, which was to be attended by Pakistani ghazal singer Ghulam Ali, was cancelled following opposition from the Shiv Sena. The local police and some Sena members threatened the organisers, asking them to cancel the event, filmmaker Suhaib Ilyasi said.

Off The Front Page

Citizens will be granted a fresh passport under the normal category in a week if their applications are accompanied by three documents — copies of Aadhaar card, electoral photo identity card (EPIC) and PAN card — besides an affidavit in the format of Annexure-I (declaration of citizenship, family details and no criminal record).

Like Western airlines, Indian carriers will now carry restrainers, like plastic handcuffs, for unruly flyers to remain bound to their seats till the plane lands safely. "The DGCA's nod came in end-2015. We will have restrainers on board shortly and use them in the interest of flight safety as and when required," a Jet Airways official said.

Inderjit Singh Reyat, the only person ever to be convicted in the 1985 Air India Kanishka bombings, was released from a Canadian prison after serving two decades behind bars. Reyat, a Sikh immigrant to Canada, previously served more than 15 years in prison for making the bombs that were stuffed into two suitcases and planted on planes leaving Vancouver.

Britons have long travelled to India to “find themselves”, but a new BBC television series explores a new dimension: Can they spend their sunset years in India, at a much cheaper cost than in Britain and with more fun? By all accounts, the series titled ‘The Real Marigold Hotel’ featuring eight mini-celebrities is a hit.

A woman who lost her cousin in a road accident now leads the Traffic Police app competition in Delhi. Most of her videos are of two-wheelers jumping signals and have been shot at various busy intersections. She even bought a spy camera worth Rs 7,000 to help her in her efforts.


Pakistan needs no evidence from India — on Pathankot or any other terror attack — to arrest the JeM chief and lock him away for a minimum of six months and a maximum of five years, writes Nirupama Subramanian in The Indian Express . Pakistan can immediately arrest Masood Azhar under 11F of Pakistan’s Anti-Terrorist Act 1997 (membership, support and meetings of a terrorist organisation).

India’s celebrated national honours, the Padma awards (Padma Shri, Padma Bhushan and Padma Vibhushan), have time and again been in the eye of political controversies. And understandably so. Narayanan Madhavan states the five rules to make the awards less political.

Every few weeks, India heaves with episodic rage. Communal unrest, ghar wapsi, Hindutva, freedom of speech, beef, intolerance, and now the place of Dalits in our society, and our caste and class biases, writes Chaitanya Kalbag. What will it take for a modern, competitive India to rise from a feudal society stuck in a swamp of inequality and prejudice?

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