20/07/2016 8:09 AM IST | Updated 20/07/2016 11:07 AM IST

The Morning Wrap: JNU Blocks Kanhaiya's Registration; Babri Masjid Case's Oldest Litigant Dies

Reuters Staff/Reuters
File photo of Mohammad Hashim Ansari, the oldest litigant in a case seeking to preserve Muslim claim on a disputed religious site, sitting inside his house at a Muslim neighbourhood in Ayodhya.

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According to new reports, Indian Air Force pilots were very close to bombing targets deep inside Pakistan at the peak of the Kargil War on 13 June 1999. After the talks between India and Pakistan failed, Indian Air Force reportedly drew a detailed plan with assigned targets, final route maps were chalked out, arms were allotted to pilots along with Pakistani currency in order to help them escape if they got stranded on the other side of the border.

India's leading e-commerce websites are confronting an unusual problem: government claims that their consumer platforms have been used for banned trade in endangered animals. The sites have been swift to respond, taking down posts and committing to strictly monitoring illegal wildlife trade on their sites. On Monday, Union Environment Minister Anil Madhav Dave, said that instances of online smuggling of rare animals and their body parts was found on as many as 106 sites including popular ones such as Amazon, Snapdeal, OLX and eBay.

A 25-year-old research student in Hyderabad was attacked on Sunday by a group of men, because he was mistaken to be a Kashmiri. Amol Singh was on his way back to his hostel in the University of Hyderabad after a protest against alleged police atrocities in Kashmir. He was allegedly attacked by a group of ABVP members, who mistook him for Bilal, a former Kashmiri student who was very vocal about the plight of Kashmiri Muslims, and used to participate in demonstrations in the campus.

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After former cricketer Navjot Singh Sidhu resigned from Rajya Sabha, Union Minister and Shiromani Akali Dal (SAD) minister Harsimrat Kaur Badal accused him of being 'ungrateful' to the BJP and PM Narendra Modi. Congress chief Captain Amarinder Singh who had earlier welcomed Sidhu to join the party, took a U-turn on his stand and called him a 'deserter'.

The JNU administration has blocked the registration of 21 students, including JNUSU President Kanhaiya Kumar, Umar Khalid and Anirban Bhattacharya, who were arrested under sedition charges over the event and later released on bail. Although the university authorities did not comment about the development, the affected students protested the move terming it a violation of the court order.

The Republican manifesto presented by Donald Trump had some vague references to Asia. While the manifesto called India its 'geopolitical ally', it also hit a warning shot at Pakistan, added that Pakistanis, Afghans, and Americans had a 'common interest' in ridding the region of the Taliban and 'securing Pakistan's nuclear arsenal'.

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A year after Bollywood actress Deepika Padukone talked about her depression and how she had sought help for her problem, the Bajirao Mastani (2015) actress has featured in a slick Nike video where women (wearing Nike gear) use exercise to beat depression. Media reports are crying foul, saying that she has 'sold' her depression to a huge brand for a lot of money.

A Kerala man was recently arrested for the second time by Bengaluru police for this constant harassment and stalking of his former colleague. Even after she reported him to the police and he spent 14 days in jail, the first thing he did was to stand in front of her house in rain all night. After the custody, he reportedly used to call her about 2,000 every day, send several thousand messages, photos of notes written in blood, obscene personal pictures and threats. He has now been arrested for a second time.

The oldest litigant in the Ram janmabhoomi-Babri title suit Mohammad Hashim Ansari, passed away in Ayodhya on Wednesday. Ansari was the lone survival among six original plaintiffs of Babri Masjid case fighting for the Mosque title on behalf of Sunni Central Waqf Board since 1961. He was 95 years old.


Hindutva's textbook rewriting project recasts history in binaries, says Yasser Arafath in The Indian Express. "The present political establishment wants to harp on an atmosphere of animosity which hate histories create; the generation that grows up reading such history will want to take 'revenge'. It is difficult to say if the elevation of Prakash Javadekar as the new HRD minister would change the situation. We may see more saffronisation — perhaps in a more sophisticated and less boisterous manner," he says.

With the Supreme Court accepting the majority of the Lodha Committee's recommendations for BCCI, root-and-branch reforms are now all but unavoidable, says an editorial in Mint. "Its response to the verdict will now determine if BCCI is truly committed to the idea of deeper reform, or more inclined to protect its turf. With the full impact of T20 cricket on the shape of the sport yet to be determined and major changes to Test cricket on the horizon, a streamlined, effective BCCI is crucial for the sport," it says.

It may look petty to squabble over GDP data, but policies based on the wrong reading of reality almost always end in tears, writes Jahangir Aziz in The Hindu. "The recent US State Department pronouncement that India's much touted growth rate may be overstated has reignited debate over the veracity of official measures of the country's growth... But with no real attempt by the statistical authorities to bridge this credibility gap, many of us have learnt to live in two parallel worlds, ironically both based on official data: an India described by the traditional indicators of activity, such as industrial production, imports, auto sales, order books, freight, corporate earnings, and bank credit all compiled by various Ministries and regulators; and another India described by the national account statistics complied by the Central Statistical Office," he ways.

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