WBASSEMBLY PASSES RESOLUTION ON NUPUR SHARMA’S REMARK
The West Bengal Assembly passed a resolution condemning BJP leader Nupur Sharma’s remarks on the Prophet Muhammad ﷺ on June 20 while the opposition BJP staged a walkout when the government passed the resolution, reports said on June 20. The BJP leaders, led by Leader of Opposition Suvendhu Adhikari, started a protest when West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee was addressing the Assembly. This came after the suspension of seven BJP MLAs, including Leader of the Opposition Suvendu Adhikari and chief whip Manoj Tigga, from the West Bengal legislative assembly. The suspension has now been withdrawn. Mamata Banerjee in the assembly said, “We took action when there was violence in the state. But how come this lady (Nupur Sharma) is still not arrested? I know she will not be arrested. She has sought time from Kolkata Police for four weeks. She was to appear before the police today.”
TEESTA SETALVAD REMANDED TO POLICE CUSTODY TILL JULY 1
Social activist Teesta Setalvad and former senior police officer R B Sreekumar have been remanded to Gujarat police custody till July 1 for allegedly falsifying evidence in the Gujarat riots case. The police had sought 14-day custody and had claimed that the activist was not cooperating with the investigations. This came a day after Setalvad was detained in Mumbai and shifted to Ahmedabad in connection with the case registered against her on charges of forgery, criminal conspiracy and insulting criminal proceedings. The crime branch had also arrested ADGP Sreekumar and is in the process of getting a transfer warrant for ex-IPS officer Sanjiv Bhatt’s custody in connection with the FIR lodged against them, said DCP (crime) Chaitanya Mandlik.
ASSAM FLOODS TOLL REACHES 100 SINCE APRIL
As floods in Assam have entered the 11th day on June 23, 12 more people died in the past 24 hours, authorities said. The death toll in Assam due to floods and landslides has now touched 100 since April 6, while over 5 million people have been affected by the devastating floods, according to the state’s disaster management authority. The fresh deaths included four children and 32 districts of the state are currently hit by floods, officials said. More than 271,000 people are taking shelter in 845 relief camps, Assam’s disaster management authority said in a statement. The Assam government on June 23 said food items and essentials were airdropped that day at the flood-hit Silchar city by helicopters.
MUMBAI COURT GRANTS BAIL TO THREE “BULLI BAI” ACCUSED
A Mumbai sessions court on June 21 granted bail to three persons accused in a case related to an app that illegally posted photographs of Muslim women as part of an online “auction” aimed at harassing and abusing them, reports said. Additional Sessions Judge AB Sharma granted bail to Neeraj Bishnoi, Aumkareshwar Thakur and Neeraj Singh. Images of prominent Indian Muslim women had been uploaded on the “Bulli Bai” application as part of an online “auction”. On January 1, many of the women who were targeted highlighted the incident on social media. This was the second such attempt in less than a year. In July last year, an app called “Sulli Deals” had posted hundreds of images of Muslim women and described them as “deals of the day”.
COURT DEFERS HEARING IN DADRI LYNCHING CASE
The fast track court hearing the Dadri lynching case deferred the matter to July 4 as the police was not able to provide adequate security to deceased’s daughter due to Bharat Bandh called by opposition parties. Mohammad Akhlaq, 55, was lynched on suspicion of cow slaughter on September 28, 2015. The incident triggered nationwide uproar with major political parties visiting the tiny village on the outskirts of Greater Noida. Yusuf Saifi, representing Mohd Akhlaq’s family, said, “Shaista, the daughter to the deceased, was supposed to record her statement in the court on Monday. However, the police weren’t able to provide adequate security to her following which the honourable court granted the next date of hearing on July 4.” Seven years after the lynching, the hearing of the matter has picked up pace with the fast-track court recording statements of the victim’s family.
M’RASHTRA REBEL MLAS TAKE BATTLE FOR SENA’S CONTROL TO SC
Maharashtra’s alliance government’s future went into the legal zone on June 26 with rebel MLA Eknath Shinde challenging the Shiv Sena’s move to disqualify him and 15 other MLAs in the Supreme Court. The Eknath Shinde camp has also challenged the appointment of Ajay Choudhari as the Shiv Sena Legislature Party leader by the Thackeray camp and also the rejection of no-confidence motion against Deputy Speaker Narahari Zirwal. The rebels have asked the top court to order the Deputy Speaker not to take any action on the disqualification plea till the matter of his removal is decided. They have also asked the court to direct the Maharashtra government to provide security to their families. The Shiv Sena has filed appeals for disqualification of 16 rebel MLAs earlier this week with the Deputy Speaker. The Shinde camp claimed the move was illegal since disqualification can happen only for matters in the assembly and not for skipping a party meeting. Supreme Court lawyer Devadatt Kamat told reporters that there are many precedents of disqualification of MLAs for anti-party activities from outside the state.
AAP LOSES PUNJAB BYPOLL, AKHILESH YADAV UP
In a setback to the Akhilesh Yadav-led Samajwadi Party (SP), the BJP on June 26 emerged victorious in both Azamgarh and Rampur seats in the by-elections to the UP Lok Sabha constituencies. BJP candidates Dinesh Lal Yadav “Nirahua” (Azamgarh) and Ghanshayam Singh Lodhi (Rampur) defeated SP nominees Dharmendra Yadav and Asim Raja respectively by margins of 8,679 and 42,192 votes. Dealing a severe blow to the ruling Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) in Punjab, the Shiromani Akali Dal (Amritsar) president, Simranjit Singh Mann, emerged as the victor in the Sangrur Lok Sabha constituency, the bastion of Chief Minister Bhagwant Mann, defeating AAP candidate Gurmail Singh in a neck-and-neck fight. AAP swept the Rajinder Nagar bypolls in Delhi with a margin of around 11,000 votes on Sunday. Tripura CM Manik Saha won the Town Bardowali bypolls by 6,104 votes, defeating his nearest rival and Congress candidate Ashish Kumar Saha. Manik Saha needed to win this election to continue as the CM. YSR Congress Party’s Mekapati Vikram Reddy won by a huge margin in Andhra Pradesh’s Atmakur, defeating the BJP candidate by a margin of 82,888 votes.
INDIAN ‘TECHNICAL TEAM’, QUAKE RELIEF REACH KABUL EMBASSY
Taking an incremental step towards reopening the Indian embassy in Afghanistan, Delhi on June 23 sent a “technical team” to Kabul where it will be stationed at the embassy to coordinate delivery of humanitarian aid. India also sent aid for the people of Afghanistan, a day after a deadly earthquake claimed 1,150 lives in the Paktika province near the border with Pakistan. “First consignment of India’s earthquake relief assistance for the people of Afghanistan reaches Kabul. Being handed over by the Indian team there,” Arindam Bagchi, spokesperson for the Ministry of External Affairs, said in a Twitter post, attaching photographs of an Indian Air Force aircraft in Kabul. While Delhi said the stationing of the Indian “technical team” was meant for monitoring and coordination of delivery of humanitarian aid, it is being seen as the first step towards reopening the Indian embassy which was shut in August last year when the Taliban seized control of the country.