BJP leader Nupur Sharma is “single-handedly responsible” for what is happening in the country, the Supreme Court said on July 1 over her comments on Prophet Muhammad ﷺ that triggered massive anger among Gulf nations and protests in India. Coming down heavily on the Bharatiya Janata Party leader, the SC-bench further said that her loose tongue has not only set the entire country on fire, but she is also responsible for the unfortunate incident in Udaipur. “The way she has ignited emotions across the country, this lady is single-handedly responsible for what is happening,” said Justice Surya Kant. Referring to her apology and withdrawal of comments on Prophet, the apex court bench said it was too late in the day to withdraw. “On her complaint a person was arrested, but despite multiple FIRs, she has not yet been touched by Delhi police,” the court added. The apex court castigated Sharma for her obstinacy and arrogance and said because she was spokesperson of a party, “power has gone to her head”.


The BJP on July 2 vehemently denied links to one of the killers in the gruesome murder of a tailor in Rajasthan’s Udaipur, after the Congress latched on to media reports and social media posts to draw the connection. “We have no links to either of the accused,” Sadiq Khan, the chief of the BJP’s minority wing in the state, said at a news conference. The Congress had alleged that one of the main accused in the brutal killing of a tailor in Udaipur is a “BJP member” and asked whether the centre had moved quickly to transfer the case to the National Investigation Agency (NIA) to sweep it under the carpet. Senior Congress leader Pawan Khera cited a media group’s “very sensational disclosure” in connection with the Udaipur incident which pointed to the BJP links with Riyaz Attari, also called Riaz Akhtari. “The killer of Kanhaiya Lal, Riyaz Attari is a member of the BJP,” Mr Khera also said in a tweet, joining other Congress leaders who posted similar claims. The claims drew consternation from the BJP’s IT cell chief Amit Malviya who dismissed them as “fake news”.


The death toll hit 20 from a massive landslide in the north-eastern state of Manipur. More than 40 people are missing from the landslide that hit the Tupul railway construction camp at midnight on June 29 in the Noney district. Solomon Fimate, a senior administrative official in the district, reportedly said, “Till now, we rescued 18 people alive. We are proceeding in the ongoing rescue operation cautiously, as the soil in the area is very loose.” Manipur Chief Minister Nongthombam Biren Singh said July 1, “The loss of lives, including our armed forces personnel, is deeply saddening. We still have over 50 missing persons to be found.” Among the dead are Indian Army personnel deployed for the protection of the under-construction railway line that was also hit by the landslide. The death toll from floods in neighbouring Assam state hit 173.


Only hours before the resignation of Uddhav Thackeray as Chief Minister of Maharashtra on June 29, the Maharashtra cabinet approved a name change for two districts including Aurangabad and Osmanabad. The western district Aurangabad’s name has now been changed to Sambhaji Nagar while Osmanabad to Dharashiv. The Navi Mumbai airport’s name will also be changed to DB Patil international airport. The Shiv Sena had been trying long to change the name of Aurangabad and much to the home party’s delight and the opposition’s raising brows, the name change came as surprise to many. Meanwhile, Uddhav Thackeray announced his resignation as Chief Minister. It followed rejection by the Supreme Court of MVA government’s plea seeking a stay on floor test in the Maharashtra Assembly.


Sanna Irshad Mattoo, a Kashmiri photojournalist who was among the 2022 Pulitzer Prize winners for her photographs, was reportedly stopped by immigration authorities while trying to fly from Delhi to Paris despite holding a valid French visa. Mattoo said in a tweet that she was going to Paris for a book launch and photography exhibition as one of 10 award winners of the Serendipity Arles grant 2020. The authorities allegedly did not give her a reason for not being allowed to leave the country, but simply said she could not travel internationally. In May 2022, Mattoo, a freelance photographer, won the Pulitzer Prize in the Feature Photography category for her work published by Reuters. She shared the award with the Reuters team, including the late Danish Siddiqui, Amit Dave and Adnan Abidi, for their coverage of the COVID-19 crisis in India.


Bihar Police Subordinate Services Commission (BPSSC) has released the results of the examination for the posts of Police Sub-Inspectors, Sergeants and Assistant Superintendents Jail (Direct Appointment). Forty-four Muslim men and 11 Muslim women have qualified for Police Sub-Inspectors. These candidates received coaching for the said examination at the State Government approved coaching centre at Haj Bhawan in Patna. This is the first time that 11 women have qualified for Police Sub-Inspectors in the State; last time only five women had qualified for this post. Besides, 222 candidates who had received coaching at Haj Bhawan qualified for constables.


The 43-day-long Amarnath Yatra to the 3,880-metre-high holy cave shrine of Amarnath nestled in the Himalayas commenced on June 30 from two routes – the traditional 48-km Nunwan route in south Kashmir’s Pahalgam and the 14-km shorter Baltal route in central Kashmir’s Ganderbal. The pilgrimage remained suspended for two years due to the outbreak of Covid-19 pandemic. Kashmiri Muslims have been a part and parcel of Amarnath Yatra for the past hundreds of years. They have been facilitating the holy pilgrimage by ferrying pilgrims to the cave shrine on ponies, providing them with tents and other logistic support. The senior citizens and others who cannot travel on ponies are carried by the locals in palanquins. This brings into light an age old example of Kashmiri’s strong composite and inclusive culture.


A large number of people from various tribal communities of five states, including Jharkhand, Odisha, and Assam, staged a demonstration in Delhi on June 30, demanding that the Centre recognise their religion as ‘Sarna’ and ensure their enumeration under this category during the upcoming census. The agitators also took a pledge to intensify their struggle in order to get the government recognition of the ‘Sarna dharma code’ and held a mass prayer at Jantar Mantar, seeking the blessings of their deities and revered leaders. The members, the majority of whom belonged to the Santhal tribe, raised their demands under the aegis of the Adivasi Sengel Abhiyan (tribal empowerment campaign) from as many as 250 scheduled tribes-dominated blocks from 50 districts of Jharkhand, Bihar, Odisha, West Bengal and Assam.

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