Home » Catch Wire » Your Wire on 12 February

Headley's Ishrat Jahan revelation raises political storm

David Headley's revelation in court on 11 February that Ishrat Jahan, a 19-year-old student killed by the Gujarat police in 2004 in an encounter, was a Lashkar-e-Taiba operative, has raised a political storm, reports The Indian Express. Jahan died in a police encounter that the Congress called fake, but the BJP said was necessary because she was an LET operative aiming to assassinate then Gujarat CM Narendra Modi. After Headley's revelation, the BJP called upon Congress leaders to apologise, while the Congress insists that the case was not about a terrorist, but about the murder of a person who should have been legally tried in court.

140 Bengaluru schools closed due to leopard sightings

A government order has closed 140 schools in Bengaluru's IT hub Whitefield since Wednesday after a leopard entered Vibgyor school in the neighbourhood on Sunday and residents reported sighting more leopards, reports The Telegraph. Wildlife officials however say that the government order was a knee-jerk response that is only contributing to the panic. Whitefield, a Bengaluru suburb, was developed only recently. It has always been in leopard country and even now, the jungle is just 5 km away.

Indian gravitational waves scientist finally gets his due

On Thursday, after an international team of astrophysicists announced that they had detected the gravitational waves first proposed by Albert Einstein, scientists at Pune's Inter-University Centre of Astronomy and Astrophysics (USCAA) cheered Professor Sanjeev Dhurandhar who had been focused on gravitational waves 30 years before the world began to believe they could be detected, reports The Indian Express. In the 1980s, Dhurandhar had been told he had "no credibility" when he shared his ideas regarding the detection of gravitational waves. Now he is one of the 1,000 international scientists whose work on the waves led to what they called the scientific breakthrough of the century.

Govts, DMs, may ban mobile internet to prevent law and order problems: SC

The Supreme Court on Friday said that district and state authorities all over the country can impose a limited ban on mobile Internet to prevent law and order problems, reports The Economic Times. The two-judge bench that included Chief Justice of India TS Thakur said this while dismissing an appeal filed by law student Gaurav Sureshbhai Vyas after the Gujarat government imposed a limited ban on mobile data services in several cities during the Patidar agitation to stop the spread of rumours. "It becomes very necessary sometimes for law and order," CJI Thakur said.

TERI council to decide Pachauri's role today

Faced with growing resistance to the appointment of RK Pachauri as executive vice president of The Energy and Resources Institute (TERI), the governing council will meet today to decide his role in the institute, reports the Hindustan Times. Pachauri is facing two cases of sexual harassment in the Delhi High Court. Though he was removed from his position of TERI's director general, he was recently appointed to the specially-created post of executive vice chairman with wide-ranging authority. This caused much outrage among the public as well as the alumni and students of TERI University.

Afzal Guru JNU protest: Govt won't tolerate anti-national slogans, says Rajnath Singh

Home Minister Rajnath Singh today lashed out at "those raising anti-India slogans" at an event organised by some students in Delhi's Jawaharlal Nehru University against the hanging of 2001 Parliament attack convict Afzal Guru. He said that whoever raised these slogans is liable for stringent action. He also said that the government won't tolerate such anti-national activities. Charges of sedition and criminal conspiracy were filed against 'unknown people' by the Delhi Police on Thursday after a clash between student groups at (JNU) on Tuesday. The case was filed on the complaint of ABVP and BJP MP from East Delhi, Maheish Girri.

National Herald Case: SC exempts Sonia, Rahul Gandhi from personal appearance in trial court

On Friday, the Supreme Court exempted Congress president Sonia Gandhi and her son Rahul Gandhi from personally appearing for the hearing in a Patiala House court scheduled for 20 February in regard to the National Herald case. However, the SC refused to quash trial court proceedings against the Gandhis.

The apex court criticised the Delhi High Court for its remarks against Sonia and Rahul Gandhi, saying that it was not right make remarks against them when the trial court proceedings have not begun yet.

RK Pachauri goes on leave from TERI yet again; Ashok Chawla new Chairman

TERI has yet again failed to remove executive vice-chairman RK Pachauri. The Energy and Resources Institute (TERI)'s governing body met on 12 February and decided that Pachauri will go on leave from all the positions he holds in the organisation. Pachauri used to be director general of TERI for over three decades. Last February, a young colleague accused him of sexual harassment.

While TERI's governing body appointed a new DG (Ajay Mathur, former DG of Bureau of Energy Efficiency), it also appointed Pachauri as executive vice chairman earlier this week, sparking nationwide calls to remove him.

Facebook's Free Basics is no more in India

Just three days after Telecom Regulatory Authority of India's ruling on net neutrality and banning zero-rating services, Facebook's Free Basics service is no longer available in India. "Free Basics is no longer available to people in India," confirmed Facebook to various media outlets on Thursday, 11 February.

Earlier, Mark Zuckerberg, Facebook CEO, had expressed dissapointment over the decision but vowed to continue with the comapny's efforts to provide free internet connectivity to those who aren't online as of yet. Zuckerberg stressed upon the "making a billion online" phrase.

Meanwhile, TRAI's historic decision on banning Zero Rating programs has been widely hailed by internet activists and politicains and even the media world over.

Wife of senior Islamic State leader charged with US aid worker's death

The wife of a senior IS leader has been charged in the US in connection with the death of US hostage Kayla Mueller. Nisreen Assad Ibrahim Bahar, 25, an Iraqi citizen who was formerly married to Abu Sayyaf - a Tunisian IS commander who was killed in May last year - has been charged for her role in a conspiracy that led to Ms Mueller's death, the Guardian has reported.

The 26-year-old aid worker was kidnapped and tortured by the terror group for two years before being killed in a Jordanian air strike in February 2015. Ms Mueller was captured by Isis when she travelled with a friend to Aleppo in August 2013 to help refugees.

She was reportedly repeatedly raped by IS leader Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi who kept her and several other women as his "private property" at a house owned by Sayyaf.