Home » Catch Wire » Your Wire on 20 January

Indian Navy tracking Chinese submarine passing through the Bay of Bengal

The Indian Navy is using its US-made spy aircraft to track a Chinese submarine that is passing through the Bay of Bengal as part of a four-month anti-piracy patrol in the Gulf of Aden, reports The Telegraph. Both India and the US believe that this deployment has no operational logic. In March last year, the Navy had warned that a Chines submarine that had passed close to India was capable of "mapping the coastline". And last week, US Pacific Fleet Commander Admiral Scott Swift said on his visit to India, "It's hard for me as a maritime commander to understand how a submarine can support anti-piracy operations".

All eyes on new SC/ST Act in Rohith Vemula case

The people charged with abetment of suicide after Dalit scholar Rohith Vemula hanged himself on Sunday may be tried under the tough new Scheduled Castes and the Scheduled Tribes (Prevention of Atrocities) Act, 2015, which states that the "social or economic boycott" of Dalits or tribals is a punishable offence with a jail term of up to five years, reports the Hindustan Times. Union minister for labour and employment Bandaru Dattatreya, University of Hyderabad vice chancellor Appa Rao and two activists from the right wing students' party ABVP have been booked in the case. The Act was passed by Parliament a month ago.

Omar asks Mehbooba to take charge or let go

In an open letter to PDP chief Mehbooba Mufti, former Jammu and Kashmir chief minister Omar Abdullah, working president of the National Conference, asked her to either take charge as the chief minister of the state, or have the state assembly dissolved, reports The Telegraph. J&K has been under Governor's Rule since 7 January when Mehbooba's father, chief minister Mufti Mohammad Sayeed, died. Though Mehbooba will be the state's new chief minister, she is yet to take the oath. "Taking over now is not a sign of being power hungry, but not taking over is certainly an abuse of the trust the people placed in you and your party," Abdullah said.

Opposition parties gun for BJP after Dalit scholar's suicide

The BJP is facing a concerted attack by all its opposition parties over the suicide of Dalit scholar Rohith Vemula on Sunday, reports The Hindustan Times. On Monday, Congress vice president Rahul Gandhi called for the resignations of union minister Smriti Irani and Bandaru Dattatreya, who had emailed the vice chancellor of Hyderabad University on five occasions to suspend Vemula and four others for making anti-national statements. Other parties, including the Bahujan Samaj Party, the Trinamool Congress, and the CPI(M) are sending fact-finding teams, and Arvind Kejriwal, chief of the Aam Aadmi Party, called Vemula's death 'murder'. Dattatreya, the university vice chancellor and two members of the right wing ABVP have been charged with abetting Vemula's suicide.

Two Pathankot terrorists may be 'insiders': NIA sources

Two of the terrorists who attacked the air force base at Pathankot on 2 January may have been "insiders", reports The Economic Times. Sources from the National Investigation Agency (NIA) said only four of the terrorists were identified as intruders into India, and only four AK47 guns were used. The black corner notice that India will send to Interpol also mentions only four suspects killed during the attack. Forensic reports and call logs of phones recovered from the attack sites will be examined to identify the two "insiders" who could be air base personnel or their family members, or locals from the vicinity.

At least 20 killed in attack on Pakistan's Bacha Khan university campus

Militants stormed into the Bacha Khan University in Charsadda, in Pakistan's Khyber Pakhtunkhwa province early on Wednesday and opened fire.

According to reports, a professor two students, and two militants are among the 20 who have been killed in the attack. The Indian Express reported that 50 people have been wounded in the attack.

Pakistan Express Tribune reported that Tehreek-e-Taliban had claimed responsibility for the attack. Read the full story here.

Kabir Bedi's 4th marriage inspires Twitter war with his daughter Pooja

Dirty family linen was aired in public on 19 January when actor Kabir Bedi married for the fourth time, reports The Telegraph. Kabir's daughter, Pooja Bedi, who had not been invited to the wedding, tweeted: "Every fairy tale has a wicked witch or an evil step-mother! Mine just arrived! @iKabirBedi just married @parveendusanj". She apologised after a few hours with another tweet: "Deleted the last tweet on my dad @iKabirBedi 4th marriage. Lets keep things positive. I Wish him the best !!!" However, Kabir Bedi tweeted: "DEEPLY DISAPPOINTED by venomous comments by my daughter Pooja against @parveendusanj just after we married. NO excuse for bad behaviour."

Police out, bouncers in for Kejriwal's security

The Delhi government is planning to train 10 men from the state-controlled civil defence wing to guard chief minister Arvind Kejriwal, reports the Hindustan Times. Kejriwal, who does not like security from the Centre-controlled Delhi police, was attacked on Sunday when a woman threw ink at him during his thanksgiving for the success of the trial road-rationing scheme in the state. So far, Kejriwal has been protected by volunteers from his Aam Aadmi Party, though he has had Z-plus police security since he became the CM. Wardens of the civil defence wing have been asked to train 10 volunteers to protect the chief minister.

CBI fails to file chargesheet in murder case of a dalit family in Faridabad

CBI has failed to file chargesheet within the the stipulated 90 days in the murder case of a dalit family in Faridabad in October 2015, which had caused a huge political furore. This has led the four accused in the case to get bail.

According to section 167 (2) of CrPC , an accused cannot be detained more than 90 days in case of a murder.

There are eight more accused in the case who were arrested later and it is expected that they would also get bail. Earlier the CBI had allowed polygraph tests on the accused. However, the accused demanded that a polygraph test should also be conducted on the complainants.

Furniture to be sat on by French President Francois Hollande stolen in Chandigarh

Just before the visit of french president Francois Hollande to Chandigarh, expensive courbusier furniture estimated to be worth one crore, on which Hollande and his entourage was to sit has been stolen.

The incident has become both a security scare and a cause for embarrassment for the administration. No arrests have been made yet and a case has been registered under Sections 457 ( break-in) and 380 (theft).

The theft happened while guards were posted outside the storeroom. They are being questioned by the police.

Chemists profits to be capped at 50%?

The government has planned a 50% cap on the profits of chemists, which if implemented, will lead to a substantial reduction in drug prices. This decision follows the recommendations of an expert committee set up last year.

This move will hugely benefit consumers as earlier chemists used to maintain a 400-500% margin on medicines which were already overpriced.

Now, for a medicine which is priced at Rs 2per unit, margin will be 50%. There will two more slabs capped at 45% and 35%.

Four manual scavengers die admist cleaning of a septic tank in Chennai

In the light of suicide by a Dalit student in Hyderabad, here is a reality check on the plight of disadvantaged people. Four manual scavengers died in Tamil Nadu while cleaning a septic tank of a Dindigul Thalappakatti restaurant on Rajiv Gandhi Salai in Karapakkam, Chennai.

Relatives of the deceased has alleged neglect of the management. Kannagi Nagar police have registered a case and arrested three restaurant staffs under section 288 (negligent conduct), 336 (endangering life and personal safety of others), 304 (death caused by negligent act) and 8 (prohibition of employment under manual scavengers act).