Daily Briefing: Pangong disengagement over; 28-yr-old arrested for Unnao deaths

From India's two oldest science academies criticising the MoE order mandating government approval for all webinars, to the Delhi Police using facial recognition technology to arrest 137 people involved in the Northeast Delhi riots; here are today's top stories.

Good morning,

The Big Story

Senior military commanders from India and China will be meeting today to discuss the next phase of disengagement along the Line of Actual Control in Ladakh, after both sides pulled back troops, tanks and artillery and verified it on the ground. The discussions will revolve around friction points such as Hot Springs, Gogra, Depsang Plains.

China, for the first time, admitted that it lost four of its personnel, including a battalion commander, in clashes with Indian troops in the Galwan Valley in Ladakh last year. It also said that another officer, of the rank of a Colonel, was “seriously injured in the skirmish”.  The PLA made no mention of the number of personnel injured in the clashes.

Only in the Express

Pratap Bhanu Mehta writes on big tech regulation: “Pushing back against big tech is not protectionism, because this pushback is to curb the unfair advantages they use to exploit an open Indian market.”

From the Front Page

Hearing arguments in a plea by arrested activist Disha Ravi against the “leaking” of her WhatsApp chats, allegedly by police, to the media, a Delhi High Court bench directed police to not “rush to the press with half-baked, speculative or unconfirmed information about ongoing investigations”. It also directed editors of media houses to exercise “proper editorial control”.

 With the arrest of a 28-year-old man, the Uttar Pradesh Police claimed to have solved the suspected poisoning of three Dalit girls, who were cousins, in Unnao district. Police said the accused confessed to mixing insecticide in water to target the eldest girl, 17, after she spurned his advances. However, all three reportedly drank the water inadvertently. 

 Three alleged Lashkar-e-Toiba men were arrested in connection with the killing of two police constables in Srinagar. CCTV footage of the incident showed an armed man walking on a busy street before opening fire at the cops. After seeing the footage, the parents of the suspect called the police station to inform their son was involved in the attack, police said.

Must Read 

India’s two largest and oldest science academies have written to the Ministry of Education — and the third is considering joining in — to say that its recent order mandating institutions to seek Government clearance for all webinars could “lead to a complete halt of all topical scientific discussions” and “impede” the interest of science among the young.

At least 137 out of the 1,818 people arrested in connection with last year’s riots in Northeast Delhi were identified by a facial recognition system (FRS), Delhi Police said. “The FRS was matched with police criminal records, and many accused were caught,” the Delhi Police commissioner said at a press conference. 

The government is learnt to have decided to file an appeal against the $1.2-billion arbitration award in the retrospective tax demand case involving Cairn Energy. Following Cairn Energy CEO Simon Thomson’s meeting with Finance Secretary Ajay Bhushan Pandey for the second consecutive day on Friday, government sources indicated that the Centre will also consider contesting other suits filed by the company at various international courts.

ICYMI

Tamil Nadu announced dropping of cases registered against Citizenship (Amendment) Act protesters and people who violated lockdown norms, except those facing serious charges. Over 10 lakh such cases registered early last year might now be withdrawn.

State BJP Yuva Morcha general secretary Pamela Goswami, her friend and security guard were arrested in south Kolkata on Friday for allegedly carrying 90 grams of cocaine worth Rs 10 lakh in her car.

Thirty-four days after it rolled out the largest Covid-19 immunisation drive, India became the second-fastest in the world to administer one crore doses to its priority group.

Taxi ride-hailing giant Uber must classify its drivers as workers with minimum wage, holiday and sick pay rights, rather than be categorised as self-employed, the UK Supreme Court has ruled.

And Finally

A little more than a decade after Shillong Lajong became the first club from the Northeast to qualify for India’s I-League football competition, they are now absent from the top two tiers of Indian football. Yet, their presence is unmistakable as clubs across India continue to reap the benefits of the talent Shillong Lajong have churned out over all these years. From Mumbai City’s Bipin Singh, to Bengaluru FC’s Wungngayam Muirang, over 20 Shillong Lajong alumni have been snapped up by top division teams in recent years. 

Delhi Confidential: As the BJP raises its poll pitch to unprecedented levels in poll-bound West Bengal, Congress leader Rahul Gandhi is yet to visit the state. Many leaders are wondering whether Rahul, who has visited Tamil Nadu thrice and Assam and Puducherry once in recent months, was working to some strategy.

Until tomorrow,
Leela Prasad G and Rahel Philipose


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