India in 2 minutes

Foreign Minister Subrahmanyam Jaishankar said on Tuesday that India has told Canada that it is open to looking into any information that Canada provides on the killing of Sikh separatist Hardeep Singh Nijjar.

India will look into Canada’s intel on separatist’s murder

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau said last week that Canada had credible intelligence linking Indian agents to the murder, prompting an angry initial reaction from New Delhi, which denies the allegation.

“We told the Canadians, look, if you have something specific, if you have something relevant, let us know. We are open to looking at it,” said
Mr Jaishankar.

India last week suspended new visas for Canadians and asked Canada to reduce its diplomatic presence in the country, citing “a deteriorating security environment”.

Pegatron fire traced to workers’ failure to turn off switch

A factory fire at iPhone assembler Pegatron India was sparked by a short-circuit after an electrical switch was left on, following testing of the devices as they were being put together, two sources briefed on the matter told Reuters.

The lapse at key Apple supplier Pegatron’s factory in Chengalpattu, Tamil Nadu, has cost three straight days of lost production, with no clarity on when operations might resume. There were no injuries in the fire.

States with upcoming elections report more anti-Muslim incidents

Anti-Muslim hate speech incidents in India averaged more than one a day in 2023 Q1 and were seen mostly in states with upcoming elections, according to a report by Hindutva Watch, a Washington-based group monitoring attacks on minorities.

There were 255 documented incidents of hate speech gatherings targeting Muslims with about 70 per cent of the incidents taking place in states scheduled to hold elections in 2023 and 2024.

Maharashtra, Karnataka, Madhya Pradesh, Rajasthan and Gujarat witnessed the highest number of hate speech gatherings. Most of the hate speech mentioned conspiracy theories and calls for violence and socio-economic boycotts against Muslims.

India says Aadhaar reliable after Moody’s cites concerns

The Indian government on Monday reiterated its confidence in the country’s digital identification system, Aadhaar, after a Moody’s report last week highlighted concerns about it, including its such as establishing authorisation and biometric reliability.

The Aadhaar card, which is issued by the Unique Identification Authority of India, has a unique number tied to an individual’s fingerprints, face and eye scan.

Moody’s in its report had said that the Aadhaar’s system often results in service denials, and questioned the reliability of biometric technologies, especially for manual labourers in hot, humid climates.

Delhi government frustrated over senior bureaucrats’ disobedience

The Delhi government on Wednesday told the Supreme Court that senior bureaucrats were not carrying out orders, while urging forseeking an urgent hearing on its plea against the contentious law giving the Lieutenant Governor an upper hand in matters related to transfers and postings of senior officials.

“I cannot express the agony of the administration. Civil servants are not listening or carrying out orders. There is an extreme urgency,” submitted senior advocate Abhishek Manu Singhvi, who appeared for the Delhi government.

A bench headed by Chief Justice of India D.Y. Chandrachud declined to pass any order directing urgent listing of the petition.

Central government considering housing subsidy scheme

The Central government is considering spending Rs600 billion ($9.9 billion) to provide subsidised loans for small urban housing over the next five years, two government sources told Reuters.

Banks are likely to roll out the scheme in a couple of months, ahead of key state elections later this year and general elections due in mid-2024.

The scheme will offer an annual interest subsidy of 3-6.5 per cent on up to Rs900,000 of the loan amount. Housing loans below Rs5 million availedtaken for a tenure of 20 years will be eligible for the proposed scheme.

Jammu, Kashmir to auction lithium reserves

India’s federally administered region of Jammu and Kashmir will auction its lithium reserves over the next few weeks, a government source with close knowledge of the matter told Reuters on Monday.

India, which has been exploring ways to secure supplies of lithium, a critical raw material used to make electric vehicle batteries, in February found its first lithium deposits in Jammu and Kashmir with estimated reserves of 5.9 million tonnes.

Kerala farm owner arrested after burying the bodies of 2 youths

A couple of days after they went missing, the bodies of two youths were dug out from a farm near Palakkad in Kerala, a police officer said on Wednesday.

Shijith and Satheesh were part of a group of youths who were running away from a police patrol, after they committed some mischief. The duo ran into the farm to hide but got trapped in an electric fence and were later found dead by the owner, Ananthan.

“The owner said that he had set up the electric fence to ward off wild animals. On seeing two bodies, he panicked and dug a pit on his land and buried them,” said the officer.

“He has been arrested, charged with destroying evidence, and the probe will continue.”

Bihar removes 332,000 students for extended absence

The education department in Bihar has struck off the names of 332,000 students from government schools, after they were found to be absent for more than 15 days without permission.

The education department warned that students should have 75 per cent attendance to be eligible for the board examination.

Special CBI team in Manipur to probe students’ killing

A special Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) team reached Manipur’s capital Imphal on Wednesday to expedite a probe into the murder of two young students.

The Manipur government had earlier said that the case has been handed over to the CBI, while the security forces have initiated a search operation to nab the killers.

Photos of the bodies of the victims, identified as Phijam Hemjit, 20, and Hijam Linthoingambi, 17, who were missing since July, surfaced on social media on Monday.

Patna police nab accused in kidnapping and urinating incident

Police in Patna, Bihar, on Tuesday arrested the main accused in an incident where a woman was brutally assaulted and urinated upon.

Superintendent of Police (Patna Rural) Syed Imran Masood said that while Pramod Singh was arrested, five others including his son Anshu Singh were still at large.

“Investigations have found that they kidnapped and brutally assaulted the woman,” said Supt Imran.


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