The Hindu – Two lynched over suspicion of cow theft in West Bengal’s Jalpaiguri district

Staff Reporter

Kolkata, 27 August 2017. Two persons were lynched at a village in the Dhupguri block of West Bengal’s Jalpaiguri district in the early hours of August 27, 2017 under suspicion of stealing cows. Police has lodged a murder case and no one has been arrested so far.

“Hafizul Sheikh of Dhubri district in Assam and Anwar Hussain of Patlakhawa village of Cooch Behar district were beaten to death by locals at the Dadon II gram panchayat area in Jalpaiguri’s Dhupguri block,” a senior district police official told The Hindu.

He also said the villagers noticed that a pick-up van carrying cows was aimlessly wandering around the area. When challenged by the villagers the van picked up speed and tried to escape, the official said.

“However, the villagers soon captured the van and caught hold of Mr Sheikh and Mr Hussain. The driver fled from the spot. After questioning the two for a while the locals had beaten them to death,” said the police official.

Police reached the spot after sometime and rushed the two to a local hospital where doctors declared them dead. The deceased did not have valid documents to transport cattle, police official said. The investigators are not yet sure whether the deceased were stealing cows.

“But what we could not figure out is why the deceased were wandering in the village so late at night,” the senior district police official said.

Jalpaiguri Superintendent of Police Amitabha Maity said, “Stern action will be taken against those involved in the case.

If they thought that the cows were being transported illegally they should have informed the police instead of taking the law in their own hands.” A large police contingent has been deployed in the area.

“This is the first case of lynching under suspicion of cow theft in Dhupguri in recent years. However, being about 30 km from Bangladesh border, cow smuggling often takes place in Dhupguri,” Jatishwar Bharati, Jalpaiguri district secretary of the Association for Protection of Democratic Rights [APDR] said.

In June 2017, three persons were lynched in the Chopra block of the State’s Uttar Dinajpur district for alleged cattle theft.


The Statesman – Manjeev Singh Puri new Indian envoy to Nepal

Kathmandu, 2 March 2017. India has proposed the name of Manjeev Singh Puri as its next ambassador to Nepal, with the term of senior Indian diplomat Ranjit Rae coming to an end, a media report said.

Puri is the incumbent Indian Ambassador to the European Union, Belgium and Luxembourg.

An official at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs in Kathmandu confirmed that Puri’s name was sent to MoFA on Tuesday and the process for sending the agreement for his appointment would begin very soon, The Himalayan Times reported.

Outgoing Indian Ambassador Rae, whose term ended on Tuesday, had informed Nepal Prime Minister Pushpa Kamal Dahal ‘Prachanda’ of New Delhi’s decision during his farewell call on Wednesday, the daily said quoting sources.

Chargé d’affaires at the Kathmandu-based Indian Embassy, Vinay Kumar, refused to comment on the issue, the daily said.

I met the Ambassador at an event in Leuven University and had a pleasant conversation with him, but a Modi appointee can of course not be easily trusted

Read his biography at the link below

The Hindu – Jammu & Kashmir: Before Zaira, there were sports champions and IAS topper

But just a week later, a picture with Chief Minister Mehbooba Mufti made her a villain overnight

Peerzada Ashiq

Srinagar, 22 January 2017. On January 12, Dangal actor Zaira Wasim, 16, posted a message on Facebook, “I have also cleared [Class 10 exams]. Don’t know how!”. She was greeted with a torrent of congratulatory messages, with no trolling.

But just a week later, a picture with Chief Minister Mehbooba Mufti made her a villain overnight.

The disenchanted and alienated population of Kashmir, besides religious extremists, suddenly saw Ms. Wasim as a target for their anger over the prolonged curfew and death of over 90 civilians in the unrest in the summer of 2016. It was easy and just a click away.

The young actor is not the first person to struggle to come to terms with this unpredictable behaviour.

From 27-year-old cricketer Pervaiz Rasool, who has played for India, to IAS topper Shah Faesal and eight-year-old kick-boxing wizard Tajamul Islam, who has been trained by the Army, there has been an attempt by a sizeable number to use such achievers as targets for their their disenchantment with the State and to score a political point.

Several people set on fire a calendar featuring young Tajamul recently. Cricketer Rasool is often confronted with a barrage of questions on the nature of politics.

‘Getting mixed up’

Mr. Faesal, whose house resounded with firecrackers burst by the local people to celebrate his success in the IAS examinations in 2010, said, “My feat was celebrated again and again.

However, of late, people’s achievements get mixed up with local politics. There is a vocal minority that undermines peoples’ achievements and questions whether to celebrate it.”

Lampooned online often for his political views, Mr. Faesal said, “I have thousands of followers on social media with whom I engage through my posts … In Zaira’s case, many people rallied behind her.

So, it’s a new beginning where people have started celebrating success. Earlier, there was an overriding thought of the State sponsoring the talent. The paradigm is shifting.”

Gowhar Geelani, a columnist and political commentator, blames the narratives emanating from mainland India for reactions here.

“We stood for our young achievers in every field. We stood for pellet-hit Insha and others who died in 2016 … But we refuse to be part of the crafty grand narratives and hollow ‘surgical strikes’ of the Indian liberal class that only wake up when it suits them,” Mr. Geelani said.

Separatist leaders like Hurriyat chairman Mirwaiz Umar Farooq have maintained a distance from the controversy, only saying “We have nothing to do with it”

Focus on Mehbooba

Hameeda Nayeem, a Professor of English at Kashmir University and wife of Hurriyat leader Nayeem Khan, sees no role of separatists in the Zaira controversy.

“The media is grossly misrepresenting the case. Nobody is against Zaira acting. Some youngsters have shown displeasure with her meeting the CM, who is using any opportunity to bolster her own position after what happened in 2016,” said Ms. Nayeem.

“The Zaira episode is symbolic of how the Indian apparatus sees every little Kashmiri endeavour, be it in education, entertainment or sports, as a tool to be used to show how Kashmiris are “integrating”.

The Hindu – Pakistan fomenting trouble in Punjab: Ravneet Singh

New Delhi, 10 August 2016. Congress member Ravneet Singh on Wednesday expressed concern in Lok Sabha alleging Pakistan-sponsored attempts to foment trouble in Punjab as also to drive out Sikhs from the Kashmir Valley as was done to pandits some 25 years back.

Raising the issue during Zero Hour, Ravneet Singh said after forcing Kashmiri pandits out of the Valley, Sikhs were being increasingly targeted.

In Punjab, the state government is a “panicky” lot following the recent attack on an RSS leader and has sought more paramilitary forces as there appears to be an attempt to create trouble in the state which had once witnessed militancy, he said.

Mr. Singh wanted the Intelligence Bureau to be more alert in view of the designs of forces from across the border and government should order strict vigil on the situation.

Raising another issue, Congress leader Mallikarjun Kharge demanded a statement from Prime Minister Narendra Modi on the situation in the Kashmir valley as members were concerned over the way things were developing there.

He wanted the Speaker to direct the Prime Minister to apprise the House of the situation there as he has broken his silence outside Parliament.

Yogi Adityanath (BJP) wanted the NIA to investigate the growing activities relating to circulation of counterfeit currency and smuggling of drugs and arms along the borders with Nepal, Bhutan and Tibet.

Several other members also raised issues of urgent public importance during the Zero Hour.