News Updates

27th June - 02nd July
  • In Kashmir, another ‘human shield’ incident scars a minor and four men
    On June 18, a two-minute video showing four civilians sitting in front of security forces’ vehicles went viral in Kashmir. At least one vehicle bears the markings of the Jammu and Kashmir police. The four persons, including a minor, are dressed in plainclothes, surrounded by security personnel, armed with assault rifles and sticks, and in verbal confrontation with a crowd of stone pelters, one of whom appears to have captured the video. “Look at the coward Indian nation,” one man is heard saying in the video. “They have kept our colleagues in front of them so we do not throw stones at them.” Towards the end of the video, the four civilians are seen moving to the side of the road. One of the security personnel faces the crowd with a cricket bat, presumably to deflect any stones that might fly towards them. The purported stone pelters taunt the security personnel. The video was reportedly shot at Samboora village in South Kashmir’s Pulwama district, and uploaded on Facebook. (Scroll.in: June 28, 2018)
  • India preparing for cut in oil imports from Iran: India has said it does not recognize unilateral restrictions imposed by the United States, and instead follows UN sanctions. But the industry sources said India, the biggest buyer of Iranian oil after China, will be forced to take action to protect its exposure to the U.S. financial system. India’s oil ministry held a meeting with refiners, urging them to scout for alternatives to Iranian oil, the sources said. (Reuters, 28 June, 2018)
16th June - 26th June
  • Indian Army was killing more civilians than terrorists” Former J&K Chief Minister Ghulam Nabi Azad: The BJP on Friday launched an all-out attack on the Congress for the statements made by its leaders on Jammu and Kashmir. Union Law Minister Ravi Shankar Prasad said they were “in sync with the terrorists and their patrons.”He was referring to an assertion by the leader of the Opposition in the Rajya Sabha and former J&K Chief Minister Ghulam Nabi Azad, in an interview to a TV channel, that the “Indian Army was killing more civilians than terrorists” in the State. Mr. Prasad termed it “irresponsible, shameful and deeply regrettable.” The Congress leadership must clarify what action they were planning against Mr. Azad. “The statement is shocking also because Mr. Azad, as a former Chief Minister, has seen the brutal face of Pakistan-sponsored terrorism in the State,” he said. (The Hindu, 22 June, 2018)
  • Chabahar port may open by 2019, says Gadkari: India hopes to make Iran’s Chabahar port operational by 2019, despite the threat of United States’ sanctions against Tehran looming large. Road Transport and Highways Minister Nitin Gadkari said that the opening of the port will make countries part of the Commonwealth of Independent States more accessible, according to an official statement. (The Hindu, 22 June, 2018)
  • India, Bangladesh Navies to join hands. (The Hindu, 24 June, 2018)
9th June - 15th June
  • India and the US have agreed to hold official-level comprehensive talks to address trade and economic issues, days after President Donald Trump accused New Delhi of charging 100% tariff on some of the US’ goods.(The Tribune, June 14, 2018)
  • India’s Border Security Force (BSF) and the Pakistan Rangers held a flag meeting to maintain peace and tranquility on the international border in Jammu and Kashmir, an official statement said. “Recent incidents of ceasefire violations on the international border were discussed. The two sides agreed to maintain peace and tranquility on and maintain periodic contact to defuse tensions on the border,” BSF sources said. (The Statesman, June 14, 2018)
  • IAS officers working in the Delhi administration are on an “undeclared strike”:Four non-BJP Chief Ministers met Prime Minister Narendra Modi on June 17 at the meeting of the NITI Aayog’s fourth general council meeting and urged him to immediately resolve the problems of the Delhi government. The four Chief Ministers — West Bengal’s Mamata Banerjee, Kerala’s Pinarayi Vijayan, Karnataka’s H.D. Kumaraswamy and Andhra Pradesh’s N. Chandrababu Naidu — have extended their support to Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal’s sit-in protest at Lt. Governor Anil Baijal’s office-cum-residence, Raj Niwas. In a bid to show their solidarity with Mr. Kejriwal, the four Chief Ministers met on June 16 and discussed a strategy to provide support to the AAP leader, who wants IAS officers to end their non-cooperation with his government. Mr. Kejriwal, along with Deputy Chief Minister Manish Sisodia and Cabinet Ministers Satyendar Jain and Gopal Rai, is camping at Raj Niwas since June 11, demanding a direction to the IAS officers working in the Delhi administration to end what he terms as an “undeclared strike”. (The Hindu, 19.6.2018)
  • Hate against Muslims on a rise in India : Another day, another tale of appalling prejudice on Indian social media. On Monday, a Lucknow-based woman refused to interact with the social media representative of a company owing to the man’s religion. “Dear Shohaib, as you’re a Muslim and I have no faith in your working ethics because Kuran may have different version for customer service, thus requesting you to assign a Hindu representative for my request. Thanks,” tweeted Pooja Singh. India has always had the problem of bigotry and communalism. In its seven-decade long existence, the country has frequently seen riots and pogroms against its minorities. Yet, what is happening in 2018 is different. Earlier bigotry existed – at least formally – as an aberration. Political parties and public individuals would declare their allegiance to secularism, even if there were many a slip between cup and the lip in practise. What is happening now on social media is dangerous normalisation of bigotry. Being communally partisan is now not a fault to be hidden away anymore. For a substantial section of Indians, it is to be exhibited and celebrated. In some cases, the bigotry appears to also be institutionalised, with allegations that the ruling Bharatiya Janata Party has carried out social media campaigns using its large online presence. (The rising tide of online bigotry threatens the fabric of Indian society, Scroll.in, June 19, 2018)
  • India to host first BIMSTEC war games in September (The Hindu , 11 June, 2018)
  • Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Pakistani President Mamnoon Hussain shook hands and exchanged pleasantries after a press conference by the leaders of the Shanghai Cooperation Organisation (SCO). A diplomatic source told The Hindu that India was exploring the possibility of connectivity to Central Asia through the Pakistan-Afghan corridor, under the SCO framework. “The SCO has been working on connectivity among its member countries. Now that India and Pakistan are both members, it provides New Delhi with a fresh opportunity to reach out to Central Asia across the Pakistani corridor,” the source said. An Indian official had earlier told The Hindu that as its full participation neared, the Indian side “seriously began to explore opportunities presented by New Delhi’s participation in the SCO.” (The Hindu, 11 June, 2018)
  • Rise in India-ASEAN naval games: India is instituting a series of bilateral and multilateral naval exercises with Association of South East Asian Nations (ASEAN) countries as part of the increasing military-to-military cooperation. This is in addition to assisting the countries in capacity-building and sale of military hardware. (The Hindu, 11 June, 2018)
  • India refuses to endorse China’s Belt and Road Initiative. (The Hindu, 10 June, 2018)
  • Narendra Modi lacks good intentions, says Rahul Gandhi.(The Hindu, 13 June, 2018)
  • The situation in Kashmir is turbulent as nearly 80 incidents of violence occurred there in the last four months.(PM chairs high-level meeting on Kashmir, The Hindu, 15 June, 2018)
  • UN issues report on human rights abuses in India. (India calls UN report on human rights abuse in Kashmir ‘fallacious’ , 15 June, 2018)
  • Five minors held on charges of sedition in Bihar. (Scroll.in, Eight held on charges of sedition and attempt to promote disharmony 19 June, 2018)
1st June - 08th June
  • Pakistan is a neighbour you can’t wish away: A.S. Dulat
    Delhi needs to do much more in Kashmir, and India and Pakistan should keep the dialogue process alive, says the former RAW chief. In this interview, Mr. Dulat speaks of the need to enlist the Hurriyat to return Kashmiri Pandits to the Valley, establish a permanent dialogue between Indian and Pakistani intelligence, and invite the Pakistan Army Chief to India for talks. (The Hindu, June 6, 2018)
  • PM Modi to meet Xi Jinping at sidelines of SCO Summit. (Times of India, June 7, 2018)
  • India moves one notch up to 136th place in Global Peace Index. The only countries which were ranked lower than India in the South Asian region were Pakistan (151 position) and Afghanistan (162). (Economic Times, Jun 06, 2018)
  • Hurriyat leader Geelani rules out meeting with Kashmir interlocutor Dineshwar Sharma. Hurriyat insiders say Syed Ali Shah Geelani’s stance suggests that he favours a political engagement between the separatists and the government.
  • “There is no let up... People get killed, maimed and incarcerated and now run over by the military vehicles... It has become a routine matter in Kashmir so the question of any extension in the ceasefire doesn’t matter...” said Geelani in another written reply. (Hindustan Times, Jun 06, 2018)
  • Congress doesn’t understand RSS is not the BJP: M.G. Vaidya
    In an exclusive interview with The Hindu, former RSS spokesperson and senior RSS ideologue M.G. Vaidya spoke on former President Pranab Mukherjee’s scheduled visit to Nagpur for an RSS function, Congress president Rahul Gandhi’s criticism of the RSS and the BJP’s bypoll loss against the united Opposition. (The Hindu, June 6, 2018)
  • Militants attacked an Army camp in Bandipora’sHajin area in Jammu and Kashmir on June 5. (The Hindu, June 6, 2018)
  • Rajnath Singh will visit Kashmir and addressed a meeting of the Sports Council. It is expected he will announce a financial package for the creation of sports facilities in the State. (NDTV, June 7, 2018)
  • Jammu and Kashmir likely to seek truce extension. Buoyed by the security agencies’ assessment of the ‘Ramzan ceasefire or cease-ops’, the Jammu & Kashmir government is likely to push for a two-month extension of the Centre’s soft pursuit in the State during Union Home Minister Rajnath Singh’s visit on Thursday.
  • “The Ramzan ceasefire has brought a visible change in the lives of the people. It has also brought an attitudinal change among the masses. This needs to be built on, and the momentum to pursue the efforts towards a political dialogue should continue,” People’s Democratic Party leader and J&K Public Works Minister Naeem Akhtar told The Hindu. (The Hindu, June 6, 2018)
Credit: Maryam Mastoor

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