BJP MLA Charged With Murder After Unnao Accident & More

BJP MLA Kuldeep Singh Sengar and 29 of his associates charged with criminal conspiracy, murder and attempt to murder

1. FIR Against MLA, 29 Others for Plot to Kill Unnao Rape Survivor

Twenty-four hours after a speeding truck crashed into the car in which the Unnao rape survivor was travelling, UP police booked jailed BJP MLA Kuldeep Singh Sengar and 29 of his associates on charges of criminal conspiracy, murder and attempt to murder.

The FIR was lodged at Gurubakshganj police station on a complaint by the survivor’s uncle, who’s doing time in Rae Bareli prison, following conviction in a case of attempted murder and forgery lodged by Sengar’s brother.

The survivor was on her way to meet her uncle when the crash occurred. In the FIR, besides Sengar, his relative Manoj Singh, Vinod Mishra, Haripal Singh, Naveen Singh, Komal Singh, Arun Singh, Gyanendra Singh, Rinku Singh, and his lawyer Awadesh Singh have been named. Sengar’s 20 unidentified aides are also accused.

(Source: The Times of India)

2. BS Yediyurappa Wins Trust Vote, Karnataka Speaker Quits

Karnataka chief minister BS Yediyurappa proved his majority in the assembly on Monday, 29 July, without breaking a sweat, setting the ball rolling for cabinet formation with the BJP leadership’s nod in Delhi.

The win somewhat erased memories of his trust vote 14 months ago when he had to resign on the floor of the House, admitting he did not have the numbers. Since then, the BJP tally just went up by one to 105, but it was enough to tide through a House reduced to 208 members after the disqualification of 17 Congress-JD(S) rebels. The Congress-JD(S) did not press for a division.

Soon after, speaker KR Ramesh Kumar quit, pre-empting any move to oust him. The BSY government will be in place for at least six months as a no-confidence motion cannot be moved prior to that period.

(Source: The Times of India)

3. 70% of Wild Tigers in the World are in India: Report

India now has 2,967 tigers, or 7 out of every 10 big cats in the wild in the world, according to the All India Tiger Estimation Results released on Monday, 29 July, by Prime Minister Narendra Modi on the occasion of International Tiger Day.

The number reflects a 33 percent increase over 2014 when there were 2,226 tigers in the country. That number itself was an improvement over 2010 (1,706) and 2006 (1,411). In the span of 12 years, India has more than doubled its number of tigers, a feat that one expert attributed to “sovereign funding and field staff”.

Madhya Pradesh has the highest number with 526 tigers (308 in 2014), followed by 524 (406) in Karnataka and 442 (340) in Uttarakhand.

(Source: Hindustan Times)

4. Ten Monuments Including Humayun’s Tomb to Now Be Open till 9 PM

The Culture Ministry has decided to keep 10 heritage sites open for public from sunrise to 9 pm, Union Culture and Tourism Minister Prahlad Patel said on Monday, 29 July. At present, gates of most monuments are closed for visitors by 6 pm.

Apart from the Humayun’s Tomb and Safdarjung Tomb in Delhi, the extended timings will apply to Rajarani Temple in Bhubaneswar, Dulhadev Temple in Khajuraho, Shekh Chilli Tomb in Kurukshetra, Group of Monuments at Pattadakal in Karnataka, Gol Gumbaj in Karnataka, Group of Temples in Maharashtra (Markanda), Man Mahal in Uttar Pradesh (Varanasi) and Rani ki Baav in Paatan Gujarat.

The change in timings will be effective for a period of three years, the minister said.

(Source: The Indian Express)

5. Azam Khan Apologises, BJP MP Says He Is in Habit of Making Such Remarks

In a tight spot over objectionable remarks against BJP member Rama Devi, Samajwadi Party MP Azam Khan tendered an apology in the Lok Sabha on Monday, 29 July.

Devi, who was in the Chair last Thursday when Khan had made the remarks, said the SP member has a habit of uttering words against women. As members appeared restive over his first apology, Khan had to apologise again.

Speaker Om Birla called upon Khan to speak as soon as the House met for the day.

Khan said: “Sir, (in) the issue regarding me, which has come up before you, neither did I feel in such a way towards the Chair, nor is it possible. I was a Parliamentary Affairs minister (in Uttar Pradesh) twice. I have been an MLA nine times, a minister four times and a Rajya Sabha member too. The entire House is aware of my conduct and speech. However, if the Chair still feels that there was something wrong in my feelings, I seek forgiveness for it.”

(Source: The Indian Express)

6. Cafe Coffee Day founder V.G. Siddhartha goes missing in Mangaluru

Founder of the Cafe Coffee Day chain of coffee shops and son-in-law of senior BJP politician and former Karnataka CM S.M. Krishna, V.G. Siddhartha, went missing in Mangaluru on Monday evening.

“He had left Bengaluru on Monday to Sakaleshpura but asked the driver to go to Mangaluru and when they reached the city, he again asked the driver to go to Ullal. At the bridge across Netravati river, at around 6.30 p.m., he asked the driver to park the vehicle, as he would have a walk on the scenic bridge, and he had to make a few calls. The driver called Siddhartha when he did not turn up even after an hour. It had also begun to rain. His phone was switched off and he was nowhere on the bridge,” said a senior policeman on the circumstances under which the businessman had gone missing.

(Source: The Hindu)

7. Minorities panel draws its remit

The National Commission of Minorities (NCM) has refused to entertain a plea to declare Hindus a “minority community” in those States where they do not form a majority of the population.

A report of its sub-committee, which was approved and adopted by the NCM on July 26, said the role of the minorities commission was not to declare new minority communities but to, instead, work and ensure the progress and development of minorities and protect their religious, cultural and educational rights.

The NCM has no such jurisdiction to declare minorities. The repository of such powers to declare a community as minority lies with the Central government. It cannot be usurped by the NCM, the report said.

(Source: The Hindu)

8. Amit Shah to head group to combat lynching

An empowered Group of Ministers (GoM) constituted last year to suggest measures to combat lynchings will continue functioning. It will be headed by Home Minister Amit Shah, said a senior government official.
The GoM had met on two occasions. Since the GoM was position-specific, there was no need to reconstitute it, said the official, speaking on condition of anonymity. The new GoM is yet to meet.

Last week the Supreme Court issued a notice to the Centre, the National Human Rights Commission (NHRC) and the State governments to a plea seeking the implementation of its July 2018 judgment laying down several preventive, remedial and punitive measures to combat the crime of lynching.

(Source: The Hindu)

9. Madhya Pradesh’s Pench sanctuary, Kerala’s Periyar sanctuary rated top tiger reserves

Madhya Pradesh’s Pench sanctuary and Kerala’s Periyar sanctuary emerged as the best managed tiger reserves in the country, according to an evaluation of India’s 50 tiger sanctuaries released along with the 4th National Tiger Estimation (Tiger census) on Monday.

The Dampa and Rajaji reserves, in Mizoram and Uttarakhand respectively, were left at the bottom of the ladder with a score of 42.97% and 44.53% respectively. The top performers scored 93.75%. A score of 41% and above was marked as ‘fair’ and those 75% and above rated ‘very good.’

(Source: The Hindu)

10. Imran Khan terms forced conversions as ‘un-Islamic’; vows to protect worship places of minorities

Pakistan Prime Minister Imran Khan on Monday termed the practice of forced conversions as “un-Islamic” and said there was no precedent in Islamic history for forcefully converting others, according to media reports.

Addressing an event in connection with National Minorities Day at the Aiwan-e-Sadr (President’s House) in Islamabad, Khan also vowed to protect and develop worship places of minorities in Pakistan and also facilitate them to the maximum level to perform them religious rituals.

Khan said the Prophet himself had given minorities religious freedom and protected their places of worship, Dawn newspaper reported.

(Source: The Morning Chronicle)

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