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QBullet: Cops Probe Masked JNU Attackers; PM Cancels Assam Visit

1. Cops Zero in on 3 Masked JNU Attackers, Probe Insiders’ Role

Delhi Police may soon make a breakthrough in the JNU violence case as the crime branch is learnt to have received information about three suspects, including a woman, who had covered their faces and were seen wielding sticks on students.

While police remained tight-lipped, a source said that the three students’ location at the time of the violence was being corroborated from the list of all mobile numbers active in the area and their call details record (CDR) analysis.

The crime branch is also probing the role of a few “insiders” who were “accompanying and guiding” the suspects. This was revealed during interviews with students and hostel staff, who said the assailants did not knock on all doors and seemed to have precise information about their targets .

(Source: The Times of India)

2. Amid Raging CAA Stir, Modi Cancels Assam Visit for 2nd Time in a Month

Prime Minister Narendra Modi was met with black flags on his Assam visit as All Assam Students Union activists protested the Citizenship Amendment Bill, in Guwahati, on 8 February 2019.

PM Narendra Modi on Wednesday cancelled his proposed visit to Assam for the inauguration of the 3rd Khelo India Youth Games on Friday, making it the second time in less than a month that he has called off a trip to the state against the backdrop of the anti-citizenship law agitation.

The All Assam Students Union (Aasu) and other organisations at the forefront of the protests had threatened to unleash the “anger of the people” on Modi if he decided to go ahead with the trip.

“The prime minister is not coming to inaugurate the games. The chief minister (Sarbananda Sonowal) is flying to New Delhi tomorrow and is likely to meet him. We will discuss with the state leadership if we can extend an invitation to the PM for the closing ceremony on 22 January,” a state government official said.

(Source: The Times of India)

3. Top Army Gen Leads Team to China to Boost Defence Ties

Image ofused for representational purposes.

Northern Army Command chief Lt General Ranbir Singh is now leading a high-level delegation to China to hold talks with top generals of the People’s Liberation Army, in continuance of the policy to boost military-to-military interactions after the Doklam troop stand-off led to a freeze for several months in 2017-2018.

Officers on Wednesday said Lt-Gen Singh held a meeting with Gen Han Weiguo, commander of the PLA ground forces, to discuss the regional securityas well as measures to “further enhance peace and tranquility” along the Line of Actual Control (LAC). The Indian delegation is also scheduled to visit military and civil establishments in Beijing, Chengdu, Urumqi and Shanghai during the fiveday visit. “It will help to further cement ties between the two countries through talks for military cooperation and stabilisation of the sensitive border,” said an army officer.

(Source: The Times of India)

4. Violence Rocks Bengal, Bandh Peaceful Elsewhere

Visuals from the Bharat Bandh stir in Kolkata.

At least 10 cops were injured, six police vehicles torched, buses attacked and crude bombs recovered from a rail track in the nick of time as parts of Bengal lapsed into violence during Wednesday’s Bharat bandh called by the Left and Congress-backed trade unions against the Union government’s “anti-people policies”. While there was a flare up in Bengal, scattered protests marked the nationwide strike elsewhere, with minimal impact on normal life.

Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee accused CPM of hooliganism while trying to enforce a shutdown. She also sought to highlight the “difference between Bengal CPM and Kerala CPM”, saying the manner in which the bandh was enforced was enough to distinguish the two.

Sujapur in Malda was the epicentre of the violence, although both CPM and Congress functionaries claimed the bandh was “peaceful and total”. The trigger was apparently a blockade of NH-34. Hundreds of CPM and Congress supporters had assembled on the highway at 10am and refused to budge, stalling traffic all along the route.

(Source: The Times of India)

5. Unit Probing JNU Yet to Crack DU, Najeeb Cases

JNU student Najeeb Ahmed went missing on 16 October 2016.

Special investigation teams (SIT) formed by the crime branch of the Delhi Police, which is probing last Sunday’s mob attack at Jawaharlal Nehru University (JNU), failed to make any headway in two previous high-profile cases involving students — the 2016 disappearance of JNU student Najeeb Ahmad, and the violent clashes outside Ramjas College in 2017.

The Najeeb case was eventually transferred to the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) after the crime branch investigation failed to make any headway. In the Ramjas case, the crime branch is yet to file a charge sheet or arrest a single person nearly three years after the incident. In all three cases, members of the Akhil Bharatiya Vidyarthi Parishad (ABVP), the student wing of the Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh (RSS), were among the alleged perpetrators of the crimes.

The crime branch, which comprises highly specialised officers with superior investigation skills, is probing the violence that broke out at JNU around 6pm on Sunday, when masked assailants, armed with sticks, rods and hammers, attacked students and teachers inside the campus and smashed hostel property.

(Source: Hindustan Times)

6. In A First in 30 yrs, 500 Students From Stephen’s Boycott Classes

On Wednesday morning, slogans of azaadi (freedom) and inquilab (revolution) rang through the corridors of St Stephen’s College along with words from Preamble to the Constitution of India.

Armed with posters, students of St Stephen’s, who usually shy away from political issues, boycotted their classes on Wednesday — after almost around 30 years — while voicing their dissent on issues ranging from the Citizenship Amendment Act to violence on university campuses.

The students gathered around 10.30am on the Andrews Court area of campus with posters, banners, tambourines and umbrellas and read the Preamble to the Constitution. Around 500 students and teachers, with women protesters at the forefront, attended the meeting that was held to talk about current issues, including violence against students and CAA-NRC issue among others.

(Source: Hindustan Times)

7. AAP Manifesto Will Look Beyond Education, Health

Delhi CM Arvind Kejriwal.

The Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) believes that if it can get re-elected to the city government, it will cement its position in the capital’s politics. To do this, the party is of the opinion that it must address some of the most pressing issues of Delhiites, moving beyond education and health for which it had set aside most of its annual budget during its tenure.

For the elections slated for 8 February, the party will look to address air pollution, traffic, tap water, cleanliness and the Yamuna. The party is also planning to go big on addressing the issues of those living in slums and JJ clusters, including the expansion of its in-situ rehabilitation project.

On Tuesday, the party formed a special committee to draft its poll manifesto, which will be released by the chief minister and AAP national convener Arvind Kejriwal between 15 and 20 January.

(Source: Hindustan Times)

8. Amaravati Stir: Chandrababu Naidu, Other Leaders Detained

TDP president N Chandrababu Naidu was detained amid a “bus rally” in solidarity with the farmers’ agitation demanding that Amaravati be continued as Andhra Pradesh’s capital.

Telugu Desam Party (TDP) president N Chandrababu Naidu and several other party leaders were taken into custody by police in Vijayawada on Wednesday when they tried to take out a “bus rally” in solidarity with the farmers’ agitation demanding that Amaravati be continued as Andhra Pradesh’s capital.

Naidu’s son Lokesh, TDP senior leaders K Atchannaidu and other leaders were among those detained on Wednesday night, police said.

(Source: Hindustan Times)

9. 2 Rockets Hit Green Zone in Iraq’s Baghdad: Report

President Donald Trump said more “powerful” sanctions to be imposed on Tehran.

Two rockets crashed late Wednesday into the Iraqi capital’s Green Zone, the high-security enclave where foreign embassies including the US mission are based, security sources told AFP.

The attack came nearly 24 hours after Tehran launched ballistic missiles at Iraqi bases housing American and other coalition forces in retaliation for the US killing top Iranian general Qasem Soleimani.

Just before midnight, AFP’s correspondents in Baghdad heard two loud blasts followed by the wailing security sirens of the Green Zone.

(Source: Hindustan Times)

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