External Affairs

Get Wired 8/9: Army Men Sentenced, Solo SP, Murray Out, and More

Six army men sentenced to life in Machil case

An Army court martial has awarded life sentences to six of its personnel found guilty in the Machil fake encounter case of 2010. This is the first time that armed forces personnel are being punished for human rights violations in the Kashmir valley. The Northern Command spokesperson made a statement on Monday that confirmed the sentencing of Colonel Dinesh Pathania; Captain Opendra; Havildar Devender Kumar; Lance Naik Lakhmi; Lance Naik Arun Kumar; and rifleman Abas Hussain. On April 29, 2010, the Army killed three youths in the Machil sector of Kupwara district ostensibly because they were foreign militants. A police investigation found out that the dead, Reyaz Ahmad, Mohammad Shafi and Shahzad Ahmadas, were residents of Nadihal Rafiabad of Baramulla district. They were made to come to Machil by a former special police officer, Bashir Ahmad Lone, and his accomplices with the offer of jobs and later handed over to the Army personnel for Rs.50,000 each.

Sonia Gandhi’s tenure as Congress President to be extended

On Tuesday, the Congress Working Committee extended the tenure of party president Sonia Gandhi by a year and lengthened the process of completing the party’s organisational elections. The top leadership adopted two key amendments to the party’s constitution” revival of the old system of having both ‘active’ and ‘ordinary’ memberships, and reverting to the three-year terms of party’s office-bearers in the stead of the present five-year term, as decided in the 2012 AICC session.

SP to go solo in Bihar

The Samajwadi Party ended the suspense about its participation in the grand alliance when it stepped out on Monday. The party also blamed its chief Nitish Kumar for his “tilt toward the Congress.” Bihar SP president Ramchandra Singh Yadav said the party would contest all 243 seats by itself in the upcoming polls.

Assam seeks Rs.500 crore from Centre as interim flood relief

The Assam government today sought an interim relief of Rs.500 crore for relief, rehabilitation and repair works in flood-affected areas across the state, which has claimed the lives of at least 13 people so far. The Assam government has adequate funds for immediate relief operations but the Central assistance would be required to carry out repair works of the damage infrastructure, CM Tarun Gogoi said.

Two Indians questioned in Thai bombing case

Two Indians were taken in for questioning by Thai police in connection with the August 17 bomb blast at the Erawan Brahma shrine in Bangkok. The blast killed 20 people and injured more than 120. The Indian embassy has been talking to the Thai authorities for more information on the detention of the Indians. The two men were reportedly taken away for questioning after assistant police commissioner General Prawut Thawornsiri led a team to search the Maimuna Garden Home apartment in Minburi at 9 pm on Monday night. According to reports the Indians were staying in the room next to the one where the bomb material was found.

UK won’t hesitate on deadly drone strikes on Islamic State

Defence Minister Michael Fallon said on Tuesday that the UK would not hesitate conducting more drone strikes as he defended the killing of a British Islamic State fighter. Earlier, Prime Minister David Cameron had told parliament on Monday that he had approved an air strike against a vehicle carrying a British jihadist in Syria who he said was plotting attacks against Britain.

Andy Murray out of US Open

World no. 3 Andy Murray’s title chase was served away by the South African Kevin Anderson on Monday. Anderson beat Murray 7-6(5), 6-3, 6-7(2), 7-6(0) to reach his first grand slam quarter final, where he will play Stanislas Wawrinka. In the women’s quarter-finals, Serena Williams is set to face her sister Venus, while Kristina Mladenovic will face Roberta Vinci in the other matchup. On the men’s front, world no. 1 Novak Djokovic will take on Feliciano Lopez while Jo-Wilfried Tsonga will be up against defending champion Marian Cilic.