External Affairs

Get Wired 8/8: A Tiger Memon Call, Modi-Jaya Meet, Blogger Killings, and More

India threatens to boycott Pak Commonwealth meeting

India has threatened to boycott a Commonwealth Parliamentary Union meeting scheduled in Islamabad next month to protest Pakistan’s decision not to invite the Speaker of the Jammu and Kashmir assembly. Lok Sabha Speaker Sumitra Mahajan said that the decision was taken during a meeting of the Speakers of all states. Mahajan said that Pakistan’s decision was based on a rule from the 1950s regarding the status of the Kashmir issue in the United Nations. Pakistan’s move comes amidst tensions between over two militant attacks in Gurdaspur and J&K.

Mumbai police deny Tiger Memon phone call speculation

The police denied reports that Tiger Memon called up his family and threatened to avenge his brother Yakub Memon’s hanging last week. The said phone call was allegedly made 40 minutes before the hanging of his brother Yakub Memon. The Mumbai Police claim no such call was made. “We want to clarify that we do not have any such intercepted conversation and we also clarify that such said transcript does not belong to Mumbai police,” said deputy commissioner of police Dhananjay Kulkarni.

Suicide attack claims 35 in Kabul

Following the truck bomb, which killed 15 civilians and wounding 240 others, Kabul witnessed another attack 24 hours later. Twenty Afghan cadets were killed when a suicide attacker disguised as a police officer blew himself up at the entrance of the Kabul Police Academy. Having denied involvement in the first attack, the insurgent group was quick to claim responsibility for the second one.

Modi-Jayalalitha meet in Chennai

The Prime Minister met with Jayalalitha over lunch at her residence in Chennai. The meeting comes at a significant time as the center is struggling to push the GST and the Land Acquisition Bill in Parliament. The AIADMK has 11 members in Rajya Sabha, and in Lok Sabha it is the third largest party with 37 members. The meeting could have some crucial implications once session in Parliament resumes.

Fourth Bangladeshi blogger hacked to death

A group of attackers armed with machetes killed a blogger in Bangladesh on Friday, making it the fourth such deadly attack in the country this year. Niloy Chatterjee, the blogger was an advocate of freedom of expression and secularism best known by his pen name, Niloy Neel.  The Daily Star reported, that Al-Qaeda’s branch in Bangladesh claimed responsibility for the attack in an email to the Bangladeshi Press.

Smriti Irani comes to Swaraj’s defence

“Common families will have to earn their living” and the Gandhi’s could be an exception because they were “not used to working in the sun to earn money”, said Smriti Irani. These remarks were a response to Rahul Gandhi’s comments about Sushma Swaraj’s family receiving money from Lalit Modi. Criticising the Congress’s bid to stall Parliament, she said: “The Congress is running away from discussion as they have no proof. What do they know about khoon pasiney ki kamai (hard-earned money)?”

30 FTII students asked to vacate campus

FTII management today asked 30 students who have already completed their course, to vacate their hostel rooms even as the students’ agitation entered the 58th day. Director Prashant Pathrabe told reporters that he has taken an “administrative decision” to discontinue services of 82 contract employees, mainly those giving technical support to academic film projects, as there are no classes taking place on the campus currently.

Obama battles Pro-Israel group on Iran

US President met with AIPAC, the powerful pro-Israel group in the White House this week. Obama accused the group of spending millions of dollars on an ad campaign the Iran nuclear deal. The tone of the current dispute is raising concerns among some of Mr. Obama’s allies. They are worried that Obama, in working to counter Aipac’s tactics and discredit its claims about the nuclear accord with Iran, has gone overboard in his criticism of the group and like-minded opponents of the deal.

Central government says AAP was inaccurate about Jung

The Central government submitted a report to Delhi High Court stating that the Aam Aadmi Party was inaccurate in their claim that state Lieutenant-Governor Najeeb Jung had not consulted Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal regarding the appointment of officiating Chief Secretary Shakuntala Gamlin. The Union Home Ministry has further added that Jung had on May 13 taken a reasoned decision on Kejriwal’s proposal to choose between Gamlin and Parimal Rai for the position. The Home Ministry said that while Kejriwal had indicated his preference for Rai, the Lieutenant-Governor approved Gamlin for the post after due consideration.

Memon trial judge gets Z-grade security after threat

Delhi Police have upgraded the security cover justice Dipak Misra to Z-plus. The heightened security for justice Misra was put in place after the apex court judge received a death threat letter rejecting Memon’s plea. A Delhi Police constable and armed commandos will now protect the judge round-the-clock. Misra will also get two escort vehicles and a total of around 50 security personnel protecting him. Security arrangements at his residence have also seen an increment as it will now comprises of two head constables, eight constables apart from a Gypsy with armed guards that will be stationed outside.