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Get Wired 30/8: Baloch Airport Attacked, Land Acq. Ordinance Lapses, Protests in KL, and More

No negotiations, says Hardik Patel

Even though leader of Patidar Anamat Andolan Samiti, Hardik Patel threatened to intensify the agitation for reservations, curfew was lifted form parts of Gujarat on Friday. Officials said that curfew was lifted from the Bapunagar area of Ahmedabad, where a protestor died after being allegedly beaten up by police forces in the area. Nearly 95 FIRs have been filed and over 100 arrests have ben made during the agitations. Hardik Patel has declared that he is uninterested in negotiations and that his protests are likely to spread to other parts of the country. At a press conference in Delhi on Sunday, August 30, he stated that there was a plan for agitations to spread across the country.

Attack on airport in Pakistan leaves two killed

An attack on a small airport in southwest Pakistan early Sunday morning left two engineers dead and destroyed the airport’s radar system. No militant group immediately claimed responsibility for the attack, which on the Jewani airport in Balochistan province. The area has recently come under attack by separatist insurgents as well as other militant groups.

Captured terrorist met Hafeez Sayeed twice

Abu Ubaidullah, the second Pakistani militant captured in Jammu and Kashmir this month, met with Lashkar-e-Taiba founder Hafeez Saeed at least twice, investigators said on Friday. The officials said that Ubaidullah had gone through at least three rounds of training with the militant group and was sent to North Kashmir to set up a base in the Rafiabad region. Ubaidullah’s capture comes after security forces captured another militant, Mohammed Naveed, after he and another group of fighters ambushed a Border Security Force convoy in the Udhampur district of Kashmir.

India and US to share terror database

Officials on Friday said that India and the United States are set to reach an agreement on sharing a terrorism-related database for the exchange of information. The officials said that the database would be shared between the US Terrorist Screening Centre and India’s Intelligence Bureau.

AAP suspends two Punjab MPs for attending parallel rally

On August 29, the Aam Admi Party suspended two MPs, Dharamvira Gandhi and Harinder Singh Khalsa, from Patiala and Fategarh Sahib respectively, for “anti-party” activities. The decision was taken after they attended a rally organised by former disciplinary committee chief Daljit Singh at the Rakhar Puniya fair in Baba Bakala in Amritsar district earlier in the day. The AAP had organised its own rally at the fair led by Punjab affairs in-charge Sanjay Singh and state convenor Sucha Singh Chottepur.

Land Ordinance allowed to lapse

On Friday, the NDA government’s Land Acquisition ordinance was allowed to lapse. The government issued executive orders to extend the provisions of compensation, rehabilitation and resettlement as mentioned in the 2013 version of the Act to 13 Central Acts like the National Highways Act and the Railways Act. This will allow the government the alternative of not promulgating the land ordinance for the fourth time, allowing State governments to acquire land under their own laws. The ruling BJP was uncomfortable with the political messaging of the ordinance, which both Rahul and Sonia Gandhi have called anti-farmer. This move could be linked to the fact that the negative publicity would have done the NDA no good, especially in the run up to the elections in Bihar.

Lalu offers SP five seats

Rashtriya Janata Dal leader Lalu Prasad Yadav on Saturday said that he had offered the Mulayam Singh Yadav-led Samajwadi Party five seats to contest the assembly elections in Bihar. Lalu held a late-night meeting on Friday with SP National-Secretary Kiranmay Nanda, who later said that he had called a meeting of the party’s parliamentary board to discuss the proposal on Sunday. The RJD leader’s offer came after it was reported that the SP was planning to announce its exit from the alliance the RJD and the Nitish Kumar-led Janata Dal (United).

Bharatiya Mazdoor Sangh pulls out of September 2nd strike

The RSS-affiliated union called the Bharatiya Mazdoor Sangh has decided to pull out of protests organised by 10 trade unions to oppose the NDA’s anti-people policies. The strike was originally called by 11 central trade unions including BMS. In a meeting called on Friday, it suggested calling off the planned strike following the government’s assurances plus a six-month implementation window.

Rajan hints at rate cut

Reserve Bank of India Governor Raghuram Rajan said inflation has come down to the comfort zone quicker than expected. He added that he is keeping a watch on data to see how much room there is for further easing of the monetary policy. He added that he has cut interest rates three times already this year and that he was “still on an accommodative setting”.

Protests on Kuala Lampur streets as citizens call for PM’s resignation

Malaysian protesters turned out in the streets of Kuala Lumpur on Saturday to call for the resignation of Prime Minister Najib Razak. An internal probe uncovered more than $700 million that had been deposited into Razak’s accounts from entities linked with the state investment fund 1Malaysia Development Berhad (1MDB).  “Stop treating us like fools, Mr. Prime Minister,” businessman Tony Wong said at the protests.

Gehlot says government is trying to divert attention

On Saturday, former Rajasthan Chief Minister Ashok Gehlot accused the Vasundhara Raje-led state government of levying false charges against the opposition with its accusations of embezzlement worth Rs.2.5 crore in an ambulance scam. Gehlot said that the government had made up the charges against him to divert the attention of the media from the scams allegedly involving Raje and her family. Gehlot and other Congress leaders have been accused of irregularities in allotting a contract to operate the 108-ambulance service in Rajasthan.

18 soldiers wounded in accidental blast at army camp

Eighteen soldiers were wounded after an accidental explosion took place at an army school in the Pulwama district of Jammu and Kashmir on Saturday. The explosion took place during a regular training exercise at around 8.45 am.