Free Press Bulletin- Top 5- 17 July 2021

Jul 17, 02:48 PM
Here are the top 5 news updates of July 17, 2021:

Navjot Singh Sidhu is likely to be appointed as chief of the Congress' Punjab unit shortly, sources said Saturday afternoon, adding, four working presidents will be appointed along with him. Sources close to Congress interim president Sonia Gandhi's residence reiterated that the Punjab Congress cirsis will be resolved soon.

Earlier today, eneral Secretary in-charge of Punjab Congress, Harish Rawat met Punjab CM Captain Amarinder Singh at his residence in Mohali.

Rawat informed, "Punjab CM Captain Amarinder Singh reiterated that whatever decision will be taken by the Congress president, it will be honoured by him".

Congress leader Navjot Singh Sidhu met Punjab Congress chief Sunil Jakhar at his residence in Panchkula, Haryana earlier today. Sidhu, whose long-running feud with Chief Minister Amarinder Singh was the highlight of the infighting, will replace Sunil Jakkar, with four other leaders likely to be named Working Presidents.

Meanwhile, Sidhu reached his residence in Patiala along with party MLAs including Kulbir Singh Zira & Amarinder Singh Raja

Amarinder Singh and Navjot Sidhu have maintained a running feud since the 2017 election; Sidhu hoped to be made Deputy Chief Minister but that move was reportedly scuttled by Singh.

Nationalist Congress Party chief Sharad Pawar on Saturday met PM Modi with regard to amendments to the Banking Regulation Act and a slew of problems faced by the co-operative sector especially due to demonetization and Covid-19 induced lockdown.

Earlier this month, a minister had said that NCP chief Sharad Pawar will soon meet prime minister Narendra Modi, expressing concerns over the amendments to the Banking Regulation Act reiterating that it was necessary to preserve the ‘Co-operative’ character of co-operative banks having a legacy of more than 100 years.

The NCP chief submitted a six-paged letter to the PM's office regarding the Banking Regulation Act and the issues faced the co-operative sector. Mr Pawar has pointed down three inconsistencies and the resulting legal inefficacy of normative provisions of the Act that are in conflict most specifically with the 97th Constitutional Amendment, State Co-operative Societies Acts and with the Co-operative Principles.

Disgruntlement in the ranks and recent meetings with Prime Minister Narendra Modi and other top BJP officials have fuelled speculation that Karnataka Chief Minister BS Yediyurappa might resign from his post. And while the CM has vehemently denied the claims, reports quoting sources suggest that he had offered to quit.

Thus far, there has been no official indication of a change of Chief Minister or even a Cabinet rejig. Speaking to the media, he had recently laughed off suggestions about an upcoming leadership change. But while he dubbed the rumours as being baseless, an NDTV report quoted sources to say that there might be more to the story.

As per the article, Yediyurappa had offered to resign citing ill health during his meeting with Modi. Yediyurappa vehement denial would indicate that such a decision had not been accepted. As such, there does not seem to be any change looming.

On Saturday Yediyurappa had dismissed the rumours. "Not at all. Not at all," Yediyurappa told reporters at the Karnataka Bhavan when asked if he has resigned. Having already met the Prime Minister, he also said that he will meet Union Home Minister Amit Shah, Defence Minister Rajnath Singh and BJP chief J P Nadda before returning to Bengaluru.

Disgruntled leaders within the Karnataka BJP have openly critiqued Yediyurappa, levelling allegations of corruption and interference in administration - something that has embarrassed the party and the government. Another section of the party is reportedly demanding the replacement of 79-year-old Yediyurappa citing his age and the need of projecting a new Chief Ministerial face ahead of assembly polls in 2023.

Holding that a sexual assault without penetration also falls within the definition of rape under section 376 of the Indian Penal Code, the Bombay High Court has upheld the conviction of a 33-year-old man for rape.

Justice Revati Mohite-Dere also upheld the sentence of 10 years rigorous imprisonment awarded to the man, a city resident, by the trial court in 2019.

In a judgement passed last month, the judge dismissed the man's appeal challenging the sessions court's order finding him guilty of raping an intellectually-challenged woman.

The appeal argued that there had been no penile intercourse between him and the victim.

But the HC noted that forensic evidence proved a case of sexual assault.

The Taliban has said it does know how Indian photojournalist Danish Siddiqui came in between the line of fire and expressed sorrow over the Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist’s death in Afghanistan's Kandahar during their clashes against Afghan forces. “We are not aware during whose firing the journalist was killed. We do not know how he died," Taliban’s spokesperson Zabiullah Mujahid told CNN-News18 on Friday.

“Any journalist entering the war zone should inform us. We will take proper care of that particular individual," Mujahid was quoted as saying by CNN-News18. “We are sorry for Indian journalist Danish Siddiqui’s death. We regret that journalists are entering war zone without intimation to us," he added.

Meanwhile, the Committee to Protect Journalists (CPJ) on Saturday said Afghan authorities must conduct a swift and thorough investigation into the killing of Reuters photojournalist Danish Siddiqui.

Siddiqui was talking to shopkeepers when the Taliban attacked and was killed in a subsequent crossfire, an Afghan commander told Reuters.

Taliban spokesperson Zabihullah Mujahid told Reuters that the group had not been aware there was a journalist on the scene and said it was unclear how Siddiqui was killed.

Siddiqui was a member of the Reuters photography team that won the 2018 Pulitzer Prize for feature photography for "shocking photographs that exposed the world to violence Rohingya refugees faced in fleeing Myanmar."