Burhan Wani, a 20 year-old member of the Hizbul Mujahideen was something of a Flash Harry poster boy, given to dressing in military fatigues, riding fast motor bikes and posting incendiary tweets on Facebook and other social media outlets. He followed in the footsteps of another flamboyant terrorist, the Lashkar-i-Taiba’s Abdullah Uni, who was shot dead by security forces in September 2013. Wani met a similar fate recently.
Both men had attained rock star status among Muslim Kashmiri youth in the Valley, who hankered after the same status in their search for martyrdom. Thirty-six jihadi mobsters have died in renewed violence in the area at the time of writing and more are likely to follow them to the grave. Meanwhile, emboldened jihadi secessionist leaders warned Prime Minister Narendra Modi ‘to read the writing on the wall.’ That he surely did on returning home from his successful African tour. But the writing on the Prime Minister’s wall carries a message too. (Hindu, Times of India July 11, 12,13)
The Indian state, it says, is no banana republic that can be knocked over at will. Ambitious over-reach has often spelt disaster. Second, that after Nice bombing by a Tunisian jihadi on France’s Bastille Day is another reminder of what another Islamist polity, whether it be in Europe or the Kashmir Valley would mean for civilization, Remember the ethnic cleansing and homicides against the Kashmiri Hindu Pandits not so long ago.
Terror module in Hyderabad busted
The National Intelligence Agency (NIA) arrested two key figures of Islamic State in Hyderabad, taking the total number of men held to seven. Syed Ullah Hussain, 42, and Mohammed Ataullah Rahman, 32, According to NIA, the module was preparing to carry out blasts at religious sites to provoke riots. All the seven accused were remanded to judicial custody by the metropolitan sessions judge (Times of India July13)
Pakistani Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif, back at his desk in Islamabad after a heart operation in London, was in righteous mode about India’s firm handling of the jihadi violence in Kashmir. Not to be outdone, the youthful Bilawal Bhutto, the icon of the family inheritance, the People’s Progressive Party (PPP) took Sharif to task for issuing a ‘certificate of friendship to Mr Modi.’ (Hindu July 12)
Call for military coup in cities
While Pakistan has appealed to the UN Security Council to intervene in Kashmir, posters across 13 Pakistani cities including Karachi, Lahore and Islamabad, have urged the country’s Army chief General Raheel Sharif and the Army to take power from what is described as the corrupt regime of Prime Ministewr Nawaz Sharif (TTimes of India July 13)
Ola ‘s Lucknow e-rickshaw
A break from jihadist activity is always welcome. India’s most popular mobile app for transportation has been the recent launch of the e-rickshaw in Lucknow, the capital city of the country’s most populated province of Uttar Pradesh. The metropolis is the second Indian city to have this facility after Delhi. A company statement said that it was ‘addressing last mile connectivity by enabling reliable mobility in one of India’s fastest growing metros…The company plans to onboard more than 300 E Rickshaws over the next three months.’ (Hindu July 12)
Sensex soars to 11-month high
Indian stocks rose to their highest levels in 11 months last week amid a global rally buoyed by strong US jobs figures and expectations of global banks taking corrective steps to control the Brexit fallout. The landslide victory for Japanese Premier at the polls also kept investor sentiment upbeat on future market trends (Mint July 12)
India-East Russia ties set for new ground
Indian Ambassador to Russia, Pankaj Saran, said that a large Indian delegation would be visiting Vladivostok for the Eastern Economic Forum scheduled for early September. Mr Saran was in Vladivostok in connection with the presence of Indian warships in the area. ‘However, we decided to extend the scope of the mission and discussed the opportunities for expanding economic cooperation with the Vladivostok Administration, to identify areas of participation in the development of Vladivostok,’ Vladivostok is now a free port and its trade and investment potential is huge. It is also a beautiful city, more impressive than the reports he had previously received, said Mr Saran (Novosti, Moscow June 30)
Akash missiles boosted
Hyderabad based company Premier Explosives Ltd delivered the 1,000 th missile booster grain to Bharat Dynamics Ltd last week. Booster grains manufactured by Premier Explosives are being used as solid fuel for India’s medium range surface-to-air Akash system presently in service with the Army and AIR Force and scheduled, shortly, for induction into the Navy (Business Line July 11)
HAL trainer aircraft airborne
It was a triumph for local designers, said Defence Minister Manohar Parrikar, as he watched HTT-40, the basic trainer touch the skies. The plane was piloted near Bangalore by Group Captain C. Subramanian and Group Captain K. Venugopal The design team’s average age is 30. Minister Parrikar congratulated the team and its Project Manager Prashant Singh Bhandoria for on-time delivery of a product, 25 per cent cheaper than would have been the case with a foreign import.(Hindu 18)
TVS Motor surge
TVS Motor Company is betting big in the scooter market with its Jupiter model reaching a million sales figure in record time. TVS sold 183,745 scooters in the recent April-June quarter, significantly higher than the 156,949 it sold for same quarter last year. The sales for the Jupiter model this April-June quarter was 134,636 as compared to the 99,479 it sold in the same quarter last year (Business Line July11)
Cipla unit in South Africa
Mumbai-based pharmaceutical major Cipla has announced plans to set up a biosimilars facility in South Africa entailing an investment of $1.3 billion. This will be the first such manufacturing facility in the country. The unit is to be set up by Cipla’s subsidiary Cipla BioTech. The plant will be located in a Special Economic Zone in Durban, which will manufacture biosimilar drugs made from living organisms and used in the treatment of cancer and other diseases (Hindu July 9)
Indo-British post Brexit trade talks
British Business Secretary Sajid Javid arrived in Delhi for talks with India’s Commerce Minister Nirmala Sithraman on a possible Free Trade Agreement between the countries following the UK’s exit from the European Union. The UK is keen to deepen its commercial and investment ties with India, whose economy at present is the fast-growing among large countries. Although these ties are strong already, with each side a major investor in the other, the potential for explosive growth is self-evident when the UK is released from the fetters of EU regulation.
Minister Javid also called on Tata Group Chairman Cyrus Mistry in Mumbai to discuss matters relating to the sale of its UK steel plant in Port Talbert. As a result of these discussions the sale has now been put on hold (Hindu July 9)
Nuclear power plant goes critical
The second reactor at Kudankulam nuclear power project attained criticality on Sunday, July 10. The event was greeted with thunderous applause by the local engineers and members of the Russian specialist group, who exchanged hugs. Once the reactor starts generating 400 MW of power within 45 days of the date of criticality, it will be connected to the grid. Power generation will be raised to 4500 MW and 1000MWe in stages.
Two further reactors are to be built in the project that is based on the most advanced Russian technology (Hindu July 11)
Plan to connect 125,000 villages
The central government in Delhi, in tandem with State governments, plans to connect 125,000 villages across India with 80,000 mini-buses, such as Tata Motors, Mahindra & Mahindra, Ashok Leyland etc. The move could be a windfall for mini-bus manufacturers as well as rural communities, who would benefit from an integration of numerous local markets and the larger economic mainstream, apart from opening up employment opportunities and better educational prospects (Mint July 13)
Hasina in contact with Mamata
In a startling episode, Bangladesh Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina made a telephone call to West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee to apprise her of an extortionist racket run by a Trinamool Congress party councillor in Kolkata’s Salt Lake suburb, sprawling upmarket and mainly residential. The victim, one Arunabha Mukherjee, a close friend of Hasina from their college days, was faced with a hefty demand from local thugs for making improvements to his own house. He was asked to call the Chief Minister and give her the details, which he duly did. The local councilor in question, Anindya Chatterjee was promptly arrested by the police and is now behind bars (Telegraph July 13)
Law and order has been an endemic problem in West Bengal. Having been re-elected with a landslide majority for her party’s proven achievements in rural development, Ms Banerjee has awoken to the reality that without proper security, he attempts to woo industry and foreign investors wii fail.