02 March 2021
A) Another Dalit minor girl found dead in U.P.; police register case of rape and murder.
A minor Dalit girl was found dead in a village in Akrabad tehsil of Aligarh on Sunday after she went to collect fodder for cattle in the fields, police said. Locals feel that the 17-year-old was raped and killed. The police have registered a case against unidentified persons for rape and murder. When a police team went to take the body for post-mortem, angry villagers blocked their way by setting fodder on fire. The SHO of the Gangiri police station was injured in pelting of stones by women. The body was later taken to Aligarh for post-mortem. The girl had gone out on Sunday morning. When she didn’t return till afternoon, villagers started searching for her. Her body was found in a wheat field around one km from the village. Locals alleged that her clothes were disturbed and it seemed she was strangulated. Aligarh Senior Superintendent of Police Muniraj P said an FIR had been registered against unidentified persons for rape and murder of the victim. Prima facie, it seems a case of murder. Other details would be clear after the post-mortem report. They have detained some locals for questioning and would soon solve the case. Earlier this month, in U.P.’s Unnao district, two Dalit minor girls were found unconscious and subsequently died, after which police registered a case of murder against unidentified persons.
B) ‘Will you marry her?’ SC asks man accused of raping a girl repeatedly when she was a minor.
The Supreme Court today asked a State government employee whether he would marry a girl he was accused of raping repeatedly while she was a minor. The man refused, saying he was already married. A Bench led by Chief Justice Sharad A. Bobde subsequently stayed his arrest for four weeks so he could apply for regular bail. During the hearing, the court asked the lawyer for the accused to find out whether his client would be willing to marry the victim or risk the prospect of going to jail. The lawyer returned shortly thereafter to convey to the court that his client had refused to marry the girl. They had initially asked for marriage. Right now, he cannot marry her. He is married, the lawyer reported back to the court what his client said. In another case, the Bench stayed the arrest of a man accused of rape after having falsely promised marriage. The accused had approached the court saying he was framed. He said they were in a live-in relationship and she had accused him of rape when their relationship turned sour. Their sexual intercourse during the period was consensual. The alleged victim said she was promised marriage and was brutally and sexually abused. When two people are living as husband and wife, however brutal the husband is, can you call sexual intercourse between them ‘rape’? Chief Justice Bobde asked the girl’s lawyer. He replied that his client’s consent was taken by fraud and the accused had threatened the girl. The court finally refused to entertain the plea of the accused to quash the FIR against him, but allowed him liberty to apply for discharge in the trial court, while staying his arrest.
C) Covid-19 vaccine registration only on Co-WIN portal, says Health Ministry.
India has opened registration and started the second phase of Covid-19 vaccination that aims to cover people above 60 and those above 45 with specified co-morbid conditions. After multiple complaints on the first day from beneficiaries who claimed that they were not able to register for vaccination, the Health Ministry issued a clarification stating, Registration and booking for appointment for COVID vaccination is done through CoWIN portal cowin.gov.in. There is no CoWin App for beneficiary registration. The app on Play Store is for administrators only. From March 1, the slots will be open from 9 a.m. till 3 p.m., and the appointments can be booked any time before 3 p.m., subject to availability, the Ministry added. The vaccine is being offered free at government COVID Vaccination Centres (CVCs), while private centres are offering it at a capped price of ₹250 per dose. The Ministry also said that the Centre is supplying two approved vaccines for use in India — Covishield and Covaxin — and added that beneficiaries will not have a choice on which vaccine will be administered to them. To ramp up the vaccination capacity, around 10,000 private hospitals are empanelled under Ayushman Bharat PMJAY, more than 600 hospitals under the Central Government Health Scheme, and other private hospitals under State governments. Health Insurance Schemes can participate as CVCs. Private health facilities which will serve as government COVID vaccination centres have been directed to follow strict norms of due process, quality and safety, including integration with the national Co-WIN technology platform, said a senior health official. Beneficiaries are also allowed three methods of registration advance self-registration, on-site registration, and facilitated cohort registration.
D) PM Modi takes first jab of COVAXIN.
Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Monday morning took the first shot of COVAXIN, the Indian-researched and produced Covid-19 vaccine (produced by Bharat Biotech) at the All India Institute of Medical Sciences (AIIMS) in New Delhi. Tweeting a picture of himself getting a shot, Prime Minister Modi said: Took my first dose of the COVID-19 vaccine at AIIMS. Remarkable how our doctors and scientists have worked in quick time to strengthen the global fight against COVID-19. He appeal to all those who are eligible to take the vaccine. Together, let us make India COVID-19 free!
E) Prashant Kishor joins Amarinder Singh govt in Punjab.
Four years after helping the Congress come to power in Punjab with a big win in the Assembly elections, Prashant Kishor has returned to the state, signing on as principal advisor to Chief Minister Amarinder Singh, who tweeted to say the two would work for the betterment of the people of Punjab. Happy to share that Prashant Kishor has joined me as my Principal Advisor. Look forward to working together for the betterment of the people of Punjab!” Singh tweeted Monday. Punjab is scheduled to hold Assembly elections in early 2022.
A) Chinese malware may have targeted Indian power systems and seaports: U.S. firm.
Chinese state-sponsored actors may have deployed malware into Indian power grids and seaports as border tensions between India and China began escalating in May last, culminating in a deadly clash along the Line of Actual Control (LAC) in mid-June. The alleged cyber intrusion was discovered and revealed by U.S. cyber security and intelligence firm, Recorded Future, according to the New York Times, which broke the story. An October 12 grid failure in Mumbai may have been caused by the Chinese malware, as per the report. The Massachusetts-based firm found that in the lead-up to the clashes, they noticed an increase in malware targeting the government, defence organisations, and the public sector. The Power Ministry confirmed that while attempts to breach systems were made, the power sector had not been impacted. Recorded Future told that there was still some evidence of ongoing intrusion, although a significant amount of it has subsided recently. There is evidence that some of the intrusions remain ongoing; however, a significant proportion of the activity appeared to cease in early to mid-February following notification, a spokesperson for Recorded Future, Caitlin Mattingly, told. While the government has not contacted Recorded Future since the New York Times published its report, according to Mattingly, the company had been in touch with the government prior to the report’s publication. China’s Foreign Ministry strongly hit out at the report, calling it irresponsible, and attacked it for not offering evidence. China firmly opposes and cracks down on all forms of cyber attacks, spokesperson Wang Wenbin said. Speculation and fabrication have no role to play on the issue of cyber attacks, as it is very difficult to trace the origin of a cyber attack, he added.
B) Chinese scribe charged under new law for Galwan comments.
A Chinese investigative journalist and blogger on Monday became the first person charged under a new criminal law banning the defaming of martyrs, for his comments questioning the government’s account of the clash with India in Galwan Valley last year. Qiu Ziming (38), an investigative journalist formerly with The Economic Observer, was arrested on February 20 in Nanjing, where he lives, after raising questions a day after China’s announcement declaring honours for five soldiers, including four awarded posthumously, eight months after the June 15, 2020 clash. In messages to his 2.5 million followers on the Chinese Twitter-equivalent, Sina Weibo, Mr. Qiu suggested the fatalities would have been higher because as per the official account, some of the soldiers died coming to the aid oftroops in difficulty, who, in his view, would have suffered losses as well. Mr. Qiu also asked why India had, in contrast, promptly recognised the 20 Indian soldiers who died, which, he suggested, meant that in India’s view they won and paid a lesser price. His account on Weibo was subsequently suspended. On Monday, Mr. Qiu was charged for violating the law on defaming martyrs’ honour and reputation. According to State media, this was the first reported case of anyone being charged under the law, which calls for a fixed-term imprisonment of not more than three years. While China had in 2018 passed a law banning people from insulting martyrs, the civil law was added as an amendment to China’s criminal law which took effect on March 1.
C) Trump hints at 2024 run for presidency.
Donald Trump told conservatives Sunday he was considering running for presi dent again in 2024, as he reasserted dominance over the Republican Party and warned of a struggle for America’s very survival. Echoing the grievance politics of his 2016 campaign and the harsh rhetoric of his one-term presidency, the 74-year-old fired up an enthusiastic crowd at the Conservative Political Action Conference in Orlando. In a keynote speech, his first since leaving the White House on January 20 he repeated his false claims that he won the election instead of President Joe Biden, and hammered establishment Republicans who voted against him in the latest impeachment drama. But while he teased his future plans, he left the crowd guessing about whether he will challenge Mr. Biden in a rematch. With your help we will take back the House, we will win the Senate, and then a Republican President will make a triumphant return to the White House and he wonder who that will be? Mr. Trump said to a raucous cheer. Who knows? he boomed about his potential plans. He may even decide to beat them for a third time, OK? At CPAC, he walked on stage to revel in a lengthy standing ovation by cheering loyalists, the vast majority maskless despite the coronavirus pandemic. Like he did so often during his two campaigns, he painted a pitched battle against as Democrats’ socialist agenda to remake the nation. They are in a struggle for the survival of America as we know it, Mr. Trump said. This is a terrible, terrible, painful struggle. Mr. Trump also put to rest the rumours that he might create a new political party. Mr. Trump as expected took swipes at Mr. Biden, saying the Democrat just concluded a disastrous first month in office.