02 November 2020
A) Hizb chief Saifullah killed in encounter near Srinagar.
Hizbul Mujahideen’s chief operational commander Saifullah has been killed in an encounter at Rangreth area in Srinagar, IGP Kashmir Vijay Kumar announced today. Saifullah had taken over the reins of the Hizb after the killing of its chief Reyaz Naikoo in an encounter in May, Mr. Kumar said. The gunfight started on November 1 afternoon as the security forces launched a search-and-cordon operation following a tip off about the presence of militants. According to the Press Trust of India, Saifullah, who had taken command of the outfit after the killing of Riyaz Naikoo in May this year, was one of the most wanted militants in the Kashmir Valley and involved in several attacks on the security forces. Addressing reporters near the encounter site, Mr. Kumar said they had received information that Saifullah had come here from south Kashmir and was hiding in a house. So the security forces cordoned off the area and an operation was launched. In the exchange of firing, one militant was killed. This is a huge success for the police and security forces. This is not a small achievement, Mr. Kumar said. Incriminating material, including arms and ammunition, were recovered from the encounter site, he added.
B) After U.P., Haryana now considers law against ‘love jihad’.
A day after Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath said his State government will bring a strict law to curb incidents of love jihad, Haryana Home Minister Anil Vij said the same will be done in Haryana as well. A law against love jihad is being considered in Haryana, Mr. Vij tweeted in Hindi on Sunday. Haryana Chief Minister Manohar Lal Khattar meanwhile, claimed the Centre is also looking for ways to check love jihad cases, while confirming that his State was considering legal provisions. Since the Ballabhgarh case is being linked with love jihad, the Centre, as well as the State government, is looking into it, and considering legal provisions so the guilty cannot escape and no innocent person is punished, Mr. Khattar said. Mr. Khattar was referring to a 21-year-old woman who was shot dead in broad daylight in Haryana’s Faridabad on October 26, by a man who first tried to shove her into his car.
C) GST collection crosses ₹1 lakh crore for first time in 8 months.
The goods and services tax (GST) collected in October rose to ₹1.05 lakh crore, crossing the ₹1 lakh crore mark for the first time since February this year, reflecting a pick-up in economic activity and demand. The Finance Ministry in a statement said on Sunday that the total number of GSTR-3B returns filed till October 31, 2020 is 80 lakh. The gross GST revenue collected in October 2020 is ₹1,05,155 crore, of which CGST is ₹19,193 crore, SGST is ₹5,411 crore, IGST is ₹52,540 crore (including ₹23,375 crore collected on import of goods) and cess is ₹8,011 crore (including ₹932 crore collected on import of goods), the Ministry said. The revenues for the month are 10% higher than ₹95,379 crore collected in the same month last year. The GST collections fell from the psychologically important ₹1 lakh crore mark as the lockdown imposed to contain the COVID-19 spread dented economic activity.
D) MHA asks States to register more FIRs for cybercrime.
The Ministry of Home Affairs (MHA) has written to all States to examine and register FIRs based on the complaints received on National Cybercrime Reporting Portal- www.cybercrime.gov.in. As per data available with the Ministry, only 2.5% of total complaints registered on the portal are converted into First Information Reports (FIRs). Through the portal, MHA also aims to raise a group of cybercrime volunteers to flag unlawful content on the Internet. Good Samaritans are welcome to register as Cyber Crime Volunteers in the role of Unlawful Content Flaggers for facilitating law enforcement agencies in identifying, reporting and removal of illegal / unlawful online content, says the website. The unlawful content is categorised as content against the sovereignty and integrity of India, against defence of India, against security of the State, against friendly relations with foreign States, content aimed at disturbing public order, disturbing communal harmony and child sex abuse material. The volunteers will have to submit photograph, name and address proof to be enlisted as a volunteer.
E) Banks told to ensure interest payback: RBI to Supreme Court.
The Reserve Bank of India (RBI) informed the Supreme Court on 1 November that it has advised banks and financial companies to fully comply with a government scheme to pay back borrowers compound interest or interest on interest, charged on their loans during the six-month moratorium period. The RBI, in a short affidavit, said its circular was issued on October 26, just three days after the Ministry of Finance approved the scheme for ex-gratia payment of the difference in the compound interest and simple interest charged between March 1 and August 31 for eight categories of loans worth up to ₹2 crore by November 5, 2020. The RBI said it has advised commercial banks, co-operative banks, financial institutions and non-banking financial companies to comply with the government’s pay-back scheme. A three-judge Bench led by Justice Ashok Bhushan is scheduled to hear the case on November 2.
F) Covid watch – Numbers and Developments.
The number of reported coronavirus cases from India stands at 82,19,519 with the death toll at 1,22,746. India has managed to maintain its active Covid-19 caseload below the 6 lakh mark for the third consecutive day, a release issued by the Health Ministry said today. According to the Ministry, the country’s total active caseload stands at 5,70,458 currently. “New confirmed COVID cases stand at 46,963,” said the Ministry adding that Kerala is still reporting a very high number of new cases with more than 7,000 cases, followed by Maharashtra and Delhi with more than 5,000 cases each. The share of stubble burning in Delhi’s pollution rose to 40% on Sunday, the maximum so far this season, according to a central government air quality monitoring agency. The Ministry of Earth Sciences’ air quality monitor, SAFAR, said 3,216 farm fires were spotted over Punjab, Haryana, Uttar Pradesh and Uttarakhand on Saturday. The share of stubble burning in Delhi’s PM2.5 pollution was 40% on Sunday, the maximum so far this season. It was 32% on Saturday, 19% on Friday and 36% on Thursday, the second highest this season so far.
A) Super cyclone kills at least 7 in Philippines.
A powerful super typhoon slammed into the eastern Philippines with ferocious winds on November 1, killing at least seven people and causing volcanic mudflows to bury houses before weakening as it blew toward Manila, where the capital’s main airport was shut down. The Associated Press is reporting that Typhoon Goni hit the island Province of Catanduanes at dawn with sustained winds of 225 kmph and gusts of 280 kmph. It was barrelling west toward densely populated regions, including Manila, and rain-soaked provinces still recovering from a typhoon that hit a week ago and left at least 22 people dead. Governor Al Francis Bichara said at least four people were killed in his hard-hit Province of Albay, including a father and son who were in a rural community that was hit by mudflows and boulders swept down from Mayon Volcano by heavy rains. Villagers fled to safety as the typhoon approached, but the two apparently stayed put. The child was found 15 km away, Mr. Bichara told DZMM radio, adding that the child was swept away by mudflows and floodwaters. Three other villagers, including one pinned down by a tree, were killed in Albay, the Office of Civil Defence said.
B) U.K. minister says lockdown in England could be extended.
Michael Gove says that they can definitively say that unless they take action now, the health service is going to be overwhelmed in ways that none of us could countenance. The one-month lockdown for England announced by Prime Minister Boris Johnson this weekend could be extended as Britain struggles to contain a second wave of the COVID-19 pandemic, a senior cabinet member said on 1 November. Mr. Johnson has announced on 31 October that the lockdown across England would kick in after midnight on Thursday morning and last until Dec. 2. The United Kingdom, which has the biggest official death toll in Europe from COVID-19, is grappling with more than 20,000 new coronavirus cases a day and scientists have warned a worst-case scenario of 80,000 dead could be exceeded. So far, it has reported 46,555 COVID-19 deaths – defined as those dying within 28 days of a positive test. A broader measure of those with COVID-19 on their death certificates puts the toll at 58,925. The other constituents of the United Kingdom – Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland – have their own policies and enacted tougher COVID-19 health restrictions last month.
Scotland’s First Minister Nicola Sturgeon said on Saturday she was prepared to further tighten the rules there if necessary.
Keir Starmer, leader of the opposition Labour Party, said the government had missed a golden chance to lockdown England more effectively when schools were on half-term break last month.
A) Dhoni will be back in the IPL next year.
Mahendra Singh Dhoni will be back in the IPL next year. The World Cup–winning captain confirmed it himself at the toss of Chennai Super Kings’ final game of the season here on 1 November. Dhoni made the customary toss tradition a memorable one for his countless fans by confirming that he would be back in the yellow jersey next season. Definitely not, said Dhoni when asked by former New Zealand pacer Danny Morrison if the game against Kings XI Punjab was his last for CSK.