1. Day After Surgical Strikes: Border on Alert, Govt Says Threat From Those Who Have Slipped In
A day after the Army conducted “surgical strikes” on terror launch pads along the Line of Control (LoC) in Pakistan Occupied Kashmir (PoK), the Union Home Ministry issued a nationwide advisory to “maintain high level of vigil to thwart any attempts by terrorists to strike back”. The government is also learnt to have told the BSF to use “full force” to defend the border in case of ceasefire violations by Pakistan.
While the next 10-15 days will be particularly crucial, the highest level of alertness will be necessary until the end of October. This is a particularly sensitive time as the festival season is approaching. Border states such as J&K, Gujarat, Rajasthan and Punjab, as well as the metros, have been cautioned through an advisory. Coastal security measures have been stepped up, too.Senior Intelligence Bureau Official
2. SAARC is Off After Sri Lanka Too Pulls Out
Hours after Sri Lanka became the fifth country in the eight-member grouping to pull out of the SAARC Summit, Pakistan on Friday night postponed the event, which was to be held in Islamabad on 9-10 November. Pakistan said the new dates will be announced soon.
India, Bangladesh, Afghanistan and Bhutan pulled out of the summit earlier this week, indirectly blaming Pakistan for creating an environment which is not conducive.
“Pakistan deplores India’s decision to impede the SAARC process by not attending the 19th SAARC Summit at Islamabad on November 9-10, 2016,” the Pakistan foreign ministry said on Friday.
Islamabad said the spirit of the SAARC Charter is “violated” when a member state casts the shadow of its bilateral problems on the multi-lateral forum for regional cooperation. Pakistan Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif was looking forward to welcoming the SAARC leaders. All preparations had been made for a “successful” summit, said the statement.
3. Inside the Strike: Choppers, 70-80 Soldiers on Standby
The Army’s surgical strikes along the Line of Control (LoC) early on Thursday, that destroyed seven terror launch pads, were carried out by 70-80 commandos from two separate battalions of Para Special Forces (SF) with IAF attack helicopters kept ready at four bases in J&K to address any contingency, sources told The Indian Express.
Commandos of 4 Para SF crossed the LoC at the Tutmari Gali area in the Nowgam sector of Kupwara some time after midnight, almost simultaneously with those of 9 Para SF between Balnoi and Nangi Tekri in the Poonch area, sources said.
Travelling a distance of between 1-3 km, the Para commandos reached their designated targets by foot, and by 2 am, started destroying the launch pads using shoulder-fired Carl Gustav 84mm rocket launchers and automatic grenade launchers, said sources.
4. Delhi, 5 Other States Put on High Alert Over Possible Pak Revenge Strike
Anticipating a strike by Pakistan-based terror outfits in the country, particularly the metros, in the aftermath of the Army's surgical strikes in PoK, the Home Ministry on Friday issued an alert seeking stepped up vigil at strategic installations, industrial complexes, crowded places, airports, historical monuments and government buildings across the country.
The alert identified Delhi, along with Rajasthan, Punjab, Jammu & Kashmir, Maharashtra and Gujarat as possible targets.
Intelligence sources, citing credible inputs, said there was a strong possibility of Pakistan's ISI directing a highly-motivated and heavily armed terror cell to carry out a strike in the capital. A hunt has been launched for suspected terrorists, pushed into J&K some time ago, who have now been asked to carry out a swift retaliatory strike against the Indian raid on terror launch pads in PoK.
5. Tamil Nadu Chief Minister J Jayalalithaa in Hospital for a Week, UK Doctor Called In
With Tamil Nadu Chief Minister J Jayalalithaa's stay in hospital crossing a week, a doctor from the UK's London Bridge Hospital has been called to treat her.
Sources said Dr Richard John Beale, an intensivist – who has done research on sepsis, acute respiratory distress syndrome and clinical nutrition – arrived at Apollo Hospitals in Chennai on Thursday.
Dr Beale held discussions with the doctors treating Jayalalithaa and advised a few more tests on the CM. On Friday, there was no medical bulletin from the hospital or the government.
Earlier, the hospital had said the CM was brought in on 22 August with complaints of fever and dehydration. On Thursday, a press release said she had responded well to the treatment and the requisite evaluation tests were being carried out.
6. Joblessness at 5-year High, Reveals Survey
Joblessness in India is running at a five-year high of 5 percent of the 15-plus-years work force. Over a third of working people are employed for less than a year and 68 percent of households are earning up to only Rs 10,000 per month, according to a new employment-unemployment (EU) survey report conducted by the Labour Bureau.
Over 7.8 lakh people in 1.6 lakh households were surveyed across the country between April and December 2015. Expectedly, urban areas continue to provide more and better paying jobs compared with the rural areas. While 82 percent of job seekers get year-round jobs in urban areas, just 53 percent of rural job seekers manage to get such security.
7. How Much Can We Carry: Villagers Near LoC Upset With Lack of Support
Thousands across India may be celebrating the Army’s surgical strikes against Pakistan but villagers near the Line of Control are upset with a lack of government support in evacuation and say they fear for the safety of their homes and property.
Local residents in Punjab’s Attari sector say they feel abandoned by the local administration with little support in getting transportation or choosing possible destinations, more than 24 hours after the government announced evacuation of villages in border areas.
“No government officer has reached the village. Just an announcement was made. I sent my children and wife. I am staying back to ensure my house is safe,” said Angrej Singh, a resident of Daoke village that is metres away from the LoC fence. Two-thirds of the village’s 3,000 people have left.
8. Who Mailed the Suicides Notes? CCTV Footage Holds Answers to Bansals’ Deaths
The Delhi Police are yet to look at the CCTV footage that could help identify the two men who mailed to media houses the “suicide notes” left behind by a former government official and his son, blaming the CBI for their deaths, Hindustan Times has found.
BK Bansal, arrested by the CBI in a corruption case, and his son Yogesh, were on 27 September found hanging from ceiling fans in their east Delhi home. His wife and daughter had killed themselves a few days after Bansal was arrested in July.
The CBI has come in for criticism over its handling of the case and rights bodies have sought reply on the allegations made in the suicide notes.
9. Setback to Nitish, Patna HC Strikes Down Liquor Ban Notification in Bihar
Total prohibition in Bihar ceased to exist from Friday with the Patna High Court striking down a ban on Indian made foreign liquor (IMFL) in the state, dealing a body blow to Chief Minister Nitish Kumar’s pet initiative.
Quashing the 5 April notification of the state government which banned the manufacture, consumption and sale of IMFL, a Division Bench comprising Chief Justice Iqbal Ahmed Ansari and Justice Navaniti Prasad Singh held the prohibition to be “ultra vires to the Constitution, hence not enforceable”.
Friday’s court ruling also puts into doubt the Bihar government’s plan to introduce more stringent measures to enforce prohibition from 2 October.