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Daily Briefing: Amit Shah takes stock of J&K security; After 3 years, India play Pakistan today

Big Story 

In his first visit to Jammu and Kashmir since the abrogation of special status on August 5, 2019, Union Home Minister Amit Shah reviewed the security situation at a Unified Command meeting attended by Lieutenant Governor Manoj Sinha, top brass of J&K Police, Army, paramilitary forces, and the intelligence agencies. Expressing concern over the “targeted killing” of civilians in the Valley, Shah sought “strategically planned protection of minorities” and “flexible patrolling of guards”.

Only in the Express 

At a time when there is much furore regarding the arrest of Bollywood actor Shah Rukh Khan’s son Aryan Khan, the Union Ministry of Social Justice and Empowerment, in its suggestion to review the Narcotic Drugs and Psychotropic Substances (NDPS) Act, has recommended a more humane approach, avoiding prison, for drug users and addicts. The ministry has sought decriminalising possession of small quantities of drugs for personal consumption. It has also suggested amendments to the Act to treat those who use drugs or are dependent on them as victims.

The autopsy report says Bhogilal Pal died of cardiac arrest. However, his family says, what really killed the 53-year-old farmer was the worry over arranging fertilisers for his land in Nayagaon village of Lalitpur district. He had been standing in a queue outside a shop to try and arrange the same for the second day on Friday, when he collapsed. The administration says there is no shortage of fertilisers in the district, but that the demand had suddenly shot up due to the recent rain. 

P Chidamabaram writes about pluralism and migration across South Asia: “If some Indians — not all —can find excuses to taunt, abuse, harm, hurt, terrorise or kill fellow Indians who are Muslims, will not Hindus and Sikhs living in other countries become the objects of taunts, abuse, harm, hurt, terror or homicide? In a combustible sub-continent, ‘action’ and ‘reaction’ can never be neatly separated.”

From the Front Page 

Seven more bodies of members of two separate trekking teams hit by bad weather in Uttarakhand have been recovered. While 12 of the 21 trekkers are now confirmed dead, three remain missing. Two of the dead, whose bodies were found from near the Lamkhaga Pass bordering Himachal Pradesh, were part of an 11-member team from West Bengal that had gone missing while on way to Chitkul from Harsil in Uttarkashi. The bodies of five of them had been found earlier.

The government is yet to notify two of the 24 transfers of High Court judges that were recommended by the Supreme Court collegium more than a month ago. The judges whose transfers remain on hold are Justice Soumen Sen of the Calcutta High Court and Justice Joymalya Bagchi of the Andhra Pradesh High Court. On October 2, two weeks after the recommendations were made, CJI Ramana had said that he had been assured by the Union law minister that the recommendations would be “cleared in a day or two”.

Must Read 

With India and Pakistan set to play their T20 World Cup group league fixture on Sunday — the first time the two teams are playing in three years — former Pakistan captain Asif Iqbal’s mind goes back to the early 1980s. Shyam Bhatia, an Indian expat in Dubai and a cricket patron, recollects Javed Miandad’s six against Chetan Sharma. For the old-timers, an India-Pakistan match in the UAE will always be about nostalgia, irrespective of its venue-switch from Sharjah to Dubai. Today, the Sharjah throwback becomes relevant, for it was the starting point of the game’s most-followed cricket rivalry at a neutral venue.

With the UP polls fast approaching and both the BJP and BSP going into overdrive to woo OBCs and SCs across the state, the SP too has joined the queue. For the first time since the party was set up in 1992, it has formed a dedicated wing for Scheduled Castes (SCs): Samajwadi Baba Saheb Ambedkar Vahini. And in what its own leaders claim is a masterstroke, the party has appointed a Dalit leader who was with the BSP for 29 years to head this new wing.

Over the past two decades, migrant labourers from India’s heartland have become an integral part of Kashmir’s economy. But the recent civilian killings have led to an exodus of these workers from the Valley. This has happened once before after similar killings in the aftermath of the August 5, 2019, decision of the Centre, stripping J&K of its special status. The Indian Express explores this economy that rests on its workers, and on migrants who have found a home here.

And Finally 

Director Aparna Sen was awarded the Kim Jiseok Award for her film ‘The Rapist’ at the recent Busan International Film Festival (BIFF). In an interview with the Indian Express, she talks about the making of the film, working with her daughter Konkana Sen Sharma, and why this award is significant. 

Until tomorrow, 

Rahel Philipose and Rounak Bagchi

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