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Six arrested in Jharkhand lynching case following outcry

Muslim youth, suspected of theft, was beaten up & forced to chant ‘Jai Shri Ram’

Beaten black and blue: A video grab of the victim being thrashed in Jharkhand.SPECIAL ARRANGEMENT SPECIAL ARRANGEMENT

Six persons have been arrested in connection with the lynching of 24-year-old Tabrez Ansari in Saraikela Kharsawan district, the Jharkhand police said on Monday.

The lynching, which has triggered a nationwide outrage, is being probed by a Special Investigation Team. An SIT investigation has been made mandatory by the Supreme Court in every case of mob lynching.

Taken to hospital

Tabrez was targeted by the culprits on the suspicion of a theft at Dhatkidih village on the night of June 18.

Despite his pleading that he was innocent and should be spared, they beat him up badly and forced him to chant ‘Jai Shri Ram’ and ‘Jai Hanuman’.

He was rescued by the police in the early hours of June 19 and taken to hospital.

Following a theft complaint filed by the villagers against him, he was arrested and produced in court, which sent him to jail. On June 22, his condition worsened and he was admitted to the district headquarters hospital, where he died.

“We have taken the issue very seriously. We are looking for each and every person directly or indirectly involved in the crime. I had discussed the whole issue with the family members of the victim. Nobody will be spared,” said Karthik S, Saraikela-Kharsawan Superintendent of Police.

Papu Mandal, who was named in the complaint filed by the victim’s family, was immediately arrested. Now, five others have been arrested, said Mr. Karthik.

Mayawati snubs SP, says will go it alone in polls

‘Decision is in the interest of the party and the movement’

Mayawati’s decision has shut the door on a possible renewal of ties with the SP.

The Bahujan Samaj Party (BSP) will revert to its old strategy of contesting elections on its own after its alliance with the Samajwadi Party failed to stop the BJP from winning in Uttar Pradesh in the second consecutive general election.

BSP chief Mayawati said on Monday that her party would contest in all major and minor elections on its own in the “interest of the party and the movement.”

Her declaration has shut the door on the possibility of renewal of the alliance with the SP. Earlier this month, the alliance was put on hold after Ms. Mayawati announced that the BSP would contest all 11 seats on its own in the Assembly byelection. The BSP chief cited “political compulsions” for the decision and said the Yadavs had deserted the SP and hurt the prospects of the alliance. However, she kept the chances of a reunion in future alive, with the ultimatum that SP chief Akhilesh Yadav train his cadre to be “missionaries”, like BSP workers, and said, “There is no break-up of the alliance yet.”

However, on Monday, in a series of tweets, Ms. Mayawati targeted the SP and reverted to her old criticism of the governments run by the party. Ms. Mayawati said she had forgotten the old unresolved complaints and hassles and set aside the “anti-BSP and anti-Dalit decisions” of the SP government, including the measures against reservation in promotion and the deterioration of the law and order situation, and followed the “Gathbandhan dharma” in the public and national interest.

It’s premature to count India out of RCEP: Centre

ASEAN countries raise the pitch on free trade agreement

Government officials said it would be “premature” to suggest that India could be cut out of the Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership (RCEP) being negotiated by 16 countries led by the ASEAN bloc, if it doesn’t agree to join it by the year-end.

The officials rejected a suggestion to that effect by Malaysian Prime Minister Mahathir Mohamad, who spoke on the sidelines of the ASEAN summit held in Bangkok on Sunday.

Reiterating that India is “consistently” engaged with RCEP negotiations, which will see a free trade agreement which includes ASEAN countries, China, Japan, South Korea, Australia and New Zealand, Commerce Ministry sources said Indian delegations have a series of meetings planned in the next few weeks to discuss the way forward.

“India has also shown it is keen for the partnership to work, as seen by our consistent engagement on the issue. There are some issues that need to be ironed out still, but it would be extremely premature to talk about RCEP going ahead without India,” said a Commerce Ministry official, who preferred not to be named.

In an interview to the CNBC channel, Mr. Mahathir said he would prefer to go ahead with a formulation of 13 countries that are willing to go ahead immediately, and allow outliers India, Australia and New Zealand to join the pact in future.

“They [Malaysia] can have their perspective. They are not the full RCEP. We are sure that many other countries do not share this view and want to work with India in RCEP,” the official responded.

House panel shies from quantifying black money

‘Three agencies have come up with differing figures, ranging from 7-120% of GDP’

The Centre has been asked to continue efforts to unearth hidden wealth.GETTY IMAGES/istock PHOTOistock

The Standing Committee on Finance has shied away from estimating the quantum of black money in and outside India, saying that different methods by various agencies are yielding vastly differing figures.

The Standing Committee relied on three institutes — the National Institute of Public Finance and Policy, the National Institute of Financial Management and the National Council of Applied Economic Research — to come up with their estimates of unaccounted income in the country. The three estimates varied significantly, ranging from 7-120% of the GDP.

“It appears that the reliable estimation of unaccounted income and wealth inside and outside the country is a difficult task. This inference is validated by the widely varying estimates of the unaccounted income arrived at by these three institutes,” the report said. “The Chief Economic Adviser has opined that there is no scope for arriving at a common estimate of unaccounted income by combining estimates from the three reports.” The report quotes Revenue Secretary Ajay Bhushan Pandey as saying that “there is a lack of consensus regarding the most suitable method in the Indian context.”

The Standing Committee enumerated the various steps taken to curb the generation of black money. The report said the paucity of time and the limited number of stakeholders that could be examined meant that the findings should be considered only preliminary in nature.

“In the meantime, the Committee would expect the Ministry of Finance (Department of Revenue) to continue their efforts with greater vigour to unearth and bring to book unaccounted income/wealth both within and outside the country, including follow-up action on the seven reports of the Special Investigation Team constituted on black money as well as the three study reports on estimation of unaccounted money,” the report said.

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