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Daily Digest: A Disturbing Reminder From Jodhpur And The Peculiar Election Commission

Our daily news round up also features 'good news' from West Bengal and non-information about the PM's flight details.

Good morning. Amid the doom and gloom, let’s begin with a bit of ‘good news’. This morning, The Telegraph carried a picture on its front-page which shows Purabi Mahato, the additional divisional forest officer of Midnapore pleading with tribal elders to not go on their festival hunt as she feared a tiger in the nearby forest may be unsettled. “The hunting festival is our tradition. But the lady fell at the feet of our elders with tears in her eyes. Perhaps, this is the first time we turned back,” a tribal leader told the newspaper.

In what is frankly disturbing, The Hindustan Times reported last evening that Shambhu Lal Regar, the man who inhabits the Jodhpur jail for hacking and burning a Muslim man on video, had a tableau in his name during Ram Navami celebrations in the city on Sunday. Hari Singh Panwar, the man who arranged for the tableau and is a co-treasurer of the Shiv Sena in Jodhpur told the newspaper that the intention was not to hurt sentiment but that he “just wanted to express my regard for Regar. His commitment towards Hinduism inspired me.” Unreal.

Moving on to two stories from LiveLaw that probably deserved more ‘play’ in the media. The mother of missing JNU student Najeeb Ahmed has reportedly filed a defamation suit seeking Rs 2.2 crore in damages from the likes of The Times of IndiaTimes NowDilli Aajtak including some reporters from the TOI and India Today for linking her son to the Islamic State (IS). The second one is about Prime Minister Modi and his penchant for foreign trips. Live Law reports that the PMO had apparently asked Air India not to divulge information pertaining to Modiji‘s flights in 2016, the matter coming to light in response to an RTI.

Finally, more peculiarity from the Election Commission. When reporters at the CEC’s press conference last morning asked him specifically how BJP IT cell head Amit Malviya had managed to put out dates before them, CEC Rawat promised “stringent action”. Malviya later blamed Times Now (which later blamed him), while several Kannada channels played also the information and the some of the Congress’ social media put it out too.

What is strange though, is this order by the EC to constitute an inquiry into the matter. Those to be questioned as part of the ‘term of reference’ include ‘the media’, Srivatsa B (Karnataka Congress social media in-charge) and a ‘Kannada channel owned by a @BJP4India MP’. No Malviya, you ask? Oh, that’s because Times Now misled him, not his fault at all.

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