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The Hindu Morning Digest: January 18, 2024

A car leaves the district headquarter hospital (DHQ) in Panjgur town of Balochistan province on January 17, 2024 where victims of an Iranian air strike were moved earlier this morning. Pakistan recalled its ambassador from Iran on January 17, and blocked Tehran’s envoy from returning to Islamabad after an Iranian air strike killed two children in the west of the country on January 16.
| Photo Credit: AFP

India defends Iran, cites its position against terrorism

India backed Iran on its strikes on alleged terror camps in Pakistan’s Balochistan Province, calling it an act of “self-defence”. In a statement late on January 17, a day after Iranian Revolutionary Guards (IRGC)) fired missiles at what it said were two “important” bases of the Jaish al-Adl terror group in Balochistan Province, that triggered a strong diplomatic protest from Islamabad, the Ministry of External Affairs said that while the issue was a bilateral one between Iran and Pakistan, India has an “uncompromising” position on terrorism. Significantly, the MEA did not comment on Iran’s strikes against Kurdish areas in Iraq, as well as in Syria, all of which took place on the same day.

India ‘deeply concerned’ over West Asia crisis

India on Wednesday said it was “deeply concerned” at the current Israel-Palestinian crisis, highlighting the spillover effect of the violence for the West Asian region. In a speech delivered at the NAM Ministerial Meeting on Palestine in the Ugandan capital Kampala, Minister of State for External Affairs Rajkumar Ranjan Singh reiterated the Indian position on the October 7, 2023 attack on Israel by Hamas as well as the subsequent Israeli military campaign on Gaza. His speech, however, remained silent on the issue of ceasefire in Gaza.

Silver idol of Ram Lalla taken in procession at Ayodhya temple

A silver idol of Ram Lalla was taken in a procession around the premises of the Ram Temple complex in Ayodhya on Wednesday in continuation of the rituals performed in the run-up to the January 22 consecration ceremony. However, it is not the idol that will be placed in the sanctum sanctorum on January 22. This silver idol was placed inside a palanquin decorated with flowers, with a priest walking with a kalash (pot) on his head in front of it. The real idol, which was very heavy, was brought to the temple late on Wednesday evening.

Disproportionate act: CPR on FCRA licence cancellation

The Centre for Policy Research (CPR), diverted foreign donations to fund “protests and legal battles against developmental projects” and misutilised foreign contributions to “affect India’s economic interests”, a source in the government said on Wednesday.

Kejriwal likely to skip fourth ED summons in Delhi excise policy case

Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) national convener and Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal is likely to skip the fourth summons by the Enforcement Directorate (ED) for questioning on Thursday in connection with the Delhi excise policy case, according to party sources. 

Chandigarh mayoral polls: It is BJP vs Congress-AAP

The Chandigarh mayoral polls will take place on Thursday with both the BJP and the Congress-AAP alliance claiming they are set to win the election.

Congress to crowdsource ideas for its 2024 election manifesto  

Aiming for a “people’s manifesto”, the Congress on Wednesday launched a website and an email ID inviting suggestions from the public for its manifesto for the 2024 Lok Sabha polls. 

Amit Shah to visit Assam, Meghalaya from January 18-20

Union Home Minister Amit Shah will undertake a three-day visit to Assam and Meghalaya beginning January 18 during which he will attend the plenary session of the North Eastern Council, the passing out parade of Assam Police commandos and inaugurate a cyber security operational centre, sources said on Wednesday.

Trade unions join farmers, announce strike on February 16

A day after the Samyukta Kisan Morcha (SKM) announced a rural strike on February 16, the Joint Platform of Central Trade Unions (CTUs) have announced an industrial strike for the same day. 

IND vs AFG T20Is | Rohit’s India pips Afghanistan at the post in a dramatic twin Super Over shoot-out

There aren’t many days when Rohit Sharma’s white-ball brilliance is eclipsed. It nearly happened at the M. Chinnaswamy Stadium on Wednesday when Afghanistan stunningly matched India’s mammoth 212-run total, dragged the contest into not one but two Super Overs — a first in T20Is — before falling agonisingly short.

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