News Wrap


Twenty three people, most of them attending a funeral were killed, and fifteen others injured, when the roof of a shelter at a cremation ground in Uttar Pradesh, Muradnagar collapsed on 03 January 2021. Tension spiralled in the district headquarters of Ghaziabad, with the families of the victims blocking the Delhi-Meerut highway, by placing two bodies on the road to press for their demand for higher compensation. They lifted the barricade and agreed to cremate the bodies, after officials agreed to Rs 10 lac compensation and a government job for each victim's family.

Space For Protests
Nobel laureate Amartya Sen has voiced concern over curtailment of space for protest and discussion in India, where people are jailed without trial, through arbitrarily imposed charge of sedition. The centrally administered Visva-Bharati University has provoked a land controversy over Amartya Sen's house in Shantiniketan built by his father, Ashutosh Sen. The  immediate provocation is the alleged encroachment by vegetable vendors in the vicinity. Eviction is the responsibility of the municipality. The VB land on which Sen's house is situated is entirely on a long-term lease, which is nowhere near its expiry. Some additional land was bought by Sen's father on a long-term lease, as free hold, and registered in land records, as mouza Sursul. Sen's house, named Pratichi, allegedly occupies 138 decimals, though the original lease was given on 125 decimals.

Blast At Aden Airport
A large explosion struck the airport in the southern Yemeni city of Aden, shortly after a plane carrying the newly formed cabinet landed there. At least 25 people were killed, and 110, wounded in the blast. Yemen's inter- nationally recognised government said Iran backed Houthi rebels fired four ballistic missiles at the airport. No one on the government plane was hurt. There was another explosion close to a palace in the city, where the cabinet members were transported following the airport attack. The Saudi-led coalition later shot down a bomb laden drone that attempted to target the palace. Embattled Yemeni  president Abed Rabbo Mansour Hadi's government and the separatists are nominal allies, in Yemen's years long civil war that pits the Saudi-led, US-backed military coalition against the Houthis, who control most of Northern Yemen, as well as the country's capital, Sanaa. The southern separatists are backed by the United Arab Emirates.

Vol. 53, No. 30, Jan 24 - 30, 2021