Supreme Court Places Restrictions on Delhi Vehicles; U.S. SEALs Accused of Afghan Detainee Abuse; Relatives of Peshawar Massacre Victims Seek Funds from Government
India Bonus Read: “Viewpoint: Does India need bullet trains?” by Mohan Guruswamy (BBC) Bonus Read: “In Bhutan, Gross National Happiness Trumps Gross National Product,” by Raymond Zhong (WSJ) Supreme Court places restrictions on Delhi vehicles The Indian Supreme Court imposed new restrictions on polluting vehicles in Delhi, India’s capital, on Wednesday (BBC, WSJ). The court announced that new ...
Bonus Read: “Viewpoint: Does India need bullet trains?” by Mohan Guruswamy (BBC)
Bonus Read: “In Bhutan, Gross National Happiness Trumps Gross National Product,” by Raymond Zhong (WSJ)
Supreme Court places restrictions on Delhi vehicles
The Indian Supreme Court imposed new restrictions on polluting vehicles in Delhi, India’s capital, on Wednesday (BBC, WSJ). The court announced that new diesel sports utility vehicles and luxury cars with an engine capacity over 2 liters cannot be registered in Delhi between Jan. 1 and Mar. 31, 2016. The court made a distinction in the engine size of the vehicles to avoid disadvantaging the “common man,” who is more likely to drive a car with a smaller engine. “Rich people can’t go round in sports utility vehicles polluting the environment,” the judges said. The court also doubled an environment tax on commercial trucks entering the city. Delhi is among the most polluted cities in the world, and the supreme court has previously mandated other pollution controls, including a prohibition of trucks older than 10 years from entering the city. However, the regulations in place are not always properly enforced.
Indian Army orders probe into disappearance of civilians
The Indian Army ordered a probe on Wednesday into the disappearance of three civilians in the Kupwara district of the northern state of Jammu and Kashmir (NDTV, HT). The three men were allegedly lured to the region near the de facto India-Pakistan border by a soldier with the promise of jobs on Nov. 17. “Police is investigating the case. Army has also ordered an inquiry and if anyone in Army is found involved, strict action will be taken. We have zero tolerance towards human rights violations,” said Lieutenant General Satish Dua. On Tuesday, hundreds of people in the region protested the disappearances. The residents fear that the men were killed by the soldier in a fake encounter with “militants” in an attempt to win a military award. A similar scheme was uncovered in 2010, which resulted in the court martial of six soldiers, including a commanding officer, for staging the fake encounter.
Air India technician sucked into airplane engine
A technician for Air India died after being sucked into an airplane engine at Mumbai’s Chhatrapati Shivaji International Airport on Thursday(BBC, HT, TOI). The victim, Ravi Subramanium, was standing near the airplane when the co-pilot turned on the engine. “Only an inquiry can establish whose negligence it was and whether the engine should have been switched on at that time,” said an airline official. The official said that recovery of the body was still underway. This is the second such tragedy to occur at an Indian airport. The last incident took place in 1995, when an unauthorized man attempted to cross a runway on his moped before getting sucked into the engine of a landing aircraft.
U.S. SEALs accused of detainee abuse
The New York Times obtained a Naval Criminal Investigative Service (NCIS) report on Thursday revealing detailed testimony from several U.S. soldiers that U.S. Navy SEALs abused Afghan detainees and randomly shot at locals while deployed to Afghanistan in 2012 (NYT). The Special Forces command, however, opted against a court martial and eventually cleared the men of any wrongdoing. Since the NCIS inquiry, two of the SEALs and their superior have been promoted even though, according to the Times report, their commander in Afghanistan recommended that they be forced out of the elite SEAL teams” (NYT).
U.S., Britain deploy Special Forces to Helmand
The United States and Britain deployed at least four special operations teams to Helmand province in support of Afghan forces battling Taliban militants (Wall Street Journal, TOLO News). The Taliban have taken control of four districts in Helmand and now threaten border areas of Lashkar Gah, the provincial capital. Preventing the provincial capital from falling into the hands of the Taliban is a priority for U.S. Army Gen. John Campbell, the commander of the North Atlantic Treaty Organization-led (NATO) military coalition in Afghanistan, according to coalition officials.
Bonus Read: “Pakistan Military Deals a Blow to Jihadists, but Not to Ideology,” by Rod Nordland (NYT)
Relatives of Peshawar massacre victims seek funds from government
Families of children killed or wounded in the Taliban attack on a Peshawar school a year ago are accusing the government of breaking its commitment to deliver funds for medical expenses (Reuters). The government delivered an initial grant of Rs400,000 ($3,800) and promised it would help families whose expenses exceeded that. However, only 22 of approximately 60 families who applied have been compensated, according to Akbar Khan, a representative for 124 families of the wounded. The Khyber Pakhtunkhwa provincial health department is now demanding that the unspent portion of the initial grant received be returned, some families of the wounded say. Victims’ relatives say they will continue to pressure authorities.
–Alyssa Sims and Udit Banerjea
Edited by Peter Bergen
MONEY SHARMA/AFP/Getty Images
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