Your Daily Wrap: Cheetahs return to India after 70 years; Amit Shah vs KCR in Hyderabad; and more

India News

Over 70 years after they went extinct in India, cheetahs are back. Eight big cats — five females and three males — from Namibia landed in Madhya Pradesh’s Gwalior today morning from where they were moved to their new home — the Kuno National Park. On his birthday, Prime Minister Narendra Modi released the felines into the quarantine enclosure. In his address to the nation soon after, the Prime Minister thanked Namibia for its help and efforts in restoring the carnivore to India, and called it an “important and historic” moment.

With the cheetahs being relocated from Namibia to India, there is hope that the translocation project for reviving India’s long-extinct cheetah population may achieve success. Even before this translocation, attempts were made to bring back Asiatic cheetahs here, but this was rejected by Iran. One reason was the dwindling population of its own cheetahs. But why does the animal face severe threats of extinction globally? Read here.

As wishes poured in for Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s birthday today, members of the Opposition wielded sarcasm in full measure while wishing him and maintained that “ideological and political battles will continue”. A look at who said what.

Union Home Minister Amit Shah and Telangana Chief Minister K Chandrashekar Rao took a dig at each other as the two led separate functions in Hyderabad city to mark 75 years of annexation of Hyderabad to the Indian Union. Shah, after unfurling the national flag at the Parade Grounds to mark the ‘Hyderabad Liberation Day’, Shah said had it not been for independent India’s first home minister Sardar Vallabhbhai Patel it would have taken many more years to free the erstwhile princely state of Hyderabad from the Nizam rule. Meanwhile, the Telangana CM, at another event to mark ‘Telangana National Integration Day’, has called upon the people to be wary of “the conspiracy to distort history”.

A Delhi court has granted the anti-corruption branch (ACB) four days’ police custody of Aam Aadmi Party MLA Amanatullah Khan, who was arrested last evening, in connection with a two-year-old case related to alleged irregularities in the Delhi Waqf Board. This comes after the agency’s disclosure in court that Khan received Rs 4 crore in ill-gotten money.

Political Pulse

The RSS chief Mohan Bhagwat’s recent visit to the Kaushalya temple in Chhattisgarh following an invitation from Chief Minister Bhupesh Baghel has stirred up a fresh row between the ruling Congress and the principal Opposition BJP in the state. Baghel publicly invited Bhagwat to visit the Kaushalya temple when the latter arrived in Raipur to attend an RSS conclave in Raipur earlier this week.  As the RSS expressed reservation over the CM’s invite to its chief through media, the Congress dispensation sent its Raipur leader Gireesh Dubey to hand over a formal invite to Bhagwat. At the same time, the Congress criticised the RSS chief for “waiting for an invitation” to visit the temple. The BJP hit back at the Congress for “politicising religion”.

In March this year, the Bahujan Samaj Party (BSP) registered its worst poll defeat in terms of number of seats, winning only one seat in the 403-member Uttar Pradesh Assembly. BSP supremo and former chief minister Mayawati was then quick to attribute this debacle to Muslims deserting the party in favour of the SP due to polarisation in the BJP-ruled state. She also said the party learnt its lessons and would change its strategy. Since then, Mayawati has been making two-three statements every month on Muslim matters, while refraining from commenting on Brahmin issues. BSP says that Muslims had been “misled” in the last elections and were now “gravitating towards the BSP after realising their mistake”.

Express Explained

Chinese President Xi Jinping on Friday appealed to Russia, India, and other members of the Shanghai Cooperation Organisation (SCO) to cooperate with each other in order to prevent foreign powers from destabilising their countries by inciting “colour revolutions”. He called upon SCO member states to support efforts by each country to safeguard their own security and development interests. But what are the ‘colour revolutions’ that Jinping has warned against? We explain.

In Express Opinion today

Priyanka Chaturvedi writes | Vedanta-Foxconn: When Centre takes sides, states and their people bear the cost

How politicians in Bengal conducted a masterclass in homophobia

Weekend Reads

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The chronicles of conservation: The lion, the tiger, the cheetah and the politics

The two forgotten Roger Federer shots that best captured the magic of the man with cult following

ICYMI: Here’s a list of best news reports, Opinion, Explained, and features from The Indian Express this week.

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PB Mehta writes: Madhava Rao, a statesman from a princely state whose administrative qualities PM Modi extolled

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