Your Daily Wrap: Retail inflation rises to five-month high of 7.41%; shocking details emerge in Kerala ‘human sacrifice’ case; and more

India’s retail inflation, which is measured by the Consumer Price Index (CPI), rose to a five-month high of 7.41 per cent in September, up from 7.00 per cent in August. Separately, India’s factory output, measured through the Index of Industrial Production (IIP), witnessed a contraction of (-)0.8 per cent in August, two separate data released by the Ministry of Statistics & Programme Implementation (MoSPI) showed. This is the ninth consecutive time that the CPI print has come above the RBI’s upper margin of 6 per cent.

A day after Kerala police arrested three people in connection with the killings of two women as part of ‘human sacrifice for financial prosperity’, officials suspect the accused had consumed the flesh of one of the victims. The police also said restaurant owner Muhammed Shafi alias Rasheed, who they said is the prime conspirator in the case, had committed the crimes because of his ‘sexual perversions’. Kochi city police commissioner C H Nagaraju said Shafi would derive pleasure from such perversions.

The Supreme Court today directed no citizen can be prosecuted under section 66A of the Information Technology Act, 2000, which it had scrapped in 2015. A bench headed by Chief Justice U U Lalit said in all cases where citizens are facing prosecution for alleged violation of section 66-A of the Act, the reference and reliance upon the said provision shall stand deleted. Meanwhile, during a hearing on demonetisation, the top court said it is aware of the “Lakshman Rekha” on judicial review of government policy decisions but will have to examine the 2016 note ban decision to decide whether the issue has become a mere “academic” exercise.

The government today approved a one-time grant of Rs 22,000 crore to three state-owned fuel retailers to cover for the losses they incurred on selling domestic cooking gas LPG below cost in the last two years. The Union Cabinet, headed by Prime Minister Narendra Modi at a meeting, approved the one-time grant to three oil marketing companies – Indian Oil Corporation, Bharat Petroleum Corporation Ltd, and Hindustan Petroleum Corporation Ltd. The Cabinet also approved the bonus for railway employees for the financial year 2021-22. The productivity-linked bonus (PLB) amount equivalent to wages of 78 days has been paid to about 11.27 lakh non-gazetted Railway employees with the maximum amount payable per eligible railway employee being Rs 17,950.

Political Pulse

As Sourav Ganguly’s term as BCCI president heads to an end, political parties in West Bengal are alleging foul play by the BJP. Pointing to how Ganguly had been courted by the BJP ahead of the 2021 Assembly elections, they have alleged that the former India skipper was paying the price for saying no to the BJP. If the Trinamool Congress targeted the BJP, especially Union home minister Amit Shah, after news emerged that Roger Binny was set to replace Ganguly, the CPM and Congress asked how the BCCI could justify retaining Amit Shah’s son Jay Shah but “dumping” Ganguly. Atri Mitra and Ravik Bhattacharya report.

Express Explained

Addressing a rally in Gujarat on Tuesday, PM Narendra Modi made a veiled attack on Jawaharlal Nehru over the Kashmir crisis. “Sardar Patel persuaded all the princely states to merge with India. But another person handled this one issue of Kashmir,” he said, without naming Nehru. In September this year, Union Home minister Amit Shah, while addressing a rally at Goregaon, accused Nehru of allowing Pakistan to occupy parts of Kashmir. But why has the first prime minister been blamed for the Kashmir crisis on several occasions in the past by BJP politicians? What happened in Kashmir in the months preceding Independence and after? We explain.

Interpol has rejected a request by India to issue a Red Notice against Khalistani separatist Gurpatwant Singh Pannun, saying Indian authorities have not provided sufficient information on him. Who is Pannun, and what are the allegations against him? Read here.

In Express Opinion today

Why Kapil Dev’s comments on mental health make him sound off-key and out-of-touch

Bachchan at the multiplex: If viewers no longer flock to film theatres, why did they make an exception for Amitabh’s old films?

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