Mumbai terror attacks mastermind Lakhvi out on bail
On Thursday, a Pakistan court granted bail to Zaki-ur-Rehman Lakhvi, a Lashkar-e-Taiba operative who allegedly masterminded the 2008 terror attacks in Mumbai that left 166 dead. The verdict comes two days after a tragic massacre in Peshawar that left more than 100 students dead and Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif’s statement that retaliation wouldn’t be selective. India’s Union Home Minister Rajnath Singh has called for the bail to be cancelled. “The Pakistani government may have been lax, or made a mistake, in the case, but India has provided Pakistan all evidence,” he said. “Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif said he would not rest till every terrorist was finished.”
Boko Haram raids another village
Boko Haram militants stormed a remote village in north-eastern Nigeria, killing 33 and kidnapping about 200, according to a survivor. The attack occurred on Sunday but was reported only when the survivor reached the town of Maiduguri to inform officials. Gumsuri is a village near the country’s border with Cameroon. Around this area, some 2,000 have been killed in militant violence in 2014 alone. Meanwhile, Cameroon reported that it had killed 116 Nigerian militants who had attacked one of its bases on Thursday.
Demands for ‘ghar wapsi’ flare up in Bihar
After five Hindu residents of a village in Bihar allegedly converted to Christianity, Hindutva groups in the region demanded an immediate “ghar wapsi” programme to bring them back to Hinduism on Thursday. Soon after, three of the five people were convinced by RSS activists to take a dip in the Ganga and worship at a local temple to “mark their return to Hinduism”. Earlier this week, the Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh had instructed its affiliates to not conduct such programmes after the Opposition parties in the Houses of Parliament had blocked proceedings over the issue.
Mehdi declares in court that he has no regrets
Mehdi Masroor Biswas, a Bangalore executive arrested last week for operating a pro-Islamic State Twitter account, declared on Thursday that he was a soldier and messenger of the organisation, and that he had no regrets. Biswas made the statement as he was being escorted out of court. Last week, a media exposé claimed that he was running the pro-IS Twitter handle @ShamiWitness. The court extended his policy custody by 15 days.
Beer and wine parlours to reopen in Kerala
The Kerala government announced on Thursday that 418 bars in the state could reopen andstart beer and wine parlours. It added that Sundays would no longer be dry days, although the working hours would be marginally reduced. The move significantly waters down Kerala’s attempts at phased prohibition. Chief Minister Oommen Chandy said the government decided to amend its decision following a report submitted by the tourism and labour secretaries, detailing the impact of the new policy in their respective sectors.