Above the fold: Top stories of the day
1. The Shiv Sena dares the Bharatiya Janata Party to break the alliance in Maharashtra, felicitates men who attacked Sudheendra Kulkarni, chief of the Observer Research Foundation.
2. The Election Commission "anguish" over the tone of the Bihar election campaign after Lalu Prasad promised voters that Nitish Kumar and he would "emasculate" Narendra Modi.
3. After the Supreme Court asked the government to explain why it had not brought in the Uniform Civil Code, Union Law Minister Sadananda Gowda said the UCC was the "need of the hour".

The Big Story: The curious case of Sanjeev Bhatt
On Tuesday, the Supreme Court dismissed former police officer Sanjiv Bhatt's plea to investigate Bharatiya Janata Party president Amit Shah's alleged attempts to scuttle the probe in cases of encounter killings. It said "politics and activism" were trying to influence the course of the Gujarat riot cases in the apex court. The Supreme Court bench said Bhatt had been in "active touch with leaders of rival political party" and was "tutored by NGOs". It lifted a stay on trials in two cases against Bhatt and asked why he had made his complaint in 2011, nine years after the alleged crimes had taken place. Bhatt, it said, did not "come to the court with clean hands".

In the years since 2002, Bhatt emerged as a focal point of the public demand for justice in the Gujarat riot cases. He claimed, in his 2011 affidavit, to have been in the room when Narendra Modi, then chief minister of Gujarat, said Hindus should be allowed to vent their anger. As the account of an officer who was in the administration during the riots, Bhatt's revelations were sensational. They shored up a long-running belief about 2002, that it was no "riot" between two communities but the massacre of a minority with the tacit consent of the state. They also bolstered suspicions about Modi's role in the violence. Ever since he spoke out against the Gujarat government, Bhatt has been dragged down in a mire of criminal charges and accusations of bad faith. It did not help that his wife, Shweta Bhatt, contested as a Congress candidate in the 2014 Lok Sabha elections.

Whatever Bhatt's political affiliations are, his case points to one of the many wrongs of Gujarat 2002: pressing for justice is now confused with political opposition to the BJP. The question of who is filing the cases has deflected attention from the substance of the cases, even if they are not false. Bhatt's dismissal now, for instance, closes the possibility of further investigation of charges against Amit Shah.

The Big Scroll: Scroll.in on the biggest story of the day
Harsh Mander on how Sanjiv Bhatt's dismissal from the police force proved there was no protection for whistle-blowing civil servants.
Aarefa Johari spoke to Himanshu Trivedi, former Ahmedabad city court judge, who quit because he was sickened by the anti-Muslim sentiment among lawyers and judges in the wake of 2002 violence.

Politicking and policiying
1. Prime Minister Narendra Modi is to be gifted a "Netaji" jacket by some members of Subhas Chandra Bose's family.
2. After bilateral talks with Pakistan were cancelled, India suggested the two national security advisors rendezvous in New York, around the time of the United Nations general assembly meet.
3. Suave young Hizbul Mujahideen militants survey Srinagar, take selfies on the side.

1. In the Indian Express, Pratap Bhanu Mehta explains how the Shiv Sena wants to change the markers of language and meaning, fusing democracy with criminality, calling a violent act non-violent.
2. In the Hindu, PDT Achary makes a case for declaring the the sedition law unconstitutional.
3. In the Economic Times, Ajoy Bose writes of India's "ink blot test", post Dadri and the attack on Sudheendra Kulkarni.

Don't Miss
Dilip D'Souza on the the national war memorial India really needs:
The Hall of Fame has actually assumed the fighting will go on for years into the future, and has thus readied itself for the innumerable tragedies that lie ahead. The black granite stands there, waiting for Indians to die fighting our wars, waiting for their names to be sent here to be etched. Think of it: out there in the vastness of India are young men (and possibly women) – hopeful engineers, expert hockey exponents, middling students – who will not live to see their names carved into these blank panels.

I stood there stunned, almost breathless at the import of all this granite. Beside me stood the soldier who had escorted me here, gun slung over his shoulder. In Tamil he murmured, so quietly that I nearly missed it: “My name’s not there.”

What’s the greatest memorial to those who have died protecting our country? Seems obvious to me: the peace they died fighting to establish. Peace so that we won’t have to erect any more blank granite panels in which we carve names. Peace so that fine young soldiers like my Tamil-speaking escort will know his name will never be there. Peace so that we won’t need to remember that he died for India, because he will live for India.