27 November 2019

27 NOV. NEWS: MAHARASHTRA GOVT; Sonia, Mamata, Kejriwal, Stalin among invitees for Uddhav's swearing-in tomorrow at 6.40 pm/ ‘If Israeli people can do it…we can also’: Indian diplomat stirs row over J&K remarks / Foreigners’ Tribunals created havoc in Assam for last 15 yrs: Amnesty International

27 NOV. 2019: 29 Rabiul Awwal 1441: Vol: 12, No: 68
Sonia, Mamata, Kejriwal, Stalin among invitees for Uddhav's swearing-in tomorrow at 6.40 pm
Mumbai: Congress president Sonia Gandhi, West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee, Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal, and DMK president MK Stalin have been invited for the swearing-in ceremony of Shiv Sena chief Uddhav Thackeray as Maharashtra Chief Minister.Speaking about the invitations given to various political leaders, Shiv Sena leader Eknath Shinde said that the party has invited Sonia Gandhi for the oath-ceremony.Congress leader Vijay Wadettiwar said that the invitation for the event has been sent to all Congress chief ministers, Mr Stalin, CM Mamata Banerjee and CM Arvind Kejriwal.Thackeray will take oath as the Chief Minister of Maharashtra on Thursday at Shivaji Park at 6.40 pm.On Tuesday, Thackeray was unanimously elected as the leader of the three-party alliance.NDTV
Maharashtra politics: Sena, NCP likely to get 15 Ministers each, Congress 13 + Speaker
Following days of extraordinary political developments, Protem Speaker Kalidas Kolambkar began administering the oath of office to the 288 newly-elected members at a special session of the Maharashtra Legislative Assembly on Wednesday. Shiv Sena and NCP are likely to get 15 Ministerial berths each in the Maharashtra Vikas Aghadi (MVA) government, sources have said.e Congress is likely to get 13 berths plus the Speaker’s post.Sena will hold CM’s post for full five years, sources added. Sources said the Sena is likely to get 15 berths in the ministry, including the CM’s post. Sharad Pawar-led NCP is likely to have 15 ministers including a Deputy Chief Minister, while Congress may get 13 berths and the Speaker’s post, they said.Maharashtra can have a maximum of 43 Ministers.Hitendra Thakur-led Bahujan Vikas Agadhi, which has 3 MLAs, has pledged support to the Maharashtra Vikas Agadhi.With three members of BVA, the MVA will have the support of 169 MLAs in 288-member Maharashtra Assembly.In the results tally, BVA with three MLAs is in fifth position after BJP (105), Shiv Sena (56), NCP (54) and Congress (44).thehindu
With Ajit Pawar pushed to fences, Supriya Sule takes NCP centre stage
New Delhi: The optics in the Maharashtra Vidhan Sabha have set NCP's internal dynamics straight with Supriya Sule receiving the newly elected MLAs before the start of the first session on Wednesday, and she welcoming and hugging estranged cousin Ajit 'Dada' Pawar.With Ajit Dada Pawar being pushed to the fence, Supriya Sule is at the centre stage of NCP now.She was part of all the meetings and the negotiations that her father Sharad Pawar did towards the formation of the government. She was also instrumental in pursuing Ajit Pawar back to the party fold.After the Saturday coup, Sule immediately changed her WhatsApp status -- 'party and family splits'. It now is clear that the saga of the Pawar family will rotate around Supriya Sule.IANS
‘Sad that President was woken up at 4 am’: Chidambaram on Fadnavis swearing-in
New Delhi :Taking a dig at BJP over the way Devendra Fadnavis was sworn-in as Maharashtra chief minister, former finance minister and Congress veteran P Chidambaram Wednesday said “the Governor, the Prime Minister and President are all responsible for the midnight affair”.While stepping out of a Delhi court, which extended his judicial custody in connection with the INX Media money laundering case lodged by the ED till Dec.11,Chidambaram said, “Governor, PM and President were all responsible for that midnight affair. It is sad that the President is involved, deeply sad that he is woken up at 4 am in the morning.”Before hearing, Chidambaram tweeted that the incident was an “assault” on the office of the President to wake him at 4 am to get the order revoking President’s rule in Maharashtra signed.“It was an assault on the office of Rasthrapathi to wake him up at 4am to sign an order revoking President’s Rule. Why could it not have waited until 9 am in the morning?” he tweeted today before his hearing regarding INX media case.The former finance minister, who is lodged in Tihar jail in cases of corruption and money laundering pertaining to INX Media case, called the swearing-in of Devendra Fadnavis as the “most egregious violation of the Constitution”.indianexpress
‘If Israeli people can do it…we can also’: Indian diplomat stirs row over J&K remarks
New Delhi :A top Indian diplomat courted controversy Wednesday after he mentioned the Israeli ‘model’ and said Kashmiri Pandits could return to the Valley soon because “if the Israeli people can do it, we can also do it”, reported PTI. Video of India’s Consul General in New York Sandeep Chakravorty, speaking at a private event in the city, surfaced online and sparked a controversy when he spoke about the abrogation of Article 370 in relation to the ‘Israel settlement model’.“I believe the security conditions in Jammu and Kashmir will improve. It will allow refugees to go back and in your lifetime, you will be able to go back…you will be able to go back to your home and you will find security. Because we already have a model in the world,” Chakravorty was quoted as saying by PTI in an apparent reference to Palestine.Israel has built nearly 140 settlements since its occupation of the West Bank and East Jerusalem in 1967, which are considered illegal under international law. US had, however, recently said it no longer believes that the settlements are illegal.Urging people to follow the Israeli settlement model, the diplomat questioned why Indians are not doing it. “I don’t know why we don’t follow it. It has happened in the Middle East, you have to look, if the Israeli people can do it. We also can do it,” he said.Reacting to the diplomat’s video, Pakistan Prime Minister Imran Khan attacked Indian government’s RSS ideology for its “fascist mindset”.“Shows the fascist mindset of the Indian govt’s RSS ideology that has continued the siege of India-occupied Jammu-Kashmir for over 100 days, subjecting Kashmiris to the worst violation of their human rights while the powerful countries remain silent because of their trading interests,” Khan wrote on Twitter.Reacting to Khan’s tweet, Chakravorty’s said that his comments on Jammu and Kashmir in a reference to Israel were being taken out of context. “I have seen some social media comments on my recent remarks. My remarks are being taken out of context,” he tweeted today.Chakravorty also said during his meeting with Kashmiri Pandits that people have been talking about the Kashmiri culture. Answering one of the comments on the Israeli and Jewish issue, he said, “they kept their culture alive for 2000 years outside the land and they went back. I think we all have to keep the Kashmiri culture alive.Kashmiri culture is the Indian culture, it is the Hindu culture.” He also asserted, “none of us can imagine an India without Kashmir.”indianexpress
Indian Diplomat Wants ‘Israel Model’ in Kashmir, Sets Off Controversy
Anger over India's diplomat calling for 'Israel model' in Kashmir:aljazeera
Not just PoK, Pakistan was also part of Bharat:Gujarat CM Rupani
Ahmedabad: CM Vijay Rupani has hailed the abrogation of Article 370 as indicative of the Constitution’s evolution with changing times and suggested that “not only PoK, but Pakistan was also a part of Bharat”. He was addressing a gathering at the Gujarat High Court on Constitution Day.“The Constitution is evolving with changing times…The Constitution and its Preamble says India that is Bharat. that is not Bharat given to us by the British (on Independence) but ‘Akhand Bharat’ prior to their invasion. This means what we know as PoK, is also part of Bharat. Pakistan is also Bharat… Democracy will prosper only if the Constitution is protected…”indianexpress
Attempts being made to reactivate Balakot terror camp: Govt
New Delhi;The government on Wednesday said inputs indicate that attempts are being made to reactivate camps at Balakot in Pakistan which was bombed by the Indian Air Force fighters.Union minister of State for Home G Kishan Reddy said in Rajya Sabha that the central government is committed to taking all necessary steps to protect the borders of the country and maintain its integrity and sovereignty.“Inputs indicate that attempts are being made by Pakistan-based terror outfits to reactivate its camp at Balakot and restart their religious and Jihadi indoctrination courses against India,” he said replying a written question.PTI
Supreme Court reserves verdict on pleas challenging curbs in Jammu-Kashmir
New Delhi :The Supreme Court reserved on Wednesday its verdict on a batch of pleas including that of Congress leader Ghulam Nabi Azad challenging the restriction imposed in the erstwhile state of Jammu and Kashmir following abrogation of provisions of Article 370.A bench of Justice N V Ramana, Justice R Subhash Reddy and Justice B R Gavai reserved the verdict. Appearing for Azad, senior advocate Kapil Sibal said they understand that there are national security issues in Jammu and Kashmir, but the entire seven million population cannot be “locked down”.Advocate Vrinda Grover, appearing for Kashmir Times Editor Anuradha Bhasin, termed the curbs “unconstitutional” and said the restrictions have to pass the test of proportionality.On Tuesday, the Jammu and Kashmir administration justified imposition of curbs on Internet services in the erstwhile state after abrogation of the special status given under Article 370, saying separatists, terrorists and Pakistan’s Army made attempts on social media to instigate people for ‘jihad’. Solicitor General Tushar Mehta, appearing for J&K administration, had said that it was not only fighting enemies within but also with those from across the border.PTI
Over 5,000 preventive arrests in J-K since August 5, 609 still in custody: Govt
New Delhi :Over 5,000 preventive arrests have been made in Jammu and Kashmir since August 5 when the Centre announced abrogation of Article 370 provisions, and 609 of them are still in custody, Union Minister G Kishan Reddy said in Rajya Sabha on Wednesday. Nobody has died in police firing since August 5, but 197 people have been injured in law and order incidents, he said.“With a view to prevent commission of offences involving breach of peace, maintenance of the public order and activities prejudicial to the security of the state, 5,161 preventive arrests, including stone pelters, miscreants, over ground workers, separatists and political workers, were made since August 5, 2019, in Kashmir Valley,” Union minister of state for home said.“Out of these, 609 people are presently under detention and out of which approximately 218 are stone pelters,” he said in reply a written question.Among those who continue to be under detention include three former chief ministers of Jammu and Kashmir — Farooq Abdullah, Omar Abdullah and Mehbooba Mufti. Reddy said adequate security personnel are deployed in Jammu and Kashmir for augmenting the security of counter insurgency grid, strengthening the internal security and maintaining law and order.PTI
No increase in expenditure on UT of J-K after abrogation of Article 370
New Delhi : Centre on Wednesday said there has been no increase in expenditure on the Union Territory of Jammu and Kashmir ever since the abrogation of Article 370.Union Minister of State for Home G Kishan Reddy told the Rajya Sabha that the reorganisation of the erstwhile state of Jammu and Kashmir into the UT of Jammu and Kashmir and the UT of Ladakh was done as per the Jammu and Kashmir Reorganisation Act, 2019. There has been no additional financial implication as such for UT of Jammu and Kashmir, he said, replying to a written question.PTI

1,025 cases of incursion into Ladakh region by China in 3 years:Defence Ministry
Despite the strong denials from Central government, the defence ministry has stated that there have been more than 1,000 cases of incursions and transgressions into the Ladakh region of Jammu and Kashmir in the past 3 years. In response to questions posed by BJD MP Bhartruhari Mahtab and Shiv Sena MP Rahul Ramesh Shewale on transgressions by China in border areas, ministry said that in 2016, there were 273 cases of incursions and transgressions across LAC, in 2017, 426 and in 2018, 326. Unlike previously, Shripad Naik, the minister of state in the Ministry of Defence has not categorically denied transgressions this year. He has stated that the information was being collected about the transgressions in 2019 and refused to share any other information. MPs had asked whether the Government has taken note of the incursions and transgressions by Chinese soldiers into the border areas of the country including Ladakh region of Jammu and Kashmir, the cases and whether the matter of such incursions and transgressions has been discussed with the Chinese President. Naik, in his response, decided to educate the MPs about some specifics about the LAC first. He explained that “There is no commonly delineated LAC in the border areas between India and China and there are areas along LAC where both sides have differing perception of LAC. Due to both sides undertaking to patrol up to their respective perception of the LAC, transgressions do occur. Government is taking measures to ensure that defence forces are in a state of readiness to meet operational and security challenges.”
Muslim Board to File Review Petition in SC on Ayodhya Verdict in Dec
new delhi:All India Muslim Personal Law Board (AIMPLB), a body for the protection of Muslim personal law in India, has made up its mind to file the review petition challenging the Ayodhya verdict in the Supreme Court. The board will file the review petition in the first week of Dec. The petitioners have to file the review within 30 day limit ending on Dec 9. The members of the board arrived at decision after multiple delibrations in meetings involving arguments and disagreements. The disagreements emanated from the view that there is not much chance for reversal of the decision as the Court has invoked special powers under article 142 to pass the verdict. However, AIMPLB have decided to use all the legal options available to get relief.The outcome of the review petition depends on whether the petition is accepted by the apex court. “If our review petition is accepted then we are sure we will be able to convince the honorable judges with our arguments,” SQR Ilyas, member of AIMPLB said. “There are many apparent errors in the judgement that we will point out in the court,” he said.caravandaily
Yogi govt prohibiting Muslims from filing affidavit in Babri Masjid Case: Zafaryab Jilani
Lucknow:Muslims in Ayodhya and Faizabad are not being allowed to file affidavits in the Babri Masjid case and that the government officials are working in a partial manner, Zafaryab Jilani, senior lawyer and executive member of AIMPLB, has alleged.Jilani alleged that officers in the Yogi Adityanath government have become partial and are not allowing Muslims to file affidavit in the Babri Masjid case.“It is quite possible that we may have to submit a request to the Supreme Court in this regard soon. He (Dhawan) has rightly alleged that the state government has pressurised the Sunni Waqf Board. However, the Waqf board will not accept it,” Jilani said, reports News18. Speaking to media about allegations made by fellow lawyer Rajeev Dhawan, Jilani reportedly said, “allegations made by Dhawan are absolutely correct. Till now I was not putting any allegations on the Centre as I did not have proper information. But I am sure his (Dhawan’s) information is correct. There is an attempt to pressurise us at every step. Officials are creating problems in Ayodhya and Faizabad. The insiders involved in the case have told me how no one is allowed to speak to them (litigants).”“It is quite possible that we may have to submit a request to the Supreme Court in this regard soon. He (Dhawan) has rightly alleged that the state government has pressurised the Sunni Waqf Board. However, the Waqf board will not accept it,” News18 quotes Jilani.caravandaily
UP Sunni Board Acted Under Pressure; Most Members Corrupt: Dissenting Member
Cracks appear among Hindu saints over Ram Temple Trust, Ayodhya
Cracks seem to have appeared among the Hindu saints of Ayodhya over heading proposed Ram Temple Trust that would oversee construction of Temple as almost all the top Hindu organisations have started asking for their ‘pound of flesh’ in the proposed Trust.A section of them opines that RSS chief Mohan Bhagwat should head the Trust because RSS is “true representative of the Hindu ideology” while others say that the Head of Ram Janmabhoomi Nyas should be the chairman of the Trust.Mahant Paramhans Ramchandra Das Maharaj says that RSS chief should be made the chairman of the proposed ‘Ram Temple Trust’. The Mahant who heads the Tapaswiji Ki Chhavni in Ayodhya said that the RSS chief is the best person to head the Trust because many organisations like Ram Janmabhoomi Nyas were trying to grab attention and power after the Supreme Court judgement on the Ayodhya issue on November 9. The mahant alleged that the VHP leaders involved in the Ram temple movement have siphoned off several crores of rupees and thus they should not be given authority to construct the Ram temple. “On the name of construction of Temple, these leaders will mint several thousand crores again. For better transparency the Trust should be headed by people who have a trust value among the Hindus,” he said.“VHP leaders do not deserve a place in this committee as they have lost the trust of the people. In this scenario, we are left with the only option of having RSS chief as leader of the proposed trust,” he said.After the Ayodhya verdict, Mahant Paramhans Ramchandra Das Maharaj has been at loggerheads with other saints like Mahant Nritya Gopal Das and Ramvilas Vedanti . On November 15, the supporters of Nritya Gopal Das had attacked Mahant Paramhans Ramchandra Das, forcing him to leave Ayodhya.nationalheraldindia
Foreigners’ Tribunals created havoc in Assam for last 15 yrs: Amnesty International
Guwahat:Amnesty International India said on Wednesday that the Supreme Court and the Gauhati High Court had enabled the Foreigners’ Tribunals (FTs) to create a statelessness crisis in Assam.The global rights body made this observation in a briefing, ‘Designed to Exclude’, as it called for a review of the existing legislative regime governing the determination of nationality in India.Amnesty’s India head Aakar Patel alleged that the FTs that determined the paramount right to citizenship in Assam were often dismissive, used derogatory language, controlled their own procedures and applied them in arbitrary ways.Assam currently has 300 FTs, with 200 of these set up after Central government approved the State’s proposal to set up 1,000 new tribunals primarily to try those excluded from NRC that was published on August 31. “Holding governments accountable for the human rights abuses they commit has always been difficult,” Mr. Patel said. People appearing before the FTs were not afforded the fair trial protections and human rights guarantees that flowed from Article 21 of the Indian Constitution, applicable to both citizens and foreigners. This lack of protection had been endorsed by the Gauhati High Court through its judgements in various cases, the rights body said.“This includes reversal of the burden of proof on the person stands to be deprived of his/her nationality, depriving doubtful voters [D-voters] and declared foreigners of the right to a fair investigation, protection from multiple references, and a bar on the extension of deprivation of nationality from one family member to another family member,” it said.Amnesty cited the case of a Muslim woman who was declared a foreigner because she could not remember the constituency where her grandfather cast his vote in 1966, and that of Muslim man who earned the foreigner tag because his grandfather’s name was spelt differently in two documents.Amnesty said that along with FTs, the High Court – which most of the aggrieved approached in the absence of an appellate tribunal – had failed to consider the vulnerabilities of the people who were demanded to prove their nationality. The stringent burden of proof on the person suspected of doubtful nationality was absolutely divorced from the reality of documentation in India, it stated. Patel alleged that FTs have created havoc in Assam for the last decade and a half. He said they have not been held accountable by the courts and the Central and State governments. Thousands of such FTs could be set up across the country with Union Home Minister Amit Shah saying there would be a nation-wide NRC, he added.thehindu
Govt in Rajya Sabha: 1,000 foreigners in 6 detention centres in Assam
New Delhi :Nearly 1,000 foreigners are lodged in six detention centres in Assam, Rajya Sabha was informed on Wednesday.Union Minister of State (MoS) for Home Nityanand Rai said from 2016 to Oct13, 2019, as many as 28 detenues have died either in the detention centres or in hospitals where they were referred.“As informed by the government of Assam, as on Nov 22,  988 foreigners were lodged in six detention centres in Assam,” he said, replying to a written question.Rai said as per the information made available by the state government, the detention centres are equipped with all basic facilities, including medical care.“Basic facilities like food, clothing, daily newspapers, television facilities in every ward, sports facilities, performance of cultural programs, library, yoga, meditation facilities etc., are provided to the detenues in the detention centres,” he said.The minister said indoor hospital facilities with medical staff are available in every detention centre and health checkups of detenues are regularly done.PTI
Ground Report: Taken From Bengaluru to Kolkata, 59 ‘Bangladeshis’ Wait to Be ‘Pushed Back’
Kolkata: As many as 59 migrant labourers, identified as undocumented Bangladeshis and picked up from Bengaluru, were detained for 26 days in Karnataka, thereafter put in a train to Howrah by the state police, and handed over to the West Bengal police. Karnataka government, in coordination with the Union home ministry and BSF, reportedly wants them pushed across the border to Bangladesh. They have even accused the Bengal government of not cooperating.Though there have been reports in Dhaka-based aper Daily Star about groups of people claiming to be Bangladeshi citizens, who have said that they were picked up by Karnataka police and pushed from across the Indian border by BSF, it is not yet clear whether Bengal police have already handed this group of detainees over to BSF, and if they were the same set of people. This correspondent had a chance meeting with the migrant labourers when they arrived at the Howrah Station by Sri Sathya Sai Prashanthi Nilayam Express on Nov. 23. That these men, women and children were in a precarious position was clear from what they had to say.thewire
Protests against CAB continue in Assam
Guwahati :Amid reports that Citizenship (Amendment) Bill might come up during ongoing session of Parliament, protests against the contentious legislation continued in Assam with prominent youth organisation Asom Jatiyabadi Yuba Chhatra Parishad (AJYCP) taking out a huge protest rally here on Wednesday opposing CAB. Holding banners and placards, the agitators marched from Guwahati Club point of the city demanding CAB be scrapped as it is “unconstitutional” and goes against the “existence of the indigenous people of Assam and other North East states”.AJYCP has been protesting against the bill since early this year along with influential All Assam Students’ Union (AASU) and social organisation Krishak Mukti Sangram Parishad (KMSS), asserting that the legislation will not be accepted at any cost by the people of the state.Anti-CAB movement has intensified since Nov 11 when AJYCP, AASU, RTI activist Akhil Gogoi-led KMSS and the Indigenous Forum, Assam, led by pro-talk ULFA leaders Anup Chetia, Mrinal Hazarika and human rights activists Lachit Bordoloi have been separately protesting across Assam.PTI
Jharkhand elections: In manifesto, BJP promises to implement NRC and rid the state of Bangladeshis
BJP today promised to bring NRC to Jharkhand to rid the state of Bangladeshi “infiltrators” if it is re-elected in the upcoming Assembly elections. The party made the promise in its manifesto, which was released by Union minister Ravi Shankar Prasad in Ranchi.The elections will be held in five phases starting from Nov.30, and results will be announced on December 23. NRC exercise has taken place in Assam till now, but caused a lot of chaos. BJP has promised to conduct NRC in the rest India as well to remove undocumented Bangladeshi immigrants.In its manifesto, ruling party also promised jobs or self-employment for one member of every family below the poverty line. The BJP also said it would provide financial assistance to highschool students from backward and poor families, and loans up to Rs 5 lakh for Adivasi women running self-help groups.scroll
Hyderabad: Jamaat-e-Islami to oppose NRC, CAB
Hyderabad: Jamaat-e-Islami Hind has announced that it will oppose carrying out of NRC exercise all over India as well as the proposed Citizenship Amendment Bill (CAB).Addressing media, Moulana Hamid Mohammed Khan, President Jamaat Telangana and Odisha, maintained that their opposition to NRC and CAB is owing to these two being against spirit of our Constitution. He said while preparing NRC, the government is putting the burden of proof on shoulders of the citizens while, worldwide, it is the responsibility of the government to prove a person as intruder or illegally staying in the country. The exercise will be difficult as 135 crore citizens will have to prove that they are the legitimate citizens of India. Just in Assam, the process started in 1985 following the Assam Accord during the regime of Rajiv Gandhi. But it went into cold storage before Supreme Court intervened into the matter and carried out the process under its supervision. Finally, about 20 lakh people have failed to prove that they are Indian inhabitants. “What will be the fate of these people,” he asked.deccanchronicle

Air India to be closed if privatisation bid fails:Civil Aviation Minister Puri
Civil Aviation Minister Hardeep Singh Puri today said in Rajya Sabha that national carrier Air India will have to close down if it is not privatised.He, however, said that a favourable deal would be ensured for all the employees."I will go to that extent and say that," the Minister said replying to a question in Upper House. Taking a small pause Puri said that the airline would be closed down if not privatised.The government is readying the bid document for selling off its entire stake in the national carrier and has set March 31 as deadline for completing the disinvestment process. In earlier attempt, the Modi government had in May, 2018 invited expression of interest (EoI) to sell 76 per cent of its stake but not a single private party showed interest in the first stage of bidding.The top aviation ministry officials and Air India Chief Ashwani Lohani are currently meeting the potential investors before launching the bid process. Puri had last week said that Group of Ministers (GoM) on Air India had earlier met and taken some decisions.IANS
Sitharaman claims there is no recession; economists disagree
Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharman on Wednesday said Indian economy may have slowed down but there is no threat of a “recession”.Replying to a discussion on the economic situation in the country in Rajya Sabha, she said: "Economic growth may have slowed but there is no recession, there can be no recession.”Finance Minister’s claim came despite a number of economists and experts asserting that the country’s economy was passing through a recession and no recovery is in sight as of now.On Nov.18, she had claimed that the country is on track to reach the $5 trillion GDP target by 2025. She added that although the economy has slowed down, it is still projected to grow at the fastest pace among G-20 nations this year.However, nothing could be further than truth. The problem with the Indian economy is no more about a slowdown in growth. There is de-growth. The Indian economy is in recession.“You see, a 5 per cent growth in Quarter 1 of the current fiscal area is still reasonably healthy if you compare to other significant countries. But even that will have to be accompanied by figures which show rises in investment, consumption and output. However, these figures are all negative. Unemployment is at a record high.Capacity utilisation is falling. Business confidence is down as evidenced by investment figures. My calculations tell me that GDP actually came down by a percentage point at least,” says Arun Kumar, retired Professor at Centre for CESP at JNU and a leading authority on Black Money.nationalheraldindia
Muslims at Lowest Ebb in Salaried Jobs in India: India Exclusion Report
New Delhi:“Muslims are engaged in a relatively higher percentage in self-employment (44.6 per cent) and are the lowest-represented in salaried-class employment.” This was revealed in the fifth edition of India Exclusion Report (IXR 2018-19) released here on Tuesday by noted civil servant and activist Harsh Mander and others.The report provides insights into the widespread forms of exclusion, discrimination, injustice and exploitation of the disadvantaged groups including Muslims in India. It sought to raise public opinion around the issue of exclusion and the questionable role of the state apparatus in alleged discriminatory practices.After launch of the report, Harsh Mander said the release of the report coincides with the Constitution Day – the bedrock on which India’s democracy functions, and one which supposedly guarantees justice to one and all. Giving the theoretical and political framework of the report, he said the findings about Muslims and others are in fact a sad commentary on the actions and inactions of the state from the stand point of the values enshrined in the Constitution.Mander quoted Noam Chomsky, who said the idea of social protection was simply the idea that ‘we should take care of each other’, and explained how the same has become the ‘single most subversive idea’ in our times. “Today, in the season of fake news, indifference, and rising hate targeting sections of the minorities, the India Exclusion Report is a collective exercise in finding the truth and telling the truth, he said and quoted George Orwell as saying, “In times of universal deceit, telling the truth is a revolutionary act.”caravandaily
Modi Govt's Draft Press Registration Bill May Restrict Digital Media's Freedom
New Delhi: Dropping the ball on serious concerns like paid news which were the subject of earlier draft amendments to archaic Press and Registration of Books (PRB) Act, 1867, the Modi government is now proposing a souped-up version of the colonial-era law that could bring news websites under the purview of official regulations for the first time. Section 18 of the provisions of draft Registration of Press and Periodical (RPP) Bill, 2019 – released by Ministry of Information and Broadcasting on Tuesday – stipulates: “The publishers of news on Digital Media shall register themselves with Registrar of Newspapers of India in such manner and giving such particulars as may be prescribed.”Until now, no news or current affairs website in India – and there are tens of thousands of them since even blogs and social media pages which carry news or opinion would be considered publishers of news on digital media – has had to “register” with the government or follow any rules or regulations other than what are normally applicable for any form of speech or expression.thewire
BJP’s Pragya calls Mahatma Gandhi’s killer Godse  a patriot in Lok Sabha; Opposition slams comments
BJP member Pragya Thakur referred to Mahatma Gandhi's assassin Nathuram Godse as a "deshbhakt" during a debate in Lok Sabha, triggering a protest by opposition members.When DMK member A Raja cited a statement of Godse on why he killed Mahatma Gandhi during a discussion on the Special Protection Group (Amendment) Bill, Thakur interrupted and said, "You cannot give example of a deshbhakt."Raja said that Godse himself admitted that he had nursed a grudge against Gandhi for 32 years before finally deciding to assassinate him.Godse, Raja said, killed Gandhi because he believed in a particular ideology (meaning Hindutva).While the Opposition members protested the interruption by Thakur, BJP members persuaded her to sit down.Thakur is an accused in the 2008 Malegaon blast case in which 10 persons were killed and more than 80 were injured.This is not for the first time that Pragya Singh Thakur has called Nathuram Godse a deshbhakt.During the Lok Sabha election campaign in May this year, she had reiterated the same thing and did not apologise for the same.“Godse was a patriot and will remain so. People calling him a terrorist should introspect. They will be given a befitting reply in these elections),"she had said.Rajya Sabha MP and party spokesperson G.V.L. Narasimha Rao said, “The party (BJP) completely disagrees with the statement and we strongly condemn it. The party will ask Pragya why she made such a statement. She should tender a public apology.”nationalheraldindia
JNU Protests: Students form human chain to protest fee hike 
Taking their voices to mainstream, the agitating students of JNU formed a human chain in one of national capital's most visited place for shoppers- Connaught Place.JNU students were accompanied by the students from different universities including students from Jamia Millia Islamia, AIIMS and IIT Delhi."All of us are here to make sure our brothers and sisters in JNU are not alone in their fight to get their democratic right of education," Iqbal said who is a PhD student from Jamia.Speaking during the protest, the president of JNUSU, Aishe Ghosh claimed that the protest was aimed to bring down alleged fee hike in most of the public-funded education institute and also revamp JNU's image.IANS
Constitution Day: Umar, Kanhaiya Exhort People to Stand Up for the Constitution
New Delhi: JNU ex-students Umar Khalid and Kanhaiya Kumar have exhorted the people to stand up for the Constitution, as “efforts are being made by the BJP to change the salient features of the Indian Constitution. The two, along with prominent journalist Aarefa Khanum Sherwani and Gorakhpur doctor Kafil Khan, were addressing an event in Jamia Nagar here, styled as Celebration of the Constitution. The event marked the 70th anniversary of introduction of the Indian Constitution.Kanhaiya Kumar, addressing the gathering, called for unity among secular parties to safeguard the Constitution. Umar Khalid, associated with the United Against Hate, launched a scathing attack on the ruling BJP and Prime Minister Narendra Modi. Remembering late Maharashtra ATS chief Hemanth Karkar, who was martyred in 26/11 Taj hotel terror attack, Khalid questioned the inclusion of Malegaon terror accused Sadhvi Pragya in the defence ministry panel by Modi government. He criticised Pragya for claiming that Karkare died due to a curse that befell on him. “The most unconstitutional thing this government wants to do is to bring in the controversial Citizenship Amendment Bill which has a provision to grant citizenship to refugees belonging to all communities except Muslims. This is the height of discrimination,” Khalid said.Caravan Daily
Pak Army chief Bajwa''s extension hangs in balance; SC adjourns hearing until tomorrow
Pakistan Chief Justice Asif Saeed Khosa on Wednesday rapped the attorney general for turning the army chief into a "shuttlecock" and asked the Imran Khan government to step back and assess what it was doing, as he heard a plea against extending the tenure of Army chief Gen Qamar Javed Bajwa.Prime Minister Imran Khan through an official notification of August 19 granted a 3-year extension to General Bajwa, citing "regional security environment". Bajwa''s original tenure is set to expire on Thursday at midnight and he can continue as the army chief if the Supreme Court decides the case in his favour before that."There is still time. The government should step back and assess what it is doing," said Chief Justice Khosa, who is heading a three-member apex court bench comprising Justices Mazhar Alam Khan Miankhel and Syed Mansoor Ali Shah."They should not do something like this with a high-ranking officer," he said, referring to the extension of the army chief''s tenure."You have turned the army chief into a shuttlecock," he told Attorney General Anwar Mansoor Khan, who presented arguments on behalf of the government.Chief Justice Khosa said that new summary sent by the prime minister to the president was a request for reappointment of the army chief. But the president issued a notification for extension in his tenure."The government should clarify whether it wants to give an extension to army chief or wants to reappoint him," he said. "They never bothered to check what is written and what they are sending." Khan attributed the gaffe to "clerical errors" by the law ministry, adding that the army chief is due to retire at midnight Thursday."Why do you make such errors?" asked the chief justice. "You should have the degrees of those people examined who are responsible for drafting these documents."The proceedings were adjourned until Thursday.Prime Minister Khan held an emergency Cabinet meeting to deal with the precarious situation, with Gen Bajwa himself attending the deliberations.The case was expected to have widespread ramification for the country and its powerful army.Farogh Naseem, who resigned from his post as law minister on Tuesday to pursue the case, represented Gen Bajwa in the court.PTI
Iran official say over 7,000 people arrested in anti-government protests, hundreds of buildings torched
Iran is beginning to acknowledge the scale of recent protests that swept across the Islamic Republic, with one lawmaker quoted as saying authorities arrested more than 7,000 people.The comment by Hossein Naghavi Hosseini, who sits on parliament's national security and foreign policy committee, came as Iran's interior minister claimed that demonstrators wanted to take over state television.Abdolreza Rahmani Fazli offered no evidence for his claim during an interview aired late on Tuesday night on Iranian state TV. Protests weren't reported around state TV's HQRS in northern Tehran.The minister also said approximately seven hundred banks and 140 government buildings had been set on fire during recent protests in which he claimed 200,000 took part, Reuters reported quoting IRNA. Iran has yet to offer any definitive statistics for the unrest, which began November 15 when officials sharply raised government-set gasoline prices.Amnesty International says it believes violence in the protests and a security force crackdown killed at least 143 people.alaraby.co.uk
WeWork founder: Me, MBS and Kushner 'would save the world'
Israeli-born founder of failing co-working empire WeWork is alleged to have told his company that three people were going to save the world: Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman, Jared Kushner, and himself, according to a searing exposé on the billionaire published in Vanity Fair. Adam Neumann, the former director of the WeWork start-up - whom the article portrays as an "egomaniacal" millennial tycoon - is alleged to have had a fixation with the Saudi crown prince even after he was exposed as directly responsible for the torture, murder and dismemberment of journalist Jamal Khashoggi. Neumann and bin Salman are thought to have had a close relationship, with the co-working tycoon allegedly telling his colleagues he was "saving the women of Saudi Arabia" by working with the crown prince to introduce coding courses for women.Moreover, Neumann is alleged to have told George W. Bush's former national security adviser Stephen Hadley, that if he had been MbS' mentor, he could have helped him navigate the fallout from Khashoggi's gruesome assassination in the Saudi consulate in Istanbul.The article also sheds light on Neumann's dealings with US presidential advisor and Trump's son-in-law Jared Kushner, whom he is said to have helped draw up his peace plan for the Middle East, dubbed the "deal of the century".Neumann used his contacts to produce a hi-spec video for Kushner to present at the Bahrain summit in June, showing his vision of an economically transformed West Bank and Gaza.alaraby.co.uk
Lebanese businessman Samir Khatib says 'ready to form a govt' following Hariri withdrawal
Lebanon’s Samir Khatib said he was prepared to form a new government, just hours after caretaker Prime Minister Saad Hariri announced he was withdrawing his candidacy for the role of prime minister.Khatib, a prominent contractor said he had been inspired to take on the role after speaking to several people, according to local MTV station."I was approached by different sides since I am close to everyone," Khatib said. "I am ready to form a government and take over the premiership in order to serve the country during these exceptional times,” he added.However, Hariri's office published a statement in response distancing itself from names circulating for the PM role, noting it would be announced following further consultations.Hariri had earlier called on President Michel Aoun to urgently hold consultations in parliament to name a new PM, The Daily Star reported, as the official announced his withdrawal.The outgoing prime minister tendered his government's resignation on 29 Oct, in response to pressure from street.alaraby.
Amnesty: Egypt using 'sinister' secretive agency to crush dissent
Egypt's government is using a secretive security agency responsible for investigating national security threats to detain peaceful protesters, journalists and critics on false charges without trial, Amnesty International has said in a new report. 60-page publication released today detailed how Egypt's Supreme State Security Prosecution (SSSP) operates as a "sinister tool of repression", becoming increasingly central to President Abdel Fattah el-Sisi's sweeping crackdown on dissent."In Egypt today, the Supreme State Security Prosecution has stretched the definition of 'terrorism' to encompass peaceful protests, social media posts and legitimate political activities," said Philip Luther, Amnesty's Middle East and North Africa director.aljazeera
Ex-Erdogan ally wants to form new party before end of year
Former Turkish Deputy Prime Minister Ali Babacan has said he is planning to form a "mainstream" political party by the end of the year to challenge President Recep Tayyip Erdogan's ruling Justice and Development (AK) Party.  52-year-old made the comments on Tuesday to broadcaster HaberTurk, in his first live interview since leaving AK Party in July, citing "deep differences"."The calendar [for the launch] is the end of the year," he said, adding that the still-unnamed party would appeal to a wide cross-section of the population. "It will be a mainstream political movement," he said.aljazeera
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 Compiled and edited by Anwarulhaq (Released at: 9:56 PM).


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