30 December 2019

30 DEC. NEWS : Muslim festivals fail to find mention in Modi govt’s calendar for NPR officials /Bangladesh wants ‘written’ assurance from India that it won’t send immigrants after CAA/ Congress seeks independent panel probe into cases against ‘peaceful protesters’ in UP

*NEWS DIGEST, Evening* 
*30 DEC. 2019: 3 Jamadi-1, 1441: Vol: 12, No: 95
anti-citizenship act stir
Muslim festivals fail to find mention in Modi govt’s calendar for NPR officials
In what is being seen as another example of anti-Muslim biases of the Modi government, it has come to fore that government’s calendar prepared for NPR officials, does not include Muslim festivals.While page number five – 32 under the annexure – enlists Hindu and Christian festivals in the months they fall in, it does not mention any Muslim festival, which, many feel, was done deliberately. For the convenience of the enumerators, a list of important festivals and corresponding Gregorian months in which they fall is also mentioned in the manual, said the government after facing criticism on Twitter and other social media platforms.PTI quoted an MHA official, saying, “The list of Indian festivals was included in it as per the standard of Census 2011 and NPR 2010. This was also pre-tested for Census 2021 and NPR 2020 and no adverse feedback on this annex was ever received”.“The purpose of this page is to help the enumerators to approximate the month of birth of the respondent,” the unnamed official was quoted as saying by PTI.According to the manual, when a respondent knows only the year of birth, the enumerators have to follow the stepwise approach. If the respondent tells only the year of birth but is not sure about the month of birth, the enumerator has to ask whether the birth was before the rainy season or not.nationalheraldindia
*Govt's Calendar for NPR Officials Excludes Muslim Festivals, MHA Cites Census 2011 as Example*
Bangladesh wants ‘written’ assurance from India that it won’t send immigrants after CAA
New Delhi: Bangladesh has sought a written assurance from Narendra Modi government that it won’t send immigrants across the border after the enactment of the Citizenship Amendment Act (CAA), multiple sources told ThePrint.The move came even as Bangladesh Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina continues to face criticism for being “soft” on New Delhi over the issue of NRC, the sources said.Bangladesh government had made a similar demand when Hasina was on a private visit to India in October months after the NRC exercise was carried out in Assam, diplomatic sources told ThePrint.At the time, India had given a verbal assurance to Bangladesh that those rendered “foreigners” under the NRC in Assam will not be sent to Bangladesh. However, it had refused to give a written assurance, stating that the exercise was carried out as per directions of the Supreme Court, said sources.However, after passage of CAA in Parliament this month, fresh concerns have cropped up within the political leadership in Bangladesh that India may now “push” Muslim immigrants deemed illegal under the Act across the border, the sources said.Now Indian government does not have compulsions of the court, so a written assurance will not be difficult, added the sources. However, they added, India does not seem to have given any kind of assurance to Dhaka yet that such a sovereign guarantee will be given.theprint
Citizenship law protests could spook investors looking to do business in India
Protests against a new citizenship law in India risk making investors wary of doing business in Asia’s third-largest economy.At least 25 people have been killed in nationwide demonstrations against the new rules enacted into law earlier this month.“Foreign investors will increasingly begin counting the opportunity costs of a government expending its hard-earned political capital on firefighting protesters rather than pursuing much-needed structural reforms desperately needed to steer India out of its current economic slowdown,” said Pratyush Rao, associate director at security consulting firm Control Risks.The protests have continued for over two weeks now, disrupting life and businesses in some parts of India.Certain states have resorted to suspending internet services, making it difficult to book cabs through ride-hailing apps such as Uber and Ola and process digital payments. India’s iconic Taj Mahal saw a 36% drop in footfalls in Dec, TOI reported, attributing the decline to protests and other social tensions. Disruptions to normal life threaten a nascent recovery in the economy, which is expanding at the weakest pace in more than six years.Bloomberg/theprint
*India's global friends concerned over CAA, crackdown on protests, say no briefing on law*
New Delhi:More than a fortnight after the Citizenship (Amendment) Act came into force and triggered nationwide protests, there is growing unease within the capital’s foreign diplomatic community over BJP-led NDA government’s moves. The diplomats have publicly maintained that CAA is an “internal issue”. However, when spoke to ambassadors and diplomats from at least 16 countries, across all continents, over the last few days on the new law and the protests, they expressed “concern” at situation. “Indian government briefed us on Kashmir and even Ayodhya verdict although it maintained that they were domestic issues. But they did not bother to brief us on CAA, which has an international dimension to it — after all, it talks of three of India’s neighbouring countries,” an envoy from a G-20 country said. Diplomats, who include representatives from G-20 and P-5 groupings, and neighbouring countries, spoke on the condition of anonymity because the matter is “sensitive” and any attribution “may impact” bilateral ties.In such a situation, most of these diplomats have concluded that the protests were not limited to the Muslim community. They are now trying to get a sense of whether the government is “bothered” by international criticism against the law. Many foreign diplomats feel that PM Narendra Modi may be responsive to international criticism, but they are not sure about Home Minister Amit Shah. “International press is being read by our headquarters, and they have been asking us about how much political and diplomatic risk can the Modi government take,” one of the diplomats said. Diplomats across continents say the unflattering images and articles about protests and govt crackdown in the foreign press have made it harder for India’s “friends”, as many in their countries are questioning govt’s commitment to “shared values”. “Govt is making it tougher for its friends to defend it… at this rate, it is losing friends in places where it had bipartisan support earlier,” another diplomat said.“With each passing day, the gov’s position is getting weakened, as these images are not going away. And the action against the protesters and the latest reports of torture and intimidation are giving more credence to the view that govt is intolerant of criticism and dissent,” an envoy from a European country said.indianexpress
*Academics in US pass a resolution against hate*
Around 85 academicians in the United states of America passed a resolution expressing their concern over the discriminatory Citizenship Act and NRC that is supposed to take place all over India. They have also condemned the brutality of the police on students of AMU and Jamia Milia Islamia.The resolution passed by the academicians who are spread out in various universities such as Houston, Texas, Chicago, Washington DC,  Michigan, New York and Harvard among other places.twocircles
*Indian-Americans stage more anti-CAA protests*
*PM Modi to blame for Muslim world debating India’s actions in Kashmir, CAA-NPR-NRC: Owaisi*
Hyderabad: AIMIM chief Asaduddin Owaisi has targeted Narendra Modi government over the reported decision by Saudi Arabia to call a summit on Jammu and Kashmir as part of the meeting of Organisation of Islamic Cooperation (OIC). Owaisi tweeted, “Modi has internationalised the Indian Muslim issue, but seems to have miscalculated his economic friendship with MbZ/S (sic). Now the Muslim world is debating India’s actions on Kashmir and CAA-NPR-NRC, and this includes an already angry Iran.”He also took a dig at Union Minister Law Minister Ravi Shankar Prasad who recently in an interview said that ‘some’ data collected for NPR ‘may or may not be used for NRC’. Owaisi in another tweet said, “Is Law Minister so misinformed about the legal process itself? NPR isn’t required for development schemes. @rsprasad please tell us, do you know what you are talking about?” Meanwhile, Owaisi addressed an anti-CAA/NRC rally in Bihar’s Kishanganj where he accused PM Modi of misleading citizens over CAA, NPR and NRC.  Newindianexpress
Hindu priests protest Against CAA, NRC in Kolkata
Kolkata: Hindu priests on Monday assembled in the heart of the city to register their protest against the Citizenship (Amendment) Act and NRC.Nearly hundred priests under the banner of 'Paschim Banga Sanatan Brahmin Trust' gathered around the Mahatma Gandhi statue on Mayo Road raising anti-CAA and anti-NRC demanding that peace should prevail in the state which had witnessed incidents of violence during protests against the contentious Citizenship Act. General secretary of the trust Sridhar Mishra said, "It is a matter of great concern that efforts are underway to divide the country on the basis of religion. The CAA and NRC are aimed at excluding people of a particular community. It is very unfortunate."If one community is targeted like this, it might also be inflicted on us some day." Trinamool Congress MLA Rajib Banerjee said that the priests have descended on the streets to protest against the CAA and the NRC."The Centre cannot take such drastic steps targeting a particular community based on religion. "It is extremely divisive in nature and will alienate people of the country where greats like Rabindranath Tagore and Swami Vivekanada had preached about inclusive nature of Indian society," he said.PTI
Railway to recover Rs 80 crore lost in property damages from CAA protesters
Railway property worth Rs 80 crore was damaged during protests across the country against the amended citizenship law and the recovery will be made from those found involved in arson and violence, Railway Board Chairman Vinod Kumar Yadav said today. Days after the Citizenship (Amendment) Act was passed by Parliament, protests broke out in several parts of the country with violent clashes between the agitators and police leading to several people being detained and arrested. Angry protesters burnt buses, laid siege on tracks and even burnt train coaches."There has been damage of railway property worth Rs 80 crore during anti-CAA protests. "Damage will be recovered from those found involved in arson and violence," Yadav said.PTI
*CAA protests: Centre will not tolerate universities becoming political hubs:HRD minister*
Union HRD Minister Ramesh Pokhriyal ‘Nishank’ has said the Centre will not tolerate educational institutions turning into hubs of political activities “at any cost” as protests against the amendments to the Citizenship Act continued on campuses across India, PTI reported. “Anyone is free to engage in political activities, but colleges and universities should be kept out of it, as many students come to study from far-off places,” he told reporters in Kolkata. “Modi government is not going to tolerate this at any cost.”scroll
*Rangolis against CAA, NRC come up outside several homes across Tamil Nadu a day after 5 were held*
Rangolis against the amended Citizenship Act and the proposed NRC exercise were drawn in front of several houses across Tamil Nadu on Monday. Some even came up outside homes of DMK patriarch M Karunanidhi, party chief MK Stalin and Lok Sabha MP Kanimozhi in Chennai.This came a day after the police detained five women for drawing rangolis with slogans against the amended citizenship law and NRC in Besant Nagar. Cases were registered against them and they were released later. The police action led to several people across Tamil Nadu drawing similar rangolis as a form of protest.Similar rangolis were drawn outside the homes of many people across the state.The slogan “We don’t want CAA, NRC” on two rangoli designs was painted outside Kanimozhi’s house in CIT Colony on Sunday night because of rain.scroll
*Delhi: Former constable threatens to shoot anti-CAA protestors, held after video goes viral*
A former police constable was arrested for allegedly threatening to shoot anti-citizenship law protestors, PTI reported. Rakesh Tyagi was released on bail later.Tyagi, 43, was arrested on Dec.26 from his residence in Uttam Nagar area after a video clip posted by him on social media went viral. In the 16-minute clip posted on Dec.22, Tyagi posed as a sub-inspector and threatened to “shoot the protestors” if they pelted stones at policemen. In the video, he claimed that the Ministry of Home Affairs had given directions to police officials and they will abide by it and save the Constitution. “If they throw a brick at me, I will take it and use it to make Ram Mandir,” he is heard saying in the clip. Tyagi also mentions Bhim Army chief Chandrashekhar Azad, and says he will question protestors about the amended Act. Tyagi deleted the video from his Facebook account later.scroll
*Pune :35,000 raise voice against CAA & NRC at MahaRally*
Pune: Around 35,000 people took part in a peaceful rally in the city on Sunday in protest against the Citizenship Amendment Act (CAA) and NRC.The march, “MahaRally: Pune Against CAA”, started from Golibar Maidan around 11.30am, holding placards and raising slogans such as “Save constitution, save the country”. The protesters, mostly from Dalit and Muslim communities, marched towards Council Hall under heavy police security arrangements. JCP Ravindra Shisve said, “No untoward incident was reported from any part of the city during the protest march. At least 35,000 people participated in the march.”Over 20 Muslim group leaders came together to lead the rally as the protesters, including a sizeable number of women, reached the Council Hall Chowk. A core committee, Kul-Jamaat-Tanzeem, was formed to organize the rally and it comprised leaders from various Muslim groups and NGOs. A representation of the protesters, including retired Bombay HC judge B G Kolse Patil, activists Rahul Dambale, Munnwar Qureshi, Iqbal Ansari and Maulana Zahid Shaikh and Umar Khalid, submitted a letter of protest to district collector.TOI
*PM, Shah spooked by protests; lying about NRC: Umar Khalid*
Pune: Activist and former student leader Umar Khalid said here on Sunday that Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Home Minister Amit Shah were "lying" about the NRC now as they were scared by nation-wide protests. Khalid was speaking after taking part in a protest march against the CAA and NRC here."After seeing the protests across the country, Modi and Amit Shah are lying about NRC, as they are afraid of people's reactions," he said. Modi had said recently that there had been no discussion about nation-wide implementation of NRC.Khalid further said that the amended Citizenship Act should be resisted as freedom fighters who sacrificed their lives had not contemplated a country where religion is the basis of citizenship.PTI
*Alliance formed against CAA in Hyderabad*
Hyderabad: With an aim to fight Citizenship Amendment Act and NRC, around 50 organisations have come together on a platform and formed ‘Alliance against CAA and NRC’, here. Organisations representing minorities, Dalit, women and youth held a meeting convened by the Jamaat-e-Islami (JeI), in the city on Sunday.Justice Chandra Kumar, Retired High Court Judge, was elected as the convener while Human Rights Activist Jeevan Kumar, Jamaat-e-Islami office bearer Sadiq Ahmed and Murtala Vemula were elected as co-conveners. Interacting with the media, Sadiq Ahmed said the group would launch a sustained campaign against the ‘black law” across the country. “We will take it from the grass root level to the national capital. We are shortly going to start a campaign against the bill in all districts and mandals of Telangana,” he said.Hamed Mohd Khan, president, Jamaat -e-Islami Telangana said the CAA and NRC were against the interest of the citizens of the country. “All citizens except a few groups that support BJP party or its ideology, are opposing it. The government should consider it,” he said.telanganatoday
*Samastha Kerala to Muslim women: Don’t cross limits during protest*
Malappuram: In a directive to the Muslim women and girls who are on the street against Citizenship Amendment Act (CAA), Samastha Kerala Jamiyyathul Ulama, the largest Muslim body of scholars in Kerala, has urged the women protesters “not to cross the limits” during protests.A joint statement of scholars which was issued on Saturday night said participation of Muslim women in public protests and ‘crossing limits’ which may lead to arrests is against Islam. The organization also urged Muslim women to step back from such protests and demanded the organizations concerned not to deviate from their declared policies regarding this.The statement, which hails the anti-CAA and anti-NRC protests across the nation, said Muslim people can adopt Islamic ways of protests during their strikes.TOI
*'Only Nitish Kumar Can Tell': Prashant Kishor Again Questions JDU's Support to CAA, Slams Congress Top Brass*
Janata Dal (United) vice president and political strategist Prashant Kishor on Monday said only Bihar Chief Minister Nitish Kumar could explain the circumstances under which his party supported the contentious Citizen (Amendment) Bill in Parliament.In yet another attack at his party over voting for the new law, Kishor said: “I want to make it very clear that JD(U)'s stance on NRC and CAA is of opposition. Check parliamentary standing committee's record, first dissent note is of JD(U). Under what circumstances JD(U) supported the bill in both houses only Nitish Kumar ji can tell.”
From CAA to NRC, BJP cornered by allies and voices of concern within
*Congress MP asks President to sack Army Chief Bipin Rawat over CAA protest remarks*
Congress MP from Thrissur TN Prathapan has shot off a letter to President Ram Nath Kovind, urging him to sack Army Chief General Bipin Rawat for wading into the political sphere by criticising people leading protests against the amended Citizenship law. Incidentally, General Bipin Rawat will retire on December 31 and will be replaced by Lieutenant General Manoj Mukund Naravane as the next Army chief.Asserting that General Rawat had violated the code of conduct for defence personnel, Prathapan said stringent disciplinary actions should be initiated against the Army chief.indianexpress
*We stand like mountains: Women show courage to lead anti-CAA protest in Delhi's bitter cold*
New Delhi:Mattresses remain hung out on the iron grille of a road divider through the day, next to tarpaulin sheds, before being laid out on the street for the night. A tricolour forms the backdrop of a makeshift dais, metres away from a police team maintaining vigil.In the dark, a strikingly large red banner says "Stop Police Brutality".As the air gets more frigid towards the evening, the number of people on Kalindi Kunj Road in south Delhi thins out, leaving behind a large group of women on a 1,000-sq metre stretch who show extraordinary courage and remain unyielding in the face of merciless cold. Preparing for the night, the women from Shaheen Bagh roll out foam sheets.A team of around 100 volunteers including students have been providing snacks and tea to the women at regular intervals.PTI
*Protesters Stage 'Jamiawala Bagh' Play to Highlight Police Action on Students During Anti-CAA Stir*
New Delhi: A play titled 'Jamiawala Bagh' was staged outside the Jamia Millia Islamia which has been at the forefront of the protest against the new citizenship law.Protesters associated with Jamia Hamdard Alumni staged the play which portrayed and condemned the police action on the students of Jamia Millia Islamia on the campus premises on December 15, said a statement from the Jamia students.In solidarity with Mohammad Minhajuddin (the injured student who lost one of his eyes), the protesters were requested to bandage one eye to register their dissent and express support.The Jamia Coordination Committee, which comprises members from various political outfits active on campus, has been helming the protests outside Gate number 7 of the varsity.news18
*Mangaluru Police Identifies 'Unknown Accused' as Muslims*
 Like Prime Minister Narendra Modi, Mangaluru police also seem to be identifying protestors “by their clothes”. In a brazen display of communal mindset, Mangaluru police, in at least 6 of 24 FIR that were registered post December 19 protest, have accused “unknown Muslim youths” of unlawful assembly, assault, damage to public property and sedition among other charges. While FIR claims that over 2,000 protestors are “unknown”, the police have assumed them to be Muslim.According to P.S. Harsha, commissioner of Mangaluru city police, 24 persons have been arrested (as of December 29) in connection with rioting and violence cases. 2 persons killed in police firing have also been named in FIR.The Wire has closely studied 15 of 24 FIRs that it has managed to access from different police stations across Mangaluru city. Barring a few FIRs, police have only mentioned unknown persons as accused. Thewire
CAA dangerous, divisive; will not implement in Punjab: CM Amarinder
Ludhiana: Amid continued protests against the Citizenship (Amendment) Act and NRC, today, Punjab Chief Minister Amarinder Singh lashed out at BJP and termed the CAA to be "divisive and dangerous" while reiterating his stand that he would not allow its implementation in the state. He asserted that he would continue to battle against the legislation."My government will not allow implementation of the CAA in Punjab and the Congress will fight against it tooth and nail," said Chief Minister.Singh, while addressing Punjab Pradesh Congress Committee (PPCC) leaders and workers during a protest march in Ludhiana, alleged that BJP is trying to alter the Constitution’s Preamble and urged the people to unite against their "divisive and dangerous attempts" to damage the country’s secular nature. Singh also said that even UN had citied CAA to be discriminatory. The protest witnessed participation of senior Congress leaders. timesnownews
‘I will not stop till CAA is withdrawn,’ says Mamata
West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee on Monday continued her protest against the Citizenship Amendment Act, and said she would not stop till the withdrawal of the legislation. On Friday, chief minister had said the amended citizenship law would not be implemented in the state as long as she was alive.“BJP is planning to take away the citizenship of legal citizens,” she said before a five-km protest march in Purulia district. “I appeal to everybody to join hands against the BJP and isolate them everywhere.”scroll
CAA Protests: Old video from Pakistan shared as cow slaughtered on Indian flag in Hyderabad
A video is circulating on WhatsApp showing a group of men slaughtering a cow on the Indian national flag. Several individuals have sent verification requests of the video on Alt News app specifically asking whether the incident took place in Hyderabad in the view of protests against the Citizenship Amendment Act (CAA).Alt News reserve searched one of the frames of the video and found the same clip uploaded on YouTube on March 2, 2019. The background music in the video is a song dedicated to Pakistan. There are several other clues which further suggest that the video is from Pakistan.
CAA is more dangerous than atom bomb: TRS leader Rajaram Yadav
Hyderabad: BJP government wants to divide the country on religious lines. Claimed TRS leader D Rajaram Yadav. He deplored police action against peaceful protestors of Jamia Millia who were protesting against CAA and NRC. Yadav said that majority of the states of the country especially Assam and north eastern states are against CAA. Not only the Indian universities like Jamia Millia, AMU, Delhi University and several other universities but even foreign universities like Oxford and Cambridge are also against the contentious law.siasat
Shashi Tharoor faces ire for opposing 'Islamist extremism' during CAA protests
After a social media user posted a video, encouraging people to say 'Ia ilaha illallah' during the ongoing protests against Citizenship Amendment Act, Congress MP Shashi Tharoor took to Twitter to rebuke "Islamist extremism"."Our fight against Hindutva extremism should give no comfort to Islamist extremism either. We who’re raising our voice in the #CAA_NRCProtests are fighting to defend an #InclusiveIndia," he wrote. Incidentally, 'la ilaha illallah' is an Islamic creed, the Shahada, which is one of the Five Pillars of Islam. It translates to mean 'There is no god but God'."We will not allow pluralism and diversity to be supplanted by any kind of religious fundamentalism," Tharoor said. Later, after a social media user responded to Tharoor's tweet and asking the Congress MP to "spare us this soft bigotry", Tharoor responded again."People in this country say 'jai bajrang bali' even before lifting a heavy rock and no one calls it communal," the user wrote. However, Tharoor reiterated his earlier sentiments, adding that the protest was not about "one faith vs another" but about "saving the soul of India".Not everyone seems to agree with Tharoor. freepressjournal
Modi tweets Vasudev's 'lucid explanation' of CAA; spiritual leader calls NRC 'normal procedure', slams violent protests
Amid nationwide ongoing protests over the Citizenship Amendment Act (CAA), Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Monday took to Twitter to post an explainer video by spiritual leader Sadhguru Jaggi Vasudev, which details various aspects of legislation. In the video, Jaggi Vasudev has described the passage of CAA as "too little compassion coming too late."In the video, Jaggi Vasudev states that any foreigner, belonging from any religion can take citizenship through normal procedures. Taking note of the recent violent protests, the spiritual leader said he was surprised to see students behave in such a manner and said they were behaving like "illiterate people by indulging in violence".He also pointed out that Centre failed to explain and communicate the facts of the law to the citizens, which led to 'other people' misleading masses and labelling the act as 'anti-Muslim'. He further added that NRC is a normal procedure that should be carried out in all nations. According to Vasudev, registering citizens in a 'necessity' in any country.firstpost
‘How will the homeless prove their citizenship?’ Activists question NPR-NRC process
If one takes a look at the instruction manual given to field workers for updating National Population Register (NPR) 2020, it becomes evident that there is no scope in the data collection drive to record details of the homeless and the destitute across India. The only way through which they would be able to capture their details for NPR according to the manual is if they are found at any 'institutional households'. The move raises questions as to how the Centre plans to ensure that those Indians living in the streets with little or no documentation to even claim state subsidies are recorded in NPR.George, a resident of Hyderabad who runs non-profit Good Samaritans on average rescues about 3 to 4 homeless and destitute senior citizens from the streets every week, has only question, “When the homeless don’t have any documents, how will they prove they are Indians?”NPR 2020 manual has no answer to this and neither does the office of Directorate of Census Operations Telangana who were unresponsive for a comment. Both NPR and NRC are to be carried out by the officials under the office of RGI and Census Commissioner. George claims that there are an estimated 7 to 8 lakh people who are homeless in Telangana alone.None of the destitute whom George rescues has any documents on them at the time they are brought to shelters. An Assam based non-profit for homeless and destitute said that the state government has not taken any action on the homeless or destitute whose name didn’t appear in the final NRC list. They have been left in limbo with little or no clarity on what needs to be done next. Ansar Tanwir is a Supreme Court lawyer who providing legal assistance to those impacted by NRC in Assam points out that everyone who had to undergo NRC will face troubles that are unique in some way or the other. thenewsminute
RSS in damage-control mode as it fails to make Ayodhya-like prior connect on CAA
Unlike Ayodhya, where early preparations and reach out to people helped immensely in maintaining peace, BJP realises that no such measures during CAA has led to escalate the protests across the country. A meeting of top RSS and BJP leaders of UP took place in Meerut on Saturday to chalk out a damage control plan spread over a month till January 26.Just before the Ayodhya verdict, a massive reach out to people from all communities especially Muslims were taken from the BJP top leadership and it was ensured that the people don’t get agitated over the verdict.  But the situation is entirely different right now when the parliament has passed CAA. With no pre-consultation meeting with minority groups, some leaders in the party feel, led to lot of confusion among the people and resulted in wide protests across the country. Some BJP leaders feel that they hadn’t expected such violent protests over CAA. “With parties like Congress, Trinamool, SP, BSP, Left and others opposing the bill, we had expected some protests after the bill would be passed. But we hadn’t expected violence protests at a scale happening today” BJP MP from Meerut, Rajendra Agrawal told ET. “I don’t think Congress and other parties are involved in these violent protest. But since they opposed the bill in the parliament, they are having to support these agitations.” Agrawal was chairman of joint parliamentary committee on CAB in 2016.Though a little delayed but BJP and RSS is going into an overdrive to reach out to the people especially in states like UP, which has reported maximum violence and deaths during anti CAA protests. economictimes
Congress to observe ‘hunger strike’ on New Year in protest against CAA
Congress' Delhi unit said it will observe a 12-hour "hunger strike" on New Year in protest against the CAA, economic slowdown and unemployment.The "hunger strike" will be observed at Connaught Place starting at 6 pm on Tuesday.PTI
Congress seeks independent panel probe into cases against ‘peaceful protesters’ in UP
Lucknow :Congress on Monday demanded a probe by an independent commission under a retired High Court judge into the cases filed against “peaceful protesters” during the violence over protests against the Citizenship (Amendment) Act in Uttar Pradesh.The party also demanded that bail be granted to all those “who have been wrongly charged and were not engaged in any unlawful or illegal act.”Led by State president Ajay Kumar Lallu, a Congress delegation of senior leaders submitted a memorandum of demands to Governor Anandiben Patel. It was signed by Lallu and party general secretary Priyanka Gandhi Vadra.Congress urged that the notices for confiscation and sealing of property, and other similar ‘punitive actions’ be suspended till due process could be established and an appropriate enquiry by competent authorities was completed.“Further, that any punitive action taken thereafter be legally endorsed by a concerned judicial authority to be appointed by the Hon'ble Supreme Court of India,” the memorandum said.As per the title of the memorandum, it demands a “a full judicial enquiry into the unlawful conduct of UP Police.”Congress sought the issuance of immediate orders for “exercising restraint” by the Home Department and DGP to “ensure the cessation of such violent, unlawful and criminal acts by the U.P Government and Police.”Students participating in peaceful protests should also be assured that they would not face academic or legal repercussions and their fundamental right to free expression as enshrined in the Constitution would be protected and upheld by law and State, the memorandum said.thehindu
CAA protests: No place for violence, revenge and resentment in India, says Priyanka Gandhi
Yogi Adityanath should follow the peacful Hindu dharma symbolised by the saffron robes he wears, Priyanka Gandhi said today as she tore into Uttar Pradesh CM's controversial vow of "revenge" against violent anti-CAA protesters.Yogi Adityanath said on December 19 that his government would avenge the destruction of public assets by seizing and auctioning personal property."In my opinion, this is perhaps the first time in history that a chief minister has given a statement like this -- that revenge will be taken against the public," Priyanka Gandhi said at press conference today in Lucknow. She said the saffron in Yogi Adityanath's clothes didn't belong to him, but to India's religious and spiritual tradition. She said the colour was a symbol of a Hindu dharma that had no place for revenge, violence or enmity -- and asked Adityanath to follow it.Priyanka Gandhi has written to Uttar Pradesh Governor to ask for a judicial enquiry into the state police's "unlawful conduct" during protests against the CAA and the NRC. Priyanka claimed in her letter to the Governor that the UP Police's "excesses" and "brutality" were responsible for as many as 23 deaths.indiatoday
Priyanka Gandhi stands with those who indulged in violence: UP Deputy Chief Minister
Uttar Pradesh Deputy Chief Minister Dinesh Sharma countered Congress general secretary Priyanka Gandhi Vadra on her remarks against Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath on Monday and accused her of denigrating Hinduism.Addressing a press conference barely two hours since Congress general secretary made certain remarks against  Adityanath,  Sharma said, “Priyanka Gandhi stands with those who indulged in (anti-CAA) violence.”PTI
UP cop’s ‘go to Pakistan’ remark: Naqvi says peace should be priority, not provocation
At any level peace should be the priority and not provocation, Minority Affairs Minister Mukhtar Abbas Naqvi said on Monday, amid a row over a Uttar Pradesh police official’s purported “go to Pakistan” remark for people who were protesting against the amended Citizenship Act.A video showed a top police officer in Meerut saying the protestors can “go to Pakistan”, drawing sharp criticism from various quarters.If the video is true, then appropriate action should be taken, Naqvi told PTI.“At any level, peace should be the priority and not provocation,” the Union Minister said.On Saturday also Mr. Naqvi had said action should be taken against the police official, if the video was found to be true. Naqvi said that Muslims are living in India not by compulsion, but by commitment.PTI
*BJP’s lie exposed; No, anti-CAA protesters did not chant ‘Pakistan zindabad’ in Lucknow rally*
On December 28, BJP social media head Amit Malviya tweeted a video and claimed that it shows anti-CAA protesters in Lucknow raising ‘Pakistan zindabad’ slogans. Malviya wrote, “Since this is a season of pulling out old videos, here is one from Lucknow where anti-CAA protestors can be seen raising ‘Pakistan Zindabad’ slogans… Damn! Someone needs to have a samvaad with them and ask them to carry tricolour and Bapu’s picture for the cameras next time.”It is noteworthy that the video has surfaced on social media after a clip of Meerut SP Akhilesh Narayan Singh asking anti-CAA protesters to “go to Pakistan” went viral. SP Singh defended his position with the claim, “Some boys raised Pakistan zindabad slogans after seeing us.” If one carefully listens to the audio, the protesters are not chanting ‘Pakistan zindabad’ but ‘Kashif saab zindabad’. nationalheraldindia
*Uttar Pradesh Police takes U-turn, no FIR against cops*
In an unexplained U-turn, Uttar Pradesh Police have now denied that any FIR has been lodged against six policemen by the family of a protester, Suleiman, who died in firing during the violent protests on December 20 against Citizenship Amendment Act (CAA).Suleiman's family had filed a complaint against six policemen alleging that he was shot by police bullets during anti-CAA protest in Uttar Pradesh.According to the complaint, Suleiman's family alleged that he was returning home from Friday prayers on December 20 when he was accosted by SHO Rajesh Solanki, Bijnor in-charge Aashish Tomar as well as some constables. The family claims that the policemen dragged Suleiman to a lane where a constable, identified as Mohit, shot Suleiman at the behest of other police officers. The police in Bijnor on Sunday had stated that Suleiman's family's complaint had been added into the original FIR filed after his death on December 20 in which unknown persons were blamed for his death.SP (rural) Vishvajeet Srivastava had then said: "Police have registered a case against station house officer and five other cops for allegedly killing Suleiman and probe is on." However, SP Vishvajeet Srivastava has now backtracked on his statement."Because of legal and technical issue, a separate FIR cannot be registered in this regard. The initial FIR was filed based on the complaint of Mohit Kumar, a constable who sustained bullet injury during protest. The role of Suleiman was mentioned in that FIR. So, there is no need for a separate FIR. SIT is probing the matter now," he said. Reacting to the statement made by SP, maternal uncle of the deceased, Afzal Ahmed Usmani, said: "Suleiman was killed by the 6 policemen. Police officials had assured us that we will be given a copy of FIR on Sunday. When we approached police for the FIR copy, it was not given to us.".IANS
*Meerut police add sedition charge to FIR in Dec 20 clashes*
 New Delhi :Following a video of a senior police officer in Meerut telling locals to “Go to Pakistan”, police has added the section of sedition in the FIR filed in connection with the violent clashes that took place on December 20.According to police, no arrests have been made and identity of the persons who allegedly raised pro-Pak slogans is being ascertained. “With respect to the violence by the protesters in Meerut on December 20, several FIRs for alleged rioting have already been filed. It has come to our notice that pro-Pak slogans were also raised in Lisari Gate. Keeping that in mind, the section 124 (sedition) of the IPC has been added in the existing FIR. The section has been added against unknown persons. The next step is to identify the alleged accused and take action accordingly,” Meerut SSP Ajay Sahni said.According to police sources, video evidence of alleged anti-national slogans has been submitted which are being investigated.indianexpress
*In Kanpur, Muslims allege cops raised 'har har Mahadev' slogans, threatened women with rape in crackdown on anti-CAA protesters*
Kanpur administration may be busy in restoring normalcy in the city after violent protests on 20th Dec, but regular course of life was altered forever, for Subhan (name changed) and his family. Subhan, a teacher in a prominent school of the city, shivers as he narrates his ordeal to this reporter.It is worth noting here that the Kanpur Police has booked over 21,000 people in 15 FIRs lodged at various police stations across the city. "We had nothing to do with protests and everyone in our family was at home. One of my uncles was at his shop. After they'd destroyed vehicles, I saw policemen marching towards our lane and shouting har har Mahadev slogans  Sensing danger I left my balcony and locked the small wooden door of our house. After a few minutes of silence, the police began banging our door and kept saying come outside you sons of Jinnah, we won't spare you and rape your sisters,"said Subhan.  firstpost
*In Sambhal, 57-year-old doctor, man behind 2 schools get damage notices*
Sambhal :A 57-year-old Ayurveda doctor who runs a clinic, a 56-year-old social activist who runs a school for Dalit and Muslim children, a 47-year-old political activist who runs a puncture shop, a 51-year-old businessman who also runs 2 educational institutions. They are among 59 persons issued notices by UP government for payment of Rs 15.35 lakh in total to compensate for damage to property caused during anti-CAA protests in Sambhal. All of them say they will challenge the order in court. And all of them speak in one voice on the government’s notices: They are being sent to muzzle civil society and the protests.Topping the list is Mushir Khan, who runs a cold storage facility and two schools, is a well known social activist, and heads the Sambhal Sangharsh Samiti.“I am shocked. We have held so many protests against the policies of various govts. Never has such an action been taken,” says Khan.indianexpress
*Statewide black day on Jan 3 against CAA, 'attrocities' of UP police on 'peaceful' protesters: Shahi Imam Punjab*
Ludhiana: Shahi Imam Punjab Maulana Habib Ur Rehman Saani has said that the Muslims will observe state wide black day on January 3 as a mark of protest against CAA and police "atrocities" on Muslims in Uttar Pradesh. He said  after meeting of Imams (priests) of mosques, muftis, members of Muslim organizations, intellectuals, social and political leaders of the community from the state at Shahi Mosque in Field Gunj in Ludhiana. Head Priest said that it was unanimously decided in the meeting that January 3 will be observed as Black day against the divisive politics of the BJP-led Central government and against the "atrocities" of Uttar Pradesh, Delhi and Karnataka police on peaceful protesters. He added that on that day Muslims will say prayers by tying Black cloth and will hold protests by carrying black flags before handing over memorandum to district Administration for President of India. Shahi Imam said that the protests against the "black law" will continue throughout the country as the Constitution of India is secular. Head priest claimed that in the BJP ruled UP, the way UP police "resorted" to brutality even General Dyer would have been ashamed of that. TOI
*On the ground in Uttar Pradesh, protest divide along religion, not politics:indian express report*
Bareilly :Invoking the Constitution and waving Tricolour to widen the base of CAA-NRC protests don’t seem to be working in large parts of Uttar Pradesh. In a state deeply divided on caste lines, support for the protests is split more on the lines of religion than politics.The state’s main Opposition parties — SP, BSP and Congress — in UP have unequivocally opposed the move. But across the constituencies of Baghpat, Kairana, Muzaffarnagar, Sambhal and Rampur, many Hindus who voted for Opposition parties during Lok Sabha polls support the government’s citizenship move.Their response to the police crackdown in the state — 19 deaths and over 1,100 arrests — is muted, and hardly anyone is willing to declare that citizenship move should be rolled back.All of them say fears over the new law are misplaced, an assert that no Muslim from their neighbourhood, village or taluka will be evicted. They also endorse communal amity and blame politics for the protests.“What is the problem if Hindus from Pakistan and Bangladesh come here? Bangladeshi Muslims should go back to their place,” says Devendra Malik, a truck driver in his late 40s, while reading a local newspaper at the Budhana bypass in Muzaffarnagar.Malik, who hails from the Jat community, says he voted for RLD chief Ajit Singh, who was part of a coalition with SP and BSP during Lok Sabha polls. He also criticises Congress leaders Sonia Gandhi and Priyanka Gandhi for supporting the protesters .Malik’s views find an echo in a group of Jat villagers at Baghpat’s Kurri village, which is adjacent to Chhaprauli village, home of the late Charan Singh. “No Hindu is opposing it, only Muslims are,” says Ravinder Kumar, a Jat in Kurri waiting to unload his sugarcane stock, as other community members nod in support.This group is clear that while they remain RLD voters, and are angry with BJP government over pending cane dues, they are not on the same page with those agitating against the CAA-NRC. “I don’t think NRC is wrong. The government move is good. Those from outside should go.There is so much unemployment here already. If these outsiders go, it will benefit us,” says Vinod Kumar, an elder from the Jatav community who trades in bamboo material at Narauli in Sambhal district.Members of other Hindu segments sitting with him endorse this view, even as a lone elderly Muslim chips in that they have “always been at peace with each other and there is no discord between Hindus and Muslims on this issue”. Members of other backward communities, such as Kashyaps and Sainis, who were BSP supporters before 2014, are in agreement with the common view. Most of them claim to have voted for the BJP this year.
*BJP leader thrashed while explaining CAA, NRC in UP’s Amroha*
A BJP leader, who was trying to explain the benefits of the Citizenship Amendment Act (CAA) and NRC in Amroha district was beaten up by locals.BJP leader had to flee from the spot.According to reports, Murtaza Agha Qazmi, the district general secretary of the party's minority wing, was allegedly heckled and then thrashed at Lakada Mohalla in Amroha on Friday.BJP's minority wing has been trying to hold programmes for informing the people that "CAA and NRC will not take away the rights and citizenship of Muslims living in India, and they should refrain from protesting against the Act." Amroha SP, Vipin Tada, said that a case has been registered and the accused has been arrested.IANS
Under Detention Since Scrapping of Article 370, Five Kashmiri Political Leaders Released after 148 Days
Srinagar: Jammu and Kashmir administration on Monday released five political leaders who have been under detention since the abrogation of Article 370 provisions and bifurcation of the state by the Centre on August 5.The five leaders, belonging to the National Conference and the PDP, had been under preventive detention for the past four months. The leaders included Ishfaq Jabbar and Ghulam Nabi Bhat (NC) and Bashir Mir Zahoor Mir and Yasir Reshi (PDP), they said.Reshi is considered as a rebel PDP leader who had openly revolted against then chief minister and PDP patron Mehbooba Mufti.On November 25, two political leaders — Dilawar Mir of PDP and Ghulam Hassan Mir of the Democratic Party Nationalist — were released by the new Union Territory administration after 110 days of detention. They are ex MLAs, both residents of Baramulla district.On the same day, Ashraf Mir and Hakeen Yaseen, who were MLAs in the last state assembly of the erstwhile state of Jammu and Kashmir, were shifted to their residences but remain under detention.Both Mir and Yaseen were among the 34 political leaders who were lodged at the MLA hostel after being shifted from Centaur hotel in Srinagar. 3 former chief ministers — Farooq Abdulalh, Omar Abdullah and Mehbooba Mufti are also under detention.news18
In a first, Jammu and Kashmir govt to hire from across India
Srinagar: In its first recruitment notice since the nullification of Articles 370 and 35A, J&K high court has invited applications for 33 non-gazetted posts from candidates across the country. This is the first time in the Valley that eligibility for any government job isn't limited to "permanent residents" of Kashmir and Ladakh.The advertised posts include that of stenographers, typists and drivers, with no bar on any candidate applying separately for more than one vacancy. Selection in reserved categories will be on the basis of the J&K Reservation Rules, 2005, which states that "available vacancies will be in favour of permanent residents".Of the 33 advertised posts, as many as 17 are in the “OM (open merit)” category, which means anyone from outside J&K can be selected for those.TOI
*CBI Raids Ex-Officers In J&K For Allegedly Issuing 2 Lakh Arms Licence*
New Delhi: In the first massive operation by CBI since Jammu and Kashmir was divided into two union territories, several bureaucrats were raided today across 13 locations in Srinagar, Jammu, Gurgaon, Noida in the arms license case.CBI is investigating alleged irregularities in the grant of over two lakh arms licenses in different districts of Jammu and Kashmir. Today, homes of ex deputy commissioners and DMs of Kupwara, Baramulla, Udhampur, Kishtwar, Shopian, Rajouri, Doda, Pulwama were searched.Searches were carried out at homes of Itrat Husain Rafiqi- retired IAS from Bandipora - who is now living in Srinagar. Former District Commissioner Farooq Ahmad Khan's Srinagar was also raided, said sources."It was alleged that the former public servants in this conspiracy of issuance of licences to non-residents of Jammu and Kashmir in violation of rules, allegedly received gratification," said CBI spokesperson Nitin Wakankar.ndtv
Pakistan to host OIC meet on Kashmir, CAA
Pakistan will hold a ministerial meeting of the 57-member Organisation for Islamic Cooperation (OIC) on Jammu and Kashmir in April 2020, said official media in Islamabad. The development, according to diplomats, is linked to a broader Saudi-Pakistan deal.The announcement came days after recently-appointed Saudi Foreign Minister Faisal bin Farhan Al Saud visited Islamabad.“I told the Saudi Foreign Minister that the OIC must make a strong statement on India’s Citizenship Amendment Act as well as on the situation in [Jammu and Kashmir],” Qureshi said on Sunday.According to Radio Pakistan, officials had discussed holding the meeting of ministers of OIC grouping of Muslim majority countries, led by Saudi Arabia, to focus on the “human rights situation in occupied Jammu and Kashmir and enactment of an anti-Muslim law in India”. The report added that the ministerial meeting “is expected to be held in Islamabad in April 2020.”Ministry of External Affairs declined to comment on the development until the meeting was officially announced by OIC. If confirmed, the move would be a setback to govt’s efforts to increase its engagement with the Islamic grouping, including attending OIC conference earlier this year.“Arab world largely ignored the issue of Kashmir until Pakistan was forced to reach out to Turkey, Iran and Malaysia. It is only because of the new Muslim bloc’s formation that the older bloc— OIC — realised their mistake," said Mustafa Nawaz Khokar, Chairman of Pakistan's Senate’s Functional Committee on Human Rights. Diplomats say the decision of the Saudi leadership to send its foreign minister on his first visit abroad to Pakistan, as well as to agree to an OIC statement on the Citizenship (Amendment) Act last week stems from Riyadh’s concerns over losing control of key Islamic nations to a parallel formation, headed by Malaysia and Turkey, more than a desire to turn away from India.thehindu
MEA recalls Indian ambassador to Austria who rented apartment for Rs 15 lakh a month
Ministry of External Affairs has recalled Renu Pall, the Indian ambassador to Austria over misuse of government finances and monetary irregularities. She rented for herself an apartment at the cost of 15 lakh rupees per month, according to IANS.Pall is an Indian Foreign Service officer from 1988 batch and she was about to finish her tenure in Austria in the coming month. An investigation was launched against her by the Central Vigilance Commission (CVC). MEA conducted the probe in line with directions from MEA.As per the investigation report, Pall "incurred huge expenditure to the tune of crores of rupees on the government residence without the permission of the ministry".timesnownews
Complaint against Mohan Bhagwat over ‘all Indians are Hindus’ remark
Senior Telangana Congress leader V Hanumantha Rao Monday filed a complaint against RSS chief Mohan Bhagwat for his remark that any true “son of mother India” is a Hindu.Alleging that Bhagwat insulted the sentiments of the people by saying that all 130 crore Indians are “Hindus”, the former Rajya Sabha MP feared the statement could “lead to communal tension among the public and could also become a law and order problem in Hyderabad.” Rao has sought to register a case against Bhagwat for his “anti-national” and “anti-secular” remarks.ACP, LB Nagar, K. Pruthvidhar Rao said that complainant has taken objection to Bhagwat’s remarks and questioned how people from other faiths be called ‘Hindus’. “We have received a complaint. We will take legal opinion before any further step,” said the ACP.“Statement of Bhagwat not only hurts sentiments and beliefs of Muslims, Christians, Sikhs, Parsis etc, but is also against the spirit and tenor of the constitution of India,”Rao said in his complaint.indianexpress
Zero MDR on RuPay, UPI to kill digital payments industry, says Payments Council of India
Slamming Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman's announcement that digital transactions made using RuPay credit cards or UPI QR codes will not face Merchant Discount Rate (MDR) from January 1, the Payments Council of India (PCI) on Monday said move would kill the industry and make the business model unviable.The Department of Revenue will soon notify RuPay and UPI as the prescribed mode of payment for digital transactions without any MDR -- percentage of the digital transaction that a merchant pays to banks and this cost is often passed on to the customer."Payment service providers play a vital role in growing digital payments. The prohibition on charge of MDR on RuPay and UPI would kill the industry and make the business model unviable. It's like nationalization of the payments industry," said Vishwas Patel, Chairman, PCI and Director Infibeam Avenues."There would be a significant negative impact on the payment ecosystem – innovation, job losses and a slowdown in the expansion of the digital payments in India," he said in a statement.IANS
Struggling to Find Buyer, Air India Might be Forced to Shut Down in Six Months
Mumbai: Struggling Air India might be forced to shut down by June next year unless it finds a buyer as "piecemeal" arrangements cannot be sustained for long, according to a senior airline official.Amid continuing uncertainty over fate of the national carrier, the official said there is also need for funds to restart operations of 12 grounded narrow-body planes.The airline has a debt burden of around Rs 60,000 crore and the government is still working on the modalities for the disinvestment. Sounding alarm bells, the official said Air India might well go Jet Airways way if a prospective buyer does not come on board by June next year.PTI
*Maharashtra cabinet expansion: 25 Cabinet ministers,10 MoS take oath; Ajit Pawar returns as Deputy CM*
Almost a month after Shiv Sena chief Uddhav Thackeray took oath as Maharashtra Chief Minister, his cabinet was expanded on Monday, which included, among others, his son Aaditya Thackeray.26 Cabinet ministers and 10 ministers of state (MoS) were sworn in, in addition to the six who had taken oath along with Uddhav on November 28.While NCP’s Ajit Pawar is deputy CM, the portfolios of the others who took oath today have not been announced.With this, NCP leads in number of ministerial berths — 12 Cabinet ministers and four MoS. The Shiv Sena has 10 Cabinet ministers and four MoS, while the Congress has 10 Cabinet ministers and two MoS.
*Villagers in Tamil Nadu deny reports of conversion to Islam:Indian Express report*
Chennai :Days after a Tamil outfit claimed 3,000 Dalits would embrace Islam in Mettupalayam to protest the deaths of 17 individuals of the community in a wall collapse, residents of the village have denied the claim.Relatives and neighbours of those who died after the compound wall collapsed in Nadur village said no Muslim groups had approached them, and that they were devotees of Hindu deities, especially Ram.Tamil Puligal Katchi, local outfit that had made the announcement, changed its stance on Sunday, and said that the Dalits who had decided to embrace Islam belong to Tirupur, Coimbatore and other places.The outfit had earlier said that the mass conversion would be a protest against the indifference of the state government that had failed to act against a 20-foot high “caste wall” built illegally by a “caste Hindu”. The wall had collapsed on a row of Dalit houses in Nadur near Mettupalayam town on Dec.2. Tamil Nadu has a history of en masse protest conversions — in Meenakshipuram in 1981, a large number of Scheduled Caste individuals had embraced Islam.M Ilavenil of Tamil Puligal Katchi said on Sunday: “This is a mass protest, at least 3,000 Dalits from the area will convert to Islam. Government did not act against the caste wall. Conversion is the solution against this discrimination.”However, when told that several residents of the Mettupalayam village had said that they would not convert, he said: “Yes yes, we do not have access to the village now due to police. They may be embracing Islam later. On January 5, at least 300 Dalits will embrace Islam at Mettupalayam.”Asked who these (3,000 or 300) Dalits who would convert next week were, Ilavenil said: “They are people from Tirupur, Coimbatore, and nearby areas.” They had taken the decision to convert after the wall collapse, he said.
*Amend Articles 29 and 30, give minority benefits to all: VHP*
Mangalore:VHP demanded amendment in Article 29 and 30 of the Constitution of India which are meant for the protection of the interests of minorities.According to a statement released issued here, VHP said the benefits under these two Articles should be given not only to the minorities but other sections also.VHP believes that this will help in eliminating discrimination. UNI
*Pejawar seer had read Quran as thoroughly as he did Geeta:Seer's Muslim driver*
Mangaluru: Pejawar Seer Vishwesha Teertha’s driver was a Muslim. The driver's name is Mohammed Arif. Even his brothers were also drivers for the seer.While Mohammed Akhir chauffeured the seer for 3 years, another brother of Arif, Mohammed Manoor did it for 7 years. Arif has been seer's driver for two years. Though there were rumblings within and outside when he appointed a Muslim as his driver, the seer did not budge nor give an ear to the criticisms. He had asked Arif: Is it difficult to work as a driver for me? When Arif replied in the negative, the seer said : Don't bother about others, do your work. Arif says though others referred to him as a communal seer, he never felt so in seer's actions or words. The seer had also advised him to do Namaz regularly and he did not have any objection for him performing his prayers. Arif had a free run inside the Mutt. According to Arif, the seer had read Quran as thoroughly as he did Geeta.TOI
*Mumbai: Armed with triple talaq law, Muslim women still in search of justice*
At 24, Shabnam Shaikh has decided never to marry again. With a one-and-half-year-old son, no job, and a long-drawn legal battle ahead, she knows she cannot afford “to make another mistake by trusting a man”. “Also I can’t keep making rounds of the police station,” she says as she cuddles her infant in her lap. Last year, her husband uttered talaq thrice over the phone; months later, he came to meet her and repeated, “Talaq talaq talaq”. This year, soon after the Muslim Women (Protection of Rights on Marriage) Act, was enacted, she visited 2 police stations in Mumbai to register a complaint, but was turned away without registering a FIR. During her entire pregnancy, she claims she was subjected to domestic violence. Finally, she returned to her parents’ house, a tiny room in Govandi’s Shivaji Nagar slum to deliver her son Ibrahim in 2018.Over the next few months she made rounds of Shivaji Nagar police. “They referred me to Nagpada police, and Nagpada police would suggest I approach the women’s commission,” Shabnam says.Jannat Patel (32) was 7 months pregnant when her husband called her up and said ‘talaq’ thrice over a nasty fight. Patel went to Mumbra police station where officials refused to register an FIR. Social activists  said the procedure remains on paper. While implementation of the Act is an issue, several activists also question the intent of the law. “The law somehow also makes domestic disputes a criminal offence. It does not look at protecting Muslim women, but targets Muslim men. If there was uniformity, the law would have been acceptable. With present government, the intentions don’t seem right,” said Sabah Khan, from NGO Parcham.indianexpress
*After Triple Talaq law — ‘The harassment has not stopped but has just changed’*
*4 more Navy personnel arrested by Andhra police for ‘spying’ for Pakistan links*
Hyderabad: Counter Intelligence Cell of Andhra Pradesh has arrested four more Indian Navy sailors—three from Mumbai Naval Base and one from Karwar Naval Base—for allegedly passing on sensitive information to a Pakistani handler. On December 20, Andhra Intelligence Department busted an espionage racket in the Indian Navy and had arrested seven sailors. They are accused of passing on sensitive information like locations of naval ships and submarines to a Pakistani handler. Sources said that on December 29, four more sailors who had also passed on information were arrested and brought to Vijayawada and produced before a local court.These eleven sailors fell into a honey trap in September 2018 and allegedly received money through hawala for passing on sensitive information. A hawala operator from Mumbai was also arrested. The Counter Intelligence operation to bust the espionage racket was code-named Dolphin’s Nose after the hill in Visakhapatnam where the Navy has its residential quarters.
*Exposed to online threats, Navy bans use of social media after 7 personnel arrested for espionage*
Beefing up surveillance, Indian Navy has issued orders to ban the use of social media by its personnel to curb cyber snooping, after an espionage racket with alleged links to Pakistan operating through Facebook, was busted on December 20.Apart from banning the use of social media websites and Apps such as the Facebook, Instagram and even WhatsApp, the Navy order bans the use of smartphones within the area of all bases, and on ships and dockyards.news18
*MP honey trap case: Chargesheet says 2 TV journalists middlemen between accused, victims*
Bhopal: 2 TV journalists based in Bhopal were involved in facilitating deals between the accused in the honey trap case in Madhya Pradesh and their victims, according to a chargesheet filed in a Bhopal court on Saturday. In Sept., Indore Police arrested six persons after Indore Municipal Corporation (IMC) superintending engineer Harbhajan Singh alleged that he was being blackmailed for Rs 3 crore with video clips that showed him in a compromising position.Of the six accused, two women and a driver were held from Indore and the three other women were arrested in Bhopal, where all the accused lived. All of them are still in judicial custody.A chargesheet filed in an Indore court on December 16 was in connection with FIR filed by Singh. The chargesheet in the Bhopal court relates to a complaint of human trafficking filed by the father of the youngest accused.This chargesheet says Veerendra Sharma of Sahara News and Gaurav Sharma, who has worked with various media organisations, not only facilitated deals but also took their share. The alleged exchange of money, in one case Rs 1 crore in cash, took place at the flats owned by the two journalists. indianexpress
*Army chief General Rawat named India's first Chief of Defence Staff*
New Delhi:Indian Army chief General Bipin Rawat has been named as India's first Chief of Defence Staff. General Rawat was named the Chief of Defence Staff just a day before he was to retire from service after completeing a full 3-year term as the Chief of Army Staff. General Rawat is the first officer to hold the post of the Chief of Defence Staff, which was set up just days ago. The CDS will function as a single-point adivsor to the government on matters related to the military and will focus on better synergy between the Indian Army, Indian Air Force and the Indian Navy.General Bipin Rawat was the front-runner for the post.indiatoday
*CDS: Govt notifies retirement age at 65*
In Race for Chill Marathon, Delhi Records Coldest December Day in 119 Yrs; Rajasthan, Punjab Catch Up with 0 Degrees
New Delhi: Delhi is to experience its coldest day in December in 119 years on Monday with the day temperature recording 9.4 degrees Celsius, the India Meteorological Department said.The temperature recorded by the Safdurjung laboratory at 2:30 pm was 9.4 degrees Celsius."Delhi likely to record most coldest day today in last 119 year for Dec Month as day temp till 1430 IST of today has been unusually (cold) following a coldest trend with Safdarjung at 1430 IST has 09.4 deg C," IMD tweeted.Severe cold conditions continued to prevail in Rajasthan with Sikar district of the state recording the minimum temperature at minus 0.5 degree Celsius, the meteorological department said.Meanwhile, Haryana and Punjab also remained under the grip of severe cold wave with temperatures hovering well below normal limits.Faridkot in Punjab was the coldest place in the state, recording a minimum temperature of 0.7 degrees Celsius, six notches below normal limits.PTI
Govt Order Shut Down of Schools in Noida Due to Cold Weather Conditions
Iran slams 'terrorist' raids by US on Shia militia in Iraq, Syria
Iran has said US showed its "support for terrorism" by carrying out air attacks on the Shia armed group Kataib Hezbollah in Iraq and Syria.Pentagon said on Sunday that it had targeted Iran-linked militia group in western Iraq and eastern Syria in response to the killing of a US civilian contractor two days earlier.Iraqi security and militia sources said at least 25 fighters had been killed and 55 others wounded in the air attacks in Iraq which the US described as "defensive strikes".At least four Kataib Hezbollah commanders were among the dead, the sources said, adding that one of the raids had hit the Iran-backed group's headquarters near the western al-Qaim district on the border with Syria."These attacks have once again proved America's false claims in fighting Daesh... as US has targeted the positions of forces that over the years have inflicted heavy blows to Daesh terrorists," Iran's spokesman Abbas Mousavi said.The spokesman said the presence of foreign forces in the region was the cause of insecurity and tensions. "America must put an end to its occupying presence," said Mousavi.Meanwhile, Iraq also condemned the US attack against Kataib Hezbollah armed group's positions as a "violation of Iraqi sovereignty".aljazeera
Israeli authorities approve 2,000 new settlement units in Jerusalem, West B
Israeli Civil Administration is set this week to approve the construction of 2,000 new settlement units in occupied Jerusalem and the West Bank, Haaretz revealed on Sunday.Civil Administration is Israeli occupation body operating in the Occupied Palestinian Territories. The 2,000 new settlement units will be built in isolated settlements. The approval, according to Haaretz, came in line with the recent remarks made by the Israeli prime minister, Benjamin Netanyahu, as he announced that he would “soon approve 3,000 new settlement units.”Netanyahu also added that he would soon announce the annexing of the Jordan Valley and would obtain US backing for the annexation of the West Bank settlements.In a recent report, UN revealed that Israel built or approved the construction of 10,000 new settlement units in the occupied territories in 2019, much more than the number during the two previous years, which reached 6,800.middleeastmonitor
Hamas denies long-term ceasefire deal with Israel
Palestinian Movement Hamas, denied on Sunday media reports claiming that it is discussing a long-term ceasefire agreement with Israel, whether in the West Bank or in Gaza Strip. “Talk was only about confirming previous understandings related to ending the blockade imposed on the Gaza Strip and nothing more,” Hamas spokesman Abdul Latif Al-Qanoua told Anadolu. Al-Qanoua made his comments in response to a report by Israel’s Channel 12 claiming that NSA Meir Ben-Shabbat would brief the Israeli Cabinet on Sunday on the details of the proposed long-term ceasefire deal with the movement. Hamas spokesman denied the report, describing it as “baseless”.middleeastmonitor
Palestinian minor prisoners in Israel jails tortured, humiliated, NGO reveals
Palestinian Prisoners’ Commission(PPC) has documented witnesses of Palestinian minor prisoners inside Israeli jails stating that they had been tortured and humiliated when they were arrested and during their investigations, Safa Press Agency reported.Minor prisoner, Abdul-Min’em Al-Natsha, 17, revealed that Israeli undercover forces kidnapped him from the streets of Shu’fat Refugee Camp along with Usama Taha, 16. Both boys disclosed that they were taken to an investigation centre and spent four hours being investigated. They were handcuffed, insulted and beaten.MEMO
Netanyahu’s son wants British diplomats ‘kicked out’ of Israel
The son of Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu hopes that British diplomats will soon be “kicked out” of Israel following a tweet by consulate staff in Jerusalem in which the Palestinian territories were referred to as “occupied”. Yair Netanyahu, who is known for his controversial outbursts on social media, made the comments late on Friday after the British Consulate announced that Prince Charles will be making his first visit to the area in January. Prince Charles will visit the Occupied Palestinian Territories next month. The Prince of Wales will meet Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas in the West Bank, where the heir to the throne will “undertake engagements”.middleeastmonitor
Libyan Foreign Ministry: ‘We do not understand UN Security Council’s failure to address Haftar’s crimes’
Libyan government said that they do not understand the UN Security Council’s clear failure to face Khalifa Haftar’s crimes against civilians and his destruction of public facilities in the country.This came in a message delivered by the Minister of Foreign Affairs of the Government of National Accord (GNA), Mohamed Taha Siala, to the UN Security Council, according to the media centre of Operation Volcano of Anger.Siala added in his message that Haftar forces have committed “crimes against humanity” by bombing civilians in Zawia (west) and Tajoura (east of Tripoli) two days ago.In another message he conveyed to the ICC prosecutor, Siala said: “Haftar’s forces are taking on a new and serious challenge added to the previous war crimes, by bombing the Institute of Applied Engineering near the Zawia refinery.”middleeastmonitor
Sudan sentences 27 to death for torturing, killing protester
A Sudanese court on Monday sentenced at least 27 intelligence agents to death for killing a teacher in detention during protests against Omar al-Bashir, Sudan's longtime former leader, earlier this year.The defendants were found guilty of torturing to death Ahmed al-Kheir at an intelligence services facility and sentenced to be hanged, judge Sadok Albdelrahman said.The teacher was beaten and tortured to death after he was arrested in late January by intelligence operatives in Sudan's eastern province of Kassala, the judge said.Another four officers were sentenced to three years in prison and 7 were acquitted in the landmark ruling that paves the way for democratic transition in the North African nation.aljazeera
Chinese scientist who edited genes of babies jailed for 3 years
Beijing: A Chinese scientist who set off an ethical debate with claims that he had made the world's first genetically edited babies was sentenced Monday to three years in prison because of his research, state media said.He Jiankui, who was convicted of practicing medicine without a license, was also fined 3 million yuan ($430,000) by a court in the southern city of Shenzhen, China's official Xinhua reported. Two other researchers involved in the project received lesser sentences and fines. The verdict said the three defendants had not obtained qualification as doctors, pursued fame and profits, deliberately violated Chinese regulations on scientific research and crossed an ethical line in both scientific research and medicine, according to Xinhua. It also said they had fabricated ethical review documents.AP
*Deputy leader of Muslim Brotherhood declares support for Egyptian Accord*
Ibrahim Munir, the deputy leader of the Muslim Brotherhood, announced his approval and support, on a personal level, for the Egyptian Accord document presented by the artist and contractor Mohamed Ali on Friday, which he said he had developed with various opposition forces.“The formula that the document came up with is suitable for all national parties, and it represents the initial vision around which we hope all the Egyptian national parties revolve, regardless of their sects,” Munir told Arabi21. He went on, “the terms of the document are acceptable and largely reflect demands and goals of the national powers.”Munir predicted: “there will be a wide response from the various Egyptian national parties. Most of which participated in one way or another in the formulation of that document that will have a subsequent document and that will represent an important and distinctive point in the desired national alignment path.”middleeastmonitor
*views, Articles, FEATURES*
A dangerous new low in state-sponsored hate:Harsh Mander
OPINION - New India law aims to disenfranchise Muslims:Iftikhar Gilani
Uttar Pradesh human rights defenders – one Muslim, the other Dalit – arrested for protesting CAA:Radhika Bordia
A law that offers citizenship only to non-Muslims sidesteps the real issues for political mileage:Madhav Godbole
‘Gujarat model’ runs into backlash:Sajeda Momin
Uddhav’s Shiv Sena has had a change of heart. It now waits for Muslims to come around:SHIKHA TRIVEDY
Ongoing protests speak of a pent-up frustration at dwindling opportunities, a bleaker future:Harish Damodaran
The new citizenship law goes against Gandhi’s idea of civic nationalism:Ramin Jahanbegloo
2019 began with seeming unassailability of a majoritarian political order, ends with a reminder of limits of hubris:Pamela Philipose
“Let the Government call our children ‘rowdies’; let newspapers call them rioters, but our children have given their lives for the nation”: Ground report from Meerut:Aasmohammad kaif |Twocircles.net
From NSO, NCRB to NPR and NCR, Modi Government Has a Love-Hate Relationship With Data:Jahnavi Sen
CAA rules must be stringent, offering citizenship only to real and not imagined refugees:SHIVAM VIJ
UP Shia Seminary Ransacked by Police; Elderly Cleric, Children Beaten Up Black and Blue; Stripped:Mohammed Anas | Caravan Daily
Shaheen Bagh’s anti CAA protests: Fear of reading constitution while sitting in detention camps: Pratishtha Singh
Fact-finding report reveals police brutality at Aurangabad and Phulwari Sharif
We knew Adityanath was hostile to Muslims. But did we expect his regime to be so savage?Supriya Sharma
Education and Student Life in the Valley Since the Shutdown of Kashmir:NAMIT KUMAR
Rehearsed in Kashmir, played out in rest of India;Bharat Bhushan
CAA Protests: Is Police Biased Against Minorities? Here’s the Data
Amended UAPA against Protestors: You Prove Your Innocence, Prove You’re a Citizen, Prove You Belong
 Compiled and edited by Anwarulhaq (Released at: 7:46 PM).*


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