04 December 2019

4 DEC.Cabinet clears controversial Citizenship (Amendment) Bill: Inner Line Permit areas of Arunachal, Nagaland, Mizoram exempted; opposition calls it unconstitutional / Chidambaram walks out of jail

*NEWS DIGEST, Evening* 
*04 DEC. 2019: 06 Rabius Sani 1441: Vol: 12, No: 74*
Cabinet clears controversial Citizenship (Amendment) Bill: Inner Line Permit areas of Arunachal, Nagaland, Mizoram exempted
The Citizenship (Amendment) Bill or CAB, which seeks to make it easier for non-Muslim refugees from Pakistan, Bangladesh and Afghanistan to become citizens of India, has been cleared by the cabinet for tabling in parliament.  Taking into consideration the concerns of Northeastern states, inner line permit areas of Arunachal, Nagaland and Mizoram and regions under Sixth Schedule in North East have been exempted from Citizenship Amendment Bill, which was cleared by the Union Cabinet today.This means that beneficiaries under CAB will become Indian citizens but will not be able to settle in Arunachal, Nagaland and Mizoram. As a matter of fact, the same restriction applies to existing Indian citizens. At the same time, a large part of Assam, Meghalaya and Tripura will be out of the purview of the contentious bill due to them being under Sixth Schedule areas.“Nothing in this section shall apply to Assam, Meghalaya and Tripura as included in the Sixth Schedule to the Constitution, and to the areas covered under inner line notified under Bengal Eastern Frontier Regulation, 1873,” Bill mentions.The Citizenship Bill seeks to amend The Citizenship Act, 1955 to make Hindu, Sikh, Buddhist, Jain, Parsi, and Christian illegal migrants from Afghanistan, Bangladesh, and Pakistan, eligible for citizenship of India.The existing Act allows an immigrant to apply for citizenship if s/he has lived in India for 12 months immediately before the application, and for 11 of the last 14 years. The amendment relaxes the second requirement from 11 years to 6 years as a specific condition for applicants belonging to these six religions, and the aforementioned three countries.The Bill, which had lapsed in the previous term of the Modi government due to massive protests in Rajya Sabha, is expected to be taken up in Parliament next week.indianexpress /NDTV
Citizenship (Amendment) Bill: 10 Points
India a "Hindu Rashtra", says BJP's Ravi Kishan in Citizenship Bill row
New Delhi: BJP MP Ravi Kishan has controversially said India is a "Hindu Rashtra" since there are some 100 crore Hindus in the country. He was weighing in on the controversial Citizenship (Amendment) Bill, which was cleared by cabinet today."The population of Hindus is 100 crores. So obviously India is a Hindu rashtra (nation). There are so many Muslim and Christian countries. It is amazing that we have a country called 'Bharat' to keep alive our culture," the popular actor and lawmaker told ANI."If there can be Muslim and Christian countries, why can't be a Hindu country," he questioned. The actor-politiciansaid opposition parties "have gone mad" over the Citizenship (Amendment) Bill.ndtv
Citizenship Bill is fundamentally unconstitutional: Shashi Tharoor
Opposing the Citizenship (Amendment) Bill, senior Congress leader Shashi Tharoor said it undermines the fundamental tenets of the Constitution."I think the bill is fundamentally unconstitutional because the basic idea of India has been violated in the bill. Those who believe that religion should determine nationhood... that was the idea of Pakistan, they created Pakistan. We have always argued that our idea of nation was what Mahatma Gandhi, Nehruji, Maluana Azad, Dr Ambedkar have said, that religion cannot determine nationhood," Tharoor told reporters in Parliament premises."Ours is a country for everybody and everybody, irrespective of religion, has equal rights in this country, and the Constitution that they wrote reflected that. Today, this bill undermines this fundamental tenet of the Constitution," he said.PTI
Citizenship cannot be linked to religion, bill unconstitutional: CPM
CPI(M) has opposed Citizenship Amendment Bill, saying it was "unacceptable and unconstitutional" as citizenship cannot be determined by or linked to religion."It is simple. Citizenship cannot be determined by or linked to religion. This is what makes CAB unacceptable and unconstitutional. CAB is aimed at destroying the basis of India."India's citizens are its citizens, irrespective of what faith they follow or don't, what they eat, what work they do, their caste, creed, place of residence, gender or colour of skin. No to CAB," CPI(M) general secretary Sitaram Yechury tweeted.NDTV
Reviving 2-nation theory: Owaisi on Citizenship Bill
New Delhi: AIMIM chief Asaduddin Owaisi said the Centre’s decision to bring in CAB is akin to bringing to life Muhammad Ali Jinnah’s two-nation theory. “Bringing CAB will be a dishonour to our freedom fighters because you will be reviving the two nation theory. As an Indian Muslim, I rejected Jinnah’s theory now you are making a law wherein unfortunately you will be reminding the nation of two-nation theory,” Owaisi was quoted as saying by ANI. “This law also violates Article 14 and 21 because you are giving citizenship on the basis of religion which contravenes both the Articles. If we pass this law then it will be a disrespect towards Mahatma Gandhi and Ambedkar, the architect of the Constitution,” Hyderabad MP said.Owaisi said: “If media reports are correct that Northeast states will be exempted from proposed CAB law then it in itself is a great violation of Article 14 which is a fundamental right. You can’t have 2 laws on citizenship in the country.”HT
"No country for Muslims": Mehbooba Mufti's daughter on citizenship bill
Former Jammu and Kashmir Chief Minister Mehbooba Mufti's daughter slammed the passage of the Citizenship Amendment Bill by the Union cabinet today, terming it as an indication that country's BJP-led central government does not favour those from the Muslim community."India - No country for Muslims," a message posted through PDP chief's Twitter handle claimed, hours after the Union cabinet cleared the controversial bill for tabling in the parliament. As PDP chief has been in detention since August 5, , her daughter Sana Iltija Javed operates her social media accounts.NDTV
Bodoland students protest against repeating NRC in Assam, say exercise targets minorities
New Delhi: Around 300 members of All Bodoland Territorial Council Minority Students’ Union (ABMSU) Tuesday protested at Jantar Mantar, New Delhi, against the central government following Home Minister Amit Shah’s announcement of a pan-India NRC.Holding up placards with slogans “Go back Amit Shah”, “Go back Indian government” and “Go back Himanta Biswa Sarma”, the protesters accused BJP government in both Assam and the Centre of turning NRC into a “political sport”.“We vehemently oppose the renewal of NRC process. The people of Assam have undergone a lot of harassment, especially the Muslims. Himanta Biswa Sarma and Amit Shah have refused to acknowledge the relentless work of 55,000 state employees to prepare NRC final draft and crores of taxpayers money spent in the process,” said Nazrul Islam, general secretary, ABMSU.“We have no patience left and want the government to provide NRC identity cards to those included in the final list,” he added.theprint

AIMPLB has obtained five litigants’ nod for review petition: Jilani
All India Muslim Personal Law Board (AIMPLB) secretary Zafaryab Jilani on Wednesday said the board had obtained consent from 5 Muslim litigants in the Ayodhya land dispute case and preparations to file a review petition against the Supreme Court verdict in the matter had already started.“Our preparations and paper work are on. But we haven’t decided any date yet. We will file it when the papers are ready,” Jilani said to HT.AIMPLB secretary’s claim came days after Maulana Syed Ashhad Rashidi, a legal heir of the original Ayodhya land dispute litigant M Siddiqui, filed a review petition against the verdict.Jilani said the purpose behind deciding to file a review petition was not to hurt or instigate anyone’s religious sentiments, but to save a religious place as a constitutional right.“We can file the review petition on December 9, that is also the last day to file a review, or a day before,” he added.HT
Dhavan will represent us in Ayodhya case clarifies Jamiat
 Rajeev Dhavan would continue to represent the Muslim party in the Ayodhya case, Jamiat Ulema-e-Hind has clarified. The clarification comes a day after reports stated that Dhavan had been sacked from the case. The Jamiat in a press note said that there had been some misunderstanding over the issue. It further said that an apology would be issued to Dhavan. "President Jamiat Ulama I Hind Maulana Arshad Madani will be meeting him personally and will sort out the misunderstanding and controversy looming," party's legal advisor Shahid Nadeem said in a post on Facebook. Earlier, Dhavan, on Facebook, said he is no longer involved in either the review or the case. "Just been sacked from the Babri case by AOR (Advocate on Record) Ejaz Maqbool who was representing the Jamiat. Have sent formal letter accepting the 'sacking' without demur. No longer involved in the review or the case," he wrote. oneindia
Ayodhya: Muslim litigants stopped from site visit, send plaint
Ayodhya: Muslim litigants in Ayodhya case, who were mandated by court to visit and inspect site every fortnight to ensure status quo, alleged they are not being allowed to enter since the Supreme Court pronounced its verdict and have dispatched complaints to court-appointed observers and Ayodhya commissioner. The Muslim litigants went to the site on November 17 and December 1, but were granted access only till Manas Bhawan, administrative building of the site, and were denied entry in the area of makeshift temple.After Archaeological Survey of India (ASI) had completed excavation at disputed site in 2003, Allahabad high court had ordered fortnightly inspections of site and items found in excavation by litigants from both sides, the divisional commissioner, who is the receiver, district and ASI officers under the supervision of two judges as observers to ensure status quo is being maintained.Later, the Supreme Court had also ordered continuation of same arrangement.Muslim litigants Mufti Hasbullah and Iqbal Ansari visited the site on November 17, and claimed they were denied entry beyond Manas Bhawan, adding they had access to entire area before verdict.Mufti Hasbullah and another litigant Mohammad Umar visited the site on December 1, but were denied entry.Mufti Hasbullah told TOI he has sent a complaint to SC-appointed observer and commissioner informing they were being denied entry in acquired area without any court sanction to this effect.Ayodhya ADM PD Gupta, told TOI, "The SC has already delivered its verdict in the title suit. Now, the site would be handed over to the trust, so what is the need for inspection for ensuring status quo."TOI
Ayodhya judgment was made on faith, not facts, but it should be honored: Former UP Governor
Agra:Former Uttar Pradesh and Uttarakhand Governor Aziz Qureshi has called the Supreme Court judgement on Ayodhya dispute "a decision made on the basis of faith and not facts."However, Qureshi also added that since the decision has been pronounced by the Supreme Court, it should be respected.Criticizing the Yogi Adityanath government in Uttar Pradesh, Qureshi also said, "Yogi government closed down slaughter houses in the entire state, while new ones were not established. The small and medium meat businessmen were forced into unemployment as the meat shops in small localities were closed down, while meat exporters are enjoying as non-muslims are also connected with the meat export business."indiatoday
Chidambaram walks out of jail: 'After 106 days of incarceration, not one charge framed against me'
Former Union Minister P Chidambaram, arrested in the INX Media money laundering case, was released from Tihar on Wednesday after the Supreme Court granted him bail. Walking out after 106 days of incarceration, the Congress leader said “not one charge (was) framed against me” during that duration.“I will address a press conference tomorrow. I am happy that I stepped out and breathing the air of freedom after 106 days,” he told reporters after his release.Chidambaram, 74, was arrested by CBI in connection with irregularities in granting FIPB clearance to INX Media. Scores of Congress workers greeted the former Union minister as he stepped out of the prison. Congress leader and his son Karti later arrived at the residence of the party’s interim president Sonia Gandhi. His son Karti, who was waiting outside the jail, said he was elated as his father was all set to return home. “It has been a long wait. I am very grateful that the Supreme Court has given him bail. I am very grateful to entire top Congress leadership, who have supported him through all this,” PTI quoted him as saying.Earlier today, a 3-judge SC bench headed by Justice R Banumathi set aside a Delhi High Court order dismissing Chidambaram’s bail plea but agreed that the charges against him could be treated as ‘grave’. The senior Congress leader, however, was restrained by the apex Court from giving any press interviews or making public comments regarding him or other co-accused in the INX Media money laundering case.indianexpress
Submission of documents in sealed cover against ‘concept of free trial’: SC in Chidambaram case
Civic freedoms in India progressively shrinking in Modi regime: Report
The space for dissension with the majoritarian narrative, free expression and criticising the ruling dispensation is shrinking in India, a report by CIVICUS Monitor, a global research collaboration which rates and tracks respect for fundamental freedoms in 196 countries, said today. Based on its findings, the global freedom watchdog has downgraded India’s rating from ‘Obstructed’ to ‘Repressed’ in its new People Power Under Attack 2019 report. A repressed rating for civic space means that democratic freedoms, such as the freedoms of expression, peaceful assembly and association, are significantly constrained in India. The rating changed after a thorough assessment of the state of civic freedoms in the country and comes after a year of regular monitoring.The report has expressed “extreme concern” about the crackdown on human rights activists, attacks on journalists and civil society groups, and the lockdown on civic freedoms in Jammu and Kashmir.“The Narendra Modi government seems to be turning its back on civic freedoms by going after its critics including activists and journalists,” said Josef Benedict, a researcher at CIVICUS.nationalheraldindia
Amit Shah: To curb lynchings, panel set up to suggest amendments in IPC, CrPC
Amid a spurt in mob lynching cases in recent years, Union Home Minister Amit Shah informed Rajya Sabha Wednesday that the government had set up a committee to suggest necessary amendments in Indian Penal Code (IPC) and Code of Criminal Procedure (CrPC) to deal with the issue. Responding to a series of queries during Question Hour, Shah said he had written to all state chief ministers and governors to send recommendations on making changes to IPC and CrPC after consulting with experienced investigating officers and public prosecutors. “Under Bureau of Police Research and Development (BPR&D), a committee has been set up to make changes in IPC and CrPC. We will start working on amendments after receiving recommendations from the committee,” Amit Shah said. Home Minister said the government would keep in mind Supreme Court orders while making changes to IPC and CrPC. The SC had in a July 17 judgment asked Parliament to consider enacting a new law to effectively deal with incidents of mob lynching, saying “horrendous acts of mobocracy” cannot be allowed to become a new norm.Earlier this week, Bajaj Group chairman Rahul Bajaj expressed concern on the absence of effective action against lynchings in the presence of the Home Minister and other union ministers.indian express
Cabinet clears data privacy bill, will be tabled in Parliament
New Delhi: Personal Data Protection Bill will be tabled in the ongoing Winter Session of parliament in the next few days, after it was cleared today by a Union Cabinet meeting headed by Prime Minister Narendra Modi. The bill will make the right to privacy an absolute one, subject to concerns. This will mean that the data protection authority to be established to oversee implementation will be allowed to monitor, intercept and read data citing national security.The bill will also regulate the collection, storage and processing of personal data by government and private agencies, and enforce penalties and compensation for possible misuse. In addition it will also have a code of conduct and an enforcement model.The proposed legislation could also impact companies operating in the country, even if they do not have a physical presence, due to data localisation requirements and cross-border data transfer restrictions.Another feature of the proposed bill is safeguards regarding the reporting of data breach; this is significant given the controversy surrounding the Pegasus malware that led to a massive privacy breach among WhatsApp users. Concerns over data localisation were earlier raised by US President Donald Trump.US firms like Google, MasterCard, Visa and Amazon have lobbied against data localisation rules around world including India.ndtv
Data of 20 out of 121 WhatsApp users targeted using Pegasus may have been accessed: Govt
Government on Wednesday said personal data of 20 WhatsApp users out of the 121 users targeted using Pegasus spyware may have been accessed by the attacker.Facebook-owned Whatsapp had said that Indian journalists and human rights activists were among those globally spied upon by unnamed entities using Pegasus spyware.“WhatsApp continues to review the available information. It also mentioned that WhatsApp believes it is likely that personal data within the WhatsApp app of approximately twenty users may have been accessed out of approximately one hundred and twenty one users in India whose devices the attacker attempted to reach,” Law minister Ravi Shankar Prasad said in Lok Sabha.PTI
India is 5th worst offender in the world for invasive use of biometric data, says report
New Delhi: India is the fifth worst country after China, Malaysia, Pakistan and the US in terms of extensive and invasive use of biometric data, a report released Wednesday by a UK-based firm has revealed. Comparitech, a pro-consumer website on technology services, analysed 50 countries on five different aspects such as visas and biometric voting system to “offer a fair country-by-country comparison” of biometric usage.For the study, the countries were analysed on where biometrics were being taken, what they were being taken for and how they were being stored. The countries were scored out of 25 with a higher number suggesting extensive and invasive use of biometrics.India shares the fifth position with Indonesia, The Philippines and Taiwan, and scores 19/25.theprint
Cabinet Approves Extension Of SC/ST Reservation In Lok Sabha, State Assemblies
 Union Cabinet today approved a proposal to extend the reservation for SCs and STs in the Lok Sabha and state assemblies for 10 years but is learnt to have done away with a similar quota for Anglo-Indian community.The reservation for these categories in the Lok Sabha and assemblies was to expire on January 25, 2020. The government will bring a bill to extend the reservation till Jan.25, 2030, in the ongoing winter session.PTI
Chhattisgarh: 6 ITBP personnel killed, 2 injured in fratricidal shootout after dispute at Kadenar camp
Raipur: At least 6 personnel of Indo-Tibetan Border Police (ITBP) were killed at Kadenar camp in Chhattisgarh’s Narayanpur district today in an alleged fratricidal shootout following a dispute. Two others were injured in the incident that occurred at around 8.30 am.“An ITBP constable, identified as Masudul Rahman, opened fire from his service weapon after some unknown dispute among them,” IGP (Bastar range) Sundarraj P was quoted as saying by PTI. IG said it was yet to be ascertained whether Rahman killed himself or was shot dead by his colleagues. “It was not yet clear whether Rahman killed himself or died in retaliation by his colleagues. Weapons of the killed jawans will be checked to ascertain whether they had retaliated or not,” he said.The deceased were identified as head constables Mahendra Singh and Daljit Singh, and constables Surjit Sarkar, Biswaroop Mahto and Bijeesh. Constables SB Ullas and Sitaram Doon were injured in the incident.indianexpress
At Least 18 Indians among 23 killed in explosion in Sudan ceramics factory, confirms embassy
Khartoum: At least 18 Indians were among the 23 people killed and more than 130 injured in a horrific LPG tanker blast at a ceramic factory in Sudan, the Indian mission said here on Wednesday.Sixteen Indians were missing after the incident that happened at Seela Ceramic Factory in Bahri area in Khartoum, the national capital, on Tuesday."As per the latest reports, but so far not confirmed officially, 18 are dead," Indian Embassy said in a release. "Some of the missing may be in the list of dead, which we are still to receive as identification is not possible because of the bodies being burnt."The embassy on Wednesday issued a detailed list of Indians who were hospitalised, went missing or survived the tragedy. Official Sources in New Delhi said 68 Indians were working in the factory.External Affairs Minister S Jaishankar said the embassy representative has rushed to the site and a 24-hour emergency hotline set up by the Indian Embassy in Khartoum.news18
It’s embarrassing to come & ask for money, 6 states finance ministers tell Union FM Nirmala Sitharaman
In a meeting with Union Finance minister Nirmala Sitharaman, Finance Ministers from Kerala, Rajasthan, Punjab, Madhya Pradesh, Chhattisgarh, and Delhi said, “It is embarrassing to come and ask for money.”The finance ministers of 6 states met the Union Finance Minister over the delayed transfer of compensation for the losses incurred by implementation of GST in 2017.Under the Constitution Amendment Bill, states have been guaranteed compensation for a period of five years to offset the shortfall in tax revenue, after GST subsumed 17 central and state levies.Congress had raised concerns over this issue in the Rajya Sabha last week. Congress said that a continued delay in payments to states could result in salaries not being paid on time and stoppage of development work."We had an open and frank discussion with Union Finance Minister over unreleased compensation (August and Sept) for states. The question also includes compensation for the next two months... so it is up to November. We are facing issues... can't close jails, schools and hospitals. We need to pay pensions... states have many responsibilities," said Manpreet Singh Badal, Punjab Finance Minister to reporters after the meeting."We can't come to Delhi every day... don't feel good and we feel embarrassed. Those who ask for money are not taken seriously...Government of India is under obligation to pay," he said. He added Union Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman had assured the states that funds would be released as soon as possible.nationalheraldindia
Onion prices bring some giggles with tears: Twitterati recalls Smriti Irani’s old onion tweet
Even as high onion prices continued to make consumers teary-eyed, Twitter users on Wednesday had fun over an old tweet by BJP leader Smriti Irani.One user posted Irani's tweet from December 2010, when her party was in the opposition and wrote: "Old tweets are so funny." Irani's tweet on @smritiirani read: "Income Tax department is keeping a watch on all high-value transactions... don't buy onions :-)."#OnionPrices soon trended on Twitter, garnering 1,165 tweets. One user replied to @smritiirani: "How? Please tell us?"Another twitter user ‘thanked’ Smriti Irani for giving such an ‘advisory’ nine years ago. Twitterati also posted memes on the issue, with one putting out a clipping of an old speech by Narendra Modi. One meme pertained to the use of an onion as company logo, with the caption: "After seeing onion prices, Apple want to change its logo in India".IANS
After JNU, IIMC joins demand for fee hike rollback
After JNU, protest over fee hike in public-funded institutes reached Indian Institute of Mass Communication, as the students of the institute protested against the "unaffordable" fee structure, and accused the administration of the institute of turning a "blind eye" to their issues.In a statement to the media, the students of IIMC claimed they had tried to be in dialogue to convince administration on bringing down the fee hike, but the administration was unmoved so the students were forced to protest."For the past one week we are trying to seek redressal of our issues through dialogue but the Administration has been turning a blind eye to our issues saying it is beyond their ambit to alter the fee structure. Now, that we have tested the other resorts, protest is the only option," says Hrishikesh, a student of Radio & TV Journalism at IIMC.IANS
MEA distances itself from envoy’s ‘Israel model’ remark for Kashmiri Pandits — with silence
New Delhi:Ministry of External Affairs seems to have distanced itself from the comments made by India’s Consul General in New York Sandeep Chakravorty, who was seen in a video promoting the Israeli settlements in West Bank as a model for Kashmiri Pandits to follow in claiming their land back in the Kashmir Valley.It has been more than a week since the video emerged and went viral, but MEA has not made any statement. A senior official told ThePrint on the condition of anonymity that this is because while Chakravorty was speaking to Indian nationals, especially Kashmiri Hindus, he did not “inform the headquarters of his participation in the event”.The official added that since the event was a private one, it was imperative for Chakravorty to “weigh the pros and cons” before talking on “anything that the government does not endorse”.The official also said the ministry thinks the video was “leaked”, and that it was shot “without the knowledge” of the Consul General.However, in the video, Chakravorty had said he was speaking in “official capacity”, and that Kashmiri Pandits should follow the “Israeli model”.Since the video came out, there has been only one tweet from Chakravorty, stating that his remarks were “taken out of context”.ThePrint’s messages and phone calls to the Consul General in New York went unanswered. The Ministry of External Affairs also declined to comment.theprint
Rally in Myanmar demands removal of Manipur armed groups from region
New Delhi: Tedim township in Myanmar’s Chin state, which borders the northeastern states of Mizoram and Manipur, witnessed a huge rally of residents on November 30, demanding that the country’s army remove the camps of the armed groups belonging to Manipur’s Meitei community, and the cadres be expelled from their area.The rally, jointly organised by 28 Zomi civil society groups including Zomi Student and Youth Organisation (ZSYO), had over 500 protesters, who gathered to demand justice for the killing of a popular female school teacher in Tonzang area on November 17 night by a member of a Meitei armed group.Locals said that the group has set up bases in the area since 2004, after a raid by the Indian Army led it to vacate its camps in Sajik Tampak in Manipur’s Chandel district.thewire
UP clerk suspended for Quran recitation in SDM court
Lucknow:A UP government clerk (nazir) in Auraiya district was suspended after a video went viral showing “Qurankhaani” (Quran recitation) being held inside Sub-Divisional Magistrate (SDM) court located in an under-construction tehsil building.Laeeq Ahmad (51) was suspended on Monday by DM Abhishek Singh after a preliminary probe found him responsible for organising Qurankhaani inside the tehsil premises without taking permission from anyone.DM Singh, when contacted, denied that Ahmad was suspended for holding the religious function, and said that action was taken against him as he is facing charges of irregularities.However, ADM (Judicial) M P Singh, who conducted the probe on the basis of which Ahmad was suspended, said that the nazir had organised ‘Qurankhani’ inside SDM court without seeking anyone’s permission, and therefore he was suspended.indianexpress
JNU sedition case: HC refuses to direct AAP govt to grant sanction for prosecution of Kanhaiya Kumar
Delhi High Court on Wednesday refused to direct the AAP government to grant sanction for prosecution of former JNU students’ union president Kanhaiya Kumar in a sedition case.A bench of Chief Justice D N Patel and Justice C Hari Shankar said it cannot pass any direction in this regard and it is for the Delhi government to decide as per existing rules, policy, law and facts of that case on whether to grant approval for prosecution.The court, while disposing of the petition, said it appeared that the petitioner, former BJP MLA Nand Kishor Garg, has some personal interest in the FIR. The plea has sought issuance of guidelines “for expeditious disposal of criminal cases of serious nature where there is involvement of the influential persons as accused”.On this, the court said it sees no reason to direct the government for such guidelines over and above the existing law. PTI/indian express
BJP MP seeks details from DM: Who all donated land to AMU
Lucknow :A day after raising objection with AMU not celebrating the birth anniversary of Raja Mahendra Pratap Singh, who had donated land to set up the institute, BJP Aligarh MP Satish Gautam wrote to the District Magistrate on Monday seeking details of those who had contributed plot for the varsity.Gautam said if the university celebrated the birth anniversary of its founder Sir Syed Ahmad Khan, then it should also celebrate the birth anniversary of Raja Mahendra Pratap Singh, who had given the land for the university.The university administration, meanwhile, stated that seminars and other events are held in honour of other prominent personalities, including Raja Singh.AMU Registrar Abdul Hameed said the university only celebrated the birth anniversary of its founder.“We organise seminars to mark the birth anniversary of Singh and other donors regularly to honour their contribution,” said Hameed, adding that the university is spread on around 1,000 acre land. indianexpress
PIL says burning Ravan effigies ‘inauspicious practice’, SC junks it
 New Delhi :The Supreme Court has dismissed a plea which wanted the court to examine the Constitutionality of the practice of burning of effigies of Ravan during Dussehra, saying it cannot sit in judgment over people’s beliefs and cultural practices.Justice NV Ramana, heading a three-judge bench which heard the PIL by advocate Bipin Bihari Singh, agreed with his contention that Ravan, whom the Ramayan says was the king of Lanka, was a great scholar but added that people’s beliefs about him vary from place to place and the court cannot monitor it.Justice Ramana observed, “No doubt Ravan was a great scholar. Puranas say Lord Shiva blessed him. There is no doubt as far as this aspect is concerned. In some places, he is worshipped as a hero. In India, there is a different view…. How can we prevent people from following what they believe about it? The court cannot monitor religious beliefs.”indianexpress
Bhima Koregaon: NCP Leaders Ask Thackeray to Withdraw Cases Against Activists
Mumbai:Nearly 18 months after rights activists and lawyers were sent to jail on bizarre charges of being “urban Naxals”, the newly formed Maha Vikas Aghadi government in Maharashtra is showing signs of taking another look into the allegations. NCP MLA Dhananjay Munde has written to the state’s chief minister Uddhav Thackeray, requesting him to look into “false allegations” made against activists and lawyers who have been languishing in jail. Munde, in his letter, has demanded that the cases be withdrawn and the activists be released soon. NCP, along with Sena and Congress has recently formed a govt in the state. thewire
Inside Kailaasa, Rape-Accused Nithyananda’s ‘Only Hindu’ Nation
Abuse, assault, rape, embezzlement – the list of allegations against self-styled Godman Nithyananda is getting longer. However, that has not stopped the man from establishing his own country. Yes, you read that right. He has bought a private island, named ‘Kailaasa.’ He has declared the island a Hindu sovereign nation and has already designed a flag, a passport and an emblem for it. The exact location of the island is still unknown, but a few sources say it might be near Ecuador. All information isn’t derived from sources but is publicly available on Kailaasa’s official website – which has a Constitution for the new ‘nation’, intricate details about it and even quizzes!The official website states, “Kailaasa is a nation without borders created by dispossessed Hindus from around the world who lost the right to practice Hinduism authentically in their own countries.” The Constitution goes on for 547 pages and is written in Tamil, Sanskrit, and Hindi. The website reads that though Kailaasa Movement was actually founded in US and spearheaded by members of Hindu Adi Shaivite minority community, Nithyananda has created this space as a safe haven for all Hindus; irrespective of race, gender, sect, caste, or creed.But first, a reality check. Contrary to the “safe haven” image, Nithyananda has fled India and is on the run from security agencies here. He is being investigated in criminal cases including raping a girl inside his ashram in Karnataka as well as kidnapping and abusing minors in his ashram in Gujarat. Nithyananda has not appeared in court for more than forty hearings of cases against him.Sources have told The Quint that he has escaped to Ecuador via Nepal. His passport had expired in Sept.2018 and has still not been renewed.thequint
Gujarat has recorded at least one rape per day since 2014
New Delhi: Despite tall claims of Gujarat being a safe state for women, statistics from the state crime records bureau (SCRB) show that the state has reported at least one rape per day since 2014, according to a report in the TOI.Additionally, records show that the state has reported an average of 1,200 molestation cases every year in the same period, which is an average of three women molested every day.In 2018, the number of rape cases rose to 572 –highest in six years – from 424 cases in 2014. In 2019, up till Sept, Gujarat reported about 400 rape cases. In 2018 the state had reported 447 cases till Sept. Between 2014 and September 2019, Gujarat reported a total of 2,775 rape cases. Between 2015 and September 2019, Ahmedabad reported 291 rape cases – the highest of the state’s four major cities.TOI/ thewire
UP teen gang-raped in car with police logo, ex-cop's son among accused
Mirzapur: 4 people, including a CRPF jawan and the son of a retired police official, have been arrested for allegedly kidnapping and raping a class 10 student. The car in which the girl was kidnapped had a police logo on it.Inspector of Halia police station, Deviver Shukla, said that a case against the accused has been registered for kidnapping and gang rape under POCSO Act on Tuesday.The girl, 15, was allegedly assaulted on Monday at an isolated place in Halia. The police officer said one of accused, Jai Prakash Maurya, is the son of retired jailor, Brijlal Maurya.Jai Prakash's sister had settled in a village in Halia after marriage and he had been visiting her house several times in the last few months during which he came in contact with the survivor.The survivor's father alleged that Jai Prakash made a call to the girl on her mobile and asked her to step out and meet him at a spot on the outskirts of the village where he was present along with his three friends in a car.Jai Prakash then forcibly took her to an isolated location, where all four allegedly raped her.The car belongs to Jai Prakash Mauya and a probe is on to ascertain how he got the police logo printed on it. bThe father then registered a case against all four persons - Jai Prakash, Luv Kumar Pal, Ganesh Prasad and CRPF constable Mahendra Kumar Yadav, who is posted in Sultanpur.IANS
Telangana Govt sets up fast-track court to hear rape and murder case of Hyderabad veterinarian
Hyderabad: Telangana government on Wednesday announced that it will set up a fast-track court in Mahbubnagar for a speedy trial in the gruesome rape and murder of a woman veterinarian on the outskirts of Hyderabad.The gang rape of the 26-year-old doctor, whose body was set on fire and dumped near a toll booth in the Telangana capital, has sent shockwaves through the country, with hundreds of women taking to the streets to voice their outrage. Protesters have called for a speedy trial and sought death penalty for the four accused, who were arrested a few days after the incident came to light. 3 days after the rape and murder, Chief Minister K Chandrashekhar Rao had promised the establishment of a fast-track court to "deal with the horrific case". Rao had also rooted for stringent punishment for the accused.News18
UP Student Who Accused Chinmayanand Of Rape Gets Bail After 2 Months
Lucknow: A 23-year-old law student who accused former Union Minister Chinmayanand of rape was granted bail by the Allahabad High Court on Wednesday, 2 months after she was arrested on extortion charges. Chinmayanand was arrested on Sept.20 after the woman, a student at a law college in Shahjahanpur, accused him of rape. However, based on a counter-complaint, police also arrested her and three others on charges of trying to extort Rs 5 crore from ex BJP leader."We argued that our client has already spent 2-and-a-half months in jail when most of the offences registered against her are bailable. We also brought to the court's notice that the investigation in the case was over, a chargesheet had been filed, and the woman herself was a victim of rape. She was granted bail after that,"Swetashwa Agarwal, the law student's counsel, said.The woman has alleged that Chinmayanand, who runs several ashrams and educational institutions, sexually exploited her after helping her gain admission in his law college last year. ndtv

PM Modi's Sabka Saath, Sabka Vikas has now become Sabka Vinash: Tarun Gogoi
Guwahati:Former Chief Minister of Assam and senior Congress leader Tarun Gogoi slammed BJP-led central government for the diminishing GDP rate and said Modi govt's "Sabka Saath, Sabka Vikas" has now become "Sabka Vinash".In the recently released figures, the country's GDP has fallen below 4.5 per cent in the second quarter (July to Sept). Tarun Gogoi said, "Instead of Vikas, now it has been Vinash."He also said undeclared emergency is now going on in the country."The wrong policies, especially demonetisation and subsequently GST implementation by the Modi govt, are responsible for bringing down GDP. GDP means, the growth of the country, domestic product of the country. The economy is on the down sides. People are losing jobs, their earning has gone down and there is a distress everywhere," Gogoi said.indiatoday
Kamlesh Tiwari murder: UP court grants bail to man accused of helping main suspects
A court in Uttar Pradesh has granted bail to the man accused of helping those who allegedly murdered Hindu Samaj Party leader Kamlesh Tiwari . Chief Judicial Magistrate’s court allowed bail to Kaifi Ali Rizvi, a cleric based in Uttar Pradesh’s city of Bareilly, on two personal bonds of Rs 20,000 each. The lawyer, representing Rizvi, contended that the accusations against his client were bailable.SIT set up to look into Tiwari’s murder had arrested Rizvi on October 24 for allegedly sheltering the two accused. The Hindutva leader was attacked inside his office in Khurshed Bagh in Lucknow on October 18. The assailants had slit his throat, and shot him. He died while undergoing treatment in the hospital.The main suspects, identified as 34-year-old Ashfaq Hussain Jakir Hussain Shaikh and 27-year-old Moinuddin Khurshid Pathan, were arrested from Gujarat. Around a dozen more arrested in the case are still in jail.IANS/scroll
Over 60 arrested in Kolkata as Hindu Jagaran Manch members clash with police
Kolkata: Members of fringe outfit Hindu Jagaran Manch clashed with the police at Sealdah in Kolkata after they were stopped from taking out a rally today leading to a massive traffic snarl in central Kolkata.Police lathicharged hundreds of Hindu Jagaran Manch members who attempted to break the barricades and move forward, a senior officer of Kolkata Police said. BJP MP Anupam Hazra was also involved in a scuffle with the police.Over 60 of them were arrested, police said. A large number of police personnel, led by Deputy Commissioner (Central) Sudheer Kumar Neelakantam, were deployed to tackle the situation, he added.PTI
Karnataka bypolls: Election for 15 seats vacated by Congress, JD(S) rebels tomorrow; contest ego battle for opposition, survival
Bypolls to 15 of the 17 Karnataka seats that fell vacant after rebel Congress and JD(S) MLAs were disqualified by the Speaker for violating their party whip and allowing rival BJP to prop up its government, are scheduled for Thursday (5 December).After the collapse of the Congress-JD(S) coalition government, which lasted for 14 months, the two allies have parted ways and are contesting the bypolls independently.However, the Congress on Sunday indicated it was not averse to joining hands with JD(S) once again, in case the ruling BJP fails to garner required number of seats to be in majority. But JD(S) patriarch HD Deve Gowda's contradictory statement on the issue indicate that the regional party has not quite made up its mind.firstpost
Govt banned 14,500 NGOs from receiving foreign funds in past 5 years
New Delhi: As many as 14,500 NGOs, registered under the Foreign Contribution Regulation Act (FCRA), were banned in the last five years from receiving funds from abroad, Rajya Sabha was informed on Wednesday. Union minister of state for home Nityanand Rai also said so far this year, the ministry has cancelled FCRA registration of 1,808 NGOs.PTI
Trump abused office, obstructed inquiry says impeachment report as probe enters new phase with landmark hearing
Democrat-led US House of Representatives is set to reach a turning point in its inquiry into whether President Donald Trump improperly pressured the government of Ukraine to interfere in US politics, moving from an investigative phase to deciding whether Trump should be impeached.With the president abroad at the NATO meetings in London, the shift marks a perilous moment in his troubled presidency after the release on Tuesday of a 300-page report by House Intelligence Committee investigators describing Trump's months-long effort to pressure Ukraine.The report issued by the House Intelligence Committee, together with the Foreign Affairs and Oversight committees, alleges Trump "subverted US foreign policy toward Ukraine" and "undermined" US national security by seeking two politically motivated investigations to "help his presidential re-election campaign".It also accuses Trump and his lawyers of obstructing the House impeachment investigation.In a landmark hearing on Wednesday, 4 constitutional law scholars will discuss whether the case against Trump meets a political and legal test for impeachment."The big issue facing the Judiciary Committee is, what constitutes an impeachable offence," said Melissa Murray, a professor of law at the New York University law school.The US Constitution provides for the removal of a US president for commission of treason, bribery or "high crimes and misdemeanours", a phrase that invokes politics as well as law, Murray told Al Jazeera.
Trump abused office, obstructed inquiry: impeachment report
Indian-origin Kamala Harris drops out of 2020 US presidential race, ‘we’ll miss you,’ says Trump
Indian-origin Senator Kamala Harris has dropped out of the 2020 US Democratic presidential race.The sudden and surprising announcement by Harris, 55, came during a call with her campaign staffers on Tuesday."To my supporters, it is with deep regret -- but also with deep gratitude -- that I am suspending my campaign today," Harris said in a tweet."But I want to be clear with you: I will keep fighting everyday for what this campaign has been about. Justice for the people. All the people," Harris said.Harris, who is of mixed Indian and African heritage, had been polling poorly in recent weeks.PTI
China condemns US bill against Uighur camps
China has condemned a US bill demanding the closure of so-called "re-education" camps for Uighurs.US legislation - still to be passed by the Senate - also threatens sanctions against Communist Party officials blamed for abuses.More than a million of the Muslim minority are imprisoned as part of a long-running govt crackdown in  Xinjiang region.aljazeera
Ending divisive meeting, NATO agrees to Baltics defence plan
Following a day of drama that revealed deep wounds within NATO, members of the military alliance meeting near London attempted to put on a united front by adopting a common summit statement as they agreed to an updated defence plan for the Baltics and Poland, which Turkey had previously threatened to block.NATO leaders said in a concluding statement today that Russia's "aggressive actions" were a threat to Euro-Atlantic security, and that China's growing influence presented challenges for alliance."Our solemn commitment as enshrined in Article 5 of the Washington Treaty that an attack against one ally shall be considered an attack against us all," they said.Turkey had warned it would refuse to endorse the plan to bolster defence in Baltic states neighbouring Russia and Poland, with President Tayyip Erdogan demanding the alliance recognise groups that Ankara deems terrorists, including YPG militia.But NATO Secretary-General Jens Stoltenberg today said, "We stand together, all for one and one for all. Our commitment to Article 5, collective defence clause of our alliance, is ironclad."aljazeera
NATO leaders to confront Trump over 'delinquent' military moves
French parliament backs resolution calling anti-Zionism a form of antisemitism
The French parliament backed a resolution on Tuesday labelling anti-Zionism a form of antisemitism. The motion proposes to adopt the definition issued by the International Holocaust Remembrance Alliance (IHRA), which states that some criticism of Israel could be antisemitic. “Criticising the very existence of Israel as a collective composed of Jewish citizens is tantamount to hatred towards the Jewish community as a whole,” the resolution states. The resolution has passed with 154 votes for and 72 against. It was drafted by Sylvain Maillard, Paris lawmaker from French President Emmanuel Macron’s La Republique en Marche (Republic on the Move) centrist party.In Feb, a few days after an attack on Jewish French philosopher Alain Finkelkraut on the sidelines of a yellow vest protest in Paris, Macron said anti-Zionism was one of the modern forms of antisemitism and that he would accept IHRA definition. Earlier this week, a group of 129 Jewish and Israeli scholars signed a petition calling on French National Assembly not to support the resolution.  The signatories criticised the proposal for reducing Israel to a “collective composed of Jewish citizens”, thereby obliterating the Palestinians citizens of the country, as well as those Jews who hold anti-Zionist opinions. “For Palestinians,Zionism means dispossession, displacement, occupation and structural inequality," the letter says. middleeasteye

Settlers rent out expropriated Palestinian land to Jerusalem Municipality
An Israeli settler organisation is renting out part of a plot of expropriated Palestinian land to the Jerusalem Municipality who gave them the land in the first place. According to Haaretz, Israeli authorities pay “nearly 1 million shekels ($224,000) a year to the Amana settlement organisation in exchange for operating a welfare department in one floor of an office building that the group bought from the government for that same price.”Amana, a group dedicated to settlement development in the occupied Palestinian territory, only received the plot – located in Sheikh Jarrah, occupied East Jerusalem – from the government in the first place “after it was expropriated from a Palestinian family”. Amana operates under Yesha Council, an umbrella organisation of Israeli settlements in the occupied West Bank. According to Haaretz, it is “most important independent body for the establishment of new settlements and the expansion of existing ones in the West Bank.”The land in question – on which Amana has built an office building – “belonged to Palestinian Abu Ta’ah family, which lives nearby”,Haaretz reported.MEMO
Afghanistan: Deadly attack on medical aid team
At least six people, including a Japanese physician and aid worker, have been killed after unknown gunmen attacked their vehicle in the eastern Afghan city of Jalalabad, officials said.Tetsu Nakamura, head of Peace Japan Medical Services, died of his wounds on Wednesday after armed attack in Nangarhar province that left five Afghan members of his entourage, including the doctor's bodyguards, the driver and a passenger, dead.No one immediately claimed responsibility for the attack, the second in as many weeks targeting aid workers in Afghanistan.aljazeera
Afghans demand justice amid attempt to probe war crimes at ICC
Masih Ur-Rahman's 7 children and wife were killed in a US air strike on their house last September in Wardak, a central Afghan province.Four other relatives in the house, all children, also died."I lost everything in this life," he told Al Jazeera. "I ask myself every day, how could I have been strong enough to bury my children and wife, whose bodies were deformed and bloody? How did I not die of pain?"His four daughters aged 14, 12, seven and five, and three sons - 10, eight and four, were all at home as he worked over the border in Iran, trying to eke out a better income to support them.aljazeera
Scores killed in airstrikes in Syria’s Idlib
19 people were killed and 50 injured in a bloody day of indiscriminate airstrikes by Russian and Assad regime forces on rebel-held Idlib province in northwestern Syria.Sources from Syrian Civil Defence, also known as the White Helmets, told The New Arab's Arabic-language service that 10 people were killed in an airstrike on a vegetable market in the city of Maarat al-Numan in the south of Idlib province, two of them women.Six people were killed when a prison was bombed on the outskirts of Idlib city during family visiting hours. Among those killed were a woman and 2 children visiting their families.Another civilian was killed in an airstrike on a market in Saraqeb according to the Civil Defence.Civil Defence said that a total of 50 civilians had been injured in the airstrikes, including six children and two women.alaraby
Saudi invites Qatar to GCC summit as expectations of Gulf reconciliation grow
Saudi Arabia's King Salman invited Qatar's emir to a summit meeting next week of the Gulf Cooperation Council in Riyadh, Qatari state media reported Tuesday without specifying if Doha had accepted."Emir Sheikh Tamim bin Hamad Al-Thani received a written message from...Saudi King Salman bin Abdulaziz Al-Saud to attend the meeting of 40th session of Gulf Cooperation Council supreme council in Riyadh on Dec 10," Qatar News Agency reported.alaraby.co.uk
Egypt: MEPs show solidarity with detained human rights activists
Members of the European parliament have expressed solidarity with the Egyptian-Palestinian politician Ramy Shaath and other human rights activists detained in Egypt and are calling for their release.In a series of photos published on a Twitter account in solidarity with Shaath, politicians hold up pictures of Ramy and the human rights lawyer Mahienour El-Massry, who was imprisoned once in 2014 on charges based on the protest law and again during the 20 September protests.Behind them are photos of lawyer Ibrahim Metlawy, co-founder of 6 April Israa Abdelfattah, former parliamentarian Zyad El-Elaimy, housing researcher Ibrahim Ezz-Eldin, lawyer Mohamed Al-Baqer, legal adviser Hoda Abdelmoneim, activist Alaa Abdel Fattah, Haytham Mohamadeen and Asmaa Dabees, all of whom have been detained by Egyptian authorities for their work in the field of human rights.Shaath was arrested on 5 July from his home in Cairo after security agents entered his home and seized his hard drives and computers. His wife was forcibly deported by security forces.MEMO
Iran: Rouhani calls for release of 'innocent, unarmed' protesters
Iran's President Hassan Rouhani has called for release of any unarmed and innocent people arrested during the protests against fuel price increases after two weeks of violent clashes.The unrest, which began on November 15 after the government abruptly raised fuel prices by as much as 300 percent, spread to more than 100 Iranian cities and towns and turned political as young and working-class protesters demanded the religious leaders step down."Religious and Islamic clemency should be shown and those innocent people who protested against petrol price hikes and were not armed ... should be released," Rouhani said on Wednesday.aljazeera
Mexican couple converts to Islam after watching Resurrection: Ertuğrul
A Mexican couple were inspired to convert to Islam after watching hit Turkish TV series Resurrection: Ertuğrul, and meeting with one of its actors at a convention in Los Angeles, US. Celal Al, who plays Abdulrahman Alp in the hit period drama, attended the 22nd annual meeting of the Muslim American Society (MAS), a flagship Muslim organization, and gave a speech about the series and Turkey. yenisafak
*views, Articles, FEATURES*
A lesser-known narrative of Ayodhya from 1857 — and the dispute:Anand Patwardhan
What is the Justice Loya case and how is Amit Shah involved? freepressjournal
Why does India’s media cover some rapes extensively and ignore others?Kalpana Sharma
Has India’s Rural Poverty Rate Increased in the Last Six Years?The Wire
Hindu fanatic, part of Babri Mosque demolition now builds mosques: Anadolu Agency
Sharad Pawar's latest revelations have allowed NCP chief to position himself as 'super CM' of Maharashtra, a status Bal Thackeray enjoyed in 90s:Sanjay Singh
Modi govt recklessly selling PSUs to fill its coffers:Nitya Chakraborty/IPA
MEA distances itself from envoy’s ‘Israel model’ remark for Kashmiri Pandits — with silence
'Partisan, One-Sided': EU Legislators Respond to MEPs Visit to Kashmir:Anumeha Yadav
Jamiat’s Ayodhya review petition should succeed but won’t. Here’s why:MANEESH CHHIBBER
Former Civil Servants Express ‘Anguish’ Over the ‘Injustice’ of Ayodhya
Gross Domestic Panic: Rating agencies slice India's GDP growth by 1.5%
BJP MP Demands Curb on Social Media Based on Misinterpreted Section of Law
'Operation failed': Details emerge on Israeli covert op gone awry
* Compiled and edited by Anwarulhaq (Released at: 7:40 PM).*


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