23 February 2020

23 FEB. MID DAY NEWS: In Delhi's Jaffrabad, over 1,000 women block road over CAA, Metro shuts station, back Bhim Army's strike call/ Bharat Bandh: Impact felt in UP, Bihar, Delhi as some political parties back nationwide strike/ Protest at Shaheen Bagh peaceful, Police have blocked 5 points around the area, Interlocutor Wajahat Habibullah Tells SC/ Clear abuse of sedition law: Ex-SC judge on student's arrest over 'Pakistan Zindabad'

 23 Feb.  2020: 28 Jamadi-2, 1441: Vol: 12, No: 139
*anti-CAA,NRC-NPR stir*
In Delhi's Jaffrabad, over 1,000 women block road over CAA, Metro shuts station, back Bhim Army's strike call
New Delhi: Attempts are being made to clear an arterial road in northeast Delhi's Jaffrabad, blocked by around 1,000 women and about 500 men protesting against the CAA, police said today. The protesters are also supporting nationwide strike call by Bhim Army chief Chandrashekhar Azad, who is leading demonstrations today over the Supreme Court order, which said that "quotas and reservations for promotions for government jobs is not a fundamental right".Demanding repeal of the citizenship law, about 200 women began the sit-in near the Jaffrabad metro station last night; they were seen carrying national flags as they shouted "Azaadi (freedom)" slogans amid heavy police presence. The crowd swelled overnight as more women and children joined them. "We want freedom from CAA, NRC," said one of them. The metro station was temporarily closed this morning due to protests.The area has been barricaded. This morning, senior police officer Ved Prakash Surya said that policemen are holding discussions with the protesters to clear the road. "We are holding talks with the protesters so that they leave... they can't block a major road like this. We have called paramilitary security personnel also," he said.This is the latest anti-CAA sit-in led by women in the national capital after Shaheen Bagh - epicentre of demonstrations against citizenship law - inspired similar agitations across the country. A key road connecting the national capital to Noida, which was closed due to the anti-CAA protest at Shaheen Bagh, reopened yesterday after 70 days.With blue bands on their arms, the women at Jaffrabad metro station last night raised ''Jai Bhim slogans. Chandrashekhar Azad is leading protest marching today after the top court on Feb.9 said that states are not bound to provide reservation in appointments and promotions and that "quotas are not a fundamental right"."I appeal to (members of) Bahujan Samaj that it is our fundamental right to raise voice against injustice, observe shutdown in a peaceful manner. People of the BJP will try to provoke you, do not get provoked,"33-year-old, who was arrested in Dec over anti-CAA protests, tweeted this morning .ndtv
Jaffrabad anti-CAA protests: women block road connecting Seelampur with Maujpur and Yamuna Vihar; Delhi Metro shuts station
Anti-CAA protesters block road in Jaffrabad, DMRC shuts down metro station
Jaffrabad Anti-CAA Protests: Hundreds Of Women Block Delhi Road, Metro Station Temporarily Shut
CAA protest Live: Delhi Police says Chandrashekhar Azad did not seek permit, cannot protest at Rajghat
Police said that Bhi, Army chief Chandrashekhar Azad has not taken permission for carrying out a march from Chandbagh to Rajghat in Delhi and so he will not be allowed to go there.indiatoday
Bharat Bandh Today: Bhim Army Chief's Call for Shutdown Gets Support in UP, Bihar & Delhi
Lucknow: The call by Bhim Army chief Chandrashekhar Azad for nationwide bandh on Sunday, February 23 seems to be getting widespread support from multiple political and social outfits. The Dalit leader has called for a shutdown against the Supreme Court ruling that states were not bound to provide reservation in government jobs and quota in promotion.Issues like CAA, NRC and thrashing of Dalits in recent past have also been included in the bandh call. In Uttar Pradesh, the call has got support of Pragatisheel Samajwadi Party Lohia (PSPL) led by Shivpal Yadav, the younger brother of Samajwadi Patry patriarch Mulayam Singh Yadav, while in Bihar, Tejashwi Yadav led Rashtriya Janata Dal had announced its support to the Bharat Bandh.Azad, who recently got out on bail after being arrested during the anti-CAA-NRC-NPR protest at the Jama Masjid, will be in Maharashtra's Aurangabad, while his outfit will be leading the Bharat Bandh call across many states. On the eve of bandh, Bhim Army supporters even made "23 February Bharat Bandh" trend on top on social networking site Twitter.The Chairman of SC Department of Congress, Nitin Raut, also tweeted in favour of the bandh. "To save the Constitution and to save the reservation, I whole-heartedly support the Bharat Bandh given on 23rd February. Reservation is our pride, respect and our constitutional rights and we cannot let it go at any cost. Long live Constitution. Jai Bhim," he tweeted.Earlier on Saturday, Azad hoisted the triclour in front of the RSS headquarters in Nagpur and also addressed a Tiranga Rally on the occasion. AT the event, he called for a ban on the Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh and challenged it to fight elections directly.News18
Bharat Bandh: Impact felt in UP, Bihar, Delhi as some political parties back nationwide strike
The impact of a nationwide strike called by Bhim Army chief Chandrashekhar Azad was felt in some parts of India on Sunday, News18 reported. The bandh was supported by some political parties, including Shivpal Yadav’s Pragatisheel Samajwadi Party Lohia in Uttar Pradesh and Tejashwi Yadav’s Rashtriya Janata Dal in Bihar.Meanwhile, the police in Meerut district in Uttar Pradesh are on high alert and are monitoring social media, The Times of India reported. The police are also conducting meetings with Dalit outfits, especially in Saharanpur, where there are a large number of members of the Dalit community.scroll
 Anti-CAA arrests: Home Minister calls meeting of senior police officers today
Close on the heels of two youngsters being arrested by the police for their alleged “anti-national” statements in the course of protests against the CAA, Home Minister Basavaraj Bommai has called a meeting of senior-level police officials in Bengaluru on Sunday to take stock of the situation and discuss preventive steps.Speaking at Davangere, Mr. Bommai expressed concerns over the “growing anti-national activities” and said there seemed to be an organised network that needs a thorough probe. “There are efforts to disturb peace in the State by roping in youngsters for anti-national activity. The Sunday meeting will discuss measures to curb the trend,” he said.thehindu
 Protest at Shaheen Bagh peaceful, Police have blocked 5 points around the area, Interlocutor Wajahat Habibullah Tells SC
Wajahat Habibullah, who is involved in the ongoing efforts to lift the blockade at Shaheen Bagh, has filed an affidavit in the Supreme Court, spelling out a solution to clear the road at the anti-CAA protest site.The affidavit states that removing the barricades on some of the adjoining roads can immediately relieve the situation.As per the court order, Habibullah visited the protest site at Shaheen Bagh and filed his affidavit.In his affidavit, Habibullah states that the protest is peaceful. Pointing out that the police have blocked five points around Shaheen Bagh, he observed that traffic flow will be normalised if these blockades are removed.The affidavit also notes that police have unnecessarily blocked the roads causing problems to the people.School vans and ambulances are allowed to pass through the roads after checking by police.Habibullah also states that the government should speak to the protesters regarding CAA, NPR and NRC.The Supreme Court is on Monday hearing a petition seeking opening up of the roadblock caused by anti-CAA protesters at Shaheen Bagh.IANS/ ANI
Shaheen Bagh: Wajahat Habibullah files affidavit in court on road closure

Can't Get Rights By Blocking Road: Union Minister Naqvi Over Anti-CAA Protests
Minority Affairs Minister Mukhtar Abbas Naqvi on Saturday said that dissent and consensus are part of democracy but you cannot get your rights by blocking the road.The minister was apparently referring to people protesting against the CAA, NPR and NRC at Delhi's Shaheen Bagh for over two months."This is a dilemma between rights and duties, they (protesters) understand their rights but not the duties. Dissent and consensus are part of democracy but you cannot get your rights by blocking the road," Naqvi said at an event.ndtv

Activist Harsh Mander warns of bloodshed in West Bengal if NRC is permitted
KOLKATA: There is possibility of immense bloodshed in Bengal if NPR is enforced, felt author, communist, teacher and activist Harsh Mander. He was delivering the keynote address at a national conference on ‘Statelessness and the Right to Have Right’, organized by The Legal Aid Society, West Bengal National University of Juridical Sciences in association with Cornell Law School Human Rights Clinic in Kolkata on Saturday.“There are dangers ahead. The government will not pull back. If NPR happens, the authorities will get the right to identify people who they feel are doubtful. CAA will do the rest. 2003 amendment of the Citizenship Act needs to be withdrawn. There is immense possibility of violence in Bengal as it is the front line after Assam. Unfortunately, I don’t see any clarity or courage among political parties to take on the government. The issue won’t be resolved in Parliament or any court. It has to be resolved on the streets and in our hearts,” Mander said.According to him, the extreme Right sees this as a decisive battle to finish the “unfinished business” of Partition. Those protesting against what Mander calls the “unholy trinity” of CAA, NRC and NPR are also trying to complete the unfinished business of the freedom struggle, he said.“This is a tacit war against citizens based on religious identity. In the last 5-6 years, an ideological ‘project’ has been launched against a section of people,” the activist added.TOI
'Oppn Should Maintain Arm's Length from Protests': Congress Leader Jairam Ramesh's Advice on CAA-NRC​
Kolkata: Amid the ongoing bickering in Congress post its dismal performance in the Delhi Assembly polls, its senior leader Jairam Ramesh said "collective submergence of individual egos and ambitions" was the need of the hour to revive the party. In an interview to PTI, Rajya Sabha member and former Union minister said the party still has a long way to go "before it gets to see light at the end of the tunnel" and suggested that "all senior Congress leaders, after a certain age, should be mentoring juniors rather than tormenting them".Speaking on the issue of a countrywide agitation against NRC-CAA-NPR, Ramesh insisted that political (opposition) parties should maintain an "arm's length from these protests and should not make attempts to hijack the people's movement".PTI

Odisha activists call for anti-CAA resolution in Assembly
BHUBANESWAR:Naveen Patnaik Government should tell Centre that it is not ready to implement CAA and the NPR survey by passing a resolution in the State Assembly, demanded activists and intellectuals here on Saturday. Activists, who gathered under the banner — ‘We the people of India’ — on the death anniversary of Maulana Abul Kalam Azad, alleged that CAA is discriminatory on religious grounds and NPR is a step towards the implementation of the controversial NRC.“Implementation of CAA, NPR and NRC will not only become a financial burden on the State, but also create divisions in society. Citizens possess different identity proofs such as Aadhaar, voter identity card, driving licence and land records. We do not want NPR, which will lead to NRC,” said Suresh Panigrahi, a CPI(M) leader.thehindu

Jamiat calls NPR ‘gross violation of Article 14’, urges people to not give details to enumerators
New Delhi: Several scholars under the banner of Jamiat Ulema-e-Hind (Mahmood Madani faction) denounced the National Population Register (NPR) and urged people to not give their details to enumerators.A brainstorming session was jointly convened by Maulana Mahmod A Madani, General Secretary of the Jamiat, and Kamal Faruqi. At the end of the session, a unanimous resolution was adopted which "unequivocally" rejected NPR on the grounds that it was a "gross violation of article 14 of the Constitution", a statement by the Jamiat's Mahmood Madani faction said."NPR is the first stage of data collection to prepare NRC as per Citizenship Act 1955 and Citizenship Rule 2003. It is patently discriminatory, divisive, exclusionary and unconstitutional and targets communities on the basis of religion, class, caste and gender," the statement said."We must politely decline to co-operate or make available any details to them (data collectors)," it said.PTI
‘Concerned Citizens’ Urge Indians to Boycott NPR
New Delhi: A group of “concerned citizens” have signed a declaration that they “reject” National Population Register (NPR) “as it is a gross violation of article 14 of Indian Constitution”.73 citizens who signed the declaration called the proposed exercise “discriminatory, divisive, exclusionary and unconstitutional”, saying it “targets communities on the basis of religion, class, caste and gender”.“We call upon all the state Govts to immediately suspend the NPR process. We also appeal to all the Law and order enforcing agencies to respect the constitutional rights of the people of India to protest peacefully,” the declaration said.The statement also condemned police violence on those protesting against the CAA, particularly in Uttar Pradesh.thewire
Yogendra Yadav gives NPR boycott call
GAYA: Well known political thinker and activist Yogendra Yadav has given a call to boycott the proposed National Population Register (NPR) beginning on April 1, 2020. Addressing anti-CAA protesters at the Shantibagh locality of Gaya town on Saturday evening, Yadav said that NPR was just the prelude to the highly controversial NRC.TOI
Shah Faesal Is Not a Gunda, PSA Charges Were a Bad Surprise:Family
Srinagar: Family members of Indian Administrative Service officer-turned-politician Shah Faesal said the stringent Public Safety Act (PSA) charges on him came as a surprise as not long ago, he was seen as a “model citizen” for the people of Jammu and Kashmir.The family members said even though they were mentally prepared for anything, the PSA charges came as a “bad surprise”.“It is ironic that till yesterday, he was a model citizen for people and now he has been put into the category (of criminals),” the family said. “Faesal is not a gunda (hooligan). He is a scholar who has graduated from Harvard. Anybody can vouch for him. He doesn’t deserve this.”Faesal, who was detained after the Narendra Modi government read down Article 370 of the constitution and removed Jammu and Kashmir’s special status, was booked under PSA on February 14 – the day his six-month preventive detention ended. He is currently being kept at MLA hostel in Srinagar’s central Lal Chowk. According to the J&K police’s dossier, Faesal has been advocating “soft separatism” through his articles, tweets and social media posts. It also talks about allegedly “provocative statements” he made last year.His family, though, says Faesal has never done anything that could have disturbed the peace anywhere. “If you see his last tweet, he preached for a non-violent movement. How can he be a threat to peace?” they said.thewire
Innovation in times of an internet ban: A Kashmiri boy’s journey to the Indian Science Congress
What do 4 boys with an idea do in times of an internet ban, a school shut-down and frequent curfews? They learn resilience and resourcefulness, according to their teacher.In June 2019, 4 students of Burn Hall School, Srinagar, started working on a science project. 7 months, revocation of Article 370, suspension of internet services and an interrupted school session later, the carbon smoke absorber they created was showcased at 107th Indian Science Congress, inaugurated by Prime Minister Narendra Modi.How did they manage the research without the internet?“Kashmiris have learnt to make do. We get by without many things considered a given outside the state,” says Najma Nazir, science teacher at Burn Hall. “Because we can’t always rely on the internet, our students are in the habit of consulting books. And we pool resources. For the project, several science teachers at the school brainstormed. The students, too, showed a lot of initiative.”The lack of internet wasn’t even the biggest challenge.“After August 5, we thought the event would be cancelled in the state. There was no way to confirm anything, or speak to each other,” says Numair Muzaffar Wani, the Class 9 student who led his team and travelled to Bengaluru for the ISC.In October, the school heard the event was on. This was the time when classes hadn’t resumed, and phone connections, including landlines, weren’t dependable.“We didn’t know how to get this message to our students. It wasn’t easy to go anywhere, what with the frequent road closures and all the uncertainty and fear. We finally managed to send someone to Numair’s house, who informed the others and they then got together at school,” says Father Sebastian Nagathungal, school principal.“Once we met, we divided our assignments. My father travels to Jammu for work. He would carry a pen drive and get me the articles I needed. My friends, Hanan Wani, Mueed Nisar and Ahmad Pathan, also managed what they could,” says Numair.indianexpress
26 Years After Kunan Poshpora, Army Still Enjoys Immunity For Sexual Violence:thewire
It has been 26 years since 4 personnel of Rajputana Rifles allegedly raped at least 23 women in Kashmir’s twin villages of Kunan and Poshpora. It was supposed to be a cordon-and-search operation to trace militants, but turned out to be the blackest of nights in Kashmir’s violence-ridden history. As per 2012 Jammu and Kashmir State Human Rights Commission (J&K SHRC) report – the men in the villages were first ordered to come out of their houses and taken to a separate location. Then members of the security forces who had “turned into beasts” forcefully entered these houses and “gagged the mouths of the victims and committed forced gang rape against their will and consent”. Even minor girls as young as eight years of age were not spared.A recently published book – Do you remember Kunan Poshpora? – exhaustively documents aspects related to the incident. In the book, amongst many gory accounts, one of the survivors shares her story: “Three army men caught hold of me and 8-10 army men raped me in turns. They had huge battery torches with them and they used them to see my naked body, while making lewd remarks”.Many independent investigations and fact finding missions (including the one led by a former chief justice of the Jammu and Kashmir high court – Justice Bahauddin Farooqi) have concluded that the Kunan Poshpora case has seen unprecedented proportions of ignorance with regards to normal investigative procedures that must be followed after such a crime.In 2014, as a jolt to the Indian government, divisional bench of state high court comprising Chief Justice MM Kumar and Justice Hasnain Masoodi took up SHRC report and decreed “the government should explore the possibilities of payment of compensation within three weeks.” This was the first time that members of the higher judiciary acknowledged that the heinous crime did indeed take place as until then reports of the gang rape had been considered terrorist propaganda.Since then there have been two petitions in the Supreme Court against the high court order – one by the supposedly pro-people state government and another by the Indian army. A stay on the high court’s order has already been obtained.
Art 370 made people lazy… domicile law for J&K coming very soon: Jitendra Singh
Jammu :Union Minister of State (PMO) Dr. Jitendra Singh on Saturday said that Article 370 in Jammu and Kashmir had made people lethargic and used to freebies. In an attempt to address the concerns of the local populace after the revoking of J&K’s special status last year, Singh on Saturday assured the people of Union Territory that the domicile law is coming “very soon” which would be followed by the Land Act.Addressing a function on the occasion of signing of an MoU between CSIR-IIIM in Jammu and Canadian pharmaceutical company IndusCann for research and use of cannabis in medicines, Singh said a new dawn is unfolding for Union Territory of J&K.A higher number of jobs than those promised will be provided to the youth after the notification of rules is worked out, he said, adding that the objective should be to inculcate a sense of competitiveness.“The greatest disadvantage for Jammu and Kashmir for its remaining in isolation because of Article 370 is that we became lazy. We became lethargic and we learnt to live on easy freebies,” he said addressing a function at IIIM here.indian express

I Pray For Early Release Of Mehbooba Mufti, Omar Abdullah And Farooq Andullah: Rajnath Singh
Defence Minister Rajnath Singh on Saturday said that he is praying for the early release of three former chief ministers of Jammu and Kashmir from their detention and hoping that they will contribute to normalizing situation in Kashmir.In an interview to IANS, Defence Minister Rajnath Singh said, "Kashmir has been peaceful. The situation is improving rapidly. Along with the improvement, these decisions (release of politicians from detention) will also be finalized. The government has not tortured anyone."Defending the government's decision, the Defence Minister said that certain steps had been taken in the interests of Kashmir. "Everybody should welcome it," he said.IANS
Clear abuse of sedition law: Former Supreme Court judge Reddy on student's arrest over 'Pakistan Zindabad'
New Delhi:A former judge of the Supreme Court has said in response to a question that use of the sedition charge against a student in Karnataka for shouting a slogan is a “clear abuse of the law”, adding that the time has come for the judiciary to step in on its own to counter the trend.“It is a clear abuse of the law of sedition. How would it amount to sedition? It won’t amount to sedition. IPC is not attracted at all. In fact, no penal provision is attracted against her for shouting whatever she did. Not only sedition, no criminal law provision appears in her case,” Justice B. Sudershan Reddy said from Hyderabad on Saturday.The former senior judge had been asked the question with reference to the arrest of journalism student Amulya Leona Noronha, who had shouted “Pakistan zindabad” from a public stage in Bangalore on Thursday. Charged with sedition that can attract a maximum punishment of life imprisonment, Amulya has been sent to judicial remand for 2 weeks.Justice Reddy wondered if it was all right for citizens to raise slogans like “America zindabad” or “Donald Trump zindabad”.Asked what the solution was to counter the trend of charging citizens under this law, Justice Reddy said: “Except people freely expressing their opinion, what else can be done, and timely intervention by courts. Sometimes, suo motu cognisance they should be taken by courts.”Reddy said neither Section 124A (sedition law), much less any other criminal provision, would apply if a citizen chanted “Pakistan zindabad” since India was neither at war with Pakistan nor had it been declared an enemy country. Justice Reddy said: “The most important part of the story is that Pakistan has not been declared as an enemy state…. We are not at war with Pakistan. Diplomatic relations continue with Pakistan….”telegraphindia
Muslim youth thrashed, sodomised using iron rod in Rajasthan's Barmer
JAIPUR: A Muslim youth suspected of stealing a mobile phone was allegedly stripped, thrashed and sodomised with an iron rod in Rajasthan's Barmer district around three weeks ago, his brother said in an FIR filed on Thursday after a video of the assault surfaced on social media.The case was filed at Barmer (rural) police station amid shock and outrage over a similar incident in Nagaur last Sunday, involving two Dalit cousins who had been brutally assaulted by a group of men after being accused of stealing money from a motorbike servicing centre.According to the brother of the Barmer victim, his sibling kept quiet about the attack on him at Tirsingri village on January 29 until someone shared a video clip purportedly showing two men attacking him repeatedly and later using a rod to sodomise him.The victim has since not returned home and switched off his mobile phone, his brother said.Based on FIR, the police have arrested one person seen in the video and detained another."The complainant has named one Moti Singh and Bharat Singh as the two men who attacked his brother. Prima facie the role of Moti Singh in the assault has been established on the basis of the available footage. The other accused is being questioned," Barmer SP Sharad Chaudhary told TOI.
ABVP-RSS Activists Appointed Assistant Professors at JNU, Alleges JNUSU
 NEW DELHI: The recent press statement released by JNUSU has accused JNU Teachers’ Federation (JNUTF), Cyclops Security and ABVP for their alleged role in the January 5 violence in the campus.Even after 47 days, no arrests have been made so far.Additionally, the statement questiones the legality of recent faculty recruitments at JNU.“It has come to the notice of JNUSU that people who were part of the WhatsApp groups that coordinated the violence are now being appointed as Assistant Professors,” the statement read.The statement also highlights the selection of Renu Sain, who was the allegedly the admin of the WhatsApp group ‘Unity Against Left’, as an Assistant Professor in Centre for Russian and Central Asian Studies, School of International Studies. After the selection by the committee, final recruitment of Renu Sain awaits Registrar’s approval.Aishe Ghosh, the President of JNUSU also accused JNU V-C of appointing ABVP and RSS activists as Assistant Professors irrespective of being unqualified.thecitizen
Whatever the context, it was hate speech, it cost the party… such people must be permanently removed: Manoj Tiwari
Delhi BJP president Manoj Tiwari was at the centre of the party’s election strategy in the recent Assembly polls in the state. With Tiwari at the helm when BJP won the corporation polls in 2017 and all the seven Lok Sabha seats in 2019, the party was banking on Bhojpuri star to draw the Capital’s Poorvanchali vote to help it return to power in the Capital where it has not been in government for over 20 years. The party, however, managed just eight of the 70 seats. One reason being attributed for the loss is the BJP, battling infighting, going in without a CM face. Several old-time leaders of the party are not happy with Tiwari’s projection as BJP’s Delhi face.indianexpress
‘Play pro-active role to build healthy society’
Nagpur: Sluggish and passive society does not augur well for a country. Therefore, it is high time people play a pro-active role to build an ideal society by bridging the gap, said scholar Syed Parnerkar at a programme organized at Survey Nagar to mark the birth anniversary of Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj on Wednesday.The programme, titled ‘Chhatrapati Shivrai and Indian Constitution’, was jointly organized by Maratha Seva Sangh (MSS), Jijau Brigade, Sambhaji Brigade, Baanai, Jamaat-e-Islami Hind and Sarv Shakheey Krushnavi Sanghatana.Parnerkar said if some people feel oppressed, then they should give expression to their thought as the Constitution of India has guaranteed freedom of speech. The definition of maintaining beliefs, religious rights, thoughts and expression has been clearly outlined. Despite this, there are many social ills in the society which need to be addressed, he said.Writer and thinker Ganesh Halkare said the problem of unemployment is rising with every passing day. Similar is the case of agrarian crisis as farmers are at the receiving end due to vagaries of nature and subsequent crop failure.TOI
Assam schools to drop word ‘Maktab’
Guwahati: In a significant move, Assam education minister Himanta Biswa Sarma on Saturday said that his government has directed to drop ‘Maktab’ word from the names of 63 schools in Assam.Asserting that the government is determined to close all aided institutes imparting religious education, Sarma said,  “Since there is no Maktabi education system now, the word ‘Maktab’ will be dropped from the names of the schools. Students of these schools have to face problems due to the notion that religious education is imparted there.”The move assumes significance as Maktabs are traditional institutions of the Muslim community. Children from the Muslim community attend Maktabs as a religious binding. To bring out-of-school Muslim children, especially girls, within the fold of primary education, in 1995-96, District Primary Education Programme (DPEP) Assam had converted 60 Maktabs into alternative schools in 3 DPEP districts of Assam, particularly in Darrang, Dhubri and Morigaon.The minister also announced that work to convert Madrasas and Sanskrit Tols to government schools will begin after the state budget is tabled.asianage
After Discovery of Gold Jackpot, Over 400 Tribal Families Fear Homelessness in Sonbhadra
Sonbhadra: Over 400 tribal families in Sonbhadra district of Uttar Pradesh, have already started fearing homelessness, after Geological Survey of India (GSI) has discovered gold deposits of around 3,000 tonnes worth Rs 12 lakh crore here, which is almost five times India's current reserve of the yellow metal.The official process of e-tendering has started after the GSI on Saturday confirmed the gold deposits found in Son Pahadi and Hardi areas of the district.Sonbhadra's name may come on the country's top list and world due to the maximum gold deposits, but the other aspect of it is that around 250 families of Panari village panchayat and 200 families of Dohar and Piparahwa villages will be displaced.IANS

Bollywood extortionist Ravi Pujari arrested in Senegal, to be brought to India
New Delhi:Underworld don Ravi Pujari has been arrested from West African nation of Senegal. The fugitive gangster was arrested after efforts from Indian agencies.Pujari, who parted ways with underworld don Chhota Rajan, had jumped bail from Senegal, last year and had escaped to South Africa, where he was involved in big-time drug trafficking and extortion racket.According to reports, Karnataka Police teams and probe agency officers are currently in Senegal to bring him back.Sources said that investigating agencies had Pujari arrested in a different country and he was later brought to Senegal.Sources also confirm his extradition process has started.indiatoday

US becomes India’s top trading partner
United States has become India’s top trading partner surpassing China, according to 2018-19 data from the Commerce Ministry. The bilateral trade between US and India amounted to USD 87.95 billion as compared to USD 87.07 billion with China.Trade experts say a free trade agreement between the two nations would take their economic ties to a whole new level. According to an American business advocacy group, an FTA would exponentially help in resolving their trade disputes, PTI reported.America is one of the few countries with which India has a trade surplus. While dealing with the US, India had a surplus of 16.85 billion in the year 2018-19 alone.indianexpress
Trump talks of 'America First', why PM Modi silent on 'India First': Congress
New Delhi:Ahead of US President Donald Trump's visit, the Congress on Sunday asked whether Prime Minister Narendra Modi would raise with him the issue of easing H-1B visas, restoration of GSP status and security concerns over Taliban.Congress chief spokesperson Randeep Surjewala asked why Prime Minister Modi is silent about "India First" as Donald Trump talked of "America First".PTI

Iran shuts schools, cultural centres as coronavirus kills six
A sixth death from the coronavirus has been reported in Iran as authorities in more than a dozen affected provinces ordered the closure of schools, universities and cultural centres in a bid to contain the outbreak.Ali Aghazadeh, governor of the Markazi province, said late on Saturday that tests of a patient who recently died in the central city of Arak were positive for the virus.The person was also suffering from a heart problem, he told the official IRNA. So far, 28 cases have been confirmed in Iran, but it was not immediately clear if the sixth fatality was among those cases. All of those who lost their lives are believed to be Iranian citizens, and the deaths in Iran account for the most in any country outside China. Since the new coronavirus emerged in December, it has killed 2,345 people in China, the epicentre of the epidemic, and more than a dozen people elsewhere in the world.Officially known as COVID-19, the infection first surfaced in Iran on Wednesday, when authorities said it claimed the lives of two elderly people in Qom, a Shia holy city south of the capital.Meanwhile, WHO has expressed concern over the speed at which COVID-19 has spread in Iran, as well as it being exported from the country to other territories in the region.aljazeera

International fears grow with virus deaths in Italy, South Korea
Fears have mounted over the rise of new cases and fatalities outside China from the new coronavirus outbreak, as the WHO warned of a shrinking window to stem the spread of the deadly disease.The warning came as the first deaths from the new COVID-19 strain were reported in the Middle East. COVID-19, as the new coronavirus is known, first emerged in December in central China but has now spread to almost 30 countries and caused more than a dozen deaths outside of China. aljazeera
Several dead in Turkey province bordering Iran after earthquake
At least seven people have been killed and five others injured in Turkey's Van province following an earthquake early Sunday, the country's interior minister has said.Three of those killed were children, according to Suleyman Soylu, adding that some 1,066 buildings have collapsed.The Disaster and Emergency Management Authority had begun rescue work, Soylu said."Search and rescue efforts are ongoing," he said. The magnitude 5.7 earthquake struck the Turkey-Iran border region, the European Mediterranean Seismological Centre (EMSC) said. The quake had a depth of 5 km (3.1 miles), the EMSC said.aljazeera
Turkey hits Syrian gov't targets after soldier killed in Idlib
Turkish President Tayyip Erdogan has said he will meet next month the leaders of Russia, France and Germany to discuss the situation in northwest Syria, where a military push by Moscow-backed government forces against the last opposition-held enclave has displaced nearly a million people.His comments on Saturday came as the Turkish defence ministry said a soldier was killed in Syria's Idlib province in a bomb attack by government forces, becoming Turkey's 16th military death during a month in which talks between Ankara and Moscow have failed to de-escalate a recent spike in the fighting.Erdogan did not specify where the March 5 meeting would be held. He added, however, that Turkey "determined our road map" for Syria after calls on Friday with Russian President Vladimir Putin, German Chancellor Angela Merkel and French President Emmanuel Macron.Turkey has sent thousands of troops and equipment to the region just south of its border to head off the government forces' campaign driven by Russian air raids. Already hosting some 3.7 million Syrian refugees, it says it cannot handle another wave and has closed its borders.aljazeera
Nothing will stop me praying, says Regent's Park mosque leader stabbed in the neck
A muslim leader stabbed inside Regent’s Park mosque today said he was lucky to survive and vowed: “Nothing will stop me from praying”. Raafat Maglad, 70, a muezzin who leads the call to prayer, was stabbed in the neck at London Central Mosque during prayers at about 3pm yesterday.Around 20 members of the congregation rushed to tackle the knifeman, pinning him down until police and emergency services arrived. A suspect, 29, was today being quizzed on suspicion of attempted murder. Maglad, a father-of-3 from Queen’s Park who leads the call to prayer five times a day, was rushed to hospital and was discharged this morning, his arm in a sling.“I would like to thank everyone who helped. Last night the emergency room was full of so many people supporting me. It was nice. This attack won’t change my behaviour. Nothing will stop me praying, and I will be back calling prayers as soon as I can. I have to find out if I need surgery first.”standard.co.uk

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