11 March 2020

11 MARCH NEWS : Delhi Riots: Fresh videos surface which show unprecedented police brutality, violation of guidelines/ Men in uniform torched Mustafabad’s Farooqia Masjid, assaulted people inside, say locals/ 700 FIRs registered; 2647 people held in connection with Delhi violence says Home Minister/ "Cops Didn't Allow Delhi Violence To Spread": Amit Shah'

 11 March 2020: 15 Rajjab 1441: Vol: 12, No: 154
Delhi Riots: Fresh videos surface which show unprecedented police brutality, violation of guidelines
New Delhi: In the aftermath of the worst sectarian violence that Delhi witnessed in decades, the “partisan” role of Delhi Police has come under question once again with a slew of “selective arrests” and a “targeted” crackdown, allegedly on the community which bore the brunt of the deadly communal carnage in North-East Delhi that spanned 4 days. The allegation of police bias was bolstered after Delhi Police refused to divulge details of FIRs and the names that figured in FIRs, with rights activists demanding that police comes clean.There are multiple instances of “arbitrary” arrests with random Muslim men being picked up by personnel from different police stations in the north-east region of the city. Weeks after the violence that ravaged several neighbourhoods of the region between Febr. 23 and Feb. 26, city police has lodged over 702 FIRs and has either detained or arrested 2,387 people till Sunday in connection with riots. Residents and victims of riot-affected Jaffrabad, Kardampuri, Kabir Nagar, Bhagirathi Vihar,Mustafabad and Shiv Vihar alleged that 4-5 men (belonging to a particular community) have been picked up by the police. Many of them alleged that the police barge into houses, ask for names and pick them up. The families do not know the whereabouts of many of those who have been picked up.They are making visits to concerned police stations and Karkardooma court to know more.As victims of the violence try to pick up the pieces and are struggling to return to normal lives, the number of missing sons and husbands are rising. Several victims alleged that those who have been picked up in the name of interrogation are being booked under serious charges. They claim that they are being sent to jails while their family members are unaware of their arrest. Delhi Police is now apparently trying to find out a foreign angle in the entire incident, but appears to not be ready to probe role of BJP leader Kapil Sharma and others, who were caught on camera trying to incite violence. NewsClick
Muslims Being Rounded Up by Police in Large Numbers from Riot-Affected Delhi Region
Men in uniform torched Mustafabad’s Farooqia Masjid, assaulted people inside, say locals: caravanmagazine
Survivors of brutal physical assaults told The Caravan that men in uniform thrashed them before setting fire to the Farooqia Masjid on the third day of the communal violence in northeast Delhi. The attack took place close to 7 pm on 25 February, when the survivors had nearly finished performing the Maghrib namaz—evening prayers—at the mosque, located at Brijpuri, in the Mustafabad area. 3 survivors, as well as other locals who witnessed the incident, identified the attackers as “force” or “policewaale”—policemen. The next day, policemen torched an adjacent madrasa, according to one local who said she witnessed the arson. Mufti Mohammad Tahir, the imam of the mosque, who was among those assaulted, told The Cavaran that there were 16 CCTV cameras within the mosque, and the room in which the footage was stored was located on the madrasa’s ground floor. According to him, the attackers destroyed the room where the recordings were kept.3 survivors—Tahir, a 30-year-old; Firoz Akhtar, a 42-year-old tailor; and Jalaluddin, the mosque’s 44-year-old muezzin, who gives the calls for prayers—said that the uniformed attackers brutally beat them with lathis. Tahir, Firoz and Jalaluddin sustained severe injuries—I met two of them while they were admitted in hospitals. The survivors estimated that between thirty and sixty uniformed men had attacked the mosque. They said they saw the uniformed men hitting them, but were not able to clearly identify the force—Firoz described the attackers’ garb as “a worn-out military uniform” while Jalaluddin and Tahir said they were dressed in police uniforms. Tahir said the men who attacked the mosque were wearing bulletproof vests because of which “we couldn’t tell whether they were actual policemen or from RSS or who they were.” The three survivors were certain that none of the attackers were dressed in civilian clothes. Locals who witnessed the attack and those who helped the victims escape corroborated 3 men’s accounts. During and after the attack, Jalaluddin’s wife, Waheeda, was at an acquaintance’s residence, located around twenty-five metres away from the madrasa. She said that the next morning, she saw policemen torching the madrasa. Waheeda, along with a few other families, was staying at the home of Naseem-ul-Hassan, a 59-year-old businessman, after communal violence erupted in northeast Delhi. Hassan recalled what he saw on the day of the attack. The attackers—at least some of whom, Hassan said, were wearing uniforms of a “force”—broke the main gate of the Farooqia Masjid around the time of the Maghrib namaaz, which is performed at around 6.30 pm. He confirmed that the uniformed attackers were not sporting visible name badges, echoing Tahir. The cops then dragged the Muslim men who were performing namaz out of the mosque and “left some of them to die,” Hassan said. He showed me some blood stains on the gate and said the attackers burnt the mosque. 2 other local residents said that they had witnessed the same sequence of events, but asked not to be named. Farooqia Masjid’s desecration was evident—its walls were charred and several of the beddings and coolers had been burnt. The destruction of the madrasa next door was also visible, with books burnt halfway to ashes and its walls covered in soot.
Mustafabad's Farooqiya Masjid Muezzin Says: "It's Police Who Torched; Poured Petrol All Over And Set Fire";-poured-petrol-all-over-and-set-fire-
Number of missing husbands and sons going up as riot-hit Delhi tries to pick up the pieces
New Delhi: 30-year-old Nazia has been searching for her husband, Mohammaed Shahid, since 25 February.It was one of the deadliest days of the Delhi riots, when a mob of men entered Nazia and Shahid’s home late at night.“They started breaking everything, abusing us,” Nazia said.When they tried to attack the couple and their three children, Shahid knew he had to save his family.“They caught hold of him. He told us to run out of the home and said he will follow us. He never did,” Nazia told ThePrint.Nazia had been since living in a relief camp at Chaman Park, all the while hoping her husband would somehow show up.On 9 March, after shifting to the Mustafabad-eidgah relief camp, she finally decided to approach the police help desk set up inside.The Delhi Waqf Board has set up legal as well as police help desks at the huge relief camp in Mustafabad.“If they need any legal help, or wish to file complaints but don’t know which station to go to, they can just file the complaints here,” Mohammed Imran, Delhi Waqf Board nodal officer appointed at the relief camp, told ThePrint.The police and legal help desks have received at least 13 missing persons complaints since it was set up on 4 March.“With the rate at which we are getting these complaints, we only expect the number of missing persons to rise,” Aaqib Khan, SC advocate affiliated with the Waqf Board’s legal team, told ThePrint.He added that the complainants are mostly about fathers or sons missing since the deadly riots hit Northeast Delhi on 24 and 25 February. The legal and police help desks have received over 800 complaints over the last week, including those pertaining to women being robbed of their jewellery, vandalism of homes and shops, and torching of vehicles.A member of the Delhi Waqf Board, who did not wish to be named, said the number of missing persons is expected to “drastically” rise.Meanwhile, Nazia whose youngest child is 3 years old, said police desk helped her register a missing persons complaint for her husband. “My house is destroyed. All I want now is for my husband to be safe and come back to us,” she said.
Delhi Police is ignoring complaints and scuttling investigation in communal violence cases
On the evening of February 24, violent mobs had taken over the streets of North East Delhi when Naseer Khan and his sister made their way back home from a hospital visit. A taxi dropped them to their neighbourhood, North Ghonda, but witnessing the rioting, the driver panicked.“Ola cab driver was scared to go home alone,” recalled Abdul Jaleel Khan, Naseer Khan’s father. Naseer Khan, 30, a clerk in NCC, youth organisation of Indian armed forces, decided to accompany him.The driver, who lived in the nearby Yamuna Vihar, reached home safely. Naseer Khan walked back. As he entered his lane, right outside his house, a bullet pierced his left eye. His father and his elder brother Khalid Khan rushed him to a hospital in a neighbour’s auto-rickshaw. He survived but lost vision in his left eye.Two weeks later, on March 9, Naseer Khan lay recovering in GTB Hospital.His father said no police official had contacted them. “They have not asked us even once what happened,” he said. No medico-legal certificate had been given to them – a mandatory requirement in medical cases that warrant investigation by the police. No witness statement had been recorded. No police First Information Report had been spoke to the families of many victims of the violence who allege the police have not only been passive, failing to pursue such cases independently, even after they submitted written complaints, the police have ignored them.In one case, the police did not file an FIR after a family reported a young man was missing. His body was later fished out of a drain, but the family claims no FIR has been filed yet.In another case, the police belatedly filed an FIR – but without taking into account the complaint of a man who claims to have witnessed his brother fall to bullets fired by uniformed men.His neighbours have recorded videos of the violent mob gathered in their lane that evening. In the videos, which has reviewed, men armed with rods can be seen hurling verbal abuses and threats, with gunshots heard in the background.scroll
Delhi-riot victims are harassed while culprits remain scot-free: Jamaat-e-Islami
New Delhi:A prominent Muslim organisation of India, the Jamaat-e-Islami Hind (JIH) today accused the Delhi Police for what is called ‘high handedness’ while dealing with the victims of the North East Delhi riots.In a press statement, JIH’s Community Affairs Secretary Malik Mohtasim Khan said: “it is very shocking that the Delhi police is harassing the victims of the North East Delhi riots while the culprits remain scot-free.” The high handedness has created a fear psychosis among the victims of the riots and they are reluctant to file FIRs and come forward and press charges against those who perpetrated wanton acts of violence.A case in point is the arrest of the owner of a private school, which was torched during the riots. The school has also been sealed by the police causing unnecessary trouble to students and parents in the exam season. The trustees of mosques that were vandalized and burnt are being pursued by the police as if they are the real offenders.”The JIH Secretary said: “We will be going to Delhi High Court to file a habeas corpus plea as there are many persons who have been detained or arrested that had no role in the riots and violence. Jamaat along with like-minded human-rights organization like APCR is also working on the legal front to lodge FIRs, to help victims fill out the compensation forms, to initiate bail applications and recording testimonies of victims.”theindianawaaz
Jamaat To Move High Court On Delhi Violence
700 FIRs registered; 2647 people held in connection with Delhi violence says Home Minister in Parliament
During Budget Session of the Parliament today after a discussion on Delhi violence, Union Home Minister Amit Shah  has said, from 27 Feb, 700 FIRs have been registered, cases against both communities. 2647 people have been detained/arrested. CCTV footage being analysed on 25 computers. The software does not recognise religion. We have voter ID, driving license and other details to the face recognition software and identified 1100 people. Nearly 300 people came from Uttar Pradesh, U.P also sent data. It was a huge conspiracy. 40 teams have been formed. The spread of riots on such a big scale in such a short time is not possible without a conspiracy. We are also looking through this angle.I don't know how many Hindus or Muslims died in the riots but what I know is 52 Indians died."Modi government will not spare anyone from "either or" side. Scientific evidence being collected. Two SITs will investigate 49 serious cases, 152 arms used in riots also seized. 600 Peace committee meetings held till now. We have registered a separate case of conspiracy, " Shah added.thehindu
Amit Shah on Delhi riots probe: 1100 people identified using face recognition tech, 300 came from UP
New Delhi:Home Minister Amit Shah has informed Lok Sabha that at least 1100 people, who were involved in Delhi riots, have been identified using the face identified technology."We are using face-recognition software to identify people behind the violence. We have also fed Aadhaar, driving license data into this software. The software has identified 1100 people, 300 of these people came from UP to carry out violence," Home Minister Amit Shah said.Amit Shah said that the facial identification technique does not discriminate between communities and religions, "We entered Voter ID data and other information available with the government to identify people who were involved in the riots."indiatoday
Delhi riots: ED books Tahir Hussain, PFI on money laundering charges
New Delhi:Enforcement Directorate has booked suspended AAP councillor Tahir Hussain, PFI and some others on the charges of money laundering and alleged funding of last month''s communal riots in northeast Delhi, officials said on Wednesday.They said the central probe agency has filed a criminal case against Hussain, facing charges of killing an IN official during the riots, under PMLA.Similar charges have been pressed against PFI, which is already facing a separate PMLA probe for allegedly fuelling protests against CAA in various parts of the country.ED is expected to seek Hussain''s custody to question him in the case. He is in the custody of Delhi Police at present.The officials said the federal agency has taken cognisance of a clutch of FIRs filed by Delhi Police''s Crime Branch to probe the alleged money laundering and routing of illegal funds by Hussain, PFI and others to purportedly sponsor the riots.PTI
Minor's Death in Madhya Pradesh Falsely Attributed to Delhi Riots; Tahir Hussain Blamed
Several social media users have posted an image of a minor girl and claimed that her burnt clothes were found at AAP councillor Tahir Hussain’s residence. The claim adds that the girl’s naked corpse was found in a drain connected to his house. “She has been identified,” it alleges.[Translated from #ताहिर #हुसैन के आतंक की फैक्ट्री घर से जिस लड़की के कपड़े बरामद हुवे थे और बदन पर एक कपड़ा भी नही था उसकी नाले में लाश मिली थी उसकी पहचान हो चुकी है].In order to protect the identity of the minor, Alt News has not attached the screenshots of the viral posts.Several right-wing media websites such as Hindu Post (archive link), Sirf News (archive link), Best Hindi News (archive link) and National Dunia (report deleted) also shared the viral image of the minor claiming that she was found in the drain near Hussain’s house.thewire
Delhi riots: Shahrukh sent to 14-day judicial custody
NEW DELHI: A Court here on Tuesday sent Shahrukh Khan, who brandished gun at a police head constable during the violence in Delhi’s northeast area, to 14-day judicial custody. He has presented the Karkardooma court at the end of his 3-day remand period amidst high security.The police have yet not been able to establish his association with any gang. IANS
Amit Shah Says Opposition's Hate Speech Incited Delhi Riots, Cops Didn't Allow Delhi Violence To Spread
After the opposition in Lok Sabha on Wednesday demanded the resignation of Home Minister Amit Shah for failing to contain the violence in Delhi for nearly three days and questioned his silence, the senior BJP leader said that he wanted the discussion on the issue after Holi to "avoid a communal flare-up during the festival time".While the opposition castigated the role of Delhi Police in containing and mitigating the riots in the northeast district of the national capital, Shah said that the police deserved praise for bringing the situation under control.  "I would like to praise police preventing the violence from spreading to other areas," Shah said in Lok Sabha.He said the police contained the violence within 36 hours.Shah said after Feb.25, "no incident of rioting took place".He, however, alleged that there have been attempts to politicise these riots.Shah said that anyone involved in Delhi riots will not be spared but ensured that no innocent will be harassed. He said those who damaged the properties will be made to pay for it.  Shah, however, did not comment on the allegations against BJP leader Kapil Mishra for inciting the riots in the northeast district of Delhi. outlookindia
"Cops Didn't Allow Delhi Violence To Spread": Amit Shah's Top Quotes
Sonia Gandhi's speech led to Delhi riots: BJP MP Lekhi in Lok Sabha
New Delhi:BJP MP Meenakshi Lekhi has alleged that Congress acting chief Sonia Gandhi's speech in Ramlila Maidan on December 14 had set the grounds for the unrest that led to riots in North East Delhi.While addressing the Lok Sabha, Meenakshi Lekhi alleged that Sonia Gandhi had told people that the fight against CAA was at a 'do or die stage' on December 14 and on December 15 the Jamia incident took place. As per her speech, the subsequent protests in the Shaheen Bagh area were the cause of the Delhi riots."All the riots began because of CAA protest," BJP MP told the House.indiatoday
Delhi Violence: ‘Calling it Communal Violence a Joke, It Was a Pogrom,’ Says Asaduddin Owaisi in Lok Sabha
New Delhi: AIMIM chief Asaduddin Owaisi on Wednesday ‘reiterated’ his stance that February’s communal violence in northeast Delhi was a ‘pogrom,’ calling upon the government to set up an inquiry under a sitting Supreme Court or High Court judge to probe the riots in which a death toll of more than 50 has been recorded thus far.Speaking on the issue, Owaisi said, “To call it a communal riot will be a joke. It was a pogrom. This is not a question of Hindu or Muslim, this is about whether the government will rise up to its Constitutional duty. ”india
Delhi Riots: Modi Govt Should Have Asked For A Court-Monitored Probe, Says Journalist Who Covered 1984, 2002 Violence
New Delhi:Learning from the incidents of communal violence in 1984 and 2002, Modi-led government, if it is earnest about probing the recent violence in the national capital, should have sought a Delhi High Court monitored investigation led by police officials from outside the Delhi Police to instil confidence among citizens, author and journalist Manoj Mitta said in an interview with HuffPost India. “The lessons that were clear for all to see from 84 and 2002 were that you should have an SIT from outside and it should ideally be court monitored,” said Mitta, who spent several years researching and writing about communal violence that occurred in 1984 and 2002—years which have come to represent anti-sikh violence in Delhi and anti-muslim violence in Gujarat, respectively. The author of ‘When A Tree Shook Delhi: The 1984 Carnage And Its Aftermath’ and ‘The Fiction Of Fact Finding: A Study Of The Gujarat 2002 Investigations’ feels that both Rajiv Gandhi and Narendra Modi were one-sided in a similar way and against the respective minority communities which were targeted under their rule. “Whereas in 2002, this happened at an early stage of the violence which went on for several weeks. So it was there for all to see, the signal, at an early stage. At a sensitive stage of the violence. So I see that one-sidedness in 84, 2002 and unfortunately, much to my disappointment and shock, even in 2020.”huffingtonpost
 Delhi riots: Minorities commission sets up 10-member body for detailed probe
 A week after coming out with a report that stated that the communal violence in north-east Delhi last month was ‘one-sided, well-planned and maximum damage was inflicted on Muslim houses and shops with local support’, Delhi Minorities Commission on Wednesday set up a 10-member committee for a more detailed probe.The committee has been asked to probe the causes of violence, pinpoint people responsible, collate lists of victims and do an assessment of the quantum of damage to properties, the role of police, administration and others, and investigate other related issues, said the Delhi Minorities Commission in a statement on Wednesday.10-member committee, which comprises mostly lawyers and activists, has been tasked with submitting its report in four weeks. It was made functional on Wednesday.HT
Delhi Riots: HC allows disposal of unidentified dead bodies two weeks after publication of names
Modifying its earlier order, Delhi High Court today allowed the authorities to dispose of unidentified dead bodies recovered in the wake of the riots in the North East area of the city two weeks after the date of publication of their names.A Division Bench of Justices Vipin Sanghi and Rajneesh Bhattnagar also stated that the authorities shall call persons who have made complaints regarding disappearance of their kin etc. to facilitate identification of unidentified dead bodies.The order was passed in a habeas corpus petition preferred by one Ansari Mohd Arif concerning the disappearance of one Hamza. Earlier, the High Court had directed government hospitals in the city not to dispose of unidentified dead bodies till further orders. Modification was made following the Police's submission that bodies could not be kept in mortuaries for an indefinite period of time.As per the orders passed on March 5 and 6, the Delhi Police has been publishing the details of all the unidentified dead bodies that are lying in various hospital mortuaries. It has also been preserving DNA samples, it was submitted.The post-mortem of dead bodies are also being
Delhi riots: Jamiat files writ petition in court
New Delhi: Jamiat Ulama-i-Hind files a writ petition in the Delhi Court against the government for its lackadaisical attitude during communal riots in Delhi. The petition demands action against the involvement and complicity of police, formation a SIT and financial compensation to riot victims.Maulana Mahmood Madani, General Secretary of Jamiat has filed a writ petition in the Delhi High court against the government for its lackadaisical attitude during communal riots in Delhi. While seeking FIRs against the culprits/rioters the Muslim body demands probe into the riots by the constituting SIT headed by a judicial member, a retired judge of the Honorable Supreme Court or Delhi High Court and excluding the members of Delhi Police Force. siasat
Send footage, photos to help riots investigation: Delhi Police to citizens
Delhi Police today appealed residents of Delhi as well as media persons to send videos, footages and pictures that will help in the investigation of the incidents of rioting in North East district." Police request the cooperation of residents of Delhi including media persons to send video footages, pictures or any information that will help in the investigation of the incidents of rioting in North East Delhi," Delhi Police tweeted.ANI
Delhi HC notice to Centre, social media platforms on plea against hate speech
Delhi High Court on Wednesday issued notice to the central government and various social media organisations on a plea seeking immediate action through notified designated officers for removal of fake news and hate speech being circulated through social media platforms.Senior leader KN Govindacharya, through Advocate Virag Gupta, has moved the plea before the High Court accusing various social media platforms of misusing the idea of free speech and not complying with Indian laws which results in divisive society and riots like situation.After hearing the submission by Gupta, Division Bench of Chief Justice DN Patel and Justice C Harishankar sought response from the Ministry of Home Affairs, Ministry of Finance and Ministry of Electronics and Information Technology along with social media giant Google India, Facebook India and Twitter India on the plea and slated the matter for April 13.The plea states that as per Delhi Police,social media platforms have become a haven for hate speech regarding which there is no clear mechanism to enforce justice. The situation is akin to Shaheen Bagh, wherein everybody agrees that there exists a right to protest, but surely such right cannot be exercised on a public road. Similarly, the social media platforms cannot become a tool for rioting, even as they claim freedom of speech and expression, the plea mentions.ANI

*anti-CAA,NRC-NPR stir*
UP govt moves SC seeking freeze on HC’s ‘name and shame’ hoardings removal order
New Delhi :Over the ‘name and shame’ hoardings case in which Allahabad High Court ordered the immediate removal of the hoardings, the Yogi Adityanath-led Uttar Pradesh government moved the Supreme Court seeking a freeze on the order.The case will be heard by the apex court tomorrow.The hoardings named those accused of violence during the protests against the contentious CAA. It also included photos and other personal details of accused in the violence. Allahabad High Court had on Monday ordered the immediate removal of the hoardings, which UP government had not complied with.In around 100 hoardings which were at different intersections in the capital city of Uttar Pradesh, some people were asked to pay for damage to public property and also warned of property attachment in case of non-compliance.However, the judges had said that they are not concerned about the compensation, but the government’s disclosure of personal details of the accused persons.In one particular photograph put up on the hoardings, the photograph of a minor was also seen.thestatesman
3 months after damage during anti-CAA stir, one Jamia library reopens
New Delhi: Nearly three months after two libraries of Jamia Millia Islamia were damaged in alleged police crackdown, Zakir Husain Central Library was reopened for students on Wednesday. The two libraries – one old and another constructed a decade ago – are located about 100 metres from each other.“While the new library’s books’ issue-deposit section and reading halls have been opened for students from today, the old library remains closed,” said Jamia’s media coordinator Ahmad Azeem. “The damages in old library are far more extensive than the new one. We’re hoping to start before the even semester exams.”Officials said the library witnessed a huge footfall after its doors were opened on Wednesday afternoon. “Our reading hall capacity is at around 600 and it was filled within minutes. All normal functioning, including issuing of books and accessing the digital resource centre resumed today,” said a library official.HT
'How Rightwing Media Outlets' Obsession with Shaheen Bagh Led to False Reporting'
New Delhi: “Rightwing news channels” swarmed the anti-CAA protest hotspot which is Shaheen Bagh to run another campaign to delegitimise the protests that had entered their 83rd day on last Friday.In a bid to reinforce the ongoing narrative against the protests, news channels including Republic TV, OpIndia and India TV carried stories that suggested that the protesters had given up. However, a day after these channels trended #EmptyShaheenBagh on Twitter, the protest site was packed with the demonstrators making preparations for Women’s Day to be observed on March 8. Kausar Shaheen, a lady in her forties, summed it up well when she stood with a microphone, voice resounding through multiple speakers, and exhorted upon them to maintain their support to the movement in the face of a brutal campaign to derail the protests by rightwing politicians and mainstream media.“Let us pledge that we don’t speak to the state-sponsored media who instead of reporting the truth serve the interests of the regime,” Shaheen said, while addressing the crowd. Republic TV on its primetime debate on Friday stated that the reason behind the diminishing number of demonstrators is the lack of coverage by the “partner media”— a term ostensibly used by the channel for outlets which have been countering and fact-checking Republic TV’s narrative.A imaginative reason that the channel gave for the low number of protesters was the “disruption in serving of biryani”. “Levelling allegations has become a norm for the state-sponsored media,” a protester told the writers, asking for anonymity.Similar attempts were made by India TV when Meenakshi Joshi and Diksha Pandey from the channel visited Shaheen Bagh at around 2 pm on Friday when most of the participants were not present at the site of protest. Omer Fayaz, Rayees Amin, thewire
No proposal to bring law to check road blocking incidents by protestors:Union  Govt
 Union minister G Kishan Reddy informed the parliament on Wednesday that there is no proposal at present for a legislation to check the recurrence of road blocking incidents by protestors like in Shaheen Bagh, in the future.In a written reply in Rajya Sabha, the Minister of State for Home Affairs said as reported by Delhi Police, one road in the jurisdiction of Police Station, Shaheen Bagh; one service road in the area of Police Post Sarai Rohilla and part of one carriageway in South East Delhi have been blocked by protesters who are protesting against the CAA and NRC.On the question about assessment of loss incurred due to such blockages, Reddy said, "No assessment has been done about the loss incurred to general public due to blocking of road."PTI
Anti-CAA editor named as Congress-AIUDF common candiate for Assam RS seat
Guwahati:In what is seen as a step towards opposition unity ahead of next year's Assembly elections, Congress and AIUDF decided to support anti-CAA editor, Ajit Kumar Bhuyan for one of the three Rajya Sabha seats in Assam.Elections for the three seats are scheduled for March 26. "Since neither we (Congress) nor AIUDF has the number to win the seat alone, we decided to support Bhuyan. We wanted a candidate who is secular and can take the anti-CAA movement forward and we think Bhuyan is a good choice," Ripun Bora, president of Asom Pradesh Congress Committee told reporters in New Delhi, after a meeting with senior leaders of the party.deccanherald
TN govt refuses to pass anti-CAA resolution, says it would be cheating the public
CHENNAI: AIADMK government on Wednesday made it clear that it would not adopt a resolution against CAA as such a step would be tantamount to cheating the public.“Leader of Opposition MK Stalin demands adopting a resolution against CAA. But he knows well that a resolution adopted by the State Assembly will not be binding on a legislation enacted by Parliament. So, adopting such a resolution will be akin to cheating the people,” Revenue Minister RB Udhayakumar said responding to the issue raised by Stalin during the zero hour.Reiterating that the minorities need not have any fears over the NPR, the Minister said, “All cases relating to CAA will be dealt with only by the Supreme Court. Hence, the House should ponder over how adopting a resolution against the CAA, an issue contested before the apex court, will safeguard the interests of the people here,” he added.Deputy Chief Minister O Panneerselvam said, “AIADMK has been safeguarding the interests of all sections of the people for over four decades. So, the AIADMK government will check any trouble for minorities including Muslims and Christians.”newindianexpress
14 Organisations march against CAA in Ludhiana, raise voice against Delhi Riots
A collection of 14 organisations comprising farmers, industrial, agrarian and power workers, youth and student groups along with several religious groups organised a district level rally at Jalandhar Bypass in Ludhiana, against the CAA, NPR and NRC and the recent riots in New Delhi.Thousands of men and women from different faiths and ethnicities raised slogans like “Long live the brotherhood of Hindu-Muslim-Sikh-Christian workers” and “Death to Fascism” at the rally. The protesters also passed a resolution of their demands, which included that the CAA-NPR-NRC be immediately repealed, all detention centres be closed and the people detained be released, communal violence being incited be stopped and those inciting violence be arrested and punished.Additionally, the resolution also demanded that all forms of attacks against those protesting, including the protesters at Shaheen Bagh, be stopped and that action be taken against those officers involved in the attacks on JNU and Jamia university.The rally was addressed by Joginder Singh Ugrahan, the president of BKU (Ekta-Ugrahan); Manjeet Singh Dhaner, senior vice president of BKU (Ekta-Dakaunda); Rajwinder, president of Textile-Hosiery Workers’ Union; Maulana Md. Usman Ludhianavi, the leader of Majlis Ahrar Islam Hind Jama Masjid; Binny, the leader of Naujwan Bharat Sabha (Lalkaar); Harjinder Singh, the president of Molder and Steel Workers’ Union, and others.thewire
Kerala: Dalits, Adivasis urged to join protest against CAA
Kasaragod:Prakash Yashwant Ambedkar, social activists and grandson of B.R. Ambedkar, has said that while the Muslims are awake to the danger posed by CAA, Dalits and Adivasis should also raise their voice against it.Speaking at the launch of the Bhim Vahana Yatra, a Statewide yatra to create awareness on the Constitution, organised by the Dalit, Adivasi, Stree Pouravakasha Koottayma, here on Tuesday, he said the new citizenship law would hurt the Dalits and Adivasis just as much as it would the Muslims.“Of the 19 lakh people who could not make it to the National Register of Citizens, four lakh are Muslims. But 7 lakh are Dalits and Adivasis,” he said adding that a lie was being propagated that the new Act would not affect the Dalits and Adivasis.There are about 10 lakh people belonging to nomadic tribes and they do not possess any documents to prove their nativity, said Prakash.As per the Constitution, a person is an Indian if born in India. But this new law is asking for proof, he said.Bhim Vahana Yatra, led by activist M. Geethanandan, was scheduled to reach Raj Bhavan in Thiruvananthapuram on March 22, after touring 13 districts. But it has been deferred following the government advisory on COVID-19.thehindu
Jyotiraditya Scindia joins BJP, says there is ‘denial of reality’ in Congress; BJP announces his nomination for Rajya Sabha polls
New Delhi :A day after severing his ties with the Congress, four-time MP and former union minister Jyotiraditya Scindia on Wednesday joined BJP in presence of party chief JP Nadda. Lashing out at his previous organisation, Scindia said that the party is not the same as it used to be and is far removed from reality.“I would like to thank JP Nadda ji, PM Narendra Modi, Home Minister Amit Shah that they invited me to their family and gave me a place in it,” Scindia told media minutes after being inducted into the BJP. He further said that the country’s future is totally secure in PM Modi’s hands.In a veiled attack on Kamal Nath-led Congress government, Scindia also said, “the dream we saw for Madhya Pradesh has been shattered in 18 months.”Minutes after press conference, BJP announced that Scindia along with Harsh Chauhan of the Vanvasi Kalyan Ashram will be its two nominees for the Rajya Sabha polls from Madhya Pradesh.On Tuesday, Scindia had walked out of Congress along with 22 MLAs, pushing Congress-led government in Madhya Pradesh on the brink of collapse. He had posted his resignation letter on Twitter minutes after meeting PM Modi along with Shah.According to sources in BJP, Shah played a pivotal role in Scindia’s departure from Congress. Shah, who handed over party’s reins to Nadda earlier this year, has been in discussions with Scindia, who was miffed with the Congress leadership for sidelining him. While Union minister Dharmendra Pradhan was tasked with conducting negotiations, Narendra Singh Tomar was put in charge of mustering the numbers to topple Kamal Nath government.Scindia’s charisma and family legacy could help BJP consolidate its support base in the Gwalior-Chambal region, where the Congress still has some stronghold constituencies. Interestingly, his father Madhavrao Scindia was part of a rebellion in 1996 and had floated a separate political outfit called MP Vikas Congress, which was part of the third front government in 1996. However, he returned to the Congress fold later.However, MP Congress, left on edge, put up a brave face and expressed confidence in the Kamal Nath-led govt and said it “will survive” because it “has the numbers”.MP govnt has a wafer-thin majority in 230-membered House. It has 114 Congress MLAs and the support of 4 Independents, 2 BSP MLAs and one SP MLA. BJP, meanwhile, has 107 members. However, the resignations Tuesday of 22 Congress MLAs have reduced the party’s strength to 92, and the government’s support to 99. It also brings down the majority needed in the assembly to form a government to 104, well within the reach of BJP.BJP and the Congress have moved their MLAs out of Madhya Pradesh amid the crisis. While Congress will likely shift its 92 MLAs to Jaipur, saffron party has put up its leaders in Gurgoan, PTI reported.
BJP announces names of 9 candidates for Rajya Sabha polls
The BJP on Wednesday released its list of candidates for the upcoming Rajya Sabha biennial elections. The list includes the name of Party's new member Jyotiraditya Scindia, who has been nominated from MP. According to sources, Scindia will fly back to Bhopal to file his nomination on Thursday as March 13 is the last day. BJP announced the names of its nine Rajya Sabha candidates, including former Congress leader Bhubaneswar Kalita from Assam, and allotted two seats to its allies, including Dalit leader and Union minister Ramdas Athawale from Maharashtra.Counting will be held on the evening of March 26, an hour after the conclusion of polls.republicworld
13 of 22 rebel Cong MLAs say they won’t quit Cong, confident of winning floor test: Digvijaya
13 of the 22 rebel MLAs in Madhya Pradesh have given an assurance that “they are not leaving the Congress”, senior party leader Digvijaya Singh said on Thursday while expressing confidence that Kamal Nath-led government in the state will win a floor test.“We are not keeping quiet. We are not sleeping,” Singh told PTI, a day after Congress leader Jyotiraditya Scindia quit the Congress and 22 MLAs submitted their resignations from the assembly in Madhya Pradesh.  “We did not anticipate that Scindia will quit the Congress… that was a mistake,” Singh said.PTI
In first remark on MP crisis, Rahul targets PM for ‘destabilising elected Congress govt’
In his first comment on the unfolding crisis in MP, Congress leader Rahul Gandhi Wednesday targeted the Prime Minister for “destabilising an elected Congress government”. Rahul was pointing out the high petrol prices in the country despite the 35 per cent crash in global oil prices. He said PM Narendra Modi may have “missed noticing” this while “busy destabilising an elected Congress government”.Rahul said the Centre should pass on the benefits of the global oil crash to Indians by slashing petrol prices to under Rs 60/litre. indianexpress
Kamal Nath govt will survive, all independent MLAs with us:MLA Surendra Singh                
Amid the ongoing political turmoil in Madhya Pradesh, Independent MLA Surendra Singh Shera on Wednesday said that the Kamal Nath-led Congress government will survive."The government will survive. All independent MLAs are with us, they are all my friends. We will bring back the MLAs who are in Bengaluru," said Shera while talking to reporters here.Congress MLA Umang Singhar informed that the resignations of MLAs who are in Bengaluru have not been accepted yet and said, "All MLAs are in touch with us; their resignations have not yet been accepted.ANI
Twist in MP crisis rebel as Congress MLAs say they were ‘misled’ by Scindia
In a fresh twist to the ongoing Madhya Pradesh political crisis, rebel Congress MLAs are believed to be unhappy with Jyotiraditya Scindia for his decision to join the BJP. A report by news agency IANS said that at least ‘eight to nine’ rebel Congress MLAs, who resigned from the Madhya Pradesh assembly on Tuesday, were said to be upset with Scindia. These rebel MLAs, the report added, do not want to resign and contest elections again.Elsewhere, senior Madhya Pradesh Congress leader Sajjan Singh Verma met the rebel MLAs in Bengaluru and said that none of them wanted to ‘go with’ Scindia. News agency ANI quoted Verma as saying, “Nobody is ready to go with Scindia ji. They said they were misled and taken to Bengaluru, most of them said they are not ready to join BJP.”jantakareporter
‘Madhya Pradesh virus’ won’t enter Maharashtra: Shiv Sena
With the Kamal Nath government teetering on the brink of collapse following the resignation of 22 MLAs and the quitting of Jyotiraditya Scindia from Congress, Shiv Sena leader Sanjay Raut on Wednesday said the Maha Vikas Aghadi government was safe and the “Madhya Pradesh virus” would not enter Maharashtra.“Madhya Pradesh virus will not enter Maharashtra. Maharashtra’s power is different. One operation flopped 100 days ago. Maha Vikas Aghadi did a bypass surgery and saved Maharashtra,” Sanjay Raut tweeted.NCP chief Sharad Pawar also ruled out a Madhya Pradesh-like political drama in Maharashtra. Talking to reporters at the Vidhan Bhawan, Pawar said Jyotiraditya Scindia, who quit the party to join BJP, had sought “quick rehabilitation” after losing the Lok Sabha poll.indianexpress
*J&K, SOUTH ASIA & india *
J&K HC dismisses plea seeking ban on use of pellet guns by security forces
Jammu and Kashmir High Court on Wednesday dismissed a petition seeking a ban on the use of pellet guns by security forces for crowd control during protests in the Valley.Dismissing PIL, a Division Bench of Justices Ali Mohammad Magrey and Dhiraj Singh Thakur said, “It is manifest that so long as there is violence by unruly mobs, the use of force is inevitable”. PIL was filed by the Kashmir High Court Bar Association in 2016 in the wake of pellet injuries to hundreds of people in the protests that erupted after Hizbul Mujahideen commander Burhan Wani was killed in an encounter with security forces.What kind of force has to be used at a relevant point of time or in a given situation and place “has to be decided by the persons in charge of the place where the attack is happening,” the Bench said.PTI
Former J&K Governor Drops Bombshell, Says He Was Told That 1000 People Might Be Killed If Article 370 Is Revoked                                       
Former Jammu and Kashmir governor Satya Pal Malik has dropped a bombshell claiming that he was told that more than 1000 people might get killed if Article 370 is abrogated."I was told 1,000 people will get killed (for the abrogation of Article 370). When I asked why? I was told that in Kashmir 10 people are killed during Farooq Abdullah's election, 120 people get killed after Burhan Wani's death. People will attack Raj Bhavan," Malik said.He was addressing International Jat Parliament at Vigyan Bhavan, New Delhi,.  Malik, who is currently the Governor of Goa, said a day before Article 370 abrogation, he had called the Chief Secretary to inform him about the decision."I told him not to worry. I have been doing it for five months now. I have understood the people's feelings and made them understand that mere 250 boys have no chance against the world's second strongest army," he added.India Tomorrow
Suspense deepens over Kashmiri couple arrested from Okhla Vihar alleged to have links with ISIS, locals unaware
A Kashmiri couple has been arrested from Jamia Nagar’s Okhla Vihar on charges of having connections with ISIS. Jamia Nagar Police, on Monday, has also taken into custody the landlord and broker for further questioning. Fear has gripped the residents after the arrest as several hours after a search operation, no one in the locality seemed to have known the Kashmiri couple.For, Zia Ur Rahman spent hours trying to collect more details but the only information he could gather was that the couple had been living there for 6 months. Landlord Saeed Abbasi was unavailable as police had already taken him for questioning early morning. His son, though, was willing to share that the local broker, Shuja, had helped the couple buy this flat on rent months back. Since no Rent Agreement had been made between the parties, police verification was still pending.The couple, Jahanzeb Sami and Hina Bashir Baig had rented flat C-4 since October last year. Their neighbors had no clue whether they had more relatives around or not. In fact, they did not even know the Kashmiri couple had been living there for months. When reporter talked to others in the vicinity about the couple, they were completely unaware of the arrest. The immediate neighbor of the couple was also clueless that they were arrested on charges of having links with the terror group ISIS. Some shopkeepers in the area knew about the arrest but they were reluctant to share any information. Our reporter scanned the other shops in the area but found no one who knew about the couple. While talking to other Kashmiris in the area, it was found that none of them knew either Jahanzeb or his wife, Hina.twocircles
PM Modi won India's elections but paralyzed economy: Japan's Nikkei Asian Review
NEW DELHI: In its latest cover story, Japan's Nikkei Asian Review said that Prime Minister Narendra Modi might have won the elections but his policies have paralyzed India's economy. It focuses on how his party's thumping victories in 2014 and 2019 (with a bigger mandate) have not helped in solving India's economic crisis. The article said, "The political and economic crises are tightly interwoven. When Narendra Modi became prime minister at the head of the BJP in 2014, he promised to do for India what he did for his home state of Gujarat, where he had presided over an economic growth spurt. That boom failed to materialise during his first term, which was marred by a botched rollout of a sales tax and the cancellation of most bank notes -- which, in cash-centric India, hit particularly hard. Regardless, he was reelected with a huge majority in 2019. ... instead of using its mandate to tackle the mounting economic challenges, Modi's govt has doubled down on Hindutva, its populist, Hindu nationalist agenda. Backed by RSS, a Hindu ultranationalist group seen as an ideological driving force behind Hindutva, it has revoked Jammu and Kashmir's autonomous status, changed the country's citizenship laws to deny recognition to Muslim immigrants from neighboring countries, and tried to enforce Hinduism as central to India's values and identity. Almost all of the government's political capital has been thrown into this massive social project. Economic reform has fallen by the wayside. 'Prime Minister Modi won the election,' said an executive at a Mumbai venture capital fund. 'But he lost the economy.'"times of India
Maharashtra closes one account in Axis Bank, more to follow
Maharashtra Government has decided to shut down one account it holds in the private sector lender, Axis Bank, as per official notification, issued in Mumbai on Wednesday.The accounts of National Cyclone Risk Mitigation Project (NCRMP) lying with Axis Bank at its Nariman Point Branch will be closed with immediate effect and the funds shall be transferred to a new account to be opened with State Bank of India's Churchgate Branch.The development comes in the wake of the Yes Bank crisis which stunned the country's financial sector last week, preceded by the Punjab & Maharashtra Cooperative Bank last September 2019.Following this, official sources had said that henceforth the state government would bank only with reputed public sector lenders to ensure the safety of all its funds.IANS
SBI waives minimum balance requirement in savings accounts, cuts interest rate to 3%
India’s largest public-sector lender State Bank of India (SBI) scrapped minimum balance requirement on all savings bank accounts.This apart, bank also rationalised interest rate on all savings bank accounts to a flat 3 per cent. The move is likely to impact around 44.51 crore account holders of the public sector lender. Along with these measures, SBI said that it has also waived SMS charges, which will provide a significant relief to all its customers. “Bank has also rationalised interest rate on SB Account to a flat 3 % p.a. for all buckets,” SBI said in a statement.Till now, the interest rate on savings accounts was 3.25 per cent for deposits up to Rs 1 lakh, and 3 per cent for deposits above Rs 1 lakh.“The charges on maintaining AMB (Average Monthly Balance) are now waived off on all 44.51 crore SBI savings bank accounts,” the bank said.Customers of SBI had to maintain an average monthly balance of Rs 3,000, Rs 2,000 and Rs 1,000 in metro, semi-urban and rural areas respectively, failing which they used to levy a penalty of Rs 5 to Rs 15 plus taxes.indianexpress
Malaysia's Sugar Purchases from India Hit Record High as It Seeks to Placate Delhi Amid Diplomatic Spat
India's exports of sugar to Malaysia so far in 2020 have nearly tripled over the figure for all of last year as Kuala Lumpur steps up purchases to placate New Delhi in a trade dispute that halted its palm oil exports to India, trade officials said.The record buying could also help India, the world's biggest producer of sugar, to cut stockpiles that are squeezing domestic prices.India had been the biggest buyer of Malaysian palm oil for five years, but purchases ground to a halt after the January curbs, a retaliation for then prime minister Mahathir Mohamad's criticism of New Delhi's policy regarding its Muslim minority."This year Malaysia was aggressively buying Indian raw sugar, which was a pleasant surprise," said Praful Vithalani, president of All India Sugar Trade Association (AISTA).news18
Ayodhya:Voices of dissent over Muslim Trust for mosque
Ayodhya:Voices of dissent against the Sunni Central Waqf Board, which is scheduled to announce a Trust for the construction of the mosque on a 5-acre plot in the Dhannipur village in Ayodhya district this week, are getting louder.Senior members of the Muslim community are of the opinion that the Trust must be independent and not under control of the Sunni Waqf Board as some members are political appointees and could be remote-controlled.Senior cleric Maulana Salman Nadwi said, "The Trust members should not be appointed randomly. The government must pay compensation and bear cost for construction of the mosque as protecting the mosque was government''s responsibility and it failed to protect it. The trust should be free from government control."Mushtaq Ahmed Siddiqui, member of Babri Masjid Action Committee (BMAC) and a senior lawyer in the title suit, said, "The Supreme Court had given land to Muslims against Claim No. 4 and the Waqf Board has been mentioned in the operative portion. So, Sunni Waqf Board has no right to take a decision on formation of Trust."Member of Sunni Central Waqf Board, Advocate Abdul Razzaq said, "The waqf board is a den of corruption and if they control the Trust, there will be serious irregularities. The union government must constitute the Trust for building the mosque as it did for the Ram temple."All India Milli Council that was also a litigant in the title suit, said that reputed Islamic seminaries and reputed individuals should be given representation in the trust.Retired IAS officer Anees Ansari said, "If the Muslim community wishes to see an independent Trust, Muslim organisations like AIMPLB, Jamiat Ulema Hind, Ahle-Hadees must participate to free it from the clutches of the government agencies."IANS
No Justice for Lynched Man’s Family; Kin Slapped with Section 111 CrPC Notice
Sonbhadra: 25-year old Hasnain Anwar Seikh has been running from pillar to post to get justice for his father, Anwar Ali, who was lynched by a mob in Parsoi village of Sonbhadra district in March 2019.Hasnain told NewsClick that two Holis have passed but officials and authorities have not even moved an inch to investigate the matter while the family has been suffering. “We are poor people and we had to be displaced from Parsoi to Obra town, only because we were in fear and being pressurised by those who lynched our father to remove the Imam Chowk,” he said. Imam Chowk is a holy Islamic structure which houses Taziya.  Hasnain said that ever since his father died, the family hardly visits the village. However, his mother still lives in the house since it was built by his father. “She wants to live with those memories. My mother is scared that someday a mob will come and damage the Imam Chowk, the same way as it happened when my father was killed,” he added. Hasnain said he feels someone has “cursed” their village because such incidents never happened earlier and that people lived peacefully in the area. “But now, people are against us. They do not want to see us and these are the same people who I have grown up with and played with in my childhood,” he said. Anwar alleged that everything that has happened was because of Ravinder Kharwar, the primary accused in his father’s lynching, who happens to be a teacher at state-run school. “He was not arrested or even taken into custody for interrogation. He was running RSS shakha here in the village when my father was lynched. He is an influential man who has good connections with politicians. He even managed to get a transfer at a primary school in a different block of the same district where he has been going to teach kids regularly,” Anwar claimed. NewsClick visited the primary school in Chopan Block and locals confirmed that Ravinder Kharwar was indeed teaching there. However, since it was Sunday, school headmaster was unavailable for comment and the school register was beyond access. newsclick
Communal tension: 2 autos vandalised in Coimbatore
Coimbatore: 2 more autorickshaws belonging to Hindu and Muslim outfit members were vandalised by bike-borne miscreants on Monday late night in the city. This is the sixth consecutive vehicle assault incident in the past week in the city. According to the police, one auto belongs to Mohammad Sheriff (39), a functionary of a trade union attached with Manithaneya Makkal Katchi.A resident of Thirumoorthy Nagar near Kuniyamuthur in the city, his auto was attacked on Puttuvikky road near Kovaipudur around 11.30 pm. He was reportedly heading towards a house when four unidentified persons came from the opposite direction and pelted the windshield of his auto with stones. On alert, the city police and DCP (Law and Order) L Balaji Saravanan reached the spot. Kuniyamuthur police registered a case and investigating. Another auto rickshaw, owned by a BJP trade union functionary, was damaged by unidentified men in the same locality. Karthik (26) of Ganga Nagar near Kuniyamuthur lodged a complaint with Kuniyamuthur police, who registered the case and investigating. Meanwhile, the city police arrested two persons on Tuesday, for allegedly vandalizing two parked vehicles belonging to a Muslim trader on Monday in the city. newindianexpress
Meghalaya: Over 20 people arrested for allegedly lynching man due to kidnapping rumours
The police in Meghalaya’s East Khasi Hills district arrested more than 20 people for allegedly lynching a man on Sunday night under the suspicion that he was a kidnapper, The Telegraph reported on Wednesday. A mob allegedly attacked a group of nine youngsters in Mawkynrew block of the district while they were on their way back from a picnic at Syntung village.Six of the nine reportedly managed to escape to a nearby forest area, but some of them were seriously injured. Another person, identified as 24-year-old Macmillan Kharshandy, succumbed to his injuries before he was admitted to the Shillong civil hospital. His final rites were performed on Tuesday. scroll
241 lives lost in 2 years due to attacks by stray cattle in Haryana; ‘10,772 cattle deaths in Sirsa gaushalas:RTI activist
Chandigarh :Attacks BY stray cattle have claimed as many as 241 lives in the past two years in Haryana, the state police has disclosed in response to an RTI application filed by an activist PP Kapoor.Between January 1, 2018, and March 2, 2020, a maximum of 40 persons died in Fatehabad district while stray cattle claimed 36 lives in Ambala district. This number was 23 for Kaithal and Sirsa while 19 persons died in Hisar district and 16 persons lost their lives in Panchkula district. “Stray cattle claimed lives in Sonipat (14), Bhiwani (13), Jhajjar (10), Karnal (9), Rewari (7), Yamunanagar (7), Kurukshetra (4), Charkhi Dadri (3), Faridabad (2), Palwal (2) and Panipat (1). These are figures of police. The real number might be much higher,” said Kapoor.According to the police, no stray cattle-related death took place in Gurugram, Jind, Nuh and Narnaul in 2 years.Kapoor claimed that there are around four lakh cows and progeny in gaushalas, while 1.5 lakh are still on the roads in the state. He also claimed that as many as 10,772 cows and progeny have died in the gaushalas of Sirsa district in 2017-18.indianexpress
Suspension of 7 Congress Lok Sabha MPs withdrawn
New Delhi :The suspension of seven Congress MPs from the Lok Sabha was withdrawn on Wednesday. It comes a week after a motion on the same was passed by a voice vote amid protests by opposition members in the House. Earlier on Wednesday, Lok Sabha Speaker Om Birla had adjourned the House for an hour till 1.30 pm after uproar over the issue. Congress MPs had demanded the suspension order be rescinded.indianexpress
Delhi gangrape case: Convict Pawan Gupta moves court against two constables, alleging assault
Pawan Gupta, one of the four death-row convicts in the 2012 Delhi gangrape and murder case, on Wednesday moved a Delhi court seeking the filing of cases against two constables for allegedly assaulting him in jail, PTI reported. Akshay Thakur, Vinay Sharma, Mukesh Singh and Pawan Gupta are scheduled to be hanged at Tihar Jail in Delhi on March 20 at 5.30 am.AP Singh, the counsel for Gupta, said the court of Chief Metropolitan Magistrate, Karkardooma will hear his claim on Thursday at 2 pm.scroll
With 60 confirmed COVID-19 cases, how cities across India are coping
A taxi driver for 6 years now, Guwahati’s Ramjan Ali says “meeting strangers” is a part of his job. And in the times of COVID-19, he has no choice but to be “extra-careful”. That involves minimum contact with his customer, including conversation. “My eyes are fixed on the road,” said Ali, behind the wheel, as he ferries customers around Guwahati on a Wednesday morning. A black cloth mask, he bought for Rs 50, is affixed around his mouth.On Friday, news of Bhutan’s first confirmed coronavirus case — a 76-year-old tourist from US — put Assam on alert. The patient’s travel history — which included a seven-day cruise on the Brahmaputra and a night stay at a five-star hotel in Guwahati — was splashed across social media and local news channels that evening. It was then that Ali, who is employed by an app-based taxi service, made a beeline for the market. There he bought ten cloth masks, priced Rs 50 apiece, and ‘several’ bottles of hand sanitiser from the chemist next door.While 60 COVID-19 cases have been confirmed in India, towns and cities across the country, even where no cases have been reported positive, have seen a surge in purchases of items, especially hand sanitisers and masks, believed by many to be effective preventive measures.In Kolkata, for example, traders of medical equipment and employees at medical shops have been struggling to meet the growing demand for surgical masks and hand sanitisers, despite no COVID-19 cases in the city.In central Kolkata, in close proximity to the Calcutta Medical College, shops had run out of surgical masks.In Chennai’s T Nagar, a One Plus mobile outlet kept hand sanitisers inside the store for visitors to use before checking out the phones on display. Yet, in other parts of the city such as Pondy Bazaar, stores had run out of hand sanitisers.In Guwahati, one of the city’s biggest pharmacies, neither had masks nor sanitisers in stock on Wednesday morning.indianexpress
From Iraq to Rome: Cities deserted and airports empty amid coronavirus outbreak
Coronavirus: 1,454 persons under observation in Haryana, so far none positive
Chandigarh :There are 1,454 persons under observation in Haryana out of which 1,432 persons with travel history to affected countries are asymptomatic. Releasing a bulletin on the novel coronavirus  update in the state (till March 10,, Haryana’s health department today stated 22 passengers with travel history from affected countries in various districts such as Ambala, Faridabad, Gurugram, Hisar, Kaithal, Karnal, Panchkula, Rohtak and Sirsa were admitted out of which 19 passengers have been discharged from hospitals as their result is negative for coronavirus. However they are yet under surveillance at home, as per protocol. One passenger each from district Gurugram, Karnal and Sirsa is yet to be admitted.indianexpress
Coronavirus: All educational institutes, stadiums in Srinagar to be shut till further notice
Srinagar :All educational institutions, stadiums and sports clubs in Srinagar will be closed from Thursday till further orders amid coronavirus scare, the city administration has said.The order is a precautionary measure and “an unavoidable decision” to allow Srinagar Municipal Corporation (SMC) to plan, sterilize and sanitize schools and colleges, Srinagar Mayor Junaid Azim Mattu said on Wednesday.“Under a special set of statutory provisions, SMC has ordered closure of all educational institutions, public clubs, sports clubs, indoor and open stadiums, coaching centres within Srinagar city limits till further orders,” he said.PTI
Merkel says 70% of Germans could get coronavirus
Leaders from the European Union are promising to do "whatever it takes" to tackle the coronavirus outbreak, as Italy reported its biggest single-day death toll since the disease was first detected there last month.The 27 leaders of the EU met in a video conference after facing criticism they had been too slow to deal with the outbreak, which first emerged in China at the end of last year.Elsewhere, the virus continued to spread in the United States and appeared in new countries including Bolivia and Turkey, while Indonesia recorded its first death.Globally, more than 4,200 people have died from the coronavirus and in excess of 118,000 cases have been confirmed, according to WHO. More than 66,000 people have recovered from the illness around the world, according to John Hopkins University.aljazeera
Afghanistan: Ghani signs decree to release 1,500 Taliban fighters
Afghan President Ashraf Ghani has signed a decree to release 1,500 Taliban prisoners as a move to launch direct talks with the armed group to end the 18-year war in Afghanistan. According to a copy of the two-page decree seen by Reuters news agency late on Tuesday night, all released Taliban prisoners will have to provide "a written guarantee to not return to the battlefield"."President Ghani has signed the decree that would facilitate the release of the Taliban prisoners in accordance with an accepted framework for the start of negotiations between the Taliban and the Afghan government," Ghani's spokesman Sediq Sediqqi posted on Twitter.The decree, to be made public later by Ghani's office, lays out details about how the Taliban prisoners will be released in a systematic manner to further peace deals.The process of releasing the prisoners will begin in four days, the decree said.Earlier on Tuesday, Taliban spokesman Suhail Shaheen said in a tweet that his group had handed a list of 5,000 prisoners to the US and was waiting for all to be released.Also on Tuesday, a senior Taliban leader in Doha, the group's political headquarters, said vehicles had been sent to an area near Bagram Prison, north of the capital Kabul, to collect the freed fighters."After our conversation with Zalmay Khalilzad (US special envoy for Afghanistan) on Monday, in which he conveyed to us the release of our 5,000 prisoners, we sent vehicles to pick them up," he told Reuters.Ghani, who previously refused to honour a prisoner swap deal between US and the Taliban, later said he was not averse to releasing Taliban prisoners to move the peace process forward.aljazeera
UN Security Council unanimously approves US-Taliban deal
UN Security Council has unanimously approved a US’ resolution on the recent deal between US and the Afghan Taliban, a rare endorsement of an agreement with a militant group.In the resolution, the Security Council “urges the Government of Islamic Republic of Afghanistan to advance the peace process, including by participating in intra-Afghan negotiations through a diverse and inclusive negotiating team composed of Afghan political and civil society leaders, including women.”.AFP
Russia says it expects ‘good relations’ with Taliban as US troops exit
Russia said it expects to build close ties with the Taliban as American forces start withdrawing from Afghanistan under a peace deal signed last month.“We want to have normal ties with any new administration in Kabul,” President Vladimir Putin’s envoy to Afghanistan, Zamir Kabulov, said in an interview on Friday in Moscow. “Taliban understands very well that when they join the government, they’ll need to work for national interests and for that they’ll need good relations with Russia.”Bloomberg
Mahathir gives up on confidence vote against new Malaysia PM
Mahathir Mohamad, who resigned as Malaysia's prime minister after a power grab triggered the collapse of his ruling coalition, says he no longer believes he has enough support to win a confidence vote in Parliament against his former ally-turned-rival Muhyiddin Yassin. Mahathir said in an interview today that Muhyiddin, who was named prime minister by the king on February 29, would survive a parliamentary vote."We had more than 114 seats but now that has become less," Mahathir told the Malay-language Sinar Harian newspaper. "It will not succeed," he said of the vote of no-confidence. "This is because he has taken my people to his side."aljazeera
Turkey threatens 'heavy' retaliation if Idlib ceasefire is broken
Turkey is expecting Russia to take measures over "small violations" of a week-long ceasefire by its allied Syrian government forces in Idlib province, President Tayyip Erdogan has said, warning that Ankara will respond heavily if its military observation posts in the region come under attackTurkey and Russia, which back opposing sides in Syria's war, agreed on the ceasefire to stop escalating clashes in Idlib that brought the two countries close to direct confrontation amid a Moscow-backed Syrian government offensive that has displaced almost a million people. aljazeera
Palestinian teen shot dead by Israeli army in occupied West Bank
A Palestinian teenager was shot dead in the occupied West Bank as Israeli security forces opened fire to disperse crowds protesting against encroaching Israeli settlers. Another 18 demonstrators were wounded by rubber-coated metal rounds fired by Israeli troops in the town of Beita, near the city of Nablus, on Wednesday, the Palestinian health ministry said.The teenager, identified as 15-year-old Mohammed Hamayel, "died as a result of being shot in the face with live ammunition by the [Israeli] occupation" during the clashes, it said in a statement.aljazeera
PAF F-16 jet crashes in Islamabad during rehearsal for Pakistan Day parade, slated for 23 March; air force orders inquiry into cause of accident
Islamabad: An F-16 fighter jet belonging to the Pakistan Air Force crashed in Islamabad on Wednesday while carrying out rehearsals for the country's Republic Day parade to be held on 23 March.The plane crashed in a jungle near Shakarparian area of the capital, the Pakistan Air Force (PAF) said in a statement.The plane was carrying out routine exercises for the Pakistan Day parade when it crashed, it said, adding that the PAF has ordered an inquiry into the cause of the crash. There was no immediate word on the fate of the pilot or co-pilot. Security forces have cordoned off the crash site.PTI

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