26 April 2020

26 April NEWS: Covid-19 lockdown: Only 15% of poor households have received 1 kg of pulses from Centre. Prolonged Lockdown May Push Millions Into Poverty: Ex-RBI Governor . PM Modi's crucial meet with CMs tomorrow to discuss lockdown exit strategy. Delhi minorities panel demands release of Jamaat members who have spent 28 days in quarantine camps


26 April 2020: 2 Ramazan 1441: Vol: 12, No: 191



Covid-19 lockdown: Only 15% of poor households have received 1 kg of pulses from Centre


Only 15% of poor households have received one kg of pulses promised for April under Centre’s COVID-19 welfare package, according to an analysis of the government agency data. Of the 1.96 lakh tonnes of pulses that should have been given to more than 19 crore households this month, only 30,000 tonnes have been distributed so far, according to the Consumer Affairs Department.Distribution is likely to speed up by the first week of May, with delays caused by the fact that the government only stores unmilled pulses in its godowns, and has had to start a massive milling operation before delivering them to ration shops.Last month, Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman had announced extra ration allocations from April to June as part of Pradhan Mantri Garib Kalyan Yojana, said to be worth ₹1.7 lakh crore. All 80 crore National Food Security Act beneficiaries were to get an extra 5 kg of rice or wheat each month, while each household was to get one kg of pulses to meet protein needs.Given that all States already distribute rice and wheat through a well-established Public Distribution System, with grain provided from a network of the FCI warehouses, distribution of the promised extra grain began early in April. However, the distribution to more than 19 crore families was stalled by several hurdles.National Agricultural Cooperative Marketing Federation is the nodal agency which procures and stores a buffer stock of pulses. To provide the necessary 5.88 lakh tonnes of cleaned and milled pulses promised under the scheme, NAFED has pressed over 100 dall mills into service to process about 8.5 lakh tonnes of unmilled pulses lying in about 165 godowns across the country.thehindu

‘65% of stranded workers have not received any government support’


NEW DELHI :A survey of migrant workers in distress in Delhi under COVID-19 lockdown has shown that 65% of respondents had not received any form of government support, either in the form of dry ration or cooked meals.A majority of respondents who received food support said that the amount was inadequate.The telephonic survey was conducted by the Delhi units of CPI Marxist) and CITU that have been working to provide relief material to migrant workers stranded in the NCR.The survey was conducted with 506 “group leaders” representing 8,870 workers between April 10 and April 18, the CPI(M) said.“6% of the respondents do not have a ration card or Aadhaar card making them ineligible for the Delhi government’s policy of providing dry ration,” the survey said, adding that 3.5% of the respondents did not have a ration card, AADHAR card or a bank account making them ineligible for any direct government support through the Public Distribution System or Direct Bank Transfer.The survey also found that 29% of the workers did not have any rice, 51% had no atta, 52% were doing without pulses, and 54% did not have any cooking oil. “This signifies the near-starvation level of a majority of workers and their families,” the report noted.thehindu


Huge Controversy Over Suggestion To Raise Taxes, Centre Says "Misconduct"


The proposal of certain officials of Indian Revenue Service to raise the government revenue in backdrop of the coronavirus pandemic by increasing taxes is an "act of indiscipline", the Centre said today. Such a report was neither sought and nor is it the IRS Association's duty to prepare it, the government said, calling the association's move "misconduct" and an act of  "indiscipline".The chairman of the CBDT (Central Board of Direct Taxes) to whom the report was submitted, has been asked to seek explanation on the matter from the office bearers of the association.In a 44-page report titled FORCE (Fiscal Options and Response to COVID-19 Epidemic), officials who called themselves "Team Force" made a series of suggestions that include hiking tax on super-rich to 40 per cent, levying pandemic cess and imposing higher tax on foreign companies.NDTV

Kerala feeding 3.48 crore residents, migrants amid COVID-19 lockdown


Abdul Nasar, the proprietor of a fair-price shop in Mullurkara, a sleepy village in Kerala’s Thrissur district, has been unusually busy in recent days. The line of customers outside his shop has been lengthening daily as he has to divide his time between his shop as well as the neighbouring ration shop.On 13 April, vigilance officials had raided neighbouring shop and found that it used to illegally sell grocery items that were not part of the state’s public-distribution system. It subsequently revoked the shop’s license. “With the other shop being attached to my shop, I am serving around two thousand and one hundred card holders in the panchayat now,” Nasar said.6 ration shops cater to Mullurkara’s 5,000 card holders, with each shop handling between 700 and 1,100 members. There is a strong network of 14,189 fair price shops in the state with successful last-mile connectivity to households. The network has been crucial during COVID-19 pandemic—Kerala appears to have been able ensure the smooth distribution of food, and also used the same network to distribute other emergency supplies. As reports of mass hunger and some suggesting a failing PDS system continue to emerge from other states, Kerala’s approach to food could offer lessons on feeding nation’s vulnerable populations.“We are taking care of all 87.28 lakh card holders in the state,” P Thilothaman, the state’s minister for food and civil supplies, told me. The govt’s aim, Thilothaman said, was to reach out to everyone during the lockdown. “We decided to cover entire non-priority sector and announced the special supply of 15 kilograms grains and 3 kg atta, because the usual ration supplied to them is inadequate,”he added.caravanmagazine


Prolonged Lockdown May Push Millions Into Poverty: Ex-RBI Governor Governor Duvvuri


A prolonged lockdown may possibly push million of Indians into the "margins of subsistence", former RBI Governor Duvvuri Subbarao said on Sunday while expecting a ''V'' curved recovery once COVID-19 crisis ends and the turnaround in India to be faster than some economies. He was participating in a webinar on "History repeats - but differently- Lessons for post Corona World," organised by Manthan Foundation here, in which ex Deputy Governor of RBI Usha Thorat took part."Because most analysts believe that this year India will actually have negative growth or growth will contract. We must remember that even ahead of the crisis two months ago our growth slowed. Now it has completely stopped. Last year growth was 5 per cent. Just imagine, five per cent growth last year and we are going to negative or zero growth this year, a decline of five per cent growth," he said."It is true that India is going to perform in this crisis better than most other countries.But that is no consolation....Because we are a very poor country and if the crisis persists and if the lockdown is not lifted soon enough, it is quite possible that millions of people will be pushed into the margins of subsistence, he said when asked about his views on the present situation.Subbarao said that as predicted by analysts, India will have a V shaped recovery which is far better than most of the other countries.On IMFs prediction that India may grow at 1.9 per cent during the current year against about 5 per cent in the last fiscal, Subbarao said many analysts feel that the prediction is outdated and the growth in GDP may slip into negative.PTI


Hope PM gives plan for lockdown exit at CMs' meet: Cong


Congress on Sunday said it hopes that Prime Minister Narendra Modi puts out a comprehensive and holistic plan as regards exit strategy for the ongoing lockdown and thereafter at his meeting with chief ministers on Monday.Congress spokesperson Manish Tewari also questioned the govt's testing strategy for COVID-19 and wondered why the country was conducting only 39,000 tests a day, against its capacity of one lakh tests."Is there an attempt to either play down the magnitude of the problem or is the government unsure that if we go in for enhancing the testing capacity, then it does not have the capacity to deal with its implications?" he asked at a press briefing through video-conferencing."We hope that Prime Minister puts out a comprehensive, holistic strategy in dealing with the lockout-exit and the situation for the next 3 months, during his meeting with chief ministers on Monday," Tewari said.PTI


PM Modi's crucial meet with CMs tomorrow to discuss lockdown exit strategy


Prime Minister Narendra Modi will interact with chief ministers via video conference on Monday morning on the way ahead in the fight against the novel coronavirus, amid indications that the discussions could also focus on a graded exit from the ongoing lockdown.This will be the third video conference of the prime minister with the chief ministers after the spread of Covid-19.Sources in government indicated that besides discussing the way forward in dealing with pandemic, the discussion could also focus on a "graded" exit from the lockdown which is in place till May 3.

9 States Likely To Speak At Tomorrow's Video-Conference With PM



Lockdown should be extended in MP's Covid-19 hotspots: CM Chouhan


Bhopal: MP CM Shivraj Singh Chouhan told India Today that he is in favour of extending the lockdown in the state's hotspot districts beyond May 3. These districts include Indore, Bhopal, Ujjain and Khargone."A lot of tests have been done and the entire contact history of every positive patient is being tracked. We do not want to undo the good work that has been done in these cities. As far as the rest of the state is concerned, containment areas will be completely closed while the remaining areas would be opened gradually. Also, there would be places like malls, schools and colleges that would not open," Chouhan said.India Today


 Petition in SC over freezing of dearness allowance, says decision ‘arbitrary’ and ‘malafide’


A retired army officer has moved the Supreme Court seeking a direction for the Centre to de-freeze the dearness allowance owed to the retired personnel, but which was frozen retrospectively with effect from Jan.2020 recently by Finance Ministry, reports BarandBench.com.On April 20, Central Govt decided to freeze the disbursement of dearness allowance retrospectively from Jan.2020 for retired Central Govt employees in view of the crisis arising out of COVID-19.This allowance otherwise was scheduled to be paid out in the first week of April. The decision has now been challenged by a military veteran through this PIL. The petitioner says that he is adversely affected by this decision considering he has no other source of income.


"Inhuman, Insensitive": Rahul Gandhi On Centre's Decision On Dearness Allowance


New Delhi: Congress MP Rahul Gandhi has lashed out at the centre's decision to stop the hike in Dearness Allowance (DA) and Dearness Relief (DR) to all government employees and pensioners in view of the country's financial situation amid the novel coronavirus outbreak. In a sharply-worded tweet Gandhi criticised the "inhuman and insensitive decision" and reminded the government crores of rupees could be recouped by suspending the ambitious bullet train project and Central Vista beautification scheme."It is an insensitive and inhumane decision of government to cut DA of central employees, pensioners and soldiers serving the public while battling coronavirus, instead of suspending the multi-million crore bullet train project and the Central Vista beautification project," Gandhi tweeted this evening.ndtv


Gurugram MNCs may have to work from home till July end, some real estate projects can resume work: Official


MNCs, BPOs and IT enabled services (ITES) in Gurugram may have to allow their employees to work from home till end of July, says Gurgaon Metropolitan Development Authority CEO VS Kundu.Kundu, who is also additional chief secretary of Haryana, added that several real estate projects, including those of DLF, have got the green signal to resume construction but within the norms of social distancing. Gurugram, which is part of the National Capital Region, is known as the millennium city and is home to many BPOs, MNCs and technology giants, including Infosys, Genpact, Google and Microsoft.PTI


Delhi minorities panel demands release of Jamaat members who have spent 28 days in quarantine camps


Delhi Minorities Commission has demanded that Tablighi Jamaat members who are kept at quarantine camps in the city and have not tested positive for coronavirus be released, as they have completed twice the stipulated quarantine period of 14 days as COVID-19 suspects. In a letter to Delhi Health minister Satyendar Jain, commission chairman Zafarul Islam Khan and member Kartar Singh Kochhar also claimed that facilities for food and medicines at these camps were poor.The letter said people brought to quarantine camps from Tabligh Markaz in Nizamuddin would complete 28 days in isolation on Monday. This is twice mandatory period of quarantine for COVID-19 suspects, as per guidelines issued by US and WHO, it added."It will be in the fitness of things that all such people who have spent 28 days in these camps and did not test positive should be allowed to go home or at least allowed to live somewhere else in Delhi while the lockdown continues," the letter read.The commission claimed in its letter that thousands of such inmates were kept at quarantine camps across Delhi, including in Sultanpuri, Wazirabad, Narela and Dwarka.The letter pointed that Ramzan has begun and most of Muslim inmates in these camps were fasting and finding it "harsh" to cope with the prevailing conditions there. PTI


Delhi Govt Orders Probe Into Death of Covid-19 Patient At Sultanpuri Centre, Refutes Negligence Charge


Delhi government has instituted a magisterial probe into the death of a Tamil Nadu resident Mohammed Mustafa, a Covid-19 positive patient, at Sultanpuri quarantine centre on April 22.The probe was ordered following allegations of negligence levelled by AIMPLB member Fathima Muzaffer and a letter written to Delhi Lieutenant Governor Anil Baijal and Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal by Delhi Minorities Commission (DMC) regarding inadequate medical and other facilities at quarantines centres, particularly at Sultanpuri. Two days ago, TN Chief Minister Edappadi K. Palaniswami also wrote a letter to Kejriwal, requesting him to ensure proper food and medical facilities to inmates from TN.The deceased Mustafa is having 2 college going children: one 19-year-old and another 17-year-old. Fathima, who is also an office-bearer of the IUML and lives at Chennai, demanded that all the 559 Tablighi Jamaat members from Tamil Nadu quarantined at different centres in Delhi be shifted to quarantine centres in Tamil Nadu. She said that some social activists were going to file a case in the court seeking transfer of inmates from Delhi to quarantines centres in their home state where they would follow all rules and regulations. She said that people from TN were facing problem of language barrier. They were also facing problem regarding food as in Delhi they are served ‘roti’ and North Indian foods while people from TN are habitual to eating rice.DM(North-West district) Sandeep Mishra rejected charge of negligence. However, a magisterial inquiry has been ordered into the incident.indiatomorrow


NO 'Sehri' to Inmates at Sonia Vihar, Wazirabad Quarantine Centres on Saturday, DM Says Matter Sorted Out


NEW DELHI;Muslim inmates at Covid-19 quarantine centres in Sonia Vihar and Wazirabad in northeast Delhi went without ‘sehri’ (early morning food) and fasted the whole day on Saturday without meal.However, the issue was sorted out after the intervention of Northeast DM Shashi Kaushal. She told India Tomorrow that they could not be given ‘sehri’ yesterday due to some confusion. However, it was given to them today (Sunday) and arrangements for breaking the fast, including supply of ‘khajur’ and food was made from today with the help of some NOGs. It will be normal from today.The relatives of several inmates said that ‘sehri’ was not given on Saturday despite inmates having intimated the authorities in advance about the commencement of their fasting month of Ramzan and having told them that they would be observing fast.Among those quarantined at the two centres are also some foreign nationals who had come to Tablighi Jamaat Markaz at Nizamuddin and were help up after lockdown.Relatives of the inmates said that there are about 200 inmates at the two centres and authorities had assured that they would ‘sehri’ at the appointed time.India Tomorrow


Tablighi Jamaat chief Maulana Saad tests negative for Covid-19, to appear before crime branch tomorrow


Tablighi Jamaat chief Maulana Saad Kandhavli has tested negative for Covid-19, his lawyer informed. He was ordered to get tested by Delhi Police Crime Branch. Now, Maulana Saad may appear before crime branch on Monday.indiatoday


Bihar DGP refuses allegations on Tablighi Jamaat


In a video that is circulating on social media, it is shown that how people are scared of Tablighi Jamaat (TJ) that some people approached Gupteshwar Pandey, DGP in Bihar and inquired that if there is any danger from Tablighi.The police officer explained that there are lots of rumours about TJ. Because of these rumours, there is a danger that communal feelings may arise.He says that he has received 4 lists from the government. one list contains the names of 86 persons out of which, only one person is in Bihar. The rest of the persons are in Delhi.He gives a reference to another list of 57 persons, out of which, police have identified 10 persons who are in Bihar.  He says there is another list that contains the names of 7 persons who are from Mumbai. They are not in Bihar at all; they are in Ferozabad where they have been quarantined. There is one more list of 2 persons from Bengal, one of them is quarantined in a hospital in Bihari.siasat


Kuwait Condemns Attacks on Muslims in India


 Amid Gulf official’s reactions on the plight of Indian Muslims, Kuwait government has condemned the attacks on Muslims in India and called upon the international community to intervene into the matter.Council of Ministers of the state of Kuwait has issued a resolution to condemn  the attacks on Muslims in India.Kuwaiti lawyer and activist Dr. Addullah Alshoreka shared the resolution on the Twitter and said “Council of Ministers of the State of Kuwait condemns the ethnic attacks against Muslims in India”.Expressing its deep concern over the ghastly ethnic attack on Indian Muslims, Kuwait Council of ministers has appealed to the Organization of Islamic Cooperation OIC and the international community to intervene.The official condemnation came after several Arab activists, intellectuals and royals raised their voices against the growing attacks on Indian Muslims by the vigilante and mob.


Bhagwat refers to Tablighi Jamaat during address, asks RSS workers not to harbour 'ill-will against whole community'


RSS chief Mohan Bhagwat has said that the organisation had remained active amid the coronavirus outbreak and subsequent lockdown in India.The speech -- Bhagwat's first since India went under a lockdown over a month ago -- was streamed live via the RSS' YouTube channel was on the topic: "The current scenario and our role". The organisation's work, Bhagwat said, had taken the form of relief activities -- ranging from initiatives to create awareness to providing supplies and helping those who have been stranded. The Sangh workers follow all rules and precautions during the lockdown in the wake of COVID-19, Bhagwat added.He also urged RSS workers to continue their efforts. "We should continue relief work till this pandemic ends, help all those who are affected due to COVID-19 crisis," he said. He also urged people to "India handled this pandemic effectively as government and people responded proactively to this crisis," Bhagwat added.freepressjournal


Petitions In Bombay and Karnataka HC Seek Ban On Republic TV


After SC granted protection from arrest for 3 weeks to Arnab Goswami, Editor-in-Chief of Republic TV in FIRs filed against him in States of Maharashtra, Chhattisgarh, Madhya Pradesh, Rajasthan, Telangana and J&K, fresh petitions have been filed before Bombay High Court and Karnataka High Court seeking a ban on both channel and the anchor from broadcasting anything.The petitioners in Bombay High Court are Bhai Jagtap, a MLC and Suraj Thakur, State Vice President of Maharashtra Youth Congress. Whereas the petition before Karnataka High court has been filed by Mohammed Arif Jameel, a social worker and RTI activist from Bengaluru. Both petitioners seek directions to the State to register FIR against Republic TV Editor-in-Chief Arnab Goswami for falsely potraying the mob lynching of two sadhus and their driver in Palghar as a communal incident in a segment on Republic TV and making allegations against Congress head Sonia Gandhi related to the said mob lynching.Arif points out the Supreme Court's observations on March 31 wherein the bench comprising of CJI SA Bobde and Justice L Nageshwara Rao had concluded that migration of large number of labourers working in the cities was triggered by panic created by fake news that the lockdown would continue for more than 3 months.livelaw


Jharkhand Police swiftly act to book communal fruit sellers, remove ‘VHP approved Hindu fruit shop’ banners


Jharkhand Police on Saturday moved swiftly to act against communal fruit sellers in Jamshedpur after they displayed banners declaring their shops as being by VHP. The fruit-sellers were booked under Section 107 of IPC.This was after a Twitter user alerted Jharkhand Police by posting a couple of photos of fruit sellers in Jamshedpur displaying their bigotry with impunity. The user wrote, “It’s a matter of great shame to our state that we are going up in such Hindu Muslim hatred.Now instead of Jharkhand Govt. or state authorities these people will give permission to businesses.” In the photos, both fruit sellers were seen displaying huge banners that read, “Hindu Fruit Shop approved by VHP.”Jharkhand Police wasted no time in acting on the complaint and directed Jamshedpur Police to take corrective measures. It tweeted, “SSP Jamshedpur @jsr_police to look into it and do the needful at the earliest.”jantakareporter


In Gujarat, Muslims counter hate with police complaints against media and individuals


 Over 400 FIRs have been lodged by members of Muslim community against TV channels, print media and social media accounts engaged in communal messaging against the community. FIRs are being backed by screen shots, newspaper clippings and video clips. Muslim lawyers have taken to Facebook to tell the community how to go about it and how to lodge e-complaints with the police if they do not want to visit a police station.The campaign has immediately silenced a large section of hate mongers. Many of them have deactivated their social media accounts, afraid that police enquiries would reflect poorly with their employers and employability.The campaign was triggered by the vicious campaign by media blaming Tablighi Jamaat and by extension Muslims for spreading the coronavirus in the country.Shamshad Pathan of ‘Alpsankhyak Adhikar Manch’, a lawyer by training, persuaded the community to approach the police. The first case was lodged in Anand district and has gradually spread across the state. FIRs have been filed at Porbandar, Idar, Patan, Surat, Vadodara and Rajkot among other places.nationalheraldindia


Up To 3-Year Jail For Blocking Funerals Of COVID-19 Victims In Tamil Nadu


Tamil Nadu government has brought an ordinance to ensure those who die of COVID-19 get a dignified burial or cremation. The executive order has made blocking or attempting to block funerals of coronavirus victims a criminal offence. Those who engage in such activities will be liable for a jail term upto 3 years.Last week, a surgeon had to dig grave for his colleague- who died of coronavirus- with the help of two ward boys at a cemetery in Chennai, after a mob attacked their ambulance to block the burial at two cemeteries.Dr Simon Hercules, who contracted COVID-19 reportedly from his patients, was being taken to a cemetery when a mob threw bricks, stones, bottles and sticks and chased them away despite the presence of police. 2 ambulance drivers and few corporation health officials were injured in the attack.Recounting the horror, Dr K Pradeep Kumar, an orthopaedic and arthroscopy surgeon, had told NDTV "The two ambulance drivers were bleeding as Dr Simon's body lay behind".NDTV


Confirmed Coronavirus  cases near 26,500, death toll touches 824: Govt


The total number confirmed novel coronavirus in India nears 26,500 even as the death toll shot up to 824, according to the data released by Ministry of Health early Sunday. According to the ministry, there are a total of 26,496 confirmed Covid-19 cases and 19,868 active cases in India as of now.Between Friday night and Saturday evening, India recorded a total of 56 coronavirus-related deaths. Moreover, Maharashtra recorded the most number of cases (over 6,000), followed by Gujarat, Delhi, Rajasthan, each of which reported more than 2,000 confirmed cases, as of the figures till Saturday evening. Meanwhile, the number of confirmed Covid-19 cases in Andhra Pradesh surged past the 1,000-mark on Saturday with the state reporting a total of 1,061 cases. Out of these, 171 patients have recovered while 31 have succumbed to the infection. Multiple reports highlighted frontline workers, especially police personnel, were among those infected with Covid-19 in the state of Andhra Pradesh.indiatoday


Covid-19: ‘This is not the time’ to bring back migrant workers, Nitin Gadkari tells Adityanath


Union minister Nitin Gadkari has urged Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Adityanath to reconsider his plan to bring back migrant workers stranded in other states and Union Territories amid the countrywide lockdown to contain the coronavirus, warning that this could turn into a “big problem,” NDTV reported.Adityanath had on Friday announced that his government will bring back labourers and workers who have been stranded in other states and have completed 14 days of quarantine in a phased manner.“I heard UP Chief Minister’s statement and I would request against it,” Gadkari told the channel. “ I feel, at this point, we need to exercise caution. This is not the time. If someone contracts coronavirus, then it can become a big problem in Uttar Pradesh.”scroll


Coronavirus a reminder of how futile religious barriers are says Kejriwal over Plasma therapy, also says lockdown won't be relaxed beyond what Centre permits


New Delhi :Coronavirus pandemic is a reminder of the futility of religious barriers among people, Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal said Sunday, pointing out how plasma therapy works irrespective of the religion of the donor and patient.Kejriwal said a patient who was in a serious condition till Saturday night at LNJP Hospital is showing signs of recovery after undergoing plasma therapy. “It occurred to me that tomorrow the life of a Hindu patient, who is in a serious condition, might be saved due to a Muslim’s plasma. Or a Muslim patient’s life will perhaps be saved due to plasma of a Hindu. The almighty did not put up walls between us. This religion, that religion, God did not create these divisions, we made them,”Kejriwal said.Plasma therapy uses antibodies found in the blood of people who have recovered from infection (or convalesced), to treat infected patients. Plasma is a component of blood.CM also announced that apart from allowing non-essential standalone or neighbourhood shops or those present in residential complexes of non-containment zones to open, as announced Saturday evening, no other relaxation will be offered till May 3.Delhi with 2,625 confirmed coronavirus cases and 54 deaths is third in line of worst-affected states, only behind Maharashtra (7,628 cases and 323 deaths) and Gujarat(3,071 cases and 133 deaths).indianexpress


Over 10 Pollution Hotspots In Delhi, Mumbai Turn Into Green Zones


With vehicles off the road and most industries shut for over a month due to the coronavirus lockdown, over 10 pollution hotspots in Mumbai and Delhi have turned into green zones recording minimal or no pollution.In Delhi, eight locations which used to be pollution hotspots before the lockdown have now become green zones, said Gufran Beig, director, Centre's System of Air Quality Weather Forecasting and Research (SAFAR).The areas are Vinobapuri, Adarsh Nagar, Vasundhara, Sahibabad, Ashram road, Punjabi Bagh, Okhla and Badarpur, he told PTI, sharing a comparative map of Delhi's air quality before and during the lockdown period.In Mumbai, Worli, Borivali and Bhandup were among areas which recorded cleaner air as compared to other areas of the Mumbai Metropolitan Region (MMR).PTI



Tablighi foreigners were right under Modi govt’s nose, it should have stopped them: Chhattisgarh CM


Chhattisgarh Chief Minister Bhupesh Baghel has blamed the Modi government for the spurt in Covid-19 cases linked to Tablighi Jamaat, saying it should have never allowed the organisation’s members to travel to states.“The government of India had the list of those (Tablighis) coming from abroad. Why did it let go of people who had gathered in Nizamuddin?” Congress leader Baghel told ThePrint. “Why were they allowed to go to states? …The government of India knew there were foreigners right under its nose in Delhi. It should have stopped them.”theprint


Post-lockdown, Indians in Gulf will be the first to return


A week before the current phase of nationwide lockdown to combat the coronavirus pandemic ends, the government has begun preparations for the return of Indians stranded or needing to return from various countries, beginning with countries in the Gulf region.On Saturday, Cabinet Secretary Rajiv Gauba held a meeting of all nodal ministries, including Foreign Secretary Harsh Shringla and all chief secretaries of states and Union territories. Also attending the meeting were Home Secretary, Ajay Kumar Bhalla, Secretary, Economic Affairs, and Secretary, Labour & Employment, on the issue of repatriating Indians after travel restrictions are lifted. Officials took stock of preparations in various States, most notably Kerala, for the return of an estimated 2,00,000 expatriates and other travellers, sources said.According to plans drawn up by the government, the first commercial flights from the Gulf region mainly the United Arab Emirates, Kuwait, Saudi Arabia, Qatar, Oman and Bahrain could be started after May 3, if the lockdown restrictions are not extended.Indians stranded in UK, other parts of Europe, and the United States will be considered after that.thehindu


COVID-19 lockdown: Return our salary, demand 8 employees’ unions of Air India


In view of the fact that COVID-19 pay cut is “forcibly” being implemented by th e Modi government, as many as eight employees’ unions of Air India have expressed their grievances and demanded a rollback of the decision to deduct 10% salary for three months.A joint letter that was sent to the Civil Aviation Minister Hardeep Puri on Friday by the unions, says that the decision to deduct 10% salary was not “unilateral” but “unlawful” also.“This pay cut by Air India is mere optics, unnecessary and will hit the morale of the employees which will have a cascading effect on Indian economy,” letter by the unions stated.“In spite of instructions from Government of India concerning the welfare of the employees and directions to make payment of wages on the due date, the management of Air India defaulted on timely payment of salary which was paid on 18th April, with a 10 percent pay cut,” reads the letter.nationalheraldindia




Zee Hindustan Peddles 2015 News As Recent, Adds False Communal Angle


Hindi news outlet Zee Hindustan peddled a 2014 incident about a UK eatery serving food contaminated with human faeces, which led to food poisoning in several of its customers, as recent. The website owned by Zee News group, passed off the story first published in 2015 by several British news outlets, and also added false communal claims including linking it to the Tablighi Jamaat. BOOM found that some of the details mentioned in Zee Hindustan story were from viral WhatsApp and Facebook forwards, which gave it a fake communal angle by falsely claiming that the restaurant owners served contaminated food only to non-Muslim customers. Messages reviving 2015 news report had been viral on WhatsApp and Facebook over the past week. Zee Hindustan article added the false Tablighi Jamaat angle to the story by linking it to the recent spate of allegations against members of the missionary Islamic sect for purposefully spreading the virus, after several of its members contracted the coronavirus during an event in March. The story published by Zee Hindustan on April 23 was titled, 'Human filth served with kebab, the same Jamati mentality abroad' (Original in Hindi - कबाब में परोसते थे शरीर की गंदगी, विदेश में भी वही जमाती मानसिकता). Zee Hindustan has since changed the headline.boomlive.in   




Sambit Patra caught giving dangerous communal twist to COVID-19 tragedy, Faridabad Police intervenes


BJP spokesperson Sambit Patra has once again found himself amidst considerable embarrassment after the Faridabad Police in Haryana caught him spreading misleading news to communalise the COVID-19 tragedy. Patra had quoted a story from the Indian Express on an alleged attack on 2 ASHA workers in Faridabad by one Jaan Mohammad. The controversial BJP spokesperson wrote, “In Faridabad, Jaan Mohammad and his people mercilessly beat up ASHA workers, who were collecting data on corona. They spread the news in the entire neighbourhood that the government was collecting data for NRC. Police are looking for Jaan Mohammad and his associates to arrest them.” Patra’s tweet went viral with members of BJP IT Cell fervently sharing his social media post without caring to read the report. Faridabad Police were quick to publicly rubbish Patra’s claims as they wrote, “Sir namaskar, the incident involving ASHA workers that you are stating is not from Faridabad.”jantakareporter


False: Kurnool MLA Hafeez Khan Forced Nurse To Apologise To A Cleric


A photo of nurse cleaning the wound of a patient's feet is viral with a false communal angle that she was forced to apologise to a cleric after she made derogatory remarks about him. The viral picture shows a nurse attending to the feet of Muslim man at a quarantine center in Kurnool, Andhra Pradesh is being shared with a caption that local MLA Hafeez Khan, seen in the picture in a white shirt, ordered her to touch his feet and apologise. The viral photo is being shared with the false claim, "In AP Kurnool medical college , local MLA Hafiz Khan forced a nurse to touch d feet of head of muslim and say sorry . Reason , the nurse was telling her collegues, if these people who went to markaz , if they had gone on Quarantine by themselves , this situation would not have arose ."The Boom searched with the same caption and found that the photo was being shared with the false claim. BOOM contacted Kurnool MLA Hafeez Khan who said that the photo was from his inspection visit to a quarantine center in Rayalaseema University, Kurnool. He explained that during his rounds he saw a nurse tending to a patient who had injured his foot.


#AzaanBandNahiHogi trends after report emerges from UP


LUCKNOW: After Delhi government clarified that there is no restriction on azaan in the national capital, reports surfaced from several mosques of Uttar Pradesh alleging ‘azaan ban’.Reports to this effect, notably, came after the mosques in-charge of Ghazipur alleged that the police and the administration allegedly directed to stop the azaan over loudspeakers.A similar photocopy of official notification in Hindi issued in Farrukhabad and the news-paper cutting in Hindi medium are doing rounds on social media where it is stated that Azaan will not be called amid the coronavirus pandemic.Following this, thousands of people came out in solidarity on social media demanding immediate withdrawal of any such order and soon #AzaanBandNahiHogi began trending.The #AzaanBandNahiHogi started trending about 14 hours ago and is at position #️4 with 88,000 tweets about 6 hours ago.Joining into the trend, SIO General Secretary Syed Azharuddin said, “Azaan is caution for Muslims to Offer prayers, due to Lockdown we are offering Namaz at homes. So, please don’t make another issue on Azaan, let’s fight together against Corona Virus and stop spreading communal virus.”siasat



Covid-19: Close to 6,300 Indians infected in 50 countries, toll stands at 40


Close to 6300 Indian nationals abroad have tested positive for the novel coronavirus, posing a serious logistical challenge to the government as and when it decides to evacuate Indians stranded overseas. The number has almost doubled in the past 8-9 days as it stood at 3,336 on April 16.The number of deaths of Indian nationals caused by Covid-19 abroad has also shot up to 40 from 25 during this period, official sources told ToI. The infections are spread over 50 countries.Singapore and Gulf countries together account for more than 50 per cent of the infections. Singapore, in fact, has now taken over from Kuwait as the country where the highest number of Indians - more than a thousand - are infected.Official sources here said almost 90 per cent of Indians infected in Singapore were workers living in dormitories for foreign workers. They said the spread within the dormitories was expected.


Police case Against Cow Vigilantes After They Beat Imam in Telangana Village


Police in Telangana have filed a case against a gang of self styled cow vigilantes for attacking and filming a video of  Masjid imam on a road in Hyderabad in South India.The Siasat Daily reported that Hafiz Abdul Aleem, the imam, and his cousin Yaqub were returning from a market in the Bhongir area where they had gone to purchase beef on a scooter when they were surrounded by the gang armed with sticks. Some of them were masked. The gang beat and yelled at the imam and his cousin.The police reached the spot and dispersed the gang. Later a case was registered into the incident in Police station Ghatkesar.clarionindia



Sonia Gandhi writes to PM Modi; seeks economic package for revival of MSMEs


Congress president Sonia Gandhi on Saturday urged Prime Minister Narendra Modi to announce a financial package for the revival of the MSME sector, saying if ignored, the problem can have a devastating and expansive ripple effect on the country's economy. She has given five suggestions to deal with the crisis small industries are facing due to COVID-19 lockdown.In a letter to Modi, Gandhi also made some suggestions for the revival of the Micro, Small and Medium Enterprises (MSME) sector, which is reeling under the adverse impact of the coronavirus lockdown.PTI


Pune : Azam Campus offers mosque for isolation facility


With the number of patients around Bhavani Peth in Pune increasing by the day and the area being one of the hotspots in the city, Azam College of Education has offered the hall within the mosque inside its campus to set up a quarantine facility for virus suspects.There are at least hundreds of people who are in need to be institutionally quarantined when their contact is traced of being infected with the highly contagious virus.With the facility being offered by the institute, district administration has agreed to review the preparedness of the premises to house virus suspects. 9,000-sq-ft hall inside Azam mosque is ready for the quarantine facility and can accommodate 80 people as of now.Talking about the same, Dr PA Inamdar, president, Azam College of Education, said, “We have made arrangement for at least 80 suspects who could be quarantined in the hall of the mosque. As of now, while the academics inside the campus is on hold, we are also planning to offer more such resources to the government authorities for using them as quarantine facilities.”There is already an arrangement of fan, light and toilet facility inside the mosque; therefore, the entire hall will be available for the quarantine facility.Pune Mirror

Kochi, Thiruvananthapuram mosques remain close on first day of Ramzan keeping lockdown in mind


KOCHI: Mosques in Kochi and Thiruvananthapuram remained closed on the first day of the holy month of Ramzan on Friday, amid the nationwide lockdown.Kochi's Padivattom Mahallu Muslim Jama-ath mosque's Imam remains inside the mosque while it is shut for the general public. Posters have been put up outside the mosque stating that no prayers will be held until further notice.''I am staying at the mosque since the day lockdown was imposed. Going back home and coming to the mosque every day is not possible due to the lockdown restrictions. The holy month of Ramzan has commenced and usually, devotees used to come to mosques to break their fasts," said Ibrahim, Imam of Padivattom Mahallu Muslim Jamaath."This year, we have directed the faithful to prepare food at home and break the fast with their families. Congregations won't be held at the mosques. People should pray at home, Muslim organisations have strictly directed the people to observe all Ramzan related prayers and rituals at home. These instructions must be followed," he added.Meanwhile, Vazhuthacaud mosque and Palayam Juma mosque in Thiruvananthapuram also remained closed today.ANI

Assam: Tablighi Jamaatis entry banned in mosques


Nalbari:Entry of Tablighi Jamaat members have been banned strictly in at lease 2 mosques in Assam. Sahan Masjid Committee of Rangya in Kamrup district has even put a notice, prohibiting entry of those who had attended tablighi (preaching) congregations. Sources in mosque committee in Sahan village said they had completely banned the entry of Tablighi Jamaatis in the mosque.“We have decided this after a discussion with local residents,” an imam said, adding, “attendance of jamaatis who had attended Nizamuddin Markaz congregation, is very strictly banned.”The assistant secretary of the Anjuman-e-Islamia, a social organisation, Jakir Hussain, informed about a similar decision of ban on entries for Tablighi Jamaatis in a mosque of Puranigudam in central Assam’s Nagaon district.Several others mosques across the state have also adopted similar resolutions.Sources in Sahan and Puranigudam mosque management committees said a decision had been taken to take action if any person from the mosques participates in Tablighi Jamaats in future as well.telegraphindia


COVID-19: Two policeman die in Mumbai, first such cases


2 Mumbai policemen have succumbed to COVID-19 in quick succession, sending shockwaves in the city's police circles, officials said here on Sunday.According to a senior official, these are the first 2 cases of corona deaths among the Mumbai Police. A 57-year-old policeman, under treatment at the Nair Hospital, succumbed on Saturday afternoon, officials said here. The second casualty is a 52-year-old policeman."Mumbai Police lost two brave souls in a span of two days. May the departed souls rest in peace. Thoughts and prayers for the family and friends," Police Commissioner Param Bir Singh tweeted.IANS


UAE: Ambassador ‘appalled’ after bodies of three Indians returned from Delhi to Abu Dhabi


Abu Dhabi: Indian Ambassador to UAE Pavan Kapoor says he is appalled after the bodies of 3 Indians flown back to India were returned to Abu Dhabi on Friday.3 deceased Indian nationals had died of non-coronavirus causes and were flown to Delhi on Thursday but were promptly returned by authorities there.“We are appalled at what has happened,” Kapoor told Gulf News. “We do not know if the bodies were returned because of coronavirus-related restrictions, but we are obviously not sending the remains of people [who have passed away from COVID-19],” he added.The deceased were Kamlesh Bhatt, who passed away on April 17, and Sanjeev Kumar and Jagsir Singh who both died on April 13.gulfnews

Punjab Sends Quarantined Kashmiris Home for Ramzaan, Rekindles Hopes of Others


Jalandhar: Earlier this week, the Punjab government finally allowed around 1300 Kashmiris – who were stuck at the quarantine facilities of Pathankot and Batala town of Gurdaspur district – to return back to their homes in Jammu and Kashmir (J&K) in time for Ramzaan.The Wire had reported that Kashmiris stuck in different cities of Punjab, Haryana, Uttarakhand and Himachal Pradesh due to  the lockdown in the wake of the COVID-19 epidemic were pleading to be repatriated to their homes in J&K. The Punjab government’s move has now give the Kashmiris in other states hope that they too will be able to return soon.While around 1180 Kashmiris comprising students, employees, shawl sellers, wood cutters and labourers were sent from Pathankot district, 78 were released from Batala in the border district of Gurdaspur. Every year, these people hailing from Anantnag, Srinagar, Kupwara, Sopore, Rajouri and such places travel to various north Indian states in search of better prospects in education and work.


Indian Car Makers Assure Employees About No Salary Cut Or Job Loss Post Lockdown


Auto manufacturers like Skoda-Volkswagen, Renault and MG Motor India have assured its employees that there will be no pay cuts or job losses due to Coronavirus crisis. According to a report from ETAuto, the carmakers gave assurance to the employees that they won't be taking this step even though COVID-19 has affected business plans as well as cash flows. Moreover, Skoda-Volkswagen India Private Limited confirmed that it would continue to hire in India despite Coronavirus crisis. carandbike


Ahmedabad: Woman beggar lynched to death by mob


Ahmedabad: A mob of around 1,000 people lynched a 45-year-old woman beggar to death in Ahmedabad’s Vadaj area on Tuesday, suspecting her to be a child abductor.The deceased woman, identified as Shantadevi Nath from Meldi Mata Na Chhapra in Sardarnagar area of the city, went to beg at Vadaj area along with three other women when the public suspected them as child-lifters and attacked on them with sticks, police said.


Quarantined in School Building after Losing Way to Her Village, Rajasthan Woman Gang Raped


A woman was allegedly gang raped in a school in Rajasthan where she had been quarantined for a night by the police amid the nationwide coronavirus lockdown, a police official said on Sunday.The incident occurred last week when the victim, a daily wage earner, sought shelter at a police station after walking alone for miles and losing the way to her native village.In the absence of a quarantine centre, local police housed her for the night in a school building, where she was allegedly raped by three men."Three local men who raped the woman inside the school on Apr. 23 have been arrested and sent to jail," Parth Sharma, a deputy superintendent of police in Sawai Madhopur district in Rajasthan and the investigating officer in the case, told Reuters by telephone.The victim, aged between 40-45 years, said in a statement to the police that she had been walking for several days from Sawai Madhopur before she reached a village where she was raped.Reuter


Saudi Arabia partially lifts curfew except in Mecca


Saudi Arabia's King Salman has issued an order to partially lift the curfew in all regions of the kingdom while keeping a 24-hour curfew in Mecca and in previously isolated neighbourhoods, state news agency (SPA) said early on Sunday.The curfew will be lifted between 9am and 5pm from Sunday onwards, while malls, wholesale and retail shops will be allowed to reopen from the sixth day of Ramadan to the 20th day of the holy month - April 29 to May 13.As of Sunday morning, Saudi Arabia recorded 16,299 infections and 136 deaths, the highest among the six-member Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) countries, according to data from Johns Hopkins University.aljazeera


Iran plans to reopen mosques in select areas;President


Iran plans to reopen mosques in parts of the country that have been consistently free of the coronavirus outbreak as restrictions on Iranians gradually ease, President Hassan Rouhani said on Sunday.Iran, one of the Middle Eastern countries hardest hit by the pandemic, will be divided up into white, yellow and red regions based on the number of infections and deaths, Mr. Rouhani said, according to the presidency's website.Activities in each region will be restricted accordingly, so an area that has been consistently free of infections or deaths will be labelled white and mosques could be reopened with Friday prayers resuming,  Rouhani said.REUTER


Bangladesh : Atleast 31 people contract COVID-19 at closed ISCKON temple in Dhaka; cases near 5,000


DHAKA: 31  people have been infected with the coronavirus in a closed ISCKON temple in the Bangladesh capital of Dhaka, it was reported on Sunday.The infections have baffled the authorities as temple has been closed to outsiders since the first COVID-19 case was reported in Bangladesh on March 8, bdnews24 said in a report."No one was allowed into the temple. I don't understand how so many people have been infected given so much care was taken,"Gendaria Police Station OC Saju Mia said after the test results from the govt's disease control agency IEDCR came on Saturday. More than 100 people, including priests, officials and devotees, reside in the temple.Old Dhaka areas under Gendaria Police Station have recorded 55 coronavirus cases so far with 3 deaths.Bangladesh has so far reported 4,998 coronavirus cases, with 140 deaths. IANS


China says all Wuhan virus patients discharged


Chinese city of Wuhan, where the global coronavirus pandemic began, now has no remaining cases of the infection in its hospitals, a health official has told reporters."The latest news is that by April 26, the number of new coronavirus patients in Wuhan was at zero, thanks to the joint efforts of Wuhan and medical staff from around the country," National Health Commission spokesman Mi Feng said at a briefing.The city had reported 46,452 cases, 56 percent of the national total. It saw 3,869 fatalities, or 84 percent of China's total.

'No new COVID-19 deaths for 10 days' in China's Wuhan



Coronavirus Related Disruptions Could Double Malaria Death Toll: WHO


WHO has warned that the deaths from malaria could double this year to nearly 8 lakh in sub-Saharan Africa if antimalarial campaigns are suspended, and supply of medicines is disrupted due to COVID-19 and related lockdowns.Even today, malaria continues to claim 4.3 lakh lives worldwide every year, with the number of well above 20 crores. India, despite tremendous progress thus far, still witness nearly 10,000 deaths due to malaria every year, as per the World Malaria Report 2019.As the global health community celebrates World Malaria Day on April 25, this serves as a stark reminder from the UN health agency to avoid repeating the mistakes of the past. Despite the novel coronavirus pandemic, WHO recommends that countries with malaria burden should act now to maintain the progress made so far.The projections of doubling of malaria-related deaths are based on a worst-case scenario of a new modelling analysis released earlier this week. The analysis was conducted by WHO in close collaboration with partners, including PATH, the Malaria Atlas Project and the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation. The projections represent a return to malaria mortality levels last seen 20 years ago.


Dozens arrested in anti-COVID-19 lockdown protest in Germany


German police arrested dozens of protesters in Berlin on Saturday for flouting the coronavirus lockdown measures they were demonstrating against.About 1,000 people turned out for the rally, which has become a weekly event in the German capital.Saturday's protest attracted mainly far-left activists but also saw attendance from right-wing supporters and members of fringe groups.Police put up barriers around Rosa Luxemburg square, where the protesters were headed, leaving the participants to gather in nearby roads.The protest "is not in line with the rules" in place to prevent the spread of coronavirus, police said on Twitter, telling those taking part to disperse.


WHO warns against coronavirus 'immunity passports'


United Nations's health agency has warned there is no scientific evidence to prove that people who have recovered from the coronavirus develop immunity against potential infection in the future, as the global death toll from COVID-19 passed 200,000 on Saturday amid 2.8 million infections.WHO gave the warning as a number of countries consider issuing so-called "immunity passports" to people who have recovered from COVID-19, the disease caused by the coronavirus.


US protesters slam surveillance during COVID-19 crisis


Despite serious warnings, demonstrations are continuing across US against coronavirus lockdowns.Protesters say stay-at-home orders "violate their civil liberties" and many are concerned about surveillance in this time.There are already talks in the US of using smart technology to locate coronavirus hotspots and to trace those who may have come into contact with the infected.Facebook and Google have been in talks with the government on sharing information they collect about us.Protesters are calling for full transparency as to what is being collected, how long it will be kept, by whom, and how this data will be used, particularly by law enforcement.


After Trump's Remarks, Disinfectant Makers Warn Consumers Against Ingesting Products


Washington: Makers of household cleaners on Friday took the unusual step of urging people not to drink or inject their products, after US President Donald Trump suggested researchers try using them to cure COVID-19 patients.Reckitt Benckiser, the UK-based maker of Lysol and Dettol, issued the first warning, saying: “Under no circumstance should our disinfectant products be administered into the human body (through injection, ingestion or any other route).”Clorox, maker of bleach, soon followed, calling it critical for consumers to understand the facts.“Bleach and other disinfectants are not suitable for consumption or injection under any circumstances,” it said.The comments came after Trump said at a Thursday news briefing that scientists should explore whether inserting ultraviolet light or disinfectant into the bodies of people infected with the disease caused by the novel coronavirus would help.


Coronavirus vaccine trial starts in UK: Oxford University injects first participant


London: A microbiologist has become the first human to be injected for the human trial phase of a vaccine in UK against the novel coronavirus being developed by a group of scientists at the University of Oxford.Elisa Granato is the first volunteer in an initial group of 800 to be part of the ground-breaking trial, which is hoped will be the answer for immunisation against the deadly virus and help with the easing of lockdown measures in place to curb its rapid transmission."I'm a scientist, so I wanted to try to support the scientific process wherever I can," Granato told the BBC as she was injected in Oxford, where the trial began this week.The researchers started screening healthy volunteers in March for the “ChAdOx1 nCoV-19" vaccine trial in Thames Valley Region of England. ChAdOx1 nCoV-19 is made from a virus (ChAdOx1), which is a weakened version of a common cold virus (adenovirus) that causes infections in chimpanzees, that has been genetically changed so that it is impossible for it to grow in humans. PTI


Why No Outcry from BJP or TV Anchors When I Was Attacked, Asks This Hindu Sadhu


New Delhi: The recent mob lynching incident of Palghar led to a massive outcry on television and social media, particularly from BJP leaders, Hindutva activists and others associated with right-leaning ideologies. Their response has essentially revolved around the fact that 2 of 3 men killed were sadhus affiliated with an akhara in Varanasi. This fact was used by BJP and a section of television anchors to communalise the incident, even though the attackers were adivasis – considered Hindus by Sangh parivar – and there was not a single Muslim or Christian among those police arrested. 2 sadhus, who bear the name ‘Giri’, were initially claimed by Gosavi nomadic tribal leaders as members of their community but Dainik Bhaskar has reported from Bhadohi in Uttar Pradesh that older sadhu was the son of a Brahmin named Chintamani Tiwari. Palghar police said they have no information about the identity of the deceased other than their names. In July 2018, a horrific lynching incident of Gosavi tribals took place in Dhule, Maharashtra. But since the state was ruled by a BJP chief minister at the time, Hindutva lobby did not make it a big issue. But now that a Shiv Sena-Congress-NCP coalition is ruling the state, Palghar incident has been given not just a political colour but communal overtones too.On Wednesday, another saffron-robed person who was brutally attacked by a mob in Jharkhand in July 2018 – Swami Agnivesh – released a video condemning the Palghar murders. He also drew attention to the system’s failure to punish those who had lynched Muslims like Akhlaq, Pehlu Khan and Junaid and then spoke about his own experience at the hands of a mob.thewire


Citizenship  crackdown protesters unlock voice


New Delhi:Locked down but refusing to be silenced, several students and activists showered social media on Saturday with images of themselves holding placards condemning the arrests of several people, especially those involved in the protests against the new citizenship matrix.In a series of tweets, N. Sai Balaji, president of the CPIML Liberation’s AISA, said: “Medical workers are facing massive shortage of PPE kits and migrant workers don’t have access to food and shelter. Govt is choosing to prioritise suppression of dissent and booking activists and students under UAPA. This needs to stop!”He added: “Meeran Haider, Safoora Zargar and Umar Khalid booked under UAPA. This blatant witch-hunting of Muslim activists and students must stop! The government should focus on fighting Covid-19, not activists!" RJD MP Manoj Jha said : “These individuals are accused of making speeches which were against CAA-NPR-NRC. It is these speeches and peaceful protests that have attracted serious accusations in FIRs, which were gradually built up from inciting violence to attempt to murder to murder to sedition to the cherry on top — UAPA."On Saturday, voices were also raised for other activists in prison. Hum Bharat Ke Log, a collective against CAA steered by political activist Yogendra Yadav and others, condemned the arrest of Assam peasant leader Akhil Gogoi, in jail since December last year.Tamil author Meena Kandaswamy tweeted: “News has just come in that Dr Anand Teltumbde is being sent to Taloja jail. This anti-Dalit vendetta is DNA of Manuvadi fascist Modi-Shah govt. 20 days ago, Taloja jail authorities complained of overcrowding and said no to any more prisoners.”Several others too posted tweets demanding the release of 11 activists, including academic Teltumbde, arrested in Elgaar Parishad case. Telegraph


Charged with anti-terror law, pregnant woman sent to jail:aljazeera


Safoora Zargar, a research scholar from Jamia Millia Islamia (JMI) university, spent her first day of Ramadan in the high-security Tihar jail in the Indian capital, New Delhi. 27-year old, in the second trimester of her first pregnancy, was arrested on April 10 and subsequently charged under the stringent anti-terror law, UAPA, by the Delhi police.Zargar was associated with the Jamia Coordination Committee (JCC), which organised weeks of peaceful protests in the capital against a citizenship law passed last December.Activists say CAA discriminates against the country's 180 million Muslim minority and runs against the country's secular constitution."She was the strongest women voice in the JCC but, she wasn't there to just be in the spotlight unlike some others", said Kausar Jan, an art student, who along with others had painted protest art on the walls of the university.


In murder of Dalit man in Rajasthan, caste atrocities surface despite lockdown


Jodhpur: 80kms from Jodhpur city in the state of Rajasthan, falls Basni village in Jainta gram panchayat – where on April 18 the murder of a middle-aged Dalit man allegedly at the hands of upper-caste men has left his family and other Dalits in fear. The Dalits are a minority in the village comprising nearly 30 per cent of the village population.The victim Dungarram Meghwal belongs to the Meghwal community, one of the largest Dalit communities in Rajasthan. Most men from Meghwal community work as agriculture workers, manual workers and cobblers but Dungarram had what most Dalits across the country do not commonly possess – he owned land and had a job as a clerk with Central Arid Zone Research Institute (CAZRI).On the morning of April 18, according to Dungarram’s family – the victim and his two brothers Banshilal Meghwal and Kesharam Meghwal had gone to their family land, a three kilometres distance from their home. The land falls in the area of the village Bhat Koriya, the assailants’ village. Given the lockdown enforced in the country amid the outbreak of COVID-19, the brothers thought of utilizing the time to fence their land.


Coronavirus pandemic leaves Delhi riots victims twice displaced:aljazeera


New Delhi; 3 newly installed lights fail to illuminate Jameela Begum's burned ruin of a house.Its walls heavily blackened with soot, this was the place she had called home for 18 years before religious violence in the Indian capital erupted in February. "You can still breathe the ash in the air. It is in an unlivable condition," Jameela, 55, told Al Jazeera.On February 23, Jameela's neighbourhood in northeast Delhi was ravaged by the worst violence the capital had witnessed in decades, which left at least 53 people dead.The violence took place amid protests over a controversial new citizenship law, which critics said violated India's secular constitution and was aimed at further marginalising its Muslim minority.Dozens of people, including a large number of Muslims, have been arrested for the violence.


PM’s trusted aide appointed Secretary of MSME


In a much-awaited large-scale reshuffle in Central administration, Modi govt has appointed/reshuffled 23 Secretary-level officials. 2 senior bureaucrats from the PMO have been moved out to important positions — Secretary AK Sharma as Secretary of MSME and Tarun Bajaj as Secretary of Economic Affairs in place of Atanu Chakraborty, who is retiring this month. The most notable appointment is that of AK Sharma, who was one of the most powerful bureaucrats in PMO as he has been with PM Modi since October 2001 when he took over as CM of Gujarat. thehindu


Thousands demonstrate against Israel coalition deal


Several thousand Israelis have demonstrated against a unity government deal that leaves PM Benjamin Netanyahu in power as he prepares to go on trial for corruption charges. The protesters oppose Netanyahu remaining as prime minister while he is a criminal suspect.The protesters say the unity government agreement, which gives Netanyahu influence over the appointment of judges and legal officials, "crushes democracy" and is meant to rescue Netanyahu from his legal troubles.Netanyahu is scheduled to face trial next month on charges of fraud, breach of trust and accepting bribes. He has consistently denied any wrongdoing. The protest on Saturday filled central Tel Aviv's Rabin Square, although demonstrators maintained distance from each other in line with health regulations in place for weeks meant to slow the spread of the coronavirus. Protesters, wearing face masks, waved Israeli flags and signs calling out Netanyahu for corruption. A police spokesman said hundreds attended the rally, but local media reports said thousands took part.Netanyahu and former military chief Benny Gantz, leader of Blue and White party, signed the power-sharing agreement on Monday after weeks of negotiations for what they termed a "national emergency" government meant to steer the country through coronavirus outbreak.


Separatist group announces self-rule in southern Yemen


Yemen's southern separatists have announced plans to establish a self-ruled administration in regions under their controlin a move the country's internationally-backed government said would have "catastrophic consequences". Southern Transitional Council (STC), in a statement early on Sunday, declared a state of emergency and said it would "self-govern" the key southern port city of Aden and other southern provinces. The council accused Yemen's Saudi-backed government of corruption and mismanagement. STC is supported by UAE."Southern Transitional Council announces a self-administration rule in the south, as of midnight Saturday, April 25th 2020," the council's statement read.The division between the two supposed allies is another facet of the country's complicated civil war.On one side are the separatists and on the other are forces loyal to exiled President Abd-Rabbu Mansour Hadi.Both have fought together in the Saudi-led coalition's war against Yemen's Houthi rebels. The coalition intervened in Yemen in March 2015 to restore power to Hadi's government after it was removed from the capital Sanaa by Houthis the previous year. Alkhader Sulaiman, a spokesman for the STC based in US, told Al Jazeera the separatist group was forced to take matters into its hands because of the government's failure to provide basic services. aljazeera


Train possibly belonging to Kim Jong spotted at resort town


A train likely belonging to North Korea's leader has been spotted at a resort town in the country's east, satellite imagery showed, amid conflicting reports about Kim Jong Un's health and whereabouts.In a report on Saturday, 38 North monitoring group said the train was parked at the "leadership station" in Wonsan on April 21 and April 23. The station is reserved for the use of Kim family, according to the Washington based group."Train's presence does not prove the whereabouts of North Korean leader or indicate anything about his health but it does lend weight to reports that Kim is staying at an elite area on the country's eastern coast," it said.Speculation about Kim's health first arose due to his absence from birth anniversary of North Korea's founding father and Kim's grandfather, Kim Il Sung, on April 15.

Where is Kim Jong Un?



US: Authorities probe fire that damaged Missouri Islamic centre


US authorities have said they are investigating a fire that badly damaged an Islamic centre in Missouri on the first day of Ramadan.FBI is offering a $5,000 reward for information leading to the arrest of anyone connected to the fire which broke out on Friday, coinciding with the start of a holy month for Muslims.Richard Quinn, the special agent in charge of the St Louis Division, announced the reward on Friday, hours after the fire broke out early that morning at the Islamic Center of Cape Girardeau, located about 185km (115 miles) south of St Louis.


*views, Articles, FEATURES*


How did we become so comfortable with inequality?Gadfly Rahul Jayaram,


Where malnutrition is entrenched, there is danger of hunger becoming widespread too:P Chidambaram


Pandemic comes as a reminder to PM it is time to fulfil those promises of ‘parivartan’ and ‘vikas’:Tavleen Singh


Deadly Communal Virus spreading faster than coronavirus:Anand Neelakantan


Who funded Arnab Goswami’s communal tirade over Palghar lynching? Manisha Pande


UAE should do more to combat Islamophobia: Mohib Ahmad, TwoCircles.net


Lockdown Diary: World not united, media not social and we are physically and socially ‘distant’:Retd Lt General UK Sharma


'Media and Top Central Leaders are Complicit in Communalising COVID-19':Karan Thapar


 Compiled and edited by Anwarulhaq (Released at: 9:11 PM)*


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