27 April 2020

27 April News: Hundreds of Tablighi Jamaat members donate blood plasma for COVID-19 patients . PM Modi hints lockdown may extend beyond May 3 in hotspot zones during interaction with CMs. UN raises alarm about police brutality in lockdowns, says could create ‘human rights disaster’


27 April 2020: 3 Ramazan 1441: Vol: 12, No: 192


Hundreds of Tablighi Jamaat members donate blood plasma for COVID-19 patients

Hundreds of Tablighi Jamaat volunteers who have recovered from Coronavirus are now queuing up in different parts of India to donate plasma for other serious patients undergoing treatment. Many volunteers have already donated blood for plasma in Delhi, Gujarat, Haryana, and other states. In addition, several have registered/committed themselves to donate in the states where the central government has so far not granted permission for collecting plasma.Over 200 volunteers have pledged to donate plasma in Delhi and the number is likely to go up. To begin with, 10 persons donated plasma on Sunday and there would be more on Monday, when people would come forward after breaking the Ramadan fast at dusk, said Dr Mohmmad Shoaib Ali, who is coordinating in the plasma collection drive on behalf of the Delhi health ministry.The move comes a day after Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal appealed to all Covid-19 patients to donate plasma for the treatment of serious patients. Tablighi Jamaat chief Maulana Saad had also appealed to all its Covid-recovered volunteers to donate plasma in large numbers.In Tamil Nadu, where the state government awaits the Centre’s nod to collect plasma, over 450 Tablighi Jamaat volunteers having already registered for donation. “We have formed a ‘Plasma Tarteeb Jamaat’ (Plasma Coordination Group) in Tamil Nadu and so far, around 450 Tablighi Jamaat volunteers have registered themselves. This number could well go up as and when the state government receives the approval of the central government to collect plasma. This number could have been higher had people not been fasting because in Ramadan a person cannot donate while fasting; but he can do so after breaking the fast at dusk,” Chennai-based Moulana Shamsudeen Qasimi, Executive Member of All India Muslim Personal Law Board who is overseeing the plasma coordination group, told Outlook.  In Delhi, the exercise started on Sunday. “We started taking blood from those Tablighi Jamaat volunteers who are in quarantine centres in Delhi. One quarantine centre is in Sultanpuri and two machines have been installed in Narela. On Sunday, it took some time in setting up of the machines etc., and 10 people donated plasma. And today we will start the process again after Iftar (breaking of fast). At the moment, we are taking patients who are under the age of 50, and only those can donate plasma who don’t have diabetes and hypertension issues,” Dr Ali told Outlook.For a donor to be eligible to donate plasma, he or she should have been free of symptoms and have tested negative for the virus at least 14 days before the plasma can be used. The blood in Covid-recovered patients develops immunity to fight against this illness, and the plasma is extracted from their blood. About 100ml plasma is taken from the blood and the process takes around 40 minutes.“There are about 190 Tamil Nadu Tablighi Jamaat volunteers in Delhi and everyone is committed to donate blood plasma,” said Dr Mohammad Shafiullah, who was present at the programme at Markaz Nizamuddin last month and had tested positive. The ‘first’ plasma donor in Delhi, Tabrez Khan from Jahangirpuri, is so happy that he is now ready to donate plasma for a second time on April 30. outlookindia

Branded as Virus 'Super Spreaders', These Recovered Tablighis Offer Blood Plasma for Serious Patients

Recovered Tablighi Jamaat Members Donate Blood Plasma for COVID-19 Patients


Telangana,  AP Tablighi Jamaat  units say ready to donate plasma for therapy

Telangana and Andhra Pradesh chapter of Tablighi Jamaat is ready to cooperate with the State government and donate plasma for convalescent plasma therapy trials to treat COVID-19 patients. A senior Tablighi Jamaat worker said that 3 mosques had served as quarantine centres for workers and others as well.He said that if and when the State government requires plasma donations, workers who were quarantined, and also those who were discharged after being treated for COVID-19, would donate. “To spread awareness, we will speak to the emirs of different areas in both AP and Telangana and work with the governments as we have done in the past,” said Masood Junaidi, a senior Tablighi Jamaat worker, who is also a businessman.thehindu


‘Don’t Spread Misinformation or Blame a Community,’ Advises Centre as COVID-19 Cases Spike in India

New Delhi: Amid rising cases of coronavirus in India, Centre on Monday stressed that spreading misinformation and panic should be avoided, adding that no community or area should be blamed for the spread of COVID-19. Lav Aggarwal, Joint Secretary, Ministry of Health and Family Welfare (MoHFW) said, “We should avoid spreading misinformation and panic. No community or area should be labelled for COVID-19 spread.” He further said that in particular, healthcare and sanitary workers, or police shouldn’t be targeted as they were helping people. Notably, in the wake of Tablighi Jamaat congregation, which was held in Delhi’s Nizamuddin last month, there have been incidents of ‘discrimination’ and even physical violence against Muslims in some parts of the


PM Modi expresses solidarity with Muslims in ‘Holy month of Ramzan’ twice in as many days amidst allegations of growing Islamophobia from Gulf countries

 Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Sunday expressed his solidarity with Muslims in the ‘Holy month of Ramzan’ sharing the difficulties faced by people fasting amidst the coronavirus pandemic. PM Modi said in his monthly radio address Mann Ki Baat that he was aware of Muslims facing difficulties in this Holy month.He said, “The month of Ramzan has begun. During last Ramzan, nobody would have thought that we will have to face such a big crisis in this year’s Ramzan. But, now that the whole world is facing this problem, we have an opportunity to make this Ramzan a symbol of patience, harmony, sensitivity and the feeling of service to others.”PM Modi continued, “Let’s do more prayers (during this year’s Ramzan) than before so that the world is rid of coronavirus before Eid is celebrated and we celebrate Eid with the same enthusiasm and joy as before. I am confident that we will follow the local guidelines and strengthen our resolve to fight corona.”


Tablighi Jamaat’s Conduct Criminal, but Muslim Community Can’t be Held Responsible for it: Naqvi

Minority Affairs Minister Mukhtar Abbas Naqvi calls Tablighi Jamaat’s conduct surrounding Nizamuddin congregation and the spread of Covid-19 as “criminal”. In an interview to News18, Naqvi, Muslim face in the central government, however underlines that the Jamaat does not represent the community and one can neither “punish” nor hold the entire Muslim community “responsible” for the March incident. It is the moral responsibility of every citizen, he says, to follow guidelines issued by the govt.news18


'No summons issued': Tablighi Jamaat chief Maulana Saad not an absconder, says lawyer

New Delhi: Advocate Fuzail Ayyubi, lawyer of Tablighi Jamaat chief Maulana Saad, on Monday, said that Maulana Saad is not an absconder as he has responded to the notices seeking information under Section 91 of CrPC served by Delhi Police in Nizamuddin congregation case.A search has already taken place at his residence in Delhi in the presence of his son. His native place in Uttar Pradesh has also been searched in connection with the case."Maulana Saad is not an absconder, whenever he will be asked to appear before Delhi Police he will surely appear. We have received 3 notices so far and we have responded to all three of them," Ayyubi told ANI here."We responded to the recently issued third notice in the case as well. He (Saad) has already joined the probe by responding to notices of IO and we have already written to IO for fully cooperating in the probe," Ayyubi said."People of Markaz and Tablighi Jamaat are fully co-operating with Delhi Police. Police recently searched the office of Maulana Saad in Markaz and the offices and residences of other accused in the matter. So, it would be wrong to say that we are not co-operating," he added.ANI


Muslims with no link to Tablighi Jamaat detained by Delhi Police, sent to quarantine

Delhi Police randomly picked up over 20 Muslim men from north-east Delhi on April 1 for allegedly being associated with Tablighi Jamaat conference. None of them had been to the conference or knew anyone who had gone. They all tested negative for Covid-19.Though at least 20 of them tested negative twice, they have been confined at the Covid-19 quarantine facility at Wazirabad-based Delhi Police Training Academy. At least eight of them are Shastri Park residents. All the rest are from Khajuri Khas, which saw one of the worst pogroms in the national capital in March. Boys as young as 19 were detained, and one of them had just returned from Bulandshahr.None of them could get in touch with their families as their phone had been confiscated by the police. It was returned to them only on Friday, which was when word began to get out about their confinement.“I had stepped out to buy fruits on April 1 when I was picked up by the police. I repeatedly told them that I had not attended the Tablighi Jamaat event at Nizamuddin, but they were not willing to listen. They said they would send us back home in two hours after a couple of tests. First, we were taken to Ram Manohar Lohia Hospital for Coronavirus tests. When the doctor found out we were not from Markaz, he said there was no need to test us,” said a resident of Shashtri Park. Another young man who was on his way to his textile shop was picked up under a ruse. nationalheraldindia


10 Indonesian Tablighis arrested in Mumbai

10 Indonesians, including 6 women- who all are members of Tablighi Jamaat and had attended the religious meet at Nizamuddin Markaz in Delhi- have been arrested by Mumbai Police under various sections of IPC on completion of their quarantine period, an official said.These 10 members were part of a group of 12 Tablighis from Indonesia who were staying at an apartment in Bandra  since March 29 after they had returned from Delhi, he said.PTI


Haryana's Muslim dominated Nuh district fights back: No new Covid-19 case in 8 days

Chandigarh:It took barely 3 days for the coronavirus disease (Covid-19) to turn Nuh, a backward district with 80% Muslim population, into the hotbed of outbreak in Haryana. With 3 cases on April 4, the count jumped to 37 on April 7 and subsequently went up to 56 on April 17.Amid rapid increase in cases, fight back of Nuh administration has been equally striking. No fresh case has been detected in the past eight days, even as the district, with 57 cases, still has the maximum number of cases in the state.“In 2 days, beginning March 31, we tracked 656 Jamaat attendees and in the next three days, we identified 312 people who had direct contact with them,” said Nuh DC Pankaj.Nuh district in Mewat area is close to the national capital.HT


Allahabad University constitutes fact-finding committee on professor arrested for hiding tablighi jamaat members

Authorities of Allahabad University have constituted a high-level committee to present a detailed report on the circumstances and events in regard to a senior faculty member of the department of political science who has been arrested for hiding his travel history and also making arrangements for the stay of nine jamaat members at a local mosque in the city.The political science professor is already under suspension and is put behind the bars along with 29 other persons including the 16 jammati’s.Monday’s fact-finding committee, constituted by the officiating vice chancellor Prof Rajiv Ranjan Tiwari, would be headed by Prof R K Upadhayay of the department of defence studies of AU. He is also the present chief proctor of AU.TOI


Bengal Governor pans CM with markaz statement, Muslim leaders irked

West Bengal Imams’ Association shot off a letter to Governor Jagdeep Dhankhar, accusing him of “trying to disturb the communal harmony from a constitutional position” and seeking retraction of his statement on Nizamuddin markaz in Delhi.Imams’ body threatened to start a movement if Dhankhar does not retract his statement or clarify himself. Of around 40,000 mosques in the state, clerics of 26,000 mosques are members of association. Dhankhar referred to Nizamuddin markaz in his letter to Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee on Friday. He wrote a day after Banerjee sent him a five-page letter, accusing Dhankhar of forgetting can figure out that your entire strategy is crafted to deliberately divert people’s attention from your abject failure in combating and containing coronavirus in West Bengal. Your appeasement of minority community was so explicit and awkward that as regards a question about Nizamuddin markaz incident by a journalist, your reaction was ‘Do not ask communal the first day of the month of Ramzan, the imams’ body raised strong objection to Dhankhar’s comment.“Nizamuddin markaz incident was related to Delhi Police and Ministry of Foreign Affairs. It was completely their issue... we all are very much aware that general Muslims of India don’t have any relation with the association, wrote to Dhankhar. HT


PM Modi hints lockdown may extend beyond May 3 in hotspot zones during interaction with CMs

Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Monday held a video conference with chief ministers to discuss the situation arising due to COVID-19 in the country, which is under a 50-day lockdown since March 25 to contain the pandemic, even as Meghalaya said it will continue with the shutdown post May 3 with relaxations in 'Green Zones' or non-COVID affected districts.This is Modi's fourth such interaction with state chief ministers since March 22 when he first spoke to them on the coronavirus situation and steps taken --both by the Centre and the states-- to contain the pandemic. Two days later on March 24, Modi announced a 21-day nationwide lockdown. He extended the lockdown till May 3 on April 14, the last day of the initial three week shutdown.Among those present at the virtual meet, included Home Minister Amit Shah, Health Minister Harsh Vardhan and top officials from PMO and Union Health Ministry. According to a report in NDTV, PM Modi said, "There is no need to worry on the economy front, our economy is good.” Five of nine Chief Ministers at the meeting said the lockdown should end, while the rest were in favour of extending it for the sake of controlling the spread of COVID-19.The chief ministers who attended the meeting included Arvind Kejriwal (Delhi), Pinarayi Vijayan (Kerala), Uddhav Thackeray (Maharashtra), EK Palaniswami (Tamil Nadu), Conard Sangma (Meghalaya) Trivendram Singh Rawat (Uttarakhand) and Adityanath (Uttar Pradesh)."At the video conference called by hon'ble PM Modiji and hon'ble Home Minister Shahji. We have mooted to continue with the lockdown post May 3rd with relaxation on activities in Green Zones or non-COVID affected districts in Meghalaya," Sangma tweeted.In a tweet on Monday, PMO said Modi and the chief ministers will be discussing aspects relating to the COVID-19 situation.


 Odisha CM wants lockdown extended till June 3, 2 CMs agree

Odisha Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik wanted the lockdown to be extended by one more month. According to sources, Patnaik who led the chorus for extension of lockdown said it has to be extended on May 3 to June 3. Sources said at least 2 states backed him. Only 9 CMs— Meghalaya, Mizoram, Puducherry, Uttarakhand, Himachal, Odisha, Bihar, Gujarat & Haryana — were asked to speak during the meet, while the rest had the option to send Chief Secretary as the representative. Kerala CM Vijayan, who was represented by state chief secretary, had already sent suggestions to Home Minister Amit Shah. Meghalaya CM Conrad Sangma said he proposed to continue with the lockdown post May 3, while Goa and Odisha have also said that they want an extension, ANI reported. Goa CM Pramod Sawant said, "COVID-19 related lockdown which is scheduled to end on May 3, should be extended further, with relaxations for economic activities within the state but the borders should be sealed."


Must Extend Lockdown Till May 21: Mamata

West Bengal CM Mamata Banerjee today said, "We are in favour of extending lockdown till May 21. From today's meeting with PM, the sense I got from what he had to say, is that this lockdown would continue, but certain relaxations must be given."news18


Delhi's Lockdown Likely To Be Extended?

The total number of confirmed Covid-19 cases in Delhi has gone up to 2,918 with 1,987 active cases and 54 deaths, according to government data. A sharp spike was reported on Sunday as national capital recorded 293 new cases. CM Arvind Kejriwal on Monday attended a video conference with Prime Minister Narendra Modi and other state chief ministers to discuss the way forward in dealing with the pandemic. As the coronavirus cases continue to rise in Delhi, a top govt official on Saturday suggested that the ongoing lockdown will have to be continued till mid-May to flatten the curve. "Delhi has a large number of containment zones, so it will be wise to extend it,”Dr SK Sarin, chairman of Delhi govt’s committee on combating Covid-19, was quoted as saying by PTI. The lockdown, official added, will have to be extended till May 16. huffingtonpost


HRD Minister calls for meeting with State Education Ministers on April 28

Union HRD Minister Ramesh Pokhriyal has called a meeting with State Education Ministers to discuss issues related to COVID-19 and midday meal programme, officials said on April 27, The meeting will be held at 2.00 p.m. on April 28 through videoconferencing. PTI


Covid-19: UP brings back over 12,000 labourers from Haryana; Bihar CM hits out at inter-state travel

Uttar Pradesh government has brought back over 12,000 labourers who were stranded in Haryana amid the coronavirus-induced lockdown,PTI reported.“Chief Minister Adityanath has already issued directions that labourers belonging to Uttar Pradesh, who are working in other states and have completed 14 days of quarantine, should be brought back,” Additional Chief Secretary Awanish Awasthi told reporters in Lucknow. “A total of 12,216 labourers were brought back from Haryana in 410 buses by Sunday evening.”Awasthi added that the labourers were being sent to their respective districts in 394 buses.




 Kerala Govt preparing for return of NRIs after lockdown

Kerala government is expecting a huge influx of non-resident Keralites (NRKs) and Malayalis living in other states back into the state once the national lockdown is lifted on May 3. Kerala government on Sunday began the registration process for bringing back people stranded in various countries once Centre gives the nod and air services resume.Last week, government had issued an order saying expats who wish to come back to the state will need certificates showing they tested negative for COVID-19. They can then register with the Kerala government’s NORKA department.Reports say over a lakh Malayalis have registered on the site so far. The state government has said it is expecting around 3-5.5 lakh people to come back within first 30 days.huffingtonpost


PIL on sending stranded migrants home: SC seeks Centre’s response within a week

The Supreme Court on Monday sought Centre's response on any proposal in the pipeline for facilitating movement of stranded migrant workers from the place of their migration back to the place of their residence amid lockdown. The Bench of Justices NV Ramana, Sanjay Kishan Kaul, and BR Gavai took up the plea filed by Jagdeep Chhokar for hearing via video conferencing. The petition sought for allowing migrants who test negative for COVID-19 to be allowed to return to their homes, reports BarandBench. 3 -Judge Bench sought Centre's response on the plea within a period of one week.Advocate Prashant Bhushan told the court during the hearing that the fundamental rights of migrants were being violated. Citing reports from the media, Bhushan said that over 90% of the stranded migrants were not receiving ration and essential items.nationalheraldindia


SC junks PIL which sought mass testing, challenged validity of PM CARES fund

The Supreme Court on Monday dismissed a PIL which sought directions to the Centre to conduct en masse door to door testing for COVID-19 as withdrawn, reports legal news website in person, advocate Shashwat Anand appeared before the Bench comprising of Justices NV Ramana, SK Kaul and BR Gavai and apprised them of his plea which also included a challenge to the validity of PM CARES fund.Expressing their displeasure at the same, the Bench threatened to impose a fine on the petitioner if he did not withdraw the plea."The petition has a political colour. Either you withdraw it or we will impose a fine", warned Justice Ramana as the hearing lasted for barely a minute.The petitioners, Shashwat Anand, Ankur Azad and Faiz Ahmad, 3 advocates and Sagar, a law student from Allahabad, expressed their grave concerns over the manner in which India is attempting to fight the pandemic, especially with regard to the low rate of testing.nationalheraldindia



ICMR Purchased Rapid Test Kits at 145% of Landed Price, Delhi HC Case Reveals

New Delhi: A dispute between a distributor and importer of the COVID-19 rapid test kits from China in the Delhi high court has brought to light the fact that ICMR has been sold the equipment at a hugely overpriced rate. The high court has noted a 145% mark-up between the landing price of the kits from China to their supply to the ICMR. On April 26, a one-member bench led by Justice Najmi Wajiri intervened and slashed the price by 33% for each kit. According to a news report in Business Today, the importer, Matrix Labs, was procuring the SARS-CoV-2 test kits from Wondfo Biotech, a Chinese firm, at a price of Rs 245 per piece. This included air freight price of Rs 20 each. However, Matrix Labs has been selling each kit to the distributor, Rare Metabolics Life Sciences, at Rs 400. The distributor, in turn, is selling the kits to ICMR for Rs 600 each before adding GST. This means that there is a 145% mark up between the landed price of the kits and the rate at which they were sold to ICMR. On March 27, ICMR had placed an order for five lakh such kits at the said price. Out of the order, 2.76 lakh kits have already been delivered to ICMR while the remaining ones are yet to land in India.

 Corruption in COVID-19 test kits purchase? Modi govt must make all transactions public, demands Congress

Hours after former Congress president Rahul Gandhi flagged the issue of huge profiteering in COVID-19 testing kits procurement, Congress demanded that all the transactions be made pubic.Senior Congress leader and spokesperson, Manish Tewari said that the silence of the Modi government in this regard was deafening.Demanding that all the all procurements which have been made, whether they pertain to testing kits, ventilators, or personal protection equipment related to COVID- 19, must be transparently put in the public space, Tewari said, “At what cost have they been imported, by whosoever and whom the order was placed and at what price has he further supplied it to the ICMR or any other agency given the fact that all procurements have been centralised by the Central Government, everything must be made public.”Saying that non-transparency and profiteering is an extremely serious matter that hurts India’s fight against COVID-19, Tewari added,“We have to optimise the utilisation of those resources and not allow companies in the middle to make an arbitrage of over 60-65 per cent per transaction, 18.75 crores out of 30 crores. All procurements need to be put out transparently in the public space.”


Coronavirus: ICMR asks states to return Chinese rapid test kits, Centre says won’t ‘lose a rupee’

Centre on Monday said India has not paid the Chinese firms who provided faulty testing rapid testing kits for Covid-19. This came hours after Indian Council of Medical Research advised states to stop using kits produced by Guangzhou Wondfo Biotech and Zhuhai Livzon Diagnostics as the results led to wide variation.“Rapid diagnostic kits have a limited role to play,” Joint Health Secretary Lav Agarwal said. “We followed the due process.”


SC says plea challenging mass layoffs in media raises serious issues, notice issued to Centre

Amid mass lay-offs and salary cuts in the media industry during COVID-19 lockdown, the Supreme Court on Monday observed that a plea highlighting the same had raised "serious issues". The Bench headed by Justice NV Ramana thus issued notice to the Centre in the petition filed by journalists' unions, reports April 16, National Alliance of Journalists (NAJ) and 2 other unions had approached the Supreme Court for suspension of all retrenchment, salary cuts and allied orders by media houses against their employees till further orders.The court, while hearing the matter on Monday, indicated that it would issue notice. However, Solicitor General Tushar Mehta requested 3-judge bench to "hand him over a copy" of the petition so that he could "respond."In response, Justice SK Kaul stated, "Other unions are also saying this. The question is if business does not start, how long will they sustain? The issue needs hearing." PIL was filed jointly by NAJ, Delhi Union of Journalists, and the Brihan Mumbai Union of Journalists.nationalheraldindia


State cannot make sweeping statements on COVID-19 spread through newspapers without opinion of experts:HC

Bombay High Court’s Aurangabad bench pulled up the state government, saying it cannot make sweeping statements about the chances of spread of COVID-19 infection through newspapers without taking opinions of health experts.A single-judge bench of Justice Prasanna B Varale heard a plea through video conference as it took a suo motu cognisance of paper reports related to the Maharashtra govt’s decision prohibiting door-to door delivery of newspapers in view of COVID-19 lockdown.indian express


Move not to facilitate Muslims, trading is in Gujarat’s DNA: Vijay Rupani

Gujarat CM Vijay Rupani has said that some “elements” were trying to weaken the fight against coronavirus by spreading misinformation that the state government’s move to allow conditional opening of shops was to facilitate Muslims during month of Ramzan.On Saturday,the state government had allowed standalone shops, except those located in containment zones, malls, shopping complexes and the ones selling tobacco products, to open with 50% staff. It had also excluded barber shops, beauty parlours, restaurants and hotels along with shops selling cold drinks.However, on Sunday, the state government withdrew its decision and declared that the relaxations will not be applicable to 4 major major cities of Ahmedabad, Surat, Vadodara and Rajkot.Appearing on a social media platform to answer certain queries late Sunday evening, Rupani said, “Today, there is a question in the minds of some people if when the lockdown is imposed in the entire country till May 3, why is the state government hastening the relaxations.”


Ahmedabad Civil Hospital makes spl arrangements for Muslim Covid-19 patients to observe roza

Ahmedabad Civil Hospital makes special arrangements for Muslim patients in its Covid-19 ward so they can fast during the holy month of Ramzan. Civil Hospital, which seems to be in a damage-control mode after a reports of mismanagement of patients emerged, has made special arrangements for Muslim patients in its Covid-19 wards. Sources said, the hospital arranged sehri for about 240 Muslim patients who were served the special food — bun, bread, butter, eggs, curd, tea, coffee — at 3 am on Saturday, the first day of the holy month. Around 30 of them have decided to continue with the roza, while rest have opted out.ahmedabadmirror


Ind-Ra cuts India’s FY21 GDP growth further to 1.9%, lowest in 29 yrs

India Ratings and Research (Ind-Ra) on Monday revised its FY21 economic growth forecast for the country further down to 1.9%, lowest in the last 29 years, citing the COVID-19 pandemic and subsequent lockdown.According to Ind-Ra, Indian economy had registered a GDP growth of 1.1% in the financial year 1991-92.In a note on Monday, Ind-Ra revised its economic growth estimate for the country from its forecast of 3.6% published on March 30, to 1.9%.Ind-Ra, noted that its growth projection is based on the assumption that the partial lockdown will continue till mid-May 2020.PTI


Kashmir: Woman Pregnant With Twins, Confirmed Covid-19 Positive After Death

Maternity and Child Care Hospital in South Kashmir’s Anantnag has plunged into a crisis and panic after a 35-year-old pregnant woman died here and her test results confirmed that she was Covid-19 positive.The doctors and paramedical staff who attended the patient have been asked to quarantine themselves. However, the doctors said there was a shortage of PPE and there are no isolation ward facilities in the hospital for Covid-19 suspects or patients.According to doctors, the pregnant lady from Kharpora Kokernag area of Anantnag was admitted in the hospital on Saturday at 8:30 a.m. diagnosed as advanced labour with twin pregnancy. She delivered first stillbirth baby immediately as a normal delivery. Her second baby was also stillbirth after an hour. Later, she was shifted to a ward having common entry.The patient died few hours later and after her death, her samples were taken and she was handed over to her family. Family members of the deceased woman said that hospital staff didn’t take care of the patient when they heard she came from a Red Zone. “They didn’t even examine her initially,” said a family member. The family members said she was kept in isolation after her delivery and not treated well. They alleged she died of a heart attack in the isolation.  A top official of the district ruled out death of the lady due to Covid-19 and instead hinted toward the alleged negligence on part of the hospital.“The unfortunate death of a pregnant woman on Sunday at MCH Anantnag can’t be attributed to COVID-19, though samples taken post her death have reported positive. The alleged negligence on part of maternity hospital is being inquired into!,”said Syed Yasir, additional commissioner.outlookindia


COVID: Burial free in Mumbai's Mahim Muslim cemetery

Mumbai: Mahim Kabrastan Trust in Mumbai on Sunday said burial of COVID-19 victims will be freeof cost at their cemetery.It is one of cemeteries mandated by Brihnamumbai Municipal Corporation to bury community members who die due tothe coronavirus infection."During such distressing times, serving mankind is themost important aspect. We have decided to waive off all burialexpenses. Burial of COVID-19 victims in Mahim Sunni Muslim Kabrastan is free of cost," Mahim Sunni Kabrastan Trust chairperson said.PTI


And Now Ban On 'Azaan' In Haryana

After the state govts in Delhi and UP clarified that there was no ban on ‘Azaan’, police and district administrtation in Haryana’s Faridabad district has imposed ban on calling of ‘Azaan’ from mosques.Ausaf Malik, a resident of Paudi village under Surajkund police station of the district has circulated a video, alleging that police came to his village and asked the people not to give ‘Azaan’ from mosques failing which action would be taken against the management of mosques. His allegation has been confirmed by the police.He says that he asked for a written order from the police authorities in this regard but the policemen said they were not having any written permission. “I then called up SHO of Surajkund Police Station, met him in person and asked for the written order in the matter. However, he did not show any official order in this connection”, says Malik. Malik says that he told police that ‘azaan’ indicates the time for ‘namaaz’, and marks the beginning and end of the fast in the holy month of Ramzan, which began on Saturday.  “But police says no one will announce from mike as to when the timing of the fast begins or timing of the fast ends and time to eat begins”, Malik says.India Tomorrow


Dilemma over Azaan ban ‘order’ in UP; officials clarify

Confusion remains over Azaan in mosques in several districts of UP amid nationwide lockdown to curb spread of coronavirus. Several mosques alleged that UP Police has told them that Azaan is not allowed. However, there is a lack of clarity over it as officials have denied any such incident.Some pamphlets with a message that ‘azaan/namaz’ would not be allowed surfaced at different places including Farrukhabad and Ghazipur. ‘Under CrPC provisions it has been ordered that during the lockdown, there would be no namaz/azan…’ read the pamphlet.Surprisingly, pamphlets suggested that Azaan and Namaz are either the same or interchangeable. “There is no order regarding Azaan in the district. Lockdown orders are applicable in the district as in the rest of the state,” Ghazipur SP Om Prakash Singh was quoted as saying by Indian


Alleging corruption, BJP law maker asks administration to return his donation for COVID-19

A BJP lawmaker has written a letter to CDO of Hardoi to return his contribution of ₹25 lakh from the Vidhayak Nidhi (Legislators’ funds) which he had donated for the purchase of masks, PPE, santizers and other equipments, alleging corruption in purchase of these equipments.The letter written by Shyam Prakash, MLA from Gopamau in Hardoi, has created a storm as there was hushed talk of corruption in purchase of PPEs and masks but this is the first time such serious charges have been made.nationalheraldindia


‘Summers may ebb COVID-spread; BCG vaccine may offer partial immunity’

Sunshine and summer may ebb spread of coronavirus, and BCG vaccine (already given to all Indians) also may offer partial immunity, says Ravi Godse, Director of Discharge Planning, UPMC Shadyside Pennsylvania, US. Godse recommended the use of plasma therapy for serious patients in an email interview. Ravi Godse said, "In the summer, the humidity can go up as well, meaning more water drops in the air. If the air is saturated with water and somebody sneezes virus droplets into such air, it is likely that the droplets will fall to the ground quicker, making them less infectious. So the short answer is yes, summer/sunshine could be better. We know what we know, but we don’t know what we don’t know."IANS


Mob attacks police officers in Mumbai, 4 detained

Mumbai Police said a crowd that had gathered defying lockdown attacked a team of officers in Shivaji Nagar area on Sunday. 4 people have been detained following the episode.The attack took place on Sunday evening after the police reached the area following an alert about the crowd roaming on the streets in violation of the lockdown norms. “A 30-member strong crowd, including two women, had gathered at the intersection, flouting lockdown restrictions,” SI Sudarshan Paithankar said. “They pelted stones at the police personnel and also shouted slogans against them.” The mob reportedly damaged a police vehicle.scroll


Ashok Gehlot: ‘Economic activity must begin in non-hotspot zones… otherwise people will die of hunger’

Rajasthan CM Ashok Gehlot speaks to Manoj CG on what he is going to suggest to PM in the video conference scheduled for Monday. "Economic activities should restart. I told the PM in previous meetings that states are facing a financial crunch," says Ashok Gehlot.indianexpress


Coronavirus lockdown: Working 24X7, full strength, but sugar mill faces ‘drastic fall in sales’

Shamli: Outside rear gate of Bajaj Hindusthan Sugar Limited’s mill, 17 km from Shamli, along the Delhi-Saharanpur road, stand a row of sugarcane farmers queued up as per the size of their vehicle — from the smaller tractors to the larger ones, from tempos to trucks — as a mill official goes down their ranks distributing masks. In the silence on the highway, the vehicles and the mill operations, on 24X7, are the only signs of activity on a hot Wednesday.General Manager Lekhpal Singh (59), who has been working in the sugar industry since 1982 and running this mill for 2 years now, says they couldn’t have stopped production during the lockdown. “Restarting the mill, because of logistics and operational reasons, would have been a nightmare,” Singh says. The mill usually takes a break only for maintenance, once in 20 days.indianexpress


Mumbai cop who was denied admission in 4 civic hospitals dies of Covid-19

A 57-year-old head constable attached with the Kurla traffic division of Mumbai Police, who was denied admission in 4 civic hospitals died of Covid-19 on Monday. He was undergoing treatment at Parel’s King Edward Memorial Hospital. This is the third death due to coronavirus from Mumbai police force in last 48-hours.Over 50 policemen from the city police have tested positive for Covid-19 so far and are undergoing treatment at various hospitals. He is the third Mumbai police constable to succumb to Covid-19.A senior police officer confirmed the development to HT. Mumbai Police on Monday evening informed about the demise of head constable through Twitter.HT

No risk of transmission from Covid-19 recovered patients:govt

In encouraging news amid coronavirus health crisis, 16 Indian districts which earlier had Covid-19 positive cases have not reported any fresh cases of the highly infectious disease for last 28 days. 3 new districts which are latest additions to this list are— Gondia in Maharashtra, Devangere in Karnataka and Lakhi Sarai in Bihar, data from the Ministry of Health and Family Welfare indicated on Monday. A total of 85 districts in 25 states and Union Territories have not reported any Covid-19 fresh case in the last 14 days.


Alarm bells ringing in Ahmedabad: 19 deaths in one day, 67 in one week

Ahmedabad :With 19 patients succumbing to COVID-19 in Ahmedabad Sunday, including a Congress corporator, Gujarat’s largest city has registered 105 deaths linked to the virus overall — more fatalities than any other city in the country, apart from Mumbai with 204 deaths. Pune with 77 deaths, Indore (57) and Delhi (51) are next in line.As many as 67 of virus-linked deaths in Ahmedabad have been reported since April 20. During the same period, Mumbai reported 65 deaths.indianexpress


Amid lockdown, life insurers see 32% decline in new premium income in March

Mumbai :Life Insurance companies have reported a 32 per cent decline in new premium income in the month of March, as the business was practically shut for crucial parts of the month in the wake of the lockdown imposed by the government to tackle coronavirus. With the lockdown continuing in April, insurers have now started focussing on online business.The overall premium income (new business) of 24 players in the segment fell to Rs 25,409 crore this March from Rs 37,459 crore a year ago, as per data released by the Life Insurance Council.indianexpress


Centre flags gaps in critical care infra; shortages worst in UP, Bihar, Assam

Centre on Sunday presented to states a detailed account of the infirmities in India’s COVID-fighting infrastructure, including specifically, shortage of isolation beds, ventilators, and ICU beds.According to a presentation made at meeting, Uttar Pradesh, Bihar, and Assam had the largest numbers of districts with grave shortages of all these three kinds of equipment. The presentation was based on data up to April 23. The meeting, which was chaired by Cabinet Secretary, was attended by the health secretaries of the states. According to data presented at the meeting, 183 districts across the country have fewer than 100 isolation beds — and 67 of these districts have seen cases of coronavirus infection. As many as 53 (out of 75) districts in UP have fewer than 100 isolation beds, the data show — and 31 of these districts have reported cases. Bihar is number 2 on the infirmity list with 20 (out of a total 38) districts having fewer than 100 isolation beds; 9 of these districts have reported infections so far. In Assam, which is third on list, these numbers are 19 (out of 33) and 6 respectively.indianexpress


Delhi: 25 workers found in truck, sent to shelter home, say Cops

Delhi Police found 25 migrant labourers, including 8 women and seven children, in a truck near South Delhi’s Kotla Mubarakpur Saturday night. They were trying to return to Madhya Pradesh. A case has been registered against the driver and his helper and the truck has been seized. Police said the migrants, who worked as construction workers in Outer Delhi, have been shifted to a shelter home in Fatehpur Beri.DCP (South) Atul Kumar Thakur said, “The driver said he had come to Delhi to deliver essential goods and was returning to MP. The labourers came to know about this and paid the driver Rs 1,000 per person to drop them to their hometown.” Police said nine people boarded from Narela, six from Karnal bypass a nd 10 from near AIIMS.indianexpress


Banks have done nothing to help retailers, says retail industry body RAI

New Delhi :Banks have done “sweet nothing” to provide financing to retailers to tide over the lockdown crisis, and the government intervention is needed to avoid mass unemployment in the sector, according to RAI.The retail industry body claimed that despite RBI circulars to banks to lend support to businesses, on the ground retailers are finding it difficult to access funds from banks for various reasons.“The banks are not giving any kind of finance to retailers although RBI has stepped in. It is not happening on the ground. Banks have done sweet nothing in this whole situation to help retailers in this country,”Retailers Association of India (RAI) CEO Kumar Rajagopalan said.PTI


“At loss of words”: Congress mourns death of Badruddin Sheikh, who succumbed to COVID-19

Congress leader Badruddin Sheikh on Sunday passed away days after testing positive for coronavirus. His death sent shockwaves in Gujarat politics as his colleagues took to Twitter to condole his passing away.Congress spokesperson Shaktisinh Gohil tweeted, “I am at loss of words. Badrubhai, as we called him was a stellar of strength and patience. A senior leader of our @INCGujarat family,I knew him since40 years when he was with YouthCongress.He was relentlessly working with poor people & was infected with #Covid_19. #RIP my friend.”



Coronavirus global: UN raises alarm about police brutality in lockdowns, says could create ‘human rights disaster’

UN human rights office voiced concern on Monday about more than a dozen countries that have declared states of emergency due to COVID-19 pandemic where police have arrested or detained hundreds of thousands of people and killed others. “Emergency powers should not be a weapon governments can wield to quash dissent, control the population, and even perpetuate their time in power,” UN High Commissioner for Human Rights Michelle Bachelet said that denounced shootings and detentions without being specific.A top official from her office said about 80 countries have declared emergencies due to the new coronavirus, including 15 where the allegations were deemed most troubling. They were:Nigeria, Kenya, South Africa, Philippines, Sri Lanka, El Salvador, Dominican Republic, Peru, Honduras, Jordan, Morocco, Cambodia, Uzbekistan, Iran and Hungary. Covid-19 worldwide tally stood at 2,971,639, with as many as 2,06,542 fatalities, even as countries prepared to relatively ease down the lockdown measures to gradually resume daily life and economic activity. US continued to be the worst affected, with over 960,000 cases and over 52,000 deaths. After US, Spain reported 226,629 infections followed by Italy (197,675), France (162,220), Germany (157,770), UK (154,037) and Turkey (110,130). No fresh deaths were reported from mainland China, the country’s health ministry said Monday.

Pandemic could create ‘human rights disaster’, UN rights chief warns


COVID-19 could cause famine in about 3 dozen countries: UN food chief

The head of World Food Program David Beasley warned UNSC last week that as the world deals with COVID-19 pandemic it is “on the brink of a hunger pandemic” that could lead to “multiple famines of biblical proportions” within a few months if immediate action isn’t taken.Beasley said he has been on the phone with leaders of some of the world’s richest nations with a critical message: the coronavirus pandemic is not only affecting your economy but is impacting the economies of vulnerable and conflict-torn countries where millions of people will face starvation if you cut UN agency’s funding for food. “If we have money and access we can avert famine and we can truly avert catastrophic humanitarian death from starvation,but if we lose our funding, or we lose supply chain, there’s going to be disaster.” he added.indianexpress


After Covid-19 recovery, UK PM Johnson prepares for lockdown exit

With British Prime Minister Boris Johnson returning home after recovering from Covid-19 Sunday, his first challenge will be unveiling a plan to ease the ongoing lockdown. Johnson has been urged to reveal the lockdown exit strategy after Foreign minister Dominic Raab announced that the lockdown and social distancing measures would be extended for another 3 weeks and would last at least till 3 May.The official number of deaths related to COVID-19 in hospitals across UK rose to 20,732, up by 413 in 24 hours, while confirmed cases stood at 152,840, up by 4,463.


Italy to partially lift lockdown from May 4

Italy is preparing to lift Europe’s longest coronavirus lockdown by allowing factories and building sites to reopen from May 4, besides permitting limited family visits, Italian Prime Minister Giuseppe Conte said on Sunday. The country is planning to reopen the economy without triggering a new wave of coronavirus infections.“We expect a very complex challenge,” Conte said as he outlined the road map to restarting activities put into hibernation since early March. “We will live with the virus and we will have to adopt every precaution possible,” he added.indianexpress


Coronavirus Lockdown Raises Tensions in France's Poorest Areas

Joining more than 1,000 others, Djemba Diatite stood for hours in line to feed her growing family, grateful for handouts of fruits, vegetables and soap. It was her first time accepting charity, but she had no choice. The coronavirus pandemic has turned her small world upside down.With open air markets closed, supermarket prices skyrocketing, an out-of-work husband, two children to feed and another on the way, Diatite said even tomatoes are now too expensive.“This is my only solution,” she said, relieved that a local group in her Paris suburb of Clichy-sous-Bois stepped in with help.Clichy-sous-Bois — where fiery nationwide riots started in 2005 — is just 23 kilometers northeast of the French capital, but with its rows of housing projects, restless youth and residents teetering on the poverty line, it feels light years away.The town mayor, seeing a looming crisis triggered by food shortages, sounded alarm, and with scattered unrest simmering in impoverished suburbs, the French government announced a plan for urgent food assistance of 39 million euros  for communities in need.AP


Have More Indians Died in Britain than in India? Funeral Homes Tell the Story

London: Could more Indians have died of coronavirus in Britain than in India? So that, speaking at a time when the official tally of coronavirus deaths in India is under a thousand, the number of deaths of people of Indian origin in Britain could be a thousand or more? The question is not answered by official figures because such origins are not being recorded, not for immediate release anyhow. By Sunday Britain was reporting 20,732 coronavirus deaths in hospitals across the country. That number is missing 3 counts: number who have died in care homes and in homes, and deaths not officially registered as coronavirus-related. No one has put an estimate to the last, but the number of those who have died in homes and care homes has varyingly been estimated to be 10 to 50 percent above the official figure. Therefore it could be speaking at the conservative minimum, of at least 23,000 deaths in Britain thus far.Within that consider number of members of minorities affected.“ Members of the minorities are at far more serious risk of illness from coronavirus,” Dr Chaand Nagpaul,Chair of British Medical Association said.“About 40 percent of intensive care beds in UK are occupied by patients from minority backgrounds, that includes black people, and Asians, of which a large number are Indians.”40 per cent figure suggests something like 10,000 deaths among minorities within the total death toll of at least 23,000, given an indicative correlation between the numbers proportionately in intensive care and those who have died.News18


Multinational corporation Airbus says it is ‘bleeding cash at unprecedented speed’, warns employees of deep job cuts

Multinational aerospace corporation Airbus has warned its employees that the company is “bleeding cash at an unprecedented speed”, amid lockdowns around the world to combat Covid-19 pandemic, BBC reported on Monday. Airbus CEO Guillaume Faury told 1.35 lakh employees to brace for potentially deep job cuts and warned that the firm’s survival is at stake.“The survival of Airbus is in question if we don’t act now,” Faury said in the letter, according to Reuters. He added that in just 2 months the company has lost one-third of its business. “And, frankly, that’s not even the worst-case scenario we could face,” Faury said.Airbus had earlier this month announced that it would slash benchmark narrow-body jet production by a third to 40 jets a month. The company also set targets for wide-body jets, implying production cuts of up to 42%.


Coronavirus cases in Pak rises to 13,328; death toll 281

Pakistan's coronavirus cases have climbed to 13,328 while the death toll from the pandemic has reached 281 with 12 more fatalities, health ministry said on Monday. According to the Ministry of National Health Services, more than 3,000 people have recovered from the contagion.President Dr Arif Alvi visited mosques in Bara Kahu area of Islamabad on Sunday night to check if the guidelines were being followed. He directed mosque administrations to ensure implementation of preventive measures, necessary to control the spread of COVID-19. The president and leading clerics signed a 20-point agreement to allow prayers in mosques on certain safety conditions.


Covid-19: Bill Gates says vaccine could be ready within a year if all goes well

Microsoft co-founder Bill Gates said on Sunday that a vaccine against the coronavirus could be manufactured in a year if all goes well, CNN reported. The philanthropist is funding production of the seven most promising ideas to manufacture a vaccine.“If everything went perfectly, we’d be in scale manufacturing within a year,” Gates told CNN. “It could be as long as two years.”Gates, the world’s second-richest man, said the production will probably not begin by September, as some people have speculated. “Dr Fauci and I have been fairly consistent to say 18 months to create expectations that are not too high,” Gates said, referring to Anthony Fauci, director of US National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases and a member of the White House’s coronavirus task force.scroll


War-hit Yemen struggles to trace COVID-19 infection          

When doctors first confirmed Yemeni port official Saleh had contracted COVID-19, authorities raced to trace his movements to try and protect one of the world’s most vulnerable countries. But almost three weeks on, they still do not know whether Yemen’s first laboratory-confirmed case is really the individual at the root of what could be an unusually devastating outbreak.indianexpress



'State Has Hounded Masrat Zahra': 450 Activists, Scholars Condemn UAPA Use on Journalists

New Delhi: Nearly 450 gender rights activists, scholars, professionals and organisations have signed a statement condemning UAPA charges against Kashmiri photojournalist Masrat Zahra.As has been noted by the civil society members statement, “Masrat’s social media accounts merely document everyday on-goings in Kashmir, a part of her duties and responsibilities as a journalist.” They do not suggest anti-national content in any manner, says the statement.The signatories, who work in institutions across the world, also criticised the use of an anti-terrorism law to quell the voices of journalists. They wrote on how it affected press freedom as a whole, and in Kashmir – where it was always under threat – in particular.The signatories pointed to the charges against Masrat and other journalists such Asif Sultan, Peerzada Ashiq, and Gowhar Geelani as “yet another nail to the coffin of a free press in Kashmir.” The signatories also pointed to the “large scale witch hunt” against Muslim scholar-activists who have led various movements, especially at the time of a health crisis.The signatories also called upon the central government to stop arresting dissenting activists and scholars, and also safeguard the constitutional right to freedom of speech and expression for all persons. thewire


Democratic Republic of India seems to be moving into a coma: 52  activists, intellectuals

13 days after political activists Anand Teltumbde and Gautam Navlakha were arrested by NIA under UAPA, in connection with Bhima Koregaon case, as many as 52 prominent personalities including activists, intellectuals and MPs have issued a statement in support of jailed activists.Saying that the arrest of Teltumbde and Navlakha under draconian provisions of UAPA highlights insensitivity on part of the state, the statement issued by the prominent citizens reads, “Democratic Republic of India seems to be moving into a coma. Its organs and its body politic seem stunned into inaction and insensitivity”.Hearing on bail petitions filed by Navlakha and Anand Teltumbde, the SC in the second week of March had rejected the plea, asking the activists to surrender three weeks.nationalheraldindia


"Govt Is Harassing Me By Registering FIR Against Me", Says former IAS Officer Kannan Gopinathan

Kannan Gopinathan, who resigned from IAS in August last year in protest against the scrapping of the special status of J&K, has said that Central govt was trying to harass him by registering an FIR against him.The case was registered against  Gopinathan on a complaint by Superintendent of Personnel, Daman & Diu and Dadra Nagar Haveli, H.K. Kamble. Kamble, in his complaint has alleged that Gopinathan is not joining his duty in the wake of corona virus pandemic despite a notice sent to him on April 9 for resuming duty. SSI Liadhar Makwana of Moti Daman Police station said that former IAS officer faces a charge under Section 188 of IPC for not obeying govt order. When asked about registration of FIR, Gopinathan, who is currently living in Chennai, told Indian Tomorrow, “What the government is doing, amounts to harassment because I resigned from the service eight months back.”India Tomorrow


Arnab Goswami grilled for remarks made about Sonia Gandhi by Mumbai Police

Mumbai Police on Monday questioned television anchor Arnab Goswami for in connection with hate speeches allegedly made by him against Congress president Sonia Gandhi.Goswami was still being questioned until late evening.Goswami entered the NM Joshi Marg police station accompanied by his lawyer, according to his Republic Television. He was issued two notices last weekend to appear before the NM Joshi Marg police station in connection with FIRs filed against him by Congress party leaders and workers in different parts of the state.tribuneindia



2 men accused of attacking Arnab granted bail

MUMBAI :2 men arrested by NM Joshi Marg police for allegedly attacking Republic TV chief Arnab Goswami and his wife were produced in the court and granted bail on cash ₹15000 each. The accused Pratik Kumar Shamsunder Mishra and Arun Dilip Borade, both residents of Sion in Mumbai had attacked Goswami and his wife at midnight on April 22 while they were driving home from their studio. Goswami and his wife escaped unhurt in the attack.HT


'Kashmir A Nuclear Flashpoint': Pakistan Army Chief Says India Has Endangered Immediate Neighbourhood

Balakot airstrike and the abrogation of Article 370 of the Indian Constitution to bifurcate Jammu and Kashmir are the two significant events that will have a "lasting imprint" on the geopolitical situation of South Asia, according to Pakistan Army chief General Qamar Javed Bajwa.In an article in 'Green Book 2020', a research journal of Pakistan Army which is recognised by Higher Education Commission of Pakistan and published biennially, General Bajwa also describes Kashmir as a “nuclear flashpoint”.Bajwa being Patron-in-Chief of the journal expressed his view in a “Note” at the first page of the publication."Year 2019 witnessed 2 significant events which will have lasting imprint on the geopolitics of this region; first, the unwarranted Balakot Strike by Indian Air Force on 26th Feb.and second, unilateral annexation of J&K on August 5, through abrogation of Article 370 and 35A, "Pak Army chief said. "Former was a coercive attempt to carve out space for war under nuclear overhang and enforce compellence; adroitly denied by Pak Air Force the very next day, through a calibrated and proportionate response – Indian craving for establishing a New Normal was stymied comprehensively."The latter, despite condemnation by World at large, continues to haunt the lives of over 8 million Muslims" of Kashmir..." he wrote. General Bajwa goes on to say: “Kashmir is a nuclear flashpoint and in total disregard to international norms, Mr Modi has not only endangered the immediate neighbourhood, but has also raised the ante for the entire World.”PTI


US Democrat Congressman laments about Kashmir

A US Democrat Congressman wants American schools to be modelled after Islamic seminaries, on Saturday bashed India over Kashmir on social media.Andre Carson, representative for Indiana''s seventh Congressional district tweeted, "My heart remains with the people of Kashmir during this challenging time. The draconian restrictions placed upon them by PM Modi are not only taking away their basic human rights, but also making it more difficult to protect against Covid-19. These unjust restrictions must end!"IANS


India, China among top three military spenders in 2019: SIPRI report

New Delhi :The global military expenditure rose to $1917 billion in 2019 with India and China emerging among the top three spenders, according to a report by a Swedish think tank, Stockholm International Peace Research Institute (SIPRI).“In 2019, China and India were, respectively, the second- and third-largest military spenders in the world. China’s military expenditure reached $261 billion in 2019, a 5.1% increase compared with 2018, while India’s grew by 6.8% to $71.1 billion,” report said. In 2019, top 5 largest spenders — U.S. ($732 bn), China, India, Russia ($65.1 bn) and Saudi Arabia ($61.9 bn) — accounted for 62% of global expenditure. The annual report ‘Trends in World Military Expenditure, 2019’ was released by  SIPRI on Monday.


India's Relations With OIC too Strong to be Spoilt by Some Social Media Posts: BJP vice-president

Organisation of Islamic Cooperation (OIC), which states that it is the “collective voice of Muslim world”, criticised India this month for alleged communalisation of coronavirus pandemic. However, speaking to News18 on a range of issues, Rajya Sabha member Vinay Sahasrabuddhe, who's also president of Indian Council for Cultural Relations (ICCR) and national vice-president of BJP, said that social media posts are too irrelevant to shape or spoil India’s relationship with other nations, including the 57 represented by OIC, as these are age- old bonds. Regarding the country's new investment policy, which is expected to keep China in check, Sahasrabuddhe said that India is not against globalisation and wants FDI but on her own terms.news18



Kuwait envoy talks of principle of non-interference in internal affairs

The envoy of Kuwait, Jassem Al-Najem, issued a press statement today highlighting principle of non-interference as enshrined in UN Charter.On March 2 Secretary General of Kuwaiti Cabinet, in a note, expressed concern over the condition of minority communities, especially Muslims, in India went viral in social media here. “Kuwait and India share many principles in their foreign policies, like respecting UN Charter, non-interference in other countries’ affairs and respecting sovereignty of nations,” the official news agency of Kuwait said, citing the comment from envoy Jassem Al-Najem. Kuwaiti Cabinet’s Secretary General’s official note, written in Arabic, went viral in Indian social media and following Indian comments prompted a number of Kuwaiti human rights handles to respond with sharp criticism about alleged curtailment of rights of the minority groups.The statement from envoy also drew attention to the ongoing cooperation between 2 sides to ensure well-being of Indian expat blue collar workers who are currently undergoing treatment in Kuwait.The envoy’s comments came hours after princess of Sharjah, Shaikha Hind Al Qassemi wrote a special article for Gulf News, highlighting reports of social splintering along community lines in India.Princess said it was shocking for her to witness the growth in social animosity inside India. Thehindu


Bajrang Dal members booked for planting saffron flags on shops

Bihar Sharif: 2 Bajrang Dal activists are among seven persons booked by police for planting saffron flags atop some shops in a locality here in Nalanda district and urging people to buy goods only from those outlets, the police said.The incident took place at the Bharavpar chowk under the jurisdiction of the Laheri police station in the Bihar Sharif block on April 18. The matter came to light only late last week.Two days after the episode, Bihar Sharif BDO Rajiv Ranjan lodged an FIR at the Laheri police station against two local Bajrang Dal members -- Kundan Kumar and Dhiraj Kumar -- and five unidentified persons.SHO, Laheri, Birendra Yadav on Monday said a probe is on in the matter and no one has been arrested so far.PTI



Netanyahu 'confident' Trump will allow West Bank annexation in two months

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu voiced confidence on Sunday that Washington would give Israel the nod within two months to move ahead with de facto annexation of parts of occupied West Bank, Reuters reports. Palestinians have expressed outrage at Israel’s plans to cement its hold further on land it seized in 1967 Middle East war, territory they are seeking for a state.Netanyahu, in announcing a deal with his centrist rival Benny Gantz last week to form a unity govt, set July 1 for the start of cabinet discussions on extending Israeli sovereignty to Jewish settlements in the West Bank and annexing outright the area’s Jordan Valley.Such a move would need to be agreed with Washington, according to Netanyahu-Gantz deal. In a video address on Sunday to a pro-Israeli Christian group in Europe, Netanyahu described a US peace proposal announced by President Donald Trump in January as a promise to recognise Israel’s authority over West Bank settlement land.


'Ramadan show is another Saudi attempt to normalise relations with Israel'

A new Saudi-produced television series that aired at the start of Ramadan has provoked anger after it featured an opening monologue in Hebrew, reported the Jerusalem Post.Filmed in UAE, the controversial drama, “Umm Haroun” – meaning Mother of Haroon, centres around the relations between Muslims and Jews in Kuwait during 1940s.“Before our footsteps fade away and before our lives fall into memory, we will be lost with the time that is left,” the leading Jewish character says. “On the staff of Moses that performed miracles, I decided to write about us and we knew that you would come back to us, I write and document everything about us. We are the Gulf Jews we were born in the lands of the Gulf.”It tells the story of a Jewish midwife of Turkish origin in Kuwait before she moves to Israel, with many viewers criticising the filmmakers arguing that the series comes in the context of attempts by some Gulf states to promote normalisation with Israel.Moreover, according to N12 TV news, many believe Crown Prince Mohammed Bin Salman is personally involved in the series, as the prince is interested in closer relations with Israel. middleeastmonitor


Israel decries Egyptian TV show predicting its destruction

Israel's foreign ministry has condemned a new Egyptian TV drama set in the year 2120 that predicts Israel's destruction as well as the break-up of its closest ally, US.The statement issued on Sunday said series "is completely unacceptable especially because the 2 states have had a peace treaty for the past 41 years".Egypt and Israel have worked closely on security issues since the 1979 treaty, which was brokered by US. 2countries have coordinated operations against armed groups in their shared border in Sinai Peninsula. However, public opinion in Egypt has remained largely against normalised relations with Israel.Egyptian series El-Nehaya - Arabic for "The End" - is about a computer engineer living in a dystopian future dominated by cyborg clones. It is one of the many dramas and soap operas that air each night during the Muslim holy month of Ramadan, which began last week.In the first episode, a teacher tells a class of students about "the war to liberate Jerusalem", which he says occurred less than 100 years after Israel's founding in 1948. The teacher says Jews in Israel "ran away and returned to their countries of origin" in Europe.aljazeera


Israel freezes Palestinian Authority tax revenue again

A court in Jerusalem decided on Sunday to freeze NIS450m ($128m) of Palestinian Authority tax revenue collected by Israeli customs, Quds Press reported. The decision followed a lawsuit submitted by dozens of Israelis whose relatives were killed in resistance action against the military occupation during the Second Intifada. Israel Law Centre — Shurat HaDin — filed the complaints for the plaintiffs and asked court to freeze NIS7.1bn ($2.16bn) of taxes collected on behalf of the PA by the Israeli customs authorities. The court decided to freeze NIS450m as a first stage, noting that the total sum could reach more than NIS2bn.


Palestinian Front slams Abbas for blocking budget payment

Palestinian Front for the Liberation of Palestine (PFLP) has criticised Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas for stopping the PLO’s National Fund from making a budget payment to organisation, Al-Quds Al-Arabi reported. “Tightening restrictions on the neck of the PFLP, halting its budget and arresting its members will not break it or make it retreat from its principles,” insisted Mariam Abu Dagga, a member of the PFLP political bureau. “PFLP will continue sticking to its principles regarding resistance against the Israeli occupation and implementation of the decisions taken by National and Central PLO Councils.”MEMO


Israel arrests more Palestinians in W. Bank and Jerusalem

Israeli occupation forces made a number of dawn arrests on Sunday, with Palestinians detained across the occupied West Bank and Jerusalem, reported. Others who performed night prayers near Al-Aqsa Mosque were fined NIS500 ($142) on the spot.According to local Palestinian sources, Israeli occupation forces raided Al-Tur neighbourhood in occupied Jerusalem and arrested Omar Abu Ghannam after breaking into the youth’s house. In Al-Issawiyeh neighbourhood, Israelis raided several Palestinian homes and arrested another youth, Ahmed Kayid Mahmoud.


Arab municipalities protest against Israeli government discrimination

Arab municipalities in Israel threatened on Sunday to go on strike from next week if the central government continues to discriminate against them, Al-Araby Al-Jadeed has reported. Regional Committee of the Arab Municipalities said that this measure was agreed after it came to their knowledge that the Ministry of the Interior last week approved the transfer of NIS2.82bn ($800m) to local authorities and municipalities to compensate for losses arising from the coronavirus outbreak. The allocation for the Arab municipalities was just NIS47m, or 1.7 per cent of the total. Israel’s Arab-Palestinian citizens make up 20 per cent of the population.


Reports: Israel to appoint Arab minister for minorities in next cabinet

Upcoming Israeli government of Prime Minister, Benjamin Netanyahu, will include an Arab minister for minority affairs as part of the Blue White party’s ministerial portfolios, local media reports claimed.Israeli Channel 12 reported that the Blue and White (Kahol Lavan) party and the Labor party have reached an agreement to appoint an Arab minister for minorities which has been accepted by Netanyahu.


Israel reports: Putin instigated Russia media campaign against Syria’s Assad

Israeli media outlets quoted local intelligence sources as saying that unprecedented Russian media campaign against Syrian regime President Bashar Al-Assad indicates that the Kremlin is fed up and is turning against him.Israeli Channel 12 reported yesterday that the Russian semi-official media campaign against Al-Assad could not have seen launched without instructions from President Vladimir Putin, the regime’s ultimate saviour.The channel noted that at least ten Russian articles critical of Al-Assad’s corruption and inefficiency had been simultaneously published which would not have been done without the Kremlin’s permission.


Syria opposition accuses Saudi of interfering in its affairs

Chairman of the High Negotiations Committee (HNC) representing the Syrian opposition, Nasr Hariri, has accused Saudi Arabia of flagrant interference in the committee’s work and its members.The Director of the Arab Affairs Department in the Saudi Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Saeid Soueid, earlier called for new elections in the HNC to replace the independent members with a new bloc that had previously been chosen.In response, Hariri sent a letter to HNC members describing Saudi official’s call as deviation “from all agreements and from Custodian of Two Holy Mosques’ hosting of Syrians and their negotiation’s body”.


Saudi to end execution for crimes committed by minors

Saudi Arabia will abolish the death penalty imposed on those who committed crimes while still minors, the kingdom’s Human Rights Commission has announced.In a statement published yesterday, president of the state-backed commission Awwad Alawwad said: “The decree helps us in establishing a more modern penal code.”Based on a royal decree issued by King Salman Bin Abdulaziz, the death penalty for those who committed crimes as minors is to be replaced with a maximum sentence of ten years imprisonment in juvenile detention centres.


Saudi-led coalition rejects south Yemen self-rule declaration

A Saudi Arabia-led military coalition has rejected a separatist group's declaration of self-rule in Yemen's south, demanding "an end to escalatory actions" and return to a peace deal signed in November last year. Saudi statement on Monday comes a day after Yemen's Southern Transitional Council (STC) declared a state of emergency and announced "self-administration rule" in regions under their control, including in the port city of Aden.The key city serves as the interim capital of the internationally recognised and Saudi-backed govt of President Abd-Rabbu Mansour Hadi.aljazeera

Egypt releases over 4,000 prisoners amid talk it has bowed to pressure over COVID-19 concerns

Egypt has released over 4,000 prisoners on Sinai Liberation Day suggesting it has bowed to pressure to ease overcrowding in case COVID-19 hits prisons.On Saturday state-run media announced that 3,778 prisoners had been pardoned and 233 conditionally released, a far higher figure than usual. On same day last year, 67 were pardoned.Since the start of the pandemic rights groups have called on the government to immediately and unconditionally release activists and human rights defenders detained for peacefully expressing their views.


S Africa: Apology issued for 'blasphemous' remark in mosque raid

South Africa's police minister Bheki Cele has apologised for a "blasphemous" remark made by a policeman to praying Muslims as he was enforcing lockdown rules.The apology, issued on Sunday by the minister through a statement, came after the event was caught on video.aljazeera


UK MP fasting to better understand Islam

“Ramadan is a time for spiritual reflection, self-improvement and heightened worship. For the first week of Ramadan, I too, have decided to observe the fast. I am not Muslim,” Bristow said.Every day, Bristow has been recording vlogs sharing his fasting experience on his site and Twitter.In the UK, the Muslim Council of Britain (MCB) has published guidelines for Muslims on how to conduct themselves during Ramadan this year while the country remains under lockdown.Last week, also, UK influencers, celebs launched a campaign named as “RamadanAtHome” and called for Muslims to stay home this Ramadan.middleeastmonitor


Official: Iraq, US to discuss troop withdrawal in June

A spokesman for the Commander-in-Chief of the Iraqi Armed Forces, Major General Abdul-Karim Khalaf, revealed yesterday that Baghdad and Washington will negotiate in June the setting of a timetable for the withdrawal of American forces from Iraq.Speaking to Iraq’s Al-Sabah newspaper, General Khalaf said, in accordance with the Iraqi parliament’s decisions to remove all foreign troops from the country, officials will discuss setting a timetable for the US troops’ full withdrawal in June.He stressed that the Iraqi government is serious about the full implementation of the parliament’s decisions regarding the US forces’ withdrawal.


Ethiopian forces occupy parts of Sudan border zone

Chairman of Sudan’s Sovereignty Council has revealed that Ethiopian forces and militias have seized a large part of his country’s territory along the border.“There are old problems. Herders have lost their livestock and farmers have lost their lands. The armed forces had nothing to do but to protect them because the Ethiopians imposed their presence,” explained Lieutenant General Abdel Fattah Al-Burhan in an interview broadcast on Saturday on official Sudanese TV.

'Alive and well': S Korea urges caution on Kim Jong Un rumours

Officials in South Korea are calling for caution amid reports that North Korean leader Kim Jong Un may be ill, emphasising that they have detected no unusual movements across border in the north.At a closed-door forum on Sunday, S.Korea's Unification Minister Kim Yeon-chul, who oversees engagement with the North, said the government has the intelligence capabilities to say with confidence that there was nothing unusual happening. Rumours and speculation over the North Korean leader's health began after he did not appear at a key state holiday on April 15. He has not been seen in public since.South Korea media last week reported that Kim may have undergone cardiovascular surgery or was in isolation to avoid exposure to the new coronavirus.However, they did carry reports that he had sent a message of gratitude to workers building a tourist resort in Wonsan, an area where some South Korean media reports have said Kim may be staying.aljazeera

*views, Articles, FEATURES*

A Nazi method is being used to vilify Tablighi Jamaat, others:Justice Markandey Katju

Diluting Federalism In Fight Against COVID-19 Pandemic:Parth Maniktala

Time India Revisited Lockdown Strategy To Avert 'Starvation Virus':Manish Tewari

Gradual Resumption Of Domestic Air Travel Necessary To Prevent Massive Losses In Aviation:Sanat Kaul

Coronavirus: Will Tablighi Jamaat, Presented as 'Villain' by Media, Emerge as Saviour?indiatomorrow

Hindutva Abuse Jeopardises India’s Gulf Ties:Talmiz Ahmad

Audit of bigotry: How Indian media vilified Tablighi Jamaat over coronavirus outbreak:Ayan Sharma,  Chahak Gupta, newslaundry

Will US-Taliban deal limit India's leverage in Afghanistan?;Ruchi Kumar  , aljazeera

It's Been 9 Months. What Did the Revocation of J&K's Special Status Achieve?Badri Raina

How Indian Muslims Engaged in COVID-19 Relief Efforts Are Countering Hate With Love:Musaddique Thange

Coronavirus Tracking Apps and How Countries Are Monitoring Infections Through Them:DW

“You don’t have faith on us. How can we hear you?”: Interesting exchange between Prashant Bhushan and Supreme Court judge on lack of faith in judiciary

 Compiled and edited by Anwarulhaq (Released at: 8:57 PM)*


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