11 May 2020

11 May News: Fake news targeting minorities, Tablighi chief’s audio: BPRD red-flags these in its report, then pulls it down. ‘Saad audio clip doctored’: After denying report, police summon Express reporter. Maximum Covid-19-related fact checks in April related to communal rumours: BOOM study


11 May 2020: 17 Ramazan 1441: Vol: 12, No: 205


Fake news targeting minorities, Tablighi chief’s audio: BPRD red-flags these in its report, then pulls it down

A report by a Union Home Ministry think tank on “how to spot and investigate” fake news, which red-flagged the targeting of minorities over the Covid pandemic and mentioned the audio of the Tablighi Jamaat chief in its discussion on fake audio, has been pulled down within a day of being posted online.The 40-page “guide for law enforcement agencies” was uploaded by the Bureau of Police Research & Development (BPR&D) on its official website Saturday and removed Sunday. When contacted by The Indian Express, BPR&D spokesperson Jitendra Yadav said: “There are some corrections being made in the booklet. It will be uploaded again after that.”Incidentally, The Indian Express had reported Saturday that an initial investigation by the Delhi Police Crime Branch has found that an audio clip mentioned in the police FIR against Markaz Nizamuddin head Maulana Saad Kandhalvi, which suggested he had asked Tablighi Jamaat members not to follow social distancing norms and prohibitory orders, may be “doctored” and stitched together using several audio files.Responding to the report, the Delhi Police had said that “the news is not only factually incorrect but seems to be based on wholly unverified sources and purely conjectural imagination”.A reference to the Tablighi Jamaat chief’s audio figures on page 10 of the BPR&D guide, under the headline “Fake news and disinformation vectors.”Para V says: “Fake/Viral Audios: In the present scenario, viral/fake newsmongers may create voice content and spread it across the social networking channels.” This is followed by a screenshot with the partially masked words, “T… Jama… Leaked Audio on Covid 19 Lockdown”, and the caption “A voice clip of religious leader who violated lockdown rules that went viral.”Once the text was extracted from the guide, the words were clear: “Tablighi Jamaat chief’s leaked audio on COVID-19 lockdown”.The guide contained other instances of “fake news” linked to minorities, including a video of people licking plates and spoons.Some of the other instances of “fake news” cited by BPR&D included UPI IDs for PMCARES Fund, a Ministry of Health order on PPE kit specifications and a Telangana government order on opening of liquor shops on March 28.Responding to the report in Indian Express, ‘Tablighi FIR: Police probe indicates Saad audio clip was doctored’ (May 9), Delhi Police Public Relations Officer Mandeep S Randhawa called it “factually incorrect” and sent a rejoinder: “The report has claimed that the Crime Branch investigation has found that the audio clip mentioned in the police FIR against Markaz Nizamuddin head Maulana Saad Kandhalvi in which he had asked Tablighi Jamaat members not to follow social distancing norms and prohibitory orders is doctored.The report is based on conversations with sources and officials aware of the probe against Maulana Saad. Before publication, calls were made to Special CP (Crime) Praveer Ranjan Friday. Also, a message was sent to him seeking his comments on the key points made in the report. No response was received.indianexpress


‘Maulana Saad audio clip doctored’: After denying report, police summon  Indian Express reporter

New Delhi :A day after it called a report in The Indian Express, ‘Tablighi FIR: Police probe indicates Saad audio clip was doctored’, “factually incorrect… purely conjectural”, the Delhi Police emailed a notice on Sunday evening to the City Editor and Chief Reporter, requiring the reporter to join the probe Monday or face legal action under Indian Penal Code Section 174 — it can result in a prison term and fine.The notice was sent on the day Indian Express published the Delhi Police’s rejoinder with its own response that the report was based on conversations with sources and officials aware of the probe against Maulana Saad, and that calls and a message to Special CP (Crime) Praveer Ranjan Friday for his comments before publication received no response.

Delhi Police Summons Indian Express Journo Over ‘Tablighi Jamaat's Maulana Saad FIR Fake Audio’ Report


Maximum Covid-19-related fact checks in April related to communal rumours: BOOM study

As the country battles Covid-19, with cases inching towards 60,000, an “infodemic” of fake news also seems to be spreading along with the virus. An analysis by fact-checking website BOOM has found that while January-February saw most rumours about China and false predictions about coronavirus treatment, fake news on Italy lockdown went viral in March. And in April, communally charged disinformation targeting the Muslim community became more frequent.The revelations were published in “Fake News in The Time of Coronavirus: A BOOM Study”, in which it carried out 178 fact checks on Covid-19-related misinformation/disinformation from May,2020.The study has been conducted through data and evidence of viral information, such as trending news topics and types of media through which this information was disseminated. Topics like prediction theory, bio weapon, economy, health, politics, Italy, China, cure/prevention/treatment, lockdown and communal were trending between the months of January to April.According to the study, 35 per cent of false and misleading claims were made through videos and April saw a spike in clips targeting Muslim vendors for allegedly spitting on food items to spread the coronavirus pandemic.


‘Not the time for politics’: Mamata at meet with PM Modi

In his fifth meeting with state chief ministers to discuss the post-lockdown strategy, Prime Minister Narendra Modi said the road ahead should be focused on reducing the spread of Covid-19 and ensuring that all precautions were taken by people, including social distancing norms, by observing ‘do gaaj doori‘.“Slowly but surely, economic activities have begun to pick up in several parts of the country. In coming days, this process will further gather steam. We must realize that fight against Covid-19 has to be more focused now,” ANI quoted PM Modi as saying in the meeting.The interaction was attended by Defence Minister Rajnath Singh, Home Minister Amit Shah, Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman and Health Minister Harsh Vardhan among others. Unlike previous meetings where only select CMs were shortlisted to speak, this time all CMs were given an opportunity to share their opinion.During the videoconference, PM Modi told chief ministers that India would have to devise and implement a “balanced strategy” to deal with the coronavirus pandemic, and the biggest challenge for the country will be to ensure that the infection does not spread to villages.However, West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee lashed out at the Centre for “playing politics” over the issue and opposed the resumption of passenger train services.Barring containment zones, economic activities should be allowed to resume in the national capital, Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal said in the meeting. While maintaining that there should be restrictions on inter-state travel, Kerala CM Pinarayi Vijayan said each state should be allowed to make changes in lockdown guidelines according to the conditions prevailing in their respective areas.indianexpress


Coronavirus - Reopen All Of Delhi Except Containment Zones: Kejriwal To PM

New Delhi: Economic activities should be allowed in Delhi except in containment zones, Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal said on Monday in an online meeting with Prime Minister Narendra Modi to discuss on the ongoing nationwide COVID-19 lockdown.Shops, malls, public transport and e-commerce activities were closed across the country in March as India entered a lockdown to stop the spread of coronavirus. Last week, the central government eased some restrictions like allowing neighbourhood stores to open but maintained curbs on markets and public transport.


Citing COVID-19 spike, TN CM urges PM not to resume air, rail services till May 31

Citing the increasing cases of COVID-19 in Tamil Nadu, Chief Minister Edappadi K Palaniswami on Monday urged Prime Minister not to resume regular air and rail services in the State till May 31.Referring to media reports on plans to resume regular train services to and from Chennai from Tuesday, he said, “As the positive cases in Chennai are showing an increasing trend, don’t permit train service up to May 31, in my State.” He made a similar demand in respect of regular air services.


Shift Jamaatis out of village, UP BJP MLA tells admin

Meerut :BJP MLA from Khatauli in Muzaffarnagar district of Uttar Pradesh has asked the District Magistrate to ensure that jamaatis quarantined in a mosque at Kawal village be shifted out. MLA, Vikram Saini, said, “I want total safety of people at least in my constituency.”“The administration quarantined around 11 Jamaatis in a mosque in Kawal village on April 27. Two of them tested positive for coronavirus and all of them are in quarantine for another two weeks, starting May 7, at the same place. Members from both communities met me and requested that I take up the issue with the authorities so that they are moved out,” Saini said over the phone.


Haryana: First batch of 75 Tablighi Jamaat members, 600 labourers sent from Nuh

CHANDIGARH: As many as 75 Tablighi Jamaat members, who have been quarantined and isolated in Mewat of Haryana for the past one and half month, sent back to their respetive states through private vehicles on Sunday.This is the first batch of Jamaat members, which has been sent back from Nuh. More than 2,000 Jamaat members have been quarantied in Haryana and maximum from out of them are quarantined in the district.The city MLA Aftab Ahmed had taken up the issue of Jamaat members with the district administration. He had put up their case and helped them in procuring the movement passes from the district admin.Those sent on Sunday hails from New Delhi, Uttar Pardesh, Bihar and Rajsthan. They were sent back through private vehicles. Meanwhile, the district admin.has also sent 600 migrant labourers in 25 buses through Haryana Roadways.


Gujarat’s Muslims fight Islamophobia, hotemongers amid COVID-19 lockdown

GUJARAT: Amid the ongoing battle against the deadly COVID-19, Muslims in the erstwhile state of Gujarat are not just fighting the disease but the rising hate and Islamophobia. 6-million-odd Muslims in Gujarat are taking on the hatemongers even as the number of Coronavirus positive cases in the state shot up to 7,700 with the death toll mounting near 500. While BJP’s flush-with-funds info-tech cell kick-started what activists said a “systematic, synchronised and organized” attempt to target Muslims through distortion and lies which were communal in nature and inciteful in tone, CM Vijay Rupani himself also twice—on April 25 and May 2—publicly accused Jamaat of deliberately spreading the deadly pathogen.Thanks to the dedicated efforts of NGOs, Muslim community has fought the hate campaigns and stopped them in their tracks.“Some 1,100 angry oral and verbal representations have been made to editors, TV anchors, police and bureaucrats in the past two months. The result is that countless mischievous social media users have been silenced and newspapers have softened their language,” Mujahid Nafees, convener of Minorities Coordination Committee, Gujarat, said. Alpasankhyak Adhikar Manch is yet another NGO which has mobilized minority community for challenging the hatemonger’s in print, electronic or social media by filing police complaints. Manch convener Shamshad Pathan, a Gujarat High Court advocate, said that he held Facebook live sessions to explain the right procedure to approach police without fear and his efforts paid off with hundreds of FIRs registered not only in big cities but also in small towns much to the chagrin of Hindu fanatics.twocircles


Covid-19: Centre issues SOP for railway services, urges people to get their own linen, food

Railway Ministry on Monday issued a Standard Operating Procedure for special railway services starting from Tuesday. Railway services throughout the country were suspended in March, when a nationwide lockdown was imposed to combat the coronavirus outbreak. The lockdown is scheduled to end on May 17.On Sunday, the Centre had announced that 15 pairs of special trains would be run to and fro from Delhi from Tuesday.In its SOP, the ministry said that no linen, curtains or blankets will be provided to the passengers, so they must bring their own. The ministry also encouraged passengers to get their own food and water. However, it said that dry, ready-to-eat food and bottled water will be provided to the passengers on payment.


Ensure migrant workers don’t walk home, counsel them: Centre to states

The Centre asked states to cooperate with the railways in running more number of ‘Shramik’ special trains so that the travel of stranded migrant workers is facilitated at a faster rate. Centre has asked states to ensure migrant labourers do not walk on the road or railway tracks to reach home. It has asked them to counsel such labourers and put them in shelters.The development comes in the backdrop of 16 migrant labourers being crushed to death by a train near Aurangabad last week, and many also meeting fatal accidents routinely on roads while attempting to walk back to their homes amid the coronavirus lockdown,


‘Excluded from Evacuation List, When Will We Go Back to Kashmir?’

J&K administration started online registration for its stranded residents across the country on 1 May and has since collected details of those who wish to return home amid the nationwide lockdown. Several students who came to Delhi to study, for internships were stranded since last month. "Several students like me who came to Delhi to study, for internships and college projects have not be able to go home since 24 March. Special trains have been arranged for evacuation, but our problems don’t end here as the helpline numbers do not work. As a result, several of our names are not mentioned in the list," Kashmiri students. “We called some designated officers and the people who are supposed to handle all this. Nobody is picking up our calls, nobody is answering. We texted them on WhatsApp but they are not even seeing our messages and some phones are switched off,” said Mehrunisa, a Student.  Zenaira Baksh, who came to Delhi for an internship, was not included in the list and the reason given to her was that she was not studying at a college in Delhi. The students whose names are on the list end up waiting anyway as they have not been given further directions. “The evacuation was supposed to start on 9 May. But as of now, I have not been able to contact anyone and I have no idea when and how the evacuation will start,”said Munazah, Student. thequint


Daily wager spends Rs 30,000 to reach Tripura home, family denies him entry

Agartala :Gobinda Debnath spent Rs 30,000 out of his pocket to hire a car and two days on the road to reach his residence in Tripura’s Agartla. However, to the 37-year-old daily wager’s dismay, his family did not allow him to enter even after he tested negative for Covid-19 and spent a day at a quarantine centre.“My wife, my child are telling me to go away. What can I say,” a dejected Gobinda told reporters outside the home.He lives with his wife Mampi Debnath, his young daughter, and in-laws in a small flat allotted to his mother-in-law Bhanu Das under a government housing scheme for the poor.Back in March, shortly before the nationwide lockdown was announced, Gobinda went to visit his brother-in-law in Silapathar in Assam. His father-in-law also joined him but did not make the return trip.



Test not required to end home isolation: Health ministry revises guidelines

New Delhi : Ministry of Health Affairs has said that patients in home isolation can end the quarantine after 17 days of onset of symptoms and no fever for 10 days. As per the revised guidelines issued on Sunday, patients with mild coronavirus symptoms will need no further testing after the home isolation period is over. Earlier, according to the guidelines issued by Ministry on April 27, home isolation could be ended after a certificate issued by a surveillance medical officer declares a patient free of infection.Currently, mild or pre-symptomatic patients can opt for self-isolation at their homes if they have the requisite self-isolation facility and a caretaker to look after them. The guidelines also adds that the patient should regularly inform his health status to the district surveillance officer for further follow up by the surveillance teams. The caretaker and all close contacts of such cases should take Hydroxychloroquine as a preventive medication according to the protocol and as prescribed by the treating medical officer.indianexpress


Punjab: Migrant hangs self, family says no ration for 10 days, cops say domestic feud

Ludhiana :A migrant labourer from Uttar Pradesh allegedly hanged himself to death at his rented accommodation in Rajiv Gandhi Colony of Ludhiana, a hub of workers from economically weaker section (EWS), Saturday late. While his family claimed that the 38-year-old took the step as he was depressed over not getting ration for last 10 days, the police termed it an outcome of a domestic dispute between him and his wife.The body of Ajit Kumar Rai, who hailed from Azamgarh and was living in Ludhiana since 15 years, was found hanging with ceiling grills at his room Saturday late.His wife Savita said they had no ration at home. “Ration ki maaramari chal rahi thi. Police aur na jaane kis kis ko phone kiye, par kuch nahi hua. Aath-dus din se ration nahi tha aur hum daud rahe they. Padosi se lete they thoda thoda. Jab se mahamari shuru hui koi kaam nahi tha (We were struggling to get ration. My husband called police and on other helpline numbers but we got nothing. There was no ration since 8-10 days and we were struggling. We were borrowing from others. Since pandemic started, my husband had no work)”.


Maharashtra to pay rail fare for migrant workers from CM Relief Fund

Maharashtra govt on Sunday announced that it will pay the railway fare of the Shramik Special trains for all migrant workers who do not have the ability to pay for their ticket back home.The government said it will be paying for the tickets using money from CM’s Relief Fund.State govt will assist both — workers stuck in Maharashtra who wish to go back to their home in other States and workers from State who are stuck elsewhere and trying to come back home. The government said it will do so only for the special trains, until May 17.thehindu


Not stopping migrants walking home on humanitarian grounds: Maharashtra

Maharashtra government has decided to allow thousands of migrant workers wanting to return home on foot on humanitarian grounds despite them violating lockdown norms, state Home Minister Anil Deshmukh told PTI. PTI



'Just Let Us Go Home': Tamil Nadu’s Migrant Workers At Mercy Of Everchanging Rules And State Apathy

NEW DELHI — The police acted promptly when a desperate plea for help by a group of workers stranded in a state-owned industrial estate outside Chennai circulated on social media last week. “We have not received wages for all of April,” said a worker in the video. “Rations are irregular, and many of us are going hungry... We have served this nation with our hard work. Now we are in trouble. Please help us.” The police visited the workers that very evening, and instructed them not to make videos about themselves, several workers told HuffPost India.  In the neighbouring state of Karnataka, the state government tried to prevent workers from returning home at the behest of the local builder lobby; in Uttar Pradesh the government waived practically all labour laws for a period of three years; in Gujarat, ice cream manufacturers asked the government to slash minimum wages; while in Madhya Pradesh the state government made it easier to hire and fire contract workers.


Mumbai Police official who was probing Arnab Goswami tests positive for coronavirus

On Monday, advocate Harish Salve, while appearing for Republic TV founder and Editor Arnab Goswami, claimed that at least one of the two senior Mumbai Police officials who were a part of the team that questioned Goswami has reportedly tested positive for COVID-19, said a Live Law report .Advocate Salve on Monday alleged in the Supreme Court that investigation on FIRs against Goswami for allegedly defaming Congress interim President Sonia Gandhi was not being conducted in a proper manner.freepressjournal



Kolkata mosque offers part of premises to govt for setting up quarantine centre

Amosque in the city's Garden Reach area has offered a part of its premises to the state govt to set up a quarantine centre, bringing some relief to the Kolkata Municipal Corporation which had been scouting for places to build isolation units for Covid-19 suspects.Maulana Qari Md Muslim Razwi, the imam of Bangali Bazar Masjid, said on Friday that the mosque committee, in keeping with the spirit of Ramadan, has decided to open the third floor of the building, spanning 6,000 square feet, for those placed under quarantine.Parts of Garden reach area figure in the list of containment zones prepared by the state. "We all know that the government had been scouting for spaces to set up a quarantine centre in the area, amid the rise in coronavirus cases in the city. We thought why not offer the entire third floor for the purpose. The floor has been cleaned and made suitable for setting up the isolation centre," the imam said.Locals haven't been visiting the mosque of late, as they have been told to pray at home, he said.


India Coronavirus updates: Cases cross 67,000

India on Monday reported it’s biggest single-day spike of 4,213 infections, taking the total number of confirmed cases in the country to 67,152. Of these, 20,917 are recovered patients, while 44,029 are active cases. The death toll stands at 2,206.


Highest weekly jump in deaths, UP appoints two officers each for 3 worst-hit districts

The week ending Sunday witnessed the highest number of Covid deaths in Uttar Pradesh at 36 — a 77 per cent jump from the previous week — taking the death toll in the state to 79.With 50 per cent of the total deaths being reported from the three red zone districts of Agra, Meerut and Kanpur, Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath on Sunday appointed one senior IAS and one IPS officer for each of the three districts, who will camp there and be in command of the Covid-related works.


Cows die of ‘hunger’ in Bihar shelter during lockdown

Patna: 17 cows have starved to death at a Bihar cattle shelter during the lockdown, the goshala secretary has alleged while accusing politicians who “do politics over the cow” of doing nothing to help. Prakash Kumar Mishra, secretary of 106-year-old Sri Krishna Goshala in Jehanabad, said the public donations that helped run shelter had dried up during the lockdown, causing a fodder shortage that killed the cows.He said cow shelter was a “semi-govt” one, with SDO its ex-officio chairperson, and that animal husbandry department was supposed to provide it with fodder. But all his appeals to officials and politicians in NDA-ruled state had fallen on deaf ears, he alleged.Jehanabad SDO Nivedita Kumari said no cow had died of hunger at the shelter and suggested that any deaths would have been caused by age and infirmity.“We had around 100 cows at the start of the year. 3 had died by mid-March, and we lost 17 during the lockdown because we couldn’t get enough fodder for them,” Mishra said.The Telegraph


It’s a ‘shameful move’, says Congress on dilution of labour laws by BJP-ruled states

In the backdrop of the deepening migrants’ crisis and the country’s economy tottering on the verge of collapse, the Congress party on Monday launched a no-holds-barred attack on BJP-ruled states for amending labour laws.Calling it a “shameful move,” party spokesperson Shaktisinh Gohil said, “BJP-ruled states amending labour laws to lure foreign investors; it highlights the true nature of suit-boot ki sarkar”.He also appealed to the Central government to deny permission to states amending labour laws “to strip workers of their basic rights”.



National Herald Impact: Delhi govt admits to ‘incorrect’ death reports, blames hospitals for mismatch in data

3 days after National Herald published a report highlighting the under reporting of COVID-19 deaths, the Delhi government has sent an order to both private and government hospitals directing them to report all death cases to a Death Audit Committee (DAC). Its mandate is to audit each and every death in case of COVID-19 patients.National Herald had reported that though the Delhi government has been insisting that there have been only 73 deaths, an investigation of COVID-19 deaths in all the hospitals shows that there have been more than 170 deaths. In the report, NH highlighted that though the government records show that there have been only five deaths at Lok Nayak Hospital, in reality there had been at least 47 COVID-19 deaths.Another report in a Hindi newspaper alleged that there were close to 300 COVID-19 deaths based on investigations at cremation grounds and burial sites in the national capital.


Don't allow non-essential shops to open during Ramzan:Muslim Council to Mah Govt

Aurangabad: City-based Muslim Numanida Council urged Maharashtra government to not let different 'non-essential' shops to open during the Ramzan festival to avoid the spread of Covid-19 infection among the people. Ziauddin Siddiqui, all India secretary general of the Council, said he has penned a letter to CN in this regard and handed it over to the divisional commissioner. Expressing concern over rising cases of Coronavirus in city that touched the 500-mark today, he said that if permission was granted, there would be heavy rush in market, which could not only be in violation of the social distancing norms but also worsen the situation. As the government machinery has been fighting the battle against Coronavirus since March, Council urges the govt to not give permission to open shops of garments and shoes, among others, during the festival.UNI


Over 6 lakh identified at high risk in 9 Rajasthan districts

JAIPUR: 9 areas of nine districts in the state have been identified to prevent mortality due to Covid-19. These areas consist of over six lakh people who are at high risk due to their age and comorbid conditions. With the mortality rate having shot up in May in comparison to April, the priority for the state government is to detect Covid-19 cases early so as to prevent deaths.The state has reported 103 deaths so far, 48 of which occurred in May (till Saturday).“Till Friday, about 6.39 lakh such persons were contacted and checked upon by our healthcare workers in nine districts,” said Rohit Kumar Singh, additional chief secretary (health. Among the 9 areas are Ajmer’s Muslim Mochhi Mohalla, Banswara’s ward 12 in Kushalgarh, Bharatpur’s Kasai Pada in Bayana, Jaipur’s Ramganj area, Jodhpur’s Nagori Gate, Kota’s Chandraghata, Nagaur’s Basni, Tonk’s Bambore Gate and Chittorgarh’s Nimbahera.According to the health department, 70% of the Covid-19 patients are asymptomatic and do not require much treatment, they get cured on their own.The state govt is worried about the rest 30%.


In Solapur, hunger, heat kills old couple; mentally challenged son informed locals, but nobody believed him

Mumbai: For 3 days, a mentally challenged youth kept telling people his mother had died. He was sobbing as he said this, but no one took him seriously. It was only when a relative visited his home did it emerge; both his parents were dead. This is a heart-wrenching story of how the lockdown is killing people, especially the poor and the old. Abdulghani Shiledar, 65, and Haseena Shiledar, 60, resided in Shastri Nagar, Solapur. Haseena was suffering from various ailments and was in no state to cook or carry out any daily chores.The Shiledars had a young son, Isaq, who is mentally challenged. Shastri Nagar is a densely populated area. Shiledarhad retired from Solapur Municipal Corporation. Because of their age, they needed assistance with daily functions like bathing and cooking.


Railways adds 500 passengers to Shramik Special trains, no details on social distancing steps

New Delhi: To ferry more migrant workers to their home states, the Ministry of Railways Monday increased the number of passengers travelling in ‘Shramik Special’ trains to 1,700 from 1,200 per train, ThePrint has learnt.“The government wants more and more migrants to reach their homes across the country,” a railways ministry official told ThePrint. “If the lockdown has to be lifted soon and industries open up, it is important that the migrants go back to their homes at least once… It is a humanitarian and an emotive issue.” The official also said the decision to increase the number of passengers per train comes after 16 migrant workers were run over by a goods train in Aurangabad district of Maharashtra last week.ThePrint


‘Corona will be reduced to ashes here’ — lockdown norms don’t exist for people in Bihar, UP

Patna, Lucknow: In the states of Bihar and neighbouring Uttar Pradesh, both beset by limited testing capabilities, it’s difficult to believe the country is still under lockdown.In the midst of the third phase of the nationwide lockdown, normal life has more or less resumed in both states, even though cases are rising.When ThePrint visited several parts of Bihar including Patna, Muzaffarpur, Chapra, Saran from 3 May to 9 May, it found that there was little regard for the lockdown, with people openly flouting norms and hardly adhering to social distancing.There were crowded markets, a virtual absence of masks, children out in the open playing cricket, rickshaws plying on the streets, and people sitting in large groups — all seem to be high on confidence that the virus won’t hit them.“Corona yahan aa kar bhasm ho jayega, ye Bihar hai (Coronavirus will be reduced to ashes here. This is Bihar,” Ram Anuj Rai of Gopalpur constituency told ThePrint, summing up the current mood in Bihar amid one of the worst pandemics of all times.



What a Friday Iftar looks like at a Delhi Rohingya refugee camp during lockdown

New Delhi: Occurring in the middle of the coronavirus pandemic, Ramzan this year looks nothing like it has before.Social distancing has prevented people from coming together like they would have normally, while the economic hardship due to loss of jobs and salary cuts has left families struggling.At the Rohingya refugee camp near Okhla in the national capital, the situation feels even more bleak as people say the lockdown has limited access to essentials required during Ramzan.Since they can’t always go to shops to buy fruits, dates and Rooh Afza — the typical Iftar meal eaten to break the day’s fast — people depend on carts that come to the camp. However, these are usually more expensive than local markets, making them unaffordable for the refugees.The small mosque built within the camp has been shut to prevent transmission virus that causes Covid-19. Instead, people now offer namaz at home.theprint


Kerala : 5 held for at mosque while 4 arrested from temple for holding prayers, conducting recitation

Thrissur:5 people were arrested for allegedly conducting congregational prayers at a mosque here in violationof the lockdown norms.A case was registered against five people for conducting evening prayers on Friday, police said. We received information that prayers were being conducted in the mosque, they said adding they were held at Eriyad Masjidul Bilal mosque here.On Friday, 4 people, including president of a local temple trust, were arrested for allegedly conducting a religious recitation in a temple here in violation of lockdown restrictions. PTI


Lockdown | Work begins in some Assam tea gardens with full workforce

GUWAHATI: A majority of the planters big and small are, however, wary of the interpretation of COVID-19 guidelines by the local authorities and complications that could arise from the arrival of people who have been stranded outside the State. A sizeable number of more than 7-8 lakh people who had been working in southern, western and northern India prior to the COVID-19 lockdown are from the tea growing belts.


As 81 More Test Positive for COVID- 19, Condition Worsens at Mumbai's Arthur Road Central Prison

Mumbai: Conditions at the Arthur Road Central Prison in Mumbai have worsened, with 81 more prisoners testing positive for COVID-19. On May 9, as many as 77 prisoners and 26 staff members had tested positive. With the fresh cases of infection, total number has risen to 185 (including jail staff). The numbers, officials had warned, are expected to rise dramatically in the coming days.According to jail officials, quarantine facilities have been arranged inside the prison to accommodate those infected.The first round of infection came to light after an undertrial prisoner, a 45-year-old man, had suffered a paralysis attack in the prison on May 2 and was rushed to JJ Hospital for treatment.


Lockdown Survey: 85% of Respondents Among Delhi's Poor Earned Zero Wages From Main Job

While several commentators have highlighted the plight of migrants due to the ongoing COVID-19 crisis, less is known about how low-income families living in urban shanty towns are faring.The authors began a phone survey on April 3 – after the lockdown was announced on March 24 – among a random sample of households in the industrial areas of Delhi, to assess the impact on their livelihoods, and physical and emotional well-being.In their earlier note, the researchers discussed findings from the initial, more stringent period of the lockdown (April 3-19). In this follow-up note, they report findings from Phase 2 of the lockdown, following some easing of restrictions (April 20-May 3).  The dates of survey of respondents (who are a random sample of about 1,500 households across five districts of Delhi) were randomly selected. Hence, respondents who were interviewed earlier (Phase 1) are mostly similar in socioeconomic characteristics to those who we interviewed later, after April 19, in Phase 2.This allows us to compare the experiences of the sample in Phase 1 and Phase 2 and attribute any differences in their responses to the length of time that they have been exposed to the lockdown.



Only Milk And Medicine: Ahmedabad's Chaotic Lockdown Cuts Off Residents' Ration Supply

People in Ahmedabad have been struggling to buy provisions since the government suddenly announced a complete lockdown till 15 May to contain the rising number of Covid-19 cases. The total confirmed cases in Ahmedabad have jumped to 5,818 after 278 people tested positive for the infection on Sunday alone, an official of the state health department told PTI. According to the health ministry update on Monday, Gujarat has 8,194 confirmed coronavirus cases. It is also one of the states where the Union health ministry has sent a central team. The team, the ministry said, will support the state health department in implementation of containment measures in affected areas.


Saudi, Qatar worst hit by coronavirus among Arab states

Saudi Arabia and Qatar have recorded the most coronavirus cases so far among the Arab states, according to Worldometers website.There have been 39,048 cases in Saudi Arabia, with 246 deaths, while Qatar has had 22,520 cases and 14 deaths. UAE is third on the list of Arab states, with 18,198 cases and 198 deaths; Egypt is fourth, with 9,400 cases and 525 deaths.Yemen has recorded 51 cases and eight deaths. The Yemeni government has called on the international community to help it contain the spread of the Covid-19 pandemic.


Coronavirus and oil price crash: Saudi is battling double crises

Saudi Arabia, which under Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman has been trying to diversify its economy away from oil and expand its regional influence through aggressive foreign policy posturing, has run into trouble with the economy hit by the double crises of the coronavirus pandemic and the oil price crash. Kingdom, 87% of whose budget revenues come from the petroleum sector, has already announced some “painful” economic decisions and signalled a rare readiness to scale back its regional operations to lift itself out of the “worst crisis in decades”. On May 11, official SPA reported that the Kingdom decided to take a slew of austerity measures, including raising VAT and cutting a cost of living allowance for government employees. The allowance, which was introduced in 2018 to help workers tide over the effects of austerity measures taken during the last oil crash, will be suspended as of June 1, and the VAT, which was also rolled out in 2018, will be increased to 15% from 5% as of July 1, SPA reported, citing a statement of the Ministry of Finance.When Saudi officials announced Kingdom’s budget in December, crude oil prices were over $60 a barrel. To balance its budget this year, Saudi requires oil prices to be around $76 a barrel, according to IMF. But price of Brent crude, international benchmark, crashed by 50% in March. Brent crude price was at $26.31 on May 11 afternoon in London. Amid the deteriorating situation, Saudi govt dipped its hands into the foreign reserves for meeting expenditures. Kingdom saw a record $24 billion drop monthly drop in its reserves in March to $479 million. It is also raising billions in debt from the bond market.thehindu


Coronavirus cases worldwide surpass 4.1 million

The worldwide tally for novel coronavirus infections surpassed 4.1 million early Monday, according to US-based Johns Hopkins University. The data also shows that the global death toll from the virus has reached 282,700 with the number of recoveries exceeding 1.4 million.US remains the hardest-hit country by the pandemic with around 1.33 million diagnosed cases and 79,526 deaths.It is followed by UK with 31,930 fatalities and Italy with 30,560 deaths.A total of 26,621 people in Spain have lost the battle against the virus, followed closely by France with 26,383 fatalities. Meanwhile, Spain has the second-highest number of cases at more than 224,300, followed by the UK, Italy, and Russia.


Sri Lanka: Muslims face extra threat as coronavirus stirs hate

The grief-stricken family of Zubair Fathima Rinosa in Sri Lanka's capital Colombo is demanding justice and explanation after tests, released two days after her body had been cremated, showed that the 44-year-old Muslim woman did not die from COVID-19, the disease caused by the novel coronavirus.Mohammed Sajid, one of Rinosa's four sons, said his mother was cremated on May 5 as part of Sri Lanka's controversial policy of mandatory cremation of all coronavirus victims in violation of traditional Islamic funeral practices.


Russia announces easing of coronavirus lockdown

President Vladimir Putin has said that Russia would start gradually easing coronavirus-related lockdown measures from Tuesday, but that individual regions would need to tailor their approach to varying local conditions.In a televised address on Monday, Putin also announced new welfare payments for families with children and new support measures for the Russian economy.aljazeera


Nepal protests against construction of key road connecting Lipulekh pass and Uttarakhand’s Dharchula

Kathmandu:Nepal on Monday handed over a diplomatic note to the Indian envoy in Kathmandu to protest against the construction of a key road connecting the Lipulekh pass with Dharchula in Uttarakhand.80km new road inaugurated by Defence Minister Rajnath Singh on Friday is expected to help pilgrims visiting Kailash-Mansarovar in Tibet in China as it is around 90km from the Lipulekh pass. Nepal SC asks govt to furnish country’s historical map relating to Kalapani border issue Lipulekh pass is a far western point near Kalapani, a disputed border area between Nepal and India. Both India and Nepal claim Kalapani as an integral part of their territory - India as part of Uttarakhand’s Pithoragarh district and Nepal as part of Dharchula district.Indian Ambassador to Nepal Vinaya Mohan Kwatra met Foreign Minister Pradeep Kumar Gyawali at his office, according to a Foreign Ministry statement.During meeting, Gyawali conveyed to Indian Ambassador the Nepal government’s position on boundary issues.“The ministry has handed over a diplomatic note to ambassador Kwatra,” it said.MEA in New Delhi on Saturday said the road lies well within the Indian territory.The Nepal government raised objection to the construction of the road at the Lipulekh area by the government of India to connect to the Mansarovar of Tibet “unilaterally”.Nepal has claimed that the territory on which the road was constructed lies within its territory.PTI


Fearing retaliatory strike by India after Handwara attack, Pakistan increases aerial exercise: timesnownews

New Delhi: Fearing retaliatory strike by India following last week’s Handwara encounter in which five security personnel, including a Colonel were martyred, Pakistan has increased its aerial exercise through several fighter aircraft including the F-16s and the JF-17.Pakistan was already carrying out an aerial exercise about which India also had information, ANI reported, citing top government sources."Soon after the death of the Colonel, the Pakistani Air Force increased its patrols involving its mix of fighter aircraft including the F-16s and the JF-17 which were being constantly monitored by our surveillance platforms," they said.As per sources, the heightened flying activities on the Pakistani side depict that they were being prepared against any possible retaliation from India.Recently, Pakistani Prime Minister Imran Khan tweeted about a possible “false flag operation” by India after New Delhi slammed Islamabad for infiltration across the LoC.


SC Refrains From Restoring 4G Services in J&K, Sets Up Special Committee

New Delhi: In a controversial move, the Supreme Court on Monday refrained from passing any orders on the restoration of 4G internet services in Jammu and Kashmir, instead choosing to direct the Centre to constitute a ‘special committee’ to examine the contentions raised by the petitioners.A bench of Justices N.V. Ramana, R. Subhash Reddy and B.R. Gavai said the court has to “ensure national security and human rights are balanced”, according to LiveLaw.“We do recognise that UT has plunged into crisis. At the same time court is cognisant to the concerns related to ongoing pandemic and hardships.”“In the Anuradha Bhasin case, we said that there should be adequate procedural safeguards. On the same note, we directed to constitute a committee of secretaries comprising Centre and States, Secy of MHA, Ministry of Communication and CS of J&K. The Special Committee is directed to examine contentions made by Petitioners, as well as the appropriateness of their contentions and the alternative remedy,” the court said.“On this note, the petitions have been disposed of,” the bench said, reading out the operative portion of the judgment, according to LiveLaw.The bench said the ‘special committee” will be headed by the Union home secretary, while the secretary of the Ministry of Communications and IT and the chief secretary of J&K will also be part of the committee.The committee will examine the contentions of the petitioners and the respondents and will also examine the ‘appropriateness’ of the alternatives suggested by the petitioners, the court said.


Open letter by 16 V-Cs, several others slams Pulitzer to J&K photojournalists

New Delhi: Around 16 vice-chancellors of Indian universities, retired defence personnel, former senior bureaucrats, Olympians and 5 Padma Shri awardees are among over 100 people who have signed an open letter to the administrator, board and jury of Pulitzer Prize 2020. They have objected to the Pulitzers awarded to photojournalists from Jammu and Kashmir, and the citation that came with their awards.The letter comes in wake of J&K-based Associated Press photojournalists — Channi Anand, Mukhtar Khan and Dar Yasin — bagging Pulitzers in the Feature Photography category. It also questions the authenticity of the work done by 2 of photojournalists —Valley-based Khan and Yasin.The signatories to the open letter include Padma Shri awardees Dr. K.K. Aggarwal, Jawahar Kaul, Kanwal Singh, Darshanlal Jain and Dr K.N. Pandita, retired defence personnel such as Lt. Cmdr Harinder Sikka (retd), who is also the producer of Award winning film Nanak Shah Fakir and Major Gen Dhruv Katoch. theprint




Anti-CAA protest: 8 political parties condemn arrests of activists, students in letter to President

In a joint letter to President Ramnath Kovind, 8 political parties have condemned the recent arrests of activists and students in connection with anti-CAA movement at a time when the country is battling COVID-19 pandemic. The letter has been signed by Sitaram Yechury, CPI (M) general secretary, D. Raja, CPI general secretary, Dipankar Bhattacharya, CPI(ML) general secretary, Debabrata Biswas, AIFB general secretary, Manoj Bhattacharya, RSP general secretary, Sharad Yadav, LJD general secretary, Manoj Jha, RJD MP, and Thol. Thirumavalavan, MP and VCK president.It is a time when the world is experiencing fear and uncertainty and the government’s priority must be to single mindedly focus in effectively dealing with this pandemic and the problems that have spawned from it, like the lakhs of starving migrant workers trudging back home, letter says.The arrests of women activists in Delhi under the draconian UAPA were on “manufactured charges”. On April 10,M.Phil student Safoora Zargar was arrested for her association with anti-CAA protests. In addition, scores of students are being called for interrogation by the Special Branch and intimidated, the letter says.Similary, the letter points out that the victims in the violence perpetrated in JNU are being targeted while there has not been a single arrest of those outsiders who unleashed this violence against students and teachers. With a highly infectious disease such as the COVID-19, the government should have followed the example of other countries in releasing prisoners, but yet even physically disabled and people with known serious medical conditions like Dr. GN Saibaba and others are not being allowed to seek competent medical treatment. In Kashmir, the continuing detention of former CM Mehbooba Mufti and many others are condemnable, the letter says. “The arrests of Anand Teltumbde and Gautam Navlakha in Bhima Koregaon case even while continuing the detention of activists Sudha Bharadwaj and others without any evidence is another shocking example of how civil liberties are being trampled,” the letter says.thehindu


‘Stop hate propaganda’: Activists issue statement backing Delhi minorities panel chief

A group of activists and academics on Monday issued a statement condemning the “targeting” of Delhi minorities panel chief Zafarul Islam Khan on social media, as well as the government’s action of filing sedition charges against him. “We, the undersigned, condemn in the strongest possible words, the targeting of Dr Zafarul Islam Khan by the Islamophobes over his posts on social media,” the statement published on Monday read. “We also condemn the action of government against him by booking cases under sections 124A [sedition] and 153A [promoting enmity between different groups on grounds of religion, race, place of birth] and raiding his house on 7th May.”The signatories included researcher Indira Rani, social activist Khaleda Parveen, retired Osmania University Professor Padmaja Shaw and Mirza Asmer Beg from the AMU, among others.The signatories said Khan is a renowned Islamic scholar and intellectual with international fame. scroll


'We Have Pinned Our Hopes on Judiciary': Jailed Student Safoora Zargar's Husband

Through an ugly social media campaign against Safoora Zargar and her pregnancy, the right-wing has been trying to insult, malign, disrepute, dehumanise and demonise the anti-CAA protester.While on one hand, the special cell has arrested Zargar under sections of draconian UAPA, right-wing trolls, taking a cue from BJP leader Kapil Mishra, have been making lewd and obscene comments about her pregnancy.Zargar is a 27-year-old MPhil student of Jamia Milia Islamia who is currently lodged in Tihar Jail for participating in the anti-CAA protest on campus. She was arrested by the special cell on March 10, in connection with FIR 59, which is related to the Delhi riots conspiracy.The Wire spoke to Zargar’s husband, Saboor Ahmad Sirwal about the family’s concerns and the online hate that they are being subjected to. Here are edited excerpts.

Free Safoora: Indians hold car rally in Canada in solidarity with student activist



Ahmedabad Violence: Police fires 71 Teargas Shells, Pregnant Woman Beaten Up, One-and-A Half Year Old Kid Thrown Away by Cops, 27 People Arrested

NEW DELHI:After a clash between the policemen and the local people under Shahpur police station of Ahmedabad in Gujarat on Friday evening, as many as 29 persons, including a 60- year-old man, were arrested on charges of attempt to murder, conspiracy and rioting as also Section 51(b) of NDMA and Section 3 of the Epidemic Diseases Act, 1897.While police claim that the local police were assaulted when a police party was on patrol duty to implement the lockdown and asking people not to sit outside, the locals have a different story to tell. However, police fired 71 teargas shells to disperse the mob. While police claim that one of their personnel sustained injuries in the head, besides small injuries to several others, it is not known immediately if any of the members of the public or stone-pelters suffered injuries in police action.India Tomorrow


Ahmedabad violence: Police accused of beating up, arresting innocents in Shahpur

Contrary to media reports that an alleged scuffle broke out between the police and locals on May 8 in Ahmedabad’s minority dominated Shahpur Adda area after people reportedly refused to follow lockdown protocol and resorted to stone-pelting upon being confronted, it now emerges that police also allegedly viciously beat up several people including aged, disabled and pregnant women.An eyewitness, who wishes to remain anonymous, told Advocate Suhel Tirmizi, “Women had stepped out at the time of Iftar when we break our daily roza fast to make some purchases. That’s when the cops beat them up. The people got scared and then stone pelting started. Police fired tear gas shells and then started breaking and entering into people’s homes and physically assaulting them.” The eyewitness further said,“Police have arrested a lot of men. In fact, now entire neighbourhood is almost devoid of men. The police came even this morning and made a fresh round of arrests.”Advocate Irshad Mansuri who has spoken to several locals in the case says trouble began when a woman was returning after purchasing milk from a local dairy store. But police stopped her and asked her if the store was selling items other than milk and then allegedly subsequently even raided the store. It is noteworthy that Ahmedabad is in a complete lockdown and only the sale of milk and medicines is permitted. However, does that legitimize beating up women?Advocate Mansuri said, “There was also another case of a woman who was doing wazu or washing her hands before offering evening prayers. Her water tank was located outside her home so she had to step out. But the police did not accept this explanation and allegedly roughed her up. Not only this, when her pregnant daughter came to see what commotion was all about, even she was not spared. According to Advocate Mansuri, locals allege that the police have not only beaten up women and children, but also allegedly taken at least 24 men and young boys into custody in connection with the incident.Meanwhile the police have filed an FIR against 17 people.


Curfew imposed in Telangana town following communal clash

Authorities in Telangana's Bhainsa town imposed 24-hour curfew after a communal clash late Sunday night. Trouble broke out in the communally sensitive town, in Nirmal district, after a person, allegedly in an inebriated condition, entered a place of worship and attacked 4-5 persons offering prayers. One of them sustained bleeding injuries. Police said following the incident in the Shivajinagar area, 2 groups pelted stones at each other. Few people were injured in the stone pelting while 3 houses and 2 vehicles were damaged. Police rushed to the scene and used force to disperse clashing groups. Police imposed 24-hour curfew to bring the situation under control and intensified patrolling across the town to prevent further clashes. About 15 people were detained in connection with the clash.Nirmal district SP C. Shashidhar Raju, who rushed to the town, said the situation was now under control. "We have deployed more forces and closely monitoring the situation," he said. Karimnagar range in-charge DIG P. Pramod Kumar also visited the town on Monday and reviewed the situation.Bhaina, a major trading centre, has witnessed a series of communal riots in recent years. IANS


Nagpur orthopedic surgeon Satish Sonar arrested for giving call for genocide of Musllims in india

 Hate posts can cause genocide, it happened in Myanmar. Unfortunately, Indian Hindutva bigots are making same attempt. On Sunday, FIR lodged against Satish Sonar, an orthopedic surgeon for giving open call for genocide of Indian Musims. The Islamophobic doctor has been arrested by Gittikhadan police from his residence.Shabaz Siddique (39), a resident of Anant Nagar, Nagpur, filed police complaint against Dr Satish Sonar for his incendiary Facebook, Twitter post, that explicitly gave call for Muslim genocide.On April 23,Dr Satish wrote from his Twitter handle, “Now since ,Radical, Islamist and anarchist journos and illegitimate Citizens are talking about so called Islamophobia and Genocide… So let’s begin it, prove them right. Wipe out the Bastards from the Map.”The doctor even made misogynistic Twitter post over Jamia student Safoora Zargar who was booked under UAPA and placed in Tihar jail for her partcicipation in anti-CAA,NRC protest.TDN World



Supreme Court extends interim protection from arrest granted to Arnab Goswami

New Delhi :The Supreme Court on Monday extended the interim protection from arrest to Republic TV editor-in-chief Arnab Goswami and also reserved its order on the journalist’s plea seeking quashing of an FIR by Mumbai police in connection with a TV show on the gathering of migrants outside Bandra railway station on April 14. The court also reserved its order on a plea seeking transfer of the case from the police to CBI.In his plea, the journalist contended that the “FIR is politically motivated” and that Mumbai Police “harbors ill-will and malice towards” him. Goswami has sought protection from coercive action and quashing of the FIR.During the hearing, defence advocate Harish Salve termed FIR as an “arm twisting tactic” and said his client was questioned for over 12 hours by the Mumbai Police amid the nationwide lockdown. He also alleged that one of the officers who had probed him tested positive for Covid-19.Appearing for Maharashtra government, advocate Kapil Sibal said, “You are stigmatizing people by sensationalizing issues. He added:“This communal mongering has to stop. Decency and morality need to be followed. He is making allegations against the Congress party.”FIR was lodged on a complaint by secretary of Raza Educational Welfare Society, Irfan Abubakar Shaikh, alleging that Goswami tried to create hatred against Muslims through the show.indianexpress


Sharjeel Imam moves Delhi HC challenging order granting police more time to file charge-sheet

New Delhi: JNU student Sharjeel Imam moved Delhi High Court on Monday challenging a trial court order, which granted 3 months time to Delhi Police to file charge-sheet in a case related to alleged inflammatory and instigating speeches during the protests against CAA and NRC.Imam has challenged the trial court order granting more time to the police to file its charge-sheet after invoking the UAPA against him.He has also approached the High Court seeking a default bail in the matter, which was recently rejected by a trial court. Default bail is sort of a rap on the police for not completing the probe and filing the final report within the prescribed limit of days of the first remand of the accused. The petition is likely to be listed for hearing on May 14. He has also sought default bail in the matter on the ground that the investigation was not concluded within the statutory period of 90 days and when the police had filed an application for more time to complete the investigation, he was not given a notice as required under the law.The trial court had recently dismissed the bail plea.In the petition before the high court, Imam complained that he was not even produced before the court for subsequent remands, every 15 days as per the mandate of CrPC.The plea (of police) was devoid of the genuine ‘compelling reasons’ that are required to be disclosed for extension of time beyond 90 days. The application stated that on a careful analysis of the speech of the accused section 13 of UAPA Act was invoked. But it is unclear why the supposed ‘careful’ analysis took 88 days or what additional facts have been discovered subsequent to the eight days of police custody to merit invocation of UAPA on the 88th day of custody.On two separate occasions when Investigating Agency sought police custody of the accused, that is, on Jan.29 and Feb.3, investigation agency did not feel the need to invoke Section 13 of UAPA Act, it said.Meanwhile, the Supreme Court has also sought Delhi govt's reply on a plea by Imam seeking clubbing of multiple FIRs levelling sedition charges against him for allegedly making inflammatory speeches. ANI/PTI


65-year-old Muslim scholar Tahir Madani remains jailed in UP for protesting CAA

It happened on the night of 4 Feb., more than a hundred women assembled at the Maulana Ali Jauhar Park in Bilariaganj, Azamgarh in Utter Pradesh for a peaceful protest against CAA and NRC. The women were offering Namaz at the site. At around 4 am on 5 Feb, Azamgarh police came with orders to disperse the protests. Protesters including mostly women and children had been injured in a brutal police attack. The policemen swooped on the protesting women with a lathi charge that has left several injured with broken bones and wounds. Azamgarh MLA and Samajwadi Party leader Nafees Ahmad and Rashtriya Ulama Council General Secretary Tahir Madni reached the protest site. Police detained both of them. Later Ahmad was released.


Helped people to release from detention camps, Assam activist Zamser Ali arrested for speaking against Islamophobia                                      

Zamser Ali was arrested in Mangaldai, on May 7, for objecting hateful islamophobic socila media post made by a college professor Rupa Rani Bhuyan. From her facebook account Rupa Rani Bhuyan posted a poem of Sahitya Akademi awardee Syed Abdul Malik by purportedly misconstruing and placing it out of context. Zamser Ali, who is also Citizens for Justice and Peace (CJP)’s Assam state coordinator, spoke out against the communal post made by Rupa Rani Bhuyanb through his Facebook and Twitter profile. But, in an unexpected tuirn, Zamser Ali was booked under various section of IPC. His only offence was to speak out against communal substances. On May 7, he was asked to visit Mangaldai police station to answer some questions where he was arrested and kept in remand.Rupa Rani Bhuyan, an English teacher at Mangaldai College, had a track-record of spreading vitriolic communal hatred against Muslim community.Earlier during the Nizamuddin row she wrote on her social media,“From Quaran, Allah has sent the Corona to India. At the Jihadi meeting in Nijamuddin, prepared the plans of Corona jihad and sending to India, Shaheen Bagh (sic).”CJP condemned arrest of human rights activist Zamser Ali and called on the Assam government to order his immediate release. TDN World


Detained For CAA Protests, Sambhal Minors Recount Lock-Up Ordeal

On an afternoon in Sambhal in Uttar Pradesh, Riyaz and his mother sat in their bare minimum living room. Riyaz* is wearing a bright pink shirt, his first moustache making a subtle appearance and with a rolled up notebook in his hand, he said “The police were so kind to us. They said ‘Aap humare mehmaan ho. Yeh aapna ghar samjo’” (You are our guest. Consider this(jail) your home).This statement was made by 16 year old Riyaz who was detained for close to 48 days. He was kept in a jail where he claims to have been beaten, made to witness police torture on adults, handcuffed and verbally abused for being a Muslim.43 people including six minor boys from Sambhal were detained for close to two months. Although none of them concretely find their names on the FIR, the police justified their arrests on basis of FIR containing sections against ‘unknown’ rioters.In total, 6 minors were detained on 20 Dec. 2019. They were later released on bail after over 40 days of detention.Advocate Qamar Pasha, who was among the team of advocates formed to secure the release of people detained after the protests of 19-20 Dec., said that, all the detained minors had gone missing after the protests on 20 Dec, and no police station in Sambhal was willing to share details of their whereabouts with either the parents or the lawyers.thequint


After Chennai bakery's ad “No Muslim Staff”, Halal debate trending on Twitter, asking ‘why are right-wing Hindus bothered about meat’: free press journal report

On Sunday, after a bakery owner in Chennai was arrested over an Islamophobic advertisement, in which he had written, "Made by Jains on orders, No Muslim staff", subsequently "Boycott-Halal-Products" began to trend on Twitter. Speaking on trend, Milli Gazette, an Indian Muslim's English newspaper, posted a thread saying, "Boycott-Halal-Products is trending right now. This is a sugar coated way of persecuting Indian Muslims and exhibiting bigotry #Islamophobia. Fake claims like Halal Certificate means no non-Muslim works in that company. That Halal certificate is discriminatory!""All most 99% companies seeking halal certificate must be getting it without changing anything in their process. A halal certificate on a non-meat product should not bother anyone one bit. And for meat products, why are Right wing Hindus even bothered?" the newspaper added.Milli Gazette wrote, "Bigots claim: "We will not follow Sharia Rules. Why impose Halal on Non-muslims". Imposing? Is anyone forcing ppl to buy halal "garam masala"? Moreover, where is there a sharia rule to make "garam masala"? It is just that no ingredient in it, is something forbidden in Islam.""Bigots claim: Halal Certified product means kind of tax, are we living in Muslim country & paying Jizya? A tax? Certification is a one time fee, may be renewed at some intervals. But certainly not a "tax". But here bigots want to parrot the word "jizya" and spread hate," the paper further added. freepressjournal


RSS considers Muslims as equal partners of Hindu civilisation: NCPUL Director Aquil Ahmad

New Delhi: Director of NCPUL Shaikh Aquil Ahmad has said that RSS and it's chief Dr Mohan Bhagwat do not consider just one caste or faith, but all classes and religions of the country, including Muslims as equal partners of Hindu civilisation and have a vision that India can become prosperous and supreme only through social unity. Dr Ahmad said this, while explaining speech of Sarsanghchalak of RSS, Dr Bhagwat on April 26, after a month of lockdown, due to the global Novel Coronavirus pandemic. He described RSS as a welfare organisation and said that Sangh believes in cultural diversity and pluralism.UNI


BJP appoints incharges for every constituency in poll-bound Bihar, plans `saptarishi' for every booth

New Delhi : With Bihar expected to go to the polls later this year, political parties have begun preparations despite the lockdown and BJP has appointed incharges for all 243 assembly seats in the state.The incharges will give detailed reports to state party president Sanjay Jaiswal regarding poll preparedness, strategy and political situation of the assembly seat.BJP is also planning a seven-member special team at every booth that would be called 'Saptarishi'.ANI


Digvijaya, son launch attack on Scindia over ‘1857 ambition’, Reliance tag

Bhopal :Former Madhya Pradesh chief minister Digvijaya Singh and his legislator son Jaivardhan Singh have launched a no-holds barred attack on Jyotiraditya Scindia, whose rebellion brought down the Kamal Nath government in which the junior Singh was a Cabinet minister.For nearly a month-and-a-half after the collapse of Congress government, the father-son duo pulled their punches but over the last couple of days they have viciously attacked the former Union minister, who is now BJP’s Rajya Sabha candidate from the state.In a tweet on Sunday, Jaivardhan said the “ambition of a Maharaja” scuttled the first war of Independence or else the martyrdom of Mangal Pandey, Rani Laxmibai, Tatya Tope and other freedom fighters would have ensured the country’s independence in 1857 itself.Historians accuse the Scindia dynasty of joining hands with the British to scuttle the “sepoy mutiny” which started on May 10.indianexpress


Abdul Basheer dies of ‘septic shock’ during police raid in UP, probe on

A 64-year-old man died during a midnight raid at his house by a group of 12 policemen who were looking for his son in connection with the killing of cattle in the Bhasundara village of Badaun district.The family of Abdul Basheer alleged that he was beaten to death by the policemen on Saturday night. The charge has been denied by the police and a probe has been ordered into the matter.It is noteworthy that raids were conducted across western Uttar Pradesh on Saturday to arrest alleged cow slaughterers after reports of meat trade being conducted in a clandestine manner.Family members alleged that the policemen brutally thrashed Basheer while inquiring about his son's whereabouts.There was no recent case registered against Basheer's son. IANS



Former Saudi crown prince Mohammed bin Nayef in deleted tweet health scare mystery

A deleted tweet by Saudi Arabia’s General Directorate of Prisons has raised concerns about the health of Mohammed bin Nayef, the detained former crown prince. In a tweet on Sunday morning apparently addressing rumours that the prince had died, the kingdom's prison administrator said: “The General Directorate of Prisons denies reports of the death of Prince Mohammed bin Nayef bin Abdulaziz al-Saud and confirms that he suffered a heart attack and was subsequently transferred to the intensive care unit."“A specialised medical staff is monitoring the health of Prince Mohammad bin Nayef around the clock,” it added.The tweet was subsequently deleted, and the prisons directorate claimed that its account had been hacked. “We would like to note that the Twitter account of the General Directorate of Prisons was hacked on Sunday morning 10/5/2020 and a few incorrect tweets had been posted,” the statement read. It went on to apologise to followers for the alleged breach, and vowed to “take the necessary legal measures to investigate this incident and take necessary legal action against those who prove responsible for this criminal act”.Mohammed bin Nayef, who is a former Saudi interior minister and the nephew of King Salman, is believed to have been detained in March after a mass purge of senior Saudi royals by Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman.  The prince was named as successor to King Salman shortly after he took throne in 2015, but was replaced by bin Salman in June 2017. After his unseating as crown prince, bin Nayef had his entourage, mobile phones and allowances stripped and was not allowed to travel. According to MEE sources, the prince had complained bitterly to friends and in letters to the king about the withdrawal of his royal allowances.Several activists and social media users have expressed concerns about ex crown prince's wellbeing and the motivations behind recent developments. Activist Turki Shalhoub asked whether the heart attack claim was a prelude to “get rid of bin Nayef while in prison”. He questioned whether other princes would get “moving” or “wait for their fate one by one at the hands of the teenage prince”. middleeasteye

Confusion over health of detained former Saudi crown prince



Facebook's appointment of  Yemeni Nobel Peace laureate to its Oversight Boards creates stir in Arab world

Egyptian activists have launched a violent campaign against Facebook after it appointed the first Arab person among 20 international figures to review the site’s content, claiming that Nobel Peace Prize winner Tawakkol Karman belongs to the Muslim Brotherhood. The campaign, led by activists and lawyers on social media, saw users send a “warning” to Facebook, rejecting its appointment of Karman to its Global Supervision Board for Facebook and Instagram Content. They explained that the appointment was fundamentally inconsistent with Facebook’s policies as a result of Karman’s alleged political orientation.Lawyer Tariq Al-Awadi called for a boycott of Facebook.“This means granting the supervision of Facebook in Egypt directly to Muslim Brotherhood. She is an explicit enemy of political regimes in Egypt, Saudi Arabia and UAE, either she will be removed from the committee or Facebook will be closed!” added Doctor Hani Raji.Yemenis and Arabs across the Middle East celebrated Karman’s appointment as the only Arab among the 20 people chosen to be included on the board.“I am glad to join the Global Supervision Board for Facebook and Instagram Content. Thanks to social media platforms, government monopoly over the media and information is no longer possible,” Karman wrote on Facebook.middleeastmonitor

Naming Muslim Brotherhood figure Tawakkol to Facebook oversight board sparks anger in Arab world: gulfnews


Elders call for new Middle East peace plan to counter Israeli annexation threat

Elders today called for new engagement from international community to deliver a just outcome to Israeli-Palestinian conflict and uphold international law in the face of plans by the new Israeli govt to illegally annex swathes of West Bank. A new initiative in the spirit of Madrid Peace Conference of 1991 is needed to bring both Israelis and Palestinians,as well as regional and international powers, into meaningful dialogue on the way forward. Existing multilateral mechanisms like Quartet should be revitalised and potentially expanded to give a greater role to other powers in the region.Conversely, The Elders warned that the annexation plans represent a unilateral repudiation of two-state solution, and are opposed by most countries in the region and internationally. Annexation risks plunging region into deeper turmoil, further fomenting bitterness and alienation among Palestinians, antagonising Israel’s neighbours and eroding democratic and constitutional framework of the Jewish state.Mary Robinson, Chair of The Elders and ex UNHCHR, insisted that the conflict between Israel and the Palestinians can only ever be solved by finding a solution that guarantees peace, security, rights and dignity to both peoples. Ex-US President Jimmy Carter is an Elder Emeritus.“If the joint mapping of Palestinian lands to be seized by Israeli govt continues,” he explained, “standing of US in the international community will be further damaged. West Bank belongs to Palestine, and any changes should be mutually agreed upon.”Deputy Chair of The Elders and former UN chief, Ban Ki-moon, added that principles of international law are bedrock of global order.According to Lakhdar Brahimi, ex Algerian Foreign Minister and UN diplomat, “Palestinian people deserve the world’s solidarity and support." middleeastmonitor


Right-wing extremists reject offer to join Israel’s coalition govnt

The alliance of extreme right-wing parties in Israel, Yamina, declared on Sunday that they would not join what they called the “left-wing” unity government, Ynet News has reported.“In light of the govt’s emerging composition and its policy as a left-wing government led by Netanyahu, and in light of the prime minister’s blatant contempt for Yamina and its voters, we’ve decided to serve the public from the opposition in the upcoming term and fight for the nationalist camp,” explained the alliance.The far-right group said that it will focus on producing “a true right-wing option that will not sell out the justice system for its personal survival while being unprepared to take on Hamas and [Mahmoud] Abbas.”


Germany to operate Israel drones in Afghanistan, Mali

German army plans to operate a fleet of Israeli-made Heron TP drones in Afghanistan and Mali from 2021, the German Press Agency (DPA) reported. The German government said the new model will join its fleet of drones in Afghanistan in 2021 and in Mali in 2024.German army already flies three Israeli-made middle-sized Heron 1 surveillance aircrafts in Afghanistan as part of NATO Resolute Support mission and another three aircrafts within UN MINUSMA mission in Mali. Heron 1 has a wingspan of 16.6 metres making it too small to be equipped with weapons. However, the advanced Heron TP model has a wingspan of 26 metres allowing it to be equipped with weapons, stay longer in the air and deliver images with higher resolution.middleeastmonitor


Hamas talks on prisoner swap with Israel ‘ebb and flow’

A senior Hamas official said on Sunday that talks on a prisoner swap with Israel “ebb and flow”, Al-Watan Voice has reported. Mahmoud Al-Zahar made his comment in an interview with the Arabic language Al-Ghad TV.“We must take a deep breath, have good preparation and be prepared to exert pressure,” explained Al-Zahar. “Moreover, there must be a mediator.”The veteran politician said that the mediator could be from the Arab or the wider world. “But he must bring what the Palestinians want.”Hamas has confirmed in an official statement that no significant progress has been made in the indirect talks with Israel for a prisoner exchange deal. The movement accused the Israeli occupation authorities of seeking to mislead the families of its missing soldiers and undermine the morale of the Palestinian prisoners and their families through an online media campaign.


Syria regime, Russia guilty of deliberate war crimes against civilians: Amnesty

Syrian regime and Russian forces have carried out at least 18 documented attacks on civilian and non-military targets over the past year which amount to war crimes, UK-based human rights organisation Amnesty International has stated. In a report published yesterday, the rights group said the attacks were inflicted by the regime and its ally Russia on medical and educational facilities between May 2019 and February 2020 in the north-west province of Idlib.They consisted of three ground attacks and two barrel-bomb strikes by Syrian regime forces, and 13 other attacks by air strikes – two of which were conducted by the regime, seven by Russian forces and four by both allies. The majority of these attacks, according to Amnesty, was carried out in the months of January and February this year and “subjected civilians in opposition-held areas in north-west Syria to a new wave of horrors,” as part of the latest round of the regime’s offensive to capture the province which is the last major stronghold of the Syrian opposition.


Iraq Sunnis fear unrest as Shia militias return to confront Daesh

Iraqi residents of a number of Sunni-dominated governorates are afraid that the redeployment of Shia factions in their areas as part of the security forces’ campaign to combat Daesh will lead to sectarian unrest.Following a string of violent attacks by Daesh militants on a number of Iraqi cities and villages  in the Sunni-dominated governorates of Diyala, Kirkuk and Mosul, security forces and army, supported by Shia Popular Mobilisation Forces (PMF), launched a security campaign which included conducting raids and search campaigns and establishing random military checkpoints between cities and villages.Iraqi journalist Walid Al-Karkhi explained that residents are afraid to pass through the checkpoints as the PMF uses them to kidnap Sunnis. Al-Karkhi explained that detainees are either killed and thrown into the Diyala River, or held until his/her family pays a ransom.middleeastmonitor


Middle East Eye report: British propaganda efforts in Syria may have broken UK law

UK’s covert propaganda programmes in war-torn Syria were poorly planned, probably illegal and cost lives, according to a scathing internal review of the initiative that has been seen by Middle East Eye.Using news agencies, social media, poster campaigns and even children’s comics, communications companies working under contract to the British government attempted to undermine both the Assad government and the Islamic State group and bolster elements within the Syrian opposition.  UK embarked on its propaganda efforts in the country in 2012 and stepped them up dramatically the following year as the government sought to maintain a strategic foothold after parliament had voted against any British military intervention in the conflict.The series of programmes was given the codename Operation Volute, and those involved in the work talked not of propaganda, but of “strategic communications”, or “SC”.


Libya: Continued clashes between government forces and Haftar’s militia

Clashes continued between Libyan government forces and the militias of retired Field Marshal Khalifa Haftar south of the capital Tripoli.Witnesses told Anadolu Agency that the clashes are still ongoing, but at a lesser scale than they were when they first erupted on Saturday. They described Saturday’s fighting as “extremely intense, as plumes of smoke are still billowing over the areas where the fights took place.”Anadolu Agency reported that the sounds of heavy artillery are still shaking the capital.On Saturday, Chairman of the Presidential Council, Fayez Al-Sarraj, described Haftar’s attacks on Tripoli as “insane acts perpetrated by a terrorist war criminal leading to killing dozens of civilians.”middleeastmonitor


Iranian vessel hit by friendly fire; 19 dead

 TEHRAN:An Iranian destroyer mistakenly struck a support vessel during a naval exercise Sunday in the Persian Gulf, killing at least 19 people, according to local media on Monday.A total of 15 other people were also injured in the incident, the official IRNA news agency said, citing the public relations department of the Iranian Naval Forces Command.Initial reports earlier said a C-802 Noor missile was fired by frigate Jamaran and accidentally struck the Konarek, a general-purpose vessel. According to the reports, there were 30 to 40 crew members on board the Konarek, which had recently been added to the Iranian Navy’s fleet. Konarek’s commander was reportedly among the dead.


US Supreme Court hears case on religious schools, discrimination

A case about the appropriate separation between church and state is taking centre stage at US Supreme Court, which is hearing arguments by telephone for a second week because of the coronavirus pandemic.The case involving two ex-Catholic school teachers and their former employers is one of the two the court is tackling on Monday. The three days of arguments last week might be considered something of a warm-up, a test of how telephone arguments would work and of making the audio of arguments live for the first time.The stakes are higher later this week when the cases include high-profile fights over President Donald Trump's financial records and whether presidential electors have to cast their Electoral College ballots for the candidate who wins the popular vote in their state. Those cases will be heard on Tuesday and Wednesday.aljazeera


US: Atlanta mayor calls killing of Ahmaud Arbery a 'lynching'

Atlanta Mayor Keisha Lance Bottoms decried the killing of Ahmaud Arbery, who was shot after being pursued by a father-son duo in a predominately white neighbourhood in the US state of Georgia, as a "lynching" and said the rhetoric of United States President Donald Trump emboldens racists. Bottoms, the Democratic mayor of Georgia's largest city, called the killing "heartbreaking" during an interview with CNN on Sunday. "It's 2020 and this was a lynching of an African-American man."aljazeera



20 killed in attacks on several villages in western Niger

At least 20 people have been killed in attacks by unidentified gunmen on several villages in western Niger, according to a local official.Ibrahim Tidjani Katchella, governor of the Tillaberi region, told national radio on Sunday that the attacks were carried out by assailants on motorcycles who "pillaged shops" before heading north. He gave no further details.One local source quoted by AFP identified the villages as Gadabo, Zibane Koira-Zeno and Zibane-Tegui.aljazeera


Malaysia urged to end violent threats against Rohingya refugees

Dozens of human rights groups have called on Malaysian Prime Minister Muhyiddin Yassin to address hate speech and violent threats against Rohingya refugees in the country amid a slew of online posts threatening murder and sexual violence. Monday's open letter, signed by 83 organisations, said the surge in hateful messages attacking the Rohingya community was causing fear of physical violence and discrimination among the refugees."We urge you to act immediately to address the recent proliferation of 'hate speech' and violent threats against the Rohingya community and to ensure the incendiary rhetoric does not trigger discriminatory acts or physical attacks," said the letter.


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