12 May 2020

12 May News: Live : Lockdown 4 will be different and have new rules, says PM Modi; details to be shared before May 18. Delhi HC Grants Interim Protection To Delhi Minorities Commission Chairman, Zafarul Islam Khan in sedition case till June 22


12 May 2020: 18 Ramazan 1441: Vol: 12, No: 206


Live : Lockdown 4 will be different and have new rules, says PM Modi; details to be shared before May 18

In his address to the nation, PM Narendra Modi said the next lockdown will be different with new rules and people will be informed about it before May 18. The present lockdown will come to an end on Sunday. "Lockdown 4' will be different and have new rules; you will be informed about it before May 18," he said. Modi also said, "Maintaining social distance and wearing masks will become the norm in the future." Spelling out the future, PM Modi said the coronavirus will be a part of everybody's lives for a long time. "Coronavirus going to be part of our lives for long time, but we can't let our lives revolve around it only," he said. "In this hour of crisis, local suppliers have met our demands; Indians have to be 'vocal about local' and buy products from them," the prime minister said. As the nationwide lockdown brought the country's economy to a grinding halt, Prime Minister Narendra Modi said the government will anounce a special economic package worth Rs 20 lakh crore, which is nearly 10 per cent of the GDP. He said the package will focus on land, labour, liquidity and laws. The PM further said Finance Minister Nirmanla Sitharaman will announce details of the special economic package beginning Wednesday.PM Modi said from tomorrow Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman will announce details of special economic package. "Special economic package is for our labourers, farmers, honest tax payers, MSMEs and cottage industry. Beginning Wednesday, finance minister will announce details of special economic package."


Lockdown will continue in West Bengal: CM Mamata says day after meeting with PM

Kolkata:Day after attending a press conference between chief ministers and PM Modi, West Bengal CM Mamata Banerjee said the lockdown will continue in the state.An early relief from the Covid-19 crisis is unlikely, Mamata Banerjee said on Tuesday and underscored the need for a 3-month plan to deal with the situation.Mamata said, "There must be a balance between tackling coronavirus and save livelihoods."The chief minister said that the red zones in the state will be further divided into three categories and further relaxations will be announced. District Magistrates and police officials have been given the responsibility to decide which shops can open now. "We have given time to the police to decide, they will divide red zones into three categories and accordingly relaxations will be given."indiatoday


‘It’s Time to Exit the Lockdown,’ Says Dr K Srinath Reddy

'It's time to exit the lockdown, we cannot have a protracted lockdown policy,' says Dr K Srinath Reddy in a interview with FIT. President of Public Health Foundation of India (PHFI), Dr Reddy has been advising the government in various aspects on India's response to the novel coronavirus pandemic. He is the former head of Department of Cardiology at AIIMS and presently serves as an Adjunct Professor of Epidemiology at Harvard (2014-2023).In a conversation with FIT, Dr Reddy also spoke about how, "we should not shy away as a nation from facing the possibility of a community transmission." He also mentioned that herd immunity cannot possibly be a public health strategy. thequint


Delhi CM Kejriwal seeks people’s suggestion on lockdown strategy beyond May 17

Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal on Tuesday sought suggestions from people on how to ease the curbs after May 17, but made it clear that lockdown cannot be lifted completely given that the city was recording a high number of coronavirus cases daily.The chief minister said that his government will send a proposal on lockdown relaxations for Delhi to the Centre on Thursday after discussing the suggestions with experts and doctors.PTI


Aarogya Setu on phone, no cabin baggage: Govt's post-lockdown SOP for air travel

Mumbai:Filling up of a detailed questionnaire related to Covid-19, carrying no cabin baggage, using Aarogya Setu app and reaching airport at least two hours before a flight departure might well be among the requirements for air passengers during the initial phase after resumption of commercial flights.The civil aviation ministry has come out with a draft Standard Operating Procedure (SOP) for restarting commercial air passenger services in the country, which remain suspended since March 25 in the wake of the lockdown to curb spreading of coronavirus infections.


Aarogya Setu: Problematic to make it mandatory, says Kerala HC; asks Centre to file statement

High Court of Kerala on Tuesday orally raised doubts about the practicality of the mandatory condition imposed on employers to make their employees download 'Aarogya Setu', the contact tracing app developed by the National Informatics Centre amid the COVID-19 pandemic, legal news website reported."There are valid concerns about the mandatory condition on the employers. Many have no smart phones. How do you propose to implement this?" asked a single bench of Justice P Gopinath.The judge also remarked that the mandatory condition was "problematic", and asked the Central Government to file a statement on the aspects raised by the bench by May 18.


Mandating use of Aarogya Setu app illegal: Former SC Judge Srikrishna

Former Supreme Court Judge B N Srikrishna, who chaired the committee that came out with the first draft of the Personal Data Protection Bill, termed the government’s push mandating the use of Aarogya Setu app “utterly illegal”. “Under what law do you mandate it on anyone? So far it is not backed by any law,” the former judge said. On May 1, the Ministry of Home Affairs, in its guidelines after the nationwide lockdown was extended, made Aarogya Setu App mandatory for employees of private and public sector offices. It also asked local authorities to ensure 100% coverage of the app in containment zones.Noida police then said that not having the Aarogya Setu application would be punishable with imprisonment up to six months or fine up to Rs 1,000.Justice Srikrishna said that the guidelines cannot be considered as having sufficient legal backing to make the use of Aarogya Setu mandatory. “These pieces of legislation — both the National Disaster Management Act and Epidemic Diseases Act — are for a specific reason. The national executive committee in my view is not a statutory body,” he said.“It is highly objectionable that such an order is issued at an executive level. Such an order has to be backed by Parliamentary legislation, which will authorise the government to issue such an order,” said Justice Srikrishna.


Aarogya Setu App Gets Just 2 Out of 5 stars in MIT Technology Review for COVID Contact Tracing Apps

As India attempts to emerge from the various stages of lockdown in an attempt to flatten the COVID curve, there is a renewed push to get the citizens to download and install the Aarogya Setu app on their smartphones. Official numbers suggest that the Aarogya Setu app has been installed on 9.8 crore smartphones so far. But there has been a raging debate about the privacy and surveillance aspects of the app, with critics alleging that the app with its access to your location and Bluetooth proximity data, can be used for illegal surveillance. New and fresh fuel has been added to the fire. A Covid Tracing Tracker has been launched by the renowned publication MIT Technology Review and they are working with experts around the world to understand what each COVID contact tracing app offers, and the issues around it. At this time, they have compared and ranked the Contact Tracing apps launched in 25 countries, including India’s Aarogya Setu. The apps are being ranked on five parameters—is it voluntary or not, is it being solely used for public health purposes or there are usage scenarios for law enforcement, is the user data collected by the app deleted within a reasonable amount of time and whether the entire process is transparent.



Trade unions to move ILO against dilution of labour laws by BJP-ruled states

The fight for workers’ rights is set to reach an international forum as central trade unions attached to various political parties have decided to lodge a joint complaint with the International Labour Organisation (ILO) against the dilution of laws by BJP-ruled states.As many as 10 trade unions have lodged a protest against the amendments in labour laws, saying the BJP ruled states such as Uttar Pradesh government had used the country’s tottering economy as an excuse to bring in an ordinance to free employers of any obligations for a period of three years.“The changes are being made unilaterally in violation of ILO convention of tripartite discussions involving workers (through their unions), employers and the governments, and other regulations,” the unions said in a statement.“The changes come after the decision of six state governments to increase the working hours of workers from statutory and international norm of eight hours to 12 hours per day,” the statement said, adding that they fear this could make employers freely and arbitrarily use the “hire and fire” strategy.


Industrial production declines 16.7% in March amid Covid-19 pandemic

The country's industrial output declined by 16.7 per cent in March, mainly on account of poor show by mining, manufacturing and electricity sector due to the nationwide lockdown, government data showed on Tuesday.The government had imposed lockdown to contain Covid-19 from March 25, 2020. Index of Industrial Production (IIP) had grown by 2.7 per cent in March, 2019.According to NSO data, manufacturing sector output fell by 20.6 per cent compared to a growth of 3.1 per cent in the same month a year ago.PTI


Unable to Pay Salaries, Okhla Industrialists Scared to Open Shop

“When the lockdown was announced on 22 March, they said that for the sake of humanity we should pay our workers salary up to 31 March.  A notification was also issued. We gave it. However, since April we have had no income source. So how will we give them salaries? ,” Amit Chawla, who owns a printing press in Okhla, told The Quint.In a discussion regarding why most industries in Okhla are still shut despite the Ministry of Home Affairs guidelines that allowed for industries to open if they followed prescribed guidelines, we interviewed industry owners and representatives in Delhi’s Okhla industrial zone and found that the biggest barrier to opening under lockdown was confusion.The Quint


Vande Bharat Mission 2.0: 145 flights to be sent to 31 countries to bring back stranded Indians

The second phase of the Vande Bharat Mission — one of India’s largest repatriation exercise to bring back Indians stranded in other countries due to the Covid-19 crisis — will see the Centre operating 149 flights from May 16 to May 22. Under this phase, the Ministry of Civil Aviation is coordinating with the Ministry of External Affairs and state governments to bring back Indian citizens from nearly 31 countries in 149 flights.In the first phase, Air India and Air India Express are operating 64 flights between May 7 and May 14 to bring in approximately 15,000 Indians who are stranded in 12 countries.



Jamiat Ulama moves Supreme Court seeking de-congestion of prisons amid Covid-19 outbreak

New Delhi: A Muslim body has moved the Supreme Court seeking enforcement of fundamental rights of jail inmates saying it would be a “travesty of justice” and a “blot” on the criminal justice system if any innocent undertrial prisoner dies due to spread of COVID-19 in jails.Jamiat Ulama-I-Hind has sought impleadment in the suo motu (on its own) matter taken by the apex court relating to de-congestion of jails to prevent over-crowding in view of Coronavirus outbreak.It has referred to media reports which said that several prisoners in Mumbai’s Arthur Road jail have tested positive for COVID-19.The plea alleged that in Maharashtra, 11,000 prisoners have been identified by the high powered committee but only 2,520 have been released while in Madhya Pradesh, 6,033 prisoners have been released against the 12,000 identified by the panel. “It is therefore necessary to avoid any delay in releasing of the prisoners as a delayed response may not have the desired effect,” it said.The plea, filed through advocate Ejaz Maqbool, said the apex court had in its March 23 order directed the states and UTs to constitute high powered committees which could decide which prisoners may be released on interim bail or parole during the pandemic.PTI


COVID-19: Maharashtra Govt to Temporarily Release 17,000 Prisoners

Mumbai: The Maharashtra government has decided to release on temporary parole 17,000 of the total 35,000 inmates lodged across jails in the state to contain the spread of the COVID-19, Home Minister Anil Deshmukh said on Tuesday.Of these, 5,000 undertrial inmates have already been released.The governments decision comes close on the heels of 185 inmates at the Arthur Road Jail in Mumbai contracting the viral disease, Deshmukh said.Earlier, a high-powered committee appointed by the Maharashtra government decided to temporarily release around 50% of the total prisoners to decongest jails across the state in the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic.PTI



Fresh PIL filed agianst Maulana Saad in Delhi HC seeks direction to transfer case to NIA

A PIL has been filed in Delhi High court on Monday seeking direction for transfer of the case regarding the investigation of Tablighi Jamat leader maulana saad for holding a congregation of the organisation's followers in alleged violation of the orders against large gathering from the Delhi Police to NIA. The petition also says that Delhi Police has failed to arrest the leader and do professional policing in the entire matter. The plea alleged that the acts of omission and commission of Saad and his associates constitute terrorist acts/activities as defined under UAPA. The petition further states that act of Maulana Saad and his associates is more serious than Ajmal Kasab. Advocate Yash Chaturvedi who filed the petition said, "Actions of Jamaat Members of wilfully and deliberately spreading the deadly coronavirus disease throughout the territory of India, seems to be in pursuance of a much larger criminal conspiracy as many of its members in the past have been found having links with various terrorist organisations. So the possibility of terror links with the case can not be ruled out and thus a thorough investigation by NIA is not only necessary but rather imperative."The petition also claims that Maulana Saad has links with Zakir Naik and people like him use COVUD-19 as an opportunity for "Jihad".Meanwhile, Mujib Rehman, the advocate representing Tablighi Jamat said," This is a conspiracy to malign the image of Tablighi Jamat. If such petitions will be entertained by High Courts then it will open doors for such petitions in future including action on police officers in Delhi Riots." Times Now


Tablighi Jamaat didn't violate any law: Salman Khurshid

New Delhi: Senior Congressman Salman Khurshid, here has defended the Tablighi Jamaat,  claiming Islamic group didn't violate any law. Citing Dharavi slum in Mumbai, Khurshid claimed had aggressive testing been conducted there as with Jamaatis, the number of infected would have been equally high. Congress leader also spoke about the migrant crisis, relaxation of lockdown and many other issues in an interview with IANS. Replying to the question that  political parties playing communal card on Tablighi Jamaat issue, Khurshid said, "I don't think they were violating any law but were certainly not showing alertness for such a crisis. It so happened that those who came for the Jamaat were aggressively tested. It was a good thing. But because of large testing, the number (corona positive) was high too. For example, if you conduct equally aggressive testing in Dharavi, you will get similar numbers. But it's past and over. Whoever was trying to fish in troubled waters, we should not highlight them. We shall ignore them and look at the important issue of fighting Covid-19 pandemic."  He said, "we are still working on how the migrant labourers would return to their native places. Why it took so long is distressing. The lockdown, hopefully, would be lifted on May 17. By then, most of them would be back to their native places. And on May 18 when we reopen the economy, who will work?Who will persuade them to return to work? Even if they are persuaded, what will be the arrangement to bring them back? Who will bear their travel cost, this time? Whatever the salary these people were getting, how will that be protected?" IANS


60 Jamaat followers in 'quarantine' at Agra centre for 42 days, 24 of them ill, all have tested negative twice

Agra: At least 60 people, including 24 facing health issues ranging from diabetes to heart-related ailments, are lodged at a quarantine centre in Agra for the last 42 days in spite of clearing Covid-19 tests twice, first on April 3 and then on April 20. They have said conditions are "prison-like" and that there is "ill-treatment by staff" at the centre in Agra’s Sikandra area. Mostly residents of Delhi, AP and parts of UP, all of them had contacted the administration after it came to the fore that government wanted all those who had attended Tablighi Jamaat event in Delhi’s Nizamuddin should come forward. Of the 60, 12 are women. When contacted, ADM Prabhakant Awasthi said, “These Tablighi Jamaat people are involved in criminal offence. They will be released only after the approval of police.”But police said that there was no case filed against them. Those suffering from health issues claimed that they were not getting medicines.Some went on to say that they are being “unnecessarily targeted” by authorities.A businessman from Ghazipur lodged at the centre told TOI, “Local leaders of Tablighi Jamaat had themselves informed the police about us. We were shifted here on March 31. Local authorities had told us that after testing of samples, all those who reported Covid-19 negative will be released. Our samples were collected on April 1 and all of us were confirmed Covid-19 negative on April 3.”A video of the quarantine centre shows filthy toilets with no water supply. The centre has two toilets for 60 people.TOI


Tablighi Jamaat members should be dealt with like terrorists for spreading coronavirus: BJP MP

Patna:MP from Muzaffarpur Ajay Nishad has stirred controversy with his statement about members Tablighi Jamaat. BJP MP from Bihar said all members of the Muslim missionary movement should be dealt with like "terrorists" for spreading the novel coronavirus.Nishad went even further to blame members of Tablighi Jamaat for the critical situation India is facing owing to coronavirus outbreak.  "The madrasa only imparts education about how to repair punctures which is why these people have made it (pandemic) more critical," MP said.indiatoday


Tablighi Jamaat members break Ramadan fast to donate plasma for COVID-19 patients

Jhajjar (Haryana): Tablighi Jamaat, which drew flak for being the super spreader of Covid-19 until few days back, is again in news for something exactly contrarian. Its members are volunteering in large numbers for the plasma donation after recovering from the disease. Arshid Ahmed from Jhajjar in Haryana, who was discharged from a Delhi hospital few days back has donated his plasma twice and says, will do it ten times of required. The members of Tablighi Jamaat are donating their plasma without caring to whom it will be injected, thus serving their own bit in the fight against coronavirus. ANI



COVID-19: 3 Public Service Commission staffers shunted over Tablighi poser

THIRUVANANTHAPURAM: Public Service Commission has decided to transfer three of its editorial staff members responsible for generating content of its bulletin after a controversy erupted over the inclusion of a pointer that drew a connection between COVID-19 spread in the country and Tablighi Jamaat.  The three employees who worked in the editorial section (Current Affairs) will be moved to other sections and a department-level probe held against them. The content that kicked up the controversy appeared in the current affairs section of the fortnightly bulletin published on April 15. The current affairs section of PSC bulletin is a compilation of all major happenings during the past 2 weeks. Pointer number 19 of the bulletin said Tablighi Jamaat meeting. It caused a flutter as several student groups and Muslim organizations alleged that PSC bulletin was reinforcing the communal views. The decision to move the staff out of the editorial wing was taken during a special PSC meeting held on Monday. It was also decided to withdraw the particular bulletin from its website.


'Petitioner To Not Indulge In Preaching Activities': Madras HC Grants Bail To 11 Indonesian Citizen Accused Of Spreading COVID

The petitioner shall not indulge in any preaching activities'- Madras High Court stipulated by way of condition while granting bail to a COVID-affected Islamic preacher, along with 11 Indonesian citizens, of engaging in propagating the Islamic religion in the state, consequently spreading the virus to the residents in the vicinity. The petitioner, who was arrested and remanded to judicial custody on April 15 , had sought bail. The Public Prosecutor submitted that the petitioner had stayed along with 11 co-accused for propagating Islamic Religion in public.  "Taking into consideration the nature of allegations against the petitioner in FIR and also taking note of the fact that the petitioner is in judicial custody from 15.04.2020, this Court is inclined to grant interim bail to the petitioner, for a period of eight weeks", decided the Single Bench.livelaw


Coronavirus: Aarogya Setu app mandatory for passengers travelling on special trains, says Railways

Ministry of Railways on Monday night made it mandatory for passengers travelling in special trains to download the Aarogya Setu mobile application. Those who do have the application may be asked to download it after their arrival, according to PTI.Besides, all passengers will have to go through a Covid-19 screening process before commencing their journey, and only asymptomatic passengers will be allowed to board the trains. Usage of facemask is also mandatory.





Welfare Party to fund travel of expats in Gulf

Kozhikode: Welfare Party of India has decided to foot the travel fare of 300 Keralites stranded in Gulf counties in the backdrop of the spread of Covid-19. Welfare Party state president Hameed Vaniyambalam said passengers who need financial assistance will be selected from a list prepared by embassies concerned. “We have already started preparing the list. The workers of organizations affiliated to the party have been asked to find out the needy,” Hameed said. Organizations working in Gulf countries such as Cultural Forum Qatar, Pravasi India UAE, Pravasi Saudi, Welfare Kerala Kuwait, Welfare Forum Salalah and Social Welfare Forum Bahrain are actively involved in the project. “Passengers will be picked up from the list prepared by the embassies and priority would be given to those who have lost jobs, low-income groups, women household workers and the like,” he said.TOI



Lockdown: 4 migrants travelling to hometowns killed in separate accidents

A migrant labourer from Bihar died on Tuesday morning and his companion was injured after a sports utility vehicle ran over them on a highway in Haryana’s Ambala district while they were walking back to their hometowns, reported HT. The deceased, identified as 25-year-old Ashok Kumar, was killed on the spot and other person is being treated at Post Graduate Institute of Medical Education and Research in Chandigarh. The driver of the vehicle that ran over the two fled after the episode.scroll


Saying send us home, migrants protest in Jaipur, many injured

Jaipur :Migrant labourers living in Nahri Ka Naka area of Jaipur’s Shastri Nagar, who are stranded amidst the coronavirus lockdown, hit the streets on Monday, complaining about lack of rations and the means to go back home. After they were dispersed by police, several protestors claimed that they were beaten up; the authorities, however, maintained that no force was used.Rezaul Karim, a migrant from Malda, West Bengal, said, “In the past one month, we haven’t received much ration and have run out of money. Today, we decided to take to the streets and ask the administration to give us food and find means to go home. If we get permission, we are also ready to walk the whole way. Instead, the police drove us out and several of us sustained injuries in police action.”




Don't shop for Eid, help the needy during lockdown, clerics appeal to Muslims in Mumbai

MUMBAI: A group of clerics and community leaders in the city have appealed to the Muslims to skip shopping for Eid and forego Eid festivities. Eid is on May 25 and many Muslim families have begun shopping online. The leaders have said that, instead of spending money to buy new clothes and on preparing Eid delicacies, the community should focus on helping the needy during the lockdown.Maulana Mahmood Daryabdi, general secretary of All India Ulema Council, said in a video message that the community must not crowd the streets to buy for Eid festivities. "We are fighting a pandemic and the best way to avoid catching it is by staying at home. Don't celebrate and, instead, spend the money to buy essentials for poor relatives and neighbours," said Daryabadi.


Lucknow: Fatwa to offer Eid prayers at homes if lockdown extends, no hugs

Lucknow based Darul Uloom Farangi Mahal issued a Fatwa on Monday making it mandatory for people to offer Eid namaz as well as Alvida Juma namaz (last Friday of Ramzan) at their homes, if Lockdown 3.0 is extended beyond May 17 and mosques continue to be off limits. This year, there will also not be any Eid hugs or handshakes to mark occasion except for with family members at home.Fatwa signed by 4 clerics--Maulana Khalid Rasheed Farangimahli, Maulana Nasrullah, Maulana Naeem-Ur-Rahman Siddiqui and Maulana Mohammad Mushtaq--stated among other things that buying new clothes for Eid is not mandatory and that if lockdown is extended Eid namaz should be prayed at home and not in mosques."Darul Ifta has ordained under a Fatwa that Eid will be celebrated at homes with families and that both Alvida Juma namaz and the Eid namaz will also be offered at homes. If the lockdown if extended beyond May 17 and mosques continue to be off limits due to it, Eid expected to be on May 25 will be celebrated following all government protocols of lockdown," said Khalid Rasheed.TOI


Javed Akhtar's 'azaan' remarks are anti-Islam: Samajwadi Party MP      

Sambhal: Samajwadi Party MP Shafiqur Rahman Barq on Monday flayed Bollywood lyricist and poet Javed Akhtar's for his 'azaan' remarks, terming it anti-Islam."Being a responsible person, he should not have said such a thing. Today, he is talking about banning loudspeakers but he did not say anything about banning liquor due to which people fell in drains, abused and met with accidents," the Sambhal MP told reporters.PTI


Muslims in Bengal open mosques, madrasas for govt quarantine facility

Kolkata: As migrants now come back to their homeland, the need for extra space for both quarantine and isolation purpose has been a dominant concern for every state. In West Bengal, a section of Muslim community has come forward offering a helping hand, putting humanity first before religion.Qari Md Muslim Razwi, imam of Jamia Masjid Gausia has never been happier during the holy month of Ramadan. 50-year-old imam has offered the third floor of the sprawling Masjid building to the Kolkata municipal corporation to set up quarantine facility if the government needs extra space.He has also offered a 6000sqft building and a school too for the same purpose. The mosque, also known as Bangali Masjid is in Iron Gate area in Garden Reach. The mosque is shut for now, and the Imam had reached out to people in the area with a message of oneness, putting religious reservations on the back burner. The Imam's proposal was accepted by all in the community.Far away from Kolkata, in Murshidabad district's Rejinagar area, a similar emotion has been reflected by Tajbidul Quran Madrasa. Maulana Eid Mohammad Mazahari, secretary of Madrasa is open to offering the entire two-storeyed Madrasa building to the state govt to build additional quarantine facility for the benefit of people. The building can accommodate more than 150 people on each floor.timesnownews



COVID-19: Activists and academics suggest 2% tax on richest 1% in a petition to PM Modi

Prominent academics, public intellectuals and activists have come together to petition Prime Minister Narendra Modi to levy a 2% emergency corona wealth tax on the richest one per cent Indians to finance the effort to contain the virus and aid those suffering in the lockdown since March 25. PM Modi is set to address the nation at 8 pm tonight.This tax would help the government mop up about Rs 9.5 lakh crore, the petition says. Ninety-five-year-old GG Parikh, who took part in the struggle for India’s freedom from the British, is among those to have taken a lead; former judge of the Bombay High Court, Justice BG Kolse Patil, leader of the Narmada Bachao Andolan Medha Patkar, member of the state legislature of Gujarat Jignesh Mewani, social activist Aruna Roy and retired Delhi University teacher Anil Sadgopal are among those who drafted the petition. Over 1000 signatures have been collected.


Live or die we’ll not stop: Migrants set off for 700km on foot as govt starts AC trains

Whether we survive or die, it is upon god, but we will walk all the way home to Madhya Pradesh, said Ghanshyam, a resident of Damoh, who has started walking from New Delhi along with a group of 50 people. They have already exhausted all their money and food as the nation-wide lockdown due to the unprecedented pandemic outbreak inches towards Day 50.Their journey on foot started on Tuesday from the national capital as they were unable to afford the rail tickets for the special air conditioned trains announced by the Railway Ministry.Ghanshyam, who is in his late 40s, said that we don't have a smartphone and we don't know how to use internet. "How could the government think that we will be able to book train tickets?" he said, adding "even the trains being run are the AC trains which are way beyond our means. We can't afford these.Damoh is approximately 750 km from New Delhi. The group of 50 people, including seven to eight children between the age group of two to four years and elders carrying their luggages on their heads were intercepted by IANS correspondent near New Delhi-Agra Expressway in Uttar Pradesh's Noida.IANS



57 Migrants Packed In Truck Paid Rs 3,000 Each. Driver Wants More Riders

Mumbai: On the Mumbai-Nashik highway in Maharashtra, a truck packed tightly with men, woman and children waits, and waits. In the blazing 40-degree heat, it has already been five hours. The migrants are heading to Uttar Pradesh, distressed by the coronavirus lockdown, eager to reach home somehow.The truck, carrying 57 migrants, stopped around 9 am, after it had travelled from Mumbai to Thane, apparently because the driver was waiting for more passengers.He is charging Rs 3,000 for each rider, so the more he can cram into his vehicle, the better.There is no space in the back of his truck, where migrants are mostly standing - and will remain standing through the trip. More than a dozen have climbed on the roof.


Locals deny burial of +ve patient, allow after Ajmer dargah steps in

Jaipur: In a gross violation of government order, the graveyard committee and the locals of Ajmer refused to bury a 16-year-old Covid-19 deceased fearing spread of the coronavirus in the community.The local administration had to approach Dargah Nazim who for hours convinced the locals for burial. This is the second death of a Muslim due to the virus in Ajmer. The first deceased was a beggar who was buried in a jungle. “The grave belongs to the Waqf board and not even the committee can stop the burial of any deceased. The drama by some committee members and locals has delayed the burial of a little girl,” said Shakil Ahmed, CEO, Dargah, Ajmer. The deceased is from a migrant family who had been living in Ajmer Dargah area from the last few years. The hospital administration and relatives approached the Gore Gariba graveyard committee informing them to prepare the grave for a Covid-19 patient. They, in turn, directed the hospital staff to approach another graveyard.



AIIMS Doctor, Zahid Abdul Majeed, Risks Own Life to Save a Covid Patient

NEW DELHI – Dr Zahid Abdul Majeed, a senior resident at All India Institute of Medical Sciences (AIIM), put his own life at risk to save a covid patient. The doctor removed his PPE (goggles and face-shield) to re-incubate his patient to prevent an inevitable death when he was on the way to a trauma center in the ambulance on May 7. He is now in quarantine.Dr Harjit Singh Bhatti, his colleague at AIIMS, through a series of tweets, put out details of the incident in which Dr Zahid had taken the step at grave risk to own life. It happened when the doctor, who works at the critical care division of the hospital, was called for shifting a positive incubated patient to the ICU. On the duty, Dr Zahid was unable to break his fast when he did this.“Unfortunately, when Zahid reached the ambulance, he noted difficulty in ventilating the patient and suspected accidental extubation. He immediately decided to re-incubate. Owing to poor visibility through the PPE inside the ambulance, he decided to remove his goggles,” tweeted Bhatti.Clarion India




Kashmir: Lockdown Forces Apple Industry to Face More Challenges

“Dear Kashmir buy Kashmir apples only to support apple industry” tweeted Nayeema Mehjoor, a senior journalist on April 28. This Ramadan, a vigorous social media campaign in Kashmir, with the hashtag #BuyKashmiriApples, has been asking people to buy locally-grown apples instead of fruits imported from other states of India. The campaign aims to provide some support to the apple industry, which has fallen on hard times. Usually, people in Kashmir consume watermelons and dates at iftar.After dilution of Article 370 in August 2019, and the subsequent lockdown, several apple growers and businessman had stored their harvest from last autumn in the hope of receiving better rates this spring. However, their hopes were dashed when COVID-19 pandemic gripped the world. Nawaz Ahmad Sheikh, a 59-year-old from Memander village in Shopian is going through harsh times. Last year,Sheikh put one thousand boxes of apples in controlled atmosphere storage (CAS) at Lassipora in Pulwama. “Every month I have to pay Rs 40 per box as charges for retaining the texture and the taste of the stored apples,” said Sheikh. “For the past seven months, I have to pay roughly Rs 300 per box. What I will receive in return is so meagre that I will face great losses,” said Sheikh in a dejected voice.thewire



All mosques in Iran to reopen temporarily on Tuesday

All mosques in Iran will reopen temporarily on Tuesday, a further step in the government’s plans to ease restrictions that aimed to contain the spread of the new coronavirus, official IRIB news agency reported. The decision to reopen the mosques was made in consultation with the ministry of health, IRIB quoted Mohammad Qomi, the director of Islamic Development Organization, as saying. Qomi said later on Monday that mosques would only be open for three days commemorating specific nights for the holy month of Ramadan and it was unclear whether they would stay open, according to the Fars news agency.The move comes even though some parts of the country have seen a rise in infections. Tasnim news agency reported on Sunday that a county in southwestern Iran had been placed under lockdown. It also quoted the governor of Khuzestan province, where the county is located, as saying there had been a sharp rise in new cases across province.Last Friday, prayer gatherings resumed in up to 180 Iranian cities and towns seen as being at low risk of coronavirus contagion after a two-month suspension, state media reported.Reuters


Senegal to re-open mosques, ease restrictions as coronavirus cases jump

DAKAR:Senegalese President Macky Sall announced the re-opening of mosques and churches and easing of other restrictions imposed to contain the coronavirus, even as the largest one-day jump in cases was recorded on Monday. Sall ordered places of worship closed in March and imposed a dawn-to-dusk curfew. Since then, the daily pace of new cases has picked up, 177 on Monday from a previous high of 104, with increasing community transmission in hotspots such as the holy city of Touba.Senegal has recorded 1,886 coronavirus cases in total, including 19 deaths.Reuters


Wuhan to test entire population after new coronavirus cluster emerges

Wuhan plans to conduct coronavirus tests on the Chinese city's entire population after new cases emerged for the first time in weeks in the cradle of the global pandemic, state media reported Tuesday.Officials have been ordered to submit by noon on Tuesday plans to administer nucleic acid tests on all residents in the city of 11 million people, according to an official notice carried by news outlets."Each district should make plans and arrangements to conduct nucleic acid tests on the entire population in its jurisdiction within a 10-day time limit," the notice said, although it was unclear when testing would begin.AFP


Oxfam says coronavirus ceasefire efforts 'catastrophic failure'

The international community's attempts to forge a global ceasefire to help curb the spread of the coronavirus have been a "catastrophic failure", Oxfam International said in a new report published on Tuesday.Oxfam said fighting continues across many conflict-torn countries despite a March appeal from United Nations Secretary-General Antonio Guterres for warring sides to lay down their weapons.  The problem was compounded by a diplomatic failure at the United Nations Security Council (UNSC), years of weak investment in peace-building efforts and arms continuing to flow into conflict zones, Oxfam said in the report: Conflict in the time of Coronavirus.



COVID-19 vaccine may never be found, warns UK PM Boris Johnson

British Prime Minister Boris Johnson has warned that a mass vaccine for the novel coronavirus may be over a year away and, in the worst-case scenario, may in fact never be found.In his foreword to the government's new 50-page guidance on a step by step easing of the lockdown measures in place to control the spread of the deadly virus, the UK prime minister lays out plans for businesses to gradually start reopening with COVID-19 Secure measures of social distancing and for the public to use good solid British common sense as the economy is unlocked.A mass vaccine or treatment may be more than a year away, said Johnson, highlighting the work being done in the UK by scientists at Oxford University and Imperial College London towards this mission.PTI



Chinese Choppers Spotted Near Ladakh LAC Prompt Alert, IAF Fighters Rushed In

After the scuffle between the Chinese People's Liberation Army troops and Indian troops along the LAC in North Sikkim which led to injuries on both sides, China appears to be continuing on the path of belligerence towards India, this time along the Line of Actual Control in Ladakh.In what appears to be a multi-front deliberate ploy by China to keep India on its toes Indian Air Force was forced to rush its fighter jet patrols in Ladakh after Chinese military choppers were found to be flying close to Line of Actual Control. This incident happened last week, around the same time PLA troops and Indian army forces came to blows in the upper reaches of North Sikkim."Chinese military helicopters were flying very close to the Line of Actual Control. After their movement was picked up, the Indian Air Force fighter jets flew patrols in the area,"government sources told ANI here.This latest development comes soon after Indian security establishment noticed that Pakistani Air Force increased its patrols of F-16S and JF-17s along its Eastern Border with India, especially night sorties, after Handwara attack that led to the death of 5 Indian security personnel. A fear of retaliation by Indian forces was cited as the reason by Indian security establishment sources for this ramping up of PAF air patrols.ANI


Nepal summons Indian ambassador over new link road for Kailash Mansarovar

Nepal’s foreign minister has held a meeting with India’s ambassador, three days after Defence Minister Rajnath Singh inaugurated a new route for the Kailash Mansarovar yatra via Lipulekh pass, which Kathmandu claims is part of its territory.“Foreign Minister Pradeep Gyawali conveyed Govt of Nepal’s position on boundary issues to Ambassador of India to Nepal Vinay Mohan Kwatra at a meeting held at MoFA today [Monday] and handed over a diplomatic note in this regard,” Nepal’s foreign ministry said in a tweet.Nepal has repeatedly claimed that India’s decision to build the 80-km road in Uttarakhand, which connects close to Line of Actual Control and opens a new route for Kailash Mansarovar yatra, is a breach of an agreement between the two countries. In its response, India said the new route is “completely within the territory” of the country. scroll

'Order forces to attack India': PoK PM urges Pakistan PM Imran Khan to 'take strong steps'India

Pakistan-occupied Kashmir (PoK) Prime Minister Raja Farooq Haider on Tuesday urged Pakistan PM Imran Khan to attack India with forces. He also said that since India is giving weather reports on PoK, it's time Pakistan start updating on Delhi as well. While speaking to media after visiting villages along with LoC amid the coronavirus pandemic, the PoK PM said, "PM Imran Khan must react now and take some strong steps. Only verbal statements will not work. You must move forward and order your forces to attack India.""It is your duty to protect your brothers and sisters. India is giving weather reports on PoK, we should start updating on Delhi," he added.Haider's "weather update" comment came in the wake of Indian Meteorological Dept.'s decision to include areas in PoK and Gilgit Baltistan in its weather forecasts.timesnownews



Delhi HC Grants Interim Protection To Delhi Minorities Commission Chairman, Zafarul Islam Khan in sedition case till June 22

Delhi high court on Tuesday granted interim protection to Dr. Zafarul Islam Khan, the chairperson of Delhi Minorities Commission, until June 22. After hearing Khan’s counsel, advocate Vrinda Grover, a single bench of Justice Manoj Kumar Ohri said that no coercive action can be taken against Khan till the next hearing, on June 22. On Friday, Khan had approached the Delhi high court seeking anticipatory bail in connection with an FIR lodged against him on several charges, including sedition. Speaking to TheWire, Grover said “no offence whatsoever of sedition or promoting enmity between groups” is made out from Khan’s social media posts, under sections 124A and 153A of IPC.According to Grover, the court also directed Delhi Police to give advance notice to Khan if he is required to join the investigation, considering the conditions of COVID-19 lockdown and his age.As per media reports, on Saturday, Delhi Police served a notice on Khan to hand over the device used for making the “controversial” social media post. Khan submitted his laptop on Sunday morning.Khan told The Wire that he was relieved with the high court’s order. “I have full faith and trust in our judiciary and I have always believed that justice and fair play will prevail. Earlier too, two reckless petitions against me by people who have no locus standi or even an understanding of law and politics, were dismissed by the honourable high court,” he said.“There is nothing in my tweet of April 28 which amounts to a crime, let alone sedition. Some top legal luminaries of the country have informed me that no offence has been committed and that the petitions will fall flat in a court of law,” he added.Khan’s lawyers have maintained that their client has committed no offence and that FIR was registered against him with an intention to harass and intimidate. Meanwhile, Khan further claimed, “the real issue is not the tweet itself. It provided the Hindutva lobby with a handle to beat me with because I have been active these past 3 years in taking action against them through Minorities Commission and they did not want me to get a second term as its chairman, which was almost assured because of the exemplary work done by me and our team in it. Now, by making me controversial, this lobby has achieved its primary aim as no govt will nominate me again in the post I hold at present.”thewire


NSA against Dr Kafeel Khan extended by three months

National Security Act (NSA) imposed against suspended Gorakhpur doctor, Kafeel Khan, has been extended by three months.Dr Kafeel Khan was booked under NSA on February 13 after his arrest on charges of making inflammatory speeches in the AMU during the anti-CAA protests.He is presently lodged in Mathura jail.Aligarh District Magistrate Chandra Bhushan Singh said on Tuesday that the NSA on Kafeel Khan has been extended for three months on the directives of the Home Ministry.Khan will remain booked under NSA till August 13 now.IANS



Minorities flourishing in India; Islamophobia allegations attempt to defame country: Naqvi

NEW DELHI:"Minorities are "flourishing" in India and have been an equal partner in development without discrimination under Modi govt, Union Minister Mukhtar Abbas Naqvi said on Tuesday, dismissing allegations of Islamophobia as an attempt to defame the country."Narendra Modi phobia club" has been unable to digest the inclusive growth under PM and is engaged in a "nefarious campaign" in India and abroad through fake propaganda alleging "intolerance, communalism and discrimination" against minorities in India, Naqvi said.In a blog titled "Islamophobia -- Bogey of Bogus Bashing Brigade", the minority affairs minister argued that the "Modi phobia club" is playing the "Islamophobia card" to harm the pluralistic fabric of India, but will not succeed. Naqvi's remarks come days after a wave of angry reactions on Twitter by citizens and rights activists from various Arab countries following allegations that Muslims are being blamed for spreading COVID-19 in parts of India.PTI



Muslim Man Brutally Beaten to Death in Jharkhand; Case Filed Against the Victim

Dumka: Two young men were tied with ropes and beaten up so brutally at a Jharkhand village that one of them died and the other is critical. The two had been accused of stealing a goat by villagers in Dumka.The man who died was Subhan Ansari, 26. His friend Dulal Mirdha, 22, is in hospital.The incident has emerged in the middle of the nationwide coronavirus lockdown. An FIR will be filed against villagers involved in the lynching, said senior police officer Ambar Lakda.The two allegedly stole a goat from a villager in Kathikund, a kilometer from their own village.Villagers claim they were spotted cutting up the goat outside the village by some men who surrounded them and started calling them thieves.A crowd gathered and the two were allegedly dragged into the village and tied to a tree.


Plea to prosecute Arnab Goswami, ban Republic TV: Bombay HC asks petitioners to approach SC

Bombay High Court on Tuesday refused to grant any relief in writ petitions filed by two members of the Congress party seeking ban on Arnab Goswami and Republic TV, reports petitioners had sought registration of FIR against Arnab, his channel and its management for spreading communal hatred during a telecast relating to the Palghar mob lynching incident.Justice Prithviraj Chavan heard the petitions filed by Bhai Jagtap, a Member of Legislative Council from Congress and Suraj Thakur, State Vice President of Maharashtra Youth Congress. The court kept the matter pending and said that petitioners could approach the Supreme Court for interim relief.Goswami is already being investigated by Mumbai police in relation to multiple FIRs filed against him in different states for his channel's coverage of Palghar mob lynching incident. The Supreme Court had granted Arnab protection from arrest for three weeks on April 24.nationalheraldindia


Gujarat: Sedition charges against editor of news website for article on replacing CM Rupani

An editor of a Gujarati news website has been charged with sedition and detained for publishing an article suggesting that Chief Minister Vijay Rupani may be replaced by Union minister Mansukh Mandaviya, PTI reported, quoting the police. The article had reportedly claimed that the top leaders in the Bharatiya Janata Party were unhappy with Rupani’s management of the coronavirus crisis. The first information report against Dhaval Patel, who is the editor of Face of Nation, said the article was published on May 7. The article had also said that the BJP high command had called Mandaviya to discuss the change in leadership in Gujarat. However, the Union minister had denied the rumours.scroll


Gujarat HC declares BJP minister Bhupendrasinh Chudasama's win in 2017 Assembly polls as void for indulging in 'corrupt practices'

 Gujarat High Court on Tuesday declared state BJP minister Bhupendrasinh Chudasama's election in 2017 as void on grounds of malpractice and manipulation. Justice Paresh Upadhyay cancelled Chudasama's election in an order passed on an petition filed by Congress candidate Ashwin Rathod, challenging the BJP leader's victory from Dholka constituency by a margin of 327 votes in the 2017 Gujarat Assembly polls.In his election petition, Rathod alleged that Chudasama indulged in "corrupt practice and breach of many of the mandatory instructions of the Election Commission, at various stages of the election process, more particularly at the time of counting of votes".Chudasama currently holds charge of the education, law and justice, legislative and parliamentary affairs, and some other departments in the Vijay Rupani government.PTI


Another CRPF personnel commits suicide in Kashmir

One more CRPF officer committed suicide in Kashmir on Tuesday by shooting himself with his service rifle. Earlier on the same day, another officer committed suicide in Kashmir's Anantnag district.According to details, the Assistant Sub Inspector of the CRPF posted in Srinagar shot himself with his service rifle.IANS


Uttar Pradesh: Executive Council members oppose proposal to rename Allahabad University

As many as 12 out of 15 members of Allahabad University's (AU) Executive Council, the apex decision-making body of the varsity, are not in favour of changing the name of the central university to Prayagraj University.Union ministry of HRD recently asked the university administration to seek opinion of all members of its Executive Council (EC) through e-mail.IANS


Nirav Modi used 13 companies in UAE to round trip millions: Prosecution in UK

Indian fugitive diamantaire Nirav Modi used 13 companies in the UAE and six in Hong Kong for the purpose of round tripping money, the prosecution told a London court on the first day of the five-day trial on his extradition.The jeweller, who was arrested by Scotland Yard in the UK in March 2019 on an extradition warrant by India over charges of fraud and money laundering, attended the court using a videolink from his prison in Wandsworth, London. He has been denied bail five times so far. The businessman has also applied for political asylum in the UK, sources in London told IANS.IANS


India had 1.04 mn under-5 deaths in 2017, down from 2.24 mn in 2000: Report

Even as India battles the coronavirus pandemic amid steadily rising cases, two important scientific papers on child survival were published Tuesday by the India State-Level Disease Burden Initiative.The paper in The Lancet reports the first comprehensive estimates of district-level trends of child mortality in India from 2000, and the paper in EClinicalMedicine reports detailed district-level trends of child growth failure.As per the findings, while the under-5 Mortality Rate (U5MR) dropped by 49 per cent in India since 2000, there is a six-fold variation in the rate between the states and 11-fold variation between the districts of India. There were 1.04 million under-5 deaths in 2017, down from 2.24 million deaths in 2000. Neonatal deaths in India have gone down from 1.02 million deaths in 2000 to 0.57 million deaths in 2017.


Palestinian towns 'hemmed in' by Israel's discriminatory policies

Palestinians with Israeli citizenship are being denied access to land for housing to accommodate "natural population growth", reflecting Israel's policy of confining Palestinian communities even beyond the occupied territories, says a new Human Rights Watch (HRW) report.The US-based rights group said on Tuesday the Israeli government's policy favours Jewish citizens as decades of land confiscations and discriminatory policies have restricted Palestinian citizens to densely populated towns and villages that have little room to expand.


Afghanistan: Deadly suicide attack targets funeral in Nangarhar

At least 24 people have been killed and dozens more wounded in a suicide blast at a funeral in eastern Afghanistan, according to the local government, in one of two attacks to hit the country. The attacker detonated his explosives in the middle of the funeral ceremony in Kuz Kunar district on Tuesday, Atahullah Khogyani, spokesman for the governor of Nangarhar province, said.

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Compiled and edited by Anwarulhaq (Released at: 8:38 PM)*


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