16 May 2020

16 May News: 25 migrants killed, 33 injured in road accident in UP; 8 Home-Bound Migrants Killed In Accidents In MP. Agra: NHRC moved for release of 60 Covid -ve Jamaatis quarantined for 45 days


16 May 2020: 22 Ramazan 1441: Vol: 12, No: 210


25 migrants killed, 33 injured in road accident in UP's Auraiya

Kanpur: At least 25 migrant labourers were killed and 33 others injured when a truck carrying them collided with a DCM in Auraiya. Most of migrants were coming from Rajasthan and were natives of Bihar, Jharkhand and West Bengal. Of 33 injured, 17 of them were being shifted to PGI at Saifai in Etawah as their condition was described as critical. 6 were given primary treatment and then let off. 10 others are recuperating in the district hospital.Reports said the incident took place near Mihauli village under Kotwali police circle around 3.30am. Auraiya district magistrate Abhishek Singh said investigations were under way to establish the cause of the mishap. He said the priority was to provide best possible medical help to the injured. An FIR has been registered and begun in the incident. The injured passengers have been admitted to a nearby hospital.Samajwadi Party chief Akhilesh Yadav slammed ruling BJP for turning a blind eye to problems faced by migrants. Describing incident as 'heart wrenching', ex UP CM said the government must now start focusing on the woes of the migrants.Recently at least 15 migrant workers were killed in 3 separate incidents in Uttar Pradesh, Madhya Pradesh and Bihar. SP, Auraiya, Suniti told TOI that some migrant workers from Sagar in MP had hired a DCM from Delhi to head home. They had stopped at a tea stall and were having tea. In the meantime, another truck bearing registration number of Rajasthan and hired from Jaipur that was laden with calcium hydrate and was also carrying migrant workers from West Bengal, Bihar, and Jharkhand hit the stationary DCM.

8 Home-Bound Migrants Killed In Road Accidents In MP

8 migrants including 4 women were killed in 3 separate road accidents in Madhya Pradesh on Saturday, police said.At least 29 others were injured in these accidents which took place in Sagar, Guna and Barwani districts, police said.Six persons ― four women and two men ― were killed in an accident near Sagar, said SP Amit Sanghi.They were heading for Uttar Pradesh from Maharashtra when the truck carrying them overturned on Sagar-Kanpur Road, 70 km from Sagar district headquarters, at around 10 am, ASP Praveen Bhuria had informed earlier. Five of them were killed on the spot and 19 others injured. They were rushed to a government hospital at Banda, where one victim died later.The truck was carrying bundles of clothes on top of which migrant travelers were sitting, police said. A woman who was among survivors said they were three families returning from Nalasopara near Mumbai to UP.In another tragedy in Guna district, a person was killed when the tempo in which he was traveling overturned near Bhadora.

5 labourers dead, 20 injured after truck overturns in MP


"Pathetic... Cannot Control Tears": Madras HC On Migrant Crisis

Chennai: "Pathetic condition of migrant nothing but a human tragedy", Madras High Court said today in strongly-worded comments on the humanitarian crisis sparked by lakhs of migrants frantically trying to return to home states amid the lockdown.Pulling up both the centre and the Tamil Nadu government for failing to "care for their (migrants) safety and well-being", the court grilled govts over measures being taken to address the situation and demanded to see state-wise data on the migrant crisis.


Migrants Continue to Walk From Karnataka Even After Trains Resume

Jamuna sat by the highway holding her 4-month-old baby, even though it was getting dark. She was tired of walking, having been on the road for six days. Along with her husband and four others, she had covered more than 100 km to reach the Andhra Pradesh border, only to be sent back by the police.She said she had no option but to walk since there were no operational trains to Odisha. "We registered online a while back, and the police gave us these documents," she said, pulling out documents kept inside a cloth bag. "But since our (Odisha) govt has not given any permission for trains, we have no choice but walk," she added.While in Jamuna's case no train was available, many others were unable to get a ticket despite the ‘Shramik’ train services resuming. Close to three lakh workers in Karnataka have registered for these special trains services, with less than one lakh managing to get on them till now.thequint


Coronavirus: Suspension of labour laws is a ‘false choice’ says Wipro chairperson Azim Premji

Wipro founder and chairperson Azim Premji on Saturday said he was “shocked” at state governments’ decision to suspend labour laws that protect workers on the pretext of attracting much-needed investment to an economy battered by Covid-19.Premji said the assumption that dilution of these laws will spur economic growth and create employment is a fallacy, or a “false choice” which is not only unjust but also dysfunctional. “Such measures tend to pit workers and businesses against each other,” he said.“Diluting these already lax laws will not boost economic activity, it will only exacerbate the conditions of the low wage earners and the poor.”He talked about 16 migrant workers who were killed in Maharashtra’s Aurangabad last week. “Like millions of others who lost their livelihood, they were starving,” he said. He called these deaths an “unforgivable tragedy” and one of “most wrenching markers of tremendous misery” that the weakest and poorest of citizens are bearing. “Those 16 young men died because we have almost no social security and too little worker protection – not because we have too much of it.”scroll


Congress says migrant workers detained in Delhi after interaction with Rahul Gandhi

Congress on Saturday claimed that some migrant labourers were taken in preventive custody soon after their interaction with party leader Rahul Gandhi.It cannot be verified at the moment if the police acted in such a fashion. HT has reached out to Delhi Police for their comments on this allegation. Rahul Gandhi, dressed in a white kurta and black trousers, with his face mask on can be seen interacting with a group of migrants. Congress leader, sitting on sidewalk, is seen holding a conversation with the group, which has a few women, children and men.For days together now, migrants have been walking or hitchhiking their way to homes.


Kerala govt leaves Malayalis stranded in Delhi, refuses to arrange Shramik Trains

More than 7,000 Malayalis, including at least 1,000 students, are stranded in several north Indian states without any way to go back home. Several of them have decided to walk to Kerala if there are no trains. Of these more than 4,000 are from Delhi and at least 60 are pregnant women. Strange as it may seem, the Left Democratic Front-led government in Kerala has washed their hands off arranging Shramik trains which would have taken them home.Ministry of Home Affairs on May 1, 40 days after lockdown began on March 24, had issued an order that the Indian Railways would ferry migrant workers, pilgrims, students, and other people stranded in different states through ‘Shramik Special’ trains. These would be point-to-point trains and would not stop to pick passengers from stations along the way. There are students and families stuck in Delhi, Punjab, Himachal Pradesh, Uttar Pradesh and Rajasthan. There are at least 300 students in Delhi and another 300 in Punjab. All of them have registered with Non-Resident Keralites Affairs(NORKA) Roots and their respective governments to go back to Kerala.nationalheraldindia


"Make In India" Push For Weapons, More FDI In Defence Manufacturing

New Delhi: Companies abroad will be able to invest up to a maximum 74 per cent in defence manufacturing in India, up from 49 per cent, Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman said on the fourth day of mega reform and relief announcements amid the coronavirus pandemic. The higher FDI limit on defence manufacturing is under the automatic route, for which government approval is not required, Sitharaman said.India will also stop importing weapons that can be made at home, the Finance Minister said. "We will notify a list of weapons and platforms for ban on their imports and fix deadlines to do it," Sitharaman said, adding this move will improve self-reliance on defence manufacturing. "…Every year this list will be increased," she said."Even the spares of these weapons have to be manufactured locally. This will help reduce a huge defence import bill,"she said.ndtv

Centre raises FDI in defence sector from 49% to 74%, allows commercial mining of coal


Govt Allows Commercial Mining Of Coal, FM Says Rs 50,000 Crore To Be Spent On Infrastructure

Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman today announced commercial mining of coal by the private sector, ending government monopoly on the sector. In her fourth tranche of the economic package, she said commercial mining will be done on revenue sharing mechanism instead of the regime of fixed rupee/tonne.Nearly 50 blocks will be offered for bidding, she said.This is being done to reduce import of substitutable coal and increase self-reliance in coal production. Also, govt will invest Rs 50,000 crore for building evacuation infrastructure. Sitharaman also announced major reforms in the mining of minerals through a seamless composite exploration-cum-production regime. She said 500 blocks of minerals will be auctioned in a composite exploration-cum-mining-cum-production regime. Also, a joint auction of bauxite and coal blocks would be done to enhance the aluminium industry's competitiveness. This, she said, will help aluminium industry reduce electricity costs.outlookindia


Electricity Distribution In Union Territories To Be Privatised: FM Sitharaman

Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman has said electricity distribution companies in UTs will be privatised. A tariff policy that does not burden consumers with distribution companies' inefficiencies will be guaranteed, she said while presenting fourth tranche of economic stimulus package. Sitharaman also announced commercial mining of coal by private sector, ending government monopoly on the sector. outlookindia


People don't need loan, they need money: Rahul Gandhi urges Centre to rethink Rs 20 lakh crore package

New Delhi: Criticising Modi-govt’s self-reliance package announced recently, Congress leader Rahul Gandhi on Saturday said farmers and migrant labourers need cash and not loans and asked the Prime Minister to reconsider the COVID-19 economic stimulus package.He said migrant workers who are walking home with an empty stomach, the farmers, small businessmen and other such people don't need loans but money. "Today our people need money. PM should reconsider this package. Modi ji should think about direct cash transfer, 200 working days under MNREGA, money for farmers etc. because all of them are the future of India," he said while interacting with journalists of regional media via video conferencing. He said "the money is not being given for the fear of a decline in ratings. It is being said that if the deficit is increased today, agencies will reduce the ratings of India."


Covid-19: India’s merchandise exports fell by 60.28% in April, to lowest level since Nov.2006

India’s merchandise exports fell by 60.28% to $10.36 billion (Rs 78,529 crore) in April, Mint reported on Friday. Imports shrank by 58.65% to $17.12 billion (Rs 1.29 lakh crore), leaving a trade deficit of $6.8 billion (Rs 51,554 crore), as the economy continued to struggle due to a nationwide lockdown imposed to combat the coronavirus pandemic.The stalling of the global economy due to similar lockdowns imposed in many countries would also have affected the export and import of goods.


Lockdown 4.0 Guidelines: Here is how fourth phase is expected to be different

Lockdown, which came into effect on March 25 of this year for containment of the spread of the novel coronavirus is drawing to a close. This nationwide lockdown announced by Prime Minister Narendra Modi is set to enter its fourth phase on May 18.According to inputs, the guidelines for lockdown 4.0 will be announced on Sunday. This fourth phase of the lockdown is expected to last for 2 more weeks, until May 31.With the exception of containment zones, autorickshaws, buses, and cabs are likely to get the Centre's permission to ply in red, orange and green zones. Similarly, e-commerce websites could be allowed to deliver non-essentials in all districts, except containment zones.Offices and factories could also get the nod to operate with more strength. Industries have requested the central government to raise the cap of workforce participation to 50 per cent from the current 33 per cent as instructed by the Ministry of Home Affairs in its standing order.There is also speculation that the Union government could redefine red zones across the country.indiatoday

Greater relaxations in lockdown 4; States, UTs may be given power over hotspots


Trump hails Indian scientists, researchers working on Covid-19 vaccine in US

Washington: US President Donald Trump has lauded Indian-Americans scientists and researchers for their efforts in developing medicines and vaccine for coronavirus. Trump said US was closely working with India to tackle the pandemic. “We have a tremendous Indian population in US and many of the people that you are talking about are working on the vaccine too. Great scientists and researchers,” Trump told reporters in the Rose Garden of the White House. He was responding to Indian-American community’s appreciation of his fight against the coronavirus. This is the first time that a president has recognised the scientific and research talent of Indian American community.There are an estimated 4 million Indian Americans in US, of which about 2.5 million are potential voters in 2020 presidential elections this Nov.


Covid-19: ‘Allow malls to open, Delhi Metro to resume,’ says Kejriwal in letter to PM

Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal in a letter to Prime Minister Narendra Modi said that economic activities should resume in the city in the fourth phase of the lockdown, HT reported. However, Kejriwal said that there should be no relaxations in containment zones.In his letter, AAP leader suggested that markets, malls, public transport, including the Delhi Metro, and offices should be allowed to function with limited staff, while following physical distancing norms. However, school, salons, spas, barber shops, cinema halls, hotels and dine-in services at restaurants and cafes must continue to remain shut.Kejriwal said that restrictions in containment zones should stay, but economic activities elsewhere should resume. Till Saturday, it recorded 9,333 Corona cases and 129 deaths.scroll


Coronavirus: ‘Aarogya Setu, masks mandatory,’ says Centre as it looks to resume flights

Airports Authority of India on Friday issued guidelines for safe air travel ahead of the possible resumption of flights, which have been suspended since the nationwide lockdown was imposed at the end of March.The statutory body, functioning under the Ministry of Civil Aviation, released a six-point checklist for passengers, which includes installing the Aarogya Setu app, wearing a protective mask, maintaining physical distancing and washing hands, among others.


NHRC Notice To Punjab, UP, Agra DM over Migrant Mother Pulling a Suitcase with Her Child Sleeping Half-Hung Thereon

The heartrending visuals of a migrant woman pulling a wheeled suitcase with her child sleeping half-hung thereon has caught the attention of NHRC and it has consequently issued a notice to two state governments and a DM.  NHRC took suo motu cognizance of media reports about the woman migrant worker pulling a suitcase with her small child sleeping half-hung on it on a highway in Agra. The migrant woman was reportedly walking all the way from somewhere in Punjab to Jhansi in Uttar Pradesh till she caught the attention of the media persons. “The Commission has observed that it is aware of the unprecedented situation and that the Central and the State governments are working sincerely to address every issue coming up during the lockdown but it is strange that the pain of the child and the family could be seen and felt by many enroute, except the local authorities. Had the local authorities been vigilant, some relief could immediately be provided to the aggrieved family and others facing the similar hardships. The incident amounts to violation of human rights and requires intervention by NHRC,” the rights body said in a statement on Friday.


Agra: NHRC moved for release of 60 Covid -ve Jamaatis quarantined for 45 days

AGRA: Taking cognisance of a TOI report, a social activist has filed a complaint with National Human Rights Commission (NHRC) on the issue of 60 Tablighi Jamaat followers who have been kept under institutional quarantine for the past 45 days, in contravention of all Covid protocols.Lucknow-based Jamiat Ulama has also sent a letter to chief minister Yogi Adityanath demanding the release of all these people ahead of Eid, as all of them have tested Covid-19 negative. At least 60 people, including 24 facing other health issues ranging from diabetes to heart ailment, are lodged at a quarantine centre in Agra for the last 45 days, in spite of having cleared the Covid-19 test twice, first on April 3 and the second on April 20. They alleged prison-like conditions and ill-treatment by staff at the centre in Agra’s Sikandra.60 Tablighis include residents of Delhi, Andhra Pradesh and parts of Uttar Pradesh, all of whom had contacted the administration after UP government threatened all those who had attended Tablighi Jamaat event in Delhi’s Nizamuddin to voluntarily come forward or face penal action. Of them, 12 are women. Social activist Naresh Paras, who filed the complaint with NHRC, said, “Keeping a selective group of people in quarantine for over 6 weeks is a clear case of human rights violation. They have been tested Covid-19 negative twice. To my knowledge, they have not committed any crime. I have requested NHRC to take cognisance of the matter and demand their release.”TOI


567 foreigners linked to Tablighi Jamaat to be sent to makeshift detention centres

Delhi Police are in process of shifting 567 Tablighi Jamaat members, who had come to India from Indonesia, Malaysia, France and US, to “makeshift detention centres” as they have completed their quarantine period, ThePrint has learnt. These foreigners, who have been booked under Section 14 of Foreigners Act for allegedly violating visa conditions, will be investigated and then tried for the crime. A foreigner, who wants to take part in religious activity in India, is required to come on a missionary visa. If one travels on a tourist visa and then participates in religious activities, it is illegal and a clear case of visa violation.A source in the govt told ThePrint after these foreigners are investigated, their cases will go on trial, following which they will be handed over to Foreigner Regional Registration Office for deportation. Until then, they will stay in the makeshift centres, the source said. Delhi Police have already identified a few places where the centres will come up. These include a few schools and community centres in outer Delhi. The police have also taken travel documents of all the foreigners. Ministry of Home Affairs had in early April blacklisted 960 foreigners and cancelled their tourist visas after they were found to be involved in Tablighi Jamaat activities in violation of their visa conditions.Sources in the govt told ThePrint the process to deport these foreign nationals will be expedited so that they do not remain in India.Sources also said the police are now working on filing a chargesheet in the case so the trial can begin.ThePrint


1,640 foreign Tablighi Jamaat members were in India, only 66 contracted COVID-19: Jamiat

As many as 1,640 foreign Tablighi Jamaat members from 47 countries were in India at the time of Nizamuddin Markaz gathering, of whom only 64 tested positive for COVID-19 and 2 more died of the virus, prominent Muslim organisation Jamiat Ulema-e-Hind said.Jamiat president Maulana Arshad Madani said the "highlighting" of Tablighi Jamaat cases while talking about the total number of cases in country had allegedly created an atmosphere of hatred against Muslims.Madani said that now when there are over78,000 cases of coronavirus, Tablighi Jamaat figures are not being highlighted. Citing data compiled by his organisation through various embassies and Nizamuddin Markaz, Madani said there were 1,640 members of foreign Tablighi Jamaat from 47 countries in India at the time of Markaz incident. Of them, 64 tested positive for the virus and two died due to it. All 64 people have now recovered. Out of the total foreign Tablighi Jamaat members, 739 are in Delhi and the rest are in other states, the Jamiat said. Madani said coronavirus spread has nothing to do with Tablighi Jamaat but it was portrayed by vested interests to be the case to create ill-will against Muslims at large. PTI


ED grills Tablighi Jamaat Maulana Saad's close aide Mursaleen : Zee news

Enforcement Directorate (ED) on Saturday interrogated a close aide of Tablighi Jamaat chief Maulana Saad Kandhalvi. According to reports, Mursaleen used to stay in close contact with foreign Tablighi Jamaat members and had taken several frequent trips to foreign countries for Jamaat work. The agency believes that Mursaleen used to handle the donations and held a key position at the Markaz. He is also believed to have handled several accounts related to the Markaz. According to reports, Mursaleen maintained all his data and records in Urdu. The account-related documents, confiscated by Crime Branch team of Delhi Police from Markaz, were mostly written by Mursaleen. The documents were later handed over to ED.


COVID-19: MP Court sends 69 Tablighi Jamaat members including foreigners  to Judicial Custody after passing a month in quarantine

Bhopal: In the past 2 days, Bhopal district court has sent 69 people, including over 60 foreigners associated with Tablighi Jamaat to jail for “spreading coronavirus” in the MP capital. This is the first instance in the country where someone has been sent to the jail for spreading the virus.A bench of Justice Suresh Sharma ordered 14-day judicial custody for 51 members of Tablighi Jamaat on Friday, while 18 members were sent to jail a day earlier on May 14 until May 27. The court also revoked their bail pleas. According to district police, they returned to Bhopal after participating in the religious event, and allegedly hid their travel history which led to the massive jump in Covid-19 cases in the State capital. Bhopal police presented them in the court after keeping them in a month-long quarantine after registering FIRs against them. More members will be presented in the court, claimed a senior official of Bhopal police. The court has asked the concerning police stations to submit chargesheet within 60 days after investigation. Over 60 foreign nationals, who are members of Tablighi Jamaat, have been arrested by police here for participating in various religious programmes of the organisation in violation of Foreigners Act and under IPC, a senior officer said.However, it is not yet clear whether these foreigners had attended Delhi event, an official said. "Cases were registered against foreigner Jamaatis for the violation of visa conditions under Foreigners Act. They had arrived in India on tourist visas under which they can't participate in religious activities," Bhopal Police Range IG told PTI. newclick/ PTI


Plea seeking release of 3300 Tablighi Jamaat members quarantined for  around 40 days, withdrawn from HC, after Delhi govt decides to release Jamaatis with no Corona symptoms

Delhi High Court has been informed that AAP government has decided to release members of Tablighi Jamaat, who have completed mandatory quarantine and show no coronavirus symptoms. The submission was made at the outset of the hearing on a petition seeking release of nearly 3300 Tablighi Jamaat members, who have been put under various quarantine centers for nearly 40 days and not released despite negative reports of COVID-19. A bench of Chief Justice DN Patel and Justice C Hari Shankar, which conducted hearing through video conferencing, was told by the counsel for the petitioner that they wish to withdraw the petition as the Delhi government has already directed for release of Tablighi Jamaat members who do not show any symptoms of COVID-19. The court allowed petitioner Sabiha Quadri, a social worker, to withdraw the plea. The plea, filed through advocate Shahid Ali, had alleged that many people have been illegally lodged in quarantine centers and submitted that several persons who are staying in those centers have written letters to the authorities but they have not been considered. It had sought direction to the authorities to comply with the guidelines of 14 days quarantine and to constitute a high level committee to enquire as to whether continuous confinement of members of Tablighi Jamaat is violative of the provisions of the Constitution.A total of 3288 people from Tablighi Jamaat have been put under different quarantine centers and till date none has been released from there, despite fact that they are not in any manner infected with disease (corona) and in case of many members, 3 consecutive reports with negative endorsement have come, the plea said.The plea had also alleged 2 members of Jamat died due to hunger in Sultanpuri quarantine centre and sought directions for the registration of an FIR and probe in the matter. Government of Delhi and other respondents have already violated the impugned guidelines and many people have been illegally and malafidely lodged in quarantine centres as if they are being punished for any crime and their illegal detention is being continuously increasing every day and even every minute, the plea said.PTI /ANI

Delhi HC Dismisses Plea To Release 3300 Tablighi Jamaatis, qurantined for  around 40 days despite negative


700 Tablighi Jamaat members to leave for Tamil Nadu from Delhi by special train today

A special train carrying 700 Tablighi Jamaat members will be taken to Tamil Nadu from the national capital. The special train will leave for Tamil Nadu from Old Delhi railway station at 2 o'clock today. These Jamaat members were taken to different quarantine centres in the national capital. They show no signs or symptoms of COVID-19 or have recovered from the illness and are ready to travel back home. The arrangement was done based on the special request by Tamil Nadu government.dnaindia


69 Jamaat members begin return journey to Assam from Delhi after spending 45 days and testing negative

Atotal of 69 people belonging to Tablighi Jamaat began the return journey to their hometowns in their respective districts in Assam on Saturday, after they were released from Sultanpuri quarantine facility here, after testing negative for COVID-19. The Jamaat members had spent 45 days at the quarantine facility, prior to being released. Rafik Ali, one of the members of the Tablighi Jamaat talking to ANI said, "We all had been lodged at Sultanpuri's quarantine facility. 69 Jamaat members from Assam were released today from the facility after having spent more than 45 days there. The results of all of us had come out negative for COVID-19." "We had attended the event at Markaz, Nizamuddin. We belong to different districts in Assam, and once we reach Guwahati then we will proceed to our districts. 3 buses are going to Assam," he added.Ali also said that the Jamaat head Maulana Saad is a noble person who prayed for the safety of the entire world.ANI


Mumbai: 13 employees of Kandivali's Sai Dham temple test positive

On Friday, 13 employees of Sai Dham temple that is located Western Express Highway in Kandivali East in Mumbai were tested positive for the novel coronavirus, COVID-19. According to information provided to Free Press Journal from the temple’s trust, the employees who were infected were part of the team that provided food and essentials from Day 1 of the lockdown."They were living in the temple quarters hence we suspect they contracted the disease while on the field, distributing food. They have been using masks and gloves. This is very unfortunate for all of us. We hope they recover soon," said one the trustees of Saidham temple charitable trust.However, this has left residents of slums areas who collected food from them and security guarding temple worried.freepressjournal


‘Muslims Get Corona’: How Stigma Burnt Down A Bengal Locality

On 10 May, locality of Telinipara in West Bengal's Hooghly district saw massive clashes between its Hindu and Muslim residents. Soon after, videos of the violence in the locality, which is a part of Bhadreswar municipality, went viral on social media, and the police raided the area to bring the situation under control. While police say the the situation was calm on 11 May, 12 May, saw a fresh spate of violence. Internet services in the area remained suspended as the forces conducted raids and routine marches to nab the miscreants.Meanwhile, the viral videos claimed that the clashes took place as Muslims in the locality, some of whom had tested positive for COVID-19, were not isolating or adhering to lockdown.To investigate, The Quint visited Telinipara a day after the second round of clashes, on Wednesday.As of 14 May, the police had arrested 129 people for the clashes. As The Quint's team entered Telinipara, the area didn't seem to give away too many signs of destruction. Right at the entrance to the road that leads up to the affected localities, we were met with huge police presence and large, jostling, agitated crowds. Clearly, social distancing wasn't of utmost priority at that point.At the centre of the crowd, BJP MP from the area, Locket Chatterjee, and another Bengal BJP MP, Arjun Singh, were sitting on the pavement, listening to people's grievances.The crowd (evidently all-Hindu, and largely women) complained about how the Muslims beat them up, not even sparing small children, as the police watched.The Quint


2 Killed In Madhya Pradesh Violence Over Coronavirus Screening Of Delhi Man

Bhind: Violence erupted in MP's Bhind district on Friday after two groups of people undergoing coronavirus screening clashed over the scanning of a man who had recently returned from Delhi, one of states most badly hit by COVID-19 outbreak.At least 2 people, including an elderly woman, died and 3 others were injured during the fighting in Prem Nagar area of district. According to the police, the man over whom the violence broke out had been ordered to take a COVID-19 test by one of the groups. When he said that he had already been tested, the group refused to believe him and the ensuing arguments lead to violence. This is the second instance of violence in Madhya Pradesh this week, as tensions run high amid a wave of stranded migrant workers either returning or being brought back to the state, or passing through on punishing treks home.


Punjab: Muslim doctors, paramedic staff work through Ramzan, win hearts

Malerkotla: Even as most of them are fasting during Ramzan, Muslim doctors and paramedical staff at civil hospital and Covid centre here are attending to Covid-19 patients, mostly pilgrims returning to Sangrur district from Nanded in Maharashtra. Muslim-majority Malerkotla town though does not have a single active case of its own, as of now.“We have 35 Covid-19 patients, mostly Nanded Sahib returnees, from various parts of Sangrur district. They have been kept in a separate isolation ward. We have around 15-20 Muslim doctors and paramedical staff members involved in the fight against Covid-19. Although most of them are fasting, they are taking best care of patients, both positive and suspected ones,” said Jaswinder Singh, SMO at civil hospital here. These doctors and paramedical staff members are also part of the team that is screening daily 500-600 persons going out of the state, he said. On their part, the Muslim doctors and paramedical staff say they would remember this challenging time throughout their lives. “Since the outbreak of pandemic, I have worked at isolation ward and also doing screening of patients. Being a mother of twin daughters, who are around one-and-half years old, I have to look after them too. My grandmother takes care of them when I am on duty. Work for me is like worship. It is very challenging for me and other staff members, who are fasting during Ramzan,” said Dr Sameen Zahra, a Covid warrior, who heads the team that screens persons wanting to go their states. TOI


Raza Academy facilitates burial of COVID-19 victims in Mumbai

Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC) has granted permission to Mumbai-based Islamic organisation, Raza Academy to facilitate burial of persons dying of coronavirus across Mumbai. "Whenever there is a suspected COVID death of Muslim patient all hospital/ in charges are directed to inform following three co-ordinators from Reza Academy, in addition to local police station and local Medical officer of Health. Task force team from Reza Academy will facilitate for burial of Muslim dead bodies,"BMC circular stated.  "According to government rules, bodies of Muslims who are dying due to COVID-19 in the nearby hospitals are coming here in Bada Kabristan. We are performing burials according to the guidelines issued by BMC and health officials," Shuaib Bashir Khatib, member of task force under Raza Academy told ANI. Bashir further said that if relatives are present during the funeral, then the team allows 3 to 4 family members inside not more than that.  "We have performed burials of nearly 350 bodies," he added.ANI


Muslim Social Workers Arranging Vehicles, Bearing Conveyance Expenses of Muslim, Hindu Covid-19 Inmates

NEW DELHI;While Central government is extending financial assistance worth thousands of crores of rupees to revive industries hit by lockdown owing to coronavirus menace, it is not doing anything to send back Tablighi Jamaat and other people who were kept in quarantine centres and have been cured or did not develop COVID-19 symptoms even after 40 days.The task of sending these people have now fallen on the social activists of the areas where quarantine centres are located. Delhi government administration is only issuing passes to individuals with certificates of Covid1-9 negative and vehicles passes while vehicles and entire expenditure of transport is being borne either by the local social workers or the inmates themselves.While SDM(Rohini) SDM (Rohini) Nagendra Shekharpati Tripathi refused to talk to this scribe when he went to the Sultanpuri quarantine centre, many of the inmates where were getting to leave for Jaipur and other places after completion of 40 days at the centre said that many of their colleagues had run out of money and their travel expenses were being paid by the by local social workers.India Tomorrow


 At 85,940, confirmed cases in India surpass China's tally; death rate and doubling of cases remain low, shows govt data

 India’s total novel coronavirus cases rose to 85,940 on Saturday, taking it past China, where the pandemic originated last year, though a strict lockdown enforced since late March has reduced the rate of contagion.State leaders, businesses and working class Indians have called on Prime Minister Narendra Modi to reopen the battered economy, but the government is expected to extend the lockdown, which would otherwise expire on Sunday, though with fewer restrictions.So far the death rate in India appears far better, according to health ministry data, with 2,752 fatalities reported, compared with China’s 4,600. The toll in the United States, United Kingdom and Italy is much higher.Health Minister Harsh Vardhan was also encouraged by the slowing rate of infection, as it now takes 11 days for the number of cases to double, whereas before the lockdown cases were doubling every three-and-a-half days. “Clearly the situation has improved due to lockdown. We have utilised this period of lockdown to accelerate public health measures such as case detection, contact tracing, isolation and management of cases,” Vardhan said.Reuters


Coronavirus has forced 51% non-STEM Indian students to drop plan to study abroad: QS report

New Delhi: Over 50 per cent non-STEM (science, technology, engineering and mathematics) students in India who planned to study abroad have dropped their plans due to the restrictions in various countries in the wake of Covid-19 pandemic, a Quacquarelli Symonds (QS) report has said.Titled Indian Students Mobility Report 2020, the report released this week said 47.38 per cent of students in STEM fields changed their higher studies plans abroad. The figure for non-STEM students is at 51.59 per cent.Overall, the pandemic has affected the decision of 48.46 per cent students who aspired to study abroad, added the report. ThePrint has accessed a copy of it.QS is an education agency that releases global university rankings annually.


BJP MP shares old video of Muslims offering namaz, Delhi Police say verify before posting

New Delhi: West Delhi BJP MP Parvesh Verma posted a two-month old video of Muslims offering namaz in large numbers in the national capital to claim they’re violating lockdown and social distancing rules, but was called out by Delhi Police that asked him to “verify before posting and spreading rumours”. Both Verma and Delhi Police have, however, deleted their tweets. BJP MP, in his tweet in Hindi, wrote: “Does any religion permit this kind of behaviour in the wake of coronavirus? Lockdown and social distancing norms have been torn to shreds…”theprint


CBSE to announce Class 10, 12 board exam dates on Monday: Fake ‘exam schedule’ circulating on social media

 HRD Minister Ramesh Pokhriyal Nishank will not announce the schedule of class 10, 12 pending examinations today. The minister through his tweet mentioned that the board is taking into consideration some additional technical aspects before finalising the datesheets of the board exams.“#CBSE is taking into consideration some additional technical aspects before finalising the datesheets of the board exams of classes 10th and 12th, due to which, the date sheets will now be released by Monday i.e. 18-05-2020. Inconvenience caused is sincerely regretted,” HRD minister tweeted.Earlier today, the minister informed that the date sheets will be released at 5 pm.  “Attention Students! Releasing the date sheet for #CBSE Board Examinations for Class 10th and 12th today at 5.00 pm. Stay tuned for more details,” the minister wrote in a tweet.



‘No benefit’ in hydroxychloroquine virus treatment: 2 studies

PARIS: Treating COVID-19 patients with the malaria drug hydroxychloroquine (HCQ) had no positive effect and caused other health complications, two new studies showed Friday.The anti-inflammatory has been touted by US President Donald Trump among others as a potential “game changer,” after initial studies in lab settings showed it may be able to prevent the virus replicating.But several subsequent studies — including one funded by the US government — appear to have doused hopes that HCQ can help patients hospitalized with COVID-19. In the first study released Friday, researchers in France monitored 181 patients hospitalized with pneumonia due to COVID-19 and who needed oxygen.AFP


‘Largest debtor’: China calls on US to pay its debts to UN

China on Friday issued a statement calling on all UN member states to “actively fulfill their financial obligations to UN,” stressing that Washington owes the organization more than $2 billion.“As of May 14, the total unpaid assessments under the UN regular budget and peacekeeping budget amount to 1.63 billion and 2.14 billion US dollars respectively,”Chinese statement said, citing a report from UN Secretary-General’s office and a meeting held on Thursday. Including arrears that stretch back several years, “US is the largest debtor, owing 1.165 billion and 1.332 billion US dollars respectively,” China added.AFP



Babri Masjid case: CBI court decides to continue further proceedings via video conferencing

Aspecial CBI court on Friday decided to continue further trial proceedings in the 1992 Babri Masjid demolition case through video-conferencing. The Supreme Court on May 8 had directed the special court to conclude trial proceedings by August 31. Earlier, trial had to be completed by April 20, but it could not be done due to closure of courts in the wake of coronavirus-induced lockdown. The proceedings were hampered due to the lockdown and hence, the decision has been taken, it said. The case involves BJP leaders LK Advani, MM Joshi, Uma Bharti, VHP leader Champat Rai Bansal, among others. The court has recorded the evidence of all prosecution witnesses which CBI had produced. It is now proceeding to enable accused to know as to what evidence was exactly produced against them. Meanwhile, the defence filed an application on Friday to summon three prosecution witnesses for cross examination as they were not earlier cross examined when their evidence in chief was recorded in 2016-17.Taking up the application, special judge SK Yadav asked the defence to furnish the list of specific questions on which it wanted to cross examine these prosecution witnesses.The court will hear the matter next on May 18..PTI


Govt has no tolerance for criticism, fears independent journalism: International Press Institute

International Press Institute (IPI) today issued a statement expressing “grave concern” over the alleged misuse of law by authorities to “intimidate journalists and curtail press freedom”. IPI is a global network of editors, media executives and leading journalists for press freedom. The statement cited several recent instances in which journalists were booked under various laws for their news reports and were sent notices by the police.theprint

Media bodies slam authorities for 'curtailing' press freedom



Provided legal opinion: Former HC judge slams BJP, denies Congress involvement in Nirav Modi case

Retired Bombay High Court judge Abhay Thipsay, who appeared as a defence witness in Nirav Modi extradition case, on Friday told India Today that there was no truth in Union minister Ravi Shankar Prasad’s claim that he wished to save the diamond merchant at the behest of the Congress.Nirav Modi is accused of duping Punjab National Bank of more than Rs 13,000 crore. His uncle Mehul Choksi is also a prime accused in the case. Modi fled to UK in 2018. Prasad on Thursday said that Thipsay claimed the charges of cheating and criminal conspiracy against Modi will not hold up in an Indian court. The law minister called this a “sinister attempt” by Congress to save Modi.However, Thipsay told India Today on Friday that Prasad’s allegations were “absolutely false” and accused him of making an irresponsible statement. The retired judge claimed that BJP was targeting him. Thipsay said he had taken fees for providing his "expert opinion" in the Nirav Modi case and it was strictly professional. He said that the Congress did not know of this as he was approached professionally for providing a legal opinion.indiatoday


Myanmar hands over 22 Northeast insurgents to India, operation monitored by NSA Ajit Doval

New Delhi: Myanmar army on Friday handed over to India 22 insurgents from the Northeast, including self-styled home secretary of NDFB (S) Rajen Daimary, in a clandestine operation monitored by NSA Ajit Doval, officials said. The insurgents were brought to India on a special aircraft and handed over to police forces in Manipur and Assam where they are wanted, they said.This is considered an “unprecedented diplomatic success” led by Doval who was carrying out deliberations with Myanmar military resulting in the first such handover of insurgents by India’s eastern neighbour, they said. It is also a sign of deepening diplomatic and military ties between the two countries, they said.PTI


Kashmir is graveyard of probes, not expecting justice from courts:family of slain Budgam youth

udgam: Kashmir has distinction of being known as as the graveyard for inquiries and probes of civilian killings at the hands of armed forces. In the past, whenever any civilian was killed by the government forces, a probe was ordered which the locals believe is announced only “to pacify the anger of the public and to buy time.”Locals and human rights activists have said that the probes are an eyewash as no investigation is carried out, which means there will be no prosecution. The cycle continues and when another killing occurs, previous cases are forgotten and new probes are ordered. The fate of these probes is the same. On Wednesday, a “probe” was also ordered by the authorities in Kashmir’s Budgam district after CRPF in the Kawoosa area of the district killed a 25-year old youth Peer Merajuddin Shah for “not stopping at checkpoint”.A thorough investigation has been ordered and culprits were “promised to be punished”.But the family of the victim is sceptical of the fate of investigation even before any investigation has started.“There are thousands of cases pending in different courts since the last three decades. How can I expect justice in the case of my son’s murder,” father of the slain youth Ghulam Nabi Shah said.TwoCircles


Supreme Court ‘lost its way’ while cancelling coal blocks, 2G licences: former Attorney General Rohatgi

New Delhi:The Supreme Court “lost its way” while cancelling all allocations of coal blocks, 2G spectrum licences and iron ore mining in Karnataka and Goa and its zeal to protect the environment dealt a serious blow to the country’s economy, former Attorney General Mukul Rohatgi said on Saturday.Referring to the taking over of the power to appoint judges in higher judiciary by the CJI-led collegium, he also said the Supreme Court should “graciously give up its right to be the sole body to appoint the judges”.  Rohatgi, who was appointed the Attorney General for India by NDA government on June 19, 2014 and remained so till June 18, 2017, made the remarks while delivering the Prof N.R. Madhava Menon memorial lecture on the subject of ‘Journey of the Supreme Court from 1950 till now’.PTI



OIC calls for backing Palestinians’ right of return

JEDDAH:Organization of Islamic Cooperation (OIC) on Friday called on international community to support the right of Palestinian refugees to return to their lands from which they were displaced in 1948.This came in a statement by the organization, on the occasion of 72nd anniversary of the Palestinian Day of Nakba which is annually marked on May 15.The OIC stressed the Palestinian cause is a core issue, reiterating its "firm and absolute support for the Palestinian people in their just struggle to regain and exercise their inalienable national rights."It called on the international community to continue to provide full support to the Palestinian people in order to regain their rights, including the right of return.


Turkey on Nakba: 'Jerusalem is our red line'

Turkish presidential spokesman today voiced solidarity with Palestinian people as they observed 72nd anniversary of the Day of Nakba, reported by Anadolu Agency.In a statement marking the day, Ibrahim Kalin said Nakba, which defines the “great catastrophe” that the Palestinian nation was exposed to, signifies the 72-year-long occupation, unlawfulness, oppression and injustice.Noting that 70% of Palestine’s population has been displaced and 6 million Palestinians are living in different countries as refugees, Kalin said despite UN decisions and international rulings, illegal settlements are ongoing in East Jerusalem and the West Bank.


Nakba Day: EuroPal Forum webinar highlights Palestinians’ ongoing Nakba and cautions against viewing annexation as independent of Zionism

On 72nd year since the Palestinian Nakba, EuroPal Forum hosted a webinar via ZOOM titled “Nakba72: The Continuation of Colonisation – Impending Annexation and the Future of Peace in the Middle East”. The webinar, which heard from Professor Ilan Pappe, Dr Yousef Jabareen MK, Dr Salman Abu Sitta and Dr Hatem Bazian, concentrated on displacement of Palestinians in 1948 as an inevitable consequence of Zionism and the continuity of this process as seen through today’s impending annexation of 30 per cent of the West Bank.The webinar was opened by EuroPal Forum’s Public Relations Officer Robert Andrews. In his introductory remarks, Robert noted that the webinar is part of a broad range of initiatives that EuroPal Forum is engaged in, to encourage a more comprehensive understanding of key developments in Palestine. For the organisation, Nakba Day presented a salient opportunity to discuss both the nature of the Nakba and the continuity of Palestinian dispossession as it is seen today with the impending annexation of Palestinian land.


Israel issues ‘stop work notices’ to Palestine homes in Bethlehem

On Friday Israeli occupation authorities issued “stop work notices” to eight Palestinian facilities in the village of Nahalin, west of Bethlehem, Maan News Agency reported.The facilities, according to the mayor of the village, Sobhi Zaidan, included residential homes and farming shacks.Zaidan disclosed that this is part of a wide range of Israeli ploys against Palestinian construction in their own properties.


Israel expropriates Palestinian land to expand illegal settlement          

Occupied West Bank Israeli Settlement Council (Yesha) has announced expropriating tens of dunams of Palestinian land in the West Bank city of Jenin, in order to expand illegal settlements, reported on Friday.In a statement issued on Friday, the Settlement Council announced that it had proposed bidding for building a recreation village adjacent to the illegal settlement of Rihan, north of the occupied West Bank.The recreation village is scheduled to be built on private Palestinian farms.Over 650,000 Israeli settlers live in more than 164 settlements and outposts. Settlements are deemed illegal by international law.


US on track to pull troops from Afghanistan despite turmoil

WASHINGTON: US is on track to meet its commitment to Taliban to withdraw several thousand troops from Afghanistan by summer, even as violence flares, the peace process is stalled, and Kabul struggles in political deadlock. US officials say they will reduce to 8,600 troops by July 15 and abandon five bases. And by next spring all foreign forces are suppose to withdraw, ending America's longest war. In the absence of Afghan peace talks, Trump administration may face the prospect of fully withdrawing even as Taliban remains at war with the government.That has concerned some lawmakers, including Rep. Liz Cheney, a Wyoming Republican and member of the House Armed Services Committee. She says US needs to keep a military and intelligence presence in Afghanistan to prevent extremist groups like al-Qaida and Islamic State's Afghan affiliate from forming havens from which to attack US.AP

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Barking Up Wrong Tree: Scrapping Labour Laws to Combat Economic Slowdown In Corona Times:Akhil Alha

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Compiled and edited by Anwarulhaq (Released at: 8:34 PM)*


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