02 May 2020

2 MAY NEWS: Sedition Case Against Delhi Minorities Commission Chairman: Activists on targeting of Dr Zafarul Islam Khan: 'India's human rights appallingly deteriorated'. Liquor shops to open in all zones with riders: Govt clarifies about liquor and barber shops to e-commerce during lockdown 3.0


2 May 2020: 8 Ramazan 1441: Vol: 12, No: 196


Sedition Case Against Delhi Minorities Commission Chairman Zafarul Islam Khan

 Delhi Minorities Commission chairman Zafarul Islam Khan has been charged with sedition for making a “provocative” comment on social media early this week “to cause disharmony and create rift in the society”.In the light of the recent sharp reaction from the Arab world towards “the growing tide of Islamophobia in India” and urging the central government to take urgent steps to curb it, Khan had thanked Kuwait “for standing with Indian Muslims”.Having found himself in a controversy for his comment, Khan issued a statement on his Facebook page on May 1, saying that he never tried to tarnish the image of his country and is a patriot. “I have not complained against my country to any foreign govt or organisation nor I intend to do so in future. I am a patriot to the core and I have always defended my country abroad,” he said.“However, at the same time I have always been vocal about the problems in our country like any other country but we and our political, constitutional and judicial system are capable to tackle them,” he added. He accused some news channels of distorting his views.thewire


Minorities Commission has Protection Under its Act Against Legal Proceedings

New Delhi: No action can be taken against the chief of the Delhi Minorities Commission — a quasi judicial body — as per the Commission’s Act. The chairman, members and staff of the commission are public servants and they have protection from legal proceedings, the Act says. This was pointed out after an FIR was filed against the panel chief, Dr Zafarul Islam.“No civil, criminal or other legal proceedings shall be taken against the Chairperson, Members or officers performing functions under this Act, or under authority of the Commission, in respect of anything which is done in good faith or intended to be done in pursuance of this Act by or under the authority of the Commission,” the Delhi Minorities Commission Act says.Sources close to the minorities panel chief Zafarul Islam Khan said that whenever the Delhi Police call him, he will present his case. clarionindia


Activists on targeting of Dr Khan: 'India's human rights appallingly deteriorated'

In a solidarity statement, about 100 activists and scholars have said that the recent targeting of Dr Zafarul Islam Khan for his Facebook post “thanking” Kuwait for expressing solidarity with Indian Muslims suggests how human rights in India have been “appallingly deteriorated.” Dr Khan is chairman of Delhi Minorities Commission. The solidarity statement says, “A few politicians with ulterior motives and news channel anchors known for spreading bigotry and Islamophobia have mischievously sought to misinterpret his statement and ridiculously label him as anti-Hindu and anti-India”, adding, Dr Khan had only “reiterated what many citizens of India, public figures, international institutions, various European governments, USA and UN human rights mechanisms have repeatedly underlined.” “Dr Khan is a man of integrity. He is a scholar who is known to stand up for constitutional freedoms and values”, says the statement, adding, “His work as Chairman of Delhi Minorities Commission has been warmly applauded by human rights activists and NGOs across different faiths.” Counterview

Accusing Dr Zafarul Islam Khan of sedition, is an attempt to intimidate: Activists

Public Statement in Solidarity with Dr Zafarul Islam Khan


After being panned for saying DD considers India 'Hindu Rashtra', Yashwant Sinha hits out at 'Bhakts'

On Saturday, former BJP leader Yashwant Sinha hit out at 'Bhakts' and said that for him the Constitution of India is supreme and he shall defend it till his last breath.Sinha said that "Bhakts" abused him for his previous tweet on Hindu Rashtra. He wrote, "My tweet of yesterday on Hindu Rashtra on DD has so far 7900 likes, 1,800 retweets and 3,400 comments, most of them abusive. I want to tell the Bhakts I am as good a Hindu as any, but for me the Constitution of India is supreme and I shall defend it till last breath."Earlier, on Friday, Sinha had said that Doordarshan's managers consider that India has already become a Hindu Rashtra. Taking to Twitter, he had written, "For managers of public broadcaster Doordarshan, India is already a Hindu Rashtra. Govt of India is taking advantage of lockdown to push its agenda by stealth. Beware." Sinha's comment comes on the heels of re-broadcasting of epic shows like Ramayan and Mahabharat on Doordarshan amid the lockdown enforced due to the novel coronavirus pandemic.freepressjournal


Anti-Muslim incidents bound to attract negative attention abroad; need to change domestic reality: Tharoor

New Delhi :Asserting that incidents and comments against Muslims were bound to attract negative reactions abroad, senior Congress leader Shashi Tharoor on Friday said it is more important to change the domestic reality than do damage control, while referring to India’s criticism in Arab states over alleged “Islamophobia”.What matters is not what the government says but how it is perceived because of what it does, or let others do, Tharoor said, and alleged that Modi govt has “shamefully failed” to curb the appalling behaviour of many of its “most rabid supporters”, including some in high positions.“Let us not forget that ‘Ramzade/ Hara…..’ comment came from a minister, and latest remark from a BJP MLA in UP telling people not to buy vegetables from a Muslim vendor,” Tharoor said.In an interview to PTI, Tharoor alleged that Prime Minister Narendra Modi has, throughout the last six years, been too slow to “condemn his party’s bigotry and has condoned overt expressions of Islamophobia from his own camp”. “The attitude that India loves Muslims so long as they are outside India, but insults them at home, is not tenable in a world of instant global communications. The mounting number of incidents and statements against Muslims in India was bound to attract negative attention abroad,” ex Union minister said.PTI


Lucknow Covid hotspots named after mosques, Yogi govt draws flak for ‘communalising’ illness

Uttar Pradesh administration has named 8 out of 18 coronavirus hotspots in Lucknow after mosques, an exercise that has raised concern among Muslims in those areas and drawn flak from opposition parties for allegedly adding communal colour to an illness. “Govt should be concerned about fighting the disease. It should focus on pinpointing those areas from where more cases are coming. But unable to tackle that it is busy fudging numbers, and to divert people’s attention it is linking it to religious issues so that people won’t focus on the ground situation. It is discriminatory to link the illness to one specific community,” UP Congress chief Ajay Kumar Lallu said.The admin. has refuted claims that any particular community was being targeted. Officials said the mosques were only named due to the presence of positive cases.One of the hotspots in Lucknow’s Sadar Bazar is called ‘Masjid Ali Jaan and nearby areas’. Similarly, some others mentioned in the list of Covid-19 hotspots are ‘Mohammadiya Masjid and nearby areas’ in Wazirganj, ‘Khajoor Wali Masjid and adjoining areas’ in Triveni Nagar and ‘Phool Bagh/Nazarbagh Masjid and adjoining areas’.theprint



3 more Indians in UAE face action over Islamophobic social media posts

Dubai: It seems that the warnings of the Indian mission have fallen on deaf ears as the list of Indian expats facing action over vile Islamophobic remarks on social media keeps getting longer.Over the weekend, at least 3 more have been fired or suspended after their offensive posts were brought to the attention of employers by social media users. The men now join nearly half a dozen hate-mongers who have similarly landed in trouble in recent weeks.The latest addition to growing list include Italian chef Rawat Rohit, storekeeper Sachin Kinnigoli and a cash custodian whose name has been withheld by his firm.A spokesperson for Azadea Group that operates Eataly, a chain of high-end Italian restaurants in Dubai, confirmed that Rawat Rohit who was employed with them as a chef has been suspended and is facing a disciplinary probe.Sharjah-based Pneumics Automation have also said they suspended their storekeeper Sachin Kinnigoli until further notice.Similarly, Dubai-based Transguard Group said they have cracked down on an employee who had posted several anti-Islamic messages on his Facebook page under the name of Vishal Thakur.gulfnews


I fear for Hindus, even in Europe and AmericaI:nterviewof Princess Hend Al Qassimi, Emirati royal

Princess Hend Al Qassimi has become the woman of the moment by taking on Indian entrepreneur Saurabh Upadhyay for his anti-Muslim comments on social media. Al Qassimi, who is a member of royal family of Sharjah, warned that Upadhyay’s anti-Muslim remarks were not welcome in UAE. She also wrote an article in a leading Gulf newspaper, criticising the growing “animosity against Muslims in India”. The issue turned quickly into a major diplomatic crisis, forcing India to initiate steps to protect its cherished ties with Gulf states. In an exclusive interview with THE WEEK, the princess said that a Nazi-like situation was emerging in India, which could hurt Indians across the globe. theweek


Zakat Backbone of Madrasas' Financial Structure, Community Must Not Forget them in Lockdown, Say Leaders

New Delhi:Coronavirus-driven lockdown is badly affecting the economy of not only general individuals and companies but also social-educational institutions like madrasas which are fully dependent on charities. The month of Ramazan is the best month for madrasas for revenue collection from Zakat donors in metro cities, big towns and business hubs. As due to the ongoing lockdown, madrasa clerics and staffers are unable to move out for collection, rich Muslims and those eligible to give Zakat must spare the portion of Zakat fund for madrasas that they have been giving every year, say eminent leaders of Muslim organizations and renowned clerics.Zakat (2.5% annual religious tax of wealth) and Sadaqat (charities) given out in Ramazan have been the backbone of the annual budget of thousands of madrasas across the country. In the current situation, many leaders told India Tomorrow that donors should help madrasas through online transaction or preserve the amount for the madrasas for post-lockdown period.It is the responsibility of Zakat donors to get the bank details of the madrasas which they want to help and send the amount into the account and inform the madrasa management about their contribution and seek receipt through post. This is a practical way to help them in the present situation,” Maulana Syed Wali Rahmani, General Secretary of All India Muslim Personal Law Board (AIMPLB) told India Tomorrow.India Tomorrow


Lockdown 3.0: Inter, intra-district buses prohibited, taxis permitted, clarifies MHA on movement in ‘Orange Zones’

New Delhi :Union Ministry of Home Affairs (MHA) had issued an order on Friday according to which the duration of the countrywide lockdown had been further extending for a further period of 2 weeks till May 17. The decision was taken after a comprehensive review of the lockdown measures to contain the COVID-19 situation in the country. With an aim to clear the doubts and confusion among the masses about the lockdown, relaxation and related issues Spokesperson, Ministry of Home Affairs on Saturday issued a clarification regarding movement of persons and vehicles in ‘Orange Zones’ during the two-week lockdown extension, with effect from May 4.The clarification shared via a tweet reads: In order to remove confusion regarding the movement of persons and vehicles in orange zones, this clarification has been issued, as below: In the Orange Zones, in addition to the activities prohibited throughout the country, inter-district and intra-district plying of buses remains prohibited. Two other activities have been allowed with restrictions:Taxis and cab aggregators are permitted, with one driver and two passengers only.Inter-district movement of individuals and vehicles is allowed, only for permitted activities, with a maximum of two passengers, besides the driver, in 4-wheeler vehicles.All other activities are allowed in Orange Zones, without any restrictions. However, States/UTs based on their assessment and priorities may choose to permit a lesser number of activities. Meanwhile, announcement of lockdown extension came hours after a high-level meeting chaired by PM Narendra Modi with Home Minister Amit Shah, Commerce and Railways Minister Piyush Goyal, Aviation Minister Hardeep Singh Puri and Cabinet Secretary Rajiv Gauba.As per the list, 130 districts fall under the Red Zone, 284 in the Orange Zone and 319 in Green Zone.After consulting the state governments and chief secretaries of the states, the health ministry has decided to put all metro cities, including Delhi, Mumbai, Chennai, Kolkata, in Red Zone. Red Zone cities also include Hyderabad, Bengaluru and Ahmedabad. Also, Centre has allowed movement of students, migrant workers, pilgrims, tourists and others stranded at various places due to the ongoing nationwide lockdown that is in place to fight Coronavirus. thestatesman


Liquor shops to open in all zones with riders: Govt clarifies about liquor and barber shops to e-commerce during lockdown 3.0

Ministry of Home Affairs on Saturday clarified that barbershops and salons will be allowed to open in green and orange zones during the third phase of lockdown beginning May 4, besides sale of non-essential items by e-commerce platforms. MHA on Friday, while extending lockdown for 2 more weeks till May 17, lifted many restrictions in green and orange zones. Ministry released a list of such restrictions Friday. But, there was confusion on the sale of liquor and e-commerce services since MHA's press note did not explicitly talk about these either liquor stores or e-commerce services in all zones.Top sources within MHA have now clarified that liquor stores will be allowed to open in both Orange and Green Zones. Liquor stores will also be allowed to open in Red Zones as long as they are standalone shops not part of a market complex or a mall.There are no restrictions on sale of non-essential items by e-commerce platforms in green and orange zones, a home ministry spokesperson said, adding barber shops and salons are also allowed to open in these areas.In red zones, the e-commerce companies are allowed to sell only essential commodities.Barber shops and salons are not allowed to open in red zones as these are services not goods. The sources also added that the issue of allowing or disallowing maids to resume work has been left up to the respective state governments and union territory administrations. An important point to note here is that these relaxed restrictions will not apply to containment areas identified by local authorities in Red and Orange Zones. Another point to note is that under the lockdown directives issued Friday, states and union territories can choose to strengthen the restrictions issued by the Centre. They, however, cannot dilute them.indiatoday

E-commerce companies can deliver non-essential items in green, orange zones, says MHA

Here list of Red, Orange & Green Zones


Covid-19: Migrant workers, students board special trains, buses to reach home amid lockdown

Hundreds of migrant workers and students, stranded amid the nationwide lockdown to control the rapidly-spreading Covid-19, on Saturday boarded special trains and buses to return home. The government had initially allowed inter-state travel only by road but arranged for the trains after requests from several states.Opposition had also pointed out that road transport alone was not enough to carry lakhs of migrant workers home and had raised concerns about social distancing in crowded buses.The first special train for Uttar Pradesh, carrying over 800 migrant workers, started from Maharashtra’s Nashik on Saturday morning, ANI reported, quoting the state’s Additional Chief Secretary (Home) Awanish Awasthi. Workers are scheduled to reach Lucknow on Sunday morning.Another train carrying 1,200 migrant labourers arrived at Patna station. DM Kumar Ravi said that workers will be screened for Covid-19 before being sent to their native places. Around 1,100 migrant workers left for their home states from Thiruvananthapuram in Kerala.scroll


Lockdown: AMU students remain stranded midway home

Students of AMU who boarded the bus for home from university on Friday remain stranded in Saharanpur without basic facilities. Students who set their journey to Bareilly also shares distress message of ill-treatment and negligence by the authorities.According to Mohammad Salman Imtiaz, former president of AMU students Union, 16 boys and 3 girls who have been quarantined at Satsang Bhawan under Police Station Qutub Sher in Subhash Nagar, Saharanpur. “We were asked to reach proctor office by 10 am, We waited till 3 pm to start the journey,” one of the students told Maktoob. Students were fasting and were not given any refreshment by the admin.Students from many varsities have been asked to go home through transport facilities availed by the government after new UGC guidelines. Students from school and university are among the group which is first to avail the transport facility which guaranteed to take the students home.The students’ complaints they were given unhygienic food and asked to shelter with hundreds of other labourers in the shed. They were given separate corner when students protested.Students have been asked to contact their parents to pick them from the facilities. Students worry that it will be difficult for the family to get to them under lockdown.AMU Hostellers alleges that Admin is forcing students out from the hostels. To do so, they are cutting power supplies for hours.maktoobmedia


Delhi: Survey Reveals Only 30% Ration Shops Distributing PDS Grains, Special Kits

Despite Delhi high court’s recent direction urging Delhi govt to ensure that all fair price shops operated during working hours and distributed public distribution system (PDS) grains, a survey has revealed that only 62% are functioning and only half of them are distributing grains. Following the survey, Delhi Rozi Roti Adhikar Abhiyan has written to chief minister Arvind Kejriwal about findings and shortcomings and urged him to set up facilitation desks at all ration shops. In the letter, food rights campaigners, including Anjali Bhardwaj, Annie Raja, Dipa Sinha and Amrita Johri, wrote that the high court on April 27 gave important directions to ensure food security during the ongoing crisis due to COVID-19.“Among other issues, the court directed that the government should ‘ensure that food grains are distributed to the poor, needy and marginalized non-PDS residents’,” it reminded CM. Therefore, the Abhiyan said, food grains must be provided to everyone who needs it, irrespective of whether they have a ration card or not. thewire


1,600 kg aata, 1,200 kg rice daily — how Delhi’s Bangla Sahib Gurdwara is feeding 75k people

Bangla Sahib Gurdwara in the heart of Delhi has seldom let any hungry visitor go without food. With the pandemic now leaving thousands scrambling for their daily meals, the gurdwara’s community kitchen has taken the lead to feed over 75,000 people every day.The kitchen uses around 1,600 kg of aata, 1,200 kg rice and 700-800 kg of dal daily to prepare the meals. The food is then delivered to around 17 places across Delhi-NCR. A typical thali includes rice, chapatis, ghee dal and a different type of sabji is cooked every day.As many as 53 sevaks work to put the entire process of cooking and delivering together. Delhi Sikh Gurdwara Management (DSGM), which looks after the preparation and distribution of the daily langar, told ThePrint that the number of people has been increasing ever since they first started distributing food after the nationwide lockdown was announced on 24 March.theprint


Karnataka IAS officer Mohsin, who ordered inspection of PM Modi’s helicopter, gets show-cause notice for tweet appreciating Tablighi Jamaat on plasma donation

Karnataka IAS officer, who had ordered an inspection of Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s helicopter last year, has received a show-cause notice by the BS Yediyurappa government for a tweet appreciating the Tablighi Jamaat on plasma donation to fight COVID-19 in India.Mohammad Mohsin had tweeted on 27 April, “More than 300 Tablighi heroes are donating plasma to serve the country. What about the media? They will not show the works of humanity done by these heroes.”His tweet prompted many right-wing Twitter handles to lodge an official complaint since it attempted to show the members of the Tablighi Jamaat in positive light. The notice served to Mohsin read, “The adverse coverage this tweet has got in the media has been taken note (of) given the serious nature of COVID-19 issue.” This clearly appears to refer to protest lodged by right-wing Twitter handles on the microblogging site.According to PTI, government has sought a written explanation from Mohsin within five days for violating the All India Services (Conduct) Rules, 1968.“I have shared no less than 40 or 50 posts about helpline numbers to COVID-19 messages from the government and Ministry of Health, including those for appeals for the Chief Minister’s Relief Fund,” Mohsin was quoted by NDTV as saying.jantakareporter


One banana per migrant worker: Chaos in transit centre in UP as they try to collect their dues

Migrant workers gathered in Allahabad, UP rushed to abandon social distancing norms in order to collect bananas – one for each – being distributed by the authorities. A video of the incident was posted on Twitter by journalist Ravi Nair. In the video, many migrant workers were seen gathered behind a gate, while a mask-clad person gave out one banana each to the workers from the other side.The Allahabad District Magistrate later said that the incident did not take place at a quarantine centre but a transit centre where workers from MP were resting. Authorities reportedly stopped the distribution of bananas when chaos ensued, and continued only after the workers were seated in buses. scroll


Viral video of communal flare-up and stone pelting is from Pakistan, not Bihar

New Delhi: In a viral video that claims to have been shot in Bihar, a group of Muslim men can be seen engaged in stone pelting.Shared over 5,000 times on Facebook, the caption to the video posted by a user named Peeihu Suraj Sonkar says that while stones were being pelted, the police didn’t take any action. Nobody would say anything since the victims are Hindu, the caption added.Reports have also claimed that the incident took place just days after a youth in Bihar, named Sunny Gupta, was reportedly killed in an alleged communal altercation.The viral clip was actually shot at Hyderabad in Pakistan’s Sindh province last week. Bilawal Farooqui, a Pakistani journalist with a verified Twitter account, had shared the video on 23 April.theprint


BJP MLA spits in government-run kitchen for poor in Rajkot

Rajkot BJP MLA Arvind Raiyani's video where he can be seen spitting in government-run community kitchen has gone viral. While common people are admonished, abhorred and fined for spitting in public, Raiyani topped everyone by spitting in the kitchen that caters to needy people of Rajkot amid the lockdown.On Friday, realising that his act had not gone down well with his constituents, Raiyani released pa hotograph of Rajkot Municipal Corporation receipt where he's fined Rs 500 for spitting in public place.This is not Raiyani's first brush with controversy. In June last year, he had reportedly hurled abuses at a cricket commentator during a local league cricket match.Reacting to the incident caught on camera, Viral Bhatt, office secretary, of Rajkot Congress said common men are penalised by police while "BJP goons" go scot-free. Ahmedabad Mirror


‘We’ve stopped going there’: Muslim fruits suppliers in Noida speak of discrimination and hostility

In the aftermath of Tablighi Jamaat cluster case, Muslims in India have been earmarked as vectors of coronavirus. One specific form this prejudice takes is the coronavirus-positive Muslim fruit vendor. WhatsApp forwards, politicians, and even television news channels have participated in creating this typecast.Last week alone, 2 elected local leaders of BJP in UP were caught on tape unleashing anti-Muslim slurs against fruit vendors in their constituencies. In Deoria, MLA Suresh Tewari was seen asking people not to buy vegetables from Muslims. In Lucknow, MLA Brajbhushan Rajput was filmed humiliating a Muslim vendor.In April, it was reported that how channels like TV9 Bharatvarsh lent legitimacy to such rumours by broadcasting misleading segments, coining terms like “corona criminals” for Muslim vendors. PIB decried a viral audio clip claiming that vendors lick vegetables and fruits before selling them. Fact checkers at Alt News busted a false video claiming that a Muslim vendor in Bijnor was sprinkling urine on fruits.newslaundry


UP journalist interrogated by police for story on low quality PPEs

A journalist in Lucknow was interrogated by STF of the state’s police after reporting on low-quality personal protective equipment kits supplied to hospitals and colleges in the state.On April 17, Lucknow-based journalist Manish Pandey of News1 India, a Hindi news channel, broke the story of a letter sent by DG of Medical Education and Training, UP, to bureaucrats in the state’s medical education department on April 13. The letter said that PPE kits supplied to eight hospitals and medical colleges in the state did not meet the required quality standards.The letter specifically stated that the length of the kits’ gowns were inadequate by set parameters. Pandey’s story raised questions about bureaucrats who supply below par equipment in the middle of a Covid-19 crisis.newslaundry


On 500-km walk home, three of UP family die in mishap

Noida : 3 members of a family died in a road accident while walking from Delhi to their home in UP’s Fatehpur district, a distance of around 500 km. The migrant workers were crushed by a tractor after it was rammed by a truck in rural Aligarh, roughly 130 km into their long walk home, said Parshuram Singh, Circle Officer Aligarh. Ranjit Singh (44) and his brother Dinesh (37) died instantly, while Dinesh’s wife Santkumari (32) died in hospital, he said.indianexpress


Systematic exclusion and caste-based victimisation aggravated migrants’ plight in Gujarat: Report

In PM Narendra Modi’s home state Gujarat, migrants lack access to urban documentation, 90 % of them are out of the health care system and they face victimization on the basis of their caste and ethnicity, concluded a report released on May Day on Friday. The report, based on a survey conducted by Ajeevika Bureau – an NGO working with the migrant community – stated that migrants cannot exercise their political rights as – in most of the cases – they lack voter ID cards and other government certified documents.Migrants face systematic exclusion from urban policies, asserted the report titled “Unlocking the Urban: Reimagining Migrant Lives in cities post COVID-19”. nationalheraldindia


14 migrants found crammed inside cement mixer of truck in Indore

Indore Police on Saturday found 18 people, most of them migrant workers, crammed inside a cement mixer-laden truck headed towards UP from Maharashtra, an official said. All of them were sent to a shelter for medical examination and a bus was being organised for their further transit, he said.A video of workers emerging from the small hole of the cement-mixer in the presence of police has gone viral on social media.PTI

COVID-19: 122 men from single CRPF battalion in Delhi test positive; more results awaited

Number of COVID-19 personnel in a Delhi-based battalion of CRPF, the country's largest paramilitary, has risen to 122, officials said. The men belong to 31st battalion of the paramilitary, based in Mayur Vihar Phase-III area of the national capital, that has been entirely sealed after the huge numbers of COVID-19 infection started building up over the last few days."A total of 122 troopers of this battalion have tested positive for the virus. Results for over 100 more are awaited," a senior official said.nationalheraldindia


COVID-19 Lockdown: In April, MGNREGA Work Crashed to Lowest in 7 Years

Only 20% of number of people who were provided work in April 2019 were employed in April 2020 under MGNREGA, according to official govt data.In the month of April 2020, 34 lakh households were provided work as compared to 1.7 crore in April of 2019, a decline of 86%. In fact, this figure is lowest for at least the last seven Aprils since 2013 (data for previous years is not available online). It is also the lowest for any month in at least seven years.thewire



China 'mishandled' coronavirus outbreak, hints tariff as punishment: White House

Washington: White House has said China "mishandled the situation" after the coronavirus outbreak in its Wuhan city, but refrained from giving a definitive answer on retaliatory measures against the Asian giant. “The markets are down substantially today after the President yesterday suggested in the East Room that he might use tariffs to punish China over the coronavirus. Is there any serious consideration being given to putting new tariffs on China or was the President just spitballing yesterday?" the new White House Press Secretary Kayleigh McEnany was asked during her maiden press conference.PTI


Ireland extends Covid-19 lockdown to 18 May before phased exit

Ireland has extended its lockdown for another two weeks to 18 May, when it will introduce a phased, five-stage exit over three months.The country’s lockdown regime has been much stricter than UK’s, but Friday night’s announcement offers a clear, step-by-step map out of the lockdown for schools, shops, businesses as well as the global Irish diaspora including more than 300,000 in UK, many of whom would normally make visits home in the summer.The taoiseach, Leo Varadkar, said while the rise in the death rate from coronavirus had flattened it was still too dangerous to ease the lockdown.theguardian


Coronavirus: Palestinian workers set to return to Israel despite health risks

A decision to allow Palestinian labourers back into Israel has sparked a new round of contention in the occupied West Bank, with many Palestinian citizens expressing their frustration over the new health risks the labourers could pose in the midst of the coronavirus outbreak. Thousands of Palestinian labourers are gearing up to return to Israel just weeks after they were ordered by the Palestinian govt in the West Bank to leave in protest against "inhumane" treatment of workers."When I heard the news I was shocked and disappointed," Mohammed Abu Srour, a local activist from Bethlehem, told Middle East Eye. "The last time they let the workers go to Israel was a huge disaster."We understand that the workers are suffering financially, and they need to make money for their families," he said. "But they have to take into consideration how they are putting themselves, their loved ones, and the rest of Palestine in danger." According to Israeli and Palestinian media reports, Israeli government will be opening its borders on Sunday to Palestinian labourers with Israeli work permits for "essential" sectors such as construction.Middle East Eye



Amnesty Terms Arrest of Pregnant Safoora, Other Activists amid Covid Brutal and Cruel

New Delhi: The arrest of activists, including Safoora Zaragar who is pregnant, amid the outbreak of Covid-19 is drawing a lot of outrage against Narendra Modi government. Members of civil society issued joint statements to condemn the witch-hunt of the dissenters. Now on Friday, human rights group Amnesty International India castigated Central govt for imprisoning anti-CAA activists during the pandemic terming it “brutal” and “extremely cruel” of the govt. “Govt of India has been exceedingly intolerant towards free speech and dissent. But to arrest Safoora who is in the second trimester of her pregnancy and send her to an overcrowded prison during the pandemic highlights how brutal is the ongoing clampdown in the country,” said Avinash Kumar, Executive Director, Amnesty International India.“Prison inmates have already tested positive for COVID-19 virus at a central prison in Indore and a district prison in Karnataka. While the country battles COVID-19 pandemic, it is extremely cruel of the government to arrest and imprison a person using repressive laws just because they have been critical of the government. The government is putting their lives at grave risk”, said Kumar.Clarion India


Delhi Violence: 8 Out on Bail In Jafrabad Violence Case of Feb.23

New Delhi:With the court granting bail to one Suhel Khan, who was arrested in connection with Jafrabad violence that broke out in northeast Delhi on Feb.23 over CAA, number of those released on bail in the cases pertaining to northeast Delhi violence has gone to 8.Suhel Khan was granted bail by Additional Sessions Judge Soochi Lale of Karkardooma district court on Thursday.Suhel Khan is 8 persons having been given bail in the case pertaining to northeast Delhi violence from Feb.23 to 26. 7 other persons who were earlier granted bail were Mohammad Arman, Shakir, Dilshad, Zakir, Bhure Khan, Razi and Shabbir. They were released on bail on March 27. They were arrested by police from Dayalpur area and were sent to judicial custody on Feb. 28. Advocate Abdul Gaffar,who appeared for the 7 accused, had argued that the allegations against the seven arrested were false and they did not cause any harm or damage to public property as claimed by the police. India Tomorrow


Former Sarpanch held for terror links no longer with party, says BJP

New Delhi :A BJP spokesman on Friday said that a former sarpanch, arrested by NIA in a terror case on Wednesday, had unsuccessfully contested Assembly elections in J&K in 2014 on a party ticket but was suspended for anti-party activities four years later.  A BJP spokesman on Friday said that a former sarpanch, arrested by NIA in a terror case on Wednesday, had unsuccessfully contested Assembly elections in J&K in 2014 on a party ticket but was suspended for anti-party activities four years later.The suspect, Tariq Ahmad Mir, 36, was arrested by NIA in a case registered in January, after a J&K police officer Davinder Singh was caught travelling in a car with Hizbul Mujahideen militants. Mir is in six-days custody of the NIA.thehindu


Arrests of Anti-CAA Students, Activists Tarnishing Image of Police: Jamaat-e-Islami Hind

New Delhi:Jamaat-e-Islami Hind (JIH) has condemned the ongoing arrests of social workers, students and youths who had participated in anti-CAA demonstrations. “We strongly condemn the ongoing arrests by the Delhi Police of prominent anti-CAA protestors by implicating them in various cases including slapping UAPA against some. We are particularly concerned about the arrest of Safoora Zargar, a research student of Jamia Millia Islamia who according to reports has been kept in solitary confinement in jail despite being in her second trimester of pregnancy. This action by the Delhi Police not only seems inhuman and biased but also appears to be motivated by vengeance,”said JIH Vice President Prof.Salim Engineer in a statement on Saturday.He urged the Ministry of Home Affairs and the Delhi Police “to exercise fairness lest its image is tarnished by allegations of prejudice and high-handedness.” India Tomorrow


UAPA terror: Another woman student held in Tihar since April 9

New Delhi:Gulifsha, 28, a student activist, is languishing in New Delhi’s Tihar Jail for the last few weeks and police have slapped on her the draconian UAPA-an anti-terror law,  her family and lawyer said.Gulifsha was detained on April 9 and a week later, she was sent to judicial custody. Her detention is part of a series of arrests the Delhi Police have made over the past few weeks for what they call as an investigation of the large-scale mob violence witnessed in northeast Delhi in Feb.An MBA from a private college in Ghaziabad, Gulifsha was one of coordinators of a women-led sit-in in Seelampur-Jafrabad in northeast Delhi against the controversial CAA. The family of Gulifsha dismissed the charges leveled against her as “false”. They said they were, in fact, shocked when they got a call from Jaffarabad police station on April 9 informing them about her arrest. Gulifsha’s lawyer, Mehmood Paracha, who is a legal advisor of women protestors of the sit-in, said the charges brought against Gulifsha are “false”. “We will establish in the court that she has been falsely implicated by police.”Delhi Police has made a series of detentions in the name of investigation at a time when entire country is under an unprecedented lockdown. The detainees include student activists, protest coordinators including  Safoora Zargar, Meeran Haider, Shafi ur Rehman and ordinary youths from Muslim community. Clarion India


Delhi riots: Police file chargesheet against Sharukh who fired at cop

Delhi Police on Friday filed a chargesheet against Shahrukh Pathan, who had fired at head constable Deepak Dahiya and others during the violence in Delhi in Feb.A video of Shahrukh Khan pointing a gun at Delhi Police head constable Deepak Dahiya had gone viral during the riots that broke out after clashes between pro and anti-CAA protesters took an ugly turn in Delhi's northeast area in Feb.IANS


Detained in J&K, 3 Uyghur Asylum Seekers Hope Against Hope for Relief

Srinagar: Lodged in a district jail in Jammu for the last 3 years, Adil, Abdul Salam and Abdul Khaliq have yearned for asylum and freedom from incarceration for what seems like forever. 3 Uyghur Muslim brothers ran away from the town of Kargilik in Xinjiang, China to escape an “impoverished life mired with persecution”. Their destiny hangs on outcome of a petition currently pending before Jammu and Kashmir high court.The trio have been kept in detention under PSA since 2015 after they completed a one-and-a-half year sentence for entering Indian territory without proper documentation. Citing the persecution of Uyghur Muslims under Chinese govt, the three have said that they do not wish to go back to their native country.Official records reveal that brothers were apprehended by army’s 5 Ladakh Scouts regiment on June 12, 2013, near LAC dividing India and China.thewire


SC Grants Protection to Prashant Bhushan from Arrest for Tweets against Telecast of Ramayana, Mahabharata

New Delhi: The Supreme Court has granted protection to activist lawyer Prashant Bhushan from any coercive action in an FIR lodged against him at Rajkot in Gujarat for allegedly hurting religious sentiments of Hindus.FIR was lodged by former Army personnel Jaidev Rajnikant Joshi at Rajkot alleging that Bhushan hurt religious sentiments of Hindus by tweeting against re-telecast of Ramayana and Mahabharata serials on DD during the coronavirus lockdown in the country.While granting interim relief and protection to Bhushan, the apex court said, "anybody can watch anything on TV" and questioned as to how one can ask people not to watch a particular programme.A bench comprising Justices Ashok Bhushan and Sanjiv Khanna, in the proceedings conducted through video conferencing, issued notice to Gujarat Police and listed Bhushan's plea after two weeks.PTI


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 Compiled and edited by Anwarulhaq (Released at: 12:55 PM)


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