30 May 2020

30 May News: Centre extends lockdown in containment zones till June 30, Places of worship, malls, hotels, restaurants, can open from June 8 ; all inter-state, intra-state travel restrictions to be lifted from June 1; International air travel, metros, local trains, schools theatres not to open yet


30 May 2020: 06 Shawwal 1441: Vol: 12, No: 219


Lockdown 5.0: Centre extends lockdown in containment zones till June 30, Places of worship, malls, hotels, restaurants, can open from June 8 ; all inter-state, intra-state travel restrictions to be lifted from June 1; International air travel, metros, local trains, schools theatres not to open yet


Ministry of Home Affairs issued guidelines limiting the lockdown to the containment zones and re-opening of all activities in a phased manner till 30 June.In the document titled ‘Unlock 1’, the ministry issued a 3-phased plan. In the first phase, starting 8 June, malls, religious places, hotels, restaurants have been allowed to reopen. The second phase allows the re-opening of schools, colleges, educational institutions. However this decision will be taken after consulting all stakeholders. Decision on phase 3 will deal with decision on metro travel, cinema halls, gyms, international air travel, social/political and other large congregation, and will be taken based on the assessment of the situation.As per the new guidelines, the timings for night curfew are now 9 pm to 5 am throughout the country. The guidelines mention that there will be no restriction on inter-state or intra-state movement of people or goods. However, the ministry has clarified that if a state/UT proposes to regulate the movement then it will have to give notice in advance. While all activities will be allowed outside containment zones, the below mentioned activities will be allowed in a phased manner, with SOPs prescribed by the Health Ministry. The guidelines mention that there will be no restriction on inter-state or intra-state movement of people or goods. However, the ministry has clarified that if a state/ UT proposes to regulate the movement then it will have to give notice in advance.“However, if a state/union territory, based on reasons of public health and its assessment of the situation, proposes to regulate movement of persons, it will give wide publicity in advance regarding the restrictions to be placed on such movements, and the related procedures to be followed,” the ministry said. As per the new guidelines the timings for night curfew have been changed from 9pm to 5 am throughout the country. The Quint

 Malls, Restaurants, Places Of Worship To Reopen June 8


Graded Lifting of Lockdown Announced from June 8, Restrictions for Containment Zones Extended till June 30



MP CM  says lockdown till June 15 to fight Covid-19


Madhya Pradesh has became the first state in the country to extend lockdown till June 15, even as the fourth phase of nationwide shutdown officially ends tomorrow.“We will be extending lockdown till June 15 to fight Covid-19,”The MP CM was quoted as saying by ANI.He also said that schools in the state would open after June 13 while speaking to students from 10 districts through video conference on Saturday.“Schools would reopen after June 13. But the final decision on this would be taken after some days because we are going to extend lockdown till June 15,”the CM said.PTI.


No total lockdown on Sunday in Karnataka


Karnataka government today announced that there will be no total lockdown on Sunday and all activities will be allowed between 7 am and 7 pm A communiqué from CMO said that this decision was taken following “demand by the public.” All BMTC and KSRTC buses, private vehicles movements would be allowed. Shops and establishments, markets would be allowed to open as usual like on other days till 7 pm. the hindu


PM CARES not a ‘public authority’ under RTI Act, PMO tells applicant in a one line response


Stating that PM CARES FUNDS is not a 'public authority' under Section 2(h) of the Right to Information Act, 2005, PMO has refused to divulge information sought in an application filed under RTI Act, LiveLaw.in reported. RTI application was made by one Harsha Kandukuri on April 1, seeking information regarding the constitution of Prime Minister's Citizen Assistance and Relief in Emergency Situations Fund (PM CARES Fund).Harsha, a student of LLM in Azim Premji University at Bengaluru, sought the copies of the trust deed of PM Cares Fund, and all Government Orders, Notifications and Circulars relating to its creation and operation. Disposing of the application on May 29, the Public Information Officer of PMO said: "PM CARES Fund is not a public authority under the ambit of Section 2(h) of the RTI Act, 2005. However, relevant information in respect of PM CARES Fund may be seen on the website pmcares.gov.in". The copies of the trust deed, and the government orders/notifications relating to PM CARES Fund are not seen uploaded in official website of the fund.nationalheraldindia


80 migrants died on special trains between May 9 to May 27: Railway Protection Force


Nearly 80 migrant workers died of starvation or heat sickness between May 9 and May 27 while travelling on special trains to their home villages amid the lockdown to contain the coronavirus, according to the data from the Railway Protection Force reviewed by Hindustan Times. Out of these, 18 deaths occurred in the North Eastern Railway zone, 19 in North Central zone and 13 in East Coast Railway zone. Nearly 80% of the special trains falling in these zones were destined for Uttar Pradesh and Bihar. Some of those who died were as young as 4-years-old. The list also mentions the co-morbidities or accidents that caused the deaths in a few cases. But the data between May 1 and May 8 was not available.

Man kills self in UP's Lakhimpur Kheri, cites joblessness in suicide note


An unemployed man took his own life by lying down on railway tracks in UP's Lakhimpur Kheri district on Friday. The incident took place under the limits of the Maigalganj police station. A suicide note has also been recovered from spot.Preliminary inquiry has led to the identification of the deceased as one Bhanu Prakash Gupta, a resident of Maigalganj. He worked at a restaurant in Shahjahanpur but had been at home since the lockdown began.


Face of Lucknow Anti-CAA Protest, Uzma Sanitizing Temples and Streets during COVID Lockdown


New Delhi: After the lockdown, when the country was facing Coronavirus and politicians were blaming religion and faith for pandemic, a Muslim woman, away from Hindu-Muslim, temple-mosque TV debates, was carrying a spray machine on her back and sanitizing streets, temples and mosques and thus silently playing her role in the war against Coronavirus. A picture and video of the protest against CAA at Ghanta Ghar in Lucknow had gone viral on social media earlier this year – a woman in Hijab holding her kid in her lap was loudly raising slogans on mike. When the protest ended and the lockdown began in end-March, the same woman was seen carrying a spray machine one her back and sanitizing temples, mosques and 35 localities, and her pictures again became viral on social media. She is Lucknow resident Uzma.Resident of Saadatganj in old Lucknow, Uzma has made struggle the mission of her life and her religious identity her strength. She has made her courage her ideal and struggle her way.Uzma says she wants to make the country better, fight against evils, injustice and all types of epidemics so that the new generations could breathe in the air of love and peace.India Tomorrow


As fear delays funerals, deters families, Pune local group steps forward to carry out last rites of Covid, non-Covid patients


Pune :The stigma and fear surrounding coronavirus disease is not only hampering efforts to conduct the last rites of those who have died due to the infection, it also posing hurdles in conducting the last rites of those who have died of other illnesses or natural causes.Mulnivasi Muslim Manch, an organisation headed by Anjum Inamdar, is one of the groups in Pune which have been performing the last rites of Covid-19 patients, as well as those who have died of other illnesses in the last two months. The group has performed the last rites of about 30 persons belonging to various communities, said Inamdar. The group performs the last rites of those whose family members are either not willing to accept the bodies due to fear, or are unable to perform the rituals due to societal pressures or logistical issues amid the ongoing lockdown. indianexpress


‘I’ve been forced to resign’: A tight-lipped HT Media lays off over 100 employees


It’s been a gloomy week at Delhi offices of HT Media, the company that publishes Hindustan Times and Mint. Starting Monday, employees at the two papers were asked to come to the office for a meeting.A human resources representative and a senior member from the editorial management would sit in every conference room throughout the day. One by one, employees were called in for brief meetings where they were told their stints at HT Media had ended. They were being laid off. Unlike the video calls at Times Group, employees at HT Media learned the news face-to-face. Over 100 employees reportedly went through this process, including reporters, desk editors, photojournalists, designers and those in the marketing, sales and circulation department. Throughout this week, those who still have their jobs at the newspapers have seen their colleagues walk into the newsroom, pack their stuff, and leave — swallowed by one of the worst crises in the media industry in India in recent memory. Those affected were offered a choice: either resign with the offered terms, or be terminated without them. The terms were CTC (“cost to company”) payments for June and July, medical insurance coverage until Dec.2020, and an assurance of outplacement, or assistance to find a new job. Those eligible for gratuity will receive it.A HT employee, when given the option to write his own resignation, put two crisp sentences on a blank sheet of paper: “I am not resigning by my own will. I have been forced to resign.”This grim scenario is not limited to Delhi alone. Chandigarh bureau of HT has also been hit, leaving staffers despondent.Affected employees told Newslaundry that over 100 people were laid off.newslaundry


Gujarat Suggests COVID-19 Vaccine Made Out of Cow Urine-Dung, First Ever Clinical Trial of ‘Classical Drug’ to Take Place Soon in India


Using protocols used to test allopathic medicines, Rashtriya Kamdhenu Aayog in Gujarat is gearing up for the clinical trial of ayurvedic medicine derived from panchgavya — cow’s milk, butter, ghee, dung and urine to treat COVID-19 patients in the state. Confident about the effectiveness of cow urine and cow dung in treating certain ailments, the doctors in Gujarat are soon to try it on COVID-19 patients in 10 hospitals of the country. In an interview with Ahmedabad Mirror, Dr Vallabh Kathiria, Chairman of Rashtriya Kamdhenu Aayog shared, “During the clinical trials, the consenting patients would be given this medicine and their progress documented scientifically. Comparison and analysis would be made as per modern medicineclinical trial norms. On completion of the multi-centre trials, a research paper would be published for peer review by thes cientific and medical community.” India.com



Trump: US 'terminating' relationship with WHO


US President Donald Trump has said US is 'terminating' its relationship with the WHO, saying group has not made coronavirus reforms because China has “total control” over the global organisation.Trump said Chinese officials “ignored” their reporting obligations to WHO and pressured the WHO to mislead world when virus was first discovered. He noted that US contributes about $450 million to the world body while China provides about $40 million.Trump has been a vocal critic of WHO's handling of the pandemic, officially freezing US funding in April. He said the funding would diverted to "other worldwide and deserving urgent global public health needs," without providing specifics.More than 5.8 million cases of coronavirus have been confirmed around the world, according to data from Johns Hopkins University. Some 359,000 people have died, while more than 2.4 million have recovered.aljazeera


Worshippers Hold First Communal Friday Prayers in 74 Days in Turkey


Turkey Worshippers in Turkey have held their first communal Friday prayers in 74 days after the government reopened some mosques as part of its plans to relax measures in place to fight the coronavirus outbreak.Prayers were held in the courtyards of a select number of mosques on Friday, to minimize risk of infection.Authorities distributed masks at the entrance to the mosques, sprayed hand sanitizers, and checked temperatures for fever. Worshippers were asked to bring their own prayer rugs, but some mosques offered disposable paper rugs which were placed 1.5 meters  apart.The partial opening of the mosques follows a slowdown in confirmed COVID-19 infections and deaths in the country.AP

Muslims Around World Return to Mosques, at a Distance



2,000 People In Trials, Coronavirus Vaccine Likely By Year-End: China


Beijing: A Chinese-made coronavirus vaccine could be ready for market as early as the end of this year, China's State-owned Assets Supervision and Administration Commission (SASAC) said in a social media post.In trials, more than 2,000 people have received vaccines developed by the Wuhan Institute of Biological Products and the Beijing Institute of Biological Products. A vaccine could be ready for the market as early as the end of this year or early 2021, according to the May 29 post on Chinese social media platform WeChat. Vaccines from the Wuhan Institute of Biological Products and the Beijing Institute of Biological Products had entered Phase II clinical trials. Both groups are affiliated with state-owned pharmaceutical group Sinopharm, whose management is overseen by SASAC.ndtv



China issue being resolved diplomatically, no comments on Donald Trump's statements: Amit Shah


Union Home Minister Amit Shah said that talks on the diplomatic and military level are underway to find a solution for the ongoing dispute with China at the Ladakh border and added that India does not need any other country to intervene.Home Minister Amit Shah was speaking at a session of the E-Agenda Aaj Tak.On being asked about Donald Trump's offer for mediation between India and China to resolve the ongoing dispute, Amit Shah said, "I do not want to comment on what the US President said, however, I do want to assure everyone that our international borders are safe under the leadership of PM Modi"."The Narendra Modi government is committed towards the security of India's borders and will not let anything cause any harm to them," Amit Shah said."I do not want to comment on US president's statement. However, I do want to assure that the Narendra Modi government will not let our security and sovereignty get breached," Shah added.


Pak Spy Ring in Mumbai Busted Gathering Info on Defence in Ladakh


In a joint operation by the Mumbai Police crime branch and Jammu and Kashmir police, a massive spy network from Pakistan was busted in Mumbai, sources from the Mumbai Police told The Quint on Saturday, 30 May. This was an attempt to gather information about the Indian defence in Ladakh, using illegal Voice over Internet Protocol (VoIP), reported IANS. The transmission of voice and multimedia content over IP networks is called VolP.There was a tip-off from the military intelligence unit that there were two numbers from which several calls were made to some numbers in J&K and conversations about Indian defence establishments were made on a regular basis, the police sources said. The location for these numbers was in Mumbai’s Govandi area.Mumbai Police’s crime branch and the J&K police in a joint operation raided the location of these numbers. One person was arrested and among other things, 191 sim cards were seized. THE QUINT


2 militants killed in Kulgam encounter


Srinagar: 2 militants were on Saturday killed in an operation of the security forces in Wanpora area of J&K’s Kulgam district on Saturday, police said.A police spokesman said the identities of the slain militants were being ascertained. The duo was killed when a joint team of the police, Army’s 01 RR and CRPF launched a cordon-and-search-operation in Wanpora and encircled them. “The hiding militants opened fire at the security forces. In the encounter, two militants were killed,” the spokesman said.thehindu



European Parliament’s panel on human rights expresses concern at arrest of Indian activists


New Delhi: European Parliament’s subcommittee on human rights has conveyed its concerns to Indian government over the arrest of activists Anand Teltumbde and Gautam Navlakha and the handling of protests on issues such as CAA.In a letter sent to Union home minister on Thursday, chair of subcommittee, Marie Arena, also expressed concern at the action taken by the government against activists and others such as Safoora Zargar, Meeran Haider, Kafeel Khan and Sharjeel Imam.There was no immediate reaction to the development from Indian officials. In the past, India has usually rejected such criticism by members of the European Parliament as interference in its internal affairs. European Parliament’s subcommittee on human rights is a body that monitors human rights developments across the globe and advocates in favour of the respect for fundamental rights.“It is in this context that we are closely following the protection of human rights defenders in India and wish to express serious concerns about recent arrests of Anand Teltumbde and Gautam Navlakha by NIA,” Arena wrote in her letter. “It is particularly alarming to note that human rights defenders cannot conduct advocacy activities, notably in favour of India’s poorest and most marginalized communities, without becoming subject to intimidation and harassment, but equally worrying is the fact that terrorism charges, including under UAPA, are used to silence them,” she added.European Parliament had also “noticed that various forms of legitimate peaceful protests against laws, policies and governmental actions, including CAA, have been portrayed as terrorist activities under this legislation, resulting in a number of arrests under this umbrella. This is notably the case for human rights activists such as Safoora Zargar, Gulfisha Fatima, Khalid Saifi, Meeran Haider, Shifa-Ur-Rehman, Dr Kafeel Khan, Asif Iqbal and Sharjeel Imam who were recently arrested by the Police,” the letter said.Arena further wrote: “Consequently, we strongly believe that measures should be urgently taken to stop impeding and criminalising the work of human rights defenders by means of overly broad national security legislation and to respect their freedoms of association and expression.”HT


No plans for NRC now, will talk to everyone if we approach it: Home Minister Amit Shah


Home Minister Amit Shah on Saturday told India Today in an exclusive interview about the government's present stance on National Citizenship Register (NRC) which led to massive protests across the country in the months leading up to the novel coronavirus outbreak."NRC has not come in yet, when it comes, there is no talk of bringing it, even if it comes all stakeholders will be consulted," Home Minister Amit Shah said in response to a question about concerns regarding the documents that may be required to prove one's citizenship in the case of a possible NRC."I would like to reiterate that the CAA will not affect anyone's citizenship, there is no provision for taking citizenship in CAA," Home Minister Amit Shah added.The Home Minister also mentioned several of the government's accomplishments upon completion of one year in office. Among these were the Abrogation of Article 370, the establishment of a Ram Mandir trust, the criminalization of Triple Talaq and the CAA."These issues have been ongoing for a long time. Migrants have been seeking asylum in India since Independence. Article 370 was introduced as a temporary measure by the Constituent Assembly. Ram Janmabhoomi case was the country's oldest case," Home Minister Amit Shah said adding, "For the past 60 years, these issues have been connected to the country's unity and integrity, social justice and popular sentiment."

Delhi Riots Probe: Ishrat Jahan Granted Interim Bail for Marriage


The district and sessions judge at Patiala House Court granted bail to former Congress councillor Ishrat Jahan for ten days, from June 10 to June 19, today for her marriage. “Ishrat Jahan was engaged in 2018 itself and the marriage was due to happen. However due to something or the other it kept getting delayed. They had decided long ago that the marriage would happen after Eid in 2020,” Ishrat Jahan’s lawyer Lalit Valecha told The Quint.While the order is still being awaited, Valecha said that the court has asked Ishrat to submit two sureties of Rs 1 lakh each.Ishrat was arrested on 26 February for her alleged role in the north east Delhi riots by Delhi Police from the Khureji protest site.thequint


Jamia violence: Court extends interim bail of local leader Ashu Khan by 45 days


A Delhi court on Saturday extended by 45 days the interim bail of local leader Ashu Khan who was arrested for allegedly rioting and instigating a mob during anti-CAA protests here on December 15 last year.Additional District Judge Vipin Kumar Rai granted the interim relief to Khan in two cases related to violent protests at Jamia Nagar and New Friends Colony on furnishing a bail bond of Rs 2 lakh.The court directed him not to tamper with evidence or leave the country without its permission.Khan was earlier granted interim bail in the case in April. Advocates Asghar Khan and Tahir Khan, appearing for Khan, had told the court that he has been falsely implicated in the case and should be granted interim bail because of the possible threat of coronavirus in congested prisons.PTI


Delhi riots: Police opposes bail plea of Jamia Coordination Committee media coordinator in court


New Delhi:Special Cell of Delhi Police on Saturday opposed in a Delhi court the bail plea of Jamia Coordination Committee media coordinator Safoora Zargar, who was arrested in connection with Northeast Delhi violence, saying she allegedly made inflammatory speeches to instigate communal violence.Additional Sessions Judge Dharmender Rana, after partly hearing the arguments on the bail plea, listed the matter for further hearing on June 4.The Special Cell submitted that Zargar allegedly made inflammatory speeches as part of a conspiracy to instigate communal violence, which had been planned weeks ago.ANI


Delhi Riots: Fact-finding report names ISI, 'tukde tukde gang', JCC


New Delhi: A 6-member team comprising of a retired judge, IAS officers and doctors on Friday submitted in its fact-finding report on the horrific Delhi riots of 2020 that killed 59 people and left people from over 200 families injured. An NGO 'Call for Justice' handed over findings to Home Minister Amit Shah at his residence in New Delhi.The team visited areas of Yamuna Vihar, Bhajanpura, Chandbagh, Brijpuri and Shiv Vihar areas and concluded that the riots of North East Delhi were a pre-planned conspiracy.'Social Media platforms like WhatsApp, YouTube, Facebook and Twitter were used to spread misinformation. Schools belonging to Muslim community were shut, Muslim children going to Hindu schools didn't attend. One private bank was shut whose manager was a Muslim, hence this is conclusive evidence of a pre-planned conspiracy" said Neeraj Arora, Advocate and member of the fact-finding committee. timesnownews


Police Go on Rampage in UP’s Shamli, Vandalise Muslim Homes, Thrash Villagers


Wreckage of broken wares – wash basin, washing machine, fans, TV sets, cooler, fridge, water bottles, furniture, mirror cabinet – lie scattered all over. The courtyard is filled with shards of glass from the windshields of damaged cars. Broken motorcycles and cots lay upside down. A gate has been pulled from its hinge.This is the scene of over a dozen video clips shared by Muslim residents of Taprana village under the Jhinjhana police limits near Shamli town of Muzzafarnagar district in western Uttar Pradesh. The villagers allege that it is the trail of brutality left behind by a police raid.According to the villages, two days ago, around 3 am, a heavy contingent of police descended on the Muslim locality, vandalised houses and indiscriminately thrashed the occupants.  The police party arrested nearly three dozen people in the lightening raid.In one disturbing video clip, a middle-aged bearded man, wearing white tunic-pajama and a skull cap, shows his bruised buttocks. The colour of his skin has turned reddish blue ostensibly from cane blows he received. The residents claim that the police did not even spare women. They accused the cops of misbehaving with the women. Recounting the horror, a woman victim of the police brutality, said that they abused and asked them to stand aside while they went on smashing household items. “I was alone as my husband was not home at the time. This did not deter them from banging and damaging our house,” she said.Clarion India


PM lists Art 370 abrogation CAA Ram temple settlement among key achievements of 2nd term


 New Delhi:PM Narendra Modi on Saturday listed abrogation of Article 370, settlement of Ram Temple issue, criminalisation of Triple Talaq and the amendment to the Citizenship Act among the key achievements during his second term, asserting that his govt's decisions in the last one year were aimed at fulfilling the dream of making India a global leader. In an open letter to the country's citizens on first anniversary of his second term as PM, Modi said in 2019 the people of India voted not merely for continuity but also with the dream of taking India to new heights and making it a global leader."Article 370 (abrogation)furthered the spirit of national unity and integration," he said of Centre's decision to abrogate J&K's special status under Article 370 of the Constitution and bifurcation of the state into Union Territories in August last year. Referring to the Supreme Court's unanimous judgement on Ram temple in Ayodhya, Modi said it brought an amicable end to a debate persisting for centuries. "The barbaric practice of Triple Talaq has been confined to the dustbin of history," Modi said in reference. Referring to the amendment to Citizenship Act, Modi said it was an "expression of India’s compassion and spirit of inclusiveness".PTI

Not disappointed with foreigners, but Indians: Mukhtar Abbas Naqvi on Islamophobia allegations


New Delhi:Union Minister of Minority Affairs Mukhtar Abbas Naqvi, in a conversation with India TV, said that there is no Islamophobia in India and the minorities have flourished in the last six years under the Modi government. "I don't have any complaints against foreigners who have accused us of Islamophobia. But I am not happy with our own people levying such allegations," said Naqvi, responding to a question about OIC expressing concern over the state of minorities in the country in recent past.Meanwhile, Naqvi also asserted that the Tablighi Jamaat followers constitute just a fraction of the Muslim population. "We can't defame the entire community for the actions of Tablighi Jamaat followers," he said. "The police are on the case of Tablighi Jamaat chief Maulana Saad. He will be brought to book soon," Naqvi said in the interview.India TV


VHP claims crimes against Hindus in Muslim-majority areas of India increasing


New Delhi: Vishva Hindu Parishad released a statement saying that violence against Hindus in Muslim-majority areas of India has increased.Mentioning cases from all over the country, VHP said India is governed by its Constitution and Rule of Law and that there should be no place for violence in the social life of the country. VHP claimed, "Multiple cases of persecution of Hindus have been reported from Mewat in Haryana and many Hindus have been forced to leave and migrate from their homes. In many villages there are no Hindus living there."“In one case, during a marriage celebration in a Valmiki family in Chirauli Punhana, Muslims attacked, beat up the baratis and looted away their gold ornaments. An FIR has been filed with Punhana police station,” VHP said.timesnownews


Article 30 harms spirit of equality guaranteed in Constitution: BJP general secretary  Kailash Vijayvargiya


Bhopal: BJP general secretary Kailash Vijayvargiya has raised questions over Article 30 of the Indian Constitution which provides the minority community the right to establish and administer educational institutions of their choice. Vijayvargiya said this Article has harmed the spirit of equality guaranteed in the Constitution.Vijayvargiya tweeted: "Article 30 has harmed the constitutional equality of citizens. This Article allows the minorities to propagate their religion and education based on religion, which is not allowed to other religions. When our country is a secular one, what is the need of Article 30."Article 30 says all minorities, whether based on religion or language, shall have the right to establish and administer educational institutions of their choice.IANS


Pragya Singh Thakur in AIIMS for cancer, eye treatment: BJP responds to ‘missing’ posters in Bhopal


Bhopal :Several ‘missing’ posters of Bhopal Lok Sabha MP Pragya Singh Thakur appeared on Friday morning in different parts of the Madhya Pradesh capital, even as she launched through video call a mobile hospital service, and a BJP spokesperson said she was in hospital for cancer and eye treatment.The anonymous posters said the BJP MP was missing even as the city was reeling under the coronavirus outbreak.Meanwhile, Thakur launched a mobile hospital service run by Sahkar Bharti in the city’s Bairagarh Chichli area on video call and the outfit’s functionary Umakant Dixit claimed the former was not missing but in a hospital in Delhi as she was not feeling well.PTI


Democratic, liberal ethos undermined in Modi govt: Rajasthan CM Gehlot


Jaipur: Describing the first year of Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s second term as the worst for the majority of common people, Rajasthan CM Ashok Gehlot on Saturday said the democratic and liberal ethos as an inclusive society had been undermined in BJP govt.In his remarks on the anniversary of the Modi govt 2.0, Gehlot said the ruling dispensation was tampering with the autonomy of institutions, while the public sector undertakings were being sold and communal harmony was being disrupted with a “divisive agenda”. “Instead of taking the nation forward, govt is taking it backwards,” Gehlot tweeted, while affirming that the last 6 years of Modi govt would be remembered as one of those periods in Indian history when people suffered the most.


Elgar Parishad case: Court seeks medical report on Varavara Rao’s health


New Delhi :A special court in Mumbai sought the medical report of poet and writer Varavara Rao, an accused in the Elgar Parishad case, two days after he was admitted to JJ Hospital. His interim bail plea will be heard on June 2.Rao was rushed to the hospital from Taloja central jail in Navi Mumbai on Thursday after he complained of giddiness and fell unconscious in his cell. JJ Hospital Dean Dr Ranjit Mankeshwar said Rao has tested negative for Covid-19.


Elections for 5 non-permanent members of UNSC next month, India assured of seat


UN General Assembly has decided to hold elections for the five non-permanent members of the Security Council next month under the new voting arrangements due to the COVID-19 restrictions, with India assured a win being sole contender for the Asia Pacific seat.193-member General Assembly adopted the decision on Friday titled ‘Procedure for holding elections by secret ballot without a plenary meeting during the coronavirus diseasepandemic’. According to the decision, the elections of non-permanent members to Security Council and the election of members to Economic and Social Council will be held simultaneously in June 2020 without a plenary meeting.Election for the 5 non-permanent members of the 15-nation council for 2021-22 term was originally scheduled on June 17.PTI


Chhattisgarh Armed Force soldier kills two colleagues, injures another after argument


An assistant platoon commander of the Chhattisgarh Armed Force allegedly shot dead two of his colleagues and injured another one after an argument in the state’s Narayanpur district on Friday, Hindustan Times reported. The officer has been arrested.The incident took place at the force’s camp in Aamdai Ghati, around 350 kilometres from Raipur. “The primary investigation suggests that Assistant Platoon Commander Ghanshyam Kumeti opened fire from his AK-47 rifle, killing two personnel and injuring another over some dispute,” Narayanpur SP Mohit Garg told the newspaper.


Assam floods leave six dead, over 3.7 lakh affected; situation expected to improve


Guwahati :At least 6 persons lost their lives in the first wave of floods in Assam, while 3.7 lakh people were affected, the state disaster management authority (ASDMA) confirmed on Saturday. The districts of Nalbari, Goalpara, Nagaon, Hojai, West Karbi Anglong and Tinsukia were worst-affected in the floods.Chief Minister Sarbananda Sonowal said that the state government would take adequate steps to compensate loss incurred by farmers and fishermen due to the floods. A detailed report incorporating details of those rendered landless and homeless due to the erosion will be submitted to Centre, CM said. A statement from CM’s office highlighted that Assam has already received Rs 386 crore from Centre towards the relief fund. The amount is part of the total Rs 772 crore allocation under the SDRF.


All Cricket Matches Which People See Are Fixed, Claims Bookie Sanjeev Chawla In Shocking Revelation


Even as cricket struggles to come to terms with coronavirus pandemic, which has put the world on a halt, the prime accused in 2000 Hansie Cronje match-fixing case, Sanjeev Chawla has dropped a bomb.In his disclosure statement to the Delhi Police, the London-based cricket bookmaker has reportedly claimed that "no cricket match is fairly played" and "…all the cricket matches which people see are fixed". Chawala, who was extradited to India from UK in Feb, is one of the main accused in the match-fixing scandal that also involved former South Africa captain late Hansie Cronje. Delhi-born bookmaker, as reported by Indian Express, said in a supplementary charge sheet submitted to the court that cricket matches are like "movies which are already being directed by someone".



Israeli PM: ‘We will annex 30% of the West Bank area to Israel’


Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has announced that his government will annex 30 per cent of the occupied West Bank area, Israeli media reported. Speaking to the Israeli newspaper Makor Rishon, Netanyahu disclosed that Israeli sovereignty would be applied to 30 per cent of the occupied West Bank, which is the equivalent of 50 per cent of Area C. Area C, according to the Oslo Accords, represents 60 per cent of the occupied West Bank and is under full Israeli administrative and security control.According to Netanyahu, the map of the would-be annexed area was not yet finalised.Meanwhile, he affirmed that according to the “deal of the century”, the Palestinians and the Israelis would not be allowed to build any structure on the remaining 50 per cent where Israel would not impose its sovereignty. Netanyahu told Israeli newspaper that his government would bring the issue to a vote in the Knesset, as indicated by the agreement of the coalition government with the Blue and White Party leader.

Netanyahu: Palestinians in annexed Jordan valley will not be given rights as Israelis



Jordan warns US, UK of dangers of annexation plan


Jordanian Kingdom has warned the US and the UK on Friday of the dangers of the Israeli plan to annex vast parts of the occupied West Bank, Quds Press reported. In a phone call with his British counterpart Dominic Raab, the Jordanian Foreign Minister Ayman Al-Safadi stressed on the importance of “urgent and active interference” of the international community to “protect the chances of peace.” Al-Safadi told Raab that Israeli annexation is: “An unprecedented danger that threatens the chance of peace.”


Call for UN to stop Israel’s expropriation of Palestine lands in Jerusalem


Dr Hanna Eisa, secretary-general of Christian-Islamic Commission to Support Jerusalem and Holy Sites, called on Friday for UN to urgently stop Israel’s expropriation of Palestinian lands in occupied Jerusalem. In a press release reported by Al-Quds Al-Araby, Eisa called on UN to prevent Israel from carrying out geographic and demographic changes in the occupied city of Jerusalem, or to carry out any other measure that might undermine the outputs of the final status negotiations. Eisa stated that Israel adopts the policy of imposing a de facto reality which is rejected by the international community and was denounced by several international resolutions and conventions, including the Fourth Geneva Convention and the founding regulations of the International Criminal Court (ICC) ratified in 1998.


Israel occupation arrests Al-Aqsa Mosque cleric


Israeli forces arrested Sheikh Ekrima Sabri, president of the Supreme Islamic Council and cleric of Al-Aqsa Mosque, after storming his house in occupied Jerusalem, according to PIC.The occupation forces have stormed Sheikh Sabri’s house several times and removed him from Al-Aqsa under the pretext of inciting citizens to pray in the mosque.Sheikh Sabri has rejected any Israeli measures to restrict prayer at Al-Aqsa Mosque and called on: “Our fellow Palestinians to prepare themselves to defend Al-Aqsa from any threats in the coming days.” Sheikh Sabri is 79 years old and was born in Qalqilya. He is the cleric of Al-Aqsa Mosque, the former grand mufti of Jerusalem and co-founder and president of the Supreme Islamic Council. On Friday, the forces prevented Palestinian citizens from reaching Al-Aqsa Mosque and arrested Jerusalemite Hanadi Al-Halawani, a teacher at Al-Aqsa Mosque schools, while she was at Bab Al-Asbat area. Al-Halawani is one of a group of Palestinians who voluntarily remains at Al-Aqsa Mosque to supervise, in an endeavour to stop Israel’s effort to Judaise the site.


Israel stops call to Muslim prayer at Hebron’s Ibrahimi Mosque


Israeli forces today prevented the call for dawn prayer at Ibrahimi Mosque in occupied city of Hebron, denying Muslim worshippers access to the site, according to the Wafa agency.Palestinian Authority condemned occupation forces for deliberately infringing on religious freedoms by applying such restrictions.The Ibrahimi Mosque was closed from early March whilst the occupied West Bank was dealing with the outbreak of the coronavirus, it reopened on Tuesday, along with the Church of Nativity in Bethlehem.

Over 100 Israel violations in Palestine in one week


Palestinian Centre for Human Rights (PCHR) has documented over 100 violations of international human rights law inflicted by Israeli occupation forces and settlers in just one week in Occupied Palestinian Territories (OPT). According to a PCHR report published yesterday, a total of 106 Israeli human rights abuses were comprehensively recorded; however, the restrictions imposed under the state of emergency have hindered NGO’s ability to cover all incidents in OPT.


Palestinian with mental disability shot dead in Jerusalem


Israeli forces shot dead a Palestinian with mental disabilities in East Jerusalem on Saturday, according to Israeli media, Anadolu reports.Border police officers opened fire on a man in Jerusalem’s Old City after they suspected he had a gun, The Times of Israel newspaper reported.In a statement, police said the Palestinian man was carrying “a suspicious object that looked like a pistol” and ran away when ordered to stop.According to Israeli media, the man, who was found to be unarmed, was shot dead during the chase.


Health of Hamas representative in Saudi deteriorates in prison


Health condition of Hamas representative in Saudi Arabia, Dr Mohamed Al-Khodari, 81, has dramatically deteriorated while inside Saudi prison, Quds Press reported on Friday. According to Quds Press, “Prisoners of Conscience”, a Twitter account which documents the situation of political prisoners in Saudi Arabia, revealed that Al-Khodari, who has been detained since April 2019, lost his ability to move due to severe illness.Saudi Arabia arrested dozens of Palestinian students, academics and residents arbitrarily a year ago, including Al-Khodari, the official representative of Hamas in the kingdom.


Tomb of Caliph Umar Ibn Abdul Aziz exhumed by militias in Syria


Militias fighting alongside Syrian regime of President Bashar Al-Assad destroyed and desecrated the grave of the eighth Umayyad Caliph Umar Ibn Abdul Aziz yesterday, located in the north-west province of Idlib. Video footage of the destruction emerged on social media yesterday, showing the graves of the Caliph, his wife and his servant damaged and with the contents exhumed and disappeared. The site in which the graves are housed, located in the village of Deir Al-Sharqi in the area of Maarat Al-Nu’man, is seen to be burnt following its capture by the regime and militia forces in February this year. According to Turkish news organisation Daily Sabah, no information on the location of the Caliph’s remains have been revealed. middleeastmonitor


567th anniversary of conquest of Istanbul marked at Hagia Sophia


Istanbul:The conquest of Istanbul was celebrated on Friday, 567 years after Fatih Sultan Mehmet gained victory in Istanbul, with a special program in Hagia Sophia. Ministry of Culture and Tourism organized “Conquest Feast in Hagia Sophia” in coordination with Turkish Presidency Directorate of Communications as part of celebrations throughout the day. The program began with images taken by a drone of routes Fatih Sultan Mehmet navigated and arrived at Hagia Sophia by carrying ships on land while conquering Istanbul.  The program was followed with the recitation of the 48th chapter of the Quran, surah Al-Fath, with Turkish President Tayyip Erdoğan viewing via video.Erdoğan expressed gratitude to all those who did not abandon Hagia Sophia, the heirloom of the conquest. He stressed it was important to remember 567th anniversary with prayers and surah Al-Fath. Meanwhile, Turkey on Saturday shot back at an objection from Greece on the reading of passages from the Muslim holy book, the Quran, Hagia Sophia.Accusing Athens of making "futile and ineffective statements" on the event, Turkish Foreign Ministry spokesman Hami Aksoy said Greece's displeasure illustrated its "intolerant psychology." "The fact that Greece, the only remaining European country without a mosque in its capital, is disturbed by the recital of the Holy Quran in Hagia Sophia is a case in point illustrating the intolerant psychology of this country,  especially at a time when calls to prayer can be heard from minarets in Europe and the importance of the principle of mutual respect is increasingly valued," said the statement.Anadolu Agency


Tunisia's Ghannouchi wins libel case following online smear campaign


UK’s High Court of Justice has ruled in favour of Tunisia politician and co-founder of Ennahda, Rached Ghannouchi in a libel case against Middle East Online (MEO) and one of its editors, the law firm representing his case has said. Judge Matthew Nicklin ruled in favour of Ghannouchi’s lawsuit in a default judgement late yesterday after the defendants failed to file a defence.Mathilde Groppo, an Associate at Carter-Ruck Solicitors who represented Ghannouchi, told MEMO, the libel lawsuit was filed in Dec.2019, months after an article, published by MEO on 5 July 2019, alleged the Ennahdha party was a front for a terrorist organisation.The piece, which has now been deleted, claimed Ghannouchi pretended to believe in democracy while actively encouraging and supporting terrorism in Tunisia and abroad and had accepted funds from Qatar, which, MEO suggested, had allowed Gulf country to exert improper influence over Tunisian politics.middleeastmonitor


US Congress approves bill authorising sanctions against China over mass incarceration of Uighurs


US House of Representatives has overwhelmingly approved legislation calling for sanctions on Chinese officials deemed responsible for the oppression of Uighur Muslims.Uighur Human Rights Act, which has been sent to the White House for President Donald Trump to veto or sign into law, was passed by a 413-1 vote on Wednesday and came hours after Secretary of State Mike Pomp notified Congress that the administration no longer considered Hong Kong autonomous from China, Al Jazeera reported.The bill calls for sanctions against those responsible for the repression of Uighurs and other Muslim groups in China's Xinjiang province, where UN estimates that more than a million Muslims have been detained in camps.ANI


France, UK, Germany 'regret' US end to three Iran nuclear waivers


France, Germany and United Kingdom have criticised a United States decision to end three of its four sanctions waivers allowing work on Iranian nuclear sites designed to prevent weapons development.The scrapped waivers had allowed Russian, Chinese and European companies to work on the conversion of Iran's Arak heavy water reactor, the provision of enriched uranium for a Tehran research reactor, and the transfer of spent fuel abroad.


Protests across US as cop charged with murder of George Floyd


Protests have broken out in cities across US calling for justice following the death of George Floyd in police custody when a white officer in Minneapolis pressed a knee into the unarmed Black man's neck for several minutes.In scenes both peaceful and violent across the country, thousands of protesters on Friday chanted "no justice, no peace" and "say his name. George Floyd." They hoisted signs reading: "He said I can't breathe. Justice for George."The demonstrations came as Derek Chauvin, the officer involved in Floyd's death, was arrested and charged with one count each of third-degree murder and second-degree manslaughter.Graphic video footage taken on an onlooker's cellphone and widely circulated on the internet shows Floyd - with Chauvin's knee pressed into his neck - gasping for air and repeatedly groaning, "Please, I can't breathe," while a crowd of bystanders shouted at police to let him up.


More than a dozen killed in northern Burkina Faso attack


At least 15 people have been killed following an attack on a convoy transporting traders in a town in northern Burkina Faso on Friday, the government has said. The attack, carried out by an unidentified group of assailants, left several others wounded. Many more were still unaccounted for, the government said in a statement on Saturday.


Ready for Taliban talks 'at any time': Abdullah


A top Afghan official appointed to lead Kabul's delegation in the much-awaited peace talks with the Taliban has said his team is ready to start discussions with the armed group "at any moment".Abdullah Abdullah, head of the High Council for National Reconciliation, said on Saturday an ongoing lull in violence triggered by a surprise 3-day truce offered by Taliban on Eid al-Fitr Muslim holiday had set the tone for launching the peace talks."The announcement of the ceasefire, a reduction in violence and the exchange of prisoners have all paved the way for a good beginning," Abdullah said at his first press conference since taking on the role."The negotiating team is ready to begin the talks at any moment," he said, adding, however, that there must be a fresh ceasefire during the talks.

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 Compiled and edited by Anwarulhaq (Released at: 10:15 PM)


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