05 May 2020

5 May NEWS: India To Launch World's Largest Evacuation On Thursday. 62 trains ferried 70,000 stranded migrants. Social distancing norms tossed aside as crowds throng liquor shops - again. Modi Govt Using Lockdown to Attack Dissenters Under UAPA: UK Diaspora Demands Immediate Release


5 May 2020: 11 Ramazan 1441: Vol: 12, No: 199


India To Launch World's Largest Evacuation On Thursday

New Delhi: Hundreds of thousands of Indians stranded abroad because of the coronavirus crisis will be brought back by air and by sea from Thursday in the world's largest evacuation mission. More than 3 lakh Indians have requested a flight home. Those taking the special flights will be charged around Rs 50,000 from Europe and Rs 1 lakh from the US. Naval warships will also set out for Indians stuck in West Asia and the Maldives. This is the biggest exercise since national airline Air India flew back 1,70,000 during the first Gulf War.Over 14,800 Indians in 13 countries will be brought back by 64 flights in the first week, says the foreign ministry. "We will be bringing back only Indian citizens, no OCI (Overseas Citizen of India) card holders," say sources.On the first day of evacuation on May 7, 10 flights will bring back 2,300 Indians stranded because of airspace closures by various countries to slow the spread of coronavirus.Over the next few days, the government will operate 10 flights to the UAE, seven each to the US and UK, five flights to Saudi Arabia, five flights to Singapore and two flights to Qatar. There will also be flights to Malaysia, Bangladesh, five flights each to Kuwait and Philippines and two flights each to Oman and Bahrain.All passengers will be screened and only asymptomatic passengers would be allowed to travel, the government says. On arrival, they will be quarantined for 14 days, says the home ministry.ndtv

Evacuation plan: 64 flights to bring back citizens from abroad, govt announces ticket prices

Govt suspends all visas, bars travel by OCI card-holders till ban on air services

The government Tuesday suspended all existing visas granted to foreign nationals, barring a few categories, till international air travel to and from India remains shut due to the coronavirus pandemic, an order by the Ministry of Home Affairs said. The ministry also said it has kept in abeyance multiple-entry life-long visas given to Overseas Citizens of India (OCI) card holders till international travel remains suspended. The government also issued a standard operating protocol (SOP) for the return of Indians stranded abroad and those who are stuck in India and wish to travel to international destinations for urgent reasons. In an order, Union Home Secretary Ajay Bhalla said priority will be given for return to India to compelling cases in distress, including migrant workers, labourers who have been laid off and those faced with expiry of short term visas.indianexpress


Coronavirus India: Death toll crosses 1,500; 62 trains ferried 70,000 stranded migrants

New Delhi : Addressing the daily briefing on COVID-19 situation in the country, joint secretary at the health ministry Lav Agarwal said the total number of cases stand at 46,433 and the death toll at 1,568.The first day of the third phase of lockdown witnessed crowds defying social distancing norms at many places including liquor shops. This influenced Delhi’s decision to increase liquor prices by 70 per cent. In Gujarat and Kerala, protests by migrant workers also saw a large number of people out on the streets.Meanwhile, India has sent 3 naval ships to evacuate Indians stranded in UAE and Maldives, after MHA said evacuations in foreign countries will be carried out in a phased manner.  Special flights for those stuck in the US will also begin this week.


Delhi: 57 migrant workers try to flee shelter home, 29 caught

New Delhi :At least 57 migrant workers, staying at a shelter home in West Delhi’s Tilak Nagar, attempted to escape Monday. A video of men, women and children, with packed bags, escaping from Sarvoday Bal Vidyalaya in Tilak Nagar’s Chand Nagar has emerged. The video shows a few jumping the gate of the shelter home and breaking the main gate lock.An FIR under relevant IPC sections and section 3 of the Epidemic Act has been filed at Tilak Nagar police station after a complaint was received from shelter home in-charge Mushtaq Ali. DCP (West) Deepak Purohit said, “Of 57 people, one had been kept separately at the shelter home. 17 people were instantly apprehended by police and the shelter home staff and sent back inside. Out of the 40 escaped migrants, 12 were intercepted by the police and sent back to the shelter home.”indianexpress


FIR against 400 migrants for attacking cops, SDM

The police registered an FIR against 400 unidentified persons who attacked police and a SDM on Sunday, sources in the police department said.However, the sources also said that the attackers are likely to be let off on humanitarian grounds.Around 7,000 migrant workers blocked Agra-Bombay Road in Bijasan in MP's Barwani - a red zone area -- on Sunday and attacked police, injuring the additional SP, an SDM and 3 other police personnel.IANS


Social distancing norms tossed aside as crowds throng liquor shops - again

Undeterred by steep price hikes or the urgent need to maintain distance, impatient crowds were back outside liquor vends on Tuesday, pushing and jostling in many places as they sought to lay their hands on a bottle of their favourite tipple.A day after lockdown curbs were eased and liquor shops opened across large parts of India, triggering near riot situations, lakhs of people lined up or gathered outside from early morning, counting the hours for the shutters to go up and then more hours till they reached the counter.The scenes played out in towns and rural centres in states such as Andhra Pradesh, Karnataka, Maharashtra, West Bengal and Delhi, just as they did on Monday, the fear of COVID-19 eclipsed by the eagerness to access alcohol after more than 40 dry days.On Tuesday, Andhra government enhanced prices by 50 per cent, over the 25 per cent hike it had imposed the day before. Late on Monday, the Delhi government announced a 70 per cent special corona fee' on alcohol.About 150 government-run liquor shops have been allowed to open from 9 am to 6.30 pm in the national capital in accordance with latest lockdown relaxations allowed by the Ministry of Home Affairs. On Monday, Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal said in a stern message that all relaxations in the areas where people violate social-distancing and other health norms will be withdrawn.PTI



SC Tells Bombay HC To Take Call On Plea To Stop Burial Of COVID19 Dead In 3 Mumbai Kabristans

The Supreme Court has directed Bombay High Court to decide upon a plea seeking ban on burial of dead COVID 19 patients in three Muslim Cemeteries in Bandra West. A bench led by Justice RF Nariman and Indira Banerjee passed the orders the special leave petition filed by a resident of Mumbai, Pradeep Gandhy against the refusal of the Bombay High Court to grant interim stay on the burial of dead bodies of the deceased persons who were infected with COVID 19 in three Muslim Cemeteries in Mumbai.The petitioner submitted that the Konkani Muslim Cemetery, Khoja Sunnat Jamat Kabrastan Bandra West and KhojaIsnaAshari Jammat Kabrastan Bandra West are interconnected and are immediately next to Petitioners residence. The cemeteries are surrounded by residential colonies and falls in the heart of Bandra West. Petitioner expressing fear of the spread of covid-19 virus through the soil to the nearby populace, if the infected bodies are buried in the subject cemeteries submitted  “the present unprecedented health situation ought to take precedence over the religious rights of deceased’s family members seeking to bury the deceased at the subject cemeteries.”indialegallive


SC refuses to entertain Jairam Ramesh’s plea on universal food security during Covid-19

New Delhi :The Supreme Court Tuesday refused to entertain senior Congress leader Jairam Ramesh’s plea seeking directions to the Centre and states to ensure universal coverage of food security during Covid-19 pandemic and asked him to make a representation to the Union government.It observed that people were approaching the top court under Article 32 of the Constitution without making any representation to the government authorities. A bench of Justices Ashok Bhushan, Sanjay Kishan Kaul and B R Gavai, which took up the matter through video conferencing, said the court has found that grievances raised in the petition have not been brought to the notice of the government, therefore it is allowing the petition to be withdrawn.PTI


India’s unemployment rate rises to 27.11% amid COVID-19 crisis: CMIE

The coronavirus crisis has led to a spike in the country’s unemployment rate to 27.11% for the week ended May 3, up from the under 7% level before the start of the pandemic in mid-March, Centre for Monitoring Indian Economy (CMIE) has said. Mumbai-based think tank said the rate of unemployment was the highest in the urban areas, which constitute the most number of the red zones due to the coronavirus cases, at 29.22%, as against 26.69% for the rural areas.Analysts have been warning about the spectre of unemployment ever since the country was put under a lockdown on March 25 by Prime Minister Narendra Modi to arrest the spread of the coronavirus infections.Scenes of migrants fleeing urban centres including Delhi and Mumbai only confirmed the long-held concerns on their employment as the economic activity came to a grinding halt. US . has seen a huge spike in unemployment as over 26 million people have claimed for State support because of losing their jobs. Experts often rue the absence of a good gauge of jobs in India, which is predominantly an unorganised-sector led economy. PTI


99.8%  IT workforce incapable of work from home

As the IT companies opt for work from home culture due to lockdown and later, a study reveals how the productivity might go down drastically, besides productivity other related factors will adversely affect the economy if remote working is followed for long. Work from home is new work culture amid the lockdown due to coronavirus pandemic. All organizations in the IT sector are engaging its employees in remote work or work from home. Few big IT companies have announced a prolonged work from home schedule for larger chunks of workforce post lockdown. This could be drastic for the health of the national economy and the work output. A study has revealed that only 0.2 per cent workforce in the IT industry is highly productive.




No new COVID-19 case in Kerala for 2nd consecutive day

Kerala on Monday recorded no fresh coronavirus cases — the second consecutive day that the state has recorded no new COVID-19 case. A record 61 people were declared recovered from the disease on Monday.Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan told the media that so far, Kerala has tested 33,010 samples, of which 32,315 tested negative for the virus. On Monday alone, 1,249 samples were tested.Of the 499 confirmed cases in the state so far, only 34 are currently under treatment.



Coronavirus: Ghaziabad DM extends lockdown restrictions till May 31

The lockdown restrictions in Delhi's neighbouring Ghaziabad have been extended till May 31. In an order, Ghaziabad district magistrate said that all restrictions imposed during the third leg of the lockdown will remain in place till May 31.The extension has been ordered in wake of rising Covid-19 cases and upcoming Eid festival, the DM order said.As per the order, spitting in public places will be punishable by fine, going out without a face cover will also be a punishable offence, all religious places will remain closed and assembly of five or more people in any public space is prohibited.All public events like cultural, religious, political, sports programmes and rallies will remain prohibited till May 31. For any marriage ceremony or funeral procession, prior permission will be required.



UP: No Aarogya Setu app? Pay Rs 1000 fine or face 6 months jail in Noida

Not having the Aarogya Setu application has been made a punishable office by Noida police. Those living in Noida and Greater Noida will be fined or jailed if they don’t have the contact tracing app on their smartphones. The order applies to even those entering the city. “All those with smartphones who do not have the application can be booked under Section 188 of the IPC. After that, a judicial magistrate will either decide if the person will be tried, fined or left with a warning,” said Akhilesh Kumar, DCP Law and Order.Section 188 of IPC deals with disobedience to an order duly promulgated by a public servant. A person can be imprisoned up to 6 months or fined up to Rs 1000.


UP: Villagers bar entry of Muslims after infection in nearby hamlet, 3 arrested

Lucknow :Police in Prayagraj district on Monday arrested 3 villagers, and lodged a case against them and three more men for putting up barricades and a poster saying Muslims were not allowed to enter the village.According to the police, the poster was put up in Dusauti village in Handiya police station area on Sunday, three days after a young man in a neighbouring village tested positive for coronavirus disease.70 per cent of Dusauti’s residents are Hindus, while half the population in the nearby village are from the majority community. After a photograph of the poster went viral, the police went to the village to gather details of the 6 men seen in it. DM and SSP in Prayagraj also visited the village on Monday morning. 3 of those in photograph, identified as Sanjay Kumar, Ashwani Pandey, and Shiv Baba, were arrested from their homes. All of them are in their twenties. Handiya SHO Sunil Kumar said a local court sent them to judicial custody later in the day. The police are looking for the other accused.The poster has been removed, according to Handiya Circle Officer Majid Absar.indianexpress



Assam unit of Tablighi Jamaat wants govt. to let members return

GUWAHATI:Assam unit of Tablighi Jamaat has appealed to the State government to let members of the Jamaat, who completed their quarantine period after attending the March Nizamuddin event, return from Delhi.Zunaid Khalid, the unit’s core committee member, told newspersons that they had also submitted a list of 439 Jamaat members stranded across the country to the Assam police.“We have sought the government’s help for the return of the Jamaat members who have already completed their quarantine period in Delhi. A list of the other members undergoing quarantine has also been submitted so that they return home to various parts of Assam,” he said.thehindu


28 Tablighi members sent back to Delhi from Korba after quarantine after completing  28 days in quarantine

RAIPUR: 28 Tablighi Jamaat members, residents of Delhi, who were quarantined for the last 30 days at CETI hostel in Gevra town in Korba district, returned to their hometown on Sunday.Korba district administration spokesman said that before leaving for Delhi, health check-up of all Tablighi members were examined by district administration and their corona test reports were continuously negative. They also completed the prescribed quarantine period of 28 days. Tablighi members had sought permission to go to their hometown Delhi by submitting an application to Korba district administration.TOI


You can't be open when our mandir is shut: Locals force liquor shop to remain closed in Bhiwandi

Bhiwandi (Maharashtra): Locals in Bhiwandi protested against the opening of wine shops and argued with a shop owner saying shop could not be opened as there was a temple in front of the shop. Locals argued with the liquor shop owner saying you can't open the shop when 'our mandir is also shut'. Later, police had to intervene after an argument broke out."You cannot open the shop. This is creating crowding here. There is a temple, How can you open the shop," video footage of the incident accessed by Times Now showed a man arguing with another who is apparently the owner of the shop. The owner, in response, argued that he has taken necessary permissions, however, the man is seen saying, "I am saying you cannot open the shop. I am calling the nagar-sevak right away."timesnownews


Maharashtra freezes all development spend for a year, no new hiring

MAHARASHTRA, the state worst-hit by Covid-19 pandemic in the country, Monday declared a freeze on new capital works till March next year.The state, whose Budget size is the second biggest after Uttar Pradesh, imposed a 67 per cent cut in development (scheme) spend for 2020-21. “This is the deepest ever cut in expenditure since the state was formed in 1960,” an official said.Less than two months back, Shiv Sena-NCP-Congress government had presented a Rs 4.34 lakh crore budget for 2020-21, an increase of 4.1 per cent over the revised estimate for 2019-20. The only other state with a bigger budget than Maharashtra is Uttar Pradesh. Barring procurements of infrastructure and items required for combating the pandemic, the state has ordered departments to withhold tenders for new purchases and approvals for new development works. To ensure continuity in administration during the outbreak, it has also put a stop on all departmental transfers.As on date, the state had 12,974 confirmed Covid cases, accounting for 30 per cent of all cases in the country, and had registered 548 deaths, almost 40 per cent of all deaths in the country.indianexpress


India’s lockdown leads to buffalo meat shortage during Ramadan

The lockdown imposed in India due to the coronavirus pandemic has led to a fall in India’s buffalo meat exports, which is now leading to shortage of supplies for several Muslim-populated countries during the time of Ramadan, the Globe and Mail is reporting.  “India typically sells more than 100,000 tonnes of buffalo meat every month, but in March exports dropped to around 40,000 tonnes, according to two exporters,” the report said. “Sales are likely to have been even lower in April as widespread lockdowns took effect, and even in May are expected to remain well below normal despite some parts of the Indian economy re-opening,” it further added. Countries like Malaysia, who rely on India for nearly 70 per cent of their beef demands, are now feeling the absence of those supplies.theprint


Karnataka: Muslim Okkotta seeks permission for Eid prayers in mosques

MANGALURU: With partial relaxation in lockdown norms coming in to force from Monday, demand for revival of religious activities after duly following social distancing norms too has come to the fore.Former mayor K Ashraf urged chief minister B S Yediyurappa and former CM Siddaramaiah and deputy commissioner Sindhu B Rupesh to allow Muslims to offer Eid prayers at mosque.In a letter to CM and Siddaramaiah, leader of opposition as well as the DC, Ashraf said the state government must consider positively this request from Muslims to permit them to pray in mosques during holy month of Ramadan. “The move by the Central government to permit a 12-hour relaxation in lockdown norms amidst the pandemic from 7am for specified category of industries and establishments is a travesty,” Ashraf said.With DK district yet to come to grips with the pandemic, Ashraf said move to allow commercial activity will lead to gathering of people and will pose a challenge to efforts of health authorities to contain it. In wake of this, it is imperative that the government maintains status quo till end of Ramadan month. If the government feels it prudent to allow these activities, it should also allow Muslims to offer prayers in mosque following norms, Ashraf added.TOI


 Zainuddin who set up Covid mutual aid group for Malegaon’s poor dies

Malegaon :On April 23, 40-year-old Zainuddin Pinjari put out an emotional social media post saying he was ready to mortgage his house and car to raise money to feed Malegaon’s poor. Three days later, on April 26, Pinjari, slumped over and died at his home. Hours earlier, he had complained of breathing diffculty. It is yet to be confirmed if he had succumbed to COVID-19. Pinjari, a former electrician-turned-social worker, had set up a COVID-19 mutual aid group for the poor residents of Malegaon, explaining to them the seriousness of the pandemic and the need for physical distancing in colonies where 10 to 15 people ended up staying cramped up in 100 to 150 sq ft areas.Pinjari and his band of volunteers provided food and monetary support in these colonies of powerloom workers whose source of income had dried up. Last month, Pinjari had decided to sell his land to raise Rs 5 lakh to feed the poor. His insistent work and decision to move around the poor localities of Malegaon, helping and feeding the poor, had made his own family warn him against returning home. He bunked in a nearby room.indianexpress


Covid-19 crisis: Muslim man in Hyderabad distributes food packets among needy across faiths

Doing the needful at these hard times are the some people like Syed Hamed who, rising above polarization are coming together to help those in need during the pandemic. Based in Hyderabad, Syed Hamed is a businessman turned social worker who decided to distribute food packets amid the lockdown with a purpose to feed the people of all communities, irrespective of caste and community. Hamed started distributing food packets around 15 days ago and has distributed around 500 packets till date. He goes door to door to look out for the needy and hands them a token to which they can come and collect their food packets, the next day. The essential kits include rice, wheat, salt, turmeric powder, chilli powder, onions, tamarind and cooking oil. ANI/TOI


Delhi: 24 people at Army Hospital test positive for coronavirus

At least 24 people including military personnel were tested positive for Covid-19 at a hospital in Delhi on Tuesday.All of them were admitted at the Army Hospital (Research And Referral) and have been shifted to Base Hospital in Delhi Cantt. Among those tested positive also include retired military personnel and other family members.indianexpress       






Media, IT professionals think worse coming in next 6 months: LinkedIn survey

A tough jobs market, pay cuts and an ailing economy have caused unrest among the Indian professionals and those working in IT, media and manufacturing feel their companies will fare worse in the next 6 months, a new LinkedIn survey said on Tuesday.More than two in five media professionals said their companies will fare worse in next 6 months, exhibiting a bleak outlook towards the short-term future. One in four manufacturing professionals and more than one in 5 IT professionals felt the same.The overall findings showed that one in three Indians have reported a decrease in their personal incomes, whereas 48% of active job seekers and 43 per cent of full-time professionals anticipate fewer job openings in the next 2 weeks.LinkedIn's second ‘Workforce Confidence Index' shows a slight dip in the overall confidence towards future opportunities as professionals foresee testing times ahead."As various sectors announce a hiring freeze, job-seekers have reset their expectations as more Indian professionals anticipate fewer job openings going forward,"said survey by Microsoft-owned largest professional network. Nearly 48 per cent of active job seekers think there will be a decrease in available job opportunities, up 9 per cent from last fortnight's findings. Findings also show that 36 per cent of active job seekers expect a decrease in recruiter response in the next two weeks, up 8 per cent from last fortnight's findings.IANS




Global coronavirus deaths rose past 2.5 lakh with over 3.5 million infections:

Global coronavirus deaths rose past 2.5 lakh Tuesday after infections topped 3.5 million, even as several countries began easing lockdowns designed to contain Covid-19. Health experts are watching closely as several countries tentatively ease restrictions on movement in a bid to revive global economies, amid fears of recurring infections. In US, which has the world’s highest total of infections and deaths, at almost 1.2 million and 68,000 respectively, at least half of the 51 states are moving forward with plans to reopen stricken businesses.Italy, among the world’s hardest-hit countries, allowed about 4.5 million people to return to work on Monday after nearly two months at home. Spain, Portugal, Belgium, Finland, Nigeria, India, Malaysia, Thailand, Israel and Lebanon were also among countries variously reopening factories, construction sites, parks, hairdressers and libraries.


UK becomes virus epicentre of Europe with over 30,000 deaths

Britain has reported the highest number of coronavirus deaths in Europe with over 30,000, so far. UK govt said 28,734 people with COVID-19 had died in UK hospitals, nursing homes and other settings. But official UK statistics released Tuesday that take into account people who died with suspected, rather than confirmed, put Britain’s toll at more than 30,000 dead. Italy has reported 29,079 fatalities. Tallies from both nations are likely to be underestimates because they only include people who tested positive and testing was not widespread in Italian and British nursing homes until recently. In Russia, number of cases rose sharply again with Moscow reporting over 10,000 new infections for three days in a row.


Arab world’s largest ever event, Expo 2020 Dubai, postponed due to coronavirus

Expo 2020 Dubai, which was set to be the largest such event ever to be staged in the Middle East, has been postponed for a year due to the coronavirus outbreak.The global mega event will now run from 1 October 2021 to 31 March 2022, a delay which the organisers say allows “all participants to safely navigate the impact of COVID-19, and allows the World Expo to focus on a collective desire for new thinking to identify solutions to some of the greatest challenges of our time”.In April the UAE made an official request to the Paris based Bureau International des Expositions (BIE) to postpone the event. The awarding body for World Expo said that the request would be discussed in a virtual meeting and options for a change of date would be found. Any change however required the approval of two-thirds of the 170 member states. Yesterday’s vote saw the majority in favour of delaying the event by a year.Dimitri S. Kerkentzes, secretary general of the BIE, said: “I applaud the swift response by BIE Member States. Their support for the postponement of Expo 2020 Dubai – which will be formally approved on 29 May – is a renewed sign of solidarity and demonstrates the shared will to work together in ‘creating the future’.”


Internal US document projects 3,000 deaths per day by June 1

Washington :The number of coronavirus deaths in US will jump to over 3,000 and new cases to about 200,000 per day by June 1, an internal draft report has said, even as more than 2 dozen American states announced to open up their economy amid the health crisis. US is the worst-hit country from the pandemic. By Monday, more than 1.2 million Americans tested positive for the COVID-19 and the total number of fatalities increased to more than 69,000.The country’s economy has come to a standstill and over 30 million Americans have applied for unemployment benefits.PTI


Concerns raised after Rohingya quarantined on Bangladeshi island

Rights groups and aid agencies have raised concerns after dozens of stranded Rohingya refugees, who landed at Bangladesh's southern coast at the weekend, were sent to an inhabitable island in the Bay of Bengal.Authorities said the 29 Rohingya were relocated to the controversial Bhasan Char island late on Saturday to prevent a possible coronavirus outbreak in the refugee camps located in the Cox's Bazar district of Bangladesh."Bangladesh faces the tremendous challenge of assisting Rohingya boat people while preventing the spread of COVID-19, but sending them to a dangerously flood-prone island without adequate health care is hardly the solution," said Brad Adams, the executive director of the Asian division of Human Rights Watch (HRW), in a statement on Tuesday.



China Facing Rising Global Backlash Akin To Tiananmen Square, Internal Report Warns

BEIJING:An internal Chinese report warns that Beijing faces a rising wave of hostility in the wake of the coronavirus outbreak that could tip relations with the United States into confrontation, people familiar with the paper told Reuters.The report, presented early last month by the Ministry of State Security to top Beijing leaders including President Xi Jinping, concluded that global anti-China sentiment is at its highest since the 1989 Tiananmen Square crackdown, the sources said.As a result, Beijing faces a wave of anti-China sentiment led by the United States in the aftermath of the pandemic and needs to be prepared in a worst-case scenario for armed confrontation between the two global powers, according to people familiar with the report’s content, who declined to be identified given the sensitivity of the matter.The report was drawn up by the China Institutes of Contemporary International Relations (CICIR), a think tank affiliated with the Ministry of State Security, China’s top intelligence body.Reuters


Virus spread to every corner of world, none of us is safe until all: UN chief

UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres has said that overcoming the coronavirus pandemic will require the most massive public health effort in history since it is an interconnected world where “none of us is safe until all of us are safe”. “Comprehensive, coordinated public health measures are critical to slow transmission and to save lives. But even countries that have taken such steps remain in jeopardy. And the virus is still likely to strike many countries that are least able to cope. In an interconnected world, none of us is safe until all of us are safe,” he said.


 What is silent hypoxia, and why has it puzzled doctors?

New Delhi As medical practitioners around the world are busy treating people for Covid-19, many have reported a condition called ‘silent’ or ‘happy’ hypoxia, in which patients have extremely low blood oxygen levels, yet do not show signs of breathlessness.The condition has puzzled medical practitioners, and many are now advocating for its early detection as a means to avoid a fatal illness called Covid pneumonia.Hypoxia is a condition wherein there is not enough oxygen available to the blood and body tissues. Hypoxia can either be generalised, affecting the whole body, or local, affecting a region of the body.indianexpress


In antibodies from llamas, scientists see Covid-19 hope

In a llama named Winter, researchers have found an unlikely ally in the hunt for an effective treatment for COVID-19, the University of Texas at Austin said in a statement. The researchers linked two copies of a special kind of antibody produced by llamas and created a new antibody, which binds tightly to a key protein on the novel coronavirus SARS-CoV2. This protein is the spike protein, shaped like a corona (crown) that gives coronaviruses their name. It is also the protein that allows the virus to break into human and animal cells.Initial tests with the new antibody and cultured cells indicated the antibody blocks viruses with this spike protein from infecting cells. The researchers are from University of Texas at Austin, US National Institutes of Health and Ghent University in Belgium. indianexpress


Israel has made ‘significant breakthrough’ in developing antibody against coronavirus: Defence Minister

Israeli Defence Minister Naftali Bennett has said that scientists at the country's main biological research institute have made a "significant breakthrough" in developing an antibody to the novel coronavirus, as the researchers wrapped up the development phase and moved to patent and mass produce the potential treatment.Bennett visited the labs of Israel's Institute for Biological Research (IIBR), supervised by PMO and mandated to develop a vaccine for coronavirus, in Ness Ziona on Monday and was shown the "antibody that attacks the virus in a monoclonal way and can neutralize it within the bodies of those ill", a statement from his office said.PTI





Modi Govt Using Lockdown to Attack Dissenters Under UAPA: UK Diaspora Demands Immediate Release

Indian diaspora in UKhave released a statement condemning the Modi Government’s continuous attack against students, activists, journalists and all other dissenters of the government even as India reels under a ruthless lockdown to deal with the COVID-19 outbreak. They have extended their solidarity with those who are being targetted by the current ruling regime through a spate of charges, arrests and harassment under the draconian UAPA and demanded the release of all those arrested. The statement has been signed by South Asia Solidarity Group, Indian Muslim Federation, Sri Guru Ravidass Global Organisation for Equal Rights, SOAS India Society, Coordinating Committee of Malayali Muslims, Indian Workers Association GB, South Asian Students Against Fascism and Ghaddar International.The statement mentions the attacks against journalists Masrat Zahra and Peerzada Ashiq, student activists Safoora Zargar, Meeran Haider and Sharjeel Imam, civil rights activist Gautam Navlakha, Dalit Marxist scholar Anand Teltumbde, amongst others. It adds that the govt’s actions reveal that “BJP government is clearly using this moment to repress a political movement which emerged at the end of the last year and swept across India in resistance to their far-right Hindu supremacist policies, in particular, the Islamophobic and exclusionary changes to Citizenship rules which are clearly the first steps towards ethnic cleansing.”newsclick


South Asian organisations in US accuse BJP of vendetta politics to persecute Muslims

Alliance for Justice and Accountability (AJA) on Tuesday condemned Indian Government for slapping criminal charges against Muslim activists, students, and intellectuals during a nationwide lockdown.AJA is an umbrella group of South Asian organizations in US that has condemned sedition charges against renowned Muslim intellectual and Chairman of Delhi Minorities Commission, Dr Zafarul Islam Khan. AJA stated that “Dr Khan has been charged for exercising his right to free speech in a Facebook post,” accusing BJP of running a full-fledged campaign to curb dissent. The statement said that anyone who raises a voice against the treatment of Muslims is labelled “anti-national.”“Modi’s Govt is at the forefront of human rights violations by providing total impunity to their perpetrators,” remarks AJA, speaking against the Centre’s selective prosecution of Muslim activists and victims. AJA has expressed solidarity with Safoora Zargar, Gulifsha, Shafi Ur Rehman, Sharjeel Imam, Meeran Hyder and Umar Khalid, recognizing that the Centre is now indulging in “vendetta politics to persecute Muslims who have for months braved police brutalities at the street protests demanding the repeal of CAA.”AJA called out against the “massacre of dozens of Muslims in religious violence against Muslims in the Capital,” resonating its support for the US Commission Annual Report that placed India among the top violators of religious freedom.


Family of arrested Jamia scholar concerned about her health

“As a family, there is only pain and suffering for us,” said the husband of Safoora Zargar, the Jamia Millia Islamia scholar who was arrested nearly a month back in connection with the north-east Delhi riots.Ms. Zargar, who is three months’ pregnant, was charged under UAPA and is currently in judicial custody at Tihar jail. “If she was at home, she wouldn’t even be allowed to get out of bed,” said her husband, who got a chance to speak to her for five minutes for the first time since she was arrested on April 28.“In terms of health, she is doing fine. She is managing. She is strong,” he said. However, for the family, concerns about conditions in the jail and the threat of the ongoing pandemic are weighing heavy.

Allow Us To Talk To Her Once A Day: Sister Of Arrested And Pregnant Jamia Student


Plea in HC seeking removal of Zafarul-Islam as Delhi Minorities Commission Chairman

NEW DELHI:A plea was filed in the Delhi High Court on Tuesday seeking to remove Delhi Minorities Commission Chairman Zafarul-Islam Khan against whom an FIR has been lodged for his alleged seditious and hateful acts.The PIL, which is likely to come up for hearing on May 11, said that on April 28, Khan published a post having seditious and hateful comments through his official page on social media.The plea, filed by retired bank official Subhash Chandra, said that on May 2, based on a complaint, Delhi Police Special Cell has lodged an FIR against Khan under Sections 124A and 153A of IPC for the alleged offences of sedition and promoting feelings of hatred between different groups on the grounds of religion, race, place of birth, residence and language.Earlier, another plea was filed in the high court seeking lodging of an FIR against Khan. The plea is also listed for hearing on May 11.


Indian police take legal action against minority leader Zafarul Islam Khan for thanking Kuwait for speaking in favor of Indian Muslims:Anadolu Agency

Amid the growing tide of Islamophobia in India, police in capital Delhi has booked head of a quasi-judicial body Zafarul Islam Khan for thanking Kuwaiti government for speaking in favor of Indian Muslims.In an unprecedented event, the Special Cell of Delhi Police registered a case of sedition, charging Khan, chairman of Delhi Minority Commission, a constitutional body, for the subversion of the constitution and incitement of discontent. In an interview with Anadolu Agency, Khan said he believed in core ideals of Indian secularism and rejects the politics of hate. He said, "Indian Muslims since long have faced communal violence and marginalization. Under the current central government, we had a campaign by radical Hindu outfits to convert Muslims to Hinduism, attacks in the name of cow protection, and lynching on a wide scale until these stopped some time back when those behind them realized that it was giving them very bad publicity internationally. So, these attacks stopped abruptly just as they had started abruptly.But policies of polarization and marginalization continue unabated. The latest was the citizenship law controversy which in essence wanted to push Muslims to second-class citizens’ status. Protests were held all over the country, some lasted more than one hundred days. Then came the manufactured riots in the northeast district of Delhi. These riots broke the back of Muslim community in parts of the national capital. The hate-mongers were so blind that in their planning they failed to factor the very high-profile visit of US President Donald Trump.The riots were taking place barely six kilometers away from the place where Trump and the foreign journalists were staying. The journalists rushed to the northeast district to cover the violence. This brought a very bad name to our country. These reports, coupled with the anti-citizenship law protests all over the country, reached all over the world.Reactions came from countries and organizations including from the Arab world. One such reaction came in the shape of an official decision of the council of ministers of Kuwait. I saw, rather belatedly, a copy of this decision of the Kuwaiti government in the form of a letter sent from the council of ministers to the foreign minister of Kuwait to act on this decision. I liked this gesture and decided to thank Kuwait for it. This is how that tweet in question was written."




 Delhi court dismisses JNU Sharjeel Imam's application for statutory bail

NEW DELHI: A Delhi court Monday dismissed an application of JNU student and anti-CAA activist Sharjeel Imam, booked under stringent anti-terror law -- UAPA -- seeking bail on the ground that the investigation was not concluded within the statutory period of 90 days. Imam was arrested on Jan.28 from Bihar in the case related to violent protests against CAA near Jamia Millia Islamia in Dec. The statutory period 90 days would have concluded on April 27. In the application, he contended that the trial court's April 25 order extending the period of investigation in the case to 90 days more is bad in law.Rejecting the contention, Additional Sessions Judge Dharmender Rana, said the order extending the period of investigation was passed before expiry of the statutory time period of 90 days.Imam is currently lodged in Guwahati jail in a case related to UAPA registered by Assam police.The counsel for Imam argued that the investigating agency did not conclude the probe within the specified time limit and hence the accused has an indefeasible right to be released on statutory bail. The lawyer submitted that although on April 25, a period of investigation was extended for a further period of 90 days by a Roster Judge, that order is not in consonance with the statutory provisions. The counsel further contended that the court which passed the order for extension of probe period was not competent enough and no report was filed by public prosecutor and thus the order was non-est (does not exist) in the eyes of law."Even no notice was served upon the accused before the extension of time and in the absence of any notice, the court could not have extended the statutory time period," he submitted.


Demand for Release of Akhil Gogoi, Other Anti-CAA Protesters Mounting Amidst Coronavirus Spread in Assam

GUWAHATI:Academicians, journalists and civil society leaders here have demanded the release of renowned activist Akhil Gogoi and other anti-CAA protesters from jails as COVID-19 or Coronavirus is spreading in the state.“Government is believed to have conspired to keep Akhil Gogoi in jail for long times by imposing one case after another only for his disagreement with government decision. Taking the advances of lockdown, government are trying to dismantle united voice raised against controversial CAA”, Abdul Mannan, retired professor of Gauhati University, told India Tomorrow.He appealed to the Assam government to release peasants’ leader Akhil Gogoi in the wake of COVID-19 outbreak. Gogoi was in the forefront of anti-CAA protests in the state earlier this year.Krishak Mukti Sangram Samiti (KMSS) adviser Gogoi and its three other top leaders have been kept in jail for more than four months on multiple cases registered at various police stations in the state.India Tomorrow


Pakistan trying to secularise Kashmir militancy, says police officer as Lashkar regroups in Valley as The Resistance Front: indian express report

Srinagar : In Oct.last year, a grenade thrown at a street market in Srinagar city exploded wounding a few vendors. An unknown militant outfit, The Resistance Front (TRF), claimed responsibility, but the security agencies trashed it as an “act of miscreants” to force a shutdown in the Valley. 6 months later, little-known outfit is taking to the centrestage of militancy in Kashmir with its involvement in the recent encounters that resulted in heavy damage to army and paramilitary forces. The security officials, however, say militant outfit is a front of Lashkar-e-Toiba, working together with other militant outfits and is new only in its name.“After the abrogation of Jammu Kashmir’s special status, Pakistan was under pressure to do something from its constituency in Kashmir. So it decided to increase the pitch of militancy in Kashmir,” a senior police official and an expert in counter insurgency operations said.  “But with FATF timelines on the back of its mind, it has decided to cast a new militant outfit that is secular in its name,” he said. The police officer claims TRF is a new name given by Pakistan to LeT. “Lashkar and Jaish-e-Mohammad had religious connotation and Pakistan didn’t want that,” he said. “They wanted to secularise the Kashmir militancy and make it appear indigenous. Hence they opted for ‘Resistance’ — that has some currency in the global politics — in its name.”Police sources say while heavy damage to the army and paramilitary forces in the past one month could be coincidental, recruits of militant outfit are highly trained and battle hardened. “Unlike local militants, who have no training, these new militants seem to have trained hard. As far as we know, they are trained for at least 6 months before being inducted,” another police officer said. “The outfit has a mix of both local and foreign militants so that it looks indigenous. The surprising part is that the local militants are also very well trained in Pakistan,” this officer said.Police sources said Pakistan is also banking on the “change in international opinion about terrorism” after US and Taliban reached an agreement in Afghanistan. “In Afghanistan, they (Pakistan) virtually bailed out US. They hope US will look the other way and ignore what is happening here,” said the senior police officer. “When Taliban came in the late 90s, we saw an increase in militancy; it was the time when we faced Kargil also. We expect to see a rise in militancy again,” senior police officer said.indianexpress


Handwara encounter: Weapons of slain CRPF men stolen by militants

Srinagar : 2 weapons of 3 CRPF jawans were stolen by the militants who attacked the joint paramilitary force at Handwara in North Kashmir Monday evening, killing the three jawans. One 14-year-old civilian was also killed in “cross-firing”.Senior CRPF officials in Srinagar said on Tuesday that it has been found that two weapons of CRPF men were taken by the militants who escaped from the spot after the attack. “The militants managed to take two weapons from jawans before they fled,” said a senior CRPF officer. 3 CRPF personnel died in an attack by militants in North Kashmir’s Handwara Monday evening, a day after five security personnel, including two senior Army officers, were killed in a gunbattle with militants in Handwara of Kupwara district.


15-yr-old boy killed in Handwara encounter was differently-abled and out playing with friends

Khaipora: A differently-abled 15-year-old killed during a shootout between security forces and militants Monday evening was buried by police authorities, in the presence of his family, in Baramulla, Kashmir, Tuesday.Hazim Bhat, a native of Khaipora village in the Langate region of north Kashmir, was out with a dozen other children from his village, playing in an apple orchard, when unknown militants attacked CRPF troopers deployed nearby. While the other children managed to escape after hearing gunfire, Bhat, who suffered from a severe neurological ailment, could not. He has been buried in Baramullah’s Sheeri, at a cemetery used to bury foreign or unidentified militants. theprint


After Handwara gunfight, Shiv Sena asks for another surgical strike, but without boasting about it

Uddhav Thackeray-led Shiv Sena said “there should be a surgical strike without tom tomming about it” in retaliation to killing of 5 Indian security forces personnel in a gunfight with militants in J&K’s Handwara on Sunday, PTI reported.“Let there be a surgical strike without tom tomming about it to avenge the martyrdom of 5 jawans. It is not a good sign that 5 of our jawans are killed in one go,” an editorial in Shiv Sena mouthpiece Saamna read. Shiv Sena said while the fight against coronavirus continues, Kashmir cannot be ignored. “Land of Kashmir is soaked with the blood of Colonel Sharma and other brave soldiers at a time when Indian Army showered flowers on Covid-19 warriors. This is not a good picture.” It added, “Somebody should shower petals on relatives of these martyrs also. Play bands, light up lamps, candles to salute them too.”scroll


Pulitzer Prize questions India’s legitimacy over Kashmir ; awards 3 photographers from J&K for coverage after it lost special status     

In a major controversy, the Pulitzer Prize board has questioned India's legitimacy over Kashmir, calling the valley a "contested territory" whose "independence" was revoked and "executed through a communications blackout".This year, US-based Pulitzer Prize for best feature photography has been awarded to 3 AP photographers -- Mukhtar Khan and Dar Yasin from Kashmir and Channi Anand from Jammu, "for their striking images of life in the contested territory of Kashmir as India revoked its independence, executed through a communications blackout".The photographers captured images of protests, the police, paramilitary action and daily life in Jammu and Kashmir after phone and internet services were shut down in August last year, making it difficult for the world to gain access to the region. This year, apart from questioning India's sovereignty over Kashmir, the Pulitzer board also stirred another controversy by giving the best commentary award to Nikole Hannah-Jones of New York Times "for a sweeping, deeply reported and personal essay for the ground-breaking 1619 Project, which seeks to place the enslavement of Africans at the center of America's story, prompting public conversation about the nation's founding and evolution". IANS/ scroll


Darbar Move waste of time and effort, says J&K High Court, asks govt to consider viability

Jammu and Kashmir High Court Tuesday observed that there was no “legal justification or Constitutional basis” for the Darbar Move, a 148-year-old tradition in which the capital of the region is relocated twice a year — from Srinagar to Jammu during winter months and vice-versa in the summers.A bench comprising Chief Justice Gita Mittal and Justice Rajnesh Oswal, said that the Darbar Move resulted in “wastage of tremendous amount of time, efforts and energy on inefficient and unnecessary activity (say, packing of records)”.It, however, did not issue any direction to the authorities, taking note of the limitations on its jurisdiction.theprint


Goons Thrash Kashmiri Workers in Assam’s Silchar, One Arrested

NEW DELHI – A video clip showing some Kashmiri workers having been beaten up by a mob of goons surfaced on the social media on Tuesday. The video is from Silchar, Cachar district of Assam.The incident took place in the Srikona village near Silchar twon at the intervening night of May 4 and 5. A man, in the background of the visuals, can be heard narrating the incident breathlessly. He alleged that the attackers were the workers of the ruling BJP.“Kashmiris are facing violence here and the government of Assam is sleeping,” rues the narrator. “Where is Assam police?”The grainy video shot in the dark amidst commotion shows two men purportedly victims of the attack are hauled into a van surrounded by a crowd. The narrator says harassment of Kashmiris is a routine affair in Assam.Clarion India


Arnab Goswami Moves to SC Seeking Quashing of Another FIR and Protection of Family & Colleagues at Republic TV

Arnab Goswami has sought quashing of FIR from the Supreme Court against a fresh FIR registered him allegedly accusing him of disturbing communal peace through his debate on Republic Bharat, News channel by Irfan Abubakar Shaikh, Secretary of Raza Educational Welfare Society. Irfan in FIR filed by him has alleged that Arnab had designated the migrants who were collected in Mumbai Bandra Station calling them Actors planted by the anti-national elements, on 14th April.Whereas, the petition filed by Advocate Pragya Baghel states that, “It is obvious that realizing the difficulties being faced by the Mumbai Police in trying to frame the Petitioner in that case, and in order to create yet some more grounds for harassing the Petitioner, the Mumbai Police, has registered FIR based on a Complaint filed by the Respondent No.3, which is patently false, vindictive, frivolous, malicious and precipitated with malice.”The plea has also sought protection for his family and colleagues at Republic TV.indialegallive



SC refuses to entertain a Dalit district judge’s petition for elevation to HC alleging discrimination

The Supreme Court on Monday has refused to entertain a petition filed by a Dalit district judge from Karnataka against alleged caste-based discrimination, saying “it was filed at eleventh hour”. Dalit judge, RKGMM Mahaswamiji has approached the Supreme Court against Karnataka HC collegium’s decision to promote his junior “overlooking his seniority”.In his petition, Mahaswamiji who worked as Shivamogga principal district judge, said that the Karnataka HC collegium overlooked his relative seniority in recommending “junior district judge” Padmaraj N. Desai for elevation to Karnataka High Court.Challenging the appointment, Dalit judge approached the SC nearly half an hour before Justice Desai was sworn in, reported the media.nationalheraldindia


3 women in Bihar branded as witches, thrashed, tonsured and paraded

PATNA: 3 women in Muzaffarpur district were allegedly branded as witches, and thrashed and tonsured by a group of people on May 4. A video of the incident went viral on social media, following which local police lodged a case and arrested nine people.The incident, said police officials happened on May 4 at Dakrama village under the Hathaudi Police Station of Muzaffarpur district in north Bihar. The video of the incident went viral on social media on Tuesday.“The incident took place on Monday...nine persons, including the main accused Shyam Sahani, have been arrested,” said a senior police official of the district. “Raids are being conducted to nab the absconding accused, who had apparently tonsured the heads of the women,” said Amitesh Kumar, ASP. He also said “neither the victims nor the villagers informed the police about the incident”.All three women, who are from the same family, were performing some rituals at a place in the village when they were allegedly caught by angry villagers on suspicion of being involved in black magic. They were thrashed, tonsured and paraded half-naked in the village.thehindu


Journalist Rizwana Commits Suicide; Her Article Highlights Difficulties of Being Hijabi Journalist

VARANASI- Rizwana Tabassum, who was working with many prominent news portals, allegedly committed suicide on Monday at her residence in Varanasi. She left behind a suicide note which blames Samajwadi leader Shamim Nomani for her suicide.27-years-old Rizwana Tabassum used to do journalism for The Wire Hindi, The Quint, Khabar Lahariya, BBC, Newsclick Hindi, Asiaville Hindi etc.Her father filed an FIR against Nomani and the police arrested him for the abutment to suicide.“The police went to her place after a call from her family. Her body has been sent for postmortem and an FIR has been launched. The complaint has been launched on the basis of the note found in her room,”  said Ashok Pandey, head of local police.According to her brother Mohammed Azam, she had been coordinating with ration delivery work with a trust, along with Nomani. And he rubbished any possibility of romantic relationship of Rizwana with Nomani. A friend of Rizwana said that she had been upset for past week, reports Newslaundry.Clarion India


India’s weather conditions may become ‘near unliveable’ in the next 50 years, finds study

India is among the countries where weather conditions may become near unliveable in the next 50 years if greenhouse gas emissions are not reduced, according to a study published in the Proceedings of National Academy of Sciences journal on Tuesday. Some places in India are at the risk of becoming as hot as the Sahara desert.Apart from India, places in Pakistan, Nigeria, Indonesia and Sudan face similar risks. It would mean that 3.5 billion people would live outside the climate “niche” in which humans have thrived for 6,000 years, said the study conducted by scientists from China, US  and Europe.scroll





Ex-US envoys to Israel urge Democratic leaders to adopt a pro-Palestinian platform

US Democratic Party has been urged by top level American diplomats to include a number of pro-Palestinian positions within its platform for this year’s presidential election. The request was made in a letter to Democratic National Committee (DNC) signed by 32 leading US foreign policy professionals.Among the signatories are: Martin Indyk, former US ambassador to Israel and US Special Envoy for Israeli–Palestinian Negotiations; Daniel Kurtzer, former US ambassador to Israel; Rob Malley, ex Special Assistant to President Barack Obama;Ned Price, former Special Assistant to President Obama; and Ben Rhodes, former Deputy National Security Adviser.In their letter sent to DNC yesterday, seen by MEMO, party leaders are urged not to remain silent on the Palestinian issue by endorsing Palestinians’ right to self-determination, security and freedom while opposing Israel’s ongoing occupation and settlement expansion.


Libya: GNA launch offensive to capture al-Watiya airbase

Soldiers from Libya's internationally recognised Government of National Accord (GNA) attacked an airbase controlled by the forces of renegade military commander Khalifa Haftar. The operation was launched early on Tuesday by troops loyal to the Tripoli-based GNA, which managed to seize control of major parts of the al-Watiya airbase, southwest of the capital, sources said.Al Jazeera's Mahmoud Abdelwahed, reporting from Tripoli, said Haftar's Libyan National Army (LNA) was forced back to the southern part of the key airbase.



 Compiled and edited by Anwarulhaq (Released at: 8:29 PM)*


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