11 June 2020

11 JUNE NEWS: US report cites cow vigilantism, CAA, J&K status to note religious ‘discrimination’ in India. US Black Lives Matter protests spur calls for India to wake up to Dalit discrimination


11 JUNE 2020: 18 SHAWWAL 1441:Vol: 12,No:230


US report cites cow vigilantism, CAA, Article 370 to note religious ‘discrimination’ in India


New Delhi: Cow vigilantism, scrapping of Article 370, CAA, lynching of Tabrez Ansari and the Ayodhya verdict — US State Dept.has taken note of these issues in its annual Report on International Religious Freedom(IRF) of 2019 while it highlighted concerns of US officials on incidents of “violence and discrimination against religious and ethnic minorities”.The report, released Wednesday by Secretary of State Mike Pompeo, was submitted to US Congress stating that senior officials of Trump administration had repeatedly raised these concerns with their Indian counterparts.“Today the State Department released a report detailing the status of religious freedom around the world. This report testifies to the fact that in many places, globally, individuals have become more familiar with religious oppression than religious freedom,” said Sam Brownback, Ambassador at Large for International Religious Freedom, while releasing the report. According to the report, while Modi govt revoked the special status of Muslim-majority state of Jammu and Kashmir, it “sparked protests, criticism from Muslim leaders, and challenges filed in the Supreme Court from opposition politicians, human rights activists, and others”,the report said.“The (Indian) govt sent thousands of additional security forces to the region, shut down many internet and phone lines, and had not restored full service by year’s end. The government also closed most mosques in the area until mid-Dec. 17 civilians and three security personnel were killed during the protests,”report stated. The report also mentioned in detail the widespread protests and legal challenges that erupted in India due to the govt’s controversial CAA. The report noted that this was not extended to “similarly-situated migrants who are Muslims, Jews, atheists, or members of other faiths”.“Some officials of Hindu-majority parties, including from BJP, made inflammatory public remarks or social media posts against minority communities,” 27-page report further stated.In the annual religious minorities report, the State Department took a note of rising incidents of “cow vigilantism” across the country.

US religious freedom report takes note of CAA, NRC, J&K status


 India denied visa to US teams that flagged concerns about religious freedom last year


Ministry of External Affairs had denied visa to teams from US Commission on International Religious Freedom last year after it flagged concerns about the controversial Citizenship Act, PTI reported. Minister of External Affairs S Jaishankar said the panel has no locus standi to pronounce on the state of Indian citizens’ constitutionally protected rights.The commission had also sought sanctions against Union Home Minister Amit Shah for the passage of the Citizenship Amendment Act. In a letter on June 1 to Bharatiya Janata Party MP Nishikant Dubey who had raised the matter during the Winter session of Lok Sabha, Jaishankar said India will not accept any external interference or pronouncement on its sovereignty and fundamental rights of its citizens.He added that the USCIRF has been known to make prejudiced, inaccurate, and misleading observations regarding the state of religious freedom in India. “We do not take cognizance of these pronouncements and have repudiated such attempts to misrepresent information related to India,” the minister wrote.Jaishankar said the MEA had rejected the panel’s remarks as inaccurate and unwarranted. “We have also denied visa to USCIRF teams that have sought to visit India in connection with issues related to religious freedom, as we do not see the locus standi of a foreign entity like USCIRF to pronounce on the state of Indian citizens constitutionally protected rights,” he wrote.

 CAA: 95 Retired civil servants criticise vilification of activist Harsh Mander for his Jamia speech


A group of 95 retired civil servants has criticised the “misrepresentation and mischaracterization” of social activist Harsh Mander’s speech at Jamia Millia in Dec. They alleged that Mander’s speech was misconstrued as hate speech and that he was wrongly accused of inciting violence and contempt of court.In March, the Supreme Court had refused to hear a petition filed by Mander seeking action against leaders of the Bharatiya Janata Party for their hate speeches leading up to the violence in Delhi until the matter of the activist’s allegedly derogatory comments about the judiciary were sorted out. “You made statements against the Supreme Court,” CJI SA Bobde had said. “We will not hear you now... If this is what Harsh Mander feels about the Supreme Court, then we will have to decide on that first.” The signatories include former Rajasthan Chief Secretary Salauddin Ahmad, former Cabinet Secretary Vappala Balachandran, former Portugal Ambassador Madhu Bhaduri and former health secretary Keshav Desiraju, among others. They call themselves the “Constitutional Conduct Group”. The group had first issued a statement in this matter on March 22.


"Charges Against My Husband Are Fabricated", Says Nargis Saifi, Wife of Activist Khalid Saifi


New Delhi;Nargis Saifi, wife of activist Khalid Saifi, who has been booked by the Delhi Police Crime Branch in connection with the Northeast Delhi riots, has said that the charges levelled against her husband are “fabricated”. She said, “All the charges levelled against my husband are fabricated and concocted”.She became quite emotional while talking about how Khalid was tortured by the personnel of the Jagatpuri Police Station after his arrest on February 25(according to police on February 26) from anti-CAA protest site in Khureji Khas and sustained fractures in both of his legs due to which he could not walk and was brought to the court in a wheel chair in second week of March after expiry of the 14-day police custody. His fractures and injuries have completely healed up now.“The charges are totally false against my husband. Everyday police is coming up with one or the other new stories cooked up against him. I don’t know why are they doing this?”, she said.indiatomorrow


Delhi HC Stays probe Against Vinod Dua after an FIR Accusing Him of Spreading Communal Enmity


The Delhi High Court has temporarily stayed the investigation against Vinod Dua in an FIR which alleges him of spreading misinformation and causing communal enmity on his YouTube show.While holding that there's no prima facie case against Mr Dua to warrant the registration of FIR, the Single Bench of Justice Anup Jairam Bhambhani noted that there is no allegation that any adverse consequences, in terms of enmity, hatred or ill-will, muchless any violence or breach of peace, occurred as a consequence of the webcast.FIR, which was filed by Mr Naveen Kumar, complained about a section of Vinod Dua's YouTube show which had talked about the riots that had happened in northeast district of Delhi. The FIR further recorded that Mr Vinod Dua, through his webcast, is spreading rumours and misinformation about the sensitive issue of the


Delhi HC restrains police from circulating allegations, evidence against ‘Pinjra Tod’ member


Delhi High Court has restrained Delhi Police from circulating information regarding allegations and evidence allegedly collected against ‘Pinjra Tod’ member Devangana Kalita or other accused in FIRs pertaining to the anti-CAA protests and Delhi riots, to any person or media,reports BarandBench. The order was passed by a single Judge Bench of Justice Vibhu Bakhru.Kalita is an accused in as many as four FIRs pertaining to the anti-CAA protests and Delhi riots. She is presently in judicial custody in connection with the FIR registered for February Jaffrabad anti-CAA sit-in protest.She was recently granted bail in the Daryaganj FIR which was registered in connection with December Anti-CAA protests. Kalita (petitioner) contended that Crime Branch of Delhi Police was feeding selective information and the evidence allegedly collected against her in the cases to media.She claimed that this information, which was being circulated by the Delhi Police in the form of a "Brief Note", was misleading and was likely to prejudice the trial of all accused persons including the petitioner.


'She May Abscond': Bengaluru Court Rejects Bail Plea Of 19-Year-Old Student Leona Who Shouted 'Pak Zindabad'


A court has rejected bail plea of Amulya Leona, who raised 'Pakistan Zindabad' slogans at an anti-CAA rally at Freedom park in Bengaluru in February. Rejecting the bail plea of 19-year-old Amulya Leona on Wednesday, 60th additional city civil and sessions judge Vidyadhar Shirahatti observed that the probe has not been completed and the investigation officer has not yet filed the charge sheet."If the petitioner is released on bail, she may abscond or she may be involved in a similar offence, which affects the peace at large," the judge said adding the bail petition of the petitioner is liable to be rejected.A student activist and college student, Leona had raised pro Pakistan slogans during protest meeting against CAA, NRC and NPR organised by Hindu Muslim Sikh Isaai Federation on Feb. 20.PTI


Nearly 4 thousands arrested in last 6 months in cow slaughtering and smuggling cases in UP: Official


Luckno: In line with Uttar Pradesh govt’s zero tolerance policy against smuggling and slaughtering of cows, police have arrested 3,867 in the state in last 6 months, invoking stringent NSA in 44 cases, an official said.In a special drive launched from Jan.1, this year, Uttar Pradesh police lodged a total of 1,324 cases and arrested 3,867 people involved in either cow slaughter or smuggling or both till June 8, Additional Chief Secretary (Home) Awanish Awasthi said. Awasthi apprised reporters of stringent measures against cow smugglers and slaughterers after Uttar Pradesh government approved a draft Uttar Pradesh Cow Slaughter Prevention (Amendment) Ordinance, 2020.PTI


Declare cow as national animal, impose fine of Rs 20 lakh on people selling gaumata to butchers: AIMIM leader


Guwahati: A day after Uttar Pradesh government approved an Ordinance to prevent cow slaughtering, AIMIM leader Syed Asim Waqar on Wednesday appealed to the Modi-led govt at Centre and Yogi Adityanath to declare cow as the national animal.He asked all the chief ministers of BJP-ruled states to formulate and implement a plan to take care of the ‘mother’ cow. The AIMIM leader said people who tend cows, but sell their ‘Gaumata’to butchers when it stops giving milk, should also be punished and sent to jail along with the imposition of Rs 20 lakh fine.He criticised the Centre and Uttar Pradesh government for failing to implement a strategy on cows.timesnownews


Special CBI court records statements of six accused in Babri Masjid demolition case


New Delhi: The special CBI court trying Babri Masjid demolition case has so far recorded the statements of six accused in as many working days, even as the construction of Ram temple in Ayodhya commenced on Wednesday.The court had put more than 6,000 questions — a little over 1,000 each — to the accused under Section 313 of the Criminal Procedure Code on the basis of evidence produced by the prosecution.Statements of Vijay Bahadur, Gandhi Yadav, Prakash Sharma, Ram ji Gupta, Ram Vilas Vedanti and Brij Bhushan Sharan Singh have been recorded.Two other co-accused, Pawan Kumar Pandey and Satish Pradhan June, appeared in court on Wednesday, while eight more have been asked to be present on Thursday and Friday.As the questions asked to the accused are lengthy, the court is aiming to conclude the process of recording the statement of one person per day.PTI


US Black Lives Matter protests spur calls for India to wake up to Dalit discrimination


Spurred on by US anti-racism protests, Dalit campaigners on June 10 called on India to acknowledge centuries of oppression they have endured and recognise that “every life matters”.Dalit campaigners said they supported the Black Lives Matter protests in response to the death of African-American George Floyd after he was knelt on by a white police officer, and hoped it would ignite a similar conversation in India.“We extend our solidarity because we feel them and we have faced discrimination ourselves,” said Omprakash Mahato, president of the Birsa Ambedkar Phule Students Association, a Dalit organisation at Jawaharlal Nehru University.Sadhvi Geeta Pradhan, member of the Scheduled Castes and Scheduled Tribes Commission, arrive at Hanuman Nagar in Moradabad on June 7, 2020 to inquire about the murder of a Dalit man and his son, who were allegedly beaten to death by their neighbours over a property dispute.“In India, people need to admit their role in everyday discrimination faced by Dalits and only then can a dialogue for change be initiated. We hope what they are seeing unfolding globally will lead to soul searching,” said Mr. Mahato. “People need to understand that every life matters.”Ruth Manorama, who works for rights of Dalit women, said, “Indian Dalits have historically learnt a lot from the struggle of African-Americans.” She added: “This is a good moment to challenge the narrative in India also and talk about the age-old repression of Dalits, which is visible even during the COVID-19 pandemic with discrimination denying people aid.”Dalits were among the worst hit by India’s strict lockdown, often having to wait longer for their turn to receive food or financial aid at local distribution points, and even being turned away, she said.Over 300 people have signed a Change.org petition emphasising that the “lives of Dalits and minorities matter too” and urging Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi to “admit ... that caste discrimination is included in racial discrimination”.“It is a good time for people in India to understand and to point out to the government that racial discrimination is not only what you see in America,” said Henri Tiphagne of People’s Watch, a charity backing the petition. “It is the same as how so-called ‘untouchables’ are treated in India.”REUTERS


Uddhav govt orders probe after Pune man lynched by upper-caste girl’s family


Maharashtra government has ordered an inquiry into the death of a 20-year-old man who was allegedly lynched for stalking an upper-caste girl in Pune.Police have arrested the girl’s father, brother, uncle and cousin besides detaining two minors as well. All of them are booked for murder and under relevant provisions of the ST and ST Act.Viraj Vilas Jagtap, a residence of Pimple Saudagar suburb of Pune, was said to be involved in an inter-caste relationship with a girl belonging to an upper caste.  Jagtap was killed on the night of June 7. Maharashtra Minister Nitin Raut has promised to ensure that the guilty would be punished.According to the Pune Police, the girl’s family members accused Viraj of stalking and harassing her and that the fight took place over the “trouble which he was causing to the girl”. Viraj was a second-year student at a local college and worked part-time in a transport firm.According to FIR, Viraj, who was on his bike, was initially chased by 6 people in a tempo.newindianexpress

Maharashtra: Two Dalit Men Killed in Separate Incidents, Police 'Acted Late'



Reservation not fundamental right: Supreme Court rejects petition seeking OBC quota in Tamil Nadu medical colleges


The Supreme Court on Thursday once again said that right to reservation is not a fundamental right while rejecting pleas challenging the Centre’s decision to not grant 50% reservation to OBCs in Tamil Nadu medical colleges.The Supreme Court bench of Justices L Nageswara Rao, Krishna Murari and S Ravindra Bhat said that “right to reservation is not a fundamental right”.“Whose fundamental rights are being violated? Article 32 is available only for violation of a fundamental right. We assume you are all interested in fundamental rights of the citizens of Tamil Nadu,” said the court while replying to the DMK petitioner.The Supreme Court has refused to entertain a bunch of pleas filed by various political parties against the Centre's decision not to grant 50% reservation to OBCs as per Tamil Nadu law in medical seats surrendered by the state in the All India Quota for under graduate, post graduate and dental courses in 2020-21.The court told lawyers for DMK, Vaiko, Anbumani Ramadoss, CPI(M), Tamil Nadu Congress and CPI that they are free to approach the Madras High Court with their pleas.


Another Case of Caste Violence in UP: Lynch Mob Beats Up, Parades 3 Dalits


In yet another shocking case of caste violence, three Dalit men were subjected to mob attack. A video clip showing the ordeal of the trio being tied up, beaten and paraded around with shoes hanging from their necks surfaced on the social media.The incident, according to reports, took place in Barauli Khalilabad village near Lucknow, the capital city of Uttar Pradesh, a week ago. The victims come from marginalised and oppressed sections of the socio-religious hierarchy. They were subjected to such grotesque humiliation on an unsubstantiated charge that they all were involved in steeling a fan from an upper caste household.


Palghar case: SC issues notice to Centre, Maharashtra govt on pleas seeking CBI, NIA probe


The Supreme Court today issued a notice to the Maharashtra government and Centre on 2 petitions seeking separate inquiries in Palghar lynching case by CBI and NIA, Live Law reported. The next hearing is scheduled for the second week of July. A bench comprising Justices Ashok Bhushan, MR Shah and V Ramasubramanian heard the matter through videoconferencing. The petitions were filed by sadhus of Shri Panch Dashban Juna Akhara and relatives of the deceased spiritual teachers. They alleged that the state authorities were being biased in their investigation, PTI reported.While the petition filed by Juna Akhara sought a CBI probe, the petition filed by Ghanshyam Upadhaya asked for an NIA investigation.scroll


Arnab Goswami made to wait outside Mumbai police station for four hours as Republic TV CFO grilled


Arnab Goswami looked helpless while standing outside the NM Joshi Police Station in Mumbai, waiting to face another round of police interrogation. He told a reporter from his own TV channel that he was being made to wait for four hours outside the NM Joshi Marg Police Station as cops interrogated his CFO, S Sundaram. This came days after FIR actress Kavita Kaushik and Saif Ali Khan’s co-star Kubbra Sait slammed the controversial anchor for his on air shenanigans.A visibly frustrated Goswami said, “They called me at 2 PM and I arrived here on time…All these cases have been filed by Vadra-Congress and Sonia-Sena govt against Republic Media Network…We had exposed the conspiracy in the Bandra case. This is the reward we are getting for exposing the truth. You are called to the police station to explain your journalism.”Goswami’s interrogation started at around 6 PM after the cops grilled his CFO for six hours. Goswami wondered if the police were trying to stop him from anchoring his prime time TV shows both on Republic Bharat and Republic TV.Goswami came out of the police station after around 90 minutes of interrogation. The police have said that Goswami will be called again for questioning.

 Congress sends Surjewala to meet Rajasthan MLAs, senior leader says it is ‘internal politics’


The crisis concerning the Congress members in the Rajasthan Assembly ahead of June 19 Rajya Sabha elections could be related to the party's internal politics, a senior Congress leader said on Thursday.However, with the first signs of trouble in the State on Wednesday, the Congress sent its chief spokesperson Randeep Surjewala to Jaipur by a special chartered flight to reach out to the party MLAs.


Rajasthan: BJP delayed Rajya Sabha polls to finish ‘buying and selling’, alleges CM Ashok Gehlot


Rajasthan Chief Minister Ashok Gehlot has accused the Bharatiya Janata Party of deliberately delaying the Rajya Sabha elections by two months, so that they could complete their “buying and selling” in the state as well as in Gujarat, NDTV reported on Thursday.This came hours after the Gehlot-led Congress government in Rajasthan sequestered its legislators to a resort in Jaipur to swamp the BJP’s efforts of alleged poaching ahead of the elections to the three seats of the Rajya Sabha on June 19.The chief minister alleged that some of the party MLAs were offered Rs 25 crore in cash with an advance of Rs 10 crore to switch sides. He called this a “plan similar to the one in Madhya Pradesh”. In March, Kamal Nath-led Congress government in Madhya Pradesh collapsed after 22 MLAs considered close to Jyotiraditya Scindia resigned. They later joined BJP.


SC says Centre’s move to charge Rs 4 lakh crore from PSUs as revenue is ‘totally impermissible’


The Supreme Court on Thursday termed as “totally impermissible” Department of Telecommunications’ move to seek Rs 4 lakh crore as dues towards Adjusted Gross Revenue from public sector units, PTI reported. In response, the department said it will file an affidavit explaining why such revenue is being charged against the units. On January 15, the top court had dismissed petitions filed by telecom firms such as Bharti Airtel and Vodafone Idea seeking a review of its earlier order that allowed the government to collect Rs 1.47 lakh crore in past statutory dues by January 23. The court said it did not find any “justifiable reason” to entertain the petitions. On May 18, the top court criticised the telecom firms for self-assessing their outstanding telecom dues. The court said the firms need to pay the outstanding dues along with interest and penalty, amounting to a total of Rs 1.6 lakh crore. The SC also lashed out at Department of Telecommunications for allowing the companies to reassess their dues.However, on Thursday, the court said its orders had been misused.


Uncertain if recovery of economy will happen in second half or next year: CEA Subramanian


At a time when Moody’s downgraded the country’s rating, Chief Economic Advisor Krishnamurthy Subramanian on Thursday said India’s fundamentals demand a much better rating.Subramanian also said Finance Ministry was working on a large range of growth estimates for this year and a recovery in the second half or next year was also part of baseline expectation.“It is uncertain if the recovery will happen in the second half of this year or next year. We keep all options under consideration and will be evaluating them,” PTI quoted Subramanian as saying. Chief Economic Advisor also said the Finance Ministry had evaluated pros and cons of options such as deficit monetisation.


Municipal Workers Dump Dead Body in Garbage Van in UP; Viral Video Triggers Outrage


New Delhi: A video clip surfaced on the social media shows some municipal workers lifting a dead body lying on the roadside and dumping it in a garbage van in the presence of police officials in Balrampur town of UP.Alok Panday, a journalist from UP who posted the video on his Twitter page, identified the deceased as Mohd Anwar who he wrote died on the road outside a government office on Wednesday. He captioned the videos:“Shameful, appalling.”Taking cognizance of the incident, Balrampur police announced on the Twitter suspension of the two police constables who were present at the scene. The police termed the incident as “insensitive and regrettable”. The tweet added that the four municipality employees have also been found guilty.The police chief of the district Dev Ranjan Verma has announced “bigger enquiry” into the incident.


SC Imposes Cost Of Rs 5 Lac On PIL Seeking Ban On Coca Cola, Thumbs Up


The Supreme Court on Thursday came down heavily on a social worker who had filed a plea seeking ban & prohibition on the sale and use of Coca Cola, Thumbs up and other soft drinks citing health concerns on their consumption.A bench of Justices DY Chandrachud, Hemant Gupta & Ajay Rastogi imposed a cost of Rs. 5 Lakh on the petitioner, observing that the petitioner, "lacked technical knowledge" on the subject and his assertions stood "unsubstantiated".


Amidst Communal Bid over Kerala Incident, Bihar’s Muslim Man Wills Half His Property to His Two Elephants


Patna:Days after the brazen attempts by some BJP leaders and their followers to falsely give a communal colour to the tragic death of a pregnant elephant in Kerala, a Muslim man in Bihar has announced to will half his property worth Rs 5 crore to his two elephants whom he has been looking after for past several years.“Animals are faithful, unlike humans. I’ve worked for the conservation of elephants for many years. I don’t want that after my death my elephants are orphaned,”Akhtar Imam,animal lover in Patna, was quoted as saying by ANI.Imam, who is chief manager of Asian Elephant Rehabilitation and Wildlife Animal Trust (AERAWAT), owns 2 elephants – Moti (15 years old) and Rani (20 years old). He has been taking care of them since they were 12 years old.


7,000 shifted, 35 houses destroyed in Assam blaze as oil well fire rages


Around 7,000 people have been evacuated while the inferno completely and partially burnt more than 35 houses as the fire fighters, NDRF, and engineers intensified their efforts to douse the oil well fire in Assam for the third day on Thursday, officials said.At least two fire fighters of Oil India Ltd (OIL) were killed and four others including one from ONGC (Oil and Natural Gas Corporation) were injured near the oil well blowout site in Assam's Tinsukia district on Wednesday. The inferno was so intense that it could be seen from as far as 10 km away.IANS


Despite protests, riots, COVID-19, Jamia in India''s top 10 varsities


 Delhi''s Jamia Millia Islamia, despite witnessing massive political protests and clashes recently followed by wrath of the COVID-19 pandemic, has succeeded in maintaining its prestige, after it secured a spot in the top 10 universities in India, that too for the first time.The varsity for the first time secured a spot in the top 10 of HRD ministry''s NIRF India Ranking Report 2020 released by HRD Minister Ramesh Pokhriyal Nishank. JMI has been ranked at the 10th position in the country in universities category, improving its position from 12 last year. In the overall category the university has been placed at 16th position, jumping three spots up from its 19th rank last year. Top institutions like IITs, IIMs, IISc, other top technical institutions and universities are included in the overall category."The achievement is all the more significant because of the challenging time the university has faced recently and also in the light of increased competition in the ranking," said JMI Vice Chancellor Dr Najma Akhtar expressing her delight over the performance of the varsity.JMI''s Faculty of Law has been ranked at 9th position, Faculty of Architecture and Ekistics at 10th, Faculty of Dentistry at 19th, Faculty of Engineering & Technology at 28th and Faculty of Management at 34th position in the country by NIRF-2020.The said rankings are given on the basis of parameters that include teaching, learning and resources, research and professional practices, graduation outcomes, outreach and inclusivity and perception.IANS


JNU ranked among top three universities in HRD Ministry’s annual ranking


IIT Madras, IISc Bangalore and IIT Delhi bagged the top three positions among educational institutions in the country in the HRD Ministry's National Institutional Ranking Framework (NIRF) announced on Thursday.As per the annual rankings, the top 3 universities are---IISc Bangalore, Jawaharlal Nehru University and Banaras Hindu University.PTI



India, China maintaining engagements to resolve border standoff at earliest: MEA


Ministry of External Affairs said on Thursday India and China were maintaining military and diplomatic engagements to peacefully resolve the border row at the earliest even though it did not respond to reports on troops moving back from standoff positions in the Galwan and Hot Spring areas of Ladakh.MEA spokesperson Anurag Srivastava said both sides had agreed to work for an early resolution to the issue in keeping with broader guidance provided by leaders of the two countries for ensuring peace and tranquillity along the border areas.“A meeting was held between core commanders of India and China on June 6. This meeting was in continuation of our diplomatic and military engagement which both sides maintained in order to address the situation in areas along the India-China border,” Srivastava said in a media briefing.


China Says 'Agreement' Reached With India, ‘Two Sides’ Acting to ‘Ameliorate’ Situation


New Delhi: After Indian defence officials said Chinese troops were observed to have “thinned” out in at least four stand-off points, China on Wednesday said that “actions” were being taken by both sides in line with an “agreement” reached with India to “ameliorate the border situation”.This was the first official statement from either country that there had been some de-escalation on the ground in eastern Ladakh following talks between the two sides. However, the Chinese side did not provide any detail on the “actions” it said the “two sides” had taken at the border. Military sources had earlier stated that the density of Chinese troops at Galwan and Hot Springs had come down from Monday, which was reciprocated by India but that there had been no change in status at Pangong Tso, where Chinese troops are on India’s side of LAC. There had, however, been no official statement from India on these developments.“Through diplomatic and military channels, China and India have recently had effective communication and reached agreement on properly handling the situation in the west section of the China-India boundary. At present, the two sides are taking actions in line with the agreement to ameliorate the border situation,” said Chinese foreign ministry spokesperson Hua Chunying in Beijing at the regular media briefing in response to a question from AFP.


Mainstream parties seek rollback of new media policy in J&K


Srinagar :Terming the new media policy announced by the J&K administration on June 2 a “remnant of colonial era censorship”, mainstream political parties in Union Territory on Wednesday called it an “assault on freedom of speech” and asked for its immediate rollback.The policy gives the administration powers to decide what is “fake”, “unethical” or “anti-national” news, and to take legal action against the journalist or media organisation concerned, including stopping government advertisements and sharing of information via security agencies. The policy also makes security clearance mandatory for the accreditation of journalists. Demanding the rollback of the policy, National Conference spokesperson Imran Nabi Dar said, “Such anti-democratic gags will obstruct the dissemination of free and fair press. It is also an infringement of the people’s right to information… Democracies are not supposed to fight opposing narratives by gagging its media. We denounce it in unequivocal terms.”Dar added, “The new media policy obliquely stifles the media’s right to ask tough questions and highlight lacunae in the working of administration… the new policy will choke the already constrained space for the free working of press”.


J&K: Militants escape after brief encounter in Budgam


Hours after an encounter broke out between militants and security forces in Central Kashmir’s Budgam district on Thursday, two militants, who were believed to be in the area, managed to escape, police said.A senior J&K police officer told The Indian Express that the 2 militants managed to “escape”. “We had inputs that 2 JeM militants were there. After firing and throwing grenades, they escaped. One pistol, six magazines of AK rifles and other materials were left behind,” he added.According to Police, encounter broke out at Pathanpora area of Budgam. “Encounter has started at Pathanpora area of Budgam. Police and security forces are on the job. Further details shall follow,” Kashmir Police Zone said on Twitter. The operation came a day after 5 militants were killed in Shopian district of South Kashmir. This was the third encounter in the district within 72 hours. A total of 14 militants have been killed in these three encounters.indianexpress


89 militants killed in Kashmir this year, half of them from Hizb


Srinagar :Security forces have gunned down 89 militants in the Valley so far in this year. Among those killed are top leaders of four militant outfits, including Hizbul Mujahideen operations chief Riyaz Naikoo.According to official data, more than half of the militants killed since January 1 were affiliated to Hizbul and most slain militants were local residents, Indian Express has learnt.“From January, the number of anti-militancy operations picked up with new strategies i.e focusing more on humint besides techint, maintaining maximum surprises while laying cordon of target houses and avoiding collateral damage. We have been successful in targeting the militant leadership of all main outfits in the previous months which have caused a huge setback to them… on the ground, the recruitment has gone down as compared to the first six months last year,” IGP (Kashmir) Vijay Kumar said.



Jammu and Kashmir: Soldier killed, civilian injured in exchange of fire along LoC in Rajouri


An Army soldier was killed and a civilian was injured in an exchange of fire along the Line of Control in Jammu and Kashmir’s Rajouri district on Wednesday night, reported PTI. The incident took place in Nowshera sector.“A soldier lost his life in the line of duty late Wednesday night when Pakistani troops opened heavy fire in Tarkundi sector that runs along Rajouri and Poonch districts,” said unidentified defence officials, according to the Hindustan Times. “India retaliated strongly to the unprovoked firing and shelling by the adversary.”



Jama Masjid closed till June 30 due to ‘critical’ Covid-19 situation in Delhi: Shahi Imam


The historic Jama Masjid will be closed for devotees with immediate effect till June 30 in view of “critical” conditions in the city due to a surge in Covid-19 cases, the mosque’s Shahi Imam Syed Ahmed Bukhari said on Thursday.Bukhari said he took the decision after consulting public and Islamic scholars.  The development comes after the Shahi Imam’s secretary Amanullah died due to the novel coronavirus at the Safdarjung Hospital on Tuesday night.The Shahi Imam said, “If the situation arises where the human life is at risk, it becomes obligatory to protest ones life.” “Majority of the opinion is that saving of the human lives is paramount and the Shariah (Islamic jurisprudence) has ample excuse for this,” he said.  After taking public opinion and consulting scholars, it has been decided that from ‘maghrib’ (sunset) on Thursday till June 30, no congregational prayers will be performed in the Jama Masjid, Bukhari said.“A select few people shall perform the daily five times namaz while the general worshippers will perform the prayers at their homes,” he added.


MP: MLA Arif Masood says Muslim students forced to write exam outside the examination hall


 An educational institution in Indore has reportedly forced the Muslim students to write the exam sitting outside the exam hall. Congress MLA Arif Masood has written to Chief Minister Shivraj Singh Chouhan expressing concern over the matter.Masood, an MLA from the Central region of Bhopal, wrote that a Bengali school located at Naulakha in Indore has been made a centre for the 12th class examination. This examination centre is also for the students of Islamia Karimiya School. In the examination held on June 9, students of Islamia Karimiya School were not allowed to enter the examination centre. When the students protested the administration made them sit outside the exam hall."Where communal harmony should be taught, hatred is being spread. Action should be taken against those who are found guilty," the letter read. IANS


Kanpur's Medical College Principal Who Sparked Row For Tablighi Comments Transferred


Kanpur's GSVM Medical College principal, Dr Arti Dave Lalchandani, has been transferred to the Directorate General of Medical Education in Lucknow amid the controversy over her alleged remarks against Tablighi Jamaat members.Dr Lalchandani was transferred late on Wednesday night and in her place, Dr RB Kamal, an officer on special duty with the college, has been appointed as its officiating principal, said Kanpur's District Magistrate Brahm Deo Tiwari said on Thursday.Tiwari said he received Dr Lalchandani's transfer orders on Wednesday. Dr Lalchandani had landed into a controversy after surfacing of a video clip over a fortnight ago, in which she was purportedly heard making communal remarks against Jamaat members and equating them with terrorists.In her purported remarks, she had also accused the Yogi Adityanath government of pursuing appeasement policy by providing them free treatment for COVID-19 in government hospitals.PTI


UP: 57 foreign citizens sentenced to one month imprisonment in Saharanpur


Saharanpur:A Chief Judicial Magistrate court in Saharanpur sentenced 57 foreign

residents, lodged in the district jail here since the third week of April on charges of visa violations, to one month of imprisonment each in a hearing which took place through video conferencing. Director General (Jail) Anand Kumar said that 167 foreigners linked with the Tablighi Jamaat programme had been sent to the jails in the state after being arrested under the sections of visa violations and Epidemic Act during the lockdown in UP.UNI


Magnetic card to open door; this mosque in Kozhikode reopens with hi-tech safety measures


Kozhikode: When places of worship reopened on Tuesday under strict conditions amid the pandemic outbreak, a mosque in Kuttichira attracted attention with unique hi-tech safety measures. The committee in Hydros mosque has taken special care to ensure safe prayer time by installing CCTV and magnetic card system.Devotees who arrive at Hydros Mosque will be allowed to enter after saying their name, address and phone number before CCTV camera. A magnetic card will be given to each devotee. Later, they have to show the magnetic card on a device installed near the door. The door will automatically open once the magnetic card is shown on the device.With an aim to avoid the spread of COVID-19, only people residing close to the mosque are allowed to visit.“Once the devotee shows his magnetic card on the device, his or her details will be automatically recorded on the system. So far, the card was given to 15 people,” said Abdul Salam, a committee member. He noted that the card will be given to only 45 people.



PM Modi's Hold Over Migrant Workers May Be Slipping For 1st Time: Report


For the first time since Prime Minister Narendra Modi swept to power six years ago, signs are emerging that his seemingly unshakable hold over legions of migrant workers may be slipping.Over the last two months reports have poured in from across the country about the suffering of those who lost their incomes almost overnight when PM Modi announced a nationwide lockdown. Now anger is starting to surface in key states at a leader who just last year won his second term in office with a sweeping majority."Why did he abandon us?" Jammun Jha, a textile factory worker who lost his job in Noida, asked of PM Modi. 50-year-old had been trying to get on a bus to his village on May 29, some 1,200 kilometres away in Bihar."The Modi government did very little for us this time," said Jha, who voted for the Bharatiya Janata Party last year. "Surely, people who have suffered like me will remember what we have had go through when we vote next."


Plea to Declare PM CARES Fund a 'Public Authority' Under RTI Not Maintainable: PMO to Delhi HC


 PMO has raised objection in the Delhi high court over maintainability of a plea seeking to declare PM CARES Fund as a ‘public authority’ under RTI Act. Justice Navin Chawla, who conducted the hearing through video conferencing, was told by solicitor general Tushar Mehta, who represented the PMO, that he will file a response explaining why this petition should not be entertained.The high court listed the matter for further hearing on August 28.PTI



Upto 30% People Got Infected In COVID-19 Hotspots: Government Survey


New Delhi: A maximum of 30 per cent people in urban hotspots and containment zones have unknowingly contracted and recovered from coronavirus, a survey of the general population has showed. The sero-survey conducted by the Indian Council of Medical Research, the nodal body in the fight against coronavirus was carried out across 60 districts and 6 urban hotspots of the country, including Mumbai, Chennai, Delhi and Kolkata.The sero-survey -- the testing of blood serum for presence of coronavirus antibodies -- was conducted across 83 districts including 10 hotspots. Scientists had lifted 500 samples from each hotspot areas and 400 samples from each non-hotspot districts. Around 30,000 samples were tested through ELISA test for antibodies.



Nearly 300 Doctors In Delhi’s Municipal Hospitals Threaten Mass Resignations


NEW DELHI—At least three hundred resident doctors working in two large public hospitals in Delhi, one of which provides services to patients suspected of suffering from COVID 19 and other serious ailments while the other caters to children and women, have threatened mass resignations if they are not paid their pending salaries within a week. In two separate letters to the authorities on Wednesday, the Resident Doctors’ Associations (RDA) representing around 100 doctors from the Kasturba Hospital and about 200 doctors from the Hindurao Hospital conveyed their intention of tendering ‘mass resignations’ if their salaries, pending at least for the past three months, were not paid within a week. “We cannot work without money. Being the frontline workers, we should be paid our pending salaries as soon as possible and should be ensured a regular payout,” said the doctors in the letter written by the RDA at Kasturba Hospital. “We are afraid that if we won’t be paid by 16th June 2020, we will have to move for mass resignation.”

Delhi: No salary for 3 months, doctors at Delhi’s Kasturba Hospital threaten to resign en masse



Hyderabad: Doctors continue strike even as health minister calls for another round of talks


The strike called by junior doctors at Hyderabad’s Gandhi General Hospital entered day 3 even as state Health Minister Eatala Rajender invited them to another round of talks on Thursday evening.Nearly 450 doctors sat on strike on Tuesday evening following an alleged attack on junior doctors by attendants of a deceased Covid patient at Gandhi hospital, which is the nodal hospital for Covid-19 treatment in Telangana. Telangana Junior Doctors Association (T-JUDA) also submitted a memorandum to the state health minister and chief minister, demanding increased security, decentralisation of Covid treatment, and immediate recruitment of additional staff. The state health minister had called the protesting doctors for a meeting on Wednesday.


Wrong COVID results: Noida admin probes unaccredited labs


Imagine if your COVID tests come out positive and you spend days at a government isolation centre only to learn later that your test results were inaccurate. That is a nightmare more than 20 Noida residents had to go through due to unaccredited private labs which are now being investigated.These Noida residents had gone for COVID tests after showing flu-like symptoms to unaccredited private labs. After all of their results came out positive, they were shifted to a government isolation centre.However, when their samples were sent to the National Institute of Virology, all were declared negative, sounding alarm bells for the authorities.Having been exposed to COVID patients, they are now under watch.IANS




UPSC cancels Indian Economic Service exam 2020, claims no vacancies


UPSC has cancelled the Indian Economic Services (IES) exam claiming lack of vacancies this year. In a recent notice, the Commission said, “Indian Economic Service Examination, 2020 will not be held due to NIL vacancy reported for the Indian Economic Service by the Ministry of Finance (Department of Economic Affairs).”As per the revised recruitment calendar for 2020 released earlier this month, the UPSC was to release the notification for IES and ISS recruitment exams this year. The application process too was to begin from today and the exam was scheduled to be held from October 16 onwards for three days. The same stands cancelled now. Meanwhile, for ISS posts, applications have begin for ISS posts with 47 vacancies.


Horrifying! Man killed in Delhi after argument over spitting, one held 


A 26-year-old man was killed in Delhi after a fight with another person following an argument over spitting in public, police said on Thursday.The deceased has been identified as Ankit, a resident of Bhai Veer Singh Marg, Karnataka Sangeet Sabha. He used to work as a driver, they said.On Tuesday, Ankit objected to spitting by one Praveen in Mandir Marg area and an argument broke out between them over the issue, according to police.Later on Wednesday, they fought at Shaheed Bhagat Singh Complex in central Delhi. Police received information about the incident at 8.30 pm, a senior officer said.PTI


Malaysia bars its citizens from Hajj over coronavirus fears


Malaysia will not allow its citizens to make the Hajj pilgrimage this year due to concerns over the coronavirus.Every year, Malaysia sends tens of thousands of pilgrims to Saudi Arabia, home of Islam's two holiest sites, Mecca and Medina, for the annual event.Malaysia decided to bar citizens from making the trip this year due to the risks of contracting COVID-19, the respiratory disease caused by the coronavirus, and the lack of a vaccine to treat it, said Religious Affairs Minister Zulkifli Mohamad Al-Bakri, following in the steps of neighbouring Indonesia, which is also a Muslim-majority nation."I hope the pilgrims continue to be patient and accept the decision," Zulkifli told a news conference broadcast on national television.


Covid-19: Imran Khan offers to share Pakistan’s cash transfer programme with India


Pakistan Prime Minister Imran Khan on Thursday offered to share the country’s cash transfer programme with India, after a report in Express Tribune claimed that 84% of Indian households suffered a decline in monthly income following the nationwide lockdown imposed to limit the spread of the coronavirus.“Acc[ording] to this report, 34% of households across India will not be able to survive for more than a week without add assistance,” Khan tweeted. “I am ready to offer help & share our successful cash transfer prog[ramme], lauded internationally for its reach & transparency, with India.” Khan claimed that his government had successfully transferred Pakistani Rs 120 billion (Rs 5,533 crore) to over one crore families in nine weeks. The report in The Express Tribune also said that 34% of Indian households will be unable to survive beyond a week without additional assistance. The newspaper cited a study titled “How Are Indian Households Coping Under the Covid-19 Lockdown? 8 Key Findings”, carried out by the University of Pennsylvania, University of Chicago and the Mumbai-based Centre for Monitoring the Indian Economy.scroll


Citing Coronavirus, Hundreds of Russian Election Officials Will Shun Vote to Extend Putin's Rule


Hundreds of Russian polling station officials, citing the risk of spreading the coronavirus, say they won't help organise a nationwide vote on reforms that could extend President Vladimir Putin's rule until 2036.In the July 1 ballot, Russians will vote to approve or reject constitutional reforms including a change that would allow Putin to serve two more six-year terms, if re-elected, instead of stepping down in 2024.But around 350 election officials across the country say taking part is too dangerous at a time when authorities are still reporting thousands of new infections each day despite a drop in cases in the capital Moscow.The officials have started a petition to try to encourage peers to join the boycott.The "July 1 vote poses a danger to our lives and health and to the lives and health of voters," the group said in a statement. "We just don't understand why such sacrifices and risks are needed, why we need to hold such a vote now and at any price. We are not expendable."The boycott looks for now unlikely to severely disrupt the vote, which is administered by at least 1 million such officials. But it amplifies a complaint made by Putin's critics that he has scheduled the vote too early, from a health and safety viewpoint, for political reasons."It is unclear what the urgency (of this vote) is," a member of a Moscow local election commission Sergei Romanchyuk said.REUTERS




EU's rights court faults France over Israel boycott convictions


Europe's top rights court has ruled that French judges were wrong to convict activists who staged a "boycott Israel" demonstration at a supermarket, saying the protest could not be considered an incitement to discrimination.The European Court of Human Rights (ECHR)on Thursday ordered French authorities to pay each of the applicants 7,380 euros in damages, and a further 20,000 euros to jointly cover legal expenses. 11 members of the Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions (BDS) movement in France, known as "Collectif Palestine 68", were charged after displaying Israeli-origin products and urging clients not to buy them at a shop near Mulhouse, eastern France, on two occasions in 2009 and 2010.The protests echoed long-standing calls by NGOs to denounce Israel's policies, including its settlements in the illegally occupied Palestinian territories.Israeli government has denounced the boycott movement as an attempt to undermine its legitimacy and has banned entry to foreigners who support the calls. Though the activists were initially cleared of charges after arguing it was a case of free speech, an appeals court overturned the ruling and found them guilty of inciting people to discriminate against products from Israel.


Stop Israel’s annexation of the West Bank: MPs,UK leaders write letter


MPs including Jeremy Corbyn and Caroline Lucas, and peers including Tessa Blackstone and Peter Hain, along with union leaders, campaigners and cultural figures, have called  for the UK government and all political parties to heed the appeals of Palestinian civil society organisations for ‘effective measures’.  In a letter, they wrote, "Starting in July, the new Israeli government has said that it intends to illegally annex large swathes of Palestinian land in the West Bank, which was militarily occupied in 1967.This would be the culmination of years of appropriation of land through the forced displacement of Palestinians and the illegal settlement of the West Bank and annexation of East Jerusalem. By annexing the West Bank, Israel would be taking over occupied Palestinian territory and making it an integral part of the Israeli state.Palestinian civil society has made a global call for “effective measures” to be taken to stop this annexation happening. For the UK, this means we should by now, at the very least, be adhering to an ethical policy on all trade with Israel, with a particular focus on applying international law on settlements in the occupied Palestinian territories. We also need to end the UK’s arms trade with Israel, which results in the violation of the human rights of Palestinians." The signatories are Jeremy Corbyn MP, Caroline Lucas MP, John McDonnell MP, Tommy Sheppard MP, Andy Slaughter MP, Tessa Blackstone House of Lords, Christine Blower House of Lords, Peter Hain House of Lords, Jo Grady General secretary, UCU, Len McCluskey General secretary, Unite Union, John Phillips Acting general secretary, GMB, Mark Serwotka General secretary, PCS, Mick Whelan General secretary, Aslef, Dr Salman Abu Sitta, Prof Kamel Hawwash Chair, Palestine Solidarity Campaign, Prof Karma Nabulsi, Victoria Brittain, Julie Christie, William Dalrymple, Harriet Walter, Irvine Welsh, Philip Pullman, Joff Oddie, Ellie Rowsell, Theo Ellis and Joel Amey Members of the band Wolf Alice. theguardian


PLO calls for global coalition to confront Israel annexation plans


Secretary General of Palestine Liberation Organisation (PLO)’s Executive Committee, Saeb Erekat, has called for the formation of an international coalition to confront Israel’s plans to annex large areas of the occupied West Bank as well as the Jordan Valley and East Jerusalem.“The formation of the international coalition must emanate from an international conference which includes all of the world countries under the UN auspices to support the Palestinian people and reject the occupation’s aggressive measures against Palestinian people including settlement, Judaization, blockade and killings that contradict all international conventions and norms,” he told Al-Mugtama.Erekat added that the Palestinian Authority has been leading intensive diplomatic efforts to mobilise international support against the Israeli annexation plans, stressing that recognising a Palestinian state is the first step towards preventing Israel from seizing nearly 33 per cent of the occupied West Bank.


US withholding details, delaying probe into Israel PM


Israeli law enforcement officials are not being provided information they’ve requested from the US regarding share deals made by PM Benjamin Netanyahu in a company owned by his cousin, reported Haaretz.The intelligence that was requested several months ago is supposed to help Israel’s Attorney General Avichai Mendelblit decide if a criminal investigation should be opened into Netanyahu’s activities. According to a source familiar with the request: “There is no evidence that the delay in receiving answers is politically motivated, but it is certainly exceptional and makes one wonder.”The inquiries relate to Netanyahu’s sale of the shares in SeaDrift, a Texas-based company making products for steel industry, which was owned by his cousin, Nathan Milikowsky.


Rabaa Al-Adawiya massacre ‘worst mass killing’ in modern Egypt


Human Rights Watch has said that the 2014 Rabaa Al-Adawiya Square massacre of civilian protesters by the Egyptian army remains the worst mass killing in Egypt’s modern history, New Khalij News reported on Tuesday.The rights group noted in a public statement that it had called repeatedly for an international investigation to be opened into the massacre. It also called for the legal authorities in other countries to investigate what happened in Cairo on 14 August 2013 and prosecute those responsible. There is also a case to put on trial those involved in the systematic torture and extrajudicial killing of protesters.HRW reiterated that no government officials or security personnel have been investigated or prosecuted in Egypt for their part in the massacre, in which around 1,000 people were killed and another 4,000 were wounded. Many survivors of the army’s brutal assault, it added, were sentenced to death or long prison terms after “unfair trials”.


Cash-strapped Iran struggles to maintain sway over Iraq militias


Iraqi militia factions expected the usual cash handout when new head of Iran's Quds Force made his first visit to Baghdad earlier this year, succeeding slain General Qassem Soleimani.Instead, to their disappointment, Esmail Ghaani brought them silver rings.For his second visit, Ghaani had to apply for a visa, something unheard of in Soleimani's time - a bold step by Baghdad's new government effectively curtailing Iran's freedom of movement inside Iraq.The episodes, relayed by several Iraqi officials, illustrate Iran's struggles to maintain sway over Iraqi armed groups six months after the United States assassinated Soleimani and top militia leader Abu Mahdi al-Muhandis in a drone strike. Iran at the same time is grappling with the economic fallout from US sanctions and the coronavirus outbreak.


Lawyers seek Facebook posts of Myanmar leaders in Rohingya case


Lawyers bringing a case before the International Court of Justice (ICJ) accusing Myanmar of genocide against its Rohingya Muslim minority have asked a United States district court to order Facebook to release posts and communications from the country's military and police.ICJ, based in the Hague, has agreed to hear a case accusing Myanmar of genocide against the Rohingya in violation of a 1948 convention.ICJ, a United Nations court commonly known as the World Court, accepts cases between states, and the case against Myanmar was brought by the Gambia with the backing of a group of Muslim countries.


Swiss Parliament's lower house backs same-sex marriage bill


Switzerland's lower house of Parliament has approved draft legislation to let same-sex couples marry in a country that has lagged other parts of Western Europe in gay rights.Despite opposition from conservatives, legislators on Thursday also voted to let lesbian couples use sperm donations to conceive children. The legislation will now move to the upper house for a final vote.


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 Compiled and edited by Anwarulhaq (Released at: 7:18 PM)


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