15 June 2020

15 JUNE NEWS: Lawyers, activists spied on in India in coordinated operation: Amnesty report. Chennai to Go Into Lockdown for Another 12 Days, Kejriwal Says No Such Plans for Delhi. Nepal move on map is unilateral, makes talks difficult now: sources


15 JUNE 2020: 22 SHAWWAL 1441:Vol: 12,No:233


Lawyers, activists spied on in India in coordinated operation: Amnesty report


Amnesty International on Monday released a report co-authored with Citizen Lab, an interdisciplinary laboratory of Munk School of Global Affairs and Public Policy at University of Toronto, which explains how nine human rights defenders in India were targeted by a coordinated spyware operation. List of those spied on includes lawyers Yug Mohit Chaudhury, Ragini Ahuja, Nihalsing Rathod, Shalini Gera and human rights collective Jagdalpur Legal Aid Group (JAGLAG),a journalist who did not wish to be named, activist Isha Khandelwal and academics PK Vijayan and Partho Sarothi Ray.9 human rights activists were targeted, and while evidence is available for such activity against them between Jan. and Oct. 2019, it is likely that more people have been the target of this operation, the report indicates. At least three of 9 were also targeted by Israel based NSO Group’s Pegasus software, which was revealed in the press earlier. 8 of them had called for the release from jail of the ninth, held under accusations of involvement in the Bhima Koregaon violence of Jan.1,2018.Activists, lawyers, academics and journalists were among the targeted, and this is an attack on their freedom of expression and their right to privacy, report says.“Between January and Oct.2019, each of targets was sent spearphishing emails containing malicious links that, if opened, would have installed NetWire, a commercially available spyware.A spearphishing attack is a targeted attempt to install a spyware (malicious software) on victim’s computer or smartphone. Spearphishing is generally performed by sending very carefully crafted and personalized emails to target, often impersonating colleagues or loved ones,” the report says.

Indian Human Rights Defenders Targeted by Email Spyware Campaign, Says New Report



Delhi Riots: Civil Society Calls out “Utterly Deplorable” Efforts by Police to Implicate Harsh Mander


Condemning the “motivated, compromised investigation and vilification” of social activist Harsh Mander, members of civil society, including academics, writers, rights activists and former civil servants, among others, have written a letter in solidarity with former civil servant. The letter comes at a time when Delhi Police has mentioned his name in a chargesheet filed in connection with Delhi Riots in February this year.The letter mentions that Delhi Police has mentioned the names of Mander and other activists to “concoct” a chronology of the riots and create a “false narrative” around the same. The chargesheet in question said that Mander had “instigated the protestors” in a speech made in Jamia Millia Islamia on December 16.The letter, signed by prominent civil society activists, says that to use Mander’s speech as an example of him inciting violence is “utterly deplorable. It is a deliberate and motivated attempt to implicate an outstanding peace loving, Gandhi follower, an activist par excellence, who is walking the path of non violence.” The letter added that it is an “attempt to target him” and implicate him in “false cases”.


Delhi riots ‘fact-finding’ report accepted by Amit Shah replete with false, unsubstantiated claims


On May 29, Home Minister Amit Shah accepted a fact-finding report on Delhi riots by Delhi-based NGO Call for Justice. Several media outlets reported about this including Times Now and The Print. The fact-finding committee was chaired by Justice Ambadas Joshi (retired judge, Bombay High Court) and included the following members — ML Meena (IAS retd.); VivekDubey (IPS retd.); Dr TD Dogra (former director AIIMS); Neera Mishra (social entrepreneur); Neeraj Aarora (advocate).Alt News has reviewed the report and found that it cannot be categorised as a ‘fact-finding’ report because of the torrent of misinformation it carries. These can be categorised as:1) Misinformation already fact-checked 2) Misleading sequence of events 3) One-sided fact-finding 4) Sourcing dubious website for information. The first paragraph of chapter one in the report stated, “Despite aggressive lobbying by the anti-CAA protestors, the international community also did not extend social, moral or political support.”However, this claim is baseless because anti-CAA protests took place in multiple counties beyond the Indian subcontinent, as reported by major media outlets — NDTV, The Hindu and Deccan Herald.On Feb. 6, Alt News published a media analysis report that documented the multiple anti-CAA protests that took place in other countries. The report is an analysis on ANI’s biased coverage that focused primarily on pro-CAA rallies abroad despite significantly larger anti-CAA protests.altnews


Police send notice to Delhi Minority Commission chief for joining probe in sedition case


Delhi Police''s Special Cell on Monday sent a notice to Delhi Minority Commission Chairman Zafarul Islam Khan to join the probe in connection with a sedition case registered against him for his social media post in April, officials said. Following the direction of the Delhi High Court, police have sent a notice to Khan and asked him to join the probe within 2 days, in connection with his "controversial" social media post, they said."On the court''s directive, we have sent a notice to him to join the probe in next two days," a senior police officer said.Speaking to PTI over phone, Khan said, "I have received a notice from the special cell to join the probe. I have been asked to give some details with regard to the investigation. I will be joining the probe at their Janakpuri office tomorrow."This is the second notice which has been sent to Khan.PTI

DMC Chairman Dr. Zafarul Islam Khan To Join Investigations In A  Police Case Against Him



Arrested Dantewada BJP leader worked with Maoists for 10 years, says Chhattisgarh police


Raipur: A Chhattisgarh BJP leader arrested two days ago for alleged Maoist links is believed to have confessed that he has been working with insurgents for 10 years, state police have told ThePrint.Jagat Pujari, BJP district vice-president for Dantewada, was arrested Saturday after a suspected accomplice, identified as Ramesh Usendi, told police about his links with Ajay Alami, a notorious Naxalite and ‘jan militia (public militia) leader’, SP Abhishek Pallav said when approached for comment about the arrest.Usendi had been arrested earlier that day, following a tip-off, while he was allegedly out to deliver a new tractor to Alami, who carries a bounty of Rs 5 lakh. “After Usendi’s revelation, Pujari was asked by police to come to the Barsoor police station where he was arrested… he accepted his crime, claiming that he had a 10-year-old relationship with Naxalites,” said Pallav, SP for Maoist hotbed Dantewada. theprint

Jamaat-e-Islami Hind builds 25 houses, allied amenities in Wayanad for Kerala floods victims


Wayanad: In Congress MP Rahul Gandhi's constituency of Wayanad, Jamaat-e-Islami Hind has built 25 houses and allied amenities for families whose houses were destroyed in Kerala floods.The initiative is part of People's Foundation's 2018 Flood Rehabilitation Plan to build 305 houses across the state for people whose houses were destroyed in the 2018 Kerala deluge.Dedicating the people's village project Syed Sadatullah Husaini, president ( Amir) of Jamaat-e-Islami Hind (JIH) through video conference said efforts to create divisions among the people during COVID-19 is unfortunate. Kerala Ministers VS Sunil Kumar Kadnappally Ramachandran,Speaker P Sreeramakrishnan and Opposition Leader Congress's Ramesh Chennithala participated in the event via video conference.The People's Foundation has completed rehabilitation of 305 homes and other amenities for the flood victims of 2018 across the state.ANI


Kolkata Shocker: Man Throws Children From Rooftop for Making Noise while Playing; 2-year-old Dies


A 2-year-old boy was killed and a 6-year-old boy was seriously injured after they were thrown off from the fourth floor of a building by their neighbour in Kolkata’s Burrabazar area on Sunday evening.The accused has been identified as 55-yar-old Shiv Kumar Gupta. He was arrested and taken to Lalbazaar police headquarters by the officers of the homicide section for interrogation. JCP (Crime), Murlidhar Sharma, said, “During interrogation, he confessed his crime. It is unfortunate that a 2-year-old boy was killed, while another received serious injuries.”He said, “injured victim is stable and based on the interrogation we have arrested his neighbour Shiv Kumar Gupta.”When asked about the motive, Sharma said neighbour was annoyed with children for making noise while playing.news18


The face-off between Gujarat HC Bar president and HC


Gujarat High Court issued a notice to the Gujarat HC Advocates’ Association (GHAA) president Yatin Oza for criminal contempt upon suo motu cognisance taken by a division bench of the allegations of favouritsm he levelled on its registry. Oza challenged the notice before the Supreme Court. Both the matters are due to be heard Tuesday at the HC and the Supreme Court. In a letter addressed to Gujarat HC Chief Justice Vikram Nath on June 5, Oza alleged that “at least 100 advocates” had approached either him or the general secretary of GHAA, advocate Hardik Brahmbhatt, with the grievance that their matters had not been listed despite being filed a fortnight ago. Oza went ahead to allege the registry of “nepotism and favouritism”.


Dwarka Mosque Attacked; FIR against Unknown Person, Probe on


New Delhi:Attack on a mosque here has gone unnoticed. The incident took place on the night of Sunday in sector 11 of Dwarka, sub city adjacent to National Capital.The mosque was said to have been targeted by some rightwing Hindu Vigilantes. It is the same mosque that was attacked late in February this year.The perpetrators pelted stones from across the road running parallel to the mosque. However, no casualty was reported in the attack.“Local Muslim residents living in the locality informed about the attack to local police after getting a call from muezzin (caller for prayer),” Karvaan India reported.The Mosque serves as a prayer house for Muslims living in the locality.“There is a CCTV camera installed on the front side of the mosque but not on the side from where the stones were hurled. We soon informed the police who was prompt in reaching the spot and receiving a copy of our complaint,” said a local.Clarion India


Justice Hosbet Suresh dies: Activists, lawyers hold condolence meeting remembering the man who championed people’s rights


Justice Hosbet Suresh (91), one of most respected judges of the Bombay high court, who led many commissions that investigated human rights violations, passed away at his Andheri residence at 10:45 pm on Thursday night. India lost one of its brightest legal minds and an exemplary defender of human rights, Justice Suresh. The former judge of Bombay High Court, Justice Suresh, continued to play a stellar role in standing up for the people of India even after retirement in 1991.He was part of key Public Commissions and Tribunals as he investigated flagrant human rights violations including Bombay riots (1992-93) and Gujarat pogrom (2002) among others.In a tribute to Justice Suresh’s exceptional life and work, civil rights activist Teesta Setalvad hosted a virtual condolence meeting accompanied by Justice A.P. Shah, prominent civil rights lawyer Prashant Bhushan, sociologist and lawyer Kalpana Kannabiran, senior counsel and human rights lawyer Mihir Desai and Executive Director of People’s Watch Henri Tiphagne on June 12, remembering his contributions to deepen constitutional and democratic values, his sense of compassionate justice and his unrelenting enthusiastic outlook.Teesta Setalvad, recounted her conversation with a senior lawyer from Mumbai about Justice Suresh’s passing who said that all of them felt safe with judges like Justice Suresh around because values of the Constitution were respected where they ought to be. She said, “Justice Suresh believed that fundamental rights are human rights which should reach the last person on the street, but at the end of street.”Prashant Bhushan, SC advocate who also worked extensively with Justice Suresh on the Hyderabad Tribunal said, “Justice Suresh was willing to stand up for every cause of getting justice to the victims of injustice.  Justice AP Shah, ex Chief Justice of Delhi HC who was also among the panel of PCSDS with Justice Suresh and was part of People’s Tribunal on NRC said, “Justice Suresh was one of the few giants on whose shoulders the civil rights movement of India today stands. Though he was on the HC bench only for about 5 years, as a judge he was most equitable, fair, humane and hardworking.”


14 Aftershocks Rattle Gujarat's Kutch After Earthquake Of 5.3 Magnitude


As many as 14 aftershocks were experienced in Gujarat's Kutch district, after an earthquake of 5.3 magnitude hit the area, officials said on Monday.No casualty or damage to property was reported, they said.On Sunday night, an earthquake was recorded with its epicentre 10 km North-North East (NNE) of Bhachau in Kutch. After that 14 aftershocks rattled the area, including an earthquake of 4.6 magnitude at 12.57 pm on Monday with its epicentre 15 km NNE of Bachau, a scientist from Gandhinagar-based Institute of Seismological Research (ISR) said.PTI


Petrol price hiked by 48 paise/litre, diesel by 23 paise; ninth straight day of increase


Petrol price on Monday was hiked by 48 paise per litre and diesel by 23 paise a litre as oil companies for the ninth day in a row adjusted retail rates in line with costs since ending an 82-day hiatus in rate revision.Petrol price in Delhi was hiked to Rs 76.26 per litre from Rs 75.78, while diesel rates were increased to Rs 74.26 a litre from Rs 74.03, according to a price notification of state oil marketing companies.PTI


Kerala CM’s Daughter Veena Marries CPM Youth Leader Mohammed Riyaz


Kerala CM Pinarayi Vijayan’s daughter T. Veena married top DYFI All India president Mohammed Riaz at CMO residence in the presence of selected guests.Riaz and Veena became husband and wife at a solemn function held under Covid protocols with not more than 50 people present. This was second marriage for both, as their first ones ended in divorce.Riaz has 2 children, while Veena has a son from their respective previous marriages.Muhammad Riyas, who is the son of a retired IPS Officer P. M. Abdul Khader, and is a lawyer by profession. He was appointed DYFI’s president in Feb.2017. He has been a prominent youth activist associated with Marxist party


Maharashtra HM Anil Deshmukh says ‘professional rivalry’ angle behind Sushant Singh Rajput’s death will be probed


Mumbai:Maharashtra home minister Anil Deshmukh said on Monday that the Mumbai Police will probe into the alleged cause of ‘clinical depression owing to professional rivalry’ behind death of actor Sushant Singh Rajput.“While the post mortem report says actor @itsSSR committed suicide by hanging himself, there are media reports that he allegedly suffered from clinical depression because of professional rivalry. @MumbaiPolice will probe this angle too,” Deshmukh tweeted. Sushant Singh Rajput was found dead in his Bandra apartment on Sunday afternoon. He died by suicide at 34. He was cremated at a Vile Parle crematorium on Monday.A controversy has erupted over the cause of death after a few Bollywood personalities including Kangana Ranaut linked the caused of death to professional rivalry.



Chennai to Go Into Lockdown for Another 12 Days, Kejriwal Says No Such Plans for Delhi


Chennai and adjoining areas will be under lockdown from June 19 to 30 sans present relaxations and a full-scale shutdown on 2 Sundays, chief minister K. Palaniswami said here on Monday.After a meeting with an expert panel and amid rising coronavirus cases here, Palaniswami said the lockdown will be applicable in Chennai and several areas that fall under the jurisdiction of Greater Chennai Police and situated in Tiruvallur, Chengelpet and Kancheepuram districts.During the 12 day period, only essential services will be allowed with restrictions, he said.The proposed lockdown, sans present relaxations, will be implemented from June 19 to 30 and on 2 Sundays (June 21 and 28) there shall be a full-scale shutdown without any relaxations, he said.On the other hand, CM Arvind Kejriwal said on Monday that there was no plan for another lockdown in Delhi even as the number of novel coronavirus cases continues to spurt.“Many people are speculating whether another lockdown in Delhi is being planned. There are no such plans,” Kejriwal tweeted.It comes a day after Union Home Minister Amit Shah held meetings with Kejriwal, Lieutenant Governor Anil Baijal and three mayors to discuss the strategy to deal with COVID-19 situation.On Sunday, Delhi recorded the highest single-day spike of 2,224 new COVID-19 cases, taking the tally to over 41,000, while the death toll mounted to 1,327.PTI

Chennai To Be Under Lockdown From June 19-30 As Coronavirus Cases Mount



Govt dismisses rumours of total lockdown from June 18


NEW DELHI: Press Information Bureau (PIB) on Sunday dismissed some social media rumours claiming that there would be a "strict lockdown" in Delhi-NCR from June 18 for four weeks in wake of the surge in the coronavirus cases.In a tweet, the PIB, through its FaceCheck Twitter handle, said the post was fake and that there was no such plan under consideration. PIB added, "beware of rumour mongers".PIB shared a Facebook post going viral which claimed that the lockdown from June 18 was going to be very strict and that there will be President's rule in Delhi.


Lockdown has proved ignorance is arrogance: Rahul Gandhi


Ahead of Prime Minister's meeting with chief ministers, former Congress president Rahul Gandhi criticised the four lockdowns enforced to contain the spread of coronavirus, saying that the wrong curve has been flattened. Rahul Gandhi shared a chart to prove his claim.Quoting Albert Einstein, Rahul said, this lock down proves that, "The only thing more dangerous than ignorance is arrogance."PM Narendra Modi is scheduled to hold a video conference with chief ministers of various states and Union Territories on June 16 and June 17 about the future of lockdown and the current situation of the pandemic.IANS


Poorly-planned lockdown and unlock caused COVID-19 spike in Chhattisgarh, says CM Bhupesh Baghel


Chhattisgarh may have become synonymous with Left-Wing Extremism, but there’s more to the state than long-standing insurgency. The central Indian state, carved out of Madhya Pradesh only 20 years ago, comprises one of the richest regions of India in mineral and natural wealth. Yet, it has for long remained one of most backward states of the country.Governed by Congress since it came to power in late 2018 after toppling the 15-year-old Raman Singh govt of BJP, it has lent solidity to Grand Old Party of India by being an oasis of political stability, unlike the neighbouring MP, where Congress government led by Kamal Nath fell within a year-and-a-half in office.


‘Pandemic Will Spread More, Lockdown Failed’: Public Health Expert


A renowned public health expert and orthopaedic surgeon at St Stephens Hospital in Delhi, Dr Mathew Varghese has been consulted by governments and institutions across the world. In 2018, Bill Gates had described Dr Varghese as one of 5 real life heroes of the world.In an exclusive interview to The Quint, Dr Varghese speaks about where we are headed with the coronavirus pandemic, how it will only spread further, and when the disease is likely to peak. Dr Varghese also talks about how lockdown has not been beneficial.Dr Varghese has said that community transmission has been happening in India. When asked about the government denying community spread, Dr Varghese said that 60% of the people are asymptomatic. And when contact tracing becomes tough, then we must understand that there is community spread in the country. According to him, COVID cases will see a peak in July.


Tablighi Jamaat participants must be set free, have right to return to native countries: Madras HC


In a notable judgment, the Madras High Court directed the closure of criminal proceedings against 31 foreign nationals who were facing proceedings under the Foreigners Act for participating in the Tablighi Jamaat meeting in Delhi in March in violation of visa conditions, LiveLaw.in has reported.The court also declared that they have a right to their native country at the earliest, and that their continued incarceration amid the pandemic situation was a violation of right to life under Article 21 of the Constitution."Since the petitioners have already suffered enough for their transgression of law and there is prevalence of medical emergency, the petitioners are having the right to return to their native countries at the earliest opportunity," observed a bench of Justice G R Swaminathan.The court observed that at a time of armed conflict or medical emergency, right to leave the country can be invoked.It said: "The petitioners fortunately have not tested positive so far. The position may be different tomorrow. The lives of the petitioners may be in  danger. Times may be uncertain but rights have to be certain. The petitioners are willing to bear the cost of transportation. They will coordinate with their embassies and consulates and arrange their return. All that the respondents need to do is to play a facilitatory role. Instead of doing so, if the respondents insist on detaining the petitioners and prosecuting them,it can only be charecterized as unreasonable, unjust and unfair.”The court passed direction while considering bail pleas of 11 Bangladeshi nationals and 20 Indonesian nationals.nationalheraldindia


Covid: ICMR disowns study that said India will reach its peak of infections only by mid-November


Indian Council of Medical Research on Monday disowned a study that said India would reach its peak of coronavirus cases only by mid-November, claiming that it did not carry out the research.“The news reports attributing this study to ICMR are misleading,” the council said. “This refers to a non-peer reviewed modelling, not carried out by ICMR and does not reflect the official position of ICMR.”According to a PTI report, the study was conducted by researchers from an Operations Research Group constituted by ICMR. The researchers said that the eight-week nationwide lockdown, which began on March 25, delayed the peak of the pandemic by an estimated 34 to 76 days and helped reduce the number of infections by 69% to 97%.


Coronavirus: Amit Shah orders Delhi chief secretary to install CCTVs in all Covid-19 wards


Union Home Minister Amit Shah on Monday asked Delhi Chief Secretary Vijay Kumar Dev to install CCTV cameras in all Covid-19 wards of hospitals admitting coronavirus patients, ANI reported, quoting the Ministry of Home Affairs. Shah said installing the CCTV cameras will ensure proper monitoring of wards, and so resolve patients’ problems.Shah also ordered Dev to establish secondary canteens to provide food at hospitals, so that in case there are infections in one canteen, patients can get food from the other one. He also advised Dev to arrange for psycho-social counselling of nurses and doctors engaged in treatment of coronavirus patients.


70-yr-old woman drags mother on cot to bank


In a shocking incident, a 70-year-old elderly woman had to drag her 100-year-old bedridden mother on a cot to the nearby bank to withdraw pension money of Rs 1,500.The incident came to light after a video of the woman dragging her bedridden mother on a cot to a bank in Odisha's Nuapada district went viral on social media.The woman from Bargaon village dragged her mother on the cot after the bank official allegedly asked for physical verification. The incident took place on June 9.IANS


‘It will be catastrophic’: Plea in SC against Rath Yatra at Jagannath Temple from June 23


In the backdrop of increasing COVID-19 cases in the state, an Odisha-based rights organisation has moved the Supreme Court seeking a stay on the possible celebration of the annual Rath Yatra at Puri's Jagannath Temple on June 23. Odisha Vikas Parishad has informed the court that all the rituals leading up to Rath Yatra such as ‘Akshay Trutiya' and ‘Snana Purnima' have been allowed to be performed by the Odisha state government.


Places of worship to open on Monday with wellness prayers in Bhopal


BHOPAL: Among guidelines issued by district administration for places of worship, which would be thrown open for devouts in the city on Monday, are a ban on distribution of prasad, wazoo (ritual hand washing before namaz at mosque) and singing of Gurubani or kirtan.The guidelines on which religious leaders from all major religions agreed in their meeting with the distict collector, Tarun Pithode, on Saturday not only makes mask wearing, sanitisation and physical distancing mandatory at places of worship, but the same would be announced over amplifiers to make people aware of norms for prevention of Covid-19 infection.People visiting places of worship will not be allowed to touch the idols or scriptures. Distribution of peasad and charnamrit will be banned and any kind of liquid will not be sprinkled on the vistors. Management of temples /mosques/ churches/ gurudwara will be required to install sanitiser dispensing machine and thermal screening equipment at the entry. They will also ensure physical distancing of six feet and draw circles at proper distance on the floor.


Mosques to remain closed in Nagaland till June 30


All the mosques in Dimapur and Kohima will remain closed till June 30.This was decided at a meeting, convened by the Muslim Council Dimapur, with all the nine major Jama masjids and few Panjagana masjids and also in consultation with Kohima Jama Masjid at Hazi Park Jama Masjid here on Sunday, Muslim Council Dimapur working president A. Rahman said in a release.


Mosque in Kerala starts smart card system to avoid crowding


Kozhikode : A mosque in Kuttichira of Kozhikode has found a unique way to avoid crowding amid COVID-19. The committee that runs the mosque has started issuing smart cards to people for offering prayers and simultaneously encouraging social distancing."The committee has given smart cards with numbers to the people in the surroundings of the Masjid. One who enters the mosque premises has to rub their hands with sanitizers. They also have to tell their identity on camera. The automatic system has been put in place to save the address and phone number. Next time onwards they have to say their smart card number only so that other details will be automatically filled," said Muhammad Sajjad, who is part of Mosque committee.


Lockdown Effect: Something Is Rotten in Jalandhar’s Rs 1,500-Crore Leather Industry


Jalandhar: At 50 years old, when he thought his future was secure, raw hide supplier Bihari Lal Kler had no option but to start an auto repair shop just to survive the nationwide lockdown imposed to slow the spread of COVID-19 virus in India.The lockdown has economically devastated several small-scale industries such as Jalandhar’s leather trade. Standing next to his deserted raw hide shop and godown in Boota Mandi,a famous leather trade hub on Jalandhar-Nakodar highway in Punjab, Bihari Lal said: “This is how I survive. The auto repair shop gets some customers, but otherwise I am ruined. Earlier, I kept the godown doors open for buyers; now it is just a way to air out the stink of the raw hide that has been lying here for last three months.”Should Bihari Lal get a customer for the raw hide, he would sell it for Rs 40 per sheet because by now the product has gone rotten. Before lockdown, the raw hide sold for Rs 500 per piece. Never since his family started the shop after Partition in 1947, has there been such a drop in business, he says.“3-month lockdown actually ‘locked’ our business,” says Bihari Lal.thewire


60 lakh migrants took 4,450 Shramik specials to reach their home States: Railways


Since May 1, 60 lakh migrants had taken 4,450 Shramik specials at an average ticket price of ₹600, of which the Railways had recovered 15%, Railway Board chairman V.K. Yadav said on Monday.At a virtual press conference, Mr. Yadav said most migrants had gone back to their States but the Railways had asked the governments if they wanted more trains. The Railways had started the specials on May 1 for migrant workers hit by COVID-19 and lockdown.


 1783 recovered as Qatar reports 1274 new confirmed cases; starts gradually lifting restrictions in 4 stages


In Qatar, Ministry of Public Health today announces 1,274 confirmed new cases of coronavirus , with 1,783 people recovered from the disease in the last 24 hours, bringing the total number of people recovered to 58,681 cases, in addition to recording 3 new deaths.​The Ministry states that in the last 24 hours, 18 new cases have been admitted to intensive care due to health complications related to the virus, bringing the total number of cases currently in intensive care to 238. Ministry also states that there has been a small decrease in the number of acute COVID-19 positive patients being admitted to intensive care thanks to the measures taken by Ministry of Public Health and the concerned authorities to limit the spread of the virus, the most important of which is the early detection of the virus which can contribute significantly to reducing the severity of infection. The ministry explains that the deaths that were recorded today were receiving medical care in intensive care, and were aged 60 years, 62 years and 87 years of age. The ministry stated that from today, Monday Qatar started gradually lifting restrictions in 4 stages that will last until Sept.1, based on the extensive data and studies conducted by the concerned authorities in the country.

COVID-19: Qatar reports 1,274 new cases




Nepal move on map is unilateral, makes talks difficult now: sources


Nepal PM K.P. Sharma Oli’s move to bring a constitutional amendment that alters Nepal’s map to include territory in India, has “prejudged” any future discussions, said New Delhi, virtually ruling out talks with Kathmandu for the moment.With the vote on changing the map depicted in the Nepali national symbol to include Lipulekh, Kalapani and Limpiyadhura being passed unanimously in the lower house of the Nepal parliament on Saturday, and another one expected to go through the upper house this week, Modi govt appeared to take a tougher stand with Kathmandu than it has in the past few weeks.However, comments by sources, who refused to be identified, were at variance with Defence Minister Rajnath Singh’s comments, at a party address on Monday, that the issues would be resolved through dialogue.“We have always conveyed our willingness to talk,” sources said refuting Oli’s allegation that Modi govt had not responded to calls for Foreign Secretary-level talks on the Kalapani dispute and claiming that it had even offered talks last month.“We had offered talks and a video-conference before the tabling of the [constitution amendment] bill (on June 1) also. However, the unilateral act of PM Oli has created a difficult situation and prejudged the outcome of any future talks. It is now for Nepal to create a conducive atmosphere for dialogue,” sources added, claiming that the Nepal PM had hidden India’s offer from his parliament and party colleagues.The sources, however, declined to give precise dates of the offer made by New Delhi. An official in the Nepali government “outrightly rejected” the Indian claim that there had been any offer.Visibly upset by Oli’s suggestion during the debate in parliament that “85% of Nepal’s COVID-19 cases had come from India”, the sources said the accusation was “false and distorted”.Meanwhile, the sources questioned Oli’s motives for bringing up the dispute over Kalapani, saying it proved “the intention is to politicise the boundary dispute”. They also claimed that Nepal has itself encroached on Indian territory in Narsahi and Susta by settling its own population in disputed areas, and asked why all claims over issues settled during 1815 Treaty of Sugauli (Article V) were being raked up after “200 years”.

Onus Of Creating Atmosphere Of Talks Lies With Nepal: Sources After Map Row



India, Nepal bound together by ‘roti and beti’, no power can break it: Rajnath Singh


2 days after Nepal’s House of Representatives passed a constitution amendment Bill to approve the country’s new map that includes Kalapani, Lipulekh and Limpiyadhura, Defence Minister Rajnath Singh said Monday that India would sort out the “misunderstanding” with the neighbouring country through dialogue.At the same time, Singh asserted that the road built by India till Lipulekh Pass was very much in its territory. The road is on the route of the annual Kailash Masarovar Yatra, which goes through Uttarakhand’s Pithoragath district. Speaking at a virtual rally for Uttarakhand, Rajnath Singh said, “If the road built by India has caused any misunderstanding among the people of Nepal, then it will be sorted out through dialogue.”



India, China military commanders hold talks at Galwan area


In continuation of the ground level dialogue to resolve the ongoing stand-off on the border, India and China on Monday held talks at Brigade Commander and Commanding Officer (CO) level in the Galwan area of Eastern Ladakh, defence sources said.The talks were focused on de-escalation at Patrolling Points (PP) 14 and 17A, the sources asserted. Ground-level military talks were on regularly to resolve the stand-offs and it was an incremental process, the sources stated on the stand-off that has entered the seventh week.So far both sides have held five rounds of Major General level talks, of which two happened last week after the Corps Commander level talks on June 6. There have also been a series of talks at the Brigadier and Colonel levels. Meanwhile, the limited “disengagement” agreed by both sides was under way, the sources said.However, there is no change in the massive build-up in depth areas on the Chinese side, the sources noted. In addition to moving into Indian held territory in some places, China had undertaken build-up of troops and deployed fighter bombers, rocket forces, air defence radars and jammers among others on their side. India would continue to maintain its build-up until China withdrew the build-up, the sources reiterated.


2 Indian High Commission Officials, Arrested in Islamabad, Released After Delhi Lodges Protest


Pakistani authorities on Monday evening released two Indian High Commission staffers in Islamabad hours after they were reportedly arrested for their alleged involvement in a "hit and run accident".Top govt sources confirmed that two Indian staffers were released by Pakistani authorities and they are back at Indian High Commission.The duo left the High Commission in a vehicle for official duty at around 8:30 AM(IST) and did not reach their destination, sources said.India summoned the Pakistan charge d'affaires in Delhi and lodged a strong protest over the reported arrest of two officials.Pakistani media had reported that the two Indian staffers were arrested for their alleged involvement in a "hit and run accident"Official sources said Pakistan charge d'affaires(CDA) was summoned to MEA and a demarche was issued to him, making it clear that there should be no interrogation or harassment of the Indian officials and the responsibility for their safety and security lay squarely with the Pakistani authorities.


Prepare for Return on June 23: Indian High Commission tells Indians Stranded in Pak


Chandigarh: Indian High Commission based in Islamabad has told stranded Indians in Pakistan to prepare for their return on June 23. As many as 693 Indians, mostly from Punjab, are said to be stuck there since the closure of borders due to the lockdown in March. It includes families from Delhi and Jammu and Kashmir. The high commission shared this information with stranded citizens through e-mails on Friday evening.  A high commission official too confirmed the development when The Wire reached out to him.  This has come is a big relief for them. The Wire’s June 6 report had narrated the painful ordeal of these stranded citizens, mostly aged, in the neighbouring country.   thewire


‘For Kashmir, 4G a Distant Dream as Ban on Service Extended Again’


It’s been 10 months since the abrogation of Article 370. It was on 5 Aug.2019 when internet connectivity was completely banned till 25 Jan., after which slow-speed 2G internet resumed on mobile phones. But till date, 4G internet is still a distant dream for many of us in J&K.Ignoring the plea for the resumption of high speed internet, J&K Govt has extended the ban on 4G internet till 17 June. According to reports, the govt suggest a rise in cross-LoC infiltration by militants the reason behind this move. The news has obviously left frustrated and anxious as 2G internet is not letting them do their simple tasks like making video calls or even downloading games. The quint spoke to a few people in Kashmir to understand the issues they faced with slow internet and how it has hampered their life and business. Shagufta’s daughter is studying in Bangladesh and her son in Delhi. It’s been months since Shagufta has successfully managed to make a video call to her daughter. However, talking to her son in Delhi is still manageable.“I have not seen their faces since a long time. I am feeling very lonely because I am not able to video call them. I am not able to make a direct call to Bangladesh because Rs 35 get deducted for just saying hello,” said Shagufta. Sadia Mufti, Women Fashion Studio Owner said, “This is the season we earn, summer is the season to earn, we have brides to do. Whenever I have to connect with my customers on WhatsApp, it gets very difficult for me to send them images (of the items) that I am going to make for them or it gets impossible for them to connect with me.”Even the sales of PPE suits and masks have not helped her business recover due to the internet connectivity.thequint


‘We Also Become Stories,’ Says Kashmiri Female Photojournalist, Booked Under Anti-Terror Law, On Winning International Award


Kashmir-based photojournalist, Masrat Zahra, who was last month booked under stringent UAPA for her social media posts, has won a top photojournalism award for her "moving images" of conflict in Kashmir. On Thursday, Zahra was named the winner of 2020 Anja Niedringhaus Courage in Photojournalism Award. The jury praised 26-year-old’s work for its sense of "dread and community."“I am happy that the world recognises my plight and the plight of other journalists working in tough circumstances. The case against me was shocking. You cannot book journalists for pictures they take. The pictures we take are the testimonials of people. They are the truth as it is. The awards and recognition might not change our whole situation, but yes, it makes us feel that there are journalist bodies that understand what we go through as professional journalists,” Zahra told Outlook. “They would at least speak for us and keep our cases alive,” she added.


RSS affiliate wants Modi govt to cancel Chinese firm’s bid for Delhi-Meerut RRTS project


New Delhi: RSS affiliate Swadeshi Jagran Manch (SJM) has demanded Narendra Modi government cancel the financial bid of a Chinese company, Shanghai Tunnel Engineering Co. Ltd (STEC), which emerged as the lowest bidder for the construction of an underground stretch of Delhi-Meerut RRTS  project.SJM has requested the government to cancel the company’s bid if it is serious about making India self-reliant.SJM national co-convener Ashwani Mahajan told ThePrint they have requested Road Transport and Highways Minister Nitin Gadkari to cancel the Chinese company’s bid over two issues.“First is, when we are promoting ‘Atma Nirbhar Bharat’ to encourage domestic companies, how can the government award contracts to a Chinese company? Second is security and quality issues. After Covid pandemic, the trust factor is one of the major concerns with Chinese firms. We have earlier opposed Huawei participation in 5G trials on security issues and now we are pitching for the domestic industries,” he added.



Black Americans die at higher rate when police use Tasers


As police confront protesters across the United States, some are using a weapon that has the potential to kill: The Taser.When those encounters have turned fatal, Black people make up a disproportionate share of those who die, according to a Reuters analysis.Reuters documented 1,081 cases through the end of 2018 in which people died after being shocked by police with a Taser, the vast majority of them after 2000. At least 32 percent of those who died were Black, and at least 29 percent were white.


Afghan govt, Taliban agree on Doha as venue for talks


Afghan govt and Taliban group have agreed that Qatar's capital, Doha, will be the venue for the first meeting in their peace talks, both sides said.The talks, known as the intra-Afghan dialogue, will be first high-level meeting between 2 sides after years of fighting.No date has been announced for the meeting, but it is expected to take place after the two sides settle differences on the release of 5,000 Taliban prisoners by Afghan govt, which could be as soon as the end of next week."The first intra-Afghan meeting will happen in Doha," Taliban spokesman Suhail Shaheen told Reuters on Sunday.He added that the armed group was ready to hold intra-Afghan talks within a week of completionof prisoner release. Afghan govt has released 3,000 Taliban prisoners so far under an agreement signed between US and armed group in Feb.US-Taliban deal outlined a plan for withdrawing all foreign forces from Afghanistan and resuming intra-Afghan talks to end the 19-year war.


Israel greenlights illegal 'Trump' settlement in Golan Heights


An Israeli cabinet minister on Sunday said the government has approved plans to build a new illegal settlement in the Israeli-occupied Golan Heights named after US President Donald Trump. Settlements Minister Tzipi Hotovely wrote on Facebook that her ministry will start preparations for Ramat Trump - Hebrew for "Trump Heights"-to house 300 families. Jewish settlement is currently known as Bruchim and is more than 30 years old and has a population of 10 people.


Israel appoints pro-settler right-winger as new UK envoy


Israel has appointed controversial Settlements Minister Tzipi Hotovely as its new ambassador to UK. Likud politician, who has peddled the racist claim that there are “no Palestinian people”, will take over from Mark Regev later this summer. Speaking about her appointment, Hotovely is reported in the Jewish Chronicle saying: “It is undoubtedly one of the most senior positions in the foreign service. Within Europe, Britain is terribly important and very friendly [to Israel], certainly under [Prime Minister Boris] Johnson, that is something we have to leverage and do important diplomatic work on.”The choice of Hotovely for what is seen as a crucial post in Israel’s global outreach to justify its ongoing colonisation of Palestine is likely to worry pro-Israel groups in UK. The 41-year-old is an outspoken supporter of settler movement. Her views on Palestine and her belief in the idea of a greater Israel threatens to undermine the progressive anti-racist image of Israel, carefully constructed over the decades.


IAEA chief asks Iran for 'prompt access' to blocked nuclear sites


Head of the United Nations's atomic watchdog agency has said Iran must provide inspectors "prompt access" to two sites where the country is thought to have stored or used undeclared nuclear material.Speaking after a meeting of the agency's board in Austria's Vienna on Monday, International Atomic Energy Agency Director-General Mariano Grossi told reporters he had made his case with "Iranian authorities at higher levels"."We need this cooperation," he said. "I regret that at this point we have this disagreement."Grossi told the board that for more than four months, "Iran has denied us access to two locations and that, for almost a year, it has not engaged in substantive discussions to clarify our questions related to possible undeclared nuclear material and nuclear-related activities".aljazeera


Iran's Zarif sees Trump favourite to win US election


Dubai: Iran’s Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif said on Saturday that U.S. President Donald Trump still has a good chance of being re-elected thanks to his strong support base, despite his declining support in recent months.“The biggest mistake in human sciences is to predict, especially in fluid and grave conditions. But allow me to venture a prediction that Mr Trump’s re-election chances are still more that 50%,” Zarif said in an interview. “Of course his chances have seriously decreased compared to four to five months ago.”“But Mr Trump has a 30-35% base that has not moved and, as long as this base does not move, there is still a chance of his re-election,” Zarif said in the live interview on Instagram with Iranian journalist Farid Modarresi, the first of its kind with a senior official of the Islamic Republic.Reuters


Dozens of troops 'dead or missing' in Mali attack


Dozens of troops have either been killed or gone missing after attackers ambushed their convoy in central Mali, according to reports citing military sources. About a dozen vehicles came under attack on Sunday at Bouka Were, some 100km (60 miles) from the Mauritanian border, a senior military official was quoted as saying by AFP, speaking on condition of anonymity.

36 intelligent civilisations may exist in our own galaxy claims new Study


There could be 36 active intelligent civilisations in our own galaxy, the Milky Way, but we are unable to communicate to them because the average distance to these civilisations would be 17,000 light-years away, new research has said. According to researchers, intelligent life forms in less than 5 billion years, or after about 5 billion years, similar to on Earth where a communicating civilization formed after 4.5 billion years."There should be at least a few dozen active civilizations in our Galaxy under the assumption that it takes 5 billion years for intelligent life to form on other planets, as on Earth,"said Christopher Conselice,professor of astrophysics at the University of Nottingham."The idea is looking at evolution, but on a cosmic scale. We call this calculation Astrobiological Copernican Limit," he added.It is also possible that we are the only civilization within our Galaxy unless the survival times of civilizations like our own are long, said the study led by the University of Nottingham published in The Astrophysical Journal.IANS


Quran learning made mandatory for university students in Pak Punjab


Dubai: In a surprise move, Governor of Punjab Province of Pakistan Chaudhry Mohammad Sarwar has made the teaching of the Quran with translation mandatory in all universities in the province.Governor Sarwar has issued the notification on Sunday making it mandatory for all the students in the universities (except non-Muslims) to learn the Quran with Urdu translation. The notification states that a student will not be awarded a degree if he or she does not study the Quran — the holy book of Muslims — with the Urdu translation.“We have decided to make it compuslory to for the university students to learning the Quran with translation. It is a unanimous decisions of vice-chancellors of all the univerities in the province,” Governor Sarwar tweeted in Urdu.gulfnews



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Compiled and edited by Anwarulhaq (Released at: 11:18 PM)


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