08 June 2020

8 JUNE NEWS: Advani, Joshi, Uma Bharti to Appear in Person When Called in Babri Masjid Demolition Trial: Court. Ram temple construction in Ayodhya to begin on June 10. Troop movements halt at 4 Ladakh standoff points but defences are up deep inside


8 JUNE 2020: 15 Shawwal 1441: Vol: 12, No: 227


Advani, Joshi, Uma Bharti to Appear in Person When Called in Babri Masjid Demolition Trial: Court


Aspecial court hearing Babri Masjid demolition case on Monday put BJP veterans LK Advani, Murli Manohar Joshi and Uma Bharti on notice to appear in person when asked to record their statements.The court is recording the statements of the 32 accused under section 313 of CrPC, an opportunity for them to respond after CBI completed the examination of its witnesses. 3 leaders were earlier exempted from personal appearance in court till further orders.Special judge Surendra Kumar Yadav said while granting this exemption it was clarified that they would have to appear in person "as and when their presence was required".He said the three accused "are directed that they will ensure their presence in the court on the date to be fixed by the court". No date was immediately fixed."The purpose of Monday's order was to alert the three that they have to appear soon before the court," CBI counsel Lalit Singh later said.The court has so far recorded the statements of four of 32 accused under section 313. On Monday, Ramji Gupta's statement was recorded.PTI


Ram temple construction in Ayodhya to begin on June 10


The construction of Ram temple in Ayodhya is set to begin on Wednesday when the first bricks will be laid for its foundation, according to a spokesperson for the head of the temple trust.The event will be marked by prayers to Lord Shiva at the Kuber Tila shrine on the Ram Janmabhoomi site, allocated for the temple in a historic Supreme Court verdict last November.The rudrabhishek ritual follows the tradition set by Lord Ram, who prayed to Shiva before launching an attack on Lanka, said Mahant Kamal Nayan Das, spokesperson for Shri Ram Janmabhoomi Teertha Kshetra Trust head Mahant Nritya Gopal Das. Work of laying the foundation of the temple will begin after these special prayers.The prayers will be performed by Kamal Nayan Das and other priests on behalf of Mahant Nritya Gopal Das, who visited the site recently. Ritual will begin around 8 a.m.“This religious ceremony will last for at least two hours and after that the construction of the Ram Mandir will start with the laying of foundation of the mandir structure,”Kamal Nayan Das said.In March, Ram Lalla deity was ceremoniously moved to a new spot from the makeshift temple at the site, clearing the way for construction of the temple.On May 11, earth-moving machinery was deployed for levelling site.16th-century Babri mosque that stood on the disputed site in Ayodhya was demolished in 1992 by kar sevaks claiming that originally there was a Ram temple at the same spot. PTI


Ayodhya temple opens with precautions in place


Ayodhya:Ram Janmabhoomi temple in Ayodhya opened to devotees after a gap of over two months on Monday with precautions in place to prevent the coronavirus spread.The temple will be open for eight hours from 8 am to 1 pm and then 3 pm to 6 pm every day.According to Acharya Satyendra Das, chief priest of the temple, only five people will be allowed to pay obeisance at a time and that too 15 metres away from the idol of Ram Lalla.


Delhi riots: Police files charge sheets in constable's murder case; say anti-CAA protests used as springboard for riots


Delhi police filed charge sheet before a court here on Monday in two cases related to the killing of Head Constable Ratan Lal during the communal violence in north east Delhi in February contending that there was a “deep-rooted conspiracy” that triggered the communal riot in which senior police officials were also attacked and suffered serious injuries.Police said during investigation it emerged that the sit-in protest in main Wazirabad protest since mid-Jan was used as a “spring board to propel riots” and the ensuing riots snowballed into fierce rioting in various pockets of north east district and initially one community remained aggressive on February 24 which was followed by violent reaction of the other community on the next day.It further said that in the investigation it has been established that the riots were not impromptu but were conspired with an intent to create communal strife, to malign the image of the country under the garb of democratically opposing CAA.While one charge sheet named 17 persons as accused, other was filed against 6 persons for the offences of murder, rioting, unlawful assembly, promoting enmity between groups and other sections and criminal conspiracy IPC.According to FIR, the mob had then chased injured police officers into Mohan Nursing Home and vandalized it.925-page charge sheet filed in the murder case of Lal named 17 persons, including Shahrukh Mallick, Mohd Yunus, Mohd Ayub, Mohd Danish, Mohd Arif, Jalaluddin, Mohd Ibrahim, Mohd Nasir, Imran Ansari, Mohd Adil, as accused who allegedly were part of a violent mob that attacked the police force on the main Wazirabad road, Chand Bagh, in north east Delhi on Feb. 24. All the accused are in judicial custody in the case. The offences entail a maximum punishment of death penalty.PTI

Anti-CAA protests used as springboard for Delhi riots, says charge sheet



Witch-Hunt On, Social Activist Khalid Saifi Named in Third FIR Related to Delhi Riots


NEW DELHI:– A social activist, Khalid Saifi, who has been at the forefront of anti-CAA agitation, has been booked in the third FIR related to Delhi riots. His group, United Against Hate, through a press statement, confirmed that the Delhi Police booked him in the fresh FIR and sent him to police custody on Sunday.“Delhi Police yesterday booked Khalid Saifi in a third FIR related to the Delhi riots. He was booked afresh under FIR 101, under Khajuri Khas PS,” said the UAH in the statement.Saifi was arrested on February 26 when communal violence was going on in Delhi’s Jafferabad area. When arrested he was physically in a good condition. But when he was produced in the court, he was not able to even walk. UAH activists said he was tortured in custody.Clarion India


Chargesheet against six accused of killing octagenarian woman in Delhi riots


Delhi Police will file a chargesheet against six men in connection with the murder of an octogenarian woman in Northeast Delhi during the riots in February, said the officials on Sunday. The incident took place in Bhajanpura.Anil Mittal, Additional PRO of Delhi Police said that the chargesheet will be filed at 3 pm today before Chief Metropolitan Magistrate of Karkardooma court.The chargesheet says that police found sufficient evidence against the six men — Arun Kumar (26), Varun Kumar (22), Vishal Singh (29), Ravi Kumar (24), Prakash Chand (36) and Suraj Singh (28). The men have been booked under sections of rioting, murder, attempt to murder, dacoity, house trespass, mischief by fire etc.The deceased, Akbari Begum, died on February 25 when a mob attacked her house and set the place on fire. Begum’s family members rushed to the rooftop and saved themselves but the old woman couldn’t run and died due to asphyxia, said the police.indianexpress


He may defend Tahir Hussain as well: BJP's Kapil Mishra after Abhishek Singhvi blames him for Delhi riots


New Delhi: BJP leader Kapil Mishra took a jibe at Abhishek Singhvi saying he may defend AAP councillor Tahir Hussain as well after the Congress leader said that everyone including Facebook chief Mark Zuckerberg believes that Mishra “incited violence and is complicit in the mass destruction of life and property during the Delhi riots.”Our faith in law and order is a Loch Ness Monster, tweeted Singhvi adding that everyone believes Mishra incited the mob except the Delhi Police. Reacting to Singhvi’s tweet, Mishra called him and his tweets “cute” saying that “he is the lawyer of Gautam Navalakha who conspired to kill PM of India.”


State facts, not rhetoric: Right wing group slams Zuckerberg over Kapil Mishra speech row


New Delhi: A right wing fact-finding group has come down heavily on Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg for quoting BJP leader Kapil Mishra’s controversial speech — though he did not name him — as an example of social media incitement. Group of Intellectuals and Academicians (GIA) wrote an open letter to Zuckerberg Monday and said he must make his statements “with the conviction of facts and data rather than rhetoric”.Lawyer Monika Arora, GIA convener, told ThePrint they were upset with Zuckerberg for his remarks.


‘Instrument of harassment’: Editors Guild condemns FIR against journalist Vinod Dua


New Delhi: Editors Guild of India has taken a serious note of the police lodging FIRs against journalists in different states on the basis of “frivolous” complaints, condemning the latest instance in which veteran journalist Vinod Dua has been booked by the Delhi Police.In a statement issued Monday, the Guild said it is deeply concerned by the growing tendency among police in various states “to take cognisance of frivolous charges” against journalists and convert them into an FIR. “The latest instance is of the Delhi Police’s FIR against veteran journalist Vinod Dua, based on a complaint by Naveen Kumar, who has been identified as a spokesperson of BJP,” the statement read.It added the accusations are a “brazen attack on his right to free speech and fair comment”. “An FIR based on this is an instrument of harassment setting off a process that is itself a punishment,” it said.


Delhi Minorities Commission for 15% Job Quota For Minorities In Delhi, With 10% Exclusively For Muslims


New Delhi:While stating that representation of Muslims in Delhi government services is “very low”, the Delhi Minorities Commission has asked Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal for 15 per cent reservation for minorities, including 10 per cent for Muslims alone, excluding the creamy layer, in Delhi government services, and boards and corporations within its jurisdiction.The recommendation, in the form of a letter to the CM, was sent on March 20 last year. However, the CM is yet to reply.His demand is based on the recommendations of the Justice(retd) Ranganath Misra Commission report in 2007.Meanwhile, the Delhi Minorities Commission (DMC), in its Annual Report 2018-19, released on Monday, has revealed that representation of Muslims in Delhi govt services is less than 2 per cent.The report released by DMC chairman Dr. Zafarul Islam Khan also points out that there are several government departments and undertakings in which the representation of Muslims is nil, despite Muslim population of Delhi being close to 20 percent or one-fifth of the total population as per 2011 Census.India Tomorrow


UP: Dalit teen shot by upper caste youth for praying at temple in Amroha


Amroha: A Dalit boy was shot dead by some youth in Uttar Pradesh's Amroha on Saturday. 4 youth in Domkheda village came to 17-year-old Vikas Jatav's house at night and shot him dead while he was sleeping. According to the victim's father, he got into an altercation with the upper caste village youth over praying at a temple a week before his death on March 31. "On March 31, some youth from Chouhan community prevented my son from entering the temple. We don't know why they did this. We have never been discriminated like this before. They later beat up my son and used casteist slurs but he was saved by some locals," victim's father Om Prakash Jatav said.The police had been informed of the fight between Jatav and the upper caste youth but no action was taken."On Saturday night, 4 people including Horam Chauhan and Lala Chouhan came to my house, shot my son as he was sleeping, threatened us and ran away," Om Prakash added.After news of the crime spread, villagers panicked and police were called.indiatoday


Outrage Builds Over Dalit Activist’s Death In Maharashtra Home Minister’s Constituency


NAGPUR,: Dalit groups, led by Vanchit Bahujan Aghadi leader Prakash Ambedkar, have alleged that the police are trying to cover up the suspicious death of a young Dalit activist in Narkhed tehsil of Nagpur district which falls in the constituency of Maharashtra home minister and senior NCP leader Anil Deshmukh.Arvind Bansod, 32, a resident of Pimpaldhara village in Narkhed, was found unconscious in front of an HP Gas agency in Thadipawani town under the same tehsil on May 27. A member of Ambedkar’s party, Vanchit Bahujan Aghadi, Bansod was rushed to Nagpur but he died during the treatment.While the police have registered a case against an NCP leader for abetment to suicide, Ambedkar and other activists allege that there are gaps in the police’s investigation.


GoAir revokes termination of Muslim trainee pilot after announcing sacking of wrong employee without probe


Private airline company GoAir has reinstated its Muslim trainee pilot Asif Khan days after announcing his instant dismissal following an unprecedented uproar by the right-wing brigade on Twitter. The decision to revoke Asif Khan’s dismissal by GoAir came on Sunday after the former filed a complaint with the cyber cell of the Mumbai Police alleging that someone had impersonated him to post anti-Hindu comments on Twitter.Last week, several members of the Hindutva brigade had taken to Twitter to share screenshots of one user’s tweets abusing Hindu Gods. The man in question was Asif Khan, who claimed to be employed with GoAir. Faced with unprecedented protests and hashtag #BoyCottGoAir trending on Twitter, the aviation company had announced the sacking its trainee pilot Asif Khan without carrying out any investigation.The decision by GoAir left many puzzled particularly the employee in question, who took to Facebook to share his ordeal alleging a case of mistaken identity. The real Asif Khan alleged that an imposter had posted objectionable tweets, resulting in his dismissal from the job.


LPG agency owner, two others booked by Nagpur police for Dalit activist's Arvind Bansod suicide


Nagpur: Days after social activist Arvind Bansod allegedly committed suicide here in Maharashtra, police have slapped abetment charges against an LPG agency owner and two others, an official said on Monday.The police action came after a row erupted over the issue with local Dalit leaders demanding a thorough probe into the matter. The police last week filed a case against LPG agency owner Mithilesh alias Mayur Bandopant Umarkar and his two friends under IPC section 306 (abetment of suicide), the official said.He said that 32-year-old Bansod, a local social activist and Dalit, was a resident of Pimpaldhara village under Narkhed tehsil of Nagpur district. On May 27, Bansod and his friend Gajanan Raut, travelling on a motorcycle, stopped near the gas agency and started clicking pictures of the outlet, he said.He said that Umarkar and his two friends objected to the duo taking pictures and they allegedly slapped and abused Bansod. Bansod asked Raut to go and get petrol filled in the motorbike. In the meantime, the social activist went to a nearby shop from where he purchased pesticides and consumed it, the official said.PTI


Sikh Alleges Assault & Communal Slur by UP Police, Inquiry Ordered


A Sikh student Gursimar Setia has alleged that he was assaulted, verbally abused and his articles of faith attacked by UP Police personnel in Agra on evening of 6 June. Setia, who studies at West Bengal National University of Juridical Sciences, claimed that the incident took place at 7.40 PM at Sanjay Place in Agra where had come with his friend to withdraw cash.“Seeing two men, the police began harassing us....ASP Saurabh Dixit started verbally abusing me after seeing that I had long hair tied in a bun,” Setia claimed on Twitter.Setia alleges that Dixit asked for his ID and after seeing that he was Sikh, began abusing him and “proceeded to physically assault” him and even pulled his hair. He claims that even his friend was assaulted by the police.thequint


Bollywood faces flak for protesting racism while backing skin lightening:REUTERS


NEW DELHI: Several Bollywood stars have been labelled “hypocrites” after speaking out against racism to lend support to global protests while promoting products in India designed to make people’s skin lighter.A series of A-list Bollywood actresses, including Priyanka Chopra, shared posts on social media to protest against the death of George Floyd who died in police custody after a white officer knelt on his neck for nearly nine minutes.“End this race war here in the U.S., and around the world. Wherever you live, whatever your circumstances, NO ONE deserves to die, especially at the hands of another because of their skin color,” Chopra, 37, posted on Instagram. People were quick to call her out on social media for previously promoting an “intense fairness moisturiser”.They also pointed at her role in 2008 Hindi film “Fashion” in which she is ashamed of having sex with a black man.“Thanks for speaking out for black lives. But, maybe also stop supporting a skin bleaching cream which promotes anti-blackness,” one user replied to Chopra’s Instagram post.Chopra, a former Miss World who became a star in both Bollywood and Hollywood, has said in past interviews that she regretted endorsing such a product as a young actress and that she is proud of her dark skin.She was not immediately available to comment.Actresses Sonam Kapoor Ahuja, Deepika Padukone and Disha Patani also faced criticism for their anti-racism social media posts while having featured in ads for skin fairness products.

'Hypocrites': Bollywood actors slammed over George Floyd stand



‘Biggest blow’: RSS body opposes pictorial warning on beedi packs by Centre


Bharatiya Mazdoor Sangh (BMS) has opposed union health ministry’s notification for allowing pictorial warning on beedi packages, claiming it will be “the biggest blow” to industry that employs over 4.5 crore people.The body, which is an affiliate of the RSS, has asked the ministry to view beedi as separate from other tobacco products and formulate new policies accordingly.In May, the Union ministry of health and family welfare issued a notification specifying new health warnings on tobacco packs that will be enforced from Sept.1. All tobacco products will have to come with pictorial warning about the ill-effects of using them.Pointing out that there is no nodal agency to address the concerns of those dependent on the beedi industry, BMS said Labour Ministry and the International Labour Organisation (ILO) have tried to find alternate livelihoods for beedi workers. HT


Pvt banks delaying implementation of Rs 3-lakh cr MSME loan scheme: RSS-affiliated body tells FM


Private banks are dilly-dallying in implementing the Rs 3-lakh crore credit scheme for MSME sector, RSS-affiliated industry body Laghu Udyog Bharti (LUB) informed Union Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman on Monday.Sitharaman had called Laghu Udyog Bharti general secretary Govind Lele to seek feedback on the implementation of Rs 3-lakh crore Emergency Credit Line Guarantee Scheme (ECLGS) for MSME sector, which has been hit hard by coronavirus-induced lockdown.PTI


Digvijaya Singh: Jyotiraditya Scindia won’t get same respect in BJP due to anti-RSS comments in past


Congress leader and former Madhya Pradesh chief minister Digvijaya Singh on Sunday said Jyotiraditya Scindia won’t get the same respect and treatment in the BJP as he got in the Congress because he had spoken out against the RSS in the past. Singh said that Scindia was like his son. He said, “When he (Scindia) was with Congress, he had a say in appointing district presidents from Morena to Mandsaur. No other leader got the same respect in the Congress as you did. It won’t happen now because the RSS calls the shots in the BJP and you have criticised it in the past.”


Kerala elephant may have accidentally consumed explosive-stuffed fruit: Environment Ministry


Preliminary investigations into the death of a pregnant elephant in Kerala have found that it may have accidentally consumed a fruit filled with crackers, the Environment Ministry said on Monday.The Ministry further noted that locals often resorted to illegal acts of planting fruits filled with explosives to repel wild boars from entering plantation farms.  15-year-old elephant had consumed a coconut filled with firecrackers, which exploded in its mouth in the Silent Valley forest. It died a week later in the Velliyar River on May 27.


MP: Hospital sealed after patient tied to bed over unpaid bills


Bhopal: A Madhya Pradesh-based hospital where an elderly patient was allegedly tied to a bed and not allowed to go home due to non-payment of bills has been sealed, officials said on Monday.Police have also registered an FIR against the management of the City Hospital located in Shajapur district, they said.Shajapur Additional District Magistrate Manjusha Vikram Rai said the patient, Lakshminarayan (80), a resident of Ranayal village of Rajgarh district, was admitted to City Hospital for his treatment.After media reports claimed that the hospital administration tied the patient's legs to the bed for not paying the final bill of Rs 14,000, an investigation team, headed by a SDM, was constituted.PTI


SC refuses to interfere with Haryana law making Hindi as official language of lower courts


The Supreme Court Monday refused to interfere with decision of Haryana govt to enforce Hindi as official language in all subordinate courts and tribunals across the state. Some lawyers have moved the top court challenging Haryana Official language (Amendment) Act of 2020, which makes Hindi as official language in courts and tribunals of the state.


Activist Teesta Setalvad presented with a lifetime achievement award by Delhi Minorities Commission


Delhi Minorities Commission has recently declared that they would be awarding Teesta Setalvad, the lifetime achievement award for her outstanding contribution to the human rights in India. Teesta has been a controversial figure and one of the biggest vocal supporter of Anti CAA/NRC protests across the country. Several political leaders have criticized her for instigating the crowd during the protests. The award comes in the backdrop the government trying to find the culprits behind the Delhi riots and is locating the instigators who led to the killing of people. Tahir Hussain was recently arrested by the police in the case.


2.1 magnitude earthquake occurs near Delhi, 16th in 2 months


New Delhi: A 2.1 magnitude earthquake, too mild to be felt by most people, occurred near Delhi on Monday afternoon, according to National Center for Seismology. The earthquake had its epicentre 13 km from Haryana’s Gurugram, center said.This is the sixth earthquake to have its epicentre around Gurugram-Rohtak over the last 10 days. And 16th quake to be reported in Delhi’s neighbourhood since April this year.Most of these, however, were very mild and only recorded by seismographs.The string of earthquakes or tremors have sparked concerns that a bigger quake could strike the national capital region. Seismologists say the increased frequency does not necessarily imply that a major one is coming but stress that monitoring them is key to being prepared.



Troop movements halt at 4 Ladakh standoff points but defences are up deep inside


New Delhi: There hasn’t been any activity at the four standoff points along the Line of Actual Control after Indian and Chinese military commanders held a 7-hour-long ice-breaking meeting over the weekend, people familiar with the developments told HT on Monday.India, which was the first to speak about the meeting at the Moldo-Chushul border meeting point some 14,000 feet above sea level, had underlined on Sunday that 2 sides had agreed to peacefully resolve the situation. On Monday, the Chinese foreign ministry statement about the discussions over the weekend made the same point.To be sure, the two sides are not anywhere close to a resolution of the standoff at three points in the Galwan valley and the fourth, near Pangong Lake.Saturday’s meeting between Lt Gen Harinder Singh, commander of Leh-based 14 Corps, and a Chinese delegation headed by Maj Gen Liu Lin, commander of the South Xinjiang military region, agreed to keep talking at the brigade and battalion commander level.


'Differences Should Not Escalate Into Dispute': China Says Consensus At Miltary-Level Talks On Ladakh Standoff


China on Monday said the latest military-level talks with India to resolve the border standoff underlined the need for both sides to implement the consensus reached between the leadership of the two countries and make sure that "differences" do not escalate into "disputes".The remarks of China's Foreign Ministry spokesperson Hua Chunying came two days after a marathon military dialogue between India and China was held to peacefully resolve the current border standoff in accordance with bilateral agreements.She said that on June 6 afternoon, a meeting was held between the commanders of China and India in Chusul Moldo region and the two sides held consultations."Recently, diplomatic and military channels of the two sides have maintained close communications on the situation along the border.PTI


Rajnath reviews LAC situation with CDS, Service Chiefs


As tensions continue, Defence Minister Rajnath Singh on Monday reviewed the situation along the China border with Chief of the Defence Staff (CDS) and the three Service chiefs.The meeting comes two days after the talks between senior military commanders to defuse the month-long stand-off.However, official sources said the Monday meeting was routine. Mr. Singh had been holding regular consultations with CDS Gen Bipin Rawat and Army Chief Gen Manoj Naravane on the border situation and this was also part of the routine review.


Chinese army carries out large-scale drill to check preparedness at border with India


People’s Liberation Army (PLA) of China has carried out a large-scale drill involving thousands of paratroopers to check its preparedness in transporting soldiers and armoured vehicles from a central Chinese province to border areas to the northwest of the country.The largescale “maneuver operation” was done in the backdrop of the ongoing border standoff with India, the nationalistic tabloid Global Times and national broadcaster CCTV said in reports.



“At least in 1962 army fought a war and made China pay a cost. This time, it’s an abject surrender”: Ex- army officer


Former army officer Ajai Shukla has lashed out at the government for its ‘abject surrender’ to China in Ladakh. Taking to Twitter, Shukla also slammed the government for recently asking journalists to refrain from reporting on China border issue.Shukla wrote, “China has changed the frontlines in Ladakh, and occupied Indian territory… and New Delhi is talking about “a long haul” and “military and diplomatic engagement!” If so abject was to be the surrender, disband the “mountain strike corps” & remove armoured brigade from Ladakh.”On a recent diktat by the government advising journalists to not report on the border tension with China, Shukla wrote, “To cover up this craven surrender to Chinese aggression in Ladakh, govt has the nerve to ask journalists not to cover, or write on, the ongoing “dialogue”. This is to allow public opinion to normalise the new situation… which is that China has come in and will not leave!!”


Support for terrorism nearly 'wiped out' in Jammu & Kashmir, people want peace: Senior Army officer


Srinagar: Recent "uncoordinated" acts of violence in North Kashmir are "signs of desperation" by militants which are not finding resonance among people who want to get out of the cycle of violence, a fact visible in the sharp dip this year in the recruitment of local youths in terror groups, a senior Army officer has said. Lt Gen BS Raju, heading Kashmir-based XV corps, feels the basic premise of terrorism in Jammu and Kashmir is to create sensationalism that is backed by false separatist narratives and propaganda sponsored from Pakistan.PTI


J-K: 4 Hizbul militants killed in Shopian encounter; 9 in last 24 hours


Srinagar :Four militants were killed and two security personnel were injured in an encounter in South Kashmir’s Shopian on Monday morning. This is the second encounter in Shopian in the last 24 hours. Nine militants have been killed in the two operations.A senior official said that the militants killed today belonged to the Hizbul Mujahideen outfit The gunfight comes a day after five militants were killed in an encounter in Reban village of Shopian district on Sunday. IGP Kashmir Vijay Kumar said: “We have killed five terrorists in today’s operation in Shopian. It was a clean operation. Such operations will continue.”indianexpress


Sarpanch shot dead by militants in Jammu and Kashmir's Anantnag


Srinagar: A sarpanch was shot dead by militants in Jammu and Kashmir's Anantnag on Monday. Victim, Ajay Pandita Bharti, was the sarpanch of Lukbawan village in the Larkipora area. 40-year-old village leader was a member of Congress.s per the police statement, the crime took place at around 6 pm near the sarpanch's house. "Officers attending the terror crime spot learnt that Ajay Pandita was shot at by the terrorists near his house. The injured has received grievous gunshot injuries and was shifted to a nearby hospital for treatment where he succumbed to his injuries.""Investigation is in progress and police continue to work to establish full circumstances of this terror crime. Area has been cordoned off and a joint search by police and security forces in the area is going on to nab the terrorists," the police statement said.indiatoday


SC seeks reply of Centre, J-K on plea of Congress leader Soz’s wife against his house detention


The Supreme Court Monday sought response from the Centre and the Jammu and Kashmir administration on a plea of former Union minister and senior Congress leader Saifuddin Soz’s wife challenging his house arrest since August 5 last year. A bench headed by Justices Arun Mishra issued notices to the Centre and the J-K administration asking them to respond by second week of July to the plea of Mumtazunnisa Soz, wife of the octogenarian leader.Mumtazunnisa has also sought the production of veteran leader before the court and the quashing of the house arrest order.PTI


PDP, NC, PC call for release of all J&K leaders


Srinagar : Four days after bureaucrat-turned-politician Shah Faesal and two senior PDP members were released following revocation of their detention under the PSA, PDP spokesperson Suhail Bukhari raised the issue of other leaders of his party still being held in detention.“We have been asking all along for unconditional release of the political leadership across parties from illegal detention. While our president and former CM Mehbooba Mufti has completed 10 months in this illegal detention, leaders from other parties like Ali Mohammad Sagar also continue to be under arrest. Even those released from jails have been put in detention in their homes. This is undemocratic, illegal and unethical,” Bukhari, Mehbooba’s adviser, said.


 2 civil defence employees sell information to Pakistan for Rs 75,000, nabbed


New Delhi: Rajasthan Police on Monday arrested two civil defence employees in Jaipur based on Military Intelligence (MI) inputs that they had been passing on sensitive information to Pakistan's spy agency ISI.The duo has been identified as Vikas Kumar (29), a civil defence employee at an army ammunition depot near Shri Ganganagar (Rajasthan) and Chiman Lal (22), a civil contractual employee of the army's Mahajan Field Firing Range (MFFR), Bikaner. The two men have been arrested for working as espionage agents of the Pakistani intelligence agency. MI Lucknow's operation named Desert Chase assumes great importance as Shri Ganganagar Ammunition Depot and Bikaner MMFR are strategically important military installations on western front along the Pakistan border.The work on the "operation" began in Aug. 2019, when MI Lucknow, through its sleuths, learnt about an espionage agent near Sri Ganganagar who was passing military information to his handlers in Pakistan. The individual was identified as Vikas Kumar - the civil defence employee at an army ammunition depot near Sri Ganganagar.Vikas Kumar was first lured by a Pakistani intelligence operative using a Facebook profile in the garb of "Anoshka Chopra" being run from Multan, Pakistan by a young Pakistani woman. indiatoday


India-Malaysia ties back on upswing; Kuala Lumpur to buy more rice, sugar


Relations between India and Malaysia are back on the upswing after taking a hit under former premier Mahathir Mohamad, with Kuala Lumpur increasing its purchases of rice and sugar from New Delhi in recent months.India quietly initiated steps to reset the relationship after Mahathir, who irked New Delhi with his repeated criticism of the situation in Kashmir and CAA, resigned in March, people familiar with developments said on Monday.India’s ambassador to Malaysia, Mridul Kumar, was the first foreign envoy to meet new Prime Minister Muhyiddin Yassin and foreign minister Hishammuddin Hussein within a week of the formation of the new cabinet in March, and the two sides have worked behind the scenes to put ties back on an even keel.HT




Unlockdown Day 1: Religious places reopen for worshippers in Delhi; Employees return to govt offices in Bengal


India on Monday tentatively stepped out of a 75-day lockdown with malls, religious places and offices opening in several parts of the country under strict conditions limiting the number of people and mandating sanitisation of all premises.Heralding a new era of shopping, working and worshipping in fearful pandemic times, the extensive dos and don’ts framework included sanitisation tunnels, temperature checks, entry on the basis of tokens, no prasad’ and no trying out clothes either.  Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath was among several devotees who arrived to offer prayers at Gorakhnath Temple. At the Golden Temple, volunteers could be seen sanitising area at regular intervals. An ISKCON temple in Ahmedabad resorted to token system to allow devotees inside. Meanwhile, the toll rose to 7,200 with 271 more deaths and the number of infections reached 2,56,611 in the country.Golden Temple restarted its ‘langar’ and distributed ‘prasad’ among devotees as it reopened on Monday, defying the Punjab government’s lockdown guidelines.  Assam's places of worship, shopping malls and restaurants reopened to the public on Monday after remaining closed for around 2-and-half months since lockdown began on March 25 to contain the spread of COVID-19. Temples, mosques and gurudwaras, as well as shopping centres and eateries allowed entry to people while ensuring that social distancing norms are followed in accordance with Ministry of Home Affairs guidelines, according to authorities concerned.Delhi's Worshippers trickled in on Monday at religious places which reopened after over two and half months of the coronavirus lockdown, with a slew of precautionary measures in place. It was especially an emotional moment for those who had to give up their regular visits due to the lockdown restrictions, while many said they prayed for respite from the pandemic that has upended the lives of every community.Churches and other places of worship have been permitted to reopen from June 14 on the condition that social distancing, hand hygiene and sanitisation of the premises will be maintained, they said.In the national capital region, Gurugram, Faridabad and Ghaziabad administrations have not given permission so far for opening the shopping malls. Despite Centre’s nod, J&K, 4 states to keep ASI monuments with places of worship shut.indianexpress

Unlock 1: Devotees Throng Temples, Gurudwaras, Mosques on Day 1



Lucknow: No Friday prayers at Bara Imambara, cleric says government conditions not fit for jamaat


 Even as a number of religious places are gearing up to reopen for public from tomorrow, Imam-e-Juma of Asafi mosque  at Bara Imambara  Maulana Kalbe Jawad, has said that namaz by jamaat cannot be undertaken on conditions set by the government. This means that Friday namaz at Asafi mosque which sees the biggest congregation of Shias on Friday, will remain suspended as was under lockdown and till government conditions of distance remain. Jawad who is also the general secretary of Majlis-e-Ulama-e-Hind in a press statement said that the distance of six feet between two people cannot fulfil the criteria of a jamaat and allowing people at this juncture will lead to mismanagement of crowd. He said people can offer individual prayers but a congregation on conditions set by the government cannot be held."A distance of six feet between namazis cannot make for a prayer by jamaat. People can pray at the mosques individually butwith this condition riding, not as a jamaat," said Maulana kalbe Jawad in his press statement.


Haj 2020: J&K Haj Committee asks pilgrims to apply for refund


Executive Officer J&K Haj committee has asked the Haj pilgrims of Haj-2020, who intend to cancel their pilgrimage, to apply for refund on prescribed proforma available on Haj Committee of India website www.hajcommittee.gov.in and in Haj House, Bemina. Executive Officer in the statement said that Haj Committee of India vide Circular No. 13 dated: 05-06-2020 has asked the selected desirous pilgrims who intend to cancel this year’s Haj pilgrimage to apply for 100% refund on the prescribed proforma.



COVID-19 Shatters Haj Dreams of Thousands of Indian Muslims


MUMBAI —  With Haj Committee announcing full refunds of the fees for the ensuing Haj 2020 season, the pilgrimage dreams of thousands of Muslims are shattered. From Maharashtra, around 10,500 Muslims were selected and were scheduled to go on the most important pilgrimage of their life.However, with no clarity forthcoming from the Saudi Arabia government, and with several countries like Indonesia and Pakistan voluntarily cancelling their own plans, the situation this year appears bleak for prospective Hajis.“On March 13, before India went into lockdown, the Saudi Arabian government had conveyed to us to temporarily halt Haj 2020 preparations, without any further communication thereafter. The writing on the wall seems clear,” Chairman Maharashtra State Haj Committee Jamal Siddiqui told IANS.Coupled with the Central Haj Committee’s decision to give the full refund to the pilgrims and no further instructions from Saudi Arabia, he feels Haj 2020 may remain just a desire for Muslims, but nobody can be blamed for it. “This is because of the COVID-19 pandemic. But, we feel the pilgrims shouldn’t be made to suffer. We have written to the Centre demanding that the same lot of people selected must be allowed to go next year. If the Centre is giving a refund, then it should be with adequate compensation also,” Siddiqui urged.IANS

"Little Chance Of Haj 2020": Pilgrimage Body Offers 100% Refund



Maulana Saad yet to be questioned in Markaz case


 Tablighi Jamaat chief Maulana Saad is the only person yet to be questioned in the Nizamuddin Markaz case, as all other accused named have been questioned and their statements recorded, Delhi Police said Monday.The police stated that they have not yet questioned Saad.Saad was in self quarantine."All the named accused, except Maulana Saad, have been questioned," said a senior IPS officer.IANS


Nizamuddin dargah doesn’t want ‘Tablighi Jamaat-type’ row, stays shut despite Unlock 1.0


New Delhi: Religious institutions across India reopened Monday in line with Unlock 1 guidelines, but the Hazrat Nizamuddin dargah in New Delhi, an Islamic religious institution that attracts visitors of all faiths, remains shut.The decision, authorities at the dargah say, is as much a precautionary measure as a bid to avoid a Tablighi Jamaat-like controversy. “We are allowed to reopen, but we have decided against it for now. The crowd that will show up at the dargah might be difficult to manage and we don’t want to violate any social-distancing norms,” Salmi Nizami, member of the Nizamuddin dargah committee, told ThePrint. “We are also wary of another markaz-type controversy. We do not want any such thing to happen as it will lead to unnecessary demonising of the community by the media,” Altamash Nizami, another member of the committee, said.


Containment curbs eased in Delhi’s Nizamuddin Basti after 70 days


After almost 70 days, residents of Nizamuddin Basti could step out their locality, as the Delhi government on Sunday scaled down the containment measures.The Basti was declared a containment zone on March 30, days after close to 2,000 people were evacuated from the Tablighi Jamaat headquarters.According to Delhi government officials, the area continued to be a containment zone for this long as a middle-aged woman tested positive on May 5.As per Delhi government officials, no case has been reported in the last 28 days and they decided to de-seal the area.



Lockdown effected downturn to cause spike in child trafficking, SC told


A Supreme Court bench, headed by CJI SA Bobde, on Monday issued notice to the central government, NDMA and nine states and asked the petitioner Nobel laureate Kailash Satyarthi-run NGO, Bachpan Bachao Andolan’s counsel HS Phoolka and solicitor-general Tushar Mehta to work together and come up with solutions to curb the growing child trafficking menace in the country.Earlier, the NGO in its plea said that the nationwide lockdown restrictions, which were imposed on March 25 to contain the spread of the coronavirus disease (Covid-19) outbreak, would lead to a spike in child trafficking cases because of the pandemic-induced economic crisis.


Indian economy to shrink by 3.2% in fiscal year 2020-21: World Bank


Washington: India’s economy will shrink by 3.2 per cent in the current fiscal, the World Bank said on Monday as it joined a chorus of international agencies that are forecasting a contraction in growth rate due to the coronavirus lockdown halting economic activity.The Washington-based multilateral lender said that the COVID-19 pandemic and the multi-phased lockdown imposed to curb its spread has resulted in a devastating blow to the Indian economy.In its latest edition of the Global Economic Prospect, the World Bank downgraded its projection of India by a massive negative nine per cent.However, the Indian economy is expected to bounce back in 2021, the World Bank said.PTI


World Bank forecasts worst recession in eight decades due to coronavirus


Washington: The global economy will contract the most since World War II this year due to the Covid-19 pandemic, reducing incomes and sending millions of people into poverty in emerging and developing nations, the World Bank said. Global gross domestic product will probably shrink 5.2% in 2020, the Washington-based development organization said in its semi-annual Global Economic Prospects report Monday.That compares with a January projection for a 2.5% expansion and would be the fourth-deepest recession of the past 150 years after 1914, 1930-32 and 1945-46, the World Bank said. Per-capita output will contract in more than 90% of countries, the biggest share since 1870. The economy will rebound in 2021, growing 4.2%, it said.




Delhi LG strikes down order to reserve hospital beds, Kejriwal says ‘huge challenge’


Delhi Lieutenant Governor Anil Baijal Monday directed the departments and agencies to “not deny” treatment to non-residents of the city, effectively striking down the AAP government’s decision on reservation of hospital beds taken on Sunday.In an order, issued in his capacity as the chairperson of Delhi Disaster Management Authority (DDMA), Baijal pointed out that the Supreme Court has time and again upheld the right to health as an integral part of “Right to Life” under the Indian Constitution.“And whereas, all Government and private hospitals and nursing home situated in NCT Of Delhi have to extend medical facilities to all Covid-19 coming for monitoring/ treatment without any discrimination of being resident resident of NCT of Delhi.Reacting to the order, Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal said this would mean a huge challenge  for Delhi and its residents. “The LG’s order has created a challenge and a problem for Delhi. It will be very difficult to treat patients from across the country amid the coronavirus pandemic. But maybe God wishes that we serve the people of the whole country. We will try to make the requisite arrangements,” Kejriwal tweeted. Deputy CM Manish Sisodia said the BJP was behind the LG’s order, and the party would have to now take responsibility for any Covid-19 deaths in Delhi.

Strike 2: Lt Governor Dismisses Pair Of Team Kejriwal's COVID-19 Orders


L-G overrules AAP govt’s Delhi hospital order: Kejriwal says huge challenge, Sisodia terms it BJP conspiracy



Kejriwal Unwell, Self-Isolates, Coronavirus Test Tomorrow


New Delhi: Arvind Kejriwal has gone into self-quarantine and will take a coronavirus test after complaints of mild fever and a sore throat, Delhi's ruling AAP said today. The Chief Minister has cancelled all his meetings.Kejriwal, 51, had been unwell since Sunday afternoon and hasn't met anyone since then. He has isolated himself at his official home in Delhi."He is running a fever and has a sore throat, which happen to be Covid symptoms. So doctors have advised him to take a test tomorrow," AAP MLA Raghav Chadha told NDTV, describing Mr Kejriwal as a frontline COVID-19 warrior who had put himself at risk in Delhi's virus fight.Mr Kejriwal is diabetic, which exacerbates concerns, Mr Chaddha said. "We are all worried, but Mr Kejriwal is a fighter. He hasn't slept very well either, " the MLA said.


Schools, colleges to reopen across India after August 15: HRD Minister Pokhriyal


Schools, colleges, and other educational institutes across India will reopen after August 15, announced Human Resource and Development Minister Ramesh Nishank Pokhriyal in an interview. About 33 crore students had been waiting for the reopening of schools nationwide, which have been closed for over three months due to coronavirus crisis.The union minister said that the schools and colleges would be reopened after August 2020, possibly even after August 15. Besides that, he revealed that the administration is trying to declare all the results of examinations that took place in this session, by August 15.indiatvnews


Mahrashtra Governor-CM tussle over exams: Colleges, students worried


A week after Maharashtra chief minister Uddhav Thackeray announced that all final-year undergraduate and postgraduate exams have been called off and that students will be promoted based on aggregate scores in earlier semester exams, state Governor and chancellor of all state universities Bhagat Singh Koshiyari questioned the move.Koshyari said the cancellation of exams would jeopardise the students’ future and that exams should be held in order to promote students. Stuck in between “political stand-off”, colleges and universities are looking at a mammoth task ahead. Conducting exams for close to 9 lakh students across the state, including 2.3 lakh students affiliated with University of Mumbai (MU), can prove problematic, especially since exams will need to be held ensuring appropriate social distancing and taking into account lockdown regulations that could still be in force at the time.Teachers too have raised concerns over how the assessment will take place and how much time process could take. Several student organisations have asked that health and sanity of students be prioritised. “A degree certificate is awarded to students based on their performance throughout three years and not holding one final exam will not change much. This insistence on final exams during a global health crisis needs to be reconsidered by the government, especially keeping the lives of students in mind,” said Salman Ahmed, president of SIO, South Maharashtra.


COVID-19 lockdown extended in West Bengal till June 30: CM Mamata


KOLKATA: West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee on Monday announced that the lockdown, which was set to end on June 15, has been extended in the state for another 15 days."The lockdown is being extended in the state till June 30, with all existing relaxations and conditions still in place. Earlier, we had allowed only 10 people at social programmes such as a marriage or a funeral ceremony, now we have increased it to 25," she said after a meeting of the state cabinet.PTI


Coronavirus: Mizoram imposes two-week total lockdown from June 9


Mizoram Chief Minister Zoramthanga on Monday announced that the state will remain under a total lockdown for two weeks, starting from June 9.The decision has been taken in view of the rising number of Covid-19 cases in the states. On Monday, the total number of coronavirus cases in the state had reached 42, it was only 34 on Sunday and 24 on Saturday.Out of the total cases in Mizoram, only one person has recovered from the virus and 41 others are currently getting treatment. The state has not reported any death due to the virus.


Covid-19: Rajasthan hospital staff face FIR for anti-Muslim WhatsApp chats


Rajasthan Police on Sunday filed a FIR against three staff members, including a doctor, of a private hospital in Churu district for allegedly planning to discriminate against Covid-19 patients from the Muslim community, reported the Hindustan Times. FIR also named a lab technician and a compounder.The three have been booked under Sections 153A (attack upon any religion) and 505 (Statements conducing to public mischief) of the Indian Penal Code and relevant sections of the Disaster Management Act.


Confusion, anguish & Covid funeral — what two families went through after bodies got mixed up


In Delhi’s Maulana Azad Medical College mortuary, two families consoled each other Sunday when they realised the bodies they had come to claim had got mixed up. Worse still, one of them had already been buried.Both the deceased were named Moinuddin, and were Covid-19 positive at the time of death. Kalamuddin Rahim, whose father Moinuddin was 65 years old, was admitted to LNJP Hospital on 2 June after he complained of breathlessness. The hospital authorities informed Kalamuddin that his father had died and asked him to identify the body Saturday, 6 June.“The face was swollen and had blood stains on it. When I asked the doctors, they said it was because he had undergone dialysis. We accepted the body hurriedly because he was a Covid-19 patient,” he told ThePrint. He realised much later that he had laid the wrong Moinuddin to rest. The body he claimed and buried belonged to a different family altogether.The other Moinuddin’s family, meanwhile, gathered at the Maulana Azad mortuary at 9 am Sunday morning, after being informed by the hospital the previous evening to collect his body. His brother Eijaazuddin had made preparations for his funeral, when he showed up at the Maulana Azad mortuary, he found that the body was not of his brother’s.



Kashmir: COVID-19 Patient Delivers Baby in Hospital Corridor After Doctors 'Refuse' to Treat Her


Srinagar: Feeding her newborn child, the young woman’s smiling face belies the pain and suffering she has been through.“I pray no mother in this world ever has to see such horrible times,” said Firdousa, admitted to Srinagar’s JVC hospital, a designated COVID-19 facility.A resident of Hogam village in southern Kashmir’s Anantnag district, Firdousa’s ordeal started last week, when she tested positive for COVID-19 and was admitted to the district trauma hospital, reserved for coronavirus patients.She was pregnant, and close to her delivery date.


Covid-19: Brazil tops average daily positivity rate, India is sixth, shows Johns Hopkins University data


At a time when India has ramped up its Covid-19 tests to more than a lakh per day, data from Johns Hopkins University shows the country has sixth-highest average daily positivity rate of 8.73 per cent. However, the positivity rate is leas than a fourth of Brazil, which tops the list with 36.68 per cent, even though the South American country has conducted more Covid-19 tests than India.Besides Brazil, India’s cumulative positivity rate is lower than Mexico (17.17 per cent), Sweden (14.67 per cent), US (13.83 per cent) and UK (13.01 per cent) as on June 7.


New Zealand lifts lockdown as last coronavirus patient recovers


Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern has announced New Zealand will lift its coronavirus lockdown allowing a return to a nearly normal life for the country's five million people, as health officials reported that the final person known to have contracted the infection had recovered.Making the announcement at a news conference on Monday, Ardern said the government would not let down its guard over the virus and promised to rebuild an economy that has slowed because of the global pandemic."We have eliminated transmission of the virus for now. While the job is not done. This is a milestone," she said, adding that lifting of restrictions will be effective from midnight on Monday.Concluding her statement, Adern said: "Thank you, New Zealand".aljazeera


Indonesia Cancels Hajj Plans Amid Covid Fear; Cites 'uncertanity' From Saudi Authorities


Amid Coronavirus outbreak, Indonesia has cancelled plans to attend Hajj pilgrimage in Saudi Arabia this year.  Indonesia, being the world's biggest Muslim-majority country sends more than 2,20,000 people every year to Hajj. Indonesia has stated that there has been no clarification from the Saudi authorities about the final decision on Hajj due in July. Last month, Indonesian President Joko Widodo in a telephonic conversation with Saudi Arabia's King Salman pressed Riyadh to announce its decision.



Former leader of Palestinian Islamic Jihad buried in Damascus


The former leader of the Palestinian Islamic Jihad movement Ramadan Shalah was buried in the Syrian capital Damascus on Sunday.Shalah, 62, died on Saturday in a Beirut hospital following an unspecified illness, before his body was transported to Yarmouk Palestinian refugee camp near Damascus, where he wished to be buried.  Dozens of mourners, including the current leader of the Islamic Jihad, Ziyad Nakhla, participated in the funeral despite the ongoing coronavirus pandemic.  A symbolic funeral procession was meanwhile held in the besieged Gaza Strip, Shalah’s birthplace, on Sunday. Crowds in Gaza City included representatives from Fatah, Hamas and other Palestinian factions. Hamas, the de facto ruling party in Gaza, was unable to bring Shalah’s body home for burial in Gaza due to an Israeli ban on his entry into occupied Palestinian territories “whether dead or alive”.Palestinian and regional political figures have eulogised Shalah, with the Islamic Jihad in a statement bidding farewell to "the great leader whose history... we recall since the founding of the Jihad movement".The Hamas movement issued a statement calling Shalah a "model of patience and adherence to his steadfast national positions". Meanwhile, PFLP leader in Gaza, Hani al-Thawabta, hailed Shallah for pushing for intra-Palestinian unity.middleeasteye


UN sees escalation of Israel attacks on Palestinians


United Nations Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs in the Occupied Palestinian Territory (OCHA- oPT) said over the past three weeks Israel has escalated its demolition and confiscation of properties owned by Palestinians in “Area C” of the West Bank and East Jerusalem.OCHA explained in its “Protection of Civilians” report covering the Israeli violations against the Palestinians from 12 May to 1 June, that Israeli occupation forces demolished or seized as many as 59 Palestinian-owned structures in “Area C” and East Jerusalem, under the pretext that they lacked building permits which led to the displacement of 37 people and affecting over 260 others.



Libya's GNA forces press ahead after failed truce offer by Egypt


Libyan fighters allied with the country's internationally recognised government have pressed their advance into the strategic city of Sirte, boosted by recent battlefield gains and a withdrawal by forces of renegade military commander Khalifa Haftar from around the capital, Tripoli. The push on Monday came as Libya's eastern parliament speaker, Aguila Saleh, an ally of Haftar, arrived in the Russian capital, Moscow, for potential talks with Prime Minister Fayez al-Sarraj.Tripoli-based Interior Minister Fathi Bashagha said the government side would engage in political talks only after taking Sirte and also the inland Jufra airbase, to the south.aljazeera


Germany arrests far-right suspect over threat to attack Muslims


Police in Germany has arrested a man on suspicion of planning to kill Muslims in an attack inspired by 2019 massacre in two Christchurch, New Zealand, mosques, according to prosecutors.21-year-old from the northern city of Hildesheim had announced his attack plans "in an anonymous internet chat", the state prosecutor's office in the town of Celle said on Monday.Initial investigations show the suspect "has for some time been considering the idea of committing an attack in which he wanted to kill numerous people in order to attract worldwide media attention", prosecutors said.aljazeera


Pakistan, US hold talks on restarting intra-Afghan peace talks


United States Afghan peace envoy and Pakistan's army chief have held talks to discuss the commencement of a peace process between the Afghan government and the Taliban, according to a statement, as violence has recommenced after a brief ceasefire was announced two weeks ago.US Special Representative for Afghan Reconciliation Zalmay Khalilzad met with Pakistani army chief General Qamar Javed Bajwa in Islamabad on Sunday, US and Pakistan's military said in separate statements."The two took note of recent progress created by the Eid ceasefire and accelerated prisoner releases as well as reduced violence ahead of intra-Afghan negotiations," said US statement on the meeting, released on Monday.The US said Khalilzad "expressed his appreciation" in Pakistan's role of bringing the Taliban to the negotiating table."The two agreed peace in Afghanistan offers an unprecedented opportunity to advance security, connectivity and development for the region," said the US statement.A Pakistani military statement on the meeting added that the issues of repatriating more than two million Afghan refugees resident in Pakistan for decades and management of the two countries' 2,500-km long border were also discussed.aljazeera



George Floyd legacy - US policing under fire


United States congressional Democrats plan to unveil a sweeping package of legislation to combat police violence and racial injustice after two weeks of protests across the nation sparked by George Floyd's death in Minneapolis police custody.The public will be able to view George Floyd's casket on Monday in his hometown of Houston, the final stop in a series of memorials in his honour.Floyd's funeral will be held on Tuesday, followed by burial, where he will be laid to rest next to his mother, Larcenia Floyd.


New York Times op-ed editor resigns amid backlash over column


The editorial page head of the New York Times has resigned after his decision to publish an op-ed - by a US senator who called for military force against anti-racism protesters - drew online fury and criticism from many of the paper's staffers.James Bennet, the editorial page editor since May 2016, faced intense backlash after initially defending the column headlined Send in Military by Republican US Senator Tom Cotton.The hardline op-ed - which Bennet initially defended as an example of the newspaper's commitment to ideological diversity - was met with both internal and external outrage.Cotton's essay encouraged an "overwhelming show of force to disperse, detain and ultimately deter lawbreakers" as anti-racism protests rage across the United States over the police killing of George Floyd, an unarmed Black man, on May 25.



Report documents severe damage to Syrian heritage and museums


A joint report by German and Syrian organisations has documented severe damage to Syria's historical heritage and antiquities.The report by the Gerda Henkel Foundation and the Paris-based Syrian Society for the Protection of Antiquities monitored 29 museums and places of worship that have suffered various damage due to military, aerial and ground bombardments - including the museums of Maarat al-Numan, Palmyra and Raqqa.The report, compiled by Syrian academic Sheikmos Ali, also called for an investigation into the transfer of 405 boxes of antiquities to Dubai by former Defence Minister Mustafa Tlass when he left Syria in 2011. The boxes, the report said, contained thousands of looted artefacts that had been smuggled from Syria.The report said Tlass, who died in Paris in 2017, had obtained most of these pieces illegally, contradicting his claim that he had obtained official approval issued by Syrian Ministry of Culture, which included allowing them to be shipped to UAE. The report said 29 museums and places of worship had been subjected to various damage due to the civil war, including the museums of Maarat al-Numan, Palmyra, and Raqqa, which have been severely damaged.aljazeera


Egypt TV anchor: Brotherhood members who contract covid should not be treated


Egypt’s state-run TV anchor Ahmed Moussa has said that Brotherhood members who contract coronavirus should not be treated, labelling them traitors who don’t deserve to live in Egypt.“They are dogs,” says Moussa, in his deeply offensive tirade.“If [President] Sisi does not accomplish anything else, he buried the Brotherhood. That’s enough,” he added. “There is no Brotherhood in Egypt. They’re done.”


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. Compiled and edited by Anwarulhaq (Released at: 11:00 PM)


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