NEWS DIGEST EVENING
11 JULY 2020: 19 Zualqada 1441: Vol: 12, No: 251
*INDIA- ISLAMOPHOBIA, HUMAN RIGHTS & OTHERS*
The questions left unanswered: ‘links’ with police, politicians
After the failed police raid on July 3, questions were raised about gangster Vikas Dubey’s alleged links with some in the police department, as well as politicians across parties. These questions will remain unanswered now.In a purported video circulated on social media, Dubey is heard naming two BJP MLAs, and saying that he has links with them and some other local party leaders. Photographs of Dubey with a senior Congress leader also surfaced on social media.There were also photographs of a local businessman in Kanpur, who was allegedly Dubey’s close aide and handled his finances, with former Kanpur SSP Anant Deo Tiwari. This businessman, who once owned a tea shop, is now in police custody. On July 7, Tiwari was transferred to the Provincial Armed Constabulary (PAC) in Moradabad sector, following reports of a purported letter written to him by Deputy SP Devendra Kumar Mishra on the alleged links between Dubey and a local police station head. Mishra was among the eight policemen killed in the raid in Bikru village on July 3. The reported letter, which also warned of a serious incident, could not be found in official records.The station officer of Chaubeypur, Vinay Tiwari, and Sub-Inspector Krishna Kumar Sharma, who are suspected to have tipped off Dubey on the raid to arrest him, have been arrested on charges of conspiracy. Earlier this week, all the 68 personnel posted at the Chaubeypur police station were removed.Besides the local Chaubeypur police station, Dubey was also reported to have links with police personnel at the Shivrajpur, Bilhaur and Bithoor police stations in Kanpur Nagar and Shivli police station in Kanpur Dehat.In 2001, he is alleged to have chased a BJP leader, Santosh Shukla, who then had minister of state rank in UP, inside Shivli police station and shot him dead in broad daylight. The licence of the rifle which he allegedly used has not been cancelled till date. Four years later, Dubey was acquitted; the gunner and personal staff of the murdered man gave statements in Dubey’s favour.
Vikas Dubey encounter: Oppn parties slam UP govt, seek judicial investigation
Raising questions over the encounter killing of gangster Vikas Dubey, opposition Congress and BSP on Friday demanded a judicial inquiry into the incident, while the Samajwadi Party said the accident, which police said prompted Dubey to attempt escape, leading to the encounter, was an effort to save the Uttar Pradesh government from toppling, lest facts came to light.Maintaining that the BJP has turned Uttar Pradesh into “Apradh Pradesh (crime province)”, Congress general secretary Priyanka Gandhi Vadra said the Congress demands an inquiry into the Kanpur incident by a sitting judge of Supreme Court. “The reality of people who nurtured and helped the likes of Vikas Dubey flourish should be exposed. Justice will not be done until this nexus is exposed,” she said.BSP chief Mayawati said, “There should be an inquiry under supervision of the Supreme Court into the Kanpur incident as well as the encounter of Vikas Dubey…” She said a high-level inquiry is necessary to ensure justice for families of the eight policemen killed by Dubey’s gang in Kanpur, as also to probe the politics-crime nexus.Questioning the way the police vehicle carrying Dubey met with an accident, SP chief Akhilesh Yadav said, “Dar asal yeh car nahi palti hai; raaz khulne se sarkar palatne se bach gayi hai (actually, the car did not topple. It was an effort to save the government, which would have toppled if facts came to light).”In a video message, Priyanka said: “The government’s own figures show that UP is number one in crimes against children, Dalits, women, illegal arms and weapons, murders.” Maintaining that criminals such as Dubey flourished in such atmosphere, she said, “They have big businesses and commit crimes with impunity. The entire state knows that they receive protection from the people in power.” After Dubey’s encounter, she said, “how can we assure the families of the eight slain policemen that they are getting justice…that their martyrdom has not gone in vain?”
Opposition Questions Gangster Vikas Dubey's Encounter, Says It Was Stage-Managed To Bury The Secrets
Vikas Dubey killing: Trinamool Congress says ‘justice killed’ in UP, CPM calls it ‘cold-blooded murder’ by cops
TMC MP Mahua Moitra on Friday launched an attack against the Uttar Pradesh government over the killing of gangster Vikas Dubey, alleging that justice is the “only thing killed” in Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath’s “encounter raj”.Dubey was killed in an encounter earlier in the day, after a police vehicle carrying him from Ujjain in Madhya Pradesh to Kanpur in UP met with an accident at Bhaunti area of Kanpur district.“It is the job of the courts to deliver justice. It is the job of the police to deliver the accused. Shocking that India under @BJP has confused the two. Only thing killed in Yogiji’s “encounter Raj” is justice!” said Moitra in a tweet.CPM MP Mohammed Salim described it as a “cold blooded murder”.“The Nazi war criminals at Nuremberg trials too tried to brush off their culpability on their superior officers. The criminal-politican nexus of BJP which was on the verge of getting exposed has now vanished in #VikasDubeyEncounter,” added the CPM leader.
Maharashtra lawyer seeks urgent hearing in Supreme Court on Vikas Dubey death
In a written communication to the Supreme Court on Saturday, advocate Ghanshyam Upadhyay sought an “extremely urgent” hearing, saying the U.P. police had made its intention clear to kill “everyone related to Vikas Dubey” without ascertaining whether they were in anyway associated with the July 3 ambush of a police team and murder of eight police officers at Bikru village.“Vikas Dubey was arrested on July 9 from Ujjain, M.P. and his custody was obtained by U.P. police. In the petition itself, it was apprehended that there is every possibility of U.P. police resorting to kill Vikas Dubey in fake encounter during his transit and eventually, this happened and he was also killed in fake encounter,” the letter to the Supreme Court said.It said there was apprehension that “the manner in which U.P. police has resorted to kill every one related to Vikas Dubey without ascertaining their involvement in the alleged crime or otherwise, it is axiomatic that the U.P. police and administration have no fear, faith and respect for law and judiciary and they have become law unto themselves and police is taking the country towards ‘Talibanisation’ which cannot be countenanced at any cost”.
Encounter impunity on record: 74 probes complete in UP, police get clean chit in all
Following guidelines laid down by the Supreme Court in a 2014 case, the Uttar Pradesh government will hold an inquiry into the killing of gangster Vikas Dubey who was shot dead by policemen who said he tried to flee while being moved from Madhya Pradesh.The outcome of that inquiry is anybody’s guess.For, as per records, Dubey is the 119th accused to have been killed in what police called cross-firing since the Yogi Adityanath government took charge in March 2017.Magisterial inquiries have been completed in 74 encounter cases where deaths occurred and the police have got a clean chit in all. In as many as 61 cases, closure reports filed by the police have been accepted by the court.
Man shot in leg during Delhi riots, High Court says must compensate fast
The Delhi High Court has directed the Delhi government to immediately process the application for compensation by a victim of the Northeast Delhi riots, who sustained a gunshot injury to the leg. “There is no doubt that the petitioner (Shaan Mohd) has suffered a serious injury. There is no reason for any delay in releasing the compensation,” Justice Prathiba M Singh said. It directed that the “petitioner’s application may be processed in accordance with the requisite procedure and upon satisfaction, compensation in terms of the scheme shall be released to the petitioner within a period of 10 days” from July 8. “If the SDM office finds any deficiency in the petitioner’s application, the same shall be communicated to the petitioner by July 10,” the order reads.
Delhi riots: Two employees of suspended AAP Councillor Tahir Hussain two are the key witnesses against him
Two key witnesses in a case of communal violence in north east Delhi in which suspended AAP Councillor Tahir Hussain was booked as one of the main accused, were employed under him and saw him talking to several persons in a “very secretive” manner before the start of the riots on February 24, a charge sheet filed by Delhi Police in a court here has said.Girish Pal and Rahul Kasana said in their statements to the police that on February 24 they were present in the office of Hussain in Khajuri Khas area.“In the afternoon, they saw several persons gathered at the ground floor of the house of Tahir Hussain and he was talking with them in a very secretive manner and accused Shah Alam, Irshad, Abid, Arshad Pradhan, Rashid and Shadab were also present there along with other unknown persons,” the charge sheet said.PTI
‘I am sorry’: KCR on damage to mosque, temple during secretariat demolition
Telangana chief minister K Chandrasekhar Rao on Friday expressed regret over the damage caused to two mosques and a temple in the premises of Telangana secretariat which is being demolished to pave way for the construction of a new official complex. “I am sorry about the incident. This happened unexpectedly. It should not have happened. The government’s intention is to build a new secretariat complex by demolishing the old buildings without causing any damage to the temple or the mosques,” an official release from chief minister’s office quoting KCR said. The demolition of two mosques - Masjid Dafaatir-e-Muatamadi and Masjid-e-Hashmi and Nalla Pochamma temple, a Hindu shrine, which had been part of the secretariat complex for decades - kicked up a controversy evoking protests from the religious groups. Muslim groups strongly protested the demolition of mosques without consulting the Islamic religious heads. “One cannot shift the mosque from its original place. Once a mosque, always a mosque,” Hamid Mohammad Khan, president of Jamaat-e-Islami, Telangana chapter, told Hindustan Times.Leaders of the United Muslim Forum led by MIM president MP Asaduddin Owaisi, condemned the demolition of two mosques in the premises of the old secretariat in Hyderabad and demanded their immediate reconstruction.Meanwhile, the state high court on Friday stayed the demolition of secretariat buildings till Monday and asked the government to submit the details of permissions obtained for demolition.
Less than 1% of OBC castes corner 50% reservation benefits, 20% get none, govt panel finds
New Delhi: Just about 40 of 5,000-6,000 castes/communities among the OBCs (other backward classes) — which constitute less than 1 per cent — have cornered 50 per cent of the reservation benefits in admissions to central educational institutions and recruitment to central services, a panel constituted by the government has found. According to the panel, formed to examine the sub-categorisation of OBCs in October 2017, around 20 per cent of OBC communities did not get any quota benefit between 2014 and 2018. The findings were shared with ThePrint by the members of the panel, whose mandate requires it to look at the distribution of reservation benefits at the central level. Led by retired Delhi High Court chief justice G. Rohini, the commission got its ninth extension, for six months, on 24 June.
Delhi riots: No relief to Sharjeel Imam from HC
Delhi high court granted no relief to former JNU student Sharjeel Imam as it dismissed his petition challenging the trial court's order granting more time to complete the probe against him and also seeking default bail in a case pertaining to inflammatory speech during the anti-CAA protests. A single judge bench of the high court presided by Justice V Kameshwar Rao turned down the petition filed by Imam through advocates Bhavook Chauhan, Surabhi Dhar and Ahmed Ibrahim had also sought court's direction to release Imam on default bail under section 167(2) of the CrPC. The high court had on June 25 reserved its order on petition filed by Imam after hearing the matter at length through video conferencing.Senior advocate Rebecca John who was appearing for Imam opposed the submissions of the ASG and submitted that due to the delay in investigation, her client is suffering. "There is no parity between them (police) and me, I am the one who suffers consequences," John argued.IANS
Delhi riots: Court dismisses anticipatory bail pleas of man in 3 cases
During the hearing held through video conferencing, Special Public Prosecutor Saleem Ahmed told the court that according to details of the charge sheets, the complainants in the three cases have individually identified Raj to be allegedly part of the mob which had vandalised their houses in Shastri Park area. The complainants Abdul Nazir, Mohd Irshad and Mehboob Hassan have clearly identified separately that Raj was allegedly also a member of an unlawful assembly which had vandalised several houses of the locality in village old Garhi Mendu, the counsel noted.PTI
Fast track disbursal of relief to Delhi riot victims: Govt to Northeast DM
New Delhi: Amid reports of Northeast Delhi riot victims still waiting for compensation amount promised to them, Deputy Chief Minister Manish Sisodia called the district magistrate and divisional commissioner for a meeting on Friday and issued directions to immediately disburse the funds, said a Delhi government official.Shashi Kaushal, DM (Northeast), confirmed that she received a note from Sisodia and said the administration will follow it and disburse funds. “We are checking our applications and compensating people for their losses. A lot of families have also not filed applications. We are looking into the matter,” she said. As per the note, in a lot of cases, compensation was sanctioned but the amount wasn’t credited. The note also mentions that the DM office must look into the forms that were filed but couldn’t be submitted at SDM office, and forms that were submitted but haven’t been verified. The note asks the district authorities to provide a status report on the issues raised and a timeline to provide compensation to those eligible as quickly as possible.
20 Congress MLAs say BJP trying to topple Ashok Gehlot govt, saffron party hits back
A day after more than 20 Congress MLAs in Rajasthan accused the opposition BJP of trying to bring down the Ashok Gehlot-led government, the saffron party on Saturday said the Grand Old Party was simply trying to divert the attention from its ‘mismanagement’ in handling the Covid-19 crisis. It added that the Congress was blaming BJP for internal feuds with the party.“After failing to handle the Covid-19 crisis and being unsuccessful in every front of the governance since the past one-and-half-years, the Congress is now blaming us with baseless allegations to divert the attention of the public. It actually reflects the internal feud within the Congress party and how they don’t trust their own MLAs,” state BJP president Satish Poonia said.Late on Friday night, 24 Congress MLAs had alleged that the saffron party was trying to bring down the Congress government in the state through horse trading and other corrupt practices.
BJP offering MLAs Rs 10-15 crore to topple my govt, says Ashok Gehlot
Two arrested in Rajasthan for offering money to MLAs, topple government
The Special Operations Group of Rajasthan Police has arrested two persons in an alleged bid to topple the Ashok Gehlot led Congress government by breaking away Congress and Independent MLAs by offering them Rs 20-25 crores each. As per FIR, lodged by the SOG in this regard on Friday evening and SOG had taken two numbers on surveillance to check smuggling of illegal weapons and explosive substances. “From the conversation on these numbers, it appears that attempts are being made to topple the government, and preparations were completed before the Rajya Sabha elections. In the conversation, it is said that Chief Minister and Deputy Chief Minister are having a fight; in such a situation, the ruling party MLAs and independent MLAs can be broken away to topple the government and a new CM will be put in place,” states the FIR.
Karnataka mulls ban on cow slaughter, beef consumption after Covid-19 situation eases
Karnataka is planning to ban cow slaughter as well as the sale and consumption of beef by bringing Prevention of Cow Slaughter and Preservation Bill, 2012.“Many states have passed the Anti-Cow Slaughter Bill. We are preparing to implement it in Karnataka as well. The state government will soon implement a ban on cow slaughter, sale and consumption of beef on the lines of many other states,” said Prabhu Chauhan, the state’s Animal Husbandry Minister.Anti-Cow Slaughter Act is already in place in several states like Gujarat, Delhi, Haryana, Maharashtra, Madhya Pradesh among others.Last month, the Yogi Adityanath-led Uttar Pradesh government passed a draft ordinance to prevent cow slaughter, providing maximum rigorous imprisonment of 10 years and a fine up to Rs 5 lakh.
*INDO-PAK, J&K & SOUTH ASIA*
India-China ties will be reset after LAC stand-off, says former NSA Shivshankar Menon
India and China must fully reset ties, says former National Security Advisor Shivshankar Menon, cautioning that any move to allow buffer zones, mutual pullouts and suspending patrols at the Line of Actual Control sends out the wrong message that both sides are equally responsible for the aggression. He said, " Well, I think there’s no question that, after this, India-China relations will be reset. I think there’s no going back to the situation before [Ladakh stand-off]. I do think this has been building up for some time, that India-China relations have been getting more and more adversarial for some years before this. But certainly what China did this time: pressing forward on multiple points along the LAC, then changing the definition of what she claims to be the LAC, the deaths for the first time since 1975 [in June 15 Galwan clash]. All this, I think, represents a significant change in Chinese behaviour and actually calls into question the whole structure of agreements and confidence-building measures that were put in place since 1988 and with the 1993 agreement, which had kept the peace on the border for some time.It’s been very hard to be too specific because, frankly, both governments’ strategic communication has been abysmal. There’s a lot of spin, a lot of leaks, a lot of motivated articles in the press. But there’s very little authoritative commentary by the government and even what they say, they then backtrack, clarify etc. So, it is difficult at this stage to comment on the particular details of what is happening and what has happened in the last few months. But this is still a crisis. I don’t see this as having been solved yet or being behind us. And I am sure that India-China relations will have to be reset after this."
Decoupling trade ties to hurt both, says China envoy
As the border working mechanism reviewed the situation on the ground in Ladakh and the “progress made” in disengagement of troops along the Line of Actual Control, Beijing’s envoy to New Delhi Friday said “the so-called ‘decoupling’ of China-India economic and trade relations” will “only harm others without benefit to oneself, and it will eventually hurt oneself as well”.Ambassador Sun Weidong, in a statement released by the Chinese embassy on its website, said the two countries “should meet each other halfway” to “overcome” the “complex situation” in ties and “turn it around as soon as possible”. He said both should be “partners rather than opponents or adversaries”.While calling for building “mutual trust” and “need to respect and accommodate mutual core interests and major concern”, he also said both must “adhere to the principle of non-interference in each other’s internal affairs”.
'Government Misleading Media on Chinese Disengagement Along LAC'
New Delhi: He may be a lone voice but Ajai Shukla, one of India’s most highly regarded defence reporters, has repeatedly insisted that the Modi government has made misleading claims about the extent of Chinese disengagement at various points along the LAC in Ladakh where China’s Peoples Liberation Army has been in a stand-off with the Indian Army.In an interview to The Wire on Saturday morning, Colonel Ajai Shukla, who is the strategic affairs editor at Business Standard, says: “China’s People’s Liberation Army has refused to withdraw” in the Hot Springs area and at “Gogra Heights … about 1,500 soldiers from either side are in confrontation.”Shukla says he’s “very confident” of his claim there’s been no disengagement at Hot Springs and Gogra. He says multiple sources have given him this information and that he has gone beyond army sources to speak to others to verify and ascertain what he calls the truth.
Perpetrators of heinous terror attacks continue to enjoy 'state hospitality' in Pak: India at UN
India has slammed Pakistan for not acting on the concrete evidences shared by it on several terrorist attacks, including the 1993 Mumbai serial blasts and the 2008 Mumbai attack and pointed out that the perpetrators of these heinous crimes, though proscribed by the UN, continue to enjoy "state hospitality" in the country. Mahaveer Singhvi, head of the Indian delegation, made the comments at a webinar during the ongoing virtual Counter-Terrorism Week.
BJP Prevents Parliamentary Panel From Scrutinising PM-CARES Fund
New Delhi: Despite concerns raised by various political parties around the Narendra Modi government allegedly using the PM CARES Fund for pushing the BJP’s cause during COVID-19 pandemic, the Public Accounts Committee of the Parliament on Friday failed to reach a consensus on examining the government’s role during the pandemic or in utilising the Fund.Earlier, The Wire had also reported on how the Modi government has been vehemently blocking RTI queries seeking more information on the fund’s donors and users. Citing a controversial Supreme Court statement, the Prime Minister’s Office refused to part with the details. In response to a query filed by a Greater Noida-based activist Vikrant Togad in April, that asked 12 questions, the PMO had refused to furnish information about the fund saying: “It is not open to the applicant under the RTI Act to bundle a series of requests into one application unless these requests are treated separately and paid for accordingly.”Now in parliament too, the government does not seem keen to provide any information to the PAC that scrutinises key reports by the Comptroller and Auditor General and has deliberated on important issues such as 2G spectrum allocation in the past.On Friday, when the committee met for the first time after the pandemic broke out to discuss the government’s response to COVID-19, its chairman and Leader of Congress in Lok Sabha, Adhir Ranjan Chowdhury, urged the members to act in the interest of the nation to arrive at a consensus. But according to NDTV, members of the BJP, who were present in large numbers, opposed the move and tried to stall the proceedings that sought to scrutinise the Centre’s actions.They also found support in Biju Janata Dal leader Bhartuhari Mahtani. From the opposition, whose members were largely outnumbered, T.R. Balu of the DMK was vocal in his support for the Chowdhury’s prop
India Coronavirus Updates: Over 8 lakh cases, death toll crosses 22000
Just four days after it crossed the 7-lakh mark, India Covid-19 tally on Saturday zoomed past the 8-lakh mark on Saturday with a record rise in 27,114 fresh cases in the last 24 hours. The country’s death toll, which is the eighth-worst in the world, climbed to 22,123 with 519 fatalities in the last 24 hours. According to Union health ministry data on Saturday, the number of recoveries stands at 5,15,385 while there are 2,83,407 active cases.Meanwhile, ICMR has said that as many as 1,13,07,002 coronavirus samples have been tested so far, of which 2,82,511 samples were tested on Friday. (Follow coronavirus India LIVE updates). Amid a surge, Kerala, Pune and most recently Uttar Pradesh have reintroduced fresh restrictions. States like Goa have ruled out the possibility of a new lockdown amid the economic “unlocking”.
Another record increase: UP lockdown in force, no let up in case rise
Uttar Pradesh on Friday reported its highest single-day spike in Covid-19 infections as an addition of 1,338 cases took the tally to 33,700. The state health department also reported 27 deaths, which pushed up its toll to 889.The record jump in cases came on a day the state implemented 55-hour restrictions from 10 pm. This increase was also the fourth straight 1,000-plus jump this week. The previous highest daily spike in cases, 1,332, was recorded on July 7. Most of the latest deaths, seven, were reported from Kanpur Nagar, which is among the worst-affected districts, followed by three in Lucknow. Varanasi, Gonda, and Jhansi reported two cases each, while one fatality each occurred in Meerut, Saharanpur, Azamgarh, Prayagraj, Mathura, Sultanpur, Rae Bareli, Hardoi, Jalaun, Mirzapur and Hathras districts. Till date, most fatalities have occurred in Agra (93), followed by Meeut (86), and Kanpur Nagar (78).
Lockdown in Guwahati extended till July 19
Assam government on Saturday extended lockdown that was implemented in the Kamrup Metropolitan district — which includes Guwahati city — till July 19 to curb the spread of Covid-19.Earlier today, state Health Minister Himanta Biswa Sarma had informed Assam Chief Secretary of this decision and said that a week would be enough to bring the Covid-19 situation under control in Guwahati. Total Covid-19 cases in Assam now stand at 15,556.
Nagaland extends lockdown till July 31
The Nagaland government has decided to extend the ongoing lockdown in the state till July 31, and charge fees for COVID-19 tests and stay at quarantine centres at a later stage, PTI reported. The ongoing lockdown in the state, which was supposed to be lifted on July 16, was extended for another 15 days at a meeting of the High Powered Committee (HPC) on COVID-19 on Friday.Government spokesperson on COVID-19 and Planning and Coordination Minister Neiba Kronu told PTI that the HPC, headed by Chief Minister Neiphiu Rio, took the decision after reviewing the existing measures and the rising cases of coronavirus in the state.
Meghalaya declares two-day total lockdown in Shillong after rise in cases
On Saturday, the government of Meghalaya announced that it would be declaring lockdown in Shillong City for two days.“The Government has decided to observe the next two working days i.e on the 13 & 14th of July, 2020 as Total #Lockdown in the Shillong City agglomeration” tweeted Chief Minister Conrad Sangma.
Complete Lockdown in Bengaluru from 8pm on July 14 to Morning of July 22
A complete lockdown will be imposed in Bengaluru Urban and Rural districts from 8pm on July 14 to 5 am on July 22 in view of the rising number of coronavirus cases in the state. Essential services have been exempted from the lockdown, said a statement from the Karnataka Chief Minister's Office (CMO) today.
No deaths in home isolation in July, finds Delhi govt study on coronavirus management
Zero deaths were reported in home isolation of novel coronavirus patients in Delhi in the first week of July. At the same time, the total number of daily deaths in the national capital is also in decline. These are the findings of the Delhi government's recent study of Covid-19 management. Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal had directed the Delhi government's Health Department to study all coronavirus-related deaths in last fortnight to understand what steps could be taken to further reduce casualties.In turn, the Health Department presented its findings to the CM on July 10.As per the findings, a total of 691 patients succumbed to Covid-19 in Delhi between June 24 and July 8. This means that Delhi witnessed an average of 46 COVID-related deaths during these two weeks. Each of these deaths was studied and analysed by the Health Department and its findings furnished in the report.
WHO chief praises efforts to control Covid-19 in Mumbai’s Dharavi slum
World Health Organisation has praised the efforts taken to contain the spread of the COVID-19 in Dharavi, one of the world’s largest slums, underscoring the need for community engagement along with national unity and global solidarity to turn the pandemic around. Dharavi, which is located in India’s commercial capital Mumbai, is spread over an area of 2.5 square kilometres and has a population of 650,000. People live in shanties and dilapidated buildings with narrow lanes and open sewers. The first COVID-19 patient in Dharavi was found on April 1, nearly three weeks after Mumbai recorded its maiden positive case on March 11.PTI
Delhi Court Grants Bail to 82 Bangladeshi Tablighi Jamaat Members
On Friday, a Delhi court granted bail to 82 foreign nationals from Bangladesh who were charged for attending Tablighi Jamaat congregation. The foreigners had allegedly violated visa norms such as indulging in illegal missionary activities and violating government guidelines issued in the wake of COVID.Chief Metropolitan Magistrate Gurmohina Kaur granted relief to the foreigners on furnishing a personal bond of Rs 10,000 each.Till date, the court has granted bail to 371 foreign nationals from 31 different countries, who were charge-sheeted in the case.In June, the police had filed 59 charge sheets, including supplementary, against 956 foreigners belonging to 36 different countries.
Tablighi case: Delhi Court allows 11 Saudis to return home
A Delhi court Friday allowed 11 foreigners from Saudi Arabia to return to their country, after they accepted mild charges under the plea bargain process related to various violations, including in visa norms, while attending the Tablighi Jamaat congregation during the Covid-19 lockdown.The order was passed by Chief Metropolitan Magistrate Gurmohina Kaur, who allowed the 11 men to be deported back to their country after noting that their plea
Gurugram: Court orders safe return of Muslim foreign nationals kept in Nuh for 3 months
GURUGRAM: 57 Muslim foreign nationals Tablighi Jamaat congregation without required permission in their visas. Their passports and visas were also seized.The court of additional sessions judge of Nuh, Prashant Rana, in its July 6 order, observed that there is no documentary evidence that the accused were conducting such events in any village and directed the district administration to ensure their safe return to their respective countries.On May 22, the trial court had struck down all the charges slapped on them by the police except one under section 188 (disobedience to order duly promulgated by public servant) of the IPC, and ordered a fine of Rs 1,000 each. Offering relief to these men, the court upheld this decision by the trial court.“All the witnesses of the prosecution itself, say that the accused were found inside a hostel and were lodged there. The same does not amount to violation of any condition of their tourist visa. The accused had permission to visit India, travel across the country and stay here, in a legal manner, which they did. Hence, no offence under sections 14(B) and 14(C) of Foreigners Act, 1946 was made,” read the order. In its observation, the court said offences under sections 269 and 270 of the IPC were added merely on the basis of apprehensions and imaginations of the investigating officer. The court observed that none of the accused knew they had coronavirus infection. Following their medico-legal examination after FIR was registered, nine of them were found to be coronavirus positive.
‘If gardens have been opened, why disallow religious gatherings’: Kashmir clerics ask Govt
Srinagar: Muslim clergy on Friday lambasted the government for disallowing congregations in mosques and other religious places at a time when gardens and parks have been thrown open for public.“Ironically, congregations in mosques and religious places are disallowed by the authorities citing COVID, but they have opened up gardens, parks, and tourist spots for people. What is unfortunate is that people are visiting these places oblivious of the dangers to their family and the society at large,” said Mutahida Majlis-e-Ulema (MMU), an amalgam of religions and socio-religious organizations.
Forced to Return from Gulf, Migrants in Kerala Are Wondering What Comes Next
Kochi: On May 7, Kerala waited with bated breath for the first Vande Bharat repatriation flight from Abu Dhabi to land at the Cochin International Airport. At 10:57 pm, Air India touched down on the runway with 177 Malayalis. Television cameras zoomed into the arrival terminal exit to catch a glimpse of the first passenger to step out of those glass doors. What was his or her story? Terminated from his company or expiry of job visa? Pre-existing medical conditions or a wife who is pregnant? COVID-positive or not? Whatever be the reason, the expat has got to be relieved to return, for sure.That was two months ago. Today, his sense of relief has been replaced by something more sinister. The compulsory quarantine period is over; the voluntary self-isolation week is also complete. It’s not the likelihood of mortality that’s worrying him now. He’s faced with a deeper, disturbing fear – what next?“We knew things were turning for the worse when my salary payment started to get delayed from February itself,” says Shelton Das, 36, who was working in the sales section of a prominent real estate company in Doha. “My wife, who is a nurse, also had February’s salary pending. Once COVID-19 struck, her clinic cut down her hours and days of work. It was an excuse to reduce her salary. My company terminated five of us within a week after that. We were stuck with two kids aged 4.5 and 1.5 years, my mother-in-law was also staying with us. We had already booked our tickets home for the summer in April. But that got cancelled without refund. The second time, friends and family back home wired the money to us. Even the vehicle I owned in Doha there was no time to sell, so I transferred the ownership to a friend of mine.”
All Delhi state varsity exams cancelled: Manish Sisodia
Delhi government on Saturday decided to cancel all the examinations in the state universities in view of the coronavirus pandemic.Deputy Chief Minister Manish Sisodia said that the degree will be awarded to the students based on evaluation parameters decided by the universities.
COVID-19 pandemic has left 147 million people unemployed globally: Study
Researchers, including one of Indian-origin, have revealed that the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic has made 147 million people unemployed, adding that the global consumption loss due to the COVID-19 amounts to an estimated $3.8 trillion.Beyond its health effects, the COVID-19 pandemic and associated lockdowns have resulted in major social and economic losses worldwide, the researchers said.While some regions, such as China and the US, have experienced greater direct economic effects than others, the entire world economy has been impacted through international trade links."Our study highlights the interconnected nature of international supply chains, with observable global spillover effects across a range of industry sectors, such as manufacturing, tourism and transport," said study researcher Arunima Malik from the University of Sydney in Australia.
Supreme Court upholds Congress leader’s bail order on condition he will not use social media
The Supreme Court issued notice to the Centre and the Uttar Pradesh government on a petition by Congress leader Sachin Choudhary, challenging the conditions imposed on him for grant of bail, Bar and Bench reported. Choudhary, who faces criminal charges for holding a press conference in violation of lockdown regulations, was ordered by the Allahabad High Court not to use social media till his trial ends.“What is wrong with an order asking you not to use social media?” Bobde asked Choudhary. “If a court can order an accused to stay away from a gun, it can similarly ask you to stay away from social media.”At the press conference, Choudhary had targeted the Centre and the Uttar Pradesh government for allegedly mishandling the coronavirus pandemic. The politician from Amroha also used social media to target Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Chief Minister Adityanath.
Arunachal Pradesh: Six suspected NSCN (IM) militants killed in gunfight with security forces
Six suspected militants belonging to the National Socialist Council of Nagaland Isak-Muivah, or NSCN (IM), separatist group were killed in a gunfight with security forces in Arunachal Pradesh’s Longding district on Saturday.A team comprising the Indian Army, the Assam Rifles and the Arunachal Pradesh Police launched a search operation in Nginu village after receiving information about the presence of militants in the area, Defence Spokesperson Lieutenant Colonel Sumit K Sharma said in a statement.Sharma added that militants began firing at the security personnel, forcing them to retaliate. “In the ensuing firefight, six cadres were neutralised while one soldier of Assam Rifles has been injured,” Sharma added. “The troops also recovered six rifles and ammunition, IEDs
Muslims offer 330 quintal wheat for langar at Golden Temple
Amritsar:AMRITSAR Muslims from Malerkotla town on Friday offered 330 quintals of wheat to Guru Ram Das Langar, the community kitchen of Golden Temple here. The delegation that brought the foodgrain was led by Sikh-Muslim Sanjha Manch president Nasir Akhtar. They paid obeisance at Darbar Sahib and also met acting Akal Takht jathedar Giani Harpreet Singh. They also partook of langar at the community kitchen.For offering the wheat, Golden Temple chief manager Mukhtiar Singh and additional manager Rajinder Singh Ruby honoured the delegation members with siropas. “Cooperation between Sikhs and Muslims has prevailed since the times of Gurus. There is a dire need of enhancing the same,” said Akhtar, who was accompanied by Anwar Khan, Shabir Khan, Mohammad Arphan, Mohammad Liyakat, Sadaq Ali and Mohammad Hanif.
World reacts to Turkey reconverting Hagia Sophia into a mosque
President Recep Tayyip Erdogan declared Istanbul's iconic Hagia Sophia open to Muslim worship on Friday after a top court ruled the building's conversion to a museum by modern Turkey's founding statesman was illegal.Erdogan made his announcement, just an hour after the court ruling was revealed, despite international warnings not to change the status of the nearly 1,500-year-old monument, revered by Christians and Muslims alike."The decision was taken to hand over the management of the Ayasofya Mosque ... to the Religious Affairs Directorate and open it for worship," the decision signed by Erdogan said.The UNESCO World Heritage Site in Istanbul, a magnet for tourists worldwide, was first constructed as a cathedral in the Christian Byzantine Empire but was converted into a mosque after the Ottoman conquest of Constantinople in 1453. Awaiting of decision for Hagia Sophia trialThe court decision was followed quickly by Erdogan saying that the UNESCO World Heritage Site in Istanbul would be reopened for Muslim worship.The Council of State, Turkey's highest administrative court, unanimously cancelled a 1934 cabinet decision and said Hagia Sophia was registered as a mosque in its property deeds.The United States, Greece and church leaders were among those to express concern about changing the status of the huge sixth-century building, converted into a museum in the early days of the modern secular Turkish state under Mustafa Kemal Ataturk.
The Russian Orthodox Church expressed dismay at Turkey's decision to revoke the museum status of Hagia Sophia, accusing it of ignoring voices of millions of Christians."The concern of millions of Christians has not been heard," Russian Orthodox Church spokesman Vladimir Legoida said in comments carried by the Russian news agency Interfax.Previously, Ecumenical Patriarch Bartholomew, the spiritual head of some 300 million Orthodox Christians worldwide and based in Istanbul, said converting it into a mosque would disappoint Christians and would "fracture" East and West.
UNESCO said its World Heritage Committee would review Hagia Sophia's status, saying it was "regrettable that the Turkish decision was not the subject of dialog nor notification beforehand"."UNESCO calls on the Turkish authorities to open a dialog without delay in order to avoid a step back from the universal value of this exceptional heritage whose preservation will be reviewed by the World Heritage Committee in its next session," the United Nation's cultural body said in a statement.
The European Union
The European Union's foreign policy chief Josep Borrell called the decision "regrettable"."The ruling by the Turkish Council of State to overturn one of modern Turkey's landmark decisions and President Erdogan's decision to place the monument under the management of the Religious Affairs Presidency is regrettable," he said in a statement.
Cypriot Foreign Minister Nikos Christodoulides, a Greek Cypriot, posted on his official Twitter account that Cyprus "strongly condemns Turkey's actions on Hagia Sophia in its effort to distract domestic opinion and calls on Turkey to respect its international obligations".
"We are disappointed by the decision by the government of Turkey to change the status of the Hagia Sophia," Morgan Ortagus, State Department spokesperson, said in a statement."We understand the Turkish Government remains committed to maintaining access to the Hagia Sophia for all visitors, and look forward to hearing its plans for continued stewardship of the Hagia Sophia to ensure it remains accessible without impediment for all."
Greece branded Turkey's move an "open provocation to the civilised world"."The nationalism displayed by Erdogan ... takes his country back six centuries," Culture Minister Lina Mendoni said in a statement.Mendoni further said the court ruling "absolutely confirms that there is no independent justice" in Turkey.
Vladimir Dzhabarov, deputy head of the foreign affairs committee in the Russian upper house of parliament, called the action "a mistake"."Turning it into a mosque will not do anything for the Muslim world. It does not bring nations together, but on the contrary brings them into collision," he said.
Palestinian group Hamas has welcomed the verdict allowing the opening of Hagia Sophia as a mosque."Opening of Hagia Sophia to prayer is a proud moment for all Muslims," said Rafat Murra, head of international press office of Hamas, in a written statement, quoted by Turkey's Anadolu Agency.Murra stressed that the decision fell under Turkey's sovereignty rights.
Turkish Republic of Northern CyprusS(TRNC), recognised only by Turkey, is happy with the opening of Hagia Sophia as a mosque."Hagia Sophia has been Turkish, a mosque and a world heritage since 1453. The decision to use it as a mosque, at the same time to be visited as a museum, is sound and it is pleasing," Prime Minister Ersin Tatar said.
European Union Says Turkey's Decision to Make Historic Monument Hagia Sophia Mosque is 'Regrettable'
US sanctions highest-ranking Chinese official over Uighur Muslims rights
US has imposed sanctions on the highest-ranking Chinese official yet targeted over alleged human rights abuses against the Uighur Muslim minority, a move likely to further ratchet up tensions between Washington and Beijing.Washington blacklisted Xinjiang region's Communist Party Secretary Chen Quanguo, a member of China's powerful Politburo, and three other officials. The highly anticipated action followed months of Washington's hostility toward Beijing over China's handling of the novel coronavirus outbreak and its tightening grip on Hong Kong.A senior administration official who briefed reporters after the announcements described Chen as the highest-ranking Chinese official ever sanctioned by the United States.The blacklisting is "no joke," he said. "Not only in terms of symbolic and reputational affect, but it does have real meaning on a person's ability to move around the world and conduct business.Reuters
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