02 July 2020

2 JULY NEWS: As Civilian is Killed in Encounter, Police Place Kashmiri Child at Centre of Propaganda War: the wire. Pakistani troop movement in Ladakh, sources say China in talks with Pak terror groups: india today. No question of deporting foreign Tablighi Jamaat members if criminal cases are pending, says Supreme Court

02 JULY 2020. 10 ZU AL-QA'DAH 1441. Vol-12, No-247


As Civilian is Killed in Encounter, Police Place Kashmiri Child at Centre of Propaganda War: the wire

Srinagar: A 3-year-old Kashmiri boy has been placed at the centre of a political war of words on social media after his grandfather was reportedly killed in cross-fire between militants and the police, while the child was present. His family has said that the grandfather, Bashir Ahmed, was killed by the police – an allegation dismissed by the police as the product of threats from militants.Now, the family says the child himself has confirmed their allegation.When this reporter met the family at their home on the outskirts of Srinagar, they said 3-year-old boy, AB*, when asked who killed his ‘papa’, had told them that the police did. AB was accompanying his grandfather when latter was killed in north Kashmir’s Sopore town in cross fire between militants and government forces on Wednesday morning. One CRPF man was also killed in the militant ambush, while 3 CRPF men were injured. Unaware of the tragedy that had fallen on his family, AB was playing in a plastic tub and eating snacks when this reporter visited his home on Wednesday evening.AB’s parents told The Wire that their son claimed policemen had shot his grandfather, a claim they too believe to be true. AB confirmed this in the presence of this reporter, too, who met the child with the consent of his father and the support of his family.When asked what happened to ‘papa’, which is what he calls his grandfather, AB said “goli mari” (he was shot). By whom, he replied “Police wale ne” (by police).“Papa (grandfather) ko goli mari policewale ne (A policeman killed grandpa),”boy told this reporter. “Policewala ne gori mari (A policeman shot at him),”“I enjoyed the drive (Mujhe gaadi mai mazaa aya tha…Papa died (Papa margaya)…police killed him,” AB said when asked to recall the incident. The police said militants attacked a CRPF and police party at around 7.45 am while they were placing a naka at Model Town in Sopore, some 50 kms from Srinagar. They said Bashir Ahmed came out of his car to take his grandson to safety and was fired upon by militants. However, Nazir Ahmad, a brother of the deceased, alleged that Bashir was asked to come out of from his vehicle and killed on the roadside.“If he was killed in cross-firing, how come did no bullet hit his car”, he asked. “The police are lying,” he said.The Sopore police took to Twitter to warn people that legal action would be taken against anyone circulating “false reports and rumours” about Bashir’s death.The whole of Wednesday, a photograph of AB sitting calmly on top of the lifeless body of his grandfather, Bashir Ahmed, circulated widely on social media with BJP leaders promoting the narrative that there would be no Pulitzer Prize for the heart-rending image since the man had been killed by terrorists and not the security forces.At a press conference in Srinagar, IGP Kashmir range, Vijay Kumar rejected the family’s claims about Bashir having been killed by the security forces, calling it totally baseless.He said that the family were levelling these allegations under militant threat. Meanwhile, ex J&K chief minister Omar Abdullah decried the use of the child’s “misery” as a propaganda tool. thewire


90% militants gunned down in Valley this year were local youths: indianexpress

Over 90 per cent of militants gunned down in the Valley in the first half of 2020 were local youths, according to J&K Police records.Officials said 118 militants have been killed in the last six months, 11 of whom were foreigners and 107 were local youths.IGP, Kashmir, Vijay Kumar said nearly half of the militants killed in the last six months were from Hizbul Mujahideen. “In last 6 months, the commanders of militant outfits have been killed as well,” he said.Among the militants killed in the Valley this year, 57 are from Hizbul, 24 from Let, 22 from JeM, 7 each from ISJK and AGH and one from Al-Badr.During a press conference on Wednesday, IGP Kumar said the main target for the next 2 months will be to neutralise JeM’s Pakistan militant Adnan, JeM commander Waleed and Ghazi Rashid. “It is being said that he (Ghazi) has been sent by Pakistan recently, and is an ex-armyman and JeM chief,” he said.About militant recruitment in the last 6 months, police records show that 67 people have joined militant ranks this year.“129 people joined militancy in the first 6 months last year. This year, data shows there is a decline of 48 per cent. It is a good thing for forces and society.Of 67, around 24 have beenneutralised in encounters and 12 have been arrested, and the rest of them are in the field. I appeal to the parents to bring them back. Make them understand. If any parent brings him back, we will not take legal action and will take it as surrender,” said IGP.


Christians in J&K demand equal share in govt schemes

Jammu:Jammu and Kashmir Christian Minority Welfare Association has alleged neglect in various spheres of life and demanded equal share in government schemes.In an emergency meeting held here, association chairman Nassir Masih alleged that UT administration has been sidelining the community from various government schemes. Masih claimed that list of beneficiaries under self employment loan scheme recently issued by SC, ST and OBC Corporation has totally ignored the community. He also alleged that even the basic rights were denied to Christians in J&K and they were ill-treated.President of the association Michael Wazir said Christians make up less than 3% of the population in J&K. “We have a feeling of being systematically sidelined from getting the benefits of govt quotas meant for minority communities. UT administration is expected to promote the interests of the weaker sections,” he said.HT 


 Pakistani troop movement in Ladakh, sources say China in talks with Pak terror groups: india today

New Delhi:At a time when the Indian and Chinese militaries continue to engage in talks to defuse the tension in Ladakh region, sources say Pakistan has started moving troops along the Gilgit-Baltistan area and Chinese army is holding talks with terror organisation Al Badr to incite violence in Jammu and Kashmir. According to sources, Pakistan has moved almost 20,000 additional troops in the northern Ladakh region to match Chinese deployments.Sources have indicated that Pakistan is looking at an opportunity to open a two-front attack on India. Meanwhile, there were a series of meetings between Indian Army and intelligence officials to discuss the looming threat.Sources have said Pakistan’s ISI, egged on by Chinese, has further increased the sending of battle-hardened terrorists or even planning BAT operations in India.Sources have also said that the groups are also discussing "internal sabotage" with the nearly 100 Pakistani terrorists inside Kashmir.


Germany, US block China’s anti-India move at UNSC: TOI

NEW DELHI: China is livid after US stepped in on Wednesday evening to delay a draft press statement condemning the terrorist attack at the Karachi Stock Exchange at the UN Security Council. US was the second country after Germany to delay the statement, both silent expressions of solidarity with New Delhi, after the Pakistan foreign minister Shah Mehmood Qureshi and later PM Imran Khan blamed India for the attack.The press statement, drafted by China, in addition to expressing condolence and solidarity with Pakistan government, said, “The members of the Security Council underlined the need to bring perpetrators, organisers, financiers and sponsors of these reprehensible acts of terrorism to justice and urged all States, in accordance with their obligations under international law and relevant Security Council resolutions, to cooperate actively with the Government of Pakistan and all other relevant authorities in this regard.”


China blocks Indian media websites, INS seeks govt action

After China blocked access to all Indian newspapers and media websites, the Indian Newspaper Society (INS) on Tuesday issued a statement saying that the action by the Chinese government is uncalled for. INS president Shailesh Gupta, on behalf of the members, “stated that the action of Chinese government to restrict access of Indian newspapers and media websites is uncalled for and even the access through VPN server has been blocked by creating a technologically advanced firewall”.


India can even do digital strike: IT Minister Ravi Shankar Prasad on banning 59 Chinese apps

Union IT Minister Ravi Shankar Prasad has called the ban on 59 Chinese apps “a digital strike” by India on China. Speaking at a virtual BJP rally in Bengal, minister said the apps were banned to protect data of Indians.Ravi Shankar Prasad has said, "For security and sovereignty of India, for countrymen's digital security and privacy we have banned 59 apps, including TikTok. India knows how to look in the eyes of those eyeing our borders and to protect countrymen, India can even do a digital strike."Ravi Shankar Prasad also said, “India for peace but if somebody casts an evil eye we will give befitting reply.”


Myanmar calls out China for arming terror groups, asks world to help

Myanmar, China’s closest ally in southeast Asia, has pointed fingers at Beijing for arming insurgent groups with sophisticated weapons and sought international cooperation to suppress rebel groups. In a recent interview to Russian state-run TV channel Zvezda, Myanmar’s Senior General Min Aung Hlaing said terrorist organisations active in Myanmar are backed by ‘strong forces’ and sought international cooperation to suppress rebel groups.The reference to ‘strong forces’ was widely seen to be a reference to Myanmar’s neighbour in the north, China. Myanmar military spokesperson Brigadier General Zaw Min Tun later elaborated on the comment made by the Commander-in-Chief of Myanmar’s armed forces. The spokesperson said the army chief was referring to Arakan Army (AA) and Arakan Rohingya Salvation Army (ARSA), terrorist organisations active in the Rakhine State in western Myanmar that borders China.A ‘foreign country’ is behind the Arakan Army (AA), he said, citing China-made weapons that terror group used in mine attacks on the military in 2019.


Nepal Prime Minister KP Oli meets president, party chief as calls for his resignation grow

Nepal President Bidya Devi Bhandari on Thursday prorogued the Budget Session of Parliament following a Cabinet meeting and her interaction with Prime Minister KP Sharma Oli, The Kathmandu Post reported. This came amid significant backlash against Oli in his country after claiming that the Indian government and his political rivals were plotting to oust him from powerAhead of the meeting, Oli held a one-on-one discussion with Bhandari about the situation. He also met former Prime Minister Pushpa Kamal Dahal (Prachanda), News18 reported.


9 Individuals Linked to Khalistani Organisations Designated as Terrorists: Home Ministry

New Delhi: Union home minister Amit Shah on Wednesday declared nine individuals linked to separatist Khalistani organisations, including four based in Pakistan, as designated terrorists under provisions of UAPA.According to a statement by the home ministry, individuals include Wadhawa Singh Babbar, chief of Babbar Khalsa International (BKI); Lakhbir Singh Rode, who heads International Sikh Youth Federation; Ranjeet Singh, chief of Khalistan Zindabad Force (KZB) and Paramjit Singh Panjwar, who leads Khalistan Commando Force. All these four are Pakistan-based terrorist organisations.The others are: Germany-based key members of terrorist organisation KZB Bhupinder Singh Bhinda and Gurmeet Singh Bagga; Gurpatwant Singh Pannun, US-based key member of unlawful association Sikh for Justice, Hardeep Singh Nijjar: Canada based Chief of Khalistan Tiger Force and the UK-based Paramjit Singh of BKI.PTI


Meghalaya Villagers Want to Secede to Bangladesh to Escape 'Deplorable' Facilities

Amid India-China border skirmishes, tribal villagers in Meghalaya residing on the edge of India-Bangladesh have asked the Indian government to give away their four villages and its population to Bangladesh if the government is not willing to construct an all-weather road for them.The tribesmen of Hingaria, Huroi, Lahalein and Lejri villages have been moving from pillar to post to draw the attention of those in power both at New Delhi and Shillong to construct the Rymbai-Bataw-Borkhat-Sonapur Road for many years but their pleas is yet to see the light of the day.The “pathetic” and “deplorable” condition of the road has affected the livelihood of the hoi polloi in the four villages. It has come to a point where the very existence of these people is threatened because of the economic and developmental issues which the villages face.The absence of a proper road, mobile connectivity and proper medical facilities have crippled the lives of more than 5,000 people residing in these villages. It has come to a point where the residents have to rely on Bangladesh for their survival since the government is least interested in these border villages.


Indian High Commission Was Secretly Raided by New Zealand's Spy Agency Twice: Report:thewire

New Delhi: New Zealand’s spy agency broke into the Indian high commission for UK’s MI6 during the waning years of the cold war to photograph secret documents that were used to encrypt communications, New Zealand media reported on Wednesday.As per a report published by Radio New Zealand, New Zealand’s Security Intelligence Service (SIS) had broken into the Indian high commission at least twice in 1989 and 1991. Named Operation Dunnage, “the operations included at least two raids on the Indian High Commission in Wellington in 1989 and 1991 to photograph thousands of pages from the commission’s code books, which were used to encrypt communications”.


No question of deporting foreign Tablighi Jamaat members if criminal cases are pending, says Supreme Court

The Supreme Court on Thursday orally observed that there was “no question” of deporting “foreign Tablighi Jamaat members” if there were criminal proceedings against them. The court was responding to pleas by the foreign nationals to deport them, saying they had not exactly harmed national security by taking part in a Tablighi Jamaat gathering amid the pandemic lockdown in the national capital. Deportation is the normal action taken by any government for visa violations, they said“But if there are criminal cases pending, there is no question of deportation. It is the Union of India’s discretion,” Justice A.M. Khanwilkar, speaking for the three-judge Bench, remarked during a virtual court hearing.The court’s oral observations came soon after the Ministry of Home Affairs (MHA) clarified in an affidavit that visas of 2,679 foreigners were cancelled on a “case-to-case basis”.In the previous hearing, the court had asked the government to clarify whether blacklisting and cancellation of visas of the foreign nationals was a blanket directive or care was taken to hear and decide the merits of each case individually.MHA affidavit said 2,765 “foreign Tablighi Jamaat members” were blacklisted. It said these foreign nationals were now “spread” across the country. The court scheduled the case for further hearing on July 9, giving time for the petitioners to file their rejoinders to Ministry affidavit. The court directed the government to send the individual orders of visa cancellation to the foreign nationals in question.

Tablighi Jamaat: Individual orders of visa cancellation served on foreign national, Centre contends in SC

Separate Order Passed on Blacklisting, Visa Cancellation of 2,765 Tablighi Members, Centre Tells SC


Delhi's 5.5 Lakh COVID Projection Came From Centre: Sisodia

Delhi Deputy Chief Minister Manish Sisodia on Thursday said the projection of 5.5 lakh coronavirus cases in the capital by the end of July came from the central government and he shared it with public to alert people. His clarification came after Union Minister Amit Shah said Sisodia's statement had created fear among the people."No one can predict what will happen tomorrow but all the projections that were being shared in the Government of India portal, I shared that on 8th June. I felt it was important to share with public because public also need to be on alert. There can be a different viewpoint also," Sisodia told NDTV.Home Minister Amit Shah had said that centre had to "step in" after Mr Sisodia's comment and also assured that Delhi will not have 5.5 lakh cases by July 31. Delhi has reported nearly 90,000 coronavirus cases including 2,803 deaths so far,"Around the second week of June, Delhi Deputy Chief Minister Manish Sisodia said that by July 31 there will be 5.5 lakh persons infected with the virus. He said that there will be no place left, no beds left and the situation will be difficult. This created a lot of fear in the minds of people in Delhi," Mr Shah said in an interview to news agency ANI.


Difference between number of recoveries, active Covid-19 cases now 1.31 lakh, says Health ministry

The total number of recoveries has fast outgrown the number of active Covid-19 cases, with the difference between the two being 1.32 lakh at present, the Union health ministry said."Timely clinical management of Covid-19 cases has resulted in more than 10,000 daily recoveries. During the last 24 hours, a total of 11,881 Covid-19 patients have been cured, taking the cumulative figure to 3,59,859. This further takes the recovery rate to 59.52 per cent," the health ministry said.A spike of 19,000 cases of coronavirus in a day has pushed India’s overall Covid tally to over 6 lakh mark after new cases of infection were reported from Delhi, Maharashtra and Tamil Nadu. The death toll due to Covid in India on Thursday was over 17,800. The spike of cases in India comes as government ‘unlocks’ lockdown by gradually removing restrictions. Now, India is the fourth worst-hit country, preceded by Russia, Brazil and the US. As per Johns Hopkins University tally, the US on Wednesday saw the highest single-day spike after it recorded more than 52,000 new Covid cases. Globally, over 10.6 million have been affected due to coronavirus, while 515,542 have died. The World Health Organisation has meanwhile asked countries to ensure that the "new normal" simultaneously prioritises health and economy so they can recover from the coronavirus pandemic. For the latest updates on coronavirus, stay tuned to


PMGKAY cost put at Rs 1.5 lakh crore, actual expenditure may be Rs 50k crore less

PM Narendra Modi has said that extending PMGKAY — which provides 5 kg rice or wheat per month to 80 crore persons, plus 1 kg pulses to their families, free of cost — until November will cost the exchequer over Rs 90,000 crore. This, along with the Rs 60,000-crore supposedly spent under the scheme during April-June, would take the total to Rs 1,5 lakh crore.But analysis of data from the Department of Food and Public Distribution’s Foodgrain Bulletin for May shows the actual net outgo to be much lower.Consider 5 kg of cereals given free to 80 crore people, which adds up to 12 million tonnes (mt) over 3 months (April to June). Extending it till November would mean additional 20 mt. According to the Foodgrain Bulletin data, Food Corporation of India is projected to incur a cost of Rs 37.27 for procuring and distributing every kg of rice in 2020-21, and Rs 26.84 per kg in the case of wheat. 12 mt allocated during April-June included 10.44 mt rice and 1.56 mt wheat. The total economic value of this grain given out free would, therefore, have been just over Rs 43,100 crore.


Only 13% of allocated free food grain handed out to returning migrant workers, reveals govt data

Only 13 per cent of 8 lakh metric tonnes of free food grains allocated for returning migrant workers under the Atmanirbhar Bharat package have actually reached migrants during May and June, government data reveals.This special allocation was made by the Centre in May, amid criticism over migrants workers’ exodus from urban centres.Latest data of the Ministry of Consumer Affairs, Food and Public Distribution shows that against the Centre’s announcement of distributing free 5-kg foodgrain per month for two months to about 8 crore migrant workers who do not have ration cards, only 2.13 crore beneficiaries it in May (1.21 crore) and June (92.44 lakh).


Labourers’ clash with police in Rajkot : Accused workers move Gujarat HC seeking regular bail

Ahmedabad :Several migrant labourers working in the industrial area of Shapar Veraval in Rajkot, who had clashed with the police earlier in May and were arrested under charges of attempt to murder and dacoity, moved the Gujarat High Court seeking regular bail.Hearing the bail applications of at least 15 of the accused migrant workers, represented by advocates Anand Yagnik and Pratik Rupala, on Wednesday, the court of Justice Gita Gopi issued a notice to the state government in this regard, expected to be responded to by July 7.It has been submitted by the applicant migrants that while they wanted to go back to their respective states of Odisha, Uttar Pradesh, Madhya Pradesh and others, and had registered for the same, “local revenue and police authority were absolutely indifferent and lethargic towards arranging buses to go from Shapar to Rajkot railway station on the day when Shramik Express trains were leaving for their respective states.”


All Monuments, Including Taj Mahal And Red Fort, To Open From July 6

New Delhi: All monuments, including the world-renowned Taj Mahal and Delhi's Red Fort, will be reopened to the public from Monday for the first time since the country went into lockdown in March to fight the spread of coronavirus.Over 3,400 monuments were shut down by the Archeological Survey of India (ASI) on March 17, days before PM Narendra Modi announced the lockdown.Some 820 religious places under ASI were reopened when the government announced a graded exit from the total shutdown under "Unlock1". The rest of the monuments can reopen, the government has said, but states are free to decide whether to keep them closed based on the coronavirus situation. Union Minister for Tourism and Culture, Pralhad Singh Patel, announced the decision on Twitter.


J&K: Probe ordered after hospital performs surgery without waiting for Covid result

Jammu: Jammu and Kashmir administration has initiated an inquiry into the circumstances that led a private hospital at Banihal conduct surgery on a woman without waiting for her Covid-19 report. 32-year-old later tested positive for the virus. Banihal SDM Zahir Abbas said woman was operated for hernia on Monday and her Covid test report came as positive on Tuesday. As per the protocol, a hospital is required to get the patient tested for Covid before undertaking surgery on him/her, he said. A surgeon at the hospital, meanwhile, said the surgery had to be performed in emergency following obstruction in her artery. “…Her family insisted on getting her operated at Banihal in view of restrictions on inter-district movement in the UT.”


Kolkata: Family forced to preserve 71-yr-old man corpse in freezer after death at home, waiting for Covid report

Kolkata:A family in Kolkata was forced to preserve the corpse of a deceased 71-year-old man in a freezer after his demise at home. The man tested Covid-19 positive hours after his death.The elderly man died on Monday, hours after undertaking a Covid test, as suggested by his doctor. His family’s worst fears came true when the report indicated that he was infected by the virus.The elderly man lived with his family at an apartment in central Kolkata’s Amherst Street. On Monday, after taking the test, he fell severely unwell and passed away in the afternoon. The family doctor refused to sign a death certificate citing Covid protocols and suggested that the body be preserved until Covid report arrives. “Doctor said my uncle possibly died of cardiac arrest but since his Covid test report is pending, he will not be able to issue a death certificate. Till such time, he asked us to preserve the body,” the deceased man’s nephew said. Till late on Monday night, the family carried the body in a hearse to multiple mortuaries in the city, but all of them refused fearing contamination.Calls were made to the local police, state health department and civic bodies, but there was no response. Fearing that the body may decompose, the family bought a freezer in a desperate bid to preserve the body. After a harrowing 48 hours, Kolkata Municipal Corporation personnel finally arrived on Wednesday afternoon and took the body away at around 3 pm. indiatoday


People Above 65, Covid Patients Under Quarantine Can Now Vote Via Postal Ballot

Centre has allowed voters above 65 years and Covid-19 positive people under home or institutional quarantine to use postal ballot to cast their votes in light of the coronavirus pandemic.In a gazette notification, the Law Ministry gave its nod for amending Conduct of Elections (Amendment) Rules 2020.The decision follows Election Commission's June proposal in which it had requested the Ministry to enlarge the ambit of use of postal ballot facility to people aged 65 years, reducing it from 80 years, and those under quarantine or home isolation due to Covid-19.Medical research has shown while people of all ages can be infected by coronavirus, elderly people and people with pre-existing medical conditions (such as asthma, diabetes, heart disease) are more vulnerable to the disease.According to a Health Ministry advisory, citizens above 65 years have been advised to stay indoors due to coronavirus.


India's Trade Deficit With China Reduces To USD 48.66 Bn In FY20

India's trade deficit with China fell to USD 48.66 billion in 2019-20 on account of decline in imports from the neighbouring country, according to government data. Exports to China in the last financial year stood at USD 16.6 billion, while imports aggregated at USD 65.26 billion, the data showed.The trade deficit between the countries was at USD 53.56 billion in 2018-19 and USD 63 billion in 2017-18. The main imports from China include clocks and watches, musical instruments, toys, sports goods, furniture, mattresses, plastic, electrical machinery, electronic equipment, chemicals, iron and steel items, fertilisers, mineral fuel and metals. New Delhi has time and again raised concerns over widening trade deficit with China. The government is taking steps such as framing technical regulations and quality norms for several products to cut dependence on China for imports.PTI



Odisha : People get furious after cop imposed  restriction on Azaan in Jagatsinghpur district:

PARADIP: An irate mob comprising members from a minority community allegedly ransacked a police outpost and torched the personal vehicle of a police officer after he warned village leaders of action for violating Covid guidelines in a mosque in Jagatsinghpur district.It all started after Officer-in-Charge (OIC) of Krishnanandpur outpost imposed restriction on Azaan in all mosques in its jurisdiction on Tuesday night.OIC Anirudha Nayak alerted all mosques in Krishnanandpur panchayat not to give Azaan and adhere to Covid protocols.  Krishanandapur has 20 villages having at least one mosque each since the area is dominated by the minority community. On being informed about the police directive, village leader SK Alsar Ali and 28 community members held a meeting in Akhunmahala mosque. Ali said mass congregation for prayers is prohibited in all mosques, but there is no restriction on Azaan. "Villagers were unhappy over the restriction on Azaan. The police does not understand the difference between Azaan and Namaz. The situation turned ugly when the OIC forcibly entered the mosque with his shoes on and threatened to book us for violating guidelines. He beat up some of them,”Ali said. Aggrieved on the police excesses, irate members of the community demonstrated in front of the outpost demanding stern action against the errant cop. He demanded action against the police officer. Collector Sangram Keshari Mohapatra and SP Prakash R rushed to the spot and assured villagers to withdraw OIC from the outpost. They allowed to call Azaan following which irate people called off their stir. Meanwhile, Nayak has lodged a complaint at Tirtol police station against around 300 people for ransacking outpost and torching his personal vehicle. Police are investigating the allegation.


Uttar Pradesh: 17 Tablighi Jamaat members released on bail

BAHRAICH : 17 members of the Tablighi Jamaat from Indonesia and Thailand, who were arrested in March, have been released on bail, police said on Thursday. Chief Judicial Magistrate Navneet Kumar Bharti on Wednesday ordered their release on surety of ₹25,000 each.The foreigners, 10 from Indonesia and seven from Thailand, were arrested in March. They were in jail from April 11 after completing their quarantine period.  PTI


Coronavirus: Hand over bodies of suspected cases without test results, Centre tells states and UTs

Centre directed all states and Union Territories to hand over bodies of suspected coronavirus patients to their relatives without waiting for laboratory confirmation of the infection, PTI reported. However, it added that the mortal remains should be disposed of as per the guidelines issued by the government. “I would like to clarify that the dead bodies of such suspected Covid cases should be handed over to their relatives immediately and laboratory confirmation of Covid-19 should not be awaited,” a letter written by Dr Rajiv Garg of the Director General of Health Services said. “If such death cases test positive eventually, then the requisite action for contact listing, tracking etc should be carried out subsequently. Further necessary action may be taken as per the clarification given above.”


India to make Severe Acute Respiratory Infection and Influenza-Like Illnesses notifiable

New Delhi: Centre is all set to make severe acute respiratory Infection (SARI) and Influenza-Like Illnesses (ILI) notifiable conditions as it looks to better monitoring of Covid-19 cases in the country.Both conditions are associated with Covid-19 but can also be symptoms of other diseases such as swine flu and seasonal flu. ILI and SARI like symptoms are the bulwark of India’s current testing strategy. As the country enters monsoon, there will be a spurt in ILI cases, experts say.


Recently publicised swine flu not new: WHO expert

A WHO expert said that the recently publicised swine flu in China was not new and that it's under close surveillance."It's important, I think, to reassure people that this is not a new virus -- this is a virus that is under surveillance," Xinhua news agency quoted Michael Ryan, executive director of the WHO Health Emergencies Program, as saying at a press conference here on Wednesday."This is a finding from surveillance that's been carried out over many years."The Eurasian avian-like H1N1 swine influenza virus has "been under surveillance by Chinese authorities and by the global influenza surveillance network around the world, and the WHO collaborating centres", Ryan said.IANS


‘Most of us won’t need Covid-19 vaccine’: Oxford expert explains how the pandemic is likely to end

Oxford University professor Sunetra Gupta, an epidemiologist, has been tagged ‘Professor Reopen’ for her argument against lockdowns as a countermeasure against the Covid-19 pandemic. In a conversation with Hindustan Times, professor Gupta explained why most people won’t need a Covid-19 vaccine and how lockdowns are not a long-term solution to contain the spread of coronavirus.“What we’ve seen is that in normal, healthy people, who are not elderly or frail or don’t have comorbidities, this virus is not something to worry about no more than how we worry about flu,”  professor Gupta told HT.



Babri Masjid demolition case: Uma Bharti appears before CBI court

Senior BJP leader Uma Bharti today appeared in person before a special court here conducting trial in the 1992 Babri mosque demolition case.The special CBI court is currently recording the statements of 32 accused under CrPC section 313 (court’s power to examine the accused), a stage in the trial that follows the examination of prosecution witnesses.  61-year-old saffron-clad BJP leader is 19th accused to depose before the court in the over 27-year-old case. 13 other accused, including former Deputy PM LK Advani and senior BJP leaders MM Joshi and Kalyan Singh are yet to be examined at this stage. Their lawyers have indicated to CBI court that they prefer to appear through video conferencing. PTI


Madhya Pradesh: 11 Scindia loyalists find place in Shivraj Singh Cabinet

Almost 3 months after BJP unseated Kamal Nath-led Congress government in Madhya Pradesh, Chief Minister Shivraj Singh Chouhan expanded his Cabinet by inducting 28 new members, including 16 BJP MLAs and 12 former Congress MLAs. 12 Congress leaders include 9 loyalists of Jyotiraditya Scindia, whose rebellion brought down 15-month-old Kamal Nath government in March. 2 Scindia loyalists were already part of the Chouhan team. In all, 14 of the 22 former Congress MLAs who camped in Bengaluru to ensure the fall of Congress government are now ministers — 10 of them Cabinet and 4 ministers of state. Dr Prabhuram Chaudhary, Imarti Devi, Pradhyman Singh Tomar and Mahendra Singh Sisodiya are 4 Scindia loyalists who were ministers in Kamal Nath govt too. Tulsiram Silawat and Govind Rajput, who were inducted on April 21, were also ministers in Congress govt. Chouhan Cabinet now has 34 ministers, leaving little scope for further expansion. indianexpress


Shivraj Chouhan finally expands cabinet, but 14 of his 33 ministers are not even MLAs

Madhya Pradesh Chief Minister Shivraj Singh Chouhan finally expanded his cabinet Thursday. 28 new ministers took oath at Raj Bhavan in Bhopal to take the total strength of the council of ministers to 33. But 14 of the ministers are not even MLAs, providing a reminder of how crucial the upcoming by-elections to 24 assembly seats are for BJP.theprint



Muslim groups including Jamaat-e-Islami urge KCR to scrap Narasimha Rao centenary events

 Hyderabad:An umbrella group of various Muslim organisations in Telangana has appealed to the state govt to withdraw its decision to celebrate birth centenary celebrations of former Prime Minister PV Narasimha Rao, saying the move has hurt the sentiments of the Muslim community. United Muslim Forum (UMF) said that CM K. Chandrashekhar Rao''s move to organise year-long programmes to celebrate the centenary had hurt the sentiments of those sections of people who believe in secularism, and especially Muslims.UMF is headed by Moulana Raheemduddin Ansari, who is the chairman of Telangana Urdu Academy, a govt body.The group is close to AIMIM, a friendly party of Chandrashekhar Rao''s TRS. Though AIMIM is also part of UMF, the statement issued by the body did not carry the name of any party leader. The clerics and other prominent people who issued the statement are considered close to AIMIM chief Asaduddin Owaisi.AIMIM''s critics have questioned Owaisi''s silence over the centenary celebrations launched by KCR on Sunday.Muslim leaders advised the Chief Minister to cancel Narasimha Rao''s centenary celebrations and instead focus on containing spread of Covid-19 in the state. Meanwhile, Jamaat-e-Islami has also opposed the TRS government''s move to organise centenary celebrations and termed this as a burden on public exchequer and waste of time.Jamaat''s Telangana unit chief Mohammed Hamed Khan said at a time when Covid-19 was spreading fast and people were worried over lack of proper healthcare facilities and infrastructure, TRS government was wasting public money, time and energy on birth centenary celebrations of Narasimha Rao.Khan reminded KCR that it was during Narasimha Rao''s rule that India witnessed the greatest tragedy of demolition of Bbari Masjid. He told CM that centenary celebrations would reopen the wounds of Muslims. He also pointed out that it was due to Narasimha Rao''s condemnable actions that his own party Congress dumped him.IANS


Bilkis Bano case: Two 2002 riots accused ‘threaten, assault witness’, IG orders inquiry

IG of police in Godhra, Panchmahals range, MS Bharada has ordered an inquiry after a witness in the Bilkis Bano case has alleged that two of the accused in the case, out on parole, have threatened and assaulted him. The inquiry has been initiated under the Superintendent of Police, Dahod, Hitesh Joisar. “I had received the application and taking immediate cognisance, I have directed Dahod SP to inquire into the matter,” Bharada said.According to the application submitted by Feroz Ghanchi (40), a witness in the 2002 riots case, the incident took place on June 19. A woman residing in the same neighbourhood, Sabera Ghanchi and her daughter were allegedly harassed by riots accused Mitesh Bhatt and Radheshyam Shah, and Radheshyam’s brother Ashish Shah, all residents of Randhikpur village in Singvad taluka of Dahod. Mitesh and Radheshaym are out of jail on parole. Sabera’s husband Ayub had met with an accident before 2002 and Radheshyam – who is a lawyer by profession – had filed a case. However, in the riots that broke out in 2002, Ayub was killed.Vadodara


Delhi riots: 3 admit to pistol, firing; hunt on for 24 suspects

While 9 of 12 have near identical confessions, the remaining three, Shahnawaz, Salman and Sonu Saifi, have separate statements in which they talk of procuring a pistol and one admits to “firing at Hindus.”According to Shahnawaz’s statement — part of the Delhi Police chargesheet in the murder of Dilbar Negi — as he saw the crowd coming from Mustafabad, “I and my friends, Sahil Parvez, Salman and their friends collected sticks, match-stick and bottles.”In his statement, Salman said that he had “told Sonu…to bring the pistol because he had purchased a pistol three-four months back from Shahnawaz.”He admits that he “wore (a) helmet, and started indiscriminate firing on Hindus at Shiv Vihar Tiraha, emptied the magazine, and returned the pistol to Sonu.”In his statement, Sonu says: Salman, who was pelting stones with us, asked me to get a pistol, which I had purchased from Shahnawaz…I bought the pistol from my house and gave it to Salman. Salman wore the helmet, and began firing the bullets at Hindus.”


Delhi riots: 9 of 12 confession statements near copies of one another

The police have charged 12 with the brutal murder of 20-year-old waiter Dilbar Negi on February 26 in the Delhi riots. Negi’s body was found mutilated and charred in Anil Sweets in Shiv Vihar, the shop where he worked.Besides murder, the accused have also been charged with criminal conspiracy, rioting, and promoting enmity between groups.A scrutiny of their confession statements by The Indian Express reveals a pattern: Nine of the 12 accused have statements near identical — words and sentences are repeated ad verbatim.


Delhi Riots: ‘Witness’ Against BJP Councillor Claims Intimidation

"I could see Kanhaiya Lal who was exhorting inflammatory speeches...and he said things like, 'Come together all the Hindus, come out of your homes, support the CAA and send these Muslims out of Bhagirathi Vihar Colony, kill the Muslims, capture their houses, loot their houses."This is the account provided by Nisar Ahmed, a resident of Bhagirathi Vihar, regarding alleged involvement of BJP councillor Kanhaiya Lal in the Delhi riots in Feb. Ahmed is a ready-made garments trader whose shop in Bhagirathi Vihar was looted during the violence.Ahmed has now filed a writ petition in the Delhi High Court alleging intimidation as well as seeking the registration of an FIR for the attack on his shop during the violence.On 22 June, The Quint had reported on a police complaint alleging that Kanhaiya Lal led the mob at Bhagirathi Vihar during the riots. The report has also been added in Ahmed’s petition at the High Court as an annexure.



Delhi Riots: HC Vacates Stay on Bail to School Owner amid Centre-AAP Govt Tussle over Representation

Delhi High Court Thursday vacated its interim stay on the bail granted to a private school owner in a north-east Delhi riots case as the counsels for the Centre and the AAP government could not agree on who was representing the police.Justice Suresh Kait said this controversy over who will represent Delhi Police in the matter has been going on since June 22, the first day of hearing, and was likely to continue and if the stay remained in force, it will prejudice the accused.With the observation the court vacated its interim order of June 22 which had directed not to release the school owner Faisal Farooq.news18



Indian Americans in Chicago protest against CAA, say “law discriminates against religious minority group”

Indian diaspora in USA’s Chicago has recently come out on streets to show support to Indian Muslims over the CAA.US which has already been witnessing #BlackLivesMatter movement over the murder of George Floyd, saw Indians marching on the streets of Chicago against CAA, resonating that it “discriminates against the religious minority group.” Other supporting groups that are protesting are Indian American Muslim Council, Council of Islamic Organizations of Greater Chicago, Northwestern University’s South Asia Solidarity Group, University of Chicago as well as other human rights activists and local student groups.twocircles




Tamil Nadu custodial deaths: 3 more cops arrested by CB-CID

Madras High Court-appointed CB-CID team probing the custodial death of a trader and his son at Sathankulam police station near Thoothukudi arrested a total of four officers in connection with the case. Those arrested on Thursday include the station inspector Sridhar, sub-inspector Balakrishnan, and a constable Murugan. They are placed in the custody of CB-CID in Thoothukudi before they complete the judicial procedures.  Another officer, sub-inspector Raghu Ganesh who was arrested from Thoothukudi was sent to judicial custody on Wednesday night. Balakrishnan and Murugan were arrested from Tirunelveli and inspector Sridhar was arrested at around 3.30 am from Gangaikondan check-post, one of the gateways of Tirunelveli districts. The arrests were made ahead of the hearing at the Madras high court today.


National Minorities Commission working with just 2 members, as 5 posts remain vacant

NEW DELHI: 7-member National Commission for Minorities is currently functioning with just two members. Since the post of NCM chairman fell vacant, NCM vice-chairman Manjit Singh Rai has been officiating as chairman. Former NCM chief, Ghayorul Hasan Rizvi’s tenure ended in the last week of May. With management of Covid-19 pandemic taking precedence for now, it appears unlikely that these vacancies will be filled up anytime soon. When asked about the absence of a full time NCM chairman for almost a month now, Union minister for minority affairs Mukhtar Abbas Naqvi said that the “matter was under process.” The NCM chief’s appointment is based on the recommendations that will be sent by the ministry of minority affairs and will require the approval of the prime minister’s office.Till the names are shortlisted and a final call is taken to fill up the post of chairman and four members, for now the current vice-chairman and member Atif Rasheed are jointly handling the work.


‘What is so special that investigation should be transferred to NIA’: Karnataka HC in Amulya Leona case

Karnataka High Court on Thursday raised doubts about the maintainability of a petition seeking to transfer the sedition case registered against 19-year-old student Amulya Leona, to NIA, from the state police, has reported.A bench of Chief Justice Abhay OKa and Justice Nataraj Rangaswamy, while hearing the petition filed by advocate H L Vishala Raghu, asked "What is so special that investigation should be transferred to NIA?"Advocate Pavana Chandra Shetty H, appearing for the petitioner, argued that the state has not investigated the case properly and has not filed charge sheet within the 90 days as per section 167 of CrPC, because of which the accused has got default bail.


'Was It Mob lynching' or Murder? Police Arrest Two, Looking For 9 Others In Brutal Killing of Youth In Saharanpur

SAHARANPUR(UP):While both the police as well as relatives of 32-year-old Israr killed by brutal beating by a crowd are avoiding to call it ‘mob lynching’ for reasons best known to them, Saharanpur police have arrested two of the accused allegedly involved in the killing and are looking for the remaining 9 others. Israr, who was a resident of Imaliya village and was badly beaten with baton and sharp-edged weapons on June 18 when he was on his way to Kotesar village for his business.  Israr was a carpenter by profession. He was, however, rescued by his family members and the police, and rushed to a hospital in Saharanpur where he expired. Israr got married eight years ago. He is survived by two sons, one daughter and his wife. His elder brother Gulfam said, “I received a call around 6.30 pm on June 18 that Israr was being beaten up by some people in Dehra village on way to Kotesar. I immediately reached the village and saw that some people were beating him with lathis and sticks. I tried to stop the assailants but they did not listen. As I had called up police also, they rescued him and took him to a hospital in Saharanpur where he died”. Stating that Israr was having no enmity with anybody, Gulfam said he asked Dehra villagers the reason for the attack. “Dehra villagers alleged that Israr had a child with his bike and this was the provocation for attack on Israr”.India Tomorrow


After Priyanka Eviction Notice, Question Mark Over Lutyens Bungalows for Advani, Joshi

New Delhi: The notice sent by the Ministry of Housing and Urban Affairs (MoHUA) to Congress general secretary Priyanka Gandhi Vadra asking her to vacate the bungalow at 35 Lodhi Estate on the ground that her Special Protection Group (SPG) security has been withdrawn has raised questions about the Narendra Modi government’s use of yardstick. Centre continues to provide similar accommodation to senior BJP leaders L.K. Advani and Murli Manohar Joshi though they too do not have SPG cover.After the ministry sent the notice, Gandhi paid dues worth over Rs 3.46 lakh, which had accrued up to June 30. A ministry spokesperson later acknowledged this saying that the online payment of the dues has been received. “Hence, now dues as on 30.06.2020 is nil against her (sic).” However, the larger question of rights of senior BJP leaders to occupy government accommodation when they are no longer holding any post that allows them to do so remains.


Ajay Kumar Lallu: Yogi govt anxious over Congress’ rising influence, using arrest as weapon to scare them

Uttar Pradesh Congress Committee (UPCC) president Ajay Kumar Lallu has alleged that the police and intelligence agencies are spying on the Congress office."It has been a month since the cops are stationed outside the party office gates till late in the night. What do they do there?" he said at a press conference here on Thursday. He claimed that the Yogi Adityanath government is getting restless over the increasing influence of Congress and is using arrest as a weapon to scare party workers.IANS



Police complaint against former Maharashtra CM Devendra Fadnavis for moving govt account to private bank

A complaint was filed in Nagpur’s Sitaburdi police station on Wednesday against former Maharashtra Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis for “hatching conspiracy, causing loss to a public sector bank by misusing his position”.Alleging that Fadnavis allowed his wife, Amruta Fadnavis, to indulge in “profiteering”, activist Mohnish Jabalpure’s complaint alleged that “the ex-CM hatched a conspiracy that caused huge loss to a public sector bank by allowing transfer of govt account from it to Axis Bank.”“A circular issued by the then BJP-led government on May 11, 2017 effected transfer of salary accounts of police personnel as well as beneficiaries of the Sanjay Gandhi Niradhar Yojana to Axis Bank. It caused a loss to nationalised banks which were handling these accounts earlier,” alleged Jabalpure.


Discrimination against Dalit: IT company, two Indian origin employees sued by state of California in US

Department of Fair Employment and Housing (DFEH) has filed a lawsuit in the Federal District Court of Northern District of California alleging caste discrimination on the part of Cisco and two of its Indian origin employees, legal news website has reported.The suit alleges that a Dalit employee at the IT company (referred to as John Doe) was discriminated against by two of his fellow Indian origin colleagues, Sundar Iyer and Ramana Kompella beginning in November 2016.The law suit filed by the DFEH says, "Cisco engaged in unlawful employment practices on the bases of religion, ancestry, national origin/ethnicity, and race/color against Complainant John Doe, and after Doe opposed such unlawful practices, Cisco retaliated against him. Cisco also failed to take all reasonable steps to prevent such unlawful practices in its workplace, as required under FEHA."


Privatising trains, govt taking away lifeline of poor, says Rahul Gandhi

Congress leader Rahul Gandhi on Thursday sharpened his attack on the Narendra Modi government over its moves to allow private firms to run passenger trains. He said government was taking away the lifeline of the country from the poor, and the people will give a befitting reply."Rail is the only lifeline of the poor and the government is taking it away from them. Snatch whatever you want to. But remember -- the people of the country will give a befitting reply," Rahul Gandhi said in a tweet attaching a news report.IANS


Assam ordinance on land conversion for industries raises concerns on threat to land rights of indigenous people

Guwahati:Assam government’s decision to allow conversion of land without clearances for the setting up industries in the state has sparked a row and has drawn flak from opposition parties.On Monday, the state cabinet had approved an ordinance that allowed micro, small, and medium enterprises (MSMEs) to set up industries by only submitting a self-declaration.“In a historic and far-reaching decision to ease out the process of setting up industries in Assam, the state cabinet has approved an ordinance today. Now, anyone will be able to set up industry in Assam just by submitting a self-declaration,” industries minister Chandra Mohan Patowary had tweeted on Monday.“No permission, clearance, or licence will be required for three years. Land will also be deemed converted for industrial purposes. Such bold and advantageous change is expected to accelerate the industrialisation process in Assam,” the minister had added.



4.5 magnitude earthquake hits Ladakh

Amedium-intensity earthquake of magnitude 4.5 hit Ladakh on Thursday afternoon, National Centre for Seismology said.“Earthquake of magnitude 4.5 on the Richter scale struck 119 km North-Northwest of Kargil, Ladakh,” NCS said.The quake occurred at 1.11 pm, it added.There were no immediate reports of loss of life or property.Last week, a medium intensity earthquake of magnitude 4.5 had hit Ladakh.India Today





Rival factions Fatah, Hamas, vow to fight looming annexation

Rival Palestinian groups Fatah and Hamas have said they will work together to fight against Israel's planned annexation of large parts of the occupied West Bank.In a rare joint news conference on Thursday, officials from the two groups said there was a national consensus against Israel's controversial plan which has also been widely criticised by much of the international community."We will put in place all necessary measures to ensure national unity" in the efforts against Israel's plan, senior Fatah official Jibril Rajub said in Ramallah during the news conference, which was also addressed by Hamas official Saleh al-Arouri by video-link from Lebanon's capital, Beirut.    "Today, we want to speak in a single voice," Rajub affirmed, reiterating the Palestinian leaders' call for an independent Palestinian state along the 1967 lines with East Jerusalem as its capital. Israeli plan, which aims to annex all illegal Jewish settlements in the occupied West Bank - including the strategic Jordan Valley - amounts to one-third of the territory and is in line with a proposal by US President Donald Trump that envisages a demilitarised Palestinian state on a patchwork of disjointed parts of the Palestinian territories.


UK PM tells Israel: do not annex parts of the occupied West Bank

British PM Boris Johnson cautioned Israel on Wednesday against annexation in the occupied West Bank, saying it would violate international law and harm its drive to improve relations with Arab world.“Annexation would represent a violation of international law,” Johnson said in an opinion piece for Yedioth Ahronoth, Israel’s top-selling daily, echoing remarks he made in parliament last month. “Annexation would put in jeopardy progress that Israel has made in improving relationships with the Arab and Muslim world,” Johnson wrote, calling for a solution that allows justice and security for both Israelis and Palestinians. Palestinian leaders, UN, European powers and Arab countries have all denounced annexation and consider settlements that Israel has built on occupied land as illegal.Johnson, whose maternal great-grandfather was a Moscow-born Jew, said he had once worked in an Israeli kibbutz during his youth. In the opinion piece, he said he has been “a passionate defender of Israel”.Reuters


Russians Grant Putin Right to Extend His Rule Until 2036 in Landslide Vote

Moscow: Russians opened the door to Vladimir Putin staying in power until 2036 by voting overwhelmingly for constitutional changes that will allow him to run again for president twice, but critics said the outcome was falsified on an industrial scale.Official results published on Thursday, after 99.9% of ballots had been counted, showed that the former KGB officer who has ruled Russia for more than two decades as president or prime minister had easily won the right to run for two more six-year terms after the current one ends in 2024.That means Putin, 67, could rule until the age of 83.Reuters


If Elected, Will Revoke H1-B Visa Suspension: Joe Biden

 Democratic presidential candidate and former US vice president Joe Biden has said that he will lift the temporary suspension on H-1B visas, the most sought-after by Indian IT professionals, if he wins the November presidential elections. On June 23, in a huge blow to Indian IT professionals eyeing US job market, the Trump administration suspended H-1B visas along with other types of foreign work visas until the end of 2020 to protect American workers in a crucial election year.PTI


Turkey, Iran, Russia: Israel strikes in Syria are destabilising

Israel’s military attacks in Syria violate the country’s sovereignty and spark tensions in the region, Presidents Vladimir Putin of Russia, Hassan Rouhani of Iran, and Recep Tayyip Erdogan of Turkey said in a joint statement following the online Astana summit .According to the statement, the three presidents reaffirmed the necessity to respect universally recognised international legal decisions.In the joint declaration following a closed meeting, 3 said they “consider Israeli military attacks in Syria as destabilizing and violating the sovereignty and territorial integrity of this country and intensifying the tension in the region,” according to Republic of Turkey Directorate of Communication.


Myanmar: More than 100 die in jade mine landslide

A landslide at a jade mine in northern Myanmar has killed at least 162 people and wounded another 54, officials say, in one of the worst-ever accidents to hit the treacherous industry.The incident took place early on Thursday in the jade-rich Hpakant area of Kachin state after a bout of heavy rainfall,Myanmar Fire Services Department said on Facebook."By 7:15 pm, 162 bodies were found, and 54 injured people were sent" to nearby hospitals, Myanmar's fire service department said on its official Facebook page. " Jade miners were smothered by a wave of mud," statement said.

*views, Articles, FEATURES*

In 24 hours, Palestine faces an existential threat:Hamid Ansari, Ex VP of India

Israel's annexation: A catastrophe begotten by a larger catastrophe:Azzam Tamimi

Four Years After Modi’s ‘Act East' Promise, India No Closer to Selling BrahMos to Vietnam:Rahul Bedi

After Beating Lawyer for Looking ‘Muslim’, MP Police Now Charge Him With Assault:Ajoy Ashirwad Mahaprashasta

When Will India's Educational Institutes Have Their 'Dalit Lives Matter' Moment?Deepak Malghan

Surviving Insecurity: Mental Health Through a Riot, a Pandemic and an Apathetic State:Meera Viswanathan, Varna Balakrishnan


* Compiled and edited by Anwarulhaq (Released at: 7:58 PM)*



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