*INDIA- ISLAMOPHOBIA, HUMAN RIGHTS & OTHERS*
Ayodhya: Advani, Bhagwat Likely to Join PM Modi for Ram Temple 'Bhoomi Pujan', Around 250-300 likely to attend
Veteran BJP leaders LK Advani, MM Joshi and RSS chief Mohan Bhagwat are among those being invited to the 'bhoomi pujan' ceremony of Ram temple in Ayodhya on August 5 which will be shown live by Doordarshan, trustees of the temple said on Sunday.Besides them, there is also a view to invite spiritual leaders from all faiths, Anil Mishra, a member of Shri Ram Janmabhoomi Teertha Kshetra Trust, told PTI.He said that in the wake of the coronavirus pandemic and restrictions of social distancing, there will be a limited gathering of up to 200 people at the event.The list is yet to be finalised, he said.Invitations are being extended to several people who have been part of this temple movement including BJP leaders LK Advani, Murali Manohar Joshi and Uma Bharti, Mishra said. : The invitation list for the bhumi pujan of the Ram temple in Ayodhya will be final by Monday, July 27 and the invitation will be sent starting Tuesday, Vishva Hindu Parishad leader Rajendra Singh Prakash said. The number of invitees is being decided, keeping the social distancing norms enforced due to the ongoing coronavirus pandemic in mind. In all, around 250-300 people are expected to attend the ceremony.There will be around 100-125 seers and saints, 5-6 people will be from different organisations each, Singh Prakash told Times Now’s Siddhant in Ayodhya.All prominent leaders who had been associated with the Ram temple movement will be invited, Singh Prakash said. PTI/ timesnownews
Ayodhya Bhoomi Pujan Ceremony on August 5 to Be Telecast Live on Doordarshan
New Delhi: The foundation laying ceremony for the Ram temple at Ayodhya will be telecast live on state-owned public service broadcaster Doordarshan.Prime Minister Narendra Modi is scheduled to attend the much-publicised event, on August 5. The construction of the Ram temple had been a poll promise for Modi and BJP. Indian Express quoted unnamed sources in Prasar Bharati as having said that “the event will be covered like any other event of the prime minister.”Last year, public broadcasting agency had initiated disciplinary proceedings against an assistant director of programme in Chennai, R. Vasumathi, for allegedly failing to telecast a speech delivered at the Singapore-India Hackathon 2019 by Modi live on DD Podhigai.e Shri Ram Janmbhoomi Teerth Kshetra, the trust overseeing the project since the Supreme Court order last year paved the way for the construction of the temple, tweeted that the ceremony will be shown live on several other channels too.While it dissuaded people from attempting to visit Ayodhya given the health crisis, the trust also called for arrangements to be made for viewing the ceremony on screens in gatherings.
'I will go to Ayodhya to offer my prayers': Uddhav to attend ‘Bhoomi Poojan’ ceremony of Ram TempleIndia
Mumbai: Maharashtra Cheif Minister Uddhav Thackeray has said that he will visit Ayodhya to attend the foundation stone laying ceremony for the construction of the Ram temple on August 5. "I will go to Ayodhya, offer my prayers and will participate in the program," he said.
Delhi riots: Court grants more time to police to complete probe against Jamia alumni association head Shifa-Ur-Rehman
A Delhi court has granted one more month to Delhi Police to complete its probe in a case against the president of Alumni Association of Jamia Millia Islamia who was arrested under stringent UAPA in connection with the riots in northeast Delhi.The police told court that Shifa-Ur-Rehman, being the president of AAJMI, collected huge funds from suspicious and unaccounted sources. "Even funds were received from persons living outside India," it alleged. Rehman, also a member of Jamia Coordination Committee, was booked for alleged involvement in the riots and was arrested by Special Cell of Delhi Police in April.Additional Sessions Judge Dharmender Rana on Friday allowed special cell to complete its probe by August 24, after agency sought more time claiming that the case was related to a "deep-rooted and large scale conspiracy behind the riot incidents" and that its searches in other states were being hindered due to the coronavirus lockdown.PTI
Delhi riots cases: Mukesh Rai gets bail, Furqan and Irshad released; relief denied to Neeraj
A Delhi court has granted bail to an accused in a case related to communal riots in north-east Delhi. The same court denied release to another accused in a separate riots case which took place in Bhajanpura. In a third case, the court allowed the release of two persons — Furqan and Irshad — who were arrested for damaging the Rajdhani school during the riots, after the city police informed court that nothing adverse was found against them in the investigation.All 3 cases were decided on Friday. Police had filed a cancellation report, specifying that accused persons did not cause any damage to Rajdhani School and they may be discharged. It had said that there is no material on record to connect the accused persons with crime. Chief metropolitan magistrate Purshottam Pathak granted bail to Mukesh Rai while stating that police had not recovered anything from him and the chargesheet has already been filed. The judge said that the accused has been in jail since last 3 months and no purpose would be served by keeping Rai in judicial custody further.In a separate case, judge Pathak denied bail to Neeraj alias Kashi while noting that he was a part of an unlawful assembly and had further involved in rioting and burning of shops. The court also said that the accused was a “habitual offender”.HT
In Delhi riots chargesheet, one witness with 3 differing claims about Kapil Mishra’s supporters
3 statements by the same witness recorded by Delhi Police and a judicial magistrate at different points in time show glaring differences, according to the chargesheet filed by police related to the murder of Head Constable Ratan Lal. The policeman died of injuries on Feb.24 in violence. The chargesheet in the matter was filed on June 8 and claims that 3 witness testimonies attached point to “continuous misinformation” being spread about CAA and NRC, which had inspired thousands of protestors to take to the streets in the preceding months. The chargesheets also said that the organisers of the protests against CAA had chosen the date and time of the violence keeping in mind US President Donald Trump’s visit to India in Feb.“to gain maximum impact”.However, 3 statements made by a witness named Najam Ul Hasan at various times paint a rather complicated picture, as Scroll.in found when it examined the chargesheet and found glaring discrepancies in it.Hasan is a 45-year-old resident of Chand Bagh and runs a store in Old Seelampur in Delhi selling ladies garments.
Delhi riots: Shahrukh Pathan claims threat to life in jail
Shahrukh Pathan, who was caught on tape pointing a gun at a policeman during the riots in north-east Delhi, moved a city court on Saturday claiming threat to his life inside Tihar jail. 23-year-old’s photograph, which showed him with a gun on the streets of Jafrabad-Maujpur road in north-east Delhi, had gone viral.Pathan on Saturday also sought court’s help in issuing directions to Tihar jail authorities to continue his incarceration in the high-risk prisoners’ cell.Pathan, who was arrested on March 3, said in his plea that he has been informed by jail authorities that he would be transferred from high-risk prisoners’ jail to another cell for general inmates/prisoners. The plea will be heard on July 29.
Parvez killing case of Delhi riots: All accused deleted phone data, can’t find weapon, Delhi Police tells court
Section of Arms Act dropped. All accused deleted mobile phone data of days when riots unfolde. CCTV footage of incident not found. These are some of the revelations made by Delhi Police in its chargesheet on the murder of Parvez (48), who succumbed to a gunshot injury on the right chest, on Feb. 25 during the riots in Delhi. Cchargesheet names 16 people charged with murder and rioting.While police, in the chargesheet filed on June 15 before Chief Metropolitan Magistrate of Karkardooma, have said forensic experts are trying to “retrieve” lost data and CCTV footage of the incident from 2 shops, an office-bearer of the Vishwa Hindu Parishad, among those questioned by police regarding the case, has lodged a formal complaint that “false cases” are being foisted on “innocent Hindus”. On April 9, Devesh Mishra, VHP vice-president of Yamuna Vihar Vibhaag, was among 22 people summoned by Crime Branch of Delhi Police in connection with the probe into the murder of Parvez.The same night, six of them, including Mishra, were allowed to leave.The remaining 16 were arrested: Sushil Kumar (40), Jaibir Singh (57), Supreme Maheshwari (26), Atul Chauhan (37), Virender Chauhan (40), Pawan Kumar (44), Suresh Pandit (50), Amit Kumar (42), Naresh Tyagi (50), Uttam Tyagi (46), Deepanshu Gupta (30), Rajpal Singh (48), Akhil Chaudhary (23), Uttam Chand Mishra (49), Hari Om Mishra (55), Sandeep Chawla (44).indianexpress
Activists Say Delhi Police Probe into Riots Biased, Write to President
NEW DELHI:About 200 activists and like-minded people have expressed their dismay to President of India Ramnath Kovind over ‘order’ of Special Commissioner of Police (Crime) to senior officers probing Delhi riots, to take “due care and precaution” while arresting the Hindu youths. In a letter to the President, they urged him to take note of the seriousness of the situation and also, being the head of the state, to intervene in the matter. The content of the letter calls the move of the investigative agency as ‘partial’ and spoke of its inclination to placate one community ‘at the cost of the other’. The reports of Delhi police officers being asked to go soft on Hindus while investigating the communal violence that claimed 53 lives had come as a shock, said the activists, and added that media reports had mentioned that caution had been advised while arresting the Hindu youth found involved in the violence. “The blatant partisanship of the police as expressed in the letter only supports the doubts in the minds of the minority Muslims who have been claiming that even after them being the main targets and victims of the violence, the police have made disproportionate arrests from the community and have been targeting them under the garb of investigation”, said the activist Shabnam Hashmi.Clarion India
'Free Gulfisha Fatima': Civil Society Members Condemn Student Activist's Arrest Under UAPA
New Delhi: Civil society members, academicians, activists, writers, journalists, artists and lawyers have issued a statement calling for the release of Gulfisha Fatima, a student and community educator, who has been arrested by Delhi police in connection with the violence that occurred in Delhi. Fatima, who has been charged under the draconian UAPA, is currently lodged at the Tihar jail. The signatories of the statement, who include Uma Chakravarti, Roop Rekha Verma, Jayati Ghosh, Aisha Farooqui, Mary John, Nandini Sundar, Kavita Krishnan and Pradip Krishen, held that Fatima was charged for “daring to defend the Constitution” and for resisting the CAA-NRC-NPR.
Congress plans campaign for Dr Kafeel Khan’s release with signature drives & hunger strikes
Congress has launched a concerted campaign, demanding the release of arrested Gorakhpur doctor Kafeel Khan, which includes signature drives, hunger strikes, social media campaigns and visits to dargahs. Khan was arrested on 29 January for an alleged inflammatory speech made at AMU anti-CAA protests last December and has been in jail since then.“The police have been arresting Muslims in the state on the pretext of CAA-NRC. We have decided to fight this tooth and nail by protesting against the arrest of doctor Kafeel Khan,” Minnat Rahmani, national coordinator of the Congress’ minority cell, told ThePrint.The party’s minority cell has already started collecting signatures from various districts of UP Friday, demanding Khan’s release.Special emphasis will be paid to districts with high Muslim populations, including Meerut, Muzaffarnagar and Sambhal, party leaders said.“We have set up camps (across UP districts) and want to collect around 10,000 signatures from each district and submit them to governor in next few weeks,” Shahnawaz Alam, Congress’ UP minority cell chief, told ThePrint.
SC seeks Karnataka's reply on anti-CAA protesters' bail plea
The Supreme Court has asked Karnataka government to respond to a plea for interim bail by 21 anti-CAA-NPR-NRC protesters on the ground of Covid-19 pandemic in the case wherein their agitation has resulted in police firing, causing the death of two persons in Mangaluru.A bench of CJI SA Bobde and Justices A S Bopanna and V Ramasubramanian issued notice to the state government on the application filed by Ashik alias Mohammad Asik and others, seeking its reply within two weeks.The petitioners, led by senior advocate R Basant and Haris Beeran, contended that they were involved in peaceful protests only but the police resorted to the firing leading to the death of two persons.
Don't sacrifice cows for Bakrid, Telangana Home Min Mahmood Ali appeals to Muslims
Telangana Home Minister Mohammed Mahmood Ali on Saturday appealed to Muslims not to sacrifice cows during the festival of Bakrid on August 1. In an official release, senior TRS leader observed that the state is known for secularism where all religions are treated with mutual and equal respect, and added that Bakrid should be celebrated in the same spirit.Ali, who had a meeting with Telangana DGP M Mahendar Reddy on the measures to be taken for Bakrid, said that cows should not be sacrificed as Hindus worship them. Goats and other animals can be sacrificed, he said.
Why are MIM, BJP silent on the demolition of mosque and temple? Muslim Board should take up the issue: Congress
Hyderabad:Former minister Mohammed Ali Shabbir of Congress on Saturday urged All India Muslim Personal Law Board to take up the issue of demolition of 2 mosques in Telangana secretariat compound. In another statement, Congress MLA T Jayaprakash Reddy sought to ask why Asaduddin Owaisi of MIM and Bandi Sanjay of BJP are not coming out with all guns blazing against chief minister K Chandrasekhar Rao and TRS-govt for the demolition of 2 mosques and a temple in the secretariat premises? Jayaprakash Reddy said that BJP which is considered as a Hindutva party has also not taken up any serious agitation against the ruling TRS except issuing statements condemning the demolition. Owaisi who had not allowed relocation of mosques for road widening during previous Congress-govt is now making statements strategically now and then but has not come out openly opposing the demolition of places of worship, said Jayaprakash reddy.In a letter to Personal Law Board Chairman Moulana Rabey Hasan Nadvi on Saturday, Shabbir Ali said 2 mosques and a temple were illegally demolished in the secretariat premises. “I request the Board to take up the issue of Masjid-e-Hashmi and Masjid-e-Dafatir Mohammedia in the Secretariat on an immediate basis," he said.TOI
Ban on mics at religious places stay in Uttarakhand as judge differs with CJ
Nainital: An application on use of loudspeakers in religious institutions has left a division bench of Uttarakhand high court divided. While a judgment by Chief Justice Ramesh Ranganathan modified a 2018 order and allowed loudspeakers with sound level of 60 decibels in religious places, his partner judge, Justice Lokpal Singh, has registered his difference with the chief justice.This means the ban on loudspeakers above 5dB(A) continues to remain in place and the matter will now be referred to a third judge. On Thursday, it was reported that the division bench of Chief Justice Ranganathan and Justice Lok Pal Singh had modified a judgment on loudspeakers issued in 2018 while calling it an “accidental error”.
Sambit Patra’s ‘chullu bhar’ jibe wrongly attributes ‘jal samadhi’ quote to SP MP Azam Khan
New Delhi:BJP spokesperson Sambit Patra tweeted Saturday that Samajwadi Party MP Azam Khan had promised to take ‘jal samadhi’ — Hindu ritual of immersing the dead in water — if he is not invited for the Ram temple ‘bhumi poojan‘ on 5 August.“Azam Khan is saying that if he isn’t invited to Ayodhya then he will undertake ‘jal samadhi’,” Patra posted on Twitter as he shared a report of Hindi news portal Newstrack.“Chullu bhar paani mein hi lijiyega (take water in your hollowed palm to drown yourself),” the tweet in Hindi further read. Hindi idiom Patra referred to in the tweet is used when anyone is told to be ‘ashamed of’ himself or herself.Both Patra and Newstrack attributed the quote to the wrong Azam Khan.The ultimatum of undertaking a jal samadhi was not made by Rampur MP Azam Khan but by Sri Ram Mandir Nirman Muslim Kar Sevak Manch president Azam Khan.In a video, published on 25 July by news portal Headlines India, the Muslim Kar Sevak Manch president can be heard saying, “If I am not invited for the Bhoomi Poojan then I will sacrifice myself and immerse myself in the Sarayu River.”Samajwadi Party MP Azam Khan has been lodged in a Rampur jail since 26 Feb.after he, along with wife Tanzin Fatima and MLA son Abdullah Azam, was sent to judicial custody for allegedly faking Abdullah’s birth certificate.
Fact Check: Image of Muslim youths studying Hindu holy books takes a communal turn
New Delhi:An image of a few Muslim youths sitting in a library with Hindu and Muslim religious books is going viral on social media with the claim that they are rewriting Hindu holy scriptures. The claim says this is how Vedas, Puranas and Upanishads are “adulterated”.Extract from one such post on Facebook in Hindi translates to, “The work of adulteration of our religious texts is in full swing. After 20 years, our next generation will read these adulterated Vedas, Puranas and Upanishads.”India Today Anti Fake News War Room (AFWA) has found the claim to be false. The image, from an Islamic seminary in Hyderabad, shows students studying Hindu religious scripts to understand the common attributes in both religions.Many have replied to the post, asking the Centre to take immediate action and termed the act “book jihad”. indiatoday
Chennai Woman Withdraws Harassment Plaint Against ABVP National President, Family Cites 'Pressure'
New Delhi: A few hours after the police charged the national president of RSS-affiliated ABVP in a case of harassment, 52-year-old woman neighbour has withdrawn her complaint, NewsMinute reported.According to the woman’s family, Subbiah Shanmugam apologised to her on Saturday for his actions. The family also alleged that neighbours in the building had pressurised them to not take the matter any further.“The Apartment association too is telling my aunt that they should just talk this out. Her neighbour, who helped with evidence collection earlier has also advised her to let the case go,” said Balaji Vijayaraghavan, the woman’s nephew.The police confirmed that the case had been withdrawn by the woman.According to TOI, an FIR has been registered against Subbiah Shanmugam under IPC sections 271 and 427 and under Tamil Nadu Women Harassment (Prevention) Act.According to NDTV, the case was registered after the family of the woman, Chandra, alleged that the city police was not filing a First Information Report, snowballing into a political controversy.thewire
Tamil Nadu: Man attempts suicide after custodial torture for marrying upper-caste girl
Krishnagiri,: A young man allegedly attempted suicide on the night of 23 July after he was allegedly tortured at the Kaveripattinam police station of Tamil Nadu for marrying an upper caste girl and he failed to contact her as she was forcibly married to another man by her family member. Reports say that police had received a bribe of Rs. 2.5 lakh rupees from the girl’s relatives to do so. The couple, Karthik and Archana, had married in a local temple on 12 March 2020 after a relationship of 5 years. They lived in an unknown location in Coimbatore and reached Kaveripattinam police station on 24th March seeking security from the girl’s family, who were searching for them around the town. However, the police kept them in the lockup and after joining hands with the girl’s family, they beat Karthik for around 3 to 4 hours on the same night.MuslimMirror
Online Petition Seeks to Save Hyderabad’s Osmania Hospital From Demolition
Hyderabad:An online campaign is gaining momentum to save Osmania General Hospital’s structure after Telangana government decided to demolish the old building of the hospital in Hyderabad.A Change.org petition, ‘Save Osmania General Hospital – protect heritage and health’, launched on Friday has gained over 6,0026 signatures as of Sunday.The anonymous group which launched the campaign under the ‘Save Osmania General Hospital’ banner said, “We want the government to restore and not demolish the old heritage building. The government should take urgent steps to ensure that the building is not further damaged. Now that the building is sealed, the government should stop any entry into the building.”“Health infrastructure and heritage can go hand in hand and the heritage building Osmania General Hospital must be restored and not demolished. A new hospital can be constructed in the remaining ample area to boost the health infrastructure whilst maintaining the beauty of an iconic building that showcases Hyderabad’s immense heritage,” the petition on Change.org adds.Clarion India
Man arrested for making derogatory remarks on Prophet Muhammad
Central Crime Branch police arrested a member of Hindu Tamil Peravai organization from Nandambakkam town in Tamil Nadu for allegedly making derogatory remarks against Prophet Muhammad on social media. The complaint was lodged at Chennai Police Commissioner’s Office on behalf of PFI. Moreover, police have also arrested a Youtuber, Surendran Natarajan, for allegedly portraying Hindu deity Lord Murugan in an offensive way, which had sparked a controversy.In an apparent attempt to create communal conflict, right-wing people propagated that man who hurt sentiments of Hindus by misrepresenting the Hindu deity was a Muslim and his name was Hafeez. However, their claim was exposed when authorities identified the man as Surendran Natarajan, who was a former member of RSS and had later joined Periyarist Organizations.MuslimMirror
Inter-Religious Marriages : Following Complaints Of Misuse, Kerala Govt Stops Publication Of Notice Of Marriage In Website
Kerala Govt has issued a circular prohibiting the prevailing practice of uploading of 'notices of intended marriage' under Special Marriage Act in the website of Registration Dept. The move is on account of many complaints received by the Govt that this facility is being misused by some groups for communal propaganda. Publication of such notices in the concerned Sub Registrar's offices would suffice, Minister G. Sudhakaran said."The notices published on the portal of the Registration Department are being misused for communal propaganda and complaints regarding this has been received by CM and Registration Department. The personal details of the applicants are being misused and the practice also infringes their privacy rights", Minister's office stated.
Assam Floods: Death Toll Rises to 123, 26.38 Lakh Affected in 27 Districts
Guwahati: The flood situation in Assam remained grim as one more person died and 26.38 lakh people are affected in 27 of the states 33 districts on Saturday, a government report said.With the death of one more person in Morigaon district, the death toll in this year’s flood and landslides has risen to 123.While 97 people died in flood-related incidents, 26 were killed in landslides, the Assam State Disaster Management Authority (ASDMA) said.PTI
Bihar Floods Claim 18 Lives, Nearly 1 Million People Affected In 10 Districts
Patna: The floods in Bihar claimed at least 18 lives till Friday and hit as many districts in the northern parts of the state, leaving nearly one million affected by the deluge, the state's disaster management department said.Heavy rainfalls caused the rivers to swell, leading to breach in embankments at more than one place. The state government said repair work would resume only after two-three days, during which the downpour is expected to become less intense.In the meantime, help will be sought from the Indian Air Force so that relief material could be dropped for people marooned in places, which have become inaccessible.
Entrepreneur Mahbubul Hoque is a role model of education in Assam
Assam: From selling home-grown vegetables in village markets so he could fund his studies to founding as many as eight institutions, the life of education entrepreneur Mahbubul Hoque, who is fondly known as Northeast’s Sir Syed Ahmad Khan, has come a full circle.With his unwearying efforts, Hoque, in nearly two decades, has gifted his state Assam and Meghalaya several educational institutes such as University of Science and Technology, Meghalaya (USTM), carving a niche for itself by offering courses hitherto little known to the region. "We were 8 brothers. Our father struggled a lot to provide us education. As a school student, I sold home-grown vegetables in local markets. I also taught schoolchildren for my education expenses," Hoque recalls."I came up with a trust called the Education Research Development Foundation. Some of the trustees are still there. Soon, I started the Regional College of Higher Education (now Regional Institute of Science and Technology or RIST), affiliated to North East Hill University in Meghalaya. It was the state’s first engineering college. Then, I kept setting up one institute after another in Assam and Meghalaya," Hoque adds.Dr Mukulesh Barua, director of Assam Institute of Management, says: "I have seen him (Hoque) from beginning. He has got a single-minded focus to provide a platform of education and contribute to society."
*SOUTH ASIA, INDO-PAK & J&K*
China Lays Claim To Bhutan's Sakteng Sanctuary With Strategic Eye On Doklam; India Keeps Hawk's Eye: Outlook India story
Bhutan, Himalayan kingdom nestled between Asian giants China and India, is now in the crosshairs of Beijing, the latest neighbour to face its high-pressure coercion. Bhutan has a ‘special relationship’ with India, with New Delhi advising Thimphu on the conduct of its foreign, defence and trade policies. In contrast, it has no diplomatic relations with China. Though it badly wants a toehold there, Beijing has so far not succeeded in opening an embassy in Bhutan. The kingdom has always kept China at a safe distance. Bhutan, like India, is a country with which China has unresolved border issues. Beijing and Thimphu have held 24 rounds of inconclusive boundary talks. In June, China raised the border issue in an unlikely forum—at a virtual meet of the Global Environment Facility (GEF), a US-based forum established in 1992 ahead of the UN Earth Summit in Rio de Janeiro to tackle global warming. The GEF provides funds for small environment-friendly projects. Bhutan’s Sakteng wildlife sanctuary, an area with rich biodiversity, was to get funds to preserve its unique ecosystem. The Chinese representative raised objections at the meet, saying the sanctuary was located in a disputed area between China and Bhutan. The delegate said the area in the eastern tip of Bhutan was on the table for discussion in border talks. Despite Chinese objection, the GEF went ahead and allocated funds for Sakteng. Raking up its eastern border, as is the case with its border with India’s Ladakh and Arunachal Pradesh, is in keeping with China’s all-round aggressive posture in Asia. Part of the playbook is to make sudden, shocking new claims to increase bargaining power elsewhere—this is the first time China laid claim to Sakteng. Later, Thimphu sent a demarche to Beijing.Bhutan has differences with China about its western border, centered around the Doklam plateau, and in the central sector in Pasamlung and Jakarlung. Sakteng, in the east, was never disputed.
Pakistan Reacts to Reports of Secret Deal with Chinese Lab That Came into Spotlight Over Covid-19 Bio-weapon Theory: PTI report
Pakistan and China have concluded a secret deal to expand potential bio-warfare capabilities, including running research projects related to the deadly anthrax, an Australian media report has alleged, prompting Pakistan to dismiss it as a "politically motivated and fake story."In an article published on July 23, Australia's investigative newspaper The Klaxon said China's Wuhan Institute of Virology has signed a covert three-year deal with Pakistan military's Defense Science and Technology Organization (DESTO) to collaborate research in "emerging infectious diseases". The Wuhan Institute of Virology has drawn the international spotlight in recent months because the novel coronavirus is thought to have originated in Wuhan. There had been speculation the disease may have emerged from that laboratory, however most experts have since discounted theory.In a statement on Sunday,Pakistan Foreign Office (FO) described the article as a "politically motivated and fake story" and said it was composed of "distortion of facts and fabrications that quote anonymous sources". "There is nothing secret about the Bio-Safety Level-3 (BSL-3) Laboratory of Pakistan referred to in the report. Pakistan has been sharing information about the facility with the States Parties to Biological and Toxins Weapons Convention (BTWC) in its submission of Confidence Building Measures," the FO said.
FATF review of India’s anti-money laundering regime postponed to early 2021 due to Covid
The much-awaited Financial Action Task Force (FATF) mutual evaluation of India’s anti-money laundering regime and legal measures framed to check financial crimes, scheduled for this year, has been postponed till early next year in view of coronavirus pandemic, officials said.They said the on-site review to be conducted by experts of the global body was scheduled to begin in Sept-Oct but FATF secretariat in Paris has conveyed to India that the review is being tentatively pushed to Jan-Feb next year.PTI
As Second Year of Kashmir 4G Ban Nears, Signs of Official Rethink on J&K Internet Blockade
New Delhi: In an exclusive interview to Sunday Express, Lieutenant Governor of of Jammu and Kashmir, G.C. Murmu, said that his government has told the Union home ministry that it has no objection to restoring 4G internet services in the region.It has been nearly a year since internet services were first withdrawn from Jammu and Kashmir, just before the reading down of Article 370 in August, 2019. While 2G internet has been restored, slow speed has posed a particular challenge for healthcare professionals in the time of COVID-19 crisis. Murmu notably told Express that he is “not afraid how people will see” his support to the restoration.“We have been making [a] representation for this…I feel that 4G will not be a problem. I am not afraid how people will use this. Pakistan will do its propaganda, whether it is 2G or 4G. It will always be there… But I don’t see an issue,” he was quoted as having said.This is a distinct change in position. J&K government has earlier said that restoration of high speed internet could, among other things, lead to the spread of “fake news and targeted messages”, “propagate terrorism,” lead people to “indulge in rumour-mongering, support fallacious proxy wars, spread propaganda,” and cause “disaffection and discontent.”thewire
No Resident of Srinagar in Terrorist Ranks after Killing of Top LeT Commander: Kashmir IGP
No resident of Srinagar –summer capital of Jammu and Kashmir – is now in the militant ranks, Inspector General of Police Vijay Kumar said on Sunday, a day after a top Lashkar-e-Taiba commander was killed by security forces here."After #killing of #LeT #terrorist Ishfaq Rashid Khan yesterday, no resident of #Srinagar district in terrorist ranks now," he said on the Twitter handle of Kashmir zone police.PTI
Among 11 Afghan Sikhs granted visas by India: abducted man, minor rescued from marriage
Ludhiana : 4 months after attack at a gurdwara in Kabul’s Shor Bazaar killed at least 25 members of the community, and amid allegations of abductions and forced marriage, 11 Sikhs from Afghanistan have been granted short-term visas by Indian Embassy in Kabul.They are expected to reach Delhi Sunday.Chhabol Singh, a community leader in Kabul, told The Sunday Express that among those who received the visas Saturday include Nidan Singh Sachdeva, who was abducted from a gurdwara in Paktia province last month, and a 15-year old girl who was recently “rescued” from an alleged attempt at forced conversion and marriage.
Covid, Not Floor Test: Ashok Gehlot Pitches Rajasthan Assembly Session From July 31
Rajasthan CM Ashok Gehlot - struggling to keep his govt afloat -- has sent a second proposal to Governor Kalraj Mishra for starting the assembly session. The proposed date is July 31 and the agenda cited is coronavirus. There is no word on floor test. Mr Gehlot maintains that some MLAs supporting him are being held hostage at the rebel camp in Gurugram and once they come to Jaipur, his numbers will rise further. The Governor, who turned down the earlier proposal pointing out that it did not mention a date or a reason for the assembly session, said he is examining it. The Congress, meanwhile, is planning a countrywide protest against BJP over the Rajasthan issue on Monday.Winning a trust vote will give Ashok Gehlot's government a respite for the next six months. But if a trust vote is held now, when the rebels are yet to be disqualified, the rebels can vote against their own party. Even if they get disqualified later, their vote will count.Governor Kalraj Mishra had nixed the cabinet's last proposal, citing six objections. He also asked Chief Minister to submit a fresh proposal. Ashok Gehlot, who held a protest for hours at the Governor's home on Friday, called it a "BJP conspiracy" to stall the floor test. Congress is planning a countrywide protest and said they would go to President to foil "BJP conspiracy". Congress's Rahul Gandhi tweeted a video today attempting to mobilise the people against the BJP over the events in Rajasthan. Using hashtag #SpeakUpForDemocracy, his Hindi post urged the people to "Unite and raise our voice for democracy".
Rajasthan crisis: Amid political deadlock, Governor expresses concern over rising Covid cases in state
Chidambaram Quotes 1992 Supreme Court Verdict After Rajasthan Court Order On Rebel MLAs
New Delhi: A day after Rajasthan High Court ordered status quo on disqualification notices to 19 rebel Congress MLAs, former Union Finance Minister and senior party leader P Chidambaram said a 1992 verdict by the Supreme Court stated that judicial review should not cover any stage prior to a decision by the Speaker/Chairman.He said it is for the people to judge the verdict themselves as the decision by top court's five judges was binding on all courts.
'BJP Is Not Very Concerned About Issues of Indigenous People,' Says Chief of Tripura Ally IPFT
BJP formed its first government in Tripura with its ally, Indigenous Peoples Front of Tripura (IPFT). But ever since, their partnership has been bumpy. The parties fielded separate candidates during 2019 Lok Sabha election and there have been multiple instances of clashes between the alliance partners. Earlier this month, IPFT called for a 24-hour general strike within the limits of Tripura Tribal Areas Autonomous District Council (TTAADC) to demand the release of a member who was arrested in connection with an alleged attack and burning of a BJP party office at Khumulwng, HQRS of the council.In an interview with The Wire, IPFT president and revenue minister N.C. Debbarma speaks about the government dragging its feet on the issues of indigenous people of the state and how the future of the coalition is uncertain. IPFT president said,"BJP is not very concerned about these issues. They are happy to be able to run the government in the state and have not given any concrete response. Basically, our recommendations on the demands of the people have not been honoured."
Unlock 3.0: Schools, metros to remain shut; Cinemas, gyms likely to open, say sources
With Covid-19 restrictions of 'Unlock 2.0' ending on Friday (July 31), the govt is now formulating guidelines for Unlock 3.0 which will come into force from August, sources said on Sunday. For Unlock 3, the third installation in the phased easing of lockdown restrictions, a few more relaxations are being worked upon by the government. These might include relaxations in reopening of cinema halls from August 1 but with some SOPs such as strict social distancing in place, sources said.However, some restrictions are likely to continue in Unlock 3. Schools and metro train services are likely to remain shut across the country, sources said. Ministry of HRD began consultation with states on reopening of schools in a meeting chaired by Secretary of School Education, Anita Karwal. HRD Minister Ramesh Pokhriyal had said earlier that feedback would be sought from parents on the issue. Subsequently, the ministry said that parents were not in favour of reopening of schools. According to sources, gyms are also likely to be reopened in third phase.Meanwhile, Ministry of Information and Broadcasting has proposed the reopening of cinema halls to Ministry of Home Affairs. The IB ministry had consulted the owners of cinema halls before presenting the proposal.
Extreme risk aversion to have adverse outcomes: RBI Governor
As the economy reels under the pandemic and post lockdown woes, RBI Governor Shaktikanta Das is of the view that extreme risk aversion by financial institutions will have adverse outcomes for all.Noting that India's financial system remains sound, Das, in his foreword to RBI's latest Financial Stability Report, wrote that in the current environment, the need for financial intermediaries to proactively augment capital and improve their resilience has acquired top priority. "In the evolving milieu, while risk management has to be prudent, extreme risk aversion would have adverse outcomes for all," he wrote.IANS
Over emphasis on fever as a symptom of coronavirus may lead to cases missed: AIIMS Study
From the time the coronavirus pandemic has wreaked havoc worldwide, checking of temperature before letting one enter anywhere has been a common sight. A recent study by AIIMS, has said that this over-emphasis on fever as a symptom of coronavirus may have led to a lot of cases being missed. A study carried out in AIIMS, Delhi and AIIMS Jhajjar on 144 subjets showed that only 17%patients had the fever.
Delhi may peak in a week, but South has to wait for Sept
There cannot be a uniform peak in COVID-19 cases in a large country like India, says expert. It has been four months to the day since India was put into lockdown to ward off the coronavirus. During the anxious days of Lockdown 1.0,the peak was promised in a few weeks, and then late May. But when the lockdown was eased in May, the only peaks in sight were the Himalayas from Saharanpur.Where then are the peaks of COVID? In the last few weeks, talk of India soon approaching COVID-19 peak have begun to be heard in murmurs. First, it was Public Health Foundation of India president Dr K Srinath Reddy who said that coronavirus incidence could peak in mid-September in India but added that different states could witness different peak periods. Now, it is Prof GVS Murthy of the Indian Institute of Public Health who has reiterated Dr Reddy's message elaborately. There cannot be a uniform peak in COVID-19 cases in a large country like India and each state has its own trajectory based on when people there were exposed to the infection, Murthy told PTI on Saturday.
22 booked in Aligarh for offering namaz in group inside mosque, cleric claims police beat him
Aligarh : Even as Aligarh police booked 22 persons on Friday offering namaz in a group inside a mosque in Jawan area on charges of violating prohibitory orders, the cleric of the mosque alleged that he was thrashed by the cops after being taken to the police station. Police have videographed the gathering, which clearly shows about two dozen people inside the mosque, with some of them offering namaz.A day after the incident, the cleric, Mohd Firoz, admitted that 22-23 people had gathered in the mosque but claimed that only Azan was recited and namaz was not offered there.The cleric also alleged that police beat him up inside a room of Jawan police station. "Police personnel reached the mosque on Friday and started abusing me that how I dare to offer namaz in a group and took me to police station where they beat me up," he claimed.SHO Abhay Sharma said that only FIR was registered in the matter, and no one was arrested.
UP : 67 Booked In Bahraich For Offering Friday Prayers In A Mass
67 people were booked for taking part in congregational prayers at a mosque in Bahraich on Friday, police said.Amid rising cases of COVID, large gatherings are not allowed in the state, they said."People gathered in large numbers at a mosque in Jatara village under Jarwal Road police station area and offered prayers on Friday," SHO Harshvardhan Singh said.
Karnataka: Eid prayers in mosque allowed with mandatory masks and social distancing
Karnataka govt has allowed people to offer Eid prayers inside a mosque amid Covid19. An SOP has been issued in this regard. The government has made masks and social distancing compulsory for offering prayers in a mosque and the senior citizens will not be allowed to attend. As per the guidelines issued by the government, as many as 50 people have been allowed to gather at a mosque with proper social distancing. Masks have been made compulsory and people have been advised to get their own mates. Shahi Imam of Delhi's Jama Masjid, Syed Ahmed Bukhari said that Eid al-Adha will be celebrated on August 1 as the moon was not sighted on Tuesday night. However, this year it will be celebrated amidst the coronavirus pandemic when most state governments have barred religious and social gatherings. Karnataka reported 5,072 new Covid-19 positive cases and 72 deaths on Saturday, taking the total number of cases in the state to 90,942.
Recite Hanuman Chalisa To Fight Coronavirus: BJP’s Pragya Thakur
Bhopal: BJP MP Pragya Singh Thakur on Saturday appealed people to recite Hanuman Chalisa 5 times a day till August 5, which she believes will rid the world of the coronavirus pandemic.“Bhoomi pujan” or the ground-breaking ceremony for the construction of Ram temple at Ayodhya is to take place on August 5.“Let us all of us together make a spiritual effort to wish people good health and end the coronavirus epidemic. Recite ”Hanuman Chalisa” 5 times a day at your home from July 25 to August 5,” Bhopal MP tweeted.She also shared a video on Twitter, in which she said BJP government in Madhya Pradesh is making efforts to contain the spread of coronavirus by imposing lockdown in Bhopal till August 4.“Though the lockdown will be over on August 4, this ritual (recitation of the Hanuman Chalisa, a hymn in praise of Hanuman) will end on August 5, when ”bhoomi pujan” for Ram temple in Ayodhya will be performed. We will celebrate that day like Diwali,” she added.PTI
Sikkim extends coronavirus lockdown till August 1
Sikkim govt has extended the statewide lockdown till August 1 to curb the spread of the novel coronavirus, according to a notification.A complete, 6-day lockdown, imposed by the hilly state, was scheduled to end on Sunday. “After careful consideration of the situation, it has been decided to extend the period of lockdown in the entire state of Sikkim till 6 am of August 1,” a notification issued by Chief Secretary S C Gupta said.The state reported its first Covid-19 death on Sunday after a 74-year-old man succumbed to the disease at a state-run hospital here, the official said.
To hike Covid-19 testing, PM Modi to launch 3 new labs at Noida, Mumbai and Kolkata
Prime Minister Narendra Modi will launch ‘high throughput Covid-19 testing facilities’ on July 27 via video conferencing , PMO said in a statement on Sunday. PM Modi will inaugurate the facilities at ICMR-National Institute of Cancer Prevention and Research based in Noida, ICMR-National Institute for Research in Reproductive Health located in Mumbai and in Kolkata’s ICMR-National Institute of Cholera and Enteric Diseases. These facilities will increase testing capacity in the country and help in strengthening the health infrastructure by early detection and treatment of Covid-19 patients. In the long run, these facilities will help in curbing the spread of the pandemic, the statement said.
Cart toppled, eggs smashed: Indore vendor's cart overturned after he refused to pay Rs 100 bribe
As the coronavirus continues to wreak havoc among big and small businesses in the country, a video of 14-year-old egg vendor's cart being vandalised and overturned by civic body officials has taken the social media by storm. This is not the first time, a vendor is being harassed, several cases across the country have been reported where vendors have been manhandled amid the pandemic. This heart-wrenching video shows the egg vendor whose cart was overturned and the eggs shamelessly smashed on the road. The boy donning a white shirt is seen standing up to 2 men, who appear to be civic officialsIndore civic body official overturning the cart carrying eggs belonged to 14-year-old boy trying to make ends meet.
Israel: Many held in protests over gov't handling of coronavirus, demand Netanyahu’s resignation
Israeli police have arrested 12 people and used water cannon in Jerusalem before dawn on Sunday to disperse furious demonstrators protesting against the government's handling of the coronavirus crisis, police spokesman Micky Rosenfeld said.The arrests came as thousands of Israelis held several demonstrations across the country on Saturday against PM Benjamin Netanyahu, main protest taking place in Jerusalem outside his official residence. The protests have been going on for the past few weeks, sparked by what critics see as the govt's failure in handling the coronavirus crisis after initially seeming to succeed in keeping the virus at bay.Corruption charges against Netanyahu have further fuelled the demonstrations."Bibi, go home," read one sign held by a protester. Other placards said "We are fed up with the corrupt",and "Where are the morals? Where are the values?" They blew horns, beat drums and chanted slogans, including "One million unemployed," "Bibi resign," "Crime Minister," "Shame," and "Bloated, corrupt cabinet, we are sick of you".Protesters also slammed a law passed this week that gives the government special powers, under the banner of fighting COD-19, until the end of 2021.Hundreds of protesters also gathered outside Netanyahu's beach house in Caesarea, and in the capital Tel Aviv.According to Rosenfeld, police handed out face masks before they called on the largest crowd in Jerusalem to go home over police-van loudspeakers several hours later.They carried away some protesters who sat on sidewalks and refused calls to disperse in a show of civil disobedience."Police will allow demonstrations. However, will not allow disturbances of the order," Rosenfeld said.After what has been called a hasty and erratic reopening of the economy in May, infections shot up with the average number of new cases 2,000 a day.
Israel anti-govt campaigners threaten to legally protest police use of water cannons
Israeli protest leaders calling for Israeli PM Netanyahu’s resignation announced their intention to petition the Supreme Court if water cannons are used against protesters, i24 News reported.Protest movement leader and organiser Gonen Ben Yitzhak slammed the police for using the controversial control method, and said it was “far from harmless”He said in a statement on social media: “Police have used water cannons, blasting high-pressured water at protesters. This represents unwarranted and disproportionate use of force that endangers the demonstrators and has caused some severe injuries, including head wounds and injuries to internal organs.”
Lebanon: Israel violated Lebanese air space 29 times in 48 hours
Lebanese Army said Israel violated Lebanon’s airspace 29 times in past 48 hours, Alaraby English reported.The flagrant breaches were monitored by the United Nations’ Lebanon Peacekeeping Mission.An army spokesperson said: “On Friday, Israeli planes violated Lebanese air space 20 times, and on Saturday 9 times.”Israel has yet to respond to the accusation.This comes after Israel launched a deadly attack on Syria, targeting Hezbollah positions as tensions rise.
Israel strikes Syrian army positions in 'retaliatory' attack: army
Israeli military said its helicopters struck Syrian army targets in response to mortars fired toward the Israeli-occupied Golan Heights, Reuters reports.“A number of targets were struck, including SAF observation posts and intelligence collection systems located in SAF bases,” military said in a statement, referring to Syrian Armed Forces.Syria’s state news agency SANA quoted a military source as saying Israeli helicopters targeted three outposts in Syria’s southern Quneitra area with anti-tank guided missiles, causing two injuries and some forest fires.The strike came a few hours after Israeli military said blasts were heard from the Syrian-held area of the Golan Heights. No casualties were reported but a building and an Israeli vehicle were damaged, it said.
Outgoing Israeli naval commander claims Hezbollah are ‘planning maritime attacks’
The outgoing naval commander of Israeli Navy’s Haifa base claimed that Hezbollah has plans to attack Israel via sea, i24 News reports.Brigadier General Gil Aginsky made the accusations in an interview with Israeli outlet Israel Hayom, citing tensions at Israel-Lebanon border in the north of Israel, where Israel recently ran extensive military drills.He said: “The challenge we are grappling with is twofold – from the sea, and from under the sea. On the water, we know how to deal with any scenario, including some very complicated ones.”
Israeli army arrests ex-Hamas lawmakers in West Bank
Israeli forces detained 2 former Palestinian legislators in raids in the occupied West Bank on Sunday, according to local residents.Israeli soldiers raided the homes of former MPs, Hatem Qafisha and Nayef Rajoub, in the city of Hebron in the southern West Bank and took them into custody, the residents said.Qafisha was later released by Israeli forces.The former lawmakers are from Palestinian resistance group Hamas, which rules the Gaza Strip.There was no comment from the Israeli army on the raids.
Interior minister to form new government in Tunisia
Tunisia’s Interior Minister Hisham El-Mechishi will form the country’s government, the official news agency announced Saturday, Anadolu Agency reports.Tunisian President Kais Saied appointed el-Mechishi to form government, according to Tunis Afrique Presse (TAP).Having no attachments to a political party, el-Mechishi was not nominated for the prime minister’s seat by any party.El-Mechishi was born in 1974 and was appointed to his post as interior minister in February. He holds a doctorate in political science and law, and completed his master’s degree in France.
Egypt's al-Azhar poised to be stripped of its power
Egyptian parliament and al-Azhar, highest seat of learning in the Sunni Islamic world, are locking horns over the approval of a new bill that strips the latter of control over Dar al-Ifta, by far the most important religious authority in Egypt. The parliament approved the bill in principle on 19 July and referred it to the State Council, a judiciary body that checks the legality of draft laws before they are finally approved by the parliament. Final approval is expected to be a formality. The bill puts Dar al-Ifta, which regulates the life of Egypt's Muslims and opines on their day-to-day affairs, under the control of the Egyptian government.It gives Dar al-Ifta authority over its own budget and financial dealings and exempts it from taxes.Most importantly, the bill gives President Abdel Fattah el-Sisi the right to appoint the mufti, Egypt's top Islamic jurist, for the first time.
Taliban accuses Afghan govt of recapturing freed prisoners
Taliban has accused Afghanistan govt of recapturing previously released prisoners from its ranks, an allegation rejected by Afghan authorities.The government has released more than 4,000 Taliban fighters, while the group has released nearly 700 prisoners under a US-Taliban agreement that aims to pave the way for peace talks among the Afghans.Suhail Shaheen, Taliban spokesman at its Doha office, on Saturday wrote on Twitter that Afghan intelligence agency, National Directorate of Intelligence, had conducted surprise operations against the released fighters.He said the administration in Kabul would "bear responsibility for the consequences" if the alleged detentions did not stop.But a spokesman for Afghanistan's National Security Council Adviser, Javid Faisal, on Sunday said a number of released prisoners have returned to the battlefields.Meanwhile, the US State Department in a statement on Saturday said its envoy for Afghan reconciliation Zalmay Khalilzad had set off to visit Doha and Kabul and press parties on "final prisoners exchange and reduced violence".
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Compiled and edited by Anwarulhaq (Released at: 2:49 PM)