NEWS DIGEST EVENING
29 JULY 2020. 07 ZU AL HIJJAH 1441. Vol-12, No-270
*SOUTH ASIA, INDO-PAK & J&K*
India refutes China's claims of disengagement; says build up continues at Pangong, Gogra
India has refuted China's claims that disengagement in most friction points is complete. According to sources, not much has changed at Gogra and Pangong Lake for over a fortnight even as a new status quo has emerged.China has been silent on status of Pangong Lake while it claims disengagement at Galwan, Hot Springs and Gogra is complete. Chinese foreign ministry spokesperson said that disengagement is complete in these three points. Sources say troops from both sides are still in close proximity at Gogra and Pangong Lake. Pangong Lake and Hot Spring-Gogra area that is part of Patrol Point 17A still remains volatile.
India to add 35,000 troops along China border as tensions simmer
India is preparing to position an additional 35,000 troops along LCA with China as the possibility of an early resolution to the deadly tensions between the two neighbors fades.The move would change the status quo along the contested 3,488 kilometer LAC and stretch the nation’s already tight military budget, senior Indian officials said, asking not to be identified citing rules on speaking to the media.
Land law: Clearance not required, J&K home dept returns pending cases
With Central land law being extended to the Union Territory of J&K and the armed forces no longer requiring clearance of the UT’s Home Dept for acquisition and requisition of land, the department on Tuesday returned cases of acquisition of land that were pending with it over the last few years. Of the 16 cases, 14 are in Jammu region while one is in Leh and one in Bandipore area of Kashmir.This comes four days after J&K administration withdrew a 1971 circular that required a NOC from its home department for acquisition or requisition of land “in favour of the Army, BSF, CRPF and other similar organisations”. Such acquisition will now be covered under the Right to Fair Compensation and Transparency in Land Acquisition, Rehabilitation and Resettlement Act, 2013.The pending cases include acquisition of 7,307 kanals (approximately 913 acres) of land for “construction of ammunition dump” in Jammu region.
BJP sees its Kashmir policy as a foundation stone for 'Hindu Rashtra', its bigger project is to eventually build ‘settlements’ on lines of Israel, to change demography: Ex-J&K minister Naeem Akhtar
New Delhi: Ahead of the first anniversary of the scrapping of Jammu and Kashmir’s special constitutional status, Naeem Akhtar, senior PDP leader and former minister in the J&K government said that Modi government has made Kashmir “foundation stone” of its attempts to remake India as a ‘Hindu rashtra’, or a Hindu nation.In an interview to The Wire, Akhtar refuted the arguments the govt had advanced to justify its moves in the state and said New Delhi would have a reason to celebrate the end of Article 370 only when the army is no longer needed in Kashmir. Akhtar, a close associate of PDP president Mehbooba Mufti, was arrested on August 5 last year. He was kept in a sub-jail in Srinagar until his release last month. Within a few days of his release, Akhtar was evicted from his official residence on Srinagar’s Gupkar Road. He spoke to The Wire through Skype from his rented house in Srinagar but said he was still under house arrest and was not allowed to venture out freely.“Ideas cannot be crushed. There is an idea among many people in Kashmir that we have been wronged. No matter how many security personnel you deploy, you cannot change this idea," he said. Terming Muslim residents of Jammu and Kashmir as ‘most powerless citizens’ of India, Akhtar said that BJP’s project is to turn J&K into a Hindu majority state from where no Muslim chief minister can be elected. “If you look at the administration of the state now, it looks alien to me and the common Kashmiris, as if it was Italy’s administration in Libya.”Akhtar said BJP’s bigger project is to eventually build ‘settlements’ in Kashmir on the lines of Israel and change the demography of the state altogether.“But they should be mindful of the fact that Kashmir is not Israel. Israel is not contested between 3 nuclear-armed powers. Kashmir’s neighbours are not Jordan and Lebanon but Pakistan and China. And that’s why the geopolitical turmoil over Kashmir is so evident”.
J&K Congress leader Saifuddin Soz rejects Centre’s stand in SC that he was never put under house arrest
Former Union Minister Prof. Saifuddin Soz on Wednesday issued a statement rejecting Centre’s “narration of falsehood before the Supreme Court denying that I had neither been put under house arrest nor any restrictions were imposed on me since Aug.5, 2019”. “I take a strong exception to the Govt. stand before the Supreme Court that I had neither been put under house-arrest nor had any restrictions been imposed on me since Aug.5, 2019. The Govt. has resorted to falsehood as it had unlawfully incarcerated me since August 5, 2019. All this while I was not allowed to move out of my premises,” he said. “I left my premises twice when I had to visit my ailing sister and I went to Delhi on 17th Sept., 2019 to 21st Sept., 2019 and 15th Dec., 2019 to 21st Dec., 2019 for seeking medical advice.Whenever I went out of my premises since Aug.5, 2019, I had to obtain permission from the Govt,” he added.The statement by Soz was made in response to Jammu and Kashmir Administration contending in the Supreme Court that the senior Congress leader was neither detained nor put under house arrest after abrogation of Article 370.
Will release J&K High Court Bar Association president Mian Abdul Qayoom, Centre tells Supreme Court
The Supreme Court on Wednesday urged the people of Kashmir to “look to the future”, saying the Valley has gone through troubled times.Justice Sanjay Kishan Kaul, leading a three-judge Bench, said orally, “Kashmir is blessed by nature but it has gone through troubled times. But we have to look to the future”.The court highlighted the huge potential for tourism in Jammu and Kashmir. The court’s remarks came even as it agreed with the J&K administration’s promise that senior lawyer and J&K High Court Bar Association president Mian Abdul Qayoom would be released immediately from his nearly year-long detention.Solicitor General Tushar Mehta agreed with the court’s suggestion that Qayoom ought to remain in Delhi till August 7 and not issue any statement.His lawyers, senior advocate Dushyant Dave and advocate Vrinda Grover, have been insisting on his immediate release. They had said his detention was illegal.
One year on after special status revocation no new jobs in Jammu & Kashmir
A year after the special status of Jammu and Kashmir was revoked, the State administration is yet to create new government jobs in the newly created Union Territory. As many as 10,000 vacancies at all levels are to be filled in Phase-1, a senior government official said. The recruitment drive had been badly affected by the coronavirus, he pointed out. During discussion in the Upper House, he said Article 370 was an impediment to J&K’s development. Sheikh Ashiq Ahmed, President of Kashmir Chamber of Commerce said that since August 5, trade and businesses in J&K had suffered a loss of ₹ 40,000 crore.
EC frowns on J&K L-G talk of election timing, says poll decisions its ‘remit’
Election Commission (EC) on Tuesday took exception to L-G GC Murmu’s recent comments in the media on the timing of polls in Jammu and Kashmir (J&K).The Commission issued a strongly worded statement asserting that all decisions on the conduct and timing of elections are its “sole remit”.The poll panel was reacting to a series of media interviews given by Murmu over the last week. In an interview to The Tribune, the L-G said elections to the J&K Assembly would be held after the conclusion of the delimitation exercise.Responding to a question on reviving political activity in J&K, Murmu told HT, “EC is competent authority to take a call on delimitation. Except Covid, I don’t see any problem in holding elections”.
J&K: ‘Are we animals in a cage?’ asks Iltija Mufti on Mehbooba Mufti’s detention, Article 370 move
Iltija Mufti hit out at Centre for its “cruel” detention of her mother, former Jammu and Kashmir Chief Minister Mehbooba Mufti, and for stripping the region of its autonomy. lltija says she is no politician but her mother’s detention since August 5, which she has challenged in the Supreme Court – there has been no hearing after the first one on Feb.26 – has forced her to speak up against all that has unfolded in Kashmir over the last year.Iltija lives in the same home-turned-sub-jail where PDP leader, charged under Public Safety Act, has been held in house arrest since April 2020, after 7 months of being detained in a govt facility on the outskirts of Srinagar. lltija said about her mother, "She came home only in April. It was very hard. But she is very strong, and whatever plans she has in mind, her views, she’s not going to reveal it to me. But from the time we were anticipating this, she has been saying this is to disempower us, to push the Hindutva agenda in the only Muslim-majority state. We are being punished because we are Kashmiris and we are Muslim." When asked why haven’t they released Mahbooba yet, lltija said, "Without getting into too many details, it is kind of understood that if she wants to get out, her freedom is contingent on her not talking about Article 370. Now it’s become a game of who blinks first. But the bad news for them is that it’s not going to be my mother, it’s going to be them because she’s going to stick to her guns."
Ex-minister quits as NC spokesperson amid debate in party over J&K statehood
Senior National Conference (NC) leader Aga Syed Ruhullah resigned as party’s chief spokesperson. While Ruhullah, a former minister in the erstwhile state of Jammu and Kashmir, remained silent over his resignation, it is apparently a fallout of the party leadership’s silence over the Centre’s decision to abrogate J&K’s special status in August 2019.
Snubbed by Guv thrice, Rajasthan cabinet sends fresh proposal, now wants Assembly session on Aug 14
Even as political deadlock continued in Rajasthan, the Ashok Gehlot-led cabinet Wednesday sent a revised proposal—the fourth in seven days—to Governor Kalraj Mishra, demanding an Assembly session to be held on August 14. What makes this proposal different from the previous ones is the fact that it abides by the Governor’s suggestion to call a regular session at a 21-day notice (from July 23). The fresh proposal also cited some ministerial work as the agenda to call the session.While returning the state cabinet proposal for the third time to convene the assembly earlier today, the Governor had said if the government was not stating the reason for holding a short-notice session, it could call a regular session at a 21-day notice. He had asked the Gehlot cabinet to resubmit its proposal, giving a “solid reason” for calling a session at short notice.Gehlot is facing a rebellion from his now sacked deputy, Sachin Pilot, who has the support of 18 dissident Congress MLAs. Altogether, Congress claims to have the support of 107 MLAs in 200-member assembly and BJP 72.As the impasse over calling a session deepened, Chief Minister Gehlot held a 15-minute meeting Mishra at Raj Bhawan. The state cabinet met later. Exuding confidence that his government would survive a floor test, if and when they are asked to prove majority, Gehlot said: “Whether Rajasthan governor seeks a notice of 21 days or 31 days to call assembly session, we will be victorious.”Governor Mishra has cancelled Independence Day at home event owing to spurt in COVID-1.
Sachin Pilot: Hope new Rajasthan Congress chief is unbiased, takes care of those who ensured poll victory
Congress leader and former Rajasthan Deputy CM Sachin Pilot today said he hopes that the new Rajasthan Congress president, Govind Singh Dotasra, will take care of those party workers based on whose hard word the Congress was able to form a govt in the state. Congratulating Dotasra for taking charge as Rajasthan Congress chief, a post he was recently sacked from, Sachin Pilot said, "I congratulate Dotasra for taking charge. I am hopeful that he will work without any pressure, will not be biased and will take care of the honour of Congress workers based on whose hard work the party was able to form a govt."
‘Those wanting to threaten our territorial integrity should be worried’: Rajnath after Rafale jets land in India
Pointing out that the Indian Air Force’s combat capability has got a timely boost following the arrival of the first batch of five Rafale fighter jets from France, Defence Minister Rajnath Singh Wednesday said those who want to “threaten our territorial integrity” should be “worried” about India’s latest possession.“The Birds have landed safely in Ambala. The touch down of Rafale combat aircrafts in India marks the beginning of a new era in our Military History. These multirole aircrafts will revolutionise the capabilities of the IAF,” Singh tweeted after jets landed at the Ambala Air Force base at around 3:10 PM after covering a distance of 7,000 km from the Merignac airbase in French port city of Bordeaux.His statement assumes significance as India is locked in a bitter border row with China in eastern Ladakh that escalated following the Galwan faceoff, which saw the death of 20 Indian soldiers and an unspecified number of Chinese soldiers.The arrival of the first batch of Rafale jets in Ambala comes nearly four years after India signed an inter-governmental agreement with France to procure 36 of the aircraft at an estimated Rs 58,000 crore.The Opposition parties had alleged that the NDA government bought 36 Rafale fighter aircraft at a much higher price than the one that was being negotiated for 126 aircraft by the previous UPA government under an open tender.
Congress congratulates IAF, calls govt’s deal ‘BJP’s scam’
Congratulating IAF on receiving the Rafale jets, the Congress Wednesday said UPA govt’s labour in identifying and purchasing Rafale jets in 2012 has finally borne fruit. The party, however, continued to call the deal signed by the NDA government a “scam”.In a series of tweets, the party said, “The stark difference between the Congress & BJP deal reveal the BJP’s scam.”“The Congress Rafale purchase would have ensured India receives 126 jets instead of BJP’s 36. 108 Rafale jets would have been Made in India. India would have received the Rafale jets by approx 2016. Cost of each Rafale jet would have been Rs 526 crore,” it added.
BJP leaders’ complaint nixed Rafale deal during UPA rule: Former Defence Minister AK Antony
Expressing happiness over landing of 5 Rafale fighter jets at the Ambala air base on Wednesday, ex Defence Minister AK Antony said that had it not for been for complaints by 2 top BJP leaders in 2012, French aircraft would have come to India when Manmohan Singh was the Prime Minister.Setting the record straight, the country's longest serving Defence Minister and Congress leader recalled that the discussions on the aircraft first started way back in 2001 when Atal Bihari Vajpayee was PM."The decision was taken to buy 126 aircraft, after the then newfound relations between China and Pakistan came to light. Then it again took shape in 2007 when Singh was the Prime Minister. But when everything was in place to buy 18 Rafales from France and 108 others to be build at HAL in Bengaluru through technology transfer, in 2012, I got a complaint about this deal from 2 senior BJP leaders. Since I got this complaint, I was in no position to put their complaint in the dustbin," Antony recalled.IANS
CPM questions Congress stand as IUML leader hails Turkey’s Hagia Sophia move: indianexpress
The reconversion of Istanbul’s Hagia Sophia into a mosque has sparked a political row in faraway Kerala, with the ruling CPI(M) questioning the Congress’s stand on the issue after a senior leader of its ally, IUML, hailed Turkey’s decision. In an article in party daily Chandrika, senior IUML leader Panakkad Sadiq Ali Shihab Thangal said that US has protested decision but it is noteworthy that Russia, where 25 per cent of Orthodox Christians live, has not interfered. “Many European countries, which have opposed Turkey’s decision on Hagia Sophia, have not allowed Muslims the right to offer namaz… when all contemporary Christian religious and political leaders disagree with the conversion… they do not make any stake over its ownership realising that historically there is no ground for such a demand,” he wrote.Sadiq Ali, part of IUML’s high power committee, wrote. “Turkey president Tayyip Erdogan, who is raising his voice in the international community for the systematically-oppressed Muslims across the world, has been attacked under the guise of pseudo secularism” .CPI(M) politburo member and party state secretary Kodiyeri Balakrishnan asked how IUML can now oppose BJP govt’s move to construct a Ram temple where a mosque once stood. Pro-Congress Catholic Church in Kerala has also opposed the IUML leader’s remarks.
Plea in SC to remove ‘socialist’ and ‘secular’ from Constitution’s preamble
A plea has been filed before the Supreme Court seeking to remove from the constitution’s preamble the words ‘socialist’ and ‘secular’ which were added through 42nd constitutional amendment. PIL said that the amendment made in 1976 was “antithetical to the constitutional tenets as well as the historical and cultural theme of India.”The move was “per se illegal for violating the concept of freedom of speech and expression enumerated in Article 19(1)(a) of the Constitution and the right to freedom of religion guaranteed under Article 25 of the Constitution,” it said.It said the amendment was also against the historical and cultural theme of the “great republic of Bharat, the oldest civilization of the world, having clear concept of ‘Dharma’ different from the concept of religion,” and that the communist theory of State cannot be applied in Indian context which was not in tune with the religious sentiments and socio- economic conditions of India.
*INDIA- ISLAMOPHOBIA, HUMAN RIGHTS & OTHERS*
Ram Temple Plans Will Badly Affect India’s Ties with Middle East: Kuwaiti Lawyer & Director of International Human Rights
NEW DELHI:With the August 5 event for laying the foundation stone for a Ram temple at the spot where once Babri mosque stood drawing closer, a Kuwaiti lawyer has said that if Indian government goes ahead with its plans, it will badly affect India’s relationship with countries in the Middle East.In a tweet which has fetched over a thousand retweets, Mejbel Al Sharika, Director of International Human Rights, said Muslims across the world were waiting for the construction of the demolished Babri Masjid but the Indian government announced the event for which Prime Minister Narendra Modi will fly to Ayodhya town to lay the foundation stone for the Ram temple.Using the hashtag #Muslims_are_one, Sharika said, “Middle East wants justice with Indian Muslims.”Sharika had also been vocal in the aftermath of the deadly anti-Muslim violence in Delhi that shook the national capital in late Feb.
Babri Masjid : Renowned Kuwaiti lawyer and activist may take the case to International Court
Congress, SP and BSP plan to maintain ‘silence’ on Ram Mandir event?
Lucknow: After being left out of the invitee list, Opposition leaders in Uttar Pradesh have decided to maintain silence on the ground-breaking ceremony of the Ram temple in Ayodhya during the Covid-19, and Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s presence at the event.Samajwadi Party, BSP and Congress leaderships have instructed their local leaders to refrain from staging any kind of protest during the event. They have also asked their cadres to not raise the issue of social distancing in the wake of the event, according to sources in the parties.The move comes as the opposition parties in UP believe that BJP will contest the 2022 assembly elections citing Ram temple as its biggest achievement. The parties don’t want to give BJP any chance to polarise the issue and make it a prominent electoral plank, said the sources.
Ahead of Ram Temple Bhoomi Pujan, Ayodhya Admin Puts Restrictions on TV Reporting
New Delhi: With Ram Janambhoomi Teerth Kshetra Trust – set up to build a ‘grand temple’ at the site where Babri Masjid was demolished in Ayodhya – readying itself to carry out bhoomi pujan or the ceremonial start to the temple’s construction on August 5, the district administration has put several conditions on television reporting and panel discussions on the event. As per news reports, Ayodhya district administration has asked the news channels who plan to cover the ceremony to give a written undertaking signed by the head of the news organisation that they will not invite any vivadit pakshakar (controversial litigant) for any TV debate and also make no comments on any religion, community, sect or a vyakti vishesh (any specific individual).An Indian Express news report said, “As per the format devised by the district administration, the undertaking says heads of electronic media houses would be held accountable in case of any law and order situation arising because of a channel.”Among other conditions, the administration also sought an undertaking from the news outfits that discussions would be held indoors and not in any public space.
Ayodhya event: Do’s and don’ts for TV include no ‘controversial’ parties
Ayodhya put on high alert following terror threat
With central intelligence agencies alerting state police about possible attempts by terror groups to disrupt and sabotage the 'bhumi pujan' ceremony of Ram temple by Prime Minister Narendra Modi in Ayodhya next week, all law enforcing agencies in Uttar Pradesh have been put on high alert.Details of intel note shared with the state government say that an attempt is likely to be made by Pakistan's ISI backed terror organisation to carry out an attack on August 5. ISI has ordered top leadership of Lashkar-e-Taiba and Jaish-i-Mohammed to launch an attack. According to official sources, security arrangements will be at an all-time high for 'bhumi pujan' ceremony which, incidentally, coincides with the first anniversary of abrogation of Article 370. The security alert will remain in place till August 15, Independence Day.IANS
Ram Mandir bumi pujan: Don’t mind if Uddhav Thackeray goes to Ayodhya for ceremony, says Sharad Pawar
NCP chief Sharad Pawar has seconded Maharashtra Chief Minister Uddhav Thackeray’s stance on Ram Mandir bhumi pujan in the wake of Covid-19. Pawar said this is not the right time for large crowds to gather in Ayodhya for August 5 ceremony.Pawar suggested that the bhumi pujan ceremony can be done by a very select few people. He said a large gathering in the temple town for the historic event may further lead to the virus spreading.
Trust to construct mosque in Ayodhya formed, to come up 25 kms from site where Babri Masjid stood
Just a week before the start of the construction of the Ram temple at Ayodhya, Uttar Pradesh Sunni Central Waqf Board has announced the formation of the all important Trust which will construct the mosque at Ayodhya in place of Babri mosque which was demolished on Dec.6, 1992. The mosque will come up in Dhannipur village in Sohawal tehsil of Ayodhya district, around 25 km from the site where the Babri Masjid had stood.“Board has formed the Trust called Indo Islamic Cultural Foundation for building the Mosque and developing other facilities for the benefit of the general public in Ayodhya”, said Board chairman Zafur Ahmed Faruqi in a statement on Wednesday.The statement read, “In compliance with the judgement and order of the Supreme Court of India in the Babri Masjid case, Uttar Pradesh Govt had allotted five acre of land in Village Dhannipur, Ayodhya and Board had accepted it in Feb, 2020."Faruqi said the Trust will have a maximum of 15 Trustees, and first will be CEO of Uttar Pradesh Sunni Central Waqf Board being its Founder Trustee. The names and designation of the other Trustees at present are Zufar Ahmad Faruqi - Chief Trustee/President; Adnan Farrukh Shah, (Gorakhpur) - Trustee and vice President; Athar Husain, (Lucknow) - Trustee/Secretary; Faez Aftab, (Meerut) - Trustee/and Treasurer;Mohammad Junaid Siddiqui, (Lucknow) - Trustee/Member; Sheikh Sauduzzaman, (Banda) - Trustee/Member; Mohammad Rashid, (Lucknow) - Trustee/Member; and Imran Ahmad, (Lucknow) - Trustee/Member. The Trust will co-opt the remaining 6 Trustees. The Secretary of the Trust will also be its official spokesperson. Rakesh Yadav, pradhan of Dhannipur, where the mosque will come up, hoped that the mosque would transform village into a tourist spot. Trust was formed after many Muslim leaders including the main litigant in Ayodhya dispute, Iqbal Ansari, had opposed the location of the mosque saying it is far away from the main city of Ayodhya.
‘Even issuing notice will create fear in Muslims’: Plea in SC opposes challenge to Places of Worship Act
An application has been filed in Supreme Court opposing a petition filed by a Hindu priests' organization which challenged the constitutional validity of Section 4 of the Places Of Worship Act, 1991 (the Act), legal news website LiveLaw.in has reported. This application, moved by Peace Party of India, has urged the Top Court to not even issue notice in the original Petition, arguing that doing so would create fear in the minds of Muslim Community."It is submitted that even issuance of notice in the present matter will create fear in the minds of minority communities with regard to their places of worship, and will destroy secular fabric of the nation."The petition in question, filed by Vishwa Bhadra Pujari Purohit Mahasangh, claims that the aforementioned provision has the effect of preventing the Hindu Community from reclaiming certain places of worship which were originally Hindu in nature but allegedly converted by Muslim invaders. The petitioners had also claimed that Section 4 of the Act discriminates between Hindus and Muslims with respect to restoring possession of places of worship. In wake of the Ayodhya judgment, the move by the Purohit Mahasangh is seen as a bid to reclaim disputed land in religious places such as Kashi and Mathura.
Babri Masjid demolition case: Special CBI court completes recording statements of accused
Lucknow: A special CBI court has completed the recording of statements of the accused in the Babri mosque demolition case.Deposing before CBI special judge SK Yadav through video conferencing from Thane in Maharashtra, former Shiv Sena MP Satish Pradhan claimed that he was falsely implicated in the case due to political vendetta and maintained that he was completely innocent.Of the 32 accused in the case, Pradhan was the penultimate on the list.The judge separated the case against the last accused Om Prakash Pandey, who is not traceable as his family told CBI that he had become a monk 15-16 years ago and did not return home since then.The court completed the proceedings under Section 313 of CrPC which gave the accused an opportunity to refute the prosecution evidence against them. BJP veterans LK Advani and Murli Manohar Joshi had recorded their statements last week. The court is conducting day-to-day hearing in the case to complete its trial by 31 August as directed by the Supreme Court.PTI
Narasimha Rao wanted Babri as part of temple plan: Architect
Lucknow: Before the demolition of Babri Masjid, then prime minister Narasimha Rao had asked Gujarat-based chief architect of Ram temple project, Chandrakantbhai Sompura, if the mosque, too, could be the part of the plan and both the Babri Masjid and the Ram Temple could stand next to one another? As per 77-year-old Sompura, Rao had sought his opinion hinting that the mosque could remain where it was and if the temple could be constructed from beyond the Ram Chabutra. But the seed of the idea could not be sown, as VHP opposed such a plan."PM called me up directly and asked if the mosque with its three iconic domes could be part of the design along with the temple. I communicated the idea to VHP, who had roped me in for the project, but VHP vehemently opposed it and the idea got buried in time," Sompura told TOI over phone from Ahmedabad.
Invite all parties for Ayodhya bhumi pujan, dispute over after SC verdict: Salman Khurshid
Senior Congress leader and former Union minister Salman Khurshid today said the organisers of the ground-breaking ceremony of the Ram Mandir in Ayodhya should have invited leaders from all major national political parties for the ceremony. Khurshid said the dispute over the Babari Masjid-Ram Janmabhoomi land title issue is over after the Supreme Court delivered its verdict last year. "Everyone should perform the bhoomi poojan together," he said. Meanwhile, responding to Salman Khurshid's statement, AMIM chief Asaduddin Owaisi said, "Let us give where credit is due. After all it was Rajiv Gandhi who reopened the locks of Babri Masjid and it was PV Narasimha Rao who oversaw its demolition (of Babri Masjid) as Prime Minister. Congress was hands in glove with Sangh Parivar in this movement to destroy the (Babri) masjid."
MANUU Chancellor Firoz Bakht urges Muslims to participate in Ram Temple construction
Hyderabad-based MANUU Chancellor Firoz Bakht Ahmed has urged the Muslim community across the globe to participate in the building of the long awaited Ram temple for which Hindu brethren have waited for over 500 years. Praising Prime Minister Narendra Modi, he said that no king or queen or any other ruler in the last 500 years was strong enough to pave way for building Ram temple and settle the HinduMuslim controversy. “PM Modi is the damdaar (powerful), dildaar (large-hearted), jandaar (strong), kamdaar (efficient), wafadaar (loyal), wazadaar (hospitable) and above all, imandaar (honest) PMof India,” Firoz said
Muslim Personal Law Board Warns of Public Reaction Over Demolished Telangana Secretariat Mosques
HYDERABAD: All India Muslim Personal Law Board (AIMPLB) has warned the Telangana government of public protest if the two demolished mosques were not rebuilt on their original places at the state secretariat.AIMPLB has asked Chief Minister K Chandrashekar Rao to issue written orders to concerned department for reconstruction of the mosques in a fixed time frame “before a mass reaction comes from the Muslim community.”“The demolition of Masjid-e-Hashmi and Masjid Dafaatir-e-Muatamadi during the demolition of an old building of the secretariat is painful and unacceptable for entire Muslim community. As per the faith of Muslims, the land of mosque is not the property of an individual or government, rather it is the property of Allah, and mosque is not a building but the piece of land endowed for offering Namaz,” said Maulana Khalid Saifullah Rahmani, Secretary and Spokesperson of AIMPLB.
Govt’s focus should be people’s health, not religion: Gujarat HC on Rath Yatra
Gujarat High Court has said it was disappointed with the “passive and yielding approach” of the state government over taking a timely decision on barring the Rath Yatra in Ahmedabad and elsewhere in Gujarat last month in view of the Covid-19 pandemic. In a detailed judgment dated July 7 —- the HC made it public on Tuesday —- the division bench of Chief Justice Vikram Nath and Justice J B Pardiwala said, “As a secular body heading the fight against Covid-l9 in the state, the government’s main focus should be protecting the health and well-being of the people at all cost, even if it means hurting religious sentiments of some religious leaders.”
Bhima Koregaon: Arundhati Roy criticises Centre for arresting DU professor Hany Babu
Author Arundhati Roy on Wednesday criticised the government’s “relentless and ongoing incarceration of activists, academics and lawyers” in the Bhima Koregaon-Elgar Parishad cases. Roy’s remarks came a day after the National Investigation Agency arrested Delhi University professor MT Hany Babu in Mumbai in connection with the Bhima Koregaon case.oy said the actions of the Narendra Modi-led administration was a manifestation of its understanding that the “nascent, emerging secular, anti-caste and anti-capitalist politics that these people represent provides an alternative narrative to Hindu fascism”. Her statement added that the people against whom action has been taken also pose a cultural, economic and political threat to the current government’s “disastrous Hindu Nationalist politics”.Jamia Teachers’ Solidarity Association also condemned “systematic hounding of academics and activists, and this wholesale criminalization of ideas”. The association said that the statement released by the NIA on Babu’s arrest revealed the “utter lack of foundation” of any case against him, and against Elgar Parishad.
DU Students, Teachers Condemn Arrest of Academic Hany Babu in Elgar Parishad Case
New Delhi: A section of the Delhi University fraternity and some student outfits condemned the arrest of professor Hany Babu M.T. by NIA on Tuesday, saying it was “a blatant attempt to silence dissent”. Hany Babu Musaliyarveettil Tharayil, an associate professor in the Department of English, was arrested in connection with the Bhima Koregaon-Elgar Parishad case. NIA accused him of propagating Naxal activities, Maoist ideologies and being a “co-conspirator” in the case.The news of his arrest was “shocking”, said Abha Dev Habib, a professor at Miranda House college where Hany Babu’s wife Jenny Rowena also teaches. “He has risen as the voice of marginalised students and is a pro-democracy activist. If you put anyone in jail now (amid COVID-19), it is like giving him a death sentence…. We will continue to protest for his release,” she said.According to one of the professors, Rowena was attending a college meeting online when she got the news of the arrest and immediately left it. Another professor, requesting anonymity, said Babu had applied for leave a few days ago to go to Maharashtra for some personal work. The news of his arrest is very “disturbing”, he added.A group of students of Miranda House released a statement in which they said they stand in solidarity with the professor and “are in staunch opposition with this continued campaign of intimidation tactics being carried out under the veneer of an investigation”. Hany Babu has been an anti-caste activist who has been consistently fighting for social justice within and outside the university space, it said. PTI
Elgar Parishad case: DU professor gets NIA custody till Aug 4
A special court here on Wednesday remanded in NIA custody till August 4 associate professor Hany Babu of Delhi University (DU), who was arrested in connection with the Bhima Koregaon Elgar Parishad case. He was produced before a special NIA court in Mumbai on Wednesday. The probe agency told the court that the accused was arrested for his alleged involvement in the case.It submitted that the accused had links with CPI (Maoist) party. The lawyer, who appeared on behalf of the accused, submitted that Babu was being interrogated by NIA for the last 4 to 5 days, and hence his further custody was not required.PTI
Judicial remand of Delhi riots accused extended till Aug 14
A Delhi court on Tuesday extended the judicial custody of Meeran Haider, Gufisha Khatoon, and Tahir Hussain -- all arrested by the Delhi Police for their alleged role in the Delhi riots -- till August 14. Additional sessions judge Dharmendra Rana extended the judicial remand of the three accused after “considering the nature of the investigation to be conducted”. Delhi Police’s special cell had named the trio along with other accused Ishrat Jahan, Khalid Saifi, Safoora Zargar, Natasha Narwal, Devangana Kalita, and Tahir Hussain in an FIR accusing them of criminal conspiracy to orchestrate the riots.
Delhi riots: No plan to shift Shahrukh Pathan out of high risk ward, Tihar tells court
Tihar jail on Wednesday informed a Delhi court that there was no plan to shift Shahrukh Pathan, whose picture showing him pointing a gun at unarmed Delhi Police head constable during the communal riots went viral on social media, out of high risk ward.Pathan, who is currently lodged in a high-risk security ward at Tihar Jail, had claimed that the authorities were planning to shift him in a general ward with other prisoners which causes “threat to his life”.In response to an application moved by him against reported claim, duty superintendent of jail number 4, Tihar, told the court that “there is no proposal to shift Pathan out of his current ward”.Metropolitan Magistrate Fahaduddin disposed of the application noting that “in view of reply of the deputy superintendent, central jail number 4, Tihar, no further action is required”.
Gujarat: Anti-CAA Protest Organiser Kaleem Siddiqui Served Externment Notice
Ahmedabad: A 38-year-old man who organised a Shaheen Baug-type anti-CAA protest in Ahmedabad has been issued a show-cause notice asking why he should not be externed for a period of 2 years. Kaleem Siddiqui has been asked to appear before A Division assistant commissioner of police on July 30 to put forth his defence. In the notice, police cited 10 incidents in which Siddiqui allegedly indulged in violence or criminal intimidation against innocent people. The show cause notice asked why he should not be externed for 2 years from Ahmedabad city, Ahmedabad district, Gandhinagar, Kheda and Mehsana district. Notably, the notice did not mention Siddiqui’s role in organising an anti-CAA protest between January and March in Rakhiyal area here inspired by the one in Shaheen Baug in Delhi.Writer Ramchandra Guha was among those who had visited the dharna venue.“Of 2 FIRs mentioned in the notice, I am already acquitted in one by a local court. This notice is illegal. I will put forward my side on July 30,” said Siddiqui.PTI
Delhi Riots: 270 Eminent Citizens Write to CM Kejriwal Urging Probe by Retired Judge
New Delhi: Nearly 270 prominent citizens of Delhi have urged CM Arvind Kejriwal to institute an independent probe under a retired judge into the communal violence in northeast Delhi. Citing 6 reasons for demanding such a probe, a letter by the citizens said it would “bring confidence to the people of Delhi and take forward the necessity to punish those guilty and to bring justice to the victims also.”The letter also referred to how police investigation and prosecution into various FIRs filed in relation to the violence was botched up and has not evoked much hope since. “Totally one sided and politically motivated reports of the Delhi police regarding the communal violence is also in sharp contrast to the report and recommendations of Delhi Minority Commission,” it said, adding that “this makes the setting up of such a probe all the more urgent.” The signatories to the letter, who include Air Vice Marshal (Retd.) N.I. Razzaqui; former Foreign Secretary Muchkund Dubey; former CIC Wajahat Habibullah; CPI(M) politburo member Brinda Karat; social activists Harsh Mander and Swami Agnivesh; journalists H.K. Dua and Mrinal Pande; former Planning Commission member Sayeda Hameed; and academicians Prabhat Patnaik and Jayati Ghosh, among others, also reminded Kejriwal about the “grave disquiet and concern about the unfair, unjust, one sided and manufactured ‘investigation’ by the Delhi police.
After 150 Days of Detention, Netizens Demand Release of Khalid Saifi, Ishrat Jahan
NEW DELHI: Netizens demanded release of anti-CAA protesters Khalid Saifi and Ishrat Jahan, who have been slapped with stringent UAPA, and have been incarcerated in jail for more than 150 days without bail.Umar Khalid, a student activist and former JNU student, pointed out the police brutality and tweeted demanding his release, “At Police Station, Nargis saw her husband Khalid on a wheelchair with a plaster cast on both legs. Khalid told her he had been tortured at Police Station the previous night. How is this acceptable? #ReleaseKhalid- AndIshrat”.Faisal Nadeem, an AMU student who claims that their identity of being a Muslim is the reason of the incarceration, tweeted, “150 days of illegal arresting under fake charges just because of their Muslim identity and nothing else.” He also believes that no political parties dare to stand and speak for Muslim witch-hunt during this pandemic. “We need to fight this alone and we will fight and win. #ReleaseKhalidAndIshrat”, he said.
Prove terror funding in gold smuggling case, court tells NIA
NIA has been asked by the court to come up with evidences to substantiate its charges of terror funding in the diplomatic baggage gold smuggling case. If the agency is unable to come up with evidence to defend the charges, the court will not entertain the case under the provisions of UAPA on the accused, NIA Special Judge informed investigation agency while considering the bail application of Swapna Suresh, the second accused in the case. The accused in the case were given to the custody of the investigation agency on the assurance that there is evidence to substantiate the charges. The accused had already been in the custody of the agency for over 15 days. The charges levelled against the accused will not stand unless the agency succeeds to convince the court about the terror funding as alleged against them, the judge observed.
Stop booking Sikh youths under UAPA for minor offences: Sukhbir Badal
Wading into to controversy over alleged misuse of UAPA by the state police, Shiromani Akali Dal (SAD) president Sukhbir Singh Badal on Tuesday said his party “would fight all such cases of Sikh youth who were being implicated in false cases”.He also cautioned CM Amarinder Singh against “indiscriminate use of UAPA by the state police under DGP Dinkar Gupta”.
Cabinet Okays New Education Policy | Medium of instruction to be mother tongue or regional language till Class 5; MHRD Renamed 'Education Ministry; allows foreign universities to set up campuses in India
Modi-led NDA government has approved the New Education Policy (NEP). The decision was taken at Cabinet meet on Wednesday.The Cabinet also approved changing the name of HRD Ministry to Education Ministry. The draft New Education Policy 2019 was made public in June last year and the government sought suggestions from various stakeholders, including public till July 31, 2019. The draft faced stiff opposition from various quarters over its three-language formula, 4-year B.Ed programme, board examination for Classes V and VIII, among others. Union Ministry is learnt to have made some changes in the draft. While the current expenditure on education stands at 4 per cent of GDP, the New Education Policy envisages to increase it to 6 per cent. Central and State governments will work together to achieve expenditure of 6% of GDP on education, Education Secretary Amit Khare says. Union Cabinet approved the new national education policy on Wednesday and with it paved the way for foreign universities to set up campuses in the country. The new education policy, which is only the third in the country’s history after 1968 and 1986, advocates an increase in the number of off-shore campuses of Indian institutions. It also states the world’s top 100 foreign universities will be “facilitated” to operate in India through a new law.
Teaching In Mother Tongue Till Class 5: 10 Points On New National Education Policy
‘Not Indian language’ — VHP tells Kerala Board not to appoint Arabic teachers
Pointing out that Arabic is not an Indian language, Vishwa Hindu Parishad (VHP) has asked Travancore Devaswom Board (TDB) to withdraw its order of appointing Arabic teachers in schools that the board runs in Kerala. In a statement, VHP working president Alok Kumar said the management should instead appoint Sanskrit teachers. He argued that Arabic is not in the schedule of Indian languages in the Constitution of India and is “studied more for reading, understanding and memorizing the Holy Quran”.However, TDB president N. Vasu told ThePrint that Arabic is being taught in only one of the board-run schools in a Muslim dominated area. He said it has been taught for several years, adding that the decision to appoint a teacher isn’t new.“The teacher who taught Arabic retired and hence we are in the process of appointing a new one. Merit list has been announced but appointment has not been done. I don’t understand why it is being made into an issue,” he said.However, Kumar termed the decision as “yet another attack by the nominees of the left front government of Kerala upon the Hindus”.
BJP wants Arundhati Roy speech out of Calicut varsity textbook
BJP in Kerala has petitioned Governor Arif Mohammed Khan, seeking withdrawal of Booker Prize winner Arundhati Roy’s ‘Come September’ speech of 2002 from Calicut University’s textbook for the BA English course.In a letter to the Governor, who is the Chancellor of the university, state BJP president K Surendran said the essay questioned the sovereignty and integrity of the country. “Dissent is brewing among academics and the general public against the inclusion of this speech, which is anti-national. Roy has stated that India has unleashed terror on the non-violent struggle for the independence of Kashmir. She was introduced by textbook editors Murugan Babu and Abida Farooqi as the sane voice who spoke against the hanging of Afzal Guru. The hanging was termed as a dark chapter in the history of the country,” he wrote.Surendran said that Roy in her speech alleged that Hindus are fascists. “The text of the speech should be removed from the syllabus.”
Only Marginal Rise in Muslims’ Share of Jobs in West Bengal 14 Years After Sachar Report
KOLKATA:Unemployment among youth is a burning issue in West Bengal like it is all over India. According to the 2006 Sachar committee report, Muslims in government jobs in West Bengal accounted for only 2.1 per cent of the total. However, the ‘Staff census report: 2014-15’ released by the Bureau of Applied Economics & Statistics, Government of West Bengal says, the Muslim share was 5.73 per cent as on January 31, 2015.The Census 2011 revealed that the Muslim population in West Bengal is 27.01 per cent. So, naturally, the above job data is negligible compared to the population, but the progress is good.In 35 years of Left ruling in West Bengal, Muslim representation in government jobs was not very remarkable. The Sachar Committee report shows the worst position of the Muslims in the West Bengal Government which was very measurable. But, at that time, Chief Minister of West Bengal Buddhadeb Bhattacharya and Minister of Minority Affairs and Madrasah Education Department Dr. Abdus Sattar had denied the reality presented by the Sachar report. Their allegation against the Sachar Committee was that it had not mentioned the real picture of the Bengal’s Muslims. Clarion India
Govt designates 44 officers as nodal authority for seizing funds, assets of those supporting terror
As many as 44 senior officers of the central, state and Union Territory governments, besides entities like the RBI and SEBI, have been designated as nodal authority for seizure of funds and other financial assets held by those supporting or engaged in terrorism, officials said on Wednesday.According to an official memorandum, the nodal officers were designated for the implementation of Section 51A of Unlawful Activities (Prevention) Act, 1967.The 44 nodal officers were designated to help law enforcement agencies to seize funds and other financial assets held by anyone engaged in terrorism or supporting such violent acts, a Home Ministry official told PTI. PTI
Last Surviving Daughter Of Nizam Of Hyderabad Passes Away
Hyderabad: Sahebzadi Basheerunnisa Begum, last surviving daughter of Nizam Mir Osman Ali Khan, the last ruler of the erstwhile Hyderabad State, passed away at her residence in Hyderabad on Tuesday. She was 93 and is survived by her only daughter. She died of natural causes, Nawab Najaf Ali Khan, the Nizam's grandson said.PTI
India Economic Revival Worst in Asia, GDP Growth to Lose Pace in Q3, Says Oxford Economics
New Delhi: Global forecasting firm Oxford Economics on Tuesday said that it expects India’s GDP growth to lose momentum from the late third quarter (Oct-Dec) of the current fiscal year as the push from the initial reopening fades. It further said that India fares the worst in its Asia recovery scorecard, implying that the country will likely take the longest among major economies to converge to its pre-coronavirus growth level.Oxford Economics, in a report titled ‘India: A Reopening Gone Wrong’, said that the central govt’s attempts to restart the economy are already running aground.“In our baseline, we expect GDP growth to lose momentum from late Q3 on, once the push from the initial reopening fades and, likely compounded by the ongoing pandemic and inadequate policy support, legacy economic headwinds re-assert themselves.”“The risk clearly is that proactive steps by regional governments, especially the richer ones, to stem the spread of the virus bring the tipping point forward,” it said.PTI
‘Modi-nomics’ and Modi govt have destroyed public banks, financial institutions: Congress
Congress on Wednesday alleged the Modi government has destroyed public sector banks and other financial institutions in India to mess up $2 trillion banking sector and was also protecting wilful loan defaulters.Pointing out that Prime Minister Narendra Modi had met with CEO and other top executives of India's banking sector during the day, Congress spokesperson Randeep Singh Surjewala said: "We hope they had the gumption to tell the PM how his government has destroyed the banking sector and financial institutions."IANS
File response to PIL on providing food at shelter homes or face cost of ₹ 10k: Delhi HC to Modi govt
Delhi High Court on Wednesday rapped the Centre for not filing its response to a PIL, which has claimed that shelter homes in the city deny three quality meals a day to its occupants, despite repeated opportunities and warned that cost of Rs 10,000 would be imposed for failure to do so. A bench of Chief Justice D N Patel and Justice Prateek Jalan gave one more opportunity to the Ministry of Housing to file its affidavit saying failure to do so would lead to imposition of costs of ₹10,000 on Secretary, Housing Ministry.The high court also said that the Secretary of Housing Ministry was earlier this year burdened with a cost of ₹ 10,000 for not giving proper details with regard to the number of government accommodations which were being illegally occupied.PTI
Jamiat Condemns Alleged Police Ban on Cattle Sacrifice During Eid Al-Adha
NEW DELHI – Maulana Qari Mohammad Usman Mansurpoori, President of Jamiat Ulama-e-Hind (Mahmood Madni group) has expressed his deep anger over district administration order banning the sacrifice of cattle (Buffalo) on the occasion of Eidul Adha in Uttar Pradesh. He called it undue interference in the religious rights of the Muslim community as the qurbani is the essential ritual of Islam. The guidelines Maulana Mansurpoori is referring to was issued last week. It says qurbani should not be done in the open. It does not talk of a ban as such. The guidelines sent by DGP to district police chiefs and zonal heads of the Police Department, contain many instructions to maintain law and order during Eid Al-Adha.Maulana Mansurpoori said he has received several written reports from different parts of UP that the police was taking away sacrificial animal by using force. Besides that, District Administration of Ghazipur, Ghaziabad and Bahraich etc have banned sacrifice of the cattle (buffalo).Clarion India
Maharashtra: No fresh SOPs by govt, police seize vehicles with goats
Muslim MLAs and community leaders were indignant over the reluctance of the Uddhav Thackeray government to issue a fresh set of standard operating procedures (SOPs) for the celebration of Eid-ul Adha on August 1. The absence of fresh guidelines meant that some vehicles ferrying animals for the ritual sacrifice were stopped by the Mumbai Police from entering the city on Tuesday. Muslim MLAs had met NCP chief Sharad Pawar on Monday, asking him to interject on their behalf with the government. The delegation had sought approval for ferrying of animals into Mumbai and the help of the local administration in setting up temporary slaughter houses for the ritual sacrifice.On Tuesday, several vehicle owners who were stopped at checkpoints and their vehicles with animals seized, complained that their animals died.
Police Rescue 2 Muslim Youth Beaten Mercilessly by Unruly Mob in Jalgaon
MUMBAI — 2 Muslim youngsters from Malegaon were targeted by a mob of about 200 people in a village in Maharashtra’s Jalgaon district, about 150 km from their place, on suspicion that they were stealing cattle. Wasim Khan, 28, and Shaikh Khalim, 26, were passing by Parola taluka near Jalgaon in the early hours last week when some of the villagers stopped and attacked them. They were tied to a tree and were being beaten mercilessly.“We rushed a team and immediately dispersed the mob,” Saurabh Agarwal, additional SP, Jalgaon, told Clarion India on Wednesday. Nearly a score of the miscreants were arrested and have been remanded to judicial custody.The two men from Malegaon in the neighbouring district of Nashik were stunned by the attempt to lynch them and were in no position to file a complaint. The police then filed a suo motu case against the villagers and rushed the two to hospital.“They were discharged from the hospital,” said Agarwal. “We are continuing with the probe.” Some of the arrested persons claimed that the two men were out to steal cattle.Clarion India
Asthana corruption probe: SC declines to stop Bassi transfer order
The Supreme Court on Tuesday declined to interfere with the order transferring CBI DSP A K Bassi to Port Blair. Bassi was the investigating officer in the case of corruption against former CBI special director Rakesh Asthana.A bench headed by Chief Justice S A Bobde, however, sought to know why he had not joined duty in Port Blair.
Unlock3: Curfew Ends, No Schools Till End-August, Gyms Can Reopen
New Delhi: Night curfew has been scrapped altogether and gyms and yoga institutes that are not in containment zones have been allowed to reopen in Unlock3 -- third phase of lifting of coronavirus-related restrictions across the country -- declared by the government today. But restrictions remained in place in all other spheres that involve large gatherings – be it educational institutions, public parks or cinema halls.The announcement came as India logged more than 15 lakh coronavirus cases and the daily spike in cases grew close to 50,000. Most states, especially those which have had a large spike in cases, have imposed lockdown on and off over the past month.In the fresh Central guidelines issued today, the government said schools, colleges and educational institutions will remain shut till the end of August. Metro rail operations, cinema halls, swimming polls, entertainment parks, theatres, bars, auditoriums and other places which involve large gatherings, will also remain shut.Lockdown remains in place across all containment zones, the extent of which will be decided by the states and Union Territories.
86,518 tests conducted per million; Aurangabad tests maximum per million people
With 86,518 tests conducted per million population, Aurangabad city is performing the maximum number of tests per million in Maharashtra. The city, which has a population of 11.75 lakh as per the 2011 Census and a substantial number of industrial units, has relied heavily on antigen testing to screen those entering its limits and isolating them before the infection could spread. Till now, Aurangabad Municipal Corporation (AMC) has conducted 1.03 lakh tests – 67,148 antigen tests and 34,907 RT-PCR tests. The city has reported 9,827 Covid-19 cases, reflecting a 10 per cent positivity rate. On a daily basis, AMC is conducting around 5,250 tests. Of them, 5,000 are antigen tests.Aurangabad has installed mobile vans and check posts at six entry points on the city’s periphery. Even those travelling daily to the industrial belt and returning are retested daily.Aurangabad has a population is 1.17 million, about 15 times less than Mumbai. While Mumbai is testing 26,975 per million population using RT-PCR tests, Aurangabad is conducting 29,089 tests per million using the same method.
Tablighi Jamaat: 84 foreigners stuck in WB not required for custodial interrogation, Delhi Police tells HC
Delhi High Court Wednesday was informed by Delhi Police that 84 foreigners connected to Tablighi Jamaat, who participated in religious congregation at Nizamuddin Markaz event here during the COVID-19 lockdown and are struck in Kolkata, will not be arrested if they cooperate in the investigation. The police told the high court that it was ready to send its officials to West Bengal for the purpose of investigation as the foreigners were not able to travel to Delhi due to lockdown in Kolkata.In view of the submissions made by the police, Justice Anup Jairam Bhambhani said “accordingly, let investigation pursuant to notices be carried-out against the petitioners (foreigners) in Kolkata, in accordance with law. The high court also directed Delhi government and police to update it regarding the investigation and proceedings on the next date of hearing, August 24.PTI
Tablighi Jamaat: Police files charge sheet against 69 foreigners from nine countries
Delhi Police on Tuesday filed 6 charge sheets against 69 foreign nationals from nine countries in Delhi Courts for attending Tablighi Jamaat congregation here allegedly in violation of visa norms, indulging in missionary activities illegally and violating government guidelines issued in the wake of Covid-19 outbreak, said a lawyer.The foreigners, who have been booked in the 6 cases, were earlier allowed to be deported back to their countries by the court after completion of their plea bargain proceedings in the case in which 955 foreigners were charge sheeted by Crime Branch of the Delhi police. They were allowed to walk free on payment of varying fines after they accepted mild charges related to various violations during the COVID-19 lockdown.At least 70 foreign Tablighi Jamaat members, who were ordered to be deported, have not been able to return to their countries as 7 other FIRs are pending against them, their representatives had claimed.
Rajasthan: Aadhaar Card Made Mandatory for COVID Testing
Jaipur: In its revised directions for COVID-19 testing issued on Saturday, the medical and health department of Rajasthan has made it mandatory for patients to produce an Aadhaar card before collecting their samples.“While taking the sample, it is mandatory for lab technician to upload all the desired information of each patient in RT-PCR App. All the lab technicians are instructed to mandatorily make entry of Aadhaar card number of each patient whose sample is being taken, in RT-PCR App,” the revised directions said.The directions don’t take into account any situation where a patient – other than a child – doesn’t possess an Aadhaar card.
COVID-19 virus has been circulating in bats for decades: Study
An international team of researchers has discovered that the lineage that gave rise to SARS-CoV-2, the virus that is responsible for COVID-19 pandemic, has been circulating in bats for decades and likely includes other viruses with the ability to infect humans.The findings, published in the journal Nature Microbiology, have implications for the prevention of future pandemics stemming from this lineage.IANS
Oxford Covid vaccine candidate trials in India: Pune firm asked to revise proposal
A body of experts studying Serum Institute of India’s request to start late-stage human trials in India for the Covid-19 vaccine candidate developed by the University of Oxford has deferred its decision on the matter, until the Pune-headquartered firm revises the details of its proposed plan.Serum has a tie-up with one of the vaccine’s developers – Swedish-British drugmaker AstraZeneca – and is expected to produce around a billion doses for low- and middle-income countries next year.
UK signs deal for 60 million vaccine doses
The British government has signed a deal with GlaxoSmithKline and Sanofi Pasteur for 60 million doses of a potential coronavirus vaccine that could start to be rolled out in the first half of next year. Britain’s GSK and France’s Sanofi have the largest vaccine manufacturing capability in the world.The vaccine prospect is based on the existing DNA-based technology used to produce Sanofi’s seasonal flu vaccine. The government said that if the vaccine proves successful, then priority groups, such as health and social care workers, could be given the first doses as early as the first half of next year.
Coronavirus: Russia rejects US accusations of spreading virus disinformation
Russian officials on Wednesday rejected accusations that Moscow is spreading disinformation about the coronavirus pandemic in the US, slamming them as “conspiracy theories” and a “persistent phobia.”US officials told The Associated Press on Tuesday that Russian intelligence services were using a trio of English-language websites to spread disinformation about the coronavirus pandemic, seeking to exploit a crisis that America is struggling to contain ahead of the presidential election in November.The three websites published about 150 articles about the pandemic response, including coverage aimed either at propping up Russia or denigrating the US between late May and early July, one of the officials said.
Bosnian minister dies after testing positive
The minister for veteran affairs in the government of one of Bosnia’s two highly independent regions has died at the age of 53, a week after testing positive for COVID-19. Salko Bukvarevic died Wednesday in a COVID-19 hospital in Sarajevo, where he was admitted last week with pneumonia and breathing problems.
Air travel expected to not recover before 2024
Global air travel is recovering more slowly than expected and it will take until 2024 to return to pre-pandemic levels, the trade association for the airline industry said Tuesday. The International Air Transport Association pushed back its prediction by one year due to the slow containment of the outbreak in the U.S. and developing countries. The industry is seeing a rebound from the depths of the shutdowns in April, but the bad news is that any increase “is barely visible,” IATA chief economist Brian Pearce said during an online briefing for journalists.
Coronavirus pandemic ‘one big wave’, not seasonal, says WHO as global cases cross 1.67 crore
WHO has said that the coronavirus pandemic is “one big wave” and unlike the influenza, it shows no tendency to follow seasons, Reuters reported.“People are still thinking about seasons,” WHO spokesperson Margaret Harris said during a press briefing. “What we all need to get our heads around is this is a new virus and...this one is behaving differently.”
Muslims begin downsized Hajj pilgrimage amid coronavirus pandemic
Hajj - the annual Muslim pilgrimage to Mecca - has begun, but under dramatically different circumstances due to the coronavirus outbreak.One of the five pillars of Islam, the Hajj is required for all Muslims who are physically or financially capable of undertaking it at least once in their lifetime and is usually one of the world's largest religious gatherings.But this year, only up to 10,000 people already residing in Saudi Arabia will participate in the five-day pilgrimage, a tiny fraction of the 2.5 million pilgrims from around the world that attended last year."There are no security-related concerns in this pilgrimage, but [downsizing] is to protect pilgrims from the danger of the pandemic," said Khalid bin Qarar Al-Harbi, Saudi Arabia's director of public security.Pilgrims will be required to wear masks and observe physical distancing during a series of religious rites that are completed over five days in the holy city of Mecca an its surroundings in western Saudi .Those selected to take part in the Hajj were subject to temperature checks and placed in a short quarantine ahead of the rites beginning on Wednesday.State media showed health workers sanitising pilgrims' luggage, and pilgrims reported being given electronic wristbands to allow authorities to monitor their whereabouts.Workers, armed with brooms and disinfectant, were seen cleaning the area around the Kaaba, the structure at the centre of the Grand Mosque draped in gold-embroidered black cloth towards which Muslims around the world pray.Touching or kissing the Kaaba, the holiest site in Islam, is banned this year. All pilgrims must also maintain a physical distance of 1.5 metres during prayers.
Israeli protesters attacked by pro-Netanyahu group in Tel Aviv
Protests against Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and his government took a violent turn in Tel Aviv on Tuesday night when demonstrators were attacked by a violent gang, as rancour and anger in Israel over the coronavirus and the economy swells.Five protesters were wounded and four people were arrested, the police said.Thousands of Israelis have been protesting in Jerusalem and Tel Aviv since mid-June, demanding Netanyahu's resignation over his alleged corruption and his government's handling of the coronavirus pandemic.However, with the protests escalating it appears they have become a stage for violent clashes between supporters of Netanyahu and the protesters calling for him to step down.Around 1,000 protesters took to the streets of Tel Aviv on Tuesday night near the home of Amir Ohana, Israel’s public security minister, protesting at a leaked recording of his plan to quash the demonstrations that emerged on Sunday.
Israel turning mosques into synagogues, bars
JERUSALEM:In 1743, Ottoman-era ruler of Palestine, Zahir al-Umar al-Zaydani, built a mosque in his name in the northern city of Tiberias.Umari Mosque remained a magnet point for worshippers until 1948 when it was abandoned following the Nakba, a term used by the Palestinians to describe the creation of the state of Israel on the rubble of Palestine.One of the landmarks of Tiberias, the mosque, also known as the Zaydani mosque, was built on the Mameluke architecture, with a big dome and a minaret.“Like most Palestinians, Tiberias residents have fled to Syria and Lebanon following the Nakba,” Kamal Khatib of the High Follow-up Committee for Arab Citizens of Israel, told Anadolu Agency. “The Zaydani family, however, moved to the adjacent city of Nazareth,” he said.Khatib said the Zaydani family had asked the Israeli authorities to give them permission to renovate the Umari mosque.“Tiberias Municipality, however, refused, arguing that it would renovate it, but nothing happened,” he said.“Even since, the mosque has been closed with Israeli authorities banning worshippers and visitors from entering it,” he said. A study prepared by Khatib revealed that Israeli authorities have turned 15 mosques into Jewish synagogues. The study also showed that 40 mosques were either destroyed, closed, or abandoned, while 17 others were turned into barns, bars, restaurants or museums.For example, Al-Ahmar Mosque in the northern town of Safed was turned into a concert hall, while Al-Jadid Mosque in the city of Caesarea was changed into a bar, according to the study. Ayn Hawd Mosque in Haifa and the upper floor of Al-Siksik Mosque in Jaffa suffered a similar fate.
'Little hope': Gazans see no ICC justice for Israeli 'crimes'
Four children killed along with 18 other family members in one Israeli air strike. For one Gazan couple, the 2014 attack never goes away.The International Criminal Court (ICC) declared last December it would launch "a full investigation" into alleged war crimes committed in Palestinian territories by Israeli forces.When it was announced, Palestinians in the besieged Gaza Strip expressed "little hope" of holding Israel accountable for the massacres and achieving justice.UN court's investigation will probe allegations of war crimes and crimes against humanity committed in the wake of the 2014 attack on Gaza.More than 2,250 Palestinians, including nearly 1,500 civilians, were killed and a further 11,000 were wounded in the July-August 2014 conflict, according to Palestinian and UN estimates. At least 18,000 Palestinian homes were destroyed and 73 medical facilities severely damaged.
Israel ready for confrontation with Lebanon: officials
Israeli authorities on Monday sent messages to international sides assuring them that it does not plan to escalate the situation along its northern borders with Lebanon, but it is ready should a confrontation arise, RT reported.Meanwhile, the United Nations Interim Force in Lebanon (UNIFIL) called for the different sides to “maintain maximum restraint” following an exchange of fire in the occupied area of Lebanon’s Shebaa Farms.Israel said that it “is ready for a harsh attack”, noting that it blames Iranian backed forces for the incidents.UNIFIL Spokesman Andrea Tenente announced that the force’s Commander Major General Stefano Del Col had contacted both sides, Lebanon and Israel, to evaluate the situation and deescalate the situation.
Study: Israel's plans to annex West Bank could damage the environment
Israel’s plans to annex illegally occupied Palestinian territory could seriously damage the environment, a study claimed.In a report by Arava Institute for Environmental Studies, experts said that Israel’s plan to annex 30 per cent of the occupied West Bank could exacerbate the damaging effects of climate change, including threatening the region’s strategic water supplies, endangering the food security of Palestinians and bring an end to essential cross-border environmental collaboration.The report warned Israeli politicians to think about their actions. It said: “Climate change is a cross-border global issue with serious natural resource and environmental justice implications.”
US Democrats reject restrictions on military aid to Israel
American Democrats voted overwhelmingly against a draft resolution which would restrict US military aid to Israel, reports revealed.The draft resolution also condemned Israeli settlements, which have been labelled illegal by the UN Security Council.The committee rejected the addition of the term “occupation” and refused to condition aid to Israel should the occupation state move forward with annexation efforts.The amendment was introduced by Clem Balanoff, the Illinois director of the pro-Bernie Sanders non-profit “Our Revolution”.Although 34 members voted in favour of the motion, 117 opposed it and five abstained.
Gaza: Worsening conditions lead more Palestinians to take their own lives
Twenty-three years after he was released from an Israeli prison, Jamal Wadi still struggled with the aftermath of his experience. After three decades of suffering from severe psychological trauma and mental health issues, the 54-year-old Palestinian took his own life on 21 June.The Gaza Strip has been witnessing a surge in suicide rates as it entered its 14th year under a crushing Israeli-led blockade. Gaza-based Al-Mezan Centre for Human Rights reported that at least 16 people have taken their own lives and hundreds of others attempted suicide in Gaza in the first half of 2020.Whether influenced by economic difficulties, the traumatic impact of Israeli occupation policies or other factors, rights groups say the surge in suicide attempts is very concerning.
Egypt: Islamic State militants ‘occupy’ Sinai villages in wake of foiled attack
Residents of a number of villages in northeastern Egypt's restive Sinai Peninsula have reportedly fled their homes in recent days after militants affiliated with the Islamic State group (IS) occupied the area. According to a report by the Egyptian news website Mada Masr, militants from Sinai Province - an IS offshoot in the area - had occupied the villages of Qatiya, Iqtiya, Ganayen and Merih in North Sinai in the aftermath of a foiled attack on an Egyptian army camp in the nearby town of Bir al-Abd last week. Egyptian army said in a statement on Sunday that it had killed 18 suspected militants after the attempted attack, which took place in the village of Rabea on 21 July.IS has claimed that it killed 40 military personnel in the attack, but the army said only two soldiers had been killed.
Tunisia's Ghannouchi granted substantial damages after libel case win in UK High Court
UK's High Court ordered news website Middle East Online (MEO) and one of its editors to pay Tunisian Parliament Speaker Rached Ghannouchi tens of thousands of pounds in damages after it claimed the Ennahda party, which Ghannouchi co-founded, supported terrorism. Ghannouchi's law firm, Carter-Ruck, said that MEO and its editor Haitham El Zobaidi were told to pay £45,000 ($58,000) in libel damages following allegations that Ennahda received funding from Qatar and did not support democracy. The damages came after the judge ruled in favour of Ghannouchi's lawsuit in a default judgement after MEO and Zobaidi failed to file a defence in May, court documents showed.
Man shot dead for 'blasphemy' in Pakistan courtroom
A man accused of blasphemy for claiming that he was a prophet has been shot dead in a courtroom in the northwestern Pakistani city of Peshawar, police officials say, the latest violence associated with Pakistan's strict blasphemy laws. Tahir Ahmad Naseem was shot 6 times during a hearing in his case at a district court on Wednesday, police official Ijaz Ahmed told Al Jazeera."The culprit accepts responsibility for killing him, and says that he killed him for having committed blasphemy," said police official Ahmed. "[The suspect] has been arrested from the scene."Naseem had been in police custody since 2018 when he was accused of having committed blasphemy by claiming to be a prophet - a violation of Pakistan's strict blasphemy laws that can carry the death penalty for certain offences. Last week, the provincial assembly in Punjab, Pakistan's most populous province, passed a controversial law on religious issues, giving wide-ranging powers to the government to censor any published material based on vague guidelines of violating religious beliefs.The law, widely criticised by rights groups, was placed under review on Monday.
Pakistan prime minister's 2 advisors resign
Two top advisors of Pakistan's Prime Minister Imran Khan resigned on Wednesday amid growing criticism. They included, Advisor on Health Affairs Zafar Mirza, who effectively acted as the health minister and led the country's battle against COVID-19. The prime minister accepted their resignations, according to an official statement."Due to ongoing negative discussion about the role of SAPMs [Special Advisors to Prime Minister], and the role of government, i choose to resign, " Mirza said in a series of tweet, referring to growing criticism, and allegations of misappropriation against him.
Nearly 1m in Lebanon capital ‘struggling to survive’, says Save the Children
Lebanon’s economic crisis, compounded by the global coronavirus pandemic, has pushed nearly one million people, among them 500,000 children, in Beirut into a “[struggle] to survive”, a Save the Children report published says.Many Lebanese, Palestinians and Syrians living in Lebanon can no longer afford basics, including food, cooking fuel and water, as a result of the multiple crises.While more than 50 per cent of Lebanese, Palestinian and Syrian respondents said they had forgone food for a whole day and one in five Lebanese families skipped meals during the pandemic, according to the report.
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Compiled and edited by Anwarulhaq (Released at: 9:36 PM)
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