05 July 2020

5 JULY NEWS: Days after demarche, China doubles down on claims on Eastern Bhutan boundary. COVID vaccine by August 15: ICMR deadline unreasonable, says Indian Academy of Sciences/ ‘Turn vegan’ hoarding removed in Lucknow after cleric objects. India overtakes Russia to become country with third highest Coronavirus cases


05 JULY 2020. 13 ZU AL-QA'DAH 1441. Vol-12, No-249
Days after demarche, China doubles down on claims on Eastern Bhutan boundary 
Days after Bhutan sent China a demarche protesting Chinese claims to the Sakteng wildlife sanctuary in Eastern Bhutan, Beijing has doubled down, including Bhutan’s “Eastern sectors” to the boundary dispute between the two countries for the first time.“The boundary between China and Bhutan has never been delimited. There have been disputes over the eastern, central and western sectors for a long time,” said Chinese Ministry of Foreign Affairs (MFA) in a statement to the media in Beijing. MFA was responding to questions about China’s attempt last month to stop funding for the Sakteng sanctuary from UN Development Program’s Global Environment Facility (GEF), on grounds that it was “disputed” territory.According to written records, there has been no mention of Eastern Bhutan, or Trashigang Dzongkhag(district), where Sakteng is based, that borders Arunachal Pradesh, in 24 previous rounds of boundary negotiations held between the two countries between 1984 and 2016. The negotiations have not been held since the Doklam standoff between Indian and Chinese troops in 2017. In July 2018, Chinese Vice-Foreign Minister Kong Xuanyou visited Bhutan, and met with the Bhutanese King, Prime Minister and other officials, but the 25th round of talks has not yet taken place. Sources said that the talks could not be held in 2019 due to scheduling difficulties, and the Coronavirus pandemic has delayed them further this year.The Bhutanese government and its Embassy in Delhi declined to comment on the issue. Bhutan has always maintained a discreet silence on its boundary negotiations with China, and it does not have any formal diplomatic relations with Beijing. The Ministry of External Affairs too declined to comment.The Hindu has learnt that Bhutan had issued a demarche to the Chinese embassy in New Delhi last month, protesting the Chinese statement at the GEF meeting that decides on global grants for various projects. Sakteng sanctuary has in the past too received such grants, including in 2018-2019, for a project on preventing soil erosion, without any objection from China. “Bhutan has sent a strong message to China,” said one source, adding that Bhutan’s response was also given through the GEF council meeting where China had raised the issue. At the time, Bhutan had assumed that since the Chinese representative was not a Foreign Ministry official, but a DDG in Chinese Financial and Monetary Cooperation Division, the decision to stop the grant, which failed, was not thought through.According to GEF Council Chairman’s summary released on June 16, of the virtual meeting held on June 2-3, Aparna Subramani, the World Bank official representing Bhutan, as well as India, Bangladesh, Maldives and Sri Lanka, had said that “Bhutan totally rejects the claim made by the Council Member of China. Sakteng Wildlife Sanctuary is an integral and sovereign territory of Bhutan and at no point during the boundary discussions between Bhutan and China has it featured as a disputed area”.“Bhutan hoped its response would close the matter,” the source added.

No de-escalation in Ladakh yet, but some forward movement could be expected this week 
New Delhi: There was no de-escalation on the ground in Eastern Ladakh till Sunday evening, but some forward movement could be expected during this week, ThePrint has learnt.Sources in the defence and security establishments have said forward movement was expected in the Galwan Valley and Hot Springs area first.When asked if any sort of de-escalation has happened since 2 July, a source said, “There has not been any change on the ground.”The Pangong Lake area continues to be a sticky point for both sides, with the Chinese continuing to hold positions till Finger 4, which is 8 km inside India’s perception of the LAC at Finger 8.As reported by ThePrint earlier, both sides have agreed on an initial de-escalation plan and a 72-hour observation window to make sure that steps agreed upon have been taken on the ground.

No change in Jammu and Kashmir situation despite demonetisation, Article 370 move: Shiv Sena
The Shiv Sena targeted BJP led NDA government over the “status quo” in the security situation in J&K.BJP ally-turned-rival questioned how the government’s bid to bifurcate the erstwhile state into two union territories --- J&K and Ladakh -- last year following the scrapping of Article 370 of the Constitution and demonetisation in 2016 to wipe out terror financing has backfired on it.The Sena took a dig at the “strong” government at the Centre for unabated terror activities in J&K.“It’s status quo, despite the scrapping of Article 370 (that gave special status to J&K) and bifurcation of the erstwhile state. There is blood on the streets every day and there is loss of innocent lives. Despite demonetisation, there is no respite from terror activities and circulation of fake currency notes, which was touted as a big challenge for the Union Ministry of Home Affairs (MHA),” said an editorial in Sena’s mouthpiece Saamana, a Marathi daily.The editorial said civilians are being targeted by terrorists with impunity.Referring to an incident in Sopore, north Kashmir, on Wednesday where a CRPF jawan and a civilian were killed by terrorists, the Sena said that the picture of a three-year-old infant sitting near the body of his slain grandfather is reminiscent of conflict-hit Syria and Afghanistan.It blamed the government for the spiralling violence in Kashmir Valley while claiming that the tragic picture has hurt the country’s image on the global stage.“The little boy was trying to wake up his slain grandfather... Some Central ministers tweeted this picture. These ministers should understand that the picture underscores the Central government’s failure. The onus is on the government regarding improving the security situation in the Kashmir Valley. Such pictures are similar to conflict-hit nations like Syria, Egypt, Somalia, and Afghanistan and are doing no good to the country’s image on a global stage,” it said.

Govt blocks 40 websites of banned pro-Khalistan group Sikhs For Justice 
The Centre on Sunday blocked 40 websites linked to pro-Khalistan gourp Sikhs for Justice (SFJ) for ‘a campaign for registering supporters for its cause’.“Sikhs For Justice(SFJ), an unlawful organization under the UAPA, 1967, launched a campaign for registering supporters for its cause. On recommendations of MHA, MeitY, has issued orders under sec 69A of the I.T. Act, 2000, for blocking 40 websites of SFJ”, an home ministry order said.The Ministry of Electronics and Information Technology (MeitY) is the nodal authority for monitoring the cyber space in India.Last year, the home ministry had banned the SFJ for its alleged anti-national activities, according to PTI.The SFJ pushed for Sikh Referendum 2020 as part of its separatist agenda. The US-based organisation had declared July 4 as the inaugural day for registration of referendum on Khalistan.

Nepal political turmoil: Back-to-back meetings ahead of crucial Monday meet to decide PM Oli's fate 
While a crucial meeting of Nepal's ruling communist party to decide the political future of embattled Prime Minister K P Sharma Oli has been postponed until Monday, former PM and co-chair of Nepal Communist Party (NCP) Pushpa Kamal Dahal 'Prachanda' and other opposing groups on Sunday met President Bidhya Devi Bhandari.Pushpa Kamal Dahal Prachanda, Madhav Nepal and Jhanalanth Khanal -- met Bhandari and clarified that the rumour about the Nepal Communist Party (NCP) leaders trying to remove her from office was untrue.Prime Minister KP Sharma Oli held an emergency meeting of the Cabinet on Sunday and had said that some of the members of the ruling communist party are also trying to remove President Bidya Devi Bhandari from power.Oli, at the emergency meet, said that the NCP is facing a grave crisis, indicating that it may split soon."Now, conspiracies are being hatched to remove me from the post of the prime minister and party chairman,” the prime minister said on Saturday, adding that he will not let it happen. The ruling party is facing a grave crisis, Oli said.Meanwhile, after wrapping up the meeting with President Bidhya Devi Bhandari, Prachanda also reached PM Oli's official residence in Baluwatar to hold further talks in a bid to erase fractures between the top leadership of the ruling party. However, meeting between PM KP Sharma Oli and co-chair of and Prachanda on Sunday ended without any conclusion.

No Major Pak Deployment, Army To NDTV Amid Standoff With China In Ladakh
Indian Army does not see immediate plans by Pakistan to amass forces in Pakistan-occupied Kashmir at a time when India and China are in the midst of a standoff in Eastern Ladakh. At the same time, the Pakistani Army has brought forward some reserve formations in the area, the army's Srinagar Corps Commander said."As on today, I do not see any visible increase in deployment or any major movement opposite my area of responsibility. But Pakistan has upgraded defensive posturing, which they do when there is tension. We are prepared for any action," Lt General BS Raju, Corps Commander, 15 Corps, Srinagar, told NDTV.Elaborating further, he said, "[Pakistan] has brought in additional reserve formations which [it] normally does to ensure [it is] stable. I do not see any other intention of Pakistan at this stage."However, he said, the country still remains interested in provoking violence in Jammu and Kashmir and sending in terrorists.

Coronavirus | India overtakes Russia to become country with third highest confirmed cases
India on July 5 recorded the third highest coronavirus caseload in the world, overtaking Russia. The country now has 6,83,240 coronavirus cases at the time of publishing, 1989 postive cases more than Russia, according to official health ministry figures.Worldwide, the United States has registered the most number of cases so far (27.8 lakh), according to a Reuters tally. Brazil is the second worst-hit nation with over 15 lakh cases.There are currently 2,47,788 active cases in India. The death toll is 19,441. As many as 4,16,011 have recovered till date.

Kerala Enforces New COVID Regulations, Will Remain Till July 2021
As India sees an increasing rise in the number of COVID-19 cases every day, the state of Kerala has now decided to put in place regulations that will last till July 2021. With COVID-19 cases gradually increasing in Kerala, and with many patients’ sources of infection remaining unknown, the state government has issued new guidelines to act as preventive measures against the pandemic.“There is an increase in reports of COVID-19 cases and in some cases the source is not identified. Hence the government has taken the decision to strengthen certain preventive/precautionary measures to be observed by the public in their normal life. Hence the government has decided to notify certain additional regulations,” the order dated July 2 said.

COVID vaccine by August 15: ICMR deadline unreasonable, says Indian Academy of Sciences
After individual scientists and health experts, Indian Academy of Sciences (IASc),one of the topmost organisations of scientists in the country, has also questioned the August 15 timeline set by the Indian Council of Medical Research (ICMR) for ‘launching’ a novel Coronavirus vaccine in the country.Taking note of a widely-circulated letter by ICMR director-general Balram Bhargava in which the August 15 timeline is mentioned, the Indian Academy of Sciences, in a statement released on Sunday morning, said it believed that the “announced timeline was unreasonable and without precedent”.“The Academy strongly believes that any hasty solution that may compromise rigorous scientific processes and standards will likely have long-term adverse impacts of unforeseen magnitude on citizens of India,” the statement said.

Covid-19: Could take six to 9 months to complete vaccine trials, says WHO’s Soumya Swaminathan
World Health Organization chief scientist Soumya Swaminathan has said that the development of a potential coronavirus vaccine must show efficacy and safety, adding that the completion of its trials could take six to nine months, The Hindu reported on Sunday.Her comments came after the Indian Council for Medical Research said its decision to fast-track development of a vaccine was in line with international standards. Health experts have raised concerns about the clinical research agency’s letter to all 12 hospitals and medical institutions to speed up the trial process of Bharat Biotech’s vaccine and to launch Covaxin by August 15 for public use.

Coronavirus | WHO halts hydroxychloroquine, HIV drugs in COVID-19 trials after failure to reduce death
WHO said on July 4 that it was discontinuing its trials of the malaria drug hydroxychloroquine and combination HIV drug lopinavir/ ritonavir in hospitalised patients with COVID-19 after they failed to reduce mortality.The setback came as the WHO also reported more than 2,00,000 new cases globally of the disease for the first time in a single day. The United States accounted for 53,213 of the total 2,12,326 new cases recorded on July 3, the WHO said.“These interim trial results show that hydroxychloroquine and lopinavir/ritonavir produce little or no reduction in the mortality of hospitalised COVID-19 patients when compared to standard of care. Solidarity trial investigators will interrupt the trials with immediate effect,” the WHO said in a statement, referring to large multicountry trials that the agency is leading.The U.N. agency said the decision, taken on the recommendation of the trial’s international steering committee, does not affect other studies where those drugs are used for non-hospitalised patients or as a prophylaxis.

Taj Mahal will not reopen for tourists tomorrow after Covid-19 cases soar in Agra 
The iconic Taj Mahal in Agra will not open for tourists from July 6, tomorrow, with 55 new cases of Covid-19 being detected within the last four days in the city. The Agra district administration has decided to keep all monuments, including the Taj Mahal closed in the larger interest of safety of people.There are also 71 live containment zones in Agra with a high concentration of Covid-19 cases, which make the reopening of historical monuments difficult as they are likely to attract crowds.Union Culture Minister Prahlad Patel, a couple of days ago had declared that all Archaeological Survey of India (ASI) protected monuments will reopen from July 6 for tourists.

Coronavirus: Can organise big events while following guidelines, says Uttar Pradesh CM Adityanath
Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Adityanath on Sunday said that big events in the state can be organised while following coronavirus guidelines, PTI reported. The chief minister was referring to the “Van Mahotsav” or afforestation festival under which the state government has set a target of planting record 25 crore saplings.“Pre-Covid, during Covid and post-Covid are three categories, which the world will be able to clearly see,” Adityanath said at the start of the plantation drive in Lucknow. “These will say what was the situation of the world before the Covid-19 outbreak, what was the condition during the outbreak and what will be the changes in the world after Covid.”

In Assam, officials lock down 3 villages as thousands attend preacher’s funeral
After thousands of people in Assam’s Nagaon district attended the funeral of a well-known preacher—the father of a legislator—fears of the spread of the coronavirus have escalated, prompting officials to lock down three villages surrounding the field where the gathering was held.The funeral prayer gathering for Khairul Islam — a vice-president of All India Jamiat Ulema and a “Aamir-e-Shariat” for the Northeast — was held at his native place in Nagaon on the afternoon of July 2. Islam was 87.The family wanted the funeral to be held on July 3, but later decided to go ahead with it by July 2 itself. Photographs shared on Facebook by his son Aminul Islam, an MLA of AIUDF from Nagaon’s Dhing constituency, shows a huge gathering at a field. District administration officials estimate at least 10,000 people were in attendance. Nagaon Deputy Commissioner Jadav Saikia said two police cases have been filed, one suo motu by the police and another by a magistrate present at the spot. Saikia added that a lockdown has been imposed on three villages surrounding the field in an attempt to contain any spread of the virus. MLA Islam said: “My father was a very renowned figure and had a very large following. We had communicated to the administration about the death and the funeral. Accordingly, to limit the number of participants, the police also asked many vehicles to revert back. But still people found ways to turn up.”indianexpress

Muslim burial ground staff cremates 250 Hindus for free
Mumbai: Setting an example for the rest of the country, staff members of a burial ground in Marine Lines, Mumbai performed the last rites of as many as 250 Hindus in the last three months. The staff members performed the last rites free of cost.  Baba Qabrastan, located in Mumbai has been providing free ambulance service to patients as well as people who need them for funerals. Among those cremated are also unclaimed bodies. Iqbal Mamdani, a task force member said that people of all faiths are afraid and they refrain from handling bodies due to the COVID-19 outbreak. In some cases, even ambulance drivers were afraid to carry bodies of coronavirus patients. In view of the pandemic, the staff of the Baba Qabarastan decided to do their bit and approached private ambulances in March. The staff, however, was turned down by all the organisations. 

Delhi’s Jama Masjid, Fatehpuri Mosque reopens for public
 Amid COVID-19 pandemic, Delhi’s famous Jama Masjid reopened their doors for devotees. The mosque will remain open from 9 am to 10 pm while following social distancing norms. Fatehpuri mosque in Delhi also reopened for the public from onwards. “Fatehpuri mosque is allowed to reopen now. But, we should keep in mind that COVID-19 is still there. We have to take all precautions including wearing masks and using sanitisers frequently,” Mufti Mukarram Ahmed, Shahi Imam of the Fatehpuri Mosque said. Meanwhile, the total number of COVID-19 cases in national capital has reached 94,695 so far.ANI

Punjab government makes medical screening and re-registration mandatory for visitors to the state
Taking a serious view of rising cases of COVID-19, the Punjab government has made medical screening and re-registration mandatory for persons travelling to the state. This comes after the Himachal Pradesh government too made some amendments in guidelines for interstate movement.The Punjab government on Saturday issued an advisory, to be applicable from July 7, 2020, for all inbound persons travelling to the state, according to which any person, whether major or minor, coming to Punjab via road, rail or air shall henceforth, and till further orders, would be medically screened when he/she enters Punjab and will be required to e-register himself/herself through COVA App before starting his/her journey to Punjab.

Jaipur: Family of COVID-19 Patient Says He Was 'Driven to Suicide Due to Medical Negligence'
New Delhi: On June 14, 27-year-old Suraj’s 49-year-old father fell ill.“We took him to a private hospital for check-up at first. All his reports were fine. Then someone suggested that we must get him tested for corona also. So we took him to RUHS (Rajasthan University of Health Sciences),” said Suraj.The next day, RUHS informed his family that his father had tested positive for coronavirus.“A medical team came to our area, they probed everything and quarantined us at our house,” he said.Suraj called his father in the hospital in the evening to check on him. “Bauji ne phone pe kaha – mujhey yahan se lejao, mera yahan koi ilaj nahi ho raha hai (‘My father said, take me out of here, I’m not being treated here’)”, Suraj told The Wire.“We calmed him down and assured him that he will be fine,” he said.The following day, on June 16, Suraj’s father reiterated the same thing on the phone: “Please take me from here.”“Bauji se baat karney ke baad hamney kisi jaan-pehchan waley se bhi baat ki thi, unhoney ne kaha sab theek hojayega (‘We spoke to someone we know in the system, he assured us that everything will be alright’),” Suraj said.However, over the next two days whenever Suraj’s family tried to call his father, no one answered the cellphone.
US diplomats leaving Saudi as coronavirus cases surge: Report 
As countries around the world prepare to battle a looming second wave of coronavirus infections, many United States diplomats are following hundreds of US citizens repatriated over the past few months.Dozens of US diplomats, along with their families, have left Saudi Arabia in the past 48 hours as the kingdom struggles to contain the outbreak, just weeks after it reopened its economy, the Wall Street Journal (WSJ) reported on Friday.More are expected to fly out in the coming weeks, officials familiar with the plan told the WSJ, after the US State Department approved the voluntary departure of "non-emergency personnel".Despite Saudi Arabia's efforts to contain the spread of the virus early on, the number of the cases in the country has surged past 200,000 - up 110,000 from May - according to figures published by the Johns Hopkins University. More than 1,800 people there have died.

Palestinians, Israelis face new lockdowns amid coronavirus surge 
Israel ordered thousands of people into quarantine after a contentious phone surveillance programme resumed, as Palestinians in the occupied West Bank returned to life under lockdown following a surge in coronavirus cases in both areas.A statement on Sunday from Israel's health ministry said "many" messages had been sent to Israelis following the renewed involvement of the Shin Bet domestic security agency. The Israeli daily Haaretz reported more than 30,000 people were notified they must enter quarantine since Thursday. After imposing strict measures early on during the first wave of infections, Israel and the occupied Palestinian territories appeared to have contained their outbreaks, with each reporting only a few dozen new cases a day in May.But an easing of restrictions led to a steady uptick in cases over the past month.

Drunk people cannot socially distance, say England police 
UK police said on Sunday revellers who packed London's Soho district the night pubs finally reopened made it "crystal clear" drunk people cannot socially distance.England's hospitality sector sprung back to life after a three-month coronavirus hiatus on what the media dubbed as either "Super Saturday" or "Independence Day".Pubs and restaurants were allowed to start seating clients and barbers could get their clippers out for the first time since March.

‘Assault on rights to free speech, dissent’: 99 ex-IAS, IPS, IFS officers say in open letter 
New Delhi: A group of former civil servants, including prominent former IAS officers such as Aruna Roy and Wajahat Habibullah, have penned an open letter expressing concern over the growing “assault on the Rule of Law in India and on its citizens’ rights to free speech and dissent”.In a letter titled ‘Assault on Rule of Law and Article 19 of the Constitution of India’, 99 civil servants lamented the “erosion” of rule of law in the country and urged all Indians to “unite” in defence of the rule of law and Article 19 — the Right to Freedom of Speech, which they said are “basic elements of any democracy”.The collective known as the Constitutional Conduct Group, is known for voicing concerns regarding socio-political developments in the country and includes several prominent ex-IAS, IPS and IFS officers.Prominent IAS officers who are part of the group include Aruna Roy, PSS. Thomas, Vijaya Latha Reddy, Meena Gupta and Wajahat Habibullah.Some of the well-known Indian Foreign Services officers in the group include Shivshankar Menon, Madhu Bhaduri, Deb Mukharji and Shiv Shankar Mukherjee. A.S. Dulat, Amitabh Mathur, Aloke B. Lal are some of the Indian Police Services officers who are signatories to the letter.The letter talked about the blatant use of the sedition law and how the rule of law “militates against the actualization of the freedom of speech”.It cited the arrest of 11 activists, including Kafeel Khan, Safoora Zargar, Akhil Gogoi, Sharjeel Imam, and the murder of Karnataka-based journalist Gauri Lankesh to highlight corrosion of Article 19 under government.The letter added that the government cannot use the current pandemic as an excuse to curb media freedom across the country. They mention the govt-imposed curfew in Kashmir and the use of the stringent UAPA against people who participated in the protests against the CAA and NRC.
Rule of Law under assault in India, say former civil servants

‘Turn vegan’ hoarding removed in Lucknow after cleric objects
A PETA hoarding with a photograph of a goat, asking people not to slaughter it, was removed from the Uttar Pradesh capital following the objection by a senior Sunni cleric.President of the Islamic Centre of India, Maulana Khalid Rashid Firangi Mahali sent an email to the Lucknow Police Commissioner demanding removal of the controversial hoarding.The Maulana objected to the hoarding by placing a photo of the goat before the festival of Bakrid."Bakrid is expected to be celebrated on July 31. Why such a hoarding is being put up just ahead of the festival?" the cleric queried. Two complaints were also lodged with the Kaiserbagh police demanding the removal.The message on the hoarding reads, "Main jeev hoon, maans nahi, hamare prati nazariya badlein, vegan banein" (I am a creature, not meat. Change your perspective towards us, turn vegan)".Such hoardings have been put across the country by PETA which works for animal rights.A letter was also sent by the director of Centre for Objective Research and Development (CORD) Athar Husain."Muslims observe 'qurbani' (sacrifice) on the festival. The hoarding is sending out a wrong message, it is objectionable. The community strongly objects to it," he added.IANS

Kanpur encounter: Police arrest gangster Vikas Dubey’s aide, probe own officers on his allegations
Uttar Pradesh Police on Sunday arrested Dayashankar Agnihotri, an aide of gangster Vikas Dubey, whose gang is accused of killing eight policemen in Kanpur on Friday, NDTV reported. Agnihotri told the police that Dubey was informed about the plans for a raid by someone from the police station. Chaubepur Police Station head Vinay Tiwari has been suspended and is being questioned.“He [Vikas Dubey] received a phone call from the police station before police came to arrest him,” Agnihotri said. “Following this, he called around 25-30 people [and they] fired bullets on police.”A deputy superintendent of police, three sub inspectors and four constables were shot dead while trying to arrest Dubey, who has 60 criminal cases against him. The encounter happened in Bikru village in Kanpur on the intervening night of July 2 and July 3. Four others were critically injured.“The entire staff of the Chaubepur police station is under scanner,” Inspector General of Police (Kanpur Range) Mohit Agarwal told NDTV. “Strict action will be taken if someone is found guilty of spying for the mafia. I was locked inside the house at the time of encounter, therefore, saw nothing.”The police had conducted a raid at Dubey’s house after a resident named Rahul Tiwari told them that Dubey had attempted to murder him. It has also been alleged that when Rahul Tiwari approached Vinay Tiwari, he refused to file a case against Dubey. Rahul Tiwari then approached Deputy Superintendent of Police Devendra Mishra, who helped him register a first information report.
Kanpur Bloodbath: Understanding the Anatomy of an 'Encounter of the Police'

Saw people being identified by religion, killed, dumped into sewer: PCR caller is key witness to Delhi riot murders
A PCR call made during the Delhi riots helped Delhi Police track a key eyewitness, who shared details of how a mob carrying weapons identified and killed Muslim men and threw their bodies in a drain, reveal 3 chargesheets filed in connection with the killing of three men during riots. Delhi Police chargesheets related to the murders of Aamin, Bhure Ali and Hamza place on record details of a PCR call made on Feb.26 at 10.05 pm, wherein the caller informed police about a Muslim man’s bike being set on fire, and the man jumping into the drain to escape. The caller was traced and identified as a Ganga Vihar resident. His disclosure statement is now a key piece of evidence.As per the chargesheet, the man first made a PCR call at 10.05 pm. The incident description read: “The caller is Hindu. Hindus have set a Muslim man’s bike on fire. They were also going to set him on fire, and he jumped into the drain.” According to the chargesheet, in a call 20 minutes later, the same caller said, “Muslims are being killed and their bikes are being set on fire”.indianexpress

Delhi Riots: ‘Dr Anwar Falsely Referred, Remove Name from Chargesheet’ 
Condemning the inclusion of Dr M A Anwar’s name in a chargesheet filed by Delhi Police in connection with the Delhi riots, public health professionals, health networks, women’s groups and civil liberties alliances and networks, and academics among others released a statement on July 4.Dr Anwar, who runs a clinic named Al Hind Hospital in New Mustafabad, had come to the rescue of several [over 600] injured persons during the riots that took place in Northeast Delhi, earlier this year, triggered by clashes between supporters and opposers of the CAA. However, the Delhi Police have named him in a chargesheet dealing with the murder of a 20-year-old waiter, Dilbar Negi.The statement, which has been endorsed by Jan Swasthya Abhiyan, Medico Friend Circle, All India Drug Action Network, Right to Food Campaign and People’s Union for Civil Liberties among others, read: “Dr. Anwar and Al Hind played a significant humanitarian role in saving the lives of people who were affected through provision of urgently needed medical services in a situation fraught with violence and fear. Al Hind was one of the few hospitals, which provided treatment for hundreds of patients who were injured, some with grievous bullet injuries and fractures, some traumatised by the violence, etc. and rendered to each person a full measure of service and devotion to humanity and human dignity.”It added,“The naming of Dr. Anwar in the charge-sheet indicates the abuse of the law and its process at the hand of the police and appears to be communally motivated.  This is an absolute violation of the right to life and liberty, equality, freedom of speech and expression, and to dissent as a citizen.”   

Babri Masjid demolition case: Ram temple trust members set to meet on July 18 in Ayodhya
AYODHYA: Mahant Kamal Nayan Das, spokesperson for president of Shri Ram Janambhoomi Teerth Kshetra Trust, Mahant Nritya Gopal Das, said on Friday that the trust members are scheduled to meet on July 18 in Ayodhya for the purpose of construction of Ram temple."Trust members will meet on July 18 in Ayodhya. The purpose will be the construction of Ram temple. We want that (Prime Minister Narendra) Modi Ji should visit here once so that construction begins," said Mahant Kamal Nayan Das.Earlier on Wednesday, Nritya Gopal Das said that they have requested the Prime Minister to inaugurate the construction activities at the temple site in Ayodhya."We have written a letter to the Prime Minister requesting him to visit Ayodhya and inaugurate the construction activities of Ram temple. Pooja and other rituals have been ongoing for three months at the site," Das told ANI here."We just want him to come and we will ensure that there is no crowding," he said.In March this year, 'Ram Lalla' idol was shifted to a temporary structure near Manas Bhawan in Ram Janmabhoomi premises, till the completion of the construction of Ram temple.ANI 

Facing atrocities, Dalits in this Gujarat hamlet on verge of mass migration 
Gujarat:Tormented with atrocities by high-caste bullies, Dalits in Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s native state of Gujarat continue to lead a difficult life.Come July 13, all 150-odd poverty-stricken members of the marginalized Scheduled Caste community living in a one-horse hamlet in Rajkot district since ages will emigrate en masse from their homeland, following constant harassment by well-heeled Darbars. Browned off by BJP-controlled state government’s lackadaisical indifference towards their memorandum narrating their heart-rending tales of woe submitted more than three weeks ago, 45 Dalit families have decided to bid adieu to their tumbletown dwellings in Charel village of Jamkandorna Taluka where powerful Darbars rule the roost.Though the socially-disadvantaged villagers, all farm labourers, are being treated as ‘untouchables’ for many years, they have been trembling with fear ever since a young, married Dalit woman was bludgeoned to death and 2 of her friends were beaten black and blue by a headstrong Darbar on May 19.“The man wanted to outrage the modesty of the victim and assaulted two other women accompanying her when they tried to intervene,” social worker and community leader Sunil Jadav said on phone, and added that the police dilly-dallied for several days before hauling up the influential accused.The Dalits are not allowed to enter temples and cannot mingle with others during an open-for-all social event in Charel which boasts no basic amenities like public toilets and water taps, leave alone roads and streetlights. Low-caste women walking in the village must cover their heads in respect if Darbars pass by, and are compelled to ease themselves in the bushes while the voyeurs in nearby homes watch shamelessly and poke fun at them.TwoCircles

Music composer Yuvan Shankar Raja Says, ‘Islam Helped Me Overcome Suicidal Thoughts’ 
Music composer Yuvan Shankar Raja has a massive fan following in Tamil film industry. He is known for composing some interesting pieces of music over the years. The composer has been the choice of top directors and stars. Recently, Yuvan Shankar Raja conducted a question and answer session with fans on Instagram, in which he revealed how he overcame suicidal thoughts. One of his fans asked him about his worst fear and how he overcame it. Replying to the question, Yuvan shared a video in which he stated, "I used to get suicidal thoughts before Islam that was my worst part. Islam helped me overcome suicidal thoughts." Well, the statement from Yuvan Shankar Raja shocked many fans as he revealed about having had suicidal thoughts.


Iran-backed armed group denies Iraq rocket attack on US interests 
Two rockets targeted American diplomatic and military installations overnight, Iraq's security forces said on Sunday, as a powerful Iran-backed armed group denied responsibility for a series of such attacks.Since October, US diplomats and troops across Iraq have been targeted by about three dozen rocket attacks that Washington has blamed on pro-Iranian armed factions.In the first move of its kind, elite Iraqi troops in late June arrested more than a dozen Tehran-backed fighters who were allegedly planning a new attack on Baghdad's Green Zone, home to the United States and other foreign embassies.Iraqi government officials said the raid would serve as a "message" to deter future attacks, but late on Saturday more attacks were launched.One rocket fired at the Green Zone landed near a home, wounding a child, according to the Iraqi military. The rocket was launched from the Ali al-Saleh area of Baghdad and landed next to a house close to a local TV channel, a military statement said. The child suffered head injuries and the house was damaged.

Divisions in Iraqi forces over crackdown on Iran-backed group 
On June 25, the Iraqi government carried out a raid on Kataib Hezbollah, a group with close links to Iran that has been accused of attacking United States forces. It was a test for new Prime Minister Mustafa al-Kadhimi, who has promised to crack down on groups that operate outside the law. But days later, those detained had walked free.Al Jazeera gained exclusive access to the Kataib Hezbollah base that was raided. Simona Foltyn reports.

Tunisia MPs reject motion to blacklist Brotherhood
Bureau of Tunisia’s House of Representatives (parliament) has rejected a petition to blacklist the Muslim Brotherhood group.The opposition Free Constitutional Party (PDL), which holds 10 seats in 217-member parliament, had submitted the petition to classify the Brotherhood as a “terrorist” organization.The petition, however, was turned down by the parliament’s bureau, which is consisted of the parliament speaker, his deputies and 10 lawmakers representing all parties in parliament.Ennahda party, which holds 54 seats in parliament, earlier described the PDL draft as a “waste of time”.Ennahda lawmaker Sayyid Ferjani said the petition was “meant to serve foreign agendas and focuses on tiny issues”.

US: Outrage over cartoon equating mask requirement to Holocaust 
A cartoon posted on the social media account of a weekly Kansas newspaper owned by a county Republican Party chairman has been condemned for comparing a state mandate requiring all residents to wear masks in public in light of the coronavirus pandemic with the roundup of Jews during the holocaust.The cartoon posted on the Anderson County Review's Facebook page depicts Governor Laura Kelly, a Democrat, wearing a mask with a Jewish Star of David on it, next to a drawing of people being loaded onto train cars.Its caption reads: "Lockdown Laura says: Put on your mask ... and step onto the cattle car."About six million Jews were systematically executed by Nazi Germany between 1941 and 1945, with many rounded up and transported to concentration camps via trains. 

It is depressing that law concerning personal liberty remains one in theory and another in practice:: P Chidambaram 

Whose Asian century? Clearly, China’s: Meghnad Desai 

How A BJP Leader’s Name Vanished Between Testimony & Charge Sheet:ADITYA MENON 

In Leh, Locals Anxious About Future Amid India-China Standoff 

BSP, SP & BJP Shielded Vikas Dubey: Slain BJP Leader’s Brother 

Migrants who returned to UP & Bihar find moneylenders and hostility waiting for them 

Lockdown & Mental Health: Women and children are bearing the brunt:Mrinal Pande 

What makes Patras and Bakshis of the world mistake boorishness for patriotism 

Delhi riots: Inside the ‘Kattar Hindu’ WhatsApp group that planned, executed murders 
Who is a Hindu? How Hindutva threatens the history of Hindus: Devdutt Pattanaik 

*Compiled and edited by Anwarulhaq (Released at: 8:20 PM)*


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