10 August 2020

10 AUG. NEWS: Modi govt likely to bring bill to prevent religious conversion in next Parliament session. Delhi violence: HC refuses to quash police order on ‘Hindu resentment’, blames media. Nepal strongly objects to S Jaishankar’s reference to Buddha as Indian, MEA issues clarification



10 AUG 2020. 17 ZU AL HIJJAH 1441. Vol-12, No-275



Modi govt likely to bring bill to prevent religious conversion in next Parliament session: Zee news


Prime Minister Narendra Modi-led NDA govt at the Centre is likely to bring a bill to prevent conversion of religion. Sources have told Zee News that BJP-led govt may bring the anti-conversion bill in the next session of Parliament. The sources said that the government has already started preparations for the same and discussion are underway to bring the bill that might prevent any kind of religious conversion. This comes shortly after the conclusion of the Budget Session of Parliament wherein the government passed key bills like Jammu and Kashmir Re-organisation Bill, and Muslim Women (Protection of Rights on Marriage) Bill.


Over 2,600 citizens living in ‘extreme distress’ in Bangladesh, let them in, Centre tells Bengal


Centre has urged West Bengal government to let in 2,680 people from the state, who have been stranded in neighbouring Bangladesh since the coronavirus-induced lockdown was imposed in March, PTI reported. Ministry of External Affairs made a similar request a few weeks back to allow the people to enter the state through two of the six land borders with Bangladesh, an official said.In a letter, Vikram Doraiswami, additional secretary of MEA, told West Bengal Chief Secretary Rajiva Sinha that 2,399 people want to return to their villages in the state through the Petrapole-Benapole integrated check post and 281 citizens want to enter through the Phulbari-Banglabandha land border.

 Rajasthan: 11 members of Pakistani Hindu migrant family found dead in Jodhpur farm


Eleven members of a family of Pakistani Hindu migrants were found dead in a farm in Jodhpur district of Rajasthan on Sunday, PTI reported. The police also discovered another member of the family, alive outside the hut they lived in Lodta village of Dechu area. However, he had no idea about the incident, Superintendent of Police (Rural) Rahul Barhat said. The man claimed he was not aware of what happened inside the hut because he had been sleeping outside, TOI reported.“We are yet to ascertain the cause and means of death,” Barhat said. “But apparently, all the members appeared to have committed suicide by consuming some chemical in the night.” Barhat said this was indicated by the smell of some chemical around the hut.


In Assam, Muslim farmers branded as ‘illegal Bangladeshis’ facing eviction


Assam:Earlier this week, protests by local Muslim communities of Jamugurihat in Sonitpur district of Assam against forced eviction turned into a violent clash between locals and BJP MLA of Sootea constituency, Padma Hazarika’s men. As per the locals, the BJA MLA’s men were trying to intimidate the locals into evicting them. When the locals raised questions about their rehabilitation and compensation, one of the men slapped a local. When Hazarika arrived at the spot with the police, he was carrying a gun, threatened people and reportedly assaulted a local woman. The police arrested two local boys. The assaulted woman have registered an FIR against Hazarika. Locals accuse BJP MLA’s men of plundering the livestock of the residents and fleeing.In the recent past, a number of eviction drives have been carried out in areas housing Assamese Muslim populations. There has been growing pressure from the majority indigenous community, who elected a BJP state government in the hope of having their “jati-mati-bheti” (community-land-roots) promise fulfilled, to remove “illegal encroachers” from the state, people they suspect have infiltrated from Bangladesh. Only last month, farming was ‘facilitated’ and a gau-shala inaugurated in Chokighat, by Assam CM Sarbananda Sonowal. The groundwork of driving away ‘illegal encroachers’ from these 700 bighas of land was done by Padma Hazarika.Chokighat and Jamugurihat are two among eleven villages along the Jiabhorali river, which flows through the Sonitpur district. Over the past 20 to 30 years, people of Nagaon, Rangapara, Tezpur, and other areas have settled in these chars (riverine islands) as their erstwhile lands were eroded by the river, and they became homeless. Some of the land was owned by the government and some belonged to landowners. The displaced people bought the land with whatever assets they had managed to save.


Preparations on to resume Anti-CAA NRC protests in India: report


The unlock stage has reached to an advanced level in the country and the Central an state governments are permitting every kind of activities in the countryand there is no reason that protests can’t be started. Senior Supreme Court lawyer Mehmood Pracha said that Government has allowed unlock India and is now implemented across the country which is now in advanced stage, therefore the CAA-NRC protests can be re-started from August 15. The process to resume anti-CAA protests has started.The efforts have gained momentum to re-start anti- CAA, anti-NRC protests which were cancelled due to coronavirus in Aligarh. Pracha reached Aligarh on Sunday and during an interview to news18, he said that preparations are in full swing to re-launch protest against CAA/NRC. He said that people of Aligarh are demanding that to save the Constitution of India the protests can be started. The protests which were stopped due to coronavirus can now resume. All types of activities have started and the state and central governments have issused guidelines for the work to resume.The Lawyer said, “the people of the country knows that the Supreme Court gave permission for the Jagannath Puri Rath yatra and the guidelines that were issued for the Jagannath Puri Rath yatra, should be given for all the religions. The permission should be granted for religious activities of Muslims and protests can be started during Aug 15.


Delhi violence: HC refuses to quash police order on ‘Hindu resentment’, blames media


Delhi High Court has refused to quash an order of Delhi’s special commissioner of police that cited “resentment among the Hindu community” to advise police personnel to exercise caution while making arrests in connection with the February violence, Live Law reported on Saturday. The court said that “no prejudice has been caused” by the order, as it was issued after the accused had been chargesheeted.The court was considering a writ petition filed by Sahil Parvez and Mohammad Saeed Salman, whose father and mother were killed in the violence.In its ruling, the court said that cases related to the violence were registered before Special Commissioner of Police Praveer Ranjan issued the controversial letter on July 8. It also noted that till date, 535 Hindus and 513 Muslims have been chargesheeted in all the cases.The single bench of Justice Suresh Kait also said that media reports were “contrary to the spirit of the letter”. “Therefore, it is suggested that media being the fourth pillar of democracy, news should be clear after verifying the facts so that no prejudice is caused to anyone or hatred is spread among communities in this country,” Kait said.


Delhi Police beat and sexually assaulted us in Bhajanpura station: Riots complainant and daughter


2 women and a teenager, all residents of Subhash Mohalla in northeast Delhi’s North Ghonda neighbourhood, accused officials of Delhi’s Bhajanpura police station of beating and sexually assaulting them in station premises on the night of 8 August. That evening, a group of around ten women—including Shaheen Khan, Shanno, and the latter’s 17-year-old daughter—visited the police station to seek the registration of a first-information report against offences identified in a complaint they had filed two days earlier. As the other women waited in the compound, 3 of them went inside the station and demanded an FIR. But the police refused and attacked them, the trio told us. All of them, including the minor, said that they were violently and repeatedly slapped, manhandled and threatened, and further accused the police officials of sexual assault—charges that Delhi Police denied. Ashok Sharma, Bhajanpura station-house officer, said he informed the women that an FIR could only be registered after an enquiry, and dismissed all allegations of violence at the station.   “I saw this, I was there,” Khan said. “They put their hands on the girl’s chest, they misbehaved with her and Shanno. They even tore Shanno’s clothes over here,” she added, pointing to her collar bone. Her own neck had a prominent scratch mark below it. We spoke to the three of them late on the night intervening 8 and 9 August. Shanno’s kurta was still torn at the time. She broke into tears at multiple points while speaking to us. After one such occasion, she took a deep breath to compose herself and said that policemen pulled her daughter by her hair and “tried to drag her into a dark corner.” Pointing to her own chest, she added in between sobs, “Meri beti ko galat-galat jaga haath lagaya”—They touched my daughter in wrong places. Her daughter repeated the same. “They misbehaved with us a lot—with me, my mother and another woman who was with us,” 17-year-old said. “They misbehaved with us so much, I can’t tell you.”THE CARAVAN


45 students sexually assaulted by police in Jamia violence: Women’s body fact-finding report


At least 45 Jamia Millia Islamia students were sexually assaulted by policemen in the attack on the University on Feb.10, stated a fact-finding report by the National Federation of Indian Women (NFIW). The students and residents were brutally attacked by the police, even as they were protesting peacefully against the CAA, NRC and NPR. The report states that about 15 women and 30 men were assaulted in their private parts. “Women were molested by male policemen, who attempted to tear their clothes, punched their breasts or stomped on them with their boots, as well as tried to insert their batons into their vaginas. At least 15 women were stomped on in their private parts, and they suffered injuries in their vaginas,” stated the report. The pain, pus and blood rendered them bedridden for weeks after the assault. Women as young as 16 and as old as 60 were sexually assaulted. A woman who had previously been operated for a caesarean delivery kept pleading for the beatings to stop, but the assault continued till the cop was pulled back.The sexual assault on men was equally severe. The attack on their groins and rectum resulted in severe injuries. The report states that they could not access the MLCs, hence they have relied on the information given to them by the survivors of the assault.


Hearing in the treason case against Sharjeel Imam deferred in Saket court


New Delhi: Hearing in the case of sedition against former JNU student Sharjeel Imam accused of inciting riots and sedition and has been adjourned till August 13. Sharjeel is currently quarantined in Guwahati jail. Because of which he cannot appear in court. Therefore, on Monday, the Saket court has adjourned the hearing in this case for three days. Today Sharjeel Imam was to appear in Saket Court through video conferencing. However, he is quarantined so he could not appear.  Delhi Police has filed a supplementary charge sheet against Sharjeel Imam.


SC refuses to accept Prashant Bhushan’s explanation in 2009 contempt case


The Supreme Court on Monday refused to accept advocate Prashant Bhushan’s explanation in the contempt case against him from 2009, Live Law reported. A three-judge bench headed by Justice Arun Mishra said further hearing in the case was required before a judgement is passed.“Before reaching any finding whether explanation will suffice, the matter will need to be heard,” Mishra said. The bench listed the matter for Aug. 17.The case involves Bhushan’s interview to Tehelka magazine 11 years ago, in 2009, in which he had made allegations of corruption in the Supreme Court and said half of the previous 16 chief justices were corrupt. The contempt of court case was filed by advocate Harish Salve.


‘Let’s wait and watch’: UP CM’s office on Waqf offer to invite


Lucknow: Uttar Pradesh Sunni Central Waqf Board says it would like to invite Prime Minister Narendra Modi and chief minister Yogi Adityanath to lay the foundation stone for a hospital, school, library and other public facilities it plans to build on a five-acre plot the govt has allocated to Muslim community for an alternative mosque in lieu of Babri masjid in Ayodhya. HT reached out to PMO’s spokesperson, but received no response. An Uttar Pradesh government spokesperson said: “It is not the time to respond to it. It would be inappropriate on our part.” An advisor to the chief minister said: “It would be inappropriate to comment on something that’s only an idea. Currently, there are divisions in the Muslim community and stakeholders over the utilisation of the land. Let’s wait and watch.”SM Shoeb, CEO of the Sunni Waqf Board, said: “We would like to invite the PM and UP CM to lay the foundation of establishments of public utilities like the community kitchen, hospital, museum, library, etc. The list of invitees would be finalised in the board meeting after a discussion with the other members. It would be a matter of pride for the board if PM joins us for the inaugural programme.”“In all schools of thought, no ulema has confirmed a provision for any ritual and groundbreaking ceremony for a mosque. Hence, there is no point in organising any such event or inviting anyone for such an event (for the mosque),” said Athar Hussain, spokesperson for the foundation.


Name Ayodhya mosque after Prophet not Babur: UP Minister to Waqf


Lucknow :A mosque constructed at Dhannipur village in Ayodhya should be named after Prophet Muhammad instead of Mughal emperor Babur, said Mohsin Raza, Uttar Pradesh Minister of State Minority Welfare, Muslim Waqf and Hajj, on Sunday.Raza said, “We, the government, have given the land to the Sunni Waqf Board on the direction of the Supreme Court. I would, however, like to say that we will not accept anything named after Babur in Ayodhya or anywhere else in the country. I would like to suggest that the way the Ram temple is being built in Ayodhya… The same way, in Muslim community, Muhammad sahib has a great place and everyone recites a kalma in his name, and he is respected by people from other religions and known for his humanity. We would suggest that the Sunni Waqf Board name the mosque Masjid-e-Mohammad. This will send a big message not only in India but also the world, and everyone will accept it.”


Ayodhya temple development will favour party, feels CPM


Thiruvananthapuram: A favourable political situation is evolving for the CPM following the bhoomi pooja ceremony for the Ram temple in Ayodhya on August 5, the party state committee believes. In its meeting here on Sunday, the committee discussed future plans to leverage this. The meeting observed that there would be “changes in favour of the Left”, CPM state secretary Kodiyeri Balakrishnan told reporters. He said the committee has decided to work with secular forces who were facing threat from the BJP in other states. He said the Centre took over the works from the temple trust in violation of the Supreme Court order.


End affiliations to RSS, VHP, Bengal associations of imams urge Muslims


Kolkata :Days after bhoomi pujan was held for the Ayodhya Ram Temple, Bengal Imams’ Associations have appealed to Muslims to end their affiliation to RSS, VHP and other right-wing organisations to save their families.In a statement issued on Friday, chairman of Bengal Imams Associations Mohammed Yahiya said the BJP’s stand, at present, was “anti-Islam and anti-Muslim”.“Recently, the foundation stone was laid to construct a temple on a site that once hosted a mosque. So, it is clear that BJP and RSS are not friends of Muslims. A Muslim will not remain a Muslim if he remains with someone who is against Islam. Muslims who are members of RSS, VHP and its affiliated organisations need to think about their positions. They have to decide whether they want to remain with the BJP-RSS combine or rectify their mistakes. They must remember that in the days to come their families will not be spared,” Yahiya said.


Jalesar’s Hindu, Muslim artisans cast 2.1-tonne brass bell for Ram temple


Jalesar's brass craft has also earned it benefits under Adityanath govt's "one district-one product" scheme. Dau Dayal has been making bells of varied shapes and sizes for more than 30 years, but what he and his team has pulled off this time has surprised everyone in Uttar Pradesh’s Jalesar town — a bell weighing 2,100 kg for the Ram temple in Ayodhya. Interestingly, the person who designed it is a Muslim craftsman — Iqbal Mistri.PTI


Centralisation of education in NEP undermines India’s federalism, says student body


National Education Policy (NEP) has been formulated based on the interests of RSS without considering diverse opinions and without having debates in Parliament, said the Muslim Students’ Federation (MSF). The organisation said it was opposed to the policy because of its power-centric nature which undermined India’s federal principles.“While the entire world focuses on internationalisation of education system, the new education policy of India goes back to localization incorporating the Sangh Parivarideas into the curriculum,” the MSF said in a statement. Arabic has been deliberately removed from the list of foreign languages while Urdu has been removed from the list of Indian languages, it noted.By dissolving all existing regulatory bodies such as UGC, AlCTE and NAAC, and uniting them under one body is nothing but sheer centralisation of power, a fundamental characteristic of fascism. “The formation of the National Research Foundation to control over research and of the National Testing Agency to control the admissions to central universities will spoil the academic liberty and flexibility and can be misused politically,” underscored the MSF.


Tablighi Jamaat: 44 foreigners choose to face trial over plea deal


Over 2 decades ago, as a young university student leading an “underground movement” against military regime in Myanmar, Ahmed Ali learnt to “distinguish between right and wrong”. But that came at a price. Ali had to flee Yangon in 2005 and take shelter in a refugee camp in Thailand, leaving his parents behind. “It was a difficult choice to make, but the right one,” Ali says. Cut to 2020 and the 42-year-old, now a US citizen, has made another difficult choice, which he believes is “also the right one”.The pharmacy technician from New York is among 44 foreigners who have chosen to stand trial on charges of violating visa rules and Covid regulations after participating in Tablighi Jamaat gathering in Delhi. About 250 others from a group of 955 foreigners who were detained in Delhi have left the country after opting for a plea bargain and paying fines ranging from Rs 5,000-10,000. Several more have opted for this route but been held back due to pending FIRs. On Thursday, the Supreme Court ordered that trial for those remaining in the capital be completed within eight weeks in a local court.“What am I guilty of? We did not break any law. I left the Markaz before the national lockdown was announced (from March 24)… I will stay and fight. I don’t want to be known as the US national who broke the law in a foreign land,” says Ali.For Mahdi Draa (49), a French national who runs a car repair business in Paris, “the misbehaviour and ill-treatment by staff at quarantine centres continue to bother many of us”.“But I fail to understand what law I have broken,” says Afuuan (52), an Indonesian national who is among those who have opted to stay back and stand trial. "I have travelled across the globe and always followed the rules everywhere. Here, I am standing with the truth,” says the owner of an advertising firm in Sumatra.Among those who have opted to pay a penalty and return home is 49-year-old Mounir, a Belgian national. “My mother died on May 5… Just because I am returning does not mean I am guilty.”


Tribal, Dalit rights being trampled upon, rues Ranchi archbishop


Ranchi: On the occasion of World Indigenous People’s Day and National Youth Day, Ranchi archbishop Felix Toppo said while people are fighting against Covid-19, rights of tribals, dalits and minorities are being trampled upon in the country. Delivering his homily at the virtual Sunday Mass held at Christ King Church at Kanke, Ranchi, Toppo pointed out that on Dec.23, 1994, UN  General Assembly decided that the International Day of the World Indigenous People shall be observed on Aug/9 every year. UN had deemed that people from around the world should be encouraged to spread the message of protection and promotion of the rights of tribals and indigenous people.“In (Covid) backdrop, it seems that the principles of equality, unity and brotherhood, as enshrined in our Constitution, are being steadily eroded. There is a spurt in disbelief, anger and tensions among people of all faiths. The rights of tribals, dalits and minorities are being trampled upon. It seems that pillars of democracy — legislative assemblies, judiciary, administration and even the communication channels are caught in a web of politicking. Even in such times, God tells us not to be afraid, but to remain steadfast in our belief in him,” he added.Toppo was assisted by Fr Clement Kullu, parish priest, Kanke and Fr Augustus Ekka, secretary, Jharkhand and Andaman Youth Commission during the mass.


India plans to fell ancient forest to create 40 new coalfields: The Guardian


Over the past decade, Umeshwar Singh Amra has witnessed his homeland descend into a battleground. The war being waged in Hasdeo Arand, a rich and biodiverse Indian forest, has pitted indigenous people, ancient trees, elephants and sloths against the might of bulldozers, trucks and hydraulic jacks, fighting with a single purpose: the extraction of coal.Yet under a new “self-reliant India” plan by the prime minister, Narendra Modi, to boost the economy post-Covid-19 and reduce costly imports, 40 new coalfields in some of India’s most ecologically sensitive forests are to be opened up for commercial mining.Among them are four huge blocks of Hasdeo Arand’s 420,000 acres of forest in the central Indian state of Chhattisgarh, which sit above an estimated 5bn tonnes of coal.It marks a significant shift. The coal industry in India is state-owned, but this auction of 40 new coal blocks will see the creation of a privatised, commercial coal sector in India. Among those bidding for it are India’s rich and powerful industrial giants, including the $14bn Adani group run by the Indian billionaire Gautam Adani, who operates India’s largest coal power plants and has close ties to Modi. Amra, who is an Adivasi, a term used to describe India’s indigenous people, was one of nine local sarpanchs – village leaders – who recently wrote to Modi demanding a stop to the auction in Hasdeo Arand. He said: “If the government gave me the option to give up my life in exchange for no more mining happening in the forest, I would do it in a second.”


Stockpiling Leads India's Coal Import to Drop 43.2% In July


New Delhi: India’s coal import fell 43.2% to 11.13 million tonnes (MT) in July this year on account of high stockpile of the dry fuel at pitheads, plants and ports. The country had imported 19.61 MT of coal in July 2019, according to a provisional compilation, by mjunction services limited, based on the monitoring of vessels’ positions and data received from shipping companies.Mjunction – a joint venture between Tata Steel and Steel Authority of India – is a B2B e-commerce company that also publishes research reports on coal and steel verticals.“Imports in July 2020 stood at 11.13 million tonnes (provisional) … Earlier, coal and coke imports in July 2019 stood at 19.61 MT,” it said.During April-July 2020, total coal imports were recorded at 57.27 MT, which is 35.76% lower than 89.15 MT imported during April-July 2019, it said.PTI


After Handloom and Handicrafts Boards, Centre Now Scraps Powerloom Board


New Delhi: Days after the Centre abolished the All India Handloom Board and the All India Handicrafts Board, it has now scrapped the All India Powerloom Board, TOI reported. The board was set up in 1981 and advised the government on the development of powerlooms, their efficiency and welfare of workers involved. The Centre said that the boards have been scrapped with a view on achieving “minimum government and maximum governance”. It also said that it is aiming that the moves are aimed at a “leaner government machinery and for systematic rationalisation of government bodies”.It has also changed status of Textiles Research Associations (TRAs) to ‘approved bodies’. Earlier, TRAs were recognised as ‘affiliated bodies’ of the Ministry of Textile.According to the government notification, this would mean that “any disposal, sale, transfer of assets created out of central government grant will require prior specific approval of the ministry of textiles.”


Delhi’s Bijwasan Mosque: Miscreants Lock It, Police Unlocks


New Delhi:Some antisocial elements locked Bijwasan village mosque in Delhi, bordering Gurugram district of Haryana, after forcibly evicting the Imam from the premises on Saturday evening.However, the police removed the locks and picked up the two accused persons after a local Muslim Dr. Intizar Khan called up the police.Those detained by the police were Manjit Khatri, son of Bhagwan Khatri and Pramod, son of Mange Ram.Dr. Khan said that three youths of the village, including Rakesh alias Rocky, son of Chandrabhan, were visiting the mosque Imam for the last few days and asking him to vacate the mosque. These youths came during day time when the local Muslims had gone out for work. There are only four Muslim families who are native of the village.“We did not take it seriously when the Imam of the mosque Lal Mohammed complained about it”, said Dr. Khan. On Friday, they threatened the Imam that they would demolish the mosque and also asked the Imam to leave the place immediately”.“Manjit and Pramod came to the mosque after Maghrib(evening) prayers were over on Saturday. They verbally abused the Imam, pulled him out and put a lock on the main gate of the mosque”, narrated Dr Khan.“After Imam informed to me, I immediately called the police. Additional SHO of Kapashera police station, under whose jurisdiction the village comes, rushed to the place. He removed the lock and also nabbed the accused persons-Manjit and Pramod”, said Dr. Khan.


Complaints Filed Against Assam BJP MLA Over Communal Comments on Syed Abdul Malik


Guwahati: Over half-a-dozen complaints have been filed against controversial Assam BJP MLA Shiladitya Dev by various organisations days after he termed revered scholar Syed Abdul Malik an “intellectual jihadi”.BJP leader and Assam Minorities Development Board chairman Syed Muminul Aowal condemned the statement and demanded a public apology from his party colleague.The Congress called Dev a “mad person” who should be sent to “mental asylum” for his frequent controversial and communal statements. They also described him as the “Rakhi Sawant of BJP”, in reference to Bollywood actor who is known for making controversial remarks.PTI


Reached Somnath from Rajasthan on Saturday: 6 BJP MLAs leave for ‘undisclosed’ location


Rajkot :Six Rajasthan BJP MLAs who arrived in Somnath late on Saturday, left for an undisclosed location early on Sunday even as local BJP leaders said that they were not aware of the lawmakers’ movement.MLAs — Nirmal Kumawat, Gopichand Meena, Jabbar Singh Sankhla, Dharamveer Mochi, Gopal Lal Sharma and Gurudeep Singh Shahpini — reached Porbandar by a chartered flight from Jaipur on Saturday and drove to Somnath near Veraval in Gir Somnath district to have darshan at the Somnath temple.They MLAs stayed at Sagar Darshan Atithigruh, a VVIP guesthouse run by Shree Somnath Trust (SST), the religious organisation that maintains and manages the temple.


Congress to form 3-member panel to address issues raised by Sachin Pilot


Days ahead of Rajasthan Assembly session, where Chief Minister Ashok Gehlot is likely to seek a trust vote, Sachin Pilot met Congress leaders Rahul Gandhi and Priyanka Gandhi Vadra in New Delhi on Monday.Confirming the development, KC Venugopal said, “Congress President Sonia Gandhi has decided that the AICC will constitute a three member committee to address the issues raised by Sachin Pilot and the aggrieved MLAs and arrive at an appropriate resolution thereof.”The development comes days after Gehlot appeared to make a conciliatory move, saying that he would welcome back the rebel Congress MLAs if the party leadership “forgives them”.Moreover, the Gehlot government also withdrew the sedition charge from three FIRs lodged by the Special Operations Group (SOG) of Rajasthan Police in connection with the alleged attempt to topple his government. A key grouse of Pilot that triggered the rebellion was the FIRs being filed by SOG under the sedition charge.


Sonia Gandhi to continue as interim Congress president till election of her successor


Congress has said that Sonia Gandhi will continue as interim president of the party till a procedure was implemented to elect her successor, PTI reported.Gandhi completes a year as the interim chief on Monday. She took over as the party chief after her son Rahul Gandhi resigned from the post in July as he held himself accountable for the party’s Lok Sabha election debacle and maintained that accountability would be critical for the party’s future growth.


BJP Leader Demolishes Under-Construction House Of CRPF Jawan Noor Kalim In Sultanpur


Lucknow;A BJP leader-Shrawan Mishra- who is BJP Block Pramukh of Kadipur block in Sultanpur district, on Friday demolished an under-construction house of a CRPF jawan posted in Kashmir.The incident happened in Shaikhpur village under Gosaigunj police station. The area falls in the Sultanpur Lok Sabha constituency represented by BJP MP Maneka Gandhi.Police have registered an FIR against Mishra. However, he is yet to be arrested.According to details, CRPF jawan Noor Kalim had purchased a piece of land on the roadside in the village and had started construction of his house. The plot CRPF jawan purchased is adjoining an agricultural land belonging to Mishra.He had laid the foundation of the building and was constructing columns and structure of the house by using steel, concrete and cement.India Tomorrow


Access to religious sites is limited to a few: Study


Ahmedabad :A study involving 180 students of three villages of Ahmedabad district’s Sanand taluka has brought to fore how public religious sites like temples and mosques and residential buildings which use religious identities reinforce communal divide in the society.The study — Re-imagining Religiously Segregated Spaces: Building Interfaith Sites Through Participatory Photography — by Kiran V Bhatia from School of Journalism and Mass Communication, University of Wisconsin-Madison, and Manisha Pathak Shelat of Mudra institute of Communications (MICA) Ahmedabad —was published in Journal of Communication Inquiry last month.The study discusses the findings of a photography project undertaken to help Hindu and Muslim students reimagine the religious spaces they inhabit in their villages.The study is part of a two-year-long project undertaken to counter religious discrimination among adolescents in these villages. The study highlights how there are many places in and around these villages where access is limited to people from either communities. For instance, the open grounds around a Ram temple near the Thakor Niwas are limited to the use by Hindus. If a Muslim resident enters and uses this space, others are likely to get suspicious of his or her intention.


Kerala landslide: Toll rises to 49, six forest department staff members among those killed


The toll from landslide in Kerala’s Idukki district rose to 49 on Monday, NDRF said. 6 staff members of the state’s forest department are among the people killed in the landslide, according to Onmanorama.The landslide happened at the Nayamakkad tea estate in Idukki on Friday. The estate is located about 30 km from Munnar, adjacent to the Eravikulam National Park, and can be accessed only through the national park. But since the park is closed and a bridge at Periyavarai connecting the areas was washed away, there is no direct access.NDRF Director General Satya Narayan Pradhan said about 17 people are still missing.


Long Vilified Malappuram Muslims Risk Their Lives to Rescue Plane Crash Victims


 Malappuram, lone Muslim-majority district in Kerala, which was maligned in the past for allegedly hurting a pregnant elephant with crackers, has now attracted the appreciation for the good work done by the commoners to help the recent Air India Express plane crash victims.Indians countrywide and abroad saw on Friday night that hundreds of Malappuram residents helped victims of an airliner accident in their backyard.The good work of the local Muslims attracted the attention of the netizens and won praise for them. In a quick response, the locals rushed in and took most of the injured passengers to different nearby hospitals. Small children, separated from their elders and unable to make out what had happened, were held close to their chest and comforted in whatever languages they could speak. WhatsApp messages with pictures of the child and the caretaker were quickly sent to all known numbers and groups with the contact number of the person who had the child, till the parents contacted them.Air India Express crash had resulted in the death of 18 on board and injuring 172, some seriously.A tiny piece of writing with gigantic appreciation emerged on Facebook by Captain Kulbir Rai, Sr. Capt at GoAir, which counts the qualities of the Muslim residents who rushed to the rescue of the passengers crying for help. “They did not loot the passengers’ luggage .They did not steal from the pockets of the injured passengers. They did not show any difference between those passengers wearing a skull cap or those who had tilak on their forehead”, the piece reads.Clarion India 


Kozhikode Plane Crash: Civilian Volunteers, Asked to Quarantine, Say 'No Regrets'


Kozhikode: From Friday evening to the early hours of Saturday, Shabeer, Irshad and many others in Kondotty, Malappuram, did not have a minute to rest. But now, they are relaxed, spending time on their mobiles and getting enough sleep, as they are in quarantine.Shabeer and Irshad are two of the several civilian volunteers who were actively involved in the rescue operations to save passengers after an Air India Express fight was crashed at the Kozhikode airport on Friday.The deadly plane accident could have been led to even more fatalities if there was no quick and effective rescue operation undertaken by local volunteers. While congratulating the locals for their timely intervention, chief minister Pinarayi Vijayan said, “The fast response of local people and officials made all the difference. They braved bad weather and COVID-19 fears to rescue their fellow beings.”



Nepal strongly objects to S Jaishankar’s reference to Buddha as Indian, MEA issues clarification


A controversy erupted, a day after External Affairs Minister S Jaishankar described Gautama Buddha as one of the greatest Indians ever, PTI reported. Nepal objected to Jaishankar’s comment and said that the country is land of Buddha’s origin. Anurag Srivastava, the official spokesperson of the Ministry of External Affairs, said Jaishankar’s remarks were about shared Buddhist heritage of the two countries.“There is no doubt that Gautam Buddha was born in Lumbini, which is in Nepal,” he added. Addressing a Confederation of Indian Industries event on Saturday, Jaishankar referred to Buddha while discussing India’s soft power. “Who are the greatest Indians ever that you can remember,” he asked. “I would say one is Gautama Buddha and the other is Mahatma Gandhi.”Nepal’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs said that Lumbini is one of UNESCO world heritage sites. “It is a well-established and undeniable fact proven by historical and archaeological evidence that Gautama Buddha was born in Lumbini, Nepal,” the official spokesperson of foreign ministry said.It added that Buddhism spread from Nepal to other parts of the world and the matter is not controversial. Former Nepal Prime Minister Madhav Kumar Nepal said Jaishankar’s comments about Buddha were “mischievous”. Nepali Congress spokesperson Bishwa Prakash Sharma also took strong exception to the remark. “Lord Buddha was born in Nepal,” he tweeted. “We have reservations toward the Indian foreign minister Jaishankar’s statement against historical facts that the land is in today’s Nepal.”


Saudi Holds Back Oil to Pakistan after Imran Khan Govt Threatens to Split OIC over Kashmir: IANS report


Saudi Arabia has halted the provision of oil on loan for Pakistan after the Imran Khan government threatened to split Organization of Islamic Countries (OIC) over Kashmir. Hit by a severe economic crisis, Pakistan had borrowed a $6.2 billion loan from Saudi Arabia in 2018.The loan package included a provision under which Saudi Arabia granted Pakistan $3.2 billion worth of oil, a year on deferred payments.Pakistani media on Saturday said that the provision meant for Islamabad expired two months ago and has not been renewed by Riyadh.Instead, Islamabad has prematurely returned $1 billion Saudi loan, four months ahead of repayment period, The Express Tribune said quoting sources and Sajid Qazi, the spokesperson of the Petroleum Division. Recently Pakistan's Foreign Minister Shah Mehmood Qureshi during a talk show on a news channel had threatened that if OIC headed by Saudi Arabia did not convene a foreign ministers' meeting on Kashmir, Prime Minister Imran Khan would hold it on his own with his allies among the Islamic countries."If you cannot convene it, then I'll be compelled to ask Prime Minister Imran Khan to call a meeting of the Islamic countries that are ready to stand with us on the issue of Kashmir...," he had threatened on Ary news channel.


US, Pak, China watching, so didn’t upload defence reports: outgoing CAG


Rajiv Mehrishi, who completed his term Friday as Comptroller and Auditor General of India, said he did not make defence audit reports available online because “someone in Washington, someone in Beijing and someone in Islamabad may also be watching”. “The idea is to make (these reports) not too easily accessible. There is no need.” He said this was “not a government decision”, but “my decision”.“Parliament ko hum (report) de rahe hain, PAC ko hum de rahe hain (we are giving the report to Parliament, the Public Accounts Committee). It is not really a secret. At least we are not making it available on the tap of a button. Koi Washington me bhi dekh raha hai, Beijing me bhi dekh raha hai aur Islamabad me bhi dekh raha hai. Therefore, we took a decision,” he said.“Hamari report aayegi toh usme hum shortcomings batayenge hi. Lekin defence ki report ko website par daalne ka koi sense nahin hai (We will highlight shortcomings in our report. But there is no sense in uploading defence reports on a website). Why should it be easily accessible to everybody in the world,” he said.Mehrishi told The Sunday Express: “When I was in Home (Ministry), there was a lot of tension with Pakistan. Tab ek report aayi thi CAG ki, saying kitna shortage of ammunition hai… Basically, agar shortage hai toh bhi, maan lijiye hai shortage, toh kam se kam dushman ko maloom nahin hona chahiye.” (“When I was in Home (Ministry), there was a lot of tension with Pakistan. At that time, there was a CAG report detailing shortage of ammunition. Basically, if there is a shortage, then at least the enemy should not know about it.”)


Shah Faesal will either rejoin IAS or go to US to study, says new chief of his JKPM party


Srinagar: Jammu and Kashmir People’s Movement announced Monday that its founding president, IAS officer-turned-politician Shah Faesal, has stepped down, and that Feroze Peerzada would be its new president.The announcement comes a day after ThePrint reported that Faesal had removed “President JKPM” from his official Twitter handle, raising speculation that the IAS topper who resigned from the service last year would either rejoin it or leave the country for higher studies. Now his Twitter account shows no tweets of his own, with the last ‘like’ registered on 4 August 2019.Peerzada confirmed to ThePrint after his appointment that Faesal will either rejoin the IAS or go to US for further education, though Faesal, who claims to be under house arrest, was not available for a comment when ThePrint contacted him through phone calls. His resignation from the IAS was never accepted.“We have had month-long deliberations with Dr Shah Faesal, trying to convince him to stay in the party and continue politics for the good of people. However, he was firm on his decision to leave politics,” said Peerzada, 52, a businessman-turned-politician who was earlier the vice-president of the JKPM. “Dr Shah Faesal was the main reason behind me joining politics. I truly believed that he is the person to usher in great social changes, but unfortunately, what has happened in the last year has left no space for politics. Dr Faesal realised this, but I am sure whatever he does, be it civil services or getting higher education, he will continue to work for the people of Jammu and Kashmir,” Peerzada said.


Dialogue not possible with bureaucratic fetters: Saifuddin Soz writes to J&K Lt. Governor Manoj Sinha


In a letter to J&K Lt. Governor Manoj Sinha, former Union minister and senior Congress leader Prof. Saifuddin Soz has asserted that if Sinha wants a political dialogue in Kashmir, then Kashmiris think that people like Chief Secretary BVR Subramanyam could be a stumbling block.Soz explained to the Lt. Governor that the latter’s intention of opening a dialogue with Kashmiri mainstream leadership would be a non-starter if men like Subramanyam were at the helm as advisors. This is what general run of Kashmiris perceive the process of dialogue to be. Soz suggested to the Lt. Governor to be clear in his mind on the dialogue process as unless Sinha was free to handle discussion and dialogue with the mainstream leadership, there was no fun to initiate such a dialogue.


New Delhi Betrayed Us But Parties Should Unite to Fight for Restoration of Article 370: PDP’s Man in Parliament


PMP Rajya Sabha MP Mir Mohammad Fayaz, a year later  after the Indian government’s Kashmir move said, "New Delhi betrayed us. What happened on August 5, 2019 and the way politicians who had sacrificed themselves for India were put in jails." Fayaz sitting at his home in the frontier district of Kupwara to look back at the August 5 move, the year thereafter and the way forward, further added, "it shows it is New Delhi who had put a stamp on the claims of Hurriyat. [Syed Ali] Geelani, who would always speak for Pakistan here will be conferred with the highest civilian award award by Pakistan. On the other hand, those people who worked for India here have been confined to jails. You humiliate them. A bureaucrat has the gall to make statements that no one in Kashmir is mainstream. This is what we got in return for reposing our faith in India."clarionindia


Another BJP man shot at in J&K; militant claims TA soldier killed, buried


Srinagar:Several BJP leaders in Jammu and Kashmir resigned in panic on Sunday, hours after suspected militants shot at and critically injured a leader of the party in central Kashmir’s Budgam district.The attack on Abdul Hamid Najar, Budgam district president of the BJP’s OBC Morcha, was the third on a leader of the party in the Valley over the past week. The earlier attacks, too, had been followed by resignations from BJP leaders.Also on Sunday, a man claiming to be a militant said in an audio message that they have killed a Territorial Army soldier who went missing from his home in Shopian seven days ago. “We are still verifying it (the audio message),” Shopian SP  Amrit Pal Singh said. Police and the Army have been searching for the missing soldier, Shakir Manzoor Wagay.Later in the day, at least four BJP leaders – general secretary of the party’s Bandipore unit Avtar Krishan, district president of Budgam Imran Ahmad Parray, constituency president Wali Mohammad Bhat, and Budgam district office secretary Sameer Ahmad Shah – issued written statements announcing their resignation from the BJP. The BJP is the only mainstream political party that is present on the ground in Kashmir.


3 'Militants' Killed in Shopian 'Encounter' Were Ordinary Labourers, Families Allege


Srinagar: Family members of 3 labourers from Rajouri in Jammu who went missing in the Shopian district of Kashmir last month have alleged, on the basis of photographs, that 3 unidentified militants the army said it killed in a gunfight there on July 18, were in fact their innocent relatives.The allegations, if true, will evoke painful memories of the Pathribal incident of March 2000 in which five civilians from Anantnag were killed by the security forces and passed off as ‘terrorists’, and, more recently the Machil encounter of 2010 in which three civilians were killed.The family of the Rajouri youths told The Wire that they had lodged a missing report with the police in Rajouri on Thursday. “Imtiyaz Ahmad was working as a labourer in Shopian for around one month. He asked my son Abrar and my sister-in-law’s son, also called Abrar, to come there in search of work. They left for Shopian on July 16. Since then, we don’t know anything about their whereabouts. I rang up him on July 18 but his phone was switched off,” said Muhammad Yosouf, father of Abrar Ahmad (25).



Coronavirus: Sudden, strict lockdown caused much hardship to people, says Manmohan Singh


Former Prime Minister Manmohan Singh said on Sunday that though a lockdown to limit the spread of the coronavirus appeared inevitable, it was carried out in haste, causing problems for people. He made the remarks in an email exchange with BBC.“...the government’s shock and awe approach to the lockdown has caused tremendous pain to people,” Singh said. “The suddenness of the announcement and the stringency of the lockdown were thoughtless and insensitive.” Singh said such public health emergencies can be dealt with efficiently by local administrators and public health officials, and added that the battle against the disease could have been devolved to the lower levels of government much sooner.The former prime minister also said that a “prolonged economic slowdown was inevitable”.      


Coronavirus: 743 workers of Tirumala Tirupati temple trust test positive, three have died


As many as 743 employees of the Tirumala Tirupati Devasthanams tested positive for the coronavirus since the Tirumala Venkateswara temple in Andhra was reopened on June 11, PTI reported on Sunday. Three employees of the temple have succumbed to Covid-19 so far, trust’s Executive Officer Anil Kumar Singhal said.Among those who contracted the infection were personnel of the special protection force, vigilance department, sanitation workers, outsourced as well as regular workers, Singhal said, according to The News Minute. “A total of 402 people have recovered so far,” he added.


4 Indian Army Gurkha soldiers test positive for Covid-in Nepal


Four Gurkha soldiers of the Indian Army who were visiting their home in Nepal have tested positive for the coronavirus at a quarantine centre in the country's eastern Sunsari district, officials said on Monday.The Nepalese nationals from the Gurkha regiments of the Indian Army tested positive after their swab samples were collected at a quarantine facility in Dharan Municipality of Sunsari district in Eastern Nepal, Assistant Chief District Officer Mahesh Kumar Pokharel said. The soldiers, aged around 40-45 years, were on leave and staying in the quarantine centre in Sunsari after returning home.


Over 90% corona patients in Delhi have now recovered:CM Kejriwal


Delhi CM Arvind Kejriwal today said in a tweet that Over 90 per cent of coronavirus patients in Delhi have now recovered. "Only 7%cases are active now," Kejrwal said.


Pranab Mukherjee tests positive for Covid


Former president and senior leader of Indian National Congress Pranab Mukherjee said on Monday he has tested positive for Covid-19.Mukherjee, in a tweet from his official twitter handle, said he got himself tested while visiting a hospital on a seperate purpose. The reason for his visit to the hospital is unknown yet.


Karnataka CM Yediyurappa gets discharged from hospital after testing negative


Karnataka CM BS Yediyurappa was today discharged from Manipal Hospitals in Bengaluru after he recovered from coronavirus. CM had tested positive for the disease on Aug2.


10 die in fire at Covid care hotel in Vijayawada


Ten patients died on Sunday at a star hotel converted into a coronavirus treatment centre in Andhra Pradesh’s Vijayawada as they tried to flee a fire suspected to have been caused by a short circuit, government said. Vijayawada police commissioner B. Srinivasulu confirmed the deaths. All the victims were patients, Andhra Pradesh deputy chief minister (health) A.K.K. Srinivas said.There were 40 patients undergoing treatment at the private facility and 10 staff members of the private hospital running the centre.According to sources in the Andhra Pradesh disaster response and fire services department, the fire apparently broke out because of an electrical short circuit in the hotel’s front lobby and spread to the first and second floors.PTI  


UN: COVID 'grave threat' to the world's Indigenous people


The coronavirus pandemic poses ''grave health threat'' to the world's Indigenous people, according to the United Nations. UN says pandemic emphasises the importance of indigenous peoples being allowed to exercise their right to self-determination, for their particular needs to be recognised.In Brazil, COVID-19 has killed hundreds of people in its vulnerable Indigenous communities, infecting tens of thousands in many communities already struggling against environmental damage and economic hardship.


WHO decries 'vast global gap' in funds needed to fight coronavirus


More than 19.92 million people have been reported to be infected by the coronavirus globally and 729,883​ have died, according to a Reuters tally. Infections have been reported in more than 210 countries and territories since the first cases were identified in China in Dec.2019.“The coming three months present a crucial window of opportunity to scale-up the impact of ACT Accelerator for global impact,” Tedros told a briefing in Geneva, referring to the “Access to COVID-19 Tools” initiative.“However to exploit this window, we have to fundamentally scale up the way we are funding ACT Accelerator and prioritise the use of new tools. There is a vast global gap between our ambition for ACT Accelerator, and amount of funds that have been committed.”Reuters



Lebanon's 9 MPs, 3 ministers resign; protesters demand President Aoun to step down


Lebanon's govt is almost certain to step down after four ministers quit and at least three more promised to do so if PM Hassan Diab did not announce the resignation of the cabinet himself. Lebanon's Justice Minister Marie Claude Najm, Information Minister Manal Abdel Samad, and Environment Minister Damianos Kattar have all resigned from their posts.  9 members of parliament and 3 ministers have so far resigned from their position in Lebanon, according to an Al Jazeera tally. Najm said she was resigning "out of my conviction that staying in power in these conditions, without fundamental change to the system, will not lead to the reform which we worked to achieve". Meanwhile, Lebanese protesters have called for a rally outside Baabda palace to demand President Michel Aoun to step down after resignations by several ministers, with the justice minister the latest to go. Lebanese police fired tear gas to try to disperse rock-throwing protesters blocking a road near Parliament in Beirut on Sunday in a second day of anti-government demonstrations triggered by last week's devastating explosion. A cabinet meeting is scheduled for today amid reports that the whole government might resign. If a total of 7 ministers resign, the cabinet would effectively become a caretaker government. Some Lebanese doubt change is possible in a country where sectarian politicians have dominated the country since 1975-90 civil war. "It won't work, it's just the same people. It's a mafia," said Antoinette Baaklini, an employee of an electricity company that was demolished in the blast. Over 200 people are believed to have been killed by devastating explosion, Beirut’s governor said.Marwan Abboud said dozens were still missing, many of them foreign workers. A Lebanese judge has began questioning the heads of the country’s security agencies over last week’s devastating blast in Beirut. Judge Ghassan El Khoury began questioning Major General Tony Saliba, the head of state security, according to state-run National News Agency. It gave no further details, but other generals are scheduled to be questioned.


Lebanon president: Calls for investigation probe into Beirut blast are effort to ‘waste time’


Lebanese President Michel Aoun described calls for an international investigation into a blast as an attempt to “waste time”.“President Aoun considers the demand for an international investigation into the port issue as aimed at wasting time,” the Lebanese presidency’s office said on Twitter, adding that the Lebanese judiciary “must be swift to establish who is a criminal and who is innocent”.


World pledges 250 million euros in direct aid for Lebanon's people


World leaders on Sunday pledged more than 250 million euros for disaster-struck Lebanon, conference host France said, with the emergency aid to be delivered "directly" to a population reeling from the deadly port blast in Beirut.Fifteen government leaders including US President Donald Trump took part in the virtual conference hosted by French President Emmanuel Macron and the UN, pledging solidarity with the Lebanese people and promising to muster "major resources" in the coming days and weeks.A joint statement issued after the meeting in which representatives of nearly 30 countries as well as the EU and Arab League participated, did not mention a global amount.


Afghan talks to kick off as Kabul set to free Taliban prisoners


Peace negotiations between Afghan government and the Taliban are expected to start in Qatar within a week once the final batch of Taliban prisoners was released, the US special envoy and Afghan government sources said on Monday. The government accepted the advice of a Loya Jirga, a grand assembly of elders sometimes held to decide on controversial issues,on Sunday to release 400 Taliban prisoners, paving the way for the so-called intra-Afghan talks aimed at ending a war that has ground on since Taliban government was removed from power in US-led invasion in 2001.The prisoner release was part of a US-Taliban agreement signed in February. The Afghan government, which was not party to the deal, was expected to release a total of 5,000 prisoners to kickstart the talks. "Our stance is clear, if the prisoner release is completed, then we are ready for the intra-Afghan talks within a week," Taliban spokesman Suhail Shaheen told AFP, adding that the first round of talks will be held in Doha, the capital of Qatar."In order to remove the hurdles for the start of peace talks, stopping bloodshed, and for the good of the public, the Jirga approves the release of 400 prisoners as demanded by the Taliban," Jirga member Atefa Tayeb announced on Sunday.A government source told Reuters that President Ashraf Ghani would likely sign the decree to release the prisoners later on Monday.US envoy Zalmay Khalilzad said after the prisoner releases "in the next few days", he expects negotiating teams to travel to Doha "and from there the immediate start of intra-Afghan negotiations". Former president Hamid Karzai told the Jirga he understood that the talks "would begin within two to three days" after prisoners are released.


US court issues summons for Mohammed bin Salman


Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman (MBS) has been issued a summons by a US court for a lawsuit by a former top Saudi intelligence agent who was reportedly targeted in a foiled assassination attempt. US District Court for the District of Columbia issued the summons on Friday, a day after  Saad al-Jabri filed the lawsuit accusing Prince Mohammed of sending a hit squad to Canada to try and kill him.A summons is an official notice of a lawsuit, given to the person or persons being sued. Al-Jabri, who lives in Canada, reportedly under increased protection by police and private security guards, claimed that his close ties with the US intelligence community and deep knowledge of the prince's activities had rendered him one of the aspiring monarch's key targets."Few places hold more sensitive, humiliating and damning information about Defendant bin-Salman than the mind and memory of Dr. Saad - except perhaps the recordings Dr. Saad made in anticipation of his killing," the lawsuit read.Saudi Arabia, which has issued Interpol red notices seeking al-Jabri's return - which have since been dismissed by the agency as political - has urged other countries to send al-Jabri back to the kingdom, accusing the former senior intelligence officer of corruption.The suit asserts that MBS had ordered the detention of two of al-Jabri's children, who have gone missing from their home in the capital Riyadh in mid-March, and that other relatives have also been arrested and tortured "all in an effort to bait Dr. Saad back to Saudi Arabia to be killed".


Ex-Saudi intelligence czar under heightened security in Canada following new threats


Former Saudi intelligence czar, Saad Al-Jabri, who last week made the explosive allegation that Crown Prince Muhammed Bin Salman had made several attempts to assassinate him, has been placed under heightened security in Canada after a new threat against his life.Agents of the crown prince are said to be still on the hunt for Al-Jabri. 62-year-old filed a lawsuit in the US last week in which he details a long campaign involving threat and intimidation to force him return to the kingdom. The former intelligence chief also claimed that Bin Salman tried to have him assassinated in the same manner as Jamal Khashoggi.


Trump rejected Saudi proposal to invade Qatar: report


Saudi Arabia proposed a plan to US President Donald Trump to invade Qatar in 2017, a new report has revealed. According to Foreign Policy, Saudi King Salman spoke to Trump on June 6, 2017, suggesting a ground invasion of Qatar. Trump strongly rejected the Saudi proposal, and soon after he asked Kuwait to mediate tensions within the GCC states. In May 2019, the Wall Street Journal revealed that the Saudi army prepared in 2017 a plan to invade Qatar.The newspaper quoted American, Saudi and Qatari officials as saying that the Saudi plan included the seizure of North Field of natural gas, the largest of its kind in the world, after the military invasion of Qatar.alaraby.co.uk


Raed Salah warns of Israeli plans against Al-Aqsa


Palestinian resistance icon Sheikh Raed Salah warned Sunday against the dangers that surround Al-Aqsa Mosque in occupied Jerusalem from plans by Israeli authorities. Salah, the head of Islamic Movement in Israel, was hosted in an online seminar by Jerusalem Commission of Ankara Civil Society Platform (ACSP) in Turkey shortly before he begins a 28-month prison sentence on Aug. 16. He said Israeli plans began with the occupation of the holy city in June 1967 when the first Israeli assault on the mosque was launched a few days after capturing the city with the destruction of the Mughrabi (Moroccan) quarter adjacent to the Al-Aqsa compound and then setting the mosque on fire in 1969. He said Israeli assaults since then have continued on a regular basis and are characterized these days by Israeli settlers breaking into Al-Aqsa to perform Talmudic rituals inside Islam’s third holiest mosque. Sheikh Salah said all political parties in Israel agree on maintaining Israeli control over Jerusalem, noting “there is a consensus on maintaining the occupation of the city in an attempt to isolate Al-Aqsa Mosque and then destroy it.”


Palestinian MP condemns Israel’s theft of part of Al-Ibrahimi Mosque


Chairman of Jerusalem’s Committee in the Palestinian Legislative Council, MP Ahmed Abu Halabiyeh, yesterday condemned Israel’s expropriation of part of Al-Ibrahimi Mosque, Quds Press reported.“Stripping [Palestinian Authority]’s municipality of Hebron from its supervision over Al-Ibrahimi Mosque and handing it over to the Settlement Planning Council is a new crime of judaisation,” the MP said in a statement.He stated that this measure aims to expropriate the lands of the mosque to build new Jewish settlement projects.Palestinian MP considered this Israeli “violation” a “clear challenge for Muslims’ feelings”, noting that this is a “violation of Muslims’ right to ownership of Al-Ibrahim and the other endowments around it.”To undermine the Israeli endeavours, he called on Palestinians to increase their visits to the mosque and the time they spend there.


BDS activist Nawajaa’s detention extended by Israel, again


Israeli authorities extended the detention of Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions (BDS) activist Mahmoud Nawajaa for eight more days over the weekend, reported Wafa news agency. General coordinator of Palestinian National BDS Committee Mahmoud Nawajaa, 33, was arrested from his home last month in the occupied West Bank village of Abu Qash near Ramallah at around 3am, his wife Ruba Alayan said.Despite Amnesty International’s call for his immediate and unconditional release following his detention being extended the first time round last week, Nawajaa remains imprisoned at Al-Jalameh interrogation centre near Haifa without charge.


Israel’s weekly cabinet meeting cancelled following row among coalition partners


The weekly meeting of the Israeli cabinet due to be held yesterday was cancelled over a row among government coalition partners, local media reported.Ynet News said that Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s Likud party claims that coalition partners Blue and White refused to put the new coronavirus rescue package on the agenda, while the latter said the move is a mere political manoeuvre for Netanyahu to find a way to call for snap elections.Regarding the rescue package, the Blue and White said in a statement: “This is a multi-billion, long-term aid plan that has not presented in full and has not been finalised.”


Mauritania's president appoints a new government


Mauritania's president has appointed a new government after the names of several former ministers appeared in a report on the financial dealings of ex-leader Mohamed Ould Abdel Aziz.Adama Bocar Soko, secretary-general of Mauritania's presidency, told reporters in the capital Nouakchott on Sunday that the move would allow all those named in the report "the time they need to prove their innocence". The new government remains substantially similar to the previous one, however, with 18 former ministers reappointed.Soko also said the number of ministries had been reduced to 22 after some were fused.The move comes after President Mohamed Ould Cheikh El Ghazouani announced a government reshuffle and replaced his prime minister on Thursday.


Pakistan: Deadly blast hits Balochistan town near Afghan border


A bomb targeting an anti-drug force tore through a busy market in Pakistan's southwestern Balochistan province, killing at least six people and wounding 10 others, police and hospital officials said.The explosion on Monday took place when an improvised bomb planted in a motorcycle went off in the heart of the city of Chaman, which borders Afghanistan.A vehicle carrying personnel from a unit tasked with combating narcotics smuggling was believed to be the target, senior police official Razzaq Cheema said."The explosion killed 6 passersby and wounded 10 others, two of them critically," he told AFP. Mohammad Ali, a local police official, said some of the wounded were in critical condition.


100,000 expats to permanently leave Kuwait by the end of 2020


As many as 100,000 expatriate workers will permanently leave Kuwait by the end of this year, Al-Qabas newspaper reported.The paper quoted security sources as saying that campaigns have intensified over the past few months to tackle the issue of “residency trade” which led to 450 companies being referred for investigation and 300 cases being filed.According to the sources, during the investigations around 100,000 workers were found to have been registered in fake companies which they do not work for. As a result, they have been “forced to pay large amounts of money for residency permits”.Late last month, it was revealed that around 40,000 expatriates currently stranded outside of the Gulf state due to coronavirus measures are unable to renew their residency permits and won’t be allowed to return without a valid visa.

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Compiled and edited by Anwarulhaq (Released at: 8:24 PM)


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