17 September 2020

17 SEPT. NEWS. Sudarshan TV case: Centre tells SC not to lay down ‘any further guidelines’ for rest of mainstream media, regulate digital media first before TV, print media. Chinese actions reflect a disregard of various bilateral agreements: Rajnath in Rajya Sabha. Delhi riots: Police file 17,000-page chargesheet under UAPA against 15, all anti-CAA protesters



Sudarshan TV case: Centre tells SC not to lay down ‘any further guidelines’ for rest of mainstream media, regulate digital media first before TV, print media

Centre has urged the Supreme Court to confine the matter regarding a Sudarshan News show, which claimed to “expose” the “infiltration of Muslims” in the civil services, to the channel and not lay down “any further guidelines” for the rest of the mainstream media.In an affidavit filed in court, Ministry of Information and Broadcasting said the issue of “balancing between the journalist freedom and responsible journalism is a field already occupied either by the statutory provisions made by Parliament or by the judgments” of the court. The government said that “in view of the issue having already received attention of Parliament, as well as of this Hon’ble Court, the present petition be confined to only one channel namely Sudarshan TV, and this Hon’ble Court may not undertake the exercise of laying down any further guidelines with or without appointment of an Amicus or a Committee of persons as Amicus”.It submitted that “the fact situation in each case shall have to be decided on a case to case basis and a broader exercise which is too general in nature is neither warranted nor permissible”.The Centre added that “if the court decides to undertake the exercise, it should first be undertaken with regard to digital media as there already exists sufficient framework and judicial pronouncements with regard to electronic media and print media”. indianexpress


Chinese actions reflect a disregard of various bilateral agreements: Rajnath Singh in Rajya Sabha

In Rajya Sabha on Thursday Defence Minister Rajnath Singh said that China does not recognise the traditional customary alignment of LAC and that the recent conduct of PLA troops reflects a disregard of bilateral agreements between the two sides. Singh also said that India’s timely actions had foiled the attempts to change the status quo in Pangong Tso.“I would like to assure Parliament that India will not step back from taking any harsh decision and that our forces are in a better position to retaliate,” Rajnath Singh said adding that China has built up war machines and troops near LAC.During his address, Singh also said that China continues to illegally occupy a large area of Ladakh. "Chinese actions reflect a disregard of our various bilateral agreements,” Singh added.  Stressing that India believes in “peaceful coexistence”, Singh said that the armed forces have shown ‘sayyam and shaurya‘ (patience and bravery). indianexpress


LAC standoff | China rebuts Rajnath Singh, says India violated agreements

China on Wednesday blamed India for “violating” border agreements and said India bore responsibility for the recent tensions, a day after Defence Minister Rajnath Singh told Parliament that China had, by amassing troops along LAC this summer, violated the 1993 and 1996 boundary agreements that have helped keep the peace along the border for years.The responsibility for the current situation does not lie with China,” Foreign Ministry spokesperson Wang Wenbin said at a press briefing, in response to a question on Singh’s statement.Asked why China had not yet disengaged and withdrawn its troops to the status quo as of April, prior to its transgressions, Mr. Wang said: “The most urgent and important task is for the Indian side to immediately correct its wrong course of action, disengage on the ground as soon as possible, and take concrete actions to promote easing of the situation.”“It is the Indian side that has violated the agreements, first trespassed, and first fired shots to threaten the safety of the Chinese border troops,” he said. thehindu


Now, Chinese troops on forward posts in Ladakh play Punjabi songs on loudspeakers: india today

As the standoff between India and China refuses to come to an end, now Chinese troops posted on the forward positions in Ladakh have started playing Punjabi songs on loudspeakers.Under pressure and being watched by Indian troops sitting at a height overlooking their positions at Finger 4, Chinese Army has put up loudspeakers and started playing Punjabi songs at their forward posts.The post at which the Chinese Army has put up loudspeakers is under constant watch of Indian soldiers and it is possible that they might have taken to this measure to bring some relief or distract the Indian troops, sources said.India and China had a recent incident near Finger 4 where more than 100 rounds were fired between the troops of the two sides on Sept.8. indiatoday


No ground lost in Depsang but India hasn’t accessed large parts for 15 years: indian express

Clearing the air on the situation in the Depsang Plains in Ladakh, where China has been blocking India’s access to four traditional patrolling points since April this year, a top security officer has told Indian Express that while there has been no loss of ground this time around, Indian troops have not had access to a large chunk of territory on their side of LAC for “more than 10 to 15 years” now. The officer also said that other than the regular ceasefire violations and infiltration, no mobilisation of troops by Pakistan is evident either along the Line of Control, or near Siachen, located 80 km west of Depsang Plains. Pakistan though has kept a sizeable number of Indian troops engaged on the western front, forcing the Army to increase its presence in Ladakh with troops from other commands.While the focus at the moment is on eastern Ladakh, the Indian Army, the officer said, is fully seized of the possibility that China could attempt ingress at any other place along the contested LAC. indianexpress


Indian Express Investigation Part-4: Foreign secy, Niti CEO on list; Facebook bans Zhenhua Data

At least 200 influencers, including scholars, researchers, think tanks and media organisations, and 40 serving and retired Indian Foreign Service (IFS) officers who held key diplomatic positions are listed in the Overseas Key Information Database (OKIDB) created by Chinese firm Zhenhua Data, an investigation by Indian Express has revealed. From Foreign Secretary Harsh Vardhan Shringla to India’s Ambassador to Israel Sanjeev Singla, who earlier served as Private Secretary to Prime Minister Narendra Modi, the IFS officers being tracked include those posted at the United Nations: TS Tirumurti, Permanent Representative of India to the UN; and A Gopinanthan, member, Joint Inspection Unit, the only independent external oversight body of UN system.Also on the list being monitored are those at India’s key strategic missions such as Venu Rajamony, Ambassador to the Netherlands and Permanent Representative of India to Organisation for Prohibition of Chemical Weapons in The Hague as well as responsible for India’s relations with the International Court of Justice and the Permanent Court of Arbitration. indianexpress


Private firm; partners have no background in China military, govt: Zhenhua

New Delhi :Shenzhen-based technology firm Zhenhua Data has said it was privately owned and its partners did not have any background in Chinese military or the Chinese government, and that its operation was not illegal or unreasonable.Responding to reports by Indian Express on how it was tracking 2.5 million individuals across the world, including over 10,000 in India, Zhenhua Data communicated through official sources in the Chinese Embassy in New Delhi, and said it “does not offer any analytical services on the collected data”. Indian express


Indian govt forms expert panel to examine alleged Chinese snooping on politicians

Union Minister of External Affairs S Jaishankar has written a letter to Congress leader KC Venugopal, telling him that the government has taken up with the Chinese envoy to India reports of snooping on some Indian leaders by China-based companies, PTI reported. An expert panel has also been constituted to look into such surveillance.“Replying to my zero-hour intervention on Chinese surveillance, External Affairs Minister Dr S Jaishankar informed us that the Govt has taken the matter seriously and constituted an expert committee to assess this within 30 days,” Venugopal tweeted. “We expect quick action on this.” The govt has formed the panel under National Cyber Security coordinator to study reports of surveillance of Indians by Chinese firm Zhenhua Data, according to ANI. scroll


Kashmir Political Leaders Call Out Modi Govt's Lie On 'No House Arrest In J&K Now'

Angry Kashmiri political leaders are calling out the Ministry of Home Affairs, which on Tuesday said that no one is under house arrest in Jammu and Kashmir, though 223 people are still under detention. The ministry was responding to a question in the Lok Sabha asking for details of political leaders under house arrest as of now. Soon after the MHA’s response, several political leaders in Kashmir slammed the government and called their claims “blatant lies”. PDP leader Waheed ur Rehman Para told The Hindu that the centre was lying and he continues to be under house arrest. He added that 11 political workers of his party were also under house arrest.  Senior PDP leader and former minister Naeem Akhtar told Greater Kashmir that he remains to be under house arrest. He said he has only travelled outside the premises “twice or thrice in over last one year”.People’s Conference chairman Sajad Lone also said that either the state administration is lying to the centre or it’s Union govt’s “own initiative”. Congress leader and former Union Minister Saifuddin Soz said that MHA’s claims “were false” and Parliament was being “misguided”. huffingtonpost


PDP raises Mehbooba Mufti’s detention issue in Rajya Sabha

PDP MP Mir Mohammad Fayaz on Thursday in Rajya Sabha raised the issue of the continued detention of Jammu and Kashmir's former Chief Minister Mehbooba Mufti and other political leaders.Fayaz said, "The former Chief Minister ran a coalition government with the ruling party at the Centre, and now she is branded as an anti-national."She has been an MP, MLA and the Chief Minister of the erstwhile state. Her father was the Home Minister of the country, said Fayaz.IANS


Govt talking to China, why no dialogue with Kashmir, asks PDP youth wing

Srinagar :PDP youth wing has convened its first meeting at the party’s headquarters since the abrogation of Article 370 on August 5, 2019, in which it stated that Central government was in talks with China despite its transgressions along LAC in Ladakh, but had failed to hold a dialogue with people of Kashmir.Wednesday’s meet was chaired by PDP youth wing president Waheed-ur-Rehman Para, who was not allowed to attend September 4 meet. Calling out “brazen duplicity” of the Government of India in dealing with issues in J&K, PDP in a statement said, “On one hand, BJP is participating in dialogue with the Taliban, talking reconciliation with PLA [China’s People’s Liberation Army] who have invaded Ladakh and discussing with Nagaland insurgents a separate constitution and flag, but at the same time using anything but dialogue to deal with the mess created by them after illegal scrapping of special status if J&K. This is unacceptable.” indianexpress


Family Accuse J&K Police of Killing Sopore Man in Custody, Question 'Escape' Story

Sopore: At around 12 pm, on Tuesday, members of J&K Police’s Special Operation Group (SOG) raided the house of Irfan Ahmad Dar, a 23-year-old shopkeeper, at Sidiq Colony in the Sopore area of north Kashmir’s Baramulla district.Irfan was arrested from the shop he owned, adjacent to his house. At around 3:30 pm, SOG raided his house. This search operation lasted for 20 minutes.This time, the police detained his 30-year-old brother, Javid, and took him to the SOG camp, located at Townhall in Sopore.Javid was released later that night but on Wednesday morning – September 16 – news broke that Irfan had died. Irfan’s death comes a little more than a year after the March 19, 2019 incident in which school Principal Rizwan Asad Pandit, from south Kashmir’s Pulwama district, died after having been detained by J&K police for questioning in a “militancy related case”. As news of Irfan Ahmed Dar’s death spread through the area, local residents took to the streets to protest what they said was a custodial killing. Irfan’s family members demanded punishment for the “killers” and asked that his body be handed over to them. thewire


J&K: 3 suspected militants, woman killed; two soldiers wounded in Srinagar gunfight

Security forces killed 3 suspected militants in Batamaloo area of Srinagar in a gunfight on Thursday morning, according to the Kashmir Zone Police. The suspected militants have not yet been identified. The operation was carried out by a joint party of the Central Reserve Police Force and the police. 2 CRPF personnel were injured in the gun battle, and a civilian woman was killed, PTI reported. The woman has been identified as Kaunsar Riyaz. The wounded have been admitted to a hospital. scroll


Zalmay Khalilzad: ‘Afghanistan’s obligation to ensure world not threatened’

New Delhi:On his first visit to India after the intra-Afghan talks began in Doha, the US special envoy on Afghanistan reconciliation, Zalmay Khalilzad, said that India’s participation signalled that it supported intra-Afghan negotiations for peace. Speaking about the conversation with External Affairs Minister S Jaishankar and NSA Ajit Doval, Khalilzad said, "the conversation was good. I have known both of them for some time. Afghan negotiations for peace have just started. The requirement is what we and other outside powers and regional players can do to encourage the parties to come to an agreement and then with the implementation of the agreement. We also talked about the need for a broadly supported peace agreement among Afghans. It was a good meeting." He added, "We did not discuss the issue of Indian engagement with the Taliban." When asked do you think India is moving towards engaging with the Taliban? Khalilzad replied, "Well, I think India’s participation in the inauguration is an indication that it supports intra-Afghan negotiations for peace. India recognises the negotiations that not only the Afghans have a role to play in this—which is the primary role—but also the regional powers and the broader international community is affected by the conflict in Afghanistan. It is affected by the outcome of this conflict, but also contributes most to reaching an agreement and the implementation of that agreement and sustaining whatever peace agreement is made by economic assistance, investment, trade. This is very welcome and very positive. We were very pleased." Indian express


Delhi riots: Police file 17,000-page chargesheet under UAPA against 15, all anti-CAA protesters

Delhi Police has filed a charge sheet before a city court under the stringent law UAPA and various sections of the IPC against 15 persons for larger conspiracy in northeast Delhi riots in February.According to the sources, those named in the charge sheet are Taahir Hussain, Mohd Parvez Ahmed, Mohd Illyas, Saifi Khalid, Ishrat Jahan, Miran Haider, Safoora Zargar, Asif Iqbal Tanha, Shahdab Ahmed, Natasha Narwal, Devangana Kalita, Tasleem Ahmed, Saleem Malik, Mohd Saleem Khan and Athar Khan.Special cell of Delhi Police told Additional Sessions Judge Amitabh Rawat that it has relied upon CD-R and Whatsapp chats.In the charge sheet running into 10,000 pages, the police has listed 747 witnesses and of them 51 have recorded their statements under CRPC 164.The final report has been filed under stringent UAPA, various sections of IPC and Arms Act. In charge sheet, which discuses conspiracy behind the Delhi riots, the police has claimed that on January 8 Tahir had met Umar Khalid and Khalid Saifi at Shaheen Bagh sit-in protest. Meetings subsequently also took place in the PFI office in Jamia Khalid Saifi instigated Tahir. PTI


Delhi Police hasn't given FIR copies of riots cases: Assembly minorities panel

Delhi Assembly's Minorities Committee on Wednesday expressed displeasure over Delhi Police not providing it copies of FIRs related to riots in the northeast district and directed the home secretary to seek an explanation from the force.The committee also discussed in detail the issue of compensation for the riot victims. AAP MLA Amantullah Khan, the chairman of the committee, instructed the Delhi government's home secretary to seek clarification from Delhi Police on the issue, according to an official statement."Delhi Police not providing a copy of the FIRs related to the riots to Committee of Legislative Assembly was the most important issue in the meeting," it said.The committee also called three riot victims for deposition.PTI


Delhi riots: Can’t justify licence given to BJP stalwart for rant, says Julio Ribeiro

Retired IPS officer Julio Ribeiro has responded to Delhi Police Commissioner S N Shrivastava’s email response to his open letter, saying he had not addressed Ribeiro’s “doubts” on why BJP leaders Kapil Mishra, Anurag Thakur and Parvesh Verma’s “communal” speeches were being ignored while probing the Delhi riots. “I realise that it is difficult, indeed impossible, to justify the licence given to the three BJP stalwarts I named — licence to rant, rave and threaten those were peacefully protesting perceived wrongs. If the speakers were Muslims or Leftists, the police would have surely taken them in for sedition,” wrote Ribeiro, who was former Mumbai police commissioner, DGP Gujarat and Punjab, and former Indian Ambassador to Romania. indianexpress


Opposition leaders are meeting President Kovind over Delhi riots case today

Opposition leaders like Congress' Ahmed Patel, CPI's D Raja, CPI(M)'s Sitaram Yechury, DMK's Kanimozhi and RJD's Manoj Jha will meet the President on Thursday to highlight their concerns over the probe into Delhi riots, a senior leader said. The leaders will meet President Ram Nath Kovind at 12:30 pm, Raja confirmed. "We will submit a memorandum regarding Delhi police's investigation and inquiry into Delhi riots and how they are handling the inquiry.PTI


Delhi violence: AAP claims BJP was responsible for spreading hatred between communities

AAP has claimed that BJP was responsible for the violence in Delhi in Feb., PTI reported. AAP Spokesperson Saurabh Bharadwaj said there are public records to show that BJP leaders had spread hatred between Hindu and Muslim communities.Bharadwaj also alleged that the Delhi Police and other investigation agencies have become “political wings” of the BJP.Bharadwaj also claimed that the Centre has taken a massive loan from China for the Pradhan Mantri Garib Kalyan Yojana project. scroll


Umar Khalid’s Arrest in National Capital Triggers Student Protest in Jaipur

JAIPUR;Rajasthan capital witnessed a student protest on Tuesday against the arrest of student leader and anti-CAA activist Umar Khalid in Delhi on September 14. The protest was organised at Gandhi Circle, Jaipur.Addressing the gathering, CPI leader Nisha Siddhu said Khalid has been framed for his opposition to the policies of the government led by Prime Minister Narendra Modi. The government was afraid to answer questions that the youths were asking regarding economy and employment, she said. Siddhu believed that the government was forcing people to come out on the streets. They have been left with no option but to protest. Social Activist Rashid Hussain said the Modi government was using coronavirus pandemic as a pretext to silence leaders who were actively involved in Anti-CAA and anti-NRC movement. The state president of Rajasthan Samgra Seva Sangh, Sawai Singh, also participated in the protest. Another Social Activist, Mukesh Nirwasit, warned the government of spreading such protests to all over India. Aafaque Ansar from Students Islamic Organisation and Ritansh Aazad from AIRSO also spoke on the occasion. clarionindia


Bengaluru violence: ‘Fact-finding committee’ urges police to widen probe against ‘hate speech’ post

A fact-finding committee formed by several civil society organisations (CSOs) based in the city Wednesday urged the Bengaluru City Police probing the incident and the violence — that took place then at the streets of East Bengaluru on August 11 — to widen the scope of investigation against the alleged Facebook post believed to have led to the same.In a report titled ‘Communalising Violence in DJ Halli’, the committee alleged, “Facebook failed to take action against Naveen’s post that amounts to hate speech. Several sections of the media have misportrayed the incident in a communal light by spinning conspiracy theories and targeting the Muslim community.”The fact-finding committee claimed that it inferred several facts on the incident, after “a thorough inquiry into the incident, documenting several testimonies, and gathering evidence from all those involved across the spectrum.” indianexpress


1,198 detained under NSA in 2017, 2018 in India, highest in Madhya Pradesh, UP; 635 released by review boards

As many as 1,198 people were detained by police under the stringent National Security Act (NSA) across the country in 2017 and 2018, of whom 563 are still under custody, Parliament was informed on Wednesday. In a written reply to a question in the Rajya Sabha, Union Minister of State for Home G Kishan Reddy also said according to the latest published report of 2018 of NCRB, Madhya Pradesh detained the highest number of people under NSA in 2017 and 2018 among all the states, followed by Uttar Pradesh.PTI


Uttar Pradesh Reported 400 Custodial Deaths Last Year, Highest In India

Uttar Pradesh had the highest number of custodial death cases registered in the period from 1 April, 2019 to 31 March, 2020, according to data shared by the Ministry of Home Affairs. In a written response to a question in the Lok Sabha, MHA said that 400 cases of deaths in judicial custody and 3 cases in police custody were reported in this period in the state. huffingtonpost


Committed to bringing Uniform Civil Code, but requires wider consultations, Centre tells Parliament

Union Law Minister Ravi Shankar Prasad has told the Parliament that the government is committed to bringing a Uniform Civil Code, but it requires wider consultations.Prasad was replying to an unstarred question from Lok Sabha MP Dushyant Singh, who sought to know whether the government has plans to introduce a bill on the Uniform Civil Code this year. “Article 44 of the Constitution of India states that the state shall endeavour to secure for the citizens a Uniform Civil Code throughout the territory,” Prasad said in a written response. “The government is committed to honour this Constitutional mandate. However, this requires wide scale consultations.”In response to another question, the law minister said the government does not plan to abolish minority status accorded to certain religions under the Uniform Civil Code. scroll


Court fixes Sept 30 for Babri verdict, tells accused to be present

Lucknow :A special court hearing the 1992 Babri Masjid demolition case on Friday fixed September 30 for pronouncement of judgment, and directed all the accused to remain present in court on that day.Among the 32 accused are senior BJP leaders Lal Krishna Advani, Murli Manohar Joshi, Kalyan Singh, Sakshi Maharaj, Brij Bhushan Saran Singh and Uma Bharti.According to PTI, Kalyan Singh, former UP chief minister and now Rajasthan governor, who had tested positive for coronavirus, was discharged from Sanjay Gandhi Postgraduate Institute of Medical Sciences in Lucknow and admitted to a private hospital in Ghaziabad. indianexpress


Babri Masjid plaintiff Iqbal Ansari wants demolition case to be quashed

Babri Masjid plaintiff, Iqbal Ansari, has urged the special CBI court hearing the demolition case, to acquit all accused in the case. Ansari told a news channel that the Supreme Court has already given its verdict on the dispute and the process of temple construction has also begun.  IANS


Hospital will hold the centrestage on Ayodhya mosque complex

Founder Dean, Faculty of Architecture & Ekistics, Jamia Millia Islamia, Prof SM Akhtar, who has been appointed architect of the mosque complex in Ayodhya smashes the stereotype of mosques with huge domes and minarets, saying legacies of Muslim rulers don’t define Islamic architecture. He said, the design of the new mosque will meet modern-day challenges and the centre will be uphold the Islamic essence of selfless service to humanity. Prof SM Akhtar said, "the new mosque will be bigger than Babri masjid, but won’t be a lookalike of the structure which once stood in Ramjanmabhoomi premises. The hospital of course will hold centrestage on 5acre land allotted to Sunni Waqf Board at Dhannipur village in Ayodhya. The hospital will serve humanity in the true spirit of Islam as taught by the prophet in his last sermon 1400 years ago. It won’t be a usual concrete structure, but will be in sync with the architecture of the mosque, replete with calligraphy and Islamic symbols and will house a 300-bed speciality unit, where doctors will work with missionary zeal to provide free treatment to the ailing."TOI


Delhi court stays order to unlock residential parts of Nizamuddin Markaz

New Delhi: A court here on Wednesday stayed an order directing Delhi Police to unlock the residential portion of the Nizamuddin Markaz, which was locked after a case was registered against several people attending a religious congregation in violation of COVID-19 guidelines in March.Additional Sessions Judge (ASJ) Sandeep Yadav passed the direction on a plea by Delhi police, which approached the sessions court against an order passed by a magisterial court on September 11. The magistrate had directed Delhi Police to inspect the premises within five days and hand over to the family of Tablighi Jamaat chief Maulana Saad, the keys of the residential portion of the Nizamuddin Markaz. newindianexpress


Maharashtra: 2 Dalit Men Killed in Mob Violence in Jalna, Family Demands CBI Probe

Mumbai: 12 days after 2 Dalit men were lynched by a mob in Panshendra village in Jalna district of Maharashtra, the victims’ relatives and anti- caste activists have demanded a CBI inquiry. The family has claimed that the two men – 22-year-old Rahul Borade and 25-year-old Pradip Borade – were killed on September 4 by a mob of over 50 people, all belonging to a Scheduled Tribe, over a long-standing land dispute.Their 30-year-old brother Rameshwar and mother Narmada were also seriously injured in the mob attack. Both are currently undergoing treatment at the Jalna district hospital. thewire


Kerala Minister K.T. Jaleel appears before NIA for questioning

KOCHI: NIA began questioning K.T. Jaleel, Higher Education Minister of Kerala, at its office here on Thursday morning as part of the agency’s probe into the smuggling of gold into the country via air cargo shipments addressed to the Consulate of UAE in Thiruvananthapuram. The Minister was questioned by the Enforcement Directorate here last week in connection with the consignments of Quran that he had received from the UAE consulate. It was transported to various places in the State in government vehicles. thehindu


NHRC orders Assam govt to pay ₹1 lakh to man thrashed by mob for selling beef

NHRC has ordered the Assam government to pay ₹1 lakh to a 48-year-old man who was thrashed more than a year ago in Biswanath district for selling cooked beef at his tea stall at a weekly market. The order was issued on the basis of a complaint filed by Congress MLA Debabrata Saikia, also Leader of the Opposition in 126-member Assembly, on April 12 last year 5 days after incident. In its directive on Sept.16, NHRC noted that neither had Chief Secretary replied to a show-cause notice nor had DGP of Assam submitted the action-taken report against the police officials at fault. A mob had beaten up Shaukat Ali and allegedly forced him to eat pork in front of a few policemen for selling beef at Madhupur weekly market in Biswanath Chariali. The mob, which included a local BJP leader, also thrashed the contractor of the market for letting Ali sell the meat. thehindu


BJP ally Shiromani Akali Dal (Badal) comes out strongly against agricultural ordinances promulgated by Centre

Aiming to win over the farmer community in Punjab, Shiromani Akali Dal (Badal), the alliance partner of BJP has opposed the three agricultural ordinances promulgated by Union government.SAD president and former Deputy CM of Punjab Sukhbir Singh Badal said the NDA government did not consult the party before taking the decision on the ordinances.BJP’s ally in Haryana, Jannayak Janata Party’s founder and Haryana Deputy CM Dushyant Chautala is, meanwhile, maintaining a studied silence on the burning issue. Meanwhile, farmers in Punjab and Haryana continue to lay siege to various national and state highways in both the states demanding a rollback of the decision. The agitating farmers and farmers unions including aahrtiyas blocked Bathinda-Amritsar National Highway, Delhi-Amritsar highway at Rajpura and Khanna, Chandigarh-Amritsar highway at Ropar, Jalandha and Beas besides many other main roads across the state. nationalheraldindia


Kejriwal terms 3 farming-related bills ‘anti-farmer’, says party will vote against them in Parliament

Terming 3 bills related to agriculture "anti-farmer", AAP national convener and Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal on Thursday demanded that Centre withdraw them, saying his party will vote against the bills in Parliament. AAP has three Rajya Sabha MPs and one LoK Sabha MP."3 bills related to farming and farmers brought in the Parliament are anti-farmer. Farmers all over the country are opposing them. The central government should withdraw these three bills. AAP will vote against them in Parliament," he tweeted. PTI


No uniformity in setting up Special Courts to try MPs & MLAs throughout the country: Amicus Curiae to SC

Senior Advocate Vijay Hansaria has informed the Supreme Court that 189 cases under special statutes are pending against legislators from across the country, reported.The special acts in question are Prevention of Corruption Act, 1988, under which 175 cases lie, and the Prevention of Money Laundering Act, 2002, under which 14 cases lie. Hansaria is Amicus Curiae in the case concerning Special Courts to try cases against MPs and MLAs.


Lok Sabha passes Bill to bring cooperative banks under RBI supervision

New Delhi :Lok Sabha on Wednesday passed the Banking Regulation (Amendment) Bill amid the Opposition’s contention that it is an “assault on federal structure” and “would destroy the cooperative banking sector”.While the Bill seeks to bring cooperative banks under the supervision of the RBI, Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman asserted that the proposed legislation does not mean regulation of cooperative banks by the central govt. indianexpress


India ranks 116 in World Bank’s human capital index

Washington: India has been ranked at the 116th position in the latest edition of the World Bank’s annual Human Capital Index that benchmarks key components of human capital across countries.However, India’s score increased to 0.49 from 0.44 in 2018, as per the Human Capital Index report released by the World Bank on Wednesday. 2020 Human Capital Index update includes health and education data for 174 countries — covering 98 per cent of the world’s population — up to March 2020, providing a pre-pandemic baseline on the health and education of children, with the biggest strides made in low-income countries.PTI


NEP backward-looking document: Kharge in Rajya Sabha

Mallikarjun Kharge, Congress MP in Rajya Sabha, on Wednesday termed the National Education Policy 2020 a “backward-looking document’’ that looks “2,000 years back instead of planning and preparing our children for the future”.Raising the issue in a Zero Hour mention in the Upper House, Kharge said, “Higher education cannot be based on ancient cultural values. State-run as well as state-aided institutes were always meant to be kept separate from religious institutions.” “Moreover, the NEP does not address some key issues such as the dropout rate in schools with nearly 50 per cent students dropping out after Class X. Out of the dropouts, 33 per cent are Dalits, 35 per cent minorities and 16 per cent tribals. The government has not developed any plan to address this issue,’’ he said. Indianexpress


NEP features are in conflict with federalism, secular education, depart from constitutional guarantees: Expert

NEW DELHI:Director of Chennai-based Loyola Institute of Business Administration (LIBA) Joe Arun has said that NEP carries a lot of features that are in raging conflict with the federal scheme of things as envisaged by the Constitution of India.He made the comment while presenting a paper titled “Light but Tight: A Critical Introduction to National Education Policy 2020 of India” at National Consultation of Senior Leaders in higher education on the new NEP 2020 last week.He said NEP 2020 does not promise secular education which is a departure from the constitutional guarantees. “Any policy must possess a character of ease in implementation and fairness to all and favourable to the least and the marginalised. But this policy is obsessively preoccupied with measuring up to the expectations of the global standards alone, very specifically the educational requirements and qualifications for overseas education systems of countries such as US and Europe. In addition, it does not have a clear roadmap for effective implementation,” said Arun. indiatomorrow


Pre-12,000 years: Govt re-ups panel to study ‘Indian culture’

The government has again tasked an expert committee to conduct a study on “the origin and evolution of Indian culture dating back to around 12,000 years ago”. Earlier given the same mandate in 2016, the panel had failed to submit a report within its one-year deadline, and is now hoping to achieve the task in light of the findings of the Rakhigarhi, Haryana, excavations.In a written reply in the Lok Sabha in the ongoing Monsoon Session, Union Culture Minister Prahlad Patel announced the panel, adding, “A committee has been set up for conducting a holistic study of (the) origin and evolution of Indian culture since 12,000 years before present and its interface with other cultures of the world.” indianexpress


Museum’s name changed, Agra officials hunt for Shivaji links

The change of name from ‘Mughal Museum’ to ‘Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj Museum’ is likely to further delay the project next to Taj Mahal, already way behind schedule due to dwindling funds and mounting costs. However, the latest problem may take the longest, as the authorities try to find enough links between Shivaji and Agra to fill a museum. UP CM Yogi Adityanath had announced the name change, saying in “the new Uttar Pradesh there is no place for symbols of mindset of slavery”. Indian express


Modi didn’t favour issuing of Rs 2,000 notes, went along with consensus, reveals ex-aide Misra

New Delhi: Prime Minister Narendra Modi was not in favour of issuing the Rs 2,000 currency notes in the aftermath of demonetisation in 2016 but “went along with the consensus”, revealed Nripendra Misra, who was the principal secretary to the PM between 2014 and 2019.In a column in the Times of India on the occasion of Modi’s 70th birthday, Misra wrote how the PM fully owned the move and never blamed his advisors despite not agreeing with the decision. theprint


India crosses 51-lakh mark with spike of 97,894 new cases, 1132 deaths in last 24 hours

With a spike of almost one lakh cases, India's coronavirus cases tally crossed the 51-lakh mark on Thursday. India also reported 1,132 deaths due to coronavirus.As of Thursday, case tally stands at 51,18,254 including 10,09,976 active cases, 40,25,080 cured/discharged/migrated and 83,198 deaths, as per the Ministry of Health & Family Welfare. Meanwhile, India's Covid-19 testing crossed the 6-crore mark on Thursday with over 11 lakh samples tested for coronavirus on Wednesday alone.The Ministry also said that the active cases in India are only one-fifth of the total cases. It added that recoveries have now become four times more than the active cases. indiatoday

 Union Minister Gadkari tests positive for Covid, goes into isolation

Union Minister Nitin Gadkari has tested positive for Covid-19, he announced on social media.“Yesterday, I was feeling weak and consulted my Doctor. During the course of my check up, I have been tested COVID 19 positive. I am at present doing well with the blessings and good wishes of all. I have isolated myself,” tweeted Gadkari, 63. He was in Parliament on Tuesday. indianexpress

 Union Culture Minister Prahlad Singh Patel tests positive

Union Tourism and Culture Minister Prahlad Singh Patel has tested positive for COVID-19. Mr. Patel made the announcement in Twitter, saying his reports came yesterday night. thehindu


Delhi BJP chief tests positive for COVID-19

Delhi State BJP president Adesh Gupta has tested positive for COVID-19. Mr. Gupta had previously tested negative but got tested again due to bad health conditions over a week. As many as 17 staffers staying at the party’s State headquarters on Pant Marg had tested positive on Tuesday. thehindu

 Free vaccine for Americans, but won’t be widely available till ‘21 summer

A 57 page "playbook" just in from US government outlines a comprehensive plan to make the COVID-19 vaccine available free to all Americans once it is proven safe and effective.The shot wouldn't be broadly available to most of the US population until the summer or fall of 2021, Director of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) Dr.Robert Redfield told Congress on Wednesday.IANS

 Trump contradicts CDC chief over vaccine

US President Donald Trump has directly contradicted Robert Redfield, the director of the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) over the timing of any coronavirus vaccine.While Redfield told a US Senate committee a vaccine was unlikely to be ready until mid to late 2021, Trump said it would be much sooner and accused the CDC chief of making a "mistake" and being "confused". He told the news conference a vaccine could be announced as soon as Oct. aljazeera



Qatar refuses to join Gulf states to normalize ties with Israel

Qatar will not join other Gulf Arab states in establishing diplomatic ties with Israel, a Qatari official said, stressing that the normalization deals would not solve the Israeli-Palestinian conflict."We don't think that normalization was the core of this conflict and hence it can't be the answer," Lolwah al-Khater, Qatar's foreign ministry spokesperson said Monday in an interview with Bloomberg. "The core of this conflict is about the drastic conditions that the Palestinians are living under" as "people without a country, living under occupation," she said.dailysabah


Washington lobbyists continue to cash in on dispute between Qatar, UAE

US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo opened US-Qatar Strategic Dialogue on Monday by declaring it was "past time" for the Arab Gulf rivals to bury the hatchet and renew diplomatic ties.But $100 million says he'll probably have to wait a little longer.That's about how much money the governments of the United Arab Emirates and Qatar have spent lobbying in Washington since the two countries broke diplomatic ties three years ago. Much of that spending has focused on battling each other, with Abu Dhabi seeking to paint Qatar as a terror-supporting rogue state while Doha has defended itself as a trusted western ally."It's certainly one of the biggest fights that I'm aware of, at least in recent memory," Ben Freeman, director of the Foreign Influence Transparency Initiative at the nonprofit Center for International Policy, told Middle East Eye. Middle East Eye


Abu Dhabi Investment Office to open Tel Aviv office

The state-run Abu Dhabi Investment Office (ADIO) is to open its first office outside UAE in Tel Aviv, the Abu Dhabi Media Office said on Wednesday, following normalisation of relations between UAE and Israel, Reuters reports.Israel on Tuesday signed normalisation agreements at the White House in Washington with both UAE and Bahrain.“Tel Aviv is the first in a planned network of international offices that will support companies looking to expand their operations in Abu Dhabi, and to connect innovators from around the world to solve global challenges,” the statement on Twitter said. middleeastmonitor


Pakistan political party Jamaat-e-Islami head rejects deals with Israel

The head of Pakistan’s main religious political party on Wednesday strongly rejected recent normalization deals between Bahrain, UAE and Israel. Sirajul Haq of Jamaat-e-Islami characterized the agreements as against the principles of Islam and called them "an act of betrayal" against Palestinians."According to a fatwa issued by the international union of Muslim scholars, any agreement to normalize relationship with Israel is offense, false and forbidden," said Haq, who is also a senator in parliament."Therefore, we reject the normalization deals between UAE, Bahrain and Israel," he said, because they are "dishonesty with Allah Almighty and His Messenger.""It is act of betrayal against Muslim Ummah, particularly Palestinians," he said."The Pakistani nation will continue to support the struggle of Palestinians against the Israeli occupation in the light of the vision of the founder of [our] nation, Quaid-i-Azam," Haq vowed. Anadolu agency


Padma Bhushan Awardee Prof Homi K Bhabha Withdraws From Israel Conference After Criticism

Renowned Indian British scholar Homi K. Bhabha withdrew from a conference in Israel after facing criticism of his acceptance of the invitation, The electronic intifada reported.“He cited as context for his decision the recent US-brokered normalisation of ties between Israel and the UAE,” the report said.Bhabha, a Harvard University professor and one of the foremost experts on post-colonial studies, was scheduled to give the keynote address via Zoom at the annual conference of the Israeli Sociological Society (ISS) in Feb.“I have withdrawn from the ISS conference because I have decided that it is not only what you say that matters, but also when and where you say it,” 70-year-old Harvard scholar stated in an email to The Electronic Intifada. clarionindia


Nearly 3,500 Palestinians killed during Netanyahu era

During the PM of Benjamin Netanyahu, who signed an agreement with UAE and Bahrain to normalize relations, nearly 3,500 Palestinians, including many women and children, were martyred and thousands of others injured in the attacks of Israeli forces, Anadolu reports.Netanyahu, shown as one of the chief architects of Israel’s oppression and violations against Palestine, served as the prime minister during the two bloody attacks on Gaza Strip under the blockade by the Israeli army. middleeastmonitor


16,000 African migrants detained under ‘hellish’ condition in a single Saudi detention centre

Further details have emerged of the horrific treatment meted out to African migrants by Saudi officials in the second report in a month by the Telegraph exposing the “slave” like treatment of thousands of Ethiopians stranded in the kingdom.About 16,000 migrants are being held in just one Saudi centre, Ethiopia’s Consul General in Jeddah Abdo Yassin said adding that it was “just the tip of the iceberg”.“Jeddah has over 53 prisons. Ethiopians are held in every one of them,” Yassin is reported saying in the Telegraph. “If you take the one at Al Shumaisi…located around 60km from Jeddah, there are about 16,000 Ethiopians kept in the prison and the holding cells.” Al Shumasi detention centre is near the holy city of Makkah. middleeastmonitor


Muslim Brotherhood: ‘Ibrahim Mounir is the new acting supreme guide’

Ibrahim Mounir if the Muslim Brotherhood’s acting supreme guide following the arrest of Mahmoud Ezzat, the movement’s spokesperson has revealed.Talaat Fahmi said the Brotherhood is an institutional organisation, which is not managed individually in any way and at any time, but rather run collectively, adding that Mahmoud Hussein is still the organisation’s secretary-general.He denied rumours that a committee had been formed to manage the Muslim Brotherhood.Fahmi explained that the organization’s internal code does not require the acting supreme guide to be among the members of the Brotherhood at home, noting that the group has its own committees, institutions, in addition to the Shura Council. middleeastmonitor


European states should be fair in E.Mediterranean, Erdogan tells Merkel

Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan and German Chancellor Angela Merkel on Wednesday held a video conference and discussed matters pertaining to the Eastern Mediterranean, Anadolu reports.According to a statement by the Turkish Communications Directorate, the two leaders also discussed bilateral and regional issues.During the meeting, Erdogan told Merkel that European states should be fair and consistent on the issue of Eastern Mediterranean.He stated that disputes could be resolved through negotiation as long as there is a fair approach to the Eastern Mediterranean.Erdogan stressed that Turkey would continue to pursue active policy on the country’s own rights. Anadolu Agency


Head of Libya's GNA says he wants to quit by end of October            

Fayez al-Sarraj, the head of Libya's internationally-recognised government, has said he wants to quit by the end of October and hand over power to a new executive authority as efforts to find a political solution to the country's years-long conflict gather pace.In a brief televised speech on Wednesday, al-Sarraj said UN-brokered talks between the country's rival factions have led to a "new preparatory phase" to unify Libyan institutions and prepare for parliamentary and presidential elections."I announce to all my sincere wish to cede my functions to the next administration before the end of October at the latest," he declared from the capital, Tripoli. aljazeera



·        India should opt for income support so that pandemic does not turn into a financial crisis:Jahangir Aziz, indianexpress


·        Swami Agnivesh's commitment to plurality, rationality within faith never wavered:Teesta Setalvad, indianexpress


·        New Delhi’s salience in the Afghan matrix:Harsh Pant, hindustan times


·        Stop press: On blanket gag order against the media:thehindu EDITORIAL


·        New order in West Asia: On Abraham Accords: thehindu EDITORIAL


·        PM Modi’s tilt to US security interests pushes India’s drift towards war:Prem Shankar Jha, national herald india


·        Health Worker Deaths, RTI Activists' Murder: Govt Keeps Saying It Has 'No Data':Meryl Sebastian, huffingtonpost


·        What Rajnath Left Out: PLA Blocks Access to 900 Sq Km of Indian Territory in Depsang:Sushant Singh, thewire


·        In the Sushant-Rhea-Kangana Episode, Hindutva Faces Competing Hindu Prides: Vikas Pathak, thewire


·        A Two Front War Was Never On the Cards:Raja Menon, thewire


·        'End of the road' for pro-India politicians in Kashmir:Rifat Fareed , aljazeera


·        With the Ayodhya Dispute ‘Settled’, Sangh Parivar Inches Towards Kashi and Mathura:Nilanjan Mukhopadhyay,


·        Umar Khalid’s arrest shuts a democratic option for a generation of Indian Muslims:Yogendra Yadav


·        Guilty or Not, Umar Khalid Will Be in Jail for Years. Here’s Why: Vakasha Sachdev. thequint

  Compiled and edited by Anwarulhaq



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