23 September 2020

23 SEPT. NEWS: Opposition absent, Govt rams controversial labour Codes, NGOs’ funding regulator FCRA Bill through parliament. ‘Symbol of resistance’: Shaheen Bagh protestor 82 yr old Bilkis among TIME’s most influential people of 2020. Sudarshan TV's "UPSC Jihad" Violated Program Code, showcause notice served: Centre To Supreme Court




Opposition absent, Govt rams controversial labour Codes, NGOs’ funding regulator FCRA Bill through parliament

As the Opposition boycott of the Parliament session continues, the government has been ramming bills through the Lok Sabha and the Rajya Sabha in their absence. On Tuesday, the Rajya Sabha passed 7 bills with minimal discussion while the Lok Sabha passed 3 controversial labour codes. The labour codes were passed by the Rajya Sabha on Wednesday after which the House adjourned for the rest of the session. This was the second-shortest monsoon session of the Upper House since 1952. Opposition parties are boycotting the remaining session of the Parliament over the suspension of eight Rajya Sabha MPs on Sunday. MPs were suspended for protesting the passage of the farm bills through a voice note. Opposition will reportedly meet the President at 5 pm today over the way the farm bills were passed. On Wednesday, the trend continued with the Rajya Sabha approving the Foreign Contribution (Regulation) Amendment Bill, 2020. The bill makes it mandatory for office bearers of NGOs to provide their Aadhaar numbers at the time of registration and also bring various other changes. It reduces the use of foreign funds to meet administrative expenses of any NGO from 50 per cent to 20 per cent of annual funds. It also enables the Centre to allow an NGO or association to surrender its FCRA certificate. The bill was passed in the Lok Sabha on Monday. In the Lok Sabha, the government passed a Bill that seeks to provide a legal framework for bilateral netting of qualified financial contracts.Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman termed the Bill as critical for financial stability in the country, and said it brings in a firm legal basis for bilateral netting for two counter parties.Bilateral contracts constitute 40 per cent of total financial contracts while multilateral contracts constitute 60 per cent, she added. On Tuesday evening, the Lok Sabha had passed three labour codes amid boycott of the House proceedings by several Opposition parties. The Occupational Safety, Health and Working Conditions Code, 2020, the Industrial Relations Code, 2020, and the Code on Social Security, 2020 were passed by the Lower House. The Aajeevika Bureau said that the 3 labour codes had been publicly available for only two days. The non-profit organisation posted several detailed Twitter threads on how the codes weakened labour protection. The opposition ad labour unions contend that the bills make easier to lay off workers and put restrictions on their right to protest. Under the same law, no industrial worker is allowed to go on strike without a 60-day notice. The Code on Social Security Bill extends social security funds only to workers for app-based firms like Uber, Ola, Swiggy and Zomato. But labour unions claim more is needed as these workers continue to remain in a legal grey zone. They are often treated as independent partners who are not covered under most labour regulations.The proposed bill on health and occupational safety helps only those working in factories, mines and docks and are not universal in nature, the opposition and labour unions contend. Labour organization Bhartiya Mazdoor Sangh, which is affiliated to BJP's ideological mentor RSS, has opposed the labour code bills. NDTV/ huffingtonpost


Punjab mandi unrest includes labourers: ‘Govt playing with lives of lakhs’

Jalandhar :FOR 5 years now, Diwakar Kumar has been coming to the Khanna Mandi in Punjab, from his village Dhruvganj in Bhalgpur, Bihar, to work as a labourer. The half-the-year that he is here, over Kharif and Rabi seasons, Kumar earns around Rs 12,000 monthly, saving up to Rs 9,000.The earnings are double what he could earn at home, “with no government jobs and private jobs only paying Rs 5,000-6,000”, says the 23-year-old graduate, who supports his seven siblings due to his father’s illness. However, that may be about to end, Kumar says, mentioning the buzz that farmers might stop bringing their produce to agricultural produce marketing committees (APMC) following a recently passed legislation in Parliament. “If traders and big companies start purchasing from the farmers at their fields, I’ll be out of guaranteed work,” Kumar says, a fear shared by the other labourers at Punjab’s biggest grain market, many of them from Bihar. Indian Express


Haryana BKU Chief says  ‘Dushyant Chautala should snap ties with ally BJP’

Haryana Bhartiya Kisan Union president Gurnam Singh Chaduni, 60, who is leading farmers’ agitation against Centres’s three contentious agri Bills in Haryana, claims the state has witnessed such a big stir after many years. Chaduni, who has led many agitations in the past 12 years, said that there will be a bigger agitation against the Bills in the near future. Chaduni said, "Dushyant Chautala is the leader of farmers and great grandson of Devi Lal. He has come into politics in the name of farmers. He got the anti-BJP votes. But in his hunger for power, he has put all those votes in the pocket of BJP. BJP has now brought out a death warrant for the farming sector. If Dushyant wants to keep hopes of farmers alive, he should move out of the alliance government in the interest of the country. He should withdraw support from the BJP-JJP govt." Indian Express


Will not let BJP leaders enter Punjab villages, warn farmer unions

Farmers unions in Punjab stepped up their campaign against the BJP in the state with declaring that they will not allow party leaders to enter villages to bat for Centre’s farm Bills.In fact when BJP’s Barnala district unit tried doing a press conference on the benefits of farm Bills, party leaders were gheraoed at the Barnala Guest House by members of BKU (Lakhowal) who raised slogans against PM Narendra Modi, and the central government.Jagseer Singh Chhiniwal, president of BKU (Lakhowal)’s Barnala unit, said,”We will not allow them to enter villages and will protest against them wherever they go. They should sit with us, but on the contrary, they are misguiding us. We have decided to boycott them across the state.”He added: “BJP leaders or workers are not welcome in any village of Punjab. They will face our wrath if they come, our over 31 farmer unions have decided to boycott BJP at state level.” said Chhiniwal.The voices of BJP’s boycott echoed in other parts of the state too. In Sangrur, Kirti Kisan Union protested outside one Aggarwal Dharamshala in Sangrur district where BJP’s district unit was addressing mediapersons over farm Bills. Indian Express


Recent developments in India spurred deep concern about status of minorities: US lawmakers told

Washington: India is an important pillar of global democratic order, especially at a time when an authoritarian China is seeking to expand its influence around the world, but recent developments in India have spurred deep concern about the country''s direction and the status of religious minorities, an Obama era diplomat has told US lawmakers.While India undoubtedly has many challenges of discrimination that at times overshadow its many accomplishments, its qualities and all of the checks and balances of a colossal and at times chaotic multiparty federal system have made India an important pillar of the global democratic order, said Alyssa Ayres, senior fellow for India, Pakistan and South Asia at Council on Foreign Relations think-tank."Even more so at a time of rising authoritarianism around the world, and at a time an authoritarian China seeks to expand its influence. That is why recent developments in India, particularly over the course of the past year since BJP's reelection in May 2019, have spurred deep concern about the country’s direction and the status of religious minorities, especially Muslims,” she said.In her written testimony submitted to the House Committee on Foreign Affairs, Subcommittee on Asia, the Pacific and Nonproliferation, which Tuesday has scheduled a hearing on “Stemming a Receding Tide: Human Rights and Democratic Values in Asia,” Ayres expressed concern over the Dec.2019 passage of an amendment to India’s Citizenship Act and NRC.PTI


‘Symbol of resistance’: Shaheen Bagh protestor 82 yr old Bilkis among TIME’s most influential people of 2020

Bilkis, an 82-year-old woman who protested against the Citizenship Amendment Act in Delhi’s Shaheen Bagh neighbourhood, was among the Indians featured on the TIME magazine list of “100 Most Influential People of 2020”. Prime Minister Narendra Modi, Bollywood actor Ayushman Khurana, Professor of Clinical Microbiology Ravindra Gupta, and Google CEO Sundar Pichai also made it to the list. Bilkis, along with more than a thousand other women, became the symbol of resistance in a country where the “voices of women and minorities were being systematically drowned” by the Modi government, wrote journalist Rana Ayyub. “Bilkis gave hope and strength to activists and student leaders who were being thrown behind bars for standing up for the unpopular truth in a democracy that was sliding into authoritarianism, and inspired peaceful copycat protests across the country,” Ayyub wrote.Bilkis told her, “I will sit here till blood stops flowing in my veins so the children of this country and the world breathe the air of justice and equality.”


Kashmiri journalist's CAA documentary nominated for Emmy Awards

Nomination of Vice News documentary India Burning for the Emmy Awards 2020 came as a sweet surprise to one of its producers, 28-year-old journalist from Kashmir, Amer Khan.The documentary, which "investigates the growing fear that the nation's 200 million Muslims are being systematically targeted", was part of the series titled VICE. It was nominated under the Outstanding Hosted Nonfiction Series or Special category. Although they didn’t win an award, the nomination in itself was a special moment for the entire team.Amer Khan, along with a team from India, had led the production of the Assam segment of the documentary. This part of 16-minute documentary tells the story of a Muslim labourer who was helping in the construction of a detention centre for people shifted out under the NRC. It was also where his own mother, who had been excluded from the NRC list, could probably end up in the near future.


After Delhi Police Gaffe on Trump Chronology, Riots Chargesheet Takes U-Turn on Conspiracy Date:thewire

New Delhi: 2,695 page chargesheet filed by the Delhi Police last week repeats all the claims made in earlier chargesheets about the role of anti-CAA movement in the Feb. riots, with one crucial exception: investigators have dropped their embarrassing assertion that conspiracy to trigger violence in northeast Delhi during the visit to India of US President Donald Trump was hatched in a meeting on January 8, 2020.That claim – made in two chargesheets which have already been filed in cases relating to FIR 65/2020 and FIR 101/2020 – was patently false, because the very idea of a Trump visit was first reported only on Jan.13. Jan.8 plan, the police had said, was aimed at “defaming the country in the international arena” and shaking Central govt on the issue of CAA and NRC.The police never responded to media reports about this glaring discrepancy in dates, which placed a question mark over the veracity of its others claims. However, the latest chargesheet filed by Delhi Police Special Cell in the ‘riots conspiracy case’ registered under FIR 59/2020 has quietly dropped ‘Trump’ angle from its description of the Jan.8 meeting – in which former student leader Umar Khalid, former councillor Tahir Hussain and community activist Khalid Saifi allegedly participated – and moved this dimension of the ‘conspiracy’ to a less implausible date.


Sharjeel Imam mastermind of Shaheen Bagh stir: Delhi Police

New Delhi: The residents of Shaheen Bagh were initially against the protests, but JNU scholar Sharjeel Imam, who isn’t currently among the 15 people who have been charged for the riots, “threatened them with dire consequences” if they didn’t yield to his demand and posed an obstruction to his roadblock plan, police claimed in the chargesheet.Imam was allegedly the “mastermind” of the Shaheen Bagh blockade. The chargesheet further stated that late in the afternoon on Dec.15, 2019, Imam, with the help of Jamia student Arshad Warsi and his accomplices, started the 24x7 permanent chakka jam of road number 13, Kalindi Kunj Road. Times of India

In Delhi riots chargesheet, broken spectacles and Hong Kong text cited against Sharjeel


Delhi riots chargesheet says women protesters paid ‘daily wages’, used for ‘gender cover’

New Delhi :Women protesting against CAA at locations such as Shaheen Bagh and near Jamia Millia Islamia (JMI) were paid “daily wages” by alleged conspirators behind the Delhi riots, Delhi Police chargesheet filed at Karkardooma court states. The chargesheet also states that the women were used by the accused for a “secular cover, gender cover and media cover”. “Shifa-Ur-Rehman (Jamia coordination committee member and president of Alumni Association of JMI) and others collected funds predominantly in cash and also in bank accounts and funded this sustenance of various sit-in protest sites by providing logistics and daily wages to lady protesters. AAJMI also provided mic, poster, banners, ropes, etc at gate number 7 of Jamia Millia protest site. AAJMI also paid for buses hired for protests. The daily expenditure of AAJMI ranged between Rs 5,000- 10,000 at protest site of Jamia gate number 7 alone,” it states. Indian Express


Delhi riots: No coercive action against Facebook VP till Oct 15, SC directs Delhi Assembly panel

New Delhi :The Supreme Court Wednesday directed the Delhi Legislative Assembly panel to not take any coercive action against Facebook India Vice-President and MD Ajit Mohan till October 15 in connection with a summon asking him to depose before it with regard to the northeast Delhi riots.Mohan had approached the apex court challenging the September 10 and September 18 notices issued by Delhi Assembly’s peace and harmony committee that sought his presence before the panel. The panel, which is probing Facebook’s role in spreading alleged hate speech during the riots, has also decided not to hold any meeting until the matter is disposed by the Supreme Court.A bench of Justices Sanjay Kishan Kaul, Aniruddha Bose and Krishna Murari issued notices to the secretary of the Legislative Assembly, the ministries of Law and Justice, Home Affairs, Electronics and IT, Lok Sabha and Rajya Sabha, represented by the Secretary-General, and Delhi Police. Indian Express


Prashant Bhushan, Salman Khurshid, Named In Delhi Riots Chargesheet

The names of senior advocate Prashant Bhushan and Congress leader Salman Khurshid appear in the chargesheet for FIR  59/2020 Crime Branch, which accuses students, social and political activists, and a suspended AAP councillor of planning the Delhi riots. Bhushan and Khurshid’s names appear in the “disclosure statements” attributed to two accused in the case, a former Congress councillor Ishrat Jahan and businessman Mohammed Khalid aka Khalid Saifi. Legally speaking, this doesn’t make Bhushan or Khurshid an accused in the case as yet, but lawyers say it exposes them to further investigation and leaves them vulnerable to being implicated in the so-called conspiracy in future under section 120 (B) of IPC. In the statements, recorded by Delhi Police, both Jahan and Saifi say Bhushan and Khurshid made provocative statements at Khajuri protest site in northeast Delhi. Lawyers for the accused say the police have falsified the disclosure statements. huffingtonpost


Delhi Bar Council asks Prashant Bhushan to appear before it over SC conviction in contempt case

Bar Council of Delhi (BCD) has asked activist-lawyer Prashant Bhushan to appear before it on October 23 following his conviction by the Supreme Court, which imposed a token fine of Re 1 on him, in a contempt case.The BCD move has come in pursuance of the resolution of September 6 of the apex bar body, the Bar Council of India (BCI), asking its Delhi chapter to take a legally-mandated decision in this matter keeping in mind the conviction of Bhushan.BCD has sought Bhushan’s response on as to why proceedings should not be initiated to revoke his enrolment as a lawyer in view of the conviction for his alleged contemptuous tweets against judiciary.Bhushan, who has to appear either personally or through video conferencing on October 23, has to respond to the Council within 15-days of receiving the notice.PTI


Sudarshan TV's "UPSC Jihad" Violated Program Code, showcause notice served: Centre To Supreme Court

New Delhi: The hugely controversial programme of private channel Sudarshan News TV-- which showed episodes on "Muslims infiltrating" government services -- prima facie violated programme code and a showcause notice has been issued to them, the Centre told the Supreme Court today. The channel has to respond on the issue -- which comes amid sharp scrutiny of media following the no-holds-barred coverage of the Sushant Singh Rajput case by some channels -- by Sept.28. "The notice is a detailed one, giving facts which are against the program code," the Centre told the top court. I&B ministry's guidelines of Cable TV Network Rules, 1994 says no programme should be carried which "contains attack on religions or communities or visuals or words contemptuous of religious groups or which promote communal attitudes". Today, the court directed the Centre to deal with its notice to Sudarshan News TV as per law and decide. The court also asked the Centre to file a report on its decision on the channel. In response to the Centre's plea that the hearing be deferred till the channel responds, the court said it would hear the matter again on October 5. The freeze on the programme will continue. ndtv


Kannada Media Flared Up Communal Tension and Promoted Hate Speech, Report Finds

Mumbai:Campaign Against Hate Speech, a collective comprising lawyers, researchers, activists, students, and professionals, has found disturbing communal trends in Kannada media’s coverage of the Anti-CAA protests and later the COVID-19 outbreak in the country. In a detailed report over 188 pages, it points at different incidents that were used to flare up communal tension and promote hate speech in the country.The report, titled ‘The Wages of Hate: Journalism in Dark Times’, has analysed Kannada channels and newspapers, studied their revenue pattern, ownership and their political ideology while closely following how important news events were covered in the past year. The report has closely analysed the reportage of nine TV news channels – TV9 Kannada, Suvarna News, News18 Kannada, Digvijaya News, Public TV, Kasturi News, BTV, TV5 and Raj News – and seven newspapers namely Vijaya Karnataka, Vijayavani, Udayavani, Prajavani, Kannada Prabha, Samyuktha Karnataka, Varthabharati.The members of the drafting team of the report include Swathi Shivanand, Kishor Govinda, Manavi Atri, Mohammad Afeef, and Arvind Narrain. The team, along with a detailed analysis of news reports have also interviewed several senior journalists and political commentators in the Karnataka, the only state in southern India which has been amenable to the ideology of political right-wing forces to such a large extent that the BJP has been elected to power repeatedly. The wire


“Govt Under Modi Has Become Authoritarian”: Rights Groups

New Delhi: Extending solidarity with farmers protesting against doing away with the minimum support price(MSP) in the three amended farm-related bills passed by the Narendra Modi government and allowing corporates to hoard the agricultural commodities, representatives from dozens of trade, human rights and farm organisations from all over the country organized a protest “बोल के लब आज़ाद हैं तेरे” (Bol ke lab azad hain tere; Speak, for your lips are free) under the banner of “If We Do Not Rise” campaign outside the Constitution Club here on Tuesday. Criticising the NDA government led by BJP which did not allow division of votes on the farm bills in the Rajya Sabha and suspension of eight Opposition MPs who raised their voice against the Rajya Sabha deputy leader allowing passage of the bills without division of votes on Sunday, the NGO representatives termed it as the “Black Day” for parliamentary democracy in India.The organisations that took part in the protest included AIDWA, AIDMAM, Anhad, Indian Christians for Democracy, Mazdoor Ekta Committee, Mother Teresa Foundation, NFIW, NTUI, Pehchan, Purogami Mahila Sangathan, Rehabilitation Research initiative, Satark Nagrik Sangathan, United Christian Forum and Unity of Christ. Those, who participated, included Annie Raja, Dipti Bharti  from NFIW, Mariam Dhavle, Maimoona Mollah, Asha Sharma from AIDWA, Abirami Jothee from All India Dalit Adhikar Manch, Minakshi Singh from Unity of Christ, Suchitra from Purogamini Mahila Samiti, Birju Naik from Mazdoor Ekta Committee, Shabnam Hashmi, Tarun Sagar from Anhad , Gauhar Raza , poet, scientist and many others. India tomorrow  


In a historic move, 31 farmer organisations join hands for Punjab bandh on Sept 25

Chandigarh:Farmer organisations in Punjab are getting widespread support across the social spectrum, in their agitation against the Farm Bills passed by the Parliament, as they ready for a complete “Punjab Bandh” on Friday.Having refused help from the political parties, and insisting on keeping their movement—in a historic move—all 31 farmer organisations in Punjab have joined hands to ensure their band call is a success. Even as the representatives of these farmer organisations met at Moga on Wednesday to finalise their strategy post the September 25 band, they are busy mobilising their own block level workers, and strategising the joint protest by workers of all 31 farmer organisations.Jagmohan Singh Patiala, member of All India Kisan Sangharsh Coordination Committee, is leading the protests. He is responsible for the farmer unity in these protests. He says, that the angst among farmers against the government over these “kaale kanoon” has never been so visible. Tribune India


“Police beat him on his head with a waist belt,” family of Muslim cab driver in Mumbai say custodial beating led to his death

Mumbai: Family of a 26-year-old cab driver Sohail Sheikh in Chembur area of Mumbai, Maharashtra has accused police of causing his death due to ‘excessive beating’ during police custody.“Police started thrashing him on his head and arms with a waist belt inside the police station. No questions were asked,” Sohail’s uncle Tayyab Mansoor said. On the afternoon of 15 September, Sohail Sheikh and his uncle Tayyab Mansoor Sheikh were at home when police in civvies arrived and searched the house. The police suspected the duo of carrying out illegal work. According to Tayyab, on finding nothing at home, they asked him and Sohail to accompany them to RCF police station.After taking the duo to the first floor of the police station, they allegedly started hitting Sohail with a waist belt.“He suffered from hypertension and started sweating profusely after an hour,” said Tayyab.


Dalit farmer in Uttar Pradesh beheaded for not sharing water

In a shocking incident, a Dalit farmer was beheaded in Uttar Pradesh because he refused to share water for irrigation with another farmer. The police have arrested the accused.The incident took place in Badaun's Din Nagar Sheikhpur village where Nathu Lal Jatav was watering his field late Monday.Another farmer, Roop Kishore, asked Jatav to divert water to his field but Jatav refused, saying that his field needed more water.Jatav was then beaten up and beheaded by the angry farmer.Some locals tried to intervene, but fled when Roop Kishore attacked Jatav with a spade. 56-year-old farmer is reported to have slumped to his death.IANS


Bengaluru violence: NIA takes over DJ Halli riots probe

Bengaluru:NIA has taken over the investigation into last month’s Devarajeevanahalli (DJ Halli) and Kadugondanahalli (KG Halli) arson and violence cases.“A senior NIA officer of the rank of IGP, along with his team is camping in Bengaluru in connection with the investigation of these cases,” NIA has said. The mob was “protesting against an alleged blasphemous post put out by Congress MLA’s nephew P Naveen,” it added. New indian express


NIA raids multiple places in arrested J&K cop, illegal cross-LoC trade

NIA on Tuesday conducted a series of searches in connection with two separate cases in Kashmir. It raided 6 locations across Bramulla, Budgam and Uri in connection with the case involving arrested J&K Police deputy SP Devender Singh, and also conducted searches at residences of four people across Sopore and Baramulla in connection with its probe into illegal LoC trade.The premises searched are associated with Haleema Begum, Shaheen Lone, Shareen Bibi — all in Baramulla — Azad Ahmed in Uri, and Tafazul Parimoo in Budgam. Lone, the NIA stated, works as an inspector in J&K Power Development Department. His father- in-law’s house at Waza Mohalla, Palhalan, Baramulla, was also searched by the agency. Shareen Bibi is Mir’s wife. Indian Express


Acquitted by Court in 2006 Mumbai Train Blasts Case, It took Abdul Wahid Five Years to Get a New Passport

Mumbai:For Wahid Shaikh, Sept.22, 2020 is a day he will remember for long. The activist-lawyer, who has been battling the police for nearly 15 years, finally managed to get a new passport in his name on Tuesday.“My passport was seized by ATS of Mumbai police in 2006 and was never returned to me,” he told Clarion India. “I was acquitted of charges of being involved in the 2006 suburban train blasts in Mumbai, but never got my passport back.” In 2015, after being released, he wanted to go to Saudi Arabia on Haj, but the police objected and said he could not have his passport. They said he would indulge in anti-national activities abroad and interact with terrorists there.“I went to the police several times, but they refused to relent,” Shaikh told this correspondent. “Finally, I realised that they had lost my passport.” He applied again and informed the passport office about how the earlier passport had been lost by the police. Fortunately for him, a new passport was issued and delivered to him on Tuesday.Clarion India


Delhi HC directs I&B Ministry to act on Youth Congress leader’s complaint against Republic TV within 4 weeks

Delhi High Court has directed Ministry of Information and Broadcasting to pass orders within 4 weeks on a complaint filed by Youth Congress Secretary Amrish Ranjan Pandey against Republic TV for violation of Programme Code and Uplinking and Downlinking guidelines by Republic TV channels.The petition, filed through advocate Joby P Varghese, stated that the complaint dated 05.05.2020 filed by Petitioner seeking action against Republic TV in terms of Uplinking and Downlinking guidelines has not been considered till date by the Ministry.In his petition, he has stated that that the self regulatory body, National Broadcasters Association, in their reply to his complaint has stated that they have no jurisdiction over Republic TV as the channel is not its member.


India closely monitoring entire LAC as ‘situation on the ground remains unchanged’

New Delhi: Suspicious of the People’s Liberation Army (PLA), the Indian Army continues to maintain a strict vigil all along LAC in Ladakh.Sources in the defence and security establishment told ThePrint that the Army cannot leave anything to chance, and the period until at least the first week of November is crucial.This is because while the winter starts setting in from October, it is only by mid November that snow becomes a hurdle from an operational perspective, the sources added. “The situation on the ground remains unchanged. We are at our positions and they are at theirs. We are not leaving anything to chance,” a source said.The source also said that the entire LAC is being closely monitored because China could open up another front besides the one in Ladakh to pile up pressure on India. The print


PLA recruits seen sobbing en route to Ladakh border amid India-China faceoff, video goes viral: timesnownews

Taipei (Taiwan): The People’s Liberation Army is no match to the resilient Indian contingent and while the Chinese establishment might refuse to accept this, its soldiers surely know that the going is about to get tough in Ladakh as the harsh winter season approaches.India and China has been on the brink of a major conflict since April after the PLA intruded into Indian territory in violation of the agreement between the two countries along LAC. With the Indian Army and border security forces giving the Chinese side a taste of its own medicine, a panicky Beijing is building up its troop deployment along the international border. However, a video that emerged on social media recently indicates that the PLA troops who are being sent to Ladakh to fuel China’s misadventures are not quite happy with their government’s move.


Nepal Stops Distribution Of School Textbook With New Map

Kathmandu;Nepal has stopped the distribution of a new textbook that includes the country’s revised political map showing three strategically-important Indian areas as part of its territory, saying there were a number of factual errors in it, according to a media report on Tuesday.India has already termed as untenable the “artificial enlargement” of the territorial claims by Nepal after its Parliament unanimously approved the new political map of the country featuring Lipulekh, Kalapani and Limpiyadhura areas which India maintains belongs to it.A Cabinet meeting on Tuesday instructed the Ministry of Education not to distribute and print any more copies of the text book meant for class IXth to XIIth as there were some reservations from the Ministry of Land Management and Cooperatives and the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, The Kathmandu Post reported. Ministry of Education does not have the authority to change Nepal’s geographical area and there are faults in the book, said spokesperson for the Ministry of Land Reform and Cooperatives Janak Raj Joshi.


China builds 11 structures in disputed area, triggers border row with Nepal says report: HT

New Delhi: The construction of 11 buildings by China in a part of the remote border district of Humla that Nepal claims as its own territory has triggered a border row between the two countries, according to reports in the Nepalese media. A border pillar has been missing since Nepal built a road in the area several years ago, and now China has constructed the buildings. There was only a hut in the area in 2005, according to Nepalese officials who visited the disputed area recently. “Chinese side claimed that the area where the houses are built falls within the Chinese territory,” said Bishnu Bahadur Tamang, chair of Namkha Rural Municipality, who visited the area on Sunday with the team of officials.The construction of the buildings by the Chinese security and border forces has been reported to Nepal’s home ministry. Hindustan Times   


China hacked Indian govt teleconference in 2017 — US think-tank reiterates old report

Bengaluru: China launched a “computer attack” against Indian satellite communication in 2017 as part of a range of “counterspace-related testing and operations”, a new report by US-based China Aerospace Studies Institute (CASI) has said.The report on Chinese threats, which was published last week, carried a single line about the attack against Indian satellite communication. However, it owes its origin to a New Indian Express report in November 2017.According to the Express report, a “high-profile government meeting”, which took place in September 2017 and involved video conferencing, was compromised by Chinese hackers. The hacked video call was in Chinese control for about 4 to 5 minutes before Indian cybersecurity teams were able to launch a counterattack, eventually neutralising the breach, said the report. It quoted anonymous Indian sources, saying the attack breached the country’s “most sophisticated and secret link”. The print


Resolve Kashmir issue in line with UN Resolutions: Erdogan to UN

Washington :A day after Pakistan’s foreign minister brought up Kashmir during a speech at the United Nations 75th anniversary commemoration event, the issue was raised again - this time by Turkish president Recep Erdogan during his general debate remarks.“Kashmir conflict, which is also key to the stability and peace of South Asia, is still a burning issue. Steps taken following the abolition of the special status of Jammu-Kashmir further complicated the problem,” Erdogan said via a recorded video message.“We are in favour of solving this issue through dialogue, within the framework of the United Nations resolutions and especially in line with the expectations of the people of Kashmir,” Erdogan said on Tuesday. The Hindu


India calls Turkish president remarks on Jammu and Kashmir ‘completely unacceptable’

India has hit out at Turkey’s President Tayyip Erdogan, hours after he spoke about Jammu and Kashmir in the United Nations. India called Erdogan’s comments “completely unacceptable” as the president said New Delhi’s decisions related to the region had complicated the conflict. India’s Permanent Representative to the UN TS Tirumurti tweeted: “We have seen remarks by President of Turkey on Indian UT of Jammu and Kashmir. They constitute gross interference in India’s internal affairs and are completely unacceptable. Turkey should learn to respect sovereignty of other nations and reflect on its own policies more deeply.” Scroll


Parliament passes Jammu and Kashmir Official Languages Bill: Hindi, Kashmiri, Dogri introduced as official languages in addition to Urdu, English

New Delhi: Jammu and Kashmir Official Languages Bill 2020 was passed by a voice vote in the Rajya Sabha on Wednesday.The Bill gives official language status to Kashmiri, Dogri, Hindi, English, and Urdu in the Union Territory. "The Bill fulfills the decades long wishes of the people of the region. It is a big step which will give official language status to Kashmiri, Dogri, Hindi, English, and Urdu," said Minister of State (MoS) Home Affairs G Kishan Reddy. He pointed out that 53.26 percent of J&K people speak Kashmiri language and 26.64 percent speak Dogri while the Urdu, which is currently official language of the UT, is spoken only by 0.16 percent population there. “Still for the last 70 years, Urdu continues to be the official language of Jammu and Kashmir,” he adding. While Hasnain Masoodi of National Conference opposed the Bill and said that the Central Government does not have the legislative competence to frame a bill in this regard, Union Minister of State in PMO, Dr Jitendra Singh wondered why the NC was opposing the inclusion of Kashmir as an official language.ANI / dailyexcelsior


All Ladakh Bodies – Including BJP – Decide to Boycott Hill Council Elections

Srinagar: In an unexpected move which could have larger ramifications, all political and religious bodies in Buddhist-dominated Leh district of the newly carved out union territory of Ladakh have unanimously decided against participating in the upcoming hill council elections over their demand for bringing the region under the ambit of provisions of the Sixth Schedule of the Constitution.The groups are demanding constitutional safeguards to protect the region’s demography, land and jobs. The development, coincidentally, comes at a time when Ladakh has gained global attention due to skirmishes and a face-off between Indian and Chinese troops in the region. Interestingly, the ruling BJP is also a signatory to the declaration announcing a boycott of the elections to the district’s highest elected body. The demand is likely to put BJP-led Central govt in a tight spot. It will be interesting to watch whether the party can afford constitutional safeguards to Ladakh, or will treat it at par with J&K by only offering it a domicile law.In a joint statement, a body comprising veteran political figures of the region, representatives of political parties like Congress, AAP and BJP, and leaders from different religious groups have unanimously decided to boycott the electoral exercise. The signatories of the resolution include Thupstan Chewang (former Lok Sabha MP), Skyabje Thiksey Khampo Rinpochey (former Rajya Sabha MP), Chering Dorjey Lakrook (former minister), Nawang Rigzin Jora (former minister) and others. The most powerful religious group, the Ladakh Buddhist Association, is also a signatory of the resolution. It also has the support of minority groups like Anjumani Moin-ul-Islam, Anjumani Immami and region’s Christian community. BJP’s district president for Leh, Nawang Samstan, is also a signatory of the resolution. “Our district unit supported the resolution due to public sentiment for the demand,” Samstan said .Former chief executive councillor of Leh, Rigzin Spalbar, told The Wire that anything less than Sixth Schedule of the Constitution would be construed as an attempt to saffronise the Ladakh region. thewire


Setback to RSS-Linked Candidate in Texas: Emgage Decides Not to Endorse Pro-Hindutva Preston Kulkarni

New York : The decision by Emgage Political Action Committee to refrain from endorsing a candidate in the contest for Texas’s 22nd Congressional District is drawing applause as Democratic candidate, Sri Preston Kulkarni, has faced allegations that his campaign is strongly backed by US affiliates of India’s RSS. “The Alliance to Save and Protect America from Infiltration by Religious Extremists (ASPAIRE) welcomes the decision by Emgage to not endorse Kulkarni’s second bid for election to TX-22,” said Masood Rab, National Co-Chair of the group and President of Coalition of Americans for Pluralism in India, which recently enabled a US city resolution against India’s controversial CAA and NRC.Masood Rab pointed to the involvement of Ramesh Bhutada, Vice-President of Hindu Swayamsevak Sangh USA (an international wing of RSS) in Kulkarni’s campaign as a key reason why ASPAIRE is concerned about the candidate’s political aspirations. In 2018, Kulkarni named Bhutada as someone without whom his campaign “literally could not have happened.” Kulkarni further claimed that Bhutada had become “like a father to me” on the campaign trail. clarionindia


Mehbooba Mufti's Daughter Files Fresh Petition in SC Challenging Ex-CM's 'Illegal Detention'

New Delhi: Iltija Mufti, the daughter of former Jammu and Kashmir chief minister Mehbooba Mufti, has filed a habeas corpus petition in the Supreme Court, challenging her mother’s detention under the Public Safety Act.PDP leader Mehbooba has been jailed since before the Centre read down Article 370 in Jammu and Kashmir on August 5, 2019.In the petition, filed through advocate Akaarsh Kamra, Iltija has challenged both the PSA order that was used to prolong Mehbooba’s incarceration and the subsequent extensions ordered by administration.“Her detention is illegal and unquestionable in a democracy. A key opposition leader has been jailed for over a year without recourse to trial,” said Iltija.


FinCEN Files — Cyprus to Isle of Man: Over 100 transactions linked to Max chairman

Over 100 transactions worth $104.4 million by companies associated with Max Group founder and chairman Analjit Singh were red-flagged by Standard Chartered Bank, New York, to US financial watchdog FinCEN. These transactions, between July 2014 and Nov.2016, were between entities in India and those located in Cyprus, UAE, Singapore, South Africa, Jersey and Isle of Man. Some of these companies had Singh as a director as well, according to the bank’s records of Suspicious Activity Reports investigated by Indian Express. In 2 SARs, the bank said that Singapore-based LGO Pte, a company where Analjit Singh is a director, which had an account with the bank, carried out transactions with “unknown entities, located in high-risk jurisdictions.” Indian Express


Over 3.8 lakh companies struck off under companies law in 3 years: Govt

More than 3.8 lakh companies have been struck off from official records under the companies law during the past three years, according to the government.In a written reply to Rajya Sabha, Minister of State for Corporate Affairs Anurag Singh Thakur also said the term “shell company” is not defined under the Companies Act. The Hindu


UP Govt Demolishes Palatial House of Former MP Atiq Ahmed in Prayagraj

Lucknow:Prayagraj Development Authority (PDA) demolished a palatial house belonging to former MP Atiq Ahmed on Chakia Road in Khuldabad area of the city on Tuesday. The former MP is currently lodged in Sabarmati jail in Ahmedabad. Heavy deployment of police and personnel of PAC was done before the demolition of the house began to prevent any resistance from relatives and supporters of the MP.The officials leading the demolition said that the house was built illegally, without the approval of the PDA. The house is said to be worth Rs. 30 crores that was spread over 3000 square metres, apart from huge open area. India tomorrow 



Bengal BJP chief claims Islamic radicalisation, Naxal threat rising, asks Amit Shah to intervene

West Bengal BJP president, Dilip Ghosh, has sought union Home Minister Amit Shah’s urgent intervention to “restore law and order” in the state in the wake of the recent arrest of the six alleged Al-Qaeda operatives from the state.In a letter addressed to Shah, Ghosh, who is a Lok Sabha MP from Medinipur constituency, claimed that TMC government is neither capable of nor willing to provide the people of West Bengal a safe environment that is needed for the state’s progress. The print


ANI presents RSS-backed event as ‘Muslim community’ celebrating PM Modi’s birthday at Nizamuddin:altnews

Prime Minister Narendra Modi celebrated his 70th birthday on Sept.17. News agency ANI published a story that same day claiming the Muslim community in Delhi gathered outside the Nizamuddin Markaz building to commemorate the occasion with prayers and cake cutting. “In the last 6 years, the PM has never spoken about religion, caste, or creed. He has only spoken about the 130 crore people in our country,” one Maulana Suhaib Qasmi was quoted in the report. Nizamuddin Markaz is the global headquarters of the Tablighi Jamaat network. A video of the event is viral on social media captioned as, “Maulana sahab celebrated Modi’s birthday in front of Nizamuddin Markaz gate. A video of a group of Muslim men celebrating PM Modi’s birthday outside Nizamuddin Markaz was uploaded by Suhaib Qasmi, the ‘maulana’ quoted in ANI’s report.Qasmi’s Facebook bio says that he “works” with RSS. Another video where the same group of men can be seen honouring PM Modi on his 70th birthday was tweeted by Qasmi. This video was taken outside BJP HQ  in Delhi. ANI report quotes another person—Firoj Bakht Ahmed, Chancellor of MANUU, Hyderabad. Ahmed’s support to BJP’s political initiatives is not unknown. This isn’t an isolated case when ANI published stories partially identifying Muslim figures, veiling their affiliation or support to the BJP.


Maharashtra: Toll rises to 39 in Bhiwandi building collapse, rescue operations likely to end today

The toll in the Bhiwandi building collapse in Maharashtra rose to 39 on Wednesday after 13 more bodies were pulled out of the debris, TOI reported. 43-year-old building, which had 40 flats, collapsed on the intervening night of Sunday and Monday while many of the residents were asleep. The apartment complex, located at Narpoli’s Patel Compound near Dhamankar Naka, was not in the list of dilapidated structures of the Bhiwandi-Nizampur Municipal Corporation, according to the civic body. More bodies could be trapped under the debris, the disaster management teams said on Wednesday. Commissioner of Police Rajkumar Shinde said the owner, identified as Sayyed Jilani, was charged under various sections of IPC, based on a complaint by civic officials.


Rs 517.82 crore spent on PM Modi’s 58 foreign trips since 2015: MEA

New Delhi: Since 2015, Prime Minister Narendra Modi has visited 58 countries and Rs 517.82 crores have been spent on them in total, according to the Ministry of External Affairs (MEA).The information was provided in a reply given by Minister of State (MoS), MEA, V Muraleedharan, to the query posed by MP Fauzia Khan.


Mumbai: Water-Logging In Several Parts, Covid Hospital Flooded After Heavy Rain

Mumbai received one of the highest showers of this monsoon season in the last 24 hours, leading to water-logging in several parts of the city. “Mumbai received one of the highest rainfall in the last 24 hours,” (IMD Mumbai centre Deputy Director General KS Hosalikar was quoted as saying by PTI. More rain is likely on Wednesday, he added. The Santacruz observatory (in western suburbs) received 286.4 mm showers during the 24-hour period ending at 8.30 am on Wednesday, an IMD official told PTI.“Today’s rainfall of 286.4 mm is the fourth highest between 1974 and 2020,” the official said.IMD has issued an orange alert in Mumbai and Thane on Wednesday and warned of very heavy rains, according to The Indian Express.




Amid COVID impact, Indian economy forecast to contract 5.9% in 2020: UN

Impacted by disruptions caused by COVID-19 pandemic, India's economy is forecast to contract by 5.9% in 2020, the U.N. has said in a report, warning that while growth will rebound next year, the contraction is likely to translate into a permanent income loss.The Trade and Development Report 2020 by U.N. Conference on Trade and Development (UNCTAD) said on Tuesday that the world economy is experiencing a deep recession amid a still-unchecked pandemic.It said the global economy will contract by an estimated 4.3% this year, leaving global output by year’s end over $6 trillion short (in current U.S. Dollars) of what economists had expected it to be before the coronavirus began to spread.PTI


Over 1 crore migrant labourers return to home states on foot during Mar-Jun: Govt

More than one crore migrant labourers returned to their home states on foot during March-June 2020, including those who travelled during COVID-19 pandemic-induced lockdown, the government said on Tuesday.“COVID-19 has resulted in migration of large number of workers from destination states to the home-states,” Minister of State for Road Transport and Highways V.K. Singh told Lok Sabha in a written reply.As per the data compiled by Ministry of Labour and Employment, more than 1.06 crore migrant workers, including those who travelled on foot during the lockdown, returned to their home states, he said.PTI


Coronavirus: India’s testing rate over six times of WHO recommendation, claims Centre

Centre on Wednesday said that India’s testing rate is 875 tests/million population per day as of Sept.19. “This is more than 6 times WHO recommendation of 140 tests per day per million population,” the government told Parliament.India’s coronavirus count rose to 56.46 lakh after the health ministry reported a rise of 83,347 new cases in 24 hours. The toll breached the 90,000-mark, with 1,085 more deaths. More than 45 lakh people have recovered from the virus in India. The country’s mortality rate is 1.59%.Globally, the coronavirus has infected more than 3.12 crore people and killed 9,63,000, according to Johns Hopkins University. The number of worldwide recoveries is more than 2.1 crore.


Saudi Arabia suspends travel to and from India, Brazil, Argentina as coronavirus cases rise

On Wednesday, Saudi Arabia suspended travel to and from India, Brazil and Argentina due to increasing coronavirus cases.It has also barred people who have travelled to any of these countries 14 days prior to their arrival to the Kingdom. “Suspending travel to and from the following countries (India, Brazil, and Argentina) including any person who has been in any of the mentioned countries in the last 14 days prior to their arrival to the Kingdom,” the country’s Civil Aviation Authority said in a statement. However, those who have official government invitations are excluded.India and Saudi Arabia do not have bilateral travel under an air bubble arrangement. India today


Bharat Biotech to manufacture a billion doses of nasal spray Covid vaccine

New Delhi :Hyderabad-headquartered Bharat Biotech on Wednesday announced it would be manufacturing up to a billion doses of a single-dose intranasal Covid-19 vaccine in collaboration with the Washington University School of Medicine in St Louis, Missouri. The agreement is expected to help overcome potential difficulties with distributing the vaccine, like the high cost of vaccination or a possible shortage of personnel to administer the doses to the required population.


Serum Institute of India starts manufacturing Codagenix's nasal COVID vaccine

Serum Institute of India has started manufacturing COVID-19 vaccine candidate developed by Codagenix Inc, the US biotech firm said in a statement. Dubbed as CDX-005, the coronavirus vaccine candidate has completed pre-clinical animal studies. The company aims to initiate phase I clinical trial of its COVID-19 vaccine in United Kingdom by the end of this year.




Malaysia’s Anwar Ibrahim says has majority to form new government

Malaysia’s opposition leader Anwar Ibrahim said on Wednesday he had secured a “strong majority” from lawmakers to form a new government, seven months after a power grab within the ruling coalition brought down the administration elected in May 2018.Anwar said he had been “approached by a number of MPs from various parties” who were unhappy with the existing leadership of Prime Minister Muhyiddin Yassin.Sitting next to his wife, Anwar told a news conference his support from lawmakers “means that the administration of Muhyiddin has fallen” and insisted that his government had the mandate of the people.He declined to reveal the numbers backing him, but said he would do so after seeking an audience with the king, who is currently receiving treatment at the national heart hospital in Kuala Lumpur.Muhyiddin emerged as Malaysia’s prime minister in March after a week of political turmoil when several disgruntled members of the then-ruling Pakatan Harapan coalition joined forces with parties that had lost power in 2018. The move led to the resignation of 95-year-old Mahathir Mohamad as prime minister.


Sudan denies holding Israel normalisation talks in UAE

Sudanese Minister of Information and transitional government spokesman, Faisal Muhammad Saleh, denied media reports claiming a Sudanese delegation currently visiting UAE had discussed normalising relations with Israel. “The ministerial delegation accompanying the head of Transitional Sovereignty Council [Abdel Fattah Al-Burhan] does not have the mandate to discuss normalising relations with Israel,” the minister told reporters, adding that Sudan’s position regarding normalisation with Israel has not changed.“We do not have the mandate to take decisions in such matters, which are among the tasks of an elected government, and we are still at the same position,” he added. Earlier this week, US Axios news site reported that representatives of Sudan, UAE and US will hold a meeting in Abu Dhabi to discuss a possible normalisation deal between Tel Aviv and Khartoum. middleeastmonitor


Arab, Israel media professionals meet online to discuss peace in Middle East

Journalists and communication professionals from the Arab world took part in an online discussion yesterday with Israeli journalists and senior government officials, regarding the role of the media to achieve peace in the Middle East, reported The Times of Israel.The online forum also included members of countries with no formal ties to Israel including Saudi Arabia, Sudan and Algeria, who praised Israel’s new peace partners, UAE and Bahrain.During the opening of the webinar, Israel’s Regional Cooperation Minister Ofir Akunis said: “This is a historic conversation. Just like last week’s signing of the peace agreement with the UAE and Bahrain was historic, this meeting is historic. It’s a joyous, momentous occasion.”Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s spokesperson Ofir Gendelman, read out a statement from President Reuven Rivlin on his behalf, which stated it was a “great honour” for him to address journalists from across the region that have gathered online for an “important conversation” about peace.Mohamed Al-Hammadi, the editor of Alroeya, an Arabic paper based in UAE, was the first Arab media professional to deliver a speech at the webinar.middleeastmonitor


At UN, Qatar emir questions world inaction on Israeli occupation

Qatar Emir Sheikh Tamim bin Hamad Al Thani has questioned the credibility of the international community as it “stands by, unable to take any effective action to confront Israeli intransigence and its continued occupation of Palestinian and Arab land”.In his video speech at the 75th session of United Nations General Assembly, the emir questioned the role of countries and organisations for failing to uphold the resolutions against the continued Israeli occupation of Palestinian territories and its expansion of settlement building.


First direct commercial flight from Israel lands in Bahrain

The first known direct commercial flight between Israel and Bahrain landed Wednesday in the island kingdom, just a week after it signed a deal alongside UAE to normalize relations. Flight data showed an Israir Airlines Airbus A320 landed at Bahrain International Airport after a nearly three-hour flight from Tel Aviv’s Ben-Gurion International Airport.PTI


Chelsea football club owner donated millions to Israeli settler group

Chelsea football club owner Roman Abramovich has donated almost $102 million to a far-right Israeli settler organisation which displaces Palestinian families from occupied East Jerusalem.According to the leaked documents, known as the “FinCEN Files,” 4 companies run by Abramovich donated $100 million to Elad, to purchase Palestinian homes in Silwan and strengthen the presence of Israeli Jewish settlers there.Although he has been frequently present at Elad’s events, the extent of the football club owner’s involvement was not revealed until the set of bank reports between 2000 and 2017 exposed his financial transactions and ownership of the companies were leaked, reported BBC News Arabic.Ranked as the world’s 113th-richest person by Forbes, Abramovich is worth $12.2 billion and became an Israeli citizen in 2018.


Israel reports highest ever daily spike in coronavirus infections


Several days after the start of a second nationwide lockdown in Israel, the number of coronavirus infections has reached a new record high with nearly 7,000 cases. According to the health ministry’s statement on Wednesday, 6,923 new patients were recorded the day before. The previous record was reached last week, when 5,533 new cases were confirmed on a single day.Israel, a country of some nine million people, now has one of the world’s highest rates of coronavirus on a per capita basis, and health officials say hospitals are quickly approaching capacity. There were 61,165 tests conducted on Tuesday, meaning that 11.7 percent of the tests were positive, slightly higher than the previous day. Aljazeera


Palestine says 100,000 virus swabs damaged by Israel

Palestinian Health Minister Mai al-Kailah on Tuesday accused Israel of damaging 100,000 swabs for coronavirus by hindering the passage of clinical materials from Jordan to the West Bank.Speaking to the official Voice of Palestine Radio, al-Kailah said that the Israeli measures have caused a shortage of swabs necessary for testing the virus.“What is available at the ministry is sufficient to conduct examinations for only three days,” she said, adding that there were “promises” that the next batch of swabs will arrive by Wednesday.There was no comment from Israeli authorities on the accusation.


Turkey hosts Hamas and Fatah officials for Palestine unity talks

Turkey is hosting another round of Palestinian unity talks between rival factions Hamas and Fatah, following recent deals that earned Israel wider recognition with Gulf countries.Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas called Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan on Monday and extended his appreciation for hosting the talks and urged Ankara to help with the negotiations.A Turkish official, speaking on condition of anonymity due to government protocol, told Middle East Eye that Ankara wasn't directly involved in the negotiations but was encouraging both sides to establish a unity government and jointly defend Palestinian rights.Some observers pointed out that Abbas, who used to have a distant relationship with Erdogan, turned to Ankara due to recent actions by Arab states that have alienated Palestinian leadership.


Turkey's Erdogan floats regional conference in tense east Med

Turkish President Tayyip Erdogan on Tuesday proposed a regional conference with all Mediterranean coastal states, including the breakaway Turkish Cypriots, to address tensions over maritime boundaries and hydrocarbon exploration in the region. Addressing UN General Assembly in a video message, Erdogan said Turkey’s primary preference was to solve disagreements “justly and in an appropriate way” through talks but added that “futile” attempts to exclude Turkey from plans in the eastern Mediterranean could not succeed.NATO members Turkey and Greece are at odds over rights to potential energy resources in the eastern Mediterranean and the extent of their continental shelves.


Some freed Taliban returned to battlefield: Top Afghan official

A number of Taliban prisoners who were released by the Afghan government as a condition for peace talks have taken up arms again, top official Abdullah Abdullah says.Abdullah, who chairs Afghanistan’s High Council for National Reconciliation and is overseeing the government’s peace efforts, said on Tuesday that discussions with the Taliban in Qatar so far have been positive.However, he said, some – though not a majority – of the 5,000 Taliban prisoners released by the government as a condition for talks had resumed the fight against Kabul.



 ·        Farm bills, silent on MSP, hide more than they reveal, will throw small farmers to big sharks:Amarinder Singh, indian express


·        Muslims not allowed - the stereotypes of Mumbai's rental property market;Madeeha Mujawar, cnbctv18


·        Some Cacti Are Blooming in the Dreary Desert Sands of Indian Unreason:Badri Raina, The Wire


·        Indian Muslims in govt battle Sudarshan’s ‘UPSC Jihad’ and Sarkari Musalman traitor tag:NAJMUL HODA, The print


·        What we don’t know about the BJP election machine:SHIVAM VIJ , The Print


·        How and Why Gilgit Baltistan Defied Maharaja Hari Singh and Joined Pakistan:Sudheendra Kulkarni,thewire



 Compiled and edited by Anwarulhaq



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