27 SEPT. NEWS DIGEST
Rajya Sabha Video of Farm Bill Vote Shreds Govt's Version Of Events
The govt's claims of rules being followed during voting on farm bills in Rajya Sabha on Sept. 20 and its version of events, has a deep discrepancy with television footage of the proceedings accessed by NDTV. The footage shows that on 2 counts -- extension of timing of the house to ensure voting, and the presence of members on their seats during the call for division of votes -- the govt's version of events were at variance from when happened on the ground.The passage of the bills has been a matter of huge contention, with eight members of the opposition being suspended from the house by Rajya Sabha chairman Venkaiah Naidu, following uproar during the proceedings. The opposition parties have said the bills were pushed through voice vote as the government did not have the numbers. The position would have been clear if a physical vote was taken instead of a voice vote, they said, accusing Rajya Sabha Deputy Chairman Harivansh Singh of colluding with the govt. Singh and the govt have justified voice vote, saying the Opposition members weren't in their seats when they demanded physical voting. The disruption had started around 1 pm, when the opposition claims Deputy Chairman extended the house proceedings on the proposal of Parliamentary Affairs Minister Prahlad Joshi without taking consensus of the house. Rajya Sabha footage accessed by NDTV showed at around 1.03 pm, Leader of Opposition Ghulam Nabi Azad said "Opposition parties are saying that time should not be extended today and tomorrow the minister can reply..." DMK MP Trichy Siva, mp for the last two decades, told NDTV, "Usually, the house is extended after taking consensus of the house".But the extension was made "without even looking at our side, just looking at the treasury benches... despite members from 12 opposition parties on their feet asking for adjournment. This is in clear violation of Rajya Sabha Rule 37," he said.KK Ragesh, CPM MP from Kerala, alleged that Deputy Chairman had violated another rule that day by declining division of votes on his motion to send the bill to the select committee.Rajya Sabha footage reviewed by NDTV shows that at least two of the three MPs who moved motion to send the bills to the select committee were in their seats when they demanded a division of votes.NDTV
Deputy Chairman said Opp wasn’t in seat when asking for division, RS TV shows otherwise
Akalis quit NDA, say Centre ignored farmers’ sentiments, continues insensitivity to Punjabi,Sikh issues like excluding Punjabi as official language in J&K
BJP’s oldest alliance partner, Shiromani Akali Dal (SAD), on Saturday announced that it was ending its alliance with NDA as farmers’ protests continued across Punjab over the new farm sector Bills. SAD president Sukhbir Singh Badal announced the decision which, he said, was ‘unanimously’ taken at the party’s core committee meeting in Chandigarh.“Central government completely ignored the sentiments of farmers and pushed the agriculture sector Bills with force. What happened in Rajya Sabha... everybody knows that...Although we were part of the government, Harsimrat Kaur Badal quit from the post of Minister in protest against the Bills. I discussed the issue with people and leaders, and today we have decided to part ways with NDA,” he said. SAD becomes the third major NDA ally to pull out of the grouping after Shiv Sena and TDP. According to a party statement issued in Chandigarh, Badal said the decision to quit the NDA was taken because of Centre’s stubborn refusal to give statutory legislative guarantees to protect assured marketing of farmers crops on MSP and its continued insensitivity to Punjabi and Sikh issues like excluding Punjabi as an official language in Jammu and Kashmir.
No NDA without Shiv Sena, Akali Dal: Sanjay Raut after SAD quits BJP-led coalition
Shiv Sena leader Sanjay Raut on Sunday took a dig at BJP-led NDA after Shiromani Akali Dal quit the coalition citing differences over the three farm bills. Reacting to this, Sanjay Raut said the "strong pillars of NDA" were Shiv Sena and Akali Dal and there can be no NDA without both the parties.
'Between Devil & Deep Sea': Amarinder Mocks Badals as BJP Says Ready to Contest 'All 117 Seats' in 2022 Polls
BJP on Sunday said the party is ready to contest all 117 seats in the Punjab Assembly in the 2022 state elections after its oldest ally, Shiromani Akali Dal, quit NDA over differences on the 3controversial farm sector bills passed by Parliament.Senior BJP leader Madan Mohan Mittal even claimed that several Akali leaders are in touch them and want to jump ship to the BJP. "SAD would not get a majority if they contest alone," Mittal said. Punjab Chief Minister Amarinder Singh termed Akali Dal's decision “as nothing more than a desperate case of political compulsion” for the Badals.Chief Minister said that with BJP-led ruling coalition at Centre exposing SAD's web of lies, fabrications and double-speak, Akalis could not have done anything but NDA. Dissident Akali leader Sukhdev Singh Dhindsa, too, said the party snapped ties with NDA out of compulsion as farmers were angry with it over the farm bills.
Mann Ki Baat: Farmers are backbone of self-reliant India, Modi says amid protests against new bills
Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Sunday said that farmers in India now have the power to sell their produce wherever they get the best price and to anyone they want, in a reference to the recently-passed farming bills in Lok Sabha and Rajya Sabha.In his monthly radio programme “Mann Ki Baat”, PM also spoke about removing Agricultural Produce Market Committee or APMC in Maharashtra and said that it has helped the farmers of the state. He said farmers in Pune and Mumbai were running parallel markets.
'What will be MHA's response?': Owaisi cites Places of Worship Act as suit moved in Mathura court over Krishna Janmabhoomi
Hyderabad MP Asaduddin Owaisi has said the Places of Worship Act, 1991 forbids conversion of a place of worship as a civil suit was filed in a Mathura civil court to "reclaim" the entire Krishna Janmabhoomi. Commenting on the issue, AIMIM chief tweeted, "Places of Worship Act 1991 forbids conversion of a place of worship. The Home Ministry is entrusted with administration of this Act, what'll be its response be in Court?" "Shahi Idgah Trust & Sri Krishna Janmasthan Seva Sangh resolved their dispute in Oct'68. Why revive it now?" Owaisi asked. freepressjournal
Amid Standoff With China, Video Shows Army Tanks Near LAC
New Delhi: Centre has released a video showing Indian army tanks and armoured personnel carriers in forward locations in Eastern Ladakh. The videos show T-90 tanks and BMP vehicles in Chumar-Demchock -- possibly the highest deployed tank formations in the world.Both India and China have deployed armour in high-altitude areas of Ladakh as the standoff between the two countries continues. ''Fire and Fury Corps is the only formation of Indian Army and also in the world to have actually deployed mechanised forces in such harsh terrain. Maintenance of tanks, infantry combat vehicles and heavy guns is a challenge in this terrain,'' said Major General Arvind Kapoor, the Chief of Staff of 14 Corps.NDTV
LAC: As hopes recede, Army readies troops for winter deployment
Away from India-China talks table where efforts are on to dial down tensions along LAC in Ladakh, Indian Army has been preparing for the winter deployment of troops in the region because hopes of an early resolution of the crisis are fast receding. India and China have around 50,000 troops each in the region, backed by tanks, artillery and air defence assets. Army sources said each will calibrate its winter deployment according to what the other side does. Given the harsh Ladakh winter, the two sides, sources said, may have to come down from some of the heights they currently occupy, and there could be a slight reduction in the number of troops.A top government official said that “we will have to wait and watch” how many troops will be required since PLA “can decide to stay at important places” even during the winter. The official, however, pointed out that the distance between the Chinese base and their positions on the heights of the Pangong Tso north bank is much more than what Indian troops have to cover, and this makes PLA positions untenable. Indian Express
Govt open to discuss protection available under Sixth Schedule to Ladakh: Union Minister Rijiju
New Delhi:Government of India is open to discuss protection available under Sixth Schedule of the constitution to Ladakh, said Sports Minister Kiren Rijiju at a press conference on Sunday. He said, “The delegation has agreed to withdraw their demand to boycott the elections.”People’s Movement, a platform representing various politicians, religious and social organisations campaigning for the Sixth Schedule for Ladakh, had on Tuesday announced a boycott of the upcoming elections to Ladakh Autonomous Hill Development Council-Leh, scheduled for Oct.16. Rijiju said, “The delegation was assured that all issues related to land, jobs will be considered by the government. After 15 days of elections to Leh council, we will begin the process to consider their demand. Government of India is committed to empower Ladakh autonomous council in Leh and Kargil and would safeguard their interest.”Sixth Schedule protects tribal populations and provides autonomy to the communities through creation of autonomous development councils, which can frame laws on land, public health, agriculture etc. As of now 10 autonomous councils exist in Assam, Meghalaya, Tripura and Mizoram. Former Ladakh MP Thupstan Chhewang said, “Danger lurking on China border, the call to boycott elections might hurt us on that front, keeping that in mind we have decided to not boycott the elections.”He added, “Our men are voluntarily helping the army at China border, 97% population in Ladakh is tribal, Centre has agreed to our demand partly, the provisions under Sixth schedule allow that. There will be no domicile law on the line of J&K for us, we have been assured by the Home Minister. Our population is 3 lakh, after 10 years we will be in minority. Non-tribals might exploit us.”
Former Union minister Jaswant Singh dead: From key figure in Vajpayee govt to BJP rebel
Former Union Minister and BJP leader Jaswant Singh passed away on Sunday. He was 82. In Aug.2014, Jaswant had a fall in his bathroom and injured his head. He was admitted to Army’s Research and Referral hospital in Delhi for treatment. He was in a state of coma ever since. Born on Jan.3, 1938, in Jasol village of Barmer district, Rajasthan, Jaswant Singh was raised in a Rajput family. After serving in the defence services till 1965, he resigned from his commission to embark on his political career. Singh was a MP for 9 terms and served as the Minister of Finance, Minister of Defence, Minister of External Affairs in the Vajpayee govt. However, Jaswant had often faced criticism for Kandhara episode when the Vajpayee govt decided to swap Air India hostages with the jailed JeM chief Azhar Masood. On Aug.19, 2009, he was expelled from BJP after criticism over his remarks in his book ‘Jinnah – India, Partition, Independence’ which allegedly praised the former Prime Minister of Pakistan. He rejoined BJP in 2010 while he was a MP from Darjeeling. indianexpress
Dalit lawyer, senior activist of BAMCEF killed over ‘anti-Brahmin posts’: Police
Mumbai:An employee of a stationery shop in Malad West, Mumbai, was arrested on Saturday, less than 24 hours after he allegedly murdered a Dalit lawyer and activist in Gujarat’s Kutch district over his social media posts. Victim, Devji Maheshwari, was a senior activist of All India Backward and Minority Communities Employees Federation(BAMCEF) and of Indian Legal Professionals Association. The last post on Devji Maheshwari’s Facebook post was a video of BAMCEF National President Waman Meshram saying that members of SCs, STs and OBCs are not Hindus. Police in Mumbai said Bharat Raval, who, like the victim, hails from Rapar, had clashed with Maheshwari on his views on Brahminism. “Maheshwari wrote and shared posts critical of Brahminism on his Facebook page. Raval disagreed with those views and warned Maheshwari on several occasions to refrain from writing such posts publicly,” said a Crime Branch official. According to police, both Maheshwari and Raval had clashed repeatedly over the past one month. “Raval, who is Brahmin, had asked Maheshwari not to create trouble since both of them are from the same village. He also threatened him at his office once. But Maheshwari told him that he would not back down and challenged him to do what he liked,” said official. The last post on his Facebook post was a video of BAMCEF chief Waman Meshram saying that members of SC, ST and OBCs are not Hindus. Crime Branch official said Raval, who was identified as the man in CCTV footage, was acting alone. However, Gujarat Police have registered an FIR against 9 accused, including Raval. Hours after members of the Dalit community in Rapar took to the streets, demanding the arrest of Maheshwari’s assailants, five of the nine accused, besides Raval, were arrested, while others are absconding. V L Matang, National President of Bahujan Mukti Party, wrote to PM Narendra Modi seeking a CBI probe into the murder. Meanwhile, victim’s family, supported by local Dalit organisations and community members, refused to accept the body until all the accused had been arrested.
Dalit Lawyer Killed for 'SC/STs Not Hindus' Facebook Post in Gujarat's Kutch; 22-Year-Old Held in Mumbai
Jamaat-e-Islami Hind condemns gang rape of Dalit girl in UP; demands justice for victim
NEW DELHI: Jamaat-e-Islami Hind (JIH) has condemned the reported gang rape of a 19-year-old Dalit girl from a village in Hathras district of Uttar Pradesh. In a media statement, JIH Vice President – Prof Salim Engineer said: “Jamaat-e-Islami Hind condemns the alleged gang rape of a Dalit girl in Boolgarhi village, Hathras district, UP. It is reported that she is in ICU at a hospital in Aligarh and on a ventilator, fighting for her life. Her tongue was cut off; the spinal cord severely injured and has several injuries on her neck. Four upper caste men have been charged with gang rape and attempt to murder along with SC/ST (Prevention of Atrocities) Act. The police have managed to arrest three of the accused. Reports suggest that the village has around 600-odd families of which only 15 families belong to Dalit community. Dalits always faced harassment and intimidation at the hands of upper-caste villagers who make up around 400 families.” The Indian Awaaz
Will Trump-Modi’s courtship matter in November US elections? Indian Express
New Delhi :They have always leaned Democrat, but this time, with just over a month to go for US polls, Indian American vote is showing the friction of politics in India. Republicans have advantage of Trump and Modi’s public courtship; Democrats the onus of their Kashmir stance. Indian Express on what this — and the Kamala Harris factor — could mean in a race that is entering the final lap. "We have a friend in the White House, and we would like that to continue,” says Dinesh Agarwal. One of the founding members of Overseas Friends of BJP (OFBJP), Agarwal, a Penn State professor, has been a Democrat voter for 45 years that he has lived in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. But, now, he’s switching from Blue to Red, and will be voting to re-elect President Donald Trump on Nov. 3.“My wife is upset with me, and so are my children,” Agarwal says, adding that heated debates are also going on among OFBJP founders over email.“That’s the case in many Indian families now. More and more, traditionally democratic Indian Americans, especially of my generation, are moving towards Trump.”Results of a survey by AAPI Data led by Professor Karthick Ramakrishnan, released on Sept.15, show that a little over a quarter (28%) of Indian Americans are planning to vote Republican come Election Day — a huge increase from 16% who voted for Trump in 2016. Correspondingly, while 84% Indian Americans had voted for Barack Obama in 2012 and 77% for Democratic nominee Hillary Clinton in 2016, just 66% say they support Joe Biden.If the undecided voters split down the same ratio, 30% of the Indian American vote could go to the Republicans. The prominent reasons most Indian Americans cite for shifting Republican all relate to either Democrats’ criticisms of Modi’s actions or Trump’s relationship with the Indian PM.“We’ve given Democrats an earful. People are very mad, including me,” says Bharat Barai, a long-time Democrat from Indiana (a battleground state) and a BJP supporter. 71-year-old adds that he sees himself as an independent who has voted mostly for Democrats in the past. He even likes Biden, he says.“I had approached Joe Biden when I was lobbying Congressmen on India-US nuclear deal. No Democratic senator had signed on, and he agreed to be the first. I have good relations with him. But I am also pissed off at his Muslim agenda page. I don’t know how I am going to vote now.” What Barai is referring to is Biden’s ‘Agenda for Muslim-American Communities’, which makes a reference to Kashmir as well as CAA and NRC, another contentious proposal of the Modi govt. Stating that “restrictions on dissent” weaken democracy, the agenda says measures like NRC and CAA “are inconsistent with the country’s long tradition of secularism and with sustaining a multi-ethnic and multi-religious democracy”.
How targeted misinformation works on Indian social media: the hindu
2014 Maharashtra Assembly elections were just around the corner. Arjun Sharma(name changed), a student in Mumbai, was looking for some quick money when a friend approached him with a lucrative offer. The job required Sharma to create several seemingly authentic Twitter accounts. “I created profiles and made them look real. For instance, to act as a cricket lover, I would make cricket-related posts and use a relevant profile picture,” he says. Within weeks, he was handling some 15 accounts he had created. He worked with a few other people. “A guy gave us fodder for daily posts,” he says. The accounts actively posted content about social and civic issues, and were directed against BJP and its candidate Ashish Shelar, who was then contesting against Congress’ Baba Siddique for the Bandra West seat. Shelar won by over 25,000 votes. Sharma was paid in cash for his stint. 6 years on, organised misinformation is more than just a digital issue. It is an extension of our very society, reflecting its lopsided keel. Even as social media posits itself as a democratic tool, it is worth questioning if its reach is indeed egalitarian, as those with massive resources robotically flood the medium with propaganda, leaving only an insignificant slice free for independent voices. When it comes to policy implementation by social media platforms, concept of fostering equal speech — moving beyond just free speech — gets muddled, says Raheel Khursheed, former head of News, Politics and Govt for Twitter India. Those with more resources enjoy the power to steer the online discourse, while the individual voice, even if free, gets buried in the noise.In the new Netflix documentary, The Social Dilemma, Tristan Harris, ethicist, computer scientist and former Google employee, articulates a fundamental issue — the existential threat to society isn’t technology itself, but its ability to bring out the worst in society. Changing this challenges the very business model of the platforms, which is focussed on monetisation of information. Actually, says Harris in the film, “It’s a disinformation-for-profit business model.” “If I want to manipulate an election, I can now go into a conspiracy theory group on Facebook, and find people who believe the world is completely flat... and I can tell Facebook (to) give me 1,000 users like that.”
Subramanian Swamy drags PMO into row with Amit Malviya, Tajinder Bagga questions his loyalty
New Delhi: Rajya Sabha MP Subramanian Swamy Sunday dragged PMO into his running battle with BJP’s national social media and IT head Amit Malviya. This prompted a response from BJP leader Tajinder Pal Singh Bagga who said Swamy had ditched BJP once in favour of Congress chief Sonia Gandhi. In a series of tweets Sunday morning, hours after BJP’s new team was announced and it was known that Malviya will continue as the IT head, Swamy said he had tweeted against Malviya earlier to check whether tweets against the former were financed by the latter or not. On 7 Sept., Swamy had accused Malviya of running a smear campaign against him using fake tweets.In his latest salvo, Swamy accused Hiren Joshi, OSD (Communications & IT) in PMO, of running the fake tweets campaign against him. “Now that Malaviya has been re appointed, I have this to say: My earlier tweet was to test whether Malviya financed fake ID tweets on his own or not. Now it is clear. PMO Haren Joshi (sic) was behind it. I have written to PM two weeks or so ago bringing this to his notice with documents,” he said.
PM takes swipe at China, questions UN role in pandemic
At a time when ties with China have plummeted over the crisis in Ladakh, Prime Minister Narendra Modi took a swipe Saturday at Beijing’s debt-trap diplomacy, saying India strengthens its development partnership without any “mala fide intent” of making a partner country “dependent or hapless”.He also questioned UN’s role in the pandemic as he pushed for reforms in the organisation and underlined India’s willingness to assume a larger role in managing the global crisis.In a veiled reference to China-Pakistan ties, the Prime Minister told the United Nations General Assembly that any gesture of friendship by India towards one country is not directed against any third country.
West’s Silence Emboldened Modi to Pursue Anti-Muslim Agenda: HRW Chief
Human Rights Watch has said that the silence of western leaders on human rights abuses by PM Narendra Modi has only emboldened him in his anti-Muslim agenda. In an interview to Newsweek, HRW executive director Kenneth Roth said the West’s attempt to use India as a counterweight to China as well as the “unprincipled approach to human rights pursued by President Trump had only emboldened Indian leader’s decision to undermine the human rights of Muslim citizens”. Under Modi, India underwent a sharp rightward, shift further marginalising its 200 million Muslim minorities. Roth told Newsweek: “The big issue with India is Prime Minister Modi’s systematic discrimination against Muslims and his tolerance of violence against Muslims.”Clarion India
3 questioned for role as ‘informants’ in Shopian killing
Srinagar : 3 persons, who are said to have been working as informers for the Army, on Saturday deposed before the Army’s Court of Inquiry, set up to probe the July 18 encounter at Amshipora, Shopian, in which three labourers from Rajouri were killed and declared militants.Top sources in the administration said that the three persons are “the last contacts of the three deceased” and are being questioned for their role in the incident. On Sept.18, the Army had confirmed that identities of the three killed at Amshipora matched that of the missing labourers from Rajouri — Abrar Ahmed (25), Imtiyaz Ahmed (20) and Mohammed Ibrar (16).“These suspects worked as informers for the Army,” sources said, adding that there are preliminary indications “of their involvement in the encounter.
Kashmiri Journalist Fears for Life After Website Calls Him ‘Hindu Hater’
NEW DELHI:After the publication of a profile article describing him as a ‘Hindu hater’ on the website, Stop Hindu Hate Advocacy Network (SHHAN), journalist Raqib Hameed Naik wrote to Delhi police on Saturday, complaining about the possible threat to his life.In a letter to DCP, IPS Eish Singhal, Raqib requested him to register an FIR against individuals running SHHAN for defamation by including his name in the hit list of “Hindu haters”.“Given the recent lynchings, and attacks on individuals whom a certain section thinks as their enemy, I am apprehensive of a similar attack and I may be targeted while performing my duty as a journalist. This altogether irresponsible article has threatened my freedom to work and live”, his letter reads.Calling the article published by SHHAN a blatant lie, he said the organisation had misappropriated the stories he had done.Talking to Clarion India about the seriousness of such a campaign, Raqib said that mere rumours could get one killed and this kind of labelling makes a person an enemy of nearly one billion people.Clarion India
Karnataka Congress Demands Release of 'Innocent People' Arrested in Bengaluru Riots Case
Karnataka's Leader of Opposition Siddaramaiah has appealed to the state government to take immediate steps to release "innocents" who were arrested in connection with Bengaluru riots.Speaking after Speaker allowed the discussion on the no-confidence motion here, Siddaramaiah asserted that "the Bengaluru police have arrested more than 400 persons in this connection and we all know that the police have picked up some innocents too. Congress party is not arguing on behalf of accused persons, we are for the innocents. Let the police examine every possible evidence in this case and act impartially".Training his guns on the police department, he charged that the entire Bengaluru riots case is a clear case of the failure of police and intelligence department. "The police should have taken immediate steps to contain riots. When accused Naveen posted derogatory post in afternoon and when some Muslim leaders went to complain, the police should have taken immediate steps. Delayed action by the police itself is the main reason for the riots going out of control," he argued.IANS
Bengal: One detained in NIA raid, suspected of links to al-Qaeda module
Kolkata : NIA has detained one person suspected to have links with an al-Qaeda module busted in Murshidabad district on Sept.9.The suspect was detained during fresh raids in Noudapara village in the district’s Jalangi area late on Friday, and is being questioned at present.According to sources at the Central agency, detainee used to work as a migrant labourer in Kerala, but had returned home during Covid-triggered lockdown. Apart from 6 arrests in Murshidabad last week, 3 Bengali-speaking labourers were arrested in Ernakulam in Kerala.
Tribal Christians tonsured and forced to chant 'Jai Shri Ram' in Jharkhand village
Seven tribal Christians were allegedly beaten, partially tonsured and forced to chant “Jai Shri Ram” in a Jharkhand village on the unproven allegation that they had slaughtered a cow.Although the incident happened on Sept.16 and a police complaint was lodged the next day, the matter became public only on Sept.25 when former zilla parishad member and social activist Neel Justin Beck told a local news portal about it. Police confirmed the incident. Shams Tabrez, SP in Simdega district where the attack took place, said 4 of the 9 accused named in FIR had been arrested and the rest would be picked up soon. FIR also mentions 10 unnamed accused. Deepak Kullu, 26, a tribal Christian from Bherikudar in Simdega, said a group of more than 25 stick and rod-wielding people had entered the village early on Sept.16 morning. The men were apparently residents of nearby villages.Deepak said: “I saw them beating a villager, Raj Singh Kullu, and hurling caste-based expletives at his wife Jacqueline Kullu. When I sought an explanation, they started mouthing caste-based expletives at me too and accused us of slaughtering cows.”“Raj continued to plead that no one had killed any cows. But the mob showed us what seemed a fake video of an elderly man from a neighbouring village saying he had seen cows being slaughtered in our village.”Deepak alleged the mob dragged him and six other Christian tribal men from the village to neighbouring Mahato Tola, about half a kilometre away, all the while slapping and beating them with sticks and forcing them to chant “Jai Shri Ram”.At Mahato Tola, they were made to squat under a tree and had portions of their heads shaved by the mob.“The attackers called the local Simdega police station, accusing us of cow slaughter. The police arrived in a few minutes and took us to the police station,” Deepak said.
‘Forced to Lick Saliva’: Muslim Welder Alleges Torture, Extortion by Police in Lucknow
NEW DELHI: A Muslim welder has alleged that the police tortured him by peeing on his face and forcing him to lick saliva after one of his workers eloped with a Hindu girl in Lucknow’s Salimpur Pitora.Fakhruddin Ali Ahmad, who has a shop offering welding services, said that since 18 Aug.when his neighbour Chotu Kashap filed complaints about her daughter’s affair with his employee Zubair, the cops called him to the police station and tortured him.“They have tortured me a lot. They have extorted money from me and beaten me up. They intimidated, threatened, thrashed and extorted money from me. They forced me to lick the saliva after spitting on shoes. They beat me up with their elbow on my back after bowing me down by nabbing my beard. They misbehaved with me a lot. I folded my hands and fell on their feet to ask what my crime was,” said Ahmad. He alleged that they have been abusing him a lot by calling him ‘kathmulle’ and using other abusive words. They forced him to drink wine and made him sit on the bottle. They extorted around Rs.79,000 from him –Rs. 60000 to the inspector and when he was transferred from there, Rs. 19000 to the new inspector. They did not take money directly from him but accepted the money through a third person, Raju, alleged Ahmad.Clarion India
Delhi violence: Court dismisses woman's bail plea, says her presence necessary to unearth conspiracy
NEW DELHI: A Delhi court on Saturday dismissed the anticipatory bail plea of a woman accused in the northeast Delhi violence observing that her presence is necessary to unearth the conspiracy involved in planning, instigating and fanning the flames of the communal conflagration.Additional Session Judge Vinod Yadav of Karkardooma court dismissed the anticipatory bail plea of Tabassum, a resident of Chand Bagh Area of Delhi, in connection with a case related to the murder of head constable Rattan Lal during northeast Delhi violence. Advocate Dinesh Tiwari, representing the applicant, argued that she has been falsely implicated in the matter by the investigating agency and has nothing to do with the alleged incident. It was argued that the investigation in the matter is complete and the chargesheet has already been filed in the matter.ANI
February riots: No bail for man with links to ex-councillor Tahir Hussain
NEW DELHI: Delhi high court has dismissed the bail plea of a riot accused linked to suspended AAP councillor Tahir Hussain and he will continue to remain behind bars.Justice Suresh Kait noted that the accused, Tanveer Malik, was also allegedly involved in other FIRs relating to the northeast Delhi violence, including the current one where the suspended councillor Hussain was also an accused.
BJP Reshuffle: Ram Madhav Replaced, Tejasvi Surya Is New President of Youth Wing
New Delhi: BJP president J.P. Nadda on Saturday announced a new team of party’s national office-bearers which has an element of continuity as well as change.The list of eight general secretaries, crucial organisation position in the party as they are the link between state and central leadership, has five new faces with Bhupender Yadav, Arun Singh and Kailash Vijayvargiya being retained. However, Ram Madhav, P. Muralidhar Rao, Saroj Pandey and Anil Jain have been replaced with new faces.Dushyant Kumar Gautam, D. Purandareshwaei, C.T. Ravi, Tarun Chugh and Dilip Saikia are new choices as general secretaries.PTI
Economist, Former ICRIER Chief Isher Judge Ahluwalia Passes Away
New Delhi: Eminent economist Isher Judge Ahluwalia, a recipient of India’s third-highest civilian award Padma Bhushan, passed away on Saturday. She was 74. An associate who worked with Ahluwalia said that she passed away on Saturday. Last month, she had stepped down as chairman of Indian Council for Research on International Economic Relations (ICRIER) due to her declining health. Ahluwalia was married to former deputy chairperson of Planning Commission Montek Singh Ahluwalia and is survived by her husband and two sons.PTI
In west UP, inter-faith same-sex couple seeks dist admin help after ‘families object’: indian express
New Delhi :An inter-faith same-sex couple on Friday approached the district administration of Shamli, in Uttar Pradesh, and sought intervention, saying that their families have objected to their relationship.The couple, in their early-20s, come from a village in Shamli and alleged that their families have threatened them with dire consequences. Police said protection will be provided to the couple as and when the need arises.According to local residents, the 2 women had eloped a few days ago out of fear of their families and went into hiding.indianexpress
Delhi air to worsen in next 3 days, thanks to stubble burning
Amid the protests over farm Bills, Punjab farmers are back at burning stubble. Satellite images released by NASAshow that stubble burning has started for nearly five days in the farm basket of India, which means in the next three days, Delhi's air may turn into 'poor' category amid the Covid-19 pandemic, sparking health concerns.System of Air Quality and Weather Forecasting And Research (SAFAR) has already started to show the results with Delhi's air quality turning 'moderate'. To put things into context, the air quality in Mumbai and Ahmedabad is 'satisfactory', while it is 'good' in Pune. SAFAR has red-flagged that in the next three days alone, PM 2.5, which is in moderate quantity in Delhi air as of now, will turn into 'poor'. As on Saturday, PM 2.5 count in Delhi air was 68. In the next three days, it is likely to reach 96. PM 2.5 count in Mumbai was 33 on Saturday, and is likely to go up to 35 in the next three days. IANS
CEO of Serum Institute asks Indian govt: Will it have Rs 80,000 crores available over next one year?
Rs 80,000 crore will be the cost of vaccinating everyone in India with the Covid-19 vaccine whenever it is available.Adar Poonawalla, the CEO of the Serum Institute of India (SII) asked the Indian government whether Rs 80,000 crore will be available over the next one year to buy the Covid vaccine and distribute it to everyone.SII is the world's largest manufacturer of vaccines and is conducting trials of Covid vaccine candidates like the AstraZeneca-Oxford vaccine."Quick question: will the Government of India have 80,000 crores available over the next one year? Because that is what the Ministry of Health needs to buy and distribute the vaccine to everyone in India. This is the next concerning challenge we need to tackle," Poonawalla said."I ask this question, because we need to plan and guide, vaccine manufacturers both in India and overseas to service the needs of our country in terms of procurement and distribution," he added.IANS
PM Modi promises to share Covid vaccine with rest of world; WHO Chief Praises PM
New York: WHO chief Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus has lauded Prime Minister Narendra Modi's assurance that India will use its vaccine production capacity in helping nations fight COVID-19, saying the pandemic can be defeated only by mobilising resources for common good.In his address to the 75th session of the UN General Assembly on Saturday, PM Modi said that "as the largest vaccine producing country of the world, I want to give one more assurance to the global community today. India's vaccine production and delivery capacity will be used to help all humanity in fighting this crisis."He said that even during these very difficult times of the raging pandemic, the pharmaceutical industry of India has sent essential medicines to more than 150 countries.PM Modi told the 193-member UN General Assembly that in India and the neighbourhood, "we are moving ahead with phase 3 clinical trials in India."PM Modi further assured that India will also help all the countries in enhancing their cold chain and storage capacities for the delivery of the vaccines.
China is Giving Unproven Covid Vaccines to Thousands of Essential Workers, With Risks Unknown: NYT
First, workers at state-owned companies got dosed. Then government officials and vaccine company staff. Up next: teachers, supermarket employees and people traveling to risky areas abroad.The world still lacks a proven coronavirus vaccine, but that has not stopped Chinese officials from trying to inoculate tens of thousands, if not hundreds of thousands, of people outside the traditional testing process. 3 vaccine candidates are being injected into workers whom the government considers essential, along with many others, including employees of the pharmaceutical firms themselves. Officials are laying out plans to give shots to even more people, citing emergency use, amounting to a big wager that the vaccines will eventually prove to be safe and effective.NYT
Coronavirus Cases Cross 60 Lakh-Mark In India, with over 1,100 deaths, over 88,600 new cases In 24 hrs
More than 88,600 new Covid cases were reported across India in the past 24 hours, govt data showed on Sunday, taking the total number of coronavirus cases in the country past the 60 lakh-mark. 1,124 deaths were also recorded in the past 24 hours, pushing the total number of deaths recorded since the pandemic began past 94,500. The number of recoveries reported in the past 24 hours is around 92,000, taking the total number of people who have fought off virus past 49 lakh. Around 13.4 lakh Covid tests were also conducted in the past 24 hours. India is the second worst-affected country by Covid pandemic, second only to US in the total number of active cases.NDTV
Fighting erupts between Armenia, Azerbaijan over disputed region
Heavy fighting between Armenian and Azerbaijani forces has broken out in the disputed Nagorno-Karabakh region, with both sides blaming each other for the major flare-up in violence that led to reports of casualties.Armenia accused neighbouring Azerbaijan of attacking civilian settlements in Nagorno-Karabakh – which is internationally recognised as part of Azerbaijan but is controlled by Armenian forces – including the main city of Stepanakert. Armenia’s defence ministry said its forces downed 2 Azerbaijani helicopters and three drones in response to an attack it said began at 04:10 GMT on Sunday.But Azerbaijan’s defence ministry said it launched a “counter offensive to suppress Armenia’s combat activity and ensure the safety of the population”, using tanks, artillery missiles, combat aviation and drones. The ministry said an Azerbaijani helicopter had been downed but its crew had survived.“There are reports of dead and wounded among civilians and military servicemen,”spokesman for Azerbaijani presidency, Hikmet Hajiyev, said. Russia on Sunday called for an immediate ceasefire and the start of talks. Turkish presidential spokesman Ibrahim Kalin tweeted: “Armenia has violated the ceasefire by attacking civilian settlements …international community must immediately say stop to this dangerous provocation.”
Israelis protest against Netanyahu despite coronavirus lockdown
Thousands of Israelis have gathered anew in Jerusalem to demand the resignation of PM Benjamin Netanyahu, a day after the country tightened its lockdown aimed at stemming surging coronavirus cases.Long processions of cars carrying people from throughout the country caused traffic jams in the city, with hundreds of small protests held at bridges and junctions nationwide.According to reports from Israeli media, protesters also gathered in Tel Aviv and Caesarea – as well as online – and organisers were quoted as saying that around 16,000 joined the demonstrations in person. Protesters on Saturday said the government’s attempt to block them was one motivation for them coming out on the streets.
Netanyahu orders construction of 5,000 new settlement units in West Bank
Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has ordered the construction of 5,000 new settlement units in an Israeli Jewish settlement in the occupied West Bank, Israeli media reported.According to the news website of Israeli TV Channel 7, Netanyahu has called for the Israeli High Council of Planning and Building to be convened in the West Bank after the Jewish holidays.“Netanyahu instructed the council to approve construction of 5,000 housing units in dozens of settlements in the West Bank,” the website reported.Israeli government has neither confirmed nor denied the development, claiming that Netanyahu made his decision after settler leaders in the occupied West Bank convinced him to take the step.
Kuwait calls for end to Israeli occupation in Palestine
Kuwaiti Prime Minister reaffirmed his country’s principled and firm position in supporting the choices of the Palestinian people to obtain their legitimate rights, Anadolu Agency reports.“The Palestinian cause still occupies a central historical and pivotal position in Arab and Islamic worlds,” Sabah Khaled Al-Hamad Al-Sabah told the 75th session of the UN General Assembly via video link.Al-Sabah stressed the importance of continuing efforts to relaunch negotiations to reach a just and comprehensive peace in accordance with the Arab Peace Initiative.
Normalisation deals ‘tool’ to undermine Islam: Scholar Al-Qaradaghi
A Muslim scholar has linked recent normalization deals between UAE, Bahrain and Israel to a campaign aimed at undermining Islam and monopolising the Islamic countries, Anadolu Agency reports.Ali Al-Qaradaghi, the Secretary-General of the International Union for Muslim Scholars (IUMS), said there are many tools being used to “uproot Islam and reoccupy Muslims intellectually, socially, economically and politically”.“One of these tools is through creating a new religion under the beautiful name of ‘Abraham’s faith’,” Al-Qaradaghi said in a Facebook post on Saturday. “[This claim] does not have anything to do with the rightful monotheistic religions; rather it undermines its foundation,” he said.
Palestine professor narrates his suffering inside US jails
Palestinian professor Abdul-Halim Al-Ashqar, originally from the occupied West Bank city of Nablus, narrates his suffering inside US jails during his 15-year detention. Speaking to Anadolu Agency, Al-Ashqar, who ran for Palestinian presidential elections in 2005, disclosed that he spent a total of about 15 years inside US prisons over “baseless” accusations related to supporting Hamas. Al-Ashqar started his career at the Islamic University of Gaza in 1985 and became the head of the Public Relations Office, noting that Israel exerted much efforts to close it over allegations that it was run by Hamas.
IMF approves deal with Sudan
Executive Board of IMF has approved an agreement signed with Sudan’s transitional government that will see Sudan obtaining $1.5 billion annually, and its debts estimated at $60 billion dropped.Deputy Managing Director and Acting Chair of IMF Antoinette Sayeh commented on the approval, stating:“The authorities (in Sudan) have requested an IMF staff-monitored program to establish a track record on policy and reform implementation, which is a requirement for eventual debt relief vis-a-vis official creditors.”
Egypt activists claim 3 killed in anti-govt protests
3 people were killed by police during anti-regime protests in Al-Jiza, according to Egyptian opponent activists and media outlets late Friday, Anadolu Agency reports. “Despite peaceful demonstrations, the Interior Ministry killed three people in Al-Iyad [in Al-Jiza],” Egyptian businessman and dissident Mohamed Ali, who lives in self-exile in Spain, said on Twitter. Several social media activists shared footage of demonstrations in Cairo, Al-Jiza and Luxor that responded to demands by Ali to protest the rule of President Adel-Fattah Al-Sisi.This was the sixth day of anti-regime protests amid deteriorating living conditions.
Malaysia’s ruling coalition wins Sabah in boost for PM Muhyiddin
Malaysian Prime Minister Muhyiddin Yassin’s ruling coalition has won a key state election, in a vote that was widely seen as a referendum on his seven-month-old administration.The victory in Sabah state in Borneo is likely to strengthen Muhyiddin’s position as he faces a leadership challenge from opposition leader Anwar Ibrahim, who said this week he had the parliamentary majority needed to overthrow the prime minister.Muhyiddin’s Perikatan Nasional (PN) coalition and its allies won 38 of the 73 seats up for grabs in Saturday’s election, narrowly taking control of the previously opposition-held state.
Yemen gov’t, Houthis agree to exchange 1,000 prisoners: Sources
Yemen’s warring parties have agreed to exchange some 1,000 prisoners, including 19 Saudi soldiers, a partial implementation of trust-building measures agreed during peace talks held in Sweden at the end of 2018.Sources familiar with the talks said the Yemeni govt, backed by a Saudi-led military coalition, and the Iran-aligned Houthi group they have been battling for over five years have agreed on a list of 1,080 prisoners to be swapped in what would be the largest instalment yet.The prisoner swap deal, which aimed for the release of some 15,000 detainees from the two sides, has been slowly and only partially implemented. ICRC will oversee the return of detainees to their families.
China foreign ministry denies think-tank claims of Xinjiang mosque destruction
China’s foreign ministry denied claims from an Australian think-tank that it had destroyed thousands of mosques in its western Xinjiang region, and said there are over 24,000 mosques there, “more mosques per capita than many Muslim countries.” Australian Strategic Policy Institute (ASPI) had released a report on Thursday which estimated that about 16,000 mosques in Xinjiang have been destroyed or damaged as a result of government policies, mostly since 2017.The estimates were made using satellite imagery and based on a sample of 900 religious sites prior to 2017, including mosques, shrines and sacred sites.“The Chinese government has embarked on a systematic and intentional campaign to rewrite the cultural heritage of the Xinjiang Uighur Autonomous Region... in order to render those indigenous cultural traditions subservient to the ‘Chinese nation’,” said ASPI report.In response to the report, China’s foreign ministry spokesman Wang Wenbin called it “nothing but slanderous rumors” during a press conference on Friday, and said the ASPI had received foreign funds to “support its concoction of lies against China.” Reuters
Passenger bus catches fire in Pakistan, 13 killed
Karachi:At least 13 people have been charred to death after a passenger bus they were travelling in caught fire and overturned in Pakistan, officials said. The over-speeding bus, on its way to Karachi from Hyderabad, skidded off the road and burst into flames on Saturday, police and rescue officials said. They were 22 passengers in the bus when it overturned and caught fire.PTI
· Mughals were ours, were not the other:Keki daruwalla, tribuneindia
Just as demonetisation, the two farm Bills will debilitate farming community and agri economy:P Chidambaram, indianexpress
Why was NCB leaking private conversations to news channels:Tavleen Singh,indianexpress
· Gilgit-Baltistan: The land of peaks, streams and disputes:Kallol Bhattacherjee, the hindu
· Bilkis Dadi: Conspirator for the State, Inspiration for Indian Women:Arfa Khanum Sherwani, the wire
Delhi Police presence in Muslim areas as well as targeting of activists and politicians surge: Mohammad Alamullah, muslimnews.co.ukhttp://muslimnews.co.uk/newspaper/top-stories/delhi-police-presence-muslim-areas-well-targeting-activists-politicians-surge/
· Inside Track: The absence from India which has triggered the biggest buzz is not of a politician: Coomi Kapoor , indian express
· Do Indians, neither vigilant nor vocal, deserve democracy?Ranjona Banerji, nationalheraldindia
· Decline of Parliamentary Democracy: ‘President’ Modi in 2022? Kumar Ketkar, nationalheraldindia
· Bollywood is the new JNU and Deepika Padukone the new opium of distraction:SAMIRA SOOD, theprint
· The books used as evidence for sedition charges against Sharjeel Imam, Akhil Gogoi & others:BISMEE TASKIN theprint
· Police should evoke trust, not fear:Karan Thapar, hindustan times
· Watch | Yogendra Yadav, Punjab's Farm Leaders Call Nationwide Bill Stir A Marker of Success, The Wire
· A 10-Point Plan to Turn Gilgit Baltistan into a Zone of Development for All:Sudheendra Kulkarni,The Wire
· RSTV Footage, MPs' Accounts of Farm Bills Debate Paint Picture of RS Rules Violation:Ajoy Ashirwad Mahaprashasta, The Wire