22 October 2020

22 OCT. NEWS: ‘Only in Bihar?’: BJP’s free Covid vaccine promise comes under Opposition fire. Umar Khalid alleges Tihar jail staff put him under solitary confinement, asks court why is he being punished


 ‘Only in Bihar?’: BJP’s free Covid vaccine promise comes under Opposition fire

BJP’s promise of providing free Covid-19 vaccination for the people of Bihar in its election manifesto attracted widespread criticism on Thursday with the opposition parties asking whether non-BJP ruled states will get the free vaccine. In the manifesto, released by Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman, the party said, “NDA government in Bihar has set an example in the fight against novel coronavirus. It is our promise that when a vaccine for COVID is available after clearance from ICMR, every Bihar resident will be given free vaccination.”Reacting sharply, the Opposition said the promise of a vaccine in an election manifesto shows BJP’s “desperation” and asked whether “Indians who didn’t vote BJP will not get free Covid vaccine?”Taking a potshot at the ruling dispensation, former Congress president Rahul Gandhi in a tweet said: “Government of India just announced India’s Covid access strategy. Kindly refer to the state-wise election schedule to know when will you get it, along with a hoard of false promises.”Calling for strict action by Election Commission, Congress leader Shashi Tharoor, in a tweet said: “Tum mujhe vote do, mai tumhe vaccine…what appalling cynicism! Will the Election Commission rap her and her shameless government on the knuckles?”Former J&K Chief Minister Omar Abdullah asked whether the BJP will be paying for the vaccines from its own party treasury.



India Keeps $7 Billion Ready For Vaccine At $2 A Shot: Report

The government has set aside about 500 billion rupees ($7 billion) to vaccinate the world's most populous nation after China against the coronavirus, according to people with knowledge of the matter.Prime Minister Narendra Modi's administration estimates an all-in cost of about $6-$7 per person in the nation of 1.3 billion, the people said, asking not to be identified as the details are private. The money provisioned so far is for the current financial year ending March 31 and there will be no shortage of further funds for this purpose, they added.A Finance Ministry spokesman couldn't immediately be reached when tried on his mobile.While a government-backed panel predicts that India is past the peak of infections and may contain the spread by February, the nation has taken a massive blow to economic growth and PM Modi has been reopening the economy. Starting this weekend, the country will be celebrating several festivals that could lead to a sharp jump in daily virus infections.



Social media, fake news can’t divert for long, jobless youth will hit the streets: Raghuram Rajan

Former governor of Reserve Bank of India Raghuram Rajan on Wednesday said that if India does not create enough jobs, youths will come to the streets (in protest).Cautioning that attention can be diverted by using social media and fake news but eventually it will fail, he asserted, “Young people without jobs can be diverted to this and that for a little while. But they are going to come to the streets if they don't create jobs. We can use social media, fake news to divert things but eventually, it is going to fail”.He also cautioned against import substitution under the 'Atma Nirbhar Bharat' initiative of the government.He was speaking at a webinar organised by the Centre for Financial Studies at Bhavan's SPJIMR."If the focus (under Atma Nirbhar Bharat initiative) is on import substitution by erecting tariffs, which we have done a lot of in the last few years, then I think it is a direction we have tried before and it has failed. I would caution against going in that direction," said Rajan.


'This Is Wrong': Journalists, Politicians Call Out BJP’s Free COVI Vaccine Promise During Bihar Poll

BJP’s promise of free vaccination for each person in Bihar in its manifesto for the state election has drawn sharp criticism from people, journalists and politicians.BJP’s election promise for Bihar was quickly slammed by several journalists who criticised the politicisation of a vaccine during a global pandemic.People also had questions on what would happen to the promise if a BJP or NDA government did not come to power in Bihar.Politicians also called out the Union minister’s statement and asked for Election Commission to take cognisance of it.However, shortly after Sitharaman’s press conference BJP IT cell chief Amit Malviya justified the promise saying health was a state subject and state government had the right to decide whether the vaccine would be provided for free.


Large Crowds, No Masks: Parties Flout Covid Norms In Bihar Campaign, EC Takes Note

After poll rallies in Bihar saw massive crowds and campaigners addressing public meetings without wearing masks, the Election Commission on Wednesday issued an advisory to all recognised political parties. In the advisory, the poll panel said chief electoral officers and the district machinery would be expected to invoke appropriate and relevant penal provisions against candidates concerned as well as organisers responsible for such violations, according to PTI.The EC advisory came a day after Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s address, the seventh since the pandemic began. Modi had called on people to remain careful as the “virus was still around”.



BJP leader PVS Sarma alleges ₹ 2,000 crore scam during demonetisation: report

PVS Sarma, a former income tax officer, who retired 15 years ago and joined BJP, has alleged that Rs 2,000 crore money laundering scam was executed during the demonetisation period involving top jewellers, builders, textile and diamond industrialists, reported Times of India.He has demanded a probe by Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) and Enforcement Department (ED) into the scam. He has also alleged connivance of chartered accountants (CAs) and income tax officers in the multi-crore scam which defeated the purpose of the Income Disclosure Scheme (IDS) launched by Modi government in November 2016. PVS Sarma said that he is also willing to file an affidavit in support of his case. He has also tweeted the documents related to a jewellery firm claiming that the firm sold Rs 96 crore worth of jewellery and gold within a few hours after the announcement of demonetisation on November 8, 2016.The firm showed additional undisclosed income of Rs 84 lakh as premium making charges collected from the customers and deposited the cash received through the sales in the banks after November 9, Sarma told while addressing a press conference.



Umar Khalid alleges Tihar jail staff put him under solitary confinement, asks court why is he being punished

Former JNU student Umar Khalid told a Delhi court Thursday that he has been kept under solitary confinement by Tihar Jail authorities for several days and asked the court why was he being punished. “I need security but security cannot be that I cannot step out at all. This is like a punishment, why am I been given this punishment?”, he asked the court during the hearing.Khalid was produced before Additional Sessions Judge (ASJ) Amitabh Rawat along with co-accused JNU student, Sharjeel Imam in connection with a UAPA case filed in the northeast Delhi riots. The court then summoned the Jail Superintendant to appear before it on Friday.When the hearing began, Special Public Prosecutor Amit Prasad, appearing for the Delhi Police, moved an application seeking 30 days of judicial custody for Khalid and Imam. ASJ Rawat, however, informed Prasad that he was unwell and since he could not look at the case files, he cannot grant the request for extension of their judicial custody.As the court fixed the next date of hearing, Khalid’s counsel Trideep Pais told the court that Umar has been raising his hand for some time as he wanted to say something.When the court granted Khalid permission to speak, he told the court, “Your honour, I just wanted to bring your attention to some events that have happened inside the jail. I am aware that you have passed an order on 17 October saying that I would be given adequate security cover and will be able to continue with my routine day to day without any discrimination. However, for the last 3-4 days, I have been not allowed to step out of my jail cell, it’s practically solitary confinement. Nobody is allowed near my cell. I am not allowed to step out of my cell. No one is allowed to talk to me. I wanted to just bring this to your notice because this is in contravention of your orders”.


Can’t detain without providing ground for arrest: Court to Delhi Police

Umar Khalid was arrested in connection with the riots in Khajuri Khas on October 1, while he was in judicial custody in another case related to an alleged conspiracy in violence.Observing that no person shall be detained in custody without being informed of the grounds for arrest, a Delhi court has directed the Delhi police to supply former JNU student Umar Khalid a copy of FIR in a case related to the Delhi riots for which he was arrested.The court of Chief Metropolitan Magistrate Purushotam Pathak also directed police to supply him the remand application and remand order and reports of the medical examination conducted during police custody. The court was hearing an application moved by Khalid’s counsel seeking copies of the documents so as to know the grounds of his arrest.



Tahir Hussain used political clout to fan riots: Delhi court

A Delhi court Thursday dismissed the bail application of suspended AAP councillor Tahir Hussain in three cases related to the north-east Delhi riots by observing that at the time of the riots, he was a sitting AAP councillor and “used his muscle power and political clout to act as a kingpin in planning, instigating and fanning the flames of the communal conflagration.”The observations were made by Additional Sessions Judge Vinod Yadav in an order in which he agreed with Special Public Prosecutor Manoj Choudhary’s argument that Tahir claiming parity with co-accused who are enlarged on bail was “illogical because the role assigned to him in the matters is totally different and distinct from rest of the co-accused persons.”




Delhi riots: Court dismisses bail plea of man in mosque torching case

NEW DELHI: A city court here has dismissed the bail application of a man arrested in connection with torching of a mosque during the communal violence in northeast Delhi.Chief Metropolitan Magistrate Purshotam Pathak said eyewitnesses have specifically named accused Kundan and stated about his alleged involvement in vandalism and torching of a mosque in Khajuri Khas area during the riots.“As per allegations, the accused (Kundan) was part of unlawful assembly/rioters and involved in rioting, vandalization, destruction and arsoning of public and private properties. During the present incident, a masjid was also vandalised and set on fire by rioters.PTI



Stop harassment of journalists, drop sedition cases against them, global press bodies tell Modi

International Press Institute and Belgium-based International Federation of Journalists on Tuesday urged Prime Minister Narendra Modi to drop all charges against journalists, including those under the draconian sedition laws, that have been imposed on them for their work.In a joint statement, the global media groups asked the prime minister to take immediate steps to ensure that journalists can work “without harassment and fear of reprisal”. Journalistic work, they said, cannot be equated to sedition or undermining security.The press associations also accused Modi government of using the coronavirus pandemic as an excuse to silence its critics. As many as 55 journalists were targeted for covering the pandemic in India between 25 March – when lockdown was first imposed and 31 May – a report by Rights and Risks Analysis Group has shown, the letter noted.“In the most recent case, on October 5 a Kerala-based journalist, Siddique Kappan, who was trying to reach the family of a rape victim in the Hathras district of Uttar Pradesh, was arrested and charged with sedition,” it added.Besides Kappan, the advocacy groups highlighted the sedition cases against senior journalist Vinod Dua, Dhaval Patel, the editor and owner of a Gujarati news portal, Face of Nation, and Kamal Shukla, editor of Bhumkal Samachar. Shukla was charged for sharing a cartoon on Facebook, which referred to the Supreme Court’s decision to reject petitions calling for an independent investigation into the mysterious death of special CBI judge Brijgopal Loya in 2014.


Press Association criticises ‘abrupt sealing’ of ‘Kashmir Times’ office in Srinagar

Press Association has criticised the Jammu and Kashmir administration’s decision to seal the Srinagar office of Kashmir Times and demanded its opening, PTI reported. The newspaper, one of the oldest English dailies in Jammu and Kashmir, had functioned out of government allotted offices since the 1990s.Anuradha Bhasin, the executive editor of the newspaper, on Monday accused the administration of having a vendetta against the daily for taking a critical stance about government policies. She had said that the due process of law was not followed and they were not given notices of eviction prior to when it happened.



Journalist Prashant Kanojia, arrested for allegedly sharing morphed post on Ram temple, gets bail

Allahabad High Court on Wednesday granted bail to journalist Prashant Kanojia for allegedly posting a morphed photograph related to the Ram temple in Ayodhya, Bar and Bench reported. Kanojia will be released from custody on Thursday.Kanojia’s wife Jagisha Arora confirmed the bail order. “My faith on the judiciary and Baba Saheb’s Constitution bore fruits,” she said.Kanojia was arrested from his residence in South Delhi by the Uttar Pradesh police in August. An FIR was registered against him in Lucknow’s Hazratganj police station by a person named Dinesh Kumar Shukla, alleging that the journalist had tweeted a morphed image of a poster with the name of Sushil Tiwari, a member of the Hindutva group called the Hindu Army. In the FIR, Kanojia was charged for promoting enmity between two or more communities.


Is this investigative journalism?: Bombay HC on Republic TV’s reportage of Sushant Rajput’s death

Bombay High Court has rapped Republic TV for its reportage on the death of Sushant Singh Rajput, and asked whether the channel suggestively pronouncing on the merits of the matter that is sub judice and building public opinion on arrests constituted “investigative journalism”, Live Law reported.A bench of Chief Justice Dipankar Dutta and Justice GS Kulkarni was referring to the #ArrestRhea campaign run by the channel on Twitter against actor Rhea Chakraborty after Rajput’s death. “Is this part of investigative journalism? Asking the public about their opinion on who should be arrested?” the bench asked advocate Malvika Trivedi, the channel’s lawyer.



NIA arrests auto-driver in connection with east Bengaluru riots

Officials of NIA, which is probing two cases in connection with the August 11 east Bengaluru riots, arrested a 34-year-old auto driver based in the city on Tuesday. This is the second arrest made by the NIA. The accused, Setu, had allegedly been absconding since the day of the riot and the Central Crime Branch (CCB) sleuths of Bengaluru police had also been trying to nab him, the NIA said. According to the NIA, Setu is one of the prime accused in the case. He was caught when he returned to his DJ Halli residence on Wednesday.



Priya Ramani-MJ Akbar case: District and sessions judge sends matter back to Rouse Avenue Court

Delhi District and Sessions Judge Sujata Kohli decided on Thursday that the criminal defamation case filed by author-turned-politician MJ Akbar against journalist Priya Ramani will continue in the court of Additional Chief Metropolitan Magistrate Vishaj Pahuja, of Rouse Avenue Court in the national Capital, Live Law reported. Ramani had accused Akbar of sexual harassment in October 2018, following which he sued her.Pahuja told both parties on October 13 that his court does not have the jurisdiction to continue hearing the case. The court had been hearing the case for two years. Pahuja said that as per a circular from February 2018, the court can only hear cases filed against MPs or MLAs, and not by them. The case then came up for hearing before Kohli, who on October 14 said she would pronounce her decision on October 22.


Maharashtra withdraws ‘general consent’ to CBI: what this means, which cases it will impact; Maharashtra govt’s fear over TRP scam probe?

Mumbai ; Maharashtra government has withdrawn “general consent” given to the CBI to probe cases in the state. The decision means the central agency will have to get consent from the state government for every case it registers in Maharashtra.CBI is divided into three categories when it comes to investigation. The first is the Anti-Corruption Division that investigates cases against public servants under the control of the central government, public servants in public sector undertakings, also under the control of the central government, cases against public servants working under state governments, which have been entrusted to CBI by the state, and serious departmental irregularities committed by the above mentioned. Economic Offences Division investigates financial crimes, bank frauds, money laundering, illegal money market operations, graft in PSUs and banks.Maharashtra government was vary about the Special Crimes Division taking over the probe into the alleged TRP scam being investigated by the Mumbai Police. Republic TV is among the five channels under police scanner in the case. Since the CBI took over a similar case of manipulation of TRPs, registered by the Uttar Pradesh police on Tuesday, the Maharashtra government feared the central agency would include in its purview the case probed by the Mumbai Police, and attempt to take over.Maharashtra Home Minister Anil Deshmukh said the government believed CBI was a professional and premier investigating agency, but felt it could act under political pressure. He referred to how it was called a “caged parrot” in the past by the Supreme Court.One of the reasons behind the state’s anxiety was the similar manner in which the Rajput case had been taken over by CBI.



Indian opposition, U.N. call for release of elderly priest held on terror charges

NEW DELHI;Indian opposition leaders on Wednesday called for the release of an elderly priest held on terror charges, one of 16 similar arrests rights groups say are politically motivated.Shashi Tharoor, a member of parliament from India's main opposition Congress party, speaks during an interview with Thomson Reuters Foundation at his office in New Delhi, January 25, 2016.Stan Swamy, an 83-year-old Jesuit priest working with tribal groups in Jharkhand, was arrested earlier this month on accusations he assisted Maoist groups active in the region.He was refused bail and is being held under the Unlawful Activities Prevention Act (UAPA), that critics say is one of several laws being abused by Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s government.“The charges seem to be preposterous,” said Shashi Tharoor, a lawmaker from the opposition Congress, that was one of half-a-dozen parties to speak at a news conference on Wednesday.Reuters


NIA Team Interrogates Student for Five Hours, Not for Terror Link: Odisha Police

A NIA team team on Wednesday interrogated a student after picking him up from a place under Khandagiri police station area here but not for any terror link, police said. The student was questioned for about five hours at Khandagiri police station but the reason for it was not disclosed to the media.He was picked up with help of the Odisha Police. Commissioner of Police SS Sarangi said, "As per our information, the interrogation is not linked to any terrorist activities."The student was not taken to any undisclosed location for interrogation but was interrogated at the Khandagiri police station itself, he said. None has been detained or arrested by the central agency and its team has already completed its interrogation and left, Sarangi said.He asked the media not to disclose the student's name or identity.    PTI



Opposition Leaders, Activists Demand Repeal of UAPA, Release of Stan Swamy

NEW DELHI — “This (UAPA) must go from statute books. It has to be removed. We do not need these sorts of laws that can be misused. The present regime removed checks and balances on UAPA and misused this draconian law. It must go.”This was stated by CPI(M) leader Sitaram Yechury on Wednesday at a virtual conference organised by the People Union of Civil Liberties (PUCL) over the recent arrest of Stan Swamy, a Jharkhand-based tribal rights activist, under UAPA by the NIA in connection with the Bhima Koregaon case.Rights activists and leaders of opposition parties demanded the revocation of the controversial UAPA, which, they said, was being used frequently by the Modi government to silence critics.


Communalism, Fascism Threatening Not Only Muslims but Entire Society: Arshad Madani

NEW DELHI — Jamiat Ulama-e-Hind chief Maulana Arshad Madani on Thursday said that India’s secular and democratic fabric was facing a serious threat and challenge from communal and fascist forces.According to the outspoken religious scholar, the present situation in the country is grim and worse than what was at the time of the Partition of the country. This poses a threat not only to Muslims but to the entire society, he said.In a press statement issued on Thursday, Madani said that India was known as the largest secular and democratic country in the world, adding that the international community hailed Mahatma Gandhi as an apostle of peace for his ideals of non-violence, harmony and brotherhood.But, he said, in the past several years attempts were being made to create disharmony among various communities. The Maulana said minorities, Dalit and weaker sections were being targeted and this has created an atmosphere of fear. It was, he said, the duty of all peace-loving and secular-minded forces to unite against communal and fascist forces to protect ideals of socialism and secularism.


Bihar Elections: Bardaha residents want a government that cares for ‘Muslims, other weaker sections of society’

Bardaha, which falls in Madhubani district in Bihar, is a green village. Flood has affected its paddy crop but the trees of Mango, Litchi, Banana, Dates and Bamboo make you feel macrobiotic. But this greenery is yellowed when the inhabitants are asked about their concerns in contemporary India and the upcoming elections. One elderly retired teacher put it in a very simple way: ‘We want Lalu era security’. A youngster wanted jobs for the community.Bardha, which lies nearly 170 kilometers north of Patna, is a predominantly Muslim village. And it is clean. A beautiful Masjid greets you at the entrance of the village. There are working CCTV cameras. The toilets are surprisingly not dirty here.TwoCircles



PFI is 'saving Indian Constitution'; Syed Sarwar Chishti, chief of Ajmer Sharif Dargah

New Delhi: Syed Sarwar Chishti chief of Ajmer Sharif dargah backed Popular Front of India (PFI). Chishti said that the PFI has raised issues of Muslims and added that reason for backing PFI is that they are 'saving the Indian constitution'."It's a cadre-based Muslim organisation. They raised their voice against CAA, NRC and due to that their cadre was harassed in UP and Delhi. No case has been proved against them. We back PFI because they are trying to save Indian Constitution," Chishti said.He further claimed that those who are against PFI 'have never spoken against RSS,  VHP or BJP. "They have also praised these organisations," he further added. Interestingly, Chishti's comments came even as All India Sufi Sajjadanashin Council called on Muslim youth to avoid radicalizing groups 'such as the Popular Front of India'. "Radicalisation is the biggest threat,"  said Syed Nasiruddin Chisty of AISSNC. "‘We are not against any organisation, as long as that organization works in the interest of the country and the society," he told Times Now.


Meeting held to discuss statehood for Jammu after Kashmir parties form alliance for special status

Nearly 20 political parties and social organisations on Wednesday held a meeting in Jammu to discuss separate statehood for the region, ANI reported. Jammu-based J&K National Panthers Party chairperson Harsh Dev Singh said the leaders present at the meeting expressed concerns over the alleged neglect of Jammu division of the Union Territory by the Narendra Modi government.“The people living in 10 districts of Jammu believe that they are not getting anything,” Singh told ANI. “We are neglected in parameters of development, employment, allocation of funds. The focus of Delhi is on Kashmir or Ladakh and the nationalist residents of Jammu are getting ignored and therefore demand is being raised to grant statehood to Jammu.”



Inclusive strategy needed against radicalisation of youth in J&K, says L-G Manoj Sinha

Srinagar: Jammu and Kashmir Lieutenant Governor (LG) Manoj Sinha advocated comprehensive measures on Wednesday to deal with radicalisation of youngsters in the Union Territory, saying terror elements from thousands of miles away are trying to infiltrate a large section of the society with the help of rabid propaganda.Addressing policemen on the occasion of the Police Commemoration Day at Zewan on the city outskirts, Sinha hailed the Jammu and Kashmir Police for maintaining law and order and dealing with terrorism in the Union Territory.“Indoctrination is not limited to an individual taking up a gun after brainwashing by terror outfits, but with the help of rabid online and offline propaganda, terror elements sitting thousands of miles away are trying to infiltrate a large section of the society,” the LG said in his address.




Centre asks Twitter to respect India’s sovereignty after location settings show Leh in China: Report

The Centre has written a stern letter to Twitter Chief Executive Officer Jack Dorsey after the social media platform’s location settings showed Leh as a part of China, PTI reported on Thursday. The government told Dorsey that both Ladakh and Jammu and Kashmir were “integral and inalienable” parts of India.The letter was written by Electronics and Information Ministry Secretary Ajay Sawhney, who expressed disapproval about the misrepresentation of India’s map. Sawhney also asked Twitter to respect the “sensitivities of Indian citizens”. He added that disrespecting India’s sovereignty and integrity was unacceptable and unlawful.



Chinese espionage case, PMO officials, Dalai Lama were on spy radar:indiatoday

New developments have come to light in the ongoing probe into the Chinese espionage racket which led to the arrest of Indian journalist Rajeev Sharma, a Chinese woman Qin Shi and her Nepalese associate Sher Singh alias Raj Bohra. Investigators have now found that Shi was asked to get details of top officials who were working in important ministries, including the Prime Minister's office. Investigators have also revealed that Shi was tasked with obtaining information on Dalai Lama's treatment, including details about his doctors apart from hospitals he visited for a check-up and the medicine he took.According to investigators, a monk at the Mahabodhi temple introduced Shi to a woman in Kolkata sometime in late 2019. She was told that the woman will give her documents in English and she has to translate them into Mandarin.indiatoday


Mizoram, Assam Agree to Amicably Sort Out Dispute 4 Days After Border Violence

New Delhi: Four days after the longstanding border dispute between Mizoram and Assam led to a fresh bout of violence, both the north-eastern states agreed to sort out the issue amicably at the intervention of the Union Ministry of Home Affairs (MHA).According to local news reports, in an immediate step to scale down the tensions, the Mizoram government has withdrawn its forces from the border with Assam after a meeting of the home secretaries of both the states in the presence of MHA (Northeast) joint secretary Satyendra Garg at the circuit house in Assam’s Silchar town, bordering Mizoram.Prior to the meeting, the home secretaries of both the states held a meeting at Lailapur in Silchar district, close to the inter-state border, where the violence had taken place.


India, U.S. set for military pact on satellite data during Pompeo visit

NEW DELHI: India is closing in on an agreement with the United States that will give it access to satellite data for better accuracy of missiles and drones, government and industry officials said, as it tries to narrow the gap with the powerful Chinese military.The two sides are expected to announce the pact during the visit next week of U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo and Defense Secretary Mark Esper for talks in New Delhi with Indian counterparts Subrahmanyam Jaishankar and Rajnath Singh.United States, which antagonised Beijing this week by approving the potential sale of three weapons systems to Taiwan, has also been pushing for stronger security ties with India to help balance China’s growing regional influence.Reuters


US proposal on business visas for H-1B speciality jobs could affect hundreds of Indians

The State Department on Wednesday proposed to not issue temporary business visas to skilled foreign workers for H-1B speciality occupations in the United States, PTI reported. The decision, which was made public less than two weeks before the presidential election, could disproportionately affect hundreds of Indians in the tech industry. Donald Trump administration’s decision also came in the wake of mass unemployment triggered by the coronavirus pandemic.


'Rise in love jihad cases': NCW chief files complaint with Twitter, claims account was hacked after controversial posts go viral

National Commission for Women chairperson Rekha Sharma has filed a complaint with Twitter India, citing “suspicious activity” from her account, Indian Express reported.The development comes after some of Sharma’s controversial tweets were dug out by users, following her meeting with Maharashtra governor to discuss “rise in love jihad cases” on Tuesday. Sharma, however, claimed that her account was hacked. Amid the controversy, access to Sharma’s tweets were restricted.The women’s body chief said that Twitter itself blocked her account after she alerted the micro-blogging site of “suspicious activity”. On Tuesday, the women’s panel announced that Sharma had met Maharashtra Governor Bhagat Singh Koshyari and discussed “rise in love jihad cases” with him.


CAA: Assam students’ group protests after BJP chief says Act will be enforced soon

All Assam Student’s Union on Wednesday staged a protest against the Citizenship Amendment Act in Jorhat district, Northeast Now reported. Members of the union burnt the effigy of Bharatiya Janata Party President JP Nadda, who had said on Monday that the Act will be implemented soon.The members of the group gathered outside the deputy commissioner’s office in Jorhat. They shouted slogans against the Bharatiya Party, Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh and Prime Minister Narendra Modi.The students’ union’s Jorhat President Arjun Moni Bhuyan and General Secretary Partha Pratim Bora told Northeast Now that they will not allow the Assamese identity to be destroyed. They added that the Assamese were a warrior race. “If required, we too will shed our blood,” they said.An unidentified member of the group said that Assam was for the native people, not outsiders. The member added that the Centre should drive out foreigners, whether they are Hindus or Muslims.



BJP president JP Nadda’s statement on CAA implementation most unfortunate: Ashok Gehlot

Rajasthan chief minister Ashok Gehlot on Wednesday termed BJP president JP Nadda’s statement on the implementation of CAA as “most unfortunate”.BJP president Nadda on Monday said the implementation of the CAA has been delayed due to the COVID19 pandemic.Reacting to Nadda’s statement, Rajasthan chief minister Gehlot on Wednesday tweeted: “BJP President JP Nadda ji’s statement regarding implementation of #CAA is most unfortunate.”Gehlot reminded that there were incidents of communal tension in the country before the COVID19 pandemic over BJP’s efforts to implement CAA.



'BJP Govt Failed to Find Solution for Hills': Gorkha Janmukti Morcha Walks Out of NDA

Kolkata: Gorkha Janmukti Morcha supremo Bimal Gurung, on the run since 2017 following an agitation for a separate state in Darjeeling, on Wednesday said his outfit has decided to walk out of the NDA, as the BJP-led dispensation “failed to find a permanent political solution” for the Hills.Gurung, flanked by close aide Roshan Giri, rued that the central government was yet fulfil its promise of recognising 11 Gorkha communities as Scheduled Tribes.He vowed to support the Mamata Banerjee-led TMC in its fight against the BJP in the 2021 Bengal Assembly elections.PTI



PM Modi remained mum on many issues but speech was`crisp’: Shiv Sena

Taking a swipe at Prime Minister Narendra Modi over his address to the country, Shiv Sena mouthpiece `Saamana’ said on Thursday that he remained silent on major issues, but it was “one of the best speeches” made in the last few months.There was nothing to dislike in Modi’s Tuesday’s address, and the prime minister had a “radiant glow” on his face which will rid the country of its problems, the editorial in the Marathi daily said in a sarcastic tone.“What did prime minister Modi tell the countrymen through his address? What was new? Did he give any assurance to the flood-hit people in Maharashtra? Which monetary package was announced? All such criticism can be directed at the speech, however, the speech was short and effective,” it said.PTI


UP court orders wife to pay Rs 1,000 monthly maintenance allowance to husband

Muzaffarnagar :A family court here has ordered a woman, who is a government pensioner, to pay a monthly maintenance allowance to her husband, following a petition filed by the latter in this regard.The woman and the husband have been living separately for many years. The man had filed a petition in 2013 under the Hindu Marriage Act, 1955, seeking maintenance allowance from his wife.The judge of the Family Court on Wednesday allowed the petition of the complainant and ordered the woman to pay Rs 1,000 per month to her husband as maintenance allowance since she was a retired government servant and getting of Rs 12,000 pension per month.PTI


Right-Wing Mob Protests Outside Kathua Rape Case Lawyer’s Home in Jammu Over Her Tweet

NEW DELHI — Lawyer Deepika Singh Rajawat said that several members of right-wing organisations gathered around her house in Jammu and shouted threatening slogans against her on Tuesday night and Wednesday after she tweeted criticising the double standards of men towards women linking it to the ongoing Navratri festival.On Wednesday afternoon, the Jammu and Kashmir High Court lawyer, who shot to fame for representing the victim’s family in the 2018 Kathua rape-and-murder case, expressed fears that she could be attacked after several right-wing groups were outside her house to protest against her tweet.



Kangana Ranaut, sister Rangoli summoned by Mumbai Police; charges include fanning communal flare and sedition

Mumbai Police has summoned actor Kangana Ranaut and her sister Rangoli Chandel on October 26 and 27 for investigation in the sedition case registered against them, news agency ANI reported on Wednesday.  The development comes days after a Mumbai metropolitan court ordered an FIR against Kangana Ranaut and her sister based on a complaint filed by Munawwar Ali Sayyed, a casting director and fitness trainer. The complaint against the actress stated that she was "creating a communal divide and rift between people of two communities and in the mind of common man" through her tweets. Jagran News Desk


Muslim Cop Suspended for Sporting Beard in Baghpat District of Uttar Pradesh

NEW DELHI — A Muslim policeman posted in the Ramala police station in Baghpat district of Uttar Pradesh was suspended from his services by the department for growing beard.Sub-inspector Intishar Ali was asked by his officers a few days ago to shave off his beard or face action. However, he chose to defy the dictum and, consequently, was served a suspension order.“Yes, I have been suspended because of my beard.”  Speaking with Clarion India from Baghpat, Ali said he is sporting the beard for religious reasons and has the right to do so. “Why should I remove my beard?,” he asked.The office of Superintendent of Police, Baghpat confirmed the reports of Ali’s suspension to Clarion India citing violation of the dress code. PRO of SP Baghpat Abhishek Singh said: “With regard to the beard, he (Ali) was served a notice once in the past as well for misconduct but even then he kept violating the uniform code. Now he has been suspended.”



Karnataka: Muslim Congress leader threatened for entering temple, cops register FIR

Mangaluru: Mohiuddin Bava was invited by the priest of Gurupura Ambika Annapoorneshwari temple in Mangaluru's Bajpe to take part in the start of the Navaratri rituals. He visited the temple and even took part in the rituals at the temple along with other devotees on Sunday. However, he was in for a rude shock the very next day as he began to receive a call from an unknown number. The man who identified himself as Anil from Mumbai began to raise objections to his temple visit. The audio conversion between the former MLA and the man was recorded, where he is heard saying, "It's not Nehru period, it's a Modi period a Muslim should not go to the temple, a beef eater and Muslim should not visit temple".Mohiddin Bava who heard him out tried to explain to him that he was there upon invitation and had done nothing wrong.


UP's Ballia firing: BJP MLA again defends main accused, says criminal got killed by soldier

On Wednesday, Surendra Singh had said that he was yet to receive the notice.

Despite the notice served on him by the BJP over his recent remarks, party MLA Surendra Singh on Thursday again defended a murder accused, saying “a criminal got killed at the hands of a soldier in the firing”.The main accused in the case is the district unit president of the BJP ex-servicemen cell.Local BJP leader Dhirendra Pratap Singh had shot dead a 46-year-old man following a quarrel over the allotment of ration shops in Ballia district’s Durjanpur village on October 15.PTI


23 Muslim Girls from Delhi Govt. School in Jamia Nagar Crack NEET-2020

New Delhi:In a remarkable performance, as many as 569 students from government schools in Delhi have cracked NEET this year – 379 of them are girls. Of these girls, 23 are from one school in Noor Nagar locality in the Jamia Nagar area. Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal and his deputy and Education Minister Manish Sisodia have congratulated all 569 successful students and their parents and promised them monetary support for their higher education.The Vice Principal of Sarvodaya Kanya Vidyalaya- Noor Nagar has expressed happiness on the success of her 23 students in NEET-2020.“This is a proud moment for this area. Our teachers and students have been working very hard. These children have given us what we were expecting, rather the success of so many students was unexpected. We were expecting that 15-18 students will crack this exam but 23 have cleared it. We have given one mantra to our students – work hard silently and let success make noise,” said Mudassir Jahan, Vice Principal of the school.Inclusive India


NGOs, individuals reach out to flood-hit families in Hyderabad

Hyderabad: As the rain water inundated several areas since the unprecedented rains started lashing the city since last week, various voluntary groups and individuals rose to the occasion in providing succour to the people in affected colonies. From arranging food, medicines, clothes and blankets to cleaning articles like broom sticks, phenyl and soaps, the voluntary organisations, groups of professionals and individuals have been working round the clock to help the affected families in the old city.One such NGO, Helping Hand Foundation, is busy providing food to people. Mujtaba Askari, founder, Helping Hand Foundation, said, “We are providing free meals to the affected families and after a door-to-door survey, groceries and bedding will be provided.”Students Islamic Organisation is also taking up various relief measures in the affected areas. “From Wednesday onwards, our volunteers are on the ground and trying to provide whatever is needed to the families,” said a press release from SIO.



Tablighi Jamaat members become flood warriors in Hyderabad

Hyderabad: Relief work is on in the flood affected areas of Hyderabad. Various NGOs and philanthropists have come forward to carry out relief work for the people who are stuck in inundated areas of Hyderabad due to the recent floods. They are making door to door visits in flood-hit areas to help the affected people. The city received heavy rainfall, unprecedented in the last hundred years, resulting in inundation of low-lying areas, brimming of dams and lakes. The heavy rains have left 70 people dead in the state in the last one week and caused damage to several properties. As staggering as 4000 plus vehicles have been wrecked across Hyderabad in the floods that ensued over the last one week.



Fact Check: No, Muslims will not surpass Hindu population in India anytime soon

New Delhi:The viral picture shows the proceedings of a religious event called 'Ijtema' held in Tongi, Bangladesh. This is the second largest Muslim gathering in the world after Haj.A Twitter screenshot of a large number of Muslims offering namaaz on the street is viral on social media. The place is so crowded that some can be seen offering namaaz on the top of a bus. The text in the screenshot says Muslims constitute 30 per cent of India's population.The screenshot has been posted with a caption saying, "They're the second-largest majority. When they become largest, you won't find Hindus here. The country will become like Pakistan and Bangladesh. They'll implement Sharia in place of Constitution and become an Islamic country in no time."





*corona & lockdown*



Centre allows all foreigners, except tourists, to enter India

New Delhi : Home Ministry on Thursday further liberalised the visa restrictions imposed due to the Covid-19 pandemic by allowing entry to all foreigners except tourists. Besides, the government has also allowed all Overseas Citizen of India (OCI), Person of Indian Origin (PIO) card holders and all other foreign nationals to visit India.Following the Covid-19 outbreak, only a certain category of OCI card holders and foreigners were allowed into the country until now.“The government has now decided to make a graded relaxation in visa and travel restrictions for more categories of foreign nationals and Indian nationals who wish to enter or leave India. Therefore, it has been decided to permit all OCI and PIO card holders and all other foreign nationals intending to visit India for any purpose, except on a tourist visa,” an MHA statement said.


Coronavirus Updates: Free vaccine for people of Tamil Nadu, promises CM Palaniswami

 Tamil Nadu Chief Minister Edappadi K Palaniswami on Thursday assured that the people of the state will be provided with free Covid-19 vaccine, once its developed. “Once the Covid vaccine is developed, it will be supplied free of cost for the people of Tamil Nadu,” he said. The state government’s decision came ahead of next year’s Assembly elections on 7 October.Earlier today, the BJP promised of providing free Covid-19 vaccination for the people of Bihar in its election manifesto that was released by Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman.


India's active COVID-19 cases remain below 10 pc of total caseload

Active cases of COVID-19 in India have remained below 10 per cent of the total caseload for the last three days suggesting that only 1 in 10 cases are active coronavirus patients, the Union Health Ministry said on Thursday. The daily positivity rate has also been maintained at less than 5 per cent over the past three days."There are 7,15,812 active cases of coronavirus infection in the country which comprises 9.29 per cent of the total caseload," the data stated. The total recovered cases are close to 69 lakhs and exceed active cases by 61,58,706.


Bihar deputy CM Sushil Kumar Modi tests positive for Covid-19

Bihar deputy Chief Minister Sushil Kumar Modi Thursday afternoon tweeted saying he has tested positive for the novel coronavirus. Modi has been, over the past few days, campaigning for the upcoming Bihar Assembly elections.“Tested positive for CORONA. All parameters perfectly normal. Started with mild temp. No temp. for last 2 days. Admitted to AIIMS Patna for better monitoring. CT scan of lungs normal. Will be back soon for campaigning,” Modi tweeted. The first phase of elections are on October 28.


Oversea Indians, foreign nationals can visit India except on tourist visa

India on Thursday allowed all foreign nationals as well as all OCI and PIO cardholders to travel to India via air or sea. All such persons are now allowed to travel to India for any purpose, except tourism. MHA stated that all existing visas, barring electronic visa, Tourist Visa and Medical Visa, are being restored with an immediate effect.


Madhya Pradesh to move SC against order restricting physical political rallies in state, says CM

Madhya Pradesh Chief Minister Shivraj Singh Chouhan on Thursday said that the Bharatiya Janata Party will approach the Supreme Court against the state’s High Court’s order restricting physical political rallies, ANI reported. The order came ahead of bye-polls to 28 Assembly seats in the state on November 3.“Political rallies are being held in Bihar every day,” Chouhan said. “There cannot be such contradicting legislation in the country.”


Doctors in Delhi see jump in breathing issues amid COVID-19, pollution

NEW DELHI: Top doctors in New Delhi are reporting a jump in respiratory problems among its residents, coinciding with the onset of peak pollution season in India’s capital and raising concerns about complications for COVID-19 patients.Doctors from five different Delhi hospitals told Reuters they have received twice the number of patients with respiratory illnesses such as bronchitis in the past two weeks.Reuters






Azeri president says Armenians can have ‘cultural autonomy’

Azeri President Ilham Aliyev has said he would not rule out what he termed “cultural autonomy” for ethnic Armenians in the mountain enclave of Nagorno-Karabakh, Russia’s RIA news agency reported.Aliyev on Thursday also said he was not against introducing observers and peacekeepers to the region, but that Baku would present its own conditions.But hopes of ending nearly a month of bloodshed were receding as Azeri and ethnic Armenian forces fought new battles, on the eve of talks in Washington.Azerbaijan’s defence ministry on Thursday accused Armenia of firing several ballistic missiles from its territory at the Azerbaijani cities of Gabala, Siyazan and Kurdamir, which are located far from the area of fighting in Nagorno-Karabakh. It said there were no casualties.


Afghan air raid kills at least 12 in mosque: Officials

An Afghan military air raid targeting Taliban fighters has killed at least 12 people, including children, and wounded 14 in an attack that hit a religious school and mosque in the northeastern province of Takhar, provincial officials said.In an account disputed by the national government, local authorities said on Thursday that 11 children and a prayer leader were killed in the attack.Hadi Jamal, a spokesperson for an Afghan military unit, confirmed the raid on Wednesday evening but said it was “not clear if the attack had accidentally killed civilians and children” and that an investigation had been launched. He did not elaborate on what kind of air attack had been carried out.Taliban fighters killed more than 40 Afghan security forces in the early morning of Wednesday, provincial councillor Mohammad Azam Afzali told DPA news agency.


After teacher’s killing, French Muslims fear rising Islamophobia

Paris, France – The gruesome killing of a teacher by an 18-year-old suspect of Chechen origin is testing the country’s fragile relationship with its Muslim minority, with growing fears of collective punishment.The teenager attacked Samuel Paty, a 47-year-old father, in broad daylight on Friday, beheading him near his school in Conflans-Sainte-Honorine, a suburb about 15 miles (24km) from the centre of a Paris.There has been an outpouring of grief and shock among top officials; Paty on Wednesday posthumously received the Legion d’Honneur, France’s highest honour, in a ceremony attended by President Emmanuel Macron. Thousands have attended protests.In the days after the killing, the government launched a crackdown against Muslim organisations while vigilante groups have attacked mosques; places of worship in Beziers and Bordeaux have been placed under police protection after having been threatened with violence.



Mosques in two French cities under police protection after threats

PARIS:French Interior Minister Gerald Darmanin said on Wednesday he had asked local authorities to put mosques in the cities of Bordeaux and Beziers in southwestern France under police protection following threats or acts of violence.“Such actions are unacceptable on the soil of the Republic,” the minister said in a post on Twitter on Wednesday.France bleu radio reported on its website late on Tuesday that leaders of the Ar-Rahma mosque in Beziers had filed a complaint with police following hate messages on Facebook, including a call to set the mosque on fire.Reuters



US urges countries to withdraw from UN nuke ban treaty

The United States is urging countries that have ratified a UN treaty to ban nuclear weapons to withdraw their support as the pact nears the 50 ratifications needed to trigger its entry into force, which supporters say could happen this week.The US letter to signatories, obtained by The Associated Press, says the five original nuclear powers — the US, Russia, China, Britain and France — and America’s NATO allies “stand unified in our opposition to the potential repercussions” of the treaty.It says the treaty “turns back the clock on verification and disarmament and is dangerous” to the half-century-old Nuclear Nonproliferation Treaty, considered the cornerstone of global nonproliferation efforts.AP


Call to recognise genocide ahead of UN Rohingya donor meeting

Civil society groups have urged the countries convening a UN-backed Rohingya donor conference to acknowledge that genocide was committed against the ethnic minority in Myanmar, as the United Kingdom announced new funding for the tens of thousands of Rohingya refugees now living in camps in Bangladesh.With the donor conference due to start later on Thursday, a group of 35 organisations appealed to the US and other countries to acknowledge that what happened in Myanmar constituted genocide.



Israel travel ban: Gaza nurses protest loss of permits, layoffs

A group of nurses from the besieged Gaza Strip have staged a protest in a public square, saying an Israeli travel ban has led the Jerusalem hospital they worked at for many years to fire them.Seven nurses, who worked at the Makassed Hospital in Jerusalem for at least 20 years each, gathered in Gaza City on Wednesday, wearing lab coats and holding banners that said: “Firing us is a death sentence for our profession and families.”


Dozens of legislators urge US to boycott Saudi Arabia-hosted G20

Forty-five legislators in the United States have urged the Trump administration to boycott next month’s G20 summit in Riyadh unless Saudi authorities address key human rights concerns, according to a correspondence released on Wednesday.The letter from US Congress members to Secretary of State Mike Pompeo comes after European legislators passed a resolution this month, calling for the European Union to downgrade its attendance at the summit, also over human rights.




Why Punjab’s farmers oppose the new farm laws:Ajay Vir Jakhar


Opinion: France’s difficult struggle against Islamism:Deutsche Welle


Inclusion of the word fraternity in Preamble is of historic importance and contemporary relevance:Rajmohan Gandhi


Rattled BJP promises Bihar vaccine being developed and 19 lakh jobs:Abdul Qadir


BJP's Offer of Free COVID Vaccine for Votes in Bihar is Nothing But a Crude Bribe:Vasudevan Mukunth and Siddharth Varadarajan




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