31 October 2020

31 OCT. NEWS: AIMPLB appeals to Muslims to boycott French products after Macron's comments on Islam. Global Human Rights Groups Raise Serious Concerns on NIA Raids. Conversion only for sake of marriage is not valid: Allahabad High Court



 AIMPLB appeals to Muslims to boycott French products after Macron's comments on Islam

All India Muslim Personal Law Board (AIMPLB) appealed to the Muslims to boycott French products. Maulana Muhammad Umrain Mahfuz Rahmani, the secretary of the board and in-charge of the social media desk, made the announcement.The appeal was issued over French President Emmanuel Macron's speeches on Islam and Muslims. In Bhopal, members of the Muslim community also protested at Iqbal Maidan against Macron over the controversy about the depiction of Prophet Muhammad in cartoons.Speaking at the demonstration, Congress MLA Arif Masood demanded that the Union government asked the Indian Ambassador to France to register protest against "anti-Muslim" stand of that country's regime.



Darul Uloom Deoband Slams Macron for 'Insulting' Prophet, Calls on Islamic Nations' Bloc to Act Against France

Darul Uloom Deoband, a renowned Islamic seminary in North India, has expressed outrage against French President Emmanuel Macron for ‘insulting’ Prophet Mohammed. Maulana Mufti Abul Qasim Nomani, head of the seminary said that it is a sign of French enmity towards Islam and demanded that OIC take strict action against France in the issue.Muslims worldwide have protested President Emmanuel Macron's strident defence of secular values and the right to mock religion after a French schoolteacher who showed his class cartoons of the Prophet Mohammed was murdered.“It is the responsibility of the Islamic countries and their rulers to form a strong strategy against France on this matter and this should be strongly raised on international forums as well. The OIC, the Arab League and other Muslim countries should raise their voice against the French government and lodge a protest at the diplomatic and commercial levels,” Maulana Abul Qasim Nomani said.



Jamiat slams France President Macron's stance on publication of caricatures

Prominent Muslim body Jamiat Ulema-e-Hind on Friday condemned French President Emmanuel Macron's stand on publication of caricatures of Prophet Muhammad.Jamiat president Maulana Arshad Madani said the publication of caricatures of the Prophet was being dubbed as freedom of expression and asked if such behavior can be justified in a civil society.He also criticised the Indian government's support for Macron.Islam is a peace-loving religion and respects the sentiments of all other religions, Madani said.PTI




Posters of French President Pasted on Mumbai Road, Removed By Police

Mumbai: Posters of French President Emmanuel Macron were found pasted on a busy road in south Mumbai and were later removed by the police, an official said on Friday.Pedestrians and motorists in the Bhendi Bazaar area spotted hundreds of posters of Macron, who is facing criticism from Muslim countries over a cartoon row in France, pasted on the Mohammed Ali Road under JJ flyover on Thursday evening, the official said. A video also surfaced on social media in which vehicles can be seen driving over the posters.Mumbai Police spokesperson S. Chaitanya confirmed the incident and said the posters were promptly removed by the Pydhonie police after getting information about them.No case has been registered in this regard so far, another official said.




Taslima Nasreen tweets ‘Boycott Islam’: Activist Gokhale files complaint against her for spreading communal disharmony in India

NEW DELHI: Activist Saket Gokhale on Friday filed a complaint with Union Home Ministry against Bangladeshi author in exile Taslima Nasreen for allegedly trying to spread communal disharmony in India while staying in New Delhi on an Indian visa. “This is to bring to your urgent notice the gross violation of visa norms and an attempt to spread communal disharmony in India by one Taslima Nasreen (citizen of Sweden) who resides in New Delhi on an Indian Visa. On 29/10/2020, Nasreen, through her verified Twitter account posted a tweet which said ‘Boycott Islam’,”  stated the complaint filed before Foreigners Regional Registration Officer.  Gokhale, in his letter to MHA’s visa wing and FRRO, said Nasreen’s tweet “is a blatant and intentional attempt to spread communal disharmony and hatred in our country”.  The complaint further said: “May it be noted that foreigners on any kind of visa are not allowed to be involved in political activities during their residence in the country.” Gokhale urged the government to take immediate cognizance of the matter and tweeted: “A Swedish national spreading communal hate speech in India will NOT be tolerated.”newindianexpress



MP Congress MLA among 2,000 booked during protest against French President

Gwalior: Madhya Pradesh Police has booked around 2,000 people, including a Congress MLA who was one of the key organisers of the event, for violating lockdown norms after nearly 5,000 people assembled in Bhopal’s Iqbal Maidan on Thursday to protest French President Emmanuel Macron’s remarks in the satirical magazine Charlie Hebdo’s cartoon row.Arif Masood, Congress MLA from Bhopal Central constituency who was among those booked, on Friday said that after the authorities denied his request for a gathering, messages were sent out on WhatsApp, informing about the protest and hundreds of people showed up.“Even though a huge crowd assembled, it was an absolutely peaceful event. The people expressed their displeasure, and dispersed accordingly,” he said.At the venue – Iqbal Maidan in the heart of Bhopal’s old city – the protesters burnt the French flag, raised slogans against Macron, and swore to boycott French products, ranging from Garnier to Renault and Dior. The protesters also submitted a letter to the sub-divisional magistrate, appealing Union govt, through External Affair Ministry, to urge French President to apologise, and that the demand be communicated through the French ambassador.Bhopal DIG Irshad Wali said, “An FIR has been booked against 2,000 people who participated in the event, for which no permission was granted.”Masood, meanwhile, said he will challenge FIR against him in court. “The police do not crack down on election rallies and gatherings that are in clear violation of Covid-19 rules and attract a much larger crowd,” he maintained.



Global Human Rights Groups Raise Serious Concerns on NIA Raids in J&K

New Delhi: Several international human rights organisations have condemned the recent NIA raids rights activists, journalists and civil society groups in Jammu and Kashmir. Over the last few days, NIA has conducted raids at a minimum of nine locations in Srinagar and Delhi while probe a ‘terror-funding’ case, but critics believe it is the latest example of the clampdown on dissent in the region.NIA has said a case has been registered under UAPA based on “credible information” that certain NGOs are collecting funds in name of welfare activities but using the money to fund terror. “Further, these funds are sent to J&K through various channels such as hawala and cash couriers and are used to carry out and sustain secessionist and terrorist activities in J&K,” an NIA statement said.Those raided include renowned human rights defender Khurram Parvez, office of the Association of Parents of Disappeared Persons, office of the newspaper Greater Kashmir, office of the JK Yateem Foundation and more.“These raids are an alarming reminder that India’s government is determined to suppress all dissenting voices in Jammu and Kashmir. The authorities are evidently targeting these civil society and media groups because of their continued work reporting and advocating for the rights of the people of J&K despite a harsh communications blackout that was imposed by the Indian government in the region since 5 Aug.2019,” said Julie Verhaar, acting secretary general of Amnesty International.Meenakshi Ganguly, South Asia director of Human Rights Watch, has also condemned the raids. The Observatory for the Protection of Human Rights Defenders, a partnership of World Organisation Against Torture and International Federation for Human Rights, added that “these new acts of harassment, which seem to be only aimed at punishing and intimidating” groups and individuals for their human rights activities, need to be condemned.



3 BJP Workers Gunned Down by Militants in Kashmir’s Kulgam

Kulgam(J&K): Few metres away from Eidgah in Y.K. Pora Kulgam, which is about 65 kms from the summer capital Srinagar, a blood-stained road had just been washed. It was here 3 BJP workers had been shot dead by militants on Thursday. Police have seized the vehicle in which the deceased workers were travelling. 3 were identified as Fida Hussain Yatoo (29), Haroon Rashid Beigh (22) and Umer Ramzan Hajam (24). “They were shifted to a nearby hospital for treatment where they were declared brought dead,” the police said in a statement soon after the attack.A large number of mourners gathered at the house of Fida Hussain, who served as the general secretary of BJP Yuva Morcha in the area.



Republic Media Network gets another notice from Mumbai Police

Mumbai :NM Joshi Marg police investigating a case against Republic Media Network for allegedly inciting disaffection against Commissioner Parambir Singh and defaming Mumbai Police’s image has sent another notice to the network. Earlier, Republic TV had issued a statement that a second notice from the police had asked for contact numbers and addresses of every member of the news desk, newsroom software details and login activities, news flow with broadcast rundown details, staff shift timings and roles and responsibilities of every person in the newsroom, among others.A Mumbai Police press release on Friday said it had interrogated four persons affiliated with the channel.“During the questioning of Shivani Gupta (senior associate editor), we have learnt that she has read out the contents that she received from the output shift in charge or output desk on the teleprompter software.”Accordingly, a notice was issued to provide certain details of the output desk and shift-in-charge, said an officer.




Farooq Abdullah prevented from leaving residence to offer prayers, claims National Conference

National Conference (NC) on Friday claimed that authorities in Jammu and Kashmir prevented its president Farooq Abdullah from leaving his residence to offer prayers at the Hazratbal shrine here on the occasion of Milad-un-Nabi.No official from the administration was available for comments on the issue."J&K administration has blocked the residence of Party President Dr Farooq Abdullah and stopped him from offering prayers at Dargah Hazratbal. JKNC condemns this infringement of fundamental right to pray, especially on the auspicious occasion of Milad Un Nabi SAW," the NC said on its Twitter handle.PTI



Kashmir shuts down to protest new land laws, govt allots 1200 hectares for ‘investment’

SRINAGAR:On the day Kashmir observed shutdown against the new land laws, the Union Territory administration transferred 24,000 kanals or 1200 hectares (20 Kanals form one hectare) of land to the Industries and Commerce Department for ‘investment purposes’.The government has fixed a target of 48,000 kanals of land for investments in Jammu and Kashmir. Of which 24,000 kanals had been transferred so far to the Industries Department. The report of the land transfer comes on the day when Kashmir observed shutdown against the land laws notified by the Central government on October 27.Shops and business establishments remained shut and public transport was off the roads. Skeletal transport, however, was plying on the roads. Major parts of the Srinagar city wore a deserted look as people downed their shutters and stayed at home. Separatist stronghold of the old city observed complete shutdown.India Tomorrow




Crisis on LAC worst in decades, India response firm & mature: Foreign Secretary Shringla

New Delhi :India has dealt with the “worst crisis in decades” on its border with China with “firmness and maturity”, Foreign Secretary Harsh Vardhan Shringla told an audience in Paris on Thursday.Shringla, who spoke at Institut Français des Relations Internationales (IFRI), underlined “respect for territorial integrity and sovereignty”, and “peaceful resolution of disputes” as he described India and France as “strong partners” in Indo-Pacific.Earlier this week, in an obvious reference to China, External Affairs Minister S Jaishankar too had referred to “respect for territorial integrity and sovereignty” after the Indo-US 2+2 ministerial meeting.




Rajnath skipped China mention, no one told interpreter, US

New Delhi :A slip over Defence Minister Rajnath Singh’s comments regarding China at the Indo-US 2+2 ministerial meeting last Tuesday has led to a diplomatic commotion, and some red faces in New Delhi.More so, because both Singh and External Affairs Minister S Jaishankar did not mention China directly in their remarks.At the 2+2 meeting, Singh, speaking in Hindi, said: “Aaj ke samay mein jo challenges hum face kar rahe hain, unki wajah se hamari partnership aur bhi mahatwapurn ho jaati hai.”Indian govt’s English language interpreter, reading from a script, said: “Excellencies, in the area of defense we are challenged by reckless aggression on our northern borders – (inaudible)”.



Punjab: Protests Against New Farm Laws Have Seen 12 Farmers Die, Centre Remains Unmoved

Chandigarh: The agitation of Punjab farmers against the Centre’s contentious farm laws has been the most significant one in the country, but it comes at a huge cost. 12 farmers have so far died, 3 in road mishaps, one slipped on a railway track, one died of suicide, and remaining seven succumbed to cardiac arrests and other underlying medical conditions, during the course of last two months of their unrelenting protests. While the Punjab government has released Rs 3 lakh compensation to the families of deceased farmers, Bhartiya Kisan Union-Ugrahan, whose four members are among those died, are not satisfied. It has been demanding at least Rs 10 lakh financial assistance, a government job to kin and a waiver of pending farm debt of the family.



Indian govt is using counterterrorism operations to silence dissenters, human rights activists, journalists: Human Rights Watch

NEW DELHI:Slamming the recent raids at the homes and offices of human rights activists, NGOs, newspaper offices in Delhi, Kashmir and Bangalore in the last two days, Human Rights Watch said.“Indian government is using counterterrorism operations to silence peaceful dissenters, human rights activists, and journalists”. South Asia director at Human Rights Watch Meenakshi Ganguly said,  “Using authoritarian tactics against outspoken critics and journalists needs to stop.”Stating that while “India faces serious security challenges”, Ganguly said that “instead of addressing the problems in a rights-respecting manner, the authorities appear determined to crush peaceful criticism and calls for accountability.”India Tomorrow


Attempt to implicate me in some terror or riot case: Former Delhi Minorities Commission chairman Zafarul-Islam Khan  on NIA raids

Former Delhi Minorities Commission chairman Zafarul-Islam Khan has said he had no contact or relationship with Kashmiri militants and that he feared he could be "framed" in some terror or riot case.His remarks come on a day when NIA conducted raids at his house and office in connection with a terror funding case.In a series of tweets, Khan claimed that the order for the raids against him came from "top" and NIA officials jumped the wall to enter his house showing their "impatience"."Although I have no relationship or even contacts with Kashmiri militants and have not even visited Kashmir for many years. It seems an attempt to implicate me in some terror or riot case," he tweeted."Thrown to stone age. No laptop, no mobile, no desktop. NIA people said order for raid came from the very top and they were woken up at 4 am for this great task of raiding a journalist. They had no patience. They jumped the wall to enter my house like they did with Chidambram," he said.Khan said his house and offices were raided by NIA officials for four hours in the morning, adding that they took away several papers, laptops, hard disks and cash among other things."My home and offices were raided by NIA this morning from 7 am to 11 am. They took many papers, all laptops, hard disks of all desktops, cash found etc. They showed me an order on their mobile, issued by one Yadav of NIA to conduct the raid linking me and my NGO with Kashmir terror," he said in a tweet.




JIH denies links with HWF, slams media reports

New Delhi: Jamaat-e-Islami Hind (JIH), which claims to be the biggest socio-cultural organisation of Indian Muslims, on Thursday denied any links with the Human Welfare Foundation (HWF), and slammed media reports which associated it with the HWF after NIA conducted raids at HWF's offices in Delhi and Jammu and Kashmir. Jamaat's media in-charge Syed Tanveer Ahmed said in a statement, "Many news channels have projected that HWF is a part of the Jamaat-e-Islami Hind, but the fact is that HWF is a separate legal entity and there is no legal subordination of Jamaat over HWF."Ahmed said that this deliberate attempt to malign the name of the Jamaat by media houses is a matter of serious concern and appropriate legal steps will be taken into the matter if so required. IANS




NIA lodges criminal case against AAP MLA, ex-DMC head says NIA sleuths jumped the wall of his house

NEW DELHI—Shaheen Bagh Police have booked a criminal case against AAP MLA Amanatullah Khan on a complaint by NIA.The news was confirmed by Khan himself. He said that there was some verbal altercation with NIA sleuths at the residence and office of former DMC chairman Dr. Zafarul Islam Khan.He said the verbal duel took place because NIA sleuths wanted to take Dr. Khan to police station. “As large number of local people gathered outside the office of Dr. Khan, the sleuths could not take Dr. Khan to the police station”, said MLA.India Tomorrow




3 booked under UAPA granted bail after cops fail to produce challan against them in 90 days

Amritsar :IN A rare case, Sessions Judge Amritsar B S Sandhu hasgranted bail to three accused booked under UAPA after police failed to produce challan against them within 90 days.Accused Gurmit Singh and Vikram Singh were booked  on June 19 this year. The third accused in the case, Sukhjinder Singh, was nominated in FIR at a later stage.All accused have been asked to pay Rs 1 lakh bail bond for their release.The court cited the ‘Bikramjit Singh vs State of Punjab’ case while giving bail to all three accused. Booked under UAPA and other acts, Bikramjit Singh is accused in 2018 Nirankari Bhawan blast at Amritsar and had secured bail from the Supreme Court earlier this month.“It is conceded that more than 90 days has elapsed since custody of the applicant/accused and police have not submitted the challan and application of the prosecution, and report of public prosecutor for the state for extension of time beyond 90 days has already been dismissed today by this court. Therefore, the bail application is allowed and accused are ordered to be released on bail on furnishing personal bonds of Rs 1,00,000 with one surety in the like amount, to the satisfaction of this court.accused shall not give any threat or inducement to any prosecution witness and accused shall not leave India without prior permission of the court,” read the order.



Conversion only for sake of marriage is not valid: Allahabad High Court

Allahabad High Court has said in a case that conversion just for the sake of marriage is not valid.The court made the remark while dismissing a plea by a newly married couple.The couple had approached the court to direct police and the woman's father not to disturb their marital life.Justice MC Tripathi passed the order last month in a petition filed by Priyanshi alias Samreen and her partner.In the petition, it was stated that the couple got married in July this year, but family members of the woman were interfering in their marital life.Dismissing the petition, the court observed, "The first petitioner has converted her religion on June 29, 2020 and just after one month, they have solemnised their marriage on July 31, 2020, which clearly reveals to this court that the said conversion has taken place only for the purpose of marriage."The court referred to the case of Noor Jahan Begum in which the high court in 2014 held that conversion just for the purpose of marriage was unacceptable.The petition was rejected by the Allahabad High Court in the case of Noor Jahan Begum praying to provide protection to the married couple as the girl was a Hindu in the case and married after converting to Islam. In that case, the court had asked, "Whether conversion of religion of a Hindu girl at the instance of a Muslim boy, without any knowledge of Islam or faith and belief in Islam and merely for the purpose of Marriage (Nikah) is valid?"The court at that time answered the question in negative while relying on teachings of the Quran.PTI




"Your Ram Naam Satya Journey...": Yogi Adityanath's "Love Jihad" Warning

Uttar Pradesh CM Yogi Adityanath today cited an Allahabad High Court order on religious conversion for marriage to raise the issue of "love jihad", and invoke "Ram naam satya" - a Hindu funeral chant - to issue a thinly-veiled threat to "those who... play with our sisters' respect".Adityanath, whose administration has been criticised for a spate of horrific crimes against women - including two separate instances of alleged rape against Dalit women in September - also repeated his plans for a "Mission Shakti" to "make sure all sisters and daughters are protected".



Plea filed in SC against 1991 law on maintaining character of religious places

A petition has been filed in the Supreme Court challenging the validity of a 1991 law which created "arbitrary and irrational retrospective cutoff date" of August 15,1947, for maintaining the character of places of worship-pilgrimage against encroachment done by "fundamentalist-barbaric invaders and law breakers".In a PIL, BJP leader and advocate Ashwini Kumar Upadhyay contended the Centre has barred the remedies against illegal encroachment on the places of worship and pilgrimages of Hindus, Jains, Buddhists and Sikhs, who cannot file suit or approach a High Court.He sought a declaration from the court that the provisions of the Places of Worship (Special Provisions) Act, 1991 was void and unconstitutional for being violative of fundamental rights to equality, practice one's religion and maintain religious places, among others, as the law validated ‘places of worship’, illegally made by barbaric invaders.deccanherald



UP: NSA invoked against 11 held for cow slaughter

Lucknow ;Badaun police has invoked National Security Act (NSA) against 11 people arrested on charges of cow slaughtering on Oct. 8. The accused, aged between 25 and 50 years, are lodged in Badaun district jail.“Police sent its report to the district magistrate and on completion of due procedure, DM has invoked NSA against the 11 accused,” said Praveen Singh Chauhan, Additional Superintendent of Police, Badaun.Among those arrested, nine of them are residents of Gurupuri Chandan village, while two others are from neighbouring Dalmai village. Three of the accused are migrant labourers who had returned to their native places after the nationwide lockdown was enforced, said police.




Govt seeks law dept help as police refuse to share FIRs on Delhi riots

 Delhi Home department has decided to seek the opinion of Principal Secretary (Law) on the issue of Delhi Police refusing to share copies of FIRs related to the February riots with the elected govt and a House panel.The Home department has also been directed by the House panel to write to the police and demand an explanation on the absence of FIRs against BJP leader Kapil Mishra and the BJP West Delhi MP Parvesh Sahib Singh on their alleged role in stoking violence. The matter came up on Oct.28 during a meeting of Delhi Assembly panel on welfare of minorities in the presence of its chairman Amanatullah Khan and Principal Secretary (Home) B S Bhalla.Bhalla told the meeting that he will seek the Law department’s opinion on the police stand. Delhi Police had earlier written to the state govt, saying it cannot share 754 riot-related FIRs as they are “sensitive” in nature.




Prominent US-based Dalit activists call for international support against caste-based violence

India Civil Watch International has recently published an online series that was originally prepared by prominent African-American and Dalit activists as a protest against the gruesome Hathras rape case in Uttar Pradesh.The online publication by India Civil Watch International consists of poems, articles and video messages culminating major powerful voices from the Black, Dalit and other marginalized communities working as activists, scholars and professionals across US universities. This group of US-based academics had initially launched a petition to condemn the horrific case of the rape and murder of a Dalit woman in Hathras, highlighting the dubious role of police in handling of the case. The petition received a huge response within a week and registered 1800 signatures from international human rights workers, academics and organizations to demand action against police brutality. International organizations like Dalit Solidarity Forum in the USA, National Women’s Studies Association, SEWA-AIFW (Asian Indian Family Wellness), CodePink, and Women’s Legal and Human Rights Bureau-Quezon City have endorsed the petition.



Rise in Murders of Muslims over Tiffs with Hindus in Delhi

NEW DELHI – At midnight on 14 October, 23-year-old Faizan Muhammed was at his mechanic shop in Delhi’s Jahangirpuri. A group of people intruded into his shop and beheaded him in presence of his nephew and two employees.According to Faizan’s family, apart from slitting the throat, he was stabbed 17 times. He had knife injuries in the waist, hand and leg. Local police have arrested four accused–Rajan (28), Sanaj (20), Sachin (20) and Akash (18). Faizan’s family members are still clueless about the motive behind the killing. His brother-in-law Mohammed Islam told Clarion India that he had no idea why the young man was murdered but days after the murder, he came to know about some arguments between Faizan and the accused but wondered how a small argument could lead to a brutal murder.“I’m not able to figure it out. I have not heard of any quarrel between the two parties of different communities. We came to know about the minor brawl only after the murder,” said Islam.Talking to Clarion India, Siddiqui gave details of a few recent brutal murders of Muslims over minor disputes with Hindus which he followed up personally as a lawyer and the Delhi convener of APCR. Clarion India




Gujarat State Waqf tribunal stays mosque construction, prayers in it

Gujarat State Waqf Tribunal has ordered a stay on further construction of a mosque and the offering of prayers at it, after a Muslim group objected to the masjid being built on a graveyard with old graves.The dispute concerns control over a Sunni Muslim graveyard at Badarpura village near Palanpur in north Gujarat. A shrine named Balapir and a few old graves existed on the graveyard land. As members of the Tabligh Jamaat wrested control of the trust, they got permission to build a mosque at the graveyard from Gujarat State Waqf Board.The construction of the mosque on top of the old graves irked members of another group, which follows the Sufi tradition. They objected before the Masjid, Madresa, Kabrastan Balapir Waqf Trust, which manages the graveyard’s affairs, and the government authorities, but to no avail. TOI



Hindus of Nuh, Mewat in pitiable condition: Plea in Supreme Court seeks SIT probe

Claiming that the dominant members of the Muslim community in the Nuh District of Haryana have overpowered Hindus of the area, a plea has been filed in the Supreme Court seeking protection of the fundamental rights of the latter.The petition filed by a group of lawyers and activists through Advocate Vishnu Shankar Jain states that the right to life and personal liberty, and religious rights of the Hindus of the area are being "eroded by members of Muslim community who are in dominating position and the State Govt as well as District Administration."The plea states that the local police has failed to exercise the powers vested in them by law, due to which the life and liberty of every Hindu is in jeopardy.




Adityanath: Everybody will get chance for kar seva at Ayodhya Ram temple

Lucknow :Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath Friday said people from every village “will get an opportunity to perform kar seva” in construction of the Ayodhya Ram temple after the Covid-19 pandemic is over.Addressing a public meeting at Lalapur in Chitrakoot district, he reiterated that over 500 years of wait to build a grand temple had ended and soon “its gates will open for devotees”.He paid tributes to Maharishi Valmiki on the occasion of his birth anniversary and visited the Valmiki Ashram in Chitrakoot. “Sant Tulsidas conveyed the philosophy of Valmiki to every household through Ram Katha. The true Ram Rajya is where there is no discrimination of caste and sect,” he said. He also visited the Mata Asawar temple.



Felt working with Sitharaman may not be conducive to economic reform, growth — ex-FinSec Garg

New Delhi: Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman insisted on transferring then finance secretary Subhash Chandra Garg out of the ministry within a month of her assuming office, Garg has alleged. In a blog published on Saturday, Garg, who took voluntary retirement from Indian Administrative Service last year, said it became quite apparent “very early” that working with Sitharaman was going to be quite difficult and “it might not be conducive to undertaking necessary reforms for the attainment of the objective of building a $10 trillion economy of India”.According to Garg, Sitharaman had a “different personality, knowledge endowment, skill-set and approach for economic policy issues and also for the officers working with her”. “She, for reasons not very clearly known to me, came with some preconceived notions about me. She did not seem to have confidence in me. She was not quite comfortable working with me as well,” he said.Gard said the then additional principal secretary to Prime Minister, P.K. Mishra, had discussed his relationship with Sitharaman and it was agreed that the best course would be for Garg to make way for the new minister so she could “function smoothly”.



Muslims in Northeast Delhi Sell Homes Below Market Rate to Escape 'Continuing Harassment'

New Delhi: More than 7 months after the communal riots that shocked northeast Delhi with instances of looting, vandalism and targeted killings of Muslims and their properties, survivors still report harassment and humiliation within their immediate neighbourhoods.A month ago, 14-year-old Fiza’s family sold their house in Shiv Vihar so they could move to a safer location. Despite the COVID-19 pandemic, they not only moved out but also accepted the abysmal amount they received when they put their property on the market.In ordinary times, the house, which they had bought in 2010, would have sold for Rs 20 lakh. However, with the property market down due to the pandemic, they could sell it for just Rs 12 lakh. The loss of Rs 8 lakh was worth it, they said, since they continued to feel unsafe in their Shiv Vihar neighbourhood long after the overt violence ended.“Hindus in our lane had been making daily life difficult for us since the riots,” said Fiza’s mother, Nasreen (name changed)*. “They created a problem even if we walked past them. When they saw us walking down the lane, they used to call us ‘coronavirus’ and cover their mouths.”She added: “They used to taunt us, saying that we were the rioters and we lack faith because we eat biryani.”




Monthly average price of potato Rs 40/kg, highest in a decade

New Delhi :The all-India monthly average retail price of potato rose to Rs 39.30 per kg in October, the highest in 130 months, official data from State Civil Supplies Departments compiled by Union Ministry of Consumer Affairs, Food and Public Distribution, show.The average retail price of potato in Delhi this month was slightly higher than the all-India average at Rs 40.11 per kg — also the highest since Jan.2010, almost 11 years ago.The all-India average retail price per kg this October was almost double that of Oct.2019 (Rs 20.57 per kg). The average price in Delhi in Oct.2020 was 60 per cent higher than Rs 25 per kg of the corresponding month last year.Jan.2010 is the earliest month for which comparable data are available on the Ministry’s portal.




Modi-Led Panel Appoints 'BJP Supporter' Journalist as Information Commissioner, Opposition Protests

New Delhi: Congress leader Adhir Ranjan Chowdhary has severely criticised the Centre’s decision to overlook the most senior information commissioner, Vanaja N. Sarna, for the post of chief information commissioner and appointing former Indian Foreign Service officer Yashvardhan Kumar Sinha to the post instead. Chowdhary, a member of the opposition party, has also criticised the appointment of journalist Uday Mahurkar, believed to share BJP’s ideology, as an information commissioner.During the October 24 meeting of the high-powered selection committee chaired by Prime Minister Narendra Modi, Chowdhury, who represents the opposition on the panel, accused the committee of ignoring the Supreme Court’s directions to make public the criteria for shortlisting candidates.




KK Sharma resigns as advisor to JK L-G, appointed State Election Commissioner

Srinagar:K K Sharma, an advisor to Jammu and Kashmir Lieutenant Governor Manoj Sinha, resigned from his post on Friday and was appointed the State Election Commissioner, an official said.“KK Sharma resigns as Advisor to Lieutenant Governor of J&K; appointed State Election Commissioner,” government spokesman Rohit Kansal said in a tweet.At a simple ceremony later, Sinha administered the oath of office to Sharma and congratulated him on the new appointment.PTI




Triumph of Hindutva movement would mark end of ‘Indian idea’: Shashi Tharoor

Hindutva movement is the "mirror image" of the Muslim communalism of 1947 and its triumph would mark the end of the Indian idea, says senior Congress leader Shashi Tharoor, asserting that Hindutva is a political doctrine, not a religious one.A 'Hindu India' would not be Hindu at all, but a "Sanghi Hindutva state", which is a different country altogether, says Tharoor in his new book 'The Battle of Belonging' that was released on Saturday."People like me want to preserve the India we love, and not turn our beloved nation into the kind of religious state we were brought up to detest," he said.Tharoor also asserted that Hindutva movement rhetoric echoes the bigotry that India was constructed to reject.PTI



IIMC’s new prof was sacked by BJP for calling Mahatma ‘father of Pakistan’

New Delhi :Anil Kumar Saumitra, head of BJP media cell in Madhya Pradesh until he was suspended by the party last year for calling Mahatma Gandhi the “father of Pakistan”, has been appointed professor at Indian Institute of Mass Communication (IIMC), one of the premier mass communication institutes in the country.Saumitra was suspended from BJP’s primary membership in May 2019 following his remarks against Mahatma Gandhi. BJP said his social media posts were against the party’s ethics, ideas and principles, and had affected its image.In a Facebook post, Saumitra had said of the Mahatma: “He was father of the nation, but of Pakistan. The country had crores of sons like him, some were worthy, some unworthy.”



MP bypolls: Removal of Kamal Nath’s star campaigner status by EC ‘unfair’, says Cong MP; Nath goes to SC

Former Madhya Pradesh chief minister Kamal Nath has moved the Supreme Court challenging an order of the Election Commission to revoke the Congress leader's "star campaigner" status for violations of the model code during campaign for the bypolls in 28 assembly constituencies in the state.Senior lawyer and Congress Rajya Sabha MP Vivek Tankha told PTI that the former chief minister has challenged the EC's decision on various grounds and an urgent hearing on his plea would be sought.The plea has been filed through advocate-on-record Varun Chopra and the defects pointed out in it by the apex court registry have been cured, said Tankha.The poll panel on Friday took note of alleged breach of "ethical and dignified behaviour" and revoked the "star campaigner" status of the Congress leader.PTI




Telangana HC Orders Govt to Conduct Online Classes for Urdu Medium Students Too

BENGALURU:In response to a PIL filed by the Students Islamic Organization of India (SIO), Telangana unit, High Court of Telangana in its ruling on Wednesday has ordered the Telangana government to conduct online classes for Urdu medium students too, as it is being done for Telugu and English media students. PIL was filed by a member of the SIO Hyderabad City, Muhammed Abdul Sami Bagdali, a law student. The ruling has brought relief and cheers to scores of Urdu medium students who were otherwise left without any teaching assistance in the absence of on campus studies in view of the COVID-19 pandemic.India Tomorrow







BJP's Free COVID-19 Vaccine Promise Not a Violation of Model Code: EC

New Delhi: While at least two former Chief Election Commissioners believed that the electoral promise of free COVID-19 vaccine by the Bharatiya Janata Party in Bihar violated the model code of conduct (MCC), the Election Commission of India (ECI) has disagreed. This has predictably opened the field for the saffron party to advertise its controversial announcement. In its response to a complaint by RTI activist Saket Gokhale, alleging that the promise was a violation of the Union govt’s powers, and disturbed the level-playing field, the ECI gave a clean chit to BJP. Gokhale had said that the promise of free distribution of vaccines was an attempt to mislead voters as the cure for COVID-19 has not been decided yet. However, the ECI said that the BJP’s election manifesto was not violative of the MCC.



Rajasthan Govt Introduces Bill To Make Wearing Face Mask Mandatory

In a bid to prevent the spread of coronavirus, the Rajasthan government on Saturday introduced an amendment bill in the state assembly to make wearing a face mask or cover mandatory. Rajasthan Epidemic Diseases (Amendment) Bill, 2020 was introduced by state Parliamentary Affairs Minister Shanti Dhariwal.A new clause in the Section 4 of the Rajasthan Epidemic Diseases Act, 2020 has been inserted, which proposes to prohibit the movement of people at public places without properly covering mouth and nose with a face mask or cover.




Saudi reopens Umrah pilgrimage to foreigners following 8-month pause

Saudi Arabia will reopen Muslim holy places for the year-round umrah pilgrimage to visitors from other countries from November 1, Reuters reported quoting Saudi media. "The Umrah pilgrimage is allowed for Muslims from across the world," Saudi state TV said citing a statement from the Ministry of Pilgrimage.The move to reopen umrah to foreign visitors comes eight-months after coronavirus prompted its suspension.Umrah, the pilgrimage to Mecca that can be undertaken at any time, usually attracts millions of Muslims from across the globe each year.It has been revived in three stages, with the initial phase earlier this month seeing just 6,000 citizens and residents already within the kingdom allowed to take part each day.Worshippers were able to perform the ritual of circling the sacred Kaaba - a cubic structure inside the Grand Mosque towards which Muslims around the world pray - along socially distanced paths.On October 18, the number of pilgrims was set to be increased to 15,000 per day, with a maximum of 40,000 people allowed to perform prayers at the mosque.




Death toll reaches 27 in quake that hit Turkey, Greek island

IZMIR:Rescue teams on Saturday plowed through concrete blocks and the debris of eight collapsed buildings in search of survivors of a powerful earthquake that struck Turkey’s Aegean coast and north of the Greek island of Samos, killing at least 27 people. More than 800 others were injured.The quake hit Friday afternoon, toppling buildings in Izmir, Turkey’s third largest city, and triggering a small tsunami in the district of Seferihisar and on Samos. The quake was followed by hundreds of aftershocks.Early on Saturday, onlookers cheered as rescuers lifted teenager Inci Okan out of the rubble of a devastated eight-floor apartment block. Her dog, Fistik, was also rescued, Sozcu newspaper reported. Friends and relatives waited outside the building for news of loved ones still trapped inside, including employees of a dentist’s surgery that was located on the ground floor.AP




                                                                            *WORLD NEWS*



Thousands at Al-Aqsa Mosque protest Macron’s remarks

Thousands of Palestinians gathered on Friday at the Al-Aqsa Mosque complex in Jerusalem to protest French President Emmanuel Macron’s anti-Islamic remarks.Preacher at Al-Aqsa Mosque Sheikh Ekrima Sabri condemned the republication of caricatures insulting the Prophet Muhammad, as well as Macron’s statements.“French president has declared his hostility towards Muslims around the world,” Sabri announced.After Friday prayer, thousands of worshippers gathered at Al-Aqsa complex, holding banners praising the Prophet Muhammad, criticising Macron and calling for a boycott of French products.



Lebanon's Hezbollah chief calls French cartoons "an aggression"

The leader of Lebanon’s Iran-backed Hezbollah on Friday described French cartoons of the Prophet Mohammad as an aggression and likened Paris sticking by them to “declaring a sort of war”, Reuters reports.In a televised speech, Sayyed Hassan Nasrallah said French authorities had worsened a standoff over the caricatures, which stirred anger among Muslims, by being stubborn.The head of the heavily armed Shi’ite movement condemned this week’s fatal stabbings at a church in Nice, but said Western leaders also bore responsibility for such crimes because of their roles in Middle East conflicts.



Yemen: Hundreds protest Macron’s anti-Islam comments

Hundreds of people on Friday held a protest in southwestern Yemen against French President Emmanuel Macron’s anti-Islam remarks and republication of caricatures insulting the Prophet Muhammad, Anadolu Agency reports.Protesters gathered at the Freedom Square in the Taiz province following Friday prayers.Holding banners, the protesters chanted slogans defending the Prophet Muhammad and Islam against the French insults.Earlier this month, Macron described Islam as “a religion in crisis” and announced plans for tougher laws to tackle “Islamist separatism” in France.




Students, Pak Jamaat members hold protest, ask Pakistan govt to end ties with France

Swat: Students under the banner of Islamic Jamiat and members of some other organisations held a protest at Matta Bazaar in Swat Valley and demanded that Pakistan government should end its relations with France following French President Emmanuel Macron's remarks that concerned radical Islam.They also hailed Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan for slamming French President. Addressing the protest rally, Sanaullah Farooqi of Jamaat-e-Islami Pakistan lauded Tayyip Erdogan for slamming French President over his remarks. "The steps taken by the Turkish President against France are praiseworthy," he said.ANI





Distancing Himself from Macron’s Position, Canadian PM Trudeau Pleads for Careful Use of Free Speech

Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau defended free speech on Friday, but added that it was “not without limits” and should not “arbitrarily and needlessly hurt” certain communities.“We will always defend freedom o f expression,” Trudeau said in response to a question about the right to show a caricature of the Prophet Mohammed, as France’s Charlie Hebdo magazine did.“But freedom of expression is not without limits,” he added. “We owe it to ourselves to act with respect for others and to seek not to arbitrarily or unnecessarily injure those with whom we are sharing a society and a planet,” AFP reports.“We do not have the right for example to shout fire in a movie theatre crowded with people, there are always limits,” he argued.





US issues first Israel birthplace passport to Jerusalem-born teen

United States has issued the first passport to a Jerusalem-born American that lists Israel as the place of birth, a policy change by Donald Trump that has been condemned by Palestinians but will likely please the US president’s pro-Israel base ahead of next week’s elections.US Ambassador to Israel David Friedman on Friday presented the passport to 18-year-old Menachem Zivotofsky.



US envoy: Annexation delayed until Arab-Israel normalisation deals are complete

Israel’s plan to annex parts of the occupied West Bank has been postponed until normalisation deals with Arab states is complete, a US official said.Avi Berkowitz, US president’s envoy to the Middle East, said in a statement to Israeli Army Radio: “The issue of annexation has not been removed from the table, but it is now postponed.”UAE Minister of State for Foreign Affairs, Anwar Gargash, tried to justify Abu Dhabi’s decision to normalise relations with Tel Aviv, by saying that this step is necessary to prevent Israel from implementing its annexation plan and imposing sovereignty over parts of the occupied West Bank.



Israel wants to expand city to restrict Arab population

Israeli govt is trying to expand the jurisdiction of the northern Jewish town of Harish by nearly 50 per cent to prevent Palestinians from forming a majority in the area, Haaretz reported.The request, proposed by the Interior Ministry, to expand its boundaries comes following a report released by the Housing Ministry, which detailed the expected demographic changes in the area to 2050. The figures predict that the Arab population in the area will reach 51 per cent of the total 700,000 expected residents.



Israel asks Italy to persuade PA to return to negotiating table

Israeli Foreign Minister Gabi Ashkenazi has asked his Italian counterpart Luigi Di Maio to persuade Palestinian Authority (PA)’s leadership to return to the negotiating table, news agencies reported.“Abraham Accords are a window of opportunity to renew talks with the Palestinians in order to find a just and lasting solution of peace and mutual respect,” Ashkenazi told Di Maio during a visit to Jerusalem.“Unfortunately,” he claimed, “the ones who continue to refuse to take advantage of the window of opportunity is the Palestinian Authority leadership.” Times of Israel reported Ashkenazi stating that he had asked Di Maio, before visiting Ramallah on Friday, to help persuade PA leadership to return to the negotiating table with Israel.



US, UN hopes Israel-Lebanon talks reach solution to maritime borders crisis

US and the UN hope that ongoing talks between Israel and Lebanon on resolving the maritime borders crisis reach a “long-awaited solution”, a statement announced. US embassy in Israel published a statement on the issue, which was released by the government of the US and the office of the UN special coordinator for Lebanon.“Building on progress from their 14 October meeting, on 28 and 29 October representatives from the governments of Israel and Lebanon held productive talks mediated by the United States and hosted by ​the office of the United Nations special coordinator for Lebanon (UNSCOL),” the statement read.



Israeli efforts pushed for US, Israel, Sudan deal

After around a year of clandestine talks between Israeli officials and Sudanese decision-makers, US President Donald Trump announced a normalisation agreement between Israel and Sudan earlier this month, Israeli diplomatic analyst Barak Ravid revealed.US officially brokered the normalisation deal, Ravid disclosed in an analysis reported by Axios, adding that it was Israel that facilitated talks between the US and Sudan, which included Sudan’s removal from the US’ State Sponsors of Terrorism list.




Israel’s Netanyahu: ‘Assassination threats against me and my family being ignored’

During a special Knesset memorial marking the 25th anniversary of the late Prime Minister Yitzhak Rabin’s assassination, current Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu stated that assassination threats facing him and his family are being ignored.“25 years after the murder of Rabin, there is incitement to assassinate the prime minister and his family, and almost nobody says anything,” The Times of Israel reported Netanyahu claiming. Netanyahu asserted:"We must not accept incitement on any side, toward any community. Not toward Jews, not toward Arabs, not toward leaders."Meanwhile, opposition leader Yair Lapid expressed: “The State of Israel is in one of the most difficult moments in its history. This is not just the pandemic. This is what is happening within us.”


Armenia, Azerbaijan trade accusations again after new attacks

Armenia and Azerbaijan have again accused each other of bombing residential areas in defiance of a pact to avoid the deliberate targeting of civilians in and around the mountain enclave of Nagorno-Karabakh.Shelling was reported by both sides on Saturday within hours of the latest agreement to defuse the conflict, reached after talks in Geneva between the 2 countries’ foreign ministers and envoys from France, Russia and US.The agreement with the co-chairs of the OSCE Minsk Group fell short of what would have been a fourth truce since the fighting began on Sept.27. The death toll in the worst fighting in the South Caucasus for more than 25 years has surpassed 1,000.



Driver crashes car into gate of Makkah's Grand Mosque

A Saudi driver crashed his car into one of the outer gates of Mecca’s Grand Mosque early Saturday, according to the official SPA news agency.Videos on social media showed a grey car ramming through barricades erected around the outer courtyard of the mosque before hitting one of the gates.According to the spokesman of the Mecca province, Sultan al-Dousari, security authorities have launched an investigation into the incident.He said the driver was arrested for questioning, without giving any further details.There was no reports of injuries.





Islamophobia to fight Islamic terror but ‘terror by the West’ forgotten all too soon:Saeed Naqvi



5 reasons for the crisis in global Islam:Shekhar Gupta's article , theprint



Economic reforms now a sideshow, Modi govt focused on other priorities: ex-FinSec Subhash Chandra Garg



Hindutva Ban on Beef for Big Cats in Zoo is Last Straw for Assam’s Anti-Caste Activists:Rintu Borah



Privatisation of Railways aims at 15% Indians to the exclusion of others  :AJ Prabal & S Raju



2 years, 3 charge sheets & 16 arrests — Why Bhima Koregaon accused are still in jail:APOORVA MANDHANI





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