01 November 2020

1 NOV. NEWS: After UP, Haryana Home Minister says state mulling law against ‘love jihad’. ‘Terrorist Centre’: Hindu Sena defaces signboard of India Islamic Cultural Centre in Delhi. High onion, potato, tomato prices pinch household budgets: survey. Macron says he understands shock over Prophet cartoons, but will uphold freedom of expression





 After UP, Haryana Home Minister Anil Vij says state mulling law against ‘love jihad’

New Delhi :A day after Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath asserted that his government was working to bring a strict law to curb incidents of “love jihad”, Haryana Home Minister Anil Vij on Sunday said the state was mulling the same. In a one-line tweet, Vij said, “A law against love jihad is being considered in Haryana”. Speaking to ANI, Vij said a law was needed to “save young girls”. “This love jihad…it is necessary to cure it, so we can save young girls. If we have to pass a law to do this, we will,” the Haryana minister said.The remarks by the Home Minister come amid outrage in the state over the killing of a 20-year-old student outside her college in Ballabhgarh by a former classmate and his accomplice. On Sunday, locals in Ballabhgarh blocked National Highway 2, demanding justice for the victim.Haryana Chief Minister Manohar Lal Khattar said the state was considering legal provisions so that the guilty could not escape. “Since Ballabhgarh woman killing case is being linked with ‘love jihad’, Centre as well as state govt is looking into it, and considering legal provisions so that guilty is not able to escape, and no innocent person is punished,” ANI quoted Khattar as saying.



 Raising 'Love Jihad' Bogey, Yogi Threatens Death for Men Who 'Hide Identity, Disrespect Sisters':thewire

New Delhi: In his most menacing comments to date on Hindu-Muslim romance and marriage, Uttar Pradesh chief minister Yogi Adityanath on Saturday warned men who “hide their identities” and “play with the honour of daughters and sisters” to get ready for their own funerals.Speaking at a BJP election rally in Jaunpur, Adityanath referred to a recent Allahabad high court judgment which said that if an individual converted to another religion purely in order to marry, that conversion would not be valid, and then said, “This is why our government has decided that we will act to stop love jihad in a firm way”.‘Love jihad’ is the term Hindutva politicians have coined and use to describe an imaginary conspiracy they themselves conjured up in which Muslim men supposedly dupe unsuspecting Hindu girls into marriage in order to convert them to Islam. In more fanciful versions of this conspiracy theory, this is said to be part of a grand and secret plan of eventually turning Hindus — who are 85% of the population — into a minority in India.Ironically, the judgment Adityanath referred to had nothing to do with allegations of love jihad but pertained to the request a Muslim woman and Hindu man – who married of their own free will – had made for protection in the face of opposition from their families. The court, however, declined to direct the state to stop interfering with their “peaceful married life” since the woman had converted to Hinduism purely in order to get married.



Inter-Faith Couples Worried over Yogi’s ‘Love Jihad’ Diatribe

LUCKNOW: A day after Yogi Adityanath said that his government would make a strict law to curb ‘love jihad’, several couples from different religions on Sunday apprehended the misuse of the provision by police and asserted that it would also tantamount to infringement of their right to religion.“Fringe outfits who function as moral police, in particular, will go berserk and the state police will also get an excuse to target inter-faith couples. I have personally faced this harassment when I got married to Sneha. Even the police targeted us and we would have been stoned to death if a local politician had not come to our rescue,” said Irfan Khan, who married Sneha Srivastava in 2018 in Prayagraj. The couple, both software engineers, thereafter moved to Jamshedpur. Another inter-faith couple, Aslam and Adhya, who are planning to marry in December with their families’ consent, are also apprehensive.“After we got engaged two months ago, some Hindu activists came to my house and asked my parents to give a written complaint against Aslam. They said they would ‘set right these Muslims’. Now our parents want us to shift the wedding destination outside the state because we do not want trouble at the venue,” said Adhya.The couple are now looking for their wedding in Rajasthan or Goa. All relatives have been informed.Shafiq and Tisha are another couple who are wary of the implications of the proposed law.Both are in a relationship and plan to marry next year.IANS



Plea in SC challenges provisions of law prohibiting raising of religious disputes

New Delhi :A plea has been filed in the Supreme Court challenging validity of some provisions of a 1991 law which prohibited filing of a lawsuit to reclaim a place of worship or seek a change in its character from what prevailed on August 15, 1947.The plea seeks setting aside of sections 2, 3, 4 of the Places of Worship (Special Provisions) Act 1991 on grounds including that they take away the right of judicial remedy to reclaim a place of worship by any person or a religious group.The law had made only one exception which was the dispute pertaining to the Ram Janmbhoomi-Babri masjid at Ayodhya.The fresh plea, filed by BJP leader and lawyer Ashwini Upadhyay, through advocate Ashwani Dubey assumes significance as there has been ongoing demand by some Hindu groups to reclaim religious places at Mathura and Kashi, which are prohibited under the 1991 law. Earlier also, another PIL was filed by ”Vishwa Bhadra Pujari Purohit Mahasangh” seeking directions to declare Section 4 of the Act as ultra vires.PTI



‘Terrorist Centre’: Hindu Sena defaces signboard of India Islamic Cultural Centre  in Delhi

Members of right-wing group Hindu Sena on Sunday defaced the signboard of the India Islamic Cultural Centre in Delhi, by sticking posters that read “Jihadi Islamic Terrorist Centre” on it. The group’s president Vishnu Gupta confirmed it to news website The Quint. The group said it was angry at the Muslim community for their “terrorist activities” in France and elsewhere in India.The posters were later removed, according to the station house officer of Lodhi Colony.Hindu Sena representative Bam Bam Thakur told the website that some members of the group gathered outside the centre, located in Lodhi Colony of Central Delhi, at 9.30 am and vandalised the signboard. “We do not know who took it off, but we definitely went there and put it up today,” Thakur said. “The image has not been photoshopped or anything.”Gupta claimed that the “Islamic Cultural Centre is not Indian culture”.




Hizbul commander Saifullah Mir shot dead in Srinagar encounter

Srinagar: Hizbul Mujahideen militant commander Saifullah Mir was killed in an encounter with security forces on the outskirts of Srinagar district Sunday. Mir, 31, also known as Dr Saifullah, had only taken over the reins of the militant outfit in May after his predecessor, Riyaz Naikoo, was killed in a gunbattle at his native village of Beighpora in Pulwama district. “We had received inputs about the presence of two militants at a residence in the Rangreth area,” said a senior officer of CRPF. “The area was cordoned off and the two men were asked to surrender. In response, they fired upon the security forces. Dr Saifullah was killed after an exchange of fire.  His associate was subsequently taken into custody.”Mir, a resident of Pulwama’s Malangpora village, has a diploma degree in medical electronics from the Industrial Training Institute in Pulwama and another from the National Institute of Electronics and Information Technology in Srinagar. His knowledge of medical technology had earned him the nickname “Doctor”,  a senior police officer said.In 2014, Mir joined militant ranks and operated under slain commander Burhan Wani. Mir also figured in one of the group pictures of Wani and his associates that went viral in social media.According to police sources, two men who are likely to take over from Mir include Mohammad Ashraf Khan also known as Ashraf Molvi, among the senior-most militant commanders in Kashmir and of Hizbul Mujahideen.The second name, the officer quoted above said, is of Zubair Wani (31), who joined militant ranks in April 2018.



 Annul actions under Roshni Act, retrieve land within 6 months: J&K

Jammu :3 weeks after a High Court order declared the Roshni Act as amended from time to time as unconstitutional and unsustainable, the Jammu and Kashmir government on Saturday decided to annul all mutations, remove encroachment and retrieve such land within six months.“It is hereby ordered that the Principal Secretary to Government, Revenue Department, shall pass an order declaring all actions taken under the Jammu and Kashmir State Land (Vesting of Ownership to the Occupants) Act, 2001, as amended from time to time, and rules made there under as void ab-initio,” stated an order issued by the Jammu and Kashmir Department of Law, Justice and Parliamentary Affairs, with the Lieutenant Governor’s approval.The Roshni Act is another name for the Jammu and Kashmir State Land (Vesting of Ownership to the Occupants) Act, 2001.



 Press Club of India condemns NIA raid on Greater Kashmir office, says targeted for being journalists

Press Club of India on Sunday condemned the searches conducted by the National Investigation Agency at the Sringar office of Greater Kashmir, and said that investigators searching laptops and storage devices of journalists was a matter of great concern, the newspaper reported. The press body said it appeared as if journalists were being targeted simply “for being journalists”.The office of Greater Kashmir was among the ten locations in Jammu and Kashmir that were raided by the NIA on Wednesday, triggering concerns of a crackdown on information and a free press in the region. The agency said it was investigating “non-profit groups and charitable trusts” that were collecting funds and using them for “carrying out secessionist and separatist activities” in the erstwhile state.



Dr. Kafeel seeks Indian Medical Association’s aid for reinstatement

Suspended Gorakhpur pediatrician Kafeel Khan has now approached Indian Medical Association (IMA) to help him in the revocation of his suspension. Khan, who was recently absolved of charges under NSA, has said that despite getting a clean chit from the court and there being no evidence of medical negligence or corruption found against him in the nine probes conducted by the govt, he remains suspended for the third year now.Khan was suspended in August 2017, following the death of around 60 children in BRD Medical College due to disruption in oxygen supply. However, other doctors accused in BRD oxygen tragedy had been reinstated.IMA Secretary General R.V. Asokan told reporters that the association had written a letter to the Prime Minister last year, too, in this regard as this is a matter of profession."The matter is connected to the state government, we have asked our state body to take a call and approach UP Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath for his reinstatement as he has been acquitted from all the charges," Asokan said."Even though the Supreme Court says that suspension should not be more than 90 days, I have been under suspension for 1,155 days since August 22 after the BRD oxygen tragedy," Khan said in his letter to the IMA.IANS



 Widowed in Muzaffarnagar riots, 50-year-old Nimmi has given up on getting justice

Nimmi lives in Muzaffarnagar’s Kidwai Nagar locality. Her real name could very well be Naeema, but she never went to school and nobody ever called her Naeema anyways. Nimmi and her older sister were married off by their father in a joint ceremony. Both were married in the same family.Nimmi was 14 at the time of her marriage, now she is 50. To save money, her labourer father, Shafeeq, married her and her sister to two brothers. The name of their in-law’s village is Bahawadi. This non-descript village in western UP’s Shamli district came into news in 2013 when during the anti-Muslim riots a PAC team refused to enter the village and an IPS officer on special duty, Raghuvir Lal, accompanied by only his gunner, took on the rioters. Raghuvir still says that day was the biggest day of his life. Upon his return, his wife cried embracing him and his father said he was proud of being his father.Bahawadi was where Nimmi was widowed. At 9 am on 8 Sept.2013, to be precise.TwoCircles



 High onion, potato, tomato prices pinch household budgets: survey

MUMBAI :Retail prices of essential vegetables, especially tomato, potato and onion, have sky rocketed across India in the last two months, upsetting household budgets when earnings have been impacted due to the pandemic.According to a survey conducted by LocalCircles, 71% of citizens said they were paying more than ₹50 per kg for tomato, ₹40 per kg for potato and ₹50 per kg for onion.In comparison, according to a similar survey conducted by the same entity and published on September 11, 2020, 61% households had said they were paying more than ₹60 per kg for tomato, ₹30 per kg for potato and ₹25 per kg for onion.




Bihar elections: With ex-BJP, Brahmin faces, RJD tries to go beyond M-Y in bid to look ‘like A to Z’

Darbhanga :As discontents with 15 years of Nitish raj rise to the fore, and a desire for bringing in the new makes itself heard in Bihar, Tejashwi Yadav’s RJD faces a difficult predicament in this election: It is new — but it is also old.RJD’s new chief ministerial candidate is his father’s son. Lalu Prasad gave the RJD its politics and its ideological core in the turbulent 1990s — but he also gave it its straitjacket.He upended an entrenched upper-caste domination by mobilising an array of backward castes in a state of fierce caste inequalities. Over the years, however, Lalu’s radical and largehearted coalition shrank, and “social justice” came to mean Yadav domination. Electorally and politically, the RJD became the “M-Y” (Muslim-Yadav) party.In Election 2020, Team Tejashwi is attempting to rally the M-Y base while breaking the M-Y constraint. It has cast the RJD net wider among castes and communities and is taking pains to project itself as the “A to Z” — not just “M-Y” — party.




Hate speeches, personal remarks by leaders not good for healthy democracy: Rajnath

Concerned over the deteriorating political discourse in the country, senior BJP leader and Union Minister Rajnath Singh has said elections shouldn’t be fought and won by spreading hatred among people and there should be no place for “bitterness and acidic remarks” in a healthy democracy.He also expressed confidence that NDA will win the Bihar elections and asserted that the exit of the Chirag Paswan-led LJP won’t impact the poll prospects of the ruling alliance. Mr Singh also rejected allegations of any hidden understanding with Mr Paswan’s party, saying the BJP believes in fair politics and doesn’t play with the trust of the people.PTI



MP Bypolls: Scindia Mistakenly Seeks Votes For Congress

Bhopal––In a slip of the tongue, BJP Rajya Sabha member Jyotiraditya Scindia asked people to vote for his former party Congress during a campaign for the November 3 by-elections in Madhya Pradesh.A video, in which Scindia is seen seeking votes for the Congress during a rally on Saturday in favour of BJP candidate Imarti Devi from Dabra town in Gwalior, has gone viral on social media.In the video, Scindia is heard saying, “My people of Dabra, raise your hand and make your fist to convince (state chief minister) Shivraj Singh and me, make us believe that you will press the ‘hand’ button on November 3.“



Nitish Kumar May Try To Challenge PM Modi In 2024 Elections: Chirag Paswan

Patna: Bihar Chief Minister Nitish Kumar might ditch BJP after the assembly poll results are out, join the RJD-led Grand Alliance and make yet another attempt at posing a challenge to the NDA in the 2024 general elections, LJP president Chirag Paswan has claimed.r Paswan reiterated that LJP was and will remain loyal towards the BJP, which was staring at the spectre of yet another "paltimaar" (volte-face) by JD(U) president."Nitish Kumar has earned the epithet 'palturam' (turncoat) by virtue of his frequent acts of paltimaar. He came to power in Bihar after a long political battle with RJD chief Lalu Prasad. A few years later, he snapped ties with the BJP, an old ally and ended up forging an alliance with his arch rival," he told a news channel.



Bihar election: PM Modi talks of Pakistan’s Pulwama confession, slams Opposition

Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Sunday excoriated the opposition over the Pulwama attack after Pakistan’s admission of complicity in it, saying it has “taken masks off” the faces of those in India who never cared for the “sons of Bihar” who lost their lives in the assault.Addressing an election rally in Chapra, Modi also sought to appeal to Bihari sensitivities by speaking about ‘chhath’ puja, saying their “son” will ensure that kitchen fires are kept burning despite the Covid pandemic.“A few days ago, our neighbour confessed to its involvement in the Pulwama terror attack,” Modi said referring to a statement made on the floor of Pakistan National Assembly by minister Fawad Chaudhry who credited Premier Imran Khan for the “success in Pulwama” where “humne Hindustan ko ghar mein ghus kar maara (we hit India on its own soil)“.



Not involved in Pulwama attack: Pakistan

Islamabad has denied Prime Minister Narendra Modi's insinuation of Pakistan’s involvement in the Pulwama attack by alluding to remarks made by its Federal Minister Fawad Hussain Chaudhry in the National Assembly.  In a statement, the Pakistan Foreign Office claimed the minister was referring to the response given by the Pakistan Armed Forces to India's bombing of Balakot. However, the video clip has Hussain referring to Pulwama several times. The Pakistan Foreign Office said it sees such observations as part and parcel of the BJP’s electoral strategy to galvanise voters’ support.Tribune News




Mizoram-Assam border row enters 4th day, blockade continues

As the blockade on National Highway 306, the lifeline of Mizoram, entered the fourth day on Saturday, the Mizoram government ferried fuel and cooking gas from neighbouring Manipur and Tripura. The fresh deadlock at its border with Assam has been continuing since Wednesday despite a series of top level meetings, officials said on Saturday.In Guwahati, Assam Minister and senior BJP leader Himanta Biswa Sarma said on Saturday that solving the vexed inter-state border disputes of Assam with other northeastern states is top of the agenda for the party.IANS



Rajasthan CM Gehlot appoints Niranjan Arya, a Dalit, as Chief Secretary

Rajasthan Chief Minister Ashok Gehlot, known for playing his social engineering cards well, in a midnight development, appointed Niranjan Arya, a Dalit as the new Chief Secretary. Arya was additional Chief Secretary holding the finance department's responsibilities. He superseded 10 persons who were senior to him. It's for the first time that any government appointed a person as the Chief Secretary ignoring the claims of such a large number of seniors.A 1989 batch officer, Arya belongs to the Dholi (drummer) community from Pali district. He would remain in office for 15 months. He will retire in January 2022.




Nexus of Middlemen and Govt Employees Siphoning of Scholarships Meant for Minority Students in Jharkhand

NEW DELHI – Central government’s scholarship scheme meant for students belonging to minority communities in Jharkhand are not reaching them or if at all reaching it’s not in full. Apparently, a nexus of bank staff, middlemen, schools and government employees is duping the rightful beneficiary.As part of investigation, The India Express tracked 15 schools across six districts – Ranchi, Dhanbad, Latehar, Ramgarh, Lohardaga and Sahibganj – in Jharkhand and spoke to over 30 students, parents and school authorities to investigate the list of beneficiaries for pre-matric scholarships in 2019-20 sanctioned by the Union Ministry of Minority Affairs through National Scholarship Portal (NSP). Pre-Matric Scholarship Scheme is meant to help students of minority communities – Muslims, Christians, Sikhs, Buddhists, Jains and Parsis – whose annual family income is below Rs 1 lakh. To be eligible, students need to score at least 50 per cent in their class exams. Students from Class 1 to 5 receive Rs 1,000 per year and students of Class 6 to 10 receive Rs 10,700 a year if they are in a hostel or Rs 5,700 a year if they are day scholars. Most of the corruption is related to these last two categories.In 2019-20, the Ministry of Minority Affairs disbursed Rs 1,400 crore nationally under this scheme. Out of this, Jharkhand got Rs 61 crore.Authorities at Madrasa Alia Arabia in Ranchi said all the 102 students listed as hostel beneficiaries in the NSP for 2019 were “fake”. Mohammad Sahabuddin, the head teacher, said the list also included girls, although the madrasa is a residential facility for boys. “If you multiply Rs 10,700 by 102, the amount that has been illegally siphoned off without our knowledge is nearly Rs 11 lakh,” he says.Clarion India




At 40%, stubble burning contribution in Delhi’s pollution soars to season’s high

The share of stubble burning in Delhi’s pollution rose to 40% on Sunday, the maximum so far this season, according to a central govt air quality monitoring agency. Ministry of Earth Sciences’ air quality monitor, SAFAR, said 3,216 farm fires were spotted over Punjab, Haryana, Uttar Pradesh and Uttarakhand on Saturday.The share of stubble burning in Delhi’s PM2.5 pollution was 40% on Sunday, the maximum so far this season. It was 32% on Saturday, 19% on Friday and 36% on Thursday, the second highest this season so far.PTI








 Active COVID cases fall below 6 lakh for third day: Health Ministry

India has managed to maintain its active COVID-19 caseload below 6 lakh mark for the third consecutive day, a release issued by the Health Ministry said on Sunday. According to Ministry, the country’s total active caseload stands at 5,70,458 currently. “New confirmed COVID cases stand at 46,963,” said the Ministry adding that Kerala is still reporting a very high number of new cases with more than 7,000 cases, followed by Maharashtra and Delhi with more than 5,000 cases each.At the same time, 76% of the new recovered cases are observed to be concentrated in 10 States/UTs, including Maharashtra and Kerala.“The active cases have dropped to 6.97% of the total positive cases of the country, demonstrating a steady falling percentage of the total cases,” said the Ministry.




Aggressive contact tracing main reason for sudden spike in Covid cases:Delhi Health Minister

New Delhi: Addressing the issue of the recent spike in COVID-19 cases in the national capital, Delhi Health Minister Satyendar Jain on Sunday said that ‘aggressive contact tracing’ was the primary reason for the sudden increase in numbers.“If a person tests positive then his entire family and the people in contact have to be tested, thus more cases of COVID-19 were recorded. Earlier 6-7 contacts of a positive person were traced, now this number has crossed 15,” Minister said.ANI




All AP higher educational institutions to reopen from Monday

All higher educational institutions, universities and affiliated colleges, across Andhra Pradesh will reopen from Monday.Unlike alternate half days for schools, colleges will function on all six days of the week, said an official."A new academic calendar for non-professional courses, professional courses and post-graduate programmes was released," said an official.IANS




70% of Indian travellers to be more price-conscious: Survey 

The global pandemic put an immediate halt on travel, and while restrictions have started to ease in many parts of the world, the financial legacy of COVID-19 will linger for much longer. While travellers may still be keen to resume travelling as soon as it is safe, they will be far more focused on value for money, booking transparency and flexibility now more than before.70 percent of Indian travellers believe they will be more price-conscious when it comes to searching and planning a trip following COVID-19 and 64 percent are more likely to hunt down for promotions and savings revels digital travel platform Booking.com. 74 percent expect travel companies to support their future travel plans via discounts and promotions.IANS




UK minister says lockdown in England could be extended

The one-month lockdown for England announced by Prime Minister Boris Johnson this weekend could be extended as Britain struggles to contain a second wave of the COVID-19 pandemic, a senior cabinet member said on Sunday.Mr Johnson announced on Saturday that the lockdown across England would kick in after midnight on Thursday morning and last until Dec. 2. UK, which has the biggest official death toll in Europe from COVID-19, is grappling with more than 20,000 new coronavirus cases a day and scientists have warned a worst-case scenario of 80,000 dead could be exceeded.REUTERS




Saudi allows foreign pilgrims to enter for Umrah

Some 10,000 foreign pilgrims are arriving in Saudi Arabia to perform Umrah after a seven-month pause because of the coronavirus pandemic.The pilgrims must isolate for three days after arrival before being transported to religious sites, according to Amr Al-Maddah, deputy minister of Hajj and Umrah.They will be allowed a 10-day stay in the kingdom.Al-Maddah said the testing of pilgrims – who are all 50 years old or younger – for COVID-19 will be continuous and any cases detected will be closely monitored.






  Macron says he understands shock over Prophet cartoons, but will uphold freedom of expression

French President Emmanuel Macron says he understands the feelings of Muslims who are shocked by the displaying of cartoons of Prophet Muhammad but added that the “radical Islam” he is trying to fight is a threat to all people, especially Muslims.Macron’s comments to Al Jazeera, in an exclusive interview to be aired in full on Saturday, come amid heightened tensions between the French government and the Muslim world over the cartoons, which Muslims consider to be blasphemous.“I understand the sentiments being expressed and I respect them. But you must understand my role right now, it’s to do two things: to promote calm and also to protect these rights,” Macron said.“I will always defend in my country the freedom to speak, to write, to think, to draw,” he added.Macron also hit out at what he described as “distortions” from political leaders, saying people were often led to believe that the caricatures were a creation of the French state.“I think that the reactions came as a result of lies and distortions of my words because people understood that I supported these cartoons,” the president said in the interview.“The caricatures are not a governmental project, but emerged from free and independent newspapers that are not affiliated with the government,” he added.“Today in the world there are people who distort Islam and in the name of this religion that they claim to defend,  they kill, they slaughter … today there is violence practised by some extremist movements and individuals in the name of Islam,” Macron said.Marwan Bishara, Al Jazeera’s senior political analyst, said Macron’s comments appeared to be “an attempt at clarifying … where he stands on issues that are of importance to France and the Muslim world”.




‘May Allah disfigure his face’: Khabib slams Macron over Islam comments

Khabib Nurmagomedov, who announced his retirement last week, lambasted French President Emmanuel Macron over his recent remarks on Islam on Friday, calling for “Almighty to disfigure the face of this creature”.32-year-old former MMA fighter is a practicing Muslim from the Republic of Dagestan, and has regularly spoken about the impact of his faith on his life.Taking to Instagram, Khabib attacked Macron with a picture featuring a boot print over the face of the President. “May the Almighty disfigure the face of this creature and all its followers, who, under the slogan of freedom of speech, offend the feelings of more than one and a half billion Muslim believers,” said the caption.“May the Almighty humiliate them in this life, and in the next. Allah is quick in calculation and you will see it.”Khabib also added verse 33:57 from the Quran in his post: “Indeed, those who revile Allah and His Messenger, Allah cursed in this world and in the Hereafter and prepared for them humiliating torments.”indianexpress




Paris beheadings: Actors, activists, former Mumbai top cop condemn ‘outrageous’ statements by Muslim leaders

Mumbai :Former Mumbai Police Commissioner Julio Ribeiro, also former DGP of Gujarat and Punjab, actors Naseeruddin Shah, Shabana Azmi, Swara Bhasker, activists Medha Patkar, Teesta Setalvad, Javed Anand and John Dayal, were among 130 signatories who condemned the Paris beheadings and criticised the “outrageous statements by Muslim religious and political leaders” in a statement issued on Saturday.“We… unequivocally and unconditionally condemn the recent killings in France by two fanatics in the name of faith. We are deeply disturbed by the convoluted logic of some self-appointed guardians of Indian Muslims in rationalising cold-blooded murder and deplore the outrageous remarks of some heads of state,” the statement read.Other signatories of the statement also include poet and lyricist Javed Akhtar, theatre personality Mallika Sarabhai, senior lawyer Mihir Desai, senior journalist and writer Anil Dharker, film director Kabir Khan, documentary film-maker Anand Patwardhan, human rights activist Henri Tiphagne, activist Dr Ram Punyani and actor Zeeshan Ayyub.



Canada: Court to hear challenge to ‘religious symbols’ law

A long-awaited court case gets under way this week in the Canadian province of Quebec, where civil rights groups say a law that prohibits the wearing of religious garb by some public servants violates the country’s constitution.The lawsuit against Bill 21 was filed by the National Council of Canadian Muslims (NCCM), the Canadian Civil Liberties Association (CCLA) and Ichrak Nourel Hak, a Muslim woman, and it will be heard in Quebec Superior Court on November 2.The law, passed in June 2019, bars some teachers, lawyers, police officers and others in the public sphere from wearing religious symbols on the job, including the hijab worn by Muslim women, kippahs worn by Jewish men, and turbans worn by Sikhs.The applicants say the law is discriminatory and creates “second-class citizenship” in Canada.



Israel elated - Dominican Republic may move embassy to Jerusalem

Israel on Saturday welcomed a declaration by the Dominican Republic that the Caribbean country may consider moving its embassy to Jerusalem from Tel Aviv, reported Reuters.The Dominican Republic’s foreign ministry said in a statement on Friday it was evaluating the step at the request of the local Jewish community, noting that its embassy in Israel had been in Jerusalem until 1980.Israeli Foreign Minister Gabi Ashkenazi praised the Dominican Republic and expressed gratitude to his Dominican counterpart Roberto Alvarez Gil for considering it.“I thanked him during our phone call yesterday for this important decision and for the many years of friendship between our two countries,” Ashkenazi said on Twitter.



70-year-old pulled out alive as Turkey quake death toll hits 58

Rescue workers have extricated a 70-year-old man from a collapsed building in western Turkey after a powerful earthquake struck Turkey and Greece on Friday, killing at least 58 and injuring 896 people.Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan raised the death toll in Izmir, Turkey’s third-largest city, as rescuers pulled more bodies out of toppled buildings.Two teenagers were killed Friday on the Greek island of Samos and at least 19 others were injured.Ahmet Citim, 70, was rescued from the rubble shortly after midnight Sunday and taken to hospital. Health Minister Fahrettin Koca tweeted the man said: “I never lost my hope.”








OPINION | Should Muslims Really be Enraged by Macron's Statement on Islam Amid France Terror Attacks?Meeqat Hashmi



By reminding RSS the country does not belong to one party, Thackeray rubs it in: Sujata Anandan



PM Modi’s remarkable interview to The Economic Times and his alternate universe:Aakar Patel



India cannot afford to allow an Islamist state within her borders and this is what Kashmir had become:Tavleen Singh



Slow death of liberal democracy:P Chidambaram



Give A Dalit Man A Pair Of Scissors, And He’ll Show You What Freedom Is;Vijeta Kumar



Hindu Nationalists Back Macron, Not on Free Speech but on Islamophobia:Ashok Swain | Clarion India





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