27 December 2020

Police register FIR against Adv. Mehmood Pracha, claim he abused,intimidated team during search; Delhi Court Summons Investigating Officer, Direct Production Of Entire Video Footage of Search. MP ‘love jihad’ Bill tougher, but limits who can file FIR


  • Police register FIR against Adv. Mehmood Pracha, claim he abused,intimidated team during search; Delhi Court Summons Investigating Officer, Direct Production Of Entire Video Footage of Search
  • Dilli Chalo | Repeal of agriculture laws tops farmers agenda for fresh talks on Dec.29

  •  Jamaat-e-Islami Hind Demands Special Financial Packages For AMU, Preservation Of Its Minority Character
  •  MP ‘love jihad’ Bill tougher, but limits who can file FIR
  • Israeli air attacks cause injuries, damage in Gaza Strip




Police register FIR against Adv. Mehmood Pracha, claim he abused,intimidated team during search

New Delhi :Counter Intelligence Unit of Delhi Police’s Special Cell has lodged an FIR against lawyer Mehmood Pracha after he and his associates allegedly abused and intimidated the police team during searches at his Nizamuddin East office 2 days ago. Pracha’s firm Legal Axis is defending several persons accused in different cases related to Delhi riots. Many in the legal fraternity described the police search as an attack against the attorney-client privilege and on the fundamental right to legal representation. Police said Special Cell had gone to his office to investigate an FIR registered in August, which alleged false evidence and forged notary stamps were used to secure bail of an accused arrested in a riots case. Police alleged the complaint letter used to get bail in the case was sent from Pracha’s office computer. A Delhi court had issued a search warrant on Dec.22 to look for the incriminating documents.Pracha refused to comment on the mail pertaining to the complaint letter. On Friday, he had moved court seeking clarification on the search warrant order issued by Special Cell, alleging he was directed by the personnel to provide incriminating material against himself.Pracha had said: “I unlocked all computers and the office was given to the police to conduct their search. However, the police personnel, who was not even IO as per the warrant, directed us to show that material ourselves, and if not, they threatened to take away our computers.”



Advocate Pracha's Office Raid: Delhi Court Summons Investigating Officer, Direct Production Of Entire Video Footage of Search

A Delhi Court on Friday has summoned an Investigating Officer connected with cases arising out of Delhi riots over CAA, besides requiring him to produce the entire video footage of a search conducted by Delhi Police at the office of an advocate appearing in the matter. The order of Duty MM Anshul Singhal, Patiala House Court came on an application moved by advocate Mehmood Pracha seeking preservation of copies of the video footage of the raids conducted by Delhi police at his office on Thursday. The judge further required the IO to file a status report in connection with one of the cases by January 5.



Riot Victims Say Police Pressurising Them To Disengage Adv Mehmood Pracha

NEW DELHI—After Delhi Police (Special Cell) raid office of Adv Mehmood Pracha in Nizamuddin East, many Delhi riot victims have alleged that the police are bringing pressure on them either to withdraw their cases or drop Advocate Mehmood Pracha as their defence counsel and instead, hire an advocate suggested by the police itself. These allegations were made by the riot victims at a press conference after a team of the Delhi police conducted a raid on the office of Adv Pracha. One of the victims identifying himself as Wasim said that he was publicly beaten up by the police during February riots and forced to sing national anthem. He was made to sing national anthem because the protesters at almost all venues of the protest against CAA used to sing national anthem individually as well as collectively to mobilise the people against the new citizenship law. He said when he went to the Jyoti Nagar Police Station in Shahdara district, the police refused to register an FIR and sent him back, alleging the police threatened to implicate him in false cases and ruin his life if he persisted with filing an FIR.Wasim alleged that the police were now asking him to disengage Adv Pracha.



  Jamaat-e-Islami Hind condemns raid on Advocate Mehmood Pracha

NEW DELHI: Prominent  Muslim organisation Jamaat-e-Islami Hind (JIH) on Saturday condemned the raid by the Delhi Police (Special Cell) at the office of Advocate Mehmood Pracha, who is a lawyer in several Delhi riots case. “Advocate Pracha has been fighting cases for many victims of the North East Delhi riots and those unjustly arrested for their role in the anti- CAA protests. The raids appear to be an act of vengeance and intimidation,” it said. JIH Vice President Professor Salim Engineer said that there is a visible pattern in the recent arrests by the Delhi Police. He added, “It appears as if the police want to send a message that those who take up cudgels on behalf of victims of injustice and police high-handedness will have to face inquiries, raids and arrest.” Salim accused the central government of misusing various agencies to intimidate people who are opposing its policies and actions. New Indian Express




Delhi Police Implicating Innocents To Escape Duty Of Impartial Investigation: APCR Condemns Raid On Advocate Pracha’s Office

Association for Protection of Civil Rights (APCR) has condemned the Delhi Police’s raids on the office of Advocate Mehmood Pracha. APCR National General secretary Malik Moatasim Khan called the raids on Adv Pracha’s office unfortunate and concerning. “Delhi Police is operating at the behest of its political masters and implicating innocent people to escape out of their duty of impartial investigation. Pracha has been on the forefront in providing legal aid to the victims of Delhi riots 2020 and has been critical of the police’s role in the riots,” he said in a statement. Expressing concerns over the raids, he further added, “an air has blown in the capital after Delhi riots where activists, professionals, and NGOs involved in the relief and rehabilitation of the victims are being harassed in the name of investigation. The government should refrain from such vindictive actions and should ensure justice is met to the victims of the Delhi riots. The government should support the voices of oppressed and not stand against them. Democracy is an instrument of check and balances and no institution, agency or authority can run out of their responsibility.”



"Act of vindictiveness:" Delhi High Court Women Lawyers Forum writes to DHCBA over police raid at office of Mehmood Pracha

Following the police raid at the house of advocate Mehmood Pracha, Delhi High Court Women Lawyers Forum has written to the President of Delhi High Court Bar Association (DHCBA), Mohit Mathur, expressing deep concerns over investigating agency arraigning lawyers as accused in criminal cases.The Forum states that on the face of it, the proceedings initiated against lawyers are ostensibly independent of the matters being handled by them.However, the pattern emerging from all such instances, where lawyers are being targeted, is hard to ignore, the letter adds.



 "Open Gundagardi of UP Police", "no limit to atrocities": BCI writes to CJI Bobde, CJ Mathur over assault of advocate by UP Police

Bar Council of India has written to CJI, Justice SA Bobde and the Chief Justice of Allahabad High Court, Justice Govind Mathur, requesting them to take immediate steps against the police personnel who assaulted an advocate in an incident which took place at Etah, Uttar Pradesh, a few days back. “It is nothing but open Gundagardi of Uttar Pradesh Police", Bar Council of India (BCI) has remarked as it states that there is" no limit" to atrocities by Uttar Pradesh Police.Taking a serious view of the incident, the lawyer's body has demanded that a direction be issued to the Uttar Pradesh Government to immediately put the guilty personnel "under suspension, transfer them and remove them from service".BCI has also resolved to write to the Union Home Minister, Amit Shah for enactment of suitable laws to provide protection to the lawyers in the country.



Wife from void marriage can file case for cruelty under Section 498A: J&K HC

A man and his relatives can be prosecuted for the offence of cruelty under Section 498A of Ranbir Penal Code (RPC) even if the marriage entered into by him with the complainant woman was void, J&K High Court ruled (Karnail Chand and others V/s State of J&K and another). The High Court held that when a person enters into a marital arrangement with a woman, he is covered by the definition of 'Husband' contained in Section 498A RPC irrespective of the legitimacy of the marriage. A single-judge Bench of Justice Sanjay Dhar, therefore, dismissed a petition challenging a FIR lodged for the offence of cruelty under Section 498A and directed police to investigate matter. The Bench also lifted the interim stay on probe.



Jamaat-e-Islami Hind Demands Special Financial Packages For AMU, Preservation Of Its Minority Character

NEW DELHI: After PM Narendra Modi approved Aligarh Muslim University (AMU) as “mini India” representing all regions of the country, Jamaat-e-Islami Hind(JIH) urged Central and State Govts to allocate special financial packages for the expansion of AMU and accelerate the research work that the university has been doing. PM made the “mini India” remark about the university while speaking online as chief guest on the occasion of the centenary celebration of the university. While demanding more financial packages for expansion of the university and accelerate its research activities, JIH President Sadatullah Husaini also appealed the government to ensure that the minority status of the university was preserved and more off campus centres of the university were opened in all the major cities across the country during centenary year of the AMU.In a statement, Mr Husaini said, “University deserves special packages from the central and state governments for its expansion and to scale up its research facilities. The minority status of AMU and its status as the bastion of Muslim culture needs careful nurturing and preservation.” In a missive sent to AMU V-C, Mr Husaini has congratulated students, faculty, administration and the alumni of AMU on the occasion of the centenary celebrations and hoped for further progress of the university. He prayed that AMU would rank among the top ten universities of the world. Admiring the services of the university in the fields of education and research, Mr. Husaini said, “AMU’s contribution towards imparting quality education and research has been acknowledged by the world. The cradle of learning has produced a number of intellectuals and the scholars, who are serving humanity the world over. The inclusiveness in the university is the hallmark of the institution, certainly, it is an epitome of the pluralistic culture, which our country needs to   strengthen. Staying true to its mandate, the university has always played a pivotal role in educational development of the Muslim minority and in preserving its cultural values and defending its rights.” India Tomorrow



Protesting farmers beat thaalis during PM Modi’s Mann Ki Baat address

New Delhi:As the protests against Central govt’s contentious new agricultural reforms continue to intensify in the national capital, large groups of farmers at the Singhu and Ghazipur borders Sunday began banging utensils during Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s monthly ‘Mann Ki Baat’ radio address.On Sunday morning, large processions of farmers camping along Delhi’s borders were seen marching, while striking utensils and chanting slogans against PM Modi and Central govt.Earlier this week, several farmer leaders had appealed to people around the country to join them in boycotting PM Modi’s radio programme on Dec.27 by beating ‘thaalis’, in the same way the Prime Minister had asked the country to bang utensils during the early days of the coronavirus-induced lockdown.While announcing their next move, farmer leader Jagjeet Singh Dalewala said that toll collection would be halted on highways in Haryana between Dec.25 and 27, PTI reported. He had also urged people to skip a meal in solidarity with the protesting farmers on Wednesday on the occasion of National Farmers’ Day.“From Dec.25 to 27 all toll booths in Haryana will not be allowed by us to collect toll, we will halt them from doing so. On Dec.27, our prime minister will say his ‘Mann ki baat’ and we want to appeal to the people to beat ‘thalis’ during his address, the same way PM had asked the country to bang utensils for coronavirus,” Bharatiya Kisan Union (BKU) leader told reporters.



Dilli Chalo | Repeal of agriculture laws tops farmers agenda for fresh talks on Dec29

As the farmers’ agitation for the repeal of the three farm laws completed a month, the Samyukt Kisan Morcha, a joint front of farmer unions, on Saturday accepted the Union government’s offer for talks, putting forth a four-point agenda that includes modalities to be adopted for the revocation of the three farm laws and mechanism for legal guarantee for minimum support price (MSP). The Front has proposed to hold the talks on Dec.29. Announcing the decision of the farmer unions, Swaraj India national president Yogendra Yadav, at a press conference, said the Front’s leaders were ready for talks with the Union government on December 29 at 11 a.m. and had put forth a four-point agenda. Besides the farm laws and MSP, the agenda includes the amendments to be made and notified in “Commission for Air Quality Management in National Capital Region and Adjoining Areas Ordinance, 2020” to exclude farmers from the penal provisions of the Ordinance and changes to be made in the draft Electricity Amendment Bill 2020 to protect the interests of farmers.



Kisan Nidhi not enough to cover losses suffered due to below MSP sale, say farmers

Jalandhar :As the Centre govt announced release of Rs 18,000 crores as a part of the last installment of Rs 2,000 each in the accounts of 9 crore farm households under PM Kisan Samman Nidhi Scheme, several farmers said that amount may be huge, but one should see what is coming to every farmer. They asked how it will compensate them for their billions of crores in losses suffered every cropping season due to denial of assured price for their crops.Farmers insisted that they needed an assured price for every crop instead of being treated as “beggars”.



Unhappy with farm laws,100 BJP workers in Bharuch join Cong

Surat :Bharuch Congress Committee president Arunsinh Rana on Saturday said 100 BJP workers from nine villages of the district have joined the Congress and extended support to the ongoing nationwide farmers’ agitations against the three farm laws.BJP workers, all farmers, officially joined the Congress under the leadership of Bharuch district panchayat’s Nabipur seat member Shakil Akuji at the party’s headquarters in Bharuch on Saturday in presence of Bharuch District Congress president Parimalsinh Rana. More than 70 per cent of the new entrants are local Patidar Patels from Uprali, Samlod, Dabhali, Bharthana, Kavitha, Nand, Pipaliya, Karela, and Umrah villages and the rest are tribals, party sources said.



Farmers protest: Ex Guj CM Vaghela put under ‘house arrest’, over 50 supporters detained

Ahmedabad :FORMER GUJARAT chief minister Shankersinh Vaghela said Saturday he has been put under “house arrest” while the police have detained several of his supporters from outside the Sabarmati Ashram. Vaghela and his supporters had planned to march from the Gandhi Ashram in Ahmedabad to Raj Ghat in New Delhi to extend support to the farmers who are protesting at the border of the national capital against 3 contentious farm laws. Earlier in the day, his supporters had gathered in front of the Sabarmati Ashram and shouted slogans against the farm legislations. The police had immediately rounded up the protesters.



NDA ally RLP set to march to Delhi with lakhs of farmers against controversial farm laws

Responding to a call given by NDA ally and Nagaur MP, Hanuman Beniwal, thousands of farmers are gathering at Kotputli near Jaipur to march to Delhi on Saturday.Beniwal, who is the convenor of Rashtriya Loktanrtik Party that has formed an alliance with BJP at Centre, had claimed at one of his gatherings that over 2 lakh farmers shall march with him to Delhi.They will march up to the national capital and stand by the protesting farmers in solidarity of their demands to withdraw 3 contentious farm laws passed by the central government in September, which they believe will ruin their livelihood.IANS



Khalistan flag hoisting case: NIA team reconstructs crime scene at Moga DC complex

Ludhiana : 4 months after 3 men allegedly raised a saffron flag with ‘Khalistan’ written on it, NIA reconstructed the crime scene at the office of Moga Deputy Commissioner Saturday.Following the orders issued by Ministry of Home Affairs (MHA), NIA had taken over the probe in Sept. SSP, Moga, Harmanbir Singh Gill said that a team of NIA reached Moga Saturday for crime scene reconstruction.



MP ‘love jihad’ Bill tougher, but limits who can file FIR

Bhopal :Madhya Pradesh government claimed to have set into motion “the most stringent” law in the country against ‘love jihad’, clearing a Religion to Freedom Bill on Saturday that plans higher penalties (jail terms and fines going up to 10 years and Rs 1 lakh), as compared to the law in Uttar Pradesh, as well as maintenance to the woman concerned and the right to father’s property for a child born to a couple whose marriage has been declared null and void under its provisions.Briefing the media after a Cabinet meeting, Home Minister Narottam Mishra described the Bill as “the most stringent” against “the practice of love jihad”. Apart from BJP-ruled MP and UP, party’s Himachal Pradesh government has also notified a similar legislation with the aim of “checking conversions”.In a significant departure from the UP ordinance though on registration of FIRs in such cases, the MP Bill says these can be dealt only by police personnel not less than the rank of sub-inspector, and that parents and siblings of the affected individual alone can file a complaint directly. In case a guardian or a custodian wants to register an offence, they must approach a Sessions Court authorised to deal with these matters and get a court order. In UP, any “aggrieved person”, who may have no connection with the couple involved, can register an FIR. In several cases in the state, right-wing organisations have been accused of putting pressure on families to register complaints. Once an FIR has been registered, in both MP and UP, the burden to prove one’s innocence lies on the accused. Those identified as frequent offenders can face jail terms of 5 to 10 years.



‘Love Jihad’ Law: 3 Dozen Muslim Men Jailed in One Month in UP

NEW DELHI: Some 3 dozen Muslim men have been arrested across Uttar Pradesh in the last one month under the controversial anti-conversion law promulgated on Nov.27 to curb the so-called ‘love jihad’, an Islamophobic conspiracy theory alleging that Muslim men target women belonging to non-Muslim communities for conversion to Islam by feigning love.According to media reports, the police have filed at least a dozen cases under Uttar Pradesh Prohibition of Unlawful Conversion of Religion Ordinance, 2020, including the latest FIR in a case in Kannauj where a Muslim man faked his identity as a Hindu and went by the name Rahul Verma and married a Hindu woman.Police cases under the new ordinance have been filed in several districts–Gautam Buddha Nagar, Mau, Bijnor, Hardoi, Sitapur, Muzaffarnagar, Moradabad, Bareilly and Etah, reported the Hindu. The Moradabad case triggered a major controversy as the woman suffered a miscarriage after allegedly being given injections at the shelter home while her husband was held in jail even as the couple had claimed that they married under ‘nikkah’ out of their free will.



Muslim boy walks Hindu girl home; thrashed, arrested

MEERUT/BIJNOR: A Muslim teenager has been incarcerated in Bijnor jail for 10 days as he walked a Hindu girl home in a Bijnor village one night after attending a friend’s birthday party. It appears to have begun with an allegation of “theft” which, turned into one of “love jihad”.At 11pm on December 14, the two were walking through a street in Nasirpur village. “Locals spotted them, attacked him and handed the two over to police,” the boy’s mother said. In a purported video of the incident, the mob is seen armed with rods and sticks, beating him up.There had been a theft at the village earlier that day. “They suspected us of being thieves and stopped us and beat him up,” the girl, 16, said. “4 members of her family, including her father, said they wouldn’t press charges,” gram pradhan Vinod Saini said. An hour later, the father filed a complaint saying: “The boy had told my daughter he was Hindu and would speak to her on the sly … (That day), he was running away with her to marry her and convert her.” However, the girl said, “He was not trying to convert me.”



In This Rajasthan Village, Fear of Inter-Caste, Interfaith Relationships Robs Girls of Education

Khairabad: The unofficial rule in Khairabad is clear. After a girl hits puberty, she can continue her education, but only in an all-girls school.Demographically, this hamlet in Rajasthan’s Khairabad block in Kota district has a majority of “lower castes”. Even though the savarnas are a numeric minority, they are able to assert their will. Muslims are in a minority.Decades ago, savarnas in Khairabad had handed over a piece of land to government authorities for establishing an all-girls school. The purpose was simple – permanently shut the door on co-education. Today, around 300 middle-school girls are enrolled in this sole government-run all-girls school, which runs for classes six to ten.Since children below class six haven’t yet hit puberty, they are allowed to attend co-educational institutions. Aliya is a class three student admitted in a private co-ed school in Khairabad. Her father says, “Abhi toh chhoti hai, samajhdhar nahi hai. Chatti mein sayani ho jayegi tab school badalna padega (She is naive now, she doesn’t understand things. In class six, when she will hit puberty, we will have to change her school).”“A girls’ school provides a safe environment for adolescent girls,” says Himendra Sharma. His wife, Sushila Sharma, was the former sarpanch, but he handled the post on her behalf. According to Sharma, a “safe environment” is one where the interaction between girls and boys – particularly those from different castes – is not possible.




‘Halal’ meat against Hinduism, restaurants must specify: BJP led South Delhi Municipal Corporation

New Delhi: The standing committee of the BJP-led South Delhi Municipal Corporation (SDMC) has cleared a proposal that asks restaurants and shops to “mandatorily” display whether the meat being sold or served is slaughtered using the ‘halal’ or ‘jhatka’ method.The proposal now awaits nod in SDMC House, which is controlled by BJP, after which it would become a rule.“According to Hinduism and Sikhism, eating ‘halal’ meat is forbidden and against religion. Therefore, the committee resolves that this direction be given to restaurants and meat shops that it should be written mandatorily about the meat being sold and served by them that ‘halal’ or ‘jhatka’ meat is available here,” the resolution passed by SDMC panel Thursday said.



3 months on, wounds remain raw in Hathras

HATHRAS: CBI charge sheet has brought small comfort to the victim’s family, still living in fear and unable to return to work.The towering bajra crops have given way to wheat saplings. The change in seasons is palpable in the fields of Boolgarhi. 3 months after his 19-year-old daughter was brutalised in the millet fields by 4 upper caste men, there is a semblance of smile on the face of the father of the victim, whose death and midnight cremation without the family’s consent shook the conscience of the nation. “Doodh ka doodh, paani ka paani kar diya (wheat has been separated from the chaff),” he says, referring to the recent CBI charge sheet filed in a Hathras court.



No domes, no minarets — Ayodhya’s new masjid to replace Babri gets a futuristic design

New Delhi: The new mosque complex at Ayodhya will be a contemporary building without the stereotypical domes and arches, its architect Professor S.M. Akhtar has told ThePrint.  Akhtar, a renowned architect and dean of the architecture department at Delhi’s Jamia Millia Islamia University, said the new complex will serve society in totality, with a charitable hospital, museum archive and a public library among others. “It is not just a masjid, but a masjid complex,” he said. Akhtar explained that the new complex would run as much as possible on solar power and wind energy and that energy consumption would be reduced. “We will try and make sure that everything runs on renewable energy sources such as solar and wind energy. However that might be slightly difficult for the hospital,” he said.  The architect added that the foundation stone for the new mosque complex at Ayodhya will be laid on 26 January next year. The print

New Ayodhya mosque not cast in nostalgia of Indo-Islamic architecture, uses new vocabulary: Architect




Ex-litigant Ansari unhappy with Ayodhya mosque design

Lucknow :The blueprint of the proposed mosque in Ayodhya has come under criticism from former litigant in the Ayodhya land dispute case, Iqbal Ansari. According to Ansari, not a single point in the proposed mosque represented Islamic culture or etiquette of a religious structure.The blueprint of the proposed mosque, which will be built on 5-acre land allotted by the state government, was unveiled on Dec.19. “The Supreme Court has given 5 acres of land for the mosque and the structure should resemble the mosques built in India. The map they have showcased has no structure. A mosque or a temple has an etiquette, and if there is a temple without a shivala, it won’t be considered a temple. Everything should be as per religious traditions. They need to understand that it is a place to offer namaz and not enjoying a picnic,” Ansari said.




Third plea in Mathura court seeking removal of Shahi Idgah mosque near Lord Krishna birthplace

Mathura: A third plea has been filed in a Mathura court seeking removal of the Shahi Idgah mosque near the birthplace of Lord Krishna here. The suit filed in the court of Civil Judge (Senior Division) Neha Bhadauria on Wednesday demanded annulment of the 1968 compromise entered through a ruling of a Mathura court, ratifying a land deal between the Shahi Masjid Idgah Management committee and Sri Krishna Janmasthan Seva Sansthan."The main request is shifting the Shahi Masjid Idgah built in a part of land of Virajman Thakur Keshav Dev Ji Maharaj Katra Keshav Dev," said Advocate Mahendra Pratap Singh.The suit has been filed by five plaintiffs, including the principal deity Virajman Thakur Keshav Dev Ji Maharaj Katra Keshav Dev.The others are Advocate Rajendra Maheshwari, Jay Bhagwan Goyal, founder of United Hindu Front, and Saurabh Gaur the president of Dharm Raksha Sangh Vrindaban. PTI



BTP announces coalition with AIMIM in upcoming Gujarat local body polls

Surat :Bharatiya Tribal Party (BTP) on Saturday announced that it will contest the upcoming local body elections in the state with Asaduddin Owaisi’s AIMIM. The BTP had ended its alliance with the Congress in the district panchayats of Narmada and Bharuch — 2 tribal-dominated districts in Gujarat — on Dec.12 after the Congress ditched it and supported BJP in a recently concluded district panchayat election in Rajasthan. BTP national president Mahesh Vasava, who is also the party’s MLA from the Dediyapada constituency in Narmada, said, “We had a bitter experience with the Congress, which did not support us in the Dungarpur district panchayat and nine taluka panchayat elections in Rajasthan. After the Rajasthan experience, I had a formal talk with Owaisi on phone four days ago. I put forward a proposal to form a coalition with AIMIM for the upcoming local body polls in Gujarat, which was accepted by him.” The local body elections in Gujarat will be held next year.



Nagpur jail refused to accept things brought for G.N. Saibaba, says his lawyer

NAGPUR:The lawyer of former Delhi University professor G.N. Saibaba, who is serving life term in Nagpur Central Prison for Maoist links, alleged that the jail authorities refused to accept several things that he brought for his client, including some books, blank paper sheets, a towel and a wrist weight cuff for physiotherapy. A senior official of the jail, however, said that although they have accepted all the necessary things that Prof. Saibaba requires, they cannot allow everything inside. Prof. Saibaba is wheelchair-bound with 90% physical disabilities. In 2017, a court in Maharashtra''s Gadchiroli had convicted him and four others for Maoist links and indulging in activities amounting to waging war against the country.PTI



Congress criticizes Amit Shah's Assam visit over CAA implementation move

GUWAHATI: Assam Congress on Saturday took a dig at Union home minister Amit Shah, who is currently in the city launching the BJP’s 2021 poll campaign, saying his visit may trigger violence in the state like West Bengal.“We suspect that the BJP wants to polarize people ahead of the 2021 assembly elections and divert their minds from the failures of BJP-led govt. They might create communal tension ahead of the assembly elections to divide votes,” Assam Pradesh Congress Committee president Ripun Bora said. Bora added that the Congress would have been happy had Shah visited Assam during the devastating floods, but he never did so.Slamming the BJP over the grand welcome that was accorded to Shah, Bora asked, “Does he (Amit Shah) really deserve such a grand welcome? Is he a saviour for the people of Assam? Amit Shah, the Union home minister, wants to destroy our culture and civilization by implementing CAA and the BJP has accorded him a welcome with 10,000 lamps. Where is the logic?”.



Owaisi Slams Yogi For Seeking To Withdraw Cases Against Muzaffarnagar Riots-accused MLAs

Slamming Uttar Pradesh CM Yogi Adityanath for seeking to withdraw cases against three BJP MLAs accused in Muzzafarnagar riots, AIMIM chief Asaduddin Owaisi said that it is "encounter" of law and order. The AIMIM has also said on Friday that it is only Majlis that can challenge the power of Prime Minister Modi. Owaisi has pointed out that UP CM Yogi had earlier withdrawn cases against himself and now is doing the same for his colleagues. AIMIM shared a video of Owaisi, in which he says, "The citizens of this country are watching that Modi's power is increasing. It is important for us to have a voice, it is important for us to have a leader, it is important that someone fight for our rights, only Majlis is challenging him because it can and only it can stand against PM Modi."Yogi Adityanath government has reportedly moved the court seeking to withdraw cases against 3 MLAs - Sangeet Som (MLA from Sardhana), Suresh Rana (MLA from Thana Bhawan), and Kapil Dev (MLA from Muzaffarnagar Sadar seat) accused of making inflammatory speeches in Muzaffarnagar in Sept.2013.



Spooked By Ladakh Standoff, India Signs $200m Deal for Israeli SPICE Bombs

Chandigarh: India has signed a secretive $200 million deal for assorted Israeli materiel, similar to innumerable defence-related procurements it has previously sourced from Tel Aviv following the establishment of formal bilateral diplomatic relations between the two countries in early 1992. In an anodyne press note, Israel’s Rafael Advanced Defense Systems declared on December 23 that it had concluded a contract with ‘an Asian country’ to provide it bomb guidance kits, anti-tank guided missiles (ATGMs) and software-enabled radios, but declined to identify its customer or further elaborate. However, Jane’s Defence Weekly in the UK, quoting official sources, has reported that Rafael’s contract involved providing Smart, Precise, Impact, Cost-Effective (SPICE)-2000 bomb guidance kits to the IAF and 300-odd Spike-Long Range (LR) ATGMs and BNET broadband Internet Protocol (IP) tactical radios to the Indian Army (IA).Indian military officials had earlier claimed  that IAF Mirage-2000Hs employed SPICE kits in their raid on an alleged Islamist group training camp at Balakot in Pakistan’s northwestern Pakhtunkhwa province in Feb.2019 by converting 2000 lb Mk 84 and BLU-109 gravity bombs into standoff autonomous weapon systems to a 60km strike range.



Killing of Rajouri youths: Police chargesheet Captain, 2 civilians

Srinagar :Police chargesheet Captain, 2 civiliansArmy officer, the chargesheet stated, misled his officers and colleagues. It states he "furnished false information to mislead the senior officers and for getting lodgment of FIR done to tailor-fit his motive for grabbing prize money in furtherance of criminal conspiracy".More than five months after 3 ajouri youths were killed in Shopian in an Army operation on July 18, the J&K Police has filed a chargesheet, accusing an Army Captain and two civilians for their alleged abduction and murder.  300-page chargesheet states that a case of murder, abduction and destruction of evidence is “prima facie” established against Captain Bhoopendra Singh and two civilians — Tabish Nazir, a resident of Shopian, and Bilal Ahmad Lone of Pulwama — based on evidence collected during the investigation by a SIT set up to probe the alleged fake encounter.Filed before Principal Sessions Judge, Shopian, the chargesheet states that 3 Rajouri youths – Imtiyaz Ahmad (20) and Mohammad Abrar (16), residents of Dharsakri village,and Abrar Ahmad (25) of Tarkasi village of Kotranka Rajouri – were “abducted” from their rented accommodation in Shopian and then killed.



Make inquiry report of journalist Mudasir Ali’s death public, Kashmir Press Club tells govt

Kashmir Press Club on Saturday urged the administration of Union Territory to make public the report of investigation into a senior journalist’s death last month. udasir Ali, 37, died of a cardiac arrest at a hospital in Budgam district after a doctor allegedly failed to give him basic life support, according to The Wire. Ali worked with Greater Kashmir and also freelanced for several international publications. The journalist’s family said that Directorate of Health Services had not shared the inquiry report with them, even though the investigation into the alleged lapses by the staff at the Charar-e-Sharief sub-district hospital began a month ago.




Sanjay Raut takes potshots at Centre, says govt pushed back Chinese investments, not PLA soldiers

Mumbai:Shiv Sena leader Sanjay Raut, in his column in party mouthpiece 'Saamana', took potshots at the central government over the military standoff between India and China in Ladakh and the nationwide clamour for the boycott of the Chinese goods. Sanjay Raut said the government pushed back Chinese investments but not Chinese soldiers.Recalling the coronavirus-induced lockdown which left many jobless and the Ladakh standoff in June, Sanjay Raut said, "During the lockdown, many people lost their jobs and suffered salary cuts. Faceoff with China was another crisis we faced this year." The Shiv Sena leader then went on to say that rather than shutting down investments, the government should have pushed back Chinese soldiers.Despite PM Narendra Modi's assertion that the Chinese troops did not intrude into the Indian territory, several skeptic Opposition leaders raised questions on the claims, demanding the government to come clean on the border standoff with China.




Indian security forces worried about increased Turkish influence in J&K:

Zee Media

Taking his anti-India stance on J&K matter a notch further, Turkey President Recep Tayyip Erdogan is raising his efforts to influence the issue. Many Turkey-based Islamist charity organisations and Turkish NGOs have launched a blitzkrieg in Jammu and Kashmir, especially after the abrogation of Article 370. Their activities intensified in Union Territory during Ramadan.“One of the most prominent and powerful Turkey-based NGO, which has a worldwide presence and most of its units are located abroad, was found to be indulging in anti-India activities. During last Ramadan,the organisation distributed food and money in the form of zakat in J&K. It also organised a charity programme on Eid. Organisation's unit in Germany also conducted charity for Kashmir and extended its support for the separatist elements” said a senior officer deployed in Central security establishment.




Rohingya problem will remain for India until they return to Myanmar: Bangladesh border guard chief

The problem of Rohingya refugees will remain for India and other countries unless they return to Myanmar, said Border Guard Bangladesh (BGB) Director General Shafeenul Islam.DG Islam was said on Friday, who was in Guwahati for the five-day meeting with his Border Security Force (BSF) counterpart Rakesh Asthana.Islam said that Rohingya Muslims are not only found in India, they are found across the world including countries like Thailand, Indonesia and Malaysia.




Patna High Court Quashes Cases Against 18 Foreign Tablighis

PATNA: Weeks After a Delhi court acquitted 36 foreigners associated with the Tablighi Jamaat of all charges, the Patna High Court has quashed cases against 18 foreigner Tablighis, holding that there is no evidence to show that they violated the visa rules.While delivering a common judgment in two separate criminal writ petitions filed by 21 persons including 3 residents of Bihar’s Araria district, a bench of Justice Rajeev Ranjan Prasad held that there were no materials present before the police to prove that the foreigners were involved in religious preaching or work which is condition for violation of tourist visa norms attaching criminal proceedings.The order was delivered on Dec.22 but came in public domain on Wednesday. Of 18 foreign nationals, nine are Malaysians and nine are Bangladeshis. They were booked by the Narpathganj and Araria police on charges of not informing the authority about their presence and preaching religious ideologies on tourist visa on April 12 this year.



India to replace UK as fifth-biggest economy in 2025, become third-largest by 2030: Report

India will overtake UK to become the world’s fifth-largest economy in 2025 and replace Japan on the third spot by 2030, PTI reported, citing a report by Centre for Economics and Business Research.India had replaced the UK on the fifth rank in 2019 too, but was pushed down to the sixth spot in 2020. “India has been knocked off course somewhat through the impact of the pandemic,” the report by UK-based think-tank said. It said UK raced ahead of India because of the rupee’s weakness.



Kerala Governor Arif Mohammed Khan Working on Directives of RSS: CPM Leader Baby

Senior CPM leader M.A. Baby has alleged that Kerala Governor Arif Mohammed Khan is “acting on the directives of RSS headquarters in Nagpur”.The senior CPM leader who was a former education minister of the state and a former Rajya Sabha member said that the RSS headquarters is giving directives to the Union government which are conveyed to the Governor. He also said that the Governor knows the ground situation of Kerala and he is feigning ignorance on this following directives of RSS.IANS



Shamsur Rahman Faruqi Dies a Month After Recovering from Covid-19

New Delhi: Legendary Urdu writer and critic Shamsur Rahman Faruqi died in Allahabad, Uttar Pradesh, on Friday. His death came after a month of recovering from Covid-19. Faruqi, 85, was discharged from a hospital in Delhi on Nov. 23.“He had been insisting to go back to his home in Allahabad. We reached here only this morning and within half an hour he passed away at around 11,” Faruqi’s nephew and writer Mahmood Farooqui told PTI.He used to live in Delhi after retiring as a chief postmaster-general and member of the Postal Services Board in 1994.Faruqi was born on 30 Sept. 1935 in Uttar Pradesh.Author of several books, Faruqi has contributed to modern literary discourse with a profundity rarely seen in contemporary Urdu critics. His books of fiction, The Mirror of Beauty (translated into English from Urdu Kai Chaand Sar-e-Aasmaan in 2006), and The Sun That Rose From Earth (Penguin India, 2014), have been highly critically acclaimed.He used to edit a literary magazine Shabkhoon which he himself had launched. He is also credited with reviving “Dastangoi”, a 16th century Urdu oral storytelling art form.






5% of positive samples to go for whole genome sequencing: Covid task force

New Delhi :The high-level task force for Covid-19 Saturday said that as a part of its strategy to detect and contain the mutant variant, as many five per cent of positive cases from all states will be tested for Whole Genome Sequencing (WGS).On Saturday, the Health Ministry said more than 50 samples of UK returnees are currently under sequencing at the designated laboratories.



Oxford COVID vaccine may become first to get Indian regulator’s nod for emergency use

With preparations underway for a possible vaccine-rollout by January, the Indian drug regulator is looking at the UK, which sources believe may give its nod to the Oxford COVID-19 vaccine next week, before deciding on giving emergency use authorisation to the Serum Institute that is manufacturing the shots in New Delhi. Once the U.K. drug regulator gives its approval to the Oxford vaccine, the expert committee on COVID-19 at the CDSCO will hold its meeting and thoroughly review the safety and immunogenicity data from the clinical evaluations conducted abroad and in India before granting any emergency authorisation for the vaccine in New Delhi, official sources said. With preparations underway for a possible vaccine-rollout by January, Indian drug regulator is looking at UK, which sources believe may give its nod to Oxford COVID-19 vaccine next week, before deciding on giving emergency use authorisation to the Serum Institute that is manufacturing the shots in New Delhi.  India's COVID-19 tally of cases climbed to 1,01,87,850 with 18,732 new cases in a day, while 97,61,538 people have recuperated so far pushing the national recovery rate to 95.82%, according to Union Health Ministry data today. The death toll climbed to 1,47,622 with the novel coronavirus claiming 279 lives in a span of 24 hours in the country, the data showed.



150 troops in Delhi for R-Day test positive

New Delhi :Nearly 150 Army personnel who are in Delhi for the Republic Day parade have tested positive for Covid-19. Official sources said all those who tested positive were in a “safe bubble”. Seven of them were symptomatic.



European Union nations kick off mass COVID-19 vaccinations

European Union nations on Sunday officially kicked off a coordinated effort to give COVID-19 vaccinations to adults among their 450 million citizens, marking a moment of hope in the continent's battle against the worst public health crisis in a century. Shots were administered Sunday morning to the most vulnerable people. health care workers who take care of them, and some politicians to reassure the public that the vaccinations are safe. The vaccines, developed by Germany's BioNTech and American drugmaker Pfizer, started arriving in EU countries on Friday. EU has seen some of the world’s earliest and hardest-hit virus hot spots, including Italy and Spain.



COVID-19, lockdown, economic slowdown pushed millions of workers of informal sector to appalling poverty

They have long battled job insecurities and temperamental employers but 2020 was particularly tough for domestic workers, rickshaw pullers and daily wage workers who confronted not just a pandemic but also social exclusion -- and the sombre realisation their jobs were expendable.While the virus affected all classes, the economic fallout of the COVID-19 pandemic was particularly devastating for those in the informal sector who found themselves on the streets, without their livelihoods and sometimes without their homes too."The economic crisis of the proportion of contraction of more than 20 per cent in the second quarter and potential livelihood losses leading to approximately 400 million people sliding back into poverty according to ILO warrants a radically new model if we are sincere about ensuring a minimum floor of dignity for every citizen of the country," said Oxfam India CEO Amitabh Behar.Mamta, a 69-year-old domestic worker, is living that inexorable slide into poverty in a society that has deemed her and others like her high risk.She had been working as a house help in Noida since her husband died 15 years ago but was turfed out in April without any notice.PTI






Israeli air attacks cause injuries, damage in Gaza Strip

Israeli military has carried out air raids targeting Hamas positions in the besieged Gaza Strip, injuring 2 people and causing damage, Palestinian media reported. According to official Palestinian Wafa, Israeli warplanes fired a series of missiles on Saturday in the eastern, northwestern and central parts of the Gaza Strip, including open farmland, wounding a six-year-old girl and a man in his 20s.The attacks caused power cuts in the eastern parts and caused some damage to a children’s hospital, a centre for disabled people, and shattered the windows of some residential buildings, according to the reports. However, Israeli army spokesman Avichay Adraee said on Twitter that the raids hit a rocket manufacturing site and a military post belonging to Hamas – the group that governs the Gaza Strip – adding that the attack had been carried out in response to rocket fire from Gaza.



Netanyahu speaks with Morocco’s king, invites him to Israel

Israel’s Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and Morocco’s King Mohammed VI have held a telephone conversation during which the Israeli premier invited the king for a visit, Netanyahu’s office said.The two leaders spoke on Friday about moving forward with a United States-brokered agreement announced earlier this month to normalise bilateral ties, according to the Israeli statement.“The leaders congratulated each other over the renewal of ties between the countries, the signing of the joint statement with the US, and the agreements between the two countries,” said the statement.“In addition, the processes and mechanisms to implement the agreements were determined,” it added.Four bilateral deals were signed on Tuesday between Israel and Morocco, centering on direct air links, water management, connecting financial systems and a visa waiver arrangement for diplomats.Israel and Morocco are also due to reopen diplomatic offices.



Netanyahu: Normalisation with Arab states realises biblical prophecy

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has claimed that the normalisation of ties between Israel and Arab states is a realisation of biblical prophecy, Israeli media reported. "Remarkably, here in the Middle East, we have been actively making progress in realising the biblical prophecy of 'peace on earth', or at least this part of the earth," Israeli paper The Jerusalem Post reported Netanyahu stating. "This past year, and with the active help of US and President Trump, we have moved forward with the Abraham Accords, achieving historic breakthroughs between Israel and the Arab world," he added."After 26 years without a new peace treaty, we've had four new agreements in less than four months and this is just the beginning," Times of Israel reported Netanyahu expressing."This is a new and revolutionary change," he added. "It will make a better life, a better place for all the people of the Middle East. It will make for a better world."



Protests keep up against Israeli PM Netanyahu as new election looms

Hundreds of Israelis protested against Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, calling on the long-serving leader to resign just days after the country was plunged into a new national election.The protesters have been gathering outside on Saturday Netanyahu's Jerusalem residence for months, slamming him for his handling of the coronavirus pandemic and saying he cannot lead the country while under indictment for fraud, breach of trust and accepting bribes in three separate corruption cases. Netanyahu denies wrongdoing.Protesters held signs urging Netanyahu to Go, and declaring We won't stop protesting until you get out of our lives. While turnout was lower than previous demonstrations amid colder weather, the protesters have a new impetus because Israel appears headed toward its fourth election in two years in March, in which Netanyahu faces new challenges from defectors from his conservative Likud Party.AP 



Hezbollah warns of possible war with Israel

Lebanese Hezbollah warned on Friday that the possibility of war with Israel still exists, confirming that the probability: "Stems from a sense of responsibility, not to provoke terror and panic among people."This came in statements issued by Head of Hezbollah's executive council Hashem Safi Al-Din, reported by the Lebanese El-Nashra news agency.Safi Al-Din affirmed that: "The existing equation with the Israeli enemy is to target and respond to aggressions, which keeps the enemy in a state of constant alert, and if we are able to keep them in a state of fear and anticipation, then we will be relieved of their heinous crimes."



PA calls on UN Security Council to stop Israel settler attacks

Palestinian Authority (PA) called on Friday for UN Security Council to stop Israeli settler attacks against Palestinians, implementing Resolution 2334.In a statement, the PA's Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Expatriates conveyed that a spike in Israeli settler violence witnessed over the last week: "Not only aims at terrorising the defenceless Palestinian communities in the occupied West Bank, but also aims at more theft of Palestinian land for the benefit of the colonial Israeli settlements and outposts."The statement also announced: "Attacks by Israeli settlers against Palestinians and their public and private property were focused on the areas south, east and west of the city of Nablus, in the north of the West Bank."



Statement: 26 Palestine journalists inside Israel jails

Journalist Support Committee (JSC) confirmed on Friday that there are currently 26 Palestinian journalists inside Israeli jails, Anadolu Agency reported.In a statement reported by Anadolu Agency, the JSC, an NGO reporting on violations against Palestinian journalists, revealed that last week the Israel occupation forces arrested Palestinian journalist Laith Jaara from his house in Tulkarm.Jaara, according to the JSC, was the last Palestinian journalist to be arrested by the Israeli occupation forces, noting that his detention brought the number of Palestinian journalists currently inside Israeli jails to 26.


New Yemen gov’t sworn in after Saudi-brokered power-sharing deal

Yemen’s President Abd-Rabbu Mansour Hadi has sworn in a new government that was formed thanks to a power-sharing deal brokered by Saudi Arabia last year. 24-member cabinet, announced last week, was sworn in during a ceremony held on Saturday in the Saudi capital, Riyadh, where Hadi is living.The new government, headed by Prime Minister Maeen Abdul Malik, represents Yemen’s northern and southern areas with equal numbers of members from each region. It includes five members of the separatist Southern Transitional Council (STC) as part of a bid to end a power struggle between Hadi loyalists and the secessionists. The formation of the government was part of the Saudi Arabia-backed Riyadh Agreement, signed between the Yemeni government and the STC in Nov.2019 to seek an end to military clashes between forces of both parties.



Haftar gives Turkey a choice - 'leave or war'

Commander of the Libyan National Army (LNA) Field Marshal Khalifa Haftar has issued statements to Turkey, giving Turkey a choice between leaving the country peacefully or war, confirming that: "Decisive confrontation between the two sides is about to take place."During a ceremony on Thursday in Benghazi, by LNA's General Command on the occasion of the 69th anniversary of the independence of Libya, Haftar announced: "Independence has no value, freedom has no meaning, there is no security and no peace while the feet of Turkish soldiers desecrate the sanctity of our land. The enemy has no other choice, either leave voluntarily and in peace, or we will make you leave by the force of arms and strong will."



Bangladesh ‘set to move’ new group of Rohingya to remote island

Bangladesh is set to move a second batch of Rohingya refugees to the remote island of Bhasan Char in the Bay of Bengal this month, officials say, despite calls by rights groups not to carry out further relocations. About 1,000 Rohingya refugees, members of a Muslim minority who fled neighbouring Myanmar to escape violence, will be moved to the flood-prone island in the next few days after Bangladesh relocated more than 1,600 earlier this month, two officials with the direct knowledge of the matter said on Sunday.“They will be moved to Chittagong first and then to Bhasan Char, depending on the high tide,” one of the officials said. The officials declined to be named as the issue had not been made public.Mohammed Shamsud Douza, the deputy Bangladesh government official in charge of refugees, said the relocation was voluntary.“They will not be sent against their will.” UN has said it has not been allowed to carry out a technical and safety assessment of Bhasan Char in the Bay of Bengal and was not involved in the transfer of refugees there.



At least 40 loggers feared abducted in northeast Nigeria

3 loggers have been found dead and at least 40 more feared abducted by Boko Haram fighters in northeastern Nigeria. Sources and residents told AFP on Saturday that the loggers were rounded up by the fighters on Thursday in Wulgo forest near the town of Gamboru where they went to collect firewood. “A group of more than 40 loggers left Shehuri on the outskirts of Gamboru on Thursday and never returned by evening as usual,” said a group leader Umar Kachalla, who was involved in the search. “On Friday, we mobilised men and went deep into the forest where we recovered three bodies identified to be among the loggers, without a trace of their colleagues.”



Tunisia extends 5-year-old state of emergency by six months

Tunisian presidency has announced a six-month extension of the country’s state of emergency, in place since a 2015 attack on a presidential guard bus claimed by the ISIL group. President Kais Saied “decided on the six-month extension of the nationwide state of emergency from December 26, 2020 to June 23, 2021”, a statement said on Friday. The measure, extended continuously since late 2015, grants exceptional powers to the country’s security forces. It allows measures to “ensure the control of the press” and for strikes and meetings that “create disorder” to be banned.Rights groups have consistently denounced the measure, saying it has led to widespread human rights violations.





How Shaheen Baghagh protests have indirectly inspired the farmers’ protest: Abdul Sattar Shaik



Raid on Mehmood Pracha’s Office: India’s Hans Litten Moment?Avani Bansal



Sense of permanence is the cause of the beginning of a downfall:P Chidambaram



PM has been forced finally to step out of his echo chamber into the real world:Tavleen Singh



SC verdict exposes fallacy of using general category as reservation for upper castes:Pratap Bhanu Mehta



On the trail of Sambhaji Bhide: Ahead of Bhima Koregaon riots' 3rd anniversary, tracing the Hindutva leader's rise



Why don’t TV channels ever show Narendra Modi’s pre-2014 speeches?:anjona Banerji



Why farmers cannot trust PM Modi’s faith in corporates to double their income:akar Patel



Tremor in Himalayan Arunachal May Politically Devastate Nitish in Bihar:Soroor Ahmed



In Modi’s AMU pitch to Muslims, retreat from party politics hurting foreign policy interests: SHEKHAR GUPTA



Reality Belies Modi Govt Claims of Implementing Swaminathan Commission's Report:Dheeraj Mishra



UPDATED BY:  27/12/2020 16:15

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