02 December 2020

As talks with govt remain inconclusive, farmers at Delhi's Singhu border determined to continue protest. In name of conversion, UP ‘love jihad’ law targets inter-faith unions



02-12-2020 ,15:00 IST


As talks with govt remain inconclusive, farmers at Delhi's Singhu border determined to continue protest

Jagpreet Singh, a farmer from Punjab, said they have come prepared to protest for six months. He came on Nov.26 with grains, vegetables and mattresses in a truck with more than two dozen people from his village in Moga district. His truck is one of the thousands of trucks stationed at Singhu border and it has now been converted to into a make-shift room. 57-year-old Singh said as they were crossing Haryana, though the government was brutal, the people were kind. “They gave us more than enough ration to last for more than a month. We have not even touched the ration that we have gotten,” said Singh.Singh is one of the lakhs of farmers who have arrived in trucks and tractors to the Capital. The farmers came ready to go to Central Delhi, but they were stopped at the various border check posts. At Singhu border, which is on GT Karnal Highway in North Delhi, a 10-kilometre stretch has been cordoned off since Nov.26. The multitude of farmers, who are from 32 unions in Punjab and Haryana, have been protesting for two months ever since 3 Agriculture laws were passed in Sept. They want the government to withdraw 3 pro-market ordinances, which would not only phase out the Minimum Support Price and the traditional grain market system (mandis or APMCs) but would also break the small and marginal farmers.  PM Narendra Modi insisted, even on Sunday, that the farm Bills were beneficial for the farmers. Neither Singh nor the thousands of farmers at Singhu border believe the Prime Minister. Ranjodh Singh from Sri Muktsar Sahib underscored that these laws were made to benefit ‘Mukesh Ambani and Gautam Adani’. Ambani is the largest shareholder of Reliance Industries and is the richest person in Asia, while Adani is the founder of Adani Industries.Ravinder Singh, a farmer from Murthal in Haryana, who joined the protests in solidarity with the other farmers, said “Everyone thought the Congress government was corrupt, but BJP government is the worst. They gave us free electricity and we had to pay only nominal charges to rent generators,”.



NRIs back farmer protests: A ‘Kisan rally’ in Toronto, plans to raise awareness during India-Aus one-day match

Ludhiana :The farmers’ agitation has got the staunch support of the NRI community. In Toronto, a ‘kisan rally’ was organised in support of farmers where they went from Bramalea GO station to the Consulate General of India, expressing solidarity for Indian farmers. Meetings are being conducted in different parts of Melbourne to extend support to farmers, while a car rally will be organised in Canada’s Brampton and Birsbane’s City Hall in Australia on December 5. “NRIs settled abroad feel for their farmers back in India and we have our roots connected to that country. We cannot see our farmer brothers and sisters sitting out in cold and hence we are extending our support to them. We are also writing to the MPs of our area as well to raise this issue in Parliament,” said SarbGill (39), a fitness trainer in Melbourne.

Legal notice sent to Kangana Ranaut over fake tweet on Shaheen Bagh ‘dadi’

An advocate in Punjab’s Zirakpur area has sent a legal notice to actor Kangana Ranaut, demanding an apology for a tweet in which she had falsely identified an old woman at a farmers’ protest as Shaheen Bagh’s ‘Bilkis Dadi’. The notice demands the actor to tender an apology within seven days.Ranaut posted the picture of Mohinder Kaur (73), a resident of village Bahadurgarh Jandian of Bathinda, claiming that she was the same “Dadi” who was part of Shaheen Bagh protest and now had joined the farmers’ stir. The tweet alleged that she was available for protests for Rs 100. The actor later deleted her tweet after she was slammed for sharing “fake news”.Bilkis Dadi was a prominent protester at the anti-CAA protests at Shaheen Bagh in Delhi earlier this year. She was also recognised by American weekly Time magazine as one of the 100 most influential people of 2020 along with Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Bollywood actor Ayushman Khurrana.


Farmer Protest: Muslim Man’s Pic Falsely Viral as ‘Disguised Sikh’

Photo of a man wearing a turban is being shared as a Muslim man disguised as a Sikh farmer in the ongoing farmers' Delhi Chalo march to discredit the protests. However, we found that the viral photo was posted in April 2020, much before the protests against the three farm bills started. One of the posts viral with the claim had a caption in Hindi that read (Translation), “And then Nazeer Mohd became a Sikh farmer by wearing a turban. The truth is that this is not a farmer's movement, but Khal'ist'ani propaganda? These are the people who were also involved in anti-CAA Protests and Shaheen Bagh."Similar captions were used to discredit the farmers’ protest by implying that Muslim man pretended to be a farmer.


BJP IT cell chief Amit Malviya’s clip of farmer being baton charged labelled as “manipulated media” by Twitter

On Novr 28, BJP IT Cell Head Amit Malviya posted an edited clip from the ongoing farmers’ protest on micro-blogging platform Twitter, quote tweeting a post made by Congress leader Rahul Gandhi.He had shared a video titled ‘Propaganda vs Reality’ in response to Rahul Gandhi’s post who had shared a PTI photograph showing a security personnel about to hit a farmer with a baton. The social media platform on Wednesday added a “manipulated media” label to Malviya’s tweet.As per Twitter’s ‘Synthetic and manipulated media policy’, “You may not deceptively promote synthetic or manipulated media that are likely to cause harm. In addition, we may label Tweets containing synthetic and manipulated media to help people understand their authenticity and to provide additional context.”


In name of conversion, UP ‘love jihad’ law targets inter-faith unions

New Delhi :Shifting the burden of proof of a lawful religious conversion from the converted to his/her partner; defining “allurement” in sweeping terms; disregarding agency of the person converting; different jail terms depending on gender; legitimising the intrusion of the state and third parties in the choice of who an individual wishes to marry – the new UP“love jihad law” raises several questions of Constitutional propriety. UP Prohibition of Unlawful Conversion of Religion Ordinance, 2020, promulgated last week, in the name of seeking to end conversion through unlawful means, specifically prohibits any conversion for marriage, even if it is with the consent of the individual except when prior sanction is obtained from the state.Section 3 of the Ordinance, being seen as a template by many BJP-ruled states, prohibits any unlawful conversion and conversion generally for marriage. Its Section 6 specifies that “any marriage that takes place for the sole purpose of unlawful conversion” or “vice-versa” will be “deemed null and void” by a family court unless a prior sanction to convert and marry is received from the DM. “There is no legal basis for prohibiting conversions, even solely for marriage,” said Jayna Kothari, senior advocate and co-founder of Centre for Law and Policy Research, a Bengaluru-based legal advocacy group. “By involving the state, the police and family of the individuals seeking to marry, the law attempts to only stop all inter-faith marriages.” Apart from the person seeking to convert, even the individual presiding over the conversion is required to make an application under the law to DM. The magistrate, through the police, will then look into the “real intention”, “purpose” and “cause of the proposed religious conversion.”“Right to convert to another religion is a fundamental right. This law strikes at the heart of it,” said Ashwini Obulesh, women and child rights advocate and co-founder of Dhwani Legal Trust, a non-profit legal aid society.



‘Love jihad’ law may lead Yogi govt to scrap interfaith marriage promotion scheme, in place since 1977

Uttar Pradesh Government is caught in a cleft stick over the issue of interfaith marriages after it brought in an ordinance to ban ‘illegal’ interfaith marriage, called ‘love jihad’ in common parlance, since it happens to have a government scheme in place since 1977 to incentivize interfaith marriages.“There is a law since 1977 which incentivized inter-faith marriages. UP government is now not sure what to do with this 43-year-old law in light of the ordinance – whether to scrap it or continue with it. Indications are that the government may give it a silent burial,” a senior official told this reporter in Lucknow on Tuesday evening.The ‘Inter caste and Interfaith Marriage Incentive Scheme’ has been in place since 1977, initiated by the national integration department in Uttar Pradesh.


Muslim man converts before marrying a Hindu girl, couple under Haryana Police protection

CHANDIGARH: A 21-year-old Muslim youth converted to Hinduism before marrying a Hindu girl at Yamunanagar. The newlywed couple is under protection of Haryana Police following intervention of Punjab and Haryana High Court. The youth, who works in a private firm, changed his name before marrying the girl in a temple at Yamunanagar as per Hindu rituals on Nov.9. He had then claimed that his parents were ready to accept their marriage, but the girl’s family was against it. The couple had then approached the HC saying they feared threat to their lives from the girl’s side, while submitting that opposition to their marriage was a serious abuse of their rights provided under Article 21 of the Constitution.




Shiv Sena leader suggests holding 'azaan' competition for Muslim children; BJP says Sena has forgotten Hindutva

Mumbai: A Shiv Sena leader has sparked a fresh row for drawing comparison between Azaan and Aarti, with BJP accusing the saffron party of leaving 'Hindutva' behind. The remark was made by Pandurang Sakpal who is the party's Mumbai South's Vibhag Pramukh (division head).Stating that he lives near a Muslim cemetery in South Mumbai, Sakpal said that he finds the recital of 'Azaan' very nice and he likes to listen to it."Competitions are held for a recital of Bhagwadgita. I have asked my colleague Shakil Ahmed, one of the office-bearers of the NGO, and his colleague to hold an 'Azaan' competition for children. I feel it is like 'aarti'," he added.He further added that Uddhav Thackeray takes all communities along and the late Balasaheb Thackeray was not against any religion.Meanwhile, BJP has alleged that the former ally has given up the saffron flag of Hindutva to take up the green flag."Announcing an Azaan competition is like taking green (flag) on the shoulder. The Shiv Sainiks have left Balasaheb's Hindutva long ago," said Atul Bhatkhalkar.



Muslim leaders delegation meets LoP Siddaramaiah over cow slaughter ban proposal

Bengaluru: Several leaders of Muslim community met the leader of the Opposition in the Karnataka state assembly today. Expressing their concerns over the new proposal by the state BJP unit to bring about a ban on cow slaughter, the leaders submitted a memorandum urging him to fight against the proposal in the state assembly session.Several leaders of BJP have said that they will bring in a very stringent anti-cow slaughter law in the state and have also claimed that the next step would be beef ban. Karnataka Prevention of Cow Slaughter and Cattle Preservation Act, 1964 is currently in place in the state, it was amended in 2010 and restricts the slaughter of cows, calves and she-buffaloes. However, it allows for the slaughter of bulls, bullocks and buffaloes, provided they are above 12 years of age, or are no longer fit for breeding or do not give milk. Under this act, six months imprisonment & a Rs 1,000 fine could be levelled against violators.The leaders who met Siddaramaiah spoke on behalf of thousands of traders involved in the business of animal slaughter, sale of beef & products, tanneries and other subsidiary businesses.Speaking after the meet, Siddaramaiah lashed out at the BJP and said, "Do the BJP leaders realize how many people will go jobless if they bring in such a law? Do they know the reality on the ground? What to they expect farmers to do with the cow that is no longer able to give milk, who will compensate them?"



‘No question of BJP fielding a Muslim’: Karnataka minister on Belagavi Lok Sabha bypoll

Bengaluru :In a remark that is likely to stoke controversy, Karnataka Rural Development Minister KS Eshwarappa said “there is no question of us (BJP) fielding a Muslim” in the bye-election to the Belagavi Lok Sabha seat. Belagavi Lok Sabha seat fell vacant following the death of Union Minister of State for Railways Suresh Angadi due to COVID-19. The date for the bypoll is yet to be announced by the Election Commission.Speaking to reporters on Saturday, Eshwarappa said that Belagavi is one of the centres of Hindutva. “We might give the party ticket to any community of Hindus. Whoever we might give it to maybe Lingayats, Kurubas, Vokkaligas, or Brahmins but there is no question of us giving tickets to Muslims in Belagavi,”he said.“We will give tickets to Hindutva proponents, I don’t know whether we will give it to followers of Sangolli Rayanna, Kittur Chennamma (freedom fighters from Karnataka)or Shankaracharya,” he added.



‘Where has PM-CARES money gone?’: Mamata targets Centre

Kolkata :Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee on Tuesday accused the Centre of using central agencies to bulldoze India’s federal structure, and questioned the BJP-led government about Prime Minister’s Citizen Assistance and Relief in Emergency Situations (PM-CARES) Fund.“You are raising questions about the Rs 25,000 relief we have given to those affected during Cyclone Amphan, but what about the lakhs and crores of money donated to PM-CARES Fund? Where has the money gone? Does anyone know about the future of this fund? Why was no audit done? The Centre is lecturing us. What have they given us to combat the Covid pandemic? You want to accuse me because I am poor,” Banerjee said at a press conference in state secretariat Nabanna following a state Cabinet meeting.



Man Who Stopped Cracker Bursting Near Mosque on Diwali Held in Delhi Violence Case, Alleges Family

New Delhi: 9 months since the brutal and chilling communal violence in Delhi’s North-East district, fanatic Hindutva outfits allegedly continue to terrorise Muslim residents in some areas, and the police seems to be again indifferent. Several Muslim residents of Khajuri Khas, one of the affected areas in the February violence, alleged that on Nov.14--Diwali night --a group of seven boys in the area gathered in lane no 29 in front of their local mosque and burst fire crackers, shouted communal slurs and threatened Muslims with dire consequences. One of the residents, Mehboob Alam, urged the boys to stop bursting firecrackers. He also called Police Control Room for assistance. Some policemen turned up a few hours later and went away. According to Alam’s sister, many families are now living in fear. Narrating the events of that night, she told Newsclick that as Diwali night drew in, some men from different lanes gathered in lane number 29, creating an atmosphere of panic. “We initially felt it was Diwali so the boys were celebrating, but soon they turned aggressive and started shouting communally loaded slurs,” she said. 2 weeks later, on Nov.27, Alam was arrested by police who claimed he was involved in the February riots. Alam is presently in Mandoli jail. The young men who allegedly tried to “desecrate” the mosque and used communal and abusive slogans, are still free.



Aircel-Maxis case: Court displeased over delay in probe against Chidambaram, Karti

A Delhi court Wednesday expressed displeasure over delay in completion of probe in the Aircel-Maxis matter against former Union minister P Chidambaram and his son Karti while granting 2 more months to CBI, ED to do so.



Made to sign statement by cops in Gujarat: J&K journalist

Ahmedabad :A freelance journalist from Kashmir, who was on a four-day visit to Gujarat, has alleged that hours after checking into his hotel, he was made to sign a statement by the local police in Bhavnagar. The journalist, Haziq Qadri, put this out in a series of tweets on November 29.When contacted, Qadri told The Indian Express that he was based out of New Delhi, and had checked into Nilambagh Palace hotel in Bhavnagar on November 25 with a colleague to work on a story. “Police personnel in civilian clothes came to us and took us to the hotel lobby to an officer in uniform who introduced himself as Safin Hasan, Bhavnagar ASP,” he said.


Malegaon case: Court directs NIA to summon witnesses, asks all accused to appear before it

Mumbai :The special court conducting trial into the 2008 Malegaon blast case on Tuesday directed NIA to summon witnesses while asking all seven accused to appear before it on Thursday, the next date of hearing.The trial, which began last year, was stalled after the previous judge hearing the case retired in Feb. Pending notification from the Union govt to appoint a new judge, the lockdown was imposed in March.On Tuesday, Special Judge P R Sitre told the prosecution and the defence that trial should resume and the NIA should summon witnesses.


SC refuses to entertain plea against publication of Hathras victim’s photograph

The Supreme Court on Wednesday refused to entertain a plea questioning the publication of a photograph of the Hathras victim in the media, saying the court cannot legislate on it and the petitioner can make a representation on the matter to the government.A 19-year-old Dalit woman was allegedly gang-raped by four men in Hathras on September 14. She died on September 29 at Delhi’s Safdarjung Hospital during treatment. Her cremation at night by the authorities, allegedly without the consent of her parents, triggered widespread outrage. The plea, which also raised the issue of delays in the trial of cases of sexual violence, came up for hearing before a bench headed by Justice N V Ramana.PTI



Top Indian diplomat in Pak wants to explain India’s stance on Jadhav’s counsel appointment: IHC told

The counsel for the Indian High Commission in Pakistan has informed the Islamabad High Court that Deputy High Commissioner Gaurav Ahluwalia wants to explain India’s stance over appointment of a lawyer for death-row prisoner Kulbhushan Jadhav, according to a media report on Wednesday.Appearing before IHC larger bench comprising Chief Justice Athar Minallah, Justice Aamer Farooq and Justice Miangul Hassan Aurangzeb, the counsel for the Indian High Commission, Barrister Shahnawaz Noon, on Tuesday said the matter related to the appointment of a lawyer for Jadhav had been discussed in detail and Ahluwalia could explain the stance of the Indian government before the court, the Dawn News reported.PTI


MP CM Shivraj Singh Chouhan ‘plagiarises’ poem, claiming his wife penned it; called out by original author

Madhya Pradesh Chief Minister Shivraj Singh Chouhan has been called out for ‘plagiarism’ over a poem he shared on Twitter last month when his father-in-law passed away.Chouhan took to Twitter to share a few lines of a Hindi poem titled ‘Bauji’, claiming it was written by his wife Sadhna Singh four days after his father-in-law - Ghanshyam Das Masani - died on November 18.A Madhya-Pradesh based writer Bhumika Birthare, has, however, claimed it was her poem. ‘The poem is written by me, not by ur beloved wife,’ she posted on Twitter




UK clears Pfizer-BioNTech coronavirus vaccine for mass use, rollout next week

United Kingdom has become the first country in the world to approve the Pfizer-BioNTech coronavirus vaccine for use and said that it will be rolled out from early next week."The government has today accepted the recommendation from the independent Medicines and Healthcare products Regulatory Agency (MHRA) to approve Pfizer-BioNTech’s Covid-19 vaccine for use," the UK government was quoted as saying by Reuters. "The vaccine will be made available across the UK from next week," the UK government added.Britain's vaccine committee will decide which priority groups will get the jab first such as care home residents, health and care staff, the elderly and people who are clinically extremely vulnerable, the report added.Health Secretary Matt Hancock said the programme would begin early next week. Hospitals, he said, were already ready to receive it. "It is very good news," Hancock said.


Govt hasn’t spoken of vaccinating entire country: Health Secy

New Delhi :WITH THE country expected to witness its largest vaccination drive – against Covid-19 — next year, the central government on Tuesday said its priority will be to first vaccinate a critical mass of the population and break the chain of transmission of the virus, indicating that the entire population may not be mandatorily vaccinated.During the weekly briefing on the pandemic, Union Health Secretary Rajesh Bhushan reiterated that the “government has not spoken about vaccinating the entire country”. “Important to get factual information on these (on vaccinating the entire population),” Bhushan said.DG ICMR Dr Balram Bhargava said the decision will largely depend on data on the efficacy of the vaccine candidates.








Jared Kushner takes on Qatar blockade in Middle East ‘swan song’

Jared Kushner, senior adviser to US President Donald Trump as well as his son-in-law, has travelled to Gulf in the waning days of the Trump administration to seek final, long-shot victories in US Middle East policy – including ending a Saudi-led blockade of Qatar, analysts have told Al Jazeera.According to observers, Kushner, who reportedly arrived in Saudi Arabia on Monday, is likely attempting late-stage achievements in the administration’s Middle East policy, which has been defined by advancing Israeli interests and applying maximum pressure against Iran.That encompasses ending the over 3-year-long land, air and sea blockade of Qatar by Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) members Saudi Arabia, Bahrain and UAE and non-GCC member Egypt – and uniting GCC against Tehran. The blockading countries in June 2017 had accused Qatar of becoming too close with Tehran and supporting “terrorism”. Qatar has consistently denied those allegations and refused to comply with a list of 13 demands that included scaling back diplomatic ties with Iran and shuttering a Turkish military base in Qatar.



UNSC unlikely to act on killing of Iranian scientist: Diplomats

Hours after the assassination of a top Iranian nuclear scientist, Iran demanded the United Nations Security Council (UNSC) condemn the killing and take action against those responsible, but diplomats say the call is likely to go unheeded.At a minimum, the 15-member body could discuss Friday’s killing of nuclear scientist Mohsen Fakhrizadeh behind closed doors if a member requests such a meeting or it could agree on – by consensus – a statement on the issue.But South Africa’s UN ambassador, Jerry Matjila, council president for December, on Tuesday said no member had so far requested to discuss the killing or Iran in general. Diplomats also said there had been no discussion of a statement.The Security Council is charged with maintaining international peace and security and has the ability to authorise military action and impose sanctions. But such measures require at least nine votes in favour and no vetoes by the United States, France, Britain, Russia or China.


President of Jamaat-e-Islami Pakistan sends letter to president of Azerbaijan, hailing victory

BAKU: Senator Siraj ul Haq, President of Jamaat-e-Islami Pakistan sent a letter to Ilham Aliyev, president of the Republic of Azerbaijan. "Excellency, It is indeed a matter of great pleasure and satisfaction for the people of the Islamic Republic of Pakistan that Azerbaijan and Armenia have reached an amicable accord to stop the war. It would lead towards peace and prosperity in Azerbaijan. It is heartening that Azerbaijan Armed Forces had liberated Shusha and four districts, and Armenia has agreed to withdraw from other occupied Azerbaijani areas. On behalf of myself, workers of Jamaat-e-Islami Pakistan and people of Pakistan, I would like to congratulate Your Excellency, your govt and people of Azerbaijan.



Laws against “Love Jihad” is about misplaced anxieties about demographic increase and vilifying a community for electoral needs:Arnesh Nag







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