03 December 2020

ED raids PFI chairman, 26 premises in 9 states including Delhi's Shaheen Bagh; PFI calls it attempt to divert attention from farmers’ issue. Modi works for Ambani, Adani; we’ll die but not relent on demand for repeal of farm laws: Farmers before talks


03-12-2020 ,16:37 IST


  • ED raids PFI chairman, 26 premises in 9 states including Delhi's Shaheen Bagh in money laundering case; PFI calls raids attempt to divert attention from farmers’ issue
  •  Modi works for Ambani, Adani; we’ll die but not relent on demand for repeal of farm laws: Farmers before talks
  •  As Fourth Round of Talks Begin, Agitating Farmers Block Ghaziabad-Delhi Road Disrupting Traffic
  • ‘Tukde-tukde gang’ turning farm laws agitation into Shaheen Bagh-like protest, claims Manoj Tiwari
  • SC orders installation of CCTV cameras in every police station, offices of CBI, ED, NIA – All Agencies Which Arrest, Interrogate
  •  Centre’s reply sought on plea against ‘360 degree surveillance’ of all citizens
  •  ‘Every case is different,’ says CJI on bail pleas of Arnab Goswami and Kerala journalist Kappan
  •   Coronavirus: Night curfew will not be imposed in Delhi for now, AAP tells High Court
  •  Afghanistan Govt, Taliban Announce Breakthrough Deal to Pursue Peace Talks: Reuters
  •  Israel FM to visit Bahrain 'soon' for embassy opening 
  • Cambridge University names Chemistry department after Indian scientist Yusuf Hamied, chairman of Cipla


 ED raids PFI chairman, 26 premises in 9 states including Delhi's Shaheen Bagh in money laundering case; PFI calls raids attempt to divert attention from farmers’ issue

ED on Thursday raided at least 26 premises in 9 states linked to Popular Front of India (PFI) including those of its chairman OM Abdul Salam and Kerala state president Nasarudheen Elamarom as part of a money laundering probe, official sources said. The searches are being conducted in Tamil Nadu, Karnataka, Bihar, Uttar Pradesh, Maharashtra, West Bengal, Rajasthan, Delhi and in Malappuram and Thiruvananthapuram districts of Kerala, they said. The raids are being carried out in at least 26 locations of these states under provisions of the Prevention of Money Laundering Act (PMLA), the sources said.They added the action was aimed to collect evidence with regard to multiple money laundering cases, that have been clubbed into one, being probed against PFI and those linked to it.The premises of Salam and Elamarom, PFI’s Kerala unit head, are also being covered, they said. The central probe agency is investigating PFI’s “financial links” on alleged charges of fuelling anti-CAA protests in the country, Delhi riots that took place in February this year and few other instances.Reacting to the action, Salam charged that the raids were an attempt to divert attention from the farmers’ issue. “ED conducts searches in PFI leaders’ houses. Heinous attempt to divert the farmers’ issue and hide failure of BJP govt,” PFI said quoting Salam.“Another example of using constitutional institutions as political tools. Such actions can’t stop us from rising voice for justice or weaken democratic fights for rights,” it said. The agency, last month, had said it was investigating “financial links” between PFI and Bhim Army in its money laundering case registered to investigate allegations of illegal funds being used to “fuel” anti-CAA protests. Bhim Army, led by its chief Chandrashekhar Azad, had said that they were ready for all kinds of investigation. PTI


Modi works for Ambani, Adani; we’ll die but not relent on demand for repeal of farm laws: Farmers before talks

Hardening their stand and saying that anything less than a repeal of the three farm laws enacted by NDA government is not acceptable to them, the farmers agitating in Delhi have said they will take a bullet and die rather than going back to Punjab.Jagmohan Singh Patiala, general secretary, BKU (Dakonda), who had just boarded a bus with other farmers’ leaders to attend a meeting with the government’s representatives, reiterated that the demands of farmers are non-negotiable.Asked if they will relent if the government guarantees an MSP regime and asks farmers to compromise on the APMC Act, Patiala said, “Not going to happen.”“All 3 farm laws are non-negotiable. The MSP regime is useless without the APMCs. Both are linked to each other,” he said.APMCs are government-controlled marketing yards or mandis.He asserted that if Modi govt does not “correct its mistake”, farmers will take to the street all over the country.Attacking PM Narendra Modi for ‘backstabbing’ farmers, Patiala, who is in his late 60s, said, “I have seen many politicians and PMs…but have not seen any one like Modi. He speaks mega lies. He promised to double farmers’ income by 2022 but in reality, he dug the grave for the whole community.”Saying that the farm laws are aimed at connecting corporates such as Reliance Industries Ltd and Adani Enterprises Ltd directly to the farmers, bypassing government-regulated wholesale markets, Patiala said, “Tomorrow, farmers will protest all over the country against Ambani, Adani and Modi. Farmers will burn their effigies also.“If our demands are not met, we will intensify and extend our protest for as long as it takes,” vowed Patiala.National Herald,



Govt Spreading 'Divisive Agenda' To Break Farmer Unity: Protesters To Agri Minister

New Delhi: Leaders of the protesting farmers wrote to Union agriculture minister Narendra Singh Tomar on Wednesday, demanding a special session of Parliament to repeal the new farm laws and asking the government to not “indulge in divisive agenda” to break farmers’ unity.The letter comes a day before the second round of talks is scheduled to take place between the Centre and leaders of farmer unions to resolve ongoing standoff over the new agriculture laws.“We ask the government not to indulge in any divisive agendas with regard to the farmers’ movement which is united in its demands at this point of time. This was clear from the meeting proceedings on Tuesday,”Samyukt Kisan Morcha Coordination Committee, which is spearheading the protests, said in the letter. PTI


As Fourth Round of Talks Begin, Agitating Farmers Block Ghaziabad-Delhi Road Disrupting Traffic

NEW DELHI—Agitating farmers blocked the National Highway-9 near the UP Gate on Thursday morning, leading to blockade and disruption of traffic from Ghaziabad to Delhi. The news came even as the fourth round of talks between representatives of the farmers and Union ministers began at Delhi’s Vigyan Bhavan and Punjab chief Minister Prakash Singh Badal held a separate meeting with Home Minister Amit Shah.The farmers’ “Dilli Chalo” protest which began on 26 November entered the eighth day on Thursday.The blockade was caused by the supporters of the Bharatiya Kisan Union (BKU) which is part of the ongoing protest against the controversial farm bills. The protesters had been camping under the UP Gate flyover since Saturday but did not block any roads or highways till Thursday morning.“The farmers who were staging protest under the UP Gate flyover till now have come on highway and blocked the traffic going from Ghaziabad to Delhi. Our officers are holding talks with them to vacate the highway area. The traffic from Delhi to Ghaziabad is running normal,” Ajay Shankar Pandey, district magistrate, was quoted in the media.



Farm laws: Former Punjab CM Parkash Singh Badal returns Padma award to protest ‘betrayal’ of farmers

Former Punjab CM and Shiromani Akali Dal leader Parkash Singh Badal returned his Padma Vibhushan, second-highest civilian award in India, on Thursday to protest the “betrayal of farmers” by the Narendra Modi government, reported India Today.“I feel so poor that I do not have much else to sacrifice to express solidarity with the farmers’ cause,” 92-year-old said.The former president of the Shiromani Akali Dal, which broke off its alliance with the Bharatiya Janata Party in September over the Centre’s agricultural laws, said that there was no point in holding on to the award if the farmers were “dishonoured”.


Farmers' Protest: Despite Rightwing Propaganda, 'Khalistani' Angle Finds Little Traction

Jalandhar: Despite concerted efforts by rightwing propagandists to defame farmers protesting against the three agriculture laws by labelling them ‘Khalistanis’, this angle has found little popularity among the general public. On the other hand, more people have come out in support of the farmers, setting aside ideology and political affiliation.A large number of Hindus from Punjab, whom the saffron party considers its voter base in the state, have notably rejected the efforts by several BJP leaders to insinuate that farmer protesting are actually part of Sikh separatist movement. Speaking to The Wire, senior journalist Jagtar Singh, who spent over four decades covering Punjab’s religio-political dynamics and militancy, and who has recently authored a book Rivers on Fire:Khalistan Struggle said, “Khalistan is an idea for which 40,000 people died but that’s a different issue. This is the first ever secular mass mobilisation against the Modi government in the country.” The Wire


Truckers’ body calls for strike in north India from December 8 in solidarity with farmers’ agitation

Backing the ongoing farmers’ agitation in Delhi, All-India Motor Transport Congress (AIMTC), the apex organisation of truckers, transporters and passenger vehicle operators, has warned that they would shut operations in north India from December 8 if the Central government did not accede to the farmers’ demand to repeal the three farm laws passed in Sept.AIMTC said farmers were fighting for their legitimate rights and they are the backbone and lifeline of the nation.



Delhi Teachers Association comes out in farmers’ support

Delhi Teachers ' Association (DTA), an organisation of Delhi University academics, has come out in support of the farmers' movement. The teachers and professors involved of DTA have justified the demands of the agitating farmers. The DTA believes the central government should talk unconditionally to solve their problems and address their concerns.DTA says it stands with them in support of the demands of the agitating farmers. The officials of the organisation convened an important meeting on the subject. A decision in this regard was taken in this meeting.IANS


Mamata threatens country-wide stir if new farm laws not withdrawn

Trinamool Congress supremo lashed out at the BJP-led government at the Centre over the issue in a series of tweets. “I am very much concerned about the farmers, their lives and livelihood. GOI must withdraw the anti-farmer bills. If they do not do so immediately, we will agitate throughout the state and the country. From the very start, we have been strongly opposing these anti-farmer bills,” she tweeted.PTI


‘Tukde-tukde gang’ turning farm laws agitation into Shaheen Bagh-like protest, claims Manoj Tiwari

BJP leader Manoj Tiwari has claimed that the “tukde-tukde gang” was trying to turn the demonstrations by farmers in Delhi into Shaheen Bagh-like protests, PTI reported. “Tukde-tukde gang” is a term coined by the BJP to malign its critics as people working to balkanise India. “Presence of individuals and groups who opposed NRC and CAA at Shaheen Bagh clearly establishes that the ‘tukde-tukde’ gang is trying to experiment with Shaheen Bagh 2.0 and create unrest under the grab of farmers’ protest,” Tiwari claimed.Tiwari, the former chief of the BJP’s Delhi unit, claimed that some protestors among the farmers at the borders of Delhi had shouted slogans in favour of Khalistan and threats to Prime Minister Narendra Modi. This showed that the protests were a “well-planned conspiracy” to create unrest in the country, he claimed.



Farmers protesting against the News Channels

NEW DELHI – Farmers, who are protesting against the new agri laws at Delhi borders since November 27, are angry with news channels like Zee News, Aaj Tak and Republic TV for portraying them in bad light, and has given a clarion call for boycotting these three channels.Several videos and photos have emerged on social media in which the farmers can be seen expressing their anger against the government-friendly channels. The protesters are carrying banners which say “don’t cover us” and “you are fake media” and are addressing the three channels as ‘Godi Media’ (an acronym coined by popular news anchor Ravish Kumar to refer to servile media).



In a first, Twitter Labels Post by BJP’s Amit Malviya’s as ‘Manipulated Media’

NEW DELHI — Twitter has labelled a tweet by the head of BJP the social media cell as “manipulated media”. This is the first reported case of Twitter taking such an action in India.The labelled tweet by Amit Malviya was about police action against farmers during their ongoing protests against farm bills of the Central government on Delhi’s borders. Malviya’ tweet was an attempt to debunk an allegation made by Congress leader Rahul Gandhi that a paramilitary personnel hit an elderly farmer. Malviya posted a short clip showing that the farmer was not hit and wrote a caption: Rahul Gandhi must be the most discredited opposition leader India has seen in a long, long time.Clarion India


SC orders installation of CCTV cameras in every police station, offices of CBI, ED, NIA – All Agencies Which Arrest, Interrogate

The Supreme Court on Wednesday asked all states and Union Territories to ensure that closed-circuit television, or CCTV cameras, with night vision and audio recording, are installed in every police station of the country, Bar and Bench reported. A bench headed by Justice RF Nariman also directed the central government to install CCTV cameras and recording equipment in offices of central agencies, including the Central Bureau of Investigation, NIA, Narcotics Control Bureau and the Enforcement Directorate. All the cameras installed should be equipped with night vision and must necessarily consist of audio as well as video footage, the court said. The video and audio recordings have to be retained for 18 months for evidence, if needed. “The affidavit of compliance to be led by all states and Union Territories and [the] central government shall clearly indicate that the best equipment available as of date has been purchased,” it added, according to Bar and Bench.To ensure that no part of a police station is left uncovered, it is imperative to ensure that CCTV cameras are installed at all entry and exit points, main gate of the police station, all lock-ups, and outside washrooms, among other places, the court ruled.



Malegaon blast case: MP Pragya Thakur fails to appear in court

Mumbai:A special NIA court here on Thursday said the trial in 2008 Malegaon blast case will resume from Friday and directed all the seven accused to remain present in the court on Dec.19. Special NIA court judge P R Sitre had earlier directed all the accused in the case, including BJP MP Pragya Singh Thakur and Lieutenant Colonel Prasad Purohit, to remain present in the court on Thursday.However, Pragya Thakur, Ramesh Upadhayay, Sudhakar Diwedi and Sudhakar Chaturvedi did not appear in the court. Thakur had appeared before the court in June last year after it ordered the seven accused to remain present once a week. She later sought exemption from appearance on various occasions since then.Lt Col Purohit, Sameer Kulkarni and Ajay Rahikar were present before the judge on Thursday.The lawyers of the other 4 accused told the court that their clients were absent due to the COVID-19 situation.The court then directed all the accused to be present before it on Dec.19. Meanwhile, the Bombay High Court on Thursday clarified that it has not stayed the trial in the Malegaon blast case, and said the trial must go on.PTI


Centre’s reply sought on plea against ‘360 degree surveillance’ of all citizens

Delhi High Court on Wednesday asked the Centre to respond to a plea claiming the government was carrying out a “360 degree surveillance” of all its citizens, including the judges, through projects like the Centralised Monitoring System, the Network Traffic Analysis (NETRA), and the National Intelligence Grid (NATGRID), Bar and Bench reported. The petition, filed by the Centre for Public Interest Litigation, and Software Freedom Law Centre through advocate Prashant Bhushan, sought that the Centre completely halt these surveillance projects. It said the systems enable authorities to intercept, store, analyse and retain telephone and internet data in bulk, which was an infringement of the fundamental right to privacy of individuals, according to The Indian Express.


'Love Jihad' Law: In First Action Under Ordinance, UP Police Arrest Muslim Man

New Delhi: 5 days after promulgating the ordinance, UP Police arrested a Muslim man under the new and controversial ‘love jihad’ legislation on Dec.3, in response to a complaint registered on the very day the state’s governor gave her assent to it. News of the arrest – the first under the ordinance – comes amidst criticism not just of the anti-Muslim nature of the ordinance but also of its legality.‘Love jihad’ is a term coined by Sangh Parivar and until now had been unrecognised by any legal system in India. In successive reports, The Wire has pointed out instances where Adityanath’s own administration has failed to gather irreversible proof that such a campaign of forcible conversions into Islam exists.Based on a complaint registered by one Tikaram, a case was registered at Devarniya police station in Bareilly district on Nov.28 against one Owais Ahmad. Tikaram, a resident of Sharif Nagar village in Devarniya, has accused Ahmad, a resident of the same village, of trying to convert his daughter through “allurement,” police told PTI. Ahmed has told ThePrint, that he has no connections to the woman.While Section 3 of the ordinance highlights ‘coercion’ into religious conversion as an offence, it is yet unclear as to how this would apply to a conversion that has not taken place and as to why the existing sections of IPC which deal with threatening a woman, pressuring her into marriage or threatening to kidnap her would not apply in such a case.


Consenting adults have right to live together, families can’t interfere, rules Allahabad HC

Allahabad High Court on Wednesday ruled that two consenting adults in a relationship had the right to live together without any interference from their families, Bar and Bench reported. The court noted that though live-in relationships are not accepted by the Indian society, they do not amount to any offence under law.The court’s order was based on a petition filed by a couple seeking protection from harassment by the woman’s family. The petitioners, aged 24 and 28, told the court that they had been living together for six months.The woman informed the court that her family had been forcing her to marry another man so she went to live with her boyfriend. The couple sought police protection in March but no action was taken on their request.



Karnataka: BJP Revives Plan to Impose Blanket Ban on Cattle Slaughter

Mangaluru: On November 27, addressing the media, Karnataka animal husbandry minister Prabhu Chavan said, “After the government came in, we had promised – go mata is our mother, they should not be slaughtered. The Bill will 100% be introduced this coming session.” He was announcing the decision taken in the cabinet meeting held in Bengaluru to introduce a Bill that aims to achieve the BJP’s long-standing goal of a stringent anti-cow slaughter law in the state.The Bill, if implemented, will impose a blanket ban on cow slaughter and the sale and consumption of beef in the state. Apart from the prohibition of cow slaughter, the Bill also bans the slaughter of the calf of a cow and bull, bullock, buffalo male or female and calf of a she-buffalo too.The Bill revives the BJP’s plan, first mulled in 2010, to ban the slaughter of cattle. In that year, the B.S. Yediyurappa government introduced the Karnataka Prevention of Slaughter and Preservation of Cattle Bill, 2010. However, among staunch opposition, the BJP could not succeed in getting the law passed. And when the Siddaramaiah-led Congress government assumed power in 2013, the Bill was abandoned.A decade later, the Yediyurappa government is once again attempting to pass the Bill, something the BJP had mentioned in their 2018 manifesto too.



‘Every case is different,’ says CJI on bail pleas of Arnab Goswami and Kerala journalist Kappan

Chief Justice of India SA Bobde on Wednesday held that one cannot compare the bail plea of Republic TV Editor-in-Chief Arnab Goswami with that of Kerala-based journalist Siddique Kappan, as “every case was different”, Bar and Bench reported. The matter came up during a hearing of the habeas corpus petition filed by the Kerala Union of Working Journalists challenging Kappan’s detention. Kappan was arrested along with three others in Mathura in October while on his way to cover the Hathras gangrape and murder case. Uttar Pradesh Police later booked him and others under the UAPA and charges of sedition.During the hearing, Solicitor General Tushar Mehta, appearing for the Uttar Pradesh government, argued that the plea in Kappan’s case was not filed by him, but by the union. “The accused is not the party here in the matter,” he told the court.Sibal countered, saying he would implead Kappan’s wife in the plea and would like to argue the matter in the court. “The High Court has granted one month’s time on habeas corpus plea of other accused in the same case and I want to argue here,” Sibal said, according to PTI. “Hear me finally.”



West Bengal: ‘NIA Torturing Us To Secure False Testimony Against the Accused’: Allege Family Members of Those Arrested For Al-Qaeda Links

NEW DELHI: Family members and relatives of some of 11 accused arrested from Murshidabad in West Bengal and Kerala on Sept.19 for their alleged Al-Qaeda link have alleged that NIA officials are torturing them and using threat and intimidation to give false testimony against those held in the case.Stating that the arrested accused were not having any link with Al-Qaeda or any other terror organization, family members of the victims accused NIA of harassing them and pressurizing them to give false statements against the arrested persons.Relatives of some of the accused persons allege they signed on the dotted lines because they could not bear the physical torture.After arresting the accused persons, who are all from different villages of Murshidabad district, NIA claimed that they were involved in terror funding, possessed weapons and ‘Jihadi literature’, a charge denied by the family members of the victims. Yusuf, related to one of the arrested persons, during interactions with a fact-finding committee comprising representatives from Association for Protection of Civil Rights (APCR), ADPR and Bandi Mukti Morcha, said, “My family and friends are under pressure to make false statements about the arrested individuals. We are also threatened to be arrested if we refuse”. Yusuf said, “NIA is forcing us to say that the arrested persons travelled to Bangladesh and were involved in smuggling”. Yusuf’s two brothers-Atiur and Musharraf-are under arrest on charges of their links with Al-Qaeda.India Tomorrow



Online Outages: RBI Stops HDFC Bank From Digital Launches, Sourcing New Credit Cards

New Delhi: In what is likely an unprecedented move, RBI appears to have taken HDFC Bank to task over various technical problems that its customers have faced with regard to certain Internet banking and mobile banking services over the last two years. In an order sent to the bank, the regulator has passed a few strictures, advising it to stop all launches of digital business generating activities under its yet-to-be-launched Digital 2.0 programme and sourcing of all new credit card customers. This temporary ban will continue until RBI is satisfied with necessary compliance on the part of the private sector lender.


China to 'Consider Interests of Other Countries' Before Finalising Brahmaputra Dam Project

New Delhi: China on Wednesday stated that it will take into consideration the interests of “upstream and downstream countries” while finalising plans to develop a dam on Brahmaputra river, the Chinese embassy said.Earlier on Monday, Chinese state media had quoted the head of a Chinese company as saying that the country could build a 60 gigawatt hydropower project on the Brahmaputra river, which is known as Yarlung Tsangbo in China.The Global Times had reported that Yan Zhiyong, chairman of state-owned Power Construction Corporation of China said at an industry conference held last week that China will “implement hydropower exploitation in the downstream of the Yarlung Zangbo River”.“There is no parallel in history. It will be a historic opportunity for the Chinese hydropower industry,” Yan stated.“60 million kWh hydropower exploitation at the downstream of the Yarlung Zangbo” could play a “significant role in realising China’s goal of reaching a carbon emissions peak before 2030 and carbon neutrality in 2060,” he added.


Pakistan violated UN resolution by transferring Kartarpur Sahib management to non-Sikh body: India

India on Wednesday hit out at Pakistan for transferring the management of the Sikh shrine Kartarpur Sahib Gurudwara and violating a United Nations General Assembly resolution, reported PTI.“Pakistan has already violated the earlier resolution on Culture of Peace passed last year by this very assembly,” First Secretary in India’s Permanent Mission to the UN Ashish Sharma said. “Last month, Pakistan arbitrarily transferred the management of the Sikh holy shrine, Kartarpur Sahib Gurudwara, from Sikh Community body to the administrative control of a non-Sikh body.”



J&K: CPI(M) leader Yousuf Tarigami moves SC against Centre’s new laws allowing anyone to buy land

CPI(Marxist) leader Yousuf Tarigami on Tuesday moved the Supreme Court against a central government notification that allows people from other parts of the country to buy land in Jammu and Kashmir, Live Law reported. Tarigami, who has already filed a writ petition challenging the abrogation of Article 370 and 45A, urged the court to stay the central notification dated October 26 till his petition is decided.


India orders Wikipedia to remove map showing Aksai Chin in China: Reports

Centre has written to Wikipedia asking it to remove a wrong map of India that shows Aksai Chin as part of China, according to several reports.The Secretary of the Ministry of Electronics and Information Technology, Ajay Sawhney, issued the order to the online encyclopedia on Nov.27, the HT reported.The government has invoked Section 69A of IT Act that empowers the Centre to block public access to any information online, according to PTI.


Congress corporator Abdul Rakeeb Zakir held in Bengaluru violence case

Bengaluru :Congress corporator Abdul Rakeeb Zakir, one of the accused in the case relating to the violence the broke out in the city on August 11 night, was arrested, police said on Thursday.Absconding corporator Zakir was arrested last night in Devara Jeevanahalli violence case that left four people dead, the police said in a brief statement, without divulging further details.PTI


Kargil, Leh Leaders Brainstorm On Ladakh Future For The First Time

Ahead of talks with the Union home ministry about the status of Ladakh region, the Peoples Movement for Sixth Schedule, a group of religious and political parties, on Wednesday held a discussion with Kargil Democratic Alliance to form a consensus about the future of Ladakh. The leaders of Leh and Kargil said they would jointly oppose any step that goes against the interests of the Ladakh region. The leaders said both the regions would oppose any anti-Ladakh legislation jointly.Peoples Movement of Sixth Schedule which includes BJP has been formed by all political and religious groups in Leh to get Sixth Schedule status for Ladakh region, whereas, Kargil Democratic Alliance, a conglomerate of all religious and political groups of Kargil is asking for full statehood of Ladakh with a chief ministerial post. Kargil Democratic Alliance has also been opposing the revocation of Article 370 and Article 35A of the Constitution and has been calling for their restoration.



‘Can’t fell trees in the name of Krishna,’ SC tells UP during hearing on temple road project

The Supreme Court has told the Uttar Pradesh government that it cannot cut down nearly 3,000 trees for a project to widen roads in Mathura city, Live Law reported. UP government’s Krishna-Govardhan road project seeks to widen a road leading to a temple dedicated to Hindu god Krishna in Mathura. The site is believed to be the deity’s birthplace. The state government had sought the Supreme Court’s permission to cut 2,940 trees for the project.“You can’t fell thousands of trees in the name of Krishna,” CJI SA Bobde told the state govt’s counsel.



Maharashtra to rename residential areas having caste-based names

Maharashtra government on Wednesday cleared a proposal to rename residential areas in the state having caste-based names, PTI reported. The decision was made at a state Cabinet meeting.Chief Minister Uddhav Thackeray’s office said in a statement that the government chose to rename the localities to maintain social harmony and national unity.CMO added that names such as “Mahar-wada, Bouddh-wada, Mang-wada, Dhor-vasti, Brahman-wada and Mali-galli”, which pointed to the community that resided in a certain area, were not suited to a progressive state like Maharashtra. The names refer to Dalits, Dalit Buddhists, the community that handles dead animals, and gardeners, among others, the New Indian Express reported.


Delhi HC grants custody parole to Mohammad Shahabuddin to meet family

The Delhi High Court has granted a three days’ custody parole to jailed former MP Mohd Shahabuddin, who is lodged in Tihar Jail and serving a life term in a murder case. The grant has been made for him to meet his family in the national capital. The former RJD leader, a convict and an undertrial was shifted to Tihar jail in 2018 by the Supreme Court from Siwan jail in Bihar.PTI


Former Madras and Calcutta HC judge Justice CS Karnan arrested by Chennai Police

Former Madras and Calcutta High Court judge Justice CS Karnan has been arrested by Chennai Police from Avadi over allegedly abusive videos. 3 FIRs have been registered against former Justice Karnan over derogatory remarks allegedly made against women and the judiciary in videos uploaded online, Bar & Bench has reported.


 Cambridge University names Chemistry department after Indian scientist Yusuf Hamied, chairman of Cipla

New Delhi:Yusuf Hamied, Polish-born Indian scientist and the chairman of Cipla, honoured as 'generous benefaction' by the University of Cambridge on Tuesday. The Chemistry department of the university will be named after him until 2050.Dr Hamied is a former alumnus of Cambridge University and made a 'transformational gift' to his alma mater and ensured that the chemistry of the university will continue to be 'world-leading in both teaching and research'.Scholars from across the world and the UK can study at Cambridge University's chemistry department.Candidates can apply at Hamied Scholars Programme including exceptional early-career researchers in disciplines such as synthetic organic chemistry, and outstanding doctoral students.The department would be known as Yusuf Hamied Department of Chemistry.“Cambridge gave me the foundation of an education in chemistry, taught me how to live and showed me how to contribute to society," said Dr Hamied."As a scholarship student myself, I am delighted to be able to support future generations of students. I will always be indebted to this great institution and everything it stands for," he said.In 2018, he endowed one of the world’s oldest academic Chairs in Chemistry, now known as the Yusuf Hamied 1702 Chair. His academic mentor and supervisor, Nobel Laureate Lord Alexander Todd, held the Chair during Hamied’s time at Cambridge as an undergraduate and PhD student.“We are extremely thankful to Dr Hamied for his visionary support for Chemistry at Cambridge which will allow us to respond flexibly to future opportunities. His gift will ensure we continue to attract outstanding scientists who will make the discoveries that help tackle some of the most pressing challenges in global society," said Dr James Keeler, the Head of the Chemistry Department.Dr Yusuf Hamied's achievements supply of HIV/AIDS medicines to developing countries at a low cost.Cipla is providing affordable medicines during the Covid-19 pandemic.He received the fellowship of Christ's College in 2004; the Padma Bhushan, one of the highest Indian civilian awards in 2005; an honorary fellowship of the Royal Society of Chemistry in 2012; and an honorary Doctorate of Science from the University of Cambridge in 2014.In 2019, he was elected an Honorary Fellow of the Royal Society and a Fellow of the Indian National Science Academy. Professor Stephen J. Toope, the Vice-Chancellor of the university, said: “Yusuf Hamied has demonstrated an unequivocal commitment to changing and improving lives since his time at Cambridge.



Coronavirus: Night curfew will not be imposed in Delhi for now, AAP tells High Court

The Arvind Kejriwal government in Delhi on Thursday informed the High Court that no night curfew would be imposed in the national Capital, or parts of it, for now.India’s coronavirus cases rose by 35,551 on Thursday morning, making it the 26th straight day when daily infections stayed below the 50,000 mark. The country now has total 95,34,964 cases, while as many as 89,73,373 people have recovered. The toll rose by 526 to 1,38,648.Globally, the coronavirus has infected more than 6.44 crore people and killed over 14.91 lakh, according to the Johns Hopkins University. Over four crore people have recovered from the infection.


SC stays Gujarat HC direction to send people not wearing masks to COVID centres

The Supreme Court on Thursday said sending people, who do not wear masks, for community service at Covid centres may cause health issues, as it stayed the directions in the Gujarat High Court order. However, the top court noted that the Gujarat government should enforce mask and social distancing norms.Solicitor General Tushar Mehta, representing the Gujarat government, said the harm of not wearing the mask is much lesser than sending the person to a Covid centre.IANS





Afghanistan Govt, Taliban Announce Breakthrough Deal to Pursue Peace Talks: Reuters

Kabul: Afghan government and Taliban representatives said on Wednesday they had reached a preliminary deal to press on with peace talks, their first written agreement in 19 years of war welcomed by UN and Washington.The agreement lays out the way forward for further discussion and is considered a breakthrough because it will allow negotiators to move on to more substantive issues, including talks on a ceasefire.“The procedure including its preamble of the negotiation has been finalised and from now on, the negotiation will begin on the agenda,” Nader Nadery, a member of the Afghan government’s negotiating team, told Reuters. Taliban spokesman confirmed the same on Twitter.The agreement comes after months of discussions in Doha, the capital of Qatar, in negotiations encouraged by US. In Afghanistan, the two sides are still at war, with Taliban attacks on government forces continuing unabated. US Special Representative for Afghan Reconciliation Zalmay Khalilzad said that the two sides had agreed on a “3-page agreement codifying rules and procedures for their negotiations on a political roadmap and a comprehensive ceasefire”.UN envoy for Afghanistan Deborah Lyons welcomed the “positive development” on Twitter, adding that “this breakthrough should be a springboard to reach the peace wanted by all Afghans”.



Israel FM to visit Bahrain 'soon' for embassy opening

Israeli Foreign Minister Gabi Ashkenazi said yesterday that he intends to visit the Bahraini capital Manama "soon" to open the Israeli embassy there, Anadolu news agency reported.Speaking at a joint press conference with visiting Bahraini Minister of Industry, Commerce and Tourism, Zayed Bin Rashid Al-Zayani, Ashkenazi said: "We are working for a new reality for our region, which has witnessed many conflicts."For his part, the Bahraini minister welcomed the Israeli foreign minister's upcoming visit, saying: "We look forward to welcoming you and the Israeli citizens to Bahrain.""We aspire to fly direct flights to Israel soon," he added.Later, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu received the Bahraini minister in his office in West Jerusalem."We are witnessing wonderful days when we bring peace on this day, thanks to the courageous decision taken by His Majesty the King of Bahrain Hamad bin Isa Al Khalifa, and thanks to the Bahrainis and the Israelis … and their desire to do business with each other in the fields of tourism, trade and industry," Netanyahu said.



Israeli Army Vowed to Limit Arrests of Palestinian Minors, but Data Shows Otherwise: Israeli paper

6 years after Israeli military said it would experiment with summoning Palestinian minors suspected of crimes for questioning instead of arresting them, hundreds are still being arrested with no warning, usually in the middle of the night.The pilot project apparently never really took off, and the army hasn’t even collected orderly statistics about it. Moreover, according to sources who were told that it had begun, the criteria by which it would be judged a success or a failure were never published, and no numerical targets were ever set.Over the last 6 years, 128 Palestinian minors were summoned for questioning under the pilot, according to data given by the Israel Defense Forces to Hamoked: Center for the Defense of the Individual in response to freedom of information requests. By comparison, in 2019 alone, 235 Palestinian minors were arrested at home with no warning in the wee hours of the morning.



France: 76 mosques face closure, 66 migrants deported

French government has launched a “massive and unprecedented” wave of measures to combat what it calls religious “extremism”, Interior Minister Gerald Darmanin has said, adding that 76 mosques are suspected of “separatism”.Darmanin on Thursday tweeted his interview with RTL radio, writing: “In the coming days, checks will be carried out on these places of worship. If ever these doubts are confirmed, I will ask for their closure.”He also said 66 undocumented migrants suspected of “radicalisation” had been deported.President Emmanuel Macron’s government has responded to several deadly attacks in recent weeks with a promise to crack down on what Darmanin has said is “the enemy within”.France has also closed two organisations – the Muslim charity BarakaCity and a civil rights group which monitors hate crimes – the Collective Against Islamophobia in France (CCIF); both have refuted the government’s accusations that they harboured “radical” links.



Rights groups urge Bangladesh to halt Rohingya relocation

Human rights groups urged Bangladesh on Thursday to stop its plan to ship thousands of Rohingya refugees to a remote island as officials said the first group of 400 could leave later in on Thursday.Police escorted the refugees in 10 buses from Ukhiya in Cox’s Bazar for the journey to Chittagong port and then on to Bhasan Char – a flood-prone Bay of Bengal island that emerged from the sea 20 years ago.“Bangladesh should halt this hasty relocation process,” said Ismail Wolff, regional director of Fortify Rights. “Not one refugee should be moved until all human rights and humanitarian concerns have been resolved and genuine informed consent is assured.”





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