15 December 2020

Farmers harden stance; to block Delhi-Noida Chilla border tomorrow; Around 20 farmers 'shaheed' during protest so far, say leaders. · India a dangerous, violent place for Muslims under Modi govt: South Asia State of Minorities Report · Tablighi Jamaat: Delhi court acquits all 36 foreigners facing trial



15-12-2020,19:44 IST


·        Farmers harden stance; to block Delhi-Noida Chilla border tomorrow; Around 20 farmers 'shaheed' during protest so far, say leaders

·        BJP is real 'tukde-tukde gang', trying to set Punjabi Hindus against Sikhs: Sukhbir Badal

·        India a dangerous, violent place for Muslims under Modi govt: South Asia State of Minorities Report

·        Tablighi Jamaat: Delhi court acquits all 36 foreigners facing trial

·        Karnataka’s anti-cow slaughter bill stalled after ruckus in Upper House over chairman’s ouster

·        Opposition parties in UP to fight against new ‘love jihad’ law

·        Moroccan authorities prevent protest against ties with Israel in Rabat

·        India’s vaccination plan: Electoral rolls, 5-member teams, monitoring for adverse events


  Farmers harden stance; to block Delhi-Noida Chilla border tomorrow; Around 20 farmers 'shaheed' during protest so far, say leaders

Farmer leaders announced that they will completely block Chilla border, between Delhi and Noida, on Wednesday.“Government is saying they won't repeal these laws, we are saying we will make them do it,” farmer leader Jagjeet Dallewal said on Tuesday.“We are not running away from negotiations, but the Centre has to pay heed to our demands and come forward with concrete proposals. Around 20 farmers have been martyred during the protests so far. On average, one farmer has died every day since the protest started,” farmer leaders said.“People throughout the country will pay their tributes to all the farmers who lost their lives during this agitation on December 20,” farmer leader Inderjeet said. The farm leaders added that their demonstrations on Monday across 350 districts was highly successful.PTI



BJP is real 'tukde-tukde gang', trying to set Punjabi Hindus against Sikhs: Sukhbir Badal

Shiromani Akali Dal president Sukhbir Singh Badal has accused the BJP of trying to fan communal tensions in Punjab. Hitting out at BJP, his party's former ally, over the farm bills and the central govt's handling of the farmers' protest, Sukhbir Badal said BJP has "smashed national unity to pieces"."BJP is the real 'Tukde-Tukde gang' in the country. It has smashed national unity to pieces, shamelessly inciting Hindus against Muslims, and now desperate setting peace loving Punjabi Hindus against their Sikh brethren, especially farmers. They are pushing patriotic Punjab into communal flames," he said in a tweet on Tuesday.


Protesting Farmers Are Not Anti-National: Minister Gadkari

Farmers are not anti-national, Union minister Nitin Gadkari said in an exclusive interview to Outlook, clarifying statements made by several of his cabinet colleagues who in recent days had described the protesting farmers massed on Delhi borders as ‘Khalistani’, tukde tukde gang and ‘Maoists.Gadkari, however, said on Monday that some elements who do not wish India well may have infiltrated the farmers’ movement and are trying to misuse it.


Farm law protests: PM Modi supports new legislations, accuses Opposition of misleading farmers

Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Tuesday once again supported the three contentious farm laws as he accused the Opposition parties of misguiding the protesting farmers, reported PTI. Modi said his government would keep assuring farmers and address their concerns.“Farmers gathered near Delhi are being misled as part of a conspiracy,” Modi said after laying the foundation stone for a bunch of projects in Gujarat’s Kachchh district. “Farmers are told that their land will be grabbed by others if new farm reforms get implemented. I want to ask you, did the dairy owner take your cattle because you are selling milk to him?”


Modi govt spinning false narratives, using diversionary tactics to weaken farmers’ movement: AIKSCC

A day after a delegation comprising farmers’ leaders from some states came out in support of 3 contentious farm laws, All India Kisan Sangharsh Coordination Committee (AIKSCC) slammed the Modi government for holding talks with ‘fake’ organisations and spinning a false narratives.Saying that the government wanted to facilitate entry of foreign companies and loot by corporates in the agriculture sector, AIKSCC – an umbrella body of over 500 farm organisations agitating at Delhi’s borders against the three farm laws – said it was using “diversionary tactics” to draw attention away from the farmers’ problems.


Delhi’s 50 Organisations Join Hands to Show Solidarity with Protesting Farmers

NEW DELHI – Up to 50 trade unions as well as organisations of women, students and human rights activists held a meeting at Shaheed Park, Delhi Gate, on Monday to show solidarity with the protesting farmers.The meeting was held in response to the farmers’ call for nation-wide agitation against three controversial farm laws. On Monday, they observed a day-long fast throughout the country and raised slogans outside the offices of district commissioners. Delhi meeting was held under the banner of Delhi for Farmers.The organisations which participated in the meeting are: AICTTU, AIDSO, AIDWA, AIDYO, AIFTU (New), AILU, AIMSS, AISA, AITUC, AIUTUC, ANHAD, BSCEM, Collective, CITU, CSW, CTF, DASTAK, DSF, DSMM, DSU, DTF, DYFI, ICTU, IFTU, IFTU (Sarwahara), IMK, IMS, Jan Natya Manch, JNUSU, Khet Mazdoor Union, KYS, LPF, MEC, MEK, NFIW, Nishant Natya Manch, NTUI, SEWA, PDSU, Pinjra Tod, PMSF, Pragatisheel MS, Progami MS, Revolutionary Culture Forum, Saheli, SFI, TUCC, and TUCI.


Facebook Removes Hindutva Leader Ragini Tiwari’s Video Threatening Protesting Farmers

NEW DELHI: Facebook on Tuesday removed a video post uploaded on a pro-Bajrang Dal account that showed a self-styled Hindutva activist, Ragini Tiwari, threatening to herself clear the roads occupied by farmers on Delhi borders in protest against the controversial farm Bills.Facebook’s move to pull down the video, uploaded on Saturday morning, came after alert and  queries from Clarion India asking whether the video ran against the company’s community standards.“We have removed the post as the video violated our  Violence & Incitement policy in Community Standards,” a Facebook company spokesperson said in response to an email from Clarion India.In the video, Tiwari was seen exhorting her supporters to prepare for Dec.17 to free Delhi from protesting farmers. Clarion India


Farmers Protest Resulting in Losses of Rs 3,500 Crore Everyday: ASSOCHAM

Associated Chambers of Commerce and Industry of India (ASSOCHAM) has urged the government and farmers’ organisations to resolve the impasse at the new farm laws. It has said that the economies of Punjab, Haryana, Himachal Pradesh and Jammu and Kashmir are bearing losses to the tune of Rs 3,500 crore every day.“The ongoing protests are dealing a big blow to the interconnected economies of the region, including Punjab, Haryana and Himachal Pradesh,” ASSOCHAM was quoted by Business Today as saying.


No Parliament Winter Session Due To Covid; Congress Alleges Not Consulted

New Delhi: There will be no winter session of Parliament this time because of the coronavirus outbreak, the government has officially said, ending speculation. Parliamentary Affairs Minister Pralhad Joshi has said in a letter to the Congress's Lok Sabha leader that all political parties favour scrapping the session to avoid any Covid spread and jumping straight to Budget session in Jan. But the Congress says it was never consulted. Joshi replied yesterday to Congress leader Adhir Ranjan Chaudhary's letter demanding a session to discuss controversial new farm laws that are at the core of massive farmer protests on highways near Delhi. Mr Chaudhary, Congress's leader in the Lok Sabha, had stressed on the need to amend the laws, which he said were rammed through parliament by the government. Another senior Congress leader, Jairam Ramesh, tweeted that the government was "departing from the truth" and Leader of Opposition in the Rajya Sabha, Congress member Ghulam Nabi Azad, had not been consulted.


India a dangerous, violent place for Muslims under Modi govt: South Asia State of Minorities Report

India has become a “dangerous and violent space for Muslim minorities” ever since BJP-led govt introduced CAA  last year, said South Asia State of Minorities Report 2020. The annual report looks at the status of civic space and personal liberties accessible to citizens, especially minorities, living in South Asian countries like Afghanistan, Bangladesh, Bhutan, India, Nepal, Pakistan and Sri Lanka. It said that while civic space is under threat the world over, India’s case was unique in terms of the “alarming setbacks” that have “taken place at an extraordinary pace, over the span of a few years”.  “India has become a dangerous and violent space for Muslim minorities,” the report said. “In Dec.2019, CAA was passed which opened a pathway for a category of illegal immigrants, specifically leaving out Muslims. In the run-up to the legislation, the govt also declared its intentions to create a NRC, which would have the potential to render many Muslims stateless.” The report said that BJP assuming power nationally in 2014 “unveiled a new and now frontal attack on religious minorities and other vulnerable groups. This has had a chilling effect on civic space for Muslims and Muslim-community-based organisations and activists specifically, it added.


Tablighi Jamaat: Delhi court acquits all 36 foreigners facing trial

A Delhi court Tuesday acquitted all 36 foreign nationals facing trial for allegedly breaking Covid-19 related guidelines by attending the Tablighi Jamaat event in Delhi’s Nizamuddin area.Jamaat was in news in March after Nizamuddin Markaz emerged as a hotspot. As many as 955 foreigners were chargesheeted by the Delhi Police for allegedly violating visa conditions, indulging in missionary activities and not following the government’s Covid guidelines. While a majority of foreign Tablighi Jamaat members had taken plea deals and left for their countries, 44 had decided to face trial in Delhi. Out of them, the court had earlier discharged eight members, stating that there was “no prima facie evidence” against them.The court had also discharged the rest of the 36 under section 14 of the Foreigners Act and IPC sections 270 and 271. However, they were still facing charges under the Epidemic Act, Disaster Management Act and other IPC sections.


Karnataka’s anti-cow slaughter bill stalled after ruckus in Upper House over chairman’s ouster

Bengaluru: There were unruly scenes in Karnataka Legislative Council Tuesday, the day the controversial anti-cow slaughter bill was to be tabled in the Upper House, before council chairman Prathap Chandra Shetty adjourned proceedings sine-die for the second time in four days. The scuffle was sparked by BJP MLCs attempting to place the deputy chairperson S.L. Dharmegowda of the JD(S) in the chair, to conduct proceedings, before Shetty had arrived in the Upper House. Congress MLCs responded by asking Dharmegowda to get off the chair before they manhandled and physically removed him. This led to scuffles between both sides.  BJP had also been looking to move a no-confidence motion against Shetty, who is from the Congress. The matter was to be taken up on 11 December but Shetty had adjourned the House sine die, thereby even preventing the anti-cow slaughter bill from being tabled in the House.


BJP Govt In Assam Converts 189 `Madrasas’ Into General Education Institutions, Drops Islamic Theology Subject

Assam government has dropped Islamic theology subject and converted 189 `madrasas’ into institutions of general education in the state.There are two kinds of madrasas in the state.  These include 189 High Madrasa and Madrasa Higher Secondary Schools run under the Board of Secondary Education, Assam (SEBA) and Assam Higher Secondary Education Council (AHSEC).“The Cabinet has decided to convert madrassas into general educational schools. There are 189 high madrassas that have a subject on theology that carries 50 marks. There is a difference between collegiate schools and high madrasas. Therefore, the government had decided to remove the word madrasa from the 189 institutes and drop the subject on theology. They will be known as high schools,” said Himanta Biswa Sarma, Assam’s Education Minister.Under the madrasa board, there are 542 institutes including Arabic colleges, title madrasas, senior madrasas, and pre-senior madrasas. India Tomorrow


Probe by Rights Group Confirms Continuing Criminalisation of Jamia, AMU Students During Anti-CAA Protests

NEW DELHI – One year ago, on December 15, 2019, large-scale protests against CAA in Jamia Millia Islamia (JMI) and AMU, two central universities with a significant number of Muslim students, were met with a brutal police crackdown. The police in anti-riot gear had entered the campuses, baton-charged students and fired tear-gas shells into university buildings. Dozens of students were injured and many detained.In separate investigations, National Human Rights Commission found several incidents of excessive use of force by the police in both universities.One year later, a report called ‘The Dismantling of Minority Education’ by rights group Citizens Against Hate (CAH) looks at the violence, the lack of accountability and the continuing harassment of students of JMI and AMU.This report is the result of fact-finding investigations by CAH and is based on 209 testimonies of students from JMI and AMU.


Delhi Court Grants Bail to Muslim Man, Says Does Not Make Sense That He Would Collude With Hindu Rioters

A Delhi court has granted bail to a man in two separate cases related to the north east Delhi riots, saying it did not appeal to the senses that accused, being a Muslim, would rub shoulder to shoulder in such a surcharged atmosphere with the members of an "unlawful assembly", which mainly consisted of persons from the Hindu community and would beat a Muslim boy to death.The court said admittedly majority of accused persons which formed the "unlawful assembly" in the matter were Hindus, whereas Aarif was a Muslim by religion."It is very obfuscatory that a Muslim boy would become part of an 'unlawful assembly' which mostly consisted of members of the Hindu community, the common object whereof was to cause maximum damage to the property, life and limb(s) of the other community.So, prima facie, the applicant (Aarif) cannot be said to be part of 'unlawful assembly' or share 'common object' with them on the date of incident.PTI


‘I felt like I found my identity’: What the Mumbai Bagh protests meant to Muslim women

For women at the Shaheen Bagh-inspired protest in Mumbai, participating in a political movement felt like finding their identity. One year later, after riots in Delhi, a deeply flawed investigation into the communal violence and Covid-19 pandemic putting a halt to public sit-ins, returns to speak to some of those who participated in this truly remarkable moment in Indian history.“Where is Sultana? Her husband is here to see her.”It was early Feb. Sultana (name changed), a housewife in her 30s, was sitting with over 200 other women at Mumbai Bagh when she heard her name being repeatedly called out in the crowd. Women were directing a man towards her. As he got closer, she heard their words more clearly: “He is Sultana’s husband. Sultana’s husband is here.”By the time he reached her, she was overcome by silent tears of joy. All her adult life, she had been identified in public as his wife, with her own name erased. But at the Mumbai Bagh protest, for the first time, the tables had turned. Sultana could have been speaking for every woman at Mumbai Bagh and every Muslim who participated in protests against CAA across India from Dec.2019 to March 2020.


Delhi riots: No investigation done, says court; gives owner of School Faisal Farooq bail

A Delhi court has granted bail to Faisal Farooq, owner of Rajdhani Public School, arrested in connection to a northeast Delhi riots case in the Dayalpur area. The court said that until June, virtually no investigation was done in the matter and after the accused was granted bail in another case, statements of witnesses were hurriedly recorded whose veracity will be tested at the time of the trial. Farooq, however, will continue to stay in jail in connection to another matter in which the Delhi high court had dismissed his bail plea.Additional sessions judge Vinod Yadav granted bail to Farooq for a bail bond of ₹20,000 saying that though Farooq had been in jail for a considerable period, the police had hardly brought on record any material against him for criminal conspiracy.During the hearing, Farooq’s counsel argued that he was falsely in the matter.


'Belief in Media Reports Means End of Rule of Law': Govt Counsel in Delhi Riots Case

New Delhi: Special public prosecutor, Amit Prasad, appearing for Delhi police in connection with a Delhi riots case observed that if the investigation, prosecution and the country were to go by what was being reported by the media, then it was the “end of rule of law” in India.Coming down heavily on the media, he accused it of picking up “narratives” peddled by the accused.“Instead of investigating agency doing the investigation, the accused would rather use all the contemporaneous media reports to make the court believe that what they are saying was correct,” he said in a snide remark, according to a report by New Indian Express. These comments were made on behalf of Delhi police at a Delhi court while opposing the bail application of Pinjra Tod member and JNU student Devangana Kalita in connection with Delhi riots case. Kalita is facing stringent UAPA for her alleged role in the conspiracy that led to the riots.The prosecution told the court that Kalita was creating “narratives” to blame BJP leader Kapil Mishra for Delhi riots, and the same was being spread virally to make people believe that it was indeed the truth.The court scheduled the next hearing in the case on December 16.


NRC: Declared a foreigner, 104-year-old man in Assam dies before being able to prove Indian citizenship

A 104-year-old man in Assam, who was declared a foreigner by a tribunal in 2018, died before being able to prove his Indian citizenship, HT reported. Chandradhar Das died at his home in Cachar district’s Amraghat area on Sunday night. He suffered a heart attack, according to Indian Express.Das’s three children and grandchildren were left out of NRC  for Assam because of his citizenship status.Chandradhar Das’s daughter Nyuti Das told Indian Express that all he wanted was to die an Indian.


Refugee colonies recognised in Bengal, no need to fear NRC, NPR or CAA: Mamata

While addressing a rally in Jalpaiguri, West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee Tuesday said refugee colonies have been recognised in state, and no one needs to fear NRC, CAA and NPR. Banerjee also accused the BJP of trying to convert West Bengal into “riot-torn” Gujarat and dared Union government to impose President’s Rule in the state. “BJP has created a new religion of riots and hatred among communities,” she alleged. TMC supremo reiterated that BJP national president J P Nadda’s convoy was not attacked and wondered why “convicted criminals” were accompanying him. “If BJP and the central government think they can scare us by bringing in central forces and transferring state cadre officers, they are wrong. The Centre is summoning our officers… No one wanted to hurt him (Nadda) or his convoy,” Banerjee said.


UP ‘love jihad’ law: 22-year-old tells court she is major, goes with man’s family

The woman who was taken to a shelter home in Moradabad by Uttar Pradesh Police on Saturday after arresting the man she was with under anti-conversion law passed last month, returned to his home on Monday. Pinki was allowed to leave after she told a magistrate that she and Rashid Ali, 22, got married back in July, and that she was 22 and wanted to go with his family. Speaking to reporters after the arrest of Rashid, on Saturday, Pinki, who is 3 months pregnant, had said the 2 of them were going to get their marriage registered when the police caught them. Rashid’s elder brother Saleem, 25, who was with them was also arrested. The police said Pinki had no proof of the marriage, and that they were acting on a complaint by Pinki’s mother that Rashid had forcibly converted and married her daughter.While Rashid and Saleem continue to be in jail under Uttar Pradesh Prohibition of Unlawful Conversion of Religion Ordinance, 2020, Moradabad police said they would seek legal opinion on Pinki’s statement, including that she was a major and that the wedding took place before the new law was passed, to decide what to do.”police said.


'Love Jihad' Arrest: Bride Sticks to Miscarriage Claim; 'Foetus Fine,' Says Govt Hospital Doctor

Moradabad woman whose husband was held under the newly passed ‘love jihad’ law in Uttar Pradesh has held that she has indeed suffered a miscarriage after having been moved to a shelter home by authorities, amidst claims by police and doctors that the foetus she is carrying is fine.In a video shared by TOI journalist Kanwardeep Singh, 22-year-old Pinki – who became Muskan Jahan after converting – can be heard saying in Hindi that she was tortured at the women’s shelter. Uttar Pradesh police arrested her husband and brother-in-law under he Uttar Pradesh Prohibition of Unlawful Conversion of Religion Ordinance, 2020, on December 5 and took her to the shelter on the same date.


Opposition parties in UP to fight against new ‘love jihad’ law

Opposition parties in Uttar Pradesh are opposed to the harassment of people in the state in the name of ‘love jihad’ by the Yogi Government.As many as seven cases have been filed since Nov.29 when UP Governor approved the ordinance brought by Yogi Govt. Several marriages have been stopped on the pretext of violation of law and in some cases the groom and other members of the baraat were arrested.Shocked by these incidents, opposition parties made it clear that they would fight for innocent people being harassed in the name of ‘love jihad’. UPCC president Ajay Kumar Lalloo has criticised UP govt for bringing laws in the name of love jihad to harass innocent persons.Veteran Congress leader and member of CWC Pramod Tewari said that UP govt was trying to create an atmosphere to make ‘love jihad’ a political issue through this ordinance. Tewari said that Yogi had failed to stop sexual crimes against women in the state and demanded that strong measures should be taken in this direction. Similarly, Samajwadi Party national president Akhliesh Yadav said his party was against laws made in the name of ‘love jihad’. He said while on one hand the state government was giving an award of Rs 50,000 to promote inter-caste and inter-religion marriages and on the hand it had brought a law to stop such marriages. Significantly enough, national president of BSP Mayawati also asked UP govt to reconsider its decision to bring such laws.



Facebook ‘under tremendous political pressure’ to manage content:top official

New Delhi: Even as Facebook continues to draw flak for not doing enough to control hate speech on its platform, a senior executive of the social media giant Tuesday said the company is “under tremendous political pressure” to manage content, especially hate speech, particularly when it’s not illegal.“When it comes to hate speech, and particularly speech which is not illegal… Facebook is a company being put under tremendous political pressure, whether it’s in India or elsewhere, by people who have different views and often conflicting views about what should and shouldn’t be circulating freely on the internet even though it is legal,” said Nick Clegg, Facebook global affairs and communications vice-president. Clegg, who has previously served as the deputy prime minister of the United Kingdom, was responding to a query from Carnegie India director Rudra Chaudhuri during an online discussion at a 2-day Facebook event, ‘Facebook Fuel for India 2020’.


Mukesh Ambani, Mark Zuckerberg Discuss WhatsApp-Jio Impact On India

Reliance Industries Chairman Mukesh Ambani had a conversation with Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg at the internet major's Fuel for India 2020 event. "We are looking forward for your involvement in India... I hope the rest of the world learns from Indian policy," Asia's richest man, Mukesh Ambani, told the Facebook CEO in a virtual interaction. "How grateful I am for everything that you and your companies do in our partnership... I am incredibly grateful for your partnership in this. Thank you," Mark Zuckerberg told Mr Ambani. In April this year, Facebook had announced an investment of $5.7 billion (Rs 43,574 crore) in Jio Platforms, the digital services arm of India's most valuable company,


Spyware Pegasus Row Echoes in SC in Challenge to WhatsApp Payment Services

NEW DELHI – WhatsApp-Pegasus controversy came up before the Supreme Court on Monday during the hearing of a plea seeking protection of data of transactions made over UPIs.Senior advocate Krishnan Venugopal, representing CPI Rajya Sabha member Binoy Viswam, submitted before a bench headed by CJI S. A. Bobde that against the backdrop of WhatsApp-Pegasus controversy, the system used by WhatsApp is not secure and reliable to allow it to launch payment services. Last year, the WhatsApp Pegasus spyware controversy had raised the issue of user privacy on smartphones.Citing Venugopal’s submission, Chief Justice told senior advocate Kapil Sibal, representing WhatsApp, that: “Krishnan Venugopal has made a serious allegation that your system (WhatsApp) can be hacked by something called ‘Pegasus’.”IANS


SC Junks UP Police's Closure Report in a 2015 Murder Case Involving a BJP MLA

 In a blow to the Uttar Pradesh police, the Supreme Court on Monday reopened a 2015 murder case involving BJP MLA Sushil Singh as an accused after a closure report had been filed in the case.Terming the probe as a mere “sham”, a bench of Justices Rohinton Nariman, Navin Sinha and Krishna Murari came down heavily on the state police, observing that the investigation had been carried out only “to conceal more than to investigate”.The court issued an order constituting a SIT headed by IPS officer, Satyarth Anirudh Pankaj, to restart the probe. SIT will submit its report in two months.


Minority Scholarship scam: Jharkhand CM grants approval for probe into fraud

Ranchi :Clearing the way for a statewide probe based on the findings of an investigation by The Indian Express, Jharkhand Chief Minister Hemant Soren has “given his approval” for the state’s Anti-Corruption Bureau (ACB) to initiate a Preliminary Enquiry (PE) into the Pre-Matric scholarship scam in which poor minority students were duped by a nexus of middlemen, school authorities, state officials, and bank staff.“CM (as Cabinet Minister in charge of Vigilance) has given his approval for ACB to investigate the Ministry of Minority Affairs-run Pre-Matric Scholarship Scam. ACB will investigate the irregularities in pre-matric, post matric, merit-cum-means scholarship schemes and submit its initial report,” the Chief Minister’s Secretariat said in a press release issued Monday.


J&K students say maintenance fund under PM scholarship plan not being disbursed

New Delhi: Beneficiaries of the Prime Ministers Special Scholarship Scheme (PMSSS) have complained that they have not been receiving their monthly maintenance, as colleges are shut down since April due to the pandemic.PMSSS is a scholarship awarded to students from Jammu and Kashmir and Ladakh region when they seek admission in a college or university outside J&K. It is a fully funded scholarship that covers tuition fee and other charges.Apart from tuition fee, which depends on the course, beneficiaries receive Rs 1 lakh as annual maintenance. Of this, Rs 20,000 is paid at the beginning of the session and the rest in the form of eight monthly instalments of Rs 10,000. This amount is meant for expenses like books, living, among others. All India Council for Technical Education (AICTE) manages the scholarship.


AIUTC Petitions PM Modi; Seeks Equal Treatment For Unani System Of Medicine, Separate Seat In NCISM

NEW DELHI: All India Unani Tibbi Congress (AIUTC) has sent SOS to Prime Minister Narendra Modi urging him to bring Unani System of Medicine at par with Ayurveda and a separate seat in National Commission of Indian System of Medicine (NCISM). In a letter to PM, National President of AIUTC Prof Mushtaq Ahmad said Modi’s `Sab ka Saath. Sab Ka Vikas’, need to find its place in dealing with the AYUSH system of medicine by providing all branches with equal opportunity for growth and practice.“Traditional Indian system of medicine has received extra attention of the govt and prime minister has himself on many occasions advocated the practice of AYUSH system of medicine to their full potential and to promote these systems through scientific research and quality education,” he said.Demanding representation in NCISM, he said the commission is to be constituted by the government of India in accordance with NCISM Bill passed by both the Houses of Parliament to replace the IMCC Act of 1970.India Tomorrow


Bhima Koregaon: NIA opposes Stan Swamy’s bail plea, claims he was part of ‘deep-rooted conspiracy’

NIA  on Monday opposed the bail plea filed by tribal rights activist Stan Swamy, and alleged that the 83-year-old was part of the alleged conspiracy to instigate violence in 2017, PTI reported. Swamy was arrested on October 8 in connection with Bhima Koregaon case.NIA, in an affidavit filed through special public prosecutor Prakash Shetty in a special court, claimed that it had sufficient evidence to prima facie prove that the accused was involved in the “deep-rooted conspiracy”. It alleged that Swamy was also directly involved in the Maoists’ movement. During the hearing on Monday, Swamy’s counsel – Sudeep Pasbola and Sharif Shaikh – told the court that a huge amount of data was collected from the activist at the time of his arrest. Yet, the amount of data cloned and provided to him was only eight terabytes, reported Indian Express.


TRP scam: Republic TV CEO Vikas Khanchandani sent to 14-day judicial custody

A magistrate court in Mumbai on Tuesday remanded Republic TV Chief Executive Officer Vikas Khanchandani to judicial custody for 14 days in connection with the investigation into the alleged television rating manipulation scam, reported Bar and Bench.Khanchandani was arrested on December 13. He is the 13th person to be held by the Mumbai Police in the case.



Notices against Arnab, Kangana: Privileges panel gets more time

Maharashtra Assembly on Tuesday extended time for the privileges committee to submit its report on breach of privilege notices against Republic TV’s Editor-in-Chief Arnab Goswami and actress Kangana Ranaut till the last day of the next Legislature session.Shiv Sena MLA Pratap Sarnaik submitted the breach of privilege notices against Goswami and Ranaut to the office of the state Assembly speaker on September 7.Sarnaik had a spat with Ranaut in the past after she compared Mumbai to PoK.PTI


J&K govt identifies land for Kashmir’s first Sainik colony to house Valley’s ex-servicemen

Srinagar: Jammu and Kashmir government has identified 200 kanals or 25 acre land in Budgam district to set up Kashmir’s first Sainik colony, ThePrint has learnt.The colony, according to a senior J&K government officer, is being primarily set up to provide housing facilities to retired armed forces personnel and their families belonging to the union territory. The colony will also cater to widows and families of deceased personnel of the armed forces. 3 Sainik colonies already exist in Jammu division, but plans to establish a similar housing facility in the Valley didn’t take off earlier due to opposition from political parties and separatist outfits, senior J&K government officials said.



AAP will contest 2022 U.P. Assembly elections: Kejriwal

Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal on Tuesday announced that AAP will contest Uttar Pradesh Assembly polls in 2022. Kejriwal, who is AAP’s national convener, slammed the political parties in UP, accusing them of stabbing the people in the back.PTI


US court terminates $100-million lawsuit against PM Modi, Amit Shah

A US court has dismissed a USD 100-million lawsuit filed against Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Union Home Minister Amit Shah after the litigants - a separatist Kashmir Khalistan outfit and two associates - failed to appear before it at two scheduled hearings. The suit was filed on September 19, 2019, days before Mr Modi’s historic “Howdy, Modi!” event in Houston, Texas. It challenged the Indian Parliament’s decision on Jammu and Kashmir that abrogated the special privileges of the State and carved out two Union Territories and sought a compensation of $100 million from Mr Modi, Mr Shah and Lt. Gen. Kanwal Jeet Singh Dhillon. Gen. Dhillon is currently serving as the Director-General Defence Intelligence Agency and Deputy Chief of Integrated Defence Staff under the Chief of Defence Staff.PTI



Cold wave grips Delhi, at 4.1 records lowest temperature of season

A cold wave gripped Delhi on Tuesday as icy winds blowing from the snow-covered western Himalayas brought the minimum temperature down to 4.1 degrees Celsius, the lowest in the city this season so far, IMD said.For the plains, IMD declares a cold wave when the minimum temperature is 10 degrees Celsius or below and is 4.5 notches less than the normal for two consecutive days.PTI





India’s vaccination plan: Electoral rolls, 5-member teams, monitoring for adverse events

India’s massive immunisation programme against the coronavirus will involve five-member vaccination teams inoculating 100 to 200 people in each session per day, internet-enabled sites, and using the latest electoral roll to identify priority population over the age of 50, PTI reported on Monday, citing the operational guidelines issued by the health ministry to states.Experts said that vaccinating a billion people, including hundreds of millions of adults for the first time, against Covid-19 would be a daunting task in the first tranche. 113-page guideline document explores how best to deploy the vaccine whenever it is authorised for use in the country, according to NDTV. The health ministry in its document stated that a vaccine will be offered first to frontline healthcare workers and to persons above 50, followed by persons younger than 50 with associated co-morbidities based on evolving situation of the coronavirus pandemic. It added that a dose will be administered finally to the remaining population, based on the disease epidemiology and the availability of vaccines.


Fake coronavirus vaccines flood darknet, sell for $250

BENGALURU: With a vaccine now appearing the only way to beat the pandemic, the darknet has been flooded with hundreds of domains promising ‘vaccines’ at a price — in some cases for as much as $250. In its latest report, Check Point Research, a global cyber security firm, has found a stream of posts on the internet from sources claiming to have a range of ‘coronavirus vaccines’ or remedies for sale.


Islamic preacher Tariq Jameel tests Covid-19 positive

Popular TV Islamic preacher of Pakistan Maulana Tariq Jameel has been hospitalised after testing positive for coronavirus.67-year-old Jamil, who was hospitalised on Sunday, announced on his Twitter account “I was not feeling well from the last few days and on getting tested for Covid-19, it came positive and was admitted to the hospital on the advice of the doctors.” He requested his well-wishers to pray for him.Pakistan Prime Minister Imran Khan also took to Twitter to wish fast recovery to well-known TV personality, he wrote, "Praying for Maulana Tariq Jamil's speedy and full recovery from Covid-19." UNI


Saudi begins registering people for COVID vaccination: Live news

Saudi Arabia’s health ministry has begun registering citizens and foreign residents for vaccination against COVID-19, the country’s state agency said.The head of the United Nations children’s agency, Henrietta Fore, has said teachers should be “prioritised to receive the COVID-19 vaccine, once front-line health personnel and high-risk populations are vaccinated”.Meanwhile, Canada has become the third nation to administer the Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine after the United Kingdom and the United States kicked off their inoculation campaigns against COVID-19 by injecting front-line healthcare workers and elderly nursing home residents.


Official: Iran-made COVID-19 vaccine could be ready by July

Iran will be ready to administer a locally produced coronavirus vaccine on high-risk patients by July, if the results of the vaccine's clinical trials are positive in January, a health ministry official said."Four local companies are currently working to produce a vaccine for coronavirus and the companies' products will begin the clinical trials phase in early January." a spokeswoman for the Ministry of Health and Medical Education, Dr. Sima Sadat Lari, said in a statement.




Moroccan authorities prevent protest against ties with Israel in Rabat

Moroccan authorities on Monday prevented a protest in the capital Rabat against the kingdom's move to normalise ties with Israel following a deal brokered by US President Donald Trump. A heavy police presence backed by water cannons and anti-riot forces deployed in the main avenue leading to parliament square, where a group of pro-Palestinian rights organisations had planned the sit-in. Police prevented demonstrators from reaching the square.Two prominent activists, Sion Assidon, Morocco coordinator for the international Boycott, Divestment, Sanctions (BDS) movement, and lawyer Abderrahman Ben Amrou, were escorted away by authorities and asked to leave the area.On Thursday, Morocco's King Mohammed VI announced that official bilateral ties and diplomatic relations with Israel were to be established “as soon as possible,” according to a statement issued by the royal court. "Unfortunately, political normalisation... comes after a long process of economic, agricultural, tourism and academic ties," Assidon, a Moroccan Jew, told Reuters.


Morocco party:  Our sovereignty over Western Sahara is not at expense of Palestine

Morocco's Justice and Development Party said on Saturday that working to consolidate "Moroccan sovereignty over the Western Sahara" would not be at the expense of the Palestinian people's struggle for their legitimate rights.In a statement, the party's general secretariat praised the decisions of the Moroccan monarch who last week agreed to normalise ties with the occupation state of Israel in return for US recognition of Rabat's sovereignty over the Western Sahara.America's acknowledgement of Morocco's authority was an "important declaration" that affirms "Morocco's sovereignty over its southern provinces, opens new horizons for strengthening the Moroccan position in international circles, and increases the isolation of opponents of territorial integrity", the statement continued.


Arab League: Israel's annexation of Golan Heights 'null and void'

Israel's annexation of the occupied Syrian Golan Heights "is null and void and has no legal standing," Arab news agencies reported the Arab League saying.In a statement the Assistant Secretary-General and head of the Palestinian and Occupied Arab Territories Sector at Arab League, Dr. Saeed Abu Ali, reiterated that the continuation of the Israeli occupation of Arab lands poses a continuous threat to stability in the region, as well as international peace and security.Abu Ali also said that the Arab League fully supports the Syrian right to continue its calls and action to regain its occupied lands based on international resolutions which condemn Israel's occupation of this region.


Russia: Arab normalisation with Israel should not be at the expense of Palestinians

Russian Foreign Minister Serge Lavrov renewed his country's position that the normalisation of ties between Israel and Arab regimes should not be at the expense of the Palestinian cause, news agencies reported.During a joint press conference held with his UAE counterpart Abdullah Bin Zayid Al-Nahyan, Lavrov said: "Russia continuously reiterates its official stance that the Palestinian cause must not be marginalised or forgotten.""The Palestinian cause must be resolved based on the UN resolutions which guarantee the creation of a Palestinian state that lives in peace and security."


Shackled and bedbound: How Israel treats hospitalised Palestinian prisoners

When Munir Moqbel secretly snapped photos of his son, 16-year-old Mohammad, handcuffed to a hospital bed in Jerusalem, the images sparked renewed outrage on social media over the treatment of injured and sick detained Palestinians by Israeli forces. During an Israeli military raid on al-Arroub refugee camp, north of city of Hebron in southern occupied West Bank, on 29 Nov,Israeli soldiers arrested and beat Mohammad severely; the teenager sustained four fractures on the left side of his jaw.Some 20 hours after his arrest, Mohammad was transferred to hospital for treatment. In June, Israeli prison administration amended its internal regulations on shackling sick or injured Palestinian prisoners. Naji Abbas, case manager in the prisoners department at NGO Physicians for Human Rights (PHR), explained that there are currently no regulations on this issue. “This means that every prisoner who is transferred for treatment is shackled, regardless of their health condition,” he explained. In Oct., PHR called for Israel to re-establish rules regulating placing handcuffs on prisoners who are receiving medical treatment. The group received a brief response on 13 Dec.from the prison administration, which stated that it was in the process of establishing new regulations. "We do not know if the new rules will include a change in dealing with sick prisoners during their transfer for hospital treatment,” Abbas said.


Israel demolishes wall at Islamic cemetery in Jerusalem

Israeli occupation's Jerusalem Municipality yesterday raided an Islamic cemetery in the occupied holy city, Palestinian sources reported.Municipal teams, along with Israeli soldiers and bulldozers, demolished the wall and stairs in the northern part of the Al-Yusufiye Cemetery to make a garden in the area, Executive Director of the Commission for Protection of Muslim Graves Ahmed Al-Dajani told Anadolu Agency. Al-Dajani called on the Israeli authorities to halt their attacks on Muslim sites in the region, stressing that this cemetery is an Islamic one and part of the Islamic endowments in the holy city.


Calls for UAE, Bahrain not to share platform with Israeli Nakba denier

Over 100 Muslim scholars and organisations in Britain have signed an open letter calling upon the ambassadors of UAE and Bahrain to demand they withdraw from sharing a platform with a Nakba denier, Tzipi Hotovely, the Israeli Ambassador. 3 ambassadors are due to share a virtual platform today as part of an event being held as a result of the ongoing normalisation of the Israeli occupation of Palestine.


Hamas will not concede an inch of Palestinian land, official says

Hamas will not concede one inch of the land of Palestine, member of Hamas' political bureau, Mahmoud Al-Zahar, said.Al-Zahar said in an interview with Dunia Al-Watan news site that Hamas has participated in the legislative elections as a "necessity" to change the reality and make reforms."Hamas did not accept the international quartet's demands and give up its principles and objectives," he said, adding that this was a sign of "success". The movement's actions, he explained, had ensured that Gaza and the West Bank remained part of one state and were not separated.


Qatar reiterates stance ‘in supporting Palestinian people’

Qatar has reiterated its stance “in supporting the Palestinian people and their just cause” just days after Morocco became the latest country to announce a normalisation of ties with Israel.In a meeting with Palestinian Authority (PA) President Mahmoud Abbas in Doha on Monday, Qatar’s Emir Sheikh Tamim bin Hamad Al Thani confirmed Qatar’s stance on supporting peace on the basis of the Arab Peace Initiative, the two-state solution and legitimate international resolutions.In a tweet, Sheikh Tamim also “emphasised the importance of unity among the Palestinian ranks”.Abbas’s visit came at a time when a number of Arab countries have normalised relations with Israel, including Gulf states UAE and Bahrain.



Afghanistan: Kabul’s deputy governor killed in IED blast

Kabul’s deputy governor and his assistant have been killed in a blast in Afghanistan, police say, adding that a sticky bomb was attached to his car by unknown assailants. Deputy Governor Mahboobullah Mohebi was travelling to work on Tuesday with his security guards when a bomb attached to his vehicle detonated, the interior ministry said.Afghanistan’s TOLO news, quoting Kabul police, reported on Twitter that “Mohibullah Mohammadi, the deputy governor of Kabul, and his secretary were killed in a blast from an IED placed on their vehicle”. No group has claimed responsibility for the blast in which two of Mohebi’s guards were also injured.



Bosnia’s Muslim, Croat leaders snub Russia’s Sergey Lavrov

Bosnia and Herzegovina’s Muslim and Croat representatives in the country’s three-member presidency on Tuesday boycotted a meeting with Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov, a major snub to Moscow’s top diplomat.On his second day of the two-day visit to Bosnia, Lavrov was due to hold talks with all three presidency members, including Sefik Dzaferovic, a Muslim, and Zeljko Komsic, a Croat. Only the Serb member, Milorad Dodik, showed up.


'Democracy Prevailed': US Electoral College Confirms Biden's Victory

 President-elect Joe Biden delivered a forceful rebuke, on Monday, to President Donald Trump’s attacks on the legitimacy of his victory, hours after winning the state-by-state Electoral College vote that officially determines the US presidency.“In this battle for the soul of America, democracy prevailed…Now it’s time to turn the page, as we’ve done throughout our history – to unite, to heal,” Biden said in a prime-time speech from his hometown of Wilmington, Delaware.Monday’s vote, typically a formality, assumed outsized significance in light of Trump’s extraordinary effort to subvert the process due to what he has falsely alleged was widespread voter fraud in the November 3rd election.California, the most-populous US state, put Biden over the 270 votes needed to win the Electoral College when its 55 electors unanimously cast ballots for him and his running mate, Kamala Harris. Biden and Harris – the first woman, first Black person and first Asian American to become vice president-elect – will be sworn in on January 20th.



US elections: Muslims in state of Georgia mobilise for Senate runoff

Ahead of the consequential US Senate race in Georgia next month, Muslim organisers and community members in the state are coming together to mobilise Muslims to vote for the upcoming election, which will decide which political party will have a majority in the Congress. On Sunday, Georgia Muslim Voter Project (GMVP) and the Council of American-Islamic Relations' (CAIR) Georgia chapter hosted an online event on Muslim voter engagement in the state, bringing together elected officials and religious leaders to talk about the importance of the Senate race. Early voting began for the election on Monday, where Democratic candidates Raphael Warnock and Jon Ossof face Republicans Kelly Loeffler and David Perdue.


US sanctions on Turkey harm alliance: Defense minister Hulusi Akar

US decision to impose sanctions on Turkey has deeply shaken alliance values between the two countries, said the country’s defense minister on Tuesday, denouncing the move.“We condemn this decision, which does not comply with alliance, current military, or political realities,” Hulusi Akar told Anadolu Agency. US on Monday imposed sanctions on Turkey over its purchase of the Russian S-400 missile defense system.“This sanction decision has shaken all values of alliance between our countries,” Akar stressed.Highlighting the air and missile threats that Turkey faces, he said the country is taking all measures to protect itself and its people.“Obviously, sanctions on a NATO member country will not only undermine the spirit of alliance, but will deeply undermine trust among allies,” he said.Akar said Turkey will continue its determined efforts to ensure the country’s security and urged Washington to return to cooperating with Ankara.


Iran: US move against Turkey shows addiction to sanctions

The latest US move against Turkey is yet another display of its "addiction to sanctions and contempt for international law," Iran's foreign minister said today, Anadolu Agency reports."We strongly condemn recent U.S. sanctions against Turkey and stand with its people and government," Javad Zarif said on Twitter, using hashtag "#NeighborsFirst."Tehran's criticism came after the US Treasury Department imposed sanctions on Turkey over its purchase of the Russian S-400 missile defence system.The sanctions, coming under the Countering America's Adversaries Through Sanctions Act (CAATSA), target Turkey's Presidency of Defence Industries (SSB), including its head Ismail Demir and three other officials.


RSF: Egypt, Saudi, Syria among world's biggest jailers of journalists

Reporters Sans Frontiers (RSF) has revealed that China, Egypt, Saudi Arabia, Vietnam and Syria are the world's biggest jailers of journalists for the second year.In a report the organisation stated that the number of journalists in prison this year is just two less than it was this time last year, when the number stood at 389."This means that the number of journalists held worldwide is still at a historically high level," it said, adding: "More than half (61%) are held in just five countries."



ICC prosecutor rejects Uighur genocide complaint against China

International Criminal Court (ICC) prosecutors have rejected calls by exiled Uighurs to investigate China for alleged genocide and crimes against humanity, in a blow to the Muslim-minority group in Xinjiang.The Uighurs handed a huge dossier of evidence to the court in July accusing China of locking more than one million Uighurs and other mostly Muslim minorities in re-education camps and of forcibly sterilising women.But the office of prosecutor Fatou Bensouda said in a report on Monday that it was unable to act because the alleged acts happened on the territory of China, which is not a signatory to The Hague-based ICC.






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When Sardar Patel Took on the 'Forces of Hate' and Banned RSS:thewire







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