13 December 2020

Farmers to stage fast, sit on dharna at all Delhi borders on Monday. Jamaat-e-Islami Hind Extends Support to Farmers' Protest. · UP ordinance on inter-faith marriage, conversion motivated by communal agenda to reap electoral benefits: PIL in High Court. · With Polls Imminent in Assam and Bengal, BJP Is Now Dragging Its Feet on CAA



13-12-2020, 18:55 IST


·        Farmers' Protest updates: Farmers to stage fast, sit on dharna at all Delhi borders on Monday

·        Jamaat-e-Islami Hind Extends Support to Farmers' Protest, Says Farm Laws Being Changed to Favour Corporates

·        Ugrahan wears his politics on his sleeve: ‘Called us Pak, now Naxals’

·        ‘Burn effigies of Modi-Ambani-Adani and boycott Ambani-Adani products’

·        UP ordinance on inter-faith marriage, conversion motivated by communal agenda to reap electoral benefits: PIL in Allahabad High Court

·        With Polls Imminent in Assam and Bengal, BJP Is Now Dragging Its Feet on CAA

·        Hunger Index Among Poor in 11 States Continues to Be Dire Post-Lockdown: Survey

·        Covid-19 vaccination in India may start in Jan, expect normal life to return by Oct: Serum Institute of India CEO Adar Poonawalla

·        US adopts map of Morocco that includes disputed Western Sahara

·        Israel and Bhutan establish diplomatic relations


·        First appearance of acting Muslim Brotherhood supreme guide Ezzat after 4 months in prison





Farmers' Protest updates: Farmers to stage fast, sit on dharna at all Delhi borders on Monday

Delhi-Jaipur highway has been partially opened after a three-hour closure that started as farmers began a tractor march from Shahjahanpur on the Rajasthan-Haryana border as part of their escalating 18-day protest against the Centre's contentious farm laws. A highway was opened as farmers removed blockade from the Delhi-Noida border at Chilla. Thousands of farmers on way to Delhi, meanwhile, reached the Rewari border of Haryana, where the police blocked both sides of the Delhi-Jaipur highway to stop them from entering the state. A nationwide protest has been planned for tomorrow against the laws which farmers say will shrink their income and give private firms the upper hand in purchase of produce. During a press conference at Delhi-Haryana Singhu Border, farmer leader Gurnam Singh Chaduni Sunday announced that heads of all farm unions will hold fast from 8 am till 5 pm Monday. “Govt agencies have been stopping farmers from reaching Delhi, our protests will continue till our demands met,” said farmer leader Shiv Kumar Kakka.  Earlier in the day, Union ministers Narendra Singh Tomar and Som Parkash met Home Minister Amit Shah on Sunday amidst farmers’ protests against the Centre’s three agriculture laws, PTI reported. The ministers were accompanied by BJP leaders from Punjab. Tomar and Parkash, along with their ministerial colleague Piyush Goyal, had led the government’s negotiations with the protesting farmers. Delhi Police on Sunday stepped up vigil on the national capital’s border with Haryana as farmers plan to block Jaipur National Highway-8, which passes through Gurgaon, as part of their protest against Centre’s new farm laws, PTI reported. A day after Railway Minister Piyush Goyal said the farmers’ agitation has been “infiltrated by Leftist and Maoist elements”, Union minister Ramdas Athawale said it is important to inquire if such people have entered who have no relation with the farmers’ protest.



Jamaat-e-Islami Hind Extends Support to Farmers' Protest, Says Farm Laws Being Changed to Favour Corporates

New Delhi: Jamaat-e-Islami Hind (JIH) Saturday extended its support to the ongoing farmers'' protest against the three newly elected agriculture-related legislations, and alleged the country''s farming laws are being changed to favour multinationals and corporates. The JIH supports the ongoing protest by farmers against the new farm laws enacted by the Centre, the Islamic body''s vice president Mohammad Saleem Engineer told a press conference. The three laws concerning contract farming and essential items were passed "hastily" without consultation, and by "bypassing" the parliamentary norm, he charged. "It is a part of the plan to amend the agriculture laws of the country to the interest of the multinationals and corporates," Engineer claimed.  The JIH vice president also "condemned" the Uttar Pradesh government''s ordinance on inter-religion marriages, saying it was "targeted" against one community.The ordinance is against the Constitution, as it attempts to divide the society on the basis of religion," Engineer said. News18/outlook India/ The Week/PTI



Ugrahan wears his politics on his sleeve: ‘Called us Pak, now Naxals’

Alleging that the farmer protests are being hijacked by the hard Left and “Maoist” elements, Union Minister Piyush Goyal, addressing the FICCI AGM Saturday, did not name anyone. It was an apparent reference to 75-year-old-year-old Joginder Singh Ugrahan and his Bharatiya Kisan Union (Ekta Ugrahan).At its transit camp, a gaushala abutting a temple 7 km from the Tikri border, posters of jailed human rights activists arrested in the Bhima Koregaon case lie stacked near the entrance – on December 10, the Human Rights Day, Ugrahan’s colleagues and supporters had held posters of those in jail and demanded their release, drawing sharp reactions from the ruling BJP and other farmer leaders.Ask him about the allegations and Ugrahan, who formed his outfit in 2002 after breaking away from BKU (Ekta), remains unchanged and unflinching. He makes no bones that he wears his protest politics on his sleeve — he joined the Shaheen Bagh protests last winter.“First they called us Khalistani, then they called us Pakistani, now we are called Naxals. The language keeps changing, but there is no let-up in the attacks. And the same people harp on the importance of dialogue,” Ugrahan told Sunday Express.He took the surname from his village in Punjab’s Sangrur district and served in the Indian Army before returning to his 5-acre holding.



‘Burn effigies of Modi-Ambani-Adani and boycott Ambani-Adani products’

New Delhi: As the protesting farmers’ sit-in enters in 17th day, civil society groups on Saturday called upon people to make All India Protest Day on 14th Dec.a grand success. They urged people to burn and boycott  products of Ambani-Adani and gherao of BJP offices and leaders on the protest day.While expressing complete solidarity with the struggling farmers against corporatization of agriculture, workers union AICCTU said farmers need all out support from the masses that have been fighting a just. It underlined that the farmers have categorically rejected the govt proposals in writing and demanded scrapping of anti-farmer Farm Laws.AICCTU alleged that Modi govt’s proposals favour only corporate profit at the cost of Indian farmers and the new laws make the cultivation unprofitable and unsustainable.“They want the entire farming community to be subservient to Indian ruling corporate capital. The laws are aimed at displacing farming community from agricultural operation and at handing over them on a platter to corporate sharks like Ambani and Adani and finish right to food security.” It said the movement is correctly directed towards burning and boycotting of Ambani-Adani products and gherao of BJP offices and leaders and to defeat the “Company Raj led by Modi government of BJP-RSS”.“AICCTU extends wholehearted support and solidarity to block Highways on 12th and burning of effigies of Modi-Adani-Ambani combine, where ever possible, on 14th, the all India protest Day”, it added.Meanwhile, women Organisations also made call for wider participation in Dharna on 14th Dec. with the farmers. Annie Raja of NFIW,  Mariam Dhawale of AIDWA, Kavita Krishnan of AIPWA, Chhabi Mohanti of  AIMSS  ,Poonam  Kaushik of  PMS and Meetali Gupta of  AISMS issued a joint statement in support of December 14 Protest Day call.MuslimMirror


Homemaker, farmworker and now protester, hundreds of women join farmers’ agitation

They have long juggled the demands of field and family, making sure both are tended to, and now hundreds of women from Haryana and Punjab have added another dimension to their busy lives the protest grounds at the various gateways into Delhi.As their husbands, sons and brothers leave home to demand a rollback of the Centre’s new Agri laws, many women are joining them too, making the trip from the village towards the national capital even if for only a few days at a time. For these women, who describe themselves as homemakers, farmworkers and protesters all rolled into one, any suggestion that farmers are about being alpha males because it requires physical labour is met with scorn.PTI



Top Punjab police officer resigns to show support for protesting farmers

Punjab DIG(Prisons) Lakhminder Singh Jakhar resigned from his position on Saturday to show support for the farmers protesting against the Centre’s agricultural laws, ANI reported.Jakhar wrote a letter to Punjab’s principal secretary (home), asking to be considered for premature retirement from service. “I’d like to inform you of my considered decision to stand with my farmer brothers who’re peacefully protesting against farm laws,” he said.


Kejriwal says will fast in support of farmers tomorrow, urges AAP workers to do the same

Delhi chief minister Arvind Kerjiwal on Sunday said he will hold one-day fast on Monday in support of farmers protesting the 3 farm laws and urged the workers and supporters of his AAP to join him.Kejriwal also urged the central government to roll back the three contentious farm laws which were passed by the Parliament in September, and demanded a new Bill to ensure minimum support prices for farmers – currently a policy issue – be drafted and tabled in the Parliament.



AAP Leaders Raghav Chadha, Atishi Detained Ahead of Protest Outside L-G, Shah's Residence

New Delhi: AAP leaders Raghav Chadha, Atishi Marlena and a few other leaders were detained by the Delhi police on Sunday ahead of a protest outside home minister Amit Shah and Lieutenant Governor Anil Baijal’s residences, reported NDTV. Party leaders Ritu Raj, Kuldeep Kumar and Sanjeev Jha were also detained, according to reports. The party was denied permission from the police to hold the protest citing the coronavirus pandemic.“…Any type of gathering is not allowed outside the residence of Hon’ble home minister of India. Your request has been considered but rejected. You are requested to co-operate with the Delhi Police,” the Delhi Police said.


"Khalistani Elements" Deface US Mahatma Gandhi Statue: Indian Embassy

Washington DC: A statue of Mahatma Gandhi was defaced in Washington DC by a group of protesters who had gathered in support of farmers agitating in India against three recently-enacted agricultural laws. Indian Embassy has alleged the involvement of "Khalistani elements" in the act since separatist flags were sighted amid the protesting crowd.An official statement said on Saturday that a strong protest had been lodged with law enforcement agencies in the US capital. The vandalised statue is located in front of the embassy.


UP ordinance on inter-faith marriage, conversion motivated by communal agenda to reap electoral benefits: PIL in Allahabad High Court

The ordinance promulgated by the UP cabinet on religious conversion and inter-faith marriages is motivated by communally divisive agendas with the object to polarise communities and reap electoral benefits, a PIL petition filed before the Allahabad High Court challenging the ordinance said. However, the ordinance governs not just inter-faith marriages but all religious conversions and lays down elaborate procedure for any person who wishes to convert to another religion.The petition filed by one Saurabh Kumar has challenged the ordinance on the ground that it is violative of privacy and individual autonomy guaranteed under Article 21 of the Constitution. The plea filed through advocates Devesh Saxena, Shashwat Anand and Vishesh Rajvanshi contends that the ordinance is both morally and constitutionally repugnant.'


UP police stops Muslim couple's wedding in Kushinagar over false 'Love Jihad' information

Uttar Pradesh police reportedly stopped a Muslim wedding on rumours of it being a love jihad affair. Cops at the Kasia police station of Kushinagar approached a Muslim household in the vicinity and stopped the wedding of a Muslim couple. The police say that it acted based on information received by a fellow village person. However, upon reaching the spot no such situation was found. It is alleged that the couple was beaten and humiliated. This has raised questions over the misuse of the newly introduced love jihad law in the state of UP.


UP: Woman Killed Allegedly By Her Brothers for Marrying Without Family's Consent

Mainpuri: A 24-year-old woman was shot dead allegedly by her brothers, and her body was buried in a field in Mainpuri district’s Faranji village, UP, the police said on Saturday.Chandni Kashyap’s body was found buried in the field on Friday after her brothers Sunil and Sudhir, and mother Sukhrani were taken into custody, they said. She had married Arjun Jatav (26), a resident of Todarpur village in UP’s Pratapgarh district, against her parents wishes at a temple on June 12, police said. Chandni and Jatav after getting married moved to Delhi where he worked at a factory. They were in a relationship for eight years before their marriage.PTI


With Polls Imminent in Assam and Bengal, BJP Is Now Dragging Its Feet on CAA

BJP National General Secretary and central observer for West Bengal Kailash Vijayvargiya on Saturday said that CAA will be implemented soon in the state, News18 reported. BJP leader, however, remained silent on the contentious NRC. “Even if the West Bengal govt opposes the implementation of CAA, we [Centre] will go ahead in implementing it,” he said at Thakurnagar in North 24 Parganas district, which is largely inhabited by the backward Matua community. “If the state supports the implementation it will be fine.”When specifically asked about NRC, Vijayvargiya replied: “We are talking about implementation of CAA here.” However, according to TOI, BJP leader clarified that there would be no NRC exercise in the state.  BJP MP from Bongaon Shantanu Thakur, who belongs to the Matua community, said people were looking forward to Union Home Minister Amit Shah announcing the implementation of CAA during his visit too Thakurnagar. Shah will visit the state on Dec.19. Bengal’s food minister and a top leader of the state’s ruling TMC, Jyoti Priya Mallick, on Dec.4, in the district of North 24-Parganas where a majority of the Dalit refugee sect Matuas reside, gave an open invitation to BJP’s MP from Bongaon and a top leader of the Matua community, Shantanu Thakur, to shun his party and join TMC. Mallick’s invitation to Thakur, in particular, was not without a reason. Thakur, who defeated his aunt Mamata Thakur – the incumbent TMC MP from Bongaon – to make his way to the parliament in 2019, has been mounting pressure on BJP for the last few months over the delay in implementing the CAA passed a year ago.Thakur’s comments from at least two public speeches have been construed as threats to the saffron party of breaking away and launching a separate political outfit if the need arises.

Senior BJP leaders, some of who are based in New Delhi, told The Wire on the condition of anonymity, that the delay in framing the rules for CAA was a result of the recent rapid developments in Assam, where assembly elections are scheduled to be held about the month before polls in Bengal, apart from litigations before the Supreme Court. BJP-led Sarbananda Sonowal govt’s tenure ends in April 2021, while the Mamata Banerjee government’s term ends in May.


Even After One Year, 204 Writ Petitions Challenging Constitutionality of CAA Pending in SC

NEW DELHI: A whopping 204 writ petitions challenging the constitutionality of CAA are pending with the Supreme Court. The Bill to the effect was passed by the Parliament this day last year on Dec.12, 2019. Even though these petitions have been pending for almost a year, there has been no substantial progress in the case. The last full hearing on the case was on March 3, 2020, in which the SC once again refused to stay the application of the controversial law and gave the Centre a further 2 weeks to respond. The matter was posted to be taken up after the Holi festival break, but because of the coronavirus related lockdown, physical hearings of the SC stopped completely and CAA related petitions were put on the back burner.Another worrying fact is the witch-hunt of anti-CAA activists in Delhi and UP.



Kafeel Khan case: UP moves SC against High Court order quashing doctor’s detention under NSA

Uttar Pradesh govt has approached the Supreme Court, seeking to challenge Allahabad High Court’s order quashing the detention of Dr Kafeel Khan under NSA, Live Law reported on Saturday. Adityanath-led government filed a special leave petition on Oct.26, and the matter is to be listed before the Supreme Court on Dec.17. In Sept., Allahabad High Court had revoked the charges under NSA against Khan. He had been in custody since Jan.29 for making allegedly inflammatory remarks during a protest against CAA at AMU in Dec.last year. The court in its order had said that Khan’s speech did not “disclose any effort to promote hatred or violence” and had termed the three extensions of his detention as illegal. The plea, which has also been joined by the Central govt, claimed that Khan has a history of committing various offences, which have led to disciplinary actions, his suspension from service, registration of First Information Reports against him and the invocation of NSA, The Leaflet reported. Responding to the petition, Khan in an email said that he had left Uttar Pradesh immediately after coming out of prison on Sept.1, since the reason cited for his detention under NSA was that he could go to Aligarh upon his release, creating a law and order situation. Khan said that since his release, he has written three letters to the state government asking to be reinstated in his post at the Baba Raghav Das Medical College and Hospital in Gorakhpur, but has received no response.


Delhi riots accused Tanveer Malik alleges he has not been given food in jail

Northeast Delhi riots accused Tanveer Malik alleged that he has not been given food since Thursday in the Mandoli jail. This comes after he earlier alleged that he was assaulted on Dec. 8. A Delhi court on Friday sought the reply of Mandoli jail authorities and asked officials whether Tanveer can be shifted to another jail. Earlier, Malik alleged that Head Warden, Wardens along with their associates had beaten the accused as the Assistant Superintendent watched. His medico-legal case was prepared in OPD he was not taken to the hospital, he also alleged. He complained of severe pain and being unable to eat meals even.


UP to seek remand of PFI man held in Kerala

LUCKNOW: A team of UP Police will go to Kerala to seek remand of Rauf Sharif, general secretary of Campus Front of India, a student wing of PFI, who was detained at Trivandrum airport while trying to escape to Muscat on Saturday. Sharif, accused of providing financial support to incite communal disharmony in Uttar Pradesh after alleged ganga rape and murder in Hathras, was detained by ED while trying to flee to Muscat as a look out circular was issued against him on Nov.18. ADG, law and order, Prashant Kumar said, “Atiq-ur-Rahman, Siddiqui, Masud Ahmad and Alam, were arrested from Mathura on October 5. During questioning, the 4 revealed that Sharif, general secretary of CFI, a student wing of PFI, had provided financial assistance and resources to incite riots in the state.”On the basis of their revelation, UP Police got a look out circular issued against Sharif. “During probe, it also surfaced that Sharif received crores of rupees from abroad and used it to incite social disharmony and communal riots,” said police officials privy to the probe. “A UP Police team will be sent to Kerala to seek remand of Sharif and probe his role and links in funding for creating disharmony after Hathras murder case,” said Kumar.


Massive protests across the country against ED raids on PFI offices, leaders 

New Delhi:  Expressing their outrage over ED raids on the offices and houses of Popular Front, members and supporters of the organization on Saturday took out massive rallies at various parts of the country. They demanded that BJP-led central government must desist from using agencies against PFI to serve its political ends.Hundreds of people including women and children joined the protest marches. At Kochi, Kerala, the march to the regional office of the Enforcement Directorate was stopped by police. In Rajasthan’s Bhilwara, the rally was stopped and protesters were arrested by police. People marched raising slogans against central government misuse of investigation agencies against political rivals, dissenters, and democratically and lawfully working organizations.  According to reports, massive protests took place in hundreds of places in different states such as Delhi, West Bengal, Rajasthan, Bihar, Manipur, Kerala, MP, Karnataka, AP and Tamil Nadu states.Leaders and speakers addressing rallies condemned ED for acting as a ‘tool’ of RSS.“Using these agencies, the central government is harassing social activists and organizations who question anti-people policies.”MuslimMirror


HC asks Haryana for information on FIRs on Tablighis

CHANDIGARH: Punjab and Haryana high court has asked Haryana govt to provide details of FIRs lodged in the state against members of Tablighi Jamaat after detection of Covid-19 cases."State counsel is requested to seek from the concerned authorities’ detailed information as regards the number of such identical cases registered in the state of Haryana in its various districts in tabulated form. The said table may also include information pertaining to serial numbers of FIRs registered and information be also furnished as to whether the same accused are in more than one FIR in different districts or places. The information be furnished on or before the next date of hearing," observed the HC in its orders. The matter has now been fixed for Dec.14.Before this, tabulated information had been incorporated in the Sept.30, order passed by the High Court of Uttar Pradesh in a criminal matter pending in that state. Justice Gurvinder Singh Gill of the high court has passed these orders while hearing a petition filed by Sheikh Mustafa and others from Ambala district.


TRP scam: Republic TV CEO Vikas Khanchandani arrested in Mumbai

Mumbai Police on Sunday arrested Republic TV Chief Executive Officer Vikas Khanchandani in connection with the alleged television ratings manipulation case, NDTV reported. He is 13th person to be arrested in the scam. Republic TV said that it will move the Holiday court against the arrest. Senior advocate KK Manan demanded the intervention of the courts to take suo moto cognisance of the arrest of the Republic TV CEO.


Karnataka Congress Dares BJP to Ban Cow Slaughter across Country

Karnataka Congress leaders on Friday dared the ruling BJP leaders to prove their “real commitment” of protecting cows by taking steps to ban beef export completely in the country, instead of adopting dual stands about cow slaughter ban in select states.Addressing a joint press conference here, Leader of the Opposition Siddaramaiah alleged that the BJP should have single standard when it comes to matters like cow slaughter ban.“BJP’s stand on caw slaughter ban is diametrically opposite in Goa state to what the party has taken here. In both the states it is the ruling party,” he pointed out.He said that the Congress party will sure have no problem if the BJP adopts same stand across the nation and who is stopping them from banning beef export completely?



Jamaat Accuses CPI(M) Of Playing “Politics Of Polarisation” In Kerala Local Bodies Elections

NEW DELHI:Responding to the allegation of CPI(M) about Jamaat-e-Islami Hind(JIH) and its students wing-SIO-being extremist organisations and fanning communalism, the Jamaat on Saturday accused the CPI(M) of indulging into “politics of polarization”. CPI(M) has made the allegations in a fact-finding report it released two days ago on Delhi riots in which it held Home Minister Amit Shah and Union Home Ministry accountable for the riots. Jamaat vice-president Engineer Mohammed Salim, replying to media questions, said that the comments of CPI(M) in its fact-finding report seemed to be its “political necessity”.Pointing out that the Left parties in Kerala were indulging into “politics of polarization” to get majority community’s votes, he said that CPI(M) had levelled the baseless allegations against the Jamaat for political gains in the ongoing local bodies elections in Kerala. “This is highly deplorable”, said Mr Salim. 2 phases of local bodies elections in Kerala have been completed and the third phase is scheduled on Monday.He said that while the Left parties were attacking the Jamaat in Kerala, they had aligned with the Welfare Party of India in West Bengal out of their political necessity.India Tomorrow


Women often file rape FIRs after separating from live-in partners: Chhattisgarh women’s body chief

In a controversial statement, Kiran Mayee Nayak, Chairperson of Chhattisgarh State Women’s Commission on Friday claimed that women in live-in relationships often file rape complaints after splitting with their partners, reported NDTV. In a video clipping of a public hearing event of the commission, Nayak can be heard saying: “In most of the cases, girls have a consensual relationship, stay in a live-in setup and then file an FIR  for rape [after separation].”“I would request everyone to consider their relationship, their status...when you pursue such relationships, the outcome is always bad,” she added.


After Gifting Land Worth Rs 1 Cr to Hindu Temple, Karnataka Muslim Businessman Donates More Land

BENGALURU:Seeing devotees struggle to pray to their favourite deity, a Muslim businessman has donated a 1,650 sq feet plot valued around Rs 1 crore to Sri Veeranjaneya Swamy temple in Hosakote, on the outskirts of the Bengaluru. The temple is situated about 40 kms from Bengaluru, in this once sleepy town which now has become a real estate magnet due to its proximity to IT hub Whitefield. Prior to IT boom in the 2000s, Hosakote was a dusty town like any other town in Karnataka but now it is a most sought after real estate destination in East Bengaluru and this area largely attracts the IT crowd of the city.It is also connected to the well established industrial area Oragadam, in Chennai, hence, it has also become a most sought after destination for warehouses and industries. Hosakote-Whitefield belt is home to over 400 Japanese companies.IANS


Jamia’s Online Exam Diktat: Kashmiri Students In Dilemma Due To Slow Internet Services

SRINAGAR:Jamia Millia Islamia student from North Kashmir’s Handwara Rashida Bashir is inconsolable.Since the university has issued notification for online examination, she is at her wits end how to deal with the situation given the slow and troublesome internet services in Kashmir. A second-year student of BA (honors) Sociology, she lives in a remote area of Kashmir where internet services and electricity are a luxury. Plus, diktat to have laptops, uninterrupted electricity, and high speed internet has made things worse for the students in Kashmir. “We hardly attended our online classes due to the slow 2G internet. Now the university decided to hold an online examination. They have listed dos and don’ts. For example, the university has asked students to arrange laptops, uninterrupted electricity, and the internet. Most of the students are from underprivileged sections of society and all of them do not have laptops,” said Rashida.India Tomorrow


Jamia Puts Online Semester Exams on Hold After Students Complain of Discrimination

New Delhi: Jamia Millia Islamia has announced that the scheduled semester exams, that were to be held online, have been put on hold. The varsity’s decision was based on complaints from several students, who said they would not be able to sit for the online exams.“The university has received several representations from the students regarding their problems/issues with online proctored examinations,” the notice released by the university on Saturday evening said. This decision has been given to UGC, the notice continued, and UGC’s response is awaited. After the response is received, the university will take a final decision on how to hold exams, the notice said.


UAE’s Lulu Group to Set Up Food Processing Centre in Kashmir

Abu Dhabi-headquartered Lulu Group International, Indian-owned multinational retail chain with more than 190 Lulu Hypermarkets across all the 6 Middle Eastern countries of GCC and Egypt, has announced that it would set up a modern food processing and logistics centre in J&K. This was announced by Yusuffali MA, Lulu Group Chairman, during a meeting with a delegation from J&K held on the sidelines of the UAE-India Food Security Summit 2020, organised by the Consul General of India Dubai in association with the Confederation of Indian Industry and Invest India.The delegation was headed by Navin Kumar Choudhary, Principal Secretary, Agriculture Production and Horticulture, Government of Jammu & Kashmir, according to a group statement.“We are one of the leading importers of food and non-food products from India and setting up of a new food processing and logistics centre will further boost exports of Kashmiri products to GCC and other countries, said Yusuffali during the meeting.Clarion India


J&K DDC polls: In fray today, two candidates seeking to put PSA, jail behind

Rohama :At one of the entrances marking the Rohama constituency, that votes in the sixth phase of th District Development Council (DDC) elections in Kashmir on Sunday, posters announce the need to vote for “unity, prosperity and dignity”, with photographs of People’s Alliance for Gupkar Declaration (PAGD) leadership. Among the 13 in the fray are Shabir Ahmad Lone and Zahoor Ahmad Mir, both of whom were jailed under the stringent PSA amidst the crackdown on political leadership following the scrapping of J&K’s special status last year.Lone, 45, a National Conference worker since 1999 who had been elected sarpanch from Nadihal in 2018, was picked up on August 14, 2019, and taken to the nearest police station. “I was not sure what was going to happen or how long I would be kept in detention. They only told me that it was precautionary,” he said. Lone would spend the next six months in Srinagar Central Jail.



Danger of Ladakh crisis is it will dissipate goodwill: Jaishankar

Calling the ongoing military standoff with China in eastern Ladakh a result of Beijing not following the existing agreements, External Affairs Minister S Jaishankar on Saturday said that the “real danger” is that the “goodwill, which was so carefully developed, will dissipate” with this.He said he would not venture to predict a possible resolution, but that India will rise to the occasion to meet the national security challenge.



China talks may be long; will defend territory at all costs: Army Vice Chief

Dehradun :Vice Chief of Army Staff Lt Gen SK Saini Saturday said India’s talks with China over LAC standoff are likely to be protracted, but added that the country would ensure its territorial integrity “irrespective of the cost”. He said India is maintaining its commitment to the dialogue and hoped for the restoration of the status quo as of April. Speaking to reporters after attending the passing-out parade of Indian Military Academy (IMA), Dehradun, as reviewing officer, Lt Gen Saini said: “We are in touch with our Chinese counterparts both at diplomatic as well as the military level. And we hope that a solution is found through this dialogue and status quo as of April this year is restored.”


Rajasthan: Family of Ramzan Killed In Judicial Custody Awaits Justice For 2 Years

NEW DELHI: Ramzan Ali, a convict in an old case, who hails from Mangrol hamlet in Baran District of Rajasthan, succumbed to injuries,  on April 26, 2019 while he was in police custody.The family levelled serious allegations of torture and use of coercive techniques during police custody leading to his death after which the district magistrate ordered an inquiry.The findings of the report which have come recently, however, have given a clean chit to the accused policemen. The clean chit report has left the family unhappy who further alleged that it was “biased”.Ali’s son Mohammad Rizwan told India Tomorrow that after the incident, the family met Chief Minister Ashok Gehlot and he had promised a fair probe into the incident. “A magisterial inquiry was ordered but it gave a clean chit to the accused policemen which has left all the family members heartbroken,” he said.India Tomorrow


Kamal Haasan asks PM Modi to explain ‘need for new Parliament building when half of India is hungry’

MNM chief Kamal Haasan on Sunday demanded that Prime Minister Narendra Modi spell out the rationale behind constructing a new Parliament building for about Rs 1,000 crore “when half of India is hungry due to coronavirus pandemic triggered loss of livelihoods”.Seeking to liken the proposed construction of the new edifice to the centuries old Great Wall of China, he claimed that ‘thousands of people perished’ during its construction, but the dragon nation rulers said the wall was to ‘guard’ the people.PTI



Irregularities in appointments: Patna HC says degrees of over 1.10 lakh teachers not verified in five years; sets January 9 deadline

Patna High Court has given the state government a deadline of Jan.9 to submit its report on the process of verifying educational qualifications of over 1.10 lakh teachers, whose appointments are under the scanner over allegations of fake degrees.The matter relates to appointments of 3,52,818 teachers since 2007. The Vigilance Department has been investigating the allegations of appointments based on fake degrees since 2014. So far, the state education department has failed to give details of over 1,10,410 teachers.Mukhiyas had been made in-charge of these appointments at the time. Large-scale appointments were made allegedly on basis of fake educational and professional degrees.


After Fractured Poll Results, BJP To Back Hardliner In Assam's Bodoland

Guwahati: Student leader-turned-politician Pramod Boro is all set to become the new chief of Bodoland Territorial Council (BTC) after the BJP extended its support to his party, UPPL, in the wake of the recently-held election throwing up a fractured mandate and no single party getting the winning number.Mr Boro is a key signatory to the Bodo Peace Accord signed earlier this year and his outfit, United People's Party Liberal (UPPL), is viewed as a hardliner, insisting on a separate Bodoland.As a student leader, he led the powerful All Bodo Students Union which had spearheaded the separate Bodoland movement. Mr Boro is now all set to become the Chief Executive Member of BTC.



Over 15% men consume alcohol in dry Bihar: National Family Health Survey report

The latest National Family Health Survey-5 (NFHS-5) report for 2019-20 which was released on Saturday  has revealed that still 15.5% men above 15 years of age consume alcohol in dry Bihar. The report also said that nearly 77% women in Bihar have their own bank account and over 51% of them use mobile phones.The report was conducted from July 9, 2019 to Feb. 2, 2020 and information was gathered from 35, 834 households, 42, 483 women and 4, 897 men.In Bihar, the stringent Prohibition and Excise Act was enforced in April 2016 by Chief Minister Nitish Kumar-led NDA govt with a provision of a minimum 10 years of jail term for violators of the law. So far, over 2 lakh people, mostly from poor marginalised class of society have been arrested under the new law and over 30 lakh litres of alcohol has been confiscated in the State.





Hunger Index Among Poor in 11 States Continues to Be Dire Post-Lockdown: Survey

New Delhi: More than 5 months after nationwide COVID-19-induced lockdown came to an end, the hunger index among the poor and the marginalised section of society continues to be grave in as many as eleven states, according to a ‘Hunger Watch’ report published this week.The report, collated by the Right to Food Campaign along with a number of similar non-governmental networks, was based on a survey carried out on 3,994 persons between Sept.and Oct.2020. A majority of those included in the survey earned less than Rs 7,000 per month. The states included in the survey were UP, Gujarat, Rajasthan, Maharashtra, Delhi, Telangana, Chhattisgarh, West Bengal, Jharkhand, MP and Tamil Nadu. While 2,186 persons were interviewed in rural areas, the rest were surveyed in urban areas. Those interviewed mainly belonged to the Scheduled Castes, Scheduled Tribes and religious minority communities including Muslims. “About 77 per cent of PVTG families, 76 per cent of Dalits, and 54 per cent of the adivasis reported that their quantity of food consumption decreased in September-October as compared to pre-lockdown period,” New Indian Express said, quoting from the report.



Covid-19 vaccination in India may start in Jan, expect normal life to return by Oct: Serum Institute of India CEO Adar Poonawalla

New Delhi :Serum Institute of India (SII) CEO Adar Poonawalla said the Covid-19 vaccination drive was likely to begin in India by January as his firm — which is testing and manufacturing Oxford-AstraZeneca vaccine candidate — was expecting to get emergency-use authorisation by month-end.Speaking at The Economic Times Global Business Summit, Adar Poonawalla said he expected everyone in India to be vaccinated by Oct.2021 following which normal life could return.“By this month-end, we might get an emergency licence [for the coronavirus vaccine], but the actual licence for wider use might come in at a later date. But we are confident that if the regulators give a nod, India’s vaccination drive can start by Jan.2021,” Adar Poonawalla said.


Canada warns allergic people against Pfizer COVID-19 vaccine

Health Canada has warned people allergic to any of the ingredients in the Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 vaccine not to receive it.In a notification on Saturday, the federal health policy agency said it issued the warning after following up on the two reports of anaphylactoid reactions to the vaccine in the UK, Xinhua reported.

The reactions occurred on December 8 and the two persons had a history of severe allergic reactions and carried adrenaline auto injectors.They both were treated and have recovered."As vaccine roll-out begins in Canada, Canadians may be wondering about the risks of allergic reactions.IANS


Airstrike: Airlines gear-up to deliver COVID a vaccine blow 

India's airline industry which was heavily battered by the pandemic's onslaught is now gearing up to take the fight back to the virus via lending the key logistical support for anti-COVID-19 vaccine deployment.The industry is expected to play a vital role in the country's impending anti-Covid offensive via vaccines.Already at an advance stage of planning, the industry and especially its leading players have formed dedicated teams, new specialised logistical arms to safely and efficiently transport veils across India and potentially around the world.IANS


Germany to impose stricter COVID lockdown during holiday season

Germany will close most shops from Wednesday until January 10 as it tightens coronavirus restrictions and tries to rein in the spread of the disease.Separately, shipments of the Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine are ready in the United States to set in motion the biggest vaccination effort in American history.“There is an urgent need to take action,” Chancellor Angela Merkel said on Sunday following a meeting with leaders of the country’s 16 federal states.Under the agreement, only essential shops such as supermarkets and pharmacies, as well as banks, are to remain open.




US adopts map of Morocco that includes disputed Western Sahara

US has adopted a “new official” map of Morocco that includes the disputed territory of Western Sahara, its ambassador to Rabat said.“This map is a tangible representation of President Trump’s bold proclamation 2 days ago – recognising Morocco’s sovereignty over Western Sahara,” Ambassador David Fischer said on Saturday, according to a statement seen by AFP.He signed the “new official US government map of the kingdom of Morocco” at a ceremony in the US embassy in the capital, Rabat, adding that the map would be presented to Morocco’s King Mohammed VI. Western Sahara is a disputed and divided former Spanish colony, mostly under Morocco’s control, where tensions with the pro-independence Polisario Front have simmered since the 1970s.Morocco on Thursday became the fourth Arab state this year, after the UAE, Bahrain and Sudan, to announce it had agreed to normalise relations with Israel.Western Sahara has been on UN’ list of non-self-governing territories, a stance also taken by African Union, the International Court of Justice (ICJ), and the European Union. The region is home to some 500,000 people, most of whom live in the capital, Laayoune.


Israel and Bhutan establish diplomatic relations

Israel and Bhutan have announced the establishment of full diplomatic relations between the two countries.The agreement on Saturday will “open the path to greater cooperation and further strengthen relations” between Israel and the South Asian kingdom, according to a joint statement.Israel’s new relations with the relatively-isolated Himalayan nation did not appear to be related to its budding ties under US-sponsored accords with Arab and Muslim countries in the Middle East and Africa. The agreement follows several years of secret contacts between Israel and Bhutan with the aim of establishing relations, Israel’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs said in a statement.“Israel’s circle of recognition is growing and expanding,” said Israeli Foreign Minister Gabi Ashkenazi.“The establishment of relations between us and the Kingdom of Bhutan will serve as another milestone in deepening Israel’s ties in Asia.”Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu welcomed the deal, writing on Twitter that it is an “additional fruit of the peace agreements”.



UAE, Israel export credit agencies sign agreement to boost trade

DUBAI:The export credit agencies of UAE and Israel have signed a cooperation agreement to develop economic relations between the two countries, UAE’s state news agency WAM said. UAE’s Etihad Credit Insurance and the Israel Foreign Trade Risks Insurance Corporation plan to jointly support exports, trade, and investment between the two countries, WAM said, after they agreed to normalise relations in August.Reuters


PA ignores national consensus as it returns to talks with Israel, PFLP says

Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine (PFLP) announced on Friday that the Palestinian Authority (PA) has ignored national consensus when it decided to return to talks with Israel. In a statement issued on its 53rd anniversary and sent to media, the PFLP stressed that returning to talks with Israel: "Is a continuation of failed bets on US administrations."PFLP urged the PA to carry out a: "Critical and comprehensive review for its political and organisational bodies," stressing that it should consider: "The national necessity to correct its national Palestinian track." It called for a comprehensive dialogue among "all" the Palestinian factions to agree on a "clear agenda" and reiterate the Palestinian rights, as well as pushing for ending the internal Palestinian division.


EU calls for Israel to revise eviction orders against Palestinians in Jerusalem

Office of EU Representative called on Friday for Israel to cancel eviction orders for Palestinian families in the Batan Al-Hawa and Sheikh Jarrah neighbourhoods of occupied Jerusalem, a statement announced.On 3 and 23 November, Israeli courts ruled to uphold the evictions of eight Palestinian families in Batan Al-Hawa neighbourhood in East Jerusalem, affecting 45 people, including small children, according to the statement.It also stated that the Israeli courts ruled to maintain the evictions of Palestinian families in the Sheikh Jarrah neighbourhood of East Jerusalem, affecting 32 people, including six children and: "Putting all families at imminent risk of forced transfer."On 3 and 9 December, representatives of the EU and some EU member states visited a number of these families faced with threats of imminent eviction in both the Sheikh Jarrah and Silwan neighbourhoods of East Jerusalem.



First appearance of acting Muslim Brotherhood supreme guide Ezzat after 4 months in prison

Acting Muslim Brotherhood Supreme Guide Mahmoud Ezzat appeared for the first time on Thursday in a cage at an Egyptian court in Cairo, reported. Ezzat appeared very pale and weak, according to Egyptian news websites, as he faced judges inside the court where he was being prosecuted for alleged terror and murder charges. The judges presented him with the claims, on which he was sentenced for 25 years in absentia, but he denied them, stating: "This has never happened." The hearing was adjourned until 4 Jan.2021, in order to bring in witnesses and a lawyer.In August, Egyptian security services arrested Ezzat in an apartment in the east of Cairo, after years of being in hiding. Izzat then disappeared until Thursday, when he appeared in court.Speaking to Watan TV, Muslim Brotherhood Spokesman Talaat Fahmi conveyed: "It is a tragic image on the International Day for Human Rights (10 December) that portrays the conditions of a 76-year-old university professor, who has been detained over 100 days in a place that lacks humanitarian conditions."Fahmi confirmed: "Ezzat was not a terrorist. He is keen on protecting Egypt, the Arab and Islamic nation. There are more than 60,000 others inside Egyptian prisons."


Nagorno-Karabakh ceasefire breached, says Russian army

Russian army has reported a violation of the November ceasefire that ended the conflict between Azerbaijan and Armenia in the breakaway region of Nagorno-Karabakh.“One case of ceasefire violation was reported on Dec.11 in the Hadrut district,” said a statement from Russian Ministry of Defence on Saturday, without assigning any blame.Russia has peacekeepers in the region, large parts of which were reclaimed by Azerbaijan last month after being held by Armenian forces for more than a quarter-century.It was Russia’s first report of a violation since the peace deal was reached on Nov.10.On Sunday, Azerbaijan’s defence ministry said four of its soldiers were killed when their units were attacked in areas adjacent to the Nagorno-Karabakh region, while authorities in Armenia said six of their troops had been wounded.


Indonesian cleric held on suspicion he broke coronavirus restrictions

JAKARTA:Indonesian police arrested firebrand Islamic cleric Rizieq Shihab on Saturday on suspicion of breaching coronavirus restrictions by staging several mass gatherings since his return from self-exile last month. Politically influential cleric has called for a “moral revolution” since returning on Nov. 10, fueling tension with President Joko Widodo’s administration in the world’s most populous Muslim-majority country.His arrest came after 6 members of his Islamic Defender’s Front (FPI) were killed on Monday in a shootout with police investigating the violation of coronavirus protocols amid rising infections and deaths.Reuters


Pakistan takes $1.5 billion loan from China to repay debt to Saudi Arabia

China has agreed to immediately provide $1.5 billion financing line to Pakistan to help the country repay the $2 billion Saudi Arabia debt, reports said.Out of $2 billion, Pakistan will reportedly return the $1 billion on Monday and the remaining $1 billion in January.Sources, however, said that this time around, China has not given the loan from its State Administration of Foreign Exchange, commonly known as SAFE deposits, nor has it extended a commercial loan.India Today


London: Protest against forced cremation of Muslims in Srilanka

London : At noon today 400 Sri Lankan Muslims living in UK and their supporters came together to hold a spontaneously organised demonstration to protest the enforced cremation of suspected Covid-infected bodies of Muslims and Christians who have died, in front of Sri Lankan High Commission in London. 400 demonstrators joined the protest in stages, of a hundred at a time to maintain social distancing. Below is South Asia Solidarity Group’s message in support of the protest which was read out at the demonstration by Baazir Rahman, one of the organisers of the protest.“We at South Asia Solidarity Group, stand in solidarity with the Muslim, Christian and Catholic communities of Sri Lanka who are at present facing the thoroughly inhumane and arbitrary policy laid down by the Sri Lankan government, which outlaws burials and imposes mandatory cremations of people who are believed to have died of COVID 19 infections. The change in policy was sudden and deployed without any transparency or reliable scientific justification.MuslimMirror


More than 100 arrested at Paris protest against security bill

Paris police have taken nearly 150 people into custody in what quickly became a tense protest against proposed security laws, with officers wading into the crowds of several thousand to haul away suspected troublemakers.On Saturday, police targeted protesters they suspected might coalesce together into violent groups like those who vandalised stores and vehicles and attacked officers at previous demonstrations.The interior minister said police had detained 142 people. Long lines of riot officers and police vehicles with blue lights flashing escorted Saturday’s march through rain-slickened streets.They hemmed in protesters, seeking to prevent a flare-up of violence. A police water cannon doused demonstrators at the end of the march, as night fell.



Turkey Parliament Speaker: 'Iran's accusations against Erdogan unacceptable'

Turkish Parliament Speaker Mustafa Sentop on Saturday condemned Iranian authorities over unfair accusations against the Turkish president for reading a poem during a ceremony in Azerbaijan, Anadolu Agency reports."The unseemly attitude of some Iranian officials against our president, who always bravely defended the law against the embargo and isolation imposed on Iran, can never be accepted," Sentop, posted on Twitter.Noting that the reaction Iran showed to President Recep Tayyip Erdogan, "they have not shown to those who imposed sanctions on their country". "I strongly condemn the [baseless] statements and ugly publishings [from Iran]," he said.



EU imposes sanctions on Turkey officials involved in gas drillings

European Union (EU) council has decided to impose sanctions on Turkish officials and entities involved in gas drillings in the East Mediterranean, and has deferred arms embargos and tariffs after discussions with North Atlantic Treaty Organisation (NATO) and the US, news agencies reported on Friday.The Guardian divulged that the decision came after heated discussions during the two-day summit of the leaders of the 27 EU member states."Unfortunately, a number of developments have taken place in the southeastern Mediterranean, where unfortunately we have to say that we have to do more listings due to what we consider to be the illegal drillings" by Turkey, German Chancellor Angela Merkel confirmed, according to Anadolu Agency.


Yemeni separatists withdraw Aden under Riyadh pact

Forces of the Yemeni separatist group known as the Southern Transitional Council (STC) started on Saturday to withdraw from the Aden province, southern Yemen, as part of implementing the military part of the Riyadh agreement, Anadolu Agency reports. A member of a committee observing the implementation of the Riyadh agreement confirmed to Anadolu Agency that STC forces began to withdraw from Aden and moved towards the frontlines in the Ad Dali' province.Meanwhile, the Yemeni government forces and the STC forces began on Friday a reciprocal withdrawal from the fighting areas in the Abyan province. UAE-backed STC confirmed its forces' withdrawal from Abyan towards the Lahij province.


Life a 'waking nightmare' for 12 million children in Yemen: UNICEF Chief

UNICEF Executive Director Henrietta Fore announced on Thursday that Yemen is the most dangerous place on earth for children, stressing that: "Yemen is teetering on the edge of complete collapse."During her virtual participation in the "Averting famine in Yemen: What can we do now and in 2021?" event, she said: "Over 80 per cent of people require urgent humanitarian assistance and protection. Including 12 million children, whose lives are a waking nightmare."Fore added: "It is perhaps the most dangerous place on earth to be a child. One child dies every ten minutes from a preventable disease. Two million are out of school. And thousands have been killed, maimed, or recruited since 2015. Just last week, 11 were reportedly killed, including a one-month-old baby."






Most rampant crime in UP is two young people falling in love and marrying!  P Chidambaram


‘Love Jihad’ campaign revived after a century to show women their place:Harshvardhan


Why so many Syrian women get divorced when they move to Western countries:Rola El-Husseini


CAA: Discriminatory law that will break common fabric of communities: Ex IPS officer Abdur Rahman


A New Central Vista, and Political Conceit of the Ruling Classes:Neera Chandhoke


Political pundits hate BJP but hate opposition more for not saving them:Ranjona Banerji


Open House: Anyone Can Walk in This House of Hyderabad, Have Food and Spend Time


Dalits and the oppressions within:Suraj Yengde







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