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Monday, 26 August 2019

25 AUG. ND: ‘Anti-national to silence people’: Priyanka Gandhi jabs Centre on Kashmir/ Kashmir: People are Dying, Say Doctors as Valley Runs Out of Lifesaving Medicines amid Lockdown/ Hindus trump Muslims in forging documents to find way into NRC


NEWS DIGEST, EVENING 
25 AUG. 2019: 23 ZilHajj 1440:Vol: 11, No:275
INDIA:J&K ISSUE
 ‘Anti-national to silence people’: Priyanka Gandhi jabs Centre on Kashmir
New Delhi: Congress general secretary Priyanka Gandhi Vadra lashed out at Centre for the restrictions in Kashmir and accused it of being anti-national by silencing the people of the valley, a day after her brother and former Congress president Rahul Gandhi and other opposition leaders were sent back from the Srinagar airport.She re-tweeted a small video clip of a Kashmiri woman telling her Rahul Gandhi on board an aircraft from Srinagar how the restrictions are throttling the people and how unsafe they feel about their children.“How long is this going to continue? This is one out of millions of people who are being silenced and crushed in the name of “Nationalism”.There is NOTHING more ‘political’ and ‘anti national’ than the shutting down of all democratic rights that is taking place in Kashmir. It is the duty of every one of us to raise our voices against it, we will not stop doing so,” Priyanka tweeted. hindustantimes
Kashmir: People are Dying, Say Doctors as Valley Runs Out of Lifesaving Medicines amid Lockdown
Srinagar: With the prescription of his diabetic mother placed carefully in a handbag, Sajid Ali went to over a dozen pharmacies in the Valley on Tuesday in the hope of finding the medicine. All shops in the town, except the medicine shops, are shut. But Ali’s search yielded no results. Kashmir is fast running out of medicines.Since August 5—the day Union government revoked Jammu and Kashmir’s special status— Kashmir is under a lockdown. All markets remain shut and the supplies of essential commodities are badly affected.Ali’s mother, Suraya Begum, 65, had only two days of medicine left. The gravity of the situation can be understood by the fact due to no public transport available, Ali travelled to Srinagar after boarding an ambulance from a local hospital.But the medicine couldn’t be found even in the Srinagar, despite a massive search of over three hours. Angry and perturbed by the situation, Ali went to the Srinagar Airport, booked a ticked to Delhi and fetched the medicine from there.Ali, 30, took the flight back the next day and reached his home with dose that would last his mother a month. His parents had been worried about his well-being and were relieved on his return.When Ali, who is a businessman, narrated the story to his mother she broke down. “I managed to buy the medicine this way but what will poor people do?” Ali wonders.News18
'This is not 1970s': IAS Officer quits in anguish over Kashmir 'emergency'
New Delhi:An officer of Indian Administrative Service from Kerala, Kannan Gopinathan, has resigned from the prestigious service in order to be able to speak freely about the virtual ‘Emergency’ that he says has been imposed on the people of Jammu and Kashmir ever since the Centre announced it was ending the state’s special constitutional status.“This is not Yemen, this is not the 1970s, that you can deny basic rights to an entire people and nobody will say anything about it,” Gopinathan told The Wire.“It has been 20 days since there has been a lockdown on a whole region with all kinds of restrictions. I cannot remain silent over this even if this means I have to resign from IAS in order to speak freely and that is what I have done.”The irony is that Gopinathan, who joined IAS in 2012, is attached to Arunachal-Goa-Mizoram-Union Territory cadre, and might eventually have gone as an administrator to J&K now that the state has been demoted to the status of a UT.He is currently attached to the government of Dadra and Nagar Haveli but sent in his resignation on Wednesday.“I did not intend to say anything publicly till after my resignation was accepted,” said Gopinathan, but word leaked when colleagues with whom he shared the news in a social media group informed the media in Kerala. Gopinathan said that the constitution allows for the imposition of a state of emergency (and the suspension of freedoms) if there is external aggression or armed rebellion, but in Kashmir, people’s freedoms have been curtailed on the grounds that if they are not, then there could be an internal disturbance. In any case, after 44th amendment to the constitution, an ‘internal disturbance’ is no longer grounds for the imposition of emergency.“Of course, unlike the Emergency, there has been no [formal] proclamation. Everything has been left to executive orders by IAS officers! And though people are not barred from seeking judicial remedies, the courts do not appear keen to act”.thewire
Pakistan Foreign Minister dials UN chief over Kashmir
Pakistan Foreign Minister Shah Mahmood Qureshi has called UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres to apprise him about the "evolving and delicate situation" in Jammu and Kashmir.Addressing the media here to provide details of his conversation with Guterres, Qureshi said it was responsibility of the international community to play a role in addressing the Kashmir situation.Tensions between India and Pakistan spiked after New Delhi abrogated provisions of Article 370 of the Constitution to withdraw Jammu and Kashmir's special status and bifurcated the State into two Union Territories on August 5. India has categorically told the international community that the scrapping of Article 370 to revoke the special status of Jammu and Kashmir was an internal matter and also advised Pakistan to accept the reality."I highlighted the delicate situation that exist at the moment in Jammu and Kashmir during my conversation," he said.Guterres said he was ready today as he was before to defuse the tension and will also probably meet Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi tomorrow in France on the sidelines of the G7 Summit to discuss the issue, he said.Qureshi said he also thanked Guterres for the Security Council meeting as the UN officials briefed the members during the meeting.He said Pakistan wanted peace but it was important to address the suffering of the people in Kashmir who are reeling under day and night curfew for last 20 days.The foreign minister said he told the Secretary-General that some people in Kashmir who wanted to go to UN office were not allowed to do so. Qureshi said he also highlighted the arrests in Kashmir as well as shortage of food and medicines in his conversation with Guterres. The foreign minister said he asked Guterres to brief P-5 leadership about the gravity of the situation in Kashmir.Pakistan demands that UN Human Rights Commissioner will continue efforts to highlight Kashmir.PTI
J&K state flag removed from civil secretariat building, only tricolour seen after Article 370 move
New Delhi: J&K state flag has been taken off the civil secretariat building in Srinagar. It is only the national flag that remains on the civil secretariat building after the momentous decision of abrogating Article 370 of the Constitution, thus stripping the state of its special status. Official sources in Jammu and Kashmir administration have confirmed to India Today TV that only the national flag will be seen at all government offices in the state from now on. However, not all government offices have taken off the Jammu and Kashmir state flag yet. Till last week both the flags were seen at the civil secretariat building."The removal of flag is in continuation of abrogation of Article 370 and not dependant on official bifurcation from Oct.31," said a top source in the J&K government."Access by Parliament is already given (on abrogation) and the national flag is expected to take precedence at all government offices," confirmed another top source in the administration. indiatoday
Communication blockade underway: ‘Assalam-u-Alaikum papa, are you okay?’
Hadiya’s father left home, in Mazhama village near Srinagar, on July 18 for Haj. Less than a month later, came the abrogation of Article 370, stripping J&K of special status, followed by a complete communications clampdown in Kashmir. He had been speaking to his family almost every day on video call since July 25, telling them to “stay safe” as troops mobilisation in the Valley led to all kinds of rumours. The last call was on Aug.4, when he promised Hadiya, the youngest of his three children, that he would call her again the next day. Then, the phones went dead.Mother Yasmeena says as Eid approached, on Aug.12, Hadiya, a Class 9 student, became more and more quiet, seeking to talk to her father. “She didn’t even celebrate Eid,” says Yasmeena, who said she didn’t want her family to be photographed or her husband named. On Aug. 19, there was the first ray of hope. A neigbour told them that the government had set up facilities at a police station at Parimpora in Srinagar for people to make calls. But the police station was 13 km away.Despite restrictions, Yasmeena says, “We didn’t wait a minute…Hadiya took out her Scooty, I sat pillion, and we started for Parimpora. All three of my daughters ride the Scooty but since Hadiya is closest to her father, she went.”Yasmeena remembers Hadiya’s face shining as they approached the police station and saw the people making phone calls from there. “We waited for some time. But, when we handed over the telephone number to the officials, they apologised saying they can’t make an international call.” Dejected, the two started back, when a policeman told them they could make an international call from Deputy Commissioner’s office in Srinagar. “Since it was late, we decided to go back home and return the next day,” Yasmeena says. Next day, Hadiya and Yasmeena started for Srinagar again, on her Scooty.They thought they were early, covering 13-km distance by 8.30 am.But when they reached the office, there was already a long queue.“We didn’t know that people would arrive earlier than us. Many had been waiting for more than 2 hours. We were told our serial number was 253,” Yasmeena says.For the next 7-and-a half hours, they waited inside the hall, almost not budging.“But there were more than a hundred people ahead of us. At 4 pm, we left.” They didn’t want to risk returning home in the dark. indian express
In Valley town, VHP man pleads his detained Kashmiri friend’s case
Handwara:Outside the Government Guest House in this north Kashmir town, an improbable scene was unfolding. Rakesh Khanna, a member of Amritsar VHP, lamenting the absence of “insaniyat”, was pleading with the guards to let him go past the black iron gates. Because inside was his friend, Aijaz Ahmed Sofi, president of the Handwara market association, now under detention. Since the night of Aug.4, ahead of the revocation of the special status of J&K, mainstream politicians, social activists, trade association leaders, and stone-pelters have been detained in preventive swoops across the Valley. Nobody has a count of the number of detentions. Sofi, the market association president, and son of a former MLA, was detained on Aug.9. Standing at the gates of the guest house, Khanna, a former president of the Amritsar market association and a member of an organisation that had been most vocal in demanding the abrogation of Article 370, said Sofi was “a friend of 29 years” and almost “a family member”.Khanna, a kirana and textile trader with family business links in Kashmir from his father’s time, took out his mobile phone to show pictures of himself at an RSS shakha, campaigning for BJP in Lok Sabha elections, and dismantling a Pakistan stall at a textile fair in Amritsar a couple of years ago. “Everything was going well. I camp in a rented house in Srinagar for months at a time because of my business. Things had become peaceful. Tourists had started coming. Ab saara kaam phir se kharab…,” he said. Khanna said he was all for revoking Article 370. “But this was not the way. They should have tried to reach out to some important people. There are leaders other than mainstream politicians. Now they have arrested everyone. Desh ko mazboot zaroor banao, mein iske khilaaf nahin hoon. Par insaaniyat se kaam lena chahiye na. Why put innocent people in jail? Yeh najaayaz hai. Phir phone bhi kaat diye,” he said.indianexpress
Kashmiri Students Sacrifice Eid To Help Maharashtra Flood Victims
Pune: Despite facing a financial crunch away from home, around 100 Kashmiri students decided to forego Eid celebrations this year and instead pooled in their savings to help victims of the recent floods in south-west Maharashtra districts, earning the admiration of the local villagers.Through NGOs 'Sarhad' and 'Gadzunjar Mawle', team of Kashmiri youth led by Zahid Bhatt, Firdaus Mir and Yunus Bhatt made a daylong trip to one of the worst-hit Bubnal village in Kolhapur, said 'Sarhad' President Sanjay Nahar."The students felt that in view of the massive damage wreaked by the natural calamity, they should not celebrate the Bakri Eid festival this time and instead divert all their savings to the noble cause of the flood victims. Its a truly admirable gesture," Nahar told IANS.Last week, they carried a truckload of clothes, foodstuffs and domestic article's kits and donated it to 100 families in Bubnal.IANS
OTHERS
Hindus trump Muslims in forging documents to find way into NRC
Guwahati: With the hugely contentious NRC exposing communal faultlines in Assam, it has emerged that more Hindus than Muslims forged documents to find their way into the National Register of Citizens, sources with close knowledge of the exercise said on Sunday. The final NRC list, which will identify bonafide citizens of Assam, is set to be published on August 31. The exercise of updating the NRC, unique to Assam, is being conducted under the supervision of the Supreme Court. "The interesting fact is that forgery is being committed by a very large number of doubtful Hindu applicants. In fact, more than 50 per cent of the documents that have been forged are by them," sources said. "Now this is very, very surprising because we had the impression that only suspected illegal Muslim immigrants were indulging in wrongdoing to have their names included in the NRC. But with so many doubtful Hindus being detected, it can be assumed that a huge number of such immigrants are also present in Assam," one of the sources told PTI. Assam's BJP government had recently claimed that more Hindus than Muslims were excluded from the draft NRC, and placed in the state assembly a district-wise list of exclusions, ignoring an apex court directive of secrecy. The court had said all such information be submitted to it in sealed covers. The state government had claimed the data reflected that more people were excluded from the list in districts inhabited by indigenous people than those on the India- Bangladesh border, implying that the NRC draft was flawed as illegal Muslim immigrants were more likely to be present in the frontier districts. When reached for comments, a senior RSS Assam region functionary and its 'Bouddhik Prachar Pramukh' Shankar Das said the updated NRC will be "wrong" and that it will be challenged. "Nobody has given correct data. The SC is acting only as per Prateek Hajela's (the NRC State Coordinator) information. So, we don't believe any of the leaked data till now, whether it's about Hindus or Muslims. We know that this NRC is going to be wrong and it will be challenged," he told PTI. "There are places where (state) authorities said even they cannot go despite security. Then how could NRC verification take place there? Hajela couldn't give any satisfactory answer to that. Then how can one say that Hindus did more forgeries? We don't believe that at all," Das said. People residing in the state since March 24, 1971 have a legitimate claim to Indian citizenship. Assam has witnessed a huge influx of people from Bangladesh, both Hindus and Muslims, for decades, and one of the clauses of the Assam Accord of 1985 was expeditious identification and expulsion of illegal migrants. Sources involved in the updation of NRC cited the example of Nikhil Das, who had applied for inclusion of his name and those of this family members--father Nitai das, mother Bali Das, brother Nikhindra Das and sister Ankhi Das. "During the checking of the papers, it was found that except for the applicant, all his family members still live in Kachua village of Sunamganj district in Sylhet division of Bangladesh. During the investigation, Nikhil confessed that he had entered India illegally in October 2011," the sources said, insisting it was not an isolated case. Interestingly, Nikhil Das possessed a number of forged documents including voter I-card, an Indian birth certificate and even a PAN card. There were many such instances, they said. While delivering its judgement in the case of Nibaran Biswas alias Nibaran Mandal vs State of Assam in August 2017, a Foreigners' Tribunal in Morigaon had observed that many suspected illegal Hindu immigrants have settled in the state after 1971. "As it was a policy adopted by the Government of India...that Hindu Bengalee Migrants willing to settle down in India permanently are ushered as Indian citizens... Thereafter, many migrants illegally sneaked into Indian territory without recording their entry in Transit Points or at Government Relief camps for better livelihood. "...they have either forged the Certificate of Registration or the voter list for enjoying the privilege of being Indian citizen which have come to surface before me on trial," the Tribunal had said in its order. An applicant seeking Indian citizenship in Assam can submit a host of documents for inclusion in NRC. On compilation of 6 crucial documents, it was found that around two lakh of them from one crore were forged. These documents are refugee registration certificate, citizenship certificate, government employment certificate, land and tenancy records, birth certificate and certified copies of pre-1971 electoral rolls from Tripura. Apart from the forged papers, NRC authorities have discovered that no back-end source of around 1.5 lakh documents submitted by applicants were available and an additional about 2.5 lakh papers were illegible. Back-end source of the six documents are supporting papers available with authorities who originally issued them. "Though we cannot directly term the documents without back-end as forged, but obviously these are doubtful," sources said. NRC State Coordinator Prateek Hajela had told the Supreme Court on October 4, 2018, that many crucial papers submitted by the applicants were photoshopped. Sources said that legacy data, the main document to trace the family tree in determining whether a person is a genuine Indian citizen, are being misused by the applicants. They said multiple people are using identical legacy data contained in the NRC published in 1951 which had the names of bonafide Assam residents or electoral rolls prepared uptil March 1971 to back their claim to Indian citizenship. "Stringent verification of family trees unearthed many cases of wilful misuse of legacy data," they said. PTI
Man in Kheroni loses all valid NRC related documents after fire broke out in his residence
Kheroni: At a time when more than 41 lakh people excluded from Assam’s NRC has been suffering from extreme mental torture because of the fear of being marked as a foreigner and its consequences, here’s a story of a man who lost all his valid and important documents related to NRC, Voter ID, Land papers, Bank passbooks, etc, after a major fire broke out in his village in the wee hours on Saturday.The fire broke out in the residence of one Lekh Bahadur Mishra at Thakubari village of Hawaipur area under Kheroni Police Station in West Karbi Anglong.Sources also informed that apart from important documents, all necessary items starting from jewelry, clothes, freeze, almirah were completely destroyed in the fire incident.Meanwhile, the minority students’ body on Saturday made an appeal to Prateek Hajela to ensure that there are no discrepancies in NRC process.AMSU leader Azizur Rahman also appealed to NRC officials not to exclude any genuine citizens from NRC.Rahman addressing the media said that no persons who entered the country after the deadline date should be included in NRC. He also claimed that the minority communities of Assam have been affected worst by NRC. sentinelassam

Rajasthan Has a New Anti-Lynching Law, But Do Cattle-rearing Meo Muslims Feel Any Safer?
Alwar: 74-year-old Hasbi is sitting all alone in a desolate house. Two weeks ago, Iqbal, her 26-year-old grandson, was accused of slaughtering a cow. Faced with two choices — up to 10 years in prison if convicted or violence at the hands of cow vigilantes — all the men in her large, joint family fled. Hasbi has been left to fend for herself.“He is a good boy. We are a good family. He has never done a wrong thing,” she insists.Hasbi’s words will fall on deaf ears. Stories like hers are common in Alwar, the heart of Rajasthan’s Mewat region. For Meos – the Muslim cattle-rearing community that’s spread across the region, being targeted is a daily occupational hazard. After the alleged killers of Meo dairy farmer Pehlu Khan were acquitted by a local court, the fear in the community is palpable.Sher Mohammed, the head of Meo Panchayat, says it’s not just brutal attacks from ‘gau rakshaks’ that these Muslim dairy farmers risk, but also harassment by the police using the state’s stringent cow protection law to intimidate them.“Hindutva extremists only pretend to love cows, but we actually care for them. People who depend on the cow are the ones who love the cow. We can’t live without animals, cows included. You should ask all these people that come on live television, how many cows they take care of. If I sell you a cow, they will book you for cow slaughter and they will book me for cow smuggling. Both are made accused,” he says. Rajasthan Protection from Lynching Bill, enacted by the Congress government on August 5, makes mob lynching punishable by a life sentence. The law is a welcome move, but justice hasn’t been served in the state’s most infamous lynching case. On August 14, all six men accused of murdering Meo Muslim dairy farmer Pehlu Khan in April 2017, were acquitted. Khan was lynched when he was taking a cow from Jaipur to his home in Haryana. Despite the fact that the crime was recorded on mobile phone cameras and seen by the entire country, the accused have been let off.At the Alwar district court, Pehlu Khan’s lawyer Akhtar Hussain says his battle for justice will continue. “The laws moves slowly, but it works. I am certain Pehlu’s family will get justice eventually, they should trust the law,” says the red-haired legal crusader.The anti-lynching law, he says, is futile. “The anti-lynching law will make a difference only if the investigation is carried out properly and the evidence is collected properly,” he says, pointing to how the Rajasthan police bungled the probe in Pehlu Khan lynching case.news18
Police Constable Assaulted in Gujarat Because of His ‘Muslim Identity’
A police constable was beaten on Friday evening in Vadodara city allegedly by the religious hardliners of the majority community.Sanjay Kharat, DCP, Zone-3 of Vadodara City informed NewsClick on Saturday that an FIR has been registered. “We have taken cognisance of the matter…we are investigating,” said Kharat. However, he had no idea about the arrests made in the case.The victim, Arif Ismail Shaikh (44), said that he was attacked without any provocation when he was travelling back to home at around 8.30 pm. “I made a mistake by not covering my face this time,” said Shaikh, adding that he usually covers his face while stepping out of his home. Shaikh is a constable with the Gujarat Police.A copy of the FIR was accessed by NewsClick. However, R S Baria, the investigating officer as well as in-charge of Panigate Police Station (PS), could not be reached for a comment.The FIR was registered under Sections 323, 143, 147, 504 and 506 (2) of the IPC. In his complaint, Shaikh said: “As I was heading back to my home after concluding my day duty scheduled at Pratapnagar headquarters, an unknown young person crossing the road near Shiv Shakti Mohalla locality waved his hand to me. After I asked him calmly to cross the road, he came towards me and started addressing me with the words targeting my religion.”newsclick
Terror suspects held in MP used app that keeps no record
Bhopal: Technology is throwing a new challenge at curbing terror every minute. Five persons arrested in Madhya Pradesh's Satna for suspected links with a terror funding racket managed by Pakistani operatives have been found to have communicated with their handlers using an app which does not keep any record of the messages it sends, police said. The Anti-Terror Squad of the Madhya Pradesh Police had on Wednesday arrested five people, three of whom -- Balram Singh, Sunil Singh and Shubham Mishra -- were later brought to Bhopal. Police withheld the names of the two suspects. According to the police, the five arrested were spying and sharing strategic information and funds for terror activities with operatives based in Pakistan. "13 Pak SIM cards which were used to make calls to foreign countries and account details used for making transactions in different bank were recovered from their possession," said Riyaz Iqbal, Superintendent of Police, Satna. "But what came as a surprise to the police was that these people used to communicate with their handlers through an app on which a message can be read by the person it is intended for while it is being typed on the mobile phone. One does not have to 'send' the message," Chanchal Shekhar, IG, Rewa Zone, told IANS. "So while records of video calls and WhatsApp message can be recovered, there is no record of messages 'sent' from this app," said Shekhar. "This app is similar to Team Viewer software through which activities on one computer can be viewed on another. These are third party apps through which any activity can be released, and are used by hardened criminals to escape scrutiny," cyber expert Prashant Pandey, who is also the whistleblower in the Vyapam scam, told IANS.IANS
Veteran Journalist Ausaf Vasfi Passes Away at 82
New Delhi:Veteran journalist and former deputy editor of Radiance Viewsweekly Syed Ausaf Saeed Vasfi passed away on Friday. He was 82.He was buried in Saheenbaug graveyard in Okhla.He is survived by two sons and a daughter. All his children are married and well-settled.His elder son Syed Tauqeer Ausaf-is an IT engineer working in Saudi Arabia. The younger son Syed Tausief Ausaf-is a journalist working with Arab News in Jeddah. His daughter- Uzma- is married to well-known journalist Zia-Us-Salam working as a senior editor with the Frontline.Vasfi was suffering from multiple diseases for quite a long time. He also had a heart stroke some time ago. He was recently admitted to Max Hospital in Patparganj for severe infection but was shifted to Al Shifa Hospital in Abul Fazal Enclave. But he could not survive and breathed his last Friday morning. His namaz-e-janaza was performed by his elder son Tauqeer in the Ishaat-e-Islam Trust mosque in Abul Fazal Enclave. He was born in Ashta in Madhya Pradesh in 1937. His maternal ancestors hailed from Lucknow and Varanasi in Uttar Pradesh. He did his graduation from the Government Hamidia College, Bhopal and master's in English literature from from  Vikram University, Ujjain. He did his Ph.D. in English on ``Imagery in Robert Browning's Poetry''.He joined  the Radiance Viewsweekly in 1963, the same year the magazine was launched from Delhi.India Tomorrow
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Compiled and edited by Anwarulhaq,(Released at: 2:07 PM)

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