Saturday, 14 December 2019

14 DEC. NEWS: Violence grips Assam, Meghalaya, Bengal, Delhi as protests against Citizenship Act escalate; Oppn plans mega rally/ CAB Protests: US, UK, Other Countries Warn Against Travel to North East/ Muslims in Kashmir, Assam one step away from extermination says World renowned genocide researcher


*NEWS DIGEST, Evening* 
*14 DEC. 2019: 16 Rabius Sani 1441: Vol: 12, No: 82*
*INDIA-CAB,NRC PROTESTS*
Violence grips Assam, Meghalaya, Bengal, Delhi as protests against Citizenship Act escalate; Oppn plans mega rally
NewDelhi: Violent protests against amended Citizenship Act rocked Assam, Meghalaya, West Bengal and Delhi on Friday, forcing Union home minister Amit Shah to cancel his visit to the northeastern states. Parliamentary Standing Committee on Home Affairs had to also postpone its trip.Assam is witnessing one of the most violent protests by the people in its history with 3 railway stations, post office, bank, bus terminus and many other public properties being set ablaze or totally damaged. At least 3 people have been killed during protests.Eight columns of the Army and Assam Rifles have been deployed in Assam, including capital Guwahati, as protests against the amended Citizenship Act turned violent on Friday, resulting in death of 3 people.news18
CAB protests LIVE Updates: Violent protests rock West Bengal, CM Mamata appeals for peace
Citizenship Act protests: violence in Assam, Bengal; demonstrations in Delhi, Mumbai
CAB Protests: US, UK, Other Countries Warn Against Travel to North East
Several countries, including US, UK, Israel Canada and Singapore, have asked their citizens to exercise caution while travelling to North East India which has witnessed violent protests against the amended Citizenship Act.US government has temporarily suspended official travels to Assam, the epicentre of the protests. US Embassy in New Delhi has also listed out precautions for its citizens staying in North Eastern states, asking them to avoid areas with "demonstrations and civil disturbances", being aware of their surroundings, and keep a "low profile" among others. UK government updated its travel advisory for India to warn its citizens against travel to the states in Northeast. In regular travel advice section constantly updated by Foreign and Commonwealth Office (FCO) for all countries, British nationals have been advised to exercise caution while undertaking all but essential travel to the region.UK online advisory continues to advise against all travel to Jammu and Kashmir, including tourist destinations of Pahalgam, Gulmarg and Sonamarg, Srinagar and Jammu-Srinagar national highway.Singapore's MFA issued a travel notice for Northeast India, advising Singaporeans travelling there to "exercise vigilance and caution".Canada has advised its citizens to avoid "non-essential" travel to Arunachal, Assam, Manipur, Meghalaya, Mizoram and Nagaland due to the protests. Israel has warned its citizens to "completely avoid" going to Assam because of violent protests.Israeli Foreign Ministry also warned against going to other states in the area due to the possibility of the violent protests spreading around.PTI 
New Indian citizenship law 'discriminatory' against Muslims:UN
UN human rights office has voiced concern that India’s new citizenship law is “fundamentally discriminatory in nature” by excluding Muslims and called for it to be reviewed.Violent clashes erupted in Delhi between police and thousands of university students on Friday protesting the enactment of the contentious new law.“We are concerned that India’s new Citizenship (Amendment) Act is fundamentally discriminatory in nature,”UN human rights spokesman Jeremy Laurence said.The new law does not extend the same protection to Muslim migrants as to 6 other religious minorities fleeing persecution, thereby undermining India’s commitment to equality before the law, enshrined in its constitution, he said.“We understand new law will be reviewed by the Supreme Court of India and hope it will consider carefully the compatibility of the law with India’s international human rights obligations,”Laurence said.reuters
India’s new citizenship law may have its implications: US diplomat
A top American diplomat responsible for monitoring international religious freedom has said that US is concerned about the implications of new citizenship law in India, while expressing hope that government will abide by its constitutional commitments.Sam Brownback, Ambassador at Large for International Religious Freedom, tweeted, “One of India’s great strengths is its Constitution. As a fellow democracy, we respect India’s institutions, but are concerned about the implications of the CAB bill. We hope the government will abide by its constitutional commitments, including on religious freedom.” US diplomat’s reaction came after the Trump administration urged Indian to “protect the rights of its religious minorities” in keeping with the “Constitution and democratic values”.Brownback’s remarks also come ahead of the 2+2 ministerial dialogue between India and the US. In another development, at a Congressional briefing organised by the Indian American Muslim Council, Engage Action and Hindus for Human Rights, Gregory Stanton of Genocide Watch expressed concern on Thursday over the human rights situation in Kashmir and Assam.indianexpress
US Urges India to protect rights of religious minorities
Muslims in Kashmir, Assam one step away from extermination says World renowned genocide researcher
Those who have ever used a social media platform would have inevitably come across a graphic about genocide in posts related to conflict zones and areas of social strife. This graphic, '10 stages of Genocide' (some versions have 8 stages), describes mass ethnic killing as a process consisting of predictable stages. The classification on the stages of genocide was first created by a US professor, Gregory Stanton, when he worked at US State Department in 1996 during the time of the genocide in Rwanda.Stanton, who is head of the organisation Genocide Watch, claimed “Muslims in Kashmir and Assam” were just one step away from extermination. Stanton made the statement at a briefing to the US Congress on Kashmir and NRC, organised by Indian American Muslim Council (IAMC), Emgage Action and Hindus for Human Rights. While IAMC and Emgage Action work for human rights for Muslims, Hindus for Human Rights claims to be a US-based advocacy organisation “committed to ideals of multi-religious pluralism in US, India and beyond”. According to a press release on the briefing from IAMC, Stanton claimed, “Preparation for a genocide is definitely under way in India.” He explained, “The persecution of Muslims in Assam and Kashmir is the stage just before genocide. The next stage is extermination—that’s what we call a genocide.”Stanton alleged Assam was seeing the “construction of a pretext for expulsion [of Muslims]”. He argued the issues in both Kashmir and Assam were a “classic case”,following the pattern of 10 stages of genocide. Elaborating on stages, Stanton was quoted by IAMC as saying “1st stage was 'classification' of us versus them. 2nd stage, 'symbolisation', named the victims as foreigner. 3rd stage, 'discrimination', classified [victims] out of the group accepted for citizenship, so that they had no human rights or civil rights of citizens and were discriminated against legally. 4th stage, 'dehumanisation', is when the genocidal spiral begins to go downwards. You classify the others as somehow worse than you. You give them names like terrorists, or even names of animals, start referring to them as a cancer in the body politic; you talk about them as a disease that must be somehow dealt with.”“5th stage was creating an 'organisation' to commit the genocide: The role played by Indian Army in Kashmir and the census takers in Assam. 6th stage was 'polarisation', which is achieved by propaganda. 7th stage was 'preparation', and 8th 'persecution', where Assam and Kashmir currently were. After 9th stage of 'extermination', comes 10th stage of 'denial'.”Stanton declared the regime of PM Narendra Modi had “all hallmarks of an incipient Nazi regime”, adding “nationalism taken to its extreme is fascism and Nazism”.The briefing also saw participation by activist Teesta Seetalvad, trenchant critic of Modi's policies.theweek
Citizenship Law: Jamia Millia students protest even after facing lathi-charge, teargas shells
New Delhi:Day after several students of Jamia Millia Islamia were injured in police lathi-charge and teargas firing, hundreds of students continued their protest against the controversial Citizenship (Amendment) Act on Saturday, though from behind the locked gates of the university. On Friday, they had tried to march towards the Parliament to protest against the law when Delhi police resorted to lathi-charge and fired teargas shells to disperse them. Today was the third day of the protest of Jamia students against the law.Meanwhile, following the police action and in view of the continuous student protest, the university administration on Saturday announced winter vacation postponing all examinations. University will remain closed till Jan.5.India Tomorrow talked to several protesting students of Jamia Millia through the steel grills as press was not allowed inside the campus. They said they will continue the protest until the controversial law is withdrawn or amended to include Muslims.“We are protesting against Citizenship Amendment Act because it is against our Constitution. The founding fathers of the Constitution had made a secular state. This Act is violating Article 14,” said Faisal Manzar who is doing B.Tech. in Civil Engineering from Jamia.Giving details about the Friday protest during several students were injured, Shekhar said: “Students had planned to hold a peaceful march to the Parliament. They were standing on the road and wanted to proceed. Police used force, resorted to lathi-charge and fired teargas shells and victimized the students. Many students got fractures in hands and legs. Many girls got wounds in heads. There were no women cops. Male cops were beating the girl students. What can be worse than this? This government is anti-secular and anti-Muslim.” Arafat Ahmed, a student of Diploma in Engineering, said that around 40 students were detained by police on Friday but all of them were later released. He said that despite detention and police action “Our protest continued whole night. It is going on right and will continue until we get justice.”India Tomorrow
In Pictures: Millions of Muslims Protest Against Controversial Citizenship Law Across India
Citizenship Act: Jamia students call off lockdown; university announces vacation till Jan 5
New Delhi:Jamia Millia Islamia students called off their university lockdown against the new citizenship law on Saturday, a day after violent protests rocked the campus area, even as varsity cancelled exams and announced vacation till Jan.5 in view of the tension. The university administration said those who indulged in violence and clashed with police on Friday were "outsiders" and not students.Jamia students, teachers and alumni, said they have formed a coordination panel to hold peaceful protests against the amended Citizenship Act. They say the law is discriminatory.The university had turned into a virtual battlefield on Friday when students and policemen clashed with each other as students tried to march to Parliament in protest against legislation. Students had called for a lockdown of the university Saturday and planned to boycott exams. But a senior university official said all exams at the university have been postponed and new dates will be announced in due course. Official said a vacation has been declared from Dec 16 to Jan 5 and the university will reopen on Jan 6 next year.Earlier Saturday, before the university announced the decision to postponed exams, students shared their experience during the violent clash on Friday.Wajahat, a 22-year-old student of BA Political Science, said, "On Friday, Delhi Police brutally attacked us while we were marching and many students got injured. They used baton and tear gas against students. We have boycotted the exam."Jamia Teachers'' Association had also called an emergency meeting of Executive Committee to discuss measures ahead of their protest against the contentious legislation. PTI
Citizenship Act: Religious leaders back Jamia students' protests in Delhi
 Representatives of various religious communities have voiced their support for students of Jamia Millia Islamia protesting against the passage of CAB, saying that expressing one’s opinion is a democratic right. "Protest is the only way of conveying our voice to the govt…if the citizens are not happy over a decision of the government, they have all the right to highlight the issue. Any intensified protest will make people in power think about its impact on citizens," said Mufti Mukarram Ahmad, Shahi Imam, Fatehpuri Masjid.AC Michael, national convener of United Christian Forum and a former member of the Delhi Minorities Commission, said that more protests should take place if any Act or Bill affects harmony and incites religious conflict.“In the present scenario, speaking up against the government is now termed as being anti-national; criticising any step is difficult. Protest is a democratic right and should be taking place,” Michael noted. Mukarram believes the Act can escalate religious conflicts. newindianexpress
‘Those who demand their rights, are they traitors?’: Voices from Jamia CAB protests
Protests continue at AMU: ‘Next stop Delhi’
Aligarh :As Part of ongoing protests against the new citizenship law, AMU students will stage an agitation at Jantar Mantar in Delhi in the coming days. On the sixth day of the protests on the AMU campus, a march by over 1,000 students to the district magistrate’s office was halted at Bab-e-Syed entrance of the university. Police said they had to do “light pushing and shoving” to control the crowd.“A large crowd had gathered and the effort was to ensure no untoward incident takes place. There has been heavy deployment since Tuesday, which is expected to continue tomorrow (Saturday) also. The protest was concluded peacefully,” said Anila Samania, Circle Officer, City 3rd.As the march was stopped, DM reached the campus and received a memorandum from the AMU student union. The letter, addressed to CJI S A Bobade, requested the new citizenship law be declared “unconstitutional and illegal”. It said the CAB was targetting a particular community and that it would threaten the “secular” fabric of society.“Our next stop is Delhi where our voices against the new law will be amplified,” said Salman Imtiyaz, outgoing president of AMU Student Union.Several students from across courses also boycotted examinations that are on till Dec.18. The protest saw participation from faculty members as well.“We even had people from teacher’s association and medical fraternity. The movement will not stop. We have boycotted exams and dining halls,” said Imtiyaz.The district administration has blocked Internet services in Aligarh since Thursday midnight. Later, university teachers’ association AMUTA also held a march and handed over a memorandum, addressed to Prime Minister, to the authorities, saying, “We urge the President, Prime Minister, the CJI to take necessary steps to withdraw the Citizenship Act and proposal for NRC as they run counter to India’s rich history of pluralism and guarantee of equality before law.”
Citizenship Act: Pak slams India as MEA calls Imran's remark 'unwarranted'
Pakistan on Friday hit back at India for criticising Prime Minister Imran Khan's remarks on India's new citizenship law, saying it is premised on "falsehood". Prime minister Khan on Thursday criticised the Bill as a manifestation of India under Prime Minister Narendra Modi going ahead with "Hindu supremacist agenda".On Tuesday, Khan said the bill "violates all norms of international human rights law and bilateral agreements with Pakistan" and that "it is part of RSS Hindu Rashtra design of expansionism."India on Thursday lambasted PM Khan for castigating the bill, saying such "unwarranted" criticism cannot absolve Pakistan of "blatant persecution" of religious minorities in the neighbouring country.External Affairs Ministry Spokesperson Raveesh Kumar said the persecution of the religious minorities in Pakistan flows from the country's Constitution and its "draconian" blasphemy laws. Reacting to Kumar's statement, Pak  Foreign Office said on Friday: "We reject comments by Indian MEA's Spokesperson about a tweet of PM of Pakistan regarding discriminatory citizenship bill passed by the Indian Parliament this week".PTI
States have no power to reject citizenship act, says Centre after West Bengal, Punjab, Kerala, MP, Chhattisgarh refuse to implement it
With five chief ministers from Opposition parties saying that the citizenship law would have “no place” in their respective states, top sources in Ministry of Home Affairs Friday said that states have no powers to reject the implementation of the new law.“The new legislation has been enacted under the Union List of 7th Schedule of the Constitution, so it is a subject on which states have no power,” said a top MHA source.Chief Ministers of West Bengal, Punjab, Kerala, Madhya Pradesh and Chhattisgarh have indicated that the new law will have no place in their respective states.There are 97 items which are under the Union List of 7th Schedule that includes Defence, External Affairs, Railways, Citizenship and Naturalisation, among others.Kerala Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan had said that “an anti-constitutional law will have no place” in his state.West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee said,“In your (BJP) manifesto, instead of development issues, you have put in a promise to divide the country. Why will citizenship be on the basis of religion? I will not accept this. We dare you…”Punjab CM Amarinder Singh said his government would not allow the legislation to be implemented in his state.Chhattisgarh CM Bhupesh Baghel said Act was “clearly unconstitutional”. “Whatever decision is made at Congress party forum on the Bill,will be applied in Chhattisgarh,” he said.indianexpress
As Anti-CAB Protests Rage in Guwahati, India-Japan Summit Postponed
India has announced that annual India-Japan summit has been ‘deferred’, with Assam continuing to witness clashes and curfew being further extended over protests against the Citizenship (Amendment) Bill.“With reference to the proposed visit of Japanese PM Abe to India, both sides have decided to defer the visit to a mutually convenient date in the near future,” MEA spokesperson Raveesh Kumar said on Friday.thewire
Japan PM Cancels Visit To India, US & UN Urge India To Protect Rights of Muslims
Oil Tanker Set Ablaze in Assam as Protests Continue; Driver Killed
An oil tanker was set ablaze in Assam’s Sonitpur district, killing its driver, even as protests against the amended Citizenship Act continued on Saturday, across the state amid a rail blockade, sit-ins and hunger strikes by different organisations, officials said. Empty oil tanker, on its way for refilling petrol from Sipajhar in Udalguri district, was set ablaze by a group of people at Dhekiajuli in Sonitpur on Friday night, police said.The driver of the tanker was taken to a private nursing home where he succumbed to severe burn injuries on Saturday morning, they said. Meanwhile, AASU, Asom Jatiyatabadi Yuba Chatra Parishad (AJYCP) and 30 other organisations of indigenous people, spearheading the agitation against the Act, held protests in all districts of Brahmaputra Valley along with senior citizens, students, artists, singers, intellectuals and teachers.AJYCP blocked tracks at Kamakhya railway station, disrupting train services from Guwahati to other parts of the country. AJYCP has also given call for a 36-hour 'Gana Anshan' (mass hunger strike) from 6 am on 16 Dec.across the state, while from 18 Dec., they will organise 'Gaon Sabhas' (village meetings) in all village of the state.AJYCP, which also demands that Assam be brought under Inner Line Permit (ILP) regime, has also planned 'Gana Samadal' (mass rally) on 24 Dec.“We have coined the slogan 'No CAA, Yes ILP' and we will continue our agitation till it is granted,” Changmai said. AASU has called for 'satyagraha' for three days, beginning Dec.16.A Northeast Frontier Railway spokesperson said that all trains to Upper Assam districts have been terminated at Guwahati, while all-long distance trains leaving Guwahati will resume their onward journey after the blockade.PTI
LIVE:Citizenship Protests: Assam Govt Employees to Cease Work on 18 Dec
Citizenship Act: Protests turn violent in West Bengal, internet suspended in Assam till Monday
Dissent grows in Assam’s ruling BJP-AGP govt, many leaders quit
Guwahati:A number of functionaries of the ruling alliance of BJP and AGP have resigned from their posts in the aftermath of the passage of the Citizenship (Amendment) act, with some saying that the state government had failed to gauge the mood of the people against the new law.Senior BJP leader Jagadish Bhuyan, who was also the chairman of state-run Assam Petrochemicals Limited, resigned from the party and his post on Friday. “When I saw the revised CAA was against Assamese people, I decided to quit. From now I will take part in anti-citizen law protests,” said Bhuyan. This came a day after popular Assamese actor Jatin Bora, who is also the chairman of Assam State Film Finance and Development Corporation, and Ravi Sharma, resigned from the BJP and joined the protests. “I am what I am only because of the people of Assam. I decided to quit my post and party and be with my people,” Bora said. Sharma also expressed a similar sentiment. While ex assembly speaker, Pulakesh Baruah, announced his resignation from the BJP on Friday, party’s MLA from Jamugurihat, Padma Hazarika, said on Friday that he will quit from his post if voters of his constituency, who are opposed to the CAA, ask him to do so.There is a feeling among some BJP leaders that the party failed to gauge sentiment of people, especially in Assamese-dominated Brahamaputra Valley, where most of the protests have happened. Leaders from AGP admitted that there has been a spree of resignations, primarily from district levels bodies, over CAA.HT
Citizenship Amendment Act stir: CSIR-UGC NET exam postponed in Assam and Meghalaya
National Testing Agency (NTA) on Saturday postponed the joint CSIR-UGC National Eligibility Test (NET) December 2019 examination in Assam and Meghalaya in view of the tense situation in the states due to protests against the amended Citizenship Act.TOI
Citizenship (Amendment) Act will lead to communal politics: Jamaat-e-Islami Hind, civil society groups
New Delhi:Jamaat-e-Islami Hind (JIH) and some civil society groups on Saturday opposed the Citizenship (Amendment) Act (CAA), terming it as unconstitutional. Jamaat''s Vice President Salim Engineer said in a media interaction: "Through the CAA, the government wants to give citizenship to six religious minorities from Pakistan, Bangladesh and Afghanistan except Muslims. We think it is against the spirit of the Constitution. It will take the country towards communal politics."The representatives of the Muslim body and several civil society groups said in a statement that they all oppose the Citizenship Amendment Act."We are not opposing granting citizenship to the six communities through this law. We are against exclusion of Muslims based on religion. It is against the idea of India. CAB should be seen along with NRC  Only then the gravity of the picture will emerge," said the statement. The civil society groups sought clarification on the statement given by Home Minister Amit Shah that crores of people who do not have documents need not worry, they will get protection from CAA."Does it mean that only Muslims should worry? It is dangerous that just for winning elections, they are indulging in divisive politics," said members of the civil society groups.Mohammad Jafar, one of the Vice Presidents of Jamaat-e-Islami Hind, said: "We are concerned that both Houses of the Parliament have passed this Bill and got support not only from the ruling BJP, but also from those parties who we thought will not support the Bill. It seems they did not realise that CAB is divisive and destabilising for the country."According to the Muslim body, the Constitution does not allow discrimination based on religion and that the Act violates Articles 14 and 15.Navaid Hamid, President, All India Muslim Majlise e Mushawarat, questioned the intention of the government behind the CAB."Last time the Bill was sent to the select committee of Parliament for discussion. That panel had recommended citizenship to persecuted minorities but the government added religious minorities. CAA is against the idea of ''Vasudeva Kutumbkam''," said Hamid.IANS/ outlook
Citizenship Act may force Muslims to convert, feel let down:Muslim leaders
Protest Against CAB: Civil Society Groups Call Bharat Bandh on Dec.19

Citizenship Act: Muslim bodies hold march for dignity at Delhi’s Jantar Mantar
New Delhi: Muslim organisations led by Jamiat Ulama i-Hind held a protest march at Jantar Mantar on Friday demanding the scrapping of the Citizenship Amendment Act. They said the legislation was an attack on the dignity and fundamental rights of Indian Muslims and sent a memorandum to the President of India expressing opposition to the newly enacted law.Mahmood A. Madani, general secretary of the Jamiat, described CAA as “communally inspired” and alleged it used religion as a legal criterion to determine Indian citizenship. He said the new law was “against the Constitution of India”, but exhorted the Muslim youth to maintain peace and tranquillity at this time. “To live a life of dignity we have to display courage as well as patience,” he advised.A memorandum submitted to the President of India later said the unstated objective of the legislations appeared to be to create a division in society on the basis of religion. “This violates the pluralistic fabric of India,” declared Madani.Police said that a thousand people had been permitted to gather at Jantar Mantar, while the rest had to be stopped at Ranjeet Singh Flyover.In a statement, Jamiat said similar protests were held in cities and towns across the country.TOI
Delhi Unites Against Citizenship Amendment Act at Jantar Mantar
CAB protest: Violent protests continue in West Bengal, several buses, railway station torched
Violent agitations continued to rock parts of West Bengal for the second consecutive day on Saturday as people protesting against the amended Citizenship Act set several buses on fire and torched portions of a railway station complex, officials said.Incidents of violence were reported from Murshidabad and North 24 Paraganas districts, and rural Howrah, police said.Angry protestors torched around 15 buses, both public and private, and blocked traffic on the arterial Kona Expressway in Howrah that connects both NH6  and NH2  to Kolkata, the police said.Traffic movement along the expressway came to a standstill, they said.National Highway 34, one of the main roads that connect the north and south Bengal, was blocked in Murshidabad. Buses were also set on fire there, the police said.Several other roads in the district were also blocked, they said.In Howarh district's Domjur area, National Highway 6 was blocked as protesters set tyres ablaze and ransacked several vehicles, the police said.Since last night, 20 shops have been set on fire in Bagnan area of Rural Howrah, an official said. A portion of the Sankrail railway station complex in Howrah district was also set on fire in the afternoon by hundreds of protestors, they said.Train movements were also blocked.PTI
In Bengal, thousands of Muslims hit streets after Friday prayers to protest CAB
Calcutta:Thousands of Muslims in different parts of Bengal hit the streets after Friday prayers to protest the Citizenship (Amendment) Act and demand its withdrawal, mirroring the deep-rooted insecurity among the minority community that makes up around 28 per cent of the state’s population with the new law.There were some stray instances— at Beldanga in Murshidabad, Arambag in Hooghly and Uluberia in Howrah — of violence, but those helming the protests have declared in no uncertain terms that the movement will be peaceful and inclusive and won’t deviate from the country’s secular principles.State govt sources said the protests were largely peaceful, culminating mostly in sit-ins on main thoroughfares that caused minor disruptions to traffic and that the situation was under control.The protests on the roads that started in the afternoon took the form of small meetings and street-corner gatherings in Muslim-dominated areas as community leaders began drawing up plans on how to take the movement forward and get larger sections of the society to endorse their demands.The community leaders who spearheaded the protests made it amply clear that they wanted its character to be inclusive as the message from the venues was essentially secular. Reports from Calcutta and the districts suggested that the protests on Friday were largely apolitical and the gatherings after the Friday prayers were organised by different minority organisations such as the Jamaat-e-Islami Hind, Jamiat Ulema-e-Hind and local outfits of imams and muezzins.At a rally organised by Jamaat-e-Islami Hind in Calcutta, representatives of other communities were also seen marching from Tipu Sultan mosque to Gandhi statue at Maidan.telegraphindia
Beginnings of Civil Disobedience against Citizenship Amendments and NRC
Punjab Protests CAB, Big Rallies Across the State
Chandigarh: Tremors of discontent are being felt across Punjab on the issue of Citizen’s Amendment Bill (CAB) passed by Parliament earlier this week. Protests have started in the state and are expected to intensify in the days to come.Significantly the protests are seeing a sizeable number of Sikhs speaking out against the CAB along with progressive students and civil society organizations. Punjab is a state where a national minority is in majority and geographically it borders Muslim dominated Pakistan. The Sikhs, however, have been protected under the CAB. However, the new Act has clearly invoked memories of Partition with protests despite Chief Minister Amrinder Singh’s initial statement that the CAB will not be implemented in the state.On Dec.10, students of Punjabi University at Patiala had started the protests burning copies of the controversial CAB. On Friday, Malerkotla which has since partition remained the only town in Punjab with a sizeable Muslim population saw a complete shutdown. There was a massive protest meeting where people from all the communities participated to oppose the Bill.On Saturday, there was a massive protest in Ludhiana where again people from all faiths participated. “We had a sizeable participation from the members of Alliance of Sikh Organizations which is an umbrella group of various Sikh groups. There was representation from Khalsa Aid as well as the Dalit organizations in the area. The common sentiment here is that if it is the biggest minority of Muslims that has been targeted this time, tomorrow it could be any other minority that can be target through an amendment,”Maulana Usman Ludhianvi, one of the organizers of the protest, told this reporter.
Malerkotla shuts down in protest against new citizenship law
CAB protests: Former IAS Kannan Gopinathan, others detained in Mumbai
Alarge group of people were to reach Marine Drive in Mumbai to protest against the Citizenship (Amendment) Act. However, before the protests could begin at 7pm, a handful of the protestors including former IAS Kannan Gopinathan were detained by Mumbai Police.Kannan Gopinathan and others also asked the police to let them protest, arguing they did not have any placards and they only intended to read the Constitution.After hearing about the detention of Kannan Gopinathan, Feroze Mithiborwala (Bharat Bachao Andolan), Fahad Ahmed (TISS), Amol Madame (Akhil Bharatiya Parivar), Com. Nasirul Haq (All India Tanzeem E Insaaf), MA Khalid (All India Milli Council), and Faisal Khan (Activist) among others reached the police station.Although they did not do any sloganeering, the students held out placards and waited for the detainees to come out.indiatoday
Amid CAB protests in Marathwada region, police asked to beef up security, intel gathering
Aurangabad:Aurangabad city police have scaled up bandobast anticipating large scale agitation against the Citizen Amendment Bill (CAB). The passage of the bill in both the Houses of Parliament has triggered uproar among members of the civil society, minority communities, as well as representatives of political parties.Security was heightened following directives issued by the state police headquarters asking all superintendents and commissioners of police to scale up bandobast and take appropriate measures to avoid any untoward incident. Communications were sent across the state on Thursday, following which the leaves of policemen, attached to police stations as well as HQRS, were cancelled. All the unit commanders have been asked to keep a close watch on the situation and deploy a strong bandobast at important places.Several agitations were held across 8 districts of Marathwada region by different organisations, including Jamiat-E-Ulma Hind, Jamaat-E-Islami Hind and other socio-religious organisations, from different backgrounds. Though a large number of protestors had gathered in Aurangabad, Beed, Nanded, Parbhani on Friday, but the overall situation remained peaceful.TOI
Amit Shah cancels visit to Meghalaya, Arunachal amid Citizenship Act protests
Amid continued unrest in Northeast over the Citizenship Amendment Act, Union Home minister Amit Shah has cancelled his visit to Meghalaya and Arunachal, scheduled on Sunday and Monday.On Sunday, Shah was supposed to take part in the passing out parade at North Eastern Police Academy near Shillong, which is now under indefinite curfew. newindianexpress
Telangana:Widespread protests against citizenship Act
Hyderabad:Condemning the Citizenship (Amendment) Act, in unequivocal terms, members of Jamaat-e-Islami Hind, Students Organisation of India (SIO), Jamiat Ulama-i-Hind and various other Muslim organisations staged a protest demonstration in Khammam on Friday.Displaying placards terming CAB “communal”, “discriminatory” and “'unconstitutional”, protesters shouted slogans demanding immediate scrapping of the bill to protect nation’s secular fabric.The demonstrators displayed large banners with slogans denouncing the CAB dubbing it “divisive” for “using religion as a legal criterion for determining Indian citizenship”.They flayed the CAB and NRC. Similar protest demonstrations were held in various other parts of the erstwhile Khammam district.At Madhira town, activists of DYFI set ablaze the copies of CAB in a symbolic protest against the bill.At Nalgonda, members of Jamiat Ulama here appealed to the President of India requesting withdrawal of CAB and and its replacement with an appropriate measure. President of Nalgonda chapter Syed Ehsanuddin said the bill marked a radical break with the history, and also arbitrarily violated Assam Accord, 1985, causing disturbances in Northeast.Members of the organisation later submitted a petition to District Collector. Suryapet chapter of Jamiat Ulama also held rallies in the town, carrying black flags and banners, against the bill and the National Register of Citizens.At Nizamabad, Jamat-e-Islami Hind, SIO and other Muslim organisations held a demonstration, protesting against the bill, and urged the Supreme Court to annul the bill under Judicial Review.Ahmed Abdul Haleem, State secretary of Jamat-e- Islami Hind, said that the government did not show sympathy over religiously oppressed immigrants in passing the bill but intended to advance its communal agenda. Discrimination against a community on the basis of religion was against the spirit of the Constitution and violation of Article 14, he said.Abdul Gani, State general secretary of IUML, said the bill was unconstitutional and violated Articles 14, 15 and 25, which gave equality to all citizens before law and prohibited discrimination based on religion, caste, creed, sex, colour and place of birth.Leaders of SIO, MPJ, Welare Party and BLF Dandi Venkat, Chennaiya, Lingam, and Sagar spoke.the hindu
Anti-CAA protests in Hyderabad, other Telangana towns
Protest in Vadodara protest against Citizenship (Amendment) Act
Vadodara: Members of city unit of Jamiat Ulama-i-Hind made representations on Friday seeking withdrawal of the Citizenship (Amendment) Act. A protest against the Act was also held at Navayard.Members of JuH’s city unit submitted a memorandum regarding the Act at the district collectorate.The memorandum alleged that the Act seems to camouflage discrimination and division on the basis of religion.It added that the Act violated the pluralistic fabric of the country.JuH has demanded immediate repealing of the Act and be replaced with a legislation that addresses the concerns of refugees and minorities in a non-discriminatory manner.TOI
Citizenship Bill: Widespread protests in Karnataka against Act
Bengaluru:Thousands of people brought together under various organisations expressed their disagreement to the Citizenship (Amendment) Act by protesting against it across the state on Friday.Muslim Muttahida Mahaz spearheaded a protest in Shivamogga against the Act. The protesters alleged that the Act was a weapon to exploit the minority Muslim community. They submitted a memorandum to President Ram Nath Kovind asking him to reconsider it. Hundreds of members of the community staged a sit-in at the DC’s office and accused the Centre of going against the Constitution. The protesters raised slogans against PM Narendra Modi. Protesters complained that the Act also violates international treaties.newindianexpress
Bengaluru rises in protest against ‘divisive’ CAB
Bengaluru: A day after the contentious CAB was passed in Parliament, thousands of Muslims, joined by people from other communities,  took to the streets of Bengaluru to hold a silent protest against it, wearing black badges and carrying flags before mosques  following the Friday prayers even as a group of advocates set fire to a copy of the CAB outside the Vidhana Soudha.Gathering in huge numbers before some of the prominent mosques of the city like the Mecca Mosque in Neelsandra, Lal Masjid in Shivajinagar and  Shah masjid on Tannery Road, where Muslims are dominant, protestors raised slogans against CAB and NRC, calling both “unconstitutional” and an attempt by BJP government at the Centre to reduce Muslims to second class citizens in the country. The agitators, who took out processions under the banner of Jamiat-e-Ulama-e-Hind, Karnataka chapter, and DJ Halli Federation of Masaajid and Madrasas, from  mosques in different parts of the city,  marched with placards that said, 'We condemn communal law', 'Religious discrimination not accepted', 'Withdraw CAB', and 'Save Indian Constitution.' Meanwhile, a group of advocates gathered outside Vidhana Soudha on Friday and burnt a copy of the CAB. deccanchronicle
After supporting CAB, CM Naveen Patnaik meets Muslim members, assures no NRC in Odisha
Bhubaneswar:In an attempt to bolster Muslim community members' support back into BJD's fold after supporting the Citizenship (Amendment) Act, Odisha Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik on Friday met some Muslim leaders and assured NRC would not be implemented in the state.After CM Naveen Patnaik supported the CAB, a major chunk of Muslims said they felt betrayed. In view of it, BJD organised a meeting of the Muslim community members with Naveen Patnaik to neutralise the anger of Muslims in the state. However, none from Balasore and Jajpur came to attend the meeting. Out of 9 members from Bhadrak district,only 3-4 came from one family.BJD minority cell general secretary Dilshan Sekhar and several other members within the party minority cell of Balasore district said that they feel like they have been betrayed by their own party."We feel like betrayed by our own party. We will take an appropriate decision soon whether to stay in the party which is not secular anymore." However, Abdul Bari of Bhadrakh district said, "Naveen has said there was some compulsion so we had to support the CAB."Abdul Bari also said Naveen Patnaik has assured him that BJD won't support NRC in Odisha and allayed apprehensions over the safety of their community after the CAA. india today
More petitions against new law filed in SC
New Delhi:About a dozen petitioners, including Congress leader Jairam Ramesh and All Assam Students’ Union (AASU), moved the Supreme Court Friday questioning the constitutional validity of the Citizenship (Amendment) Act, even as the top court refused to grant an immediate hearing to a plea filed by Trinamool Congress MP Mahua Moitra on the issue. Moitra’s petition was mentioned before a bench headed by Chief Justice of India S A Bobde with her counsel urging the bench to take it up during the day or next week. “Today? Nothing today. You go to the mentioning officer,” the bench, also comprising justices B R Gavai and Surya Kant, told the counsel.Another plea by 2 NGOs, Rihai Manch and Citizens Against Hate, filed through Advocate Fauzia Shakil, said the Act is “discriminatory and manifestly arbitrary” and violates the fundamental rights, including that of equality before law, and the basic structure of the Constitution.Others who approached the SC on Friday include the Peace Party, Advocate M L Sharma and some law students.Ramesh, in his plea filed through Senior Advocate Devdutt Kamat and Advocate Nishant Patil, contended that the Act is a “brazen attack on the core fundamental rights envisaged under the Constitution”.indianexpress
Asaduddin Owaisi Files Petition in SC Against CAA
 Asaduddin Owaisi, a prominent Muslim leader and chief of MIM who dared to tear the copy of Citizenship Amendment Bill 2019 in Parliament, has filed a petition before the Supreme Court challenging the Citizenship Amendment Act on Saturday.More than a dozen pleas have been filed in the Supreme Court so far against new Citizenship Act.Owaisi who is also member of Lok Sabha from Hyderabad, in his petition challenging the new Act in the Supreme Court said, “CAA appeared to have an unholy nexus with NRC exercise.”IANS
*OTHERS*
Citizenship Act, unemployment, inflation: crowd at Cong's Bharat Bachao rally have too many concerns
New Delhi: “Bachana hai Bharat ko” was a common slogan among the large crowd that came from different parts of the country to the Ram Leela ground, New Delhi, for Congress’ Bharat Bachao Rally.Senior party leaders, including Sonia Gandhi, Manmohan Singh, P Chidambaram, and Rahul Gandhi and Priyanka Gandhi, addressed the gathering that was organised to protest against the “failed” policies of Modi-led BJP govt at the Centre.Also present at the event were Congress chief minister of MP - Kamal Nath, Chhattisgarh - Bhupesh Baghel, and Rajasthan - Ashok Gehlot.News18 spoke to some of the people who attended the event on what brought them to the rally. Most of them expressed strong views against the amended citizenship Act, and said the rally was their way to register their protest against the unconstitutional values and communal premise of the new legislation. Some of them also voiced concerns about the failing economy and how agriculture has been affected over the last few years.News18
At Bharat Bachao rally, Congress top brass echoes: ‘If you love India, raise your voice’
‘Rape in India’ remark: I am Rahul Gandhi, not Savarkar, won’t apologise for speaking truth, says Rahul
New Delhi :Refusing to succumb to pressure from the BJP over his ‘rape in India’ remark, Congress leader Rahul Gandhi on Saturday said he will not apologise for speaking out “truth” and instead, sought an apology from Prime Minister Narendra Modi and his Union Home Minister Amit Shah for “destroying” the country’s economy. While addressing a large gathering of Congress workers at a massive ‘Bharat Bachao’ rally in Delhi’s Ramlila Maidan, the former Congress chief said, “My name is Rahul Gandhi, not Rahul Savarkar. I will never apologise for speaking truth and nor will any Congressman do so. It is Narendra Modi and his assistant Amit Shah who has to apologise to the country for destroying India’s economy.”Training his guns on the Prime Minister, Rahul accused Modi of singlehandedly “destroying” the economy. “It is Prime Minister himself, and not India’s enemies, who has destroyed our economy and (he) still calls himself a patriot,” he said.indianexpress
Zakir Naik recently tried to cross over to Maldives but was not allowed: Speaker Nasheed
Islamic preacher Zakir Naik recently tried to cross over to Maldives from Malaysia but the island nation did not allow it,Maldives' Parliament Speaker Mohamed Nasheed said. "He (Naik) was trying to come to Maldives but we did not allow him to come," former president of Maldives Nasheed, who is leading a parliamentary delegation to India, said.Asked if there had been discussions between Maldives and Malaysia on Naik's extradition, Nasheed said, "He was not allowed to come to the Maldives recently so there would have been discussions (between Malaysia and Maldives)".PTI
128 Days and Counting: Former J&K CM Farooq Abdullah's Detention Extended by 3 Months
Srinagar: The detention of Farooq Abdullah, a 3-term chief minister of erstwhile state of Jammu and Kashmir, was extended on Saturday by three months and he would continue to remain at his residence that has been declared a sub-jail, officials said here.The case of Abdullah, also a five-term parliamentarian, was reviewed by the advisory board of the Home Department of Union Territory of Jammu and Kashmir which recommended extension of his detention under PSA, they said.His house, located at Gupkar Road, has been declared a sub-jail by the union territory's Home Department. 82-year-old Abdullah, who became the first chief minister against whom the stringent public safety law was invoked, has a heart pacemaker implanted and had undergone a kidney transplant a few years ago.Reacting to move, West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee tweeted, "Abdullah detention extended by three months under PSA...This is a very sad state of affairs. In our democratic country this is happening. These are unconstitutional steps."Abdullah was among a host of leaders and activists who were detained on August 5.News18
Police work pending as J&K approves new prosecution wing
Srinagar :Since Nov.1, the day after the erstwhile state of Jammu and Kashmir became a Union Territory post the suspension of Article 370, prosecution powers were taken away from the Jammu and Kashmir Police and a separate prosecution wing has been set up for the UT. With close to a lakh trials pending, the setting up of the new wing is expected to accelerate trials in J&K which has a nearly 38 per cent conviction rate.However, in the wake of the separation of the wing, police work has remained pending since the structural changes brought to the prosecution wing are yet to take shape.Ahead of J&K’s transition as a UT, prosecutors largely operated out of police offices and assisted police with legal advice, vetting of chargesheets and documents ahead of trials. There are approximately 250 public prosecutors available to the wing, of which some come from the J&K bar association.indianexpress
Satisfied with report saying no J&K minors detained:SC
A fact-finding inquiry by the Juvenile Justice Committee of the Jammu and Kashmir High Court found allegations of the detention of children in the wake of the August 5 abrogation of Article 370 to be untrue, the Supreme Court said Friday, adding that it was satisfied with process undertaken by the committee.Justice N V Ramana, heading a three-judge bench, said the 4 HC judges of the committee had “personally visited each jail. They spoke to many children also” and reported that “there is nothing of the sort as alleged… that no such instance has taken place”.The bench, also comprising Justices R Subhash Reddy and B R Gavai, was hearing a petition by child rights activists Enakshi Ganguly and Shanta Sinha, who contended that security forces had detained children in J&K after August 5.Initially senior advocate Huzefa Ahmadi, appearing for the petitioners, urged the court to not dispose of the plea and to keep it pending till he could respond to the findings in the report.indianexpress
Discrepancies in 347 LS seats poll data: SC issues notice to EC
The Supreme Court has issued a notice to the Election Commission of India (ECI) on the pleas of 2 NGOs seeking a probe into alleged discrepancies between voter turnout and the number of votes counted in 347 constituencies during the 2019 Lok Sabha polls.A bench headed by Chief Justice S.A. Bobde tagged the plea of the two NGOs along with the pending matters and listed it for hearing in Feb. 2020.The plea filed by Association for Democratic Reforms (ADR) and Common Cause sought a direction to the Election Commission to formulate a robust procedure to investigate discrepancies in the data in all future elections.Citing the data of a research conducted by a team of its experts, the ADR said there were serious discrepancies between the number of voters in different constituencies, that is the voter turnout data collated and provided by the EC and the number of votes counted.It claimed that findings of the research revealed several discrepancies, including those in the master summary of 542 constituencies. Discrepancies were found in 347 seats.ADR said discrepancies ranged from 1 vote to 1,01,323 votes, which is equal to 10.49 per cent of the total votes. The plea further said there were six seats where the discrepancy in votes was higher than the winning margin.PTI
After Unnao Horror, 18-year-old Girl Raped and Set on Fire in UP's Fatehpur
Banda (UP): In a chilling reminder of the recent Unnao case, an 18-year-old girl was allegedly raped and set ablaze at a village in neighbouring Fatehpur district here on Saturday.She is battling for life at a Kanpur hospital with 90 per cent burns. 22-year-old accused is her distant relative, who allegedly raped and set the girl ablaze when she was alone at her house in a village under the Hussainganj police station, Circle Officer Kapil Dev Mishra said.PTI
From Delhi to Uttar Pradesh, Bhim Army's Big Plan as Chandrashekhar Azad Readies to Enter Poll Fray
Lucknow: Soon after announcing the formation of a political outfit, Bhim Army said it will enter the fray in Delhi by fielding candidates in 15 Dalit and Muslim Assembly seats in the upcoming election.Party chief Chandrashekhar Azad is expected to make the announcement on Dec.17 at the Delhi Press Club.On Thursday, Aazad had taken to Twitter, vowing to form a political entity for the interests of the Bahujan community, exhorting honest and hardworking youth to contribute towards it.Bhim Army spokesperson Kush confirmed that the party would contest the upcoming Assembly elections in Delhi. He said, "We have finalised about 15 seats in Delhi from where we will be fielding our candidates in the upcoming assembly polls. We will be targeting mostly Dalit and Muslim dominated seats." He further added that the party will then focus on the Panchayat elections in Uttar Pradesh.news18
Pune: City mosque will host other faiths’ leaders
In the face of reports of Islamophobia and exclusive initiatives such as the CAB and NRC of India, part of the city’s Muslim community is feeling the need to engage with other communities more vigorously. bLast year, doors of Azam Campus mosque were thrown open for a day to people from other religions to give them an understanding of Islam. This year, intensifying that experiment, Islamic Information Centre (IIC) is inviting religious leaders and priests from other faiths to come and experience the goings-on at the mosque.On Dec,15, IIC will observe its second ‘Masjid Open Day’. “Islam is considered to be confined to its community and most people from other belief systems are in the dark about what we worship to, how we do it, why prayers are offered five times a day and the lifestyle the religion espouses. To make people aware of all these aspects, we took the first step of letting them in,” explained Shaikh Karmuddin, head of Jamaat-e-Islami Hind  Camp and IIC.The initiative drew hundreds of people last year, marking it a success, he pointed out.pune mirror
With 4 months to go, 73% of minorities ministry funds lying idle:House panel
NEW DELHI: The ministry of minority affairs was able to spend just Rs 1,291 crore or almost 27.5% against budget estimates of Rs 4,700 crore for all its schemes and programmes till Oct.31 this year. In 2018-19 too, ministry was unable to utilise the entire budgetary allocation of Rs 4,700 crore and a fund amounting to almost Rs 852 crore was ultimately surrendered by the ministry. Citing the expenditure status till Oct.end with concern and pointing out that just four months of the current financial year was left to utilise 73% of the funds, the parliamentary standing committee for social justice and empowerment in its report tabled in Parliament has recommended that an action plan with clear targets needs to be issued by the ministry for every scheme and strict guidelines given to states to follow the same.“It is not difficult to predict the trend in the fourth quarter from this pace. From this, the committee are inclined to conclude that this trend is bound to impact the efficient and qualitative utilisation of funds for different schemes,” it is stated in the report.TOI
ED attaches Rs 10-cr assets in ‘Islamic banking’ Bengaluru ponzi scam
NEW DELHI:Assets worth over Rs 10 crore of a Bengaluru-based firm have been attached under the anti-money laundering law in connection with an alleged ‘Islamic banking or halal investment’ ponzi scam case, ED said on Friday. The accused firm is Ambidant Marketing Pvt Ltd and its promoters and the case of alleged duping of a number of gullible investors had made headlines last year in Karnataka. ED said the case pertains to allegations that the accused firm and its promoters were collecting investments from customers under various plans and Haj/Umrah plan in the name of ‘Islamic banking or halal investment’ and offering huge returns to the extent of up to 15 per cent per month.The company was not authorised to collect such funds as it was neither registered with RBI nor with the SEBI under their collective investment scheme, it said.PTI
Maharashtra ATS arrests 2 SIMI activists wanted since 2006
Maharashtra ATS has arrested two people allegedly associated with the banned SIMI wanted since 2006 in a case of arms seizure registered by the police in Mumbai. The accused were arrested from Burhanpur in Madhya Pradesh with the help of MP ATS and Delhi Police. 2 accused siblings Ejaz Akram Shaikh and Ilyas Akram Shaikh have allegedly been associated with Ehatesham Siddiqui a convict in 2006 Mumbai blasts case and Abdul Subhan Qureshi.According to the police, both the accused were wanted in a case registered in Thane against members of SIMI under UAPA. On Wednesday, ATS received a tip-off about the accused, following which Ejajz was arrested from Burhanpur’s Pala Bazar area. His questioning led to Ilias’s arrest from Delhi. mumbaimirror
Jharkhand: BJP nominee out on bail in sexual assault case
Ranchi :BJP’s Baghmara candidate and sitting MLA Dulu Mahto, who shared the stage with Prime Minister Narendra Modi during a poll rally on Thursday, faces a sexual assault case and is currently out on provisional bail. Mahto is accused of allegedly sexual assaulting a BJP worker in 2015.According to the affidavit filed by Mahto and uploaded on the EC website, the woman alleged that he called her to a guesthouse in connection with party work and sexually assaulted her. She also alleged that an aide of Mahto later told her that if she does not accept his proposal, she would be “destroyed”. Woman said, “I worked with the BJP for 15 years, but could not get justice from my own party, so I left it. After I filed the case online in Nov.2018, nobody listened… I had to take help of the HC to get an FIR registered. But till date, police have not called me for a statement.”indianexpress
BJP MP Ganesh Singh trolled over his 'Sanskrit cure for diabetes' remark
Bhopal: BJP MP from Madhya Pradesh, Ganesh Singh, is being trolled for his claim in Parliament that speaking in Sanskrit keeps diabetes and cholesterol at bay. Participating in a debate on the Sanskrit Universities Bill on Tuesday, Singh, who represents Satna seat, cited a "research by a USA-based academic institution" and said that speaking in Sanskrit on a daily basis boosts the nervous system and keeps diabetes and cholesterol at bay.He had also cited US-based NASA to claim that computer programming will be flawless if it is done in the Sanskrit language.Reacting to Singh's remarks, a netizen posted: "Truth absolute; instead it will dry up your brain, if you have one and make it obsolete. Primary symptom is repeated oral diarrhoea. These are those who make laws to govern 130 crores. Pity them".PTI
'Don’t be like a Gandhi, because there are many Godses': Chhattisgarh minister gets Twitter threat
raipur: A youth, cited as a member of BJP’s youth wing Bhartiya Janta Yuva Morcha, had threatened the Chhattisgarh Health Minister using the name of Nathuram Godse in response to his remark over CAB on twitter.The state health minister called PM Narendra Modi and Union Home Minister Amit Shah as “Jinnah” and “Savarkar” of the modern times, alleging that they are dividing the country on religious lines, which is dangerous for the country.In response, a youth, Rishab Verma wrote on twitter: "Don’t try to be a Gandhi because now in India there are many Godse who can show several Gandhis like you right path”.newindianexpress
Northeast India to play key role in BIMSTEC connectivity master plan: Secretary-General Islam
Agartala :Northeast India will play a key role in BIMSTEC connectivity master-plan, Bay of Bengal Initiative for Multi-Sectoral Technical & Economic Cooperation (BIMSTEC), Secretary-General M. Shahidul Islam said here Friday. Shahidul came to join an international meet of Engineers Conference of India in Tripura.BIMSTEC is an international organisation comprising of seven countries of South and Southeast Asia, working on multi-lateral free trade, connectivity development, counter-terrorism etc. to boost regional development and commerce.Islam, who is also a senior Bangladeshi diplomat, said a transport connectivity Master Plan was drafted. It has several added features compared to a similar study from 2014, which identified 167 projects involving $50 million across BIMSTEC partner nations.“We have drafted a BIMSTEC connectivity master plan. This draft has been prepared and we are hoping to have a Working Group meeting at New Delhi next year for charting the connectivity area. Master Plan will be finalised there,” Shahidul said.BIMSTEC members are India, Bangladesh, Bhutan, Nepal and Sri Lanka in South Asia and Myanmar and Thailand in South East Asia.indianexpress
In a first, regulator hikes prices of essential medicines
New Delhi :To ensure supply of crucial medicines, India’s drug pricing regulator has allowed an increase in the maximum retail prices of 21 drugs currently under price control by as much as 50 per cent. This is the first time the National Pharmaceutical Pricing Authority (NPPA) — which is known to slash prices of essential and life-saving medicines — is increasing prices in public interest to prevent patients opting for costlier alternatives in the face of shortage of these drugs.Most of these drugs are used as first line of treatment and are integral to public health programmes.indianexpress
Political Strategist Prashant Kishor Joins Hands With AAP Ahead of Delhi Polls
New Delhi: Political strategist Prashant Kishor, who was the man behind Narendra Modi’s successful electioneering campaign when he was the prime ministerial candidate for the 2014 Lok Sabha elections, has now joined hands with the AAP.thewire
Delhi LG withdraws land acquisition proceedings of unauthorised colonies
Delhi Lieutenant Governor Anil Baijal on Saturday said he has issued directions to withdraw the land acquisition proceedings within delineated boundaries of 1,731 unauthorised colonies. Baijal said it was a major step for conferring ownership rights to the residents of these colonies, adding that the move would pave the way for smooth implementation of PM-UDAY. "Directions issued to withdraw land acquisition proceedings (de-notification of the land) in respect of the land situated within the delineated boundaries of 1731 Unauthorized Colonies (UCs). #PM-UDAY," LG tweeted.PTI
*WORLD*
Anti-Johnson protests kick off in UK after his Conservative Party gets landslide victory
Hundreds of protesters have marched through central London to protest against the United Kingdom's snap election result that saw Prime Minister Boris Johnson's Conservative Party sweep to a landslide victory. Chanting slogans such as "Boris Johnson, not my prime minister" and brandishing signs reading "Defy Tory Rule" and "Refugees Welcome", the protesters on Friday walked swiftly from outside Johnson's Downing Street residence to Trafalgar Square and on to the theatre district, blocking traffic and drawing a heavy police presence.In a speech earlier on Friday, Johnson had called for "closure" over the divisions that have riven United Kingdom for the past three-and-a-half years since Britons voted 52 percent - 48 percent to leave the European Union in a 2016 referendum. "I urge everyone to find closure and to let the healing begin," Johnson said hours after visiting Queen Elizabeth II to be reappointed prime minister.But later on Friday, police were called to separate anti-Johnson and pro-Brexit demonstrators, according to the Daily Mirror newspaper. Whitehall, a central London road upon which several government ministries are based, was briefly closed meanwhile as scuffles broke out outside the Treasury building. Protesters also gathered in Glasgow, Scotland's second city.aljazeera
Former PM declared Algeria president, but thousands protest again
Thousands of protesters have gathered on the streets of Algeria's capital after former Prime Minister Abdelmadjid Tebboune was declared the winner of Algeria's presidential election.Tebboune - who also served as housing minister under Abdelaziz Bouteflika - the former president forced to step down in April following mass protests - won 58.15 percent of Thursday's vote, according to preliminary results announced on Friday.The 74-year-old's closest rival, Abdelkader Bengrina, came second with 17.38 percent. Former Prime Minister Ali Benflis was third, with 10.55 percent, while former Minister of Culture Azzedine Mihoubi came in fourth place, with 7.26 percent. Abdelaziz Belaid, the head of el Moustakbal party, obtained 6.66 percent.On Friday, huge crowds gathered in Algiers to protest against the election, denouncing it as a "sham" because of the links of all five presidential candidates to the former president and the ruling elite.Authorities said 40 percent of voters had taken part in Thursday's election, which state media cast as a high enough turnout to vindicate the decision to hold the poll, in spite of protesters' call for a boycott.aljazeera
UN extends mandate for agency supporting Palestinian refugees
UN General Assembly has overwhelmingly renewed the mandate for a UN agency supporting Palestinian refugees for another three years amid misconduct allegations and a cash shortfall triggered by a halt in US funding.The mandate of the United Nations Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees (UNRWA) was extended on Friday until June 30, 2023, with 169 votes in favour and nine abstentions. The United States and Israel voted against.UNRWA, which as established in 1949, provides education, health and relief services as well as housing and microfinance assistance to more than five million registered refugees in the occupied West Bank and East Jerusalem, the besieged Gaza Strip as well as in Jordan, Lebanon and Syria.aljazeera
Sudan's Omar al-Bashir sentenced to two years for corruption
Sudan's former President Omar al-Bashir has been sentenced to two years in detention in a state-run reform centre over financial irregularity and corruption charges in the first of several cases against the leader who was removed after nearly 30 years in power.A court in the capital Khartoum on Saturday convicted al-Bashir, who was overthrown in April after months of nationwide demonstrations, on charges of illegal possession of foreign currency, illicit financial gains and corruption.aljazeera
King of Morocco calls for adoption of road map for Islamic world’s resources
Moroccan King Mohamed VI has called for the adoption of a new road map, to benefit from the Islamic world’s resources. This came in a message sent by the Moroccan king, and delivered by the Moroccan foreign minister, Nasser Bourita, before the participants of the 50th commemoration of the foundation of the Organisation of Islamic Cooperation (OIC). The Moroccan king called for the adoption of a new road map, which would contribute to a qualitative shift in the indicators of quality of life in Islamic countries.He explained: “We need to act in good faith to resolve inter-Islamic disputes and adopt measures and mechanisms to shield our organisation against the risks of fragmentation and division.”middleeastmonitor
Former PM calls for overhaul of Turkey in challenge to Erdogan
Turkey’s ex-premier Ahmet Davutoglu took aim at his former boss Tayyip Erdogan on Friday, saying the country was being held back by a concentration of power, economic crisis and an atmosphere of fear as he called for an overhaul of the political system, reports Reuters.“Those ruling Turkey have no agenda other than staying in power,” Davutoglu said as he announced his new party, which could further erode support for Erdogan after his ruling AKP suffered election setbacks in local elections earlier this year.A day after applying to establish the breakaway Future Party, Davutoglu said Turkey’s judiciary had turned into a mechanism “feared rather than trusted” and that its economy was in “deep crisis”.Davutoglu, 60, announced his resignation from the Islamist-rooted AKP in September, saying the party which has dominated Turkish politics for 17 years was no longer able to solve the country’s problems and was stifling internal debate.middleeastmonitor
Turkey says S-400 system 'vital', will retaliate any US sanctions
Doha: Turkish Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu has repeated a retaliation threat against any US sanctions over Ankara's purchase of a Russian missile defence system.Speaking at a conference in Qatar's capital, Doha, Cavusoglu said on Saturday that Turkey would not cancel its deal with Russia over the S-400 missile system "whatever the consequences".aljazeera
Malaysia PM says US sanctions on Iran violate law
Sanctions imposed by the United States on Iran violate the United Nations's charter and international law, Malaysian Prime Minister Mahathir Mohamad has said in a conference in Qatar."Malaysia does not support the reimposition of the unilateral sanctions by the US against Iran," he told the Doha Forum, also attended by Qatar's Emir Sheikh Tamim bin Hamad Al Thani,.aljazeera
Qatar: ‘Small progress’ in resolving Gulf dispute
Qatar’s foreign minister said that there has been small progress to resolve the dispute between the Gulf state and its neighbours, Reuters reports.Asked whether there was progress at the Gulf Cooperation Council summit held last week, Sheikh Mohammed bin Abdulrahman Al-Thani told Reuters that there has been “small progress, just a little progress”.Saudi Arabia, UAE, Bahrain and Egypt cut diplomatic and trade links with Qatar in June 2017, accusing it of backing terrorism. Qatar denies the charge and accuses its neighbours of seeking to curtail its sovereignty.middleeastmonitor
Trump impeachment: Committee sends charges to full House for vote
Washington, DC - A key committee of the US House of Representatives voted along party lines on Friday to approve two articles of impeachment against Donald Trump, charging the president with abuse of power and obstruction of Congress.The action by the Judiciary Committee sets up a historic vote next week in the full House that could make President Trump only the third president in US history to be impeached.Democrats who control the House accuse the president of betraying the public trust by withholding $391m in military aid to pressure Ukraine President Volodymyr Zelenskyy to announce an investigation of former Vice President Joe Biden, one of Trump's top political rivals.
*views, Articles, FEATURES*
Making of a Hindu Republic of India :Sudheendra Kulkarni
Why the Citizenship (Amendment) Bill Is Unconstitutional:Markandey Katju and Dhruti Kapadia
The CAB is both immoral and unconstitutional: Abhishek Manu Singhvi and Muhammad Khan
Discovery of Pakistan – How Modi & Shah have dramatically re-hyphenated India with Pakistan:SHEKHAR GUPTA
Indian media’s tendency to brand madrasa students as terrorists is ruining institutions:RASHEED KIDWAI
Amit Shah's Politics Has Always Thrived on Hindu-Muslim Divisions:Rajdeep Sardesai
Politics after CAB: On one hand, are principles emptied of meaning. On the other, a clear-headed majoritarian project:Suhas Palshikar
The Urdu Press: CAB concerns:Seema Chishti
How Nanavati Commission struggled to get SIT papers for probe:PARIMAL DABHI
Nanavati commission report: ‘Some violent incidents of Feb 28 not communal, outcome of bandh’
NRC buzz triggers advisories, videos: Get IDs ready:indianexpress
Times are changing — BJP’s ploy to divert attention from main issues not working anymore:Mala Jay
* Compiled and edited by Anwarulhaq (Released at: 7:10 PM).*

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