Wednesday, 18 December 2019

18 DEC. NEWS: UN Secretary General raises concern about crackdown on CAA protesters / SC decides to examine constitutional validity of Citizenship Act, refuses to stay its operation; next hearing on 22 Jan / Protest, Marches Against CAA to Mark Shaheedi Diwas on tomorrow


*NEWS DIGEST, Evening* 
*18 DEC. 2019: 20 Rabius Sani 1441: Vol: 12, No: 86*
*india: anti-citizenship act stir*
UN Secretary General raises concern about crackdown on CAA protesters; urges respect for freedom of expression
UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres has called for respect for the rights of freedom of opinion and expression as he voiced concern over the violence and alleged use of excessive force by security personnel in India during protests against the Citizenship Act."We are concerned about the violence and alleged use of excessive force by security forces that we've seen that have been taking place in the protests against the Citizenship Amendment Act. We very much call for restraint and urge full respect for the rights of freedom of opinion and expression and peaceful assembly," Guterres' spokesman Stephane Dujarric told a daily press briefing here.Dujarric said Secretary-General would also refer to the comments of High Commissioner for Human Rights Michelle Bachelet on Act. Spokesperson for UN High Commissioner for Human Rights had said in Geneva that it is "concerned" that CAA is "fundamentally discriminatory in nature".PTI
SC decides to examine constitutional validity of Citizenship Act, refuses to stay its operation; next hearing on 22 Jan
New Delhi: The Supreme Court on Wednesday decided to examine the constitutional validity of the Citizenship (Amendment) Act (CAA), but refused to stay its operation. The top court issued notice to the Centre and sought its response by the second week of January next year on a batch of pleas challenging the CAA. A bench comprising Chief Justice SA Bobde and Justices BR Gavai and Surya Kant fixed 59 petitions, including those filed by the Indian Union Muslim League and Congress leader Jairam Ramesh, for hearing on 22 January, next year.The bench also agreed to the submission of lawyer Ashwini Upadhyay that common people should be made aware about the aim, objects and the contents of the CAA and asked Attorney General K Venugopal, representing the Centre, to consider using audio-visual medium to make citizens aware of the legislation. Venugopal agreed to the suggestion and said the needful would be done by the government.During the hearing, some lawyers appearing for petitioners sought a stay on the operation of the newly amended law. One of the lawyers, appearing for a petitioner hailing from Assam, said "Let it not be implemented... five students in the Northeast have died." The Attorney General opposed the submission and said there are as many as four judgements which have held that a law cannot be stayed after being notified."We are not going to grant a stay," the bench said, adding that arguments on granting stay can be advanced on 22 Jan, next date of hearing. Senior advocate Rajeev Dhavan, who represented one of the parties, however, said there was no need to seek the stay on the operation of CAA as it has not come into force as several things like framing of rules under the law are yet to be done. Another senior advocate Kapil Sibal agreed with Dhavan's submission and said, "We have nothing to say right now". IUML, one of the petitioners which has challenged the CAA, said in its plea that it violates the fundamental right to equality and intends to grant citizenship to a section of illegal immigrants by making an exclusion on the basis of religion. The plea by IUML, filed through advocate Pallavi Pratap, seeks an interim stay on the operation of CAB and the Foreigner Amendment (Order), 2015 and Passport (Entry Into Rules), Amendment Rules, 2015.The petition alleged that government's CAB was against the basic structure of the Constitution and intended to explicitly discriminate against Muslims as the Act extended benefits only to Hindus, Sikhs, Buddhists, Jains, Parsis and Christians.The plea filed by Congress leader Jairam Ramesh, has said that the Act is a "brazen attack" on core fundamental rights envisaged under the Constitution and treats "equals as unequal". In his petition, Ramesh has said that substantial questions of law, including whether religion can be a factor to either acquire or deny citizenship in India, arises for consideration of the court as it is a "patently unconstitutional" amendment to the Citizenship Act, 1955."The impugned Act creates two classifications, viz, classification on basis of religion and the classification on the basis of geography and both the classifications are completely unreasonable and share no rational nexus to the object of the impugned Act i.e., to provide shelter, safety and citizenship to communities who in their native country are facing persecution on grounds of religion," the plea has said.Several petitions have been filed challenging the constitutional validity of the Citizenship (Amendment) Act, including by RJD leader Manoj Jha, TMC MP Mahua Moitra, AIMIM leader Asaduddin Owaisi.Several other petitioners include Muslim body Jamiat Ulama, ASU, Peace Party, CPI, NGOs 'Rihai Manch' and Citizens Against Hate, advocate ML Sharma, and law students have also approached the apex court challenging the Act.PTI
Supreme Court asks Centre to consider publicising info about CAA to curb circulation of fake news
High Court Agrees To Hear Petition For Fact-Finding Committee On Jamia Violence
Delhi High Court today agreed to hear a PIL seeking setting up of a fact-finding committee to look into the violence at Jamia Millia Islamia University, following protests over the amended Citizenship Act.The petition was mentioned before a bench of Chief Justice D N Patel and Justice Rekha Palli by advocate, Mr Rizwan, and the court allowed it to be listed on Thursday.The petition by Mr Rizwan alleges that Delhi Police "resorted to use of arbitrary, excessive, discriminatory and illegal force against students, more particularly female students, of Jamia Millia Islamia University, on the false pretext of restoring law and order".It further alleges that students and teachers were protesting in a peaceful manner against the amended Citizenship Act but the police disrupted it and used "unjustified, excessive, arbitrary and brute force" against them.The plea was moved in the Delhi High Court after the Supreme Court on Tuesday had said that such petitions relating to violence be moved in high courts concerned.Apart from seeking appointment of a fact-finding committee, comprising former judges of the SC  and the high court, PIL also wants no FIRs be lodged against students and no coercive steps be taken in complaints already registered, in connection with the violence, till the panel gives its report.It has also sought a direction to the police not to enter the university campus without requisite permission from the concerned authorities.The petition also seeks directions to Delhi government and police to allow students to enter the university, as well as compensation and proper medical treatment for those injured in the violence at the university.PTI
Arundhati Roy, Devdutt Pattanaik, Ramachandra Guha among writers to speak out against CAA
Joining the chorus against the amended citizenship law, a number of Indian writers, including Arundhati Roy, Devdutt Pattanaik and Ramachandra Guha, said the "anti-India" legislation is set to "break the back of our Constitution".Some of the writers, including Pattanaik, also criticised the police crackdown against students protesting against the law in Delhi's Jamia Millia and AMU.Amidst protests across the country, writer-activist Roy compared the Citizenship Amendment Act (CAA) with the "1935 Nuremberg Laws of the Third Reich" and appealed to people to "stand up".PTI
Protest, Marches Against CAA to Mark Shaheedi Diwas on Dec 19
New Delhi: On Shaheedi Diwas of freedom fighters Ram Prasad Bismil, Ashfaqullah Khan and Roshan Singh on Thursday, a host of NGOs, citizen groups and opposition parties are coming together to oppose the Citizenship Amendment Act.The epicentre of the protest is in New Delhi and Mumbai.The three freedom fighters went to the gallows opposing the British rule in 1927.There are 60 organisations who are behind the call for the protest including Swaraj Abhiyan.National Action Against Citizenship Amendment (NAACA) Act issued a statement which said, “the discriminatory and divisive Citizenship (Amendment) Act, is an assault on our Constitution and the inclusive, composite vision of India that guided our freedom struggle.”“Republic of India is founded on the negation of the two-nation theory that viewed citizenship through the prism of religion. The recent Amendment to the Citizenship Act brings back the two-nation theory by introducing a distinction between Muslims and non-Muslims for purposes of granting exemption for citizenship by naturalisation”, said the statement.Under the aegis of ‘Hum Bharat ke Log’, the programme is supported by all the major opposition parties including the Congress and NCP.A meeting, which was attended by all the major political parties, took place in Mumbai on Tuesday.In Mumbai, the famous August Kranti Maidan, associated with the Quit India Movement, will host the event on Thursday.In New Delhi, a march will be organised from the iconic Red Fort to Shaheed Park at 11 a.m. All the major political parties are likely to participate in it.IANS
Left parties to hold protests across country against CAA and NRC on December 19
#MumbaiAgainstCAA: Complete list of protests happening today and tomorrow
Shaken and stirred: From Punjab to Tamil Nadu, CAA fire singes India
Citizens Across India Stand United Against CAA

Farhan Akhtar urges people to gather at August Kranti Maidan over CAA, NRC; says time to protest on social media is over
With the protests over the Citizenship Amendment Act showing no signs of slowing down, one of Bollywood's most outspoken actors Farhan Akhtar has now put out a post detailing why people are protesting against CAB and NRC. The actor's post comes at a time when top Bollywood actors have maintained their silence over the issue, despite violent protests across the country. Among the few actors who have raised their voice are Anurag Kashyap, Kubbra Sait, Sudhir Mishra, Dia Mirza, Huma S Qureshi, Riteish Deshmukh, Sushant Singh, Renuka Shahane. mumbaimirror
Short-staffed and overburdened: How doctors at Alshifa hospital managed — with some help
New Delhi :On Sunday, Alshifa Multi-speciality hospital in South Delhi’s Okhla was in a fix as the number of people injured following the police action on Jamia Millia Islamia campus kept increasing.The hospital had only two doctors and a few nursing staff to cater to more than 150 people—mostly students standing at the hospital’s gallery, with complaints of breathlessness or injuries to their legs, hands and torso. As the doctors made frantic calls to colleagues, they found most of them were stuck due to the chaos and barricading in the area.To their surprise, five doctors — one each from AIIMS, RML, Lady Hardinge and two from private hospitals residing nearby — volunteered to help. From an anesthestist to a gynaecologist, doctors from the area came forward to handle the rush of injured.“Our doctors were unable to reach the hospital due to the situation in the area. As it was Sunday, the hospital strength was extremely thin. We were trying to provide treatment to each and every patient coming to us,” said Dr Modassin Azim, consultant at the hospital’s emergency unit.“This was all unexpected and staff at the hospital were not enough to deal with the patient load. But doctors managed to treat all patients, and some doctors from other hospitals also volunteered,” said Dr Abdul Nazar, the hospital director. On Sunday, there were just three nurses in the emergency to deal with the patient load.Dr Saif Nizam, who works with a government hospital and lives in Okhla, turned up after seeing posts on social media. “Whenever there’s a casualty, we are always called to the hospital to treat patients. I was home when news of the violence broke. Being a doctor, and above that, a citizen, I thought I should immediately reach and see if they need help. The hospital staff was already trying to manage patients,” he said.Dr Nizam treated around 5-6 patients and offered them basic first-aid and stitches. Doctors at Alshifa soon began updating their WhatsApp statuses, asking fellow doctors for help. One such message reached Dr Adiba Siddquie, a resident medical officer at a private hospital. “Several doctors put up statuses on WhatsApp and Facebook asking for help. As I lived nearby, I rushed to the hospital and met doctors in the emergency department. I helped them provide basic medical care and some medical examinations,”said Dr Siddiquie.indianexpress
How short-staffed Al-Shifa helped injured Jamia students
Pakistan Hindus, Sikhs, Christians reject CAA, do not want Indian PM Modi’s offer of citizenship
Dubai: Pakistani minorities have strongly condemned the new Citizenship Amendment Act (CAA), which discriminates against Muslims. They have also rejected India’s offer to grant them citizenship under the new law. They said they are not interested in taking refuge in India and rejected Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s ‘humanitarian’ gesture. Speaking to Gulf News, Dileep Kumar, a Dubai-based Pakistani Hindu, said: “The law from India is totally against [the] spiritual norms of humanity and Sanatana dharma.” Sanatana dharma is term used in Hinduism to denote the  set of duties or religiously ordained practices incumbent upon all Hindus, regardless of class, caste or sect.“As humans, we cannot discriminate, irrespective of any religious followings. We do not want Muslims of India to face terror. We condemn the law as religious persecution is unacceptable to Hindus of Pakistan,” Kumar added. Reverend Johan Qadir, a Sharjah-based Pakistani Christian community leader, said that Pakistani Christian community also rejected the new Citizenship Amendment Bill. “We, Christians of Pakistan, are not at all interested [in taking] refuge in India. I must say that the Modi’s citizenship bill does not favour the minorities at all as it is discriminatory and against basic human rights.” Citing the harassment of minorities in Pakistan, Bangladesh and Afghanistan, Indian parliament recently amended its citizenship law, offering citizenship rights to Hindu, Buddhist, Christian, Parsi and Jain communities migrating from these countries. “Pakistan’s Hindu community unanimously rejects this bill, which is tantamount to dividing India on communal lines,” Raja Asar Manglani, patron of the Pakistan Hindu Council, earlier told Anadolu Agency.“This is a unanimous message from Pakistan’s entire Hindu community to Indian Prime Minister Modi. A true Hindu will never support this legislation,” he said. He added that the law has violated India’s own constitution.Senator Anwar Lal Dean, a Christian member of Pakistani parliament’s upper house, also said the law is meant to pitch religious communities against each other, reported the Express Tribune.“This is a clear violation of fundamental human rights. We categorically reject it,” said Dean, a leader of the opposition Pakistan People’s Party. “Through such unjust and uncalled steps, the Modi government wants to pitch religious communities against each other,” he said. Pakistan’s tiny Sikh community has also denounced the controversial law. “Not only Pakistani Sikhs but the entire Sikh community in the world, including those in India, also condemn this move,” said Gopal Singh, leader of the Baba Guru Nanak in Pakistan. “Sikh community is a minority both in India and Pakistan. Being a member of a minority, I can feel the pain and the fears of the Muslim minority [in India]. This is simply persecution,” he said. Singh urged Modi not to push minorities' “backs to the wall.”gulfnews
Citizenship Act protests: Over 10,000 academics, scholars condemn ‘police brutality’ at Jamia, AMU
Over 10,000 academics, scholars, teachers, students and members of civil society from around the world have condemned the alleged police brutality against students at Jamia Millia Islamia University in Delhi and AMU in Uttar Pradesh. They have expressed their unconditional support to the students, faculty and staff of the two varsities. They also said the amended Citizenship Act “contravenes the right to equality and secular citizenship enshrined in the Indian Constitution”.“We stand in unconditional solidarity with the students, faculty and staff of Jamia and AMU, and express our horror at this violent police and state action,” they said in their statement. “With them, we affirm the right of citizens to peaceful protest and the autonomy of the university as a non-militarised space for freedom of thought and expression. The brutalisation of students and the attack on universities is against the fundamental norms of a democratic society.”They said they were watching the situation with extreme concern. “We refuse to remain silent at the violence unleashed on our colleagues (students, staff and faculty) peacefully protesting the imposition of a discriminatory and unjust law.”“Peaceful demonstration and gathering of citizens does not constitute criminal conduct,” the signatories said. “Police action in the Jamia and AMU campuses is blatantly illegal under the constitution of India.”The signatories include Romila Thapar, Noam Chomsky, Judith Butler, Nivedita Menon, Sudipto Kaviraj, Veena Das, Uma Chakravarti, Partha Chatterjee, Homi Bhaba, Akeel Bilgrami, Tanika Sarkar, Mahmood Mamdani and Sheldon Pollock, among others. The signatories are from over 1,100 universities, colleges and academic institutions including the Harvard University, Princeton University, London School of Economics, UC Berkeley, Yale University, Cambridge and Oxford Universities. Academics from prominent Indian institutes like JNU, Delhi University, IIT, Indian Statistical Institute and the Tata Institute of Fundamental Research.scroll.in
Thapar, Chomsky and 10,000 More Decry Police Brutality at Jamia, AMU
Jamia students’ demand for access to CCTV footage given the cold shoulder
CCTV footage, seen by some university officials at Jamia Milia, support the students’ version that police action in the campus on Sunday evening was brutal, unprovoked and disproportionate.Sections of students also want access to the footage so that they can file cases and demand for compensation. But chances are, said a university official, that footage would be handed over to the HRD ministry.While many of the CCTV cameras in the library and elsewhere in the campus were destroyed or damaged, allegedly by the police, the recorded footage is likely to reproduce scenes before cameras were destroyed.nationalheraldindia
Fact Check: Old image of Egyptian child kidnapper passed off as Jamia protester
:Jamia Millia Islamia University is at the centre of controversy after Sunday’s protest against the Citizen Amendment Act, with videos and photos linked to the incident going viral on social media. Amid this, an image of a burqa-clad man has caught the attention of netizens. Several Facebook users have posted the photo, with the claim that he is a student of Jamia, caught arsoning and pelting stones in the disguise of a woman. The man in the viral image is seen wearing jeans and burqa, with brassier on his chest. The archived version of the post can be seen here.India Today Anti Fake News War Room (AFWA) has found the claim to be false. The man in the viral image is from Cairo, Egypt, and is in no way related to Jamia protest. He was arrested for kidnapping children from malls in the disguise of a woman. The incident is 2 years old.With the help of reverse image search, we found that the picture has been viral since 2017. indiatoday
As AMU vacates its hostels, students from Kashmir and northeast caught in limbo
AMU’s decision to declare early winter vacations and ask students to vacate hostels following Sunday’s violent protests against the amended Citizenship Act have left a section of students from Kashmir and North-East with no place to go. Till Tuesday night, about 95 per cent of students had left for their hometowns, AMU spokesperson Professor Shafay Kidwai said. Around 200 students, who stayed put in their rooms, were given an ultimatum to leave by 11 am Wednesday.While the university administration arranged for buses to ferry students till Jammu, those from the Valley were in a state of limbo after connectivity to Kashmir was hit due to heavy snowfall. Srinagar-Jammu Highway is closed due to bad weather while air traffic to the Valley is suspended till Dec. 22.The university’s sudden decision has caused inconvenience to students, especially research scholars from Kashmir, who have to submit their final dissertations next month.On Tuesday, 26 people booked in connection with Sunday violence were released on personal bonds. indianexpress
Anti-CAA protests at AMU: Actions of UP Police motivated by desire to 'show students their place':fact-finding report
The actions of Uttar Pradesh Police on 15 and 16 December at AMU were brutal but also vindictive, a fact-finding report by HRLN has said.The report was written by a three-member fact-finding team, comprising Aman Khan and Fazal from HRLN, and Fawaz Shaheen of the Quill Foundation.'The entire incident is a shocking display of police brutality and impunity in the face of peaceful democratic protests by AMU students,' the report said.The actions of Uttar Pradesh Police on 15 and 16 December at Aligarh Muslim University were not only brutal but also vindictive motivated by a desire to ‘show students their place’, a fact-finding report by NGO Human Rights Law Network (HRLN) said.The report was written by a 3-member fact-finding team, comprising Aman Khan and Fazal from HRLN, and Fawaz Shaheen of the Quill Foundation. The HRLN's report on the police actions at AMU said, "The entire incident is a shocking display of police brutality and impunity in the face of peaceful democratic protests by AMU students... All witnesses we spoke to recalled (that) the police was hurling insults and abuses of a rabidly communal nature at the students and the university at large. These communal abuses were being shouted even before they lathi-charged the protest, and only intensified as they moved further into the university, targeting individual students with their lathis, tear gas shells, rubber bullets and pellets."The report said that a total of 60 students were injured during the protests.firstpost
2 AMU students in ICU, hands of two more blown off by stun grenades
“Spent a harrowing day in AMU on 17th. The police violence there surpasses Jamia, worse than what I have seen in any campus. Injuries and torture of students. 13k students forced to leave campus overnight. University administration has shamefully abandoned the students in its care,” tweeted activist and former bureaucrat Harsh Mander after a visit to Aligarh.Even as details of the brutal attack on AMU students continue to emerge, Maskoor Usmani, President of the AMU Students’ Union tweeted a picture that shows a student, ostensibly a victim, lying prone on the ground.nationalheraldindia
Government, FIR differ on student role
New Delhi:Union home ministry on Tuesday said no Jamia Millia Islamia student had been involved in Sunday’s street violence, but a day earlier the police had filed an FIR booking 3 student leaders of the university and others on rioting charges.A home ministry statement said: “So far the investigation has revealed that no Jamia student was involved in the violence. Ten persons have been arrested and none of them is (a) student. The arrested persons have criminal antecedents.”But the FIR charges Jamia students Chandan Kumar, Asif Tanha and “Kasim Usmani” with offences ranging from culpable homicide to rioting and assaulting public servants.Chandan is unit secretary of CPIML Liberation’s AISA; Asif belongs to SIO; and AAP’s Chhatra Yuva Sangharsh Samiti has a leader named Qasim Usmani who had urged the students to join a Gandhi Peace March on Sunday from the campus to Okhla.Asked why the police had forcibly entered the campus and beaten up the students if they had not been involved in the violence, the ministry official briefing reporters on Tuesday remained silent.A senior police officer echoed what the force had earlier said and home minister Amit Shah repeated on Tuesday: that “outsiders” had entered the campus and thrown stones at the cops outside, prompting the police raid.Those named in FIR include local political activists Ashu Khan, Mustafa, Haider and former Congress MLA Asif Muhamad Khan.At a news conference on Tuesday, Iqbal, who is injured, said he and others were beaten all the way back to the Jamia campus from the “peaceful demonstration” at New Friends Colony. Chandan had earlier told this newspaper that he was in the library and was beaten up by the police on Sunday evening.
Jamia Protest: Police Files FIR against 3 Students, 4 Local Politicians; 10 Others Sent to Jail
Uttar Pradesh: 113 held for violence during protests over citizenship law
As many as 113 persons have been arrested across the state, including at least 25 in the past 24 hours, in connection with alleged violence and unlawful assembly during protests against the new citizenship law.The highest number or arrests in the past 24 hours was made in Mau where 19 were arrested after a police station was vandalised Monday, followed by five arrests in Lucknow. So far, 3 FIRs were registered against around nearly 700 unidentified persons.indianexpress
Bengaluru Protests: Police Outnumber Students, Detain 9 For Hours
Bengaluru: On Tuesday, fists of students from different colleges were seen rising at Freedom Park in Bengaluru to the slogans of ‘azadi‘ and ‘CAB down down’ to reject Citizenship (Amendment) Act and to express solidarity with Jamia Millia, AMU and Delhi University (DU) in their struggle against police brutality.Police detained at least nine students. Teresa Braggs, a third year media and communication student from a women’s university in Vasanth Nagar and Anahita Ananth, along with seven more students were detained. They had showed up at Town Hall prior to the scheduled time of the protest. They were all released.The march was organised by students who expressed strong aversion to associating themselves with political parties. Vaishnavi Suresh, who – post detention of protest organisers- stepped in last minute to lead the march explained that the protest was supposed to be originating at Mount Carmel College (MCC) but due to a denied permit it was shifted to Palace Road, where permission was again denied. She said the students then submitted an intimation letter to DCP informing about the march from Town Hall to Freedom Park at 11:4 5am – saying that the protest was not illegal. thewire
Anti-CAA protest outside Jamia enters 3rd day
Anti-govt posters covered the long boundaries of Jamia Millia Islamia as protest against the controversial Citizenship Amendment Act and the proposed National Register of Citizens outside the university continued for the third consecutive day on Wednesday.The protesters, including students and local residents, hung a large map of India outside the varsity gate number 7 showing the places where students from other universities across the country are carrying out protests against the CAA. Another large poster urged the protesters “to maintain the acceleration with zero violence (sic)“.People from nearby areas and students started gathering outside the gate number 7 around 10:30 am.PTI
Nizamabad: Revoke Citizenship Amendment Act
Nizamabad: Members of PDSU, SIO and NSUI groups organised a protest march at Dharna Chowrasta here on Tuesday, opposing the Citizenship Amendment Act. Speaking on the occasion, PDSU district president Kalpana, SIO city president Mohammed Khalil and NSUI State secretary Vipul Goud pointed out that granting citizenship on the basis of religion is against the spirit of secular democratic Indian constitution. Prime Minister Narendra Home Minister Amit Shah are conspiring to divide and rule the people. There are many attacks on women in the country, rising prices of essential commodities and the government and the public are provoking conflicts in govt, they said.thehansindia
‘Student Till I Die’: Kamal Hassan on Day 3 of Madras Univ CAA Protests
In solidarity with students of Jamia Millia Islamia (JMI) and AMU, students of Madras University in Chennai continued their protest for third consecutive day today, against the Citizenship Amendment Act.The students strongly condemned AIADMK-led state government for extending support to a legislation ‘that discriminates people according to their religion.’The students of the university began protesting on Monday. Following continuous protests, police entered the campus and the management announced that the college will be closed till 23 Dec. However, this morning when students tried to enter campus to continue with the protest, they were barred entry. A handful of students continue to raise slogans from inside. Makkal Needhi Maiam President Kamal Haasan also reached the university, but wasn’t allowed inside. He spoke to the students protesting inside. “I am a student till I die. Our students have been made refugees here. This is beyond the party. This is our responsibility. Today’s news is tomorrow’s history. If the law is not useful for the people, it should get removed. We are moving towards dictatorship. The drama has begun. We should wake up. It’s a draconian control,” said Kamal Haasan. Meanwhile, the police have barricaded the media and placed them at a distance from the gates.thequint
Citizenship Law Has "Nothing To Do With India's Muslims": Shahi Imam
New Delhi: Appealing for restraint while exercising what he calls the democratic right to protest, the Shahi Imam of Delhi's Jama Masjid has stressed that the citizenship law at the core of massive protests across the country "has nothing to do with Muslims living in India". He also reminds that NRC, the other trigger for the protests, "has not become a law" yet. "To protest is the democratic right of the people of India, no one can stop us from doing it. However, it is important that it is done in control, keeping our emotions in control is the most important part," Shahi Imam Syed Ahmed Bukhari said. He also sought to explain that the citizenship law does not affect Muslims living in India but Muslim refugees from Pakistan, Afghanistan and Bangladesh.ndtv
Citizenship Amendment Act: No threat to any Indian Muslim or any other citizen: Naqvi
Union Minister for Minority Affairs Mukhtar Abbas Naqvi on Wednesday said there was no “question mark” on or threat to citizenship of any Indian Muslim or any other citizen due to Citizenship Amendment Act recently cleared by Parliament.When asked about apprehensions over NRC exercise that Union Home Minister Amit Shah said would be implemented through the country,  Naqvi said it too was not something people should have apprehensions about. thehindu
‘Give us jobs, not NRC’: Pune's Fergusson College protests in solidarity with Jamia, AMU
Pune :Students of Fergusson College in Pune Tuesday organised a protest and signature campaign against the police crackdown on students of Jamia Millia Islamia and AMU, and against the Citizenship Amendment Act. Carrying portraits of Mahatma Gandhi and Dr Babasaheb Ambedkar, the students chanted slogans like ‘hum ek hain (we are united)’, ‘Hindutva Nahi bandhutva chahiye (we want brotherhood, not Hindutva), ‘NRC nahi rozgar chahiye (We want employment, not NRC)’, and ‘Hindu-Muslim ek hai, Modi-Shah fake hai‘. The protesters then converged at the main gate, where they spoke on the issue one by one.“This protest is being organised by the student community. All progressive-minded and secular individuals or parties can come and join us,” said Santosh Rasave, a protester. Students, however, were not allowed to hold a signature campaign outside the college.indianexpress
Police Issues Notice to Prevent BHU Students' Anti-CAA March
Varanasi: Police has issued a notice addressed to the students of Banaras Hindu University (BHU)  asking them refrain from leading any marches outside the campus premises to protest the amended citizenship law.The notice has been issued under provisions of section 149 (preventing commission of a cognizable offence) of CrPC, an official said.The students have also been warned that action will be taken against them if they disobey the notice issued by police, he said.BHU students had organised a march from the campus’ main gate to the Ravidas Gate to demonstrate against the controversial Citizenship (Amendment) Act and NRC.PTI
Large Gatherings Banned After Violent Protests In East Delhi, 6 Arrested
New Delhi: Prohibitory orders were issued in northeast Delhi this morning, banning the gathering of large crowds as a preventive measure, after violent clashes erupted in Seelampur region of east Delhi on Tuesday afternoon. Six people have been arrested and three FIRs have been filed in connection with the violence that broke out yesterday during a protest against the controversial new citizenship law; an additional FIR has been filed for stone-pelting that broke out in Brij Puri area. Cops have indicated that people with criminal backgrounds had been part of the protest and could have incited violence..ndtv
"Cops Broke My Shop, Seen On CCTV": Travel Agent In Delhi's Seelampur
New Delhi: The owner of a travel agency in east Delhi's Seelampur has complained to the Delhi Police that his shop was damaged by policemen without any provocation while they were trying to control hundreds of protesters on Monday. Hundreds of people had come out on the streets in Seelampur in protest against the amended Citizenship Act. A police bus and a picket were set on fire by the protesters.The owner of the shop, Anis Malik, said he has given CCTV footage of the incident to the police and expects compensation.The front glass at the shop is shattered, the computers inside are broken and the telephone on the travel desk is smashed. Pieces of broken glass are scattered on the table."I was at my shop till 2 pm. Some policemen told me to close the shop and go home as the situation might escalate, and since I am differently abled it would be even more dangerous for me in the crowd," Malik said. "I somehow got the shutters down, didn't lock it in a hurry and left. Later, I saw my shop has been vandalised. On seeing video clips, the policemen had opened the shutters and went about breaking everything," he said.Malik said two people were seen being thrashed by the policemen, but they were not protesters. "They work at shop adjacent to mine," he said.He said a senior officer at the local police station told him they would compensate him.ndtv
Actor Renuka urges PM Modi to stop BJP IT cell from spreading hate
On Monday, when protest against the Citizenship Amendment Act was raging across the nation, Prime Minister Narendra Modi appealed for peace, saying violent protests are unfortunate and deeply distressing. "Debate, discussion and dissent are essential parts of democracy but, never has damage to public property and disturbance of normal life been a part of our ethos," he had tweeted.Further, the prime minister had also urged people to maintain peace, unity and brotherhood and appealed them to "stay away from any sort of rumour mongering and falsehoods."Reacting to the prime minister's appeal, popular actor Renuka Shahane took to Twitter to point out that it is IT cell of BJP that is responsible for spreading "the most amount of the most amount of rumours, falsehoods."theweek
"20-25 Armed Cops Burst In...": Jamia Student Who Lost Sight In Left Eye
New Delhi: 3 days after cops barged into Delhi's Jamia Millia Islamia and lathi-charged students inside the university's central library, one of the students has lost sight in his left eye. Minahjuddin, 26, a final-year LLM student who was studying in the library's MPhil section, said tudents were attacked by a group of 20-25 "fully armed" policemen in riot gear and wielding lathis. "They (the cops) burst in and started beating everyone with lathis... they hit me too. They hit me on my hand and fractured my finger and then on my eye. I tried to run away... I hid in the toilet, where I fell bleeding and unconscious"."I was studying in the central library - there is an MPhil section. We were told cops had entered the library. Then, where we were sitting, between 20 and 25 fully armed policemen with helmets and lathis burst in and started beating everyone," Minjahuddin, whose left eye is still swollen, said.ndtv
"British Did Nothing Different In Jallianwala": Sena On Jamia Crackdown
Mumbai: The Shiv Sena on Wednesday attacked the Central government over the manner it handled protests against the Citizenship Amendment Act (CAA).The Sena in its mouthpiece Saamna said: "The whole country is in turmoil over the CAA and the matter is now out of hands of the Centre. The country's northeastern region is up in flames and protests have started in Bihar, Lucknow and other states as well. The situation in Delhi is even worse." The Sena mouthpiece further termed the attack on students of the Jamia Millia Islamia University as "inhuman and unlawful" and once again compared it with the Jallianwala Bagh massacre.ANI
"Amit Shah Becoming Worse Than General Dyer": NCP Leader Malik
Nagpur: Amid allegations of crackdown on protests against the citizenship law, senior NCP leader Nawab Malik on Wednesday slammed Union Home Minister Amit Shah and compared him with British General Reginald Dyer who ordered troops to open fire on an unarmed crowd in Jallianwala Bagh."Amit Shah is firing at citizens of the country in the same way General Dyer fired at the people in Jallianwala Bagh. Amit Shah is no less than Dyer. The country is not run by guns and violence," Nawab Malik told ANI.NCP
Top Muslim Leaders Decide To Launch Organized Campaign Against New Citizenship Law
NEW DELHI; Top leaders of India’s largest Muslim organizations have decided to jointly launch “an organized campaign” against the controversial Citizenship (Amendment) Law which discriminates with Muslims on the basis of religion.“We strongly condemn the Citizenship (Amendment) Law and consider it against the fundamental structure of the Constitution and constitutional values. We appeal to all peace-loving people of the country to oppose this law and put pressure on the government to withdraw it,” said the Muslim leaders in a resolution passed at the emergency meeting held Monday night in Delhi.The leaders had gathered at the call of Syed Sadatullah Hussaini, President of Jamaat-e-Islami Hind. They included: Maulana Mahmood Madani (Jamiat Ulama), Maulana Tauqeer Raza Khan (Ittehad-e-Millat Council), Dr. Zafarul Islam Khan (Delhi Minorities Commission), Dr. Mohammad Manzoor Alam (All India Milli Council), Navaid Hamid (All India Muslim Majlis-e Mushawarat), Maulana Shees Taimi (Markazi Jamiat Ahle Hadees), Dr. SQR Ilyas (All India Muslim Personal Law Board), Mohammad Jafar (Jamaat-e-Islami Hind), Maulana Niyaz Ahmad Farooqui ((Jamiat Ulama), Dr. Syed Zafar Mahmood (Zakat Foundation of India), Kamal Farooqui ((All India Muslim Personal Law Board)), Mujtaba Farooque (Jamaat-e-Islami Hind) and Abdul Jabbar Siddiqui (Jamaat-e-Islami Hind).India Tomorrow
Citizenship protests will go down in history as one that saved Constitution: Kanhaiya ​​Kumar at Jamia
NEW DELHI: Former JNU students' union president Kanhaiya Kumar joined the protest outside the Jamia Millia Islamia in Delhi on Wednesday and said the demonstration was not just a fight to protect Muslims, but to protect the entire country. Addressing a large gathering of protesters outside the university's gate number 7, Kumar said people should be more worried about NRC, which he said was much more dangerous than the controversial Citizenship Act.The crowd erupted in cheers when Kumar said the protests against the citizenship law would go down in history "as the one that saved the Constitution".ET
Fearing defeat in Delhi Assembly polls, opposition spreading violence: Kejriwal
AAP national convener and Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal alleged on Wednesday that the “opposition” was “spreading violence” in the national capital fearing defeat in the upcoming Assembly polls.Referring to incidents of violence and arson in Delhi, Mr. Kejriwal said in a press briefing that people should understand who are behind the “riots” and teach them lesson this time, just like in the 2015 Assembly elections. Delhi BJP has been slamming the AAP and its leaders for incidents of violence and arson in Jamia Millia Islamia and Seelampur, and accused Deputy Chief Minister Manish Sisodia and MLA Amanatullah Khan of “inciting” people.“I do not need to tell who has the power to cause riots in the country,” he said.Parrying questions on Sisodia’s tweet hinting role of police in arson and  Khan’s alleged “provocative” speech during a protest in Shaheen Bagh area, the Chief Minister said, “The opposition which is levelling allegations knows who is causing violence and arson. It’s apparent that the AAP is not going to benefit from it, instead the party will be harmed. The opposition hopes it will benefit them.PTI
Citizenship Act protests: Five students arrested in Vadodara for objectionable graffiti
5 Fine Arts students of the Maharaja Sayajirao University in Vadodara were arrested on Tuesday for allegedly making objectionable graffiti to protest against the amended Citizenship Act, PTI reported. The graffiti included the word “Modi”, said the police.In the graffiti, they wrote “no CAB Modi”, and made the “swastika” sign in place of “o” in the word “Modi”. The ‘swastika’ symbolises fascism as it was used by Adolf Hitler’s Nazi party. It is, however, also considered a sign of good luck by Hindus. They also painted the lotus, which is BJP’s poll symbol.Those arrested were identified as Pulkit Gandhi, Rajat Vyas, Ruchir Nair, Aryan Sharma and Ayajin Jonson. The police have also seized three two-wheelers and mobile phones of the accused, reported Ahmedabad Mirror.scroll
‘Why should I prove I’m Indian?’ Chhattisgarh CM Bhupesh Baghel says he will not sign NRC
Chhattisgarh CM Bhupesh Baghel said on Tuesday that he will be the “first person” to not sign NRC if the Centre implements it in the state. “We have a big challenge in front of us with BJP at Centre,” Baghel told party workers in Raipur. “Their policies are only to mislead people, to instigate people, to set fire, to cut and divide.” The Congress leader was speaking on the occasion of the completion of one year of his government.“Today the country is burning. In different states there are fires burning, there is violence,” Baghel said.scroll
Citizenship Law: BSP MPs Meet President, Seek Probe Against Delhi Police
New Delhi: Dubbing the amended citizenship law as "divisive" and violative of constitutional provisions, BSP on Wednesday urged President Ram Nath Kovind to rescind the legislation.The party also demanded a judicial probe into "police excesses" on the students of Jamia Millia, AMU and Nawada.In its memorandum, signed by its both Lok Sabha (10) and Rajya Sabha (4) MPs, the party said that a judicial probe be initiated on the "illegal action" of the Delhi Police against a "peaceful" protest organised by the students.PTI
Anti-citizenship law hartal poised to disrupt life in Kerala
The general strike called by a cluster of organisations to protest the “anti-Muslim” provisions of the Citizen (Amendment) Act seemed poised to disrupt life in some measure in Kerala on Dec.17.Initial reports of restiveness, minor street confrontations between demonstrators and police and attacks on public transport buses have trickled in from Kasargod, Kannur, Kozhikode, Malappuram, Wayanad, Alappuzha and Thiruvananthapuram.Strike supporters vandalised KSRTC buses, impeded vehicular traffic, staged sit-in demonstrations, waved flags, charged the police, toppled traffic barricades and forced the closure of shops across the State.thehindu
‘Worried about India’s future’: Urdu writer Mujtaba Hussain to return Padma Shri award
Noted Urdu writer and humorist Mujtaba Hussain on Wednesday said he had decided to return his Padma Shri award as he was pained by the state of democracy in India, PTI reported. 87-year-old author was awarded the fourth-highest civilian award in 2007. Hussain said criminal activities were increasing daily and democracy was under threat. “The democratic set up built by Gandhi ji, Jawaharlal Nehru, Sardar Patel, Maulana Abul Kalam Azad, Ambedkar, it is being broken,” he said. “The voice of many people is being shut, many are being killed and poor people are not in a position to laugh.”scroll
Modi's Comments on CAA Protestors 'Shameful, Shocking', :JD(U)'s Pavan Varma
New Delhi: In a candid and outspoken interview that will cause tremors in his JDU as well as its ally, the BJP  and the wider NDA, JD(U) national general secretary and chief spokesperson Pavan Varma has accused Narendra Modi and Amit Shah of deliberately pursuing policies that will divide India and disrupt the country’s peace and harmony.Rather than tackle the economic, agricultural and employment problems that are serious concerns, Varma says Modi and Shah are pursuing policies like the Citizenship Amendment Act (CAA) and NRC which threaten “the fragile fabric of the country” and could, therefore, threaten its integrity.He accused them of “arrogance and hubris” and said the attitude of the BJP is to believe its party manifesto is more important than the Constitution of India. He said Modi and Shah treat honest critics as anti-nationals.thewire
'Won't Sell Conscience' Says Actor Sushant Singh After TV Show Contract Terminated
New Delhi: Actor Sushant Singh announced early on Tuesday that his contract with Savdhaan India, a Hindi language crime show, had ended. The development came just hours after Singh participated in a protest in Mumbai that condemned police violence against students of Jamia Millia Islamia who were protesting the Citizenship (Amendment) Act (CAA).Singh hosted the show, which chronicles true crime stories. Responding to a tweet which asked him if the termination was the “price” he paid for speaking the truth, the actor seemed to confirm, saying that it was a “very small price”.thewire
BJD, Which Voted For CAA, Doesn't Support NRC, Says Naveen Patnaik
New Delhi: Odisha chief Minister Naveen Patnaik on Wednesday said that his party, BJD , does not support NRC. Naveen’s BJD had notably backed the amended citizenship law in parliament. The chief minister said the reason BJD supported CAA was because it applies only to foreigners.Naveen also appealed to the people of Odisha to maintain peace and not fall for rumours.“The amended Citizenship Act has nothing to do with Indians. It deals only with foreigners. BJD MPs both in the Lok Sabha and the Rajya Sabha have made it clear that we do not support the NRC,” Patnaik told reporters before leaving for the national capital.thewire
Christian member of Minorities Commission says community welcomes CAA, 2 major bodies disagree
New Delhi: 2 major Christian organisations have come out in opposition to the Citizenship Amendment Act, even as the Christian member of the National Commission of Minorities asserted that the legislation had been welcomed by the community.NCM vice chairman George Kurian, in a statement on Tuesday, said that he had received messages from Christian leaders welcoming Citizenship Amendment Act.“They tell me justice has finally been done to Christians who are victims of draconian blasphemy laws, religious conversions and abductions,” said Kurian, who is a BJP leader from Kerala.On the same day, Nagpur-based National Council of Churches in India (NCCI) issued a statement saying that the Act polarised communities and contravened the fundamental principles of the constitution.Similarly, the Evangelical Fellowship of India said that that it shared the concern of the “terrifying impact of the enactment of amendments to citizenship law which threatens to radically change the status of a large number of lndian citizens”.thewire
Voices outside Sabarmati Ashram on citizenship law: ‘It is against the spirit of Constitution’
Gandhinagar :Hundreds of students, civil rights activists, academicians and professionals conducted a peaceful protest against the Citizenship Amendment Act (CAA) and NRC outside Sabarmati Ashram in Ahmedabad Tuesday evening while calling the amended act “against the spirit of Indian Constitution”.The demonstration was organised after police permission was granted for peaceful protest at the venue for two hours in the evening. On Monday, police had detained 57 persons from outside IIMA after they held a peaceful protest against CAA without police permission.The protesters stood in a row from the gate of Sabarmati Ashram that went across the Khet Bhavan near the Dandi Bridge on Ashram Road. Holding placards, the protesters raised slogans against the CAA and in favour of the secularism and communal harmony of the country.indianexpress
Ganguly’s daughter voices her dissent on CAA
Board for Control of Cricket for India chief Sourav Ganguly’s 18-year-old daughter Sana was the latest addition to the huge group of celebrities who have expressed their opinions on the new Citizenship Act. She shared an excerpt from Khushwant Singh’s ‘The End of India’ (published in 2003) on Instagram voicing her dissent on the Citizenship Amendment Act. “Every fascist regime needs communities and groups it can demonize in order to thrive. It starts with one group or two. But it never ends there. A movement built on hate can only sustain itself by continually creating fear and strife,” reads the exceprt. Nationalheraldindia
AMU students allege they were tortured in police custody after Sunday protests
Watch: Jamia students make way for ambulance during Citizenship law protests
From Harvard to Oxford, Students Protest CAA in Freezing Cold
*OTHERS*
SC rejects review plea of 16 December gangrape-murder convict
New Delhi: The Supreme Court Wednesday rejected the review petition filed by Akshay Kumar Singh, one of the four men convicted in the 2012 December gangrape and murder case and awarded death penalty.The court said there was no ground to say it’s not a rarest of the rare case.A 3-judge bench of Justice R Banumathi, Justice Ashok Bhushan and Justice A.S. Bopanna announced the judgment after hearing Akshay’s lawyer A.P. Singh for 30 minutes and Solicitor General Tushar Mehta, who was appearing for Delhi Police.Reading out the verdict, Justice Bhanumathi said “the petitioner has again sought to assail the merits of the prosecution case”.Akshay had sought a review of the 2017 Supreme Court judgment upholding his death penalty in the case. Akshay, 33, along with the other three convicts Mukesh (30), Pawan Gupta (23) and Vinay Sharma (24), brutally gangraped a 23-year-old paramedical student in a moving bus on the intervening night of Dec.16-17, 2012. The woman died of her injuries a few days later.theprint
Supreme Court takes suo motu cognisance of rising rape cases, seeks details from states, High Courts
The Supreme Court today took suo motu cognisance of the rising number of rape cases in India, and sought responses and status reports from all states, Union Territories and High Courts by Feb.7, PTI reported. The court has asked for information about investigation, collection of evidence, forensic and medical evidence, recording of statement of complainants and the time frame for trials.A bench comprising Chief Justice SA Bobde and Justices BR Gavai and Surya Kant said it needs to collate information for holistic implementation of the anti-rape law’s provisions.scroll
Ayodhya trust will have no BJP member, Centre won’t spend money on the temple, says Amit Shah
Union Home Minister Amit Shah has said no one from BJP will be part of the trust that will oversee the construction of a Ram temple in Ayodhya. On November 9, the Supreme Court’s five-judge Constitution bench had asked the Centre to set up a trust within three months to oversee the construction of a Ram temple at the site in Ayodhya where the Babri Masjid stood till 1992.“I want to make two things clear: there won’t be any trustee from among BJP members and the government will not spend anything on the project,” Shah said in an interview to Times Now. “The trust will have to collect donations from the society to make it [temple].” Media reports had suggested that Shah and Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Adityanath will be part of the trust.Asked by when the temple will come up, Shah said “the people making” it will decide on the timeline. However, during an election rally in Jharkhand on Monday, Shah had said that a grand Ram temple “touching the skies” will be built in Ayodhya within 4 months.scroll
CPI(M) demands Kiran Bedi’s removal for attending Babri demolition re-enactment
CPI(M) has demanded that Puducherry Lt Governor Kiran Bedi be removed from her post for being a part of a function in which a re-enactment of the Babri mosque demolition was performed.“After the Supreme Court’s Ayodhya verdict in which the SC said Babri demolition was a grossly illegal act, for Kiran Bedi to attend such a function in a school run by RSS is outrageous and atrocious,” CPI(M) politburo member Brinda Karat said. “She has no right to remain in post of governor and should be dismissed forthwith,” Karat said.Bedi and Union minister D V Sadananda Gowda were among the dignitaries who attended the event on Sunday.PTI
UP: Over 100 BJP MLAs sit on dharna against own govt, accusing Yogi Adityanath govt of arrogance
In a shocking development in Uttar Pradesh, over 100 BJP MLAs protested against their own party in the state assembly, accusing the Yogi Adityanath government in the state of arrogance and high-handedness.The stand-off started when BJP MLA from Loni, Nand Kishor Gurjar, was not allowed to speak in the assembly when he rose to explain his side in an assault case registered against him and to complain of harassment. Parliamentary Affairs Minister Suresh Khanna asked him to sit down instead. Gurjar then sat on a dharna inside the house against the Speaker Hriday Narayan Dikshit's decision, and was soon joined by fellow BJP MLAs. Opposition members, led by Leader of Opposition and Samajwadi Party leader Ram Govind Chaudhary, too joined in the protest. The MLAs also raised slogans calling for unity among the legislators. Dikshit, reportedly, said that the “insult of one MLA is equal to insulting all the MLAs”. The opposition members also said that if the MLAs of the ruling party were not allowed to speak in the assembly, how can the opposition expect to be heard.Though the protest was called off later after Dikshit assured the protesting members that corrective action will be taken, the session was adjourned for the day.theweek
Srinagar's Jamia Masjid Opens For First Time Since J&K's Special Status Was Scrapped
Srinagar: Srinagar's main mosque Jamia Masjid re-opened for prayers on Wednesday for the first time since Jammu and Kashmir's special status was scrapped by the central government in August and severe curbs imposed. For the first time in over four months, authorities may allow the Friday prayers this week, sources said.Some 70 worshippers were led by Mufti Ghulam Rasool in afternoon prayers inside the sprawling mosque, which can accommodate 30,000.Locals believe the recent closure was the longest at the 13th-century mosque since India's independence in 1947.ndtv
With No Internet, Kashmir Journalist Forced to Work as Labourer
Ever since the suspension of internet services in Kashmir, photojournalist Muneeb-Ul-Islam has been forced to work as a daily-wage labourer.“I’ve been working as a photographer forthe past 10 years from South Kashmir. Since the conditions worsened after 5 August (abrogation of Article 370), the financial condition at home kept getting worse. I didn’t have any money. There were several expenses at home, so I took this route and for a few days I worked as a labourer,” Muneeb said.A resident of Anantnag district in Kashmir, Muneeb has been working as a freelance photo-journalist in the Valley and contributing to many media agencies and newsrooms internationally and within India, including The Quint.Muneeb told The Quint that there were no internet services for journalists. “There is a media centre in Srinagar but it used to cost Rs 1,500 per day to reach there. The expense was high and we couldn’t afford it. Additionally, the office doesn’t pay that much to cover the cost.”He said all district reporters from Anantnag, Pulwama to Shopian and Kulgam are facing similar issues.Muneeb said internet services continue to be shut in Kashmir, he adds, that there is no lockdown. “The civil transport is working because of which I can go to Srinagar’s media centre and send my stories whenever I have to,” he said.“They treated us as if we, the media persons, are responsible for everything (happening in Kashmir). Just like they’ve locked up politicians, they locked us up too, as if we are responsible for this,” Muneeb told The Quint.The Quint
Bombay HC judge stands up for students’ right to dissent amid widespread protests
New Delhi: A Bombay High Court judge spoke up on the importance of dissent in educational institutions Tuesday, saying “if the right to dissent is taken away, then you take away the space and opportunity for his (student) fundamental construct”.The remarks by Justice Gautam Patel came amid widespread student protests in campuses across the country against an amended citizenship law that was passed by Parliament last week.“Commitment to a plurality of voices and space for dissent is crucial to any educational institution… If you take away that right, I would argue, by an external determination of the student body, you take away the space and opportunity for his (student) fundamental construct,” said Patel.Justice Patel also said that any government that claims to be a true democracy has nothing to fear from dissent.theprint
Gujarat riots: Ashish Pandey, accused in Gulbarg Society Riot Case Acquitted
Ahmedabad: An accused in the 2002 Gulbarg Society massacre case has been acquitted by a special court here for lack of evidence.Ashish Pandey, the accused, was arrested on Jan.10, 2018, after being on the run for almost 16 years. The case pertained to a mob attack on Gulbarg Society here on Feb.28, 2002, in which 69 persons including former Congress MP Ehsan Jafri were killed.The attack took place a day after the Godhra train burning incident.M.K. Dave, judge for cases probed by SIT, acquitted Pandey, granting him the benefit of the doubt as one of the survivors failed to identify him before the court. PTI
2008 Jaipur Blasts Case: 4 convicted, one acquitted
Jaipur: Pronouncing the judgment in 2008 Jaipur serial bomb blasts case that led to the killing of about 73 people, a special court in Jaipur, on Wednesday, convicted four accused – Mohammad Saif, Salman, Mohammad Sarwar Azmi and Saiffurehman – and acquitted one accused, Shahbaz Hussain. On May 13, 2008, the walled city of Jaipur was shocked by a series of bomb blasts, beginning at Manak Chowk and followed by Hanuman temple in Chandpole, Hanuman temple in Sanganeri gate, Johri bazar, Badi chaupar, Choti chaupar, Tripolia bazar and Sargasuli.Rajasthan ATS and the state Special Operation Group investigated the case and submitted the chargesheet against the 5 accused: Shahbaz Hussain, Mohammed Saif, Sarvar Azami, Saif-ur-Rahman and Salman.However, the court couldn’t prove the involvement of Shahbaz Hussain, and therefore, acquitted him.Human rights groups and civil society members have vigilantly objected to the framing of Hussain in the case. PUCL conducted an investigation into the case and presented a fact-finding report that rebutted the Rajasthan police’s claims against Hussain.Rajasthan police had alleged that Shahbaz Hussain made transactions worth crores of rupees from his accounts to finance the terror attack. When PUCL team checked his accounts in the IndusInd Bank and the SBI, the claims were proven wrong.“In the account with IndusInd bank, the balance was zero and in that with SBI, balance was Rajasthan Rs 1,806 and there was no transaction between Dec.2007 and May, 2008. The single largest transaction in Hussain’s account was that of Rs 15,000,” PUCL report reads. Police also claimed that Hussain had sent an e-mail from a cybercafe in Sahibabad in Ghaziabad between May 10 and 13, 2008, just before the blasts in Jaipur. However, verification of his call log suggested that he was present in Lucknow at the time.Hussain’s identification by the owner of the cafe, more than five months after he allegedly visited it, had also raised obvious doubts.thewire
India Should Take Urgent Action To Tackle Air Pollution: UN Body Official
Madrid: India should take "urgent action" to tackle air pollution as the levels of toxic air in many cities of the country are much higher than the recommended guidelines, which could have a major impact on people's health, WHO Director Maria Neira said.Several studies conducted by WHO, Centre for Science and Environment and other journals such as The Lancet have linked pollution with premature deaths in India. Union Environment Minister Prakash Javadekar recently told the parliament that there was no Indian study to show any correlation between pollution and shortening of lifespan.NDTV
Economy in crisis: IMF may downgrade India’s growth forecast, says chief economist Gita Gopinath
Even as it’s facing stiff resistance from university students and other groups over the implementation of the discriminatory Citizenship (Amendment) Act (CAA), the Modi government received another thumbs down, with the International Monetary Fund (IMF) on Tuesday expressing doubts over PM Narendra Modi’s much-touted claim of making India a $5 trillion economy by 2025. The IMF is also set to downgrade India growth forecast.Gita Gopinath, the India-born chief economist with the IMF, said that in view of the recent incoming data, it is doubtful that the IMF would be revising the country’s growth estimate in January 2020.“IMF is set to cut the growth estimate for India significantly,” she said while speaking at an event organised by a private news channel in Mumbai.According to analysts, fall in consumption, lack of private investment and sluggish exports are responsible for a slower GDP growth which slid to a six-year low of 4.5 per cent in September.Apart from IMF, the RBI and other economy watchers have already done downward reviews of their growth forecast for India for the Financial Year 2019-2020.nationalheraldindia
JNU standoff: VC is rejecting efforts to find solution, teachers’ association tells President Kovind
JNU Teachers’ Association on Wednesday wrote an open letter to President Ram Nath Kovind against the alleged “misgovernance” of Vice Chancellor M Jagadesh Kumar. The association alleged that Kumar has been rejecting every effort made to find a solution to the crisis at the university.Students at the university have been protesting against the administration’s decision to hike hostel and mess fees for over a month now. This has led to student protest marches and clashes with the police, as well as vandalism at the hostels. On December 8, the Ministry of Human Resource Development advised the university administration to notify the students’ union and withdraw the police complaints against students as a first step to resolve the standoff.scroll
Centre's Decision To Cancel 'Life Term' Of 1993 Blast Convict Put On Hold
New Delhi: The Supreme Court has stayed the Central government's decision to remit life term imprisonment granted to Devinder Pal Singh Bhullar in connection with the 1993 bomb blast case.A bench of Justice Rohinton Fali Nariman and Justice S Ravindra Bhat on Tuesday agreed to hear the plea of former Youth Congress Maninder Singh Bitta and sought the government's response on the matter.Mr Bitta had contended that decision to remit Devinder Pal Singh Bhullar's term was illegal and unconstitutional.He said that the top court had commuted Devinder Bhullar's death sentence to life imprisonment, which meant he had to be in jail for the rest of his life and the government could not reduce the sentence.ANI
Delhi High Court sets aside CIC order holding EVM as ‘info’ under RTI Act
New Delhi :The decision of the Central Information Commission that EVMs fall within the definition of “information” under the RTI Act was set aside by the Delhi High Court on Tuesday.Allowing the Election Commission’s appeal against the CIC’s order, Justice Jayant Nath observed that the production of EVM models cannot be sought under RTI application. The court’s order came on a plea by the poll panel challenging the CIC’s February 12 order, by which it was held that EVM, which is available with the EC in a material form and as sample, is an information under RTI Act.indianexpress
BJP’s saffron-clad leaders don’t marry, but rape women: Hemant Soren in Jharkhand
Hitting out at BJP over the issue of women’s safety, Jharkhand Mukti Morcha (JMM) chief Hemant Soren Wednesday said while the leaders of the ruling party often don’t marry, they wear saffron clothes and rape women.Soren made the remark at an election rally in Jharkhand’s Pakur. “Today, women are being set on fire in the country. I have heard that UP CM Adityanath has also been doing the rounds of Jharkhand. These are the people, BJP people, who often don’t get married, but dress in saffron and rape women… Shall we vote for such people, who rape women?,” said Soren.indianexpress
*WORLD*
Trump faces near-certain impeachment as House set to historic vote
US House of Representatives is expected to vote on Wednesday to impeach President Donald Trump for obstruction of Congress and abuse of power related to his dealings with Ukraine.If the articles of impeachment are approved, as expected, Trump would become only the third US president to be impeached. No US president has been removed from office via the impeachment process.Democratic Speaker Nancy Pelosi has the majority she needs to approve the two pending articles of impeachment, members said on Tuesday. Wednesday's votes, which are set for sometime in the afternoon or early evening, are expected to play out largely among party lines. Democrats control the House 233 to 197 seats over Republicans, with one independent and four vacancies.The impeachment process has deepened political divides in the US as the country heads for the 2020 presidential election. Those divides were on further display on the eve of the House votes.In a vitriolic six-page letter to Pelosi on Tuesday, Trump called the House's impeachment drive a "charade" and a "colossal injustice"."You are turning a policy disagreement between two branches of government into an impeachable offence," Trump said in the letter.Pelosi called the letter "sick". Following a day of divisive rhetoric, hundreds of rallies were held across the US in support of impeachment on Tuesday night. US media also reported counter-rallies in some cities. Wednesday's proceedings will kick off at 9am (14:00 GMT) with debate on the rule governing the longer impeachment debate. After the rule is approved, there will then be six hours of debate, divided equally among Democrats and Republicans before the final votes. At the centre of the Democrats' impeachment of Trump is a July 25 telephone call the president had with newly-elected Ukraine President Volodymyr Zelenskyy.In the call, Trump urged Zelenskyy to investigate former Vice President Joe Biden, and his son, Hunter, who was on the board of Burisma, a Ukrainian gas company, 2014 until his term expired in April this year.aljazeera
Kuala Lumpur Summit: Five major issues facing Muslim world
 Leaders from some of the world's most populous Muslim-majority countries are set to meet in Malaysia's capital on Thursday to address issues such as Islamophobia and poverty, with the organisers insisting the event is not meant to rival the Organisation of Islamic Cooperation (OIC).Malaysian Prime Minister Mahathir Mohamad will preside over the meeting with fellow heads of state, President Hassan Rouhani of Iran and President Recep Tayyip Erdogan of Turkey. Qatar's Emir Sheikh Tamim bin Hamad Al Thani is also expected to attend.According to the organisers, at least 250 foreign representatives from 52 countries and 150 Malaysian delegates will also join the KL Summit. They include government officials, scholars and leaders from various non-government sectors.But there are also notable absences, including the leaders of Indonesia, Saudi Arabia and Pakistan.aljazeera
'Neutral' Pakistan pulls out of Malaysia summit of Muslim nations
 Pakistan has pulled out of an international summit for leaders of Muslim countries to be held in Malaysia over concerns it could "divide" the Muslim world, Foreign Minister Shah Mahmood Qureshi has saidPakistan's Gulf allies, Saudi Arabia and UAE, had expressed reservations over Islamabad joining the summit, hosted by Malaysian Prime Minister Mahathir Mohamad in Kuala Lumpur.Speaking to reporters in the capital on Tuesday, Qureshi confirmed that neither he nor Prime Minister Imran Khan would be attending the summit.On Tuesday, Prime Minister Mohamed's office confirmed that his Pakistani counterpart had pulled out of the event. Khan also spoke with Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan, a major backer of the summit, on the sidelines of the Global Refugee Forum in Geneva on Tuesday, a statement from Khan's office said.In Islamabad, Pakistani Foreign Minister Qureshi said Pakistan had pulled out of the summit due to concerns by Saudi Arabia that the meeting could create a new bloc that would rival existing 57-member state Organisation of Islamic Cooperation (OIC), its headquarters in Riyadh.aljazeera
Turkey warns of 'escalation' if US ends Cyprus arms embargo
Turkey has warned that the US's move to lift a decades-old arms embargo on Cyprus would be a "dangerous escalation" as relations deteriorated further between the NATO allies.The US Congress voted on Tuesday to end the embargo on the island, which was imposed in 1987 to avoid an arms race and encourage the conflict's resolution.Cyprus has been divided since 1974 when Turkey invaded in response to a coup engineered by the then-military regime in Athens.aljazeera
Egypt's el-Sisi says position on Qatar 'unchanged'
Egypt's President Abdel Fattah el-Sisi said the position of the Saudi-led bloc on relations with Qatar remains unchanged."I affirm that nothing has changed," el-Sisi said in a reply to a question at the closing session of a youth forum in the Red Sea resort of Sharm el-Sheikh on Tuesday."There are efforts being exerted and we hope this effort will succeed," he said, without giving further details."We are talking about building confidence and healthy relations."Aljazeera
Jailed Uighur academic receives top EU rights prize
A Uighur economist who is jailed in China received the 2019 Sakharov Prize for Freedom of Thought in absentia on Wednesday, in Strasbourg, France .Ilham Tohti, 50, was sentenced to life in prison in 2014 on separatism charges. The award comes amid the detention of one million ethnic Uighurs in internment camps in the Uighur majority state of Xinjiang, according to estimates by United Nations.Nelson Mandela and Malala Yousufzai received the Sakharov Prize in 1988 and 2013 respectively.aljazeera
Royal Derby Hospital introduces disposable hijabs for Muslim women to wear in surgery 'in UK first'
A junior doctor has created what is believed to be the UK's first disposable and sterile headscarf for staff to wear in operating theatres.Farah Roslan, who worked at the Royal Derby Hospital, said she wanted to develop a hijab that allowed her to both honour her Muslim faith and work in theatre.She hopes the initiative will "remove one of the major barriers in attracting a wider and more diverse talent pool in surgery". University Hospitals of Derby and Burton NHS Trust, where Ms Roslan was working as a medical student when she came up with the idea, said: "We believe we are the first Trust in the UK to introduce disposable sterile headscarves for staff to use in our Operating Theatres."inews.co.uk
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Protesters’ fears about new citizenship law are founded on history, accumulated experience:Sanjib Baruah
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*Compiled and edited by Anwarulhaq (Released at: 6:56 PM).*

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