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Thursday, 19 December 2019

19 DEC. NEWS: 3 dead in Mangaluru, Lucknow as Citizenship Act protests rage across India/ Court Refuses To Protect Jamia Students From Arrest, Lawyers Say "Shame"/ Amnesty, criticises crackdown on protestors https://scroll.in/latest/947306/citizenship-amendment-act-is-a-bigoted-law-says-amnesty-criticises-crackdown-on-protestors


*NEWS DIGEST, Evening* 
*19 DEC. 2019: 21 Rabius Sani 1441: Vol: 12, No: 87*
*india: anti-citizenship act stir*
3 dead in Mangaluru, Lucknow as Citizenship Act protests rage across India
Two people died in Mangaluru and one in Lucknow due to bullet injuries on Thursday as a fresh round of protests against the amended Citizenship Act gripped various parts of India. Agitators defied prohibitory orders across regions, prompting authorities to detain activists and politicians, including noted historian Ramchandra Guha, Swaraj India leader Yogendra Yadav and Left leader Sitaram Yechury, and suspend mobile Internet services in several areas of Delhi.While the protests were largely peaceful in Delhi, Karnataka, Mumbai, Bengal and Telangana, there were reports of violent clashes and arson in Uttar Pradesh’s Lucknow and Bihar’s Patna and Jehanabad.In Mangaluru, protests turned violent after demonstrators, defying prohibitory orders, resorted to hurling stones at police personnel leading to lathicharge. Police opened fire in the air and also lobbed tear gas shells to disperse the protesters, PTI reported. Two people succumbed to bullet injuries later in the day, Mangaluru Police Commissioner PS Harsha confirmed. The victims, Jaleel (49) and Nauseen (23), suffered bullet injuries in afternoon.In Bengaluru, scores of people, including historian Ramachandra Guha, were detained for staging a demonstration against the amended Citizenship Act and NRC near Town Hall in defiance of the prohibitory orders imposed in the city.In Delhi, Jantar Mantar became the epicentre of the protests after thousands of activists were not allowed to hold demonstrations near the Red Fort and Mandi House, where prohibitory orders were imposed in the morning. Left party leaders Sitaram Yechury and D Raja, former JNU leader Umar Khalid, Yogendra Yadav were among scores of protestors detained by Delhi Police near Red Fort when they tried to take out a march in defiance of prohibitory orders.“India today has the ignominy of being the largest internet shutdown in the world. It is unacceptable. Metro stations were closed. This is worse than what we saw during the Emergency. Today’s protests showed the determination of youngsters to not let democracy be butchered,” CPI(M) general secretary Sitaram Yechury said.At Jantar Mantar, slogans of ‘CAA Se Azaadi and NRC Se Azaadi’, ‘Hum Honge Kamyaab’, ‘Inquilab Zindabad’ rent the air even as the ruling BJP and the government maintained there won’t be any rethink on implementation of the new law.Barricades by police in and around the national capital and closing of Delhi Metro gates at 18 stations triggered massive traffic snarls in large parts of the city. Moreover, 19 IndiGo flights were cancelled and 16 others were delayed as crew members were stuck in traffic jam on NH-8, a statement by Delhi International Airport Limited said. 4 airlines — Vistara, GoAir, Air India and IndiGo — announced that their passengers, who are stuck in traffic due to the protests in various parts of Delhi, would be adjusted in subsequent flights for no extra fees, PTI reported.Barely 500 km away in Uttar Pradesh’s capital Lucknow, a person succumbed to bullet wounds at Trauma Centre in the city as protesters pelted stones and torched vehicles, prompting police to retaliate with tear gas shells. However, it is not clear from whose gunshot he died. Uttar Pradesh DGP OP Singh denied that any firing was done from police end.Scattered incidents of violence were also reported from Sambhal and Mau districts. In Sambhal, a public bus was set ablaze and another damaged while some protesters pelted stones at a police station. DGP OP Singh said police had to fire tear gas shells to control the situation in Madeyganj area, while nearly 20 people have been taken into custody, PTI reported.Internet services remained suspended for at least part of the day at various places, including Aligarh, Sambhal, Mau and Azamgarh districts. Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath said those who damaged public property would have to pay for it and the culprits have been identified through video and CCTV footage.“There was violence in Lucknow and Sambhal and we will deal with it strictly. All properties of those involved in damaging public assets will be seized and auctioned to compensate for the losses,” Adityanath said.Violence was also reported from Bihar, where hundreds of activists of Pappu Yadav’s Jan Adhikar Party (JAP) burnt tyres on a road near Rajendra Nagar Terminus. In the morning, members of Left-wing student organisations — All India Students Federation and the All India Students Association — squatted on railway tracks at the terminus before being chased away by RPF personnel. In Jehanabad, CPI(ML) activists staged a roadblock on Kako More, disrupting traffic on national highways NH 110 and 83.In Mumbai, thousands of protesters descended to August Kranti Maidan, where Mahatma Gandhi in 1942 told the British to quit India, with most slogans and placards directed at Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Home Minister Amit Shah. Bollywood personalities, including actors Farhan Akhtar, Sushant Singh, Swara Bhaskar and filmmakers Rakeysh Omprakash Mehra and Saeed Mirza, were also present besides politicians like Raj Babbar, Hussain Dalwai and Milind Deora.“As a citizen of the country and as somebody who was born and has grown up with a certain idea of India, it is important for me to raise my voice. If everything was ok, why would so many people turn up?Not just in Mumbai, but Delhi, Assam, Bangalore, Hyderabad,” said Farhan Akhtar.Rakeysh Omprakash Mehra said at the protest, “There are many kinds of flowers in our garden. But if we insist there should be only one kind and one colour of flower…” In his speech, Jaaved Jaffrey said, “Stop this game. Tell us what’s going to happen next. Give us roti kapada makaan. You said you’d give us health policy, education policy but you come to power and the first thing you say is that you are going to build a temple!”indianexpress
CAA protests: Protests turn violent across cities, 1 killed in Lucknow, 2 in Mangaluru;
Citizenship Act protests LIVE Updates: Two dead in Mangaluru, one in Lucknow as protests turn violent
1 Dead In Lucknow From "Alleged Firearm Injury" Amid Citizenship Act Protests
After Police Crackdown at Red Fort Protest, Thousands Throng to Jantar Mantar
Hundreds detained as anti-CAA protests hit multiple cities; Violence in UP, Bihar
Security Forces Foil Attempt of Anti-CAA Protesters From Reaching Red Fort
Across India, Protests Against New Citizenship Act
CAA protest in Mumbai: Farhan Akhtar, Sushant Singh, Swara Bhasker and others join in
Anti-CAA protests: 19 IndiGo flights cancelled, 16 others delayed
Left my car, walked back home: Travel chaos at Delhi-Gurugram highway amid anti-CAA protests
Police Use Drone Cameras During Citizenship Act Protests In Delhi
 Home Ministry Holds Security Meet Amid Protests Against Citizenship Act
New Delhi: Senior officials of the Union Home Ministry attended a meeting to review the security situation in the country on Thursday evening amid violent protests against the Citizenship (Amendment) Act, sources said. Reports had earlier said that Home Minister Amit Shah would chair the meeting. Massive protests against the contentious new law that promises citizenship to immigrants from neighbouring countries excluding Muslims have swept India culminating into clashes with law enforcement and crackdowns.Police detained hundreds of people in Delhi, Bengaluru and several parts of India on Thursday and shut down the internet in some places as protests entered a second week over the new citizenship law that critics say undermines the country's secular constitution.
After Jamia showdown, MHA’s stern message to Delhi Police on student protests
Ahead of the high-level meeting called by Amit Shah to review the security situation against the backdrop of protests over the citizenship law, his deputy in the home ministry G Kishan Reddy on Thursday lashed out at political parties for their misinformation campaign against the Citizenship Amendment Act and asked students to first read up the law before hitting the streets.Reddy also struck a conciliatory note over the police’s alleged hard-handed approach in dealing with protests by students at Jamia Millia University over the weekend.“Delhi Police is (now) not hitting anyone. Nobody (among cops) should use any weapon or lathi against students or protestors,” Kishan Reddy told reporters.HT
Court Refuses To Protect Jamia Students From Arrest, Lawyers Say "Shame"
New Delhi: Protesting students of Jamia Millia Islamia will not get any relief for now, the Delhi High Court said today in response to a clutch of petitions filed regarding Sunday's violence. Many of the students were allegedly injured during the police crackdown at the university late on Sunday evening. At least six petitions had sought medical treatment and compensation for them.A bench of Justice DN Patel, however, refused to provide any interim relief to student protesters from any coercive action, including arrest. As the order was read out, lawyers present in the court chanted "shame, shame". The court, which was hearing  petitions requesting the formation of a judicial commission to investigate the violence at the Jamia on  Sunday, has issued notice to the Centre, the Delhi government and the police.One of the petitions, filed on behalf of the Imam of Jama Masjid, said the students and teachers were holding a peaceful protest against the amended Citizenship Act, but the police disrupted it and used "unjustified, excessive, arbitrary and brute force" against them.  ndtv
Watch: As Muslims Prayed At Jamia Protest, This Gesture Moved Twitter
New Delhi: People of different faiths today formed a human chain around Muslims as they offered namaz in the national capital. The heartwarming scene played out in the middle of a protest against the Citizenship Amendment Act (CAA) that took place outside the gates of Jamia Millia Islamia University in southeast Delhi, reports ANI.A video shared by ANI on Twitter shows some people standing shoulder to shoulder as others read namaz - an act of worship in Islam that is observed five times every day at prescribed times.ndtv
Citizenship Amendment Act is a ‘bigoted law’, says Amnesty, criticises crackdown on protestors
Human rights organisation Amnesty International India today criticised the crackdown on people protesting against Citizenship Amendment Act. Various state government had either arrested protestors or imposed prohibitory orders to stop demonstrations, Amnesty pointed out.Amnesty India’s Executive Director Avinash Kumar said the Citizenship Act was a “bigoted law” that legitimises discrimination on the basis of religion. “The people of the country have the right to protest against this law peacefully and express their views,” he added. “The right to freedom of peaceful assembly does not only facilitate freedom of expression, but also allows public debate. However, rather than respecting, protecting and promoting this right, Central govt in Delhi and various state governments are clamping down on protestors by using repressive laws.”The organisation cited international law and underlined that peaceful assembly was a right and not a privilege.scroll
'This Time You Will Not Stop Us': Arundhati Roy on Anti-Citizenship Law Protests
New Delhi: On a day when protesters gathered in the thousands across the country against the Citizenship (Amendment) Act, despite the police’s efforts to break the crowds, author and activist Arundhati Roy issued a statement celebrating people’s resilience.“India is standing up. This govt stands exposed and discredited. This is a day when love and solidarity face down bigotry and facism,” Roy said in her statement.“Everybody has joined in to protest against unconstitutional CAB and NRC.We are Dalits, Muslims, Hindus, Christians, Sikhs, Adivasis, Marxists, Ambedkarites, farmers, workers, academics, writers, poets, painters and most of all students who are the future of this country. This time you will not stop us,” she said.thewire
New Videos Suggest Delhi Police May Have Fired At Jamia Protesters
Delhi Police are investigating videos that raise questions about the police claim that guns were not used during the violence that broke out on Sunday evening during the protest by the students of Jamia Millia Islamia against the new citizenship law. In response to a few claims of bullet injuries, senior police officers earlier said it was possible that the people were hit by shards of tear gas shells, which on certain occasions have proved fatal.In one of the videos now being investigated, shot near Mathura Road, a policeman can be seen drawing out a gun and opening fire. After firing in the air, he is seen running towards a bylane as more gunshots ring out. At least 4 gunshots are heard in the video. The video correlates with another cellphone video, purportedly shot in the same area, which shows a protestor falling from what appears to be a gunshot injury. The protestor, Ajaz, a student at Jamia, has been admitted to Delhi's Safdarjung hospital for a bullet injury.Before he falls, a police officer, presumably the same one from the first video who was firing his weapons, emerges from behind a bus."That video is also part of a probe and I would not like to say anything beyond that," a senior-level officer in charge of the investigation told NDTV.ndtv
Delhi Police fired 450 tear gas shells during Citizenship Act protests, ‘ largest quantity in recent history’: Report
Delhi Police fired at least 450 tear gas shells over the past 5 days in a bid to stop protests in Jamia Nagar and East Delhi, HT has reported.The report cites the police admitting that it could be the largest quantity of non-lethal ammunition having been used in a comparable time span in recent history in the national capital.During a protest near the India Gate on Dec.22, 2012, following the Nirbhaya gang rape and murder case, about 180 tear gas shells were fired. This was the previous highest.The report added that, as per early details, south-east district police had fired at least 200 shells in and around the Jamia Millia Islamia university campus on Dec.15 when the protest there turned violent.On Dec.17, 247 tear gas shells were fired in East Delhi’s Seelampur.Moneycontrol
‘Where are homes and jobs for refugees who will apply for citizenship?’ asks Kejriwal
Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal has wondered how the Centre would provide jobs, housing and other facilities to refugees from Afghanistan, Bangladesh and Pakistan seeking Indian citizenship under the Citizenship Amendment Act’s provisions. “There are 3 to 4 crore non-Muslims in Afghanistan, Bangladesh and Pakistan,” Kejriwal told News18. “If they come to the country, who will give them jobs, where will you make them stay? Will you give them housing in Delhi, Mumbai, Assam, Tripura? Today, there is unemployment everywhere. Our first priority should be to provide employment to our youth. We want to give it to Afghans, Bangladeshis and Pakistanis.” Kejriwal said most refugees do not possess documents. scroll.in
Indian Students, Workers in London Protest Against CAA, NRC
London: Hundreds of Indian students and diaspora stood outside the High Commission of India in London on Wednesday evening, in the cold and rain, to protest against the Citizen Amendment Act (CAA) and NRC. They believe these policies suppress the rights of the minorities in India including the Muslims, Dalits and Adivasis.The protesters in London also expressed solidarity with the students of Jamia Millia Islamia and AMU and others who encountered police brutality, and with the many other protestors in India who are taking to the streets on Thursday, raising their voice against CAA and NRC.At the protest, songs of ‘azadi’ echoed, the preamble of the constitution was read and the national anthem sung. Meena Kandasamy read a poem in Tamil and English called ‘We are not the Citizens’, a Kashmiri speaker described what it was like being “caged” in the Valley, and a group of Keralites joined the protest sloganeering in Malayali. Some European students were seen punching the air and shouting ‘Halla Bol’, expressing solidarity with their Indian friends. Many students travelled from outside London to be a part of this protest.The London protest was organised by South Asian Solidarity Group and SOAS India Society. They strongly condemned the CAA and opposed plans to implement NRC.thewire
If Aadhaar is not proof of citizenship, then why was it linked to bank accounts, voter IDs, Mamata asks Shah
Assailing Union Home Minister Amit Shah for his comment that Aadhaar was not a proof of citizenship, West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee asked him why was it then linked to bank accounts, voter IDs and mobile phones and said it was his duty to "douse flames" rather than "set the country afire"."I will appeal to the home minster, please consider. You are the country's home minister, not a BJP leader. It is not your job to set the country afire. It is your job to douse flames in the country. I appeal to you with folded hands," the Trinamool Congress chief said at a meeting opposing the new citizenship law.Banerjee said when Assam, Tripura, Delhi, Punjab, UP, Rajasthan are burning, "Why are you saying hogaya hogaya (CAB and NRC will be executed)." "Why is the home minister of the country openly saying Aadhaar card will not do? Then why did you make the Aadhaar cards, spent Rs 6,000 crore on it? Is the cat out of the bag now? I want clarification from you. As a citizen of the country it is my prerogative, right to ask you," she said at Dorina crossing in central Kolkata.Banerjee also asked Shah why Aadhaar was linked to mobiles, bank accounts and passports.PTI
CAA-NRC: Jamaat-e-Islami, Telangana president  Hamid Khan, Azeez Pasha detained; released later
Hyderabad: Scores of protesters who had gathered for an all-party public meeting to oppose the National Register of Citizens and the Citizenship Amendment Act, 2019 were detained near Exhibition Grounds in Nampally. Jamaat-e-Islami, Telangana and Odisha president Hamed Mohammed Khan and CPI leader Syed Azeez Pasha, among others, who had arrived the venue too were detained. They were taken to the Nampally Police Station. They were released later.Mr Khan sent a message to the media informing him of his detention. Speaking to siasat.com, Mr Khan said, “They picked me up as soon as I arrived at the Exhibition Grounds. We were here to register our opposition peacefully. We urge the Chief Minister to understand the issue. After all he has voted against the CAA in the Parliament,” Khan said.The call for protest was given by the CPI and all its affiliates. Telangana Jana Samithi, JIH, Students Islamic Organisation and other groups also joined the protest. Student unions from the University of Hyderabad, Osmania, EFLU and several other educational institutions had also planned to converge at the exhibition grounds.The series of preventive detentions continued on Thursday with approximately 100 University of Hyderabad students being picked up from campus gates.“We were going towards Exhibition Grounds. We were moving peacefully to protest against unconstitutional legislations. But, police pushed us into a bus and took us to the Moinabad Police Station. The CAA and NRC are unconstitutional,” a student leader who was detained said. Meanwhile, South Zone police picked up around 40 people who had gathered near Charminar. They too were preventively detained. The protesters later raised slogans against Chief Minister K Chandrasekhar Rao.siasat
Anti-CAA protesters held in Hyderabad, rally foiled
Nagpur citizens protest against Citizenship Act, NRC
Thousands of people took out a massive procession here on Thursday afternoon to protest against the Citizenship Amendment Act and the proposed National Register of Citizens.The procession included a large number of women, youth, Dalits, Muslims, lawyers, social activists and rationalists who rented slogans denouncing CAA-NRC.They carried black banners, flex posters and boards with anti-CAA/NRC slogans, demanded the scrapping of the laws and condemned the BJP government for forcing it on the people. The processionists marched through several areas of the city peacefully amid tight police security as the Maharashtra Legislature''s Winter Session is currently on here.-IANS
CAA needed as there is no Hindu nation: Gadkari
Justifying the Citizenship Amendment Act, BJP functionary Nitin Gadkari on Wednesday said the legislation was needed as there was no country in the world specifically for Hindus.Speaking at a media event, Gadkari said, “There is no country in the world for Hindus. Earlier, Nepal was a Hindu nation but now there is not a single Hindu nation... so where will Hindus, Sikhs go?For Muslims, there are several Muslim nations where they can get citizenship... opposition is trying to mislead people.”Gadkari also denied the charge that the BJP government was biased against Muslims. “We are not against Muslim citizens of our nation. Some parties are creating fear among minorities. I assure you that our govt is against discrimination politics,” he added.TOI
Malegaon joins anti-Citizenship Act stir; all schools, colleges shut
Malegaon: Hundreds of Muslims, joined by a good number of Hindus, are marching in Malegaon Thursday to protest against the Citizenship Amendment Act (CAA) and NRC.Ove 2 dozen organisations and rights bodies have given a call for a nationwide protest against the controversial law today which coincides with the martyrdom of Ram Prasad Bismil and Shaheed Ashfaqullah Khan."The fascist Modi government is hell bent on stripping us of the Indian citizenship. We won't allow this", a protester said while talking to ummid.com. "Our anchestors had given blood for this country. The contribution of Muslims for India is more than any other in the country. Strangely, the people who have never contributed positevely for the country and stayed away from all national movements are talking about desh bhakti and nationalism. It is high time to expose them", another said. 'Azaadi solgan, became famous by Kanhaiya Kumar and JNU students and which is now popular among the youngsters has also made its way to Malegaon.ummid.com
"Paranoid, Insecure Regime": Ramachandra Guha, Detained During Citizenship Act Protests
Historian Ramachandra Guha, detained during protests in Bengaluru today over the citizenship law, said the enforcement of Section 144, a British-era ban on large gatherings, is the mark of a "paranoid, fearful and insecure" regime. He called it "fourth or fifth" crisis the republic was going through since its independence. "Shutting internet in Delhi? What signal will it send to the world? Is this a self-confident India," Ram Guha questioned, speaking to NDTV after his release around four hours later."The British viceroy did the same thing. Indira Gandhi did the same thing. The police thought if they pick up 15 people in Bengaluru they would be scared. There was absolutely no reason to impose Section 144 unless you are plain stupid." 61-year-old historian was at a protest at the Town Hall in Bengaluru speaking to NDTV reporter when he was dragged mid-sentence by a group of policemen, detained and hauled into a bus.NDTV

Bengaluru CAA protest: Police feed tomato rice to 120 detained protesters
Modi govt reaches out to Muslim clerics to appeal for peace as India protests citizenship law
New Delhi: As protests against the government’s Citizenship Amendment Act (CAA) and the proposed NRC intensify across the country, the Ministry of Minority Affairs and the National Commission for Minorities have asked influential Muslim clerics to defuse the tense situation and appeal for peace.The commission and the ministry have contacted Mufti Abdul Qasim Nomani, vice-chancellor of Darul Uloom Deoband, Delhi-based cleric Mahmood Madani, imam of Lucknow Idgah Maulana Khalid Rasheed Firangi, Dewan of Ajmer Sharif Dargah Syed Zainul Abedin and Lucknow-based cleric Kalbe Sadiq.These leaders have been asked to tell their community that the citizenship law is not anti-Muslim, that the NRC is not on the government’s immediate agenda and that there’s nothing to worry about, said Syed Ghayorul Hasan Rizvi, chairperson of the minority commission.theprint
UP CM warns of strong action against vandals, says will ‘auction’ their property
UP CM Yogi Adityanath said his government will take "revenge" on those involved in the violence over the amended Citizenship Act by auctioning their property to compensate for the losses"There is no place for violence in a democracy. In the name of opposing the CAA, the Congress, SP and Left parties have pushed the entire country to fire.PTI
Citizenship Act, NRC will be implemented: J P Nadda after meeting Afghan refugees
New Delhi :As protests continued to rock different parts of the country against the Citizenship Amendment Act, BJP working President J P Nadda Thursday said that the new law and NRC will be implemented.“India is marching ahead under Prime Minister Narendra Modi and will continue to do so. CAA (Citizenship Amendment Act) will be implemented, so will be NRC in future,” Nadda was quoted as saying by PTI.indianexpress
"This Is An Egoistic, Uneducated, Scared Government": Anurag Kashyap
New Delhi: Filmmaker Anurag Kashyap on Thursday came down heavily on authorities trying to clamp down protests against the Citizenship (Amendment) Act, saying that it showed a "scared, egoistic, uneducated" government that wanted to cling on to power."You have shut down internet in the capital. You have stopped the metro. This is a scared government whose sole agenda is to win elections," Mr Kashyap, 47, told NDTV.
"If Any Decision..." Curious Phrasing Of Govt Ad On NRC Amid Protests
New Delhi: As protests against a new citizenship law and NRC escalate, government ads in newspapers today said no nationwide NRC has been announced, and "if there is any such decision", the rules would be formed in a way that no Indian citizen is impacted.The ads, taken out mainly in Hindi and Urdu newspapers said: "No nationwide NRC has been announced. If there is any such decision, rules and regulations will be formed in a way that no Indian citizen is impacted."The wording and the use of "if" was interpreted by some as the early signs of a rollback on the citizenship drive that Home Minister Amit Shah had announced in Parliament, under the shadow of relentless protests.ndtv
This is undeclared emergency, not BJP rule: Congress's Abhishek Singhvi
New Delhi:Congress leader Abhishek Manu Singhvi said on Thursday that the situation in Delhi is nothing but an undeclared emergency. As Section 144 was imposed in many parts of Delhi-NCR and 18 Metro stations were shut in view of protests against the Citizenship Amendment Act, Abhishek Manu Singhvi said it is not BJP rule in the country but an undeclared emergency. Abhishek Manu Singhvi said, "Delhi is the capital. Section 144 has been put around the Red Fort, obstructions on roads, 18 Delhi Metro stations shut and the internet has been shut as per the directions. Section 144 imposed in Karnataka, arrests in Uttar Pradesh and Assam has similar clampdown."indiatoday
In Assam, the BJP Govt is Looking to Quell Protests in Inventive Ways
 Street protests, processions and rallies have continued to rock different parts of Assam — all with the common demand that the Narendra Modi government scrap the Citizenship (Amendment) Act as it would violate the terms of Assam Accord and as good as declare the state open to undocumented migrants from Bangladesh. However, the BJP-led state government is out to quell public unrest, with what comes across as a multi-layered calibrated method.On Dec 16 and 17, the Sarbananda Sonowal government made two announcements which are widely being received in the state as ‘sops’ to placate agitators.The December 16 announcement, reportedly made at a meeting of the chief minister with top officials, was that “the government of Assam would soon start the process for filling up 55,000 posts of different categories, including teachers, which are lying vacant in various departments in the state”.thewire


Mamata dares BJP: ‘If you have guts, hold UN-monitored referendum on CAA, NRC’
West Bengal CM Mamata Banerjee today dared BJP to go for a UN-monitored referendum on the Citizenship (Amendment) Act and NRC. “If BJP has guts, it should go for a UN-monitored referendum on the amended Citizenship Act and NRC,” Banerjee said at a rally in Kolkata.Banerjee, who has been leading mammoth rallies against the CAA for 4 days in a row now, also said BJP was buying skullcaps for its cadre, who were then wearing them while vandalising public property.indianexpress
Citizenship Act Protests: Priyanka Chopra Breaks Silence Over Crackdown On Jamia, Aligarh Students
Mumbai: Priyanka Chopra broke her silence today on the police crackdown against the students of Jamia Millia Islamia and Aligarh Muslim University, saying in a thriving democracy, violence against peaceful protesters is "wrong".37-year-old actor is the latest celebrity to react to the violence against the students for protesting against the amended Citizenship Act on Sunday evening. PTI
Union HRD Minister ‘Nishank’ skips minority rights day function
Amidst the ongoing turmoil over Citizens Amendment Act and the proposed NRC in the country, Union Minister of HRD Ramesh Pokhriyal ‘Nishank’ gave a miss to an event organized by the state Minority Commission on the Minorities Rights Day in Dehradun on Wednesday. Union HRD Minister was supposed to address the function as a chief guest but decided to skip the moment at the last minute putting the organizers in an embarrassing situation.nationalheraldindia
AIIMS Bans Protests on Campus on Same Day as Countrywide Anti-CAA Demonstrations
New Delhi: Amidst the nationwide protests against the Citizenship (Amendment) Act (CAA) and NRC on Thursdat, administration of AIIMS, New Delhi, has issued a notice barring sit-ins and protest meetings inside and around campus.thewire
Tamil Nadu: As Protests Against CAA Continue, AIADMK Says it Voted 'Under Pressure'
Chennai: While students from across Tamil Nadu were hitting streets protesting the Citizenship (Amendment) Act, AIADMK Rajya Sabha MP S.R. Balasubramaniam on Monday gave an interview to The Hindu saying that his party was “under pressure to vote for the Citizenship Amendment Bill in the Parliament”. The leader claimed AIADMK was not against Muslims and the Bharatiya Janata Party was “attempting to create a Hindu Rashtra though they may not openly use the term and may not say it in so many words”.thewire
CAA threat to very foundation of secularism, democratic nations need to speak out: Foreign Media
Amid huge nationwide protests against the controversial citizenship law, foreign media has urged all democratic nations to speak out against India’s discriminatory Citizenship Amendment Act (CAA), stressing that this is a threat to the very foundation of secularism and pluralism.“Mr. Modi’s hold on power remains firm, but the protests at home and abroad have demonstrated limits to how far Indians will allow him to go in pursuit of his Hindu-nationalist agenda. The citizenship bill might still be blocked in the Indian Supreme Court, which begins hearings on it in January. But if it is not, all democratic nations need to speak out against a law, and a national policy, that is patently discriminatory and a threat to India’s democracy,” said the leading US daily New York Times in its editorial.caravandaily
*OTHERS*
NIA to SC: No Need to Entertain Plea That Wants Pragya Thakur's Bail Cancelled
New Delhi: NIA, in an affidavit before the Supreme Court, has said that a plea from the family members of a victim seeking the cancellation of Pragya Thakur’s bail “need not be entertained”, according to a report in the Indian Express.Pragya Thakur, who was elected as a Member of Parliament from Bhopal is an accused in the 2008 Malegaon blast and is currently undergoing trial along with six others in the case. Thakur has spent nine years in jail.After the NIA gave her a “clean chit”, a senior law officer, Rohini Salian, who was the special public prosecutor in the case, issued a public statement that since the BJP government took over in 2014, she was under pressure to “go soft” on the case.thewire
Nirbhaya rape case: Delhi HC dismisses convict Pawan Gupta's plea claiming he was juvenile
 Delhi High Court has dismissed a plea from one of Nirbhaya's rapists claiming he was a juvenile when he and five others gangraped the paramedic student in Dec. 2012.The petition had been rejected by the trial court and wasn't raised before the Supreme Court.A fine of Rs 25,000 was imposed on the convict's lawyer, AP Singh, for failing to appear despite repeated calls.4 of Nirbhaya's rapists are on death row.Another killed himself in jail and sixth, a juvenile, was released from a reformation home after serving a 3-year term.indiatoday
Kin of 4 killed in Hyderabad ‘encounter’ move SC
The relatives of the four accused in the rape and murder of a Hyderabad veterinarian, who were killed in a police ‘encounter’, moved the Supreme Court in Thursday seeking a CBI probe into the deaths.The relatives also sought a compensation of ₹50 lakh each for the families of the accused.The petition asked the court to call for all the police records prior to and after the ‘encounter’ that occurred in the early hours of December 6.The petition also sought the CBI investigation to cover the conduct of Cyberabad Police Commissioner V.C. Sajjanar.thehindu
UP journalist Pawan Jaiswal gets clean chit in ‘salt-roti’ midday meal video case
Mirzapur: Uttar Pradesh police has given a clean chit to a journalist who was booked for allegedly maligning the image of the state government after he shot a video showing just salt and rotis being served to students of a primary school here.However, a representative of the village head who was also booked under same charges in connection with the case, has not been cleared, police said.The video, shot by journalist Pawan Jaiswal, of Shiur Primary School under Aharaura police station had gone viral on August 22, sparking an Opposition backlash against the BJP government in the state.PTI
Why stock market is going up and economy is going down: ex-CEA Arvind Subramanian
Ex Chief Economic Adviser Arvind Subramanian today said that it was a “puzzle” for him that stock markets are buoyant while the economy is sinking. Subramanian, the first CEA under the Modi government, was at the IIMA for inauguration of ‘NSE Centre for Behavioral Science in Finance, Economics and Marketing’.“I hope that the first behavioural economics project of this Centre would be to explain to me why as the economy is going down and down and down, the stock market is going up, up and up”, said Subramanian, an alumnus of IIMA.“If you can crack this puzzle for me, I would fly down here all the way from the US to understand it….There are lots of other things I do not understand, (such as) financial markets in India,” said the economist who had recently said that India was facing a “great slowdown”.PTI
Niti Aayog to hold meet on population ‘stabilisation’; family size next target
Niti Aayog is organising a national consultation programme titled ‘Realising the vision of population stabilisation: leaving no one behind’ on Friday,  at NITI Bhavan, New Delhi in partnership with Population Foundation of India (PFI), leading to speculation as to whether this is the first step in the Narendra Modi government’s attempt to dictate terms of family planning and numbers of children that an Indian family can have. Till now, there is no clarity if the government’s ultimate aim is in fixing family size.The meet will bring together senior officials, experts and subject matter specialists to discuss “ways and means of strengthening India’s population policy and family planning programmes”, a Press Information Bureau press release said. “The recommendations from the consultation will contribute to a NITI Aayog working paper to help achieve India’s vision of attaining population stabilization, as voiced by Prime Minister Narendra Modi on 15 August 2019,” it added.nationalheraldindia
JNU bars protesting students to register for next semester
JNU has warned the protesting students who have boycotted examinations that they will not be eligible to register in the next semester if they fall short of the academic requirements of the institution. The varsity conducted evaluation in different modes- home assignments, quizzes, term papers, presentations, sessional examinations etc.,it said.Since bona fide students are prevented from writing the end-semester examinations by some protesting students, the deans of Schools and chairpersons of Special Centres have decided to give ‘take-home exams’ to the students, the university said.PTI
*WORLD*
Trump impeachment: What happens next?
Democratic-led House of Representatives voted largely along party lines to impeach US President Donald Trump for obstruction of Congress and abuse of power over his dealings with Ukraine. Trump is only the third United States president to be impeached. No president has ever been removed from office via the impeachment process. The landmark votes on Wednesday set up a likely January trial in the Republican-controlled Senate, where Trump is expected to be acquitted. As politicians move to the trial phase, here's what to expect next.The articles of impeachment are now expected to be sent to the Senate, where senators will consider evidence, hear witnesses and vote to acquit or convict the president. The chief justice of the US Supreme Court presides over the trial. A two-thirds majority vote is required in the 100-member Senate to convict and remove a president from office. A conviction appears unlikely in the case of Trump. The Senate is made up of 53 Republicans, 45 Democrats and two independents who caucus with the Democrats. At least 20 Republicans would have to vote with all Democrats and the two independents to remove the president from office.Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell has indicated that he would like swift proceedings, but the president has said he would not mind a robust trial, with testimony from a number of witnesses, including Biden and the whistle-blower whose complaint led to the impeachment inquiry. In the unlikely event that the Senate convicts and removes Trump from office, Vice President Mike Pence would become president and complete Trump's term, which ends on January 20, 2021.aljazeera
US-Taliban Afghan peace talks at 'important stage': US envoy  Khalilzad
Zalmay Khalilzad,US envoy for reconciliation in Afghanistan, has said the peace talks have reached an "important stage" amid a renewed push to reach an agreement with Taliban to end 18-year-old war in the country. In a series of tweets on Wednesday, Khalilzad said he has wrapped up his 2-day trip to Kabul, calling it a "productive trip", where he met President Ashraf Ghani, Chief Executive Abdullah Abdullah, ex President Hamid Karzai, women's rights activists and other political leaders."We discussed efforts to achieve reduced violence and pave the way to intra-Afghan negotiations," he tweeted.In a statement released by the president's office, Ghani said Khalilzad briefed him on the recent talks with the Taliban in the Qatari capital of Doha and with various Pakistani officials. "Both Khalilzad and the president discussed the ceasefire and the Taliban's 'safe havens outside Afghanistan'," Afghan local media TOLOnews reported, citing the statement.Ghani's spokesman Sediq Seddiqi said Khalilzad and Ghani discussed several topics, including the need for a ceasefire."The president also expressed his concerns about the continued violence by the Taliban," Sediqqi said.A Taliban official in Doha, speaking on condition of anonymity, told Al Jazeera that a ceasefire in Afghanistan will come in place when an agreement is signed, referring to the deal being discussed between the US and Taliban."How can we implement ceasefire when US is still bombarding and conduction operations in several areas of Afghanistan? A ceasefire in the country will only be possible when both sides sign the agreement," he said.aljazeera
Israel advances 22,000 housing units in illegal settlements over three years
Israeli authorities have approved or otherwise advanced plans for more than 22,000 housing units in occupied West Bank settlements over the last three years, according to a senior UN official.As reported by AP, UN Middle East peace process envoy Nickolay Mladenov presented the figures in a periodic update to the Security Council, as mandated in a resolution adopted in December 2016.In addition, the envoy told diplomats, in the three years since the passage of the resolution, which reaffirmed the illegality of Israeli settlements in the occupied West Bank and East Jerusalem, “Israel issued tenders for some 8,000 housing units”.MEMO
Defying pressure, Canada backs UN resolution on Palestinian self-determination
Canada voted in favour of a UN General Assembly (UNGA) resolution supporting the Palestinian right to self-determination yesterday, in a defeat for pro-Israel groups. General Assembly adopted the resolution by 167 votes to 5, with 11 abstentions, with only Israel, US, in addition to US-dependent Pacific island states Marshall Islands, Micronesia and Nauru, voting against the text.The resolution reaffirms “the right of the Palestinian people to self-determination, including to their independent State of Palestine”, urging states and UN agencies “to continue to support and assist Palestinians in the early realization of their right to self-determination”, stated UN press release.MEMO
Thousands of Russia immigrants to Israel left again after getting passports
Thousands of immigrants to Israel from former Soviet Union “may have come only to receive an Israeli passport before moving back abroad”, reported JTA, with the total such cases amounting to up to a quarter of all Russian immigrants.The article, citing reporting done by Israeli weekly newspaper Makor Rishon, described how “a cottage industry of companies promising expedited Israeli citizenship, and the passport that comes with it” emerged in Russia, “since the passage of a law allowing new immigrants to receive the travel document within the first 3 months of [moving to Israel]”.According to report, “for many in the post-Soviet world, an Israeli passport is considered as desirable as a European Union passport is to Israelis.”MEMO
Report: Palestine Archbishop Atallah Hanna poisoned in Jerusalem
Head of Sebastia Diocese of the Greek Orthodox Church in Jerusalem Archbishop Atallah Hanna was reportedly hospitalised yesterday after being poisoned by chemical substances, according to Quds TV.Reports said Archbishop was rushed to hospital after an Israeli gas canister was fired into his church in Jerusalem. He is expected to make a full recovery.The outspoken Palestinian Christian leader has been a staunch critic of Israel’s treatment of Palestinians and its acts of aggression in neighbouring Lebanon and Syria.MEMO
Israel targets Gaza after rocket attack, no casualties reported
Israeli warplanes attacked an area in the Gaza Strip early today after Palestinian fighters in the enclave fired a rocket towards southern Israel. Successive air attacks targeted sites in Gaza City that the Israeli military said was "a Hamas weapons manufacturing site".According to the Palestinian Maan News Agency, the air raids struck the previous site of a Palestinian intelligence building, known as Safeena, with five missiles. aljazeera
Israel cuts electricity supply to West Bank over debts
Several cities in the occupied West Bank, including Ramallah and Bethlehem, are suffering from power cuts as a result of Israel’s state-owned electric company cutting supplies.Israel Electric Corp (IEC) has put in place daily power cuts which last three hours since Sunday, according to Reuters, and affect an estimated 130,000 people. Tens of thousands of Palestinian households, medical centres, businesses and educational institutions in Ramallah were left without power after IEC – in a step supported by the Israeli government – cut power to main power supply points serving the Palestinian-owned Jerusalem District Electricity Company (JDECO), reported the official Palestinian news agency Wafa.middleeastmonitor
10 women begin open-ended hunger strike in Egypt’s Qanater prison
10 women detained in Qanater women’s prison in Egypt have started a hunger strike to protest their ill-treatment and inhumane conditions.The women have said they resorted to the open-ended strike as a last resort after finding no legal recourse to express their suffering. Among the women are 25-year-old Radwa Mohamed, who was arrested in September shortly after she released a video criticising Intisar Al-Sisi, the wife of the president, for not standing up to her husband over his repressive policies.After she disappeared, the Arabic hashtag “where is Radwa” was trending in Egypt.Also on strike is Egyptian-American teacher Reem Mohamed Desouky who was arrested at Cairo airport in August after criticising the regime on Facebook.Since July 2013 some 2,762 women have been arrested in Egypt and 125 are currently imprisoned, according to the human rights organisation We Record.middleeastmonitor
Libya's GNA accepts Turkish offer for military support: Sources
Libya's United Nations-recognised government has accepted an offer from Turkey for military and logistical support as it seeks to repel an offensive led by forces loyal to renegade military commander Khalifa Haftar, sources say.The Tripoli-based Government of National Accord (GNA) on Thursday moved to put in action a security accord brokered with Ankara in November, Al Jazeera's Mahmoud Abdelwahed reported from the Libyan capital, citing sources within the GNA.aljazeera
Mahathir: Muslim world 'in a state of crisis'
Malaysian pm Mahathir Mohamad said the Muslim world is in a "state of crisis" and called for "implementable" solutions as he hosted a summit of Muslim-majority countries.Mahathir made the call to action on Thursday as Iranian President Hassan Rouhani, Turkish President Tayyip Erdogan, and Qatari Emir Sheikh Tamim bin Hamad Al Thani highlighted in their speeches the plight of Palestinians under decades-long Israeli occupation."We all know that the Muslims, their religion and their countries are in a state of crisis. Everywhere we see Muslim countries being destroyed, their citizens forced to flee their countries, forced to seek refuge in non-Muslim countries," Mahathir told a packed crowd gathered in Malaysia's biggest city. aljazeera
Erdogan says 50,000 Syrians fleeing Idlib to Turkey
About 50,000 people are fleeing Syria's northwest region of Idlib to Turkey, its president has said, denouncing Muslim nations for not supporting his plan to resettle refugees in other parts of northern Syria.Turkey currently hosts some 3.7 million Syrian refugees, the largest refugee population in the world, and fears another influx from the Idlib region, where up to three million Syrians live in last significant opposition-held swathe of territory."Look, 50,000 people are once again coming from Idlib to our lands," Turkish President Tayyip Erdogan told a meeting of Muslim leaders in Malaysia on Thursday.aljazeera
12,000 Syrian civilians forcibly displaced by regime and Russia’s bombing in 24 hours
In the past 24 hours, approximately 12,000 civilians have been forcibly displaced from the “de-escalation zone” in northern Syria, to areas near the Turkish borders, to escape the bombings of the regime and Russia.With the recent statistics, the number of IDPs from the region as of Wednesday has reached a total of 110,000 civilians during the past month, and a half stated local sources to Anadolu Agency.Mohammed Al-Hallaj, the coordinator of the Civil Response Coordinators in Northern Syria (local), told Anadolu Agency that 110,000 civilians, making up 20,000 families, have fled the de-escalation zone within a month and a half.middleeastmonitor
Former Lebanese minister Diab set to be named PM: Sources
Former Minister of Education and Higher Education Hassan Diab looks set to be named Lebanon's new prime minister on Thursday, senior political sources have said, a move that would thrust a little-known engineer to the forefront of efforts to tackle an acute economic crisis.President Michel Aoun will hold formal consultations with Lebanon's 128 legislators on their choice for prime minister throughout the day and must designate the candidate with the greatest support. Reuters reported that Diab emerged as a candidate for the position at the last minute when outgoing Prime Minister Saad Hariri withdrew his candidacy for a job that must be filled by a Sunni Muslim in Lebanon's sectarian system.Hariri said on Wednesday he would still participate in process of selecting a new prime minister so there were no further delays in the process.aljazeera
‘If Musharraf dies before execution, his body to be hanged in Islamabad for 3 days’, says verdict
:The detailed judgment in the high treason case against former Pakistan President General Pervez Musharraf was released Thursday. 167-page verdict directs law enforcement agencies to hang Musharraf’s “corpse in Islamabad’s D-chowk for three days if he passes away before execution”.“As a necessary corollary to what has been observed we find the accused guilty as per charge. The convict be hanged by his neck till he dies on each count as per charge,” says the verdict.“We direct the law enforcement agencies to strive their level best to apprehend the fugitive/convict and to ensure that the punishment is inflicted as per law and if found dead, his corpse be dragged to D-Chowk, Islamabad, Pakistan and be hanged for 03 days,” it adds.The bench that passed judgment against Musharraf was headed by Peshawar High Court Chief Justice Waqar Ahmad Seth and included Justice Nazar Akbar of Sindh High Court and Justice Shahid Karim of the Lahore High Court.While the verdict includes a dissenting note from Justice Akbar, Justices Seth and Karim agreed that Musharraf had committed a crime. Justice Karim, however, took exception to paragraph 66 of the judgment, authored by Justice Seth, which spoke of dragging Musharraf’s corpse and hanging it.Musharraf was sentenced to death on Tuesday by an anti-terrorism court, which found him guilty of high treason and subverting the constitution in 2007.indianexpress
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* Compiled and edited by Anwarulhaq (Released at: 9:22 PM).*

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