Thursday, 5 December 2019

5 DEC. NEWS ; Anti-citizenship bill protesters hit Assam, Tripura as oppositions, groups also slam it / Ayodhya: AIMPLB to file review petition on Babri’s 28th anniversary tomorrow by Dr. Rajiv Dhawan / RBI surprises with no change in repo rate, sharply cuts annual GDP growth forecast from 6.1% to 5%


*NEWS DIGEST, Evening* 
*05 DEC. 2019: 07 Rabius Sani 1441: Vol: 12, No: 75*
*INDIA-CAB NRC*
Anti-citizenship bill protesters hit Assam streets
Guwahati: Protesters took to the street across Assam against the Citizenship (Amendment) Bill today as Krishak Mukti Sangram Samiti said it would move the Supreme Court if the Bill is passed in Parliament. Workers of several social and youth organisations joined the KMSS in a massive rally here demanding that the Bill be scrapped, while opposition Congress MLAs demonstrated against it in the Assembly premises.All Assam Students' Union (AASU), AIUDF and others also took out rallies across the state denouncing the Bill which is likely to be introduced in the Lok Sabha on Dec.9 and taken up for passage the next day. Accusing ruling BJP at the Centre and the state of sacrificing the sentiment of the Assamese people at the cost of vote bank politics, KMSS chief Akhil Gogoi said, "If CAB is not scrapped, the people will overthrow Sonowal-led BJP govt in 2021 (when Assam goes to polls)"."If 1.9 crore Hindus of Bangladesh come to Assam within a few years and attain Indian citizenship under CAB, the existence of the Assamese language will be threatened and the jobs and land will be taken away by them depriving the indigenous people," Akhil Gogoi said. "If the Bill is passed by Parliament, the KMSS will move the Supreme Court. The movements on the street will also continue. Assam will never accept CAB,"Gogoi,  said. Leaders and supporters of KMSS coming from other parts of the state to join the protest programme here were detained by the police at various places. PTI
Tripura tribal party blocks road, rail in ADC as stir against CAB, says changes insufficient
Agartala :Road and rail blockade called by Indigenous Nationalist Party of Twipra’s (INPT) virtually paralysed movement in areas under Tripura Tribal Areas Autonomous District Council (TTAADC) throughout the day today. 12-hour blockade, which started at 6 am today, was held in protest against Citizenship Amendment Bill. INPT general secretary Jagadish Debbarma said, “This blockade is not movement of a single community. It is the movement of the genuine Indian citizens. Citizenship Amendment Bill is not in favour of true Indian citizens, instead it seeks to grant citizenship to immigrants who entered here till Dec.31, 2014. This Bill must not be passed in the Parliament of India.” Asked if the changes incorporated in the Bill by the Union Cabinet on Wednesday is acceptable to them, INPT leader said the changes were merely cosmetic and would not make any real changes for tribals.“We don’t want CAB to be implemented in Tripura and other NE Indian states. That’s it. Implementing it in general areas and exempting 6th Schedule areas would not make any real effect. It is insufficient and not acceptable to us,” Jagadish said.This is the third major protest in Tripura ADC against CAB in last 2 months.indianexpress
Snowballing Protest: Controversial citizenship bill draws flak
New Delhi:After Union Cabinet cleared the controversial Citizenship (Amendment) Bill (CAB), various activist groups and organisations have joined hands to hold massive protests in New Delhi as also cities across the country including Hyderabad, Lucknow, Pune and Patna. It’s being strongly opposed from many quarters including national-level political parties on the ground that it seeks to offer citizenship on the ground of religion – as stated by home minister Amit Shah openly — which went against basic tenets of the Constitution. Several activist groups like United Against Hate (UAH), NRC Virodhi Morcha, Rihai Manch, SDPI have called for street protests against the bill. CPI(M) has said it would hold similar protests in association with Congress party. UAH would hold a protest at Jantar Mantar in New Delhi at 3pm on Dec.7. It urged people to join the action plan to say a resounding  “no” to two-nation theory and a firm “no” to grant of citizenship on based on religion.Urging the people to join the protest in the defence of the Constitution, UAH’s Umar Khalid said, “CAB should not be seen in isolation.Its extremely dangerous implications become clear when seen along with NRC. In short, it is nothing but a 21st Century rehashed version of the two-nation theory advanced by Veer Savarkar and Jinnah.”Nadeem Khan of UAH said the organisation would geherao or hold protests at offices of secular parties who take votes from Muslims if they supported the “anti-Constitution and anti-Muslim” Citizenship bill. The citizenship bill, along with the nationwide NRC, is seen as a plot by the Modi government to create a Rohingya-like situation where millions of Myanmarese were persecuted and forced to flee their homeland, he said.A host of activists units like All India Progressive Women Association, PUCL, NAPM would hold a national convention against NRC at Ambedkar Bhavan in New Delhi from 10am to 2pm on Dec8. Calling the citizenship bill and the NRC “anti-poor, communal and anti-people”, they urged the people to say “no” to attempts at making large sections of the people stateless by way of acts of religious discrimination. Caravan Daily
ABMSU, SIO join protest against contentious citizenship bill
New Delhi:As opposition parties and prominent political groups continue to protest over Citizenship (Amendment) Bill, or CAB, in various regions of North-East, hundreds of students belonging to All BTC Minority Students’ Union (ABMSU) staged a protest near the Parliament House in New Delhi on Tuesday.ABMSU students, who had come all the way from Assam to the national Capital, were also joined by members of the Students Islamic Organisation of India (SIO).ABMSU students also submitted a memorandum to President of India Ram Nath Kovind, beseeching that CAB should not be allowed as it was “grossly against the interest of Assamese people and the Assam Accord.”SIO general secretary Syed Azharuddin, addressing the protest demonstration said, “We will oppose if NRC is carried out all over the country. We also oppose CAB as both the issues are being created to divert attention of citizens away from failure of Narendra Modi government and create fear among masses”.indiatomorrow
Citizenship (Amendment) Bill to be introduced in Lok Sabha on Monday
New Delhi: The controversial Citizenship (Amendment) Bill, which seeks to grant citizenship to non-Muslim immigrants from Pakistan, Bangladesh and Afghanistan if they faced "religious persecution" there, is likely to be introduced in the Lok Sabha on Monday and will be taken up for passage the next day.With the BJP enjoying majority in Lok Sabha, the bill will easily clear the lower house of parliament, but it can face trouble in Rajya Sabha, where the government does not have the numbers. Reports suggest that BJP is in talks with NDA allies and other parties to secure the required numbers in Rajya Sabha.The previous BJP government had introduced the bill in parliament but could not push through amid massive protests by a united opposition. The bill had later lapsed.Many opposition parties have called the proposed law a violation of secular principles and the right to equality enshrined in the constitution, since it leaves out Muslims.ndtv
"Citizenship Bill Can't Be Secular Because...: BJP's Himanta Sarma
Guwahati: A day after Union Cabinet greenlit the controversial citizenship bill, Assam BJP leader Himanta Biswa Sarma told NDTV that a bill providing citizenship to "religiously persecuted" refugees from Muslim-dominated neighbours could never be secular since there was "no religious persecution of Muslims in Pakistan, Afghanistan and Bangladesh. "This bill will look to protect people who have been religiously persecuted in Pakistan, Afghanistan and Bangladesh...so how can it be secular? Remember, in an Islamic country, how can you convince a court that a person practicing Islam has been religiously persecuted?" Mr Sarma told NDTV today.ndtv
Shiv Sena to oppose Citizenship Bill
Mumbai: Shiv Sena, which joined hands with the Congress and NCP to form the Maha Vikas Aghadi government, is set to vote against the Citizenship Amendment Bill, 2019, in Lok Sabha.Seemingly, BJP's former ally has acquired a ‘secular’ streak and is claiming that the Bill would pose a threat to national security.Congress, Trinamool, DMK, Samajwadi Party, RJD and Left are already vehemently opposed to the proposed legislation.Shiv Sena MP Rajendra Gavit indicated as much when he said his party has strong reservations over the Bill. Another Sena MP, who preferred anonymity, observed that the Bill links religion to citizenship, which is against the ethos of our civilization, culture and Constitution. freepressjournal
Citizenship Bill likely to be taken up in Parliament next week, how 'fence-sitters' Shiv Sena, BJD, JD(U) will affect votes in Rajya Sabha
Congress will oppose CAB in Parliament: Rahul
Making the Congress’ stand on Citizenship (Amendment) Bill clear, former Congress president and Wayanad MP Rahul Gandhi Thursday said the party will oppose the contentious legislation aimed at providing citizenship to non-Muslim refugees from Pakistan, Bangladesh, and Afghanistan.“Congress party is against any form of discrimination against anybody in this country. So anybody who discriminates against anybody who is Indian, we are against them. That is our line. We believe that India belongs to everybody– all communities, all religions, all cultures,” Gandhi told reporters in Kerala’s Kozhikode.indianexpress
‘Divisive’: Mayawati shreds Citizenship Bill’s ‘current form’
Lucknow/New Delhi:BSP chief Mayawati has said that her party is against Citizenship Amendment Bill (CAB) in its current form and suggested the Centre to send it to the parliamentary committee.BSP is against the current form of the Citizenship Amendment Bill, the government should reconsider aspects of the bill and it should be sent to the parliamentary committee,” she said at a press conference in Lucknow.She said that Centre has brought CAB in a hurry and it is “unconstitutional and divisive”. “It is against the dream and constitution of BR Ambedkar.CAB is being forced on the country,” BSP chief said.Mayawati asserted that if the central government takes decisions in favour of the welfare of people, BSP will support it just the way the party supported abrogation of Article 370 in J&K.HT
Bhim Army Slams Pan-India NRC, Calls it Govt's 'Conspiracy to Destroy a Particular Community'
Lucknow: Amidst growing debate over NRC across India, Bhim Army has dubbed the move as a "conspiracy to destroy a certain community". They vowed to not let government achieve their "agenda behind NRC" and said that it stands with 'Bahujans'."The main conspiracy behind NRC is to deprive our people of their constitutional rights. Govt wants to destroy a particular community; we will never let them achieve this. We stand by our Bahujan community," Bhim Army Chief Chandra Shekhar Azad tweeted.news18
1,154 illegal immigrants arrested at India-Bangladesh border till Oct 31: Centre
 Ministry of Home Affairs (MHA) has said that 1,154 illegal immigrants from Bangladesh were arrested by the security forces till Oct.31 this year."1,154 illegal migrants arrested by security forces at India-Bangladesh border till 31st Oct.," MHA said in a reply to Rajya Sabha. ANI
*BABRI MASJID CASE*
Ayodhya: AIMPLB to file review petition on Babri’s 28th anniversary tomorrow by Dr. Rajiv Dhawan

Ayodhya: On the day of 28th anniversary of Babri Masjid demolition, All India Muslim Personal Law Board will file review petition against the Supreme Court Judgment pronounced on 9th Nov. which gave complete ownership title to the disputed land on which Babri Masjid was constructed. This information was furnished by one of the contestants of the case, Haj Mahboob. He also said that this petition will be filed by Dr. Rajiv Dhawan. He will be accompanied by Zafaryab Jeelani, The petition will be signed by Haji Mahboob, Mohammed Omer, Maulana Mahfoozur Rahman and Badshah Khan.AIMPLB will provide legal assistance to the review petition and it will be pursued by senior lawyer, Dr. Rajiv Dhawan. It may be mentioned that another review petition has already been filed by Jamiat-ul-Ulema.siasat/ India Legal Bureau
 6 more litigants set to file review petitions:AIMPLB
Security Tightened In Ayodhya Ahead Of Babri Masjid Demolition Anniversary
Ayodhya: Barely a month after the Supreme Court verdict on the Ayodhya dispute, police are on high alert for the 27th anniversary of the Babri Masjid demolition on December 6.Security has been tightened in the temple town with a senior Uttar Pradesh Police official saying the arrangements are similar to the plan they had devised for November 9, day the top court pronounced the verdict on Babri Masjid land dispute case."The security plan for Dec.6 will be a continuation of the plan we had devised for Nov.9," ADGP (Law and Order) PV Ramasastry told PTI, adding that the precautions taken by them were the same as they had adopted on the day of the verdict.Ayodhya's senior police officer Ashish Tiwari said the entire district had been divided into four zones, 10 sectors and 14 sub-sectors. PTI
Babri Demolition; Civil groups to hold demonstration, public meeting in Delhi tomorrow
New Delhi:On the occasion of 28th anniversary of Babri Masjid demolition tomorrow, several civil groups will jointly hold a protest march and public meeting in New Delhi.The march will start from the Mandi House area at 2:30 PM and proceed towards the Jantar Mantar where it will culminate into a public meeting. “This demonstration and public meeting are being organized to condemn the monstrous crime that was committed 27 years ago, the demolition of a place of worship and the unleashing of communal violence in which thousands of people were killed,” said the organizers at a press conference at Press Club of India here today. Events are being organized jointly by Lok Raj Sangathan, SDPI, WPI, Communist Ghadar Party of India, Jamaat-e-Islami Hind and PFI. The press conference was addressed by representatives of these organizations including Lok Raj Sangathan chief S Raghavan, WPI president SQR Ilyas and Inamur Rahman, Assistant Secretary of Jamaat-e-Islami Hind .indiatomorrow
Praveen Jain, a prime witness in Babri Mosque demolition recalls horror
New Delhi: Even after the Indian Supreme Court this November described the demolition of the 16th-century Babri Mosque as a crime, punishment eludes the perpetrators over a quarter-century later.Prosecution witnesses, who are often summoned to depose against the accused in a district court in Lucknow -- the provincial capital of India’s largest state of Uttar Pradesh -- complained of a nightmarish bureaucratic hellhole and tardy justice moving at a snail’s pace.  Soon after the demolition of the mosque on Dec. 6, 1992, a case was filed against eight people -- LK Advani, Murli Manohar Joshi, Uma Bharti, Vinay Katiyar, Ashok Singhal, Giriraj Kishore, Vishnu Hari Dalmia, and Sadhvi Rithambara -- all of them are top leaders of India’s ruling BJP and other Hindu radical outfits. Of the group, Singhal, Kishore, and Dalmia have since died.Another case was filed against a mob of volunteers who climbed atop the mosque to smash it with tools like pickaxes and dynamite.Sharing his experience with Anadolu Agency, Praveen Jain, India’s leading photojournalist and a prime prosecution witnesses, narrated the harassment he faced in deposing against bigwigs in the court. Jain was covering the event, taking pictures, and witnessing the demolition. He had also documented evidence to prove that demolition was pre-planned and the volunteers did not act on their own.“Perhaps the other photographers who are also witnesses do not speak because there is a lot of harassment in these cases. It has been done to me on so many occasions.Defense lawyers representing leaders ask inane questions,” said Jain, who now works with local news website theprint.Anadolu Agency
*ECONOMY*
RBI surprises with no change in repo rate, sharply cuts annual GDP growth forecast from 6.1% to 5%
RBI on Thursday went against majority expectations and kept repo rate unchanged at 5.15 per cent in its fifth bi-monthly policy review of the year.A large number of economists exuded confidence that RBI’s six-member Monetary Policy Committee (MPC) would lower the key interest rate once again as growth in the second quarter reached a six-year low of 4.5 per cent.However, the central bank already cut repo rate -- at which banks lend from the RBI -- five times since January without any improvement in growth. It seems that the central bank will now explore other options to revive growth.All six members of RBI's MPC voted against the cut but maintained an accommodative stance, allowing it to act whenever necessary.In what seems to be another setback, the central bank also lowered its GDP growth forecast for the entire year to 5 per cent from 6.1 per cent.In a statement released after the announcement, RBI said, "GDP growth for Q2 turned out to be significantly lower than projected. Various high-frequency indicators suggest that domestic and external demand conditions have remained weak. Based on the early results, the business expectations index of the Reserve Bank's industrial outlook survey indicates a marginal pickup in business sentiments in Q4." RBI also added that overall sentiments are muted in several key sectors including manufacturing and construction. It expressed concern over contraction in the output of eight core industries as well.Citing a sudden spike in inflation, it sharply increased its inflation projection from 4.7 to 5.1 per cent after retail inflation jumped to a 16-month high of 4.62 per cent in Oct. RBI's growth and inflation forecast could be a matter of concern as the situation could worsen further, as FInance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman had stated that slow economic growth has not bottomed out yet.indiatoday
‘Unprecedented, incompetent’: Chidambaram attacks Centre, RBI over economic slowdown
Former Union minister P Chidambaram today said that the “government was wrong” about the economic slowdown and “clueless” about measures needed to improve it. Congress leader addressed the press conference after he walked out of Tihar Jail in New Delhi on Wednesday night.“We will be lucky to end the year if growth touches 5%,” Congress leader said during the briefing. “Please remember Dr Arvind Subramanian’s [former chief economic advisor] caution that 5% under this government, because of suspect methodology, is not really 5% but less by about 1.5%.”  The former finance minister said that RBI’s forecast showed that Centre had poorly managed the country’s economy. “Between Feb.and Dec, RBI has reduced the growth forecast from 7.4% to 5%,”he said. “Either RBI was incompetent in its calculation or the government has gravely mismanaged the economy.”Chidambaram said that Prime Minister Narendra Modi had been “unusually silent” on the economic slowdown. Congress leader said Modi had left it up to his ministers to “indulge in bluff and bluster”. Figures released last week showed that Gross Domestic Product growth slumped to a six-year low in October even as industrial output contracted.“Nothing sums up state of the economy better than the following series of numbers – 8, 7, 6.6, 5.8, 5 and 4.5,” former finance minister said, noting the economic growth in the country. “Those are the quarterly growth rates of GDP in the last six quarters. The third and fourth quarters of 2019-’20 are not likely to be any better,” he added.Chidambaram further criticised the Centre’s measures to tackle with economic slowdown. “If the diagnosis is wrong, the prescription will be useless, may be even fatal,” he said. “Even after seven months into the fiscal year, the BJP government believes that the problems faced by the economy are cyclical.”scroll.in
GST compensation: Kerala threatens to go to SC as 7 states ask Centre to clear dues immediately
7 Opposition-ruled states and Union Territories held a meeting with Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman to demand pending compensation under GST regime, reported Business Standard. They urged that funds due for four months since August be released as soon as possible.Punjab, Delhi, Puducherry, Kerala, Madhya Pradesh, Rajasthan and Chhattisgarh pointed out that as much as Rs 50,000 crore was lying “unutilised” in the compensation fund even as states wait for their money. Kerala even warned of approaching the Supreme Court over the matter. GST Act promises states enough compensation from the Centre to keep their annual revenue growth 14% for five years despite any likely loss due to the implementation of the indirect tax regime. Most prevalent indirect taxes were subsumed by new GST structure, which came into effect on July 1, 2017, and states are eligible for the compensation till 2021-’22.scroll
Sitharaman says she doesn't eat onions, netizens ask what other items to skip in national interest
Politicians belong to the privileged class and are often cut off from the realities of the struggles of the common man who are trying to make ends meet.  So when they comment about the issues faced by the common man it can be insensitive and sometimes offensive. Case in point - the comments made by India's Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman in the parliament about the skyrocketing onion prices which have hit the common man the hardest. Speaking in the Lok Sabha, on Wednesday, Sitharaman said she "doesn't eat onions much".Sitharaman was responding to NCP leader Supriya Sule’s questions on the low production and soaring price of onions when an MP interrupted and asked the finance minister “Aap pyaaz khaate hain (Do you eat onions)?”.To this, the minister replied, “Main itna lehsun, pyaaz nahi khati hoon ji. Main aise pariwar se aati hoon jaha onion, pyaaz se matlab nahi rakhte (I do not eat onions and garlic much. I come from a family where we have nothing to do with onions).”indiatimes
"Am vegetarian...how will i know?": Union Minister Ashwini Choubey on onion crisis
New Delhi: As people across the country grapple with skyrocketing onion prices, BJP's Ashwini Choubey dismissed the crisis with a laugh, claiming that as a vegetarian he had never tasted onions and did not know anything about the crippling shortage. A Minister of State of Health and Family Welfare, Mr Choubey also defended Union Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman, whose "I don't eat onions" comment was attacked by opposition parties today.Rising onion prices, with rates threatening to climb as high as Rs 150 per kilogram in Kolkata, have been the cause of much commotion inside and outside parliament. On Tuesday the average selling price in the country was Rs 75 per kilogram; the high was Rs 140 per kilogram in Port Blair."I am a vegetarian. I have never tasted an onion. So, how will a person like me know about the situation (market prices) of onions?" Ashwini Choubey said in a video shared by ANI.ndtv
Egypt, Turkey and Afghan come to rescue as onion prices reach all-time high of Rs.140 kg in several places
Sky-rocketing prices of onion has forced Union government and traders to import the vegetable from foreign countries such as Egypt,Turkey and Afghanistan. Union Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman, in her reply during a discussion on supplementary grants, informed Lok Sabha about various measures taken by the government to deal with the rising prices of onion. She said there had been a fall in the area of onion cultivation and shortfall in production. “There are also several structural issues related to storage and the government is trying to address them.’’While the price of onions has crossed ₹100 per kg because of shortage, the Minister said, “Steps taken by the government to check the rising price include ban on exports, imposition of stock limit, import and transfer from surplus to deficit area.’’The state-run trading firm MMTC has placed another onion import order of 4,000 tonnes from Turkey and the shipments are expected to reach by mid-Jan.This is in addition to 17,090 tonnes of onions already contracted, which includes 6,090 tonnes from Egypt and 11,000 tonnes from Turkey, it said.MMTC is importing onions on the behalf of the government, which is trying to check prices of the key bulb by improving domestic supplies through various modes, including imports.Around 10 to 15 trucks carrying onion from Afghanistan are arriving every day through Attari-Wagah land route in Amritsar with the price of the key kitchen staple going through the roof. In Chennai, onions from Egypt have started arriving at the market, but in small numbers. This has not helped in controlling prices. Moreover, quality is not good. The mismatch between demand and supply has seen costs escalate, traders said.PTI
HDFC Bank down for 4th day: Bank remains silent, customers question its lackadaisical attitude
Country’s largest private sector lender HDFC Bank is down for 4th consecutive day and the authorities haven’t made it clear when the bank’s NetBanking and Mobile Banking App platforms will be stabilised. The latest glitch at the private customer bank has rendered its 4 crore customers helpless. They are unable to perform any transaction. The share of HDFC Asset Management also slipped nearly 5 per cent on Thursday morning.HDFC Bank, which had bagged the 2019 Best Digital Banking Award from Asiamoney, is struggling to fix the glitches to date. Nobody really knows what is happening inside the bank. Even, the bank’s MD Aditya Puri, who was in Chandigarh on Wednesday to attend the Progressive Punjab Investors’ Summit being held on 5th and 6th December in Mohali, didn’t say a word on the ongoing crisis at the bank. Aditya Puri’s tenure as MD and CEO of HDFC Bank ends on October 26, 2020.newsx
Forbes Asia names Azim Premji Asia's most generous philanthropist
Azim Premji made history this year as Asia’s most generous philanthropist, giving away shares worth $7.6 billion in his tech firm Wipro to his education-centred Azim Premji Foundation. Forbes Asia announced its annual Heroes of Philanthropy list on Wednesday, highlighting 30 outstanding altruists in Asia-Pacific region.List includes billionaires, entrepreneurs and celebrities across the region who are committed to solving some of the most pressing issues facing Asia-Pacific. Premji retired in July as Wipro’s executive chairman after over 5 decades at the helm, and said he would focus more on philanthropy. On Forbes India Rich List 2019, Premji consequently saw his net worth fall from $21 billion in 2018 to $7.2 billion, and his rank slipped from No. 2 in 2018 to No.17 this year. The first Indian to sign Giving Pledge, his total lifetime giving now stands at $21 billion. To select the honorees,Forbes Asia sifted through dozens of candidates, reviewing their monetary contributions, the depth of their involvement and the reach of their philanthropic efforts. The goal is to highlight those giving their own money, not their company’s (unless they are majority owners of a privately-held firm)..Forbes India
*KASHMIR & SOUTH ASIA*
Internet curbs: Kashmiris lose WhatsApp accounts on 120th day of inactivity, thrown out of groups
WhatsApp accounts belonging to Kashmiri users have begun to expire as the region completed 120 days of an internet blockade on Tuesday. Social media platform deletes accounts that have stayed inactive for that long.Several Twitter users shared screenshots showing that friends and family members based in Kashmir had exited WhatsApp groups they had been part of – most likely without their knowledge.A Facebook spokesperson confirmed to BuzzFeed News that the disappearances from WhatsApp groups were the result of the company’s policy on inactive accounts. “To maintain security and limit data retention, WhatsApp accounts generally expire after 120 days of inactivity,” the spokesperson said. “When that happens, those accounts automatically exit their WhatsApp groups.”When the users get internet connections back, they will need to register themselves with WhatsApp again, recreate their profiles, and ask the group administrators to be added back. It is not yet clear how many Kashmiris were affected.A Twitter user observed that “an important part of their [Kashmiri WhatsApp users’] digital imprint is vanishing and they don’t even know it’s happening”.Kashmiri activist Shehla Rashid tagged WhatsApp on Twitter and said: “Please pay attention to this. There is no Internet in Kashmir for the past 4 months now, and your algorithm is deleting Kashmiri Whatsapp accounts which have been inactive for over 120 days, for no fault of theirs.”“I initially thought that internet services had been restored in Kashmir and maybe these people were just removing themselves from WhatsApp groups on their own,” London-based Kashmiri doctor Mudasir Firdosi told BuzzFeed News. “But I quickly realised that’s not the case.”A Twitter user called Soprich said: “Suddenly all my contacts from Kashmir are ‘leaving’ the #Whatsapp groups, and their WhatsApp accounts are getting lost. Remember there is NO internet in #Kashmir from the last 4 months. What kind of sinister moves are these?”scroll.in
Not only WhatsApp, Indian journalists and activists were also targeted using email malware: Amnesty
Indian journalists, human rights activists and civil society organisations were not only targeted through the Pegasus spyware but also through email malware, Amnesty International has claimed.These emails were sent out between September and Oct, and were customised to appeal to the interests of individual users, reported The Wire. Amnesty International’s “Technology and Human Rights” programme discovered the digital attacks last month. The targets received the malware through emails with subject lines designed to be relevant to them, and content resembling a file-sharing service such as Google Drive or Dropbox. To avoid suspicion, the emails were sent using names such as Sneha Patil, Payal Shastri, and Jennifer Gonzales. Some of the subject lines were: “Reminder summons for rioting case”, “Pune SHO sexually abuse journalists” and “Re:Summons notice for rioting case Cr.24/2018”.The malicious program was couched in a PDF file that the targets were requested to download. The malware got installed on the device while the file appeared, giving the attacker full visibility and control of the computer. The hacker could then access the target’s files, camera, take screenshots and record everything being typed on the keyboard.scroll
4 months in detention, Jammu’s National Conference call for release of ex-CMs
Jammu :National Conference in Jammu on Thursday demanded release of all political leaders including three former chief ministers of the erstwhile State of Jammu and Kashmir.Unanimously adopting a resolution commemorating the 114th birth anniversary of late Sher-e-Kashmir Sheikh Mohammad Abdullah, party leaders at an event held at party headquarters, urged the Centre to reach out to people of the Valley and understand their aspirations. The event started with religious prayers offered by various senior party leaders. 3 former CMs including — Dr Farooq Abdullah, son Omar Abdullah and Mehbooba Mufti — have been under detention since night of August 4, a day before the Centre abrogated Article 370 of Indian Constitution and bifurcated Jammu and Kashmir into union territories. Mufti belongs to the PDP, while the father-son duo are from NC.indianexpress
Kashmir economy suffered losses of ₹15,000 crore since August: Trade body
SRINAGAR:The economy of Kashmir has suffered losses of Rs 15,000 crore since August 5, when the government abrogated Article 370 provisions, a commerce body has claimed, saying that this is just a “conservative estimate”.The Centre had repealed provisions of the article that gave special status to the erstwhile state of Jammu and Kashmir, and bifurcated it into union territories of Ladakh, and Jammu and Kashmir.“Our conservative estimates put the losses to the Kashmir economy due to the situation after August 5 at ₹15,000 crore. We will be coming up with comprehensive data about the losses within a week,” Kashmir Chamber of Commerce and Industry (KCCI) president Sheikh Ashiq Hussain told PTI.More than the losses to the economy, job loss due to clampdown on Internet services, protests and strikes was more worrying, he said.The handicraft, tourism and e-commerce sectors were the worst hit by the situation post the Centre’s decision, Hussain said. PTI
Supreme Court agrees to hear former RSS activist’s plea for live streaming of Article 370
New Delhi:The Supreme Court on Thursday agreed to hear former RSS ideologue K N Govindacharya’s plea seeking live streaming of Constitution bench hearing of batch of pleas challenging abrogation of provisions of Article 370. A bench of Chief Justice S A Bobde and Justices B R Gavai and Surya Kant said that the matter will be listed for early hearing, after senior advocate Vikas Singh, appearing for Govindacharya said that despite filing of the application 15-days back, their plea has not been listed.Singh along with advocate Virag Gupta said that from December 10 a 5-judge constitution bench is scheduled to hear a batch of pleas challenging abrogation of Article 370 provisions. Govindacharya had earlier filed writ petition seeking enforcement of apex court’s verdict of Sept 26, 2018, in which it had directed for live streaming of matters of national importance.PTI
"Condition In Kashmir Is Worse Than Militancy Days of 1990s":Srinagar-Based Activist Tanveer Khan
NEW DELHI:Srinagar-based political activist Tanveer Hussain Khan has said that the condition in Kashmir is worse than what it was during the days of militancy in 1990s.Tanveer made the remarks during an informal discussion on present condition in Jammu and Kashmir organized by ANHAD (Act Now for Harmony and Democracy) here. “The condition in Kashmir is worse than the days of militancy in nineties. This has erupted following abrogation of Article 370 in August this year. There is no improvement in the situation. People are still living without internet. Pre-paid mobile phones do not function. Section 144 is still imposed in the Valley”, Tanveer said in response to a question.India Tomorrow           
18 Indians on board Hong-Kong vessel kidnapped off Nigerian coast: Ship tracking agency
18 Indians on board a Hong Kong-flagged vessel were kidnapped by pirates near the Nigerian coast, said a global agency tracking maritime developments in the region.Sources said that following the reports of kidnapping of the Indians, the Indian mission in Nigeria has approached the African nation’s authorities for help to ascertain details and rescue abducted Indians. According to ARX Maritime, which tracks movements of ships, said on its website that the ship was taken over by pirates on Monday and 19 people on board the vessel were kidnapped out of which 18 were Indians. Hong Kong-flagged ‘VLCC, NAVE CONSTELLATION’ was attacked by pirates during the evening hours of December 3 while transiting through Nigeria.PTI
*OTHERS*
Verdict allowing women into Sabarimala not 'final word' as matter referred to larger bench: CJI Bobde
NEW DELHI; The Supreme Court today said its 2018 verdict allowing entry of girls and women of all ages into the Ayyappa temple at Kerala's Sabarimala was not the "final word" as the matter was referred to a larger bench. The apex court's observation came when senior advocate Indira Jaising, appearing for a woman devotee, Bindu Ammini, alleged violation of the 2018 verdict and said her client was attacked for her bid to enter the shrine. A bench headed by Chief Justice of India (CJI) S A Bobde, referring to a recent verdict of the apex court, said the 2018 judgment was not the final word as the issue was referred to a seven-judge bench for consideration. "There is (an order) for a much larger bench to decide the matter. There is no final word as yet,"the bench said.On Nov.14, a 5-judge Constitution bench headed by then CJI Ranjan Gogoi, in a 3:2 majority verdict, had referred the pleas seeking a review of its historic 2018 judgment to a 7-judge bench, along with other contentious issues of alleged discrimination against Muslim and Parsi women. PTI
SC upholds Kerala HC order on terms for minority school tag
The Supreme Court has dismissed a plea challenging a Kerala High Court order which held that an educational institution to claim minority status has be “established and administered” by the minority community, and not merely administered by it. “In the facts and circumstances of this case, we are not inclined to entertain this Special Leave Petition…accordingly dismissed,” a bench of Justices DY Chandrachud and Hrishikesh Roy ordered on Nov.29. The bench observed during the hearing that it was clear that under Article 30(1), for an institution to claim minority status, it has to be both “established and administered” by the community. The top court was hearing a petition against the August 5 Kerala HC division bench order quashing an order of National Commission for Minority Educational Institutions, which had declared Nallur Narayana Lower Primary School as a minority educational institution.The school was established in Kozhikode district in 1936 by one Nallur Narayana Menon. After his death, his son KK Sasidharan took over as manager of the school. In 2005, Sasidharan transferred the management of the school, including its properties, to one PK Mohammed Hajee. The transfer was approved by the Assistant Educational Officer and Director of Public Instructions in 2005. indianexpress
Uddhav Thackeray agrees to withdraw 700 cases related to Bhima Koregaon, Maratha agitations
Maharashtra Chief Minister Uddhav Thackeray has agreed in principle to withdraw nearly 700 cases related to the Bhima Koregaon and Maratha agitations.e State Home Department on Wednesday forwarded a status report to the Chief Minister recommending him withdrawal of cases which have been scrutinised by two authorised committees, a Cabinet sub-committee headed by the Finance Minister and the other headed by the Additional Director General of Police (Law and Order), who have both scrutinised a numb of cases.However, while the withdrawal may start in patches, the total process will take nearly one year to complete, officials said.According to the status report submitted to Chief Minister, 323 cases for withdrawal are related to Maratha reservation while another 386 are scrutinised and will be taken back in the Bhima Koregaon agitation. About 114 cases are of serious nature and cannot be withdrawn yet. thehindu
Uddhav overturns Fadnavis govt stamp duty waiver to RSS affiliate
Mumbai :In another significant reversal of a decision taken by the previous BJP-led government, the new Shiv Sena-NCP-Congress government overturned a duty waiver granted to Nagpur-based Research for Resurgence Foundation (RRF), which is affiliated to RSS.On Sept.9, Devendra Fadnavis-led Cabinet had approved a proposal exempting the foundation from payment of stamp duty and registration charges for a property transaction.The RRF is founded by the Bharatiya Shikshan Mandal, which is an offshoot of RSS. According to an official communication released by the then government, the waiver was for the purchase of 105 hectares of land in Nagpur’s Katol taluka. But on Wednesday, new Cabinet under Chief Minister Uddhav Thackeray rolled back the move citing the existing financial strain on the public exchequer. Since the code of conduct had come into force after the September 9 Cabinet meeting, the minutes of the meeting were yet to be confirmed. Government sources said that the payable duty worked out to be around Rs 1.5 crore.Even as the Fadnavis government had directed officials to go ahead with the decisions without the confirmation of the minutes, Thackeray had on Tuesday asked authorities to submit all the decisions that had been taken in that Cabinet meeting for a review.indianexpress
Rape survivor set on fire on way to court in UP's Unnao
Lucknow: A 23-year-old woman from Uttar Pradesh's Unnao district, who had filed a rape case against two men from her village in March, is critical after she was set on fire this morning by five men outside her village when she was headed to a local court for hearing in the rape case. All five men, including the two rape-accused, have been arrested, said police.One of the two rape accused was on the run and the other one was released on bail last week.The woman has suffered 90 per cent burn injuries, according to doctors. "The condition of the girl who was set on fire and bought here at 10 am is very serious. She has 90 per cent burn injuries and we are taking utmost care. A team of doctors are observing her," Dr Ashutosh Dubey, medical superintendent of Shyama Prasad Mukherjee Hospital, told PTI. "We saw her coming towards us, screaming for help. She had been set on fire. We were scared. She had walked for nearly one km before she reached us," one of the eyewitnesses told reporters, adding that they she spoke to cops after one of them dialed 100 from a mobile phone. She was rushed to a specialised hospital in Lucknow for further treatment. In March, the woman had filed FIR against two men from her paternal village in Unnao, accusing them of raping her and also filming the act. FIR was filed in the neighbouring Rae Bareli district reportedly after the intervention of a local court."One of the accused was sent to jail. He was released on bail on Nov 30. 2 men set 23-year-old on fire to take revenge," he added. The other accused was on the run.ndtv
Hyderabad: Women demand strict measures to check rapes
Hyderabad: Women wing of Jamaat-e-Islami Hind, Hyderabad, on Wednesday demonstrated at Indira Gandhi statue, Necklace Road demanding immediate justice for Disha.City president of the organisation, Ms Zaheer Fatima said there is a need to take concrete steps to check such heinous crimes against women.“We demand total prohibition and removal of vulgar content from social media, films and advertisements,” she said.Ms Fatima said, “If our Chief Minister desires that girls should be educated, he has to ensure complete protection of girls and women so that they can feel secure and can move freely and lead their lives without fear .”DECCAN CHRONICLE
Aurangabad: Jammat-e-Islam Hind women activists condemn gangrape, murder of veterinary doctor
Aurangabad: Women activists of the city unit of Jammat-e-Islam Hind (JIH) on Wednesday strongly condemned the recent gangrape and brutal murder of a female veterinary doctor in Hyderabad. A delegation of women’s wing of JIH, led by city organiser Fahimunnissa, submitted a memorandum, addressed to Prime Minister Narnedra Modi, through district collector Uday Chaudhari, demanding death penalty to the perpetrators and implementation of their other demands.UNI
VHP wants Amit Shah, Mukhtar Abbas Naqvi to exclude Muslims from list of minorities
VHP has demanded that Muslims should be removed from the list of the minorities in the country. VHP spokesperson Vinod Bansal argued that they form the second-largest community of the country and it was not justified to accord them the status of minority. Muslims in India form the second largest population after Hindus. According to the 2011 census, Muslims form 14.2% of the country’s total population. While India is home to 100 crore Hindus, who form 80% of the population, there are nearly 17 crore Muslims, 4 crore Christians and 4 crore Sikhs in the country.“Is the second largest community of the country justified to be called a minority community of the country? Why it should not be excluded from the list of minorities?” he asked.Bansal said that this appeasement was being done in the country for long by the political parties for their vote bank politics. He urged Union Home Minister Amit Shah and Minority Affairs Minister Mukhtar Abbas Naqvi to do justice by excluding Muslims from the list of minorities.“This should be rectified immediately,” he said.financialexpress
Minority Affairs Ministry sanctions over rs 100 crore to AMU Centres
New Delhi: Ministry Minority Affairs has sanctioned Rs 100.99 crore to AMU for the construction of Boys and Girls hostel at its Off Campus Centres of Mallapuram (Kerala) and Murshidabad (West Bengal).The amount has been sanctioned under the Pradhan Mantri Jan Vikas Karyakram, the flagship program of MoMA, a statement from the varsity said. The funds have been released on the proposal submitted to the ministry by AMU Vice Chancellor Prof. Tariq Mansoor.The Ministry has released first instalments of Rs 30.29 crore for the academic session 2019-20. The same has been released by the University to respective Centres, the statement said. The centres at Malappuram in Kerala and Murshidabad in West Bengal are running MBA, Law and B.Ed courses.ndtv
Mumbai: Terror suspect Gaus back in jail after SC rejects bail order
Mumbai :Less than 6 months after his release from prison on bail, Mohammad Irfan Gaus is back in jail. A day after the Supreme Court stayed a Bombay High Court order granting him bail, NIA placed LeT suspect under arrest on Wednesday.At the Bombay City Civil and Sessions Court on Wednesday afternoon, Gaus said he was shocked when he learnt of the SC order late Tuesday night, while he was on a train to Mumbai from his native place Nanded. Gaus is currently facing trial along with 4 other men — fellow Nanded natives Mohammed Muzammil Abdul Gani, Mohammed Sadique Mohammed Farooque, Mohammed Akram Mohammed Akbar and Mohammed Iliyas Mohammed Akbar — on charges of conspiring to carry out terror strikes in Nanded and Hyderabad, possessing arms and influencing young Muslims to take to violence.After his arrest in Aug 2012, Gaus spent 7 years behind bars before the HC granted him bail this July and allowed him to finally return to his family. However, neither Gaus nor his lawyers were aware that NIA had moved the apex court against the HC’s decision, as they did not receive any notice to argue against the agency’s petition. Defence lawyer Wahab Khan also moved an application on Wednesday urging the court to close examination of witnesses and expedite the trial if NIA has no other witnesses to examine.With the SC also giving NIA liberty to re-arrest Gaus, 32-year-old had no option but to surrender before court. His lawyer, Sharif Shaikh, immediately submitted an application for surrender to special NIA court. In it, Shaikh mentioned that the SC had passed its order without giving Gaus the opportunity to represent himself, which was against the principle of natural justice. NIA’s Special Public Prosecutor,Prakash Shetty, informed the court that the agency intended to take Gaus back into its custody immediately. After considering both arguments, Judge Dinesh A Kothlikar informed NIA to comply with the SC’s order.Advocate Shahid Nadeem of the Jamiat Ulama-E-Maharashtra, which provides legal aid to Gaus, said that NIA took objection to a portion of the surrender application in which Gaus claimed to have been cheated by the agency. “He meets NIA officials each time he attends court proceedings but none of them informed him about approaching the SC. We were required to strike out that portion from our application as the court also objected to our submission,” he said. The lawyers will require a custody certificate from the jailor of the prison Gaus is sent to, before filing for bail at the SC. By his own estimate, Gaus now faces another four-five months in jail as the court will record statements of the five undertrials before pronouncing its judgment. indianexpress
*WORLD*
US House to draft impeachment charges against Trump: Speaker Pelosi
US House of Representatives Speaker Nancy Pelosi on Thursday said she has instructed the House Judiciary Committee to draft articles of impeachment against President Donald Trump over his effort to pressure Ukraine to investigate a political rival."The facts are uncontested. The president abused his power for his own personal political benefit at the expense of our national security by withholding military aid and (a) crucial Oval Office meeting in exchange for an announcement of an investigation into his political rival," Pelosi said in a televised statement."Sadly, but with confidence and humility, with allegiance to our Founders and our hearts full of love for America, today I am asking our chairman to proceed with articles of impeachment," she said, referring to House Judiciary Committee Chairman Jerrold Nadler. "The president leaves us no choice by to act."Pelosi made the remarks a day after the Judiciary Committee held a hearing in which three constitutional law experts called by Democratic politicians said Trump had engaged in conduct that represents impeachable offences under the Constitution. A fourth expert called by Republican politicians called Democratic-led impeachment inquiry rushed and flawed.House Intelligence Committee this week submitted findings from its inquiry into Trump's push for Kyiv to launch an investigation related to former Vice President Joe Biden, a top contender for 2020 Democratic presidential nomination. Trump also wanted Ukraine to look into the discredited theory that Ukraine, not Russia, meddled in the 2016 US election. Democrats have accused Trump of abusing his power by withholding $391 million in security aid to Ukraine - a US ally facing Russian aggression - to pressure Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy to announce the investigation.aljazeera
Illegal settlements: Israel starts constructing road in Hebron
Israeli bulldozers have started levelling some 40 hectares (approximately 99 acres) of Palestinian-owned land north of Hebron.They are building a bypass road connecting illegal settlements of Hebron to Jerusalem. The completed road will make it impossible for Palestinian farmers to reach their land on the other side.aljazeera
Over 600 Pakistani girls 'sold as brides' to China
More than 600 poor Pakistani girls and women were sold as brides to Chinese men over a period of nearly two years, according to investigations by authorities in the South Asian nation of 200 million people.A list of 629 girls and women, obtained by The Associated Press, was compiled by Pakistani investigators determined to break up trafficking networks exploiting the country's poor and vulnerable.The list gives the most concrete figure yet for the number of women caught up in the trafficking schemes since 2018.But since the time it was put together in June, the investigators' aggressive drive against the networks has largely ground to a halt.Officials with knowledge of the investigations say this is because of pressure from government officials fearful of hurting Pakistan's lucrative ties to Beijing.The biggest case against traffickers has fallen apart. In October, a court in Faisalabad acquitted 31 Chinese nationals charged in connection with trafficking.Several of the women who had initially been interviewed by police refused to testify because they were either threatened or bribed into silence, according to a court official and a police investigator familiar with the case.At the same time, the government has sought to curtail investigations, putting "immense pressure" on officials from Federal Investigation Agency pursuing trafficking networks, said Saleem Iqbal, a Christian activist who has helped parents rescue several young girls from China and prevented others from being sent there. Several senior officials familiar with events said investigations into trafficking have slowed, the investigators are frustrated, and Pakistani media have been pushed to curb their reporting on trafficking.China's foreign ministry said it was unaware of the list.AP
Shocked Afghans hold candlelight vigil for slain Japanese doctor
Afghans across the country are shocked at the killing of Japanese physician Tetsu Nakamura, who was fatally shot along with five other Afghans during in a roadside attack on Wednesday in the eastern province of Nangarhar.A candlelight vigil has been planned in capital Kabul later today.73-year-old physician, who had been in Afghanistan since 2008, took the lead in water projects in rural areas. His services to the people earned him the nickname ''Uncle Murad".Hundreds of social media posts expressed sorrow and outrage over the attack in the South Asian country. He began treating Afghan refugees who were pouring over the border in the wake of 1979 Soviet invasion of Afghanistan, which led to him opening a clinic in that country in 1991.The Taliban group issued a statement soon after the shooting, denying responsibility for the attack. Police say their investigation is still looking for those behind the attack.aljazeera
Pentagon denies US mulling 14,000 more troops for Middle East
Pentagon has denied a report that United States was weighing sending up to 14,000 more troops to the Middle East in the face of a perceived threat from Iran.The Wall Street Journal on Wednesday reported the possible deployment would include "dozens" more ships and double the number of troops added to the US forces in the region since the beginning of this year, citing unnamed US officials.The newspaper said US President Donald Trump could make a decision on the troop boost as early as this month.But the Pentagon disputed the accuracy of the report.aljazeera
Erdogan opens Europe's first 'eco-mosque' in Cambridge
Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan has officially opened the Cambridge Central Mosque in the east of England.Described as Europe's first eco-mosque, the facility is equipped with solar panels, relies on green energy and aims for a zero-carbon footprint.It first opened to the public in April."I think this place of worship will be the best answer to the rising anti-Islamism," Erdogan said, according to Anadolu Agency.British Muslim singer Yusuf Islam, formerly known as Cat Stevens, is among the patrons of the mosque and arrived for the inuaguration ceremony earlier on Thursday.Several other donors contributed to the mosque's development, including the Turkish government and Qatar National Fund.aljazeera
*views, Articles, FEATURES*
Citizenship Bill: The Communal Aftershocks That Shook India's Neighbours Post Babri:Sangeeta Barooah Pisharoty
RBI policy: Central bank’s pessimistic GDP growth forecast, rate pause put ball in Modi govt’s court:Dinesh Unnikrishnan
Why Citizenship Bill endangers the very people it claims to help:Samrat X
Prof. Avijit Pathak: ‘Language is not a prisoner of religion’:ZIYA US SALAM
Shame! 80 lac Indians searched Hyderabad gang rape video on a porn site: abplive
Sharad Pawar could be the anchor for opposition unity in the days ahead:Neerja Chowdhury
A Mughal prince (Dara Shukoh) and the pandits of Benares: Supriya Gandhi
The current economic slowdown needs a multi-pronged response: Saugata Bhattacharya
In Citizenship (Amendment) Bill, Tough Rules For Overseas Indians (OCI)
Exclusive: Not Just WhatsApp, Snooping Attack on Indian Activists Was Through Email Too: Sukanya Shantha
Did Amit Shah lie on Rajoana’s death sentence commutation?Faraz Ahmad
Maharashtra government must probe the motive behind Bhima-Koregaon cases, Judge Loya’s death:Herald View
 Compiled and edited by Anwarulhaq (Released at: 9:02 PM).*

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