News and views across the globe.

Monday, 30 December 2019

FLASH NEWS (MID DAY); Govt's Calendar for NPR Officials Excludes Muslim Festivals, MHA Cites Census 2011 as Example / No outreach on CAA, foreign diplomats warn: India fast losing friends/ BJP’s lie exposed; No, anti-CAA protesters did not chant ‘Pakistan zindabad’ in Lucknow rally


 30 DEC. FLASH NEWS (MID DAY)

 anti-citizenship act stir
 Govt's Calendar for NPR Officials Excludes Muslim Festivals, MHA Cites Census 2011 as Example
New Delhi: Home Ministry has said enumerators of National Population Register (NPR) will help people remember their month of birth by citing English or Gregorian calendar and important Indian festivals.Seeking to downplay the suggestion that no Muslim festival was included in the manual for NPR enumerators, a Home Ministry official said the list of Indian festivals were included in it as per the standard of Census 2011 and NPR 2010.This was also pre-tested for Census 2021 and NPR 2020 and no adverse feedback on this annex was ever received, the official said. There have been queries from general public with regard to NPR manual 2020, which, besides others, mentioned "important festivals corresponding to English/Gregorian months" for enumerators and supervisors as none of the Muslim festivals are mentioned in the list of Indian festivals there.The official said it is to be noted that the page related to festivals is to be read along with the pages of the manual which deals with the question on date of birth.The purpose of this page is to help the enumerators to approximate the month of birth of the respondent, the official said.According to the manual, when a respondent knows only year of birth, the enumerators have to follow the step-wise approach.If the respondent tells only the year of birth but is not sure about the month of birth, the enumerator has to ask whether the birth was before the rainy season or not. If the birth was before the rainy reason, he or she may further ask whether the birth was in the month during which some important festivals like New Year's Day, Guru Gobind Singh Jayanti, Makara Sankranti, Pongal, Republic Day, Basant Panchami, Maharishi Dayanand Saraswati Jayanti, Maha Shivratri, Holi, Gudi Padwa, Ram Navami, Vaisakhi, Bihu, Mahabir Jayanti, Good Friday, Budh Purnima are celebrated and estimate the month of birth.It is further mentioned that the same list was used while collecting data for Census 2011 and NPR 2010, the official said.This was also pre-tested for Census 2021 and NPR 2020 and no adverse feedback on this list was ever received, the official said. There have been apprehensions and protests in different parts of the country against the government move alleging that NPR is the first step towards the country-wide NRC.news18
 No outreach on CAA, foreign diplomats warn: India fast losing friends
New Delhi :More than a fortnight after the Citizenship (Amendment) Act came into force and triggered nationwide protests, there is growing unease within the capital’s foreign diplomatic community over BJP-led NDA government’s moves. The diplomats have publicly maintained that CAA is an “internal issue”. However, when spoke to ambassadors and diplomats from at least 16 countries, across all continents, over the last few days on the new law and the protests, they expressed “concern” at the situation.The other key takeaway was this: The government held several briefings for them on various issues it had described as “domestic” — Pulwama attack, Balakot airstrike, revocation of Article 370 in Jammu and Kashmir, and even the Ayodhya verdict. But it has not briefed them even once on the CAA and its ramifications. “Indian government briefed us on Kashmir and even the Ayodhya verdict although it maintained that they were domestic issues. But they did not bother to brief us on the CAA, which has an international dimension to it — after all, it talks of three of India’s neighbouring countries in the region,” an ambassador from a G-20 country said.The diplomats, who include representatives from G-20 and P-5 groupings, and neighbouring countries, spoke on the condition of anonymity because the matter is “sensitive” and any attribution “may impact” bilateral ties.In such a situation, most of these diplomats have concluded that the protests were not limited to the Muslim community. They are now trying to get a sense of whether the government is “bothered” by the international criticism against the law.Many foreign diplomats feel that Prime Minister Narendra Modi may be responsive to international criticism, but they are not sure about Home Minister Amit Shah. “The international press is being read by our headquarters, and they have been asking us about how much political and diplomatic risk can the Modi government take,” one of the diplomats said.Diplomats across continents say the unflattering images and articles about the protests and the government crackdown in the foreign press have made it harder for India’s “friends”, as many in their countries are questioning the government’s commitment to “shared values”.“The government is making it tougher for its friends to defend it… at this rate, it is losing friends in places where it had bipartisan support earlier,” another diplomat said.“With each passing day, the government’s position is getting weakened, as these images are not going away. And the action against the protesters and the latest reports of torture and intimidation are giving more credence to the view that the government is intolerant of criticism and dissent,” an ambassador from a European country said.indianexpress
 Indian-Americans stage more anti-CAA protests
For the third time in nine days, Indian-Americans protested against the controversial Citizenship Amendment Act outside the Embassy of India, Washington, alleging that the new law was an "affront to India's secular Constitution".The protest on Saturday in front of the iconic Mahatma Gandhi statue across the Embassy, was organized by a group of Indian-Americans from the area, reports The American Bazaar.The roughly 150 people that protested in Washington included many students and young professionals."I'm an Indian citizen and I grew up in India - I've always been proud of the fact that India is a democracy and a secular country." said Niki Naik, who is currently working in Washington.IANS
 NRC an internal affair of Indian govt: Border Guards Bangladesh DG Shafeenul Islam
New Delhi: The process of creation of NRC is completely an "internal affair" of the Indian government and the cooperation between the border guarding forces of the two countries is very good, the chief of Border Guards Bangladesh (BGB) said here on Sunday.The BGB will continue to work to prevent illegal crossings into India, its Director General Maj Gen Shafeenul Islam said at a press conference here.A BGB delegation, led by Islam, is on a bilateral visit to India to hold DG-level border talks with their counterparts, Border Security Force (BSF) said.PTI
 Academics in US pass a resolution against hate
Around 85 academicians in the United states of America passed a resolution expressing their concern over the discriminatory Citizenship Act and the NRC that is supposed to take place all over India. They have also condemned the brutality of the police on students of AMU and Jamia Milia Islamia.The resolution passed by the academicians who are spread out in various universities such as Houston, Texas, Chicago, Washington DC,  Michigan, New York and Harvard among other places.twocircles
 PM Modi to blame for Muslim world debating India’s actions in Kashmir, CAA-NPR-NRC:Asaduddin Owaisi
HYDERABAD: AIMIM chief Asaduddin Owaisi has targeted Narendra Modi government over the reported decision by Saudi Arabia to call a summit on Jammu and Kashmir as part of the meeting of the Organisation of Islamic Cooperation (OIC). News is that Saudi Arabia will invite foreign ministers of Islamic nations for a special meeting on Kashmir.Owaisi tweeted, “Modi has internationalised the Indian Muslim issue, but seems to have miscalculated his economic friendship with MbZ/S (sic). Now the Muslim world is debating India’s actions on Kashmir and CAA-NPR-NRC, and this includes an already angry Iran.”He also took a dig at Union Minister Law Minister Ravi Shankar Prasad who recently in an interview said that ‘some’ data collected for NPR ‘may or may not be used for NRC’. Owaisi in another tweet said, “Is the Law Minister so misinformed about the legal process itself? NPR isn’t required for development schemes. @rsprasad please tell us, do you know what you are talking about?” Meanwhile, Owaisi addressed an anti-CAA/NRC rally in Bihar’s Kishanganj where he accused PM Narendra Modi of misleading citizens over CAA, NPR and NRC. Owaisi who was speaking at Samvidhaan Bachao rally, said, “Prime Minister Narendra Modi is misleading people. He wants to divide the country once again by bringing in measures like CAA, NRC and NPR.” Owaisi’s speech bore similarities to the one he gave  in Nizamabad and here too he drew parallels between NRC and NPR and said that there was no difference between the two.Hyderabad MP said, “If we remain silent today, the generations to come will have to answer.” Owaisi reminded the crowd that Muslims chose to remain in the country, yet the PM was asking for proof of citizenship from the community. He also targeted Bihar Chief Minister Nitish Kumar who supported the CAA in Parliament. Interestingly, party vice-president of JD(U) Prashant Kishor has come out in public against the CAA.newindianexpress
 CAA protests: Centre will not tolerate universities becoming political hubs:HRD minister
Union Human Resource Development Minister Ramesh Pokhriyal ‘Nishank’ on Sunday said the Centre will not tolerate educational institutions turning into hubs of political activities “at any cost” as protests against the amendments to the Citizenship Act continued on campuses across India, PTI reported.“Anyone is free to engage in political activities, but colleges and universities should be kept out of it, as many students come to study from far-off places,” he told reporters in Kolkata. “Modi government is not going to tolerate this at any cost.”scroll
 Rangolis against CAA, NRC come up outside several homes across Tamil Nadu a day after 5 were held
Rangolis against the amended Citizenship Act and the proposed NRC exercise were drawn in front of several houses across Tamil Nadu on Monday. Some even came up outside the homes of DMK patriarch M Karunanidhi, party chief MK Stalin and Lok Sabha MP Kanimozhi in Chennai.This came a day after the police detained five women for drawing rangolis with slogans against the amended citizenship law and NRC in Besant Nagar. Cases were registered against them and they were released later. The police action led to several people across Tamil Nadu drawing similar rangolis as a form of protest.Similar rangolis were drawn outside the homes of many people across the state.The slogan “We don’t want CAA, NRC” on two rangoli designs was painted outside Kanimozhi’s house in CIT Colony on Sunday night because of rain, according to The NewsMinute. Similar rangolis were drawn outside the house of MK Stalin in Cenotaph road and M Karunanidhi’s house in Gopalapuram. Stalin shared the photos of the rangolis with the tweet: “at our homes”.scroll
 #IndiaSupportsCAA: PM Modi launches Twitter campaign in support of new citizenship law
Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Monday launched a Twitter campaign in support of the Citizenship Amendment Act with the hashtag #IndiaSupportsCAA.“#IndiaSupportsCAA because CAA is about giving citizenship to persecuted refugees and not about taking anyone’s citizenship away,” the prime minister’s personal website’s Twitter handle posted. “Check out this hashtag in Your Voice section of Volunteer module on NaMo App for content, graphics, videos and more. Share and show your support for CAA.”scroll
 Assam minister Himanta Biswa Sarma takes 5-km chopper ride after anti-CAA protestors block road
Assam Finance Minister Himanta Biswa Sarma on Sunday took helicopter ride for only 5 km because of ongoing protests against the Citizenship Amendment Act, PTI reported. Sarma had to attend an event to pay tribute to deceased BJP MLA Rajen Borthakur. Sarma could not go reach Ghoramari, where the programme was taking place, because of the agitation by All Assam Students’ Union. The protestors blocked the National Highway 15 between Tezpur and Ghoramari and shouted slogans against the amended citizenship law.scroll
 Delhi: Former constable threatens to shoot anti-CAA protestors, arrested after video goes viral
A former police constable was arrested for allegedly threatening to shoot anti-citizenship law protestors, PTI reported on Sunday. Rakesh Tyagi was released on bail later.Tyagi, 43, was arrested on Dec.26 from his residence in Uttam Nagar area after a video clip posted by him on social media went viral. In the 16-minute clip posted on Dec.22, Tyagi posed as a sub-inspector and threatened to “shoot the protestors” if they pelted stones at policemen. In the video, he claimed that the Ministry of Home Affairs had given directions to police officials and they will abide by it and save the Constitution. “If they throw a brick at me, I will take it and use it to make Ram Mandir,” he is heard saying in the clip. Tyagi also mentions Bhim Army chief Chandrashekhar Azad, and says he will question protestors about the amended Act. Tyagi deleted the video from his Facebook account later. However, the police traced the clip through WhatsApp. The police said the uniform Tyagi is seen wearing in the clip was a fake one.Accused has been arrested following due procedure.Tyagi took voluntary retirement from Delhi Police in 2014. He hails from Baghpat in Uttar Pradesh.After he was released on bail, Tyagi posted another video on Facebook. In 25-minute video, he is heard defending himself. “People from a certain community filed a complaint against me and the policemen came to my house at 10 pm and arrested me,” he says. “I still respect Delhi Police.”The police said the second video, which was posted on December 28, does not violate any law.scroll
 Pune :35,000 raise voice against CAA & NRC at MahaRally
Pune: Around 35,000 people took part in a peaceful rally in the city on Sunday in protest against the Citizenship Amendment Act (CAA) and NRC.The march, “MahaRally: Pune Against CAA”, started from Golibar Maidan around 11.30am, with nearly 15,000 people holding placards and raising slogans such as “Save constitution, save the country”. As the rally proceeded towards Council Hall through Seven Loves Chowk, Maldhakka Chowk and Sassoon hospital, hundreds of people kept on joining it.The protesters, mostly from the Dalit and Muslim communities, marched towards Council Hall under heavy police security arrangements, including drone surveillance. Joint police commissioner of police Ravindra Shisve said, “No untoward incident was reported from any part of the city during the protest march. Traffic was diverted wherever it was needed to avert snarls. At least 35,000 people participated in the march that concluded at 5.30pm near Council Hall.”Over 20 Muslim group leaders came together to lead the rally as the protesters, including a sizeable number of women, reached the Council Hall Chowk. A core committee, Kul-Jamaat-Tanzeem, was formed to organize the rally and it comprised leaders from various Muslim groups and NGOs.A representation of the protesters, including retired Bombay HC judge B G Kolse Patil, activists Rahul Dambale, Munnwar Qureshi, Iqbal Ansari and Maulana Zahid Shaikh and former JNU student Umar Khalid, submitted a letter of protest to district collector Naval Kishore Ram.TOI
 Alliance formed against CAA in Hyderabad
Hyderabad: With an aim to fight the Citizenship Amendment Act and NRC, around 50 organisations have come together on a platform and formed ‘Alliance against CAA and NRC’, here on Sunday.The organisations representing minorities, Dalit, women and youth held a meeting convened by the Jamaat-e-Islami (JeI), in the city on Sunday.Justice Chandra Kumar, Retired High Court Judge, was elected as the convener while Human Rights Activist Jeevan Kumar, Jamaat-e-Islami office bearer Sadiq Ahmed and Murtala Vemula were elected as the co-conveners.Interacting with the media, Sadiq Ahmed said the group would launch a sustained campaign against the ‘black law” across the country. “We will take it from the grass root level to the national capital. We are shortly going to start a campaign against the bill in all districts and mandals of Telangana,” he said.Hamed Mohd Khan, president, Jamaat -e-Islami Telangana said the CAA and NRC were against the interest of the citizens of the country. “All citizens except a few groups that support BJP party or its ideology, are opposing it. The government should consider it,” he said.telanganatoday
 Samastha Kerala to Muslim women: Don’t cross limits during protest
Malappuram: In a directive to the Muslim women and girls who are on the street against Citizenship Amendment Act (CAA), the Samastha Kerala Jamiyyathul Ulama, the largest Muslim body of scholars in Kerala, has urged the women protesters “not to cross the limits” during protests.A joint statement of scholars which was issued on Saturday night said participation of Muslim women in public protests and ‘crossing limits’ which may lead to arrests is against Islam. The organization also urged Muslim women to step back from such protests and demanded the organizations concerned not to deviate from their declared policies regarding this.The statement, which hails the anti-CAA and anti-NRC protests across the nation, said Muslim people can adopt Islamic ways of protests during their strikes.TOI
 'Only Nitish Kumar Can Tell': Prashant Kishor Again Questions JDU's Support to CAA, Slams Congress Top Brass
Janata Dal (United) vice president and political strategist Prashant Kishor on Monday said only Bihar Chief Minister Nitish Kumar could explain the circumstances under which his party supported the contentious Citizen (Amendment) Bill in Parliament.In yet another attack at his party over voting for the new law, Kishor said: “I want to make it very clear that JD(U)'s stance on NRC and CAA is of opposition. Check parliamentary standing committee's record, first dissent note is of JD(U). Under what circumstances JD(U) supported the bill in both houses only Nitish Kumar ji can tell.”
 Congress MP asks President to sack Army Chief Bipin Rawat over CAA protest remarks
Congress MP from Thrissur TN Prathapan has shot off a letter to President Ram Nath Kovind, urging him to sack Army Chief General Bipin Rawat for wading into the political sphere by criticising people leading protests against the amended Citizenship law. Incidentally, General Bipin Rawat will retire on December 31 and will be replaced by Lieutenant General Manoj Mukund Naravane as the next Army chief.Asserting that General Bipin Rawat had violated the code of conduct for defence personnel, Prathapan said stringent disciplinary actions should be initiated against the Army chief.indianexpress
 We stand like mountains: Women show courage to lead anti-CAA protest in Delhi's bitter cold
New Delhi:Mattresses remain hung out on the iron grille of a road divider through the day, next to tarpaulin sheds, before being laid out on the street for the night. A tricolour forms the backdrop of a makeshift dais, metres away from a police team maintaining vigil.In the dark, a strikingly large red banner says "Stop Police Brutality".As the air gets more frigid towards the evening, the number of people on Kalindi Kunj Road in south Delhi thins out, leaving behind a large group of women on a 1,000-sq metre stretch who show extraordinary courage and remain unyielding in the face of merciless cold. Preparing for the night, the women from Shaheen Bagh roll out foam sheets.A team of around 100 volunteers including students have been providing snacks and tea to the women at regular intervals.PTI
 Protesters Stage 'Jamiawala Bagh' Play to Highlight Police Action on Students During Anti-CAA Stir
New Delhi: A play titled 'Jamiawala Bagh' was staged outside the Jamia Millia Islamia which has been at the forefront of the protest against the new citizenship law.Protesters associated with Jamia Hamdard Alumni staged the play which portrayed and condemned the police action on the students of Jamia Millia Islamia on the campus premises on December 15, said a statement from the Jamia students.In solidarity with Mohammad Minhajuddin (the injured student who lost one of his eyes), the protesters were requested to bandage one eye to register their dissent and express support.The Jamia Coordination Committee, which comprises members from various political outfits active on campus, has been helming the protests outside Gate number 7 of the varsity.news18
 PM, Shah spooked by protests; lying about NRC: Umar Khalid
Pune: Activist and former student leader Umar Khalid said here on Sunday that Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Home Minister Amit Shah were "lying" about the NRC now as they were scared by nation-wide protests.Khalid was speaking after taking part in a protest march against the CAA and the NRC here."After seeing the protests across the country, prime minister Narendra Modi and Amit Shah are lying about the NRC, as they are afraid of people's reactions," he said. Modi had said recently that there had been no discussion about nation-wide implementation of the NRC.Khalid further said that the amended Citizenship Act should be resisted as freedom fighters who sacrificed their lives had not contemplated a country where religion is the basis of citizenship.PTI
 Mangaluru Police Identifies 'Unknown Accused' as Muslims
Mangaluru: Like Prime Minister Narendra Modi, Mangaluru police also seem to be identifying protestors “by their clothes”. In a brazen display of communal mindset, the Mangaluru police, in at least six of 24 FIR that were registered post the December 19 protest, have accused “unknown Muslim youths” of unlawful assembly, assault, damage to public property and sedition among other charges. While FIR claims that over 2,000 protestors are “unknown”, the police have assumed them to be Muslim.According to P.S. Harsha, commissioner of Mangaluru city police, 24 persons have been arrested (as of December 29) in connection with rioting and violence cases. The two persons killed in the police firing have also been named in FIR.The Wire has closely studied 15 of the 24 FIRs that it has managed to access from different police stations across Mangaluru city. From these reports, it is evident that the police have approached the incident with a clear bias and have mindlessly applied charges of attempt to murder, riot and sedition against “unknown”, yet “Muslim persons”. Barring a few FIRs, the police have only mentioned unknown persons as accused in the violence. thewire
 CAA-NRC protests: UP CRACKDOWN
 BJP’s lie exposed; No, anti-CAA protesters did not chant ‘Pakistan zindabad’ in Lucknow rally
On December 28, BJP social media head Amit Malviya tweeted a video and claimed that it shows anti-CAA protesters in Lucknow raising ‘Pakistan zindabad’ slogans. Malviya wrote, “Since this is a season of pulling out old videos, here is one from Lucknow where anti-CAA protestors can be seen raising ‘Pakistan Zindabad’ slogans… Damn! Someone needs to have a samvaad with them and ask them to carry tricolour and Bapu’s picture for the cameras next time.”It is noteworthy that the video has surfaced on social media after a clip of Meerut SP Akhilesh Narayan Singh asking anti-CAA protesters to “go to Pakistan” went viral. SP Singh defended his position with the claim, “Some boys raised Pakistan zindabad slogans after seeing us.” The senior police officer alleged that his “go to Pakistan” statement was in response to the boys’ anti-India sloganeering.The same video was tweeted with the identical claim by Haryana BJP IT cell head Arun Yadav.Media outlet Zee News ran a broadcast based on the video and declared that ‘Pakistan zindabad’ slogans were indeed raised at an anti-CAA rally in Lucknow on December 13. Zee News also stated that flags of Asaduddin Owaisi’s party AIMIM can be spotted in the clip.Republic broadcast a show on the video titled, “Unverified Video Surfaces From UP: ‘Pakistan Zindabad’ Slogans Raised At AIMIM Rally In Lucknow.” The channel spoke to a correspondent Vasudev who claimed that an FIR was lodged after the December 13 rally which states that ‘Pakistan zindabad’ slogans were raised during the protest. However, Vasudev added that no arrests have been made yet and the police are investigating who raised the chants.If one carefully listens to the audio, the protesters are not chanting ‘Pakistan zindabad’ but ‘Kashif saab zindabad’. nationalheraldindia
 Uttar Pradesh Police takes U-turn, no FIR against cops
In an unexplained U-turn, Uttar Pradesh Police have now denied that any FIR has been lodged against six policemen by the family of a protester, Suleiman, who died in firing during the violent protests on December 20 against the Citizenship Amendment Act (CAA).Suleiman's family had filed a complaint against six policemen alleging that he was shot by police bullets during anti-CAA protest in Uttar Pradesh.According to the complaint, Suleiman's family alleged that he was returning home from Friday prayers on December 20 when he was accosted by SHO Rajesh Solanki, Bijnor in-charge Aashish Tomar as well as some constables.The family claims that the policemen dragged Suleiman to a lane where a constable, identified as Mohit, shot Suleiman at the behest of other police officers. The police in Bijnor on Sunday had stated that Suleiman's family's complaint had been added into the original FIR filed after his death on December 20 in which unknown persons were blamed for his death.SP (rural) Vishvajeet Srivastava had then said: "Police have registered a case against station house officer and five other cops for allegedly killing Suleiman and probe is on." However, SP Vishvajeet Srivastava has now backtracked on his statement."Because of legal and technical issue, a separate FIR cannot be registered in this regard. The initial FIR was filed based on the complaint of Mohit Kumar, a constable who sustained bullet injury during protest. The role of Suleiman was mentioned in that FIR. So, there is no need for a separate FIR. SIT is probing the matter now," he said.Reacting to the statement made by SP, maternal uncle of the deceased, Afzal Ahmed Usmani, said: "We had filed a complaint on Saturday. Suleiman was killed by the six policemen. Police officials had assured us that we will be given a copy of FIR on Sunday. When we approached police for the FIR copy, it was not given to us."Meanwhile, Arshad Hussain, whose son Anas was shot dead the same evening, has also submitted a complaint, accusing the same set of police personnel for killing the 23-year-old who had gone out to buy milk for his 7-month-old son.After Suleiman's death, police in Bijnor had accepted that he was killed in police firing.IANS
 Meerut police add sedition charge to FIR in December 20 clashes
 New Delhi :Following a video of a senior police officer in Meerut telling locals to “Go to Pakistan”, police has added the section of sedition in the FIR filed in connection with the violent clashes that took place on December 20.According to police, no arrests have been made and identity of the persons who allegedly raised pro-Pak slogans is being ascertained. “With respect to the violence by the protesters in Meerut on December 20, several FIRs for alleged rioting have already been filed. It has come to our notice that pro-Pak slogans were also raised in Lisari Gate. Keeping that in mind, the section 124 (sedition) of the IPC has been added in the existing FIR. The section has been added against unknown persons. The next step is to identify the alleged accused and take action accordingly,” Meerut SSP Ajay Sahni said.According to police sources, video evidence of alleged anti-national slogans has been submitted which are being investigated.indianexpress
 In UP's Kanpur, Muslims allege cops raised 'har har Mahadev' slogans, threatened women with rape in crackdown on anti-CAA protesters
Kanpur administration may be busy in restoring normalcy in the city after the violent protests on 20th December, but regular course of life was altered forever, for Subhan (name changed) and his family. Subhan, a teacher in a prominent school of the city, shivers as he narrates his ordeal to this reporter.It is worth noting here that the Kanpur Police has booked over 21,000 people in 15 FIRs lodged at various police stations across the city."We had nothing to do with the protests and everyone in our family was at home. One of my uncles was at his shop. After they'd destroyed vehicles, I saw policemen marching towards our lane and shouting har har Mahadev slogans. Sensing danger I left my balcony and locked the small wooden door of our house. After a few minutes of silence, the police began banging our door and kept saying 'bahar niklo Jinnah ki aulaadon aaj tumhe nahi chhodenge aur tumhari behno ko tho…. Aur nahi bakshenge' (come outside you sons of Jinnah, we won't spare you and rape your sisters)," said Subhan.Subhan's uncle Iftekhar (name changed) said that he was so scared that he put a small wooden almirah against the door and sat on it. He did this to prevent the policemen from breaking open the door."They were constantly saying ‘tumhari behan biwiyon ko nahi chhodenge’ and we were really scared for their security. There are four women in my family including my mother who is very old. All our kids in the house were howling because they are too small to understand what was happening, all of them are less than 10-years-old. All they could figure out was that some people were trying to attack their family and they are still in a state of shock and two out of six children are suffering from high fever because they are too scared," said Iftekhar.firstpost
 In Sambhal, 57-year-old doctor, man behind 2 schools get damage notices
Sambhal :A 57-year-old Ayurveda doctor who runs a clinic, a 56-year-old social activist who runs a school for Dalit and Muslim children, a 47-year-old political activist who runs a puncture shop, a 51-year-old businessman who also runs two educational institutions. They are among 59 persons issued notices by UP government for payment of Rs 15.35 lakh in total to compensate for damage to property caused during anti-CAA protests in Sambhal district on December 19. All of them say they will challenge the order in court. And all of them speak in one voice on the government’s notices: They are being sent to muzzle civil society and the protests.Topping the list is Mushir Khan, who runs a cold storage facility and two schools, is a well known social activist, and heads the Sambhal Sangharsh Samiti.“I am shocked. We have held so many protests against the policies of various governments. Never has such an action been taken. What message are they sending? That they will restrict our Constitutional right to a peaceful protest? Our committee held a 14-day protest against the Mayawati government demanding a separate district. We had mobilised 7,000 people but not a single incident of violence was reported,” says Khan.On December 19, the Samiti had planned to organise a “Save the Constitution” protest at the Nagar Palika in Sambhal. “I had got a call from SDM that we had to take permission, with an undertaking that we would protest peacefully. At night, we received a call that our request had been cancelled. SDM said we could protest at my cold storage facility. Later, permission to do even that was cancelled. Finally, we agreed to not hold any protest that day,” says Khan.Dr Nazim, a 57-year-old Ayurveda doctor, says the notices are being issued to curb the voice of the “educated middle class”.indianexpress
 Statewide black day on Jan 3 against CAA and 'attrocities' of UP police on 'peaceful' protesters: Shahi Imam Punjab
LUDHIANA: Shahi Imam Punjab Maulana Habib Ur Rehman Saani on Sunday said that the Muslims will observe state wide black day on January 3 as a mark of protest against CAA and police "atrocities" on Muslims in Uttar Pradesh. He was addressing mediapersons after meeting of Imams (priests) of mosques, muftis, members of Muslim organizations, intellectuals, social and political leaders of the community from the state at Shahi Mosque in Field Gunj in Ludhiana.Head Priest said that it was unanimously decided in the meeting that January 3 will be observed as Black day against the divisive politics of the BJP-led Central government and against the "atrocities" of Uttar Pradesh, Delhi and Karnataka police on peaceful protesters. He added that on that day Muslims will say prayers by tying Black cloth and will hold protests by carrying black flags before handing over memorandum to district Administration for President of India. Shahi Imam said that the protests against the "black law" will continue throughout the country as the Constitution of India is secular. He added that they at any cost won’t allow change in the tradition of the country.Head priest claimed that in the BJP ruled UP, the way UP police "resorted" to brutality even General Dyer would have been ashamed of that. He alleged that "Yogi’s Police" not only resorted to lathicharge and fired indiscriminately on the peaceful protestors and threatening them to go to Pakistan, but the Prime Minister and chief minister didn’t see police brutality and justified the action.TTOI
 On the ground in Uttar Pradesh, protest divide along religion, not politics:indian express report
Bareilly :Invoking the Constitution and waving the Tricolour to widen the base of CAA-NRC protests don’t seem to be working in large parts of Uttar Pradesh. In a state deeply divided on caste lines, support for the protests is split more on the lines of religion than politics.The state’s main Opposition parties — SP, BSP and Congress — in UP have unequivocally opposed the move. But across the constituencies of Baghpat, Kairana, Muzaffarnagar, Sambhal and Rampur, many Hindus who voted for Opposition parties during the Lok Sabha elections support the government’s citizenship move.Their response to the police crackdown in the state — 19 deaths and over 1,100 arrests — is muted, and hardly anyone is willing to declare that the citizenship move should be rolled back.All of them say fears over the new law are misplaced, an assert that no Muslim from their neighbourhood, village or taluka will be evicted. They also endorse communal amity and blame politics for the protests.“What is the problem if Hindus from Pakistan and Bangladesh come here? Bangladeshi Muslims should go back to their place,” says Devendra Malik, a truck driver in his late 40s, while reading a local newspaper at the Budhana bypass in Muzaffarnagar.Malik, who hails from the Jat community, says he voted for RLD chief Ajit Singh, who was part of a coalition with SP and BSP during Lok Sabha elections. He also criticises Congress leaders Sonia Gandhi and Priyanka Gandhi for supporting the protesters.Malik’s views find an echo in a group of Jat villagers at Baghpat’s Kurri village, which is adjacent to Chhaprauli village, the home of the late Charan Singh. “No Hindu is opposing it, only Muslims are,” says Ravinder Kumar, a Jat in Kurri waiting to unload his sugarcane stock, as other community members nod in support.This group is clear that while they remain RLD voters, and are angry with BJP government over pending cane dues, they are not on the same page with those agitating against the CAA-NRC. “I don’t think NRC is wrong. The government move is good. Those from outside should go. There is so much unemployment here already. If these outsiders go, it will benefit us,” says Vinod Kumar, an elder from the Jatav community who trades in bamboo material at Narauli in Sambhal district.Members of other Hindu segments sitting with him endorse this view, even as a lone elderly Muslim chips in that they have “always been at peace with each other and there is no discord between Hindus and Muslims on this issue”.Members of other backward communities, such as Kashyaps and Sainis, who were BSP supporters before 2014, are in agreement with the common view. Most of them claim to have voted for the BJP this year.Despite criticism from Opposition parties, ruling establishment’s arguments against the protests and for the crackdown find resonance among Hindus in this region. Many believe the allegations that these protests are instigated by the Opposition and that those resorting to vandalism include elements that stand to lose from the new law.
 BJP leader thrashed while explaining CAA, NRC in UP’s Amroha
A BJP leader, who was trying to explain the benefits of the Citizenship Amendment Act (CAA) and NRC in Amroha district was beaten up by locals.BJP leader had to flee from the spot.According to reports, Murtaza Agha Qazmi, the district general secretary of the party's minority wing, was allegedly heckled and then thrashed at Lakada Mohalla in Amroha on Friday.BJP's minority wing has been trying to hold programmes for informing the people that "CAA and NRC will not take away the rights and citizenship of Muslims living in India, and they should refrain from protesting against the Act." Amroha SP, Vipin Tada, said that a case has been registered and the accused has been arrested.IANS
 OTHERS  
 Maharashtra cabinet expansion: 25 Cabinet ministers,10 MoS take oath; Ajit Pawar returns as Deputy CM
NCP leader Ajit Pawar was sworn in as Maharashtra Deputy Chief Minister on Monday — a month after he resigned from the post that he held for 80 hours in alliance with BJP amidst high political drama. Chief Minister Uddhav Thackeray’s 29-year-old son, Aaditya, and former chief minister Ashok Chavan also took oath as ministers. This is the first time in Maharashtra that a father-son duo finds place the state’s Council of Ministers. NCP leaders Nawab Malik, Dilip Walse Patil, Dhananjay Munde and Congress’ Vijay Wadettiwar were also inducted into the Cabinet.Governor Bhagat Singh Koshyari expressed his displeasure to CM Thackeray after NCP leader Jitendra Awhad took names of Chhatrapati Shivaji, BR Ambedkar, Mahatma Phule after the swearing-in event. The Governor also made Congress’s KC Padvi retake the oath after he added a few lines that were not part of the script.With the Shiv Sena offering the key Home portfolio to the NCP, sources said the Congress had been pushing for the allotment of one of the three portfolios — Cooperative, Rural Development or Agriculture. While the NCP has bagged the first two, the third is with the Sena at present. Sources said there is also some discontentment among the smaller allies — including the Swabhimaani Shetkari Sanghathana, Peasants and Workers Party, Samajwadi Party — for not being consulted regarding the expansion.According to the power-sharing formula arrived at between the three parties, the Sena, with 56 MLAs, will hold the CM’s post besides 14 other ministerial berths. The NCP, with 54 MLAs, has bagged the Deputy CM’s position and 16 ministerial berths, while the Congress, with 44 MLAs, will hold the Assembly Speaker’s post and 12 ministerial positions.
 Villagers in Tamil Nadu deny reports of conversion to Islam:Indian Express report
Chennai :Days after a Tamil outfit claimed 3,000 Dalits would embrace Islam in Mettupalayam to protest the deaths of 17 individuals of the community in a wall collapse, residents of the village have denied the claim.Relatives and neighbours of those who died after the compound wall collapsed in Nadur village said no Muslim groups had approached them, and that they were devotees of Hindu deities, especially Ram.Tamil Puligal Katchi, local outfit that had made the announcement, changed its stance on Sunday, and said that the Dalits who had decided to embrace Islam belong to Tirupur, Coimbatore and other places.The outfit had earlier said that the mass conversion would be a protest against the indifference of the state government that had failed to act against a 20-foot high “caste wall” built illegally by a “caste Hindu”. The wall had collapsed on a row of Dalit houses in Nadur near Mettupalayam town on Dec.2. Tamil Nadu has a history of en masse protest conversions — in Meenakshipuram in 1981, a large number of Scheduled Caste individuals had embraced Islam.M Ilavenil of the Tamil Puligal Katchi said on Sunday: “This is a mass protest, at least 3,000 Dalits from the area will convert to Islam. Government did not act against the caste wall. Conversion is the solution against this discrimination.”However, when told that several residents of the Mettupalayam village had said that they would not convert, he said: “Yes yes, we do not have access to the village now due to police. They may be embracing Islam later. On January 5, at least 300 Dalits will embrace Islam at Mettupalayam.”Asked who these (3,000 or 300) Dalits who would convert next week were, Ilavenil said: “They are people from Tirupur, Coimbatore, and nearby areas.” They had taken the decision to convert after the wall collapse, he said.D Ravikumar, MP and general secretary of the state’s most powerful Dalit party, VCK, said it was the failure of the state government in handling a major accident that led to such events.
 CBI Raids Ex-Officers In J&K For Allegedly Issuing 2 Lakh Arms Licence
New Delhi/ Srinagar: In the first massive operation by CBI since Jammu and Kashmir was divided into two union territories, several bureaucrats were raided today across 13 locations in Srinagar, Jammu, Gurgaon, Noida in the arms license case.The probe agency is investigating alleged irregularities in the grant of over two lakh arms licenses in different districts of Jammu and Kashmir. Today, homes of former deputy commissioners and district magistrates of Kupwara, Baramulla, Udhampur, Kishtwar, Shopian, Rajouri, Doda, Pulwama were searched.Searches were carried out at the homes of Itrat Husain Rafiqi- retired IAS from Bandipora - who is now living in Srinagar. Former District Commissioner Farooq Ahmad Khan's Srinagar was also raided, said sources."It was alleged that the former public servants in this conspiracy of issuance of licences to non-residents of Jammu and Kashmir in violation of rules, allegedly received gratification," said CBI spokesperson Nitin Wakankar.ndtv
 Amend Articles 29 and 30, give minority benefits to all: VHP
Mangalore:VHP demanded amendment in Article 29 and 30 of the Constitution of India which are meant for the protection of the interests of the minorities.According to a statement released issued here on Sunday, VHP said the benefits under these two Articles should be given not only to the minorities but other sections also. VHP believes that this will help in eliminating discrimination.On the second day of the three-day meeting, VHP resolved to build a cultured, strong and self-reliant India along with passing many important resolutions related to its agenda. The main agenda of the organisation was related to the amendment of the two Articles which protect the interests of the minorities. If the government amends Articles 29 and 30 as per the demands of the VHP, the benefits which the minorities get will end.UNI
 Pejawar seer had read Quran as thoroughly as he did Geeta:Seer's Muslim driver
MANGALURU: Pejawar Seer Vishwesha Teertha’s driver was a Muslim. The driver's name is Mohammed Arif. Even his brothers were also drivers for the seer.While Mohammed Akhir chauffeured the seer for 3 years, another brother of Arif, Mohammed Manoor did it for 7 years. Arif has been seer's driver for two years. Though there were rumblings within and outside when he appointed a Muslim as his driver, the seer did not budge nor give an ear to the criticisms. He had asked Arif: Is it difficult to work as a driver for me? When Arif replied in the negative, the seer said : Don't bother about others, do your work. Arif says though others referred to him as a communal seer, he never felt so in seer's actions or words. The seer had also advised him to do Namaz regularly and he did not have any objection for him performing his prayers. Arif had a free run inside the Mutt. According to Arif, the seer had read Quran as thoroughly as he did Geeta.TOI
 Mumbai: Armed with triple talaq law, Muslim women still in search of justice
At 24, Shabnam Shaikh has decided never to marry again. With a one-and-half-year-old son, no job, and a long-drawn legal battle ahead, she knows she cannot afford “to make another mistake by trusting a man”. “Also I can’t keep making rounds of the police station,” she says as she cuddles her infant in her lap. Last year, her husband uttered talaq thrice over the phone; months later, he came to meet her and repeated, “Talaq talaq talaq”. This year, soon after the Muslim Women (Protection of Rights on Marriage) Act, was enacted, she visited 2 police stations in Mumbai to register a complaint, but was turned away without registering a FIR. Shabnam’s was a love marriage in Nov. 2017, despite her father’s strong opposition. Her husband Ateeq Ahmed runs a paan shop in Nagpada. In dowry, she took a cupboard and bed. A month after marriage she was pregnant. 3 months after marriage, she claims, Ateeq allegedly started beating her. “He would beat me without thinking of my pregnancy.”During her entire pregnancy, she claims she was subjected to domestic violence. Finally, she returned to her parents’ house, a tiny room in Govandi’s Shivaji Nagar slum to deliver her son Ibrahim in 2018.Over the next few months she made rounds of Shivaji Nagar police. “They referred me to Nagpada police, and Nagpada police would suggest I approach the women’s commission,” Shabnam says.Jannat Patel (32) was 7 months pregnant when her husband called her up and said ‘talaq’ thrice over a nasty fight. Patel went to Mumbra police station where officials refused to register an FIR. Manjunath Singe, DCP (Zone VIII), said soon after the Act was enacted Mumbai Police commissioner called a meeting of senior officers and discussed the need to register FIR in each case of triple talaq.Social activists, however, said the procedure remains on paper.While implementation of the Act is an issue, several activists also question the intent of the law. “The law somehow also makes domestic disputes a criminal offence. It does not look at protecting Muslim women, but targets Muslim men. If there was uniformity, the law would have been acceptable. With present government, the intentions don’t seem right,” said Sabah Khan, from NGO Parcham.indianexpress
 After Triple Talaq law — ‘The harassment has not stopped but has just changed’
 4 more Navy personnel arrested by Andhra police for ‘spying’ for Pakistan links
Hyderabad : Counter Intelligence Cell of Andhra Pradesh has arrested four more Indian Navy sailors—three from Mumbai Naval Base and one from Karwar Naval Base—for allegedly passing on sensitive information to a Pakistani handler. On December 20, the Andhra Pradesh Intelligence Department busted an espionage racket in the Indian Navy and had arrested seven sailors. They are accused of passing on sensitive information like locations of naval ships and submarines to a Pakistani handler. Sources said that on December 29, four more sailors who had also passed on information were arrested and brought to Vijayawada and produced before a local court.These eleven sailors fell into a honey trap in September 2018 and allegedly received money through hawala for passing on sensitive information. A hawala operator from Mumbai was also arrested. The Counter Intelligence operation to bust the espionage racket was code-named Dolphin’s Nose after the hill in Visakhapatnam where the Navy has its residential quarters.
 Exposed to Online Threats, Indian Navy Bans Use of Social Media After 7 Personnel Arrested for Espionage
Beefing up surveillance, Indian Navy has issued orders to ban the use of social media by its personnel to curb cyber snooping, after an espionage racket with alleged links to Pakistan operating through Facebook, was busted on December 20.Apart from banning the use of social media websites and Apps such as the Facebook, Instagram and even WhatsApp, the Navy order bans the use of smartphones within the area of all bases, and on ships and dockyards.The restriction was imposed to avoid navy personnel from becoming target of honey traps run by spies on the social network, and in the process, compromising on sensitive information pertaining to national security.Andhra Intelligence Department had launched an operation in association with Central Intelligence Agencies and Naval Intelligence and had arrested seven Navy personnel and a hawala operator from Vishakhapatnam and Mumbai respectively, after they allegedly passed on sensitive information like locations of naval ships and submarines to a Pakistani handler.All these seven sailors who were recruited in 2017 had fallen prey to a honey trap on Facebook in September 2018.news18
 MP honey trap case: Chargesheet says 2 TV journalists middlemen between accused, victims
Bhopal : 2 TV journalists based in Bhopal were involved in facilitating deals between the accused in the honey trap case in Madhya Pradesh and their victims, according to a chargesheet filed in a Bhopal court on Saturday.In Sept., Indore Police arrested six persons after Indore Municipal Corporation (IMC) superintending engineer Harbhajan Singh alleged that he was being blackmailed for Rs 3 crore with video clips that showed him in a compromising position.Of the six accused, two women and a driver were held from Indore and the three other women were arrested in Bhopal, where all the accused lived. All of them are still in judicial custody.A chargesheet filed in an Indore court on December 16 was in connection with the FIR filed by Singh. The chargesheet in the Bhopal court relates to a complaint of human trafficking filed by the father of the youngest accused.This chargesheet says Veerendra Sharma of Sahara News and Gaurav Sharma, who has worked with various media organisations, not only facilitated deals but also took their share. The alleged exchange of money, in one case Rs 1 crore in cash, took place at the flats owned by the two journalists.The chargesheet has named P C Meena, an additional chief secretary rank officer who was transferred after a video of him went viral months ago, as having paid Rs 20 lakh. Two OSDs to two ministers in the current Congress government have also been named.indianexpress
 Army chief General Bipin Rawat named India's first Chief of Defence Staff
New Delhi:Indian Army chief General Bipin Rawat has been named as India's first Chief of Defence Staff. General Rawat was named the Chief of Defence Staff just a day before he was to retire from service after completeing a full three-year term as the Chief of Army Staff.General Rawat is the first officer to hold the post of the Chief of Defence Staff, which was set up just days ago. The CDS will function as a single-point adivsor to the government on matters related to the military and will focus on better synergy between the Indian Army, Indian Air Force and the Indian Navy.General Bipin Rawat was the front-runner for the post.indiatoday
 CDS: Govt notifies retirement age at 65

 Cold wave: 30 trains delayed, 4 flights cancelled as dense fog engulfs Delhi
Dense fog engulfed Delhi and its adjoining areas in the early hours of Monday morning as severe cold conditions persisted. The bad weather has affected flight operations at Delhi airport while at least 30 trains have been delayed due to poor visibility.16 flights have been diverted and four cancelled, reported PTI. The airport authorities have asked passengers to contact their respective airlines for flight updates. “Owing to dense fog in north India our flights have been impacted across India,” IndiGo said in a statement. “We will continue to review the situation and provide real time updates on our social platforms.” Airlines also asked passengers to check flight status before leaving home.The low visibility also spelled trouble for road commuters. Six people were killed and five injured as their car skidded off the road and fell into a canal in Greater Noida on Sunday night. The accident reportedly took place due to fog, the police told PTI.The temperature on Monday morning dropped to 2.2 degrees Celsius, according to the monitoring unit on Lodhi Road. The minimum temperature recorded at the Safdarjung observatory, which is considered the official figure for Delhi, was 2.6 degrees Celsius.scroll
 WORLD
 US targets pro-Iran militia bases in Iraq, Syria raids
US military said on Sunday it carried out "defensive strikes" in Iraq and Syria against the Kataib Hezbollah armed group, two days after a US civilian contractor was killed in a rocket attack on an Iraqi military base.Iraqi security and militia sources said at least 25 fighters were killed and at least 55 wounded following the air attacks in Iraq.At least four Kataib Hezbollah commanders were among the dead, the sources said, adding that one of the raids had hit the Iran-backed group's headquarters near the western al-Qaim district on the border with Syria."In response to repeated Kataib Hizbollah (KH) attacks on Iraqi bases that host Operation Inherent Resolve (OIR) coalition forces, US forces have conducted precision defensive attacks against five KH facilities in Iraq and Syria that will degrade KH's ability to conduct future attacks against OIR coalition forces," chief Pentagon spokesman Jonathan Hoffman said in a statement.The targets - three in Iraq and two in Syria - included weapons-storage facilities and command locations used to plan and execute attacks, the statement added.aljazeera
 Deputy leader of Muslim Brotherhood declares support for Egyptian Accord
Ibrahim Munir, the deputy leader of the Muslim Brotherhood, announced his approval and support, on a personal level, for the Egyptian Accord document presented by the artist and contractor Mohamed Ali on Friday, which he said he had developed with various opposition forces.“The formula that the document came up with is suitable for all national parties, and it represents the initial vision around which we hope all the Egyptian national parties revolve, regardless of their sects,” Munir told Arabi21. He went on, “the terms of the document are acceptable and largely reflect the demands and goals of the national powers.”Munir predicted: “there will be a wide response from the various Egyptian national parties. Most of which participated in one way or another in the formulation of that document that will have a subsequent document and that will represent an important and distinctive point in the desired national alignment path.”middleeastmonitor
 Dutch anti-Islam lawmaker ends Prophet cartoon contest within hours:Reuters
Dutch anti-Islam lawmaker Geert Wilders said on Sunday he had ended a contest for cartoons caricaturing the Prophet, only hours after announcing the contentious event.In a tweet posted on Sunday morning, Wilders said international attention on the contest had enabled him to make a point about the importance of freedom of speech. “Mission accomplished. End of contest”, he wrote above a picture of what he said was the winning drawing, depicting an angry-looking man with a beard.Wilders cancelled a similar contest in August last year after police arrested a man who had threatened to kill him over his plan.Reuters
   Compiled and edited by Anwarulhaq  

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