Wednesday, 22 January 2020

22 JAN. FLASH NEWS: CAA: SC refuses to stay CAA, gives Centre 4 weeks to reply, restrains HCs from passing orders on pleas; Assam, Tripura petitions to be heard separately /Trump meets Imran Khan in Davos, offers ‘help’ on Kashmir issue


22 JAN. 2020 FLASH NEWS

*anti-citizenship act stir*
CAA: SC refuses to stay CAA, gives Centre 4 weeks to reply, restrains HCs from passing orders on pleas; Assam, Tripura petitions to be heard separately
SC hearing on CAA: The Supreme Court Wednesday refused to stay the contentious Citizenship (Amendment) Act (CAA) until it heard the Centre’s response and hinted that it would set up a five-judge Constitution bench to hear the matter. A 3-judge bench headed by CJI S A Bobde, which was hearing a batch of 143 pleas, granted the Centre 4 weeks to reply. It also restrained all high courts from hearing pleas related to CAA till it decided on petitions. During the hearing, Attorney General KK Venugopal arguing for the Centre said the government had been given copies of only 60 of 143 pleas and hence required more time to respond. AG seeks a period of six weeks to file counters on the grounds that about 80 more petitions have been filed. CJI Bobde said the court may refer the matter to a Constitution Bench. Senior advocates AM Singhvi, Kapil Sibal appearing for the petitioners requested the court to put on hold operation of CAA and postpone the exercise of NPR for the time being. Senior Advocate Abhishek Manu Singhvi cites the example of Uttar Pradesh. He ells the Court that in UP, several households have already been marked out to hint at doubtful status. Sibal adds that these people may lose voting rights. "Without any rules being framed, 40 Lakh people have been marked doubtful. This has happened in 19 districts of UP. Their right to vote will be lost. Kindly stay the process. That's our prayer. This will prevent a lot of chaos and insecurity," Singhvi said in the court, Live Law reported. Senior advocate Kapil Sibal arguing for the petitioners says that the NPR process will start in April and many states have already begun the process of documentation. Stating that citizenship once granted can’t be reversed, Sibal requests court to grant a nearby date. "Kindly postpone (NPR)process for 3 months. In the meanwhile your lordships can decide," he told in the court, Live Law reported. The bench also said it will hear petitions pertaining to Assam and Tripura separately as the problem with CAA in these two states is different from rest of the country. "The petitions concerning Assam and Tripura as well as matters related to Uttar Pradesh, which is going ahead with the implementation of CAA without framing any rules, can be dealt with separately," the court said.The petitions contend that CAA stands against the basic structure of the Constitution and is illegal. Some of the petitions have also sought the legislation that came into force on January 10 be withdrawn. Petitioners include Congress MP Jairam Ramesh, IUML, and its MPs, Lok Sabha MP and AIMIM president Asaduddin Owaisi, TMC MP Mahua Moitra, All Assam Students’ Union and Tripura royal scion Pradyot Kishore Deb Barman.indianexpress
Citizenship Act: SC says it won’t stay law without hearing Centre, to refer pleas to 5-judge bench
SC says no stay on CAA implementation without Centre’s response, next hearing after 4 weeks
CAA in SC: Impression that people who have concerns with law will not be disappointed, says Ramesh Chennithala
Ramesh Chennithala, Leader of Opposition in Kerala said, "The attitude of the court has been very positive in this regard. There are 144 petitions. The government asked for six weeks to file a counter-affidavit but the SC gave four weeks. There will be a decision after it. The court has taken a very serious view of it. There have been earlier instances when the court has swatted aside petitions against laws enacted by Parliament. But here, a final decision will come only after four weeks. This is a larger constitutional matter, that's how this is shaping out to be. There's certainly an impression that the people who have concerns regarding the law will not be disappointed. We felt so."
CAA in SC: It's a serious matter, court hearing was positive, says PK Kunhalikutty, IUML general secretary
PK Kunhalikutty, IUML general secretary felt that the court hearing was positive. "This is a very serious matter. Once citizenship is given, it cannot be taken back. Kapil Sibal had strongly argued that since the matter involves a lot of legalities, it must not be implemented now and must be postponed. The government has asked time to respond and the SC has given four weeks' time. Kapil Sibal also asked for the matter to be referred to a larger constitution bench. People who listened to the hearing felt the court was positive to the request. The IUML had also pleaded that there are contradictory statements being made (on CAA-NRC) inside and outside Parliament. So the court has issued a notice in this regard." The IUML submitted in its plea that CAA violates the fundamental Right to Equality and intends to grant citizenship to a section of illegal immigrants by making an exclusion on the basis of religion.
Supreme Court's Refusal to Stay CAA Disappointing: Jamaat-e-Islami Hind
NEW DELHI:Jamaat-e-Islami Hind, one of the largest socio-religious Muslim organizations in India, has termed as “disappointing” the Supreme Court’s refusal to stay the controversial CAA.“We had expected that the Supreme Court would come forward for help of the people and stay the CAA because it is the responsibility of the Supreme Court to fix the error committed by the Parliament. Supreme Court’s refusal today to stay the implementation of CAA has disappointed us,” said Mohammad Salim Engineer, Vice President of Jamaat.He said the past one month was enough time for the centre to respond to all petitions and the SC should have given its final verdict today.indiatomorrow
JDU's Prashant Kishor dares Amit Shah to implement CAA, NRC in chronology he proposed
JDU leader and political strategist Prashant Kishor has hit out at Home Minister Amit Shah and dared him to implement CAA and NRC in the same "chronology" that he "audaciously announced".In a tweet on Wednesday, Prashant Kishor threw a challenge to Amit Shah and said, "Being dismissive of citizens' dissent couldn't be the sign of strength of any Govt. Amit Shah JI, if you don't care for those protesting against CAA, NRC, why don't you go ahead and try implementing CAA & NRC in the chronology that you so audaciously announced to the nation!"Prashant Kishor on Sunday also thanked Congress leaders Rahul Gandhi and Priyanka Gandhi Vadra for "formal and unequivocal" rejection of NRC and reassured the people of Bihar, ruled by his party, that CAA and NRC will not be implemented in the state.Kishor, who is part of the ruling JDU in Bihar, is in alliance with BJP in the state government headed by Nitish Kumar. With Prashant Kishor's open praisies of Congress and now the dare to Amit Shah, BJP has been left red-faced.

On Camera, Women At CAA Protest In UP's Etawah Chased, Thrashed By Cops
Etawah: Women protesters are chased and caned by the Uttar Pradesh police, who also barge into shops and force them to shut, in mobile phone footage that has emerged from a protest in Etawah against the citizenship law on Tuesday.Video clips show the police chasing the women in the narrow lanes of Pachraha area and raining blows with their batons as they try to break up the protest.In a 17-second clip, the women can be heard shouting and asking the police why they are being assaulted. It is difficult to make out whether the cops hitting the women protestors are men or women, but police sources insist only women police personnel were tackling the women protestors.Other mobile phone clips show the police lathi-charging men who had gathered in the area. In one video, cops are seen entering a roadside eatery, hitting the employees inside and shutting it down forcibly.A policeman is on camera hitting a roadside vendor and asking him to shut shop. A senior policeman is seen in another video abusing protesters. The police have defended their crackdown, saying the protesters had thrown stones at them first.The protest took place in Pachraha yesterday afternoon. Initially, some 150 women joined the protest but by night the numbers had swelled to 500, according to local reporters.ndtv
UP CAA protests: Firozabad FIRs same, accused fear will be blamed for deaths
Firozabad police registered FIRs against eight people under the Arms Act following the December 20 protests against CAA, resulting in seven deaths. FIRs against five mention they were rounded up in an “injured” condition, while six FIRs claim the accused had “confessed” to have fired from illegal weapons. Relatives of the eight accused fear the FIRs could be a way of holding them responsible for the casualties.Police are still investigating the cause of the seven deaths. Postmortems in case of six failed to recover bullets, as reported by Indian Express earlier.Thirteen people are in judicial custody for the Firozabad anti-CAA violence, including the eight under the Arms Act. All 13 are facing charges under Section 307 of the IPC, which is attempt to murder, along with crimes like dacoity and damaging public and private property, rioting and criminal intimidation.indianexpress
'And Amit Shah?' Poet Munawwar Rana Questions '2 Sets Of Laws' After Daughters' Arrests
Lucknow: Urdu poet Munawwar Rana, whose two daughters have been named in criminal cases by the police after they participated in an ongoing protest against CAA at Lucknow's iconic clock tower, has now accused Union Home Minister Amit Shah of violating prohibitory orders, banning large gatherings."My daughters Sumaiya and Fauzia have been booked for violating prohibitory orders but what about Amit Shah who addressed a rally of thousands in the state capital on Tuesday? Surely there were more than four people in the rally. How can there be two sets of the same law for different people?" the poet asked.Uttar Pradesh Congress president Ajay Kumar Lallu supported Munawwar Rana, saying: "Why is Section 144 not for Union Home Minister? Common people are being picked up for violating prohibitory orders but when it comes to the ruling BJP, the administration happily gives them permission to violate a law."Munawwar Rana said that the case against his daughters and others protesting against the CAA and NRC would be a 'injustice' if Mr Shah's rally was termed "legal".The poet's daughters are among hundreds of women, named and unnamed, who have been accused of defying prohibitory orders.The protests at the historical Clock Tower in old Lucknow began on Friday and have continued with hundreds of women braving the cold since then. Meanwhile, UP State Commission for Protection of Child Rights (UPSCPCR) has sent a letter to the state police chief OP Singh, saying that the presence of children at the protest site was a violation of their rights and action against the parents should be taken without delay.Zoya Hasan, a housewife who is protesting with her two children, aged 6 and 8, reacted strongly to UPSCPCR letter and said, "Let them come and ask my children if they have been forced by us to stay here. I have been asking them to go home but they refuse to do so. Do you think any parent will subject their children to torture? Let them put all of us in jail but we will not budge an inch from here."ndtv

Bhim Army chief Chandrashekhar Azad to visit Shaheen Bagh today
 New Delhi :A day after a Delhi court allowed him to visit the national capital, Bhim Army chief Chandrashekhar Azad will today join the protest at Shaheen Bagh. Making the announcement on Twitter, Azad wrote, “Friends, Jai Bhim, this evening I am coming to the land of our struggle, Shaheen Bagh.”Azad took to Twitter to welcome the order: “I thank the court for giving me permission to enter Delhi. This will embolden people’s faith in the judiciary. This is a win for the Constitution. I will come tomorrow to Delhi. I will not allow the BJP which is breaking this country to form their Government in Delhi.”indianexpress
Counsel kids in Shaheen Bagh, may suffer mental trauma: NCPCR
New Delhi : National Commission for Protection of Child Rights (NCPCR) has issued an order to District Magistrate of South East Delhi to identify the children involved in Shaheen Bagh protests and send them for counselling. In its order, NCPCR said the children “may suffer from mental trauma” because of “rumours and miscommunication” regarding the CAA.“We issued the order Tuesday. This order is based on viral videos, which show children saying things like ‘Pradhan Mantri humko desh se nikal denge (Prime Minister will throw us out of the country)’, and ‘Home Minister ko kaagaz nahi dikhayenge toh who humein detention camp mein bhej denge (if we don’t show documents to Home Minister, he will send us to detention camps)’. This is the effect of rumours regarding CAA. For the children to be affected by this and say things like this is extremely worrying. We believe the children are in need of intense counselling. If need be, their parents should also be sent for counselling,” said chairperson NCPCR Priyank Kanoongo.Kanoongo added that it is apparent the children have suffered from deep trauma because of the “rumours floating around”. He said local counselling centres are available to this end. NCPCR has taken cognizance of the matter under Section 13 of CPCR Act, 2005.DM is to submit a report to NCPCR within 10 days.After parents of school-going children stressed their concerns to Delhi Police about the protests at Shaheen Bagh disrupting their children’s commute to school, a delegation of protesters, including five women, met Lieutenant Governor Anil Baijal, after being “approached by the administration”. indianexpress
'Modi is afraid',  women take lead in India's citizenship protests:The guardian
With a toothless grin and a clenched fist raised to the heavens, 90-year-old Asma Khatun chanted exuberantly. “Azadi,” she cried, using the Hindi word for freedom and joining a loud chorus that rang out across Shaheen Bagh, a neighbourhood in South Delhi that over the past few weeks has become a nationwide symbol of resistance.In her nine decades, Khatun has lived through British colonial rule, the war of independence and India’s bloody partition with Pakistan, but as a housewife she had always stayed behind closed doors and barely brushed with politics. That was until last month.For over 40 days, the frail but feisty 90-year-old has been camped out on the streets day and night, side by side with hundreds of women and braving Delhi’s coldest temperatures for more than a century. “I am old, my bones hurt in the cold and my children are very worried about my health, but I am sitting here because I will not stand by as Modi tries to break up India, to tell me that this is not my home after 90 years,” said Khatun.Among them was 82-year-old Bilkis, who had been camped out for over a month. “In my whole life, this is the first time I have taken part in any political movement,”she said. Nusrat Asra, 43, said she had abandoned her life as a housewife for the first time, to sit with the women of Shaheen Bagh every day. Her husband had initially been resistant, she said, “but now he knows why I am fighting”.“I am not afraid of anything, I am not afraid of the police, I am not afraid of being beaten, I am here just to stand up for freedom,” said Asra animatedly, her face lit up in defiance.the guardian

‘A Man from my Tribe Died in a Detention Camp’: DU Students Protest
 NEW DELHI: Scores of students collected at the New Academic Block of Hindu College, University of Delhi on January 20 to protest against the controversial CAA and NRC. The demonstration was addressed by many students belonging to Kashmir and Assam, urging the student body to continue their “fight” in solidarity with the states they come from. “A man from my tribe died in a detection camp,” said a first year Philosophy student of Hindu College who wished to remain anonymous. A resident of Sonipur district in Assam, he said, “They don’t care about minorities, they don’t give a damn. How can a poor man give papers, in a state where he constantly has to shift homes because of annual floods that nobody talks about, and he loses everything in this moving?”“Coming to Delhi is a big dream for people in my tribe. And I’m using my voice of privilege to speak up for my people. This is a fight for everyone, whether you’re a Muslim or Hindu, from Assam or not. All of us are brothers and sisters. Please keep fighting,” he stated.thecitizen
‘You’re Hindu, How Is Your Name Robin?’: UP Police to An Activist
These were some of the questions that UP police put forth when they had arrested activist Robin Verma in Lucknow on 20 December.A day prior to his arrest, Verma had gone to participate in a peaceful anti CAA protest at Parivartan Chowk. He claims that the police subjected him to physical as well as mental torture while in custody, which included religion-specific comments and snide remarks about family members. “On 20 December, I was with my friend Omar Rashid, who is a journalist with The Hindu. We were eating near BJP office when a few people, who were not in police uniforms, came to us. They said that they were from the police and asked us to come along with them. They didn’t show us any arrest warrant at that point of time. They took our mobile phones and didn’t produce any documents for that as well,” said Robin. The activist, said, "I was not allowed to go to the toilet. They neither gave me water nor informed my family. They then started asking all sorts of questions. How come you are a Hindu and have Muslim friends? We will push your wife towards prostitution. We will make your daughter do the same thing. We will trap you in big cases.”Though out of jail now, Verma continues to face charges for causing damage to public property during protests and is gearing up to challenge legally a notice that has put the cost of damage at Rs 2.59 crore. the quint
Rihai Manch Chief Says RSS, BJP Conspired to Turn Peaceful Protests Violent in UP
New Delhi: Addressing a press conference in the national capital on Tuesday after his release from the Lucknow district prison, senior lawyer and president of Rihai Manch, Mohammad Shoaib alleged that peaceful agitations against the CAA and NRC on December 19, were disrupted by RSS and BJP members and turned violent.“We have reason to believe that it was a well thought out conspiracy,” Shoaib added.Speaking to the media, he said, “I was also arrested during the Emergency and back then I was hailed as a freedom fighter but today I am portrayed as a rioter and conspirator.”thewire
Questions on parents in NPR form may be dropped: Union Minister Paswan
NEW DELHI:The patriarch of key BJP ally LJP and Union Minister, Ram Vilas Paswan has said the government may consider the widespread demand to remove the questions on date and place of birth of a respondent’s parents from NPR. “Even I don’t know the date of birth of my parents, forget about producing documents proving the dates,”  Paswan said.He said the government would consider acceding to the demand and had repeatedly clarified that the production of documents would not be mandatory.So far, there is no official notification from Ministry of Home Affairs, which is helming the exercise, on changes to NPR form. The government has not yet notified NPR form.Various State governments have insisted that these 2 questions should be removed from NPR form because a vast majority of respondents will not be able to produce any proof of date of birth and place of birth of their parents.NPR exercise by far, Paswan said, is similar to the Census, which happens at the turn of every decade.The Hindu
Yechury calls for civil disobedience against citizenship law
Kalaburagi City witnessed a massive turnout of people for the national convention against CAA, NRC and NPR, organised by Karnataka People’s Forum, at Peer Bengali Dargah grounds here on Tuesday.The national convention resolved not to furnish any documents for NRC and NPR and not support the process. Addressing the gathering, CPI (M) Leader Sitaram Yechury, termed CAA, NRC and NPR unconstitutional and called for a civil disobedience movement against the citizenship law.“We are the soldiers of Free India. Our duty is to save the country and its Constitution when it is in danger. The Constitution is a sacred document and we will protect it whenever it is violated. It is patriotism, not treason,” Yechury said.In a blistering attack, Yechury accused the right wing forces of trying to establish a Hindu nation by destroying the secular fabric of the country. We should not give any information for NPR, he said. Congress leader Mallikarjun Kharge, former chief minister H D Kumaraswamy, social activist Swami Agnivesh, KPCC working president Eshwar Khandre, MLAs MY Patil, B Narayanrao, former IAS officer Sasikanth Senthil and others took part in the convention.deccanherald

 In Wasseypur protest, women take lead: ‘Maa, mulk nahi badla jata’
Wasseypur :Surrounded by collieries, the Wasseypur region in Jharkhand’s Dhanbad has long been affected by gang violence. However, for the last 20 days, it is the women of the area that have been in the news.Traditionally limited to their households, women, for the first time in Wasseypur, have taken to the forefront of protests, holding demonstrations against CAA and NRC.On Tuesday, around 500 women gathered at the protest site. Tabassu Khan, in her forties, claimed she votes for the BJP. “We did not say anything when Babri (Masjid) verdict came. We did not utter a word on the laws on instant triple talaq. But CAA is completely anti-democratic and discriminatory,” she said. She said her children’s exams are around the corner, but she has not been able give them time.One of the oldest women protestors is Sehrin Nisha, in her 80s. She said, “I don’t have any documents and don’t have any home. I live with my relatives and I am an Indian.”indianexpress


*OTHERS*

Trump meets Imran Khan in Davos, offers ‘help’ on Kashmir issue
US President Donald Trump on Tuesday reiterated his offer to “help” on the Kashmir issue, as he met Pakistan Prime Minister Imran Khan in Davos, Switzerland on the sidelines of World Economic Forum.Interestingly, Trump volunteered US’s “help” even before Khan spoke — without any prompting or provocation.Addressing the media with Khan at his side, Trump said, “We are talking about Kashmir and in relation to what is going on with Pakistan and India and if we can help — we certainly will be helping. We’ve been following that and watching it very very closely. Khan said it was US which will be able to help resolve the issue, and said that he had pinned his hopes on US President.This is the fourth time that Trump has made such an offer – each time, India has rejected his proposal.His latest offer comes in the backdrop of talks between Delhi and Washington about Trump possibly visiting India this year, anytime between February and Sept. indianexpress
Donald Trump Repeats Offer To "Help" On Kashmir Ahead Of Talks With Pakistan PM Imran Khan
Pakistan has ‘limited options’ to respond to India’s decision on Jammu and Kashmir: Report
Washington :Pakistan’s leadership has “limited options” to respond to India’s decision on Jammu and Kashmir as many analysts view that Islamabad has “little credibility” on the issue given its long history of covertly supporting militant groups there, according to a US Congressional report. Congressional Research Service (CRS) in its second report on Kashmir in less than six months also said that Pakistan’s ability to alter the status quo through military action has been reduced in recent years, meaning that Islamabad likely must rely primarily on diplomacy.CRS is the independent research wing of the US Congress which prepares periodic reports on issues of interest for US lawmakers so that they can take informed decisions inside Congress. Currently, two resolutions are pending in the House of Representatives, one of which is being sponsored by Indian-American Congresswoman Pramila Jayapal.In its report dated January 13, CRS said that post August 5, Pakistan “appeared diplomatically isolated”, with Turkey being the only country to offer solid and explicit support for Islamabad’s position.PTI

Naqvi begins Centre’s Kashmir outreach
SRINAGAR:Minority Affairs Minister Mukhtar Abbas Naqvi on Tuesday became the first Union Minister to visit the Kashmir valley as part of the Centre’s outreach programme following August 5 decision to end J&K’s autonomous status, and chose the underdeveloped pocket of Dara in Srinagar’s Harwan to kick-start the tour.Amid snowfall, Naqvi addressed a gathering of about 300 people, most of them residents of the under-developed hilly pocket of Dara. To connect with the people, he promised that the Haj quota for locals would be raised and asserted that the ‘change being witnessed’ in mainland India “will be reflected in J&K too”.“It is the vision of Prime Minister Narendra Modi that J&K too joins the development trajectory of the country. It was the termite of corruption that destroyed this paradise, with people only pursuing their personal gains. For decades, aspirations of locals have been ignored. However, Centre is for positive and effective change on the ground,” said Naqvi.thehindu

J&K kids nationalists, sometimes motivated in wrong direction: Rajnath Singh
New Delhi :Days after Chief of Defence Staff General Bipin Rawat said that girls and boys were being radicalised in Kashmir, Union Defence Minister Rajnath Singh Wednesday said the children of Jammu and Kashmir are nationalists, but they are sometimes being motivated in the wrong direction. Singh was speaking at the NCC Republic Day Camp in Delhi.“The kids of Jammu Kashmir are nationalists. They shouldn’t be seen in any other way. Youngsters are youngsters only. Sometimes, the way they should be motivated, people do not motivate them. In fact, they are motivated in the wrong direction,” PTI quoted Singh as saying.“That is why the kids should not be blamed for this. The ones who are wrongly motivating them should be blamed. The ones who are motivating them in the wrong direction are the culprits,” he added.indianexpress

Passenger vehicle retail sales dip 9% in Dec: FADA
NEW DELHI: Automobile dealers' body FADA on Tuesday said retail sales of passenger vehicles in December 2019 declined 9 per cent to 2,15,716 units year-on-year, as even the best offers failed to lift weak consumer sentiments.According to the Federation of Automobile Dealers Associations (FADA), passenger vehicles (PV) sales stood at 2,36,586 units in December 2018.Two-wheeler sales declined 16 per cent to 12,64,169 units last month as compared with 15,00,545 units in December 2018.PTI

Tukde-tukde gang does exist, they are running govt: Shashi Tharoor
New Delhi:Taking a dig at Home Ministry's reported reply to an RTI query that there is no information available on 'tukde-tukde gang', senior Congress leader Shashi Tharoor on Tuesday said it does exist and is running the government.An activist has claimed that the Home Ministry has responded to his RTI query saying that there is "no information concerning tukde-tukde gang".Tagging the media report, Tharoor tweeted, "tukde-tukde gang does exist. They are running the Government and dividing the nation."Asked about RTI reply at a party press conference, senior Congress leader Kapil Sibal said, "I think the home minister knows more about the tukde-tukde gang than we do... the country knows who is dividing India".india today
Maharashtra: 2 ‘SIMI members’ granted bail
Mumbai : 2 alleged members of SIMI, arrested by Maharashtra ATS last month in connection with a 2006 case, were Monday granted bail by a Mumbai court which observed that being an absconder for a long time itself cannot be a ground to reject bail.Ejaz Khan (40) and his brother Iliyas (48), were arrested on December 12 last year by ATS, which said they were members of the banned organisation. The prosecution said the two men were absconding since 2006 when many were arrested on allegations of being SIMI members following serial train blasts in the city.Lawyer OA Siddiqui, appearing for the two men, submitted before the court that the accused had been falsely implicated. He said the two were students in the city in 2006 and there was no evidence presented to show that they were SIMI members. He said the brothers had not absconded, but left the city for their native town Burhanpur in Madhya Pradesh, as they were unaware that a case had been filed against them.Siddiqui also claimed that the alleged literature seized by the ATS as evidence against SIMI members in similar cases, pertained to good manners and respecting one’s parents, which cannot be considered to be “objectionable”, “banned” or “anti-social” literature.The court took into consideration that the 13 people arrested in the case had been granted bail. The last two persons to be arrested in the case were released on bail in 2008.indianexpress

Maharashtra government to make Marathi mandatory in all schools
MUMBAI:Maharashtra government will enact a law during the next Assembly session, making it mandatory to teach Marathi language in all schools in the state irrespective of mediums of instructions, said Industries Minister Subhash Desai on January 21.Desai, a Shiv Sena leader who is also the Marathi Language Minister, said the draftbill in this connection is being prepared.PTI
Maharashtra government makes it compulsory for school students to read the Preamble to Constitution
Maharashtra government on Tuesday ordered that school students across the state must recite the Preamble to the Indian Constitution, during their morning assemblies from January 26. School Education Minister Varsha Gaikwad made the announcement.
International study centre better than tallest statue for Dalit icon: VBA chief Prakash Ambedkar
Mumbai :VBA president Prakash Ambedkar has reiterated his reservations to the proposed statue for Dalit icon Dr B R Ambedkar and suggested that an international study centre dedicated to the architect of the Indian Constitution would be a better tribute. Dalit leader’s comments come days after he suggested the Bombay High Court asked the state government to utilise funds sanctioned for the proposed statue of his grandfather at Indu Mill in Mumbai for improvement of the cash-strapped Wadia hospitals for women and children instead.“The greatness of BR Ambedkar cannot be measured with the height of a statue. It is a futile exercise undertaken by successive governments to serve their politics,” said Prakash Ambedkar. Indian Express.
Muslims insisted on Cong joining govt to keep BJP out: Ashok Chavan
Mumbai :A video of PWD Minister and senior Congress leader Ashok Chavan purportedly saying that his party joined the Shiv Sena-led government on “insistence” of the “Muslim community” to stop the BJP from returning to power has gone viral on social media.Chavan Tuesday said he meant “pressure from all communities, including Muslims” in his speech. The remarks were purportedly made while he was addressing a rally against the CAA in Nanded recently.In the purported video, Chavan is heard saying in Hindi:“We have a (coalition) government in place in the state. The Congress decided to join the government to avoid the (repeat of) losses the state had suffered in the last five years (when the BJP was in power). Our Muslim brothers also insisted that we join the government to keep the biggest enemy, the BJP, away from power.”indianexpress
Bhima Koregaon violence: Will decide on review after getting info on evidence, says Anil Deshmukh
Mumbai:Home Minister Anil Deshmukh said on Tuesday that a decision to review cases related to the Bhima Koregaon violence will be taken Wednesday after the police informs him and Deputy Chief Minister Ajit Pawar what the evidence they have in connection to the registered cases.Speaking at an Idea Exchange at Loksatta, Deshmukh further said that unlike the previous government that had “labelled” anyone disagreeing with it as “urban naxals”, the current regime will approach those opposing it in a better manner, as “in a democracy, everyone has a right to express his/her opinion”.“A decision on reviewing the Bhima Koregaon cases will be taken after we go through a presentation of the evidence (by the police) in these cases. On Wedn-esday, Deputy CM Ajit Pawar and I will see the presentation and decide on the further course of action. There have been demands for creation of an SIT,” Deshmukh said. At present, a two-member inquiry commission is looking into the January 2018 incident.indianexpress
Not behind Jeff Bezos phone hack: Saudi Arabia calls report absurd
Saudi Arabia said on Wednesday that a media report that the Kingdom is behind the hacking of Amazon.com Inc founder Jeff Bezos' phone was "absurd."The billionaire's phone was hacked in 2018 after receiving a WhatsApp message that had been sent from the personal account of Saudi's crown prince Mohammed bin Salman, the Guardian reported.The encrypted message from the number used by the crown prince is believed to have included a malicious file that infiltrated the phone Bezos had used and extracted large amounts of data within hours, the report said."Recent media reports that suggest the Kingdom is behind a hacking of Mr. Jeff Bezos' phone are absurd. We call for an investigation on these claims so that we can have all the facts out," Saudi's US embassy said in a message posted on Twitter.Reuters
Compiled and edited by Anwarulhaq*

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