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Thursday, 23 January 2020

23 JAN. NEWS : After RBI adds NPR to KYC papers, panic withdrawal from Central Bank of India's branch/ While all women politicians trolled, Muslim women faced 55% more abuse than others: Amnesty India


NEWS DIGEST, EVENING   
 23 Jan 2020: 27 Jamadi-1, 1441: Vol: 12, No: 115
*anti-citizenship act stir*
After RBI adds NPR to KYC papers, panic withdrawal from Central Bank of India's branch
Depositors at a branch of Central Bank of India in Tamil Nadu have withdrawn nearly Rs 4.5 crore since Saturday in panic after the bank announced that a letter issued under the National Population Register exercise would be a valid document for customer verification, NDTV reported. The withdrawal spree took place at a branch in Kayalpattinam village near Thoothukudi. The bank had put out an advertisement in newspapers on January 11, listing valid documents for Know-Your-Customer verification – including an NPR letter. According to New Indian Express, vague advertisement did not specify whether customers needed to submit all documents or any of them would suffice. Moreover, it said that accounts of those who do not submit the documents before January 31 would be frozen.This led to panic. Withdrawals crossed Rs 1 crore on Saturday, and rose to Rs 1.85 crore on Monday. About 90% account-holders at the branch are Muslims, the newspaper reported.To curb the fears, the bank issued a new advertisement on January 19, saying that the NPR letter was optional, and other valid documents could also be submitted. The bank also roped in community leaders to assuage the concerns. The withdrawals slowed down on Wednesday, when only Rs 80 lakh were debited, according to the newspaper.“Normally we would have a withdrawal of around Rs 25 lakh every day,” an unidentified officer at the bank told NDTV. “Now this has shot up by six times. People are just leaving minimum balance in their accounts.”An unidentified depositor, who withdrew nearly Rs 50,000 from her account, told Indian Express: “Since we had the experience of demonetisation that forced us to stand in the queue for so many days, every customer who was panicked reached the bank. Bank officials were helpless as they couldn’t convince us why RBI included NPR in the list before it is even updated in most states.”“Customers were not listening to our words,” a bank official said. “The panic was so much that even community elders had to struggle to convince them. Most of our customers were Muslims and many of them had taken out almost the entire amount.”scroll
Panic withdrawal in TN village after RBI adds NPR to KYC papers
Tamil Nadu: Customers Scramble to Withdraw Cash After Bank Lists NPR Letter for KYC
Question on parents’ birth may be considered dropped: Govt on NPR
Govt has said that the questions on the date and place of birth of parents “will be considered dropped” if the respondent does not provide the details during NPR updation exercise, as they are supposed to be optional. Speaking to reporters after Cabinet meeting, Union I&B Minister Prakash Javadekar said: “When I briefed you about NPR, I told you very clearly that there are many questions that are optional. If you remember the place and date of birth of your father and mother, then give it; if you don’t remember, then don’t give it.”Responding to reports that Ram Vilas Paswan, Union Minister and leader of BJP ally LJP, had said the government may consider the demand to remove the questions, Javadekar said: “No, it is not like that… The question will be considered dropped as only those who want to respond will do so.”indianexpress
‘Do not implement NPR or NRC,’ scholars and former civil servants urge non-BJP chief ministers
A group of former civil servants and academics have urged the chief ministers of states not ruled by the Bharatiya Janata Party to not implement the National Population Register and the National Register of Citizens, The Telegraph reported. Among those who signed the letter are former Indian High Commissioner to Bangladesh Deb Mukharji, literary scholar Ganesh Devy, writer Githa Hariharan, biographer and Mahatma Gandhi’s grandson Rajmohan Gandhi, academics Romila Thapar, Prabhat Patnaik and Neera Chandhoke, and social activists Yogendra Yadav, Harsh Mander and Prashant Bhushan.The public figures urged the non-BJP chief ministers to join the collective effort towards “civil disobedience” as it would not be enough for only citizens to boycott the proposed nationwide citizenship test.scroll



Muzaffarnagar anti-CAA protests: FIR shows arrests on spot but weapons seized 18 hrs later, 500 meters from thana
In Muzaffarnagar on December 20 last year, the Uttar Pradesh police said, protesters “armed with weapons” indulged in rioting and arson in protests against the new citizenship law. In the FIR filed at 2.30 am on December 21, police named 107 people, charging all of them with attempt to murder. However, despite making 73 arrests, the FIR had one glaring discrepancy: it made no mention of when and where the weapons were seized by the police and what type these were. Those details, now available in court records accessed by Indian Express, raise questions over the police version of the incident.Despite the case being related to rioting and alleged damage of public property by the accused, the police did not seize any weapons from any of the identified accused on the day the incident took place.Second, the police now claim that they seized the weapons many hours later.These startling facts have been put on record by the Muzaffarnagar police before the court of District & Sessions Judge, which is hearing a clutch of bail petitions.indianexpress
"Only One Cure For Them": Union Minister Balyan's 'Threat' To Jamia, JNU Protesters
Meerut: Union Minister Sanjeev Balyan, known to get away with incendiary and divisive comments, declared on Wednesday that he knew the "right cure" for students of JNU and Jamia Millia Islamia, where there were clashes recently during protests against the citizenship law. Set aside 10 per cent seats in the universities for people from western Uttar Pradesh, he said at a public rally."I request Rajnath Singh-ji. Those at JNU and Jamia who shout anti-national slogans, there is only one cure for them. Have 10 per cent quota from western UP...everyone will be cured and nothing else will be needed," Balyan said at a rally in Meerut.Thousands, including students in multiple cities and towns, have taken to the street since last month to protest the new citizenship law that they say discriminates against the minority Muslim community.ndtv



'In next 10 days, 5,000 Shaheen Baghs will come up across nation': Chandrashekhar Azad extends support to women protesting against CAA, NRC
New Delhi: In the next 10 days, there will be 5,000 more protest sites like Shaheen Bagh across the country, Bhim Army chief Chandrashekhar Azad said on Wednesday evening as he reached the iconic demonstration spot in south Delhi to extend his support to the women protesting against CAA and NRC.Addressing a massive gathering, the Dalit leader said the CAA is a "black law" that is dividing people on religious lines."I congratulate those who have participated in this protest. This is not just a political agitation. We have to save the Constitution and unity of the nation," he told the women who have been staging a sit-in against the CAA for more than a month now.Azad said even the record-breaking cold has not been able to break the will power of the women protesters.The crowd, singing Faiz Ahmed Faiz's Urdu poem Hum Dekhenge before Azad's arrival, got charged as he reached the venue.Holding the Constitution, he said, "I promise you that in next 10 days there will be at least 5,000 Shaheen Baghs across the country".Azad said that earlier everyone had heard about Jallianwala Bagh, but now they were talking about Shaheen Bagh. "If you have the courage of sacrifice, then you have to sacrifice with holding your demonstration peacefully," he said.        PTI



 ‘Every bagh can be Shaheen Bagh,’ says Bhim Army chief at Delhi protest site
'Face' of Jamia protest uses RSS leader's book to take jibe at SC
Aysha Renna, a history student at Jamia Millia Islamia, has become prominent in protests against the CAA in the past month. Renna was one of the 'faces' of the protest at Jamia Millia Islamia on December 15 when police entered the university campus. Images of Renna shouting slogans and shielding a fellow student from being beaten had gone viral.On Wednesday, Renna posted a cryptic tweet that appeared to be a jibe at the Supreme Court. The tweet read "Bunch of thoughts or Bench of thoughts??" and featured the hashtags of CAA and Supreme Court.Bunch of Thoughts is the name of a popular book written by M.S. Golwalkar in 1966. Golwalkar was the second Sarsangchalak (head) of the RSS and Bunch of Thoughts is considered one of the most influential books to those professing Hindutva. Historian Ramachandra Guha had written in The Telegraph in 2016 "Bunch of Thoughts is... to the Hindutvawadi what the Bible is to devout Christians, the Koran to devout Muslims and the Communist Manifesto to practising Marxists, namely, their Holy Book, whose arguments influence their behaviour."theweek



Nitish snubs Pavan Varma over CAA: ‘Free to join any party he likes’
New Delhi :Days after Pawan Varma questioned JD(U)’s tie-up with BJP for Delhi assembly elections and threatened to quit the party, Bihar Chief Minister hit out at him saying he is free to do so. Expressing “surprise” over Varma’s “public” remarks, Kumar said he can “join any party he likes.”“He is a learned man for whom I have a lot of respect even if he may not have similar sentiments for me. But is it proper to share such things in public and not on a party forum? What if I start sharing what he said to me in public?” Kumar said. Responding to Varma’s repeated demands for “ideological clarity”, Kumar said, “JD(U)s stand is very clear…he is free to go wherever he likes”.The two leaders differed over the party’s decision to vote in favour of CAB in Parliament, and to support the NPR exercise in Bihar.indianexpress


"Where Are The Men?" Adityanath's Swipe At Shaheen Bagh Protesters
Kanpur: Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath took a gendered swipe at women-led agitations against the citizenship law in Delhi's Shaheen Bagh, claiming men had pushed women and children to spend winter nights at sit-in protests while they slept at home. Addressing a pro-citizenship law rally in Uttar Pradesh's Kanpur today, Chief Minister accused protesters, who have braved police brutality, government backlash and the weather to voice their dissent against the law, of lacking courage."These people (referring to male anti-citizenship law protesters) do not have the courage to participate in the protests themselves... what have they done? They started making the women of their houses sit at roads. The children have been made to sit too...," Chief Minister claimed."The tactic of pushing women forward... those who do not know what CAA is are staging sit-ins...they (opposition) will say the men of the house have become incompetent they are want women to go. For them, the country is not important," he claimed, echoing statements made yesterday by Home Minister Amit Shah.Visuals of the Shaheen Bagh protests, which have gone on for nearly 40 days now in a display of spirit and conviction, show that while women have taken the lead, male protesters have participated as well.Men have also backed the women of Shaheen Bagh in more ways than one.NDTV
Azadi slogans will come under sedition, says Yogi on anti-CAA protests

CAA: Jamaat-e-Islami disappointed over Supreme Court decision
Jamaat-e-Islami Hind (JIH), the largest cadre-based politico-religious organisation, has expressed disappointment over the Supreme Court’s refusal to stay the controversial CAA.“We expected the Supreme Court to come forward and help the people of India by staying the CAA because it is its responsibility to fix the error committed by Parliament,” JIH vice-president Muhammad Salim Engineer said in a statement.“We feel that that there was enough time last month for the Centre to respond to all petitions and the Supreme Court should have given its final verdict today. The Hon’ble Court could have taken response from it and given the final decision. This delay is disappointing and has delayed justice for the people. We hope the Court would soon take action on it,”  Engineer noted.thehindu

Disappointed over SC''s refusal to stay CAA: Jamaat-e-Islami:outlookindia
SC’s decision on CAA disappoints Jamaat-e-Islami Hind: New Indian Express
Jamaat Disappointed over SC Refusal to Stay CAA; says Justice Delayed:caravandaily
Disappointed over SC’s refusal to stay CAA: Jamaat-e-Islami: IANS
Supreme Court’s refusal to stay CAA disappointing : Jamaat-e-Islami:theindianawaaz
SC refuses stay on CAA, Jamaat-e-Islami Hind expresses disappointment:tdnworld
Disappointed over SC’s refusal to stay CAA: Jamaat-e-Islami:bhaskarlive
Disappointed over SC's refusal to stay CAA: Jamaat-e-Islami:theweekendleader

Disappointed over SC decision on CAA:JIH Telangana  head
HYDERABAD: Jamaat-e-Islami Hind, Telangana, on Wednesday announced that the protests will continue against the Citizenship Amendment Act (CAA). Moulana Hamid Mohammed Khan, state president of Jamaat-e-Islami Hind, said they will continue with their agitation against CAA. “We had expected that the Supreme Court would intervene in the matter to help the people. Though, it is the responsibility of the apex court to fix the error made by the government, but its refusal to put a stay on CAA has disappointed us,” said Hamid.TOI


Nagpur: Jaffar Nagar’s Eidgah protesters’ number rise after SC refusal to stay on CAA, Shah remarks
Nagpur: Late on Wednesday afternoon, as the news about Supreme Court’s refusal to pass ex parte interim stay on the controversial law CAA spread, citizens from different parts of city began turning up in large numbers at Jaffar Nagar’s Eidgah ground where Shaheen bagh style protest is underway.While the number of women swelled beyond 500 to 600, men’s tally too matched them. The protest, organized by Nagpur Peace Organization (NPO), is meant to provide a platform for city women who had been staging the agitation in support of their Delhi counterparts at Shaheenbagh.The SC development and reports of Union minister Amit Shah saying CAA will be implemented at any cost seemed to have awaken minorities, who gathered in bigger numbers than the previous three days of this protest that started from Jan.19. The police permission for extending the protest till January 27 too was turned down even as cops have already ruled out anyone staying at the venue beyond 6pm.NPO organizers said the protest will conclude on Thursday while an another permission has been moved for next week. A similar protest is likely to be held at Mominpura’s Farooq Nagar ground after this one.Lawyer Mohammad Fazal said the matter being admitted by SC is an achievement in itself and that a larger bench will now hear it. “Citizens opposing the CAA must not be disheartened over today’s development. Four weeks time is given and there are number of issues for government to reply. Govt representatives themselves are not aware of them,” he said.On Shah’s comment, Jamaat-e-Islami Hind (West zone) member Zeba Khan, who is among the protesters, said the government is pretending as if it is not worried. “Then, why did they cancel their North-East tours? You don’t have Muslims there. This protest is not for one or two days but will continue for next four years,” she said.TOI


After palm oil, India may impose import curbs on other crucial items from Malaysia over CAA criticism
Miffed over Malaysian Prime Minister Mahathir Mohamad's criticism on domestic issues like CAA and Kuala Lumpur's refusal to revoke the permanent resident status of Zakir Naik, India has set into motion an exercise that may place more curbs on exports from the Southeast Asian country.In the latest development in the India-Malaysia trade row, the Cabinet Secretariat has written to the Ministry of Commerce, seeking "trade remedial action against restrictive trade practices of Malaysia".India Today has accessed the Cabinet secretariat's directive to look into the scope for enforcing restrictions on imports from Malaysia. These include petroleum crude, refined palm oil, crude palm oil, copper and aluminium wire, microprocessors and other computer and telecom products, turbojets, aluminium ingots, LNG, etc.The Centre had kick-started curbs by restricting the import of palm oil from Malaysia, thus altering the trade relations between the world's biggest edible oil buyer and the key supplier. India imported 4.4 million tonnes of palm oil from Malaysia in 2019.The decision has a 'Make in India' connect. As per the Centre's assessment, the restrictions will boost business for crude palm oil refiners in India, which is one of the world's largest vegetable oil consumers. An average Indian consumes over 20 kg of vegetable oil a year.businesstoday.in
Malaysian PM's CAA remark likely to cost his country more than palm oil exports
Malaysia hikes sugar import from India to resolve palm oil spat: Report
Malaysia's top sugar refiner said it will increase purchases of the commodity from India, which according to two sources is part of efforts to placate New Delhi amid an ongoing spat over palm oil imports.MSM Malaysia Holdings Berhad will buy 130,000 tonnes of raw sugar from India worth 200 million ringgit ($49.20 million) in the first quarter, the company told Reuters. It bought around 88,000 tonnes of raw sugar from India in 2019.MSM is the sugar refining arm of the world's largest palm oil producer, FGV Holdings, which is an unit of Malaysian state-owned Federal Land Development Authority or Felda.Reuters

'Why 70 years of living in India is not proof enough of my citizenship': Naseeruddin Shah on CAA
NEW DELHI: Stating that he is not anxious but angry about CAA, actor Naseeruddin Shah says he can't produce a birth certificate, like many other Indians, and asks why 70 years of living here is not proof enough of him being a citizen. The actor, who stressed that he was speaking as a concerned citizen and not a Muslim, said he has contributed to the country in the social and educational spheres and five generations of his family are buried in this land.Shah, one of Hindi cinema's best known actors, joins others from the industry such as Anurag Kashyap, Vishal Bhardwaj and Richa Chadha to speak on the intense debate over the CAA."I don't have a birth certificate. I cannot produce one. Does that mean we are all going to be excluded? I do not need any reassurances that Muslims don't need to worry. I am not worried," Shah said in an interview to The Wire.PTI

Swaraj Kaushal Asks Naseeruddin to Be ‘Grateful’, Twitter Reacts
Recently, a clip of Naseeruddin Shah calling Anupam Kher “a clown” went viral on social media. In response to that, Anupam Kher said that he did not take Shah’s words seriously. Now, this war of words has been interrupted by late Sushma Swaraj’s husband, Swaraj Kaushal.Swaraj calls Shah “an ungrateful man” and “a disillusioned man”. He has tweeted, “Mr.Naseeruddin Shah, you are an ungrateful man. This country gave you all the name, fame and money. Yet you are a disillusioned man. You married outside your religion. No one ever said a word. Your brother became Lt.General of the Indian Army. Have you not been given more than an equal opportunity. Yet you are unhappy. You speak of apathy and discrimination. When you do all the blabbering, it is your 'conscience'. When Anupam speaks his pain on being declared homeless in his own country, it is 'psychophancy'. You are being thankless to the country that gave you everything. Kirron has been twice elected as a Member of Parliament. Anupam is a star in his own right. Look at his response. It is that of a gentleman. When you spoke, you looked small and petty. Suffice it to say that your anger is your frustration.”Soon after, Twitter erupted with criticism of Swaraj. Many started calling him out for his “bigotry”.Others also questioned Swaraj’s claim that Shah was allowed to marry outside his religion.One Twitter user called Swaraj’s tweets “a very public meltdown”.thequint
'You married outside your religion': Sushma Swaraj's husband slams Naseeruddin Shah



2 Jamia girls energise protests in Mumbra at midnight with slogans
They electrified Mumbra’s Shaheen Bagh at midnight with slogans and succeeded in turning the normally liberal Tata Institute of Social Sciences into a fortress. Ladeeda Sakhaloon and Ayesha Renna, the two Jamia students who’ve become the face of the anti-CAA/NRC movement, were in the city for a few hours on Tuesday evening.No outsider, no media, no photography, no videography – those were the conditions laid down by the TISS administration for allowing the two students to speak at Rohith Vemula memorial event organized by four TISS student organisations on campus. The authorities had, reportedly, received an anonymous letter threatening demonstrations if these two Jamia students were allowed to speak.But speak they did, about how the CAA and NRC were creating the basis for a “legal genocide” — compared to the “physical genocide” that had been attempted in Gujarat 2002 — and the opposition they faced from both Sanghis and liberals for asserting their Muslim identity in these protests.Ladeeda introduced two new slogans to the Mumbra demonstrators who are on a three-day 24/7 sit-in that began on Monday. The first was “CAA tera naam — Islamophobia; Amit Shah tera naam — Islamophobia’’ and so on. The second was “Intifada Inquilab”.mumbaimirror

Large turnout at rally against CAA, NRC in Kalaburagi
KALABURAGI:After the huge rally on December 19 against CAA, NRC and NPR, Kalaburagi city witnessed another massive mobilisation with over 3 lakh people attending on Tuesday.13-acre Peer Bangali ground, off Ring Road, and its adjoining roads were packed with people waving national flags. Senior national leaders of different political parties, including Sitaram Yechury, general secretary of CPI(Marxist) and M. Mallikarjun Kharge, general secretary of All-India Congress Committee, apart from a host of activists including Swamy Agnivesh and former IAS officer Sasikanth Senthil addressed the gathering.thehindu

Uddhav Thackeray meets 200 Muslim leaders, says ‘no one will have to leave the country’
Mumbai :In a meeting with over 200 Muslim community leaders at the police commissioner’s office, Chief Minister Uddhav Thackeray on Wednesday assured that “no one would have to leave the country” in the backdrop of the Centre passing the CAA. Police Commissioner Sanjay Barve, meanwhile, told those assembled that they while they had the right to protest, they should also ensure that no one is inconvenienced and that no law is broken.The community leaders submitted a memorandum to Uddhav, demanding that a resolution be passed in the state legislature against CAA on the lines of Kerala and Punjab. The memorandum, undersigned by Saeed Noorie, general secretary of Raza Academy, and Sayed Moinuddin Ashraf of Jamia Qadria Ashrafia, stated, “…we request your goodself to kindly pass a resolution denouncing the draconian and unconstitutional Acts passed by BJP government, which has been opposed in an unprecedented manner in not only India but throughout the world. Kerala and Punjab government have already taken the lead in this and hopefully other states shall follow soon.”indianexpress

Resolutions against CAA ‘political gesture’, states hardly have any role: Shashi Tharoor
Kolkata :Senior Congress leader Shashi Tharoor said that bringing in resolutions against the CAA is more of a “political gesture” by the states as they hardly have any role in granting citizenship.He said that in the implementation of the NPR and the proposed nationwide NRC, the states will have a vital part as it will be their officials who will conduct the exercise because the Centre doesn’t have the required manpower.“That’s more of a political gesture. The citizenship is given by the federal government only and obviously no states can give citizenship, so it has nothing for them to implement or not implement,” Tharoor said.PTI


Kerala: Muslim outfits to strengthen stir against Citizenship Act
Kozhikode: Expressing dissatisfaction over the Supreme Court’s decision on the CAA, Muslim organizations have called for the strengthening of the agitations against the law.IUML state general secretary KPA Majeed said that though it was a positive step that the Supreme Court was ready to hear the case in detail, the party would strengthen the agitations. The party will continue its fight against the law without any compromise, Majeed said in a statement.Sunni leader Kanthapuram A P Aboobacker Musaliyar said it is known that almost 75% of the people in the country are against CAA. “I wonder why a decision in the case was postponed. All concerned should jointly continue peaceful protests,” he said in a statement. Kerala Nadvathul Mujahideen (KNM) state president T P Abdulla Koya Madani and general secretary Muhammad Madani said that the agitations against CAA should continue. They said the hope of secular democratic forces is the Supreme Court. “The agitations should continue till CAA and NRC are completely withdrawn,” they said. Jama’at-e-Islami Kerala Amir M I Abdul Azeez called for extending and strengthening of the agitation. Same kind of experience from the apex court in important issues will adversely affect people’s faith in the judiciary, he said, adding that the court could have stayed the implementation of CAA in view of the explosive situation in the country.TOI

Bengal BJP leader Chandra Bose upset after party flag shows up on Netaji statue, may quit over CAA
Kolkata:Aphoto of a statue of Netaji Subhash Bose holding a BJP has led to a controversy in Bengal. The photograph has not gone down too well with his grandnephew and Bengal BJP leader Chandra Kumar Bose.Criticising his party's stand on the contentious Citizenship Act, Chandra Bose said if the party doesn't change the citizenship law, he may have to rethink his decision to remain in BJP.The picture of the Netaji statue is from Nadia district and is now being widely circulated in the state.Bengal BJP vice president Chandra Bose said, "Netaji Subhas Chandra Bose was certainly a political person but he was much above party politics. I don't think any political party today deserves Netaji Subhas Bose. They can't own Netaji but putting a party flag on his statue. This is highly improper and I condemn it. I think Dilip Ghosh, the state BJP president, should immediately look into the matter."indiatoday

‘When Tagore and Faiz joined hands’: This powerful combo of ‘Hum Dekhenge’ and ‘Where the mind is without fear’ is going viral
New Delhi :Faiz Ahmed Faiz’s iconic anti-establishment poem Hum Dekhenge has struck a chord with the anti-Citizenship (Amendment) Act protesters across the country. 1979 poem by the Pakistani poet is being sung at all most all the protests which began after the Parliament passed the contentious act. Apart from this, Rabindranath Tagore’s famous poem ‘Where the mind is without fear’ also features in the anti-CAA slogans.Recently, Sufi singer and composer Sonam Kalra sang a soulful rendition of Hum Dekhenge and merged it with Dastango Sunil Mehra’s rousing recitation of Tagore’s ‘Where the mind is without fear’.indianexpress

CAA panic: 2 Women mistaken for CAA-NRC surveyors attacked
Two women mistaken by the public for people conducting surveys for Citizenship Amendment Act and National Register of Citizens were attacked in Rajasthan and West Bengal on Wednesday, according to report in TOI. Nazeeran Bano, from National Economic Census Department was collecting data for the National Economic census 2019-2020 in Bhrijdham area in Kota, Rajasthan. Bano was attacked by the public and was let off only after she was able to convince them that, she was Muslim and conducting economic survey.The angry crowd wanted Bano to prove she was Muslim by reciting a verse from Quran and was conciliated only after she showed them an “Ayat Al-Kursi (The throne verse) card,” a report by TOI stated.Later, Police has arrested a person for the attack.
*J&K AND S. ASIA*
‘Sovereignty of J&K was temporary’: Centre argues against referring Article 370 to larger SC bench
The Centre on Thursday told the Supreme Court that the sovereignty of Jammu and Kashmir was temporary, reported Bar and Bench. It added that the most important thing was always the consolidation of the country. Attorney General KK Venugopal, who is representing the Centre in the case, also argued that there was no question of a plebiscite in light of the “explicit declarations of Jammu and Kashmir to be an integral part of India in their own Constitution”.The court is hearing a clutch of petitions challenging the Jammu and Kashmir Reorganisation Act, 2019, which splits the state into two Union Territories – Jammu and Kashmir, and Ladakh. The five-judge Constitution bench comprises of Justices NV Ramana, SK Kaul, R Subhash Reddy, BR Gavai and Surya Kant.The attorney general claimed that separatists were trained and sent by Pakistan to create havoc in Kashmir. “The Maharaja had entered into a Standstill Agreement with Pakistan and Pakistan had in fact violated this,” said Venugopal. “Truckloads of tribesmen trained in combat were sent by Pakistan to overtake the state. Maharaja had asked for the aid of India due to the insurgents present in the state. There were criminal activities taking place and records even suggest that these separatists trained by Pakistan had been specially sent to create havoc.”He added that Article 370 only brought out the legislative powers of the state of Jammu and Kashmir. He cited the judgement in the 2017 case of Santosh Gupta.On Wednesday, the Supreme Court said it will refer the Centre’s decision to scrap the special status of Jammu and Kashmir under Article 370 of the Constitution to a seven-judge Constitution bench only if there was a conflict in the earlier two verdicts of the top court. The court asked petitioners to prove a direct conflict between the two judgements by Thursday.During the hearing on Wednesday, senior advocates Dinesh Dwivedi and Sanjay Parikh, appearing for Prem Shankar Jha and non-governmental organisation People’s Union for Civil Liberties respectively, told the bench that the earlier verdicts were conflicting in nature. They had referred to rulings more than 50 years old by five-judge benches in the Prem Nath Kaul and Sampat Prakash case. They said the top court had said Parliament could not change the character of Article 370, which gave special status to the state, as it was in the form of a constitutional obligation that arose from the instrument of accession signed by the Maharaja of Kashmir.scroll
SC to continue hearing today petitions challenging abrogation of Article 370
Presidential Order under Article 370 has no relevance: PUCL tells SC

J&K: Mehbooba’s daughter criticises Centre’s outreach programme, calls it normalcy acrobatics
Iltija Mufti, the daughter of former Jammu and Kashmir Chief Minister Mehbooba Mufti has described central ministers’ visit to the region as “normalcy acrobatics”. She added that the Centre’s outreach programme should be seen as “vote bank politics”.Union Minister of Minority Affairs Mukhtar Abbas Naqvi on Tuesday started the Centre’s outreach programme.“Normalcy acrobatics in full swing,” she said in a tweet posted from her mother’s Twitter account. “Kashmir continues to reel under a crippling internet shutdown and political leaders remain detained. There is massive surveillance and heavy troop presence yet curated photo ops continue.”“With 52 visits planned for Jammu and 7 for Kashmir, GOIs [Government of India’s] ‘outreach’ should be viewed through the prism of BJP’s sole concern of vote bank politics and desperation to ensure it doesn’t lose its grip on Jammu,” Mufti added. “Article 370, Ayodhya verdict and CAB were decisions that only serve BJP’s interest.”scroll

Imran Khan asks US and United Nations to help de-escalate tension between India, Pakistan
Pakistan Prime Minister Imran Khan on Wednesday said that international powers “must act” to prevent India and Pakistan – the two nuclear-armed neighbours – from reaching a point of no return, reported Dawn. Khan asked both the United States and United Nations to help de-escalate tensions with India. “You cannot have two nuclear-armed countries even contemplating a conflict,” Khan said on the sidelines of the World Economic Forum in Davos.Ties between India and Pakistan deteriorated in February 2018 after New Delhi carried out an air strike in Balakot following the Pulwama attack that killed 40 jawans. But “things went from bad to worse” when India scrapped the special status to Jammu and Kashmir in August, said Khan, according to Dawn. “I just think that the path which India is going [on] is a disaster for India.”Khan also demanded that the UN Military Observer Group in India and Pakistan should be allowed along the Line of Control. He claimed that India might attempt to increase tensions along the border in order to divert attention from domestic protests against the new citizenship law and the abrogation of Jammu and Kashmir’s special status. His comments came a day after US President Donald Trump repeated his offer to help mediate in the Kashmir dispute.scroll
Will Trump's visit to India include a stopover in Islamabad? Pak FM indicates he might
Qureshi's statement came after President Trump and Prime Minister Imran Khan held a bilateral meeting on Tuesday on the sidelines of World Economic Forum (WEF) in Swiss ski resort. "US President Donald Trump has assured us that he will soon visit Pakistan," Geo News quoted Qureshi as saying in a statement.But when a reporter posed a question to Trump prior to his meeting with Khan, US president appeared to parry her query. "President, when you head out to India, will you also visit Pakistan?" the reporter asked. Trump said: "Well, we're visiting right now, so we won't really have to.""We're getting along very well. I would say we've never been closer with Pakistan than we are right now. And that's a big statement, although I wouldn't say at all times we were close, as a country. But we are very close right now because of the relationship that we have. So it's very important," according to a transcript available on the White House website.In New Delhi, government sources indicated last week that Indian and US officials were engaged in talks to finalise dates for a possible visit by President Trump to India. India had invited Trump to grace Republic Day parade as the chief guest last year but the US president could not come due to scheduling issues. There has been indication that US president may visit India in the next few months.Meanwhile, Pakistan foreign minister said the Khan-Trump meeting, third between the two leaders in less than a year, was "very productive." "I was present at the meeting between Prime Minister Imran and US President Trump. It lasted for one hour and was very productive," Qureshi said, adding that the meeting was conducted in a cordial manner.PTI
India rejects Trump’s latest offer to help in J&K, says no role for third party mediation: Reports
India on Wednesday rejected United States President Donald Trump’s offer to help resolve the Kashmir dispute, saying there was “no role” for a third party mediating in the matter.Speaking ahead of talks with Pakistan Prime Minister Imran Khan on the sidelines of the World Economic Forum in Davos on Tuesday, Trump had said the United States was watching developments between India and Pakistan over Kashmir “very closely” and was prepared to help.“Our position on the Kashmir issue has been clear and consistent,” an unidentified Indian government official said. “There is no role for any third party in this matter. There is nothing further to add.”scroll
Pakistan ‘spews venom’, takes to hate speech like fish takes to water: India at UN
UN:India has slammed Pakistan for “spewing venom and false narratives” of monumental proportions in UN, saying it takes to hate speech like fish takes to water and “obfuscates” the international community from the truth as Islamabad yet again raked up Kashmir issue at world body.India’s Deputy Permanent Representative to UN envoy K Nagaraj Naidu, speaking at a session of General Assembly on ‘Report of Secretary-General on the Work of Organization’ on Wednesday, said Pakistan “indulges in confabulations and obfuscates the international community from the truth” instead of putting an end to the “bellicose and vitriolic diatribe” and taking steps to restore normal ties.Indian diplomat’s strong response came after Saad Ahmed Warraich, Counsellor at Pakistan mission to the UN, raised issue of J&K in his remarks during the session, saying no other situation reflects the “abdication” of UN’s responsibility to discharge its responsibilities more than the decades-old Jammu and Kashmir issue. PTI
Residents of two Valley villages: Army takes our cars at night, no idea why
Shopian :Earlier this month, a resident of Aglar village (name withheld by request) in south Kashmir’s Shopian district received a call from an Army officer, asking him to deposit his private vehicle at the local Army camp by evening. The man did that, turning over the car’s keys to Army personnel. Next morning, he collected the car. It had been used during the night. His is not a one-off case. In at least two villages of Shopian, residents say it has become a regular practice for the Army to call owners of commercial and private vehicles, and use their vehicles at night — for free. Residents have no idea why and for what purpose are the vehicles used. Army denies the charge, saying “no civilian is being forced to provide his vehicle”. But in Shopian’s Heerpora, along Mughal Road, several men claim Army personnel from the camp in Chowgam often stop drivers during the day and direct them to drop their vehicles at the camp in the evening.“Army has made a list of its own. When I cross the camp, they tell me it is my turn today. After dropping the passengers, I have to deliver my vehicle in the evening,” one of the drivers said.In Aglar, residents narrate a similar account, saying they have to deposit their vehicles for the night at Pahnu camp. The village has even prepared a list of all residents who own private vehicles, including two-wheelers.Another resident said: “They sometime give us fuel in return…I end up losing money because my car always has enough fuel.”When reaching out to officials for comments on the claims of the residents, drivers too started receiving calls from Army personnel, enquiring who among them had spoken to the media.indian express

Pakistani groups plan to burn Indian Constitution in London on Republic Day, India raises concern
London:Agroup of Pakistani protesters has planned to protest outside the Indian embassy in London and burn copies of the Indian Constitution. The Indian High Commissioner has expressed concerns over the planned protest with authorities in the UK.The Indian High Commissioner in London, Ruchi Ghanshyam, in a call to the Home Secretary of UK, Priti Patel, has expressed concerns over the plan to burn the Indian Constitution.In a tweet, the High Commission said, "High Commissioner called on Home Secretary Priti Patel & discussed issues of mutual interest to take forward India-UK ties. She conveyed security and safety concerns flowing from planned protests including on Republic Day at India House."
*ECONOMY*
Rupee One of the Worst Performers Among Its Asian Peers in Past Year
Mumbai: A sharp deceleration in economic growth and surge in inflation have begun to weigh on the rupee exchange rate. The Indian rupee has become one of the worst performers among its Asian peers in the past year, with the exception of the South Korean won and the Pakistani rupee.The Indian rupee is down nearly 2% against the US dollar since the beginning of January 2019, against 6.3% appreciation in the Thai baht, 1.5% appreciation in the Malaysian ringgit, and 3% gains logged by the Philippines peso against the US dollar in the period.The Chinese renminbi is down 0.4% against the dollar in the past year.Experts attribute the Indian rupee’s relatively poor performance to a sharper-than-expected fall in economic growth in India.
India Suffers Biggest Locust Attack in 25 Years, Not Fully Controlled Yet
Jaipur: With estimations saying crops were affected in more than 3.5 lakh hectares in various districts of Rajasthan and Gujarat, the damage caused by locust attacks in 2019-20 is believed to be one of the worst in India.Crops of mustard, cumin and wheat have been devastated in the two states, affecting lakhs of farmers. In Rajasthan, the worst hit districts are Jaislamer, Barmer, Jodhpur, Jalore, Hanumangarh, Ganganagar, Bikaner and Sirohi.Locusts, which are part of the grasshopper family, are highly mobile insects that can migrate across different countries and cause extreme damage to crops.The Food and Agriculture Organisation (FAO) of the United Nations is the international agency that monitors and manages locust invasions. It says a swarm of locusts, which contains about 40 million insects, can eat the same amount of food in one day as 35,000 people, 20 camels or six elephants.thewire
*OTHERS*
While all women politicians trolled, Muslim women faced 55% more abuse than others: Amnesty India
NEW DELHI: Twitter is a toxic space for Indian women politicians, who face substantially higher abuse on the social media platform than their counterparts in US and UK, according to a recent study. In fact, one out of every 7 tweets mentioning them is problematic or abusive, with many women targeted by a relentless flow of threats and sexist, religious, racist and casteist slurs.While all women are targeted, Muslim women politicians faced 55% more abuse than others, according to the study of 95 politicians carried out by Amnesty India during 2019 Lok Sabha election.“Being a Muslim woman sometimes becomes a huge burden. I am subjected to so much [more] hate than a Muslim man,” said BJP leader Shazia Ilmi, who was quoted in the report. “Only 25% of what I get is based on the content of my politics, 75-80% is about being a woman and a Muslim woman.” She said many women do not enter politics because the price of constant online harassment and trolling was too high.Hasiba Amin, social media convener for the Congress, said she faced “traumatising” abuse since she entered politics in 2014. “Rape threats were routine, as were character assassinations, insinuations about my sexual relationships with older men...Now in 2019, I have considerably reduced my activity on Twitter. I ask myself how trollable is that and whether I really need to put up my opinion,” she said, according to the report.Women from marginalised castes, unmarried women, and those from non-BJP parties faced a disproportionate share of abuse.thehindu
95 Indian women politicians received one million abusive Tweets in three months: Amnesty study

Kathua gangrape case: No further adjournments in convicts’ appeals, says HC
Chandigarh :Due to repeated adjournments in criminal appeals of convicts in the Kathua gangrape case, the Punjab and Haryana High Court has said that no further adjournment will be granted in the case. It also warned that it will not hesitate in appointing an advocate as amicus curiae in case the lawyers representing the parties do not appear on February 11, when the matter will be heard next.“It is made clear that on the next date of hearing, no adjournment would be granted. In case the lawyers do not appear on the date fixed, the court will not hesitate to appoint an advocate to assist as amicus curiae,” the division bench of Justices Rajiv Sharma and Harinder Singh Sidhu said in the order passed Tuesday.An application seeking suspension of sentence of convict Tilak Raj was listed for hearing on Tuesday. Senior advocate R S Cheema along with advocate Arshdeep Singh Cheema, who represent the state of Jammu & Kashmir in the case, and advocate Dr Tarunvir, who represents Tilak Raj, were present during the hearing, as per the order.indianexpress


Cong MLA Haris, 6 others injured in blast in Bengaluru's Shanthinagar
An alleged low-intensity blast on Wednesday late evening in Shanthinagar left 3-time Congress MLA NA Harris and six others with burn injuries. The blast reported at around 8:30 pm during a cultural programme gripped the central parts of Bengaluru in a panic especially after the incident of police recovering a live bomb in Mangaluru airport.  According to sources in Shanthinagar, MLA Harris was attending the birthday celebrations of MGR organized by the locals close to his residence in Shanthinagar. Following the blast, Harris and a few others who standing close to the MLA sustained burn injuries and rushed to the nearby Philomena Hospital immediately and police officials from both the Ashok Nagar and Vivek Nagar visited the spot. The police officials are yet to confirm whether it was a bomb blast or due to the bursting of loud and powerful crackers. Expressing shock over the incident, he said, “My father has been an MLA for 12-years and nothing of this sort had happened before in the constituency. We have no rivals and my father never had any gunmen. We are all shocked and have complained to the jurisdictional police.” deccanherald
Assam: Minority student body demands justice for slain ABMSU president Lafiqul Islam
All Bodoland Minority Students’ Union (ABMSU) on Wednesday staged a two-hour sit-in demonstration demanding justice for the slain ABMSU leader Lafiqul Islam and several other issues.The demonstration was staged at the children park near Kokrajhar Deputy Commissioner (DC) office.Around a hundred members of student body took part in the demonstration and displayed placards, banners and raised slogans.Talking to reporters, ABMSU president Md Ashraful Islam Sheik slammed the government for not being able to arrest the culprits involved in the killing of Lafikul.The union also voiced its strong opinion on the High Court judgement on eviction of non-tribals from the tribal belts and blocks.The union also slammed the government for passing CAA and raised slogans against it too.The former ABMSU president Lafiqul Islam Ahmed was shot dead by unidentified gunmen on August 1, 2017, in Kokrajhar. He was a fierce critic of the BJP-led state government’s anti-Muslim policies and interventions.nenow.in


"Chief Minister Is Supreme": Haryana Minister, Stripped Of Key Portfolio
Chandigarh: A day after Haryana Home Minister Anil Vij was stripped of the charge of the state police's Criminal Investigation Department or CID which was given to Chief Minister Manohar Lal Khattar, the top minister said he has always maintained that the chief minister is supreme and can take away or divide any department.The state Governor put Chief Minister in charge of the crucial CID on Wednesday, a day after Chief Minister Khattar and Vij met BJP president JP Nadda in Delhi, sending out a message that peace has been brokered between them."I have always maintained that Chief Minister is supreme and he can take away or divide any department," Vij told PTI today. ndtv

Breaking convention, Kerala Muslim bride demands 100 books as mehr
The 'demand' was put forth by Ajna when they got betrothed in October. Ijas Hakkim, a 26-year-old civil engineer, procured 96 books by their wedding day, Dec.29. “Mehr is the right of a woman and she can demand anything, which the groom cannot refuse. There are no ground rules that only gold should be presented as mehr,”Ijas told New Indian Express.The couple, who got married at Nilamel in Kollam, has set up a big bookshelf in their bedroom. "She also wasn't particular about them being new books. However, I tried getting as many new books as I can. We've now also decided to take part in book exchanges," Ijas said. The couple now tries to set aside dedicated time for reading. Ajna, a BEd student, had also included books by Khaled Hosseini and Haruki Murakami and Michelle Obama's biography Becoming in her list.theweek

Jharkhand: SIT formed after seven villagers beheaded, police unsure of Pathalgadi link
Jharkhand Chief Minister Hemant Soren on Wednesday ordered an inquiry by a special investigation team into the murder of seven people in a village in West Singhbhum district on Sunday evening. The villagers were allegedly decapitated and differences over the Pathalgadi movement are suspected to be the reason, some police officials claimed. No one has been arrested so far.West Singhbhum Superintendent of Police Indrajit Mahata told Hindustan Times that the deceased were anti-Pathalgadi activists, while their attackers were supporters of the movement, but it may be a coincidence. “We will be able to speak about the conclusive Pathalgadi link only after further investigation,” he said.

Accused in airport bomb scare case brought to Mangaluru
 Mangaluru:The man, who is suspected to have planted a bomb at the airport here and surrendered before the police in Bengaluru, has been brought to the city for further investigation, police said on Thursday. A police team led by Assistant Commissioner of Police CP Belliyappa brought the 36-year old man late on Wednesday after medical check-up in the state capital, they said.The suspect, Aditya Rao, had surrendered before the police at the DG & IGP office in Bengaluru early on Wednesday.PTI
3 held for suspected ISIS links were involved in spreading ‘jihadi’ ideology: Tamil Nadu Police
Ramanathapuram:The 3 men with suspected links to the ISIS arrested in the district, were allegedly involved in spreading ‘jihadi’ ideology and plotting to kill those opposed to Islamic beliefs to spread fear among the public, police said.Trio-B Mohammed Ali, ‘Pura’ Gani and Amir- was held in the Devipattinam police limits following a tip-off when they tried to flee on Wednesday, police said adding one man, identified as Sheikh Dawood, however, managed to escape. They allegedly had links to ISIS and were connected to cases being probed by NIA, police said.They were allegedly involved in spreading ‘jihadi’ ideology in Ramanathapuram district and plotting to kill people opposed to Islamic beliefs to spread fear among the public, police said adding 3 also indulged in acts against national integration.Police seized books and Islamic propaganda material from the 3.PTI


Muslims learn Sanskrit, Hindus Urdu in this UP madarsa
Gonda:Amid the protests over the CAA and NPR, Wazirganj area of Gonda district in Uttar Pradesh is writing a new chapter on Hindu-Muslim unity.A madarsa, Gulshan-e-Baghdad, situated in Rasulpur development block of Wazirganj is not only giving Sanskrit lessons to Muslim students but a large number of Hindu students are also studying here to learn Urdu.The madarsa has about 230 students out of which 30 are Hindus and more than 50 Muslim students are learning Sanskrit, according to the Principal.There are two teachers in Rasulpur madarsa -- Qari Abdul Rashid and Qari Muhammad Shamim -- who impart Urdu and Arabic teaching.In the same way, four teachers have been appointed for other subjects. They are Naresh Bahadur Srivastava, Ram Sahai Verma, Kamaruddin and Abdul Kaiyum. Srivastava teaches Sanskrit to children.Kari Muhammad Rashid, the principal of Madarsa, told IANS: "We are trying our best to give the best of education to our children. Muslim children have to be given education in other subjects apart from Sanskrit and Hindi.IANS
*WORLD*



No exit: Wuhan sealed off as China steps up virus battle
China has told the residents of Wuhan that they would no longer be allowed to leave, as authorities step up efforts to halt the spread of a new coronavirus that originated in the city in December and has now killed 17 people and infected 571. "Without a special reason, city residents should not leave Wuhan," the central city's special command centre to combat the virus said on Thursday, according to state media.The move is meant to "effectively cut off the virus spread, resolutely curb the outbreak and guarantee the people's health and safety," the notice said, according to the official Xinhua news agency.Stations and the airport were closed from 10am  with buses, the metro system, ferries and long-distance shuttle buses also suspended. All public gatherings were cancelled in the city of 11 million residents.
"Go Out," Macron Tells Israeli Security In Heated Argument On Camera
Jerusalem, Undefined: When French President Emmanuel Macron visited Jerusalem's Old City Wednesday, he also walked in the footsteps of one of his predecessors, Jacques Chirac, by engaging in a heated argument with Israeli security.The altercation flared when Israeli police and domestic security agents pushed past the French detail and were first to enter the Church of Saint Anne, which is French territory under international treaties."Everybody knows the rules. I don't like what you did in front of me," an animated Macron told the Israeli personnel, speaking in English, in the crush to enter the building."Go out -- outside please!" he added in a raised voice in scenes captured in video footage that quickly spread on social media.The Roman Catholic church, located at the start of Via Dolorosa in the Old City's Muslim Quarter, has been part of France's territories in the Holy Land since 1850s.Macron told Israeli officers that rules in place "for centuries... will not change with me, I can tell you, OK? So everybody, respect the rules."Wednesday's tense scenes recalled a 1996 Jerusalem visit by late former president Chirac during which he also grew testy with Israeli security personnel who were urging him to move on.AFP

Trump wants 'significant' drop in Taliban violence of talks
US President Donald Trump told his Afghan counterpart, Ashraf Ghani, on Wednesday he wants to see a "significant" drop in violence by the Taliban before "meaningful" negotiations can happen, the White House said in a statement. During a meeting of the two leaders held on the sidelines of the World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland, "Trump reiterated the need for a significant and lasting reduction in violence by the Taliban that would facilitate meaningful negotiations on Afghanistan's future," the White House said.Washington has for weeks been calling for the violence to be reined in, posing it as a condition for resuming formal negotiations on an agreement that would see US troops begin to leave Afghanistan in return for security guarantees, after a near two-decade fight.aljazeera
*views, Articles, FEATURES*

Delhi Elections: How BJP and Its Leaders Are Trying to Fan Communal Sentiments:Mahtab Alam, thewire
'India Has The Longest Running Fascist Movement in the World – The RSS':Partha P. Chakrabartty
From the Supreme Court, a Reminder that Justice Was Sacrificed to Save a Judge:Siddharth Varadarajan, thewire
Recent spate of nationwide protests underline impact of citizens' ideological assertion on Indian policy:Gunja Kapoor
 
Compiled and edited by Anwarulhaq (Released at: 3:14 PM).   

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