Wednesday, 29 January 2020

29 JAN. NEWS : European Parliament set to debate joint anti-CAA motion, possible vote tomorrow/ Opposing CAA, sanctioning Indian officials must be US foreign policy priority: US CIRF/ Sharjeel Imam Sent to 5-Day police Custody/ Women can offer prayers at mosques, ignore any fatwa barring entry: AIMPLM/ Trump unveils his Middle East plan amid Palestinian rejections


NEWS DIGEST, EVENING   
 29 Jan 2020: 03 Jamadi-2, 1441: Vol: 12, No: 118
*anti-citizenship act stir*
European Parliament set to debate joint anti-CAA motion, possible vote tomorrow
Taking cognizance of the controversial Citizenship (Amendment) Act (CAA), the European Parliament is slated to debate a joint motion in its plenary session in Brussels Wednesday. PTI reported that the motion will include 5 different resolutions that are tabled by the Members of the European Parliament (MEPs).It is reported that the motion does entail about the statement made by UNHCR last month, which termed India’s legislation as “fundamentally discriminatory in nature”. The motion also includes UN and EU guidelines on human rights and it urges the Indian government to “repeal the discriminatory amendments”.“While the CAA’s stated goal of protecting persecuted groups is welcome, an effective national asylum and refugee policy should be just and holistic in nature and apply to all those in need,” the motion was quoted as stating, which describes CAA as “discriminatory in nature and dangerously divisive”.If the motion gets passed in the vote scheduled on Thursday, it will be formally sent to the Indian government and Parliament as well as to the European Commission chiefs.indianexpress
Opposing CAA, sanctioning Indian officials must be US foreign policy priority: US CIRF
 US must oppose new Indian law that aims at “denying citizenship to Muslims and render them stateless, subject to detention and deportation”, an official with US Commission on International Religious Freedom (USCIRF) has said, referring to CAA. US government must also consider “use of targeted sanctions against Indian officials primarily responsible for religious freedom violations” said Harrison Akins, policy analyst (South Asia) with USCIRF, while addressing US Congress on Monday, according to a press release by Indian American Muslim Council.In conjunction with a potential nationwide NRC and NPR, CAA “could become a weapon to target millions of Indian Muslims, potentially leading to their disenfranchisement. This represents a significant downward turn in religious freedom that no government, including US government, can ignore,” Akins said.“In India today, the freedom of religion or belief is being decimated as individuals are targeted simply due to their religious identity, in violation of India’s own Constitution,” Akins said at a Briefing titled “Implications of India’s CAA”.Akins said in its dealing with India, US should deploy “a vast array of tools [it] has in its arsenal to promote religious freedom abroad, both through positive engagement and punitive action”. Such tools include “integration of religious freedom in US development programmes or law enforcement training” and “sanctions”.Monday’s briefing was attended by staffs from House Committee on Judiciary and from the offices of 20 Members of Congress, including 7 US senators. Officials from Department of State, which implements US-India policy, also attended it.The briefing was organised by Indian American Muslim Council, the largest Indian American advocacy group in US working for minority rights in India; Hindus for Human Rights; Council on American-Islamic Relations; and Emgage Action.In its Annual Report, special reports and public statements, USCIRF has “long expressed its concern that this law is part of an effort by BJP govt to create a religious test for Indian citizenship in line with their vision of a Hindu state,” Akins said.newsclick.in
CAA, NRC raised during Congressional hearing on global human rights
Freedom of expression under threat in India, say rights activists in US
JNU student Sharjeel Imam Sent to 5-Day Custody of Delhi Police Crime Branch
A Delhi Court on Wednesday sent JNU student Sharjeel Imam to 5-day custody of the Delhi Police Crime Branch. Earlier during the day, Sharjeel was brought back to Delhi on transit remand, a day after being arrested in Bihar's Jehanabad.Meanwhile, media personnel were manhandled by police at Patna when Imam was being taken to Delhi. On Tuesday, Sharjeel, who had been booked for sedition and other charges in various states for his alleged inflammatory remarks, was arrested in Jehanabad by Delhi Police’s Crime Branch.According to a statement from Imam’s lawyers, he surrendered to the police at 3 pm on Tuesday.“He has full faith in the legal system and is fully cooperating with the investigation,” the statement said.Imam's brother and two more family members were also detained earlier on Tuesday, according to News18. They were questioned at the Kako police station in Jahanabad.
Sharjeel Imam’s words more dangerous than Kanhaiya Kumar’s slogans: Amit Shah
Union Home Minister Amit Shah has said JNU student Sharjeel Imam’s alleged remarks about cutting off Assam from the rest of India were “more dangerous” than former JNU student leader Kanhaiya Kumar’s slogans.“Have you seen the video of [the speech of] Sharjeel?” Shah asked party workers at an event in Chhattisgarh’s capital Raipur. “It is more dangerous than Kanhaiya Kumar’s statement. He is talking about cutting off Chicken’s Neck to disintegrate Assam from India. Even 7 generations would not be able to do that.”scroll
‘We should speak what is right’: Kanhaiya over Sharjeel Imam arrest
Mumbai: Former JNU Students Union president and CPI leader Kanhaiya Kumar on Wednesday appeared to back Sharjeel Imam.“We should speak what is right,” is what Kumar said when talking about Sharjeel, who has been arrested by Delhi Police.Kanhaiya Kumar said: “I have ideological differences with Sharjeel Imam. But if we talk about laws, then we should speak what is right. No one in the country has the right to spread violence. But the manner in which the government machinery is being misused, it should be questioned.”Kumar further said that sedition laws were being misused and this could impact the unity of the country.“If someone gives an instigating speech, then FIR can be registered against him under various sections... But if sedition laws are misused, then it is not right for the unity and security of our country,” said ex-JNUSU president.timesnownews
Sharjeel Imam arrest: Arrest shows Islamophobia and selective amnesia of state, says JNUSU
 Criticising the arrest of JNU student Sharjeel Imam over sedition charges, JNU Students' Union, on Tuesday, said it shows that “Islamophobia, selective amnesia and bias” matter more than anything for RSS-BJP-controlled state apparatus.JNUSU further alleged that BJP and RSS want to criminalise Muslims on an unprecedented scale.“Arrest of JNU student Sharjeel Imam under draconian charges of sedition shows that Islamophobia, selective amnesia and bias matter more than anything for a state apparatus under control of RSS-BJP. BJP and RSS want to criminalise Muslims on an unprecedented scale,” said the JNUSU.timesnownews
Imam's Arrest in Case of Sedition Due to 'Other Reasons':JNU Teachers' Association
JNU Teachers' Association (JNUTA) has condemned the arrest of university student and anti-CAA activist Sharjeel Imam in a sedition case and alleged that the charge was invoked due to "other reasons".The teacher's body also attacked Delhi Police, saying it immediately went after Imam while no arrest has been made in connection with the violence on JNU."While there may be considerable scope for disagreement with the remarks allegedly made by the student, it has been persuasively argued by legal experts that these remarks do not warrant a charge of sedition and there are other reasons behind the sedition law being invoked," JNUTA said.It said the "continuation of the colonial era law on sedition on the statute books of independent India has also been subjected to widespread questioning, particularly due to its rampant misuse by governments to curb dissent".JNU has also had a direct experience of this not so long ago, it said.PTI
IITians Come Out In Support Of JNU Research Scholar Sharjeel Imam
Voicing their solidarity with JNU's research scholar Sharjeel Imam, who has been slapped with sedition charges for his alleged inflammatory speeches, students of IIT have issued a statement, which is being circulated through social media. Simultaneously, a students' collective #— IIT-Bombay for Justice — issued a statement condemning the charges against Sharjeel, who is an IIT-B alumnus.The statement titled 'IITians in support of Sharjeel Imam', mentions that Sharjeel was being victimised by circulating doctored videos of his speech. "They have cherry-picked a few minutes of his speech and are misrepresenting what he said to make it appear hateful. Sharjeel is a scholar and he understands the implications of his words, and is sensible and responsible enough to not incite violence or advocate any anti-India movement. We, the students and alumni of IIT, stand in solidarity with Sharjeel and demand revocation of all half-baked media reports being circulated against him; and that his entire speech must be considered before forming any opinion." Statement has already received over 150 signatures.mid-day.
UP: AMU students demand release of Sharjeel Imam
70 students of AMU has gathered at university canteen, demanding the release of anti-CAA activist and JNU student Sharjeel Imam, who was arrested on charges of sedition.Aligarh DIG Akash Kulhary said an FIR will be registered after reviewing the CCTV footage, which has been asked for from AMU administration.TOI


Centre willing to talk to Shaheen Bagh protesters, only if structured request comes: Union Minister  Prasad
New Delhi:Law Minister Ravi Shankar Prasad today made it a clear to a group of Muslim leaders that the "Centre is willing to talk (to Shaheen Bagh protesters) only if a structured request is sent". Prasad was taking part in a debate with a group of Muslim leaders on CAA at the daylong India TV Conclave on assembly elections "Chunav Manch" here. The Law Minister was asked by anchor why nobody from Centre had gone to Shaheen Bagh protesters to at least listen to their demands. In reply, Prasad said: "Today I have listened to this group. But can this group say that it represents the whole community? ..If they want that a representative of the Centre should talk to them, a structured request should come saying that we are ready (for talks)."India TV
Shaheen Bagh environment ‘constructive’ for children, expert team rebuts NCPCR’s claims
A team of academics and psychologists has dismissed National Commission for Protection of Child Rights claims that children involved in the protests against CAA at Delhi’s Shaheen Bagh were being “misled” and suffering from “mental trauma”.Last week, the child rights body had asked the district magistrate to instruct police officials to “identify” and “counsel” children at the site. The district magistrate was asked to submit a report on the matter within 10 days. Academics and psychologists visited the Shaheen Bagh on January 26 to assess the claims. The team included professors Poonam Batra, Jyoti Dalal, Monica Gupta, psychologist and psychotherapist Shobna Sonpar and research scholar Chetan Anand.In a statement, the team said they did not notice any signs of distress associated with trauma. “In fact, the children’s physical proximity with their mothers, whether sitting with them or engaged in activities in a separate space, acts as a buffer to any kind of external or internal stress,” they added.They said the environment was “constructive” and a “creative way” of organising the experiences of children.scroll
"If 100 Died In Notes Ban Queues, Why Not Shaheen Bagh?": Shocker By BJP's Dilip Ghosh
Kolkata: Bengal BJP chief Dilip Ghosh on Tuesday kicked up yet another controversy by questioning why nobody was dying at Shaheen Bagh protest against the Citizenship Amendment Act when Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee has claimed that 100 people lost their lives waiting in line to withdraw money from banks during the demonetisation initiative over three years ago."What surprises me is that people were dying after standing in line for two to three hours. But now women and children are sitting in temperatures as low as 4-5 degrees Celsius but nobody is dying! What nectar did they have? I am astonished! What is their incentive (for protesting)?" he said. Ghosh hinted at a possible motive behind the protests, saying, "I find it very interesting. People are very excited about Shaheen Bagh because women and children are protesting there day and night. Some say they are getting 500 rupees every day. This may or may not be the case. But truth about PFI has come out. The truth about Shaheen Bagh will also emerge. We will make sure it does."ndtv
Case against man who flashed gun, threatened protesters at Shaheen Bagh
 A day after a man entered the protest area at Shaheen Bagh and threatened anti-CAA agitators, the police have registered a case in this connection, officials said on Wednesday.A video clip of the alleged incident which went viral on social media showed a gun-wielding man being overpowered by the protesters on Tuesday.The man has been identified as Mohammad Luqman (50), a building contractor and a resident of Shaheen Bagh, they said.The police said, the man had gone to the protest site along with a group of people to request the protestors to re-open a section of the blocked road for traffic and that he was carrying a licensed pistol. However, an investigation is underway to ascertain facts and the exact sequence of events, they added.PTI
Anti-CAA protests: Student who lost vision in one eye during Jamia violence moves Delhi HC seeking SIT probe, compensation
New Delhi: One of students injured in violence at Jamia Millia Islamia (JMI), when police had entered the campus, moved the Delhi High Court on Wednesday seeking a court-monitored probe by a committee or an SIT into the incident. The petition was moved by Md Minhajuddin who lost vision in one eye in the violence and is battling to save sight in his other. His petition seeks compensation commensurate with his qualifications, for the injury suffered by him, and also registration of an FIR against the police personnel involved in the incident.The plea seeks directions to the Centre, Delhi govt and the police to bear expenses of his treatment and to provide him a permanent job commensurate with his qualifications.PTI
Delhi Police release photographs of 70 people involved in violence during anti-CAA rally at Jamia
Delhi Police today released photographs of 70 people involved in the anti-CAA protest near Jamia Milia Islamia last month. According to sources, police are probing cases under 15 FIRs and 102 arrests have been made so far as a part of the investigation. In an appeal, Crime Branch said that the cases against the said individuals are being investigated by SIT/Crime Branch and persons actively participated in the riots.The cases are being probed by SIT of Delhi Police's Crime Branch.TimesNow
Massive Protest against CAA Held in Delhi ahead of Parliament Session
New Delhi: 2 days before the Parliament begins its Budget Session, thousands of people from different parts of the country converged at Jantar Mantar, a stone’s throw from the Parliament House, on Wednesday to press their demand for withdrawal of controversial CAA, NPR and NRC.Today’s protest demonstration was organized by the Alliance Against CAA, NRC & NPR.Eminent personalities who addressed the massive gathering included human rights activist and convenor of Alliance Ravi Nair, Co-convenor Mujtaba Farooque, RJD leader and Rajya Sabha MP Manoj Jha, Welfare Party president Dr SQR Ilyas, Vice President of Jamaat-e-Islami Hind S Aminul Hasan and National Secretary Malik Motasim Khan, Muslim Majlis-e Mushawarat president Navaid Hamid besides youth and student leaders - Sai Balaji, Sadaf Jafar, Afrin Fatima and Umar Farukh. Addressing the gathering, RJD leader Prof. Manoj Jha said this movement for the protection of the country and the constitution will ultimately win though it may take some time.Jamaat’s Vice President S Aminul Hasan termed CAA as a manuvadi law and urged people to oppose it. “CAA is a manuvadi law. They want to impose Manuvad in the country. But we dream of a modern India.”“I send my salam to those killed in mob lynching and those died inside detention centres. They died silent deaths but we have stood up as their voice. We won’t allow detention centres to come up in the country,” said Jamaat leader.India Tomorrow
10 arrested for anti-CAA slogans at Mohanlalganj railway station in Lucknow
Lucknow 10 protesters were arrested and around 50-60 unidentified people booked for unlawful assembly on Wednesday as they allegedly shouted slogans against CAA and NRC at Mohanlalganj railway station on the outskirts of Lucknow, the police said.“It was not at all a peaceful protest and they could not be allowed to create a nuisance like this as Section 144 of CrPC  is already in place in the city,” DCP(South) Pooja Yadav said.She said 10 people named in the FIR were arrested while others were being identified by scanning CCTV footage of the railway station.This is the seventh FIR against anti-CAA protesters in Lucknow this month ever since peaceful protests began in the state capital.Meanwhile, Lucknow police are now focusing on arresting the people already named in FIRs filed against those staging sit-ins at Clock Tower in old city and Ujariaon in Gomti Nagar.Police on Tuesday arrested Laiq Hasan, a former Jamia Millia Islamia student. 9 others, including Shia cleric Kalbe Sadiq’s son Kalbe Sibtain, who is still at large, were booked in the same FIR.HT
Mixed response to Bharat bandh call against contentious CAA
Mumbai/Surat/Lucknow,:Sporadic acts of violence marked Bharat bandh called by several organisations against the contentious CAA on Wednesday. Reports of clashes came from Dhule in Maharashtra, while Gujarat’s Surat witnessed stone-pelting. Violence was also reported in Udaipur in Rajasthan. Clashes were reported in Maharashtra’s Dhule, while sporadic violence was also reported in Yavatmal, Aurangabad and some other places during a Bharat Bandh called by some organisations against the CAA. The police fired four rounds in the air and lobbed six tear gas shells to disperse a violent mob in Dhule, an official said. The incident took place on Hundred Feet Road in the limits of the Chalisgaon Road police station on Wednesday afternoon during a rally against CAA and NRC. In Rajasthan, BKM members vandalised a shop here on Wednesday and created a ruckus while forcibly trying to shut down shops during a protest against CAA, police said. 5 policemen were injured in the ruckus that ensued when the protesters gathered outside the collectorate, they added.Long queues of vehicles were seen on highways near districts like Begusarai, Muzaffarpur and Araria as bandh supporters squatted for hours raising slogans against the contentious legislation..PTI
Bharat Bandh today: Protest against CAA-NRC, here's all you need to know
Multiple organisations have called for a Bharat Bandh today in order to protest against the recently passed CAA and the proposed NRC. Bharat  Bandh today has been organised in Surat in Gujarat, Jharkhand and Andhra Pradesh. Increased security measures have been put in place in the three states keeping in view the call for shutdown.According to media reports, the call for Bharat Bandh was given by Maulana Sajjad Nomani of AIMPLB. This call is supported by an NGO based in Surat, Versatile Minorities Forum (VMF). Apart from VMF, call for strikes has been supported by organizations such as Bahujan Kranti Morcha, National Association of Street Vendors of India Surat chapter and the Textile Market Workers' Union.businesstoday
Bharat bandh against CAA, NRC evokes mixed response in Bihar
Bharat Bandh called by several organisations against CAA and the proposed nationwide NRC on Wednesday evoked mixed response in Bihar. Leaders of various political parties hit the streets in the state capital which was, by and large, unaffected by the bandh with shops and offices remaining open.However, roads in Patna witnessed major traffic snarls due to demonstrations staged by leaders of parties such as former Chief Minister Jitan Ram Manjhi's HAM, former Union minister Upendra Kushwaha's RLSP,muscleman-turned-politician Pappu Yadav's Jan Adhikar Party and the Left.PTI
47 Held for Blocking Railway Tracks in Mumbai During Bharat Bandh
Mumbai: At least 47 protesters were arrested on Wednesday during a `Rail Roko' (train blockade) at Kanjurmarg station in Mumbai during a Bharat Bandh called by some organisations against the CAA.At least 100 protesters gathered on tracks around 8 in the morning, affecting suburban services of Central Railway briefly, GRP said. 33 men and 14 women were arrested, the police added.As the protest took place during peak hour, angry commuters who were held up at Kanjurmarg station clashed with protesters who had stopped trains bound for Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj Terminus in south Mumbai.Multiple organisations including Bahujan Kranti Morcha had called for a shut-down in protest against the recently passed CAA and NRC.PTI
Over 250 detained in Pune over protest against CAA, NRC
More than 250 people were detained on Wednesday in Pune city for participating in a protest against CAA and NRC and supporting the "Bharat Bandh".According to the police, the demonstrators were detained as they held the protest without obtaining permission to do so.ANI
Lukewarm response to ''Bharat Bandh'' call against CAA, NRC in UP
Luckonw:''Bharat Bandh'' called by several organizations, including Bahujan Mukti Morcha, Bhim Army and the Purvanchal Sena, to protest against the new citizenship law and NRC on Wednesday witnessed a lukewarm response in Uttar Pradesh capital.In Muslim-dominated old city, traders downed shutters over CAA and NRC. But there was no impact of the shutdown call in other areas like Hazratganj and Gomti Nagar.In Deoria, former Rajya Sabha MP Aas Mohammad and his wife were detained by police near the Salempur area when they were heading towards Subhash Chowk to register their protest against CAA and NRC.When information about the detention of Mohammad and his wife spread, locals rushed to the Kotwali police station demanding their release.In Gorakhpur, the response to the bandh call was seen in a few areas. PTI
Anti-CAA protest: Shops closed in Old City areas of Bareilly, Bahedi
Bareilly Shops remained closed in Old City areas of Bareilly and Bahedi on Wednesday as a mark of anti-CAA protest on the call given by several Muslim and Dalit organisations led by Bharat Mukti Morcha and Maulana Sajjad Nomani. “Over 80 organisations participated in the ‘Bharat Bandh’. As a result, markets in most cities remained closed on Wednesday.HT
2 dead in Murshidabad during anti-CAA protest
Kolkata:At least 2 people were killed in a clash between two groups in Sahebnagar village of Jalangi block in Murshidabad district on Wednesday morning. Several were reportedly injured.One of the persons killed in the clash was identified as Anarul Biswas, 55, locals said.Biswas was a muezzin in the local mosque. The other person’s identity is yet to be ascertained.“I have heard that his name is Salauddin,” said Murshidabad committee member of CPI-M Unus Ali Sarkar.The injured were taken to nearby hospitals, while the police have reached the area and “conducting a house-to-house raid,” said Jalangi block president of the Congress Abdul Rezzak Mollah.Recently, a civil society platform represented by mainly Muslims was formed in the area. It was named as Citizen’s Platform. The forum gave a bandh call on Wednesday to protest against CAA.“The band was observed as the Muslim Personal Law Board gave a protest call,” said Mollah. Sarkar said that people irrespective of their political affiliation joined the group.“The platform had supporters from all parties – Congress, CPI(M) and TMC – in it. People without any political affiliation also joined the platform to protest,” said Sarkar, a CPI(M) MLA from 1991-2011.Since it is a Muslim-majority area, almost all members of this flexible platform were Muslims, Sarkar said.The bandh supporters were observing a sit-in at Sahebnagar market area when Tahiruddin Mondal, the president of Jalangi North block of TMC, arrived.Reportedly, he and his associates reached the area in two vehicles. They wanted to “disperse the crowd”, said Sarkar.thehindu
Gujarat: Stone-pelting in Surat during Bharat Bandh, cop injured
ahmedabad: Incidents of road blockade and stone-pelting were reported during the ‘Bharat Bandh' called by various organisations to protest against the CAA in Gujarat on Wednesday, police said.A police officer was injured in stone-pelting in Surat.A group of masked persons pelted stones at police personnel near Madina Masjid in Limbayat locality of Surat, injuring an assistant sub-inspector, a senior official said.The police brought the situation under control after dispersing the crowd with baton-charge, and patrolling has been stepped up in the area, he said.At least 70 persons were detained after they tried to block a road by burning tyres in Katargam area of Surat city.Over a dozen protesters were detained and the traffic was restored, the officer said.Markets remained closed in parts of Vadodara, Bharuch and Surat cities. Western part of Bharuch city and nearby villages wore a deserted look.The shut-down had a visible impact at Kurchan, Luwara, Palej and some other villages near Bharuch city.PTI
Group supporting CAA clash with anti-CAA protesters in Bihar's Sithamarhi
 Sitamarh:2 groups, one opposing and the other supporting the controversial CAA, clashed in Sitamarhi in Bihar on Wednesday. At least 15 people have been injured in the brawl. Sitamarhi DM Kumari Sharma said that police force has been deployed in the area and the situation is under control.The incident occurred in the Bokhara block of the district, where some people were protesting against the CAA and NRC. Another group that was holding a demonstration in support of CAA and NRC came face to face with the first group and the clash broke out.Kuldeep Prasad, one of the organisers of the anti-CAA protest, alleged that the protest march from Jitki village was going towards the designated site of Bokhara Block Chowk when "anti-social elements" attacked the protestors in a pre-planned way.ANI
Judge shreds Bijnor police claims: No proof of protesters firing or bullet injuries to cops
Granting bail to 2 persons accused of rioting and attempt to murder during anti-CAA protests last month, a sessions court in Bijnor, one of worst affected districts in Uttar Pradesh, has torn into police claims, saying they produced no evidence to show that accused indulged in firing and arson, that weapons were seized from the accused, or that police personnel sustained any bullet injury.Court records show that Additional Sessions Judge Sanjiv Pandey, in bail order on January 24, pointed out these glaring discrepancies in the police version. “Without making any observation on the merits of the case, in my view, looking at the circumstances and the natures of offences, bail has to be granted to the accused,” he said.Observations made in bail order are significant. Bijnor police arrested over 100 people and lodged multiple FIRs, claiming they indulged in violence at Nahtaur, Najibabad and Nagina in Bijnor. Police also admitted that a 20-year-old, Mohammad Suleman, died after he was shot by a constable, Mohit Kumar, in “self-defence”. The family has filed an FIR against 6 police personnel.January 24 bail order relates to FIR lodged at Najibabad police station against Shafique Ahmed and Imran, accused of rioting and attempt to murder. Indianexpress
Samvidhan Bachao Abhiyan UP Organises Public Hearing from Victims of Police Excesses
Releasing report on Uttar Pradesh government’s brutal police crackdown on anti-CAA protesters, activists group Samvidhan Bachao Desh Bachao Abhiyan Uttar Pradesh (SBDBA-UP) announced here on Tuesday that it would file a counter-FIR against UP police. Terming December 19 last as a ‘Black Day’ in the state’s history, the Abhiyan organised its first public hearing here to present firsthand accounts from the victims.The report titled ‘Increasing State Brutality in UP — January 2020’ carried the testimonies from 15 victims.Speaking to the media after releasing the report, Supreme Court advocate and the founder of Human Rights Law Network, Colin Gonsalves  said FIRs must be filed against the UP police. He said the report contained clear and factual statements from the victims and these could be used as FIR. He suggested that the report should be dispatched to the UP director general of police as a complaint and then turned it into a petition.Caravan Daily
CAA protest: Non-bailable warrants against 12 persons for allegedly attacking Varanasi policemen
Varanasi Police registered non-bailable warrants against 12 persons named in a case on charges of attacking policemen when people gathered at Beniyabagh Ground to protest against CAA on January 23.The police had also released pictures of 19 protesters and announced a reward of Rs 5,000 for information leading to their arrest. The police claimed that demonstrators had violated prohibitory orders under Section 144 of CrPC and had gathered for the protest without permission.  “On the basis of evidence, which includes WhatsApp messages shared by people asking to reach the protest venue, we identified 12 persons involved in violence,” Dashashwamedh Ghat CO Preeti Tripathi said.scroll
Amid Boycott Call, AMU V-C Appeals Students To Attend Classes, Appear In Exams
Aligarh: Terming it as "the final appeal", AMU VC asked the students to appear in the examinations and attend classes. V-C Professor Tariq Mansoor has also asked the students to not to fall prey to rumors, propaganda spread by vested interests. Protesters blocked entry to AMU engineering college yesterday, preventing the holding of an examination for the second consecutive day. The authorities were hoping to conduct the examination amid a boycott call by students demanding the withdrawal of "false FIRs" lodged against them during anti-CAA protests.AMU campus has been witnessing protests against CAA. Over 1,200 students, including those not identified, have been booked in about a dozen cases connected.The students are demanding resignation of top university officials for "failing" to secure justice for those who were allegedly victim of police excesses during anti-CAA protests.ndtv
'Sedition' for School Play on CAA: FIR Says Class 6 Girl's Dialogue on Stage was Insult to PM Modi
New Delhi: An attempt by a school in Karnataka to allow students a deeper understanding into the countrywide unrests against CAA has led to a sedition charge against the authorities and the parent of a student.Teachers of the Shaheen Group of Institutions, a school in Bidar, in the north-eastern part of the state, had decided to engage with its students and parents and help them dispel misunderstandings around the recently passed law.Children were asked to read up on CAA, and 2 other impending countrywide exercises, NRC and NPR and bring out their own artistic presentations on the topic before an audience on January 21.A group of children, all from Muslim community, from classes 4, 5 and 6 performed a play which highlighted the sense of insecurity of community as a whole. 5 days later, a right-wing activist from Bidar has registered a case of sedition against the school authorities and a parent of one of the participating children.Tauseef Madikeri,CEO of the school said  that the play had focused largely on the community and its concerns around the law. However, it was one particular line in the play that landed them in trouble. “A girl, as part of the play’s dialogue, spoke of beating anyone who would ever dare ask her for her documents with a chappal. This line was a generic one and was not intended to target anyone. But it has been wrongly interpreted,” Madikeri said.The Wire
Kerala Governor Reads Out Anti-CAA Para In Speech Amid Differences With State Govt, Oppn Protests Outside Assembly
Kerala Governor Arif Mohammed Khan’s entry into the assembly was blocked by Opposition MLAs on the opening day of state’s budget session as the lawmakers shouted slogans and held up posters against Khan and CAA.  The Watch and Ward, which handles security within the assembly, intervened to let Governor in and escort him to his seat. The opposition, which carried placards that read ‘No To NRC’, ‘Go Back Governor’ and ‘Recall Governor’, later walked out of the house and staged a dharna outside the assembly. A day before, reports said Khan had decided not to read the government’s opinion on the CAA. Kerala was the first state to pass a resolution and to move the Supreme Court against the controversial act.Khan wrote to Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan saying he had no legal obligation to declare the government’s protest against CAA. However, on Wednesday, during his address in the assembly, Khan said he would read the paragraph “to honour CM’s wish” eventhough he disagreed with it. He read out state govt’s objection to CAA, which said the law “goes against cardinal principals underlying the Constitution”.While Khan spoke in assembly, Opposition protested outside.huffingtonpost
Visva-Bharati Evicts Student Who Recorded VC's Controversial R-day Speech over CAA, Constitution
New Delhi: A student who recorded a speech by the vice chancellor of West Bengal’s Visva-Bharati university has been evicted from the hostel, citing unspecified conduct rules.According to The Telegraph, the student recorded Bidyut Chakraborty’s Republic Day speech in which VC said the constitution was drafted by ‘minority votes’ and spoke about CAA protests.“Today, those who are opposing CAA are reading the Preamble. But this Constitution was drafted by ‘minority’ votes. (Only) 293 people met at the Constituent Assembly and drafted the Constitution. If you read papers of that time, (you will find) many people opposed it. Now that has become the Vedas for us. Preamble has become the Vedas. But if we do not like (Preamble), we, who are voters and form Parliament, will change it…,” Chakraborty can be heard saying.After VC was criticised for the speech, the university’s security department was asked to check CCTV footage to identify who shot the video. The student was identified as an undergraduate student of the history department. He was “questioned” by officials of the university on Monday night and was subsequently evicted from the hostel, Telegraph report says.The student said, “As I have been directed to leave the hostel, I have come to my home. Now I have to live in a rented house.… Please don’t call me as I don’t want to be involved in such issues as that can create more problems for me.”University Faculty Association has condemned the student’s eviction. thewire
Karnataka: Dalit, Muslim protesters write letters in blood to President seeking CAA withdrawal
Hubballi:Seeking withdrawal of CAA, a protest was held here on Wednesday wherein members of Dalit organisations, among others, wrote letters to President Ram Nath Kovind in blood. The protest was held in front of Dr B R Ambedkar's statue at Dr Ambedkar Circle under the banner of Dharwad District SC/ST Pourakarmikara-Naukarara Sangh.The protesters raised slogans against BJP government at Centre, Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Union Home Minister Amit Shah. Placards and tricolour were also displayed during the protest. "As the CAA is unconstitutional, it should be withdrawn. NRC and NPR also should not be introduced," Sangh president Vijay Guntral said, adding that different types of protests would be held every week. Pitambrappa Bilar, B A Mudhol, Shakir Sanadi led the protest. Meanwhile, merchants from Muslim community also visited the venue and raised slogans against CAA, NRC and NPR.deccanherald
"Can't Participate In Anti-National Activities": IIT-Bombay To Students
Mumbai: Hostel residents at IIT-Bombay "shall not participate in any anti-national...or any other undesirable activities", institute's Dean of Student Affairs said in a mail sent yesterday. However, the letter, which also cautions students against "anti-social activities", does not specify what constitutes "anti-national" activities. The letter also comes amid a chorus of allegations by activists and opposition parties that ruling BJP seeks to stifle critics by labelling them "anti-national"; an allegation repeated by senior BJP leader Vijay Goel this month when referring to critics of CAA.ndtv
Mumbai’s annual LGBT  'Pride March' canceled after WhatsApp message linking it to CAA-NRC protests
The annual LGBT Pride Parade scheduled for February 1 at August Kranti Maidan was cancelled on Tuesday, after an anonymous message was circulated over the weekend linking it to a protest against CAA and the proposed nationwide NRC. Participants will now gather at Azad Maidan, but not conduct the planned march.indianexpress
Social organisations to form human chain against CAA/NRC tomorrow
More than 100 mass organisations belonging to various political parties and several civil society organisations have decided to organise a human chain around the Red Fort on January 30 to protest against CAA-NRC-NPR.The organisers, under the banner of Jan Ekta Jan Adhikar Andolan (JEJAA), said thousands of people from all walks of life will join to demand the Modi government to repeal the CAA, NRC and the NPR at the even on the martyrdom day of Mahatma Gandhi.All India Kisan Sabha General Secretary Hannan Mollah said in a statement that organisations such as Hum Bharath ke Log, Aman Biradhari, Not in My Name and a number of individuals and collectives have also pledged their support to the programme. thehindubusinessline
Anti-CAA groups unhappy with KCR for ''suppressing'' protests
Despite Telangana Chief Minister K. Chandrashekhar Rao taking a stand against the CAA, groups protesting against the legislation are unhappy with the government for "suppressing" the peaceful protests, especially in Hyderabad.The city has been witnessing flash protests, mostly during night time, as the police are not allowing any group to stage sit-in or take out rallies. Police are even filing cases against the protestors, prompting them to question the contradiction between what Rao is saying and what his government is doing on the ground. The denial of permission to several groups including women and students to stage protests has angered them and they are now cautioning TRS government that they can''t be silenced for long."If there are not many protest programmes like Shaheen Bagh in Hyderabad, it will be a blot on the city," Jamaat-e-Islami''s Telangana chief Hamed Mohammed Khan told a protest meeting last week.He said though Police call itself people-friendly police, its attitude is not at all friendly. "We are appealing to the friendly police to cooperate with the people in peaceful protest, allow them to vent out their feeling and resist the excesses being committed on them," he said.Khaleda Praveen, who led flash protest at various places and was also booked by the police, alleged that police action against the protestors is brutal. Even AIMIM, a dominant political force in the city and a friendly party of TRS, seems to be helpless. The party was not allowed to organize ''Tiranga rally'' in the city and was forced to shift the venue to the outskirts.IANS
*ECONOMY & POLITICS*
SBI lied in RTI replies on electoral bonds
State Bank of India resorted to misinformation, and in some cases falsehood, in its responses to RTI inquiries on the controversial electoral bonds scheme, even as it regularly funnelled information on the scheme to Finance Ministry, documents reviewed by HuffPost India establish. SBI’s increasingly evasive, and in some cases outright false, answers to 13 pointed questions filed by transparency activist Venkatesh Nayak, in an RTI request dated December 4, reveal the extent to which bank officials are prepared to protect their political masters in Modi’s BJP-led govnt. The bank’s ‘answers’ were signed off by Naresh Kumar Raheja, SBI’s Deputy General Manager and Central PIO. Huffingtonpost
Congress accuses Modi govt of ignoring RBI, ECI objections on electoral bonds
Congress today accused the government of ignoring RBI and ECI objections on the electoral bonds scheme. Congress chief spokesperson Randeep Surjewala alleged that the role of Prime Minister Narendra Modi in issuance of electoral bonds has come under the scanner as the SBI has been caught lying."BJP gets 95 pc of Rs 6,128 Crore worth Electoral Bonds issued up to March 2018. BJP Government ignores objections of RBI and ECI," Surjewala said on Twitter."PM's role in issuance of Electoral Bonds comes under scanner. State Bank of India is now caught lying" he alleged.PTI
Sitharaman likely to be shunted out after budget, BRICS Bank chairman Kamath may be new Finance Minister
KV Kamath, veteran banker and chairman of BRICS Bank is likely to replace finance minister Nirmala Sitharaman after the budget, sources told NH.Unhappy over the mishandling of the economy by Sitharaman, Modi government is seriously mulling over replacing the finance minister along with her deputy Anurag Thakur.As per sources, right-wing idealogue Swapan Dasgupta and Niti Aayog CEO Amitabh Kant may also be inducted in the ministry.Citing unidentified sources, Newsagency IANS has also reported that Kamath may be inducted as the finance minister after the budget.nationalheraldindia
*OTHERS*
Women can offer prayers at mosques, ignore any fatwa barring entry: Muslim Personal Law Board to SC
Islamic texts do not prohibit entry of women into mosques and all fatwas that contradict this tenet should be ignored, the All India Muslim Personal Law Board has told the Supreme Court in an affidavit.The Muslim Personal Law Board said Muslim women were free to enter a mosque for prayers but underlined that it was not obligatory on women, unlike men, to offer Friday prayers in congregation.The Board’s affidavit came on a petition filed by a Maharashtra-based Muslim couple who asked the top court to declare prohibition on entry of women into mosques as illegal and unconstitutional. “.. such practices are not only repugnant to the basic dignity of a woman as an individual but is also violative of the fundamental rights,” the petition had said.The petition argued that women could only offer prayers at mosques of Jamaat-e-Islami and Mujahid denominations but were barred from mosques under the predominant Sunni denomination. And even if they are allowed, there are separate entrances and enclosures for them to worship.
Aggrieved by usage of terms Hindu side, Muslim side in Ayodhya verdict, lawyer writes letter to CJI
Mumbai:An advocate from Mumbai has shot off a letter to CJI and other judges of the Supreme Court stating that he is pained by observations made by the court in the Ayodhya verdict. The letter specifically mentions that it should be noticed how the terminology "Hindu side" and "Muslim side" has been used and should be removed from the judgement.Advocate Ahmed Abdi was going through the judgement of Supreme Court in the case and noted that the parties have been referred to as "Hindu side" and "Muslim side" as if all Hindus or all Muslims were represented by the contesting parties.Abdi said, "I have completed almost 40 years of practice of Law. I have not come across any such instance.""The parties in the appeal are always referred to as appellant (those who file an appeal) and respondents (those who respond to an appeal). All Hindus, as well as Muslims who were having a different view from the parties to the dispute, are equally aggrieved by the identification of parties by their religion. Initially, it was a local dispute until taken up by political parties for political gains. It is sad to notice that the same narrative has been accepted by the SC.indiatoday
Ram temple trust likely within a week, cabinet nod soon
Home Ministry is likely to announce within a week the constitution of a trust for construction of a Ram temple in Ayodhya along with the offer of land for a mosque in as mandated by the Supreme Court verdict on Ram Janmabhoomi-Babri Masjid issue, officials said.The ministry has prepared the framework for the trust for the construction of the Ram temple and identified the land to be offered to the Uttar Pradesh Sunni Waqf Board. The entire proposal will be put before Union Cabinet for its approval.The announcement of the trust's constitution as well as the offer of a 5-acre plot for the mosque will be made soon after the Union Cabinet's approval, probably within a week, an official privy to the development said. UP Sunni Waqf Board will be offered three plots of land so that it can chose a suitable one, the official said.PTI
‘No ground to challenge’: SC dismisses Delhi gangrape convict’s petition on mercy plea
The Supreme Court today dismissed a petition by 2012 Delhi gangrape-murder convict Mukesh Kumar Singh, who had challenged the rejection of his mercy plea by President Ram Nath Kovind. Stating that there is no ground to challenge the dismissal, a three-judge bench headed by Justice R Banumathi said all aspects raised by the convict had been considered by the trial court, High Court the apex court and were placed by the Ministry of Home Affairs (MHA) before President Kovind. 4 — Mukesh (32), Pawan Gupta (25), Vinay Sharma (26) and Akshay Kumar Singh (31) — are scheduled to be hanged on February 1.indianexpress
Nirbhaya Convict Akshay Singh's Petition To Be Heard By Supreme Court Tomorrow
New Delhi: One of 4 convicts in 2012 Delhi gang rape case to be hanged on Saturday has challenged his execution using the last legal resort in the Supreme Court known as the curative petition. Akshay Singh, 31, is the third convict to challenge his hanging with the method in a case that has been criticised for its duration and his petition makes his hanging over the weekend unlikely.The plea of Akshay will be heard by the Supreme Court judges in their chambers tomorrow and not in an open court. After the curative petition is rejected, Akshay will have the option to send a mercy plea to President Ram Nath Kovind.ndtv
‘Thank you,’ Prashant Kishor, Pavan Varma tell Nitish Kumar after being expelled from JD(U)
New Delhi : JD(U) today expelled its vice president Prashant Kishor and general secretary Pavan Varma from the party, after two stepped up attacks on its alliance partner BJP over CAA.Shortly after their sacking, both Kishor and Varma took to Twitter to thank party chief Nitish Kumar. “Thank you Nitish Kumar ji for freeing me from my increasingly untenable position of defending you and your policies. I wish you well in your ambition of being CM of Bihar at any cost,” said Kumar. The rift between Bihar chief minister Nitish Kumar, who is JD(U) chief, and poll strategist Prashant Kishor was out in the open Tuesday with the latter accusing JD(U) supremo of “lying” after Kumar claimed that he was inducted into the party on the recommendation of Union Home Minister Amit Shah.A JD(U) statement, issued by party’s chief general secretary K C Tyagi, said that these two were “acting against party’s decisions as well as its functioning”, which amounted to breach of discipline. Kumar had earlier distanced himself from the controversy over Kishor engaging in a “twitter war with Amit Shah” over CAA and proposed nationwide NRC.indian express
CBI ex-acting chief in RSS journal: Ban foreign funding of Indian NGOs
New Delhi :There should be a complete ban on foreign funding of NGOs in India, and only overseas Indians should be allowed to donate for the limited purposes of preservation of ancient Indian texts and culture, former CBI acting director M Nageswara Rao has written in an article for latest issue of RSS mouthpiece ‘Organiser’. Rao is currently DG of Home Guards, Fire Services and Civil Defence.It is rare for a serving IPS officer to write for a publication clearly identified with the ruling dispensation. Service rules for IPS officers state that they can write articles in publications only for scientific, cultural and literary purposes, and such articles must carry a disclaimer stating that opinions expressed are their personal views.Rao was appointed CBI acting director on October 23, 2018, when, in the wake of a turf war between then CBI director Alok Verma and his deputy Rakesh Asthana, government had to send them on forced leave.In the article, titled “Dangers of Foreign Funding”, Rao has written that besides influencing the executive, legislature, and judicial, political, religious and economic processes of our country, “foreign funds have been prime mover for changing religious demography, interference in our indigenous religious traditions and practices.”He, however, sought an exception for Overseas Citizens of India (OCIs). indianexpress
Delhi elections: EC orders removal of Anurag Thakur, Parvesh Verma as BJP star campaigners
New Delhi: Election Commission today ordered removal of Union Minister Anurag Thakur and MP Parvesh Verma as BJP’s star campaigners for violating the model code of conduct for Delhi Assembly elections. The move by the polling body comes after it issued a showcause notice to the two BJP leaders.Thakur was issued the notice on Tuesday after he chanted “desh ke gaddaro ko” at a party rally in New Delhi. Meanwhile, EC issued the showcause notice to Verma today for his alleged comments that protesters at Shaheen Bagh “can enter homes and rape our sisters are daughters”.The polling body said, “Election Commission has ordered the removal of Anurag Thakur and Parvesh Sahib Singh from the list of star campaigners of BJP for general elections to Legislative Assembly of NCT of Delhi with immediate effect and until further orders.”indianexpress
Delhi Minorities Commission Asks EC to Act against BJP Leaders' Offensive Statements
Taking note of the offensive statements by several BJP leaders during the current electoral campaign, the Delhi Minorities Commission has written to Chief Electoral Officer of Delhi to take action against these leaders. In his letter to the Delhi election body, minority commission chairman Dr. Zafarul-Islam Khan said: “BJP leaders from Shri Amit Shah to Shri Anurag Thakur to Shri Kapil Mishra to Shri Parvesh Verma etc. are actively indulging in very provocative statements like, if elected, BJP will pull down mosques on govt. lands, Shaheen Bagh protesters will enter Hindu homes and rape Hindu women, and that the forthcoming Delhi elections are between India and Pakistan....”“These provocative and totally baseless statements not only vitiate the atmosphere and try to polarise the voters using lies, these may easily lead to riots on our streets,” said Dr Khan in his letter.Regarding BJP MP’s claim about alleged “illegal mosques”, Dr. Khan said: “As regards the “illegal mosques” issue, this Commission had taken cognisance of Shri Parvesh Verma’s earlier claim in this regard and had conducted an enquiry which disproved these allegations.”indiatomorrow
Owaisi challenges Anurag Thakur over his 'shoot down traitors' slogan, tells he is ready to be killed
Mumbai: Slamming Union Minister Anurag Thakur for his controversial "shoot the traitors" slogan at a public rally in Delhi, AIMIM chief Asaduddin Owaisi challenged BJP MP, asking him to specify the place where he would want to shoot him. "I challenge you Anurag Thakur, to specify a place in India where you will shoot me and I am ready to come there. Your statements will not create fear in my heart because our mothers and sisters have come out in large numbers on the roads. They have decided to save the country," Owaisi said.PTI
Badminton Player Saina Nehwal Joins BJP
New Delhi: Badminton player Saina Nehwal joined BJP on Wednesday, saying Prime Minister Narendra Modi “inspires” her with his hard work for the country.Joining the party at a ceremony in Delhi, Nehwal said BJP has been working a lot for the country and she would work to do her bit as a party member. Nehwal joining BJP hardly comes as a surprise. In the last few months, she has not only been voicing her praise for prime minister, but has also supported his govt’s controversial decision to read down Article 370 by retweeting from PMO.thewire
Comedian Kunal Kamra's suspension from IndiGo, Air India, SpiceJet sparks debate; Hansal Mehta, Richa Chadha, Swara Bhasker react
Kunal Kamra's suspension from the airlines Air India, IndiGo and most recently SpiceJet has sparked heated debates across social media.Among those who have reacted to the issue are filmmakers Hansal Mehta and Anubhav Sinha, Richa Chadha and Swara Bhaskar. The comedian was barred from travelling via IndiGo and Air India after he allegedly accosted journalist Arnab Goswami aboard one of its flights from Mumbai to Lucknow.Penning a lost post on Twitter, Hansal Mehta explained that he has "mixed feelings" about Kamra's actions and how airlines handled it. He admitted that he initially thought Kamra approaching Goswami was "uncool." However, he added he feels Kamra’s “act now seems almost like the only option to expose an establishment and its stooges.”Anubhav Sinha concurred that what Kunal did was "ridiculous under ordinary circumstances." He added, But these are no ordinary times. These are times when a union minister instructs all airlines to ban a stand-up comedian because he insulted Goebbels clan. So stop trying to sound ‘proper’ please.”Meanwhile, #BoycottIndigo and #BoycottAirIndia has been trending on Twitter, with netizens calling the airlines biased for their.firstpost
Kamra did nothing wrong by heckling Arnab Goswami, even though it isn't a significant act of subversion
Delhi ACB books AAP MLA Amanatullah Khan for misusing Waqf Board funds
The anti-corruption branch (ACB) of Delhi government registered an FIR against AAP leader Amanatullah Khan and others for irregular recruitment and misuse of funds allotted to Waqf Board, ACB chief Arvind Deep said on Wednesday. This comes ahead of the Delhi Assembly elections where Khan is seeking re-election from Okhla. Khan is the chairman of Delhi Waqf Board.indianexpress
Centre forcing its way, inviting instability: Sena on Elgaar Parishad probe transfer to NIA
 New Delhi :A day after NIA took over Elgaar Parishad probe from Pune police, Shiv Sena slammed the Centre for “forcing its way” thus “inviting instability”.Sena, which heads the Maha Vikas Aghadi government in the state, comprising the NCP and Congress, termed the handover as a “shocking and suspicious” move. It asked if the Centre wanted the “truth” in the case to not be revealed, PTI reported.“India is a union of states. Every state has its own rights and pride. Centre forcing its way is inviting instability,” Sena said in an editorial in its Marathi mouthpiece ‘Saamana’.After Centre took over the investigation into Elgaar Parishad case and handed it to NIA, it triggered a row with the state government.Upping the ante against the Centre of involving in “vengeful politics”, the editorial further questioned BJP government’s ‘selective’ approach towards Maharashtra. “NIA has intervened in Maharashtra, but several such incidents are taking place in the states being ruled by BJP. Why the Centre didn’t interfere there? This doesn’t augur well…..,” it stated.indianexpress

ULFA-I chief refuses to budge on sovereignty issue for talks
GUWAHATI:Paresh Baruah, elusive military chief ULFA-I has refused to budge from his primary condition for accepting New Delhi’s offer for talks — the inclusion of the sovereignty of Assam in the agenda of discussion. ULFA-I leader, believed to be based out of the Ruili area on the China-Myanmar border, set his terms in reaction to the olive branch the Centre offered to the outfit after signing the third Bodo Peace Accord with all factions of NDFB.Baruah has stuck to the issue of sovereignty since 2002 when music maestro, the late Bhupen Hazarika had offered to mediate for the Centre and the then undivided outfit. He backed out of a similar initiative in 2005 after the Centre made it clear that any issue other than sovereignty could be discussed.thehindu
Cabinet approves raising upper limit for abortions to 24 weeks
Union Cabinet today approved extending the upper limit for abortions from the present 20 weeks to 24 weeks. The Cabinet approved Medical Termination of Pregnancy (Amendment) Bill, 2020 to amend the Medical Termination of Pregnancy Act, 1971. The Bill will be introduced in the upcoming Parliament session. Union Minister Prakash Javadekar said that raising the upper limit would ensure safe termination of pregnancies and also give women reproductive rights over their bodies.indianexpress
India won’t take more than 10 days to make Pakistan bite dust: PM Modi
Maintaining that Pakistan has lost 3 wars but continues to wage proxy wars against India, Prime Minister Narendra Modi said the country’s armed forces will “not take more than a week to 10 days to make Pakistan bite the dust”.Targeting “inaction” of previous governments, Modi said they treated the proxy war by Pakistan as a law and order problem, but “even when our forces asked for action they would not go ahead”.indianexpress
Davinder Singh arrest: CRPF conducts check among 3 lakh personnel to identify ‘subversive elements’
CRPF carried out a mega check among its over 3 lakh personnel to find out if there were any “subversive element” in its ranks, PTI reported. This came in the wake of Jammu and Kashmir police officer Davinder Singh being caught with Hizbul Mujahideen militants earlier this month. CRPF DG AP Maheshwari said the apprehension of suspended DSP  Davinder Singh is “a grave incident and an area of extreme concern” for the security forces. “No security grid should be allowed to be weakened by such episodes,” he said. “So, all forces have to keep an internal watch.”scroll
Coronavirus: India asks China for permission to operate 2 flights to bring back nationals
India has requested China for permission to operate 2 flights to bring back its nationals from the Hubei Province, epicentre of the Coronavirus outbreak.Ministry of External Affairs Spokesperson Raveesh Kumar said Indian Embassy in Beiijing is in touch with Chinese authorities on the ground to work out necessary logistics.“Chinese Government requested for permission to operate two flights to bring back our nationals from Hubei Province,” Kumar said in a tweet.PTI
Coronavirus outbreak: IndiGo, Air India suspend most of China-bound flights, No case yet in India
Only two Indian carriers that fly to China -- IndiGo and Air India-- on Wednesday announced suspension of most of their flights to the country which is battling a coronavirus outbreak, joining other airlines based in Asia, North America and Europe which have restricted operations to the region, as the deadly virus spread to at least 17 countries.India has requested China for permission to operate two flights to bring back its nationals from Hubei Province, the epicentre of the outbreak, the Ministry of External Affairs said.PTI
Coronavirus toll in China reaches 132; 5,974 infected
Chinese health authorities on Wednesday said the death toll due to novel coronavirus (2019-nCoV) outbreak in the country has increased to 132, with 5,974 confirmed cases in 31 provincial-level regions.National Health Commission said that 1,239 patients remained in critical conditions, and 9,239 people were suspected of being infected with virus as of Tuesday, reports Xinhua.IANS
*Trump Middle East plan A new Balfour?*
Trump unveils his Middle East plan amid Palestinian rejections
US President Donald Trump has unveiled his long-delayed Middle East plan - a proposal Palestinian leaders called a "conspiracy" that "will not pass". "Today, Israel has taken a giant step towards peace," Trump said as Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu stood by his side. "My vision presents a win-win solution for both sides," he said, adding that Israeli leaders have said they will endorse the proposal.Before proposal was announced, Palestinians called it dead on arrival, saying it was an attempt to "finish off" Palestinian cause. Trump's initiative, whose principal author is his son-in-law Jared Kushner, follows a long line of efforts to resolve one of the world's most intractable issues. Israeli-Palestinian peace talks collapsed in 2014.50-page political outline recognises Israeli sovereignty over major illegal settlement blocs in the occupied West Bank, something to which the Palestinians will almost certainly object. Trump said Israel would be granted security control of the Jordan Valley in the occupied West Bank. Trump said Jerusalem will remain Israel's "undivided capital". But he also said under the plan, "eastern Jerusalem" would serve as a capital of a State of Palestine. He did not elaborate on what he meant by eastern Jerusalem. He later said on Twitter a Palestinian capital could be in parts of "East Jerusalem". aljazeera
World leaders react to Trump's Middle East plan
Leaders from around the world are reacting to US President Donald Trump's long-awaited Middle East plan, with some denouncing it as "aggressive" and "one-sided" and others saying the proposal initiative "could prove a positive step forward"."My vision presents a win-win solution for both sides," Trump said at the White House, alongside Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu.Palestinian leaders, who cut off all ties with Washington in late 2017 after Trump controversially recognised Jerusalem as Israel's capital, immediately rejected the plan, with President Mahmoud Abbas saying it "belongs to the dustbin of history".The proposal also triggered immediate condemnation on the streets of the occupied West Bank and Gaza Strip, with protests expected to continue over the coming days.On the international stage, Turkey and Iran issued some of the strongest condemnations, with the first branding the plan "stillborn" and the latter describing it as "doomed to fail". Qatar said it welcomed efforts to broker "longstanding and just peace" but warned that was unattainable without concessions to the Palestinians.For its part, Saudi Arabia said it "appreciates" Trump's efforts and called for direct Israeli-Palestinian talks, while Egypt urged "a careful and thorough examination of US vision".Top European Union diplomat Josep Borrell said the bloc would "study and assess" US proposals, while Germany's foreign minister said "only a negotiated two-state solution, acceptable to both sides" would work. UK, meanwhile, gave the warmest reaction, with Foreign Secretary Dominic Raab calling it a "serious proposal, reflecting extensive time and effort".Sami Abu Zuhri, an official of Hamas which governs the Gaza Strip, said Trump's statement was "aggressive and will spark a lot of anger".Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas said "a thousand no's" to the plan. Pakistan's foreign ministry said the country consistently backs a two-state solution, as enshrined in the relevant Security Council and General Assembly Resolutions.France insisted on a "two-state solution"  and said it would "carefully study" Trump's plan.Turkish President Tayyip Erdogan said the proposal "will not serve peace and resolution" in the region, calling it "a plan to ignore the rights of the Palestinians and legitimise Israel's occupation".Iranian officials dismissed the so-called "peace proposal" as "a plan of imposition and sanctions".Mohammed Ali al-Houthi, a leader of Yemen's Houthi rebels, said Trump's proposal was "blatant US aggression on Palestine and the nation".Saudi Arabia's King Salman reassured the Kingdom's commitment to Palestinian issue and Palestinian rights, in a phone call with Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas, the Saudi state news agency reported early on Wednesday.aljazeera
'Slap of the century': Palestinians slam Trump Middle East plan
Trump's 'peace plan': The farce, the fraud and the fury:Marwan Bishara
What will Palestinians lose if Israel annexes Jordan Valley?
UN says committed to supporting Palestinians, Israelis resolve conflict as Trump unveils peace plan
UN chief Antonio Guterres said the global body remains committed to supporting Palestinians and Israelis resolve the conflict on basis of UN resolutions, international law and bilateral agreements, a day after Donald Trump unveiled his Middle East peace plan aimed at settling one of the world’s longest disputes.PTI
Trump's plan last chance for a Palestinian state, says Kushner
Donald Trump's Middle East plan is the last chance for Palestinians to have a state, Jared Kushner, US president's son-in-law and special adviser, has said.In his first interview to Al Jazeera after Trump unveiled his long-awaited plan for peace between Israelis and Palestinians, crafted by Kushner, he called it a historic opportunity for Palestinians to achieve an independent state of their own.aljazeera
Eyes on Israel polls, Netanyahu welcomes Trump's Middle East plan
Israel's Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has described US President Donald Trump's Middle East plan as a realistic path to durable peace.The timing of the Middle East plan, just before a third Israeli election in less than a year, is seen as a boost for Netanyahu's campaign.Netanyahu said he agreed to negotiate with the Palestinians because the plan struck a balance between the sides.aljazeera
Progressive Jewish groups dismiss Trump's Middle East peace plan as 'utterly bankrupt' and a 'sham'
Progressive American Jewish groups quickly dismissed and criticized President Donald Trump's long-awaited Middle East Peace plan, calling it "utterly bankrupt" and a "sham."Trump announced plan, standing next to Israel's Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, who was formally indicted on corruption charges earlier in the day. Trump argued that the plan was the "closest we've ever come" to a peace deal between the Israelis and the Palestinians, but on Monday he had told reporters that there had been no direct negotiations with the Palestinians. Emily Mayer, the co-founder of progressive Jewish group IfNotNow, called the plan "utterly bankrupt.""This is a political ploy by both leaders to distract from their abuse of power, designed to help Netanyahu win the election in less than 6 weeks," Mayer told Newsweek in a statement.newsweek
Islamic Jihad, Hamas accept Abbas invite to meet following US deal
Chief of National Relations of Islamic Jihad, Khaled Al-Batsh, said that his movement had accepted Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas’ invitation to meet in Ramallah to discuss action against the US’ “deal of the century”.In a press release, Al-Batsh said: “This meeting will not be an alternative to the planned meeting announced by all the Palestinian factions to lay out a comprehensive plan against Trump’s deal.”This came following Abbas’ invitation to all the Palestinians factions, including Hamas and the Islamic Jihad, to meet in Ramallah in order to discuss practical measures against the deal of the century.Azzam Al-Ahmad, head of the Fatah bloc in the parliament, told Anadolu that Hamas would also attend the meeting.middleeastmonitor
India Urges Israel, Palestine to Engage With Each Other, Consider US Peace Plan
New Delhi: Following unveiling of US President Donald Trump’s new “peace plan” for the Middle East, India has said that the solution to Israeli-Palestinian issue has to be “acceptable to both” sides, even as it urged both to actively engage with the US’s proposals.In its official response, India on Wednesday urged that final status should be “resolved through direct negotiations between the two Parties and be acceptable to both”. India urged that both sides should also consider the US proposal as part of various other solutions that would necessitate “direct negotiations”.“We urge the Parties to engage with each other, including on the recent proposals put forward by US, and find an acceptable two-state solution for peaceful coexistence. We will continue to follow developments in the region and engage with Parties concerned,” said MEA spokesperson Raveesh Kumar.
Trump deal kills Palestinian issue: Indian experts
*WORLD*
Israel paper: Now Soleimani is dead, time to target Turkey’s intelligence chief
Israel paper called for authorities to keep a watchful eye on the head of Turkey’s National Intelligence Agency as he and the former general of Iran’s Quds Forces are “very similar to each other”.In an article entitled “Sultan and Soleimani”, Makor Rishon claimed that Iranian General Qassem Soleimani, who was killed in a US drone strike in Iraq earlier this month, and the head of Turkey’s National Intelligence Organisation, Hakan Fidan, are “very similar to each other and both are carrying out proxy wars in the name of their country in Iraq and Syria”.“Since Soleimani lies 3 feet under after the attack, now it is time to focus on the plots of the head of Turkish Intelligence Service (MIT), Hakan Fidan, who is his twin,” the paper continued.In 2018, the newspaper warned its readers of the Turkish government’s activities and funding of Arab cities in Israel with a strong Ottoman history, particularly Acre and Jaffa.middleeastmonitor
Jewish settlers burn down Palestinian churches and mosques
Israel’s Tag Meir organisation revealed on Monday that extremist Jewish settlers have carried out arson attacks on 46 mosques and 12 churches in the occupied West Bank and Israel over the past decade, Al Sabeel has reported.Tag Meir, which was established 15 years ago to counter settlers’ hate crimes and racism in Israel and the West Bank, said that perpetrators of these crimes generally went unpunished. It pointed out that most of these arson attacks were committed by an extremist settler group called Price Tag, and that the criminals spray graffiti such as “Death to Arabs” and other hate messages on the walls of the buildings they burn down.The last of these attacks was the on a mosque in Beir Safafa neighbourhood of occupied Jerusalem. The fire started by the illegal settlers caused severe damage to the building.middleeastmonitor
US: 50 troops suffered traumatic brain injury after Iran attack
Pentagon said on Tuesday that 50 US soldiers were now diagnosed with traumatic brain injury after missile attacks by Iran on a base in Iraq earlier this month, 16 more than military had previously announced.President Donald Trump and other top officials initially said Iran's January 8 attack had not killed or injured any US service members.aljazeera
Record 7423 US bombs dropped in Afghan in 2019: Report
US forces in Afghanistan dropped a record number of bombs last year, more than at any other time in at least 10 years, according to US Air Force. US has dropped 7,423 bombs on targets in Afghanistan in 2019, marking a rise from the 7,362 munitions dropped in 2018, US Air Forces Central Command (AFCENT) said in a report released.The figure represents a dramatic increase in bombings in Afghanistan in contrast to 2009 when 4,147 bombs were dropped under former President Barack Obama. UN and rights groups have repeatedly expressed concerns over the increase in air raids across the country by US and Afghan forces that have resulted in a dramatic rise in civilian casualties. On Sunday, at least 7 civilians, including 3 children were killed in government air raids in Afghanistan's northern Balkh province that triggered protests from residents.aljazeera
Pak shuts main Afghan border crossing after mortar fire
Pakistan has closed the main border crossing with Afghanistan after mortar bombs landed in Pakistani territory from across the border today, a Pakistani official has said.Torkham border crossing, at the top of the Khyber Pass, through which thousands of vehicles pass every week, is the main trade link between the uneasy neighbours.aljazeera
Syrian army takes Maaret al-Numan after heavy bombardment
Syrian government forces have captured a strategic rebel-held town in country's northwest amid a Russia-backed military offensive that has displaced hundreds of thousands of people fleeing to safer areas. Maaret al-Numan, a former anti-government protest hotspot which has turned into a ghost town after months of bombardment, lies on a key highway connecting the capital, Damascus, to Aleppo. Syrian Observatory for Human Rights said rebel fighters withdrew from the town late on Tuesday.The push into Maaret al-Numan came as Syrian forces were also advancing against rebels west of city of Aleppo, according to state media and opposition activists. aljazeera
Tajikistan arrests 113 Muslim Brotherhood suspects
Tajikistan has arrested 113 people charged with being members of Muslim Brotherhood, an outlawed organization in Central Asian nation, Prosecutor General Yusuf Rakhmon said on Tuesday.Among those arrested over the course of this month were 2 foreigners, one municipal official, and over 20 university professors, he told a briefing. The government of the predominantly Muslim ex-Soviet republic has been cracking down on Islamist opposition in recent years, banning Islamic Renaissance Party of Tajikistan and accusing its leadership of plotting a coup.Reuters
Tajikistan: Mosque turned into cinema
Authorities in Tajikistan’s second-largest city have ordered that a large and popular working mosque be converted into a cinema, in another yet another outright assault by government on Islamic institutions. Around 2,000 or so mosques have been liquidated across Tajikistan over the past 3 years on the grounds that they lack the required documentation, but for a particularly spacious place of prayer to be targeted this way implies that the campaign is being escalated. When they are deconsecrated, mosques are often turned into cafes, sewing factories, kindergartens and other public facilities. Asia-Plus paper on January 28 cited Bahtiyor Qosimov, head of the culture department in the Sughd regional government, as bemoaning the lack of cinemas in Khujand, which is situated in the north of the country.For that reason, the Nuri Islom mosque, which could accommodate up to 5,000 worshippers, will be installed with film-projection equipment in a hall with 80 seats, he said.eurasianet



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