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Saturday, 4 January 2020

4 JAN. NEWS: Home Ministry may not consult states, but finding it ‘difficult’ to frame rules to implementon CAA / Jamaat-e-Islami Hind demands dismissal of UP CM for police atrocities on anti-CAA protesters


*NEWS DIGEST, Evening* 
*04 Jan 2020: 08 Jamadi-1, 1441: Vol: 12, No: 99
*anti-citizenship act stir*
Home Ministry may not consult states on framing CAA rules
New Delhi:Ministry of Home Affairs (MHA) is not considering consulting states over the framing of rules for Citizenship (Amendment) Act (CAA), even though as many as 6 states have declared they would not implement the law.“The work on framing rules for CAA is on. Every aspect is being carefully examined. But we have not sought any suggestions from any state on how these rules are to be framed. It is not required. Ample consultation has been done before the Act was passed,” a senior MHA official said.The official added that the ministry was not waiting for resolution of certain petitions in the Supreme Court against CAA as the court had not stayed implementation of the Act.Assam CM Sarbananda Sonowal recently said his Govt had sent some suggestions with regard to the rules being framed for CAA to MHA. The legislation has been vehemently opposed in Assam, and there have been widespread protests in the state since the day it was passed by Parliament.“We have received suggestions from Assam. But we are not seeking such suggestions from other states. After the Bill is passed, framing of rules is the domain of govt,” official said. indian express
Why MHA is finding it ‘difficult’ to frame rules to implement citizenship law
Union home ministry is yet to frame rules to implement the Citizenship (Amendment) Act (CAA).  Senior ministry officials said on condition of anonymity that defining a process to establish the identity of those that have faced religious persecution is proving to be “difficult”. “We are looking into the issue,” said a senior home ministry official. The law fast-tracks citizenship to persecuted religious minorities, except Muslims, from Pakistan, Afghanistan and Bangladesh. Official, however, added that the ministry is not waiting for the Supreme Court to rule on various pleas against CAA. Several petitions were filed challenging the constitutional validity of the law.  “There is no direction from the court holding back the govt from framing the CAA rules,” official said.HT
How will you grant citizenship under CAA, HC asks Centre
Govt won't budge an inch on decision to implement CAA: Amit Shah
Jodhpur: Union home minister Amit Shah on Friday said the Govt will not budge an inch on its decision to implement CAA despite the opposition's "misinformation campaign".Launching an "awareness programme", he said Congress was misleading Muslims over the Act and challenged party leader Rahul Gandhi to a discussion "if he has read the law."BJP will take out 500 rallies across the country, beginning Saturday to reach out to three crore people, he said.Shah, who is also the BJP president, said the party had to launch this programme because of the misinformation spread by the opposition parties on the amended law."Let all these parties come together. BJP is not going back an inch on the CAA,' he said at the meeting held in Rajasthan CM Ashok Gehlot's assembly constituency.The home minister said it is "shameful" that Congress is criticising the sacrifice of great sons of the country, like Veer Savarkar, for the sake of its vote bank.The remark comes amid a row over the distribution of a booklet against the Hindutva icon at a camp held by Congress-affiliated Seva Dal in Madhya Pradesh. But Shah did not directly refer to it.Opposition parties have criticised the amendment that allows non-Muslims an easier path to citizenship if they came to India from three neighbouring countries before 2015 after facing religious persecution.PTI
Action on J&K to CAA increasingly isolating India: Former foreign secy Shivshankar Menon
New Delhi :A “cumulative effect of a series of actions” over the past year —from the Union govt’s treatment of Kashmir to CAA — has made India “increasingly isolated” from the rest of the world, former Foreign Secretary Shivshankar Menon said.He said India’s actions may be in violation of Article 2(1) of the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights that requires rights of the Covenant “to be applied to all individuals in its territory with no distinction of any kind,” highlighting that it reads “all individuals”, not just citizens. Speaking at an event organised by the Constitutional Conduct Group and Karwan-e-Mohabbat here, Menon said, “What we have achieved in recent past is to hyphenate our image with Pakistan’s in a fundamental way as religiously-driven and intolerant states….We have lost India’s ability to be an example and a model for other countries in the subcontinent…”He said, “Disengagement or going it alone is not an option, but we seem determined with actions like this to cut ourselves off and isolate ourselves.”Menon also questioned Foreign Minister S Jaishankar’s decision to cancel a meeting with US Congress’s foreign affairs committee, which would have also been attended by Chennai-born US Congresswoman Pramila Jayapal, who has tabled a resolution critical of CAA. “Rather than attending a meeting and rebutting these charges, we chose to duck this,” he said. “We have broken the bipartisan consensus that used to exist in US for the last 25 years.”Menon, who played a critical role in India-US nuclear deal, cited examples of US Congressional hearings, language on Kashmir added to US Foreign Appropriations Act for 2020, and the bipartisan support for the Congressional resolution critical of CAA.He said there has been “no meaningful international support” for India’s recent actions, barring some diaspora members and extreme-right Parliamentarians. On the other hand, the “list of critical voices abroad is quite long,” he said, and named France’s President Emmanuel Macron and Germany’s Chancellor Angela Merkel.“All knowledgeable people I have spoken to seem to agree that we seem to be in violation of our international commitments. For those who say international law cannot be enforced, we must consider the political and other consequences of being perceived as violators of international law,” Menon said. indianexpress
India will face international isolation because of NRC-CAA: Ex NSA Shivshankar Menon
'They do not belong to 6 minorities': After Citizenship Law, centre shifts focus on deportation of Rohingyas
Jammu: Asserting that the Citizenship Amendment Act was implemented in J&K the day it was passed by Parliament, Union minister Jitendra Singh has said the Govt's next move would be regarding the deportation of Rohingya refugees as they will not be able to secure citizenship under the new law.He demanded a probe into how the Rohingyas reached and settled down in the northern-most belt of Jammu after passing through several states from West Bengal. "CAA has been implemented in J&K the day it was passed (by Parliament). There are no 'ifs' and 'buts', by implementation (of CAA in J&K), what would happen here is that the next move would be in relation to (the deportation) of Rohingyas," Singh said at a function here. The minister, who was addressing the officers of the J&K Govt at a training programme on the general fund rules here, pointed out that Jammu had a sizable population of Rohingyas. "What will be the plan of their (Rohingyas') deportation, Centre is concerned about it. Lists would be prepared. Wherever needed, biometric identity cards will be given, because the CAA does not give a leverage to Rohingyas," Singh said."They do not belong to the six (religious) minorities (who will be given citizenship under the new law). They do not belong to any of the three (neighbouring) countries (Pakistan, Bangladesh and Afghanistan)," he said, adding that the Rohingyas came to the country from Myanmar and hence, they would have to go back.Singh demanded a probe into the circumstances that led the Rohingyas to travel such a long distance through several states from Bengal to the northern-most area of Jammu and settle here.news18
BJP chief Nadda: CAA grants citizenship to non-Muslim refugees
Drumming up support for the Citizenship Amendment Act (CAA), working president of BJP Jagat Prakash Nadda on Friday said that CAA is aimed at granting citizenship to non-Muslims who are already living within the borders of India as refugees.“CAA has been brought to protect and give rights to the minorities barring Muslims who have already entered India and are living in refugee camps before Dec. 31, 2014,” said Nadda while addressing BJP’s pro-CAA rally at Azad Maidan in the city.“Where will Hindus, Sikhs, Buddhists, Jains, Parsis and Christians go? They have entered India after facing religious persecuted in Muslim-majority Pakistan, Bangladesh, and Afghanistan. As they have been religiously persecuted, we are treating them as our own people and India will do everything to protect them,” he added.Nadda alleged that the leaders of the Congress party including its national leader Rahul Gandhi was ‘misleading’ the people and are trying to create ‘confusion’ over the CAA.navhindtimes
No to CAA: Vijayan asks 11 CMs to go Kerala way, Captain flags security risk
Kochi: 3 days after Kerala Assembly passed a resolution demanding scrapping of the Citizenship (Amendment) Act, CM Pinarayi Vijayan wrote letters Friday to 11 non-BJP CMs, including Nitish Kumar of Bihar who heads a Govt with BJP as partner, urging them to consider similar steps against the citizenship law and NPR exercise. Coming out in support of the Kerala Assembly resolution, Punjab CM Amarinder Singh, in an open letter to Union Law Minister Ravi Shankar Prasad who had advised states opposed to CAA to seek better legal advice, raised security concerns saying CAA could “be misused for infiltration into our country, particularly in the border states, converting this misguided legislation into a national security threat”.In Delhi, CM Arvind Kejriwal said the “entire country should reject” the law because it will affect “both Hindus and Muslims” in equal measure. He said the discourse of the country should primarily be about generating employment, not “throwing people out for failing to produce birth proof”.indianexpress
CAA 'unnecessary' legislation, will impact both Hindus and Muslims: Kejriwal
Man lodged in Assam detention camp dies, toll rises to 29
New Delhi :A man lodged in a detention camp for illegal migrants in Assam died at the Guwahati Medical College and Hospital (GMCH) in Goalpara late Friday. The man was admitted to the hospital after he fell ill 10 days ago. With this, 29 people who were lodged in detention centres across the state have died till now. Nearly 1,000 people are lodged in such centres across the centre.In October, a 65-year-old man, whose family claims he was mentally unstable and was lodged in a detention camp, died at the same hospital. A senior police officer said the deceased, Dulal Paul, a resident of Alisinga village of Sonitpur district, was admitted to the hospital on September 28. The officer said Paul had been in the detention centre in Tezpur since October 11, 2017.Currently, Assam has six detention centres but they are housed in district jails, together they hold 1000-odd people. A seventh centre, is under construction in Goalpara district.According to Govt data, 28 persons declared as ‘illegal foreigners’ by Assam’s Foreigners’ Tribunals (FTs) and lodged in detention camps have died in the last three years.In July, state Parliamentary Affairs Minister Chandra Mohan Patowary, replying to the state Assembly on behalf of CM Sarbananda Sonowal — who also holds the Home portfolio — said a total of 25 persons have died in the six detention camps of Assam.indianexpress
NRC will come in future but no draft yet:BJP’s Trivedi
New Delhi : BJP wants a nationwide NRC “in future” but a draft of it has not be prepared yet, party spokesperson Sudhanshu Trivedi said on Friday.According to PTI, Trivedi said in Bhopal, “NRC in Assam was conducted as per a Supreme Court order. We also believe there should be (nationwide) NRC in the future. But there is no draft of NRC as of now, so there is no question of controversy. When it (NRC) will happen, then raise objections; they will be heard. ”The statement comes a day after Home Minister Amit Shah said that NRC is not on the Govt’s agenda yet. In an interview to ABP news channel, Shah was asked whether NRC has been kept in the cold storage; he replied, “Where have I said that?”The statements encapsulate the uncomfortable position BJP has put itself into after first harping on pan-India NRC and then attempting a climbdown after PM Narendra Modi said at a rally in New Delhi last month that there was no discussion on NRC in the Govt.Shah, however, had repeatedly spoken about inevitability of a nationwide NRC in the past, and even asked people to understand the “chronology” – that the NRC would come after CAA.indianexpress
We're 80 %, you're 18; don't oppose CAA: K'taka BJP MLA spews venom
Bellar: A BJP MLA has apparently threatened 'minority' Muslims against participating in anti-CAA protests, saying that opposing the new Citizenship Act will not be good for them and they will have to face serious repercussions."It's just a caution for those who are protesting against the CAA. We are 80 % and you (Muslims) are 18 %. Imagine what will happen if we take charge," MLA Somashekar Reddy told a gathering here on Friday."Beware of the majority when you live in this country. This is our country. If you want to live here, you will have to, like the Australian PM said, follow the country's traditions," he added.He said: "So, I warn you that CAA and NRC are made by Modi and Amith Shah. If you will go against these acts, it won't be good."Continuing to spew venom, the MLA further said, "If you wish, you can go to Pakistan. We don't have any issues. Intentionally, we would not send you."He said that the community should live in harmony with Hindus. "If you will act as enemies, we should also react like enemies," he said.ANI
‘Sena is now part of secular coalition govt’, says Jamaat-e-Islami-Hind, after inviting Saamna editor Sanjay Raut to anti-CAA, NRC programme
Why have you chosen this topic?” This was the only question asked by Saamna editor and Shiv Sena heavyweight Sanjay Raut, when Dr Salim Khan and Shakir Shaikh of the Jamaat e Islami Hind (JIH) went to invite him as a speaker for their programme on the ‘relationship between CAA and NRC’ to be held today at the Mumbai Marathi Patrakar Sangh. “We told him it was to clear misconceptions floating around on social media,” Dr Khan told Mumbai Mirror. “He readily agreed to come.”Both the Jamaat’s decision to invite Raut, and his presence at a meeting organised by the conservative Muslim religious body has raised eyebrows. Raut is known for his hard-hitting editorials and column ‘Rokh-Thok’ in the Sena mouthpiece, Saamna, which have on occasion been stridently anti-Muslim.“The Shiv Sena is now part of the secular coalition Govt,” said Aslam Ghazi of the JIH in explanation, “why should we not invite him?” Added Dr Khan, “In my experience, intellectuals are more wary of accepting invitations from those with whom they have ideological differences, lest they be labelled.” He said, “Politicians don’t really take such differences into account, they agree far more readily.” An admirer of Raut’s writing style, Khan also liked the way Raut boldly defended his party’s decision not to go with the BJP after the Assembly results. Besides, added Khan, he believed that those holding differing viewpoints from one’s own should always be invited. “We move around in circles where we all think alike. Hence some aspects of the issue just don’t occur to us.” Judging a person through newspaper writings was often misleading, he said, adding, “Only after you meet the person and discuss with them, do apprehensions get resolved.”Jamaat’s decision to invite Raut, and his presence at a meeting organised by the conservative Muslim religious body has raised eyebrows. JIH has a tradition of inviting speakers with differing viewpoints, said Ghazi. He himself had invited Sena leaders Wamanrao Mahadik, the party’s first MLA and former Mayor, and Pramod Navalkar, for his organisation’s meetings. “Mahadik had called me early in the morning to his office,” recalled Ghazi. “Waiting for him was an old Muslim couple from Konkan, from where he hailed. They had brought guavas for him from their village. Mahadik emerged from his bath, and the first thing he did was touch their feet.” Ghazi felt we tend to look at politicians just as politicians. “Ideology is all very well, but first one is a human being,” he said.mumbaimirror
Sanjay Raut to speak at Jamaat’s anti-CAA, NRC function in Mumbai
‘We are against dictatorship’: Thousands gather in Hyderabad to protest CAA, NRC
Hyderabad :Terming the amended Citizenship Act and the proposed nationwide NRC as ‘unconstitutional’, thousands of people gathered at Dharna Chowk in Hyderabad Saturday afternoon to protest against the Union Govt’s citizenship policies.Under the aegis of Telangana and AP joint action committee (JAC), over 40 organisations, associations, and unions of students and professionals came together, calling for united protests to save the Constitution.Protesters also demanded the state Govt announce that NPR would not be conducted in Telangana. “We are against dictatorship. We believe in the Constitution and the secular values of this nation. We want equality, freedom to live and everything promised to the citizens of this country,” said a protestor.Earlier, Joint Commissioner of Police P Viswa Prasad clarified that no rally will be permitted and the permission for the “million march” at Dharna Chowk is only for a protest meeting between 2 pm and 5 pm.Though police had said not more than a thousand people would be allowed, the swelling crowds forced the authorities to open nearby NTR grounds to accommodate the swelling crowds.Earlier, shops around Patherghatti near Charminar remained shut to extend support to the day’s protest meeting.indianexpress
CAA Protest Live: Millions arrive at Million March in Hyderabad
'Chandrashekhar Azad may suffer cardiac arrest': Doc's SOS as he alleges cops denying medical care to Bhim Army chief
New Delhi:The physician of Chandrashekhar Azad flagged serious health issues of the Bhim Army chief, who was arrested in connection with the violence in Old Delhi's Daryaganj and sent to 14 days custody in Tihar, on Friday night requesting Union Home Minister Amit Shah to allow him to be admitted to the AIIMS for treatment without which he may suffer a sudden cardiac arrest.In a series of tweets, Dr Harjit Singh Bhatti said that Azad is suffering from a disease that requires biweekly phlebotomy and has been under treatment for a year. Phlebotomy, also known as venipuncture, is the act of drawing or removing blood from the circulatory system through a cut (incision) or puncture in order to obtain a sample for analysis and diagnosis. It is also done as part of the patient's treatment for certain blood disorders. It’s an important tool for diagnosing many medical conditions.“He (Azad) is suffering from a disease which requires biweekly phlebotomy from AIIMS, New Delhi under Haematology Department from where he is under treatment from last 1 years. If not done then his blood might get thicker which may results into sudden cardiac arrest or stroke. I was told that Chandrashekar bhai repeatedly told Delhi police about his medical condition in Tihar jail but the police authorities are not allowing him to visit AIIMS (SIC),” he said in his tweets.Azad was arrested and sent to 14 days' judicial custody and his bail plea was rejected by a Delhi court on Dec. 21. The court further sent 15 others, arrested in connection with the violence at Daryaganj, to two days' judicial custody.news18
'Kitna bakwas karte ho': Anurag Kashyap asks PM Modi to 'stay silent instead of speaking nonsense'
Anurag Kashyap, the Bollywood celeb holding the flag against Modi-led BJP Govt has struck again. Kashyap has been fearlessly vocal in criticising the current central Govt and the PM for not listening to what the citizens want. The criticism had started amid the nation-wide CAA and NRC protests.Kahsyap took to Twitter last night to slam PM Modi on his recent tweet.freepressjournal
Delhi CAA protest: A 3 km march brings Jamia and Shaheen Bagh together
New Delhi :Hundreds of people marched over 3 km with candles in their hands on Friday evening, to bring together the two most prominent anti-CAA protest sites of the city — Jamia Millia Islamia and Shaheen Bagh. The call for the march had been given by the Jamia Coordination Committee, which has been organising protest events at the gates of the varsity for the last two weeks. In its call, the committee said the march was “in support of the women protesting relentlessly day and night at Shaheen Bagh.”Around 6.15 pm, as a group of hundreds began their march with candles in their hands, the Tricolour was ubiquitous— painted on the faces of marchers, most of whom were residents of Jamia Nagar.A group of four friends, all second-year BA students of Jamia, had pinned their headscarves with Tricolour brooches shaped like the Indian map.“We got these today. They were given to us by some people before the march,” one of them said.As the march proceeded through the lanes of Okhla, the air rang with cries for azadi: “Woh Bismil wali azadi! Woh Gandhi wali azadi! Ambedkar wali azadi! Akhlaq wali azadi!”indianexpress

PM Modi must hold press conference on CAA, NRC: Najeeb Jung
New Delhi:PM Narendra Modi must hold a press conference to clear the doubts emanating over the CAA and the proposed all-India NRC, former Lieutenant Governor of Delhi Najeeb Jung said on Friday.Najeeb Jung, who also served as vice-chancellor of Delhi's Jamia Millia Islamia University, said students are out on the roads and if the Modi Govt wants these protests to stop, it must come clean."There should be a large press conference, maybe attended by PM Narendra Modi. In it, they should speak out what the issue is," Najeeb Jung said. "If the govt wants these protests to stop, it must come clean and explain things. The rumours that are being spread (about CAA and NRC) and the ongoing protests aren't good for our universities. PM Modi has spoken on these issues but people are still out on roads protesting."indiatoday
Weeks after campus was stormed, Jamia is fighting back — with some street art
New Delhi : 3 weeks ago, police personnel armed with lathis charged after protesters inside gate 4 of Jamia Millia Islamia, allegedly landing blows on students in the library.Since then, the area outside the university has become ground zero for protests against the new citizenship law and a proposed national register of citizens, with many calling it ‘Jamia Square’, reminiscent of Tahrir Square which was the focal point of the 2011 Egypt revolution.The campus and Metro pillars along Okhla road are now painted with graffiti denouncing CAA and NRC, and with words of solidarity with protesters. On Friday, Shaziah Shamim and her friends from the university began painting an artwork on a section of the road in front of gate 4.“Our Constitution is being destroyed,” said 26-year-old of animation student at Jamia, who has been making artwork on campus ever since protests started.A section of the road starting from gate 4 is cordoned off for traffic and is painted with political artwork, which artists began making Thursday afternoon.indianexpress
IIT Kanpur professor at centre of Faiz row is a ‘love jihad’ critic, gau raksha proponent
New Delhi: IIT Kanpur professor who filed a complaint against students last month for reciting Pakistani poet Faiz Ahmed Faiz’s poem ‘Hum Dekhenge’ has a history of writing anti-Muslim articles and tweets. Vashi Mant Sharma, 32, who hails from Ghaziabad, has spoken out against ‘love jihad’ and suggested measures to tackle it. ‘Love jihad’ is a term coined by Hindu fundamentalist groups, referring to an alleged campaign by Muslim men to convert Hindu girls in the guise of love.A strong proponent of cow protection or ‘gau raksha’, Sharma is associated with an organisation called Agniveer, which claims to be “working both in virtual and real world to promote Vedic Dharma and counter falsehood”. The website describes Sharma as “a globally renowned energy scientist and an expert on Islamic terrorism and deradicalisation”. Sharma has been teaching at IIT Kanpur since 2016, under INSPIRE govt scheme, which allows a postdoctoral fellow to teach at any Indian institute for 5 years.There are videos on the Agniveer website in which Sharma is seen explaining ‘love jihad’. In a video, Sharma is even saying that he now has “an army of good guys” who can liberate Muslim women by marrying them and get them back to the “path of dharma”. theprint
Assam govt to write to Centre to ban PFI: Biswa Sarma
Guwahati:Assam finance minister Himanta Biswa Sarma said that Govt will write to centre to ban PFI as outlawed organisation. Assam police is investigating the role of PFI in the anti CAA violent protest on Dec. 10 and 11.economictimes
BJP accused of spreading lies about SDPI and PFI
Vijayapura: Accusing BJP of spreading canards against organisations such as SDPI and PFI, Afsar Kodlapet, State general secretary of SDPI, said on Friday that UP Govt was trying to ban PFI. Addressing presspersons here, he said that PFI was doing nothing that many other organisation in the country were in opposing CAA and NRC.“Holding protest against CAA and NRC cannot become grounds for banning any organisation. If that is the case, then the Govt should ban every other organisation and party sternly opposing [them],” he said.Stating that the BJP’s objective was to malign the image of PFI and SDPI by projecting the organisations in a bad light, Kodlapet asserted that neither has been involved in any kind of anti-social or anti-national activity.“BJP, which is making allegations against us, has been in power at the Centre for six years. So why has it not found any evidence to corroborate its claim? BJP simply wants to spread lies about these organisations and nothing else,” he said.thehindu
PFI postpones 5 Jan anti-CAA rally in Murshidabad after Police denies permission to hold march
Kolkata: PFI was on Friday denied permission for an anti-citizenship law rally scheduled on Sunday in West Bengal's Murshidabad district, a senior police officer said.Kerala-based organisation, following the denial of approval, decided to "postpone its meeting for the time being", PFI West Bengal general secretary Manirul Sheikh said. "They (PFI) had applied for permission to hold a rally in Murshidabad district on 5 Jan.However, we haven't given them approval," police officer said.PTI
Vadodara: 58 people detained for ‘silent protest’ against citizenship law
Vadodara :Citizens from Vadodara and members of PUCL were detained, on Friday, for organising a “silent protest” against the newly enacted CAA and Vadodara city police denying permissions to hold such rallies.A total of 58 people were detained by the police. With their hands tied and mouths covered with a white cloth, 11 people had gathered at the Sardar Patel statue, Dairy Den Circle in Sayajigunj, to express their dissent against the citizenship law in a non-violent way.The police, however, detained them and 47 others including students, activists and teachers gathered in the area to express their support. Videos of the detainees singing Faiz Ahmed Faiz’s “Hum Dekhenge” inside the police headquarters where all the detainees were taken, also emerged.The detainees were later released in the evening.indianexpress
In Gujarat, school children being forced to write letters of support on CAA to PMO
School children in Gujarat are being asked to write letters of support on the CAA to PMO. They were earlier made to send postcards of support on Triple Talaq.While Gujarat Govt officials have denied having issued any such instruction, they are said to have been orally communicated by local level BJP functionaries. Schoolchildren are being asked to copy a text written on the blackboard in classrooms. A letter in circulation by anonymous sources (see pic) asks each school to ensure that at least 50 postcards in ‘neat handwriting’ be sent to the PMO.nationalheraldindia
Gujarat: In support of CAA, BJP asks people to write postcards to PM Modi and Amit Shah
RSS wings to take message on citizenship law to campuses
New Delhi :To quell opposition from among a section of students against the CAA and proposed NRC, the RSS has planned a big outreach programme in colleges and universities across the country, with more than 2,000 seminars, talks and informal gatherings to be held over the next one month, it is learnt.indianexpress
Why compare nation with Pak, are you its envoy: Mamata to PM
Kolkata :CM Mamata Banerjee has asked whether PM Narendra Modi had become an “ambassador of Pakistan” since he is seen “glorifying” the neighbouring country on most occasions. Banerjee, while addressing party workers after a rally in North Bengal’s Siliguri against the CAA, also slammed PM for frequently comparing India with Pakistan.indianexpress
Muslim student wants Babul Supriyo to apologise for his ‘will pack off to your country’ remark
Kolkata:A verbal spat has erupted between union minister Babul Supriyo and a Muslim college student in which he has threatened on social media to pack off the youth to “his own country” for his post seeking to know BJP MP’s “education level”. Student, Mustafizur Rahman said on Friday that he wanted nothing but an “unconditional apology” in public from BJP leader. Union minister returned the fire by accusing Rahman of being a “serial offender” and saying that he “does not need to apologize to fools”.Supriyo also said that his comments had nothing to do with the student’s religion. The matter came to light on Dec.26 when Supriyo shared a post on the social media advocating CAA and criticised the act of a female JU student, who tore up the first page of the contentious legislation at the annual convocation of the university while receiving her gold medal on Dec 24.The next day Rahman commented on Supriyo’s Facebook post and questioned the educational qualifications of Supriyo and BJP state president Dilip Ghosh.To this Supriyo retored “Mustafizur Rahaman let me first pack you off to your country, then will send the reply in post card”. The comment triggered a wave of protests.PTI
Declare those opposing CAA as anti-Dalit, anti-poor, says Nityanand Rai
New Delhi:A day after Union home minister Amit Shah said that the Govt will not budge an inch on its decision to implement the Citizenship Amendment Act, his deputy Nityanand Rai said Saturday anyone opposing the law should be declared “anti-Dalit and anti-poor.”“Most of the persecuted refugees are OBCs (other backward class) and Dalits. If anyone opposes Citizenship Amendment Act or CAA, declare the person anti-Dalit and anti-poor,” ANI quoted Rai, Union minister of state for home, as saying. HT
Bhopal: No need for CAA, says Shankaracharya Saraswati
Bhopal: Shankaracharya Swaroopanand Saraswati said that there was no need for CAA and NRC in country as central Govt already has enough Constitutional power to check infiltrators in West Bengal, other boarder line states.Speaking to the media persons on Friday he said that infiltrators did not sneak in West Bengal and other state all of a sudden or at one go.Central Govt can also give citizenship to Hindus who face persecution in other countries even without CAA. Those who are born in India are citizens of India be it is Hindus or Muslims, he added.freepressjournal
CAA dubbed unconstitutional as hundreds observe ‘black day’
Ludhiana:Members of the Muslim community organised a protest to observe “black day” against the CAA and NRC here today. After Friday prayers, protesters wearing black bands and holding black flags staged a protest against Narendra Modi-led Central Govt and Yogi Adityanath’s UP Govt outside Jama Masjid at Field Ganj. While opposing CAA and NRC, they burnt an effigy of BJP Govt and raised slogans in support of Hindu-Muslim brotherhood. Demanding revocation of CAA, rotesters slammed communal forces for fomenting hatred. Terming the Act unconstitutional, Punjab Shahi Imam Maulana Habib Ur Rehman Ludhianvi said it was perhaps for the first time since Independence that attempts were being made to murder democracy. tribuneindia
With NRC in mind, Telangana waqf board mulls marriage certificate drive
Hyderabad: With concern over a possible NRC growing among many Muslims, the Telangana State Waqf Board is looking to issue marriage certificates to as many couples as possible. A marriage certificate was one of the documents accepted for NRC during the recent drive in Assam.The certificate issued by the waqf board helps in establishing not only the parenthood but also helps identify spouses. Besides personal details of the groom and the bride and their educational qualifications and professions, a Muslim marriage certificate also includes names of the parents of both groom and bride. It gives the age and date of birth.Since a waqf board is a statutory body formed under the Central Waqf Act 1954, the certificates issued by it are valid and accepted for passport in India and visa by all countries.TOI
Mangaluru police action excessive, targeted Muslims: Fact-finding report
An interim fact-finding report on the anti-CAA protest and subsequent police firing in Mangaluru on Dec. 19 found that police action "was excessive, biased and specifically targeted the Muslim community."The report was compiled by a group of human rights and civil liberty activists from Karnataka, Kerala, Tamil Nadu and New Delhi belonging to AIPF, PUCL and NCHRO. In the report, the activists called for a judicial inquiry to be conducted into the police firing and the police action at Highland Hospital, where the victims of the firing were taken to. They also called for the suspension of Mangaluru Police Commissioner PS Harsha and urged the state Govt to provide compensation of Rs 10 lakh for the victims' families. thenewsminute
Dehradun:Muslims cover mouths with black ribbon in protest against CAA
Dehradun: Hundreds of Muslims wore black ribbons across their mouths after Friday prayers outside Jama Masjid in Paltan Bazaar area in protest against the CAA.Some of the demonstrators also tied their hands, to mark the Muslim community’s helplessness against the Govt’s decision to implement CAA.“This (mode of protest) was decided after discussing it with some senior members of our community. We wanted to demonstrate that we aren’t allowed to express anything and our right (of freedom of speech) has been curtailed. The current regime doesn’t even want us to speak anything against them. Jama Masjid can hold hundreds of people at a time and almost everyone protested after the Friday namaz,” said Maulana Mohammad Ahmed Qasmi, one of the protesters.TOI
CAA-NRC: Families of Arrested Minor and Women Protesters Struggle for Bail in Bihar
Patna: Parents of five minor children and family members of three women including one pregnant, who were arrested by Bihar Police during the protests against CAA-NRC in Aurangabad are running from pillar to post to get them released on bail. The police have charged them for creating violence during the protests on Dec. 21 when RJD had called for a shutdown. The families of the arrested are helpless and claim that those arrested by police were innocent and that they have been framed in false charges.A total of 46 people were arrested and jailed by police in Aurangabad after peaceful protests against CAA and NRC turned violent last month. “Police in its crackdown against those protesting against CAA and NRC, targeted Muslim populated Maula Shah Ganj, Quraishi Mohalla, Islam Toli, New Qaji Mohalla and Pathan Toli. They forcibly picked up and arrested innocent people and also named them as accused in FIR for attacking police and violence during the shutdown called by RJD,” said Syed Kaleem (name changed), whose brother is one of those arrested.newsclick.in/
Yashwant Sinha announces Yatra against CAA through six states
Former Union minister Yashwant Sinha today announced a nationwide `Yatra' (tour) to protest against CAA, NRC and theNPR. The campaign, organised under the banner of his organisation Rashtra Manch, will be called `Gandhi Shanti Yatra', Sinha said  here. Ex-MP Shatrughan Sinha and former Gujarat CM Suresh Mehta were also present on this occasion. Yatra will start at Mumbai's Apollo Bunder on Jan. 9, pass through Maharashtra, Gujarat, Rajasthan, UP, Harayana and Delhi and cover a distance of over 3,000 km, Yashwant Sinha said.PTI
*CAA-NRC protests: UP CRACKDOWN*
Dismiss UP CM for unleashing reign of fear through police terror and barbarism: Jamaat-e-Islami Hind
New Delhi:Jamaat-e-Islami Hind  today demanded dismissal of UP CM Yogi Adityanath charging that he “unleashed a reign of fear and distress by targeting a particular community through the misuse of the state machinery” during protests against the CAA in the state.Addressing a press conference at the Jamaat HQRS here, Jamaat’s President Syed Sadatullah Hussaini strongly condemned the violence and high-handedness of UP police on its own citizens in the name of controlling the anti-CAA protests.“We reiterate our demand for the dismissal of the UP CM, Yogi Adityanath, who has failed to discharge his constitutional obligations and unleashed a reign of fear and distress in UP by targeting a particular community through the misuse of the state machinery,” said Jamaat leader.  He also condemned the “revenge” call of UP CM against the protesters.“All these atrocities seem to be directed towards the Muslim community. The Jamaat leader demanded constitution of a high-level judicial enquiry by a retired Supreme Court Judge to investigate charges against the UP police for violence and vandalism. He also demanded that the panel should also probe if protesters got indulged in violence and legal actions should be taken against the culprits. But he also questioned as to why violence during CAA protests took place only in BJP-ruled states.Condemning the UP administration for claiming compensation for damage of property, Jamaat said the move is against all norms set by the Supreme Court and demanded that “this vindictive behavior by the UP Govt against the Muslim community must end.”Briefing the media about the ground situation in UP, Jamaat’s Community Affairs Secretary Malik Motasim Khan who was part of a civil fact-finding team that visited the affected districts in western UP, said: “Even before the protests, UP police worked to suppress the protests. Clerics were told that CAA is good and it is not against Muslims.” He further said: “Even we assume that some people got indulged in violence, will police also unleash violence? Police denied it opened fire. Does it mean that protesters killed each other?”He also demanded dismissal of Yogi. “It is in the interest of BJP to remove UP Govt for upholding the constitution and morality.”  indiatomorrow
JIH seeks judicial probe into alleged police atrocities against anti-CAA protesters in UP:IANS
Anti-CAA protests: Living in fear of the law and the law enforcers
In UP’s Firozabad, for more than a week after at least 6 people were shot dead during protests against the CAA, locals living along the bypass near the Naini and Jatavpuri junctions shut themselves in their homes, too afraid to venture out.Recalling the day of the killings, Dec.20, Abdul Lateef, a shopkeeper in Mohammedgunj, where protest is said to have started, said everything was peaceful till the afternoon prayers. Suddenly, people started throwing stones and the police allegedly fired at them. Residents claimed that those who initially indulged in stone-pelting were not locals. Visibly angry, disappointed, helpless and scared of the police, the residents from near the protest site in Firozabad said that all those killed during the protest were not a part of it. In the aftermath of the protests, the measures taken by the police frightened the people. Drones have been hovering over homes, posters with pictures of protesters accused of inciting violence have been pasted across junctions in the area, and heavy police deployment was seen for at least a week after the deadly day of Dec.20.The dead from Firozabad have been identified as Navi Jaan (22), Rashid (26), Mohammed Shafeeq (40), Mohammed Haroon (30), Mukeem (20) and Arman alias Kallu (24). Navi’s father, Mohammed Ayyub, had called him to inform him of the violent situation and had asked him to come back home. Navi was rushing back when he was killed, his father said. Rashid was killed when he was on his way home after collecting his pending dues from a labour contractor. Haroon was also on his way home after selling his buffalo for ₹33,000. Mukeem and his paternal uncle Kallu were on their way home from a bangle manufacturing unit where they worked. “All of us are against what’s happening with our community in recent times. We have been living in fear. But my son never protested. He never had the time,” said Arman’s father, Yameen. When asked if he knew the meaning of CAA and NRC, he said, “I only understand that we will be asked to prove our identity and show documents from 70 years ago.” Yameen’s family want Arman’s killing to be probed and no wrong person held responsible for it.thehindu
UP Police Say 57 Cops Had Bullet Injuries In Clashes. We Found Only One:NDTV
Lucknow: As many as 21 people were killed in violent protests that broke out against CAA in UP last month. While many of them died of bullet injuries, the state police have owned up to firing in just one instance in the western district of Bijnor.However, the police -- which have been accused of countering the protests with excessive force and high-handedness -- say that they were under fire too. UP Govt claims that about 300 police personnel were injured, of whom 57 suffered bullet injuries. But when asked for details of the policemen with gunshot wounds, the police top brass didn't seem as forthcoming.One of the few policemen NDTV managed to trace was Muzaffarnagar SP Satpal Antil, who still walks around with a bandaged foot. When approached, he showed a photograph of what appears to be a bullet wound. "I was with my team at Meenakshi Chowk on Dec. 20 when I was hit. I couldn't understand what happened at the time, only that I was bleeding a lot," he said.NDTV
Notices Sent To 46 People For Vandalism During Muzaffarnagar Protests: Official
Muzaffarnagar district adminstration in UP has sent notices to 46 people for their alleged involvement in damaging public property during anti-CAA protests.The notices to 46 people have been sent by a panel set up under additional district magistrate Amit Kumar by the authorities.They have been told that the authorities found their involvement in alleged vandalism during the protests against the Citizenship Law on Dec. 20 in the district, Kumar said.PTI
Varanasi: 8-year-old killed in stampede ‘We don’t have time to protest… my son was probably curious’
Varanasi :Little is known of how Sageer Ahmad came to be among the dead. How 8-year-old who was playing on the terrace of his house ended up on the road below, his blue shirt and pants covered in mud, his slippers missing. The youngest victim so far in the protests against the CAA, Sageer died in a stampede on Dec. 20 as police lathicharged protesters at Bajardeeha locality in Varanasi district.Sageer’s father Wakeel Ahmad, 38, who cooks at Lallan Dhaba nearby, says, “We are illiterate and do not have enough resources to send our children to school. They play here and there all day. Every day before leaving for work, I would see Sageer playing kancha or playing with a ball, or riding his small, red bicycle on the lane outside. Who would have known that playing on the streets would take away his life?”Sitting outside the single-room house that he shares with his family of 10, including his parents, his children, and his brother’s family, Ahmad says, “Around seven years ago, my wife left me and my five children. Then a year ago, my 18-year-old daughter, Gausiya Nargis, died of a long illness. And now, Sageer has gone too.”indianexpress
Those responsible for serving notices on dead, elderly will face action: Firozabad police
The district police here on Friday said that those responsible for sending out notices to a dead man and elderly people over violent anti-CAA protests will be punished. After violent protests on Dec. 20, Firozabad police sent out notices to at least 200 people asking them to prove they would not be a threat to peace in the area and furnish a surety of Rs 10 lakh each. Among those who were served notices were Fasahat Mir Khan and Sufi Ansar Hussain, both over 90 years and in poor health, and Banne Khan, a resident of Kotla area, who had died six years ago.PTI
 
Minor students, orphans, from Madarsa and Saadat hostel still in jail in Muzaffarnagar
A fortnight after they were arrested by Muzaffarnagar Police, as many as 17 students of Madarsa and Sadaat hostel, many of them minors and orphans, are still in jail.Even as the police released the principal, Maulana Asad Raza Hussaini, who was stripped and beaten up so badly that his limbs are in plasters, the students remain in jail. When NH catches up with the Maulana at his home, he refuses to speak. “I don’t want anything. Please get the students released,” he pleads with the political leaders who call on him to commiserate.Still traumatised, the Maulana keeps wailing, “I failed to protect orphans in my care…I failed…”.Maulana is an influential and highly respected resident in the locality. He has been a teacher at the madarsa and is the caretaker of the Saadat orphanage.nationalheraldindia
2 weeks after anti-CAA violence, kin of Meerut victims still to get autopsy reports
Meerut:The families of two of the five people killed in Meerut in violence during the CAA protests on Dec. 20 have accused the authorities of denying them their post-mortem reports.“My family is still struggling to get the report,” said Imran, whose brother, Mohsin, was among the five killed. He added they sought former Congress lawmaker Imran Masood and RLD leader Jayant Choudhary’s help but nothing happened. Naushad, uncle of Asif who was also killed in Meerut on Dec. 20, said local police have told them they are yet to get the report in this case too.“We approached our councillor, ex councillor, city Congress president and many other leaders over the past 10 days to get the report but nothing happened,” said Naushad’s neighbour, Muhammad Waseem.Meerut city Congress president, Zahid Ansari, said the families of some victims met him to seek his help in getting the reports. “They are living in fear,” he said.HT
Meerut: Families of Victims Killed in Police Firing Still Unable to File FIRs
In Firozabad, UP Govt Accused of Using Illegitimate and Unchecked Force:Maitreyi Gupta
Firozabad Police Unable to Explain Presence of Vandals in Videos
'I cannot pay even 5 rupees, forget 50,000. I’d rather go to jail’: Muslim families in Sambhal respond to notices for damages
In Sambhal, as in Rampur, UP police are reversing a famous Biblical saying: they are visiting the sins of the children upon their families. Only the children’s sins haven’t been proven yet and the families don’t have the means to serve their punishments. Records accessed by Newslaundry show 59 families in Sambhal have been sent notices by the district administration to cough up Rs 15.35 lakh in damages. All families are Muslim.Newslaundry met the families of six people named in the Sambhal administration’s list.On Dec.28, police arrived at Rubina’s house in Sambhal’s Miyan Sarai neighbourhood. They produced a paper and asked her to sign it. Rubina, who is illiterate, signed. Then she was handed a notice, which, when read out to her by some neighbours, sent her into consternation. The notice talks about the recovery of losses to public property incurred during the protests in Sambhal on Dec. 19 and 20. The police claim her husband, Kasim, was involved in the protests.“The photo released by the police carries my husband’s name but the picture is of someone else. My husband and I went to Sirsi that day, 12 km from Sambhal. Our niece is hospitalised there. We returned late at night, and he was not involved in the protests. His name has been inserted by someone else,” Rubina said.“I can’t pay even five rupees to anyone, forget 50 thousand. I’d rather go to jail. The world always oppresses the poor,” Rubina said, sobbing.newslaundry.com
SP Promises Pension For Anti-CAA Protestors
Lucknow: Samajwadi Party on Friday promised pension for anti-CAA protesters if voted to power, drawing a sharp reaction from the ruling BJP who said it was in the "DNA of that party to honour rioters and anti-social". Leader of the Opposition in the UP Legislative Assembly, Ram Govind Chaudhary, said their party would also give compensation to the kin of those jailed or killed during anti-CAA protests in the state."If our party comes to power at the Centre and in UP, they (protesters) will be given pension as they have struggled to save the Constitution and the democracy," said Chaudhary responding to a question.PTI
Ex IAS officer Kannan Gopinathan detained in UP while enroute to AMU
Former IAS officer Kannan Gopinathan who quit the services protesting over the suspension of civil rights in J&K has been detained by the UP police today. He was detained in Agra while he was traveling to Aligarh to attend a panel discussion hosted by AMU on Saturday. Kannan was supposed to address the gathering in AMU on Saturday against the CAA, NRC and NPR, along with Kavitha Krishnan and other activists. Resident Doctor's Association of AMU had given a notice of this announcement on Thursday. However, late on Friday he was informed that the Aligarh district administration had served a notice asking him not to enter the district or attend the panel discussion as per the orders of UP Govt. He challenged the notice and decided to go ahead and attend the panel discussion despite the order after tweeting “I will he going to Aligarh. Administration is free to do as they deem fit.” “There is no order that prohibits me from entering Agra. The police here have taken me to a hotel. They have been continuously trying to take my phone away. If they manage to do so, I will not be able to contact  anyone in sometime,” he told Indian Express.thenewsminute
Activist Sadaf Jafar,ex IPS officer Darapuri Arrested During Anti-CAA Protests in Lucknow, Granted Bail
New Delhi: A sessions court in Lucknow on Saturday granted bail to activist and Congress worker Sadaf Jafar, former IPS officer SR Darapuri, and 10 others in connection with violence during protests against the CAA in UP last month.Arrested for alleged involvement in the violence during protests in the state capital on Dec. 19, the court has granted them bail on a personal bond of Rs 50,000 each. According to the order, UP Police failed to present any direct evidence against Jafar, Darapuri and the others for their role in vandalism and arson during the protests. Jafar was arrested on Dec. 19 while she was live on Facebook from the spot where protests against the amended citizenship law had gone violent. Police had said she was arrested for her involvement in clashes. The others whose pleas were heard are Mohd Naseem, Mohd Shoaib, Nafees, Pawan Rai Ambedkar, Shah Faiz and Mohd Aziz.news18
Anti-CAA protests: Activist Sadaf Jafar, 16 others granted bail by Lucknow court
CAA protests: Priyanka Gandhi visits Muzaffarnagar, says victims accused police of ‘reign of terror’
Congress General Secretary Priyanka Gandhi on Saturday made an unscheduled visit to Muzaffarnagar in UP, to meet the families of those who were injured or killed in the anti-Citizenship Amendment Act protests in the state, PTI reported.Gandhi arrived in Muzaffarnagar in the morning and met Maulana Asad Hussaini, who runs madrassa Hoz E Ilmia near Meenakshi Chowk, where violence erupted during the protests on Dec. 20. After meeting the family of one of the injured protestors, Gandhi said: “I will stand with you in this hour of distress.”scroll/HT
UP child rights body seeks action against protesters using minors as 'shield' during anti-CAA Stir
UP State Commission for Protection of Child Rights has asked all DMs and police heads in the State to submit a report providing details of persons who allegedly used minors and teenagers as a “shield” during the violence that took place in the protests against the CAA. In a letter to DMs and SPs in UP, UPSCPCR chairperson Vishesh Gupta alleged that in the recent protests, students, minors and teenagers were used a “shield” to give a “violent shape” to the protest. “Misleading children and minors to participate in violent protests in an organised manner is a violation of child rights,” said Mr. Gupta in a letter dated Jan. 2. This comes amid allegations against the State police that it beat up children, minors and students, and even detained several of them across the State. The accusations of police excesses, however, do not find a mention in the UPSCPCR letter.thehindu
*OTHERS*
Jamaat-e-Islami condemns Nankana violence and murder of Iranian General Qassem Soleimani
Condemning the violence around the Nankana Sahib in Pakistan, the Jamaat-e-Islami Hind (JIH) on Saturday demanded strict action by Pakistan Govt against the perpetrators of this violence. Vice President of the JIH, Engineer Saleem said “it is the duty of the Govt of Pakistan to ensure the safety, sanctity and security of the religious site and protect pilgrims and members of the Sikh community.”At its monthly press briefing President of the JIH, Sadatullah Hussaini also demanded the dismissal of the UP CM. On rising tension in the Middle East after US forces killed the top level Iranian General JIH President said “JIH condemns the US attack and it is direct intervention in the internal affairs of any sovereign state. It is a broad daylight murder.”nationalheraldindia
Jamaat-e-Islami Hind condemns Nankana Sahib incident in Pak: outlookindia
Jamaat-e-Islami Hind condemns Nankana Sahib incident in Pakistan: indiatoday
Union Minister Hardeep Singh Puri Cites Attack On Pak Gurdwara To Justify Citizenship Law
New Delhi: Union Minister Hardeep Singh Puri today cited the attack on the Gurdwara Nankana Sahib in Pakistan as an example of the atrocities that minorities in the country are subjected to, and asked those opposing the Citizenship Amendment Act to reconsider their stance."This was a wanton act of vandalism, stone-pelting and desecration against one of the holiest Sikh shrines in the world. Those who have taken a stand on the Citizenship Amendment Act clearly do not realise what they are saying," he said. "As an Indian and a Sikh, I call those who turn a blind eye to these instances of injustice and persecution as insensitive, inhuman and certainly not secular."ndtv
'Persecution of minorities continues in Pak, proves CAA is right', says BJP
BJP has condemned the attacks on Sikhs in Pakistan and said the episode at Nankana Sahib Gurudwara only proves that the Citizenship Amendment Act enacted by the Modi Govt is "right"."...Whatever has happened in Pakistan justifies the necessity of an Act like CAA," BJP leader Meenakshi Lekhi said here. The episode also "stresses the need for its immediate implementation", she said.The Pakistan Govt and its agencies are part and parcel of the process of the discrimination against religious minorities including Christians and Sikhs, she said."Pakistan now proves that the CAA is right and it is timely," she said.UNI
Pakistan rejects reports of Gurdwara Nankana Sahib being vandalised by certain groups, says site was 'untouched and undamaged'
Pakistan has rejected reports that Gurdwara Nanakana Sahib near Lahore was desecrated by certain groups. Gurdwara Nankana Sahib, also known as the Gurdwara Janam Asthan, is the site where the first Guru of the Sikhs, Guru Nanak, was born. Foreign Office in a midnight statement said the provincial authorities in the Punjab province have informed that there was a scuffle in the city of Nankana Sahib on Friday between two Muslim groups.Altercation happened on a minor incident at a tea-stall and District Administration immediately intervened and arrested the accused."Attempts to paint this incident as a communal issue are patently motivated. Most importantly, the Gurdwara remains untouched and undamaged. All insinuations to the contrary, particularly the claims of acts of ‘desecration and destruction' and desecration of the holy place, are not only false but also mischievous,” said the FO.It said the Govt of Pakistan was committed to upholding law and order and providing security and protection to the people, especially the minorities.The opening of the Kartarpur Sahib Corridor is a manifestation of Pakistan's special care extended to the minorities, in line with the vision of the Quaid-e-Azam Muhammad Ali Jinnah, it said.According to some Indian media reports, a mob attack took place at the shrine. India's External Affairs Ministry said members of the minority Sikh community in Pakistan have been subjected to acts of violence at the holy city of Nankana Sahib.PTI
Muslims left this Punjab village after Partition, Sikhs and Hindus look after their mosque
Ludhiana: In the skyline of Hedon Bet, it’s hard to miss the imposing century-old mosque that lies nestled right at the centre of the interior village in Ludhiana. The crumbling walls of the mosque share their boundaries with a temple.But it’s not just walls that the mosque shares with the temple. It also shares its ethos and history.Not a single Muslim has lived in this Punjab village since Partition. But the mosque, which lies abandoned since the cataclysmic 1947 event, is taken care of by Sikhs and Hindu villagers. To them, the place of faith is sacred.“It’s the house of God. And we are happy and blessed to take care of it. Every day, we light lamps here. On Thursdays, we cook parsad and distribute it,”said Prem Singh, 54-year-old Sikh resident of the village.Singh said he took over the caretaker responsibilities of the mosque in 2009 from a Sufi saint who took care of the mosque for decades.“I don’t read or write Urdu. I don’t know anything from the Quran. But before that Saint died, he made me remember some sentences which I think are from the Quran. I recite these in a loud voice every morning and evening in the mosque. It’s a place of worship and I am blessed I do this duty,” said Singh.theprint
Special provisions likely for J&K residents in jobs, land rights
Centre is all set to provide protection to domiciles of J&K in Govt jobs, educational institutions and land rights, a senior Govt official said on Friday.Centre is exploring the option of implementing the mandatory requirement of continuous stay in the region for a minimum of 15 years before applying for a job in Govt sector and admissions in schools and colleges in Union Territory of J&K.On August 6, Centre had revoked the special status of J&K under Article 370 and Article 35A of the Constitution. 2 provisions of the Constitution that were revoked, let J&K legislature decide the “permanent residents” of the State, prohibiting a non-J&K resident from buying property in the State and ensuring job reservation for its residents.Official said special provisions were being examined on the lines of Himachal and Uttarakhand. The provisions pertain to regulating ownership and transfer of land to conserve the limited resources available for development.The regulations also ensure that the State preserves its unique identity.There are 12 States including Himachal where provisions of special status under Article 371 of the Constitution apply.thehindu
J&K: NC leader urges Govt to provide clarity on Jobs, land, delimitation
National Conference provincial president Devender Singh Rana urged the Govt to clear the ambiguities on jobs, land and delimitation in Jammu & Kashmir.“Absence of any authorized Govt declaration on these sensitive issues coupled with rhetorical statements and assurances by Jammu based BJP leaders on policy matters bereft of any constitutional authority have led to confusion and created apprehensions and misgivings in the minds of the locals of J&K particularly the youth,” he said. He also urged the Govt to come up with a pragmatic mechanism to address these important matters in tandem with the sentiments and emotions of people of J&K.indianexpress
No one called ex-JK CMs ‘anti-national’, decision on their release by UT admin: Amit Shah
New Delhi:No one in the Govt has ever called the three detained former CMs of the erstwhile state of J&K “anti-national”, Home Minister Amit Shah has said, adding that a decision on their release will be taken by the administration of the union territory.Farooq Abdullah, Omar Abdullah and Mehbooba Mufti had to be detained for “some time” after they made provocative statements, the home minister said on Thursday night while addressing an event organised by media outlet ABP News.“Please see the statements made by them, like the entire country will be on fire if Article 370 was touched…In the backdrop of these statements, a professional decision was taken to keep them under detention for sometime,” Shah said at the news summit.PTI
RSS Ideologue for Removing ‘Secular’ from Constitution Preamble
NEW DELHI: “Sovereign, socialist, secular, democratic republic” is how India is referred to in the preamble of the Constitution. However, J. Nandakumar, a key RSS leader and All India Convenor Prajna Pravah, a Sangh offshoot, wants India to reconsider the inclusion of the word “secular”, claiming secularism is a “western, Semitic concept”. In an exclusive interview to IANS, Nandakumar said: “Secularism is a western, Semitic concept. It came into existence in the West. It was actually against Papal dominance.”He argued that India does not need a secular ethos as the nation has moved “way beyond secularism” since it believes in universal acceptance as against the western concept of tolerance. RSS functionary on Thursday released a book here named “Hindutva in the changing times”. The book launch event was also attended by senior RSS functionary Krishna Gopal.IANS
Constitution Draft Was Prepared By A "Brahmin": Gujarat Speaker Trivedi
Gujarat Assembly Speaker Rajendra Trivedi on Friday claimed that Dr BR Ambedkar had given the credit for preparation of the draft of the Constitution to BN Rau, who was a Brahmin.Speaking at the inauguration of the second edition of 'Mega Brahmin Business Summit' in Ahmedabad, Gujarat, he said that eight out of nine Indian Nobel winners, including economist Abhijit Banerjee, were Brahmins."Do you know that constitutions of 60 countries were studied and then our draft Constitution was prepared? Do you know who presented that draft to Dr BR Ambedkar? We all take Dr BR Ambedkar's name with respect when it comes to the Constitution. However, in his (Dr Ambedkar's) own words, the draft was prepared by BN Rau -- Benegal Narsing Rau -- a Brahmin," he said at the event, also attended by CM Vijay Rupani."History tells us that Brahmins always stand behind and promote others. It was BN Rau who kept Dr Ambedkar ahead of him. We are proud of Dr Ambedkar because he admitted this during his speech in the Constituent Assembly on Nov.25, 1949," Mr Trivedi added.PTI
NCP leader Nawab Malik calls for withdrawal of Seva Dal's booklet on Savarkar
Mumbai: NCP, a key Congress ally, on Saturday called for the withdrawal of a controversial Seva Dal booklet which claims that Hindutva ideologue Vinayak Savarkar and Mahatma Gandhi's assassin Nathuram Godse were in a physical relationship.NCP's chief spokesperson Nawab Malik said that since Savarkar was not alive, it was wrong to make such a claim.Hindi booklet, titled "Veer Savarkar, Kitne 'Veer'?", was distributed at a camp of Seva Dal, a frontal organisation of the Congress in Madhya Pradesh recently.The booklet also questions Savarkar's credentials as a patriot and his reputation for valour. It also claimed that Savarkar received money from the British after he was released from Andaman's Cellular Jail.indiatoday
Minister Abdul Sattar hasn’t resigned, will meet Uddhav Thackeray: Shiv Sena
Mumbai: Shiv Sena on Saturday dismissed reports that Abdul Sattar, one of its ministers in the coalition Govt in Maharashtra has resigned and said he will be meeting party boss and CM Uddhav Thackeray on Sunday.Sattar, an MLA from Sillod in Aurangabad district had switched over from the Congress to the Sena before Assembly elections. People familiar with the developments said he was unhappy with the party leadership for being made minister of state and not given a cabinet berth. He was also said to be angry over the party’s stand to support Congress for the election of Aurangabad district council president.Earlier Saturday morning, there was speculation about minister’s status after he reportedly resigned at being overlooked for a Cabinet berth.HT
Tensions Brew Within UP Police After Leak of Letter Alleging Bribery Racket on Transfers
New Delhi: Tensions are brewing with the UP police after Noida senior superintendent of police Vaibhav Krishna held a press conference to allege that he had been “morphed” to sex chat videos after he complained to the CM’s office about a bribery racket around police postings.Krishna has said that he has given CMO recordings of phone conversations between police officers in charge of postings and journalists acting as middlemen for the transfer seekers, according to Telegraph. Krishna, however, has not named any of the police officials involved or said where the recordings came from.On Friday morning, a number of journalists received a copy of the letter Krishna sent CMO. The letter mentions that details of graft had emerged during the investigation of a case in which four people, some claiming to be journalists, were arrested in Noida on August 23, 2019.UP DGP O.P. Singh on Friday said an explanation has been sought from Krishna on the leaking of his purported confidential letter to the state Govt.At a hurriedly convened press conference in Lucknow, the Director General of Police said SSP Noida has been given 15 days to explain whether he had flouted service rules by leaking out the missive. Singh said the Inspector General of Meerut Range has been asked to investigate the matter. DGP, however, declined to comment on the contents of the leaked letter.thewire
Communal clash in Bengal town: ‘We are shattered, he was the lone earning member…his killers must be punished’
West Bengal :Nearly a kilometre from the Duttapukur market area, where the body of 30-year-old Asadul Islam was found inside a local club, triggering communal clashes on New Year’s Eve in the town, his wife is trying to come to terms with his death.“We are shattered. He was the only breadearner. I have to take care of my 13-year-old son. Those who killed him must be punished. I appeal to the state Govt for help. How will we live?” said Roushanara Bibi.According to police, the club had organised a fair in Duttapukur where Islam had put up a stall. He was allegedly beaten up by members of the club after he had a fight with a woman buyer Tuesday. The woman had alleged that Islam assaulted her.“For the past two years, he has been setting up stall at the fair… We got a call Tuesday afternoon that some people were beating him up. We rushed to the spot but could not find him at the ground. Later, someone opened the gates of the club and I saw his body, with a rope around his neck,” said Islam’s brother Masud Ahmed, who plies an autorickshaw.indianexpress
DMK, Allies Defeat Ruling AIADMK in Tamil Nadu's Rural Civic polls
Chennai: In a closely fought contest in polls to rural civic bodies in 27 districts in Tamil Nadu, the opposition DMK and its allies emerged winners, relegating AIADMK to the second spot.The runner-up finish by a ruling party in local body polls is seen as a setback, but AIADMK, which came a close second overall, put up a brave face asserting the results showed the party was regaining the “love and support” of the people after being routed in Lok Sabha polls eight months ago. DMK said it has posted a “massive victory,” despite the ruling party’s alleged misuse of power and results showed the people’s ‘hate’ for AIADMK.The polls, held after a gap of eight years, is the first local body elections since the demise of the towering Dravidian leaders J. Jayalalithaa and M. Karunanidhi.PTI
Kota infant deaths: Toll rises to 107, central govt team visits J K Lon hospital
New Delhi:The death toll of infants at J K Lon Govt hospital in Rajasthan’s Kota rose to 107 Saturday, of which 100 had died in Dec., ANI reported. And of those 100, 10 had died within 48 hours — between Dec. 23 and 24.A Central Govt team arrived at the hospital earlier today to conduct an inspection. Lok Sabha Speaker and MP from Kota, Om Birla, also met the family members of one of the deceased infants. “I met some families of the infants who passed away in JK Lon hospital. We are standing with these families in this hour of grief. I have written twice to Rajasthan CM, suggesting steps to improve medical facilities,” he was quoted as saying by ANI.indianexpress
UP: 1,000 children died in Gorakhpur in past 12 months, says Akhilesh
Lucknow :Samajwadi Party president Akhilesh Yadav on Friday alleged that in the past one year, nearly 1,000 children died in Gorakhpur due to negligence of doctors, a claim which the Govt termed as “false allegations” “CM is worried about children dying in Kota. But in the past 12 months, more than 1,000 children have died in Gorakhpur. When will he worry about that? And, the most inhuman deed has been that doctors knew that the children had a disease, but on directions of the Govt, so that statistics are kept intact, the children were not given medicines for Japanese encephalitis (JE)… In the coming days (on Monday), we will release a list of names of children who died,” Akhilesh said in Lucknow.indianexpress
Social media posts: Mangaluru police tweets out notices, includes sedition charge
 Mangaluru police have issued notices to 23 Twitter and Facebook account holders and arrested two people for posting inflammatory content on social media. Interestingly, all the notices have been posted on the Twitter handle of the Mangaluru cyber police station and include sections like 124A of the IPC pertaining to sedition.“A case is registered against you wherein you have posted an inflammatory post on social media. The said post is inciting tension which may result /resulting in breach of public peace and order, promoting enmity between groups on religious lines. The said case is under investigation,” read the notices on twitter posted by the handle @CCPSMangaluru. Mangaluru cybercrime, economic offences, and narcotics (CEN) Inspector Girish said, “Two people identified Mohideen Hameez and Abubakar Siddique been arrested in connection with spreading communal hatred through inciting messages.”indianexpress
Kerala leads the way, again: Mosque set to host Hindu wedding
As religious intolerance and biases are on a rise in the country, a mosque in Kerala is setting an example through a heartening gesture. On Jan.19, Cheravally Muslim Jamath Committee in Kayamkulam in Kerala's Alappuzha district will host a Hindu wedding in the mosque's premises.Anju, daughter of Cheravally natives Bindu and Ashokan, and Sarath, who hails from Krishnapuram, will tie knot between 11:30am and 12:30pm. After death of Ashokan two years ago, Bindu has been struggling with financial liabilities and was staying at a rented house with her three children. As she was struggling to source money to conduct daughter Anju's wedding, her neighbour, a Jamaath secretary, suggested she approach Jamaath committee. Bindu did not worry about religious differences when she sought help, and Jamaath committee was open to help. One of the members offered to bear the wedding expenses. Believers, who came for Friday prayers last week, were informed about this and they too lent their support.theweek
*WORLD*
Thousands of mourners join Qassem Soleimani funeral in Baghdad; Iran vows revenge for top general's killing
Thousands of mourners have joined the formal funeral processions for Iranian Major-General Qassem Soleimani, Iraqi paramilitary commander Abu Mahdi al-Muhandis and six others killed in a US air strike in Iraq's capital, Baghdad.Dressed in black and raising flags of the powerful paramilitary umbrella group Hashd al-Shaabi (Popular Mobilisation Forces or PMF), large crowds first gathered near the Shia shrine of Kadhimiyya in Baghdad to pay their respects to the dead.Soleimani, the head of Iran's elite Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps' (IRGC) Quds Force and mastermind of its regional influence, was killed early on Friday near Baghdad's international airport in an air strike ordered by US President Donald Trump.Top Iraqi PMF commander Abu Mahdi al-Muhandis, an adviser to Soleimani, was also killed in the attack.The attack came just days after Hashd members and supporters attempted to storm the US embassy in Baghdad, angry at US air attacks against Kataib Hezbollah - a member of umbrella organisation - positions in Iraq and Syria. Al-Muhandis had been among the crowds of PMF members and supporters.The mourners, most of whom are supporters of the PMF, will then march through the Green Zone where Govt offices and foreign embassies, including the US embassy, are based.Iraq's PM Adel Abdul Mahdi - who stepped down in November after to mass protests  but who remains in office in a caretaker capacity, attended the funeral processions. Also attending were several powerful Shia leaders including former PM Nouri al-Maliki, who now leads the State of Law Coalition and has close ties with Iran. Shia scholar Ammar al-Hakim, leader of Hikma parliamentary bloc, and Faleh Fayyad, head of the Hashd al-Shaabi, were also at the processions. Mohannad Hussein, media representative of PMF, which organised the funeral processions, told Al Jazeera that the crowds will end their march at Hurriya Square in central Baghdad for members of the public to pay their final respects before the bodies are taken to the holy Shia city of Karbala where funeral prayers will be held later on Saturday.Karbala is the base of Iraq's top Shia leader Grand Ayatollah Ali al-Sistani who condemned the US attack and called on all parties to exercise restraint.Iran is observing three days of national mourning in honour of Soleimani who is widely believed to have been the second-most powerful figure in Iran. Supreme leader Ayatollah Khamenei promised to exact "harsh revenge" for the targeted killing.Iraq is poised for a tense period ahead, according to analysts, as top Shia leaders - many of whom are expected to attend the processions - warned of repercussions following the attack.aljazeera
New air raid on Hashd convoy in Iraq as US-Iran tensions soar
A new air raid targeting a convoy of an Iran-backed militia has killed at least six people, according to local media, a day after a drone attack by the United States killed top Iranian general, Qassem Soleimani, at Baghdad airport.Iraq's state television said the attack took place along Taji Road north of the capital Baghdad, but did not name the targeted figure.Hashd al-Shaabi, also known as PMF, said the air raid hit a convoy of medics, adding that none of its top leaders were killed.An Iraqi army source said six people were killed and three wounded, Reuters news agency reported. Iraqi state television reported that the air raid was carried by the United States.aljazeera
World reacts to US killing of Iran's Qassem Soleimani in Iraq
International leaders have called for restraint and de-escalation following the assassination of Iran's top general, ordered by US President Donald Trump, as Iran's allies warned the killing could lead to conflict.
Turkey
The Turkish foreign ministry said the assassination of Soleimani would increase insecurity and instability in the region. In a written statement, the ministry said it was deeply concerned by the rising tensions between the US and Iran, and that turning Iraq into an arena for conflict would harm peace and stability in the region. "Turkey has always been against foreign interventions, assassinations and sectarian conflicts in the region," the ministry said.
Hamas
Hamas, the Palestinian group that administers the besieged Gaza Strip, issued a statement saying "Soleimani was one of the leading Iranian army officials who had an important role in supporting the Palestinian resistance"."We condemn these continued American crimes sowing tensions in the region in service of the Israeli enemy," it said.The Palestinian Islamic Jihad (PIJ) group offered its condolences to the Iraqi people for the death of Abu Mahdi al-Muhandis, describing him as one of the symbols of Iraqi liberation from the US occupation."This Iraq, which will always remain disobedient to American hegemony and control, will always remain Arab with its fighters and greater than the occupation," a PIJ statement said.
Iraq
Iraqi caretaker PM Adel Abdul Mahdi condemned the attack, calling it an "aggression" on Iraq that would "spark a devastating war"."The assassination of an Iraqi military commander is an aggression on Iraq as a state, Govt and people," Abdul Mahdi said in a statement.He added that the attack was also a "flagrant violation of the conditions authorising the presence of US troops" on Iraqi soil.
Syria
The Syrian Govt accused Washington of trying to fuel conflict in the Middle East.Syria is "certain that this cowardly US aggression ... will only strengthen determination to follow in the path of the resistance's martyred leaders," a foreign ministry official was quoted as saying by the state SANA.The official described the killings as "a serious escalation of the situation" in the region and accused the US of resorting to "the methods of criminal gangs".
Russia
Moscow warned that the assassination of Soleimani would increase tensions across the Middle East."The killing of Soleimani ... was an adventurist step that will increase tensions throughout the region," RIA Novosti and TASS quoted the foreign ministry as saying. "We express our sincere condolences to the Iranian people."
United Nations
UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres is deeply concerned by the recent rise in tensions in the Middle East, his spokesperson said in a statement."The secretary-general has consistently advocated for de-escalation in the Gulf," Farhan Haq said. "This is a moment in which leaders must exercise maximum restraint. The world cannot afford another war in the Gulf."
China
China appealed for restraint from all sides, "especially US"."We urge the relevant sides, especially the United States, to remain calm and exercise restraint to avoid further escalating tensions," foreign ministry spokesman Geng Shuang said at a daily news briefing.
Israel
Israeli PM Benjamin Netanyahu said the US had the right to defend itself by killing Soleimani."Just as Israel has the right of self-defence, the United States has exactly the same right," Netanyahu said in a statement.
Germany
Chancellor Angela Merkel's spokeswoman Ulrike Demmer urged restraint and de-escalation."We are at a dangerous point of escalation. It is now important through prudence and restraint to contribute to de-escalation," Demmer said.
United Kingdom
British Secretary of State for Foreign Affairs Dominic Raab urged all parties to de-escalate. "We have always recognised the aggressive threat posed by the Iranian Quds force led by Qassem Soleimani. Following his death, we urge all parties to de-escalate. Further conflict is in none of our interests," Raab said in a statement.
France
France's priority is to stabilise the Middle East, French Secretary of State for European Affairs Amelie de Montchalin told RTL radio."What is happening is what we feared: Tensions between US and Iran are increasing," Montchalin said. "The priority is to stabilise the region."
Iran General Contributed To "Terror Plots As Far Away As Delhi": Trump
Los Angeles: Defending the killing of top Iranian commander in a US strike, President Donald Trump on Friday said the "reign of terror is over" and claimed Qasem Soleimani had contributed to "terrorist plots as far away as New Delhi and London." General Soleimani, the head of Iran's elite al-Quds force and architect of its regional security apparatus, was killed following a US airstrike at Baghdad's international airport on Friday. The strike also killed the deputy chief of Iraq's powerful Hashed al-Shaabi paramilitary force."The recent attacks on US targets in Iraq, including rocket strikes that killed an American and injured four American servicemen very badly, as well as a violent assault on our embassy in Baghdad, were carried out at the direction of Soleimani," Trump told reporters at Mar-a-Lago in Florida."Soleimani made the death of innocent people his sick passion, contributing to terrorist plots as far away as New Delhi and London. Today we remember and honour the victims of Soleimani''s many atrocities and we take comfort in knowing that his reign of terror is over," he said.Amid escalation of tension with Iran, Trump claimed Soleimani's killing will not lead to war.PTI
US Sending 3,000 More Troops To Mideast As Reinforcements
United States said Friday it is sending nearly 3,000 more Army troops to the Mideast in the volatile aftermath of the killing of an Iranian general in a strike ordered by President Donald Trump.Defense officials, who spoke on condition of anonymity to discuss a decision not yet announced by Pentagon, said the troops are from the 82nd Airborne Division at Fort Bragg, North Carolina.AP
"Have Right To Retaliate": Iran Ambassador To NDTV After US Air Strike Kills Top General
New Delhi: A country that has been attacked has every right to defend itself, the Iranian ambassador to India told NDTV on Friday evening, as Middle East simmers following death of General Qasem Soleimani, the commander of Iran's Revolutionary Guards, in a US air strike on the Iraqi capital. Describing General Soleimani as a "champion against terrorism", Dr Ali Chegeni refused to rule out the possibility of retaliatory strikes against the US and that the escalation of military action in the region could lead to yet more conflict in the war-torn region."My Govt has mentioned we are going to retaliate... yes, it is the legitimate right of every country that has been attacked to defend itself. It is normal," Dr Chegeni said, pointing out that US claims that his country was behind strikes on Saudi oil facilities late last year were never proven.ndtv
As tensions between Iran and US escalate, World War III dominates Twitter
With Middle East on edge, USMNT training camp in Qatar is called off
With tensions rising in Middle East following killing of a prominent Iranian military figure, US Soccer Federation on Friday night called off a men’s national team training camp scheduled to open this weekend in Qatar. “Due to the developing situation in the region, US Soccer has decided to postpone traveling to Qatar,” USSF said in a written statement. “We are working with the Qatar Football Association to find an opportunity in the near future for our team to experience Qatar’s world-class facilities and hospitality.”washingtonpost
Saudi calls for restraint after Soleimani killing
 Saudi Arabia has called for restraint after the killing of Iranian Gen Qassem Soleimani.The Kingdom said the events in Iraq were the result of previous "terrorist acts" and that Saudi had warned of their repercussions."Kingdom of Saudi Arabia has followed the events, in fraternal Iraq, which came as a result of the escalation of tensions and terrorist acts that Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, has denounced and warned against, in the past, of their repercussions."With knowledge of the operations and threats exposing the security of the region and the threats posed by terrorist militias that require their cessation, the Kingdom, in light of the rapid developments, calls for the importance of self-restraint to ward off all acts that may lead to aggravating the situation, with unbearable consequences."Kingdom of Saudi reaffirms that the international community must fulfill its responsibilities to take the necessary measures to ensure the security and stability of such a vital region, to the entire world."arabnews
General Soleimani killing: Unease in India over fallout, relations with US and Iran
Mumbai:Hours after the killing of Iran’s top military commander, General Qassem Soleimani, in an American drone strike, India said it had “noted that a senior Iranian leader had been killed by US”, urged restraint and called for de-escalation.The terse statement masked the deep unease about how far the ripples from this sharp spike in US-Iran tensions will extend across the region, and impact India.One part of that question was answered after Iran warned of retaliation, with jitters on Dalal Street over the potential for an oil shock. The stock market fell by over a hundred points, but more telling was the rupee’s 38-paise drop around the same time to Rs 71.74 to US dollar. India’s oil import bill in 2018-19 was $111.9 billion. And the new geopolitical tensions could not have come at a worse time, when the economy is crawling at 4.5 % GDP growth in Q2 this fiscal year. With Iran vowing revenge, a possible widening of US-Iran conflict, from Saudi Arabia to Afghanistan and Pakistan, will not leave India unaffected. “We have to see what Iran’s options are. There will be enormous rage in Iran, but how will Iran retaliate? The power differential between the two is huge. If Iran does retaliate, it will know that the US will hit back, too,” said Vivek Katju, former diplomat who was in charge of the Iran desk at the Ministry of External Affairs.indianexpress
Soleimani killing: India urges de-escalation in tensions after US airstrike
Pakistan: Soleimani killing threatens regional peace
Pakistan on Friday expressed "deep concern" over the killing of Qasem Soleimani, commander of the Iranian elite Quds Force, in a US drone strike in Iraq. Pakistani Foreign Ministry said the development in the Middle East has "seriously threatened peace and stability in the region."Pakistan also called on all concerned parties "to exercise maximum restraint, engage constructively to deescalate the situation.""Respect for sovereignty and territorial integrity are the fundamental principles of UN Charter, which should be adhered to. It is also important to avoid unilateral actions and use of force," said Aisha Farooqui, spokesperson of the foreign ministry.She also urged all parties to "resolve issues through diplomatic means, following the UN Charter and international law."Pakistan’s Human Rights Minister Shireen Mazari also urged the UN to defuse the situation, adding that killing has escalated tensions in the region. The minister further said that it was in no one’s interest to have a war in an already volatile region.Anadolu Agency
US Democratic White House contenders condemn Trump’s strike against Soleimani, warn of war
Democratic presidential contenders condemned the air strike that killed prominent Iranian military commander Qassem Soleimani, saying President Donald Trump’s decision was reckless and could lead the United States to another war in the Middle East, Reuters reports.The candidates, vying for the right to challenge Trump in the Nov.2020 election, questioned whether the president had a broader strategy in dealing with Iran, and used the action to highlight their approach to dealing with foreign adversaries.“President Trump just tossed a stick of dynamite into a tinderbox,” former US Vice President Joe Biden said in a statement.middleeastmonitor
Trump resumes Pak military aid programme with eye on Afghan peace talks
Trump administration on Friday announced the resumption of a training programme for Pakistan military officials that had been suspended in 2018 along with all security-related assistance as punishment for its continued refusal to undertake sustained and verifiable counter-terrorism measures.The resumption of the relatively low-dollar-value programme was seen by South Asia experts as a sop to the Pakistani military in exchange for its continued support for the Afghanistan peace talks that are expected to restart shortly after being ended abruptly by President Donald Trump last Sept.The announcement of the resumption of the programme came in a tweet from the state department that was signed off with initials AGW, which is Alice G Wells, the deputy assistant secretary for South and Central Asia. HT
Oil prices soar more than 4% after Soleimani killed
Oil prices soared more than four % following claims that US had killed a top Iranian general, ratcheting up tensions between foes and fuelling fears of a conflict in the crude-rich region.Brent surged 4.4 % to USD 69.16 and WTI jumped 4.3 % to 63.84.PTI
Syria: Attacks in Idlib force 44,000 to flee in 4 days
Idlib:Some 44,000 civilians fled Idlib, a de-escalation zone in the northwestern Syria, over the last four days, a Syrian NGO said on Friday.With latest developments, the number of civilians who fled Idlib since November has reached 328,000.On Dec. 20, the Assad regime and its allies launched a military campaign mainly in the cities of Maarat Al-Numan and Saraqib as well as the surrounding rural areas, capturing 35 residential areas.In the past four days, some 44,000 civilians out of 428,000 fled as a result of the attacks, Mohammad Halaj, the head of Syria’s Response Coordination Group, told Anadolu Agency on Friday.If the attacks intensify again, there is concern that migration will start in Jabal Al-Zawiya region in southern Idlib, which might cause displacement of over 250,000 civilians.Anadolu Agency
Haftar issues 'call to arms' over possible Turkey intervention
Renegade military commander Khalifa Haftar has called on Libyans to take up arms in response to a prospective military intervention from Turkey aimed at shoring up the UN-recognised Govt in Tripoli.The beleaguered Tripoli-based Govt of National Accord (GNA), headed by Fayez al-Sarraj, has been under sustained attack since April by Haftar, whose self-styled Libyan National Army (LNA) supports a rival administration based in the east of the country.Turkey's parliament on Thursday approved the deployment of troops to Libya after it received a request for military support from Sarraj's Govt, which is recognised by the international community.aljazeera
Egypt's Muslim Brotherhood changes course
Egypt's Muslim Brotherhood (MB) changed course over determining the future of its political work when it agreed to cooperate with Mohamed Ali, a new opposition figure and former army contractor.The move forms a turning point for the MB in contrast with its approach during the last six years by which it was accused of causing a rift among Egyptian opposition.Since the overthrow of Mohamed Morsi, the country's first democratically elected president who died last June, in the 2013 military coup, group has sought its way out of a dark tunnel. On Sunday, MB outlined support for document announced by Ali in which he called for uniting the opposition to topple Egyptian President Abdel-Fattah al-Sisi.By accepting Ali's document, the group adhered to three points, including forming new alliances as the document states "cooperation with loyal people of the homeland" and calling for unification in "one row" against al-Sisi.The second is MB's affirmation of not taking the lead, saying it "pledges to continue the struggle with honorable people" which means not seeking to rule alone, as happened in the aftermath of the Jan. 2011 uprising that ousted former President Hosni Mubarak. Anadolu
Indonesian Muslim cleric Yunahar Ilyas dies
Jakarta:Prominent Indonesian Muslim cleric Yunahar Ilyas died due to kidney failure on the southern island of Java.Ilyas, an influential scholar from Muhammadiyah organization -- a major Islamic non-Govtal organization -- died on Thursday in the city of Yogyakarta. Born in 1956 in Bukittinggi city of the West Sumatra province, he obtained two bachelor's degrees from in Ibn Riyadh University in 1983 and the Imam Bonjol Islamic University in 1984, as well as a master's degree from Sunan Kalijaga Islamic University in 1996 and a Ph.D. from the same school in 2004.Ilyas joined the Muhammadiyah in 1986 and served as chairman of the organization in 2005-2010.Anadolu Agency
*views, Articles, FEATURES*  
As repression in India gets worse, notable figures remain silent:Rana Ayyub, washington post
What is Mr Modi’s plan for India’s Muslims?Sanjeev Sabhlok, TOI
IIT-Kanpur's Crisis Of Conscience And The Faiz Controversy:Brinda Karat, ndtv
Muslim presence in India is as old as Islam — it’s an insider’s tale:Seema Chishti
First Pak, & now India, has failed the poet who belongs to both countries:Khaled Ahmed
Bias exists in survey responses, but also in Govt’s own telling:P C Mohanan
PM Modi cut his teeth in violent student movement, now he decries damage to public property:Mani Shankar Aiyar
Indian Muslims have finally found their voice, there’s no going back: Salman Khurshid
India’s student protests have broken image of national consensus on Modi’s policies:SHIVAM VIJ
Muslim identity politics over CAA has alienated allies and is problematic for idea of India:Sreemoy Talukdar
If 'Ma Bharati's Children' Are Linked By Blood, Modi Believes Muslims Aren’t Real Indians:A. Bimol Akoijam
Genetic Determinism, Pseudoscience Can't Hide the Casteism of Brahmin Chauvinists:Vasudevan Mukunth
Why the Controversy Around Faiz's 'Hum Dekhenge' Is So Fatuous:Markandey Katju
Women and students lead the resistance: songs of innocence and experience to the fore:Amit Sengupta
Who is afraid of students in politics? And who advises students to stay away from politics ?Gauhar Raza
India protests: Anger over job security and privatisation:Sohail Rahman
Good economics for CAA-NRC times: Banerjee, Duflo's book dispels many of our beliefs about immigration:Nikita Rana
Don’t polarise by religion: Authorities must listen to the secular and inclusive message coming from anti CAA-NRC protesters:Pavan K Varma
For the First Time Since Independence, Muslims Have Emerged on to the Streets:Nizam Pasha
Law made injustice possible in Ayodhya, Hyderabad encounter cases. Will this happen with CAA too?Kaveri Haritas
Shaheen Bagh: The women occupying Delhi street against citizenship law:BBC

 Compiled and edited by Anwarulhaq (Released at: 6:25 PM).*  

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