Thursday, 13 February 2020

13 Feb. FLASH NEWS: Attacks on field enumerators over NPR fears put Census in deep trouble: Statistics panel chief/ ‘Tampering’ complaint against former Assam NRC Coordinator Prateek Hajela/Nagaland: 22 BJP leaders join Naga People’s Front in protest against Citizenship Act


NEWS DIGEST, EVENING   
 13 Feb.  2020: 18 Jamadi-2, 1441: Vol: 12, No: 131
*anti-CAA,NRC-NPR stir*
Attacks on field enumerators over NPR fears put Census in deep trouble: Statistics panel chief
Recent attacks on field enumerators in some parts of the country have put upcoming Census procedure in “deep trouble” and may risk contaminating data collected in household surveys, ex Chief Statistician of India Pronab Sen has said.In recent days, some health researchers and government survey officials have been attacked by those who mistook them for people collecting data for the controversial National Population Register. As first reported by Scroll.in, NPR is the first step to creating an all-Indian National Register of Citizens, which would identify undocumented migrants residing in India. The government has denied any link between NPR and NRC, but since the Census website itself made a connection, the population register exercise has also been a target of anti-NRC protestors.Field investigators of the National Sample Survey were attacked in the past, but by now citizens had got comfortable with them as they got familiar with the process, Sen told Indian Express in an interview. What is new this time is that the house-listing operations, a key step in the Census, will be conducted along with the population register exercise, said Sen, who heads the standing committee on economic statistics.The population register will be a list of “usual residents” – those who have stayed at a place for six months or intend to stay there for the next six months. The exercise to update the register will be carried out across the country along with the house-listing phase of the decennial Census of 2021 from April 1 to Sept.30, 2020. “The house-listing operation is a key step in our critical analysis because that’s the basis on which the entire country is divided into enumeration blocks and then, Census enumerators are given specific enumerator blocks,” he said. “So, the enumeration blocks are at the heart of Census operation. If you have problems in getting that done and if you get resistance to that, the Census is in deep trouble.”He added: “So, you may well have a situation where you are unable to do the Census properly and if the Census is not done properly, then for the next 10 years, no household survey would be reliable because all household surveys rely on the Census as the frame. If this runs into problems, and there’s a danger that it might, then for the next 11 years, you are in trouble.”The phenomenon of such attacks may have an effect not just on the Census but other surveys too, Sen said. “There’s a second problem,” he said. “Whatever you do, you are going to have people who will be suspicious. They may answer the expenditure part of it accurately, but the front part, which is household characteristics, they may resist that. All household details begins with asking household members, names, ages, educational details, so all that is in the first sheet. And what may end up happening is that the data might get contaminated pretty badly…it’s a huge problem. We may still be able to get enterprise surveys done but we are in deep trouble for household surveys.”scroll/ Indian Express
Red flags by data panel chief Pronab Sen: ‘Mistrust, attacks may contaminate economic data for next 10 yrs’
‘Tampering’ complaint against former Assam NRC Coordinator Prateek Hajela
A complaint has been lodged against Prateek Hajela, the former Coordinator of NRC in Assam, for allegedly tampering with the records associated with updating the citizenship exercise whose complete list was published in August 2019.Almost simultaneously on Wednesday, the office of the NRC Coordinator lodged an FIR against Ajupi Baruah, a former associate of  Hajela, for resigning without surrendering the password to NRC data records system.In its complaint to CID office in Guwahati, the Assam Public Works (APW) asked the Deputy Inspector General of Police to register a case against Mr. Hajela for “tempering (sic) the valuable public records, i.e., NRC final list of Assam”. It also sought an inquiry into the former coordinator’s involvement in “cybercrime in the whole process of NRC”.The APW is the NGO whose petition in the Supreme Court in 2009 led to the NRC updating exercise.thehindu
Wipro says Assam NRC data went offline due to non-payment of dues
IT services major Wipro has clarified that the disappearance of the Assam NRC data from its cloud service is related to a non-payment of dues and will be restored once the government makes the payment.Wipro worked with Registrar General of India and the Ministry of Home Affairs in the Supreme Court-mandated NRC exercise in Assam. The exercise sought to separate legal Indian nationals from the alleged illegal immigrants.CNBC-TV18
Jamaat-e-Islami Hind hopes AAP govt will pass resolution against CAA
New Delhi: Hailing the Delhi Assembly election results, Jamaat-e-Islami Hind (JIH) on Wednesday said it is hopeful that the newly elected AAP government will pass a resolution against the contentious CAA.JIH president Syed Sadatullah Hussaini said: "The election results indicate that the people of India have rejected the CAA and NRC. The government must withdraw it immediately and unconditionally. We hope Delhi CM will ensure the passing of a resolution against the CAA and stop the process of NPR."Hussaini said: "Politics of hate and polarisation has been defeated in a big way. The whole of India is thankful to the voters of Delhi for teaching a big lesson to the politicians who peddled hate and bigotry. The voters of Delhi have proved that "India can change"."JIH also hit out at the Election Commission for being unable to check violations and effectively implement the Model Code of Conduct. The JIH said that all possible methods to polarise the electorate on communal lines were used by the politicians."This has been possibly the worst election in the history of independent India in terms of the practice of hate speeches, inflammatory slogans and open practice of communalism and polarisation," said Hussaini. "We hope that the people of India will learn a lesson from the Delhi elections and defeat those whose politics revolve around division, who promote hatred against the minorities and raise violent slogans," he said.IANS
JIH hopes AAP govt will pass resolution against CAA
‘Politics of hate and polarization defeated in Delhi:Jamaat-e-Islami

Nagaland: 22 BJP leaders join Naga People’s Front in protest against Citizenship Act
Naga People’s Front President Shurhozelie Liezietsu welcomed BJP leaders at a function held in Dimapur, according to a press statement by the party. More leaders from the saffron party are expected to join the party in coming days, it added.Liezietsu said the leaders made the right decision at the right time, adding that his party represents the unique identity of the Naga people. “Many regional political parties came into being and when they are defeated, the party vanished,” he said.Law and legal affairs convenor Toshi Longkumer, and former state president of the BJP’s minority cell Mukibur Rahman, were among those who switched sides. Rahman said the introduction of the amended citizenship law will sooner or later affect the people of Northeastern states particularly. He said the Naga People’s Front is working hard to protect the identity of the people.scroll



UP police detained 41 children during CAA protests, some were tortured, says citizens’ report
The death of a 4-month-old baby on January 30 after his parents took him to protests against CAA in New Delhi’s Shaheen Bagh area triggered outrage, and even attracted the attention of the Supreme Court. However, the plight of 41 children who were detained by Uttar Pradesh Police early in December has largely been ignored, even as some allege they were tortured in custody.As protests erupted in 24 districts in Uttar Pradesh shortly after India’s citizenship law was amended on Dec.12, police responded with brutality. The police did not even show any restraint when acting against children, according to a study by 3 civil society organisations. This was particularly acute in the districts of Muzaffarnagar and Bijnor, both districts with a population that is more than 40% Muslim and with a high concentration of minority institutions where children from across the country were studying. The organisations – Citizens Against Hate, Quill Foundation and Haq: Centre for Child Rights – conducted fact-finding investigations in the districts of Bijnor, Muzaffarnagar and Firozabad between January 10 and January 24. Their report included material from media accounts that were then verified by the researchers. The authors of this article are associated with Quill.On December 20, researchers found, Muzaffarnagar police entered the compound of Saadat madrasa and hostel and dragged out close to 50 students, the principal, a cook and two staff members. The police accused the students of participating in a protest against CAA. Of these 50 students, 14 were minors. Of 14, FIRs were filed against four students. The institution’s principal, Syed Asad Raza Hussaini, said that the four were released only after 12 days of detention.On the same day, in Bijnor, 22 minors were detained from the Nagina area where a protest against the act was underway. Razdan*, 17, was among the detained children. “Razdan and the others were detained for two days,” his mother, Bemina told us. “They were given severe beatings during their period of detention. They were first taken to Bijnor Police Lines and then shifted to a farmhouse owned by a BJP MLA.”scroll
NRC rumours: RAF in Howrah after parents attack madrassa
HOWRAH: A Rapid Action Force (RAF) contingent was deployed at a madrassa on Howrah's Andul Road on Tuesday after trouble broke out when hundreds of guardians started pelting bricks and stones during a protest against distribution of forms among their kids. The students, the parents alleged, were asked to fill the forms specifying all family details. The guardians' agitation followed rumours that an exercise was on to collect details for NRC.Guardians also lodged an FIR against the madrasa's teacher-in-charge Buddhadeb Das while authorities of Panchpara High Madrassa filed an FIR against an NGO, whose members have been distributing the forms for the last five days. Sankrail police station's inspector-in-charge Madhusudan Mukherjee said both FIRs are being probed. Tension remained till Tuesday evening with guardians accusing Das of leading the exercise. They wanted cops to either arrest him or hand him over to them.Howrah City Police later deployed RAF.TOI
UP court seeks recovery of Rs 23.41 lakh from 53 anti-CAA protesters
Muzaffarnagar: A local court in Uttar Pradesh's Muzaffarnagar district has sought the recovery of Rs 23.41 lakh from 53 anti-CAA protesters.An ADM court, on Wednesday, cited the 'widespread damage to public property' during the anti-CAA stir in Muzaffarnagar on December 20.Four of them turned out to be innocent later, while the replies of the 53 people were not found to be satisfactory, he added.ADM(first) Amit Singh said: "We will paste recovery notices on their homes now. The recovery will start soon."The alleged rioters have been asked to appear in person before the ADM court to record their statements within seven days.Munnawar Hussain, a lawyer representing the accused said: "My clients are innocent and most of them are very poor. We will go to high court against this order."IANS


Rename CAA to Neighbour Persecuted Religious Minority Refugee Act, suggests Indian-American Khanderao Kand
A prominent Indian-American has suggested renaming the CAA as the Neighbour Persecuted Religious Minority Refugee Act, saying it would establish a right perception difficult to challenge. The remarks of Khanderao Kand, director of non-profit organisation Foundation for India and Indian Diaspora Studies (FIIDS), came in the wake of widespread protests held across India against CAA.The CAA should have been named as Neighbour Persecuted Religious Minority Refugee Act, Kand said during a panel discussion on the amended citizenship law and abrogation of article 370 in a Virginia suburb of Washington DC on Tuesday.PTI

At Mansa’s anti-CAA protest, AAP future in Punjab dominates discourse
Ludhiana :A day after AAP won a landslide victory in Delhi polls, an indefinite anti-CAA dharna that began in Mansa saw participants bringing up the ‘Kejriwal model’ as the ‘third alternative’ in Punjab. The morcha is being supported by the CPI and other like minded organisations.Principal Budh Ram, AAP MLA from Mansa’s Budhalada constituency, spoke at length about how AAP won polls in Delhi and how the movement can be replicated in Punjab as well. MLA Bud Ram later told The Indian Express, “I even told the gathering that AAP won polls in Delhi on the basis of work done by the party on health and education front. They were provided subsidised power. When such facilities are available in foreign countries, why our residents should lag behind. I am sure political parties have understood now that the one who will work for the masses, will win for sure.”In his speech, MLA said, “We have been against the CAA right from the beginning. Our state leaders will also join this dharna to give impetus to it and every day our workers will join the dharna in large numbers. This is our fight against the Act which is creating a divide and rule policy in the country…..Kejriwal Model is the centre of discussion all over the country now. The same model can be run here as well. “indianexpress
*J&K AND S. ASIA*
Ahead of Trump’s India visit, US senators seek review of human rights in J-K
Washington:Ahead of President Donald Trump’s maiden visit to India, 4 influential US Senators, who described themselves as “longtime friends of India”, have sought an assessment of the human rights situation in Kashmir and religious freedom in the country, saying hundreds of Kashmiris remain in “preventive detention”.The bipartisan group of Senators, in their letter to Secretary of State Mike Pompeo dated Feb.12, said that India has now imposed the longest-ever internet shutdown by a democracy, disrupting access to medical care, business and education for seven million people.US lawmakers, describing themselves as “longtime friends of India”, wrote in the letter that “more than six months after Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s government unilaterally revoked the autonomy of Jammu and Kashmir, the government continues to block most internet in the region”.“Hundreds of Kashmiris remain in ‘preventive detention’, including key political figures,” they said.Signatories to the letter are Chris Van Hollen, Todd Young, Richard J Durbin and Lindsey O Graham.“In addition, the Indian government has taken other troubling steps that threaten the rights of certain religious minorities and the secular character of the state. This includes the passage of the controversial CAA which is being challenged in India’s Supreme Court,”Senators wrote.In the letter, Senators requested Pompeo for a State Department assessment of a number of issues in India including the number of individuals detained by the government for political purposes and their treatment; current restrictions on communications in Jammu and Kashmir; current accessibility of Jammu and Kashmir; and restrictions on religious freedoms in Jammu and Kashmir.PTI
"Severe Consequences": US Senators On Kashmir Before Trump's India Visit


Mobile Net services in Kashmir cut to prevent spread of rumours about Geelani’s health
SRINAGAR:Mobile internet services have been suspended in Kashmir to prevent the spread of rumours about the health of separatist leader Geelani,Syed Ali Shah officials said on Thursday.The services were snapped late Wednesday night after some social media posts claimed the health of the 90-year-old Geelani deteriorated, they said. Adequate security forces have been deployed at vulnerable places in Kashmir to maintain law and order and prevent miscreants from fomenting any trouble.Geelani’s family said he had been ill for some time but his condition was stable.PTI

J&K: 8-phase panchayat bypolls to begin on March 5
Jammu :Panchyat bypolls for vacant seats will be held in Jammu and Kashmir in eight phases starting March 5, Chief Electoral Officer Shailendra Kumar announced on Thursday. This will be the first major poll exercise in J&K since the scraping of the special status in August last year.Kumar announced that panchayat bypolls in 274 blocks of the Union Territory of Jammu and Kashmir will be held for elections of 1,011 Sarpanches and 11,639 panches.Announcing that Model Code of Conduct comes into force with immediate effect, he said the elections will be held in eight phases. The first phase of polling will take place on March 5, followed by the second phase on March 7, third on March 9, fourth on March 12, fifth on March 14, sixth on March 16, seventh on March 18 and eighth on March 20.indianexpress
International Punjabi Conference dedicated to Guru Nanak: Pak prunes number of Indian delegates
Ludhiana :A group of 39 Punjabi writers, academicians, educationists etc. from India will be leaving for Lahore via the Wagah border on Thursday to participate in 30th International Conference on Punjabi Literature & Culture, being organised by the World Punjabi Congress.This year, the conference is dedicated to the 550th birth anniversary of Guru Nanak. Scholars and litterateurs from India, Pakistan and other countries will be presenting their research papers and other literary works on Guru Nanak during the conference.However, at the last minute, the Pakistan High Commission pruned the list of Indian delegates and visas have been granted to 39 participants only even though Pakistan’s Ministry of Interior had granted approval for visas of 100 Indian participants.indianexpress

Only Allah knows what’s happening in Kashmir, says former RAW chief A.S. Dulat
There are few Indians who understand Kashmir as well as Amarjit Singh Dulat, former chief of RAW, India’s external intelligence wing. But even he throws up his hands and exclaims, “Nobody knows what is happening in Kashmir and neither does anyone know what New Delhi is thinking.”There is not one clear narrative coming out of Kashmir, he says. While the Government claims normalcy, others maintain that Kashmiris are resigned to their lot. Some also believe that Kashmiris are being smart by not going out on the streets and getting killed, especially when there is one soldier for every 30 civilians.But many Kashmiris do feel they have been let down by the people of India, he adds.nationalheraldindia
Foreign envoys briefed by Army about security situation in J&K
SRINAGAR:Army officials on Thursday briefed the delegation of foreign envoys visiting Jammu and Kashmir about the security situation here. 25-member delegation arrived here on Wednesday on a two-day visit as part of a union government-facilitated trip to help the envoys have a first-hand assessment of the situation in Jammu and Kashmir, a region which faced months of harsh restrictions after its special status was stripped of in August.PTI
*OTHERS*
SC push to clean politics: Parties must disclose criminal cases of candidates on sites, inform EC
New Delhi :In an attempt to decriminalise politics, the Supreme Court on Thursday directed political parties to upload on their websites details of pending criminal cases against candidates contesting elections.A bench headed by Justice F Nariman from the parties over the selection of such candidates and said the information must be uploaded on social media platforms like Facebook and Twitter and in one local vernacular and one national newspaper.The Supreme Court said the parties must submit a report of compliance to the Election Commission within 74 hours of selecting such candidates, failing which the poll panel must inform the apex court.The court’s direction came after it noted an alarming increase in criminalisation of politics in the last four general elections.indianexpress
Supreme Court lists 6 important steps for political parties who give tickets to candidates with criminal cases


Sangrur: Dalits accuse village landlords of forcibly stopping water supply, SC commission steps in
Ludhiana :Punjab SC Commission has sought a report from Sangrur police and district authorities over complaints of water supply to Dalit residents of Tolewala village being stopped for four months allegedly by local landlords. Sangrur DC and SSP have been given 24 hours to file a reply.Tolewala has about 40 houses belonging to the Dalit community. They have alleged that tubewell room of water works department was locked due to which water supply to their houses was cut off.Beant Singh, village sarpanch and a Dalit, said: “Landlords in the village have submersible pumps in their houses but Dalits depend upon water works supply only. However, for the past four months, tubewell room was locked due to which water works supply was not being provided to the entire village. As we are completely dependent on water works supply, our community suffered the most….It was done at the behest of landlords of the village with whom our community is having difference of opinion over auction of panchayati land reserved for Dalits.” The tubewell room was unlocked on Tuesday night after the SC commission intervened.Jagsir Singh, another Dalit villager, said,”In our community, there are submersible pumps in two houses from where we could bring water and at times, we used to take panchayat tanker to Langriyan village which is a km away from our village in order to bring water from tubewell motor of that village as landlords never allowed us to take water even from their fields, what to talk of taking from submersible pumps of their houses.”indianexpress




"Teaching Arabic & religious texts is not the Govt's job” – Assam to shut down aided Madrassas, Sanskrit tols
Guwahati :Assam’s Education Minister Himanta Biswa Sarma has announced that all govt-funded madrasas and Sanskrit tols (schools) will be shut, and converted into “normal” high schools.“We have decided this because teaching Arabic, or some other language, or any religious text for that matter, is not the responsibility of the government,” said Himanta Biswa Sarma while addressing the local media after a government event at Guwahati’s Srimanta Sankardeva Kalakshetra. While Sarma made these comments following a govt function in Guwahati, no official notification has followed yet. “We have not received official intimation regarding this announcement yet. We learnt about this development through media reports,”said Imran Hussain, chairman of State Madrassa Education Board, Assam. According to Hussain, there are 706 madrassas under the State Madrassa Education Board across Assam. There are private madrassas too, but it is govt-funded ones that Sarma has said will shut down. According to official website of the State Madrassa Education Board, the board was established during the colonial-era in 1934 when “when India was under British rule and Assam provincial government was in undivided Assam”.The state-funded madrasas run exactly like government schools and the subjects taught are in compliance with the state education board curriculum, but with 2 extra subjects:Arabic and theology.According to Guwahati-based activist Abdul Kalam Azad, there is one kind of ‘private’ madrasa where only Islamic education is imparted. These have mushroomed in areas where there are no govt schools or govt-aided madrasas.“For long, we have been demanding that the government should take these under their wing and introduce modern education in these specific madrasas,” said Azad. “The new decision is pretty pointless since the government is not doing anything about the madrasas which actually require help.” Sanskrit tols fall under Department of Secondary Education in Assam. According to reports, there are 97 provincialised tols and more than a hundred venture tols.indianexpress

‘Gandhi didn’t take any effort to rescue Bhagat Singh and other revolutionaries’: Principal Economic Adviser
Ahmedabad :Alleging that Mahatma Gandhi did not put in enough efforts to rescue Bhagat Singh and other revolutionaries, Principal Economic Adviser to the government of India, Sanjeev Sanyal, on Wednesday said that it was a “deliberate subversion of story of revolutionaries to suppress this alternative history of India’s freedom”.Delivering a lecture, ‘The Revolutionaries: A Retelling of India’s History’ at Gujarat University on Wednesday, Sanyal said this story was “inconvenient” to both the political establishment of India and also to British after independence. He also stressed that this narrative (of revolutionaries) should be introduced in curriculum.“It is difficult to say whether Mahatma Gandhi would have been successful to save Bhagat Singh or any other revolutionary from the gallows because the facts do not exist… he did not make much of an effort…,” the Principal Economic Adviser told an audience of students and faculty.indianexpress







TN lawyer challenges deletion of sentence about RSS’ anti-Muslim stance in textbook
An advocate, S Doraisamy, has moved the Madras High Court, challenging the deletion of the sentence "Hindu Mahasabha and RSS took a pronounced anti-Muslim stance" in the 10th standard social science textbook."The statements/versions appearing in the said text books is part of history and it cannot be re-written based upon some sentiments," S Doraisamy said. He submitted that the school education department had issued a circular for 'hiding' the sentence in both the Tamil and English versions of the textbook and requested the Court to quash the circular. Admitting the plea moved as a PIL, a division bench of Justices M Sathyanarayanan and R Hemalatha directed the department to file a counter affidavit by March 19 on how the syllabus is prescribed and appraised and the procedure to be adopted for deletion of certain portions in the textbooks.thenewsminute

Explosion at Lucknow court, 3 injured; two crude bombs detected
Lucknow : 3 persons were reportedly injured in a crude bomb explosion in Lucknow court at Wazeerganj police station area on Thursday afternoon. 2 crude (sutli) bombs were also recovered from the spot. The incident took place in the Chief Judicial Magistrate court where Sanjeev Lodhi, joint secretary of the Lucknow bar association, claimed that he was the target. Sources in the police said that initial reports suggested personal enmity as rivalry between the lawyers as reason behind the attack.“On Thursday afternoon, we received information about low intensity blasts at Lucknow airport. The police teams which rushed there found that the explosion was caused by crude bombs. The reason behind the attack is yet to be ascertained and we are investigating the matter. The injured are not serious and need primary medical attention,” a police officer said.SHO of Wazeerganj police station Deepak Dubey said one person had suffered an injury in his leg.The explosion took place near the district magistrate’s office and barely a kilometre from the Uttar Pradesh Vidhan Sabha building.Soon after the incident, scores of angry lawyers crowded the area, demanding protection.indianexpress



Disquiet in BJP after party’s crushing defeat in Delhi poll, but all back nationalism plank:HT
Delhi BJP chief Manoj Tiwari Wednesday dismissed reports that he offered to step down after the party’s crushing defeat in Delhi elections in which it won only 8 seats.There are voices growing within the party for an “organisational overhaul” in the national capital. The party could improve its 2015 Assembly election tally only by 5 seats, while losing one seat in the process.Several senior leaders blamed the loss to delay in starting election campaign, weak organisational setup and the state units “inability” to counter the freebies doled out by AAP government. Another big reason for loss, some said, was the move to contest without a chief minister face.BJP had a high-pitch, hyper local campaign micromanaged by Union home minister Amit Shah, who attended roadshows and public meetings in 60-plus assembly constituencies in 2 weeks. Close to 200 MPs, sitting and former chief ministers of BJP-ruled states and Union ministers campaigned aggressively in what was considered a prestige battle for the party. Prime Minister Narendra Modi held two rallies and BJP chief JP Nadda campaigned in 70 constituencies.“This (eight seats and 40% vote share) is the best you can get after a 15-day-long campaign,” a senior BJP leader remarked.Another senior BJP leader requesting anonymity said, “AAP started its campaign soon after its defeat in the Lok Sabha elections. By the time we started, there wasn’t enough time to tell people about our schemes promised in our manifesto.”

Accused in mining and forest cases, Ballari baron Anand Singh made Karnataka Forest & Environment Minister
Bengaluru: Accused OF illegal mining and forest crimes in 15 cases pending against him since 2012, Anand Singh, a 4-time MLA from the iron ore-rich Ballari district of Karnataka with business interests in mining and transportation, has been appointed the new minister for forest, environment and ecology in 6-month-old BJP government in the state led by BS Yediyurappa.Singh (53) was made minister of food and civil supplies on Monday, but was given the forest, ecology and environment ministry a day later, after he demanded a change in portfolio, despite the charges of illegal mining and violation of forest laws pending against him from BJP’s previous tenure (2008-13).indianexpress
Bengaluru Police evict protesting blind students
Bengaluru:Blind students holding a peaceful protest for laptops promised under a government scheme were evicted by the police on Tuesday. The students, part of the state youth wing of National Federation of the Blind (NFB), had launched an indefinite protest at the office of the director of the Department for Empowerment of Differently Abled and Senior Citizens at VV Tower in central Bengaluru. Police, however, moved them to the Ashoknagar hockey ground in no time. The scheme for the distribution of free laptops to all class 10 and college-going visually challenged students was launched in 2014-15. Veeresh, coordinator, State Youth Committee, NFB Karnataka, said: “Due to the reluctance of the state government as well as administrative and procedural complications, laptops were distributed only in 2015-16 and 2017-18 financial years. Both the times, it happened as a result of our protest.” deccanherald
Wasn’t driving the Bentley, claims Mohammed Nalapad: Cops arrest bodyguard
Congress MLA NA Haris’ son Mohammed Nalapad on Wednesday appeared before the Sadashivnagar Traffic Police in Bengaluru for questioning in connection with accident involving a Bentley Continental GT. The Bengaluru Police on Tuesday said that Nalapad was driving the black Bentley along the Mekhri Circle underpass on Sunday afternoon and rammed into a bike and autorickshaw, injuring two people.“I was not the one driving the Bentley. I was in a Lamborghini ahead of the Bentley. Balu (Balakrishna, Nalapad’s bodyguard) was the one who drove the car. Some channels are saying that he does not know how to drive a Bentley and that is not true. He has been my driver for so long. I helped the people who were injured and took them to the hospital and paid the hospital bills. This is a conspiracy against me,” a teary-eyed Nalapad told the media after police questioning.Nalapad questioned the media as to why he was being portrayed as a “goonda”. This isn’t the first time that he has been accused of breaking the law. The MLA’s son was in the spotlight in 2018 after a case of attempted murder was registered against him at the Cubbon Park Police Station. Nalapad was accused of brutally beating up Vidvat, son of a prominent businessman, at an uptown café in Bengaluru.thenewsminute
Uttar Pradesh: Cops thrash AAP MLA Amanatullah Khan’s relatives for celebrating his victory in Delhi elections
AAP MLA Amanatullah Khan’s relatives were allegedly severely beaten up by cops in his native village Agwanpur of Parikshitgarh police station in district Meerut when they were celebrating Khan’s victory in the recently concluded Delhi assembly election, reported The Statesman.Amanatullah , who is sitting MLA of AAP, defeated Braham Singh of Bharatiya Janata Party by a huge margin of 71, 827 votes from Okhla constituency.Soon after the results were announced, Khan’s relatives in his paternal village Agwanpur started celebrating. The police reached the location and lathi-charged relatives and villagers to disperse them, according to the report in The Statesman. The police argued that section 144 was imposed in the area. So, they were not allowed to gather and celebrate.The police allegedly misbehaved with young girls. They allegedly pulled a young girl’s hair and forced her to walk on the streets. They asked her to help them identify the MLA’s relatives who had fled after a scuffle with police over the celebration.nationalheraldindia

₹81.67 crore worth electoral bonds sold before Delhi polls, response to RTI query shows
NEW DELHI:In the run-up to the Delhi Assembly Elections, 139 electoral bonds worth ₹81.67 crore were sold by various branches of SBI, according to the response to an RTI query filed by Commodore Lokesh Batra (Retd.)In the 13th phase of bond sales, between January 13 to 22, the largest number (43) were sold by the Kolkata branch, though the majority (89) were encashed at the New Delhi branch, said the RTI response from the SBI.Of the bonds issued, 78 were the denomination of ₹1 crore while 34 bonds worth ₹10 lakh each were issued. The remaining 27 bonds were worth ₹1 lakh each. No bonds were issued in the lower denominations of ₹1,000 and ₹10,000. All bonds sold were redeemed.The electoral bonds scheme has been criticised by the Opposition parties as well as the civil society groups for a lack of transparency in political funding, as the donor remains anonymous. So far, ₹6,210 crore have been donated through this method since the scheme began.thehindu
Indian Businesses Feel Ripple Effect Of Trade Slowdown Due To Coronavirus
The outbreak of coronavirus in China - where more than 1,000 people have been killed by the lethal disease and over 40,000 have got infected - has hit trade in the region, becoming a cause of concern for Indian businessmen.Dozens of cities in China - one of India's biggest trading partners - are under a lockdown amid the outbreak of coronavirus, declared a global health emergency by WHO. Indian businessmen, who have manufacturing units in the east Asian country, are worried as uncertainty prevails over the return of normalcy.Dipanker Dutta, owner of manufacturing unit of cinema seats and recliners in Foshan city of Guandong province of China, is one such businessmen; his factory has been temporarily shut till the situation improves.The manufacturing unit was to expected to open on Wednesday after the Chinese New Year holiday, however, now it is not expected to open before the first week of March.ndtv
14 Killed, 31 Injured as Bus Rams into Stationary Truck on Agra-Lucknow Expressway
Firozabad: 14 passengers were killed and around 31 people grievously injured as a private bus rammed into a stationary truck in Firozabad on Agra-Lucknow Expressway on Wednesday night. The driver of the truck was declared spot dead.The injured have been taken to Saifai PGI for treatment and kept under observation in ICU.The incident took place near Milestone Number 71 after the bus carrying more than 50 people rammed into the truck while its driver was changing its punctured tyres on Agra Lucknow Expressway around 10:30pm on Wednesday. 6 people are stated to be critical.“At least 31 people were injured in the accident and are undergoing treatment here. 13 people were brought dead,” Dr Vishwa Deepak of Emergency Ward said.news18
*WORLD*
UN lists firms linked to illegal Israeli settlements in West Bank
United Nations human rights office has issued a report on companies it said have business ties to illegal Israeli settlements in the occupied West Bank, a long-delayed move likely to draw the ire of Israel and its main ally, the United States.In a statement on Wednesday, UN body said it identified 112 business entities which it has reasonable grounds to conclude have ties with Israeli settlements - 94 domiciled in Israel and 18 in six other countries.It identified companies listed in US, France, the Netherlands, Luxembourg, Thailand and the United Kingdom. Among these was the US-based home-sharing company, Airbnb.In its rport, the UN office said the companies' activities "raised particular human rights concerns"."I am conscious this issue has been, and will continue to be, highly contentious," UN High Commissioner for Human Rights Michelle Bachelet said.But she added that the findings had been subject to an "extensive and meticulous review process" and the report "reflects the serious consideration that has been given to this unprecedented and highly complex mandate".Her office said the report "does not provide a legal characterisation of the activities in question, or of business enterprises' involvement in them".aljazeera
China officials fired as coronavirus deaths surge past 1,300
Health officials in China's hard-hit central province of Hubei reported on Thursday that 242 more people died from the coronavirus COVID-19 as of Wednesday - the highest in a single day and more than twice the previous record high - pushing the death toll across the country to 1,355.The province's health commission also reported a huge jump in new cases, saying a further 14,840 people had been confirmed with the infection over the 24-hour period to midnight on Wednesday.As this developed, the official Xinhua news agency reported on Thursday that the head of Communist party in the province of Hubei has been relieved of his post - the latest in a line of local officials fired.Hubei is at the centre of the outbreak, which is thought to have originated in a now-closed seafood market in the capital of Wuhan late last year.
Exiled Uighurs fear spread of coronavirus in China camps
Members of China's Uighur minority living in exile are sounding the alarm over the risk of the coronavirus spreading in camps inside the country, where NGOs say hundreds of thousands of people have been rounded up by Beijing.So far, official figures released by Chinese state media give no major cause for concern over the COVID-19 outbreak in the northeast region of Xinjiang, which is home to the Uighurs, a Muslim minority who speak a Turkic language.It is far from the epicentre of the outbreak and just 55 cases have been reported in the region so far. The first patients to fully recover in the region have already left hospital, according to official media.aljazeera
Saudi ranks 3rd in spread of 5G networks
RIYADH:Saudi Arabia ranks third globally and first in the Middle East, Europe and North Africa (EUMENA) region in terms of fifth generation (5G) networks spreading over 30 cities with setting up of more than 5,797 towers.This reflects the great development achieved by the Kingdom’s communications and information technology sector in boosting the digital transformation to achieve the goals of the Kingdom’s Vision 2030.The Ministry of Communications and Information Technology strove to bring the 5G technology to the Kingdom and thus making it one of the pioneering countries to launch this service in the Middle East and North Africa region countries.Saudi Gazette
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Compiled and edited by Anwarulhaq (Released at: 3:11 PM).   

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