News and views across the globe.

Wednesday, 12 February 2020

12 FEB. NEWS: Bill to punish people with more than 2 children introduced in Rajya Sabha/Assam NRC:A saga of missing data, technical glitches, non-renewal of contract, state’s accountability/ Over 430 Dalits convert to Islam in Coimbatore citing injustice, more conversions underway


NEWS DIGEST, EVENING   
 12 Feb.  2020: 17 Jamadi-2, 1441: Vol: 12, No: 130
*INDIA*
Bill to punish people with more than two children introduced in Rajya Sabha
A private member’s Bill introduced in the Rajya Sabha last week went un-noticed and undiscussed. The Bill seeks to punish families with more than two children by depriving them of social welfare benefits, tax exemptions etc. 2-child norm is already there in the Panchayati Raj Act and the Supreme Court has upheld the provision in several states that debars women with more than two children from contesting and holding panchayat posts. Tweeted Congress leader @vsirnate: “We have had an informal two-child policy for many years. But this one is basically saying that people with more than two kids will be punished through taxe concession withdrawals and extra taxation.”The introduction to the Bill states:"Today, there is also a need to encourage the people to keep small family by offering tax concessions, priority in social benefit schemes and school admissions etc. and at the same time discourage them from producing more children by withdrawing tax concessions, imposing heavy taxes and by making other punitive provisions for violations. Therefore, the Bill seeks to amend the Constitution with a view to make a provision by the State to discourage the people from increasing their family and encourage them to keep their family limited to two children.."Presently, 6 states including Haryana, Rajasthan, MP, Andhra Pradesh and Himachal have made 2-child norm mandatory for all panchayat members. The govts of all these states insist that those with more than 2 living children are debarred from contesting panchayat elections or remaining in office. With minimum age for contesting elections having been lowered from 26 to 21 years, this immediately affects lakhs of younger men and women within reproductive age-group.The passing of the 73rd constitutional amendment made it mandatory for 33% of all panchayat seats to be reserved for women. It also mandated quotas for socially marginalised sections including dalits and those belonging to scheduled castes and scheduled tribes (SC/STs).Nirmala Buch, who runs a Bhopal-based NGO, Mahila Chetna Manch (MCM), had pointed out in 2018 that 412 panchayat members in Rajasthan had been removed from their posts, over the past three years, because they failed to comply with 2-child norm. Buch was quoted as saying then, "In MP, 350 panchayat members have been removed and in Haryana the number of those removed is 275. In MP, all those who were removed from their posts were tribals. They are not conversant with the laws of the land, but instead of encouraging them to join this process they are being forced to turn away."nationalheraldindia
Private Member Bill Introduced In Rajya Sabha For Population Control Measures
Shiv Sena MP floats Bill in Rajya Sabha promoting 2-Child Policy to tackle population control
*anti-CAA,NRC-NPR stir*
Assam NRC:A saga of missing data, technical glitches, non-renewal of contract, state’s accountability
After the data of Assam’s NRC showing details of included and excluded persons went missing from the official website and created a panic like situation, the NRC State Coordinator Hitesh Dev Sarma said, the data is safe, there is nothing to worry, a report in Indian Express stated.‘Just a technical glitch’, Sarma said. Union Home Ministry also clarified that data of the final list of NRC has been offline for some time."NRC data is safe. Some technical issues are in visibility on the cloud. These are being resolved soon," a Home Ministry spokesperson said.TOI quoted an official source at the NRC as saying, “The data were stored in cloud storage. But, the service period of the cloud storage provided by WIPRO expired and the subscription renewal was not done as there was no coordinator after the transfer of the former coordinator Prateek Hajela. After the new coordinator has assumed charge, the renewal process is underway and the data should be online in a few days.”But this raises another significant question of whether the state has capacity enough to store data safely. Indian Express quoted Apar Gupta, lawyer and Executive Director of IFF as saying,“It puts a big question mark on state capacity. This points towards the acute lack of state capacity to actually make sure that data is being reliably, safely and securely stored, and also made available in real-time fashion for delivery of e-governance services.” VApar Gupta further added that this incident reveals how individual contracts are negotiated and how they are not able to ensure that the technical systems remain online during the renewal process. “ this should have been kept in mind especially for this service taking into account the sensitivity underlying this data and tremendous public anxiety its non-availability would cause,” he said.But according to Wipro, it had continued to provide services long after the contract had expired. The contract expired in Oct.2019 and Wipro continued its services till Jan-end, 2020, Wipro said. Debabrata Saika, Assam leader of the opposition sent a letter to Registrar General and Census Commissioner about the sudden vanish of online data from the official website.“The data have vanished especially when the appeals process has not even started due to the go-slow attitude adopted by NRC Authority. There is, therefore, ample scope to suspect that the disappearance of online data is a mala fide act and is prima facie a deliberate violation of the directive issued by the Hon’ble Supreme Court,” Saikia wrote in his letter to the registrar general.nationalheraldindia
Assam NRC Data Disappears From Cloud. Home Ministry Says Technical Issue
Govt May Not Send Excluded Children to Detention Centres if Parents Are in Final Assam NRC
New Delhi: The government has decided not to send to the detention centre, pending a final decision, children who got excluded from NRC in Assam but whose parents are included in the list, Lok Sabha was informed. Union Minister of State for Home, Nityananda Rai, said the approved standard operating procedures for disposal of claims and objections had specific provision for children who got left out from the draft NRC, while their parents had been included. PTI
40 lakh Assamese-speaking Muslims may get ‘ethnic tribe’ tag
Assam government is likely to give "ethnic tribe" nomenclature to four groups of Assamese-speaking Muslims living in the Brahmaputra Valley who were earlier called indigenous Muslims. These people do not have any history of migration from erstwhile East Pakistan."We have proposed to replace 'indigenous' with 'ethnic tribe' because Assam so far has no official definition of who is an indigenous Assamese," said Assam minorities development board chairman Muminul Aowal. He added that the four cummunities - Goria, Moria, Desi and tea tribe Jolha - are already recognized as more other backward classes (MOBC)."They are about 40 lakh in number," said Aowal.But the proposal has not included Maimal group of Muslims, which are Bengali-speaking, in "ethnic tribe" Muslim community. "Maimals are in the Barak Valley and the government will consider their case later. At this moment, we are talking of only those in Brahmaputra Valley," Aowal added.He added 'Desi' and 'Ujani' groups will be clubbed as Desi while the Sayed group will included in the Goria group.These group of Muslims trace their lineage to 15th century and majority of them took to Islam by conversion between 13 and 17th century, Aowal said, adding, "None of these groups can be called migrant Muslims. The Gorias and Morias worked for the Ahom kings and the Desis were originaly Koch-Rajbongshis who converted to Islam. Those following Islam among the people brought by the British from the Chota Nagpur plateau to work in tea gardens comprise the tea tribe Jolha."Migrant Bengali-speaking Muslims, which comprise more than 63% of the state's total Muslim population, have always been the block around which electoral battles have been fought in the state.TOI
Why Assam’s BJP government is counting members of four Muslim communities
Assam to drop term ‘Khilonjiya Muslim’ from proposed census
Assam’s proposed ‘Khilonjiya Muslim Development Corporation’ will now be called ‘Goriya, Moriya, Deshi and Julha Development Corporation’. The proposal was put forth after a 3-hour-long meeting of the Assam government’s Welfare of Minorities and Development Department with various representatives of Assam’s Muslim communities on Tuesday, confirmed Assam’s Welfare of Minorities Minister Ranjit Dutta.“The words ‘khilonjiya’ and ‘Muslim’ will be omitted and replaced with the names of the specific communities: Goriya, Moriya, Deshi, and Julha,” said Dutta. The corporation was listed as part of the Assam Budget 2019-2020. The census of the specifically mentioned communities will take place as per plan.indianexpress
Non-inclusion in NRC shatters Hajj dreams of many Muslims in Assam
 Assam: “For the last 20 years, my only innermost wish has been to perform Hajj. I wish Allah somehow fulfills that dream,” Sakina Khatun says.A visibly devastated Sakina explains that not many people in their area have been able to go to Mecca for the annual Hajj pilgrimage but when she heard about it, she wished from the bottom of her heart to visit the holy sanctuary once. Hajj is an annual pilgrimage made to the city of Mecca and Madina in Saudi Arabia, the trip constituting one of the five pillars in the Islamic faith. She explains that her Hajj application process hangs in balance as she could not make it to NRC updated in the Indian state of Assam last year in August.Residents of a quaint village in Darrang district, around 120-km away from Guwahati, Sakina Khatun and her husband, Miraj Ali have limited means to earn enough money to fund their pilgrimage journey. In a state that depends largely on agriculture as its main source of livelihood it is difficult for people to dream big as in the case of the peasant couple whose dream of going for Hajj means curtailing their day-to-day expenses over a long period of time to save up enough for the trip.According to Joint State Hajj Committee (which includes Assam,Arunachal, Meghalaya, Nagaland, Mizoram, and Sikkim) it costs around 3.20 lakh Rupees for each pilgrim to perform Hajj.twocircles
Puducherry becomes first UT to pass resolution against Citizenship Act
Puducherry Legislative Assembly Wednesday passed a resolution against the contentious CAA and urged the Centre to withdraw the legislation, which has set off nationwide protests and led to over 25 deaths.The resolution, which was passed during a special one-day Assembly session, saw MLAs from All India NR Congress (AINRC) and AIADMK boycotting the proceedings of the House.Puducherry is the first Union Territory to pass a resolution against the CAA. 5 state governments – Kerala, Punjab, Rajasthan, West Bengal, and Madhya Pradesh – have also passed resolutions against contentious Act. All the states, along with Puducherry, are ruled by non-BJP govts. indianexpress
Chandrashekhar Azad to SC: Home Ministry, UP govt colluded to block roads around Shaheen Bagh
Bhim Army chief Chandrashekhar Azad today filed an application in the Supreme Court saying the Home Ministry and Uttar Pradesh government have deliberately blocked alternate roads far away from Shaheen Bagh leading to traffic jams for commuters on Delhi, Noida and Faridabad stretch.Azad filed this intervention application to bring on records facts in the pending case, which sought the apex court to pass direction to clear the Shaheen Bagh protest site, as it is causing inconvenience to daily commuters.The Supreme Court in the previous hearing questioned the indefinite road blockage, which causes inconvenience to daily commuters. The top court had said petitions challenging the constitutional validity of the CAA are pending in the court.Seeking to bring to court's notice some of the "collusive acts" of the administration, Azad's applications said, "Home Ministry as well as State of UP are blocking alternate roads that are far away from Shaheen Bagh to deliberately cause traffic jams for commuters." The application contended that Shaheen Bagh protest is considered an "iconic" peaceful protest (anti-CAA), which has been replicated in many major cities of the country.The application contended the petition against Shaheen Bagh protests has been filed in collusion with Centre, which controls the police in Delhi; and the interveners apprehend that facts may not be placed before the top court."The court may be misled into passing orders that will be used by Central government as a pretext to commit mass genocide of innocent women and citizens of this country," said the application.Azad along with ex CIC Wajahat Habibullah urged the top court to implead them as a party in the proceedings of the case "in order to place all relevant facts which have a material bearing on the petition being heard by the court and will also have a bearing in the effective adjudication of the issues at hand." They have sought to make written and oral submissions. The SC will hear the petitions on Feb 17.IANS
Plea to forcibly remove Shaheen Bagh protesters filed in collusion with Centre: Bhim Army chief
Kicked on Private Parts, Tore off Clothes: Jamia Students Recollect Police Brutality on Feb.10
NEW DELHI:“‘Chalo tumhe Azadi de raha hoon’(Come, I will give you Azadi) shouted a policeman while dragging me into the police bus,” said an injured Abu Darda, a student at the Jamia Millia Islamia who was allegedly attacked by the police force on February 10 and eventually detained and released later. He was addressing the media along with other injured students at a press conference organised by Jamia Coordination Committee in university campus on Wednesday."There were around 10 lines of Rapid Action Force before the barricade to stop the march. Police targeted individuals. They tore off our clothes. Many of the officers who detained us were in civil dress. They even refused to provide us with water in the Police Station. They chased away our lawyers from the Station,” Abu Darda added .Female students accused the forces of tearing off their clothes and kicking in their private parts causing serious injuries.Chanda Yadav, another student protestor with a bandage on her hands alleged that the police force kicked her in her abdomen and beat on her hands. She was beaten by male policemen on the floor of the Police bus. Safoora Zargar, a Sociology student at the university said the Police refused their repeated requests for permission for the march. “On Feb 10, they had a different tactic. Instead of attacking us with visible impacts, they attacked us in such a way that the media and the public won't be able to know of it,” she added.  Safoora told media that she was pulled down from the barricades by the Police force. Falling on from the barricades with head hitting the ground, the Policemen attacked her on the ground too. They stamped her with their boots. Safoora also told the media that she was surrounded by forces who were wearing riot gears and they refused any help even after she complained of suffocation.Rafiya, also a student seriously injured and admitted in the Intensive Care Unit at the Al Shifa Hospital, accused forces tore off her clothes including burqa. India Tomorrow
‘Police snatched my hijab, burqa’ — Jamia students claim Delhi Police used communal slurs
11 anti-CAA protesters in UP asked to sign bonds
The district administration in Sambhal has issued notices to 11 persons, participating in anti-CAA protests, asking them to sign a personal bond of ₹50 lakh each with an undertaking that they would not indulge in any disruptive activities.The notices have been sent under Section 111 of CrPC (magistrate order against any person who is likely to commit a breach of peace) on the basis of a police report.Nakhasa SDM Rajesh Kumar said: "The 11 persons have been told in the notices that police suspect that they may get involved in violence and therefore a personal bond of Rs 50 lakh and two sureties for the same amount should be taken from each of them."IANS
‘Cong stands by you’: Priyanka Gandhi meets jailed UP anti-CAA protesters’ kin
Azamgarh:Congress leader Priyanka Gandhi Vadra today visited Samajwadi Party chief Akhilesh Yadav parliamentary seat Azamgarh and met family members of jailed anti-CAA protesters, asserting that raising voice in a democracy was not a crime.Accusing BJP governments at the Centre and in Uttar Pradesh of trying to destroy the Constitution, she dubbed both governments as “anti-poor and anti-people”. Priyanka said, “Whatever happened with you was wrong, was an injustice. All of us will stand against the injustice. The government which is at the Centre, and the one which is in UP, is anti-people and anti-poor, and is working to destroy the Constitution.“If you and we do not save it, the Constitution will be destroyed,” she cautioned the people.“You have seen BJP government in Uttarakhand said that reservation is not a constitutional right,” she said, alleging that the state government was talking of destroying the Constitution.She said, “I heard the women folk. I had gone to Bijnor, Meerut, Muzaffarnagar, Lucknow and Varanasi and other places where police and the administration committed atrocities. A report was drafted by our party and given to the NHRC.” She said she would also send names of policemen who committed atrocities in Azamgarh.PTI
On Meerut SP asking Muslims to ‘go to Pak’, govt says NHRC takes note
In the backdrop of Meerut’s Superintendent of Police Akhilesh Narayan Singh allegedly telling Muslims protesting against CAA and NRC to go to Pakistan, the Centre on Tuesday told Parliament that NHRC takes cognizance of instances where police officers have been found to be “verbally harassing” people from the minority community.In reply to a question on whether the government has taken cognizance of the police “verbally harassing” Muslims, Minister of State for Home G Kishan Reddy said, “NHRC takes cognizance of complaints of human rights violations as per provisions of the Protection of Human Rights Act, 1993, and calls for report from the appropriate authority in state government, including SP, DGP and Secretary of Home Department. In any case of prima facie violation of human rights, the Commission makes recommendations under Section 18 of the Act, for monetary relief and/or action against the erring public servant, including action for violation of Section 166A IPC.”indianexpress
Stance Clear, Kerala Will Not Implement NPR, Says Pinarayi Vijayan
 Kerala chief minister Pinarayi Vijayan on Tuesday said fears fanned about the census process in Kerala were unfounded and asserted that the State will not implement the NPR.The state government has conveyed this to the central government also, Vijayan told the state assembly.“Our stance is clear. Kerala will not implement NPR. We have made it known to the Union Government. The fears that are being fanned about the census in Kerala are unfounded. In our state, the census will be carried out only in the usual manner and will not have any business with NPR,” Vijayan said.PTI
Banks, postal dept being used to conduct NRC surveys, alleges Mamata
West Bengal chief minister Mamata Banerjee on Wednesday alleged that different banks and the postal department are involved in conducting surveys on behalf of the union government and the ruling BJP at the Centre. The chief minister asked people not to share any document or information with those surveyors.“Banks and the postal department are being used for collecting data. Don’t answer them. Share no information or document. They can’t do it without the approval of the state government and we haven’t given them any permission. Send these people away from your home,” Banerjee said while convening an administrative meeting in Bankura district. The meeting was streamed live on social media.After the meeting, she went to the neighbouring West Burdwan district and led a rally against the CAA, NRC and NPR in Durgapur.HT
Bihar: Kanhaiya Kumar's Convoy Attacked for 7th Time in 2 Weeks
Gaya:CPI leader Kanhaiya Kumar’s convoy was attacked again in Bihar on Tuesday and a Congress MLA’s car, which was also in the cavalcade, was vandalised by suspected BJP workers.This is the seventh attack on the convoy in two weeks, claimed organisers of the Kumar’s state-wide “Jan Gan Man Yatra” which began last month and is scheduled to conclude a fortnight later with a rally in the state capital. Later sharing the stage with a host of leaders from the opposition Grand Alliance at a public meeting, Kumar flayed the Modi government for the “divisive” CAA.PTI
Bidar Anti-CAA Play: Plea Filed in HC Against Interrogation of Minor Students
New Delhi: A PIL has been filed in the Karnataka high court seeking action against Bidar police for ‘illegally examining and questioning’ minor school students who participated in a play against the CAA.The petition, filed by Nayana Jyothi Jawar and others, says the state police blatantly violated rule of law and various provisions under the Code of Criminal Procedure and the Juvenile Justice Act. “[The police] have interrogated the students aged merely 9 years to 12 years of Shaheen School in Bidar, creating mental trauma and fear in the children’s state of mind,” the petition reads, according to Bar & Bench.The petition also urges the court to direct the Karnataka Police to examine minors in accordance with the provisions of law.It may be recollected that students as young as nine years old were repeatedly interrogated by the Bidar police for participating in an anti-CAA play in their school. The Police had filed an FIR against the management of the school after Nilesh Rakshala, activist of ABVP, had filed a complaint on January 26. “Interrogation” only stopped after Karnataka State Commission for Protection of Child Rights criticised the Bidar district police for violating rules.Fareeda Begum, the headmistress of the school, and Najumunnisa, the mother of a student, were arrested by the police. The women are set to be in jail until at least February 14, after a district court judge adjourned the bail ordered.thewire
Deoband is Gangotri of terrorists, produced Hafiz Saeed, says Giriraj Singh
Saharanpur:Union minister Giriraj Singh has said Uttar Pradesh's Deoband is a factory producing terrorists and termed it "aatankvaad ki Gangotri". Talking to the media in Saharanpur, where the Darul Uloom Deoband is situated, Giriraj said Deoband produces terrorists like Hafiz Saeed."I had once said earlier that Deoband is the Gangotri of terrorists. All most wanted terrorists of the world came from Deoband, including Hafiz Saeed or any of the others," said Giriraj Singh. Deoband has seen fierce anti-CAA protests by Muslim women over the past months and has faced attack from BJP leaders. Deoband is also home to the Islamic seminary Darul Uloom Deoband."These people are not against CAA, they are against India. This is a kind of a khilafat movement," said Giriraj Singh, attacking the ongoing anti-CAA protests in Deoband.indiatoday
*J&K AND S. ASIA*
SC to hear plea against detention of Omar Abdullah under PSA tomorrow after judge recuses
The Supreme Court on Wednesday adjourned the hearing on a petition by Sara Abdullah Pilot challenging the detention of her brother and former J&K chief minister Omar Abdullah under the PSA. The top court will hear the matter on Thursday after one of the three judges — Justice Mohan Shantanagoudar — recused from the hearing. The other two judges are Justices NV Ramana and Sanjiv Khanna.Abdullah and former CM Mehbooba Mufti were slapped with the PSA last week, six months after the J&K administration placed them under preventive detention following the scrapping of Article 370.In her petition, Sara Pilot termed Omar Abdullah’s detention under PSA “ex-facie mala fide for entirely political considerations”. Senior advocate Kapil Sibal, appearing for Sarah, had mentioned the Habeas Corpus plea for urgent listing.indianexpress
In PDP leader’s PSA file: Referred to Geelani book, criticised Amit Shah
Srinagar :Advising people to read Hurriyat leader Syed Ali Geelani’s autobiography to inspire them to “never give up the dream of education” and criticising the then BJP president Amit Shah’s speech are among the reasons cited by the J&K administration for invoking the stringent PSA against senior PDP leader Naeem Akhtar.In September 2016, when schools in the Valley had been shut for almost three months because of curfews and calls for shutdown by separatists, Akhtar, who was then the state education minister, had said at a teachers’ conference:“Everyone should read his (Geelani’s) book (Wular Kinaray), wherein he has documented his struggle right from early childhood. Despite immense hardship, he never gave up his dream of education, and his best days were spent as a teacher… Similarly, Mirwaiz too overcame his personal struggle and completed his Ph.D. as an accomplished scholar. He never stopped the journey of education, come what may.”His statement has now been cited by the J&K Police in its PSA dossier. “His (Akhtar’s) leaning towards radical elements can be gathered from this statement dated 27/09/2016 in which he, as an education minister, advised people to read Geelani’s book, Wular Kinaray,” it says.indianexpress
PSA dossier on Mehbooba only slander; no solid argument: daughter Iltija
Srinagar :Terming PSA dossier against former Chief Minister Mehbooba Mufti as “slander”, her daughter Iltija Mufti said that the BJP “tasted power for a second time in Kashmir” — after the death of Mehbooba’s father Mufti Mohammed Sayeed — only because her mother was “daddy’s girl”, one of the terms used in the dossier against the PDP chief.Iltija said the police dossier and the “grounds of detention” under the stringent PSA should be objective, with solid arguments. Even if the administration had to accuse her mother of “something serious”, they should have been at least dignified, she said.“As a daughter, it is very painful for me to see such slander against my mother. It is appalling,” Iltija told The Indian Express. “They accuse my mother of being a ‘daddy’s girl’ — they used it to slander her — but had she not been a ‘daddy’s girl’ BJP would not have come to power again after Mufti-sahib’s death. My mother was unabashedly and unapologetically a ‘daddy’s girl’, and that is why BJP tasted power for the second time. We all know she honoured Mufti-sahib’s commitment. Otherwise, she was dithering for a good 3 months — she didn’t want to part of this (PDP-BJP) alliance”.indianexpress
Centre's 'Mission Kashmir 3.0' Suffers Setback After Envoy Says They Are Tourists
Centre’s `Mission Kashmir 3.0’ on Wednesday suffered a major setback when one of the visiting foreign envoys remarked that they were “just like tourists” in the valley. “Kashmir is a beautiful place. We are here just as tourists”, Dominican Rep Ambassador Frank Hans Dannenberg told media persons here.Frank Hans Dannenberg is among 25 diplomats who arrived in Srinagar for an on the spot assessment of the situation post abrogation of Article 370. Others in the delegation include European Union Ambassador Ugo Astutu, German Ambassador Walter Johannes Lindner, French Ambassador Emmanuel Lenain, Czech Republic Ambassador Milan Hovoraka, Austrian Ambassador Brigitte Oppinger Walchshofer and Slovakian Ambassador Ivan Lancaric.Mexican Ambassador Federico Salas Lotfe, Danish Ambassador Freddy Svana, Italian Ambassador Vincenzo de Luca, Netherlands Ambassador Marten van den Berg, Namibian High Commissioner Gabril Pandureni Sinombo, Kyrgyzstan Ambassador Asein Isaev, Uzbek Ambassador Farhod Arziev, Hungarian Ambassador Gyula Petho and Canadian High Commissioner Nadir Patel are also part of 25-member delegation.Others who landed in Srinagar include Tajik Ambassador Rahimzoda Sulton, Bulgarian Ambassador Elenora Dimitrova. Guinean Ambassador Fatoumata Balde, Ugandan High Commissioner Akello Dina Grace, Kenyan High Commissioner Wily Kipkorir Bett, Rwandan Charge de Affairs Joseph Kaba Keza, Polish Charge de Affairs Robert Dzie Dzic, Afghan Charge de Affairs Tahir Qadiry and New Zealand Charge de Affairs Graham Morton.“It is fantastic to be here and see how things are working”, said Danish Ambassador Freddy Svana.On their arrival, members of the delegation were taken on a Shikara ride in the famed Dal Lake. During their stay, the envoys will be going to North Kashmir’s Baramulla where they would be interacting with fruit growers and students at skill centre. The delegation will also meet the civil society members and politicians in Srinagar. The diplomats will also be briefed by the Army about the situation on the LoC and in hinterland. India Tomorrow
J&K to give 100 acre for constructing replica of Tirumala temple in Jammu: Report
New Delhi:If things go as planned by J&K administration, Union Territory would soon be giving away 100 acres to the Tirumala Tirupathi Devasthanams (TTD) so that it can construct a replica of the famous Tirumala temple in J&K.100 acre land is likely to be allotted along the Jammu-Katra highway,The Hindu said. According to the paper, the trust is eyeing to complete the temple construction within two years and J&K administration has "agreed in principle" to allot the land.Besides the temple, the 100-acre complex will also house a Vedic school and a hospital, the report said."2 sites were identified as suitable for constructing the temple," the report said attributing the comment to Parliamentarian V Vijaya Sai Reddy, who led the delegation of the TTD Board. The two sites are Dhummi and Majin in J&K's Jammu district.India Today
IS to target India? UN report says terror group could threat Afghanistan's neighbourhood
UN: Islamic State's South Asia branch remains active, ambitious and threatening, and has established contacts with other terror groups like TTP and has the potential to exacerbate the security threat to countries neighbouring Afghanistan, a UN report has warned.According to the report, ISIL-K came under severe military pressure from the security forces of Afghanistan and Taliban fighters towards the end of 2019, leading to its virtual expulsion from what had been its Afghan HQRS in Nangarhar.PTI
Hafiz Saeed sentenced to 5-and-a-half years’ imprisonment in terror financing cases
A court in Pakistan on Wednesday convicted Lashkar-e-Taiba founder Hafiz Saeed to 5-and-a-half years’ imprisonment in two terror financing cases, Dawn reported. The sentencing came two days before global terror financing and money laundering watchdog Financial Action Task Force holds its plenary in Paris. A final decision on Pakistan’s “grey list” status is expected at this plenary. The court also imposed a fine of Pakistani Rs 15,000 on Saeed in each case.scroll
22 Bangladeshis Arrested For Illegally Living In Maharashtra's Palghar
Palghar: At least 22 Bangladeshi nationals, including 12 women, were arrested for illegally staying in Palghar district, police said on Wednesday. The arrests were made after police raided huts in Rajodi village on late Tuesday night, a police official said.A case has been registered under Indian Passport Act, 1920, and Foreign Nationals Act,1946, she said."These people didn't have any valid documents in their possession," official said, adding that they were doing petty jobs in the district.PTI
Can't Keep Rohingya in Jail After Completion of Sentence, Calcutta HC Tells WB Govt
Calcutta high court has told West Bengal government that it cannot keep four Rohingya nationals, who had entered India illegally, in correctional homes after the completion of their jail term.A division bench comprising Chief Justice T.B.N. Radhakrishnan and Justice Arijit Banerjee directed that they may be kept in open places, under surveillance if required, till their repatriation to Myanmar.The bench directed the West Bengal and Union governments to file a report on Feb.26 on the progress in repatriation of the four Rohingya. During the hearing, the bench verbally observed that the court may think of formulating a plan for the stay of the four persons till they are repatriated, if the process takes time.PTI
*DELHI POLL RESULT*
Kejriwal To Take Oath On Sunday. "Delhi Is Invited," Says AAP
Arvind Kejriwal, who returned to power in Delhi with his stunning election victory, will take oath as the Chief Minister of Delhi for the third consecutive term on Sunday, February 16. The oath-taking ceremony will take place at Ramlila Maidan. Kejriwal will be sworn in along with his team of ministers."We will be holding the oath-taking ceremony on Sunday at 10 am... Everyone in Delhi is invited to come and bless their son, their brother, Arvind Kejriwal and take an oath for a better Delhi," stop AAP leader Manish Sisodia said during a press conference along with Mr Kejriwal. Kejriwal, 51, met Lieutenant Governor Anil Baijal this morning. The meeting at Lieutenant Governor's residence lasted for around 15 minutes. Sources said the two discussed the oath-taking ceremony which could take place over the weekend. While cabinet portfolios have not been announcement, there is a buzz that Raghav Chadha will be made Finance Minister and Atishi, Education Minister, in Kejriwal's new cabinet.Mr Kejriwal's AAP had a landslide victory, winning 62 of 70 seats in the Delhi assembly in the face of a high-voltage campaign by BJP, which fielded a battery of Union Ministers and Chief Ministers in its campaign, spearheaded by Union Home Minister Amit Shah. BJP was confined to a single-digit score, 8 seats, but an improvement on its 2015 tally of 3.ndtv
Kejriwal keeps cabinet unchanged, Atishi, Raghav Chadha left out: indiatoday
Delhi Defeats Politics of Hate, Polarization in Big Way; Kejriwal Govt. Should Now Pass Resolution Against CAA: Jamaat
New Delhi:Jamaat-e-Islami Hind has welcomed the results of the Delhi Assembly elections as “defeat of politics of hate and polarisation.” Jamaat’s president Syed Sadatullah Hussaini said the voters of Delhi have proved that “India can change”.“Jamaat-e-Islami Hind welcomes the results of the Delhi elections. Politics of hate and polarization has been defeated in a big way. The whole of India is thankful to Delhi voters for teaching a big lesson to the politicians who peddled hate and bigotry. The voters of Delhi have proved that ‘India can change’”, said Jamaat chief.“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 polarization. Election Commission was unable to rein in the blatant violation of the moral code of conduct,” said Jamaat president Sadatullah Hussaini.Lauding the decision of Delhi voters to reject politics of hate, Jamaat leader said, “All possible methods to polarize the electorate around communal lines were deployed but credit must go to the voters of Delhi who understood this nefarious design and ignored their calls to vote for hate and division in the garb of nationalism and unity.”Jamaat president expressed hope that Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal would pass resolution against discriminatory CAA. “We hope Delhi CM will ensure the passing of resolution against the CAA and stop the process of NPR,” said Jamaat president.India Tomorrow
Delhi elections: BJP’s debacle is a failure of Amit Shah, not PM Modi, says Shiv Sena
Shiv Sena said on Wednesday that BJP’s defeat in the Delhi Assembly elections was the failure of Union Home Minister Amit Shah, not PM Narendra Modi. In an editorial in its mouthpiece Saamana, the party said that it was not surprised by AAP’s victory.“Union Home Minister Amit Shah had made Delhi election a matter of honour, not Prime Minister Narendra Modi,” the editorial said. “JP Nadda recently took over the reins of the party, but the real impresario was Amit Shah. He wanted to win an election before his tenure as party president ended.”scroll
After curious tweet on PM Modi after Delhi results, here’s Uma Bharti’s clarification
Bhopal :After a curious tweet by Uma Bharti on Prime Minister Narendra Modi after the Delhi Assembly poll results raised eyebrows, BJP leader put out a long clarification Wednesday, saying state polls were not a verdict on the PM and that Mahatma Gandhi had wanted a Congress-free India.On Tuesday, after the BJP suffered a drubbing at the hands of the Aam Aadmi Party in Delhi, Bharti tweeted: “Results of various Assembly polls in the past 1.5 years, then the Lok sabha polls, and the subsequent state elections prove there is no leader like PM Modi in the BJP or in India. The whole country seems to have embarced PM Modi, just like he has embraced the people of India. Chhatrapati Modi zindabaad!”BJP had lost 3 states that went to polls before the Lok Sabha elections — Rajasthan, Madhya Pradesh and Chhattisgarh — and in state elections held after that, lost power in Maharashtra and Jharkhand, worsened its performance in Haryana, and failed to wrest Delhi from AAP.With some assuming Bharti’s tweet to be a taunt, she took to the social media platform again on Wednesday.indianexpress
Kejriwal sympathises with terrorists, plays role of Pakistan Army spokesperson: BJP MLA
New Delhi:Newly-elected BJP MLA OP Sharma is the latest leader from the saffron party to call AAP chief Arvind Kejriwal a terrorist.Sharma, who won from Delhi's Vishwas Nagar, told news agency ANI that Kejriwal is a corrupt man and that he "sympathises with terrorists"."Arvind Kejriwal is a corrupt man, he sympathises with terrorists, plays role of Pakistan Army spokesman, raises questions on Indian Army and supports tukde-tukde gang," Sharma said.indiatoday
Time for Kejriwal to incorporate ‘Hanuman Chalisa’ recitation in schools, madrasas in Delhi: BJP leader Vijayvargiya
A day after Delhi CM Arvind Kejriwal-led AAP won the assembly elections with a huge majority, BJP general secretary Kailash Vijayvargiya Wednesday congratulated him and suggested him to incorporate recitation of ‘Hanuman Chalisa’ in schools, madrasas and other educational institutions.Vijaywargiya took to Twitter to say whoever comes to Lord Hanuman, they get his blessings. “Kejriwal ji, congratulations on winning! Surely who comes to Hanumanji, they get his blessings. Now the time has come that Hanuman Chalisa must be recited in all schools, madrasas and other educational institutions in Delhi.Why should Delhi children be deprived of blessings of Bajrangbali?” he tweeted.indianexpress
AAP MLA Naresh Yadav shot at, Delhi Police detain one person
Delhi Police detained a 38-year-old man on Wednesday in connection with the shooting at MLA-elect Naresh Yadav’s convoy in the city’s Kishangarh area the night before, PTI reported. An AAP volunteer, identified as Ashok Mann, was killed in the incident. The incident occurred hours after the party swept the Delhi elections, winning 62 of the Capital’s 70 seats. Yadav was elected from Mehrauli.Initial investigation by police has revealed that three people were involved in the shooting, Indian Express reported. The person detained had a personal enmity with Mann and the firing had nothing do with politics, the police added. The police are looking for the other two accused.“The accused and the deceased had an old personal dispute,” said an unidentified police official. “Accused’s nephew had received bullet injuries in 2019 after he was shot at. The accused suspected the deceased to be behind the 2019 incident. He had also threatened the deceased 15 days back.”scroll
‘BJP Ko Current Laga’: Amanatullah Silences Haters With Huge Win
“BJP left no stone unturned to spread hate. This is a win for the two crore people of Delhi. The people have given current to Amit Shah and his party,” said AAP’s Amanatullah Khan, who won from the Okhla seat.Khan’s win from Okhla, where two epicentres of anti-CAA protests — Shaheen Bagh and Jamia Millia Islamia are located — comes as a sore defeat for BJP.Khan defeated BJP’s Brahm Singh and won Okhla with a margin of over 88,497 votes on Tuesday, 11 February — one of the highest margins by which any candidate has won in this election.While talking about his lead in the initial trends, Khan said that the people have voted for politics of development.“The votes have gone towards development. AAP worked with everyone together. We practised the politics of love, and not hate. Today, development has won over politics, ”Amanatullah Khan.For Khan, winning the seat is a strong comeback, particularly against the backdrop of hate speech by BJP ministers and two shooting incidents in the area.thequint
After Congress scores zero in Assembly polls, PC Chako resigns as Delhi in-charge
New Delhi :A day after his party suffered a humiliating defeat in the Assembly elections, Delhi Congress in-charge P C Chako on Wednesday tendered his resignation to the top leadership. Congress failed to get even a single seat in the 70-member House and saw its vote share drop from 9 per cent in the 2015 Assembly elections to 4.26 per cent this time. In fact, this was their lowest vote share since the first state election in 1993.In all 70 seats, the party did not even manage to place second. Prior to AAP’s victory in 2013, Congress had governed the state for 15 years.indianexpress
Biryani Sales Rise as Modi’s BJP Faces Defeat in Delhi Polls
New Delhi: After AAP registered its spectacular win in Delhi Assembly polls for the third time consecutively and inflicted devastating defeat to the mighty BJP in key state elections, Delhiites opted to rejoice in a unique way. They chose to eat and feed others Biryani.On Tuesday, Biryani sales in Delhi soared high on demand some restaurateurs even offered discounts to cash in on the sudden surge in orders for the traditional rice-based delicacy, reported Economic Times.Even social media was abuzz with posts of citizens announcing celebrations with Biryani, a rice based delicacy, known for celebratory occasions and wedding functions and other parties.Many restaurants even offered promotional offers and special discounts for the occasion.Speaking to ET, Raymond Andrews, the co-founder of a biryani chain in Delhi, said: “We have seen a higher uptake on our orders. Biryani as a cuisine is celebratory by nature, be it a birthday, an anniversary or friends celebrating.”Vishal Jindal, another restaurant owner, stated that they witnessed a pickup in sales despite it being a Tuesday, the report said, adding that many Indian citizens refrain from consuming non-vegetarian food on Tuesdays for religious reasons.caravandaily
*OTHERS*
Over 430 Dalits convert to Islam in Coimbatore citing injustice, more conversions underway
Chennai:Post the tragic incident in Mettupalayam, Coimbatore, where a wall collapsed and led to the death of 17 Dalits, close to 3,000 people from Dalit community announced that they were to convert to Islam.Illavenil, the state secretary of the Tamil Puligal Katchi, told India Today that legally 430 people have converted to Islam and many more are in the process of the conversion. On December 2, after heavy rains lashed Mettupalayam and the surrounding regions, a wall which was claimed by protesters in the region to be the "wall of discrimination" collapsed on three houses and killed 17 people. This was the breaking point for many Dalits in the region who claimed that they have been regularly discriminated. Mohammed Abubaker, originally known as Marx, converted to Islam soon after December 2 event. "We converted to Islam all because of the prevailing caste injustice and untouchability. For example, any dalit who is underprivileged could not enter into Mariamman [Durga] temple. Tea shops have discrimination here. We can't sit with other people equally in the government bus," said Mohammed.Illavenil, who has converted to Islam, said, "We decided to leave Hinduism according to what Ambedkar said. I need to lose my identity, which means I need to get rid of the caste remarks such as Pallar, Parayar, Sakkriyar. I can live with self-dignity only when I shed this cast-based identity. While following Hinduism because of our caste, we aren't even treated like humans."Another youngster named Sarath Kumar who converted to Islam and changed his name to Abdhuallah said, "While 17 of our people were dead, no Hindu voiced for us. Only the Muslim brothers stood with us and protested for us. Where is Arjun Sampath who said that he would voice for the Hindus who are persecuted? Where is that leader? Our Muslim brothers invite us to their houses. Hindus never called us. Would you make me enter the common temple? We could enter any mosque though. I have visited four to five mosques after converting. I worship god there with all levels of people. But would you permit me to enter Mariamman temple and seek god?"In regions like Coimbatore where these mass conversions are underway, there has been several reported cases of discrimination right from entry into temples to discrimination at the burial ground to discrimination towards Dalits at tea shops and public space.They are still called by their caste names. Though many have shied away from raising their voices against this, the younger generation seems to be more vocal.Most of these youngsters have repeatedly spoken about how their complaints to officials have gone unheard and as the struggle for living with a little self-respect has become a herculean task, religious conversion seems like an easy option for a new beginning.indiatoday
Govt-run madrassas, Sanskrit ashrams to be converted to schools: Assam education minister
Assam Education Minister Himanta Biswa Sarma today said the state will introduce a law to convert all government-run madrassas and ashrams where Sanskrit language is taught, into high schools and higher secondary schools, India Today reported.“Since the state is a secular institution, it can’t fund religious teaching,” the minister said at a programme in Guwahati. He added that the process would be completed in the next two months.Under the new law, the madrassas will be required to function under a regulatory framework and disclose the number of students enrolled in them. “They will have to compulsorily teach general subjects along with religious ones,” Sarma said. However, he clarified that decision will not affect privately run madrassas.At present, Assam has nearly 1,200 madrassas and 200 Sanskrit ashrams, or tols.BJP leader said decision was taken as there is no independent board to regulate them.“These [govt-run madrassas and Sanskrit ashrams] issue certificates which are equivalent to matriculation [Class 10] and higher secondary [Class 12],” Sarma added.“Since there is no regulatory board to govern them, a lot of wrongdoings take place in issuing these certificates.”scroll
Social media abuzz with tabling of Uniform Code Bill
New Delhi: With ruling BJP issuing a whip to its members in both houses of Parliament, there is a huge buzz on social media that a bill on the controversial Uniform Civil Code (UCC) will be introduced on Tuesday.UCC Bill will come on a day when the results for the Delhi Assembly elections are to be declared in which exit polls have unanimously predicted a win for AAP and Arvind Kejriwal.Even as the fires from CAA and NRC are still burning across the country, BJP is choosing to become more combative by pushing through another contentious issue which is a sensitive issue for the minority community.There is a lot of buzz on social media that is similar to the abrogation of Article 370, this time UCC may be taken up as an awe and shock measure. UCC seeks to scrap the separate civil laws applicable for minorities in religious and cultural affairs. Social media is relying on a viral image which showed that a legislation on UCC is listed for introduction in Upper House.Taking it forward, are a number of posts and tweets demanding the implementation of the UCC. With BJP issuing a whip to its MPs in Lok Sabha and Rajya Sabha for Tuesday, speculations turned rife on social media over what is next on Modi govt's agenda. The basis of their claim was a viral image which showed that a legislation on UCC is listed for introduction in the Upper House.BJP has issued a three line whip to all its MPs of Rajya Sabha asking them to be present in House on Tuesday and support the stand of the govt.IANS
UP Rape Survivor's Father Killed By Accused, Cops Ignored Threat: Family
Lucknow: The father of a rape survivor has been shot dead allegedly by the man accused of raping his 15-year-old daughter in Uttar Pradesh's Firozabad in the latest incident to raise questions on policing in the country's most populous state. Girl's father was gunned down on Monday when he was returning home by rape-accused Aachman Upadhyay and died on the spot, according to the police.The victim's family told local reporters that Upadhyay had threatened to kill them if they did not drop the rape case.He raped the girl, a Class 11 student, last year in August but had not been arrested yet. His property had been seized on court orders, IANS reported.ndtv
2012 Delhi gangrape: Court adjourns hearing on pleas for fresh death warrants till tomorrow
A court in Delhi on Wednesday adjourned the proceedings on the pleas seeking new death warrants against the four convicts in the 2012 gangrape and murder case, reported Live Law. The woman’s parents and the state govt had filed a petition on Tuesday for a new date of execution for the four convicts. The court of Additional Sessions Judge Dharmender Rana also offered to provide legal aid to convict Pawan Gupta after advocate AP Singh said he was no longer Gupta’s lawyer. However, this was opposed by the woman’s parents, alleging that this was a ploy to delay execution. To which the court said: “You are saying delaying tactic,” the court said, according to Bar and Bench. “If they are well within their rights to exercise those rights, tell me the legal remedy to deal with it.”scroll
Nirbhaya’s mother protests outside court over delay in hanging of convicts
Nirbhaya’s mother Asha Devi has protested outside a trial court premises here over the delay in hanging of the four convicts in the gang rape and murder case of her daughter.Her protests come right after the trial court offered Pawan Gupta, one of the four death row convicts in the case, saying a condemned convict is entitled to legal aide till his last breath.Additional Session Judge Dharmender Rana expressed displeasure over delay from Pawan’s side who said he has removed his earlier lawyer and will need time to engage a new one.PTI
Chandra Shekhar Aazad Calls for Nationwide Shutdown Against SC Order on Reservations
New Delhi: Leader of the Bhim Army Chandra Shekhar Aazad has called for Bharat bandh (nation-wide shutdown) on February 23 against a recent Supreme court order on reservations. The top court had ruled that states are not bound to provide reservations in appointments and that claiming reservations quotas in promotions is not a fundamental right.At a press conference in Delhi’s press club, Aazad criticised the court’s ruling. “I respect the court. We all do, as we should. But, the court makes mistakes like in this case,” he said.thewire
Kozhikode man arrested for propagating fake news that Mathrubhumi is mouthpiece of Jamaat: paper
Kozhikode: Police have arrested a man in connection with fake propaganda against Mathrubhumi newspaper. Kozhikode Pantheeramkavu native T Manoj Kumar (43) was arrested by the police. He was arrested for intentionally inciting riots and defaming the organisation purposefully.Manoj Kumar propagated the fake news that Mathrubhumi was the mouthpiece of Jamaat-e-islami and that the Muslim outfit bought Mathrubhumi using black money. Mathrubhumi management had approached Kozhikode city police commissioner AV George with the complaint. Soon the investigation started in the case.Town SI KT Bijith said investigation is progressing in the case and that more number of people will be arrested in the coming days. Manoj was sent on bail following the arrest.City Police chief AV George said that strict action will be taken against those creating and spreading fake news.mathrubhumi
NIA court issues warrants against 2 Khalistan terrorists in drone arms drop case in Punjab
New Delhi:A special NIA court in Mohali has issued non-bailable warrants against 2 terrorists belonging to the Khalistan Zindabad Force in a case related to dropping of arms and ammunition in Punjab by drones originating from Pakistan, officials said on Wednesday.Non-bailable warrants have been issued against Ranjeet Singh Neeta, a resident of RS Pura in Jammu, who is based in Pakistan at present and Gurmeet Singh alias Bagga, a resident of Hoshiyarpur district in Punjab who is based in Germany now, an NIA spokesperson said.The case pertains to dropping of arms, ammunition, explosives, communication devices and fake Indian currency notes (FICN) in September last year in the Indian territory at Chola Sahib in Punjab by UAVs or drones that originated from Pakistan.PTI
‘EVMs can’t be tampered with, not returning to ballot paper’: CEC Arora
New Delhi: Chief Election Commissioner Sunil Arora on Wednesday underlined that the Election Commission will not go back to the ballot paper and that the electronic voting machines are here to stay.The statement assumes significance after final voter turnout figure in the Delhi polls was delayed by more than 24 hours raising questions on the reliability of the EVMs.Delhi CM Arvind Kejriwal called it “extremely shocking”. Echoing his party leader’s views, leader and MP Sanjay Singh said that this is perhaps the first time in the country’s history that Election Commission is not ready to release the voter turnout data, after the completion of the polls.“The percentage of voting in Delhi elections is what the people of Delhi and the country want to know. Why is the Election Commission taking so long to tell the voting percentage? Within 1 hour in Lok Sabha elections, Election Commission reveals the voting percentage, why so much delay in a small state like Delhi?” Singh asked.The CEC, speaking at Times Now Summit, said that the Commission would engage with political parties in the coming days on various electoral reforms and the model code of conduct.HT
Industrial production contracts, retail inflation rises to 7.59% in January 2020 from 7.35% in December
Retail inflation jumped to over five-and-a-half-year high of 7.59 per cent in January on persistently high prices of vegetables, pulses and protein-rich meat and fish, government data showed today.Similarly, the industrial production saw a contraction in growth by 0.3 per cent in December due to a decline in the manufacturing sector against the same month. Consumer Price Index (CPI)-based inflation was 7.35 per cent in December 2019. It had stood at 1.97 per cent in January 2019.PTI
Pay More For LPG Cylinder From Today As Rates Hiked For 6th Straight Time
Non-subsidised LPG  or cooking gas prices were increased from Wednesday. That marked a sixth straight raise in the prices of cooking gas. In Delhi and Mumbai, the hike was to the tune of Rs 144.5 and Rs 145 per cylinder respectively, according to Indian Oil Corporation, which supplies LPG under brand Indane. With effect from Feb. 12, the non-subsidised LPG rates were revised to Rs 858.5 per cylinder in Delhi and Rs 829.5 per cylinder in Mumbai.ndtv
Rs 1.62 crore a day: Cost of PM Modi's SPG security cover
New Delhi:It was a known fact. Law had been amended and notified last year. Yet, a question was asked in Parliament and the home ministry gave a written reply in the Lok Sabha making it official that Prime Minister Narendra Modi is the lone SPG protectee.DMK parliamentarian Dayanidhi Maran sought to know "the details of the current protectees under CRPF and the SPG in the country".In response, Minister of State for Home G Kishan Reddy said the SPG protects only one person but he did not identify the protectee, namely, PM Modi. He also did not give details of CRPF protectees and VIPs whose security cover has been changed since 2014 - Maran had also sought to know this information - citing "security reasons".CRPF secures 56 important people in the country, the MoS Home Reddy informed the Lok Sabha on Tuesday.indiatoday
SC: What action taken on Srikrishna panel report on Mumbai riots?
Uddhav Thackeray-led government in Maharashtra was directed by the Supreme Court on Tuesday to apprise it of the action taken against police officers who were allegedly indicted by the commission of inquiry that probed the Mumbai riots of 1992-1993.The apex court noted that despite the fact that the commission headed by Justice B N Srikrishna filed its report in 1998, state governments have consistently done nothing to implement the recommendations made in the report and “did not obey in letter and spirit” the orders of the top court.“We direct Secretary (Home), Maharashtra Government, to file detailed response in respect of each police officer mentioned in the chart (annexed with the report) about the criminal and disciplinary action taken against them and also about police officers against whom no action has been taken,” a bench headed by Justice R F Nariman said in the order.PTI
Singing national anthem compulsory in Maharashtra schools, colleges from Feb 19
Maharashtra Higher Education Minister Uday Samant on Wednesday said that singing the National Anthem will be made compulsory in all schools and colleges in the state from February 19.“Recently, we have taken a decision that the National Anthem should be sung before college work starts,” Samant said.“So, we are going to start this from Feb.19 on the occasion of Shiv Jayanti. The letter regarding the same will be issued to all the colleges,” he added.All agreed to implement this decision,” Samant said at an event in Pune.He added that at least 15 lakh people will be singing the National Anthem in a single day under this decision and that Maharashtra will be the only state in the country to do it.indianexpress
Maharashtra: 10 men allegedly rape 16-year-old Dalit girl for six months in Solapur
At least 10 men allegedly raped a 16-year-old Dalit girl in Maharashtra’s Solapur district for over six months, the police said on Wednesday, PTI reported. The police added that five of the accused have been arrested, and booked under Section 376-D of the Indian Penal Code (gangrape), the Scheduled Castes and Scheduled Tribes (Prevention of Atrocities) Act, and under the Protection of Children from Sexual Offences Act. Solapur Assistant Commissioner of Police Priti Tipre said the teenager’s father had died a while ago and she was living with her mother, The Hindu reported. The teenager filed a complaint at Vijapur Naka Police Station in Solapur on Tuesday, following which the police swung into action, the newspaper reported.However, Tipre said that residents of Solapur saw the girl crying outside a temple on Tuesday and alerted the police.scroll
Bhima Koregaon commission gets last extension; govt asks for report by Apr 8
Pune: The state government has granted a two-month extension to the commission, set up to probe the violence which broke out on January 1, 2018, at Bhima Koregaon, on Tuesday.The notification issued by the state home department states, “Through this order, the commission is being granted the last extension till April 8, 2020… The commission will submit its report to the government during the extended period.”A two-member inquiry commission, which was set up by the previous Devendra Fadnavis government to probe the January 1, 2018, caste riots at Bhima Koregaon, began working from Feb.2018 and has received four extensions so far.
Maharashtra declares 5-day workweek for state employees
Uddhav Thackeray-led Maharashtra government has become the seventh state in the country to announce a five- day work week for state government employees. From Feb. 29, state government employees will have to pitch in 45 more minutes on workdays but will get two offs, instead of one, every week.The new rule, however, does not apply to offices covered under Factory Rules, Industrial Disputes Act and essential services like the police and fire brigade, government colleges, polytechnic colleges, sanitation workers.indianexpress
Spread obscenity, get a date with police: Delhi Hindu Sena issues Valentine's Day threat
Hindu Sena, a Right-Wing group, issued a Valentine's Day threat in Delhi today saying the day threatens Indian civilisation. Hindu Sena said that those caught spreading "obscenity" at public places "will be handed over to police". Hindu Sena has even formed a team of workers to bust people found loving each other on Valentine's Day.The Hindu Sena will also monitor Valentine's Day celebration in different parts of Delhi.indiatoday
CBI bribery case: Why bigger accused roaming free, says Delhi court after clean chit to Rakesh Asthana
A Delhi court Wednesday expressed displeasure over CBI’s investigation into a bribery and extortion case against its former Special Director Rakesh Asthana and others, asking why the accused with a bigger role in the case were roaming free while the agency arrested its own DSP.Special CBI Judge Sanjeev Aggarwal said, “Why are certain accused who seem to have a bigger role in the case were roaming free while the CBI arrested its own DSP?”CBI gave a clean chit to Rakesh Asthana and DSP Devender Kumar on Tuesday. Filing a chargesheet in the case, which was registered on directions of former CBI director Alok Verma, who was then locked in a turf war with Asthana, the CBI has dropped both as accused. DSP Devender Kumar is on bail in the matter.In its chargesheet filed before Special CBI Judge Sanjeev Kumar, the agency has, however, arraigned alleged middleman Manoj Prasad as an accused in the case and said that the probe against his brother — Somesh Prasad – and one Sunil Mittal is yet to be concluded.indianexpress
"5 To 7 Million People From Airport To Stadium": Trump On Ahmedabad Visit
Washington: US President Donald Trump has said that he is looking forward to his first visit to India later this month and indicated that the two countries may sign a trade deal.At the invitation of Prime Minister Narendra Modi, Donald Trump is slated to travel to India on February 24 and 25. In addition to New Delhi, he will stop in Ahmedabad in Gujarat to address a joint public meeting with PM Modi at a stadium."He (Modi) is a great gentleman and I look forward to going to India. So, we'll be going at the end of the month," President Trump told reporters in his Oval Office, a day after the White House announced dates of his anticipated India trip.Responding to a question, the president indicated that he is willing to sign a trade deal with India if it is the right one."They (Indians) want to do something and we'll see... if we can make the right deal, (we) will do it," said President Trump, a fortnight ahead of his visit to the country as the 45th US president.India's new Ambassador to the US, Taranjit Singh Sandhu told news agency Press Trust of India that Trump's forthcoming visit is a "reflection of the strong personal rapport" between President Trump and Prime Minister Modi.PTI
"Kem Chho, Trump": Mega Ahmedabad Welcome Planned For US President
Mumbai police chief’s family firm got digital project just before Maharashtra elections
Mumbai :Days before the Maharashtra polls, the state Home department, led by the then Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis, issued an order allotting work of digitisation of Mumbai police’s official records to a private company owned by the son and wife of Mumbai Police Commissioner Sanjay Barve.According to official documents, the department, informed Barve’s office on October 7, 2019 that proposal to allot the digitisation work to CrispQ Information Technologies Pvt Ltd (CITPL) for 5 years had been accorded the government’s approval. CrispQ had offered its services pro bono. The letter further directed the Police Commissioner’s office to finalise the number of units and files that could be covered under the work.Police officials confirmed the government’s communication had been processed, but said the project had not been initiated owing to “technical issues”.indianexpress
India among 120 countries that CIA spied on for decades using Swiss encryption firm: Report
American and German intelligence agencies secretly bought a Swiss company that sold encryption devices to governments across the world, and added weaknesses in these devices to eavesdrop on other countries for decades, a report by Washington Post and German broadcaster ZDF revealed.Since World War II, the company Crypto AG sold encrypted devices to more than 120 countries, including India, the report published on Tuesday said. Iran, military juntas in Latin America, Pakistan, and the Vatican were among at least 62 clients identified in the files. It is not exactly clear what India sent to its missions overseas and how much of it was spied on by US and erstwhile West Germany.China and the Soviet Union, which did not trust the company, did not use these devices. But CIA still learnt many things by using the communication between these two and other countries that had bought Crypto’s devices.scroll
*WORLD*
Afghan war: US, Taliban close to 'reduction in violence' deal
A US-Taliban agreement on the "reduction in violence" in Afghanistan is expected to be announced "very soon", the group's official has said."We have made some significant progress and will soon release a statement on the agreement on reduction of violence in Afghanistan," Taliban official told Al Jazeera today.The agreement could lead to the signing of a peace deal between US and the Taliban to end Afghanistan's 18-year war, US's longest conflict.The prospective deal would see US pull thousands of troops from Afghanistan, in return for which the Taliban would provide various security guarantees and launch eventual talks with Kabul government. Taliban has so far refused to speak to the West-backed government in Kabul, calling it a "puppet regime".On Tuesday, Afghan President Ashraf Ghani said he was informed by US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo of "notable progress" in the continuing talks between the US and the Taliban in Qatar's capital, Doha. Washington also said late on Tuesday that an agreement on the group's "reduction of violence" offer was days away.US President Donald Trump's national security adviser, Robert O'Brien, said on Tuesday he is "cautiously optimistic" there could be a US agreement with the Taliban over the next few days or weeks, but that a withdrawal of US forces is not "imminent".aljazeera
US, UK, Turkey urged to arrest UAE 'war crimes' suspects
UK, Turkey and US have been asked to open police investigations into alleged war crimes committed by UAE and its mercenaries in Yemen in 2015 and 2019, and arrest Emirati officials under the principle of universal jurisdiction.British law firm Stoke White filed the complaints on Wednesday to the Metropolitan Police in London, the US Department of Justice and Turkey's Ministry of Justice on behalf of Yemeni journalist Abdullah Suliman Abdullah Daubalah, who claims he was targeted in an attack, and Salah Muslem Salem, whose brother was killed in the war-torn country."Daubalah was targeted as a journalist in an attack in Aden, Yemen on 29 December, 2015. Salem's brother, Mr Jameel Moslem Salem Batis, was assassinated in Seiyum city, Yemen on 28 July 2019," the law firm said."Evidence shows that UAE and Yemeni officials, and mercenaries allegedly hired and instructed by the UAE, are responsible for torture and war crimes committed against civilians with political positions opposed to the UAE government.aljazeera
Erdogan: Turkey will hit Syrian govt forces 'anywhere'
Turkey will strike Syrian government forces "anywhere" if one more Turkish soldier is hurt and could use airpower if need be, President Tayyip Erdogan has said. Addressing the country's parliament in Ankara on Wednesday, Erdogan said Turkey is determined to push Syrian government forces beyond Turkish observation posts in the northwestern Idlib region by the end of Feb."We will do this by any means necessary, by air or ground," he said.Turkey has set up 12 observation posts in the last rebel-held stronghold in Syria as part of a 2018 deal with Russia, which backs Syrian President Bashar al-Assad. Syrian govt attacks have killed 13 Turkish military forces in Idlib this month, prompting a deadly response from Ankara amid concerns over an escalation of violence in the country's nearly 9-year war. On Tuesday, Erdogan said the Syrian government will pay a "very heavy price" for attacking Turkish troops in Idlib. Ankara has said it retaliated for both attacks, destroying several Syrian targets. Ankara has said it retaliated for both attacks, destroying several Syrian targets. aljazeera
Erdogan Pak visit: Turkish, Pakistani leaders to discuss issues confronting Muslim world
During a 2-day visit to Pakistan this week, Turkish President Tayyip Erdogan and Pakistan's Prime Minister Imran Khan are expected to discuss a string of issues confronting the Muslim world, with special focus on US’ so-called peace plan and the Kashmir situation, according to local experts."2 leaders have a variety of issues to discuss during this visit including the Kuala Lumpur initiative, Kashmir, and US’ so-called Middle East peace plan,” Shahid Amin, a former diplomat, told Anadolu Agency.Amin said both Khan and Erdogan feel strongly about the lack of unity among Muslim countries, and discussions of the issue will be an important part of the agenda."An initiative has already been taken in this regard,” he said referring to last December’s Kuala Lumpur summit, which Pakistan skipped over reported pressure from Saudi."But it needs to be worked out further so that there must not be any impression of more division,” he said. Erdogan will arrive in Islamabad on Thursday for a two-day official visit, Pakistan’s Foreign Ministry confirmed on Monday. Opposition parties and ordinary citizens also welcomed Erdogan’s visit.“We will warmly welcome the Turkish president in Pakistan. He is not only leading the Turkish nation but is also a voice for all the oppressed Muslims in the world,” Senator Siraj-ul-Haq said.“I hope this visit will further strengthen our relations as Pakistan and Turkey have always supported each other in trying times,” said the senator, who is also chief of Jamaat-e-Islami.Anadolu Agency
Sanders wins in New Hampshire, narrowly beating Buttigieg
Concord, New Hampshire - United States Senator Bernie Sanders declared victory in New Hampshire on Tuesday night after he narrowly beat Pete Buttigieg in the state's Democratic primary.  Sanders, who led the polls going into the vote, had 26 percent with nearly all the precincts reporting. Former South Bend, Indiana, Mayor Buttigieg followed with 24.4 percent and Minnesota Senator Amy Klobuchar had 19.7 percent."Let me thank the people of New Hampshire for the great victory tonight," Sanders, a progressive, told supporters. "This victory here is the beginning of the end for Donald Trump,"78-year-old self-described democratic socialist said as the crowd roared in support. Despite a modest turnout, Sanders generated enough voter excitement to emerge as the new Democratic frontrunner - with former Vice President Joe Biden leaving the state early to South Carolina.aljazeera
China coronavirus outbreak: death toll rises to 1,113
Dozens more infections from COVID-19, the new coronavirus spreading throughout the world, have been recording among those on board a cruise ship docked at Japan's Yokohama. Some 175 people are now infected on the Diamond Princess, including a quarantine officer, Japan's health ministry said. About 3,700 passengers and crew are on the ship.The death toll in mainland China continues to climb, with 1,113 deaths and 44,653 infections reported on Wednesday. Most deaths are in Hubei province and its capital city of Wuhan, where the virus originated.At least 25 countries have confirmed cases and several nations have evacuated their citizens from Hubei. aljazeera
Coronavirus: Two Indians test positive on board ship quarantined at Japanese port, says embassy
Two Indian crew aboard a cruise ship off a Japanese coast have tested positive for the novel coronavirus, officials at the Indian Embassy in Japan said on Wednesday. Earlier in the day, the ship Diamond Princess quarantined at the port city of Yokohama, Japan, had confirmed 174 total cases of the disease.A total of 138 Indians, including passengers and crew, are on board the ship. “Due to the suspicion of novel coronavirus (nCoV) infection, the ship has been quarantined by the Japanese authorities till February 19, 2020,” the embassy said in a statement. “Due to the suspicion of novel coronavirus (nCoV) infection, the ship has been quarantined by the Japanese authorities till February 19.”scroll
Andhra man hangs himself fearing he contracted coronavirus
Hyderabad :A 50-year-old man from Chittoor district in Andhra Pradesh killed himself after he suspected that had contracted coronavirus, which has killed more than 1,000 people in China, the epicentre of the outbreak. The man, identified as K Balakrishna, was found hanging from a tree on Tuesday morning.Balakrishna’s family members said he had fever for the last few days and believed that he had contracted coronavirus. They said Balakrishna took the extreme step to prevent his family members from contracting the virus. Balakrishna, who hailed from Seshamnaidu Kandriga village in Chittoor, had visited Sri Venkateswara Ramnarain Ruia Government General Hospital (SVRRGGH) in Tirupati last week. Doctors there said he was suffering from a viral infection and advised medication.indianexpress
Moscow :Man pretends to be coronavirus patient for prank video, now could go to jail for 5 years
A man has been arrested by the Moscow police for pretending to be a coronavirus victim and collapsing inside a metro. A video of the prank, which has gone viral on several social media platforms, shows a man in a mask stumbling and falling on the floor pretending to have a seizure due to the deadly virus that has claimed hundreds of lives in China. The prank triggered panic among other passengers, causing many to evacuate the train.According to a BBC report, the prankster was detained on “suspicion of criminal hooliganism” and will face up to 5 years of imprisonment, if convicted.
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  Compiled and edited by Anwarulhaq (Released at: 6:09 PM).   

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