Wednesday, 19 February 2020

19 FEB. NEWS : UN Chief Guterres expresses concern over CAA, says risk of statelessness for 2 million Muslims, reports of abuse in J&K must be taken seriously/Shaheen Bagh protests:We will find solution,say SC-appointed interlocutors as dialogue with protesters hit several roadblocks, to visit tomorrow again/Ram Mandir Trust elects office-bearers, PM's ex-principal secy Nripendra Misra to oversee construction committee/We’re not treated very well by India: Trump indicates no major trade deal on card during Delhi visit

NEWS DIGEST, EVENING   
 19 Feb.  2020: 24 Jamadi-2, 1441: Vol: 12, No: 136
 *anti-CAA,NRC-NPR stir*
UN Chief Guterres expresses concern over CAA, says risk of statelessness for 2 million Muslims,
Just a week ahead of US President Donald Trump's visit to New Delhi, UN's Secretary General Antonio Guterres has expressed concern for the Muslims in India.Before concluding his Pakistan visit today, UN chief in an interview to Pak paper Dawn commented on India's CAA. The Dawn quoted Guterres as saying that there was a "risk of statelessness for 2 million Muslims excluded by the divisive CAA passed by the Indian Parliament."Guterres, when asked whether he was concerned about new laws in India during an interview, said, "Of course (I am concerned). Because this is an area in which the relevant UN body is quite active.""The present High Commissioner for Refugees is quite active to this situation like many others like this. Because there is a risk of statelessness created by those national laws," UN Secretary-General said."It is absolutely essential when a nationality law is changed, the statelessness is prevented. Because when the basic right of anyone anywhere is to have a country that a person calls his, then everything should be done in order to avoid statelessness," he said.Guterres also told Dawn that he was personally concerned about the rising discrimination against the minorities in India. nationalheraldindia/PTI
Necessary to prevent statelessness when nationality laws are changed: UN chief on CAA-NRC
UN chief flags statelessness risk due to CAA, says reports of abuse in J&K must be taken seriously
Shaheen Bagh protests:We will find solution,say SC-appointed interlocutors as dialogue with protesters hit several roadblocks, to visit tomorrow again
The Supreme Court-appointed mediation panel went to Shaheen Bagh today in an effort to come to an understanding with the protesters who have been holding sit-in protests at a public road for over 60 days now. However, the difficult process of trying to communicate with a leaderless protest that has now burgeoned into a massive movement, hit several speed bumps on the way.The mediators will again try to break the ice with the protesters tomorrow, as the panel has time till Sunday before the next hearing of the SC.At the onset, senior advocate Sanjay Hegde, who is also a member of the panel arrived hopeful of reaching a solution through dialogue. "We have come here on the orders of SC. We hope to speak to everyone. We hope to resolve the matter with everybody's cooperation. We hope to speak to everyone. There are no favorites and we hope to resolve the matter inside with everyone's cooperation," Hegde said. He said that the Wednesday's discussions were just a start and the process will continue on a daily basis till 23 Feb.On Twitter, Shaheen Bagh organisers said,"We are grateful to senior advocates Sadhana Ramachandran and Sanjay Hegde for starting the mediation process in Shaheen Bagh main tent. As per their guidance, we look forward to continuing this dialogue over the coming days."Ramachandran, said that she remains hopeful of a mutually acceptable solution to the issue.The mediators hit their first roadblock when they approached the protest site in the midst of a huge commotion. Several attempts to interact with the crowd appeared to fall short as the interlocutors were unable to communicate due to the noise.After several appeals for silence, interlocutors were able to command the crowd's attention. Hegde started off by reading out the SC's order for protesters while Ramachandran translated the order in Hindi.She said that she hopes that the protesters and mediators can come to a common ground. "We will find a solution that will be an example for not just India but the entire world," she added.Ramachandran said, "We are here hear you out. We wish to hear everyone out. But it is important for us to tell you that whatever may happen your right to protest will remain protected. However, we are here because one person's right to protest should not hinder another person's right to commute."The protesters were opposed to this point as they asserted that school buses and ambulances have been allowed to pass, but their "protest is also important".Another sticking point in their efforts to interact with the protesters was when the interlocutors tried to get the media to vacate the tent so that the mediation process can proceed in private. However, the protesters told the interlocutors that they want to speak to them in the presence of media.In the ensuing confusion, most media channels shut out the live feed but reporters were still able to send out updates via social media.Once the dialogue process started, the women of Shaheen Bagh spoke at length about their plight and their grudges. Some complained that the simple housewives who were speaking up for their rights were being name called by the ruling party leaders and pro-CAA voices. Others were disappointed because the government had made no efforts to engage with them. Meanwhile, the protesters resolutely defended their points and refused to vacate the protest site. When Hegde suggested that they should reach a solution in which Shaheen Bagh can be opened, without, ending the protest, he was met with a huge and resounding 'No' from the protesters.One of women in cried responded, "If we get up, who will protect us from assaulters. While we are here, nobody tried to engage with us, if we vacate this area government will forget us completely."Hegde was touched by the points raised by protesters. "After listening to you, I am reminded of one line, liberty lies in hearts of people like you who walk holding constitution. You are hope for freedom to live," he said.firstpost
Wajahat Habibullah missing from 1st meet with Shaheen Bagh protesters
New Delhi:While two of three Supreme Court appointed interlocutors reached Shaheen Bagh on Wednesday, the third interlocutor former CIC Wajahat Habibullah skipped meet with protesters for reasons unknown. Habibullah on Tuesday had claimed that he had not got any official word for his inclusion in the team of interlocutors, which is being seen as a reason for his absence from the meet.Though he was unavailable for comments, as calls made to him went unanswered.-IANS
Shaheen Bagh interlocutors meet protesters: What is mediation, does it work?
No discussion on Shaheen Bagh: Kejriwal after meeting Amit Shah
Delhi CM Arvind Kejriwal said there was on discussion on Shaheen Bagh during his meeting with Union Minister Amit Shah. Kejriwal met Shah at North Block today, 3 days after taking charge as CM.“Met Hon’ble Home Minister Sh Amit Shah ji. Had a very good and fruitful meeting. Discussed several issues related to Delhi. Both of us agreed that we will work together for development of Delhi,” Kejriwal tweeted after the meeting.indianexpress
UIDAI says notices to 127 people in Hyderabad has nothing to do with citizenship
After media reports and social media outburst over UIDAI’s letter to 127 persons in Hyderabad, asking them to provide documents to prove their Indian citizenship, the central agency has now passed the buck to Telangana police. UIDAI said that letters were issued after the police approached UIDAI’s Regional Office in Hyderabad, reportedly stating that 127 persons have obtained Aadhaar on false pretences and that a preliminary investigation found that they were “illegal immigrants who were not qualified to obtain an Aadhaar number”.In a clarification statement, the agency, which manages the data procurement for Aadhaar in the country, said that the notices have nothing to do with the Indian citizenship of the 127 persons and that the cancellation of Aadhaar number is in no way related to their nationality. UIDAI, in their press statement, claimed that media reports “were not presented in correct perspective and Aadhaar has got nothing to do with the citizenship issue as such”. “Aadhaar is not a document of citizenship and UIDAI has been mandated under the Aadhaar Act to ascertain residency of a person in India for 182 days prior to applying for Aadhaar. Also, the Supreme Court of India, in its landmark decision, has directed UIDAI not to issue Aadhaar to illegal immigrants,” the statement read. TNM on Monday had reported that the lawyer representing one of the persons who received the letter from UIDAI, 40-year-old Sattar Khan, was planning to approach Telangana High Court to challenge UIDAI’s authority to summon citizens and question their citizenship. The lawyer had said that the agency could only deactivate Aadhaar and did not have the legal right to ask the person to prove their citizenship. The notice had asked Sattar to provide original documents to prove his Indian citizenship and if not an Indian national, to prove that he entered the country legally.Sattar Khan is an auto driver by profession and has been a resident of Hyderabad since his childhood, Muzaferullah Khan, his lawyer said. His family and siblings are all residents of Hyderabad and have their ration cards and voter ID cards. “This person is 100% Indian, his father worked with a state-owned PSU and his mother is a pensioner,” Muzaferullah had earlier told TNM. The letters sent out to 127 persons in Hyderabad on February 3 alleged that these persons had obtained the Aadhaar card through false pretences and they were asked to report at a hall on Feb.20. However, UIDAI has now shifted this hearing date to May this year.UIDAI reasoned that it may take these persons “some more time to collect the original documents that they had submitted for obtaining Aadhaar, as informed by state police.”thenewsminute
127 'Illegal Immigrants' in Hyd Served Notices, Aadhaar Authority Clarifies it's Got Nothing to Do with Citizenship
In bad faith, biased exercise of powers: Owaisi hits out on Aadhaar body’s notice to 127 in Hyderabad
Hyderabad:AIMIM chief Asaduddin Owaisi has hit out at the central government after a row erupted over the Aadhaar authorities summoning a man in Hyderabad and asking him to prove his 'citizenship'.Reacting to Aadhaar nodal agency clarification that notices to 127 people have nothing to do with citizenship, Owaisi accused UIDAI of bias and asked how many of the 127 listed are Muslim and Dalit."First, @UIDAI has no power to verify citizenship. It has few powers to look into some cases of Aadhaar being granted incorrectly (rules 27 & 28)," Asaduddin Owaisi wrote on Twitter on Wednesday. Owaisi alleged that the UIDAI did not follow due procedure and abused its powers, which he said resulted in panic among people.India Today
Defying Madras HC orders, thousands march to Secretariat in demand for resolution against CAA
Members of Federation of Tamil Nadu Islamic and Political Organisations gathered in front of Kalaivanar Arangam in Chennai today to protest against the CAA, The Hindu reported. The protestors gathered at the site despite the Madras High Court order prohibiting them from carrying out a demonstration. There was heavy police deployment in the area on Wednesday morning. The protestors sought to march to Tamil Nadu Secretariat to press for their demand that Assembly pass a resolution against CAA, NRC and NPR.The road to the secretariat and the War Memorial was blocked. Traffic restrictions were enforced on Wallajah Road. The police deployed 5 drones to monitor the situation on the road.The anti-CAA protesters at Old Washermenpet in Chennai, who have organised a sit-in over the last five days, said they will defy the court’s order to march to Fort St George, which houses the Assembly. “Though support is understandably thin in the morning, it begins to swell as the day progresses, peaking in the evening and at night,” an organiser said. The police had baton charged the protestors on February 14, alleging that they pelted stones. This led to protests across Tamil Nadu the next day.Over 3,000 people took part in a march in Tiruchirappalli on Wednesday, shouting slogans against the Citizenship Amendment Act and asserting that they would not show their documents to government officials. Protestors also gathered near Thoothukudi district collector’s office. A march to the collectorate was organised in Coimbatore. A bench of Justices M Sathyanaraya and R Hemalatha of the Madras High Court had on Tuesday issued an injunction till March 11, restraining the Federation of Tamil Nadu Islamic and Political Organisations and its allied associations from organising the agitation on Wednesday, News18 reported. scroll
Chennai anti-CAA march live : Thousands march to Secretariat in demand for resolution against CAA
 Anti-CAA Chennai protest live | Long march to Secretariat curtailed at Chepauk stadium
Amid anti-CAA protest, TN CM announces 50% subsidy for "Ulemas" to buy 2-wheelers,hikes pension
Tamil Nadu CM K Palaniswami today announced a 50 per cent subsidy for 'Ulemas' to buy new two-wheelers and doubled their pension by increasing the payout to Rs 3,000 from the present Rs 1,500.Making a statement in the Assembly, Palaniswami said as of now Rs 1,500 pension was being given to Ulemas such as Pesh Imam, Mothinar, Arabic teacher and Mujawar. Indigent, they had retired after serving Waqf institutions in Tamil Nadu, he said. Ulema are the guardians and interpreters of religious knowledge in Islam."The pension for Ulemas will be increased to Rs 3,000 from Rs 1,500," he said amid thumping of desks. There are 2,814 Waqf institutions in Tamil Nadu and Ulemas working in such registered entities will be provided a subsidy of Rs 25,000 or 50 per cent of the vehicle cost, whichever is lower to buy new 2 wheelers, he said.Also, the government will allocate Rs 15 crore for building a new 'Haj House' here in a land that will be assigned by Tamil Nadu Waqf Board, he added.PTI
Deliberate attempt to cover up Mangaluru police excesses, pics show cops throwing stones at crowd, HC gives bail to 21 people
Bengaluru: Noting that there was a deliberate attempt to cover up police excesses by implicating innocent persons at whim, Karnataka High Court on Tuesday granted conditional bail to 21 people who were allegedly involved in violence during the protests against CAA in Mangaluru.Allowing the bail petitions of Ashik and 20 others from Udupi and Dakshina Kannada districts, Justice John Michael Cunha said the overzealousness of the police is also evident from the fact that FIRs were registered under Section 307 of IPC against the persons killed by the police themselves.“In an offence involving a large number of people, the identity and participation of each accused must be fixed with reasonable certainty. In the present cases, the identity appears to have been fixed on the basis of their affiliation to PFI and they being members of the Muslim community. Though it is stated that the involvement of the petitioners is captured in CCTV footage and photographs, no such material is produced before the court showing the presence of any of the petitioners at the spot, armed with deadly weapons,” judge noted. In the statement of objections filed by State Public Prosecutor-I, it was stated that there was a hint of Muslim youths holding protest on Dec 19,  opposing the implementation of CAA. Prohibitory orders were clamped in that connection. This assertion indicated that the common object of the assembly was to oppose the implementation of CAA and NRC which, by itself, was not an “unlawful object”, the judge pointed out. Justice Cunha also said the material collected by the investigators did not contain any specific evidence regarding the presence of any of the petitioners at the spot. On the other hand, omnibus allegations were made against the Muslim crowd of 1,500-2,000, alleging that they were armed with weapons like stones, soda bottles and glass pieces. The photographs produced by SPP depicted that hardly any member of crowd were armed with weapons, except one of them holding a bottle. In none of these photographs, police station or policemen were seen in the vicinity, the judge noted.   “On the other hand, photographs produced by the petitioners show that the policemen themselves were pelting stones at crowd,” judge observed.newindianexpress
Bidar Sedition Case: Students Were 'Counselled' by Police, Not Interrogated, State Tells Karnataka HC
Bengaluru: 17 students of Shaheen School in Bidar were "counselled" by the police and neither interrogated nor questioned as per provisions of the Juvenile Justice Act, the state told Karnataka High Court today.Submitting the state's report, Advocate General Prabhuling Navadgi argued that the petitioner had filed the case simply based on newspaper reports, requesting the bench to dismiss the petition. He also told the court that the police had examined a total of 17 students -- 7 students who participated in the play and 10 who watched it. News18
Poet, editor Held Over Recitation of Anti-CAA Poem at Govt Function in Karnataka, bail garnted
Koppal: Principal Civil (Junior Division) and JMFC Court at Gangavathi in Koppal district granted bail on Wednesday to Siraj Bisaralli and Rajabaxi HV, who were booked in connection with recitation of a poem that criticised CAA and NRC at government-sponsored event last month and taken into custody on Tuesday.Maulasab Nadaf, the judge, granted the bail to them after they executed a personal bond for a sum of ₹50,000 with a surety for a like sum to the satisfaction of the Jurisdictional Magistrate. Bisaralli, a Koppal-based poet and journalist, was booked for reciting the poem at Anegundi Utsav on January 9 and Rajabaxi, editor of kannadanet.com,  for sharing the recitation on a social media platform. Bisaralli and Rajabaxi were absconding to avoid arrest since January 24 when the case was booked against them following a complaint by BJP Yuva Morcha general secretary Shivakumar Arikeri. They surrendered before the court on Tuesday and moved an interim bail. As many as 30 advocates, including Anees Pasha, R. Jagannath, Koteshwar Rao, Srinivas Kumar, Ansad Palya and R. K Desai, appeared for the accused. The court rejected their bail and handed them over to police custody for interrogation for a day. They were again produced before the court at 3.30 pm today and granted bail at about 4.30 pm. Bisaralli told The Hindu that the State’s attempt to suppress his freedom of speech by slapping a case did not shake him, but strengthened him further.thehindu
Kashmiri students sedition case: Opposition leaders question Karnataka Police’s re-arrest move
Opposition leaders in Karnataka questioned BJP-ruled state government on re-arrest of 3 Kashmiri engineering students facing sedition charges in Hubballi city of Dharwad district. Police had arrested the students of KLE IT first on Saturday after college filed a complaint about a video in which they allegedly said “Pakistan zindabad”. They were released on Sunday due to insufficient evidence, but rearrested on Monday.JDS leader Basavaraj Horatti asked why the three were released in the first place. “Who ordered the police to release those accused of being anti-nationals without producing them in court?” he said in Legislative Council on Tuesday. “BJP needs to answer this.”Congress’ Karnataka head Dinesh Gundu Rao said: “Those who raised ‘Pakistan Zindabad’ slogans have been released on bail, and now they have been arrested again due to pressure from right-wing groups. Is this child’s play?’’ Rao’s party colleague and former Karnataka minister UT Khader said BJP government in the state selectively slaps sedition cases against people. He claimed the students were initially released as they study in a college owned by the saffron party’s MP. Khader himself has been charged with sedition for his speech at an anti-CAA rally in Mangaluru.scroll
Kin of Anti-CAA protest victims move court for FIR against UP police
Kanpur: Families of the victims of anti-CAA and NRC protests in Kanpur have now approached the court of Chief Metropolitan Magistrate for registering an FIR against the police.3 persons, all residents of Bubu Purwa area, were allegedly killed during anti-CAA protest that took place in Kanpur on Dec.20 and 21, Several others were injured in the protests.The police later stated that the deceased were not killed in police firing, but from firing carried out by other protesters.However, CCTV footage and the post mortem reports did not support the police statement.The local administration even issued recovery notices to the relatives of the deceased persons and also to those who were injured during the protest.The families of the deceased now want to register an FIR against the police for killing their kin during the protest.Mohammad Nasir Khan, the lawyer who filed the petition in the court, said, "The aggrieved families first approached police for registering FIR against cops, but they were turned down by the police."Nasir Khan said that when the police failed to lodge the complaint, the families of those killed decided to approach the court under Section 156/3 of CrPC, and have demanded an FIR against police officials under Section 302 and 207 of IPC.IANS
Not a single person died of police bullet during anti-CAA protests, claims Adityanath and says Marne ke liye aayega to jinda kaise bachega
Lucknow:Not a single person was killed by police bullets during the protests against CAA on December 19 and 20, and those who died were killed by the “bullets of rioters”, UP CM Yogi Adityanath stated in the Legislative Assembly today.At least 23 people died in the violence during the protests, most of them of bullet injuries.“Agar koi marne ke liye aa hi raha hai toh woh zinda kahan se ho jaega [If somebody is hell bent on coming to die, how will he stay alive],” Adityanath said. “Upadravi upadraviyo ki goliyon se hi mare hai [the rioters died from the bullets fired by other rioters],” he claimed.The police and the State administration “should be praised” for the work done by them during the protests as there was no riot reported in the aftermath, he said.thehindu
Marne ke liye aayega to jinda kaise bachega: Yogi Aadityanath on deaths during anti-CAA protests
APW moves SC for 100% reverification of NRC process in Assam
Guwahati:Assam Public Works (APW), an NGO whose petition had led to NRC exercise in Assam, has moved the Supreme Court for a 100% reverification of the entire process and a probe by a judicial committee to detect discrepancies involved in updating citizens’ register.In a fresh affidavit filed in the apex court on Monday, APW alleged that NRC, which was published on August 31, 2019, left out the names of indigenous persons but included many illegal foreigners.The final NRC list had the names of four Jamaat-ul-Mujahideen Bangladesh “jihadis”, who were arrested from Barpeta district, the affidavit said.The arrested “jihadis”, whose names figured in NRC, were Azharuddin, Ranjit Ali, Luit Jamiul Jamal and Muqaddir Islam, it added.In the fresh affidavit, APW also urged that agencies such as CBI, NIA and ED be allowed to probe alleged misappropriation of funds and irregularities in updating the citizens’ register by former NRC State Coordinator Prateek Hajela.It also alleged that Hajela and software companies engaged in updating NRC indulged in corruption and malpractices, which made it a “useless document for people of Assam”.According to APW estimations, around 80 lakh illegal foreigners were included in final NRC list, he said. Moreover, the names of over 19 lakh people have been left out of document.PTI
Fear of 'chaos' among minority groups over Clause 6 cut-off
Guwahati:Several minority groups of Assam, including AIUDF, have expressed concern over reports that the high-power committee on implementation of Clause 6 of Assam Accord has recommended 1951 as the base year for defining the indigenous people of the state.The minority groups believe that if the cut-off date of March 24, 1971, set by the Assam Accord, is violated while defining the indigenous people of Assam, a massive “chaos” would ensue in the state.AIUDF general secretary Aminul Islam, reacting to reports swirling since committee chairman Justice (retd) Biplab Kumar Sharma reached Delhi last week, said such a recommendation might create more problems for the state.All Assam Minority Students’ Union leader Azizur Rahman said many would suffer if 1951 was made the base year. “Around 35 per cent of the population will be deprived as neither these people nor the government has sufficient records to prove that they came or have been living in Assam prior to 1951. There will be a huge chaos. The base year should be fixed as 1971 as those living in the state prior to 1971 have already assimilated with the indigenous people of the state and its language and culture,” he added.telegraphindia
Declared Foreigner, Assam Woman's Story Predicts Citizenship List Effect
Guwahati: A 50-year-old woman living in a remote corner of Assam, who has trouble feeding her family, has been fighting a lone battle- to prove that she is a citizen of India. Declared a foreigner by Assam's Foreigners' Tribunal, Jabeda Begum lost the battle in Gauhati High Court and now, the Supreme Court looks too far away.Jabeda Begum lives the remotest corner of Assam -in Baksa district, near Guwahati. She is the only earning member of her family - her husband Rejak Ali has been ailing for long. The couple had three daughters, one of whom died in an accident and another one went missing. The youngest, Asmina, is a student of Class 5.It is Asmina's future that worries Jabeda Begum the most. With most of her meagre earning being drained by the legal battle, the little girl sometimes goes to bed hungry. "I am worried what will happen to them after me... I have lost hope for myself," Jabeda Begum confided.The woman who is from Goyabari village was declared a foreigner by Tribunal in 2018. Her regular trips for a year were in vain. The High Court, citing one of its previous orders, declared the papers she submitted  -- land revenue receipt, bank documents and PAN card -- were not conclusive proof of citizenship.ndtv
Assam: Voter list of 4 years, land records… 15 documents can’t prove citizenship
Assam govt body for aid to Hindu Bengali-Assamese couples, head says nothing to do with CAA
Guwahati:A new website aims to financially support marriages between Hindu Bengali and Assamese communities in Assam. ‘Samanvay’ (samanvayassam.com) — launched on Sunday by chairman of Assam Linguistic Minority Development Board (ALMDB) — is a result of the government body’s proposal to “strengthen ties” between two communities. “It has come to our notice that several Assamese-Bengali (Hindu) marriages take place here. These couples often face a lot of trouble, opposition from family etc. Thus, we want to give them financial aid — be it Rs 40,000 or Rs 50,000,” said Alok Ghose, Chairman, ALMDB. “We have approached Chief Minister, Finance Minister and the Welfare of Minorities and Development Minister with our proposal and are hopeful that it will be included in State Budget 2020-21.” Annual State Budget 2020-21 is slated to be tabled on March 4. However, Welfare of Minorities and Development Minister Ranjit Dutta said he had not received any such proposal yet, and could not comment further.BJP’s Ghose said he was determined to make this work, with or without the govt’s help. Even as CAA is believed to have widened the rift between state’s Assamese and Bengali communities, Ghose said his proposal had “nothing to with CAA or NRC or any politics.” “We thought of it a year back,” he said. More recently, the updation of NRC, too, has led to festering of the wound.indianexpress
Anti-CAA protests: AASU’s is a govt agitation, says Medha Patkar
Narmada Bachao Andolan leader Medha Patkar today termed anti-CAA protests being organized by AASU across Assam as a ‘government agitation.Patkar said this after meeting Krishak Mukti Sangram Samiti (KMSS) and RTI activist Akhil Gogoi in Guwahati Central Jail. Patkar met Gogoi along with noted social activist Sandeep Pandey, who is the co-founder of Asha for Education. After meeting KMSS leader, Patkar, winner of Right Livelihood Award in 1991, said, “The government has pushed AASU in anti-CAA agitation. Akhil Gogoi has been jailed to stop the agitation launched by the KMSS.”Speaking in the same tune, Pandey alleged, “When I came to Assam in Dec.2018 when the anti-CAA agitation was going on, AASU was not visible.”Pandey also said, “AASU’s stir is a government agitation.”Patkar said, “This govt is more ruthless than British. This fascist govt has done something which was not done even by the British government.” Social activists demanded unconditional release of Akhil Gogoi.nenow.in
Sharjeel Imam to be produced in Guwahati court tomorrow
JNU student Sharjeel Imam will be produced in a Guwahati court on Thursday.Imam was handed over to Assam police custody by the Patiala House court earlier today.Imam on Feb.13 was presented before CJM Kamrup through video conferencing.He was later sent to judicial custody.Imam’s remark during an anti-CAA protest sparked a major controversy and multiple FIRs were registered against him.nenow
25 broken CCTVs in Jamia’s Rs 2.66-crore damage bill to HRD
New Delhi: Jamia Millia Islamia suffered damage to property worth Rs 2.66 crore during police action inside its premises on December 15 last year, according to an estimate submitted by university to Ministry of Human Resource Development (MHRD). This included damage to 25 CCTV cameras worth Rs 4.75 lakh.Over last few days, several video clips from Jamia’s CCTV footage have been released, which show uniformed personnel raining lathis on students as well as damaging property, including hitting CCTV cameras with lathis, in university library. Police have maintained that some of videos appear edited and they are still ascertaining their authenticity. According to estimate submitted by Jamia, public property worth Rs 2,66,16,390 was damaged in the violence. The university has specified that the damage “occurred due to Delhi Police action on Dec.15”. While the university has said security personnel entered without permission, police maintain they were in pursuit of “rioters” and entered the premises as a result.Just days after the violence, university authorities had said that property damage was around Rs 2.5 crore, and that more detailed calculations would be done. Librarian Tariq Ashraf had then said, “Most of the damage in the library is due to breaking of glass panes. Some of the other things damaged are CCTV cameras and tubelights, etc. But thankfully no books or manuscripts were touched.” Indianexpress
Police action damaged 25 CCTV cameras on campus, Jamia tells MHRD
Jamaat-e-Islami Hind demands Telangana  govt to clear its stand on NPR, NRC
Hyderabad:Jamaat-e-Islami Hind, Telangana and Odisha, urged Telangana government to clear its stand on NPR and NRC, on Tuesday.It also asked the state to move Supreme Court under the exercise of powers envisaged by the Constitution under Article 131, to go against the implementation of bills passed by Central Govt. Hamid Mohammed Khan, state president Jamaat-e-Islami Hind, appreciated the move taken by the state to vote against CAB in Rajya Sabha and Lok Sabha. It welcomed the government decision to pass a resolution in the state assembly against CAA.“The moral values of the Constitution were protected by the state government. The govt’s decision to pass a resolution in the assembly is highly appreciated. Similarly, they take a stand on NPR as well,’’said Khan. He also asked CM K Chandrashekar Rao to take serious note of the citizen’s doubt regarding NRC and NPR.TOI
Jamaat appeals KCR to boycott NPR,NRC
Rajasthan yet to decide on NPR implementation
Rajasthan government is yet to take a call on implementing NPR in the state, according to the officials of the directorate of census operations. According to the directorate, the state government is yet to approve the proposed dates for conducting the census. Directorate had proposed dates between May 16 and June 30 for house listing and updating NPR.“We sent reminders. Discussions are being held at the top level,” said one of the officials, who didn’t want to be named. So far, 3 states -- Madhya Pradesh, Kerala and West Bengal -- have told Centre that they have put NPR ‘on hold’.HT
Maoists blow up school building in Bihar's Gaya, leave behind anti- CAA pamphlets
Suspected Maoists rebels blew up a school building in Bihar's Gaya district and left behind pamphlets denouncing CAA-NPR-NRC and "fascist BJP govt", a senior police official said today.Rajeev Mishra, SSP of Gaya, said nobody was injured in the blast that razed the empty school building in Banke Bazaar police station area late Tuesday night. A CRPF contingent was stationed there till recently."A team of 153 Battalion of CRPF had been camping in the area since March 18 last year when naxals had carried out an attack ahead of the Lok Sabha polls. They had been putting up at Sonedaha High School and shifted to their own camp in the thick of jungle nearby,"Mishra said.Hand-written pamphlets have been recovered from the site which bear slogans against "Brahminvadi, Hindutvavadi fascist BJP govt," and question "occupation" of school buildings by security forces. The pamphlets also urge people to "unite against draconian measures like CAA, NPR and NRC", SSP added.PTI
'Those who have to go need excuses': Shahnawaz says CAA not behind Muslim leaders leaving BJP
Indore: Against the backdrop of a string of Muslim leaders quitting BJP in Madhya Pradesh in protest against CAA, senior party leader Shahnawaz Hussain said those who wanted to leave need excuses.He also said that "99.99 per cent" of BJP workers who hail from the minority community support the CAA."CAA does not apply to 130 crore citizens of India. There is no threat to citizenship of any Indian by this law," he said.PTI
*J&K AND S. ASIA*
UN chief applauds Pakistan, censures India during Islamabad trip; says reports of abuse in J&K must be taken seriously: reports
During his 4-day trip to Islamabad UN Secretary General Antonio Guterres applauded Pakistan for its peace efforts and expressed concern for the Muslims in India. Before concluding his Pakistan visit on Wednesday, UN chief in an interview to Pakistani paper Dawn said that he was personally concerned about the rising discrimination against the minorities in India. The paper claimed that UN chief said: “All the reports, including two by UN High Commissioner, in international media, including Amnesty International, HRW and recent fact-finding reports on Kashmir released in New Delhi, regarding torture, sexual abuse and incarceration of children as young as 7 by Indian military”, played an important role in “clarifying exactly what is happening” in Kashmir and “it is essential that these reports are taken seriously”. While visiting Pakistan’s Kartarpur Corridor constructed to facilitate the visit by Sikh pilgrims from India, Guterres praised Pakistan for opening “a symbol of interfaith harmony.” During his four-day trip, UN chief showed huge admiration for Pakistan and patted Imran Khan government on its back for its peace efforts. “For 40 years, Pakistan has sheltered Afghan refugees. I urge the world to support host countries and show similar leadership in standing with the refugees. The country has stood in solidarity with the refugees from Afghanistan for 40 years, showing how generosity is not always proportional to wealth,” he said.UN Secretary General said that Pakistan is one of most consistent and reliable contributors to UN peacekeeping efforts around the world. “I am closely following vital peace efforts in Afghanistan to reduce violence, especially against civilians. By building regional consensus, Pakistan’s role in this process remains crucial,” he tweeted. IANS/PTI
With apologies, promise of restoration, Pak govt 'hands over' 200-year-old temple to Hindus
Pakistan government has ‘handed over’ a 200-year-old temple in Balochistan to the local Hindu community and apologised to them for its illegal occupation since the 1947 Partition.Following a survey by All Pakistan Hindu Rights Movement that highlighted that 408 of 428 temples at the time of Partition “were turned into toy stores, restaurants, government offices and schools after 1990”, Pakistan government had announced in April 2019 that in order to promote inter-faith harmony, it would reclaim these temples and restore them.An India Today report had said then, “From now on, 2 to 3 such historic and heritage temple complexes will be restored by the government of Pakistan every year.” Pakistani daily The Nation, reporting the handing over of the temple to the Hindu community, stated, “The move – hailed by Hindu community – comes on the heels of an Indian Supreme Court ruling last Nov.handing over the site of historic Babri Mosque to Hindus for construction of a temple following a prolonged legal battle.” thewire
Deported UK MP: 'no advance visa cancellation notice was sent or seen by me'
 Even as the Indian government claimed that Debbie Abrahams’s visa was revoked before her travelling to India and that she was informed in advance, British MP has asserted that she had not seen or received any such intimation. Abrahams, who heads British All-party parliamentary group (APPG) on Kashmir, was deported from India. In an interview with The Wire from Dubai airport while waiting for her flight to Islamabad, Abrahams said that she had not received any intimation from the Indian government that her visa had been revoked before she left UK. “I had not got any information on my official parliamentary address,” she asserted. Also, she has not seen any such details if it was sent to her personal address, “as I have been offline since February 14”.Abrahams pointed out that the visa was obtained in her official capacity. “I had got it as part of the Greater Manchester Mayor’s delegation to India… I did not visit finally, but the visa was there,” said Labour MP.On the decision of the Indian government to revoke her visa just before arriving in the country, she called the timing ‘perplexing’, coming more than 4 months after she got the visa and just a few days before her travels. When asked why Indian government, knowing her plans, cancelled her visa just a few days ahead of her arrival as claimed, she said, “I have no idea”.Abrahams also noted that none of the airline staff who had asked to her see her visa documents had expressed any concern.Her initial written statement had given the flavour of her treatment in Delhi, where she was marched to a “Deportee cell”. “I felt criminalised,” said Abrahams.“My passport, which is my property, was handed over to the stewardess, who kept it in an envelope. When we arrived in Dubai, she did not give it to me, but to the security officials there,” said Abrahams.Even in Dubai, she was detained and questioned by security officials as to why she had been deported from India.On the Indian government’s contention that Abraham’s visa was cancelled as she was working against India’s national interests, she replied, “Let’s be clear. I am not anti-India. I have a sister-in-law who is Indian, whose cousin I was planning to visit in Delhi. My office manager is Indian… This is absolute nonsense”.“I have been more vocal since the revocation of Articles 370 and 35A as I think it is a serious issue,” she stated. Abrahams claimed that it was akin to UK deciding to “abolish the Scottish government and go back to 1992”.“I will continue to stand for the rights of Kashmiris on both sides of LoC,” she stated.thewire
Kashmir is 'beautiful', but not conducive for foreign investment, say envoys after visit
When 25 envoys from Germany, France, Canada, Afghanistan, Czech Republic, Poland, Hungary and other countries arrived in Srinagar on Feb.12 for a 2-day visit, there were no protests even though the Valley had observed a total shutdown day before to commemorate the death anniversary of Maqbool Bhat. The envoys met 3 delegations in Srinagar’s Grand Palace hotel, which is next to Hari Niwas Palace—now a sub-jail that lodges former CM Omar Abdullah, who along with former CM Mehbooba Mufti, have been detained under the preventive detention law.Among the envoys, Tahir Qadiry from Afghanistan was in focus for his tweets about shikara rides, open shops and Kashmiri hospitality. “SM (social media) is banned in Kashmir; just curious to know which VPN  you are currently using?” reads a reply to the Afghan envoy’s tweets. As the government restored 2G internet service after nearly six months, allowing access only to a few sites—no social media— Kashmiris have resorted to VPN for accessing Facebook and Twitter.“In our interaction with Kashmiri media outlets, the media people seriously urged the government to restore internet broadband as it is causing them so much problems to report and broadcast,”Afghan envoy tweeted.According to the delegates they met, some of the foreign envoys were curious to know about the evolving situation since the abrogation of Article 370. When some delegates asked the Canadian ambassador about plans to invest in Kashmir, he said, “Our government has made huge investments in different parts of India. But I will not suggest anyone from Canada to invest in Kashmir due to the situation being unfavourable here.”Austrian ambassador told a delegation that any company from her country would be hesitant to invest in Kashmir in the present situation. The ambassador from Uganda said his country would love to invest in Kashmir, but a “secure environment is needed” for that. Czech envoy said India should encourage business houses from India to invest in the Valley before inviting foreign investors.outlookindia
J&K panchayat polls deferred over security issues
Jammu :Barely 5 days after announcing by-elections to over 12,000 vacant seats in village panchayats across Union Territory of Jammu and Kashmir, CEO on Tuesday evening deferred poll process. Sources cited “security reasons” for the move. CEO Shailendra Kumar said that by-elections have been deferred for 2-3 weeks, but he did not cite any reasons.However, sources said the decision came after inputs from Home Department regarding security issues over the next three to four weeks.Earlier in the day, leaders of major mainstream political parties, aside from those from BJP, had asked the election authority to defer bypolls in view of the continued restrictions in place in the region and the detention of senior leaders.indianexpress
‘All is not well,’ says PDP after J-K panchayat bypolls are deferred
Srinagar: Mainstream political parties in Jammu and Kashmir have termed deferment of panchayat bye-elections a sensible decision especially when top leaders remain under detention but PDP said postponement indicated that all was not well in the Union Territory. J&K Pradesh Congress President, Ghulam Ahmad Mir told HT that the party has been raising several issues about loopholes in the panchayat polls. “We had identified the loopholes in the process and they were conveyed to Election Commission, but still polls were announced last week.” “It is good the polls have been postponed. We contested elections last time and would have contested this time, but the government should give us level playing field.’’Mir said that Congress leaders are still not being allowed to move freely and remain under house arrest, while a particular group of people are being facilitated for these polls. “We can’t understand that when general panchayat polls were held on non party basis why should these bypolls be held on the party basis.’’National Conference spokesman, Imran Nabi Dar while welcoming the decision to postpone the bypolls, said that there was large scale uncertainty on ground. “It’s a sensible decision. There is no point in contesting elections when leaders are in jail and conducive atmosphere is missing.’’HT
Made Kasab say ‘Bharat Mata Ki Jai’ at Metro Junction: Ex Mumbai Police chief Rakesh Maria in his book
Former Mumbai Police commissioner Rakesh Maria has claimed that he took Ajmal Kasab to the Metro Junction in Mumbai where the latter had killed police personnel during the 26/11 attacks and made him say ‘Bharat Mata Ki Jai’. He also said that Kasab was taken to a mosque in the city to show that Muslims could freely practice their faith in India.In his autobiography Let Me Say It Now released on Monday, Maria wrote: “The convoy came to the Metro Junction, the stretch around which the monster had unleashed death just a few days ago, killing my dear colleagues and innocent fellow citizens… ‘Bend down and touch the ground with your forehead’,I ordered Kasab. Spooked, he meekly followed my instructions. Now, say ‘Bharat Mata Ki Jai’, I commanded. ‘Bharat Mata Ki Jai’, said Kasab. Not satisfied with just once,I made him repeat it twice.”indianexpress
Was saffron terror plot combined project of Congress, ISI, asks BJP on Maria's revelations
New Delhi: BJP has slammed the Congress over ex-Mumbai police commissioner Rakesh Maria's claim that LeT planned to project 26/11 attack as a case of Hindu terror, saying it raised questions whether the "saffron terror plot was the combined project of Congress and Pakistan's ISI".Taking on Congress over the claim, BJP spokesperson GVL Narasimha Rao said that for first time in the history of Islamic terrorism the perpetrators have attempted to mislead people about their identity."This raises serious questions if the saffron terror plot was the combined project of Congress and Pakistan's ISI. Around the same time, UPA coined the saffron terror tag and Rahul Gandhi told US diplomats that India's homegrown groups are a greater threat to the country then Islamic terror groups," he said.PTI
Chinese ship detained in Gujarat port nearly slipped away to Pakistan
Kandla:Chinese ship, detained in Kandla port for wrongly declaring an autoclave which can also be used in the manufacture of missiles as a dryer, almost managed to leave Indian shores on the intervening night of February 4 and 5 for its final destination, Port Qasim in Karachi, Pakistan.On Monday that the merchant vessel (MV) Da Cui Yun had been detained by Indian customs officials at Deendayal Port, formerly known as Kandla Port, for allegedly carrying an autoclave, and also mis-declaring it.Customs officials seized the suspect cargo from the vessel, which flies a Hong Kong flag, on Monday even though crew are still on board.HT
*OTHERS*
Ram Mandir Trust elects office-bearers, PM's ex-principal secy Nripendra Misra to oversee construction committee
New Delhi: Mahant Nritya Gopal Das was elected president and Champat Rai general secretary of Ram Temple trust at its first meeting here on Wednesday.The meeting, held at the residence of senior lawyer K Parasaran, also elected Prime Minister Narendra Modi's former principal secretary Nripendra Misra as the head of the temple construction committee of the Shri Ram Janmabhoomi Tirth Kshetra Trust.The meeting was aimed at working out modalities to speed up the construction of the Ram temple in Ayodhya. It was also decided to open an account in Ayodhya's State Bank of India branch for donations for the Ram temple construction, Chanmpat Rai told reporters after the meeting.Swami Govind Dev Giri of Pune was appointed treasurer of the trust at the meeting.Among those present were the central government representative, additional secretary in Home ministry Gyanesh Kumar, UP government's representative Avinash Awasthy and Ayodhya District Magistrate Anuj Kumar Jha. The trust was set up by the central government.PTI
Ram Mandir Trust Holds First Meet, Construction Date to be Announced in Fortnight

Cracks appear between right-wing groups hours before Ram temple trust meet
Hours before very first meeting of Ram Janmabhoomi trust in Delhi, a controversy has erupted. Hindu Mahasabha has alleged that VHP, RSS and BJP have "occupied" trust through present government. Calling the present formation of the trust as "unfair", Hindu Mahasabha Chief Swami Chakrapani said he is "hurt"."From 1949 we have been fighting for this cause. We were a party to the case. Other Hindu organisations too worked for it. But when the Supreme Court gave it's verdict and tasked the government to form a trust, VHP and Sangh occupied it. This is unfortunate," he alleged. He added, "The government didn't feel the necessity to call all the stakeholders and thank them for the role they played or ask for their suggestions."IANS
Ayodhya: Ram Lalla idols to be shifted out of makeshift temple
Ayodhya: Idols of Ram Lalla which are kept at the sanctum sanctorum of a makeshift temple here will be shifted as construction of the Ram temple will begin from the site, Ram Janmabhoomi temple’s chief priest said on Tuesday. Idols will shifted to a place 200 metres away from makeshift temple, priest Acharya Satyendra Das said.“The construction of the Ram temple will begin from ‘Garbh Grih’ (sanctum sanctorum),” he said.PTI
We’re not treated very well by India: Trump indicates no major trade deal on card during Delhi visit
Almost a week ahead of his India visit on Feb.24-25, US President Donald Trump Tuesday said he is “saving the big deal” with India for later and he “does not know” if it will be done before the presidential election in November.“We can have a trade deal with India. But I’m really saving the big deal for later. We’re doing a very big trade deal with India. We’ll have it. I don’t know if it’ll be done before the election, but we’ll have a very big deal with India,” he said. His statement clearly indicated that a major bilateral trade deal might not be on the cards this time.However, US and India could sign a “trade package” during the visit, according to PTI.In an apparent dissatisfaction over US-India trade ties, Trump praised Prime Minister Narendra Modi but said they were not treated well by India. “We’re not treated very well by India. I happen to like Prime Minister Modi a lot,” Trump said.“He told me we’ll have seven million people between the airport and the event. And the stadium, I understand, is sort of semi under construction, but it’s going to be the largest stadium in the world. So it’s going to be very exciting… I hope you all enjoy it,”US president added.US Trade Representative Robert Lighthizer, point-person for trade negotiations with India, might not accompany Trump to India. However, officials have not ruled it out altogether.Meanwhile, cumulative US-India trade in goods and services ($110.9 billion) for first three quarters of 2019 increased 4.5 per cent with US exports and imports growing at 4 per cent and five per cent respectively. indianexpress
Modi backtracks on free-trade vow with import curbs in India:Bloomberg
Indo-US trade deal not stuck, India in no rush to sign pact: Govt sources on Donald Trump comments
New Delhi is not in a rush to sign a trade deal with Washington, sources in the Indian government said on Wednesday hours after US President Donald Trump indicated that an Indo-US trade deal might not materialise during his visit here next week. Responding to Trump's comments, sources in the Indian government said Delhi, just like Washington, is seeking a "mutually beneficial deal". "[We] don't want to rush into a trade deal. It is complicated. We are working on a big trade deal," the sources said.indiatoday
India approves $2.6 billion plan to buy US naval helicopters: Report
India’s cabinet has approved a plan to buy US naval helicopters, a government source said on Wednesday, without giving details.Reuters reported this month that India was likely to give final approval to a $2.6 billion deal for Lockheed Martin helicopters ahead of a visit by US President Donald Trump.Reuters
Indian employees likely to get worst appraisals in 2020 in a decade: survey
The employees working in India are likely to get the lowest hike in salary in a decade, according to a recent survey by Aon Plc.The survey also revealed that the attrition rate among Indian employees increased a little from 15.8% in 2018 to 16.1% in 2019, caused by involuntary layoffs.Aon Salary Increase Survey 2020 stated that Indian employees are likely to get an average salary hike at 9.1% in 2020 which is the lowest since 2009 when the hike was recorded at 6.6%. The average salary hike first went down after 2011 when average annual salary hike peaked by 12.6 %. Despite drop in 2020, 2 out of 5 companies in survey showed a double-digit increase in the annual income hike expecting a positive economic outlook.nationalheraldindia
Queue of most jobless people in India: Twitterati to Trump; 650 persons in every metre of space?
Manmohan :Govt Does Not Acknowledge the Word 'Slowdown', Corrective Action Unlikely
New Delhi: Attacking the Modi government on the state of the economy, former prime minister Manmohan Singh on Wednesday said the current dispensation does not acknowledge the word "slowdown" and the real danger is that if problems are not recognised, then finding credible answers to take corrective action is unlikely.A ddressing a gathering at the launch of Montek Singh Ahluwalia's book "Backstage", Singh said the former planning commission deputy chairman has written about the good as well as the weak points of UPA government. "I think these issues will be debated and should be debated because we have today a government that does not acknowledge that there is such a word as slowdown. I think this is not good for our country," Singh said.PTI
Govt plan to amend law to link Aadhaar to voters’ list is on track, EC told
New Delhi:The law ministry is finalising its note on Election Commission of India proposal to link Aadhaar with voters’ list, a move expected to weed out duplicate entries and help migrant voters exercise their franchise even when they live outside the constituency where they are registered as voters, people familiar with the development said.The ministry communicated this to senior ECI officials during deliberations held on Tuesday with Chief Election Commissioner Sunil Arora and election commissioners, Sushil Chandra and Ashok Lavasa.At meeting, CEC Sunil Arora also stressed on the need to fast-track 40 proposals pending with the latter for electoral reforms, some date back to 2004-05.On the proposal to link the electoral list with the 12-digit biometric number, the law secretary is said to have given a favourable opinion and assured ECI that a cabinet note would soon be prepared to change the two laws - Representation of People’s Act and Aadhaar law. No time-frame was stated by the ministry officials.HT
Activist seeks thorough probe in CBI judge Loya’s death
A group of citizens on Tuesday demanded a thorough inquiry into the death of special CBI judge Brijgopal Harkishan Loya in 2014.The group has written a letter to Maharashtra CM Uddhav Thackeray, seeking a time-bound probe into death of Loya.Loya, who was hearing the high-profile Sohrabuddin Sheikh fake encounter case of Gujarat, died of a cardiac arrest in Nagpur on December 1, 2014, when he had gone to attend the wedding of a colleague's daughter.Social activist Ashok Pai, addressing a press conference on behalf of the group, also demanded proper compensation for the judge's family, saying he was on an "official" tour.PTI
CVC selection process corrupted as a member of selection committee was also applicant:Congress leader
The selection process for appointing the next Central Vigilance Commissioner (CVC) waded into controversy after the Opposition pointed out that a member of the search committee for CVC post was also an applicant and was even shortlisted for it.Leader of Congress in Lok Sabha, Adhir Ranjan Chowdhury, alleged that Finance Secretary Rajiv Kumar was a member of the search committee and turned out to be an applicant for the CVC. Later, Kumar was even shortlisted for the post of CVC by the search committee which also included Cabinet Secretary Rajeev Gauba and DoPT Secretary C Chandramouli.Centre on Tuesday gave a green flag to Secretary to President of India Sanjay Kothari’s name for CVC post, besides appointing Bimal Julka as the next CIC, even after the objections from the opposition leader Chowdhury.Kothari is a 1978-batch IAS officer of Haryana cadre and retired as DoPT secretary in June 2106. CVC’s post was lying vacant since June 2019.nationalheraldindia/ Indian express
Court pulls up CBI for not conducting lie detector test on Asthana
A special court today pulled up CBI for not conducting a lie detector or psychological test on its former Special Director Rakesh Asthana in an alleged bribery case.The court, which had earlier in the day asked the agency to submit the case diary for examination, also enquired about previous investigating officer, Ajay Kumar Bassi. CBI submitted that Bassi had been transferred to Port Blair, but he was currently in Delhi. He was taken off the case after the then agency chief, Alok Kumar Verma, was shunted out.The next date of hearing has been fixed for February 28.thehindu
JNU sedition case: Delhi Police reminds Delhi govt on giving prosecution nod
Delhi Police has written to Delhi government, reminding it about about a pending request for sanctions to prosecute ex-JNU Students' Union leader Kanhaiya Kumar, Umar Khalid and others in a sedition case. Kumar and others were booked for seditions over anti-India slogans that were allegedly chanting at an event at the JNU in 2016.Delhi Police has filed a chargesheet accusing Kumar and others of sedition. The cops are awaiting permission from Delhi government on prosecuting the case.Earlier today, a Delhi court directed the Delhi government to file a status report till April 3 on the issue of sanctions to prosecute Kanhaiya Kumar and others in a sedition case.CMM Purushottam Pathak also directed Police to send a reminder to city government seeking requisite sanctions to prosecute Kumar.The court passed the directions after police submitted that permission to prosecute Kumar and others has not been granted yet and the letter requesting sanction is pending with the Delhi government.India Today
Police probe into JNU violence nears end, chargesheet soon
 About one-and-a-half months after the violence on JNU campus, Delhi Police sources say they have started winding up the probe. Over a hundred people have been questioned and the police are in the process of working out the final sequence of events, based on different versions given to them. Sources said a chargesheet will be ready soon for filing.JNU authorities are, however, yet to complete their parallel investigation into the violence. Registrar Pramod Kumar said the committee formed to investigate the January 5 incident has had one meeting so far “and will have a few more meetings before they submit the report to the administration”.An officer said that all the people involved, including outsiders who figured in a TV channel sting, were called for questioning and their versions recorded.TOI
BJP MLA booked for raping woman in Uttar Pradesh
Bhadohi:An FIR was lodged against BJP MLA Ravindra Nath Tripathi and 6 others here today for allegedly raping a woman repeatedly for a month in 2017, police said.The woman, 40, lodged a complaint on February 10, they said.She also claimed that she got pregnant and was forced to undergo abortion, he said.PTI
Madhya Pradesh: 8 Christians acquitted of forced conversion and kidnapping charges
A sessions court in Madhya Pradesh’s Ratlam town on Tuesday acquitted 8 Christians accused of kidnapping 60 children for fraudulent religious conversion. The case dates back to May 22, 2017 when they were escorting 60 children from Adivasi Christian families to a religious retreat in Nagpur, Maharashtra. They were detained by the railway police in Ratlam, who registered a case of kidnapping and forced conversion against them.One of the accused was a minor – 15 years old – when he was arrested. He had been charged under Juvenile Justice Act. Another claimed to be 17, though the police charged him as an adult. The police had released the children within three or four days, and two women in 11 days, but the rest got bail only at the end of August.scroll
Karnataka MLAs’ late-night meeting triggers speculation of rebellion in BJP
Close on the heels of Cabinet expansion, some senior disgruntled MLAs of BJP appear to have raised banner of revolt against CM B.S. Yediyurappa.Some of the party’s old-timers met at residence of senior leader and Industries Minister Jagadish Shettar in Bengaluru on Monday night to express their displeasure with the “functioning style” of Yediyurappa.This comes days after an anonymous letter was released seeking replacement of Yediyurappa citing alleged age-related health issues. But the disgruntled leaders are learnt to have decided against precipitating the matter till March-end as they do not want the budget session to be affected.thehindu
Kerala: Protesting Congress workers serve beef curry outside Kozhikode police station
Kochi :Workers from Kerala unit of Congress Tuesday served beef curry and bread outside the Mukkam police station in Kozhikode district. This was in protest of Kerala Police Academy’s decision to drop beef dishes from its canteen menu.Academy Director B Sandhya, ADGP, however, said the decision was taken to provide healthy food to police trainees, and that there were no political or social connotations.She called controversy a “media creation”. “Not only beef, but mutton is also not included in the new menu issued. The menu was prepared according to the directions of the dieticians,” she said.The row erupted weeks after the Kerala Tourism department tweeted a photograph of local delicacy ‘Beef Ularthiyathu (beef fry)’, with a link to the recipe on its website. Indianexpress/PTI
Kerala: Muslim couple marries off their foster Hindu daughter in temple ceremony
A family in a village in Kerala held the wedding of their daughter with the usual pomp and traditional rituals. When 22-year-old Rajeswari’s wedding was fixed with Visnuprasad, her parents wished for a very simple thing. They wanted it to be held in a temple where they could enter and witness the wedding.Bhagwati Temple in Kanhangad in Kasaragod district opened the doors for the proud parents—P Abdullah and Khadeeja—on Sunday. Besides many Muslim and Hindu families, several leaders of Muslim League and BJP—including its Kasargod district unit secretary A Velaydhan—were also present during the ceremony.Abdullah and Khadeeja had brought Rajeswari into their homes when she was 10 years old.HT
Matrimonial disputes: 2 Masjid officials asked to appear in MP
Jabalpur:MP High Court has directed 2 functionaries of the Darul Qaza Masajid Committee in Bhopal to appear before it on Wednesday to explain why they continue to hear matrimonial disputes despite the court's order against the practice. A division bench of Justices Sanjay Yadav and Atul Sreedharan was on Monday hearing a contempt petition filed by Bhopal-based social activist Mohammad Waseem Khan.The HC directives restricting the committee from hearing matrimonial disputes came on a PIL filed in 2009 by Mohammad Zahir Khan Koti, petitioner Mohammad Waseem Khan's counsel Mohammad Adil Usmani told PTI.The HC directed the committee's secretary SM Salman and Qazi Mushtaq Ali Nadvi to appear before it on Wednesday in the contempt case to explain why they continued to hear matrimonial disputes, including issues related to divorce and maintenance, Usmani said.PTI
Burqa is an essential part in Islam: AIMIM leader Waris Pathan
AIMIM leader Waris Pathan on Monday said that the burqa is an essential part of Islam and that no one forces Muslim women to wear it. However, Twitter trolled the former MLA for his comment.It started with a tweet from author Taslima Nasreen.Pathan slammed Nasreen for her statement. AIMIM leader said that she should change her name and let people know that she was no longer a Muslim by her religious practice. He tweeted, "Madam you first of all change your name and let people know you are no longer a Muslim by your religious practice.He added, "Burqa (HIJAB) is an essential part in Islam which our mothers & sisters wear it by their own concern no one force them. You are slave of those people who hate us."freepressjournal
*WORLD*
Erdogan threatens 'imminent' Turkish operation in Syria
Turkey's President Tayyip Erdogan has threatened to launch an operation in Syria's Idlib region by the end of the month if Damascus fails to withdraw behind Turkish military positions."An operation in Idlib is imminent," Erdogan told his party's legislators in Parliament on Wednesday. "We are counting down, we are making our final warnings".Russia - the Syrian government's main ally in the nearly 9-year war - responded by saying any Turkish offensive against Syrian forces in Idlib would be the "worst scenario"."If we are talking about an operation against the legitimate authorities of the Syrian Republic and armed forces of the Syrian republic this would, of course, be the worst scenario," said Kremlin Press Secretary Dmitry Peskov, adding Russia and Turkey were staying in contact to prevent tensions escalating further.Ankara, which backs several rebel groups in northwest Syria, has been outraged since recent Syrian government attacks in Idlib province killed 13 Turkish military personnel in two weeks.Erdogan said talks with Russia over the last remaining rebel stronghold in Syria had failed to end in agreement and warned a military operation was just a "matter of time".He said Turkey was determined to make Idlib a secure zone "no matter the cost", even as talks continue with Russia, which backs Syrian President Bashar al-Assad's forces."We will not leave Idlib to [Syrian] regime, which does not understand our country's determination, and to those encouraging it," said Erdogan.About 900,000 people have been forced from their homes and shelters in less than three months, including some 500,000 children, since Syrian government troops renewed the offensive on the region.Erdogan's announcement comes a day after dire warnings by United Nations officials who warned of a humanitarian disaster in northwest Syria. Nearly 300 civilians have been killed in attacks this year in the region, with 93 percent of the deaths caused by Syrian and Russian forces, according to UN's human rights chief.aljazeera
Flights land at Aleppo airport for first time in 8 ys
Syria’s Aleppo International Airport has resumed civilian flights for the first time in almost nine years, with the first inbound flight from the capital, Damascus, landing today. Earlier in the day, Syrian Tourist Minister Bishr Al-Yazigi and Transport Minister Ali Hammoud officially re-opened the airport to the public.The second largest terminal in Syria was opened after recent military victories by the Syrian army with the help of Russian air force which reclaimed the entire countryside of Aleppo in addition to exerting complete control over main Damascus-Aleppo Highway from Turkish-backed opposition groups. middleeastmonitor
Russia carries out ‘more than 120’ air strikes against Aleppo
Syrian Observatory for Human Rights revealed on Tuesday that Russian jet fighters have carried out more than 120 air strikes against Aleppo in just one week, Egypt’s Youm 7 newspaper has reported.The rights group also said that Syrian regime forces have widened their operations in the rural areas surrounding the city. The regime forces, the group explained, fired rockets towards several areas targeted by the Russian jets. According to Youm 7, the Syrian regime has expanded its operations in Aleppo, taking several villages around the city after forcing the Levant Liberation Committee and other opposition groups out of the area.
To distract 4-yr-old daughter, a Syrian father teaches her to laugh every time a bomb drops
Salwa, a 3-year-old girl from the Northwest Syrian province of Idlib, has only ever known war. But thanks to her father, now when she hears the sound of a bomb, she laughs.In a video that has gone viral on social media, Salwa can be seen seated on a sofa with her father. “Is that a plane or is it a shell?” the father asks.  “A shell,” Salwa responds. “It'll fall now, and we can laugh," he adds.As the sound of a blast fills the video, toddler jumps into laughter and father encourages her, laughing along. "That's funny, right? A shell?" he says with a smile on his face. As Salwa looks the other way, his smile fades away. 32-year-old Abdullah al-Mohamed, who along with his family had been forced to flee from his home in Saraqeb, said he devised the private game to help his daughter overcome her fear after bombings intensified in Dec.outlookindia
Somalia: Al-Shabab fighters attack military bases
Al-Shabab has attacked two Somali military bases using an explosive-laden vehicle driven by a suicide bomber along with dozens of heavily-armed fighters.At least 12 Somali soldiers were killed in the attack on Wednesday, and the attackers briefly captured a base southwest of the capital, officials said, underscoring the group's ability to launch attacks despite a government offensive.aljazeera
Sanders: US cannot 'ignore the needs of the Palestinian people'
Senator Bernie Sanders says the United States must be "pro-Palestinian" as much as "pro-Israeli" and described the Israeli government as "right-wing" and "racist".Speaking during a meeting in Nevada on Tuesday, Democratic frontrunner for US presidency said: "To be for the Israeli people and to be for peace in the Middle East does not mean that we have to support right-wing, racist governments that currently exist in Israel".Sanders also spoke about the humanitarian crisis in the besieged Gaza Strip, where the youth unemployment rate is about 70 percent."Take a look at what's going on in Gaza right now. You got youth unemployment, 70 percent, you know people can't even leave the area," he said.aljazeera
Israel plans settlement on land Trump earmarked for Palestine state
Israeli housing ministry filed a request on 9 February for the construction of 9,000 houses in occupied East Jerusalem, on land marked as Palestinian in US President Donald Trump’s “deal of the century”, watchdog Peace Now reported.If approved, the homes will be built on land between the Palestinian neighbourhoods of Kafr ‘Aqab, Qalandiya and Al-Ram in East Jerusalem, and on the site of the Atarot Airport, which has been out of use since the Second Intifada in 2000.middleeastmonitor
Afghan presidential poll: Ghani declared winner
Incumbent President Ashraf Ghani has been declared the winner of Afghanistan's presidential election, almost 5 months after the voting took place amid a low turnout due to the threat of violence and concerns over electoral fraud. Independent Election Commission (IEC) announced that Ghani garnered 50.64 percent of the vote on Sept.28 of last year, beating Chief Executive Abdullah Abdullah, who secured 39.52 percent of votes. Later, Abdullah contested the final results and pledged to form his own parallel government.Originally scheduled to be announced on Oct.19, the results were repeatedly delayed, with IEC officials citing technical issues, allegations of fraud and protests from candidates. Following the announcement of results, Ghani appeared among supporters in Kabul, where he emphasised the importance of peace talks with the Taliban, saying his winning team will bring peace to the country."It's time to make Afghanistan united," he said, urging the armed group to participate in the democratic process. Aljazeera
Afghan runner-up bars electoral officials from leaving country
Kabul, Afghanistan - Afghan leader Abdullah Abdullah has issued a decree barring all election commission workers from leaving the country a day after he was declared runner-up in the presidential elections. Independent Election Commission (IEC) announced on Tuesday that incumbent President Ashraf Ghani won the election but Abdullah contested the much-delayed results.Abdullah, who still serves as the country’s chief executive, also announced the establishment of his own government on Tuesday precipitating a political crisis at a time when the US and Taliban armed group are on the verge of striking a peace deal.According to Abdullah's campaign team, the order was issued after reports of election commission workers trying to flee the country, with what they claim was assistance from the presidential palace.Despite declaring the formation of an "inclusive government", Abdullah's decree came from the Office of the Chief Executive, the post he was given as part of an agreement reached with Ghani in 2014 following allegations of widespread fraud and corruption in those polls.The order has raised fresh concerns ahead of a planned reduction in violence between the Taliban, and the US and Afghan forces, which is slated to take effect next week, and would be the first step towards bringing Afghan and Taliban officials together to discuss potential peace for the first time since 2001.aljazeera
Saudi Govt Daily claims MB Founder Hassan Al-Bana Worked For Nazis: MEMRI report
The conflict between Saudi Arabia and Muslim Brotherhood (MB) escalates day by day. As part of this conflict, the Saudi media is waging a media campaign against the organization and the countries that support it, that is, Qatar and Turkey. Thus, on Feb.14,  Saudi government daily 'Okaz published a lengthy feature article, headlined "The Nazi Brotherhood," about MB founder Hassan Al-Bana's and Jerusalem mufti Haj Amin Al-Husseini's connections with Adolf Hitler and the Nazi leadership during World War II.memri
Ivanka Trump Sparks Outrage on socail media For Wearing Hijab During Her Visit To Mosque In UAE
US President Donald Trump’s daughter Ivanka wore a hijab during her visit to UAE and many accused her of showing “fake support” to Muslim community. Images of Ivanka, also a senior adviser to the President, wearing a hijab while visiting the Sheikh Zayed Grand Mosque sparked backlash online.Ivanka arrived in UAE to deliver a keynote address at the two-day Global Women’s Forum in Dubai. During the keynote address, she boasted about American women leading in every aspect of society but the images of her visit to the mosque created a stir online and she was slammed by critics as well as Trump’s supporters.Trump supporters said that Ivanka should have protested and taken a stand against hijab instead of trying to appease Muslim leaders. They opined that it was “major mistake” to wear hijab even if she did it inside a mosque.republicworld
Coronavirus outbreak: Death toll in China reaches 2,000, number of cases fall for second day
New coronavirus cases in the Chinese province at the epicenter of the outbreak fell for a second straight day, but deaths rose after WHO had cautioned there was not yet enough data to know if epidemic had slowed.Hubei reported 1,693 new cases as of Tuesday, down from 1,807 the previous day and the lowest number in the province since February 11. But deaths rose by 132, up from 93 the previous day. The latest figures bring the total number of cases in China to over 74,000 with about 2,000 deaths.The head of a leading hospital in China's central city of Wuhan, where the virus is believed to have originated, died of the disease, becoming one of the most prominent victims since the novel virus first appeared at the end of last year.Reuters
*views, Articles, FEATURES*
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Even if we disagree with Sharjeel Imam’s statements, it is important to stand up for his right to speak:Apoorvanand
Shocking ‘words of wisdom’ from Indian gurus and Hindutva brigade: Gulfnews
Shaheen Bagh is a movement for democracy and peace, the protesters shun extremist ideology, writes AMU professor Syed Raza
Watch | A Makeshift School at Shaheen Bagh is Keeping Children Engaged:Haris Jeelani Toogo
With Notices to 'Illegal Immigrants', UIDAI Raises 2 Key Questions
When will India's economic slowdown end?Prabhash K Dutta
'We Look to Our Leaders for Moral Clarity': An Open Letter to Arvind Kejriwal:Rohit Kumar
Assam government decision on madrasas and ‘tols’ creates a row:Ashis Biswas/IPA
 Compiled and edited by Anwarulhaq (Released at: 6:10 PM).  

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