Thursday, 20 February 2020

20 FEB. EVENING NEWS : CAA could lead to widespread disenfranchisement of Muslims: US Panel/Shaheen Bagh mediation Day 2: No consensus on venue change yet, crowd waves ‘no’ to request by interlocutors/ Jamaat Islami Hind demands early release of Maulana Tahir Madani,CAA protestors arrested in UP/Political row kicks in over inclusion of Babri accused in Ram Temple Trust/Avoid word nationalism as it refers to Hitler, Nazism and Fascism: Bhagwat tells RSS cadre


NEWS DIGEST, EVENING
 20 Feb.  2020: 25 Jamadi-2, 1441: Vol: 12, No: 137
*anti-CAA,NRC-NPR stir*
CAA will adversely impact Muslims in India:US Panel
New Delhi:The new citizenship law of India will adversely impact the Muslim community of the country, a legislative report in US has declared. US Commission on International Religious Freedom (USCIRF) said CAA and NRC were based on the Hindutva ideoglogy of BJP and expressed concern that Muslims may become stateless in India.“With CAA in place, Muslims would primarily bear the punitive consequences of exclusion from NRC which could include statelessness, deportation, or prolonged detention,’ said a new factsheet on CAA produced by USCIRF. The report also highlighted comments from various members of the BJP, who expressed plans to exclude Muslims from India.The observations are significant as they come 3 days before the arrival of President Donald Trump and are amplified by similar concerns that were conveyed to the government by US Congressmen Ami Bera and George Holding, who met Foreign Secretary Harsh Shringla on Wednesday.“Hindutva political rhetoric questions the legitimacy of Muslims’ Indian citizenship and perpetuates the further marginalization of this faith community. BJP CM of Uttar Pradesh Yogi Adityanath, for example, promised in 2005 to cleanse India of other religions, calling this the ‘century of Hindutva’,” said USCIRF. The document also cited extensively from concerns expressed by UN reports and observations that have described the controversial CAA as biased against the minority Muslim community of India.thehindu
CAA could lead to widespread disenfranchisement of Muslims: US Panel
SC issues notice to Centre on fresh pleas against CAA, tags them with pending ones for hearing
New Delhi: The Supreme Court today sought response of the Centre on a batch of fresh pleas challenging the constitutional validity of the CAA, filed by 15 petitioners including Kerala Nadvathul Mujahideen, Anjuman Trust and Dakshin Kerala Jameeyathul Ulema.A bench, comprising Chief Justice S A Bobde and justices B R Gavai and Surya Kant, issued notice to the Centre and others on a batch of 15 pleas and tagged them along with over 150 petitions challenging the CAA.The pleas may come up for hearing in March.The top court, on December 18 last year, had decided to examine the constitutional validity of CAA while refusing to stay its operation.While hearing a batch of petitions, the top court had on January 22 made it clear that the operation of CAA will not be stayed and gave the government four weeks to respond to the pleas challenging the CAA.PTI
Shaheen Bagh mediation Day 2: No consensus on venue change yet, crowd waves ‘no’ to request by interlocutors
NewDelhi:Supreme Court-appointed interlocutors Sanjay Hegde and Sadhana Ramachandran today continued for 2nd day dialogue with the women protesters of Shaheen Bagh, who have been on a sit-in against CAA-NRC-NPR regime since Dec.16. Ramachandran told them that multiple issues and questions had been raised over CAA and that had been placed before the apex court. "They will be heard by the SC. But today, neither you nor us can tell what will happen to it. We do not know whether they will agree with you or the opposition, but the issue is before the court and all arguments will be heard," she said.  The issue of their right to protest was also before the court. "The court agrees that you have that right [to protest]. But the current petition for which we are here presently is about the closure of this road."She asked the women if a solution could be reached. "Sanjay and I do not want you to get up from Shaheen Bagh.The protest will continue. But can we together come up with a solution that allows the demonstration to continue here in the same space, but while also allowing the public to use this road?"This question was met with a negative response from the crowd.A protester from the gathering questioned the delay in responding to the issue. "The Supreme Court has been listening to all the issues of the government, including Ayodhya issue and the question of triple 'talaq'. Many people are bothered by this, so why are they taking so long to listen to our problems? It's such a simple complaint."Ramachandran said that an environment of peace was needed to have a dialogue. She asked if women could come in groups to continue the conversation. "Conversations are not able to take place. It will be very difficult to come again tomorrow if things continue like this. We are not able to speak with peace. Both our time is being wasted this way. We can't hear anyone's voice. You will need to tell us how to do this".Citing demonstrations like Rath Yatra, the Jat and Railway demonstrations that had taken a violent turn, the protesters said that they had been sitting at Shaheen Bagh peacefully and raising their demands. “Our protest here is a source of inspiration for similar protests across the country. We are not sitting here for our pleasure. We are here demand our right for citizenship,” a protester said.“We were also questioned for bringing our children here,” another protester added. “But, we feel suffocated at our homes. We are scared and unsure about whether our citizenship will be taken away, whether we will be put in detention centres, whether we even have our papers,”protester said. Hegde said that there were lawyers from different religious backgrounds who were against this law and who would argue against it. “But a complaint was filed about this road and it is very easy for the court to direct govt to have this road cleared," he said.Adding that Shaheen Bagh has has become an inspiration for several protesters in the country, Hegde asked what effect would be if something bad was to happen here. “You are our inspiration and in a country where we listen to our women, this is the only way we move forward”, he said. “You are all your mothers, our daughters. You need to think and tell us how to move forward.”Stating that they have been informed about alternative routes that can be opened, Ramchandran said that same will be examined. “We will go see the alternative routes. Do allow someone to come with us who can explain the geography of the area,” she said.In response to this, a protester said that if they were made to go elsewhere, they would not be heard for another 2 years. “When fight for independence took place, I'm sure roads were blocked. Due to difficulties faced then and the mass movement that it led to, we are able to fight for our freedom today,”another protester added. “If people understand our issue, then they will understand our reasoning and instead of calling it an inconvenience, they will come and join us.”Interlocutors then left stage, informing protesters alternative routes would be visited. The hindu
"PM Has Compelled Us To Protest On The Road", Protesters Tell SC Interlocutors On Day-2 At Shaheen Bagh: indiatomorrow
'Will Return, Continue Discussion With Protesters': SC Mediators On Shaheen Bagh Impasse
Mediators at Shaheen Bagh Day 2: You are safe in India, says Advocate Sadhna Ramachandran
Shaheen Bagh: Women stand their ground on not vacating protest site
Modi govt has no intention to end Shaheen Bagh protest: AAP
Aligarh:AAP has alleged that BJP-led dispensation at the Centre did not have any intention to put an end to the anti-CAA protest at Shaheen Bagh in the national capital, saying "it suits the government in pursuing its polarising agenda".The party also hit out at Yogi Adityanath, saying he should decide whether he stood for justice or in support of rapists."If the Modi government was serious about ending the Shaheen Bagh protest, it would have followed up on the assurance given by its law minister on taking the path of dialogue and honest engagement with anti-CAA protesters."It suits the Modi government that the protest continues because it indirectly helps it in pursuing its agenda of polarisation," AAP leader and Rajya Sabha member Sanjay Singh said after delivering a lecture at AMU here.He alleged that UP CM Adityanath''s statements showed "his prejudiced mind" against the AMU. He denied that his party was strategically tilting towards a "soft Hindutva" policy to present itself as a national alternative to the ruling BJP.Referring to AAP-led Delhi government''s policy on NPR, he said, "We are looking into certain additional information that is being sought this time under the revised format. We will announce our policy once we have thoroughly reviewed the new format." PTI
Shaheen Baghs linked by wire, one touching it will ‘experience current’: Umar Khalid in Pune
Pune :Amid ongoing nationwide protests against CAA, NRC and NPR, activist and former JNU student Umar Khalid said on Wednesday that Shaheen Baghs across the country are connected by a wire, and anyone touching it will “experience current”.Khalid was speaking on day 40 of an all-women indefinite dharna in Kondhwa, organised by Kul Jamat-e-Tanzeem.“There are so many Baghs now, none of them are different. If someone opens fire at Shaheen Bagh, the pain is felt here in Pune. If something happens in Patna, the hurt is felt in Bangalore. Baghs are now connected through a thread or wire, and if someone touches it, they will experience a current,” said Khalid. “Our Muslim sisters have proven that they do not need an imposter like Narendra Modi. If they face any injustice, these Muslim women can be their own voice and say that the imposter should just stay at home,” he added. Indianexpress
Sharjeel Imam brought to Guwahati, sent to four day police custody
JNU student Sharjeel Imam, who was arrested in Bihar on January 28 for his ‘cut-off Northeast” remark during an anti-CAA protest in New Delhi, reached Guwahati on Thursday evening.He was handed over to an Assam police team earlier on Wednesday by the Patiala House Court.As soon as Imam and the Assam police team reached Guwahati, the former JNU student was taken to MMCH for a health check-up.From MMCH was produced before the CJM Kamrup.The court later sent Imam to four-day police custody.nenow
 Jamia students move SC on Dec 15 police brutality
Students and staff of Jamia Millia Islamia have filed a petition in the Supreme Court seeking its intervention so that police register FIRs pertaining to last year's brutal campus crackdown in which several students were injured, including a law student who has since lost an eye. Over 90 students and staff are behind the petition against an interim order of Delhi High Court wherein it declined to direct police to register FIRs against police personnel who had entered campus and university library on 15 Dec, following a student protest against the controversial CAA and NRC."The matter was argued at length (in HC). We showed them photographs, including ones where men in civil dress were beating up students. There is evidence of police assault and testimonies of injured students. But the high court didn’t take any cognisance and adjourned the matter for seven weeks,” said Nabila Hasan, a lawyer with Human Rights Law Network (HRLN), and a petitioner in the case. According to the petition, “all the 93 complaints made to the police are lying with Delhi police, who are refusing to register FIR/FIRs.” While it has claimed in the high court that an investigation is underway, students allege that “the investigation is biased as it is based only on an FIR filed by the police against students”.A former Delhi police commissioner said that police can’t refuse to file an FIR, and it would be illegal to do so. Telegraphindia
With New Videos Of Stone-Throwers, Delhi Police Defends Jamia Crackdown:NDTV
New Delhi: A fresh batch of videos from Jamia University have been cited by Delhi Police as evidence that protesters responsible for the violence of December 15, had taken shelter in the university building where the library is located. The police have claimed that they entered the Jamia campus while giving chase to protesters who were responsible for the violence that day.In a black and white video from a CCTV camera in one of the videos in the campus, people can be seen streaming into one of the buildings as the police throw tear gas shells. In the later part of the video, one of the shells land on the street in front of the camera.  Before that, a huge group is seen rushing into the building. Others keep running straight on. Some of the people from inside the building also rush out.The students have complained that the police had barged into the library that evening and beat up many students. They have also released a video to back up their claims, which showed policemen in riot gear entering and beating the students.In response, police sources had released the videos showing people entering the library.
Jamia Violence: Delhi Police Serves Notices to 10 Students, Asks Them to Appear for Questioning
New Delhi: Delhi Police on Wednesday served notices on 10 Jamia Millia Islamia students asking them to appear before it for questioning in connection with the December 15 violence during an anti-CAA protest and alleged police crackdown at university subsequently.A team of Delhi Police Crime Branch visited the university campus on Wednesday and handed over notices to the students, a senior police officer said.The students who have been called for questioning included some of those detained on night of the incident, some identified through CCTV video clips that surfaced recently, and some of those suffering injuries on that day, the officer said.PTI
NHRC team has finished probe into Jamia violence, yet to submit report
New Delhi:NHRC team probing the police crackdown in Jamia Millia Islamia has completed its probe but is yet to submit its report to the commission's chairman, a senior official said.A 7-member team of NHRC was appointed to probe the alleged police excesses following their entry into the varsity campus. The team had recorded testimonies of 94 students apart from teachers, the chief proctor, librarian and staff of the library where the police had allegedly lathicharged students."They have completed the investigation. The report has not yet come to me. We have not set a deadline for the submission of the report. It takes a lot of time to finalise a report," said NHRC chairman Justice (retd) HL Dattu.PTI
Jamia footage out, probe team calls for duty roster of policemen
New Delhi :In the first indication that Delhi Police is looking into the role of its own personnel in connection with the December 15 violence at Jamia Millia Islamia, a SIT is learnt to have asked SHOs of police stations in the South East district for duty rosters of that day.The move comes against the backdrop of several videos emerging over the past few days showing police assaulting people inside the Jamia library and breaking a CCTV camera and furniture. The university estimates police action caused damage to the tune of Rs 2.66 crore.Police have maintained that some of the video footage appeared edited and that they had entered the campus in hot pursuit of “rioters”. On Monday, Special Commissioner of Police Praveer Ranjan said SIT probing Dec.15 violence will analyse all clips to establish the sequence of events. “Once the sequence is established, we will identify all those involved in the violence and action as per law will be taken,” he said.Though the inter-state cell of the Crime Branch received the footage days after the case was transferred to them in December, the recent move appears to have been prompted by the footage being leaked.Sources said that personnel from two police stations in South East district were approached by the Crime Branch on Wednesday and asked to provide details of where they were stationed when police personnel entered the college premises as well as the library.indianexpress
Jamaat Islami Hind demands early release of Maulana Tahir Madani,CAA protestors arrested in UP
New Delhi: Jamaat-e-Islami Hind (JIH) National Secretary Malik Mohtasim Khan, here on Wednesday, accused the UP Police of being vindictive against the anti-CAA/NRC agitators and demanded that all cases against protestors lodged in UP jails be dropped immediately. Khan said this after visiting Maulana Tahir Madani, General Secretary, Rashtriya Ulema Council, and 18 others with a delegation of Muslim leaders in the Azamgarh jail on Monday."We found that some of those in jail were students and mere bystanders. Even Madani had gone to the protest site to talk to the women agitators to diffuse the tension and prevent any untoward incident. But UP Police arrested Madani and slapped serious charges on him," Khan said.Pointing out that the police detain protestors for few hours to prevent possible deterioration of the law and order, the JIH office-bearers accused UP Police of acting in a strange manner by imprisoning them and slapping cases on them.The JIH condemned UP Police''s action in Bilariyaganj town, Azamgarh, where the women protestors were subjected to baton charge and tear gas shells.A dedicated legal team is trying to secure early release of Madani and others. The JIH has demanded that the police drop all charges by Feb.25. IANS
Anti-CAA protests: Sadaf, Darapuri among 28 told to pay Rs 63 lakh as damage to property
Lucknow :Congress leader and social activist Sadaf Jafar (44), retired IPS officer SR Darapuri (77) and activist Mohammad Shoaib (73) are among 28 people who have been asked to pay over Rs 63 lakh as recovery for damage to public and govt properties during anti-CAA protests at Parivartan crossing in Hazratganj area of Lucknow on Dec.19.While Shoaib and Darapuri claim they were under house arrest when the violence took place and that the recovery order is “baseless”, Sadaf and other activists had earlier said there was “no evidence” linking them to violence.On Monday, Lucknow ADM(East) KP Singh issued an order for recovery of the amount within 30 days, failing which the administration will initiate legal procedure to attach their properties.A total of 46 people were booked in connection with violence at Parivartan crossing.Shoaib said, “I was under house arrest when the violence occurred. Policemen took me from the house and later booked me in the case. If the district administration still moves to attach my properties, I will move the High Court.”Darapuri said, “I filed a reply against earlier notice informing that I was under house arrest when the incident took place so I could not have been involved in the violence. The district administration has so far not informed me what final order on recovery has been passed.”Sadaf Jafar said she will approach the court.indianexpress
After NPR remark, Uddhav Thackeray gets a coalition reminder from Congress
Maharashtra Chief Minister Uddhav Thackeray’s statement that he has no problems with the exercise of updating NPR in the state could lead to a face-off between the Shiv Sena and its alliance partners, the Congress and NCP. The Congress high command on Wednesday expressed its displeasure over Thackeray’s statement and reminded him that he is leading a coalition govt.“Our stand is very clear. We will not implement NPR… What he is saying is his stand… We will tell him (Thackeray) that decisions should be taken by the 3 parties together. Because this is a decision of tiranga…not saffron alone. Till the three parties meet and take a decision, he should not allow NPR in the state,” AICC general secretary in charge of Maharashtra, Mallikarjun Kharge, said.Sources in Sena said that Chief Minister had taken a well-considered position on the NPR and there was no question of any reversal. At the same time, sources maintained that there was no threat to the coalition govt on account of their differences over NPR and Bhima Koregaon issues.indianexpress
Dissent not unpatriotic, erase sense of fear among minorities: Catholic Church to Govt
New Delhi : Catholic Church of India has called upon the government to engage with communities and “erase the sense of fear, anxiety, and uncertainty spreading in the country, especially among religious minorities,” following the passage of CAA.In a statement issued today following 34th plenary session of the Catholic Bishops’ Conference of India–the Indian church’s decision making body–held in Bengaluru, the church reiterated that religion cannot be a criterion for determining Indian citizenship and any attempt to undermine the Constitution must be opposed. In the past few months, several archdioceses across the country have come out in support of protests against the Act demanding its immediate withdrawal.“Constitutional values formed the ethos of Indian identity, and citizens must be vigilant against any attempt to undermine it,” it said.The church also urged the government to ensure that “pseudo nationalism does not continue to give rise to new forms of totalitarianism” stating that dissent should not be misconstrued as “un-patriotism” as democracy cannot be “built on monologues”.indianexpress
Khanqahs of Bihar take a stand against CAA, appeal to Nitish govt to not implement it
Protests continue against CAA, NRC and NPR across the country. People have been taking to streets against this law in many places. Social and religious institutions have also started raising their voices against the contentious laws.Khanqahs of Bihar too took a significant step in this regard and held a meeting on Feb 19. During the meeting, it was unanimously decided that all Khanqahs will raise their voice against this law.A Khanqah is almost like a dargah, a building designed specifically for gatherings of a Sufi brotherhood is a place for spiritual retreat and character reformation.The meeting was held at Khanqahs Diwan Shah Arzan Dargah Road, Patna. In which members of about 14 Khanqahs participated. After the meeting, a statement was issued in which an appeal was made to Nitish government to not implement CAA. It said that CAA, NRC and NPR are discriminatory and demanded that the constitutional structure of the country should not be tampered with.nationalheraldindia
Voter ID Sufficient Proof of Citizenship: Mumbai Court Acquits Muslim Couple Accused as Illegal Bangladeshi Migrants
Mumbai:A court in Mumbai has acquitted a local Muslim couple of the charge that they are illegal Bangladesh migrants, saying that they possess not only Aadhaar Card, PAN card and Ration Card, but also Voter ID which is alone sufficient proof of citizenship.Abbas Lalmiya Shaikh (45) and his wife Rabiya Khatun Abbas Shaikh (40), residents of Shanti Nagar Zopadpatti, Galli No. 03, Mankhurd, Mumbai, were apprehended by the local police in March 2017 on the basis of “secret information” that some “Bangladeshi infiltrators” are residing in the area of Mumbai. The police also alleged that couple had entered into India through unauthorized route without valid document of entry because of the poverty and starvation spread over in Bangladesh and they had no valid documents to prove Indian citizenship. The police did not present any proof in support of their charges but put the burden of proving Indian citizenship on the couple.The couple were charge-sheeted for breach of condition, of Rule 3 punishable under Rule 6 of the Passport (Entry into India) Rules, 1950, and under Para 3(1) of the Foreigners Order, 1948 punishable U/Sec. 14 of the Foreigners Act, 1946.indiatomorrow
Know Constitution like the scriptures: Ranchi's protesting women
Ranchi:“We must know the Constitution as well as we know the kalmas,” said a middle-aged lady at the state capital’s “Shaheen Bagh” at Kadru, which turned one month old on Wednesday. “Or shlokas and mantras.”The protest by Ranchi women against the new citizenship matrix, which started on January 20, completed a month on Wednesday. Like the Shaheen Bagh demonstration in Delhi, which got going on Dec.14 with a handful of women starting a peaceful sit-in and has now grown into a huge protest, the Kadru sit-in near Haj House also started small but is now a protest with over 500 women coming to the site every day to protest against what they term “black” citizenship laws. When The Telegraph went there in the afternoon, around 200 women were present, many more had gone home “for lunch or to feed their families”.“They’ll be back soon,” smiled a middle-aged woman who identified herself as Nussi apa. “Apa means elder sister,” she said. “Here, Muslim or non-Muslim, they all call me by this name,” said the woman who also runs a general store at Ashok Nagar.telegraphindia
Several organisations protest against CAA, NPR and NRC in Coimbatore
Coimbatore:Several organisations on Wednesday held 'Road Roko' protest against the Citizenship Amendment Act, National Population Register and National Register of Citizens here.Earlier today in Chennai, members of various Muslim outfits took out a massive protest march against CAA, NPR and NRC.Madras High Court had on Tuesday ordered an interim stay on the blockade without the proper sanction of the enforcement authorities. It had also ordered Muslim outfits not to go ahead with its proposed agitation 'to lay siege at the Secretariat and the District Collector's office'.ANI
People slam state govt for not passing resolution against CAA
Trichy: Muslim outfits under the banner of Jamaath Ul Ulama staged a protest near the Trichy collectorate here on Wednesday demanding the state government to pass a resolution against CAA, NRC and NPR.After police denied permission to the Jamaath Ul Ulama to lay siege, which was organized as part of a state-wide call, the agitators staged the protest on the road adjacent to the collector’s office.More than 1,500 people including women joined the protest that started around 10am. Besides criticising Prime Minister Narendra Modi and home minister Amit Shah for pushing CAA, the Ulama leaders hit out at chief minister Edappadi K Palaniswami for not passing a resolution against the Act in the assembly.Though the BJP-led central government won’t budge to the states’ opposition, Tamil Nadu government should register the opposition of the people to the central government by moving a resolution in the on-going assembly session, the leaders said.Protests were held in 18 places in Pudukottai, Karur, Perambalur, Ariyalur, Thanjavur, Tiruvarur and Nagapattinam districts in the central region. SDPI, PFI, Muslim Jamaath, All Jamath Federation, and Iykkia Jamath Saba also participated in the agitations.TOI
Ramchandra Guha denies receiving apology from Karnataka minister over detention at anti-CAA protest
Padma Bhushan awardee Ramachandra Guha on Thursday dismissed Karnataka Home Minister Basavaraj Bommai’s claim that the latter had called to personally apologise after the historian was detained in December during a protest against CAA  outside Town Hall in Bengaluru.Taking to Twitter, Guha said, “The Home Minister of Karnataka has claimed on the floor of the State Assembly that he apologized to me by phone for the manhandling by the Bengaluru police on 19th Dec. This is false. I received no such call or apology.”“Even if such an apology had been offered, I would have rejected it. The imposition of Section 144 was illegal (as the Karnataka High Court has since held) and I was proud to be one of thousands of peaceful protesters who defied the State’s arbitrary action on that day,” the historian posted on the micro-blogging site.indianexpress
Aadhaar notice to Hyderabad Muslims sparks NRC fears
Hyderabad:Mohd Sattar Khan, the recipient of the notice from UIDAI directing him to prove his Indian citizenship, is living in fear. He is unwilling to talk, but after much prodding, he agrees to speak for a couple of minutes.“I do whatever work I get. I drive an auto, and now I do videography,” he says with trembling voice. He confirms that his father worked in Hyderabad Allwyn Limited, once a public sector company. He is encouraged to speak by Muzaffar Ullah Khan, a lawyer who is providing him legal aid, but words fail the recipient of the notice. Two others, one also from Talabkatta, and another from Santosh Nagar, who have received similar notices are afraid to speak. They refuse to reveal their names.thehindu
*J&K AND S. ASIA*
Expressed concern on detention of J&K leaders: US Congressman
New Delhi :Visiting US Congressman Ami Bera, who is Chairman of House Foreign Affairs sub-committee on Asia-Pacific in US Congress, said it is their desire and interest to see a resolution and return to normalcy in Jammu and Kashmir, and that he expressed his “concerns” on “continued detention of political leaders in Kashmir” during a meeting with Foreign Secretary Harsh Vardhan Shringla.Bera and US Congressman George Holding, who is member of House Ways and Means Committee and co-chairs the India Caucus, are on a two-day visit and met Shringla.“I express(ed) some of my concerns about continued detention of political leaders in Kashmir, and again expressed that the quicker India can return to normalcy in Kashmir, we feel it’s in their interest,” Bera said.On his concerns, Amerish Babulal “Ami” Bera, a Democrat Congressman who traces his roots from Gujarat, said New Delhi has cited “security concerns” on the continued detention of Kashmiri leaders.He said India is a “valuable partner” of US, and that partnership is rooted in shared values of democracy, free market opportunities, and “protecting minority rights”.Holding said he is “heartened to hear that they are going to roll out an economic development plan” in Kashmir, and “provide economic incentives for their investment infrastructure investment there, which obviously raise prospects and prosperity”.Bera also said India’s founding as a secular democracy, where “800 million Hindus can live with 200-plus million Muslims and other religious minorities, and somehow work”, is its strength. “And we don’t want to see India lose that secular democracy, (as) that’s what sets it apart from other countries in the region,” he said.On protests against CAA, Bera said this is “democracy in action”, and the “tools of democracy in India are vibrant”, as it has an “independent judiciary”. Bera, when asked about External Affairs Minister S Jaishankar’s refusal to meet with US Congresswoman Pramila Jayapal, said he has had “private conversation” with the minister, but it is “important to keep lines of communication open on Kashmir and CAA as we do believe in the secular strength of India’s democracy”. He said the fact that Democrats criticised India means that “they care for India…that’s what friends are for — friends are honest.”indianexpress
UK MP Debbie Abrahams came to India without valid visa, so sent her back ‘badi izzat se’: MEA
New Delhi :3 days after denying British lawmaker Debbie Abrahams entry into Delhi, Ministry of External Affairs  today said that there is a “sustained campaign” from her side against India.“She came here without a valid visa so we sent her back badi izzat se (with due respect) from Delhi Airport. We believe that her statements and ideology are anti-India. There is a sustained campaign from her side against India,”MEA spokesperson Raveesh Kumar said. indianexpress
Will act against those spreading rumours on social media through VPN: J&K top cop
Srinagar: 2 days after J&K Police invoked UAPA to register a case against people using social media through proxy servers, police said their priority is to take action against those spreading rumours and instigating people by accessing social media through VPN.“My first priority [to take action] is against those spreading rumours, instigating (people), and who are facilitating militants,” IGP (Kashmir) Vijay Kumar said at a press meet where DGP Dilbag Singh was also present. IGP added, “On Jan.4, there was an order by the Home Department in which social media was banned. Despite that, many people are using social media through VPN. Among them, some miscreants are spreading rumours, instigating people; some are facilitating militants….We have proof. We have lodged a general FIR, and whoever is found involved will be arrested.”indianexpress
In Kashmir, an 'Open FIR' has Led Police to Investigate Hundreds Over VPN 'Misuse'
Karnataka: Rightwing Leader Announces Rs 3 Lakh to Chop Off Tongues of 3 Kashmiri Students
 A leader of the Karnataka rightwing organisation Sri Ram Sene has said that he would pay a reward of Rs 3 lakh to anyone who would chop the tongues off three Kashmiri students who were arrested on sedition charges.The comments were allegedly made by one Siddalinga Swami, who The Quint has identified as the honorary secretary of the Sene, which is said to have connections with the killers of journalist Gauri Lankesh. Swami was reportedly seen making the comments in a video that was shared on social media. thewire
China joins India, US to set new deadline for Pak
In a significant development, China and Saudi Arabia are learnt to have joined India, US and European countries to send a stern message to Pakistan to complete its commitments on action against terrorist financing and money laundering given to FATF before plenary session in June, including “conviction and prosecution of top leaders of all terrorist organisations”. Diplomatic sources said Turkey was the only country which held out in the end. This marks a major shift in China’s position, which has always backed Pakistan at FATF. Sources said it is now final that Pakistan will remain on FATF grey list, and will face consequences if it doesn’t take appropriate action by June this year. An official announcement is likely to be made today.indianexpress
'Violated Territorial Sovereignty': China On Amit Shah's Visit To Arunachal Pradesh
China, which claims Arunachal Pradesh as part of south Tibet, has objected to Home Minister Amit Shah's visit there to attend the statehood day on Thursday, saying it is "firmly opposed" to his trip as it violated Beijing's "territorial sovereignty and sabotaged political mutual trust".Shah is in Arunachal to attend the 34th Statehood Day function and launch a number of projects related to industry and roads, officials said.China routinely objects to Indian leaders' visits to northeastern state of Arunachal Pradesh to highlight its claims over it."China's position on the eastern sector of China-India boundary, or the southern part of China's Tibet region, is consistent and clear," China's Foreign Ministry spokesman Geng Shuang told online media briefing here on Thursday while replying to a question."Chinese government has never recognised the so-called 'Arunachal Pradesh' and is firmly opposed to the Indian politician's visit to the southern part of China's Tibet region as it violated China's territorial sovereignty, undermined stability of the border area, sabotaged political mutual trust, and violated relevant bilateral agreement," he said.PTI
Amit Shah allays fears in northeast about Article 371
Guwahati:Union Home Minister Amit Shah on Thursday allayed fears in the northeast about Article 371 meeting the same fate as Article 370 while addressing a public rally at 34th Statehood Day celebrations in Itanagar.His visit was marked by protests in Arunachal Pradesh and China, which claims the State as part of southern Tibet. Students of Rajiv Gandhi University led the protest related to CAA at Mithun Gate, less than a kilometre from Itanagar’s Indira Gandhi Park where the Statehood Day was held.“Misinformation was spread after the abrogation of Article 370 that Article 371 will also be scrapped… It will never happen and nobody can do it,” Mr. Shah said, asserting that the NDA government was committed to preserving and protecting the unique cultures and traditions of the northeast inhabited by various ethnic groups.While Article 370 had special provisions for Jammu and Kashmir, Articles 371-A to 371-J have certain provisions for Nagaland, Assam, Manipur, Andhra Pradesh, Sikkim, Mizoram and Arunachal Pradesh besides Maharashtra, Gujarat, Goa and Karnataka.thehindu
India "bigger problem" than China: Michael Bloomberg on carbon emissions
Washington: India poses a bigger problem than China when it comes to fighting climate change, particularly on reducing carbon emissions, Democratic presidential aspirant and former New York mayor Michael Bloomberg has said. During his maiden appearance on a Democratic presidential primary debate in Las Vegas on Wednesday, Bloomberg said it was "ridiculous" of the Trump administration to take the US out of the 2015 Paris climate agreement, as he outlined his approach to tackling climate change."In all fairness, the Chinese have slowed down. It is India that is an even bigger problem, but it is an enormous problem. Nobody is doing anything about it," Mr Bloomberg said in response to a question on climate change.He was asked about his business which is heavily invested in China, the number one producer of carbon emissions in the world, and how far would he go to force Beijing to reduce those emissions and tackle the climate crisis.PTI
*OTHERS*
Political row kicks in over inclusion of Babri accused in Ram Temple Trust
A day after Ram Temple Trust elected its top office bearers to speed up the temple construction work at Ayodhya, political sparring began over those included in the panel even as the main Opposition party Congress tried to wriggle out of the issue.AAP, which last week won Delhi polls for the third consecutive term even after a highly-polarised election campaign gave a new twist asking the trust to also build a grand Hanuman statue at Ayodhya.A day after the trust’s first meeting, VHP general secretary Milind Parande hailed the trust’s “comprehensive and dynamic work.”Recalling that the Supreme Court had called the demolition of Babri a national shame, AIMIM chief Asaduddin Owaisi commented tersely on the appointment of Mahanth Nritya Gopal Das as its President, posted a tweet laced with sarcasm.“This is the sequel. An SC-created body, constituted by the government has appointed as its president a man who is accused of demolishing Babri. Welcome to New India, where criminal acts are rewarded,” Owaisi said. His remarks drew a flurry of reactions on the social media site with some strongly justifying the appointments in the trust saying it is only natural that those who fought for the temple will be included in it.Mahanth Nritya Gopal Das and Champat Rai, who were appointed as President and General Secretary in the trust, accused in the criminal conspiracy case relating to the demolition of the disputed structure in Ayodhya, are currently out on bail.Congress chief spokesperson Randeep Surjewala, when asked to comment on Owaisi’s comments, asked for not paying much attention to what he says.“Because he only and only B Team of BJP. He does only what suits BJP. This tendency to make everything Hindu versus Muslim is not good. Hence it will be good for the nation’s progress less attention is paid to what either the BJP or its friends like Owaisi keep on commenting,” Surjewala said.
Ram Mandir Trust members meet PM, invite him to visit Ayodhya
New Delhi:Members of Ram Mandir Trust, including its president Nritya Gopal Das, today called on Prime Minister Narendra Modi at his residence here and invited him to visit Ayodhya.The meeting came a day after the Shri Ram Janmabhoomi Teertha Kshetra, set up recently to oversee the construction of a Ram temple in Ayodhya, met for the first time on Wednesday.VHP leader Champat Rai, who was elected as the trust''s general secretary, was present at the meeting along with treasurer Swami Govind Dev Giri."We invited the prime minister to visit Ayodhya," Das told reporters after the meeting.Later Rai said the trustees were called by Prime Minister Modi and it was a courtesy meeting.Meanwhile, VHP''s international working president Alok Kumar said in the run-up to Ram Navami, ''RamoUtsav'' will be celebrated from March 25 till April 8.During this festival, VHP workers will reach out to all the 2.75 lakh villages across the country which had contributed for the Ram Janambhoomi movement, Kumar said.PTI
Pawar demands trust for mosque in Ayodhya
Lucknow: NCP chief Sharad Pawar has demanded the Centre to form a trust for building a mosque in Ayodhya similar to the trust to oversee the construction of Ram temple. Pawar said: "You can form a trust for a temple then why can't you set up a trust for the mosque. The country belongs to everyone".ANI
BJP playing politics, not pursuing Mosque construction in Ayodhya: Maharashtra Minister Malik
Maharashtra Cabinet Minister Nawab Malik has said that BJP is playing politics in the name of Ram hence they are not pursuing or announcing the construction of the mosque in Ayodhya."It is true that the Supreme Court has given a direction to Centre to form a trust and reconstruct the Ram Mandir but simultaneously the court has given an order to alot another piece of land for the mosque. Some of the Muslims are divided on whether to accept the land or not,"Malik said."Its the responsibility of the State that everyone should feel justice has been done to them. But BJP is playing politics in the name of Ram and hence they are not issuing any kind of announcement for construction of mosque in Ayodhya," he added.Malik condemned UP CM Yogi Adityanath's statement where he had on Wednesday said that if someone is coming to die, how can they stay alive? (If someone is coming to die, how can he stay alive?), in connection with the anti-CAA protests.ANI
Avoid word nationalism as it refers to Hitler, Nazism and Fascism: Bhagwat tells RSS cadre
Ranchi:RSS chief Mohan Bhagwat today said people should desist from using the word “nationalism” as it has connotations of “Hitler and Nazism”.“Do not use the word ‘nationalism’. Use ‘national’, ‘nationality’, ‘nation’. The meaning of ‘nationalism’ is Hitler, Nazism and Fascism. The aim of the Sangh is to boost the feeling of patriotism and feeling of Hinduism,” said Bhagwat at an RSS programme in Ranchi. He is in Ranchi for a five-day RSS event. Bhagwat’s remark came amid continued protests in several towns and cities of the country against the new citizenship law and probable pan-India NRC, moves branded by those opposing them as a reflection of “Hindutva nationalism” that is detrimental to Muslims. Addressing ‘Metropolitan Meeting’ organised by RSS in Jharkhand’s capital, Bhagwat recalled how a Sangh volunteer in UK advised him against using the word. “I was on a visit to UK A karyakrata advised me not to used the word nationalism as English is not our language and it could have a different meaning in England. It’s okay to say nation, national and nationality but not nationalism. Because it means [alludes to] Hitler, Nazism and Fascism [in England],” he said.thehindu
Nationalism means Nazism, use terms like ‘nation, nationality’: RSS chief Mohan Bhagwat
" Modi, Amit Shah Can't Always Help": RSS Analysis Of Delhi Polls
New Delhi: PM Narendra Modi and Home Minister Amit Shah cannot always help BJP win assembly elections, the party's ideological mentor RSS said in an editorial in its mouthpiece on Thursday, analysing the results of this month's Delhi polls. BJP was served a crushing defeat in the elections for the second consecutive time, increasing its tally from three to just eight seats, while CM Arvind Kejriwal's AAP scooped up 62 of 70."...the apparent failure of BJP to revitalise the organisational structure at grassroots level after 2015 and building up of the campaign on in the last leg of the elections were the two major reasons for defeat in the well-fought out battle," the article in The Organiser said.ndtv
National Museum bars non-vegetarian dishes from Harappan menu in event on premises
New Delhi:In a last-minute decision, National Museum has barred non-vegetarian dishes from being served at Historical Gastronomica, a weeklong exhibition-cum-event on culinary history that offers “Indus dining experience” through an “ethno-archaeological kitchen of Harappan culture” on the museum lawn from Feb.19 to 25.Organised jointly by National Museum, the Ministry of Culture and One Station Million Stories (OSMS), a private firm, the event’s menu with vegetarian and non-veg dishes, along with an invitation for online booking, was showcased on the museum website and also on social media by the government.On Tuesday, however, the museum cited unspecified rules and asked OSMS to not serve non-vegetarian food during the event. Asked about the rules cited by the museum, Nath said: “Actually, there is no rule as such. But we have to respect museum’s tradition. So we emailed private organisers yesterday.”On other museums, such as IGNCA, NMML and crafts museum, not having any such curbs, Nath said:“This museum has so many idols of gods and goddesses, and a relic of Buddha. International dignitaries visit this museum. We have to consider these sensitivities here.”OSMS has stopped accepting bookings for the non-vegetarian tasting menu and dinners. The dishes that are no longer available include fish in turmeric stew, quail/fowl/country chicken roasted in Saal leaf, offal’s pot, bati with dry fish, meat fat soup, lamb liver with chick-pea, dried fish and Mahua oil chutney. indianexpress
Indus Valley people vegetarian? There is enough archaeological and textual evidence to establish that meat-eating was a matter of fact in early India
Karnataka: Muslim man, father to 4, to be made pontiff in Lingayat mutt
Bengaluru:In a first, a 33-year-old Muslim man is set to be made pontiff of a Lingayat mutt in Gadag district. Diwan Sharief Rahmansab Mulla, who will be incepted on Feb.26, is said to be influenced by 12th Century reformer Basavanna’s teachings since childhood. “Nobody asked me to do it, the Almighty came and intervened my thoughts to guide me towards taking this step. Everyone around has been very supportive and cooperative in helping me come here and take charge,” Sharief said.“Today, Rahman’s son has become Diwan Sherief. My parents donated their ancestral property of two acres for the upliftment and welfare of the society, upholding the Basava values of equality open to people across faith,” he added. Incidentally, to-be seer is married and is father to 3 daughters and a son. Sharief used to run a flour mill in a neighbouring village as he preached Basavanna’s philosophy of life and his Vachanas, a form of rhythmic writing in Kannada which flourished during the 12th century.indianexpress
2 Dalits Thrashed, Tortured On Suspicion Of Theft In Rajasthan; 5 Arrested
Rajasthan police arrested five persons on Wednesday in connection with the case wherein two Dalit youths were beaten and tortured by a group, Nagaur SP Vikas Pathak said.A video of the incident, which occurred on February 16 in Karnu village of Nagaur’s Panchaudi area, went viral on the Internet and evoked public outrage.The video showed the perpetrators dousing a screwdriver with petrol and inserting it in the rectum of the victim. The former alleged that the duo had tried to steal money from cashbox at a motorcycle showroom, SP added. 5 persons arrested are Hanuman Singh, Aidan Singh, Raghuvir Singh, Chhail Singh and Rehmatullah. While Hanuman is the owner, others are workers at the agency.The accused have been charged under sections of SC/ST Act, for body offences, voluntarily causing hurt and wrongful confinement among other charges. The police officer also said that some more arrests are expected today.The vicitms have been identified as Bisa Ram (25) and Panna Lal (18) and are residents of Bhojas village, some 20 km away from Karnu where the violence occurred.Reacting to the incident, lawyer and Dalit rights activist PL Mimroth said that it’s shocking that violence of such nature continues to happen in independent India.outlookindia
2 Dalit brothers, accused of theft, stripped, tortured in Rajasthan
Goa: Hindutva Group Objects to Textbook's 'Distorted History' of Shivaji's Raids
Hindutva outfit Hindu Janajagruti Samiti (HJS) has demanded the immediate withdrawal of a Class XI textbook, which it alleges depicts Chhatrapati Shivaji in poor light.The Hindutva outfit, which, as per its website, was founded with the aim of establishing a Hindu rashtra, has said that the content on Chhatrapati Shivaji published in the textbook by Goa Board of Secondary and Higher Secondary Education (GBSHSE) was “totally false”According to IANS, class XI World History textbook claims that when Maratha king Shivaji attacked Goa in the late 1600s, his forces not only plundered the countryside, but also killed prisoners, including men, women and children as well as Catholic priests. Another section in the book describes Shivaji’s son, Sambhaji, as a plunderer, who ravaged the Goan countryside.In a statement issued on Wednesday, HJS convener Manoj Solanki said, “A supplement added to the textbook- ‘History of Goa’- says that Chhatrapati Shivaji attacked Bardesh tehsil in Goa for three consecutive days, looted villages, burnt them and killed some children and women.”thewire
Salwa Judum: 2 months after NHRC order, villagers yet to get Rs 5 lakh
Sukma:Around 500 km from Chhattisgarh state capital, and past several CRPF camps,lies Kondasawali, a village in Sukma district fringed by the Bailadila hills, home to high-grade minerals and thus conflict. It’s here that seven people were killed in 2009, allegedly by Special Police Officers of Salwa Judum, a government-backed militia formed in 2007 to take on the Maoists. Eleven years after the incident and 6 years after the first complaints in the case were filed, NHRC in December ordered the state government to pay a compensation of Rs 5 lakh to each of the families of those killed. But 2 months after NHRC order, the villagers are yet to get the compensation money.indianexpress
Congress ruling in Gujarat, BJP will form government soon: Tamil Nadu BJP leader
Chennai :Amid criticism over construction of a wall built to mask a slum area in Ahmedabad ahead of US President Donald Trump’s visit, a senior BJP leader from Tamil Nadu said the Congress party was responsible for it as they are “ruling Gujarat”.Ex MP L Ganesan, 75, told reporters in Chennai: “Congress is ruling in Gujarat, you have asked me the question without knowing about it. You are criticising the Congress government for an action carried out by the state government. I don’t need to answer your questions.”indianexpress
SC judgment enabling, theater commands may take longer time: Army Chief Naravane
New Delhi :Welcoming the Supreme Court’s judgment on Permanent Commission for women in the Army and for them to be considered for Command Posting, Chief of Army Staff General MM Naravane today said that it is a “very enabling judgment and gives us clarity”.He said that “it brings out a sense of clarity and purpose to gainfully employ officers for better efficiency of the organisation”.indianexpress
2012 gangrape case: Now, convict Vinay Sharma approaches Election Commission for relief
Hours after approaching a Delhi court for better treatment of his alleged mental ailments, Vinay Sharma, one of the four death row convicts in the 2012 Delhi gangrape case lodged in Tihar Jail, has now sought relief from the Election Commission by questioning the timing of the rejection of his mercy plea during the recently concluded Delhi Assembly elections.Earlier today, Sharma’s lawyer AP moved Vinay’s lawyer, AP Singh moved an application before Additional Sessions Judge Dharmender Rana praying that his client is shifted to IBHAS hospital, Shahdara for better treatment for his alleged schizophrenia and other ailments. The court has listed the matter for February 22 and directed the Tihar Jail Superintendant to file his reply in the matter.indianexpress
UK's 'Erratic and Hostile' Immigration Rules Put Indian Students in Bind
London: UK PM Boris Johnson has promised that his government would put “people before passports”, as he rolls out a lower wage threshold and re-hauls visa policies to attract the best talent from across the world. Yet there are fears that the erratic and hostile attitude of the Home Office towards migrants is damaging Britain’s reputation as a welcoming nation.The rejection of Cambridge scholar Asiya Islam's application to secure permanent residency in the UK is symptomatic of the problems students face.Islam applied for an indefinite leave period to remain in Britan in September 2019 and paid an additional £800 for super priority next-day visa processing but received a response only after five weeks. Much to her shock, she was refused on the grounds that she was out of the country for more than 540 days over the course of the decade.With just a few days to appeal against this decision, Islam engaged legal help, adding to her costs. “The entire process cost me more than £3500, a huge amount for someone who has just completed her PhD,” says Islam.Islam’s case is not an isolated one. A post-doctoral engineering scholar from India at the University of Oxford, who chose not to give his name, has to apply for his visa extension every year for his three-year position at the university. This means, additional costs of premium visa processing service, bringing it to £1200.“Let’s not also forget that those with an Indian passport need a Schengen visa to travel to conferences in Europe, which is an important part of scientific and academic work. But that application is also constrained by your UK visa,” he said.thewire
First time in Delhi polls, BJP uses Deepfake on WhatsApp, a synthetic media widely used in pornography
Amid the news reports about BJP using fake news on line creating an uproar on social media, another shocking revelation by news website Vice has come to the fore which proves that the world’s largest party BJP used artificial intelligence (AI) technology to create 2 fake videos of Delhi state chief Manoj Tiwari. Using the ‘deepfake’ technology, which is widely used in pornography, hoaxes and financial frauds, Tiwari has been morphed realistically in these videos to show him talking in two different languages to appeal to different voter groups during Delhi assembly election in Feb. By using AI, Deepfake creates morphed videos which look very real. It can even synchronise lip movements so that a person can be seen speaking different languages or we can simply say that words can be literally put in the mouth of another person.A thorough analysis by Vice news website of Tiwari's 44-second monologue led to discovery of use of ‘Deepfake’ by BJP.nationalheraldindia
'AGR Unprecedented Crisis': In Meeting with Telecom Minister, Airtel's Mittal Seeks Cut in Taxes for Sector
Bharti Airtel Chairman Sunil Mittal today met Telecom Minister Ravi Shankar Prasad and sought cut in taxes and levies for the sector, amid the "unprecedented" AGR crisis.Mittal said Airtel is committed to complying with the Supreme Court order on adjusted gross revenue (AGR) dues, and asserted that the company will make balance payment "expeditiously"."AGR is an unprecedented crisis for industry, which is being dealt with by government," he said.Mittal further said the industry is heavily taxed and suggested cut in taxes and levies for sector. He said Airtel has time till March 17 to make balance payments, adding that the company will pay its dues "much before that".news18
1 Lakh People For Ahmedabad Roadshow: Official After Trump's 70 Lakh Talk
New Delhi: Around one lakh people, not seven million as claimed by US President Donald Trump, are expected to turn up to see the American President along a 22-km-long road in Ahmedabad after he lands in India, the city's Municipal Commissioner Vijay Nehra said today, news agency Press Trust of India reported.Prime Minister Narendra Modi and President Trump will travel on this road on February 24.ndtv
Jharkhand: Almost 90% of deleted ration cards belonged to real households, finds study
Almost 90% of the ration cards that Jharkhand government declared invalid between 2016 and 2018 belonged to real households, a study by the Abdul Latif Jameel Poverty Action Lab revealed today. Almost 56% of these deleted ration cards were not linked with Aadhaar. The study comes at a time when the Jharkhand govt is reportedly preparing for another round of mass deletion of ration cards.According to some estimates, 23 deaths due to starvation and non-availability of subsidised food grains were reported in Jharkhand between 2015 and 2019. One of the cases Scroll.in reported on was that of an 11-year-old girl in Simdega district who died of starvation in Oct2017, months after her family’s ration card was cancelled because it was not linked to their Aadhaar number. Last June, state government directed Latehar administration to exhume the body of a 65-year-old man for autopsy following allegations that he starved to death.scroll
19 Dead after container comes off truck, hits passenger bus in Tamil Nadu
Tamil Nadu: Over 19 people were killed and a few are feared trapped in debris after the bus in which they were travelling in was hit by a container that had come off a truck coming from the opposite side on a highway in Tamil Nadu's Tirupur, the police said. Twenty-three were injured. They have been taken to different hospitals. Kerala govt-run Volvo bus that can seat over 50 people was going to Ernakulam from Bengaluru in Karnataka, state Transport Minister AK Saseendran said.The police said the number of dead is likely to rise.ndtv
*WORLD*
'Nowhere is safe': UN warns of urgent danger of Syria escalation
Hundreds of thousands of Syrians fleeing a fierce government push are being squeezed into ever-smaller areas near Turkey's border under horrendous conditions, including below-freezing temperatures that are killing babies and children, UN humanitarian chief has warned.Addressing the UN Security Council, Mark Lowcock said on Wednesday "unfolding humanitarian catastrophe" in Syria's northwestern Idlib province had overwhelmed efforts to deliver and provide aid.Nearly 900,000 people, more than half of whom are children, have fled their homes since December 1, when Russian-backed Syrian government forces pressed ahead with a military offensive to push out opposition fighters from their last stronghold in the country."They are moving into increasingly crowded areas they think will be safer," Lowcock said."But in Idlib, nowhere is safe."Nearly 300 civilians have been killed in attacks this year in the northwest region, with 93 percent of the deaths caused by Syrian and Russian forces, according to the UN."An operation in Idlib is imminent," Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan told his party's legislators in Parliament on Wednesday. "We are counting down, we are making our final warnings".aljazeera
Tunisia names new govt in last bid to avoid early election
Tunisia's PM-designate Elyes Fakhfakh has announced the formation of a new coalition government after coming to an agreement with Ennahda, the biggest party in parliament, in a deal that will potentially end a months-long political crisis.With this latest agreement, the proposed government will likely win a confidence vote in parliament in coming days, likely avoiding an early election.Fakhfakh proposed the line-up of a new government on Saturday and then said negotiations would continue after Islamist Ennahda party sought some changes.With 53 seats in 217-member parliament, Ennahda said it would only join a unity government that brings together parties from across Tunisia's political spectrum. President Kais Saied said on Monday he would dissolve parliament and call for an early election if the new government failed to win a parliamentary confidence vote.aljazeera
Sudan Prez, rebel leader agrees to form unity govt
South Sudan President Salva Kiir and rebel leader Riek Machar agreed today to form a unity govt, a long-delayed step towards ending six years of war that has killed hundreds of thousands of people.Kiir said the new govt will be formed on Saturday and he will appoint Machar as his first vice president, or top deputy, on Friday. The president said security arrangements, one crucial issue, will be resolved after the government's formation. He said the protection of Machar and others with opposition will be under his responsibility.aljazeera
Germany shisha lounge shootings: Suspect's manifesto contained deeply racist material'
At least 9 people were killed late on Wednesday as 43-year-old German man went on a shooting rampage in the western town of Hanau, targeting customers at 2 separate shisha lounges.The suspect and his mother were found dead in his apartment overnight on Thursday after a huge manhunt.Police are attempting to identify the victims. Federal prosecutors have said there are indications of a far-right motive.Police said the two crime scenes were at Heumarkt, in the centre of Hanau, and Kurt-Schumacher-Platz in western neighbourhood of Kesselstadt, about 2km away. The suspect's apartment was also in Kesselstadt.Bosnian ministry of foreign affairs has confirmed that one victim was a citizen of Bosnia and Herzegovina.After initially stating that no citizens were among the victims of the attack, it has been subsequently established by the foreign ministry in conjunction with its consulate in Frankfurt that one victim - a permanent resident of Germany - was originally from Bosnia and Herzegovina, and held Bosnian citizenship. Germany's federal prosecutor General Peter Frank told reporters that investigators are trying to determine if anyone else knew about or supported the attack, adding:The suspect had a manifesto that contained conspiracy theories and racist material. "On the suspected perpetrator's home page, he had put up video messages and a kind of manifesto that, in addition to obscure thoughts and absurd conspiracy theories, pointed to deeply racist views."aljazeera
Hanau shooting: 9 dead in attacks at shisha lounges in Germany
Sri Lanka says it will withdraw from UN rights resolution
Sri Lanka's PM, who oversaw a brutal end to a decades-long conflict with Tamil separatists, said on Wednesday the country was withdrawing from a UN resolution investigating alleged war crimes.Mahinda Rajapaksa was president when Sri Lankan troops defeated Tamil Tiger rebels in 2009, but rights groups accused the army of killing at least 40,000 civilians in the final months of the conflict.His brother Gotabaya, who is now president, was defence secretary at the time.Prime Minister Mahinda said the government would no longer abide by a 2015 resolution calling for accountability for alleged excesses carried out by Sri Lankan troops and reparations for victims.Sri Lanka co-sponsored the resolution at UNHRC along with 11 other countries calling for the investigation of allegations of wartime atrocities by both government forces and the Tamil Tiger rebels, who were fighting for a separate homeland for Sri Lanka's ethnic Tamil minority. Mahinda's announcement comes days after US State Department imposed a travel ban on Sri Lanka's army commander, Shavendra Silva, and his family over alleged human rights violations in the final stages of the civil war in 2009.aljazeera
Coronavirus Outbreak LIVE : 2 Japan Ship Patients Dead; 2 Iranians Die in First Middle East Casualty
Two passengers from coronavirus-hit cruise ship Diamond Princess, which is moored near Tokyo, have died, public broadcaster NHK said today, as a second group of passengers began disembarking after two-weeks quarantined onboard.More than 620 of the passengers on the Diamond Princess liner have been infected on the ship, which has been quarantined since February 3, initially with about 3,700 people on board. NHK, citing a government source, said the passengers were a man and woman in their 80s.Meanwhile, 2 people have died in Iran after testing positive on Wednesday for the new coronavirus, the health ministry said, in Islamic republic's first cases of the disease. According to YJC news agency, a branch of state television, the pair who died were Iranian citizens and residents of the holy city of Qom.They are also the first deaths from the COVID-19 virus in Middle East and only the seventh and eighth outside China, where the outbreak has killed more than 2,000 people. State news agency IRNA quoted Kianoush Jahanpour, a ministry spokesman, as saying the virus was detected in two elderly people with immunity problems in Qom, south of the Iranian capital."Following the recent cases of chronic respiratory diseases in Qom, two of the patients tested positive in preliminary tests," it quoted him as saying.news18
*views, Articles, FEATURES*
Protests are not just against CAA-NRIC-NPR trinity. They have already succeeded in numerous ways:Harsh Mander
'Narendra Modi and Amit Shah can't help out in Assembly elections': RSS blames 'same old formula' by BJP for Delhi poll rout:Debobrat Ghose
Shaheen Bagh Effect: Base of Anti-CAA Protests Is Slowly Expanding
Those opposing CAA-NRC are doing disservice to Gandhiji’s worldview: Shrikrishna Kulkarni, Mahatma Gandhi’s great grandson
'Kambalchor Sarkar': Why UP's Crackdown on Protesters Is Unparalleled:Nayanika Mathur
UIDAI Has No Authority to Verify Indian Citizenship:Divij Joshi
Vodafone Idea exit is bad news for telecom business, will affect FDI too:Herald View
Protests are not just against the CAA-NRIC-NPR trinity, but have already succeeded in numerous ways:Harsh Mander
SC-Appointed Mediators Praise ‘Articulate’ Protesters of Shaheen Bagh:Tarique Anwar
'BJP-isation' of Cadre, Threat of Ideological Dilution & Outreach: Why RSS is Looking at a Tactical Readjustment:Bhavdeep Kang
‘Partition’ of the psyche taking place now, police brutality on students adds to the fear:Humra Quraishi
Compiled and edited by Anwarulhaq (Released at: 8:50 PM).   

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