Sunday, 23 February 2020

23 FEB. EVENING NEWS : Clashes Near Anti-CAA Protest in Delhi's Jaffrabad, Police Fire Tear Gas in Maujpur/ Aligarh: Man shot at by ‘miscreant’ amid clashes between police, anti-CAA protesters,net suspended/ Bharat Bandh Today: Bhim Army Chief's Call for Shutdown Gets Support in UP, Bihar & Delhi/ Police barricaded many roads with no link to Shaheen Bagh protests: Wajahat Habibullah ex CIC


NEWS DIGEST, EVENING
 23 Feb.  2020: 28 Jamadi-2, 1441: Vol: 12, No: 139
*anti-CAA,NRC-NPR stir*

Clashes Near Anti-CAA Protest in Delhi's Jaffrabad, Police Fire Tear Gas in Maujpur


New Delhi:Clashes broke out Sunday evening between pro and anti-CAA groups near Jaffrabad in northeast Delhi which was gripped by tension when a large number of people who have been protesting against the CAA blocked a road.Police fired tear gas shells as members of the two groups pelted stones at each other in Maujpur. For security reasons, entry and exit gates of Maujpur-Babarpur metro station were closed.Gates of the Jaffrabad station were also closed earlier in the day and a large number of security personnel deployed as hundreds of demonstrators, mostly women, blocked a road near the metro station since the Saturday evening, demanding a rollback of the contentious act.BJP leader Kapil Mishra too had called a gathering near the Maujpur traffic signal, demanding that the police remove anti-CAA protestors within 3 days.Later in afternoon, a clash erupted between the two groups which blamed each other for starting the violence.Delhi Police personnel stopped pro-CAA protestors when they tried to march towards Kardampuri where another anti-CAA protest was on."We are trying to identify people behind the incident,"JCP(Eastern Range) Alok Kumar said. The situation is under control now, a senior police official said."We are continuously speaking to local leaders so that peace prevails in the area and are also requesting protesters to clear the main road," he said.He added that police personnel have been deployed at Maujpur area to prevent any untoward incident.Shaan (28), a resident of Kabir Nagar, said the situation escalated after BJP leader Kapil Mishra tweeted that he would hit the streets. Shadab (28), a student held Mishra responsible for situation, saying the protest at Jaffrabad was peaceful. Anti-CAA protestors also sought action against the Mishra. "The situation flared up only after his protest and provocative slogans," said Mohammad Sadiq (19), a student.The police too did not take any action against Mishra, Sadiq, said Babu Khan (40), who was part of the group that was protesting outside Babarpur station. Owing to security reasons, the entry and exit gates of Maujpur-Babarpur metro station have been closed."Entry & exit gates of Maujpur-Babarpur are closed," DMRC said in a tweet.Similarly, a group of anti-CAA protestors who have been on a sit-in at Gandhi park in south Delhi''s Hauz Rani since last 1 month, took out a march towards the main road.Later, protestors also asked the shopkeepers in the area to close down their shop and sat at one corner of the road outside the park.However, barricades were placed on the road to stop them from marching ahead. The protestors have now returned to the park, while others have left the venue. PTI
Delhi: Stone-pelting in Maujpur during CAA stir, police lob tear gas shells
Stone-pelting near CAA protest site, DMRC closes 2 stations
In Delhi's Jaffrabad, over 1,000 women block road over CAA, back Bhim Army's strike call
New Delhi: Attempts are being made to clear an arterial road in northeast Delhi's Jaffrabad, blocked by around 1,000 women and about 500 men protesting against the CAA, police said today. Protesters are also supporting nationwide strike call by Bhim Army chief Chandrashekhar Azad, who is leading demonstrations today over the Supreme Court order, which said that "quotas and reservations for promotions for government jobs is not a fundamental right".Demanding repeal of the citizenship law, about 200 women began the sit-in near the Jaffrabad metro station last night; they were seen carrying national flags as they shouted "Azaadi (freedom)" slogans amid heavy police presence. The crowd swelled overnight as more women and children joined them. "We want freedom from CAA, NRC," said one of them. The metro station was temporarily closed this morning due to protests.The area has been barricaded.ndtv
Jaffrabad anti-CAA protests: women block road connecting Seelampur with Maujpur and Yamuna Vihar; Delhi Metro shuts station
Remove CAA protesters within 3 days or we won’t listen to you: BJP leader Kapil Mishra warns Police
Giving a 3-day ‘ultimatum’ to Delhi Police to remove the protesters blocking traffic at Jaffrabad and Chandbagh roads, Delhi BJP leader Kapil Mishra Sunday said he won’t let another Shaheen Bagh being created in the national capital.Mishra had called a pro-CAA rally at Maujpur traffic signal, close to Jaffrabad Metro Station where at least 500 people have been staging a sit-in protest from Saturday night against the new Citizenship Law.Taking to Twitter, Mishra said, “We have given a 3-day ultimatum to the Delhi Police to get the road cleared. Get the Jafrabad and Chandbagh road cleared”.In a video tweeted by him where he can be seen addressing the gathering, Mishra said, “They (protestors) want to create trouble in Delhi. That’s why they have closed the roads. That’s why they have created a riot-like situation here. We have not pelted any stone.“Till US President is in India, we are leaving the area peacefully. After that we won’t listen to you (police) if the roads are not vacated by then,” he told the gathering.indianexpress
Aligarh: Man shot at by ‘miscreant’ amid clashes between police, anti-CAA protesters,net suspended
A 22-year-old man was shot at and injured by a miscreant amid clashes that broke out in the old city area here today between anti-CAA protesters and police after incidents of arson and stone pelting, said officials.The clashes led police to fire teargas shells to disperse the mob indulging in vandalisation of property and throwing stones at security personnel in upper Kot area of Kotwali police station, said Aligarh DM Chandra Bhushan Singh.Following the incident of violence, adminstration also suspended internet services in the city till midnight today as a precautionary measure, Singh added.The violence broke out at a spot on the Mohamed Ali Road leading to the Kotwali police station where some women protestors were holding a dharna since Saturday on the Mohamed Ali Road leading to the Kotwali police station with the police trying to evict protesters from there, he said.The trouble began around 5 pm when police tried to persuade women protestors at Upper Kot near Kotwali to evict them from the road, he said. He said “even as efforts were underway to convince women to leave the area with prominent Muslim citizens of the area, including the Sahar mufti Abdul Khalid trying to defuse the situation, mayhem broke out and brick-batting started..”DM said police used tear gas shells to disperse the mob.There were also reports of injuries to some people but the exact number of those injured in clashes is yet to ascertained, said official sources.One of injured included 22-year-old man Tariq, whose father and brother told police that he suffered bullet injury by a “miscreant” who opened fire at his brother amid the clashes between police and protesters. The victim has suffered a bullet injury in the stomach, they said.Clashes in the old city area broke out shortly after a Bhim Army-led march by hundreds of anti-CAA protesters heading to the district collectorate earlier were stopped midway by police and RAF jawans.PTI
Aligarh stone-pelting: DM blames women students of AMU, internet services snapped for 24 hours
Bharat Bandh Today: Bhim Army Chief's Call for Shutdown Gets Support in UP, Bihar & Delhi
Lucknow: The call by Bhim Army chief Chandrashekhar Azad for nationwide bandh on Sunday, February 23 seems to be getting widespread support from multiple political and social outfits. The Dalit leader has called for a shutdown against the Supreme Court ruling that states were not bound to provide reservation in government jobs and quota in promotion.Issues like CAA, NRC and thrashing of Dalits in recent past have also been included in the bandh call. In Uttar Pradesh, the call has got support of Pragatisheel Samajwadi Party Lohia (PSPL) led by Shivpal Yadav, the younger brother of Samajwadi Patry patriarch Mulayam Singh Yadav, while in Bihar, Tejashwi Yadav led Rashtriya Janata Dal had announced its support to the Bharat Bandh.Azad, who recently got out on bail after being arrested during the anti-CAA-NRC-NPR protest at the Jama Masjid, will be in Maharashtra's Aurangabad, while his outfit will be leading the Bharat Bandh call across many states. On the eve of bandh, Bhim Army supporters even made "23 February Bharat Bandh" trend on top on social networking site Twitter. Chairman of SC Department of Congress, Nitin Raut, also tweeted in favour of the bandh. "To save the Constitution and to save the reservation, I whole-heartedly support the Bharat Bandh given on 23rd February. Reservation is our pride, respect and our constitutional rights and we cannot let it go at any cost. Long live Constitution. Jai Bhim," he tweeted. Earlier on Saturday, Azad hoisted the triclour in front of the RSS headquarters in Nagpur and also addressed a Tiranga Rally on the occasion. AT event, he called for a ban on the Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh and challenged it to fight elections directly.News18
Bharat Bandh: Impact felt in UP, Bihar, Delhi as some political parties back nationwide strike
Anti-CAA arrests: Home Minister calls meeting of senior police officers today
Close on the heels of two youngsters being arrested by the police for their alleged “anti-national” statements in the course of protests against the CAA, Home Minister Basavaraj Bommai has called a meeting of senior-level police officials in Bengaluru on Sunday to take stock of the situation and discuss preventive steps.Speaking at Davangere, Bommai expressed concerns over “growing anti-national activities” and said there seemed to be an organised network that needs a thorough probe. “There are efforts to disturb peace in the State by roping in youngsters for anti-national activity. The Sunday meeting will discuss measures to curb the trend,”he said.thehindu
Police barricaded many roads with no link to Shaheen Bagh protests: Wajahat Habibullah ex CIC
New Delhi: Police have barricaded a number of roads with no connection to the peaceful protests at Shaheen Bagh against CAA, former Central Information Commissioner and former Chairperson of National Commission for Minorities Wajahat Habibullah said in his ground report to the Supreme Court.“Shaheen Bagh stands tall as a firm example of a peaceful, dignified dissent, more so, in the face of various instances of State-sponsored violence on similar dissents across India. We have been sad and mute witnesses to police brutality and negative typecasting of a particular community across the country. Crushing dissent instead of entering into a dialogue is the new norm, but it is alien to our Constitution,” Habibullah said in an affidavit. Habibullah said focus should be on who was the power behind blocking these arterial and parallel roads. It is these unnecessary blockades of thoroughfares by the police which has led to a chaotic situation. Why does the police block roads in and around Shaheen Bagh, rather than regulate traffic to avert chaos?Thousands of accesses in Delhi are blocked by residents of various colonies and by the privileged and the powerful, but the police take no action against them.Habibullah’s affidavit, filed in the Supreme Court, details what he saw at the protest site during his visit on Feb.19.Habibullah said the protesters are a strongly bonded community of people from all faiths. They are composed of children, women, middle-aged and old who have faced “blatant threats” to their lives, been shot at and abused as “anti-national and Pakistanis” for expressing their united dissent against CAA-NPR-NRC. He described the protest ‘iconic’.The affidavit said the protesters wanted to convey to the Supreme Court that they are terrified that the CAA would sound the death-knell for the survival and existence of their future generations.They said intentions voiced by those in power through CAA-NPR-NRC has “struck deep fear into the hearts of many poor and underprivileged citizens of India”.A Bench led by Sanjay K.Kaul is scheduled to hear the case on Monday.the hindu
Protest at Shaheen Bagh peaceful, Police have blocked 5 points around the area, Interlocutor Wajahat Habibullah Tells SC
Hurt at being labelled Pakistanis, Shaheen Bagh protesters tell SC
Shaheen Bagh protesters not to vacate site till CAA is revoked
 New Delhi:With the hearing pertaining to Shaheen Bagh likely to come up before the Supreme Court on Monday, women who have been on a sit-in since Dec16, said they are not willing to vacate the protest site till the CAA is revoked by the Centre.The apex court had earlier appointed advocates Sanjay Hegde and Sadhana Ramachandran as interlocutors to speak to the protesters about shifting to an alternative site while observing that the road blockade by them was depriving other citizens of their rights.One part of the road which leads to Noida is now open for transportation at Shaheen Bagh on Feb.23.While one of several routes blocked was opened by authorities on Saturday for traffic after several rounds of meetings between the demonstrators and mediators, protesters maintained that the route was never barricaded by protesters in the first place.“People are saying that Shaheen Bagh protesters have opened the road towards Kalindi Kunj. But we never blocked it in the first place. The barricades over there were put by the police just like they have blocked other roads. We have been blocking only one stretch which is where the women are sitting. So how can we open a road which we haven’t even closed?” said Prakash Devi, one of the protesters.Ms. Devi added, “Even when the interlocutors came for a meeting we told them that it is only a 150-metre stretch that has been blocked by protesters. When they came for a second time, they went for an inspection and saw how the barricades were not put by us. In fact, we are ensuring that we allow ambulances and school buses to pass through this particular stretch so that no hindrance is caused to them.”Aleena, a housewife added, “We hope that the facts are put before the Supreme Court. While there has been a lot of talk on inconvenience being caused to others, our concerns should also be brought up. The government has not made any attempt to reach out to us. Why should we even think of shifting the protest elsewhere? Will anyone even listen to us then?”The protest against CAA-NRC-NPR regime has entered its 71st day with hundreds of people gathering at Shaheen Bagh on a daily basis.

Jasola, Sarita Vihar residents protest against Shaheen Bagh blockade
New Delhi:Troubled by the ongoing demonstration at Shaheen Bagh, which has crossed 70 days now, residents of Sarita Vihar and Jasola on Sunday began a protest, demanding the opening of roads.The residents, however, said that they were not opposed to the cause of Shaheen Bagh protesters, but demanded the immediate opening of the roads for restoring normalcy in the daily commute."We do not belong to any party or organisation. We are the residents of Sarita Vihar and are troubled by the blockade. We want to tell the protesters at Shaheen Bagh that nobody has the right to block the roads. Go to PM's house or the Jantar Mantar to protest. The roads belong to everyone," Poonam, a resident of Sarita Vihar, told ANI here."All school children and the office goers have to face troubles daily because of this blockade. We want to ask the government why they are not removing them from the streets," she asked.The residents raised slogans like 'Save the Constitution,' 'Respect the Constitution,' 'Empty Our Roads,' and Vande Mataram.ANI
Can't Get Rights By Blocking Road: Union Minister Naqvi Over Anti-CAA Protests
Minority Affairs Minister Mukhtar Abbas Naqvi has  said that dissent and consensus are part of democracy but you cannot get your rights by blocking the road.The minister was apparently referring to people protesting against CAA, NPR and NRC at Delhi's Shaheen Bagh for over two months."This is a dilemma between rights and duties, they (protesters) understand their rights but not the duties. Dissent and consensus are part of democracy but you cannot get your rights by blocking the road," Naqvi said at an event.ndtv
Politely say no to NPR surveyors: Minority outfits
New Delhi: Representatives from various minority organisations and individuals led by Jamiat Ulama-i-Hind issued a unanimous declaration to reject NPR and urged the people to politely decline making available any details to enumerators who may in due course of time reach out to people for seeking information.They also called upon all the state governments to immediately suspend NPR process. They also condemned the "the indiscriminate arrest of people under sedition and similar draconian laws. We demand their immediate and unconditional release and withdrawal of all the charges against them." The resolution was endorsed by 76 signatories.The declaration by way of a statement was made after a brainstorming session steered by the JUH faction which has Maulana Qari Usman Mansurpoori as its president. "The session was attended by leading intellectuals, social activists and academicians of every faith and religion. After due deliberation, all participants passed a declaration to reject NPR in its totality and exhorted the countrymen not to cooperate with officials in this exercise,"statement asserted. This session was jointly convened by JUH general secretary, Mahmood Madani and prominent member of All India Muslim Personal Law Board, Kamal Faruqi. The resolution called “Delhi Declaration” was drafted by a committee led by ex Union minister K Rashnam Khan. TOI
Jamiat calls NPR ‘gross violation of Article 14’, urges people to not give details to enumerators
73 Concerned Citizens Urge Indians to Boycott NPR
Jamiat Ulema chief Arshad Madani  decries NPR, urges non-cooperation in present format
Jamiat Ulema-e-Hind today urged Muslim community to reject the exercise of NPR in the present format."We are not against NPR. In India, NPR is being held every decade since 1951. However,  if this time around,  if it is in a different format, we must reject it," Jamiat Ulema president Maulana Arshad Madani told a gathering at the historic Azad Maidan in Mumbai. He said that the Ulema body is opposed to CAA,  which is now a law,  and the proposed NRC. Madani, who does not mince words, said that NPR is more dangerous than CAA and NRC together. "First of all,  the exercise is going to begin and there is no clarity at all,  secondly,  from what we gather is that the birthplace of parents are going to be sought, thirdly, majority of the population will not be able to produce documents," Madani said. deccanherald
Yogendra Yadav gives NPR boycott call
Gaya:Well known political thinker and activist Yogendra Yadav has given a call to boycott NPR beginning on April 1. Addressing anti-CAA protesters at Shantibagh locality of Gaya town on Saturday, Yadav said that NPR was just the prelude to the highly controversial NRC.TOI
Activist Harsh Mander warns of bloodshed in West Bengal if NRC is permitted
Kolkata: There is possibility of immense bloodshed in Bengal if NPR is enforced, felt author, communist, teacher and activist Harsh Mander. He was delivering the keynote address at a national conference on ‘Statelessness and Right to Have Right’, organized by The Legal Aid Society, West Bengal National University of Juridical Sciences in association with Cornell Law School Human Rights Clinic in Kolkata on Saturday. “There are dangers ahead. The govt will not pull back. If NPR happens, the authorities will get the right to identify people who they feel are doubtful. CAA will do the rest. 2003 amendment of the Citizenship Act needs to be withdrawn. There is immense possibility of violence in Bengal as it is the front line after Assam. Unfortunately, I don’t see any clarity or courage among political parties to take on the govt. The issue won’t be resolved in Parliament or any court. It has to be resolved on the streets and in our hearts,” Mander said. According to him, the extreme Right sees this as a decisive battle to finish “unfinished business” of Partition. Those protesting against what Mander calls the “unholy trinity” of CAA, NRC and NPR are also trying to complete the unfinished business of the freedom struggle, he said.“This is a tacit war against citizens based on religious identity. In the last 5-6 years, an ideological ‘project’ has been launched against a section of people,” the activist added.TOI
Modi, Amit Shah can't discriminate on basis of religion, says former governor Aziz Qureshi
Moradabad: Former Uttar Pradesh governor Aziz Qureshi has said that Prime Minister Narendra Modi and home minister Amit Shah have no right to discriminate on basis of religion, which is unconstitutional."Mahatma Gandhi and Jawaharlal Nehru opposed the idea of Hindu India after the partition of the country. Today, Prime Minister Narendra Modi and home minister Amit Shah have no right to discriminate on the basis of religion as it is unconstitutional. They are practising divisive policies and making detention camps," Qureshi said while addressing a gathering at an anti-CAA protest here on Saturday."I want to tell PM Modi and Shah to look at history. They will observe that Muslims have made sacrifices for the country in the past 1,200 years. In the first war of Independence in 1857, several Muslims sacrificed their lives for the country," he added.ANI
Pune: MNS men raid homes of 3 Muslims, cops detain them over ‘illegal Bangladeshi’ suspicion
Pune :3 Muslim men picked up by Pune Police on suspicion of being “illegal Bangladeshis”, after a vigilante-style raid by MNS workers on Saturday, were let go after they were confirmed to be Indian citizens from West Bengal.The men, however, had to spend the full day at the police station. One of the three men has submitted a complaint against the MNS workers alleging harassment, tresspassing and invasion of privacy. No FIR has been registered so far.On Saturday, a group of about 40-50 MNS workers, led by party leader Rahul Gawli, barged into a building — Gulmohor Apartment in Balajinagar area of Dhankavadi — accompanied by police personnel. The men muscled into the houses of three “suspected Bangladeshis” and demanded documentary evidence to prove they were Indians.Amid media glare, the three men, identified as Dilshad Mansuri, Roshan Shaikh and Bappi Sardar, were rounded up and questioned in front of other residents.Although the men showed documents to prove they were Indians hailing from West Bengal, they were taken to Sahakar Nagar police station and held there until the evening.MNS workers said they had decided to undertake the raids following orders from the party high-command.According to the police, the men were let off as they were found to be Indians.indianexpress
Assam to conduct survey of 'indigenous' Muslims: Experts term move divisive, say classification is undemocratic, unconstitutional: firstpost
On the morning of 7 April, 2019, 68-year-old Shaukat Ali was at his small eatery near Tezpur. The ‘hotel’ was known for its home-cooked beef, as well as fish and poultry. This was an inherited family business which had been running successfully for forty-odd years. By the end of that afternoon, Shaukat was left half-dead by a mob for selling beef; on a day he hadn’t even sold any meat.Mobile phones captured the assault on Shaukat. No one intervened. He was seen kneeling down in the mud, petrified, surrounded by a mob that thought – or believed – it had the right to attack him because he sold beef.“Are you a Bangladeshi?”“Do you have your name in NRC?”While he was kneeling down, the mob forced Shaukat to eat pork.4 months after the assault on Shaukat, a final list of Assam’s NRC was published: 1.9 million people had been left out and made potentially stateless. Within a few months, details emerged that a large majority of those excluded were Hindus. Not Muslims. In a petition to the Supreme Court of India, the Assam government sought a 20 percent reverification of the names in the bordering districts. The process – and motive – of the reverification of who is a legal citizen and who is not in the bordering areas with a predominantly Muslim population is self-explanatory.Almost a year after the attack on Shaukat, on 11 Feb., 2020, the Assam government put forward the idea of a socio-economic census of indigenous Muslims of Assam, except that it decided to drop the term Khilonjiya (indigenous) from the census. It is now called the “Goriya, Moriya, Deshi and Julha” census. It includes just four Muslim communities and leaves out others. Muslims from Barak Valley are not there.Miyah Muslims, who have been fighting against their marginalisation through poetry and mobilisation, are also absent. That’s where the fear of being marked starts. It’s an exercise that will separate ethnic Assamese Muslims from settler Muslims. This process will put under the scanner the ancestry of Muslims who are outside the four declared communities. Those Muslims left out live in the fear of being branded lesser citizens. This revealed itself to be a targeted survey and less of a census that by definition should include everyone.“This entire classification is undemocratic and outside the Constitutional mandate. It doesn’t extend protection to all minorities. Where are Sylheti Muslims from Barak Valley in this?This is happening by design and in a calculated manner”, Taniya Lashkar, a lawyer who comes from Barak Valley said.
'Oppn should maintain arm's length from protests': Cong Leader Jairam Ramesh's advice on CAA-NRC​
Kolkata: Amid the ongoing bickering in Congress post its dismal performance in the Delhi Assembly polls, its senior leader Jairam Ramesh said "collective submergence of individual egos and ambitions" was the need of the hour to revive the party. Rajya Sabha member said the party still has a long way to go "before it gets to see light at end of the tunnel" and suggested that "all senior Congress leaders, after a certain age, should be mentoring juniors rather than tormenting them". Speaking on the issue of a countrywide agitation against NRC-CAA-NPR, Ramesh insisted that political (opposition) parties should maintain an "arm's length from these protests and should not make attempts to hijack the people's movement".PTI
My Stand on CAA-NRC-NPR Taken after Consulting Allies NCP and Congress; CM Uddhav Thackeray
Mumbai: Maharashtra CM Uddhav Thackeray on Sunday said his stand on CAA-NRC-NPR is well thought of and decided after holding consultations with NCP and the Congress — the other constituents of the Shiv Sena-led Maha Vikas Aghadi (MVA) government.After meeting Prime Minister Narendra Modi in Delhi as part of a scheduled visit on Friday, Thackeray said that no one needs to fear about the CAA and that NPR is not going to throw anyone out of the country.Earlier, Thackeray had said that his government will not allow the proposed National Register of Citizens to be implemented as it would "impact people of all religions".The stand of Thackeray, who heads the Shiv Sena, appeared at variance with the NCP and Congress. "I have made my stand clear on these issues and I have also discussed it with the alliance partners Congress and NCP," Thackeray said while talking to reporters.PTI
Odisha activists call for anti-CAA resolution in Assembly
Naveen Patnaik Government should tell Centre that it is not ready to implement CAA and NPR survey by passing a resolution in the State Assembly, demanded activists and intellectuals here on Saturday. Activists, who gathered under the banner — ‘We the people of India’ — on the death anniversary of Maulana Abul Kalam Azad, alleged that CAA is discriminatory on religious grounds and NPR is a step towards the implementation of the controversial NRC.“Implementation of CAA, NPR and NRC will not only become a financial burden on the State, but also create divisions in society. Citizens possess different identity proofs such as Aadhaar, voter identity card, driving licence and land records. We do not want NPR, which will lead to NRC,” said Suresh Panigrahi, a CPI(M) leader.thehindu
*J&K AND S. ASIA*
I Pray For Early Release Of Mehbooba Mufti, Omar Abdullah And Farooq Andullah: Rajnath Singh
Defence Minister Rajnath Singh on Saturday said that he is praying for the early release of three former chief ministers of Jammu and Kashmir from their detention and hoping that they will contribute to normalizing situation in Kashmir.In an interview to IANS, Defence Minister Rajnath Singh said, "Kashmir has been peaceful. The situation is improving rapidly. Along with the improvement, these decisions (release of politicians from detention) will also be finalized. The government has not tortured anyone."Defending the government's decision, the Defence Minister said that certain steps had been taken in the interests of Kashmir. "Everybody should welcome it," he said.IANS
Schools in Kashmir to reopen Monday, 6 months after Art 370 was scrapped
Srinagar:Schools will open on Monday after winter vacations in Kashmir where students have remained away from classes for over 6 months since the abrogation of Jammu and Kashmir’s special status on August 5 last year.Earlier attempts by government to get students back to schools from August 19 mostly failed but with the start of new academic session the officials said they are hopeful this time of the return of academic activity in the educational institutions owing to the positive response of parents, students and school administrations.“Everything is ready and everyone is positive about the opening of schools. Parents and civil society have contributed while the teachers as well as students are motivated a lot,” said Director, School Education Kashmir, Mohammad Younis Malik.HT
Parties in J&K can start political process: BJP general secretary  Madhav
New Delhi: BJP general secretary Ram Madhav said the party was in favour of early restoration of political activity in Jammu and Kashmir and that despite the continued incarceration of top political leaders including three ex-Chief Ministers, political parties could start the process. He was speaking at a session entitled “India’s Political Future: Looking at 2024 and Beyond” at The Hindu’s thought conclave, The Huddle, being held at the ITC Gardenia in Bengaluru.Answering a question from N. Ram, chairman of The Hindu, on CAA and its linkages with NPR and an eventual NRC, Madhav said NPR was a routine exercise agreed upon by all States. “No State government has the constitutional right to refuse to carry it out,” he said, adding however that States with specific issues with the questionnaire for NPR could take it up with the Home Ministry.thehindu
Shah Faesal is not gunda, PSA charges were bad surprise:Family
Srinagar: Family members of IAS officer-turned-politician Shah Faesal said the stringent PSA charges on him came as a surprise as not long ago, he was seen as a “model citizen” for the people of J&K.The family members said even though they were mentally prepared for anything, PSA charges came as a “bad surprise”.“It is ironic that till yesterday, he was a model citizen for people and now he has been put into the category (of criminals),”family said. “Faesal is not a gunda (hooligan). He is a scholar who has graduated from Harvard. Anybody can vouch for him. He doesn’t deserve this. ”Faesal, who was detained after Modi govt read down Article 370, was booked under PSA on Feb14 –day his 6-month preventive detention ended. He is currently being kept at MLA hostel in Srinagar’s Lal Chowk. According to J&K police’s dossier, Faesal has been advocating “soft separatism” through his articles, tweets and social media posts. It also talks about allegedly “provocative statements” he made last year. His family, though, says Faesal has never done anything that could have disturbed the peace anywhere. “If you see his last tweet, he preached for a non-violent movement. How can he be a threat to peace?” they said.thewire
Donald Trump to call for India-Pakistan talks: Report
US President Donald Trump will urge both India and Pakistan to maintain peace and stability along LoC in Kashmir and refrain from actions or statements that could increase tensions in the region, a media report on Sunday quoted a senior US administration official. President Trump will arrive in India on Monday for a two-day visit.On Friday afternoon, a senior Trump administration official briefed the media on the President's visit, outlining the issues and projects the president plans to discuss with Indian leaders during the visit, Dawn reported on Sunday."What you'll hear from the president is very much encouraging a reduction in tensions between India and Pakistan, encouraging the two countries to engage in bilateral dialogue with each other to resolve their differences," said the official when asked if US leader would once again offer to mediate on the issue of Kashmir."We continue to believe a core foundation of any successful dialogue between the two is based on continued momentum in Pakistan's efforts to crack down on terrorists and extremists on its territory. So, we continue to look for that," the official added.IANS
Kashmiris use memes to mock Govt's social media ban, slow 2G services
Srinagar: The continued ban on social media and only slow speed 2G internet allowed in Kashmir has led to a flurry of memes and sarcastic jokes on social media by users in Kashmir. They have mocked the authorities for their unsuccessful attempts to completely firewall and block social media.A large number of users have installed VPN apps to access social media sites. Authorities and telecom companies have reportedly failed to block all VPNs. To try and counter this, the govt has gone to other extreme – filing an ‘open FIR’ under the stringent UAPA against all those who are “misusing” social media in Kashmir. Meanwhile, young social media users in Kashmir are sharing memes and jokes on social media sites like Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.The joke, they say, is on government. Creative memes and videos are cropping up despite the ban on social media and slow speed 2G mobile internet which was restored last month.the wire
Innovation in times of an internet ban: A Kashmiri boy’s journey to Indian Science Congress
What do 4 boys with an idea do in times of an internet ban, a school shut-down and frequent curfews? They learn resilience and resourcefulness, according to their teacher.In June 2019, 4 students of Burn Hall School, Srinagar, started working on a science project. 7 months, revocation of Article 370, suspension of internet services and an interrupted school session later, the carbon smoke absorber they created was showcased at 107th Indian Science Congress, inaugurated by PM Narendra Modi.How did they manage the research without internet?“Kashmiris have learnt to make do. We get by without many things considered a given outside the state,” says Najma Nazir, science teacher at Burn Hall. “Because we can’t always rely on the internet, our students are in the habit of consulting books. And we pool resources. For the project, several science teachers at the school brainstormed. The students, too, showed a lot of initiative.”The lack of internet wasn’t even the biggest challenge.“After August 5, we thought the event would be cancelled in the state. There was no way to confirm anything, or speak to each other,” says Numair Muzaffar Wani, the Class 9 student who led his team and travelled to Bengaluru for ISC.In October, the school heard the event was on. This was the time when classes hadn’t resumed, and phone connections, including landlines, weren’t dependable. “We didn’t know how to get this message to our students. It wasn’t easy to go anywhere, what with the frequent road closures and all the uncertainty and fear.We finally managed to send someone to Numair’s house, who informed others and they then got together at school,” says Father Sebastian Nagathungal, school principal.“Once we met, we divided our assignments. My father travels to Jammu for work. He would carry a pen drive and get me the articles I needed. My friends, Hanan Wani, Mueed Nisar and Ahmad Pathan, also managed what they could,” says Numair.indianexpress

26 Years After Kunan Poshpora, Army Still Enjoys Immunity For Sexual Violence: the wire
It has been 26 years since 4 personnel of Rajputana Rifles allegedly raped at least 23 women in Kashmir’s twin villages of Kunan and Poshpora. It was supposed to be a cordon-and-search operation to trace militants, but turned out to be the blackest of nights in Kashmir’s violence-ridden history. As per 2012 J&K SHRC report – the men in the villages were first ordered to come out of their houses and taken to a separate location. Then members of the security forces who had “turned into beasts” forcefully entered these houses and “gagged the mouths of the victims and committed forced gang rape against their will and consent”. Even minor girls as young as eight years of age were not spared.A recently published book – Do you remember Kunan Poshpora? – exhaustively documents aspects related to the incident. In the book, amongst many gory accounts, one of the survivors shares her story: “3 army men caught hold of me and 8-10 army men raped me in turns. They had huge battery torches with them and they used them to see my naked body, while making lewd remarks”.Many independent investigations and fact finding missions (including the one led by a former chief justice of J&K high court – Justice Bahauddin Farooqi) have concluded that Kunan Poshpora case has seen unprecedented proportions of ignorance with regards to normal investigative procedures that must be followed after such a crime.In 2014, as a jolt to the Indian government, divisional bench of state high court comprising Chief Justice MM Kumar and Justice Hasnain Masoodi took up SHRC report and decreed “govt should explore the possibilities of payment of compensation within three weeks.” This was the first time that members of the higher judiciary acknowledged that the heinous crime did indeed take place as until then reports of the gang rape had been considered terrorist propaganda. Since then there have been two petitions in the SC against the high court order – one by the supposedly pro-people state government and another by the Indian army. A stay on the high court’s order has already been obtained.
Art 370 made people lazy… domicile law for J&K coming very soon: Jitendra Singh
Jammu :Union Minister of State (PMO) Dr. Jitendra Singh on Saturday said that Article 370 in Jammu and Kashmir had made people lethargic and used to freebies. In an attempt to address the concerns of the local populace after the revoking of J&K’s special status last year, Singh on Saturday assured the people of Union Territory that the domicile law is coming “very Singh said a new dawn is unfolding for Union Territory of J&K.A higher number of jobs than those promised will be provided to the youth after the notification of rules is worked out, he said, adding that the objective should be to inculcate a sense of competitiveness.“The greatest disadvantage for J&K for its remaining in isolation because of Article 370 is that we became lazy. We became lethargic and we learnt to live on easy freebies,” he said addressing a function at IIIM here.indian express
*OTHERS*
Clear abuse of sedition law: Ex-SC judge Reddy on student's arrest over 'Pakistan Zindabad'
New Delhi:A former judge of the Supreme Court has said in response to a question that use of the sedition charge against a student in Karnataka for shouting a slogan is a “clear abuse of the law”, adding that the time has come for the judiciary to step in on its own to counter the trend.“It is a clear abuse of the law of sedition. How would it amount to sedition? It won’t amount to sedition. IPC is not attracted at all. In fact, no penal provision is attracted against her for shouting whatever she did. Not only sedition, no criminal law provision appears in her case,” Justice B. Sudershan Reddy said from Hyderabad on Saturday.Ex-senior judge had been asked the question with reference to the arrest of journalism student Amulya Leona Noronha, who had shouted “Pakistan zindabad” from a public stage in Bangalore on Thursday. Charged with sedition that can attract a maximum punishment of life imprisonment, Amulya has been sent to judicial remand for 2 weeks.Justice Reddy wondered if it was all right for citizens to raise slogans like “America zindabad” or “Donald Trump zindabad”.Asked what the solution was to counter the trend of charging citizens under this law, Justice Reddy said: “Except people freely expressing their opinion, what else can be done, and timely intervention by courts. Sometimes, suo motu cognisance they should be taken by courts.”Reddy said neither Section 124A (sedition law), much less any other criminal provision, would apply if a citizen chanted “Pakistan zindabad” since India was neither at war with Pakistan nor had it been declared an enemy country. Justice Reddy said: “The most important part of the story is that Pakistan has not been declared as an enemy state…. We are not at war with Pakistan. Diplomatic relations continue with Pakistan….”telegraphindia
Muslim youth thrashed, sodomised using iron rod in Rajasthan's Barmer
Jaipur: A Muslim youth suspected of stealing a mobile phone was allegedly stripped, thrashed and sodomised with an iron rod in Rajasthan's Barmer district around three weeks ago, his brother said in an FIR filed on Thursday after a video of the assault surfaced on social media.The case was filed at Barmer (rural) police station amid shock and outrage over a similar incident in Nagaur last Sunday, involving two Dalit cousins who had been brutally assaulted by a group of men after being accused of stealing money from a motorbike servicing centre.According to the brother of the Barmer victim, his sibling kept quiet about the attack on him at Tirsingri village on January 29 until someone shared a video clip purportedly showing two men attacking him repeatedly and later using a rod to sodomise him.The victim has since not returned home and switched off his mobile phone, his brother said.Based on FIR, the police have arrested one person seen in the video and detained another."The complainant has named one Moti Singh and Bharat Singh as the two men who attacked his brother. Prima facie the role of Moti Singh in the assault has been established on the basis of the available footage. The other accused is being questioned," Barmer SP Sharad Chaudhary told TOI.
Gujarat: Clashes break out in Khambhat, houses, shops set on fire
Vadodara :Clashes broke out between two communities at Akhbarpura area of Khambhat taluka in Gujarat’s Anand district Sunday, where communally charged mobs set afire houses, shops, and vehicles. This is the second clash between the two communities within a month.According to the police, the members of the two communities came face to face again on Sunday afternoon over their past clash on January 24 which had left one person dead. The two groups began pelting stones at each other and set the houses on fire.“The situation has just been brought under control. Heavy police deployment has been placed in the area to maintain normalcy. We are assessing the damage done. Around 10 houses and shops have been set ablaze, the number could even be more. We are also assessing how many persons have been injured in stone-pelting. We will then file an FIR,” Khambhat police inspector Y R Chauhan said.According to sources, violence continued for over an hour before the police could bring back the situation to normalcy.indianexpress
Over 160 academicians, activists protest Modi-Trump 'Fascist Alliance'
Ahmedabad:The "fascist alliance" between "forces attempting to erode democracy and curb freedom of speech and religion" is dangerous not just for India but the world as a whole, a group of over 160 academicians, activists and students from Gujarat said in an open letter against "Namaste Trump" event. US President Donald Trump will arrive in Ahmedabad on February 24 and will take part along with Prime Minister Narendra Modi in an event, christened 'Namaste Trump, in the newly-constructed Motera stadium here."With a spectacular rise in global fascism today, this alignment between the largest democracy in the world and the most powerful one is dangerous not only for India, but for the world as a whole. We cannot in good conscience support this alliance between forces that are attempting to erode democracy and curb freedom of speech and religion," 168 signatories said in the letter."We cannot stand by as families are deprived of their homes in order to make room for those who wish to remove citizens from their countries. We unequivocally condemn this fascist alliance, and urge Indian State to prioritise the needs of its citizens over the greed of the global elite," the signatories said. They include activist and danseuse Mallika Sarabhai and academicians from institutes like IIM-Ahmedabad and CEPT University.The letter claimed Trump was "unreservedly racist, Islamophobic, xenophobic, and anti-poor," while Modi had enacted the CAA that bars "Muslims from neighbouring Muslim-majority countries from receiving expedited citizenship offered to other minority groups".PTI
ABVP-RSS Activists Appointed Assistant Professors at JNU; JNUSU
New Delhi: The recent press statement released by JNUSU has accused JNU Teachers’ Federation (JNUTF), Cyclops Security and ABVP for their alleged role in the January 5 violence in the campus.Even after 47 days, no arrests have been made so far.Additionally, the statement questiones the legality of recent faculty recruitments at JNU.“It has come to the notice of JNUSU that people who were part of the WhatsApp groups that coordinated the violence are now being appointed as Assistant Professors,” the statement read.The statement also highlights the selection of Renu Sain, who was the allegedly the admin of WhatsApp group ‘Unity Against Left’, as an Assistant Professor in Centre for Russian and Central Asian Studies, School of International Studies. After selection by the committee, final recruitment of Renu Sain awaits Registrar’s approval. Aishe Ghosh, President of JNUSU also accused JNU V-C of appointing ABVP and RSS activists as Assistant Professors irrespective of being unqualified.thecitizen
‘Most Inappropriate’: Judges Slam Justice Mishra’s PM Modi Praise
Several retired judges have expressed their dismay to The Quint over comments made by Justice Arun Mishra at the International Judicial Conference in New Delhi on Saturday, in which the sitting judge of the Supreme Court effusively praised Prime Minister Narendra Modi.Delivering the vote of thanks, following speeches by PM, CJI SA Bobde, and Law Minister Ravi Shankar Prasad, Justice Mishra said that “under the stewardship of internationally acclaimed visionary Prime Minister Narendra Modi,” India was committed to constitutional obligations and is a “responsible and most friendly member of the international community.”Justice (retd) AP Shah, former Chief Justice of the Delhi High Court and former chairman of the Law Commission of India, said that without any disrespect to the Prime Minister, he had to record his “strong disapproval” for these kind of comments by a sitting judge of the apex court.Justice (retd) RS Sodhi, a former judge of the Delhi High Court, also said that such comments could send the wrong message about the judiciary and the objectivity of judges who often have to hear cases in which the government is a party.Justice (retd) PB Sawant, a former judge of the Supreme Court, said that “it is most inappropriate for a sitting judge to praise Prime Minister in this manner.” Another retired judge of the Supreme Court also said that he“had a good laugh” after he heard the statements, which, however, he said “should not be made from a public platform.”The Quint
Dr Kafeel Khan’s maternal uncle shot dead in Gorakhpur
The maternal uncle of Dr Kafeel Khan, who was recently arrested for allegedly making inflammatory statements during anti-CAA protests, was shot dead in front of his house at Bankatichak in Rajghat area here, police said on Sunday.Dr Nusratullah Warsi aka Dada (55), a property dealer, was shot dead on Saturday night around 10:45 pm and an FIR against 2 people was filed in this connection on a written complaint of his family members. According to police, it appears to be a case of murder due to monetary and property dispute and they are searching for both the accused.Dr Kafeel Khan, suspended doctor of Gorakhpur BRD Medical College, was last month arrested under charges of giving a provocative speech during a protest against the CAA and NRC at AMU and was later charged with NSA.Warsi on Saturday evening had gone to his lawyer Siraj Tariq’s house, a few metres away from his own house, and was returning home on foot when a man shot him in his head, killing him on the spot.PTI
Hate speech cost BJP Delhi elections, people like Kapil Mishra should be removed: Manoj Tiwari
New Delhi:Did communally charged speeches cost BJP the Delhi elections? Delhi BJP chief Manoj Tiwari certainly thinks so. Speaking to Indian Express, Tiwari held a host of factors responsible for BJP's poll rout in Delhi. But key among them were controversial statements given by party leaders like Anurag Thakur, Parvesh Verma, Prakash Javadekar and Yogi Adityanath.When asked what he had to say about BJP MP Parvesh Verma comparing Delhi CM Arvind Kejriwal to a "terrorist" and Prakash Javadekar's defence of the comment, Manoj Tiwari said, "Whatever the context, it was hate speech and our party had to face losses due to that. We condemned that speech then as well as today.BJP MP said whichever politician gives hate speech should be penalised for their actions, even if it is party colleague Kapil Mishra who chanted "Desh ke gaddaron ko, goli maaro saalon ko (shoot the traitors)" at a pro-CAA rally in December."I want those who make such hate speeches to be permanently removed. Let us start a system where people who give hate speeches lose their legal right (to fight polls). And if such a system is put in place, I, as an individual and not as party president, will support it. And everyone should be inspected...," he said.India Today
Whatever context, it was hate speech, it cost party… such people must be permanently removed: Tiwari
‘Play pro-active role to build healthy society’
Nagpur: Sluggish and passive society does not augur well for a country. Therefore, it is high time people play a pro-active role to build an ideal society by bridging the gap, said scholar Syed Parnerkar at a programme organized at Survey Nagar to mark the birth anniversary of Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj on Wednesday.The programme, titled ‘Chhatrapati Shivrai and Indian Constitution’, was jointly organized by Maratha Seva Sangh (MSS), Jijau Brigade, Sambhaji Brigade, Baanai, Jamaat-e-Islami Hind and Sarv Shakheey Krushnavi Sanghatana. Parnerkar said if some people feel oppressed, then they should give expression to their thought as the Constitution has guaranteed freedom of speech. The definition of maintaining beliefs, religious rights, thoughts and expression has been clearly outlined. Despite this, there are many social ills in the society which need to be addressed, he said. Thinker Ganesh Halkare said the problem of unemployment is rising with every passing day. Similar is the case of agrarian crisis as farmers are at the receiving end due to vagaries of nature and subsequent crop failure.TOI
Assam schools to drop word ‘Maktab’
Guwahati:In a significant move, Assam education minister Himanta Biswa Sarma on Saturday said that his govt has directed to drop ‘Maktab’ word from the names of 63 schools in Assam.Asserting that the government is determined to close all aided institutes imparting religious education, Sarma said, “Since there is no Maktabi education system now, the word ‘Maktab’ will be dropped from the names of the schools. Students of these schools have to face problems due to the notion that religious education is imparted there.”The move assumes significance as Maktabs are traditional institutions of the Muslim community. Children from the Muslim community attend Maktabs as a religious binding.To bring out-of-school Muslim children, especially girls, within the fold of primary education, in 1995-96, District Primary Education Programme (DPEP) Assam had converted 60 Maktabs into alternative schools in 3 DPEP districts of Assam, particularly in Darrang, Dhubri and Morigaon.The minister also announced that work to convert Madrasas and Sanskrit Tols to government schools will begin after the state budget is tabled.asianage
After Discovery of Gold Jackpot, Over 400 Tribal Families Fear Homelessness in Sonbhadra
Sonbhadra: Over 400 tribal families in Sonbhadra district of UP, have already started fearing homelessness, after Geological Survey of India (GSI) has discovered gold deposits of around 3,000 tonnes worth Rs 12 lakh crore here, which is almost five times India's current reserve of the yellow metal.The official process of e-tendering has started after the GSI on Saturday confirmed the gold deposits found in Son Pahadi and Hardi areas of the district.Sonbhadra's name may come on the country's top list and world due to the maximum gold deposits, but the other aspect of it is that around 250 families of Panari village panchayat and 200 families of Dohar and Piparahwa villages will be displaced.IANS
76 Muslim, 25 Hindu couples marry at Belagavi madrassa
Belagavi: A madrassa in Belagavi district hosted a mass marriage on its premises in which 76 Muslim and 25 Hindu couples were married.Madarsa Al Arabia Anwarul Ulooma, an Islamic religious institute in Bailhongal, 50km from Belagavi district HQRS and 480km from Bengaluru, played host to the event that was organised by Jamia Faizan-ul-Quran and Issa Foundation, which has conducted mass marriages on a bigger scale in Gujarat. The mass marriage comes a month after 100-year-old Cheravally Jamaat Masjid in Kerala’s Kayamkulam in Alappuzha hosted a Hindu wedding, complete with a vegetarian feast for 4,000 people. A Hindu priest led rituals, and couple sought the blessings of chief imam Riyasudeen Faizy of the mosque.TOI
Bollywood extortionist Ravi Pujari arrested in Senegal, to be brought to India
New Delhi:Underworld don Ravi Pujari has been arrested from West African nation of Senegal. The fugitive gangster was arrested after efforts from Indian agencies.Pujari, who parted ways with underworld don Chhota Rajan, had jumped bail from Senegal, last year and had escaped to South Africa, where he was involved in big-time drug trafficking and extortion racket. According to reports, Karnataka Police teams and probe agency officers are currently in Senegal to bring him back.Sources said that investigating agencies had Pujari arrested in a different country and he was later brought to Senegal.Sources also confirm his extradition process has started.indiatoday
US becomes India’s top trading partner
US has become India’s top trading partner surpassing China, according to 2018-19 data from Commerce Ministry. The bilateral trade between US and India amounted to USD 87.95 billion as compared to USD 87.07 billion with China.Trade experts say a free trade agreement between the two nations would take their economic ties to a whole new level. According to an American business advocacy group, an FTA would exponentially help in resolving their trade disputes, PTI reported. America is one of the few countries with which India has a trade surplus. While dealing with US, India had a surplus of 16.85 billion in the year 2018-19 alone.indianexpress
Trump talks of 'America First', why PM Modi silent on 'India First': Congress
Ahead of US President Donald Trump's visit, Congress on Sunday asked whether Prime Minister Narendra Modi would raise with him the issue of easing H-1B visas, restoration of GSP status and security concerns over Taliban.Congress chief spokesperson Randeep Surjewala asked why PM Modi is silent about "India First" as Donald Trump talked of "America First".PTI

*WORLD*
Iran shuts schools, cultural centres as coronavirus kills six
A sixth death from the coronavirus has been reported in Iran as authorities in more than a dozen affected provinces ordered the closure of schools, universities and cultural centres in a bid to contain the outbreak.Ali Aghazadeh, governor of the Markazi province, said late on Saturday that tests of a patient who recently died in the central city of Arak were positive for the virus.The person was also suffering from a heart problem, he told the official IRNA. So far, 28 cases have been confirmed in Iran, but it was not immediately clear if the sixth fatality was among those cases. All of those who lost their lives are believed to be Iranian citizens, and the deaths in Iran account for the most in any country outside China. Since the new coronavirus emerged in December, it has killed 2,345 people in China, the epicentre of the epidemic, and more than a dozen people elsewhere in the world.Officially known as COVID-19, the infection first surfaced in Iran on Wednesday, when authorities said it claimed the lives of two elderly people in Qom, a Shia holy city south of the capital.Meanwhile, WHO has expressed concern over the speed at which COVID-19 has spread in Iran, as well as it being exported from the country to other territories in the region.aljazeera
Turkey, Pakistan close borders with Iran
Turkey, Pakistan and Armenia have closed their borders with Iran as it reported more coronavirus infections and deaths, prompting neighbouring Afghanistan to also introduce travel restrictions.The measures were introduced as fears mounted over the rise of cases outside of China, particularly in Iran, Italy and South Korea.
International fears grow with virus deaths in Italy, South Korea
Fears have mounted over the rise of new cases and fatalities outside China from the new coronavirus outbreak, as the WHO warned of a shrinking window to stem the spread of the deadly disease.The warning came as the first deaths from the new COVID-19 strain were reported in the Middle East. COVID-19, as the new coronavirus is known, first emerged in December in central China but has now spread to almost 30 countries and caused more than a dozen deaths outside of China. Aljazeera
Israeli forces kill Palestinian near Gaza fence, wound two others
A Palestinian has been killed by Israeli forces and two others were wounded as they tried to retrieve his body in the besieged Gaza Strip, according to local media reports.The incident took place near the separation fence east of Khan Younis in the southern part of the coastal territory, the official Palestinian news agency Wafa reported on Sunday.Palestinian Islamic Jihad (PIJ) faction named the deceased as Mohammed Ali al-Naim, 27, and said he was a member of the organisation.Israeli military said troops shot dead a Palestinian who was suspected of placing a bomb near the fence.aljazeera
Several dead in Turkey province bordering Iran after earthquake
At least seven people have been killed and five others injured in Turkey's Van province following an earthquake early Sunday, the country's interior minister has said.Three of those killed were children, according to Suleyman Soylu, adding that some 1,066 buildings have collapsed.The Disaster and Emergency Management Authority had begun rescue work, Soylu said."Search and rescue efforts are ongoing," he said. The magnitude 5.7 earthquake struck the Turkey-Iran border region, the European Mediterranean Seismological Centre (EMSC) said. The quake had a depth of 5 km (3.1 miles), the EMSC said.aljazeera
Turkey hits Syrian gov't targets after soldier killed in Idlib
Turkish President Tayyip Erdogan has said he will meet next month the leaders of Russia, France and Germany to discuss the situation in northwest Syria, where a military push by Moscow-backed government forces against the last opposition-held enclave has displaced nearly a million people.His comments on Saturday came as the Turkish defence ministry said a soldier was killed in Syria's Idlib province in a bomb attack by government forces, becoming Turkey's 16th military death during a month in which talks between Ankara and Moscow have failed to de-escalate a recent spike in the fighting.Erdogan did not specify where the March 5 meeting would be held. He added, however, that Turkey "determined our road map" for Syria after calls on Friday with Russian President Vladimir Putin, German Chancellor Angela Merkel and French President Emmanuel Macron.Turkey has sent thousands of troops and equipment to the region just south of its border to head off the government forces' campaign driven by Russian air raids. Already hosting some 3.7 million Syrian refugees, it says it cannot handle another wave and has closed its borders.aljazeera
Nothing will stop me praying, says Regent's Park mosque leader stabbed in the neck
A muslim leader stabbed inside Regent’s Park mosque today said he was lucky to survive and vowed: “Nothing will stop me from praying”. Raafat Maglad, 70, a muezzin who leads the call to prayer, was stabbed in the neck at London Central Mosque during prayers at about 3pm yesterday.Around 20 members of the congregation rushed to tackle the knifeman, pinning him down until police and emergency services arrived. A suspect, 29, was today being quizzed on suspicion of attempted murder. Maglad, a father-of-3 from Queen’s Park who leads the call to prayer five times a day, was rushed to hospital and was discharged this morning, his arm in a sling.“I would like to thank everyone who helped. Last night the emergency room was full of so many people supporting me. It was nice. This attack won’t change my behaviour. Nothing will stop me praying, and I will be back calling prayers as soon as I can. I have to find out if I need surgery first.”standard.co.uk
*views, Articles, FEATURES*
Can It Also Be Seditious To Say 'America Zindabad'?Aritry Das
Amulya Leona to Azamgarh, sedition law used without questions, Supreme Court guidelines ignored: indian express
The magic words ‘national interest’ do not signal correctness but finality:P Chidambaram
Dissent is not sedition, it is truly the ‘safety valve’ of democratic countries:Tavleen Singh
India is a civilisation. It does not need a single story of its Nationhood:Meghnad Desai
Dalitality: Inherent untouchability in planning for SC/STs: Paul Divakar N, Beena Pallical, Adikanda Singh
Exclusive: US backed off from signing trade deal with India at last minute before Trump visit
Advocate Abhinav Chandrachud breaks down facets of CAA, its history and alleged unconstitutionality
India is the only poor and ‘shit-hole country’ that Donald Trump has ever visited:Aakar Patel
Not much difference between Waris Pathan & Yogi Adityanath:Sujata Anandan
RSS understood art and culture are ‘political’ and that’s why it called itself  a ‘cultural’ body:Ashlin Mathew
Compiled and edited by Anwarulhaq (Released at: 6:46 PM).   

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