News and views across the globe.

Monday, 24 February 2020

24 FEB. EVENING NEWS: Violence Delhi's Bhajanpura, Maujpur, Jaffrabad: Constable, 3 civilians killed in clashes during CAA protests; Section 144 imposed/ On Camera, Delhi Man Opens Fire As Cops Watch/ Delhi Violence Effort To Defame India Globally: MoS Home Affairs/Shaheen Bagh protests: Interlocutors file report in sealed cover in SC, court defers hearing to Feb 26/Uneasy calm prevails in Aligarh, 2000 anti-CAA protesters booked/ Anti-Muslim sentiment permeates policies of both India and US;Amnesty as Trump meets Modi/Govts are not always right, opposing govt can’t be labelled as anti-national: SC judge Gupta


NEWS DIGEST, EVENING
 24 Feb.  2020: 29 Jamadi-2, 1441: Vol: 12, No: 140
*anti-CAA,NRC-NPR stir*
Violence Delhi's Bhajanpura, Maujpur, Jaffrabad: Constable, 3 civilians killed in clashes during CAA protests; Section 144 imposed, schools to remain closed in affected areas
Protests related to the Citizenship Amendment Act (CAA) took a violent turn on Monday in Maujpur and Fafrabad (also spelt as Jaffrabad) areas of Northeast Delhi as pro and anti-CAA protesters clashed with each other for the second consecutive day. A Delhi Police head constable, Ratan Lal, was killed after suffering a head injury, while several police personnel, including DCP, Shahdra, Amit Sharma, were injured during the clashes. 3 civilians are also reported to have died due to bullet injuries.A civilian named Mohd Furqan was killed during violence.  The number of protesters injured in the clashes remains unknown. Tension escalated in the area with protesters torching many houses and vehicles in Jaffrabad and Maujpur areas. Violence was also reported from the Chand Bagh and adjoining areas.The clashes started around 10 am in Maujpur area of Delhi's Northeast district where the two groups began pelting each other with stones.Soon, the violence escalated and people came out on the road linking Maujpur with Jaffarabad. An elevated stretch of the Delhi Metro runs along this road.This happened a day after similar clashes took place between the two warring groups in nearby Jaffarabad, prompting the Delhi Metro to close entry and exit gates at Maujpur-Babarpur metro station. The area was gripped by tension when a large group of people who have been protesting against the CAA blocked a road.Police fired tear gas shells as members of the two groups pelted each other with stones in Maujpur. Today's protest and violence is confined to Shahdra area of Delhi's Northeast district. While the protest is reported to have begun in Maujpur around 10am, by 5pm violence and arson was also reported from adjoining areas of Jaffarabad, Bhajanpura and Karawal Nagar.These clashes were reported not just from Maujpur, but also adjoining localities of Karawal Nagar, Jaffarabad, Bhajanpura, Kabir Nagar, Karampura, Dayalpur and Chand Bagh.Around 1pm, a man wearing a red T-shirt was seen brandishing a country-made pistol during the clashes that were taking place on the road connecting Maujpur with Jaffarabad. A policeman tried to stop him from firing but he pushed him aside and fired 8 rounds. Fortunately no one was injured. However, he managed to escape into the crow, giving the cops a miss. A Reuters witness saw at least one Muslim man and a burqa-clad woman beaten by dozens of pro-law protesters with sticks and iron rods.Reuters photojournalist Danish Siddiqui shared photos of a Muslim man, cowering on a street in Chandbagh area of northeast Delhi, surrounded by several men armed with sticks and poles. The man who is bleeding from his head was hit by a sharp object, Reuters reported.The local administration has imposed Section 144 of CrPC that forbids movement and assembly of more than five people. A heavy deployment of Delhi Police personnel and the central paramilitary forces has also been made in the area to restore law and order. Union Home Secy Ajay Bhalla said, "Senior officials are on ground and sufficient forces deployed; situation in Delhi is under control."Meanwhile, Delhi CM Arvind Kejriwal, Deputy CM Manish Sisodia and LG Anil Baijal have appealed for calm and urged the protesters to exercise restraint. Congress leader Ajay Maken advised CM Kejriwal to not appear “helpless” and take immediate steps to restore normalcy.Delhi education minister Manish Sisodia announces that home examinations in schools in North East Delhi stand cancelled. Moreover, both private and public schools in district will remain shut. indiatoday/ firstpost/ndtv/Indian express/other media sources
A dangerous mix of politics, police inaction?IANS
New Delhi:After all, the sudden quiet at Shaheen Bagh, on the boil for over two months, was deeply deceptive, if you look at the way how the protest -- for and against the new citizenship law -- spilled out to north-east of Delhi, with police yet again failing to read the situation. Many locals say the violence at Maujpur-Jafrabad in north-east Delhi erupted soon after BJP leader Kapil Mishra took out a march on Sunday in support of the Controversial CAA as well as against the anti-CAA women protesters who had blocked the road at Jafrabad metro station.The police stepped in when Kapil Mishra addressed the crowd, sources said. He was flanked by the Deputy Commissioner of Police clad in full riot gear. Some people cite a video clip that shows BJP leader giving an "ultimatum" to the police, saying "he will come back after the visiting US President leaves India"."But the DCP did not act," said a local resident.Stone-pelting soon started on the crowd protesting against CAA at Jafrabad. Eyewitness say when the pro and anti-CAA protesters clashed, the police remained a mute spectator.The situation turned uglier: On Monday the violence reached the lanes and by-lanes of some localities where passers-by were beaten up if they did not tell their names to aggressive groups of men.Many pictures and videos of violence have gone viral where unidentified people have been seen brandishing guns as policemen look on. IANS
CAA प्रदर्शन: दिल्ली में खुलेआम फायरिंग, हेड कॉन्स्टेबल की मौत
CAA प्रदर्शन: दिल्ली में खुलेआम फायरिंग, हेड कॉन्स्टेबल की मौत
On Camera, Delhi Man Opens Fire As Cops Watch In Clashes Over CAA | Read
Man opens fire in front of Police as violent clashes break out in Bhajanpura, Maujpur and Jaffrabad
In photos: CAA supporters attack Muslims at Delhi protest, hurl stones and petrol bombs
Clashes erupted in Northeast Delhi between supporters and opponents of the CAA on Monday. Delhi Police tried to quell the protests, but one policeman and a civilian died during violence. Another police official was injured. Pictures showed supporters of the Act jumping police barricades, pelting stones, throwing petrol bombs, attacking a Muslim man and damaging tents set up the anti-CAA demonstrators.scroll
Army to take action against Delhi police, private security agencies wearing military uniform in Delhi's Jaffrabad
New Delhi: Indian Army will take action against state police forces and private security agencies wearing the military camouflage uniform, said Indian Army sources on Sunday."There are policy guidelines which prohibit paramilitary and state police forces from wearing uniforms donned by the military," told Indian Army sources.The state police force personnel deployed in New Delhi's Jaffrabad today were wearing a uniform similar to the disruptive pattern camouflage of the Indian Army.Earlier in the day, the exit and entry gates of Jaffrabad metro station were closed. Heavy security has been deployed at the agitation site. ANI
Delhi Violence Effort To Defame India Globally: MoS Home Affairs
Union Minister of State for Home Affairs on Monday said that the violence in North-East Delhi was orchestrated with an eye on US President's visit to India."I condemn it. Govt of India will never tolerate violence. We will take strict action against those responsible. Ministry of Home Affairs is monitoring the situation. MHA has ordered Delhi Police to take strict action against those involved in the killing of the police personnel, stone-pelting, setting fire to the property," said G Kishan Reddy, MoS Home Affairs. Blaming the Congress party for the violence in North-east Delhi, Reddy said, "Rahul Gandhi, the Congress party and those people who are supporting protests against CAA should tell who is responsible for damaging the image of India. "  outlookindia
Violence in Delhi orchestrated in view of Trump's visit: Govt sources
No action against Kapil Mishra for inciting crowd; Is Delhi Police ‘calm’ on Amit Shah’s advice?
Roads are being blocked by those against the CAA to cut off 35 lakh people in Jaffrabad and neighbouring areas from other parts of the city, Delhi BJP leader Kapil Mishra told a gathering on Sunday, demanding that police remove the protesters within 3 days.Mishra led a demonstration before clashes erupted between pro and anti-CAA groups near Jaffrabad where a large number of people who have been protesting against CAA had blocked a road since Saturday night. nationalheraldindia
Truck dumps stones at pro-CAA rally site, protesters under threat?
Jamia Coordination Committee Sunday night released a video of a truck dumping large stones, pieces of debris and rocks at near Maujpur, close to the site of a rally in favour of CAA.In its tweets JCC said, “At about 11 pm a truck full of stones was unloaded near Maujpar where pro CAA mob is rallying. Slogans of ‘modi ji sangharsh karo, hum tumhare saath hain’ can be clearly heard in the background. State sponsored rioters are on a rampage with full impunity.”sabrangindia
NE Delhi Clashes: Video Shows Cop ‘Pelting Stone’ in Khajuri Khas
A video footage purportedly shows a Delhi Police cop pelting a stone amid clashes between pro- and anti-CAA protesters in northeast Delhi on Monday. The video, shot on Wazirabad main road in Khajuri Khas, shows heavy black smoke in a distance and a frenzy mob pelting stones in the foreground. A lot of other police officers present at the spot too. 2 of them can be seen pelting stones, while other cops are seen standing and watching.Violence was also reported from the Chandbagh area in Jaffrabad.Police fired tear gas shells and also resorted to lathicharge to disperse the protesters.thequint
Delhi clashes: Cong seeks Amit Shah’s resignation; Rahul Gandhi condemns violence
Congress on Monday questioned the ‘silence’ of Home Minister Amit Shah over the clashes in Delhi and demanded his resignation, as party leader Rahul Gandhi urged people to show restraint, compassion and understanding irrespective of the provocation.The party also blamed the Delhi police for failing to maintain law and order in the city and criticised Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal for having “shaken off his responsibility”, saying people of Delhi are paying the price of a political blame game. Gandhi said peaceful protests are a sign of a healthy democracy, but violence can never be justified. “The violence today in Delhi is disturbing and must be unequivocally condemned. Peaceful protests are a sign of a healthy democracy, but violence can never be justified. I urge the citizens of Delhi to show restraint, compassion and understanding no matter what the provocation,” he tweeted.PTI
Anti-CAA Protesters Lathi-Charged by Police in Delhi’s Hauz Rani
A group of anti-CAA protestors, who have been on a sit-in at Gandhi Park in south Delhi's Hauz Rani for the last one month, took out a march towards the main road on Sunday.Sources told The Quint that the protesters were marching peacefully when the police force lathi-charged. They further mentioned that due to the stampede children, women were also hurt. However, police have refuted the charge.As per the sources, people who were injured in the lathi-charge and the stampede were taken to hospital.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 returned to the park, while others left the venue.The Quint
Hauz Rani protests: Police registers FIR against several people
 Delhi Police today registered a case against several persons after an anti-CAA protest in south Delhi's Hauz Rani area.A case has been registered against over 20 people in connection with the incident on Sunday at Malviya Nagar, police said.Around 37 Delhi Police personnel were injured in an attempt to stop an anti-CAA protest march in Malviya Nagar for which permission was not granted."A protest march was organised by protesters in Malviya Nagar area today. No permission was granted for the protest," DCP South Atul Thakur said.The protesters tried to block traffic at multiple locations and also on arterial roads, he said.IANS
4 cases registered in Feb 23 violence:Delhi Police
JCP(Eastern Range) Alok Kumar, on Monday said that 4 cases have been registered in connection with the incidents of violence that occurred on Feb.23 at different locations across Delhi. "4 cases have been registered - one each in Jaffarabad and Welcome, and two cases in Dayalpur. The people involved are being identified," Kumar said.On Sunday, clashes started after two groups, one protesting against CAA and the other supporting it came face to face in Maujpur.ANI 
Shaheen Bagh protests:  Interlocutors file report in sealed cover in SC, court defers hearing to Feb 26
The Supreme Court-appointed interlocutors on Monday handed over a report of their 4-day endeavour to coax Shaheen Bagh protesters to shift their agitation against CAA to an alternative site, conveniently out of the way of traffic and public movement.A Bench of Justices Sanjay Kishan Kaul and K.M. Joseph took the yellow-enveloped reports proferred by interlocutors, senior advocate Sanjay Hegde and Sadhana Ramachandran, in the courtroom. “We will go through the report. We will list the case for hearing day after tomorrow,” Justice Kaul said. The court refused to even give a copy of the report to the petitioner-advocate,Amit Sahni. “We are not even putting it (report) on record... Let us go through it first,” Justice Kaul said.The matter would be heard on Feb.26. thehindu
Delhi court rejects clean chit given to Manish Sisodia in Jamia violence tweet case
A Delhi court today directed Delhi Police Commissioner to submit a fresh report on the complaint about Deputy Chief Minister Manish Sisodia's tweet alleging "police personnel of setting Delhi Transport Corporation buses on fire".Additional Chief Metropolitan Magistrate Vishal Pahuja, after hearing arguments in the matter, rejected the clean chit given to Sisodia in the matter and directed the commissioner to file a fresh report by March 17. Complainant advocate Alakh Alok Srivastava strongly objected to Delhi Police report, which stated that no cognizable offence is made out against him.During the hearing, the court recorded serious objections by the complaint on ATR filed by Tilak Marg Police Station, in which they had said they have not even received the complaint.ANI
Uneasy calm in Aligarh day after clashes between police, anti-CAA protesters
Aligarh: Uneasy calm prevailed in localities under the Kotwali and the Delhi Gate police stations here on Monday, a day after incidents of arson and group clashes. "No untoward incident has been reported from any place since Sunday evening," ADGP, Agra zone, Ajay Anand told .Some shops in the old city area opened Monday morning although a majority kept shutters down.The district authorities, who are maintaining a tight vigil, were seen persuading shop owners to open for business. According to police sources, 350 people have been booked at Kotwali, Delhi Gate and Civil Lines police stations for Sunday's incidents.DM Chandra Bhushan Singh warned that any attempt to spread rumours would be dealt with an iron hand and NSA would be invoked in such cases.He also announced that internet services would continue to remain suspended till midnight on Monday.PTI
CAA protests: Aligarh DM blames women students of AMU for violence on Sunday
After clashes between UP Police and anti-CAA protestors in Uparkot area of Aligarh on Sunday evening, DM has claimed that the women students of AMU instigated the protestors. Chandra Bhushan Singh said their roles will be investigated.“Some women students from AMU are behind this, we are trying to identify them,” he said, according to India Today. “We are ascertaining the damage caused by rioters and it will be recovered from them. The situation is under control now,” he said. At least 6 people were injured in the clashes. A hospital spokesperson said Mohammad Ibrahim, 25, had pellet injury in his left eye. The spokesperson added that while doctors had operated on him, he could lose his vision in that eye. ADGP said Mohamad Tariq Munawwar (22), who received gunshot injuries on Sunday's violence, is now stable and has been shifted to ICU at Jawahar Lal Nehru hospital, AMU after doctors performed an emergency surgery on him. Doctors at the hospital said Tariq had a firearm injury on left side of his chest.scroll/PTI
Uneasy calm prevails in Aligarh, 2000 anti-CAA protesters booked
A day after clashes broke out between police and anti-CAA) protesters in Aligarh on Sunday, the situation in the old city area, which was the epicentre of the violence, remained tense but peaceful on Monday, the police said.“No untoward incident has been reported from any place since Sunday evening,” ADGP, Agra zone, Ajay Anand said.8 FIRs were lodged at the Aligarh Kotwali police station and one each at Civil Lines and Delhi Gate police stations of Aligarh against 50 named and 2000 unidentified people, including 1000 women, police said. 6 of these FIRs were lodged on complaints of those injured in the violence while the others were lodged by police officers, the police added.HT
AMU violence: HC Directs UP govt. to take action against cops, pay compensation to injured students
Allahabad High Court on Monday directed the DGP of Uttar Pradesh to identify and take action against the policemen who were involved in “stray incidents of damaging motorcycles and unnecessarily caning the apprehended students” of AMU when they were protesting against CAA in December.A division bench comprising Chief Justice Govind Mathur and Justice Samit Gopal passed the order on the basis of a recommendation made by the NHRC. In January, the HC had directed the rights body to probe into the allegations of police violence at AMU on December 15 and complete the investigation within 5 weeks. The HC had passed the order on a PIL filed by one Mohd. Aman Khan, reports LiveLaw.in.The petitioner had had alleged that the students were protesting peacefully against the Citizenship Amendment Act since December 13. However, on December 15, the Para Military Force and the State Police, opened lathi charge and fired massive amount of teargas shells, rubber bullets and pellets on the students of AMU.India Tomorrow
AMU Violence: HC Directs UP Govt. To Take Action Against Policemen, Orders Compensation For 6 Students
Anti-CAA activist faces threat in her house in south Kolkata
 Kasturi Basu, a resident of Patuli in south Kolkata, had come back from her routine evening door-to-door campaign against CAA on Sunday night when about half a dozen men barged into her house and ‘threatened’ her for campaigning against the citizenship law.Ms. Basu is a well-known activist and documentary film maker.“My partner and I reached home when around 9 pm the apartment’s caretaker informed me that 7 men who identify themselves as BJP workers have barged into the premises and are looking for me,” she said.thehindu
Govt sending people to raise pro-Pakistan slogans during anti-CAA protests: Ex UP Governor Qureshi
 Sambhal:Former Uttar Pradesh Governor Aziz Qureshi today alleged that government was sending people to raise 'pro-Pakistan' slogans during anti-CAA protests as part of a conspiracy. Qureshi termed police action on protesters in Aligarh and Delhi as "barbarism" and said when those sitting in the government feel defeated, they indulge in firing and lathi charge."The followers of Hitler sitting in the government have got their people to sit along with anti-CAA protesters, raise Pakistan 'zindabad' slogans and indulge in vandalism and arson to make it look like violent protests. This has led to firing by the police. All this has been done in a very planned manner," he told reporters. Attacking BJP and RSS, he alleged that they had "mischievous plans" for Indian Muslims who are being targeted."Just as Hitler set up camps , the central government was setting up detention camps and all this is being done to divide the country," he said. PTI
Over 100 Muslims from Tamil Nadu Village Withdraw Savings from Bank over NPR, Citizenship Fears
Chennai: More than a hundred members of the Muslim community from a village in Tamil Nadu's Nagapattinam district have withdrawn a major part of their savings from a bank over the last few days as they feared they might lose their money when government initiates the proposed NPR exercise.A video of locals from Therizhandur village holding talks with branch officials of Indian Overseas Bank (OB) has surfaced, in which the latter can be heard urging villagers to not withdraw their money.The manager and bank staff held talks with representatives of the local Jamath at a school campus on Friday and assured them that the submission of documents during the proposed NPR exercise is not mandatory and their savings are safe with the bank. However, Jamath in-charge said villagers have been living in fear since the amended Citizenship Act was passed in both Houses of Parliament and that they feared losing their hard-earned money.“We have been hearing about banks including NPR documents as part of the KYC (Know Your Customer) list. We don’t want to lose our savings in the future. We are not sure what documents are required to prove our citizenship. Therefore, we decided to withdraw the money saved over the years,” said Jamath in-charge Haja, adding that many villagers feel they may soon land themselves in trouble for not having the requisite documents.news18
Dadis of Shaheen Bagh to Lead 'Occupy Raj Bhavan' Protest in Kerala tomorrow
Asma Khatun, Bilkis and Sarwari, 3 "dadis" of Shaheen Bagh, the focal point of protest against CAA, and Aysha Renna, an activist from Jamia Millia Islamia will lead the protest to Raj Bhavan, the official residence of the state governor, on Tuesday and Wednesday. The protest termed “Occupy Raj Bhavan” is being organised by the Kerala state unit of WPI against CAA. Hameed Vaniyambalam, state president of Welfare Party, while addressing a press conference here on Sunday said that “the people of India have come together to protest against the idea of demolishing India's idea of ​​diversity. This is the last chance to defend the country, democracy and the Constitution.“The struggle must continue until the repeal of the Citizenship Act and the end of Sangh Parivar dictatorship. The nationwide agitation against the amendment of the citizenship law is entering a new phase. The central government is trying to unilaterally impose the law instead of democratically addressing the concerns raised by the public.  In this scenario, more powerful protests must emerge,” he said.He also said that NRC and implementation of the citizenship law will abolish constitutional values ​​such as equality, social justice and fraternity, create discrimination among the people on religious grounds and expel Muslims from their citizenship. This law kills the constitution which hinders the formation of Hindutva Rashtra of the Sangh Parivar, he said. indiatomorrow
Bihar: NPR will be updated like in 2010, NRC won’t be implemented, says Nitish Kumar
Bihar CM Nitish Kumar has reiterated that NRC would not be implemented in his state and added that NPR would be updated in the way that it was done in 2010-2011.“NRC is not going to be implemented here and only NPR will be carried out the way it was done in the year 2010,” Kumar said while speaking at MANUU in Darbhanga. “It will be done on the basis of that only.”The questions introduced in new NPR form include details of parents’ birth, Aadhaar, passport number, mobile phone number, voter ID number and mother tongue. scroll
Ask Trump if extraditing 19 lakh people from Assam is possible: Chidambaram to Modi
Chennai :Congress leader P Chidambaram took a swipe at Prime Minister Narendra Modi over CAA, NRC and NPR, telling him to ask visiting US President Donald Trump if it was possible to extradite as many as 19 lakh people from Assam.Addressing a meet here against CAA, ex Minister, citing BJP’s brute majority in Parliament, asked what was the guarantee that the government would not bring in an amendment, similar to CAA, to give a push to its idea of a “Hindu” country. Alleging that there was a great threat to the Constitution and the need to save it, he said countries were now asking questions over CAA.“US President Donald Trump has said that he will ask questions about the CAA even before his arrival. If 6 to 10 lakh people are going to be affected, will the visiting leader go without posing questions?” he asked.“Where to send 19 lakh people? Which country is ready to accept them? Through which mode of transport will you send them?” he asked.PTI
Mangalore Police Firing case: Karnataka HC directs State Police to withdraw endorsements
Karnataka High Court today directed the State Police to withdraw endorsements that were filed based on complaints received in the Mangaluru police firing that occurred in Dec, in the wake of protests against CAA.A Division Bench of Chief Justice Abhay Shreeniwas Oka and Justice Hemant Chandangoudar observed that filing endorsements instead of FIRs is beyond the powers of the police. Hence, the same had to be withdrawn.The Court further directed DM to submit an enquiry report in the matter by March 24. The Court also granted two weeks' time to the petitioners to file rejoinder.While passing its order, the High Court additionally observed that multiple FIRs cannot be filed for the same incident. Last week, the HC  had granted bail to 21 persons in Mangalore jailed for offences allegedly committed during protests against the CAA.While doing so, the Court observed that there was a deliberate attempt on the part of the Mangalore police to cover up excesses committed against anti-CAA protestors.barandbench
JNU student Sharjeel Imam's police remand extended by 4 days
Guwahati: A local court on Monday extended by four days the police remand of JNU student Sharjeel Imam who was arrested on charges of sedition and brought to the state last week.Imam was brought to Assam from New Delhi and produced in court which had initially sent him to 4 days' police remand, they said.Upon the expiry of his police remand, he was on Monday produced before Kamrup (Metro) Chief Judicial Magistrate. Meanwhile, Assam Finance Minister Himanta Biswa Sarma said the state government is keeping a tab on the developments related to Imam's interrogation.PTI
SIO submits petitions to MLAs against NPR
Hyderabad:Students Islamic Organisation (SIO) has submitted representations to several legislators, urging them not to embark on a NPR exercise.In a press release, Dr. Talha Fayazuddin, president, SIO, said that while the Cabinet meeting against CAA is a welcome move, NPR is the ‘back end’ of NRC, which also needs to be stopped.“Delegations of SIO Telangana have been visiting all MLAs and Cabinet Ministers and submitted memorandums persuading them to pass the resolution against the process of NPR too,” he said, adding that SIO urges other student, religious, welfare and civic organisations to send delegations to persuade the govt of Telangana to stop NPR and put a stop to confusion and apprehensions among citizens.thehindu
Don’t believe CAA spin, it's not a refugee law:experts
Bengaluru:Speaking at Bangalore International Centre (BIC) Hub’ba on Sunday, the experts warned that one critical flaw of the law is that it assumes that all non-Muslim refugees in India are automatically fleeing religious persecution. Legal experts described CAA as a “dangerous” piece of legislation masquerading as a refugee-centric law, saying it seeks to marginalise certain segments of society. “Many of the people that CAA is trying to help are economic migrants fleeing impoverishment, which many Muslims in Pakistan, Bangladesh and Afghanistan would also like to do, but cannot because the framework prefers to divide refugees by religion,” said Malavika Prasad, a lawyer with expertise on CAA and the Constitution. She pointed out that the CAA’s central flaw was that it sought to allow Hindus, Christians, Jains, Parsis and Buddhists fleeing poverty in Bangladesh, Afghanistan and Pakistan to claim citizenship while offering no such option for Muslims also fleeing those countries. “What the CAA does is that it says people from these religious groups are deemed not to be illegal migrants and that is the problem,” she said. deccanherald
Karnataka Minister Wants a Law to Shoot 'Anti-Nationals' at Sight
New Delhi: 3 days after a young woman, Amulya Leona, was arrested and charged with sedition for saying ‘Pakistan Zindabad’ at a rally in Bengaluru, Karnataka agriculture minister B.C. Patel called for a law to “shoot at sight” those who spoke against India or raised pro-Pakistan slogans.“In my opinion, there is need for a law that has to be brought in India – shoot at sight law has to brought in India for those who speak ill of India or raise pro-Pakistan slogans. It is very much needed,” Patil was quoted as saying by ANI.“The Centre must promulgate a law that enables authorities to shoot those who do anything that is seen as anti-national and chant pro-Pakistan slogans,” Patil said, speaking to reporters. “These elements must be killed on the spot.”
Sri Ram Sene Leader Puts Bounty on Activist Amulya Leona, Police Fail to Take Action
Karnataka state police have been using different yardsticks to handle cases involving objectionable content generated in favour and against CAA. It took the Bengaluru police less than a few minutes to slap a case of sedition against a 19-year-old anti-CAA activist Amulya Leona Noronha and take her into custody for saying “Pakistan Zindabad” at a protest rally last week. But it has been over two days since the Sri Ram Sene, a right-wing militant group, declared a bounty of Rs 10 lakh for anyone who kills Noronha in an “encounter”. The police are still “figuring out” the appropriate action against the men who openly threatened violence. Today, district SP, C.K. Baba, told The Wire that his police had decided to file a non-cognizable complaint instead of an FIR against the accused.thewire
NPR is implemented, around 8 crore people will be rendered stateless: VCK leader Thirumavalavan
Viduthalai Chiruthaigal Katchi leader Thol. Thirumavalavan has accused BJP govt at Centre of having brought in CAA to prove that it is possible to enact an anti-secular legislation notwithstanding country’s secular Constitution. Thirumavalavan said, "CAA is one aspect and NPR is another. NPR will target not just Muslims, but all sections of society. If NPR is implemented, around 8 crore people would be rendered stateless. They (authorities) are planning to construct 27,000 detention camps at an estimated cost of ₹12 lakh crore, at a time when the country is going through severe economic difficulties.Once NPR exercise is carried out, it will pave the way for NRC. It will categorise the population into citizens, non-citizens and doubtful citizens. The doubtful citizens will also include Hindus. It will create tension in society and may lead to a civil war. The most dangerous issue facing the country today is NPR." He said, " CAA is out-and-out communal and anti-Constitution. There is a hidden agenda [behind it]. By implementing the Act, the government wants to alienate Muslims. It is targeting Muslims and seeking to portray all of them as terrorists and anti-nationals and others as law-abiding citizens. This agenda will have a psychological effect on Indian Muslims. In the long-run, it will create an unbridgeable divide between Muslims and non-Muslims.The objective of BJP govt at the Centre is to dilute the Constitution." thehindu
*TRUMP INDIA VISIT*
Anti-Muslim sentiment permeates policies of both India and US;Amnesty as Trump meets Modi
Human rights organisation Amnesty International on Monday said “anti-Muslim sentiment permeates” the policies of both US and Indian leaders and alleged that the values that the two governments now share are bigotry and hostility. A joint statement was released by Amnesty International USA and Amnesty International India ahead of US President Donald Trump’s visit to India. Trump, along with First Lady Melania Trump, arrived in Ahmedabad for a two-day trip aimed to reset ties, which have been strained by trade rows, between the world’s biggest democracies.“Anti-Muslim sentiment permeates the policies of both US and Indian leaders,” Margaret Huang, Amnesty International USA’s executive director, said in the statement. “For decades, the US-India relationship was anchored by claims of shared values of human rights and human dignity. Now, those shared values are discrimination, bigotry, and hostility towards refugees and asylum seekers.”Huang was referring to the CAA approved by Parliament and Trump’s travel ban that targets prospective immigrants from countries that have Muslim-majority populations. “The internet and political lockdown in Kashmir has lasted for months and the enactment of CAA and the crackdown on protests has shown a leadership that is lacking empathy and a willingness to engage,” said Avinash Kumar, executive director of Amnesty International India. “We call on President Trump and PM Modi to work with the international community and address our concerns in their bilateral conversations.” The organisation also referred to NRC and NPR, saying it could particularly push Muslims “towards the limbo of detention and statelessness”. NPR  is the first step towards creating an all-India NRC. As critics have noted, NRC, in tandem with CAA, could be used to render many Indian Muslims stateless since CAA excludes Muslims.Amnesty also criticised the police action to protests against CAA and detention of political leaders in Jammu and Kashmir under the Public Safety Act. The human rights organisation also raised the matter of the internet curbs in Jammu and Kashmir, which have continued for more than six months.scroll
From trade to CAA, Trump-Modi talks on key issues significant for 2020 US elections
India, US united in fighting radical Islamic terrorism: Donald Trump at Ahmedabad event
Ahmedabad:US President Donald Trump on Monday said US stood with India in the fight against "radical Islamic terrorism" and that Washington was working with Pakistan to crack down on terrorist groups operating near its borders. Trump's comments were made in Ahmedabad, the first stop on his maiden visit to India as US president.Speaking at an event at Motera stadium in Ahmedabad, Trump said, "Both countries [India and US] are united in defending citizens from the threat of radical Islamic terrorism." Trump went on to say that under him, US had managed to "destroy" te Islamic State.Trump also said that his administration was working with Pakistan to crack down on terrorism. "We are working with Pakistan to crack down on terror and working on the terror issue on the borders. We have great relations with Pakistan and with these relations we hope we will be able to reduce tensions between the countries," Trump said. They will later depart for Delhi where Trump will attend bilateral meetings with PM tomorrow. indiatoday
Trump India Visit: US working with Pakistan to crack down on terror along borders, says Trump
‘Will sign defence deal worth $3 billion tomorrow’: Trump announces in Ahmedabad
New Delhi:US President Donald Trump announced a defence deal, including for helicopters worth $3 billion, on Monday. And he chose to make the announcement at ‘Namaste Trump’ event in Ahmedabad, the grand welcome function planned by India.“I’m pleased to announce that tomorrow our representatives will sign defence deals worth over $3 billion, to sell absolute finest state-of-the-art military helicopters and other equipment to the Indian armed forces,” said Trump.“As we continue to build our defence cooperation, US looks forward to providing India with some of the best and most feared military equipment on the planet. We make the greatest weapons ever made. We make the best and we are dealing now with India,” the US President added.HT
No objection to presence of Kejriwal, Sisodia during Melania Trump's visit to Delhi govt schools, says US embassy
New Delhi: US embassy on Sunday said it did not have any objection to the presence of chief minister Arvind Kejriwal and his deputy Manish Sisodia during US First Lady Melania Trump's visit to a Delhi government school, but stressed that it was not a political event and intention was to focus on education and students.The clarification came after Delhi government sources had said on Saturday Kejriwal and Sisodia will not attend the event as their names were dropped from the guest list. Kejriwal's AAP blamed BJP-led central government for it.After the US embassy's reaction, deputy chief minister Manish Sisodia said that they respected the concerns raised by the US Embassy and the First Lady's visit is a matter of pride for his government.PTI
‘Yagya’ by Hindu Sena to bless Trump to defeat ‘radical Islam’
New Delhi;The head of a fringe outfit in India and an ardent follower of US President Donald Trump — Vishnu Gupta has, believe it or not, arranged for a “Vishwa Shanti Yagya” or a World Peace Prayer. Yagya, Hindu Sena says, is being organised on February 24, the day of the Trump’s visit, “to seek blessings from our Hindu Gods to bless Prime Minister Modi and US President Trump…”But that’s not all. Here comes the twist. The yagya is being organised so that both Modi and Trump can “join forces and fight shoulder to shoulder to free the world from Radical Islamic fanatics, who are the biggest threat to mankind and wipe off these enemies of humanity from the face of the earth”.IANS
Modi a ‘Symbol of Hate’; Protests a ‘Glimmer of Hope’: John Oliver
As US President Donald Trump hailed Prime Minister Narendra Modi as the “pride of India” at Ahmedabad’s packed Motera Stadium on Monday, in the latest episode of HBO’s ‘Last Week Tonight With John Oliver’ the eponymous comedian and the host ripped through PM Modi’s administration, calling it “really dangerous”.Oliver referred to PM Modi’s image as a “temporary symbol of hate”, drawing comparison of it to the Taj Mahal, an “enduring symbol of love”. He did not mince his words in the episode which is focused on the CAA-NRC controversy, the nationwide protests against the same, and attacks on minority communities.Terming CAA-NRC as a “diabolically clever two-step way” to “strip millions of Muslims of citizenship”, Oliver went on to hail the protests against CAA and NRC as a “glimmer of hope”.In the episode which aired in US on 9:30 am, Monday, Oliver took on BJP, RSS, Amit Shah, Yogi Adityanath, Modi’s rift with former Prime Minister Jawaharlal Nehru and the erasing of history, among other issues.thequint
‘Never seen him eat vegetable’: US official’s worry about Trump’s diet in India
US officials, who have dined on several occasions with Donald Trump, on Sunday seemed to be puzzled over the change in the diet of the United States President during his 36-hours trip to India.Trump has a salad with a meal every now and then -- but other than that, “I have never seen him eat a vegetable,” the official was quoted as saying by CNN. “I don’t know what he’s going to do in this case. They don’t serve cheeseburgers,” he added. The President, whose diet is often a rotation of steaks, burgers, and meatloaf, may face a stark change in diet as he travels to three Indian cities this week.ANI
*J&K AND S. ASIA*
In a first, no shutdown in Kashmir on US President's India visit
Srinagar:In a first, Kashmir witnessed no separatist Hurriyat backed shutdown during  visit of a US President. The entire local leaders, both separatists and the regional parties, completely restrained from issuing any statements during President Donald Trump’s two-day visit that began on Monday, unlike the trend witnessed in the past 2 decades.There was a heightened security across the Valley on Monday, as Trump landed. An official said a general red alert was sounded in the Valley. Scores of mobile bunkers were set up on the highways and security forces stepped up operations against active militants and their sleeper cells.“Operations were on against militants since January but they were paced up a bit to dent any striking capability of any armed group to create an event during US President's visit”, a senior police officer said.The anxiety among the security apparatus was due to the past incidents, especially the killing of 36 Sikhs in south Kashmir's Chattisinghpora by unknown gunmen on the eve of then US President Bill Clinton's visit to India, first in 22 years then, in March 2000. Separatists had also organised a shutdown coinciding with  Clinton's visit. thehindu
J-K: In reach out to madrassa students, Army distributes stationery items
Jammu :Army on Sunday reached out to students of a madrassa (religious school) in Doda district of Jammu and Kashmir where they distributed stationery items, a defence spokesman said.“The distribution of stationery was conducted with an aim to engage students of the madrassa in educational activities to wean them away from separatist ideology and bring them in the national mainstream through education,” the spokesman said.He said the Army distributed the stationery items at Fatima-Tuz-Zuhra Madrassa at Thathri, which was welcomed by students, teachers and locals.He said two teachers and 90 students attended the function.PTI
K’taka: Kashmiri Students’ Lawyers Manhandled in Police Presence
Lawyers from Bengaluru, Hubballi and Dharwad, who had gone to Dharwad sessions court to file the bail application for the three Kashmiri students in custody on charges of sedition, were allegedly roughed up on Monday. Several videos shot at the Dharwad court show that a tussle broke out as the team of lawyers attempted to leave the court. Chants of ‘Bharat Mata ki Jai’ and ‘we want justice’ could be heard in the background. As per high court orders, the team of defense lawyers was accompanied by a contingent of cops, who ensured they were escorted safely. However, one Bengaluru lawyer, is said to have suffered minor injuries, senior advocate BT Venkatesh told The Quint.Mohammed Miyaz, a member of the team of advocates representing the students, recounted the events in a video that was shared on social media.“Friends, we had come to file bail petition in the Hubballi case. First we filed the copy application in Hubballi court. There too, there was some sloganeering of ‘Vande Mataram’ in front of us. But the police provided us with a lot of security and took us to where we had to file the copy application,” he said.The Quint
*OTHERS*
Govts are not always right, opposing govt can’t be labelled as anti-national: SC judge Deepak Gupta
Supreme Court judge Justice Deepak Gupta, while delivering a lecture on the subject of "Democracy and Dissent" today remarked on the disturbing trend of labelling dissenters as anti-national, reports legal news website barandbench.com. He highlighted that there exists a difference between a State and its government and criticizing the government does not make one anti-national.Justice Gupta was delivering a lecture at an event organized by Supreme Court Bar Association (SCBA) where he commented, not only on the importance of dissent for a healthy democracy but also on the role played by the Higher Judiciary in upholding the right to dissent.Calling the right to dissent a human right, Justice Gupta said that there was a growing trend of labelling persons holding contrarian views than that of the government as "anti-nationals". Disapproving of this trend, he said that criticizing the government does not mean one is "anti-national" or is against the country and underlined that there exists a difference between the country and the government and that "govt may not always be right."“Just because you hold a contrarian view from the government, does not mean you are anti-national or you disrespect the country. You may disagree with the government, but that may not go against the country. There is a difference between the country and its government,” he said.He went on to add that "majoritarianism is anti-thesis of democracy. "Commenting on the rising practice of various Bar Associations resolving not to represent persons accused of being "anti-national", Justice Gupta said that this practice is incorrect and amounts to "obstruction of justice" and goes against the legal ethics that bind legal practitioners. nationalheraldindia
Sunni Waqf Board to accept alternative land near Ayodhya offered by UP government
Lucknow:Uttar Pradesh Sunni Central Waqf Board today decided to accept the five acres of land allotted to it for the construction of a mosque near Ayodhya.The Board, at a meeting, decided to constitute a Trust to maintain the land.The State government allotted a five-acre land at Dhannipur village in Ayodhya’s Sohawal area, situated on the Ayodhya-Lucknow highway, about 20 km from the district headquarters. Earlier this month, the allotment letter was handed over to Waqf Board.It was decided to construct a mosque, a centre showcasing Indo-Islamic culture of several centuries, a centre for research and study of Indo-Islamic culture, a charitable hospital, a public library and other public utilities at the site, said Zufar Faruqi, chairperson of the Board.The size of the mosque and the area it would occupy is yet to be decided.thehindu
Women’s IUML moves SC against triple talaq law
Kozhikode:Indian Union Women’s League, women’s wing of IUML, has filed a petition in the Supreme Court, challenging the constitutional validity of Muslim Women (Protection of Rights on Marriage) Act, 2019, which criminalizes triple talaq. The petition filed by Noorbeena Rasheed, national general secretary of IUWL, states that the Act violates Articles 14, 15 and 21 of the Constitution. The petition, filed through advocate Zulfiker Ali PS, argued that the Act has introduced penal legislation, specific to a class of persons based on religious identity which can cause grave public mischief, which, if unchecked, may lead to polarization and disharmony in society. The petition said that by virtue of the SC order in the Shayara Bano case, the utterance of triple talaq is without legal sanction or effect.“If the motive was to protect a Muslim wife in an unhappy marriage, no reasonable person can believe that the means to ensure it is by putting an errant husband in jail for 3 years and create a non-bailable offence for merely saying ‘TalaqTalaqTalaq’. The marriage survives, regardless of such utterance. It is difficult to imagine why the mere utterance of meaningless words should attract a 3-year sentence for the husband,” the petition said. It added that the intent behind the Act is not abolition of triple talaq but punishment of Muslim husbands.TOI
W.Bengal: Alimul Sheikh, farmer allegedly lynched in Malda after son damages neighbour’s phone
West Bengal police have booked 5 people for allegedly lynching a farmer in Malda district last week because his seven-year-old son damaged a mobile phone, HT reported. All the accused are absconding. The police said the attack occurred on Saturday when the victim, identified as Alimul Sheikh, had an argument with his neighbour Malla Bakkas over a mobile phone. Sheikh’s son and Bakkas’ grandson were playing on the device when it got damaged. Bakkas reportedly became furious and accused Sheikh’s son of breaking it. This led to an altercation between 2 families,Telegraph reported.“The kids got hold of a smartphone and while they tried to handle it, the device got damaged. Bakkas and his relatives became angry and attacked Alimul,” Sheikh’s older brother, Mohammad Wahab, said. “Around midnight [on Saturday], Bakkas along with his sons and daughters barged into Sheikh’s house and assaulted him with iron rods and lathis.”Wahab said that when he later rushed to rescue his brother, he found him lying in a pool of blood at the spot where the children had been playing. Malda SP Alok Rajoria said police had begun investigating the matter. “The accused are on the run. A search has been launched,"said.SP 
Third man accused of torturing Muslim truck driver held in Rajasthan’s Barmer
Barmer:A third man accused of brutally thrashing and beating up a Muslim man last month in Rajasthan’s Barmer district was arrested on Sunday, senior officials said.Barmer’s SP, Sharad Choudhary, confirmed the arrest of the man identified as Bharat Singh.Bharat Singh, Moti Singh, Hinglaj Dan were arrested over four days after a video of them assaulting Muslim man, who drives a truck for a living, for allegedly stealing a mobile phone went viral on social media on Feb.20.The crime was committed on January 29 but came into light after the video of the attack was shared widely.Dan, who was arrested on Saturday, and Moti Singh were produced before a court, which sent them to two days of police remand.Reports said the accused have been booked several times on charges of smuggling and under the SC and ST (Prevention of Atrocities) Act in the past. HT
UP: 9,261 cattle died in shelters in 2019, mere chanting of “Gau mata ki jai” will not do, says BJP MLA
Yogi government on Monday said 9,261 cattle died in various cattle shelters in the state in 2019 but no action was taken against officials concerned as the death was due to natural causes.Replying to a question raised by BSP member Sushma Patel in the assembly as to how many cattle died in shelters, Animal Husbandry Minister Lakshmir Narayan Chowdhury said, "In 2019, 9261 'govansh' (cattle) died in the state. As all the deaths were natural, no action was taken against any official". Leader of Opposition and SP member Ram Govind Chowdhury asked, "How did the government ascertain that the deaths were natural without postmortem." In his reply, the minister accepted that no postmortem was conducted but added that "if any matter comes to his notice he would probe it".nationalheraldindia
Underworld Gangster Ravi Pujari Extradited From Senegal, Brought To India
New Delhi: Underworld gangster Ravi Pujari, who used to operate in Mumbai in 1990s, was brought back to India late last night after he was arrested and extradited  from the west African country of Senegal. He was flown to Bengaluru by a team of officials, including senior IPS officers from Karnataka.Pujari, who was wanted in many cases including extortion and murder in different parts of the country, including Karnataka, and been missing for over 15 years. He was wanted in close to 90 cases in Karnataka, in which 25 cases are under stringent MCOCA. Over 70 cases of extortion are registered against him in Gujarat. On Wednesday, the Supreme Court of Senegal had rejected his request challenging his extradition to India.At the time of his arrest in Senegal, he had a Burkino Faso passport with a false identity of Anthony Fernandes.ndtv
SC rejects BJP leader’s plea for sanction in Kanhaiya Kumar sedition case
The Supreme Court today dismissed a plea by BJP leader Nand Kishore Garg seeking direction to the Delhi government to sanction the prosecution of former JNU students’ union president and CPI leader Kanhaiya Kumar in 2016 JNU sedition case.“We won’t entertain such a plea. It has to be decided on case-to-case basis”, CJI Sharad Arvind Bobde said.Garg had moved the Supreme Court after the Delhi High Court declined his plea last December. He had alleged that the Delhi government was deliberately delaying granting sanction to the police to prosecute Kanhaiya Kumar.HT
Gujarat: 13 injured in communal clash at Khambhat, houses, shops set on fire
Vadodara :At least 13 people were injured as a clash broke out between two communities in Khambhat taluka of 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 Jan.24 which had left one person dead. However, the exact reason is still under investigation.“This area has a history of communal violence. The exact reason why the clash broke out today is still under investigation. The situation has been brought under control now. We have rounded up 46 people so far. There had been stone-pelting and arson. Around 15-20 houses and shops have been set on fire but we are still assessing the damage done. No one has suffered any major injury in the case. 6 of those admitted in the hospital have been discharged as well,” said Divya Mishra, SP, Kheda who is at present in-charge of the neighbouring district of Anand. FIR is under process, he added.While Akhbarpura was the epicenter of the violent clash, sporadic incidents of stone-pelting and arson were also reported from nearby localities. At least 25 houses and shops were set on fire by the members of both the communities, police said.indianexpress
Food data raises alert: Indians are consuming less pulses and milk: Indian express
New Delhi:Is there stagnation in demand for pulses, milk and other protein-rich foods in India?National Statistical Office (NSO) withheld its household consumption expenditure survey report for 2017-18 but alternative data sources do suggest a slowdown — at least in respect of ubiquitous dal and doodh.At a global Pulses Conclave held earlier this month in Pune, the overwhelming concern expressed by participants was: Why are we not eating enough pulses?One of the presentations at the event was a detailed analysis of the estimated consumption of individual pulses — chana (chickpea),yellow peas, masur (red lentil), arhar (pigeon-pea), moong (green gram) and urad (black gram) — based on year-wise opening stocks plus domestic production and imports, and deducting exports, diversion towards seed and feed, and closing stocks.The aggregate picture that emerged was simple: Pulses consumption in India is showing signs of flattening.
Tharoor, Singhvi join the chorus: Congress seen to be adrift, time for action now
New Delhi :Disquiet is growing within Congress over leadership’s reluctance to shed its inertia in addressing organisational challenges, mainly the election of a new party president.Lok Sabha MP Shashi Tharoor said the “perception” that the party is “adrift” is hurting it as it is driving voters towards other political alternatives, and three-time MP Abhishek Singhvi said the time for “discussion and words” is over.In Kolkata, senior leader Jairam Ramesh told PTI that a “collective submergence of individual egos and ambitions” was needed to revive party, and suggested that “all senior Congress leaders, after a certain age, should be mentoring juniors rather than tormenting them”.indianexpress
NIA conducts searches in multiple places in Tamil Nadu
NIA are conducting searches at various places across Tamil Nadu, including Chennai.Sources told The Hindu premier agency was conducting raids on the premises of some employees of major telecom service providers in Chennai for issuing SIM cards to terror suspects. SIMs were allegedly activated with the documents of genuine customers. NIA is probing the murder of Special Sub-Inspector of Police Wilson, who was shot dead in Kanniyakumari district on January 8. In connection with the shooting, two separate cases were booked — one for murder and another for supply of SIM cards to assailants.Officials from NIA are conducting searches at a residence in Mohamed Pura in Salem today.The Hindu
Adani gets Mandi House prime property in Delhi for ₹400 cr
Adani Group will acquire a prime residential property near Mandi House in New Delhi after winning a bid to acquire Aditya Estates.Adani won the bid through an insolvency process for a total deal value of ₹400 crores. Aditya Estates holds a 3.4 acre of prime residential property near Mandi House. By all accounts, it is a bargain deal as similar properties have fetched a much higher price.The principal bench of National Company Law Tribunal has approved the resolution plan of Adani Properties to acquire Aditya Estates for ₹265 crores. Another ₹135 crores would go towards meeting the statutory charges, taking the total deal value to ₹400 crores.IANS
Noted Islamic philosopher and scientist Al-Farabi draws India-Kazakhstan closer
New Delhi: Cultural and civilizational ties between India and Kazakhstan are hoping to get a fillip on 1150th anniversary of renowned thinker of East Abu Nasr al-Farabi.On Feb/17 on the occasion of 1150th anniversary of al-Farabi JNU hosted a Round Table I Delhi supported by Embassy of Kazakhstan in India. Kazakh Ambassador to India Yerlan Alimbayev in his welcoming remarks stressed that the anniversary of al-Farabi is included in the calendar of UNESCO's memorable dates and events for 2020 and its celebration in Delhi will give a powerful impetus to the study and understanding of the renowned scientist.The round table was attended by the delegation of Kazakh National University named after al-Farabi with a presentation on the life and works of outstanding philosopher and thinker.economictimes
*WORLD*
Malaysia's Mahathir resigns but is asked to stay as interim PM
Malaysian Prime Minister Mahathir Mohamad has announced his resignation but was asked to stay on as interim leader by the country's monarch.Mahathir said in a two-line statement that he had informed the country's king of his resignation at 1pm Kuala Lumpur time (05:00 GMT) on Monday.Mahathir also reportedly resigned from his own party, Parti Pribumi Bersatu Malaysia, according to Reuters news agency, citing three sources. Mahathir's party also announced that it was quitting the ruling government coalition, Pakatan Harapan (Alliance of Hope), casting doubt on the future of the partnership.Mahathir's decision follows a weekend of political wrangling, after it was reported on Sunday night that his party was planning to form a new government that would exclude his anointed successor, Anwar Ibrahim.The king accepted Mahathir's resignation after meeting with him later on Monday, Chief Secretary Mohd Zuki Ali said in a statement."However, His Highness has given his assent to appoint Mahathir Mohamad as interim prime minister, while waiting for the appointment of the new prime minister. Hence until then, (Mahathir) will manage the country's affairs until a new prime minister and cabinet are appointed," Mohd Zuki said.Anwar also said that Mahathir has no plans to join with anyone from the previous ruling coalition he defeated to try to form a new government.When asked if Mahathir was responsible for the current political turmoil, Anwar blamed "those within my party and outside using his name.""And he [Mahathir] reiterated what he had said to me earlier, he played no part in it. He made it very clear, that in no way would he work with those associated with the previous regime."aljazeera
Malaysian PM Mahathir submits resignation; Anwar denounces bid to bring down govt
6 killed in Israeli air raid on Damascus: Monitor
6 people have been killed in an Israeli air attack on Damascus, a war monitor said on Monday, as Israel confirmed raids on the Syrian capital as well as on the besieged Gaza Strip. A statement from Palestinian Islamic Jihad (PIJ) armed group on Monday said two men, who were members of the group, were killed during the "Zionist bombing in Damascus," which took place late on Sunday night.Syrian Observatory for Human Rights, a Britain-based war monitor, later confirmed that 4 additional pro-Assad, Iran-backed fighters died in the strike. At least one of Iran-backed fighters was Syrian, while the nationalities of others remained unknown, Observatory head Rami Abdurrahman told AFP."This cowardly aggression in Damascus was a reflection of the enemy's failure to confront our fighters inside occupied Palestine," PIJ said.Syrian Observatory said the attacks were "near the Damascus international airport".aljazeera
Ready to put my name on US-Taliban peace deal: Trump
US President Donald Trump has said he would put his name on the peace deal with the Taliban if a week went by without major violence in Afghanistan.US and Taliban negotiators agreed this week to finalize the pact on Feby 29 if a seven-day cooling-off period was observed. The truce took effect on Friday night."I want to see how this period of a week works out. If it works out over the next less-than-a-week, I would put my name on it," US president told reporters outside the White House.Trump said the nonviolence period had been holding up. He said that 19 years after the US sent troops to Afghanistan it was time to go home and suggested that the Taliban were tired of fighting.ANI
Islamabad Played Facilitator's Role in US-Taliban Peace Deal:Pakistan Foreign Minister
 Taking credit for the imminent peace deal between US and Afghan Taliban, Pakistan Foreign Minister Shah Mahmood Qureshi that his country played the role of a facilitator and was closely involved in the entire process. Qureshi also said that Pakistan has also fulfilled all its promises made to America by playing its role in the successful negotiations.US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo said that an agreement between US and the Taliban could come as soon as Feb. 29 in Afghanistan."The deal will be signed in the presence of Pakistan because it was impossible for the deal to come through without our efforts," the Foreign Office quoted Qureshi as saying."Pakistan has played its role in the peace process with wholeheartedness and honesty and it is now incumbent upon the Afghan government to do the same," he said.Qureshi asserted that when Pompeo came to Pakistan for his maiden visit last year, relations between the two countries were at its lowest ebb.PTI
A case of exploding mangoes and nerve gas that ‘brought down’ Zia’s plane
Lahore :In an interview with a foreign publication, ex President and Army Chief General Zia-ul-Haq’s son Muhammad Ijaz-ul-Haq says the role of ex Army Chief General Mirza Aslam Beg and ex NSA General Mahmood Ali Durrani “draws suspicion” while “based on the evidence that he has collected Indian and Israeli spy agencies were also involved” in the his father’s plane crash in August 1988.According to Haq’s interview, “the plane came down due to spraying of nerve gas in the cockpit that maimed pilots. He also confirmed the presence of explosives in the mango crates, besides claiming that a projectile had also hit the plane.”Haq says he believes that Generals Beg and Durrani were somehow involved is because “some of the doctors who were working in CMH Multan informed us [Gen. Zia’s family] probably a month or two months after the incident that they received orders from higher-up not to do the autopsy of the body parts that were found after the crash. Later on some of them told us that they were transferred from Multan to farflung places, which was obviously done to to cover it up. When the autopsies were done on Brigadier General Herbert M. Wassom, who was US military attache, then why not the Pakistanis? I asked Gen. Beg directly and indirectly but he never responded. The orders to transfer the doctors to farflung places didn’t come from their immediate bosses; only the GHQ could have done it.”Haq says that Air Commodore Zaheer Zaidi carried out an investigation and those hundred pages of his personal inquiry are with him. He also talks about an air force officer Akram Awan “who was arrested by our intelligence agency for espionage and he was kept in safe custody of agency of Pakistan without any access to the outside world. When he recorded his statement under oath to an Additional Session Judge under section 164 of Pak Criminal Procedure Code, it must have been authentic. He was being investigated for helping Israelis bomb Kahuta. He was being investigated by one brigadier, one major and one colonel. When they handed the report to GHQ, it wasn’t released at the orders of Gen. Beg who said this could lead to uncertainty. Gen. Beg kept the original report with him and never released it. These 3 officers were then transferred out of the agency.” Haq says that he has gathered all this information through different sources — some directly and some indirectly.thehindu
Kuwait, Bahrain, Iraq, Oman, Afghan confirm first cases
Kuwait, Bahrain, Afghanistan, Iraq and Oman on Monday reported their first infections from the coronavirus, which has killed more than 2,600 globally, the vast majority in China.Kuwait reported three cases, Bahrain and Iraq each confirmed one and Oman reported two cases bringing the number of countries in the Middle East with the virus, known as COVID-19, to 10.Meanwhile, Turkey, Pakistan and Armenia have closed their borders with Iran, as authorities reported 43 coronavirus infections and 12 deaths.China had 150 new confirmed deaths from the coronavirus on Sunday, National Health Commission announced, pushing the death toll nationwide to 2,592 among 77,150 confirmed cases, while South Korea's cases continued to balloon, reaching 833 with seven confirmed deaths.And in Italy, 7 deaths have been reported in the country's north and the number of confirmed cases has risen to more than 220, prompting emergency measures in Europe.The World Health Organisation chief said world should be working harder to contain the spread of the deadly new coronavirus, and should be preparing for a "potential pandemic".aljazeera
Coronavirus: Toll in China rises to 2,952, Xi Jinping calls it nation’s ‘largest health emergency’
China coronavirus outbreak: All the latest updates
Coronavirus outbreak live: Afghanistan, Bahrain report first coronavirus cases
*views, Articles, FEATURES*
Dark side of Jammu’s Roshni Scheme emerges, new demographic wars loom over Kashmir and Ladakh too:Abhijit Majumder
Noted Islamic philosopher, scientist Al-Farabi draws India-Kazakhstan closer:Dipanjan Roy Chaudhury
Muslim as Head Priest, Burial of the Dead, No Concept of Rebirth and Rejection of Hindu Trinity,  Lingayatism Explained:SM Jamdar
During Trump visit, Delhi must push for FDI, FII investments:Abusaleh Shariff
News analysis: Is Donald Trump soft on Pakistan?Stanly Johny
Oppose NRC, but Not Just for Bureaucratic Incompetence Accompanying it:Angshuman Choudhury
Compiled and edited by Anwarulhaq (Released at: 9:21 PM).   

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