News and views across the globe.

Thursday, 6 February 2020

6 FEB. NEWS: Concerned about what's taking place in India: US on anti-CAA protests /India police 'harassing' students over sedition probe: Rights groups/ Nothing inflammatory in my speech, have decided to file defamation suit: Salman Ahmed/ UP police files FIR against 135, arrests 20 including Maulana Tahir Madni on sedition charges in Azamgarh

NEWS DIGEST, EVENING   
 06 Feb.  2020: 11 Jamadi-2, 1441: Vol: 12, No: 125
*anti-CAA,NRC-NPR stir*
Concerned about what's taking place in India: US on anti-CAA protests
Washington: US has expressed concern over the current situation of religious freedom in India and raised the issue with Indian officials, a senior State Department official has said.The remarks came in the wake of widespread protests held across India against the CAA.The senior State Dept official, on condition of anonymity, said that he has met with officials in India about what is taking place in the nation and expressed concern."We are concerned about what's taking place in India. I have met with Indian foreign minister. I've met with the Indian ambassador (to express my concern)," the official, who was recently in India, told reporters on Wednesday.US has also "expressed desire first to try to help and work through some of these issues", the official said as Secretary of State Mike Pompeo launched a 27-nation International Religious Freedom Alliance."To me, initial step we try to do in most places is say what can we do to be of help you work through an issue to where there's not religious persecution. That's the first step, is just saying can we work with you on this,"official said.PTI
US expresses concern over religious freedom in India
India police 'harassing' students over sedition probe: Rights groups
Indian police are "harassing" primary school students by repeatedly questioning them after their school was charged with sedition over a play allegedly criticizing the government's contentious citizenship law, rights groups said.India has been gripped by widespread street demonstrations against the law that grants citizenship to religious groups from three neighboring countries, but excludes Muslims.Police questioned nearly a dozen young student actors after a member of the youth wing of Prime Minister Narendra Modi's Hindu-nationalist BJP filed a complaint against the school in Bidar district in southern Karnataka state.A teacher and a mother of an 11-year-old participant were arrested under British colonial-era law for helping the children with the performance, which was part of school's foundation day program."They have been asked to explain the reasons over repeated questioning of children,"head of Karnataka State Commission for Protection of Child Rights, Anthony Sebastian, said.CCTV footage released by the school showed one policeman questioning students as another officer recorded the interviews on a camera. Amnesty International India urged government to drop the sedition charges."It is shameful that the Bidar police have been harassing and intimidating the school children by repeatedly interrogating them over their involvement in the school play," executive director Avinash Kumar said.AFP
Mumbai : Student leader Salman Ahmad picked up for anti-CAA speech
Mumbai Police Crime Branch on Wednesday picked up Salman Ahmad, a member of Students’ Islamic Organisation (SIO), who was booked by Nanded police on Tuesday.Ahmad, who stays in Nallasopara, is the State president of SIO. He had given a speech against the CAA and NRC on February 1, allegedly urging all Muslims to fight the two laws. After sections of his speech were circulated on social media, police booked him for promoting enmity on grounds of race and religion.Crime Branch officers said the Nanded police sought assistance in apprehending  Ahmad, and Unit V was assigned the task. “We ascertained that he was at SIO office in Vinoba Bhave Nagar, Kurla and picked him up from there,” an officer said.Calling it a witch-hunt, the SIO released a statement condemning police action against Ahmad. “His speech has mischievously been taken out of context and edited to present a distorted version. Full clarification regarding its content is already available in the public domain. The media trial he was subjected to and the case registered against him is nothing more than an attempt to delegitimise and silence peaceful democratic protests. This is part of the ongoing targeting of student and youth activists across the country, and we must collectively stand against this silencing of dissent and democratic expression,” it said, demanding his immediate release and dropping of all charges against him.thehindu
Nothing inflammatory in my speech, have decided to file defamation suit: Salman Ahmed
Mumbai: Salman Ahmed, a student leader who was booked for the comments he allegedly made during his speech at an anti-CAA protest on Feb.1 in Nanded city, said that there was nothing inflammatory in his speech and he has decided to file defamation suit against individuals."Our fight is for saving the country, its constitution and the constitutional values of justice, liberty, equality, and fraternity. Laws like CAA are against these values as they discriminate against Muslims on basis of their religion. Hence, Muslims and other communities must resist such a law and the fascist government which brought it, using all peaceful and democratic means available to them. For if this law and the govt prevails, it will end up destroying everything: the constitution, secularism, and rule of law,"Ahmed said."There's nothing inflammatory in my speech. There has been a malicious attempt by some of the media and individuals to defame me by editing and promoting a small portion of my speech out of context. This is nothing but an effort to discredit the entire movement against CAA-NRC-NPR," he added.Ahmed went on to say that a "poor understanding of the Urdu idioms and phrases used in speech has also resulted in altering the meaning of some of the statements.""...or example, 'kabar khudegi' means 'will be death knell'; it doesn't have any violent connotation whatsoever. In any case, the phrase was used in reference to the black laws such as CAA and fascism, and wasn't directed at any individual or community," Ahmed said."I have decided to file a defamation suit against individuals and media which maliciously ran communal propaganda using contents of my speech," he added.ANI
UP police files FIR against 135, arrests 20 including Maulana Tahir Madni on sedition charges in Azamgarh
Azamgarh:Police have booked 135 people protesting against the CAA for sedition and arrested 20 of them in the city''s Bilariaganj area.In the FIR, only 35 people have been named and the rest are unidentified, police said. The FIR lists sedition among the charges.The protesters accused the police of thrashing them. Police, however, said they used tear gas shells to tackle the protesters when they became unruly."FIR has been registered against 35 named and over 100 unidentified persons involved in anti-CAA protests on Tuesday near Jauhar park in Bilariaganj area. Of them 20 have been arrested," SP, Triveni Singh, said. He said Tuesday''s protest against CAA was led by Ulema Council national general secretary Maulana Tahir Madni, who was arrested on Wednesday.The officer said a reward of Rs 25,000 each has been announced on absconding Ulema Council leaders Nurul Huda, Mirza Shane Alam and Osama. He alleged that the protesters used foul language against Prime Minister Narendra Modi.An NGO in Azamgarh has alleged that 19 people including minors were beaten up and arrested from Bilariaganj area when they were "peacefully" protesting against the amended citizenship law."The women were peacefully protesting at Mohd Ali Park. When the women got up from the spot to offer namaaz, policemen started hurling abuses at them. They even threatened them. Policemen started creating tensions. They beat up the protestors and also pelted stones at them,"Zakir from Al Falah Front, NGO,said here."Women have been beaten up severely, pulled by their hair. One Sharavari Bano was brutally beaten up in front of protestors. She is under treatment at Azamgarh hospital now," he said. NGO claimed that Maulana Madani was allegedly pressurized to stop the protests and threatened with dire consequences.PTI
Bidar cops interrogate 85 school kids 5 times over 9 days for 'anti-CAA play'
Bidar: Child rights groups in a statement have criticised the Bidar police’s repeated interrogation of school children in the last nine days, calling it “a blatant violation of the Juvenile Justice Act (2015)”.Police in Bidar, Karnataka, questioned nearly 85 kids of Shaheen School for the fifth time on February 4 regarding a case in which their school has been charged with sedition for staging a play on January 21 that was deemed to be "critical" of the revised citizenship law CAA. The allegations include “derogatory remarks” made against PM Narendra Modi.A student's mother has been arrested and remains in jail. The inconsolable daughter, who is in Class 6 and barely 10 years old, told TOI that she hasn’t slept since her mother was taken in custody. “I’m really scared. My mother is everything for me. I want police to send my ma home,” she said. Her mother Nasbunnisa is a widow. The child is now in the care of one of her teachers. Fareeda Begum, a teacher of Urdu, was also arrested along with the mother on Jan.30.A member of school management said police lined up children of classes 4 to 6 and “asked the same question” every time: was the “objectionable” part in the original script. “They even question children who were not part of the play,” said Yusuf Ahmad, the school director. “Nearly 85 children have been interrogated so far. Every day police virtually camp at school. It is torture.”Y Mariswamy, ex chairman of Karnataka child rights body (KSCPCR), said police in uniform interrogated the children, which violates norms of child rights. “Police must first refer the case to the department’s juvenile unit, but this has been blatantly violated,” he said.Meanwhile, the sessions court in Bidar has been moved seeking anticipatory bail for 5 members of school management, including institution’s founder Abdul Qadeer. The court has adjourned the case and posted the hearing for Feb 11.TOI
Pro-Sharjeel slogan: Mumbai court rejects TISS student’s plea for anticipatory bail
Mumbai :A sessions Court on Wednesday rejected the anticipatory bail plea of a 22-year-old student of TISS, booked on charges of sedition by Mumbai Police for allegedly raising a slogan in support of JNU student Sharjeel Imam at an LGBTQ rally at Azad Maidan on Saturday.Urvashi Chudawala was among 51 people against whom an FIR was filed by the Mumbai Police on Monday. While Chudawala has not been arrested yet, the court also refused to grant interim stay on its order, to allow her to file an appeal before the Bombay High Court.“They are supporting a person who is an enemy of the country,” said Chief Public Prosecutor Jaising Desai, who also cited a post shared by Chudawala on her Facebook account, which said “Release Sharjeel Imam unconditionally”, as part of evidence.“Besides averment in FIR, there is material in investigation papers, which prima facie supports the allegation that the applicant (Chudawala) shared the photograph of Sharjeel Imam on her Facebook account by giving like to it,” the judge said.Chudawala’s lawyer, Vijay Hiremath, submitted that slogans referring to Dr B R Ambedkar, Rohith Vemula and Dr Payal Tadvi were raised at the event. “In the intensity of sloganeering, certain names were added. It was not with the intention of inciting violence. To pick up one slogan made only once for two seconds cannot be said to be seditious. It was raised against Imam’s arrest, whose sedition itself is not proved yet. To say that his arrest is wrong cannot be considered sedition. She (Chudawala) has herself seen a lot of discrimination in life, being a transperson. We may disagree with what she has said, but it still does not attract sedition,” said Hiremath.“The fear is that I (Chudawala) will be made an example for the entire city as protests are happening on various issues, to say that cases of sedition will be filed against protesters,” he said, adding that Chudawala, a TISS student, has an examination coming up in March.The court held that it did not find any truth in Hiremath’s argument that uttering one slogan for 2 seconds “is not required to be considered seriously”.
EC acts against police officer for linking gunman to AAP
Election Commission (EC) has barred DCP (Crime Branch) Rajesh Deo from poll duty, a day after he gave a statement to the media saying that the Shaheen Bagh shooter had joined AAP last year. The poll panel said Deo’s statement was “totally uncalled for” and could “adversely impact elections”.Deo had said on Tuesday that Kapil Baisala, who had fired twice in the air at Shaheen Bagh on Feb.1 before being caught by the police, and his father Gaje Singh were AAP members. EC said a “warning” should be issued to Deo, communicating the “displeasure of the Commission on his conduct”. Indian express
CAA doesn't take away Muslims' citizenship:Modi
Prime Minister Narendra Modi during Budget session in Lok Sabha today assured that no Indian's citizenship would be affected due to CAA, including Muslims."I want to clarify it to my 130 crore Indians. CAA will not have any effect on any religious community -- be it Hindu, Muslim, Sikhs or Christians," he said.PM Modi accused the Congress was spreading misinformation about the CAA. He also targeted Pakistan for trying to influence India's Muslims.Attacking the Congress and other Opposition parties, the PM said they wanted to divide India in the name of religion. He said people who had been removed from office by the people of India were now doing the unthinkable. "They see citizens based on their faith. We are different. We see everyone as an Indian," PM said. Modi also criticised India's first PM Jawaharlal Nehru without naming him. "Someone had to become Prime Minister, so streak was drawn in India and India was divided," Modi said.Modi also said there were statements made by former chief ministers of Jammu and Kashmir that were "unacceptable". "These are leaders who don't trust Kashmiri people that is why they used such language, but we trusted Kashmiris and abrogated Article 370," said Modi.odi said if the Opposition was so concerned about saving the Constitution, what had prevented it from implementing the Constitution in Jammu and Kashmir.businesstoday
Parliament LIVE: Nehru wanted to protect minorities in Pakistan, was he communal, asks PM
Centre, states in talks over CAA, NPR: Govt
New Delhi: Government has told the Rajya Sabha it was in discussion with state governments having concerns with regard to implementation of CAA, besides preparation of the NPR. States like West Bengal, Kerala as well as many Congress-ruled states have voiced their reservations to CAA, alleging that it discriminates on grounds of religion. In written reply to a question, minister of state for home Nityanand Rai said central government had received resolutions adopted by legislative assemblies of certain states such as Rajasthan. He added that Kerala government had also filed an original suit in the Supreme Court under Article 131 of the Constitution.TOI
Assam told to Free Non-Muslims from Detention Camps: Union minister Nityanand Rai
Guwahati: Union minister of state for home Nityanand Rai, told Lok Sabha on Tuesday that the Assam government has been advised to release all non-Muslims from Bangladesh and Pakistan “who have been forced to seek shelter in the state before December 31, 2014, with expired or without valid documents” from the detention centres.  He further added that the detention centres will now be called holding centres.Rai was replying to a query by Congress MP from Assam Abdul Khaleque on whether the government has taken any initiative to release the declared foreigners belonging to Hindu, Sikh, Buddhist, Parsi, Christian and Jain communities who are residing in detention camps. To this, Rai replied that no specific instruction has been issued by central government regarding the release of such migrants from detention centres after enactment of the CAA.  guwahatiplus/TOI
Difficult to collect data of Bangladeshis living illegally: Centre
New Delhi:Centre has informed Rajya Sabha that it is “not possible to collect accurate data” of Bangladeshis living illegally in various parts of the country since their entry is “clandestine and surreptitious.”Minister of State for Home Nityanand Rai said in a written reply that last year 1,351 illegal immigrants were apprehended along Bangladesh border and handed over to Bangladeshi authorities. Till Jan.27, as many as 83 illegal immigrants were caught. In the years 2017 and 2018, the number of such illegal immigrants apprehended and handed over to Bangladesh stood at 1,175 and 1,118 respectively.The highest number of illegal immigrants — 992, 900, 1167 and 74 in 2017, 2018, 2019 and 2020 (till Jan.27) — were apprehended from areas along West Bengal border.thehindu
Anti-CAA Protest: Delhi HC Grants Bail to Jamia Resident Saying 'Not Much Evidence for Involvement in Violence'
Delhi High Court has granted bail to a Jamia Nagar resident in the December 15 violence case, saying there was not much proof of his involvement in the violence. The accused Danish Jafar was arrested from near his house day after anti-CAA protest turned violent near Jamia Millia Islamia and had since been in jail.“Whilst the right to protest and express cannot be interdicted; violence in any form cannot be countenanced. However, in the present case, there does not appear to be much material evidencing the involvement of the petitioner in indulging in any violent act,” said Justice Vibhu Bakhru in his bail order on Monday (Feb 3).Students of Jamia and hundreds of local residents had protested against the CAA near the university Dec.15 afternoon.IndiaTomorrow
Asaduddin Owaisi: Shaheen Bagh may be turned into Jallianwala Bagh after Feb.8
AIMIM chief Asaduddin Owaisi has expressed his suspicion over govt using force to clear Shaheen Bagh stretch where an agitation has been ongoing since over 50 days against CAA. While speaking to ANI, Owaisi was asked that there are indications from the government that after Feb.8, Shaheen Bagh will be cleared.In reply, he said, "Might be they will shoot them, they might turn Shaheen Bagh into Jallianwala Bagh. This might happen. BJP minister gave a statement to 'shoot a bullet'. The government must give an answer as (to) who is radicalising."Further speaking about NPR and NRC, Owaisi said, "Govt must give a clear cut answer that till 2024 NRC will not be implemented. Why are they spending Rs 3900 crore for NPR? I feel this way because I was a History student. Hitler during his reign conducted census twice and after that he pushed the jews in a gas chamber. I don't want our country (to) go in that way."ANI
Suicide bombers are being trained in Shaheen Bagh, says Union Minister Giriraj Singh
Union Minister Giriraj Singh has stirred controversy again claiming that suicide bombers are being trained in Shaheen Bagh.“Shaheen Bagh protest is no longer a movement. Suicide bombers are being trained here. There is a clear conspiracy against India in the country’s capital,” tweeted Union Minister Giriraj Singh. The Union Minister for Animal Husbandry and Fisheries Giriraj Singh, is known for controversial comments, for which he has mostly gone unpunished.nationalheraldindia
Late start to anti-Modi protests, Dadri should have been wake-up call: actress Swara Bhaskar
Calcutta: Protests against Modi government have started “late”, actress Swara Bhaskar said at Calcutta Book Fair on Tuesday. The protests, she said, should have started right after “Mohammad Akhlaq was lynched in Dadri” over a piece of meat.“I think the protests are happening late. I think we should have been on the streets after Mohammad Akhlaq was lynched over a piece of meat. I think that was the moment when we should have hit the streets. I think we took too long. But it is better late than never,” Swara said on the sidelines of a programme at the fair.The protagonist of films such as Nil Battey Sannata and Anaarkali of Aarah, Swara has been among the few voices of protest from the Hindi film industry.Asked later why she thought the protests should have started earlier, she told Metro: “I think if we had protested earlier, there would have been — obviously I can’t predict where we would be — but there would have been some resistance. A resistance could have been built and the kind of normalisation of hate that we see, there could have been some pushback to that.”Swara sees “great hope” in the scale of protests unfolding now. “I see this as a moment of great hope. I just want to thank all the protesters of India, the students, the women. I think they have awakened the conscience of our country.”telegraphindia
​Girl Students of Delhi University Take Out A March Against CAA
 New Delhi:Girl students under the banner of 'Delhi University Girl Students' on Wednesday evening took out a march against the controversial CAA.The march which had hundreds of protesting students from different colleges under Delhi University had the support of various student organisations like SFI, Students Islamic Organisation (SIO), Pinjra Tod and AISA. Protestors raised slogans like '"Asalaam neelsalaam, intifada,  inquilab, Jai Bhim, Islamophobia Zinda hai, nahi chalega". Nandita Narain, an Associate Professor at the Department of Mathematics of St Stephens College, addressed the gathering. India Tomorrow
Hyderabad Police rejects plea of 53-year-old man to protest against CAA/NRC
Hyderabad Police Wednesday denied permission to a 53-year-old man to stage a protest in his neighborhood against the CAA, and proposed NRC, in his individual capacity. Rashed Hashmi is a resident of Aliabad area in the old city of Hyderabad. In his application filed before the deputy police commissioner on February 3, Hashmi said he would like to read the Preamble of the Indian Constitution as a mark of his protest against CAA and NRC. He chose the time between 4 pm and 6 pm on Feb 6, for his protest at Aliabad crossroads.indianexpress
'There Is No Going Back': Women Lead Shaheen Bagh-Style Protest in UP's Deoband
Deoband (UP): When the women of Shaheen Bagh began to organise themselves in mid December, another group of women over 160 km away – in the renowned Islamic seminary of Deoband in Saharanpur district – had begun to feel restless.They were looking up to their political representatives, religious heads, the Darul Uloom and even men in their community to take the lead and respond to growing unrest against the newly passed CAA, and 2 other imminent countrywide exercises, NRC and NPR. When no one was ready to lead, the women decided to take things into their own hands.Beginning with only 4 people, in a matter of just 11 days the sit-in protest at Idgah ground has grown multifold and over a thousand women from the town have joined in. Several others keep pouring in each day to express their solidarity. Women, wrapped in thick layers of jackets and scarfs, are huddled under a blue tent. This January has been particularly a cold and harsh one, with surprise rainfall on some days during the protest.A young, burkha-clad Fozia Usmani was among the first ones to have ignited the fire of resistance among the women of Deoband. “Resistance was building across the country. People who have always remained on the periphery were leading the movement against the Centre’s decision to pass these inhuman laws. I wanted to be a part of this historical human resistance, but did not quite know how to go about it,” Fozia, a political sciences student, told The Wire. But when Fozia reached out to other women in the town, she says the eagerness was infectious. Not just the Muslim women, but several women from Bahujan castes have also joined the protest.thewire
6 women protest against citizenship law in Saadatganj, booked for rioting
Lucknow: 17 protesters, including 16 women, have been booked for a protest against the CAA in Saadatganj area of Lucknow.According to the FIR lodged by sub-inspector Jeetendar Kumar Yadav, police outpost in-charge of Samrahi in Saadatganj, the protesters violated Section 144 which prohibits assembly of four or more people.In FIR, Yadav stated that during patrolling in Bibiganj locality of Saadatganj on Sunday he saw a group of women led by Faheem staging a protest on a vacant land called Khanni-Ka-Khet.The women held the tricolour and placards with anti-CAA and anti-NRC slogans, Yadav said, adding: “I asked them to produce a written permission for the protest but they had none.”TOI
We were not in Protest, Say PFI Members Who were Called Masterminds by UP Police
New Delhi:3 members of PFI, who were called by the UP police as “mastermind of the anti-CAA violence in the state”, on Wednesday narrated their ordeal. They said that they were “falsely implicated” by the police as neither took part in the protest nor were they present at the protest site on December 19 in Lucknow. Speaking at Press Club of India here, PFI’s  State Ad-hoc Committee Convener Waseem Ahmed said he was present in the anti-CAA protest at the Parivartan chawk in Lucknow on December 19.“When my brother did not come to home that day, I went to different police stations to find him, and at Hazarat Ganj police thana, police asked  my name and  arrested me,  police had also brutally beaten me up and hurled filthy abuses including the slur of Pakistani,” Wassem said.He said he was granted bail after two weeks along with other falsely implicated activists like former IG SR Darapuri, Advocate Mohammad Shoaib, Sadaf Jafar and others.  “However, I was further detained in jail by implicating me in new cases because of this  I had to spent more than 40 days in jail”,  he added.
Firozabad protest: Allahabad HC grants bail to cancer patient in 1 case
New Delhi :Ahmed Nabi, a cancer patient held for violence during anti-CAA protests on charges of attempt to murder, dacoity, damaging public and private property, rioting and criminal intimidation, has been granted bail by the Allahabad High Court. A bail application was filed on Wednesday in the Firozabad district court over another FIR against him under the Arms Act.Firozabad Additional District Judge Keshav Goel had earlier rejected the bail applications of all the 13 persons arrested for violence during anti-CAA protests on December 20 last year on charges of attempt to murder, destruction of public and private property, among others.indianexpress
CAA Effect: Economic survey team manhandled in Uttar Pradesh’s Bijnor
Apprehensions over CAA and NRC are now so strong that a team of economic enumerators were allegedly manhandled in Uttar Pradesh's Bijnor district and faced stiff resistance from the people.A team of the economic census enumerators in Bijnor, on Wednesday, sent a letter to DM narrating the difficulties they are facing in some parts "due to misinformation".DM Ramakant Pandey, when contacted, said that he had asked the department concerned to complete the work on time. "If teams are facing any problems, we will sort it out at once. No hurdle in economic census will be tolerated," he said.IANS
If majority is not vigilant, Mughal rule may not be far way, says BJP MP Tejasvi Surya
BJP MP Tejasvi Surya  has said that the majority community has to remain vigilant or else Mughal rule will return to the country. MP from Bengaluru South said this in the context of the protests at Shaheen Bagh in the national capital as he slammed the anti-CAA demonstrations.Surya was participating in the debate on motion of thanks on the President's address in the Lok Sabha.Pointing to the ongoing protest at Shaheen Bagh against CAA, he said, “What is happening today in Delhi's Shaheen Bagh is a stark reminder that if the majority of this country is not vigilant, the patriotic Indians do not stand up to this, the days of Mughal Raj coming back to Delhi are not far away.”nationalheraldindia
Dalit outfit launches postcard campaign against CAA, NPR
 Gorakhpur:A lesser known Dalit outfit, Purvanchal Sena, has launched a postcard campaign against the CAA and the NRC.The outfit has urged people to send postcards to Prime Minister Narendra Modi and seek the withdrawal of the controversial Citizenship Amendment Act."At a time when the country''s economy is struggling after demonetisation and the implementation of the GST, the Centre is ready to push the nation into another financial turmoil by doling out thousands of crores of rupees to conduct NRC and NPR exercises," Dheerendra Pratap, national president of outfit, said."Is this fair and in the interest of country when GDP is all-time low and unemployment is at its peak," he asked.PTI
Anti-CAA protests reminiscent of Mahatma Gandhi’s civil disobedience movement: Chidambaram
Congress leader P Chidambaram pointed out that the current govt can call anyone an anti-national. “If you are secular, you are condemned as anti-national, your patriotism is questioned, you are accused of speaking the language of Pakistan. Many of these people will have their citizenship questioned in future. The debate on secularism has shifted to a debate on citizenship,” explained Chidambaram.The former home minister said that the very foundation of India is under attack and the future of the republic is at stake. Speaking at the book release of Vision for a Nation: Paths and Perspectives, edited by Ashish Nandy and Aakash Singh Rathore, Chidambaram drew parallels between ongoing nationwide protests against the citizenship law and the civil disobedience movement initiated by Mahatma Gandhi.
Shaheen Bagh: Baby dies of cold, mother says fell ill at the protest
New Delhi: A 4-month-old infant whose parents have been protesting at Shaheen Bagh died, allegedly due to exposure to the cold, on the night of January 29, with the hospital where he was taken saying a post-mortem report is awaited to ascertain the exact cause of death.At Jamia Nagar on Tuesday, the child’s mother, Nazia (24), said she would continue protesting. Sitting with her two surviving children — a one-year-old boy and a five-year-old girl — near the stage, she claimed the new citizenship law was the reason for her child’s death. “I would bring him to the protest to fight for the future. He was only a witness in the fight; he played with his siblings. Protesters gave him a Tricolour bandana, they loved him.”The woman’s husband, Mohammed Arif, used to work at an embroidery shop, but claims he quit after the violence at Jamia last month and has been driving an e-rickshaw ever since.The parents said the infant, Mohammed Jahaan’s, last photo was taken at the protest, with the same bandana people have given him. Nazia told protesters: “I am not afraid of anyone now. I have already lost a child. I don’t mind if the lives of my other two kids are sacrificed for the same cause. My family might not support my decision, but it is for a greater cause.”indianexpress
Shaheen Bagh: Court seeks action report on Brinda Karat's plea for FIR against Thakur and Verma
New Delhi: A Delhi court Wednesday directed the police to file ATR on a complaint by CPI (M) leader Brinda Karat seeking FIRs against Union minister Anurag Thakur and his BJP colleague and MP Parvesh Verma for their alleged hate speech in relation to anti-CAA protest at Shaheen Bagh.Additional Chief Metropolitan Magistrate Vishal Pahuja directed the police to file the report by February 11, the next date of hearing."Thakur and Verma had sought to incite people as a result of which three incidents of firing took place at two different protest sites in Delhi," Karat told the court in here complaint."Let ATR be called from the DCP District New Delhi/DCP concerned," the court said.PTI
*J&K AND S. ASIA*
Kashmir: Omar Abdullah, Mehbooba, Shah Faesal likely to remain in detention, govt mulls use of PSA
New Delhi:The government is likely to keep Omar Abdullah and Mehbooba Mufti, both former chief ministers of Jammu and Kashmir state -- now bifurcated -- in detention in Srinagar, sources said on February 5.Abdullah, 49, and Mufti, 60, were detained in August, when the government annnounced its hugely controversial decision to scrap Jammu and Kashmir's special status -- and with it, a provision limiting property rights in the region.The government is also likely to keep former IAS officer Shah Faesal, now a politician, under detention, the sources said.It is said to be considering whether to keeping using Section 107 of the Code of Criminal Procedure, or to use PSA.indiatoday
389 People In Detention Under Public Safety Act In Jammu And Kashmir: Centre
Srinagar: A total of 389 people are currently in detention under PSA in Jammu and Kashmir, Rajya Sabha was informed on Wednesday.Union Minister of State for Home G Kishan Reddy said detention orders has been issued against 444 people under JK Public Safety Act since August 2019 when Article 370 was abrogated.At present, 389 people are in detention under the PSA, he said in reply to a written question.Regular reviews are undertaken on a case-by-case basis and accordingly, extension in detention or revocation is made based on reports of field agencies and the ground situation.PTI
*OTHERS*
Muslim organisations slam UP govt for granting mosque land away from Ayodhya
New Delhi:Muslim organisations have slammed UP govt’s decision to give land for a mosque away from Ayodhya and urged Sunni Waqf Board against accepting the 5-acre land earmarked for building a mosque.Zafar Islam Khan, ex president of Muslim Majlis-e-Mushwrat said: “Nobody will take that land.Sunni Waqf Board is a government institution. How will they say ‘no’? If you ask (Muslim) community, no one wants that land. I do not think a mosque will ever be built there; and even if it is, nobody will ever go there to offer namaz. I think this is a desperate move ahead of Delhi Assembly polls.”Sunni Central Waqf Board chairman could not be contacted for a comment.Zafaryab Jilani, member of AIMPLB and convenor of Babri Masjid Action Committee, said UP govt’s decision to give land “almost 18 km away from the district HQRS of Ayodhya is against the judgment” of Supreme Court in Ismail Farooqui case. He said, “While the land has been given to Sunni Waqf Board, AIMPLB and Babri Masjid Action Committee had made it clear that they are not in favour of taking any land in lieu of a mosque… Neither is the land at a prominent place nor is it in Ayodhya, which the actual case relates to. Ayodhya in the case was part of Faizabad district.”Iqbal Ansari, one of the litigants in Babri Masjid-Ramjanmabhoomi title suit, maintained that the government has wrongly interpreted “Ayodhya” in the SC verdict. In the original case, he said, Ayodhya refers to Ayodhya town, spread over a 5-km radius. But the government has changed the name of Faizabad district to Ayodhya and provided land in Raunahi area of the district, he said.Jilani said, “Faizabad jile ka naam badal dene se woh Ayodhya nahi ho jayegi (by renaming Faizabad district it would not become Ayodhya).”AIMIM chief Asaduddin Owaisi, also a member of AIMPLB, told the media outside Parliament House: “It is a wrong decision on part of Sunni Waqf Board to accept the land. They should not have taken it because AIMPLB, which consists of eminent scholars from all schools was unanimous that the land should not be taken to construct a mosque…”indianexpress
Babri will remain mosque forever; no one can accept alternative: Jamiat chief Arshad Madani
New Delhi: As the Centre constituted a trust to oversee the construction of a Ram temple in Ayodhya, prominent Muslim body Jamiat Ulema-e-Hind said the Babri Masjid would remain a mosque forever and no one has the right to accept another alternative site.The announcement of a "broad scheme" for developing a Ram temple and formation of the Trust named 'Shri Ram Janambhoomi Teertha Kshetra' was made by Prime Minister Narendra Modi, shortly after a meeting of Union Cabinet presided by him gave its approval.Reacting to the development, Jamiat President Maulana Arshad Madani said the Babri Masjid was a mosque in view of law and justice, and in light of the Shariah."It would remain a mosque till the Day of Resurrection, no matter what form and name it is given, because no individual and party has the right to withdraw his claim from any mosque to any alternative," he said in a statement.PTI
"Ram Janmabhoomi Would Still Be Under Dispute Had..." PM Taunts Congress
New Delhi: In a sharp attack on the Congress, Prime Minister Narendra Modi said in parliament today that if his government had followed the same path and pace as the past 70 years, Article 370 and Triple Talaq would not have gone, and the Ayodhya temple-mosque dispute would not have ended."There has been concern over why the government is in a hurry to do things," PM Modi said mockingly, addressing the opposition benches in the Lok Sabha as he replied to a debate on the President's address."NDA govt's aim is speed and scale, determination and decisiveness, sensitivity and solutions," Prime Minister said.ndtv
Govt Names members of Ayodhya Ram temple trust
New Delhi: Govt has named members of the ‘Shri Ram Janambhoomi Teertha Kshetra’ trust constituted for the construction of Ram temple in Ayodhya as mandated by the Supreme Court, officials said.The members include senior lawyer K. Parasaran, Jagatguru Shankracharya, Jyothishpeethadheeshwar Swami Vasudevanand Saraswati Ji Maharaj from Allahabad, Jagatguru Madhavacharya Swami Vishwa Prasannatheerth Ji Maharaj, Pejawar Math in Udupi, Yugpurush Paramanand Ji Maharaj from Haridwar, Swami Govinddev Giri Ji Maharaj from Pune and Vimlendra Mohan Pratap Mishra from Ayodhya.Besides, the following will also be the trustees, Anil Mishra, a homoeopathic doctor from Ayodhya and Kameshwar Chaupal from Patna who is a Scheduled Caste member, and Mahant Dinendra Das, Nirmohi Akhara, Ayodhya Baithak.PTI
K Parasaran, Hindu parties' counsel in Ayodhya case, made member of Ram Temple trust; 92-yr-old is a Vedic scholar, Padma Vibhushan awardee
VHP: Temple should be built on basis of map circulating for last 30 yrs
New Delhi:Hailing Union govt’s move to set up Ram Janmabhoomi Teerth Kshetra Trust, VHP has said construction of the Ram temple should be started at the earliest, and built on the basis of the “same map which is circulating among Hindus” for the last 30 years.“It’s a day of joy for all Hindus of the world; a strong and concrete step has been taken for the construction of Ram Janmabhoomi temple,” VHP president Alok Kumar said.“We expect the trust to start functioning as soon as possible. Every Hindu hopes that construction of a temple will start,” he said.On the map circulating among Hindus, he said, “It is the same map based on which Rs 8.25 crore was collected through donations in 1989. Therefore, we urge the trust that the temple be constructed according to this map.”indianexpress
Sabarimala: Centre says SC ‘custodian of fundamental rights’, can constitute larger bench to settle question of gender discrimination at religious places
New Delhi: A 9-judge Constitution bench of the Supreme Court Thursday began deliberations on the legal issue of whether the top court can refer questions of law to a larger bench while exercising its review jurisdiction.This question arose during the hearing in the Sabarimala case which relates to gender discrimination against women at religious places.  A bench headed by CJI SA Bobde is hearing the issues relating to discriminations against women at various places of worship including the Sabarimala temple.Solicitor General Tushar Mehta argued that the SC was right in referring the questions of law to the larger bench and added, "as custodian of fundamental rights, it was the duty of the court to lay down an authoritative pronouncement on these questions of law". "Your Lordships are duty bound as custodians for posterity. Issues regarding review, reference, curative, these cannot be gone into. If there is a question of law, the court has the liberty to constitute a larger bench to settle the issues," Mehta said.PTI
‘No plan to link Aadhaar with social media accounts’: Govt
New Delhi:Union government said on Wednesday there is no plan to make social media users verify their accounts through Aadhaar authentication yet – an idea that has come up several times in court cases as a measure to combat fake news and curb child pornography on the internet.The disclosure was made by electronics and information technology minister Ravi Shankar Prasad in a written answer to a question from a Lok Sabha member. “There is no proposal with Ministry of Electronics and Information Technology (MeitY) to link social media profiles of users with their Aadhaar number(s),” Prasad’s reply said, while also adding that the government was taking several steps to curb child pornography which, he described, as a “serious menace”.“Revenge porn is also rising in the country,” the statement added.HT
Aadhaar cannot be considered conclusive proof of age: Punjab and Haryana High Court
Chandigarh : Punjab and Haryana High Court has said that the Aadhaar cannot be considered “conclusive proof of age” and held that more credence is attached to the birth or matriculate certificates in this regard.“These are generally considered as conclusive proof of one’s age,” the division bench of Justices Daya Chaudhary and Meenakshi I Mehta said in an order, while hearing a divorce petition from Ludhiana.The couple had approached the family court in Ludhiana last year seeking divorce through mutual consent under Section 13-B of the Hindu Marriage Act. However, the trial court dismissed their petition saying the date of birth of the wife was mentioned as ‘15.08.1987’ in her Aadhaar and as the marriage of the couple took place ‘26.11.2004’, the wife was yet to attain the age of 18 years. It was not a valid marriage and thus they cannot invoke the provisions of the Act, added the court.indianexpress
Nithyananda case: Karnataka HC rejects godman's bail plea in 2010 rape case, directs trial court to order his arrest
 Karnataka High Court has cancelled the bail granted to the self-styled godman Nithyananda in 2010 in a rape case. Justice John Michael Cunha cancelled the bail allowing a petition filed by Kuruppan Lenin, on whose complaint police had registered the case against Nithyananda for various criminal offences, including rape.The Judge also directed the trial court to order the arrest of the accused and initiate the process of forfeiting the surety and bonds.PTI
Amid economic slowdown, RBI keeps benchmark interest rate unchanged at 5.15%
RBI for the second straight time, on Thursday kept its key policy rate unchanged at 5.15 per cent, maintaining its accommodative policy stance as long as it was necessary to revive growth.The central bank retained GDP growth at 5 per cent for 2019-20 and pegged it at 6 per cent for the next fiscal.PTI
India rice exports hit 8-year low as price rise dents demand
Mumbai :India’s rice exports in 2019 fell 18.1 % from a year ago to their lowest in eight years, government data shows, as demand moderated from key Asian and African buyers due to higher prices.The south Asian country’s exports stood at 9.87 million tonnes in 2019, the lowest since 2011, and down from 12.05 million tonnes in 2018, according to data compiled by the ministry of commerce and industry.India is the world’s biggest exporter of rice.Reuters
UP DefExpo gaffe — Turkish helicopter for Pakistan on posters showcasing Make in India
Lucknow: In an embarrassment for the Yogi Adityanath government, its posters welcoming delegates to the five-day DefExpo 2020 in Lucknow feature as a ‘Make in India’ showcase a helicopter that Turkey has made for its close ally Pakistan.The Uttar Pradesh capital is hosting India’s biennial defence exhibition starting Wednesday.The pictures are of the T-129 two-seater attack helicopter — manufactured by Turkish Aerospace Industries (TAI) in collaboration with Italian-British AgustaWestland. To make matters worse for UP government, helicopter in the picture even has a Turkish flag on it.Asked about the gaffe, an official said on condition of anonymity, “The poster has not been put by Ministry of Defence but by UP government.”The Uttar Pradesh government’s embarrassment at the DefExpo didn’t end at the chopper blunder.Its much-publicised tent city, set up to cater to the large number of visitors to Lucknow, also proved to be a flop Tuesday. Several visitors, including foreign diplomats, are facing issues at the temporary city, where prices for tents were initially kept at over Rs 20,000 per night.theprint
6 months into India’s crackdown in Kashmir, 3 high-profile political prisoners remain held
New Delhi:They are 3 most prominent politicians in Kashmir, members of dynasties that have led the troubled region for decades. But for the past 6 months, they have been prisoners, detained under murky circumstances. Very little has been seen of or heard from them since August, when India stripped Kashmir of its autonomy and statehood, shut down communication in region and detained dozens of mainstream politicians. Mehbooba Mufti, 60, leader of the People’s Democratic Party, is being held at a bungalow used to house police officials.Farooq Abdullah, 82, is under a stringent form of house arrest in which his home has been officially designated a jail. His son,Omar Abdullah, 49, is detained at a former palace that was once a police facility notorious for torture. All three are former chief ministers of the state of Jammu and Kashmir.washingtonpost
*China virus*
China virus death toll jumps past 550, more cases on cruise ship
The death toll from a new coronavirus in mainland China jumped by 73 to 563 today, its third-consecutive record daily rise, as experts stepped up efforts to find a vaccine for a disease that has shut down Chinese cities and forced thousands of others into quarantine around the world. Hubei province, epicentre of epidemic, reported 70 new deaths on Wednesday and 2,987 new confirmed cases. Other fatalities were in Tianjin city, northeastern province of Heilongjiang and Guizhou province in the southwest.aljazeera
Data leaked: Tencent lists 25,000 deaths in China, 1.54 lakh infections from coronavirus
Chinese multinational conglomerate holding company Tencent has allegedly published "real" data on the novel coronavirus deaths, with briefly listing death toll as 24,589 -- way too higher than over 500 deaths China has officially announced to date.According to Taiwan News, "Tencent... seems to have inadvertently released what is potentially the actual number of infections and deaths, which were astronomically higher than official figures". Tencent, on its webpage titled "Epidemic Situation Tracker," showed confirmed cases of novel coronavirus (2019-nCoV)in China as standing at 154,023 - over 10 times the official figure given to the world on February 1.It listed the number of suspected cases as 79,808, four times the official figure."The number of cured cases was only 269, well below the official number that day of 300.Most ominously, the death toll listed was 24,589, vastly higher than the 300 officially listed that day".Once people noticed this, Tencent immediately updated the numbers to reflect the govt's "official" numbers."Netizens noticed that Tencent has on at least three occasions posted extremely high numbers, only to quickly lower them to government-approved statistics," said the report.Some people speculated a coding problem may be behind the real "internal" data but others believe that someone is actually trying to reveal the real numbers.Tencent was yet to officially comment on these reports.IANS
WHO busts myths and fake messages on coronavirus
Mumbai:Busting myths and fake messages circulating on social media, Public Health department of Maharashtra on Wednesday said consuming more garlic, curry leaves or cow’s urine would neither treat nor prevent one from novel coronavirus (nCoV) infection.The officials urged people to instead follow good hand hygiene, have coughing and sneezing etiquette and eat nutritious and well-cooked food.“Messages claiming that garlic, curry leaves and cow’s urine can prevent or treat nCoV are being circulated in name of doctors, medical institutions and the Health department. They are all false,” said Health Minister Rajesh Tope. “At present, there is no specific treatment for nCoV and patients are given only symptomatic treatment. While there is no reason to panic, people should not fall prey to such misleading messages,” he said.Messages talking about superfoods and home remedies for prevention and treatment have no scientific basis, he said.On garlic, WHO said it is a healthy food that may have some antimicrobial properties but there is no evidence that it has prevented people from contracting the 2019 nCoV. On sesame oil, it said: “Sesame oil is delicious but it does not kill nCoV.” Some forwards have warned people against eating Chinese or preserved foods etc.thehindu
Coronavirus outbreak: 104 kept at ITBP’s Delhi facility under quarantine test negative, reports for 300 people awaited
New Delhi: A total of 104 people kept at an ITBP facility have tested negative for the novel coronavirus, while results for over 300 inmates are awaited, a force spokesperson said on Wednesday.Coronavirus outbreak:104 kept at ITBP’s Delhi facility under quarantine test negative, reports for 300 people awaited. As many as 406 people have been quarantined at Indo-Tibetan Border Police (ITBP) facility in Delhi's Chhawla area since last week after they were brought in two batches from Wuhan in China onboard separate Air India flights.PTI
*WORLD*
Over dozen injured in suspected attack in Jerusalem
At least 14 people, most of them Israeli soldiers, were reported injured after a vehicle ran into them in Jerusalem early today morning in what emergency services said was a suspected car-ramming attack on a popular nightclub.Israel's Magen David Adom emergency services said a 20-year-old was in a serious condition after the incident on David Remez Street at approximately 1:45am and was being taken to Shaare Zedek Medical Centre.Another 20-year-old was taken to Hadassah hospital for moderate injuries to his limbs, Magen David Adom said. The remaining 12 people were taken to hospital with slight injuries, it added.A military spokesperson said the soldiers were touring the city, where they had come to be sworn in after basic training.Another military spokesperson told AFP that the army was aware of a possible attack perpetrated by someone driving a vehicle in the area and would have more information later on Thursday.
Israel attacks Gaza again amid continued tensions over Trump plan
Israeli aircraft struck Hamas' positions in Gaza early on Thursday after Palestinians in the enclave launched projectiles and explosive balloons across the border, the Israeli military said in a statement.Palestinian security sources and witnesses in Gaza reported hits on unspecified targets north of al-Shati refugee camp near Gaza City and a Hamas facility in the southern Gaza Strip. They said nobody was injured.On Wednesday night Israeli army reported: "2 mortar shells were fired from Gaza Strip into Israeli territory" at open areas. There were no reported casualties.aljazeera
Second Palestinian killed by Israeli fire in West Bank: Media
A second Palestinian has been killed by Israeli fire during a demonstration in the occupied West Bank against the demolition of a Palestinian home, Palestinian official media said on Thursday.Yazan Abu Tabikh, 19, was killed and seven others wounded when clashes broke out after Israeli forces raided the northern town of Jenin, official WAFA reported.An AFP reporter saw the body and mourning relatives in a hospital in the town. The raid was to demolish the home of Ahmad Qanba, a Palestinian charged with aiding a Hamas cell in the West Bank, Israeli army said.It said Qanba had been part of a cell that carried out a January 2018 attack in which a rabbi was killed.Heavy clashes broke out with young Palestinians throwing rocks at the Israeli troops, witnesses said.aljazeera
Saudi using terrorism tribunal to silence critics: Amnesty
Saudi Arabia has used a terrorism tribunal as a political tool to silence critics and rights defenders, despite reforms introduced by kingdom in recent years, a new report has found.The human rights watchdog Amnesty International concluded in its report published today that Specialized Criminal Court (SCC) in Riyadh was being routinely used to silence dissent and criticism in the kingdom. In its report, Amnesty said SCC, established in 2008 for terror-related crimes, was used as "an instrument of repression" as several journalists, activists, writers and religious leaders are facing trials under the anti-terror and anti-cybercrime laws. Some 95 individuals, vast majority of them men, were tried before SCC between 2011 and 2019, according to London-based group.Amnesty urged Riyadh to "release all prisoners of conscience immediately and unconditionally" and to end violations at SCC trials.aljazeera
*views, Articles, FEATURES*
CAA negates everything that the Assam accord had sought to protect:Aradhana Kataki
There will be no safe anchor until ‘We, People’ are able to decisively overturn current parliamentary majority:Sugata Bose
Old video of Chinese pres Xi Jinping visiting mosque shared as recent amid coronavirus outbreak
Shaheen Bagh will not be seen as a national threat next week. Here’s why:Shailaja Bajpai
FAKE ALERT: Old video of Muslim women dancing shared claiming it's from Shaheen Bagh
Eyewitness Account: When a Langar Came From Shaheen Bagh to Gurudwara Bala Sahib:Prabhjit Singh
CAA sparks off movement on India’s eastern and western frontiers:Ranjit Bhushan
Anti-CAA protests: Poet shares horrific experience; ‘deshbhakt’ Uber driver threatens him
Finance Ministry secretly corrects 14 data discrepancies in Budget 2020 after India Today seeks answers
 Compiled and edited by Anwarulhaq (Released at: 11:05 AM). 
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