News and views across the globe.

Sunday, 9 February 2020

9 FEB. NEWS : After Delhi polls, AAP Cites Videos, Says Voting Machines Tampered;Kejriwal lashes out at EC over delay in voter turnout figures/ 62.59% voting: Election Commission defends delay/ Shaheen Bagh protesters remove barricades to let a Hindu funeral procession pass/ Reservation in job promotions not fundamental right: Supreme Court


NEWS DIGEST, EVENING   
 09 Feb.  2020: 14 Jamadi-2, 1441: Vol: 12, No: 127

*DELHI POLLS*
After Delhi polls, AAP Cites Videos, Says Voting Machines Tampered
New Delhi: Delhi's ruling AAP has cited videos to back their claim that efforts are being made to tamper with the Electronic Voting Machines from the assembly elections. Senior party leader and Rajya Sabha MP Sanjay Singh, who made the claim yesterday, tweeted a couple of videos, saying they were of voting machines being taken away illegally."Does the reserve (forces) not go with EVM? This official was caught with an EVM by people at Saraswati Vidya Niketan School in Babarpur assembly constituency," read the tweet with one of the videos.The other, which showed voting machines being carried across a street, read,"EC should also probe where these EVMs are being taken. There are no centres nearby".But Election Commission officials in the poll body said all the EVMs used for polls have been sealed in front of the party agents and have been brought to the strong rooms directly from the polling stations.Exit polls have predicted that AAP will win clear majority and retain power.But since the election ended yesterday, AAP has been on its toes regarding EVMs. Late in the evening, the party claimed that it received information that officials were trying to take away EVMs in an "unauthorised manner"."Information has been received that officials are trying to take away EVMs at several places in an unauthorised manner. EVMs should have been sealed and have gone straight to strongrooms. How are these machines with the officials?" AAP MP Sanjay Singh was quoted as saying by ANI.Late in the evening, Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal held a meeting with senior party leaders, Deputy CM Manish Sisodia and election strategist Prashant Kishor - who crafted his campaign -- to discuss the safekeeping of the voting machines.The counting of votes will be held on Tuesday.ndtv
 ‘Absolutely shocking’: Kejriwal lashes out at EC over delay in voter turnout figures
Irked by the Election Commission’s delay in releasing the final voter turnout of the Delhi Assembly polls, Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal Sunday said it was ‘shocking’ that the body could not come up with the figures even ‘several hours’ after voting concluded.Lashing out at EC on Twitter, AAP chief said, “Absolutely shocking. What is EC doing? Why are they not releasing poll turnout figures, several hours after polling?”Voting for Delhi Assembly polls concluded on Saturday evening. While EC is yet to officially disclose the final voting percentage, according to last known figures, a little more than 60 per cent votes were polled. AAP’s national spokesperson Sanjay Singh too raised the same concern in a press conference, demanding answers from the poll body for the delay. Claiming that the EC had released the final numbers within an hour from the conclusion of voting in the Lok Sabha elections, he said the body needs to answer why are they taking so long to count the total number of votes polled in a small place like Delhi.“Within one hour in Lok Sabha elections, Election Commission tells the voting percentage. Why so much delay in a small state like Delhi?” he said. “EC should clarify what game has been going on since yesterday.Elections were over yesterday, but no Election Commission official has yet made any authorised statement on voting percentage” he added.
62.59% voting: Election Commission defends delay in turnout figure, rebuts AAP video
The turnout in the Delhi assembly poll was 62.59%, Election Commission said today - more than 24 hours after voting and amid much concern about the delay and tampering of EVM from AAP. Denying there was any delay, Commission also brushed away AAP's claim of irregularities.Final figure- up from yesterday's provisional figure of 57%-- came out in "good time", Commission said."It is a process, as and when it is finalised, it is shared with you," said Chief Election Officer Ranbir Singh. The data, he said, had to be collated through night and Returning Officers were busy.ndtv
Delhi Assembly Election: Congress leader Kirti Azad claims foul play with EVMs
Congress leader Kirti Azad on Sunday claimed foul play in connection with EVMs, alleging that Home Minister Amit Shah is behind "this dirty game.""Photos and videos of foul play with the EVMs have surfaced. I think that Home Minister Amit Shah is the mastermind of this dirty game," Azad told ANI.He also said that for the past couple of years, the exit polls did not turn out to be correct."In the exit polls held earlier in Haryana, it was told the Congress would get three seats, but we got 31 seats. Similarly, in Rajasthan, MP, and Chhattisgarh, we were told the BJP will form the government but the Congress came to power. So, I have seen the exit polls failing. I have full confidence the Congress will get a good number of seats in Delhi," he added.The Congress leader also said that Manoj Tiwari has the ability to do well in politics but he has to "mature."ANI
Will be victory of development, if Kejriwal wins: Congress leader Adhir Ranjan Chowdhury
New Delhi: In the wake of the predicted landslide victory of AAP in the exit polls for Delhi Assembly elections, Congress leader Adhir Ranjan Chowdhury today argued that BJP only put forth communal agenda during the electioneering phase in Delhi while AAP solely worked on developmental agenda. He went on to assert that if Arvind Kejriwal manages to form government in Delhi, then it will be a "victory of development" in national capital. Reacting to exit polls that suggest yet another resounding win for AAP, Congress leader said, "We fought this election with all our strength. In this election, BJP put forth all the communal agendas and Arvind Kejriwal ji put forth developmental agendas. If Kejriwal wins, then it will be a victory of the developmental agendas."Meanwhile,Congress candidate KTS Tulsi created a political storm when he claimed that Congress sacrificed itself to ensure AAP's victory in recently-held elections. He explained that Congress did not campaign for elections heavily because it did not want to cut votes of AAP candidates. The grand old party wanted to ensure that BJP remains out of power in the national capital at all costs, he added.timesnownews
Exit Polls Will Fail, Results Will Be In BJP's Favour:Delhi BJP Chief Manoj Tiwari
New Delhi: BJP MP Manoj Tiwari on Sunday said that as per the survey conducted by his team, the results of the Assembly elections in Delhi will be in his party's favour."Our teams have conducted surveys and results will come in favour of the BJP. We will get more than 48 seats as per the survey done by us by talking to people and going to booths," Delhi BJP president Tiwari told ANI.When asked about the exit polls that show AAP gaining a majority, he said, "These exit polls are going to fail."On the protests in Shaheen Bagh, BJP MP said, "People who are protesting there are misguided and the protest is politically motivated.They (protestors) say CAA will take citizenship away which is not the case. They say take NRC back but NRC has not come yet, so it is politically motivated.""Some (protestors) are already leaving and rest will go away after Feb11," he added.ANI
My sixth sense is saying BJP will form govt in Delhi: Manoj Tiwari
'Not exact': BJP leaders dismiss exit polls predicting resounding AAP victory in polls; AAP optimistic, Congress cautious
BJP leaders unanimously dismissed Saturday's exit polls that predicted a resounding victory for AAP in the Delhi elections as the Kejriwal-led outfit remained optimistic and the Congress chose sounded a note of caution. Delhi BJP chief Manoj Tiwari predicted that all the polls would be proven wrong on 11 Feb.BJP leader Meenakshi Lekhi, speaking to NDTV after a meeting called by Union Home Minister Amit Shah, said that the exit polls were "not exact". "Exit polls don't have their math right. Also, the data is collected only till 4 or 5 pm... exit polls have got it wrong before as well" Lekhi said, admitting that exit poll results were discussed at the meeting. "Our voters came late in the day and voted till evening," she added as per NDTV report.Shyam Jaju, BJP in-charge for Delhi polls, echoed Lekhi's sentiment. “Exit polls have proved to be wrong in the past. This time, too, result will surprise everyone,” he told HT. Union minister Prakash Javadekar said his party will wait for the “exact polls” and stressed that BJP will come to power. Senior AAP leader and Deputy Chief Minister Manish Sisodia on Saturday said the party is winning the Delhi elections by a huge margin. Congress' spokesperson Randeep Singh Surjewala said that exit polls are only indicators, and there are several instances where these have “horribly gone wrong”. Delhi Congress chief Subhash Chopra told ANI: “All exit polls are going to fail. BJP will not get even 20 seats and Kejriwal is not going to form a govt in Delhi.firstpost
India Today exit poll: Majority of Purvanchali, Haryanvi vote went to AAP
India Today-Axis My India exit poll has found that among the Purvanchali community that the BJP was banking on, 55 per cent have voted for AAP.According to the exit poll, Arvind Kejriwal looks set for a third term in Delhi with a clear majority. In the 70-member Delhi assembly, AAP is expected to win between 59 and 68 seats. In the 2015 Delhi elections, AAP had won 67 seats.BJP led by Manoj Tiwari, who is a Purvanchali icon, is predicted to secure only around 2-11 seats and stand a distant second in the contest with AAP.indiatoday
AAP 1st choice for women and first-time voters, shows India Today exit poll
AAP has emerged as the favourite among women and first-time voters in the 2020 Delhi assembly election, shows India Today-Axis My India exit poll.Most people who voted for the AAP and were polled in the survey said they were voting for the party on account of its good work on ground in the past five years. The survey found that there is a "strong pro-incumbency", particularly on account of schemes like free water and electricity. Among women, Kejriwal govt's decision of giving free bus and metro tickets was quite popular, survey found.
Muslim voters prefer AAP over Congress, shows India Today exit poll
Congress that has for decades enjoyed the support of Muslims voters has much to worry as its influence over the community is fast eroding in Delhi, the India Today-Axis My India exit poll has found.The exit poll for 2020 Delhi election found that as many as 69 per cent Muslim voters in Delhi voted for Kejriwal-led AAP, while just 15 per cent reposed trust in Congress. Nine per cent among the Muslim voters voted for the BJP.When asked about the reason for voting in favour of AAP, Muslim voters said it was on account of its winability against the BJP. In other words, Muslim voters of Delhi voted for AAP because they felt it was better poised to defeat BJP in comparison to the Congress.indiatoday
Most Muslim-dominated Constituencies in Delhi Record High Voter Turnouts, Highest in Seelampur
Amid a lukewarm response from voters on polling day, most of the assembly constituencies with a significant Muslim population in Delhi recorded a voter turnout higher than the overall turnout in capital with Seelampur  witnessing the highest voter footfall across all 70 constituencies.According to ECI voter turnout app, the total turnout in Delhi was recorded at 61.7 per cent till midnight, a decline of nearly six percentage points over 2015 polls when a 67.12 per cent of the voters came out to vote.news18
Authorities arrest 2 for gunrunning in Delhi-NCR
New Delhi:2 men were arrested for allegedly supplying illegal weapons to criminals based in Delhi and NCR, police said on Sunday.The accused have been identified as Santoshi, 50, and Pritam Singh, 20, both residents of Madhya Pradesh’s Morena district. They were arrested on Friday, police said.11 semi-automatic pistols and 10 single-shot pistols with 50 live cartridges were recovered from the accused, the police said, adding that these were brought to the national capital to be supplied to criminals in Delhi-NCR.PTI
*anti-CAA,NRC-NPR stir*
Shaheen Bagh protesters remove barricades to let a Hindu funeral procession pass
New Delhi :Amid accusations by several politicians that protests at Shaheen Bagh against the Citizenship Amendment Act were causing traffic snarls and inconvenience to nearby residents, a video went viral on Sunday showing protesters removing barricades to let a funeral procession pass.“We respect each other and by allowing the procession to pass through, we have not done anything unusual. We have allowed buses and ambulances also,” a protester told ANI. The stretch at Delhi’s Shaheen Bagh has been closed for over 50 days, since December 15, after hundreds of women begun a sit-in to protest against CAA and NRC. The diversion has thrown traffic out of gear in South East Delhi and on Delhi-Noida expressway. Owing to continuous protests, the diversion, which was meant to be a temporary measure, has been extended.Meanwhile, the Supreme Court will hear on Monday petitions against the closure of a key road in the capital due to anti-CAA protests in Shaheen Bagh. “We understand there is a problem. Will take it up Monday,” Justice SK Kaul said. Earlier, Delhi High Court had disposed of the plea by asking police to look into it.indianexpress
Rajasthan Speaker CP Joshi counters CM Ashok Gehlot on CAA, says Citizenship 'is subject of Centre and not state'
Udaipur: Contradicting Rajasthan chief minister Ashok Gehlot, Assembly Speaker, CP Joshi has said that Government of India has passed CAA and the state government is bound to implement it as per the Constitution."Under the Constitution, citizenship is a subject of the Centre and not of the state," said Joshi at the annual award distribution ceremony of Mira Girls College in Udaipur.However, chief minister Ashok Gehlot has repeatedly declared that CAA and NRC will not be implemented in the state.PTI
CAA Is "Divisive, Discriminatory", Revoke "Immediately": Goa Archbishop
Panaji: Archbishop of Goa and Daman, Rev Filipe Neri Ferrao, has urged central government to "immediately and unconditionally revoke the CAA" and stop quashing "right to dissent".He also appealed to the government not to implement the proposed countrywide NRC and NPR. Diocesan Centre for Social Communications Media, a wing of the Goa Church, in a statement on Saturday said, " Archbishop and Catholic community of Goa would like to appeal to the government to listen to the voice of millions in India, to stop quashing the right to dissent and, above all, to immediately and unconditionally revoke CAA and desist from implementing NRC and NPR."CAA, NRC and NPR are "divisive and discriminatory" and will certainly have a "negative and damaging effect" on a multi-cultural democracy like ours, the church said.PTI
CAA for friends of India, Sri Lanka is family: Lanka minister
New Delhi:After Sri Lankan PM Mahinda Rajapaksa backed India's decision bringing the CAA by calling it an "internal" matter of India, the same was resonated by his minister Arumugan Thondaman.Sri Lanka's Minister of Community Empowerment and Estate Infrastructure Development, Thondaman, who represents the Tamil community in the Rajapaksa cabinet, in a conversation with India Today said that the citizenship legislation is for minorities from "friendly" and "neighbourhood" nations but Sri Lankan Tamil refugees needn't have been included in it since "they are family".Calling it an "internal" matter, Thondaman said, "It is your internal matter. I am convinced that the relationship we have with India is different from others. It is like the stepmother or your own kid. We are your own kid. They are friendly but we are family."India Today indiatoday
Hyderabad: Flash Protest at Night Against CAA-NRC-NPR After Police ‘No’ for Sit-in
As the city police refused permission to women for holding a sit–in at Dharna Chowk for Sunday, people poured into the streets Saturday night and held spontaneous protests against the CAA and NRC at Mallepally area here. The protest was attended by women in considerable numbers and they also protested against the refusal of permission for sit-in. The permission had been sought by Joint Action Committee, an amalgam of civil society groups that holds public protests against CAA and NRC.Well-known activist Khaleda Parveen led the protesters who carried banners and placards with slogans against the new citizenship law—termed both divisive and discriminatory.caravandaily
No talk in party or Cabinet on NRC…Modiji is a global leader.Why would he want such conflict: Shahnawaz
BJP spokesperson Shahnawaz Hussain has asserted that the protest in Shaheen Bagh is backed by the Opposition and he has said that the Centre has given citizenship to more than 500 Muslims from Pakistan since 2014. Hussain said, "I have spoken about the NRC in my party, there is no such thing… I am on several forums, where all kinds of issues are discussed. And as a BJP spokesperson, I am among the first to be briefed on issues. I am fully briefed that there has been no discussion at the level of the party or Cabinet on the NRC… Modiji is a global leader. Why would he want such conflict within the country?… I keep reassuring the Muslim community that I am not a showpiece in the government. I put forward their concerns, and the response that I have got from the government, I am trying to convey that."indianexpress
‘BJP has not put up a ‘no exit’ board’: Naqvi on Muslim leaders quitting party over CAA
Bhopal:In the wake of some Muslim leaders from Madhya Pradesh quitting BJP in protest against the CAA, Union Minority Affairs Minister Mukhtar Abbas Naqvi on Sunday said his party has not put up a board of “no exit” or “no entry”.He said those who have misunderstandings about CAA should think with an open mind and get their misconceptions cleared as the new law is not a threat to any Indian citizen.Naqvi assured Indian Muslims that their citizenship was “100 per cent protected”.Asked about Muslim leaders from the Congress-ruled Madhya Pradesh quitting BJP in protest against CAA, Naqvi said, “BJP is a big political party. BJP has neither put up a board of ‘no exit’ nor of ‘no entry’. People come to BJP and those who don’t want to stay in the party go away.” To another question, the Union minister denied that BJP failed to convince its Muslim leaders that the CAA was in the country’s interest.PTI
Half of Bangladesh will be empty if Indian citizenship offered: MoS Home Reddy
New Delhi :Union Minister of State for Home Affairs G Kishan Reddy said Sunday that half of Bangladesh’s citizens would leave that country and cross over if Indian citizenship was promised to them.“Half of Bangladesh will be empty (vacant) if India offers citizenship to them (Bangladeshis). Half of Bangladeshis will come over to India if citizenship is promised (to them). Who will take responsibility? KCR? or Rahul Gandhi?” PTI quoted Reddy as saying.Speaking at Santh Ravidas Jayanthi celebrations in Hyderabad, Reddy challenged Telangana Chief Minister K Chandrasekhar Rao to prove in what way CAA was against the people living in India.“They seek citizenship for infiltrators. The Government of India is ready to review the CAA if it has one word against anyone of 130 crore citizens, but not for Pakistani or Bangladeshi Muslims,” Reddy further said.indianexpress
CAA: Uttar Pradesh BJP MLA Offers To Settle 25 Pakistani Hindu Refugee Families In Muzaffarnagar
BJP MLA Vikram Saini has offered to re-settle 25 Pakistani Hindu refugee families in Kawal village in Muzaffarnagar district to counter the anti-CAA propaganda.Kawal village was the focal point of the 2013 Muzaffarnagar riots.The BJP MLA has said he would facilitate the settlement of 25 Pakistani Hindu refugees in Kawal village in Muzaffarnagar and has already given financial aid to five of them.ians
Thousands gather in support of MNS 'mahamorcha' demanding ouster of illegal Bangladeshi, Pak immigrants
Mumbai:Thousands of Maharashtra Navnirman Sena (MNS) workers have gathered on the streets of Mumbai participate in the 'mahamorcha' at Azad Maidan, demanding the ouster of illegal Bangladeshi and Pakistani immigrants.Raj Thackeray-led MNS has organised the march demanding eviction of illegal immigrants from Pakistan and Bangladesh who have been living in India.A large contingent of police personnel has been deployed along the route of MNS' morcha in Mumbai.indiatoday
7 Bangladeshi Nationals Arrested in UP's Jhansi, Cops Say They Didn’t Have Valid Documents
Jhansi (UP): 7Bangladeshi nationals were arrested here as they did not have any valid documents for staying in the country, police said on Sunday.Jhansi SSP D Pradeep said, "As many as seven Bangladeshi nationals were arrested during routine checking near the bus stand in Babina on Friday."Babina — a cantonment town in Jhansi district — stands for British Army Base in North Asia.Those arrested were staying at a hotel near the bus stand and did not have valid documents for staying in India, SSP said, adding that the seven belong to Dhaka.The arrested were identified as Mamoon Sheikh, Milan Sheikh, Aslam Sheikh, Falan Sheikh, Sijer Sheikh, Mukul Sheikh and Monu Vaid, police said.news18
‘Next violence in Uttar Pradesh will be over joblessness’
The Epicentre of 2013 communal riots, Kawal in Uttar Pradesh’s Muzaffarnagar district has barely managed to put the cracks forced open by the violence behind. Now, the village is viewing with trepidation the offer by its MLA, Vikram Saini, to facilitate settlement of 25 Hindu Pakistani refugee families in the village as a counter to protests against CAA. Sitting in the courtyard of his 2-storey home — one of the biggest in Kawal — Saini, BJP MLA from Khatauli, who also faces an attempt-to-murder charge in 2013 riots case, says, “I want to do this in national interest. 25 families include seven who are already living in Muzaffarnagar. I want 5 bighas where these families can be settled. If such land cannot be found, I’ll donate own. We are planning to build 2-bedroom houses with a toilet.”While CAA rules are yet to be framed, UP has begun preparing a tentative list of refugees in the state who will be entitled for citizenship under the Act, subject to verification of documents. At least 32,000 refugees have been identified by the government across 21 districts, including Muzaffarnagar.Most of the houses in Kawal, a village of about 10,800 people as per the 2011 Census, are brick-and-tile structures.Pankaj Saini, who has been a shiksha mitra for the last few years and hopes to be appointed a permanent government teacher “one day”, voices the concern of most in the village when he says, “How does the govt plan to provide livelihood to the refugees? The next violence in the state will be due to joblessness and the government’s faulty employment generation policies.”indianexpress
 Police charge and arrest anti-CAA/NRC activists at Kolkata Book Fair
Kolkata Book Fair, world’s largest in terms of footfall, witnessed a double-faced role of the Mamata Banerjee government on Saturday evening as police roughed up anti-CAA/NRC student activists, both boys and girls, before arresting them in batches.Even 73-year-old Asit Baran Roy was not spared when he joined human rights group APDR members to demand an audience with the arrested youth. A policeman grabbed his throat and almost chocked him. Dipak Byapari, a youth was taken to hospital as he received head injury. Kith Roddur, a girl was not able to walk to police ambulance after receiving blows and kicks from uniformed men and women. She was reportedly admitted in a city hospital later.Raja Biswas, a media worker and cultural activist who had recently undergone a heart surgery, said that he met the similar treatment inside the police control room at the fair ground. His crime was that he had tried to save a girl from being dragged away. His glasses were broken as he tried to shield his face from the police blows. Srijan Dutta, a student from Jadavpur University who was informing his friends about the arrests over phone was whisked away.
 Over 400 protesters booked for Mumbai’s ‘Shaheen Bagh’, but participants say won’t budge
Mumbai: Police in Mumbai have begun registering FIRs against Muslim women leading a Shaheen Bagh-like protest against the CAA and NRC at Mumbai Bagh. The protest entered its 14th day Sunday. FIRs are being lodged on a complaint filed by the assistant commissioner of the Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC), Alka Sassane. The protesters have been charged under IPC Section 341 (punishment for wrongful restraint) and over 400 of them have been issued police notices in this regard. Over the past 14 days, notices have also been issued to 50 protesters under Section 149 of the CrPC, which empowers police to take action in order to prevent cognisable offences.   This notice reads that police have been asking the protesters to leave the venue since the night of 26 January but they have refused. theprint
Allowing NPR drive in Tamil Nadu will invite ‘opposition’ from people, warns MK Stalin
Chennai: DMK president M K Stalin on Sunday urged the AIADMK government to not allow NPR drive in Tamil Nadu, saying any move to go ahead with it would invite “stern opposition” from the people.He also renewed DMK’s demand for an anti-CAA resolution in the state assembly and said only such a move would be an “atonement” for supporting the Citizenship Amendment Bill in Parliament.theprint

Anti-CAA Protest in Bhopal: Iqbal Maidan women to send black flags, letter to BJP & opposition in UP
Bhopal: Women of Bhopal have come together to fight against the oppression of protestors in Uttar Pradesh by the state police.Women staged a protest at Iqbal Maidan in the city on Saturday. One of the protestors told Free Press they would send a letter and a black flag to the opposition parties and the party in power there.The black flag would act as a reminder to their duty as opposition, she said.The women raised slogans and gave speeches against the violence catered by the UP police on the silent and peaceful protestors.freepressjournal
SP-BSP is on agenda of RSS, is not giving support in CAA movement - Maulana Taukir Raza
Bareilly: Maulana Toukir Raza Khan, the national president of Ittihad-e-Milt Council (IMC) and a member of Ala Hazrat family, has once again attacked the government over citizenship law, population register and citizenship register. Not only this, he has also targeted Samajwadi Party (SP) and BSP. Tauqeer Raza has said that all the alleged secular parties including SP and BSP are working on RSS agenda.newstracklive
*J&K AND S. ASIA*
Mobile internet services snapped in Kashmir on Afzal Guru death anniversary
Mobile internet services (2G) were temporarily snapped in Kashmir as a precautionary measure to ward off any law and order incidents on 7th death anniversary of Parliament attack convict Afzal Guru. Market places were also shut and public transport remained off the roads following a Hurriyat Conference’s call for a bandh on Sunday and Monday. Hundreds of police and paramilitary personnel were deployed on the streets of Srinagar, which bore a deserted look. Authorities put up barbed wires and barricades at various parts of the city to avert any kind of violent protests. On Saturday, J&K police summoned for questioning two journalists for publishing and circulating a statement of JKLF which called for 2-day shutdown in the Valley.indianexpress
Journalists Questioned After FIR Against JKLF
Srinagar: 2 journalists were called for questioning by Jammu and Kashmir police after reporting on a Kashmir Valley shutdown call issued by banned separatist outfit JKLF to mark the hanging of Afzal Guru and Maqbool Bhat. The police, who have also filed a FIR against JKLF, said the journalists were only questioned and not detained.However, journalists' groups in the newly-formed union territory have criticised the action, calling it harassment and alleging the cops were defining what they could and could not report. Some journalists met the police yesterday to seek release of their colleagues.The journalists in question had carried full JKLF statement of the shutdown call, which is believed to be the first by separatists since the centre's August 5 decision to withdraw special status to J&K.
Omar Abdullah's Twitter Clout Behind Tough New Charge: Government Dossier
New Delhi: Among the charges listed out in a dossier against former Jammu and Kashmir chief minister Omar Abdullah, who has been detained under the stringent PSA, is his "ability to garner votes even during peak militancy and poll boycotts".The dossier says 49-year-old Vice-President of National Conference also "favours radical thoughts which he has turned into actions", though it does not cite any evidence to back this claim.The dossier claims that Omar Abdullah, who has been a former junior foreign minister and commerce minister, can influence people for any cause and specifically cites his ability to bring voters out in the wake of boycott calls by separatists."The capacity of the subject to influence people for any cause can be gauged from the fact that he was able to convince his electorate to come out and vote in huge numbers even during peak of militancy and poll boycotts,"  it says.ndtv
‘Why did BJP join hands’: Mehbooba’s daughter ‘rebuts’ reasons for PSA against her
New Delhi :Days after former Jammu and Kashmir chief minister Mehbooba Mufti was booked under the stringent Public Safety Act (PSA), her daughter Iltija Mufti has come out with a “point by point rebuttal” of the reasons the authorities have cited for the move.Iltija, who now operates Mehbooba’s Twitter handle, has claimed on the social media website that the PDP chief was slapped with the PSA because of her refusal to sign “an illegal bond that no statements against scrapping of Article 370 will be made”.“However, BJP can exploit Article 370 esp in election campaigns inc Delhi but those most affected by it cannot utter a word. Why is BJP scared of a debate?” Iltija tweeted on Sunday.She further said the authorities have claimed the PSA was invoked against Mehbooba for ” provocative statements that led to ‘incitement of violence’”, wihout citing any such specific statements. “GOI should substantiate this with evidence.Examples like BJP ministers who actually incited violence in Delhi with ‘Desh ke gadaron ko’ slogan followed by shootings,” Iltija said.indianexpress

*OTHERS*
Reservation in job promotions not fundamental right: Supreme Court
New Delhi:The Constitution does not confer any fundamental right to claim reservation in the matter of promotions in public posts, the Supreme Court has ruled adding a state cannot be compelled to do so if it chooses not to. A bench of Justices L Nageswara Rao and Hemant Gupta which referred to earlier decisions of the court in this regard said. “,,,Article 16 (4) and 16 (4-A) are in the nature of enabling provisions, vesting a discretion on the State Govt to consider providing reservations, if the circumstances so warrant. It is settled law that State Govt cannot be directed to provide reservations for appointment in public posts. Similarly, the State is not bound to make reservation for SC and ST in matters of promotions”.“However, if they (state) wish to exercise their discretion and make such provision, the State has to collect quantifiable data showing inadequacy of representation of that class in public services”, the bench said.It added that “if the decision of State Govt to provide reservations in promotion is challenged, State concerned shall have to place before the Court the requisite quantifiable data and satisfy the Court that such reservations became necessary on account of inadequacy of representation of SC and ST in a particular class or classes of posts without affecting general efficiency of administration as mandated by Article 335 of the Constitution”. The SC was deciding a group of appeals pertaining to the reservations to SC’s and ST’s in promotions in the posts of Assistant Engineer (Civil) in PWD, Govt of Uttarakhand.
"Reservations For Jobs, Promotions Not A Fundamental Right": Top Court

File Review Plea or Amend the Constitution, Congress Tells Govt on SC’s Reservation in Jobs Order
Bengaluru: Veteran Congress leader Mallikarjun Kharge on Sunday demanded that the union government either file a review petition in the Supreme Court or amend the Constitution to make reservation a fundamental right in the wake of the recent apex court order."At least now the Government of India should wake up. They can either take up this matter and amend the Constitution related to Article 16(4)(b) or (c) after consulting the law department or file a review petition asking that a Constitution Bench should hear the case," Kharge said at a press conference at the Congress office here.PTI
Seers, VHP slams BMAC for planning to approach SC to stake claim on Babri Masjid debris
As Babri Masjid Action Committee (BMAC) is planning to approach the Supreme Court to stake a claim on the debris of demolished mosque in Ayodhya, VHP and seers have strongly opposed the proposed move.Priest of Hanumangarhi temple Mahant Raju Das said, "The committee is unnecessarily trying to create a controversy. Each and every portion of Ramjanmabhoomi land will be used for the temple construction and there was no Babri mosque. The Supreme Court's verdict has also come in our favour. Babar was cruel and he exploited Indians. BMAC convener Zafaryab Jilani is a senior lawyer and he should stop such tactics. This dispute is permanently resolved now."Another seer of Hanumangarhi temple said, "The mosque-like structure built on birthplace of Lord Ram was demolished in 1992. There are some organisations who want to raise unnecessary issues just to create controversy. Such a petition will not be entertained by the top court."VHP central secretary Rajendra Singh Pankaj said, "The archeological survey report and the SC judgment have made it clear that the land is the birthplace of Lord Ram where a grand temple construction will begin soon. We will not give even a sapling from there to anyone. We hope that the construction work will begin on the auspicious day of Ram Navmi."indiatoday
Ram temple will be built under Nritya Gopal’s leadership: UP BJP chief
 Uttar Pradesh BJP president Swatantra Dev Singh has said the Ram temple in Ayodhya would be constructed under the leadership of Mahant Nritya Gopal Das, who heads Ram Janmabhoomi Nyas.He made the comment in response to a question about unhappiness among some seers over Das not being included in the board of trustees of the Shri Ram Janmabhoomi Teertha Kshetra that the Centre has constituted to oversee construction of the Ram temple in Ayodhya. Speaking in Varanasi, he said, “Mahant Nritya Gopal Das is an ideal for all of us. Ram temple (in Ayodhya) will be constructed under his leadership. The campaign (for constructing Ram temple) has reached this point under his leadership.”Asked why Mahant Nritya Gopal Das was not made a trustee, Singh said, “I can’t comment on it. What I want to say it that everyone wants construction of the Ram temple.”HT
Loudspeakers in UP mosques will popularise govt schemes
UP Power Corporation has now decided to use loudspeakers installed in mosques to make announcements for the state govt’s new scheme which allows farmers to pay their tube well bill in easy instalments. The scheme called ‘UP Kisan Asaan Kisht Yojana’ is aimed at enabling tube well owners to pay their bills in easy instalments without interest. The power corporation wants maximum number of farmers to register for the scheme.According to Pashchimanchal Vidyut Vitaran Nigam Limited (PVVNL) officials, announcements will be made in all 14 districts under its jurisdiction.14 districts of west UP that fall under PVVNL jurisdiction are Meerut, Baghpat, Ghaziabad, Bulandshahr, Hapur, Gautam Buddha Nagar, Saharanpur, Muzaffarnagar, Shamli, Moradabad, Sambhal, Amroha, Rampur and Bijnor. PVVNL managing director Arvind Mallapa Bangari, said, “It is good that loudspeakers that have caused undue tensions in the past will be put to some good use now. I feel that announcements through loudspeakers will spread the word faster and ensure maximum registration for the scheme.”IANS
6.1 lakh Waqf properties across India, most in UP, West Bengal, Karnataka
As the Supreme court hears a PIL alleging non-enumeration of waqf properties across the country, data accessed by TOI shows that there are more than 6.1 lakh immovable properties owned by various State Waqf Boards (SWBs), more than a quarter of which (1.6 lakh) are in UP, while nearly 3% of these properties across India have been encroached upon.According to the data from the national Waqf Management System of India (WAMSI) project, as on Jan.31, there are 6,16,732 properties owned by various SWBs.Of these, UP has 1.5 lakh Sunni and 12,229 Shia Waqf properties, followed by 80,480 in West Bengal and 54,194 in Karnataka. The ministry of minority affairs (MMA) and the Central Waqf Council do not distinguish between Shia and Sunni ownership in other states.Just these 3 states account for nearly half (49%) of all Waqf properties in India, while Tamil Nadu (53,486) is close on the heels of Karnataka, Kerala stands in fifth position with 42,348 properties.TOI
Veteran RSS ‘pracharak’ Parameswaran dies
Kochi:P Parameswaran, one of senior-most ‘pracharaks’ of RSS and former leader of the erstwhile Jana Sangh, passed away in the early hours of Sunday, Sangh Parivar sources said. He was 91. The founder director of Bharatheeya Vichara Kendram took his last breath at 12.10 am while undergoing Ayurvedic treatment at Ottappalam in Kerala’s Palakkad district, according to the sources.Parameswaran, who had worked with leaders like Deendayal Upadhyaya, Atal Bihari Vajpayee and LK Advani during Jana Sangh days, was honoured with Padma Vibhushan, the country’s second highest civilian award in 2018 and Padma Shri in 2004.PTI
"If You Want To Work In India, Work For Hindu Empowerment": RSS Leader
Panaji: RSS general secretary Suresh Bhaiyyaji Joshi on Saturday said that anybody who wants to work (in India) will have to do so with Hindu community and for their empowerment. Joshi referred to his communication with an intellectual who had said that India should become a "supre-rashtra" in the year 2020.PTI
16-yr-old Muslim boy wins Geeta quiz in Jaipur
A16-year-old Muslim teenage boy has won the Bhagwad Gita quiz competition organised here by Hare Krishna Mission in association with Akshay Patra Foundation. The two-round quiz show lasted for over six months, that saw participation by over 5,000 students.Abdul Kagzi, a class 9 student left the judges surprised with his apt knowledge on the subject and enormous knowledge on Sanskrit hymns and verses. This year, the theme was 'Knowing Shri Krishna.'IANS
A top public sector bank told employees to restrict the circulation of ₹2,000 notes
A top public sector bank’s employees were told by the senior management not to dole out ₹2,000 notes during bank withdrawals. They were also instructed to not stock the denomination at ATMs as well. As per an email viewed by Business Insider India, at least one public sector bank has issued instructions to senior management to keep ₹2,000 notes out of circulation.But customers need not panic as the bank employees were told to accept ₹2,000 notes from individuals making a deposit. The email states, “This will be formally communicated soon.”Sources at the bank — whose identity we confirmed, requested anonymity because they were not authorized to speak publicly — said that after the directive was issued, senior officials called branch managers to confirm that it was being executed in the morning.They were told to ensure that only denominations of ₹500, ₹200 and ₹100 are loaded into ATMs. businessinsider
India's Import Tax Hike on Crude Palm Oil Has Only Added to the Industry's Confusion
The commencement of Malaysia-India Comprehensive Economic Cooperation Agreement (MICECA), which led to reduction in import duty differential between crude and refined palm oil products to 7.5% from the usual 10%, stirred up the hornet’s nest in the Indian palm oil refining industry. In addition to this agreement, the consecutive hike in “crude” palm oil export tax by Indonesia and Malaysia both for Jan.and Feb.2020, to protect their own refining industry against rising feedstock prices, forced Indian refiners to seek a hike in import tax on “refined” palm oil products by New Delhi. However, the customs notification released after the presentation of the Budget for the year 2020-21 seems to have caused confusion in the industry. As per the notification, the import tax on “crude” palm oil has been hiked to 44% from the existing 37.5%, without a suitable rise for “refined” products. This is against the actual demand and further reduces duty differential to 1%, putting Indian refiners at risk of losses.thewire
*WORLD*
Israel blocks Palestinian agricultural exports via Jordan
Israeli military has blocked Palestinian agricultural exports through Jordan in latest escalation of a months-long trade war that comes amid fears of renewed violence in the region over a controversial Middle East plan backed by the United States.Following Defense Minister Naftali Bennett's instruction, the Israeli military said it would not allow the Palestinians to transfer their products through their land crossing to Jordan, the occupied West Bank's only direct export route to the outside world.Western-backed Palestinian Authority said Israeli forces at checkpoints blocked vegetable shipments that were on their way to be exported abroad.In a statement, Palestinian Ministry of Agriculture said vegetable exports to Israel were worth $88m last year, comprising 68 percent of the occupied West Bank's overall vegetable exports."Yesterday, the director of Israeli crossings informed all exporters and all relevant parties that all Palestinian agriculture products would be banned from export to world markets through the Jordanian crossing starting Sunday," Palestinian Agriculture Minister Riyal al-Attari told Voice of Palestine radio.The deputy Palestinian economic minister, Tariq Abu Laban, said that the decision to ban the export of Palestinian goods was in response to the Palestinian government's decision to ban the import of Israeli calves.PA claimed most of the 120,000 head of cattle they imported monthly from Israel were imported and that therefore, they preferred to import directly from abroad.The move appeared to be aimed at reducing the Palestinians' economic dependence on Israel. Palestinians say their actions are aided at pressuring Israel into revoking its ban, while Israel says normal trade will be restored the moment Palestinians reverse the cattle ban that started the crisis in the first place.aljazeera
Israel plans West Bank annex after ‘deal of century’
Israel’s prime minister said his government has begun editing West Bank maps to include areas his country plans to annex, reports Anadolu Agency. The move comes after Donald Trump released a “deal” to end the Israel-Palestine conflict.Benjamin Netanyahu said lands that will be part of Israel are at the mapping stage and sovereignty will be applied to all land covered by the map,according to daily Yedioth Ahronoth. Netanyahu said the new map will cover all the illegitimate settlements in the West Bank and the Agvar region.
Turkey won’t allow ‘Deal of Century’ to threaten peace
Turkey will never allow the peace in the region to be disrupted by the US’ so-called “Deal of Century” Mideast peace plan, said Turkey’s president today. Recep Erdogan’s remarks came in a statement he sent to the current 3rd Conference of the Inter-parliamentary Jerusalem Platform in Malaysia’s capital, Kuala Lumpur.In his message to the platform, Erdogan underlined the meaning and the importance of such a conference in this critical period and added that “the so-called ‘Deal of Century’ [which] declares Jerusalem the capital of Israel is nothing more than a dream that threatens peace in the region. We will not allow this dream to come true.middleeastmonitor
Syria: Assad  army takes Idlib crossroads town despite Turkish warnings
Syrian army has taken control of a strategic northwestern crossroads town, its latest gain in a weeks-long offensive against the country's last major rebel bastion.Saturday's advance on Saraqeb came shortly after Turkey sent additional troops into the region and threatened to respond if its military observation posts in Idlib, set up under a 2018 truce, come under attack."Army units now exercise full control over the town of Saraqeb," state television reported, showing footage of the town's streets, deserted after weeks of bombardment.Saraqeb is considered a strategic prize for the government as it seeks to regain control of the M4 and M5 highways that meet in the town.M5, Syria's longest highway, connects second city Aleppo to the capital Damascus and continues south to the Jordanian border.With Saraqeb recaptured, little more than half of Idlib province remains in rebel hands, along with slivers of neighbouring Aleppo and Latakia provinces. aljazeera
US soldiers killed after man in Afghan army uniform opens fire
2 US soldiers have been killed and six others wounded when an individual in an Afghan army uniform opened fire on them with a machinegun in eastern Afghanistan, US military said.The incident, which took place in Nangarhar province, occurred after a combined US and Afghan force completed a "key-leader engagement" at a base in Sherzad district, Colonel Sonny Leggett, a spokesman for US forces in Afghanistan, said in a statement on Saturday. aljazeera
Thai commandos kill rogue soldier who shot dead 26 people
A soldier who went on a shooting rampage in northeastern Thailand, killing at least 26 people, has been shot dead by security services after he holed himself up in a shopping centre.Police and military sources told Reuters they had killed 32-year-old Jakrapanth  Thomma on Sunday morning, a few hours after a failed raid on the Terminal 21 mall in Nakhon Ratchasima left one member of the security forces dead and two injured."The police have killed the perpetrator and rescued eight hostages. Some were wounded," said a member of the security sources who declined to be named because they were not authorised to speak to the media.aljazeera
India Among 20 Countries Likely To Import Coronavirus, Says German Study
New Delhi: India is among 20 countries likely at risk of importing the coronavirus (2019-nCoV), according to a study by Germany's Humboldt University and Robert Koch Institute.An extensive computational/mathematical model for "expected global spread of the novel coronavirus" found India ranked 17th on a list of countries most likely to import the deadly virus that has killed over 800 and infected nearly 40,000 others in mainland China alone.According to the study, conducted by analysing air traffic patterns connecting 4,000 airports worldwide with over 25,000 direct connections between them, the "relative import risk" for India was found to be 0.219 per cent."Relative import risk" is the percentage of infected individuals travelling from an affected area - in this case China - with another country - in this case India - as their final destination.ndtv
Coronavirus outbreak LIVE: 5 suspected cases reported in Pakistan; 811 deaths in China so far
Five people with symptoms of coronavirus were rushed to a hospital Sunday after they arrived in Pakistan from a flight from China, news agency PTI report quoting local media reports. The suspected patients, which include four locals and a Chinese national, were on the Air China flight carrying 177 passengers that landed in Islamabad on Friday. Meanwhile, the death toll in China due to coronavirus surged to 811 Sunday, surpassing the number of fatalities of the SARS epidemic of 2002-03. SARS had killed 774 people and sickened 8,098, mainly in mainland China and Hong Kong. Overall, the new virus has affected 37,198 people so far.In India, Prime Minister Narendra Modi Sunday offered assistance to China to deal with the outbreak. In a letter addressed to Chinese President Xi Jinping, PM Modi expressed solidarity with the premier and also conveyed his condolences at the unfortunate loss of lives due to the outbreak.indianexpress

*views, Articles, FEATURES*
BJP losing Delhi will be just punishment for shameless attempt to divide and rule:Tavleen Singh
Delhi Exit Polls Prove That BJP Desperately Needs a New Strategy:NILANJAN MUKHOPADHYAY
Dalitality: Prejudice persists, waiting for Ambedkar’s dream:Suraj Yengde
How I challenged my parents’ Islamophobia:Divya Sethu
The Contrasting Police Responses to a Play Against CAA and Reenactment of Babri Demolition:Sukanya Shantha
Psychology of ‘Bhakts’: Simplistic, baffling, unfair but real:Ankur Dang
CAA-NRC protests: Shaheen Bagh and Biryani are anti-national
NRC-CAA move likely to stoke a statistical collapse:SA Aiyar in Swaminomics
Compiled and edited by Anwarulhaq (Released at: 8:10 PM).   

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