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Thursday, 12 March 2020

12 MARCH, NEWS: ‘If we kill you,nothing will happen’,how Delhi Police turned against Muslims:NYT. Detentions, arrests, interrogations: Fear reigns in Muslim neighbourhoods of northeast Delhi. India has 'significant human rights issues' says US Congress report. ‘Name and shame’ posters: SC does not stay Allahabad HC order, refers appeal to larger Bench. MP Speaker Asks 22 MLAs Who Resigned to Appear Before Him by Friday


NEWS DIGEST, EVENING
 12 March 2020: 16 Rajjab 1441: Vol: 12, No: 155
*DELHI VIOLENCE*
‘If we kill you,nothing will happen’,how Delhi Police turned against Muslims:NYT
New Delhi:Kausar Ali, a house painter, was trying to get home when he ran into a battle.Hindu and Muslim mobs were hurling rocks at each other, blocking a street he needed to cross to get to his children. Ali, who is Muslim, said that he turned to some police officers for help. That was his mistake.The officers threw him onto the ground, he said, and cracked him on the head. They started beating him and several other Muslims. As the men lay bleeding, begging for mercy — one of them died two days later from internal injuries — the officers laughed, jabbed them with their sticks and made them sing the national anthem. That abuse, on Feb. 24, was captured on video.“Police were toying with us,” Ali said. He recalled them saying, “Even if we kill you, nothing will happen to us.”India has suffered its worst sectarian bloodshed in years, in what many here see as the inevitable result of Hindu extremism that has flourished under the Govt of PM Narendra Modi. His party has embraced a militant brand of Hindu nationalism and its leaders have openly vilified Indian Muslims. In recent months Modi has presided over a raft of policies widely seen as anti-Muslim, such as erasing the statehood of what had been India’s only Muslim-majority state, J&K.Now, more evidence is emerging that the Delhi police, who are under the direct command of Modi’s Govt and have very few Muslim officers, concertedly moved against Muslims and at times actively helped Hindu mobs that rampaged in New Delhi in late Feb., burning down Muslim homes and targeting Muslim families.Several videos showed police officers beating and throwing rocks at Muslim protesters and waving on Hindu mobs to join them.A police commander said that as the violence erupted — at that point mostly by Hindu mobs — officers in the affected areas were ordered to deposit their guns at the station houses. Several officers during the violence were later overheard by New York Times journalists yelling to one another that they had only sticks and that they needed guns to confront the growing mobs. Some researchers accuse the police force of deliberately putting too few officers on the streets, with inadequate firepower, as the violence morphed from clashes between rival protesters into targeted killings of Muslims.2 thirds of over 50 people who were killed and have been identified were Muslim. Human rights activists are calling it an organized massacre. Though India’s population is 14 % Muslim and New Delhi’s is 13 %, the total Muslim representation on the Delhi police force is less than 2%.India’s policing culture has long been brutal, biased, anti-minority and almost colonial in character, a holdover from the days of British rule when police had no illusions of serving the public but were used to suppress a restive population.Police officials, especially in states controlled by Modi’s party, have been highly selective in their targets, like a Muslim school principal in Karnataka who was jailed for more than 2 weeks on sedition charges after her students performed a play about a new immigration law that police officials said was critical of Modi.Some judges have also seemed to be caught up — or pushed out — by a Hindu-nationalist wave.The religiously mixed and extremely crowded neighborhoods in northeastern Delhi that were on fire in late Feb. have cooled. But some Hindu politicians continue to lead so-called peace marches, trotting out casualties of the violence with their heads wrapped in white medical tape, trying to upend the narrative and make Hindus seem like the victims, which is stoking more anti-Muslim hatred.Some Muslims are leaving their neighborhoods, having lost all faith in the police. More than 1,000 have piled into a camp for internally displaced people that is rising on Delhi’s outskirts.Muslim leaders see the violence as a state-sanctioned campaign to teach them a lesson. After years of staying quiet as Hindu lynch mobs killed Muslims with impunity and Modi’s Govt chipped away at their political power, India’s Muslim population awoke in December and poured into the streets, along with many other Indians, to protest the new immigration law, which favors migrants belonging to every major religion in South Asia — except for Muslims. Modi’s govt, Muslim leaders say, is now trying to drive the whole community back into silence.“There’s a method to this madness,” said Umar Khalid, a Muslim activist. “Govt wants to bring the entire Muslim community to their knees, to beg for their lives and beg for their livelihoods.”“You can read it in their books," he said, referring to foundational texts by Hindu nationalists. “They believe India’s Muslims should live in perpetual fear.”Police officials said that Ali and the other Muslim men were hurt by protesters and rescued by the police — though videos clearly show them being hit by police officers. The violence in New Delhi fits a pattern, experts say, of chaos being allowed to rage for a few days — with minorities being killed — before the Govt brings it under control.Police officers watched as mobs of Hindus, their foreheads marked by saffron stripes, prowled the streets with baseball bats and rusty bars, looking for Muslims to kill. The sky was filled with smoke. Muslim homes, shops and mosques were burned down.When a reporter for New York Times tried to speak to residents standing near police officers that day, a mob of men with darting eyes surrounded him and ripped the notebook out of his hands. When the reporter asked police officers for help, one said:“I can’t.These young men are very volatile.”nytimes.com
Detentions, arrests, interrogations: Fear reigns in Muslim neighbourhoods of northeast Delhi: caravanmagazine
Delhi Police picked up several men from Muslim neighbourhoods of northeast Delhi in the first week of March. Some of the detained men were brought to the Sunlight Colony Police Station, located in southeast Delhi, near Ashram. On 7 March, Sunlight Colony station had been locked down and at least half a dozen uniformed men guarded the locked gate from inside. Anyone who came close to the gate was being yelled at and asked to stay away at least 200 yards from the gate. “They were at least 10 to 10 men, in plain clothes,” Rehan Ali, a shopkeeper in his early twenties, said as he recounted how Delhi Police personnel arrested his family members on 7 March. “None of them were in their uniform. 2 of them carried guns. Without ringing the doorbell, they walked straight into my home.” Rehan is a resident of Gali Number 4 in Moonga Nagar, a small locality in northeast Delhi’s New Mustafabad area. Somewhere between 5 pm to 5.30 pm that evening, the police arrested his oldest brother, Riyasat Ali, who is in his thirties, and his father, Liaqat Ali, an elderly man in his sixties, in connection with the communal violence that engulfed northeast Delhi in the last week of Feb. Till 7 March, Delhi Police had registered 693 cases and either detained or arrested 2,193 individuals over the violence. There is no official data on the religious identity of the detainees or the arrested, although inputs from residents, activists and lawyers suggest that Muslim men were taken into custody in large numbers.“Every day, they are picking up 3 to 4 men from our area,” Mustaqim, a resident of Kabir Nagar in Babarpur who runs a grocery store, said n 8 March. His brother, Shamim, had been picked up that day and taken to the Welcome police station, in Shahdara, where he was kept in detention overnight. Mustaqim was not allowed to see his brother or even enter the police station and it was only the next day that the family was told that Shamim was going to be booked under various charges relating to the violence in their area. Mustaqim’s ordeal echoed almost every testimony I came across that week, including the Ali family.
Residents of Muslim area in Subhash Mohalla recount attack by mobs chanting “Jai Shri Ram”: caravanmagazine
On 24 and 25 Feb, mobs chanting “Jai Shri Ram” travelled through a road that runs from Bhajanpura to Ghonda Chowk in northeast Delhi, on foot and on motorbikes. Located in north Ghonda, the road borders B Block of Subhash Vihar, popularly known as Subhash Mohalla among its residents. Muslim population of Subhash Mohalla is primarily concentrated in that block. According to its residents, on 25 Feb, mob tried to enter the block, and burnt shops and homes belonging to Muslims in other parts of Subhash Mohalla. The residents said they called Delhi Police for help, but to no avail.
Detentions spark fear among Chand Bagh Muslim residents
New Delhi:“My brother was thrashed for hours before he was let off,” alleged Haji Bhure, standing at his grocery store in Chand Bagh area in north-east Delhi. Released on Wednesday morning, Mushahid’s family sent him off immediately to their home town, Budaun in Uttar Pradesh.35-year-old was picked up by police around 12 noon on Monday from the same store where his brother was attending to customers on Wednesday. “They came and picked up Mushahid without giving any reason. When we asked, they said they will release him after questioning about riots,” Bhure said. On Tuesday, another brother went to Crime Branch office in Chanakyapuri and tried to reason with the officers that Mushahid was not in Delhi when the riots broke out (on Feb. 23). “We made them talk to a relative in Budaun with whom Mushahid works. They finally released him,” said Bhure.Bhure alleged that his brother was beaten up in custody. Mushahid is not the only one who has been detained by the police from Chand Bagh in last 3 days. At least 9 persons have been picked up by Crime Branch officers since Monday from different streets of Chand Bagh. The Hindu spoke to the families of five of them.Among the detainees is a 50-year-old tailor, Abdul Kadir, who was picked up around 11 a.m. on Wednesday. His daughter Rukhsar said the police were looking for her brother Shahnawaz. “They came and asked for Shahnawaz. We told them Shahnawaz wasn’t at home. They took my father instead,” she said.A neighbour, Shakeel Ahmed, said he had gone to meet the officers at the Crime Branch’s makeshift office nearby and was told that they should bring Shahnawaz for his father to be released.“People here are living in tremendous fear, don’t know whose door the policemen will knock next,” said  Ahmed.In F Block’s street no. 8, policemen picked up Mohammed Yunus on Tuesday around 5 pm. They had already detained his brother Mohammed Ayub by then.Right opposite is street no. 8 of E-Block from where Aslam, 23, was picked up on Tuesday around 8 p.m. Aslam sells vegetables in Azadpur Mandi.
Delhi violence: 7 arrested for constable’s killing, over 700 cases filed, say police
Delhi Police on Thursday said that the law and order situation in the Capital has been brought back to normal after large-scale communal violence in North East district last month left 53 people dead and injured over 500, ANI reported. The police said it had arrested seven people for the death of head constable Ratan Lal on Feb.24. Two arrests have been made in the case of Akbari Begum, an 85-year-old woman who was burnt to death in her home in Gamri extension locality.  Police spokesperson MS Randhawa said that 712 FIRs have been filed and 200 people arrested in connection with the clashes.Randhawa said that police were using face-recognition technology to identify those accused of violence and analysing all the footage of the clashes.scroll
Delhi riots: 23-year-old arrested in connection with IB staffer’s killing
A 23-year-old man has been arrested by the Delhi Police in connection with the murder of IB staffer Ankit Sharma, who was killed during the northeast Delhi riots in Khajuri Khas. Sharma’s body was found in a drain in northeast Delhi on Feb. 26, a day after he went missing.Police sources said the man has been identified as Haseen alias Salman, a resident of Nand Nagri.Police are conducting raids to nab his four associates.AAP’s suspended councilor Tahir Hussain has also been named in the FIR registered in connection with Ankit Sharma’s killing.indianexpress
'1,922 Rioters Identified, Will Not Be Spared': Home Minister Shah On Delhi Riots
Speaking on the Delhi riots on Thursday, Union Home Minister Amit Shah said the law enforcement agencies  were carrying out investigation in "scientific" manner and the culprits would be brought before the law."The culprits, they may be of any religion, caste or party, they will not be spared. They will be brought before the law," he said.As many as 1,922 rioters have been identified by the Govt, he added. outlookindia
As Amit Shah Praises Delhi Police, Riot Victims Tell a Different Story:The Wire's ground report
New Delhi: 2 weeks after riots, north-east Delhi remains tense. Men in khaki are now viewed with suspicion.For most Muslims, the police inspire as much confidence as armed Hindutva goons as they walk the streets filled with ash, broken glass and rubble. Victims all claim that the police were very much present when armed goons attacked their homes and shops and set them on fire. They stood there, with their hands folded, allowing safe passage for the men who reportedly arrived in three buses on the night of Feb. 24.When Union home minister Amit Shah praised the police on Wednesday for ending the violence within 36 hours, as he put it, people here can only shake their heads in disbelief.60-year-old Kishmathoon, a resident of Kardampuri extension, is inconsolable. Her 26-year-old son Faizan was killed in the violence that rocked the national capital. What makes her story even more heart-breaking is the fact that her son was not killed by rioters but died because of injuries sustained while in police custody. The shops belonged to Bhure Khan Phalwale, a fruit seller, and his brothers.All that remains of Bhure Khan’s house is burnt and broken walls.The Wire
How foolproof is Amit Shah’s facial recognition technology? IFF raises questions
“CYMI, facial recognition technology was first acquired by Delhi Police to identify missing children. In 2019, the system had an accuracy rate of 1% and it even failed to distinguish between boys and girls,” tweeted Internet Freedom Foundation.The tweet followed after Home Minister Amit Shah confirmed in the Lok Sabha that the Automated Facial recognition System (AFRS) had been used by Delhi Police to identify rioters in NE Delhi between Feb. 23 and Feb. 25 and as many as 1,100 of them had been arrested.IFF also tweeted, “We had filed an RTI with the Delhi Police about their facial recognition system. In its response dated 20 Feb 2020, the Delhi Police stated that the system had not been used till then to identify individuals at protests or rallies but the system is clearly activated now.“The facial recognition system has been fed data from Aadhaar, driving license and voter ID databases. The use of Aadhaar for this purpose without any judicial authorisation violates the judgement of the Supreme Court in KS Puttaswamy v. UoI (2019).”“We had previously sent a legal notice to the Delhi Govt in December 2019 about the use of facial recognition technology against protestors without any legal basis or procedural safeguards.“All of this is being done without any clear underlying legal authority and is in clear violation of Right to Privacy judgment (that Indian apex court upheld in 2017),” said Apar Gupta, executive director at IFF.“Facial recognition technology is still evolving and the risks of such evolutionary tech being used in policing are significant,” he added.While an overwhelming majority of the victims in the rioting in Delhi happened to be Muslims, three times the number of non-Muslims,and although 19 mosques and one Mazar were vandalised and destroyed ( no temple though), an overwhelming majority of the people arrested by Delhi Police happen to be Muslims.If this is the efficacy of the technology, observers note, then Delhi Police will have a lot to answer for in the coming weeks. Nationalheraldindia
Parliament: Centre will do anything for cows but nothing to protect human lives, says Kapil Sibal
Senior Congress leader Kapil Sibal on Thursday said the communal violence that broke out in North East Delhi last month was orchestrated. Addressing the Rajya Sabha during a discussion on the violence in the national Capital, Sibal said the clashes happened because of the “communal virus” that was spread by the people giving hate speech, ANI reported. “Who were the collaborators of the communal virus that was spread?” Sibal asked.Without naming BJP leaders Kapil Mishra, Anurag Thakur and Parvesh Verma, who have been accused of instigating violence in Delhi with hate speech, Sibal asked Home Minister Amit Shah why there were no cases filed against them. “You can do anything to protect cows, can’t you do anything to protect the lives of human beings?” Sibal said. “Do we need to bring another Article to ensure the protection of human being?”Sibal attacked the Centre on the alleged excess committed by the Delhi Police during the clashes and questioned why no cases had been filed despite there being evidence of some policeman aiding the rioters.scroll
Cops pick up young boys, AAP asks police to not arrest on provocation
New Delhi: As young Muslim boys from different localities are allegedly being picked up by Delhi Police, state Cabinet Minister Gopal Rai on Wednesday in a meeting held with Joint CP and DCP north-east Delhi discussed the issues raised by the local people regarding the law and order situation.Rai asserted that strict action must be taken against those who have strong evidence against them, but innocent people should not be arrested based on any provocation or misleading information. "After the violent riots that took place in Delhi, we have been getting complaints from different constituencies that cases have been filed against people who were not involved in the riots," Rai told reporters here.millenniumpost
AAP MP Sanjay Singh accuses central govt for Delhi riots
AAP member of the Rajya Sabha Sanjay Singh here on Thursday accused the central Govt for Delhi riots, saying it was "conspired and carried out in a well planned manner". "This is my direct allegation," he said.He questioned the silence of Union Home Minister Amit Shah and the Govt and non-deployment of army and other forces to contain the riots, even when Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal had sent a written request.IANS
India has 'significant human rights issues':US Congress report
Washington :Violence and discrimination targeting minorities based on religion and social status are among the significant human rights facing India, an official US report said.Despite Govt efforts to address abuses, a lack of accountability for official misconduct persisted at all levels of govt, contributing to widespread impunity, said India section of 2019 Country Reports on Human Rights Practices. Congressional-mandated annual report was released by Secretary of State Mike Pompeo. India did not find mention in his opening remarks.In his interaction with the media, Pompeo expressed serious concerns over human rights abuses countries like in China, Iran, Venezuela, and in Cuba.India section of the report listed out "significant human rights issues including unlawful and arbitrary killings, including extrajudicial killings perpetrated by police; torture by prison officials; arbitrary arrest and detention by Govt authorities; and harsh and life-threatening prison conditions." In its report, the State Department also expressed concerns over "political prisoners in certain states; restrictions on freedom of expression and the press, including violence, threats of violence, or unjustified arrests or prosecutions against journalists, use of criminal libel laws to prosecute social media speech, censorship, and site blocking".The report expressed its concern over "overly restrictive rules on NGOs; frequent reports of widespread corruption at all levels of govt; forced and compulsory child labour, including bonded labour".On Aug.5, State Dept said, Indian Govt announced major changes to the constitutional status of J&K, converting the state into two separate union territories."In the ensuing security crackdown, authorities detained thousands of residents, including local political leaders; shut down mobile and internet services; and imposed restrictions on movement," it said."According to several journalists, press freedom declined during the year. There were several reports from journalists and NGOs that Govt officials, both at the local and national levels, were involved in silencing or intimidating critical media outlets through physical harassment and attacks, pressuring owners, targeting sponsors, encouraging frivolous lawsuits, and, in some areas, blocking communication services, such as mobile telephones and the internet, and constraining freedom of movement," said the report.PTI
Delhi violence: Police arrest PFI president Parvez Ahmed, secretary Illiyas for ‘conspiring’ to incite riots
Delhi police today arrested PFI Delhi unit president Parvez Ahmed and its secretary Mohammad Illiyas for allegedly hatching a conspiracy to incite communal riots in several parts of Delhi. Delhi court today sent Parvez and Ilyas to seven days police custody in connection with alleged PFI-Shaheen Bagh link. Special Cell of Delhi Police produced them in the Patiala House Court of Delhi where Chief Metropolitan Magistrate Purushottam Pathak sent them to seven days police custody. Earlier, the police had arrested a 32-year-old alleged member of PFI, identified as Danish.On Wednesday, ED  booked suspended AAP councillor Tahir Hussain, PFI and some others on charges of money laundering and alleged funding of the recent communal riots in Delhi. Protesting against arrest, PFI in a statement said, "While involved in preparations for a democratic protest PFI State President Parvez, State Secretary Ilyas, State office secretary Muqeet were taken to police custody. Earlier another member Danish was arrested on fabricated charges and a smear campaign is ongoing to defame PFI. In fact, the target is not merely a particular organisation, but all voices and endeavours opposed to RSS-BJP agenda of CAA-NPR-NRC and Delhi Pogrom."indianexpress/livemint/ANI
Riots:HC Seeks Delhi Police's Response Over 'Hate Speech' Plea Naming Congress, BJP Leaders
Delhi High Court today sought the response of the police and AAP Govt in the national capital on a fresh plea alleging that hate speeches were made by Congress leaders Sonia Gandhi, Salman Khurshid and BJP’s Anurag Thakur and Kapil Mishra.A bench of Chief Justice D.N. Patel and Justice C. Hari Shankar issued notice to the police and AAP Govt on the petition, which has also sought registration of cases against those allegedly making hate speeches.The petition has sought setting up of a SIT to assess the property damage in last month’s communal violence in northeast Delhi.The bench asked the Delhi Govt and the police to file their reply by March 16 and listed the matter, along with all other similar pleas, on March 20.PTI
Delhi HC defers hearing petitions related to riots till March 20
How riots are affecting circumcision for medical reasons in Calcutta
Armed rioters heard the name of a journalist wrong and wanted to check his religious identity. They asked New Delhi-based journalist to drop his pants and allowed him to go only when they found he was not circumcised in Feb.2002, Ahmedabad. In Feb.2020, New Delhi, a journalist with a Hindi news portal was assaulted in riot-hit Maujpur in northeast Delhi and forced to drop his pants to check if he was circumcised. Rioters in Maujpur had also threatened to take pants off a photojournalist to confirm his religion before he was let off.Last Sunday, the unspeakable depravity that unfolded on streets of Ahmedabad and Delh  gate-crashed a doctor’s cabin in Calcutta and preyed on a mother’s worst fears. Paediatric surgeon, Subhasis Saha, had conducted a procedure called circumcision on the woman’s child for medical, not religious, reasons.The surgeon had explained to the family, who does not belong to any religion that mandates circumcision, that surgeries for phimosis are performed through either of 2 procedures — circumcision or preputioplasty.“Preputioplasty helps retain the foreskin which is lost in the case of circumcision. But preputioplasty is far more challenging than getting rid of the foreskin. It involves curing the foreskin, saving it and ensuring that the situation does not recur warranting another procedure later,” surgeon explained.That Sunday, surgeon had to perform 2 surgeries for phimosis in Calcutta hospital.“Both patients were from a community that doesn’t mandate procedure. For one child, I could undertake preputioplasty. However, for absolute medical reasons, circumcision was the only way out for the other kid,” Saha recounted.“When I told the child’s mother that I had to opt for circumcision, her face fell,” the surgeon said.“The woman’s brother told me that his sister was worried about the operation ever since she read reports about the 2 journalists who were caught in the recent riots and the way they were made to prove their religious identity,” Saha said.He added: “A socio-political crisis has come to influence a medical intervention.”For medical reasons, over 2,000 circumcisions, including on adults, are performed by general surgeons, urologists, paediatric and plastic surgeons every month in Calcutta and its surroundings alone, doctors said, adding that it was a conservative figure. The Sunday incident does not appear to be an isolated one.telegraphindia
Audio message warning ‘Delhi-like’ violence in Hyd creates flutter, man arrested
On Wednesday, cyber crime branch of the Hyderabad police arrested a 35-year-old auto driver, Rehmat Shareef, for circulating an audio message over social media warning Muslim community in Hyderabad of possible communal violence similar to those seen in Delhi. The audio, predictably, created panic among locals. The voice message reached the social media feed of local politicians and social activists who, in turn, reached out to the Hyderabad police seeking action. The police told TNM that Rehmat allegedly created the audio clip in response to content that he read over WhatsApp, which seemed to be an excerpt from a blog post. The content, based on which Rehmat created the audio clip, supposedly claimed that Hyderabad had been chosen as the city where communal violence would be unleashed next.thenewsminute
*anti-CAA,NRC-NPR stir*
‘Name and shame’ posters: SC does not stay Allahabad HC order, refers appeal to larger Bench
A Vacation Bench of the Supreme Court today did not stay an Allahabad High Court order to district and police authorities in Lucknow to “forthwith” remove roadside banners displaying the personal details of select persons accused of “vandalism” during the anti-CAA protests.The High Court Bench led by Chief Justice Govind Mathur had on March 9 held that the way-side posters were a violation of individual privacy, a fundamental right which globally “underpins human dignity and key values of a democracy”.Today, Vacation Bench of Justices UU Lalit and Aniruddha Bose did not interfere with the High Court order.Noting that the controversy involved “issues which needs further elaboration and consideration”, Vacation Bench referred the appeal filed by Uttar Pradesh govt to a larger Bench, to be set up by CJI SA Bobde “immediately”.It ordered the case to be listed before an appropriate Bench in the coming week. The SC reopens after Holi vacations on March 16. Significantly, the HC had ordered the Lucknow DM and police chief to remove the posters without delay and file a compliance report on March 16. Senior advocate A.M. Singhvi and advocate Shadan Farasat, appearing for a former IPS officer who features in the posters, said the banners were part of a “name and shame” policy against anti-CAA protestors.Senior advocate Colin Gonsalves, for another individual on the posters, said there was no video testimony to support the accusation of vandalism.Gonsalves said he was representing a lawyer, Mohammed Shoaib. Senior advocate CU Singh said the act of putting up posters reeked of a “vindictive State”.Justice Lalit reiterated that the question before the courts was whether the “the State machinery and apparatus was justified in resorting to such an act”.thehindu
"No Law To Support You," Says SC As UP Defends "Shame" Posters
To Stop Deoband Women's Protest, UP Police Target the Men in Their Families
Mumbai: Uttar Pradesh police have systematically begun identifying and targeting the male relatives and friends of the women protestors of Deoband in Saharanpur district. To stop the women from continuing their ongoing protest – styled around famous Shaheen Bagh protest in Delhi– UP police have begun mass booking men from the village. This, the protestors say, is only done to wield pressure on women and force them to end their 46-day protest.The charges, however, are as bizarre as the police tactics. In one of 3 FIRs that The Wire has accessed, the men have been accused of attempting to “spread the infection of any disease dangerous to life”. In another FIR, the person is accused of “mobilising young kids” and persuading them to participate in the protest. The person here is booked under sections of Juvenile Justice Act. Another case of unlawful assembly has also been registered, in which nearly 40 persons have been named.The first FIR was registered within days after the protests began. The others were registered in the next few days, says Deoband-based senior journalist Musharaff Usmani, who too has been named in one of the FIRs. Usmani works with the national media outlet Hindustan. “We were not told about these FIRs until a notice was issued from the court. We have been told several other cases have been registered but the police aren’t revealing any information,” Usmani says.The protest began as 4 women from Deoband came together and started to mobilise others through a door-to-door campaign. Among them is Amna Roshi, who has been appointed as the director of ‘Murtahida Khawatin Committee’ (MKC), which loosely translates to ‘Women’s Unity Committee’. Roshi is Usmani’s brother. “They looked at all the names, identified their relatives, looked at the professions they are engaged in and went after them one by one,” Usmani says.Like Usmani, there are at least 4 other journalists from the town who have been booked under one of 3 FIRs. The Wire
Parliament LIVE: No document will be asked for in NPR, no one will be marked ‘doubtful’, says Amit Shah
Union Home Minister Amit Shah Thursday clarified that no citizens would be marked ‘doubtful’ and no documents would be asked for in NPR. While replying to a remark made by Congress’ Kapil Sibal, he also said that if anybody doesn’t have any document, he or she would not have to submit that.Shah vowed to punish those behind the Delhi riots, irrespective of their religion and party. indianexpress
Delhi Vidhan Sabha to discuss NPR, NRC in special session on Friday
Delhi Vidhan Sabha will, on Friday, hold a one-day special session where it is expected to pass a resolution demanding that the proposed exercise for a NPR, along with the upcoming Census, be carried out on the basis of the format used in 2010.The special session has been called to discuss NPR, NRC and the challenges posed by the spread of coronavirus.A decision to hold a special sitting of the house was taken on Wednesday at a cabinet meeting chaired by Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal.It has been learnt that AAP MLAs might move a resolution, demanding that the proposed NPR be carried out on the basis of the 2010 format rather than the new one which has generated controversy and is being described as a precursor to NRC.theweek
CAA protestors startle banks in Tamil Nadu, withdraw Rs 55 lakh
Pudukkottai:Protest against CAA took a novel turn on Wednesday as protesters queued up in front of two nationalised bank branches in Karambakudi to withdraw money from their accounts.A sum of Rs 55 lakh was withdrawn from Indian Bank and Indian Overseas Bank in hours as hundreds of protesters, including women, trooped to branches. Having run out of cash, branch managers were rattled trying to convince those in the queue. The queue in front of Indian Bank was the longest of the 2 branches. Many of the customers held placards announcing that it was the ‘cash withdrawing protest’ against CAA.Those in the queue displayed passbooks and documents besides raising slogans against CAA. According to officials, at least Rs 40 lakh was withdrawn from.“Several hundreds came together seeking to either to withdraw money from their accounts or closing term deposits. Several accounts were empty by the end of the day including a customer closing a term deposit of  Rs 9.5 lakh,” sources said.Higher officials of Indian Overseas Bank came down to the village to handle the situation. newindianexpress
UP child rights body records statements of affected kids during antiCAA protests
UP State Commission for Protection of Child Rights has again visited Muzaffarnagar to enquire into alleged atrocities against children in violence during protests against the amended citizenship law in December. The team, led by its chairman Vishesh Gupta, visited the affected areas on Wednesday and recorded statements of affected students in Sadat hostel of a madrassa.During violence, some students were detained and later released following court orders on the report that they were found to be innocent. The SC has directed the state Govt to report about the complaint.One person was shot dead and several injured while property was damaged in Muzaffarnagar during the violence on Dec.20. Police registered cases and arrested several people in this connection.The child rights body came to the city for the second time in a week after their last visit on March 7 to inquire into the incident.PTI
Madras High Court begins hearing cases for and against anti-CAA protests
CHENNAI: Madras High Court on Wednesday began hearing a batch of cases filed for and against the ongoing anti-CAA protests across the State. Emotions ran high on the first day of hearing, with a huge number of lawyers entering into loud arguments inside a packed court hall and the judges having to request them to calm down and assist the court in taking the right decision. Appearing before Justices M.M. Sundresh and Krishnan Ramasamy, senior counsel R. Vaigai raised a preliminary objection regarding the maintainability of a public interest litigation petition filed by advocate K. Gopinath of Hindu Munnetra Kazhagam (HMK) against the protests being held in Tiruppur. She said the petitioner was facing as many as 15 criminal cases and had suppressed those details before the court.“I really wonder how the Registry numbered his petition. He can’t take the legal system to ransom. What bonafide does the petitioner [have] to knock at the doors of this court. I am raising a preliminary objection regarding the maintainability of this petition. This is a fraudulent PIL. It is going to give a very bad signal,” the senior counsel said and urged the court to permit all impleading petitioners to file their counter-affidavits.On the other hand, advocate G. Karthikeyan said the anti-CAA protesters had no right to squat on public roads for days together and prevent free movement of traffic. “It should be nipped in the bud. If this is permitted, then they will also sit on Beach Road, Poonamallee High Road and everywhere,” he added.thehindu
‘Shaheen Bagh’ in Coimbatore suspended for five days
Coimbatore: Shaheen Bagh model protest in Athupalam, Coimbatore, against the controversial CAA has been decided to be halted for five days.The indefinite protest in the open space adjacent to Irshadul Islam Shafia Sunnath Jamath mosque in Coimbatore began on Feb.19th, organised by various Islamic organisations and Muslim-centric parties. Modelled after Delhi’s Shaheen Bagh protest, the protestors have been chanting slogans against CAA and waving the tricolour flag.ANI
Bengaluru: On 33rd day, Bilal Bagh says will fight CAA-NRC even with coronavirus scare
 Bilal Bagh is going strong after 33 days of starting on Feb. 8. Even the coronavirus fear has not shaken their will to continue their protest against CAA and NRC. In fact, they are making sure to stay safe from the virus. Many protesters here say coronavirus may be dangerous, but there have been other things (riots in Delhi and attack on protesters) that has taken people’s lives and Govt must focus on that too.Saqib Idrees, one of the protesters told TOI that there are almost 500 people at Bilal Bagh at any given time and there is a visiting crowd making up to 2,000 visitors every day. “We have spread the word among our fellow-protesters that if they are ill, or are suffering from cold or fever, they must take rest and stay home. Even here, if anyone shows even minute symptoms of a common cold, we get them to the nearest hospital for a check-up,” Idrees said adding that they also have at least three doctors at the spot at any given time.However, even with the direction to not have a large gathering, protesters at Bilal Bagh say they will not move from the place. TOI
Pakistanis top Indian citizenship list, Bangladeshis not keen
New Delhi:Pakistanis top the list of foreign nationals granted Indian citizenship by the Modi Govt, according to data tabled by the Union home ministry in the Rajya Sabha on Wednesday.The data suggest that even in the absence of the amended citizenship act, which has ignited protests, people from India’s immediate neighbourhood have been getting Indian citizenship. The trend brings under stress the Modi Govt’s insistence that the law is needed to grant shelter to persecuted minorities from the neighbouring countries.This apart, the number of Bangladeshis seeking Indian citizenship through the past decade has been confined to two digits per year, confirming former Bangladesh high commissioner to India Syed Muazzam Ali’s statement that people from his country now prefer to swim across the oceans to the Mediterranean than cross over into India in pursuit of greener pastures.telegraphindia
In Punjab, AAP Has Been Missing From Protests Against CAA and Delhi Riots
As Punjab continues to witness the statewide protests over CAA and targeting of Muslims during the Delhi riots, the state’s AAP cadre remains invisible. Soon after the 3-day violence in Delhi, various students’ bodies and farmers’ organisations came together to protest, even burning effigies of Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Union home minister Amit Shah. Naujawan Bharat Sabha even marched to the regional office of RSS in Sangrur, directly blaming Hindu right-wing organisation for the Delhi killings.The state’s main opposition party, AAP, has been conspicuously absent. The other opposition party in Punjab, Badal-wrested SAD, is also quiet – but that is hardly surprising, given it is a BJP ally and its Lok Sabha member, Harsimrat Kaur Badal, enjoys a spot in Union cabinet.On Wednesday, 2 AAP MLAs, Baljinder Kaur and Budh Ram, held a joint media briefing in Bathinda and were confronted on their party’s invisibility in such protests. While the vociferous Kaur opted to remain silent, Budh Ram found an escape by pointing out that he had addressed one such protest in Mansa. He was pointing to the nearly month-long continuous protest sit-in of Bharatiya Kisan Union (Ekta-Ugrahan) which he visited once last month.At a seminar in Chandigarh, speakers on Monday (March 9) equated AAP’s Delhi leadership with BJP’s Hindutva ideology. It was pointed out that Delhi chief minister Arvind Kejriwal had asked all AAP candidates during Delhi elections to kickstart their campaign from Hindu temples.thewire
*MP POLITICAL CRISIS*
Madhya Pradesh: BJP to seek floor test in Assembly on March 16 amid political crisis; MP Speaker Asks 22 MLAs Who Resigned to Appear Before Him by Friday
BJP in Madhya Pradesh today said it will seek a floor test on March 16 after the resignations of 22 Congress MLAs left the Kamal Nath-led Govt on the verge of collapse, PTI reported.“Since the Govt is in minority, we are going to request the governor and Assembly speaker for a floor test on March 16 when the state Budget Session begins,” BJP’s chief whip in MP Assembly Narottam Mishra said, according to PTI. “They have the resignations of 22 MLAs. Now it is up to them to take a call.”However, senior Congress leader Digvijaya Singh said a floor test cannot take place because the resignations submitted by 19 party MLAs have not been accepted, ANI reported.Accusing the BJP of holding its MLAs hostage, Singh said the party leaders must physically come before the Speaker and “speak for themselves”. Meanwhile, Assembly Speaker Narmada Prasad Prajapati has given time till Friday to 22 MLAs who quit the Congress to appear before him, PTI reported.Meanwhile, the Congress and BJP rushed to guard their MLAs amid the power struggle in Madhya Pradesh. The saffron party began moving its MLAs out of Bhopal airport and flew them to Delhi. They are lodged at a hotel in Gurugram, Haryana at the moment.Congress may shift its MLAs to Chhattisgarh or Rajasthan.scroll
MP govt crisis: Will prove majority, had talked about BJP plot with Scindia, says Kamal Nath
The beleaguered Madhya Pradesh Chief Minister Kamal Nath, who has been meeting a stream of visitors at his residence ever since the dramatic exit of Jyotiraditya Scindia Tuesday, appears to be sanguine about averting the fall of his 15-month-old Govt.“I am confident that the Congress will win the floor test in Assembly after it convenes as scheduled on March 15. You will see that we will be able to prove our majority in Assembly,” he said on Wednesday on the telephone from Bhopal.Asked what was his confidence based on and whether he was in touch with some of 22 MLAs who had submitted their resignations on Holi, he replied: “Yes, we are in touch with them. Everyone is talking to everyone is all I can say at this stage. The point that the media is missing is that if Congress MLAs had given their resignations of their own free will, why are they not in Bhopal? Why have they not been allowed to come to Bhopal and submit their resignations in person? They should be here if they have not been held captive.”He said that, ironically, he had been in “constant touch” with Jyotiraditya Scindia in the weeks preceding his resignation and that efforts being made by BJP to poach Congress MLAs were also being freely discussed between them.indianexpress
*J&K, SOUTH ASIA & india *
Young Kashmiris want Indian forces to leave says Survey: report
More than 90 % of college and university students surveyed in Kashmir want a complete withdrawal of Indian forces from the region, according to a new survey.Approximately 600 college and university students were part of the survey conducted by researchers from the Central University of Kashmir and New York's Skidmore College in the wake of New Delhi's decision to revoke the Muslim-majority region's special status last August.According to the survey, which was conducted between October and Dec.2019, 91 % of the respondents wanted a complete withdrawal of Indian forces from the region.The same %age backed the holding of a referendum to decide the future status of the Muslim-majority region, the survey, published in The Washington Post last week, said.On the question of seeking Pakistan's support in the potential resolution of the conflict, 64 % participants responded positively, while 79 % said they would like Western mediators to consider Kashmiris a central party in any negotiations."Other than being an inherent right, Kashmiri nationalism has a history older than both Indian and Pakistani nation-states," Haroon Rashid, a research scholar based in India, told Al Jazeera.
PDP leader Abdul Wani renounces politics against abolition of Article 370
Srinagar:PDP leader and former trade unionist Abdul Qayoom Wani on Thursday renounced politics in protest against the Centre’s decision to repeal Article 370.Wani, a trade union leader, had joined PDP ahead of the Lok Sabha polls in 2019.“I am renouncing politics to protest against the illegal and unconstitutional decision of the Centre regarding abrogation of Article 370 and repeal of Article 35A,” he said.PTI
*ECONOMY*
Rs 11 Lakh Crore Investor Wealth Destroyed In Worst Day For Markets
S&P BSE Sensex and NSE Nifty 50 indexes suffered their biggest single-day selloff ever as they entered the bear market on Thursday wiping out Rs 11.42 lakh crore of investors' wealth. Nifty 50 crashed as much as 9 % or 950 points to 9,508 during the session - its lowest level recorded since June 2017 and the S&P BSE Sensex dropped as much as 8.97 % or 3,204 points to 32,493 - its lowest in 23 months. The investor sentiment - which has been shaky in the past few weeks in the backdrop of the fast-spreading coronavirus outbreak - took a further beating after the World Health Organisation declared the deadly virus as a pandemic.The last time Indian stock indexes dropped as much was at the height of the global financial crisis in 2008.The virus outbreak heightened worries over Indian economy, which was already slowing, with the recent collapse of Yes Bank adding to concerns over the country's financial sector."We were on a shaky economy and we thought bottom was hit in December 2019. But now 8,800 on Nifty is a possibility," market expert Ajay Bagga told NDTV.ndtv
Panic over pandemic: Sensex crashes over 3,000 points, Nifty below 9,600
Cheated by a system & bank we trusted: Yes Bank AT1 bondholders cry for help
In the aftermath of Yes Bank episode, several customers of the bank accused their respective bank relationship managers of luring them into buying high-risk AT1 bonds.RBI draft revival plan for Yes Bank assured all depositors that their money is safe. It, however, left all of Yes Bank's AT1 or Additional Tier 1 bond investors in a tight spot. Holders of these bonds issued by Yes Bank -- if RBI's draft plan becomes a reality -- will be forced to leave empty-handed as AT1 bonds will be written off completely. They have requested RBI to go through their case details and asked the central bank to reconsider. If all fails, those affected plan to sort out the issue legally.Just a day ago, a group of affected retail investors submitted a fresh letter to Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman, requesting her to take urgent action as their "life savings are at stake".A copy of the letter signed by 21 bondholders - all retail investors -- seen by IndiaToday. There are many other retail investors who were lured in by the relationship managers, working at Yes bank branches across states, to buy high-risk bonds.indiatoday
Biggest cut in Global oil prices since 1991. Will your fuel bill crash?indiatoday
New Delhi:Fashioned by its own compulsions, Saudi Arabia has brought good news for the Modi Govt. The crude oil prices have dropped in the sharpest cut since the 1991 Gulf War this week. This means that in the times of economic slowdown, India can significantly reduce its import bill and Modi Govt can save money that may be used to reverse the economic slowdown.Oil import bill is the single-biggest entry in the current account to cause deficit year after year. India imports nearly 85% of its oil requirements. And, oil is a major source of energy and a lot depends on how India spends its oil as it plans economic recovery.Oil prices have crashed by about 50 % since mid-January. Before the current slide began, crude oil was selling at $59 per barrel on Feb. 20-21. It crashed to less than $34 per barrel on March 11.But if you thought that your vehicular fuel bill will decline then you may be mistaken. Even though the current market prices show a declining trend with diesel available at 13-month low and petrol at cheapest since July 2019. The prices were unusually low between 2014 and 2016. But Modi Govt used the opportunity to fatten its purse rather than passing on the benefit to the direct consumers.Modi Govt went on a duty-increase spree to keep pace with the declining crude oil prices during the period. During the period of declining crude oil prices, Modi Govt -- between 2014 and 2016 to be precise -- had raised excise duty 9 times. The Govt raised excise duties on petrol and diesel to collect more tax. Petroleum continues to stay outside the ambit of GST.For consumers, keeping petrol and diesel outside GST coverage means they pay about 50 % of the total fuel cost as taxes.
Retail inflation growth eases to 6.58% in Feb; IIP rises 2% in Jan: Govt data
India’s retail inflation, which is measured by the Consumer Price Index (CPI) rose 6.58 % in the month of Feb.. Separately, the country’s factory output, which is measured in terms of Index of Industrial Production (IIP) witnessed a growth of 2.0 % on-year to 137.1 during the month of January, according to two separate data released by the Ministry of Statistics & Programme Implementation (MoSPI) on Thursday.The inflation growth rate, however, eased as compared to the preceding month. CPI had grown 7.59 % the month of January and 2.57 % in Feb. last year, the data showed.indianexpress
Opposition warns Govt against Railway privatisation
 Opposition has demanded that the Govt not undertake privatisation of railways and come out with a separate Rail Budget to better analyse the performance. Participating in a discussion on demands for grants of Ministry of Railways in Lok Sabha, M.K. Raghavan (Congress) said BJP Govt has shown consistent apathy towards railways in the last five years and the dismal performance is visible in the high operating ratio, which is the worst in last 10 years.“Railways is a services sector. BJP is unaware of reasons for establishment of railways. Railway is not an engine to be auctioned off to the highest bidder, it is for poor man’s service,” he said.PTI
*OTHERS*
Submission of proof ends, Babri Masjid demolition trial in last stage:ET report
New Delhi:After more then a decade since Babri Masjid trial commenced, CBI has concluded submitting its evidence putting the trial in its last leg.The court will now summon all the accused, over 30 of them, including senior BJP leaders, and record their statements under Section 313 of CrPC, multiple persons with direct knowledge of the matter, said. The trial started in special CBI court at Lucknow in 2010. In a related development, lead investigator of Babri Masjid demolition trial and former top cop of CBI M Narayanan has testified in the special CBI Court at Lucknow about the veracity of a report of MHA and statements of independent witnesses.He said MHA report, received by CBI a year after the demolition, detailed the list of casualties, number of people injured and properties damaged across the country during the riots. Narayanan, former Joint Director of CBI, in his testimony has attested to recording statements of independent witnesses during the investigation, said sources privy to the development. Narayanan, the chief investigating officer of the case, has deposed that a number of independent witnesses told agency that after demolition of Babri Masjid a number of Muslims deserted their houses in Faizabad and ran away.The witnesses, Narayanan has deposed, also said that not only their houses and shops were gutted but their goats were also burnt. Other witnesses claimed that a number of individuals were burnt alive during the demolition. Witnesses have also said that a number of Muslims left Ayodhya. On the other hand, a report prepared by MHA shared with CBI on Sept.20, 1993, said that a total of 1969 individuals were killed and nearly 8,000 were injured across India in riots triggered on account of the Babri Masjid demolition.MHA report further said that a total of 59 religious institutions were damaged and properties worth about ?135 crore were damaged during the riots in Dec. 1992. Sources quoted above added that Narayanan has stood his ground during the cross examination by the defence counsels.economictimes
Plea in Delhi HC seeking direction to control religious conversion
 A PIL was filed in Delhi High Court seeking direction to take steps to control religious conversion by intimidating, threatening or deceivingly luring unwitting individuals with gifts or monetary benefits or by using miracles, superstition, and black magic.The plea was filed by BJP leader and lawyer Ashwini Kumar Upadhyay to take appropriate steps to control religious conversion in the spirit of the observations made by the Supreme Court.He has also sought appropriate steps to prohibit religious gatherings, which are intended to mislead people by making false and untenable claims, designed to lure ignorant masses in joining a particular faith or religious group by false exaggerated claims of possession of divine and supernatural powers, in the spirit of the observations of the Allahabad High Court.ANI
Bhima Koregaon: Report finds Rona Wilson’s Hard Disk was allegedly tampered
New Delhi: In an investigation that could change the way the Bhima Koregaon case is being looked at, The Caravan magazine has found that human rights activist Rona Wilson’s hard disk, part of evidence that allegedly incriminates him, was tampered with.It is important to note that the report has been filed by Anjaneya Sivan, a software engineer with the organisation and Martand Kaushik, a senior assistant editor at the magazine.In a 5,000-page charge sheet, Pune Police had claimed that Wilson’s hard disk allegedly contained a letter that detailed a plot to assassinate Prime Minister Narendra Modi and that it had intentions of overthrowing the Govt.The case relates to alleged inflammatory speeches delivered at 'Elgar Parishad' conclave, held at Shaniwarwada in Pune on Dec.31, 2017, which police claimed, triggered violence near the Koregaon Bhima war memorial located on the city's outskirts the next day.
Bhima Koregaon case: Prison-rights activist Rona Wilson’s hard disk contained malware that allowed remote access:caravanmagazine
NIA Files Charge Sheet Against 9 'Pro-Khalistan' Youths in Tarn Taran Blast Case
NIA has filed a charge sheet against 9 “pro-Khalistan” youths for their alleged involvement in last year’s Tarn Taran blast in Punjab in which 2 persons were killed, the agency said.Massa Singh, Harjit Singh, Gurjant Singh, Manpreet Singh, Bikramjit Singh Panjwar, all residents of Tarn Taran;Chandeep Singh of Gurdaspur; Malkit Singh and Amarjeet Singh of Amritsar and one juvenile have been charged under relevant provisions of the IPC, UAPA and Explosive Substances Act, an NIA spokesperson said. The charge sheet was filed in a special NIA court in Mohali.On September 4 last year, a powerful explosion took place in a vacant plot on the outskirts of Pandori Gola village in Tarn Taran in which two persons were killed and another was grievously injured. They were digging a pit to retrieve concealed explosives, spokesperson said.PTI
Behind killer cough syrup 'Coldbest':Glaring gaps in regulation & its manufacture
Jammu, New Delhi :Earlier this year, around 17 children from Ramnagar in J&K were hospitalised. More than half of them died of kidney failure. The cause: A batch of “Coldbest” cough syrup containing a chemical that should never have been there in the first place — diethylene glycol (DEG).Over a month of investigations, first by a team of doctors from PGIMER-Chandigarh and later by drug control regulators, revealed on March 2 that the syrup was, in fact, the culprit. The September batch of Coldbest, manufactured by Himachal-based Digital Vision Pharma and sold in several states, contained 34.97 % of the poisonous chemical, according to Chandigarh’s Regional Drugs Testing Laboratory. Jammu and Kashmir, Himachal and Haryana authorities have since filed FIRs, setting in motion further investigations into alleged offences by the company. Last week Himachal Chief Minister Jai Ram Thakur said that the Govt was seeking “stringent action” — imprisonment of 10 years to life against the company’s executives.Glaring gaps in the regulatory process together with several failures in the manufacturing chain in the company itself could be behind the toxic batch entering the market.The company is yet to issue any statement on the deaths of the children in Jammu and Kashmir.indianexpress
Bhim Army chief to announce new political party on Sunday: Report
New Delhi :Bhim Army chief Chandra Shekhar who was in the news for actively raising his voice against CAA will announce his new political party in Delhi on Sunday.Sunday also marks the birth anniversary of BSP founder, late Kanshi Ram.The name of the new party to be formed by the leader is not certain yet, but as per the reports, some likely name are — Azad Bahujan Party, Bahujan Awam Party and Azad Samaj Party.Among these, the Azad Bahujan Party was supported by many of the office bearers but the name will be finalized after the Election Commission gives its approval.thestatesman
Dalit boy in Kerala allegedly assaulted for trying to bathe in temple pond
15-year-old Vishnu Pranav, a native of Ezhupunna in Alappuzha district, had gone to take a bath in a nearby temple pond on March 6. There had been no water supply in his house for a few days. He wanted to get back home quickly and prepare for the class 10 final exams scheduled to start 3 days later. Little did he know that he would end up at Cherthala taluk hospital, injured after being allegedly assaulted by a man, who said, “temple pond is not for Dalit boys.”Aroor police has filed a case against the accused, Ezhupunna native Gopi, a retired railway official, who is absconding. He has been booked. The incident was first reported by Media One on Tuesday.Vishnu, who studies at St Raphael's school in Ezhupunna, had gone to the Sreenarayanapuram temple’s pond near his home along with a friend when the alleged incident happened. Gopi, who happened to come to spot too, questioned why they were standing there.thenewsminute
Section 144 Imposed 276 Times In Delhi In Last 3 Years: MHA In Parliament
Union Home Ministry on Wednesday, informed the Rajya Sabha that Section 144 of the CrPC)had been imposed 276 times in Delhi in the last 3 years."As per the information available, there have been 276 instances of resorting to imposition of Section 144 in Delhi to prevent certain unlawful acts such as carrying of licensed arms, flying of drones/ paragliders, the prohibition of consumption of intoxicating substances at public places/ near liquor vends, restrictions for heavy vehicular traffic etc," junior Home Minister G Kishan Reddy said in a written reply to a question.Section 144 prohibits assembly of 4 or more people in an area. Thelogicalindian
Court to pronounce punishment on Friday in custodial death of Unnao rape victim's father
New Delhi :A special court here will pronounce the quantum of punishment on Friday in connection with the custodial death of Unnao rape victim's father involving Kuldeep Singh Sengar and others.Special Judge Dharmesh Sharma, while hearing the arguments on Thursday, said: "It was on his (Sengar) command that the incident happened.""Everywhere he was present. No one can deny that. Everyone has a family. You should have thought about it during committing the crime. You have made a mockery of the system," observed the judge.ANI
*Coronavirus*
 WHO declares COVID-19 a pandemic, India fights back with Epidemic Act
WHO has classified coronavirus a pandemic. India invoked Section 2 of Epidemic Diseases Act to deal with coronavirus. Earlier today, 2 employees from tech companies Mindtree and Dell have tested positive for the deadly coronavirus in India. Both these employees have a travel history to abroad. Besides, in what could be the first death due to coronavirus in India, a patient suspected of being infected with COVID-19 virus, has died in Hyderabad. However, no official confirmation has been received from Telangana govt so far. A total of 83 individuals, who arrived from Italy on Air India flight today, have been quarantined at Army facility at Manesar, Haryana. Out of 84 people, 74 are Indian, six are Italian and rest three are from the United States.Last night, India moved towards a lockdown by cancelling most visas issued to foreign nationls. According to WHO, globally there currently more than 1,24,000 cases of coronavirus across 118 countries. More than 4,600 people have lost their lives due the virus. At the press conference, MEA officials also said that the number of Indians coming back from foreign nations has reduced by 40 % in the last few weeks.Addressing a press conferrence in Delhi, officials of MEA advised against holding the Indian Premier League. "I think it is for the organizers to decide whether to go ahead with it or not. Our advice would be to not do it at this time but if they want to go ahead, it is their decision," MEA officials said. Businesstoday/ indiatoday
Delhi schools, colleges, cinema halls closed till March 31 over coronavirus
All schools, colleges and cinema halls in Delhi will be closed till March 31 after WHO declared coronavirus a pandemic. The Delhi Govt has invoked Epidemic Act to tackle coronavirus spread.Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal said, "All cinema halls to remain shut in Delhi till 31st March. Schools and colleges where exams are not being held will also remain closed. #CoronaVirus."indiatvnews
All cinema halls, schools and colleges to remain shut in Delhi till March 31
Coronavirus outbreak: All visas — except diplomatic, official, UN — suspended till April 15, entry barred for OCI card-holders too
ON A day that WHO said the novel coronavirus ) outbreak could now be “characterised as a pandemic”, India on Wednesday took the unprecedented decision to suspend all visas, barring select categories, till April 15, effectively closing its borders for a month.Centre also advised all states and Union territories to invoke provisions of the Epidemic Diseases Act, 1897, which will enable them to enforce advisories as and when needed.“All existing visas, except diplomatic, official, UN/ international organisations, employment, project visas, stand suspended till 15th April 2020. This will come into effect from 1200 GMT on 13th March 2020 at the port of departure. Visa free travel facility granted to OCI card holders is kept in abeyance till April 15th, 2020. This will come into effect from 1200 GMT on 13th March 2020 at the port of departure. Any foreign national who intends to travel to India for compelling reason may contact the nearest Indian Mission,” Ministry of Health and Family Welfare said.indianexpress
No central minister will travel abroad in upcoming days: PM Modi amid coronavirus outbreak
With the number of novel coronavirus cases increasing in India and globally, Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Thursday assured that his Govt is “fully vigilant” about the prevailing situation and that multiple steps have been taken to ensure the safety of the citizens.n a tweet, PM stated that none of his ministers will travel abroad in the upcoming days and urged people to avoid non-essential travel.“Say no to panic, say yes to precautions. No Minister of the Central Govt will travel abroad in the upcoming days. I urge our countrymen to also avoid non-essential travel. We can break the chain of spread and ensure the safety of all by avoiding large gatherings,” the Prime Minister tweeted.indianexpress
 Covid-19 deaths in Iran touch 430, total cases more than 10,000
The death toll in Iran due to the coronavirus outbreak has reached 429. On Thursdsay, Iran reported 75 new deaths from the coronavirus in the past 24 hours, bringing the death toll there to 429, news agency Reuters reproted. We have identified 1,075 new confirmed cases of COVID-19 in the last 24 hours, meaning that there are 10,075 infected people in the country. The death toll is 429." Health Ministry spokesman Kianush Jahanpur told state television.
No study to suggest high temperature kills coronavirus: Health Ministry
Health Ministry officials said that while flu is not common in summer, there are no studies currently to suggest that high temperature kills coronavirus.
Chickening out: Coronavirus pushes Indian poultry industry to its worst crisis
Pune :Urja Foods and Agro’s hatchery unit spread over 10 acres in Gawadewadi village of Pune district’s Ambegaon taluka wears a deserted look. Not surprising at all, when its production of day-old chicks was 5.4 lakh in Feb. but is unlikely to cross 2 lakh this month. This is against the hatchery’s normal monthly capacity of 6 lakh. “In Feb. alone, we lost Rs 10 crore. The only way not to sink further is to produce less,” says Pramod Hinge Patil, the owner of Rs 100 crore-turnover private limited company that “places” its day-old chicks with some 500 farmers. Urja Foods also supplies poultry feed and medicines to farmers within 50-km radius of Ambegaon, mainly in Pune and some in Ahmednagar district.Patil’s woes are a result of a misinformation campaign, especially over WhatsApp, Facebook and other social media, linking the spread of the novel coronavirus (COVID-19) to chicken meat consumption. These messages — declared as “fraudulent and fake news” by the Union Ministry of Fisheries, Animal Husbandry & Dairying — have resulted in both demand and prices tanking.Rs 80 per kg. By Feb. 10, these had dropped to Rs 40-42 and further to Rs 30-32 levels at the start of March. Maharashtra Poultry Farmers’ and Breeders’ Association has stopped declaring prices in the last few days, but there are reports of sales happening now at Rs 5-10 per kg.Urja Foods is an integrated poultry company that maintains around 45,000 parent birds — 10% cocks, with the balance 90% hens that produce fertilized eggs.India’s poultry industry comprises 450-500 “integrators” such as Urja Foods and an estimated 15 lakh farmer-rearers. Roughly 65% of the country’s broiler market is accounted for by the ‘Vencobb 400’ parent variety (the common white-feather bird) belonging to Pune-headquartered Venkateshwara Hatcheries Pvt Ltd. Other major pureline/grandparent breeds include ‘Hubbard’ and ‘Ross’, which are owned by the German poultry sciences giant Aviagen.The hit from a price crash, triggered by unsubstantiated fears over poultry meat posing the risk of COVID-19 infection, is currently being largely borne by the integrators. indianexpress
Karnataka farmer buries chickens alive due to coronavirus scare
Amid the growing coronavirus scare and accompanying rumours, a poultry farmer in Karnataka buried thousands of chickens alive to avoid the spread of the contagious disease.In the video, one can see the farmer burying the chickens alive in a pit. He buried around 6,000 live chickens after the drop in prices. Apparently, the farmer was getting Rs 8-10 for the chickens, whereas the cost for looking after them was Rs 50-60. Therefore, the owner used a JCB to dig up a hole and dumped the live chickens in them.The poultry industry in different parts of the country has been hit hard amid rumours that the novel coronavirus can be transmitted through consumption of chicken, the prices of which have fallen considerably as a result.Last month, the Union Ministry of Animal Husbandry had clarified that chicken may be considered safe as no report has so far confirmed its involvement in the coronavirus outbreak.IANS
Coronavirus: 73 infected in India; 6,000 Indians stranded in Iran
New Delhi:The number of people in India who have the new coronavirus disease, Covid-19, has risen to 73, according to a tally posted by the health ministry on Thursday.56 of these patients are Indian nationals. Kerala has the highest number of cases (17), followed by Haryana (14), Uttar Pradesh (11) and Mahrashtra (11).India has brought back hundreds of citizens from China and Iran on special flights. External Affairs Minister S Jaishankar says as many as 6,000 Indians are stranded in the Middle East nation, where the virus has killed over 350 people -- the third highest death toll outside China. They include as many as 1,000 pilgrims from Maharashtra, Jammu and Kashmir, and Ladakh, he said.India Today
Iran virus deaths reach 429, infections pass 10,000
Iran today announced that another 75 people had died of the new coronavirus, bringing the overall number of deaths to 429 out of more than 10,000 infections.It is the highest single-day death toll in the three weeks since the Islamic republic announced its first deaths from the outbreak last month."In the past 24 hours, 1,075 people have been infected with COVID-19... bringing the total number of infected people to 10,075 cases," health ministry spokesman Kianoush Jahanpour said."75 people hospitalised in the past few days have lost their lives and today a total of 429 infected people are no longer with us," he added.Ahead of Nowrouz, the Iranian New Year holidays that start this year on March 20, authorities in several provinces have issued orders to close hotels and other tourist accommodation.Iran said on Thursday that it has sought immediate financial assistance from IMF to help it combat the COVID-19 outbreak, in what would be its first such loan in decades.AFP
Saudi Suspends Travel, Flights to India, Pakistan, EU and Several Other Countries Over Coronavirus
 Saudi Arabia has temporarily suspended travel of citizens and residents and halted flights with several states due to coronavirus fears, state news agency SPA said on Thursday citing an official source at Interior Ministry.The decision includes the EU, Switzerland, India, Pakistan, Sri Lanka, Philippines, Sudan, Ethiopia, South Sudan, Eritrea, Kenya, Djibouti, and Somalia, source added, saying Kingdom also suspended entry to those coming from these countries.Saudi Arabia also suspended passenger traffic through all land crossings with Jordan , while commercial and cargo traffic is still allowed, and the passage of exceptional humanitarian cases.Reuters
*WORLD*
Saudi: MBS continues royal purge with new arrests
Saudi Arabia’s Crown Prince Mohammed Bin Salman has reportedly arrested another prince over the weekend, as part of a week-long purge of elements within the royal family who are hostile to his accession to the throne.The arrest of Prince Mohammed Bin Saad Al Saud – the son of King Salman’s brother Saad Bin Abdulaziz – was discovered by reliable sources who informed the London-based news organisation Middle East Eye.His arrest comes after at least 20 other senior Saudi princes were detained since Friday, including Prince Ahmed Bin Abdulaziz – the younger brother of King Salman – and his son Nayef Bin Ahmed, as well as Mohammed Bin Nayef, the former crown prince.The sweeping arrests are part of a purge being carried out within the royal family, with many speculating that the crown prince is conducting them for the purpose of finally gaining access to the throne which his ailing father King Salman currently sits on.It has also been reported by the same news site that MBS, as the crown prince is known, is planning to attain the position before the G20 Summit which Riyadh is hosting in November.middleeastmonitor
Top Saudi intelligence official 'chased' to Canada by MBS:Middle East Eye
The Canadian Govt gave refuge to a powerful former Saudi intelligence official deemed a threat to Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman's rule, 3 sources familiar with the matter have told Middle East Eye.Saad al-Jabri, once a trusted top adviser to the crown prince's rival Mohammed bin Nayef, the former interior minister with deep ties to western intelligence agencies, is described by some observers as the most wanted Saudi outside the kingdom. Jabri fled the kingdom in 2017 just before bin Nayef was put under house arrest and replaced as crown prince by his 31-year-old cousin.
MBS's crackdown: What prompted the recent arrest of Saudi royals?aljazeera
3 US-led coalition soldiers killed in rocket attack in Iraq
At least 3 US-led coalition soldiers have been killed after multiple rockets hit an Iraqi base housing US and coalition troops on Wednesday, according to a statement by Operation Inherent Resolve.The statement added that at least 12 more soldiers were injured during the attack, which is "under investigation by the coalition and Iraqi security forces".In a statement released on Thursday, Iraqi President Barham Salih condemned the attack and pledged to investigate and hold accountable those responsible.aljazeera
Turkey says Idlib ceasefire details largely agreed on with Russia
Turkish and Russian officials have largely agreed on details of a ceasefire deal in Syria's war-battered Idlib province, Turkish Defence Minister Hulusi Akar said today, the third day of discussions between 2 countries.Last week, NATO-member Turkey and Russia - 2 countries back opposing sides in Syria's war - agreed on the ceasefire to halt an escalation of violence in Idlib that has displaced nearly a million people and brought two countries close to direct confrontation.Under the agreement, Turkish and Russian forces will carry out joint patrols along the strategic M4 highway linking Syria's east and west, and establish a security corridor either side of it.A Russian delegation arrived in Ankara this week to discuss the details of the agreement.aljazeera
Newspaper: Haftar visits Damascus secretly to coordinate against Turkey
Asharq Al-Awsat newspaper revealed that retired Field Marshal Khalifa Haftar has recently visited Damascus secretly, followed by Head of Egyptian intelligence, Abbas Kamel, who also attended the Syrian capital last mid-week, in light of coordinating efforts against Turkey.The newspaper said that Haftar’s visit paved the way for the resumption of diplomatic relations between the parallel Govt in Benghazi, the Syrian regime and the Interim Syrian Govt in Damascus, in addition to reviving the Syrian diplomacy. The primary objective of both visits (Haftar’s and Kamel’s) was to coordinate efforts to counter the Turkish role in several regions, most importantly in Syria and Libya.middleeastmonitor
Hamas, Tunisia discuss cooperation to tackle Israel aggression
Head of Change and Reform Bloc in the Palestinian Parliament, Mahmoud Al-Zahar, discussed mutual cooperation with Speaker of Tunisian Parliament Rachid Ghannouchi, a statement said.Al-Zahar and Ghannouchi discussed mutual cooperation related to several issues, including the fight against the US ‘deal of the century’ and protecting the Islamic holy sites in Palestine from Israeli aggression.During the phone call, Al-Zahar reiterated the “strength” of the historic Palestinian-Tunisian relations and hailed the stances of Tunisian people, parliament and president related to the Palestinian cause.middleeastmonitor
In change, US describes East Jerusalem Palestinians as 'Arab residents'
US State Department changed its standard description of East Jerusalem Palestinians from “Palestinian residents” of the city to “Arab residents” or “non-Israeli citizens” in an annual global human rights report released on Wednesday, Reuters reports.The overwhelming majority of East Jerusalem’s more than 340,000 Palestinians identify as such. The Palestinians have long sought the city’s east, which Israel captured in a 1967 war and later annexed in a move not recognised internationally, as capital of a future state.Palestinians in Jerusalem hold Israeli residency permits but few have citizenship in Israel, which considers the entire holy city as its eternal, undivided capital. Jerusalem is also home to more than 500,000 Israelis.middleeastmonitor
Israeli General: ‘Mubarak ordered opening army cemeteries for Israelis to search for their dead soldiers’
An Israeli general said that “death of former President Hosni Mubarak is a good occasion to remember an Arab leader who understood the meaning of peace with Israel, and added a human perspective to it. He was the only leader in the region who maintained more than anyone else peace with Israel and stability in the Middle East.”Shimon Hefetz added in his article in the Israel DefenceMagazine, translated by Arabi21, that “Mubarak’s departure from the world came after his humiliating appearance before the court as he was the last Egyptian pharaohs who ruled the country of the Nile for a long time, and here he recalled how Mubarak ordered Egyptian army to look for the missing Israeli soldiers during Oct.1973 War.”Hefetz, ex military secretary to Israeli President EzerWeizman, revealed that “Mubarak ordered the opening of the Egyptian army cemeteries for the Israelis so that they can search for the bodies of their dead soldiers, who were killed in the air, sea and land, without limiting the time or duration of this authorization.”middleeastmonitor


UK Lawyers for Israel: Palestinian children’s rights NGO does not have links to terror groups
UK Lawyers for Israel (UKLFI), an activist organisation which focuses on attacking supporters of Palestinian human rights, has settled out of court in a case brought forward after it alleged children’s rights NGO, Defence for Children International – Palestine (DCIP), had close links to terror groups.The news comes as DCIP reached a settlement in a defamation case against UKLFI. On its website, UKLFI stated:"In 2018 we wrote about Defence for Children International – Palestine and referred to links between some past board members and a designated terrorist organisation, the PFLP. We would like to clarify that we did not intend to suggest that the organisation has close current links, or provides any financial or material support to any terrorist organisation."In a press release issued shortly after news broke of the settlement, DCIP noted that UKLFI has been targeting DCIP since 2018 “through a well-orchestrated political and media misinformation campaign aimed at isolating it, seriously harming its reputation and integrity as a human rights organisation, and preventing it from receiving charitable donations or raising funds.”
US air strike in Somalia killed civilians: MP
A US air strike in southern Somalia killed civilians, not al-Shabab fighters as claimed by Washington, family members and a politician told Al Jazeera.Washington carried out the air strike near the farming town of Janaale, 95km south of Mogadishu, on Monday claiming the attack killed "five terrorists".The victims were civilians travelling in a minibus heading to the capital Mogadishu, Abdullahi Abdirahman Ali, who lost his father in the air strike, said. "Americans are lying. They killed my elderly father. He is 70 years old and can barely move. He can't walk without the help of a walking stick. He is not al-Shabab," Abdullahi said. Al Jazeera
Biden sidelines pro-Modi Indian-American as Muslim outreach coordinator after liberal firestorm:TOI
Washington: Former US vice-president Joe Biden’s campaign has sidelined an Indian-American associate from its Muslim outreach efforts following complaints of purported "Islamophobia," which critics of his appointment say is manifested in his closeness to India's prime minister Narendra Modi and the BJP.Amit Jani, a long-term Democratic operative has been under fire for several weeks now from a section of Biden supporters, many of them Muslim, after he was named the campaign’s Muslim outreach coordinator, in addition to being the National Asian American Pacific Islander Director to the presidential campaign for Biden. Petitions and critical commentary have been floating online demanding that he be removed from the posts because of his and his family’s ties with the BJP and RSS and its alleged Islamophobia.Jani’s father Suresh Jani and Modi go back to their teenage years in Vadnagar, Gujarat, where they enrolled in the same RSS Shakha. Jani received Modi at JFK airport during his first visit to the U.S in the early 1990s and photos he emailed to ToI of Modi in front of White House and Universal Studios are in wide use today. Jani was also a co-founder of the Overseas Friends of BJP in US.The appointment of his son Amit Jani, who has worked for several Democratic lawmakers and leaders over the years, has now irked Biden liberal and Muslim supporters, ostensibly because of his continued support for BJP in recent months. Critics have dredged up photos and commentary by Amit Jani celebrating Modi's success, to demand he be sacked.TOI

Children should be taught in mother tongue: UN expert on minority issues
Geneva:Children from linguistic minorities should be taught in their own mother tongue, said UN independent expert on minority issues, presenting his latest report on Wednesday to Human Rights Council in Geneva.According to Fernand de Varennes, this is not only necessary for inclusive, quality education but also to respect the human rights of all children.Special Rapporteur said that: "Education in a minority's mother tongue, combined with quality teaching of the official language, is more cost-effective in the long term; reduces dropout rates; leads to noticeably better academic results, particularly for girls; improves levels of literacy and fluency in both the mother tongue and the official or majority language; leads to greater family and community involvement."Learning in one's first language can help mitigate the risk of "ending up later in life with the lowest paying jobs and highest unemployment rates", he said. The language of education can also have an impact on the self-esteem and development of minority students, according to the report.UNI

*views, Articles, FEATURES*
Abuse of power:Allahabad HC ruling against public shaming of anti-CAA protesters is enormously welcome: indianexpress
Scindia’s move needs to be seen as the routine task of maximising political gains:Suhas Palshikar, indianexpress
Assam and CAA: Timeline from Assam Accord of 1985 Till Now:ICF
Jyotiraditya Scindia’s Switch Raises Questions That We Sidestep at Our Own Peril:Advocate Rajeev Dhavan, thewire
With Jyotiraditya Scindia's BJP Entry, What Happens to the MLAs in His Camp?Neeraj Mishra, thewire
BJP insists Indian Muslims have nothing to fear from CAA – so why are people still protesting?Rohan Venkataramakrishnan, scroll
3 key questions for Amit Shah after his self-serving speech about the Delhi violence:Rohan Venkataramakrishnan
In photos: 14 Delhi mosques and a dargah that were burnt by Hindutva vigilantes in 3 days:Anjali Mody,
Name and shame hoardings put our lives at stake, says Sadaf Jafar after SC declines to interfere with HC order
Put up banners with names of bank defaulters, if naming and shaming is allowed:lawyers
How Mohammed bin Salman's biggest gamble may cost him the throne:David Hearst, middleeasteye
North East Delhi: As Relief Volunteers, Locals Set Example, Govt Remains Conspicuous by its Absence:Rohit Kumar
Schools burnt down, children suffer from PTSD: Fact-finding team on Delhi riots aftermath say environment of fear pervades violence-hit regions



: Compiled and edited by Anwarulhaq (Released at: 7:41 PM).

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