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Tuesday, 17 March 2020

17 MARCH NEWS: CAA Does Not Violate Any Fundamental Rights, NRC necessary for every country:Centre tells SC.Documents Show Modi Govt Building 360 Degree Database To Track Every Indian. Ex-CJI Gogoi has ‘compromised principles of independence, impartiality of judiciary’: Justice Joseph

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17 March 2020: 21 Rajjab 1441: Vol: 12, No: 158

Anti-CAA,NRC-NPR stir

CAA Does Not Violate Any Fundamental Rights, NRC necessary for every country:Centre tells SC

The Centre Tuesday told the Supreme Court that the Citizenship (Amendment) Act (CAA), 2019 does not violate any fundamental right.The central government, in its 129-page affidavit in response to the pleas challenging the constitutional validity of CAA, termed the legislation legal and asserted that there was no question of it violating constitutional morality. It also said that CAA does not confer any arbitrary and unguided powers on the executive as the citizenship to the persecuted minorities of Pakistan, Afghanistan and Bangladesh would be granted in a manner as specified under the law governing grant of citizenship.The Centre insisted that unlike the particular neighbouring countries, “India is a constitutionally secular country and further has a large population of persons belonging to the classified communities already residing as Indian citizens”. It said that totality of factors, “makes it amply clear that India represents the sole rational and logically feasible place to seek shelter for the said communities.”Centre also said that NRC is a necessary exercise for any sovereign country “for identification of citizens from non-citizens” and added that provisions regarding NRC have been part of said 1955 Act since Dec, 2004.The affidavit was filed in response to the petitions challenging the constitutional validity of CAA.HT/PTI

6 detention centres in Assam with capacity of 3,331 persons, 10 inmates died since March 2019, MHA informs Lok Sabha

New Delhi: Ministry of Home Affairs (MHA) on Tuesday informed the Lok Sabha about six detention centres in Assam with a capacity of 3,331 persons."There are 6 detention centres in Assam having a capacity of 3,331 persons. The detention centre in Tezpur has a capacity of 797 persons, Silchar (479), Dibrugarh (680), Jorhat (670), Kokrajhar (335) and Goalpara (370)," said Home Ministry in a reply to Nusrat Jahan Ruhi, TMC Lok Sabha MP.TMC lawmaker had asked the Home Ministry about detention centres in Assam and their capacity.Responding to a question on new detention centres which are yet to be constructed and made operational in Assam, the Ministry said a detention centre at Matia, Goalpara with a capacity of 3,000 is under construction.Nusrat asked the Home Ministry about the number of people died in NRC detention camps in the North-Eastern states especially in Assam during the last one year."There is no NRC detention camp/centre in the state of Assam. 10 inmates of 6 detention centres in Assam, where declared foreigners/convicted foreigners are kept, died in different hospitals from 1 March, 2019, to 29 Feb, 2020," Home Ministry said.ANI

Fear of statelessness haunts thousands rejected by NRC in Assam

GOROIMARI :The fear of statelessness among in Assam has a name now.Almost everyone in Kamrup district’s Goroimari block knows this name — of 50-year-old Jabeda Begum, declared a foreigner in western Assam’s Baksa district — that has become the template of despair for those left out of the updated NRC.Most of some 21,700 households across 75 villages in this block have at least one member left out of NRC published on August 31, 2019. “Moktar, Joinal, Akbar Ali, Mirchan Nessa... their documents may be considered as they are among one or two members of their families excluded from the list. What will happen to us when they (courts) are rejecting 15-16 documents?” said Jochhon Ali, a farmer whose 31-member family does not figure in the NRC.The number is a reference to Ms. Begum, who submitted 15 documents, including PAN card, land revenue receipt and bank passbook but did not pass muster for the Gauhati High Court to overrule the order of a Foreigners Tribunal (FT) declaring her a foreigner of the “post-March 1971 stream”. The court dismissed her petition on February 12.March 25, 1971 is the cut-off date for detecting and deporting foreigners or illegal immigrants, or “Bangladeshis”, according to the Assam Accord of August 15, 1985.Since finding themselves among the 19.06 lakh NRC-rejects, Mr. Ali and his three brothers have been trying to salvage any document they might have missed while applying for inclusion in the NRC. But the case of Ms. Begum, who has been absconding after the dismissal of her petition, has made Mr. Ali and thousands like him lose hope as the NRC authorities prepare to issue rejection slips. The hindu

Documents Show Modi Govt Building 360 Degree Database To Track Every Indian

NEW DELHI:Narendra Modi government is in the final stages of creating an all-encompassing, auto-updating, searchable database to track every aspect of the lives of each of India’s over 1.2 billion residents, previously undisclosed government documents reviewed by HuffPost India establish.If the plans of Modi’s bureaucrats and advisors are realised, this system will automatically track when a citizen moves between cities, changes jobs, buys new property, when a member of a family is born, dies or gets married and moves to their spouse’s home. The interoperability of modern database systems means there is no technical limit to the extent of data that can be collected and indexed by this master database of databases. In a meeting on Oct.4, 2019, for instance, a special secretary of NITI Aayog even proposed geo-tagging every single home and integrating it with Bhuvan, a web-based geo-spatial portal developed by ISRO.Five years in the making, the proposed National Social Registry has thus far been described by Indian press as a routine exercise to update 2011 Socio-Economic Caste Census (SECC) to prevent the misuse of pro-poor government schemes by ensuring that benefits and entitlements reach the right people. The fact that Ministry of Rural Development is responsible for the SECC has helped further this impression that SECC update is an innocuous bureaucratic task.Now, documents obtained through the Right To Information Act by Srinivas Kodali, data and internet governance researcher, and this correspondent suggest quite the opposite: Under the guise of creating a SECC that automatically updates itself in real time, the National Social Registry (or Social Registry Information System or SECC Social registry as it is also known) will either be a single, searchable Aadhaar-seeded database or “multiple harmonised and integrated databases” that use Aadhaar numbers to integrate religion, caste, income, property, education, marital status, employment, disability and family-tree data of every single citizen.File notings, meeting minutes and interdepartmental correspondence reviewed by HuffPost India reveal that the government has taken concrete steps towards building this database.These revelations are particularly significant at a time when India’s Home Minister Amit Shah of BJP has openly spoken of creating a  NRC to weed out so-called foreign infiltrators that Shah claims are hollowing out India like “termites”. Shah has never provided any evidence to support his claims. If the registry is implemented in its current form, privacy experts warn, the government can use opaque algorithms to sift through reams of data and arbitrarily designate individuals as citizens or non-citizens.huffingtonpost

Delhi Police, govt officials visits Shaheen Bag: Fresh talks between police, protesters at Shaheen Bagh fail

The fresh talks between the Delhi Police and protesters at Shaheen Bagh on Tuesday failed as they ignored the police’s appeal and said to continue their protest despite the novel coronavirus scare.The talks held at a neutral venue at the intersection located about 100 meters away from the protest site in which the local police station SHO and ACP Jagdish Yadav were representing the police, while 20 women represented the protesters.“You have been protesting here from last several months, during which we provided you full security. Now, we request you to vacate the main road and protest at some other place,” ACP Yadav said.As per the reports, the women representatives unanimously opposed the appeal made by the police. ACP Yadav had asked the protesters to vacate the second part of the road so that vehicle movement can be started.The police wanted the front section of the road to open where the protest is currently staged.“If the second part of the road gets opened our security is compromised so we can’t agree to it,” Fatima, one of the women in the talks said.As the message of police was delivered to the protesters at the Shaheen Bagh, they unanimously refused to adhere. Most of the women maintained that the protest will end only when the government withdraws the CAA.The hearing in the Supreme Court is scheduled for next week prior to which, the police is trying to find a solution to this issue through peaceful dialogue. The statesman

'Kejriwal not bigger than SC': Shaheen Bagh protest to continue despite Delhi govt COVID-19 ban

Even as Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal has called off all social or political gathering in the wake of threat due to Coronavirus in the national Capital, iconic Shaheen Bagh protest site is not going to get empty anytime soon.The volunteers at Shaheen Bagh, where anti-CAA protests have been going on since  December 15, have said that they would wait for the Supreme Court orders on the matter. “We have been waiting for the hearing which is scheduled for March 23 in the SC so we will not comply with Delhi govt’s orders,” said Syed Taseer, one of the volunteers. newindianexpress

 'We'll Guard Against Coronavirus But Fear Detention Centres More Than Disease'

New Delhi: The Delhi government has banned gatherings of more than 50 people as part of its coronavirus prevention measures. Meanwhile, the women-led Shaheen Bagh protest against the CAA continues.What do the new guidelines mean for the protest? Are women worried for their health? What precautions are they taking? The Wire‘s Srishti Srivastava finds out.The women say that for them, the draconian laws brought by the Modi government are no less than a deadly virus. “Why has government taken the number to be 50? Can’t the virus spread in a gathering of 45 or even two? Many people who have been displaced in the Delhi riots are staying in a camp, what is the government doing for them? We understand that coronavirus outbreak is deadly, but for us, CAA, NPR and NRC are equally deadly,” said a woman at the protest.“We have been protesting here since past three months and we will not stop until the law is repealed,” she added.“About 50 people travel in a bus, train and flight everyday, will Kejriwal stop them? Will he stop the wedding gatherings too? Because of the new citizenship law, riots broke out, so many people lost their lives but at that time the CM didn’t speak a word, then why is he speaking now?” said another woman at the protest.“Where does the figure of 50 comes from? It’s not a WHO or ICMR figure, nor it has been prescribed by any medical authority. The women here are protesting for their existence, and in these circumstances the CM puts out an arbitrary figure and points out that the protestors at Shaheen Bagh has to get up. I think the authorities should answer the protest politically rather than fooling the public by asking the protesters to quit their protest on medical grounds,” said a woman at the protest.thewire

Anti-CAA protests at Chennai’s Shaheen Bagh to continue

Chennai: According to sources, the protests going on in Chennai’s Washermanpet area, also famously known as Chennai’s Shaheen Bagh, will continue despite the decision of Federation of Muslim Organisations to temporarily call off the protests.The protests have been going on for the past 33 days and the protestors have now decided to bring in medical teams in the wake of the widespread Coronavirus pandemic. It was however said that a final decision would be taken by the protestors only after a consultation. Till then the protest is on, they have said.Federation of Tamil Nadu Muslim Political Parties and Organisations had, on Monday, appealed to anti-CAA protesters to postpone the ongoing ANti-CAA protests in the state in view of Covid-19 outbreak.timesnownews

Bengaluru: Bilal Bagh protesters not deterred by Covid-19, say CAA-NPR-NRC more dangerous

Bengaluru:The threat of coronavirus disease Covid-19, now a pandemic, hasn't deterred women protesting at Bengaluru's Bilal Bagh. In spite of the government shutdown of schools, colleges, malls, cinema halls and large events, their demonstration goes on as usual.As of today, they've been protesting against CAA, NPR and NRC for the past 39 days."We are not bothered about this coronavirus," a protester told India Today TV."We heard about that and we are taking care by drinking hot water. We are avoiding drinking cold drinks but still we feel the coronavirus is not so dangerous than these three viruses. The government has made us to suffer on the roads."Another protester, a medical student, said that if the protesters sit at home due to Covid-19, they would ultimately be thrown out of the country because of the CAA, the NRC and the NPR.India Today

Meghalaya Assembly passes resolution urging Centre to keep state out of CAA

Shillong:Meghalaya Assembly on Monday passed a resolution urging the Centre to exempt the entire state, including the areas not covered under Sixth Schedule, from purview of the CAA.The resolution was moved by Chief Minister Conrad K Sangma during the second day of the assembly''s budget session here.The chief minister informed the House that 23 municipal wards out of 27 are under the Sixth Schedule areas, while the remaining four covering an area of 2 square kilometers fall outside it.The areas under the Sixth Schedule do no fall in the ambit of CAA."To ensure that the entire state is exempted, the state government has taken additional measures to protect the indigenous people of the state by passing a resolution to urge the Government of India to exempt the entire state, including the 2 sq.km not covered under Sixth Schedule from the purview of CAA," he said.He further informed that since the Act has come into force, nobody has applied for citizenship from the state government.The ruling MDA includes BJP.PTI

Posters of anti-CAA protesters: HC pushes date for compliance of order to Apr 10

Allahabad:In the wake of the pendency of the case in the Supreme Court, the Allahabad HC on Tuesday pushed the date for the compliance of its order for the immediate removal of anti-CAA protesters'' posters to April 10.The order was passed by the High Court Bench comprising Chief Justice Govind Mathur and Justice Ramesh Sinha on an application moved by the Lucknow district magistrate.Uttar Pradesh government on Monday had moved an application before the court, seeking more time to file the compliance report in the matter."Having considered the facts stated in the application and the affidavit annexed there to, at this stage we deem it appropriate to extend the time for the filing the compliance report up to April 10, 2020," the Bench observed.PTI

Ordinance Approved by UP Govt to Recover Damages Made During CAA Protests Challenged in Allahabad HC

Lucknow: An ordinance approved by Uttar Pradesh government recently for recovery of damages to public and private properties by rioters and protestors during anti-CAA protests has been challenged in the Allahabad High Court.A PIL has been filed in the Allahabad High Court challenging the constitutional validity of the ordinance which was promulgated by Uttar Pradesh Governor Anandiben Patel.PIL has been filed by advocate Shashank Shri Tripathi stating that the ordinance was a “mischief played on the Constitution”. The matter is listed for March 18 before the bench comprising Chief Justice of Allahabad High Court, Justice Govind Mathur and Justice Ajit Kumar.The Governor has promulgated the ordinance on Sunday which will allow Uttar Pradesh government to set up a claim tribunal through which those allegedly involved in rioting and damaging public and private property will be made to pay for the damages. news18

CAA stir: 2 held, 150 charged with looting, damage in Uttar Pradesh

LUCKNOW: 2 persons were arrested and at least 150 others, including poet Munawwar Rana’s daughter and three dozen women, were booked on Monday on charges of damaging a historical place and looting and assaulting foreign tourists. The women have been staging a protest against the amended citizenship law.The protests at Hussainabad Clock Tower have continued for last 2 months but this is for the first time that they have been booked. Cops also arrested Ibad Ahmad, an anti-CAA protester who was recently released, along with one Nitin Raj. Both of them have been named in the FIR.TOI

Sedition charge against UP lawyer Abdul Hannan for calling Yogi Adityanath terrorist in tweet

A district court lawyer in Kanpur was arrested on sedition charges for retweeting a video of Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath and calling him a terrorist on Sunday.The man, Abdul Hannan, commented on a tweet by State Information Department’s Media Advisor Shalabh Mani Tripathi on Saturday. The tweet by Tripathi had a video of Adityanath’s Vidhan Sabha speech supporting cane charge on people protesting against CAA and NRC.He captioned the video: “Tum kagaz nahi dikhaoge, aur danga bhi failaoge, to hum lathi bhi chalvayenge, gharbaar bhi bikvayenge… aur haan poster bhi lagwayenge (You will not show the papers and will also participate in riots, then we will cane charge, auction your houses and put up posters).”Hannan retweeted Tripathi’s post by calling Adityanath a terrorist.In another tweet, Hannan announced that he would provide free legal help to protesters and requested all “constitution lovers” to follow him and share his tweet.indianexpress
A special NIA court on Tuesday granted bail to Krishak Mukti Sangram Samiti leader Akhil Gogoi, Pratidin Time reported. He was arrested by the agency in December for his alleged role in the protests in Assam against CAA.Gogoi was placed under preventive arrest on December 12 for protesting against CAA. He had staged a sit-in protest outside the Jorhat deputy commissioner’s office, following which he was arrested. NIA said that Gogoi has been booked for “waging a war against the nation”, conspiracy and rioting.scroll

Muslim organisations praise KCR for anti-CAA stand

Hyderabad: Students’ Islamic Organisation (SIO) welcomed the resolution passed by the State government regarding CAA.In a statement, Dr Talha Faiyazuddin , State president, SIO Telangana, said, “people of Telangana have been heard. It will be a new hope for the students of Telangana who had been pitching for this resolution. This resolution is a proof of our continuous struggle against the draconian laws.”Jamiat-e-Ulema also welcomed the decision of government. Maulana Hafez Shabbir Ahmed, president, Jamiat-e-Ulema said Chief Minister  K Chandrashekhar Rao had proved himself as a secular leader and that he was not supporting the divisive policies of BJP-led Union government.Tameer-e- Millat praised Chief Minister for passing the resolution opposing CAA, NPR and NRC in the Assembly on Monday. telanganatoday

Centre should clear confusions over CAA:RSS

Narendra Modi administration should take the initiative to meet all parties and clear the confusion over implementation of the CAA, RSS sarkaryavah Suresh ‘Bhayyaji’ Joshi, said on Monday.Urging the ruling party to take the initiative to hold talks and maintaining that there was ‘definitely’ a need for discussion, Joshi said, “It is the duty of the Central government to talk.”It is unfortunate that a national issue has turned political, he said. Even though Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Home Minister Amit Shah are trying to convince people and allay fears regarding CAA, many leaders are creating confusion among the people to reap political dividends, he said.“We request all political parties to sit down and talk over the issue,” he said.deccanherald

*DELHI VIOLENCE*

Delhi's Muslims despair of justice after police implicated in riots: The Guardian

On one side of the marketplace, it was carnage. As the Hindu mob descended, Muslim-owned stalls selling car parts were slowly reduced to debris and ashes. But just 100 metres away stood two police stations.As the mob attacks came once, then twice and then a third time in this north-east Delhi neighbourhood, desperate stallholders repeatedly ran to Gokalpuri and Dayalpur police stations crying out for help. But each time they found the gates locked from the inside. For three days, no help came.“How could they set fire to our market in such a horrific way, while it is so close to two police stations, and not be stopped?” said a shopkeeper, who asked to remain anonymous for fear of reprisals. “But if I make any complaint against the police and if they know my identity, I will face very serious trouble.”“During the recent riots in Delhi the role of the police has been very reprehensible,” said SR Darapuri, a retired senior police officer. “They not only openly sided with the Hindu mobs attacking Muslims but also used brutal force against them. They purposely failed to respond to SOS calls from Muslims trapped in many violence-hit areas. Evidently, the role of the police has been communal, unethical and unprofessional.”In the weeks that have followed riots, the alleged bias of the police has extended to accusations of a cover-up to protect Hindu rioters and a widespread refusal to file or investigate complaints made by Muslim victims.Ravinder, a 17-year-old who works in his father’s property business and is part of India’s lower-caste Gujjar community, said he and other young Hindu men had heard Kapil Mishra, a BJP leader’s call to action against Muslim community, and began to mobilise on the morning of 24 Feb.without any fear of police reprisal.“There was a clear instruction of catch-and-kill action against any Muslim we could spot,” said Ravinder. “I was in a group of around 15 boys. Many senior brothers said to us that police would not take any action against any member of our community and we could attack the people on the other side [Muslims] the way we liked.”Ravinder described how he and a group of 7 men had captured a Muslim rickshaw driver in his 40s, beaten him with wooden sticks and metal rods until he appeared dead, and then threw him in an open drain while police stood by. He also said the police had instructed them to destroy CCTV cameras as they marauded through the streets. “Some policemen were standing just a few metres away,” said Ravinder. “They did not say anything to us...and a large section of the police all along backed us throughout.”His account was echoed by a Hindu priest from Bihar state. Brahmin, who spoke on condition of anonymity, said he had witnessed young Hindu men in his neighbourhood, who were all BJP supporters, declare that “police brothers are with us” as they gathered stones, iron rods, knives, machetes, wooden sticks and guns ready to attack Muslims.Sanjida, 32, who owned a bakery in Shiv Vihar that was destroyed by mobs, described how she had called the police as the attackers descended and was told by the officer who picked up the phone: “You voted for Kejriwal, call Kejriwal for help.” Others described how when they had called the police helpline, they had been told: “You wanted Azadi [freedom], this is it." Most victims of the riots now believe that police complicity in the violence means they will never receive justice. Mehmood Pracha, a lawyer who is providing free legal assistance to riot victims, alleged that the police were now trying to prevent the mobs that carried out the violence being brought to account.Even a retired Muslim policeman, Mahmood Khan, 66, said no officers had responded to dozens of calls as his house was looted in the riots. theguardian

Indonesia again flags concerns over CAA, Delhi riots

Ties between India and Indonesia have been strained further over a series of  growing protests in Jakarta. Indonesian government has reached out to New Delhi again to “convey concerns” over the violence in Delhi and riots that left 53 people dead, while India has demanded security assurances for the Indian embassy in Jakarta and the Indian consulate in Medan.The message that the Widodo government in Jakarta has delivered is two fold: that it is committed to assuring safety and security for Indian Embassy in Jakarta and the Indian consulate in Medan, while at the same time asking India to engage with the negative public perception in Indonesia.“[Our] civil society and many organisations had a message and those messages were conveyed [to government of India]. People have concerns, but the Indonesian govt. is confident that we are both pluralistic, democratic countries,” sources said, referring to the fact that Indonesia that has an 80% Muslim majority is also home to Buddhists and Hindus, and is not an Islamic state.The source also added that Indonesia would not “interfere” in India’s internal issues, but that the Indonesian public’s reaction to events in India was becoming an issue for their government as well.On March 1, Indonesian Ministry of Foreign Affairs had called in Indian Ambassador Pradeep Kumar Rawat to discuss the concerns, while Indonesian Ambassador to India Sidhartho Suryodipuro has held more than one meeting with Ministry of External Affairs to raise the issue. On March 13, Jakarta saw another big gathering of protesters belonging mainly to Islamist organisations and civil society NGOs who picketed the Indian mission to protest against CAA and the violence in Delhi. India has not reacted thus far to the events in Indonesia.thehindu

Kapil Mishra Is Now Crowdfunding Rs1 Cr For Delhi Riot Victims After Raising Rs 71 Lakh

BJP leader Kapil Mishra, who raised over Rs 71 lakh through crowdfunding last month to help only the Hindu victims of Delhi riots, is at it again—he is now eyeing raising Rs1 crore for the same purpose.Mishra, just in case a reminder is needed, has been accused of triggering the riots in Northeast Delhi. Mishra, who contested and lost from a BJP ticket in the recent Delhi assembly polls, has not been charged with hate speech or faced any consequences yet.In a tweet on Tuesday, Mishra said 150 Hindu families lost their loved ones in the riots that engulfed Delhi, and that “no one” wanted to talk about them. The tweet was accompanied by the hashtag #1Crore4DelhiHindu, which was trending at No. 2 in India at the time of writing this story. Several volunteers have been conducting crowdfunding efforts through Twitter for the victims of the riot—without differentiating by religion. Dushyant, an advocate who has been coordinating funding for victims, tweeted on Monday that a team headed by him had raised Rs1.42 crore for about 80 families.huffingtonpost

Riot victim’s kin await charred body claimed a fortnight ago

Over a fortnight after he claimed the charred remains of a body, which was just some part of a skull attached to traces of a spine, Mohammad Shehbaz’s brother Matloob still does not know if it belongs to his 22-year-old sibling.Of 8 instances in which the bodies or body parts recovered by them were in such a condition that they could not be visibly identified by their next of kin, Shehbaz’s remains, according to the police, are one of six cases in which DNA testing is required to conclusively ascertain the identity of a riot victim.These remains, Matloob said, were fished out of from one of the drains in the vicinity of Shiv Vihar – one of the epicentres of violence that ripped across north-east Delhi for 3 consecutive days late last month – and claimed by him from GTB Hospital mortuary four days after he last heard his younger brother’s voice.thehindu

Police complicit in Delhi riots: Violence-hit people to civil society groups

Civil society and human rights organisations recorded testimonies on Monday of more than 30 riot-affected people, who alleged that police gave protection to mobs and threw tear gas shells at unarmed residents. Many riot-affected people questioned the Delhi police's ability to maintain the law and order and to bring normalcy back in riot-affected areas."We called the police many times, but they never returned the calls, or simply humiliated us on the phone and said they cannot help," a riot victim said. "Most told us to run away and that they are unable to reach us." Many complained that medical help arrived too late due to police barricades, and when the victims went to the hospitals, they were not given a dignified treatment."The violence started around 6 pm and people were physically checked to see if they were Hindus or Muslims," Sahil Parvez, a resident of Yamuna Vihar who lost his father in the riots, told a tribunal comprising members from Alliance Defending Freedom, Aman Biradari, Amnesty International India and Muslim Women's Forum. "My father was shot in the lungs, but before we could reach hospital, he had die," Parvez said. "I have no faith left in the police system." There were others who narrated how their houses were looted or loved ones killed in front of their eyes.Haroon's brother Mahroof, who was shot in the eye, succumbed to his injuries on the way to hospital. Kamlesh Uppal, a resident of Shiv Vihar, said her house was burnt by rioters when she and her husband were away.PTI

Civil society listens to Delhi riot victims, aid workers

NEW DELHI: 22 days after the outbreak of communal violence in northeast Delhi, a people’s tribunal organised by civil society organisations heard testimonies of the riot-affected residents and the lawyers, health-workers and activists who are helping survivors and victims’ piece together livelihoods, claim compensation and seek healthcare.During the daylong tribunal on Monday, what repeatedly came to the fore was the “continuing failure of police in filing of FIRs” and the absence of the state government on the ground. The jury concluded that the “major trigger was Kapil Mishra’s speech in the presence of a smiling policeman”. It felt that had police responded to the calls for help, the violence could have been contained. “When police did come, the rioters stepped back. One policeman singularly managed to save hundreds of lives we heard,” said Tanika Sarkar, member of 6-person jury that included fellow academic Apoorvananda, retired Justice Aftab Alam, activists Harsh Mander and Syeda Hameed and journalist Pamela Philipose.The testimonies included the accounts of around 30 victims and the experiences of lawyers, health workers and women’s activists in relief and rehabilitation.TOI

Pakistan used Twitter handles to fan discontent during Delhi riots: Dossier

New Delhi:Islamabad used about 200 Twitter handles to provoke Indian Muslims and spark discontent against the police during and after the communal riots in Delhi last month, according to an official dossier compiled by Indian security agencies. A couple of hundred radical handles targeted Delhi Police using hashtags such as #ShameonDelhiPolice, #DelhiPoliceTruth and #DelhiPoliceMurders, among others, between Feb.25 and March 3, according to the dossier, which was accessed by HT.The dossier cites detailed investigations conducted by Indian agencies to add that these handles were created at the behest of the Pakistani deep state with the purpose of creating major communal disturbance in India.HT

Delhi court sends man to judicial custody till March 24 in IB officer's murder case

A Delhi court on Tuesday sent Haseen alias Salman to judicial custody till March 24 in connection with the murder of the IB officer Ankit Sharma during the violence in northeast Delhi last month.Chief Metropolitan Magistrate Pawan Singh Rajawat sent the accused to judicial custody after he was produced before the court on completion of his four-day police custody.Earlier, Delhi Police had told the court that the accused will be confronted with suspended AAP councillor Tahir Hussain in the matter.ANI

*EX CJI GOGAI RS NOMINATION*

Ex-CJI Gogoi has ‘compromised principles of independence, impartiality of judiciary’: Justice Kurian Joseph

New Delhi :“Acceptance of Rajya Sabha nomination by former Chief Justice of India Ranjan Gogoi has certainly shaken the confidence of the common man in the independence of the judiciary, which is also one of the basic structures of the Constitution of India,” said former Supreme Court judge Justice Kurian Joseph (retired) on Tuesday.Justice Joseph, while reacting to former colleague Justice Gogoi’s nomination to the Upper House by President Ram Nath Kovind Monday, said he was “surprised” to see how the former CJI has “compromised the noble principles on the independence and impartiality of the judiciary”.Earlier, reacting to Justice Gogoi’s nomination, Justice Lokur said that the move has redefined the independence, impartiality and integrity of the judiciary. “Has the last bastion fallen?” he asked.Justice Joseph, who has taken up works on mediated settlements or conciliatory arbitrations to end litigation flooding the courts post-retirement, echoed similar sentiments as he pointed out that “the moment this confidence of the people is shaken, the moment there is a perception that a section among judges are otherwise biased or looking forward, tectonic alignment of the nation built on solid foundations is shaken”.In Jan.2018, Justices Joseph, Gogoi, J Chelameswar and Madan b Lokur had held an unprecedented press conference questioning the conduct of then CJI Dipak Misra on a range of issues, including on the allocation of important cases in the SC.Justice Joseph recalled that “we have discharged our debt to the nation” was the statement made by Justice Ranjan Gogoi along with 3 of us on Jan.12, 2018″.“I am surprised as to how Justice Gogoi who once exhibited such courage of conviction to uphold the independence of the judiciary, has compromised the noble principles on the independence and impartiality of the judiciary.”indianexpress

A judge should retire gracefully: Justice AK Patnaik on ex-CJI Ranjan Gogoi’s nomination to Rajya Sabha

Slamming the nomination of the former Chief Justice of India Ranjan Gogoi to the Rajya Sabha by the Narendra Modi-led government, retired Supreme Court judge AK Patnaik said, “I don’t understand why the former CJI should accept the nomination to the Rajya Sabha or even get elected. He has no role there. Neither should a President appoint a former CJI to the RS and nor should he accept it. That is how institutions are maintained. A judge should retire gracefully.” national herald India

Death knell for power separation: Rtd Judge, AP Shah on Gogoi's New Role

New Delhi: Former CJI Ranjan Gogoi's nomination for a Rajya Sabha seat has been vehemently criticized by several retired judges, who have expressed deep concern over the message it is sending. Most agreed that it poses a grave risk to the independence of the judiciary and would shake the common man's faith in the institution."I was shocked and then I thought about the message it will send," Justice (Retired) AP Shah told NDTV."The message it sends to the judiciary as a whole is that if you give judgments that are favourable to the executive, you will be rewarded. If you don't do so, you will be treated adversely or you might be transferred or not considered for elevation," he said.Calling it a "death knell for the separation of powers and independence of judiciary," Justice Shah said while previously Justices Ranganath Mishra and Baharul Islam were also made part of the Rajya Sabha, the context in this case is different.Justice Shah said both appointments were made after ADM Jabalpur case and it took the judiciary 15 years to "return to its former glory". Considered a black mark on the judiciary, the Supreme Court had ruled in the case that during a presidential order of Emergency, the courts cannot guarantee individual liberty."Chief Justice Gogoi is only the latest in the line of questionable leadership in the Supreme court," he said, drawing attention to the decisions and judicial processes adopted by the former Chief Justice and specifically mentioning the issues involving electoral bonds and habeas corpus cases from Jammu and Kashmir.ndtv

Will Speak After Oath: Ex CJI Gogoi on accepting Rajya Sabha Nomination

Former Chief Justice of India Ranjan Gogoi, who was nominated to the Rajya Sabha, on Tuesday said that he will speak about his nomination after he takes oath."I will go to Delhi probably tomorrow. Let me first take oath, then I will speak in detail to the media why I accepted this...,"Gogoi said.Gogoi has been nominated to Rajya Sabha, the upper house of the Indian Parliament, by President Ram Nath Kovind.Justice Gogoi had retired in November last year after presiding over the Supreme Court for around 13 months.Days before his retirement, Gogoi had presided over proceedings in the Ayodhya land dispute case. A 5-judge Constitution bench of the Supreme Court headed by him unanimously decided to allot the disputed Ayodhya plot to a trust that will oversee the construction of a Ram temple. The bench also ruled that a separate 5-acre plot be allotted in Ayodhya for the construction of a mosque.During his tenure as chief justice, Gogoi was accused of sexual harassment by a woman who had earlier worked as a junior court assistant at the SC.  outlookindia/ scroll

‘Sad day for justice system’: Politicians, ex-SC judge condemn Ranjan Gogoi’s Rajya Sabha nomination

Retired Supreme Court judge Madan B Lokur has criticised the nomination of his former colleague and ex-Chief Justice of India Ranjan Gogoi to the Rajya Sabha, saying that the decision redefines the “independence, impartiality and integrity” of the judiciary.“There has been speculation for some time now about what honorific Justice Gogoi would get,” Lokur told the newspaper. “So, in that sense the nomination is not surprising, but what is surprising is that it came so soon.”The former top court judge added: “This redefines the independence, impartiality and integrity of the judiciary. Has the last bastion fallen?”Political leaders from across parties echoed Lokur’s view. Former Union minister Yashwant Sinha said Gogoi’s acceptance of the Rajya Sabha nomination will do “incalculable damage” to the judiciary.“I hope ex-CJI [chief justice of India] Ranjan Gogoi would have the good sense to say ‘NO’ to the offer of Rajya Sabha seat to him,” he wrote on Twitter. “Otherwise he will cause incalculable damage to the reputation of the judiciary.”CPIM General Secretary Sitaram Yechury noted that Gogoi had himself said last year that post-retirement appointments are detrimental to the independence of the judiciary.MIM chief Asaduddin Owaisi wondered if Gogoi’s nomination was an instance of “quid pro quo”. Owaisi was apparently referring to some key verdicts delivered by Gogoi’s benches during his tenure that had been favourable to the government.Congress spokesperson Jaiveer Shergill said Gogoi’s nomination signalled a “sad day for democracy and the justice system”. His party colleague Randeep Surjewala also criticised the move. “Judiciary is the people’s last weapon against the government and administration,” he said, according to ANI.Rajasthan Chief Minister Ashok Gehlot said the decision to nominate Gogoi to the Rajya Sabha will erode the faith that people have in the judiciary. Scroll/ indianexpress

Ex-CJI Gogoi nominated to Rajya Sabha; Kapil Sibal compares former CJI with Justice HR Khanna, accuses him of compromising integrity

Taking a swipe at the government for the nomination of former CJI Gogoi to the Upper House in Parliament, senior Congress leader compared former CJI Gogoi to former justice HR Khanna in a subtle tweet.firstpost

*MP POLITICAL CRISIS*

MP floor test: SC notice to Kamal Nath govt, Speaker; hearing tomorrow

New Delhi :The Supreme Court today issued notice to Madhya Pradesh government, Speaker and others on a petition filed by BJP seeking a floor test “within 12 hours” in the Legislative Assembly to test the strength of the Kamal Nath government. A 2-judge bench of Justices DY Chandrachud and Hemant Gupta said it would take up the matter next on Wednesday at 10.30 am.BJP moved the top court on Monday after Speaker NP Prajapati adjourned the session citing coronavirus fears. In its petition, the party said Nath government had “no moral, legal, democratic or constitutional right to remain in power even for a single day”.“All possible attempts are being made by CM to convert his minority government into majority by giving all possible threats, allurements to the members of Madhya Pradesh Vidhan Sabha,” the opposition party said.“Horse-trading is at its peak. Therefore, it is essential that floor test is conducted on 16.3.2020 itself, as already directed by Governor so that it becomes absolutely clear as to whether CM continues to enjoy the confidence of majority of Vidhan Sabha…any deferment of the floor test will further encourage horse-trading and would be in utter violation of the directions issued by the Governor…” it added.Governor Lalji Tandon, in a letter to Nath on March 14, asked the Chief Minister to hold a floor test on the first day of the budget session as, in his opinion, prima facie, Congress government was in minority.When the session was adjourned till March 26 on Monday, Governor wrote to Nath, saying, “It’s regrettable that you did not seek trust vote with the deadline and expressed disability/avoided…The reasons given by you not to hold the trust vote are baseless and meaningless.”Following this, Nath called on Tandon on Monday night to tell him that BJP had moved a no-confidence motion in the House — a charge denied by BJP.In another letter to the Governor Tuesday, CM Nath said he had approached the Speaker to take appropriate action.22 Congress MLAs who had submitted their resignations to the Speaker — only 6 have been accepted — held a press conference in Bengaluru this morning to dispel “false tales” being shared.indianexpress

*J&K, SOUTH ASIA & India*

Sara disputes J&K’s claim of threat to public order if brother Omar Abdullah freed

New Delhi :Former Jammu and Kashmir chief minister Omar Abdullah’s sister Sara Abdullah Pilot on Monday questioned the Union Territory administration’s contention that public order in the region should be examined “contextually” keeping in mind its geographical proximity to the “Islamic Republic of Pakistan”.She said that by that logic, the same should also apply to public order in the states of Gujarat, Punjab and Rajasthan, with whom too “Pakistan is in close geographical proximity to”.She stated in a rejoinder affidavit: “It is appalling to observe the statement of Respondent no 2 (Srinagar District Magistrate) that the geographical proximity of UT of J&K with the Republic of Pakistan is deemed to be an overarching feature that can contextually modify the concept of ‘public order’. Needless to add that Pakistan is in close geographical proximity to three other states of India (Gujarat, Punjab & Rajasthan) as well and by the extended logic of the Respondent no 2, ‘public order’ in such states would also be contextually modified…”The rejoinder pointed out that some of the material supplied along with the affidavit filed by J&K in response to her petition challenging Omar’s detention under the Public Safety Act (PSA) had not been provided to him earlier.The affidavit, she contended, referred to some Facebook posts “that after having been attributed to the detenu and being made part of the relied upon material, have been used against the detenu”.However, “on scrutiny of the verified Facebook account of the detenu, the deponent was shocked to discover that the said social media posts…that have been purportedly attributed to the detenu and have been maliciously used against him were not even made by the detenu through his verified Facebook account”.indianexpress

Police custody of Kashmiri couple accused of IS links extended

A Delhi court today extended by 7 days the police custody of a Kashmiri couple and another accused who were arrested for having alleged links with an ISIS module.Additional Sessions Judge Dharmendra Rana sent the trio to the custody of police.Jahanjeb Sami and his wife Hina Bashir Beg were arrested by Delhi Police for allegedly promoting IS ideology of hatred and inciting Muslims to take up the violent struggle against the state.greaterkashmir

Indian Army now world’s largest ground force as China halves strength on modernisation push

New Delhi: With approximately 1.4 million personnel, the Indian Army has become the world’s largest ground force, pulling ahead of China, which cut down its strength by half and is instead focusing on its navy, air force and technology.According to the Defence of Japan 2019 report, released late last year, China has the third largest ground force in the world following India and North Korea, with approximately 9,80,000 personnel.Peoples’ Liberation Army (PLA) was always regarded as the largest army in the world with an approximate strength of two million soldiers.India, which has been keenly watching the PLA’s modernisation, is just in the initial stages of building a leaner and modern technology-enabled force as envisioned by Prime Minister Narendra Modi in 2015.theprint

*Coronavirus*

India: COVID-19 claims third victim as confirmed cases rise to 137

Even as India tightens the lockdown and advocates social distancing to stem the novel coronavirus (COVID-19) outbreak, the country reported its third death due to the virus on Tuesday. The latest fatality was a 64-year-old man from Mumbai who had a travel history to Dubai.The man who died in Mumbai today came back from Dubai on March 5. He did not disclose his travel history and went to a private hospital, where he was tested for respiratory problems, the authorities said, adding that the cause of his death is still being ascertained. The man's wife has also been found COVID-19 positive but is stable.  At 39, Maharashtra has reported the maximum number of cases in the country.Besides, 2 Noida residents have tested positive for the pandemic, taking the number of positive cases in India to 137, including 14 who have recovered and three deaths. So far, 39 cases have been reported in Maharashtra, 26 in Kerala, 15 in Uttar Pradesh and Haryana, 11 in Karnataka, 8 in Delhi, 6 in Ladakh, 5 in Telangana, 3 in Jammu and Kashmir, 4 in Rajasthan, and one each in Tamil Nadu, Andhra Pradesh, Uttarakhand, Odisha and Punjab.indianexpress/ NDTV

India bans entry of passengers from Afghanistan, Malaysia, Philippines over coronavirus fears

India on Tuesday ramped up efforts to contain coronavirus by prohibiting the entry of people entering the country from Afghanistan, Philippines, Malaysia with immediate effect.According to the latest travel advisory, no flight shall take off from these countries to India after 3 pm IST. “This instruction is a temporary measure and shall be force till Mar 31, 2020 and will be reviewed subsequently,” the advisory read.On Monday, the government barred all airlines from flying India-bound passengers from “European Union, European Free Trade Association, Turkey and UK”. indianexpress

Coronavirus: Maharashtra govt starts stamping left hand of those in home quarantine

With the number of COVID-19 cases in the state increasing, Maharashtra government on Monday began marking all those who have been medically advised to self-quarantine with a stamp in indelible ink and words ‘Home Quarantine’ in a bid to ensure they isolate themselves for 14 days. The ink is the same that is used to mark voters at elections. Following a review meeting on measures taken to tackle coronavirus, Chief Minister Uddhav Thackeray said, “those who require self-quarantine but don’t want to stay in hospital or hotels and want to go home, they should have a sense of responsibility. They should not roam around freely. They should follow quarantine strictly.” Public Health Minister Rajesh Tope who was also present, said while 39 people have tested positive for the virus in Maharashtra, 108 people had been quarantined in various hospitals and 621 have been advised home quarantine.indianexpress

Public TV falsely claims Muslim youths in Karnataka refuse coronavirus testing for “religious reasons”

In the backdrop of global COVID-19 outbreak, Kannada channel Public TV aired a show on March 14 where it was claimed that four Muslim youths in Sultan Street, Bhatkal in Karnataka refused coronavirus testing for “religious reasons” after returning from Dubai.The anchor said, “Won’t get coronavirus test done. In our religion, there is no scope for the test…This is what four youths who returned from Dubai have said – that they won’t be getting (coronavirus) test done. They have come to Bhatkal, the four youths. When they were asked to get coronavirus test done because they had come from abroad, they said in our religion there is no scope for the test.”The channel ran the show based on a localite’s statement who claimed, “They [the four youths] have come [from abroad]. When health officials went to meet them, they shouted,” to which the anchor opined that the youths should be taken into custody and tested.Right-wing website OpIndia picked up the news the next day and tweeted, “Islam does not approve: 4 Muslims who returned from Dubai threaten health officials in Karnataka, refuse to undergo Coronavirus test.”altnews.in

Coronavirus: UP to hold Ram Navami mela in Ayodhya despite advisories against large gatherings

Uttar Pradesh government has said the centuries-old Ram Navami Mela in Ayodhya will be held despite the state’s own advisories along with those by Centre against large gatherings in an effort to contain the coronavirus pandemic, ThePrint reported on Tuesday. The fair will be held from March 25 to April 2 and is the first such gathering since the Supreme Court, in a landmark ruling in November, said the disputed land in Ayodhya would be assigned to a trust that will oversee the construction of a Ram temple there.District Magistrate Anuj Kumar Jha made the announcement on Sunday. “Ram Navami will be celebrated as per tradition and with all precautions in place,” he said, according to TOI. “The administration will issue timely advisory for people and will take all necessary care of the health of the devotees.”Earlier on Monday, Ayodhya’s CMO Ghanshyam Singh had raised concerns about the mass religious event amid panic over coronavirus.scroll

Railways hike platform ticket from Rs 10 to Rs 50 to regulate crowds in view of COVID-19

New Delhi: In a bid to discourage gathering of large crowds in view of the coronavirus, some zonal railways have hiked the platform ticket charges from Rs 10 to Rs 50, officials said on Tuesday.This has been done by six divisions of the Western railway zone — Mumbai, Vadodra, Ahmedabad, Ratlam, Rajkot, Bhavnagar — that covers around 250 railway stations. In Southern railway zone, price of platform ticket only in Chennai has been raised, officials said, adding in Central zone, comprising of five divisions — Mumbai (CST), Bhusawal, Nagpur, Solapur, Pune — prices have been raised across all stations.PTI

Coronavirus: Taj Mahal's 15-day closure first in 49 years; tourism industry worried

Agra:Agra is internationally known as the city of Taj Mahal. Every year, lakhs of tourists (domestic and international) flock to the city to visit Taj Mahal. But in the wake of the coronavirus outbreak, Archaeological Survey of India (ASI) has ordered that the Taj Mahal and other monuments in Agra will remain closed till March 31.  However, the local tourism industry is worried about the fallout of this closure on their earnings.indiatoday

Jail for those who refuse COVID-19 tests in Uttar Pradesh

Yogi Adityanath govt in UP has warned of strict action including jail for those who do not cooperate in the state's efforts to control the novel Coronavirus outbreak and spread misinformation or rumours to create panic in the society.UP health minister Jai Pratap Singh said that the concerned authorities have been given power under section 3 of the Epidemic Diseases Act to take all necessary actions in the wake of the Corona virus outbreak.IANS

Indian Subcontinent Will Face Problems With Health Facilities If Coronavirus Spreads: Pak PM Imran Khan

Pakistan’s prime minister he fears the new coronavirus will devastate the economies of developing nations, and warned richer economies to prepare to write off the debts of the world’s poorer countries.In an interview with AP, Imran Khan criticised recent comments by the president of neighbouring Afghanistan, which appeared to reference accusations that Pakistan used militants to further its own goals in years past.Khan also raised concern over India’s worst communal violence in decades, saying the Indian prime minister’s government threatens to disenfranchise hundreds of millions of people through the controversial CAA.He further called for lifting sanctions against Iran, the epicenter of the coronavirus outbreak in the Middle East.“It’s not just Pakistan. I would imagine the same in India, in the subcontinent, in African countries,” he said, referring to the virus. “If it spreads, we will all have problems with our health facilities. We just don’t have that capability. We just don’t have the resources.”huffingtonpost

Coronavirus May Cause Worse Economic Crisis Than 2008: Joseph Stiglitz

Nobel Prize-winning economist Joseph E. Stiglitz has a chilling warning for world leaders as they scramble to respond to the novel coronavirus. COVID-19, he says, could lead to a worse economic crisis than that of 2008. “The current crisis is more complicated. It is not a financial crisis, but a real crisis affecting the supply and demand system. Monetary policy alone will not be enough because interest rates in Europe are already low, close to zero. It’s the same thing in the US. The question then is: will fiscal policy work instead?” he told HuffPost Italy in a phone interview from New York.HuffPost

Coronavirus impact on global economy: Most airlines will be bankrupt within next 60 days, warns report

Within the next 60 days, due to the catastrophic impact of the virus outbreak on the global economy, it has been predicted that most of the airlines all over the world will go bankrupt.A report released by the global aviation consultancy firm Centre for Asia Pacific Aviation (CAPA) says many airlines have already started falling into technical bankruptcy or in breach of debt covenantsOnly coordinated action by the governments and aviation industry can save them, CAPA has said.“By the end of May-2020, most airlines in the world will be bankrupt. Coordinated government and industry action is needed - now - if catastrophe is to be avoided,” reads the report released by CAPA.“As the reactions sweep through our world, many airlines have probably already been driven into technical bankruptcy, or are at least substantially in breach of debt covenants,” warns the report.According to the report, the demand for travel has fallen drastically since the last two weeks after countries – due to Coronavirus outbreak – have put in force travel advisories and Visa restrictions across the world.nationalheraldindia

Anxious Kashmiri Students, Pilgrims Evacuated From Iran

Srinagar: A majority of the students from Jammu and Kashmir who were studying in different universities and colleges in Iran and were anxiously waiting to be evacuated have now been brought back from Tehran and other cities via two flights, on March 14 and March 15.COVID-19 epidemic in Iran has claimed more than 800 lives and infected over 11,000 people. An MBBS student from Kashmir studying in a medical university in Tehran has said that he was among 300 other students from Jammu and Kashmir who were brought back in a flight from Tehran on Sunday.“We were taken to a medical facility in Jaisalmer, Rajasthan from New Delhi where we are presently under quarantine. We will be kept here for a period of 14 days before returning home,” he said.thewire

List Suggests 254 Indian Pilgrims in Iran Have Tested Positive for COVID-19

New Delhi: At least 254 Indians in Iran have tested positive for COVID-19, the disease caused by the novel coronavirus, according to a list of names shared with The Wire by pilgrims who are stuck in Qom.The list, a copy of which is with The Wire, appears to have been compiled officially but bears no indication of its provenance. If authentic, this means the total number of Indian citizens infected by the virus would be three times the currently disclosed number of 130 (113 in India, 17 abroad).thewire

'Millions' could die from coronavirus pandemic  as Iran's death toll climbs to 988: state tv

Iran has issued a dire warning yet about the new coronavirus outbreak spreading in the country, suggesting "millions" could die in the country if the public keeps traveling and ignoring health guidance.A state television journalist who also is a medical doctor gave the warning only hours after hard-line Shiite faithful the previous night pushed their way into the courtyards of 2 major shrines that had just been closed over fears of the virus.Islamic Republic's supreme leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei issued a religious ruling prohibiting "unnecessary" travel in the country.According to an Iranian health official, there were 135 new deaths due to the coronavirus, raising the total death toll to 988.Globally, the virus has infected more than 168,000 people and killed at least 6,610, according to the WHO. Almost 80,000 people have recovered from the infection, according to data collected by Johns Hopkins University. aljazeera

Iran temporarily frees 85,000 prisoners, including political ones, amid coronavirus

Iran has temporarily freed about 85,000 prisoners, including political prisoners, in response to the coronavirus epidemic, a judiciary spokesman said on Tuesday.The death toll in Iran from coronavirus has risen to 988 and a total of 16,169 people have been confirmed infected across the country, one of the worst national outbreaks outside China, where the pandemic originated.“So far, some 85,000 prisoners have been released … Also in the jails we have taken precautionary measures to confront the outbreak,” judiciary spokesman Gholamhossein Esmaili said.Reuters

Italy: Coronavirus death toll now tops 2,000

ROME:Italy on Monday reported 349 new deaths from coronavirus, raising the total number of victims in the country to 2,158.The latest figures provided by the Italian Civil Protection Department show that the total number of confirmed cases in the country also continues to rise, climbing 12% from Sunday to reach 23,073.The Italian government is still hoping that stringent containment measures – including a near-total lockdown of the country – will at some point stop the lethal spiral sparked by the virus, which now has its epicenter in Europe and its highest number of deaths in Italy. Nadolu agency

Spain's death toll rises to 491, cases surpass 10,000

Spain's tally of coronavirus cases surpassed 10,000 and the number of fatalities rose to 491, said Fernando Simon, the head of the country's health emergency center.He said the number of cases rose to 11,178 in one day up from a previous tally of 9,161 cases on Monday. aljazeera

*OTHERS*

RSS resolution: Bid to spread anarchy by jihadi-Left combine

New Delhi :RSS on Monday passed 3 resolutions congratulating the government on the CAA, abrogation of Article 370 in Kashmir and the construction of a Ram Temple in Ayodhya. The resolutions were passed at a meeting of the RSS’s all-India executive council, the Akhil Bharatiya Karyakari Mandal (AKBM), in Bengaluru on Monday.The resolution on CAA called the protests against the Act an attempt to spread anarchy across the country by “jihadi-Left combine with the support of selfish political parties involved in communal politics and some foreign forces”.On Jammu and Kashmir, the resolution welcomed the abrogation of Article 370 and 35A, saying the provision had sown seeds of separatism in the state.On Ram Temple, the resolution said, “…it is a matter of joy that no section of the society has taken the verdict as a sign of its victory or defeat, instead, accepted it as the victory of the nation, justice and the Constitution.”The resolution, however, was silent on the long-standing claim of the Sangh Parivar on mosques in Mathura and Varanasi.indianexpress

Yes Bank Probe: ED Summons Industrialists Subhash Chandra, Naresh Goyal, Sameer Gehlaut

New Delhi: Enforcement Directorate (ED) has summoned some of India Inc’s top bosses, including Essel Group promoter Subhash Chandra, Jet Airways founder Naresh Goyal and Indiabulls chairman Sameer Gehlaut, to appear before it this week in connection with its money laundering probe against Yes Bank promoter Rana Kapoor and others, officials said on Monday. DHFL CMD Kapil Wadhawan, who was recently arrested by the ED in another case, has also been called for questioning apart from Reliance Group Chairman Anil Ambani, who has been called on March 19 at the ED office in Mumbai, they said.These businessmen represent the top five firms that have taken loans from the crisis-hit Yes Bank and these debts were either in the red or were stressed, officials said.thewire

Bengaluru Congress MLA’s son, who went to jail in assault case, booked again for attacking party worker

A Karnataka Congress MLA’s son has been booked by the Bengaluru police for allegedly assaulting a party worker at a public event on Sunday.Vyalikaval police booked Mohammed Nalapad, son of Congress MLA N A Haris, and his gunman, based on the complaint filed by a Congress worker.According to the police, Nalapad reportedly got into an argument with Congress workers Sachin Gowda at a debate organised by Youth Congress at Telugu Vignana Samithi Auditorium in Vyalikaval. Gowda alleged that Nalapad had threathened and abused him before assaulting him along with his gunman.Nalapad has also filed a police complaint accusing Gowda of threatening and abusing him, but it is being treated as a non-cognizable report, police said.indianexpress

Women Officers Can Sail As Efficiently As Male Officers: SC's Big Verdict

New Delhi: Women officers can sail with the same efficiency as male officers, the Supreme Court said on Monday as it cleared permanent commission for women in the Indian Navy, maintaining that men and women officers should be treated equally."They can sail with same efficiency as male officers," the top court said, cancelling the prospective effect of a policy barring women officers inducted before 2008 from being granted permanent commission in the navy.Noting that "there can't be 101 excuses for not granting gender equality in armed forces", the top court stressed on the need for a level-playing field.ndtv

Delhi Court Dismisses Nirbhaya Convict Mukesh's Plea For Quashing Death Penalty

A Delhi court on Tuesday dismissed an application moved by Mukesh Singh, one of the death-row convicts in Nirbhaya rape and murder case, seeking quashing of the death penalty awarded to him.Additional Sessions Judge Dharmendra Rana, after dismissed the plea claiming he was not in Delhi on the day of the incident. Afterwards, he transferred the matter to Bar Council of India.outlookindia

Rajasthan Deputy CM Sachin Pilot steps in to save revolt-hit Gujarat Congress

New Delhi:Congress seems to have tasked Sachin Pilot, the Rajasthan Deputy Chief Minister, to ensure that Gujarat Congress does not follow the footsteps of Madhya Pradesh unit. Sachin Pilot met the Congress MLAs from Gujarat in Jaipur's Shiv Vilas hotel on Tuesday as the party frantically tried to keep its flock together ahead of the Rajya Sabha election. Congress had on Monday completed shifting 67 of its 68 MLAs from Gujarat to the Rajasthan capital. Five of the Congress MLAs have already resigned and the Congress, in reaction, suspended them. The party originally had 73 MLAs in the Gujarat Assembly.PTI on Monday reported that the one Congress MLA was unreachable to the party. Jitu Chaudhary has kept his mobile phones switched off and remained incommunicado.India Today

Overnight renaming of campus road after Savarkar sparks fresh row in JNU

New Delhi: JNU administration’s decision to name a campus road after Sangh parivar icon Vinayak Damodar Savarkar is likely to turn into yet another tussle between the student’s union and the university vice chancellor.On Sunday night, a newly-erected road sign named after Savarkar was seen in the Purvanchal area of the campus. JNU Students’ Union, which is dominated by Left student groups, called the step a “shame on the legacy of JNU”.JNUSU president Aishe Ghosh tweeted in response.thewire
  1. *WORLD*

Death warrant read out to Bangladesh Jamaat leader Azharul; to file review petition

DHAKA: The death warrant against a leader  of Bangladesh's largest Islamic party Jamaat-e-Islami has been read out to him at Kashimpur High Security Prison in Gazipur. The warrant reached the prison early Tuesday and it was read out to ATM Azharul Islam in the morning, Bikash Raihan, superintendent of the prison said.However, Azhar, former assistant secretary general of Jamaat, said he would file a petition seeking review of the Appellate Division verdict that upheld the death sentence handed down to him by ICT, he said. “We received the written copy of the verdict yesterday. Following all procedures, we sent the death warranty to the jail authorities today,” registrar of Bangladesh’s ICT Syed Ahmed confirmed to Anadolu Agency.The high court on Oct. 31, 2019 upheld the death sentence against ATM Azharul Islam.Islam’s execution would be carried out within the next 15 working days, if there is no review petition, Ahmed added."He [Azhar] has to submit the petition within one week, otherwise, the verdict will be executed in the stipulated time," the jail superintendent added. Defense counsel Shishir Muhammad Munir told Anadolu Agency, however, he would file a review petition against the sentence after receiving a certified copy of the verdict.“We will file the petition within the next 15 working days and we have also a last step that is a mercy petition to the president if review petition is rejected”.Islam will be the sixth leader to be hanged for roles in the war that split Bangladesh from Pakistan after a 9-month conflict.Anadolu Agencyd/ Dhakatribune

Iraqi President Salih appoints Adnan al-Zurfi as new PM-designate

Iraqi President Barham Salih has appointed Adnan al-Zurfi as the country's new prime minister-designate in the latest bid to resolve a months-long political crisis.Al-Zurfi has 30 days to form his cabinet which he must then put to a vote of confidence in Iraq's fractious Parliament. 54-year-old former governor of the holy Shia city of Najaf heads the Nasr parliamentary grouping of former Prime Minister Haider al-Abadi.Al-Zurfi would replace caretaker Prime Minister Adel Abdul Mahdi, who quit in December following widespread mass demonstrations against a government that protesters see as corrupt, failing to provide them with basic services, and beholden to powerful neighbouring Iran. aljazeera

Lebanon military court drops charges against 'Butcher of Khiam'

Beirut: Lebanon's military court has dropped charges against a former member of an Israel-backed militia accused of overseeing the torture of thousands of people at a notorious south Lebanon prison decades ago.The charges against Lebanese American Amer Fakhoury, who was a former member of the now-disbanded South Lebanon Army (SLA) - a proxy militia backed by Israel during the 1982-2000 occupation of Lebanon, were dropped because the statute of limitations had expired, the state-run National News Agency (NNA) reported on Monday.More than a decade has passed since the alleged crimes of kidnapping, imprisoning and torturing Lebanese people were committed in 1998, the NNA said, as the court ordered his immediate release unless there are other criminal charges against him.aljazeera

Report: Israel-Gulf ties are guided by Trump's vision, fear of extremism

Relations between Israel and the Gulf states shed light on the price to be paid in order to achieve regional peace, especially since such relations require Arab regimes to trample on human rights, an Israeli researcher has said.In a research paper published by the Begin-Sadat Centre for Strategic Studies in Tel Aviv, Kathy Faxburg added that Israel is showing a clear degree of acceleration in developing its relations with the Gulf States. Although these relations appear to be centred on cooperation between the two sides, Israel and the Gulf regimes are in fact helping each other in shared security concerns rather than working in the best interests of their citizens.Faxburg, a researcher at Ben Gurion University who specialises in Arab literature, social sciences and Arab academia, especially in the Gulf States, indicated that since Benjamin Netanyahu’s visit to the Sultanate of Oman in October 2018, the media debate has been escalating around the Israeli-Gulf rapprochement, official meetings and Israeli participation in sports events and Expo 2020 in the UAE. There is also an ongoing discussion on tourism opportunities.middleeastmonitor

Israel's ex-army chief Gantz gets shot at forming new government

Israel's ex-military chief Benny Gantz was nominated Monday to try to form a government, but further talks were expected with his bitter rival, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, on an emergency alliance to fight coronavirus.Gantz, who heads the centrist Blue and White party, called for "unity" and urged Netanyahu to join him as Israel seeks to end a crippling political deadlock after three inconclusive elections in less than a year."We must not have a fourth election," Gantz said, after he was formally nominated by President Reuven Rivlin to attempt to form an administration."I'll do everything to form in as few days as possible a national, patriotic and broad government."Gantz won recommendations on Sunday from 61 legislators, a razor-thin majority in the 120-member parliament, the Knesset.aljazeera

Israel army ‘shuts Palestinians in homes’ for ‘handful of Jewish worshippers’

Israeli occupation forces are shutting Palestinians in their homes for a “handful of Jewish worshippers” in the occupied West Bank, reported human rights NGO B’Tselem.Two Palestinian towns in the northern West Bank – Kifl Haris and ‘Awarta – are home to “tombs that some recognize as Jewish holy sites”, explained B’Tselem.Thus, once every few months, the military blocks the villages’ entrances, “sets up roadblocks within them and restricts residents’ movement for an entire night in order to allow Jewish worshippers to access the sites on foot or by car”.middleeastmonitor

Israel further tightens restrictions on Palestinians, targeting day labourers

Israeli authorities have further tightened restrictions on Palestinians, with the latest measures targeting day labourers coming from the occupied West Bank, reported the Times of Israel. The restrictions come as Israel seeks to contain the spread of the coronavirus. Mass movement restrictions are being used exclusively against Palestinians, however.In a pre-dawn announcement today, Defence Minister Naftali Bennett ordered that only Palestinian workers in “essential” sectors such as “healthcare, agriculture and construction” would be allowed entry.In addition, the report added, “Palestinians would no longer be allowed to travel back and forth from the West Bank to work sites, but would need to sleep in Israel, with the employer providing lodging.” The workers “were told to expect to remain in Israel for one-to-two months.”

Jewish settlers raid Al-Aqsa Mosque despite coronavirus restrictions

Scores of Israeli Jewish settlers violated measures taken to fight the coronavirus and raided Al-Aqsa Mosque yesterday, provoking Muslim worshippers, Arab48 reported.According to the news website, the Jewish settlers were protected by Israeli occupation forces who arrested four Palestinians inside the Al-Aqsa Mosque compounds claiming they had violated Israeli sovereignty.Reporting to the Wadi Al-Hilwa Information Centre, the Palestinians were arrested while distributing flyers including information about the coronavirus.

Amazon bans sale of Hitler’s Mein Kampf after years of campaign by Jewish groups

Amazon has reportedly banned the sale of most editions of Adolf Hitler’s autobiography Mein Kampf and other Nazi propaganda books.According to The Guardian, booksellers were informed that they will not be allowed sell any “Nazi-authored” books, including Hitler’s autobiography and children’s books, that were intended to preach anti-Semitic ideas. Mein Kampf, which means ‘my struggle’ in German, is a political manifesto written by German dictator Adolf Hitler, which gives insight into his racist ideology identifying Aryans as the “genius” race and Jews as “parasites”. Hitler was the leader of the Nazi Party in Germany and was responsible for murdering more than six million Jews during the Holocaust.theprint

Iran forces recruit 9,000 Shia fighters in Syria

Iranian forces and their proxies in Syria have recruited around 9,000 young fighters from local Shia communities within the south and north-east of the country, according to the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights (SOHR).Iranian-backed Shia militias reportedly recruited over 5,350 young men who volunteered from the southern provinces of Syria and almost 3,600 from the north-eastern provinces east of the Euphrates River.In the southern province of Daraa, for example, the Alawite militia ‘Saraya Al-Areen’ – part of the Brigade 313 under the leadership of  Abu Al-Harith – recruited men from the heavily Shia-populated areas of Sayda, Da’el, and Izraa and then sent them to undergo military training in the province’s eastern Al-Lajat area. Middle east monitor

*VIEWS, ARTICLES, FEATURES*

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Corona diplomacy: This crisis could have a lasting impact on the global political economy:C. Raja Mohan, indian express
India-Gulf region is second largest migration corridor in world, must not be blocked:S Irudaya Rajan, indian express
My dear Bernie, you have made history, challenged the holy cows of capitalism:Saeed Akhtar Mirza, indian express
In Delhi, riots deepen a Hindu-Muslim divide: Rupam Jain, Aftab Ahmed, reuters
From CAA to NRC, India’s high courts are setting higher benchmarks than the Supreme Court:ALOK PRASANNA KUMAR
Ctrl-Alt-Dalit: Chandrashekhar Azad Will Have to Toil if he Wishes to Wrest Mayawati's Place in Indian Politics:Badri Narayan
Police violence makes migrant labourers forget caste, bond economically & politically: Study
In Prison for 'Sedition', Sharjeel Imam Explains His Idea of India:Muzzammil Imam, younger brother of Sharjeel Imam
MBS-MBZ: A special bond between two Gulf princes: aljazeera

Compiled and edited by Anwarulhaq (Released at: 9:36 PM).

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