Sunday, 22 March 2020

22 MARCH NEWS: Coronavirus:75 districts locked down while Maharashtra, Delhi, Rajasthan, Bihar and West Bengal announced complete lockdown Till March 31/ Complete shutdown of passenger train services till March 31/Petrol Bomb Thrown At Shaheen Bagh Protest Site, No Injuries/


NEWS DIGEST, EVENING

22 March 2020: 26 Rajjab 1441: Vol: 12, No: 162

*CORONA VIRUS - INDIA*

Coronavirus:75 districts locked down while Maharashtra, Delhi, Rajasthan, Bihar and West Bengal announced complete lockdown Till March 31

Maharashtra, Delhi, Rajasthan, Bihar and West Bengal announced complete lockdown amidst the deadly coronavirus pandemic. The lockdown will continue till March 31.The Centre has also released a list of 75 districts in the country which will be locked down. "Following detailed discussions, the State Governments were advised to issue appropriate orders to allow only essential services to operate in 75 districts which have reported confirmed cases or casualties relating to COVID 19," an official press release by Government said. The districts where lockdown was announced are from states that include Uttar Pradesh, Maharashtra, Punjab, Karnataka, Tamil Nadu and Kerala. Meanwhile, 341 positive cases of coronavirus has been registered in the country. The death toll rose to 7 on Sunday after a 69-year-old man in Surat, Gujarat succumbed to the virus. However, essential services will be operation during the lockdown. The services which will continue are: Hospitals and chemist shops, Groceries, fruits and vegetable shops,  Dairies and milk suppliers, Cooking gas suppliers, Banks and ATMs, Communication services, E-commerce operations.   Freepressjournal/ outlookindia
More than one billion Indians in lockdown: aljazeera

Complete shutdown of passenger train services till March 31

In an unprecedented move, the government has decided to shut down all passenger train services across India till March 31 to stop the spread of Covid-19. The decision taken on Sunday includes the cancellation of suburban trains, like local services in Mumbai and elsewhere, and the Metro service in Kolkata. However, the movement of goods trains will continue to ensure the supply chain of essential products is not disrupted.Sunday Express had reported that the government was “actively considering” this move. Earlier the decision was to cancel 3,700 long and short distance trains only for the time of Janata Curfew between 7 am and 9 pm Sunday. Now, bare minimum of locals and Metros will run for a few hours after 9 pm Sunday and then stop operations from midnight. The decision, taken by PMO Sunday, follows a string of meetings that started Saturday at various levels of Railways helmed by Railway Board.  Railways carries around 2.3 crore people every day in its 12,000-odd trains. indianexpress
Delhi Locked Down Over COVID-19; Transport, Shops Shut, Borders Sealed
 National capital Delhi was placed under lockdown today till March 31 - part of show imposition of nationwide restriction to battle the highly contagious coronavirus. Delhi has shut public transport, sealed its borders and closed shops, allowing in only the essential items. Delhi Metro has already announced that it will stop services till Mach 31 and the Delhi Police have imposed prohibitory orders across the city, banning gatherings of more than 4 people.The aviation regulator, DGCA, today countered CM Arvind Kejriwal's announcement suspending flights from the Delhi airport, saying domestic flights in and out of Delhi were not banned.  "For preventive measures to contain the spread of COVID-19 outbreak, directions have been issued for lockdown in the whole territorial jurisdiction of NCR of Delhi from 6 am on Monday to March 31," Lieutenant Governor Anil Baijal announced this evening at a press conference, sharing stage with CM Arvind Kejriwal." Diaries, grocery shops, chemists and petrol pumps will remain open, Kejriwal added. "All domestic flights into Delhi have been banned till March 31. No public transport services including private buses, autos, e-rickshaws will be allowed during the lockdown period in Delhi. 25 per cent of the DTC bus fleet will continue to ply on roads of Delhi to carry people involved in essential services," Kejriwal said.  Delhi currently has 27 patients of coronavirus. Of them, only 6 have contracted the virus here from others, which is fortunate because it shows that the virus has not penetrated local population much, he said.ndtv/ indianexpress

Lockdown in 15 UP districts till Wednesday amid coronavirus scare

 Lucknow:Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath on Sunday announced that 15 districts in the state would be under lockdown in the first phase till Wednesday in wake of the coronavirus outbreak.The announcement came soon after the Centre and state governments decided to put under lockdown 80 districts across the country, where cases of novel coronavirus have been reported."15 districts in the state will be locked down in the first phase from Monday," Adityanath told reporters in Gorakhpur.The districts where the lockdown has been enforced in the first phase are Lucknow, Agra, Gautam Buddha Nagar, Ghaziabad, Varanasi, Allahabad, Kanpur, Aligarh, Moradabad, Lakhimpur Kheiri, Bareilly, Azamgarh, Meerut, Gorakhpur and Saharanpur.The lockdown will continue till Wednesday, he said. "I appeal to all the citizens that they should stay indoors and not venture out of their homes."Uttar Pradesh State Roadways Transport Corporation will remain completely closed from
March 23 to 25.PTI

 Section 144 in Maharashtra, Janata Curfew extended till Monday morning

With Covid-19 positive cases rising to over 70 in Maharashtra, state CM Uddhav Thackeray has requested people to abide by the Janata Curfew till Monday morning and subsequently ordered to impose Section 144 across the state from Monday till March 31."I would like to request everyone to continue Janata Curfew till tomorrow [Monday] morning. The number of cases has increased considerably. I have no option left but to apply Section 144 in Maharashtra. Not more than 5 people can be gathered on roads," Uddhav Thackeray said on Sunday.Uddhav Thackeray further said that no flights coming from outside India will be allowed to land in Mumbai till March 31.

Lockdowns Not Enough To Defeat Coronavirus:WHO

London: Countries can't simply lock down their societies to defeat coronavirus, the World Health Organization's top emergency expert said on Sunday, adding that public health measures are needed to avoid a resurgence of the virus later on."What we really need to focus on is finding those who are sick, those who have the virus, and isolate them, find their contacts and isolate them," Mike Ryan said in an interview on the BBC's Andrew Marr Show."The danger right now with the lockdowns ... if we don't put in place the strong public health measures now, when those movement restrictions and lockdowns are lifted, the danger is the disease will jump back up."Much of Europe and the United States have followed China and other Asian countries and introduced drastic restrictions to fight the new coronavirus, with most workers told to work from home and schools, bars, pubs and restaurants being closed.Mike Ryan said that the examples of China, Singapore and South Korea, which coupled restrictions with rigorous measures to test every possible suspect, provided a model for Europe, which the WHO has said has replaced Asia as the epicentre of the pandemic."Once we've suppressed the transmission, we have to go after the virus. We have to take the fight to the virus," Mike Ryan said.Italy is now the worst hit country in the world by the virus, and UK Prime Minister Boris Johnson has warned that Britain's health system could be overwhelmed unless people avoid social interactions. British housing minister Robert Jenrick said that production of tests would double next week and ramp up thereafter.Mike Ryan also said that several vaccines were in development, but only one had begun trials in US. Asked how long it would take before there was a vaccine available in Britain, he said that people needed to be realistic.Reuters

As Shaheen Bagh Sticks to 5 Protester Limit, Vigilante Attacks Site With Petrol Bomb

New Delhi: At Shaheen Bagh, a petrol bomb was thrown at the protest site by an unidentified person on Sunday morning. Protesters had responded to the call for the janata curfew by reducing the site to fewer than five sit-in demonstrators. The protest had come in the way of intense criticism since the pandemic spread by a section which alleged that the mass gathering was against the social distancing advisory.A Shaheen Bagh local said that around 10 am, at least one man arrived on a bike at the area in front of the stage, threw a petrol bomb, and made a hasty exit. They say that the police arrived on the scene after this took place, with reports stating the police has found five-six petrol-filled bottles at the site. There has been an increase in calls for the protest at Shaheen Bagh to be dismantled in the wake of the novel coronavirus, with a considerable number of people insinuating that the protest was a liability to social distancing, which has been a critical factor in controlling the spread of the virus. As a result, the site has seen a considerable reduction in footfall since the novel coronavirus pandemic has begun.The protest itself has joined in the janata curfew on Sunday by reducing the people at the site to fewer than five, with sandals symbolically placed on the cots on which the protesters usually sit.  On the same day, an unidentified man allegedly opened fire and hurled a petrol bomb at the empty protest site outside the Jamia Millia on Sunday, according to officials and students the university.thewire

Petrol Bomb Thrown At Shaheen Bagh Protest Site, No Injuries

Amid Observation of Janata Curfew, Shaheen Bagh and Jamia Protest Sites Attacked

Ahmedabad: Anti-CAA Protesters Stop Police From Dismantling Their 'Mandap' During 'Janata Curfew', Secure Release of Two Youths

NEW DELHI:When people were observing ‘Janata Curfew’ all over the country on Sunday in response to an appeal by Prime Minister Narendra Modi to fight the scourge of coronavirus that has claimed over 11,000 lives all over the globe, hundreds of women turned up at the anti-CAA protest venue at Morarji Chowk in  Rakhial area of Ahmedabad city to resist the police who were trying to dismantle their ‘mandap’(tents). They called the protest venue as 'Shaheen Bagh-Rakhial'. Speaking to India Tomorrow over phone, one of the women protesters said that through a statement released on March 20, the protesters had announced to suspend their protest until the coronavirus threat is over and had also informed the police about it. Requesting anonymity as she feared police reprisal against her male family members for going to the press, she said that the protesters had promised the police they would resume their agitation only when it was confirmed that there was no risk of coronavirus.However, the protesters had decided to keep their tents and stage etc intact on the venue itself because it is neither disturbing traffic nor the local population in any manner.However, around 11.30 am on Sunday, a police team reached the protest venue and removed TVR set from CCTV camera installed at the place and also tried to dismantle the mandap. Just a few minutes before that, the police had also called two youths-Murshid Hussain (27) and Sabir Sheikh (28)-to Rakhial Police Station and detained them. Both the youths helped the protesters in making daily arrangements at the protest site.According to the protesters, the police prepared a detailed report about the two youths, including their family and their friends etc. The police allegedly told them that they would be freed only after they removed the mandap or helped the police in the matter.India Tomorrow

Social Distancing Forgotten, Country Raises a Racket at 5 pm

New Delhi: Amidst news of a rapidly rising number of cases of COVID-19, lockdowns in several states, the ceasing of railway services and the sealing of Delhi’s borders, the popular highlight of the daylong ‘janata curfew’ on Sunday, March 22, came at 5 pm.In response to a call by Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Thursday, March 19, men, women and children who had for the day been at home, emerged on to the streets and on the balconies to raise a veritable din. Modi had asked for five minutes worth of applause, ringing of bells and the banging of household items to ‘deliver’ thanks to healthcare professionals and workers who have been putting their lives on the line to fight the spread of the coronavirus and maintain normalcy at this time.What took place across apartment complexes and households across the country was a nearly 30-minute long ritual where not only was there raucous clapping, but also banging of brass and steel plates amidst the blowing of conch shells and ululation. In places, residents came out to the streets beating drums. Firecrackers too were burst in several places, raising a racket that far outlasted the five minute limit.The tenets of social distancing — so integral at this time — were largely ignored.thewire

‘Janata Curfew social distancing drill… won’t break chain of transmission’: Experts question claims

As the country is going for a 14-hour “Janata Curfew” called by Prime Minister Narendra Modi, experts have questioned the claim that the day-long effort to stay at home will break the chain of transmission of the novel coronavirus.Many will cut exposure to the virus by staying home on Sunday and experts maintain that it will be a good drill to prepare for the situation and reinforce the message of social distancing, but to call it breaking the chain is “oversimplification”. PM himself had not made any such claim in his speech.According to Dr Shobha Broor, former head of microbiology at AIIMS, to say that the virus will die out if there is no contact between people for a day is an oversimplification. “It will perhaps reduce the transmission because people will not come in contact with each other but it will not totally break the chain. You may have seen NEJM article on how long the virus stays alive in surfaces; evidence does not say virus will die out in 20-22 hours. The ministry seems to have oversimplified the matter. Janata Curfew I would say is more a way of reinforcing the social distancing logic,” she said. Dr Soumya Swaminathan, chief scientist at WHO, said, “It’s (Janata Curfew) a preparatory exercise. To break the chain of transmission, you need weeks, if not months, of interventions. Not just one, but multiple non-pharmaceutical interventions. Detect, test, isolate, quarantine, avoid mass gatherings, protect health care workers and elderly, plus physical distancing. Those with fever and cough should self-isolate. Avoid going to hospitals unless essential.”There is scientific evidence to suggest that 14-hour period — even if it effectively extends to 24 hours — will do nothing for the longevity of the virus on any surface given that it can stay alive for much longer. According to an article published in New England Journal of Medicine, “SARS-CoV-2 was more stable on plastic and stainless steel than on copper and cardboard, and viable virus was detected up to 72 hours after application to these surfaces”.indianexpress

Coronavirus: Kochi mosques to suspend Friday prayers till March 31

KOCHI: Around 14 mosques within the city limit have set an example by calling off the Friday and congregation prayers in the backdrop of Covid-19. The self-imposed restrictions would be in force till March 31. The decision was taken at a meeting of co-ordination committee of mosques managed by various denominations, said MP Faisal Azhari, Imam, Grand Masjid. "All these mosques fall under various denominations like Sunni, Jamaate Islami and Mujahid but the decision was taken jointly," said Faisal Azhari. The meeting was presided over by Central Muslim Jamaat president A Siyad Kokkar. "We all felt that we should support the decision of the government. Imams normally work within a framework. Fortunately, all of them were ready to listen and cooperate," said C H Abdul Rahim of the Forum for Faith and Fraternity. There is also historical precedence for such steps, he said. "In the time of plague in Mecca the masjid there was closed," said Abdul Rahim.Some mosques went ahead with congregational prayers, but the duration was reduced from 45 minutes to 15.TOI

Poor Indians flee to villages as coronavirus measures take heavy toll

MUMBAI:Thousands of poor city migrants whose livelihoods have collapsed due to India’s coronavirus measures headed back to their villages on Saturday, raising fears that the exodus could carry the virus to the countryside. About one fifth of India’s confirmed coronavirus cases has been reported in Maharashtra — home to Mumbai, the country’s largest city and economic powerhouse. Maharashtra state authorities ordered on Friday the closure of all shops and offices, apart from those providing essential services, until March 31.For Indians who drive rickshaws or run food stalls, the economic shock of such control measures has been huge, pushing them to leave for family homes where they typically do not pay rent and food is cheaper.“Work has stopped. I’ll go back and work on the farm,” said Rakesh Kumar Gupta, 40, who sells mosquito nets and was heading back to his family house in Uttar Pradesh. On Saturday, hundreds of people, many young men wearing masks and lugging backpacks, jostled in long queues to board trains at Mumbai’s Lokmanya Tilak Terminus station.India’s state-run railway operator laid on 17 special train services starting on Friday to ferry people out of Mumbai area to eastern and northern India, spokesman Shivaji Sutar said.reuters

One isolation bed per 84,000 people, 1 quarantine bed per 36,000: Govt data

New Delhi :According to data collected by the Union Health Ministry, as of March 17, there is one isolation bed per 84,000 Indians, and one quarantine bed per 36,000 Indians. The data, collected in the wake of the coronavirus outbreak, states there is one doctor per 11,600 Indians, and one hospital bed per 1,826 Indians.Health experts say that this data may have spurred Prime Minister Narendra Modi to appeal for social distancing and call for a Janata Curfew—all in a bid to “flatten the curve” and space out the load on India’s stressed public health infrastructure.indianexpress

Coronavirus scare: Production suspended by Hero MotoCorp, TataMotors, Fiat; others likely to follow suit

India's largest two-wheeler manufacturer Hero MotoCorp and Italian auto major Fiat have decided to suspend production at their factories till the end of this month in the wake of the coronavirus pandemic that has affected more than 340 people in India so far, says a report carried on businesstoday.in.Hero MotoCorp said apart from India, it has also suspended operations in its other factories in Bangladesh and Colombia.“With the safety and wellbeing of its employees as the top priority in viewof the escalating COVID-19 situation, Hero MotoCorp has decided to halt operations at all its global manufacturing facilities - including in India, Colombia and Bangladesh - and the Global Parts Centre (GPC) at Neemrana with immediate effect until March 31, 2020,” the company said in a statement, as per the report.nationalheraldindia

Coronavirus: Has Jamia VC gone into self-isolation after return from US?

New Delhi:Ever since Jamia Millia Islamia V-C Dr. Najma Akhtar returned from US 4 days ago, she has been avoiding meeting people, including university staffers as also mediapersons. Speculations are that she is following the government directives of self-quarantine for 14 days for all those returning from foreign visits to prevent spread of coronavirus which has become pandemic.India Tomorrow made a bid to meet her after her return from US but all in vain. Though no one in her office confirmed, it is being speculated that she was taking precaution by self-isolating herself at her home.Dr. Najma, who took a very tough stand against police entry into Jamia campus and alleged assault on students in the university library, had also submitted a written complaint seeking registration of FIR against police personnel involved in destruction of the library and other university properties by the police. It is a different matter that the police have yet not registered any case based on her complaint but she has earned applause from university staffers and students.When this reporter went to university to get comment of Dr. Akhtar on Ramaswamy’s letter, Jamia PRO Ahmed Azeem said, “VC has just returned from US and she has not issued any statement in this connection”. When again tried to contact on Saturday, PRO replied, “VC is not meeting anybody. She is not meeting media, too”. Jamia sources said that the VC was perhaps taking precaution after her return from the US last week, she was taking precaution due to coronavirus and was avoiding meeting people. India Tomorrow

*CORONA VIRUS - wORLD*

Coronavirus: Iran Supreme Leader rejects US help as death toll exceeds 1,600

Iran's Supreme Leader Ali Khamenei rejected an offer from the US to help tackle the coronavirus pandemic on Sunday, as the the death toll from the virus reached 1,685.In a televised speech, Khamenei described the US as being led by "charlatans and liars," adding the country was the "wicked, sinister enemy of Iran"."Several times Americans have offered to help us to fight the pandemic. That is strange because you face shortages in America. Also you are accused of creating this virus," said Khamenei."I do not know whether it is true. But when there is such an allegation, can a wise man trust you and accept your help offer? You could be giving medicines to Iran that spread the virus or cause it to remain permanently." Khamenei did not further expand on the claims that the United States deliberately created the virus. While a number of conspiracy theories have circulated since the Covid-19 virus began spreading, there has been no compelling evidence that its spread was caused by a particular political entity.middleeasteye

Iran reports recovery of 7,913 coronavirus patients

tehran- Health ministry spokesman annouced on Sunday that 7,913 patients who were infected with the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) have been recovered and released from hospitals across the country.Kianoush Jahanpour said that 129  people died because of the novel coronavirus during the past 24 hours, ISNA reported.He went on to say that the total number of people diagnosed with the coronavirus has reached 21,638, of whom 1,685 have died.tehrantimes

COVID-19 outbreak had no impact on Iran’s defense, security: official

Tehran:Deputy Coordinator of Islamic Republic of Iran’s Army, Rear Admiral Habibollah Sayyari, says the outbreak of the novel coronavirus, known as COVID-19, in the country has had no impact on Iran’s defense capabilities and security. “Despite concerns over the outbreak of the coronavirus, this issue has had no effect on the Iranian Army’s main mission in maintaining the country’s defense capabilities and security,” Rear Admiral Habibollah Sayyari, Deputy Coordinator of the Islamic Republic of Iran’s Army, told Mehr correspondent on Sunday.He then discussed the Army’s extensive activities in combating the spread of the coronavirus, such as rendering treatment to the patients.tehrantimes

Italy coronavirus death toll rises by 793 to 4,825

The death toll from the new coronavirus has surpassed 6,000 in Europe, with Italy, Spain and Germany reporting a steep rise in infections. Italy announced 793 more deaths on Saturday, the second day in a row of the biggest day-to-day increase in the country's four-week epidemic, after surpassing China's death toll on Thursday.The total number of deaths in Italy has now reached 4,825. Spain's death toll has also increased to more than 1,300, while in Iran, the number of deaths hit another grim milestone of 1,500 as the country marks the beginning of the Persian New Year.

COVID-19: Spain’s daily death toll climbs to nearly 400

Coronavirus continues to devastate Spain, with the official death toll surging by nearly 400 on Sunday, according to new figures.In total, 1,720 people have lost their lives to the illness so far and 28,572 cases have been confirmed in the country. A total of 394 new deaths and 2,646 confirmed cases were reported in the last 24 hours.Anadolu

Pakistan: Lockdown in major cities, cases jump to 629

Pakistan on Sunday shut down markets and public places in several major cities of the country amid the coronavirus outbreak.The number of coronavirus cases in the country also jumped to 629.According to the provincial governments of Northwestern Khyber Pakhtunkhwa (KP), Punjab, and Balochistan, the public have been advised to remain at home and avoid social gatherings.The provincial government also declared an emergency and suspended all inter-district passenger public transport for seven days starting on Monday, the statement added.On Saturday, Punjab's Chief Minister Usman Buzdar also announced a lockdown in the province from Saturday night till Tuesday morning. The Sindh and Balochistan provinces already announced the same restrictions to stem the virus’ spread.Anadolu Agency

Federal law enforcement document reveals white supremacists discussed using coronavirus as a bioweapon

WASHINGTON — White supremacists discussed plans to weaponize coronavirus via “saliva,” a “spray bottle” or “laced items,” according to a weekly intelligence brief distributed by a federal law enforcement division on Feb. 17. Federal investigators appeared to be monitoring the white nationalists’ communications on Telegram, an encrypted messaging app that has become popular with neo-Nazis. In the conversations, the white supremacists suggested targeting law enforcement agents and “nonwhite” people with attacks designed to infect them with the coronavirus. “Violent extremists continue to make bioterrorism a popular topic among themselves,” reads the intelligence brief written by the Federal Protective Service, which covered the week of Feb. 17-24. “White Racially Motivated Violent Extremists have recently commented on the coronavirus stating that it is an ‘OBLIGATION’ to spread it should any of them contract the virus.”The Federal Protective Service, part of the U.S. Department of Homeland Security, is a law enforcement agency responsible for protecting buildings owned or leased by the federal government. Yahoo News

Fear, anxiety as besieged Gaza confirms first 2 coronavirus cases

Palestinian officials have announced the first two cases of COVID-19, the disease caused by the new coronavirus, in the besieged Gaza Strip.Deputy Health Minister Youssef Abulreesh said late on Saturday 2 Palestinian patients had returned from Pakistan via Gaza's Rafah border with neighbouring Egypt on Thursday. The pair exhibited symptoms of the illness, which include a dry cough and high fever, Abulreesh told a news conference.He added that the two were placed in quarantine upon arrival and are now in a field hospital in the border town of Rafah, in the southern Gaza Strip. Abulreesh urged Gaza's nearly 2 million residents to take precautionary measures and to practise social distancing by staying home in a bid to halt the potential spread of the virus. aljazeera

Coronavirus: Philippines seeks the 215 who attended Tablighi Jamaat congregation

Manila:Authorities are scrambling to trace the Filipinos who attended a religious event in Malaysia which has been linked to a spike in COVID-19 cases in several countries across Southeast Asia. Tablighi Jamaat congregation held from February 27 to March 1 at Kuala Lumpur's Jamek Sri Petaling Mosquedrew an estimated 16,000 devotees from about 30 countries. On their Facebook page, National Commission on Muslim Filipinos (NCMF) announced that 215 Filipinos attended the four-day religious gathering. Malaysia recorded its single biggest number of 190 COVID-19 cases on March 15, with a majority of those cases being the devotees who attended the Kuala Lumpur assembly.The NCMF said most of the Filipino attendees were from Bangsamoro Autonomous Region of Muslim Mindanao (BARMM), a group of provinces in the southern Philippines. aljazeera

*OTHERS*

17 security personnel killed after encounter with naxals in Chhattisgarh

Raipur :At least 17 security personnel — 12 DRG and 5 STF men — have been killed by naxals after coming under heavy fire in Chintagufa in Sukma on Saturday afternoon. A party of around 550 men of DRG, STF and CoBRA were sent on Sunday morning to retrieve them, Chhattisgarh DGP said.On Saturday afternoon, a joint team of DRG, STF, and CoBRA from Chintagufa, Burkapal and Timelwada were sent on an operation to Elmagunda, where information of Naxal formations was received. The teams reached Elmagunda and were returning when they were ambushed near Korajguda hills at around 02:30 pm. Fifteen DRG jawans were injured in the firing.According to DGP Durgesh Awasthi, the security personnel had received information that PLGA 1 and Company 2 were gathering at Elmagunda. “It was the biggest yet congregation of the Maoists in the area from Bijapur and Sukma. Following the information our men went to fight them and were ambushed,” he said.More than 250 men from PLGA 1 controlled by the senior Maoist leader Hidma and Company 2 ambushed the men while they were returning at around 02.30 pm on Saturday, sources said. “The exchange of fire went on for over five hours and our men fought valliantly. We have sent a new team of around 550 men from Burkapal and Chintagufa. They have been ordered to neutralize any naxal presence and retrieve our men as fast as possible. We hope that some of our men are safe,” Awasthi said.indianexpress

'Anti-Democratic': Socialist Party on BJP MP’s Bid to Remove 'Socialist' From Preamble

New Delhi: The Socialist Party (India) has likened BJP MP Rakesh Sinha’s proposal to remove the term “socialist” from the preamble to an attack on the Indian constitution, and has said that it as yet another attempt by the saffron party to disrespect India’s values.“…While taking the parliamentary oath, all its MPs, MLAs and ministers have declared allegiance to the Constitution. Yet, time and again, its luminaries have disrespected the Constitution, particularly the values of secularism and socialism,” the Socialist Party (India) said in a press statement, urging all who side with the cause of “social justice and equity” to join hands against the BJP, and defeat what it thinks is its “anti-democratic move.”Earlier this week, Sinha, a Rajya Sabha member, sought permission to move a resolution in the house to remove the term “socialist” from the preamble of the Indian constitution. He said that the term had become “redundant” in the current scenario and should be removed to create space for “economic thinking without a particular thought.” Sinha said that the terms “socialist” and “secular” were inducted in the preamble through the 42nd amendment to the constitution during the Emergency imposed by the then prime minister Indira Gandhi.Calling the move “unwarranted and ill-advised”, Socialist Party (India) said that socialism isn’t just an economic thinking or “a single, rigid thought or ideology” but is “based on the idea that when people work together for the collective interest of society.”thewire

Delhi Violence: Meet the Lawyer Who Lost Everything, But Fights on for Justice to Others

New Delhi: February 24 was a usual day for Advocate Mohammad Yusuf. Unaware of what destiny had in store for him, he left home at Bhagtan Mohalla in North-East Delhi’s Ghonda village for Karkardooma Court to defend his cases. At around 1:30 p.m that day he got a call. The caller, an acquaintance, told him about communal tension gripping the area, with rioters armed with rods and sticks assembling at several locations.As the caller hung up, Yusuf dialled his mother to inform her about the situation and ask her to shift to a safer place along with the entire family. But the call didn’t go through. He then called his younger brother, asking him to shift the family to one of their relatives’ place in Jaffrabad.“My mother refused to go anywhere, saying that we have been living in the locality for decades and trust our neighbours. She asked me not to worry as things would be fine,” the composed lawyer told Newsclick.At around 3 p.m, stone pelting began in the area and two vehicles were set ablaze. Amid chaos all around, his family fled to take shelter at his uncle’s residence in Jaffrabad, where they are still staying.“The man who had called me earlier, once again rang me up to tell me that a mobile shop (owned by one Taj Mohammad) close to our house had been set on fire,” he said, adding that he wrapped up work and headed to his uncle’s house where his family had taken refuge.

Madhya Pradesh: Governor writes to Speaker; suggests he quit, pro tem speaker be named

Bhopal :Following a complaint by the BJP against Madhya Pradesh Assembly Speaker N P Prajapati, Governor Lalji Tandon has suggested that he quit his post and honouring the tradition that requires a speaker to resign in the event of the party that chose him loses power.Citing a no confidence motion moved by the BJP in the assembly secretariat against the Speaker, the Governor has asked him to take it (motion) up on priority when the session is convened. “Until the no confidence motion is decided by the house, I expect you to work in accordance with the constitution, assembly rules and morality by studying the legality of every subject,’ the Governor stated in the letter addressed to Prajapati.The Speaker and Principal Secretary (Assembly) A P Singh did not respond to calls made by Indian Express. After Chief Minister Kamal Nath stepped down before facing a trust vote on Friday, the Speaker had adjourned the assembly sine die.indianexpress

3 booked for trying to create communal rift

At a meeting that was jointly organized by Vishwakarma Community and Federation of Tamil Nadu Hindu Organizations on Raja Street here on the night of March 14 in support of CAA, NPR and NRC, John Pandian had targeted Muslim community. 2 others were also booked on Friday for posting hatred messages on Facebook.While Chennai-based Kalyan Raman said in his message that communal tension was brewing in Coimbatore and that something was going to be happen in Tamil Nadu, Shajahan Abdhul Kadhar in his FB post said if sangh parivar people attacked Muslims, the victims should stand united and fight back the Hindutva people, instead of approaching police.TOI


*VIEWS, ARTICLES, FEATURES*

‘Janta curfew’ a mock drill for national emergency:nationalheraldindia
A Major ‘Internet Services from Space’ Company Is Nearly Broke. What Happened?science
A teacher is killed in Kashmir - where is the justice?AHMED BIN QASIM, trtworld.com
Kashmir’s Chitti Singhpora struggles between remembering and forgetting a 20-yr-old massacre:KHUSHDEEP KAUR MALHOTRA , theprint
Gogoi and After: It's Time to Read Down the Indian Law Books' Table of Contempts:Mitali Saran, thewire
'India Should Have Already Announced an Economic Package for Coronavirus':Anuj Srivas
When Janata Curfew and Clanging are Over, Coronavirus Will Still Need Fighting:Nitin Sinha, thewire
Indian express: Why WHO is warning against politicising the pandemic

Compiled and edited by Anwarulhaq (Released at: 8:58 PM).

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