News and views across the globe.

Saturday, 18 April 2020

18 APRIL: India's treatment of Muslims amid coronavirus is almost 'genocidal: Arundhati Roy. 'Unending Witch-Hunt of Muslims': Academics, writers, filmmaker Condemn Targeted Arrests of Anti-CAA Protesters. Delhi riots: ‘25-30 arrests from north-east since lockdown’

NEWS DIGEST EVENING
18 April 2020: 23 Shaban 1441: Vol: 12, No: 184
*CORONAVIRUS - INDIA*
India's treatment of Muslims amid coronavirus is almost 'genocidal: Author  Arundhati Roy
Author and Political activist Arundhati Roy accused Indian government of exploiting coronavirus outbreak to inflame tensions between Hindus and Muslims. She told DW that this alleged strategy on the part of Hindu nationalist govt would "dovetail with this illness to create something which the world should really keep its eyes on," adding that "situation is approaching genocidal.""I think what has happened is COVID-19 has exposed things about India that all of us knew," said Roy. "We are suffering, not just from COVID, but from a crisis of hatred, from a crisis of hunger.""This crisis of hatred against Muslims," she continued, "comes on the back of a massacre in Delhi, which was the result of people protesting against the anti-Muslim citizenship law.Under cover of COVID-19 govt is moving to arrest young students, to fight cases against lawyers, against senior editors, against activists and intellectuals. Some of them have recently been put in jail."Roy claimed the government was exploiting the virus in a tactic reminiscent of one used by the Nazis during the Holocaust. "The whole of the organization, RSS  to which Modi belongs, which is the mother ship of BJP , has long said that India should be a Hindu nation. Its ideologues have likened Muslims of India to the Jews of Germany. And if you look at the way in which they are using COVID, it was very much like typhus was used against the Jews to get ghettoize them, to stigmatize them."dw.com
Arundhati Roy compares PM Modi to Hitler, claims ‘coronavirus’ pandemic 'almost genocidal'
'Not Just Denigrated, Muslims Have Been Demonised During COVID-19 Pandemic': RJD MP  Manoj Jha
Manoj Jha, a member of Rajya Sabha and spokesperson of RJD, the principal opposition party in Bihar, says the state hasn't received the attention and support it deserves during Coronavirus outbreak from Centre as a cooperative federal unit.In an interview with Outlook, Jha says message of lockdown was confined to urban-middle-class of metropolitan cities and it lacked concerns of subaltern groups, including migrant workers. When asked, after Tablighi Jammat event, Muslims all across India have been subjected to denigration and discrimination, RJD MP replied, "I think they are not only denigrated they have been demonised. You know what I said in the beginning that we have criminalised corona carriers and demonised them as a result of it. I think maybe we will successfully fight this pandemic for different reasons, including God’s support but many other pandemics are taking place around us. I hope that we don't come out it as a more divided society, where a section is demonised." out look

In Modi's India, virus fallout inflames divisions between Muslims and Hindus:Reuters
Mumbai:Purple ink stamped on Iqbal Hussain Siddiqui’s hand by Indian health workers was supposed to ensure he stayed home under quarantine.But 66-year-old Siddiqui, an egg seller in Mumbai’s sprawling Dharavi slum, rubbed it off as best he could and went back to work. The mark would have condemned him to being stuck in an unventilated one-room home without a toilet.It was also, he claimed, part of an effort by Hindu nationalist government of PM Narendra Modi to target Muslims like him, using health workers to gather data on the community under the guise of containing COVID-19 pandemic.“Modi wants to make Muslims second class citizens,” said Siddiqui, who was ordered to be quarantined after a neighbor tested positive for the virus. “There is no one who is sick — it’s all a lie.”His suspicions were echoed by a half-dozen other Muslims whom Reuters talked to in Dharavi, even though community leaders say they have been trying to convince people that health workers are in district to protect them from COVID-19. Coronavirus has exacerbated festering divisions between the country’s Hindus and its sizable Muslim minority, many of whom have seen their livelihoods threatened by the establishment of quarantine zones in densely-packed areas like Dharavi. There have been at least 71 confirmed cases in Dharavi. Muslim leaders say a belief that the coronavirus is not real has spread in their communities, but that they have been working through mosques to change those perceptions. “There is a strong feeling of distrust in Muslim community towards the establishment,” said Gyasuddin Shaikh, a politician with opposition Congress in Ahmedabad. “It took us a lot of time and effort to convince such people that the documents are needed for medical assistance.”Despite those efforts, public health experts warn that suspicions about govt’s intentions in a community of around 200 million people could complicate India’s push to stamp out the virus. A sense of isolation within Muslim population “does not enhance community participation and it drives disease underground,” said Dr. Jacob John, professor of community medicine at a Medical College in Tamil Nadu. Health ministry and PMO did not respond to requests for comment.

Muslim community being singled out over virus, community elders say
Hyderabad: Health minister Etala Rajendar naming and dragging Tablighi Jamaat (TJ) returnees again in the context of Covid-19 is a “continuous and systematic attack against Muslim community,” community elders said.Mushtaq Malilk, head of Tahreek Muslim Shabban, said, “It is a systematic attack on the community in the name of the disease.Despite WHO stating clearly that people, communities and localities must not be stigmatised, Muslims are being continuously maligned by the local administration right up to senior levels of government, said a community elder.Other senior members of community stated that they do not understand why only case of Tablighi Jamaat returnees are being highlighted by government. Prof. Abdul Majeed, a senior member of the community, said, “There were many congregations in March but not a single community has been targeted in the manner in which Muslims have been. Again, the government is working on the same lines. They must seek the help of people which they have not done. Is there any dialogue that they have initiated? Why? What is stopping them?”ASIAN AGE

'You'll be Made to Leave': UAE Princess Slams Indian Man for Islamophobic Tweet on Tablighi Jamaat
Taking a strong notice of Islamophobia on social media, Princess Hend Al Qassimi, a member of the royal family of UAE, called out a series of tweets by a user named Saurabh Upadhyay. Upadhyay had posted tweets attacking Muslims over the Tablighi Jamaat congregation held in March in Delhi that led to surge of coronavirus cases cases in India. He also gave into rumours of muslims ‘spiting on food’ to spread the virus.Princess Qassimi shared the screenshots of his tweets and warned that those engaging in racism and Islamophobia will have to pay penalty and will be made to leave UAE. Upadhyay has apparently deactivated his Twitter handle now. Responding to his earlier posts, she though the ruling family of UAE is “friends with Indians”, his rudeness was “not welcome”.“All employees are paid to work, no one comes for free. You make your bread and butter from this land which you scorn and your ridicule will not go unnoticed,” she wrote.news18

Wrong to say Maulana Saad not co-operating with agencies: Tablighi Jamaat
New Delhi: Mujeeb-ur Rehman, spokesman for Tablighi Jamaat on Friday said that it is incorrect to say that the Jamaat chief Maulana Saad is not co-operating with the agencies."The Police have sent him two notices and he responded to both of them. We are co-operating with the agencies in the investigation. It is incorrect to say that Jamaat chief Maulana Saad is not co-operating with the agencies," Rehman told ANI.He said that a team of lawyers is providing legal aid to Maulana Saad."We have a team of lawyers and we are providing legal aid to Maulana Saad. We are ready to answer every question asked by agencies and media," he said.Regarding the ED notice sent to Maulana Saad, he said: "We have not received the ED notice against Maulana Saad. We only come to know about this through media,"He claimed that Maulana Saad is not hiding anywhere, he is in India and the police know where he is."Maulana respects law, respects constitution and he will follow all the procedure," he added.Meanwhile, Maulana Saad has written to Delhi Police, demanding a copy of FIR registered in connection with an event at Markaz mosque in Nizamuddin.ANI

Probe focuses on money exchanger, CA role in Tablighi Jamaat funding :IANS report
 New Delhi:The role of money exchanger RM & RM Associates based in Delhi''s Nizamuddin and a chartered accountant working with Tablighi Jamaat is being scrutinised by Crime Branch sleuths of Delhi Police to ascertain foreign remittance received by Jamaat, a senior IPS officer said on Saturday.The role of money exchanger RM & RM Associates was flagged by senior police officers in the case against Tablighi Jamaat. DCP Joy Tirkey has been directed to probe the financial aspects in the case. Senior officers have issued directions to Tirkey to question owners and employees of RM & RM Associates."They should be thoroughly questioned about amount of remittance received from foreign countries by the Tabhlighi Jamaat," the direction stated.He was also directed to check whether any money was received by Jamaat delegates from their respective countries. He has also been directed to question a chartered accountant of Tablighi Jamaat about the funding of the organisation and also "foreign contribution".Crime Branch has also been asked to liaise with MHA to probe foreign source of funding as foreigners from across 41 nations joined the congregation at Delhi''s Nizamuddin in March.


Classification Of COVID19 Cases As Tablighi Jamaat, Masjid Markaz Leads To Communal Antagonism: Plea In Delhi HC
A plea has been moved in the Delhi High Court seeking court's direction to the Delhi Government to not to use terms such as 'Tablighi Jamaat' or 'Masjid Markaz' while referring to COVID19 cases.Filed by Advocate MM Kashyap, plea claims that using such terms for classifying coronavirus cases leads to religious profiling and communal antagonism.While highlighting that Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal himself used these terms in his tweets, the Petitioner argues that such a classification has a potential of fuelling communal tension in the capital city.It is submitted that the situation in the city can potentially get worse considering that it already witnessed communal riots in the recent past, in the northeast districts.'...it was the need of the hour that the nation is united in the fight against coronavirus and giving communal angle to the cases would hamper the same', the petition states.While seeking immediate injunction on the communal reporting of the Tablighi Jamaat incident, the Petitioner argues that Delhi CM has violated the advisory or guidelines issued by WHO which has strictly advised to refrain from religious profiling of COVID19 cases.livelaw

Coronavirus: Centre asks states, UTs to identify, screen Rohingya refugees
Ministry of Home Affairs has asked all states and Union Territories to conduct Covid-19 screenings of Rohingya refugees in their jurisdiction as several may have attended last month’s Tablighi Jamaat congregation in Delhi’s Nizamuddin, PTI reported , citing officials. The religious congregation later emerged as a coronavirus hotspot.The community’s members who reside in camps in Hyderabad had attended Tablighi Jamaat “Ijtema” at Haryana’s Nuh district, ministry said. It added that some of them were also present at the Nizamuddin event.The notification highlighted that the refugees, residing in Delhi’s Shram Vihar and Shaheen Bagh neighbourhoods, who had gone for Tablighi Jamaat congregations had not returned to their camps. The ministry cited reports from Dera Bassi city in Punjab and Jammu area of J&K about the presence of Rohingya Muslims, arriving there after working for Tablighi Jamaat. “Therefore, Rohingya Muslims and their contacts may need to be screened for COVID-19,” the order said. “Accordingly, necessary measures may be taken in this regard on priority.” The ministry said there are nearly 40,000 Rohingya refugees in different parts of the country.scroll

Azamgarh: Rs 5,000 Reward for Info on Tablighi May Lead to Harassment of Common Muslims, Say Rights Activists
Azamgarh Police last week announced a reward for information to trace ‘hiding’ members of Tablighi Jamaat, but local residents and rights activists are concerned that such move will lead to harassment of even those Muslims who have nothing to do with Tablighi Jamaat and have never attended its congregation at Delhi’s Nizamuddin Markaz or elsewhere. In their bid to trace those who attended Tablighi congregation, Azamgarh Police last week announced to reward Rs 5,000 to anyone who gives a tip off about the “hiding” members of Tablighi Jamaat in the district. However, local residents are concerned that such reward announcement may lead to harassment of any Muslim in the present charged atmosphere of hatred. Some said that the announcement is about Tablighis, not just those who attended Delhi event.“Here several rumors are making rounds, like these people (Tablighis) lick their fingers after having meals and this spreads Coronavirus. There was a local news here that four skull-capped people were held in Saraimir village and four skull-capped people were held in Fariha. This description fits to any Muslim, so common Muslims could be targeted. Fear is engulfing Muslim localities here due to such rumors being spread by right-wing people,” said eminent social activist Masihuddin Sanjari. Another local resident said that any Muslim could be targeted as Tablighi Jamaat is not an organized group which maintains list of its members. He also said the authorities should have taken Tablighi Jamaat people into confidence. Rajiv Yadav, General Secretary of Rihai Manch, said that those Tablighi people who got infected should be seen as victims not criminals.indiatomorrow

Delhi: No New Corona Cases Related to Tablighi Markaz in Last 4 Days
New Delhi: National Capital has recorded no new Coronavirus cases related to Tablighi Jamaat Markaz, in the last 4 days – from April 14 to April 17. However, in same period, around 150 new cases of the highly contagious disease from other sources were added to the Delhi tally.The number of Markaz-related cases was 1080 on April 14 and the figure remained unchanged till April 17 – it means no fresh cases related to the mid-March Markaz congregation was reported in Delhi in the last 4 days.clarionindia

14 Jamaat meet participants arrested after completion of their quarantine term in UP
Bhadohi: As many as 14 Tablighi Jamaat meet participants, including 11 Bangladeshis, were arrested after completion of their quarantine period on Friday.Jamaatis were arrested after the completion of their quarantine period and sent to a temporary jail set up here for them, said Bhadohi SP Ram Badan Singh.PTI

Over 3,000 students stranded in Kota, evacuated by UP Govt by spl buses; Bihar CM questions move
Kota: Nearly 3,000 students stranded in Kota due to the ongoing lockdown left for their home in 100 buses sent by UP govt but another 7,000 were waiting for their turn in Rajasthan city on Saturday. UP govt had sent 250 buses to Kota on Friday, estimating total number of students to be around 7,500, but more students gathered at the 3 boarding points in city after learning about the travel arrangement. Some of the students were accompanied by their parents. Officials now fear the buses available could be inadequate to accommodate all the students willing to return home. But Kota Public Relations Deputy Director Hariom Gurjar told PTI that UP govt has assured them that more buses would be arranged if there is a shortfall. Bihar CM Nitish Kumar, a key ally of BJP, called it an injustice and said it was against the purpose of lockdown, according to NDTV. “scroll/PTI

Assam Congress MP demands removal of Foreigners’ Tribunal member for ‘anti-Muslim’ statement
Guwahati: A Congress MP in Assam has demanded the removal of a member of a Foreigners’ Tribunal (FT) for his alleged statement that Tablighi Jamaat attendees who violated rules along with the members of “Jehadi and Jahil” should not be considered for COVID-19 relief.Barpeta MP Abdul Khaleque wrote to state Health Minister to draw the attention of Chief Minister Sarbananda Sonowal to a letter allegedly written by Kamalesh Kumar Gupta, member of FT, Baksa.newindianexpress

Bidar School, Slapped With Sedition For 'Anti-CAA' Play, Turns Into Covid-19 Quarantine Centre
Two months ago, a school in Bidar in northern Karnataka was in the news for an allegedly seditious skit. It's now again making headlines --this time because it's a quarantine centre where about 193 people are currently staying.Thouseef Madikeri, CEO of Shaheen Group of Institutions says that Bidar district authorities had approached them on April 12 because govt hostel that initially served as a quarantine centre was in a residential locality, which led to opposition from local people."So they were searching for another campus and they approached us," he tells Outlook.The authorities shifted 133 people on April 13 and another 60 people two days later -- all of them were primary and secondary contacts of COVID-19 cases who are under surveillance. "In this situation, we have to contribute," says Madikeri. "We have a kitchen. So we are providing them with three meals a day and snacks and also masks and medicines." Shaheen's school in Bidar had been slapped with a sedition case in January after a local activist complained that the school staged a play during an annual day function criticising CAA.outlookindia

Coronavirus: 75% cases of deaths in patients aged 60 yrs and above, 83% have co-morbidities
Health ministry, during the routine media briefing on coronavirus, said that 75.3 per cent of Covid-19 deaths in India have been recorded in those who are 60 years of age and above. The ministry also said that of coronavirus deaths in the country, 83 per cent cases have been reported to have co-morbidities.Giving an age-wise analysis, Lav Agarwal, Health ministry joint secretary, said that 14.4 per cent deaths have been reported in the age group of 0-45 years. He said that 10.3 per cent coronavirus deaths have been reported in the age group of 45-60 years, 33.1% in those who fall under the age bracket of 60-75 years and lastly he said that 42.2 per cent deaths are reported in the age group of 75 years and above.India has reported 991 fresh Covid-19 cases, 43 deaths in the last 24 hours, Agarwal said.Covid-19 death toll in India has now reached 480. Meanwhile, a total of 1,992 Covid-19 patients across the country have cured, which has taken overall recovery percentage to somewhere around 13.85 per cent, ministry informed.indiatoday

Nearly 30% coronavirus cases linked to Tablighi event: Govt
Union Health Ministry on Saturday said 4,291 or about 30% of coronavirus cases in the country have been traced to Tablighi Jamaat congregation in Delhi out of 14,378 cases in the country. In Delhi, 63% of the reported 1,707 cases are linked to the same gathering.Nearly 40,000 people related to Delhi''s Nizamuddin event have already been quarantined.IANS

India doesn’t figure in top 40 countries which are doing something to challenge Covid-19
New Delhi: As National Capital is surging with Covid-19 cases, opposition Congress on Friday alleged that the Delhi government led by Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal was ill-prepared to tackle this unprecedented health crisis. Presenting a 10-point charter of demands, Congress pointed out that 55 healthcare workers were contacted with this disease which is the highest in the country. Addressing a press conference, party spokesperson and ex Union Minister Ajay Maken took Delhi Govt and Union govt to the task over the lack of preparation to cope with coronavirus pandemic. Maken said Delhi has huge scarcity of PPE as Delhi government was very slow to act and as late as on April 3, Chief Minister ordered to find out the requirement of PPEs.“It was only in a meeting on 4th of April that CM directed to provide “a realistic estimates for requirement of consumables like N-95 Masks Surgical masks, PPE kits etc. in all public scenarios.” Exposing Modi govt’s hollowness in tackling this crisis, Congress leader underlined that even India did not figure in the top 40 countries, which are doing something to challenge deadly pandemic.“ India doesn’t come even in top 40 countries, which are doing something to challenge this virus. So, India doesn’t figure even in first 40 countries, so imagine what we are doing!”muslimmirror

MHA to ask states to be vigilant against Ramazan gathering
New Delhi: The home ministry is set to ask states to ensure there are no gathering of people at mosques or other places during the month of Ramazan which will begin in a week. “We will urge community leaders to issue statement asking them to stay at home and offer prayers while maintaining social distance and hygiene,” a senior official said. Lockdown regulations have banned religious, cultural and social gatherings and have directed authorities to use drones to deter congregations at religious places. Officials also said states will also be asked to use Haj centres to quarantine Tablighi Jamaat members tracked after massive contact-tracing exercise.economictimes

Lockdown: Maharashtra Govt Urges Muslims to Break Fasts, Offer Ramzan Prayers at Home
Maharashtra govt on Saturday urged Muslims to offer prayers and break their fasts during the month of Ramzan, which begins next week, inside their homes instead of gathering at mosques or any other public place in view of the coronavirus outbreak. Union Minority Affairs Ministry has already urged Muslims to not congregate for offering prayers and Iftar during this period.PTI

Jamaat Islami Hind Provide Aids Worth Rs. 10 Crores To People Affected With Lockdown
New Delhi:Jamaat-e-Islami Hind (JIH) has come to the aid of millions of people across the country affected by the lockdown.A statement released by the organisation claimd to provide aids worth nearly Rs. 10 crores to around 9 lakh families across the country. Mohammed Ahmed, JIH National Secretary - Social Service, said, “By the Grace of Allah, the support of our well-wishers and the hard work of our volunteers, we have been able to provide food and other relief to almost a million people all over the country.  Most of them are extremely poor, who lead a hand to mouth existence and many migrant labourers, who were caught in the lockdown. According to the reports from various states, cities and towns we have provided relief to 8,38,417 people across the country, at a cost of around Rs 10 crore. We distributed 5,80,519 food kits, 4,32,228 cooked food packets, 3,88,852 face masks and 3,970 sanitizers. We have also extended financial help to 10,06,553 people and other services to 44,503 people.”India Tomorrow

Yale study finds a majority of India’s poor women likely to miss Centre’s cash transfers
A study by Yale Economic Growth Centre released on Friday makes out a case for a universal PDS system in post-COVID India and community kitchens. Cash transfers alone, the study suggests, is unlikely to reach all the poor in the country. The study welcomed the initiative to distribute low-cost grains to all NGOs engaged in relief work but pleaded for the release of additional grains to sustain community kitchens in all states. Universal access to food rations as in Tamil Nadu would also be needed in rest of the states, the study says.The study has been jointly authored by Rohini Pande, Simone Schaner, Charity Troyer Moore and Elena Stacy.nationalheraldindia

2017 Video Used to Falsely Claim Islamic Preacher Asked Tablighi Jamaatis to 'Spit'
Narrative around coronavirus pandemic has taken a turn for the worse in India with a majority of social media users and mainstream media outlets not only pinning the blame on the Muslim community but also accusing it of intentionally spreading infection.In an April 11 broadcast, India TV praised govt for working “24×7” to fight the virus outbreak. However, the channel claimed that efforts are being derailed because of the weakest link i.e., Tablighi Jamaat. “There is another big accusation against Jamaat – of spitting. Where did they catch the disease of spitting? Which Mulana gave them the symptoms of the virus, India TV has investigated.”The channel subsequently played a video of a preacher saying, “To save yourself from the clutches of demons, read Surah Al-Ikhlas and spit thrice on the left-hand side,” and paused before he was finished. Video played by India TV is 3 years old. It was shared by the YouTube channel IRC TV on Oct.25, 2017. Faiz Syed is an Islamic preacher and the founder of IRC.The video is titled, “Agar Kisi Ko Allah Ki Zaat Par Waswasa – Whispers Aaye To Kya Kare By Adv. Faiz Syed”. This translates to – “What should one do when they get whispers (evil or negative thoughts) about the existence of Allah.”Alt News spoke with an Islamic scholar who explained that the ‘spitting’ is not literal ejection of saliva but a gesture. “When evil thoughts come to one’s mind during prayers or meditation, they recite the Surah Al-Ikhlas and make a gesture of spitting on the left side – either say thoo thrice or spit out air. This is a psychological way of believing that after taking Allah’s name, the act of ‘spitting’ ejects the Shaitan out of the body.” Alt News

Old video of TikTok user Shadab Khan falsely shared as him showing how to spread coronavirus
A video of TikTok user Shadab Khan, inarguably repulsive, has been widely shared on social media platforms.Twitter user Deepak Khandwal shared the clip stating, “Shabad Khan has 11 million followers on TikTok and he is promoting how to spread coronavirus. (#शादाब_खान के टिकटोक पर 11 मिलियन से ज्यादा फॉलोवर हैं, और ये प्रमोट क्या कर रहा है कि #कोरोना_वायरस को कैसे फैलाना है.)”A rummage through Sadab Khan’s TikTok profile revealed that the video was created on February 6, 2020, weeks before coronavirus either became a part of the national discourse or was declared a health emergency in India. Khan has made several videos related to coronavirus. Below is a TikTok video where he is advising people to stay at home. While Khan has uploaded videos in the past that are distasteful and/ or sexist, an old video has been cherry-picked from his profile and is being shared as if he is promoting the act of spitting in the middle of a pandemic.altnews

Old video shared as recent incident where police was attacked during lockdown in Aurangabad
On April 15, it was reported that locals in Bihar’s Aurangabad attacked health workers and police personnel during a routine visit for screening residents. Eleven people were injured in the stone-pelting in Ekauni village under the jurisdiction of Goh police station. The police has arrested 44 people for the attack. A video is now viral on social media with the claim that it depicts the incident.A Facebook page that goes by the name The News Khazana shared the video with the following claim: “औरंगाबाद जिले के एकौनी गांव में ग्रामीणों ने पुलिस टीम पर किया हमला ,जांच के लिए पुलिस मेडिकल टीम के साथ गांव पहुंची तो ग्रामीणों ने हमला कर दिया, डीएसपी सहित 12 लोग जख्मी #Bihar #Lockdown2”Kashish News reporter Sohan Singh also shared the video with the claim that it shows incident from Ekauni village. He later took down the tweet. Upon reverse-searching a keyframe of the video, we found that it pertains to an incident from September 2019.  altnews

Old, unrelated image from Malaysia shared as migrants stranded in Gujarat due to lockdown
An image of a crowd of people sleeping in the lobby of a building is getting shared on social media. It is being claimed that the image is from Gujarat and it depicts the plight of migrant workers stranded in the state. Twitter handle ‘Media Aalochak’ posted the image with message, “गुजरात मे इन #मजदूरो के बारे मे #दलाल_मीडिया का क्या ख्याल है।इनके पास ना तो खाने के लिए राशन है ना ही राशन खरीदने के लिए पैसे है ना ही रहने के लिए रूम है।यह लोग जाये तो जाये कहाँ #मीडिया को असली तस्वीर छुपाने के लिए #जमाती और #मस्जिद वाला मुद्दा चाहिये ताकि नफरत का माहौल गरम रहे. (What does the sold-out media think about these migrants in Gujarat. They neither have food nor ration or money to buy ration or a room to live. Where will these people go? Media is hiding the real picture behind the issue of Jamaat and mosque while the atmosphere of hatred is being heated up -translated)”. It had garnered more than 800 retweets before it was taken down. This image was published along with an article by Bengali website Daily Fulki on Dec.25, 2019. The article said that the image depicts a crowd gathered at immigration office in Malaysia after the country announced to facilitate the ‘Back for Good’ program. It gave a chance to illegal immigrant to return to their homes after paying a fine.altnews

Muslim clerics should boycott ‘godi’ media channels : Delhi Minorities Commission chief Zafarul-Islam Khan
Delhi Minorities Commission chairman Dr Zafarul-Islam Khan on 15 April said that Muslim clerics should “boycott godi media” [outlets that apparently favour Hindu nationalist BJP party-led government] and reject any call from them to appear on their shows.He issued an appeal on Twitter over the same. In his appeal, Khan said, “Fabrication and humiliation of invited guests by godi channels, like Republic, Times Now and Aajtak etc., have crossed all limits.” He added that “innocent Maulanas [clerics] and enthusiastic laymen” provide them an opportunity to humiliate them and the whole community.If anyone approaches you to appear on their shows, ask them to invite Prof. Tahir Mahmood, Prof. Faizan Mustafa, Abdul Khaliq [LJP], Anil Chamadia, John Dayal and Shamsul Islam, he added.Khan maintained that he is boycotting Republic and Times Now since long. “I have told Times Now that I will not appear on its shows during this life-time and have told Republic that I will not appear on their shows even in my next life,” he said.muslimmirror


Migrant’s last earning before suicide: Rs 2,500 from sale of phone
 35-year-old Chhabu Mandal, a migrant from Bihar who worked as a painter in Gurgaon, sold his phone for Rs 2,500 on Thursday and used the money to purchase a portable fan and some ration to feed his family — his wife, her parents, and his four children, youngest 5 months old. His wife Poonam was delighted when he returned home —family had not had anything to eat all through Wednesday, and even before that, had been relying on meals being distributed for free in their area, or the generosity of neighbours.Before she started cooking, Poonam went to washroom, while her mother took the children and went to sit under a tree near their home — 2 shanties standing side by side in Gurgaon’s Saraswati Kunj, with tin sheets for walls and roofs. Mandal’s father-in-law slept in the adjacent shanty.While his family was out, Mandal closed the door of his shanty and, using a rope, hanged himself from the ceiling.“He had been very troubled ever since the lockdown started; we had been struggling to get food. There was no work and no money. We were completely dependent on free meals to feed ourselves, but these also did not come every day,” said his wife.Gurgaon Police officers, when contacted, said Mandal was “mentally troubled”.Officials from district administration also insisted 35-year-old was “mentally disturbed”. The closest food disbursal point for residents of Saraswati Kunj, as per a list released by district administration, is Community Centre in Sector 56.“There is one in Sector 56 and there is one in Wazirabad also, from what we have heard, but those are very far for us to walk to. I am disabled, my wife is also aged, and the children are young. Walking that far for food is not possible, that too on a hungry stomach,” said Mandal’s father-in-law Umesh.Firoz, another resident of Saraswati Kunj, who also hails from Bihar, said residents were also scared to venture out since “some policemen are aggressive”.Official from district admin. said the gaps, if any, would be plugged. indianexpress

‘Told no need to eat twice a day to live’: Woman at Pune camp for migrant workers
Pune:Every evening, a voluntary group comes and distributes boxes of cooked rice to a camp of about 100 migrant labourers living in 6 tin sheds at Ambegaon Budruk, on outskirts of Pune city.This is the only food that this camp of labourers gets in the day.On Wednesday evening, Fatima Begum, a woman in her 30s, walked down the hill to collect food provided by the officials of Pune police who had found her while trying to walk from Pune to Madhya Pradesh along with around 150 others in the morning hours of Wednesday.Grateful for the food that the camp was receiving once a day, Fatima said with despair,“If we ask for more food, we are told that we do not need to eat twice to live. Once a day is enough for you, they tell us.”Residing at a remote settlement near Sachhai Mata temple in hill-area of Shaninagar area in Ambegaon Budrukh, cluster of tin sheds which are home to these labourers from Madhya Pradesh, does not permit movement of two adults at once.On Tuesday, these labourers and their children had made a failed attempt at walking to Madhya Pradesh from Ambegaon in Katraj, Pune.HT

West Bengal: Several people defy Covid-19 lockdown, gather for Friday namaz in HooghlyIndia
Kolkata: Defying lockdown orders, at least 50 people gathered to offer namaz at a mosque in West Bengal's Hooghly district amid the coronavirus outbreak in the country.Around 60 people had gathered yesterday afternoon to offer Friday namaz at Taldanga mosque in Hoogly's Chinsurah.According to locals, police rushed the spot and immediately asked the Imam to evacuate the mosque. When police questioned the Imam about the gathering, he said despite telling people to offer namaz at their homes, they are still coming to the mosque.timesnownews

Mamata removes Murshidabad SP who allowed mosque prayer
West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee came down heavily on Mursidabad district SP Ajeet Singh Yadav and ordered that he be transferred. The move came after reports of hundreds gathering for Friday prayers last week at Gopipur mosque in his jurisdiction, breaking norms of social distancing during the lockdown. Chief Minister also expressed concern over the porous Bengal-Bangladesh border in Malda district, from where people were coming into the country. freepressjournal

Gujarat: Muslims perform Hindu rituals to help cremate Bhavnagar woman
Amreli: Amid stringent lockdown, Gariyadhar, a town in Bhavnagar district famed for small-scale diamond cutting and polishing industry, set a glittering example of communal brotherhood on Friday when Muslims went all out to help in cremation of a 70-year-old Hindu woman.Ranjan Bhadreshwara, who lived with her two sons Bharat and Rasik in Ghanchiwad area on Palitana Road, died a natural death on Friday morning. As most of their relatives who live in Ahmedabad could not make it for the cremation due to the lockdown, the Muslim neighbours immediately took up the responsibility to help this family do the final rites as per Brahmin rituals.In fact, the Bhadreshwaras have been the only Hindu family in Ghanchiwad area where there are nearly 50 Muslim households, for the past nearly 25 years.

Number of containment zones in Delhi reaches 66
The number of containment zones in the national capital reached 66 on Friday including one in Sangam Vihar where four family members tested positive for the coronavirus. 6 new containment zones are -- Gali No. 26 and 26 B, H.No. 2056 to 2092 and Gali No. 27 and 27 B, H.No. 2063 to 2083, Tughlakabad Extension; the entire effected area around H.No. 859/20, L--II, Sangam Vihar; in and around the area of C-105, Hari Nagar; in and around the area of B-333, Hari Nagar; in and around the area of C-785, Third Floor, Camp No. 2, Nangloi; in and around the area of RZ-168, K2 Block, Nihal Vihar.A house in Delhi's L-II, Sangam Vihar, was contained today after four members of a family tested positive of COVID-19.The office of SDM, Saket, issued the containment order today in this regard station.ANI

Babita Phogat Faces Criticism Over Controversial Tweets On Tablighi Jamaat, Complaint Lodged Against Her
A complaint was filed against Babita Phogat in Maharashtra over her recent tweets against Tablighi Jamaat members even as the wrestler-politician claimed that she is receiving threats. The complaint lodged at City Chowk police station in Aurangabad against BJP politician and Kangana Ranaut's sister Rangoli Chandel said their tweets were intended to create disharmony among communities.The complaint was filed by a man associated with Jamaat and will be forwarded to places where Phogat and Chandel live, an official said.30-year-old international wrestler, who joined BJP last year, said she stood by her tweets against the Tablighi Jamaat.outlookindia

1.7 lakh vs 4000: Swara Bhasker shares Hindu pilgrims vs Tablighi Jamaat 'statistics' to counter 'hypocrite' Babita Phogat
Twitter is abuzz with Swara Bhasker trending for calling out wrestler Babita Phogat, who said that Tablighi Jamaat was the biggest danger in India, followed by coronavirus. Swara shared a statistical chart of footfalls at religious gatherings in India from March 9 to 19.Numbers show that Tablighi Jamaat at Nizamuddin accounted to only 4000 people, whereas Hindu congregations at several temples round up to 1.7 lakh.Swara wrote, “Babita ji See also this statistics! Have these millions of devotees been corona tested? Please comment on this too! And why did Delhi Police give permission to the program of Tabligi Jamaat ..Raise this question too! The rest of us are your fans!”freepressjournal

Kangana Ranaut Defends Sister Rangoli Chandel And Babita Phogat For Commenting on Tablighi Jamaat, Says ‘Ban Twitter’
Twitter had suspended Rangoli Chandel’s account after jewellery designer Farah Khan Ali among others reported the account to authorities for spreading hatred against one community. Now, in a new video message, Rangoli’s sister Kangana Ranaut talked about the entire issue while defending her sister. In an official video released from her Instagram account of her team, Kangana is seen telling all that Farah’s claims of Rangoli talking about Muslim genocide in her tweets are false. The actor also requested Central govt to take action against Twitter and make sure that it doesn’t shut those people from the platform who are talking about their nation and promoting nationalism. india

BJP MLA in Facebook video: ‘Maintain distance from Tablighis, their community’
Noida :A BJP MLA from Chaprauli has called for the segregation of people from Tablighi Jamaat sect and those from “their community”, asking people in his constituency to “maintain distance” from them.Sahendra Singh Chauhan, a former RLD member, made the comments in a Facebook video. indianexpress

Action will be taken against hospitals if they turn away patients: Union Health Minister
Action would be taken against health-care personnel if any patient in need of immediate attention is turned away from hospitals without treatment, Union Health Minister Harsh Vardhan has warned.Chairing a video-conference with Delhi LG Anil Baijal, Health Minister Satyendar Jain and medical superintendents of major Central and city government hospitals and municipal commissioners of Delhi, Vardhan said he has received complaints about denial of treatment to people suffering from critical ailments, other than coronavirus .PTI

Delhi Hospital Fires Doctor for Social Media Posts on Shortage of Protective Gear, Masks
Hindu Rao Hospital, which comes under North Delhi Municipal Corporation, has terminated the services of an orthopaedic surgeon who had raised the issue of there being a shortage of “proper equipment and masks” at hospital for staff despite COVID-19 pandemic.An order terminating his service was issued by the medical superintendent and it accused him of “bringing disrepute to the institution.”It was a month ago, on March 16, that a showcause notice was issued to Dr Piyush Singh by the medical superintendent of the hospital in which it was stated that he had “uploaded a video of the orthopaedic emergency ward of the Hindu Rao Hospital at 4:29 pm on 14.3.2010 on Facebook along with derogatory statements.”thewire

Delhi’s Defence Colony guard, blamed for spreading coronavirus, tests negative
New Delhi: A 54-year-old man employed as a guard at a Defence Colony residence, against whom Delhi Police had filed an FIR following allegations that he infected 3 members of his employers’ family after hiding the fact that he visited Nizamuddin Markaz, has tested negative for coronavirus. FIR, which included IPC sections such as ‘negligent and malignant act likely to spread infection of disease’, was filed on April 8. DCP Atul Kumar Thakur claimed at the time that “through local sources, we found out that he had visited the Nizamuddin Markaz”.On April 8, the man’s sample was taken. As per the report by the Department of Microbiology, Dr Ram Manohar Lohia Hospital, it was tested on April 11. The report came back negative. A resident of Southeast Delhi’s Okhla Phase II, the man had earlier been sent to a quarantine centre and is now back home.indianexpress

Aarogya Setu is a surveillance app, will not help those who are most vulnerable to COVID-19, say experts
In Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s latest address to the nation, the point he stressed the most was that Aarogya Setu, COVID-19 contact tracing app, must be downloaded. The week preceding that Department of Telecom sent at least 2 messages everyday asking people to download app, which was developed under the guidance of National Informatics Centre through a public-private partnership. Unlike TraceTogether, contact tracing app in Singapore, that asks only for user’s number, Aarogya Setu app asks for names of the users, age, health details, profession and GPS location. When these details are given, it provides an idea about the person’s religion, caste and social status. When GPS location is recoded, it gives away the address of person. The location is not required for contact tracing. All of this data is recorded on a central cloud server.What Aarogya Setu app does is that it uses Bluetooth to connect with those in close proximity, provided of course the Bluetooth function is switched on. This helps the app trace those who the user has met, when and where they met. So, if a user of this app tests positive, govt will inform all the registered users of this app that the infected user met in the last 30 days. “Aarogya Setu is nothing but a surveillance app. In the name of contact tracing, Aarogya Setu collects registration details, GPS locations, nearby device data and this can be used to identify your social graph. The app collects too much information on registration and none of this data is required for contact tracing,” pointed out Anivar Aravind, who analysed various contact tracing apps.nationalheraldindia

Moradabad: Doctors Forced to Quarantine a Woman in "Iddat", Locals Pelted Stones
Why did the people in Moradabad pelted stones on a team of doctors and paramedical staff who had gone to Nawabpur locality to fetch family members a man who had died of COVID-19?The media, which must carry the views of all parties involved in an issue, has ignored to mention the version of those who have been accused of the stone pelting.The reports being published by newspapers, broadcast by TV channels and carried by digital media are giving only one side of the version showing as if the people resorted to stone-pelting simply because they were opposing the quarantining of the family.Local people, when asked by India Tomorrow on the reason for the stone-pelting, said that people had resorted to stone pelting on health department staff because they were forcing to quarantine a woman who was in “iddat” after the death of her husband. (“Iddat” in Islam is generally the period of four lunar months and 10 days a woman must observe after the death of her husband or after a divorce).  The local people alleged that the woman’s husband had died of COVID-19 and that was why the doctors had come to pick her up and other family members.India Tomorrow

‘Virus jabs’, ‘detention camps’: Rumours lead to attacks on medicos
New Delhi: A mix of rumours on social media and misinformation about quarantine centres could be provoking mobs to attack medical teams. In at least two recent instances — in UP’s Moradabad and Indore — where doctors and cops were attacked while trying to take people to quarantine centres, local residents told TOI that videos and messages about alleged mistreatment in such places were circulating in the days preceding the assault.On Thursday, Union minister for minority affairs Mukhtar Abbas Naqvi tweeted that rumours about isolation centres were being floated and there was a need to educate the public on it.A woman at Nawabpura told TOI, "The medical team had come to pick up four members of a family that had already lost two men within days of each other, one of them in a quarantine centre. This fanned fear that something was going on in these centres. Soon there was a video which claimed people were being sent there to die. This made everyone anxious."In Indore’s Tatpatti Bakhal area, where a medical team was attacked on April 1, Mohammad Ishrat Ali, shahar qazi, said a message had been circulating on social media that health workers were "injecting members of a community with coronavirus". Other social workers said the debate about CAA and NRC was still raging when Covid-19 outbreak occurred. "They connected the quarantine centres to detention camps," an activist said.TOI

AMU Alumnus Biochemist Nadeem Develops Coronavirus Rapid Testing Kit, Gets Approval of ICMR
New Delhi:When Coronavirus disease is spreading in the country and people are not getting tested in large numbers, a Noida-based lab has come up with a cost-effective rapid testing kit which, it claims, can give results of Coronavirus within 15 minutes. “What we have developed is anti-body based kit. It is also called rapid testing kit because it gives instant results. Technology of RT-PCR kit is different from rapid kits. RT-PCR requires a machine, skilled hand, extraction kit and expert hand. What we have developed is a very simple, easy to handle, cost effective and will help screening of more people in less time. The objective of our process for this kit was to give results instantly and easily and it is affordable,” Nadeem Rahman, Director of NuLife Consultants & Distributors (Pvt) Ltd, says in a video interview to The Wire. He has set the price of the kit between Rs 500-600. On lateral flow technology, it is first COVID-19 testing kit developed in India. “I should acknowledge the support we got from ICMR which sent our product for approval and validation very fast and gave us results. We have got clearance from the govt and then have launched the product,” he said.His team was able to launch the product in 2 and a half weeks.   indiatomorrow


21 Indian Navy personnel test positive for Covid-19, several feared infected on INS Angre
A total of 21 serving personnel of the Indian Navy have been tested positive for Covid-19 within naval premises at Mumbai. Among these are 20 sailors of INS Angre, a shore establishment at Mumbai.Many at INS Angre have tested positive for coronavirus. The number of infected Navy personnel could go up as many test results are awaited.It works as a base depot for ships and units based in Mumbai.This is the first time Indian Navy is fearing coronavirus cases. Most of the cases are asymptomatic and have been traced to a single sailor who was tested positive on April 7.The group of Navy personnel who have tested positive resides in the same accommodation block at INS Angre. All of their primary contacts have been tested for Covid-19.indiatoday

Jammu: Gujjar Milkmen Facing Boycott Supply Free Milk to Quarantine Centres
Jammu: Mohammad Qasim would travel from R.S. Pura to Jammu city – nearly 34 kilometres – early in the morning, covering his face with a scarf, to supply milk to 40-50 households even amidst the lockdown. After his milk can emptied, he walked back to R.S. Pura, tired but satisfied that he was able to put food on his family’s table.About a week into the lockdown, however, videos appeared on social media showing 2 Gujjars, on a bike, being stopped and beaten by J&K police for violating lockdown orders.Advocate Shah Mohammad Choudhary said that the video is from Kathua and condemned the police action, saying, “We are a democracy and we are governed by the rule of law. If they have violated lockdown, they can register an FIR, produce a challan and produce it in a court of law. Beating is not an option.”A few more days passed by before Dodhi Gujjar community approached their leaders with tales of boycott and hate propaganda.thewire

Families of Detained Kashmiris Struggle to Get Their Sons Back During Lockdown
Srinagar: For the past 7 months, Abdul Ahad Bhat from Tral has moved from pillar to post to get his son released from jail. Finally, when the permission came, he got caught in the lockdown.With a file of documents in his hand, the 62-year-old fruit vendor is now pleading with the authorities to somehow get back his 25-year-old son, Bilal Ahmad Bhat, from the central jail, Agra. “I do not have the money to get my son back – please help me by arranging transport.”Narrating his ordeal to The Wire, distraught Abdul said that the orders to release his son were issued on March 12. It took a week to complete the documentation process and other formalities. “Finally when I was about to go to Agra, entire country was put under lockdown.”thewire

Kashmir: COVID-19 Lockdown Adds to Woes of Apple Growers and Traders
Shopian: With apple blooms sprouting, growers are worried that they may face huge economic losses due to disruptions in the supply chain due to the continued nationwide lockdown to contain the spread of coronavirus, which has been extended until May 3.Even as they spray pesticide and fertilizer in their orchards, a considerable number of growers are worried. Many of them are yet to sell their produce from the last year, held in cold storage. They are neither able to send their produce to different mandis across the country nor are there any buyers due to the intense lockdown.Ghulam Mohammad, a grower from the district is busy spraying the second round of pesticides in his orchard. He is among hundreds of growers who stored their produce from the last harvesting season, storing around 600 boxes. In normal circumstances, he says he would have sold them by now. But he is a worried man now. “How will I pay for the fertilizer and pesticide that I have used if I am not able to sell the fruit?” he asks.He has made frantic calls to other growers, enquiring if they have sold their produce but has found that they are facing the same fate.thewire

Amidst Lockdown, Deve Gowda's Grandson's Wedding Draws Several to Farmhouse
Bengaluru: Several people thronged a farmhouse on Friday to get a glimpse of wedding of former PM and JD(S) supremo, H.D. Deve Gowda’s grandson Nikhil Kumaraswamy, ignoring appeals not to visit the venue in view of the ongoing lockdown to check COVID-19 outbreak.Nikhil, son of ex CM H.D. Kumaraswamy, tied the nuptial knot with Revathi, grand-niece of ex Karnataka housing minister M. Krishnappa.The marriage was solemnised at Kumaraswamy’s Kethaganahalli farmhouse at Bidadi. After wedding was over Kumaraswamy took to Twitter to thank his party MLAs, leaders and workers for staying away from the event and blessing his son from their houses. In a series of tweets, he said social distancing was maintained and all precautionary measures were taken throughout the event.PTI

Lockdown breach: 10 held for gathering in mosque to offer Friday prayer in UP
Bahraich: 10 persons were arrested in Kaiserganj area here for gathering in mosque to offer Friday namaz in breach the lockdown provisions, police saidBahraich ASP Ravindra Singh said in Bairimaheshpur village some persons gathered to offer Friday prayers despite lockdown. Police arrested 10 persons and lodged FIR against them, he said.PTI

Police detain 15 persons for violating lockdown in Jaipur
Jaipur: 15 people were detained here on Friday for defying social distancing norms and lockdown rules as they gathered at Ayesha mosque to offer prayers, police said.An FIR has been registered against the violators and strict action will be taken against them, according to police.ANI

Delhi schools told to charge only 1 month’s tuition fee at a time
New Delhi: In view of financial hardships being faced by a large number of parents due to the nationwide lockdown, Delhi government on Friday decided that private schools will only charge tuition components of school fees from parents, and that too one month at a time.thewire

Delhi: Spitting in public to soon cost you Rs 2,000
The red paan-stained pillars in Connaught Place, staircase corners in public offices and almost all road dividers are testimonies to the spitting menace in Delhi. Civic agencies have had a tough time in stopping people chewing gutkha, khaini and paan from spitting due to their indifferent attitude.However, things are all set to change now as the municipal corporations are going to introduce stiff penalties on violators with the help of checking squads. The ministry of home affairs has made spitting a punishable offence under Disaster Management Act in the revised guidelines for lockdown issued on Wednesday to contain Covid-19. Bhupendra Gupta, standing committee chairperson of South Delhi Municipal Corporation, said a 10-fold increase in penalty is being recommended to executive wing. “We will soon form dedicated teams on the lines of pollution control teams, which will be empowered to carry out raids in markets and open areas once the lockdown is lifted,” he added.TOI

Lockdown cuts India's fuel demand 50% in first half of April
Indian state retailers sold 50% less refined fuel in the first 2 weeks of April than the same time a year ago as a nationwide lockdown to stem spread of coronavirus hit transportation and industrial activity, industry sources said.State companies - Indian Oil Corp, Hindustan Petroleum Corp and Bharat Petroleum - own about 90% of India’s retail fuel outlets.Reuters

Agriculture Sector, Private Offices Among Those Operational From April 20
New Delhi: The government has released a new list of activities and services that will be functional from April 20 in parts of the country least affected by the coronavirus outbreak.The revised list - another was released this week - includes health services (inclusive of AYUSH), agriculture and horticultural activities, fishing (marine and inland), plantation activities (tea, coffee and rubber with maximum of 50% of workers) and animal husbandry.It also includes financial and social services sectors and commercial and private establishments like print and electronic media and hotels, homestays and small lodges accommodating tourists and persons stranded by lockdown.ndtv

Kerala to Allow Restaurant Dining Till 7pm, Odd-Even Scheme in Non-Hotspots After Flattening Curve
 Kerala govt on Saturday released detailed guidelines to reopen Kerala in a staggered manner from Monday as it divided the state into four zones – Red, Orange A, Orange B and Green.The districts in red zone- Kasaragod, Kannur, Kozhikode, Malappuram - will not have any relaxations, the guidelines said, and hotspots in each of them will remain sealed and have only two entry/exit points for supply of essential goods and services.news18

Air India Opens Flight Bookings for International Travel from June 1, Domestic from May 4
Air India, national air carrier has announced to resume bookings for international flights with travel date from 1st June, following a travel ban on all flights due to coronavirus lockdown. Air India has also resumed bookings for select domestic routes starting 4th May, 2020. The select domestic routes include important metro cities like Mumbai, Delhi, Kolkata, Chennai, and Bengaluru.

With Eye On China, India Revises FDI Policy To Shield Firms Amid Pandemic
New Delhi: Companies in any country that shares a border with India will have to approach the government for investing in India and not go via automatic route, Commerce and Industry Ministry said in a press note spelling out its new foreign direct investment or FDI policy for neighbouring states.FDI in India is allowed under two modes - either through the automatic route, for which companies don't need govt approval, or through the govt route, for which companies need a go-ahead from centre.The revised FDI rule seeks to curb "opportunistic takeovers or acquisitions of Indian companies due to COVID-19 pandemic", the ministry said.

*CORONAVIRUS – WORLD*

Saudi grand mufti: Ramadan, Eid prayers to be done at home
Saudi Arabia's grand mufti, highest religious authority in the kingdom, has said prayers during Ramadan and the subsequent Eid al-Fitr festival should be performed at home if the coronavirus outbreak continues, according to a Saudi paper."Ramadan's Taraweeh [evening] prayer can be performed at home if it cannot be performed at mosques due to the preventive measures taken to fight the spread of coronavirus," Grand Mufti Sheikh Abdulaziz al-Sheikh said in response to a question, adding that the same applies for Eid prayers, Okaz newspaper reported on Friday.On Thursday, Prophet Muhammad's mosque in Medina said it was banning events which dispense evening meals to those in need during Ramadan to break their daily fast.The kingdom has reported 6,380 cases of COVID-19, and 83 deaths so far.On Sunday, Saudi indefinitely extended a curfew in force due to the coronavirus amid a surge of new infections.aljazeera

Thermal cameras installed at Prophet’s Mosque to combat coronavirus
Jeddah:Thermal cameras have been installed to monitor the body temperature of all those who enter the Prophet’s Mosque, Saudi Press Agency reported.The move is part of the efforts made by General Presidency for Affairs of the Grand Mosque and the Prophet's Mosque to prevent the spread of coronavirus.The thermal imaging devices can scan the body temperate of 25 people at a time with high accuracy within a distance of 9 meters. They work nonstop and give real-time video and audio reports for everyone. saudigazette

'Painful': Al-Aqsa closed for Ramadan over coronavirus
Jerusalem's Al-Aqsa mosque compound will be closed to Muslim worshippers throughout the holy fasting month of Ramadan due to the coronavirus pandemic, Muslim clerics at Islam's third-holiest site have announced.Jerusalem Islamic Waqf, Jordan-appointed council that oversees Islamic sites on the sacred compound, called the decision "painful".In a statement , the council said the move was "in line with legal fatwas [clerical opinions] and medical advice". The decision to ban Muslim prayer at the complex, revered by Jews as the Temple Mount, extends a March 23 ban on Muslim prayer there. Typically large Passover prayers at Jerusalem's Western Wall, the holiest place Jews are allowed to pray in the city, were attended by only a handful of worshippers. At Church of Holy Sepulcher, what are usually festive, pilgrim-filled Easter ceremonies at the shrine revered as the site of Jesus's crucifixion and burial have been marked by small groups of clergy, often wearing face masks.aljazeera

Ramadan: WHO issues COVID-19 guidelines for religious practices
Geneva: Ahead of Ramadan, WHO issued interim guidelines for religious practices during the month of Ramadan.  These guidelines were issued in the context of COVID-19. It may be noted that these guidelines are common for all countries.As per WHO guidelines, healthy people should be able to able to fast during the holy month. However, COVID-19 patients can breakfast in consultation with doctors. The organization also mentioned that no studies of fasting and risk of COVID-19 infection have been performed. WHO strongly suggested cancellation of any social and religious gathering.siasat

Global coronavirus death toll crosses 150,000
The number of deaths linked to the novel coronavirus reached 150,000 on Friday.The first death came in the central Chinese city of Wuhan on Jan. 9. It took 83 days for the first 50,000 deaths to be recorded and just eight more for the toll to climb to 100,000. It took another eight days to go from 100,000 to 150,000.The death toll is still far short of the so-called Spanish flu, which began in 1918 and is estimated to have killed more than 20 million people by the time it petered out in 1920.Reuters

Coronavirus cases in US cross 7,00,000,death toll over 35,000
The number of the coronavirus cases in the US crossed 7,00,000 on Friday, while over 35,000 people have died from the COVID-19 pandemic, according to data maintained by Johns Hopkins University, as President Donald Trump assured his people that America was “very close” to seeing the light “shinning brightly” at the end of the tunnel.New York, the financial capital of the world, has emerged as the epicenter of the pandemic. More than 14,000 people have died in the city and over 2,00,000 people have tested positive so far. Neighbouring New Jersey has more than 78,000 cases and 3,800 deaths.PTI

Looking into reports that coronavirus 'escaped' from Wuhan lab: Trump
US is looking into reports that novel coronavirus, which has killed more than 150,000 people globally, "escaped" from a Wuhan lab in China, President Donald Trump has said. "We're looking at it, a lot of people are looking at it. It seems to make sense," Trump told reporters at a White House on Friday when asked if there was an investigation into whether the coronavirus disease escaped from a lab in Wuhan, China."They talk about a certain kind of bat, but that bat wasn't in that area if you can believe this," he claimed. "That bat wasn't sold at that wet zone....That bat is 40 miles away."indiatoday

Arab Parliament calls for releasing Palestine prisoners in occupation prisons amid spread of coronavirus
On the occasion of Palestinian Prisoners’ Day, which falls on 17 April every year, Arab Parliament called on UN, international human rights bodies and the International Committee of the Red Cross to assume their legal and humanitarian responsibilities and compel Israeli entity, the occupying power, to release Palestinian prisoners and to stop violations against all norms and international laws, which are continuing against them.Arab Parliament stressed in a statement that the suffering of thousands of Palestinians, including children, women and elderly detainees, in the prisons of the occupation has worsened with the spread of the coronavirus, especially after announcement of a number of infections among them.middleeastmonitor
Report: Israel arrested 357 Palestinians in March despite coronavirus lockdown
A number of Palestinian associations concerned with Palestinian prisoners’ rights said Israel arrested 357 Palestinians including 48 children and four women in March despite the spread of the novel coronavirus and an almost complete lockdown to combat the highly contagious disease.

Israel: Netanyahu’s son criticised for hoping elderly leftists die from coronavirus
Eldest son of Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu sparked outrage online after posting controversial tweets wishing death upon elderly leftists, according to Times of Israel. In response to the head of the left-wing Meretz party, Nitzan Horowitz, posting a picture of himself standing among the socially distanced crowd wearing a face mask, Yair Netanyahu, who is known for his controversial outbursts on social media, wrote: “I hope the elderly who die following this protest will only be from your camp.”He wrote: “So statistically, there is a good chance that the left-wing protesters tonight caused the future deaths of elderly people. I prefer them not to be ours.”middleeastmonitor

*OTHERS*
'Unending Witch-Hunt of Muslims': Academics, writers, filmmaker Condemn Targeted Arrests of Anti-CAA Protesters
New Delhi: Reacting to the arrests of several activists involved in protests against CAA, nearly 2 dozen academicians, filmmakers, activists, writers and lawyers have issued a statement condemning the “unending witch hunt of Muslim scholars and activists”. “Instead of engaging with the protestors, the state has chosen, if predictably, to unleash its naked power on them: detaining, and arresting them under harsh penal provisions,” read the statement, which also noted that “anti-CAA protests mark a poignant moment of constitutional recovery, and reclamation of the republic from a turgid and toxic hyper-nationalism.”According to the statement, “the present regime has unleashed a war on young Muslims.” Released by ‘Campaign Against Witch-Hunt of Anti-CAA Activists’, some of the prominent persons who have signed and released the statement are: Aakar Patel, columnist and writer; Alok Rai, retired professor of Delhi University; Anand Patwardhan, filmmaker; Chander Uday Singh, senior advocate; Jairus Banaji, professor of SOAS, University of London; Maitrayee Chaudhuri, professor of JNU; Mukul Kesavan, writer and historian; Nandini Sundar, professor of the Delhi School of Economics; Radha Kumar, academic, author and former interlocutor for Jammu and Kashmir, appointed by the Government of India; Rupa Viswanath, professor at the University of Gottingen; Saeed Mirza, filmmaker; Sanjay Srivastava, professor of Institute of Economic Growth; Shohini Ghosh, professor of Jamia Millia Islamia university; Akeel Bilgrami, professor at Columbia University; and Yug Mohit Chaudhry, advocate, Mumbai.thewire

Delhi riots: ‘25-30 arrests from north-east since lockdown’
New Delhi:Firoz Khan, who works as a driver in Delhi, was arrested during the lockdown on April 2 in connection to the riots that broke out in north-east Delhi in February this year. His wife Afsana (38) has visited Mandoli jail twice since then but has not been able to meet him so far.The police said arrests were being made regularly despite lockdown due to COVID-19 pandemic. A senior officer said over 800 arrests have been made so far. Advocates dealing with the riot cases said around 25 to 30 arrests have been made from the area since March 22. Ms. Afsana from Mustafabad said she and her husband had gone to her mother’s residence in Noor-e-Ilahi while her sons — 16 and 14 — were at home. “The police entered our house and took one of my sons to Dayalpur police station, which I found out from my neighbours. I went to the police station with a few other women and the policemen said they would release my son only if my husband reached the police station,” she said. Firoz eventually arrived and that was the last time Ms. Afasana saw him.She said: “He doesn’t even have clothes to change and in times like these, hygiene is of utmost importance. He is the only earning member of the family. I don’t even know what to do and who to ask for help. I can’t even go out. I have visited the Mandoli jail twice but they didn’t let me meet him. I haven’t even received a call from him.”In a similar incident, Anas (20), a resident of Mustafabad, was arrested on April 7. His brother Israr said: “The policemen from Dayalpur called and said they just want to a few questions but when we went, there were other boys too. They took him into a room and that was the last we heard from him. The next day, he was produced before the court and my father saw him but we could not talk to him.” He added that the family is clueless in which jail he is lodged because of the lockdown.A senior officer said lockdown has not hampered the investigation. “Investigation in cases is ongoing. There is a Standard Operating Procedure, which is being adhered to by officers during the lockdown,” he said.Advocate Abdul Gaffar, along with his associates, who is representing many of those arrested in connection to the riots, said: “According to the information we have, around 25-30 arrests have been made from north-east Delhi ever since the lockdown started.” Advocate also said advocates who are dealing with the riot cases are facing issues because of lack of information. thehindu
Release Declared Foreigners in Detention Camps for More Than 2 Years: Gauhati HC
Gauhati high court has asked the Assam Police to ensure that ‘declared foreigners’ lodged at the state’s six detention camps be released on bail if they have completed more than two years of stay in custody. The high court directive on April 16 was in response to a Supreme Court order on April 13, which in turn was in response to a PIL seeking their immediate release due to the fear of the spread of coronavirus.Assam, so far, has reported 35 COVID-19 positive patients. Of them, 5 have reportedly recovered and one has passed away.On April 13, three-member bench led by CJI S.A. Bobde had modified the SC’s 2019 order which had allowed such people to leave the camps on bail only if they had competed three years in detention, and on furnishing two personal bonds worth Rs one lakh each. They would also have to present themselves at the local police station every week.So far, 27 such persons have reportedly availed themselves of the earlier order of the apex court to get out of detention.

Delhi Police slaps sedition charge against Sharjeel Imam, claims his speech led to riots in Jamia
Delhi Police has slapped sedition charges against JNU researcher Sharjeel Imam and has alleged that his speech "promoted enmity" between people that led to riots in and around Delhi's Jamia Mila Islamia on Dec 15. The chargesheet against Sharjeel has been filed in the Saket district court in Delhi.Police said on Dec.15 last year, riots broke out in consequence to the protest march organised by students of Jamia Millia Islamia against CAA. It said these riots broke out in New Friends Colony and Jamia Nagar areas, both adjacent to the university."The mob indulged in large-scale rioting, stone pelting and arson and in the process destroyed many public and private properties. Cases of rioting, arson and damage to public properties were registered. Many policemen and public persons were injured in the riots," Delhi Police said. The police said Sharjeel Imam was arrested based on the charges of “instigating and abetting riots” in Delhi, due to his “seditious speech delivered on Dec.13, 2019”.indiatoday

Elgar Parishad case: Mumbai court extends NIA custody of activist Anand Teltumbde till April 25
A special court in Mumbai on Saturday extended activist Anand Teltumbde’s custody with NIA till April 25 in Elgar Parishad case, PTI reported. NIA told the court that it had yet to complete the investigation, and hence custody should be extended by 7 days.Teltumbde and another activist, Gautam Navlakha, had on April 14 surrendered before the NIA court in the case. scroll

Nepali Citizens Condemn 'Politically Motivated' Arrests of Teltumbde and Navlakha
 ‘Politically motivated’ arrests of Anand Teltumbde and Gautam Navlakha are not just a message to Dalits, Adivasis, OBCs, and other minorities in India but also to those in other parts of the subcontinent who have looked to example of India’s secular and democratic innovations for inspiration, says a statement issued by over 200 Nepali citizens.Nepali citizens have said the allegations against Teltumbde and Navlakha in the Bhima case are “absurd”. They note that 9 human rights activists (Varavara Rao, Sudha Bharadwaj, Shoma Sen, Surendra Gadling, Mahesh Raut, Arun Ferreira, Sudhir Dhawale, Rona Wilson, and Vernon Gonsalves) have “already been incarcerated for almost 2 years now in connection with the Bhima Koregaon case, with no sign of a trial commencing”. thewire

Shopian Encounter: Police Say Killed Militants Unidentified; Two Families Claim Otherwise
On one hand, Jammu and Kashmir police say 2 militants killed early Friday morning in South Kashmir are unidentified. On the other, two families of the area claim killed militants to be their kin and accuse the police of burying them secretly in North Kashmir. Early Friday morning, two militants were killed in a gunfight with security forces in Keegam area of south Kashmir’s Shopian district. Police said the duo remains unidentified and did not reveal their names. “From his hiding place, my brother Asif Ahmad Dar called me and said that he had been trapped. I informed the concerned police officer that once the encounter is over, their bodies should be handed over to us. I told him I got a call from my brother who is trapped and gave him number his number as well,” said Rafiq Ahmad Dar, brother of one of the encountered militants. However, later when the families went to the police station to collect the bodies, they claim they were told that killed militants have not been identified and they were not shown the bodies. They were informed that the bodies have been sent to Uri for the burial, Rafiq said. He added that his brother was pursuing BA when he joined militancy early last year. PTI

3 Men Brutally Killed By Mob In Maharashtra, Police Arrest 110
Mumbai: A small village in Maharashtra's Palghar district has reported a horrific case of mob killing; 3 people, including a 70-year-old man, were attacked and killed on Thursday night after rumours they were kidnapping children to harvest organs, including kidneys.Shocking visuals show angry residents of Gadchinchale village, armed with sticks and stones, out of control and attacking a police team as they try to restore order and rescue 70-year-old man and the two others. 2 of those killed are sadhus, the third was the driver of the car they were travelling in. In one of several videos of the assault a man can be heard shouting "Oye, isko maro (Hey, hit him)" and 70-year-old victim can be seen, surrounded by an armed mob and bleeding badly from his head, begging for his life as cops try to control the situation."We are investigating the incident and 110 people have been taken into custody," Kailash Shinde, Collector said.Police have said there were rumours of thieves taking advantage of the nationwide lockdown. 3 men who were killed have been identified as Sushil Giri Maharaj (35), Nilesh Telgane (35), who was driving the care they were travelling in, and Chikane Maharaj Kalpavrikshgiri (70). Two of them were sadhus. ndtv

*WORLD*
Netanyahu threatens to boycott elections if prevented from leading govt
Israel has been witnessing an escalating crisis due to the failure to form a new government and the increasing likelihood of heading towards the fourth elections to the Knesset. As a result, head of the Blue and White Party, Benny Gantz, has threatened that if there is no agreement between his party and Likud party, led by Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, to form a unity government next Monday, he will support the enactment of a law that prevents Netanyahu from chairing a government on the background of the indictment against him for serious corruption offenses.Yedioth Ahronoth newspaper quoted, on 17 April,  Gantz as stating during a meeting of his party’s bloc in the Knesset on Thursday, that the Knesset will return to full activity next Monday.middleeastmonitor

HRW: Saudi's mass trial of 68 Jordanians and Palestinians raises serious concerns
HRW announced on Friday that the mass trial of 68 Jordanians and Palestinians held by Saudi Arabia raises serious concerns about due process, amid charges of committing violations against the detainees.In March 2018, the Saudi authorities carried out an arrest campaign targeting a group of Palestinians and Jordanians who had been living in the kingdom for a long time, based on vague allegations of supporting an unnamed “terrorist entity”. After some detainees were held for nearly two years without being charged for any crimes, the Saudi authorities started a mass trial behind closed doors on 8 March 2020, at the Specialised Criminal Court in Riyadh. middleeastmonitor

Several Philippine soldiers killed in clashes with Abu Sayyaf
Philippine troops have clashed with dozens of Abu Sayyaf armed fighters in the country's southern island of Mindanao, leaving 11 soldiers dead and 14 others wounded, military officials said. Regional military commander Lieutenant General Cirilito Sobejana said on Friday that the army scout rangers had been manoeuvring for an assault when they engaged about 40 Abu Sayyaf fighters in the forested mountains off Danag village in Patikul town in Sulu province.aljazeera

*views, Articles, FEATURES*
Coronavirus Spread in India Sparks Intolerance Toward Minority Muslims:Niala Mohammad, voanews
Afraid and Confused, Tamil Nadu’s Fishermen Suffer as Lockdown Ravages Their Livelihoods:Kunal Shankar
Lockdown Gives Centre Power Without Responsibility, Easy to Pass Buck for Failure to States:Kabeer Shrivastava
ABP News v/s Rubika Liyaquat: 180-degree turn on communalising migrant crisis near Bandra station:Jignesh Patel
Unsympathetic and Insensitive Behaviour of Officials Led to Moradabad Violence:By Affan Moradabadi
Muslim Vendors Face Violence and Discrimination, Thanks to Fake News: Zafar Aafaq | Clarion India
Between virus and violence: The horror of being Muslim in India:Khaled A. Beydoun, alaraby.co.uk
Universities In Kashmir Bolstering Fight Against COVID-19 With Machine And Manpower;Naseer Ganai
100 Million And More Indian Jobs Are At Risk After COVID-19 Lockdown. Is Your Job Safe?Lola Nayar,  Jyotika Sood,  Yagnesh Kansara,  Salik Ahmad
Corona gets communal in UP: Man sneezes outside former minister’s house, says, no worries, he is not Muslim!Aas Mohd Kaif
As India battles a grave health and economic crisis, it must put humanity centrestage

 Compiled and edited by Anwarulhaq (Released at: 7:06 PM). 

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