News and views across the globe.

Saturday, 4 April 2020

4 APRIL NEWS : Notice toDelhi Police on mosque vandalism amid lockdown and random arrests of Muslimsinvolved in CAA-NRC protests. Media reports about Tablighi Jamaat HQ, only part of conspiracy, attempt to defame Markaz: Maulana Saad Replies to Police Notice

NEWS DIGEST, EVENING

4 April 2020: 9 Shaban 1441: Vol: 12, No: 172

CORONA VIRUS - INDIA

Notice to Delhi Police on mosque vandalism amid lockdown and random arrests of Muslims involved in CAA-NRC protests
New Delhi: Delhi Minorities Commission has issued two notice to Police Commissioner Delhi. The first notice sent on 3 April said that the Commission is getting reports via emails, whatsapp messages and phone calls from North-East district since even before the lockdown that police is arresting young Muslim boys by their dozens every single day.This has continued under lockdown. At 8 pm on 2 April, Muslim women in Mustafabad came out protesting against this objectionable and dubious activity. The notice further said that earlier too the Commission had brought to the notice of DCP North East that the trend of randomly arresting young Muslim boys of the North-East district is not acceptable. The notice also brought to the notice of the CP the serious allegation made by some people of the North East district that some police officers are using arrests as a pretext to extract huge sums of money as bribes or ransom money which, if paid, will ensure the freedom of the arrested youth. The notice asked CP to instruct police ground staff to desist from random arrests in the North East district as arrests must only be made when there is a clear evidence about someone’s involvement in a punishable crime. The notice further said that once lockdown is lifted and conditions return to normal, “we will take a closer look at these arrests.”The notice also said that the Commission is getting complaints that mosques are being prohibited from using loudspeakers for azaan. As of now, under the current restrictions, a maximum of 4 persons are allowed to offer congregational prayers at a time in a mosque. The notice said that “loudspeakers are used by mosques to announce that the time of prayer has come so that people may pray at home on time as there is a prescribed time for each prayer. Hence, prohibition of azaan on loudspeakers has no rationale or need. SHOs should be clearly told not to insist on prohibition of use of loudspeakers for azaan and should take action only if more than four persons gather for performing namaz while the current lockdown is effective.”The notice also said that meat shops in some areas have been closed down which is against the lockdown regime which considers food stuff as part of essentials and shops selling such stuff cannot and must not be closed. In a second notice sent on 4 April Commission said that it has received a report and a video which says that at around 8 pm in the night of 3 April, around 200 people attacked a mosque in village Mukhmelpur under Alipur police station in North West Delhi while there were 2-3 persons inside. The mob attacked the mosque, ransacked it, burnt it partially and demolished some of its parts including the roof. The notice further said that it is unbelievable that this could happen in the national capital. The issue cannot be patched up artificially by arranging a compromise where a religious place has been ransacked and partially burnt and demolished. If no proper legal action is taken, this lawlessness will become common.milligazette

Media reports about  Tablighi Jamaat HQ, only part of conspiracy, attempt to defame Markaz: Maulana Saad Replies to Police Notice
New Delhi: Nizamuddin's Tablighi Jamaat chief Maulana Mohd. Saad Kandhalvi has admitted that the crime branch of Delhi Police has issued a notice to him along with a questionnaire.Maulana Saad's son and Jamaat Committee member Mohd. Yusuf Saad gave a written statement to IANS on Friday. According to Yusuf the statement was drafted in consultation with Maulana."Media reports about the Jamaat headquarters since March 31 are only a part of conspiracy and attempt to defame the Markaz. Tablighi Jamaat doesn't have any connection with any political party," the statement read with the acceptance that the crime branch has registered a case against Maulana saad.Maulana Saad, in his written statement, has termed incident of Jamaat HQRS guests being positive for coronavirus, "a co-incidence" only."This is a co-incidence. As soon as we got to know about the coronavirus, we banned the entry of guests in the headquarters. We have a record of every guest. The Jamaat headquarters made all possible efforts to send back all the guests to their homes," Maulana Saad said in his statement.The statement further read: "Soon after the Prime Minister declared complete lockdown on the midnight of March 24 following the Janata Curfew, the government machinery had stopped the event organised at the Jamaat headquarters. The event was postponed for undeclared time. In the last few days, all people who have attended the event, whether they are Indians or foreigners, have been evacuated. They have either been quarantined at various places or been hospitalised".According to a source, in a reply to the crime branch on Friday, Jamaat HQ said, "police have sealed markaz. Most of the agents of Maulana Saad are now in quarantine homes. Hence, it is impossible to provide these evidences. So, when the Jamaat headquarters will be opened and all managers will be assembled, the crime branch will be provided with the evidences". IANS
Self isolating, will reply to notice when Markaz opens: Tablighi Jamaat chief to Delhi Police
After Shaheen Bagh, Tablighi Jamaat Issue Being Used To Demonise Muslims: Jamiat Chief Arshad Madani
 Maulana Arshad Madani, president of Jamiat Ulema-e-Hind, says there was a serious lax on the part of Delhi Police in handling Tablighi Jamaat issue. In an interview with Outlook, Madani says that the issue of Tablighi Jamaat has acquired a communal colour and there is a concerted campaign to vilify the Muslim community. Madani said,"Now that Shaheen Bagh is over, a section of media has picked up Tablighi Jamaat issue to vilify the Muslim community. Is Tablighi Jamaat responsible for the virus spread in China, Italy or in the US? A poisonous narrative has been built by religious bigots to demonize Muslims. There have been several such large gatherings in the country. Why was Parliament in session till March 13?. In Ayodhya, Ramlalla was shifted to new premises in the middle of a complete lockdown. And in Karnataka, Chief Minister along with hundreds of party workers participated in the wedding of BJP MLC’s kin. Did the authorities do testing in Karnataka or Ayodhya? There is a concerted campaign against the Muslim community."Outlook

Tablighis Law-abiding and Apolitical, Problems May Arise if Treated Unfairly: British Historian Robinson
With a large number of coronavirus cases being traced to Tablighi Jamaat gathering at Nizamuddin markaz in Delhi, there is much curiosity and controversy around the missionary organisation that was founded on the idea “Muslims, become Muslims”.Followers of the missionary movement have been called irresponsible and unruly for the large gathering that took place in the national capital in mid-March. An FIR and charges under the stringent NSA have been slapped against its leaders.Even as senior members of the markaz (centre) tried to clarify their position and asked the administration de-congest the place by making proper arrangements for the large number of people in view of the lockdown and virus control measures, Muslim-bashing with Islamophobic hashtags have been trending over the last few days.British historian and academic Francis Robinson, who specialises in South Asian and Islamic history, says Tabligh is a law-abiding group and problems might arise if its members are treated unfairly.In an exclusive interview with News18, Robinson, who received a CBE (Most Excellent Order of British Empire) in 2006 for his services to higher education and his research into the history of Islam, spoke on the peripatetic believers functioning in the congregation. London University professor said the coronavirus outbreak has led to a halt in the Jamaat’s traditional way of functioning -- travelling in groups for missionary work.Reuters

US: ‘Wrong’ to Blame Religious Minorities for Spread of COVID-19
United States on Friday, stated that it is “wrong” to blame religious minorities for the spread of coronavirus, asserting that the “blame game” over the origin of COVID-19 should be aggressively pushed back by the governments across the world.US Ambassador at Large for International Religious Freedom Sam Brownback on Thursday urged religious groups to practise social distancing and sought the release of peaceful religious prisoners across the world, particularly in countries like Iran and China.“My take of it is that religious groups should practice social distancing. That’s what we need to do,”Sam Brownback, US Ambassador at Large for International Religious Freedom. Responding to a question, Brownback said that the US was tracking the blaming of religious minorities for COVID-19 virus.PTI 

Adityanath Govt Invokes NSA Against Quarantined Tablighi Jamaat Members
New Delhi: Uttar Pradesh government has invoked the stern National Security Act (NSA) against a few Tablighi Jamaat (TJ) members for allegedly violating quarantine directives in Ghaziabad, abusing officials, and passing obscene remarks against nurses. As many as 156 members of the Islamic sect were identified by the Ghaziabad police as part of the cluster that attended the TJ religious gathering in New Delhi’s Nizamuddin in mid-March. On April 2, the chief medical superintendent of Ghaziabad N.K. Gupta had accused around 10 persons isolated at the MMG District Hospital of moving around the facility “without trousers” and passing lewd comments at nurses. Gupta told BBC that 90 TJ members have been isolated at the Sunder Deep College, while 56 were kept at Surya Hospital, Murad Nagar. The rest were in MMG Hospital. Acting on his complaint, the Ghaziabad district magistrate Ajay Shankar Pandey ordered a criminal probe against the inmates of the MMG Hospital’s isolation ward. 

Tablighi Jamaat members should be killed by firing bullets: MNS chief Raj Thackeray
Mumbai: MNS chief Raj Thackeray on Saturday said that the Tablighi Jamaat members who reportedly misbehaved with women medical staff during quarantine and are engaged in “some conspiracy” be killed by firing bullets.He also questioned the need for giving medical treatment to such people.MNS chief demanded that videos of such people being thrashed be made viral on social media, to instil sense of “trust” among people.He also said the people would have felt satisfied had Prime Minister Narendra Modi talked about the current scenario and where the country is heading at in its fight against coronavirus than the latter just speaking about lighting up lamps and candles.In his message to the nation, Modi on Friday asked people to switch off lights in their homes and light lamps, candles and switch on mobile phone flash lights at 9 PM on April 5 to display collective spirit to defeat the coronavirus.Speaking about harassment being faced by police and medical personnel, Thackeray said, “We can see the police being attacked and abused when they try to control the situation”.PTI 

Markaz: AIMPLB official warns media of legal action for using his photos instead of Maulana Saad's
AIMPLB spokesman Maulana Khalil-ur-Rahman Sajjad Nomani Friday said some media houses are carrying his photos instead of Tablighi Jamaat head Maulana Saad's in their reportage on the Nizamuddin Markaz controversy and warned of legal action."Despite disclaimers, these media reports are carrying my photograph which compels me to conclude that this is being done to defame me, the All India Muslim Personal Law Board spokesperson said, asking media houses to not carry his pictures in their Markaz-related reports.He urged the media to act with "restraint and responsibility while covering issues related to the coronavirus pandemic."If, despite my request, deliberately planting of my picture continues, I will have no option but to take legal recourse," he added.PTI
Coronavirus Cases Cross 3,000 In India, 75 Deaths: 10 Points
New Delhi: Seventy-five people have died in India after being infected with COVID-19, the Health Ministry said today, as the country recorded the highest number of cases (601) on Saturday. The fresh cases take the total to 3,072. India has seen an unprecedented increase in COVID-19 count over the last week after more than 1,000 people who had attended a controversial religious gathering held by Islamic group Tablighi Jamaat in south Delhi in March tested positive. Seventeen states have so far reported cases linked to the controversial gathering, the Union Health Ministry said this evening. Worldwide, COVID-19 count has crossed 1 million-mark, over 50,000 have died. The United States registered nearly 1,500 deaths from COVID-19 between Thursday and Friday, the highest any country has recorded in 24 hours.
1,023 COVID-19 Positive Cases With Links to Tablighi Jamaat Reported From 17 States, claims Govt
New Delhi: As many as 1,023 COVID-19 positive cases found in 17 states have been traced to the Tablighi Jamaat congregation, the Union Health Ministry said on Saturday, underlining that about 30 per cent of the total coronavirus cases in the country are linked to "one particular place".Joint Secretary in the ministry Lav Agarwal said in the daily media briefing that the rate of doubling of COVID-19 cases in India is pretty less as compared to other countries.He said a total of 2,902 COVID-19 cases have been reported so far and cases have risen by 601 since Friday.PTI
Modi's Nine-Minute Blackout Call on Sunday Will Keep India's Power Industry on its Toes
New Delhi: Prime Minister Narendra Modi has appealed to the nation to switch off all lights in homes and light candles, diyas, torch lights or phone flash lights for nine minutes on April 5 to ‘feel the collective battle that we are all fighting’.This unusual tactic might have created an additional battle for the national electricity grid to contend with. If a sizeable portion of the population does indeed switch off their lights at 9 pm, the electricity demand is expected to suddenly fall by around 12%, creating a situation where supply may suddenly outstrip demand quite significantly.“It’s like suddenly putting a brake of a car in motion, or suddenly pushing the accelerator to the floor…it is difficult to predict how the car will exactly behave.  It is the same predicament, but much more complicated, that we all are facing,” a senior executive from the power sector told Moneycontrol.
Grid Instability Concerns during Sunday Blackout Misplaced, No Need to Switch off Home Appliances: Govt
New Delhi: The government on Saturday sought to assuage fears of electricity grid instability due to simultaneous switching on and off of most lights in the country, saying adequate protocols are in place to handle the variation in demand without causing any damage to appliances.Modi on Friday urged people to switch off lights at their homes and light up lamps, candles or mobile phone torches for nine minutes at 9pm on Sunday to display the country's "collective resolve" to defeat the coronavirus.There have been concerns that the blackout may impact the electricity grid due a sudden drop in peak power demand, which was already down 25% at 125.81 GW on April 2 compared to a year ago.news18

Covid-19 Outbreak: After WHO & US, India Urges Use of Masks Outdoors, Releases DIY Guide for 'Face Covers'
As India witnesses a spike in coronavirus cases, the central government on Saturday issued an advisory asking people to wear "homemade face covers" particularly when they step out of their houses in order to curb the spread of COVID-19. In the 'Advisory on the use of Homemade Protective Cover for Face and Mouth', the government said the use of such masks will help in protecting the community at large and that certain countries have claimed benefits of homemade face masks for the general public.news18
Indian officials warn of lockdown extensions as COVID-19 cases in South Asia near 6,000
MUMBAI:The number of confirmed new coronavirus cases in South Asia neared 6,000 on Saturday, even as authorities in some cities tightened restrictions on movement and warned lockdowns could be extended in a bid to rein in the pandemic.“If people don’t obey the rules seriously and cases continue to rise, then there may be no option but to extend the lockdown,” Rajesh Tope, the health minister of Maharashtra state which includes the financial hub Mumbai, told Reuters. “It could be extended in Mumbai and urban areas of Maharashtra by two weeks.”India’s Prime Minister Narendra Modi said this week the country will pull out of the planned three-week lockdown in a phased manner. India has been hardest hit by the disease in South Asia with some 2,902 cases, of which 68 have died.Maharashtra has 516 confirmed cases of COVID-19 - the disease caused by the coronavirus - and 26 people have died.While the government does plan to review the lockdown, set to end on April 14, three senior officials told Reuters this will depend on an assessment of the situation in each state, and lockdowns and restrictions would be extended in districts where the coronavirus case spread has continued.Public transport in large metros such as Mumbai, Bengaluru and Delhi, may only be restored in a phased manner days after the lockdown ends, said the officials, who asked not to be named as the plans were still under discussion.Reuters

In Delhi, Jamaat-e-Islami Hind Distributes 36,000 Food Packets, Ration Kits
NEW DELHI:In the last 10 days of the Coronavirus-driven lockdown, which left thousands of daily-wagers and labourers in distress, the Delhi chapter of Jamaat-e-Islami Hind has so far reached over 36,000 needy people in the national capital and distributed cooked food packets, ration kits and medicines among them.“We cooked and distributed more than 33,000 food packets to homeless people in various places of Delhi. Thousands of jobless families are struggling for providing meals to their children and elderly members of their family. We distributed food kits containing essential materials like Atta, Rice, Oil, Pulses to 3207 families including 200 riot victim families,” said Mohammad Ahmed, Jamaat’s National Secretary for Social Service. Volunteers of Jamaat distributing ration among needy people.Jamaat is carrying out its relief work in collaboration with some other social groups including Society for Bright Future, Human Welfare Foundation, Medical Service Society, Al-Shifa Hospital and other organisations that are working under the flagship project “Vision 2026”.Besides food items, Jamaat’s relief team also provided medical help to some. “Due to the arrangement of government hospital for COVID-19 treatment, other patients are facing difficulties in consulting doctors and getting medicines. We have donated 17 carton medicine of Rs. 65,195 to a private hospital in addition to the free/concessional treatment given at Al-Shifa Hospital for poor patients including 7 delivery cases,” said Jamaat leader.   India Tomorrow
CAA-NRC protesters now feeding poor amid lock down
NAGPUR: Several organizations which had been staging protest against CAA-NRC until the lockdown, are now engaged in relief work in slums areas across the city where the poor are facing hardships.The organizations are daily distributing hundreds of ration kits enough for a family of 4-5 for a week. Some of them are also supplying masks and gloves to police, besides food packets for labourers.According to Dr Anwar Siddiqui, president of Jamaat-e-Islami Hind (JIH), all of them were earlier fighting for the common man and poor of the country, and even now working for them only. “Those now carrying out the relief work are Taj ka Langar, Asra Foundation, both sects of Jamiat Ulema, Noori Mehfil and others. These were major organizations during the CAA, NRC protests,” he said.Dr Siddiqui said the organizations are collecting donations from Muslim community only but helping all. “We have covered areas like Tajbagh, Pardi, Wanjara as well as shelter homes.”The JIH on its own is distributing 120 ration kits every day, and 1,500 food packets were given to daily wagers. “So far, 600 kits have been given to needy families,” he said.
Nizamuddin: Unauthorized Group Tried to Do Door-to-Door Fake Govt. Survey on COVID-19, Fled When Confronted by Residents
NEW DELHI:A group of around 20 people descended on the Nizamuddin area in Delhi on Friday and started doing door-to-door survey on Coronavirus. They were carrying a form apparently from Health Services Directorate of the Delhi Government. As the local residents got suspicious of the questionnaire, they called the Health Services Directorate to check the authenticity of the survey. As soon as the Directorate denied any such survey was authorized in the area, the fake surveyors fled the area.The one-page form in Hind had this title: Survey Form for Coronavirus. The form sought details like: Name of the family head, address of the house, Mobile No., number of family members. It also asked if any member of the family had fever/cough/running nose/breathing problem.“It looked like both an NPR exercise and Coronavirus survey. People in the area got suspicious. They called the Health Directorate of the Delhi Government to verify the survey and surveyors. The department denied about any such survey. The locals against called the department and they again denied that any such survey was authorized. The residents also contacted the local MLA. He also denied about it. As the fake surveyors were watching all this. They fled the area as soon as the government department denied about the survey,” a local resident said. India Tomorrow

BJP chief Nadda cautions party leaders: Don’t give coronavirus a communal twist
BJP President J P Nadda is learnt to have urged his party leaders to refrain from giving any “communal colour” or create any “division or differences” over the Covid-19 outbreak.This comes after more than 400 positive cases and 15 corona deaths have been reported across the country which, officials said, can be traced back to a Tablighi Jamaat gathering in Nizamuddin in Delhi in mid-March.In a meeting with national office bearers Thursday evening, Nadda is said to have told them that no party leader should make any provocative or divisive remark but support the efforts of the Prime Minister as well as that of state governments irrespective of which party is in power there, said a source.

Ranchi Police takes legal action against publisher spreading communal hatred
Amidst COVID-19 pandemic and the increasing case of infected in India, a lot of other issues have sprouted amidst the normal fear and scare. After a religious group of Muslims organised Tableeghi Jamaat at the Banglewali Masjid near the Hazrat Nizamuddin Dargah, a lot of cases of COVID-19 can be traced to the event.The Mosque reportedly regularly hosts Islamic followers and preachers from all over India and from many nations in the world.


‘Communal virus’ warning from Jharkhand's director-general of police
The state’s top police officer has directed all district police chiefs to deal sternly with those spreading a communal narrative during the Covid-19 pandemic.Director-general of police Mandava V. Rao, in two tweets on Thursday evening, had expressed concern over the communal narrative being spun by a few amid a crisis confronting all of humanity.


Coronavirus Lockdown: Cancer Train’s Suspension Agonises Patients In Punjab
Out of all the passenger trains in the country, one particular train which runs between Bhatinda and Bikaner, is a lifeline for hundreds of cancer patients of Malwa region of Punjab.Popularly known as the cancer train, its 30 per cent of total daily passengers are cancer patients who travel to Bikaner for treatment in Acharya Tulsi Regional Cancer Hospital and Research Centre.Since the suspension of all the passenger trains due to lockdown till April 14 in the wake of coronavirus outbreak, the cancer train too has been temporarily stopped causing a nightmare to patients.“Out of six cycles of chemotherapy, I have received two and I was supposed to go to the hospital for the third one but I couldn’t go,” Vaneeta, a cancer patient from Sangrur, said.outlookindia
'Lockdown Won't Yield Desired Results Unless India Does Extensive Testing': P Chidambaram
Congress leader and former Finance Minister P. Chidambaram has expressed disappointment over PM Narendra Modi’s video message in which he asked the people of India to voluntarily switch off lights between 9:00 p.m to 9:09 pm on April 5. The Prime Minister had further suggested the people light candles, lamps and use flash torchlights standing in their balconies or at their doorstep.outlookindia
Pakistan trying to ‘influence’ Indian Muslims to violate the Covid-19 lockdown: Delhi Police
New Delhi: As India continues to fight the onslaught of coronavirus, a ‘deliberate disinformation campaign’ is being run by Pakistan to ‘instigate’ Indian Muslims to violate the nationwide lockdown announced by the government, a Delhi Police report claims.Earlier, Indian police officials had found that Pakistani social media handles had spread fake news among Muslims in India during the riots in northeast Delhi in February end. According to Delhi Police sources, a similar campaign is now being carried out to disrupt 21-day lockdown.A report, titled ‘Project Digital Vaccine: Weaponising Disinformation to Destroy COVID19 Lockdowns’, prepared by cyber experts of Delhi Police’s Special Branch, stated: “Several of the videos (circulated on social media in the last one week) appear to be shot in Pakistan and Middle East but audio in Hindi has been superimposed to create a Hindi video.”theprint
UK Officials Rubbish AYUSH Minister’s Ayurveda Claim on Prince Charles’ Recovery
New Delhi:  The Modi government appears rather eager to press the credentials of ‘AYUSH’ in the fight against the coronavirus – so much so that that the minister in charge of indigenous alternative medicine systems has claimed that an Ayurveda practitioner had cured Prince Charles of COVID-19. The prime minister also chose to stress the importance of ‘Indian’ approaches in his ‘get well soon’ phone conversation with the British heir on Thursday.Within a day, however, British officials moved to deflate India’s claim, saying that the Prince of Wales had been cured by UK’s National Health Service (NHS).On April 2, Prime Minister Narendra Modi spoke to Prince Charles over the phone. The MEA’s press note of the conversation referred to Modi expressing satisfaction at the Prince having recovered from his “recent indisposition”.

Railways Issues 'Restoration Plan' for Resumption of Services From April 15
New Delhi: Railways has begun preparing to resume all its services from April 15 after a 21-day suspension of its passenger trains in the wake of the coronavirus outbreak.Sources said all railway safety personnel, running staff, guards, TTE and other officials have been told to be ready to join their posts from April 15.Trains, however, will begin operations only after a green signal from the government which had formed a Group of Ministers (GoM) on the issue.PTI
Fear of Coronavirus: Migrant Labourers in Assam Narrowly Escape Mob Lynching
Guwahati: A group of migrant labourers from lower Assam’s Bongaigaon and Goalpara districts, working as coal loaders at Lakla in Jagun located in the upper-Assam Tinsukia district, had a “close shave” from a mob of around 100 persons carrying weapons on the morning of Friday, April 3 at a remote place where they were housed by the local police during the lockdown.The labourers were staying at an abandoned government building at 10 Mile, which is a little distance away from Lakla, after they were denied accommodation at other places on account of ‘being outsiders’ and ‘possible carriers’ of COVID-19.

SC Issues Notice in Suo Motu Case on Migrant Workers Conditions
New Delhi: The Supreme Court on Friday issued a notice to the Centre in a suo motu case taken up on a letter-petition of Trinamool congress member of parliament Mahua Moitra about the condition of migrant workers during the lockdown period.The matter was taken up on Friday by a division bench of the Supreme Court comprising of Justices L Nageswara Rao and Deepak Gupta. The case had been listed for hearing after Moitra, an MP from Krishnanagar, West Bengal, had written to chief justice S.A. Bobde, with annexures of messages from stranded workers.


Media Watchdog Calls for Withdrawal of Uttar Pradesh's Complaints Against The Wire
New Delhi: The international press freedom watchdog Committee to Protect Journalists (CPJ) has called on Uttar Pradesh to immediately withdraw the criminal complaints lodged against the founder-editor of The Wire, calling it as an attempt to silence the media outlet.In a statement, CPJ said that the filing of the complaint was a misuse of the coronavirus lockdown to harass The Wire. “Misusing the COVID-19 lockdown to legally harass The Wire editor Siddharth Vardarajan is an attack on press freedom and an attempt to silence and discredit the journalist and the news outlet,” said CPJ’s senior Asia researcher in New York, Aliya Iftikhar. “The Uttar Pradesh police should immediately drop the criminal investigation into Vardarajan,” she said.On Wednesday, officer in charge of police station in Faizabad city, Nitish Kumar Shrivastava and a local resident, Harvajan Godh had asked the police to investigate Varadarajan for criticising Uttar Pradesh Chief minister Yogi Adityanath.thewire
 

*CORONA VIRUS - WORLD*

Iran's coronavirus death toll nears 3,500
Iran's death toll from the coronavirus outbreak has climbed to 3,452, with 158 more fatalities recorded over the past 24 hours, Health Ministry Spokesman Kianoush Jahanpur said.Meanwhile, according to local media reports, Spanish Prime Minister Pedro Sanchez is set to extend the state of emergency in the country by another two weeks until April 26 as Spain's death toll reached 11,744 on Saturday.Globally the death toll surged past 60,000 on Saturday, according to the data compiled by Johns Hopkins University, amid over 1.1 million cases.

*OTHERS*


 ‘Muslims Are Foreigners’: Inside India’s Campaign to Decide Who Is a Citizen:nytimes
JORHAT, India — For nearly two years, Mamoni Rajkumari, a lawyer, spent her days deciding who was an Indian citizen and who was not, as part of a tribunal reviewing suspected foreigners in the state of Assam. Then, she says, she was dismissed for not declaring enough Muslims to be noncitizens.“I was punished,’’ she said.Ms. Rajkumari, 54, has found herself on the front line of India’s citizenship wars. In addition to the tribunals, which Assam has operated for decades, the state has also recently completed a broader, separate review of every resident’s paperwork to determine if they were citizens.That review found that nearly two million of Assam’s 33 million residents, many of them desperately poor, were possibly foreigners. Now this group — which is disproportionately Muslim — is potentially stateless.What’s happening in Assam is a preview of what may be coming to India as a whole as Prime Minister Narendra Modi tries to pull the country away from its foundation as a secular, multicultural nation and turn it into a more overtly Hindu state.The New York Times interviewed one current and five former members of the Assam tribunals that review suspected foreigners. The five former members said they had felt pressured by the government to declare Muslims to be noncitizens. Three of them, including Ms. Rajkumari, said they were fired because they did not do so.State and central government officials declined to comment.
Rajasthan HC Rejects Bail Hearing for Anti-CAA Protesters in Jail, Says Matter Not Urgent
Jaipur: Despite Supreme Court orders to set out prisoners on parole and undertrials on interim bail to avoid overcrowding jails in the wake of the coronavirus pandemic, anti-CAA protesters in Rajasthan who were arrested last month have been kept in a jail in Baran district.The justification given for the same is that lower courts have rejected their bail applications and the Rajasthan high court has said that releasing accused and convicts doesn’t fall under the “extreme urgent matter” category.“Release of accused or convict at the cost of breaching the order of lockdown and at the cost of risking lives of many cannot be considered to fall within the category of extreme urgent matter,” read the high court order dated March 31.The order further stated that the high courts have holidays on Holi, Dussehra and Diwali and during this period as well as bail applications and applications for suspension of sentences are not taken up.The high court also referred to a report submitted by the director-general, prisons stating that prisons in Rajasthan are not overcrowded and inmates, both old and new, regularly undergo medical check-ups.
ICJ president & co-author of Modi book moves UNHRC blaming China for Covid-19 ‘conspiracy’
New Delhi: A complaint has been filed with the United Nations Human Rights Council (UNHRC) alleging that the coronavirus pandemic was a result of China’s conspiracy “aimed at catapulting itself to the position of a superpower of the world and undermining other countries through biological warfare”.The complaint, filed by senior advocate Dr Adish C. Aggarwala in an email to UNHRC Friday, also alleged negligence on the part of Chinese authorities in dealing with the pandemic, and sought an unspecified amount as a financial reparation from China. Aggarwala is currently the president of the International Council of Jurists (ICJ), headquartered in London. He has been the ICJ’s president since 2007.theprint

Delhi Riots: Umar Khalid Named in FIR in Arrested Jamia Student Meeran Haider's Case
New Delhi: Former Jawaharlal Nehru University student leader Umar Khalid has been named as the prime accused in a case in which Jamia student Meeran Haider was recently arrested. Haider, a research scholar at Jamia Millia Islamia and a youth leader of RJD was arrested by the special cell of Delhi Police in connection with his alleged involvement in violence in North East Delhi in February 2020.Haider was called by the police for investigation on Wednesday and later taken into custody. On Thursday, he was produced before the metropolitan magistrate Prabhjeet Kaur at her residence. Thereafter, the judge sent Haider to police custody for four days.As per Haider’s lawyer, he has been charged under several sections of the Indian Penal Code (IPC) including 124 A (sedition), 302 (murder), 307 (attempt to murder), 153 A (promoting enmity between different groups on grounds of religion, etc.) and 120 B cCriminal conspiracy), etc. According to the police notice dated March 31, he was called to join the investigation in the case pertaining to FIR no. 59/2020. Notably, Haider’s name is not in the FIR. The FIR names two persons – former JNU student Umar Khalid and Danish, a resident of Bhajanpura, North East Delhi.thewire

Provide Four-Month Free Ration, Medical Kits to Riot Victims: Delhi HC Directs Govt.
 Delhi High Court on Friday directed the Arvind Kejriwal government to provide free ration for four and half months to all 275 riot victim families who were forced out of the Mustafabad Eidgah relief camp in view of the Coronavirus outbreak. The relief will also be extended to other victim families of the February violence who were not living in the camp.A bench of Justices Siddharth Mirdul and Talwant Singh passed the order on a petition of Shaikh Mujtaba Farooq filed on the initiative of SIO Delhi.Mr. Kishan, Section Officer (Administration) in the Office of the District Magistrate, North East has been appointed as the Nodal Officer to specifically deal with the 275 riot affected families mentioned by the petitioner.As per previous directive of the HC, the Delhi government had appointed two Nodal Officers, Dr. Surya Kant Singh and Dr. Abha Dhand, both medical officers for providing medical help to the members of the said 275 families.Along with the 275 families list, additional list of families will be provided by petitioner to Nodal officer for implementing the orders of the HC, said Abul Aala Subhani, President, SIO Delhi.
Delhi Riots: HC Expresses Satisfaction With Measures Taken By Govt To Ensure Food And Medicines To Affected Families

Delhi riots: Police send notices to 5 to appear for questioning
Delhi police’s crime branch has sent notices to people in Northeast Delhi asking them to join investigation in connection with the violence in the area in which 53 people were killed and over 200 injured, officials said on Friday.The notices have been sent under section 160 and 175 of Code of Criminal Procedure, asking them to join the probe at the office of the Crime Branch at Nand Nagri, they said.“Notices have been sent to people whose presence were established through technical surveillance and other sources at locations where the riots took place in February,” a police official said.He added that in case they are unable to join the investigation at the Crime Branch office due to lockdown restrictions, they have also been asked to convey the same so that a police team could visit their place for questioning.PTI

Centre Backtracks, Amends Domicile Order to Reserve Govt Jobs in J&K for Residents
Srinagar: The Centre late on Friday night amended the two-day-old order that redefined domiciles and recruitment rules for Jammu and Kashmir, and reserved all government jobs in the Union territory for its domiciles.The dramatic turn by the government of India came amidst brewing opposition against the BJP, which is ruling at the Centre, of its stronghold in the Jammu region, and sharp criticism from different political parties.In it’s April 1 order, the Union home ministry while spelling out the domicile law for the Union territory had kept only level-4 jobs or class-IV jobs reserved for the J&K domiciles while other non-gazetted and gazetted jobs were opened for people from across the country.Former chief minister and National Conference vice president, Omar Abdullah had described the order issued, amid the outbreak of the coronavirus pandemic, an “insult heaped on injury”, in an apparent reference to the scrapping of Jammu and Kashmir’s special status and its downgrading and bifurcation into two Union territories.thewire
'High Time Centre Stops Flirting With J&K': National Conference On Article 370, Domicile Law
For the first time since the abrogation of Article 370 eight months ago, National Conference on Saturday described the removal of Jammu and Kashmir's special status and downgrading the state into a Union Territory as subjecting people to a mental trauma.The party accused the government of India of reducing Jammu and Kashmir to an "experimental territory".“It is high time that centre stops flirting with J&K and its laws and restore the democratic process long due. New Delhi has already demeaned J&K to the hilt. From abrogation of Article 370 to reducing it to a UT, people have been subjected to agony, mental trauma and an unending cycle of worries about themselves and their children,” NC spokesman Imran Nabi Dar said. He added that from having a constitution that protected the state, its people, and their welfare and rights, Government of India (GoI) has reduced J&K to its experimental territory.PTI 
Moulana Sirajul Hassan’s demise is great loss to  the country: K Rahman Khan
Bangalore:  As the condolence messages are pouring  in to pay  homage to  Moulana Mohammad Sirajul Hassan sb, former Ameer of  Jamaat-e-Islmai Hind  who passed on Thrusday at the age of 88 at his home town Raichur.Paying rich tributes, former Union Minister K Rahman Khan said in the passing away of Moulana Sirajul Hassan the country has lost a great humanist, Muslim Ummah has lost  a great Islamic teacher and a Scholar , and finest human being.  In his condolence message, Khan further noted that Moulana Sirajul Hassan had  always believe in  interfaith dialogue . muslimmirror

Uttarakhand: Trade Unionist Charged With Sedition for Criticising Police on WhatsApp
Meerut: Uttarakhand police has filed a case under Section 124A (sedition) of the Indian Penal Code against a pump operator at GB Pant University of Agriculture and Technology who is also a trade union leader in Pantnagar. The police have alleged that 52-year-old Abhilakh Singh had sent a message on WhatsApp which went ‘against the government’ and amounted to sedition.“He had sent a message on a WhatsApp group. Our social media monitoring cell saw it. It was defamatory, against the government and against the country. So, we have registered a FIR and will now investigate the matter,” Pramod Kumar, superintendent of police (crime) Uddham Singh Nagar told The Wire.


Supreme Court quashes IT notice to NDTV for alleged round-tripping of funds and non-disclosure of income
Th assessee, NDTV Network PLC (NNPLC), a foreign subsidiary of New Delhi Television Limited, had in July 2007 issued stepup coupon bonds worth USD 100 million through the Bank of New York for a period of 5 years.The Assessing Officer held that since NNPLC had virtually no financial worth or business, it could not have issued convertible bonds of US$ 100 million without having any assurance from the assessee.Without doubting the validity of the transaction, the Assessing Officer imposed a guarantee fee at the rate of 4.68% by treating it as a business transaction and added Rs. 18.72 crore to the income of the assessee with respect to the financial year 2007-08 i.e. assessment year 2008-09.

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