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Sunday, 5 April 2020

5 APRIL NEWS: After COVID-19 outbreak at Tablighi Jamaat conference, fake news targeting Muslims abounds; Islamophobic hysteria created by false videos. Police says no truth in Tablighi Jamaat people demanding non-veg food in quarantine, terms it fake news. India turns off lights at 9 pm on PM Modi’s appeal amid rising COVID-19 cases. Satan is trying to keep us apart, church is last force resisting Antichristsay, say Americans who refuse to shelve Palm Sunday gatherings

5 April 2020: 10 Shaban 1441: Vol: 12, No: 173

*CORONA VIRUS - INDIA*

After COVID-19 outbreak at Tablighi Jamaat conference, fake news targeting Muslims abounds; Islamophobic hysteria created by false videos
Since 30 March, when news broke that six attendees at the Tablighi Jamaat, an Islamic religious gathering in Delhi’s Nizamuddin locality, had died of COVID-19, fact-checking websites have reported a barrage of fake-news targeting Muslims for the pandemic. Many video clips shared on Facebook and WhatsApp purportedly showed Muslims actively working to spread the virus in India. Fact checkers said that despite each of the posts on social media being easy to disprove, the sheer quantity of false-information shared made it tough for them to flag all cases of disinformation. “Ever since Nizamuddin incident is in the public domain, there is a surge in fake content targeting the Muslim community,” Rakesh Dubbudu, founder of the fact checking website Factly, said. From mid-March, Indian social media reported seeing a consistent uptick in verifiably false message about COVID-19. Most messages on platforms such as WhatsApp and Facebook surrounding the virus tended to be false-cures, or “expert tips,” on how to avoid the pandemic. Dubbudu said that a majority of fake content related to COVID-19 did not have a religious tone until recently. However, on 30 March, multiple fact-checking organisations noticed a sudden surge in Islamophobic fake news on social media.On 30 March, several videos appeared on both WhatsApp and Facebook that claimed to show Muslims engaging in various activities to infect others with the virus. #CHECKIT is a WhatsApp group started by an organisation called Confederation of Voluntary Associations which works towards maintaining communal harmony in south Asia. #CHECKIT have been attempting to spot false forwards on the platform and inform users of the same. Goutham Uyalla, a member of #CHECKIT, said that they had been working on identifying such content from 2019. Uyalla said, “Organised communal propaganda wing of the right and its controversial leaders have been inactive ever since the COVID-19 outbreak. They are likely to be energised now as Tablighi Jamaat congregation is making headlines.”On 1 April, one of members of #CHECKIT found a video on WhatsApp showing a group of men in white robes and skull caps licking the leftovers from plates and spoons meticulously. An embedded message read, “Be careful everyone….These are some people who are preparing to spread Corona Virus…Please be far from people…Please.” On the same day, an article on Factly pointed out that the practice of licking cutlery after every meal is a tradition among the Bohra community of Muslims. The article states, “Entire Bohra family eats in a single plate ‘Thaal’ and they have a ‘no-wastage’ policy. So they do not leave a single grain of rice on their plate when it is taken away.” The website identified that the video preceded the COVID-19 outbreak by at least 2 years.In another video shared in a WhatsApp group called “Beyond Organic” on 20 March, an employee at a restaurant wearing a skull cap is seen blowing into a plastic carry bag before packing food. The accompanying text read, “Muslims are spitting in food which we give order to purchase to eat. Please. Avoid purchase food from Muslim shops.” G.R. Sai, one of the members of the group, said that it was evident that the man in the video was trying to blow open the bag. Though this might be unhygienic, many people do so irrespective of their religion. The fact checking website Alt News also found that the video had been uploaded onto YouTube in April 2019 and had nothing to do with the COVID-19. Dubbudu said he expects more old video clips of Muslim communities and their practices to be shared in the coming days, wrongly linking them to COVID-19. So far, he had come across at least 4 such videos. One video he found on Facebook showed a group of Muslims sitting in a mosque, rotating their head and breathing out ritualistically. The video was accompanied by the caption, “No words, seems they are on mission.” Many comments below the video also accused the Muslim community of actively attempting to spread the pandemic. Such misinformation has been spread not only by social-media users, but also in broadcasts by some TV channels. Kannada Public TV, in a segment aired on 14 March, wrongly claimed that 4 Muslim youths from Bhatkal in Karnataka refused medical screening due to “religious reasons” on returning from Dubai. Alt News cross-checked the claim with the district authorities and found out that no such incident occurred. The channel had based their broadcast entirely on a one local’s statement. In its report on Public TV’s broadcast, Alt News noted that the “religious” angle was the contribution of the anchor. Pratik Sinha, founder of Alt News agreed that misinformation surrounding COVID-19 did not have a religious tone before Nizamuddin event was covered by mainstream media. There has also been a clear growth in video content that might not be fake but attempts to give a communal angle to lockdown. The Alt News report noted that the images were being used to falsely claim that people, particularly Muslims, were flouting the lockdown. Islamophobic hysteria created by such false videos is also evident in twitter hastags such as #CoronaJihad, which trended. caravanmagazine
Fact Check: Old Video of Muslim Man Spitting on Food Goes Falsely Viral

Saharanpur Police says no truth in Tablighi Jamaat people demanding non-veg food in quarantine, terms it fake news
Saharanpur Police in BJP-ruled Uttar Pradesh has said that there was no truth in the reports of people associated with the Tablighi Jamaat demanding non-veg food in quarantine. In an extraordinary development, the police took to Twitter to issue a detailed clarification busting the propaganda against the Tablighi Jamaat and Muslims.Its statement read, “We wish to inform that we directed the police station in-charge of Rampur Maniharan to verify claims made by various newspapers, news channels and social media platform that Jamaatis had created a ruckus and defecated in public after they did not get non-veg food in quarantine. After investigation, it was found that the claims made by various newspapers, news channels and social media platforms were fake. Therefore, the Saharanpur Police completely rejects the above-published news items.”Saharanpur Police also reacted to one news flash of a little-known Hindi news channel, which made provocative headlines in a bid to malign Jamaatis and the Muslim community.Ever since the Delhi Police evacuated members of the Tablighi Jamaat from the Nizamuddin Markaz, the usual suspects in the Indian media have been consistently running a motivated campaign against India’s Muslim community. Some had claimed that Jamaatis spat on doctors and police while others accused them of misbehaving with nurses.However, a woman claiming to be a medical officer, who was a part of the team that evacuated the Nizamuddin Markaz, has revealed that no one had misbehaved with them.jantakareporter

Talking to Tablighis: ‘Nizamuddin incident distressing and unfortunate, but don’t make it a witch-hunt’
New Delhi :Tablighi Jamaat has been around for 94 years, born in India but today spread across different continents. Lakhs of people are associated with it. Yet, till about a week ago, few outside Muslim world had heard of it, and the Jamaat did not concern itself much with affairs beyond its stated mission.Now, as the coronavirus pandemic explodes in India with Tablighi Jamaat as its startled centre, those associated with it say there is more to the body than the “oversight”, “irresponsible act”, and “pure bad luck” of falling victim to, and spreading, COVID-19.“What happened at Nizamuddin Markaz is unfortunate and irresponsible. There is no getting away from that. But the kind of spin social media, and sections of news media, are giving to this is distasteful. Tablighi Jamaat is not some shadowy, secret get-together of “radicals”. Its aim is to make Muslims the best possible version of themselves – true to their faith, contributing to the society, of help to their fellowmen,” says a 42-year-old employee of a New Delhi private firm, not wishing to be named.indianexpress

Coronavirus : India turns off lights at 9 pm on PM Modi’s appeal amid rising COVID-19  cases
At 9 pm on Sunday, the country participated in the nine-minutes ‘lights-off’ exercise as per Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s call to display the country’s “collective resolve” to defeat coronavirus. Earlier in the day, PM Modi had reminded people to light up lamps on Sunday night. “#9pm9minute”, the PM tweeted to remind people of the exercise. Prime Minister Narendra Modi had appealed to people to light candles and diyas, or switch on torches or mobile phone flashlights, for 9 minutes at 9 pm today, to “illuminate common purpose we are all fighting for”. “The light from the lamps will show that we are together in this battle,” he said.The total number of confirmed coronavirus cases in the country climbed to 3,577 and death toll rose to 83 on Sunday after 505 new infections were reported in the past 24 hours, according to Union Health Ministry. Active COVID-19 cases stand at 3,219, while 274 people were either cured or discharged and one had migrated. Seven deaths have been reported in the past 24 hours, the ministry data stated. Earlier today, Indian Council of Medical Research said there was no evidence of COVID-19 being an airborne infection. “If this was an airborne infection not droplet infection, every person in a family would be infected, same would apply for other patients in a hospital,” ICMR official said.indianexpress

Muslim clerics in UP urge members to back PM’s 9pm call on April 5
Lucknow: In a video clip, which is doing the rounds in some closed WhatsApp groups, a Muslim doctor based in US can be seen advising community members to light a candle or diya (earthen lamp)at 9pm on April 5, to “remain in the mainstream of the country”. Mufti Obaid-ur- Rahman of Gorakhpur feels the Nizamuddin incident has dented Islam’s image and thus it is their (the community’s) duty to correct it. He says, “There are WhatsApp groups of madarsa teachers, clerics, intellectuals and commoners, wherein appeals are being made repeatedly to abide by social distancing rules and join countrymen in lighting candles outside doors and on balconies on April 5. Earlier too, many Muslims here had joined the nation in ringing bells and clanging thalis to show their solidarity with frontline corona warriors. This time, too, we will follow the PM’s appeal.”In Lucknow, Khalid Rasheed Farangi Mahali, Imam of Eidgah (Aishbagh), says: “Muslims love their country and they must come out of this communal mindset to defeat coronavirus.”Prominent Shia cleric Maulana Kalbe Jawwad says, “The coronavirus doesn’t differentiate between Hindus and Muslims, so we must fight it together.”Dr Javed Ahmed Siddiqui, who runs a clinic in Hussainganj locality of the state capital, says, “It’s time to prove that everyone is not like the Tablighis. Muslims are most liberal and scientific in approach. I have asked all my neighbours to join me in lighting diyas as this disease is a common enemy of both the communities.”In Agra, social activist and footwear exporter Nazeer Ahmad says, “PM’s appeal is to Hindustanis and not Muslims and Hindus. Lighting lamps may not be a treatment of the coronavirus,but it is a token of the country’s unity to fight disease.”Prominent lawyer Amir Ahmad says, “Appeals by noted personalities are being issued through various channels.”In Meerut, Shahar Mufti Qazi-e-Shariat Darul Qaza Saif-ur- Rehman, in a video released on social media, can be seen asking people not to move in groups as it will expose them to the virus and, in turn, cause problems for others.On PM’s appeal, Zainus Rasheedin, Nayab Shahar Qazi and Aligarh president of Jamiat- Ulema, says, “It is a personal decision but one can use a cell phone torch instead of a candle or diya.”HT

Come out on streets to light lamps: Former Maharashtra CM Fadnavis reverses course after faux pas
Former Maharashtra CM and sitting Leader of Opposition Devendra Fadnavis was forced to withdraw his appeal asking people to take to the streets to light a lamp on Sunday evening. Fadnavis landed at the receiving end of criticism for the statement that was released by his official team.On Saturday, Fadnavis's social media team uploaded a video where former CM is appealing to people to participate in the PM's call of 'Light a lamp' drive on Sunday evening. "Every citizen should participate in the drive-by lighting a lamp and come to their doors, Streets, terraces..." Fadnavis is seen saying in the video.indiatoday

“PM slyly asked nation to observe a candle light vigil on eve of foundation day of BJP?: HD Kumaraswamy
Former Karnataka Chief Minister HD Kumaraswamy has slammed Prime Minister Narendra Modi for asking Indians to switch off lights for nine minutes at 9 PM on 5 April. Kumaraswamy said that Modi chose 5 April evening because 6 April was his party’s foundation day.In a series of tweets, HD Kumaraswamy wrote, “Has the PM slyly asked the nation to observe a candle light vigil on the eve of foundation day of BJP? April 6 being its foundation day, what else can explain the choice of date & time for this event? I challenge the PM to offer a credible scientific and rational explanation.”

Switching off lights may lead to multi-state grid collapse, blackout: Raut
Mumbai:Energy minister Nitin Raut Saturday said residents should participate in Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s ‘Diya Jalao’ campaign and light a candles or flash torch or mobile light for a few minutes Sunday, but refrain from switching off all house lights.Raut said switching off lights simultaneously could lead to a multi-state grid collapse and blackout in the state and even the entire country. He directed the state power companies to ensure that health and emergency services remain unaffected Sunday night when the Prime Minister has appealed people to switch off lights at home for a few minutes.indianexpress

Gujarat: Contradictory messages from state, private power utilities on grid overload ahead of 9 pm event
Ahmedabad:Hours ahead of the nine minutes lights out event called by Prime Minister Narendra Modi, power utilities in Gujarat have been sending out text messages to consumers to keep their appliances turned on during the nine minutes. However, while the private power companies have cited the grid turning unstable as a concern, government-run Gujarat Urja Vikas Nigam Limited (GUVNL) has sent out messages dispelling fears that consumer appliances would be affected due to a sudden surge in the voltage.Private power utilities like Torrent Power Limited have issued an advisory to their consumers, requesting them to not turn off all electrical appliances as it could have a cascading effect on the grid stability. indianexpress

Rajasthan: Doctor refuses to admit pregnant woman because she's Muslim, her child dies after delivery
Jaipur:A govt hospital in Rajasthan's Bharatpur district has come under scanner for allegedly citing the religion of a pregnant Muslim woman as grounds for refusing to admit her at the hospital.The pregnant woman, after leaving the hospital, delivered the child inside the ambulance but the infant could not survive."My pregnant wife had to deliver a child. She was referred from Sikri to Janana Hospital in the district headquarter but the doctors here mentioned that we should go to Jaipur because we are Muslim. As I was taking her in the ambulance, she delivered the child but the baby died. I hold the administration responsible for my child's death," Irfan Khan, the husband of the woman who was refused admission, alleged.Vishvendra Singh, Rajasthan tourism minister, lashed out at the refusal of the doctor, currently posted as the Head of Department in OBS and Gynae department at the Government hospital in Bharatpur for refusing admission to woman because of her religion.indiatoday

Covid-19 cases doubled in 4.1 days, without Jamaat incident it would've taken 7.4: Govt
New Delhi:The rate of doubling of Covid-19 cases in India is 4.1 days presently but if the cases linked to the Tablighi Jamaat congregation would not have happened, it would have been 7.4 days, Health Ministry said on Sunday.Joint Secretary in the ministry Lav Agarwal said there had been 472 new Covid-19 cases and 11 deaths since Saturday. The total coronavirus cases stand at 3,374 and death toll now stands at 79.He said 267 people have recovered. However, a PTI tally of figures reported by states directly showed at least 106 deaths, while the number of confirmed cases had reached 3,624. Talking about Tablighi Jamaat congregation, Agarwal said, "If the Tablighi Jamaat incident had not taken place and we compare the rate of doubling - that is in how many days the cases have doubled, we will see that currently it is 4.1 days (including Jamaat cases) and if incident had not taken place and additional cases had not come then the doubling rate would have been 7.4 days." India Today

8 Malaysians linked to Tablighi Jamaat deboarded from rescue flight
New Delhi: 8 Malaysian nationals were intercepted by immigration authorities and deboarded from a flight to Kuala Lumpur after they were identified as Tablighi Jamaat members who attended the religious congregation in Nizamuddin, which is linked to one-third of India’s coronavirus infections, said officials.The intervention was made on Sunday afternoon, around 30 minutes past 12, when a Malindo Air Flight from Delhi to Kuala Lumpur via Mumbai was readying to depart with 30 Malaysian nationals in an evacuation trip.Immigration officers informed the police and officials of the ministry of health post the intervention, made in response to a lookout notice against several foreigners, who are believed to have attended Tablighi Jamaat congregation at Nizamuddin in March in violation of their visa conditions.HT

Police told to delay Tablighi Jamaat chief’s arrest in view of possible violence
New Delhi:Noting that violence would be the last thing that the establishment would want to have at this juncture, senior security officials indicated that the forces on the ground have been advised to delay arresting Mohammad Saad, Amir (head) of Tablighi Jamaat, that has emerged as a corona hotspot.Noting that the possibility of violence by Jamaatis cannot be ruled out if Saad is arrested now, a top official in the security establishment said, “As it is, the followers of Tablighi are getting increasingly aggressive in their behaviour. They are misbehaving with the medical staff and the cops.”According to intelligence sources, Maulana Saad is making full use of the “quarantine period” to muster support for himself among the Jamaatis, who are being whipped by police to isolation centres to avoid spread of the infection.Intelligence sources, who are working in coordination with the police, said that Saad could probably be hiding in the house of one of his supporters in NCR region.The police forces have been asked to keep close vigil on his all possible hideouts, which includes his residence here in Zakir Nagar locality.But the forces have been told not to zero in on Saad for the time being.Tribune

FSL team collects exhibits from Nizamuddin HQ of Tablighi Jamaat
New Delhi: A 5-member team from the Forensic Science Laboratory (FSL) collected exhibits on Sunday from the Nizamuddin headquarters of the Tablighi Jamaat in south Delhi, which has emerged as a coronavirus hotspot in the country, officials said.PTI

Ban Tablighi Jamaat and its Markaz: VHP
VHP has demanded that Tablighi Jamaat be banned and even alleged that it has terror links.It alleged that "after being indoctrinated from its Nizamuddin HQRS, hundreds of thousands of Tableeghis are spreading obscurantism, wickedness and terrorism all over the world. Most of the founders of the world's terrorist organizations have also been associated with the Tableeghi Jamaat."It also demanded that the Nizamuddin Markaz buildings and its bank accounts be sealed forthwith and their financial sources be discovered.PTI

Come Forward for Testing by 5pm or Face Action: Himachal CM to Tablighi Jamaat Members
Himachal Pradesh Chief Minister Jai Ram Thakur on Sunday asked all Tablighi Jamaat members who had attended the group's congregation in Delhi's Nizamuddin, a COVID-19 hotspot, to come forward for testing by 5 pm, failing which action will be taken against them.PTI

Himachal man commits suicide for social boycott over Tablighi Jamaat links
Shimla: A 38-year-old man belonging to the Gujjar community in Himachal Pradesh on Sunday committed suicide owing to social boycott by locals for his links with those who returned from the congregation in Delhi`s Nizamuddin Markaz in March.DGPS.R. Mardi told the media that one person hanged himself at his home in Una district.The victim has been identified as Dilshad Muhamud who ran a shop in Una town.IANS

 Gujarat cops suspended for offering prayers at mosque
Gandhinagar: Gujarat Police on Saturday suspended two cops for offering prayers at a mosque in Dang district of the state amid lockdown due to coronavirus spread in the country."A Police Inspector and a Police Sub-Inspector have been suspended for offering prayers at a mosque in Dang district amid coronavirus lockdown," SP Shweta Shrimal said. Earlier in the day, a COVID-19 patient passed away in Ahmedabad. The death toll in Gujarat has risen to 10 now.Meanwhile, 10 more persons have tested positive for coronavirus in the state, taking the total number of cases to 105. ANI

8 nabbed from mosque for violating lockdown restrictions in Bharuch
Surat: About 8 people were arrested for assembling in a mosque in violation of lockdown restrictions imposed due to coronavirus threat in Bharuch on Friday. The arrests have been made due to fear of spread of COVID-19 as 62 people from Bharuch had attended a religious congregation in New Delhi’s Nizamuddin that led to spike in cases there. These 62 individuals are under home quarantine.Bharuch town police registered an FIR against 8 people. TOI

Lockdown: About 30 held in Kerala for violating social distancing rule at mosques
 At least 3 cases were registered across Kerala and nearly 30 people were arrested for violating lockdown protocol and crowding at various mosques in the state on Friday, police said.Cases were registered at Kozhikode, Chavakkad in Thrissur district and Peringamala in Thiruvananthapuram for violating the lockdown."We have registered a case against 14 people for violating lockdown protocol and crowding at a masjid here for taking part in the prayers," a senior police official told PTI.At Thiruvananthapuram, police registered a case against 11 people, including the president and secretary of the Jamma-aath committee president and secretary."Today, we received another information from officials of a mosque, saying people are reaching the mosque despite the warning of the mosque committee and the health officials not to form a crowd at the place of worship. We are looking into it also," police said.PTI
Imam and his aide arrested for conducting prayers in Kerala
Kerala: 11 held for organising prayer at mosque

12 held while hiding in mosques in Mahabubnagar, quarantined
Mahabubnagar: 12 persons who were residing inside two different mosques in Mahabubnagar town were taken into custody by policemen and were sent to government quarantine center at Mahabubnagar Government Medical College on Saturday.Based on specific inputs, police personnel raided a mosque at Ram Mandir Chowrastha in Mahabubnagar town and found that eight persons who were natives of Uttar Pradesh were living there.In another raid at a mosque at Peerlabavi locality, the police have found two more individuals from West Bengal and two from Makthal mandal of Narayanpet district staying inside the mosque.telanganatoday

Lucknow’s cantonment area sealed off after 12 Tablighi attendees test positive for Covid-19
 Lucknow cantonment area adjoining Sadar Bazar has been cordoned off, barring even soldiers, and curfew in the Bazar extended for 48 hours after 12 people living in a mosque in the area tested positive for coronavirus. The group had attended Tablighi Jamaat congregation in Delhi in March, a religious event that has turned into the biggest Covid-19 cluster in South Asia.Lucknow Police Commissioner Sujit Pandey had said that 12 members of Tablighi Jamaat were found staying in a mosque in Sadar area on Friday. The mosque where the group was discovered is located in Kasai Bada, a residential area of Sadar Bazar with a population of 50,000 people surrounding the cantonment.P.K. Gupta, police chowki in-charge of Lucknow Cantonment, said, “Even the soldiers cannot enter without permission. Out of bound is done when an area is considered unsafe for the jawans.”ThePrint

Coronavirus: 8 of 12 detained from Latur mosque test positive
Latur:8 out of 12 people found in a mosque in Nilanga in Maharashtra's Latur district,some 480 kilometres from here, have tested positive for the novel coronavirus on Saturday, a senior police official said. They were detained on Friday and their samples were sent for testing to National Institute of Virology in Pune, said Latur SP Rajendra Mane. "8 of the 12 samples have returned positive on Saturday. These people had come from Ferozepur. They have been on the move for the past three months for spiritual purposes," Mane said.PTI

Police constable suspended for helping Tablighi Jamaat members cross Delhi-UP border
Delhi Police suspended a constabe on Saturday accused of assisting Tablighi Jamaat members cross Delhi-UP border. Constable Imran is posted in the security unit of Delhi Police.It is alleged that on Thursday, Imran was illegally crossing Delhi-UP vorder in his car along with members of Tablighi Jamaat.The constable was stopped by Ghaziabad Police and was taken into custody after he was interrogated.Imran is currently in isolation along with all the pepple who were travelling in Imran's car.indiatoday

UP man shot dead at tea shop for blaming Tablighi Jamaat for coronavirus spread
Lucknow:Aresident of Prayagraj was shot dead outside a tea shop near his house after he allegedly criticized the Tablighi Jamaat for spreading coronavirus in the country.The victim was commenting on the Tablighi Jamaat congregation in Nizamuddin which has led to several hundreds of coronavirus cases being detected across states. He got into an altercation with another person at the tea shop.According to police, the incident took place at 9:30 am on Sunday when the two engaged in an argument and the dispute quickly escalated. The accused opened fire and killed the man after opening fire.The victim died on the spot. Locals in the area caught hold of the accused and handed him over to the police. The man has been arrested.Uttar Pradesh govt has announced a compensation of Rs 5 lakh to family of deceased.indiatoday

Tamil Nadu: Islam convertee bullied on social media, says locals spreading rumour about him getting infected with Covid-19
Chennai: Amid the prevailing chaos due to COVID-19 pandemic, on Friday, a 24-year-old youth, who had recently embraced Islamic faith, alleged that some local youngsters have been disseminating misinformation on social media platforms that he had contracted deadly coronavirus infection. He approached local police and filed a complaint against the accused. According to a local cop serving at Karumathampatti Police Station, M Saravanan, a resident of M Pappampatti in Coimbatore had got adopted Islamic faith two months ago and renamed himself to Abdul Rahman. The complainant is a member of TPK organization and is employed with a power loom unit. His father, identified as Murugan and mother, identified as Radhamani, work as daily wagers.The officer stated that after the government imposed 21-day lockdown to contain the spread of the COVID-19 pandemic, the complainant discontinued going to work and stayed with his parents in their house. Meanwhile, a WhatsApp message has been doing rounds claiming that he went to New Delhi for attending a meeting and came back home recently, reported TOI. He approached police and sought action against two persons named Nandakumar and Mahesh for rumour-mongering against him on WhatsApp.TOI.TOI
Shots fired at mosque in Gurgaon’s Dhankot village, FIR registered
A group of unidentified men opened fire at a mosque in Gurgaon’s Dhankot village late Saturday night. No injuries have been reported. According to the police, an FIR has been registered in the matter on the basis of the complaint submitted by Imaam, who was sleeping on the terrace of the structure when the incident happened.“He has alleged that at least 3 people on a motorcycle opened fire on the structure around 12 am. He was sleeping on the terrace at the time and woke up to the sound of the gunshots,” said Inspector Pankaj Kumar, Station House Officer of the Rajendra Park police station.indianexpress

Hindu outfit leader booked for hate speech in Amritsar
Amritsar :A leader of a Hindu outfit from Amritsar was booked on Saturday for giving a provocative speech against those who attended the Tablighi Jamaat event in Delhi.Sudhir Kumar Soori, identified as a leader of Shiv Sena (Punjab), has been booked under Section 295(a) for hurting religious sentiments. FIR was filed at Jandiala Guru police station under the Amritsar (Rural) police. He has been arrested and sent to Pathankot jail.“He made a speech in Facebook video advocating violence. Users commenting on the video were also spreading hate. There was a danger that his speech could hurt to communal harmony of state,” said DSP Jandiala Gurinderbir Singh.indianexpress

3 held in Malegaon for communal coronavirus-NRC link video
Mumbai: 3 people were arrested incommunally sensitive Malegaon township in Nashikfor a coronavirus rant video which they uploaded on Tiktok,police said on Saturday. In video, 3 accused are seen claiming thatthose who were demanding documents from people for NRC were now being made to pay by God through the novel coronavirus. An Azadnagar police station official identified 3 as Abdul Rahim Qureshi (27), Sayyad Ali (23) and SufiyanShaikh Mukhtar (24)."They are residents of Raunaknagar in Malegaon. Theyhave been remanded in police custody for promoting enmityamong people," he said. PTI

Bajrang Dal worker arrested in Munger for spreading misinformation on Coronavirus
Patna :A Bajrang Dal worker, who had been spreading wrong information about a Tarapur family of having attended Tablighi Jamaat and a member of the family being tested COVID-19 positive, was arrested on Sunday. While department denied any member of Munger family being on the list of Tablighi Jamaat attendees from Bihar, the health department also dismissed social media report on anyone being tested positive from Tarapur.indianexpress

Maharashtra: BJP MLC booked for violating lockdown, driving to Ahmednagar
Mumbai :Beed native and BJP MLC Suresh Dhas was booked on Thursday for allegedly violating the lockdown and crossing over into neighbouring Ahmednagar district to protest the detention of migrant workers by police. Dhas, who lives in Beed’s Ashti town, is alleged to have driven to Khed in Ahmednagar’s Karjat taluka around 1 am on Thursday despite Beed sealing its borders to all vehicles except those transporting goods.indianexpress

Tablighi Jamaat members should be booked under NSA: Uttarakhand BJP MLA
Rudrapur: A BJP MLA  from Uttarakhand, Rajkumar Thukral has said members of Tablighi Jamaat should be booked under NSA for allegedly spitting on doctors and misbehaving with nurses. Thukral is heard saying in a video, which went viral on social media, alleged that Tablighi Jamaat members are involved in spreading the coronavirus disease and making the country hollow from inside.“It is a conspiracy against our nation that Jamaatis are not only spreading epidemic but also misbehaving with doctors and nurses in hospitals. The govt should order to shoot them, they are behaving as anti-nationals. They are a big threat to our national security,”Thukral, BJP MLA from Rudrapur area of Udham Singh Nagar, said. Congress said Thukral’s comments were an attempt of BJP to “communalise the pandemic to hide its failures in handling it”.HT

A Muslim Marriage solemnised over video call in Maharashtra due to coronavirus lockdown
Aurangabad:A marriage was solemnised on a video call, the unique method which was adopted due to coronavirus lockdown.A Muslim man named Mohammad Minhajudd, based in Aurangabad exchanged marriage vows with a Muslim woman based in Beed via video call on Friday.The bridegroom's father Mohammad Gayaz said that the marriage was fixed between the two persons 6 months ago when there was no fear about coronavirus. We got the elders of the family assembled at our home and conducted the marriage on phone.Mufti Anis ur Rehman, Qazi who performed the rituals for the marriage, said that both the families are happy as the marriage got conducted with the minimal cost incurred and the ceremony was a simple one.ANI

 Mumbai Police files FIR against Mosque trustee, 3 Filipinos for violating orders
Mumbai Police on Sunday registered an FIR against three Philippines nationals and six Indians, including a trustee of a mosque in Vashi.The case was filed against the foreign nationals for violating visa norms and entering Navi Mumbai illegally, while the mosque trustee was accused of hiding the foreign nationals in the wake of Covid-19 spread.According to the police, a person from around the Noor Masjid in Vashi was tested positive for novel coronavirus. Some locals also spoke about foreigners staying in the mosque. However, when police reached the spot, they were met with resistance.Police filed a case against the mosque trustee and foreign nations. indiatoday

Muslim IAS-IPS officers’ Covid-19 appeal to community: Don’t give anyone reason to blame you
New Delhi: Nearly 80 serving and retired IAS, IPS and IFS officers belonging to the Islamic faith have appealed to Muslim community to adhere to social distancing norms, and not give anyone the opportunity to accuse it of spreading Covid-19 in India.The officers’ appeal comes in the light of Tablighi Jamaat event at New Delhi’s Nizamuddin area last month, which has resulted in about one-third of total Covid-19 cases in India as on 5 April.theprint

S. African Cleric Dies Of Coronavirus After Attending Delhi Mosque Event
Johannesburg: A South African Muslim cleric, who recently returned from India after attending Nizamuddin congregation, has died after contracting the novel coronavirus, according to his family members.Moulana Yusuf Tootla, 80, attended the March 1-15 Tablighi Jamaat congregation in the Nizamuddin area, that has emerged as the epicentre for the spread of the coronavirus in different parts of India and abroad after thousands of people took part in it.Tootla, who died on Tuesday, was buried after his body was collected in a bag by the Islamic Burial Council (IBC).PTI

Flight Operations Likely To Be Allowed In Staggered Manner Post Lockdown: Report
The govt is likely to allow domestic and international flight operations in India in a staggered manner post the 21-day lockdown period which is expected to end on April 14, officials said today.The aviation sector has been hit hard by coronavirus pandemic. Today, Air Deccan became the latest casualty of the crisis as it announced indefinite suspension of flight operations and asked all employees to go on sabbatical without pay."As the virus is still spreading in India, we are thinking to permit domestic and international flight operations post April 14 in a staggered manner. Airlines are free to take bookings for any date post April 14," senior Civil Aviation Ministry official said.PTI

Coronavirus Outbreak: Section 144 extended till 30 April in UP's Gautam Buddh Nagar; state has recorded total of 227 cases
Section 144, which prohibits assembly of five or more people at a time, has been extended in Gautam Buddh Nagar until 30 April, informed Additional DCP utosh Dwivedi.The decision has been taken in an effort to contain the spread of the highly contagious coronavirus.The district administration has also ordered all educational institutes to not collect the fee from students during the lockdown.So far, Uttar Pradesh has recorded a total of 227 COVID-19 cases, out which 19 people have been cured and two have lost their lives.firstpost

Lockdown to be Lifted on April 15, Need Mechanism to Ensure No Crowding:UP CM
 Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath said on Sunday the lockdown to contain coronavirus spread will be lifted on April 15 and called for a mechanism to ensure crowding doesn’t take place, else all efforts will go in vain.Holding a discussion with Members of Parliament from the state through video-conferencing, chief minister sought their suggestion for smooth movement of people and services after the lockdown period.PTI

Maharashtra CM spotlights communal virus, then a warning on Covid-19 messages
New Delhi: As the number of cases of coronavirus disease spiked beyond 500 in Maharashtra, chief minister Uddhav Thackeray on Saturday cautioned people against ‘wrong messages’ about Covid-19 on social media platforms. CM warned of strict action against those spreading communally divisive messages amid reports that several such videos have been doing the rounds on WhatsApp, TikTok and Twitter.“Like Covid-19 virus, there is a communal virus too. I am warning those who are spreading wrong messages to citizens and uploading such videos even for the sake of fun. This Covid-19 virus sees no religion,” Thackeray said on Facebook Live.“We didn’t let what happened in Delhi happen in Maharashtra. It (Tablighi Jamaat event) was permitted earlier, but later looking at the situation we denied permission. Authorities now have traced all those went to the Delhi event from our state,” Thackeray said.HT

Maharashtra: Out on bail, undertrial prisoners have no means to reach home
Mumbai :Even as the state prison department has begun releasing undertrial prisoners on bail to decongest prisons, many of them are finding it difficult to reach home due to the nationwide lockdown.A woman in her 20s, who was released by the Byculla prison in Mumbai on April 1, could not reach her family in Palghar district. A jailor of the prison gave her shelter to her for a day in her house, hoping to make arrangements the next day at a state shelter home for women. But with entry to such homes currently restricted, another inmate, who was also being released, ultimately had to step in to take the woman home with her.indianexpress

Lckdown effect: From deficit, dairies suddenly grappling with excess milk supplies
New Delhi:Before the nationwide lockdown to curb coronavirus, Dodla Dairy Ltd was selling around 13.5 lakh litres per day (LLPD) of pouch liquid milk, curd and butter milk, while planning to step it up to 15 LLPD during the peak April-June summer consumption period.Hyderabad-based company, however, was struggling, with its average milk procurement at only 9 LLPD. To meet the gap, it was sourcing 2-2.5 LLPD of milk from other private as well as cooperative dairies, apart from buying skimmed milk powder (SMP) and ghee/white butter for reconstitution.But post the lockdown, the equation has completely changed — Dodla Dairy’s sales are today down to just 8.5 LLPD, below even its procurement of 9 LLPD. “Till 15 days ago, we were paying Rs 330-340 per kg for SMP. Those rates have now dropped to Rs 220-230, but we no longer need any third-party milk, SMP or fat. Coronavirus has helped restore balance and what our own farmers are supplying is more than enough to take care of demand,” says D Sunil Reddy, managing director of the company, which recorded Rs 169 crore of sales in 2018-19.indianexpress

Only Medicine, Milk To Be Available As Bhopal Goes For Tougher Lockdown
Bhopal became the second district in Madhya Pradesh to shut down all shops barring those selling medicine and milk. So far, 15 cases of coronavirus have been detected in the capital.Prime Minister Narendra Modi, while announcing the lockdown roughly two weeks ago, had said all essential goods and services will be available during the lockdown.But on March 31, the state's new Shivraj Shingh Chouhan government - which came to power last month after Congress government led by Kamal Nath collapsed -- declared a complete clampdown on Indore district.  The government order issued today said starting midnight, no one will be allowed on the streets, except police, medical personnel and government servants involved in emergency services. ndtv

‘I just want to go home’, desperate millions hit by Modi’s brutal lockdown: The Guardian
For more than a decade, Begum Jan had managed to survive on the streets of Kolkata. A longtime wheelchair-user, she had a specific spot on a busy street. Rickshaw drivers and passers-by always made sure she had something to eat.But last week, for the first time since she became homeless after falling ill with tuberculosis and losing her job as a housemaid, 62-year-old was in danger of starving.“For the past week, none of these people who usually help me have come in sight,” she said, her voice cracking with sadness. “They are all at home because of the lockdown; they don’t have any job and so they cannot help me any more.”The consequences of countrywide lock down for India, where tens of millions live in poverty, work thousands of miles from home, often living where they work, have been cataclysmic.For those like Jan, who do not have a home, the edict to stay indoors and maintain social distance for 21 days has been particularly cruel. Her son, Raja Khan, also now lives on the streets with his 3 children after his work as a railway porter dried up.Every day since the lockdown was declared, Khan has been pushing his mother as much as 25 miles a day in her wheelchair in an attempt to find food for her and his children.  Manoranjan Ghosh, who worked – and slept – in a roadside tea shop in Kolkata, is another of the new homeless.He made a temporary home in a small space on floor of the railway station and still dresses as smartly as he can every morning, but said things were getting harder:“I bought food and used up all my savings in the first 2 or 3 days of the lockdown. Then I sold my mobile phone to a vegetable seller to be able to sustain myself for a few more days. But now I have no money.“I worked well and lived with dignity. Suddenly I have turned homeless and been made a beggar.”Most critics say Modi’s 21-day lockdown was too sudden – people were only given 4 hours’ notice and millions had no time to get back to their villages before transport and work shut down. This prompted a wave of mass migration across India unlike anything seen since partition, as people began walking for hundreds, sometimes thousands of miles. Authorities swiftly put a stop to that by closing all state borders, leaving thousands stranded. In one of the more worrying developments, police barricaded parts of one of Asia’s biggest slums on Friday. Dharavi in Mumbai, where almost a million people live in cramped, unsanitary conditions, had recorded just two Covid-19 related deaths.Kolkata-based NGO Bangla Sanskriti Mancha , which works with migrant labourers, said it had received tens of thousands of calls for help since the lockdown and had identified at least 30,000 workers across the country who were stranded and facing imminent starvation. Students Islamic Organisation of India said it was providing food to over 25,000 people in acute crisis.“We totally support the decision of the lockdown. It’s badly needed to stop the spread of the virus,” said Syed Azharuddin, national general secretary of SIO. “But the lockdown should have been implemented after ensuring that migrant labourers had reached their homes.”Shekh Sujauddin, 21, from West Bengal’s Birbhum district, is among 60 casual construction workers currently living on a building site 2,000km away in Mumbai, where they had travelled to work.

‘Employers have refused to pay us, all that’s left to eat is roti and salt’
Panchkula :IN BURJ Kotia, a small village in Panchkula, lies a pocket of almost 80 migrants, who had moved in search of work and stayed. They don’t know much about the current global pandemic. All they understand of it is hunger and neglect.These people, hailing from Aligarh, used to work as daily wage earners and have nothing to their name. They live on borrowed land under temporary huts. With the industries shut and ration running short, they live in constant fear of having nothing to eat very soon.“We have run out of almost all supplies and are only living on roti. I have my wife and a small boy, both of who do not understand what is happening,” said 30-year-old Bhola, who had come to the village with his father almost 15 years back. While his father left to become a farmer at his own village, Bhola stayed back to work. indianexpress

Assaulted by police constable, Dalit youth in quarantine killed himself:Family
On 31 March, Roshan Lal, a 22-year-old Dalit man, took his own life after a police constable beat him up, according to his family members. Roshan’s native place was the Faria Pipariya village in Uttar Pradesh’s Lakhimpur Kheri district. He worked as an electrician at a factory in Haryana’s Gurugram, before the government imposed a 21-day countrywide lockdown to combat COVID-19. The lockdown began on 25 March, and Roshan, like thousands of other migrants who found themselves out of work and without money, was soon forced to go home. Upon his arrival at Faria Pipariya on 29 March, the village authorities placed him under a quarantine at a government primary school. According to Roshan’s family members, 2 days later, Anoop Kumar Singh, a police constable, saw 22-year-old in a public place and beat him up. Humiliated by this treatment, his family members said, Roshan went to his family’s farm that night and hung himself from a tree. caravanmagazine

FIR against DSGMC: Takht Patna Sahib jathedar’ seeks PM’s intervention
‘Jathedar’ of Takht Patna Sahib on Sunday requested Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Union Home Minister Amit Shah to direct the police to quash the FIR registered against Delhi Sikh Gurdwara Management Committee for allegedly violating lockdown orders.Giani Ranjit Singh — ‘jathedar’ of Takht Sri Harmandir Sahib in Patna, one of the five takhts (the highest seats of religious authority for the Sikhs worldwide) — said Punjab-bound people stranded in Delhi due to the lockdown had come on their own to seek shelter in the Gurdwara Majnu Ka Tila and DSGMC had informed authorities about it well in time. DSGMC has been serving ‘langar’ to the needy while adhering to social-distancing measures, he said.PTI

India Bans All Exports of Trump’s ‘Game Changer’ Virus Drug
India banned all exports of hydroxychloroquine, a malaria drug that President Donald Trump has repeatedly touted as a “game changer” in the fight against Covid-19.Exports of the drug and its formulations are prohibited “without any exceptions” and with immediate effect, India’s Directorate General of Foreign Trade said in an April 4 order on its website. The trade regulator had last month restricted overseas shipments of drug, allowing only limited exceptions such as on humanitarian grounds and for meeting prior commitments. At a press conference on Saturday, Trump said he spoke to Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi and appealed for the release of shipments U.S. has already ordered. India is giving his request “serious consideration,” he said.bloomberg

Decision on reopening schools, colleges on April 14 after reviewing COVID-19 situation: Union HRD Minister  Pokhriyal
The govt will take a decision on reopening of schools and colleges on April 14 after reviewing the coronavirus situation in the country, Union HRD Minister Ramesh Pokhriyal ‘Nishank’ said on Sunday.In an interview to PTI, he said the safety of students and teachers is of utmost importance to the government and his ministry is prepared to ensure there is no academic loss to students if schools and colleges needed to remain shut beyond April 14.thehindu

As schools switch to online classes, students from weaker sections get cut off from learning
A couple of days ago, a teary-eyed Vaishali, a student of class VI at Maharashtra Aikyavardhak Mandal in Tilak Nagar, called her school teacher Sangita Patil. Amid the lockdown, Vaishali, whose parents are construction workers, has been living out of a half-built construction site in Tilak Nagar. “She broke down on the phone, and said her father beats her mother, and there was nowhere to go. The boredom of staying put was constant. I asked her to refer to a section of math problems and focus on English spellings. “‘Prepare as though you still have exams’, I told her,” said Patil. As more and more stories of migrants struggling to fend for themselves emerge, education has taken a backseat for children who are a part of these groups. Here, the struggle for survival has overtaken other aspects of growth, with education coming to be considered a privilege. The digital divide has grown wider, with many private schools, switching to online classes as well as exams. There are 66,033 schools under the state school education department, run by zilla parishad and local independent bodies. With schools being shut, the access to virtual classrooms and other facilities has been cut for all its students. As of Sept.2019, 2,71,892 students study at BMC schools, most of whom are from underprivileged backgrounds. Out of nearly 200 students who study at Maharashtra Aikyavardhak Mandal in Tilak Nagar, only about 2% students would have laptops or computers at their homes, said Patil.indian express

UP-based rural bank issues loan recovery notices to farmers a day after COVID-19 lockdown was announced
A day after PM Narendra Modi announced a nationwide lockdown to curb the spread of COVID-19, Prathma Rural Bank in Lalitpur district of Uttar Pradesh issued recovery notice to farmers, asking them to repay the loan sanctioned under KCC scheme within 5 days.Stating that if farmers do not repay their loans within the stipulated time, the bank will take stern action, the notice also warned that “they (farmers) will be deprived of other benefits announced by the government also” in case they fail to repay their loans.nationalheraldindia

1.5 lakh IT professionals might lose jobs due to Covid-19
1.5 lakh employees in India's IT industry might lose their jobs over the next 3-to-6 months.Majority of these layoffs will happen in small IT firms, said HR experts. The industry employs about 45-50 lakh, of which and smaller firms account for about 10-12 lakh.Top 5 IT firms alone employ close to 10 lakh people. As novel coronavirus outbreak intensifies, employees have become the casualty.nationalheraldindia

Covid-19: Darjeeling tea industry says it has almost lost first flush, which accounts for 20% output
Darjeeling tea industry has  said that it has almost lost its first flush production due to the 21-day lockdown imposed to stop the spread of the coronavirus disease. Darjeeling Tea Association Chairperson Binod Mohan said that first flush amounts to 20% of 80-lakh-kg annual production of tea in the hills and is also exportable.scroll

*CORONA VIRUS - WORLD*


Satan is trying to keep us apart,  church is last force resisting Antichristsay, say Americans who refuse to shelve Palm Sunday gatherings
Washington:Her house sits on a tidy, peaceful suburban street outside Cincinnati. For the past few weeks, she has been doing everything right: sheltering at home and working out of her makeshift office to help stop the spread of COVID-19. Ohio megachurch down the road, Solid Rock, has charted a different course. Despite warnings from local and state officials, Solid Rock has been holding its 1,000-strong gatherings in person, and plans on keeping the church open on Palm Sunday, the beginning of the Holy Week in Christian churches.“I think they should obey the laws of the land, like the way the Bible tells us to,” said Sandra, who lives a few miles from the site and asked not be identified by last name. Reuters was able to independently corroborate her address and identity.The local mayor and health officials have asked the church to close, so far to no avail.Millions of American Christians will observe Palm Sunday at home this weekend, as the vast majority of US churches have moved services online to comply with stay-at-home rules.But, like Solid Rock, pockets of churches from Florida to Texas and across to California are keeping their doors open and inviting worshipers to attend services this weekend.“We're defying the rules because the commandment of God is to spread the Gospel,” Louisiana pastor Tony Spell said in an interview with Reuters.Mr. Spell, 42, who plans to hold three services at his 1,000-member Life Tabernacle megachurch in a Baton Rouge suburb on Palm Sunday, has defied official orders against assembling in large groups and has already been hit with six misdemeanors. “The church is the last force resisting the Antichrist, let us assemble regardless of what anyone says,” he said.For Spell and others, public health orders are a threat to religious freedoms and constitutional rights.“Satan's trying to keep us apart, he's trying to keep us from worshipping together. But we're not going to let him win,” Kelly Burton, pastor at Lone Star Baptist Church in Lone Star, Texas, wrote in a post on Facebook.Others in California are defying the ban.REUTERS

Pakistan mosques stay open in even amid coronavirus lockdown
Mosques were allowed to remain open in Pakistan on Friday, when Muslims gather for weekly prayers, even as the coronavirus pandemic spread and much of the country had shut down. Prime Minister Imran Khan is relying on restricting the size of congregations attending mosques and advice to stay at home from religious groups like the Islamic Ideology Council. However, some provinces have issued their own lockdown orders to prevent Muslims from gathering for Friday prayers. In southern Sindh province, a complete lockdown is being enforced from noon until 3 p.m., the time when the faithful gather for prayers. Anyone found on the streets will be arrested, according to the provincial local govt minister in a statement. Mosques remain open in Pakistan, even as they have been shut down across much of Middle East.AP

Pakistan: Lal Masjid cleric booked for defying Friday congregation ban
ISLAMABAD: Lal Masjid (Red Mosque) in the federal capital once again echoed with anti-state slogans as its administration flouted the ban on congregational prayers on Friday meant to prevent the spread of coronavirus (Coivd-19).e Abpara police have registered a FIR against the Red Mosque former khateeb (ex-prayer leader) Maulana Abdul Aziz and seven others on charges of provoking people against the state, playing jihadi anthems and organising congregational prayer despite ban.The police officials said that they were on-duty near the mosque when they heard an announcement from the mosque’s loudspeakers for Friday prayers congregation.tribune

Dubai,Saudi impose lockdowns as Gulf states battle spread of coronavirus
Dubai imposed a two-week lockdown Saturday night and Saudi Arabia sealed off parts of Red Sea city of Jeddah as Gulf states tightened measures in big cities to contain the spread of the coronavirus, reported Reuters.Dubai had been under an overnight curfew along with the rest of UAE since March 26. Its Supreme Committee of Crisis and Disaster Management said lockdown would now run around the clock for two weeks, state news agency WAM said.In neighbouring Saudi, authorities announced a lockdown and a partial curfew in seven neighbourhoods of Jeddah also starting on Saturday as part of measures to contain the outbreak, the interior ministry said in a statement.MEMO

As coronavirus spread, 430,000 people arrived in US on direct flights from China: Report
In the days after China made the disclosure about its coronavirus outbreak, nearly 430,000 people arrived in the US on direct flights from the country, including thousands who travelled directly from Wuhan, the epicenter of the pandemic, a report in New York Times said.Over 1,300 direct flights from China to 17 US cities brought back hundreds of thousands of people before President Donald Trump imposed travel restrictions."Since Chinese officials disclosed the outbreak of a mysterious pneumonia-like illness to international health officials on New Year's eve, at least 430,000 people have arrived in the US on direct flights from China, including nearly 40,000 in 2 months after President Trump imposed restrictions on such travel, according to an analysis of data collected in both countries, the report said.PTI

Spain coronavirus deaths fall third day in a row
The rate of coronavirus deaths in Spain slowed for a third straight day as the European nation reported 674 deaths compared to 809 a day earlier, as the country began its fourth week under a near-total lockdown.Meanwhile, Iran's president announced that "low-risk" economic activities would resume from April 11 in the Middle Eastern country worst-affected by the new coronavirus.US President Donald Trump has warned the United States is entering what could be its "toughest" week yet as the number of coronavirus cases in the country surged past 300,000.Globally, the death toll surpassed 65,700, according to data compiled by Johns Hopkins University, and the number of infections rose above 1.2 million.

UK death figures rise by 621
United Kingdom's death toll from the coronavirus rose by 621 to 4,934 on April 4, the health ministry said.A total of 195,524 people have been tested of which 47,806 tested positive, the ministry said. Aljazeera

Ex-head of Libya's anti-Gaddafi revolt dies of coronavirus
Mahmud Jibril, the former head of the rebel government that overthrew Libya's Muammar Gaddafi in 2011, died of coronavirus, his party said.Jibril, 68, died in Cairo where he had been hospitalised for two weeks, said Khaled al-Mrimi, secretary of the Alliance of National Forces party founded by Jibril in 2012.

*OTHERS*


Jamia PhD student falsely implicated in anti-CAA case:Jamia Coordiniation Committee
                                                https://www.thehindu.com/news/cities/Delhi/jamia-phd-student-falsely-implicated-in-anti-caa-case/article31261542.ece
DELHI: Jamia Coordiniation Committee has maintained that Meeran Haider, a PhD student of Jamia Millia Islamia, was being “falsely implicated and targeted” because of his involvement in anti-CAA protests.“He was involved with the anti-CAA protests hich took place over the last few months and is now being targeted for this reason. Hopefully, the investigation will reveal the truth. We have no option but to fight a legal battle and firmly believe in the judiciary,” said a member of JCC. Demanding his immediate release, JCC had on April 2said, “It is shameful that even in circumstances like these, voices from minority communities are targeted by the State. The country is facing a massive health crisis, however, the state machinery is busy in harassing and framing student-activists in false cases to suppress voices of dissent.” In a series of tweets, it said: “He [ Haider] is being falsely framed and implicated by State. If you think this scares us, it doesn’t. It makes us stronger, bolder...arresting him is a failed attempt by the fascist State to intimidate the students of Jamia and suppress anti-CAA protests. We will not be silenced by this.”thehindu

J&K: BJP and JKAP tussle for credit over changes to new domicile rule
Srinagar :A day after Centre issued amendments to the domicile clause introduced in Jammu and Kashmir on March 31, the Altaf Bukhari-led J&K Apni Party and the BJP state unit tussled for credit over the move.The BJP state unit credited its state leadership for its “hectic lobbying” to bring about changes to the domicile clause for Union Territory. Without naming J&K Apni Party, BJP said that it was “unfortunate to see some people claiming undue credit” for the developments.JKAP said that party president Altaf Bukhari “lost no time and took an initiative to get the changes made.” Bukhari, on Friday met Union Home Minister Amit Shah and NSA Ajit Doval in New Delhi on Friday and told them that the “new order is not in the interest of J&K residents”. indianexpress

Restore statehood, conduct elections: Omar Abdullah on domicile law
In a significant departure from its stand, National Conference vice president Omar Abdullah, in his first political statement after the revocation of PSA against him, shied away from talking about Jammu and Kashmir’s special status and demanded only the “restoration of statehood” and “conduct (of) elections”.“It is high time the people of J&K get to decide the laws that will govern them rather than being subjected to the whims and fancies of the centre where orders are issued in the morning and changes to the same order issued in the evening. Restore statehood, conduct elections. #Democracy,” Omar tweeted on Saturday while reacting to the centre’s new domicile law.This was Omar’s first political statement ever since his release on March 24.  Omar’s statement is in complete departure from the ‘Gupkar declaration’ issued jointly by the mainstream political parties of J&K on August 4 last year, a day before the abrogation of the special status. In their joint declaration, the mainstream political parties of the erstwhile state had resolved to be united to “protect and defend identity, autonomy and the special status of Jammu and Kashmir against all attacks and onslaughts” and called the “modification, abrogation of Article 35A and Article 370, unconstitutional delimitation or trifurcation of the state” as aggression against the people. Indianexpress

3 security personnel, five militants killed in encounter near LoC
5 militants and three soldiers have been killed in an ongoing anti-infiltration operation near LOC in Kashmir, the army said on Sunday. This is the first major operation that has taken place near LOC this year in Kashmir.“In an ongoing anti-infiltration operation in Keran Sector of North Kashmir, alert troops braving inclement weather and hostile terrain have so far eliminated five terrorists attempting to infiltrate across LOC taking advantage of bad weather,” Srinagar-based defense spokesperson Col. Rajesh Kalia said in a statement. Earlier on Sunday morning, Col Kalia said that “evacuation of the injured is hampered due to heavy snow and rough terrain conditions.”indianexpress

No progress on Panama Papers in which over 1800 Indian names had been disclosed
Panama Papers illuminate a key aspect of why the system isn’t working – because globalization has allowed the capital and assets of the 1 % (be they individuals or corporations) to travel freely, while those of the 99 % cannot.Globalization is supposed to be about the free movement of people, goods, and capital. But in fact, the system is set up to enable that mobility mainly for the rich (or for large corporations).The result is global tax evasion, the offshoring of labor, and an elite that flies 35,000 feet over the problems of nation states and the tax payers within them.nationalheraldindia

*WORLD*

Israeli police kidnap J’lem mayor Adnan Ghaith from his home
O.Jerusalem, (PIC) Israeli occupation police on Sunday morning kidnaped Jerusalem mayor Adnan Ghaith from his home in Silwan district, south of the Aqsa Mosque in the holy city.According to local sources, police forces and intelligence officers stormed and ransacked the house of mayor Ghaith and detained him, with no known reason.Ghaith has been arrested and interrogated several times since he became the Jerusalem mayor. He is also banned from entering the West Bank and communicating with certain people.

Israeli forces  storm towns in J’lem and Qalqilya, attacks local residents
Israeli occupation forces (IOF) on Saturday evening stormed Anata town, northeast of Jerusalem, provoking clashes with local young men.According to local sources, IOF blocked the main entrance to Anata town and obstructed the movement of citizens during the events.IOF also stormed Kafr Qaddum town in Qalqilya and attacked the weekly march protesting settlement activity and the closure of the main road, which has been closed since 2003.Local sources said that clashes broke out between participants in the march and Israeli soldiers.Kafr Qaddum’s road is the main route to the nearby city of Nablus, the nearest economic center.Israeli army blocked off the road after expanding the illegal settlement of Kedumim in 2003, forcing local residents to take a bypass road in order to travel to Nablus, which has extended the travel time to Nablus from 15 minutes to 40 minutes, according to Israeli rights group B’Tselem.PIC
Israeli settlers storm Silwan town in Jerusalem

Israel holds 200 Palestinian children in its jails
Israeli occupation authorities are holding 200 Palestinian children from West Bank and Jerusalem in inhumane conditions in 3 prisons: Damon, Megiddo and Ofer. Palestinian Detainees and Ex-Detainees Affairs Commission in a statement marking Palestinian Child's Day, 5 April, slammed UN and international human rights organizations for failing to ensure the safety of 200 children who are subjected to physical and psychological abuse in Israeli jails.

Hamas renews appeal to Saudi to release Palestinian detainees
GAZA, (PIC)Hamas Movement has renewed its appeal to the Saudi authorities to release Mohamed al-Khudari, his son and other Palestinian detainees in their jails.In a statement on Saturday, Hamas stressed the need for releasing all Palestinian detainees in light of the spread of coronavirus and the real risks it poses to their lives.“It has been a year since the arrest of Dr. Khudari and his son Hani in addition to dozens of our citizens and their Saudi sponsors — not for a crime they committed, but because they did not forget the Palestinian question and worked on supporting it with legal and legitimate means and in compliance with their national duty and the Saudi policy that always dealt with the Palestinian issue as the nation’s central cause,” Hamas said.

Pominent Hezbollah commander illed in Lebanon
A prominent Hezbollah commander, Muhammad Ali Yunis, was killed by unknown gunmen on Sunday morning in southern Lebanon, Iranian and Lebanese media reported.Iranian semi-official Fars news agency reported that the slain commander was “responsible for tracking spies and collaborators”.It also said that sofar there is “no additional information on how he was killed”. Some Lebanese media outlets close to Hezbollah group said that Yunis was pursuing a suspect when he was ambushed by three cars in Zoutar area.MEMO

OPEC+ meeting delayed as Saudi and Russia row over oil price collapse
OPEC and Russia have postponed a Monday meeting to discuss oil output cuts until April 9, OPEC sources said on Saturday, as a dispute between Moscow and Saudi Arabia over who is to blame for plunging crude prices intensified, reports Reuters.The delay came amid pressure from US President Donald Trump for OPEC led by Saudi Arabia and its allies, a group collectively known as OPEC+, to urgently stabilise global oil markets.Oil prices hit an 18-year low on March 30 due to a slump in demand caused by lockdowns to contain the coronavirus outbreak and the failure of OPEC and other producers led by Russia to extend a deal on output curbs that expired on March 31.MEMO

Afghan forces announce arrest of local ISIL leader
Afghan forces announced they have arrested the leader of the country's ISIL (ISIS) affiliate along with 19 other fighters. 2 high-ranking commanders were among those arrested in addition to the leader of the Islamic State of Khorasan Province (ISKP), Abdullah Orokzai, also known as Aslam Farooqi, a statement by Afghan intelligence agency National Directorate of Security (NDS) said on Saturday.The arrest comes after ISKP claimed responsibility for the attack on a Sikh religious complex in the capital Kabul on Wednesday, killing 25 people. ISKP has been on its back foot in recent months following continued operations by US forces and separately by the Taliban.aljazeera

*VIEWS, ARTICLES, FEATURES*

Publication of COVID-19 quarantine lists violates the right to privacy:SANYA KUMAR, SHRUTANJAYA BHARDWAJ, caravanmagazine
No, Shameful Attack on Sikhs in Kabul Still Doesn’t Justify the CAA:Angshuman Choudhury, thewire
Tablighi Jamaat, Coronavirus and Muslim-Bashing:Syed Ubaidur Rahman
BJP MP Subramanian Swamy called ‘fascist’ for comments on Indian Muslims, Twitterati drag journalist daughter’s marriage to Muslim
Eight takeaways from Shaheen BaghMani Shankar Aiyar By Mani Shankar Aiyar ,theweek
Lockdown stories from a Kolkata slum, far away from social distancing:indianexpress
Covidnomics will force Government to buy or bail-out airlines,  forget about selling Air India:Aakar Patel, nationalheraldindia
COVID-19 is a secular devil, beyond God, godmen, religion or voodoo magic:Sujata Anandan, nationalheraldindia
PM Modi brandishes Hindutva amid Corona lockdown in his video talk:Abid Shah, nationalheraldindia
COVID-19 Fears Are a Double-Edged Sword for the Elderly and Those Who Care for Them:Suchitra, thewire
'Third World Region of a Third World Country': How Kashmir Struggles With the Coronavirus:Peerzada Sheikh Muzamil, Wasim Nabi; thewire
Tablighi Jamaat Coronavirus Hotspots Is Media Coverage Biased?Shuma Raha, thequint

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