Sunday, 17 May 2020

17 May News: Lockdown extended till May 31: Inter-state movement of buses allowed; Flights, metro to stay suspended; salons, barber shops, shopping complexes, markets to open. MHA asks employers to ensure Aarogya Sety app is installed. COVID-19 package worth 1.6% of GDP or ₹ 3.22 lakh crore, not ₹20 lakh crore: Congress

NEWS DIGEST EVENING

17 May 2020: 23 Ramazan 1441: Vol: 12, No: 211

*INDIA- CORONAVIRUS- LOCKDOWN*

Lockdown extended till May 31: Inter-state movement of buses allowed; Flights, metro to stay suspended; salons, barber shops, shopping complexes, markets to open

https://www.ndtv.com/india-news/inter-state-movement-of-vehicles-buses-allowed-air-travel-metro-rail-services-to-remain-suspended-in-lockdown-4-0-2230370?pfrom=home-topscroll

https://indianexpress.com/article/india/coronavirus-india-live-news-updates-lockdown-4-guidelines-covid-19-tracker-total-corona-cases-india-covid-19-vaccine-6413516/

Centre has extended the nationwide lockdown for two more weeks until May 31 with significant relaxations. Ministry of Home Affairs today issued new guidelines for 4th phase of lockdown. Prohibition on all public gatherings, closure of schools, malls and restaurants, and suspension of flight and Metro services will remain in force during this phase too. However, MHA has allowed sports complexes to open, possibly clearing the path for the resumption of the training of athletes which came to a halt in mid-March. Furthermore, states and UTs have been given powers to delineate Red, Green and Orange zones as per Covid-19 situation and inter-state movement of passenger vehicles, buses have been allowed with mutual consent of states. District authorities have been directed to demarcate ‘containment’ and ‘buffer’ areas within Red and Orange zones as per Union Health Ministry guidelines. Centre has also retained curfew at night -- from 7 pm to 7 am, but movement of people will be allowed during the daytime. The govt, however, said vulnerable persons, meaning those above the age of 65 and children below 10, persons with chronic illnesses and pregnant women should not go out of doors. For the states, the big change was that they would be allowed to demarcate the red, green and orange zones, which define the concentration of the cases and how much economic activity could take place in area. Local authorities should ensure that shops and markets open with staggered timings, so as to ensure social distancing.  All markets and all shops to open barring those in malls in all zones. States have been given greater freedom in deciding which part of their state should be red, green and orange. In the containment zones, only essential activities shall be allowed. There shall be strict perimeter control to ensure that there is no movement of people in or out of these zones, except for medical emergencies and for maintaining supply of essential goods and services. Guidelines of health ministry shall be taken into consideration for above purpose. Shopping malls will continue to remain closed, govt said.Indianexpress/ NDTV

 

Maharashtra Extends Lockdown Till May 31 as Cases Cross 30,000, No Word on Relaxations Yet

https://www.news18.com/news/india/maharashtra-extends-lockdown-4-till-may-31-mumbai-pune-latest-2623909.html

Ahead of Centre releasing guidelines for phase 4 lockdown, Maharashtra on Sunday decided to extend the lockdown till May 31.Maharashtra Chief Secretary Ajoy Mehta has issued an order notifying extension of the lockdown, an official said. "Calibrated phase-wise relaxation/lifting of lockdown orders will be notified in due course," the order said. Lockdown 4.0 will come into effect on Monday and will be valid till May 31. There will be some relaxations in the fourth phase," he said."The green and orange zones will get more relaxations, in terms of starting more services. As of now only essential services are operational,”he said. news18

 

Tamil Nadu extends lockdown till May 31, curbs eased in 25 districts, factories set to reopen

https://www.indiatoday.in/india/story/tamil-nadu-extends-lockdown-till-may-31-curbs-eased-in-25-districts-factories-set-to-reopen-1678968-2020-05-17

Tamil Nadu also extended lockdown in the state till midnight of May 31 after Punjab and Maharashtra. At present, Tamil Nadu has a little over 10,000 confirmed cases of infection.As per the order issued by Tamil govt, additional relaxations have been issued for 25 districts. In these districts, citizens will not require an e-pass for travelling on a bus within the district. Only 20 people will be allowed to travel in a single govt/private bus, 7 members in large vans, 3 members in SUVs, and 2 members in sedan/compact cars. Taxis have also been given the go-ahead to operate in these districts. In addition, the paper correction work for Class 12 examinations will be allowed to resume.indiatoday

 

Punjab extends lockdown till May 31, but curfew restrictions to go

https://indianexpress.com/article/cities/chandigarh/punjab-extends-lockdown-till-may-31-but-curfew-restrictions-to-go-6413453/

Punjab will lift curfew but will continue with the lockdown till May 31 with maximum possible relaxations, Chief Minister Amarinder Singh said. “From May 18, there will be no curfew in the state. But the lockdown will be there till May 31. Most of the shops and businesses will be allowed to open. We will give more relaxations. Select public transport will also start plying on roads from Monday onwards,” Amarinder said.

 

MHA asks employers to ensure Aarogya Sety app is installed

 https://www.firstpost.com/health/coronavirus-outbreak-live-updates-covid-19-india-today-lockdown-4-0-guidelines-auraiya-truck-accident-migrant-workers-death-count-cases-maharashtra-latest-news-2-8375311.html

With a view to ensuring safety in offices and workplaces, MHA has asked employers to ensure that Aarogya Setu app is installed by all employees having compatible mobile phones. District authorities have also been asked to advise individuals to install the Aarogya Setu application and regularly update their health status on the app.

 

‘Why force download of Aarogya Setu app?’ Private sector employees ask

https://www.thenewsminute.com/article/why-force-download-aarogya-setu-app-private-sector-employees-ask-124726

In early May, Raman*, an employee of Standard Chartered bank in Chennai, received an order from his workplace. With most companies planning to start services in Tamil Nadu at least partially, it was only natural that guidelines and instructions would be given to employees. What Raman didn't expect, however, were mandatory orders to download Aarogya Setu app, which has been launched by the Central Government.The document sent to him while covering other general rules regarding hygiene and safety, also said, "All employees coming to office should download the Aarogya Setu App and make sure they have signed in, as per the Government Guidelines. The App will be checked by security in the office before entry.”"We are still working from home as of now and we will have to see how they react if we don't download the app only when we get to the office," Raman tells TNM. "But why should we be forced to download this app at all?" he asks.Raman's question has been repeated by employees of many companies across the country, who have received mails, documents and even informal instructions asking them to download the Aarogya Setu app. This is a result of an order issued by the Ministry of Home Affairs on May 1, stating that there should be '100% coverage' of Aarogya Setu for employees in the public and private sectors, people in containment zones and those flying in from other countries or arriving by train. The govt has also maintained that companies that do not ensure compliance can face penalties or legal repercussions. However, several experts on privacy and technology have pointed out that the application is not completely secure.thenewsminute

 

61% Indians suffering from mental health issues during lockdown: Survey

https://www.nationalheraldindia.com/national/61-indians-suffering-from-mental-health-issues-during-lockdown-survey

61% Indians are experiencing mental health related issues because of the uncertainty and looming financial crisis during lockdown, said a survey.According to e-Rebooting 2020:A Story of COVID-19, and Shifting Perceptions' survey by Mavericks India, Gen-Z and millennials have been impacted the most with 27% of Gen-Z and 19 % of millennials expressing that the crisis has taken a significant toll on their mental health.Baby boomers are least impacted or perhaps better experienced and prepared to handle crisis. Furthermore, women are struggling more than men as their workload has increased significantly with them carrying multiple responsibilities without any assistance from domestic helpers, survey added.The survey was conducted during the period of April-May, collecting 600 responses via an online survey tool.IANS

 

COVID-19 package worth 1.6% of GDP or ₹ 3.22 lakh crore, not ₹20 lakh crore: Congress

https://www.nationalheraldindia.com/india/covid-19-package-worth-16-of-gdp-or-indian-rupee-322-lakh-crore-not-indian-rupee20-lakh-crore-congress

Congress on Sunday accused govt of misleading people in the name of an economic package and said the measures announced by Centre amounted to only 1.6%of India’s GDP, i.e. worth ₹ 3.22 lakh crore instead of ₹ 20 lakh crore as claimed by Prime Minister.Congress spokesperson Anand Sharma said PM Narendra Modi must “walk the talk” and announce the measures required by giving money in hands of the poor and small and medium enterprises to help reboot the economy.He noted that there was a difference between providing stimulus to the economy and merely giving loans and credit to people. Sharma, a former Union Minister, challenged Union Finance Minister for a debate on the package while raising questions about the announcements made by PM.“Govt’s economic package is only of ₹3.22 lakh crore and is only 1.6% of India’s GDP and is not worth ₹20 lakh crore as announced by PM,” Sharma said while addressing a press conference. “I am questioning the Finance Minister, disputing the announcement of Prime Minister and challenging the government to disprove me on the numbers given by me and am ready for a debate with the finance minister,” he said.nationalheraldindia

 

Modi govt’s package is worth Rs 21 lakh crore, but fiscal hit will only be Rs 2 lakh crore around 1.2% GDP

https://theprint.in/economy/modi-govts-package-is-worth-rs-21-lakh-crore-but-fiscal-hit-will-only-be-rs-2-lakh-crore/423721/

Headline number from India’s economic package to combat the impact of Covid-19 is Rs 21 lakh crore, but the actual fiscal hit will only be around Rs 2-2.5 lakh crore, according to economists and ThePrint’s own calculations. The figure of Rs 2-2.5 lakh crore comes to around 1 to 1.2 per cent of India’s GDP. The package, the last part of which was announced by Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman over the last five days beginning Wednesday, includes all the measures announced by the government and the Reserve Bank of India to provide a reprieve to various sectors of the economy, which have been reeling since the beginning of lockdown on 25 March. A substantial part of the package goes towards providing credit and liquidity support to individuals and businesses, with cash transfers and free food grains to most vulnerable and needy coming to around Rs 1 lakh crore. Asked about the total fiscal impact of the economic package and how the government will finance it, Sitharaman Sunday said at this time, it is important to look at where this money is going. “I want you to look at where this money is going. It is going into asset creation, into meeting people’s daily spending requirements, to prevent companies from shutting down, to ensure people don’t lose their jobs,”finance minister said. “We are not splurging, we are being responsible.”

 

Economic package: RSS-affiliated trade union slams fourth tranche, says there’s a ‘dearth of ideas’

https://scroll.in/latest/962162/economic-package-rss-affiliated-trade-union-slams-fourth-tranche-says-theres-a-dearth-of-ideas

RSS-affiliated trade union Bharatiya Mazdoor Sangh has hit out at Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman’s measures to boost several sectors through liberalisation of norms and increased privatisation, saying it shows “dearth of ideas on economic revival in times of crisis”.Earlier in day, Sitharaman announced measures to introduce commercial mining in the coal sector, liberalise mineral sector, ease airspace restrictions and encourage private involvement in space and atomic energy projects. This was 4round of announcements related to Centre’s Rs 20 lakh crore economic relief package to prop up ailing economy amid the coronavirus. BMS General Secretary Vrijesh Upadhyay said in a statement that there was a need to find novel ways to revive the economy and use “not failed ideas”. “It is a sad day for the nation and its people, who were on a euphoria hearing the first three days’ announcements,” the BMS added. “Govt saying it has no option except privatisation is a show of dearth of ideas on economic revival in times of crisis.” Upadhyay said that public sector played a “crucial role” amid coronavirus crisis when the “private players and market were paralysed”. BMS added that decisions were taken without consultation and dialogue with trade unions, social representatives and stakeholders, showing a “lack of confidence in their [govt’s] own ideas”.scroll

 

Final tranche of economic package:states' borrowing limits raised conditionally from 3% to 5% of state GDP, says FM

https://www.thehindu.com/news/national/nirmala-sitharaman-press-conference-live-updates-fm-to-announce-fifth-phase-of-economic-package/article31605909.ece?homepage=true

Union Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman, today, said that the focus of the fifth and final tranche of economic package will be on reforms.She said the package would focus on seven steps that are being taken by government with regard to reforms in MGNREGS, healthcare and education, businesses, de-criminalisation of Companies Act, ease of doing business, public sector undertakings,and resources related to State government.The Union Minister had earlier made four announcements on the Aatmanirbhar Bharat Abhiyan stimulus package on Wednesday, Thursday, Friday, and Saturday. The Hindu's Deputy Editor Priscilla Jebaraj is reporting on today's press conference from Delhi.

 

As migrant workers die on roads, FM talks about FDI, space, commercial mining; netizens call it ‘shameless’

https://www.nationalheraldindia.com/india/as-migrant-workers-die-on-roads-fm-talks-about-fdi-space-commercial-mining-netizens-call-it-shameless

Union Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman addressed the media for the fourt consecutive time as part of the much touted Rs 20 lakh crores package amid the economic crisis that’s looming large on the country due to the lockdown to prevent the spread of coronavirus infection. And for the fourth consecutive time, the finance minister did not at all mention the poor and destitute migrant workers who have been walking back home on foot due to the crisis created by lockdown. Despite many measures announced by the government these migrants are forced to walk thousands of kilometres to reach their native villages and hundreds of them have been killed in road accidents.Instead, the finance minister talked about: Privatisation, mega push to mining, defence, civil aviation and power distribution sectors, FDI etc.  Along with these announcements which have no direct or immediate relief for the poor, jobless and migrants, the social media was quick to notice that ruling BJP happened to celebrate six years in govt on Saturday. The celebrations of ruling BJP, ‘promising’ announcements of the finance minister juxtaposed with the thousands of starving migrants walking back home for days prompted netizens to respond sarcastically. Soon, ‘ShamelessBJP’ started trending on Twitter.  Congress too questioned these announcements and raised pertinent questions: After the package that was announced today, will even a single penny go into pocket of 8 crore migrant labourers, farmers, 7 crore grocery shopkeepers or middle class? What will 14 crore people who lost their jobs get?Senior Congress leader Jairam Ramesh called finance minister’s announcements ‘bizarre’. In a series of tweets he slammed the government for not announcing a single measure which could increase demand and called it a ‘cruel joke’. nationalheraldindia

 

119 killed, countless stuck: On anniversary, a shadow on road

https://indianexpress.com/article/india/119-killed-countless-stuck-on-anniversary-a-shadow-on-the-road-6413635/

New Delhi : Saturday marked sixth anniversary of Modi govt’s coming to power but hanging over celebrations by the party were images of the tragedy in Auraiya and from across the nation. Of hapless migrants on the road with no succour in sight. Pushed by the economic distress in the cities and drawn by the reassurance of safety at home in rural Bihar, UP and Odisha, countless have hit highways across country. BJP launched a social media video, “6 saal, bemisaal”, to highlight achievements of the government and there is a sense of relief over the national Covid figures. But there is also disquiet in a section of the party and the government, at Centre and its govts in UP and Bihar, over the lack of anticipation of this crisis which many think will snowball as the stage is set for a further easing of the lockdown. First, Centre attempted to shift the blame on to states, especially those ruled by Opposition– thus, a day after Railway Minister Piyush Goel accused West Bengal, Jharkhand, Chhattisgarh, and Rajasthan of not allowing Shramik Special trains to bring back migrants, Housing and Urban Affairs Minister Hardeep Singh Puri posted on Twitter that “Auraiya accident. underlines the necessity for stakeholders, including receiving states, to ease restrictions for all affected people, particularly migrants& allow limited air, road & rail connections”. With the deaths in Auraiya, number of migrant workers killed on the roads in the last 54 days has reached 134. The majority of these deaths have occurred in the third phase of the lockdown that began on May 4. Since May 6, at least 96 migrants have been killed in 19 different incidents on the roads and railway tracks, news reports show. Until Saturday night, over 1,000 Shramik Specials had ferried around 15 lakh migrants around the country. But that seemingly large number is still a drop in ocean – Economic Survey of India 2016-17 estimated size of migrant workforce in the country at over 10 crore. For the govt, a specific concern has been that most of migrants have been seeking to move out from Red zones of the big cities to Green zones of their towns and villages, where the case load of the pandemic continues to be low. Allowing them to travel would increase the risk of virus spreading, and threaten the already fragile health infrastructure of some of India’s poorest states.BJP leaders from states conceded enormity of migrant crisis. Several of these leaders expressed concern that “intensity” of crisis may not have been entirely revealed yet. indianexpress

 

UP Govt withdraws controversial order of 12-hour shifts for industrial unit workers after notice from Allahabad HC

https://www.news18.com/news/india/up-govt-withdraws-controversial-order-of-12-hour-shifts-for-industrial-unit-workers-after-notice-from-allahabad-hc-2622415.html

Uttar Pradesh government has withdrawn its controversial order of 12-hour shifts for workers in industrial units, against the usual 8-hour day, after a notice from the Allahabad High Court. A separate govt order related to working hours has been withdrawing following a PIL in the high court. This is, however, going to have no impact on the recently amended labour laws since the order to enhance working hours was separate from the ordinance amending the laws. As part of its strategy to attract investments from China post Covid-19 disruptions, UP government had, through an ordinance, sought to amend all but 4 labour laws in the state.news18

 

Students in Delhi threaten to hit the road

https://www.telegraphindia.com/india/coronavirus-lockdown-students-in-delhi-threaten-to-hit-the-road/cid/1773522

New Delhi:  So far it has been migrant workers who have hit the road. Now it’s students who want to leave. Stories of wait and rising impatience have been tumbling out from among the student community, as lockdown entered its 53rd day on Saturday.On Thursday, several students from Kerala studying in Delhi threatened to walk at least 2,200km back home from the capital if the government of the southern state did not arrange for train tickets. Sneha Sarah Shaji, who studies politics at Hindu College and is a national coordinator of Congress’s National Students Union of India, explained that many students had registered online with Department of Non-Resident Keralites Affairs (Norka) for a passage back home. At another end of the country, CPM central committee member M.Y. Tarigami wrote to Jammu and Kashmir lieutenant-governor G.C. Murmu on Friday asking his administration to respond to repeated requests of stranded students for a passage back home. Danish Shafi Kana, from Sopore, who is now staying with his brother at Shaheen Bagh, is one such student. Danish, who studies in Jaipur, had come to Delhi just before the lockdown to meet his brother, Ubaid, who studies in Jamia.telegraphindia

 

Coronavirus: Centre launches portal to monitor movement of migrants, asks states to upload details

https://scroll.in/latest/962150/coronavirus-centre-launches-portal-to-monitor-movement-of-migrants-asks-states-to-upload-details

Centre on Saturday launched an online dashboard to monitor and streamline the movement of migrant workers across states amid nationwide lockdown. In a letter, Union Home Secretary Ajay Bhalla urged states to upload details of migrants on the dashboard and to utilise system as the portal will maintain a repository. “To capture the information regarding movement of migrants and facilitate their smooth movement across states, National Disaster Management Authority has developed an online dashboard – National Migrant Information System – on existing NDMA-GIS portal,” Bhalla said.

 

WPI condemns rolling back of labour laws

https://www.siasat.com/welfare-party-india-condemns-rolling-back-labour-laws-1889501/

New Delhi: Welfare Party of India strongly condemned the rolling back of labour laws and undermining workers’ right to attract investors. National President of Welfare Party of India, Dr SQR Ilyas said in a media release, “Even though poorly implemented, protections enshrined in lbaour laws served as safeguards for workers and trade unions, dismantling them would leave millions of workers acutely vulnerable,” He added.He stated during this unprecedented situation of pandemic lockdown which was devoid of contingency, planning and preparation has upended the lives of thousands of working class who lost their livelihood.

 

SC faces massive criticism for providing relief to Arnab Goswami but refusing to entertain plea on migrant workers

http://www.jantakareporter.com/entertainment/supreme-court-faces-massive-criticism-for-providing-relief-to-arnab-goswami-but-refusing-to-entertain-plea-on-migrant-workers-madras-hc-judge-says-one-cannot-control-his-her-tears/290750/

Gut-wrenching observation by a Madras High Court judge on the plight of poor migrant workers across India during the nationwide lockdown has prompted many to target the Supreme Court, which last week refused to entertain a public interest litigation on the matter. This was after a Madras High Court judge said that ‘one cannot control his/her tears after seeing the pathetic condition of migrant labourers shown in the media for the past one month.’ Many were quick to draw a parallel between the haste shown by the SC to provide relief to Republic TV founder Arnab Goswami and the top court’s refusal to hear a petition on the woes of hundreds of thousands of migrant workers, currently stranded across the country. The tragic death of 24 migrant workers in Auraiya on Saturday and scathing observation of Madras High Court on the plight of migrant workers brought more prominence to the topic of the Supreme Court’s perceived double-standard on social media. Many took to Twitter to criticise the Supreme Court for its incredible haste shown in providing relief to controversial TV anchor Arnab Goswami after multiple FIRs were filed against him for inciting communal tension in the country. Not only did the top court entertain Goswami’s plea out of turn, but it had also wasted no time in providing the Republic TV founder a 3-week relief from arrest. Noted lawyer Prashant Bhushan had written on Twitter, “The lightning speed with which Arnab Goswami’s petition was listed and heard by the SC, in contrast to other really urgent cases of migrant workers. Is there a method to this madness? Are there any rules, norms, systems really in place for urgent hearing?”Now Twitterati are raising similar questions in light of the SC’s refusal to entertain a plea on migrant workers. jantakareporter

 

For every dead in Auraiya accident, a lakh are waiting to return home

https://indianexpress.com/article/india/for-every-dead-in-auraiya-accident-a-lakh-are-waiting-to-return-home-6413641/

Ranchi :For every migrant worker who died in Auraiya road accident, a lakh more are waiting to return to their native homes in states. On May 2, Jharkhand started an online portal asking its stranded people to register if they want to travel back home. Between May 2 and May 14, 6.92 lakh people registered, according to an official in the state’s labour department. “More than 10 lakh people are stranded in various states. The number of registrations are only expected to increase,” official said.Bihar, UP, West Bengal, Rajasthan and Odisha are some of the other states besides Jharkhand which primarily feed the labour markets in Maharashtra, Gujarat and the southern states including Tamil Nadu, Karnataka, Telangana and Kerala.Many migrant workers do not want to wait to return home, especially since they Shramik Special trains have not been able to meet the huge demand. Caught in this fight between the Centre and states, and finding no means to return to the safety of their homes, migrant workers have started to walk. Some 2.5 lakh migrant workers from West Bengal, 2.69 lakh from Chhattisgarh, 10 lakh from Uttar Pradesh, 5.5 lakh from Rajasthan, and 2.7 lakh from Bihar are believed to be stuck either in rented spaces, or shelter homes, or to be just on the roads walking through the night.indianexpress

 

How citizens helping migrants stranded by lockdown

https://indianexpress.com/article/express-sunday-eye/citizens-helping-migrants-stranded-coronavirus-lockdown-6412617/

“Someone on our WhatsApp alumni group posted about a group of workers from Madhya Pradesh running out of food. When they had stepped out to fetch food, they were beaten back by the police,” says Miriam Koshy, an artist based in Dona Paula. It was 5 days into the lockdown, and all of Goa was struggling. But the worst-hit were inter-state workers, spread across the state in little clusters, who had fallen off the govt’s radar, and been abandoned by their employers. Koshy headed out to the colony with a batch of dry rations, the little she could organise in a few hours. As word spread among workers, the calls for help became a deluge. Since then, Koshy and her team of volunteers – a mix of data scientists and researchers, architects and artists – have been raising funds, packing food and sending them out to labour colonies across north Goa. Till date, they have packed 12,687 dry ration packets for 4,000 daily-wage workers. As stranded workers and vulnerable families run out of food, cash and patience, citizen-led initiatives, running out of living rooms and college halls, mapping out the needy via WhatsApp group chats and Google spreadsheets, have stepped in this wide breach. Volunteers and members of civil society organisations have spent hours listening to people in distress, rustling up meals for over 100 people in their tiny home kitchens, and coaxing government officials to send relief, when they have failed. In a report filed with the Supreme Court in April, Centre submitted that NGOs across the country had served 30.11 lakh meals during the first phase of lockdown – in many states, they were ahead of the govt in providing this relief. When he heard of construction workers from Bihar “eating raw wheat flour mixed with water and masala” in Bandra’s Kherwadi area, Karthikeyan KN, 34, used social media to raise money. The head of analytics and product management at a payment solutions firm, he collected Rs 2.5 lakh to supply ration to 40,000 adults for 2 weeks. He then plunged into field work with Khaana Chahiye, a citizen-led initiative. Every day, he steps out at 7.30 am to pick up food packets and deliver them to Dharavi, Kurla, Chembur, Govandi and Mahul. “Once I started seeing the ground reality, I understood the meaning of privilege,” he says.In Mumbai, where the coronavirus infections are galloping away, an extensive network of kitchens, delivery personnel, grassroots NGOs and local volunteers, are working to help the hungry. Rotary Club of Mumbai Queen’s Necklace alone has served over 60 lakh hot meals and food kits across Mumbai, Thane and Palghar, distributed through partner NGOs. Retail entrepreneur Juveca Panda has joined hands with non-profit Youth for Unity and Voluntary Action (YUVA) to distribute 8 lakh cooked meals to frontline workers, migrant workers and Bhiwandi’s power loom workers. IHCL, which owns Taj, Vivanta and Ginger brand of hotels, provided meals for healthcare workers as well as stranded migrant workers in New Delhi, Mumbai, Bengaluru, Coimbatore and Agra.In Delhi, where Feb. riots had already pushed many families into financial distress, lockdown has been a double blow. “Many homes were burnt during the riots. Some middle-class families were reduced to zero. Had they not been affected so badly, they could have survived this lockdown,” says Amir Siddiqui of Project Umeed, which runs 43 relief centres all over Delhi. “We started dropping dry ration kits at the mosque. They find it more comfortable to take it from the imam than to accept charity,” he says.  Indianexpress

 

‘Ek chappal de do sahib,’ plead migrants as their feet bleed

https://www.nationalheraldindia.com/india/ek-chappal-de-do-sahib-plead-migrants-as-their-feet-bleed

"Khana to mil jayega, sahib ek purani chappal de do," said Tiloki Kumar (32) as he showed the boils and cuts on his feet. Tiloki is one of thousands who have been walking down to their homes from Gujarat and other states.Tiloki, a resident of Pipraich in Gorakhpur, said that he worked in a garment unit in Surat and had decided to walk down after he could not get on to the train."I got myself registered for the Shramik train and waited for a week. No one called up and finally we decided to walk back home. It is better to die at home than in an unknown place," he said.He said his slippers had given way even before he entered borders of UP.IANS

 

Bhag yahan se: Locals treated us like dogs, migrant workers recall journey of over 1,000 km

https://www.indiatoday.in/india/story/migrant-workers-walking-hometowns-tiresome-journey-coronavirus-covid19-lockdown-1678954-2020-05-17

Kolkata: 72-year-old Kapil Dev Singh is sitting on highway, sipping water to quench his thirst as the scorching sun rips him apart with the heat and sweat. After walking more than 1,000 km at this age, he has forgotten how much distance he has covered in the last 5 days of his journey from Telengana to Bengal. Even though, he has travelled more than 1,400 km, lost all his savings, a hard 600-km journey is still left before he can reach his home in Bihar. Kapil Dev had been working as a cook and doubling up for miscellaneous work at a rice mill in Khammam area of Telangana. The mill stopped operations during the lockdown and the workers were left to fend for themselves. indiatoday

 

After 3 Days Of Journey Home, 60-Yr-Old Migrant Dies Of Hunger In UP

https://www.ndtv.com/india-news/coronavirus-lockdown-after-3-days-of-journey-home-60-year-old-migrant-dies-of-hunger-in-up-2230291?pfrom=home-topstories

Lucknow: A 60-year-old migrant worker died in Uttar Pradesh possibly due to starvation this morning, according to officials, three days after he began his journey to home with a few family members from Maharashtra. The last "proper meal" he took was on Friday after he started traveling, according to his relatives. Vikram had hitched a ride on a truck with some of his family members from Maharashtra on Thursday. They got off at UP's Kannauj district, about 120 km from state capital Lucknow, at around 3 am today. As they began walking towards their hometown in Hardoi district, Vikram collapsed on the road after walking less than a kilometre.

 

Gujarat employers force migrants to pay for train tickets, Chhattisgarh govt orders probe

https://www.indiatoday.in/india/story/gujarat-employers-force-migrants-to-pay-for-train-tickets-chhattisgarh-govt-orders-probe-1678967-2020-05-17

Raipur: 71 migrant labourers who returned to Bilaspur in Chhattisgarh from Gandhinagar in Gujarat by a special train early this week have claimed their employers took money from them for the commute, an official said on Sunday. A state government release said a probe was ordered by the collector into the allegations, and a report has been submitted by the latter to the secretary of the state labour department.The matter came to light after statements of workers, staying in quarantine centres, were recorded.PTI

 

'Strict lockdown in Ranchi's Hindpiri created problems for pregnant ladies, elderly, ailing', Muslim organisations say keep curbs but with some ease

https://www.telegraphindia.com/states/jharkhand/coronavirus-lockdown-keep-curbs-but-with-some-ease-demands-muslim-social-and-voluntary-organisations-in-ranchi/cid/1773537

Ranchi: Muslim social and voluntary organisations in the capital demanded lockdown relaxations in Hindpiri, which has been made a containment zone since March 30 as the highest number of coronavirus cases in Jharkhand surfaced from this locality. So far, 70 infections have been detected from Hindpiri ever since the pandemic reached Jharkhand in March. According to members of organisations, strict lockdown has made life of Hindpiri residents, around 70,000 in number, a living hell, and the “negative propaganda” about them has hurt them. They have appealed to state to only keep those lanes where the most number of infections were found as containment zones while freeing other parts to ensure a semblance of normal life. General secretary of Edar-e-Sharia, Maulana Qutubuddin Rizvi, said his organisation had given a memo to chief minister Hemant Soren on this demand on Friday during the ongoing Ramzan. “The strict lockdown has created grave problems for pregnant ladies, the elderly and the ailing, as well as all the people residing in Hindpiri. Even healthy young people of the locality are under mental pressure over the way negative propaganda is being spread about one community being responsible for the spread of the virus,” Rizvi said.Nadeem Khan, who is convener of a social and philanthropic organisation, Lahu Bolega, echoed the same. telegraphindia

 

160 madrassa students from North East states sent home

https://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/city/bareilly/160-madrassa-students-from-north-east-states-sent-home/articleshow/75767192.cms

Bareilly: Days after 19 Kashmiri traders and workers, who were stranded in UP's Moradabad, were sent back home ahead of Eid Al-Fitr, now at least 160 madrassa students from the North Eaststudying in Rampur-based educational institutions were sent to their home states.Local admn said that 600 students from different districts of UP, Bihar and NorthEast states such as Meghalaya, Assam and Manipur were studying in various madrassas in Rampur. SDM of Tanda in Rampur, Gaurav Kumar, said that 600 students enrolled in madrassas were still stuck in the city and they were desperate to return to their respective places since no classes were going on. And Eid was approaching. District's minority welfare officer Mohammad Khalid told TOI that of 321 madrassas running in Rampur, nearly 10,000 students, mostly from North East, are enrolled here. Apart from 600, all others have already left for their home state.TOI

 

Lucknow: 90 stranded madrassa students leave for home

https://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/city/lucknow/90-stranded-madrassa-students-leave-for-home/articleshow/75768096.cms

Lucknow: As many as 90 students of a Lucknow madrassa were sent to their homes in other states in buses on Friday.The students, aged 8-16 years, were stranded since the lockdown began on March 25. While 84 students belonged to Bihar, three each were from West Bengal and Jharkhand. All these students were studying at Arabia Khadmul Uloom in Akbarnagar locality of Mahanagar.As the relived children walked out of the madrassa hostel with heavy bags, people showered rose petals on them on Akbarpur Road. While the children were overjoyed after weeks of isolation, they forgot to follow social distancing norms while celebrations peaked.TOI

 

Visakhapatnam: Police beat up doctor who complained about lack of PPE kits, drag him on street

https://scroll.in/latest/962177/visakhapatnam-police-beat-up-doctor-who-complained-about-lack-of-ppe-kits-drag-him-on-street

The police in Visakhapatnam in Andhra Pradesh on Saturday roughed up a doctor, tied his hands and dragged him on the road for allegedly creating nuisance and abusing the state government in an inebriated condition, HT reported. The officers tied Dr Sudhakar’s hands and bundled him into an autorickshaw before taking him to the police station.The video of Dr K Sudhakar, bare-chested and being dragged on the street by a police constable, went viral on social media. Sudhakar, an anesthesiologist at Narsipatnam Government Hospital, was suspended earlier this month after he alleged that the state was not providing an adequate number of Personal Protective Equipment and N95 masks to doctors combating the coronavirus pandemic. Commissioner of Police RK Meena announced that the constable in question has been suspended pending inquiry.

During 'Hate', 'Lockdown', Kamaldeep, Akram provide 'iftar', cooked food to poor people in Delhi's Narela

http://www.indiatomorrow.net/eng/in-the-season-of-hate-and-lockdown-kamaldeep-suri-and-akram-chaudhary-provide-iftar-and-cooked-food-to-poor-people-in-delhis-narela-area

New Delhi:At a time when Muslims are coming under mob attacks and boycott of their businesses following hate campaign launched by a majority of the mainstream media groups and a sea of hate videos being circulated on social media against them, Kamaldeep Suri and Mohammed Akram Chaudhary of Narela, on outskirts of Delhi, bordering Sonepat district of Haryana, have presented a unique example of working together and serving poor, irrespective of their faith.Ever since lockdown was announced to check the spread of coronavirus, Suri and Chaudhary took upon themselves the responsibility to feed the poor people in and around Kuraini village, adjoining Narela Industrial Estate, with a majority of residents being poor Muslims. 2 friends initially provided cooked food one time daily after the announcement of lockdown. After the commencement of Ramzan on April 25, the duo also began providing ‘iftar’ to the Muslim population. Neither Suri nor Chaudhary disclosed who is paying for the expenses, but Chaudhary’s friends say that almost entire expenses on the food and ‘iftar’ is being borne by Suri himself.India Tomorrow

 

Muslim clerics advise no hugs, no handshakes this Eid

https://www.outlookindia.com/newsscroll/prominent-muslim-clerics-advise-no-hugs-no-handshakes-this-eid/1836509

New Delhi:Prominent Muslim clerics on Saturday advised the community members not to hug each other and shake hands on Eid on May 26 and maintain social distancing and other norms while celebrating the festival in view of the coronavirus scare across the country."Eid comes again and again but this is not the case with coronavirus. Since entire world is at present battling coronavirus, the happiness of Eid is in not hugging each other and not shaking hands this time over," said Dr Imam Umer Ahmed Ilyasi, Chief of All India Imam Organisation.He pointed out that the ritual of hugging each other was to mend fences with ones whom we may not be on cordial terms with earlier on.Jama Masjid Shahi Imam Ahmed Bukhari said there was need to take all precautions since coronavirus cases were increasing in the country. He said conveying Eid greetings through phones would be fine in the given situation.Bukhari said that we all need to adhere to the guidelines issued by WHO and medical experts to save ourselves, our kith and kin, and fellow countrymen. Lucknow Idgah Imam Maulana Khalid Rashid Firangi Mahali also appealed to the community members to observe social distancing on Eid while greeting each other. Agra Jama Masjid Imam Irfanullah Nizam also emphasised the need to observe all health precautions on Eid.IANS

 

Muslims for ‘quieter’ Eid, fear community can be targeted if gatherings lead to spike in Covid cases

https://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/city/bareilly/muslims-for-quieter-eid-fear-community-can-be-targeted-if-gatherings-lead-to-spike-in-covid-cases/articleshow/75781478.cms

Bareilly: With Covid-19 cases refuse to die down, Muslims in Shahjahanpur have decided to have a “quieter Eid” and limit their exchange of greetings mostly to social media, fearing that large gatherings may increase the risk of infection and the community could be targeted for Covid spike. Divulging details, Shahjahanpur Eidgah Committee secretary Sayed Qasim Raza said the decision was taken by the members at a recent meeting of the committee. “The pandemic is gradually gripping our country. Our mosques are closed and we have been offering prayers at home. Thus, we have decided not to go out for buying clothes or shopping. Eid will be a quieter affair this year.”Mohammed Aadil, a mobile shop owner, told TOI, “We don’t want news channels to debate that the Covid cases surged due to the Eid gatherings. For us, there is no Eid without ‘Alvida’ (main Eid namaz prayer). We can’t hug each other, can’t invite people, can’t read ‘tarawih’ prayers in groups and will not be able to follow all the guidelines of Ramzan. People are dying of coronavirus and the future is uncertain. So, all my relatives have decided not to buy clothes and rather support people in need.”TOI   

Lockdown: Mumbai Congress minority leader asks Muslims to forego Eid celebrations, help needy

https://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/city/mumbai/mumbai-congress-minority-leader-asks-muslims-to-forego-eid-celebrations-help-the-needy/articleshow/75774596.cms

Mumbai: Congress Minority department (Mumbai) vice-chairman Mudassar Patel has urged Muslims to forego Eid celebrations. He had appealed to the community to help the needy affected by the coronavirus-induced lockdown with the money they would have spent on the festivities. Eid will be celebrated on May24. "People have lost jobs and incurred loss in businesses due to the lockdown. Daily wagers like masons, plumbers, construction workers are hardest hit. Money should be spent in helping them and not on shopping and preparing lavish dishes on Eid," said Patel. While asking community members not to break the lockdown rules in the name of Eid shopping, he said defeating the pandemic and saving life should be the priority today. "If life is saved, Eid will come again. Social distancing should be maintained and needy should be reached out with help," he said.Patel who has distributed over 7,000 ration kits in Mumbai city and suburbs demanded that the government should give interest-free loans of minimum Rs 2 lakh to SMEs to restart their shut businesses.TOI

 

Give Ramzan packs to poor Muslims: Hyderabad Cong to CM KCR

https://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/city/hyderabad/give-ramzan-packs-to-poor-muslims-cong/articleshow/75782590.cms

Hyderabad: Congress has demanded that the government distribute free Ramzan packs comprising sevaiyyan, sugar, milk and ghee to poor Muslims along with rice and other essential commodities. State Congress minorities cell chairman Shaik Abdullah Sohail, in a letter to CM KCR, said due to extended lockdown, poor Muslims do not have any money left to buy items required to prepare sheer-khorma, the Id-ul-Fitr sweet dish.

 

Muslims help perform last rites of Sikh man in J-K’s Ganderbal amidst Covid-19 lockdown

https://www.timesnownews.com/india/article/muslims-help-perform-last-rites-of-sikh-man-in-j-k-s-ganderbal-amidst-covid-19-lockdown/592830

Srinagar: Members of Muslim community helped in performing the last rites of their Sikh neighbour in Ganderbal district of Jammu and Kashmir as relatives of the deceased could not reach the place due to the nationwide lockdown to check the virus spread. Sikh man, identified as Ranveer Singh, is a resident of Punjab and had died a few days ago, the officials said. Singh, who was working as a carpenter in Wakura area of Ganderbal district of central Kashmir, was living in the village about 35 km from Srinagar along with a few colleagues at a rented accommodation.Locals informed the police about his death and made arrangements for performing his last rites, the officials said. Singh was cremated in the presence of officials of the civil and police administration, PTI quoted Wakura Tehsildar Ghulam Mohammad Bhat as saying.  timesnownews

 

Vadodara burial ground running out of space; no death toll update from VMC

https://indianexpress.com/article/india/vadodara-burial-ground-running-out-of-space-no-death-toll-update-from-vmc-6413700/

Vadodara:Matariya Qabristan, designated Covid-19 Islamic cemetery in Vadodara, now has space for only 20 more burials. Until May 5, the land had seen 18 burials, 16 of which were confirmed cases from Vadodara city. Since then, cemetery has seen at least eight more deceased being put to rest following Covid-19 burial protocol.Zakir Saiyed, who oversees burials at Matariya Qabrastan, said the burial ground has four 15-feet-deep graves ready at any point of the day, measuring five feet by 10 feet in size as per the Covid-19 protocol. There were at least four burials as per the protocol on May 13 and 14, he added. Saiyed said, “In the last one week, there have been at least eight burials. I am not aware what the authorities have decided, but whenever a body is brought here from the community, we accord it a respectful burial in line with the protocol. They do not give us any tally.”

 

Gujarat horror: 70 year old found dead on the sidewalk, was admitted in hospital for COVID

https://www.nationalheraldindia.com/india/gujarat-horror-70-year-old-found-dead-on-the-sidewalk-was-admitted-in-hospital-for-covid

According to a Scroll.in report, Gunvant Makwana, who was found dead at a bus stop, was admitted to Ahmedabad Civil Hospital’s COVID-19 isolation ward on May 10 because he had respiratory problems and showed other symptoms of COVID-19. His samples were taken for Coronavirus test and he tested positive later. His family members were forced to carry his body themselves without any protective gear, they said.Kirti Makwana, a labourer at a textile mill, son of Gunvant Makwana said, “For three days I had no idea about my father’s condition, because no one is allowed to visit the isolation ward and the hospital had told me to go home.”“The police had found my father’s body lying at Danilimda BRTS stop at 3 am the previous night, and they took it to SVP hospital. When my family reached there, the post-mortem was already done, but we have not yet received the report. They say he died of COVID, but we have no idea when or where,” Makwana said.Kirti Makwana has claimed that the family was given no body bag or ambulance to take the body to a crematorium.

 

Meerut: 2 held in encounter on charges of cow slaughter, test positive for Covid-19

https://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/city/meerut/two-miscreants-held-in-encounter-test-ve-for-covid-19/articleshow/75781700.cms

MEERUT: 2 who were held following an encounter with the local police on charges of cow slaughter and were kept at a temporary jail in Meerut district have now tested positive for Covid-19.Temporary jails had actually come up to keep foreign and domestic jamaat members who were discharged after their isolation period. The two miscreants were initially taken to district hospital - soon after the encounter on May 2.The duo were treated for their bullet injury and later shifted to the temporary jail which has come up inside campus of an engineering college. According to Meerut jail superintendent BD Pandey, there are 113 inmates at the temporary jail and the duo, asymptomatic, were tested postitive following medical examination."As per directions of the officials, suspects arrested in fresh cases are kept in temporary jail initially and are shifted to permanent facility only after they test negative. The duo who were arrested following an encounter in the region were in the facility and tested positive," BD Pandey, jail superintendent, said.

 

*CORONAVIRUS – WORLD*

Global Covid-19 updates: Spain coronavirus deaths below 100 after two months

https://www.aljazeera.com/news/2020/05/brazil-surpasses-spain-coronavirus-cases-live-updates-200516231547355.html

Spain's daily death toll from the coronavirus is 87, the health ministry has said, dropping below 100 for the first time in two months.Burundi is pushing ahead with an election on Wednesday that will end President Pierre Nkurunziza's divisive and bloody 15-year rule. But the coronavirus poses a threat to May 20 vote, and the government has kicked out WHO workers after concerns were raised.Former President Barack Obama has criticised US leaders for the handling of the coronavirus response, telling college graduates in an online commencement address that the pandemic shows many officials "aren't even pretending to be in charge". Globally, more than 4.6 million people have been infected and over 312,000 have died from COVID-19, according to Johns Hopkins University. Almost 1.7 million people have recovered. aljazeera

 

Egypt tightens coronavirus restrictions for Eid holiday

https://www.middleeastmonitor.com/20200517-egypt-tightens-coronavirus-restrictions-for-eid-holiday/

Egypt will bring forward the start of its curfew by 4 hours to 5 p.m. and halt public transport from May 24 for 6 days during the Eid holiday, as it seeks to curb the spread of the new coronavirus, the prime minister said on Sunday, Reuters reports.Shops, restaurants, parks and beaches will be closed for the extended holiday at the end of holy Muslim month of Ramadan, and restrictions on citizens’ movements will remain in place for at least two weeks afterwards, Prime Minister Mostafa Madbouly said.Egypt has reported 11,719 cases of the novel coronavirus, including 612 deaths. Daily increases in the number of cases have been rising as the government slightly eased a night curfew and other measures. The number of cases rose by 491 on Saturday, the Health Ministry said.Madbouly indicated that there could be a gradual reopening of some activities including sports clubs and restaurants from mid-June, and that a reopening of places of worship would also be considered.MEMO

 

*INDIA- ISLAMOPHOBIA, HUMAN RIGHTS & OTHERS*

Indian Troops Being Reinforced In Ladakh After Face-Off With China

https://www.ndtv.com/india-news/indian-troops-being-reinforced-in-ladakh-after-face-off-with-china-2230193?pfrom=home-topstories

New Delhi: Ladakh is being closely monitored and Indian troops are being reinforced along the border with reports of China pitching tents near river Galwan -- a 1962 flashpoint that has seen aggression in recent days -- and increasing construction activities. Reports reaching New Delhi indicate that China is increasing its presence along LAC, the de facto border between the 2, which has compelled India to fortify its strength."We are also compelled to increase our presence along that area as in last few days numbers of soldiers across LAC have increased," a senior functionary in Govt of India told NDTV. The officer said though the area had a history of face offs, worryingly for the establishment, this time it has gone beyond a week. "It is normal but as it has gone well beyond a week, we are also reinforcing ourselves," he said. Reports reaching Delhi indicate that Chinese have set up tents near the river Galwan, where Chinese troops in 1962 surrounded an Indian army post, escalating tension and setting up one of the triggers of the Indo-China war. 

 

Jamia Student Chandan Kumar Grilled For 3 Days in Connection With Anti-CAA Protests

http://www.indiatomorrow.net/eng/jamia-student-chandan-kumar-grilled-for-three-days-in-connection-with-anti-caa-protests

NEW DELHI:After arresting several students from the Jamia Millia Islamia University linking them with northeast Delhi violence in February this year, the Delhi Police Special Cell grilled Chandan Kumar, MA(Hindi) final year student of the Jamia for three days in a row, questioning him about his participation in anti-CAA protests that was organized by Jamia Coordination Committee, a body comprising current and past students of the university.Chandan, who was active against the CAA protest in Jamia from day one, was first picked up by police on May 13 from his residence in Khanpur. Before that he was issued a notice under Section 43F of UAPA by Special Cell which stated, “In connection with the case – case FIR– you are requested to join investigation on May 13 at 2 pm. If you fail to appear, appropriate legal action will be taken against you. This may be treated as urgent.” When Chandan got calls from police to cooperate in investigation, he told them he would like to join the investigations through video-conferencing because of fears of Covid-19 as one of the police constables had contracted Covid-19 infections. But police insisted him to come in person to police station.India Tomorrow

 

Gujarat: BJP Govt displayed 'selective bias', 'discriminated' against me, says editor booked for sedition

https://www.huffingtonpost.in/entry/gujarat-bjp-govt-displayed-selective-bias-discriminated-against-me-says-editor-booked-for-sedition_in_5ec0051ac5b6c1ab51fb08a4?ncid=other_trending_qeesnbnu0l8&utm_campaign=trending

Gujarat government displayed ‘selective bias’, ‘singled out’ and ‘discriminated’ against me by imposing the charge of sedition in an FIR for reporting—like many other media houses—that CM Vijay Rupani may be replaced on account of his poor handling of coronavirus crisis in state, journalist Dhaval Patel said in separate applications to City Civil and Sessions court and the High Court in Ahmedabad. An FIR was filed against Patel, the editor of Gujarati news website Face Of Nation, on May 11 accusing him of committing an act of sedition and spreading false warning under section 124A of the Indian Penal Code and section 54 of Disaster Management Act, respectively, for reporting that Rupani may be replaced with union minister Mansukh Mandaviya. The young editor was subsequently put in Sabarmati jail. Soon after, Patel’s lawyer Anandvardhan Yagnik filed an application for bail in the sessions court and an application seeking to quash the FIR against him in the High Court.

 

Fact Check: No, this video does not show Muslim brutalities on Hindus in Bengal

https://www.indiatoday.in/fact-check/story/fact-check-no-this-video-does-not-show-muslim-brutalities-on-hindus-in-bengal-1678820-2020-05-16

Communal violence broke out at Telinipara in West Bengal’s Hooghly district recently. Prohibitory orders were imposed, Internet suspended and over 100 people arrested. Amid this, social media is full of videos and images of houses and shops looted and torched, and people beaten up, linking them to the violence. A disturbing video of two men being brutally thrashed by a group of people is circulating on WhatsApp and Twitter with the claim that this is how Muslims are committing atrocities on Hindus in Bengal. Several Twitter users, including VHP leaders “Milind Parande” and “Vijay Shankar Tiwari” , have posted the video claiming this is how Hindus are being treated in Bengal. Linking the video to the Hooghly violence, Parande asked the West Bengal government to take strict action against Muslims committing such violence. The archived versions of the tweets can be seen here and here.India Today has found that the video is not at all related to the communal violence in Hooghly. The viral video is at least a year old and most probably from Bangladesh, where two suspected auto-rickshaw lifters were being thrashed by villagers.India Today

 

Arunachal: Civilian killed, another injured in Army firing

https://indianexpress.com/article/north-east-india/arunachal-pradesh/arunachal-civilian-killed-another-injured-in-army-firing6413406/

Guwahati :One civilian was killed and another injured when Armymen opened fire following a law and order situation at Pumao village in Arunachal Pradesh’s Longding district Saturday, government officials said. Army has, however, claimed that insurgents used a human shield to fire at their men.Cheshta Yadav, Deputy Commissioner of Longding, said that on Saturday afternoon troops of 19th Sikh regiment stationed at Pumao “was negotiating with villagers about the beating of one individual named Jingmoh Wangnow”. During negotiation, Yadav said, Armymen were surrounded by villagers. “Fearing a law and order situation they came out of the house and got back into their vehicles. They were trying to leave during which they were stopped by women of the village,” DC said.“Meanwhile, certain youth from behind started pelting stones. In response, Army personnel opened fire,” Yadav said, adding that Lamdam Lukham received a bullet injury in the head and died on the spot. Another person, Wangnai Wangsa, received bullet injury in his leg. Lukham is said to be around 60.indianexpress

 

Dehradun: Institute suspends Kashmiri student over alleged post

https://indianexpress.com/article/india/dehradun-institute-suspends-kashmiri-student-over-alleged-post-6413612/

Dehradun :A private engineering college— JB Institute of Technology (JBIT)— in Dehradun on Saturday suspended a Kashmiri girl student for allegedly making objectionable posts on social media. The girl is student of BTech (third year) and belongs to Srinagar where she is at present.In the letter, it has been said that the Institute had received some screen shots mentioning that the girl has posted highly objectionable content on social media. “As JBIT Group of Institutions is always strongly against these kind of anti-national and anti-social activities hereby we strongly condemn this activity,” read the letter. College Director Amit Kumar Bansal, who issued the suspension letter, was unavailable for comment. College deputy registrar Dinesh Agarwal said that girl was contacted on Saturday and she had denied the allegations and she also claimed that ID shown in the post did not belong to her, but her photograph has been used.indianexpress

 

Delhi police puts Delhi Congress chief Anil Chaudhary under house arrest

https://www.nationalheraldindia.com/india/delhi-police-puts-delhi-congress-chief-anil-chaudhary-under-house-arrest

A day after, former Congress president Rahul Gandhi met fleeing migrants in Delhi, the Delhi Police which comes under the Ministry of Home Affairs, has put Delhi Pradesh Congress Committee (DPCC) chief Anil Chaudhary, under house arrest on Sunday.DPCC chief was among the Congress volunteers who accompanied Rahul Gandhi during his interaction with migrant workers near the Sukhdev Vihar flyover on Saturday.Chaudhary posted  on twitter: “Police has detained me at my residence. I don’t know why. I will let you know the reason as soon as I am given one.”

One every eight minutes: India's missing children: BBC

https://www.bbc.com/news/av/world-south-asia-52685559/one-every-eight-minutes-india-s-missing-children

It is estimated that a child goes missing in India every eight minutes. Many are trafficked as part of a nationwide trade which is separating children from their families.Millions end up in forced labour, domestic slavery and sex work, in what’s become a lucrative industry.But despite this, it rarely dominates headlines, there’s little public outrage, or political will to end it. BBC's Rajini Vaidyanathan investigates India's child trafficking networks, and speaks to some of the victims.

 

Cyclone Amphan Intensifies Into Severe Cyclonic Storm; Fishermen in Odisha, West Bengal Issued Alert

https://www.news18.com/news/india/cyclone-amphan-intensifies-into-severe-cyclonic-storm-fishermen-in-odisha-and-west-bengal-issued-warnings-2624047.html

Cyclone Amphan gathered strength and intensified into a severe cyclonic storm over the Bay of Bengal on Sunday, raising the likelihood of heavy rainfall coupled with high-velocity wind in several coastal districts of Odisha and parts of West Bengal, officials said.According to a bulletin issued by the weather office at 2 pm, Amphan is likely to intensify into a very severe cyclonic storm in the next 24 hours.The cyclone is likely to cross West Bengal-Bangladesh coasts between Sagar Islands in West Bengal and Hatiya islands in Bangladesh between afternoon and evening of May 20 as a very severe cyclonic storm, Regional MeT Director in Kolkata G K Das said.As a result of the forecast, fishermen have been warned not to venture into south Bay of Bengal during the next 24 hours, to central Bay of Bengal on May 17 and 18 and North Bay of Bengal from May 18 to 20.

 

*WORLD*

Netanyahu says new Israeli gov't should annex illegal settlements

https://www.aljazeera.com/news/2020/05/netanyahu-israeli-gov-annex-illegal-settlements-200517102343363.html

PM Benjamin Netanyahu has said new govt set to be sworn in on Sunday in Israel should apply Israeli sovereignty over the Israeli settlements, illegal under international law, in the occupied West Bank. His comments came as he presented the government, agreed to with former rival Benny Gantz, to Israel's parliament. "It's time to apply the Israeli law and write another glorious chapter in the history of Zionism," Netanyahu told Knesset said on the issue of Jewish settlements in the occupied Palestinian territory."These territories are where Jewish nation was born and grew," he said of the settlements. For his part, Gantz, a former military chief, made no mention of any possible annexation moves in his ensuing speech.The two former rivals agreed to a 3-year coalition govt last month, after more than 500 days of political deadlock and three inconclusive elections in less than a year. Under power-sharing agreement, Netanyahu will serve 18 months as prime minister and then hand over to Gantz. The agenda of the new government includes a possible declaration of sovereignty over Jewish settlements and Jordan Valley in the West Bank - a de facto annexation. Such a move will likely cause international uproar and inflame tensions in the West Bank. aljazeera

 

Muslim scholars union urges stand against Israeli plans

https://www.middleeastmonitor.com/20200517-muslim-scholars-union-urges-stand-against-israeli-plans/

International Union for Muslim Scholars (IUMS) has urged Islamic world and all countries to stand against Israel’s plans to annex occupied Palestinian territories, Anadolu reports. Secretary-General of IUMS, Ali al-Qaradaghi, accused Israel of exploiting the world’s preoccupation with the coronavirus pandemic, along with Trump’s administration support, to proceed with its aggressive policies against the Palestinians. “IUMS calls upon all to stand with the Palestinian people, and their right in self-determination and to liberate their occupied territories,”said al-Qaradaghi.He held US administration fully responsible for implications of approving Israeli plans of annexing Jerusalem and other Palestinian territories to its sovereignty by giving a green light to the Israeli govt.

 

Iranians to mark Quds Day in vehicles, not marches: Prez

https://www.aljazeera.com/news/2020/05/rouhani-iranians-mark-quds-day-vehicles-marches-200516145712805.html

Rallies next week in Tehran to mark the annual Quds Day against Israel will involve Iranians driving in vehicles rather than marching through the streets to avoid spreading the coronavirus, Iranian President Hassan Rouhani has said. The elite Revolutionary Guards would be in charge of organising the driving routes, Rouhani said on state television on Saturday, adding that those joining in could still chant slogans from their vehicles and wave flags.Rallies to mark Quds Day, which uses the Arabic name for Jerusalem, are held in towns and cities across the country in a show of solidarity with the Palestinians. Typically, those marching chant "Death to Israel" and burn the Israeli flag.aljazeera

 

Chinese ambassador to Israel found dead in Tel Aviv home

https://www.aljazeera.com/news/2020/05/chinese-ambassador-israel-dead-tel-aviv-home-200517083940721.html

Chinese ambassador to Israel, Du Wei, has been found dead in his home north of Tel Aviv, according to Israeli foreign ministry and police.No cause of death was given, and Israeli police on Sunday said it had opened an investigation. Police spokesman Micky Rosenfeld confirmed that Du was found in the early morning by envoy's staff in his home in Herzliya.He said police were at the scene investigating the circumstances surrounding Du's death.  Du had arrived in Israel in Feb. He had previously served as China's envoy to Ukraine, according to the embassy's website. He is survived by a wife and son, both of whom were not in Israel. The ambassador's death comes just 2 days after he condemned comments by visiting US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo, who denounced Chinese investments in Israel and accused China of hiding information about the coronavirus pandemic. aljazeera

 

Afghanistan: Ghani and Abdullah sign power-sharing deal

https://www.aljazeera.com/news/2020/05/afghanistan-ghani-abdullah-sign-power-sharing-deal-200517105526348.html

Afghan President Ashraf Ghani and his rival Abdullah Abdullah have signed a power-sharing deal, signalling the end of a months-long stalemate that plunged the country into a political crisis.Ghani's spokesman said on Twitter on Sunday that Abdullah would lead council for peace talks and members of his team would be included in the cabinet. No other details were immediately available. The breakthrough comes as Afghanistan battles several crises, including a rapid spread of coronavirus and surging violence that saw dozens of people killed in attacks last week.Abdullah had previously served as Afghanistan's "chief executive" under an earlier power-sharing deal but lost that post after he was defeated in a presidential election that incumbent Ghani won in September. But Abdullah rejected the election results, alleging fraud. He declared himself president and held his own swearing-in ceremony on March 9, the day Ghani was reinstalled as president.The agreement names Abdullah to lead future peace talks with Taliban, which has already signed a landmark accord with US to pave the way for the withdrawal of foreign forces from Afghanistan.aljazeera

 

Clashes between separatists, pro-gov't forces kill 14 in Yemen

https://www.aljazeera.com/news/2020/05/clashes-separatists-pro-gov-forces-kill-14-yemen-200517065418326.html

Over a dozen people have reportedly been killed as fighting between pro-government forces and southern separatists in Yemen's Abyan province entered a sixth consecutive day."14 fighters, including 10 pro-government soldiers, were killed on Saturday," a government military official told AFP on condition of anonymity. Toll was confirmed by a separatist military source, who also claimed the capture of "40 pro-govt soldiers and the seizure of military equipment".  "They [pro-government soldiers] were unable to advance towards Zinjibar and they will only get there over our dead bodies," a separatist commander on the front line told AFP.aljazeera

 

‘Haftar forces shelling kills 7 at displaced people's shelter’

https://www.aljazeera.com/news/2020/05/gna-haftar-forces-shelling-kills-7-displaced-people-shelter-200517091308708.html

Officials with Libya's internationally-recognised government say at least seven civilians in Tripoli have been killed in renewed shelling which they blamed on eastern-based forces seeking to seize the capital.Amin al-Hashemi, a spokesman for the health ministry of the Government of National Accord (GNA), said the shelling late on Saturday by the forces of renegade military commander Khalifa Haftar hit a shelter for displaced people in Tripoli's Fornaj district.

 

UK Media Watchdog Fines Zakir Naik's Peace TV 300,000 Pounds for alleged Hate Speech and Offensive Content

https://www.news18.com/news/world/uk-media-watchdog-fines-zakir-naiks-peace-tv-300000-pounds-for-hate-speech-offensive-content-2623695.html

UK's media watchdog Ofcom has fined Islamic preacher Zakir Naik's Peace TV network 300,000 pounds for broadcasting "hate speech" and "highly offensive" content in the country.London-based regulator for the communications services in the UK has fined licence holders of Peace TV Urdu 200,000 pounds and Peace TV 100,000 pounds for breaking its broadcasting rules."Our investigations found that programmes broadcast on Peace TV Urdu and Peace TV contained hate speech and highly offensive content, which in one instance was likely to incite crime," it said."We concluded that the content represented serious failures of compliance with our broadcasting rules, which warranted fines. Ofcom has today fined the former licence holders of Peace TV Urdu 200,000 pounds and Peace TV 100,000 pounds for breaking our broadcasting rules," Ofcom said in a statement. Peace TV is owned by Lord Productions Limited, and Club TV holds the licence of Peace TV Urdu. Both have Universal Broadcasting Corporation Limited as their parent company which is owned by Naik, a 54-year-old televangelist and Islamic preacher from Mumbai. AFP

N.Cyprus slams EU declaration on East Mediterranean

https://www.middleeastmonitor.com/20200517-northern-cyprus-slams-eu-declaration-on-east-mediterranean/

The premier of Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus (TRNC) on Saturday slammed EU declaration urging Turkey to “respect EU countries’ maritime jurisdiction and sovereignty in territorial waters.”, Anadolu reports.“It is a violation of law and lack of vision that EU still adopts a pro-Greek Cyprus attitude and ignore the rights of Turkish Cypriot and Turkey in Eastern Mediterranean,”said PM Ersin Tatar.He stressed that Turkish Cyprus and Turkey use their international rights to explore hydrocarbon in the Eastern Mediterranean, which is contrary to claims by EU and Greek Cyprus.

 

Rwanda Genocide Suspect Kabuga Arrested in France After Decades on Run

https://thewire.in/world/rwanda-genocide-suspect-felicien-kabuga-arrested-france

Paris: Rwandan genocide suspect Felicien Kabuga, who is accused of funding militias that massacred about 800,000 people, was arrested on Saturday near Paris after 26 years on the run, the French justice ministry said.The 84-year-old, who is Rwanda’s most-wanted man and had a $5 million US bounty on his head, was living under a false identity in a flat in Asnieres-Sur-Seine, according to ministry.French gendarmes arrested him at 0530GMT on Saturday, ministry said.Kabuga was indicted in 1997 on seven criminal counts including genocide, complicity in genocide and incitement to commit genocide, all in relation to 1994 Rwanda genocide, according to UN-established IRMCT.Reuters

 

*views, Articles, FEATURES*

If there's no additional borrowing, there can be no additional expenditure, no fiscal stimulus:P Chidambaram

https://indianexpress.com/article/opinion/columns/the-rs-20-lakh-crore-economic-relief-package-coronavirus-india-economy-migrants-6413392/

Tavleen Singh writes: Humanity needed, not charity

https://indianexpress.com/article/opinion/columns/humanity-needed-not-charity-coronavirus-pandemic-india-migrants-government-6413423/

It has taken the coronavirus crisis to bring out the radical in Modi:Meghnad Desai

https://indianexpress.com/article/opinion/columns/coronavirus-crisis-offers-modi-an-opportunity-6413485/

Why Modi government gets away with lies, and how the opposition could change that:SHIVAM VIJ

https://theprint.in/opinion/why-modi-government-gets-away-with-lies/422211/

Of course the migrant labourers will go back home, for that is where their lives are: Gulzar

https://theprint.in/features/of-course-the-migrant-labourers-will-go-back-home-for-that-is-where-their-lives-are-gulzar/423524/

Modi faces no political costs for suffering he causes. He’s just like Iran’s Ali Khamenei: ASIM ALI

https://theprint.in/opinion/narendra-modi-no-political-costs-suffering-he-causes-iran-ali-khamenei/423355/

Collective failure in protecting the rights of migrant labourers:Dr Farrukh Khan and Somya Mishra

http://twocircles.net/2020may16/436785.html?utm_source=feedburner&utm_medium=email&utm_campaign=Feed%3A+Twocirclesnet-IndianMuslim+%28TwoCircles.net+-+Indian+Muslim+News%29

20-Lakh Crore Package Revealed In Full. The Core Is Hollow:Brinda Karat

https://www.ndtv.com/opinion/in-20-lakh-crore-package-strange-approach-to-self-reliance-2230258?pfrom=home-topstories

Readers respond: Social distancing, Zee News editor Sudhir Chaudhary and drawbacks of on line education

https://www.nationalheraldindia.com/india/readers-respond-social-distancing-zee-news-editor-sudhir-chaudhary-and-drawbacks-of-on-line-education

Wise heads and sane policies in short supply everywhere: post-COVID future is ‘tense’:Umesh Sharma

https://www.nationalheraldindia.com/opinion/wise-heads-and-sane-policies-in-short-supply-everywhere-post-covid-future-is-tense

Breaking Down Modi’s Rs 20 Lakh Crore Package and Its Actual Spend

https://thewire.in/economy/modi-rs-20-lakh-crore-package-actual-spend

Hasty Lockdown, Crawling Relief: From Duty to Charity:Zil Gala

https://thewire.in/rights/hasty-lockdown-crawling-relief-from-duty-to-charity

Lockdown, Shutdown, Breakdown: India's COVID Policy Must Be Driven By Data, Not Fear:Deepak Natarajan

https://thewire.in/health/lockdown-shutdown-breakdown-indias-covid-policy-must-be-driven-by-data-not-fear

I walked with India’s migrant labourers. More than angry, they are hurt with Modi: JYOTI YADAV

https://theprint.in/opinion/pov/i-walked-with-india-migrant-labourers-hurt-with-modi/423643/

Hindutva Outfits Trigger Wave of Islamophobia to Curb ‘Economic Jihad’, BJP MLA Backs #BoycottHalalProducts on Twitter:India.com Viral News Desk, Zarafshan Shiraz

https://www.india.com/viral/hindutva-outfits-trigger-wave-of-islamophobia-to-curb-economic-jihad-bjp-mla-backs-boycotthalalproducts-on-twitter-4030747/

Centre's adoption of coercive federalism over co-operation with states has hampered response to COVID-19, migrant crisis: Prarthana Kashinath

https://www.firstpost.com/india/centres-adoption-of-coercive-federalism-over-co-operation-with-states-has-hampered-response-to-covid-19-migrant-crisis-8376701.html

The walk of indignity: How migrant workers are being exploited on their way back home

https://www.thenewsminute.com/article/walk-indignity-how-migrant-workers-are-being-exploited-their-way-back-home-124724

Those booked by police under draconian laws: Amulya Leona

https://www.nationalheraldindia.com/india/those-booked-by-police-under-draconian-laws-amulya-leona

Those booked by police under draconian laws: Safoora Zargar

https://www.nationalheraldindia.com/india/those-booked-by-police-under-draconian-laws-safoora-zargar

*JIH MEDIA DEPT. Compiled and edited by Anwarulhaq (Released at: 8:47 PM)*

17 May 2020: 23 Ramazan 1441: Vol: 12, No: 211

www.newsdigestdaily.in

*INDIA- CORONAVIRUS- LOCKDOWN*

Lockdown extended till May 31: Inter-state movement of buses allowed; Flights, metro to stay suspended; salons, barber shops, shopping complexes, markets to open

https://www.ndtv.com/india-news/inter-state-movement-of-vehicles-buses-allowed-air-travel-metro-rail-services-to-remain-suspended-in-lockdown-4-0-2230370?pfrom=home-topscroll

https://indianexpress.com/article/india/coronavirus-india-live-news-updates-lockdown-4-guidelines-covid-19-tracker-total-corona-cases-india-covid-19-vaccine-6413516/

Centre has extended the nationwide lockdown for two more weeks until May 31 with significant relaxations. Ministry of Home Affairs today issued new guidelines for 4th phase of lockdown. Prohibition on all public gatherings, closure of schools, malls and restaurants, and suspension of flight and Metro services will remain in force during this phase too. However, MHA has allowed sports complexes to open, possibly clearing the path for the resumption of the training of athletes which came to a halt in mid-March. Furthermore, states and UTs have been given powers to delineate Red, Green and Orange zones as per Covid-19 situation and inter-state movement of passenger vehicles, buses have been allowed with mutual consent of states. District authorities have been directed to demarcate ‘containment’ and ‘buffer’ areas within Red and Orange zones as per Union Health Ministry guidelines. Centre has also retained curfew at night -- from 7 pm to 7 am, but movement of people will be allowed during the daytime. The govt, however, said vulnerable persons, meaning those above the age of 65 and children below 10, persons with chronic illnesses and pregnant women should not go out of doors. For the states, the big change was that they would be allowed to demarcate the red, green and orange zones, which define the concentration of the cases and how much economic activity could take place in area. Local authorities should ensure that shops and markets open with staggered timings, so as to ensure social distancing.  All markets and all shops to open barring those in malls in all zones. States have been given greater freedom in deciding which part of their state should be red, green and orange. In the containment zones, only essential activities shall be allowed. There shall be strict perimeter control to ensure that there is no movement of people in or out of these zones, except for medical emergencies and for maintaining supply of essential goods and services. Guidelines of health ministry shall be taken into consideration for above purpose. Shopping malls will continue to remain closed, govt said.Indianexpress/ NDTV

 

Maharashtra Extends Lockdown Till May 31 as Cases Cross 30,000, No Word on Relaxations Yet

https://www.news18.com/news/india/maharashtra-extends-lockdown-4-till-may-31-mumbai-pune-latest-2623909.html

Ahead of Centre releasing guidelines for phase 4 lockdown, Maharashtra on Sunday decided to extend the lockdown till May 31.Maharashtra Chief Secretary Ajoy Mehta has issued an order notifying extension of the lockdown, an official said. "Calibrated phase-wise relaxation/lifting of lockdown orders will be notified in due course," the order said. Lockdown 4.0 will come into effect on Monday and will be valid till May 31. There will be some relaxations in the fourth phase," he said."The green and orange zones will get more relaxations, in terms of starting more services. As of now only essential services are operational,”he said. news18

 

Tamil Nadu extends lockdown till May 31, curbs eased in 25 districts, factories set to reopen

https://www.indiatoday.in/india/story/tamil-nadu-extends-lockdown-till-may-31-curbs-eased-in-25-districts-factories-set-to-reopen-1678968-2020-05-17

Tamil Nadu also extended lockdown in the state till midnight of May 31 after Punjab and Maharashtra. At present, Tamil Nadu has a little over 10,000 confirmed cases of infection.As per the order issued by Tamil govt, additional relaxations have been issued for 25 districts. In these districts, citizens will not require an e-pass for travelling on a bus within the district. Only 20 people will be allowed to travel in a single govt/private bus, 7 members in large vans, 3 members in SUVs, and 2 members in sedan/compact cars. Taxis have also been given the go-ahead to operate in these districts. In addition, the paper correction work for Class 12 examinations will be allowed to resume.indiatoday

 

Punjab extends lockdown till May 31, but curfew restrictions to go

https://indianexpress.com/article/cities/chandigarh/punjab-extends-lockdown-till-may-31-but-curfew-restrictions-to-go-6413453/

Punjab will lift curfew but will continue with the lockdown till May 31 with maximum possible relaxations, Chief Minister Amarinder Singh said. “From May 18, there will be no curfew in the state. But the lockdown will be there till May 31. Most of the shops and businesses will be allowed to open. We will give more relaxations. Select public transport will also start plying on roads from Monday onwards,” Amarinder said.

 

MHA asks employers to ensure Aarogya Sety app is installed

 https://www.firstpost.com/health/coronavirus-outbreak-live-updates-covid-19-india-today-lockdown-4-0-guidelines-auraiya-truck-accident-migrant-workers-death-count-cases-maharashtra-latest-news-2-8375311.html

With a view to ensuring safety in offices and workplaces, MHA has asked employers to ensure that Aarogya Setu app is installed by all employees having compatible mobile phones. District authorities have also been asked to advise individuals to install the Aarogya Setu application and regularly update their health status on the app.

 

‘Why force download of Aarogya Setu app?’ Private sector employees ask

https://www.thenewsminute.com/article/why-force-download-aarogya-setu-app-private-sector-employees-ask-124726

In early May, Raman*, an employee of Standard Chartered bank in Chennai, received an order from his workplace. With most companies planning to start services in Tamil Nadu at least partially, it was only natural that guidelines and instructions would be given to employees. What Raman didn't expect, however, were mandatory orders to download Aarogya Setu app, which has been launched by the Central Government.The document sent to him while covering other general rules regarding hygiene and safety, also said, "All employees coming to office should download the Aarogya Setu App and make sure they have signed in, as per the Government Guidelines. The App will be checked by security in the office before entry.”"We are still working from home as of now and we will have to see how they react if we don't download the app only when we get to the office," Raman tells TNM. "But why should we be forced to download this app at all?" he asks.Raman's question has been repeated by employees of many companies across the country, who have received mails, documents and even informal instructions asking them to download the Aarogya Setu app. This is a result of an order issued by the Ministry of Home Affairs on May 1, stating that there should be '100% coverage' of Aarogya Setu for employees in the public and private sectors, people in containment zones and those flying in from other countries or arriving by train. The govt has also maintained that companies that do not ensure compliance can face penalties or legal repercussions. However, several experts on privacy and technology have pointed out that the application is not completely secure.thenewsminute

 

61% Indians suffering from mental health issues during lockdown: Survey

https://www.nationalheraldindia.com/national/61-indians-suffering-from-mental-health-issues-during-lockdown-survey

61% Indians are experiencing mental health related issues because of the uncertainty and looming financial crisis during lockdown, said a survey.According to e-Rebooting 2020:A Story of COVID-19, and Shifting Perceptions' survey by Mavericks India, Gen-Z and millennials have been impacted the most with 27% of Gen-Z and 19 % of millennials expressing that the crisis has taken a significant toll on their mental health.Baby boomers are least impacted or perhaps better experienced and prepared to handle crisis. Furthermore, women are struggling more than men as their workload has increased significantly with them carrying multiple responsibilities without any assistance from domestic helpers, survey added.The survey was conducted during the period of April-May, collecting 600 responses via an online survey tool.IANS

 

COVID-19 package worth 1.6% of GDP or ₹ 3.22 lakh crore, not ₹20 lakh crore: Congress

https://www.nationalheraldindia.com/india/covid-19-package-worth-16-of-gdp-or-indian-rupee-322-lakh-crore-not-indian-rupee20-lakh-crore-congress

Congress on Sunday accused govt of misleading people in the name of an economic package and said the measures announced by Centre amounted to only 1.6%of India’s GDP, i.e. worth ₹ 3.22 lakh crore instead of ₹ 20 lakh crore as claimed by Prime Minister.Congress spokesperson Anand Sharma said PM Narendra Modi must “walk the talk” and announce the measures required by giving money in hands of the poor and small and medium enterprises to help reboot the economy.He noted that there was a difference between providing stimulus to the economy and merely giving loans and credit to people. Sharma, a former Union Minister, challenged Union Finance Minister for a debate on the package while raising questions about the announcements made by PM.“Govt’s economic package is only of ₹3.22 lakh crore and is only 1.6% of India’s GDP and is not worth ₹20 lakh crore as announced by PM,” Sharma said while addressing a press conference. “I am questioning the Finance Minister, disputing the announcement of Prime Minister and challenging the government to disprove me on the numbers given by me and am ready for a debate with the finance minister,” he said.nationalheraldindia

 

Modi govt’s package is worth Rs 21 lakh crore, but fiscal hit will only be Rs 2 lakh crore around 1.2% GDP

https://theprint.in/economy/modi-govts-package-is-worth-rs-21-lakh-crore-but-fiscal-hit-will-only-be-rs-2-lakh-crore/423721/

Headline number from India’s economic package to combat the impact of Covid-19 is Rs 21 lakh crore, but the actual fiscal hit will only be around Rs 2-2.5 lakh crore, according to economists and ThePrint’s own calculations. The figure of Rs 2-2.5 lakh crore comes to around 1 to 1.2 per cent of India’s GDP. The package, the last part of which was announced by Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman over the last five days beginning Wednesday, includes all the measures announced by the government and the Reserve Bank of India to provide a reprieve to various sectors of the economy, which have been reeling since the beginning of lockdown on 25 March. A substantial part of the package goes towards providing credit and liquidity support to individuals and businesses, with cash transfers and free food grains to most vulnerable and needy coming to around Rs 1 lakh crore. Asked about the total fiscal impact of the economic package and how the government will finance it, Sitharaman Sunday said at this time, it is important to look at where this money is going. “I want you to look at where this money is going. It is going into asset creation, into meeting people’s daily spending requirements, to prevent companies from shutting down, to ensure people don’t lose their jobs,”finance minister said. “We are not splurging, we are being responsible.”

 

Economic package: RSS-affiliated trade union slams fourth tranche, says there’s a ‘dearth of ideas’

https://scroll.in/latest/962162/economic-package-rss-affiliated-trade-union-slams-fourth-tranche-says-theres-a-dearth-of-ideas

RSS-affiliated trade union Bharatiya Mazdoor Sangh has hit out at Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman’s measures to boost several sectors through liberalisation of norms and increased privatisation, saying it shows “dearth of ideas on economic revival in times of crisis”.Earlier in day, Sitharaman announced measures to introduce commercial mining in the coal sector, liberalise mineral sector, ease airspace restrictions and encourage private involvement in space and atomic energy projects. This was 4round of announcements related to Centre’s Rs 20 lakh crore economic relief package to prop up ailing economy amid the coronavirus. BMS General Secretary Vrijesh Upadhyay said in a statement that there was a need to find novel ways to revive the economy and use “not failed ideas”. “It is a sad day for the nation and its people, who were on a euphoria hearing the first three days’ announcements,” the BMS added. “Govt saying it has no option except privatisation is a show of dearth of ideas on economic revival in times of crisis.” Upadhyay said that public sector played a “crucial role” amid coronavirus crisis when the “private players and market were paralysed”. BMS added that decisions were taken without consultation and dialogue with trade unions, social representatives and stakeholders, showing a “lack of confidence in their [govt’s] own ideas”.scroll

 

Final tranche of economic package:states' borrowing limits raised conditionally from 3% to 5% of state GDP, says FM

https://www.thehindu.com/news/national/nirmala-sitharaman-press-conference-live-updates-fm-to-announce-fifth-phase-of-economic-package/article31605909.ece?homepage=true

Union Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman, today, said that the focus of the fifth and final tranche of economic package will be on reforms.She said the package would focus on seven steps that are being taken by government with regard to reforms in MGNREGS, healthcare and education, businesses, de-criminalisation of Companies Act, ease of doing business, public sector undertakings,and resources related to State government.The Union Minister had earlier made four announcements on the Aatmanirbhar Bharat Abhiyan stimulus package on Wednesday, Thursday, Friday, and Saturday. The Hindu's Deputy Editor Priscilla Jebaraj is reporting on today's press conference from Delhi.

 

As migrant workers die on roads, FM talks about FDI, space, commercial mining; netizens call it ‘shameless’

https://www.nationalheraldindia.com/india/as-migrant-workers-die-on-roads-fm-talks-about-fdi-space-commercial-mining-netizens-call-it-shameless

Union Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman addressed the media for the fourt consecutive time as part of the much touted Rs 20 lakh crores package amid the economic crisis that’s looming large on the country due to the lockdown to prevent the spread of coronavirus infection. And for the fourth consecutive time, the finance minister did not at all mention the poor and destitute migrant workers who have been walking back home on foot due to the crisis created by lockdown. Despite many measures announced by the government these migrants are forced to walk thousands of kilometres to reach their native villages and hundreds of them have been killed in road accidents.Instead, the finance minister talked about: Privatisation, mega push to mining, defence, civil aviation and power distribution sectors, FDI etc.  Along with these announcements which have no direct or immediate relief for the poor, jobless and migrants, the social media was quick to notice that ruling BJP happened to celebrate six years in govt on Saturday. The celebrations of ruling BJP, ‘promising’ announcements of the finance minister juxtaposed with the thousands of starving migrants walking back home for days prompted netizens to respond sarcastically. Soon, ‘ShamelessBJP’ started trending on Twitter.  Congress too questioned these announcements and raised pertinent questions: After the package that was announced today, will even a single penny go into pocket of 8 crore migrant labourers, farmers, 7 crore grocery shopkeepers or middle class? What will 14 crore people who lost their jobs get?Senior Congress leader Jairam Ramesh called finance minister’s announcements ‘bizarre’. In a series of tweets he slammed the government for not announcing a single measure which could increase demand and called it a ‘cruel joke’. nationalheraldindia

 

119 killed, countless stuck: On anniversary, a shadow on road

https://indianexpress.com/article/india/119-killed-countless-stuck-on-anniversary-a-shadow-on-the-road-6413635/

New Delhi : Saturday marked sixth anniversary of Modi govt’s coming to power but hanging over celebrations by the party were images of the tragedy in Auraiya and from across the nation. Of hapless migrants on the road with no succour in sight. Pushed by the economic distress in the cities and drawn by the reassurance of safety at home in rural Bihar, UP and Odisha, countless have hit highways across country. BJP launched a social media video, “6 saal, bemisaal”, to highlight achievements of the government and there is a sense of relief over the national Covid figures. But there is also disquiet in a section of the party and the government, at Centre and its govts in UP and Bihar, over the lack of anticipation of this crisis which many think will snowball as the stage is set for a further easing of the lockdown. First, Centre attempted to shift the blame on to states, especially those ruled by Opposition– thus, a day after Railway Minister Piyush Goel accused West Bengal, Jharkhand, Chhattisgarh, and Rajasthan of not allowing Shramik Special trains to bring back migrants, Housing and Urban Affairs Minister Hardeep Singh Puri posted on Twitter that “Auraiya accident. underlines the necessity for stakeholders, including receiving states, to ease restrictions for all affected people, particularly migrants& allow limited air, road & rail connections”. With the deaths in Auraiya, number of migrant workers killed on the roads in the last 54 days has reached 134. The majority of these deaths have occurred in the third phase of the lockdown that began on May 4. Since May 6, at least 96 migrants have been killed in 19 different incidents on the roads and railway tracks, news reports show. Until Saturday night, over 1,000 Shramik Specials had ferried around 15 lakh migrants around the country. But that seemingly large number is still a drop in ocean – Economic Survey of India 2016-17 estimated size of migrant workforce in the country at over 10 crore. For the govt, a specific concern has been that most of migrants have been seeking to move out from Red zones of the big cities to Green zones of their towns and villages, where the case load of the pandemic continues to be low. Allowing them to travel would increase the risk of virus spreading, and threaten the already fragile health infrastructure of some of India’s poorest states.BJP leaders from states conceded enormity of migrant crisis. Several of these leaders expressed concern that “intensity” of crisis may not have been entirely revealed yet. indianexpress

 

UP Govt withdraws controversial order of 12-hour shifts for industrial unit workers after notice from Allahabad HC

https://www.news18.com/news/india/up-govt-withdraws-controversial-order-of-12-hour-shifts-for-industrial-unit-workers-after-notice-from-allahabad-hc-2622415.html

Uttar Pradesh government has withdrawn its controversial order of 12-hour shifts for workers in industrial units, against the usual 8-hour day, after a notice from the Allahabad High Court. A separate govt order related to working hours has been withdrawing following a PIL in the high court. This is, however, going to have no impact on the recently amended labour laws since the order to enhance working hours was separate from the ordinance amending the laws. As part of its strategy to attract investments from China post Covid-19 disruptions, UP government had, through an ordinance, sought to amend all but 4 labour laws in the state.news18

 

Students in Delhi threaten to hit the road

https://www.telegraphindia.com/india/coronavirus-lockdown-students-in-delhi-threaten-to-hit-the-road/cid/1773522

New Delhi:  So far it has been migrant workers who have hit the road. Now it’s students who want to leave. Stories of wait and rising impatience have been tumbling out from among the student community, as lockdown entered its 53rd day on Saturday.On Thursday, several students from Kerala studying in Delhi threatened to walk at least 2,200km back home from the capital if the government of the southern state did not arrange for train tickets. Sneha Sarah Shaji, who studies politics at Hindu College and is a national coordinator of Congress’s National Students Union of India, explained that many students had registered online with Department of Non-Resident Keralites Affairs (Norka) for a passage back home. At another end of the country, CPM central committee member M.Y. Tarigami wrote to Jammu and Kashmir lieutenant-governor G.C. Murmu on Friday asking his administration to respond to repeated requests of stranded students for a passage back home. Danish Shafi Kana, from Sopore, who is now staying with his brother at Shaheen Bagh, is one such student. Danish, who studies in Jaipur, had come to Delhi just before the lockdown to meet his brother, Ubaid, who studies in Jamia.telegraphindia

 

Coronavirus: Centre launches portal to monitor movement of migrants, asks states to upload details

https://scroll.in/latest/962150/coronavirus-centre-launches-portal-to-monitor-movement-of-migrants-asks-states-to-upload-details

Centre on Saturday launched an online dashboard to monitor and streamline the movement of migrant workers across states amid nationwide lockdown. In a letter, Union Home Secretary Ajay Bhalla urged states to upload details of migrants on the dashboard and to utilise system as the portal will maintain a repository. “To capture the information regarding movement of migrants and facilitate their smooth movement across states, National Disaster Management Authority has developed an online dashboard – National Migrant Information System – on existing NDMA-GIS portal,” Bhalla said.

 

WPI condemns rolling back of labour laws

https://www.siasat.com/welfare-party-india-condemns-rolling-back-labour-laws-1889501/

New Delhi: Welfare Party of India strongly condemned the rolling back of labour laws and undermining workers’ right to attract investors. National President of Welfare Party of India, Dr SQR Ilyas said in a media release, “Even though poorly implemented, protections enshrined in lbaour laws served as safeguards for workers and trade unions, dismantling them would leave millions of workers acutely vulnerable,” He added.He stated during this unprecedented situation of pandemic lockdown which was devoid of contingency, planning and preparation has upended the lives of thousands of working class who lost their livelihood.

 

SC faces massive criticism for providing relief to Arnab Goswami but refusing to entertain plea on migrant workers

http://www.jantakareporter.com/entertainment/supreme-court-faces-massive-criticism-for-providing-relief-to-arnab-goswami-but-refusing-to-entertain-plea-on-migrant-workers-madras-hc-judge-says-one-cannot-control-his-her-tears/290750/

Gut-wrenching observation by a Madras High Court judge on the plight of poor migrant workers across India during the nationwide lockdown has prompted many to target the Supreme Court, which last week refused to entertain a public interest litigation on the matter. This was after a Madras High Court judge said that ‘one cannot control his/her tears after seeing the pathetic condition of migrant labourers shown in the media for the past one month.’ Many were quick to draw a parallel between the haste shown by the SC to provide relief to Republic TV founder Arnab Goswami and the top court’s refusal to hear a petition on the woes of hundreds of thousands of migrant workers, currently stranded across the country. The tragic death of 24 migrant workers in Auraiya on Saturday and scathing observation of Madras High Court on the plight of migrant workers brought more prominence to the topic of the Supreme Court’s perceived double-standard on social media. Many took to Twitter to criticise the Supreme Court for its incredible haste shown in providing relief to controversial TV anchor Arnab Goswami after multiple FIRs were filed against him for inciting communal tension in the country. Not only did the top court entertain Goswami’s plea out of turn, but it had also wasted no time in providing the Republic TV founder a 3-week relief from arrest. Noted lawyer Prashant Bhushan had written on Twitter, “The lightning speed with which Arnab Goswami’s petition was listed and heard by the SC, in contrast to other really urgent cases of migrant workers. Is there a method to this madness? Are there any rules, norms, systems really in place for urgent hearing?”Now Twitterati are raising similar questions in light of the SC’s refusal to entertain a plea on migrant workers. jantakareporter

 

For every dead in Auraiya accident, a lakh are waiting to return home

https://indianexpress.com/article/india/for-every-dead-in-auraiya-accident-a-lakh-are-waiting-to-return-home-6413641/

Ranchi :For every migrant worker who died in Auraiya road accident, a lakh more are waiting to return to their native homes in states. On May 2, Jharkhand started an online portal asking its stranded people to register if they want to travel back home. Between May 2 and May 14, 6.92 lakh people registered, according to an official in the state’s labour department. “More than 10 lakh people are stranded in various states. The number of registrations are only expected to increase,” official said.Bihar, UP, West Bengal, Rajasthan and Odisha are some of the other states besides Jharkhand which primarily feed the labour markets in Maharashtra, Gujarat and the southern states including Tamil Nadu, Karnataka, Telangana and Kerala.Many migrant workers do not want to wait to return home, especially since they Shramik Special trains have not been able to meet the huge demand. Caught in this fight between the Centre and states, and finding no means to return to the safety of their homes, migrant workers have started to walk. Some 2.5 lakh migrant workers from West Bengal, 2.69 lakh from Chhattisgarh, 10 lakh from Uttar Pradesh, 5.5 lakh from Rajasthan, and 2.7 lakh from Bihar are believed to be stuck either in rented spaces, or shelter homes, or to be just on the roads walking through the night.indianexpress

 

How citizens helping migrants stranded by lockdown

https://indianexpress.com/article/express-sunday-eye/citizens-helping-migrants-stranded-coronavirus-lockdown-6412617/

“Someone on our WhatsApp alumni group posted about a group of workers from Madhya Pradesh running out of food. When they had stepped out to fetch food, they were beaten back by the police,” says Miriam Koshy, an artist based in Dona Paula. It was 5 days into the lockdown, and all of Goa was struggling. But the worst-hit were inter-state workers, spread across the state in little clusters, who had fallen off the govt’s radar, and been abandoned by their employers. Koshy headed out to the colony with a batch of dry rations, the little she could organise in a few hours. As word spread among workers, the calls for help became a deluge. Since then, Koshy and her team of volunteers – a mix of data scientists and researchers, architects and artists – have been raising funds, packing food and sending them out to labour colonies across north Goa. Till date, they have packed 12,687 dry ration packets for 4,000 daily-wage workers. As stranded workers and vulnerable families run out of food, cash and patience, citizen-led initiatives, running out of living rooms and college halls, mapping out the needy via WhatsApp group chats and Google spreadsheets, have stepped in this wide breach. Volunteers and members of civil society organisations have spent hours listening to people in distress, rustling up meals for over 100 people in their tiny home kitchens, and coaxing government officials to send relief, when they have failed. In a report filed with the Supreme Court in April, Centre submitted that NGOs across the country had served 30.11 lakh meals during the first phase of lockdown – in many states, they were ahead of the govt in providing this relief. When he heard of construction workers from Bihar “eating raw wheat flour mixed with water and masala” in Bandra’s Kherwadi area, Karthikeyan KN, 34, used social media to raise money. The head of analytics and product management at a payment solutions firm, he collected Rs 2.5 lakh to supply ration to 40,000 adults for 2 weeks. He then plunged into field work with Khaana Chahiye, a citizen-led initiative. Every day, he steps out at 7.30 am to pick up food packets and deliver them to Dharavi, Kurla, Chembur, Govandi and Mahul. “Once I started seeing the ground reality, I understood the meaning of privilege,” he says.In Mumbai, where the coronavirus infections are galloping away, an extensive network of kitchens, delivery personnel, grassroots NGOs and local volunteers, are working to help the hungry. Rotary Club of Mumbai Queen’s Necklace alone has served over 60 lakh hot meals and food kits across Mumbai, Thane and Palghar, distributed through partner NGOs. Retail entrepreneur Juveca Panda has joined hands with non-profit Youth for Unity and Voluntary Action (YUVA) to distribute 8 lakh cooked meals to frontline workers, migrant workers and Bhiwandi’s power loom workers. IHCL, which owns Taj, Vivanta and Ginger brand of hotels, provided meals for healthcare workers as well as stranded migrant workers in New Delhi, Mumbai, Bengaluru, Coimbatore and Agra.In Delhi, where Feb. riots had already pushed many families into financial distress, lockdown has been a double blow. “Many homes were burnt during the riots. Some middle-class families were reduced to zero. Had they not been affected so badly, they could have survived this lockdown,” says Amir Siddiqui of Project Umeed, which runs 43 relief centres all over Delhi. “We started dropping dry ration kits at the mosque. They find it more comfortable to take it from the imam than to accept charity,” he says.  Indianexpress

 

‘Ek chappal de do sahib,’ plead migrants as their feet bleed

https://www.nationalheraldindia.com/india/ek-chappal-de-do-sahib-plead-migrants-as-their-feet-bleed

"Khana to mil jayega, sahib ek purani chappal de do," said Tiloki Kumar (32) as he showed the boils and cuts on his feet. Tiloki is one of thousands who have been walking down to their homes from Gujarat and other states.Tiloki, a resident of Pipraich in Gorakhpur, said that he worked in a garment unit in Surat and had decided to walk down after he could not get on to the train."I got myself registered for the Shramik train and waited for a week. No one called up and finally we decided to walk back home. It is better to die at home than in an unknown place," he said.He said his slippers had given way even before he entered borders of UP.IANS

 

Bhag yahan se: Locals treated us like dogs, migrant workers recall journey of over 1,000 km

https://www.indiatoday.in/india/story/migrant-workers-walking-hometowns-tiresome-journey-coronavirus-covid19-lockdown-1678954-2020-05-17

Kolkata: 72-year-old Kapil Dev Singh is sitting on highway, sipping water to quench his thirst as the scorching sun rips him apart with the heat and sweat. After walking more than 1,000 km at this age, he has forgotten how much distance he has covered in the last 5 days of his journey from Telengana to Bengal. Even though, he has travelled more than 1,400 km, lost all his savings, a hard 600-km journey is still left before he can reach his home in Bihar. Kapil Dev had been working as a cook and doubling up for miscellaneous work at a rice mill in Khammam area of Telangana. The mill stopped operations during the lockdown and the workers were left to fend for themselves. indiatoday

 

After 3 Days Of Journey Home, 60-Yr-Old Migrant Dies Of Hunger In UP

https://www.ndtv.com/india-news/coronavirus-lockdown-after-3-days-of-journey-home-60-year-old-migrant-dies-of-hunger-in-up-2230291?pfrom=home-topstories

Lucknow: A 60-year-old migrant worker died in Uttar Pradesh possibly due to starvation this morning, according to officials, three days after he began his journey to home with a few family members from Maharashtra. The last "proper meal" he took was on Friday after he started traveling, according to his relatives. Vikram had hitched a ride on a truck with some of his family members from Maharashtra on Thursday. They got off at UP's Kannauj district, about 120 km from state capital Lucknow, at around 3 am today. As they began walking towards their hometown in Hardoi district, Vikram collapsed on the road after walking less than a kilometre.

 

Gujarat employers force migrants to pay for train tickets, Chhattisgarh govt orders probe

https://www.indiatoday.in/india/story/gujarat-employers-force-migrants-to-pay-for-train-tickets-chhattisgarh-govt-orders-probe-1678967-2020-05-17

Raipur: 71 migrant labourers who returned to Bilaspur in Chhattisgarh from Gandhinagar in Gujarat by a special train early this week have claimed their employers took money from them for the commute, an official said on Sunday. A state government release said a probe was ordered by the collector into the allegations, and a report has been submitted by the latter to the secretary of the state labour department.The matter came to light after statements of workers, staying in quarantine centres, were recorded.PTI

 

'Strict lockdown in Ranchi's Hindpiri created problems for pregnant ladies, elderly, ailing', Muslim organisations say keep curbs but with some ease

https://www.telegraphindia.com/states/jharkhand/coronavirus-lockdown-keep-curbs-but-with-some-ease-demands-muslim-social-and-voluntary-organisations-in-ranchi/cid/1773537

Ranchi: Muslim social and voluntary organisations in the capital demanded lockdown relaxations in Hindpiri, which has been made a containment zone since March 30 as the highest number of coronavirus cases in Jharkhand surfaced from this locality. So far, 70 infections have been detected from Hindpiri ever since the pandemic reached Jharkhand in March. According to members of organisations, strict lockdown has made life of Hindpiri residents, around 70,000 in number, a living hell, and the “negative propaganda” about them has hurt them. They have appealed to state to only keep those lanes where the most number of infections were found as containment zones while freeing other parts to ensure a semblance of normal life. General secretary of Edar-e-Sharia, Maulana Qutubuddin Rizvi, said his organisation had given a memo to chief minister Hemant Soren on this demand on Friday during the ongoing Ramzan. “The strict lockdown has created grave problems for pregnant ladies, the elderly and the ailing, as well as all the people residing in Hindpiri. Even healthy young people of the locality are under mental pressure over the way negative propaganda is being spread about one community being responsible for the spread of the virus,” Rizvi said.Nadeem Khan, who is convener of a social and philanthropic organisation, Lahu Bolega, echoed the same. telegraphindia

 

160 madrassa students from North East states sent home

https://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/city/bareilly/160-madrassa-students-from-north-east-states-sent-home/articleshow/75767192.cms

Bareilly: Days after 19 Kashmiri traders and workers, who were stranded in UP's Moradabad, were sent back home ahead of Eid Al-Fitr, now at least 160 madrassa students from the North Eaststudying in Rampur-based educational institutions were sent to their home states.Local admn said that 600 students from different districts of UP, Bihar and NorthEast states such as Meghalaya, Assam and Manipur were studying in various madrassas in Rampur. SDM of Tanda in Rampur, Gaurav Kumar, said that 600 students enrolled in madrassas were still stuck in the city and they were desperate to return to their respective places since no classes were going on. And Eid was approaching. District's minority welfare officer Mohammad Khalid told TOI that of 321 madrassas running in Rampur, nearly 10,000 students, mostly from North East, are enrolled here. Apart from 600, all others have already left for their home state.TOI

 

Lucknow: 90 stranded madrassa students leave for home

https://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/city/lucknow/90-stranded-madrassa-students-leave-for-home/articleshow/75768096.cms

Lucknow: As many as 90 students of a Lucknow madrassa were sent to their homes in other states in buses on Friday.The students, aged 8-16 years, were stranded since the lockdown began on March 25. While 84 students belonged to Bihar, three each were from West Bengal and Jharkhand. All these students were studying at Arabia Khadmul Uloom in Akbarnagar locality of Mahanagar.As the relived children walked out of the madrassa hostel with heavy bags, people showered rose petals on them on Akbarpur Road. While the children were overjoyed after weeks of isolation, they forgot to follow social distancing norms while celebrations peaked.TOI

 

Visakhapatnam: Police beat up doctor who complained about lack of PPE kits, drag him on street

https://scroll.in/latest/962177/visakhapatnam-police-beat-up-doctor-who-complained-about-lack-of-ppe-kits-drag-him-on-street

The police in Visakhapatnam in Andhra Pradesh on Saturday roughed up a doctor, tied his hands and dragged him on the road for allegedly creating nuisance and abusing the state government in an inebriated condition, HT reported. The officers tied Dr Sudhakar’s hands and bundled him into an autorickshaw before taking him to the police station.The video of Dr K Sudhakar, bare-chested and being dragged on the street by a police constable, went viral on social media. Sudhakar, an anesthesiologist at Narsipatnam Government Hospital, was suspended earlier this month after he alleged that the state was not providing an adequate number of Personal Protective Equipment and N95 masks to doctors combating the coronavirus pandemic. Commissioner of Police RK Meena announced that the constable in question has been suspended pending inquiry.

During 'Hate', 'Lockdown', Kamaldeep, Akram provide 'iftar', cooked food to poor people in Delhi's Narela

http://www.indiatomorrow.net/eng/in-the-season-of-hate-and-lockdown-kamaldeep-suri-and-akram-chaudhary-provide-iftar-and-cooked-food-to-poor-people-in-delhis-narela-area

New Delhi:At a time when Muslims are coming under mob attacks and boycott of their businesses following hate campaign launched by a majority of the mainstream media groups and a sea of hate videos being circulated on social media against them, Kamaldeep Suri and Mohammed Akram Chaudhary of Narela, on outskirts of Delhi, bordering Sonepat district of Haryana, have presented a unique example of working together and serving poor, irrespective of their faith.Ever since lockdown was announced to check the spread of coronavirus, Suri and Chaudhary took upon themselves the responsibility to feed the poor people in and around Kuraini village, adjoining Narela Industrial Estate, with a majority of residents being poor Muslims. 2 friends initially provided cooked food one time daily after the announcement of lockdown. After the commencement of Ramzan on April 25, the duo also began providing ‘iftar’ to the Muslim population. Neither Suri nor Chaudhary disclosed who is paying for the expenses, but Chaudhary’s friends say that almost entire expenses on the food and ‘iftar’ is being borne by Suri himself.India Tomorrow

 

Muslim clerics advise no hugs, no handshakes this Eid

https://www.outlookindia.com/newsscroll/prominent-muslim-clerics-advise-no-hugs-no-handshakes-this-eid/1836509

New Delhi:Prominent Muslim clerics on Saturday advised the community members not to hug each other and shake hands on Eid on May 26 and maintain social distancing and other norms while celebrating the festival in view of the coronavirus scare across the country."Eid comes again and again but this is not the case with coronavirus. Since entire world is at present battling coronavirus, the happiness of Eid is in not hugging each other and not shaking hands this time over," said Dr Imam Umer Ahmed Ilyasi, Chief of All India Imam Organisation.He pointed out that the ritual of hugging each other was to mend fences with ones whom we may not be on cordial terms with earlier on.Jama Masjid Shahi Imam Ahmed Bukhari said there was need to take all precautions since coronavirus cases were increasing in the country. He said conveying Eid greetings through phones would be fine in the given situation.Bukhari said that we all need to adhere to the guidelines issued by WHO and medical experts to save ourselves, our kith and kin, and fellow countrymen. Lucknow Idgah Imam Maulana Khalid Rashid Firangi Mahali also appealed to the community members to observe social distancing on Eid while greeting each other. Agra Jama Masjid Imam Irfanullah Nizam also emphasised the need to observe all health precautions on Eid.IANS

 

Muslims for ‘quieter’ Eid, fear community can be targeted if gatherings lead to spike in Covid cases

https://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/city/bareilly/muslims-for-quieter-eid-fear-community-can-be-targeted-if-gatherings-lead-to-spike-in-covid-cases/articleshow/75781478.cms

Bareilly: With Covid-19 cases refuse to die down, Muslims in Shahjahanpur have decided to have a “quieter Eid” and limit their exchange of greetings mostly to social media, fearing that large gatherings may increase the risk of infection and the community could be targeted for Covid spike. Divulging details, Shahjahanpur Eidgah Committee secretary Sayed Qasim Raza said the decision was taken by the members at a recent meeting of the committee. “The pandemic is gradually gripping our country. Our mosques are closed and we have been offering prayers at home. Thus, we have decided not to go out for buying clothes or shopping. Eid will be a quieter affair this year.”Mohammed Aadil, a mobile shop owner, told TOI, “We don’t want news channels to debate that the Covid cases surged due to the Eid gatherings. For us, there is no Eid without ‘Alvida’ (main Eid namaz prayer). We can’t hug each other, can’t invite people, can’t read ‘tarawih’ prayers in groups and will not be able to follow all the guidelines of Ramzan. People are dying of coronavirus and the future is uncertain. So, all my relatives have decided not to buy clothes and rather support people in need.”TOI   

Lockdown: Mumbai Congress minority leader asks Muslims to forego Eid celebrations, help needy

https://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/city/mumbai/mumbai-congress-minority-leader-asks-muslims-to-forego-eid-celebrations-help-the-needy/articleshow/75774596.cms

Mumbai: Congress Minority department (Mumbai) vice-chairman Mudassar Patel has urged Muslims to forego Eid celebrations. He had appealed to the community to help the needy affected by the coronavirus-induced lockdown with the money they would have spent on the festivities. Eid will be celebrated on May24. "People have lost jobs and incurred loss in businesses due to the lockdown. Daily wagers like masons, plumbers, construction workers are hardest hit. Money should be spent in helping them and not on shopping and preparing lavish dishes on Eid," said Patel. While asking community members not to break the lockdown rules in the name of Eid shopping, he said defeating the pandemic and saving life should be the priority today. "If life is saved, Eid will come again. Social distancing should be maintained and needy should be reached out with help," he said.Patel who has distributed over 7,000 ration kits in Mumbai city and suburbs demanded that the government should give interest-free loans of minimum Rs 2 lakh to SMEs to restart their shut businesses.TOI

 

Give Ramzan packs to poor Muslims: Hyderabad Cong to CM KCR

https://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/city/hyderabad/give-ramzan-packs-to-poor-muslims-cong/articleshow/75782590.cms

Hyderabad: Congress has demanded that the government distribute free Ramzan packs comprising sevaiyyan, sugar, milk and ghee to poor Muslims along with rice and other essential commodities. State Congress minorities cell chairman Shaik Abdullah Sohail, in a letter to CM KCR, said due to extended lockdown, poor Muslims do not have any money left to buy items required to prepare sheer-khorma, the Id-ul-Fitr sweet dish.

 

Muslims help perform last rites of Sikh man in J-K’s Ganderbal amidst Covid-19 lockdown

https://www.timesnownews.com/india/article/muslims-help-perform-last-rites-of-sikh-man-in-j-k-s-ganderbal-amidst-covid-19-lockdown/592830

Srinagar: Members of Muslim community helped in performing the last rites of their Sikh neighbour in Ganderbal district of Jammu and Kashmir as relatives of the deceased could not reach the place due to the nationwide lockdown to check the virus spread. Sikh man, identified as Ranveer Singh, is a resident of Punjab and had died a few days ago, the officials said. Singh, who was working as a carpenter in Wakura area of Ganderbal district of central Kashmir, was living in the village about 35 km from Srinagar along with a few colleagues at a rented accommodation.Locals informed the police about his death and made arrangements for performing his last rites, the officials said. Singh was cremated in the presence of officials of the civil and police administration, PTI quoted Wakura Tehsildar Ghulam Mohammad Bhat as saying.  timesnownews

 

Vadodara burial ground running out of space; no death toll update from VMC

https://indianexpress.com/article/india/vadodara-burial-ground-running-out-of-space-no-death-toll-update-from-vmc-6413700/

Vadodara:Matariya Qabristan, designated Covid-19 Islamic cemetery in Vadodara, now has space for only 20 more burials. Until May 5, the land had seen 18 burials, 16 of which were confirmed cases from Vadodara city. Since then, cemetery has seen at least eight more deceased being put to rest following Covid-19 burial protocol.Zakir Saiyed, who oversees burials at Matariya Qabrastan, said the burial ground has four 15-feet-deep graves ready at any point of the day, measuring five feet by 10 feet in size as per the Covid-19 protocol. There were at least four burials as per the protocol on May 13 and 14, he added. Saiyed said, “In the last one week, there have been at least eight burials. I am not aware what the authorities have decided, but whenever a body is brought here from the community, we accord it a respectful burial in line with the protocol. They do not give us any tally.”

 

Gujarat horror: 70 year old found dead on the sidewalk, was admitted in hospital for COVID

https://www.nationalheraldindia.com/india/gujarat-horror-70-year-old-found-dead-on-the-sidewalk-was-admitted-in-hospital-for-covid

According to a Scroll.in report, Gunvant Makwana, who was found dead at a bus stop, was admitted to Ahmedabad Civil Hospital’s COVID-19 isolation ward on May 10 because he had respiratory problems and showed other symptoms of COVID-19. His samples were taken for Coronavirus test and he tested positive later. His family members were forced to carry his body themselves without any protective gear, they said.Kirti Makwana, a labourer at a textile mill, son of Gunvant Makwana said, “For three days I had no idea about my father’s condition, because no one is allowed to visit the isolation ward and the hospital had told me to go home.”“The police had found my father’s body lying at Danilimda BRTS stop at 3 am the previous night, and they took it to SVP hospital. When my family reached there, the post-mortem was already done, but we have not yet received the report. They say he died of COVID, but we have no idea when or where,” Makwana said.Kirti Makwana has claimed that the family was given no body bag or ambulance to take the body to a crematorium.

 

Meerut: 2 held in encounter on charges of cow slaughter, test positive for Covid-19

https://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/city/meerut/two-miscreants-held-in-encounter-test-ve-for-covid-19/articleshow/75781700.cms

MEERUT: 2 who were held following an encounter with the local police on charges of cow slaughter and were kept at a temporary jail in Meerut district have now tested positive for Covid-19.Temporary jails had actually come up to keep foreign and domestic jamaat members who were discharged after their isolation period. The two miscreants were initially taken to district hospital - soon after the encounter on May 2.The duo were treated for their bullet injury and later shifted to the temporary jail which has come up inside campus of an engineering college. According to Meerut jail superintendent BD Pandey, there are 113 inmates at the temporary jail and the duo, asymptomatic, were tested postitive following medical examination."As per directions of the officials, suspects arrested in fresh cases are kept in temporary jail initially and are shifted to permanent facility only after they test negative. The duo who were arrested following an encounter in the region were in the facility and tested positive," BD Pandey, jail superintendent, said.

 

*CORONAVIRUS – WORLD*

Global Covid-19 updates: Spain coronavirus deaths below 100 after two months

https://www.aljazeera.com/news/2020/05/brazil-surpasses-spain-coronavirus-cases-live-updates-200516231547355.html

Spain's daily death toll from the coronavirus is 87, the health ministry has said, dropping below 100 for the first time in two months.Burundi is pushing ahead with an election on Wednesday that will end President Pierre Nkurunziza's divisive and bloody 15-year rule. But the coronavirus poses a threat to May 20 vote, and the government has kicked out WHO workers after concerns were raised.Former President Barack Obama has criticised US leaders for the handling of the coronavirus response, telling college graduates in an online commencement address that the pandemic shows many officials "aren't even pretending to be in charge". Globally, more than 4.6 million people have been infected and over 312,000 have died from COVID-19, according to Johns Hopkins University. Almost 1.7 million people have recovered. aljazeera

 

Egypt tightens coronavirus restrictions for Eid holiday

https://www.middleeastmonitor.com/20200517-egypt-tightens-coronavirus-restrictions-for-eid-holiday/

Egypt will bring forward the start of its curfew by 4 hours to 5 p.m. and halt public transport from May 24 for 6 days during the Eid holiday, as it seeks to curb the spread of the new coronavirus, the prime minister said on Sunday, Reuters reports.Shops, restaurants, parks and beaches will be closed for the extended holiday at the end of holy Muslim month of Ramadan, and restrictions on citizens’ movements will remain in place for at least two weeks afterwards, Prime Minister Mostafa Madbouly said.Egypt has reported 11,719 cases of the novel coronavirus, including 612 deaths. Daily increases in the number of cases have been rising as the government slightly eased a night curfew and other measures. The number of cases rose by 491 on Saturday, the Health Ministry said.Madbouly indicated that there could be a gradual reopening of some activities including sports clubs and restaurants from mid-June, and that a reopening of places of worship would also be considered.MEMO

 

*INDIA- ISLAMOPHOBIA, HUMAN RIGHTS & OTHERS*

Indian Troops Being Reinforced In Ladakh After Face-Off With China

https://www.ndtv.com/india-news/indian-troops-being-reinforced-in-ladakh-after-face-off-with-china-2230193?pfrom=home-topstories

New Delhi: Ladakh is being closely monitored and Indian troops are being reinforced along the border with reports of China pitching tents near river Galwan -- a 1962 flashpoint that has seen aggression in recent days -- and increasing construction activities. Reports reaching New Delhi indicate that China is increasing its presence along LAC, the de facto border between the 2, which has compelled India to fortify its strength."We are also compelled to increase our presence along that area as in last few days numbers of soldiers across LAC have increased," a senior functionary in Govt of India told NDTV. The officer said though the area had a history of face offs, worryingly for the establishment, this time it has gone beyond a week. "It is normal but as it has gone well beyond a week, we are also reinforcing ourselves," he said. Reports reaching Delhi indicate that Chinese have set up tents near the river Galwan, where Chinese troops in 1962 surrounded an Indian army post, escalating tension and setting up one of the triggers of the Indo-China war. 

 

Jamia Student Chandan Kumar Grilled For 3 Days in Connection With Anti-CAA Protests

http://www.indiatomorrow.net/eng/jamia-student-chandan-kumar-grilled-for-three-days-in-connection-with-anti-caa-protests

NEW DELHI:After arresting several students from the Jamia Millia Islamia University linking them with northeast Delhi violence in February this year, the Delhi Police Special Cell grilled Chandan Kumar, MA(Hindi) final year student of the Jamia for three days in a row, questioning him about his participation in anti-CAA protests that was organized by Jamia Coordination Committee, a body comprising current and past students of the university.Chandan, who was active against the CAA protest in Jamia from day one, was first picked up by police on May 13 from his residence in Khanpur. Before that he was issued a notice under Section 43F of UAPA by Special Cell which stated, “In connection with the case – case FIR– you are requested to join investigation on May 13 at 2 pm. If you fail to appear, appropriate legal action will be taken against you. This may be treated as urgent.” When Chandan got calls from police to cooperate in investigation, he told them he would like to join the investigations through video-conferencing because of fears of Covid-19 as one of the police constables had contracted Covid-19 infections. But police insisted him to come in person to police station.India Tomorrow

 

Gujarat: BJP Govt displayed 'selective bias', 'discriminated' against me, says editor booked for sedition

https://www.huffingtonpost.in/entry/gujarat-bjp-govt-displayed-selective-bias-discriminated-against-me-says-editor-booked-for-sedition_in_5ec0051ac5b6c1ab51fb08a4?ncid=other_trending_qeesnbnu0l8&utm_campaign=trending

Gujarat government displayed ‘selective bias’, ‘singled out’ and ‘discriminated’ against me by imposing the charge of sedition in an FIR for reporting—like many other media houses—that CM Vijay Rupani may be replaced on account of his poor handling of coronavirus crisis in state, journalist Dhaval Patel said in separate applications to City Civil and Sessions court and the High Court in Ahmedabad. An FIR was filed against Patel, the editor of Gujarati news website Face Of Nation, on May 11 accusing him of committing an act of sedition and spreading false warning under section 124A of the Indian Penal Code and section 54 of Disaster Management Act, respectively, for reporting that Rupani may be replaced with union minister Mansukh Mandaviya. The young editor was subsequently put in Sabarmati jail. Soon after, Patel’s lawyer Anandvardhan Yagnik filed an application for bail in the sessions court and an application seeking to quash the FIR against him in the High Court.

 

Fact Check: No, this video does not show Muslim brutalities on Hindus in Bengal

https://www.indiatoday.in/fact-check/story/fact-check-no-this-video-does-not-show-muslim-brutalities-on-hindus-in-bengal-1678820-2020-05-16

Communal violence broke out at Telinipara in West Bengal’s Hooghly district recently. Prohibitory orders were imposed, Internet suspended and over 100 people arrested. Amid this, social media is full of videos and images of houses and shops looted and torched, and people beaten up, linking them to the violence. A disturbing video of two men being brutally thrashed by a group of people is circulating on WhatsApp and Twitter with the claim that this is how Muslims are committing atrocities on Hindus in Bengal. Several Twitter users, including VHP leaders “Milind Parande” and “Vijay Shankar Tiwari” , have posted the video claiming this is how Hindus are being treated in Bengal. Linking the video to the Hooghly violence, Parande asked the West Bengal government to take strict action against Muslims committing such violence. The archived versions of the tweets can be seen here and here.India Today has found that the video is not at all related to the communal violence in Hooghly. The viral video is at least a year old and most probably from Bangladesh, where two suspected auto-rickshaw lifters were being thrashed by villagers.India Today

 

Arunachal: Civilian killed, another injured in Army firing

https://indianexpress.com/article/north-east-india/arunachal-pradesh/arunachal-civilian-killed-another-injured-in-army-firing6413406/

Guwahati :One civilian was killed and another injured when Armymen opened fire following a law and order situation at Pumao village in Arunachal Pradesh’s Longding district Saturday, government officials said. Army has, however, claimed that insurgents used a human shield to fire at their men.Cheshta Yadav, Deputy Commissioner of Longding, said that on Saturday afternoon troops of 19th Sikh regiment stationed at Pumao “was negotiating with villagers about the beating of one individual named Jingmoh Wangnow”. During negotiation, Yadav said, Armymen were surrounded by villagers. “Fearing a law and order situation they came out of the house and got back into their vehicles. They were trying to leave during which they were stopped by women of the village,” DC said.“Meanwhile, certain youth from behind started pelting stones. In response, Army personnel opened fire,” Yadav said, adding that Lamdam Lukham received a bullet injury in the head and died on the spot. Another person, Wangnai Wangsa, received bullet injury in his leg. Lukham is said to be around 60.indianexpress

 

Dehradun: Institute suspends Kashmiri student over alleged post

https://indianexpress.com/article/india/dehradun-institute-suspends-kashmiri-student-over-alleged-post-6413612/

Dehradun :A private engineering college— JB Institute of Technology (JBIT)— in Dehradun on Saturday suspended a Kashmiri girl student for allegedly making objectionable posts on social media. The girl is student of BTech (third year) and belongs to Srinagar where she is at present.In the letter, it has been said that the Institute had received some screen shots mentioning that the girl has posted highly objectionable content on social media. “As JBIT Group of Institutions is always strongly against these kind of anti-national and anti-social activities hereby we strongly condemn this activity,” read the letter. College Director Amit Kumar Bansal, who issued the suspension letter, was unavailable for comment. College deputy registrar Dinesh Agarwal said that girl was contacted on Saturday and she had denied the allegations and she also claimed that ID shown in the post did not belong to her, but her photograph has been used.indianexpress

 

Delhi police puts Delhi Congress chief Anil Chaudhary under house arrest

https://www.nationalheraldindia.com/india/delhi-police-puts-delhi-congress-chief-anil-chaudhary-under-house-arrest

A day after, former Congress president Rahul Gandhi met fleeing migrants in Delhi, the Delhi Police which comes under the Ministry of Home Affairs, has put Delhi Pradesh Congress Committee (DPCC) chief Anil Chaudhary, under house arrest on Sunday.DPCC chief was among the Congress volunteers who accompanied Rahul Gandhi during his interaction with migrant workers near the Sukhdev Vihar flyover on Saturday.Chaudhary posted  on twitter: “Police has detained me at my residence. I don’t know why. I will let you know the reason as soon as I am given one.”

One every eight minutes: India's missing children: BBC

https://www.bbc.com/news/av/world-south-asia-52685559/one-every-eight-minutes-india-s-missing-children

It is estimated that a child goes missing in India every eight minutes. Many are trafficked as part of a nationwide trade which is separating children from their families.Millions end up in forced labour, domestic slavery and sex work, in what’s become a lucrative industry.But despite this, it rarely dominates headlines, there’s little public outrage, or political will to end it. BBC's Rajini Vaidyanathan investigates India's child trafficking networks, and speaks to some of the victims.

 

Cyclone Amphan Intensifies Into Severe Cyclonic Storm; Fishermen in Odisha, West Bengal Issued Alert

https://www.news18.com/news/india/cyclone-amphan-intensifies-into-severe-cyclonic-storm-fishermen-in-odisha-and-west-bengal-issued-warnings-2624047.html

Cyclone Amphan gathered strength and intensified into a severe cyclonic storm over the Bay of Bengal on Sunday, raising the likelihood of heavy rainfall coupled with high-velocity wind in several coastal districts of Odisha and parts of West Bengal, officials said.According to a bulletin issued by the weather office at 2 pm, Amphan is likely to intensify into a very severe cyclonic storm in the next 24 hours.The cyclone is likely to cross West Bengal-Bangladesh coasts between Sagar Islands in West Bengal and Hatiya islands in Bangladesh between afternoon and evening of May 20 as a very severe cyclonic storm, Regional MeT Director in Kolkata G K Das said.As a result of the forecast, fishermen have been warned not to venture into south Bay of Bengal during the next 24 hours, to central Bay of Bengal on May 17 and 18 and North Bay of Bengal from May 18 to 20.

 

*WORLD*

Netanyahu says new Israeli gov't should annex illegal settlements

https://www.aljazeera.com/news/2020/05/netanyahu-israeli-gov-annex-illegal-settlements-200517102343363.html

PM Benjamin Netanyahu has said new govt set to be sworn in on Sunday in Israel should apply Israeli sovereignty over the Israeli settlements, illegal under international law, in the occupied West Bank. His comments came as he presented the government, agreed to with former rival Benny Gantz, to Israel's parliament. "It's time to apply the Israeli law and write another glorious chapter in the history of Zionism," Netanyahu told Knesset said on the issue of Jewish settlements in the occupied Palestinian territory."These territories are where Jewish nation was born and grew," he said of the settlements. For his part, Gantz, a former military chief, made no mention of any possible annexation moves in his ensuing speech.The two former rivals agreed to a 3-year coalition govt last month, after more than 500 days of political deadlock and three inconclusive elections in less than a year. Under power-sharing agreement, Netanyahu will serve 18 months as prime minister and then hand over to Gantz. The agenda of the new government includes a possible declaration of sovereignty over Jewish settlements and Jordan Valley in the West Bank - a de facto annexation. Such a move will likely cause international uproar and inflame tensions in the West Bank. aljazeera

 

Muslim scholars union urges stand against Israeli plans

https://www.middleeastmonitor.com/20200517-muslim-scholars-union-urges-stand-against-israeli-plans/

International Union for Muslim Scholars (IUMS) has urged Islamic world and all countries to stand against Israel’s plans to annex occupied Palestinian territories, Anadolu reports. Secretary-General of IUMS, Ali al-Qaradaghi, accused Israel of exploiting the world’s preoccupation with the coronavirus pandemic, along with Trump’s administration support, to proceed with its aggressive policies against the Palestinians. “IUMS calls upon all to stand with the Palestinian people, and their right in self-determination and to liberate their occupied territories,”said al-Qaradaghi.He held US administration fully responsible for implications of approving Israeli plans of annexing Jerusalem and other Palestinian territories to its sovereignty by giving a green light to the Israeli govt.

 

Iranians to mark Quds Day in vehicles, not marches: Prez

https://www.aljazeera.com/news/2020/05/rouhani-iranians-mark-quds-day-vehicles-marches-200516145712805.html

Rallies next week in Tehran to mark the annual Quds Day against Israel will involve Iranians driving in vehicles rather than marching through the streets to avoid spreading the coronavirus, Iranian President Hassan Rouhani has said. The elite Revolutionary Guards would be in charge of organising the driving routes, Rouhani said on state television on Saturday, adding that those joining in could still chant slogans from their vehicles and wave flags.Rallies to mark Quds Day, which uses the Arabic name for Jerusalem, are held in towns and cities across the country in a show of solidarity with the Palestinians. Typically, those marching chant "Death to Israel" and burn the Israeli flag.aljazeera

 

Chinese ambassador to Israel found dead in Tel Aviv home

https://www.aljazeera.com/news/2020/05/chinese-ambassador-israel-dead-tel-aviv-home-200517083940721.html

Chinese ambassador to Israel, Du Wei, has been found dead in his home north of Tel Aviv, according to Israeli foreign ministry and police.No cause of death was given, and Israeli police on Sunday said it had opened an investigation. Police spokesman Micky Rosenfeld confirmed that Du was found in the early morning by envoy's staff in his home in Herzliya.He said police were at the scene investigating the circumstances surrounding Du's death.  Du had arrived in Israel in Feb. He had previously served as China's envoy to Ukraine, according to the embassy's website. He is survived by a wife and son, both of whom were not in Israel. The ambassador's death comes just 2 days after he condemned comments by visiting US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo, who denounced Chinese investments in Israel and accused China of hiding information about the coronavirus pandemic. aljazeera

 

Afghanistan: Ghani and Abdullah sign power-sharing deal

https://www.aljazeera.com/news/2020/05/afghanistan-ghani-abdullah-sign-power-sharing-deal-200517105526348.html

Afghan President Ashraf Ghani and his rival Abdullah Abdullah have signed a power-sharing deal, signalling the end of a months-long stalemate that plunged the country into a political crisis.Ghani's spokesman said on Twitter on Sunday that Abdullah would lead council for peace talks and members of his team would be included in the cabinet. No other details were immediately available. The breakthrough comes as Afghanistan battles several crises, including a rapid spread of coronavirus and surging violence that saw dozens of people killed in attacks last week.Abdullah had previously served as Afghanistan's "chief executive" under an earlier power-sharing deal but lost that post after he was defeated in a presidential election that incumbent Ghani won in September. But Abdullah rejected the election results, alleging fraud. He declared himself president and held his own swearing-in ceremony on March 9, the day Ghani was reinstalled as president.The agreement names Abdullah to lead future peace talks with Taliban, which has already signed a landmark accord with US to pave the way for the withdrawal of foreign forces from Afghanistan.aljazeera

 

Clashes between separatists, pro-gov't forces kill 14 in Yemen

https://www.aljazeera.com/news/2020/05/clashes-separatists-pro-gov-forces-kill-14-yemen-200517065418326.html

Over a dozen people have reportedly been killed as fighting between pro-government forces and southern separatists in Yemen's Abyan province entered a sixth consecutive day."14 fighters, including 10 pro-government soldiers, were killed on Saturday," a government military official told AFP on condition of anonymity. Toll was confirmed by a separatist military source, who also claimed the capture of "40 pro-govt soldiers and the seizure of military equipment".  "They [pro-government soldiers] were unable to advance towards Zinjibar and they will only get there over our dead bodies," a separatist commander on the front line told AFP.aljazeera

 

‘Haftar forces shelling kills 7 at displaced people's shelter’

https://www.aljazeera.com/news/2020/05/gna-haftar-forces-shelling-kills-7-displaced-people-shelter-200517091308708.html

Officials with Libya's internationally-recognised government say at least seven civilians in Tripoli have been killed in renewed shelling which they blamed on eastern-based forces seeking to seize the capital.Amin al-Hashemi, a spokesman for the health ministry of the Government of National Accord (GNA), said the shelling late on Saturday by the forces of renegade military commander Khalifa Haftar hit a shelter for displaced people in Tripoli's Fornaj district.

 

UK Media Watchdog Fines Zakir Naik's Peace TV 300,000 Pounds for alleged Hate Speech and Offensive Content

https://www.news18.com/news/world/uk-media-watchdog-fines-zakir-naiks-peace-tv-300000-pounds-for-hate-speech-offensive-content-2623695.html

UK's media watchdog Ofcom has fined Islamic preacher Zakir Naik's Peace TV network 300,000 pounds for broadcasting "hate speech" and "highly offensive" content in the country.London-based regulator for the communications services in the UK has fined licence holders of Peace TV Urdu 200,000 pounds and Peace TV 100,000 pounds for breaking its broadcasting rules."Our investigations found that programmes broadcast on Peace TV Urdu and Peace TV contained hate speech and highly offensive content, which in one instance was likely to incite crime," it said."We concluded that the content represented serious failures of compliance with our broadcasting rules, which warranted fines. Ofcom has today fined the former licence holders of Peace TV Urdu 200,000 pounds and Peace TV 100,000 pounds for breaking our broadcasting rules," Ofcom said in a statement. Peace TV is owned by Lord Productions Limited, and Club TV holds the licence of Peace TV Urdu. Both have Universal Broadcasting Corporation Limited as their parent company which is owned by Naik, a 54-year-old televangelist and Islamic preacher from Mumbai. AFP

N.Cyprus slams EU declaration on East Mediterranean

https://www.middleeastmonitor.com/20200517-northern-cyprus-slams-eu-declaration-on-east-mediterranean/

The premier of Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus (TRNC) on Saturday slammed EU declaration urging Turkey to “respect EU countries’ maritime jurisdiction and sovereignty in territorial waters.”, Anadolu reports.“It is a violation of law and lack of vision that EU still adopts a pro-Greek Cyprus attitude and ignore the rights of Turkish Cypriot and Turkey in Eastern Mediterranean,”said PM Ersin Tatar.He stressed that Turkish Cyprus and Turkey use their international rights to explore hydrocarbon in the Eastern Mediterranean, which is contrary to claims by EU and Greek Cyprus.

 

Rwanda Genocide Suspect Kabuga Arrested in France After Decades on Run

https://thewire.in/world/rwanda-genocide-suspect-felicien-kabuga-arrested-france

Paris: Rwandan genocide suspect Felicien Kabuga, who is accused of funding militias that massacred about 800,000 people, was arrested on Saturday near Paris after 26 years on the run, the French justice ministry said.The 84-year-old, who is Rwanda’s most-wanted man and had a $5 million US bounty on his head, was living under a false identity in a flat in Asnieres-Sur-Seine, according to ministry.French gendarmes arrested him at 0530GMT on Saturday, ministry said.Kabuga was indicted in 1997 on seven criminal counts including genocide, complicity in genocide and incitement to commit genocide, all in relation to 1994 Rwanda genocide, according to UN-established IRMCT.Reuters

 

*views, Articles, FEATURES*

If there's no additional borrowing, there can be no additional expenditure, no fiscal stimulus:P Chidambaram

https://indianexpress.com/article/opinion/columns/the-rs-20-lakh-crore-economic-relief-package-coronavirus-india-economy-migrants-6413392/

Tavleen Singh writes: Humanity needed, not charity

https://indianexpress.com/article/opinion/columns/humanity-needed-not-charity-coronavirus-pandemic-india-migrants-government-6413423/

It has taken the coronavirus crisis to bring out the radical in Modi:Meghnad Desai

https://indianexpress.com/article/opinion/columns/coronavirus-crisis-offers-modi-an-opportunity-6413485/

Why Modi government gets away with lies, and how the opposition could change that:SHIVAM VIJ

https://theprint.in/opinion/why-modi-government-gets-away-with-lies/422211/

Of course the migrant labourers will go back home, for that is where their lives are: Gulzar

https://theprint.in/features/of-course-the-migrant-labourers-will-go-back-home-for-that-is-where-their-lives-are-gulzar/423524/

Modi faces no political costs for suffering he causes. He’s just like Iran’s Ali Khamenei: ASIM ALI

https://theprint.in/opinion/narendra-modi-no-political-costs-suffering-he-causes-iran-ali-khamenei/423355/

Collective failure in protecting the rights of migrant labourers:Dr Farrukh Khan and Somya Mishra

http://twocircles.net/2020may16/436785.html?utm_source=feedburner&utm_medium=email&utm_campaign=Feed%3A+Twocirclesnet-IndianMuslim+%28TwoCircles.net+-+Indian+Muslim+News%29

20-Lakh Crore Package Revealed In Full. The Core Is Hollow:Brinda Karat

https://www.ndtv.com/opinion/in-20-lakh-crore-package-strange-approach-to-self-reliance-2230258?pfrom=home-topstories

Readers respond: Social distancing, Zee News editor Sudhir Chaudhary and drawbacks of on line education

https://www.nationalheraldindia.com/india/readers-respond-social-distancing-zee-news-editor-sudhir-chaudhary-and-drawbacks-of-on-line-education

Wise heads and sane policies in short supply everywhere: post-COVID future is ‘tense’:Umesh Sharma

https://www.nationalheraldindia.com/opinion/wise-heads-and-sane-policies-in-short-supply-everywhere-post-covid-future-is-tense

Breaking Down Modi’s Rs 20 Lakh Crore Package and Its Actual Spend

https://thewire.in/economy/modi-rs-20-lakh-crore-package-actual-spend

Hasty Lockdown, Crawling Relief: From Duty to Charity:Zil Gala

https://thewire.in/rights/hasty-lockdown-crawling-relief-from-duty-to-charity

Lockdown, Shutdown, Breakdown: India's COVID Policy Must Be Driven By Data, Not Fear:Deepak Natarajan

https://thewire.in/health/lockdown-shutdown-breakdown-indias-covid-policy-must-be-driven-by-data-not-fear

I walked with India’s migrant labourers. More than angry, they are hurt with Modi: JYOTI YADAV

https://theprint.in/opinion/pov/i-walked-with-india-migrant-labourers-hurt-with-modi/423643/

Hindutva Outfits Trigger Wave of Islamophobia to Curb ‘Economic Jihad’, BJP MLA Backs #BoycottHalalProducts on Twitter:India.com Viral News Desk, Zarafshan Shiraz

https://www.india.com/viral/hindutva-outfits-trigger-wave-of-islamophobia-to-curb-economic-jihad-bjp-mla-backs-boycotthalalproducts-on-twitter-4030747/

Centre's adoption of coercive federalism over co-operation with states has hampered response to COVID-19, migrant crisis: Prarthana Kashinath

https://www.firstpost.com/india/centres-adoption-of-coercive-federalism-over-co-operation-with-states-has-hampered-response-to-covid-19-migrant-crisis-8376701.html

The walk of indignity: How migrant workers are being exploited on their way back home

https://www.thenewsminute.com/article/walk-indignity-how-migrant-workers-are-being-exploited-their-way-back-home-124724

Those booked by police under draconian laws: Amulya Leona

https://www.nationalheraldindia.com/india/those-booked-by-police-under-draconian-laws-amulya-leona

Those booked by police under draconian laws: Safoora Zargar

https://www.nationalheraldindia.com/india/those-booked-by-police-under-draconian-laws-safoora-zargar

Compiled and edited by Anwarulhaq (Released at: 8:47 PM)

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