News and views across the globe.

Tuesday, 19 May 2020

19 May News: 40% Indian startups halt operations amid COVID-19: Nasscom. Sonia Gandhi case: SC refuses to quash FIRs against Arnab Goswami, no transfer of inquiry to CBI. Kashmir is India’s internal matter, says Taliban; denies plan to target Delhi.

NEWS DIGEST EVENING N

19 May 2020: 25 Ramazan 1441: Vol: 12, No: 213

*INDIA- CORONAVIRUS- LOCKDOWN*

40% Indian startups halt operations amid COVID-19: Nasscom

https://www.nationalheraldindia.com/business/40-indian-startups-halt-operations-amid-covid-19-nasscom

While 90 per cent tech startups in India are facing a decline in revenues due to the impact of COVID-19 pandemic, about 30-40 per cent have temporarily halted their operations or are in the process of closing down, a Nasscom survey warned on Tuesday.About 34 per cent of start-ups are suffering revenue decline of over 80 per cent, showed the findings of "Start-up Pulse Survey".While 70%of travel and transport startups reported suffering 40 per cent revenue decline, 14% of edtech, fintech and healthtech startups expect growth in revenue amid COVID-19 crisis.IANS

 

PIL in HC claims thousands of needy in Delhi not getting ration despite e-coupons

https://www.nationalheraldindia.com/national/pil-in-hc-claims-thousands-of-needy-in-delhi-not-getting-ration-despite-e-coupons

A PIL has been moved in the Delhi High Court alleging that thousands of needy people in the national capital are not getting ration under public distribution system (PDS) despite having the e-coupons issued by the AAP government.The plea by a third-year law student, Shabnam, said the Delhi government announced that e-coupons can be obtained by filling up a simple form online.However, the form is not simple and and the website for applying for an e-coupon has crashed, petition said."Whenever website is accessed, it permanently shows the message 'server under heavy load! Please check after some time'. Moreover, most poor people cannot apply online as most do not have smart phones and there are no cyber cafes functioning during the lockdown," it said.PTI

 

Darul Uloom Deoband issues fatwa, asks Muslims to offer Eid prayers at home

https://www.hindustantimes.com/india-news/darul-uloom-deoband-issues-fatwa-asks-muslims-to-offer-eid-prayers-at-home/story-KKszRt0If39Q0XeS8kVjZM.html

Islamic seminary Darul Uloom Deoband has issued a fatwa asking Muslims to offer their Eid prayers this time at home, instead of congregating at mosques. he directive comes amid a nationwide lockdown to slow down the spread of coronavirus.Despite the relaxations announced in the lockdown, religious and other large gatherings are still banned.The fatwa was issued in response to a query put to the seminary, its spokesman Ashraf Usmani told PTI.The fatwa said the Eid namaz can be offered in the same manner that the Friday prayers are now being read at home.It said not holding the namaz in the usual manner is pardonable in circumstances such as these.PTI

 

Jamaat Islami Hind urges govt to exempt places of worship under Lockdown 4.0

https://www.outlookindia.com/newsscroll/jamaat-islami-hind-urges-govt-to-exempt-places-of-worship-under-lockdown-40/1838888

New Delhi: Prominent Muslim body Jamaat Islami Hind (JIH) on Monday urged the government to exempt places of worship under lockdown 4.0, saying people should be allowed to perform their religious practices maintaining social distancing.The Jamaat Islami Hind’s Sharia Council also issued an advisory for Muslims on how they should spend the last days of Ramzan and how they should offer the Eid prayer. Advisory was issued by Sharia Council’s President Maulana Jalaluddin Umari and its Secretary Maulana Raziul Islam Nadvi. The Jamaat''s Shariah Council has demanded that the government and authorities should exempt the places of worship under lockdown 4.0, a JIH statement said. "People should be permitted to practice their religious rites by maintaining social distancing," it said."Under the present circumstances, Eid ul Fitr prayer should be offered in Eidgahs (where Eid prayer is offered), Jama Masjid (Grand mosques) and the local mosques (depending on how many numbers of people are permitted)," JIH said, adding that otherwise prayers can be offered at home. JIH also urged people to avoid crowding the markets in the last days of Ramzan. PTI

Eid namaz should be offered in Eidgahs, mosques with number of people permitted by authorities: Sharia Council of Jamaat

Amid fatwa, Muslims to embrace unusual Eid

https://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/india/amid-fatwa-muslims-to-embrace-unusual-eid/articleshow/75816334.cms

New Delhi: Delhi-based author and historian Rana Safvi sees this Eid as a “humanitarian event” rather than a festival. Qari Fazlur Rahman, who leads Eid prayers on Kolkata’s Red Road every year, believes adapting to a new normal doesn’t mean the sanctity of the festival will be lost.Heading into the last week of Ramzan amid Covid-19 pandemic, India’s 172 million Muslim population is preparing for — and reconciling itself to — a most unusual Eid bereft of all the usual trappings like huge prayer congregations, ceaseless shopping, social visits and the inviting warmth of an Eid Milan embrace.On social media groups, messages like “no new clothes, just wear your best clothes” are being circulated among family and friends, urging people to fill the festive void with the spirit of giving. The suggestions range from paying a needy child’s school fee or someone’s rent to helping a lockdown-hit trader revive his business.In homemaker Suboohi Alvi’s Lucknow home, special Eid sewaiyan whose aroma fills her kitchen at this time of the year won’t be just for friends and family. “We will make sewaiyan for distribution among those who have gone through much distress in the past two months and can’t afford a decent Eid feast,” she said. In Srinagar, Muzaffar Shah has but one request — the administration should allow mutton shops to open ahead of Eid. According to the Lucknow Trade Association, volume of Eid business lost in the city this Eid would be around Rs 500 crore. In Telengana and AP combined, it is around Rs 2,000 crore, sources said. In the lanes of old Delhi, there is no sign that Eid is less than a week away. No sweets are being sold on the streets and there are no decorations around Jama Masjid.TOI

 

Uttar Pradesh: Aligarh BJP MP Satish Gautam wants loudspeakers banned during 'azaan'India

https://www.timesnownews.com/india/article/uttar-pradesh-aligarh-bjp-mp-satish-gautam-wants-loudspeakers-banned-during-azaan/593935

Aligarh BJP MP Satish Gautam has urged the district officials to ban the use of loudspeakers for 'azaan', in keeping with the directives of the Allahabad High Court. MP told reporters that the high court has permitted 'azaan' from mosques but without loudspeakers. He said he had met the authorities for implementation for the same, as many mosques in the city were found violating the orders and using loudspeakers early in the morning. Allahabad High Court on May 15 had allowed 'azaan' from mosques but said that the use of loudspeakers could not be permitted. The court said that 'azaan' was a part of Islam but using loudspeakers were not a part of the religion.When contacted, DM Chandra Bhushan Singh said that Supreme Court guidelines in this matter said the sound system could be seized and confiscated only if they were found to be creating noise beyond the permissible limits. "If we receive further order from the state government in this regard, we will implement it," he said.BJP MLA Sanjeev Raja also said that the high court order should be implemented in letter and spirit. Former Samajwadi party MLA, Zamirullah Khan, said that these leaders were raising this issue to target Muslims. "Instead of fighting coronavirus, they are concerned about announcements of 'azaan' on loudspeakers," he added.IANS

 

Restrictions under Sec 144 extended in C'garh for 3 months

https://www.thenorthernherald.com/newsdetail/18643/national/restrictions-under-sec-144-extended-in-cgarh-for-3-months

Raipur: Chhattisgarh government has extended restrictions imposed in all districts of the state under CrPC Section 144 for next 3 months in a bid to contain spread of coronavirus, an official said on Monday. The state Home department issued a notification to this effect late Sunday evening, a public relations department official said. As per reports submitted by collectors of all 28 districts, the situation is yet to be brought under complete control and there is still a possibility of spread of the coronavirus infection in several places, he said quoting the notification. "Therefore, in view of the present circumstances and proposals by district collectors, it is inevitable to extend the period of Section-144, which bars assembly of four or more people, for next three months to contain the transmission of COVID-19," the notification said.Northern Herald

 

 Bitter War Of Words Between Congress, Yogi Govt Over Buses Keeps Migrant Labourers Waiting

https://www.outlookindia.com/website/story/india-news-bitter-war-of-words-between-congress-yogi-govt-over-buses-keeps-migrant-labourers-waiting/353089

The bitter war of words between Congress party and Yogi Adityanath-led Uttar Pradesh government over 1,000 buses the former promised to arrange for migrant labourers has snowballed into a big controversy with both accusing each other of playing politics and questioning the intent. On May 16, Congress General Secretary Priyanka Gandhi wrote to UP Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath, requesting him to allow the grand old party to run 1,000 buses to ferry migrant workers back to their home state. The request came after several road mishaps led to many migrant labourers losing their lives. outlookindia

 

Consent Of States Not Needed For Shramik Trains As Home Ministry Revises SOP

https://www.outlookindia.com/website/story/india-news-consent-of-states-not-needed-for-shramik-trains-as-home-ministry-revises-sop/353095

The railways on Tuesday said the consent of the destination states is not required to operate Shramik Special trains. The move comes after Railway Minister Piyush Goyal said that West Bengal, Jharkhand and Chhattisgarh were being laggard in approving these trains.The decision follows Home Ministry's revised standard operating procedure (SOP) for the national transporter to run these trains to ferry migrants to their native places."Consent of terminating state not necessary to run Shramik Special trains," railway spokesperson Rajesh Bajpai said."After the new SoP, the implication is that no consent of receiving state is mandatory," he said. Since May 1, railways has run 1,565 migrant trains and ferried over 20 lakh migrants.outlookindia

 

Covid-19: Zee News says 28 employees have tested positive; office and studios sealed

https://scroll.in/latest/962329/covid-19-zee-news-says-28-of-its-employees-have-tested-positive-office-and-studios-sealed

28 employees of Zee News have tested positive for the coronavirus, Editor-in-Chief Sudhir Chaudhary said on Monday. Most of them are asymptomatic, he said, tweeting an official statement from Zee News about the situation.The organisation said that on May 15, one of its employees tested positive for the coronavirus. Following this, the company started testing employees who may have come in contact with the employee. 27 more were found to be infected. “Fortunately most of them are asymptomatic and are not complaining of any discomfort,” Zee News said. “We believe this is because of early diagnosis and proactive intervention.” The news network said all guidelines and protocols have been followed, and its office, newsroom and studios have been sealed for sanitisation. The Zee News team has been shifted to an alternative facility.scroll

 

Can’t allow movement from Delhi before clear order, says Noida after UP government allows travel

https://scroll.in/latest/962331/covid-19-in-up-vegetable-markets-industrial-activities-allowed-to-resume-in-new-guidelines

Gautam Buddh Nagar administration on Tuesday said that people from Delhi will not be allowed to enter the district till Uttar Pradesh govt gives clear instructions on implementation of the new guidelines for the fourth phase of the nationwide lockdown. Hours earlier, Adityanath-led government said people in Delhi can travel to Noida and Ghaziabad. However, the final decision on allowing entry into Noida and Ghaziabad lies with district officials, NDTV reported. Delhi Traffic Police also tweeted that Uttar Pradesh Police will allow entry to only those who have a vehicle movement pass issued by the Noida DM. “This is to inform all concerned that, status quo shall be maintained between Delhi-Noida border for now,” Information Dept.of GB Nagar tweeted.scroll

 

Lockdown: At least 18 migrants killed in 4 separate road accidents

https://scroll.in/latest/962340/coronavirus-lockdown-at-least-18-migrants-killed-in-four-separate-road-accidents

At least 18 migrant workers journeying across states in trucks were killed in four separate accidents since Monday night during the countrywide lockdown to combat the coronavirus.In Uttar Pradesh, 5migrant workers were killed in two separate accidents on highways on Monday. In the first incident, three women migrant workers were killed and at least 12 were injured when their truck skidded and overturned into a roadside ditch because of a burst tyre on Jhansi-Mirzapur highway. Group of 17 workers had started walking from Delhi towards their villages in the eastern pockets of Uttar Pradesh, when a truck driver agreed to give them a ride.The accident took at Mahuva crossing in Mahoba district, SP Mani Lal Patida told PTI. “Injured have been admitted to a government hospital,” he added. “Truck has been seized and investigations are on.”

 

 

9 migrants who arrived by train killed in Bihar accident during onward journey

https://indianexpress.com/article/india/nine-migrant-workers-killed-in-bihar-as-truck-overturns-6416889/

Patna : 9 migrants were killed on Tuesday morning after the truck they were travelling in collided with another vehicle in Naugachhia town in Bhagalpur district. The truck was carrying 15 migrant workers who had deboarded from a train coming from Bengaluru.The incident raises questions on the arrangements made by the government to transport passengers arriving by Shramik Special trains to quarantine facilities.The accident took place at 2 am when the truck collided with a bus at Kharik on NH-31. While only four persons travelling in the bus suffered injuries, the truck lost balance and overturned killing nine migrants on the spot.The police are not yet able to identify victims. Bodies were taken to Naugachhia hospital.

 

As Lakhs of Migrants in Delhi Want to Go Home, Centre Should Provide 100 Trains Daily for Next 4-5 Days: Kejriwal

http://www.indiatomorrow.net/eng/as-lakhs-of-migrants-in-delhi-want-to-go-home-centre-should-provide-100-trains-daily-for-next-4-5-days-kejriwal

Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal on Tuesday demanded the central government to provide 100 buses daily for next 4-5 days in order to ensure the return of lakhs of migrants from the national capital to their home states.“Lakhs of migrant labourers want to go home. Now 10-20 trains are not enough. I appeal to the central government to provide 100 trains daily for next 4-5 days. We will take all migrant labourers to their homes,” the Delhi CM said in a TV interview on Tuesday.India Tomorrow

 

Karnataka: Muslim vendors face boycott in Shivamogga

https://www.newindianexpress.com/states/karnataka/2020/may/19/muslim-vendors-face-boycott-in-shivamogga-2145112.html

SHIVAMOGGA:Citizens’ United Movement, a citizens forum in the district, has urged the state government to take suitable action against people targeting the Muslim community by accusing it of spreading coronavirus. It alleged that vegetable and fruit vendors belonging to Muslim community are being boycotted by a few citizens. The forum alleged that due to the stigma against Muslims, people are not buying vegetables and fruits from them, affecting the business to a great deal. “Don’t judge the whole community based on a few people,” a forum member said. Shahraj Muzayidd Siddiki of the forum said that recently nine Tablighi Jamaat attendees from Ahmedabad had arrived to the district.“They cooperated with the district administration and were put in quarantine. Still, some people are targeting Muslims on social media and are trying to spread hatred towards the community. Even a few elected representatives of the district are passing objectional remarks,” he alleged.newindianexpress

 

Uttarakhand BJP MLA posts veiled social media message asking people to shun barber shops owned by Muslims

https://www.nationalheraldindia.com/india/uttarakhand-bjp-mla-peddles-communal-propaganda-advises-people-to-shun-barber-shops-owned-by-muslims

Mahendra Bhatt, a ruling BJP MLA of Uttarakhand, has done it again. In a controversial social media post, BJP law maker from Badrinath assembly segment has advised people to be cautious while visiting barber shops and beauty parlours which opened in the state today. All the barber shops and beauty parlours in the state were closed due to the nationwide lockdown due to the coronavirus pandemic since the month of March.Apparently targeting barbers belonging to Muslim community, Mahendra Bhatt has advised the general public to go to the barber shops with their own towels and ensure that do not do any ‘wrong’. The people should ensure that ‘Hanuman Chalisa’ is written in barber shops, he said.

 

Covid-19: Home ministry revokes order to employers to compulsorily pay wages during lockdown

https://scroll.in/latest/962312/covid-19-home-ministry-revokes-order-to-employers-to-compulsory-pay-wages-during-lockdown

It is now no longer compulsory for employers to pay their staff wages during the period of the coronavirus-forced lockdown, even if their establishments remain shut. Union Ministry of Home Affairs on Sunday issued an order countermanding any orders issued by National Executive Committee under Disaster Management Act, 2005, from Monday onward.

 

Lockdown effect: Eid celebrations to be different this time in Bihar

https://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/city/patna/lockdown-effect-eid-celebrations-to-be-different-this-time/articleshow/75812888.cms

PATNA: As Covid-19 has changed lifestyle, even Eid celebrations will be different this time. There will neither be namaz in congregation nor embracing one another to wish ‘Eid Mubarak’.People, especially youngsters, have been asking others to donate money to poor instead of spending on clothes and other valuables this Eid, which will be either on Sunday or Monday, depending on the sighting of moon. The youngsters are sharing this message on social media to reach larger audience. For instance, a group of IITians came up with Twitter thread “Eid at home” recently.IIT Kharagpur alumnus Imbesat Ahmed, who is from Patna native and a part of this group, said, “We are coming up with another thread, Eidi for migrants. Basically, Eidi is given by elderly to youngsters and children on Eid as a token of gift. But today, our migrants need money and we are asking people to give Eidi to those in distress.”Kankarbagh resident Bashshar Habibullah said they have come up with different posters with messages on social media, like “This Eid be different, pay rent for one family for a month or provide food to one family for a month.”Dr Mahjabeen Naaz, who is Muslim Personal Law Bard state coordinator, said she has been holding live sessions with different groups and making them take pledge not to go out shopping and stay at home this Eid. TOI

 

Crowd at religious places can’t be controlled, says Madras HC, rejects PIL

https://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/city/chennai/crowd-at-religious-places-cant-be-controlled-says-madras-hc-rejects-pil/articleshow/75818660.cms

CHENNAI: The central government has said religious places of worship cannot be reopened till the lockdown is lifted as it might not be possible for authorities to control crowd. It may, in turn, lead to pandemic spread, it told the Madras high court Monday.Recording the submission, a division bench dismissed a PIL filed in that regard, saying, “If permission is granted to reopen religious places of worship, there will be huge crowd and the law and order machinery may not be able to control the crowd.”The bench said, “the petitioner being a social activist has not come up with any solution for maintenance of social distancing by persons coming for worship. Therefore, the petition is dismissed.”PIL filed by R K Jaleel sought a direction to the authorities to reopen places of worship, including temples, churches and mosques, during lockdown with adequate measures to maintain social distancing.TOI

 

No Need To Shut Entire Office If One Or Two COVID-19 Cases Reported: Centre

https://www.ndtv.com/india-news/coronavirus-india-union-health-ministry-says-no-need-to-shut-entire-office-if-one-or-two-covid-19-cases-reported-2231110

New Delhi: The entire office building need not be closed if one or two cases of COVID-19 are reported there and work can resume after it is disinfected as per protocol, the Union health ministry said today.However, if there is a larger outbreak, the entire building will have to be closed for 48 hours. All staff will work from home till the building is adequately disinfected and is declared fit for re-occupation, it said in the guidelines on preventive measures to contain the spread of COVID-19 in workplace settings.PTI

 

50 Migrants Test Covid-19 Positive in UP's Basti Dist, Tally of Infected Returning Workers Crosses 100

https://www.news18.com/news/india/50-migrants-test-covid-19-positive-in-ups-basti-dist-tally-of-infected-returning-workers-crosses-100-2627471.html

About 50 migrants who returned to Basti district from Pune last week tested positive for coronavirus on Tuesday. The migrant workers had been quarantined at the district medical college and Saral College after they reached Basti on May 16. DM Ashutosh Niranjan has confirmed the figures. This took the tally of returning migrants testing positive in the state to reached 109. Earlier, 12 migrants were found infected with COVID-19 each in Lucknow and Basti district.Health Department officials are said to be worried about an imminent spike in cases with the inflow of lakhs of migrants from other states. CMO(Lucknow), Dr Narendra Agarwal, said the cases may rise soon as it is very difficult to find out the contact history of all the migrant workers who are returning home, mostly villages, following the months-long nationwide lockdown imposed to curb the spread of coronavirus.So far, maximum number of migrants testing positive for COVID19 are from Basti region.

 

Sea Of Bihar Migrants Outside Mumbai's Bandra Station, Few Make It To Train

https://www.ndtv.com/india-news/sea-of-bihar-migrants-outside-mumbais-bandra-station-few-make-it-to-train-2231498?pfrom=home-topstories

Mumbai: Thousands of migrant labourers bound for Bihar gathered outside Mumbai's Bandra Terminus today, hoping to catch a special train to the state. But most of them were sent back by the police. Only the registered people were allowed to board train. Dramatic visuals from outside the station showed the people, carrying their meagre possessions streaming through the roads, jamming traffic.Over the last weeks, Mumbai -- the city of dreams that has been drawing people from across the country for decades -- have been witnessing a reverse migration. Thousands have registered to go home by the special trains being run by Centre. Others have been taking buses, illegal trucks and even walking. Chief Minister Uddhav Thackeray yesterday said around 5 lakh migrant labourers have already left the state by trains and buses. In absence of the migrants, he even asked the locals to pitch in for 50,000 industries which were given permission to re-open yesterday.NDTV

 

India records 0.2 COVID-19 deaths per lakh population as against global figure of 4.1: Health Ministry

https://www.thehindu.com/news/national/coronavirus-india-records-02-covid-19-deaths-per-lakh-population-as-against-global-figure-of-41-health-ministry/article31624499.ece?homepage=true

India has so far about 0.2 COVID-19 deaths per lakh population as against the global figure of 4.1, the Union Health Ministry said as the number of fatalities due to coronavirus infection in the country rose to 3,163 on May 19 and the total cases reached 1,01,139.Interactive map of confirmed coronavirus cases in India | State-wise tracker for coronavirus cases, deaths and testing ratesAlso, a record number of 1,08,233 samples were tested for COVID-19 on May 18 in the country. So far a total of 24,25,742 samples have been tested, the Ministry said.Referring to data from WHO situation report-119, the Ministry said 3,11,847 COVID-19 mortalities have been reported till May 19 worldwide which is about 4.1 deaths per lakh population.PTI

 

CBSE exams to be held in schools where students are enrolled, result by July-end: HRD Minister

https://indianexpress.com/article/education/cbse-exams-to-be-held-in-own-school-result-by-july-end-hrd-minister-6417899/

HRD Minister Ramesh Pokhriyal Nishak in a question-and-answer round held at a national television said CBSE pending board exams will be held in schools where students are enrolled to ensure minimum travel for them. He added that exams will be conducted amid strict norms of social distancing.He informed that the evaluation process has already begun for the board exams and will continue to be held simultaneously with pending exams. He said the board is trying to release the result “soon and efforts are being made to declare the result by July-end itself.” It is noteworthy that exams will conclude by July 15.

 

*CORONAVIRUS – WORLD*

Patients testing positive for Covid-19 after recovery aren’t infectious: study

https://theprint.in/health/patients-who-test-positive-after-recovery-arent-infectious-shows-south-korean-study/424708/

Seoul/Melbourne: Patients who test positive for the coronavirus weeks after recovering from Covid-19 probably aren’t capable of transmitting the infection, research from South Korea shows.Scientists from the Korean Centers for Disease Control and Prevention studied 285 Covid-19 survivors who had tested positive for the coronavirus after their illness had apparently resolved, as indicated by a previous negative test result. The so-called re-positive patients weren’t found to have spread any lingering infection, and virus samples collected from them couldn’t be grown in culture, indicating the patients were shedding non-infectious or dead virus particles. The findings, reported late Monday, are a positive sign for regions looking to open up as more patients recover from the pandemic that has sickened at least 4.8 million people. The emerging evidence from South Korea suggests those who have recovered from Covid-19 present no risk of spreading the coronavirus when physical distancing measures are relaxed. The results mean health authorities in South Korea will no longer consider people infectious after recovering from the illness. Bloomberg/ theprint

 

Oxford’s Covid vaccine, being tested on humans in UK, fails to prevent infection in monkeys

https://theprint.in/health/oxfords-covid-vaccine-being-tested-on-humans-in-uk-fails-to-prevent-infection-in-monkeys/424865/

A high-profile vaccine candidate developed by Oxford University has failed to prevent Covid-19 infection in animal trials. Based on the team’s earlier claims of promising results in monkeys, the vaccine was among the quickest to have moved on to human trials.Researchers testing the vaccine in rhesus macaque monkeys have found that animals exposed to the virus were infected. The team, however, found that it protected the simians from developing viral pneumonia.Researchers at Oxford had begun testing the vaccine on human volunteers in April. Scientists from Oxford and National Institutes of Health’s Rocky Mountain Laboratory had released a statement in the last week of April saying the vaccine had shown promise in monkeys.Based on these statements, Pune-based Serum Institute had also announced plans of mass producing the vaccine in India. the print

 

 

Chinese Lab Believes New Drug Can "Stop Pandemic Even Without Vaccine"

https://www.ndtv.com/world-news/coronavirus-chinese-lab-believes-its-drug-can-stop-covid-19-before-vaccine-is-developed-2231225?pfrom=home-topscroll

A Chinese laboratory has been developing a drug it believes has the power to bring the coronavirus pandemic to a halt. The outbreak first emerged in China late last year before spreading across world, prompting an international race to find treatments and vaccines.A drug being tested by scientists at China's prestigious Peking University could not only shorten the recovery time for those infected, but even offer short-term immunity from the virus, researchers say. AFP

 

Covid-19: WHO is irreplaceable, says UN chief Guterres

https://www.financialexpress.com/lifestyle/health/covid-19-who-is-irreplaceable-says-un-chief-antonio-guterres/1963087/

WHO is irreplaceable and needs enhanced resources especially to provide support to developing countries facing the devastating impact of COVID-19, UN chief Antonio Guterres said, amid criticism of the global health agency’s handling of the pandemic. Secretary-General said the entire UN family “stands” with thousands of its colleagues at WHO who are working around the world to support the member states in saving lives and protecting the vulnerable, with guidance, training and essential testing, treatment and protective equipment. Guterres also voiced concern over the “devastating” impact the outbreak will have as it spreads across the developing nations.PTI

 

Economic distress and social discontent will rise due to pandemic: World Economic Forum

https://www.nationalheraldindia.com/business/economic-distress-and-social-discontent-will-rise-due-to-pandemic-world-economic-forum

Economic distress and social discontent will rise over the next 18 months unless there are efforts to manage the fallout of the COVID-19 pandemic, World Economic Forum (WEF) has said.These are the findings of COVID-19 outlook report published on Tuesday by World Economic Forum in partnership with Marsh & McLennan and Zurich Insurance Group.The report taps into the views of nearly 350 senior risk-professionals who were asked to look at the next 18 months and rank their biggest concerns in terms of likelihood and impact for the world and for business.IANS

 

Trump Threatens WHO With Permanent Funding Freeze, Gives 30-Day Ultimatum

https://www.ndtv.com/world-news/coronavirus-lockdown-us-president-donald-trump-threatens-permanent-freeze-on-world-health-organization-funding-in-30-days-2231192

Washington: President Donald Trump threatened to permanently freeze US funding to WHO unless "substantive improvements" were made within next 30 days.Washington suspended payments to WHO in mid-April, accusing it of being too close to Beijing and covering up and mismanaging the coronavirus pandemic.On Monday, Trump tweeted images of a letter he sent to WHO DG  Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, saying the letter was "self-explanatory."In the letter, Trump lists what he says are examples of the WHO's shortcomings in managing the pandemic, including ignoring early reports of the emergence of the virus, and being too close to China.AFP

 

China says US trying to smear Beijing over WHO

https://www.aljazeera.com/news/2020/05/trump-attacks-puppet-china-coronavirus-live-updates-200519000416527.html

China said the US was trying to shift the blame for Washington's own mishandling of the COVID-19 crisis, responding to Trump's letter threatening to permanently freeze funding to WHO.Trump threatened on Monday to reconsider Washington's membership of UN agency if the organisation did not commit to improvements within 30 days, and said the body had shown an "alarming lack of independence" from China.Chinese foreign ministry spokesman Zhao Lijian told reporters the US was trying to smear China and had miscalculated by trying to use China to avoid its own responsibility.Zhao also said China would would agree to an eventual review of the global response to the pandemic, but not an immediate probe as Australia and others have proposed.

 

 

Al-Aqsa Mosque to reopen after Eid holiday

https://www.arabnews.com/node/1676651/middle-east

AMMAN: Al-Aqsa Mosque is to stay closed until after Eid-Al-Fitr celebrations, following a decision from Islamic Waqf Council on Monday to keep the holy site shut in order to save lives from coronavirus.Council member Mahdi Abdelhadi said all issues related to the opening of mosque had been discussed, but the authority upheld a previous decision to keep it closed. There is an exception for waqf staff, who have continued to pray at Islam’s third holiest mosque. “Mosques in Makkah, Madinah, Al-Azhar, Amman and other mosques have also been closed for the same reason, which is the protection of the health of worshippers,” he  said.The council called on the Jordanian waqf department to do what was needed in terms of health precautions to prepare the mosques and other facilities within Haram Al-Sharif site to be open when lockdown conditions allowed. The council’s decision to keep the mosque shut coincides with fresh attempts by Jews to restart their unapproved visits to the mosque. Yehuda Etzion and Arnon Segal have been petitioning for Jews to access the site, denied since the lockdown started. They have argued that preventing Jews from going to the site while Muslims are allowed is unconstitutional. Waqf sources told Arab News that if there was any change or if the Israeli police allowed Jews in from the Moghrabi Gate, which is under control of Israeli police, then Muslim worshippers would also go.Arab News

 

 

Pak clerics led by Mufti Taqi Usmani  announce resumption of congregational prayers at mosques

https://www.dawn.com/news/1558188/clerics-announce-resumption-of-congregational-prayers-at-mosques

Karachi:Prominent clerics and noted scholars on Monday announced resumption of 5-time congregational prayers at mosques across the country, hoping the government this time would not put any hurdle and saying uncertainty about the end of coronavirus could not stop people from activities of daily life and regular business. The fresh announcement by the clerics came in Karachi where some prominent ulema met at Jamia Dar-ul-Uloom Karachi and decided to begin congregational prayers. The meeting expressed the view that nothing was sure about the coronavirus pandemic and in this situation, Muslims couldn’t leave prayers and their rituals out of fear.“We appeal to the people to avail these last few blessed days of Ramazan,” said a statement issued after the meeting quoting Mufti Taqi Usmani as saying. “It’s time to return to Allah and offer prayers with all sincerity and keenness. No one knows that when this virus would come to an end. So in this situation we cannot quit everything in the name of precaution and fear. It’s time to reopen Masajid and offer congregation prayers.” Those who met him at Jamia Dar-ul-Uloom Karachi included Qari Mohammad Usman, Maulana Mufti Zubair Ashraf Usmani, Qari Allah Daad, Dr Qasim Mahmood and Qazi Ahsan Ahmed. Mufti Usmani appealed to people to take all due precautionary measures while offering prayers at mosques.In a fresh development, representing the call of clerics from across the country, Mufti Usmani appealed for a formal announcement by the government to lift the ban on congregational prayers and Taraveeh as it would give people some confidence and help remove fear from society. Dawn

 

Italy moves to reopen mosques after historic deal

https://www.arabnews.com/node/1675731/world

ROME: Italian govt has signed a landmark agreement with leading Muslim organizations that will allow mosques and Islamic centers to reopen as part of an easing of the country’s coronavirus lockdown.The protocol was signed at an official ceremony in Palazzo Chigi, PMO, as part of Italy’s efforts to reopen all places of worship, including Catholic churches, from May 18, provided sanitary and social distancing measures are enforced by religious authorities. Mosques, prayer rooms and Islamic centers have been shut, along with other places of worship, since the lockdown began on March 9.The agreement is the first official act signed by an Italian government with Muslim representatives in the country, and is viewed as a milestone on the road to full legal recognition and acknowledgement by the state.arabnews

 

Qatar introduces new coronavirus restrictions for Eid al-Fitr

https://www.aljazeera.com/news/2020/05/qatar-introduces-coronavirus-restrictions-eid-al-fitr-200519082551972.html

Qatar has announced a series of new measures aimed at stopping the spread of the coronavirus, including halting most commercial activities until May 30.All shops, with the exception of food and catering shops, pharmacies, restaurants delivery services and a few other essential services, will also be closed during the same time period, which coincides with the official Eid al-Fitr holidays.All industrial activities, contracting companies, and engineering supervisory works - construction sites and engineering offices running under it - are exempted from the orders, according to Ministry of Commerce and Industry.aljazeera

 

Erdogan declares nationwide Eid al-Fitr lockdown

https://www.thestatesman.com/world/turkey-president-erdogan-declares-nationwide-eid-al-fitr-lockdown-1502890210.html

Turkey President Recep Tayyip Erdogan has announced a new 4-day curfew during Muslim holiday of Eid al-Fitr to be applied across the country to stem the spread of COVID-19. Speaking after a cabinet meeting, Erdogan said that he hoped the restrictions would no longer be needed after the next round of lockdowns between May 23 and 26. Previous weekend and national curfews were applied to a maximum of 31 provinces but this round will restrict people to their homes in all 81 provinces.Erdogan also announced mosques would re-open for 2 daytime prayers starting May 29, to be performed within social distancing rules.thestatesman

 

With mosques closed, NYC Muslims find new ways to observe Ramadan

https://www.aljazeera.com/indepth/features/mosques-closed-nyc-muslims-find-ways-observe-ramadan-200518171405932.html

New York City - Hani Hajir has cooked his entire life. Watching his customers eat at the halal restaurant he owns in Brooklyn is what brings him joy. But the current coronavirus pandemic lockdown has robbed him of this simple pleasure for more than a month.He closed shop on March 30, less than two weeks after New York City shut down to contain the spread of the virus. Hajir was worried that he would be exposed to the disease, given that he was the one who interacted with customers the most. Moreover, business took a hit given the neighbourhood is primarily made of factories and warehouses - a workforce that has all but disappeared since the pandemic began.Hajir said he had become depressed under the lockdown. He is not alone. Muslim community leaders in New York City said the lack of community activities and inability to pray and break fast together during the holy month of Ramadan has hit the community hard. But Hajir, like many Muslims across US, has found new ways to observe Ramadan, including practising community and charity despite lockdowns and quarantines. Hajir has teamed up with Muslim Community Center (MCC) in Brooklyn to provide food to homeless individuals.aljazeera

 

*J&K, INDO-PAK &  SOUTH ASIA*

Kashmir is India’s internal matter, says Taliban; denies plan to target Delhi

https://www.hindustantimes.com/india-news/kashmir-is-india-s-internal-matter-says-taliban-denies-plan-to-target-delhi/story-sOgG3yPsMenP4nZDKRbygL.html

https://www.newindianexpress.com/nation/2020/may/19/kashmir-indias-internal-affair-taliban-2145168.html

https://www.news18.com/news/india/taliban-says-kashmir-indias-internal-matter-wont-join-pakistans-efforts-to-fuel-terror-in-valley-2626735.html

New Delhi: Taliban on Monday, in a tweet, clarified that it does not support Pakistan’s ‘holy war’  against India and that Kashmir was India’s internal matter. The clarification came after some fake tweets claiming friendship between Islamic Emirate and India was not possible were attributed to Taliban spokespersons Suhail Shaheen and Zabiullah Mujahid.“The statement that has been circulated in certain media regarding India does not belong to Islamic emirate. The policy of Islamic Emirate regarding neighbour states is very obvious that we don’t interfere in the domestic issues of them,” a tweet from Shaheen clarified.Ministry of External Affairs was contacted on the issue but no response was received. Earlier, in an interview, Shaheen had said that Taliban thinks India can play a crucial role for peace to prevail in Afghanistan. The strong clarification comes a day after officials monitoring social media noted a spike in posts around claims that a Taliban spokesperson Zabihullah Mujahid said it was impossible to be friends with India unless the Kashmir dispute is resolved. The spokesperson was also claimed to have said that Taliban would, after capturing power in Kabul, “capture Kashmir from infidels also”. Diplomats based in Kabul and Delhi told HT that Taliban spokesperson’s clarification came after India worked the backchannels to confirm reports about the group’s approach to India, and on J&K.PTI/TOI/HT/news18

 

Afghan govt rejects Taliban leader’s remarks about India’s ‘negative role’

https://www.hindustantimes.com/india-news/afghan-govt-rejects-taliban-leader-s-remarks-about-india-s-negative-role/story-qq6W3KLv6pp7pN323ANvVP.html

Afghan government has rejected a senior Taliban leader’s remarks that India has been playing a “negative role” in Afghanistan, saying India has been cooperating in development and is expected to contribute to the peace process. Sher Muhammad Abbas Stanikzai, Taliban’s chief negotiator and head of its political office in Qatar, had been quoted by the media on Sunday as saying that India has been playing a negative role in Afghanistan for past 40 years.Stanikzai, a former military officer who once trained at Indian Military Academy in Dehradun, also said India should reconsider its policy on Afghanistan. If Indian govt reconsiders its policy and wants an active role in peace, reconciliation and reconstruction, the Taliban will welcome it and look at it positively, he said. Afghan foreign ministry said on Monday that Afghanistan’s ties with India are “within international frameworks and based on mutual respect”. India has very good relations with Afghanistan and is one of the biggest donor countries, the ministry said. Stanikzai had also claimed that India has only cooperated with “those who are corrupt and have been put in power by foreigners not elected by Afghan people”. HT

 

Govt Issues Domicile Rules for J&K; PDP Says 'Will Resist'

https://www.outlookindia.com/website/story/india-news-govt-issues-domicile-rules-for-jammu-and-kashmir-pdp-says-will-resist/353058

Jammu and Kashmir government on Monday notified Jammu and Kashmir Grant of Domicile Certificate (Procedure) Rules, 2020. These rules prescribe procedure for issuance of Domicile Certificate, which has been made the basic eligibility condition for appointment to any post under Union Territory of J&K. Under the rules, 15 days will be required for issuance of the certificate, after which the applicant shall be free to approach an Appellate Authority. “The decision of the appellate authority shall be binding upon the issuing authority and the orders of the appellate authority are to be complied within seven days, failing which the defaulting officer shall be liable for a penalty of Rs 50,000 out of his salary. The appellate authorities will also have revisional powers. They can, either suo moto or on through an application made, call for records, check the legality of any proceedings and pass appropriate orders in reference,” a government spokesman said.Reacting to development, PDP condemned the new domicile rules, saying, “Even a pandemic is no deterrent for GOI to continue with its disempowerment project for JK. Orders like one on domicile certificates don't settle anything, neither do they cover up Aug.5, fraud. Demographic change and disenfranchisement will further complicate the J&K issue which has claimed thousands of lives so far. This will be resisted through all democratic, peaceful means.”outlookindia

 New J&K domicile rules will give ‘long due’ rights to refugees, Kashmiri Pandits: BJP  chief Nadda

https://www.financialexpress.com/india-news/new-jammu-and-kashmir-domicile-rules-will-give-long-due-rights-to-refugees-kashmiri-pandits-jp-nadda/1964087/

BJP on Tuesday hailed the new domicile rules notified in Jammu and Kashmir, with its president J P Nadda saying they will give the “long due” rights to all refugees as well as to Kashmiri Pandits living outside the union territory. People belonging to West Pakistan, Valmikis, women marrying outside communities, non-registered Kashmiri migrants and displaced people will soon get domicile under a new set of rules issued by the Jammu and Kashmir administration on Monday.BJP Spokesperson Sambit Patra also welcomed the development.PTI

 

Top Hurriyat Leader's Son Among Two Hizb Militants Killed In Srinagar Gun Battle

https://www.outlookindia.com/website/story/india-news-kashmir-militant-killed-in-ongoing-gun-battle-in-srinagars-old-city/353082

2 militants, including son of a top Hurriyat Conference leader, were killed, while two security personnel injured during an encounter in Nawakadal area of Srinagar on Tuesday, police said. The gun battle began after security forces launched a cordon and search operation in the area on Monday night following inputs about the presence of militants.The police said Junaid Sehrai, son of Hurriyat chairman Ashraf Sehrai, was among 2 militants killed in the encounter, PTI reported. Junaid was affiliated with Hizb militant outfit. The exchange of fire began around 2 am and there was a lull in firing for about five hours after that. A fresh contact was established with the militants around 8 am, a police official said. The bodies of both the slain militants have been retrieved. The joining of militancy by Junaid, who completed his MBA degree from Kashmir University, was the first such case where a son of a separatist leader of J&K had joined an armed group.His father, Sehrai, was appointed in March 2018 chairman of Tehreek-e-Hurriyat (TeH) J&K, replacing Syed Ali Shah Geelani who held the post for 15 years. Outlook India

 

J&K: Gunfight under way between militants, security forces in Srinagar, mobile internet suspended

https://scroll.in/latest/962324/j-k-gunfight-under-way-between-militants-security-forces-in-srinagar-mobile-internet-suspended

An encounter is underway between security forces and militants in Nawakadal area of Srinagar, the summer capital of Jammu and Kashmir, early on Tuesday, said the police. The operation began around midnight when security forces encircled a cluster of houses in the Nawakadal neighbourhood, the Hindustan Times reported. The mobile internet service in the area has been suspended.

 

Pakistan should be worried if there is a terror attack in India: IAF Chief

https://www.business-standard.com/article/defence/whenever-there-is-a-terror-attack-on-india-pak-should-be-worried-iaf-chief-120051800601_1.html

India's military may respond across the border if a terrorist attack on it is is linked to Pakistan, said Air Force chief Rakesh Kumar Singh Bhadauria. "Whenever there is a terrorist attack on our soil, Pakistan should be worried and they were rightly worried. They have to stop abetting terrorism in India if they have to get out of these worries," said Bhadauria when he was asked if the neighbouring country should fear retaliation for encounter in Handwara in J&K. He also said that the armed force is constantly ready to deliver whenever called upon by the government. When asked if the Air Force is ready to take out any terrorist camp or launchpad across Line of Control Bhadauria said, "If the situation demands so, of course, Indian Air Force is ready 24x7."business-standard

 

Nepal Clears "New Map" Featuring Parts Of Indian Territory: Report

https://www.ndtv.com/india-news/nepals-cabinet-clears-new-map-showing-indian-territory-as-theirs-report-2231456?pfrom=home-topscroll

 Nepal's Cabinet has endorsed a new political map showing Lipulekh, Kalapani and Limpiyadhura under its territory, amidst a border dispute with India.The move announced by Nepal's Foreign Minister Pradeep Kumar Gyawali came weeks after he said that efforts were on to resolve border issue with India through diplomatic initiatives.Nepal's ruling Nepal Communist Party MPs have also tabled a special resolution in Parliament demanding "return of Nepal's territory in Kalapani, Limpiyadhura and Lipulekh". Lipulekh pass is a far western point near Kalapani, an alleged "disputed" border area between Nepal and India. Both India and Nepal claim Kalapani as an integral part of their territory - India as part of Uttarakhand's Pithoragarh district and Nepal as part of Dharchula district.Gyawali said that the "official map" of Nepal will soon be made public by Ministry of Land Management."Decision of Council of Ministers to publish the map of Nepal in 7 provinces, 77 districts and 753 local level administrative divisions including Limpiyadhura, Lipulekh and Kalapani," he wrote on Twitter on Monday. Gyawali last week summoned Indian envoy and handed over a diplomatic note to him to protest against the construction of a key road connecting Lipulekh pass. India has said that the recently-inaugurated road section in Pithoragarh district in Uttarakhand lies completely within its territory.PTI

 

Trial of 'RAW agent' in German court casts spotlight on India's secret war against Khalistan terror in Europe

https://www.news18.com/news/india/trial-of-raw-agent-in-german-court-casts-spotlight-on-indias-secret-war-against-khalistan-terror-in-europe-2624861.html

New Delhi: German prosecutors will present evidence that a Frankfurt man scheduled for trial in a Federal state-security court in August received payoffs from India’s RAW for spying on Khalistan and Kashmiri secessionists, as well as other sensitive details of the intelligence service’s operations in that country, highly-placed diplomatic sources have said. The upcoming trial of German resident Balvir Singh — scheduled for Aug.25, according to German government documents — is the third recent case involving RAW assets in that country, and comes in the wake of similar prosecutions in Canada and UAE.Even though Germany and India have sought to contain potential damage to their diplomatic relationship from the case, diplomatic sources said, strains have begun to mount as foreign intelligence services have pushed back against India’s secret war on Khalistan terror cells across Europe and Canada. Balvir Singh’s case, diplomatic sources said, centres around a senior RAW officer, recruited into the organisation from the Indian Revenue Service and operating out of India’s consulate in Frankfurt. Officer was asked to leave Germany after serving for less at the station for just six months, on charges of engaging activities incompatible with his status as a diplomat — the language Foreign Ministries use to describe espionage. NEWS18

 

*INDIA- ISLAMOPHOBIA, HUMAN RIGHTS & OTHERS*

Sonia Gandhi case: SC refuses to quash FIRs against Arnab Goswami, no transfer of inquiry to CBI

https://scroll.in/latest/962351/sonia-gandhi-case-sc-refuses-to-quash-firs-against-arnab-goswami-no-transfer-of-case-to-cbi

The Supreme Court on Tuesday refused to quash the first information reports filed against Republic TV Editor-in-Chief Arnab Goswami for his comments against Congress President Sonia Gandhi in Palghar lynching case. The court also refused to transfer the inquiry in the defamation case to CBI. However, the bench headed by Justice DY Chandrachud extended the interim protection granted to the journalist by three weeks. The top court also directed Mumbai police commissioner to provide him protection. “There can be no quashing of FIR under Article 32,” court said. “The petitioner has the liberty to pursue remedy before the competent court. FIR does not cover offence of criminal defamation, therefore it is not necessary to address prayer on that issue.”The court observed that while journalists have the fundamental right to speak truth to power, this right was not absolute. “The language, content and sequencing of complaints is identical,” it said. “Multiple complaints will have a stifling effect. The right of journalists under Article 19(1)(a) is higher and free citizens cannot exist without free media. Questions you cannot answer are better than questions you cannot question.” The judges also confirmed the earlier interim order passed on April 24, allowing the consolidation of several FIRs and their transfer to Mumbai.

 

Hindu ‘Sacrificed’ in Bihar Mosque? Family Says Nobody Witnessed

https://www.thequint.com/news/india/bihar-gopalganj-case-minor-hindu-boy-sacrificed-in-mosque-family-says-nobody-witnessed

On 10 May, media outlet OpIndia published an article claiming that a minor boy named Rohit Jaiswal was “sacrificed” to make a new mosque in the area “powerful” and “influential.” The article mentions that the incident took place on 28 March in Bela Dih village of Kateya in Bihar’s Gopalganj wherein the boy was allegedly killed and thrown into a river. However, DGP Biha, DIG and SP of Gopalganj, have denied any communal angle and said that the post-mortem reports of the boy reveals that he died due to drowning. Quoting minor boy’s father, Rajesh Jaiswal, website claimed that his son was “sacrificed” in a mosque and the accused are “all Muslims.”“A new mosque had been built in the village and it is being alleged that there was a belief that if a Hindu was ‘sacrificed’, the mosque would become powerful and its influence would increase,” the article reads. The article also carries video of Rohit’s father and sister in which the father can be heard describing the incident and the sister can be heard pleading for help. However, nowhere in the videos can they be heard making any reference to a mosque. Other than OpIndia, Sirf News also published an article with headline:“Hindu boy ‘sacrificed’ in Gopalganj mosque; threatened parents leave Bihar for undisclosed location in UP.” DIG Vijay Kumar Verma denied that the incident was communal in nature and added that it was not related to the construction of any mosque.Stating that he has personally verified the allegations, Verma said that an FIR has been lodged against OpIndia under sections 295(A) and 67 of IT Act.Even DGP Bihar Gupteshwar Pandey rejected these claims. In a Facebook Live on 17 May, Pandey said that he has personally investigated the matter and no angle of enmity has come up.“The village has no maulvi to read namaz. I was told that the people go and read namaz in a different village. There is no mosque or temple angle to this incident, ”DGP Pandey. thequint

 

Delhi Court Sends Jamia Student Accused Of Instigating CAA Violence To Custody Till May 31

https://www.republicworld.com/india-news/law-and-order/jamia-millia-isamia-delhi-police-asif-iqbal-tanha-umar-khalid-caa.html

Delhi's Saket court on Sunday remanded Asif Iqbal Tahna, a Jamia student who is accused of violence in Jamia area of the national capital, to judicial custody till May 31. The Delhi Police arrested Tanha, a student of B.A third year in the Persian language in Jamia Millia Islamia and also an active member of Students Islamic Organisation and produced him before the court. According to Delhi Police, Tanha is a key member of Jamia Coordination Committee (JCC) and also played an active role in organising a protest and is accused of instigating riots in Jamia in December last year. "He is a close associate of Umar Khalid, Sharjil Imam, Meeran Haider and Shafoora who had been the key members of anti-CAA protests and subsequent riots," police said.republicworld

 

Crackdown on Activists: Women’s Collective Puts Delhi Police on Notice, Calls for Transparency

https://clarionindia.net/crackdown-on-activists-womens-collective-puts-delhi-police-on-notice-calls-for-transparency/

New Delhi:A women’s collective campaigning for the release of student activists arrested in connection with Delhi violence have written an open letter to the investigating officers to be transparent in the conduct of their inquiry.The letter casts doubts over Delhi Police claims that they were using scientific methods in the investigation. It accuses the investigators of lying about the manner of investigation as arrests are being made “carelessly”.The letter alleges that the investigators are “overlooking evidence and slapping charges against the activists under the draconian UAPA “which may or may not be proven”. The collective found a mismatch between the actions and words of investigators. Denouncing the arrests, especially of woman activists, the letter brands the actions of the police “vengeful vehemence”. “We see you putting a pregnant woman in solitary confinement for being part of a student body,” the letter says.The letter draws to how the investigators are “ignoring” the videos of stone pelting, mob violence or BJP leaders exhorting supporters to take law into their own hands.The letter claims that the collective did an investigation on their own in which they saw 45 FIRs and found “None of their FIRs have been put up for public scrutiny.”Clarion India

 

A Tale of Harevali Village in India's National Capital and Forced Conversion of Its Muslims to Hindu Religion

http://www.indiatomorrow.net/eng/a-tale-of-harevali-village-in-indias-national-capital-and-forced-conversion-of-its-muslims-to-hindu-religion

Harevali Village (Delhi);This non-descript village with a population of a little over 3000, populated mostly by Brahmins and Jats and 60 members of the 12 Muslim families, besides 25 Dalit families, is located just 40 kilometres from Indian Parliament in Lutyens Delhi, the seat of power in India.  The village falls in Bawana assembly constituency of Delhi, bordering Sonepat district of the neighbouring Haryana. It came into limelight after a 22-year-old Dilshad was badly beaten up by a few local youths on April 5 after Dilshad returned from a Tablighi Jamaat congregation in Bhopal, during lockdown imposed to check the spread of coronavirus infection. But what has gone unnoticed by the so-called mainstream media in all the din of lockdown, is the attempt by Hindu fanatics of this village and its temple priest to convert the miniscule Muslim population to Hinduism by using force.  Muslims in this village are illiterate, landless and poor, earning their livelihood by working on the agricultural fields of local Hindus and some factories in Bawana area, about six kilometres from the village. Their total cut-off from Muslim population left them unaware about Islam and its teachings. They admit that they don’t know anything about Islam, excepting its “Kalima”. But what happened in this village on April 5, is very horrifying. Round clock Islamophobic propaganda through television channels, digital and social media, in connivance with govt agencies, particularly Central and State Health Departments, accusing the Muslims of being spreaders of the deadly coronavirus impacted the minds of local Hindus. While they brutally tortured Dilshad on April 5, elders of the village planned a different strategy against the Muslims. They thought out a plan to forcibly convert them to Hinduism to get the village rid of its Muslims any trace of Islam and also coronavirus for which Muslims were being held responsible.India Tomorrow

 

Nagpur Surgeon Who Posted Hateful Tweets Says Sorry to Muslims

https://clarionindia.net/nagpur-surgeon-who-posted-hateful-tweets-says-sorry-to-muslims/

A Nagpur doctor who had recently posted Islamophobic messages on twitter apologised for hurting the sentiments of Muslim community.Attributing his hateful tweets to fake news that linked spread of Coronavirus to Muslims, Dr Satish Sonar, an orthopaedic surgeon, said the all-pervasive climate of hate against community fanned sectarian sentiments.“I apologise to all Muslim brothers and sisters for my wrong messages,” Dr Sonar said in a video message doing rounds on social media and whatsApp. He gave good wishes to Muslims for upcoming Eid. Dr Sonar is practicing medicine for over a decade in the Maharashtrian city. He claimed that a significant chunk of patients he sees come from Muslim community. “I treat them with love… I charge them minimal fees.” He said his attitude towards Muslims has always been positive.“I will always treat them with due care.”Clarion India

 

'Relieved We Could Bury Him in Ramzan': Delhi Riot Victim's Daughter Now Struggles to Survive Lockdown

https://www.news18.com/news/india/relieved-we-could-bury-him-in-ramzan-delhi-riot-victims-daughter-now-struggling-to-survive-lockdown-2627015.html

Gulshan has finally put her father to rest. It was a heartbreaking moment, but one that she had been waiting for. It was something that she'd had to fight for. “I will never be able to forget what it felt like to bring him back home, in a bag. But at least, after all these months, he was finally returned to me, one last time,” says Gulshan. A week from now, it will be three months since Anwar Kassar was burnt alive, one of the 53 victims of Delhi riots. On Feb.25, his house in North East Delhi was torched and he was allegedly thrown into the fire. All that was found of him was a burnt leg. “I’m just relieved that I could finally bury my father and that too during Ramzan. This is what I was praying for. That we’re able to say our final goodbye before this holy month ends,” says Gulshan.Since the past three months, Gulshan had been scrambling to give him a decent burial. First, she had to wait for a DNA test to confirm the identity of the remains. And then, the coronavirus lockdown delayed the process, further. On May 13, an application was filed before the metropolitan magistrate. On the 16th, the court ordered Karawal Nagar police station to release Anwar Kassar’s mortal remains and hand them over to Gulshan.

 

‘They kicked at Iftar food’: Muslims allege Police of brutality in Ahmedabad

http://twocircles.net/2020may18/436821.html?utm_source=feedburner&utm_medium=email&utm_campaign=Feed%3A+Twocirclesnet-IndianMuslim+%28TwoCircles.net+-+Indian+Muslim+News%29

 Shahpur is a Muslim majority locality in Ahmedabad which is also one of the containment zones. On 8 May, Shahpur police allegedly assaulted the locals while enforcing the lockdown. According to police, the violence erupted when two persons, who were allegedly sitting outside their homes during the lockdown, were asked to go inside their homes by police patrolling party.Police alleged that soon a mob gathered on the road and started pelting stones on police forcing the police to fire shells and use lathi-charge to disperse the mob.Residents, however, alleged that police beat up women,elderly people and also children. Following the incident, the police arrested 28 people including a 62-year-old man who couldn’t walk by himself – residents said.Junaid, a resident of Shahpur said that police took extreme measures on people and arrested innocent people. “Police are coming to check CCTV footage and searching people. The ladies here are still in fear. Also, there is panic among people,” he said.TwoCircles

 

Tipu Jayanti: Karnataka Govt Proposes Withdrawal of Cases Against BJP, VHP Leaders

https://thewire.in/government/tipu-jayanti-karnataka-govt-proposes-withdrawal-of-cases-against-bjp-vhp-leaders

Mumbai: BJP-led Karnataka government has recommended the withdrawal of 46 cases of violence, mostly against BJP leaders, VHP leaders and several right- wing organisations, accused of being directly involved in violence that erupted around the birth anniversary celebrations of the 18th century Mysore ruler Tipu Sultan.These cases – ranging from very serious forms of assaults on Muslims celebrating Tipu Jayanti to unlawful assembly – were registered across Karnataka between 2014 and 2018 when Congress’ Siddaramaiah was in power.The recommendation, made on March 5 with the approval of state governor Vajubhai Vala’s office, has been in principle opposed by both the police and the state law department.

 

Plea in SC challenging PM Modi’s election from Varanasi in 2019 polls

https://www.nationalheraldindia.com/india/plea-in-sc-challenging-pm-narendra-modis-election-from-varanasi-in-2019-polls

A plea has been filed in the Supreme Court challenging the election of PM Narendra Modi from Varanasi in 2019 general election, reports LiveLaw.in. Ex-BSF jawan Tej Bahadur has challenged the order of the Allahabad High Court passed on December 16, 2019 by way of Civil Appeal, in which the court had dismissed his Election Petition on ground of lack of locus standi and that the HC has failed to appreciate misuse of provisions under Sections 9 & 33(3) of Representation of People Act, 1951 by District Election Officer.

 

 

‘Expired’ polio vaccine given to 50 children of CRPF jawans at Delhi camp, probe ordered

https://theprint.in/india/expired-polio-vaccine-given-to-50-children-of-crpf-jawans-at-delhi-camp-probe-ordered/424847/

New Delhi: Expired polio and Easy 6 vaccines were allegedly administered to at least 50 children, aged between one and four months, of jawans posted with Special Duty Group (SDG) of CRPF, ThePrint learnt.The jawans were also charged Rs 300 for two drops of polio vaccine, which usually costs around Rs 20 in private hospitals, and Rs 3,000 for each shot of Easy 6 vaccine at a camp organised on 16 May by an SDG-commandant rank officer at Sector 4 Pushp Vihar in south Delhi. SDG, CRPF, takes care of PM’s security. Easy 6 vaccine provides immunity against six diseases — diphtheria, whooping cough, tetanus, meningitis, hepatitis B and polio.theprint

 

SP Leader, Son Shot Dead Following Dispute Over MNREGA Road; 5 Detained After Video Goes Viral

https://www.news18.com/news/india/sp-leader-son-shot-dead-following-dispute-over-mnrega-road-5-detained-after-video-goes-viral-2627057.html

Lucknow: A Samajwadi Party leader and his son were shot dead in broad daylight in Uttar Pradesh’s Sambhal district on Tuesday following an altercation over a road built under the MNREGA scheme.A viral video of the murder showed two men armed with rifles threatening SP leader Chhotelal Diwakar and his son Sunil, following which they shot dead the father-son duo. The video was recorded by one of the villagers present at the scene in Fatehpur Shamsoi village under Bahjoi police station in Sambhal.One of the armed men in video was identified as Savinder, a local strongman. Local sources said Diwakar and his son had gone to inspect the road which cut through a field in the village.An FIR was registered after a written complaint by Diwakar’s wife.“5 people have been detained in connection with the incident,” said Yamuna Prasad.Chhotelal Diwakar had contested 2017 assembly polls on a Samajwadi Party ticket.In a scathing reaction, Samajwadi Party said Yogi Adityanath govt had failed on the “law and order front”.

India,Bangladesh evacuate millions ahead of super cyclone

https://www.bbc.com/news/world-asia-india-52718826

India and Bangladesh are evacuating millions of people from coastal areas ahead of a super cyclone which is approaching from Bay of Bengal.Cyclone Amphan is expected to make landfall in an area near the border of the two countries later on Wednesday. Over 20 relief teams have already been deployed, and several more are on standby, Indian officials say. The coronavirus outbreak is making it harder for officials in both countries to evacuate people in these regions. Amphan is expected to hit the coast with winds gusting up to 185km/h, forecasters say.Officials in Bangladesh fear it will be the most powerful storm since Cyclone Sidr killed about 3,500 people in 2007. Most died as a result of sea water surging in.While the storm's current wind speed is likely to reduce slightly before it makes landfall, India's weather department is predicting the surge of water caused could be as high as 10-16 feet.The cyclone comes as ten of thousands of migrant workers flee cities for their villages during India's lockdown. West Bengal and Orissa are among the Indian states that are seeing a larger number of them return. Orissa has now cancelled trains which were due to arrive with thousands of migrants between 18 and 20 May. And some district officials have barred entry into their areas and requested the state government to accommodate the migrants - many of whom are walking home - elsewhere until storm passes. Evacuation is expected to continue into Wednesday morning. Bangladesh's disaster management minister has said that they plan to evacuate about two million people to safety.Extra shelters have been prepared to allow for social distancing. Masks are also being distributed. State officials in India are also struggling to find shelters for evacuees.Around 50,000 people have been evacuated from areas near Sunderban islands in India.bbc

Cyclone Amphan LIVE: Bengal Evacuates 3 Lakh People, Heavy Rainfall in Digha and Kolkata

 

*WORLD*

Syrian warring sides agree to Geneva constitution talks: UN envoy

https://www.aljazeera.com/news/2020/05/syrian-warring-sides-agree-geneva-constitution-talks-envoy-200519092539874.html

Representatives of opposing sides in Syria's war have agreed to reconvene in Geneva for stalled negotiations on the constitution, according to Geir Pedersen, UN special envoy to the country.A lull in fighting could provide an opportunity to start healing "deep, deep mistrust" between them, Pedersen said on Tuesday."As soon as the pandemic situation allows, they have agreed to come to Geneva and they have agreed on an agenda for the next meeting," he told journalists. Pedersen did not give a date and said a virtual meeting of the constitutional committee would not be possible.In the same briefing, Pedersen repeated a call for key international actors, including the United States and Russia, to hold talks about a push for peace.

 

South Africa to introduce changes to marriage laws, recognise Hindu-Muslim alliances

https://www.newindianexpress.com/world/2020/may/18/south-africa-to-introduce-changes-to-marriage-laws-recognise-hindu-muslim-alliances-2145065.html

 South African government is devising a new policy to change the country's marriage laws, including recognising traditional Hindu and Muslim alliances.Customary Hindu and Muslim marriages are currently not recognised as having the same legal status as civil marriages as per the country's Marriage Act 25 of 1961, which was enacted in the apartheid-era when only Christian marriages were recognised as being legal.This has led to serious issues, especially in denying rights to Muslim women in second marriages allowed under the Islamic law.In order to avoid children born into such a marriage being classified illegitimate, Hindu and Muslim couples had to undergo a second civil marriage in a court of law.PTI

 

*views, Articles, FEATURES*

India scored an own goal in great Afghan game by closing two consulates. Here’s how:JYOTI MALHOTRA

https://theprint.in/opinion/global-print/india-scored-an-own-goal-in-great-afghan-game-by-closing-two-consulates-heres-how/424591/

Migrant Workers Walk, Cycle Home on Empty Stomach and Pocket

https://www.thequint.com/my-report/coronavirus-india-lockdown-migrant-workers-on-foot-bihar-up

Madrasa Graduates Wary of Harassment if They Step Out to Buy Essentials in Lockdown: Shaheen Nazer , Clarion India

https://clarionindia.net/madrasa-graduates-wary-of-harassment-if-they-step-out-to-buy-essentials-in-lockdown/

Changes proposed to labour laws are unconstitutional:Arundhati Katju

https://indianexpress.com/article/opinion/columns/migrant-crisis-relaxation-in-labour-laws-india-trade-union-coronavirus-arundhati-katju-6416305/

Judiciary must speak up, hold government to account on its handling of pandemic:

Kapil Sibal

https://indianexpress.com/article/opinion/columns/extended-corona-lockdown-contractual-work-force-migrants-crisis-supreme-court-kapil-sibal-6416311/

 

 Compiled and edited by Anwarulhaq (Released at: 8:30 PM)*

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