News and views across the globe.

Thursday, 21 May 2020

21 May News: SC agrees to hear plea of Muslim and student organisations against CAA. Arrest of Young Activists under UAPA: Govt. Misusing COVID-19 Situation to Suppress Critical Voices, Say Rights Activists, Community Leaders. OIC Cautions India Against New Domicile Law, Says a Plot to Change Demography of Kashmir. Approach state govt first, Alld HC on plea to open mosques for Eid

NEWS DIGEST EVENING

21 May 2020: 27 Ramazan 1441: Vol: 12, No: 215

*INDIA- ISLAMOPHOBIA, HUMAN RIGHTS & OTHERS*

SC agrees to hear plea of Muslim and student organisations against CAA

https://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/india/sc-agrees-to-hear-plea-of-muslim-and-student-organisations-against-caa/articleshow/75849325.cms

NEW DELHI: The Supreme Court on Wednesday agreed to hear a fresh batch of petitions challenging constitutional validity of CAA but refused to pass any interim order to stay its operation.A bench of Chief Justice S A Bobde, Justices A S Bopanna and Hrishikesh Roy issued notice to Centre seeking its response on the petitions and tagged them with other petitions filed earlier against CAA. The court passed the order on petitions filed by Tamil Nadu Thoweed Jamat, All Assam Law Students Union, Muslim Students Federation(Assam) and others. More than 150 petitions have so far been filed in apex court on the issue.Tamil Nadu Thoweed Jamat, who filed the petition through advocate Vikas Singh Jangra, alleged that the amendment is against the fundamental principle of ‘secularism’, which is enshrined as basic structure of the Constitution as it has introduced religion as a reference point for acquisition of citizenship for illegal migrants from Afghanistan, Bangladesh and Pakistan.“The present Act has raised severe insecurity and apprehension in the mind of Muslim minority all over the country as the Act stands to be anti- Muslim community and anti- minority even on the face of it. The Act has made a clear exclusion of Muslim community in regards to the government policy of giving citizenship to undocumented migrants and refugees. The Citizenship Act, 1955 is on a principle that the citizenship as a unifying idea. Its shared identity is at the core of citizenship and has been at the core since the time the constitution was enacted in India,”it said.Muslim Students Federation in its plea alleged that Citizenship Amendment Act was in direct contradiction to Assam Accord of 1985 and Section 6A of the Citizenship Act and pleaded the court to declare the amendment as unconstitutional and illegal.TOI

 

Arrest of Young Activists under UAPA: Govt. Misusing COVID-19 Situation to Suppress Critical Voices, Say Rights Activists, Community Leaders

http://www.indiatomorrow.net/eng/arrest-of-young-activists-under-uapa-govt-misusing-covid-19-situation-to-suppress-critical-voices-say-rights-activists-community-leaders

NEW DELHI:Young and educated activists, who were spearheading the anti-CAA-NRC-NPR protests very peacefully and legally earlier this year, are now being falsely implicated by the Delhi Police in the end-February violence at the behest of a political party, charged a group of eminent rights activists, lawyers and community leaders at a joint press conference through Zoom Thursday afternoon. Speaking at the press conference, legal and human rights activist Teesta Setalvad said: “Despite the lockdown, whatever police are doing is police raj. They are doing it because people can’t protest now. The attitude of the Delhi Police and Home Ministry in the last 60-70 days is to give a message to the emerging educated leadership of the Muslim community and this is shameful. This is a misuse of COVID-19 situation. We don’t know when the lockdown will be lifted, but people will protest against this.”In recent weeks, around one dozen young activists and students, including Safoora Zargar, Meeran Haider and Khalid Saifi were booked and arrested under the stringent UAPA in connection with the Delhi violence.Taking part in the joint press conference on “Framing Anti-CAA Activists Under False Charges: The Continuous Witch-Hunt by Delhi Police”, senior lawyer of the Supreme Court Prashant Bhushan termed the police action as “conspiracy of investigation”.“Police are not investigating the conspiracy of Delhi violence, but it is a conspiracy of investigation. Those who set best example for protection of Constitution are now being targeted and arrested. All protests were peaceful despite all attempts by BJP people to disrupt them and even gunmen were sent there but the protesters did not resort to violence. When all attempts failed then people like Kapil Mishra was sent for clearly instigating the people. Those who were victims of the violence are now being targeted by police,” said Bhushan.Delhi University faculty Prof. Apoorvanand Jha equated Delhi Police probe into Delhi violence with Bhima Koregaon case probe. Questioning the invocation of UAPA, civil rights activist Kavita Krishnan charged that Police doing it just to keep them behind bars as they can’t do it in normal laws. She also asked why no action taken yet against Kapil Mishra for his provocative speech.All India Muslim Majlis-e Mushawarat president Navaid Hamid also questioned the silence of NHRC and NCM over the issue.“I offer my slam to youths in jail, they are real sons of India and they are Constitution warriors. They are now in jail. NHRC and NCM are silent. They are not caring about their constitutional responsibility. They should leave their post if they cannot protect the Constitution. UAPA was made to target dalit, adivasi and Muslims. They are not even sparing pregnant woman activists. This all is maligning the image of India in the world,” said Hamid. Rajya Sabha MP and Delhi University faculty Prof. Manoj Jha said: “This won’t stop here. They are farming bright students of university and tarnishing their career. They have chosen this timing with purpose when courts are not working properly.” Vice President of Jamaat-e-Islami Hind, Prof. Salim Engineer said the targeting of activists during the lockdown shows insensitivity of the govt.“The arrests, despite the pandemic, show insensitivity of our government. People are united and ready to fight against COVID and are with govt but it is silently pushing its communal agenda,” said Salim Engineer. indiatomorrow

Delhi Riots Probe Reminds of Bhima Koregaon, Gujarat Violence: Activists

 

US city passes resolution against CAA, calls Modi, BJP ‘Islamophobic’

https://maktoobmedia.com/2020/05/21/us-city-passes-resolution-against-caa-calls-modi-and-bjp-islamophobic/

St. Paul City, an American city has passed a resolution against India’s CAA and NRC, by denouncing India’s Prime Minister Narendra Modi and ruling political party BJP for its “Islamophobic” and “exclusionary ideology” on Wednesday.“City Council opposes NRC and the CAAin India which are discriminatory to Muslims, oppressed castes, women, indigenous peoples known as Adivasi, and LGBTQ community, and any other efforts that render vulnerable populations anywhere to become stateless, scapegoated, and targeted for discrimination, violence, and the abrogation of human rights that are universal to one and all,” the resolution reads.“The ruling BJP government of Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi is dominated by the exclusionary ideology of RSS, which advocates creation of a militant Hindu state, and implicitly and explicitly promotes discrimination against Muslims,” it added. The resolution was supported by 36 organizations, including Amnesty International, the American Civil Liberties Union, the Muslim Caucus of America, Hindus for Human Rights, Jewish Voice for Peace Twin Cities, The Advocates for Human Rights – and locally, SEIU Local 284, the Minnesota Nurses Association, Jewish Community Action and World Without Genocide. The resolution said that the CAA is the first instance of religion being used as a criterion for Indian citizenship.St. Paul City has become the fourth city in US to pass a resolution against India’s controversial citizenship law. Earlier, Seattle, one of the most powerful city councils in US and the Cambridge City Council which houses the world-renowned Harvard University and Massachusetts Institutes of Technology passed a similar resolution, urging India to repeal the CAA and stop NRC.“We welcome city’s strong stand for human and religious rights in India,” said Jaylani Hussein, executive director of Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR) -Minnesota. “Continued unrest in India has a serious impact on human rights and our state’s economy.”maktoobmedia

 

Delhi violence: Jamia student Asif Iqbal Tanha now charged under UAPA

https://scroll.in/latest/962553/delhi-violence-jamia-student-asif-iqbal-tanha-arrested-charged-under-uapa

A 24-year-old student of Jamia Millia Islamia has been arrested by Delhi Police in connection with the violence in North East Delhi, ANI reported.The action was taken amid allegations from student activists that the police have been targeting them for mobilising peaceful anti-government protests, starting December.The accused, Asif Iqbal Tanha, was on Sunday arrested for the violence at Jamia on Dec.15 and sent to police custody for seven days. According to Delhi Police Special Cell, action is being taken against Tanha under UAPA in the case. The police claimed that Tanha played an active role in orchestrating the protests against CAA.scroll

 

Delhi riots: 3 months after communal violence court nods for release of man’s remains

https://www.newindianexpress.com/cities/delhi/2020/may/19/delhi-riots-three-months-after-communal-violence-court-nods-for-release-of-mans-remains-2145201.html

NEW DELHI: Nearly three months after a woman lost her father in the communal violence that gripped northeast Delhi in February, she will be able to carry out his last rites after a court has allowed the release of the charred remains that were with the police for investigation.Gulshan had moved the court seeking release of the remains of her father, who was allegedly shot and thrown into fire by a mob, so that she could, to perform the last rites.Metropolitan Magistrate Richa Parihar directed the SHO of Police Station Karawal Nagar to release the mortal remains of the victim and to duly adhere to norms of human empathy and respect.newindianexpress

 

Delhi violence: Court dismisses suspended AAP Councillor Tahir Hussain's plea for transfer to Mandoli jail

https://www.newindianexpress.com/cities/delhi/2020/may/21/delhi-violence-court-dismisses-suspended-aap-councillor-tahir-hussains-plea-for-transfer-to-mandol-2145966.html

NEW DELHI: A Delhi court has dismissed a plea filed by suspended AAP Councillor Tahir Hussain, arrested in a case related to rioting in northeast Delhi during anti-CAA protests, seeking his transfer from Tihar jail to Mandoli prison in east Delhi due to apprehension on his life.Hussain alleged in the plea that his life was in danger in Tihar jail and since his brother and few employees are in Mandoli prison, he will be safe there.Metropolitan Magistrate Richa Manchanda rejected the plea saying Hussain has not given any specific names of persons who posed a threat to his life. "Further the shifting of prisoners due to Covid-19 pandemic is being monitored by the high-powered committee of the Delhi High Court."In these circumstances and also the fact that no specific name has been mentioned from whom the accused has apprehension of life, the application stands dismissed," the court said.

 Madhya Pradesh: Police officer who said lawyer beaten up for being ‘Muslim’ suspended

https://scroll.in/latest/962544/madhya-pradesh-police-officer-who-said-lawyer-beaten-up-for-being-muslim-suspended

Madhya Pradesh Police on Wednesday suspended a sub-inspector in Betul district for telling a lawyer that he was allegedly beaten up by the police as they mistook him for a Muslim, PTI reported.The lawyer, Deepak Bundele, claimed that he was stopped by the police when he was going to the district hospital in Betul on March 23, after restrictions were imposed to contain the spread of the coronavirus. Bundele alleged that he was thrashed mercilessly by the police after he informed about his visit to the hospital for treatment.

 

West Bengal: Muslims in Telinipara Recount the Horror of Violence and Arson

https://clarionindia.net/west-bengal-muslims-in-telinipara-recount-the-horror-of-violence-and-arson/?fbclid=IwAR0hznAZQDHgsxpsDzUnPhIcTZMsu-MdgQXiJldGz01HUAgIZ__l2jJq6-s

AN uneasy calm has enveloped locality of Telinipara. Located 40 kms to the north of the city of Kolkata near Hooghly river, on May 12 the area saw a massive bout of communal violence that left dozens of homes in rubble.The trigger for the violence was a minor altercation between members of Hindu and Muslim communities on May 10. That day, according to local Muslims, a few Hindu men passed unsolicited remarks on Muslim women in a market where they had gone to buy essentials.“Ye dekha corona, see this is corona,” the men jeered at them. They went on to warn the shopkeepers against selling their wares to Muslims. The incident was followed by a news that some Muslim residents of the locality were found positive for Coronavirus.Muslims say they complained about the matter to police, but they took no action. Their Hindu neighbours incensed by the complaint. This resulted in a squabble between two groups.However, timely intervention of the police saved the situation. But later, the same issue turned out to be a trigger for a full-scale communal conflagration in a town which has a history of communal convulsions.On May 12, a charged mob armed with petrol bombs descended on the locality and indulged in violence and arson.Aftab Ahmad, a local activist said that the mob cut the water supply to a building where mostly Muslims live. When a municipal employee who is a Muslim went to repair the supply line, the goons assaulted him.Clarion India

 

 

BJP's Bandi Sanjay Kumar likens Bhainsa clashes to Kashmiri Pandit exodus

https://www.newindianexpress.com/states/telangana/2020/may/19/bjps-bandi-sanjay-kumar-likens-bhainsa-clashes-to-kashmiri-pandit-exodus-2145209.html

ADILABAD/HYDERABAD: BJP State president Bandi Sanjay Kumar, on Monday, likened the Bhainsa communal clashes of May 10 to the exodus of Pandits from Kashmir, and attacked Chief Minister K Chandrasekhar Rao for not doing anything about it.  Bandi, who visited the party’s Adilabad district office and expressed support to those injured in the violence, said miscreants were creating tension in Bhainsa town with the help of the AIMIM, like the way Pakistani terrorists forced Pandits to leave Kashmir. “Muslims in Bhainsa are frequently attacking Hindus in order to occupy the entire town,” he said in a live video chat on social media.

 

Local Dispute in Siliguri Falsely Blamed on ‘Muslim Immigrants’

https://www.thequint.com/news/webqoof/muslim-bangladeshi-immigrants-attacked-bihari-family-in-west-bengal-fake-news

A viral video showing a woman crying for help is being shared on social media with a false claim that it involved a house being vandalised by 'illegal Muslim immigrants from Bangladesh'.However, the message was found to be completely misleading. The woman's family got into a dispute with their neighbours over the disposal of garbage bags following which clashes broke out between the two parties. The incident is being shared with a false communal spin.A viral video shows a woman crying and claiming that her brother was taken into custody by police after her house was vandalised. "They do this with us every time. Is it because we don't have a guardian?", she can be heard asking.thequint

 

Madras  HC quashes defamation cases against N Ram, Siddharth Varadarajan, urges media to ‘introspect’

https://theprint.in/judiciary/hc-quashes-defamation-cases-against-n-ram-siddharth-varadarajan-urges-media-to-introspect/426571/

Madras High Court Wednesday quashed criminal defamation complaints filed against several editors and journalists, including N. Ram, Siddharth Varadarajan and Nakkeeran Gopal.Justice Abdul Quddhose said the attitude of the State while dealing with defamation cases should be like parents dealing with their children.“State is like a parent for all citizens in so far as Defamation law is concerned. It is normal for some parents to face vituperative insults from their children… The attitude of the State with regard to defamation must also be the same as their tolerance level towards its citizens in so far as defamation is concerned must be akin to that of parents,” the court observed.It then asserted that the state government should therefore only sparingly use criminal defamation, and that it should not become an “impulsive prosecutor in criminal defamation matters that too in an era of social media where there are scores of abusive contents made against public figures”.

 

Amphan kills 21 in Bengal, Odisha, Bangladesh; Centre to send teams to assess damage in India

https://scroll.in/latest/962521/cyclone-amphan-kills-12-people-in-west-bengal-power-outages-in-several-areas-of-kolkata

Cyclone Amphan, which made landfall in West Bengal’s Digha on Wednesday evening, has killed 21 people so far in India and Bangladesh, the Hindustan Times reported on Thursday. Twelve people were killed in West Bengal, two in Odisha and seven in Bangladesh.Among those dead in Bangladesh are a five-year-old boy and a 75-year-old man, who were crushed under falling trees. In Odisha, one of the deceased was an infant, who died when the mud wall of the family’s hut collapsed due to heavy rain.The cyclone made landfall at 2.30 pm between Digha in West Bengal and Hatiya island in Bangladesh, PTI reported. It immediately flattened houses, uprooted trees and electric poles.

 19 million children at risk as Cyclone Amphan makes landfall in India and Bangladesh: UNICEF

https://maktoobmedia.com/2020/05/21/19-million-children-at-risk-as-cyclone-amphan-makes-landfall-in-india-and-bangladesh-unicef/

At least 19 million children in parts of Bangladesh and India are at imminent risk from flash flooding, storm surges and heavy rain as Cyclone Amphan makes landfall on Wednesday, UNICEF has warned.The Indian state of West Bengal, home to more than 50 million people, including over 16 million children, is expected to take a direct hit from the powerful storm.UNICEF is also very concerned that COVID-19 could deepen the humanitarian consequences of Cyclone Amphan in both countries. Evacuees who have moved to crowded temporary shelters would be especially vulnerable to the spread of respiratory diseases like COVID-19, as well as other infections.

 

SC issues notices on a PIL by Muslim women

https://economictimes.indiatimes.com/news/politics-and-nation/sc-issues-notices-on-a-pil-by-muslim-women/articleshow/75855701.cms

New Delhi: SC on Wednesday sought formal responses from the central and Maharashtra governments on a PIL filed by a Pune-based woman seeking entry into a local mosque. The woman claimed though she wrote seeking permission, there was no response.A bench led by CJI SA Bobde issued notices to the ministries of minority affairs, law and justice, NCW, Maharashtra State Board of Waqfs, Central Waqf Council, All India Muslim Personal Law Board, Jamiat Ulama-i-Hind and Darul Uloom Deoband.economictimes

 

Ex-AIADMK MLA, son among 14 arrested in communal clash case

https://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/city/madurai/ex-aiadmk-mla-son-among-14-arrested-in-communal-clash-case/articleshow/75836480.cms

Madurai: Fourteen people, including a former AIADMK MLA and his son, were arrested on Monday in connection with a clash between two sub-sects of scheduled caste. While two separate cases were registered by the M Chatrapatti police in Madurai district based on complaints from each side, a search is on for others involved.The former MLA, P Ponnambalam, 72, from Karuvanur village, was elected on the AIADMK ticket from Samayanallur constituency in 2001.According to police, Ponnambalam’s son P Thiruchitrambalam was consuming liquor along with his friends at a waterbody on Monday, when one of them, R Sarath told him that someone had stolen his Rs 10, 000 cash and a mobile phone. He suspected that a person from another community might have stolen them.

*SOUTH ASIA*

OIC Cautions India Against New Domicile Law, Says a Plot to Change Demography of Kashmir

https://clarionindia.net/oic-cautions-india-against-new-domicile-law-says-a-plot-to-change-demography-of-kashmir/

JEDDAH (UNA-OIC); Reiterating that Kashmir is a disputed territory as per the relevant UN Security Council resolutions, the General Secretariat of the Organisation of Islamic Cooperation (OIC) termed the recent notification of ‘Jammu and Kashmir Grant of Domicile Certificate (Procedure) Rules 2020’ as “baseless, running counter to international law and UN Security Council resolution 122”.General Secretariat said it has been following with deep concern Indian government’s unilateral actions on the region. Ascribing India’s actions of August 5, 2019 and subsequent measures to an agenda to “alter the demographics of Jammu and Kashmir, and undermine the rights of the people in the region”, it reaffirmed the importance of complying with international law and UNSC resolutions.Earlier, last month OIC's human rights body rejected the new laws introduced by the Indian government in Jammu and Kashmir, calling it “illegal” and a “violation” of international laws.clarionindia

 

Cabinet Gives Retrospective Nod To Law For Domicile Criterion For Jobs In Jammu And Kashmir

https://www.ndtv.com/india-news/cabinet-gives-retrospective-nod-to-law-for-domicile-criterion-for-jobs-in-jammu-and-kashmir-2232384

New Delhi: Union Cabinet has given an approval with retrospective effect to a law on specified domicile criterion for employment in the public sector in the Union Territory of Jammu and Kashmir."Union Cabinet, chaired by Prime Minister Narendra Modi, has given its ex post facto approval for the Jammu & Kashmir (Adaptation of State Laws) Second Order, 2020 issued under section 96 of Jammu & Kashmir Reorganisation Act, 2019," an official statement said.This order has further modified the applicability of domicile conditions to all levels of jobs in the Union Territory of Jammu & Kashmir under the Jammu & Kashmir Civil Services (Decentralisation and Recruitment) Act (Act No. XVI of 2010), it said.ndtv

 

Valley parties slam govt, say it is working on ‘disempowerment’ plan despite pandemic

https://indianexpress.com/article/india/jammu-and-kashmir-bifurcation-domicile-rules-6419949/

Srinagar :Accusing the Centre of “effecting demographic change” and continuing its “disempowerment project”, political parties in Jammu and Kashmir have opposed the domicile clause introduced in the J&K Reorganisation (Adaptation of State Laws) Order, 2020. On Monday, the J&K administration announced the rules for issuance of domiciles certificates in Union Territory. NC  said the rules are “aimed at disempowering the people of Jammu and Kashmir and effecting demographic change”.Terming the move “unconstitutional”, NC said both orders, for the domicile law and rules, have been “challenged in a number of petitions before the Supreme Court, the hearing before Constitution Bench has commenced and is proceeding ahead”. “… the Government of India… is under an obligation to desist from exercising powers under the impugned Act including power to promulgate Domicile law and Rules in question,” it added.PDP said in a statement that even a pandemic “is no deterrent for GOI to continue with its disempowerment project for J&K”. People’s Conference said in a statement that issuing order after order during a pandemic “will not change the reality on the ground that stares us, which is that people have not accepted the decisions of August 5”.CPM central committee member M Y Tarigami said that at a time when the people are concerned with the spread of the coronavirus, “BJP government is busy in redesigning the ‘union territory’ of Jammu and Kashmir.”indianexpress

 

 J&K: 12-year-old boy dies in house collapse during Srinagar encounter

https://scroll.in/latest/962536/j-k-12-year-old-boy-dies-in-house-collapse-during-srinagar-encounter

A 12-year-old boy in Srinagar died in a hospital on Wednesday, a day after he was injured in the Nawakadal area of the city where an encounter broke out between security forces and militants, Greater Kashmir reported. 2 Hizbul militants, including the son of a separatist leader, were killed in the gunfight.The boy, identified as Basim Aijaz, was among 5 people who were admitted to SMHS hospital in Srinagar. They were injured when a house in neighbourhood that was damaged in the encounter, collapsed and crumbled to a pile of debris.“The boy had burn injuries,” Medical Superintendent of SMHS Hospital Dr Nazir Chowdhary said. “He died this evening. 4 others who are admitted at the hospital are stable.”scroll

 Srinagar Encounter: Houses Burned and Looted, Used as Human Shields Allege Residents

https://thewire.in/rights/kashmir-srinagar-encounter

Srinagar: It was 2:30 am and Mukhtar Ahmad, 35, was preparing for a sehri (a meal eaten before sunrise by Muslims during Ramadan) when he suddenly heard a big thud outside his house.Anxious to know the nature of the noise, Mukhtar peeped out of his window and saw a large contingent of government forces in the narrow lane leading to his house.Surprised by the presence of such a huge force, he immediately came downstairs to inform his family about the situation outside.“As we were still trying to figure out what was going on, we heard a knock at the front gate. The forces told us to come out,” Mukhtar, a shopkeeper, recalled.The government forces had information about presence of militants in locality. Two Hizbul Mujahideen militants, one of whom was Junaid Ashraf Khan ‘Sehrai’, whose father is the chairman of the separatist conglomerate Tehreek-e-Hurriyat, were killed on Tuesday morning after a 15-hour-long gun battle with forces in a densely populated area in downtown Srinagar. Mukhtar and his family of five, including his mother, father, brother, sister-in-law, and a nephew, politely followed the orders. While the forces allowed the rest of the family to move away from the encounter site, Mukhtar and his nephew were held back. After forces cordoned off the area, Mukhtar, along with his nephew, was asked to film the insides of houses where militants were suspected to be hiding with their camera phone.“They beat us and told us to go inside and make a video. We were used as human shields,” Mukhtar alleged.Forced to enter the houses, the two of them resorted to calling out in Kashmiri to ask if anyone was inside.“I was carrying Rs 63,000 cash in my pocket, which I had picked up from home when we were asked to evacuate it, but they took that too from me,” Mukhtar alleged.Many other residents, several of whose houses were burned, claimed that the police looted cash, jewellery, and other valuables from their homes as they carried out the operation to eliminate militants in the area.Nazir Ahmad Darzi, 47, and his son Mohammed Ibrahim Darzi, 15, also claimed to have been used as human shields during the operation.Like others who had already been assembled near the encounter site, he too was asked to go inside the suspected houses and film them.Ibrahim’s father also narrated the same story. “I was ready to die but was scared for my son. I can never forget those hours,” Nazir Ahmad said. “I was begging the forces to allow me to go inside the houses alone, to just spare my son.”Both the Darzis’ and Mukhtar’s houses were burned down in the encounter. The families alleged that all their belongings, too, were looted.thewire

Kashmir Tragedy: Security Forces Raze Entire Moholla in Pursuit of Two Militants

 

Kashmir Press Club voices concern about media freedom after police summon J&K journalist

https://scroll.in/latest/962571/kashmir-press-club-voices-concern-about-media-freedom-after-police-summon-j-k-journalist

Kashmir Press Club on Thursday expressed concern over the police summoning journalists in the Valley and urged the “highest authorities in the administration” to look into these issues so that media persons are provided a conducive atmosphere to work.The cyber cell of Kashmir Police on Wednesday summoned The Kashmir Walla’s Founding Editor Fahad Shah in connection with his reportage on the Srinagar gunfight. On Tuesday, two Hizbul Mujahideen militants, including the son of a separatist leader, were killed in a gunfight between security forces and militants in Nawakadal area of Srinagar. The gunfight left destruction in its wake, with several houses being razed to the ground, burnt or partially damaged.

 

Tension on India-China borders shows Beijing’s aggression can be real, says US diplomat

https://scroll.in/latest/962537/tension-on-india-china-borders-shows-beijings-aggression-can-be-real-says-us-diplomat

United States said on Wednesday that the tension on the border between India and China in Ladakh and Sikkim was a reminder of the fact that Chinese aggression can be real, not merely rhetorical. America’s remarks came after Indian and Chinese armies rushed in additional troops in areas around Pangong Tso and Galwan Valley in Ladakh, PTI reported.“The flareups on the border, I think, are a reminder that Chinese aggression is not always just rhetorical,” Alice Wells, the head of the South and Central Asia bureau in the US Department of State, said. “And so whether it is the South China Sea or whether it is along the border with India, we continue to see provocations and disturbing behaviour by China.”

 

*INDIA- CORONAVIRUS- LOCKDOWN*

Approach state govt first, Alld HC on plea to open mosques for Eid

https://www.hindustantimes.com/lucknow/approach-state-govt-first-alld-hc-on-plea-to-open-mosques-for-eid/story-54DiYdzR9YbOzXF0vGxgaJ.html

Prayagraj: Allahabad High Court on Wednesday disposed of a PIL seeking the opening of mosques/idgahs in Uttar Pradesh for offering jamaat/namaz on Eid-ul-Fitr for an hour, saying that the petitioner must first approach the state government in this regard.The court said that on denial of the relief claimed or any unusual delay in considering the same, the petitioner shall be at liberty to approach the high court by filing a writ petition.In the PIL, the petitioner, Shahid Ali Siddiqui, a lawyer, had requested the court to direct the state government to open a mosques/idgahs situated in Uttar Pradesh state for offering jamaat/namaz of Eid-Ul-Fitr and Dova in congregation for one hour (from 9:00 am to 10:00 am) and future Juma (Friday) namaz till June, 2020.Disposing of the PIL, a division bench comprising chief justice Govind Mathur and justice Siddhartha Varma observed, “On going through the averments contained in the petition, it does not appear that the petitioner before approaching this court had made any demand to the state government for redressal of the grievance.”

Allahabad HC Dismisses Plea Seeking Permission To Allow Opening Of Mosques On Eid, Directs Petitioner To Approach State Govt

 

India Faces a Major Economic Catastrophe, PMO Can't Handle By Itself, Says Raghuram Rajan

https://thewire.in/political-economy/india-faces-a-major-economic-catastrophe-pmo-cant-handle-by-itself-says-raghuram-rajan

New Delhi: “I’m very worried about the extent of the catastrophe we’re facing … the government must consult opposition talent … it can’t all be done by PMO … we must pull out all stops … if more is not done, the economy will be a shadow of it’s former self”, said former Reserve Bank of India governor Raghuram Rajan in an interview to The Wire. In candid and outspoken remarks, Rajan, who is also a former chief economic advisor to the government of India and former chief economist of the IMF, said the threat to India’s economic prospects was such that the government must consult the best talent in the country and not worry about who is across the political aisle. He said the situation could get very ugly and it cannot all be handled by the PMO. Rajan told The Wire the challenge was not just to repair the damage done by the coronavirus and the lockdown but the preceding 3-4 years of economic drift. Asked if a government that was responsible for the drift and doesn’t even accept the economy had been drifting could be the one to battle it, the former RBI governor said there was a lot of capable talent in the country and the government should call on it. Dr. Rajan said this included former BJP finance ministers, although he did not take Yashwant Sinha’s name. Asked if he was referring to both Sinha and P. Chidambaram Dr. Rajan did not demur but said the government should not worry about political differences at a time like this.

 

13,000 jute mill workers in Andhra Pradesh on strike over non-payment of wages for lockdown period

https://www.nationalheraldindia.com/india/13000-jute-mill-workers-in-andhra-pradesh-on-strike-over-non-payment-of-wages-for-lockdown-period

More than 13,000 people working in jute mills located mainly in four districts of Andhra Pradesh have refused to begin work unless they were paid their wages during the lockdown period as ordered by the Central government. The workers went on a strike in front of the mills just ahead of their shifts since they had not been paid ever since the lockdown began on March 24, leaving them all in financial distress.The 13 jute mills in the state are situated in 4 north coastal districts of AP – Srikakulam, Vizianagaram, Visakhapatnam and West Godavari. Most of the mill owners decided to begin operations after the second phase of the lockdown ended on May 3. Workers of a few mills owing allegiance to Indian Federation of Trade Union (IFTU) have been on strike ever since then, while those in Saluru and Nellimarlain Vizianagaram district began their strike on May 20.

 

Covid-19: No 14-day quarantine for passengers on domestic flights, says civil aviation minister

https://scroll.in/latest/962591/covid-19-no-14-day-quarantine-for-passengers-on-domestic-flights-says-civil-aviation-minister

Union Civil Aviation Minister Hardeep Singh Puri today announced there will be no 14-day quarantine for passengers on domestic flights. The minister said that only one-third of the flights will be allowed to operate under strict rules when domestic flight services resume on May 25.“The passengers are expected to certify the status of their health through the Aarogya Setu app or a self-declaration form,” Puri said during a press briefing on the resumption of domestic air travel in the country. “This system which we have followed of the middle seat not being kept vacant has worked...we take other corresponding preventive measures,” the Union minister claimed. He added that each aircraft is disinfected after every flight, passengers are tested through thermal screening and are required to wear masks. The crew members also wear protective gear, Puri said.Following Puri’s briefing, Assam Minister Himanta Biswa Sarma said that his state would prefer if those travelling on flights are quarantined.Earlier in day, Ministry of Civil Aviation issued new guidelines for domestic flight operations from May 25, shortly after Airports Authority of India released standard operating procedures.Only one check-in bag and a cabin baggage will be allowed, meal service will not be provided on board, the ministry said.It also advised vulnerable persons, including the elderly, pregnant women and passengers with health problems to avoid air travel.scroll

 

Covid-19: Railways to resume 200 trains from June 1, bookings to begin at 10 am today

https://scroll.in/latest/962517/covid-19-railways-to-resume-200-trains-from-june-1-bookings-to-begin-at-10-am-today

Indian Railways on Wednesday issued a list of 100 pairs of trains that will operate from June 1. The railways said these trains will have both air conditioned and non-air conditioned coaches. The coaches will be fully reserved, including the one with general seating, and bookings will begin at 10 am on Thursday, it said.India has been under a nationwide lockdown since March 25 in an effort to contain the spread of the coronavirus. As of Wednesday, the country had reported 1,06,750 cases of Covid-19, including 3,303 deaths. The lockdown, which has been extended thrice, is scheduled to end on May 31.

 

AMU arranges special trains for stranded students belonging to Bihar, Jharkhand, Assam

https://newsd.in/aligarh-muslim-university-arranges-special-trains-for-stranded-students-belonging-to-bihar-jharkhand-and-assam/

AMU issued a notice on May 20,  in order to inform that varsity, has made the arrangement for transportation of all the stranded students belonging to Bihar, Jharkhand and Assam.As per the final list provided by DSW office, students will be sent back to their homes by a special train scheduled to depart at 10:30 PM on May 21 from Aligarh Railway Station. Newsd

 Across Bihar, migrants returning from Delhi top list of new Covid positive cases

https://theprint.in/health/across-bihar-migrants-returning-from-delhi-top-list-of-new-covid-positive-cases/426636/

Patna: Workers returning from Delhi top the list of migrants who have tested positive for Covid-19 in Bihar.Bihar government sources told ThePrint that around 7 lakh migrants have entered the state since the end of April, and the figure is expected to double by mid-June. The figure includes people using any mode of transportation, including Shramik Special trains.The total number of positive Covid-19 cases in Bihar is 1,900, as on Thursday, 21 May.The official list shows that 1,592 migrant workers returning from Delhi have been tested for the novel coronavirus, of which 249, or around 16 per cent, have tested positive. Maharashtra ranks second, with 187 out of 2,161 returning migrant workers testing positive (9 per cent).ThePrint

 Despite relaxations, hundreds of Migrants stranded in Noida border

https://maktoobmedia.com/2020/05/21/despite-relaxations-hundreds-of-migrants-stranded-in-noida-border/

With new directions to ease lockdown, Raghunandan Goswami walked to the Delhi border only to be stopped by UP police. With nothing to feed on or any shelter, Goswami camps near the border along with hundreds who believe their grief will be soon answered.Goswami recently had eye surgery and have been asked to take rest. But the situation leaves him no other options but to leave for home.Although many have been asked to go back, people are coming on the roadside in the hope to go home.Since lockdown started, Millions of migrant labours across the country have walked home covering hundreds of kilometres. Special trains and buses are arranged by some states after growing unrest.About 140 migrant labours have been killed on road in various accidents during the lockdown. Although the Central government have announced a relief package, the decision came too late to uphold confidence in poor.“I was living at a friend’s place in Palwal, Haryana. My friend left earlier due to the lockdown and I am left with nothing to eat,” lamented Goswami.Hundreds of Migrant labours have taken the road again after the fourth phase extension of Lockdown which was initiated on March 25. Although the Delhi government have lifer the travel restrictions, UP police stopped the migrants.Many alleged that police misbehaved and hit them with batons.

 

Ground Report: Why Migrants Think They're Being 'Held Captive' at Delhi Shelter Homes

https://thewire.in/rights/ground-report-why-migrants-think-theyre-being-held-captive-at-delhi-shelter-homes

New Delhi: Over the past few days, the sight of thousands walking, hungry, fatigued, trying to return to their villages has given way to other visuals, as stark, of the surge at the border, fighting for a place on the buses or trains headed home.Among them are many who had tried before but were caught and sent to live in temporary shelters across Delhi. This is the story of some of them, of the conditions they were forced to live in thanks to a lockdown enforced with a haste and a lack of planning which never factored them in. Many of them have only now managed to leave the shelters, but others, mostly from Uttar Pradesh continue to remain there as a fresh set of migrants passing through Delhi join them. SDMC Primary School in Sarai Kale Khan II in South-East Delhi is located at the end of a narrow lane, just wide enough to let a car in. Since April 18, Delhi government has turned it into a ‘shelter camp’ for migrant labourers and others, the homeless who are the more permanent residents of the streets of Delhi. More than a 100 such school-shelters have been set up across Delhi’s 11 districts which at the peak of the crisis housed more than 25,000 people. Pushpendra from Bulandshahr used to work as a driver at a taxi stand in Delhi. Left with no means to support himself when the lockdown was imposed and his taxi stand shut down, he decided to walk home. “As I got closer to the Delhi border, I saw hundreds of others walking, some were going to Bihar, I considered myself lucky that I had only a 100 km to go.”

 Hyderabad: Muslim leaders plead for prayers at Eidgah Hans News Service

https://www.thehansindia.com/andhra-pradesh/muslim-leaders-demand-withdrawal-of-caa-in-kurnool-591250?infinitescroll=1

Hyderabad: With less than a week for the biggest festival of Muslims, Eid-ul-Fitr, marking conclusion of holy month of Ramzan, religious leaders have started appealing to CM K Chandrasekhar Rao to allow devout to pray at Eidgahs across Telangana while maintaining 'social distance' norm after consulting medical experts. Given the fact that devout across the world are attending mosques, while maintaining 'social distancing' norms during this Ramzan, Md Mushtaq Malik, the president of Tahreek Muslim Shabban and Convenor JAC (TS and AP) in a an open letter addressed to CM, stated that Muslim community has adhered to all the norms of COVID-19 and remained committed.The State president of Jamaat-e-Islami Hind, Hamid Mohammed Khan, also urged CM to consider allowing at least some devout by maintaining 'social distancing'. He called upon the community members to follow govt guidelines strictly and avoid indulging in shopping like normal days, prior to Eid.

 

Nagpur: No plan for Eid shopping, Muslims to opt for charity

https://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/city/nagpur/no-plan-for-eid-shopping-muslims-to-opt-for-charity/articleshow/75856800.cms

Nagpur: Amid indications that shops might open just two days before the Eid-ul-Fitr, which falls on Saturday for Dawood Bohras and subsequently for rest of Muslim community, members from across sects have decided to shun traditional shopping of clothes and home furnishing items. Calls have been given to spend the money saved on these items to the needy as well as migrants passing through the city.On Wednesday, intellectuals, businessmen, doctors, and netas from city released a video appealing to Muslims to not venture out for Eid shopping to prevent spread of coronavirus. Instead spend on charity as the holy month of Ramzan comes to an end, they said.Clerics too have asked the believers to abstain from buying new clothes, footwear or home decors even if these are now available.Hamid Qureshi, secretary of Jamiat Islahul Muslemeen, said that during Ramzan Muslims sacrificed their routine religious activities to stay indoors. “Now, in the last leg of the holy month, the Ramzan festivities conclude with Eid namaz. As we changed our schedule, I feel except for essential items, no other purchasing is necessary now. We can spend the saved money to feed the poor in our neighbourhood, town and city,” he said.Zafar Ahmed Khan, founder president of School Headmasters Charitable Association, said that it is the responsibility of Muslims to help the poor, irrespective of caste and religion. TOI

 

'Vision 2026': A Muslim NGO's Multi-Faceted Program Working as Change Agent for Thousands of Unprivileged

http://www.indiatomorrow.net/eng/vision-2026-a-muslim-ngos-multi-faceted-program-working-as-change-agent-for-thousands-of-unprivileged

NEW DELHI;1.8 lakh patients treated, poor of them got support worth Rs 60 lakh; 3 new schools were opened and capacity of 7 others was enhanced with construction of 27 new classrooms; 106 drinking water points started; 68 low cost houses were constructed and delivered to the beneficiaries. This is just a snapshot of the vast work done by Human Welfare Foundation (HWF) under its flagship program ‘Vision 2026’ during the financial year ending March 2020.‘Vision 2026’ covers diverse areas like education, healthcare, community development, social welfare, orphan care, economic empowerment, women empowerment, medical service, civil rights protection and microfinance.“Our mission is to serve the poor and deprived sections of the society by providing them the basic amenities like education, healthcare, food and shelter that equip individuals to become an equal partner in the progress of the nation, and by helping the sufferers of calamities to move towards a world free from hunger, ignorance, deprivation, and exploitation,” says HWF, an affiliate of Jamaat-e-Islami Hind, in its annual report for ‘Vision 2026’. At its 11 hospitals and medical centres in different parts of the country, as many as 1,80,386 patients were treated and poor patients among them got aid worth Rs 59,89,801 in the year 2019-20. Moreover, 657 mobile medical camps and 21 medical camps were held where 40,006 and 1965 people got treatment respectively. As the country is witnessing unprecedented Coronavirus pandemic, HWF came out and extended medical support to government authorities. It gifted 500 PPE kits, 6050 masks and 1150 sanitizers to DM of South East Delhi.India Tomorrow

 

Behind Ahmedabad's Ventilator Controversy, a Backstory of Connections to Top BJP Leaders

The firm, whose ventilators were developed in "10 days" and have proved ineffective on COVID patients, had as one of its promoters the business family that gifted Narendra Modi an expensive monogrammed suit in 2015.

 

Behind Ahmedabad's Ventilator Controversy, a Backstory of Connections to Top BJP Leaders: thewire

https://thewire.in/political-economy/modis-monogrammed-suit-rajkot-ventilator-vijay-rupani

New Delhi: The Narendra Modi government is procuring 5,000 ventilators from a Rajkot-based firm which has already been accused of supplying breathing machines to Ahmedabad’s largest COVID-19 hospital that doctors there say are not up to the mark.The firm’s current and former promoters have had close associations with top BJP leaders – with at least one business family, The Wire has established, linked to the controversial gift of an expensive suit to Prime Minister Modi.This procurement is being done through state-run HLL Lifecare, according to Gujarat’s principal health secretary Jayanti Ravi. It is also possible that the purchase is being supported by financial resources provided by the PM Cares Fund, which said earlier this month that it was spending Rs 2,000 crore for the purchase of 50,000 “made in India” ventilators.Over the last few weeks, a harsh spotlight has been turned on hundreds of ‘Made in India’ ventilators that were supplied free of cost to Ahmedabad civil hospital by Jyoti CNC Automation Ltd, whose chairman-cum-managing director, Parakramsinh Jadeja, is seen in the state as being close to chief minister Vijay Rupani.

 

Andhra Pradesh: Activist writes to CM, demands interest-free loans for middle class

https://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/city/visakhapatnam/activist-writes-to-cm-demands-interest-free-loans-for-middle-class/articleshow/75855011.cms

VISAKHAPATNAM: A city-based advocate and political activist has written to the chief minister to provide financial assistance in the form of interest-free personal loans for the middle and lower middle class, who are not beneficiaries of any government schemes and are having a hard time in the present pandemic situation.In his letter to chief minister YS Jaganmohan Reddy, advocate IM Ahmed, AP state president of Welfare Party of India, requested the state to grant interest-free personal loans up to Rs 5 lakhs to middle class and lower middle class families so they could ‘lead a dignified and safe life’.Those who fall under this category include private employees, private school or college teachers, journalists, advocates, young private doctors and legal professionals with few years of experience, petty businessmen or traders, artists, musicians, writers or creative people.Due to the lockdown, jobs, private practices or businesses of all these people have suffered badly and many of them have no income or job, the activist saids.

 

*views, Articles, FEATURES*

Modi Govt has lost Moral Authority to Rule Country:Akhilendra Pratap Singh

https://countercurrents.org/2020/05/modi-government-has-lost-the-moral-authority-to-rule-the-country/

BJP’s pettiness over Congress offer to transport UP migrants shows bankruptcy of political system:Sruthisagar Yamunan

https://scroll.in/article/962522/bjps-pettiness-over-congress-offer-to-transport-up-migrants-shows-bankruptcy-of-political-system?fbclid=IwAR08vFOsVad9FflEOc5BN5JXXoHS5qxh6eh3LnXQvh0MeyEJjoIbWR96QoY

Havoc in Kashmir:YASHWANT SINHA & OTHERS

https://www.thecitizen.in/index.php/en/NewsDetail/index/4/18769/Havoc-in-Kashmir?fbclid=IwAR2z1ZH7JeRmWDjVOAU2T5vN5JA5OLBRofzQslcRsO6L8AKT8DxsR13SLw4

US is using wheat as a weapon of war in Syria: Steven Sahiounie, MIDEAST DISCOURSE

https://www.mideastdiscourse.com/2020/05/19/the-us-is-using-wheat-as-a-weapon-of-war-in-syria/?fbclid=IwAR0cJxhKLehGYIQ-gWrR2JLmpUFzFit_q33oC8ORuntlanEsNYxybPp0csM

How ‘Ertugrul’ Fed The Hearts Of Muslims Hungry For Representation:HIBA BÉG

https://www.thequint.com/entertainment/hot-on-web/ertugrul-gazi-muslims-viral-show-why-does-it-work

The inside story of Zee News becoming a Covid-19 hotspot: Atul Chaurasia

https://www.newslaundry.com/2020/05/20/the-inside-story-of-zee-news-becoming-a-covid-19-hotspot

11 years on, justice eludes Muslim victims of Beemapalli police firing:By Najiya O, TwoCircles.net

http://twocircles.net/2020may20/436895.html

Shahid Afridi can be the new Imran Khan of Pakistan. He has what it takes:NAILA INAYAT freelance journalist from Pakistan, theprint

https://theprint.in/opinion/letter-from-pakistan/shahid-afridi-can-be-the-new-imran-khan-of-pakistan-he-has-what-it-takes/426058/

On Altar of Cartography, Pandits and Muslims Made the Ultimate Sacrifice:Farooq Shah

https://thewire.in/rights/kashmiri-pandits-muslims-sacrifice

 * Compiled and edited by Anwarulhaq (Released at: 8:28 PM)*

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