News and views across the globe.

Sunday, 3 May 2020

3 May News: Study suggests suicide as leading cause for over 300 deaths during lockdown in India. Thanks to PM Modi, India will play a greater role in new world order post-COVID-19: BJP’s Ram Madhav. Unfair to pin Covid-19 blame on Tablighi Jamaat: Kejriwal. No Apologies for Tweet, Will Continue Struggle Against Hate Politics in India: Dr. Zafarul Islam Khan

NEWS DIGEST EVENING

3 May 2020: 9 Ramazan 1441: Vol: 12, No: 197

*CORONAVIRUS- LOCKDOWN–‘ISLAMOPHOBIA’: INDIA*

Study suggests suicide as leading cause for over 300 deaths during lockdown in India

https://theprint.in/india/study-suggests-suicide-as-leading-cause-for-over-300-deaths-during-lockdown-in-india/413656/

New Delhi: Suicide was the leading cause for over 300 non-coronavirus deaths reported in India due to distress triggered by the lockdown, revealed a new set of data compiled by a group of researchers. The group, comprising public interest technologist Thejesh GN, activist Kanika Sharma and assistant professor of legal practice at Jindal Global School of Law Aman, said 338 deaths have occurred from March 19 till May 2 and they are related to lockdown. According to the data, 80 people killed themselves due to loneliness and fear of being tested positive for the virus. The suicides are followed by migrants dying in accidents on their way back home (51), deaths associated with withdrawal symptoms (45), and those related to starvation and financial distress (36). There have been a staggering number of suicides, caused by fear of infection, loneliness, lack of freedom of movement, and alcohol withdrawal during the lockdown.“For instance, unable to handle withdrawal (a medical condition), as many as seven people have died after consuming aftershave and sanitizer lotions. A large number of migrant labourers stuck in quarantine facilities, away from family, died by suicide, fearing infection, and sometimes even the stigma attached to the disease,” group said.Other causes of the non-coronavirus deaths were exhaustion (24), including workers travelling long distances on foot or queuing for ration, police atrocity/state violence (11), lockdown-related crimes (12), including vigilantism for violating rules, and denial of medical care (38).“There are also 41 cases where the specific cause is not clear. An example of such an incident would be where there is a conflict between account of the state and the family/friends of deceased about the cause of the death, said Aman.“Also, it must be understood these deaths are likely an underestimate: only a fraction of deaths as per reported by the media and we may have missed some deaths reported in local media as well.”PTI

 

Thanks to PM Modi, India will play a greater role in new world order post-COVID-19: BJP’s Ram Madhav

https://www.timesnownews.com/india/article/thanks-to-pm-modi-india-will-play-a-greater-role-in-new-world-order-post-covid-19-bjp-s-ram-madhav/586241

https://www.aninews.in/news/national/general-news/india-will-play-greater-role-in-new-world-order-post-covid-19-ram-madhav20200502232813/

New Delhi: Senior BJP leader Ram Madhav believes that India is set to play a greater role in the new world order that would emerge post-COVID-19.Praising Prime Minister Narendra Modi for handling the overall coronavirus situation so far, Madhav said that it has not only enhanced India's prestige in the world but also shows that the country is going to play a greater role in the new world order that would emerge post-COVID-19.Madhav, a BJP General Secretary, also said that the world will have a totally different agenda after the fight against Covid-19 is over worldwide and added that healthcare is going to be one of them. This issue is going to dominate the world, he said."We have supplied medicines to 80 plus countries during this pandemic. We are a leader in healthcare, we are leader in the pharmaceuticals, in IT services and we are a model of vibrant and liberal democracy for the entire world. PM Modi has been championing the cause of climate change and environmental issues. I am sure India will have a great role to play in the new world order that will emerge post-COVID-19," ANI quoted him as saying.Asked about China being blamed for the spread of the coronavirus across the world, Madhav said that there is no proof or evidence to come to any conclusion at this juncture.Times Now /ANI

 

Allegations of Islamophobia in India are propaganda; not based on ground realities: Ram Madhav hits out at Anjuman-e-Haideri for targeting RSS

https://www.aninews.in/news/national/general-news/ram-madhav-hits-out-at-anjuman-e-haideri-for-targeting-rss-says-all-phobias-are-bad20200502210007/

https://www.devdiscourse.com/article/newsalert/1034541-allegations-of-islamophobia-in-india-are-propaganda-not-based-on-ground-realities-ram-madhav-to-pti

 

New Delhi: Senior BJP leader Ram Madhav has hit out at Anjuman-e-Haideri for accusing RSS of targeting Muslims in the wake of COVID-19 and said such accusations were a result of RSS phobia."This pandemic is a challenge for the entire humanity. It does not see any religion, any region. It does not see any country. In the fight against this pandemic, we all should be united. Anybody spreading any communal or negative sentiment should be condemned and rejected," Madhav said. He said sometimes people tend to exaggerate and propaganda about Muslims in India being subjected to troubles and problems is certainly exaggerated propaganda. "Islamophobia has become a fashionable slogan. Now everybody writes about it. Let me tell you. Such phobias exist in all societies.At some level, there can be Islamophobia for some people. There is Modi phobia here. There is RSS phobia here," he said slamming Anjuman-e-Haideri, the largest Shia organisation in the country.In a letter written to Prime Minister Narendra Modi, the organisation accused "Manuvadi forces including in RSS" of false and baseless campaign targeting Muslims. It talks about "anti-national groups damaging India's safety and security, creating hatred among different communities, orchestrating public strife and damaging India's relations with closer ally countries".Madhav said different people have different phobias but all such phobias are bad."Islamophobia is bad. So is Modi phobia... so is RSS phobia. We should get out of these phobias. India is safe for all its 1.3 billion people," he said.ANI

 

Aarogya Setu A Sophisticated Surveillance System: Rahul

https://www.ndtv.com/india-news/coronavirus-aarogya-setu-a-sophisticated-surveillance-system-says-rahul-gandhi-2222263?pfrom=home-bigstory&fbclid=IwAR1WbZ2WGBRTC7GcsLXPbXg2uS_jf2rvBUqfBarlW_RwVQR89ga36KGEICk

New Delhi: Congress MP Rahul Gandhi has criticised the government over the coronavirus tracking app Aarogya Setu as a "sophisticated surveillance system". The app that was meant for voluntary use when it was launched in early April has been made a must for all private and government employees. If a private firm employee is found without the app on their phone, the head of the company will be held responsible, centre has said."Arogya Setu app, is a sophisticated surveillance system, outsourced to a pvt operator, with no institutional oversight - raising serious data security & privacy concerns. Technology can help keep us safe; but fear must not be leveraged to track citizens without their consent," Rahul tweeted.Arogya app, is a sophisticated surveillance system, outsourced to a pvt operator, with no institutional oversight- raising serious data security & privacy concerns. Technology can help keep us safe; but fear must not be leveraged to track citizens without their consent.

 

Over 150,000 Indians in UAE register to return home amid COVID-19 lockdown; 20% have suffered job losses

https://www.firstpost.com/india/coronavirus-lockdown-over-150000-indians-in-uae-register-to-return-home-20-have-suffered-job-losses-says-official-8327571.html

 Dubai: Over 150,000 Indians in UAE, who wish to return home amid the coronavirus lockdown, have applied through the online registration process to the Indian missions, according to media reports.Indian missions in the country last week opened online registration for the expatriates who wish to fly back home after getting stuck in the country amidst the lockdown due to the coronavirus pandemic."As of 6 pm on Saturday, we received more than 150,000 registrations," Consul General of India in Dubai Vipul told the Gulf News on Saturday.A quarter of them want to return to their homeland after losing their jobs, he said.According to a report in the Khaleej Times on Sunday, about 40 percent of the applicants who have registered are blue-collared workers and 20 percent are working professionals.PTI

 

UAE sends aid for Indian health workers

https://www.thehindu.com/news/national/uae-sends-aid-for-indian-health-workers/article31491220.ece?fbclid=IwAR0_U4NubDBPIpEUTyVq9xYV2ExCJzU1bLIJtwU2UGU8hktFy59nkcaCXdc

New Delhi:UAE on Saturday sent 7 tonnes of medical supplies for Indian health workers dealing with the COVID-19 pandemic. The aid from the leading Gulf nation is part of the Indian engagement with the region that is likely to lead to Delhi carrying out a massive evacuation of its nationals from the Gulf in the coming months.Embassy of UAE in a statement said the consignment underscores the ‘brotherly’ ties. “Combating COVID-19 has become a primary global concern, and we act out of our conviction that strengthening the efforts of other countries to contain the virus is a pressing necessity,” said Dr. Ahmed Abdul Rahman AlBanna, Ambassdor of UAE to India.Indian mission has also arranged to send a team of 88 specialists, doctors and nurses to the UAE to deal with the pandemic. The gesture from the Gulf monarchy coincides with India’s ongoing preparation to evacuate a large number of nationals from the Gulf which is likely to pose a big logistical challenge.thehindu

 

'Crime Committed By Tablighi Jamaat': Yogi Blames Group For Covid-19 Spread across India

https://www.outlookindia.com/website/story/india-news-crime-committed-by-tablighi-jamaat-yogi-adityanath-blames-islamic-group-for-covid-19-spread/351993

Holding Tablighi Jamaat members responsible for the spread of COVID-19, Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath has said that being infected with a virus is not a crime but to hide it is definitely one. The chief minister said action would be taken against them for the "crime".Speaking at a programme of a channel, Adityanath said, "The role of Tablighi Jamaat was most condemnable. To get a disease is not a crime but to hide a disease which is infectious is definitely a crime. And this crime has been done by those associated with the Tablighi Jamaat.""In Uttar Pradesh and other places where the spread of the coronavirus has been seen, Tablighi Jamaat is behind it. Had they not hidden the disease and went about like its carriers, then perhaps we would have controlled the coronavirus outbreak to a large extent," he had said.PTI

 

Unfair to pin Covid-19 blame on Tablighi Jamaat: Kejriwal

https://www.indiatoday.in/coronavirus-outbreak/story/unfair-to-pin-covid-19-blame-on-tablighi-jamaat-kejriwal-at-e-agenda-aaj-tak-1673716-2020-05-02?fbclid=IwAR2Qo-QOEYPlMDVZqeJTBJKMrpdpWuqcfcZ4rjX00BgfW5DqVhwf-Xj3WTs

Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal has differed from his BJP counterparts from other states on alleged link between Covid-19 spike in Delhi and Tablighi Jamaat event held in March. While BJP chief ministers - Yogi Adityanath, Shivraj Singh Chouhan and Manohar Lal Khattar - blamed Markaz event, Kejrial said it is unfair to blame Tablighi Jamaat for spike in coronavirus cases in the national capital.He said, "Coronavirus has spread all over the world. If I say that had people not come to India from outside, coronavirus outbreak would not have happened here. It is unfair to pin the blame on one individual or group."There were reports that the Tablighi Jamaat had informed the local administration about their event and the number of the people saying at its headquarters in Nizamuddin area of Delhi."If local administration and police knew about the event and people's presence in Nizamuddin, they should have acted. There could have been some people with coronavirus infection inside the Markaz. They stayed there and infection spread," he said.On a question why Delhi govt reported Tablighi Jamaat cases of coronavirus separately for days before stopping sharing details, Kejriwal denied that it was done due to political reasons.India Today

 

Case filed against Arnab Goswami for allegedly spreading communal hatred

https://www.hindustantimes.com/india-news/mumbai-police-file-fir-against-arnab-goswami-accuses-him-of-spreading-hatred/story-8tfFHRTG7xImSCrgpS1PWI.html?fbclid=IwAR1UlfInZFY7yy9twV10Dr_NcdNzQGHkjRZbmYQ_IxFJMXHGnSdkCnBKLiY

Mumbai Police filed a new case against Republic TV Editor-in-Chief Arnab Goswami for allegedly creating communal hatred, Hindustan Times reported. Complainant, identified as Irfan Abubakar Shaikh, accused both the channel and Goswami of trying to spread hatred against the Muslim community in connection with the April 14 migrant workers protest outside Bandra station. He claimed Goswami targeted a mosque in Bandra that had no link with the gathering.Thousands of workers had gathered outside the Bandra station on April 14 to demand transportation arrangements to go back to their hometowns during the lockdown. This came after a journalist had allegedly said a decision had been made to run special trains for migrant workers.The case against Goswami was filed on Saturday at the Pydhonie police station.“There was no link or issue related to the mosque near the Bandra station,” Shaikh said in his statement to the police. “The only issue was that the migrants had gathered in the open space near the mosque. But Arnab purposely highlighted the mosque to create communal disturbance in the city.”Shaikh, who is the secretary of Raza Educational Welfare Society, said Republic TV had telecast the protest of migrants on April 29 and Goswami was anchoring the show.The complainant also said the debate on channel intended to blame the Muslim community for the spread of the novel coronavirus. HT

 

Lockdown 3.0: Relaxations for movement given to migrant workers only says MHA

https://indianexpress.com/article/india/coronavirus-india-updates-may-3-6391506/

Union Home Ministry today made it clear that the relaxations given for the movement of people during the lockdown was available only to distressed migrant workers. Union Home Secretary Ajay Bhalla said MHA allowed movement of such stranded persons who had moved from their native places or workplaces just before the lockdown period, but could not return to their native places or workplaces on account of restrictions placed on movement of persons and vehicles as part of lockdown measures.indianexpress

Lockdown 3.0: What’s allowed, what’s not from tomorrow

 

Lockdown 3.0: Here Is What Opens And What Remains Shut In Delhi From Monday

https://www.outlookindia.com/website/story/india-news-lockdown-30-here-is-what-opens-and-what-remains-shut-in-delhi-from-monday/352013

Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal on Sunday announced the list of activities which will be allowed during 2-week lockdown period in the national capital."After Centre's announcement, Delhi government held a detailed discussion to finalise the activities that will be allowed during the two-week lockdown," said Kejriwal during a video conference. "From tomorrow, all government offices will open. Those dealing with essential services will have 100 per cent attendance. Only 33 per cent attendance will be allowed in offices dealing with non-essential activities," he said.Chief Minister said that up to level of Deputy Secretary, 33 per cent of attendance will be allowed and 100 per cent attendance is must for Deputy Secretary and above.Though all private offices are allowed to open, they can only have the strength of 33 per cent, he added.outlookindia

 

UP govt announces relaxations for lockdown 3.0: Taxis to ply in orange zones, buses in red

https://www.indiatoday.in/india/story/up-govt-announces-relaxations-for-lockdown-1673948-2020-05-03

Uttar Pradesh government on Sunday announced various relaxations for lockdown which was extended to contain the spread of coronavirus. UP Home Secretary Avanish Awasthi listed the fresh guidelines for lockdown 3.0 which will come into from Monday: Buses will ply in red zones.In four wheelers, only three people will be allowed including the driver. Special economic zone will open. Supply chain, jute and packing material firms will open in accordance with the lockdown norms. indiatoday

 

Maharashtra: Shops selling non-essentials in non-containment zones allowed to open from Monday

https://www.indiatoday.in/india/story/maharashtra-shops-selling-non-essentials-non-containment-zones-allowed-open-monday-1673930-2020-05-03

Maharashtra government on Sunday announced that shops selling non-essential commodities, including liquor, will be allowed to open from Monday in Covid-19 non-containment zones across the state. This will be applicable even for red zones, however, not in containment zones.Senior IAS officer from the CMO, Bhushan Gagrani, told this to reporters on Sunday.A similar decision had already been announced for the Covid-19 green and orange zones, and such shops in these two zones were scheduled to open from Monday. However, state government on Sunday extended the easing of restrictions for shops in the red zones as well.indiatoday

 

India's Covid-19 tally crosses 40,000-mark after biggest single-day spike, death toll tops 1,300

https://www.indiatoday.in/india/story/coronavirus-pandemic-india-highest-single-day-spike-total-confirmed-cases-death-toll-maharshtra-delhi-1673858-2020-05-03

India recorded the highest single-day spike with over 2,600 cases on Saturday, showed the latest data by Union Health Ministry on Sunday. By Sunday evening, India saw 283 new cases of Covid-19.According to latest bulletin by the health ministry, the total number of novel coronavirus cases in the country rose to 40,263 and the death toll stood at 1,306. As of now, there are 28,070 active cases and 10,886 cured/ discharged/migrated cases in the nation.Rajasthan reported 31 fresh novel coronavirus cases and Uttar Pradesh recorded 21 cases early Sunday.India Today

 

135 troops of CRPF battalion test positive

https://www.tribuneindia.com/news/nation/135-troops-of-crpf-battalion-test-positive-79511

New Delhi: With this, CRPF appears to have become worst Covid-19 affected among the paramilitary forces. Officials said the men belong to the 31st battalion of the paramilitary, based in Mayur Vihar, Phase-III, of the national capital that was sealed after the huge numbers of the Covid-19 infection started building up over the past few days.“A total of 135 troopers of this battalion have tested positive for the virus,” a senior CRPF official said, adding that a total of 480 samples were taken from the unit, out of which 22 test reports were still awaited.tribuneindia

 

About 3 lakh migrants in Punjab apply to go back home, industry worried

https://indianexpress.com/article/india/about-three-lakh-migrants-in-punjab-apply-to-go-back-home-industry-worried-6391340/

Ludhiana:In yet another crisis for industry and the agri-sector in Punjab amid the COVID-19 curfew, as many as 3 lakh migrants have already applied to the state government to be repatriated to their home states.The state has 10 lakh migrant labourers, according to a number given by the CM two days ago. Punjab had asked those willing to be repatriated to their states to apply online.The state’s control room had by late afternoon received requests from 2,83,223 migrants to leave the state. While earlier the deadline for applications was May 3, it was extended late on Saturday evening. “They can continue applying. There is no timeline as of now,” Ludhiana DC Pardeep Agarwal said.indianexpress

Andhra govt arranges 9 special trains to bring back 6 lakh Telugu migrant workers

https://indianexpress.com/article/cities/hyderabad/india-lockdown-covid-19-andhra-pradesh-trains-telugu-migrant-workers6392106/

Andhra Pradesh govt has arranged nine special trains to bring back Telugu migrants—approximately 6 lakh— stranded in various states.“We have planned to bring back six lakh Andhra migrants from 13 states. We will also ensure that the 12,794 migrants from other states stranded in AP go home safely,” said Health Minister A Krishna Srinivas.

 

 

‘Highly shameful’: Opposition attacks Centre for charging migrants taking special trains home

https://scroll.in/latest/960913/highly-shameful-opposition-attacks-centre-for-charging-migrants-taking-special-trains-home

Opposition leaders on Sunday criticised railway ministry’s decision to charge migrant workers stranded in other parts of the country during the coronavirus-induced lockdown for taking special trains home, PTI reported. Centre on Friday started operating special trains to move migrant workers, pilgrims and students stranded in various states. However, the Railway Board has announced extra charges in addition to the normal sleeper class fare to be collected from the passengers. “The local state government authority shall handover tickets to passengers cleared by them and collect the ticket fare and hand over the total amount to railways,” circular said.Samajwadi Party chief Akhilesh Yadav said it was “highly shameful” that BJP govt was charging vulnerable labourers for the train journey.Jharkhand Chief Minister Hemant Soren also expressed his disappointment with the decision to charge migrants.scroll

 

SAD, Cong leaders trade barbs as over 600 Nanded pilgrims contract coronavirus

https://www.outlookindia.com/newsscroll/sad-cong-leaders-trade-barbs-as-over-600-nanded-pilgrims-contract-coronavirus/1822798

 Chandigarh: A war of words erupted between Punjab Health Minister Balbir Singh Sidhu and Akali leader Bikram Singh Majithia on Sunday as the state’s coronavirus count crossed 1,000 with over 600 Sikh pilgrims returning from Maharshtra’s Nanded testing positive for the infection.While Majithia accused the state govt of "mismanaging" the return of the pilgrims from the Nanded''s Hazur Sahib gurdwara and sought minister''s sacking, Sidhu hit back at SAD, daring its leaders to apologise for their “misleading propaganda”.So far, 609 of 4,000 pilgrims who recently returned from Nanded have tested positive for coronavirus. Health Minister Sidhu in a statement here said the pilgrims contracted the disease before entering Punjab while stressing that ''sewadars'' of the gurdwara have also tested positive for the virus. Religious leaders have testified that Nanded pilgrims were tested in Maharashtra but the Punjab government did not receive any test report from the state government till now, said Sidhu, who is under fire from the Opposition.PTI

Manjinder Sirsa lashes out at Digvijaya Singh over comparison of Sikh pilgrims with Tablighi

 

Bihar ready with 7,500 hotel rooms to screen 25 lakh returning migrants: Health minister

https://theprint.in/health/bihar-ready-with-7500-hotel-rooms-to-screen-25-lakh-returning-migrants-health-minister/413589/

New Delhi: There has been a lot of outrage in Bihar and on social media over the fate of the state’s migrant workers and students who have been stranded in various parts of India. The Nitish Kumar-led state government had earlier refused to send buses or accept its migrants amid the nationwide lockdown, but now, special trains arranged by the Centre have begun bringing back workers.This comes at a time when there has been a spurt in the number of Covid-19 cases reported in Bihar — the numbers until Saturday read 481 cases and four deaths, with 101 patients having recovered.theprint

 

Delhi Police Crime Branch asks Tablighi chief to get tested at AIIMS: TOI report

https://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/city/delhi/delhi-police-crime-branch-asks-tablighi-chief-to-get-tested-at-aiims/articleshow/75514377.cms

New Delhi: Not satisfied with Tablighi Jamaat chief Maulana Saad Kandhalvi’s replies on his medical condition so far, Crime Branch of Delhi Police has now asked him to get tested for Covid-19 at AIIMS.So far, 4 notices have already been sent to Kandhalvi asking for his medical reports. Soon, police are going to send another. Sources added that despite Kandhalvi being asked to get himself tested at a government hospital in fourth notice, his lawyer attached test results from a private laboratory claiming that Saad had tested negative for Covid-19.In the fifth notice, police may ask about website, delhimarkaz.com, from which Kandhalvi would preach his sermons. Meanwhile, cops have found a list of 125 bank accounts which saw several heavy transactions during January and March when the meeting was held.Crime Branch has also sought for the bank details of about 2,000 foreigners who had recently transferred money into the Tablighi Jamaat’s account.TOI

 

Over 16k visited Tablighi Jamaat markaz in Delhi from March 13-24, claims Delhi police report

https://www.hindustantimes.com/india-news/over-16k-people-visited-markaz-from-march-13-24/story-8OpPhClZjHMaRftpv8RFIM.html

At least 16,500 people visited Tablighi Jamaat’s headquarters in Nizamuddin around the time it emerged as a Covid-19 hotspot between March 13 and 24, according to a Delhi police report that an officer said has been compiled after the biggest exercise the force has ever undertaken.The mid-level police officer, who did not wish to be named, said the exercise involved contact tracing using cell phone data and physical verification of those who had been to markaz. A Delhi government official, who did not wish to be named, said around 1,000 people from outside Delhi had come for the gathering. Over the last four weeks, police have checked call details and the locations of all the 16,500 people and found that they had come in close contact with around 15,000. While some stayed at the markaz, others left and visited different places of Delhi. These 15,000 persons were contacted over the phone and interviewed in person.HT

 

Jamiat Ulama moves SC, seeks impleadment in plea against burial of COVID-19 victims

https://www.newindianexpress.com/nation/2020/may/02/jamiat-ulama-i-hind-moves-sc-seeks-impleadment-in-plea-against-burial-of-covid-19-victims-2138412.html

 Jamiat Ulama-i-Hind has moved the Supreme Court seeking to intervene in a plea filed by a Mumbai resident opposing burial of people dying of COVID-19 in a graveyard near his residence. Mumbai-resident Pradeep Ghandy has approached the SC after his plea, made on the ground that burial of COVID-19 patients in the graveyard in Bandra West would spread infection in adjoining areas, was rejected by Bombay High Court on April 27.Ghandy's plea challenging the HC order will come up for hearing on May 4 before a bench of Justices RF Nariman and Indira Banerjee. Jamiat, while seeking intervention in appeal filed by Ghandy, said that apprehension of burial of bodies of those infected with COVID-19 will risk the spread of such infection in the vicinity is unfounded and that at the outset there is no risk of spreading of the COVID-19 virus during such burial."It is submitted that the burial of dead bodies is essential to the religion of Islam as well as in other religions such as Christianity. Such a right forms part of the right to practice one's religion under Article 25 of the Constitution," the plea said.The petition of Jamiat said that the entire grievance of the petitioner is based on the apprehension that burial of those persons who were infected with COVID-19 would risk the spread of such infection in the neighbouring areas, which includes the residence of the petitioner herein.PTI

 

Parties should shun communal politics & work for economy: Shiv Sena

https://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/india/parties-should-shun-communal-politics-work-for-economy-shiv-sena/articleshow/75504678.cms

Mumbai: Expressing deep concern over long-term economic repercussions of Covid-19 crisis and the lockdown, the Shiv Sena on Saturday said that all political parties should stop playing communal politics in future and instead work towards bringing the economy back on track.The party said the talks held between Congress leader Rahul Gandhi and former RBI Governor Raghuram Rajan recently over the impact of the Covid-19 shows how grave the crisis is for the economy. It said time has now come to grow wiser.PTI

India spends 1% GDP on Covid relief, can do more: IMF chief economist Gita Gopinath

https://theprint.in/economy/india-spends-1-gdp-on-covid-relief-can-do-more-imf-chief-economist-gita-gopinath/412622/?fbclid=IwAR1c4IRukPjoPwhfR77-z6dTkuPoxxYv0NtKXmf6kATJ_B_xQItAOcZJvHk

India could really step up spending and do more to fight Covid-19 pandemic, said Gita Gopinath, chief economist, IMF.Speaking to ThePrint’s Editor-in-Chief Shekhar Gupta, Gopinath pointed out that relief packages and measures announced by the Indian government should match the scale of the pandemic. Gopinath, said, "so this is a crisis where we are advising all our members to do what is needed. And the scale of the crisis is so big that the policy response has to be commensurate with that." She continued, "now India has taken a lot of important steps. Our view is that the scale of this could be much larger, if you look at the incremental measures that have been taken, that’s about around 1 percent of GDP or slightly less. Question obviously comes up that should emerging markets be spending a whole lot more given the constraints they face unlike advanced economies who can spend much more easily given their reserved currency state? It is usual to make that comparison if you look at average emerging market and see how much they are spending in this crisis, it’s about 2.5 percent of GDP. So we do think that more can be done, In India, the scale of spending could be much higher than what it is now."theprint

 

Kashmir region to be treated as COVID-19 red zone: Anadolo agency report

https://www.aa.com.tr/en/asia-pacific/kashmir-region-to-be-treated-as-covid-19-red-zone/1827021

Srinagar:The government in Kashmir decided Saturday to treat 10 districts of the region as red zones, or hotspots, to effectively combat COVID-19 infections.The decision came after the Indian health ministry classified only 4 districts as red zones.Regional Divisional Commissioner Pandurang Pole said that given the spike in the number of cases there are red zones in every district and infections are not showing any downward trend.“At this point of time we cannot afford to lower the guard. All the 10 districts of the region will be treated as the red zones until further orders,” the official said.While extending the lockdown by two weeks, the Indian health ministry issued guidelines to regulate activities falling into red, green and orange zones.In red zones, the ministry allowed industrial and construction activities while all shops, except in shopping malls, were permitted. Agricultural activities are also allowed.The region has reported 666 positive cases, 8 deaths and 254 recoveries.

 

Muslims Seek Answers on Gujarat Turning Into COVID19 Hotspot

http://www.indiatomorrow.net/eng/muslims-seek-answers-on-gujarat-turning-into-covid19-hotspot-

Ahmedabad:Having borne the brunt of a high pitch vilification campaign on COVID19 outbreak in the state that is often referred to as ‘Laboratory of Hindutva’, Muslims in Gujarat are now seeking answers from the state government for the spread of religious intolerance at the time of pandemic. There is a demand for a “White Paper” on the preparation of the pandemic by the state government that would make it clear as to who is responsible for the spread of Corona in Gujarat.The state is now among the top ranked in terms of number of cases reported and deaths because of disease. By the time of filing this report on Friday, number of confirmed positive cases was 4395 and there had been 214 deaths in the state.The health experts are now battling the pandemic with state of art facilities with efficient backing coming from the municipal bodies and the administration. It is being stated that the high number of patients as well as the dead is because of the government scaling up the testing in a big way. The co-morbidities are also being held responsible for majority of the deaths.India Tomorrow

 

Coronavirus: AIIMS Delhi Doctors Sound Alarm Bells Against Govt Apathy

https://www.outlookindia.com/website/story/india-news-coronavirus-pandemic-aiims-delhi-doctors-sound-alarm-bells-against-govt-apathy/351933?fbclid=IwAR09dwM0U1cd0Y68sX7V86pTZF8i1cJ5sAswiSMZ0SJBPCW_4yPItFVC62c

Coronavirus infection is increasingly spreading among healthcare professionals and forcing them to go in quarantine. This has led to a shortage of doctors in many top hospitals in the country. It is also discouraging many others to lead from the front as they are concerned about their own lives and well-being.Concerned over rising instances of doctors falling sick, Padmini Singh, Secretary, Health and Family Welfare, Delhi govt has asked medical directors of various government hospitals to get written explanation from such doctors, who have tested positive for the virus, asking them how “in spite of wearing required protective gears, maintaining safe distances and following precautions prescribed for healthcare workers, they still contracted the infection.”Calling it an insensitive move, doctors have opposed it. Dr Adarsh Pratap Singh, President, Residents’ Doctors Association, AIIMS, New Delhi, says that the current trend is quite worrisome.outlookindia

 

Poster barring entry of Muslim traders in Indore village surfaces, case registered

https://indianexpress.com/article/india/madhya-pradesh-indore-village-poster-bars-entry-of-muslim-traders-6391584/

Bhopal :A poster prohibiting the entry of Muslim traders in a village in Madhya Pradesh’s Indore district was removed by police on Sunday. A case has also been registered against unknown persons.“Muslim vyapariyon ka gaon mein pravesh nishedh hai (Muslim traders are not allowed in the village),” the poster, which was reportedly signed on behalf of residents of Pemalpur village in Depalpur tehsil, read. Poster was apparently put up on Saturday. DIG arinarayanchari Mishra said that the poster was removed as soon as the police learnt about it. He said a case against unknown persons was registered since it was immediately not known who put the poster.Upping the ante against the state police and Chief Minister Shivraj Singh Chouhan, former chief minister and Congress leader Digvijaya Singh tweeted, “Is such act not a punishable offence under our law?”

 

Gujarat: Narsulla Khan spends Rs 1 cr to buy ration kits for the poor in Valsad

https://indianexpress.com/article/india/valsad-man-spends-rs-1-cr-to-buy-ration-kits-for-the-poor-6388138/

A 40-year-old businessman from Valsad district has spent Rs 1.10 crore in more than a month to distribute ration kits to poor families in 35 villages in the district. Narsulla Khan who runs an electric panel manufacturing unit in Vapi GIDC has till date supplied over 21,000 ration kits. Khan, a resident of Dungri falia in Vapi, began distributing the kits on March 27. He created a team of 70 people which included sarpanch of the 35 villages. Khan procured grocery items from wholesale traders in Valsad, Vapi, Navsari and Surat and the team helped put together the kits.Every day at 9.00 am, three trucks loaded with ration kits leaves Khan’s godown to distribute ration kits to the villagers. These vehicles have essential pass provided by local admin. Indianexpress

 

UP: Policeman tortures villager, says had to use “minimal force”

https://www.nationalheraldindia.com/india/uttar-pradesh-policeman-tortures-villager-says-had-to-use-minimal-force?fbclid=IwAR2MtCmfA1Z1csRB3puZtTVNnlLykweWGqoVQC4TmRdLfaeyYzzneuoRhio

In a video which was widely circulated on social media, a villager from UP can be seen beaten up by two police constables. The two policemen are brtutally hitting and torturing the man as he lies on the floor asking for mercy.This viral video is reportedly from Etawah, Uttar Pradesh and was filmed from the terrace of a house. The cop is even seen hitting the victim by his shoes. Towards the end of the video, another constable can be seen joining the assault.According to NDTV, man who has been assaulted by the cops is mentally challenged.In a detailed report about the whole incident which was submitted to the Etawah Police earlier, it was admitted that one of the constables used excessive force on the villager.The man was treated for psychiatric issues at a hospital in Agra 2 years ago, report submitted to Etawah police said.nationalheraldindia

 

Hyderabad man jumps to death over Corona fear

https://www.nationalheraldindia.com/national/hyderabad-man-jumps-to-death-over-corona-fear

A man in Hyderabad jumped to death from his apartment building on Saturday merely on the suspicion that he may be exhibiting COVID-19 symptoms.The tragic incident occurred in the Ramanthapur area, when 60-year-old leaped off the third floor of his apartment building. He sustained severe head injuries and died on the spot. Police shifted the body for autopsy and registered a case of death under suspicious circumstances.According to Vasiraju Krishna Murthy's family, he was suffering from gastric problems and fatigue. IANS

 

20 apprehended in connection with stone-pelting at security personnel in Assam

https://www.northeasttoday.in/2020/05/03/20-apprehended-in-connection-with-stone-pelting-at-security-personnel-in-assam/

20 persons were apprehended on Saturday in connection with an incident of stone-pelting at security personnel that left 4 of them injured in Assam”s Lakhimpur district, police said on Saturday.At least 5 persons, including 4 security personnel, were injured in the incident in Dakkhin Pandhowa village on Thursday night. They had gone there after receiving information that people had gathered at a mosque to offer namaz.All the 20 persons were apprehended from the village that falls under Naoboicha revenue circle, SP Rajveer Singh said.northeasttoday

 

Covid-19: All survivors of Bhopal gas tragedy to be surveyed, those at high risk will be tested

https://scroll.in/latest/960882/covid-19-all-survivors-of-bhopal-gas-tragedy-to-be-surveyed-those-at-high-risk-will-be-tested

Bhopal administration has decided to survey all survivors of 1984 Union Carbide gas leak tragedy and identify patients at high risk for coronavirus, The Hindu reported. The survivors have greater vulnerability to the disease, having suffered the poisonous effects of the gas.At least 4,000 people were killed in the early hours of December 3, 1984, when 42 tonnes of toxic methyl isocyanate gas leaked from a plant owned by Union Carbide, a subsidiary of Dow Chemical Company, in Bhopal. Thousands more died due to the effects of the gas leak in subsequent years. The survivors have increased rates of cancer and birth defects, and suffer from a compromised immunity system – factors that puts them at a high risk to contract the coronavirus.

 

Mumbai based Muslim Engineer’s initiative to manufacture PPE’s bear results, 50,000 made in 3 states

http://twocircles.net/2020may03/436450.html?fbclid=IwAR1_2LKJahcII09MGmPw7-fJF8jCtJYQOWEbRvB3tgQHNTbGSzYNZqCN4Wk

Mumbai: Humza Shaikh is an engineer by profession but the current healthcare crisis in India due to COVID-19 pandemic inspired him to manufacture Personal Protective Equipment (PPE), the dire need of which is seen all across the country.With his start-up CHMI Indobionics started in 2017, Shaikh came up with the initiative to manufacture PPE’s by engaging around 4000 skilled and 1000 unskilled migrant labourers in the manufacturing process.After it’s certification, the team started its first batch of production on 25 March.“By the end of April, we finished the production of 50,000 PPE’s at our leased out manufacturing plants in Bombay, Kolkata and Bangalore,” Shaikh saidoCircles

 

Across Tamil Nadu, Caste Violence Has Increased During the Lockdown, Say Activists

https://thewire.in/caste/tamil-nadu-caste-atrocities-lockdown

Chennai: In a 3-minute video that went viral last week, Amsavalli Satheesh Kumar speaks a grave line in a low tone.“My family would be forced to commit suicide,” she says nonchalantly.“My husband and I will die consuming poison or burn ourselves to death in front of Collectorate if we are not allowed to work. This is final, the government has to intervene,” she says.Amsavalli was elected the president of T Konagapadi village panchayat in Salem in the local body elections held last December.Belonging to the Dalit sect Arundhathiyar by birth, Amsavalli contested the election after it was declared a reserved panchayat. “Since my victory, the opposite group – from a dominant community – has stopped me from doing my work” she alleges. The opposite group, according to Amsavalli, comprises one Mohan and his wife Niranjana, former president of the same panchayat.Since she took over, Amsavalli says she has been subject to casteist slurs and other humiliation. Thewire

 

*CORONAVIRUS – WORLD*

US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo Says 'Enormous Evidence' Coronavirus Came from Wuhan Lab

https://www.news18.com/news/world/us-secretary-of-state-mike-pompeo-says-enormous-evidence-coronavirus-came-from-wuhan-lab-2604009.html

US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo said Sunday that there was "enormous evidence" that the coronavirus pandemic originated in a laboratory in Wuhan, China."There is enormous evidence that this is where it began," he said on ABC's "This Week."But while highly critical of China's handling of the matter, Pompeo declined to say whether he thought the virus had been intentionally released.President Donald Trump has been increasingly critical of China's role in the pandemic, which has infected nearly 3.5 million people and killed more than 240,000 around the world.He has insisted that Beijing recklessly concealed important information about the outbreak and demanded that Beijing be held "accountable."News reports say Trump has tasked US spies to find out more about the origins of the virus, at first blamed on a Wuhan market selling exotic animals like bats, but now thought possibly to be from a virus research laboratory nearby.Pompeo, a former director of CIA, told ABC that he agreed with a statement Thursday from the US intelligence community in which it concurred "with the wide scientific consensus that COVID-19 virus was not man-made or genetically modified."AFP

 

Covid-19 Vaccine: Petition At White House to investigate Bill Gates for “crimes against humanity” has gained a half-million signatures in 24 Days

https://thewhistler.ng/covid-19-vaccine-petition-at-u-s-white-house-against-bill-gates-gathers-481000-signatures-in-24-days/

A petition on US website, WhiteHouse.Gov, advocating for a probe into the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation alleged Crimes Against Humanity and Medical Malpractice has gathered 481,869 signatures, as of time of this report.The petition reads : “We the people ask the federal government to call on Congress to act on an issue.“We Call For Investigations Into the “Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation For Medical Malpractice & Crimes Against Humanity.”The petition claims that Bill Gates, in conjunction with WHO, was allegedly putting up a plan to depopulate the human race through vaccination.But Bill Gates Foundation has always maintained that it has played a vital role (through philanthropy) in assisting the world to solve many health crises. Below is the body of the petition:“As we look at events surrounding the “COVID-19 pandemic,” various questions remain unanswered. On Oct. 18th of 2019, only weeks prior to ground zero being declared in Wuhan, China, two major events took place. One is “Event 201,” the other is the “Military World Games,” held in none other than Wuhan.“Since then a worldwide push for vaccines & biometric tracking has been initiated."thewhistler.ng

 

American business tycoon Warren Buffett’s company posts nearly $50 billion loss, sells airline stocks

https://www.nationalheraldindia.com/international/american-business-tycoon-warren-buffetts-company-posts-nearly-dollar50-billion-loss-sells-airline-stocks

American business tycoon Warren Buffett's company, Berkshire Hathaway Inc. has reported a net loss of nearly $50 billion in the first quarter amid the COVID-19 pandemic, while it also sold off all its airline stocks.The net loss totalled to $49.75 billion in the first quarter, or $30,653 dollars per Class A share and $20.44 per Class B share, compared with a net earning of $21.66 billion a year ago, Xinhua news agency quoted Berkshire as saying in a statement on Saturday.The first-quarter operating earnings rose to $5.87 billion from $5.55 billion dollars, it added.IANS

 

Saudi to take 'strict, painful' measures to deal with coronavirus impact

https://www.middleeastmonitor.com/20200503-saudi-to-take-strict-painful-measures-to-deal-with-coronavirus-impact/

Saudi Arabia will take strict and painful measures to deal with the economic impact of coronavirus pandemic, finance minister said on Saturday, adding that “all options for dealing with the crisis are open”, according to a report by Reuters.“We must reduce budget expenditures sharply”, Mohammed al-Jadaan said in an interview with Al Arabiya TV, adding that the impact of the new coronavirus on Saudi Arabia’s state finances will appear from the second quarter of the year.“Saudi finances need more discipline and the road ahead is long,” he said.One measure would be to slow down govt projects, including mega-projects, to reduce spending, he said.

 

Coronavirus: Iran set to reopen mosques in low-risk areas

https://www.aljazeera.com/news/2020/05/coronavirus-iran-set-reopen-mosques-risk-areas-200503102728054.html

Iran will reopen mosques in areas consistently free of the new coronavirus on Monday as the sanctions-hit country starts to ease restrictions aimed at containing the spread of the pandemic.Health ministry spokesman Kianoush Jahanpour said 47 people died of the virus over the past 24 hours, the lowest daily count in 55 days.He told a news conference he hoped "the trend will continue in the upcoming days". President Hassan Rouhani said in a televised statement on Sunday that 132 counties, about one-third of the country's administrative divisions, will "reopen their mosques as of tomorrow".

 

*OTHERS*

No Apologies for Tweet, Will Continue Struggle Against Hate Politics in India: Dr. Zafarul Islam Khan

http://www.indiatomorrow.net/eng/no-apologies-for-the-tweet-will-continue-struggle-against-hate-politics-in-the-country-dr-zafarul-islam-khan?fbclid=IwAR3_l9zbtMVnxI31liWfrsahZWSVIBxT7OJ0gi4v7lbBQI4siIxSpmw2Ggk

Delhi Minorities Commission (DMC) chairman Dr. Zafarul Islam Khan has said that he has not apologised for his tweet on the basis of which Special Cell of Delhi Police has registered a case of sedition against him. He said that he has apologised only for its timings, and not for the tweet per se. He also asserted that his struggle against hate politics in the country would continue.In response to a question, he said that “no one from the Delhi police has so far contacted him with regard to the case registered against me. I have come to know about it through media only”.He said that he has also not been contacted by Delhi’s LG Anil Baijal.Stating that “a section of media has erroneously reported that I have apologised for the tweet and I have also deleted it”, he said that this was no true. “I have apologised not for the tweet itself but because it was ill-timed and insensitive in the midst of a medical emergency faced by our country. The tweet is very much there on my twitter handle and Facebook page”, said Dr. Khan.Stating that he stood by his “views and convictions”, Dr. Khan said that “I will continue, now and in future, the fight against hate politics in the country”.He said that “FIRs, arrests and imprisonments do not change this path which I have chosen consciously to save my country, my people and Indian secular polity and Constitution”.When asked that a demand was being made from certain quarters to remove you from DMC chairmanship, Dr. Khan said that chairman and members of DMC are public servants and enjoy certain protections and no civil, legal or criminal proceedings can be initiated against them for any action done in good faith. “No action can be taken against him without govt’s permission”, he claimed.India Tomorrow

 

Jamaat-e-Islami Hind Demands Quashing of FIR Against Dr. Zafarul Islam Khan

http://www.indiatomorrow.net/eng/jamaat-e-islami-hind-demands-quashing-of-fir-against-dmc-chairman-dr-zafarul-islam-khan

Expressing serious concern over registration of an FIR on charges of sedition and spreading communal disharmony between communities against Delhi Minorities Commission chairman Dr. Zafarul Islam Khan, Jamaat-e-Islami Hind (JIH) president Syed Sadatullah Hussaini has demanded that the FIR be quashed as the charges against Dr. Khan are based on misinterpretation of his statements. In a statement issued to media on Sunday evening, the JIH president said, "Dr Zafarul Islam Khan is a respectable intellectual, writer and journalist. His writings in Urdu, Arabic and English are read all over the world. Currently, he is the Chairman of the Delhi Minorities Commission, an important legal and quasi-judicial institution. Speaking on and drawing the attention of the govt towards the various injustices perpetrated on the minorities is a part of his official duty. If the news of this FIR is true, then it is apparent that not only the trusted individuals but even important democratic institutions are no longer safe from the police transgression. This is a matter of great concern for the entire nation."indiatomorrow

 

India slides 9 ranks in press freedom

https://www.nationalheraldindia.com/videos/india-slides-9-ranks-in-press-freedom?fbclid=IwAR2KE39AP6Oyvfjbi2EIznsRZQyyVLbipvQgkpscQAdJWLVopldJ0k9mXpU

As the world celebrates world press freedom day, India is disappointed. India's ranking in press freedom has gone down drastically in last four years. World press freedom day is celebrated worldwide on 3 May every year. The purpose is to determine the freedom of the press and the safety of journalists worldwide.Unfortunately, India ranks very low in terms of press freedom.India is at number 142 on the World Press Freedom Index list of 180 countries.India's position has been steadily falling for the last four years. In this case India lags behind its neighboring countries Nepal (112), Bhutan (67). India's position has been sliding down for the last four years.India was ranked 133 in 2016, having slipped three points to 136 in 2017. It further dropped down to rank 138 in 2018, 140 in 2019 and 142 in 2020.India's position has been falling by two points each for the last three years. According to a report, there have been 198 attacks on journalists in India from 2014 to 2019. There were 36 attacks in the year 2019. While 40 journalists have been killed in these attacksnationalheraldindia

India slips in press freedom rankings; Javadekar slams report

 

Indian TV channels amplify, justify, legitimize fake news, even govt elements involved in deliberately generating fake news: Ex HT editor Halarnkar

https://www.aa.com.tr/en/asia-pacific/-indian-tv-channels-amplify-justify-and-legitimize-fake-news-/1827364

As the world marks Press Freedom Day on Sunday, a rising tide of fake news and misinformation pumped through mainstream media has become a major concern in India. Linking an event of a Muslim group Tablighi Jamaat for spreading coronavirus or COVID-19 pandemic in the country while overlooking other similar gatherings, the attitude of a section of India’s mainstream media created hatred against Muslim community, leading to their social boycott at various places.In an interview with Anadolu Agency, Samar Halarnkar, award-winning journalist and ex editor of Hindustan Times said the transmission of misinformation by media has become a source of anxiety. Halarnkar, who is now running a website Article-14, a joint effort of lawyers and journalists to address failures of the justice system, said even the constituents of Indian govt are themselves involved in generating fake news deliberately. Halarnkar said, "the entire profiling of Tablighi Jamaat was itself wrong. Because in many countries across the world certain groups have been at the center of certain outbreaks of the disease. And that often tends to happen. So, my point is that these things happen but profiling by the spokesperson of the government everyday and directly holding Jamaat responsible for spreading the virus was completely wrong and quite obviously it was done to fuel the growth of fake news. Because immediately afterward the fake news reports spread far and wide and the entire community was vilified. Then the facts were twisted, changed, manipulated to say all bad things against Muslims. Such was a manipulation that even police forces in a state like Uttar Pradesh who are known to be biased against Muslims were forced to finally say that all this was fake. So, this is how this fake news ecosystem was fueled. The fake news reinforced the beliefs that many Hindus may have about Muslims. So, this Tablighi event led to the latest spurt of Islamophobia."Anadolu

 

Kashmiri journalists walking line of fire: Anadolu report

https://www.aa.com.tr/en/asia-pacific/press-freedom-day-kashmiri-journalists-walking-line-of-fire/1827384?fbclid=IwAR2S82eeSqPHLJZCnh4zTezxiEaDjLW-ilmXrBr7_5C37t4cWe2R_MYVaF4

Srinagar: An aspiring journalist in Kashmir grew dejected after reading the news about Masrat Zahra, a photojournalist swept up in a draconian law over her Facebook posts. Zahra was booked April 18 under UAPA, a move shaking the region’s journalistic fraternity and the small number of female journalists and students.Ifrah Shafi's passion for writing drove her to journalism, and she is bewildered by such action against journalists and against the photographer.“Since the day I read the news about it, I am in depression. I don’t know what to do. I am not able to figure out whether to take the journalism course further or to leave it,” said Ifrah. The same anxiety was expressed by the region’s female journalists who said they are not able to work freely.Freelance journalist Safina Nabi told Anadolu Agency she never felt this kind of threat in her six-year career. After Masrat was charged, Nabi dropped the idea of doing stories related to conflict.Masrat was not the only reporter charged for social media posts. Senior journalist and writer Gowhar Geelani was charged under the same act and for the same reason.Peerzada Ashiq was questioned over his story police claimed was “fake.”Anadolu Agency

 

Normalcy’ in Kashmir will be ‘peace of the graveyard, says journalist Gowhar Geelani in talks with arabnews

https://www.arabnews.com/node/1668306/world

New Delhi: Gowhar Geelani has become second Srinagar-based journalist to be charged under India’s anti-terrorism law in the past few days, fueling concerns among Kashmiri reporters that authorities in the region are stepping up attempts to silence all critical voices. “India wants to establish the peace of a graveyard in Kashmir by silencing indigenous voices and demonstrating a false sense of normalcy in the region,” Geelani told Arab News in an exclusive interview.“The larger aim seems to be to silence the articulate civil voices in Kashmir — it is not an attack on me or any other journalist, it is an assault on the institution of journalism and civility,” he said.On April 22, Geelani was booked by Srinagar police under UAPA, which allows authorities to designate individuals as terrorists.On April 21, Srinagar-based photojournalist Masrat Zahra was booked under UAPA for engaging in “anti-national activities” on social media. In the same week, another Kashmiri journalist, Peerzada Ashiq, who works for prominent national daily The Hindu, was booked on charges that one of his recent stories was “factually incorrect and could cause fear or alarm in the minds of the public.”According to Geelani, the silencing of journalists will not be limited to Kashmir but will spread across the whole country. “The authoritarian mindset cannot act democratically and will use the instrument of the state to muzzle opinions and the press elsewhere in the country also,” he said.arabnews

 

The Wire's Founding Editor Varadarajan Among 17 Winners of Deutsche Welle Freedom of Speech Award

https://thewire.in/media/siddharth-varadarajan-deutsche-welle-freedom-of-speech-award

The Wire’s founding editor Siddharth Varadarajan is among the 17 journalists from 14 countries who are being presented the Deutsche Welle’s Freedom of Speech Award this year.The announcement comes on World Press Freedom Day, and in aftermath of Varadarajan having been served a summons notice by Uttar Pradesh police amidst a nationwide lockdown, over criminal charges for running a news report which mentioned that UP CM Adityanath had violated lockdown rules. Siddharth Varadarajan, Elena Milashina, Chen Qiushi, and Nurcan Baysal, four of the journalists who have been conferred the Deutsche Welle Freedom of Speech Award.thewire

 

Colonel, Major, SI among 5 security personnel killed in Kashmir's Handwara: Army

https://www.thehindu.com/news/national/colonel-major-among-five-security-personnel-killed-in-encounter-with-terrorists-in-kashmirs-handwara/article31493302.ece?homepage=true

Srinagar: 5 security personnel, including a Colonel, a Major and a sub-inspector, and two unidentified militants were killed during an 18-hour anti-militancy operation in north Kashmir’s Handwara area. “In a firefight in Changimul, Handwara of Kupwara district, 2 terrorists were eliminated and the team of 5 security forces personnel, comprising two Army officers, 2 soldiers and one police sub-inspector, also died,” a Srinagar-based Army spokesman said. The spokesman said the operation was launched after the intelligence inputs were received that terrorists were taking civilian inmates of a house in Changimul village hostage. Police officials said the operation was called off on Sunday morning after the bodies of the security personnel and the militants were spotted inside the house at the encounter site in Changimul area, nestled in a forest zone.Sources said the identities and affiliation of the slain militants were being ascertained.thehindu

 

Back-channel used to ‘urge’ Pak to release Kulbhushan: Harish Salve

https://indianexpress.com/article/india/kulbhushan-jadhav-release-pakistan-harish-salve-6391139/

India resorted to “back-channel” efforts to “persuade” Islamabad to release Kulbhushan Jadhav, a former Indian Navy officer who is on death row in Pakistan on charges of spying and terrorist activities.This was revealed by India’s lead counsel in the case at the International Court of Justice (ICJ), Harish Salve, a senior Supreme Court lawyer and former Solicitor General of India, during an online interaction on Saturday. Indian Express has learnt that NSA Ajit Doval had, in one of his interactions with then Pakistan NSA, Nasser Khan Janjua, “gently nudged” Pakistan to release Jadhav.indianexpress

 

Saudi's investments in India on track despite economic downturn, says Ambassador Saud

https://www.thehindu.com/news/national/saudi-investments-in-india-on-track-despite-economic-downturn-says-ambassador-saud-bin-mohammed-al-sati/article31495158.ece?homepage=true

New Delhi:Despite a massive 50% drop in oil revenues and a downturn in the economy, Saudi Arabia’s investments in India will not be affected, the Kingdom’s Ambassador to India Saud bin Mohammed Al Sati said in a written interview. At a time when a UN body has predicted a cut in about 1.7 million jobs in the Gulf region due to GDP losses the envoy says that worries of retrenchments are premature, but added that Saudi govt is working with India on the repatriation of those who need to return. The envoy said, "There are a large number of expatriates living in Saudi Arabia, which includes around three million Indians. As per King Salman’s Royal decree, the Kingdom is providing coronavirus related medical care free of charge to all residents in the country, including those who are staying illegally in the Kingdom.As for Indian medical professionals, some of them were on leave when COVID pandemic hit. We have been working closely with govt of India to ensure that they are able to return to Saudi. There is also the continuation of medical exports from India to Saudi market."thehindu

 

Assam : Foreigners Tribunal members showcaused for communal letter

https://www.telegraphindia.com/states/north-east/coronavirus-outbreak-foreigners-tribunal-members-showcaused/cid/1769881

Guwahati:  A letter to Assam finance and health minister Himanta Biswa Sarma purportedly sent by a Baksa foreigners tribunal member on April 7 with a rider not to use donations to fight the Covid-19 pandemic to help “members of violators Tablighi Jamaat, jehadi and jahil”, has resulted in Dispur showcausing him and 14 other tribunal members. They have been directed to respond by May 8 “without fail”, according to the showcause issued by the political (B) department on April 30. This is the section of the home and political department that deals with the appointment of FT members. Chief minister Sarbananda Sonowal holds the home portfolio.The letter, purportedly signed by Baksa tribunal member Kamalesh Kumar Gupta, enlists contributions to the tune Rs 65,999 by 18 members and employees of various FTs from lower Assam’s Baksa, Barpeta and Kamrup, Silchar in Barak Valley and Morigaon in central Assam. The names of 14 FT members/attached members and three staffers were mentioned as contributors in letter, which triggered demands for action against Gupta. Home department deputy secretary N.D. Patowary said the showcause was based on an FIR filed by AAMSU on April 11 against Gupta’s “communal” letter and some local newspaper reports on the letter.A joint showcause was sent to 14 FT members, while a separate showcause was sent to Gupta, he saidtelegraphindia

 

Twitter suspends account of Maskoor Usmani, ex AMUSU President

https://beyondheadlines.in/2020/05/twitter-suspends-account-of-maskoor-usmani-former-amusu-president/?fbclid=IwAR0CnFlQpB6YD9sK18gz5vXNoKP_co8Y60F8EDxCm3PyKdoIfMhgDOsaNj8

Maskoor Ahmad Usmani, a former Students Union President from AMU has been blocked on Twitter. He has been blocked over his tweet in support of Safoora Zargar, a Jamia Research scholar and activist, recently booked under UAPA, arrested and sent to Tihar jail.Maskoor Usmani wrote in his tweet, “They don’t arrest pregnant women even in war zones. But Delhi Police has arrested @SafooraZargar, a Jamia student who is pregnant under false charge and a draconian UAPA.”BeyondHeadlines

 

IUML appeal to President, UP Governor to release Dr Kafeel Khan

http://twocircles.net/2020may02/436406.html?fbclid=IwAR284rkokuaHH4ZmSURHXUI_s3WBAFYdoLGQQQLNQK0Iu341V1WiNifGJTo

IUML has written to the Governor of UP, Anandiben Patel, to seek intervention for the detention of Dr Kafeel Khan.IUML official statement mentions that Dr Khan has been kept under prolonged detention in the Mathura Jail despite his bail by a district court of Aligarh.IUML President Kader Mohideen has called Dr Khan’s arrest as “arbitrary”, calling him a “savior who all through the stressful night at Gorakhpur Hospital kept arranging for oxygen at the BRD Hospital.” He reminded in the statement that the Allahabad High Court had ordered his bail as there was “no material on record, which may establish medical negligence against the applicant individually.”The official letter to UP government has underlined that it is the “most horrid example of arbitrary state pervading all principles of fairness and justice” that despite the bail, Dr Khan has not been released from the Mathura Jail.twocircles

 

This Dalit woman activist is taking Dalit history to grassroots in Rajasthan

http://twocircles.net/2020may01/436366.html?fbclid=IwAR0_BfwV0okD15wmBogVHSntIIFrZoGdqPsvZkCFuYb8evsjovUjUhFY77g

Rajasthan: In Rajasthan, which is one of the worst five states in India when it comes to atrocities against Dalits, Suman Devathiya, a senior Dalit rights activist has emerged as a leader overcoming not only the entrenched casteism in the state but deep-seated patriarchy as well.Suman is a part of Dalit Women Fight, a movement led by Dalit women to strengthen their voices for justice.Commenting on the importance of Dalit History Month, Suman says that it is very important to know one’s correct history.“In the mainstream, there is no Dalit history. There are youth who are collecting Dalit history. Maybe our future generation will benefit from our small contributions,” she said.  Talking about the social media campaign for Dalit History Month Suman says that their objective was to acknowledge and take inspiration from the contributions of Dalit sisters and mothers who have contributed positively towards the society.Dalit History Month was launched in 2013 by Sanghapali Aruna and Thenmozhi Soundararajan. The idea was to celebrate Dalit contribution to history and the month of April was dedicated for this. twocircles

Gujarat: 2 months on, lives of Khambhat riot victims far from normal

https://indianexpress.com/article/india/gujarat-2-months-on-lives-of-khambhat-riot-victims-far-from-normal-6391018/

Vadodara :Even the blazing overhead sun fails to illuminate Dilavar Malek’s house. 70- year-old ancient house is now just a burned down ruin.Its walls heavily blackened with soot, part of them torn down, loosely hanging fans, traces of ash in every corner — this was the place, Malek (36) and his family called home until riots ravaged Akhabpura locality of Khambhat down in February and his house was gutted down by the rioters.The communal clashes which erupted on February 23 continued for the next three days with sporadic incidents of arson and violence as over 60 houses were burned down and over 13 people injured. Akhbarpura which had seen repeated instances of violence was the seat of the February riots which had also spread over to other localities.Having spent over a month to stabilize from the losses he incurred, the nationwide lockdown imposed on March 25 to contain the spread of COVID-19 further added to his miseries.indianexpress

 

"Erroneous And Unwarranted": Sharad Pawar Slams Shifting Of Finance Body IFSC's Office To Gujarat

https://www.ndtv.com/india-news/erroneous-and-unwarranted-sharad-pawar-slams-shifting-of-finance-body-ifscs-office-to-gujarat-2222638

Mumbai: NCP chief Sharad Pawar on Sunday slammed the decision to set up headquarters of the International Financial Services Centre (IFSC) at Gandhinagar instead of Mumbai and urged the Union government to reconsider it.Sharad Pawar wrote a letter to the centre saying that the decision will cause financial damage to the country and bring international discredit to it by undermining the importance of Mumbai."Inspite of Maharashtra's immense contribution to government securities, the decision to establish IFSC (headquarters) in Gujarat is egregious, erroneous and unwarranted," he said in the letter.

 

*WORLD*

Israel's top court hears petition against Netanyahu in PM role

https://www.aljazeera.com/news/2020/05/israel-high-court-hears-petitions-coalition-gov-200503082653534.html

Israel's Supreme Court has begun hearing arguments to determine whether Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, who has been indicted for corruption, will be allowed to form a new government.The top court will also hear petitions challenging a coalition deal with his rival-turned-partner Benny Gantz, who is currently speaker of the Knesset, Israel's parliament."Today we shall hear arguments on the question of bestowing the duty of forming a government on a Knesset member against whom an indictment has been filed," Chief Justice Esther Hayut said as she opened proceedings on Sunday.

 

Hundreds protest Israeli PM Netanyahu's coalition deal before court hearing

https://www.aljazeera.com/news/2020/05/hundreds-protest-israel-coalition-deal-court-hearing-200503012206629.html

Hundreds of Israelis took to the streets in Tel Aviv on Saturday night, demonstrating against Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu's new coalition deal with his chief rival a day before country's Supreme Court is to begin debating a series of legal challenges to the agreement.Demonstrators gathered for the third consecutive weekend in Tel Aviv's Rabin Square, standing more than six feet apart in organised rows to conform with social-distancing rules to protect against the spread of coronavirus."Shame! Shame!" chanted the protesters. One of the posters showed a picture of Netanyahu and Benny Gantz with the slogan, "We Say No to a Corruption Government".aljazeera

 

Israel temporarily opens crossings for Palestinians seeking work

https://www.aljazeera.com/news/2020/05/israel-temporarily-opens-crossings-palestinians-seeking-work-200503071628033.html

Israel has reopened a number of crossings following an agreement with the Palestinian Authority (PA), in a move that allows thousands of Palestinians in the occupied West Bank seeking employment opportunities to return to work despite fears of being exposed to the new coronavirus.The two-day opening, expected to last until Monday, will see some 40,000 Palestinians cross over for work, mostly in construction and agriculture.

 

Haniyeh discusses Judaisation of Jerusalem with Al-Azhar Grand Sheikh

https://www.middleeastmonitor.com/20200502-haniyeh-discusses-judaisation-of-jerusalem-with-al-azhar-grand-sheikh/

Head of Hamas Political Bureau Ismail Haniyeh discussed Israel’s Judaisation of occupied Jerusalem with Al-Azhar Grand Sheikh Dr Ahmed Al-Tayyeb.In a statement, Hamas confirmed that Haniyeh discussed this issue along with other matters with Al Tayyeb in a phone call.During the call, Haniyeh congratulated the Sheikh on the occasion of the Holy month of Ramadan and hoped for safety for the Sheikh, and all scholars of Al-Azhar, the Egyptian people and all the people of Arab and Muslim nations.Haniyeh communicated that Israel is implementing US deal of the century through Judaising Palestinian land. Hamas chief confirmed that his movement completely rejects all Israeli measures against the Palestinians and their rights, as well as renouncing the consequences of these illegal measures.

 

Afghanistan probes report Iran guards forced migrants into river

https://www.aljazeera.com/news/2020/05/afghanistan-probes-report-iran-guards-forced-migrants-river-200503092623834.html

Afghanistan has begun retrieving bodies of Afghan migrants from a river in a western province after reports that Iranian border guards tortured and threw Afghans into the river to prevent their entry into Iran.Afghanistan's foreign ministry in a statement on Saturday said an inquiry had been launched and a senior official in the presidential palace in Kabul said initial assessments suggested that at least 70 Afghans who were trying to enter Iran from bordering Herat province were beaten and pushed into Harirud River. Harirud River basin is shared by Afghanistan, Iran and Turkmenistan. Doctors at Herat District Hospital said they had received the bodies of Afghan migrants, some of whom had drowned.aljazeera

 

Afghan Govt 'Releases 100 Taliban Detainees' in Kabul: Source

https://tolonews.com/afghanistan/afghan-govt-releases-100-taliban-detainees-kabul-source

At least 100 Taliban detainees were released on Saturday night from Pul-e-Charkhi Prison in Kabul, a source said. Based on a presidential decree, at least 100 Taliban prisoners were expected to be released daily in accordance with US-Taliban agreement signed in late Feb that called for a total release of 5,000 prisoners; however, nearly 2 months after decree, less that 1,000 prisoners have been released. The government says the delays are due to "complications" in the process.Prior to Saturday's reported release, the office of the National Security Council said that based on a presidential decree, more than 550 Taliban prisoners have been released and at least 1,000 more will also be freed.The Taliban on Thursday said they released 52 prisoners, bringing their total of freed people to 112. The US-Taliban agreement called for 1,000 Afghan security forces held by the Taliban to be released, but there are reports that not all of those released belonged to the security forces.tolonews

 

Syrian tycoon Rami Makhlouf decries 'inhumane' security forces

https://www.aljazeera.com/news/2020/05/syrian-tycoon-rami-makhlouf-decries-inhumane-security-forces-200503135939918.html

Sanctions-hit Syrian tycoon Rami Makhlouf said security forces were arresting employees at his companies "in an inhumane way" amid pressure on him to step down from his business empire and pay millions of dollars in tax.Makhlouf, a cousin of President Bashar al-Assad and widely considered part of the president's inner circle, has a business empire that ranges from telecoms and real estate to construction and oil trading. He played a big role in financing Assad's war effort, Western officials have said.Makhlouf, who belongs to Assad's Alawite minority sect that holds political power in Syria, owes his fortune to Assad and was seen by many Syrian businessmen and others as a frontman for the president and other members of the ruling family.aljazeera

 

Egypt says 18 suspected armed fighters killed in Sinai firefight

https://www.aljazeera.com/news/2020/05/egypt-18-suspected-armed-fighters-killed-sinai-firefight-200503135545337.html

Egypt's interior ministry has said 18 suspected armed group members were killed in North Sinai in a firefight with security forces, 2 days after a deadly blast claimed by ISIL armed group."National security received intelligence about terrorist elements hiding out in a home in Bir al-Abed, where they were planning to launch hostile operations," the ministry said in a statement on Sunday.AFP

 

Rohingya refugees floating at sea land on Bangladesh island

https://www.arabnews.com/node/1668971/world

Dhaka: At least 29 Rohingya refugees from a fishing boat floating for weeks in the Bay of Bengal have landed on an island in southern Bangladesh, officials said Sunday.The refugees, including 15 women and six children, landed on Bhasan Char island on Saturday and are believed to be from one of several boats stuck at sea, said Tonmoy Das, the chief local government official in Noakhali district.Das said food, doctors and a team of 10 policemen were sent to the island to take care of the refugees.An official from Bangladesh’s Refugee Commissioner’s office in Cox’s Bazar district said the office was aware of the development. The official spoke on condition of anonymity because he was not authorized to speak to media.Rights groups said recently that hundreds of Rohingya are stranded on at least two fishing trawlers between Bangladesh and Malaysia. The refugees reportedly attempted to illegally reach Malaysia, but failed because of strict patrols to keep out the coronavirus. AP

 

Filmmaker Who Mocked Egypt’s el-Sisi Dies in Prison

https://www.nytimes.com/2020/05/02/world/middleeast/egypt-shady-habash-dead-sisi.html?fbclid=IwAR3H8qlPN9A7X4d2E580yxExx9T8Fwb8v6CN5NMqGW663E7pPUhylkTpEQ4

CAIRO: An Egyptian filmmaker imprisoned over a music video that mocked President Abdel Fattah el-Sisi died at a maximum-security facility on Friday after 2 years in detention without trial, his lawyer said.The cause of death of the filmmaker, Shady Habash, 24, was not immediately clear. But it brought new scrutiny to conditions in Egypt’s notoriously crowded prisons, where death of an American this year caused a rare rift with Trump administration, and which have been the subject of growing calls for a mass release of prisoners to prevent the spread of the coronavirus. Habash was imprisoned in March 2018 after he directed a music video by an exiled musician, Ramy Essam, that mocked el-Sisi as a “date.” When the video spread widely on social media, Habash was arrested and jailed, said his lawyer, Ahmed el-Khawaga.nytimes

 

N Korea's Un makes first 'public appearance' in weeks

https://www.aljazeera.com/news/2020/05/north-korea-leader-kim-jong-resuming-public-activity-kcna-200501214558371.html

North Korean leader Kim Jong Un made his first public appearance in 20 days, ending an absence that sparked global speculation about his health.The Korean Central News Agency (KCNA) reported on Saturday that Kim attended a ceremony marking the completion of a fertiliser factory in Sunchon, near the capital Pyongyang, with other senior officials, including his sister, Kim Yo Jong.

*views, Articles, FEATURES*

Racism, Caste and Religious Prejudices Might Increase in Post-Corona India:ABHAY KUMAR | Clarion India

https://clarionindia.net/racism-caste-and-religious-prejudices-might-increase-in-post-corona-india/

Dr Kafeel Khan And The Story Of Another Epidemic: MRUDULA BHAVANI

https://www.outlookindia.com/magazine/amp/india-news-opinion-dr-kafeel-khan-and-the-story-of-another-epidemic/303149?__twitter_impression=true&fbclid=IwAR1Swm6tZ5z7ek6Lo5kTj7sGozoPE5G6nYYke2mQgSp24nrMZl68VJ_t_Uo

Sedition charges against a patriot Muslim: Dr. Aslam Abdullah

http://muslimmirror.com/eng/sedition-charges-against-a-patriot/?fbclid=IwAR11LjsOGuY9DanpBdq8Dy50RdbDwNqtNsp6DZ_wqRSoLogo_DFjG-9InUc

Who is Dr. Zafarul Islam Khan and what is his crime? Masoom Moradabadi

http://muslimmirror.com/eng/who-is-dr-zafarul-islam-khan-and-what-is-his-crime/?fbclid=IwAR33l5pi5jwqrK4ibSr55FR8uLpVaqOV2iR33fn7TsVRYCSL4sDVmuAPDj4

India Muslims targeted in attacks over coronavirus: Elizabeth Puranam , aljazeera

https://www.aljazeera.com/news/2020/05/india-muslims-targeted-attacks-coronavirus-200502141834870.html?fbclid=IwAR2JB9LY0cqg36pH9_UdmK-c_Cggnn4kq7Vxa41oPWv7Urmq6AD862vsjQs

We will never know how many people died of starvation, because no state government will admit to starvation deaths:P Chidambaram

https://indianexpress.com/article/opinion/columns/p-chidambaram-india-coronavirus-lockdown-migrants-hunger-6390882/?fbclid=IwAR0_oF5lc1A5hIdzcQlM-5I4saXQL7VkC1RwJhfKnMDL_bgyvroajaZVUBY

Writing On The Wall: A Tour Of Jamia Anti-CAA Protest:karvaanindia

https://www.karvaanindia.com/2020/05/03/writing-on-the-wall-a-tour-of-jamia-anti-caa-protest/?fbclid=IwAR2RKQ_BSpJgXzhEngUrwVLPKQDiPSGia6gpsMqQHaesrZUqbIT5Yl1yqrI

Can the race for a vaccine outrun the pace of the virus?V Venkateswara Rao

https://www.nationalheraldindia.com/opinion/can-the-race-for-a-vaccine-outrun-the-pace-of-the-virus

Why is India spending money showering petals on hospitals but making workers pay for train tickets?Shoaib Daniyal

https://scroll.in/article/960909/why-is-india-spending-money-showering-petals-on-hospitals-but-making-workers-pay-for-train-tickets?fbclid=IwAR3LzMpC_s6pCPH70GIeQmOTYx6Gr6kv6JdOrv4uzCxZjZQwBRm4ytgoRgI

Muslim think tank IMPAR should reach out to poor, illiterate Muslims: Asghar Wajahat

http://twocircles.net/2020may03/436417.html?fbclid=IwAR1AgFelH3TjppAOHQNfei8Sq7Qujeun_wBhwtjJw5qt3jq-v60jy8iobik

Modi got all the credit for lockdown. Now, he wants states to share risk of unlocking India: RAMA LAKSHMI

https://theprint.in/opinion/modi-got-credit-for-lockdown-now-he-wants-states-to-share-risk/413360/

Modi government’s targeting of minorities for COVID repeats old mistakes of HIV pandemic:

VIDYA KRISHNAN

https://caravanmagazine.in/health/modi-government-targeting-minorities-for-covid-repeats-old-mistakes-of-hiv-pandemic

Does The World Need To Worry If US Quits WHO? Not Really:Dr S Faizi

https://www.outlookindia.com/website/story/opinion-does-the-world-need-to-worry-if-the-us-quits-who-not-really/351986

Lockdown Has Not Flattened Covid-19 Curve, But Bent Economy:Manish Tewari

https://www.outlookindia.com/website/story/opinion-the-lockdown-has-not-flattened-covid-19-curve-but-bent-the-economy/351947

Lockdown from Monday: Ministry of ‘Clarifications’ clears the air on earlier clarifications; Ranjona Banerji

https://www.nationalheraldindia.com/opinion/lockdown-from-monday-ministry-of-clarifications-clears-the-air-on-earlier-clarifications

When It Comes to Dalit and Tribal Rights, the Judiciary in India Just Does Not Get It:Anurag Bhaskar

https://thewire.in/law/when-it-comes-to-dalit-and-tribal-rights-the-judiciary-in-india-just-does-not-get-it

By Withholding Information on PM-CARES and the Lockdown, PMO Has Violated the RTI Act:M. Sridhar Acharyulu

https://thewire.in/rights/pm-cares-pmo-rti-act-office-memoranda

For Modi Government, Migrant Workers Are Not Citizens:Brinda Karat

https://www.ndtv.com/opinion/opinion-pm-cares-fund-should-pay-for-migrants-trains-home-2222653

Mehmet the Conqueror: Genius emperor of Ottomans

https://www.aa.com.tr/en/culture/mehmet-the-conqueror-genius-emperor-of-ottomans/1827257

Either we wait for vaccine or open up and face the wolf outside?Saeed Naqvi

https://www.nationalheraldindia.com/opinion/either-we-wait-for-vaccine-or-open-up-and-face-the-wolf-outside

 

*Compiled and edited by Anwarulhaq (Released at: 10:50 PM)*

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