Wednesday, 17 June 2020

17 JUNE NEWS: Jaishankar, Wang Yi Talk De-Escalation; India Accuses China of 'Planned' Action to Alter Status Quo. An entire Indian Army''s Company was trapped by Chinese PLA. British Muslims held for 2 months in India claim religious persecution. 93% Muslims view Hindus favourably, but only 65% Hindus view Muslims positively: Pew survey

NEWS DIGEST EVENING

17 JUNE 2020: 24 SHAWWAL 1441:Vol: 12,No:235

*SOUTH ASIA- INDO-PAK, J&K*

Jaishankar, Wang Yi Talk De-Escalation; India Accuses China of 'Planned' Action to Alter Status Quo

https://thewire.in/external-affairs/india-china-jaishankar-wang-yi-deescalation-talks-galwan

New Delhi: India today blamed the violent incident in the Galwan Valley which took the lives of 20 Indian soldiers on “pre-meditated and planned action” by the Chinese troops even as both countries said they would avoid escalating matters and work towards ensuring peace and tranquility. According to MEA’s readout, external affairs minister S. Jaishankar protested “in the strongest terms” and accused China of having taken “pre-meditated and planned action” that led to the violence and caused casualties. “It reflected an intent to change the facts on ground in violation of all our agreements to not change the status quo,” stated the press release.Jaishankar stressed that “this unprecedented development will have a serious impact on the bilateral relationship”.This is the highest level of contact that has taken place between the two sides since India announced on Tuesday that 20 soldiers had been killed after a “violent face-off” where the two armies had been in the process of de-escalation after weeks of stand-off in eastern Ladakh. While China is also said to have suffered casualties, no official figures have been released. Indian foreign minister stated that de-escalation process had made some headway, but then the matter came to a head when “Chinese side sought to erect a structure in Galwan valley on our side of the LAC”. Jaishankar stated that the “need of the hour was for the Chinese side to reassess its actions and take corrective steps”.Calling on both countries to “scrupulously and sincerely” implement the understanding reached by senior commanders on June 6, India said that troops should abide by the bilateral agreement and protocols. “They should strictly respect and observe the line of actual control and should not take any unilateral action to alter it,” said the Indian press release.The Indian release said that the broad outcome of the discussion was that both sides agreed to handle situation “in a responsible manner” and implement disengagement understanding of June 6 “sincerely”.“Neither side would take any action to escalate matters and instead, ensure peace and tranquillity as per bilateral agreements and protocols,” added the MEA. thewire

‘Control frontline troops’, says China’s Wang Yi in phone call with S Jaishankar

https://www.hindustantimes.com/india-news/control-frontline-troops-says-china-s-wang-yi-in-phone-call-with-s-jaishankar/story-xJivzBrrRvqkX6NcMon0JP.html

India should not misjudge or underestimate China’s will to safeguard its territory, Chinese foreign minister Wang Yi has told his Indian counterpart S Jaishankar, demanding that New Delhi immediately cease all “provocative” actions at the border and “thoroughly” investigate the clash between the border troops on Monday night. Wang told Jaishankar that Indian army’s adventurous act triggered the clash.A strongly worded statement released by the Chinese foreign ministry – after a phone conversation between Wang and Jaishankar on Wednesday -- said the former told the Indian minister that New Delhi “should strictly control frontline troops”.Until now, China’s foreign ministry and the People’s Liberation Army have squarely blamed the Indian army for the violent face-off, which India has rejected as well: Wang’s phone call clearly shows that China will continue to be aggressive. “Again, China expresses its strong protest to the Indian side. We demand that Indian side conduct a thorough investigation into the matter, severely punish those responsible, strictly control the frontline troops and immediately cease all provocative actions to ensure that such incidents do not recur,” the statement by the ministry said. Wang, who is also a state councillor, which makes him one of the most senior officials in China, said Indian border troops “brazenly” broke the consensus reached by the leaders of the two countries. hindustantimes

 An entire Indian Army''s Company was trapped by Chinese PLA: IANS report

https://www.outlookindia.com/newsscroll/an-entire-indian-armys-company-was-trapped-by-chinese-pla/1868610

Around 120 Indian soldiers, almost an entire company, was trapped and encircled by Chinese People''s Liberation Army (PLA) and followed by savage and deceptive attacks, many to a point of mutilation, on Monday night, sources said. Pointing firearms on their faces, Chinese PLA brutally tortured some Indian soldiers to death, sources further revealed, adding that the Indian soldiers were helpless with the government directions of not to use firearms. It was not a hand-to-hand fight between the forces, as IANS has learnt and PLA troopers used all kinds of weapons against the Indian soldiers, who bravely fought and tried to control the situation. Sources said Indian Army troopers were outnumbered by 1:5 ratio when they came under attack from Chinese People''s Liberation Army soldiers at the patrolling point number 14 in Ladakh on LAC in eastern Ladakh. China''s PLA troopers "savagely attacked" Indian Army personnel, according to sources in the government with knowledge of the details of the Monday night clashes between the two army soldiers."The numbers were stacked up against the Indian Army troopers. Yet, the Indian side decided to fight the PLA troopers. Indian soldiers were outnumbered 1:5 by the Chinese troopers," the sources said on Wednesday.China is also said to have used thermal imaging drones to trace Indian Army soldiers scattered on the treacherous terrain before brutally attacking them."It was the deadliest attack carried on the Indian Army personnel by Chinese military personnel to our memory," the government sources said."We were outnumbered," admitted an Indian Army officer, talking about the clash that went on for 6 to 7 hours. Sources stated the dead Colonel Santosh Babu went to see whether the Chinese troops had withdrawn from the standoff position, as promised by them. Chinese trapped the Indian soldiers and brutally attacked them to the "point of mutilation".Several Indian Army soldiers are currently "critically injured" and are undergoing treatment.The "causality numbers could increase" as the current critically injured personnel numbers are more than 10, the sources said. Indian Army on Tuesday said 20 of its men, including officers, were killed in an unprecedented violent clash with PLA troopers in Galwan Valley on Monday night. The force also said the death toll would increase, as many soldiers were grievously injured.IANS

 

Govt sources cite US intelligence to claim China suffered 35 casualties during Galwan clash

https://www.thehindu.com/news/national/govt-sources-cite-us-intelligence-to-claim-china-suffered-35-casualties-during-galwan-clash/article31849492.ece?homepage=true

Sources in the government are claiming that as per U.S. intelligence reports, the Chinese Army suffered 35 casualties during the violent clash with the Indian military in eastern Ladakh’s Galwan Valley.The figure could be a combination of total number of soldiers killed and seriously wounded, they added.China has not yet talked about the number of casualties suffered by People’s Liberation Army during the clash.Government sources on Tuesday said the Chinese side suffered “proportionate casualties” but it does not have a clear picture about the number of Chinese soldiers killed as well as those injured in the clash.PTI

 

India can give fitting reply when provoked: PM Modi After Ladakh Clash

https://www.ndtv.com/india-news/pm-narendra-modi-says-our-soldiers-sacrifices-wont-go-to-waste-after-ladakh-face-off-2247693?pfrom=home-bigstory

Prime Minister Narendra Modi said today he wanted to assure the nation that the sacrifice of Indian soldiers killed in a clash with Chinese troops at Galwan Valley in Ladakh would not go in vain and India, while peace-loving, is capable of giving a fitting reply if provoked. "No one should be in any doubt. India wants peace but when provoked, it is capable of giving a fitting reply, be it any situation," PM Modi warned in a strong message to China."The country will be proud to know that our soldiers died fighting the Chinese," said PM, who observed two minutes of silence in tribute to the 20 soldiers who died for the country before starting a scheduled meeting with CMs on the coronavirus crisis.

 

PM CALLS all-party meet on Friday to discuss situation after Ladakh Clash

https://www.ndtv.com/india-news/ladakh-pm-narendra-modi-calls-all-party-meeting-at-5-pm-on-friday-to-discuss-situation-in-india-china-border-areas-after-ladakh-face-off-2247625?pfrom=home-topstories

PM Narendra Modi has called an all-party meeting on Friday to discuss the situation at the India-China border after clashes in Ladakh in which 20 Indian soldiers laid down their lives. Presidents of various political parties will participate in the meeting at 5 pm on Friday via video, PMO said.

 

PM Modi should tell nation 'how Chinese occupied Indian territory': Sonia Gandhi

https://www.aninews.in/news/national/general-news/pm-modi-should-tell-nation-how-chinese-occupied-indian-territory-sonia-gandhi20200617200044/

 Congress interim president Sonia Gandhi on Wednesday paid tribute to the 20 military personnel, including an officer, who laid out their lives in the violent face-off with China in Galwan Valley, Ladakh and asked PM Narendra Modi to tell the nation 'how Chinese occupied Indian territory'."The sacrifice of our 20 jawans has shaken the conscience of the nation. I pay my tribute to all those brave soldiers from the core of my heart and pray to Almighty to give their families the strength to face this pain," she said.ANI

 

India-China Clash: Rahul Gandhi, Sanjay Raut, Asaduddin Owaisi Ask Modi To Tell Country The Truth

https://www.huffingtonpost.in/entry/india-china-clash-rahul-gandhi-tejashwi-akhilesh-yadav_in_5ee99de5c5b6f54b3eac4a2e

Opposition leaders united in criticism of PM Narendra Modi and BJP-led central government after 20 Indian Army personnel were killed in the clash with Chinese troops in Galwan Valley in eastern Ladakh on Monday night. Congress leader Rahul Gandhi on Wednesday asked why the Prime Minister was “silent” on the clash and said that the country needed to know what had happened. RJD’s Tejashwi Yadav asked the government to call an all-party meet while SP’s Akhilesh Yadav said the government must now reveal the truth about the incident.Senior Shiv Sena leader Sanjay Raut demanded a befitting reply to China’s aggression, but also extended support to Modi.“When will a befitting reply be given to China’s aggression?” he asked.“In the current situation, the country is with the PM. But what is the truth? Speak something. The country wants to know the truth. Jai Hind,” he said. AIMIM chief Asaduddin Owaisi slammed Modi for the loss of lives and demanded that he admit his “failure” to defend the country.huffingtonpost

 

Defence Minister gave impression that de-escalation was smooth; leadership must answer: Veerappa Moily

https://www.thehindu.com/news/national/defence-minister-gave-impression-that-de-escalation-was-smooth-leadership-must-answer-veerappa-moily/article31853059.ece?homepage=true

The national leadership must explain how the situation at the India-China border in eastern Ladakh deteriorated to the extent of a violent clash, Congress leader M. Veerappa Moily said on Wednesday, alleging that the Defence Minister gave the impression that the de-escalation process was going on smoothly.India should galvanise international support to de-escalate the present situation to defeat China’s “sinister move”, the former Union Minister said in a statement.PTI

 

UN Urges Restraint Along India-China Border

https://www.voanews.com/south-central-asia/un-urges-restraint-along-india-china-border

UN is urging China and India to “exercise maximum restraint” after a violent fight broke out Monday between soldiers from both sides of a remote Himalayan border.  It was the worst clash between the two nuclear-armed neighbors in 45 years.  “We are concerned about reports of violence and deaths at the Line of Actual Control between India and China," U.N. spokesperson Eri Kaneko said. “We take positive note of reports that the two countries have engaged to de-escalate the situation."  VOA

 

US 'Closely Monitoring' India-China Border Row: Official

https://thewire.in/external-affairs/us-closely-monitoring-india-china-border-row-state-department-official

US is “closely monitoring” the situation following a fierce clash between Indian and Chinese forces in eastern Ladakh, and hopes that the differences will be resolved peacefully, a senior State Department official has said.“We are closely monitoring the situation between Indian and Chinese forces along the LAC,” the State Department spokesperson said.

 

India tried to flex muscles, got visible beating: Pak foreign minister

https://www.theweek.in/news/world/2020/06/17/india-tried-to-flex-muscles-got-visible-beating-pakistan-foreign-minister.html

Pakistan Foreign Minister Shah Mahmood Qureshi has continued to blame India for the escalating tension with China over Ladakh. Qureshi claimed the responsibility for the escalation "lay squarely with India". Qureshi was speaking on a programme of Pakistani channel Geo News. Qureshi reiterated that "India should not have constructed roads" in the region. Qureshi backed China's stance on the issue, effectively repeating Beijing’s statement issued earlier on Tuesday as he said, "China used existing mechanisms to resolve situation through talks and strategy.""India continued on and tried to flex its muscles; it first got a visible beating and now 20 of its troops have been killed," Qureshi was quoted as saying by Geo News. Qureshi warned the number of Indian casualties could rise.Qureshi alleged that India had become isolated in its neighbourhood, citing disputes with Nepal, Pakistan and even Bangladesh and Sri Lanka. Qureshi claimed India had made SAARC "dysfunctional". Continuing the Pakistan government's approach of targeting the Modi government's Hindutva ideology, Qureshi said, "This is the play of Modi's Hindutva regime and it will face a befitting response."theweek

 

New Delhi could opt out of Russia-India-China virtual meeting

https://www.hindustantimes.com/india-news/new-delhi-could-opt-out-of-russia-india-china-virtual-meeting/story-yUzSQnDrnLZimUH0y1sCJI.html

India is unlikely to join a virtual meeting of foreign ministers of the Russia-India-China (RIC) grouping scheduled for June 23 in the aftermath of the violent clash along LAC that left 20 Indian soldiers dead, people familiar with developments said on Wednesday.

 

Ban Chinese firms from govt tenders as tribute to slain soldiers: RSS affiliate to Centre

https://www.theweek.in/news/biz-tech/2020/06/17/ban-chinese-firms-from-govt-tenders-as-tribute-to-slain-soldiers-rss-affiliate-to-centre.html

RSS-affiliated Swadeshi Jagran Manch (SJM) has appealed to Centre to bar Chinese companies from participating in tenders floated by the government and exhorted the people to boycott Chinese products as a tribute to the Army soldiers killed in a fierce clash with troops of China . SJM co-convener Ashwani Mahajan said it's high time people shunned Chinese products.Mahajan also urged actors, cricketers and other celebrities not to promote Chinese products.SJM also requests the government to ban Chinese companies from participating in any tender floated by the Indian government and to not procure any Chinese items, he said.

 All India traders’ body releases list of 500 Chinese items to be boycotted

https://scroll.in/latest/964947/india-china-standoff-all-india-traders-body-releases-list-of-500-chinese-items-to-be-boycotted

Confederation of All India Traders on Wednesday released a list of more than 500 Chinese products to be boycotted, Business Today reported. Products on the boycott list include fast-moving consumer goods, consumer durables, toys, furnishing fabrics, textiles, builder hardware, footwear, apparel and kitchen items. “By calling for the boycott of these Chinese products, the objective is to reduce import of Chinese finished goods by $13 billion or about Rs 1 lakh crore, by December 2021,” the confederation’s Secretary General Praveen Khandelwal told Business Today.

 

Intel agencies red-flag use of 52 mobile apps with links to China: Complete list

https://www.hindustantimes.com/india-news/intel-agencies-red-flag-use-of-52-mobile-apps-with-links-to-china-complete-list/story-B50Slf39aSnVOrCcS92l1N.html

Indian intelligence agencies have asked the government to block or advise people to stop use of 52 mobile applications linked to China over concerns that these weren’t safe and ended up extracting a large amount of data outside India, people familiar with the development said.The list of applications sent by the security establishment to the government include video conferencing app Zoom, short-video app TikTok, and other utility and content apps such as UC browser, Xender, SHAREit and Clean-master.A senior government official said the recommendation of the intelligence agencies had recently been supported by National Security Council Secretariat, which felt these could be detrimental to India’s security.

 

Nepal seems to be following China’s road map on Lipulekh: TOI

https://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/india/nepal-seems-to-be-following-chinas-road-map-on-lipulekh/articleshow/76416738.cms

New Delhi:LAC violence has come at a time India faces some serious challenges in its neighbourhood, most notably in Nepal where a belligerent and pro-China government seems to believe it can rid the strategic Lipulekh Pass on India-Nepal-China tri-junction of India’s presence, much to Beijing’s advantage.Compounding the problem for India, Nepal’s territorial adventurism in the form of its new map has gone almost hand-in-hand with Sino-Indian border strife. Indian Army chief General MM Naravane had earlier insinuated that China may have a hand in Nepal’s decision to strongly protest India’s inauguration of a road to Lipulekh Pass. The government has been left wondering if the road was enough provocation for KP Oli government to issue a new map of Nepal claiming territories — Kalapani, Limpiyadhura and Lipulekh — held by India.According to Indian government sources, while India had earlier said it was willing to hold talks on the boundary issue after dealing with Covid-19 threat, it had recently even offered a virtual meeting between the foreign secretaries. Nepal, government sources said, didn’t accept the offer.According to a strategic affairs expert, Nepal’s constitutional change to claim an Indian tri-border area was tacitly driven by China, whose ambassador in Kathmandu has become Nepal’s “matriarch”.

 

Pakistan Fires Mortars Along LoC In J&K Naugam Sector

https://www.ndtv.com/india-news/pakistan-violates-ceasefire-along-loc-in-jammu-and-kashmirs-naugam-sector-2247470

New Delhi: Pakistan violated ceasefire along Line of Control in Jammu and Kashmir by firing mortar shells towards Indian positions, Army said. The latest violation took place in Naugam Sector on Tuesday night."On 16 June, in the late evening hours, Pakistan initiated unprovoked ceasefire violation(CFV) along the LoC in Naugam Sector by firing mortars and other weapons,"defence spokesman was quoted as saying by PTI.He said Indian Army strongly retaliated to Pakistan's unprovoked firing.There were no casualties reported in the incident, the spokesman added.There has been a steady increase in ceasefire violation by Pakistan in the recent months.ndtv

Pak Rejects India's Statement on Arrest of 2 Indian High Commission Officials

https://thewire.in/south-asia/pak-rejects-indias-statement-on-arrest-of-2-indian-high-commission-officials

Pakistan has rejected the “baseless allegations” by India over the arrest of 2 Indian High Commission officials here for their alleged involvement in a hit-and-run incident.The two officials were later released by the police on Monday after the Foreign Office informed the authorities that they had diplomatic immunity.Following the incident, India on Tuesday summoned Charge d’ Affaires of Pakistan High Commission Haider Shah and lodged a strong protest with him over the “abduction and torture” of 2 officials of the Indian mission in Islamabad by Pakistani agencies. Reacting to MEA statement, Pak Foreign Office said that the Indian statement “is a reprehensible attempt to distort facts and deny culpability of these officials in criminal offences.”PTI

 

Pakistan should stop systematic persecution of its religious minorities: India at UNHRC

https://www.newindianexpress.com/world/2020/jun/17/pakistan-should-stop-systematic-persecution-of-its-religious-minorities-india-at-unhrc-2157495.html

Geneva: India on Tuesday described Pakistan as "epicentre of global terrorism" and asked Islamabad to exercise “good neighbourliness” and stop systematic persecution of its religious minorities.In India's Right to Reply at 43rd Session of UN Human Rights Council here, First Secretary at Ministry of External Affairs, Vimarsh Aryan, said the pathetic situation of minorities in Pakistan is well known where the systematic misuse of blasphemy laws has condemned their lives utterly miserable.PTI

 

*CORONAVIRUS- LOCKDOWN*

British Muslims held for 2 months in India claim religious persecution: The Guardian

https://www.theguardian.com/world/2020/jun/17/british-muslims-held-in-india-accused-of-violating-coronavirus-lockdown

8 British Muslims detained in India for more than 2 months face criminal charges after getting caught up in a court case in which thousands of foreign Muslims are accused of violating the coronavirus lockdown.The men allege they are victims of religious persecution by the Indian government, which is led by the rightwing Hindu nationalist BJP, known for its anti-Muslim agenda. According to a petition filed to Delhi high court on 20 May, their treatment is “tantamount to illegal detention”. More than 2,500 foreign Muslims, from 35 different countries, are being charged in the case. Last week, the Indian government agreed to release and deport detained foreign Muslims but only if they accepted guilt for visa violations and “wilfully” disobeying lockdown orders. “We haven’t done anything wrong. We don’t deserve to be treated like this,” said Shamsul, 39, an optometrist from Lancashire who had travelled to Delhi in March to attend an Islamic gathering. Speaking by phone from the Delhi centre where he is being held, Shamsul added: “When you are locked away like an animal inside a room and you get treated like a piece of dirt, it mentally just breaks you completely.” UK Foreign Office has been accused by the men and their families of abandoning its own citizens to prejudice at hands of Indian govt and of “caring more about diplomatic relations than the appalling human rights violations”. In a statement, FCO said: “We are supporting a group of British people detained in India. We are in close contact with prison officials and Indian authorities to secure consular access for those who remain in detention.”Most of the detained British citizens had travelled to India to visit the headquarters of a Muslim organisation, Tablighi Jamaat, located in Delhi neighbourhood of Nizamuddin.  According to Shamsul, for first 50 days the men were locked in their small rooms, shared between three people, for 24 hours a day. He said water regularly cut out for 2 days at a time, they were given no soap or toilet paper and were fed the same meal of rice and lentils every day, twice a day. He said their passports were taken from them, and then their mobile phones, under the guise of sanitation. When the phones were returned a week later, photos and messages had reportedly been deleted and sim cards were missing. According to Shamsul’s accounts, and the court petition, the detainees were tested twice for coronavirus, and after second test were all proved to be negative, but still were not released. At the same time in late March, at least 4 other British citizens who had been sheltering in mosques and buildings due to lockdown restrictions in other areas of India were arrested. Some had attended Tablighi Jamaat gathering but had travelled out of Delhi before lockdown. Others were tourists. 4 remain detained, including Mohsin, a British citizen who is being held in a jail in Ranchi, Jharkhand, and another man, Thalha Siddique, from Bradford, who had not attended Delhi Tabhlighi Jamaat gathering and is being incarcerated in Bhopal jail. In a recent update given to his family by an FCO caseworker, who was denied permission to see Siddique in person, it was confirmed Siddique had twice tested negative for coronavirus. The men were held for over 50 days with no charges. It was only after a court petition was filed on 20 May, challenging the government for keeping 1,000 foreigners in “illegal detention”, that charge sheets were filed. In court, Delhi police denied the foreigners were even in custody. The case has since been expanded to blanket-charge more than 2,500 foreign Muslims. “It’s targeting one religious group,” said Ashima Mandla, a lawyer representing the accused foreigners collectively.

 

Delhi HC asks Centre, police to respond to Malaysian nationals' plea for speedy trial in Tablighi case; Saudi nationals approach HC for expeditious trial

https://www.newindianexpress.com/cities/delhi/2020/jun/17/delhi-hc-asks-centre-police-to-respond-to-malaysian-nationals-plea-for-speedy-trial-in-tablighi-ca-2157804.html

Delhi High Court asked the Centre, AAP government and the police on Wednesday to respond to a plea seeking a designated court for speedy trial in a case against 121 Malaysians chargesheeted for attending Markaz at Nizamuddin here in alleged violation of visa norms.Justice Anup J Bhambhani asked Delhi government and Delhi Police to file a status report on the petition filed on behalf of 125 Malaysians in all.As of now, police have filed charge sheets against 121 of 125 Malaysian nationals. The court, which conducted hearing through video conferencing, also impleaded ministries of home and external affairs, as parties in the petition and asked them to respond as well and listed the matter for further hearing on July 1. Petitioner Fahrul Naim Bin Mohd Noor said Malaysian nationals are in the care and custody of High Commission of Malaysia here and sought direction to establish one designated court to adjudicate upon the charge sheet in an expeditious manner. The plea, filed by advocate S Hari Haran, said chargesheets were filed in the competent court and they are listed for further action on June 17 and June 25. Malaysian nationals are stranded in the country away from the kith and kin for almost 3 months. Meanwhile, 11 Saudi Arabian nationals, who were also chargesheeted by police in the matter, Wednesday approached the high court seeking direction to the concerned trial court to conduct the proceedings through video conferencing and decide the case expeditiously by giving hearing on day to day basis. Plea, filed through advocate Ajay Garg, also sought direction to permit these foreign nationals to go back to their country with appropriate conditions and undertaking that they shall return here to face trial and as and when called summoned by the court.Till date 47 charge sheets have been filed against 915 foreign nationals, belonging to 34 different countries, in the case. According to the charge sheets, all the foreign nationals have been booked for violating visa rules, violating pandemic guidelines.PTI

 

Madras HC grants bail to foreign 31 Tablighi members

https://indianexpress.com/article/india/madras-high-court-grants-bail-to-31-tablighi-members-from-abroad-6462436/

Madras High Court has given bail to 31 foreigners who were arrested for taking part in Tablighi Jamaat activities in alleged violations of their visa norms and asked the government to facilitate their return.Tamil Nadu Police arrested them, including nationals from Indonesia and Ethiopia, in April for engaging in religious preaching in several mosques and villages in the state as part of a nationwide crackdown. Granting them bail, Madurai bench of HC, however, refrained from addressing them as Tablighis, observing that such“categorisation can have serious pitfalls.”

 

Hate cases: SC rejects PIL demanding no FIRs against media unless sanctioned by PCI or judicial appointed body

http://theleaflet.in/supreme-court-rejects-pil-demanding-barring-of-firs-against-media/

The Supreme Court on Tuesday refused to admit a PIL filed by Mumbai-based lawyer Ghanshyam Upadhyay seeking a direction that no FIR should be registered against media unless sanctioned by either Press Council of India (PCI) or a judicial body nominated by the apex court. To buttress his point, the petitioner made reference to the FIRs registered against Editor-in-Chief of Republic TV and Zee Media Corporation Ltd, for allegedly inciting hate between two religious communities.“It is relevant to mention that Republic TV and Zee News during the spread of pandemic and consequent lockdown in the country telecast news on their respective TV channels and exposed Tablighi Jamaat/ Maulana Saad responsible for spreading the deadly Covid-19 virus all over the country. Similarly, the Republic TV questioned Congress President for maintaining complete silence after the brutal massacre of 2 Hindu saints and their driver at Palghar”, petitioner stated.These news channels, according to the petitioner, performed their duties without violating any law. The petitioner argued that these 2 channels were being targeted for telecasting programmes and performing their professional responsibility. theleaflet

 

COVID: SC Issues Notice to Centre on PIL to Transfer Funds from PM-CARES to NDRF

https://www.newsclick.in/COVID-19-SC-Issues-Notice-Centre-PIL-Transfer-Funds-PM-CARES-NDRF

The Supreme Court on Wednesday issued a notice to the Centre on a plea which sought that contributions made to PM CARES Fund, in light of the COVID-19 pandemic, should be credited to National Disaster Response Fund (NDRF) instead. PIL alleged that the Centre has been “refraining from divulging information about the specific utilisation of crores of rupees that have been contributed to the PM CARES Fund till date.” PIL also sought a direction for Central Government to prepare, notify and implement a national plan under Disaster Management Act in order to deal with the COVID-19 pandemic.PIL was filed by CPIL. The NGO sought a direction that all the contributions till date in PM CARES Fund “may be directed to be transferred” to NDRF. A bench of Justices Ashok Bhushan, S.K. Kaul and M.R. Shah issued a notice to the Centre and sought its response within two weeks. The plea, filed through advocate Prashant Bhushan, has also sought a direction to the Centre to utilise the NDRF for the purpose of providing assistance in the fight against COVID-19 pandemic, in compliance with Disaster Management Act. Senior Advocate Dushyant Dave represented the petitioner in the virtual hearing.PIL has also sought a direction that Centre lays down minimum standards of relief under Disaster Management Act, to be provided to persons affected by the novel corona virus as well as by the lockdown.PTI/NewsClick

 

India’s Covid-19 toll nears 12,000 after backlog data reconciled, infection tally tops 3.5 lakh

 https://www.hindustantimes.com/india-news/india-s-covid-19-death-toll-nears-12-000-after-backlog-data-reconciled-infection-tally-tops-3-5-lakh/story-S8biV1q5XMPPlbQkGDiXWO.html

India recorded more than 2,000 deaths from the coronavirus disease after Delhi and Maharashtra updated their figures taking the country’s toll to nearly 12,000 as infection tally rose to 354,065, Union health ministry’s report showed on Wednesday. According to ministry’s Covid-19 dashboard, 10,974 fresh cases were reported from across the country in the last 24 hours and 2,003 patients succumbed to the respiratory disease. India’s death toll stands at 11,903 so far.The death toll surged after Delhi and Maharashtra took into account hundreds of fatalities that were pending review, officials have said.There are 155,227 active cases and 186,934 people have been discharged after being cured of the coronavirus disease, data showed.The recovery rate was at 52.79% slightly up from 52.46% on Tuesday. The surge in numbers comes on a day Prime Minister Narendra Modi will meet chief ministers of Delhi, Maharashtra, West Bengal, Karnataka, Gujarat, Bihar and Uttar Pradesh to discuss the pandemic situation.

 

Daily testing capacity scaled up to 3 lakh

https://www.outlookindia.com/newsscroll/indias-covid19-death-toll-crosses-10k-daily-testing-capacity-scaled-up-to-3-lakh-pm-lays-stress-on-both-life-and-livelihood/1868206

India’s COVID-19 death toll crossed 10,000 on Tuesday as the Centre scaled up the daily testing capacity to three lakh samples. Union Health ministry said the capacity for testing COVID-19 is being continuously ramped up and now 3 lakh samples can be tested each day, as scientists and medical experts pushed for ramping up tests to also cover all asymptomatic cases in the identified red zones and hotspots across the counry.A network of 907 labs -- including 659 labs in the government sector and 248 in the private sector ---have been established as on date, the ministry said, reiterating that RT-PCR is the gold standard frontline test for diagnosis of COVID-19. RT-PCR is a throat/nasal swab test.A total of 59,21,069 samples have been tested for COVID-19 so far with 1,54,935 samples analysed in the last 24 hours, it said.PTI

 

SC stays Telangana High Court order directing Covid test on dead bodies, calls it ‘premature’

https://theprint.in/judiciary/sc-stays-telangana-high-court-order-directing-covid-test-on-dead-bodies-calls-it-premature/443402/

 The Supreme Court Wednesday put on hold a Telangana High Court order that directed the state to conduct Covid-19 tests on dead bodies before they are released from hospitals.The order came on the Telangana government’s appeal claiming the high court order was based on news reports that are in the nature of hearsay secondary evidence and, unless proved, cannot be taken note of by a court.

 

Coronavirus Tests To Get Cheaper In Delhi, Capped At Rs 2,400

https://www.ndtv.com/india-news/coronavirus-tests-to-get-cheaper-in-delhi-capped-at-rs-2-400-2247941?pfrom=home-bigstory

New Delhi: The price of a COVID-19 test in Delhi has been capped at Rs 2,400, the Home Ministry said in a tweet on Wednesday night, explaining the move was aimed at "providing relief to the common man". Delhi was following Rs 4,500 per test cap ordered by ICMR, the government's nodal body in this health crisis.

 

AAP's Atishi Positive For Coronavirus, Third Delhi MLA To Get COVID

https://www.ndtv.com/delhi-news/coronavirus-delhi-aap-mla-atishi-aaps-atishi-positive-for-coronavirus-third-delhi-mla-to-get-covid-19-2247743?pfrom=home-topscroll

New Delhi: AAP MLA Atishi has tested positive for the novel coronavirus. 39-year-old, who represents Kalkaji constituency in south Delhi, complained of a mild fever and cough on Tuesday, after which she was screened for COVID-19. The report returned today and she is now in home quarantine given her mild symptoms.She is third MLA from her party to have tested positive for the coronavirus; the other 2 are Vishesh Ravi (Karol Bagh) and Rajkumar Anand (Patel Nagar).Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal tweeted in support of Atishi today, writing: "Atishi-ji has played an important role in the fight against the coronavirus. I hope that she will be healthy as soon as possible".

 

Delhi Health Minister Satyendar Jain Tests Positive for Coronavirus Hours after Taking Second Test

https://www.news18.com/news/india/delhi-health-minister-satyendar-jain-tests-positive-hours-after-taking-second-test-for-coronavirus-2674647.html

Delhi Health Minister Satyendar Jain on Wednesday tested positive for the coronavirus infection, his office confirmed. This came hours after Jain was tested for the second time. Earlier, Jain was admitted to a hospital in Delhi after high-grade fever and was administered a test for novel coronavirus on Tuesday.He was tested again today.

 

 

Bihar: RJD Leader Raghuvansh Prasad Singh Tests Positive For Coronavirus; Admitted To AIIMS In Patna

https://news.abplive.com/news/india/bihar-rjd-leader-raghuvansh-prasad-singh-tests-positive-for-coronavirus-admitted-to-aiims-in-patna-1263292

Patna: Senior RJD leader Dr Raghuvansh Prasad Singh today tested positive for the novel Coronavirus. As per reports, Singh was admitted to Patna's AIIMS hospital on Tuesday after he developed some symptoms of the contagion and is currently undergoing treatment in a isolation ward. Singh was a member of the 15th Lok Sabha of India. abplive

 

 Bhopal: 12 jawans of 17th Battalion diagnosed with virus

https://www.freepressjournal.in/bhopal/coronavirus-in-bhopal-twelve-jawans-of-17th-battalion-diagnosed-with-virus

Bhopal: After policemen, now jawans of battalions in bulk have been infected with covid-19 while discharging their duty in city.Twelve jawans of 17th Battalion were reported corona positive on Tuesday. The Jawans were deployed in Banganga slums after coronavirus took into its grip the area. With 47 positives cases reported on Tuesday, the city patient count on Tuesday stands at 2423. So far 74 deaths have been reported in the capital.

 

TB patients with no food and medicines one of the biggest casualties of lockdown and pandemic

https://www.nationalheraldindia.com/india/tuberculosis-patients-with-no-food-and-medicines-one-of-the-biggest-casualties-of-lockdown-and-pandemic

Lucknow:A son sold the dry straw of the thatched roof of their house in a village in Banda so that his father, suffering from TB, could get treatment, but lost the battle as his father died of the dreaded disease in Attara block of Banda district of Bundelkhand recently.A patient with symptoms of COVID-19 was brought to Ram Manohar Lohia Hospital in Lucknow last week. He was a TB patient with badly damaged lungs. He died within 24 hours of his admission in hospital.These are not solitary cases. TB has started taking its toll during lockdown and unlock periods across the country with TB and HIV patients becoming the prime target.Manohar and Rajkumar, two TB patients who died on Sunday, belonged to Kuchbandiyas caste – untouchables – who lived in Kherwa village in Banda. The villagers detest interacting with the Kuchbandiyas even in normal circumstance; the fear of COVID-19 has further excluded this community from the rest of the society.Ramesh, son of Raj Kumar, said that they did not have anything to eat. “My father was eating food once a day. He was suffering from TB. I sold the straw of our thatched roof so that I could get medicine for my father, but this did not help,” he said.Local NGO Vidya Dham Samiti (VDS) had even lodged a complaint with CM’s Jan Sunvai portal demanding food grain for the dalits of the village. But nothing happened.“Today morning my father died,” Ramesh said.TB patient need nutritious food but during the lockdown, the supply chain snapped and the volunteers working with the TB patients did not information about the health of the patients.

 

Lockdown’s shadow on jobs scene to stay longer

https://www.nationalheraldindia.com/national/lockdowns-shadow-on-jobs-scene-to-stay-longer

The employment scenario, which was grim, turned grimmer due to the two-month lockdown, and experts say it may take longer to get back to the pre-COVID levels despite some month-on-month improvement.With the easing of lockdown restrictions and resumption of economic activities, the unemployment rate improved in the first two weeks of June.According to the Centre for Monitoring Indian Economy (CMIE) data, national unemployment rate fell to 11.63 per cent as of June 14 from 17.5 per cent in the first week of the month. It has declined significantly compared with April and May, when complete lockdown was in force.Mahesh Vyas, CEO of CMIE, said, "As the lockdown is lifted, more and more people are coming to work. Most people who returned to work in May were daily wagers and hawkers. What happened in June would be known later."Rise in employment in the salaried class, which faced job losses amid the pandemic, would take longer, he said and added, job cuts in private entities might continue due to lockdown impact.IANS

 

We need to fight rumours of lockdown and plan for Unlock 2.0: PM Modi tells CMs

https://www.livemint.com/news/india/we-need-to-fight-rumours-of-lockdown-and-plan-for-unlock-2-0-pm-modi-tells-cms-11592397344935.html

New Delhi: PM Narendra Modi on Wednesday held the second part of two-day interaction with Chief Ministers via video conferencing to discuss the situation post Unlock 1.0 and said existing testing capacity must be utilised fully.Prime Minister's Office said Modi observed that the spread of the virus is greater in certain big states and cities. "High density of population, difficulty in maintaining physical distancing and daily movement of people in huge numbers has made the situation challenging, yet through patience of citizens, readiness of administration and dedication of corona warriors, the spread has been kept under control. Through timely tracing, treatment and reporting, the number of those recovering is rising," he said.He added that the discipline shown by people during lockdown has prevented the exponential growth of the virus.Wednesday's interaction was the second part of the 2 day interaction, and witnessed participation of States and UTs,.livemint

 

Meghalaya’s Covid-19 count comes down from 44 to 43 after patient found ‘false positive’

https://www.hindustantimes.com/india-news/meghalaya-s-covid-19-count-comes-down-from-44-to-43-after-patient-found-false-positive/story-tJLBSNfat1coxAKuXx3WnI.html

Meghalaya’s Covid-19 positive cases have reduced from 44 to 43 after it came to light that a senior citizen (70) became the first case of false positive in the entire north-east region, comprising seven states.“The patient, who belongs to Ri Bhoi district, had a severe acute respiratory infection (SARI) and was admitted to a hospital in Shillong on June 9. His RT-PCR (reverse transcription-polymerase chain reaction) test results had shown he was Covid-19 positive,” Meghalaya health minister AL Hek said on Wednesday.

 

Agra faces financial loss, yearns for return of tourists

    https://www.outlookindia.com/newsscroll/agra-faces-financial-loss-yearns-for-return-of-tourists/1868730

India''s global tourist destination Taj Mahal, which witnessed a daily footfall of thousands of people, now stands secluded after it was shut to the public exactly three months ago due to the COVID-19-induced lockdown.Taj Mahal is Uttar Pradesh''s main attraction and a major source of revenue for the state''s tourism industry. According to the Archaeological Survey of India, as many as 15,000 to 20,000 foreigners and Indians used to visit the historical site daily. Superintendent Archaeologist Dr Vasant Kumar Swarnkar said that foreign tourists were charged Rs 1,300 each while domestic tourists paid Rs 250 each for the visit but the pandemic has spelt doom for historical monuments and Agra''s economy.IANS

 

Honduran President, first lady test positive for Covid-19

https://indianexpress.com/article/world/coronavirus-global-updates-17-6462956/

Honduran President Juan Orlando Hernández has tested positive for the novel coronavirus, his office said, AP reported. In a statement issued by the presidency, it said, Hernández had followed recommended health precautions but “because of the nature of his work, it wasn’t possible to remain in total isolation.” He said his wife is asymptomatic and 2 other people who work with them are also infected. His office said Hernández began to feel ill over the weekend and his viral infection was confirmed on Tuesday. The statement said he was being treated with microdacyn, azithromycin, ivermectin and zinc. Hernández said his symptoms are light and that he’s already starting to feel better. Honduras has nearly 10,000 confirmed cases of the disease and 330 deaths.

 

Racism means black, Asian and minority communities harder hit by coronavirus: UK Report

https://www.hindustantimes.com/world-news/racism-means-black-asian-and-minority-communities-harder-hit-by-coronavirus-uk-report/story-9y5s5XWW3t5emd41WrinkK.html

London:A new study by Public Health England has confirmed that historic racism and social inequalities are contributing factors that increase the risk of black, Asian and minority communities contracting and dying from the coronavirus in UK.Britain’s government has been under heavy pressure to do more to directly address the issue after data consistently showed that coronavirus death rates were significantly higher for blacks and ethnic minorities compared to white people.The report, published Tuesday, didn’t look at genetic factors, but said it was clear that the pandemic “exposed and exacerbated longstanding inequalities” in the country. Relevant factors included “racism, discrimination and stigma, occupational risk, inequalities in the prevalence of conditions that increase severity of disease including obesity, diabetes, cardiovascular disease and asthma.’’Citing a strong association between economic disadvantage and COVID-19 diagnoses, it said black people and minority groups are more at risk because they are more likely to live in cramped housing, use public transportation and work in jobs with a higher risk of virus exposure.It added that historic racism and poorer experiences of health care or at work meant that minority groups are less likely to seek care, or demand better protective equipment at work.

WHO says dexamethasone could help save critically ill COVID-19 patients

https://www.theweek.in/news/health/2020/06/17/who-says-dexamethasone-could-help-save-critically-ill-covid-19-patients.html

WHO Chief Scientist Dr Soumya Swaminathan said dexamethasone could be a lifesaving drug for patients who are critically ill with the coronavirus. However, she also said that taking Dexamethasone, which is a corticosteroid, inappropriately could worsen the situation in a COVID-19 infection. Swaminathan added that it was important that the drug was prescribed by a doctor only for patients who fulfil specific criteria. Clinical trials in Oxford University in UK showed that the drug was shown to reduce mortality for patients on ventilator by one-third and for patients who were on only oxygen support, mortality was cut by one-fifth. “This is great news and I congratulate Government of UK, University of Oxford, and the many hospitals and patients in UK who have contributed to this lifesaving scientific breakthrough,” said Dr Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus,WHO director-general.Reuters

 

Following a new surge in Beijing, flights cancelled, schools closed

https://indianexpress.com/article/world/coronavirus-global-updates-17-6462956/

China’s capital witnessed a slight increase in new coronavirus cases Wednesday as it fights a new outbreak after almost two months. Beijing has introduced a wave of new restrictions including cancelling over 60 commercial flights in and out of the city, especially from districts that are reporting cases. Beijing’s education commission ordered the closure of schools to stop the new surge in cases.

 

Female Iraq MP escapes hospital after contracting COVID

https://www.middleeastmonitor.com/20200617-female-iraq-mp-escapes-hospital-after-contracting-covid-19/

An Iraqi parliamentarian who has contracted COVID-19 was forcibly removed from hospitable by her security team, breaking quarantine conditions, a medical source revealed.Female PM Mahasin Hamdoun tested positive for the virus in Iraq’s northern province of Nineveh, she was forcefully removed from hospital by her security detail against the wishes of her doctors.The parliament office in Nineveh governorate yesterday confirmed the infection of the first MP.On Sunday, Iraqi politician Tawfiq Al-Yasiri died after contracting the novel coronavirus, a local medical source reported.

 

1.2m expats to leave Saudi in 2020: report

https://www.middleeastmonitor.com/20200617-1-2m-expats-to-leave-saudi-in-2020-report-says/

Some 1.2 million foreign workers will leave Saudi Arabia this year due to the coronavirus outbreak in the country, a report from the Jadwa Investment company has revealed.According to the publication, nearly 178,000 expatriates have submitted requests to the Saudi Ministry of Interior to leave the kingdom between 22 April and 3 June, while more than 323,000 expatriates have already left this year. The report expected the hospitality, restaurant, food services, administrative and support activities including building services, travel agencies, rent, leasing and security sectors to witness the largest number of expat departures.

 

*INDIA- ISLAMOPHOBIA, HUMAN RIGHTS & OTHERS*

93% Muslims view Hindus favourably, but only 65% Hindus view Muslims positively: Pew survey

https://theprint.in/india/93-muslims-view-hindus-favourably-but-only-65-hindus-view-muslims-positively-pew-survey/442472/

New Delhi: While 93 per cent Muslims viewed Hindus favourably, only 65 per cent Hindus viewed Muslims in a positive light, reveals a new study.The report, released by US think tank Pew Research Center Tuesday, is based on a survey of 3,505 Indians that was conducted between Sept.and Oct.2018. The report also revealed that “people who are members of a particular religious, racial or ethnic group had significantly more favorable views of their own group than they did of groups to which they do not adhere or belong”.For instance, 96 per cent Hindus and 98 per cent Muslims viewed their own communities positively.The survey titled ‘Attitudes Toward Diversity in 11 Emerging Economies’ was conducted in Colombia, Jordan, Kenya, Lebanon, Mexico, South Africa, Tunisia, Venezuela, Vietnam, and India.Due to the different cultural contexts of 11 countries surveyed, the researchers focused on different sets of groups in each country.The groups surveyed in India were Hindus and Muslims, Muslims and Christians were surveyed in the Philippines, while Blacks, Whites and Coloured people were surveyed in South Africa.According to the survey 70 per cent of Muslims frequently or occasionally interact with Hindus in India, while only 56 per cent Hindus interact with their Muslims counterparts.It also noted that people who “interact more with other religious groups also tend to have more favorable opinions of them”.Of the Hindus who said they interacted with people outside their own faith — 71 per cent had a favourable view of Muslims.

 

Babri Masjid demolition case: Uma Bharti on list of accused appearing in court on Thursday

https://economictimes.indiatimes.com/news/politics-and-nation/babri-masjid-trial-uma-bharti-on-list-of-accused-appearing-in-court-on-thursday/articleshow/76429566.cms

Lucknow: BJP leader Uma Bharti is among the accused asked to appear in person Thursday before a special court hearing the Babri Masjid demolition case. The lawyers for BJP veterans L K Advani, Murli Manohar Joshi and Kalyan Singh indicated to CBI court on Wednesday that they prefer to appear in court through video conferencing.Special Judge S K Yadav had recently given this option to the accused who are yet to record their statements, asking them to provide their addresses so that arrangements can be made for video conferencing.The court here is in the process of recording the statements of 32 accused under section 313 of CrPC, a stage in trial which follows the completion of examination of prosecution witnesses.On Wednesday, BJP MP Sakshi Maharaj appeared in the court, categorically denying that he conspired in the demolition of the mosque in Ayodhya. The court issued a non-bailable warrant against an accused Om Prakash Pandey after his lawyer informed that Azamgarh resident's present whereabouts were not known to him now.The judge said he will continue to record the statements of the remaining accused till the National Informatics Centre makes arrangements for video conferencing.PTI

 

Hindu Mahasabha now wants Kashi, Mathura religious sites to be handed over in name of 'peace'

https://www.theweek.in/news/india/2020/06/17/hindu-mahasabha-wants-kashi-mathura-to-be-handed-over-in-name-of-peace.html

Mahasabha has renewed call for handing over of disputed religious sites at Kashi and Mathura to Hindus in interest of brotherhood.This comes just days after another Hindu body, Vishwa Bhadra Pujari Purohit Mahasangh moved the Supreme Court to challenge an Act that stipulates maintenance of the religious character of places as they existed on August 15, 1947. In response, the Jamiat-Ulema-e-Hind, an organisation of Muslim scholars, has also approached the apex court with a petition that any plea by Hindu groups in Kashi or Mathura disputes should not be entertained.Chakrapani Maharaj, president of Hindu Mahasabha said that had it not been for COVID-19 pandemic, the body would have started building awareness among Hindus to demand that they claim what is rightfully theirs.“Multiple times during the case for Ram Janmabhoomi, our Muslim brothers were invited for a reconciliation but they resisted. If they were to hand over the sites at Kashi and Mathura to Hindus it would send out a message of peace to the world”, Chakrapani said.He added that the Mahasabha’s plan was to conduct yatras to awaken Hindus to lay claim to these sites and seek legal remedies if all else failed. “In no way are we planning anything anti-Muslim. Our focus is that Hindus must be aware that their places of worship had been plundered and forcibly converted by Mughal attackers”, he said.Chakrapani said that there were many sites across the country that were disputed, such as the Taj Mahal which is held by some to be a Shiva temple. “But we are not talking about the hundreds of temples and sites that were desecrated by invaders. Kashi and Mathura, however, are of great significance to Hindus,” he said.VHP, however, has not proclaimed its intent to lay claim to these sites.THE WEEK

 

After VHP campaign on ‘atrocities’ in Muslim-majority Nuh, Khattar promises new conversion law: the print

https://theprint.in/india/after-vhp-campaign-on-atrocities-in-muslim-majority-mewat-khattar-promises-new-conversion-law/442961/

Chandigarh: VHP ’s attempt to get a foothold in Muslim-dominated Mewat got a big boost Tuesday, with Haryana Chief Minister Manohar Lal Khattar accepting most of its demands.He visited the district to declare that his govt would bring a law to ban forced conversions and set up a Dharmada Board to protect Hindu common properties.VHP has, over last few days, been highlighting the issue of alleged atrocities committed against Hindus and Dalits by the dominant Muslim community in Haryana’s Nuh district, earlier and more commonly known as Mewat. Throwing its weight behind two “public probe reports” on the alleged atrocities — one that it had commissioned on the condition of Hindus, and other commissioned by the Haryana Valmiki Sabha on the condition of Dalits — VHP had taken it upon itself to “set things right” in its new “karmabhoomi”. It had also put pressure on the BJP-led Haryana government headed by Manohar Lal Khattar to act on the alleged atrocities. Tuesday brought with it a boost for the Right-wing Hindu organisation, with CM Khattar accepting most of the demands it had put forth.Mewat/Nuh is the only Muslim-dominated district in Haryana, and CM Khattar made a visit to the district Tuesday to hold meetings with various Hindu and Muslim organisations, as well as government officials.He then announced that the government will bring in a ‘freedom of religion’ act to curb forced conversions, and set up a Dharmada Board to protect Hindu common properties. He added that a unit of Indian Reserve Battalion (IRB) would be deployed in the district to supplement the police in maintaining law and order. Khattar said there was no need to form a joint committee of Hindu and Muslim leaders of the area to further probe these incidents.  He added that there were genuine concerns regarding cow slaughter, for which the government would ensure fast-tracking of the punitive process.Dr Subhan Khan, a retired government official and patron of the Mewat Development Society, an NGO working for the uplift of the area, said it was unfortunate that such reports were generated to spread propaganda.“I set up this society in1988 and have worked closely on the ground. Muslims and Hindus in Mewat have been living in complete harmony and such reports are generally aimed at causing disharmony and giving everything a communal colour,” Khan told ThePrint.“In fact, Muslims living in Mewat are not aggressive people. Culturally and traditionally, they are mild because they were among the last to be converted,” he said.Congress has termed the entire exercise a “farce” to defame a particular community.“These homemade reports commissioned by agenda-driven organisations have no validity. If the condition of Dalits and Hindus was so bad in Mewat, wouldn’t central bodies like the national commissions for Scheduled Castes and Scheduled Tribes or the National Human Rights Commission have taken cognisance and sought independent reports?” asked Nuh MLA Aftaab Ahmed.“The only aim of these reports is to defame a particular community and an area,” Ahmed alleged.

 

Delhi Riots: Police Tries to Link Accused to Zakir Naik, Both Deny

https://www.thequint.com/news/politics/delhi-violence-probe-zakir-naik-khalid-saifi-police-charge-sheet-ishrat-jahan

The latest name introduced by the Delhi Police in its probe into Feb.Delhi riots is that of Dr Zakir Naik.In an application filed by Delhi Police in the Patiala house courtroom, presided by judge Dharmendra Rana on 15 June, the police alleged that one of the accused Khalid Saifi met Naik overseas and sought his support.The Quint was present at this hearing where the application was submitted and responses sought not only from the 2 UAPA accused mention in the plea, Khalid Saifi and Ishrat Jahan, but notices were issued to the counsels of all others named as accused under FIR 59 as well.Khalid Saifi is founder of United Against Hate, an organisation tracking hate crimes, and Ishrat Jahan is ex Congress councillor from Delhi. Delhi Police arrested both of them the day the anti-CAA protest site at Khureji was pulled apart by the police, while communal violence ravaged northeast Delhi, on 26 Feb. In a hearing that lasted around three hours on 15 June prosecution appealed to the judge to give them a 3-month extension for the investigation. Now in the application filed by the police, one of the arguments cited specifically regarding Khalid Saifi was:“The passport and travel details of accused confirm that accused Khalid (Saifi) travelled outside India and met persons including fugitive Zakir Naik in order to get support/funds for spreading his agenda.”In the order that was released on 16 June evening, court allowed Delhi Police an extension of 60 days to conclude investigation. While the police asked for extension till 17 Sept, the judge has given time till 14 Aug.thequint

 

"AAP Councillor Tahir Hussain Not Involved in Delhi Riots": Says Tahir's Hindu Neighbour Gyanendra Kochar

http://www.indiatomorrow.net/eng/aap-councillor-tahir-hussain-not-involved-in-delhi-riots-says-tahirs-hindu-neighbour-gyanendra-kochar-in-an-exclusive-interview

While Delhi Police Crime Branch has charged AAP councillor Tahir Hussain as one of the main accused in Northeast Delhi riots that claimed 53 lives, mostly Muslims, his Hindu neighbour Gyanendra Kochar says that Tahir Hussain is not at all involved in the riots.45-year-old Tahir Hussain is currently in high-security Tihar Jail.In an interview to India Tomorrow, Kochar said, “As far as I know, Tahir Hussain is not involved in the riots. He was involved in peace efforts”. This is the first interview to any media Kochar has given after the arrest of Tahir Hussain in March this year.Kochar’s bakery is in Khajuri Khas, a mixed locality, opposite Chand Bagh which is inhabited totally by Muslims. Only a road divides the two localities.Kochar said that Tahir had made a strong bid to ensure peace and non-violence. “On February 24, the day the riots began, I saw Tahir Hussain with Hindu and Muslim religious leaders and an assistant commissioner of police appealing people for peace”, claimed Kochar.Kochar said that Tahir Hussain also held meetings with religious leaders belonging to Hindu and Muslim communities in presence of police officials for communal peace and harmony”.“I did not see Tahir Hussain provoking anybody for riots or leading any mob. I don’t think that Tahir Hussain has any role in the riots”, Kochar said, giving clean chit to AAP councillor. When questioned that police have named Hussain as one of the main conspirators behind the riots, Kochar categorically said, “Hussain did everything at his command to ensure peace and harmony. How did his name crop up among the rioters, I can’t comment”. indiatomorrow

Delhi Minority Commission Chairman Zafarul Islam Khan Questioned in Sedition Case Over Social Media Post

https://thewire.in/government/delhi-minority-commission-chairman-zafarul-islam-sedition-case

Delhi Police has questioned Delhi Minority Commission Chairman Zafarul Islam Khan in a sedition case registered against him for his social media post in April, officials said.This comes a day after the special cell of the Delhi Police sent Khan a notice, asking him to join the probe within two days over his “controversial” social media post related to the violence in northeast Delhi earlier this year.“I joined the probe today. I was questioned by the police for nearly 2.15 hours. They sought details regarding my social media post. I gave all the required details to them in written format,” Khan told PTI over the phone.The questioning took place at the Janakpuri office of the special cell, the police officials said.PTI

 

Manipur: Biren Singh govt in trouble as NPP withdraws support from BJP, Congress stakes claim

https://www.indiatoday.in/india/story/manipur-biren-singh-govt-in-trouble-as-npp-withdraws-support-from-bjp-congress-stakes-claim-1690052-2020-06-17

Biren Singh government in Manipur is in trouble as National People's Party has withdrawn support from the ruling alliance, being led by the Bharatiya Janata Party. In 2017 Assembly polls, Congress had emerged as the single-largest party with 28 seats and BJP had won 21 out of 60 seats in Manipur. But the BJP managed to make the government under the leadership of Biren Singh by forming a coalition with NPP, NPF and LJP. NPP and NPF have four MLAs each and LJP has one. One independent MLA and one TMC MLA had also backed BJP in Manipur.But as per the latest development, the NPP has withdrawn support from the BJP-led government, putting Biren Singh's CM chair in jeopardy. TMC as well as independent MLAs have also pulled their support from the BJP government and 3 BJP MLAs have also resigned. This reduces BJP-led coalition's strength to 23. Meanwhile, Congress leader and former chief minister O Ibobi Singh has garnered support and staked a claim at power in the state.

 

Mumbai BJP leader booked by CBI for ‘cheating’ Bank of India of Rs 57.26 crore

 https://www.hindustantimes.com/india-news/mumbai-bjp-leader-booked-by-cbi-for-cheating-bank-of-india-of-rs-57-26-crore/story-wZqQ8AmOUxhbSHXL5F5lHL.html

CBI has registered a case against local BJP leader Mohit Kamboj and directors of his company for allegedly cheating Bank of India to the tune of Rs. 57.26 crore. CBI has also booked unknown public servants and bank officials, while its inquiry in the case continues.The cases have been registered against two Mumbai-based firms known as Avyaan Overseas private limited-- now known as M/s. Bagla Overseas private limited, Mumbai--- and KBJ Hotels Goa private limited. Mohit Kamboj, managing director of the former has also been booked along with firm directors Jitendra Gulshan Kapoor, Siddhant Bagla and Irtesh Mishra.

 

RSS-backed committee blames Left-wing organisations, Christian groups for Palghar sadhu lynching

https://www.freepressjournal.in/mumbai/rss-backed-committee-blames-left-wing-organisations-christian-groups-for-palghar-sadhu-lynching

Mumbai: A RSS backed fact-finding committee has blamed Left-wing organisations and Christian groups for the lynching of two sadhus and their driver at Gadchinchale in Palghar on April 16. It has sought that the investigations be transferred to central agencies like NAI or CBI.The killings of Chikane Maharaj Kalpavrikshgiri, Sushil Giri Maharaj and driver Nilesh Telgade, were attributed to rumours about thieves or kidnappers who had been moving around the area in the guise of sadhus.

 

Alleged BJP Man Caught in Burqa Carrying Pakistani Flag

https://clarionindia.net/alleged-bjp-man-caught-in-burqa-carrying-pakistani-flag/

A video has surfaced on social media showing a group of people catching hold of a man clad in burqa (Muslim veil) after he allegedly hoisted a Pakistani flag in the Vijaypur district of southern Karnataka state. He was accused of attempting to impersonate as a Muslim woman.The man has been identified as Siddu Paragond, said to be a BJP activist. People on social media accused him of playing mischief and creating unnecessary controversy.The people who confronted and exposed Paragond contacted police to get him arrested. The police booked and sent him to custody and began an investigation.According to press reports, the incident took place in Sindgi on June 11 outside a bank. “While people including women were standing in a queue outside the bank, the person in burqa was acting in a suspicious manner. The person was trying to get too close to women which was making them feel awkward.

 

Complaint filed against News18 anchor Amish Devgan for defaming Khwaja Moinuddin Chishti

https://newsd.in/complaint-filed-against-news18-anchor-amish-devgan-for-defaming-sufi-saint-khwaja-moinuddin-chishti/

A police complaint has been filed against Newsd18 anchor Amish Devgan for making derogatory remarks on saint Khwaja Monuddin Chishti on his show which aired on 16 June.Devgan in his show called out Saint Chishti as Lootera Chishti. The Raza academy has filed complaint against Amish and has demanded to file criminal case FIR.Netizens on Twitter has lashed out at Amish Devgan of abusing a centre of faith for centuries beyond religious boundaries. Therefore users have started trending #ArrestAmishDevgan on Twitter.After his comment on Saint Moinuddin Chishti, netizens are demanding Mumbai police to arrest Amish Devgan on the micro blogging platform. Later, Amish apologised for his mistake on social media and said that “In 1 of my debates, I inadvertently referred to ‘Khilji’ as Chishti. I sincerely apologise for this grave error and the anguish it may hv caused to followers of the Sufi saint Moinuddin Chishti, whom I revere. I have in the past sought blessings at his dargah.I regret this error”. Newsd

 

Kashmiri Inmates Thrashed, Not Allowed to Offer Namaz in Punjab jail

https://clarionindia.net/kashmiri-inmates-thrashed-not-allowed-to-offer-namaz-in-punjab-jail/

2 Kashmiri inmates have been harassed, thrashed and not allowed to offer Namaz by a group of fellow inmates at central jail in Gurdaspur district of Punjab, their lawyer has alleged.Ankit Grewal, who practices law in Chandigarh, has written to the Chief Justice of Punjab and Haryana High Court seeking intervention to protect the lives of the two inmates “who have been facing a threat to their lives in the jail where the environment is hostile”.Speaking with Clarion India from Chandigarh, Grewal said the two inmates who hail from the frontier district of Poonch in Jammu and Kashmir were harassed and attacked because of “their religious and ethinic identity”. The two inmates Sajad Hussain and Irshad Ahmad are under-trials awaiting judgement in a case which accuses them of possessing and divulging maps about security establishments to the Pakistani intelligence agency ISI. Arrested in February 2016, the duo was first held in Pathankot jail before they were shifted to Gurdaspur.Clarion India

 

Sushant Singh suicide: Case against Salman Khan, Karan Johar, Sanjay Leela Bhansali

https://www.theweek.in/news/entertainment/2020/06/17/sushant-singh-suicide-case-against-salman-khan-karan-johar-sanjy-leela-bhansali.html

As Sushant Singh Rajput's death has once again triggered conversations about the dark side of showbiz, a case has been filed against 8 people including Salman Khan, Karan Johar, Sanjay Leela Bhansali, and Ekta Kapoor. Advocate Sudhir Kumar Ojha has filed a complaint under Sections 306, 109, 504 & 506 of IPC in connection with the actor's death in a court in Bihar’s Muzaffarpur, according to reports. Ojha said, “In the complaint, I have alleged that Sushant Singh Rajput was removed from around seven films and some of his films were not released. Such a situation was created which forced him to take the extreme step.”Sushant Singh, 34, was found dead in his Bandra apartment on Sunday, and since his death, many have been speaking up against nepotism and exploitation in the industry. Congress leader Sanjay Nirupam had claimed that Sushant lost 7 films which he had signed, over a span of 6 months. "He lost the films in just six months. Why? The film industry's ruthlessness works on a very different level. And that ruthlessness took the life of one talented person," Nirupam had tweeted.

 

 

 

*WORLD*

US Democrats warn Netanyahu about Israel’s annexation plan

https://www.middleeastmonitor.com/20200617-us-democrats-warn-netanyahu-about-israels-annexation-plan/

Democrats in US House of Representatives have drafted a letter to Israeli PM Benjamin Netanyahu warning of the consequences of any further illegal takeover of Palestinian territory. In doing so, they join the near universal condemnation of Israel’s planned annexation of swathes of the occupied West Bank. In the letter being circulated on social media, Democrat members of the House said that, “Unilateral annexation would likely jeopardise Israel’s significant progress on normalisation with Arab states at a time when closer cooperation can contribute to countering shared threats.” They added that annexation also risks insecurity in Jordan, with serious ancillary risks to Israel. The illegal move, the lawmakers noted, “Could create serious problems for Israel with its European friends and other partners around the world.”

 

Britain’s Labour Party accused of purging members critical of Israel

https://www.middleeastmonitor.com/20200617-britains-labour-party-accused-of-purging-members-critical-of-israel/

Labour Party in Britain has been accused of purging its pro-Palestinian supporters following the suspension of a number its members over alleged anti-Semitism. University of Bristol academic David Miller is the latest member to fall out with the UK’s main opposition party, in the ongoing row over Labour’s position on Israel and Palestine.Professor Miller, an expert on lobbying and propaganda, told The Electronic Intifada that he had quit the party on Monday. He explained that he objects to the “Islamophobic ideology and anti-Black and anti-Palestinian racism” of many Labour MPs.In his full resignation statement, Miller spoke about his suspension by Labour, which appears to have prompted his decision to quit. The suspension, he said, was one of many designed to target those who understand that Zionism is “founded on and sustained by ethnic cleansing and racial supremacy.” He also described the response from the Labour leadership to Black Lives Matter protests as “appalling”.

 

UK PM opposes Israel's West Bank annexation plan

https://www.middleeastmonitor.com/20200617-uk-prime-minister-boris-johnson-opposes-israels-west-bank-annexation-plan/

UK PM Boris Johnson said that Israel’s plan to annex parts of occupied West Bank constitutes a “breach of international law”, adding that his government strongly objects it and will continue to work towards the achievement of the internationally-supported two-state solution.

 

Palestine FM warns of Israel’s misleading campaign ahead of West Bank annexation

https://www.middleeastmonitor.com/20200617-palestine-fm-warns-of-israels-misleading-campaign-ahead-of-west-bank-annexation/

Palestinian Ministry of Foreign Affairs warned of Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s “tricks” to mislead the international community regarding Tel Aviv’s plans to annex nearly 30 per cent of the occupied West Bank.The ministry said in a statement that Netanyahu’s manipulation, whether by implementing the annexation gradually or using other terms like “applying Israel’s sovereignty over Israeli settlements” or “applying Israeli law over the settlements” does not change the essence of the actual annexation of the occupied West Bank.

 

Hamas: Ready to work with Fatah against annexation

https://www.middleeastmonitor.com/20200617-hamas-ready-to-work-with-fatah-against-annexation/

Hamas Deputy Chief Saleh Al-Arouri said on Monday that his movement is ready to work with rival Fatah to face Israel’s annexation plan.In an interview with Al-Aqsa TV, Al-Arouri said:“We are ready to put our differences behind us and work together with Fatah and the Palestinian Authority to face the annexation plan.”He stressed that his movement would use every means to combat the planned annexation plans which are set to be brought into force on 1 July.

 

Fearing Israel invasion, PA destroy secret documents

https://www.middleeastmonitor.com/20200617-fearing-israel-invasion-pa-destroy-secret-documents/

Palestinian Authority (PA) security services have destroyed secret documents, fearing Israeli occupation forces may invade West Bank and break into its offices, Rai Al-Youm reported.Quoting AFP, Arabic site said that PA is afraid of an Israeli invasion similar to what in 2000 when occupation forces broke into PA’s offices and destroyed documents. Sources, who refused to disclose their identities, said:“We have been ordered to destroy confidential documents in our possession and we have obeyed this order.”

 

EU encourages ‘credible, meaningful political process’ to solve Israel-Palestine conflict

https://www.middleeastmonitor.com/20200617-eu-encourages-credible-meaningful-political-process-to-solve-israel-palestine-conflict/

High Representative of EU for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy Josep Borrell said on Monday that European countries “encourage the Israelis and the Palestinians to engage in a credible and meaningful political process.”In a joint press conference with US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo in Brussels, Borrell said:“We engaged in a strategic dialogue with Mike Pompeo on our relations and on the key foreign policy issues both for European Union and US.”He added: “On the Middle East Peace Process, we made it clear that it is important to encourage the Israelis and the Palestinians to engage in a credible and meaningful political process.”

 

Netanyahu promised to never recognise Palestine state: Likud MK

https://www.middleeastmonitor.com/20200617-netanyahu-promised-to-never-recognise-palestine-state-likud-mk-says/

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has said he would never recognise a Palestinian state, senior Likud MK Miki Zohar revealed.According to the Times of Israel, Zohar tweeted: “PM announced yesterday [Monday] at the faction meeting that in no constellation will the government or the Knesset recognise the principle of establishing a Palestinian state.”Netanyahu, according to Zohar, stressed: “We will never recognise a Palestinian state!”

 

 

Malaysia’s King urges his country to unite in prayer for Palestine

https://www.middleeastmonitor.com/20200617-malaysias-king-urges-his-country-to-unite-in-prayer-for-palestine/

Malaysia’s King, Sultan Abdullah Sultan Ahmad Shah, has called on his country to pray for the “well-being of Palestinians who are being oppressed by Israel” and who are resisting its plan to annex large parts of the occupied West Bank.Comptroller of the Royal Household Datuk Ahmad Fadil Shamsuddin said the king had expressed his deep concern and support for the Palestinian cause.

 

UAE: We can disagree with Israel and still have ties with it

https://www.middleeastmonitor.com/20200617-uae-we-can-disagree-with-israel-and-still-have-ties-with-it/

UAE Minister of State for Foreign Affairs Anwar Gargash called for greater cooperation with Israel despite its ongoing attempts to expand its occupation over occupied West Bank, news agencies reported.Addressing annual Global Forum of American Jewish Committee, Gargash justified his country’s rapprochement with Israel despite its plan to annex large swathes of occupied West Bank and Jordan Valley saying he wanted to separate disagreements over the Palestinian issue from the mutual benefits of cooperation in other fields.

Israel, Greece to resume tourism in August

https://www.middleeastmonitor.com/20200617-israel-greece-to-resume-tourism-in-august/

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and his Greek counterpart Kyriakos Mitsotakis announced yesterday that tourism between the two countries will resume on 1 August if coronavirus precautions permit, Anadolu reported.Netanyahu said Tel Aviv will allow international flights to resume on 1 August with Greece and Cyprus being the first destinations.Mitsotakis arrived in Israel on a one-day visit along with a cabinet delegation.

 

US may withhold aid from Jordan to pressure it to extradite freed Palestinian prisoner

https://www.middleeastmonitor.com/20200617-us-may-withhold-aid-from-jordan-to-pressure-it-to-extradite-freed-palestinian-prisoner/

US is considering applying pressure to force its ally Jordan to extradite freed Palestinian prisoner Ahlam Al-Tamimi.39-year-old Al-Tamimi was released from an Israeli jail as part of 2011 Gilad Shalit prisoner swap deal between Palestinians and the Israeli occupation. She had been detained in 2001 and sentenced two years later to 16 life terms for her role in a suicide bombing at a crowded Jerusalem pizzeria during the Second Intifada. Fifteen people, including a 15-year-old Israeli-American girl, were killed in the blast.According to the Times of Israel, Washington is considering withholding aid from Jordan to force it to hand Al-Tamimi over.

 

Iran will provide Syria economic support as US sanctions begin

https://www.middleeastmonitor.com/20200617-iran-will-provide-syria-economic-support-as-us-sanctions-begin/

As America’s Caesar Act, which imposes economic sanctions on Syria, comes into effect today, Iranian Foreign Minister Javad Zarif said Tehran is working with its friends to enhance Damascus’ economic situation, according to the Russian state-controlled Sputnik.“We have strong economic relationships with Syria, and as for the latter, [it has] a credit line in Iran. We and our friends will work to develop the economic situation in Syria and enhance economic cooperation between Iran and Syria,” Zarif told Sputnik. Caesar Syria Civilian Protection Act – known as the Caesar Act – sanctions Syrian economic and trade activities, as well as government officials.Zarif recently visited Turkey and met his counterpart Mevlut Cavusoglu.

 

 

Libya: Haftar’s militia killed 39 people with mines of Tripoli

https://www.middleeastmonitor.com/20200617-libya-haftars-militia-killed-39-people-with-mines-south-of-tripoli/

Some 39 people were killed, including security personnel and civilians, while dozens were injured in explosions caused by landmines laid by Khalifa Haftar’s militia south of the capital, Tripoli.According to local media, the Libyan Centre for Mine Clearance and War Remnants said yesterday that 110 were killed and wounded in explosions caused by landmines planted south of Tripoli.

 

Tunisia’s Ghannouchi to head official visit to Kuwait

https://www.middleeastmonitor.com/20200617-tunisias-ghannouchi-to-head-official-visit-to-kuwait/

Tunisian Parliament Speaker Rached Ghannouchi on Monday received an official invitation from his Kuwaiti counterpart, Marzouq Al-Ghanim, to visit Kuwait as the head of a parliamentary delegation, with the aim of “strengthening bilateral parliamentary ties and exchanging views on a number of issues of common concern.”This came during a meeting held between Ghannouchi and Kuwait’s Ambassador in Tunis, Ali Ahmad Al–Dhafiri, in the presence of Second Deputy Speaker of Parliament, Tarak Ftiti, at the Bardo Palace.A statement posted on Ghannouchi’s official Facebook page said that the two officials discussed the repercussions of the coronavirus pandemic on commercial exchanges between the two countries, global relations and international air traffic.

 

*views, Articles, FEATURES*

China's Reason For Clash With India Despite Saying Otherwise:Ashutosh

https://www.ndtv.com/opinion/for-modi-china-clash-is-his-biggest-challenge-as-pm-2247574?pfrom=home-topstories

India’s Islamophobia Creeps Into Nepal:Arun Budhathoki , foreignpolicy.com

https://foreignpolicy.com/2020/06/16/india-islamophobia-hindu-nationalism-nepal/

Why It's Necessary to Believe 'All Is Well' in India's Border Clash With China;Nikita Sud

https://thewire.in/politics/why-its-necessary-to-believe-all-is-well-in-indias-border-clash-with-china

'Two Steps Forward, One Step Back': The Chequered Story of India and China's Border Tensions:Sangeeta Barooah Pisharoty

https://thewire.in/security/india-china-ladakh-border-tension-explainer

“Aspirants of Fascism Use Crises to Make Their Power Absolute”:Mukulika R, Rajan Gurukkal

https://www.newsclick.in/Aspiring-Fascist-Use-Crises-Absolute-Power-COVID-19

Govt. Using Lockdown to Attack Democracy: Brinda Karat

https://www.newsclick.in/govt-using-lockdown-attack-democracy-brinda-karat

The Quint’s Journalist Receives DMC Award for Reporting on Masses

https://www.thequint.com/news/india/the-quint-journalist-aditya-menon-wins-dmc-award

Chronicle of a havoc foretold: Why weren’t migrants assisted to go home earlier?Nalini Singh

https://indianexpress.com/article/opinion/columns/migrant-labour-crisis-india-coronavirus-lockdown-reverse-exodus-6462286/

18 Times BJP Spokesperson Sambit Patra Shared Propaganda-Fuelled Misinformation:Pooja Chaudhuri

https://thewire.in/politics/bjp-sambit-patra-fake-news-propaganda

Hamas is sending positive messages to normalise relations with Jordan :Dr Adnan Abu Amer

https://www.middleeastmonitor.com/20200616-hamas-is-sending-positive-messages-to-normalise-relations-with-jordan/

Balakot: Full blast; China: Chup Chap: Anita Joshua

https://www.telegraphindia.com/india/balakot-full-blast-china-chup-chap/cid/1781452

 

Compiled and edited by Anwarulhaq (Released at: 9:37 PM)

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