News and views across the globe.

Wednesday, 15 July 2020

15 JULY NEWS: Iran drops India from Chabahar port rail project over funding delay. We have proof of BJP's horse-trading attempts, says Rajasthan CM Gehlot. PM Cares’ Fund Won't Disclose Donors, Payments

NEWS DIGEST EVENING

15 JULY 2020. 23 ZU AL-QA'DAH 1441. Vol-12, No-258

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

Iran drops India from Chabahar port rail project over funding delay: Report

https://www.business-standard.com/article/current-affairs/iran-drops-india-from-chabahar-port-rail-project-over-funding-delay-report-120071500645_1.html

Iranian government had decided to drop India from the project to construct a rail line from Chabahar port to Zahaden along the border with Afghanistan, and proceed on its own, citing delays from the Indian side in funding and starting the project, The Hindu reported. "Iranian Railways will proceed without India’s assistance, using approximately $400 million from Iranian National Development Fund," said the report. Indian government has, however, denied the report. TOI reported quoting govt officials that "New Delhi remained committed to financing and building the railway and was continuously engaged with Iranian authorities concerned to take this important project forward."India had signed an agreement with Iran to construct a rail line from Chabahar port to Zahedan, along the border with Afghanistan, 4 years ago. Congress leader Rahul Gandhi on Wednesday took to Twitter to take pot shots at the government on the issue, saying “India’s global strategy is in tatters. We are losing power and respect everywhere and GoI has no idea what to do.”Congress called Iran's move a “big loss” for the country even as it questioned diplomatic tactics of Centre.“India dropped from Chahbar Port deal. This is the diplomacy of the Modi government that won laurels even without getting work done, China worked quietly but gave them a better deal. Big loss for India. But you can’t ask questions!” senior Congress leader Abhishek Manu Singhvi tweeted citing report.business-standard

Iran drops India from Chabahar rail project, cites funding delay

 

Sources say India-China agree on total disengagement at all flashpoints after a 14-hour marathon meeting

https://www.indiatoday.in/india/story/india-china-agree-on-total-disengagement-at-all-flashpoints-sources-1700946-2020-07-15

After a 14-hour marathon meeting between Indian and Chinese military leaders, the two sides have agreed on total disengagement from all flashpoints along the LAC. This comes after more than 2 months of bitter standoff between India and China along LAC in eastern Ladakh.India and China have now agreed to initiate a phase-wise disengagement from Pangong Tso finger 5. Sources told India Today TV that India will verify disengagement from Fingers in a phased manner.Besides this, sources said Indian and Chinese commanders will verify mutual disengagement of frontline soldiers to ease tension.More rounds of talks are likely to be held for further de-escalation and ultimately de-induction of troops in the region, sources said, adding that military talks are heading in a "positive direction". On Monday, India and China had the fourth round of Corps Commander-level meet to resolve the issue.

India-China Corps Commanders hold talks for 15 hours

 

First intel on PLA came mid-April, long before Pangong clash

https://indianexpress.com/article/india/pla-troop-movement-lac-pangong-clash-indian-army-6506134/

New Delhi:The first reports on sighting of PLA troop movement on Chinese side of LAC came in mid-April, almost two weeks before Chinese and Indian soldiers came to blows on the north bank of Pangong Tso on May 5-6. But Army says these reports never reached it, and the first reports it received in May only mentioned infrastructure construction activity.An intelligence official told Indian Express that more specific inputs came a few days after the first reports mid-April. Inputs were on sightings of hundreds of Chinese heavy military vehicles, moving northward from areas opposite Demchok. These reports have strengthened the view at highest levels of the intelligence set-up that significant details, though available, were glossed over as the crisis brewed in Ladakh, leaving the govt in a blind spot. Army, however, says it carried out matching build-up of troops throughout the crisis on LAC in response to Chinese actions, essentially a “breach of trust” by PLA which diverted troops from a training exercise to the standoff sites on the border.

China’s aggressive actions against India give insight into how CPC thinking these days:US NSA

https://www.thehindu.com/news/international/chinas-aggressive-actions-against-india-give-insight-into-how-cpc-thinking-theses-days-says-us-nsa/article32086638.ece

China’s “very aggressive” actions against India, including brutal attack on Indian soldiers in eastern Ladakh, and its moves in the South China Sea and Hong Kong give a “good insight” into how ruling Communist Party of China is thinking these days, US NSA Robert O’Brien has said.“Chinese have been very aggressive with India,” O’Brien said, alleging that during the recent clash they beat some of the Indians so badly they were disfigured and could not be identified.“This is a dispute between India and China, but China has shown itself for what it was. Chinese troops ambushed Indians. They beat 20 Indians to death. They beat them so badly with clubs with nails in them and wrapped with concertina — barbed wire,” O’Brien told Fox News Radio in an interview.PTI

 

Delete Facebook Account Or Quit Army, Choice Yours: Delhi High Court To Officer

https://www.ndtv.com/india-news/delete-facebook-account-or-quit-army-choice-yours-delhi-high-court-to-officer-2262832

Delhi High Court on Tuesday declined to grant any interim relief to a senior army officer, who has challenged the Indian Army's recent policy banning armed forces personnel from using social networking platforms like Facebook and Instagram, saying he has to either abide by the mandate of the organisation or put in his papers. The high court said he has a choice to make and asked him to delete his Facebook account as the policy to ban the use of social networking platforms for army personnel was taken keeping in view the security of the nation.It said he can create a new social media account later. A bench of Justices Rajiv Sahai Endlaw and Asha Menon said that when it has not even found a reason yet to entertain the plea, "question of granting any interim relief does not arise. PTI

 

Nepal bought 6 Chinese planes that Dhaka rejected. Now it grounds them: Report

https://www.hindustantimes.com/world-news/nepal-bought-6-chinese-planes-that-dhaka-rejected-now-it-grounds-them-report/story-HgQ9zefAKnESixlEd9F7MJ.html

Nepal Airlines has decided to ground 6 Chinese planes bought under a government-to-govt pact from July 16, according to a report in The Kathmandu Post. The paper, which cited an order by the Nepal Airlines Corporation, said the airline board had cleared the move because it couldn’t afford to fly 17-seater Y12e and the 56-seater MA60 and wanted to cut its losses. Nepal had been nudging China to gift it planes but came around to buying the six planes after Beijing told the government that it would need to buy aircrafts from them before it could expect the gift. Kathmandu agreed to buy six and got two more as gifts.

 

Nepal PM’s remark on Ram triggers outrage in Ayodhya

https://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/city/allahabad/nepal-pms-remark-on-lord-ram-triggers-outrage-in-ayodhya/articleshow/76966767.cms

AYODHYA: Nepal PM KP Sharma Oli’s claim that birthplace of Ram was Nepal and he was a Nepali has triggered outrage in Ayodhya with seers, citizens and Hindu outfits demanding India snap diplomatic ties with the Himalayan nation and cut financial aid.Chief priest of Ram Janamabhoomi temple Acharya Satyendra Das appealed to Prime Minister Narendra Modi to end ties with Nepal and deport Nepalese workers. “Indians should also stop visiting religious sites in Nepal,” he said. The chief priest of Tapaswi Chhawni temple and a firebrand leader of the temple movement, Mahant Paramhans Das, said: “Nepal is hand in glove with China and India should give a befitting reply for the insult of Lord Ram.”Taking a belligerent stand, Acharya Jugal Kishore Sharan Shastri, chief priest of Saryu Kunj Temple adjacent to Ram Janambhoomi premises, said: “I appeal to ‘Ram bhakts’ to move towards Nepal border and launch protests.” President of Ram Dal Trust, Pandit Kalkiram, said Nepal would be left begging, if India took strong action. Iqbal Ansari, a key litigant in Babri Masjid-Ram Janmabhoomi title suit, said if Lord Hanuman gets angry, he would destroy Nepal. “Nepal’s statement has also hurt sentiments of Muslims,” he said.

 

SC refuses to hear plea against J&K domicile rules

https://www.thehindu.com/news/national/other-states/supreme-court-refuses-to-hear-plea-against-jammu-kashmir-domicile-rules/article32093160.ece?homepage=true

The Supreme Court on Wednesday declined to entertain a petition challenging legal provisions granting 100% domiciliary quota in public employment in Jammu and Kashmir. A 3-judge Bench led by Justice L. Nageswara Rao advised advocate Nahum Ul Huda to approach J&K High Court. The petition had sought the “quashing of sections 3A, 5A, 6, 7 and 8 of Jammu and Kashmir Civil Services (Decentralisation and Recruitment) Act as violative of Articles 14, 16, 19 and 21 of Constitution of India as these sections direct 100% reservation to domicile of UT of Jammu and Kashmir in public employment.” The plea, filed through lawyer Nishant Khatri, said since the abrogation of Article 370 in August last year, UT is equally subject to all laws and the SC judgments which are applicable to the rest of the country.

 

Internet curbs in J&K: HC directs UT Home Secretary to appear before it on Thursday

https://indianexpress.com/article/india/jammu-and-kashmir-internet-curbs-connectivity-of-courts-6506333/

Jammu :Faced with difficulties in conducting online hearings due to curbs on high speed Internet in the Union Territory, a division bench of the Jammu and Kashmir High Court, comprising Chief Justice Gita Mittal and Justice Sanjay Dhar, directed UT Home Secretary Shaleen Kabra to appear before it through video conferencing on Thursday to apprise it about the impact of restrictions on e-connectivity of courts.Expressing concern over urgent issues involving the rights of residents in the Union Territories of Jammu Kashmir and Ladakh, the bench pointed out that virtual hearings through video conferencing has been necessitated because of strict enforcement of lockdown due to the sharp rise in coronavirus cases in large parts of the Kashmir province.

 

‘Troubling’: UN Experts Sore Over Police Cases Against Journalists in Kashmir

https://clarionindia.net/troubling-un-experts-sore-over-police-cases-against-journalists-in-kashmir/

SRINAGAR:Days after a letter on torture in Kashmir, UN experts expressed a serious concern over the working conditions of journalists in Kashmir who have been booked under terror laws in May this year. The cases  triggered a massive uproar in India and abroad.The letter released on Sunday was by UNHRC’s experts–David Kaye (Special Rapporteur on promotion and protection of the right to freedom of opinion and expression), Leigh Toomey (Vice-Chair of the Working Group on Arbitrary Detention), Mary Lawlor (Special Rapporteur on the situation of human rights defenders).Mentioning cases of four journalists, Naseer Ganai, Masrat Zahra, Gowhar Geelani and Peerzada Ashiq, the letter deplored “the criminal proceedings and investigations initiated for what appears to be the four individuals’ journalistic activities on the situation in Jammu and Kashmir.”

 

BJP worker abducted in Kashmir’s Baramulla, forces launch massive search

https://www.indiatoday.in/india/story/bjp-worker-abducted-in-kashmir-baramulla-1700813-2020-07-15

Srinagar:Alocal BJP leader and Vice President of Municipal Committee Watergam, Baramulla, Merajuddin Malla, has been allegedly abducted by some unknown persons in North Kashmir.As per officials Malla was taken away by the ‘unknown persons’ in a car when he was walking on a road in the locality. Security forces have launched a massive manhunt to track him. Searches are being carried out in various places.

 

Police start reviewing security of Kashmir-based political leaders

https://www.hindustantimes.com/cities/police-start-reviewing-security-of-kashmir-based-political-leaders/story-q0zBkOiesYwOcOWtlwlgYK.html

After the killing of former BJP district president along with his father and brother in Bandipora last week, the police have started reviewing the security of leaders of different political parties based in Kashmir.Police said BJP leader Waseem Bari, his father Bashir Ahmad and brother Suhail Bashir were killed by two Lashkar militants in a pre-planned attack, despite them having a posse of ten security personnel, who have been arrested and dismissed from their services for being absent when the militants targeted the trio from a close range.

 

CBSE topper from Kashmir wants to be a human rights activist

https://www.tribuneindia.com/news/schools/cbse-topper-from-kashmir-wants-to-be-a-human-rights-activist-112884

Srinagar:CBSE Class XII topper in Kashmir wants to become a trained human rights activist.Asma Shakeel (19) topped the Class XII examination in Kashmir by scoring 492 marks out of 500 with pass a percentage of 98.2 percent, the results of which were announced on Monday. And unlike her batchmates, she wants to become a human rights activist.She said her choice of being a human rights activist is linked with the present conflict.Tribune

 

Kashmir's carpet industry facing decline

https://www.daijiworld.com/news/newsDisplay.aspx?newsID=730616

Srinagar: The iconic carpet industry of Kashmir is facing a sharp decline forcing most carpet weavers to take up odd jobs for earning their livelihood.At Gada-khud village in Bandipore, 30 kms from Srinagar, the majority of the 400 households are carpet weavers. But with most handlooms shut the carpet weavers have taken up menial jobs.The weavers say demonitisation, abrogation of Article 370 and the economic downturn due to ongoing pandemic has dealt a big blow to Kashmir's multi-crore carpet industry.IANS

 

 

 

*INDIAN POLITICS*

Rajasthan political crisis: We have proof of BJP's horse-trading attempts, says Gehlot

https://www.thehindu.com/news/national/rajasthan-political-crisis-sachin-pilot-day-3-july-15-2020/article32086269.ece?homepage=true

Rajasthan Chief Minister Ashok Gehlot said Congress had proofs of BJP's attempts for horse-trading in Rajasthan during the Rajya Sabha elections, because of which the ruling party's legislators had to be kept at a hotel for 10 days.“If we had not done that [last month], the same thing which is happening in Manesar now would have happened back then,”Gehlot said in an apparent reference to rebel leader Sachin Pilot's supporters being holed up at a resort in Haryana's town near Delhi.  Gehlot launched a scathing attack on his former deputy Sachin Pilot and accused him of hobnobbing with BJP for toppling the government. Gehlot said speaking good English, giving good bytes and being handsome was not everything in politics. “What is inside your heart for the country, your ideology, policies, and commitment. Everything is considered,” he said.A day after he was sacked from the Deputy Chief Minister and Pradesh Congress Committee president posts, Congress leader Sachin Pilot has broken his silence on the Rajasthan political crisis. In an exclusive chat ,  Pilot said he will not be switching parties.Mr. Pilot said that he has "genuine grievances" with the Ashok Gehlot government, and those are yet to be resolved. Tension has been rife between the two leaders after Mr. Pilot was reportedly denied CM post after December 2018 Assembly elections.

 

Rajasthan: After I-T Raids at Properties of Ashok Gehlot Loyalists, ED Goes After His Son

https://thewire.in/politics/vaibhav-ashok-gehlot-ed-raid-rajasthan-sachin-pilot

Jaipur: At a time when the Congress is wading through quite the political crisis in Rajasthan, ED has gone after Rajasthan Chief Minister Ashok Gehlot’s son Vaibhav over an investment deal struck between his business partner and a Mauritius investor.A hotel in Jaipur, run by Vaibhav’s partner R.K. Sharma, had been on ED’s radar over a Rs 96-crore investment in it by a Mauritius firm. ED has said that this deal is a possible case of “round-tripping.”Round tripping refers to money that leaves the country though various channels and makes its way back as foreign investment. According to sources in the agency, the hotel records with the Registrar of Companies have been scanned and the preliminary probe into the hotel’s shareholding pattern and Vaibhav’s deal with Sharma has revealed that shares that were originally allotted for Rs 10 each, were later allotted to an “investor” from Mauritius for around Rs 40,000 per share.For this, the ED has already summoned Sharma and others involved in the business, and is now planning to question Vaibhav too.

 

Some MLAs with Pilot reluctant to join BJP: senior leaders

https://www.thehindu.com/news/national/some-mlas-with-pilot-reluctant-to-join-bjp-senior-leaders/article32091650.ece                      

A day after hinting that ousted Deputy Chief Minister of Rajasthan Sachin Pilot was en route to joining BJP, senior party leaders said that it was not on the horizon as of now. The reason the senior leaders who are dealing with the situation said was down to the fact that at least a dozen MLAs with Mr. Pilot were reluctant to make the move. A Rajasthan State core committee meet that was scheduled to be held in Jaipur has been put off till former Chief Minister Vasundhara Raje, who has been maintaining a stoic silence on the events in the state.

 

Rajasthan crisis: Rahul Gandhi steps in to woo Sachin Pilot, Congress asks Gehlot to not make public comments

https://www.indiatoday.in/india/story/rajasthan-political-crisis-sachin-pilot-rahul-gandhi-congress-1700917-2020-07-15

Congress leader Rahul Gandhi has stepped in to resolve the Rajasthan political crisis. In a last-ditch attempt to woo him back, Rahul Gandhi has conveyed a message to Sachin Pilot that he should consider staying within the party fold as doors of the Congress are always open for him.Rahul Gandhi's message comes a day after Rajasthan Congress Legislature Party passed a resolution for the sacking of Sachin Pilot from the posts of the state party president and deputy chief minister for allegedly attempting to topple Ashok Gehlot govt. Reaching out by Rahul Gandhi to Sachin Pilot followed assertion by rebel Congress leader that he was not joining BJP, as anticipated by many and alleged by Ashok Gehlot camp in Rajasthan.

 

Stop interacting with BJP leaders, Surjewala tells Pilot

https://www.thehindu.com/news/national/rajasthan-political-crisis-sachin-pilot-day-3-july-15-2020/article32086269.ece?homepage=true

Congress chief spokesperson Randeep Surjewala calls upon Sachin Pilot and his supporting MLAs to stop accepting the hospitality of Khattar government in Haryana and come back to Jaipur.Surjewala says Congress had already expressed willingness to resolve all issues with Pilot. Since he has said that he will not join the BJP, he should stop speaking through media and come to Jaipur as a member of the Congress family, says  Surjewala.Congress has given so much to  Pilot in his young age and there is no political personality in any party to be promoted in this manner. Stop interacting with BJP leaders in Haryana and come back to Jaipur, says Mr. Surjewala in a conciliatory note. Surjewala was interacting with reporters at luxury hotel near Jaipur where Congress MLAs are staying.

 

MLAs issued notice, asked to respond by Friday

https://www.thehindu.com/news/national/rajasthan-political-crisis-sachin-pilot-day-3-july-15-2020/article32086269.ece?homepage=true

Along with Sachin Pilot, 18 other MLAs have been issued notices and asked to respond to them by Friday, sources said. The notices were issued on Tuesday.A total of 19 party MLAs, including Pilot, were absent from the CLP meetings.The party has also issued a gag order, saying no Congress member can communicate with the media without the permission of the newly appointed state unit chief.

 

*INDIA- ISLAMOPHOBIA, HUMAN RIGHTS & OTHERS*

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 Delhi Police in its probe into Feb. Delhi riots is that of Islamic preacher Dr Zakir Naik.In an application filed by Delhi Police in Patiala house courtroom, presided by judge Dharmendra Rana on 15 June, police alleged that one of accused Khalid Saifi met Naik overseas and sought his support.Khalid Saifi is founder of United Against Hate, an organisation tracking hate crimes, and Ishrat Jahan is former 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 February. The Quint reached out to Dr Zakir Naik through his lawyer advocate Mubin Solkar and the preacher has denied knowing or meeting Khalid Saifi. The Quint also reached out to Saifi’s lawyer, Harsh Bora, who said that “these allegations were baseless”.Other than reaching out to both sides, The Quint also spoke to an eyewitness who was present at an international conference held in Malaysia where Saifi had publicly criticised Zakir Naik.“I clearly recall Mr Saifi spoke against Zakir Naik and said that he cannot be considered a representative of Indain Muslims,” one of the delegates at conference told The Quint, on condition of anonymity.thequint

Delhi riots planned by Tahir Hussain, Umar Khalid to discredit India during Trump visit: Delhi Police chargesheet

 

Delhi riots: Police examining speeches of Sonia Gandhi, Anurag Thakur, Kapil Mishra, others

https://www.newindianexpress.com/cities/delhi/2020/jul/14/delhi-riots-police-examining-speeches-of-sonia-gandhi-anurag-thakur-kapil-mishra-others-2169588.html

 Delhi Police has submitted before High Court that the speeches of political leaders including Sonia Gandhi, Rahul Gandhi, Priyanka Gandhi, Anurag Thakur, Kapil Mishra, Pravesh Verma, and others are being examined and necessary action will be taken if it is found that their speech had any nexus with the northeast Delhi riots. Delhi Police, in its affidavit filed on a batch on pleas pertaining to Delhi riots, said that the police authorities acted promptly, vigilantly, and effectively without any fear or favour as a result of which violence could be contained in few days and to a limited area.

 

Delhi: Shamim Ahmed granted bail in riots case, court says evidence weak

https://indianexpress.com/article/cities/delhi/delhi-man-granted-bail-in-riots-case-court-says-evidence-weak-6506174/

A Delhi court, while granting bail to a 34-year-old man accused of setting a school on fire during Delhi riots, observed that naming of the accused by a constable was “a very weak kind of evidence”.Shamim Ahmed was granted bail by Additional Sessions Judge Vinod Yadav on furnishing a personal bond of Rs 20,000 with one surety of like amount.On Feb.25, a PCR call was made to Dayalpur police station informing them about an incident of arson at Arun Modern Public Senior Secondary School.The school principal, Jyoti Rani, had given a written complaint to the police on Feb.26, reporting that there was a loss of Rs 1-1.25 crore to the school. Shamim has been chargesheeted along with two others.Shamim’s lawyer Abdul Gaffar argued that there was a delay in registering FIR, in which the accused was not named.He also submitted before the court that Shamim was “arrested in the matter merely on the basis of him having been named by constable Piyush in his statement recorded under section 161 CrPC”.

 

Resentment in Hindus on arrests, take care: Special CP to probe teams

https://indianexpress.com/article/cities/delhi/hindu-resentment-north-east-delhi-riots-special-cp-6506063/

New Delhi :The arrests of “some Hindu youth” from riot-hit areas in Northeast Delhi has led to a “degree of resentment among the Hindu community” and “due care and precaution” must be taken while making arrests, SCP(Crime) has written in an order to senior officers heading probe teams and asked them to “suitably” guide the Investigating Officers.The order comes amid the ongoing investigation, arrests and prosecution by Delhi Police in a slew of riot cases.Dated July 8, the order, signed by Special CP (Crime & Economic Offences Wing) Praveer Ranjan, cites an “intelligence input” about the riot-related arrests of “some Hindu youth from Chand Bagh and Khajuri Khas areas of Northeast Delhi”.

 

Assam Anti-CAA activist Bittu Sonowal granted bail

https://www.thehindu.com/news/national/assam-anti-caa-activist-bittu-sonowal-granted-bail/article32093435.ece?homepage=true

A special court of NIA today granted bail to Bittu Sonowal, a member of anti-CAA activist Akhil Gogoi’s group.Mr. Gogoi, chief adviser of Krishak Mukti Sangram Samiti (KMSS), could not be produced before the special court as he was undergoing treatment for COVID-19 at Gauhati Hospital. The date of his production has been rescheduled to August 5.KMSS leader was among 55 inmates of the Guwahati Central Jail who had tested positive a week ago. Among them was Mr. Sonowal, leader of the organisation’s student wing.He was, however, granted bail by the NIA court.

 

Shaheen shut down? Not from collective memory

https://www.telegraphindia.com/india/shaheen-shut-down-not-from-collective-memory/cid/1786347?fbclid=IwAR0RrIoZnNwYPbnBF7PZwqhwXR7PdhiNfWUDXCcfAnbB-S6P6PE2-H2cQTw#.Xw5urDY_Dsg.facebook

Shaheen Bagh movement has inspired two books during the lockdown, which abruptly halted the spontaneous protest led by women against the new citizenship matrix in the heart of the capital.Journalist couple Ziya Us Salam and Uzma Ausaf’s Shaheen Bagh: From a Protest to a Movement is a bestseller in the pre-order stage on Amazon for over a month now. A collection of interviews, essays, reports and photographs titled Shaheen Bagh and the Idea of India, edited by veteran journalist Seema Mustafa, is due for release on Wednesday. Just before lockdown, Bhopal-based activist Ishrat Khan’s Shaheen Bagh Hoon Main — a Hindi primer on the changes in laws and the background of the longest-running street protest against CAA — was released at the protest site. The books take a supportive view of the protests that inspired several such gatherings across the country, all led by largely Muslim women.Salam, a journalist in the capital for 3 decades who is now with Frontline, found the protest remarkable because the women stayed the course in large numbers and without turning violent.The book also talks about the prominent non-Muslim organisers, like Upasana Sharma, D.S. Bindra and the Sikh peasants from Punjab who fed protesters. Seema Mustafa’s book includes essays by author Nayantara Sahgal, activists Harsh Mander and Subhashini Ali, lawyer Nandita Haksar, political scientist Zoya Hasan and several others. She explained that in her professional memory of covering social movements in India since 1980s, Shaheen Bagh stands out for its nationwide appeal, peaceful nature and strident expression of constitutionalism.

 

Anti-CAA Protest: UP Cong Minority Cell Chief, NSUI Leader Granted Bail

https://www.republicworld.com/india-news/law-and-order/anti-caa-protest-up-cong-minority-cell-chief-nsui-leader-granted-bail.html

 UP Congress Minority Cell chief Shahanvaj Alam and NSUI’s state vice president Anas Rahman, arrested for committing arson and rioting during Dec.2019 anti-CAA protests, were granted bail on Tuesday by a court here.Additional District Judge D N Singh directed their release on a personal bond of Rs 50,000 each along with two sureties with the same amount.Allowing their separate bail pleas, ADJ Singh ordered them not to indulge in any crime after release. It also directed them to join the investigation. Court also restrained them from leaving the country without its permission.Alam has been in jail since June 30 and Rahman since July 10.

 

Yogendra Yadav Challenges UP Govt Over Continued Detention of Dr. Kafeel Khan

https://clarionindia.net/yogendra-yadav-challenges-up-govt-over-continued-detention-of-dr-kafeel-khan/

New Delhi: Social media on Tuesday was abuzz with a chorus of demand to free Dr. Kafeel Khan, who has been booked under NSA for allegedly delivering a hate speech during a protest against the controversial CAA in Aligarh on Dec.12. People from all walks of life participated in twitter storm and demanded freedom for the suspended lecturer of Gorakhpur’s BRD Medcial College. He was arrested by UP police in Mumbai.Social and political activist Yogendra Yadav, giving the testimony of the inculpability of Dr. Kafeel Khan, wrote on his twitter handle, “I was next to Dr Kafeel when he delivered his speech at AMU. Show me one line in his speech that is against our country, our constitution or any community. So, why is he in prison? #FreeDrKafeelKhan”.Clarion India

Progressive Medicos and Scientists Forum demand release of Dr Kafeel Khan

http://twocircles.net/2020jul14/438069.html?utm_source=feedburner&utm_medium=email&utm_campaign=Feed%3A+Twocirclesnet-IndianMuslim+%28TwoCircles.net+-+Indian+Muslim+News%29

Progressive Medicos and Scientists Forum has condemned UP government for keeping Dr Kafeel Khan in arbitrary arrest for over three months.In the latest statement, the Forum has called for the support of doctor and healthcare workers to extend support towards Dr Kafeel as a way “to save democracy.” It has reminded that he had gone out of the way to save patients during the Gorakhpur medical crisis which killed 70 children, highlighting that he “put his life in danger to save others” several times. Doctor’s Forum has praised Dr Kafeel’s efforts in his “humanitarian work in organizing free healthcare and providing services free of cost.” The Forum has even accused the UP-state government to have been “very vindictive” towards him for his benevolence.

 

Yogi’s UP Under Police Raj; Hindutva Goons Given Free Rein: Rights Groups

https://clarionindia.net/yogis-uttar-pradesh-under-police-raj-hindutva-goons-given-free-rein-rights-groups/

Lucknow:National Confederation of Human Rights Organisations (NCHRO) and rights activists have expressed their deep concern over the condition of civil rights and the law and order situation in Uttar Pradesh during an online press conference on Tuesday. Advocate A Mohamed Yusuff, Secretary, NCHRO, said that after the passage of CAA, which he described as anti-constitutional and discriminatory, the central govt and BJP ruled state govts dealt brutally with democratic agitations that erupted across the country.“BJP and its state govts violated the very ethos the nation has been founded on. UP CM Yogi Adityanath communalised the issue and gave the police and right-wing goons free rein and impunity to shoot, destroy properties and torture people for exercising their democratic rights to dissent and protest peacefully”,said Advocate Sharfuddin Ahmad, Vice President of SDPI. Talking about exploitation of lockdown situation, Advocate Kamal Krishna Roy, said that it is being misused to take revenge against all opponents in the state. Former MP Obaidullah Khan Azmi condemned the silence of opposition parties.  Ravi Nair, Director, SAHRDC, Delhi said that the fight has to be taken up to international level if the issue is not resolved inside the boundaries of the countries.Clarion India

 

Allow Eid Prayers at Eidgah and Mosques; Jamiat

https://clarionindia.net/jamiat-demands-to-allow-muslims-offer-eid-namaz-at-eidgah-and-mosque/

Ahead of Eid al-Adha, Jamiat Ulama-i-Hind has demanded that Muslims should be allowed to offer Eid al-Adha prayers at Eidgah and mosques with necessary precautionary guidelines and lifting the bar from mosques in UP that only 5 faithful can offer Namaz at a time.Jamiat also demanded that the important chapters removed from CBSE syllabus should be brought back and put a stop on the spree of arresting anti-CAA activists immediately.The meeting of Jamiat’s Central Working Committee was held under the organization’s president Maulana Qari Mohammad Usman in Deoband, UP.  The meeting discussed and deliberated upon a wide range of issues including forthcoming Eid al-Adha and qurbani unrelenting persecution and harassment of anti-CAA activists, UP mosques issue and other issues confronting the nation.Jamiat General Secretary Maulana Mahmood Madani said it is matter of grave concern that at a time when the entire country is in grip of the coronavirus pandemic, the Delhi police is on a spree to arrest the youths and activists who were in the forefront of anti-CAA agitation.   Clarion India

 

No substitute to sacrificing animals on Eid-ul-Azha eve: J&K Grand Mufti Nasir-ul-Islam

http://risingkashmir.com/news/no-substitute-to-sacrificing-animals-on-eid-ul-azha-eve-grand-mufti-nasir-ul-islam

Jammu and Kashmir’s Grand Mufti Nasir-ul-Islam Tuesday said that there is no substitute to sacrificing animals on the eve of Eid-ul-Azha and people intending to sacrifice animals must follow proper guidelines and take extreme precautions while distributing the sacrificial meat among neighbours and relations. He, however, said due to the prevailing pandemic, the sacrificial meat should be distributed within the vicinity only while maintaining the highest level of hygiene.

 

Babri mosque demolition trial: Recording of accused SS leader’s statement deferred

    https://www.outlookindia.com/newsscroll/babri-mosque-demolition-trial-recording-of-accused-ss-leaders-statement-deferred/1896042

Lucknow: A special CBI court holding trial in the Babri mosque demolition case on Wednesday deferred the recording of Shiv Sena leader Satish Pradhan’s statement due to non-connectivity of the court''s video conferencing system with that of the mobile or laptop of the accused.Special Judge SK Yadav slated the recording of accused Pradhan’s statement under section 313 of CrPC to July 22 after the agency, which has installed the system, told the court that it would be able to link the system with any other computer or laptop or mobile by July 17.Accordingly, the court also decided to record statements of former deputy prime minister L K Advani and senior BJP leader MM Joshi after that.“The statement of former Deputy PM LK Adwani and BJP leader MM Joshi would be recorded on subsequent dates,” the court said in its order.The court, meanwhile, asked Faizabad’s SSP to provide adequate security to accused Santosh Dubey so that he could come to Lucknow to depose before it under section 313 of Cr P C on July 16.The court’s order came on Dubey''s counsel K K Mishra’s fears of a threat to his client’s life while visiting the court to record his statement.PTI

 

MP: Dalit Farmer, Wife Drink Pesticide After Police Destroy Crops

https://www.thequint.com/news/india/dalit-farmers-consume-poison-madhya-pradesh-guna-land-eviction

A Dalit farmer couple consumed pesticide in front of their children and police officers in MP’s Guna after police tried to destroy their crops in a bid to evict the couple’s family from a piece of government-owned land.Ramkumar Ahirwar has been practising cultivation on a piece of land in Guna which is reportedly owned by the State govt. Guna administration had ordered the setting up of a Model College on the piece of land and reportedly there were previous attempts made to vacate the land. But the administration had been unsuccessful in laying the foundation stone so far.Nirmal Rathore, Tehsildar of Guna City, who was present at the spot on the day of the incident, 14 July, and under whose watch the eviction drive was being carried out said:

 

Aadhaar Shows Vikas Dubey’s Aide, Killed in Encounter, Was a Minor

https://www.thequint.com/news/hot-news/aadhaar-shows-vikas-dubey-aide-killed-in-encounter-was-a-minor

History-sheeter Vikas Dubey’s alleged associate Prabhat Mishra, who was killed in a police encounter on 9 July, may have been a minor.Mishra, who also went by the name of Kartikey, was born on 27 May 2004, according to his high school mark-sheet, certificate and information on his Aadhaar card. If these documents are to be believed, he was 16-years-old at time of his death, that is, a minor.Mishra is believed to have been a close aide of Dubey, prime accused in the shoot-out in Kanpur that saw 8 policemen killed.According to the police, on 9 July, after being presented in the court, Mishra was being taken to Kanpur on a transit remand. An STF team was also escorting their vehicle.

 

Hope for 7/11 Mumbai train blast accused Asif after Bombay HC order

http://twocircles.net/2020jul14/438050.html

Jalgaon:Mohammed Anees, a resident of Jalgaon, picked up his phone, only to apologize. “Can I call you after Namaz?” he asked.“It has been an interesting day,” said Anees when he called back. “We are thankful to Allah for today,” he added. Mohammed Anees is a cousin of Asif Bashir Khan, one of the five people who received death sentence in the July 7 terror blasts case in Mumbai, which killed over 180 people and injured over 800. Asif, then a 32-year-old civil engineer, was picked from his Mira Road residence.In 2015, Asif was convicted of housing and harbouring Pakistani terrorists at his Mira Road residence; procuring rexine bags, utensils, ammonium nitrate, detonators and helping assemble bombs in Mohammed Ali’s (another accused) house, along with planting the bomb which exploded in Borivali station.

 

NIA arrests key accused in Jharkhand's PLFI terror funding case

https://www.newindianexpress.com/nation/2020/jul/14/nia-arrests-key-accused-in-jharkhands-plfi-terror-funding-case-2169687.html

NIA has arrested a key accused in the PLFI terror funding case for his alleged involvement in converting extortion money into legitimate means using a dubious company, an official said.Fuleshwar Gope, 44, a resident of Jharkhand's Gumla district, was arrested on Monday, NIA spokesperson said.PTI

 

Villupuram cartoonist held for ‘offensive’ anti-Islamic Facebook post

https://www.newindianexpress.com/states/tamil-nadu/2020/jul/15/villupuram-cartoonist-held-for-offensive-anti-islamic-facebook-post-2169916.html

Villupuram: A cartoonist was arrested in Villupuram on Monday night for his alleged “offensive” cartoon against Islam. An official source in SP office confirmed that the cartoonist, Surendar alias Surendar Kumar (31), of T Kumaramangalam village near Thiruvennainallur, has been arrested. The man used to post political cartoons in the name ‘Varma Cartoonist’ in social media. Surendar had on Sunday posted in his Facebook page and Twitter handle: “Some people belonging to Islam are behind the YouTube channel Karuppar Kootam, which is posting videos against Hindu gods and goddesses.Muslim outfits should condemn those people and remove the people behind this channel from the Jamaat. If this is not done in 24 hours, I will post cartoon against Muhammad Nabi. ”On Monday evening, Surendar allegedly posted a cartoon against Islam and prophet Muhammad.

 

 

 

Revamped Shakti Bhatt prize honours activists Anand Teltumbde and Gautam Navlakha

https://indianexpress.com/article/books-and-literature/shakti-bhatt-prize-honours-activists-anand-teltumbde-and-gautam-navlakha-6507293/

Starting this year, the Shakti Bhatt First Book Prize now known as the Shakti Bhatt Prize, will honour an author’s body of work rather than their first book, as was hitherto practiced. This year’s honours go to Anand Teltumbde, scholar, activist and writer of Khairlanji: A Strange and Bitter Crop and Republic of Caste along with Gautam Navlakha, an activist, journalist and writer of Days and Nights in the Heartland of Rebellion.Incidentally, both these authors have been in jail due to their alleged link to Bhima Koregaon violence in 2018. Most recently their detention was extended for 90 days citing inability of the investigating officer in the Elgaar Parishad case to examine the matter effectively due to the lockdown.

 

Elgaar parishad case: Court extends Navlakha, Teltumbde, detention by 90 days

https://indianexpress.com/article/india/elgaar-parishad-case-special-court-extends-navlakha-teltumbde-detention-by-90-days-6506269/

Observing that due to the lockdown, the investigating officer in the Elgaar Parishad case could not “investigate the matter effectively”, a special court has extended detention of academic Dr Anand Teltumbde and activist Gautam Navlakha by another 90 days. NIA, probing the case, can now file a chargesheet against the two men in 180 days since their arrest on April 14.“The court is not oblivious to the fact that due to the imposition of lockdown the entire process was stalled… it was not expected from the investigation officer to put his life and the lives of the other assistant investigation officers at stake and proceed the investigation…,” special judge Dinesh E Kothalikar said in the order passed Sunday. The detailed order was made available Tuesday.

 

No ‘selective leak’, issued press note to place facts: Police to Delhi HC on Pinjra Tod member plea

https://www.nationalheraldindia.com/national/no-selective-leak-issued-press-note-to-place-facts-police-to-delhi-hc-on-pinjra-tod-member-plea

The police told the Delhi High Court Wednesday that a press note issued to the media was not a selective leak as alleged by a Pinjra Tod group woman member, arrested in relation to communal violence here during the anti-CAA protests, and it was done to present ‘facts’ before the public.The nature of the case and allegations levelled against JNU student Devangana Kalitha, the Pinjra Tod (break the cage) member, were not revealed by the investigating agency first and it was the members of that group who disclosed the details on social media, Delhi Police said.PTI

 

SC extends protection to journalist Amish Devgan from coercive action in defamation cases

https://indianexpress.com/article/india/sc-extends-protection-to-journalist-amish-devgan-from-coercive-action-in-defamation-cases-6506827/

The Supreme Court on Wednesday extended the protection granted to TV anchor Amish Devgan against any coercive action in connection with cases lodged over his alleged defamatory remark against Sufi saint Khwaja Moinuddin Chisti. A bench headed by Justice A M Khanwilkar asked the respondents, including the states where cases have been lodged and those who had filed complaints against Devgan, to file their counter affidavits on the plea and posted the matter for hearing on August 6.PTI

 

Telangana CM, Chief Secy must be booked for demolition of religious structures at Secretariat: Waqf Council member

http://www.businessworld.in/article/Telangana-CM-Chief-Secy-must-be-booked-for-demolition-of-religious-structures-at-Secretariat-Complex-Waqf-Council-member/15-07-2020-297545/

Hyderabad: Haneef Ali, Member Central Waqf Council on Tuesday said that Telangana Chief Minister K Chandrashekar Rao and Chief Secretary Somesh Kumar must be booked under provisions of Criminal Act for the demolition of religious structures at Secretariat Complex on July 7.While speaking to ANI he alleged that places of worship are continuously being demolished in Telangana.

 

Election Commissioner Ashok Lavasa set to join Asian Development Bank as vice president

https://indianexpress.com/article/india/election-commissioner-ashok-lavasa-asian-development-bank-vice-president-6506894/

Election Commissioner Ashok Lavasa is set to join the Philippines-based Asian Development Bank (ADB) as vice president. Lavasa still has over two years left in his term at the Election Commission of India. He would have retired as the Chief Election Commissioner (CEC) in October 2022.

 

All India Bank Employees’ Association to name wilful defaulters of Rs 1.4 trillion loans

https://www.nationalheraldindia.com/national/all-india-bank-employees-association-to-name-wilful-defaulters-of-rs-14-trillion-loans

All India Bank Employees' Association (AIBEA), a major union in the banking sector, will soon be releasing a list of about 2,400 willful bank loan defaulters with a total dues of about 140,000 crore, said a top union official."As part of celebrating the 51th anniversary of bank nationalisation on July 19 we will be releasing a list of willful bank loan defaulters. The list has about 2,400 borrowers who have borrowed Rs five crore and above from banks and declared as willful defaulters by lenders," C. H.Venkatachalam, General Secretary, said.IANS

 

Air India to send employees on compulsory leave without pay for up to 5 years

https://www.indiatoday.in/india/story/now-air-india-to-send-employees-on-leave-without-pay-for-up-to-5-years-1700956-2020-07-15

National carrier Air India has approved a scheme whereby employees can opt for a leave without pay scheme for six months to up to 5 years.An internal order, dated July 7,   authorises Air India Chairperson and MD Rajiv Bansal to send an employee on compulsory leave without pay for 6 months or a period of 2 years, extendable up to 5 years. Employees who will be send on such leaves would be identified on the basis of factors like suitability, efficiency, competence, quality of performance, health of the employee, instance of non-availability of employee for duty in the past as a result of ill health or otherwise and redundancy.This scheme was approved at 102nd meeting of Air India's Board of Directors.India Today

 

'Reliance Jio Developing Homegrown 5G Telecom Solution From Scratch': Mukesh Ambani

https://www.outlookindia.com/website/story/india-news-reliance-jio-developing-homegrown-5g-telecom-solution-from-scratch-mukesh-ambani/356739

Richest Indian Mukesh Ambani on Wednesday announced his group's digital arm Jio developing a homegrown 5G telecom solution."Jio has designed and developed a complete 5G solution from scratch. It will be ready for trials as soon as 5G spectrum is available and can be ready for field deployment next year," Ambani said at Reliance Industries' annual general meeting.Jio's global-scale 4G and fibre network is powered by several core software technologies and components. "It is this capability and know-how that positions Jio on the cutting edge of another exciting frontier – 5G," he said.PTI

 

Earning less than minimum wage, medical interns go on strike across UP

https://thewire.in/labour/medical-interns-strike-uttar-pradesh

Meerut: Several medical interns across UP have been on strike for the last week demanding a hike in stipend. Currently, interns at state-run medical colleges in UP are paid Rs 7,500 a month, or Rs.250 a day.“Is it fair that we are risking our lives and are at the forefront of battle against the coronavirus, and our stipend doesn’t even cover our cost of living? The govt calls us ‘corona warriors’, but we still have to ask our families to send us money just so that we are able to pay our mess bills,” an MMBS intern at the King George’s Medical University in Lucknow said. Rs 7,500 is among the lowest stipends paid to post-MMBS interns around the country. While interns at central medical universities earn Rs 23,500 a month, some state govts like Assam and Karnataka pay Rs 30,000 a month to interns. Karnataka has only recently increased the stipend from Rs 20,000 after protests.“We are earning less than one-third of what our peers are earning in Karnataka. Are our expenses less? We are living in cities like Kanpur, Meerut, Lucknow,” said an intern from Lala LLRM in Meerut, where all 150 interns are on strike.

 

Gujarat police constable who stopped minister’s son for breaking curfew to resign

https://scroll.in/latest/967573/gujarat-police-officer-who-stopped-ministers-son-for-breaking-curfew-to-resign

Lok Rakshak Dal constable Sunita Yadav, who was transferred to HQRS in Surat after she had an altercation with the son of a Bharatiya Janata Party leader and Gujarat Cabinet minister, has decided to resign, The Indian Express reported on Wednesday. Yadav also claimed there is a threat to her life, following which she was granted police protection.

 

Academics petition CBSE against deleting chapters from Class 11, 12 curricula

https://scroll.in/latest/967599/academics-petition-cbse-against-deleting-chapters-from-class-11-12-curricula                   

A group of academics and intellectuals have written a petition to CBSE against its decision to drop several chapters from the Political Science curricula for Class 11 and Class 10 for the academic year 2020-’21. CBSE had on July 7 deleted chapters on federalism, citizenship, nationalism, and secularism from the Class 11 Political Science syllabus, and restructured the subject’s curriculum for Class 10 to remove chapters on democracy and diversity; gender, religion and caste, popular struggles and movement, among other sections. The deletions were made on direction of Ministry of HRD after it asked the CBSE to reduce the syllabus for Class 9 to Class 12 for the academic year 2020-’21 by up to 30% to make up for the academic loss caused by the pandemic.

 

 Association of Indian Muslims in America offers 50 scholarships to engineering, polytechnic students in Mumbai

https://clarionindia.net/association-of-indian-muslims-in-america-offers-50-scholarships-to-engineering-polytechnic-students-in-mumbai/

Association of Indian Muslims of America (AIM) has expanded its scholarship programme at Anjuman Islam Educational Institution, Mumbai, to 50 scholarships. These scholarships will be given to engineering and polytechnic students in 4 colleges of Anjuman Islam, said Kaleem Kawaja, executive director of the Washington-based Association.clarionindia

 

*CORONAVIRUS- LOCKDOWN*

PM Cares’ Fund Won't Disclose Donors, Payments:AP

https://www.nytimes.com/aponline/2020/07/14/business/ap-as-virus-outbreak-india-opaque-fund.html

Bejon Misra responded quickly to PM Narendra Modi’s appeal in March for donations to a new fund to strengthen the country's fight against coronavirus. The next day, 69-year-old retired management professor made a donation. “It was a generous contribution because Modi is the face of it,” Misra said. Such trust in Modi is common in India, with PM enjoying an 82% public approval rating, according to US-based pollster Morning Consult. So when PM CARES, was launched days after India started a countrywide virus lockdown, donations began pouring in and haven't stopped. Retirees like Misra, industrialists, Bollywood stars and foreign companies have all pitched in. But the fund, now valued at over $1 billion, has run into controversy over issues of transparency and accountability. AP requested a list of donors and payments from Modi's office under RTI. The request was denied. Modi’s office, which manages PM CARES, has refused to disclose the information, arguing that even though it is administered by Indian govt, it is not a public authority, and therefore not subject to right-to-information laws. As a result, there is little transparency about the money the fund is receiving and spending in middle of India's still-raging virus outbreak. “It’s not a state secret and the govt must answer questions that are being raised,” said Saket Gokhale, an independent activist who was one of first to question the fund. “They are stonewalling.” Legal experts are challenging response of Modi's office. Surender Singh Hooda, a lawyer at India’s top court, filed a petition on June 5 arguing that fund’s website must display details of the money received and the way it is used. Delhi high court told Hooda to withdraw his petition and contact Modi’s office first, as is required by law.Modi's office denied Hooda's request for information. Ex-finance minister Palaniappan Chidambaram was critical that the money did not directly “go to hands of the migrant workers.”Others see the fund as a thinly veiled marketing device for PM.“It looks like Modi wants to put a stamp of his own on everything,” said Aseem Katyal, an independent activist who has been demanding transparency from Modi’s office.AP/NYT

 

Coronavirus | Parliamentary panel urges Govt. to set up data base on migrant workers

https://www.thehindu.com/news/national/coronavirus-parliamentary-panel-urges-govt-to-set-up-data-base-on-migrant-workers/article32093702.ece?homepage=true

Lessons should be learnt from COVID19 which saw unprecedented reverse migration, members of Parliamentary Standing Committee on Home Affairs, headed by Congress leader Anand Sharma, said at a meeting on Wednesday.The Committee has advised the government to set up a national database of migrant workers so that they don’t fall out of the social security cover. The members, it is learnt, asked the Home Secretary Ajay Bhalla and other officials from the Ministry of Home Affairs, to explain if better coordination between States and districts could have prevented the massive exodus of migrant workers many of whom trudged back many kilometres to their home States.

 

Coronavirus update: Highest number of patients cured in a single day in India

https://www.livemint.com/news/india/coronavirus-update-highest-number-of-patients-cured-in-a-single-day-in-india-11594786236230.html

The number of fresh coronavirus cases in India rose a record 29,429 today, pushing its overall tally to 936181, even as the recovery rate further improved. The death toll climbed to 24309 with 582 people succumbing to the infection in past 24 hours, according to Health Ministry's latest data.In past 24 hours, 20572 patients were declared cured, taking the number of recoveries to 592031. This is the highest ever patients cured in a single day. There are 319840 active cases of the coronavirus infection currently in the country. The recovery rate currently stands at 63.23% while the number of recoveries exceed active cases by 2.72 lakh.This is the sixth consecutive day that COVID-19 cases in the country have increased by more than 26,000. The health ministry said that more than 70 per cent of the deaths occurred due to comorbidities.

 

Over 20 people test COVID-19 positive in Bihar BJP HQ

https://www.livemint.com/news/india/over-20-people-test-covid-19-positive-in-bihar-bjp-headquarters-11594726888455.html

Patna : More than 20 people, including four senior office-bearers of BJP, have tested positive for COVID-19 at the party's headquarters, said its Bihar unit chief Sanjay Jaiswal on Tuesday.Reports in a section of the media here, however, stated that the number of people found infected was as high as 75.Jaiswal, nonetheless, maintained "only 24 samples are positive. These reports are of preliminary rapid tests and we are still awaiting the results of the comprehensive QT-RPR. None of those who have tested positive are having any symptoms. Yet, by way of abundant caution, they have all quarantined themselves at home".He said the samples were collected on Monday upon the request of the party office, after it was learnt that a person who visited the premises recently had tested positive."Samples of 110 people were collected. These included not just party functionaries but all other staff members hired for running errands," he said.PTI

 

48 inmates at Kashmir jail test positive for COVID-19

https://www.aa.com.tr/en/asia-pacific/48-inmates-at-kashmir-jail-test-positive-for-covid-19/1910730

SRINAGAR:As many as 48 inmates at a jail in Kashmir -- most of them political prisoners -- have tested positive for the coronavirus as of Tuesday, according to sources.  A key health official in charge of anti-pandemic measures told Anadolu Agency that after a pro-freedom activist was diagnosed with the virus a couple of days ago, all prisoners at Anantnag District Jail were tested for infection. “Yesterday, 4 tested positive. Today’s results showed 44 others positive,” the official said.Most of the positive cases are other pro-freedom prisoners who had come in contact with the activist, he added.A government spokesman later said on Twitter that 290 people had tested positive in the Kashmir Valley on Wednesday. Their identities were not revealed for fear of stigma. Also, seven more deaths Wednesday took the toll in the restive region to 195.Among those who tested positive at Anantnag District Jail were a preacher and several people held on charges of providing logistical support to militants, the father of one of the infected prisoners said.Anadolu Agency

 

Face coverings to become compulsory in England shops

https://www.aljazeera.com/news/2020/07/face-coverings-compulsory-england-shops-200715065958946.html

Face coverings are to become compulsory in English shops from next week, bringing the country in line with other European nations.England has been slow to impose the changes, favouring a supposedly "common-sense" approach to wearing masks.But as the government tries to coax people from their homes and back to the shops, they hope making masks mandatory will help bolster the economy.

 

Human Trials Of Second COVID Vaccine Candidate Begin

https://www.ndtv.com/india-news/coronavirus-human-trials-of-second-covid-19-vaccine-candidate-zydus-cadila-begin-2263417?pfrom=home-topscroll

Indian pharmaceutical giant Zydus Cadila has initiated phase 1, 2 clinical trial to evaluate the safety and immunogenicity of coronavirus vaccine candidate by intradermal (injection) route in 1,048 subjects after the pharma company got approval from Drugs Controller General of India (DCGI) earlier this month.According to Clinical Trial Registry- India (CTRI), the clinical study is based on two criteria -- inclusion and exclusion.The inclusion criteria is divided into two phases.

 

*WORLD*

Israel closes Al-Aqsa Mosque’s eastern gate, Waqf head warns of ‘religious war’

https://www.mangalorean.com/israel-closes-al-aqsa-mosques-eastern-gate-waqf-head-warns-of-religious-war/

Ramallah:Sheikh Abdul-Azim Salhab, head of Muslim Waqf (Endowment) Council in Jerusalem, warned that Israel’s order to close a gate of Al-Aqsa Mosque may ignite “a religious war” in the region.Salhab on Tuesday told Voice of Palestine radio that the council received this week an Israeli court’s verdict that orders the closure of Bab al-Rahma gate of Al-Aqsa Mosque in East Jerusalem. “Such an Israeli action is an attempt to control Al-Aqsa Mosque in Jerusalem, and this action may ignite a religious war in region,”said Salhab, who stressed that his council rejects “illegal Israeli court’s verdict.”Bab al-Rahma gate is the eastern gate that directly leads to Al-Aqsa Mosque, which is a holy site for Muslims around the world, Xinhua reported.For their part, the Jews refer to the area as “Temple Mount,” which was the site of two Jewish temples in ancient times.“We affirm that no power can close Bab a-Rahma, we warn against attacking worshippers at Al-Aqsa Mosque because it will be a serious issue and will ignite a religious war in the region,” Salhab said.He noted that Al-Aqsa Mosque and all its yards are Islamic and all Muslims have the right to pray in every part of it free from interference by Israeli decisions and Israeli courts’ verdicts. In Gaza, Islamic Hamas movement said that the closure of the Bab al-Rahma gate of Al-Aqsa Mosque “is a stupid decision that aims at stealing Muslim gate and turn it into a synagogue.”IANS

Hamas warns Israel not to attack Al-Aqsa Mosque

 

EU ministers request details of consequences of Israel’s annexation plan

https://www.middleeastmonitor.com/20200715-eu-ministers-request-details-of-consequences-of-israels-annexation-plan/

Foreign ministers from 11 European countries have requested a list from EU of the possible consequences of Israel’s plan to annex the occupied West Bank. The ministers also want a list of possible options for EU in the event that Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu pushes ahead with the annexation. This list was apparently requested from EU Foreign Policy Chief Josep Borrell on 15 May, but is still awaited.According to the Guardian, ministers wrote to Borrell and asked about the possible “legal consequences” of annexation as well as any ramifications for agreements between Israel and the bloc. These cover areas such as trade, travel, security cooperation, and research and development. “The possible annexation by Israel of parts of the occupied Palestinian territory remains a matter of grave concern for EU and its member states,” wrote the ministers. “Israel’s annexation of parts of the occupied Palestinian territory would be a breach of international law… [It is important] to have clarity on legal and political implications of annexation.”

 

Pak Jamaat-e-Islami, other Pakistani, Indonesian groups hail Turkey's Hagia Sophia move

https://www.aa.com.tr/en/asia-pacific/pakistani-indonesian-muslim-groups-hail-turkeys-hagia-sophia-move/1910920

Political parties and religious groups in two largest Muslim nations, Pakistan and Indonesia, appreciated Turkey’s decision to turn Hagia Sophia back into a mosque. In a letter addressed to Turkey's president, chief of Pakistan's Jamaat-e-Islami party Siraj ul Haq said the news of opening Hagia Sophia for Muslim prayers after 86 years "warmed hearts of Muslims all around the world and particularly in Pakistan." "Accept our heartiest greetings over the major decision which has reversed the injustice committed decades back,"Haq said in his letter to Tayyip Erdogan."Hagia Sophia is amanat [depositation] of Fatih Sultan Mehmet and who better than President Erdogan can take care of such a huge responsibility," Haq added. Robikin Emhas, head of Executive Council of Nahdlatul Ulama, Indonesia’s largest Muslim organization, said "Legal decisions through open and impartial litigation must be respected," said.Muhammadiyah, the country's oldest Muslim organization, also welcomed Turkey’s decision on Hagia Sophia. Wahid Ridwan, the body’s secretary for international relations and cooperation, said the reopening of Hagia Shopia as a mosque is the full right of Turkish government and people.

Arabs hail Turkey’s reopening of Hagia Sophia mosque

https://www.aa.com.tr/en/culture/arabs-hail-turkey-s-reopening-of-hagia-sophia-mosque/1908596#

A Turkish decision to reconvert Istanbul’s iconic Hagia Sophia into a mosque after serving decades as a museum has won praise in the Arab world.“We congratulate Turkey and ourselves for converting Hagia Sophia back to a mosque because it belongs to all Muslims,” Ekrema Sabri, the preacher of Jerusalem’s Al-Aqsa Mosque, said in a statement.Grand Mufti of Oman, Ahmed bin Hamad al-Khalili, offered his congratulations to Turkish President Tayyip Erdogan and Muslims worldwide for reopening Hagia Sophia as a mosque.“We congratulate ourselves, entire Muslim nation, and particularly Turkish nation headed by its leader, Tayyip Erdogan, for converting Hagia Sophia back to a house of worship where Allah authorized his name to be raised and mentioned,” he said on Twitter. Muslim Brotherhood group described Turkish decision on Hagia Sophia as a “historic step”.This step "confirms the sovereignty of the Turkish people over their land and the exercise of their rights,” spokesman Talaat Fahmy said.Arab Maghreb Union also described the reopening of Hagia Sophia mosque to worshippers as a "great historic event".

 

Tunisia's Ennahdha 'to withdraw support' from Fakfakh govt

https://www.aljazeera.com/news/2020/07/tunisia-ennahdha-withdraw-support-fakfakh-government-200715072406366.html

Ennahdha, biggest party in Tunisia's parliament, has decided to withdraw its support from govt of Prime Minister Elyes Fakhfakh, a senior party official told Reuters. "We adopted the option to withdraw confidence from PM and mandate the party leader to follow up on the implementation of the decision'", Imed Khmiri said on Wednesday.Ennahdha, which holds 54 of Parliament's 217 seats, would need to secure the backing of at least 109 legislators in a vote of confidence to bring down the government.In recent days, the self-described Muslim democratic party has increasingly voiced its disapproval of Fakhfakh over allegations of conflicts of interest involving him.In a sign of the turbulence shaking the fragile coalition, Fakhfakh on Monday said he will announce a cabinet reshuffle in the coming days, a move that analysts say will see Ennadha's seven ministers removed from their posts.

 

Egypt :Court upholds life sentence against Badie, others in Adwa police station incidents’ case

https://www.egypttoday.com/Article/1/89669/Cassation-court-upholds-life-sentence-against-Badie-others-in-Adwa

CAIRO: Court of Cassation ruled Tuesday to uphold a life sentence against Mohamed Badie, supreme guide of Muslim Brotherhood organization and others in Adwa Caseafter all the submittedappeals were rejected. In Sept.23, 2018, Minya Criminal Court sentenced Badie and 87 others to life in the case known as “Adwa Incidents.”Another 81 defendants were handed 15 years in prison, 49 defendants were given a sentence of 7 years of intensified prison, 16 defendants were sentenced to 10 years in prison, 22 defendants were given 3 years in prison, one defendant was sentenced to 15 years in prison, another defendant was given 3 years and 22 others were sentenced to 2 years with labor.  Meanwhile, a total of 463 defendants were acquitted in the case. Egypt Today

 

Egypt: Journalist dies of coronavirus days after release from prison

https://www.middleeastmonitor.com/20200714-egypt-journalist-dies-of-coronavirus-days-after-release-from-prison/

Egyptian journalist Mohamed Mounir has died just days after he was released from prison. Mounir, editor-in-chief of Al-Diyar, contracted coronavirus whilst incarcerated and displayed typical symptoms of the virus.He was already suffering from diabetes and high blood pressure.Mounir died in an isolation unit at the Cairo Hospital, raising fears over the spread of coronavirus inside the overcrowded, unhygienic prison cells.Several detainees have died over the past few weeks after being infected despite pleas by rights groups to release them.In June, 65-year-old Mounir was taken from his apartment by plainclothes security officers. The journalist had criticised govt’s handling of the covid pandemic in an interview with Al Jazeera, which authorities view as a mouthpiece for Muslim Brotherhood.

Trump makes u-turn on international students with online courses

https://www.aljazeera.com/news/2020/07/trump-u-turn-international-students-online-courses-200715153044354.html

US President Donald Trump's administration has dropped its plans to deport international students whose courses move fully online because of the coronavirus pandemic.The decision follows eight federal lawsuits and opposition from hundreds of universities.International students have been a significant source of revenue for many US universities and colleges.

 

China vows retaliation against US over Hong Kong sanctions

https://www.aljazeera.com/news/2020/07/china-vows-retaliation-hong-kong-sanctions-200715033941380.html

China has said it would retaliate after US President Donald Trump ordered an end to preferential trade treatment for Hong Kong and signed legislation allowing sanctions over Beijing's enactment of a draconian security law in the semi-autonomous city. China's foreign ministry said it "firmly opposes and strongly condemns" Hong Kong Autonomy Act, which unanimously passed US Congress earlier this month and approves sanctions on Chinese officials and banks over Beijing's clampdown in Hong Kong."China will make necessary responses to protect its legitimate interests, and impose sanctions on relevant US personnel and entities," the ministry added, without elaborating. Chinese warning came amid mounting tensions with the US - not just over Hong Kong - but also over trade, global coronavirus pandemic, China's military buildup in South China Sea and its treatment of Uighur Muslims in the western region of Xinjiang.

 

Azerbaijan general among troops killed in Armenia border clash

https://www.bbc.com/news/world-europe-53402476

Azerbaijan says one of its generals and five other officers have been killed in a third day of fighting with Armenian forces on the countries' border.An Azeri private also died, bringing the Azeri death toll so far to 11. Armenia says 4 of its troops - two of them officers - were killed.Both countries were part of the Soviet Union until its collapse in 1990s.They fought a bloody war over a mountainous territory, in a dispute that remains unresolved. Nagorno-Karabakh is internationally recognised as part of Azerbaijan but is controlled by ethnic Armenians. This clash, however, took place north of this disputed territory.Azerbaijan says heavy fighting is continuing in Tovuz district, bordering on Tavush in north-eastern Armenia.

Azerbaijan protesters demand war after Armenia clashes

 

Pakistan: 8 soldiers killed, 5 wounded in attack on convoy

https://www.aljazeera.com/news/2020/07/pakistan-soldiers-killed-wounded-attack-convoy-200714125153094.html

At least 8 soldiers have been killed and 5 wounded after a group of unidentified gunmen opened fire on a security forces convoy in the southwestern Pakistani district of Panjgur, military said.In Tuesday's incident, 3 vehicles were targeted in the Gichak area, about 400km south of the Balochistan provincial capital Quetta, a brief statement by the military said.No group has claimed responsibility for the attack.

 

Syria regime arrests 15 army officers loyal to Rami Makhlouf

https://www.middleeastmonitor.com/20200715-syria-regime-arrests-15-army-officers-loyal-to-rami-makhlouf/

Syrian regime’s intelligence services arrested 15 high-ranking army officers and officials on charges of “dealing with foreign entities and embezzlement”.However, the Al-Arab newspaper quoted unnamed sources as saying that the officers are known for their close ties to business tycoon, Rami Makhlouf who had been engaged in a battle of influence with the regime.According to the sources, the officers recently pledged “to burn the earth in the event any harm is brought to Rami Makhlouf”.This brings to 71 the number of people arrested for their alleged loyalty to Makhlouf; they include managers, employees, technicians and army officers.

 

Population in over 20 countries to halve by 2100: Study

https://www.aljazeera.com/news/2020/07/population-20-countries-halve-2100-study-200715061706992.html

Over 20 countries, including Italy, Japan, Poland, Portugal, South Korea, Spain and Thailand,will see their numbers diminish by at least half by the year 2100, according to projections in a major study.China's population will fall from 1.4 billion people today to 730 million in 80 years, said the study led by an international team of researchers, published in The Lancet.The Earth will be home to 8.8 billion people in 2100, 2 billion fewer than current UN projections, the study said, foreseeing new global power alignments shaped by declining fertility rates and ageing populations.

India’s population to peak in 2048 at 1.6 billion, to decline to 1.09 bn in 2100: The Lancet

https://indianexpress.com/article/india/indias-population-to-peak-in-2048-at-1-6-billion-to-decline-to-1-09-bn-in-2100-the-lancet-6506607/

India’s population is forecasted to peak in 2048 at around 1.6 billion, up from 1.38 billion in 2017, which will be followed by a 32 per cent decline to around 1.09 billion in 2100, according to an analysis set to be published online in The Lancet.

*views, Articles, FEATURES*

If the Supreme Court of India was deciding on Hagia Sophia, this is what it would have said:FAIZAN MUSTAFA

https://theprint.in/opinion/if-supreme-court-of-india-decided-on-hagia-sophia/461178/

Tablighi Jamaat, an island unto itself:Ziya Us Salam

https://www.thehindu.com/opinion/op-ed/tablighi-jamaat-an-island-unto-itself/article32083172.ece

Watch | 'If ICMR Survey Is Correct, Coronavirus Cases in India Could Be 140 Million':Karan Thapar

https://thewire.in/health/watch-karan-thapar-interview-shahid-jameel

Xi Jinping’s show of force against India is a strategic gift for Donald Trump:Bloomberg | Posted by Arpan Rai

https://www.hindustantimes.com/world-news/xi-jinping-s-show-of-force-against-india-is-a-strategic-gift-for-donald-trump/story-AP5QW5TFSVoxc8teZzrg8I.html

PM Oli’s Ayodhya remark fits pattern. China is the elephant in room;Shishir Gupta

https://www.hindustantimes.com/india-news/pm-oli-s-ayodhya-remark-fits-the-pattern-china-is-the-elephant-in-the-room/story-sbels4hLu02fd0V7SU1blO.html

Extended Lockdown May Not Be Best Strategy Against Covid; We Need Scientific Approach:Prof. Rajendra Pratap Gupta

https://www.outlookindia.com/website/story/opinion-extended-lockdown-may-not-be-best-strategy-against-covid19/356765

'In Shaheen Bagh I found my country. I reclaimed my citizenship':Mustafa Quraishi

https://www.livemint.com/mint-lounge/features/-in-shaheen-bagh-i-found-my-country-i-reclaimed-my-citizenship-11594744729373.html

Congressmen have left Congress earlier. But they were different leaders, and it is not the same party:Mani Shankar Aiyar

https://indianexpress.com/article/opinion/columns/rahul-gandhi-sachin-pilot-congress-party-6505961/

 

Compiled and edited by Anwarulhaq (Released at: 10:12 PM)

 

 

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