Thursday, 16 July 2020

16 JULY NEWS: China refuses to back off from Finger 4 area in Ladakh, India increases deployment of tanks near LAC: Buddhist monks protest in Ayodhya, demand UNESCO excavate Ram Janmabhoomi site. Delhi Riots: Minorities Commission Report Holds Kapil Mishra's Provocative Speech Responsible For Anti-Muslim Violence, Seeks Probe Into Complicity Of Police Into Riots

NEWS DIGEST
16 JULY 2020. 24 ZU AL-QA'DAH 1441. Vol-12, No-259
*SOUTH ASIA, INDO-PAK & J&K*
China refuses to back off from Finger 4 area in Ladakh, India increases deployment of tanks near LAC: ZEENEWS
The simmering tensions between India and China along the Line of Actual Control in Ladakh could increase in the coming days as China has reportedly refused to back off from Finger 4 area in Pangong Tso. Indian Army is on high alert and has increased the deployment of tanks along East Ladakh border to ward off any threat from the China's People's Liberation Army.Union Defence Minister Rajnath Singh is scheduled to visit Ladakh and Jammu & Kashmir on July 17-18. It is learnt that Chief of Northern Command Lt Gen YK Joshi has arrived in Delhi and it is expected that he would soon meet Prime Minister Narendra Modi and other senior government officials in order to apprise them about the situation along LAC.Notably, the 14-hour-long fourth round of Corps Commander-level talks between India and China ended on Wednesday but sources said that during the talks China made it clear that it would not back off from Finger 4. Both India and China had reached an agreement to disengage in Galwan Valley, Hotsprings and Gogra and India has been demanding that Chinese troops must disengage from all the areas.Keeping in mind the activities of Chinese army, Indian Army is on high alert and around 60,000 soldiers have been deployed in East Ladakh to stop the incursion of Chinese soldiers inside Indian territories. India has deployed Bhism tanks, Apache attack helicopters, Sukhoi fighter jets, Chinook and Rudra helicopters near the LAC to keep Chinese troops at bay.Meanwhile, the China Study Group (CSG) headed by National Security Adviser Ajit Doval reviewed the outcome of the marathon 15-hour-long fourth round of Corps Commander-level talks between India and China on Thursday.

Apex China Study Group reviews East Ladakh: Key stand-off points record withdrawal
The marathon meeting of corps commanders of the Indian and Chinese armies at Chushul that started on Tuesday and stretched into the early hours of Wednesday reported a forward momentum in disengagement of the Indian Army and People’s Liberation Army (PLA) from all the four stand-off points in East Ladakh.The Indian government’s high-power China Study Group, which has all the principals involved in the boundary dispute in Ladakh, reviewed for at least two hours on Wednesday evening the outcomes of the nearly 15-hour-long meeting between India’s XIV Corps Commander and the Xinjiang Military District Commander .The meeting was attended by external affairs minister S Jaishankar, National Security Adviser and Special Representative of India-China Boundary Dialogue Ajit Doval, senior most officials of the government, and security agencies chiefs.

Army says complete disengagement at LAC intricate, will require constant verification
New Delhi :After the fourth round of Corps Commander talks on July 14 in eastern Ladakh, Army on Thursday said that the objective of complete disengagement is “intricate and requires constant verification”. Army said that the discussions on July 14 were consistent with the consensus reached between National Security Advisor Ajit Doval and Chinese Foreign Minister Wang Yi—both of whom are the Special Representatives for border talks—during their talks on July 5.

Chinese state-owned firms new East India Company, says top US official
US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo said Wednesday he spoke to External Affairs Minister S Jaishankar and that they talked about “conflict” on India-China border and “risks” emanating from the Chinese telecommunications infrastructure. Separately, US Assistant Secretary in the Bureau of East Asian and Pacific Affairs, David R Stilwell, said Chinese state enterprises are “modern-day equivalents of the East India Company”. “These state-owned enterprises are PRC instruments of abuse, and we should highlight their improper behaviour,” Stilwell said. “We should also shine light on how these companies operate around the world…”

Kulbhushan Jadhav case: India gets consular access for second time
Ministry of External Affairs on Thursday said India was granted consular access to former Indian Navy official Kulbushan Jadhav, who is on death row on charges of spying and terrorist activities in Pakistan. This is the second time that Pakistan has provided consular access to Jadhav.“Pakistan provided second consular access to Kulbhushan Jadhav at the Indian request today. Two consular officers of the Indian High Commission in Islamabad were provided unimpeded and uninterrupted consular access to Jadhav,” Pakistan Ministry of Foreign Affairs said.The development comes two days before a deadline to file a review petition in the Islamabad High Court (IHC) is set to expire. An ordinance was promulgated by the Imran Khan government on May 20, which allowed the Indian government, Jadhav and his legal representative to file a review petition in IHC within 60 days.However, addressing a press conference last week, Pakistan’s Additional Attorney General Ahmed Irfan and Pakistan Foreign Ministry’s Director General (South Asia & SAARC) Zahid Hafeez Chaudhry said Jadhav had refused to file an appeal against his conviction by a military court.

India-EU summit forges ahead on trade, multilateralism, terror; Chinese aggression, CAA discussed
15th India-EU Summit concluded with 5documents finalised that emphasise the need for a strengthened relationship between the two largest democracies. India was represented by Prime Minister Narendra Modi. The EU was represented by Charles Michel, President of the European Council, and Ursula von der Leyen, President of the European Commission.The summit which was supposed to be held in March this year in Brussels was cancelled due to the coronavirus pandemic. However, sources told India Today that even in the virtual format, "the optics and dynamics were very good".Both sides stressed on partnership based on shared values and pressed for enhanced cooperation in trade and investments; digital cooperation; climate change; promotion of multilateralism(during India's membership of UNSC and Chairmanship of G20); maritime and naval cooperation. PM Narendra Modi in his opening remarks at India-EU summit said: "India and EU are natural partners. Our partnership is significant for peace and stability of the world.We believe in the values of democracy, pluralism, inclusivity, multilateralism, freedom, transparency."After the summit, both sides held separate briefings to spell out the highlights of the meet. The issue Chinese assertiveness during the pandemic also came up.With regards to the assertiveness shown by China, European Council President, Charles Michel said, "We discussed it with India. We recently had a meeting with Chinese authorities as well. It is a complex situation. We need to tackle different issues. We are in favour of a peaceful a solution."The 2 sides also discussed the issue of terrorism, including in context of Pakistan. Another domestic issue that was raised was Citizenship Amendment Act which was even discussed in the EU parliament last year."Regarding the citizenship law, you know that in the European Parliament this was an important topic. And we raised this issue in our talks. I would like to say that we trust Indian institutions. We understand the supreme court will have a role to play to assess this legislation. We took a decision with India to continue a dialogue on human rights in order to exchange best practices and have the best understanding on how to tackle this issue for India and the EU," Charles Michel said.

 
Committee constituted to consider restoration of 4G Internet service in J-K: SC told
New Delhi : Centre and Jammu and Kashmir administration on Thursday told the Supreme Court that a special committee has been constituted to consider the issue of restoration of 4G Internet services in Union Territory.High-speed Internet in Jammu and Kashmir has been suspended since August 5, 2019 when Centre announced revocation of its special status and bifurcation of the state into union territories of Ladakh and Jammu and Kashmir.Attorney General K K Venugopal told a bench headed by Justice N V Ramana that no contempt is made out against the authorities as they have complied with the May 11 directive of the apex court. The bench, also comprising justices R S Reddy and B R Gavai, asked the Centre and Jammu and Kashmir administration to file affidavits detailing the setting up of the committee and also the decisions taken by it.PTI

Apex court seeks J&K reply on HC bar association chief’s detention
The Supreme Court on Wednesday asked Jammu and Kashmir administration to explain the detention of High Court Bar Association president Mian Abdul Qayoom who was booked under PSA, in August 2019 following the revocation of the special status of Jammu and Kashmir.“He is 73 years old. We want to know on what basis you would like to retain him in Delhi’s Tihar,” a bench of Justices SK Kaul and Indu Malhotra told Solicitor General Tushar Mehta. The court added that his detention period as per order is also about to expire.Mehta sought time to consider various aspects following which the bench fixed July 23 to hear the matter next.
 

*INDIAN POLITICS*
Rajasthan: 2-judge bench to hear amended plea filed by Sachin Pilot camp shortly
 Rajasthan High Court on Thursday accepted the amended plea filed by Sachin Pilot camp challenging the disqualification of MLAs by Rajasthan speaker. It will now  be heard by two-judge bench later today.Earlier today, Pilot sought some time to amend their plea and the court had deferred the hearing. Counsel Harish Salve had said that dissident MLAs want to challenge anti-defection law enshrined in Tenth Schedule of Constitution. 19 MLAs were sent notices Tuesday by the Speaker after the Congress complained that the MLAs had defied a party whip to attend two Congress Legislature Party meetingsAfter Ashok Gehlot’s stinging remarks on Sachin Pilot, sources said, Congress spokesperson Randeep Surjewala, who is part of the central team sent by the Congress to Jaipur to handle the crisis, had a meeting with the chief minister. It was conveyed to him that Rahul Gandhi wants to keep the doors open for Pilot. Sources said Gehlot told Surjewala he was not against that but Pilot would have to “leave the BJP camp”. Sources in Delhi said both Rahul and Priyanka Gandhi Vadra are keen to accommodate Pilot, and that Ahmed Patel was talking to him. Pilot, who has been removed as deputy CM and state party president, said he is not joining the BJP.Even as the political crisis in the state deepens, the Rajasthan BJP unit is in “wait and watch” mode. Party leaders maintained that BJP, as the main Opposition in Rajasthan, will take “every action to see that the Gehlot government fails to prove (its) majority” in the Assembly.
Sachin Pilot camp moves Rajasthan HC challenging Speaker’s notice on disqualification


*INDIA- ISLAMOPHOBIA, HUMAN RIGHTS & OTHERS*
Buddhist monks protest in Ayodhya, demand UNESCO excavate Ram Janmabhoomi site
Buddhist monks staged a sit-in and fast in Ayodhya, claiming that Ram Janmabhoomi premises was a Buddhist site and demanded that the excavation of the place should be done by UNESCO.At the protest outside the office of the Ayodhya district magistrate, the Buddhist monks demanded that those items found during the levelling of the land of the Ram Janmabhoomi site must be made public. A shivalinga, seven black touchstone pillars, six red sandstone pillars, a "flower pinnacle" and four broken idols of gods and goddesses were found in May during the levelling of the site for a Ram temple, the trust charged with its construction had said.Buddhist monks demanded that the excavation of the site must be done by UNESCO, claiming that the items recovered belong to Buddhist culture.They demanded that construction work of Ram temple must be stopped immediately. The followers of Buddhism consider Ayodhya as the ancient city of Saket that was the centre of Buddhism in ancient times."We have sent our memorandums to the president, chief justice of India and also to other govt agencies through Ayodhya administration," a Azad Baudh Dharm Sena member said."If the construction of Ram temple is not stopped within a month and the premises not assigned to UNESCO for excavation, then we will again start our movement," he said."We have received the memorandum of Buddhist leaders and we will be sending it to persons addressed,"Faizabad City Magistrate SP Singh said.PTI

Delhi Riots: Minorities Commission Report Holds Kapil Mishra's Provocative Speech Responsible For Anti-Muslim Violence, Seeks Probe Into Complicity Of Police Into Riots
NEW DELHI:Contrary to police findings that the provocative speeches delivered by BJP leaders including Kapil Mishra had no role in instigating the Northeast Delhi riots between Feb.23-27, Delhi Minorities Commission’s Fact-Finding report on Delhi Riots fact-finding report released on Thursday claims that “the violence in different parts of Northeast Delhi broke out almost immediately after the instigating speech of Shri Kapil Mishra on Feb.23 at Maujpur”.The report also sought a “probe into the complicity and abdication of duty by the Delhi police in allowing violence to take place, including culpability for engaging in direct acts of violence”. The nine-member committee comprised of representatives from all religious groups including Hindus and Muslims. The committee was headed by Supreme Court advocate M R Shamshad.While police made its claims exonerating the role of speeches delivered by BJP’s  rabble-rousers in an affidavit submitted to the court  on July 13 in response to a bunch of PILs seeking registration of FIRs against BJP politicians including Kapil Mishra, Commission released its report to the mediapersons today after submitting its copies to Delhi’s LG, Chief Minister Kejriwal and Delhi Legislative Assembly Speaker.India Tomorrow

Supreme Court to examine Kerala Act on animal, bird sacrifices
The Supreme Court on Thursday agreed to examine the constitutional validity of the Kerala Animals and Bird Sacrifices Prohibition Act of 1968 that prohibits sacrifice of animals and birds in temples to ‘please’ the deity.CJI Sharad A. Bobde, heading a three-judge Bench, highlighted the “dichotomy” in animal protection law that allows killing of animals for food but does not permit “killing of animals for offer to a deity and then consumption”.Similarly, the CJI said how the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals Act of 1960 allows killing of animals but prohibits cruelty to animals.

80-year old poet-activist Varavara Rao tests positive for Covid, lodged in a jail in Elgar Parishad case
Mumbai :Poet-activist Varavara Rao has tested positive for Covid-19. 80-year old, named as accused in Elgar Parishad case, was shifted to state-run JJ Hospital from Taloja central jail where he was lodged after he complained of dizziness. The hospital conducted tests including one for Covid-19 results for which confirmed that he is positive. Dr Ranjit Mankeshwar, dean of JJ Hospital said, “He has shown no symptoms of Covid-19 so far. He has no breathing difficulty and is stable. We will soon shift him to a Covid hospital.” Rao is likely to be shifted to St George hospital. Last week, Rao’s family had held a press conference after receiving a call from him from prison. His family had then said that his condition was deteriorating and he should be provided immediate medical aid. He was earlier shifted to the hospital when he fell unconscious in jail in May but was discharged within three days. The family had said that he was not provided proper medical treatment.

Elgaar Parishad case accused, Gautam Navlakha taken to JJ hospital for check-up
Mumbai :Human rights activist Gautam Navlakha, an accused in Elgaar Parishad case, was taken to state-run JJ hospital in Mumbai for a check-up on Wednesday after he complained of swelling in his feet.Navlakha, who will remain in the custody of NIA till July 22, was brought to the hospital around 2.30 pm. After the check-up, he was asked to return on Thursday.“He did not have all required documents from the prison. We have requested him to come again. The medicine department will assess him. But he remains stable,” said Dr Ranjit Mankeshwar, Dean of JJ hospital.

Nagpur: Former DU Professor Saibaba Susceptible to COVID in Jail, Says Family
New Delhi: Former Delhi University professor GN Saibaba, who is lodged in Nagpur Central Jail for alleged Maoist links, has expressed fear that he might contract coronavirus in prison as disease “has reached very close” to him.Saibaba’s family appealed to the centre and Maharashtra government to immediately release him on bail or parole so that he is provided appropriate medical treatment either in Hyderabad or Delhi where his family members live.The prison authorities gave special permission to 53-year-old Saibaba to explain his condition to his lawyer and family.In his most recent call to his family and advocate, he informed them that there has been an “uncontrolled outbreak” of Covid-19 in Nagpur Central Prison, a member of his family mentioned.PTI

Anti-CAA protests: Akhil Gogoi gets bail in 3 cases lodged by Assam Police
GUWAHATI: Peasant leader Akhil Gogoi was on Thursday granted bail by the Gauhati High Court in 3 cases lodged by the Assam Police in connection with the violent anti-CAA protests in December.However, he will remain in jail for the cases being probed by NIA.Hearing the bail applications in the three cases registered at Chabua police station in Dibrugarh district, Justice Manash Ranjan Pathak granted bail to the Krishak Mukti Sangram Samiti (KMSS) leader.

Ex-Judges, UN Experts Flay Govt Action against Anti-CAA Activists, Rights Defenders
NEW DELHI:Former Judges and experts of UN have condemned the police action taken against anti-CAA activists and human rights defenders by BJP govts for raising their voice against Central govt. Former Supreme Court judge Justice Madan B Lokur, former chief justice of Delhi High Court AP Shah, UN Special Rapporteur on Human Rights Defenders Mary Lawlor and Aida Martirous Nejad (India desk of UN Office of High Commissioner for Human Rights) expressed their concerns in no uncertain terms while speaking during a side event to the current session of UN Human Rights Council on Monday. The event was organised by International Commission of Jurists along with Amnesty International and HRW. Prominent speakers elaborated on how government targeted the anti-CAA protesters and the dissenters and how justice system failed in protecting their rights to dissent.Justice AP Shah explained how CAA was unconstitutional and why the protest against CAA, NRC and NPR was a positive development given the commitment of the protesters towards the Constitution. However, he deplored the way the government tried to silence the protesters.“The government is trying to silence protesters, liberally slapping criminal charges of rioting, unlawful assembly, sedition, criminal conspiracy. Police have license to run riot against – by and large – peaceful protesters, by arresting them, destroying vehicles, and even entering homes,”Shah was quoted by The Quint as saying.Clarion India

Hamtramck becomes 5th US city council to oppose NRC and CAA
Hamtramck City Council of Michigan State in US has passed a resolution opposing NRC and CAA in India.Becoming the fifth city to pass a resolution against India’s NRC and CAA, the Council has made significant statements in solidarity with its South Asian Community. It said that India was founded as a pluralist and secular republic where members of “all nationalities, ethnicities, races and religious faiths are welcome” but BJP party under Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi is currently operating under the “exclusionary ideology of RSS, which promotes hate and discrimination against Muslims and minorities.”

New Westminster passes motion against CAA, becomes first Canadian municipality to denounce India’s Islamophobic law
Brutish Colombian city passed a motion on 13 July against highly discriminatory CAA adopted by Indian govt. Moved on March 9 by City Councillor Chuck Puchmyar, a well known human rights defender, the motion was finally passed with 5-1 votes in favour, with one city councillor absent.Mayor Jonathan Cote voted in favour of the motion to condemn CAA that blatantly discriminates against Muslim refugees coming to India from neighbouring countries, and only allows non-Muslims to make India home. The law was passed by the right wing Hindu nationalist government, under which attacks on religious minorities and political dissidents have grown over the last several years. So much so, the Indian police continue to hound CAA opponents. The law violates India’s constitution which guarantees religious equality, sparking angry protests all across the country. A series of demonstrations were also held in Canada. Puchmyar attended one rally in Surrey days before the motion was tabled.countercurrents

Delhi riots: Brother of Muslim man killed in violence questions arrest of neighbour as prime accused
Crime Branch SIT probing Delhi riots arrested Imran, charging him with fatally shooting his neighbour of 20 years during a CAA protest on Feb.24. The police say that they made the arrest after carrying out surveillance and questioning a Zee News reporter and cameraman present at the crime scene.In another allegation of a botched probe directed at Delhi Police in the ongoing investigation of Delhi riots, the brother of a 30-year-old Mohammad Furkan has raised formal objections to the arrest of a person who cops say is the prime accused. Furkan, a resident of Kardampuri in north-east Delhi, suffered a gunshot wound on his upper thigh during one of CAA sit-in protests on Feb.24, case papers reveal. According to the statement given to the police by his elder brother Mohammad Imran, he went to look for his brother on Feb.24 around 5:30 PM after he came to know through neighbours that stone-pelting by rioters at the protest site had triggered a violence face-off, with gunshots being fired.

Delhi Police Affidavit Shows Muslims Bore Brunt of Riots, Silent on Who Targeted Them and Why
A Delhi Police affidavit giving the most detailed government account yet of the communal violence which shook the capital’s north-east district in February this year has provided for the first time an official break-up by religion of the victims.And though the Sangh parivar rumour-mill has consistently described the riots as ‘anti-Hindu’, the data makes it clear that Muslims bore the brunt of what was essentially targeted, organised violence.The list of the dead provided in an annexure to the affidavit submitted to the Delhi high court on July 13 establishes that 77% of the civilians killed – 40 out of 52 – were Muslim while the remaining 23%, or 12, were Hindu. The 53rd victim was a policeman, head constable Ratan Lal, who died of gunshot wounds, and even if he is included in the list of Hindus, Muslims still make up three-quarters of those killed.A separate annexure provides a Hindu-Muslim break-up of houses and shops destroyed. Here, even though its tabulation establishes that Muslims suffered greater losses, the Delhi Police appear to have deliberately undercounted the extent to which they were targeted.


Pinjra Tod's Devangana Kalita, Natasha Narwal Denied Bail Again in Delhi Riots Case
New Delhi: A Delhi court has dismissed bail pleas of Devangana Kalita and Natasha Narwal, members of Pinjra Tod, a women’s collective, in a case related to the communal violence in Delhi during protests against CAA in Feb.Additional Sessions Judge Amitabh Rawat rejected the bail pleas of two JNU students on June 14, on the ground that there was no merit in the applications.The court said in its order, that it was amply clear from the charge sheet that the investigation is still pending and it has been filed against other accused persons also.It further said that considering the investigation so far and the nature of the offence and the role being ascribed to the accused, there were no reasons at all to grant bail.Narwal and Kalita were arrested in the case in May by the Crime Branch of the Delhi police and booked under various sections of the Indian Penal Code including rioting, unlawful assembly and attempt to murder.PTI
Arrest of Pinjra Tod activist: Tweets rile Delhi police, court says not targeted at you

Activists condemn UP govt’s brutality against democratic protestors during online press meet
An online press meet was organized by activists, advocates and community leaders to condemn the misuse of law and order by Uttar Pradesh govt.The press briefing discussed abuse of civil rights by the BJP-ruled state governments amid the passage of CAA, highlighting that democratic agitations against the discriminatory Act was met with “brutality,” where authorities “violated very ethos the nation has been founded on.”Accusing UP CM Adityanath to have given “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,”session made some more notable points.Prominent personalities like Ravi Nair (Director, South Asian Human Rights Documentation Centre), Obaidullah Khan Azmi (Ex-MP, UP), Seema Azad (Editor, Dastak Magazine), Sharfuddin Ahmad (Vice President, SDPI), KK Roy (Allahabad High Court), E.M. Abdul Rahiman (Vice Chairman, PFI), Rajeev Yadav (General Secretary, Rihai Manch) and A. Mohamed Yusuff (Secretary, National Confederation of Human Rights Organizations) were on the panel of speakers, who drew attention to alarming levels of fabricated cases, extrajudicial killings and harassment of innocents by the government.

AMU girl targeted for supporting CAA/NRC; alleges fellow student used uncivilized language
A student of AMU has lodged a complaint with the police against a fellow student who has allegedly threatened her on social media that she would be forced to wear a brassed hijab once the university reopens after lockdown. According to the complaint filed with the cops, the girl alleges that fellow student used uncivilized language against her on a social media site after she posted her opinion backing CAA/NRC bill.' This is the complaint lodged by the girl who studies in AMU, that ever since she has expressed her support towards CAA/NRC she is being targetted and hounded. timesnownews

Maharashtra: Only online purchase of goats for Eid al-Adha; no gatherings allowed
Goats for sacrifice as part of Eid al-Adha can only be bought online and no gathering will be allowed in public places owing to pandemic, said Maharashtra’s Guardian Minister Aslam Shaikh. The state government will issue guidelines for observance of 3-day Eid al-Adha, which begins on July 30, on Thursday. Offering a glimpse of the guidelines, Shaikh told Mirror that no market will be allowed to open, and that goats can be bought online from farmhouses. He clarified that residents of containment zones will not be allowed to participate in the ritual, and they can request organisations to perform it in their names in open spaces or madrassas.He also made it clear that no mosque will be allowed to be open and namaaz will have to be restricted to homes. He warned that Section 144 of the IPC prohibiting assembly of more than four people will be in force, thereby barring public gatherings during the sacrifice.Senior Congress leader Arif Khan agreed that observance of Eid al-Adha should be low-key but added that the ritual of sacrifice cannot be done away with. “It is integral to Eid al-Adha and it is obligatory to perform it. I’ve been getting calls from people from all across the state, asking for clarity. This isn’t a celebration and the sacrifice will be performed keeping the social distancing protocol in mind.”Meanwhile,Gulrezz Qureshi, youth president of All India Jamiatul Quresh, an organisation of abattoir workers, has written to the state government asking that six open spaces—Oval Maidan, Azad Maidan, Bandra Reclamation, Aarey Colony, the MHADA ground in Malad, and near the Dahisar checkpost— be reserved as a marketplace for goats.“If the government doesn’t issue reasonable guidelines on the sale and sacrifice of goats, we will move the court,” said Qureshi.
Maharashtra: Buy goat for Bakri Eid online; SOP out today



Days After Ordeal, Araria Gang Rape Survivor Continues to Be in Jail for Contempt
Mumbai: On July 10, a 23-year-old gang rape survivor walked into Araria district magistrate court to have her statement recorded. The woman, who had suffered the ordeal just four days before, demanded that 2 social activists who had accompanied her to the court be present while her statement was recorded. The court denied permission. The woman, who was already distraught, then spoke sternly with magistrate and refused to sign the documents without having the activists read documents.Magistrate Mustafa Shahi instead found her in contempt then sent her and 2 social activists to Dalsinghsarai jail in Samastipur district – 250 km away from Araria. Following pressure from human rights lawyers and activists, Patna high court had sought a report from the Araria district judge and has now scheduled the hearing on July 16. The matter will be heard by Justice Dinesh Kumar Singh from his residence through video conferencing.

Guna Collector, SP removed after Dalit couple consume pesticide resisting anti-encroachment drive
BHOPAL:Madhya Pradesh Chief Minister Shivraj Singh Chouhan has ordered the removal of the Guna Collector and the Superintendent of Police after a Dalit couple reportedly consumed pesticide while resisting an anti-encroachment drive on Tuesday.A video doing rounds on social media showed Ramkumar Ahirwar, 38, and Savitri Devi, 35, resisting the police dragging them into an ambulance, even as personnel landed batons on them. Whereas another video showed children crying next to the woman who had reportedly fallen unconscious after consuming pesticide.“Any kind of cruelty will not be tolerated. Strict action will be taken against those responsible,” said Chouhan on Wednesday night after issuing the order. He has initiated a high-level inquiry into the incident, while even Gwalior Zone IGP, who has jurisdiction over Guna, has been shunted out too. The couple’s family had reportedly encroached upon parts of 45-bigha land allotted for the construction of government college, sanctioned two years ago, on the outskirts of Guna, said the district administration.

Palghar lynching happened after child-lifting rumour: Maharashtra Home Minister
Maharashtra CIDs chargesheet in Palghar mob lynching case has concluded that the incident took place following a rumour about child-lifting, state Home Minister Anil Deshmukh said.He said it was unfortunate that some parties had tried to give political colour” to the incident and made efforts to divide people on communal lines after the incident. Deshmukh, however, did not name any party or individual. 2 monks and their driver were lynched by a mob at Gadchinchale village in Palghar on April 16 when they were travelling in a car to Surat (Gujarat) to attend a funeral amid the coronavirus-induced lockdown, police earlier said.PTI

Address me as ‘Sir’ and not ‘My Lord’, Calcutta HC Chief Justice tells judiciary officers
Calcutta High Court Chief Justice TBN Radhakrishnan has said that he would want to be addressed as ‘Sir’ by all judiciary officers in Bengal and Andaman instead of ‘My Lord’ or ‘Lordship’, as was the practice so far.In a letter to the district judges and chief judges of lower courts in the state and the Andaman and Nicobar Islands, High Court Registrar General Rai Chattopadhyay conveyed the message of the chief justice, an official said on Thursday.PTI

Man who invested Abu Salem and Khan Mubarak’s money in Delhi-NCR nabbed: UP STF
Noida ;A key aide of 1993 Mumbai blasts case convict Abu Salem who worked in his illegal property business in Delhi-NCR has been arrested by STF of Uttar Pradesh police, officials said.Gajendra Singh, who was also close to gangster Khan Mubarak, was nabbed in Mumbai late Wednesday night by Noida unit of the STF, they said.“Gajendra Singh had taken Rs 1.80 crore from a Delhi-based businessman in 2014 in a property-related case. When he was pressured to return the money, Singh had Khan Mubarak’s shooters open fire at the businessman in sector 18 of Noida,” ASP, STF, Raj Kumar Mishra said.PTI

Delhi court sentences 284 foreign Tablighi Jamaat members from 21 countries
New Delhi: A Delhi court on Thursday sentenced as many as 284 foreign Tablighi Jamaat members from 21 countries to stand till rise of the court. The Saket court, where the charge sheet in the case was filed on July 6, also slapped these Jamaat members with a fine of 5 to 10 thousand rupees.According to reports, the Crime Branch of Delhi Police submitted the charge sheet against the Tablighi Jamaat members from 21 countries for violating the rules in the wake of coronavirus lockdown imposed in the national capital. All the Jamaat members admitted their mistakes before the court as they were found guilty under the Pandemic Act, 14B of Foreign Act, 51 DM Act, 3 Pandemic Act, Section 188, 269, 270, 271 of IPC. The court, however, pronounced its sentence against them to stand till rise of the court.

Tablighi Jamaat: Delhi court grants bail to 92 Indonesians
Delhi court Thursday granted bail to 92 Indonesians who were charge-sheeted for attending Tablighi Jamaat congregation here allegedly in violation of visa norms, indulging in missionary activities illegally and violating government guidelines issued in the wake of COVID-19. Chief Metropolitan Magistrate Gurmohina Kaur granted the relief to the foreigners on furnishing a personal bond of Rs 10,000 each.The accused would file their plea-bargaining applications on Friday, said advocates Ashima Mandla, Mandakini Singh and Fahim Khan, appearing for them.

Tablighi Jamaat: Court allows 22 Nepalese to walk free on payment of fine
A Delhi court on Thursday allowed 22 Nepalese to walk free on payment of fine after they accepted mild charges under the plea bargain process, related to various violations including visa norms while attending a Tablighi Jamaat event here during the COVID-19 lockdown, a lawyer said.


*CORONAVIRUS- LOCKDOWN*
Indian pharma industry capable of producing Covid19 vaccines for entire world: Bill Gates
 India’s pharmaceutical industry will be able to produce Covid-19 vaccines not just for the country but also for the entire world, according to Microsoft co-founder and philanthropist Bill Gates.A lot of “very important things have been done” in India and its pharma industry is doing work “to help make the coronavirus vaccine building on other great capacities that they have used for other diseases”, said the Co-Chair and Trustee of Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation.Speaking in a documentary --Covid-19: India’s War Against The Virus -- to be premiered on Discovery Plus this evening, Gates said India also faces a huge challenge due to the health crisis because of its gigantic size and urban centres with a lot of population density. Click here for the complete coverage of Covid-19 pandemicCommenting on the strength of India’s pharma industry, he said, “India has a lot of capacity there -- with the drug and vaccine companies that are huge suppliers to the entire world. You know, more vaccines are made in India than anywhere-- starting with Serum Institute, that’s the largest.” He further said, “But (there are) also Bio E, Bharat (Biotech), many others. They are doing work to help make the coronavirus vaccine, building on other great capacities that they have used for other diseases.”Stating that India joined Coalition for Epidemic Preparedness Innovations (CEPI), which is a group working on a global basis to build vaccines platforms, Gates said, “I am excited that the pharmaceutical industry there will be able to produce not just for India but also for the entire world. (This is) What we need to reduce the deaths and make sure we are immune, which is how we end the epidemic.” Gates said Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation is also a “partner with the government, particularly with the department of biotechnology, Indian Council of Medical Research and office of the principal scientific advisor provide advice and help about getting these tools going”.

UK, US, Canada accuse Russia of hacking virus vaccine trials
Britain, the United States and Canada accused Russia of trying to steal information from researchers seeking a COVID-19 vaccine.The three nations alleged that hacking group APT29, also known as Cozy Bear and said to be part of the Russian intelligence service, is attacking academic and pharmaceutical research institutions involved in coronavirus vaccine development.


China gives the go-ahead for human trials of BioNTech’s COVID vaccine candidate
China has approved an early-stage trial in humans of German firm BioNTech’s experimental COVID-19 vaccine, its local partner Shanghai Fosun Pharmaceutical said on Thursday. The potential vaccine is one of the two most advanced candidates that BioNTech is working on with its partner Pfizer Inc and they received “fast track” status this week from the US Food and Drug Administration which is designed to speed up the regulatory review process.Fosun Pharma said in a filing that a unit will initiate a Phase I clinical trial of BNT162b1 “as soon as possible once it is ready”. It is licensed to exclusively develop and commercialise COVID-19 vaccine products developed by using BioNTech’s mRNA technology in mainland China, Hong Kong, Macau and Taiwan. The candidate is one of at least 23 being tested on humans in a frantic global race to find a vaccine the world is counting on to end a pandemic that has infected more than 13 million people and killed more than half a million. Prior to the latest approval, Chinese researchers and companies have moved eight vaccine candidates into different phases of human trials at home and abroad.

'Oxford vaccine provides ‘double protection’ against coronavirus, shows trial results'
Researchers at the University of Oxford believe they may have a breakthrough in their quest for a Covid-19 vaccine after the team discovered that the newly found agent could provide ‘double protection’ against the deadly coronavirus following early stage human trials, PTI quoted media reports in the UK as saying. Blood samples taken from a group of UK volunteers given a dose of the vaccine showed that it stimulated the body to produce both antibodies and ‘killer T-cells’, a senior source from the trial was quoted by ‘The Daily Telegraph’ as saying. Meanwhile, the total number of coronavirus cases across the world crossed 13.5 billion to reach 13,512,693 on Thursday and has claimed 583,359 lives so far. Also, as many as 7,530,731 (over 7.34 billion) people have recovered from the virus.Also, US, which is worst-hit by the pandemic, reported 67,889 cases and 944 deaths in the last 24 hours, pushing the total infections in the country to 3.52 million and casualties to 1,37,358. Brazil is the second worst-hit country with 1,966,748 infections and 75,336 deaths, followed by India that has reported over 9.6 lakh cases so far.

Only God can save us: Karnataka Health Minister on coronavirus spread
Bengaluru:With Karnataka witnessing a sharp spike in COVID-19 cases, its Health Minister B Sriramulu has said only God can save the state, insisting that public cooperation was key to controlling the spread of the pandemic.The Minister’s statement in Chitradurga on Wednesday came in response to the opposition Congress’ charge of the government failing to tackle coronavirus spread, but he later claimed his remarks were ‘misinterpreted’ by a section of the media. “Tell me whose hand it is (to control the disease). Only God has to save us all. Awareness among people is the only way. In such a situation, Congress leaders have stooped to lowest level of politics. It doesn’t suit anybody,” Sriramulu said. PTI

TMMK legal efforts yield results; 129 foreign Tablighi members walk free from detention  
Chennai:  Finally all the 129 foreign members of Tablighi Jamaat including 12 women from 9 countries on Tuesday walk free  from the  detention center where they have been kept illegally despite they have been granted  bail by the court. The Tamil Nadu government on Monday informed the Madras High Court that all the Tablighi members put in detention center will be shifted soon to Tamil Nadu Haj service society in Choolai area in Chennai.Tamil Nadu Muslim Munnetra Kazhagam (TMMK) has played key role in this matter and  initiated legal proceedings to ensure their release and repatriation who have been ‘imprisoned’ by the Tamil Nadu Police on ‘false’ charges.Tamil Nadu State Public Prosecutor A Natarajan told the High Court that “They have been “detained” for various lockdown violations and for involving in preaching of their faith violating visa conditions. So far 14 FIRs have been registered. Now the state has decided to accommodate them in the society in Choolai. It has 89 rooms and a separate place for women”.MuslimMirror 

COVID-19: India sees 1st single-day spike of over 30,000 casesThe total cases in
The coronavirus tally in India is nearing the dreaded figure of 1 million (10 lakh) cases as total cases in the country reached 9,68,876 on Thursday. In the previous 24-hour period, India recorded its highest-ever single-day spike of 32,695 cases. It was the first time that India had witnessed 30,000 or more cases in a single day. The death toll from COVID-19 in the same 24-hour period was 606, taking the total fatality figure to 24,915.India appears set to cross the figure of 10 lakh COVID-19 cases by Saturday. It crossed 9 lakh COVID-19 cases on July 14; the jump from 8 lakh cases to 9 lakh took just three days. The number of COVID-19 cases in India has been increasing by over 26,000 daily for a week now.

International flights to US, France set to resume from tomorrow on interim basis
Civil Aviation Minister Hardeep Singh Puri in a press briefing today said international flights may resume under bilateral air bubbles with other countries with certain conditions as many are imposing entry restrictions even now, including India in the wake of novel coronavirus pandemic."Till international civil aviation can reclaim its pre-COVID numbers, I think answer will lie through bilateral air bubbles, which will carry a possible number of people but under defined conditions as countries are still imposing entry restrictions including India," Puri said.The aviation minister also hinted at resumption of international flights with at least three more countries amid this bilateral situation. The flights may resume from tomorrow.


*WORLD*

Tunisia risks fresh political deadlock as PM Fakhfakh resigns
Tunisian Prime Minister Elyes Fakhfakh has resigned from his post, the government said in a statement, after a dispute with the Ennahdha party that had withdrawn its support for the government.Fakhfakh handed his resignation to Tunisian President Kais Saied on Wednesday - after less than five months in office - "in order to pave the way to get out of the crisis and avert further difficulties for the country", the statement said.Fakhfakh will now lead a caretaker government while the president must nominate a replacement to start consultations to form a new government.Following his resignation, Fakhfakh dismissed six government ministers belonging to Ennahdha movement. He warned all those who attempt to harm the security and interests of the country, saying he will continue to fully shoulder his responsibilities.Ennahdha sharply criticised Fakhfakh's move to dismiss the ministers: "What the resigned prime minister made to exempt the Movement's ministers from their duties, is messing with institutions and a convulsive reaction, and can harm the interests of citizens as well as the higher interests of the country ... especially in the health sector amid the coronavirus pandemic," it said in a statement.

New French PM says battle against 'radical Islamism' a priority
France's newly-appointed Prime Minister, Jean Castex, has vowed to be "intransigent" in defending France's official secularism, promising to fight "radical Islamism in all its forms" as "an absolute priority".Unveiling new government policy in Paris on Wednesday, Castex told National Assembly that French republic was being "shaken to its foundations" by "the coalition of its enemies - terrorists, conspiracy theorists, separatists and communitarians".Castex, a centre-right provincial mayor who graduated from the elite National School of Administration, said a new law to combat "separatism" would be introduced after the summer break.It would aim to "avoid certain groups becoming closed in around ethnic or religious identities," he said.French President Emmanuel Macron also recently warned against anti-racist movements being taken over by "separatists", after demonstrations against alleged police violence and racism in Paris - although the president did not say what he meant by the term.Some members of France's Muslim minority feel that the country's official secularism is mainly brandished against them, although Macron himself has condemned divisive approaches to it.Castex also set out a hard line on violence at demonstrations and petty crime, saying police would be given the resources they needed.
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 Compiled and edited by Anwarulhaq (Released at: 7:55 PM)


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