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Saturday, 18 July 2020

18 JULY NEWS: Ram Mandir construction could begin in August, PMO given choice of 2 dates for bhoomi poojan. Ashok Gehlot Meets Governor After 2 Regional Party MLAs Extend Support

NEWS DIGEST EVENING

18 JULY 2020. 26 ZU AL-QA'DAH 1441. Vol-12, No-260

*INDIA- ISLAMOPHOBIA, HUMAN RIGHTS & OTHERS*

Ram Mandir construction could begin in August, PMO given choice of 2 dates for bhoomi poojan

https://theprint.in/india/ram-mandir-construction-could-begin-in-august-pmo-given-choice-of-2-dates-for-bhoomi-poojan/463885/

Jaipur: Construction of Ram Mandir in Ayodhya may start as early as next month, as Shri Ram Janmabhoomi Teertha Kshetra Trust is set to send a request to Prime Minister Narendra Modi, asking him to conduct the ‘bhoomi poojan’ on 3 or 5 August.The decision was taken at a meeting of the trust that was set up to oversee the construction of the temple. However, its general secretary Champat Rai told reporters that funds will be collected once the situation becomes normal after Covid-19 crisis and India-China stand-off in Ladakh. “Once the process of collecting funds is over and all drawings for the construction of the temple are complete, and as soon as the situation becomes normal, we are hopeful that the construction will be completed within 3 to 3.5 years,” Rai said.Another trust member, Kameshwar Chaupal, said the height of the proposed Ram Mandir will also be increased to 161 feet from 148 feet.“The entire country wants that the PM should do the bhoomi poojan, and we have given two dates to the PMO; they can decide as per their convenience. PMO’s functioning is not normal — the country is battling situations at the border and with coronavirus — so they will give time as per availability, and we will agree to it,” Chaupal said. The trustees have agreed to change the layout of the temple — now it will have 5 gumbads (domes) instead of the previously planned 3. Height, as Chaupal said, has also been increased from earlier proposed design.  At Saturday’s meeting of the trust, the date of the foundation stone-laying was discussed, as were height and construction arrangements of Ram Mandir. Funds for the temple will also be arranged through kar seva, as done earlier, the trustees said.

Ayodhya Ram Mandir to have 5 domes instead of 3, Trust invites PM Modi to lay foundation in August

 

CBI court takes steps to declare a Babri mosque demolition accused proclaimed offender

https://in.news.yahoo.com/cbi-court-takes-steps-declare-162928331.html

Lucknow: A special CBI court holding trial in the Babri mosque demolition case on Friday started legal proceedings to declare an accused a proclaimed offender for his failure to appear before it to depose under section 313 of the CrPC.Accused Om Prakash Pandey is said to have renounced the world over 15 years ago and turned into a seer, CBI had informed the court earlier.After an accused is declared proclaimed offender, his properties are liable to be attached by the court. Special judge S K Yadav in his order said the court had issued non-bailable arrest warrants against accused Pandey twice earlier to secure his presence to for the deposition under section 313 of CrPC but NBW returned unexecuted. Accordingly, it is necessary to move against him as per the law, ASJ Yadav said. Meanwhile, the court also could not record the statement of another accused Sudhir Kakkad on Friday due to his failure to appear before it owing to the hospitalization of his ailing daughter.The court considered the medical emergency of the Kakkad's daughter and fixed July 20 for the recording of his statement.The court has recorded statements of 26 accused out of a total of 32 accused so far. TI

 

Like Babri case, Hagia Sophia becoming mosque no setback to secular values: Turkish envoy

https://theprint.in/diplomacy/like-babri-case-turning-hagia-sophia-into-mosque-no-setback-to-secular-values-turkish-envoy/462897/

New Delhi: Drawing a comparison with Supreme Court’s verdict on the Babri Masjid, Turkish Ambassador to India Sakir Ozkan Torunlar has said President Recep Tayyip Erdogan’s decision to turn iconic Hagia Sophia museum in Istanbul into a mosque is “not a major setback” to Turkey’s secular values.Turkey’s highest administrative court made a ruling in the case of Hagia Sophia “unanimously”, said Torunlar, adding that this is “not much different” from the SC verdict in 2019 on the “Babri Masjid/Ayodhya Temple case” .“Neither of the decisions has anything to do with the secular character of our democracies. The verdict of the Council of State is based on proof and laws of the country. Ayasofya has been and will be protected duly as meticulously regardless of its status,” the ambassador said in a letter to the editor of The Hindu newspaper.The letter came in response to an editorial that appeared in The Hindu and called the decision to turn Hagia Sophia into a mosque a setback to Turkey’s secular values that are “already under attack from the Islamists”.Torunlar also said the Council of the State took the decision to annul a previous move taken by then Turkish government in 1934 under Atatruk, based on an application submitted by an association.“This is a legal ruling and everybody is expected to respect the decision since we are all committed to the rule of law. Turkey’s President did not rewrite the Constitution,” he added.Sakir Ozkan Torunlar also refuted the fact that The Hindu editorial likened the move to that of the civil wars in Syria and Libya. “Turkey is siding with the UN-recognised government of Libya instead of a terrorist called ‘General’ Haftar for the peace and stability of this friendly country,” he said.He also said the decision on Hagia Sophia has “nothing to do” with the condition of Turkish economy. The editorial had said that the Turkish economy “is in free fall”.“Economies in all countries, including almost all G-20 members, are suffering due to pandemic,” he highlighted.

 

Triple Talaq, Polygamy Don't Exist In Muslim Community: Delhi Minorities Commission Report

http://www.indiatomorrow.net/eng/triple-talaq-polygamy-dont-exist-in-muslim-community-says-delhi-minorities-commission-report

Delhi Minorities Commission’s interview-based survey report, Socio-Economic and Educational Status of Muslim Women in North-East Delhi, released on Thursday confirmed that social problem of triple talaq and polygamy do not exist in the Muslim community.The report was released by Minorities Commission chairman Dr Zafrul Islam Khan in presence of its members Kartar Singh Kochar and Ms Anastasia Gill at its headquarters. 86-page survey report is based on interview of 600 women in 15 areas of North East Delhi – Babarpur, Baqiabad, Gokalpur, Jafrabad, Janata Colony, Jiwanpur alias Johripur, Karawal Nagar, Khajoori Khas, Khanpur Dhani, Mandauli, Mirpur Turk, Mustafabad, Sadatpur Gujran, Seelampur and Ziauddinpur.Explaining the socio-economic and educational status of Muslim women in Northeast Delhi, the report highlighted that survey team found no trace of triple talaq in the area. All respondents were unanimous that instant triple talaq is not found at all among Muslims. Same is the case of polygamy. The survey shows that all the married women are in monogamous marriage. “This makes clear that triple talaq and polygamy are not common in Muslims. This is just propaganda”, report said.Instead, survey says that polygamy is more prevalent across India among non-Muslims. The survey pointed that Muslim women are well aware of their rights and duties. Ninety three per cent of the women contacted during survey said that they were aware of the Supreme Court’s verdict in 2017 on Triple talaq. They welcomed the verdict.  India Tomorrow

 

Court grants bail to Delhi riot accused, cites lack of evidence

https://indianexpress.com/article/cities/delhi/court-grants-bail-to-ne-delhi-riot-accused-cites-lack-of-evidence-6511316/

A Delhi court has granted bail to a Northeast Delhi riot accused, observing that he was implicated in this case based on his disclosure statement and there was no evidence against him.The accused, Salman, was arrested in connection with a riot-related incident at Brijpuri Puliya.As per court documents, the complaint was registered by an assistant sub-inspector, who stated that a mob of 1,000-1,500 people, including women, was found chanting slogans against CAA/NRC and Delhi Police, and armed with stones and rods. FIR stated that the mob then pelted stones at police and there were also sounds of gunshots.During investigation, Salman was called to Dayalpur police station to explain how he sustained injuries during the riots and his presence at the spot. He was arrested after he was unable to provide an explanation, police said.He was granted bail on furnishing personal bond of Rs 25,000 with one surety of the like amount. He has been in judicial custody since April 9.

 

Delhi riots: No bail to accused in auto driver murder case Mpost

http://www.millenniumpost.in/delhi/delhi-riots-no-bail-to-accused-in-auto-driver-murder-case-413057

New Delhi: A court on Friday rejected the bail application filed by a man accused of the murder of a 32-year-old auto driver during the violence in the northeast Delhi in Feb. Sabuddin and several others are accused of murder of auto driver Babbu of Shri Ram colony in Khajuri Khas area, during the riots. 3 other accused are out on bail.

 

Delhi Riots: Former Civil Servants Write To President Seeking Inquiry Into Police Probe

https://www.huffingtonpost.in/entry/delhi-news-delhi-riots-2020-president-ram-nath-kovind_in_5f11b556c5b6cec246c1b1f9

New Delhi:Citing detailed reports published by HuffPost India and a few other publications, a group of reputed former IPS and IAS officials, as well as other eminent citizens, signed a letter to President Ram Nath Kovind demanding that a Commission of Inquiry led by sitting or retired judges of the higher judiciary be set up to probe the Delhi Police’s ongoing investigations into the communal violence that occurred in the national capital in Feb. “Delhi Police has set up three SITs led by its officials to conduct a probe into the matter. In addition, the Delhi Police Special Cell is also probing the aspect of conspiracy behind the Delhi riots,” the letter signed by 72 signatories on Friday noted. “There are, however, serious questions about the role played by the Delhi Police during the violence, with allegations of the police deliberately not preventing violence and in some places, even being complicit in it,” said the letter signed by reputed former IPS officers like Julio Ribeiro, K Saleem Ali, P.G.J Nampoothiri, Vappala Balachandran and reputed former IAS officials like Amitabha Pande, EAS Sarma, Ashok Vajpeyi and others.  Overall, letter to President of India alleged 5 key issues with the ongoing probe of the Delhi Police into the delhi’s violence. Police complicity in violence, custodial torture, no action on complaints against leaders of BJP, criminalising dissent and protest, and malafides in police questioning. huffingtonpost

 

Delhi riots cases: L-G asks CM to decide on police’s request for lawyers in 7 days

https://www.hindustantimes.com/delhi-news/delhi-riots-cases-l-g-asks-cm-to-decide-on-police-s-request-for-lawyers-in-7-days/story-mrfZfbCgek5YQ54JdZ1nkO.html

Citing difference of opinion with AAP dispensation, Lt Governor Anil Baijal has written to Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal asking him to decide within a week on the Delhi Police’s proposal to appoint six senior advocates for arguing on its behalf in cases related to riots and anti-CAA protests. Baijal, in his letter to Kejriwal, said that acting home minister Manish Sisodia did not agree to Delhi Police proposal despite the force providing detailed justification for it. Delhi Police has proposed to appoint 6 senior advocates to argue on its behalf in 85 cases of riots in Delhi and assign 24 cases of protests against CAA to special public prosecutors, sources said.

 

NRC is Against the Nation:Romila Thapar

https://www.newsclick.in/nrc-against-nation-says-romila-thapar

Romila Thapar, noted historian, talks about sedition law and why we should have gotten rid of it immediately after Independence. She raises the question of why the Indian judicial system takes a long time to arrive at verdicts on cases such as the CAA and incidents of rape. Recent reports have indicated that the government has missed the deadline for finalising rules for CAA.Romila Thapar fears that NRC will not only change the demography of India but severely affect its economy. She further emphasizes that laws like NRC are against the civilization of any Nation. She also talks about the importance of protests and dialogue such as the cases of Shaheen Bagh and the JNU protests.Newsclick

 

To Fight Persecution, Muslims Must Document All Cases of Atrocities on Them: John Dayal

https://clarionindia.net/to-fight-persecution-muslims-must-document-all-cases-of-atrocities-on-them-john-dayal/

New Delhi:“Although Muslims are largest religious minority in India, they have no centralised system of documenting cases of atrocities on them. The current regime led by BJP is hostile to minorities. They are specially targeting and persecuting Muslims.“Documentation and data collection of crimes against them is a major tool of defending oneself in a democracy but I see no organised effort by Muslim community in this regard.”These are the words of John Dayal, a human rights and political activist who is also a prominent face of the Christian community in the capital.Clarion India

 

Police Allegations Baseless but Court Will Uphold the Truth, Hopes Jailed Activist Khalid Saifi’s Wife

https://clarionindia.net/police-allegations-baseless-but-court-will-uphold-the-truth-hopes-jailed-activist-khalid-saifis-wife/

In mid June after failing to meet the deadline, special cell of Delhi police sought two more months to file charge-sheet in to the cases against anti-CAA activists over Delhi riots.  A month from now, Police are likely to file a chargesheet into the case against Khalid Saifi, Delhi-based civil rights activist associated with United Against Hate (UAH), who has been in jail for the past four months. But his wife, Nargis, is hopeful that the court will uphold the “truth” even as the police will file the charge-sheet with what she says are baseless allegations. “Police have no proof to back their lies.” Almost a month has passed since Nargis last saw her husband face to face. That day he was brought to the police station at Sunlight Colony in New Delhi’s Okhla area for interrogation by the crime branch. “He looked relaxed. There were no signs of worry. What should he be worried about? He is not a criminal,” she asserts during her conversation with Clarion India. “God willing, everything will be better for us soon.”Clarion India

My brother was jailed for serving langar to anti-CAA protesters: sister of detained Kashmir Sikh youth

http://twocircles.net/2020jul18/438155.html                                             

Srinagar: For nearly a month now, Sandeep Kour hasn’t heard a word from her brother Mohinderpal Singh. Her anxiety grows every day as she is not able to meet him.Her brother, Mohinderpal Singh, a 29-year-old Kashmiri Sikh youth is behind bars in New Delhi’s Tihar Jail. He was arrested by the Delhi police for alleged links with militant outfit Khalistan Liberation Front (KLF) on June 15.Singh, a resident from Diwan Beg village of Baramulla district in north Kashmir, was arrested along with two others and claimed the accused were planning to execute targeted killings in various northern States.According to Delhi Police, the accused have been identified as Mohinder Pal Singh, 29, a resident of Delhi, Gurtej Singh, 41, from Punjab and Lovepreet, 21, from Haryana.However, the family members of the Kashmiri Sikh youth have refuted the claim of Delhi police and alleged he is being “framed” in a “fabricated case”TwoCircles

 

Jamiat challenges delimitation exercise in Assam ; SC notice to Center and election commission on the issue

http://muslimmirror.com/eng/jamiat-challenges-delimitation-exercise-in-assam-sc-notices-to-center-and-election-commission-on-the-issue/

The Supreme Court on Friday sought response from the Central govt, Election Commission of India and the Assam government on the petition filed by Jamiat Ulama-i-Hind (M) questioning the exercise of delimitation of assembly and parliamentary constituencies in the state of Assam on the basis of old data of Census 200.  It also contended that the hasty decision of delimitation is motivated by the political consideration of the present government at the center and in Assam. The petitioner, Maulana Mahmood Madani, General secretary,Jamiat,  argued that the decision to conduct the pending exercise of delimitation  was not only a hasty decision but also stood contrary to main purpose of delimitation.The whole affair smacked of a government ill-intention and it will not serve any purpose as it is based on the old data of Census 2001, he added. Jamiat challenged the promulgation of Presidential Order bearing No. S.O. 903 (E) dated 28th Feb.2020, through which earlier Notification number S.O. 283 (E) dated 8th Feb.2008 deferring the process of Delimitation for Assam, has been rescinded and it has been decided to resume the process of delimitation of Assembly and Parliamentary constituencies for the State of Assam despite the fact the reasons for which the previous delimitation in 2008 was deferred are still prevailing in the State.MuslimMirror

 

Jailed activists Vernon Gonsalves, Anand Teltumbde file petition to get tested

https://scroll.in/latest/967847/coronavirus-jailed-activists-vernon-gonsalves-anand-teltumbde-file-petition-to-get-tested

Jailed activists Vernon Gonsalves and Anand Teltumbde on Friday filed a petition in the Bombay High Court, asking that they be tested for the coronavirus, days after poet-activist Varavara Rao – their fellow inmate at Mumbai’s Taloja jail – was found to have contracted the infection. All the 3 activists have been jailed in the Elgar Parishad case.Gonsalves and Teltumbde’s petition, cited by Sabrang, said that they were in close contact with Rao in jail.

 

UP Encounters: Silent Supreme Court, Toothless NHRC To Blame For Police Impunity, Researchers Say

https://www.huffingtonpost.in/entry/up-encounters-supreme-court-nhrc-up-police_in_5f106286c5b6d14c33640637

The Supreme Court and NHRC’s inaction has allowed the Uttar Pradesh Police to conduct  extra-judicial killings with impunity, say legal researchers who have documented the phenomenon for over two years.On 10 July this year, UP Police shot and killed Vikas Dubey, a man with at least 60 criminal cases to his name, in what appears to be an elaborately staged extra-judicial killing, usually described as “encounters” in local press reports.More than two years ago, in Dec.2017, Mangla Verma and Vipul Kumar, consultants with the human rights collective called Citizens Against Hate, started gathering the legal documents such as FIRs and post-mortem reports and pieced together accounts of 17 killings by policemen in western UP. Earlier that year, in the summer of 2017, BJP had appointed Ajay Singh Bisht, who goes by the moniker of Yogi Adityanath, as the Chief Minister, who made “law and order” an administrative priority. UP Police’s spree of so-called encounters started soon after. 17 police encounters they studied, Verma said, were either men trying to eke out a living selling vegetables or working as labourers, or were petty thieves who should have been tried by the courts instead of being killed by the police.Verma and Kumar’s findings formed the basis of petitions filed with the NHRC and the SC. 2 years on, Verma and Kumar said, neither the Supreme Court nor the NHRC has done enough to stop this gruesome pattern of deaths.

 

Accused in Bulandshahr cop's murder gets felicitated by BJP leader for promoting PM's schemes

https://www.indiatoday.in/india/story/bulandshahr-mob-violence-2018-police-officer-murder-accused-appointed-promoter-pm-schemes-bjp-leader-1701963-2020-07-18

BJP Bulandshahr district president Anil Sisodia has been photographed felicitating a man, who is the main accused in the murder of a police officer in mob violence in district in 2018, with a certificate.Shikhar Agarwal, former chief of local BJP youth wing, is accused of conspiracy in the murder of Inspector Subodh Kumar Singh in Bulandshahr in 2018 and is currently out on bail.BJP leader Anil Sisodia was reportedly chief guest at an event on July 14 organised by "Pradhan Mantri Jan Kalyankari Yogi Jagrukta Abhiyan" and was seen handing over a certificate to Shikhar Agarwal, pronouncing him a 'general secretary' of organisation. Photographs of Anil Sisodia handing over a certificate to Shikhar Agarwal have gone viral on social media.The organisation publicises central government schemes across the country and is said to have top BJP leaders as its mentors. On Dec.3, 2018, a mob of some 400 people, including right-wing activists, violently rampaged through Chingrawathi village, apparently after cow carcasses were found strewn in a jungle nearby. The incident led to the death of inspector Subodh Kumar Singh.

 

Muslims in Uttarakhand forced to live on a razor’s edge

https://www.nationalheraldindia.com/india/muslims-in-uttarakhand-forced-to-live-on-a-razors-edge

After a man belonging to minority community was arrested on July 14 for allegedly teasing a girl in Joshimath, as part of a familiar pattern mobs were allowed to go on rampage and ransack a large number of shops and vends owned by people from the minority community.There has been a spurt in such mob violence since 2017, when a BJP Govt was formed in the state. Any alleged crime committed by any member of the miniscule minority community— be it a murder or an affair—has been provocation enough for indiscriminate violence with police as onlookers. The communal virus has spread throughout the state. BJP MLA Mahendra Bhatt from Badrinath had advised people in a facebook post not to buy vegetables from ‘Najibabad’ but buy vegetables from farmers of Uttarakhand only.People should patronise only those barber shops which has parts of the ‘Hanuman Chalisa’ scrolled outside. A majority of the barber shops in the state even in Garhwal and Kumoan hills are owned by Muslims from Western Uttar Pradesh.

 

Gujarat: Dalit youth ‘beaten’ to death in Banaskantha, 6 detained

https://indianexpress.com/article/india/dalit-youth-beaten-to-death-in-banaskantha-6-detained-6511123/

Ahmedabad :A 27-year-old Dalit youth was beaten to death after he was allegedly abducted by members of another caste from a village under Dhanera Taluka of Banaskantha on Thursday night. 6 persons have been detained in this connection.According to police, victim has been identified as Pintu Galchar, a resident of Ravi village in Dhanera taluka, who was allegedly abducted from outside his house by a group of 6 men around 10 pm on July 16.On Friday, around 6 am, his naked body, with several injury marks, was found near a bus stand at a tri-junction road outside Ravi village. Galchar was employed as a daily wager and was unmarried, according to his family.Hours after the body was discovered, an FIR was filed at Dhanera police station and police detained six accused — Hansraj Purohit, Chetan Purohit, Rama Purohit, Ramabhai Babuji Purohit, Kirti Purohit and Gautam Purohit — who have been named in the FIR filed by the victim’s brother.

Political Analyst Nishant Verma Accuses BJP's Sambit Patra of Rs 61.52 Lakh Financial Scam

http://www.indiatomorrow.net/eng/political-analyst-nishant-verma-accuses-bjps-sambit-patra-of-rs-6152-lakh-financial-scam

BJP spokesperson Sambit Patra, along with his 2 associates, a RSS functionary and a jeweller, has been found involved in an alleged financial scam involving Rs 61.52 lakh.Nishant Verma, a political analyst, who has been keenly observing the functioning of the incumbent BJP government at the Centre, brought the scam to public domain.Verma rates Patra “the most incompetent politician” in the country whose only claim to fame lies in the cult he has woven around the personality of Narendra Modi during his stint as a national spokesperson of the ruling party. His company, he says came into public domain at the time of demonetisation of high-value currency notes of Rs 500 and 1,000 denominations.India Tomorrow

 

UP: BSP, SP Slam Govt After Woman, Daughter Attempt Self-Immolation Outside CM's Office

https://thewire.in/politics/self-immolation-up-cm-office

New Delhi: A woman and her daughter set themselves on fire in front of the Uttar Pradesh chief minister’s office; allegedly over police inaction in a land dispute case in Amethi.The mother-daughter duo sustained burn injuries and was admitted to the civil hospital where their condition was critical, police said.The incident took place at around 5.40 pm on Friday in the state capital’s high-security zone as it houses the assembly as well as Lok Bhawan [office of Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath].The police personnel posted there swung into action as they saw the women engulfed in flames and rescued them, they said.A video of the incident went viral on social media.

 

Assam: Flood Situation Remains Grim; Five More Dead, Nearly 36 Lakh Affected

https://thewire.in/environment/flood-situation-remains-grim

 5 more people died in flood-related incidents in Assam and 35.76 lakh people across 28 of 33 districts in the state are now affected, an official bulletin said.One person each died in Dhubri, Darrang, Bongaigaon, Goalpara and Kamrup districts, Assam State Disaster Management Authority (ASDMA) said in its bulletin.Though the number of districts affected by the deluge increased by one since Thursday, that of the flood victims decreased by around 4 lakh.PTI

 

“Has he been misquoted?”: Subramanian Swamy on Zakir Naik’s praises for ‘real freedom of speech’ in India

http://www.jantakareporter.com/india/has-he-been-misquoted-subramanian-swamy-on-zakir-naiks-praises-for-real-freedom-of-speech-in-india/298465/               

BJP MP Subramanian Swamy on Saturday wondered if Islamic preacher Zakir Naik had indeed praised the ‘real freedom of speech’ in India. This was after a website quoted Naik as saying that Muslims in India ‘get more freedom to practice their religion than any other non-Muslim country, including Western nations.’ Reacting to the news item, Swamy wrote, “Has he been misquoted?”

*INDIAN POLITICS*

Ashok Gehlot Meets Governor After 2 Regional Party MLAs Extend Support

https://www.ndtv.com/india-news/ashok-gehlot-meets-governor-kalraj-mishra-amid-rajasthan-congress-crisis-2265076

Jaipur: Rajasthan Chief Minister Ashok Gehlot on Saturday met Governor Kalraj Mishra, hours after two MLAs of a regional party that withdrew support from the Congress government announced that they will back the administration. "Governor Kalraj Mishra on Saturday evening met Chief Minister Ashok Gehlot in his official residence. It was a courtesy meeting. Mr Gehlot informed the Governor about the measures taken by state government against the coronavirus pandemic. The meeting lasted 45 minutes," the Governor's office said in a Hindi statement. Earlier, Gehlot tweeted that BTP MLAs have announced their support."Both MLAs of Bharatiya Tribal Party (BTP) announced their support to the government after meeting their state executive officials and discussing with their demands," Mr Gehlot tweeted in Hindi.He was seen receiving a letter of support from the MLAs in photos shared by his office.2 MLAs had become an interesting sidelight in the political drama over Sachin Pilot's revolt this week when they posted a video on social media, which went viral, alleging that they were chased by the police, stopped and virtually held hostage when they tried to leave state capital Jaipur.Losing 2 MLAs would have brought down numbers for the Chief Minister as Congress struggled to keep its flock protected from Sachin Pilot's rebel camp.ndtv

Rajasthan Government crisis LIVE updates: CM Gehlot meets Guv after claiming support from two BTP MLAs

 

Rajasthan SoG registers FIR against BJP over audiotapes, Union Minister Shekhawat under scanner

https://www.timesnownews.com/videos/times-now/india/rajasthan-sog-registers-fir-against-bjp-over-audiotapes-union-minister-shekhawat-under-scanner/67741

Rajasthan Special Operations Group (SoG)  has registered an FIR against senior BJP leader and Union minister Gajendra Singh Shekhawat, who has been accused by the ruling Congress party in Rajasthan of being involved in horse-trading of MLAs.Audiotapes of the minister have been leaked and he is seen talking about the buying MLAs with money, though the same has not been technically confirmed. The ruling party has demanded action against him as well as other BJP leaders for the same.This comes at the backdrop of the political crisis that is unfolding in Rajasthan. The Rajasthan High Court is looking into the removal of Sachin Pilot as the deputy CM of the state.

 

‘Our morality is clear’: BJP seeks CBI probe into Congress’ ‘phone tapping’ allegations

https://indianexpress.com/article/india/rajasthan-government-crisis-congress-audio-tapes-bjp-mlas-cbi-probe-6511660/

A day after Special Operation Group (SOG) of Rajasthan Police registered criminal cases over purported audio clips of BJP leaders plotting to topple the Ashok Gehlot government, the BJP on Saturday sought a CBI probe into the “phone tapping” of all the political leaders in the state.The saffron party, however, refused to respond to the allegations leveled by the Congress.On Friday, the state’s ruling party released audio tapes of a purported telephonic conversation between a dissident Congress MLA and Union Minister Gajendra Singh Shekhawat. Shekhawat denied the charges, saying that the voice or the diction in the audio did not belong to him.

BJP’s only grievance is why tapes were recorded: Congress

https://www.nationalheraldindia.com/national/bjps-only-grievance-is-why-tapes-were-recorded-congress

Soon after BJP on Saturday demanded a CBI probe into the alleged phone tapping of the political leaders in Rajasthan, the Congress hit back saying that BJP has accepted that it was behind the political crisis and their only grievance is why tapes were recorded. Congress spokesperson Pawan Khera said, "We all witnessed in the last one week the daylight murder of democracy being attempted by the BJP in Rajasthan."He alleged that everyone has now seen the layers coming out "exposing direct links" of the BJP in fomenting political crisis in Rajasthan and trying to admit its role in the murder of democracy. Khera said, "Their only grievance is why the tapes were recorded. Was it legal?"IANS

 

With Shah in the know, Mumbai BJP collected ₹500 cr black money to topple Gehlot govt, alleges Maha Congress

https://www.nationalheraldindia.com/india/with-shah-in-the-know-mumbai-bjp-collected-indian-rupee500-black-money-to-topple-gehlot-govt-alleges-maha-congress

Maharashtra Congress has alleged that BJP ’s Mumbai unit collected Rs 500 crore in black money and transferred the amount through hawala for horse trading in Rajasthan in order to topple Ashok Gehlot govt.  Citing inputs received from intelligence agencies as well as from independent sources, Maharashtra Congress general secretary and spokesperson Sachin Sawant said that the party has received specific information on the transfer of the funds.According to Sawant, the money for the alleged hawala transaction was collected from builders and traders in Mumbai.Pointing a finger towards Home Minister Amit Shah, Sawant said, “Mumbai is the financial capital…top brasses of the BJP sitting in Delhi asked the Mumbai unit to collect the fund. Union Ministers were involved in the operation. If you could recall, in the time of the Karnataka crisis, the same Mumbai unit was asked to collect the funds”.Maharashtra BJP down played down the allegations but Congress has requested state home minister Anil Deshmukh to get the alleged hawala transfer probed by the police.

 

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

On Day 2, Rajnath visits forward post along LoC in Kashmir, offers prayers at Amarnath cave shrine

https://indianexpress.com/article/india/rajnath-singh-jammu-kashmir-border-loc-indian-army-security-china-pakistan-6511974/

A day after his trip to Leh, Union Defence Minister Rajnath Singh Saturday visited a key forward post along LoC in Keran sector of Kupwara district in Jammu and Kashmir.Singh, accompanied by Chief of Defence Staff Gen Bipin Rawat and Army Chief General M M Naravane, visited the North Hill post where the senior officials apprised him about the situation at the border.“Visited a forward post near LoC in Kupwara District of Jammu-Kashmir today and interacted with the soldiers deployed there,” Singh tweeted along with photographs of his interaction with the soldiers.“We are extremely proud of these brave and courageous soldiers who are defending our country in every situation,”Defence Minister wrote.Earlier in the day, he had also visited the holy cave of Amarnath and offered his prayers. He spent about an hour at the temple, which is considered to be one of the holiest shrines in Hinduism and popular among devotees, lakhs of whom undertake annual pilgrimage climbing uphill the mountainous terrain.On Friday, Singh reviewed the overall security preparedness in Jammu and Kashmir with the top military brass. He asked the armed forces to give a befitting reply to any “misadventure” by Pakistan.Addressing troops in Lukung, Singh said, “Talks are currently underway to resolve the border dispute. The progress made in talks so far should resolve the matter. To what extent it will be resolved, I cannot guarantee that. But I want to assure you that no power in the world can touch an inch of Indian territory or capture it.”

 

Centre identifies Chinese companies with links to PLA operating in India

https://www.indiatoday.in/india/story/centre-identifies-chinese-companies-with-links-to-pla-operating-in-india-1701923-2020-07-18

Government of India has identified China-based companies with links to People's Liberation Army (PLA) operating in the country less than a month after it banned 59 Chinese mobile applications, including TikTok.According to the Centre, Chinese companies operating in India have been carrying out overseas intelligence work.In June of 2017, China's legislature passed a new intelligence law giving itself the power to monitor suspects, raid premises and seize vehicles and devices. This has been recorded in the annual report of the US Secretary of Defence to American Congress on "Military and Security Developments involving People's Republic of China 2019".Chinese companies such as Huawei, ZTE, TikTok, etc have been tasked with supporting, providing assistance, and cooperating with China's national intelligence undertakings, wherever they operate as per this law.

 

'India Will Pay a Huge Price': Rahul Gandhi Again Targets Govt over Border Standoff with China

https://www.news18.com/news/politics/india-will-pay-a-huge-price-rahul-gandhi-again-targets-govt-over-border-standoff-with-china-2722857.html

Congress leader Rahul Gandhi on Saturday again hit out at the government over its handling of the border issue with China and claimed that India will have to pay a "huge price".In a tweet, he also alleged that the government was behaving like a "Chamberlain" and this would further embolden China.

 

Creating Ladakh UT, Amit Shah’s Aksai Chin remarks got China’s attention, says MIT professor

https://theprint.in/india/creating-ladakh-ut-amit-shahs-aksai-chin-remarks-got-chinas-attention-says-mit-professor/463669/

New Delhi: The decision to make Ladakh a union territory in August last year followed by the Modi govt’s claim to gain control over Aksai Chin had a “strong impact” on how Beijing viewed India’s resolve in the dispute and may have culminated in Ladakh stand-off, says China expert M. Taylor Fravel. Speaking to ThePrint in a video interview, Fravel, Arthur and Ruth Sloan Professor of Political Science and Director of Security Studies Program at Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), said, although the claim made by Home Minister Amit Shah in Parliament on Aksai China in August last year was not new, subsequent moves taken by India by way of publishing a new political map upset Beijing.

 

UP: Nepal man forced to chant anti-Oli slogans, head tonsured; 4 held

https://indianexpress.com/article/india/nepal-man-forced-to-chant-anti-oli-slogans-head-tonsured-4-held-6511343/

Varanasi police Friday arrested four persons after a video surfaced on social media purportedly showing a Nepalese citizen, whose head was tonsured and ‘Jai Shri Ram” inscribed on it, being forced to chant ‘Jai Shri Ram’ and slogans against Nepal Prime Minister K P Sharma Oli.An FIR lodged at Bhelupur police station named Arun Pathak, linked to Vishwa Hindu Sena Sangathan, as the main accused. “All arrested persons claim that they are members of the same outfit — Vishwa Hindu Sena Sangathan. Pathak is absconding,” SP (Varanasi City) said.

 

India Iran Energy Deal : India may remain invested in Farzad-B without development rights says report

https://www.business-standard.com/article/current-affairs/india-may-remain-invested-in-farzad-b-without-development-rights-report-120071800534_1.html

New Delhi :India's quest for building its energy security may see it continue to pursue investment opportunity in Farzad-B gas field in Iran even though ONGC Videsh Ltd (OVL) may not get to develop block that it discovered over a decade ago.Highly placed sources in the oil ministry said that Indian consortium including Indian Oil, Oil India and OVL, which bagged the exploration contract for Farzad-B in 2002, may remain invested in the upstream project as equity partners with other local and international entities even without operatorship or development rights. This, they said, will allow the consortium to get their share of gas to India at applicable rates decided by Iran.Though the exploration contract signed by the Indian consortium expired in 2009, official sources said that a deal could be negotiated so that India has a presence in the field as equity investors.Farzad-B, which was discovered by OVL in the Farsi block about 10 years ago, had in-place gas reserve of 21.7 trillion cubic feet, of which 12.5 Tcf is believed to be recoverable. If India gets a share of this gas, it could reduce its dependence on expensive LNG.Iran has been dilly dallying over grant of development right of Farzad B for few years now. Things have come to a standstill since US sanctions on Iran in 2018 with India also moving slowly on the matter.Sources said that changes in geo political scenario in the Covid-19 world, which suggests that Iran is coming closer to China while proximity of India is growing towards US, may further spoil the deal to develop the field. In fact, information coming out from Iran now suggests that the country may offer it to a local entity rather than OVL. If Iran decides to offer equity holding in the project, Indian consortium's claims would once again be considered."There are two issues to Farzad-B project. Iran may not be giving development rights to OVL but an Indian consortium continues to have part ownership of the block and would get its share of profit whosoever develops the project," the source quoted earlier said.IANS

 

Army: Intel Inputs Show Terrorists Planning to Target Amarnath Yatra

https://www.news18.com/news/india/army-says-intel-inputs-show-terrorists-planning-to-target-amarnath-yatra-2720989.html

Indian Army said on Friday there are inputs that terrorists are planning to target the Amarnath Yatra, but Army has its systems in place to ensure that the annual pilgrimage goes on peacefully.9 Rashtriya Rifles sector Commander Brigadier VS Thakur said the inputs suggest that terrorists are planning to target the Yatra somewhere on National Highway 44."We have inputs that terrorists would try their best to target the Yatra, but we have got our systems and resources in place to ensure that it goes on unhindered and peacefully," he said.

 

Strategic areas: J&K govt. move will turn entire region into a military establishment, say parties

https://www.thehindu.com/news/national/strategic-areas-jk-govt-move-will-turn-entire-region-into-a-military-establishment-say-parties/article32125345.ece?homepage=true

Regional parties, including NC and PDP, on Saturday opposed the amendments made by administration of Lt. Governor to laws which will allow it to declare any location in J&K as a “strategic area” for building infrastructure for security forces. “A headless dispensation in J&K proposes to put more chunks of land under the control of security forces. The proposed amendments are shocking and an attempt to undermine the civil authority and turn entire region into a military establishment,”said NC spokesman Imran Nabi Dar. NC has expressed apprehensions that the amendments will add to pool of land under the possession of Army by cutting on the remaining arable and fertile land tracts available for agriculture activity.“The strategic importance of J&K is not confined to certain areas; as such the entire region is strategically important. So by that analogy the government will have a free hand to give as much land to security forces to be used by the later for any means, which proposed amendment is totally ambiguous about. It could be anything ranging from colonies to special deployment of defence equipment,”Dar said.NC spokesman said under the President’s rule, J&K administration has already given up 243 hectares of forest land for Army and paramilitary use, over 727 hectares of designated forest land was diverted between Sept.18 and Oct.21 by former forest advisory committee (FAC).“A stroke of pen has our natural resources obliterated, affecting forest wealth, civilian established population and tourist destinations. It’s a part of a long-term agenda of disenfranchising the people of J&K by grabbing their fertile and economically viable land tracts and natural resources,” he said.A PDP spokesman termed the move ‘disastrous’ and “aimed at changing the demography of J&K”.

 

J&K: 3 militants killed in Shopian encounter

https://indianexpress.com/article/india/shopian-encounter-militants-killed/

Srinagar : A day after a top JeM commander was among three militants killed in a gunbattle in South Kashmir’s Kulgam district, at least 3 militants Saturday were shot dead in an encounter with security forces in neighbouring Shopian district. Police officials said the encounter broke out at Amshipora area of Shopian early on Saturday morning.Police said identification of the slain militants was being done. In Kulgam on Friday morning, 3 JeM militants were killed in an encounter. One of them was a foreigner, identified as Waleed, who, according to the police, was an IED expert. At least 6 militants have been killed in two days, and a total of 136 militants so far this year.

 

NIA arrests bank manager in J&K narco-terror case

https://theprint.in/india/nia-arrests-bank-manager-in-jammu-kashmir-narco-terror-case/463298/

Srinagar: In a breakthrough in a recent narco-terror case, NIA has arrested the key accused — a branch manager of a cooperative bank — from Srinagar, a spokesperson of the probe agency said.Afaq Ahmad Wani, a resident of Maratgam village of Handwara, is the fourth person to have been arrested after the drug syndicate operating in Jammu and Kashmir was busted last month.Wani, a branch manager of Baramulla Central Cooperative Bank in Handwara, had been on the run since June 11 when the narco-terror module was busted. The accused has been sent to 12-day NIA custody for interrogation.PTI

 

At UN session on multilateralism,Pak rakes up issue of J&K

https://indianexpress.com/article/india/pakistan-unsc-jammu-and-kashmir-coronavirus-6511493/

As global leaders underscored importance of reformed multilateralism to ensure an “effective collective response” to global crises such as COVID-19 at a high-level session here, Pakistan used it to rake up the issue of Jammu and Kashmir and oppose the expansion of Security Council’s permanent membership. Pakistan’s Minister for Foreign Affairs Shah Mahmood Qureshi, who just recovered from COVID-19, raised the issue of Jammu and Kashmir in his address Friday to High-Level Segment of UN ECOSOC titled ‘Multilateralism after COVID 19: what kind of UN do we need at 75th anniversary?’He said UN and the entire concept of multilateralism has been eroded by resorting to hegemonism, coercion and arbitrary use of force.Qureshi said Pakistan was “particularly concerned” by “oppression and atrocities” being perpetrated against people of J&K.Qureshi said that Security Council will not be revitalised by accommodating the “narrow ambitions of those who seek power and privilege” and additional permanent members in the Security Council will “compound, not resolve, its paralysis.”“Indeed, it is the small and medium sized states with the highest stake in UN-led world order, which can help to promote an equitable and effective structure of international peace and security,” he said.PTI

 

*CORONAVIRUS- LOCKDOWN*

Maharashtra Govt issues host of guidelines for Eid-Ul-Adha celebrations, urges people to offer namaz at home

https://indianexpress.com/article/india/anil-deshmukh-issues-host-of-guidelines-for-eid-ul-adha-celebrations-urges-people-to-offer-namaz-at-home-6511219/

Maharashtra Home Minister Anil Deshmukh has urged people to offer namaz (prayer) during Eid-Ul-Adha or Bakri Eid, to be observed later this month, at their residence instead of visiting mosques.In a set of guidelines, issued Friday, for the upcoming celebrations, Deshmukh also requested people to offer symbolic sacrifices instead of actual sacrifice of animals.All the existing animal markets, the guidelines state, would remain shut and people allowed to purchase sacrificial animals online or over the phone. Guidelines, however, does not clarify on how these online markets would be set up. Deshmukh also said the restrictions in place at the coronavirus containment zones would continue and no laxity would be extended on Bakri Eid.People have also been directed to not congregate in public places in large numbers and cause crowding.“We are requesting the community members to follow all the guidelines put in place by their local authorities and help ensure that the pandemic does not spread any further,” Deshmukh said.Earlier, Chief Minister Uddhav Thackeray had stated that owing to pandemic, all the festivals of all the religions in the last 4 months were celebrated in a low-key manner and similarly Bakri Eid should also be celebrated in a simple manner, symbolic if possible, by following all the safety measures of Covid. Meanwhile, several organisations have called for some relaxations during festival.  Jamaat e Islami Hind Maharashtra has requested that animal markets in 27 districts of the state, where the infection is not that widespread, should be allowed to be opened with certain additional safety measures such as social distancing, wearing of masks, hand gloves and sanitisation.

 

Bhopal: Places of worship bar entry of more than 5 people at a time

https://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/city/bhopal/bhopal-places-of-worship-bar-entry-of-more-than-5-people-at-a-time/articleshow/77028987.cms

BHOPAL: Following the orders of the district collector to not allow more than five people inside places of worship at a time to maintain proper social distancing, city mosques held the Friday namaz with only five people on the premises.Other religious places have also started adhering to the rule strictly, asking people to wait outside till the five inside the campus are praying.Sheher Quazi, Syed Mushtaq Ali Nadvi said, "As the cases of coronavirus are increasing in the city rapidly, we need to follow the orders of district administration for the safety of the people. Though we are already following the protocol laid down for religious places, we have now reduced the number of people coming to offer namaz in mosques to 5. We request all our brethren to offer namaz at home and adhere to safety protocol."Only five people were allowed inside Taj-ul-masajid, Moti masjid and other mosques of the city to offer namaz on Friday. Other religious places are also following these safety measures.TOI

 

34 Thai Tabligh attendees to walk free on paying Rs 6000 fine to PM Cares

https://www.business-standard.com/article/current-affairs/34-thai-tablighi-attendees-to-walk-free-on-paying-rs-6000-fine-to-pm-cares-120071800233_1.html

A Delhi court Friday allowed 34 foreign nationals from Thailand to walk free on payment of different fines after they accepted mild charges under the plea bargain process, related to various violations including visa norms while attending Tablighi Jamaat congregation here during Covid-19 lockdown. Metropolitan Magistrate Gagandeep Jindal allowed foreigners to walk free on payment of a fine of Rs 6,000 each, said advocateAshima Mandla appearing for them.The court directed the foreigners to deposit their fines at PM CARES Fund since the foreigners have been found guilty of violating government orders pertaining to Covid-19 pandemic. However, 7 Thai nationals did not plead guilty to the charges against them and claimed trial before the court. The court was hearing their plea bargain applications.The court had on Thursday directed 22 Nepalese to walk free on payment of Rs 4,000 fine each, which was also deposited at PM CARES Fund. A total of Rs 2,92,000 have been deposited in PM CARES Fund by 56 foreign nationals.

 

Teen from Nepal, Djibouti fruit seller among 900 Tablighis still in Delhi

https://indianexpress.com/article/cities/delhi/teen-from-nepal-djibouti-fruit-seller-among-955-tablighis-still-in-capital-6511312/

New Delhi :The difference in their age is as vast as the distance between their countries. But what bound a 14-year-old from Nepal and 74-year-old Sheikh Al Amin from Sudan together was a religious gathering — and a shared four months in detention — in a foreign land.Having spent over four months in quarantine centres ever since they were evacuated from the Nizamuddin Markaz in March, the duo have now shifted to two private schools in South-east Delhi, which are doubling up as lodging facilities for around 200 foreign nationals who were part of the gathering.They have been sharing damp, airless rooms with citizens of countries that can be plotted all over a world map — from neighbouring Sri Lanka to faraway Brazil — for over a month now, after the Delhi High Court had on May 28 allowed around 955 foreign nationals, who were part of the gathering, to move from quarantine centres to alternate accommodations.

 

 Bengal should test at least 14 per 1 lakh people, ensure less than 10% positivity, says Health Ministry

https://indianexpress.com/article/india/coronavirus-india-live-updates-lockdown-latest-news-today-covid-19-cases-tracker-coronavirus-vaccine-corona-cases-in-india-update-6509543/

Indian Health Ministry’s Joint Secretary Lav Agarwal has written to West Bengal Health Secretary NS Nigam expressing concerns over the increasing number of Covid-19 infections in state. Pointing out that the overall testing in Bengal is considerably low when compared to the national average, Agarwal suggested that the state should achieve at least a minimum of 14 tests per 1 lakh people and ensure less than 10% positivity.

 

India records over 30,000 Coronavirus  cases for third day in a row

https://indianexpress.com/article/india/coronavirus-india-updates-18-july-delhi-mumbai-tamil-nadu-karnataka-6511499/

India’s coronavirus caseload increased to 10,38,716 on Saturday after as many as 34,884 persons tested positive for Covid-19 in the last 24 hours. The death toll due to the contagious virus rose to 26,273 with 671 deaths in a day, the Health Ministry data updated at 8 am on Saturday showed.As many as 6,53,750 persons have recovered, while there are 3,58,692 active cases. This is the third consecutive day when the number of COVID-19 cases increased by more than 30,000. As per ICMR, a cumulative total of 1,34,33,742 samples have been tested so far, with at least 3,61,024 samples tested on Friday.

 

Madras HC Restrains Patanjali From Using Trademark 'Coronil'

https://thewire.in/law/hc-restraint-on-patanjali

 Controversial “drug” of yoga guru Ramdev’s Patanjali Ayurved Ltd, Coronil (which it claimed, without any evidence, to be a cure for COVID19), has received a blow with the Madras high court restraining the company from using trademark ‘Coronil’.Justice C.V. Karthikeyan passed interim order valid till July 30 on the plea of Chennai-based company Arudra Engineering Private Limited which has claimed that ‘Coronil’ is a trademark owned by it since 1993.PTI

 

Drink cow urine to fight virus: Bengal BJP chief

https://www.thehindu.com/news/cities/kolkata/drink-cow-urine-to-fight-virus-bengal-bjp-chief/article32119516.ece

West Bengal BJP president Dilip Ghosh has advocated the use of “cow-urine” to boost immunity in the fight against COVID-19. A video has surfaced on social media where Mr. Ghosh, while emphasising the importance of home remedies, is seen saying that people need to consume cow urine to stay healthy. BJP leader made these remarks during a meeting in Durgapur .“If I speak about cows, many feel uncomfortable. Donkeys will never understand the worth of a cow. This is India, the land of Lord Krishna and here we worship cows. We will have cow urine to stay healthy. Those who consume alcohol, how will you understand the worth of a cow,” Mr. Ghosh is heard saying in the video.

 

No Muslim graveyard in Karnataka can deny burial to Covid-19 victims

https://bangaloremirror.indiatimes.com/bangalore/others/no-muslim-graveyard-in-karnataka-can-deny-burial-to-covid-19-victims/articleshow/77019358.cms

Bengaluru: No Muslim graveyard in Karnataka can deny the burial of any person who follows Islam and has succumbed to Covid, said an official on Friday after some incidents of such refusal were reported in the state."Muslim khabarastans (graveyards) in state of Karnataka irrespective of registered or unregistered with the Waqf board shall not refuse the burial of Muslims who died due to Covid pandemic," said State Board of Auqaf CEO Islahuddin J. Gadyal.Gadyal passed the message addressing all the graveyard management committees and administrators in the southern state.IANS

 

Tirumala Tirupati temple to stay open despite 140 employees testing positive for coronavirus

https://scroll.in/latest/967824/tirumala-tirupati-temple-to-stay-open-despite-140-employees-testing-positive-for-coronavirus

Tirumala Tirupati Balaji temple in Tirupati, Andhra Pradesh, will not shut down despite 140 of its employees testing positive for the coronavirus, chairperson of the shrine’s board said,NDTV reported. There were no plans to stop public darshan at the temple, Tirumala Tirupati Devasthanam Board Chairperson YV Subba Reddy said. He claimed that there was no evidence that devotees have been getting infected.“Senior priests will not be put on duty,” Reddy said. “Priests and employees have requested separate accommodation.” A separate facility for cooking for the employees will be set up, he added.

 

Guwahati lockdown relaxed

https://www.thehindu.com/news/national/other-states/guwahati-lockdown-relaxed-wine-shops-to-reopen/article32125236.ece?homepage=true

 Assam government on Saturday announced relaxation of 3-week lockdown in Guwahati from July 20 with critics pointing out that the restrictions did not serve the purpose of checking COVID-19 positive cases.But the lockdown on Saturdays and Sundays, across urban and semi-urban centres, will continue to be imposed in the city.

 

43% children with disabilities mulling to drop-out due to issues faced in e-education: Survey

https://indianexpress.com/article/education/43-children-with-disabilities-planning-to-drop-out-due-to-difficulties-faced-in-e-education-survey-6512328/

New Delhi :About 43 per cent of children with disabilities are planning to drop out of studies due to difficulties faced by them in online education, according to a survey conducted with 3,627 respondents. Survey was conducted by Swabhiman, a community-based organization working for the rights of persons with disability, in Odisha, Jharkhand, MP, Tripura, Chennai, Sikkim, Nagaland, Haryana and J&K in the month of May.A total of 3,627 people, including students, parents, and teachers, participated in the survey.

Community spread has started, situation is bad:IMA

https://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/india/community-spread-has-started-and-the-situation-is-bad-observes-ima/articleshow/77038343.cms

NEW DELHI: With one million people getting affected by Covid-19, the Indian Medical Association (IMA) is of the view that community spread has started and the situation is pretty bad.While speaking to ANI, Dr V K Monga, the Chairman of IMA Hospital Board of India said, "This is now an exponential growth. Every day the number of cases is increasing by more than around 30,000. This is really a bad situation for the country. There are so many factors connected with it but overall this is now spreading to rural areas. This is a bad sign. It now shows a community spread."ANI

 

Covid peak in India by mid-Sept if govt acts, public behaves: Expert

https://www.business-standard.com/article/current-affairs/covid-19-peak-in-india-by-mid-sept-if-govt-acts-public-behaves-expert-120071800876_1.html

Bengaluru :Covid-19 cases may peak in India as early as mid-September provided strong public health measures are in place and people behave in a responsible manner to contain virus, President of Public Health Foundation of India, Professor K Srinath Reddy, said on Saturday.He expressed concern over the microbe spreading with renewed vigour, as confirmed infections and deaths crossed one million and 25,000, respectively, in India earlier this week."Ideally we could have and should have prevented it reaching this level, but even now we should try our best and contain it as quickly as possible", the public health expert said.PTI

 

Covid death data mismatch continues in Delhi — difference of over 500 in govt, funeral figures

https://theprint.in/health/covid-death-data-mismatch-continues-in-delhi-difference-of-over-500-in-govt-funeral-figures/463072/

Arvind Kejriwal government reported 584 fewer Covid-19 deaths compared to the consolidated figures submitted by the national capital’s north, south and east municipal corporations until Friday, data from Delhi’s municipal corporations shows.Three Delhi municipal corporations recorded 4,155 Covid deaths until 17 July, according to data accessed by ThePrint. However, the Delhi government pegged this figure at 3,571 in its 17 July health bulletin.

 

Winter is coming, expect another Covid wave, warns ex-WHO virologist who worked on SARS

https://theprint.in/health/winter-is-coming-expect-another-covid-wave-warns-ex-who-virologist-who-worked-on-sars/463875/

London: Klaus Stohr has urged governments for many years to prepare for the grim possibility of a pandemic.In 2003, he played a key role in a WHO investigation that swiftly identified a coronavirus as the cause of SARS. Stohr also sounded the alarm on the pandemic potential of avian flu, bringing countries and companies to the table to increase production of vaccines in case it began spreading widely in people. Klaus Stohr said, "There will be another wave, and it will be very serious. More than 90% of the population is susceptible. If we do not tighten again to a serious lockdown or similar measures, the virus is going to cause a significant outbreak. Winter is coming before the vaccine. There will be an increase in cases, and there will be problems containing it because people seem not very amenable to more constraints in their movement and freedom."

 

 Trump says he won’t order Americans to wear masks

https://indianexpress.com/article/world/coronavirus-global-updates-july-18-6511548/

US President Donald Trump has said he would not order Americans to wear masks to contain the spread of the coronavirus, saying people should have a “certain freedom.”His comments came after Dr Anthony Fauci, the top US infectious diseases expert, appealed to state and local leaders to be “as forceful as possible” in getting people to wear masks in public places.Trump, who has been seen wearing a face mask only once, said, I’m a believer in masks. I think masks are good.”Meanwhile, the number of coronavirus cases crossed 14 million mark Saturday, just four days after it breached the 13 million milestone. This is the first time cases have increased by one million in less than 100 hours, news agency Reuters reported. WHO reported a record rise of 237,743 infections Friday, led by US, Brazil, India and South Africa. Nearly 6 lakh people have succumbed to the virus. China is experiencing a new surge in country’s Xinjiang region that reported 16 fresh cases in the last 24 hours. Xinjiang, a region dominated by China’s Uighur Muslim population had largely been unaffected by the pandemic and reported only 1 case before the current surge. Before this, the largest outbreak was in Beijing that infected more than 330 people.

 

UK conducted secret human trials of antibody test, results were 98.6% accurate, says report

https://theprint.in/science/uk-conducted-secret-human-trials-of-antibody-test-results-were-98-6-accurate-says-report/463823/

A coronavirus antibody test backed by U.K. government was 98.6% accurate in secret human trials held last month, the Telegraph reports.The fingerprick test can tell within 20 minutes if a person has been exposed to virus. It is developed by Oxford University together with UK diagnostics companies, a partnership set up by the government after a consignment of Chinese-made fingerprick tests proved largely useless, the newspaper said.

 

Iran estimates it has 25 million coronavirus infections

https://indianexpress.com/article/world/coronavirus-global-updates-july-18-6511548/

Iran’s president on Saturday estimated as many as 25 million Iranians could have been infected with the coronavirus since the outbreak’s beginning, as he urged the public to take the pandemic seriously, the state-run IRNA news agency reported Saturday.Hassan Rouhani cited a new Iranian Health Ministry study in offering the unprecedentedly high numbers. Rouhani also said about 30 to 35 million will be infected to the virus in the coming months.“We have to estimate that 30 to 35 million people will be exposed to the virus, which is very important,” Rouhani added.

 

China experiences a new outbreak in Uighur dominated Xinjiang region

https://indianexpress.com/article/world/coronavirus-global-updates-july-18-6511548/

Mainland China reported 22 fresh Covid infections on Saturday, up from 10 a day earlier. Urumqi, the capital of China’s far western region of Xinjiang, said it has launched emergency response plan after the city reported 16 new coronavirus cases on Friday. Xinjiang has so far mostly avoided a surge in cases and reported only one infection before the current surge.  Over 260 people are under medical observation, according to the regional health commission. China has been accused of human rights abuses in Xinjiang, the homeland of the largely Muslim Uighur ethnic community.

 

*WORLD*

Israel ‘relieved’ as ICC adjourns war crimes probe

https://www.middleeastmonitor.com/20200718-israel-relieved-as-icc-adjourns-war-crimes-probe/

Israeli government breathed a sigh of relief after a decision by International Criminal Court (ICC) to adjourn without opening an investigation against Tel Aviv over possible war crimes committed in the occupied Palestinian territories, according to Israeli media, reports Anadolu Agency. ICC pre-trial was supposed to assess if the court’s chief prosecutor, Fatou Bensouda, has the authority to open an investigation into war crimes by Israel along with defining the territorial boundaries within which the investigation will take place.In May, Bensouda said that there is a basis to launch an investigation into war crimes committed in Palestine, including the occupied West Bank, East Jerusalem, and Gaza.If an investigation were opened, several Israeli officials, including the prime minister, and army heads, would be subject to criminal proceedings and possibly arrest warrants.

 

UN expert criticises Israel's continued collective punishment of Palestinians

https://www.middleeastmonitor.com/20200717-un-expert-criticises-israels-continued-collective-punishment-of-palestinians/

A UN human rights expert today published a report urging Israel to immediately stop all crimes amounting to collective punishment against the Palestinian people. Michael Lynk, the Special Rapporteur on human rights in Palestinian territory occupied since 1967, said that the extent of the devastating impact of Israel’s collective punishment policy can be “most strikingly seen in its ongoing 13-year-old closure of Gaza, which now suffers from a completely collapsed economy, devastated infrastructure and a barely functioning social service system.”In his report to the 44th session of the Human Rights Council, independent expert presented a list of recommendations, calling on Israel to comply with international law and the international consensus by bringing a full and speedy end to its 53-year-old occupation of the Palestinian territory.

 

EU official: Israel wants to provoke Iranian response whilst Trump in office

https://www.middleeastmonitor.com/20200717-eu-official-israel-wants-to-provoke-iranian-response-whilst-trump-in-office/

Israel aims to provoke Iran into a confrontation before the US general election in November, an EU intelligence official has said, according i24 News.In reference to a chain of recent fires and explosions, the official said that Israel was instigating a “maximum pressure, minimal strategy”.He said: “I fear the Israeli plan here is to provoke an Iranian response that can turn into a military escalation while Trump remains in office.”It is feared, the official claimed, that if Democratic presumptive nominee Joe Biden won the general election, he would less of an appetite for operations against Iran. He claimed the Israelis feared “there would be a lot less appetite for adventures and secret missions to blow up nuclear facilities.”

 

Tunisia president requests parties to present candidates to succeed Fakhfakh

https://www.middleeastmonitor.com/20200718-tunisia-president-requests-parties-to-present-candidates-to-succeed-fakhfakh/

Tunisian President Kais Said has asked parties, coalitions, and parliamentary blocs on Friday to present their candidates to succeed Elyes Al-Fakhfakh as prime minister, according to local media.The radio station Mosaique FM reported that: “The president addressed on Friday morning the parties, coalitions and parliamentary blocs, and asked them to present their proposals on the figure who will succeed Fakhfakh, to be assigned to form the next government.”22 July, 2020, is the fixed deadline for submitting the names of candidates for the position of prime minister.According to a statement issued by the Tunisian presidency, Said sent a message on Wednesday to parliament Speaker Rached Ghannouchi, to inform him of the acceptance of the resignation of Fakhfakh, in accordance with the requirements of chapter 98 of the constitution, and the start of consultations to assign a new figure to form a government.

 

Erdogan: ‘Egypt's movements in Libya illegal, UAE conducts piracy activities’

https://www.middleeastmonitor.com/20200718-erdogan-egypts-movements-in-libya-illegal-uae-conducts-piracy-activities/

Turkish President Tayyip Erdogan has accused Egypt and UAE of taking “illegal and unacceptable” steps in Libya. Erdogan stated that Turkey “will continue to assume the responsibility it undertook in Libya” and “will not let the Libyans face military aggression alone.”The Turkish president strongly criticised Egypt and UAE’s support for the Libyan National Army (LNA) led by General Khalifa Haftar, stating: “The steps taken by Egypt and its support for Haftar are illegal. On the other hand, Abu Dhabi is committing piracy crimes by sending money and weapons to Haftar illegally and this is unacceptable… while we are standing with a legitimate government fighting coupists.”Erdogan stressed that Turkey is currently studying the possibility of signing a new agreement with the Government of National Accord (GNA) as an outcome of the Skhirat Agreement, in addition to two other accords that were concluded by the two parties last year.

 

Zionists seek to undermine Egyptian army - Libyan tribe

https://www.middleeastmonitor.com/20200718-zionists-seek-to-undermine-egyptian-army-libyan-tribe/

One of Libya’s largest tribes has warned that the “Zionist project” seeks to drag the Egyptian military into a conflict in their country.A statement issued by the Social Council of the Warfalla tribe, which spans from Bani Walid in western Libya to Benghazi in the east, said Egyptian army is the target of the project.“We do not want Libya to be the cause of the loss of the Egyptian army,” said the statement, calling Egypt’s army the “last powerful Arab army.”“The Zionist project seeks to move the [Egyptian] army from the gate” of Libya, it added.

 

Sudan: Thousands protest repeal of Islamic restrictions

https://www.middleeastmonitor.com/20200717-sudan-thousands-protest-repeal-of-islamic-restrictions/

Thousands of Sudanese Islamic groups and supporters of ousted president Omer Al-Bashir staged a protest on Friday in the capital Khartoum against a new set of laws that have scrapped various Islamic laws, Anadolu Agency reports.The anti-government protests, which erupted from numerous mosques following Friday prayers, accused the government of apostasy and urged people to bring down the administration of Prime Minister Abdallah Hamdok.The Sudanese government last week passed a number of laws that repealed various Islamic legal restrictions introduced while Bashir was in power, including the outlaw of apostasy and restrictions on women’s dress.

 

'Tourists will be able to visit Hagia Sophia'

https://www.middleeastmonitor.com/20200717-tourists-will-be-able-to-visit-hagia-sophia/

The opening of Hagia Sophia as a mosque will not change anything for tourists,Turkish lawmaker said.Veysel Eroglu, a lawmaker and the Turkish presidency’s special representative to Iraq, said there has been great excitement among Muslims and Turkish people over opening of Hagia Sophia as a mosque.He stressed that tourists will continue to be able to visit Hagia Sophia. He said the way tourists visit Sultanahmet Camii, also known as Blue Mosque, they can also visit Haghia Sophia in the same way.

 

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 Compiled and edited by Anwarulhaq (Released at: 9:54 PM)

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