News and views across the globe.

Monday, 6 July 2020

6 JULY NEWS: Chinese troops pull back 2 km from site of Galwan Valley clashes, some tents removed at Finger 4: govt officials/ Jamia violence case: Direct allegations against Home Minister irresponsible, SG tells Delhi HC/ Ordeal of people with ‘false’ COVID-19 positive cases in Kashmir

NEWS DIGEST EVENING

06 JULY 2020. 14 ZU AL-QA'DAH 1441. Vol-12, No-250

www.newsdigestdaily.in

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

Chinese troops pull back 2 km from site of Galwan Valley clashes, some tents removed at Finger 4: govt officials

https://www.thehindu.com/news/national/chinese-troops-pull-back-2-km-from-site-of-galwan-valley-clashes-says-govt-official/article31999179.ece

In the first signs of a pullback of Chinese troops along the disputed LAC, Chinese troops have “shifted” 2 kilometres from the site of the June 15 violent clashes at Galwan Valley in eastern Ladakh, a senior government official has told The Hindu. A second official said some tents have been removed by PLA at Finger 4 area of Pangong Tso. “Chinese People’s Liberation Army (PLA) was seen removing tents and structures at Patrolling Point (PP) 14. Some rearward movement of vehicles of PLA seen at general area of Galwan, Hotsprings and Gogra,” a second government source said. Without giving the specific distances moved, the source said the pull back at each location would be confirmed after verification.“Some tents have been removed at Finger 4 area in Pangong Tso,” the second government official cited above said. They had moved back some distance, the official said without elaborating, and details of how much had to be verified on the ground. Pangong Tso is one of the most contentious areas of the current stand-offs, with PLA moving about 8 km inside up to Finger 4. India’s claim is till Finger 8 as per the alignment of LAC.

 

Sino-India disengagement statement follows Doval’s Sunday call to Wang

https://www.thehindu.com/news/national/disengagement-statement-follows-dovals-sunday-call-to-wang/article32002927.ece

The disengagement between India and China along LAC announced on Monday came after a long and detailed conversation between NSA Ajit Doval and Chinese State Councillor Wang Yi on Sunday evening. High-level political intervention is significant, because Doval and Wang are both Special Representatives on the boundary talks, and had last met in Dec.2019.  Wang is both Foreign Minister and State Councillor, a position which is roughly the equivalent of an NSA.For the past few weeks, through the crisis, Doval had been monitoring the situation from home, despite fact that he had chosen to self-quarantine after 2 family members had contracted Coronavirus. Sources said that Doval rejoined work at his office on Saturday, a day before the call with Wang.Statements on the call issued by India’s Ministry of External Affairs (MEA) and China’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs (MFA) both emphasised an agreement to push for an early disengagement, yet differences remained on some issues that point to uncertainties that may lie ahead.thehindu

 

NCP''s meeting to decide PM''s future deferred again as Oli holds talks with Prachanda

https://www.outlookindia.com/newsscroll/ncps-meeting-to-decide-pms-future-deferred-again-as-oli-holds-talks-with-prachanda/1887754

Nepal''s embattled PM KP Sharma Oli on Monday held another round of talks with the ruling Nepal Communist Party (NCP) executive chairman Pushpa Kamal Dahal ‘Prachanda’ to sort out their differences as the party''s crucial Standing Committee meeting was once again postponed till Wednesday, in a bid to provide them more time to agree on a power-sharing deal.The meeting of the ruling party''s 45-member powerful Standing Committee was scheduled to be held on Monday. But it was postponed at the last minute. The political future of 68-year-old Oil will now be decided on Wednesday during Standing Committee meeting.The differences between 2 factions of NCP -- one led by Oli and the other led by Prachanda on the issue of power-sharing -- intensified after the prime minister unilaterally decided to prorogue the budget session of Parliament on Thursday.The Prachanda faction, backed by senior leaders and former prime ministers Madhav Nepal and Jhalanath Khanal, has been demanding Oli''s resignation.On Monday, Oli and Prachanda held another round of talks to sort out their differences. 2 top leaders have held a series of talks in recent days amid the intense intra-party rift over Oli’s style of functioning and anti-India statements.Their meeting on Monday ended on a "positive note",My Republica newspaper reported, citing sources. The two leaders will again meet on Tuesday.On Sunday, China’s ambassador Hou Yanqi met with the senior leader of the NCP and former prime minister Madhav Kumar Nepal, amidst the growing demand for Prime Minister Oli’s resignation.According to a senior NCP leader, Hou met Madhav Nepal at his residence in Koteshwor and they discussed the current situation.PTI

 

 

J&K press demands roll back of new media policy

https://www.thehindu.com/news/national/jk-press-demands-roll-back-of-new-media-policy/article32003901.ece

Scribes and editors associated with J&K Media Association and the J&K Media Guild held a street protest in Srinagar on Monday against J&K Media Policy-2020 and demanded its roll back.“New media policy, unfortunately and brazenly, underlines that every report is to be vetted by the police first. This is nothing but an attempt at censorship. The journalist fraternity in Kashmir has lost so many lives in the past 30 years of conflict to uphold journalistic values. The policy is unfair and should be revoked,” Rashid Rahi, chief editor of CNS Kashmir, a wire service, said. Rahi said it was ironic that on one hand BJP govt claimed revocation of Article 370 had ended 2 constitution systems in India but on the other hand brought in a separate media policy for J&K. “This smacks of duplicity,” he added. The protesting members of media organisations, who assembled at Srinagar’s Press Enclave, were carrying banners reading ‘Don’t gag media’ and ‘Down with Media Policy-2020’.“The media policy will reduce journalism to becoming a mouthpiece of the government, as the police are likely to lodge FIR in every case of inconvenient reportage,” a reporter at the rally said. CPI (M) leader MY Tarigami supported journalists’ demand for a roll back of the policy.The Hindu

 

NIA Files Charge Sheet Against Davinder Singh for Hizb Conspiracy

https://www.thequint.com/news/india/nia-chargesheet-davinder-singh-jk-cop-terror-plot-hizb-ul-mujahideen

NIA on Monday, filed a charge sheet against six persons for a conspiracy to wage war against India and other terror charges, including J&K deputy superintendent of police Davinder Singh, in a special Jammu court. According to a press release by NIA, accused:“...were part of a deep-rooted conspiracy hatched by Hizb-ul-Mujahideen and Pakistani State Agencies to commit violent acts and to wage war against Union of India.”Singh, a decorated yet long controversial police officer, had been arrested in January while accompanying 2 wanted Hizb men in a car en route to Delhi. The arrest made headlines because of his time in charge at Pulwama (before Pulwama attack), as well as the fact that Parliament Attack convict Afzal Guru had claimed he’d become involved in it at Singh’s behest.The Quint

 

Punjab: Booked for sedition, ‘SFJ member’ Gujjar finds support in Khaira

https://indianexpress.com/article/cities/chandigarh/punjab-booked-for-sedition-sfj-member-gujjar-finds-support-in-khaira-6491590/

Chandigarh :A Punjab legislator Sunday came out in support of Joginder Singh Gujjar, alias Goga, days after he was booked and arrested by the Punjab Police on charges of sedition and waging war against India.Punjab Police on July 2 had booked Gujjar, whom it said is a prominent and active member of banned Sikh for Justice (SFJ) in a case under UAPA.The case has been registered at Bholath in Kapurthala “based on reliable inputs of entry of Gujjar in India in February 2020,” police had said. Gujjar, at the behest of SFJ legal advisor Gurpatwant Singh Pannu, had been providing financial assistance to the banned outfit’s operatives based in Punjab and abroad, it said. Gujjar was arrested Saturday from his village Akala and police claimed to have recovered some objectionable photographs and literature from him.Now, Bholath MLA and ex Leader of Opposition Sukhpal Singh Khaira has termed Gujjar’s arrest as vindictive.

Khaira visits Gujjar’s family, alleges misuse of UAPA in Punjab

 

*CORONAVIRUS- LOCKDOWN*

Ordeal of people with ‘false’ COVID-19 positive cases in Kashmir

https://www.thehindu.com/news/national/other-states/ordeal-of-people-with-false-covid-19-positive-cases-in-kashmir/article32004052.ece

Srinagar:In the din of war against COVID-19 pandemic, Kashmir is witnessing poignant tales of false positives, rounding up of families and empty houses.Dr. Zahid Safdar, a dentist from Srinagar, is among dozens who were ‘falsely’ shown positive by Srinagar’s leading laboratory at Chest Disease (CD) hospital controlled by Govt Medical College(GMC), Srinagar.“I accompanied an acquaintance whose mother was to be operated upon in the Bone and Joint hospital on May 29. On June 1, the health authorities asked me to go for a COVID-19 test as the patient had tested positive along with her son. I was also labelled positive by CD hospital lab. I had my doubts but the experts suggested that the false positive for COVID-19 test, RT-PCR, is very rare,” Dr. Safdar said.His house and clinic in Srinagar’s Hawal area were pasted with the posters of COVID-19-affected and isolated as per the protocol. This panicked scores of the dentist’s patients he had treated earlier, who also started offering samples and, many of them, were also declared positive in the labs.Weeks after, Dr. Safdar went for IgG test, which detects an affected person’s antibodies developed following infection.“Surprisingly, my IgG titre was negative not once but twice. I was actually negative along with hundreds of others who got tested there. All my contacts, who had been declared positive by the same lab, were also having negative antibody titre,” the doctor said.Dr. Safdar’s family members “also tested negative for coronavirus at another lab”. “How on earth can the staff [of the lab] be so callous with such a sensitive test, which has immense health and social repercussions. Allah is a witness to what I went through along with my family and the patients whom I had treated. All I can say is Allah save everyone from such a torment,” said Dr. Safdar.Hospital sources said a paediatrician, a pulmonologist and his family from Srinagar were also shown falsely as “COVID-19 positive”, as per their IgG test reports.“It was a traumatising experience. The aged relatives being quarantined and the houses being emptied in a jiffy. The family members were put up with other suspected contacts in far-off quarantine centres,” said another doctor, on condition of anonymity. Another resident, a cameraman by profession from Srinagar’s Bagh-e-Mehtab, said he had to live with the pain of gall bladder stone and infection, as the pre-operation mandatory sample showed him ‘falsely’ positive.“4 days after the first test, my sample test was negative.What followed after my first report was stigmatisation. I was called up by police station first and then by CID. I felt like a criminal.“Then a police vehicle made announcements in our mohalla. A poster saying ‘danger’ was pasted on the gate. My mother and father were shifted to Budgam for 14 days. Our house remained empty for many days. It’s an unforgettable ordeal,” cameraman said.There are growing number of such cases coming forward where IgG test is negative, raising fears of scores of false positives in Kashmir. Of 8,429 positive cases, 3,042 are active positive and 5,255 have recovered. Of 3,99,385 test results available, 3,90,956 samples have been tested as negative till July 5, 2020.

 

Video Shows Patients Bribing Meerut Hospital Staff for 'COVID-19 Negative' Reports

https://thewire.in/health/meerut-covid-19-negative-reports-bribe

New Delhi: A video that went viral in Meerut on Sunday stands as an example of the fact that corrupt practices may be impeding India’s efforts against the spread and treatment of coronavirus. The video shows a group of people urging the staff of a private hospital to fake their COVID-19 test reports and declare them as having tested negative so that they “don’t face any problem for at least a week.” They went on to offer Rs 2,000 to hospital manager, and can be seen promising another Rs 500, when their “negative test reports” arrive.The district’s chief medical officer has now ordered a probe, and filed a case against the hospital owners. DM Anil Dhingra has also suspended hospital’s licence.  

 

8 lakh Indians may be forced to leave as Kuwait approves expat quota bill

https://www.thehindu.com/news/national/eight-lakh-indians-may-be-forced-to-leave-kuwait-as-the-country-approves-expat-quota-bill/article32000615.ece

A total of 8 lakh Indians could be forced to leave Kuwait as its National Assembly committee has approved a draft expat quota bill seeking to reduce the number of foreign workers in the Gulf country.National Assembly’s legal and legislative committee has determined that the expat quota bill is constitutional.According to the bill, Indians should not exceed 15% of the population. This could result in 8,00,000 Indians leaving Kuwait, as the Indian community constitutes the largest expat community in the country, totalling 1.45 million, the Gulf News reported, citing a Kuwaiti newspaper.The current population of Kuwait is 4.3 million, with Kuwaitis making up 1.3 million of the population, and expats accounting for 3 million.Amid a slump in oil prices and the coronavirus pandemic, there has been a spike in anti-expat rhetoric as lawmakers and government officials call for reducing the number of foreigners in Kuwait.PTI

 

World Bank, government of India sign $750 mn agreement to support MSMEs amid Covid-19 crisis

https://www.hindustantimes.com/india-news/world-bank-government-of-india-sign-750-mn-agreement-to-support-msmes-amid-covid-19-crisis/story-CVF2bqnmRTtbhRrJ5fETlN.html

World Bank and the central government has signed an agreement worth $750 million to boost the flow of finance to micro, small, and medium enterprises (MSMEs) amid the Covid-19 crisis, Ministry of Finance stated.The agreement is for MSME Emergency Response Programme which will provide increased financial support to the MSMEs that have borne the impact of the coronavirus crisis in the past few months.“World Bank’s MSME Emergency Response program will address the immediate liquidity and credit needs of some 1.5 million viable MSMEs to help them withstand the impact of the current shock and protect millions of jobs. This is the first step among a broader set of reforms that are needed to propel the MSME sector over time,” read a statement released by the World Bank.

 

Free oxygen cylinder service rolled out in Hyderabad

https://www.thehindu.com/news/cities/Hyderabad/free-oxygen-cylinder-service-rolled-out-in-city/article31996729.ece

Jamaat-e-Islami Hind Hyderabad president Mohammed Rashaduddin said the move came after the organisation was apprised of the severe want of oxygen cylinders by those who have been unwell. “We started this initiative around 48 hours ago and have delivered 42 cylinders so far. We found that oxygen cylinders are short in supply and needed by patients. Several hospitals have not been admitting patients and COVID-19 patients need oxygen. This can provide immediate relief,” he said. The socio-religious organisation is providing 17-litre and 40-litre cylinders. Beneficiaries will have to pay a fully-refundable deposit amount of ₹10,000 for 17-litre cylinder and ₹20,000 for 40-litre one. The moment the cylinders are returned, the deposit will be handed back to them, Mr Rashaduddin said.“There are some conditions such as doctor’s prescription, which is mandatory, and copies of ID proof of the patient and attendant. The cylinder will be given to any Indian citizen. This has been done due to the fact that several people wanted to keep the cylinder as a back-up. We are saying that only those in need must have them. We are giving flow pipe, regulator and other things as well,” he said, adding that, so far, 6 cylinders have been returned by beneficiaries.

 

Hyderabad: Fatwa urges Muslims to donate if they are not able to offer sacrifice on Bakrid

https://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/city/hyderabad/fatwa-urges-muslims-to-donate-if-they-are-not-able-to-offer-sacrifice-on-bakrid/articleshow/76803938.cms

Hyderabad: This year’s Bakrid, the second major Muslim festival, is likely to be quite different after a decree issued by a leading Islamic seminary in the city due to the pandemic. The festival of sacrifice will fall on either July 31 or August 1 depending on the sighting of the crescent. The seminary said that if the situation does not improve by that time, Muslims need not offer sheep in sacrifice. Instead, they should donate an amount equivalent to the cost of sheep to those in need. Keeping in mind the lockdown restictions due to Covid-19, Jamia Nizamia — south India’s leading Islamic deemed university, on Saturday issued a fatwa (decree) clarifying that sheep need not necessarily be sacrificed on Eid-ul-Adha (Bakrid) if the circumstances are not conducive. The fatwa was issued by Jamia’s chief mufti, Moulana Mufti Mohammad Azeemuddin.“Sacrifice is a deed most loved by the Almighty. But the present conditions due to Covid-19 restrictions and the increasing number of positive cases, it is prudent to donate money equal to the cost of the sacrificial animal to the needy, poor, destitute, widows and charitable organisations,” Mufti Azeemuddin said.TOI

 

Can dispose of those Markaz cases first where accused plead guilty, suggests Delhi HC

https://www.timesnownews.com/delhi/article/can-dispose-of-those-markaz-cases-first-where-accused-plead-guilty-suggests-delhi-hc/617137

New Delhi: In a bunch of petitions moved by foreign nationals seeking speedy trial in the criminal cases for participating in Tablighi Jamaat congregation during the outbreak of the Covid-19 pandemic, Delhi HC has suggested the trial court to dispose of those cases first where the accused plead guilt or enter a plea-bargain.Justice Anup Bhambhani who was hearing the matter passed a slew of suggestions after a bunch of petitions were moved by the Malaysian and Saudi participants seeking speedy trial so that they can exit the country. There are 956 foreign nationals from 36 countries who are facing charges for participating in the congregation that was held in Delhi's Nizamuddin Markaz.As of now, Delhi police has filed 48 charge-sheets and 11 supplementary charge-sheets in the matter.During the hearing, the court was informed that many accused would be willing to plead guilty or enter a plea-bargain in order to seek early closure of the cases, so that they may return to their respective countries.Counsel for these foreign nationals also stated that at this time, the petitioners are being housed in hotels, schools and other institutions, which was initially at the expense of the State; and subsequently, on request made by the petitioners, the expense is now being borne by the respective Embassy or High Commission.

 

‘Why Can’t Markaz Open?’: Tablighi Jamaat Member Registers Protest

https://www.thequint.com/news/india/tablighi-jamaat-markaz-open-hazrat-nizamuddin

“If due to a legal problem we are not being able to communicate with Markaz, then the concept of Markaz itself ends. No one has a problem with the concept of Tablighi Jamaat right?,” he asks.“If due to a legal problem we are not being able to communicate with Markaz, then the concept of the Markaz itself ends. No one has a problem with the concept of Tablighi Jamaat right?,” he asks.“You’ve filed FIRs you needed to against Tablighi Jamaat members,you’re conducting the investigation you need to, you’ve also sanitised the Markaz building. Then why are you not opening the Markaz like you are opening all other religious places since 8 June?” Naved Khan, a doctor by profession, told The Quint while speaking about the legal notice he sent to the concerned DM on 13 June. In this letter, seen by this reporter, Khan’s lawyers have noted that ‘it is the apprehension of our client that under the colour of your power you are furthering an agenda of institutional discrimination by keeping Markaz complex restricted for access despite your order dated 07.06.2020, even though there is no discernible reason for the continued deprivation of access of Markaz complex. (sic)’

 

Lockdown | Bhopal’s zardozi artists hanging by a thread

https://www.thehindu.com/news/national/coronavirus-lockdown-bhopals-zardozi-artists-hanging-by-a-thread/article32005177.ece

Craning over a wooden frame, Yousuf Khan, billed as oldest zardozi craftsperson of the Nadeem Road here, nimbly weaves metallic threads into a cotton cloth stretched across it. But suddenly overcome with sombreness, his right hand, which is deftly gripping a needle, quivers to a halt. This is his first assignment after the lockdown eased a month ago. But as it concluded in two hours, he will be left without work once again.“The pandemic has broken us irreparably. For the first time in 30 years, we got no customers during the wedding season,” said Mr. Khan, 62, spectacles perched at the edge of his nose, without looking up. After he reopened the workshop, Hina Zari Centre, on June 5 — bearing ₹4,000 a month as rent even during the two-month lockdown — a cloth merchant brought him the assignment. As no customers approached him directly, which fetched greater profits earlier, he grabbed the only opportunity.If demonetisation and automation hadn’t previously inflicted a harder blow to the handicraft, said Mr. Khan, the lockdown imposed in view of COVID-19 had battered both production and demand. Like him, Bhopal’s 200 artists of zardozi, an art patronised by the Mughals that involves weaving metallic threads — earlier made of gold and silver — on fabric to create intricate patterns, stare at mounting losses and joblessness.

 

COVID-19 tests in India cross one-crore mark

https://www.thehindu.com/news/national/covid-19-tests-in-india-cross-one-crore-mark/article32003809.ece

COVID-19 tests in India crossed the one crore mark on Monday with 1,01,35,525 cumulative samples tested so far, ICMR said on Monday. In the past 24 hours about 3,46,459 samples were tested. ICMR has now recommended that all labs/hospitals initiating testing through rapid antigen tests should ensure that symptomatic patients, who have tested negative in the rapid testing, should be referred for real-time RT-PCR testing also. Council has also written to all States/ UTs directing all private labs undertaking TrueNat/ CBNAAT-based testing for COVID-19 to apply for NABL accreditation to ensure quality testing.

 

Community Transmission Could Be on in Parts of Delhi, Mumbai: Gangakhedkar

https://science.thewire.in/health/covid-19-raman-gangakhedkar-icmr-interview-karan-thapar-community-transmission/

“There is no biological reason to support the health minister’s claim that the virus is less virulent in India.” “Mortality rates depend on age-group composition and inter-country comparisons are meaningless.” “Eventually all countries will have a recovery rate close to 99%.” “Vaccine controversy will not have long-lasting impact and won’t affect ICMR’s credibility completely.”These are just some of the things Raman R. Gangakhedkar, who retired as the chief of epidemiology at the Indian Council of Medical Research (ICMR) on June 30, said in his first interview since.In the interview, he discussed India’s COVID-19 crisis in depth. Dr Gangakhedkar has refuted the health minister Harsh Vardhan’s claim on May 23 that the novel coronavirus is “not that virulent” in India. According to Dr Gangakhedkar, there is “no biological reason to say ‘less virulent'”, nor that there was any “robust evidence” anywhere in the world suggesting there are markedly different strains of the virus at play.In an interview to Karan Thapar for The Wire, which will be published on our website between 9 pm and 10 pm on July 6, Dr Gangakhedkar also discussed two claims Prime Minister Narendra Modi has often brandished to claim India is doing better than other countries.

 

37-year-old Covid-19 positive journalist kills self by jumping off 4th floor at AIIMS Delhi

https://www.indiatoday.in/india/story/covid19-coronavirus-positive-journalist-suicide-aiims-delhi-july-6-1697634-2020-07-06

A37-year-old journalist who was undergoing treatment for Covid-19 at AIIMS in Delhi killed self by jumping off the fourth floor of the hospital on Monday afternoon. The man was rushed to ICU and succumbed to the injuries later.The journalist, identified as Tarun Sisodiya, worked with a Hindi daily and was a resident of northeast Delhi's Bhajanpura.The incident took place at around 2 pm.AIIMS in its statement over the incident said that Tarun ran out of his room on Monday afternoon. Attendants went after him and tried to stop him but he ran to the fourth floor where he broke the windowpane and jumped out.

 

Patient dies in front of hospital in Aligarh, family alleges he was “beaten to death by private hospital staff”

http://twocircles.net/2020jul05/437891.html?utm_source=feedburner&utm_medium=email&utm_campaign=Feed%3A+Twocirclesnet-IndianMuslim+%28TwoCircles.net+-+Indian+Muslim+News%29

Aligarh: “I begged them not to beat him and he will die,” says Jamila, wife of 44-year-old Sultan, who was beaten to death allegedly by private hospital staff in Aligarh.Sultan was a resident of Kareka Tehsil, Aligarh. On 2 July, Sultan along with his wife, son and nephew Chaman went for a consultation at a private N.B hospital in Dhorra Mafi Aligarh as, according to his family, “Sultan was suffering from Dysuria (Painful Urination) for some days.”Upon leaving the hospital, the family claims that Sultan was beaten to death with sticks by the staff of the hospital who were forcing them to pay extra money after the payment of the bill.On the same day, a CCTV footage went viral on social media in which a man runs out of the hospital and starts beating a person on the Scooty.As told by Chaman, nephew of Sultan, “he and Sultan were on the Scooty”.Another video shows Chaman pushing a person, to which he agrees and says, “it was my reaction because my uncle was very serious and they were not letting us go, I just pushed him back.”“Doctors at JNMC (govt hospital) told us that due to the coronavirus crisis they can’t operate him because of which we had to bring him to a private hospital,” says Chaman, “we were told that the veins through which the urine passes are clogged.”

 

‘Akhil Gogoi is sick, has symptoms of Covid’ — jailed RTI activist’s wife in Facebook post

https://theprint.in/india/akhil-gogoi-is-sick-has-symptoms-of-covid-jailed-rti-activists-wife-in-facebook-post/455674/

New Delhi: Geetanjali Tamuly, wife of Akhil Gogoi, a peasant leader, RTI activist and founder of Assam-based Krishak Mukti Sangram Samiti (KMSS), has expressed concern over his “Covid-like symptoms” while he is lodged at the Guwahati Central Jail.Gogoi was arrested in December 2019 under the amended UAPA  by NIA following anti-CAA protests that had rocked Assam last year.

 

Maharashtra allows hotels outside containment zones to operate from July 8

https://www.hindustantimes.com/india-news/maharashtra-allows-hotels-outside-containment-zones-to-operate-from-july-8/story-R8LLXShyLazcZBYP4yYgFP.html

Further easing coronavirus-induced lockdown, the Maharashtra government on Monday decided to allow hotels and other entities providing accommodation services like lodges and guest houses outside containment zones to operate from July 8 at 33 per cent of their capacity.The government announced the decision through a notification here.The permission has been granted on conditions of these entities adhering to social distancing norms and other protocols.

 

Details of PM-CARES fund must be made public and subject to scrutiny: CPM

https://indianexpress.com/article/india/pm-cares-coronavirus-cpm-6492777/

After the Congress, CPM on Monday raised questions on procurement of ventilators using PM-CARES fund and demanded that the details of the fund must be made public and subjected to public scrutiny.The party also demanded that the fund must immediately be transferred to state governments who are at the frontline combating the coronavirus pandemic. CPM said stubborn refusal of PMO to disclose details of PM-CARES Fund was deeply disturbing.

 

Universities Allowed To Hold End-Of-Term Exams By Home Ministry

https://www.ndtv.com/india-news/universities-allowed-to-hold-end-of-term-exams-by-home-ministry-2258133

New Delhi: End-of-term exams in colleges and educational institutions -- pending since March because of the lockdown to slow the coronavirus infection -- can now be held, maintaining all safety measures, the Union Home Ministry has said. The ministry has written to Higher Education Secretary, permitting the long pending exams as part of Unlock 2 – the second phase of lifting the restrictions.The final term examinations are to be compulsorily conducted as per the UGC Guidelines and academic calendar for the Universities and as per the Standard Operating Procedure approved by Union Ministry of Health and Family Welfare, the letter said. So far, several states, including Maharashtra, Madhya Pradesh, Odisha, and Haryana cancelled all higher education exams and decided to promote students on the basis of previous performances.Recently, the Gujarat government reversed its decision to conduct final year examinations, within hours of announcing it.The Rajasthan government has cancelled under-graduate and post-graduate exams in all state universities.

 

Coronavirus: Centre extends deadline to link PAN with Aadhar card till March 2021

https://scroll.in/latest/966692/coronavirus-centre-extends-deadline-to-link-pan-with-aadhar-card-till-march-2021

Centre on Monday extended the deadline for linking PAN with the Aadhar card till March 31 next year. “Understanding and keeping in mind the times that we are in, we have extended deadlines,” the Income Tax Department said in a tweet. “We do hope this helps you plan things better.”

 

Saudi Arabia announces Haj restrictions

https://www.nationalheraldindia.com/international/saudi-arabia-announces-haj-restrictions

Saudi Arabia on Monday announced a series of measures to help prevent the spread of the novel coronavirus during the annual Haj pilgrimage scheduled to take place later this month. Kingdom will limit the number of domestic attendees to around 1,000 and touching Kaaba, Islam's most sacred monument, will be banned, reports BBC.Social distancing will also be imposed.In normal times the pilgrimage is one of the most significant moments in the Muslim religious calendar.Monday's development came as Saudi Arabia reported a total of 209,509 COVID-19 cases, while the death toll stands at 1,916.IANS

COVID-19 can spread through air, claim 239 scientists, urge WHO to revise guidelines

https://www.nationalheraldindia.com/health/covid-19-can-spread-through-air-claim-239-scientists-urge-who-to-revise-guidelines

It is time to recognise and mitigate airborne transmission of COVID-19, says a plea to WHO issued by 239 scientists from around the world.The scientists suggest that while measures like washing hands and maintaining social distance are important, they may not be enough to arrest the rapid spread of the disease.IANS

 

13 UK universities on brink of collapse without COVID-19 bailout: Report

https://www.nationalheraldindia.com/international/13-uk-universities-on-brink-of-collapse-without-covid-19-bailout-report

An estimated 13 UK universities, educating around 5 per cent of students in the country, would not be able to survive the coronavirus pandemic lockdown without a government bailout support, a new report claimed on Monday.Institute of Fiscal Studies (IFS) estimates that long-term losses for the UK's higher education sector could come in anywhere between 3 billion pounds and 19 billion pounds, with the biggest losses stemming from a fall in international student enrolments including those from India who make up a large chunk of that segment.PTI

 

Bubonic plague case in China, human-to-human infection risk possible

https://www.hindustantimes.com/world-news/bubonic-plague-case-in-china-human-to-human-infection-risk-possible/story-dkYqgylM5wJlVvgypF9vrI.html?fbclid=IwAR0LKG2ZMH0cYwN6uUNwmOfuk_PVjmI7ocPABmCOXtquYXte1gGHqXh1TMc

A hospital in northern China’s Inner Mongolia reported one suspected case of bubonic plague on Saturday, according to a statement on the local health commission’s website.A third-level warning alert was issued on Sunday; the warning period will extend to the end of this year.The Bayannaoer health commission warned of the risks of human-to-human infection from the plague and urged people in the city to take precautions.Bloomberg

 

*INDIA- ISLAMOPHOBIA, HUMAN RIGHTS & OTHERS*

Jamia violence case: Direct allegations against Home Minister irresponsible, SG tells Delhi HC

https://www.nationalheraldindia.com/india/jamia-violence-case-direct-allegations-against-home-minister-irresponsible-sg-tells-delhi-hc

During the hearing on a group of petitions seeking independent inquiry into the violence that broke out in Jamia Millia Islamia University last December, Solicitor General submitted before the Delhi High Court that direct allegations against the Home Minister Amit Shah are irresponsible statements and should not be allowed by the court.While addressing the Division Bench of Chief Justice DN Patel and Justice Prateek Jalan, the Solicitor General submitted that the allegations made against the Home Minister in the rejoinder amount to irresponsible pleadings by the Petitioner as they are not backed by substantive evidence, reports LiveLaw.in. Solicitor General was responding to the rejoinder filed by one of the Petitioners, Nabila Hasan, which states that the Home Minister himself gave orders to the Delhi Police to mercilessly beat up the students who were carrying out a peaceful march.'You cannot malign a constitutional functionary like this', SG Tushar Mehta submitted.While arguing that the said allegations expose the real intention of the Petitioner behind moving the present petition, the Solicitor General asked the court to deal with such allegations seriously. He said: 'Irresponsible pleadings are becoming the order of the day. Such statements might look good in public speeches but not in affidavits submitted before a constitutional court. Article 226 of the Constitution cannot be invoked for such unsubstantiated claims.'After taking these objections into consideration, and posing the same to the Petitioner, the court noted in the order that the Petitioner is willing to expunge the said allegations from the rejoinder.Subsequently, the court adjourned the matter till next Monday. nationalheraldindia

 

Anti-CAA protests: Kin of Darapuri, Jafar say officials threatened to seize their properties

https://indianexpress.com/article/india/anti-caa-protests-kin-of-darapuri-jafar-say-officials-threatened-to-seize-their-properties-6491826/

Lucknow:Families of retired IPS officer and activist SR Darapuri (77), and Congress worker and activist Sadaf Jafar(44) have alleged that Lucknow administration officials visited their houses and allegedly threatened to seize their properties if they fail to pay for damages to public properties which occurred during an anti-CAA protest on Dec.19. Neither activist was at home during the visit.An official of the administration denied the claim of Jafar’s and Darapuri’s families, and clarified that the visit was meant to remind them that the deadline to pay for the damages was over.The activists are among 57 people in Lucknow accused of vandalism during protests and asked to pay Rs 1.55 crore in damages, failing which their properties will be seized. Jafar was arrested on Dec.19 and Darapuri on Dec.20. They were later released on bail.Darapuri’s grandson Siddharth said, “On Friday, around 20 officials came to our house and started to threaten us. They asked us where Darapuriji is. My grandfather was not here. They said that they will seize the property where we live in. They video-graphed our house, cars and conversation my uncle had with the officials.”indianexpress

 

UP: 'Seizure of Properties of Anti-CAA Activists Violates SC’s Guidelines On Damages To Public Property'

http://www.indiatomorrow.net/eng/lucknow-seizure-of-properties-of-anti-caa-activists-violates-supreme-courts-guidelines-on-damages-to-public-property

The latest action of Lucknow administration seizing properties  and threatening their auctions if their owners fail to deposit damages as assessed by the revenue officials without giving the alleged offenders a chance to prove their innocence or non-involvement in damage to public or private property during the violence that took place in the wake of anti-CAA agitation in the state capital on Dec.19 and 20 has raised questions about legality of the administration’s action. Advocate Santosh Singh practicing in the Allahabad High Court says that the ordinance and the actions of the state government in seizing property of accused and auctioning them is in violation of the Supreme Court guidelines in the case of “In Re:Destruction of Public & Private Property vs State of AP and Others”,2009. The guidelines, according to Singh, are based on recommendations of the two expert committees: one headed by Justice K T Thomas and another by senior advocate Fali S Nariman. Advocate Singh told India Tomorrow that UP government had initiated action in violation of the SC guidelines in the case of damages to public property in Lucknow. He said that those named in the police report should have been questioned if they were present in the protest or not and were directly involved in damages to the public/private property. After that, the matter should have been taken to the court where the accused persons would get an opportunity to prove their innocence. If they are found guilty, the court would punish them. But in the present case, Singh said, the accused persons have not been given a chance to rebut the charges against them in a court of law. The revenue departments officials, based simply on police report, are issuing notices to recover the damages and seizing the property and threatening to auction them in case of non-payment.


UP: PFI hits out at Yogi Govt anti-CAA protest crackdown

https://www.timesnownews.com/videos/times-now/india/uttar-pradesh-pfi-hits-out-at-yogi-government-anti-caa-protest-crackdown/66348

Popular Front of India has hit out at the BJP government in Uttar Pradesh for their crackdown on the anti-CAA protestors during the pandemic. The party alleges that the government has been misusing the lockdown to jail the protestors as well as seize their properties attaching them so that the damage done during the protests can be compensated. The move has been criticized by a lot of liberals across the country for the crackdown of protesters across the country for anti-CAA protests. Numerous leaders, students have been arrested in cases pertaining to the anti-CAA protests. Watch the video to know more!

 

 

‘Tear Them Apart’: How Hindutva WhatsApp Group Demanded Murder, Rape of Muslims in Delhi Riots

https://thewire.in/communalism/delhi-riots-hindutva-whatsapp-muslims-murder-rape

New Delhi: At 11:44 pm on Feb.26, a message sent on a WhatsApp group boasted of the murders of two men. It read: “Tumhare Bhai ne abhi 9 bje k krib b.vihar m 2 mulla mare hai (Your buddy has just killed 2 mullahs [derogatory word used for Muslims] in Bhagrirathi Vihar at around 9 pm).”On the morning of Feb.27, the lifeless bodies of 2 brothers – Mohammad Aamir and Hashim Ali, aged 30 and 16 – were found in a drain in Bhagirathi Vihar, covered with gory wounds.The night before, Asghari, their mother, had received a phone call from Aamir. “Paanch minute mein ghar pahunch jayengey (We will be home in five minutes),” he had told her. But he never came home. Neither did his brother. There were communal riots in Delhi at the time. Aamir and Hashim were two among the more than 50 victims of the violence.Aamir’s eight months pregnant wife and 2 daughters are now alone. She is still observing her iddat (Islamic period of waiting after being widowed or divorced) and prays all day, every day for justice for Aamir. Months after the riots, many of the killings which took place are still being investigated. While the police say riots are a conspiracy hatched by students and activists involved in anti-CAA protest to discredit the Modi government and have arrested several of them under stringent anti-terrorism laws, a chargesheet filed in June has revealed for first time involvement of a WhatsApp group of Hindutva extremists in mobilising crowds and organising deadly acts of violence during the riots.

 

Secrets of Delhi riots are closed in a register: Spl cell probe

https://www.timesnownews.com/delhi/article/secrets-of-delhi-riots-are-closed-in-a-register-special-cell-investigation/617118

As the investigation into the Delhi riots proceeds further, sleuths of Delhi police special cell have come with another shocking revelation in alleged funding for the Delhi riots. If sources of the Special Cell are to be believed, they are in possession of a register, which has secrets of Delhi riots funding.This register was made just before the riots. It has complete bookkeeping fo how the funding was circulated before the riots, from where did the money came from and who was it transferred to, says a senior officer.Special Cell team investigating Delhi riots had arrested Miran Haider a member of Jamia Coordination Committee, he was arrested under sections of UAPA Act.When Police team checked a register, it took them by surprise, because it had mentions of funds coming from countries like Oman and UK. Sources say, just before the riots, Rs 5 lakhs came in Haider's account.

 

SC sets aside Delhi HC order on shifting Navlakha to Mumbai

https://www.thehindu.com/news/national/sc-sets-aside-delhi-hc-order-on-shifting-navlakha-to-mumbai/article32000654.ece

The Supreme Court on Monday set aside a Delhi High Court order questioning the “frantic hurry” with which civil rights campaigner Gautam Navlakha was shifted out of National Capital to Mumbai in connection with Bhima Koregaon case. A 3-judge Bench led by Justice Arun Mishra expunged expressions like “inexplicable and frantic hurry” and “unseemly haste” used by High Court judge Justice Anup Bhambhani in his seven-page order on May 27 to describe the manner in which  Navlakha was taken to Mumbai.Justice Bhambhani had found it puzzling how NIA took Navlakha out of National Capital a day before his bail hearing was scheduled before the High Court.The apex court, however, said the HC had no jurisdiction to hear the bail application. It should be rightly heard by the Bombay High Court as Mr. Navlakha was within its jurisdiction.“Since the respondent [Navlakha] has been moved to Bombay, he is at liberty to apply before the competent court in Bombay. Thus, we set aside the impugned order [of Delhi High Court], including the observations and the proceedings which were initiated. It is the courts at Bombay alone having the jurisdiction, which can entertain the application. Thus, the appeal is allowed”, the top court observed in the order. Senior advocate Kapil Sibal said Delhi High Court had merely sought documents of the transfer of his client, Navlakha, to Mumbai and this was not exactly a “relief”.

 

Police Cannot Register FIR Under Sec 188 IPC Says Madras HC Quashing FIR Against Anti CAA Protester

https://www.indialegallive.com/constitutional-law-news/courts-news/police-cannot-register-fir-under-sec-188-ipc-says-madras-hc-quashing-fir-against-anti-caa-protester

Madras High Court while quashing FIR registered against an Anti CAA protester observed that Police cannot register FIR for the offences under Section 188 of IPC. The bench headed by Justice GK Ilanthiraiyan was hearing a petition filed by Shamsul Huda Bakavi seeking quashing of proceedings in a case registered against him by the Police under Section 143 and 188 of IPC.The petitioner along with other accused persons were protesting in the public road against the implementation of the Citizenship Amendment Act and further demanded the Central Government to withdraw said Citizenship Amendment Act, without getting prior permission from the concerned authority. On the basis of the above said allegation, police registered the complaint and filed an FIR against the petitioner and others for the offences under Sections 143 and 188 of IPC. Counsel appearing for petitioner submitted that according to Section 195(1)(a) of Cr.P.C., no Court can take cognizance of an offence under Section 188 of IPC, unless the public servant has written order from the authority.

 

'It is hell here, 150 inmates share one toilet', doctor Kafeel's letter from jail stirs controversy

https://www.tribuneindia.com/news/nation/it-is-hell-here-150-inmates-share-toilet-gorakhpur-doctors-letter-from-jail-stirs-controversy-109286

A four-page hand-written letter by suspended Gorakhpur doctor, Kafeel Khan, has stirred up a hornet's nest.The letter, which narrates the 'hellish' conditions of the Mathura prison where he is presently lodged for participating in anti-CAA protests, claims that about 150 inmates are sharing a toilet.Mathura jail senior superintendent Shailendra Maitri, on the other hand, has questioned the veracity of the letter."Kafeel denies having written any letter. We screen all the outgoing mails, and did not see any such letter written by Kafeel. And after the lockdown began, no one has been allowed to meet the inmates. So, how did the alleged letter go out?" he asked.Kafeel, in the letter to his family, has written, "With just one attached toilet and 125-150 inmates, the smell of their sweat and urine mixed, with unbearable heat due to electricity cuts, makes life hell over here. A living hell indeed."He further wrote, "I try to read but cannot focus due to suffocation. Sometimes I feel that I might fall due to dizziness. The entire barrack seems like a fish market full of all kinds of smells. People are coughing, sneezing, farting, urinating and sweating. Some people snore, some fight, some scratch themselves." The doctor also questioned his detention. "Why am I being punished? When will I be able to see my children, my wife, my mother and my brothers and sister? When will I be able to fulfil my duties as a doctor in fighting the menace of Coronavirus?" he asked.

 

Delhi violence: Court grants one day police custody of school owner to probe "local conspiracy"

    https://www.outlookindia.com/newsscroll/delhi-violence-court-grants-one-day-police-custody-of-school-owner-to-probe-local-conspiracy/1887629

A Delhi court on Monday sent a private school owner to one day police custody to investigate “only local conspiracy” in a case related to communal violence in northeast Delhi during the anti-CAA protests in February.The order was passed by Additional Sessions Judge Vinod Yadav who set aside June 24 decision of a Magistrate court which had refused to grant police custody of Faisal Farooq, owner of the Rajdhani School in Shiv Vihar locality.Among the issues likely to be probed by the police is how a huge catapult was fixed and used by the rioters from the building of the accused.The sessions court granted his custodial remand on the condition that he shall not be taken out of Delhi.“It is clearly evident from the manner in which the riots broke out on Feb.24, particularly at or around Rajdhani Public School that on a local level some conspiracy was there in which the local organizer had collected the local protestors. There is a mute question which stares us at our face as to how a huge catapult can be fixed in the building belonging to the respondent (Farooq),” the court said in its order.PTI

 

Delhi Violence: Police Opposes In HC Ishrat Jahan's Plea Challenging Trial Court Order

http://www.businessworld.in/article/Delhi-violence-Police-opposes-in-HC-Ishrat-Jahan-s-plea-challenging-trial-court-order/06-07-2020-294580/

Delhi Police on Monday strongly opposed a plea filed by former Congress councillor Ishrat Jahan in Delhi High Court challenging a trial court order that granted an extension of 60 days time for filing a charge sheet against her in a case related to northeast Delhi violence.Special Cell of Delhi Police filed a status report in Delhi High Court and sought the dismissal of the petition with a cost. The matter is scheduled to be heard on Tuesday.Delhi Police, in the status report, submitted that the reasons for extension only means there was good and sufficient cause for the same and added that it is intended to check a casual or off-hand approach in seeking the extension."A bare look at the record suggests that the requisite conditions are sufficiently and satisfactorily attracted and there is a concrete and definite reason for the extension," the police said, adding that the petitioner fails to demonstrate how the stated reasons did not meet the test.

Seema Mustafa’s book on Shaheen Bagh to be released on July 15

https://www.siasat.com/seema-mustafas-book-on-shaheen-bagh-to-be-released-on-july-15-1918805/

New Delhi: The first comprehensive book on one of the most important civil rights movements in the history of Independent India. Seema Mustafa's book 'Shaheen Bagh and the Idea of India' examines how the sit-in by a small group of Muslim women—many of whom had stepped out of their homes alone for the first time—united millions of Indians of different faiths and ideologies in defence of the principles of liberty, equality and secularism enshrined in our Constitution. Book throws up many important questions: Can the Shaheen Bagh protests reverse the damage done to our democracy in recent years? How did the non-violent movement sustain itself despite vilification, threats and persecution by the establishment? Is this movement the beginning of new solidarities in our society? Will it survive the aftermath of the Delhi violence, and the witch-hunt that was launched under cover of Covid-19 pandemic and lockdown. This necessary collection comprises interviews with some of the brave women at the core of the protests; ground reports and photographs by journalists like Seema Mustafa, Seemi Pasha, Nazes Afroz and Mustafa Quraishi; and essays by thinkers, writers, lawyers and activists, including Nayantara Sahgal, Harsh Mander, Subhashini Ali, Nandita Haksar, Zoya Hasan, Apoorvanand, Enakshi Ganguly, Sharik Laliwala and Nizam Pasha.

 

Exclusive: ‘In touch with 2 BJP MLAs’ - Sensational video of gangster Vikas Dubey accessed [WATCH]

https://www.timesnownews.com/india/article/exclusive-in-touch-with-2-bjp-mlas-sensational-video-of-gangster-vikas-dubey-accessed-watch/617145

Lucknow: Times Now has accessed a sensational video, purportedly of 2017, showing gangster Vikas Dubey admitting to having political links. Vikas Dubey is the key accused in the killing of eight police personnel in Kanpur on Friday. He is absconding after the shocking incident.The video was shot while Dubey was being interrogated by Uttar Pradesh STF in 2017. In the clip, he claimed to have links with 2 BJP MLAs - Abhijeet Sanga and Bhagwati Sagar.The gangster can be heard as saying that Abhijeet Sanga and Bhagwati Sagar had helped him when he faced police action in 2017.Abhijeet Sanga has, however, denied having any links with Dubey. "My constituency is Bithoor in Kanpur and people from the adjoining village come to me for help. In fact, several times I have recommended action in cases where Vikas Dubey was supporting the other parties," said Sanga.

 

Cop killed in Kanpur alerted senior of SHO’s proximity to Dubey

https://www.thehindu.com/news/national/cop-killed-in-kanpur-alerted-senior-of-shos-proximity-to-dubey/article32004160.ece

A police officer who was among the eight policemen killed in the encounter in Kanpur’s Bikru village had allegedly alerted the district police chief that SHO of Chaubeypur, Vinay Tiwari, who was suspended after the incident, had been protecting the main accused Vikas Dubey, it emerged on Monday.Circle Officer (CO) Bilhaur Devendra Mishra had in March written to then SSP-Kanpur and complained about the SHO saying that he had had extortion charges filed against Dubey removed from an FIR. Mishra had accused Tiwari of being sympathetic to Dubey and displaying “doubtful integrity” by not taking action against the criminal.“If SHO does not change his ways, a serious incident could take place,” CO had warned.

 

Ready to state under oath that Adv. Ejaz Maqbool took Rs 60 Lac fraudulently in the Babri case: Adv. Irshad Hanif

http://muslimmirror.com/eng/ready-to-state-under-oath-that-adv-ejaz-maqbool-took-rs-60-lac-fraudulently-in-the-babri-case-adv-irshad-hanif/

New Delhi: Muslim Mirror’s expose of Adv. Ejaz Maqbool in the Babri Masjid case has stirred the conscious of many Muslim lawyers.  Now they are trying to recover the amount of Rs. 60 Lac from Adv. Ejaz Maqbool who had taken this ‘fraudulently’ in the name of Dr. Rajeev Dhavan from Jamiat Ulama-i- Hind. Md. Irshad Hanif is one of them who wants that the amount should be recovered from Adv Maqbool and he is ready to go to any extent for this.Hanif, who was earlier in the Jamiat’s panel of lawyers on Babri case, claimed that he had arranged a teleconferencing between Jamiat President Maulana Arshad Madani and Dr Dhavan on the issue.  During the telephonic talk with Dr Dhavan, Arshad Madani said that Ejaz Maqbool had taken money in the name of him from the Jamiat office, Hanif averred.In a conversation with Abdul Bari Masoud, Hanif, who is Advocate-on-Record, Supreme Court of India, shed some more lights on this sordid issue. He stated that he was ready to vouch for it in a sworn affidavit that Adv Ejaz Maqbool had taken Rs 60 Lac from Jamiat by Arshad Madnai. However, Jamiat leadership has maintained cryptic silence on the issue while Dr Dhavan has affirmed that he did not receive a single penny from the money that was taken on his name.MuslimMirror 

 

Bihar: Party Action Against LJP Leader Before Polls Indicates Rift Within NDA

https://thewire.in/politics/bihar-elections-nda-ljp

Patna: In the last few days, the leaders of the various coalition partners in NDA in Bihar, including the BJP and JDU, have been making statements along the lines of “NDA is strong in Bihar; we will win by a two-thirds majority”.Such statements are meant to suggest that the alliance is strong. But disciplinary action by LJP against one of its leaders who made a media statement he should not have suggests that the alliance is not as unified as it claims to be. LJP has removed Raghavendra Bharti, its district president in Munger, from his post because he allegedly told the media that “NDA is unbreakable.”A letter sent to Bharti from LJP on July 1 said, “Your statement in the media that NDA alliance is unbreakable has been found to be contrary to the guidelines given by the party. Regarding the alliance, the party had decided that the final decision on this will be taken by party’s national president, Honorable Chirag Paswan (sic).”

 

Huffingtonpost Exclusive: Documents Show How Javadekar And Harsh Vardhan Diluted India's Green Law

https://www.huffingtonpost.in/entry/environment-news-india-narendra-modi-government_in_5efe08c6c5b6acab284cf0a1

NEW DELHI — As India went into lockdown in March 2020, the environment ministry uploaded draft of a controversial new environmental law to widespread outcry. The proposed new law, which some green activists billed “a compilation of violations”, included provisions to grant environmental clearances to a wide variety of projects without rigorous scrutiny, and to allow those violating green laws to get their projects regularised by simply paying a penalty.Now documents obtained by HuffPost India establish how this new law, called the draft Environment Impact Assessment notification 2020, is the outcome of a two-year process in which two environment ministers — Dr. Harshvardhan and his successor Prakash Javadekar — first tasked a committee of experts with mandates designed to yield these controversial provisions, and then signed off on them.The result is a draft law that completely exempts—for a wide range of projects and activities—the need to conduct public consultation and to assess their likely impacts on human health and the environment. Worse, a decision about the kind of projects that can be allowed these relaxations will no longer be done after careful scrutiny by state level bodies or after public consultation, but by an opaque, centralised regime run by bureaucrats and experts sitting in New Delhi.If the draft EIA 2020 is passed into law in its current form, projects ranging from inland waterways, drug manufacturing, cement plants, and chemical plants, will need only cursory approval rather than the rigorous evaluation they require, according to an analysis by the Centre for Policy Research.

 

*WORLD*

EU ministers to stop visiting Israel if annexation goes ahead

https://www.middleeastmonitor.com/20200706-eu-ministers-to-stop-visiting-israel-if-annexation-goes-ahead/

Israeli Foreign Minister Gabi Ashkenazi yesterday warned that annexation might cause Israel’s relations with Jordan and European Union to deteriorate, Arab48 reported. According to the website, EU has discussed punishing action against Israel if it goes ahead with annexation, noting that the punishment could include a halt of foreign ministers’ visits to Israel, halt in dispatching students and cancelling scientific scholarships in Israel.During a conference held by the Israeli Hebrew newspaper Maariv, Ashkenazi said: “We recommend listening to political, legal and security evaluations before taking any decision.”He warned of the deterioration of Israel’s relations with Jordan and the EU, “we recommend that everything is done through talks.”

 

Kuwait: World must stop Israel’s ‘arrogance’

https://www.middleeastmonitor.com/20200706-kuwait-world-must-stop-israels-arrogance/

Commenting on expansion of Israeli settlements in the occupied West Bank, Speaker of Kuwaiti Parliament Marzouq Al-Ghanim has called on international community to stop Israel’s “arrogance”, Quds Press reported.He said that Israel must not be allowed to go ahead with its planned annexation of the occupied West Bank and Jordan Valley.“The international community must go beyond taking decisions and take practical action against Israeli aggression on the Palestinian lands occupied in 1967,” he said.

 

Israel appoints racist, anti-peace Ambassador at the UN

https://www.middleeastmonitor.com/20200706-israel-appoints-racist-anti-peace-ambassador-at-the-un/

Israeli government approved on Saturday the appointment of Internal Security Minister Gilad Erdan as the Zionist state’s Ambassador at the UN, Al-Quds Al-Araby has reported. Critics claim that Erdan has been given senior roles within the far-right Likud Party as well as the government solely because of his anti-Palestinian views.Erdan was born in 1970 from a Romanian father, who was a teacher and a lawyer, and Hungarian mother. He studied at a prestigious Israeli religious school in Jerusalem and has a BA in Law from Bar Ilan University and an MA in political sciences from Tel Aviv University.

 

Israel targets Hamas post in new air raids on Gaza Strip

https://www.aljazeera.com/news/2020/07/israel-targets-hamas-post-air-raids-gaza-strip-200706065950512.html

Israel has said it carried out fresh air raids on the Gaza Strip in response to three alleged rockets fired from the besieged Palestinian enclave. No casualties were reported in the attacks late on Sunday that took place amid heightened tensions over Israel's widely criticised plan to illegally annex parts of the occupied West Bank.Palestinian media outlets said an Israeli fighter jet targeted a position belonging to Hamas, the group that administers the Gaza Strip, in the al-Zaytoun neighbourhood. Agricultural land in the area was also reportedly hit.

 

Israel to build 164 more settlement units in occupied West Bank

https://www.middleeastmonitor.com/20200706-israel-to-build-164-more-settlement-units-in-occupied-west-bank/

Israel’s Settlement Council in the occupied West Bank has announced the development of 164 new housing units in Neve Daniel settlement to the west of the occupied West Bank city of Bethlehem, Quds Press has reported.“This settlement expansion is part of the construction of a new settlers’ compound inside the illegal settlement,” explained Director of Anti-Wall and Settlement Commission, Hassan Breijah. “It is at the expense of land belonging to the Palestinians in Al Khader and Nahalin neighbourhoods.”Israeli occupation authorities will, he pointed out, appropriate dozens of acres of agricultural land to build the new settlement project. It is part of Israel’s expansion of the city of Jerusalem, which it now calls “Greater Jerusalem” and which bites deep into occupied Palestinian territory.

 

Tunisia's Ennahdha to reevaluate stance on PM Fakhfakh's gov't

https://www.aljazeera.com/news/2020/07/tunisia-ennahdha-reevaluate-stance-pm-fakhfakh-gov-200706062537349.html

Ennahdha, the biggest party in Tunisia's Parliament, has said it will review its stance on supporting the country's fragile coalition government over an alleged conflict of interest involving Prime Minister Elyes Fakhfakh."The suspicion of a conflict of interest by the prime minister ... has harmed the image of the governing coalition, and requires a reevaluation of the [party's] position about the government," Ennahdha said in a statement on Sunday.It gave no details of what action it would consider taking, but reports citing sources close to the party said the withdrawal of its 7 ministers from the government was among the possible options. Ennahdha's statement will increase pressure on the governing coalition that was finally formed in February following an election in September last year that produced a fractured Parliament.

Tunisia Ennahda: Essebsi refused financial offer from Arab states to exclude us

https://www.middleeastmonitor.com/20200706-tunisia-ennahda-essebsi-refused-financial-offer-from-arab-states-to-exclude-us/

 

Turabi’s party accuses Sudan of ‘forcibly arresting opponents’

https://www.middleeastmonitor.com/20200706-turabis-party-accuses-sudan-of-forcibly-arresting-opponents/

Sudan’s Popular Congress Party (PCP) accused the country’s transitional government of “forcibly arresting opponent figures”.Since early June, the Sudanese Transitional Military Council (TMC) was reported to have been arresting prominent opponents for what it described as “inciting violations”.“We have been following the campaign of illegal political arrests against Sudanese cadres, party leaders, and political activists,” the party – founded by the late Hassan Al-Turabi – said in a statement.It described the government move as a “clear violation of freedoms and human rights,” adding that the arrests were “infringing the council’s pledges and conventions.”These “arbitrary arrests”, it added, “expose” govt’s allegations that it plans to build “a lawful state” as untrue, the statement stressed.

 

120 Iran MPs sign motion to question Rouhani

https://www.middleeastmonitor.com/20200706-120-iran-mps-sign-motion-to-question-rouhani/

As many as 120 Iranian parliamentarians yesterday signed a motion to question President Hassan Rouhani on a number of economic files, the Fars news agency reported.The agency said the motion includes questions on “govt’s strategic mistake that allowed US withdrawal from 2015 nuclear deal at the lowest cost” as well as the high price of real estate, cars and the US dollar.The agency said the deputies have handed the motion over to the parliament’s presiding board who in turn must pass it to the president to take effect.Members of the Iranian parliament announced in late May that they are preparing a motion to question Rouhani if he did not present plans to solve the economic crisis experienced by the country in light of the stifling US sanctions.

 

NYT: Israel planted bomb at Iran nuclear site

https://www.middleeastmonitor.com/20200706-nyt-israel-planted-bomb-at-iran-nuclear-site/

Israel was behind an explosion at an Iranian nuclear facility last week caused by a powerful bomb, according to a report in the New York Times.Citing an unidentified “Middle Eastern intelligence official”, the report alleges that Israel was responsible for the attack on the Natanz nuclear plant on Thursday, this claim was also made by a member of the Islamic Revolutionary Guards Corps (IRGC) who said an explosive was used.However, Israel has not admitted its role in the attack, with Defence Minister Benny Gantz stating yesterday during a radio interview: “Everyone can suspect us in everything and all the time, but I don’t think that’s correct.”

 

World’s largest drug haul was shipped by Assad regime, not Daesh

https://www.middleeastmonitor.com/20200706-worlds-largest-drug-haul-was-shipped-by-assad-regime-not-daesh/

The world’s largest drug haul of amphetamine pills, which was seized by Italian police last week, has been revealed to have been packaged and shipped by Syrian businessmen tied to the regime of President Bashar Al-Assad. Earlier reports had claimed that the Daesh terror group was responsible.The captagon amphetamine pills, with a street value worth €1 billion, were seized by Italian police on Friday last week after they received intelligence of the shipment by tracking the mobile devices of known gang members who were set to receive and distribute the drugs.The shipment had a record number of at least 84 million pills hidden in paper cylinders within agricultural machinery. It was thought at first to have been produced, packaged and shipped by Daesh from Syria.This story was spread by media outlets that laid responsibility on the terror group. However, it was suspected by many of being false due to the shipment coming from the port of Latakia which is fully under the control of the Syrian regime and to which Daesh has no access.In fact, it was produced and sent by the regime itself, as businessmen affiliated with Assad own facilities within the territory under his control that are able to produce amphetamine pills. Furthermore, numerous drug smuggling operations run by the regime’s business elite have been seized several times throughout the Syrian civil war. In April, for example, a shipment was seized in Egypt on the way to Libya, and another was in Saudi Arabian when the authorities seized over 44 million of the pills.

 

Russia removes Syria forces from major oil field in Deir Ez-Zor

https://www.middleeastmonitor.com/20200706-russia-removes-syria-forces-from-major-oil-field-in-deir-ez-zor/

Russian forces on Saturday took control of a major oil field in the Deir Ez-Zor governorate, in eastern Syria, after removing regime forces from it.The local Ayn Al-Furat news network said that 20 Russian soldiers entered the Al-Ward oil field in Al-Bukamal countryside, east of Deir Ez-Zor, after the Syrian regime military security personnel were expelled from it.According to the network, Russian forces deployed 15 military vehicles in the field, raised barricades and fortified its surroundings with heavy machine guns.

 

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Compiled and edited by Anwarulhaq (Released at: 9:46 PM)

 

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