News and views across the globe.

Thursday, 10 September 2020

10 SEPT.NEWS: Ahead of Talks With China, Top Indian Sources Warn Ladakh Stand-Off Can 'Take any Trajectory'. In Prashant Bhushan's 2009 Contempt Case, Top Court Seeks Attorney General's Help. Arab League: Ministers agree not to condemn UAE-Israel deal

 10 SEPT. NEWS DIGEST, MID-DAY 

INDIA

Ahead of Talks With China, Top Indian Sources Warn Ladakh Stand-Off Can 'Take any Trajectory'

https://thewire.in/diplomacy/ahead-of-talks-with-china-top-indian-sources-warn-ladakh-stand-off-can-take-any-trajectory

New Delhi: Ahead of the the first face-to-face meeting between the Indian and Chinese foreign ministers since the build-up of border tensions in Ladakh began in April, top government sources here said on Wednesday that talks with China continued to be critical in resolving the situation at the border, but added that the current stand-off could “take any trajectory”.On Wednesday, external affairs minister S. Jaishankar reached Moscow to attend the meeting of the council of foreign ministers of the Shanghai Cooperation Organisation, scheduled for Thursday.He will hold a separate bilateral meeting with China’s state councillor and foreign minister Wang Yi in the latter half of the day. It will be held after a luncheon meeting between the foreign ministers of Russia, India and China.Last week, the Indian and Chinese defence ministers had met on the sidelines of another SCO meeting in Moscow. While that meeting ended with both sides stressing the need to find a peaceful resolution, tensions again spiked after shots were fired at the Line of Actual Control on September 7. The Wire

 

North Bank of Pangong Tso 'Peaceful' After Days of India-China Tension, But No Signs of Backing off

https://www.news18.com/news/india/north-bank-of-pangong-tso-peaceful-after-days-of-india-china-tension-but-no-signs-of-back-off-2864971.html

After two tensed nights between India and China, north bank of Pangong Tso was relatively "peaceful and incident-free", officials told News18. However, they added that troops on both sides continue to hold on to their respective heights between Finger 3 and Finger 4."There has been no incident since last night in any sector along the LAC," a security official said, adding that however no significant reduction in number of soldiers could be seen on China's side.About 1,500-2,000 Chinese troops are occupying the ridge at finger 3. India has also deployed equal numbers.On the evening of Sept.8, Chinese troops had objected to India taking the heights of Finger 3 and in retaliation had taken the feature between Finger 3 and Finger 4 with their weapons. The aerial distance between the two was less than 300 meters. "Indian troops are on the western side of Finger 3 while PLA occupies the height towards the lake. They are carrying their weapons, which is unusual because usually patrol parties are very discreet about their weapons," the officer said.

 

India-China faceoff: New satellite images depict extremely fluid situation at LAC |india today  Exclusive

https://www.indiatoday.in/india/story/new-satellite-images-lac-china-india-faceoff-exclusive-1720390-2020-09-10

The first set of high-resolution satellite imagery since preemptive operation by the Indian Army at the southern bank of Pangong Lake shows an extremely fluid situation at LAC.The latest imagery accessed by India Today suggests that the Chinese claims of Indian Army crossing the LAC may not be true at all. While there are no visible signs of occupation of the peak of Helmet top mountain by either forces, images show presence of a cluster of Chinese military vehicles and camouflaged tents at the bottom of the mountain. The tracks to the empty Helmet top are seen leading from the Chinese side.

 

Rafale Induction 'Big & Strong' Message to Those Eyeing Our Sovereignty, Says Rajnath Singh as 5 Jets Join IAF

https://www.news18.com/news/india/rafale-jets-induction-live-updates-ambala-golden-arrows-rafale-deal-price-dassault-rajnath-singh-china-france-iaf-2864241.html

The first batch of 5 Rafale fighter jets were formally inducted into the Indian Air Force on Thursday at Ambala air base, in the presence of Defence Minister Rajnath Singh, his French counterpart Florence Parly and Air Chief Marshal RKS Bhadauria.Singh used the ceremony send a strong message to China over its belligerence in eastern Ladakh, saying national security is a major priority for India and it is determined to protect its territory. Singh said induction of Rafale jets into the IAF is crucial considering the kind of atmosphere being created along India's border."It is a strong message for the entire world, especially those eyeing India's sovereignty," he said in an address at a ceremony in Ambala marking formal induction of the Rafale fleet. Singh's stern message to the neighbouring country came hours ahead of an expected meeting between External Affairs Minister S Jaishankar and his Chinese counterpart Wang Yi on the margins of a Shanghai Cooperation Organisation (SCO) conclave in Moscow.

 

In Prashant Bhushan's 2009 Contempt Case, Top Court Seeks Attorney General's Help

https://www.ndtv.com/india-news/in-prashant-bhushans-2009-contempt-case-supreme-court-seeks-attorney-generals-help-to-decide-on-larger-issues-2293228?pfrom=home-topscroll

New Delhi: The Supreme Court today sought Attorney General KK Venugopal's help in an 11-year-old contempt case against lawyer-activist Prashant Bhushan. The top court asked the Attorney General to assist the court in deciding the larger issues in the 2009 contempt case against Mr Bhushan. A 3-judge bench of Justice AM Khanwilkar, Justice Dinesh Maheshwari and Justice Sanjiv Khanna heard the case today through video conferencing.  The top court will hear the matter again in the second week of October.The contempt case involves statements that Prashant Bhushan made during an interview to Tehelka magazine in 2009 when he said half the 16 Chief Justices of India were corrupt.

 

Over 2,500 Sitting MLAs and MPs Face Criminal Cases, Supreme Court Informed

https://thewire.in/law/sitting-mlas-mps-criminal-cases-data-supreme-court-criminalisation-politics

New Delhi: A submission made to the Supreme Court has revealed the startling number of sitting legislators who face criminal cases, with the data showing that a whopping 2,556 MLAs and MPs from 22 states are accused in cases. If former MPs and MLAs from these states are also included, the number rises to 4,442.The submission was made by senior advocate Vijay Hansaria, who is the amicus curiae in a PIL filed by Ashwani Kumar Upadhyay seeking speedy disposal of criminal cases against elected representatives of the parliament and state legislatures. In recent years, with the number of candidates and elected representatives who face criminal cases rising steadily, there has been an increasing outcry against the criminalisation of politics.

 

It’s BJP vs BJP on JEE-NEET as Subramanian Swamy disputes Pokhriyal’s attendance numbers

https://theprint.in/politics/its-bjp-vs-bjp-on-jee-neet-as-subramanian-swamy-disputes-pokhriyals-attendance-numbers/499577/

New Delhi: BJP’s Rajya Sabha MP Subramanian Swamy’s war with the Naremdra Modi government over JEE-NEET appears to be intensifying with each passing day.Night after Union Education Minister Ramesh Pokhriyal Nishank tweeted that 8.5 lakh students had registered for the JEE Main, and 6.35 lakh of them appeared for the exams held between 1 and 6 September, Swamy disputed the figures once again Thursday. Pokhriyal was responding to an earlier tweet by Swamy, in which the MP claimed that 18 lakh students had downloaded the (exam) passes but only 8 lakh had appeared for the exam.Following Pokhriyal’s tweet late Wednesday night, Swamy retorted Thursday by posting what he said was a copy of the official figures the ministry gave to the Supreme Court.“I will soon tweet what the Ministry of Education stated to the Supreme Court as candidates registered state wide and abroad at 9,53,473 at 660 centres. The Minister’s tweet for me to see his “facts” was 8.58 lakhs. Now who’s is official?” Swamy tweeted.

 

Ayodhya Ram Temple construction: L&T reaches out to IIT-M for expert help on design, concrete

https://indianexpress.com/article/cities/lucknow/ayodhya-ram-temple-lt-iit-m-expert-help-design-concrete-6590242/

As the temple construction committee set up by the Shri Ram Janmabhoomi Teerth Kshetra is working out the details of Ram temple to be constructed in Ayodhya, L&T, which has been awarded the contract to build the temple, has contacted IIT-M to provide expert help with the design as well as the quality of the concrete to be used.The Trust members have said that the plan is to create a temple “grand enough to make Ayodhya be recognised as the centre of Hindu faith and strong enough to survive for more than 1,000 years.” Thus, the experts will first build a single pillar going deep in the ground and only after proper testing of its strength and if it is capable enough to hold the weight of the temple, they will go ahead with the rest of the pillars. The testing process is expected to take around a month.

 

Ram Temple Trust account: Rs 6 lakh fraudulently withdrawn

https://www.nationalheraldindia.com/india/ram-temple-trust-account-rs-6-lakh-fraudulently-withdrawn

An amount of Rs 6 lakh has been fraudulently withdrawn from the bank account of the Shri Ram Janmabhoomi Teerth Kshetra Trust in Ayodhya.An FIR has been lodged in this regard at the Ayodhya Kotwali police station. A team of cyber experts has also been asked to investigate the case.According to the report, money was withdrawn from two banks in Lucknow by cheque cloning.The matter came to light when the fraudster made a third attempt to withdraw Rs 9.86 lakh from the Bank of Baroda branch.

 

SC refers Maratha reservation issue to larger Bench, no quota in jobs and admission for now

https://www.nationalheraldindia.com/india/sc-refers-maratha-reservation-issue-to-larger-bench-no-quota-in-jobs-and-admission-for-now

The Supreme Court on Wednesday referred to a larger Bench a batch of petitions challenging the Maharashtra State Reservation for Socially and Educationally Backward Classes (SEBC) Act, which provides for reservation in employment and education to the Maratha community, legal news website BarandBench.com has reported.The Bench of Justices L Nageswara Rao, Hemant Gupta and S Ravindra Bhat has held that in the meanwhile, there will be no such reservation in jobs and admissions.

 

Delhi riots : Ex-AAP Councillor Tahir Hussain sent to judicial custody

https://www.nationalheraldindia.com/national/ex-aap-councillor-tahir-hussain-sent-to-judicial-custody

Former AAP Councillor Tahir Hussain has been sent to judicial custody (Tihar Jail) in a money laundering case filed against him related to Delhi Riots case.Additional Solicitor General (ASG) S.V. Raju appearing for the ED appraised a single judge bench of the High Court presided by Yogesh Khanna on Thursday that the agency has not sought Hussain's further custody and he has been handed over to the Tihar Jail."We are not seeking his further custody and have handed him over to the Tihar Jail," said the ED.The submissions came in while the court was hearing a petition filed by Hussain challenging a trial court order which had extended his remand granted to the ED.IANS

 

Delhi riots accused can’t languish in jail over bad character tag, says court

https://indianexpress.com/article/cities/delhi/riot-accused-cant-languish-in-jail-over-bad-character-tag-says-court-6589938/

New Delhi :The court clarified that the observations made during the bail hearing "shall not be construed as expressing any opinion on the final merits of the case, as the case is at ‘pre-cognizance stage’.”When Delhi Police opposed the bail of a Northeast Delhi riots accused, saying he was a “bad character” in the area to oppose the bail, a Delhi court observed that the man cannot languish in jail just because of that tag.The observations were made by Additional Sessions Judge Vinod Yadav, who granted bail to Neeraj on furnishing a personal bond of Rs 20,000 with one surety of the like amount. He has been directed by court to maintain peace and harmony in the locality, not influence witnesses or tamper with evidence, and install the Aarogya Setu app. During the bail hearing, Special Public Prosecutor Naresh Kumar Gaur told the court that Neeraj was wanted in the case of theft and vandalism during the riots in Bhajanpura. Eight complaints were clubbed into a single FIR, and Naresh was arrested on the basis of a disclosure by a co-accused, Manish.

 

SC grants bail to 22 anti-CAA protesters booked by Mangalore police in December, 2019

https://www.nationalheraldindia.com/india/sc-grants-bail-to-22-anti-caa-protesters-booked-by-mangalore-police-in-december-2019

The Supreme Court has granted bail to 22 anti-CAA protesters booked by the Mangalore police, reports LiveLaw.in.On 6th March 2020, the Supreme Court had stayed the 17th February order of Karnataka High Court granting bail to these persons booked by the police on allegations of violence and attack on police during anti-CAA protests in Mangaluru on December 19,.The bench comprising Chief Justice SA Bobde, AS Bopanna and V. Ramasubramanian, after hearing the interim bail applications filed before it, observed:

 “Policemen sat on their chests, burnt their genitals with lighter,” lawyer recounts horrific custodial torture by Palakkad police of 2 Muslim youth

http://twocircles.net/2020sep09/438954.html?utm_source=feedburner&utm_medium=email&utm_campaign=Feed%3A+Twocirclesnet-IndianMuslim+%28TwoCircles.net+-+Indian+Muslim+News%29

Palakkad: On the evening of 24 August, Palakkad North Division police turned up at the house of two brothers, Abdurrahman (18) and Bilal (20), to question them in connection with a physical assault attempt on an RSS worker. Soon, they were taken into custody and tortured. “They were unaware of this assault incident and continuously asserted their innocence to the police”, said their lawyer Advocate Mohammad Rashid. One week after his arrest, Abdurrahman was still in the hospital suffering from serious injuries on his genitals, thighs, chest, and legs, while Bilal is still in judicial custody in an equally wretched condition, additionally facing criminal prosecution.Adv. Rashid narrates, “When sub-inspector Sudheesh Kumar’s team of nine officers barged into the house, not a single male family member was present. Their younger sister attempted to call her father, but the police threatened that they would pick her up too. They took the boys away without any intimation to the family members. When his family eventually came to know, they called up the police station, but the police denied keeping the youths in their custody.” However, what transpired inside the police station paints a horrific picture of human rights abuse and police brutality. Adv. Rashid conveyed to TCN what Abdurrahman recounted of his trauma when he was finally released after 24 hours.He continued to describe how the violence escalated. “Then, two police officers sat on their chests while the others used a cigarette lighter to burn their genitals. They even sprayed their private parts with pepper spray,” he said.

 

Cabbie's killing: Noida police say not hate crime, transfer case to Bulandshahr

https://www.devdiscourse.com/article/law-order/1204992-cabbies-killing-noida-police-say-not-hate-crime-transfer-case-to-bulandshahr

Gautam Buddh Nagar police said Wednesday that the killing of a Delhi-based cab driver allegedly by the passengers on a highway in Greater Noida during a journey from Bulandshahr district was a criminal act and not a hate crime. They also said in a statement that the case was being transferred to Bulandshahr police as the matter related to that district. Aftab Alam, 45, died in Badalpur area Sunday night allegedly after he was attacked by unidentified people who boarded his cab from Bulandshahr, according to police. However, Alam's son Mohammed Sabir alleged his father was killed in a hate crime, citing an audio clip of a purported phone conversation with his father Sunday evening.PTI

 

Petition Filed In Kerala HC To End Discrimination At Sabarimala Vavar Mosque

https://www.republicworld.com/india-news/law-and-order/petition-filed-in-kerala-hc-to-end-discrimination-at-sabarimala-vavar.html

Hindu Seva Kendram has approached Kerala High Court seeking a directive to the Kottayam District Judge to conduct a proper inquiry in the affairs of the Vavar Masjid at Erumeli and Sannidhanam. Muslim shrine is an intrinsic part of the Sabarimala pilgrimage.  The petitioner, Sreekumar Mankuzhy representing the organization that claims to be involved in the propagation and protection of Sanatana Dharma has sought to also enquire about the difficulties faced by the devotees, deficiencies in management, maintenance of hygiene, and appropriate utilization of offerings.

 

Kerala: 3 RSS workers arrested for SDPI worker’s murder

https://indianexpress.com/article/india/kerala-three-rss-workers-arrested-for-sdpi-workers-murder-6589914/

Police have arrested three RSS workers in connection with the murder of a Social Democratic Party of India (SDPI) worker in Kannur on Tuesday. SDPI is the political outfit of Popular Front of India. Sayed Swalahudeen (30), from Kolayad in Kannur, died after he was attacked while returning home, police said. The three RSS workers who were arrested are M Amal Raj (22), Prabin P K (23) and Asikala M (25), all from Chittariparamba village in Kannur.Police sources said the three arrested persons were not directly involved in the attack, but had helped the assailants. “We are ascertaining the number of persons involved in the incident. A clear picture will emerge in two days,” said an official.

 

NIA court grants bail to 2 students held under UAPA

https://indianexpress.com/article/india/nia-court-grants-bail-to-2-students-held-under-uapa-6589906/

Thiruvananthapuram :NIA court in Kochi on Wednesday granted bail to two students, who were arrested for alleged Maoist links in November last year and were facing charges under UAPA. While releasing Allan Shuhaib, 20, and Thwaha Fasal, 24, on bail, special judge Anil K Bhaskar placed stringent conditions.

 

Moga Khalistan flag hoisting & Tricolour desecration case: NIA takes over probe on MHA orders, files case

https://indianexpress.com/article/india/moga-khalistan-flag-hoisting-tricolour-desecration-case-nia-takes-over-probe-on-mha-orders-files-case-6590142/

Ludhiana :Following the orders by the Ministry of Home Affairs (MHA), a four-member team from NIA reached Moga Tuesday and started a probe in the Khalistan flag hoisting and the Tricolour desecration case of August 14.On August 14, a day ahead of the Independence Day, three men identified as Inderjit Singh Gill (32), Jaspal Singh (26) and Akashdeep Singh (19), allegedly reached the office of Moga Deputy Commissioner and raised a saffron flag on its terrace with Khalistan written on it. While Inderjit and Jaspal allegedly hoisted the Khalistan flag, Akashdeep made a video with his phone, the Moga police said.The police had said that the trio carried out the act on a call by US-based pro-Khalistan banned outfit Sikhs for Justice (SFJ) legal advisor Gurpatwant Singh Pannu, a designated terrorist by the Government of India, who had offered $2,500 for the act. Later, Pannu’s name too was added to the FIR.

 

Urdu Loses Exclusivity in J&K: Effort to ‘Ruin’ Identity, Culture?

https://www.thequint.com/news/india/jammu-kashmir-official-languages-bill-urdu-loses-exclusive-status-addition-of-other-languages-hindi-bjp-govt

“The union government’s recent Bill on Official Languages may turn out to be the last nail in the coffin for the already fading Urdu language in Jammu & Kashmir,” says senior editor Khursheed Wani, who works with ETV Bharat Urdu. For the past 131 years, Urdu has been the official language in J&K, but last week, the Union Cabinet approved a Bill to introduce Hindi, Kashmiri and Dogri as official languages in J&K, in addition to Urdu and English. Wani, while commenting on the government's recent move to remove Urdu as the exclusive official language in J&K, suggested that people should take the responsibility to preserve the language by means of reading, writing and speaking it regularly.Talking to The Quint, 48-year-old Wani, who hails from South Kashmir, recalled that till 1990, students were taught in Urdu language only, and all books were scripted in Urdu. “But during past 30 years, Urdu has lost its patronage, with both the government as well as the people preferring English and Hindi.”

 

Address Facebook’s ‘bias to dangerous content’ in India, over 40 NGOs urge Mark Zuckerberg

https://scroll.in/latest/972712/address-facebooks-bias-to-dangerous-content-in-india-over-40-ngos-urge-mark-zuckerberg

A group of 41 NGOs from around the world on Wednesday wrote to Facebook chief Mark Zuckerberg, urging him to bar Facebook India from influencing the ongoing audit on the social media platform’s impact on human rights in India. They also demanded that Facebook India’s public policy head Ankhi Das be sent on administrative leave while the audit is conducted due to her alleged role in perpetuating hate speech on the platform.The signatories said these steps were part of the decisive action the company needed to take to address Facebook India’s “bias and failure to address dangerous content in India”.In the letter, the NGOs demanded that Facebook must take immediate steps to ensure the independence and thoroughness of this internal audit by removing it entirely from the influence of the India office. Instead, the signatories said the inquiry should be jointly overseen by Facebook’s Policy Team Members in Menlo Park and civil society groups.

 

'Just a Cricket Match': 10 J&K Men Booked Under UAPA For Playing in Memory of Slain Militant

https://thewire.in/rights/nazneenpora-shopian-ruban-militant-cricket-match-uapa

Shopian: The grounds situated on the banks of the Jhelum tributary Rambiara, are usually the site for pitched cricket matches, complete with spectators. For the last week, however, they have been empty, so much so that herdsmen have been leading cattle into the field for grazing. Not much can keep locals off sports, but the booking of 10 young men under UAPA for organising and playing a match in the memory of a slain militant, can.On August 4, youth belonging to the adjoining localities had organised a cricket match. Among them was Syed Tajamul, 24-year-old brother of a slain militant commander, Syed Ruban.Tajamul and Ruban’s father, Mohammad Hussain told The Wire that his son had decided to distribute cricket uniforms among players, in memory of his brother.

 

Kashmir: After 19 Years, Victory for Mother of Man Who Disappeared in Army Custody

https://thewire.in/rights/kashmir-after-19-years-victory-for-mother-of-man-who-disappeared-in-army-custody

Srinagar: 70-year-old Bhakti Begum of Tragpora, Rafiabad, is as inconsolable today as she was in 2001, the day her son was picked up by the army and government gunmen.Her then 28-year-old son, Manzoor Ahmad Wani, a driver by profession, disappeared while in custody of the army. But in the 19 years since that happened, Bhakti Begum has never given up her search for him. Nor has she ever stopped her fight for justice.Late in August, Bhakti Begum’s relentless efforts helped convict an Ikhwani (govt gunman) involved in the abduction of her son. This is a rare situation. Members of the armed forces and former government gunmen who have violated human rights in Kashmir tend not to face repercussions. But as big as this victory might be, Bhakti Begum’s fight has not yet ended. She is determined to ensure that the army major who is the main accused in the case is also punished.Bhakti Begum’s son’s custodial disappearance was the first case from Jammu and Kashmir taken up by United Nations Working Group on Enforced or Involuntary Disappearances.

 

SC Seeks Evidence Suggesting Alleged Terror Links Of Suspected LeT Operative

https://www.livelaw.in/top-stories/sc-seeks-evidence-suggesting-alleged-terror-links-of-suspected-let-operative-162690

The Supreme Court has granted 2 weeks to NIA for placing on record requisite evidence as to why Mohammad Irfan Gaus, an alleged member of LeT should not be released.A bench of Chief Justice SA Bobde, Justices AS Bopanna & V. Ramasubramaniun remarked that it was pertinent to delve into the evidence suggesting his links to the organisation in order to satisfy its conscience which it would consider after two weeks.Solicitor General Tushar Mehta opposed the plea seeking release of Gaus & submitted that he had terror links with the banned outfit. CJI SA Bobde remarked, "You show us the evidence as to why he should not be released. We must tell you frankly, however serious they are, sometimes either through errors or malice, somebody who is not involved gets roasted. We want to satisfy our conscience that this is not one such person".

 

HC notice to Telangana, Centre on razing places of worship

https://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/city/hyderabad/hc-notice-to-t-centre-on-razing-places-of-worship/articleshow/78026808.cms

Hyderabad: Wondering how construction of a new secretariat is not in public interest, the Telangana high court on Wednesday issued notices to the state and central governments, asking them to file replies by October 1 to 3 PIL pleas which questioned razing of two mosques and a temple on the old secretariat premises. A bench of Chief Justice Raghvendra Singh Chauhan and Justice B Vijaysen Reddy, while hearing a PIL filed by Mohd Zakir Hussain Javid, sought replies from the governments by October 1 and also wanted to know from them whether laws pertaining to land acquisition, waqf and endowments were followed while taking over these properties and demolishing them.Urging the court to rebuild the two mosques — Masjid-e-Daftar-e-Motamadi and Masjid-e-Hashmi — petitioner’s counsel Yaser Mamoon described the assertion of the state that it unintentionally and by mistake demolished the mosques as not trustworthy.

 

Telangana HC hears petition against private organisation granting divorces

https://telanganatoday.com/hc-hears-petition-against-private-organisation-granting-divorces

Hyderabad: Telangana High Court has begun hearing a petition which challenged the acts of a private organisation that was reportedly granting divorces while hearing conjugal disputes and directed that the papers pertaining to it be served to the assistant solicitor general. Justice T Vinod Kumar who heard the petition was told that a private institution, Sharee Council for Conjugal Disputes under the banner SadaEHaq, Voice of Truth was discharging the functions of the judiciary and that the State was not stopping it. The petitioner Mohammed Junaid Ali Khan challenged the action of SadaEHaq represented by its founder and secretary Mohd Moinuddin in running a parallel judiciary in form of Sharaee Council for Conjugal Disputes in registering cases and pronouncing the orders. The judge directed the counsel to serve the papers to the Assistant Solicitor General and adjourned the matter to September 16.

 

AP temple chariot fire case: Police speed up probe as Antarvedi sees communal tension

https://www.thenewsminute.com/article/ap-temple-chariot-fire-case-police-speed-probe-antarvedi-sees-communal-tension-132720

Andhra Pradesh police has expedited the probe into the fire accident at Sri Lakshmi Narasimha Swamy temple in Antarvedi and gutted an old chariot in the early hours of Sept.6. BJP, opposition TDP, actor-politician Pawan Kalyan’s Jana Sena and organisations like the Vishwa Hindu Parishad have also intensified their agitation alleging a ‘conspiracy’ behind the mishap. Soon after the incident, the government suspended the temple’s Executive Officer and sanctioned Rs 95 lakh for a new chariot, which would be ready for ‘Rathotsavam’ in February next year.  Meanwhile, the town saw mild communal tension in the backdrop of the chariot being gutted. On Tuesday evening, police arrested 43 protesters for pelting stones at a local church, resulting in some window panes breaking and also for damaging the compound wall of the church.The arrested individuals belong to Vishwa Hindu Parishad (VHP) Bajrang Dal, RSS and others.

 

In Assam, Muslim couple helps build ‘namghar’ for Hindu neighbours, joins them in prayers

https://theprint.in/neye/in-assam-muslim-couple-helps-build-namghar-for-hindu-neighbours-joins-them-in-prayers/498844/

A Muslim couple in Assam’s Jorhat district has been earning praise for helping build a ‘namghar’ (prayer hall) for their Hindu neighbours. Hemidur Rahman and his family recently helped build the prayer hall in the village of Handique in the Titabor subdivision of Jorhat. Rahman, a businessman, said, “Places of worship of different religions have the same value.” His wife Persia Sultana also said, “We should live in Assam as one and as Assamese, we all should try to help each other in their own capacity.”

 

Serum Institute halts coronavirus vaccine trials in India after notice from drug regulator

https://www.indiatoday.in/india/story/serum-institute-halts-coronavirus-vaccine-trials-in-india-1720423-2020-09-10

Serum Institute of India (SII), which was conducting the India trials for the coronavirus vaccine being developed by Oxford University, has halted clinical trials of the vaccine in India. The coronavirus vaccine trials have been paused till further instructions from the Drug Controller General of India (DCGI).The Serum Institute of India has issued a statement making the declaration, days after the vaccine trial had to be halted in Oxford after a volunteer developed illness following the dosage.

 

India Sees Record 95,735 New COVID-19 Infections, 1,172 Fatalities in 24 Hours

https://thewire.in/health/covid-19-india-updates-september-10

New Delhi: The country saw a record single-day spike of 95,735 infections and 1,172 fatalities taking India’s COVID-19 caseload past 44 lakh and death toll to 75,062. The recoveries surged to 34,71,783 on Thursday, according to the Union health ministry.The total cases mounted to 44,65,863, the ministry data updated at 8 am showed.Among countries with the most infections, India and Argentina are the only two whose daily infection count continues to grow.Across the world, there have now been over 27.5 million confirmed cases of COVID-19. In total, 27,766,325 confirmed cases have been reported as of Thursday morning.

 

26% of registered students missed JEE-Main this year

https://www.thehindu.com/news/national/26-of-registered-students-missed-jee-main-this-year/article32569048.ece

Over a quarter of students who registered for JEE-Main last week failed to appear to actually write their examinations. Out of the total 8.58 lakh registered candidates, only 6.35 lakh students actually wrote their examinations, according to a tweet by Education Minister Ramesh Pokhriyal Nishank on Wednesday night.A section of students had held protests and gone to court in a bid to postpone the examination further, due to the spread of the COVID-19 pandemic and difficulties in transportation due to local lockdowns.

 

Delhi to Continue Plasma Therapy for Coronavirus Patients Despite ICMR Study Showing No Benefit

https://www.news18.com/news/india/delhi-to-continue-plasma-therapy-for-coronavirus-patients-despite-icmr-study-showing-no-benefit-2865187.html

Covid-19 patients in national capital will continue to be treated with blood plasma donated by survivors of the novel coronavirus, Delhi’s health minister Satyendar Jain said on Thursday despite clinical trials not proving whether plasma therapy can help people fighting the infection.A trial conducted across 39 hospitals in India and spearheaded by ICMR found on Thursday that plasma therapy neither reduces the death risk nor does it slow down the progression of the disease from mild to severe stage, but Jain sought to dispute the findings of the study, which is the largest yet conducted, and asserted that the treatment will continue.

 

Jamaat-e-Islami Hind pledges to recover Indian economy

https://theindianawaaz.com/jamaat-e-islami-pledges-to-recover-economy-of-india/

Criticising the central government for creating an economic crisis in the country by adopting wrong policies, the Jamaat-e-Islami Hind (JIH) President Syed Sadatullah Husaini said that his organization will work out on each and every level to recover the country from the crisis.Deliberating on the issue in a Webinar, JIH chief said, “the common people of the country are facing acute financial crisis due to wrong policies of the central government and the COVID-19. Jamaat-e-Islami Hind will work out on each and every level to recover the country from the economic crisis. Conferences and seminars will be held on national level for proposing suggestions to the government for taking economic reforms and also offering alternative economic system for the country. While on the local level, the Jamaat with the help of its local units and other organisations will try to resolve the economic problems of the countrymen.”Speaking to the state leaders of the Jamaat at a virtual webinar, the JIH President has announced that a committee will be formed to chalk out the detailed programme in this regard. He has hailed the services done by the Rifah chambers of commerce for resolving the economic issues of the people. This is a Jamaat initiative for creating and encouraging entrepreneurs, employments and businesses among the common people.Hailing the Jamaat workers for carrying out tremendous tasks of relief and social work during the lockdown, Mr. Husaini instructed them that these selfless services for humanity and the human welfare works should be persistently continued. He said, “during the Covid-19 crisis, our doctors remained a beacon of hope for the people. And the society will remember their brave services as a frontline health worker.”

Jamaat-e-Islami Hind vows to resolve the economic crisis in India

 

Yogi govt’s claim of being corruption-free proves hollow as officials mint money on purchase of COVID-19 kits

https://www.nationalheraldindia.com/india/yogi-govts-claim-of-being-corruption-free-proves-hollow-as-officials-mint-money-on-purchase-of-covid-19-kits

Yogi Adityanath-led UP govt’s much-hyped policy of zero tolerance on corruption has come under the scanner after the government developed cold feet on taking action against the main culprits who allegedly minted money in the name of purchase of pulse oximeters and thermal thermometers. DMs of 2 districts - Sultanpur and Ghazipur – were spared while Panchayat officers were suspended. In Rae Bareli, the DM called the Chief Medical Officer of the district as ‘gadha’ (donkey) when he objected to purchase of medical kits at a higher price. After much hue and cry, CMO of Rae Bareli was transferred the next day while the DM was spared.

 

Last Chance To Decide On Loan Moratorium Plan: Supreme Court To Centre

https://www.ndtv.com/business/loan-moratorium-case-must-come-up-with-something-concrete-for-sectors-supreme-court-tells-centre-2293182?pfrom=home-topscroll

The Supreme Court today gave the government two more weeks "to come up with something concrete- to help borrowers ease their EMI burden using an optional moratorium on repayment of loans allowed during the coronavirus crisis. "What is going to happen in two weeks?... We are giving time to the centre, but take a concrete decision," a three-judge bench of the top court told the government. This is the last chance for the Centre and the RBI to come up with a plan to address the issues, the Supreme Court said, refusing to adjourn the case any further. The Supreme Court was hearing a batch of petitions seeking a waiver of interest on deferred EMIs during the moratorium period, which was introduced by the Reserve Bank of India to ease the financial burden on borrowers in wake of coronavirus pandemic-related restrictions.

 

8.15% interest rate on PF to be paid now, rest linked to equity returns

https://indianexpress.com/article/business/business-others/8-15-interest-rate-on-pf-to-be-paid-now-rest-linked-to-equity-returns-6589877/

 Central Board of Trustees of the Employees’ Provident Fund Organisation (EPFO) has recommended splitting payment of the interest rate of 8.5% recommended for financial year 2019-20 into two parts, citing “exceptional circumstances arising out of Covid-19”. The EPFO will credit 8.15% to its over six crore subscribers for the year immediately and give the remaining 0.35%, which is linked to its equity investments, “before Dec.31”.This, it said, is subject to redemption of its units invested in exchange-traded funds or ETFs. At 8.5%, EPF interest rate is at a seven-year low. If the redemption of ETF units does not come through as anticipated, the 8.15% interest rate would be the lowest since 1977-78, when EPFO paid out an interest rate of 8%.

 

Govt policies have caused 'loss of crores of jobs', 'historic fall' in GDP: Rahul Gandhi

https://www.cnbctv18.com/economy/govt-policies-have-caused-loss-of-crores-of-jobs-historic-fall-in-gdp-rahul-gandhi-6869491.htm

Congress leader Rahul Gandhi on Thursday alleged that the policies of the Centre have caused loss of crores of jobs and appealed to people to make the Modi government ”listen to their voice”. He urged people to be a part of the Congress’s ’Speak Up for Jobs’ campaign being run on Thursday from 10 AM for 10 hours.

 

States need hard cash, pay GST dues, says Chidambaram to Centre

https://www.nationalheraldindia.com/politics/states-need-hard-cash-pay-gst-dues-says-chidambaram-to-centre

Following the government's proposal to give a 'Letter of Comfort' to the states to borrow money to bridge the GST compensation gap, former Finance Minister P. Chidambaram slammed the Centre and alleged that these were just words of comfort on a piece of paper that has "no value" ."What states need is hard cash. Only the central government has multiple options and the flexibility to raise the resources and pay the shortfall in GST compensation to the states," Chidambaram said.

 

Indian banks’ asset quality to deteriorate, but risks from corporate loans decline: Moody’s

https://www.nationalheraldindia.com/india/indian-banks-asset-quality-to-deteriorate-but-risks-from-corporate-loans-decline-moodys

Even as asset quality of the countrys banking sector is likely to deteriorate, the risks from corporate loan books have declined, Moodys Investors Service said in a report on Wednesday."Corporates will not be immune from the ongoing economic contraction caused by the coronavirus outbreak," Srikanth Vadlamani, Moody's Vice President and Senior Credit Officer said in a statement."Near-term stress at corporates is already visible in the very weak performance in the quarter ending June 2020."IANS

 

*WORLD*

Arab League: Ministers agree not to condemn UAE-Israel deal

https://www.aljazeera.com/news/2020/09/arab-league-ministers-agree-condemn-uae-israel-deal-200909141524785.html

Palestinian leaders won renewed Saudi support for Palestinian statehood on Wednesday but failed to persuade Arab League to condemn last month's normalisation deal between Israel and UAE.At a video conference of foreign ministers, the Palestinian leadership softened its censure of the UAE over the US-brokered August 13 accord - to be formalised at a signing ceremony at the White House next week - in the hope of getting more Arab support, but to no avail."Discussions regarding this point were serious. It was comprehensive and took some time. But it did not lead in the end to agreement about the draft resolution that was proposed by the Palestinian side," Arab League Assistant Secretary-General Hossam Zaki told reporters.According to a Palestinian diplomatic source, Arab League dropped the draft resolution condemning the controversial Israeli-UAE agreement.

 

US’ Trump nominated for Nobel Peace Prize after UAE-Israel ‘peace deal’

https://www.middleeastmonitor.com/20200909-us-trump-nominated-for-nobel-peace-prize-after-uae-israel-peace-deal/

US President Donald Trump has been nominated for 2021 Nobel Peace Prize for brokering a ‘peace deal’ between UAE and Israel.Right-wing Norwegian MP Christian Tybring-Gjedde praised Trump for his role in normalising relations between the two countries and claimed he had done more to “create peace” between nations than any other Nobel nominee.He told Fox News: “For his merit, I think he has done more trying to create peace between nations than most other Peace Prize nominees.”He elaborated in his letter that he hoped after the controversial deal to normalise relations between UAE and Israel would lead to further normalisation in the region.

 

Israel: Netanyahu to implement full lockdown to limit demonstrations calling for his resignation

https://www.middleeastmonitor.com/20200910-israel-netanyahu-to-implement-full-lockdown-to-limit-demonstrations-calling-for-his-resignation/

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu is seeking to implement a full lockdown in Israel to limit demonstrations calling for him to resign, Arab48.com reported.The news outlet cited a report by Israeli military analyst Amos Harel which appeared in Haaretz, stating that the country is heading towards a full lockdown by the end of the month.Harel pointed out that there is a “power struggle shaping up” within the cabinet that was formed to handle the COVID-19 crisis, while members from Defence Minister Benny Gantz’s Blue and White Party are working to prevent a full closure.Full lockdown has commenced in 40 Israeli cities on Tuesday night, labelled as “red” cities, due to the high number of COVID-19 cases reported within them.Cabinet sources reported by Harel state that Netanyahu believes that the only way to reduce the number of cases is to implement a full lockdown lasting several weeks.

 

Lebanon, Israel ‘getting closer’ to maritime border demarcation

https://www.middleeastmonitor.com/20200910-lebanon-israel-getting-closer-to-maritime-border-demarcation/

US Assistant Secretary of State David Schenker announced on Tuesday that Lebanon and Israel are “getting closer” to a framework deal on the demarcation of maritime borders.In a meeting with reporters conducted via telephone, Schenker told journalist and editor Marlene Khalife of the Lebanese Masdar Diplomacy that he attributed the reason for not reaching a framework for the agreement to there being no government in the country.“I don’t think there’s anybody in the government,” he answered when asked by Khalife about the obstacles encountered when reaching the framework agreement.

 

Govt efforts needed to achieve people-to-people normalisation says US’ Schenker over Israel ,Arab ties

https://www.middleeastmonitor.com/20200909-us-schenker-government-efforts-needed-to-achieve-people-to-people-normalisation/

US Assistant Secretary of State David Schenker has asserted that more government efforts are required in order to attain people-to-people normalisation. In a special briefing with journalists via telephone, Schenker recognised that the Israeli peace agreements with Egypt and Jordan have brought governments closer, but could not achieve the same effect between the two Arab countries and Israel.Commenting on the potential actions of the US to help UAE-Israel deal achieve this end, Schenker indicated: “We still have the Camp David Peace Treaty from 1978, and there is not a great deal of people-to-people connection between the Israelis and the Egyptians.”

 

UAE urges hotels to accommodate Jewish food needs

https://www.middleeastmonitor.com/20200909-uae-urges-hotels-to-accommodate-jewish-food-needs/

Authorities in the UAE’s capital on Wednesday issued instructions to all hotels in Abu Dhabi to provide food complying with Jewish dietary laws in preparation for receiving Israeli tourists, according to Israeli news reports, Anadolu reports.“All hotel establishments are advised to include Kosher food options on room service menus and at all food and beverage outlets in their establishments,” said the written letter to the hotels.All Abu Dhabi hotels — numbering about 160 — will be required to obtain a Kosher certificate proving that food was produced according to Jewish law and to allocate an area in all kitchens to prepare food for Jewish tourists.

 

Iran, Turkey and Qatar can form alliance says Hamas rep in Tehran

https://www.middleeastmonitor.com/20200909-iran-turkey-and-qatar-can-form-alliance-says-hamas-rep-in-tehran/

Iran, Turkey and Qatar can form an economic and political alliance in the region according to Khaled Al-Qaddoumi, the Hamas representative in Tehran.In an interview with Tehran Times published, Al-Qaddoumi said he believes the region is in dire need of a strong alliance to resist the Israeli occupation and foreign interventions.Asked about the recent normalisation between Israel and the UAE, Al-Qaddoumi said: “This deal simply is a concession given by the Emirates to Netanyahu and Trump, two persons who are suffering a lot of political crises in their own regimes.”

 

Disney's Mulan boycotted for working with China security who are torturing Uyghur Muslims

https://www.middleeastmonitor.com/20200909-disneys-mulan-boycotted-for-working-with-china-security-who-are-torturing-uyghur-muslims/

Protests and calls for boycotts of Disney’s new film Mulan are spreading on Twitter after it was revealed that scenes from the film where shot in parts of China where the government is committing mass human rights abuses, including cultural genocide against ethnic minorities.Human rights activists, non-governmental organisations and journalists have helped identify as many as 500 potential concentration camp and detention centre sites in Xinjiang using a combination of satellite imagery and eyewitness accounts.The calls for boycott began blowing up earlier this week, when several social media users noticed the final credits, which thanked a government security agency in Xinjiang province, where more than one million Uyghur Muslims are being detained.

 

Chinese fighter jets enter Taiwan airspace for second day

https://www.aljazeera.com/news/2020/09/chinese-fighter-jets-enter-taiwan-airspace-day-200910044136617.html

Chinese fighter jets approached Taiwan on Thursday for a second day in a row, the island's defence ministry said, urging China to stop "destroying regional peace" in a further ratcheting up of tension across the sensitive Taiwan Strait.China, which claims Taiwan as its own territory, has held numerous military exercises up and down its coast and near the island in recent weeks.

 

US cancels over 1,000 visas for Chinese nationals citing security

https://www.aljazeera.com/news/2020/09/cancels-1000-visas-chinese-nationals-citing-security-200910020514268.html

US has revoked visas for more than 1,000 Chinese nationals under a May 29 presidential proclamation to suspend entry from China of students and researchers deemed security risks, according to the US Department of State.The acting head of the US Department of Homeland Security, Chad Wolf, said earlier that Washington was blocking visas "for certain Chinese graduate students and researchers with ties to China's military fusion strategy, to prevent them from stealing and otherwise appropriating sensitive research."

 

US cites 'great sacrifice' as it pulls 2,200 troops out of Iraq

https://www.aljazeera.com/news/2020/09/united-states-formally-announces-troop-reduction-iraq-200909123333305.html

US military on Wednesday announced it will reduce its presence in Iraq from 5,200 to 3,000 troops this month, formalising a move that had been long expected."We are continuing to expand on our partner capacity programmes that enable Iraqi forces and allow us to reduce our footprint in Iraq," Marine General Frank McKenzie, the head of US Central Command, said during a visit to Iraq.The US has about 5,200 troops that were deployed in Iraq to fight the armed group ISIL. Officials in the US-led coalition said Iraqi forces are now mostly able to handle the ISIL remnants on their own.

 

Saudi nuclear programme given boost by IAEA

https://www.middleeastmonitor.com/20200909-saudi-nuclear-programme-given-boost-by-iaea/

In news that is likely to raise concerns in Israel, Saudi Arabia has been given a boost by International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) in its ongoing efforts to develop nuclear energy. The global body was quoted on Monday as saying that the kingdom was preparing to adopt nuclear energy and the agency was providing support.“Saudi Arabia is interested in nuclear energy and we are working on providing it with the necessary support,” IAEA DG Rafael Grossi is reported saying in Reuters.

 

US official urges 'structural' steps against rights abuses in Saudi

https://www.middleeasteye.net/news/us-official-urges-structural-steps-against-rights-abuses-saudi-arabia

A top US official has warned Saudi Arabia and other Middle Eastern countries that Democrats may gain power one day and impose greater pressure to uphold human rights in the region, calling on Riyadh to implement "structural" reforms to prevent future abuses.Speaking virtually at the Washington-based Brookings Institution, Assistant Secretary of State for Near Eastern Affairs David Schenker said his office has been pressing Middle Eastern countries, including Saudi Arabia and Egypt, on human rights."It's a priority for me; it's a priority for the secretary," Schenker said, referring to his boss, Mike Pompeo.

 

Prisoner release issue continues to impede intra-Afghan talks

https://www.aljazeera.com/news/2020/09/prisoner-release-issue-continues-impede-intra-afghan-talks-200908183426003.html

Doha:Afghan government has deliberately delayed release of Taliban prisoners to impede the so-called intra-Afghan talks, Taliban officials have told Al Jazeera, as at least 100 inmates remain in jail."Approximately 100 Taliban inmates are still in jail. Some have been released in the last 24 hours and we have been assured that those remaining will be released soon," Mohammad Naeem Wardak, the spokesperson for Taliban's political office in the Qatari capital, Doha, told Al Jazeera."Our agreement is with the Americans and we have asked them to ensure that their side of the agreement is implemented. They keep giving us various reasons for the delay. We are ready to talk as soon as the prisoner release is complete," Wardak said, referring to the agreement signed in Feb.

 

Coronavirus: Russia starts vaccinating volunteers as scientists question early-stage trial data

https://scroll.in/latest/972722/coronavirus-russia-starts-vaccinating-volunteers-as-scientists-question-early-stage-trial-data

Russia on Wednesday started inoculating volunteers with “Sputnik V” vaccine against the coronavirus in Moscow, AFP reported. “The first participants have already had the vaccination at clinics in the capital,” Moscow Deputy Mayor Anastasia Rakova said. This came as 26 scientists issued an open letter to medical journal The Lancet, raising questions on the accuracy of data from the vaccine’s early-stage trials, saying it looked “highly unlikely”, Reuters said.The signatories of the letter said that data from phase 2 and 3 trials of “Sputnik V” showed that several participants had the same level of antibodies in their system.

 OP-ED

NEP reboot: Mother tongue versus English isn’t the real issue:Bibek Debroy

https://indianexpress.com/article/opinion/columns/mother-tongue-english-medium-regional-language-national-education-policy-6589728/

 

·        Accidental Burning of Idol in WB Viral With False Communal Angle:Webqoof

https://www.thequint.com/news/webqoof/accidental-burning-of-idol-in-bengals-murshidabad-viral-with-false-communal-angle

 

·        Why China Is So Upset About India's Predominantly Tibetan Special Frontier Force:Rahul Bedi

https://thewire.in/security/india-china-tibetan-special-frontier-force

 

·        Modi Govt Contradicts Itself On PMNRF Like It Did On PM CARES, Documents Show: Akshay Deshmane

https://www.huffingtonpost.in/entry/narendra-modi-govt-pmnrf-pmcares-rti_in_5f5939c0c5b6b48507fb4eff

 Compiled and edited by Anwarulhaq

 

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