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22 December 2020

Farmer leaders to decide on talk with govt tomorrow while 3,000 Maha farmers start ‘long procession to Delhi’. Jamaat-e-Islami Hind delegation visits Delhi’s Tikri Border to meets Kisan Union leaders. Modi Mentions Triple Talaq at AMU’s Centenary Year, Silent On Its Minority Character

 

NEWS BULLETIN : EVENING

22-12-2020,19:44IST

 INDIA

 Farmer leaders to decide on talk with govt tomorrow while 3,000 Maha farmers start ‘long procession to Delhi’

Over 3,000 farmers, under the banner of All India Kisan Sabha (AIKS), started their 1,270-km-long 'Vehicle Jatha' (procession) from Maharashtra to join their counterparts from north India currently protesting outside Delhi, organisers said on Tuesday.In a related development, a large number of farmers staged protests outside the offices of certain corporate houses in Mumbai on Tuesday afternoon.AIKS spokesperson P.S. Prasad said that over 2,000 farmers started in vehicles from Nashik on Monday evening, and more than 1,000 joined them in Malegaon during the day as they were proceeding to the state borders from Dhule.Thousands of locals, non-farmers and representatives of various political parties turned up to wish them safe journey and success in their endeavours.With a target to reach Delhi on Thursday, the Maharashtra contingent hopes that many more will join it as the procession winds its way through the winter chills currently experienced in most parts of the country.The Maharashtra farmers are in "full solidarity" with the peasantry across India in opposing the three new "anti-farmer" laws introduced by the BJP government at the Centre, said AIKS President Dr Ashok Dhawale.Addressing a meeting in Malegaon this afternoon, several leaders including Dhawale and state AIKS Secretary Ajit Nawale said that the peaceful march is to demand the complete repeal of the three farm laws which would destroy the farming community and benefit the corporate houses.Nawale said that the farmers were proceeding in vehicles as a march by the road would have been difficult was in view of the Covid protocols and lockdown measures, as well as the distance and the weather.Besides Dhawale and Nawale, other prominent leaders include Kisan Gujar, Sunil Malusare and J.P. Gavit, who are leading the 'Vehicle Jatha' comprising scores of cars, trucks, buses, and tempos decorated with banners and AIKS flags.At a public meeting in Chandwad, the farmers paid homage to the 33 farmers who have been 'martyred' to the cause in the past three weeks.Speakers slammed Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Union Home Minister Amit Shah for their "arrogance, insensitive attitude and regressive policies targeting the farmers and workers, and working to serve the cause of a handful of industrialists and corporates". They burnt effigies of various industrialists and gave a call to boycott all the products of the major business houses that, they alleged, are being favoured by the BJP.Meanwhile, protesting farmer unions on Tuesday said that a decision on the central government's offer for fresh talks has been deferred to Wednesday, even as they remained adamant on the demand to repeal the three farm laws.Addressing a press conference at Delhi's Singhu Border, farmer leader Kulwant Singh Sandhu said that 32 farmer unions from Punjab held a meeting and discussed the next course of action.

https://www.nationalheraldindia.com/india/farmer-leaders-to-decide-on-talk-with-govt-tomorrow-while-3000-maha-farmers-start-long-procession-to-delhi

 

 Jamaat-e-Islami Hind delegation visits Delhi’s Tikri Border; meets Kisan Union leaders Sri Joginder Singh Ugrahan, Sri Jhanda Singh Jethuke

New Delhi: A delegation of Jamaat-e-Islami Hind (JIH) consisting of its national and state leaders visited Tikri Border, in Delhi on Monday to extend support to the demands of the agitating farmers. The delegation under the leadership of JIH national Secretary Mr. Malik Motasim Khan met with leaders of the agitating farmer movements (Kisan Andolan) including chief of Bharati Kisan Union (Ekta Ugrahan) Sri Joginder Singh Ugrahan and its senior vice president Sri Jhanda Singh Jethuke. The farmer unions are protesting to demand the union government to repeal the recently enacted three farm laws. Another JIH national Secretary Mr. Shafi Madni, JIH Punjab president Mr. A.Shukoor, Mr. Ishtiyaq, Mr. Zahid Hussain, Mr. Md Ali Falahi Haryana, Mr. Asad Falahi were part of the delegation.

https://jamaateislamihind.org/eng/jih-delegation-visits-tikri-border/

 

 

‘By proposing amendments, Centre proved that the laws have flaws’: BKU chief

Chandigarh :Bharati Kisan Union (Ekta Ugrahan) has been hitting the headlines ever since the protests against the three agri ordinances, which were later enacted as laws by the Centre, began. The largest farmers’ union of Punjab and its 75-year-old chief Joginder Singh Ugrahan have remained in news for often taking stand that was not in consonance with the other farmers’ bodies agitating against the central laws — whether it be not joining the others when Delhi Chalo march began on Nov.26 or holding a protest seeking release of jailed ‘rights activists’. Ugrahan speaks to Indian Express on farm laws, human rights and farm suicides. BKU chief said, "We are at (Delhi’s) Tikri border and our workers are spread over several kilometers. It hardly matters whether we started a day late (which was Nov.27 from Khanauri-Jind and Bathinda- Dabwali highways). Ultimately, the goal of all the unions is the same and we are also protesting against farm laws as the rest of the other unions are doing." He continued, "We have rejected their proposals and amendments. Earlier, they were saying that farm laws are for farmers’ welfare but later they were ready to insert amendments. By proposing amendments, they have proved that their laws have flaws. Any law, which has so many flaws, needs to be scrapped. If the Centre is really keen to for welfare of the farmers, they can seek feedback from farmers and accordingly bring in farmer-friendly reforms. Now, the latest letter of the Centre asking the farmers’ unions to choose a date for meeting also revolves around those amendments."

https://indianexpress.com/article/cities/chandigarh/by-proposing-amendments-centre-proved-that-the-laws-have-flaws-bku-chief-7114198/

 

"BJP Illegally Used My Photo For Farm Law Ads": Protester At Singhu

New Delhi: A farmer protesting at Delhi's Singhu border for two weeks has said his image has been illegally used by the BJP to promote the farms laws in its advertisements. Harpreet Singh, who is around 35 years old, said he would be sending legal notice to the party, with his original photograph and a copy of the advertisement.  The advertisement, meant to address one of the biggest concerns of the protesting farmers -- the prospect of the government phasing out its guaranteed prices for crops -- was posted on Facebook by the Punjab unit of the BJP on Monday.   The advertisement, which also gave data on government procurement of crops, including rice and pulses, featured an edited image of a farmer carrying a plough.   Singh said the photograph, clicked around seven years ago, has been taken off his social media page without his permission. 

https://www.ndtv.com/india-news/bjp-illegally-used-my-photo-for-farm-law-ads-protester-at-singhu-2342041

 

Modi Mentions Triple Talaq at AMU’s Centenary Year, Silent On Its Minority Character

NEW DELHI:Prime Minister Narendra Modi, who is the first prime minister in the last 50 years to be chief guest at AMU, avoided to speak on the minority character of the AMU but chose to speak about his government “ending the practice of Triple Talaq”, perhaps to appease his political constituency that is happy with everything anti-Muslim. The first two prime minister’s who were chief guest at AMU were Pandit Jawaharhlal Nehru and Lal Bahadur Shahstri. Earlier, AMU students had not allowed former union minister Murli Manohar Joshi and Samajwadi Party leader Mulayam Singh to address AMU functions.PM made the comment on Triple Talaq while addressing the AMU community through video-conferencing on centenary year celebrations of the university on Tuesday where he was invited as chief guest. While he spoke about “blending aspirations of the people with national goals irrespective of one’s religion”, it would be appropriate to remind him that Muslims have for long been fighting for protection of minority character of AMU under Article 30 of the Constitution of India and the previous UPA government led by the Congress had submitted an appeal in the Supreme Court in favour of the minority character of the university, but Modi government that came to power in May 2014 withdrew that appeal, clearly stating that AMU is not a minority institution and this demolished the rightful aspirations of the Muslim community of India.While Modi termed AMU as “mini India”, it is surprising that he has never stopped his party leaders from speaking against AMU and describing it as “hub of terrorists”. Even UP Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath and Lok Sabha MP from Aligarh Satish Gautam has also several times in the past questioned the minority character of the university. Hindu Yuva Vahini chief Sunil Singh alleged in 2015 that AMU was a “nursery of terrorists”. BJP leader and former deputy mayor of Agra Naveen Jain called AMU as the ‘hub of terrorists’. Will Modi reign in his party leaders and workers to defame AMU in this way in future?While PM praised the “research done by the AMU on Islamic literature that strengthened India’s cultural relations with the entire Islamic world”, it is logical to remind him on this occasion that his party’s government in Assam recently abolished government-funded ‘madrasas’ (Islamic seminaries) while retaining the Sanskrit schools that are engaged in teaching of Hindu religion.

https://indiatomorrow.net/2020/12/22/modi-avoids-minority-character-of-amu-mentions-triple-talaq-at-universitys-centenary-year-celebration-function/

 

'AMU strengthened India's cultural relations with Islamic world,' says PM Modi

https://www.businesstoday.in/current/economy-politics/aligarh-muslim-university-amu-research-strengthened-indias-cultural-relations-with-islamic-world-says-pm-modi/story/425634.html

 

 

NIA arrests 17 SDPI members for conspiracy in Bengaluru riots case

BENGALURU : NIA on Monday arrested 17 SDPI, PFI leaders and activists in DJ Halli and KG Halli arson case. SDPI is the political wing of PFI. "The investigation so far has revealed that SDPI leaders Mohammed Sharieff, president, Bengaluru district, and president, KG Halli ward, Imran Ahmed, along with senior SDPI leaders Rubah Waqas, Shabbar Khan and Shaikh Ajmal had conducted meetings at Thanisandra and KG Halli wards on the evening of August 11, in which they conspired, mobilised and thereafter, led the crowd to KG Halli police station and attacked police personnel, caused huge damage to public and police vehicles," said NIA.  "SDPI President, Nagwara ward, Abbas had also mobilised a large crowd at the KG Halli police station through his associates Azil Pasha, Irfan Khan and Akbar Khan," the Central counter terror agency added."NIA investigation has also revealed that the accused -- Saddam, Sayed Sohel and Kaleemulla alias Shahrukh Khan -- misused social media platforms Facebook, Instagram and WhatsApp to spread terror among people. The accused participated and mobilised people from distant places to gather at KG Halli police station for the purpose of creating violence and damaging public and private properties," NIA stated. The agency on Nov.18 had conducted searches at 43 locations in Bengaluru, including at the 4 offices of SDPI in the rioting case, in which three people lost their lives in police firing.  So far, 187 accused were arrested in the August 11 arson in which thousands of people had damaged and burnt down DJ Halli and KG Halli police stations and torched the house of Congress MLA from Pulakeshinagar  after his nephew Naveen allegedly posted a sacrilegious post .

https://www.newindianexpress.com/cities/bengaluru/2020/dec/22/nia-arrests-17-sdpi-members-for-conspiracy-in-bengaluru-riots-case-2239496.html

 

Notices Issued To 2 IAS Officers Over Saharanpur Riots

Allahabad High Court has issued notices to two IAS officers for allegedly ignoring SC/ST Act provisions while providing monetary help to victims of 2017 Saharanpur riots. On May 5, 2017, violence broke out between Dalit and Rajput communities in Shabbirpur village that left one dead and several others injured. The violence erupted over playing of loud music while a procession was being taken out to mark Maharana Pratap Jayanti. Later, 56 Dalit homes were torched. Giving details of the case, Raj Kumar, lawyer representing Dalits, said that in Oct, special SC/ST court of V.K. Lal had made some scathing observations about failure to implement the law by 2 officers — former Saharanpur DM Alok Pandey and former Additional Chief Secretary of the Social Welfare Development Department, Manoj Singh. IANS

https://ommcomnews.com/india-news/notices-issued-to-2-ias-officers-over-saharanpur-riots

 

Delhi riots | Ishrat Jahan alleges in court beating, harassment by jail inmates

Former Congress Councillor Ishrat Jahan, arrested under the stringent Unlawful Activities (Prevention) Act in a northeast Delhi riots case, alleged before a court in New Delhi on Tuesday that she was beaten badly by inmates at Mandoli jail and was continuously facing harassment in prison.Additional Sessions Judge Amitabh Rawat directed the jail authorities to take immediate steps to ensure Jahan’s security and ensure that she was not harassed further for bringing her complaints before the court.The court sought a detailed report from the prison authorities on Wednesday on the steps that have been taken to address the issue and to also state if shifting to her to another jail was required.PTI

https://www.thehindu.com/news/cities/Delhi/delhi-riots-ishrat-jahan-alleges-in-court-beating-harassment-by-jail-inmates/article33394597.ece?homepage=true

 

Delhi court acquits 12 people in 2015 case of rioting, murder

A Delhi court Monday acquitted 12 people, arrested in a case related to the death of a woman due to gunshot injuries during rioting in 2015, saying manipulation of evidence by the police cannot be ruled out in the matter. Additional Sessions Judge Vinod Yadav acquitted Aas Mohd, Rajesh Kumar, Shahzad Ahmad, Mohd Rihan, Azaz, Hanifuddin, Zakir Hussain, Imran, Mohd Farman, Alam Khan, Parvez and Imran of the charges of murder, rioting, unlawful assembly, criminal conspiracy. As per the prosecution, in Feb.2015, during Delhi Assembly elections, around 10-11 boys, some of them armed with pistols, surrounded the house of one Haji Yameen, in Khajuri Khas area. Police alleged Yameen, an agent of AAP, had an argument with accused Hanifuddin that afternoon regarding casting of some bogus votes.The mob hurled abuses and started firing indiscriminately in which one Shukhra Begum died of bullet injuries, police had claimed. All the accused had claimed they have been falsely implicated in the case. PTI

https://www.newindianexpress.com/cities/delhi/2020/dec/21/delhi-court-acquits-12-people-in-2015-case-of-rioting-murder-2239233.html

 

Board exams only after February, says Education Minister

Union Education Minister Ramesh Pokhriyal Nishank said on Tuesday that the Central Board of Secondary Education (CBSE) Class X and Class XII examinations would only be held after February 2021 due to the COVID-19 pandemic.The Minister said it was not possible to hold the exams in January and February, which is when the practical and theory exams, respectively, usually start. He was interacting with teachers virtually when he made the announcement. He added that the schedule for the exams, to be held sometime after February 2021, was yet to be decided.

https://www.thehindu.com/news/national/board-exams-only-after-february-says-education-minister/article33395301.ece?homepage=true

 

Possession of skin of dead cows, bullocks not an offence: Bombay HC

Mumbai :Nagpur bench of Bombay High Court bench recently held that that mere possession of a dead animal’s skin would not amount to an offence under the Maharashtra Animal Preservation Act, 1976, which prohibits slaughtering, importing, exporting and possessing beef. The bench of Justice V. M. Deshpande & Anil S. Kilor noted that there is no prohibition for the possession of skin of dead animals unfer the Act and further noted that even if any circular/notification/order is issued by the state government, prohibiting possession of skin, such circular will not prevail over the provisions of the statute. The court passed the judgment on Dec.14  after hearing a plea by one Shafiqullaha Kha, driver of the van allegedly carrying the skin of dead cows. The petitioner sought to quash FIR against him as per section 5A ( prohibition on transportation of cow, bull or bullock from any place within state for purpose of slaughter), 5B ( prohibition on export of cow, bull or bullock within state or any place outside for slaughtering) and 5C ( prohibition on possession of flesh of cow, bull or bullock slaughtered) among others.

https://indianexpress.com/article/cities/mumbai/possession-of-skin-of-dead-cows-bullocks-not-an-offence-bombay-hc-7114868/

 

Adult woman free to marry and convert as per her choice: Calcutta HC

Courts cannot interfere if an adult woman marries and converts to another religion of her own free will, the Calcutta High Court reaffirmed on Monday.The Bench of Justices Sanjib Banerjee and Arijit Banerjee was dealing with a petition moved by a father to trace his “missing” 19-year-old daughter.After the woman was traced, she was found to have married and converted to the religion of her husband. A statement given before a police officer indicated that she had done so of her own free will and that she did not wish to return to her paternal home.“She is 19 years old. She has married a person of her choice and she apparently does not want to return to her paternal home. If an adult marries as per her choice and decides to convert and not return to her paternal house, there can be no interference in the matter,” the Court made it clear.

https://gaurilankeshnews.com/adult-woman-free-to-marry-and-convert-as-per-her-choice-calcutta-hc/?fbclid=IwAR2t2XOlv8Ziw_m-XuvBQU3-VCeN7RRet1cl_cwQ0PcuZzg_2YX79QG_prg

 

Advocate Who Facilitated Wedding of Interfaith Couple Alleges 'Harassment' by UP Police

New Delhi: Mohommed Hashim Ansari, an advocate based in Delhi, says that he is being “harassed” by UP police for helping a woman who came to him in November voluntarily wanting to convert to Islam. The woman later married a Muslim boy named Javed Ansari who belongs to Jalesar, Eta, UP– same district as her. Almost 10 people from Hashim’s family, including his father, elder brother, cousin, cousin’s friend, three brothers-in-law, father-in-law, father-in-law’s brother and his son have been arrested and taken to unknown locations over the last two days, he says. “They think that I am hiding the woman, and are telling me to produce her as if I know where she is,” he says. The latest arrests – of his father and elder brother – happened on Dec.22 morning.Of the 8, he has only been able to speak to his brother-in-law briefly, who told him that he was asked if he knows Hashim Ansari, and when he said that he did, he was taken by the police. Later, around noon today he received a message from his brother-in-law saying, “We are being sent to jail. You please handover the Hindu girl to the police, otherwise we will be sent to jail by this evening.”

https://thewire.in/communalism/advocate-interfaith-couple-harassement-up-police

 

UP: 3 arrested for trying to convert family into Christianity, say police

Lucknow : 3 persons have been arrested in Deedarganj area of Azamgarh under Uttar Pradesh’s new anti-conversion law for allegedly trying to convert a family to Christianity. 3, identified as Bal Chand Jaiswal, Gopal Prajapati and Neeraj Kumar, allegedly were holding a prayer at the house of one Tribhuvan Yadav on Sunday when they were arrested. SHO (Deedarganj) Sanjay Kumar Singh said that on Sunday they were conducting prayers when a resident of the area, Ashok Yadav, accused them of trying to convince the others to change their religion.

https://indianexpress.com/article/india/up-3-arrested-for-trying-to-convert-family-into-christianity-say-police-7114278/

 

As China influence grows, India, Vietnam to boost Indo-Pacific ties

New Delhi :India and Vietnam on Monday agreed to boost practical cooperation in Indo-Pacific in the backdrop of increasing concerns over rising Chinese belligerence in the region. They also inked seven agreements to expand bilateral ties in defence, nuclear energy and several other sectors.At a virtual summit with his Vietnamese counterpart Nguyen Xuan Phuc, Prime Minister Narendra Modi described Vietnam as an important partner in India’s Indo-Pacific vision as well as for its Act East policy, and said that peace, stability and prosperity in the region is the common goal of both sides.In the wake of growing belligerence by China in the South China Sea region, the two leaders specifically reaffirmed the importance of maintaining freedom of navigation and overflight in the South China Sea, while pursuing peaceful resolution of disputes in accordance with international law without resorting to “threat or use of force”.

https://indianexpress.com/article/india/as-china-influence-grows-india-vietnam-to-boost-indo-pacific-ties-7114181/

 

1.7 million deaths in India were attributable to air pollution in 2019, says study

In India, 1.7 million deaths were attributable to air pollution in 2019, which was 18% of the total deaths in the country, while the economic loss due to the lost output from premature deaths and morbidity from air pollution was 1.4% of the GDP in India during this time, which is equivalent to ₹260,000 crore ($36.8 billion). This is as per a scientific paper titled ‘Health and economic impact of air pollution in the States of India: The Global Burden of Disease Study 2019’.The study, published in the The Lancet Planetary Health, has been funded by the UN Environment Programme, the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation and the Indian Council of Medical Research (ICMR), and documents the trends in health loss due to air pollution and its economic impact in every State of India using the latest improved methods and data.

https://www.thehindu.com/news/national/17-million-deaths-in-india-were-attributable-to-air-pollution-in-2019-says-study/article33394600.ece?homepage=true

 

Deaths and diseases attributed to air pollution in India led to 1.4% GDP loss in 2019: Study

https://indianexpress.com/article/india/air-pollution-deaths-and-diseases-in-india-led-to-1-4-gdp-loss-in-2019-7114737/

 

 

DDC Election Results Updates: Gupkar alliance makes big gains; BJP wins 2 seats in Kashmir

Srinagar:The leads in the District Development Council (DDC) polls show that the People’s Alliance for Gupkar Declaration (PAGD) is set to win the majority of the seats in Kashmir valley as the Centre backed Jammu and Kashmir Apni Party has failed to make a mark. Of the leads so far, the PAGD alliance is leading in 71 seats and has won 25 so far whereas the BJP is leading in 48 and has won eight seats till now. The Congress is leading in 19 seats and had bagged four seats so far.Meanwhile, in accordance with expectations, the BJP is leading in the Jammu division. The party has also won two seats in Kashmir valley– one in Srinagar and one in Tulail seat in Bandipora district.In South Kashmir, the Alliance candidates are set to sweep the polls as they are leading on 34 (NC 15, PDP 14, and CPIM 5) out of the 49 seats declared so far. While the independents are leading on 10 seats, Congress is ahead on 5 seats. The North Kashmir has thrown a mixed result with Alliance candidates ahead on 13 out of 34 leads declared so far. The Alliance is followed by independent candidates leading on 11 seats. 7 political parties, including NC and PDP, contested the polls in an alliance, under the banner of PAGD formed for restoration of Article 370. Congress was initially a part of PAGD but distanced itself when BJP targeted the opposition party for being in league with the ‘Gupkar Gang’. The elections will decide the fate of nearly 2,181 candidates for 280 DDC seats in J&K.

https://indianexpress.com/article/india/jammu-kashmir-ddc-election-results-2020-live-updates-7113970/

 

Night before DDC counting, several leaders detained in J&K

A day before the counting of votes for the District Development Council (DDC) elections, PDP claimed detention of three of its senior leaders Monday. While the police were silent on the matter, PDP chief Mehbooba Mufti called the action “out and out gunda raj”, and said it showed BJP was trying to “manipulate” the results. PDP leaders reportedly detained were former minister and senior leader Naeem Akhtar, Mufti’s uncle Sartaj Madni, and her former political adviser Peerzada Mansoor Hussain. A senior PDP leader said they had no contact with its Ganderbal district president Bashir Ahmad Mir either, and his family had been informed that he too had been detained. Mufti tweeted, “Every senior police officer here is clueless as it is ‘upar say order’. No rule of law in J&K anymore. It is out & out Gunda Raj.”

https://indianexpress.com/article/india/night-before-ddc-counting-several-leaders-detained-in-jk-7114318/

 

Russia committed to develop ties with Pakistan, India shouldn’t have any concerns

Russia on Monday said it is committed to developing its relationship with Pakistan, though India should have no concern about such moves as they are within the framework of the Shanghai Cooperation Organisation (SCO) and aimed at ensuring regional stability.Moscow’s efforts to develop relations with Islamabad fit in with the basic values of the strategic partnership between India and Russia, Russian ambassador Nikolay Kudashev told a news briefing. His deputy, Roman Babushkin, said Russia’s ties with Pakistan are “independent in nature” and the two sides have a trade and economic agenda. “If you take a look at the substance of our ties with Pakistan and the priorities we are committed to, you could easily see they would correspond to the basic values of Russia and India, especially the privileged and strategic partnership – issues like regional stability, transparency, fighting terror, drugs and crime first and foremost,” Kudashev said in response to a question on a perceived uptick in ties between Moscow and Islamabad.

https://www.hindustantimes.com/india-news/russia-committed-to-develop-ties-with-pakistan-india-shouldn-t-have-any-concerns-russian-diplomat/story-LMJKupW1yAHzGGoV6bhllO.html

 

 

 

 

 

CORONA

 

Coronavirus India Updates: New Covid strain found in UK not seen in India so far, says govt

In a routine press briefing, Niti Aayog’s Dr VK Paul said there was no cause for concern for now over the new strain of coronavirus found in the UK. “The new strain of Covid-19 in the United Kingdom has increased transmissibility. This mutation is not affecting the severity of the disease. Case fatality is not affected by this mutation,” he said.Health Ministry also issued Standard Operating Procedure (SOP) for passengers who have travelled from or transited through the UK in the past four weeks. Compulsory RT-PCR tests on arrival, separate isolation of those testing positive for the new variant of coronavirus and institutional quarantine for co-passengers of those testing positive are some of the requirements mentioned by the Centre to the states.Three people arriving in India from Britain tested positive for coronavirus, a government official said on Tuesday, but it wasn’t clear if they had a highly infectious strain of the virus, reported Reuters. Meanwhile, India on Tuesday recorded 19,556 new Covid-19 cases, the lowest in six months, according to data from the Union Health Ministry. The total number of coronavirus cases in the country now stand at 1,00,75,116. Out of these 2.92 lakh are active while over 96.36 lakh people have recovered from the disease. With 301 fatalities in the last 24 hours, the death toll reached 1,46,111.Detection of new cases of coronavirus infections fell below 20,000 for the first time in six months. Low detection was, however, powered by a drop in testing on Sunday. Only six states reported more than 1,000 new cases on Monday.

https://indianexpress.com/article/india/coronavirus-india-live-updates-latest-news-vaccination-deaths-uk-new-strain-7113037/

 

No appetite for paid vaccines, finds rural survey

Less than half (44%) the respondents in a survey of rural households were willing to pay for vaccination against COVID-19 while 36% said outright that they would not pay for it.Conducted by Gaon Connection, a rural media platform, the ‘COVID-19 Vaccine and Rural India’ survey was conducted across 60 districts in 16 States and one Union Territory with a sample size of 6,040 households. The researchers conducted face-to-face interviews with the respondents on the perceptions of rural Indians around the vaccine.Since affordability is a big issue in rural areas, respondents were asked if they hypothetically had to pay ₹1,000 for two doses of the vaccine, then who would get vaccinated first in their family. To this, more than 33% of the respondents said they would vaccinate their old parents.

https://www.thehindu.com/news/national/no-appetite-for-paid-vaccines-finds-rural-survey/article33394590.ece?homepage=true

 

 

WORLD

 

Turkey became a hub for Arab Spring exiles

As a charismatic revolutionary from a scrappy Cairo neighbourhood, Ahmed Hassan was one of the stars of Jehane Noujaim’s 2013 documentary The Square, which followed a group of Egyptian activists as they toppled longtime ruler Hosni Mubarak in 2011 and then fought to keep their faltering revolution alive.The film won three Emmy Awards and was nominated for the Oscars. But Hassan’s life got harder after it was released.His work as a cinematographer and filmmaker dried up as production companies stopped hiring him, perhaps because he was blacklisted.He had to abandon a film project after receiving threats. He could not carry a camera in the street without being harassed. Most of his friends were in prison, some had died.“I felt like I was just centimetres from jail,” Hassan told Al Jazeera.In 2018, he jumped at an opportunity to escape and went to Turkey, which has become a major hub for Arab exiles as many of the Arab Spring uprisings that first emerged a decade ago descended into violence and repression.“You are able to carry a camera in Turkey. That is beautiful actually,” Hassan said. “Here, I’m walking and I feel free.“I feel there is a government. I see the police but I’m not scared, it’s not like Egypt. I feel like there is law here.”But life is also hard. Hassan says that, for him, Turkey looks like a watermelon with vivid, enticing red flesh.“There is no Arab city like that, with large populations from different parts of the Arab world having these tools of cultural and political expression, like Istanbul at the moment,” Mohanad Hage Ali, a research fellow at the Carnegie Middle East Center, told Al Jazeera.Ali said this trend first emerged from the soft power policies pursued by President Recep Tayyip Erdogan and his Justice and Development Party (AK Party), in power since 2002, which sought to extend Turkey’s influence and relations in the region through greater diplomacy, investment and educational projects.

https://www.aljazeera.com/news/2020/12/22/how-turkey-became-a-hub-for-arab-spring-exiles

 

Railway link from Turkey to Pakistan, through Iran to start in 2021

 Istanbul-Tehran-Islamabad (ITI) train is expected to resume operations next year after the key requirements for the revival of the service have been completed, according to Adil Karaismailoglu, Turkey's minister of transport and infrastructure, local media reported.Speaking at the 10th edition of the joint meetup of the Economic Cooperation Organisation (ECO) in Istanbul, Karaismailoglu said that the railway line project has been specifically designed to boost economic ties between Istanbul, Tehran and Islamabad.The rail route covers a total distance of 6,500 kilometres. It is spread at a length of 2,600 kilometres in Iran, 1,950 kilometres in Turkey and 1,990 kilometres in Pakistan.

https://www.middleeastmonitor.com/20201221-railway-link-from-turkey-to-pakistan-through-iran-to-start-in-2021/?fbclid=IwAR2t2XOlv8Ziw_m-XuvBQU3-VCeN7RRet1cl_cwQ0PcuZzg_2YX79QG_prg

 

Israel appears set for fourth election in less than two years

Israel appeared headed to its fourth election in two years on Tuesday after the failure of a last-ditch effort to keep the government afloat and push off the automatic dissolution of parliament.Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s Likud party and Defence Minister Benny Gantz’s Blue and White alliance have been at odds over the national budget issue since forming a unity government in May.Negotiations meant to bring about a budget compromise between the government’s two main parties broke down early on Tuesday and in a late-night Knesset session, members of the two parties voted 49-47 against a proposal to postpone Tuesday’s budget deadline for another two weeks.

https://www.aljazeera.com/news/2020/12/22/israel-set-for-snap-election-as-budget-deadline-nears

Palestinian teen killed by Israeli forces in Jerusalem’s Old City

A Palestinian teenager was shot dead by Israeli forces after he was accused of firing at soldiers in the Old City of occupied East Jerusalem on Monday night.According to Israeli police, the teen, identified by local media as 17-year-old Mahmoud Omar Kameel, approached a police post near the Lion’s Gate entrance to the Old City and shot at them.“The police and border guard fighters working in the Old City chased him on foot, while he was shooting at them,” the Israeli police said in a statement.Witnesses said Israeli forces shot Kameel multiple times after chasing him and surrounding him in the area.

https://www.aljazeera.com/news/2020/12/22/palestinian-teen-killed-by-israeli-forces-in-jerusalems-old-city

 

 

OPINIONS-EDITORIALS-VIEWS

 

When PM speaks at AMU today, he could underline his resolve to preserve, defend university’s character:Faizan Mustafa

https://indianexpress.com/article/opinion/columns/narendra-modi-aligarh-muslim-university-centenary-7114105/

 

‘AMU is the intellectual capital of Muslims in the world … when PM talks it’ll have a positive effect’:Shafey Kidwai, professor, member in-charge of PRO at AMU

https://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/blogs/sanjeev-singh-blog/amu-is-the-intellectual-capital-of-muslims-in-the-world-when-pm-talks-itll-have-a-positive-effect/

 

UP’s ‘love jihad’ law attacks Muslims, infantalises Hindu women – and curbs Dalit rights:Shoaib Daniyal

https://scroll.in/article/981591/ups-anti-conversion-law-attacks-muslims-infantalises-women-and-curbs-dalit-rights

 

Anti-conversion law may push women in interfaith unions to discard Hindu identity:Jyoti Punwani

https://indianexpress.com/article/opinion/columns/love-jihad-law-will-push-women-in-interfaith-marriages-to-discard-hindu-identity-7114153/

 

 END

 

 

 

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