LIVE WORLD NEWS

21 December 2020

Farmers’ protest | Govt writes to unions inviting them for next round of talks, asks them to choose date.More 'innocent' Delhi riots accused get bail with our help: Jamiat . No Evidence of Vehicle Damage: Bombay HC Grants Anticipatory Bail to 7 Anti-CAA Protesters

 

NEWS BULLETIN : EVENING

21-12-2020,20:22 IST

 INDIA

 

Farmers’ protest | Government writes to unions inviting them for next round of talks, asks them to choose date

The government on Sunday asked protesting farmer unions to specify their concerns over its earlier proposal of amendments in the new agri laws and choose a convenient date for the next round of talks so that the ongoing agitation could end at the earliest.In a letter to 40 union leaders, Union Agriculture Ministry Joint Secretary Vivek Aggarwal said the Centre is making all efforts with “an open heart” to find an appropriate solution to resolve all the concerns raised by farmers. Previous five rounds of talks between the government and the unions have failed to break the deadlock with the farmers insisting on repeal of the three laws and camping at various border points of Delhi for over three weeks now.PTI

https://www.thehindu.com/news/national/farmers-protest-government-writes-to-unions-inviting-them-for-next-round-of-talks-asks-them-to-choose-date/article33386025.ece?homepage=true

 

 Intensifying agitation against farm laws, Farmers start day-long ‘relay’ hunger strike

Intensifying their agitation against the Centre's new agri laws, farmers began their day-long 'relay' hunger strike on a chilly Monday morning at all sites of protest on Delhi's borders with Haryana and Uttar Pradesh.Protesting farmers will participate in the hunger strike in batches and the first has 11 members, according to farmer leaders.Thousands of agriculturists, mainly from Punjab and Haryana, are protesting against the laws for the last over four weeks at various border points of Delhi and demanding that the legislations be repealed.Swaraj India chief Yogendra Yadav had on Sunday said, "Farmers will begin a day-long relay hunger strike on Monday at all sites of protest against the new agri laws. It will be started by a team of 11 members at protests sites here, including the Singhu border."He also urged "everyone at all protest sites across the nation to participate in the same".PTI

https://www.nationalheraldindia.com/national/intensifying-agitation-against-farm-laws-farmers-start-day-long-relay-hunger-strike

 

More 'innocent' Delhi riots accused get bail with our help: Jamiat Ulama

New Delhi: At least 2 dozen "innocent" accused in the Delhi riots, have managed to secure bail with legal help from the Jamiat Ulama-i-Hind, the organisation said. JUH President Arshad Madani said: "Our legal struggle will continue for justice to all innocent people." The Jamiat, in a statement, said that the Delhi High Court has granted conditional bail to Rehan Pardhan, Arshad Qayyum, Irshad Ahmed, Muhammad Rehan, Reyast Ali, Shah Alam, Rashid Saifi and Zubair Ahmed while accused Zubair Ahmed has been released from jail.Earlier, bail was granted to Ali, Shah Alam, Saifi, Qayyum, Mohammad Shadab, Mohammad Abid and other accused by the Karkarduma Sessions Court.Advocate Zaheer-ud-Din Babar Chauhan and his assistant, Advocate Dinesh, appeared for the accused on behalf of Jamiat. Welcoming the bail to 24 accused, Madani said that the Jamiat's intention is not only to secure release on bail, but "an attempt to bring justice to the innocent people who have been arrested in the riots on false charges". He said that their team of lawyers is working on this point and release of the accused on bail is the first success of the lawyers "but our legal struggle will continue until such people are given complete justice". Madani also contended that reports of some newspapers and human rights group like Amnesty International have uncovered the "true story" of the Delhi riots."The truth has come out to the world that in the name of investigation and action, the real culprits have been saved by the police, and the innocent people who did nothing in the riots have been arrested. Jamiat Ulama-i-Hind could not remain silent on this blatant injustice, so it decided to provide free legal aid to the victims and formed a regular panel of experienced professionals," he said.IANS

https://www.dailypioneer.com/2020/india/more----innocent--delhi-riots-accused-get-bail-with-our-help--juh.html

 

Delhi: Tablighis feel vindicated, say they will stay dedicated to their work

NEW DELHI: The stinging criticism of the authorities by city courts while acquitting foreigners accused in the Tablighi Jamaat case has brought new hope for scores of others who have quietly suffered both the pandemic and the ignominy. But people associated with Alami Markaz Banglewali Masjid — where the gathering had happened in March — are seeing it as an “incomplete victory”.“Yes, we are happy about the verdict, but this happiness is incomplete without the guilty being punished. We want action against chief minister Arvind Kejriwal as it was his government that first filed an FIR and opened the door for all this negativity,” said Shahid Ali, spokesperson of Nizamuddin Markaz. He also demanded strict action against certain sections of the electronic media that had run a smear campaign against Tablighi Jamaat, insinuating that it had indulged in some sort of a “corona jihad”.Calling it a blot on India’s pluralistic ethos, Ali said that the country’s name had been besmirched. “This is a country that takes pride in ‘Atithi devo bhavaha’ (guest is god). These people came from so many different countries. What ‘atithi devo bhavaha’ did we show?” he asked.Author Ziya Us Salam wrote in his recent book, ‘Inside Tablighi Jamaat’, that since its inception, this was really the first time that the Jamaat had landed in trouble. “For almost 100 years, Tablighi Jamaat, a self-effacing apolitical body, engaged in the spiritual renewal of Muslims, had worked assiduously and quietly. Unknown to most beyond its immediate circle, it ruffled no feathers, held no marches, hosted no press conferences,” Salam writes, adding that it had also escaped the Emergency unscathed when Jamaat-e-Islami Hind and Jamiat Ulama-i-Hind had not.Advocate Arif Ali Khan, also associated with the Tablighi Jamaat, explained this by saying that the Jamaatis have nothing to do with worldly affairs. “They live above the ground and under the sky. They prepare themselves for the afterlife because that’s the real life for us Muslims. They are not interested in this mortal life. They never try to convert people, never take money from people, buying their own tickets, their own food. Even the poorest Jamaatis will pay for their own expenses. And yet, they were accused of being paid agents of Pakistan. Can you imagine how hurtful that is because it’s so different from the lives they lead?” said Khan who is an advocate at the Delhi high court.

https://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/city/delhi/tablighis-feel-vindicated-say-they-will-stay-dedicated-to-their-work/articleshow/79829426.cms

 

Multiple cases no ground for denying bail, Delhi court gives relief to riot accused

NEW DELHI: A Delhi court has granted bail to a man accused in a case related to northeast Delhi riots, stating that he was facing multiple cases — as submitted by the prosecution — wasn’t a ground to deny him bail.“This court is conscious of the fact that besides the present matter, the applicant, Rashid, is also an accused in several other cases of riots, but that cannot be a ground to deny him bail in the instant matter, as the present bail application has to be decided in the context of the present FIR and the investigation so concluded,” said additional sessions judge Vinod Yadav.Rashid’s counsel Salim Malik had sought bail stating his 23-year-old client ran a shop in the area. He was allegedly at his shop when the violence broke out and had no other option but to stay inside it.“The shop is Rashid’s only means of livelihood and he had no other option, but to stay there in order to protect it, risking his own life and as such, he took a baton in his hand, as anticipated self-defence,” the lawyer submitted.

https://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/city/delhi/multiple-cases-no-ground-for-denying-bail-court-gives-relief-to-riot-accused/articleshow/79829412.cms

 

Delhi Riots: Court Rejects Bail Plea Of Man Seen In Video In 'aggressive Posture' With Other Rioters

A Delhi court has dismissed the bail application of a man in a northeast Delhi riots case, saying he can be clearly seen in a CCTV footage in an "aggressive posture" with other rioters. Additional Sessions Judge Amitabh Rawat dismissed the bail plea of Gurmeet Singh and said the accused was "part of the unlawful assembly which, in prosecution of common object, had committed the offence" of rioting and firing, leading to gunshot injuries to some people and police officials.

https://www.republicworld.com/india-news/law-and-order/delhi-riots-court-rejects-bail-plea-of-man-seen-in-video-in-aggressive-posture-with-other-rioters.html

 

No Evidence of Vehicle Damage: Bombay HC Grants Anticipatory Bail to 7 Anti-CAA Protesters

Bombay High Court has granted anticipatory bail to 7 anti-CAA protesters observing that they had complied with the conditions laid down by the court, adding that there is no evidence to prove the allegation that they had damaged vehicles during their agitation.“There is no evidence to show that the vehicles were damaged,” Justice M. G. Sewlikar was quoted by legal news website Live Law as saying.“The custodial interrogation of the applicants is not necessary. In this view of the matter, I am inclined to confirm the anticipatory bail,” he added.An FIR had been lodged on December 20 last year alleging that the protesters gathered at the Shivaji statue, holding green, black and blue fags and the banners in their hands. It alleged that the protesters turned violent and started blocking the traffic and shouting slogans against Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Home Minister Amit Shah.It was also alleged that the protesters abused police officers and other employees who were on duty and caused damage to the vehicles of the Fire Brigade and some medical shops and hotels by pelting stones.

https://clarionindia.net/no-evidence-of-vehicle-damage-bombay-hc-grants-anticipatory-bail-to-7-anti-caa-protesters/

 

Invitation to Modi to Address AMU Centenary Celebrations Event Divides Community

NEW DELHI — The administration of AMU is elated that Prime Minister Narendra Modi is going to be part of its centenary celebrations on Tuesday. But a section of the AMU fraternity is crying foul.At least two senior members of the fraternity have questioned Vice Chancellor Dr Tariq Mansoor’s decision to invite Modi whose government is considered anything but friendly to the Muslim community. Mohammad Adeeb, former member of the Rajya Sabha and former president of AMU Students’ Union, has released a video message lambasting Dr Mansoor and his team of “mujavirs” (sycophants) for inviting Modi. Noted historian and AMU professor emeritus Irfan Habib has also said that Modi’s participation in the university’s centenary celebrations is not a matter of pride for the institution.The Prime Minister will be participating in Tuesday’s event through online.Meanwhile, AMU Teachers’ Association has welcomed the Prime Minister’s visit and called it historic. However, some students have given a call for boycott of the event, according to Madhyamam daily.

https://clarionindia.net/invitation-to-modi-to-address-amu-centenary-celebrations-event-divides-community/

 

Hathras case: Accused was frustrated after victim’s rebuff, UP Police not recorded victim’s correct statement

CBI chargesheet filed in the Hathras gangrape case says that the Dalit woman was gangraped and subsequently died after she rebuffed one of them, Sandeep. This “aggravated his feelings” and “frustrated him”, CBI stated in its chargesheet in the case.According to the CBI chargesheet Sandeep was having an affair with the victim which went sour after their family members came to know about it and the victim started avoiding Sandeep, adding that Sandeep also suspected of her having “an affair” with someone else. This all together furstrated him and aggravated his feelings.According to a report in Indian Express, the chargesheet also points out clearly that despite the woman naming three people when her statement was recorded on September 19, the name of only one was mentioned in the statement taken by the UP Police, thus strongly indicting the Uttar Pradesh Police. It further states that “though victim alleged molestation, her medical examination regarding sexual assault was not conducted”.

https://www.nationalheraldindia.com/india/hathras-case-accused-was-frustrated-after-victims-rebuff-up-police-not-recorded-victims-correct-statement

 

Chargesheet against Azam for'remarks on Amar Singh's family'

Rampur: Rampur police have chargesheeted Samajwadi Party leader and Lok Sabha member Muhammad Azam Khan for his alleged remarks against late Rajya Sabha member Amar Singh's family.Amar had lodged an FIR against Azam at Gomtinagar, Lucknow, police station in 2018. The case was later transferred to Azeemnagar police station in Rampur as the incident took place at Jauhar University.According to the police officials, in 2018, during an interview at the private university, Azam had allegedly threatened to throw acid on Amar's family. In the complaint, Amar had alleged that Azam said communal riots would stop in the country if people like Amar were eliminated. Such statements stoke communal tensions, Amar had stated in his complaint.Notably, more than a hundred criminal cases have been registered against Azam at different police stations of the district.

https://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/city/bareilly/chargesheet-against-azam-forremarks-on-amar-singhs-family/articleshow/79827970.cms

 

Himachal makes law against forced religious conversion

Over a year after the legislation was passed by the Himachal Pradesh Assembly, BJP government in the state has made a law to check "forcible religious conversions".Governor Bandaru Datatrya has given an assent to the Himachal Pradesh Freedom of Religion Act of 2019 that was passed unanimously in the assembly on August 30, 2019.A notification regarding the implementation of the law was issued by the Home Department on December 18.Cutting across party lines, the ruling BJP and the Congress had passed the Himachal Pradesh Freedom of Religion Bill, 2019, with the latter initially expressing some resentment over the need to introduce the Bill as there was already an existing legislation that was brought by the Congress government in 2006.CPI-M's lone member Rakesh Singha, however, had expressed apprehensions over certain provisions of the Bill.IANS

https://www.nationalheraldindia.com/national/himachal-makes-law-against-forced-religious-conversion

 

‘Love Jihad’: 2 arrested in UP’s Kannauj district under new anti-conversion law

Two people have been arrested in Uttar Pradesh's Kannauj district in separate cases under state's new anti-conversion law, police said on Monday.Mohammad Taufeeq was arrested on Sunday for allegedly marrying a 29-year-old woman by hiding his religion and then forcing her to convert, SP Prashant Verma said.FIR in the case was lodged in Kannauj on a complaint from the woman's father, he said.In his complaint, the father said that Taufeeq "trapped" his daughter by hiding his religion and on Saturday, took her to Lucknow. There he disclosed his religion and married her, and forced her to convert, the SP said.The complainant has alleged that Taufeeq introduced himself as Rahul Verma to marry his daughter, the officer said.In Saraimeera village of the district, police claimed to have arrested a man on Friday for allegedly trying to "trap" a woman without disclosing his religion.PTI

https://www.nationalheraldindia.com/national/love-jihad-two-arrested-in-ups-kannauj-district-under-new-anti-conversion-law

 

Banking on HC order, interfaith couple say won’t go back to UP

New Delhi :“We wouldn’t have been able to marry in Shahjahanpur, someone would have found out and stopped us,” said 25-year-old Shameem, who fled with 21-year-old Simran from their hometown in Uttar Pradesh last month.Fearing vigilantism in the name of ‘love jihad’ and with UP Police clamping down on interfaith couples citing the newly promulgated Uttar Pradesh Prohibition of Unlawful Conversion of Religion Ordinance, the interfaith couple had on December 16 petitioned the High Court, seeking protection not only from their families but also any coercive action by the UP Police.On Saturday, the couple applied for registration of their marriage under the Special Marriage Act after the Delhi government assured the High Court on Wednesday that they would be provided a safehouse and also police security, if required.

https://indianexpress.com/article/india/banking-on-hc-order-interfaith-couple-say-wont-go-back-to-up-7112856/

 

UP: Muslim girl weds Hindu boy in Auraiya with kin’s blessings

KANPUR: In a rare case of inter-faith marriage in hinterlands of Uttar Pradesh, a Muslim woman married a Hindu man at a temple in Auraiya district with her parents’ consent and blessings after having an affair for over two years.The Muslim woman, Reshma, a native of Delhi, married a Hindu man named Aman, a resident of Barahar village in Bidhuna area of the district.The marriage was solemnised at a Shiv temple on Saturday night in presence of the parents of the bride and the bridegroom.Aman had met Reshma in Delhi where he works for a living and the two fell in love and decided to marry after knowing each other for two years.

https://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/city/kanpur/muslim-girl-weds-hindu-boy-in-auraiya-with-kins-blessings/articleshow/79829502.cms

 

 

CAA rules will be considered after Covid-19 vaccination: Amit Shah

Union Home Minister Amit Shah on Sunday said the rules of the Citizenship (Amendment) Act were yet to be framed as such a huge process could not be conducted during the coronavirus pandemic, PTI reported. Shah made the remark during a two-day visit to West Bengal to kick off campaigns for the Assembly election next year.“The rules of the CAA are yet to be framed as such a massive process could not be carried out because of the corona. As soon as (COVID) vaccination starts and corona cycle breaks, we will consider it,” he said.

https://scroll.in/latest/981857/caa-rules-will-be-considered-after-covid-19-vaccination-says-amit-shah

 

Shiv Sena links Ram temple fund drive to 2024 Lok Sabha polls; BJP refutes

Shiv Sena on Monday alleged that the mass contact initiative to collect funds from the public for the Ram temple construction in Ayodhya is akin to “canvassing” for the 2024 general elections in the name of Lord Ram.BJP, however, dismissed the charge, saying it is not a political issue for the party, and accused the Shiv Sena of laying roadblocks earlier in the bhoomi pujan of Ram temple construction and now by creating hurdles in the donation initiative “in which people are participating voluntarily”.An editorial in Sena mouthpiece ‘Saamana’ said it was never decided that the grand temple will be constructed through public donations, and political campaigning in the name of Lord Ram has to be stopped at some point of time.“But the issue of public donations is not simple. It is political,” it alleged.Shri Ram Janmbhoomi Teerth Kshetra Trust’s general secretary Champat Rai last week said the trust is going to start a mass contact and contribution campaign across the country for construction of the temple.The temple will be built using domestic funds collected from the general public through the mass contact programme as the trust doesn’t have required approvals for accepting donations from abroad, Rai had said.PTI

https://indianexpress.com/article/india/sena-links-ram-temple-fund-drive-to-2024-ls-polls-bjp-refutes-7113386/

 

Maha: Shiv Sena leader donates Rs 10 lakh to 18 Muslim families

Nashik: Shiv Sena leader Bandukaka Bachhav set a different example in his daughter's marriage. They helped 18 Muslim loom holders houses burnt in Malegaon city with Rs 51,000 each to build a roof over their houses. According to sources Prajakta, daughter of Bandukaka Bachhav, a Shiv Sena leader from Bara Balutedar Mandal, and Pratik, son of Balasaheb Kolhe from Nashik, got married on Saturday. He made this marriage in a way that all Malegaon residents will remember, but only with a sense of social responsibility. Justifying the bride's marriage, Bachchhav donated Rs 10 lakh to the fire victims in Ramjanpura colony in Malegaon city . The houses of 18 to 20 loom workers were gutted in the fire that broke out on November 28. He wanted the houses of these workers to be rebuilt. For this, he handed over a check of Rs. 51,000 to each family at the hands of the newlyweds. This initiative to provide shelter to the homeless poor is being appreciated everywhere. The fire that broke out at midnight on November 28 in Ramzanpura area of the city had burnt down the houses of the laborers. The fire burned clothes, utensils, grains and other household items. The gunmen visited the victims and promised them financial help. He fulfilled this promise on the occasion of Kanya Prajakta's marriage. The families of the victims are waiting for government help. UNI

http://www.uniindia.com/rs-10-lakh-donated-to-18-muslim-families/west/news/2269802.html

 

Karnataka HC stays state government order to drop 61 criminal cases against BJP ministers, MLAs

 Karnataka High Court on Monday put a stay on an order by the state government dropping 61 charges against BJP ministers and elected representatives, reported Live Law.A division bench of Chief Justice Abhay S Oka and Justice Vishwajit Shetty were hearing a petition filed by People Union of Civil Liberties, Karnataka, challenging the August 31 order by the BS Yediyurappa government. It had granted permission to drop criminal prosecution charges under Section 321 of the Criminal Procedure Code.

https://scroll.in/latest/981920/karnataka-hc-stays-state-government-order-to-drop-61-criminal-cases-against-bjp-ministers-mlas

 

Siddaramaiah expresses regret over remarks on beef and Kodavas

Bengaluru : Congress leader and former Chief Minister Siddaramaiah on Monday expressed regret for his purported remarks that Kodavas eat beef, for which he is facing flak, saying he has a lot of respect for Kodava people and their culture.Several Kodava organisations held protests in front of the Kodagu district Deputy Commissioner’s office today in protest against Siddaramaiah’s remarks. “I had not said like that. I had said food habits vary from people to people and they eat what they like. I have already tweeted and clarified that I did not say like that. I have a lot of respect for Kodava people and their culture, and if my statements have in any way hurt them, I express my regret,” Siddaramaiah told reporters here.PTI

https://indianexpress.com/article/india/siddaramaiah-expresses-regret-over-remarks-on-beef-and-kodavas-7113870/

 

Elgaar Parishad case: Varavara Rao to remain in Nanavati hospital till Jan 7

Bombay High Court on Monday allowed Varavara Rao, arrested by NIA in the Elgaar Parishad case, to remain at Nanavati hospital in Mumbai till the next hearing on medical bail plea on January 7.Rao, who is lodged at Taloja Central Jail, was shifted to the private hospital following a court order on November 18. The court also directed the Nanavati hospital to file a fresh medical report of Rao by the next hearing.

https://indianexpress.com/article/cities/mumbai/elgaar-parishad-case-varavara-rao-to-remain-in-nanavati-hospital-till-jan-7-7113850/

 

A Day Ahead Of DDC Results, Two PDP Leaders Detained In Kashmir

A day ahead of declaration of the District Development Council (DDC) results, the two senior Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) leaders have been taken into custody.The National Conference said the BJP will lose badly in the DDC polls and has now resorted to political vendetta.“Total lawlessness as PDPs Sartaj Madni & Mansoor Hussain have been arbitrarily detained today on the eve of DDC election results. 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,” former Chief Minister Mehbooba Mufti tweeted.Both the leaders were detained in South Kashmir’s Anantnag district. Madni is maternal uncle of Mehbooba.

https://www.outlookindia.com/website/story/india-news-a-day-ahead-of-ddc-results-pdp-leaders-taken-into-custody/367949

 

Kashmiri students seek PM’s intervention to release PM’s Special scholarship

Media reports in October this year claimed that the number of students from Jammu and Kashmir availing the benefit of Prime Minister’s Special Scholarship Scheme (PMSSS) had gone up by 74 percent compared to the previous year, and was the highest in 6 years, benefiting around 4,500 undergraduate students.This significant jump was credited to the government’s better implementation of the scheme originally launched by the UPA II government in 2010. However, it has been alleged by a group of students that during the COVID pandemic the government failed to implement this scheme properly. Students of the odd semesters (1st, 3rd, 5th semesters of the undergraduate courses) have allegedly not received their scholarship amounts.Two students from J & K , Nida, Syed Zeeshan Hyder and Ghabit Nabi, have appealed to the Government and sought the intervention of the PM to sort out the issue. Their appeal:

https://www.nationalheraldindia.com/india/kashmiri-students-seek-pms-intervention-to-release-pms-special-scholarship

 

After wife joins TMC, BJP MP Saumitra Khan says will send divorce notice

Kolkata :Minutes after wife Sujata Mondal Khan joined Trinamool Congress on Monday, BJP MP from Bishnupur Saumitra Khan described her decision as a “big mistake” and said he will soon send her a divorce notice.Breaking down at press meet, Khan, who is also Bengal BJP Yuva Morcha President, said, “I give you full freedom. This is my appeal to you to remove my surname ‘Khan’ from your name,” Reminding her of the difficulties posed by the TMC, he said, “They cut your power supply, there were threats of attack on you… Your job was snatched by Mamata Banerjee or Abhishek Banerjee. At that point of your life, I kept the promise I made to you –– transferred 50% of my salary to your account every month… so that you don’t have to ask for it… Now you have joined hands with those who had harmed you in past.”

https://indianexpress.com/article/india/sujata-khan-bjp-mp-saumitra-khans-wife-joins-tmc-7113434/

 

Congress veteran Motilal Vora (1927- 2020) passes away at 93

Veteran Congress leader Motilal Vora, who passed away on Monday, had helped revive the National Herald Group of publications. He remained active and alert till the very end and took a keen interest in political developments and in steering the National Herald. His capacity for hard work, integrity and ability to work with others set him apart.Despite failing health in his 90s he remained curious, enthusiastic and tenacious. Very few leaders leaders have shown his mental agility to work in different positions in their 90s as he did. Grit and strength of character for a long haul marked his six-decade long political career.

https://www.nationalheraldindia.com/obituary/congress-veteran-motilal-vora-1927-2020-passes-away-at-93

 

 

CORONA

 

New coronavirus strain: India suspends all UK fights till December 31

 Aviation Ministry Monday announced suspensions of all flight from United Kingdom (UK) to India from December 23 to December 31. The step has been taken amid concerns over the emergence of a new coronavirus strain in the UK. “Considering the prevailing situation in UK. Govt. of India has decided that all flights originating from the UK to India to be suspended till December 31, 2020 (23.59 hours). This suspension to start w.e.f. 23:59 hours, December 22, 2020. Consequently, flights from India to the UK shall stand temporarily suspended during the above said period,” the ministry said in a tweet.

https://indianexpress.com/article/india/india-uk-flights-covid-new-virus-strain-7113557/

 

Many European nations halt UK flights over mutant COVID-19 fears

A number of European countries have started to ban flights to and fro from the UK following the emergence of a highly infectious mutant strain of the novel coronavirus.The development has led to chaos and confusion among people who were planning to spend the upcoming Christmas and New Year holidays with families and friends on either side of the English Channel, reports Xinhua news agency. COVID-19 mutant strain has effectively plunged London and other parts of the UK into the new Tier Four restrictions over Christmas, the London-based Evening Standard newspaper said in a report on Sunday.The Netherlands became the first major European country to announce a ban on flights, followed by Belgium which has also halted UK-bound trains using the Channel Tunnel.Austria and Italy also followed suit.IANS

https://www.nationalheraldindia.com/international/many-european-nations-halt-uk-flights-over-mutant-covid-19-fears

 

Maharashtra: Night curfew in all municipalities till January 5

In the backdrop of a new strain of the coronavirus emerging in United Kingdom, the Maharashtra government on Monday decided to impose a night curfew in all the municipal areas of the state starting Tuesday night. The curfew will be in place from 11 pm to 6 am and will remain in force till January 5. Maharashtra chief minister Uddhav Thackeray on Sunday, during an address to the state, had said he was not in favour of night curfew or another lockdown, as the coronavirus situation is under control, though not completely.However, on Monday, after a meeting with senior state government officials and police officers, the Chief Minister announced the imposition of the night curfew.

https://indianexpress.com/article/cities/mumbai/maharashtra-night-curfew-in-all-municipalities-till-january-5-7113888/

 

COVID-19 vaccine not permissible under Islamic law? Muslims fear use of pork-driven gelatin in drug

In October, Indonesian diplomats and Muslim clerics stepped off a plane in China. While the diplomats were there to finalize deals to ensure millions of doses reached Indonesian citizens, the clerics had a much different concern: Whether the COVID-19 vaccine was permissible for use under Islamic law.As companies race to develop a COVID-19 vaccine and countries scramble to secure doses, questions about the use of pork products — banned by some religious groups — have raised concerns about the possibility of disrupted immunization campaigns.Pork-derived gelatin has been widely used as a stabilizer to ensure vaccines remain safe and effective during storage and transport. Some companies have worked for years to develop pork-free vaccines: Swiss pharmaceutical company Novartis has produced a pork-free meningitis vaccine, while Saudi- and Malaysia-based AJ Pharma is currently working on one of their own.But demand, existing supply chains, cost and the shorter shelf life of vaccines not containing porcine gelatin means the ingredient is likely to continue to be used in a majority of vaccines for years, said Dr. Salman Waqar, general secretary of the British Islamic Medical Association.Spokespeople for Pfizer, Moderna and AstraZeneca have said that pork products are not part of their COVID-19 vaccines. But limited supply and preexisting deals worth millions of dollars with other companies mean that some countries with large Muslim populations, such as Indonesia, will receive vaccines that have not yet been certified to be gelatin-free.AP

https://www.indiatvnews.com/news/world/covid19-vaccine-not-permissible-under-islamic-law-coronavirus-vaccine-halal-status-muslims-fear-672854

 

Pfizer-BioNTech Vaccine Cleared For Use In European Union Nations: Report

The Hague, Netherlands: The European Medicines Agency said on Monday that it had approved the Pfizer-BioNTech coronavirus vaccine, paving the way for inoculations to start across the EU within days."I am delighted to announce that the EMA scientific committee met today and recommended a conditional marketing authorisation in the EU for the vaccine developed by Pfizer and BioNTech," EMA chief Emer Cooke told an online press conference.AFP

https://www.ndtv.com/world-news/pfizer-biontech-vaccine-cleared-for-use-in-european-union-nations-report-2341737?pfrom=home-ndtv_topstories

 

 

 

WORLD

 

UAE, Saudi used Israel spyware to hack Al Jazeera journalists' phones, report reveals

Spyware created by an Israeli company was reportedly used by Saudi Arabia and the UAE to hack into the phones and devices of dozens of journalists working for Qatari news outlet Al Jazeera.The discovery of the widespread hacking was revealed in a report by the University of Toronto's software developer Citizen Lab, which raised concerns over the vulnerability of Apple's iPhone and the impact that lack of sufficient security has had on one of the prominent international media organisations.Citizen Lab, which apparently has some of the world's best researchers in digital surveillance, claimed that the malware it discovered was used by clients of the Israeli NSO Group and rendered "almost all" iPhone devices without Apple's latest iOS 14 system vulnerable.The hacking attack against Al Jazeera's journalists was uncovered when its well-known investigative journalist Tamer Almisshal sought Citizen Lab's help after he grew suspicious that his phone had been hacked. The researchers then monitored his phone and found the spyware, and in the process learned that the Israeli spyware was rapidly adapting to usual ways of being detected.

https://www.middleeastmonitor.com/20201221-uae-saudi-used-israel-spyware-to-hack-al-jazeera-journalists-phones-report-reveals/

 

Ghannouchi says Morocco's normalisation with Israel violates Arab consensus

Speaker of the Parliament in Tunisia, and the head of Ennahda Movement, has pointed out that the normalisation agreement between Morocco and Israel is a violation of the Arab consensus. He insisted that Tunisia will not join the normalisation frenzy."Regarding Morocco," Rached Ghannouchi told Sputnik, "we were shocked by this step, which contradicted the Arab consensus as expressed by the Arab Peace Initiative."He added that there is an official and popular national consensus in Tunisia rejecting normalisation. "We support the rights of the Palestinian people in accordance with the principle of Arab and Muslim brotherhood as well as international law."

https://www.middleeastmonitor.com/20201221-ghannouchi-says-moroccos-normalisation-with-israel-violates-arab-consensus/

 

Morocco expects 200,000 Israel tourists next year

Morocco expects about 200,000 Israeli tourists in 2021, Tourism Minister, Nadia Fettah Alaoui, announced."The number of Israeli tourists visiting Morocco is expected to rise from 50,000 to 200,000 as the two countries prepare to launch direct air links next year," Alaoui told Israel's official Kan broadcaster, adding that Israeli tourists could be granted a visa "on arrival at the airport."Alaoui's remarks come after US President Donald Trump announced the normalisation of relations between Morocco and Israel on 10 December. "Another HISTORIC breakthrough today! Our two GREAT friends Israel and the Kingdom of Morocco have agreed to full diplomatic relations," Trump said on Twitter. He described the move as a "massive breakthrough for peace in the Middle East."

https://www.middleeastmonitor.com/20201221-morocco-expects-200000-israel-tourists-next-year/

 

Settlers' attacks undermine efforts to revive peace process, insists PA

 Palestinian Authority last week condemned the "continuous and increasing aggression" of Israeli Jewish settlers on Palestinians and their properties in the occupied West Bank and East Jerusalem, Wafa has reported. The PA Foreign Ministry described the settlers' attacks as "part of a campaign supported and run by the occupation state and its institutions, aiming to Judaise Area C."This campaign, explained the ministry, is to clear the occupied Palestinian territories of their indigenous inhabitants and replace them with Jewish settlers."We look at the continuous Israeli army and settlers' attacks and crimes against the Palestinian people as dangerous to the degree they might undermine the international and regional efforts aiming to relaunch the peace process," it added.

https://www.middleeastmonitor.com/20201221-settlers-attacks-undermine-efforts-to-revive-peace-process-insists-pa/

 

'Discriminatory': Austria Constitutional Court Holds 'Headscarf' Ban In Elementary Schools Unconstitutional

The Constitutional Court of Austria has held that headscarf ban in elementary schools is unconstitutional.The Court held that the regulation violates the principle of equality in connection with the right to freedom of thought, conscience and religion.The School Education Act prohibited pupil from wearing ideologically or religious clothing that involves covering their heads until the end of the school year in which they reach the age of 10. . A couple of children and their parents challenged these regulations on the ground that they are discriminatory. In its judgment, the court noted that the selective ban applies exclusively to Muslims School girls and thereby delimits them from others in a discriminatory way. The court also said that this selective prohibition will have a detrimental effect on the inclusion of affected schoolgirls and lead to discrimination because it poses a risk to Muslim girls make access to education more difficult or socially marginalized.

https://www.livelaw.in/foreign-international/headscarf-ban-unconstitutional-austria-constitutional-court-167486

 

Pakistan Jamaat warns against changes to blasphemy law, Palestine policy

LOWER DIR: Jamaat-i-Islami Pakistan provincial chief Senator Mushtaq Ahmad Khan here on Sunday warned the government of march on Islamabad if any change in the blasphemy law and national policy on Palestine was made. Addressing a workers convention in Talash here, he said his party would never allow the government to cross the red lines of amending blasphemy laws and recognising Israel.Ahmad said that mafias surrounded the government that had inflicted billions of rupees losses on the nation. About the government performance, the JI provincial chief claimed that $23.6 billion had been added to the country’s foreign loans during the last two and a half years. “About 3 million people have gone beneath the poverty line during this government,” he said, adding the country had witnessed a record inflation, unemployment and corruption.He said that all major political parties, including PML-N, PPP, PTI and PML-Q, had similar policies. “They are following the West and America and cannot bring any legislative change without their consent,” he alleged and claimed that it was the JI only that could bring a real change and make the corrupt accountable.

https://www.dawn.com/news/1596947/jamaat-warns-against-changes-to-blasphemy-law-palestine-policy

 

Jupiter, Saturn merging in night sky, closest in centuries

Jupiter and Saturn will merge in the night sky on Monday, appearing closer to one another than they have since Galileo was alive in the 17th century.Astronomers say so-called conjunctions between the two largest planets in our solar system are not particularly rare – Jupiter passes its neighbour Saturn in their respective laps around the Sun every 20 years.But the one coming up is especially close: Jupiter and Saturn will be just one-tenth of a degree apart from our perspective or about one-fifth the width of a full moon.They should be easily visible around the world a little after sunset, weather permitting.Toss in the winter solstice in the Northern Hemisphere, the longest night of the year – and the summer solstice in the Southern Hemisphere – and the spectacle promises to be one of the greatest of Great Conjunctions.

https://www.aljazeera.com/news/2020/12/21/jupiter-saturn-merging-in-night-sky-closest-in-centuries

 

 

OPINIONS-EDITORIALS-VIEWS

 

Ahead of Bengal Elections, Why Is BJP Softening Its Stance on CAA? Himadri Ghosh

https://thewire.in/politics/bengal-polls-bjp-caa-nrc-citizenship

 

An Interfaith Couple Faced Violence, a Miscarriage and Arrest. We Can't Say 'No Harm Done':Kavita Krishnan

https://thewire.in/communalism/up-moradabad-interfaith-couple-miscarriage-bajrang-dal

 

Modi is reaching out. AMU has a chance to take Muslims away from path of confrontation:Najmul Hoda

https://theprint.in/opinion/modi-is-reaching-out-amu-has-a-chance-to-take-muslims-away-from-path-of-confrontation/570584/

 

How modern mathematics emerged from a lost Islamic library: bbc

https://www.bbc.com/future/article/20201204-lost-islamic-library-maths?ocid=ww.social.link.facebook

 

India joins the love police: Draconian interfaith marriage laws ring the death knell for individual liberty:Robin David

https://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/blogs/On-the-bounce/india-joins-the-love-police-draconian-interfaith-marriage-laws-ring-the-death-knell-for-individual-liberty/

 

Love and jihad:PRAFULL GORADIA

https://www.thestatesman.com/opinion/love-and-jihad-1502941712.html

 

BJP, media, MHA — slander on Muslims and Sikhs have a lot in common. Outcome will be too:Zainab Sikander

https://theprint.in/opinion/bjp-media-mha-slander-on-muslims-and-sikhs-have-a-lot-in-common-outcome-will-be-too/570576/

 

Motilal Vora, the Gandhi family loyalist, ‘uncle’ figure & chronicler of Congress history:FATIMA KHAN

https://theprint.in/politics/motilal-vora-the-gandhi-family-loyalist-uncle-figure-chronicler-of-congress-history/571203/

 

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