Wednesday, 25 March 2020

24 March NEWS: Amid Lockdown, Shariah Council of Jamaat-e-Islami Hind Asks Muslims to Pray from Home/ After 101-Day Sit-in, Shaheen Bagh protest Cleared: Protesters Say 'Forcibly Evicted', 9 Detained



NEWS DIGEST, EVENING
24 March 2020: 28 Rajjab 1441: Vol: 12, No: 163
*Coronavirus india*
Amid Lockdown, Shariah Council of Jamaat-e-Islami Hind Asks Muslims to Pray from Home
New Delhi: The Shariah Council of Jamaat-e-Islami Hind has urged Muslims living in areas under lockdown due to the outbreak of coronavirus to offer prayers from home.The decision was taken by members of the council as there is a possibility of the spread of the virus with large gatherings even as “Islamic teachings lay great importance to ‘namaaz’ (offer prayers)".“The Imam, muezzin, khadim, and administrators of the mosque should offer ‘namaaz’ in congregation after exercising all precautionary measures. All the other members of the public should pray at home in congregation with the members of their family, including women,” said the statement from the outfit signed by Syed Sadatullah Hussaini, president, Jamaat-e-Islami Hind.The statement was also signed by the president of Shariah Council, Jamaat-e-Islami Hind, Maulana Syed Jalaluddin Umari.“In the same manner, the ‘Juma namaz’ (Friday prayer) should be observed only by the Imam, muezzin, khadim, and administrators of the mosque. The prayer and the ‘khutbah’ (speech) should be completed in the minimum possible period and the remaining public should do the ‘zohar’ (afternoon prayer) at home,” it added. Guidelines have been issued to use disinfectants in the wake of the pandemic that has claimed seven lives and infected at least 415 people in the country.“Disinfectants should be used in mosques and all medical precautions should be exercised that are recommended by health experts,” the statement said. The muezzin would continue to give ‘azaan’ (calls to prayer) five times in the mosques.At the individual level, the guidelines say that ‘azkaar’ (remembrance of God) and religious incantations should be practised. “Repentance and forgiveness should be sought. We should pray to Allah to break the intensity of this fatal pandemic and grant us deliverance from this disease,” it said.It has encouraged members to give ‘sadaqah’ (charity) to the poor and needy, especially those who are jobless, in this hour of crisis.News18
Muslims to pray at home avoid coming to mosques   says JIH: IANS
After 101-Day Sit-in, Shaheen Bagh protest Cleared: Protesters Say 'Forcibly Evicted', 9 Detained
 Delhi Police on Tuesday forcibly cleared the Shaheen Bagh sit-in protest site while Delhi is under a lockdown to contain the spread of Covid-19. The peaceful protest at Shaheen Bagh, against Modi government’s divisive CAA, had continued for over 3 months. “We had requested the protesters to leave in the morning due to the coronavirus outbreak and the lockdown that has been imposed. They refused and action was taken. Violators have been detained and the site has been cleared,” DCP Southeast RP Meena was quoted as saying by Indian Express.He also told PTI that nine people, including 6 women, were detained and taken to a nearby police station.A volunteer present at the site told Indian Express that only 8-10 women were present at the site on Tuesday morning. The volunteer also claimed that police removed the posters at the site and wheeled away the India Gate artwork. However, PTI said about 50 protesters, including men, were at the venue when it was vacated—it is unclear whether they had gathered in support of Shaheen Bagh protesters or not. A photo from ANI also showed a large number of people gathering near the site which was cleared by the police. Prakash Devi, a protester from Shaheen Bagh, told Hindustan Times that they were forcibly removed by the police. She said the police came on Monday night and asked them to clear the venue. “At around 3 am, there was a heavy mobilisation of police personnel. They locked some of the lanes. At around 5:30-6am, police came and forcibly evicted us,” she added. Shaheen Bagh’s official Twitter handle also said the Delhi Police used “coercive force to dismantle the protest site” even though it had been scaled down to symbolic form considering COVID-19 precautions.  On Sunday, during the ‘janata curfew’, only five women were at the site while others had left their slippers as a symbol of solidarity.The women were taking all precautions amid the coronavirus outbreak and sanitisers had been arranged at the venue to ensure utmost hygiene, a volunteer told PTI. Protests at Jamia University and Jaffrabad have also been cleared. DCP (South) Atul Kumar Thakur confirmed to Indian Express that “Hauz Rani protest site has been removed. No one arrested or detained.”Several people on Twitter pointed out that the protest art on the walls of Jamia Millia Islamia was also removed on Tuesday in haste—even as the city was under a lockdown to contain infection. Delhi went into lockdown on Monday and Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal announced that only essential services will continue to operate. Protesters had told The Wire that while they understood the dangers of coronavirus and were taking adequate precautions including sanitising regularly, they felt the threat of CAA was much larger than the dangers of COVID-19. “We understand that coronavirus outbreak is deadly, but for us, CAA, NPR and NRC are equally deadly,” one woman had said.The sit-in protests in Mumbai, Deoband and Lucknow are also no longer on.In Mumbai, women who had been protesting since January 26 called their protest off on March 22.“This is just a momentary break. We understand the situation right now and don’t want to cause any kind of inconvenience. Once the situation gets better, we will organize and agitate once again,” said one of the protestors.The protestors in Mumbai have been demanding that the tri-party state government led by the Shiv Sena, Nationalist Congress Party and the Congress assure them that they would not allow NRC, CAA, and NPR implementation in the state. “Our demands have been simple and this was well in the capacity of the state to assure us,” Barira, one of the core committee members, told The Wire.In Deoband town of Saharanpur district in Uttar Pradesh where women began their sit-in protest on January 27, the protests have been stalled until April 4. In a letter issued on March 23, the protestors’ core committee has stated that the decision was taken keeping in mind the extraordinary situation that has arisen in the country because of COVID- 19.As a protest symbol, the women have decided to leave behind their burkhas and bangles. “This is our symbolic protest for now. We are leaving our burkhas and bangles and warn the administration to not touch it. If they disturb this symbolic protest, we would be compelled to again step out and sit on a dharna,” the letter read.The protesters have placed a CCTV camera at the protest site and have decided to monitor the space closely.Similarly in Lucknow, women called off the protest and said they will come back once the lockdown is lifted. Huffingtonpost/ THE WIRE
Shaheen Bagh should not be seen ‘as a question of win or lose’: SC interlocutors
New Delhi : Hours after the Shaheen Bagh protest site in Delhi was evicted by the police, the Supreme Court-appointed interlocutors, Sanjay Hegde and Sadhna Ramachandran said the move should not be seen ‘as a question of win or lose’.Thanking the SC, the protesters, the police and the media for the ‘trust placed in us’, they said, “The country has a grave pandemic threatening it and currently that must receive priority in terms of everyone’s attention. We request the administration and the protesters to now not do anything, that will exacerbate the underlying tensions that culminated in the street protests.”Saying that they had submitted two reports to the court, detailing their efforts and the situation then prevailing, the interlocutors said, ‘”Our process of interlocution has reinforced many valuable lessons, including the need for continued dialogue at all times. We believe that the Supreme Court-mandated interlocution kept Shaheen Bagh protests peaceful even while violence erupted in other parts of Delhi. Some rigours of blockade were relaxed by the protesters clearing some peripheral roads. Today the few remaining Shaheen Bagh protesters have been finally dispersed peacefully with minimal force.” indianexpress
'We'll Be Back': Anti-CAA Protesters Leave for Home With a Promise in Lucknow's 'Shaheen Bagh'
Lucknow: Women protestors staging a round-the-clock sit-in at the historic clock tower here against CAA and the NRC have suspended their dharna in view of the coronavirus scare.66-day-old protest was suspended early on Monday morning and the protesters went back to their houses. The protest stage was left intact, upon which women left their 'duppatas'; marking a symbolic return once the situation comes back to normal.The women protestors have submitted a letter to the police commissioner, saying they were suspending their 66-day-long protest against the CAA, the proposed nationwide NRC and NPR temporarily in view of the outbreak.Speaking to media on the suspension of the protest, daughter of poet Munawwar Rana, Summaiya Rana said, “We have decided to suspend the Ghantaghar protest as of now due to the pandemic of COVID-19 coming to India.""CAA and NPR are internal issues of our country and we will protest against it once again after the situation gets normal. The main reason behind suspending this protest was the huge gathering which made difficult the idea of ‘social distancing’, hence we took this decision," she said. Rana said the protesters had already been in talks with Commissioner of Police, Lucknow, Sujit Pandey, who had also suggested the suspension of the protest for a few days.They added that they would be back after lockdown enforced by the government ends. News18
Covid-19 casts a shadow on Census, NPR exercise
The coronavirus pandemic has cast a shadow on the demographic census and NPR work. The process is likely to be put off.With many districts locked down as on Monday and many States on emergency mode, the work on Census has almost been put on the back burner, according to officials.When contacted, a senior official from the office of the Registrar-General and Census Commissioner in India, told BusinessLine: “The schedule has been fixed from April 1 to September 2020. Implementation is a decision to be taken by the States depending on the situation.’’ Despite political controversy over NPR, the Centre is keen on the exercise and has also allocated about ₹3,950 crore for the project. The Union Home Ministry has already convened meetings with States a couple of months ago to coordinate the operations.But in the event of further spread of the virus and extension of lockdown to more districts, the Home Ministry may think of postponing the exercise. It is currently adopting a “wait and watch approach’’, it is learnt.While Census is essentially a function of the Centre, it is done in coordination with the States as enumerators and other human resources have to be allocated by the latter.A top official in the Department of Health, Telangana, said: “Now that the coronavirus is on the gradual rise, the idea of sending enumerators to households for data collection is a risk for one and all. We strongly recommend against this at this juncture.’’The enumerators will have to spend at least 10 minutes in each of the household as they have to obtain details of every individual including name, relationship to head of household, father's name, mother’s name, spouse's name (if married), sex, date of birth, marital status, place of birth, nationality, present address of usual residence, occupation and educational qualification.They will also have to attend few hours training classes before commencing the exercise. All these have now been rendered difficult on account of the coronavirus. thehindubusinessline
Coronavirus : India reports 10th death;PM Modi to address nation at 8 pm
New Delhi: With the northeast reporting its first positive coronavirus case from Manipur on Tuesday, the total number of cases in India has risen to 491 including 10 deaths and 36 cured cases. Prime Minister Narendra Modi will address the nation at 8 PM today on the coronavirus outbreak. India’s 30 states and Union Territories including Delhi, Chandigarh, West Bengal, Kerala, Andhra Pradesh, Maharashtra, Haryana, Gujarat, Karnataka, Assam, Uttarakhand etc. have gone into a lockdown to contain the spread of COVID-19. The state governments imposed a state-wide curfew, starting Monday, a day after the country observed “Janata curfew”.Centre has also warned of legal action against those violating the lockdown which has been enforced till March 31 to curtail the pandemic. Violators could either face a fine of Rs 1,000 or a jail term of 6 months if they do not abide by the lockdown orders, the government said. All domestic commercial flights would remain suspended from Wednesday to restrict inter-state movement as a precautionary measure.In Maharashtra, where cases rose to 97, with the sharpest rise of 23 in a day, Chief Minister Uddhav Thackeray announced curfew-like measures, issuing strict orders for people to keep indoors, and sealing borders.Globally, 16,572 people have died due to the pandemic and a total of 381,293 positive cases have been confirmed. While Italy has reported the highest number of deaths at 6,077 and the number of positive cases at 63,927, China has reported 3,153 deaths and 81,514 cases so far. Also, Spain has reported 2,311 deaths, Iran 1,812, France 860 and UK 335.WHO Monday warned that the coronavirus pandemic is clearly “accelerating”, but said it was still possible to “change the trajectory” of the outbreak. indianexpress
Total Lockdown In 30 States, Union Territories As Corona Cases Cross 470 - 10 Points
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New Delhi: Thirty states and Union territories declared a lockdown by late evening on Monday as the country recorded its ninth death linked to the highly contagious coronavirus. Overall, 471 people have tested positive for the virus in the country -- 75 of them in the last 24 hours. 2 persons have died, one in Bengal and the other in Himachal Pradesh. As reports of infection came in from all the key states, the Centre tightened its clampdown with a ban on domestic flights and warned of legal action against rule-breakers. Punjab, which had thousands of expats heading for home, declared curfew. So did Maharashtra, which has the highest number of COVID-19 cases. In Kolkata, sources said the 57-year-old who died at a private hospital, did not have any travel history, raising concern about the chain of transmission of the virus.30 states and union territories, covering 548 districts. have announced a complete lockdown, partial curbs have been announced in Uttar Pradesh, Madhya Pradesh and Odisha. This includes 80 districts, where COVID-19 cases have been confirmed. Only 2 states -- Mizoram and Sikkim -- are yet to take a call no the issue, the government said.The country registered 75 fresh cases of the virus on Monday, which pushed the total to 471. Of this, 41 are foreign nationals and nine persons died. The deaths were reported from Gujarat, Bihar, Karnataka, Delhi, Maharashtra, Punjab, Bengal and Himachal Pradesh.Punjab became the first in the country to impose curfew in the entire state with no relaxation, and only exempted essential services to prevent the infection. Two days ago, Punjab had shut down public transport, shops, malls gyms and swimming pools. Only essential goods and services were allowed.ndtv
In Maharashtra, almost 17 corona positive cases test negative, will be tested again
In Maharashtra, almost 17 corona positive cases under treatment have tested negative. In next 24 hours, they will be subjected to another test. And if it remains negative, they will be discharged from hospitals. But they will have to observe 15-days quarantine at home, public health minister Rajesh Tope said. Total corona positive cases in Maharashtra till now is 101. indianexpress
Deadline for income tax returns for FY 2018-19 extended to June 30: Nirmala Sitharaman in relief measures for coronavirus
Deadline for income tax returns for FY 2018-19 extended to June 30: Nirmala Sitharaman in relief measures for coronavirus
Entire UP lockdown to be announced by Yogi Adityanath today
Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath to announce at 4 pm today that the entire Uttar Pradesh will be locked down.
Air travel suspended in India: What impact will Covid-19 have on travellers, airlines?
After 11.59 pm, no passenger flight will operate in India for a week as govt has announcing a clampdown on air travel to curb the rapid spread of Covid-19 infections. This will result in about 650 aircraft in fleets of Indian airlines being grounded, and all 3,300 flights that operate domestically every day being cancelled. For air travel, these restrictions will be in effect till March 31, with the exceptions of all-cargo flights, off-shore helicopter operations, medical evacuation flights and special flights approved by aviation regulator Directorate General of Civil Aviation (DGCA).
90,000 NRIs Back, Says Punjab, Predicts "Alarming" Rise In COVID-19 Cases
New Delhi: Around 90,000 people of Punjab who were living abroad, have come home as coronavirus spread across the world. Now, funds are needed to ensure that the virus doesn't spread in the state, the Amarinder Singh government said, seeking Rs 150 crore from the Centre for a major security, sanitation and medical preparation drive.In a letter to Union health minister Dr Harshvardhan, state health minister Balbir Singh Sidhu wrote: "Punjab has the maximum number of NRIs in the country and only 90,000 of them have landed in the state this month. Many have symptoms of COVID-19 and are are further spreading the disease... The number of COVID-19 patients are going to increase alarmingly."So far, 23 people have tested positive for the virus, one of them has died.
COVID-19: Set Up Panel to Consider Release of Prisoners on Parole, says SC to States, UTs
New Delhi: The Supreme Court on Monday directed all states and Union Territories to set up high-level committees to determine the class of prisoners who could be released on parole for four to six weeks to avoid overcrowding in jails so as to safeguard against the spread of the coronavirus pandemic.The apex court said prisoners convicted of or charged with offences having jail term of up to seven years can be given parole to decongest jails.A bench headed by Chief Justice S.A. Bobde said that the high-level committee will work in consultation with the State Legal Service Authority for the release of prisoners.“We, therefore, direct that each state shall constitute a high-level committee comprising of home secretary and chairman, State Legal Service Authority to determine a class of prisoners, who can be released on parole for four to six weeks or on interim bail,” said the bench, also comprising Justices L. Nageswara Rao and Surya Kant.The bench was hearing the issue, of which it had taken suo motu note last week, on the preparedness in the wake of coronavirus in overcrowded prisons. thewire
EC Defers Rajya Sabha Polls in View of the Coronavirus Pandemic
New Delhi: The Election Commission has deferred the Rajya Sabha polls scheduled for March 26 in view of the coronavirus pandemic, official sources said on Tuesday.An election to fill up 55 seats in the upper house of Parliament was to be held on March 26, but 37 candidates have already been elected without a contest.The decision on holding the election for the remaining 18 seats will be taken based on the prevailing situation, the sources said.PTI
Foreigners held from mosque in Bihar, sent for COVID-19 test
Patna: A few foreign nationals who were staying in a mosque here were sent to hospital on Monday to get the COVID-19 test done after the police detained them.Manoj Kumar, in-charge of Digha police station, said 10 foreigners were reported to be staying at the mosque in Kurji area of Digha police station. They were taken into custody and handed over to the Health Department which sent them to the hospital to get the coronavirus test done.Most of them are from Turkestan (Kazakhstan). The local people informed the police after they learnt about their stay there, he said.He said that information is also being collected about their travel and the people who met them.–IANS
From Online Assignments To WhatsApp Classes, Here is how Indian Universities Combat COVID 19
NEW DELHI:As the country embraces a complete lockdown to combat the novel coronavirus menace, universities across the country have given precautionary measures to students. Most of the universities have shut down their regular activities and are looking for alternative methods to compensate for the loss of academics.JNU has shut down all its regular academic activities including seminars, discussions and interactive sessions until March 31. M Jagadeesh Kumar, Vice-Chancellor of the University in a letter dated 20th March urged the students not to panic but to be aware and vigilant in taking appropriate precautions. The University has advised vacating the hostels and observe social distancing.

AMU on 19th March closed Moulana Azad Library as a precautionary measure. In a circular dated 14th March 2020 Abdul Hameed IPS, Registrar of the University stated that " All conferences, seminars, lectures, workshops, hall functions, sports events and other events are postponed till 31-03-2020".  Prof.Tariq Mansoor, Vice-Chancellor, AMU on Monday suggested the " teachers to make available the study material online." " They are also urged to regularly upload the study material online. Additionally, the study material can also be circulated via WhatsApp and/or e-mail. " - He added.Jamia Millia Islamia University, New Delhi has suspended all classroom transactions till March 31. However, the administration has encouraged the faculties across departments to reach out to students through WhatsApp, e-mail and other online platforms. In a letter to students Prof Najma Akhtar, Vice-Chancellor, Jamia Millia Islamia urged to comply with the advisories given by concerned agencies from time to time. The University has also closed down its central library as a precautionary measure.The University Of Hyderabad, through a circular on Thursday signed by Registrar, P Sardar Singh said: " All Deans/Heads/Directors of concerned Schools/Departments/Centres/administrative Heads are at their complete discretion to consider the practicability of allowing 50% employees, to work from home and the remaining staff may necessarily attend office during working days while ensuring the smooth functioning of their respective offices," The University has also directed students to vacate the hostels by today evening. Union Ministry of Human Resources Development had earlier asked different universities to take precautionary measures to prevent the outbreak of coronavirus in the campuses. It has also ordered universities to postpone exams and find alternative methods for academics to ensure no gathering takes place at the university spaces. India Tomorrow
"India Led World In Eradicating 2 Pandemics, Should Show The Way": WHO
Geneva: The executive director of the World Health Organisation (WHO), Michael J Ryan, on Tuesday said that India has a tremendous capacity to deal the coronavirus outbreak situation as it has experience of eradicating two pandemics, namely small-pox and polio."There is a need in the number of labs where a surge is seen. India is a very populous country and the future of this virus will be considered in a very highly and densely populated country. India led the world in eradicating two pandemics, small-pox and polio so India has a tremendous capacity," J Ryan said during a daily press brief on COVID-19 pandemic."There are no easy answers. It is exceptionally important that countries like India show the way to the world as they have done before," he added.ndtv
Coronavirus: Karnataka minority board recommends closure of mosques for daily namaz, Jummah prayers till March 31
As the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) pandemic outbreak continues to spread like wildfire across India, the Karnataka Minority Welfare and the State Board of Waqf on Monday wrote to the state Health Department recommending that all the mosques in the state suspend the prayers (salah) and the daily namaz, including Jummah (Friday prayers), till March 31.The move is aimed at minimising the spread of the virus in the midst of the pandemic since mass gatherings are discouraged for the public at the moment. The goal is to cut off the chain of spread so that the outbreak can be checked and the subjects are isolated safely for treatment.The decision to suspend the prayers was taken by the state Minority Welfare department after holding a discussion with religious Aalims, the chairman of Wakf Board, both Khazis of Mangaluru and other stakeholders and community leaders.The letter was written by AB Ibrahim of the state Minority Welfare department to Javeed Akthar, additional chief secretary of the Health and Family Welfare Department.dnaindia
Indian Americans demand Indian Government shun sectarian politics to combat the Coronavirus pandemic
Alliance for Justice and Accountability, an umbrella organization of progressive South Asian groups across US, is asking the Indian Govt to put aside sectarian violence in the name of preservation of life as the Coronavirus pandemic unfolds. This crisis will unleash havoc in our communities at a time when Indian unity is at an all time low. During a pandemic, the basic trust of communities is an important requirement for public health interventions — as so much of it depends on public compliance.Indian govt must restore faith that it will protect all citizens not just its communal and genocidal agenda. Alliance for Justice and Accountability (AJA), is dedicated to promoting common values of pluralism, tolerance, and respect for human rights that form the basis of world’s two largest secular democracies – US and India.We are extremely disturbed that the Indian government has not stopped its attacks on Indian Muslim and civil rights activists even during this critical window of time when it should be focused on combating COVID-19 pandemic.That is why we are asking on the basis of a shared humanity to demand the BJP stop its genocidal project and focus on the fight ahead to preserve as many lives as possible. India should be investing all its resources in fighting the pandemic and providing economic relief to the informal sector instead of creating panic and harassment amongst minorities and civil rights activists.TCN
Delhi Violence Victims Particularly Vulnerable to COVID-19, Memorandum Seeks Urgent Intervention of State

A comprehensive list of demands, which focused on the measures to be adopted by the State in the aftermath of the ‘targeted violence’ that shook North East Delhi in the last week of Feb.2020, was submitted to Delhi Government recently. The list of demands has been prepared by volunteers and concerned citizens who were involved in the relief, documentation and rehabilitation efforts post the communal violence that left over 500 people injured and at least 50 dead, in addition to huge loss and destruction of businesses, property and places of worship.The memorandum submitted to Delhi Govt stated after three weeks of independent relief work and documentation of violence-affected areas, it was found that “the absence of the state at this time has resulted in life-threatening deprivation amongst its citizens.”It also highlights the fact that with the outbreak of COVID-19 in India, “there has been a restriction of civil society efforts”, and therefore, “the role of the state has become all the more urgent—especially as living closely in camps and bereft of their homes make victims of this violence all the more vulnerable to the disease.” As such, the volunteers and concerned citizens have urged state to “re-assess its existing measures in order to meet the needs of those made vulnerable by this violence, with a long-term view to rebuild broken lives.”Newsclick

Mumbai lockdown: 150 people found offering namaz, FIR registered against masjid trustees for disobeying orders
Mumbai: Police on Monday registered an FIR against the trustees of a masjid where up to 150 people were found offering namaz in violation of govt orders issued to check the spread of the coronavirus.The JJ police registered the FIR against the trustees of Sunni Shafi Masjid here.According to an official, on Monday afternoon the police got information that 100-150 people were offering namaz inside the masjid despite orders issued under CrPC section 144 banning assembly of people in view of coronavirus outbreak. The order restricts the presence or movement of four or more persons in public places and also any vehicles carrying such persons.Soon, a team led by ACP Avinash Dharmadhikari reached the masjid and asked the devotees to leave the place.Later, police registered FIR against Masjid trustees, including Majal Badwan Kuni.Dharmadhikari said, "We have registered the FIR but no arrests have been made so far. An investigation is underway." Mumbaimirror
Maharashtra: Case against masjid trustees for allowing backdoor entry for namaz during restrictions in Bhiwandi
BHIWANDI: Bhiwandi City police have registered case against four trustees of Aasbibi masjid for violating the state government order issued in the wake of coronavirus outbreak official said on Monday.Those booked in case are Gulam Khan (Chairman), Margub Ansari (Cashier), Mohammed Ansari and Hajrat Ansari, both members of Aasbibi masjid in Bhiwandi.The police said that on Monday afternoon the masjid people gave backdoor entry to people despite government orders.Rajkumar Shinde, deputy commissioner of police, zone 2 of Thane police said, "Inspite of our repeated instructions not to gather for namaz in masjids, trustees and Imams of Aasbibi masjid violated government instructions and allowed people from backdoor inside the masjid to offer namaz". Shinde said, "We have registered an offence under section 188 of IPC and further probe is on". Meanwhile in Kalyan also on Sunday local Mahatma Phule police late night registered FIR against 15 for performing namaz on roadside Ansari Chawk. timesofindia
Delhi's Jama Masjid to remain closed for public till March 31; Jamiat appeals people for spl prayers to fight Corona virus
New Delhi: The iconic Jama Masjid will remain closed for public till March 31 in view of the coronavirus outbreak, Syed Ahmed Bukhari, the imam of the mosque, said on Monday. The decision has been taken as a precautionary measure to contain the spread of coronavirus as many people who travel abroad also come to offer prayers at the mosque, he said.During this period, the daily chorus in the mosque will remain unaffected but people will not be allowed to offer prayers."As a precautionary measure, we are closing the mosque for offering prayers till March 31. We have appealed to people to offer prayers inside their homes during this time," Bukhari told PTI.Prominent Muslim body Jamiat Ulama-i-Hind (JuH) has also appealed to people to make special prayers to fight the disease.JUH president Maulana Arshad Madani said coronavirus has engulfed the entire world."The human being, despite all his educational and scientific advancements, has no option to deal with this disease. I appeal to all citizens of the country to take precautionary measures to protect themselves from this pestilence and must follow the instructions issued by WHO and the central health ministry," Madani said in a statement. PTI

*Coronavirus World*
Coronavirus updates: China to lift lockdown in most of virus-hit Hubei province, UK in lockdown
China has said it will relax many restrictions on travel to and from Hubei, the province where the coronavirus outbreak began, on Wednesday, as the United Kingdom announced strict controls on movement to slow the spread of COVID-19.Chinese authorities announced Tuesday they would end a two-month lockdown of most of virus-hit Hubei province at midnight.People with a clean bill of health will be allowed to leave, the provincial government said. The city of Wuhan, where the outbreak started in late December, will remain locked down until April 8.China barred people from leaving or entering Wuhan starting Jan. 23 in a surprise middle-of-the-night announcement and expanded it to most of the province in succeeding days. Train service and flights were cancelled and checkpoints set up on roads into the central province. The virus raged for weeks in Wuhan, the provincial capital, and surrounding cities. Hospitals overflowed, and temporary ones were hastily set up to try to isolate the growing number of infected patients.UK move came after the country reportred 52 more deaths and followed the imposition of strict lockdowns in France, Spain and Italy, as Europe reels from a pandemic that WHO has warned is accelerating. In Africa, Senegal, South African and the Ivory Coast were among the countries to also announce sweeping movement restrictions.More 16,500 people have died from COVID-19 about the world, according to data collected by Johns Hopkins University. Nearly 102,000 of the 382,000 people who have been diagnosed with the disease have recovered. AP / aljazeera
Iran leader refuses US help; cites coronavirus conspiracy theory
Iran's supreme leader refused American assistance to fight the new coronavirus citing a conspiracy theory claiming it could be man-made by the United States government.Ayatollah Ali Khamenei's comments came on Sunday as Iran faces crushing US sanctions blocking the country from selling its crude oil and accessing international financial markets.While Iranian officials in recent days have increasingly criticised those sanctions, 80-year-old Khamenei instead echoed Chinese officials about the possible origin of the coronavirus."I do not know how real this accusation is but when it exists, who in their right mind would trust you to bring them medication?" Khamenei said. "Possibly your medicine is a way to spread the virus more."He also alleged the virus "is specifically built for Iran using the genetic data of Iranians, which they have obtained through different means"."You might send people as doctors and therapists, maybe they would want to come here and see the effect of the poison they have produced in person," Khamenei said. aljazeera
Italy reports 602 new coronavirus deaths
Italy has reported 602 new deaths from the coronavirus on Monday, bringing the total to 6,077 with the tally of cases in the country, a major hotspot, rising to 63,928. The number of reported deaths in the country dropped for a second day in a row, after on Saturday reaching an all-time high since the outbreak began of 793. In the UK, the number of those who have died from the disease the virus causes, COVID-19, increased by 54, bringing the toll in the country to 335 among 6,650 cases. Meanwhile, Prime Minister Boris Johnson ordered residents across the country to stay at home. In the US, the number of cases surged past 35,000, with a death toll of 495, according to John Hopkins University data.
Thai declares state of emergency, approves new stimulus package
Thailand's Prime Minister Prayuth Chan-ocha has announced a state of emergency from Thursday to curb the spread of the coronavirus.The move will give the government enforcement powers not normally available to it. They include giving extra authority to officials, the setting up of checkpoints and restrictions on people’s movement.
Bahraini government to execute 4.3 billion dinars stimulus

Bahrain's finance minister Sheikh Salman bin Khalifa Al Khalifa has announced that his country will soon deliver a stimulus package worth 4.3 billion dinars ($11.41 billion), state TV reported.

Australia coronavirus deaths rise to eight
A woman who was infected with the new coronavirus on a cruise ship has become Australia’s eighth COVID-19 death.Health authorities say the woman, in her 70s, died in a Sydney hospital on Tuesday.She was one of the initial three cases confirmed aboard the Ruby Princess and was taken to a hospital on Thursday.
German cases up by 4,764, total hits 27,436
The Robert Koch Institute for infectious diseases said 4,764 new cases of the coronavirus have been detecting in Germany, raising the total number of infections to 27,436.It added that the number of fatalities rose to 114 from 86 the previous day
Gaza virus cases attended conference in Pakistan
GAZA CITY: Gaza’s first two confirmed coronavirus patients attended a conference with 250,000 Muslims in Pakistan last month that went ahead contrary to government advice, an official and family members said Monday. Pakistani authorities had urged the cancellation of the five-day Tablighi Ijtema congregation, or Tablighi Jamaat in Arabic, hosted annually near Lahore.But organisers from the conservative Sunni Muslim evangelical movement ignored government advice to postpone. It was unclear where the two Palestinians — who returned to Gaza from Pakistan via Egypt earlier this month — contracted COVID-19.afp
Palestinian prisoner's commission calls for release of detainees
Commission for Prisoners Affairs at the Palestinian Liberation Organisation (PLO) has called on the United Nations to urge Israeli authorities to release Palestinian detainees held in Israeli jail amid fears of the spread of the coronavirus. The head of the commission, Qadri Abu Bakr, was quoted by local media as saying the UN is "aware that Israeli jails are among the most crowded in the world"."They [Israeli jails] lack the minimum health and safety conditions - creating an environment for the spread of the coronavirus," Abu Bakr said.
Pakistani doctors decry lack of supplies as lockdown looms
Islamabad, Pakistan- Pakistan has moved closer to a countrywide lockdown to attempt to control the accelerating spread of coronavirus cases across the country, as cases hit more than 850 and doctors complain of dwindling personal protective kits.On Monday, a full lockdown went into effect in the southern city of Karachi, home to more than 20 million people, while Punjab province - home to almost half of Pakistan's 207 million people - also announced widespread restrictions on public movement.The government in both areas has restricted people to their homes, other than to access essential services such as groceries, pharmacies or medical care, according to a government announcement.
21-day night curfew in Saudi as confirmed 51 new cases of coronavirus, closed all non-main gates of Grand Mosque as GCC total nears 2,000
Saudi Arabia announced 51 new cases of coronavirus on Monday, taking the total number in the kingdom to 562.At a press conference, Ministry of Health spokesperson Dr Mohamed Al-Abdali, confirmed 25 travel-related cases, while 26 were caused by social contact with previous cases.Cases were discovered in Riyadh (18), Mecca (12), Taif (6), Bisha (5), Dammam (3), Qatif (3), Jizan (2), Najran (1) and Al-Qunfudhah (1).Al-Abdali revealed the breakdown of cases include 266 men and 296 women as well as 29 involving children. There have been no deaths reported to date.From Monday, kingdom introduced a 21-day curfew, from 7pm to 6am.Meanwhile the General President of the Affairs of the Grand Mosque and the Prophet's Mosque Sheikh Dr. Abdulrahman bin Abdulaziz Al-Sudais has issued an order, closing non-main gates of the Grand Mosque in Makkah.While the Ministry of Hajj and Umrah announced that pilgrims whose visas ended and those who are late for leaving the country during the regular period of the Umrah season will be exempt from legal and financial ramifications as a result of overstaying in the kingdom.There are currently 1,893 confirmed cases of coronavirus across the GCC – KSA (562), Qatar (501), Bahrain (377), UAE (198), Kuwait (189) and Oman (66) and four deaths reported, two in Bahrain and two in the UAE. arabianbusiness
WHO chief thanks Saudi Arabia for coronavirus aid package sent to Yemen
The Director General of the World Health Organisation (WHO) has thanked Saudi Arabia after it airlifted coronavirus protection supplies to Yemen.In a tweet posted in response to images of the aid parcels shared on social media, Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus said it was important to be united during the coronavirus crisis and he thanked Saudi Arabia for he described as the Kingdom’s “great support to WHO in this critical time of #COVID19.”“We all must be led by solidarity to keep the world safe and serve the vulnerable. With this kind of commitment and support, we can stop the #coronavirus from spreading,” he tweeted. arabnews
*OTHERS*
Omar Abdullah Freed After Nearly 8 Months: "Very Different World Today"
Srinagar/ New Delhi: Omar Abdullah was released on Tuesday after nearly eight months in detention in Kashmir. The former Chief Minister was detained along with hundreds of politicians in August, when the centre decided to end special status to the former state of Jammu and Kashmir and divided it into two union territories. oon after his release, Omar Abdullah urged people to practice "social distancing as advised by the government."  On detention of leaders, he said, "Be it Mehbooba Mufti ji, or any leader from National Conference, they should be freed," adding that 3G and 4G services should be restored in Kashmir.  "Today, I, realise that we are fighting a war of life and death. All our people who have been detained should be released at this time. We must follow government orders to fight coronavirus," the National Conference leader told reporters.In a tweet, he said "it's a very different world today". "232 days after my detention today I finally left Hari Niwas. It's a very different world today to the one that existed on 5th August 2019," the 50-year-old former chief minister of Jammu and Kashmir wrote.Mehbooba Mufti, another former Chief Minister detained on the same day, August 5, tweeted: "Glad he will be released. For all their talk of nari Shakti & women emancipation, seems like this regime fears women the most."The Supreme Court had last week, on Omar Abdullah's sister's petition for his immediate release, asked the centre to respond by this week whether it planned to free him."If you are releasing him, then release him soon or we will hear the matter on merits," the Supreme Court told the government."Now that things are settled in Kashmir, what are your instructions for his (Omar Abdullah's) release," the judges asked.On March 13, Omar Abdullah's father Farooq Abdullah, also a former chief minister of Jammu and Kashmir, was freed.Omar Abdullah, who turned 50 on March 10, was detained without charges but later, the government charged him the Public Safety Act (PSA). The charges listed out in a dossier against the 49-year-old National Conference leader included his "ability to garner votes even during peak militancy and poll boycotts". It said Mr Abdullah, a former Union Minister, could influence people for any cause and specifically cited his ability to bring voters out in the wake of boycott calls by separatists.Mr Abdullah's sister Sara Abdullah Pilot, in her petition to the Supreme Court, said her brother had been detained on the basis of social media posts "that are non-existent have been wrongly, maliciously attributed to (Omar)".Abdullah has been seen during his detention with a beard. He had resolved not to shave until he was released as a mark of protest.NDTV
Shivraj Singh Chouhan wins MP floor test; House adjourned till March 27
Bhopal : The BJP won a floor test in the Madhya Pradesh Assembly Tuesday, a day after Shivraj Singh Chouhan took oath as Chief Minister in a small ceremony at Raj Bhavan. None of the Congress MLAs were present in the House for the vote. Following the floor test, the House was adjourned till March 27.Chouhan thanked the Independents, Samajwadi Party and Bahujan Samaj Party MLAs who voted in favour of the motion.Chouhan was elected BJP Legislature Party leader and sworn in as Chief Minister by Governor Tandon for a record fourth term at 9 pm on Monday night. He has already served as CM of the state for three terms — between 2005 and 2018. So far, he is the only minister in the government.
Chouhan said the trust motion was necessitated as Governor Tandon had asked him to prove his majority in the House within 15 days. He said his first priority was to prevent the spread of coronavirus in the state.After taking oath on Monday too, Chouhan had drawn attention to the pandemic. “We gave good governance for 15 years. We will give better governance and try to make amends for mistakes that we may have committed in the past,” he had said.When the session resumes, the state budget for the financial year 2020-21 will be tabled and passed.
Meanwhile, Speaker N P Prajapati resigned from his post last night after Governor Lalji Tandon advised him to step down. In his resignation letter submitted to Deputy Speaker Hina Kavre, Prajapati said he was resigning on moral grounds.The floor test this morning was conducted by senior BJP MLA Jagdish Devda.The developments in the state came after former CM Kamal Nath resigned ahead of the Supreme Court mandated trust vote on March 20. In the run up to his resignation, the Congress leader had dared the BJP to move a no confidence motion against his government.
indianexpress
Bhima Koregaon Judicial Commission Seeks 6-Month Extension
Mumbai: The two-member judicial commission inquiring into the 2018 Bhima Koregaon violence case on Monday sought a six-month extension from the Maharashtra government as it has postponed its hearing in view of the novel coronavirus outbreak and resultant lockdown.The commission on Monday wrote a letter to the state chief secretary seeking an extension.“In view of coronavirus epidemic and complete lockdown, the Commission has postponed its proceedings until further notice. As such the Commission is unable to submit any report,” the letter signed by commission secretary V.V. Palnitkar said.
“If extension is given by the state government, the Commission intends to examine 40-50 more witnesses, including police, state and prominent politicians. For that purpose, the Commission will require not less than six months,” it added.PTI

*WORLD*
US cuts Afghan aid by $1bn after Pompeo fails to end impasse
US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo on Monday announced a $1bn cut in American aid to Afghanistan after he failed to convince Afghan President Ashraf Ghani and his political foe to end a feud that has helped jeopardise a US-led peace effort.The United States also is prepared to cut another $1bn worth of assistance in 2021 and is conducting "a review of all of our programmes and projects to identify additional reductions and reconsider our pledges to future donor conferences for Afghanistan," Pompeo said in a statement.Pompeo's statement came as he flew home from a fruitless day-long effort in Kabul to end competing claims to the presidency by Ghani and Abdullah Abdullah and win their agreement to form "an inclusive government."The harshly worded announcement at the end of the mission he undertook despite the spreading global coronavirus pandemic underscored how badly stalled the US-led effort to end America's longest war and decades of strife in Afghanistan has become.The US "deeply regrets" that Ghani and Abdullah were "unable to agree on an inclusive government," said Pompeo, adding that "their failure has harmed US-Afghan relations and sadly, dishonours those Afghan, Americans, and Coalition partners who have sacrificed their lives and treasure."Speaking to reporters after departing Qatar, Pompeo declined to detail how the $1bn in aid cuts would be apportioned or whether he set a deadline for Ghani and Abdullah, who had served as the country's chief executive, to settle their dispute.But the process stalled over a Taliban demand for the release by Kabul of 5,000 prisoners and the feud between Ghani and Abdullah, both of whom claimed the presidency following a disputed September election marred by allegations of fraud.While in Kabul, Pompeo met with Ghani and Abdullah, separately and together.Absent from the meetings was the chief US negotiator, Special Representative Zalmay Khalilzad, an Afghan-born veteran diplomat. It was not immediately known why Khalilzad was not included.
Rights group: Children in Egypt tortured in detention
Egyptian police, security forces and military officials have arbitrarily arrested, tortured and disappeared hundreds of children, according to Human Rights Watch (HRW).The New York-based rights group released a report on Monday, claiming Egypt has, since 2013, detained and abused children as young as 12 as part of a crackdown on dissent against the country's military government.43-page report states the crackdown and the use of torture against all detainees, especially minors, has weakened the rule of law in Egypt "to the point of extinction", as prosecutors and judges exacerbated abuses through due process violations and unfair trials.Egypt has not responded to the new accusations, but the country's State Information Service (SIS) has in the past dismissed similar claims as a "smear campaign".Titled, No One Cared He Was A Child: Egyptian Security Forces' Abuse of Children in Detention, the HRW report documents abuses against 20 children who were aged between 12 and 17 when they were arrested.Fifteen of the 20 children said they were tortured in pretrial detention, usually during interrogation and while being detained incommunicado.Seven children said security officers tortured them with electricity, including with stun guns.
 *VIEWS, ARTICLES, FEATURES*
India is Locked Down for COVID-19 But Modi Govt Presses Ahead With Central Vista Project:the wire

Compiled and edited by Anwarulhaq (Released at: 3:26 PM).