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PM Modi gave me pension, my sons assaulted me: Watch video of 85-year-old woman who wants to give 12-bigha land to PM Modi

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A video of an elderly woman who wants to give her land to Prime Minister Narendra Modi has surfaced on social media. In the video shared by Executive Editor News 24 Manak Gupta on Twitter, the elderly woman can be seen saying that she would give her 12 bigha land to Prime Minister Narendra Modi for all the good work that he has done.

According to reports, the 85-year old woman is named Bittan Devi and she hails from Mainpuri, Uttar Pradesh. Bittan Devi visited the chamber of Advocate Krishn Pratap Singh in Mainpuri Tehsil today. To everyone’s surprise, Bittan Devi said that she wanted to give all her properties to PM Modi. Bittan Devi’s husband passed away and now she is dependent on her sons and daughters-in-law who do not take care of her. She survives on the pension provided by the government.

Talking to the person recording the video Bittan Devi said that that PM Modi gave her pension while her own sons physically assaulted her. When asked what PM Modi did for her, she replied, “Modi gives me money. He gives me a pension of Rs 2000. Therefore, I will give my 12 bigha land to Modi ji”.

Sharing her grief, Bittan Devi said that she had three sons, seven grandsons and three granddaughters, yet there was no one for her. Narrating her condition, grieving Bittan Devi wished to die. She said that she was over 100-years-old but she was still alive and that it would have been better had she died. However, the woman said that she was very happy with Prime Minister Modi.

Earlier video of a woman praising Modi government’s schemes had gone viral

The video of a woman from Bihar had gone viral last month in which she was seen highlighting the schemes provided by the Modi government. The woman was asked by a reporter as to why she would for the NDA and she replied with a host of schemes that she benefitted from. The woman found a mention in PM Modi’s speech that he gave he Chapra, Bihar ahead of Bihar Assembly elections.

Here are 5 fear-mongering claims about the COVID vaccine, because even Harbhajan Singh is not ‘immune’ to rumours

The covid-19 pandemic has changed the way we see the world completely. The year 2020 has brought a ‘new normal’ to our lives, and we are trying to adjust to it. Governments worldwide are trying to ensure people take precautions, and the death rate stays minimal. The scientists are working day and night to develop a vaccine for the infection. However, there are several misleading claims about the vaccine and its importance in making rounds on social media platforms that need to be debunked.

India has a 93.6% recovery rate – Why do we need a vaccine?

The claim: The pharmaceutical companies are releasing a glimpse of the success rate of the vaccines under clinical trial for Covid-19 on a regular basis. Pfizer and BioNTech have claimed a 94% success rate, Moderna at 94.5%, Oxford-AstraZeneca at 90%, and so on. The recovery rate in India is quite high, suggesting that the disease may not be fatal for a vast majority of people. Several netizens, including ex-cricketer Harbhajan Singh, have raised the question if we really need the vaccine.

The claim started making rounds around November 26. It is possible that Harbhajan Singh fell for a WhatsApp forward of the said claim.

Screenshot of tweets with same claims that were made around November 26

The fact: The vaccine is not a medicine that you will take after you get infected. it helps in developing immunity against the disease thus prevents you from getting the infection in the first place. Also, even 6% of India’s population means over 70 million people. The vaccine will ensure that they do not get infected in the first place, improving their chance to survive the pandemic. Claiming that we do not need a vaccine because we have a higher recovery rate is technically incorrect because there will be many people who cannot recover and will succomb to the disease.

The vaccine will alter the DNA of humans

The claim: The said claim that the vaccine will alter the DNA of humans has been making rounds since May 2020. The claim was first made by Dr Andrew Kaufman, a self-proclaimed “natural healing consultant,” in an interview. He said the vaccine would provide a vessel to ‘inject genes into humans’ and make them “genetically modified organisms”. Osteopath Carrie Madej further supported the claim.

The fact: A DNA vaccine involves the direct introduction into appropriate tissues of a plasmid containing the DNA sequence encoding the antigen(s) against which an immune response is sought and relies on the in situ production of the target antigen. That means a small part of the DNA or RNA of the virus will be injected into the patient to trigger an immune response without causing any infection. CDC has provided details about mRNA vaccines for Covid-19.

Mark Lynas, a visiting fellow at Cornell University’s Alliance for Science group, had said, “Genetic modification would involve the deliberate insertion of foreign DNA into the nucleus of a human cell, and vaccines simply don’t do that. Vaccines work by training the immune system to recognize a pathogen when it attempts to infect the body – this is mostly done by the injection of viral antigens or weakened live viruses that stimulate an immune response through the production of antibodies.”

Vaccines are coming too fast, something is wrong

The claim: The people who are taking the vaccine will become guinea pigs for the pharmaceutical companies. No one knows the side effects of the vaccine as the development of the vaccine takes decades to complete.

The fact: One of the most genuine-sounding concerns are about the pace at which the vaccine is being developed. It is generally believed that the development, trials and production of a vaccine will take several years to complete. In the case of Covid-19, the vaccines being developed by several pharmaceutical companies have already entered the third phase of trials. Some companies are claiming they will introduce their vaccine in the market in the first quarter of 2021.

In July 2020, Prof Andrew Pollard, head of the Oxford Vaccine Group, said several factors helped in the quick development of the vaccine. He said the previous research on the vaccine, faster approval for the funds, and volunteers’ availability helped in pacing up the development. Many scientists working on vaccine development have assured on several occasions that all the required protocols for developing a safe vaccine are in place. Apart from that, most governments have also been aiding the vaccine development process by speeding up regulatory processes and cutting unnecessary delays.

Bill Gates wants to inject everyone with a microchip

The claim: Bill Gates, co-founder of Microsoft, is planning to inject everyone with a traceable microchip on the pretext of the Covid-19 vaccine. Several “experts” made videos and claimed that Bill Gates said the same in March 2020. According to BBC, in May, a YouGov poll of 1,640 people suggested 28% of Americans believed Gates wanted to use vaccines to implant microchips in people.

The Fact: In March 2020, Bill Gates said in an interview that the recovery, testing, and vaccination would be traced using a digital certificate. There was no mention of the microchip. The claim referred to a study by The Gates Foundation-funded organization that suggested developing a technology that can store vaccine records in a special ink administered at the time of the vaccination. It did not take about the microchip but about the invisible ink tattoo. Gates’ foundation works with the United Nations and helps many poor countries to procure vaccines.

Fetus tissue used in the development of the vaccine

The claim: The scientists are using fetus tissue for the development of the Covid-19 vaccine. The claim was posted by one of the largest anti-vaccine groups on its Facebook page that the scientists are using fetus tissue in the Covid-19 vaccine. The video showed the cover of AstraZeneca-developed COVID-19 vaccine ChAdOx1-S, also known as AZD1222. It was mentioned in its details that it uses “direct RNA sequencing to analyse transcript expression from the ChAdOx1 nCoV-19 genome in human MRC-5 and A549 cell lines that are non-permissive for vector replication alongside the replication permissive cell line, HEK293.”

The fact: Reuters debunked the misinformation. AstraZeneca said that AZD1222 was not developed using MRC-5 cell lines. The study video mentioned was not by AstraZeneca, but scientists at the University of Bristol did it to tests the vaccine’s efficiency. The report further suggested that “AZD1222 (ChAdOx1 nCoV-19) is a weakened and non-replicating version of the common cold virus (adenovirus) taken from chimpanzees, which has been engineered to contain instructions for creating the spike protein of SARS-CoV-2 – the virus that causes COVID-19.”

Dr. David Matthews, a reader of virology at Bristol University and co-author on the vaccine study, said, “Many virus vaccines are made in embryonic/foetal derived cell lines and then the vaccine is purified away from these cells to exceptionally high standards. Most of these cell lines (including MRC-5 cells and 293 cells) were derived from tissue samples taken from foetuses aborted in the 1960s and 1970s and the cells have been grown in laboratories all over the world since then.”

There are hundreds of misconceptions and misinformation about Covid-19, its treatment, and vaccine. Before forwarding any message, it is suggested to check the claim and verify it from an authentic source such as the World Health Organization, MoFHW, and others.

Mamata Banerjee brags about knowing 14 languages to compete with PM Modi, then says ‘I don’t like to show-off’: Read what happened

In a now-viral video, West Bengal chief minister Mamata Banerjee gives us a sneak peek into what goes on inside that beautiful mind of hers. In the 45-second video clip, the very ‘humble’ and ‘modest’ Trinamool Congress supremo brags about being conversant in a host of languages, just before she claims that she does not feel the need to publicise it.

Irked by PM Narendra Modi reciting a Bengali verse during his Mann ki Baat radio address on Sunday, Mamata Banerjee took off on Tuesday, December 1, while briefing the media at the state secretariat: “I can speak Gujarati. I learnt Vietnamese when I visited Vietnam. I know a little bit of Russian after visiting the country three times. I also know Nagamese since I’ve worked in Nagaland for a long time. I know Manipuri, I know Assamese. I know Oriya, Punjabi, Maratha and Bangla language. I know Hindi, Urdu, Gorkha, Nepali. But I don’t show-off”.

After the video went viral on the micro-blogging site, Twitter users were left spellbound with the West Bengal CM’s ‘sheer brilliance’. One Twitter user proposed that Mamata Banerjee could take up language tutorials at her office in Nabanna.

Few others joked on how Mamata Banerjee’s speech was more like an interview of a person seeking the job of a translator.

There was one user from Odisha who was particularly amazed at how talented Mamata Banerjee is as compared to his state’s chief minister. He said that on one hand there is Odisha’s CM Naveen Patnaik who does not know Oriya and on the other, there is Mamata Banerjee who knows so many languages including Oriya.

Few others could not help but share funny memes.

Meanwhile, making light of PM Modi quoting a Bengali verse during his Mann ki Baat radio address on Sunday, Mamata Banerjee had also told the reporters that “everything appears in front of you on a teleprompter when you are giving a public speech. You just read it. The public won’t get to see it. Only a few people know this. Earlier it was a practice in the USA and the UK. Now we are seeing it in India.”

Well, honestly, the West Bengal CM was a little too modest when she claimed that she knows 14 languages. Over the years she has also mastered another uncanny and unexceptional talent of speaking alien languages, which she probably shied away from mentioning. This is one of her hidden talents which was thrown before the public when a video clipping of Trinamool Congress supremo and West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee chanting a slogan to protest against the Citizenship (Amendment) Act at a public rally had gone viral.

Her iconic “Kaa Kaa chi chi chi chi chi chi” song still remains fresh in the minds of many Mamata Banerjee’s admirers, leaving not an iota of doubt as to how talented the West Bengal chief minister is.

Kangana Ranaut vs Diljit Dosanjh fight turns ugly, she calls him Karan Johar’s pet dog

Actor Kangana Ranaut and singer-actor Diljit Dosanjh have locked horns on social media platform Twitter. The argument started when Dosanjh shared a video of the elder woman, Mahinder Kaur, who was allegedly misunderstood as one of the protesters from anti-CAA protests. He said in his tweet that one should not post whatever comes to his or her mind.

Dosanjh’s tweet irked Kangana. She called him Karan Johar’s pet and said that she posted the tweet about the old lady Bilkis Bano who was part of anti-CAA protests and has now joined Farmers’ protests as well. She further added that she does not even know Mahinder Kaur.

Angered by Ranaut’s reply, Dosanjh questioned her if she is a pet of everyone she has worked with. He added if that is true, the list of her owners will be very long. He alleged that Ranaut provokes people by spreading misinformation and play with their emotions.

Ranaut called him a ‘chamcha’ and said she is not a pet like him. She said that she only posted about the old lady from the anti-CAA protests, and if anyone can prove otherwise, she will apologise. Kangana had earlier mistakenly tweeted about an elderly lady at Punjab farmers’ protest mistaking her for Bilkis Bano of Shaheen Bagh anti-CAA protests. While Bilkis Bano had not gone to protests till then, days later, she did go there to ‘express her solidarity’.

Dosanjh further provoked her and said in Punjabi, “We are from Punjab and not Bollywood. We will hit back hard. Punjabis will put an end to your drama.” Replying to her allegations that he begs for work, Dosanjh said that he does not need to ask for work as people from Bollywood request him to do a film in Bollywood.

He further said that the mothers of Punjab are no less than God for him. As a woman, she should be ashamed of accusing that other women are up for ‘sale’.

Replying to his allegations, Ranaut asked him if he feels ashamed of supporting those who caused riots in Delhi that resulted in the death of many. She said, “why will you feel ashamed. Everyone knows how Kjo gives work.”

Dosanjh posted another tweet and called Ranaut brainless for calling women of Punjab saleable at Rs 100. “Go and scare someone else with Bollywood. We are born to demolish ego.” He accused her of trying to divert attention by invoking Karan Johar.

Ranaut called him dumbo and asked why the old lady of anti-CAA protests protested when no one’s citizenship was affected by the amendment. She questioned that in similar way, when the MSP has not been removed, on whose instructions did the same Bilkis Bano attend the farmers’ protest. “Who is guiding her what to speak?” she further asked.

In another tweet, while quoting Dosanjh, she said they are misguiding the farmers. She is stressed to see protests, riots, and bloodbath. “You all are part of it,” she alleged.

Dosanjh replied with a photograph of the old lady from Punjab and asked if she looks like a rioter. He compared the old lady to God and said that Punjabis would teach her how to talk to the elders.

Ranaut again clarified that she has not talked about the lady he is mentioning as she does not know who she is. She warned him to stop spreading lies. She said she had questioned the old lady from Shaheen Bagh and urged him to show where she had talked about the old lady from Punjab.

Mangaluru police arrest online food delivery agent Nazeer Mohammad for painting graffitis hailing Islamic terror

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The Mangaluru police have arrested one person in connection with wall graffiti that was written in support of Islamic terrorist organizations like Lashkar-e-Taiba and Taliban.

According to a news report by Kannadaprabha, a 26-year-old man identified as Nazeer Mohammad, a resident of Theerthahalli, has been nabbed by Kadri police officials on Thursday.

The Kadri police have already begun their interrogation and added that he was arrested on the early morning of Thursday on the basis of the mobile phone call records. The accused Nazeer Mohammad worked as an online food delivery agent in Mangaluru, the police said.

The Mangaluru police also said that they are looking for another accused who helped Nazeer Mohammad to paint such graffiti. He is currently on the run, the police said.

Graffiti hailing Islamic terror, threatening non-Muslims spotted in Mangaluru

Last week, two graffiti – one hailing radical Islamist terror outfits such as Lashkar-e-Taiba and Taliban and another threatening non-Muslims, were spotted at Circuit road in Mangaluru, Karnataka.

On November 26, on the anniversary of the ghastly terror attacks in 2008, the first graffiti threatening to bring Lashkar-e-Toiba and Taliban’s help to eliminate ‘Sanghis’ and ‘Manuvadis’ was spotted by the locals.

The graffiti read, “Do not force us to invite Lashkar-e-Taiba and Taliban to Deal with Sanghis and Manvedis (Manuvadis)”. Further, in the corner, a hashtag is painted with the words “Lashkar Zindabad”. A case was registered subsequently at Kadri police station under section 153 and other sections related to causing destruction to public property.

Two days later, another disturbing graffiti was spotted in the city. The inscription was found outside an old police outpost in the court premises in Mangaluru, Karnataka.

Gustak-e-Rasool ki ek hi saza, sar tan say juda (The only punishment for insulting Prophet Muhammad is beheading),” the graffiti read.

The graffitis came as a reminder of the dangerous ideology and the intolerant mindset that led to the beheading of a 47-year-old teacher named Samuel Paty by an 18-year-old radical Islamist named Abdoullakh Abouyezidovitch A in the Paris suburb of Conflans-Sainte-Honorine for showcasing ‘objectionable’ cartoons of Prophet Mohammed to his students at College du Bois d’Aulne. Last year in India, former Hindu Mahasabha leader Kamlesh Tiwari was brutally killed at his house in Lucknow by some radical Islamists. Many Islamist groups had demanded ‘beheading’ of Kamlesh Tiwari after he had commented on Prophet Mohammad’s sexuality.

Swati Chaturvedi wants to sue Twitter user and send him to jail for exposing her history of manipulated media

Abusive troll masquerading as journalist Swati Chaturvedi today took to social threaten a Twitter user, Ankur Singh, with defamation suit. She got riled up because he pointed out how Chaturvedi, in the past, has indulged in sharing morphed images including that of PM Modi.

Swati Chaturvedi threatening with defamation suit

She accused Singh of lying about her, because of which she wants to send him to jail in a defamation suit. However, the allegation that Singh put on her that she tweeted a morphed image, also referred to as ‘manipulated media’ these days, is correct.

Swati Chaturvedi’s tweet.

On 24 August 2019, Swati Chaturvedi tweeted a morphed image of PM Modi wearing an Arabic attire. The original image appeared in a tweet shared by the Ministry of External Affairs on PM Modi’s arrival at Abu Dhabi.

In fact, after several people pointed it out to her that the image she shared “without comments” to insinuate that PM Modi was for some reason wearing an Arabic attire, was fake, she deleted. She even tweeted her apology admitting that the image she shared was photoshopped.

Swati Chaturvedi wants to sue someone for pointing out she shared photoshopped image after having apologised for sharing the same photoshopped image.

Swati has quite a history with sharing ‘manipulated media’. Days after 2019 General Elections, Swati shared a screenshot of an image of Home Minister Amit Shah to claim he was ‘sleeping’ while a session was on in the parliament.

Swati Chaturvedi’s manipulated media

However, the same was manipulated as well.

In one of the instances during the video, while RS Prasad is busily enunciating his points, Amit Shah starts reading some papers on his desk. The image is spuriously captured at that very moment to give an impression that Amit Shah is sleeping in the parliamentary session. The entire video of the proceedings can be viewed here.

The video clearly establishes that far from napping in the parliament, Amit Shah was attentively and studiously listening to RS Prasad’s speech. In fact, the video is not of the current Lok Sabha but of the winter session in early January 2019.

In the past, Swati had falsely claimed an image of a girl beaten up by a jilted man as being an image capturing violence in Benaras Hindu University. In another instance, she had spread lies about a simple speech by Amit Shah, the former BJP Party President. She gave credence to fake news, from a dubious website. She had earlier spread false claims that ex-JNU student leader Kanhaiya Kumar attacker was a BJP office-bearer.

Regarding the other claim in Singh’s tweet regarding Swati Chaturvedi faking an interview of former Defence Minister George Fernandes, some of Swati Chaturvedi’s peers have claimed to us in private that she was fired from Hindustan Times for faking it. On an unrelated note, Swati, however, has fabricated statements of a national leader on national television.

You could read more about her ‘source’-based predictions here.

As China edges towards a food crisis, it looks at India to feed its citizens

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A major food crisis seems to be looming over China that is now looking towards India for the import of rice that is a staple for about two-thirds of its population. Apart from the Wuhan virus pandemic, China has faced calamities including floods, epidemics, locusts and also suffered trade setbacks that have shaken the food supply of the country. In view of the food shortage, Chinese premier Xi Jinping had even launched a public campaign to control food wastage.

According to a report by Wion, some Chinese experts had claimed that the country was possibly in the middle of a food crisis and China, as usual, tried its best to keep the news under wraps. After the reduction in rice supplies from Thailand, Myanmar and Vietnam, China has now turned to India to import rice. Traditionally, China has been purchasing rice from Thailand, Myanmar, Vietnam and Pakistan but now the countries are quoting rates which were at $30 extra for a tonne of rice. The fact that China is importing rice from India despite the situation at the LAC shows that the country is in desperate need of rice. China has contracted Indian traders for the import of 100,000 tonnes of broken rice for $300 per tonne.

As per reports, several reasons are here for the current food crisis in China. The impact of the pandemic on agriculture, livestock diseases, disruption of global supply chains, disruption in the agricultural cycle in China due to lockdown, shortage of labour and devastating floods are some of the causes.

Chinese President launched a campaign to stop food wastage

Recently, the Chinese President had termed the wastage of food in China as ‘shocking’ and ‘distressing’. In August this year, he launched a campaign in the country called ‘Operation Empty Plate’. The campaign was first launched in 2013 to target big feasts organised by Chinese officials. Now, the campaign has been extended to the public. The Chinese President had asked people to prevent wastage of food and eat frugally. He did not mention anything about food shortage and instead claimed that the country had a ‘bumper harvest’.

As part of the campaign, restaurants in China started adopting special measures to stop wastage of food. The catering association in Wuhan, where Covid-19 reportedly started, was started in which the number of portions that one could order in restaurants was limited. The association wrote open letters to restaurants to be mindful of the amount of food that they served.

The ‘N-1 Model’ to stop food wastage

A new rule, called the ‘n-1 model’ was created which limited the number of portions of food served in group dining. This means that if food was ordered for a group of 5 people in a restaurant, only 4 portions of food would be served. As part of the campaign, the Chinese government removed videos showing people eating large quantities of food quickly as the government felt that the videos encouraged food wastage. Some restaurants in the country had reportedly started asking customers to weigh themselves before ordering food but the practice was discontinued after backlash.

The Chinese media have reportedly been denying food shortage saying that the quality of being careful with money or resources especially avoiding wastage was a part of Chinese culture. There were also reports of massive harvest in China.

China’s corn shortage

In the month of September, there were reports that prices of corn had surged in China as the country was heading towards a shortage of corn in the upcoming 2020/2021 season. According to reports, the country could face a deficit of up to 30 million tonnes which makes around 10 per cent of the total produce. The country was reportedly planning to import corn to satisfy its demand.

‘Why this selectivity?’, India slams UNGA for not speaking against persecution of followers of Indic religions as it does for Abrahamic religions

India has criticised the United Nation General Assembly (UNGA) for its bias and selectivity. During the 75th Session of the United Nations General Assembly on ‘Culture of Peace’ in Geneva (Switzerland), India exercised its “Right of Reply” and spoke on the “selectivity” of the UN resolutions passed last month.

Ashish Sharma, a First Secretary in India’s UN Mission, called on the General Assembly to take a direct stand against Hinduphobia and violent bigotry targeting the Sikhism and Buddhism as it has for those belonging to Abrahamic religions such as- Christianity, Islam or Judaism.

Condemning the body for its failure to acknowledge the rise of hatred and violence against Buddhism, Hinduism and Sikhism Sharma said: “We fully agree that anti-Semitism, Islamaphobia and anti-Christian acts need to be condemned and India firmly condemns such acts.” Referring to the draft resolution on the Freedom of Religion or Belief he added, “this August body fails to acknowledge the rise of hatred and violence against Buddhism, Hinduism and Sikhism.”

Ashish Sharma expressed concerns that the resolution on such an important issue, concentrates exclusively on these three Abrahamic religions. “Why this selectivity?“, queried Sharma, highlighting various instances where followers of Indic or Dharmic religions have also been persecuted.

India recalls violence by Islamist fundamentalists, slams Pakistan for violating the earlier resolution passed last year

Sharma recalled the breaking of the iconic Bamyan Buddha by fundamentalists in Afghanistan. He also mentioned the terrorist bombing of a Gurdwara in the war-torn country in March, where 25 Sikh worshipers were killed, and the destruction of Hindu and Buddhist temples and minority cleansing of these religions by countries.

Addressing the 75th Session of the United Nations General Assembly, he tore into Pakistan for driving away their minorities by threat, coercion, conversion and killing.

Pakistan has already violated the earlier resolution on Culture of Peace passed last year by this very assembly. Last month, Pakistan arbitrarily transferred the management of the Sikh holy shrine – Kartarpur Sahib Gurudwara, from Sikh Community body, to the administrative control of a non-Sikh body. If Pakistan changes its current culture of hatred against religions in India and stops its support of cross-border terrorism against our people, we can attempt a genuine culture of peace in South Asia and beyond“, said Sharma, furthering: “till then we will only be mute witnesses to Pakistan driving away their minorities by threat, coercion, conversion and killing. Even people of the same religion are not spared due to encouragement given to sectarian killing.”

Culture of peace cannot be only for Abrahamic religions: India to UNGA

Overall, Hinduism has more than 1.2 billion, Buddhism has more than 535 million, and Sikhism around 30 million followers but seldom any UN resolution has talked about the persecution of these communities, the Indian diplomat said, strongly stating that it was about time that attacks against these religions are also added to the earlier list of the three Abrahamic religions when such resolutions are passed.

Culture of peace cannot be only for Abrahamic religions” opined the diplomat, adding that the UN is not a body which should take sides when it comes to religion.

The UN’s draft resolution that named only the three Abrahamic religions was approved last month by the Third Committee of the General Assembly at its sixty-ninth session, which deals with social, humanitarian and cultural issues.

The draft resolution said the General Assembly recognises with deep concern the overall rise in instances of discrimination, intolerance and violence and specifies only cases motivated by Islamophobia, anti-semitism and Christianophobia. It also includes a phrase referring to only prejudices against persons of other religions or beliefs giving the impression that members of non-Abrahamic religions do not face intolerance or persecution.

Slamming the UN resolution, Sharma said: “Culture of peace cannot be only for Abrahamic religions. And as long as such selectivity exists, the world can never truly foster a culture of peace.”

India home for millions of those persecuted on foreign land: First Secretary during the 75th Session of UNGA

Sharma told the General Assembly session that India was not just the birthplace of Hinduism, Buddhism, Jainism and Sikhism, but was also the land where the teachings of Islam, Judaism, Christianity and Zoroastrianism had taken strong root and where the Sufi tradition of Islam has flourished.

“Today, every one of the world’s major religions has a home in India,” he said.

Sharma furthered that India had provided shelter to waves of those persecuted in foreign lands and allowed them to thrive in India. India is not just a culture, but a civilisation in itself,” he added.

India on Wednesday co-sponsored a resolution presented by Bangladesh titled, ‘Follow-up to the Declaration and Programme of Action on a Culture of Peace’. The resolution reiterates that the objective of the effective implementation of the Programme of Action is to strengthen further the global movement for a culture of peace. It invites member states to continue to place greater emphasis on and expand their activities promoting a culture of peace at the national, regional and international levels and to ensure that peace and non-violence are fostered at all levels. 

Kerala: Enforcement Directorate raids residence of PFI leaders in Thiruvananthapuram and 4 other places

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The Enforcement Directorate (ED) conducted a raid at the residence of Popular Front of India (PFI) National Executive Council member Karamana Ashraf Moulavi at Poonthura in Thiruvananthapuram. The ED had registered a case against PFI leaders under the Prevention of Money Laundering Act (PMLA) in 2018. ED has not released any statement yet. Residences of four other national leaders in Kozhikode, Malappuram, and Ernakulam districts were also raided.

The PFI and its associate organisation SDPI have been constantly under probe for allegations of terrorist recruitment, crime, forced conversions and anti-India activities. Reports stated that ED is conducting raids at 26 locations in the country in 9 states.

PFI’s links to anti-CAA protests under the scanner

The central investigation agency is looking into the PFI’s links on alleged charges of funding and supporting anti-CAA protests in the country and other instances. In January, ED had submitted a note to the Union Home Ministry and stated a direct link between the dates of deposits/withdrawals of money from the bank accounts of PFI and those of demonstrations against the CAA.

The note further said, “It has been noticed that Rs1.04 crores were deposited in 15 bank accounts of PFI (10) and Rehab India Foundation (5) during the period starting from 04.12.2019 till 06.01.2020. The deposits were in form of cash and IMPS using mobile and deposit amounts varies from Rs5,000 to Rs49,000. The amounts have been kept below Rs50,000 in order to [not] disclose the identity of depositor.”

In the note, accessed by Hindustan Times, it was mentioned that Rs. 1.34 crore was withdrawn from these 15 accounts from December 4, 2019, to January 6, 2020, by way of cash and NEFT/IMPS using mobile. Small amounts of Rs.2,000 and Rs.5,000 were withdrawn on several occasions during that period. On December 12 and December 21, when the protests were being held in Uttar Pradesh, around 90 withdrawals were made from a single account.

The note further added, “The money trail has proved beyond doubt that PFI has mobilised the money to finance the cost of demonstration/gherao against CAA Bill till 06.01.2020. Further investigation to trace money trail from other bank accounts is continuing.”

PFI denied allegations

The organization has denied the allegations. Many PFI leaders are facing a probe by Delhi Police in the Delhi Riots cases. Recently, 4 persons associated with PFI, including a man from Kerala named Siddiqe Kappan, were arrested under UAPA for trying to stir up caste violence in Hathras. It is also accused of running indoctrination camps across Kerala.

PFI was founded in 2006 in Kerala.

Bengaluru riots: CCB officials nab another absconding Congress leader Rakib Zakir

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Congress leader and former corporator Rakib Zakir, a key accused in Bengaluru riots case, has been arrested by Central Crime Branch (CCB) officials in Bengaluru.

According to the reports, Joint Commissioner of Crime Sandip Patil said that Congress leader Rakib Zakir was arrested late on Wednesday night. The Congress leader had escaped after he was named accused in the Bengaluru riots case.

Zakir is the second corporator to get arrested in the Bengaluru riots case. Earlier, the CCB officials had arrested Congress leader and former mayor R Sampath Raj. Zakir was on the run for more than one-and-half months along with Sampath. However, the former Mayor had decided to surrender before police on November 17 after his efforts to quash the FIR and get anticipatory bail got rejected.

Reportedly, Zakir and Sampath both were hiding together in the same farmhouse near Nagarahole. Two weeks back, the Central Crime Branch officials had nabbed Riyazuddin, a close aide of Congress leader Sampath Raj. Riyazuddin was arrested and sent to judicial custody for allegedly helping the accused in hiding himself and absconding.

Riyazuddin was himself absconding and was arrested on the November 7 on charges of helping and harbouring Sampath Raj. He had apparently taken Raj to a farmhouse near Nagarahole and hid him there for a few days.

The involvement of Congress leader Sampath Raj, Zakir

Raj is believed to be one of the conspirators in instigating the Bengaluru riots in August this year. The charge-sheet filed by the Central Crime Branch (CCB) in connection with the Bengaluru riots case stated that the Congress leader Sampath Raj had joined hands with Zakir and other radical Islamic organisation such as SDPI to target his own party’s Dalit MLA Akhanda Srinivasa Murthy.

In the 850-page charge sheet, the CCB has named 52 people as accused. There are statements of more than 30 eyewitnesses. The investigating agency has named former Mayor Sampath Raj and Zakir Hussain of the Congress Party as accused number 51 and 52, respectively.

The Bengaluru Riots

On 11th August 2020, at around 8:30 PM, a riot-like situation took place between the DJ Halli and KJ Halli police station limits in the east Bengaluru. As per the reports, more than 1000 people gathered outside the house of Congress MLA Akhanda Srinivas Murthy, demanding immediate action against his relative Naveen, who allegedly posted objectionable content against Prophet Muhammad on Facebook.

The situation came under control on 12th August around 1 AM. Three people were killed, and more than 60 police personnel were injured. More than 300 vehicles were damaged in the riots.

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