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Civilian killed in fresh violence, Rajnath to visit Kashmir

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Srinagar, July 22 

A civilian protester was killed in a clash with security forces in south Kashmir on Friday, a day before Home Minister Rajnath Singh is set to arrive here to review the situation in the state.

Police sources told IANS that security forces fired at a stone-throwing mob in Awantipora, 20 km from here, in Pulwama district.

Three people received bullet injuries. One of them, Mushtaq Ahmad, son of Bashir Ahmad, was declared brought dead at a hospital here. The other injured civilians were said to be critical at the S.M.H.S Hospital in Srinagar.

With the latest death, the toll in the ongoing violent agitation in the Kashmir Valley has risen to 46. Thousands of protesters have been injured and many are still being treated in various hospitals of the valley.

The fresh violence took place after two days of relative calm in the valley and a day before Rajnath Singh is scheduled to visit Jammu and Kashmir.

The home minister, according to government sources, is expected to take forward the initiative on Kashmir, resolved at an all-party meeting by Chief Minister Mehbooba Mufti on Thursday.

The meeting called for involving “all the stakeholders” – largely seen as engaging with separatist leadership and Pakistan – to resolve the problems of Jammu and Kashmir and its people.

The main opposition National Conference stayed away from the key meeting but it was attended by the Communist Party of India-Marxist (CPI-M), CPI, BJP and Panthers Party.

The meeting called “for inclusive engagement of all the stakeholders in Jammu and Kashmir for carrying forward the peace and reconciliation process”, according to a resolution.

It was the first political initiative in the days of deadly unrest that gripped almost the entire Kashmir Valley following the July 8 killing of Hizbul Mujahideen commander Burhan Wani and two of his aides.

As the valley stayed tense, stone-throwing protests erupted after Friday prayers at many places with people defying prohibitory orders that have been in place since July 9.

Curfew and separatists-called protest shutdown marred life across the valley for the 14th day running on Friday.

Authorities imposed curfew in all the 10 districts of the valley making announcements on loudspeaker mounted on police vehicles and asked people to remain indoors, fearing more violence post Friday prayers.

No congregational prayers were allowed for a second Friday in the main mosques of the valley including Jamia Masjid, the largest in Srinagar.

(IANS)

India

Keeping out of RECP ‘backward leap’ for India: Anand Sharma

However, the Congress had raised concern over joining the RCEP, set to become the world’s largest trading body of 15 nations in the Asia-Pacific region.

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Anand Sharma

New Delhi: India’s decision to stay out of the transnational economic grouping RECP was “ill-advised” and a “backward” step, senior Congress leader Anand Sharma said on Tuesday.

“India’s decision of not joining the Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership (RCEP) is unfortunate and ill-advised. It is in India’s strategic and economic interests to be a part of the process of Asia-Pacific integration.

“Withdrawal has negated years of persuasive negotiations for India to be accepted as part of RCEP. We could have negotiated safeguards to protect our interests. Keeping out of the RCEP is a backward leap,” said Sharma, who was Commerce Minister in the UPA government.

Sharma’s statement comes after former Union Finance Minister P. Chidambaram criticised the Modi’s government stand on RCEP but said that he will reserve his decision till the Congress takes official position on the issue.

Chidambaram had also expressed his dismay over the speech by Foreign Minister S. Jaishankar on Monday, where he railed against trade agreements and praised the virtues of protectionism.

“Mr Jaishankar is speaking in the language and in the words that I heard in the 1970s and 1980s,” Chidambaram said.

“There are pros and cons to India joining the RCEP. But the debate has never taken place in Parliament or among the people or involving the opposition parties. It is another bad example of a centralised decision-making unacceptable in a democracy,” he added.

However, the Congress had raised concern over joining the RCEP, set to become the world’s largest trading body of 15 nations in the Asia-Pacific region.

After eight years of hard negotiations, the ASEAN nations (comprising Brunei, Cambodia, Indonesia, Laos, Malaysia, Myanmar, the Philippines, Singapore, Thailand and Vietnam) signed the trade pact with five FTA partners — China, Japan, South Korea, Australia and New Zealand — on Sunday.

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ARNAB GOSWAMI MOVES SUPREME COURT CHALLENGING BOMBAY HIGH COURT ORDER DENYING INTERIM BAIL

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Arnab Goswami

Republic TV Editor-in-Chief, Arnab Goswami has moved the Supreme Court challenging the Bombay High Court order of November 9 declining him interim bail in the case of abetment to suicide of interior designer, Anvay Naik and his mother Kumud Naik.

“Innocent, custody not required”: Seven Grounds raised by Arnab Goswami in his bail plea

The application filed through Advocate-on-Record Nirnimesh Dube comes on a day when Alibaug Sessions Court is hearing the revision application filed by Raigad Police seeking police custody of Goswami who is currently lodged in Taloja jail.

The High Court in its November 9 order had noted that Goswami has a remedy under law to approach the sessions court concerned and seek regular bail.

The High Court was hearing petitions filed by Goswami and two other accused Feroze Shaikh and Nitish Sarda challenging their arrest in the case and seeking interim bail.

Relative of Feroze Shaikh, Parveen Shaikh has also moved the Supreme Court seeking bail for the accused.

Republic TV’s Pradip Bhandari urges CJI SA Bobde to intervene in “human rights violation” of Arnab Goswami

Bombay High Court held that no case was made out for Goswami’s release under its extraordinary writ jurisdiction, thereby rejecting the interim application moved by the Republic TV Editor-in-Chief.

A Division Bench of Justices SS Shinde and MS Karnik also clarified that the remedy to apply for regular bail under Section 439 of the Code of Criminal procedure shall remain unaffected.,

“Petitioner has an alternate and efficacious remedy under section 439 of the Code of Criminal Procedure to apply for regular bail. At the time of concluding the hearing of Applications, we had made it clear that if the petitioner, if so advised, to apply for regular bail under section 439 of the Code of Criminal Procedure before the concerned Court, then, in that case, we have directed the concerned Court to decide the said application within four days from filing of the same.”

Goswami has been in judicial custody since November 4 following his arrest in relation to 2018 case which was initially closed in 2019 before it was re-opened in 2020 based on a representation made by Naik’s daughter, Adnya Naik to the State Home Minister, Anil Deshmukh.

Goswami had sought interim bail on the ground that his detention was illegal.

The court refused to express their opinions on the merits of the case and the arrest stating that the prayers pertaining to these aspects will be considered when the main plea to quash the FIR is considered in December.

The High Court also clarified that the observations they had made in the order are prima facie in nature and confined to the adjudication of the interim application for bail.

Goswami was arrested on the morning of November 4 from his residence in Mumbai, Goswami and was taken to Alibaug, where the Chief Judicial Magistrate refused to remand him in police custody. Naik and his mother had committed suicide at their farm house in Alibaug.

The magistrate’s court remanded Goswami and two others who were named in Naik;s suicide note to judicial custody till November 18.

Goswami was initially kept at a local school which has been designated as a COVID-19 centre for the Alibaug prison.

On Sunday, he was shifted to the Taloja jail in Raigad district after he was allegedly found using a mobile phone while in judicial custody.

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Over 92K new corona cases in India, total over 54-lakh mark

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With another significant single-day spike of 92,605 coronavirus cases, India’s total tally on Sunday breached the 54-lakh mark to reach 54,00,620 cases even as 1,133 more COVID-19 deaths were recorded in 24 hours.

Of the total cases, 10,10,824 are still active, 43,03,043 patients cured and discharged, whereas another 86,752 lost the battle against the viral disease.

While the recovery rate stands at 79.68 per cent, the fatality rate has come down to 1.61 per cent, data from the Ministry of Health and Family Welfare said.

Maharashtra continues to be the worst-hit state with 11,89,815 cases, including 32,216 deaths, followed by Andhra Pradesh, Tamil Nadu, Karnataka, and Uttar Pradesh.

According to the Indian Council of Medical Research data, India conducted 12,06,806 sample tests in a single day on Saturday, taking the total samples tested so far to 6,36,61,060.

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