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India

Fear Jadhav may be executed soon: India tells ICJ

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Kulbhushan Jadhav

The Hague, May 15, 2017: India on Monday put up a spirited defence and urged the international court to immediately suspend the death sentence awarded to alleged spy Kulbushan Jadhav in Pakistan, saying “the situation is grave” and there was fear that he may be executed even before the court decides the case.

Lawyer Harish Salve, who led the Indian legal team at the Hague-based International Court of Justice (ICJ), said the matter was “urgent and hence India approached this court” that took up the case “at such a short notice”.

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Salve told the court that Jadhav was kidnapped from Iran in 2016, brought to Pakistan, presented as an alleged Indian spy and confession was extracted in a military custody.

“Pakistan did not inform India of the arrest,” Salve said, pointing out that India had moved the ICJ seeking suspension of the sentence awarded to Jadhav by a military court following a “farcical trial”.

The former Indian Navy officer was awarded the death sentence by a Pakistani military court last month, a year after he was arrested on espionage charges. India says Jadhav has been kidnapped and framed.

Islamabad has rejected 16 Indian requests for consular access to Jadhav, who is held at an unknown prison in Pakistan.

Salve said a communication from Pakistan dated May 12 didn’t clarify what the charges against Jadhav were.

“Pakistan said Jadhav’s sentence is based on credible evidence in espionage against Pakistan. India refuses these allegations. India has taken measures to ensure appropriate legal measures for Jadhav. It is not known whether Jadhav will seek clemency in the present circumstances.”

Salve cited three past similar cases in which the ICJ had intervened. These cases include Paraguay versus the US in which the court decided that the American government needed to take steps to give rights of access of a Paraguayan national.

In Germany vs the US, Salve said, the court held that execution of a German national was “an irreparable damage to justice”.

Deepak Mittal, an Indian official, told the court in his opening remarks that there was a fear that Jadhav may be executed soon even before the decision of the UN court. “Jadhav has not got the right to get proper legal assistance and the right to consular access. There is an immediate threat to him to be executed even before a decision is passed.”

Mittal told ICJ President Ronny Abraham, who presided over the proceedings, that India’s repeated requests to Pakistan on consular access to Jadhav were denied.

“India learnt from press reports that the death sentence was awarded to Jadhav on the basis of an alleged confession. Pakistan has not provided the chargesheet, any documents on the case despite repeated requests.

“It is clear that Jadhav has been denied of his right to seek legal counsel. Jadhav’s parents have applied for visa to travel to Pakistan which has fallen on deaf ears.”

V.D. Sharma, a Joint Secretary in the External Affairs Ministry and co-agent, said Pakistan had failed to comply with all its legal obligations by denying consular access to Jadhav ever since he was arrested in March 2016.

Sharma also urged the court to restrain Pakistan from “giving effect to the sentence awarded by the military court” and to direct it to annul its decision.

The day-long hearing, which began on Monday morning, involves two sessions of an hour-and-a-half each to India and Pakistan to make their cases.

Pakistan’s session will begin in the afternoon.

Wefornews Bureau

India

Ensure last-mile outreach through regional languages: PMO

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modi saarc

New Delhi, April 10 The Prime Minister’s Office (PMO) on Friday directed the Empowered Groups to ensure last-mile outreach through communication in regional languages amid the Union government’s ongoing efforts to fight the novel coronavirus pandemic.

Steps taken to ensure timely information dissemination throughout the country were also stressed by the PMO, which reviewed the preparations to counter the impact of the pandemic.

The issues related to supply chain and logistics management for availability of necessary items, efforts undertaken for the benefit of stakeholders involved, steps to assist farmers harvest their produce while maintaining social distancing, necessary confidence building measures required, and need to ensure percolation of guidelines of the Ministry of Home Affairs to the ground level were discussed.

Prime Minister’s Principal Secretary P.K. Mishra discussed these issues while chairing a meeting of the Empowered Groups of Officers to tackle the challenges emerging as a result of the spread of COVID-19 in India.

The meeting was the latest in a series of periodic reviews at various levels by the PMO to monitor the situation in which the Principal Secretary reviewed the efforts undertaken by the Empowered Groups.

The participants reviewed and expressed satisfaction on the detailed testing protocol and procedure, under which (as on date) 1,45,916 samples have been tested.

Noting that the production of Personal Protection Equipment (PPE) is being ramped up and capacity building for healthcare personnel ensured and that NGOs and civil society groups are also being mobilized, Mishra suggested that coordination with NGOs at district level be done to avoid overlaps and ensure efficacious utilization of resources.

The meeting was told that all state Chief Secretaries were instructed to arrange for shelters for vulnerable groups like migrants and homeless.

The progress of the welfare measures rolled out through an economic relief package under PM Garib Kalyan Yojana was also reviewed.

The Principal Secretary underlined that data sanctity was important to ensure that the benefits reach to all intended beneficiaries.

On the technology and data management front, he expressed satisfaction on the rollout of Aarogya Setu app and said that the user engagement with the app needs to be enhanced.

The Centre on March 29 constituted 11 empowered groups for planning and ensuring implementation of Covid-19 response activities.

Each group will be handled by a group of senior government officials empowered to identify the problem areas and provide effective solutions, delineate policy, formulate plans, strategise operations and take necessary steps for effective and time-bound implementation of these plans, policies, strategies, decisions in their respective areas.

A total of 80 senior civil servants have been deputed in the 11 groups which may seek the guidance of the Cabinet Secretary.

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India

Let’s fight corona jointly, Modi tells Netanyahu, Bolsonaro

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modi saarc

New Delhi, April 10 Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Friday told President of Brazil Jair Bolsonaro and Prime Minister of Israel Benjamin Netanyahu that the country is committed to jointly fight the coronavirus pandemic.

The PM’s remark came after the two leaders thanked him for clearing the export of hydroxychloroquine (HCQ), a drug said to be effective against the deadly disease.

“Thank you, my dear friend @narendramodi, Prime Minister of India, for sending Chloroquine to Israel. All the citizens of Israel thank you!” Netanyahu tweeted on Thursday.

In response, PM Modi said, “We have to jointly fight this pandemic. India is ready to do whatever is possible to help our friends. Praying for the well-being and good health of the people of Israel.”

Similarly, Bolsonaro also thanked PM Modi for timely help to Brazil, adding that the raw material will help to continue production of hydroxychloroquine to treat patients of COVID-19 as well as of lupus, malaria, and arthritis.

“Thank you, President Jair Bolsonaro. The India-Brazil partnership is stronger than ever in these challenging times. India is committed to contribute to humanity’s fight against this pandemic,” PM Modi said.

The drug has been identified by the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) as potential treatment for the coronavirus and was touted repeatedly by President Trump as a “game changer”. India had earlier put a hold on its export, but later allowed it on Trump’s request.

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Cities

Four more corona cases in Odisha

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New York Coronavirus Case

Bhubaneswar, April 10 (IANS) Odisha has reported four more COVID-19 positive cases, taking the total number of coronavirus patients to 48, officials said on Friday.

The Health Department has shared the development on its website.

However, it has not shared the details of the fresh cases.

The department said that 408 samples were tested on April 9, out of which six tested positive for COVID-19.

While the active cases stand at 45, one person has succumbed. Meanwhile, two have been discharged from hospital.

The Odisha government on Thursday extended the lockdown period till April 30 to contain the spread of coronavirus.

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