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‘Kashmir restrictions hindering Muharram processions a negative’

Reporter asked him about the Babri Masjid, which he said needs to be preserved as a centuries-old site, and about overcoming inter-faith tensions surrounding it.

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United Nations, Sep 14 : The head of a UN body to promote cultural and religious harmony has said that the restrictions in Kashmir that prevented Shias from holding their Muharram procession is a “negative”.

“Anything that puts obstacles or don’t allow people to respect each other is negative,” Miguel Moratinos, the High Representative for the UN Alliance of Civilizations (UNAOC), said on Friday while replying to a reporter’s question.

“The time has come that we are all one humanity, and we have respect each other,” he said.

The reporter had asked him about the restrictions in Kashmir that hindered the holding of the Muharram processions this week to commemorate the martydom of Husayn ibn Ali, the grandson of Prophet Mohammad.

Another reporter asked him about the Babri Masjid, which he said needs to be preserved as a centuries-old site, and about overcoming inter-faith tensions surrounding it.

Moratinos did not directly answer the question, but spoke about a project of the UNAOC in association with UNESCO to identify and map historical religious sites.

“We already know some of the main historical centres, but with this mapping exercise we will identify the symbolical places, the ones that have historically played a fundamental role in their communities in their faith. And so they will have special treatment,” he said.

On Thursday, Secretary-General Antonio Guterres launched the UN Plan of Action to Safeguard Religious Sites, a programme to be led by Moratinos.

Guterres asked Moratinos to develop the plan after the terrorist attack on two mosques in New Zealand in March.

The plan provides an “action-oriented” programme to prevent attacks against places of worship and guarantee the safety of the faithful to worship in peace, the UNAOC said.

Guterres said: “When people are attacked because of their religion or beliefs, all of society is diminished. Houses of worship around the world must be safe havens for reflection and peace, not sites of bloodshed and terror.”

(Arul Louis can be contacted at [email protected] and followed on Twitter @arulouis)

India

Congress steps up attack on Yogi Adityanath govt

Punia alleged that UP chief minister Yogi Adityanath said in an interview to a TV channel that migrant workers were responsible for spreading the corona infection.

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PL Punia Congress

Lucknow, May 26 : The Congress has stepped up its attack on the Yogi Adityanath government in Uttar Pradesh, accusing it of putting out fake statistics regarding coronavirus cases and also spreading communal hatred.

Senior Congress leader P L Punia, while addressing a press conference here on Tuesday, said that UPCC president Ajay Kumar Lallu had been sent to jail only because he was helping the migrant workers.

“No one is being allowed to meet the UPCC president and the Congress will not tolerate this injustice,” he said.

Punia alleged that UP chief minister Yogi Adityanath said in an interview to a TV channel that migrant workers were responsible for spreading the corona infection.

Meanwhile, Congress Legislature Party (CLP) leader Aradhana Mishra said that the Yogi government had claimed that 25 lakh migrant workers had returned to UP.

“The government has said that the number of infected persons is 6228 so how can they claim that the 25 lakh migrant workers have brought the infection to UP? The chief minister should explain the basis of his claim,” she said.

Mishra demanded that the state government should come clean on the number of patients, testing figures and preparations made for corona.

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Judiciary, govt failed migrant workers: Congress

The court took the cognizance after several petitions were filed, highlighting the plight of migrant workers during the Covid-19 crisis.

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Worker in India

New Delhi, May 26 : The judiciary and the government had failed labourers, said the Congress, here on Tuesday, after the Supreme Court took suo motu cognizance of miseries of migrant workers, stranded across the country due to the lockdown announced to contain Covid-19 spread.

Terming it one of the worst case of reverse migration, Congress spokesperson Jaiveer Shergill said the rights that couldn’t be enforced on time were meaningless.

“With due respect, the Supreme Court taking cognizance of labourers’ issue after more than 60 days of harsh living and over 80 deaths, is a case of ‘justice delayed is justice denied’,” he said.

The Supreme Court said the media reports had continuously been showing the unfortunate and miserable condition of migrant labourers, walking on foot and cycling long distances.

Issuing notice to the Centre and all states/Union Territories, an apex court Bench, comprising Justices Ashok Bhushan, S.K. Kaul and M.R. Shah, asked them to submit their responses looking into the urgency of the matter.

Stating that the petition will be taken up on Thursday, the Bench asked the Solicitor General to assist the court and bring to its notice all measures taken and to be taken by the Centre by the next date of hearing.

The Bench posted the hearing for May 28 and asked the Registry to serve a copy to Solicitor General Tushar Mehta as well states and UTs.

“Although the central and the state governments have taken measures, yet there have been inadequacies and certain lapses. We are of the view that effective concentrated efforts are required to redeem the situation,” the Bench said.

The court took the cognizance after several petitions were filed, highlighting the plight of migrant workers during the Covid-19 crisis.

Stressing the need for a helping hand to the migrant labourers, the apex court said, “They (migrants) have also been complaining of not being provided food and water by the administration at places where they were stranded or in the way i.e. highways from which they proceeded on foot, cycles or other modes of transport.”

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Arrest of UP Cong chief undemocratic: Priyanka Gandhi

He was arrested in a case of fraud and forgery, related to bungling in list of buses submitted by the Congress to the UP government for bringing migrant workers.

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Priyanka Gandhi Election

New Delhi, May 26 : Amid the political slugfest over migrant workers and arrest of UP Congress chief Ajay Kumar Lallu, Congress General Secretary Priyanka Gandhi, here on Tuesday, termed his arrest undemocratic and violation of humanitarian principle, and demanded that he be released immediately.

“Throwing him into prison on baseless charges during a pandemic reveals the undemocratic and opportunistic mindset of the Yogi government and violates all humanitarian principles,” Priyanka Gandhi tweeted.

“We demand justice for him and will continue to fight until it’s delivered,” she said and also tweeted a video clip showing Lallu providing help to migrants.

“Having lived a life of struggle, perseverance and grit, the UP Congress chief knows well the suffering of displaced and marginalised people. He has fought for them steadfastly throughout his career,” tweeted Priyanka.

Lallu was arrested soon after he was granted bail in another case in Agra on Wednesday. Earlier, he had been arrested in Agra on Tuesday for protesting against the government’s refusal to allow movement of buses in the state.

He was arrested in a case of fraud and forgery, related to bungling in list of buses submitted by the Congress to the UP government for bringing migrant workers.

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