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PM Modi wants people to have religious freedom, says US President Trump

The US President is expected to hold a CEO roundtable later in the day before President Ram Nath Kovind hosts a state banquet for Trump.

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Trump and Modi

This is Day 2 of US President Donald Trump and First Lady Melania Trump’s first official visit to India. While addressing top business leaders at a special session in the US Embassy, Trump said that Washington is working out a trade deal with Delhi.

During a press briefing, Foreign Secretary Harsh Vardhan Shringla said that the issue of CAA did not come up during discussions between the two leaders. He also said that India has raised the issue of H1-B visa with the US and highlighted the contribution of Indian professionals in the IT sector.

Earlier in the day, Trump and PM Modi held bilateral discussions at the Hyderabad House. After the discussion, Trump announced that the two countries have finalised defence deals worth $3 billion and asserted that their focus was on having a comprehensive trade deal.

Meanwhile, Melania Trump visited a Delhi government school.

The US President is expected to hold a CEO roundtable later in the day before President Ram Nath Kovind hosts a state banquet for Trump.

  • US President Donald Trump: India is going to be a tremendous player over the next period of 50 years, or 100 years. India has a lot of potential. India has got a phenomenal future.
  • US President Donald Trump: We discussed about Muslims and Christians and we talked about religious liberty. PM Modi told me that they are working very closely with the Muslim community.
  • US President Donald Trump: When we look at all the things that we have seen today, I just think India is an inredible country. This is a diplomacy of great friendship and respect. I respect your Prime Minister, and it’s going to work out very well.
  • US President Donald Trump: We know the problems (about the trade deal). Previous administration had no clue. We can do that. Everybody said we won’t be able to do a deal with China, but we did a deal with China. We are working it out.
  • US President Donald Trump: We talked a lot about Pakistan. I have a very good relationship with Pakistan PM (Imran) Khan. India is a brave nation, and I said I will help because my relationship with both the leaders is good. Anything I can do to mediate, I will do. There are two sides to every story, and they are working on it. PM Modi is a very religious and calm man, but he is a very strong person. He is very tough. He has got that foremost in his mind, terrorism and he will take care of it.
  • US President Donald Trump on clashes in New Delhi and CAA: We did talk about religious freedom, and PM Modi wants people to have religiuous freedom… India has really worked hard on religious freedom. We talked about it for a long time. I didn’t discuss Delhi violence with him, that’s up to India.
  • US President Donald Trump: I don’t think anybody has done more than I have (about radical Islamic terrorism)… Suleimani is gone, he is no longer putting roadside bombs. He was the king of that.
  • US President Donald Trump: India would like to see it (Afghanistan peace deal) happen. I spoke to PM Modi today and he would like to see it happen. We are close. Everybody is happy about it, even people who are normally against me.
  • US President Donald Trump: It was a fantastic two days. We had a great time, we had great meetings. This is a tremendous country.

Cities

DJ Halli violence: CSOs appeal Bengaluru police to widen probe

The Bengaluru City police are probing the incident and the violence that took place then at the streets of East Bengaluru on August 11, in which four were killed during police firing and several were injured.

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Bangalore: Alleging inaction by Facebook and the City Police, a fact-finding committee formed by several Bengaluru based civil society organisations (CSOs) appealed to the Bengaluru City Police to widen the scope of investigation against the alleged Facebook post believed to have led to the same.

The Bengaluru City police are probing the incident and the violence that took place then at the streets of East Bengaluru on August 11, in which four were killed during police firing and several were injured.

“The intelligence failure to predict and prevent the violence must be investigated,” the committee has strongly demanded in its report on the violence that ensued on the night of August 11th, 2020 titled ‘Communalising Violence in DJ Halli’.

“This report brings out several truths. This report is not the end, on its authority, we must inquire into the truth and find out who is behind the violence, and who all failed to act. There are people who profit from the riot as well. We must find out those who are responsible. We must further tolerance,” said (Retd.) Justice H.N. Nagmohan Das.

Adding to this, senior journalist Indudhara Honnapura said, “There was an opportunity to stop this, but Police failed to do so. Everyone, including the police, knew this is a sensitive area. There are many good officers, but I do not understand why they did not send sufficient police force to control the incident. Why didn’t the government provide information to the police?”

“Facebook has failed to act against Naveen’s post which amounts to hate speech. Besides the local police too showed laxity in handling the situation as a result of this, situation went out of their (Police) control,” the report alleged.

The committee further stated that there was an intelligence failure in the state machinery’s reaction to the incident, the police were responsible for a delayed response in registering the FIR against Naveen, which resulted in a discontent crowd swelling at the stations.

Denying allegations that the mob was communal or political in nature, the team comprising CSOs claimed that lack of substantial evidence to suggest that the mob violence was communal in nature, in that it specifically targeted the Hindu community or that it was premeditated and pre-planned.

“This is a local and spontaneous incident that has been taken advantage of by different political parties for immediate political gains which included the upcoming corporator elections in the state,” the committee observed.

“The police have carried out several arbitrary arrests in the middle of the night, which has created an atmosphere of fear in the areas. The families of those arrested have not been informed of the arrest or whereabouts of their loved ones,” the report stated.

The committee claimed that a larger agenda of total criminalisation and demonisation of the entire community has also been noted.

Besides this, the report also came down heavily on the several sections of media which have misportrayed the incident in a communal light by spinning conspiracy theories and targeting the Muslim community.

The fact-finding committee claimed that it inferred several facts on the incident, after a thorough inquiry into the incident, documenting several testimonies, and gathering evidence from all those involved across the spectrum.

Key findings by the committee:

1.) The Facebook post uploaded by accused P. Naveen, nephew of Pulkeshi Nagar MLA Akhanda Srinivas Murthy crosses the constitutional protection encompassing free-speech, and amounts to hate speech against the Muslim community, the committee noted.

2.) Further, it accused the police and the media of not sufficiently probing the intent and motive behind the post but focussing on the violence that followed the same instead.

3.) The mob violence appears to be not directed by any visible leadership. However, the role of the mob in attacking Devarajeevanahalli (D. J. Halli) and Kadugodanahalli (K. G. Halli) police stations and MLA Murthy’s residence in Kaval Byrasandra destroying public and private property is undeniable and unjustifiable.

Alleging police inaction, the committee observed that the cops failed to act swiftly and effectively on the post when small delegations approached the police station and to intervene in effective ways to prevent the violence from escalating in the areas.

The report added that the perceived delay in lodging the FIR, and the failure to assure firm legal action and the perception that this was due to the MLA’s intervention cannot be ignored.

The imposition of prohibitory orders under Section 144 (of the Code of Criminal Procedure) has been termed a ubiquitous punishment to those in the areas, who allegedly met with verbal and physical abuse when they attempted to leave their homes.

The fact-finding team was comprised former chairperson of the Karnataka State Commission for Protection of Child Rights Nina Nayak, independent journalist Cynthia Stephen and 21 others including lawyers, civic activists, representatives of various CSOs and policy researchers a” has urged the state government to form peace committees including all communities to restore peace in the areas.

Earlier about two weeks ago another fact finding report was submitted by ‘Citizens for Democracy’, a platform of responsible citizens – which reportedly has a backing of the Rashtriya Swayam Sevak Sangh claims to be committed to democratic values, safety and security of the citizens of India – had termed that the riots were pre-planned and organised and it was undoubtedly communally motivated.

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Punjab farmer tries to commit suicide over Farm Bills

A protesting farmer in Punjab on Friday tried to commit suicide by consuming poisonous substance.

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Farmers Protests Kurukshetra

A day after the Lok Sabha passed two contentious agriculture Bills, despite the opposition by BJP’s oldest ally Shiromani Akali Dal terming it as an “anti-farmer” move, a protesting farmer in Punjab on Friday tried to commit suicide by consuming poisonous substance.

The farmer tried to commit suicide at a protest site in Badal village, the hometown of the Badals, in Muktsar district.

Bharatiya Kisan Union (Ekta Ugrahan) state secretary Shingara Singh Mann said farmer Pritam Singh, 60, was disturbed over the passing of the agriculture Bills in the Lok Sabha.

The farmer feared that the Bills would be against the farmers.

The condition of the farmer is stated to be serious.

The farmers have been staging a protest at the Badal village just outside the residence of former Chief Minister Parkash Singh Badal against the Bills brought by the Central government.

Akali Dal’s lone minister in the Narendra Modi government, Harsimrat Kaur Badal, resigned from the Union Cabinet on Thursday to protest the Farm bills.

While announcing the decision to withdraw the minister from the Union Cabinet, SAD President Sukhbir Badal said the party would continue to support the government and the BJP, but will oppose the anti-farmer policies.

He said the three agriculture related Bills in the Lok Sabha would sound the death knell for 20 lakh farmers, three lakh ‘mandi’ labourers, 30 lakh farm labourers and 30,000 ‘arhatiyas’, besides destroying the food grain procurement system established over a period of 50 years.

Earlier, warning that enacting laws on the ordinances issued by the Centre vis-a-vis farmers would lead to unrest in Punjab, Chief Minister Amarinder Singh had led a Congress delegation to Governor V.P. Singh Badnore, seeking his intervention for non-pursuance of the three agriculture-related Bills in Parliament.

The Chief Minister submitted a memorandum to the Governor and told him that the Congress felt that any move to “tinker with the present procurement system, and that too in the times of a nationwide crisis, may deepen social unrest among Punjab farmers”.

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Cities

Hindu Yuva Vahini leader murdered in Uttar Pradesh

A Hindu Yuva Vahini leader was found dead with stab wounds near his own hospital in Bareilly

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A Hindu Yuva Vahini leader was found dead with stab wounds near his own hospital in Bareilly.

Bareilly Senior Police Superintendent (SSP), Rohit Singh Sajwan, said, “The body of Sanjay Singh, 37, was found near his hospital in Dunka locality under the Shahi police station area on Thursday evening. The body had multiple stab wounds that could have led to his death. We have sent the body for the post-mortem examination and lodged a murder case against unknown people.”

Sajwan said five hospital staff members have been detained and were being questioned. Police were also scanning CCTV footage from the murder scene.

Dinesh Singh, a relative of Sanjay Singh, said the latter was very active in Hindu Yuva Vahini activities and had several political rivals in the area. “I think his rivals are behind this incident,” Singh said.

Singh was Bareilly district vice president of the Hindu Yuva Vahini, which Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath had founded in 2002.

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