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SC to review imposition of restrictive orders in J-K, Sibal terms it a historic decision

The top court said that Kashmir has seen a lot of violence and that it will try to maintain a balance between human rights and freedoms with the issue of security.

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New Delhi, Jan 10 : Congress leader Kapil Sibal on Friday lauded Supreme Court’s decision to direct the Jammu and Kashmir administration to review the restrictive orders imposed in the Union Territory within a week and said that it’s a historic decision and termed it as a great step in a march towards democracy and transparency.”

“I think it’s a historic decision and this will serve the country as it’s a great step in a march towards democracy and transparency. The court has taken cognizance of the fact that the power of the government is not unlimited in matters of this nature, especially in relation to freedom of expression. The court has said that internet freedom is a part of freedom of expression and therefore you can’t curb it in the manner in which it was done and that there is to be a constant review of any restrictions that are imposed on the internet,” Sibal told ANI.

The top court while hearing the petitions challenging restrictions in Jammu and Kashmir stated that the right to access the internet is a fundamental right under Article 19 of the Constitution of India.

Sibal further added that the trade in the state has been badly affected due to ban of the internet because it is the major mode of business and trade activities and if it is banned in this fashion, all trade activities will be stopped. They (Court) have said that all these bans can take place in ‘very very extraordinary’ circumstances and only when there is no other option left. Under the telecom rules, there is no procedure for review, therefore review has to take place every week.

“They said that as far as people going to the hospitals are concerned and the internet is used for that purpose, you cannot stop people. On Section 144 again, I think it’s a historic judgment, they have clarified the law and they have said that Section 144 should be imposed on the basis of facts which are to the knowledge. Facts must be set out in the order itself so that the order can go up for judicial review. In this particular case, no facts were demonstrated in any of the orders under Section 144,” said Sibal.

“The Supreme Court has said that all the decisions made by the government with respect to the internet under the telecom rules, with respect to orders under Section 144…all orders that they have made that have imposed bans must be now put up in the public domain within one week so that people get a chance to actually challenge those orders,” he added.

Sibal further asserted that the judgment has not been fully uploaded yet and only the snippets of the judgment pursuing to what the court pronounced have come out so far.

“Now all the facts will be in the public domain and that’s a great victory. I think in future the government will have to follow the judgment of the Supreme Court as and when they want to do this in other parts of the country. Internet ban has been used in this country more than perhaps any other nation of the world. Even in nations that are reflected by the terrorist activities, the ban of the internet has not been so frequently used there as it has been used in India. That’s a very sad state of affairs,” said Sibal.

The top court said that Kashmir has seen a lot of violence and that it will try to maintain a balance between human rights and freedoms with the issue of security.

It also directed the Jammu and Kashmir administration to review the restrictive orders imposed in the region within a week. “The citizens should be provided highest security and liberty,’ the apex court said.

Speaking about the recent violence occurred in Jawaharlal Nehru University (JNU) on January 5, Sibal stated that the Vice-Chancellor of the university must be ‘dismissed’.

“As far as Jamia Millia Islamia (JMI) is concerned and JNU is concerned, we know the situation. CWC is going to meet tomorrow and I hope they take a very strong position on it but this Vice-Chancellor must go. Those masked people belonged to ABVP and if in that situation the VC was sitting in his office and doing nothing then the first thing that must be done is for the VC to be dismissed,” said Sibal.

India

With CAA, you have brought Jinnah’s logic: Shashi Tharoor

“Everybody has freedom of expression in this country, I will definitely enquire about the incident.”

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Shashi Tharoor

Jaipur, Jan 27: Stressing that he condemned the CAA as soon as it was introduced, Congress MP Shashi Tharoor said that it was unconstitutional as the foundation of Indian independence clearly says that religion has nothing to do with citizenship. “Unlike Pakistan, we have always believed that the country is for everyone. And that is the way we have lived like for 70 years. On principle, CAA is wrong. The central government has brought Jinnahs logic.”

Adding that the country is going through challenging times, he said that it was important for every citizen to preserve originality of thinking and freshness of ideas.

Speaking at the Jaipur Literature Festival, the MP from Thiruvananthapuram further said that the CAA issue is a central one and the resolutions passed by different state assemblies including those of Kerala, Punjab, Rajasthan and West Bengal were political statements telling the centre and the world that they were not happy with the move.

“However, after CAA, when the central government does NPR and NRC, they would need the support of state government employees, for example school teachers and government officials in different state departments. If the state government tells them not to go ahead, how can the employees refuse considering they report to the state government?

When asked about the five people who were detained at JLF for raising anti-CAA slogans, the MP said he didn’t know about the same and would ask Rajesh Pilot, the Deputy CM of Rajasthan who was also present at the festival about the same.

“Everybody has freedom of expression in this country, I will definitely enquire about the incident.”

(Sukant Deepak can be reached at [email protected])

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Hindu, Muslim students tie rakhis at anti-CAA march

“Stand with JNU and AMU. Stand with nation,” said another banner carried by the students.

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Rakhi Utsav

Kolkata, Jan 26: A large number of students belonging to both Hindu and Muslim communities took out a protest march against the new citizenship law on Republic Day on Sunday and tied the rakhi on one another in an attempt to strengthen bonding between the two communities.

The march started from Nakhoda Mosque in central Kolkata and concluded in north Kolkata’s Tagore house at Jorasanko where first non-European Nobel laureate Rabindranath Tagore was born.

“We, the people of India, have nothing to lose, but chains,” said a prominent banner at the forefront of the march, where a large number of common people of all ages also joined in.

“Stand with JNU and AMU. Stand with nation,” said another banner carried by the students.

They repeatedly raised slogans pledging “We won’t allow the country to be divided,” and assailed the Central government for trying to divide Hindus and Muslims.

Many of the students, who came from several colleges and universities, carried rakhis, and tied them on members of the other community, in a show of Hindu-Muslim bonding.

A participant recalled that in 1905, when then Viceroy Lord Curzon tried to partition Bengal, Tagore had led a procession from Joransanko to Nakhoda mosque where he tried rakhis on members of the Muslim community.

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Can’t let Mahatma be killed again, says Yashwant Sinha

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Yashwant Sinha

New Delhi, Jan 26 : In a veiled reference to the new citizenship law (CAA), former Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) leader Yashwant Sinha said in Saifai (UP) on Sunday, Mahatma Gandhi, who believed in communal peace, should not be “killed again” by creating divisions on the basis of religion.

“We will not allow killing of the ‘Father of Nation’ again due to the actions of a few selfish politicians at the Centre,” said Sinha while addressing a large gathering on the occasion of the 71st Republic Day after the ‘Gandhi Shanti Yatra’, led by him, reached this Etawah village from Agra.

Sinha, once an integral part of the BJP think-tank, said, “We have come out with the message of peace in the form of ‘Gandhi Shanti Yatra’.”

The yatra, launched at the Gateway of India in Mumbai on January 9, is aimed at opposing the CAA that seeks to provide Indian citizenship to minorities coming as refugees from Pakistan, Bangladesh and Afghanistan, but leaves out Muslims.

Sinha also took part in the R-Day celebrations. The key highlight of the event was hoisting of the Tricolour on a 155-foot pole.

Samajwadi Party president and former UP Chief Minister Akhilesh Yadav and SP General Secretary Ram Gopal Yadav were also present on the occasion. Sinha was presented with a shawl as the welcome gesture.

SP National Secretary Rajendra Chaudhary, Dharmendra Yadav, Tej Pratap Yadav, Dilip Yadav (MLA), Raj Kumar Raju and Anurag were present at the event, SP spokesperson I.P. Singh told IANS over phone.

“Mahatma Gandhi came out of Gujarat wearing a dhoti and holding a staff. He showed the world the path of truth and non-violence. It’s unfortunate to say today few leaders from the same Gujarat are creating obstacles in the path of truth and non-violence,” said Akhilesh Yadav.

Stating that farmers are sad, the future of the next generation is in dark, and development is blocked, the former UP Chief Minister said, “Today a battle is being fought to save the Constitution on which rests the edifice of our democratic system.”

The SP spokesperson said a prayer meeting would be held on Monday at the SP headquarters and after that the next plans for the ‘Gandhi Shanti Yatra’ would be chalked out.

(Sanjeev Kumar Singh Chauhan can be contacted at [email protected])

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