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What exactly is Kashmir’s ‘Tabligi group’?

In a nutshell, the Tabligi group is a group of Muslims who have kept themselves engaged in prayer.

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Tablighi Jamaat

Srinagar, March 29 : Tabligi group, a Kashmiri voluntary preaching group known locally and outside as ‘Allah Wallay’, has been in the news for all the wrong reasons after one of its prominent members died of coronavirus infection in Srinagar last week.

So, who exactly comprise the Tabligi group? What do they all stand for and propound?

A fact sheet about the Allah Wallay group makes it clear that it is a Sunni Muslim group which has nothing to do with the Shia preachers and religious heads of Iran.

No member of this group from Kashmir ever visits Iran for pilgrimage as do the local Shia Muslims.

The Allah Wallay or the Tabligi group adhere to the ‘Hanafi’ school of thought against the ‘Shaafi’ school of thought to which the Wahabi sect of Muslims belong.

As against the Wahabis who have a strait-laced beliefs about Islam, the Tabligis believe in the Sufi philosophy of moderate Muslims and visit shrines and Dargahs of sufi saints as against the Wahabi belief that the dead are dead and buried who can do no good or bad to the living.

There has not been a single member of the Tabligi group in Kashmir that joined the militant ranks during the last 32 years of insurgent violence here.

Allah Wallay are believed to be so busy spreading Allah’s word of tolerance and co-existence that they have no time for violence.

Compared with this, there have been many followers of the Wahabi school who have joined radical Muslim groups in different parts of the world.

In a nutshell, the Tabligi group is a group of Muslims who have kept themselves engaged in prayer.

They have always been provided free accommodation and welcomed with open hands across the Valley to come and spend days and nights in prayer and penance in the city, town and village mosques.

The fact that fiction is being woven around the death of one of the Tabligi group’s prominent members is unfortunate and stands to prove that rumour and falsehood have wings in Kashmir while the truth crawls slowly and steadily.

Meanwhile, the death of a Tabligi group members was followed a controversy in Kashmir as to whether the deceased had knowingly hidden his travel history and avoided treatment till he became a full-blown COVID-19 case or had his treatment been messed up by the doctors.

There were reports that this person had held congregations in Sopore, Bandipora, Samba, Jammu during which he is reported to have met dozens of people in various places, including Srinagar.

All family members of this COVID-19 victim have tested negative, but some of his contacts have tested positive and are being treated in Srinagar hospitals.

An official probe ordered into whether the SOP was followed by doctors in this case or not is yet to report its findings.

Despite all the controversy surrounding the victim’s travel history and the line of treatment, the fact remains that all those who knew him believe firmly that he was a very noble human being.

“Out to help the needy. Always ready to spend time and money in Allah’s way. He was one of the noblest persons I have ever known,” said a friend of the deceased who wished not be named to protect the victim’s identity.

In the wake of widespread rumours that the victim had visited Malaysia and Indonesia recently, the family challenged anybody to prove the allegations.

“Though we cannot deny that he could have met foreigners in Delhi and elsewhere during his visits there,” said another friend of the victim’s family.

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Covid-19 corollaries on the dairy sector: CRISIL

Overall, demand for milk and dairy products would be lukewarm in the near term, so prices are unlikely to boil over, according to the report.

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dairy industry

New Delhi, May 26 : Supply chain disruptions in the early weeks of the nationwide lockdown, and bread-and-butter issues for hotels, restaurants and cafes, have materially reduced demand for dairy products.

This is despite supply of most dairy products continuing during the lockdown, since they are categorised as essentials.

The shuttering of hotels and dine-ins has also dried up off-take of skimmed milk powder and khoya.

According to report by CRISIL Research on the state of dairy industry and supply chains, products that can’t be made at home easily – such as cheese, flavoured milk and also khoya – haven’t found their way back to the dining table in the same quantities as before the lockdown.

Demand for ice creams, which usually peaks in summer (accounting for 40 per cent of annual sales) has just melted away. Rural areas, which are feeling the income pinch more, seem to be staying off butter and ghee, the report by global analytics firm has said.

To be sure, since the third week of April, supply chains have turned smoother, so demand for staples such as milk, curd, paneer and yogurt are expected to see a quick rebound, leading to on-year expansion in sales, CRISIL said.

The pandemic, however, may sour the business for unorganised dairies because of pervasive contamination fears.

Conversely, as consumers shift, revenues of organised dairies and packaged products should fatten.

Overall, demand for milk and dairy products would be lukewarm in the near term, so prices are unlikely to boil over, according to the report.

Large brands such as Amul and Mother Dairy had already hiked retail milk prices by 4-5 per cent last fiscal. They may not serve an encore.

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445 people died from Australia bushfires smoke: Experts

Melbourne, Sydney and Canberra all had periods where they had the worst air quality in the world as a result of the smoke.

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Arogya Setu App

Canberra, May 26 : Smoke from Australia’s devastating 2019-20 bushfires killed at least 445 people, health experts revealed on Tuesday.

Fay Johnston, a public health expert from the Menzies Institute for Medical Research at the University of Tasmania, told the bushfire royal commission on Tuesday that her team estimated that 445 people died as a result of the smoke that blanketed much of the nation’s east coast, reports Xinhua news agency.

It takes the total death toll from the 2019-2020 bushfire season, which has been dubbed the “Black Summer”, to nearly 480 after 34 people lost their lives directly.

According to modelling produced by Johnston and her colleagues, 80 per cent of Australians were affected by the smoke at some point, including 3,340 people who were hospitalized with heart and lung problems.

“We were able to work out a yearly cost of bushfire smoke for each summer season and… our estimates for the last season were A$2 billion in health costs,” Johnston said.

“There’s fluctuation year to year, of course, but that was a major departure from anything we had seen in the previous 20 years.”

Melbourne, Sydney and Canberra all had periods where they had the worst air quality in the world as a result of the smoke.

Commissioners also heard on Tuesday that the increasing frequency of significant bushfire events in Australia meant that survivors no longer feel safe during the recovery phase.

“Disasters are no longer perceived as rare events, they are often seen as climate change, and they’re part of our new reality,” Lisa Gibbs, a child welfare expert from the University of Melbourne, said.

“We don’t know how that is going to affect recovery because the seeds of hope are a really important part of people’s ability to deal with what has happened and to get back on track.”

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Rising urbanization likely cause of heavy rainfall in South: Research

Their findings were reported in the ‘Quarterly Journal of Royal Meteorological Society’ on May 18, 2020.

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IMD heavy rains predict

Hyderabad, May 26 : A team of researchers at the University of Hyderabad (UoH) have discovered a link between heavy rainfall in several parts of south India and a growing urbanisation in the region.

A team led by Prof. Karumuri Ashok from the Centre for Earth, Ocean and Atmospheric Sciences of the University of Hyderabad, examined whether a common factor, the changing ‘land use land cover’ (LULC) in these states, has any implications for the heavy rainfall events.

Over the past few years, many heavy rainfall events have been reported in cities of south India. Prominent among them are the extreme rainfall that created havoc in Chennai and nearby areas of Tamil Nadu in December 2015, the heavy rainfall over Hyderabad and adjoining regions in Telangana in September 2016, and the extreme rainfall event in Kerala in August 2018.

Notably, these three states differ in their geographical locations, and also the season in which they receive rainfall. Kerala, located on the southwest Indian coast off the Arabian Sea receives heavy rainfall during the summer monsoon from June-September.

Tamil Nadu, off the Bay of Bengal, receives rainfall mainly during the northeast monsoon (October-December). The land-locked state Telangana receives the bulk of its annual rainfall during the summer monsoon season.

A UoH statement stated that their study showed the precipitation during heavy rainfall events in these states has significantly increased from 2000 to 2017. Using the LULC data from ISRO, and by conducting 2 km resolution simulation experiments of twelve heavy rainfall events over the states, the researchers found distinct LULC changes in these three states, which led to higher surface temperatures and a deeper and moist boundary layer. These in turn caused a relatively higher convective available potential energy and, consequently, heavier rainfall.

The study also suggests that increasing urbanization in Telangana and Tamil Nadu is likely to enhance the rainfall during the heavy rainfall events by 20%-25%. Prof. Ashok feels that improving the density of observational rainfall and other weather parameters may help in forecasting extreme rainfalls at city level.

Their findings were reported in the ‘Quarterly Journal of Royal Meteorological Society’ on May 18, 2020.

Prof. K. Ashok and his Ph.D. student Mr. A. Boyaj who is the first author, are both from the Centre for Earth, Ocean and Atmospheric Sciences of the University of Hyderabad. The work was done in collaboration with Prof. Ibrahim Hoteit and Dr Hari Prasad Dasari of King Abdullah University of Science and Technology (KAUST), Saudi Arabia.

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