CAB passage cheers ‘non-citizen’ Hindu migrants from Pakistan

Jodhpur, Dec 10: The migrants from Pakistan, struggling to to be called Indians, are happy over the passage of the Citizenship Amendment Bill by the Lok Sabha. There are around 25,000 non-Indian citizens in Rajasthan who migrated from Pakistan after facing severe persecution on the grounds of their religion, says Hindu Singh Sodha, president of Seemant Lok Sangthan, an organisation working for citizenship for Hindu migrants from Pakistan.

Around 18,000 non-citizens are registered with Foreigners Registration Office (FRO) and around 3,000 are unregistered with FRO in Jodhpur itself. At least 95% of these non-migrants are in Jodhpur while the rest are scattered across Rajasthan, Sodha said. These non-citizens now say they will start a new chapter of their life after the CAB becomes a law.

“We were fed up with religious atrocities in Pakistan. I came to Jodhpur with my family on January 26, 2005 from Sindh (Pakistan). The atrocities had multiplied after the Babri mosque demolition. Hindus were tortured and eventually we had to pack our bags and come to India,” says Premchand from Jodhpur.

“I have been driving a scrap cart since then to raise my four kids aged 16, 14, 12 and 10. The passage of the Bill is like beginning of a new life for us. We are proud to be associated with Hindustan, now all our dreams will be fulfilled”, said Premchand, adding “it’s been an arduous journey of 12 years for citizenship”.

Sadura Ram also came to Jodhpur from Sindh (Pakistan) on June 11, 2006. He too was trying hard to avail of his citizenship and was fed up with filling forms, applying for citizenship and then making rounds of the FRO.

“Sometimes the officials told me that my file was missing. And sometimes they said the details were not complete. Earning my livelihood was important, so I slowed down on my citizenship part, although I was very tense for staying like a migrant in my own country,” he said.

“I started doing a stitching job; we are six in a family including three kids, a brother and wife. The children are in class 8, 9 and 10th. We knew we had no future in Pakistan — the schools were biased. Now, we have all rights to think for our future, as any other Indian citizen”, he added.

The Bill passed by the Lok Sabha seeks to grant Indian citizenship to non-Muslim refugees from Pakistan, Bangladesh and Afghanistan while escaping religious persecution in those countries. It proposes to make Hindus, Sikhs, Jains, Buddhists, Christians and Parsis people eligible for citizenship who entered India till December 31, 2014.

Meanwhile, Sodha said that they would like to thank the government for accepting their demand.

“This (the Bill) permits the third generation minority immigrants from Pakistan to acquire citizenship under Section 6 (naturalization) after five years of stay in India which was earlier 11 years,” he said.

An immigrant can currently apply for citizenship after staying in India for 11 years. Since the cut-off date for CAB is December 31, 2014, religious minorities from Pakistan, Afghanistan and Bangladesh immigrating to India will have to wait for five years for citizenship.

Sodha said most of these non-citizens came to India on pilgrim visa or visitor visa. “Now they want to celebrate the moment. I have asked them to wait for the Bill to be passed by Rajya Sabha too. I am aware of the challenges that are going to come in CAB’s implementation, but for the moment, let’s celebrate,” he said. (IANS)

Countdown begins for launch

of spy satellite RISAT-2BR1

Chennai, Dec 10: The countdown for the Wednesday evening launch of India’s latest spy satellite RISAT-2BR1 and nine foreign satellites began at 4.40 p.m. on Tuesday at the Sriharikota rocket port in Andhra Pradesh.

India’s Polar Satellite Launch Vehicle (PSLV) rocket was expected to blast off from the first launch pad at 3.25 p.m. on Wednesday carrying RISAT-2BR1 a radar imaging earth observation satellite weighing about 628 kg, said the Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO).

The Indian satellite will be placed into an orbit of 576 km. It will have a life of five years. Piggybacking on the Indian satellite would be nine foreign satellites from the USA (multi-mission Lemur-4 satellites, technology demonstration Tyvak-0129, earth imaging 1HOPSAT), Israel (remote sensing Duchifat-3), Italy (search and rescue Tyvak-0092) and Japan (QPS-SAR - a radar imaging earth observation satellite).

These foreign satellites are being launched under a commercial arrangement with NewSpace India Limited (NSIL).

According to the ISRO, the satellites will be carried by PSLV-QL variant. The rocket will have four strap-on motors and the December 11 flight will be the second space trip for this rocket variant. Just over 16 minutes into its flight, the rocket will sling RISAT-2BR1 and a minute later the first of the nine customer satellites will be ejected. The launch mission is expected to conclude in about 21 minutes when the last of the customer satellites will be put into orbit.

Till date, the ISRO has put into orbit 310 foreign satellites and if the December 11 missions turns out successful, then the number will go up to 319. (IANS)

Arms (Amendment) Bill, 2019

gets nod from Parliament

New Delhi, Dec 10: The Arms (Amendment) Bill, 2019 was cleared from Upper House on Tuesday after deliberation for two hours wherein most of the members supported the proposed legislation while making several suggestions. The Minister of State for Home Affairs G. Kishan Reddy said that the bill proposes stringent punishment for illegal weapons and ammunition traffickers.

“Though the Bill is small, it is very important,” said the minister adding that the proposed legislation would help government control proliferation of illegal arms and ammunition in the country.

“Small families are living in apartments. It would not be possible to keep three guns for them to manage,” said the minister.

Talking about heritage guns, the minister said: “If you want to keep heritage gun, you can, but it should not have the capacity to fire. I want to bring to your notice that only one percent of people having gun licence hold three guns, a total of 6.2 percent people holding gun licences have two guns.” The security forces this year, seized 438 illegal guns and 30,480 ammunition, said the minister adding that in coming years the government will add provision to give licence in form of smart card and will do away with the licence book. “We will have details of every bullet purchased and sold in coming years,” said Reddy. “I have seen stone pelters beating security forces and running away with guns. I have also seen armed terrorists attacking police stations and stealing guns. So I am bringing the bill to ensure such terrorists should be put behind the bars,” said the minister adding that he urged every member to support the Bill.

However, BJP member Roopa Ganguly was unhappy with the government withdrawing provision of having three licence guns limiting it to two. She however welcomed the move. (IANS)

Muslim man decorates Hindu gods in Ayodhya

Gonda, Dec 10: Being the birthplace of Lord Ram, Ayodhya is considered a holy city for Hindus but Lord Hanuman here in Hanumangarhi gets decorated with the flowers brought by a man, who is actually a Muslim. Moreover, his wife daily prepares a garland especially to be worn by “Hanumanji”.

Nazim Ali along with his family lives in Wazirganj development block at Gonda-Ayodhya highway in Gonda district of Uttar Pradesh. The entire family is engaged in cultivating flowers.

The flowers grown at Nazim’s garden later reach Ayodhya to adorn different Hindu deities.

Though a dark face of the history is that Ayodhya is known worldwide as a “bone of contention” between Hindus and Muslims but a positive aspect that only a few people know of is the gods and goddesses in Ayodhya’s temples daily accept flowers and garlands wrapped in Hindus’ faith but brought from Muslims’ gardens.

“We are cultivating marigold and rose flowers for around 25 years. Earlier, my father (Abba) used to send flowers for Hanumangarhi and since I have taken over the business, I send my flowers everyday without fail,” Ali told IANS.

“Apart from Hanumangarhi, people offer our flowers at Ram Lalla, Nageshwarnath and other temples in Ayodhya,” he added.

“Garlands prepared by my wife Chunni always reach around the necks of the gods,” Ali said.

Describing his business, Ali said: “We use to sell the bundles of flowers in Gonda, Ayodhya and Lucknow from where they are transported to Delhi, Punjab, Mumbai, Haryana and other parts of the country.” (IANS)

Nirbhaya killers

Chennai, Dec 10: Forty-two year old Tamil police Head Constable S. Subash Srinivasan, a police gallantry medal winner and grandson of INA veteran, has volunteered to hang the killers of Nirbhaya in Tihar Jail.

“I read a news report stating that no hangman was available to hang the killers of Nirbhaya. They had committed an unforgivable crime and their punishment should not be delayed on this account,” Srinivasan told IANS.

He is working in the police department’s In-Service Training Centre in Ramanathapuram district. His grandfather used to serve in Netaji Subhas Chandra Bose’s Indian National Army (INA). Srinivasan has already written a letter to the Tihar Jail authorities on December 6 and waiting for a reply.

“I had also given my phone number. I am yet to get a call,” Srinivasan a MA degree holder and who had joined the police service in 1997 said. “Their offence is unforgivable,” he said.

He has taken a vow to tonsure his head and offer the hair to his family deity, in case his wish to hang the Nirbhaya killers is fulfilled. Srinivasan has also performed the last rites for unclaimed bodies in a government hospital. He used to pluck out bill boards and nails hit on trees in Ramanathapuram district. Srinivasan has removed about 100 kg of nails from about 5,000 trees till date. “Business establishments now know that I will pluck out their bill boards and nails. So, in Ramanathapuram district the menace has come down drastically,” he said. (IANS)

‘Bullets in bag offence too’

New Delhi, Dec 10: The Delhi Police have issued an advisory to travellers passing through IGI Airport, to check their baggage for bullets and other ammunition before proceeding for security screening at the airport. The advisory issued on Tuesday cautions that even a possession of ammunition such as bullets, cartridges, is an offence under the Arms Act.

The advisory has been issued as a study of several such instances have shown that the passenger, inadvertently or knowingly, carries the ammunition without knowing the legal consequences. A total of 137 and 95 cases were registered under the Arms Act in the year 2018 and 2019 (up to 15.11.2019) respectively.

A few passengers unintentionally buy the ammunition for making and using it as Talisman or a mascot of good omen.

Delhi Police have advised that with a little care on their part, passengers can avoid the hassles when caught with such materials. (IANS)

MP honeytrap: I-T, SIT face-off over money trail

Bhopal, Dec 10: The Income Tax Department and the Special Investigation team (SIT) of Madhya Pradesh Police have come face to face over the transactions of money between various officials, politicians, others and the women accused in the infamous honeytrap scandal in the state.

The I-T has sought information from the SIT, which is investigating the financial transactions of the women accused. Evidence and information so far points to transaction of several crores rupees between the women accused and their ‘victims’.

The Income Tax Department wants to investigate these transactions, but the SIT contends that the information can be shared only after the High Court order.

Alok Johri, Director of the Investigation Wing of the Income Tax Department said his office wrote to the SIT in September after the disclosure in the honeytrap case and sought information about the financial transactions of the accused.

The department sent a reminder to the SIT in November. Sources in the IT department said the SIT has not responded so far.

Johri said the department took suo moto cognizance on the basis of media reports. The department cannot investigate it at its level. It needs specific documents to investigate the case, which he has not yet received. (IANS)

‘56% Indians fall victim

to online holiday scams’

New Delhi, Dec 10: With Christmas around the corner, cybersecurity firm McAfee on Tuesday revealed that 56.1 per cent Indians have fallen victim to discount scams by clicking on malicious links during holiday shopping online.

The year-end festivities present a variety of threats to consumers shopping online, with more than half (53.6 per cent) Indians falling victim to scams resulting from deceiving apps, said McAfee’s ‘Christmas Scams Survey’.

At least one in four (28.6 per cent) Indians have lost between Rs 15,000-Rs 20,000 as a result of fake online retail sites, while 78.6 per cent experienced seasonal travel scams through unsolicited and malicious links.

While cybercriminal activity continues to grow in sophistication, popular scams like email phishing (25.3 per cent) and text phishing (21.1 per cent) still result in close to a quarter of Indians being duped throughout the season, said the survey.

“With the sheer volume of people shopping online, they tend to get careless, carried away with discounts, and open themselves to phishing attacks, frauds, malicious websites, and viruses that aim to steal money and personal information,” said Venkat Krishnapur, Vice-President of Engineering and Managing Director, McAfee India.

Throughout the festivities, 60.2 per cent people have fallen victim to robocalling and 57.1 per cent through SIM-jacking.

A robocall is a phone call that uses a computerized autodialer to deliver a pre-recorded message, as if from a robot.

A new trend that hit unsavvy consumers hard this festive season was through phony gift cards. (IANS)

LS passes Bill to extend SC/ST reservation by 2030

New Delhi, Dec 10: The Lok Sabha on Tuesday passed a Bill with voice vote to extend the reservation of Scheduled Castes (SC) and Scheduled Tribes (ST) for the next 10 years up to January 25, 2030, with the government announcing that the reservation will “never” be removed.

In his concluding remarks, Union Law Minister Ravi Shankar Prasad said the Constitution (One Hundred and Twenty-Sixth Amendment) Bill, 2019 amends provisions related to reservation of seats for SCs and STs and that reservation is the right of these under the privileged community.

“Reservation is undoubtedly good and it should be going on further. The BJP is determined to provide reservation for SC/ST and it will be. This reservation will never be removed,” Prasad said. The Minister said the government will bring reservation in judiciary also.

The Bill was passed with division of votes with 352/0. The government brought the Bill in the House for its passage as the reservation provision for SCs and STs in the Constitution is to cease on January 25, 2020.

The Bill, however, did not mention about the extension of reservation for the Anglo-Indian community whose reservation will also cease on the same date.

Opposition parties across the party lines supported the Bill for extending reservation for SCs and STs, but they questioned the government why it took away the Anglo-Indian community out of the Bill and not declared extension of their reservation even after they played major roles in various fields. Over two dozen MPs participated in the discussion on the Bill which lasted over three hours.

The Minister said that Article 334 of the Constitution lays down that its provisions relating to the reservation of seats for the SCs and STs and the representation of the Anglo-Indian community by nomination in the House of the People and Legislative Assemblies of the states shall cease to have effect on the expiration of the period of 70 years from the commencement of the Constitution.

In other words, the Minister said these provisions will cease to have effect on January 25, 2020, if not extended further.

“Although the Scheduled Castes and the Scheduled Tribes have made considerable progress in the last 70 years, the reasons which weighed with the Constituent Assembly in making provisions with regard to the aforesaid reservation of seats have not yet ceased to exist.

“Therefore, with a view to retaining the inclusive character as envisioned by the founding fathers of the Constitution, it is proposed to continue the reservation of seats for the SCs and the STs for another ten years up to January 25, 2030.”

The Minister said 84 of the 543 Lok Sabha seats are reserved for SCs. “In Legislative Assemblies, there are 4,120 seats and 614 of these are reserved for SCs. (IANS)

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