Delhi court grants bail to climate activist Disha Ravi in toolkit case

Agencies
February 23, 2021

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New Delhi, Feb 23: A Delhi court on Tuesday granted bail to 22-year-old climate activist Disha Ravi, who was arrested in connection with the toolkit case.

The Delhi Police had accused Ravi of creating the online toolkit - a Google document - in support of ongoing farmers' protest in the country and claimed she is part of global conspiracy to create unrest and trigger violence in the guise of farmers' stir against the three agriculture laws.

On Monday, she was sent to one-day police custody after a three-day judicial remand and spending five days in police custody. Ravi was arrested on February 13.

The police sought her custody again yesterday saying they want to confront Ravi with other accused in the case - activists Nikita Jacob and Shantanu Muluk. She was brought to the Delhi Police Cyber Cell for the same earlier on Tuesday.

Both Muluk and Jacob were booked for alleged sedition along with Ravi, but got transit bail from Bombay High Court. They were both on Monday questioned at the Delhi Police's Cyber cell office in Dwarka, a senior police officer said. The probe agency said that they may arrest Jacob and Muluk as well in the future if there is a requirement.

Ravi was volunteering for Fridays for Future (FFF) India, an organisation founded by Swedish climate activist Greta Thunberg, and used to help with the organisation's event management work in Bengaluru. The contentious toolkit was first shared by Thunberg on Twitter but later deleted. However, the teen activist extended support to Ravi and tweeted, "Freedom of speech and the right to peaceful protest and assembly are non-negotiable human rights. These must be a fundamental part of any democracy." The tweet was posted with the hashtag 'StandWithDishaRavi'.

Meanwhile, Muluk on Tuesday moved a Delhi court seeking anticipatory bail. His application is likely to come up for hearing Wednesday before Additional Sessions Judge Dharmender Rana.

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Agencies
February 25,2021

AFSPA extended for 6 months in Assam | MorungExpress | morungexpress.com

Dispur, Feb 25: Months before the Assembly polls, the Bharatiya Janata Party-led government in Assam on Wednesday extended the Armed Forces (Special Powers) Act, 1958 (AFSPA), in the state for six more months beyond February 27, an official said.

An Assam Home Department official said that the AFSPA has been extended considering the ground situation in Assam and adjoining northeastern states. Various political parties, organisations and civil society groups and activists have been demanding the removal of the "draconian law" from the northeastern states.

The AFSPA, which allows the Army and other paramilitary forces to conduct raids, and arrest anyone anywhere without prior notice or arrest warrant, has been in force in Assam since November 1990.

Security agencies and senior officials review the situation every six months to decide on its extension.

"The unified command structure comprising the Army, various central paramilitary and intelligence agencies and Assam Police always closely monitor the situations and terror activities in Assam," the official said.

The AFSPA is also in force in entire Nagaland, certain districts of Arunachal Pradesh and most parts of Manipur barring the Imphal municipal areas.

Terming the AFSPA as a "draconian law", renowned human rights activist Irom Chanu Sharmila of Manipur had fought for 16 long years till mid 2016, demanding its repeal.

Tripura is the only state in the northeast region where the AFSPA was withdrawn by the then Left Front government led by Communist Party of India-Marxist veteran and Chief Minister Manik Sarkar in 1998 after terror activities were tamed.

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Agencies
February 22,2021

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Indore, Feb 22: Madhya Pradesh Congress chief Kamal Nath and around a dozen other people escaped unhurt after an overcrowded elevator plunged from a height of 10 feet in an Indore hospital and its doors got jammed on Sunday.

Chief Minister Shivraj Singh Chouhan called up Nath to inquire about his health and also ordered Indore Collector Manish Singh to start a probe into the incident, officials said.

Other Congress leaders who were in the lift with Nath were Sajjan Singh Verma, Jitu Patwari, Vishal Patel and Vinay Bakaliwal.

Nath and the other leaders had gone to DNS Hospital to meet ailing party colleague Rameshwar Patel.

In a release, Indore Collector Manish Singh said an additional magistrate will carry out the probe.

MP Congress spokesperson Narendra Saluja demanded action against hospital authorities.

A hospital functionary said the lift was overcrowded and had 13-14 people.

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Agencies
February 23,2021

How Will India's Revised FDI Policy Impact Future Chinese Investment?

New Delhi, Feb 23: There is no change in the foreign direct investment (FDI) policy from China post disengagement and easing of tension between the two Asian giants.

The Commerce Ministry sources discarded recent media reports, which suggested that with easing of tensions at the border, India has given approval to various Chinese FDI's and many are in pipeline.

Government sources told media that there is no change or easing in FDIs from China as of now and nor it is planned in near future. All investments from China have to follow the procedures and government clearance route, nod will only be given to those investments that bear no implications on Indian security interests. Any Chinese company that potentially impinges on India's security will not be cleared.

Ever since the Galwan clash at the eastern border, India has tightened screws on Chinese investment inflows coming into India and has also banned several Chinese apps. Beijing says these actions are against the ethos and rules of the World Trade Organization (WTO).

However, the government sources say that three proposals, which are recently cleared are based in Hong Kong and one is a Japanese origin company; they are all security cleared.

Sources said clearance of investments had no linkage with disengagement as projected by some media reports. These proposals came up during the meeting on January 22 and were cleared by Ministry of Commerce and Industry on February 5.

Defence Minister Rajnath Singh announced disengagement plan on February 11 in the Upper House of the Parliament.

According to Commerce Ministry sources, one company that has got the go-ahead is Nippon Paint Holdings Co. Ltd, Japan (Nippon Japan). Nippon Japan is listed on the Tokyo stock exchange.

Another FDI proposal, which is cleared is of Citizen Watches (India) Private Limited (Citizen Watches (HK) Ltd, Hong Kong (Citizen Watches Hong Kong) which is 100 per cent held by Citizen Watches Company Limited, Japan (a company listed on the Tokyo Stock Exchange).

FDI proposal of Netplay Sports Private Limited is also recently cleared, according to commerce ministry sources, Netplay India is involved in sports, amusement and recreation activities. The investee company has set up a chain of sports facilities/centers for, inter alia, badminton, basketball, football. Four more sports centres are proposed to be opened with the investment funds.

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