Modi govt extends ban on Dr Zakir Naik’s IRF for 5 more years

News Network
November 16, 2021

New Delhi, Nov 16: The Prime Minister Narendra Modi –led government of India has extended for five years the ban imposed on the Islamic Research Foundation (IRF), headed by India-born preacher Dr Zakir Naik, currently based in Malaysia.

The Islamic Research Foundation was first declared an unlawful organisation under the Unlawful Activities (Prevention) Act, 1967 (37 of 1967) by the central government on November 17, 2016.

In a notification, the Union Home Ministry said that the Islamic Research Foundation has been indulging in activities which are prejudicial to the security of the country and have the potential of disturbing peace and communal harmony and disrupting the secular fabric of the country.

The central government is of the opinion that the Islamic Research Foundation and its members, particularly, the founder and president, Zakir Abdul Karim Naik alias Zakir Naik, has been encouraging and aiding its followers to promote or attempt to promote, on grounds of religion, disharmony or feelings of enmity, hatred or ill-will between different religious communities and groups which are prejudicial to the integrity and security of the country, it said.

The Home Ministry of India said the statements and speeches made by Naik are objectionable and subversive and through them he has been promoting enmity and hatred among religious groups and inspiring youths of a particular religion in India and abroad to commit terrorist acts.

Dr Naik also makes radical statements and speeches to millions of people worldwide through international satellite TV network, Internet, print and social media, it said.

The central government is further of the opinion that if the unlawful activities of the IRF are not curbed and controlled immediately, it will take the opportunity to continue its subversive activities and re-organise its activists who are still on a run, it said.

The ministry said Dr Naik's activities will disrupt the secular fabric of the country by polluting the minds of the people by creating communal disharmony, propagate anti-national sentiments, escalate secessionism by supporting militancy and some people may undertake activities which are prejudicial to the sovereignty, integrity and security of the country.

The notification said that the central government is also of the opinion that with regard to the activities of the Islamic Research Foundation, it is necessary to declare it an unlawful association with immediate effect.

Considering all these aspects, the Home Ministry said, it has decided to extended the ban imposed on the Islamic Research Foundation under the UAPA for another five years.

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News Network
January 13,2022

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Lucknow, Jan 13: The resignation of three ministers in three days and the subsequent photos being uploaded with Samajwadi Party (SP) chief Akhilesh Yadav has changed the dynamics of Uttar Pradesh politics.

Till a few days back the BJP was confident of winning back the state but the resignations have sent jitters down the spines in the BJP camp. The question is, whether there is an undercurrent in favour of the Samajwadi Party which is perceived to be the biggest gainer from these exits from the saffron party.

The SP is having the last laugh in terms of defections as all roads lead to the party office on Vikramaditya Marg in Lucknow. The rebels from the BJP BSP and the Congress are lining up at Akhilesh Yadav's door, which analysts believe is in favour of the SP, as leaders like Maurya have a strong ground presence and feedback.

Delhi based independent analyst Shakil Akhtar says, "there is a feeling in the defectors that they can't return to their constituency on a BJP symbol so they went to the party which has social justice in it roots while the BJP was dependent on social engineering."

The experts believe that the real issues are inflation, Covid deaths, stray animals, unemployment and the BJP has not been able to gauge the minds of its own MLAs and ministers.

Dharam Singh Saini on Thursday became the third minister after Swami Prasad Maurya and Dara Singh Chauhan quit the Yogi Adityanath led BJP government. Saini was Minister of State (Independent Charge), Ayush, Food Security and Drug Administration.

After sending his resignation to the Governor, he went to meet Samajwadi Party president Akhilesh Yadav. Interestingly, in his resignation letter, Saini levelled the same allegation that other legislators had levelled against the Yogi government.

Saini, who represents the Nakud Assembly seat which is in western UP, has returned the security cover and residence allotted to him by the state government. He said he was resigning due to "gross neglect" of Dalits, backwards, farmers, unemployed youth and small traders.

After legislators belonging to the OBC category left the BJP, it is now a Brahmin MLA Bala Prasad Awasthi who has also walked into the Samajwadi Party fold.

Awasthi is a four-term MLA from Lakhimpur Kheri and a known Brahmin face in the Terai region. He also met Akhilesh Yadav on Thursday afternoon.

Earlier, Swami Prasad Maurya, Dara Singh Chauhan (both ministers) Roshan Lal Varma, Brijendra Prajapati, Bhagwati Sharan Sagar, Vinay Shakya and Avatar Singh Bhadana left the party in the past two days.

On Thursday, Mukesh Varma from Firozabad sent in his resignation. Then Dharam Singh Saini followed suit.

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News Network
January 10,2022

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Islamabad, Jan 10: Pakistan Prime Minister Imran Khan on Monday alleged that minorities in India were being targeted by extremist groups and warned that such an agenda "is a real and present threat" to regional peace.

Khan took to Twitter to make the allegations in the wake of alleged inflammatory and provocative speeches against Muslims at an event in Haridwar in Uttarakhand held in December.

On his Twitter handle, Khan also questioned whether the BJP government supports the call for genocide of minorities in India, especially the 200 million Muslim community.

“It is high time international community took note & acted,” he further said.

In another tweet, Khan accused the BJP-led government of targeting minorities in India, adding that the extremist agenda “is a real and present threat to peace in our region.”

“The continuing silence of Modi govt on the call at an extremist Hindutva summit in Dec for genocide of minorities in India, especially the 200 mn Muslim community, begs the question whether the BJP govt supports this call. It is high time international community took note & acted(sic),” he tweeted.

Last month, Pakistan's Foreign Office summoned India’s Charge d’Affaires and conveyed its concern over the alleged hate speeches made at the Haridwar conclave.

Pakistan conveyed to the Indian side that the reported hate speeches were viewed with grave concern by the civil society and a cross-section of people in the country.

Held in Haridwar from December 17-20, the Dharma Sansad was organised by Yati Narasimhanand Giri of the Juna Akhada, who is already under police scanner for making hate speeches and inciting violence against Muslims.

At the event, several speakers allegedly made inflammatory and provocative speeches, calling for the killing of people from the minority community.

Two FIRs have been lodged against 15 people in the case, including Waseem Rizvi who changed his name to Jitendra Narayan Tyagi after converting to Hinduism recently and organiser of the Sansad Yati Narasimhanand, the head priest of Dasna temple in Ghaziabad.

A five-member Special Investigation Team has been constituted to look into the matter.

India's Supreme Court on Monday agreed to hear a Public interest litigation (PIL) seeking action against those who made hate speeches during the recent conclave.

A bench headed by Chief Justice N V Ramana took note of the submissions of senior advocate Kapil Sibal that no action has been taken against those who made the hate speeches despite registration of FIR.

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News Network
January 21,2022

New Delhi, Jan 21: India added 3,47,254 new coronavirus infections taking the total tally of Covid-19 cases to 3,85,66,027 which includes 9,692 cases of the Omicron variant, according to the Union Health Ministry data updated on Friday.

The nation's Covid-19 toll also saw a sharp jump as 703 deaths were reported in the last 24 hours.

The active cases have increased to 20,18,825, the highest in 235 days, while the death toll has climbed to 4,88,396 with 703 fresh fatalities, the data stated.

There has been a 4.36 per cent increase in Omicron cases since Thursday, the ministry said.

The active cases comprise 5.23 per cent of the total infections, while the national Covid-19 recovery rate has decreased to 93.50 per cent, the ministry said.  

An increase of 94,774 cases has been recorded in the active Covid-19 caseload in a span of  24 hours.

Meanwhile, the Union Health Ministry on Thursday asked 6.5 crore Indians who missed their second dose of the Covid-19 vaccine to come forward for the shot with top health officials claiming a significant drop in Covid mortality in the third wave as against the second surge due to protection offered by the vaccine.

The number of people who missed their second doses was 12 crore at one point of time but the number came down to 6.5 crore partially vaccinated individuals who didn't turn up despite repeated reminders, said Vinod Paul, NITI Ayog member and the government's principal adviser on Covid-19.

India's Covid-19 tally had crossed the 20-lakh mark on August 7, 2020, 30 lakh on August 23, 40 lakh on September 5 and 50 lakh on September 16. It went past 60 lakh on September 28, 70 lakh on October 11, crossed 80 lakh on October 29, 90 lakh on November 20 and surpassed the one-crore mark on December 19. 

India crossed the grim milestone of two crore on May 4 and three crore on June 23. 

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