VHP’s Sadhvi Prachi threatens to perform 'havan' in mosque, seeks death penalty for 'love jihad'

News Network
November 7, 2020

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Within days of offering of 'namaz' at a Mathura temple followed by recital of 'Hanuman Chalisa' in mosques, controversial VHP leader Sadhvi Prachi threatened to perform 'havan' (a Hindu ritual by fire) in the oldest mosque in Lucknow to protest 'desecration' of temples.

''I will be performing havan in the oldest mosque in Lucknow....it will also help in checking pollution,'' Sadhvi Prachi told reporters in Bareilly on Saturday.

Launching attacks on those supporting 'namaz' in temples saying it would help strengthen communal harmony, the saffron leader said that most of the mosques in the country were constructed after 'demolishing' the temples.

She also demanded capital punishment for those indulging in 'love jihad' (a thing that doesn’t exist but the Sangh Parivar uses the term to refer love and marriage between Muslim boys and Hindu girls) ''They should be hanged publicly,'' she said.

Sadhvi Prachi's controversial remarks, however, came in for sharp criticism from the saints from Ayodhya, who asked the saffron leader not to give statements, which vitiated the communal atmosphere in the country.

''She should refrain from making such statements and let the police handle such matters,'' said Satyendra Das, the chief priest of the makeshift Ram Temple in Ayodhya.

Barely a few days ago, BJP lawmaker Sangeet Som had called for 'tit for tat' action in cases of alleged 'love jihad' without waiting for action by the police.
Uttar Pradesh chief minister Yogi Adityanath had also warned that those indulging in 'love jihad' should be ready for 'Ram Naam Satya' journey (Hindu funeral chant during the last journey).

Adityanath had also said that the state government would soon enact a law to deal with the cases of 'love jihad'.

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Agencies
January 2,2021

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New Delhi, Jan 1: Passengers travelling from the United Kingdom to India from January 8 to 31 will now be subjected to mandatory self-paid RT-PCR test at the airport, the Health Ministry said on Saturday.

Flight services between the two countries were suspended on December 22 in the wake of a more infectious coronavirus strain found in UK's population. Th services will resume on January 6. This strain has so far been detected in over 29 travellers in India.

According to the standard operating procedure issued by the health ministry, those travelling between January 8 and 31, would be mandatorily subjected to self-paid RT-PCR tests on arrival at the Indian airports concerned.

"Adequate arrangements for passengers waiting for their RT-PCR test as well as test results duly following effective isolation may also be made at the airports in conjunction with the airport authorities," the guidelines added.

Passengers will have to submit self-declaration form on the online portal, www.newdelhiairport.in, at least 72 hours before the travel and also carry negative RT-PCR test with them. Airlines are tasked with ensuring availability of negative test before allowing the passenger on board.

Passengers who test positive at the airport will be isolated in an institutional isolation facility in an isolation unit coordinated by the State Health Authorities. They would earmark specific facilities for such isolation and treatment and take necessary action to send the positive samples for genome sequencing.

After genome sequencing, if the report is consistent with the current virus genome circulating in the country, the ongoing treatment protocol including home isolation or treatment will be followed.

"If the genomic sequencing indicates the presence of new variant of SARS-CoV-2 then the patient will continue to remain in a separate isolation unit. The patient shall be tested on 14th day, after having tested positive in the initial test. The patient will be kept in the isolation facility till his sample is tested negative," the SOP stated.

Those who are found negative on testing with RT-PCR at the airport would be advised quarantine at home for 14 days and regularly followed up by the concerned State and District Integrated Disease Surveillance Programme.

The central government on Friday said that four more cases of the mutant Covid UK strain have been detected in the country, taking the total tally of such cases to 29 so far. They are kept in physical isolation in health facilities.

Notably, the new UK variant has already been reported by Denmark, Netherlands, Australia, Italy, Sweden, France, Spain, Switzerland, Germany, Canada, Japan, Lebanon and Singapore.

From November 25 to December 23 midnight, about 33,000 passengers disembarked at various Indian airports from the UK. All these passengers are being tracked and subjected by states and UTs to RT-PCR tests.

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Agencies
January 6,2021

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New York, Jan 6: US President Donald Trump and his supporters prepared to make one final, already doomed effort on Wednesday to overturn Joe Biden's election when Congress will put its seal on his victory in the November election.

Members of both the Senate and the House of Representatives will meet in a joint session presided over by Vice President Mike Pence to count and certify the electoral college votes, while Trump's supporters and opponents faceoff elsewhere in Washington.

Trump was expected to speak to his supporters in a highly irregular and potentially incendiary move.

Claiming that there was widespread fraud, Trump and his staunchest supporters have refused to accept the result of the November 3 election and the verdict of the electoral college that voted Biden as president and Kamala Harris as vice president on December 14.

More than 50 legal challenges by them in courts at various levels have failed.

While the constitutionally-required joint sessions have been mostly routine affairs, this time a small group of Republicans led by Senator Ted Cruz have announced that they will challenge the decision of the electoral college during the joint session.

The move by Trump's Congressional supporters will split his Republican Party because most of its leaders like Mitch McConnel, who heads the party in the Senate, are against what will ultimately be a symbolic resistance.

McConnell has already acknowledged Biden's election saying last month, "Our country has, officially, a president-elect and a vice-president-elect. I want to congratulate President-Elect Joe Biden."

Even Pence has reportedly turned down Trump's public requests to reject the electoral college's election of Biden and his running mate Kamala Harris.

Trump tweeted on Tuesday that "the Vice President has the power to reject fraudulently chosen electors," although in reality he is not legally empowered to do so.

Earlier on Monday, he told a rally in Georgia state, "I hope that our great vice president... comes through for us."

In what sounded like a warning, he added, "Of course, if he doesn't come through, I won't like him quite as much."

Pence met Trump on Tuesday, but several media reports quoting anonymous sources said to be close to him reported that he would follow the constitution and not interfere with the election.

The US presidential elections are conducted indirectly with the voters electing members of the electoral college who would vote for president.

Biden won 306 electoral college votes, in addition to getting 81.2 million popular votes to Trump's 232 electoral college votes and 74.2 million popular votes.

Trump won the 2016 election by getting a majority in the electoral college, where the votes allocated to proportionately to states, despite Hillary Clinton getting more popular votes.

When Trump's supporters challenge the electoral college votes, the Senate and the House will go into separate sessions to hear the objections and vote on them before reconvening jointly.

The effort is certain to fail because Democrats have a majority in the House and in the Senate, where the Republicans have a lead now, most members of the party have opposed the challenge.

Trump's supporters plan to challenge the votes of electors from states like Pennsylvania, where Trump has alleged there was massive fraud -- a claim not sustained by courts.

Democrats and Republicans opposed to Trump see the challenge to the electoral college verdict as a threat to democracy itself asserting that it would contribute to delegitimising the election process.

A bipartisan group of ten senators, including four Republicans said that "further attempts to cast doubt on the legitimacy of the 2020 Presidential election" will "only serve to undermine Americans' confidence in the already determined election results."

While Trump and many of his supporters probably realise their efforts are futile, for them it is a payback to the Democrats who tried to deligitimise Trump's election by claiming that he collaborated with the Russians to get elected -- a claim disproved by a commission of inquiry.

When Trump's election had to be certified in 2017 by Congress, some Democrats objected initially but did not persist in their opposition and the joint session presided by then-Vice President Biden endorsed Trump's victory.

Two Democrats objected to Republican George W. Bush's re-election by the electoral college in 2005 forcing the Senate and House to meet separately to vote down the objection and endorse his election at the resumed joint session.

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Agencies
January 7,2021

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New Delhi, Jan 7: Amid tight security, thousands of farmers on Thursday started their tractor-march from protest sites -- Singhu, Tikri and Ghazipur borders -- against the three agriculture laws.

Bharati Kisan Union (Ekta Ugrahan) chief Joginder Singh Ugrahan said that farmers participated in the march with over 3,500 tractors and trolleys.

According to the protesting farm unions, this is just "rehearsal" for their proposed January 26 tractor parade that will be move into the national capital from different parts of Haryana, Punjab and Uttar Pradesh.

Farmers started the tractor march around 11 am and moved towards Kundli Manesar Palwal Expressway amid heavy deployment of Delhi Police and Haryana Police personnel.

The tractor march, led by senior BKU leader Rakesh Tikait, moved towards Palwal.

"In the coming days, we will intensify our agitation against the three farm laws. Around 2,500 tractors from Haryana have participated in today's march.

"We want to warn that if the government doesn't not accept our demands, farmers' protest will get intensified further," Abhimanyu Kohar, a senior member of Samkyukt Kisan Morcha, told PTI.

The tractor march started from four different points -- Singhu to Tikri Border, Tikri to Kundli, Ghazipur to Palwal and Rewasan to Palwal.

Braving severe cold and sporadic rains, thousands of farmers from Punjab, Haryana and some other parts of the country have been camping at several Delhi border points for over 40 days, demanding repeal of farm laws, a legal guarantee on minimum support price for their crops and other two issues.

"The government should listen to the farmers. We are just demanding the repeal of the contentious farm laws," Bharatiya Kisan Union spokesperson Rakesh Tikait said.

In view of the tractor march, authorities said there would be diversions at several points on the Eastern Peripheral Expressway.

"The tractor march will pass through the Eastern Peripheral Road and back through the Expressway," a police officer said.

The seventh round of talks between protesting unions and three central ministers ended inconclusively on Monday as farmer groups stuck to their demand for the repeal of three laws, while the government listed out various benefits of the new acts for the growth of the country's agriculture sector.

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