Zahid N Quraishi to be first ever Muslim federal judge in US history

News Network
March 31, 2021

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Washington, Mar 31: President Biden on Tuesday nominated Judge Zahid N. Quraishi to be a federal judge on the U.S. District Court for the District of New Jersey, a move that would make the Army veteran the first-ever lifetime-appointed Muslim federal judge if confirmed. 

"This trailblazing slate of nominees draws from the very best and brightest minds of the American legal profession," the White House said in a statement Tuesday about a list that also included 10 other nominees. "Each is deeply qualified and prepared to deliver justice faithfully under our Constitution and impartially to the American people — and together they represent the broad diversity of background, experience, and perspective that makes our nation strong."

Quraishi was appointed in 2019 to be a magistrate judge in the District of New Jersey by the judges he now seeks to join on the bench. A magistrate judge is not technically considered a member of the federal bench the same way a district court or circuit judge is because the position is not outlined in the Constitution's Article III and magistrate judges are not appointed by the president. 

Magistrate judges are assigned by statute to oversee some matters and may also be delegated tasks by bona fide district judges.

Quraishi, who is of Pakistani descent, got his law degree from Rutgers Law School, where he currently serves as an adjunct professor.

Quraishi was a military prosecutor with the JAG Corps during his time in the Army and did deployments in Iraq in 2004 and 2006, according to his Rutgers bio page. He later worked with the Department of Homeland Security then served as a federal prosecutor in the District of New Jersey.

The Biden nominee has also received several honors for his work, according to his Rutgers bio, including the 2019 New Jersey Muslim Lawyers Association Trailblazer of the Year Award.

Just before his magistrate judge appointment, Quraishi worked in white collar private practice at the law firm Riker Danzig, according to Rutgers, where he was also the chief diversity officer.

"The first Muslim-American who was nominated to serve on the federal bench was denied that opportunity to serve and that was Abid Qureshi," said Lena Zwarensteyn, the fair courts campaign senior director at the liberal Leadership Conference for Civil and Human Rights. Qureshi was nominated in late 2016, just months before former President Barack Obama left office. 

"It is certainly time that there is much more representation in terms of various faiths or even no faith on the bench," Zwarensteyn said. 

There are no hearings or votes scheduled for Quarishi or any of Biden's other nominees in the Senate, and it is not clear how fast the Senate Judiciary Committee will move forward with the nominations. 

"The Senate will work quickly to confirm President Biden’s superb and accomplished judicial picks," Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer, D-N.Y., said in a statement Tuesday. "America is so much better when our rich diversity is reflected in every aspect of society, especially our justice system. We will have hearings and confirm judges to fill the growing number of vacancies on the federal bench and significantly mitigate the influence of Donald Trump’s unqualified, right-wing judges."

But Judiciary Committee Ranking Member Chuck Grassley, R-Iowa, aimed to pump the brakes on speeding the nominees through committee -- while also leaving open the possibility that Republicans could back some Biden's judiciary picks. 

"The Judiciary Committee must evaluate each nominee on his or her merits and qualifications. The committee should give them a hard look to see if they have the experience, the temperament, and the commitment to the Constitution necessary to be a federal judge," Grassley said. "We should neither be a rubber stamp, nor should we oppose nominees as a matter of course, as many Democrats did during the Trump administration."

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News Network
April 10,2021

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Kolkata, Apr 10: Four persons were allegedly shot dead by the Central Industrial Security Force outside a polling booth at the Sitalkuchi constituency in West Bengal’s Cooch Behar district on Saturday in the fourth phase of the Assembly elections. 

Police sources said that the incident took place when the central forces were gheraoed by locals. They further claimed that there was a scuffle between central forces and locals.

According to sources, the incident took place at the polling booth in Sitalkuchi at around 10:00 am when a Quick Response Team (QRT) were allegedly attacked by unidentified persons.

One of the family members of the deceased said that the central forces suddenly opened fire. The Trinamool Congress (TMC) claimed that the deceased were their supporters.  

“Eight people were injured when the Central Forces opened fire. Four of them died and the rest sustained injuries,” he said. The incident took place near a polling booth in Sitalkuchi.

Election Commission sources said that an action taken report has been sought in this regard.

"When you can’t beat us fair ‘n square, you shoot & kill. MO-SHA, you killers. At your command, EC recently changed DG, ADG of  Bengal police and the SP of the area where killings took place today. 5 dead. You both have blood on your hands. But then you are used to the feeling," TMC MP and spokesperson Derek O'Brien tweeted.

Earlier in the day, an 18-year-old was allegedly shot dead while he was standing in a queue outside a polling booth in Sitalkuchi. His family members alleged that he was shot dead by TMC cadres. The deceased has been identified as Ananda Barman. Sources in the Election Commission said that two persons have been detained in relation to the case.

A total of five persons have been allegedly shot dead in the fourth phase of the West Bengal Assembly elections.

While the TMC alleged that the BJP was behind the killing, the saffron party claimed that the deceased was its polling agent at the booth and pointed the accusing finger at the ruling party in the state.

In a statement released by Trinamool Congre, the Mamata Banerjee-led party blamed "BJP miscreants" for the incident.

"Since morning BJP miscreants were blocking people's right to vote while CRPF was influencing voters to vote in favour of BJP. When TMC workers went to enquire why people were not being allowed to vote, BJP miscreants launched an attack creating an atmosphere of chaos, following which CRPF open fired leading to 5 TMC workers losing their lives," the TMC said in the statement.

"It is also sad that the Election Commission has still not come out with response on this dastardly attack. We strongly register our protest against this police-ordered killing. Shameful that the forces are acting like goons in uniform."

Meanwhile, Sitalkuchi's BJP candidate Baren Chandra Barman said that a deceased person was the party's polling agent at the booth and TMC activists were behind the murder.

"He was our polling agent and was going to the booth when TMC goons shot him dead. Rabindra Nath Ghosh's claim is a total lie. We have informed the SP and the ECI about the incident, demanding immediate arrest of the culprits," Barman said.

He also claimed that police or central forces were not present near the booth when the killing took place.

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News Network
April 14,2021

Lucknow, Apr 14: Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath on Wednesday said he has tested positive for Covid-19.

He had on Tuesday isolated himself after some officials in his contact tested positive for coronavirus.

"After initial symptoms, I got myself tested. My report is positive. I am in self-isolation and following doctors advice. I am doing all the works virtually," Adityanath tweeted from his official Twitter handle.

Earlier, he had said, "The officers of my office tested positive for coronavirus. They were in touch with me, therefore, as a precaution, I am isolating myself and starting all my work digitally."

Some officials, including his Officer on Special Duty (OSD) Abhishek Kaushik, tested positive for Covid-19.

The chief minister, however, had not identified the officials who were tested for the infection.

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April 2,2021

Mangaluru, Apr 2: The city police has managed to arrest four persons among the miscreants who brutally attacked a Muslim youth after dragging him out of a Bengaluru-bound bus in the city last night just because he was asked by a girl to accompany him to the state capital during her job hunting trip.

24-year-old Asvid Anwar Muhammad, is currently undergoing treatment at a hospital in the city after last night’s attack by the Hindutva vigilante mob. 

Briefing about the incident, N Shashi Kumar, commissioner of Mangaluru city police said, a group waylaid the private bus near Kankanady bus stop and attacked the youth as he was accompanying a girl belonging to a different faith. The mob also stabbed the youth with a sharp weapon. However, his is now out of danger, said the top cop.

The arrested have been identified as Balachandra (28), resident of Attavar who has a case registered against him in Mangaluru East police station and in Kankandady police station, Dhanush Bhandary (25) resident of Kanduka, who has 4 cases in different police station against him including a murder case and a case at Mangaluru South police station, Jayaprakash (27) resident of Shakthinagar who has 4 cases at different police stations, while Anil Kumar (38) resident of Urwa who has an assault case registered against him in Mangaluru South police station.

“We have also registered a case under 307 and other sections of the IPC against the culprits,” he said.

The city police chief also said that the girl was on her way to Bengaluru to look for a job in digital marketing. As she was not familiar with Bengaluru, she had asked the boy to accompany her and help her find a job there. Both were reportedly good friends and completed their degree in the same college in the city.

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