POLICE CRACKS DOWN DOCTORS PROTESTING IN DELHI
Protests by a large number of resident doctors in Delhi over the delay in NEET-PG 2021 counselling on December 27 took a dramatic turn, with police personnel cracking down on the protesters. Both the protesters and police have said that several persons suffered injuries in the ensuing melee. The stir, led by the Federation of Resident Doctors’ Association, has been going on for 12 days now. FORDA also said that several of its members were “detained” when they tried to hold a protest march from Maulana Azad Medical College (MAMC) to Supreme Court. FORDA president Manish claimed that resident doctors of a large number of major hospitals “returned their apron (lab coat) in a symbolic gesture of rejection of services”. Manish also alleged that several doctors were “detained” by police force, and taken to police station premises, before being released after some time. He also alleged that “police force was used and many doctors were injured”. However, police denied allegations of lathicharge or use of abusive language from their end, and said 12 protestors were detained and released later.
STUDENTS, TEACHERS JOIN NATIONWIDE CAMPAIGN AGAINST NEP
More than 150 students, teachers and eminent public personalities on December 24 attended a nationwide 50-day campaign against the National Education Policy (NEP) at the Press Club of India (PCI) in the national capital. The PCI conference emphasised how the proposed NEP will result in reduced spending, elimination of reservations for the marginalised, fee hikes and a further rise of contractualisation and privatisation in higher education. The policy seeks to violate the fundamental right to affordable, high quality public education, which shall lead to the exclusion of the lower and middle classes from higher education, speakers said. Author and historian Syed Irfan Habib stressed upon the issue of “saffronisation” of education while emphasising on the need for a strong movement, such as the recently concluded farmers’ protests against the three agricultural laws, for rolling back the NEP.
CHRIST STATUE VANDALISED, CHRISTMAS PRAYERS DISRUPTED
After the namaz row gripped Gurgaon, disruptions of Christmas celebrations and prayers are reported from several parts of Haryana. On the intervening night of December 25 and 26, a statue of Jesus Christ at the entrance of the Holy Redeemer Church in Haryana’s Ambala was reportedly vandalised by unidentified miscreants. The chief priest of the Holy Redeemer Church said that to date no such incident had ever taken place at the historical Ambala church, which was built in 1843. The church was closed early on December 25 on account of COVID-induced restrictions in the state. He claimed that later at night, two people had climbed the church wall and vandalised the statue of Jesus Christ and then fled from the scene of the crime. Also, a group of men claiming to be right-wing activists allegedly barged into the premises of a church in Pataudi on the eve of Christmas and disrupted the prayers, according to a viral video. Police, however, said they have not received any complaint.
SCHOOL KIDS MADE TO TAKE ‘HINDU RASHTRA’ OATH ACROSS INDIA
Multiple oath-taking events “to turn India into a Hindu Rashtra (nation)” were held across the country, videos of which have been shared by Sudarshan News and its editor-in-chief Suresh Chavhanke on their official Twitter handles, respectively. Chavhanke, on December 29, posted a video in which an unknown person could be seen administering an oath to students of a school in Sonbhadra in Uttar Pradesh. On December 28, Sudarshan News shared two videos of such oath-taking ‘ceremonies’ at Rupaidiha in UP and in Nagpur. This comes just days after Chavhanke himself administered a similar oath during an event organised by the Hindu Yuva Vahini on December 19 in Delhi, videos of which had emerged on social media on December 22. “We promise to work towards making India and keeping India a Hindu Rashtra. We will fight for this, die for this, and if required, kill for this. But we will not back down even for a moment, no matter the sacrifice. May our ancestors, teachers, Mother India give us enough strength so that we can fulfil our pledge. May they give us victory,” the pledge – the same in all three instances – said.
5 RSS WORKERS BOOKED FOR MANHANDLING POLICE IN COIMBATORE
Five workers of RSS have been booked for allegedly manhandling a police officer in Tamil Nadu’s Coimbatore. The incident in question took place in Vilankurichi on December 31, reported India Today. According to reports, a scuffle broke out between Coimbatore police and RSS workers when the latter prevented police personnel from entering a private school where the outfit was holding a training programme. Police personnel were deployed in large numbers around the school in Coimbatore’s Vilankurichi after Naam Tamilar Katchi (NTK) announced that it would stage a protest against the RSS. Around 19 cadres of NTK tried to stage a protest outside the school but they were immediately detained by police. Deputy Commissioner T Jayachandran (Coimbatore city North) later stated that they were only asking RSS members to remain inside the school and not step outside. However, the RSS members refused to listen to the police and instead engaged in a scuffle with the police personnel present on the spot.
AMIR SUBHANI NAMED BIHAR’S FIRST CHIEF SECRETARY
Chief minister Nitish Kumar appointed 1987-batch IAS officer Amir Subhani as the chief secretary of Bihar, highest post in the state’s bureaucracy. He will replace Tripurari Sharan, whose term came to an end on December 31. Subhani was the topper of his batch. He is Bihar’s first chief secretary belonging to the minority community. Subhani’s batch-mate Atul Prasad has been made development commissioner, the post held earlier by Subhani. Prasad was earlier posted as additional chief secretary of social welfare department. Talking to media, the new chief secretary said, “Bihar is progressing by meeting many challenges.” A BJP leader reportedly said the CM has shown his ‘love’ for the minority community by appointing Subhani chief secretary. However, he admitted that Subhani, a native of Siwan district, is known as an honest and upright officer. “On many occasions, he has shown his acumen and proved as face saver for the government,” he added.