TN WITHDRAWS 5,570 CASES AGAINST CAA, FARM LAWS PROTESTORS

The Tamil Nadu government on September 14 issued a Government Order withdrawing 5,570 cases registered against those who protested against the Citizenship Amendment Act (CAA), three farm laws, Register of Citizens (NRC), Salem-Chennai eight-lane expressway, methane extraction, Neutrino and Kudankulam Nuclear Power Plant. Cases registered by the erstwhile AIADMK regime against the media have also been withdrawn. Of the 5,570 cases, 2,831 cases were filed against those who protested farm laws. During his reply to the debate on the demand for grants in the police department, MK Stalin said the government will take steps to prematurely release the inmates as a gesture of goodwill and on humanitarian grounds. The government is also planning to set up a commission to address the issues of police personnel and strengthen the relationships between the public and police.

URDU NOT INCLUDED IN HARYANA CIVIL SERVICE EXAM

Urdu is recognised as national language in the Indian Constitution, by virtue of being included in its Eighth Schedule. The census data of 2011 revealed that Urdu is the mother tongue of more than 5 crore people in India, and the 7th most widely spoken language across the nation. However, in Haryana, Urdu speakers are unhappy due to the non-inclusion of Urdu as an optional subject in Haryana Civil Services (HCS) examination, for which 48 posts were recently advertised by the Haryana Public Service Commission. The matter is now under review of the Punjab and Haryana High Court, courtesy of a petition filed last month by Imran Tanzeem, a resident of Haryana’s Nuh district, seeking to end discrimination against Urdu speakers in the Haryana’s much sought after civil service recruitment exam. In his plea, Tanzeem contends that despite being well qualified in Urdu, he stands at a disadvantage in the HCS exam due to the denial of Urdu as an optional subject.

IT RULES ROB INDEPENDENCE OF MEDIA: MADRAS HC

The Madras High Court has stayed the application of sub-rules (1) and (3) of Rule 9 of what is now widely known as IT rules 2021, stating that they rob the independence of media in the country, LiveLaw has reported. Rule 9 of the Information Technology (Guidelines for intermediaries and Digital Media Ethics Code) Rules, 2021 (or, IT rules 2021) relates to “adherence and observation” of the Code and lays down an oversight mechanism by the Union government to ensure adherence to the Code and resolution of any grievances in relation to publishers. A division bench of Chief Justice Sanjib Banerjee and Justice Audikesavulu was hearing two petitions on Thursday which contended that IT rules 2021 are ultra vires inter alia to Article 14 (equality before law) and Article 19 (right to freedom of speech) of the constitution. Passing the order, the court said, “By way of abundant caution, sub rules (1) and (9) of Rule 9 of IT Rules 2021 will remain stayed.”

HATE TARGETS MUSLIM-OWNED BUSINESSES AFTER BISHOP COMMENT

Two food-processing companies in Kerala have become targets of a communal hate campaign and boycott call in connection with a bishop’s allegations about a “love jihad” and a “narcotic jihad”, a report said on September 17. The companies, both based in Erattupetta in Kottayam and owned by Muslims, are being “accused” on social media of facilitating a recent protest march in Pala against Bishop Mar Joseph Kallarangatt of the Pala Diocese. Ajmi Flour Mills India Pvt Ltd and KKFM India Pvt Ltd, which sell ready-to-cook breakfast, have denied having anything to do with the September 10 march or with any political party or ideology. A complaint has been lodged against Kallarangatt for allegedly carrying out hate propaganda against Muslims. Afzal Yusuf, a law student at Delhi University and MSF Delhi State Vice President, lodged a complaint with the Thrissur City Police. SIO State general secretary Anwar Salahuddin had earlier lodged a complaint with the chief minister and the DGP against the bishop over his reference to narcotic jihad.

TIBBI CONGRESS REITERATES DEMAND OF REVERTING CCIM

All India Unani Tibbi Congress, the pan-India body of Unani doctors, academicians, researchers and physicians, in its general body meeting held recently in New Delhi, reviewed in detail the state of the Unani system of medicine after implementation of NCISM law in place of CCIM. While expressing concern over the development, the meeting reiterated the demand of reverting CCIM. The meeting also decided to intensify efforts to exert pressure on the Union Ministry of Ayush to address the issues related with Unani medicine and to shun its attitude towards sidelining the Unani system of medicine that has prevailed over the years. In his presidential remarks, Prof. Ghulam Qutb Chishti expressed satisfaction over the widespread awareness about the effectiveness of Unani medicine across the country. It is heartwarming that a large number of Unani doctors are joining the Tibbi Congress and offering their services to the organisation, Prof Chisti said.

INDIA’S COVID TOLL HIGHER THAN REPORTED: REPORT

India’s Covid-19 deaths may be four to 11 times higher than officially reported and may spawn economic losses equivalent to 30 per cent of the country’s gross domestic product, researchers said on September 15 after pooling estimates from multiple studies, The Telegraph reported on September 16. The researchers at the University of Michigan and the Delhi School of Economics have surveyed existing studies that suggest that India had lost 1.7 million to 4.9 million people to Covid-19 till July 1, 2021, when the Centre’s count was a little over 400,000. Their calculations are the latest among a series of independent efforts to estimate excess deaths from Covid-19 across the country using an array of research methodologies amid concerns in health circles that authorities might have vastly undercounted infections and deaths, the report alleged.

KERALA GOVERNOR PAYS FLORAL TRIBUTE TO SRI KARUNAKARA GURU

Kerala Governor Arif Mohammed Khan has reportedly inaugurated the 95th birthday celebrations of spiritual leader and founder of Santhigiri Ashram, Navajyothi Sri Karunakara Guru at Thiruvananthapuram, Kerala, a UNI report said on September 11. On this occasion, Shantigiri Ashram General Secretary Swami Guru Ratnam hoisted a flag marking the beginning of the birthday celebrations of the Santhigiri Ashram. The Governor also paid floral tributes to the spiritual leader on the occasion.

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