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Daily NEWS Summary: 03.02.2021

No informal talks with farmer unions, Agriculture Minister Tomar said

Union government is not holding informal talks with protesting farm unions, Agriculture Minister Narendra Singh said Tomar on the sidelines of a press conference on February 3.

  • Asked about the position of the agricultural unions who will not hold talks with the government until the barricades at the protest sites are removed and the farmers are not taken into custody, the minister said that he did not wish to comment on a matter of public order.
  • In the early days of the protest in November and December, various farm union leaders engaged in informal talks with several BJP leaders and ministers, even before formal talks began. However, this pattern seems to have ended.
  • Although the prime minister and agriculture minister said the government’s previous offer was still relevant and the doors were open for a resumption of dialogue, the unions said they had not received any direct contact from the government after . Tomar confirmed this on Wednesday. When asked if the government engages informally with unions, he replied, “No. We will inform you of the date of the official talks. “

Western celebrity inaccurately comments on farmers protest: MEA

India said on Wednesday that Western celebrity comments in support of the farmers’ protest “were neither accurate nor responsible.” The official statement was released in response to a series of social media posts from singer Rihanna, activist Greta Thunberg, Meena Harris, niece of US Vice President Kamala Harris and other Western media influencers. social.

“Before we rush to comment on these issues, we urge that the facts be uncovered and that a proper understanding be made of the issues at stake. The temptation of tabloid hashtags and social media comments, especially when are used by celebrities and others, is neither accurate nor responsible, ”

the Ministry of Foreign Affairs (MEA) said in a detailed response.

The answer came hours after Rihanna said: “Why aren’t we talking about this [farmers protest]? Her followed tweet was by one from Swedish climate activist Thunberg. Meena Harris commented, “It is no coincidence that the world’s oldest democracy was attacked just over a month ago, and as we speak, the most populous democracy is under attack. This is linked. We should all be outraged by the Internet shutdowns in India and the paramilitary violence against protesting farmers. Meena Harris is the daughter of Maya Lakshmi Harris, sister of Kamala Harris.

  • The comments were followed by US lawmaker Jim Costa of California. He called the events surrounding the farmers’ demonstration “worrying”. In a social media post, he said: “As a member of the Foreign Affairs Committee, I am following the situation closely. The right to demonstrate peacefully must always be respected ”.
  • The US comments came days after Canadian and UK lawmakers repeatedly raised the issue of farmers’ rights to public disclosure. The new Biden-Harris administration has yet to issue an official statement on the ongoing protests.

Former Supreme Court Justice Madan Lokur expresses concern over DNA technology bill’s provisions

Allowing investigative agencies to collect DNA samples from “suspects,” as reported in the DNA Technology Regulation (Use and Enforcement) Bill of 2019, will make them easily susceptible to abuse and abuse ”and pose a“ threat to life, liberty, dignity and a person’s privacy, ”observed retired Supreme Court Justice Madan Lokur in a brief to the Parliamentary Standing Committee on Science and Technology.

  • The panel, led by Congress leader Jairam Ramesh, presented its report to parliament on Wednesday.
  • Currently, DNA testing is carried out on an extremely limited scale in India, with around 30-40 DNA experts in 15-18 laboratories performing less than 3,000 cases per year. Laboratory standards are neither monitored nor regulated.
  • The bill aims to introduce regulation of the entire process, from collection to storage. The preamble to the bill says that it seeks to provide for “the regulation of the use and application of deoxyribonucleic acid [DNA] technology for the purpose of establishing the identity of certain categories of people, including victims, criminals, suspects, sub-trials, missing. unknown and deceased persons. Judge Lokur questioned the need to collect DNA from a “suspect.”
  • In his presentation, he argued that in an indiscriminate crime or a crime involving large numbers of people (such as a riot) everyone is a suspect, with no real basis.
  • This would mean that thousands of people can be subjected to a DNA profile on suspicion. Judge Lokur said the provisions of the bill may lead to targeting certain groups, including social, linguistic, religious and other minorities, on the grounds that they are suspects.

Government notice to Twitter for refusing to comply with the account blocking order

The Union government has sent a notice to Twitter to comply with its order to remove the content of “genocide of farmers”. The Center alleged that the material was designed to spread disinformation to ignite passions and hatred and warned that refusing to do so could result in criminal prosecution.

  • On Tuesday night, Twitter restored more than 250 accounts, hours after blocking them due to “legal action.”
  • The platform, in a meeting with government officials, challenged the order, arguing that these accounts did not violate Twitter policy and refused to comply with the government order.
  • A source from the Department of Electronics and Computing (MeitY), which sent the notice to the US-based company, said that Twitter was an intermediary and was obliged to follow the government’s instructions and that its refusal to do so could lead to a criminal process.

India disagrees with USTR e-commerce tax report: Secretary of Commerce

India disagrees with the report by the United States Trade Representative (USTR) that the country’s 2% matching tax on foreign e-commerce companies discriminates against US companies, India’s commerce secretary Anup Wadhawan said on Wednesday.

  • Last month, a USTR investigation found that India’s 2% digital services tax on e-commerce offering discriminated against US businesses and was inconsistent with international tax principles.

Burmese police file charges against Aung San Suu Kyi after coup

The police filed a complaint against the dismissed chief Aung San Suu Kyi for illegally importing communications equipment. She will be detained until February 15 to be investigated, according to a police document.

  • ’s armed forces seized power on Monday, arrested Nobel Prize winner Suu Kyi and halted the transition to democracy in a seizure of power that drew condemnation from the United States and other Western countries.
  • A police request to a court detailing the charges against the 75-year-old Nobel laureate said walkie-talkie radios were found during a search of her at her home in the capital, Naypyidaw. He said the radios were illegally imported and used without permission.
  • The document reviewed Wednesday called for Suu Kyi’s detention “to question witnesses, request evidence and seek a lawyer after questioning the accused.”
  • Another document showed that the police had brought charges against the ousted President Win Myint for violations of the .
  • Suu Kyi endured approximately 15 years of house arrest between 1989 and 2010 while she led the country’s democracy movement. She remains extremely popular at home despite her damage to her international reputation following the flight of Rohingya Muslim refugees in 2017.
  • Her National League for Democracy (NLD) party earlier said in a statement that her offices had been raided in various areas and urged authorities to put an end to what it called illegal acts after her victory in the US elections. November 8th. Army chief Min Aung Hlaing grabbed power by fraud in the election, which the NLD won by overwhelming majority. The electoral commission said the vote was fair.

Covid Watch: The number of reported corona virus cases in India was 1,07,88,733 at the time of publication of this bulletin, with a toll of 1,57,321.

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