Farmers ‘protest: US calls for dialogue and recognizes right to protest – Following expressions of support on social media for the farmers’ protest by various well-known personalities and celebrities including pop icon Rihanna, activist for the climate Greta Thunberg and others, the US government also spoke, promoting dialogue and supporting the right to protest peacefully.
- The reactions of the United States were recorded in a statement issued by its embassy in New Delhi and in a State Department statement delivered to a Wall Street Journal reporter on Thursday. Washington also praised measures that would improve the efficiency of Indian markets.
- Access to information was essential to democracy, the United States said, in response to the Haryana government’s temporary shutdown of mobile internet services in several districts last week and earlier this week for reasons of ‘public order.
- The Foreign Office (MEA) responded by saying it had “taken note” of the US statement.
“It is important to see these comments in their entirety. The United States recognized the steps taken by India in agricultural reform. India and the United States are two vibrant democracies, ”ministry spokesperson Anurag Srivastava said.
Delhi Police to Investigate “International Conspiracy” to “Defame” India
Delhi Police Cyber Cell has registered FIR to investigate “international conspiracy” to smear the country, a senior police official. He said they filed an FIR on it after 18-year-old climate activist Greta Thunberg shared a “toolkit” on Twitter, which she later deleted. Thunberg’s name is mentioned in the FIR, but apparently not as a defendant. More clarity on this issue is expected from Delhi Police.
- Shortly after the FIR news broke, Thunberg tweeted Thursday: “I am still #StandWithFarmers and I support your peaceful protest. No amount of hatred, threats or human rights violations will change that. #FarmersProtest ”.
- He also tweeted an updated “toolbox” instead of the one he deleted. These toolkits are widely used by activists, public relations agencies and social movements in awareness campaigns.
- They are a convenient way to educate a target audience about an issue, present a point of view, and motivate lay people and “influencers” to get involved in the campaign.
- However, Praveer Ranjan, special police commissioner, said that an FIR was registered under section 124A (sedition), 153 (senseless provocation with intent to cause unrest), 153 A (promotion of enmity between different groups) and 120 B (conspiracy).
MPs have stopped meeting with farmers
Former Union Minister and Shiromani Akali Dal MP Harsimrat Kaur Badal arrived at the Ghazipur border on Thursday to meet farmers protesting against agricultural laws. She was accompanied by more than a dozen MPs from different parties.
- However, due to heavy barricades at the border, they were unable to meet the farmers. Badal told reporters that Lok Sabha’s spokesperson was not allowing a discussion on the farmers’ protest.
- The purpose of the visit, Badal said, was to brief the spokesperson on the situation at the protest site. “We are here to be able to discuss this issue [of farmers’ protest] in Parliament,” he said.
- Badal was accompanied by NCP MP Supriya Sule, DMK MP K. Kanimozhi and TMC MP Sougata Roy, among others. He had resigned from the Union cabinet in September against the government’s decision to apply the three agricultural laws.
The AAP criticizes the bill that aims to delimit the powers of the government of Delhi and LG, calling it “unconstitutional”
The Ministry of the Interior (MHA) is ready to introduce legislation during the Parliament’s Budget session to amend a 1991 law concerning the powers and functions of the Delhi government and the Lieutenant Governor (LG). The bill received Cabinet approval on Wednesday.
- The Delhi National Capital Territory Government (Amendment) Bill 2021 is among the 20 bills proposed to be introduced in this parliamentary session.
- The reason given for proposing the bill is as follows: “The bill proposes to amend the 1991 Delhi National Capital Territory Government Act, in the context of the February 14, 2019 ruling of the Honorable Supreme Court (Division Chamber) in Civil Appeal No. 2357 of 2017 and other related issues. “
First for Europe, Iranian envoy sentenced to 20 years in prison for conspiracy to bomb
The Iranian diplomat accused of plotting to bomb a meeting of an opposition group in exile was sentenced to 20 years in prison Thursday in the first trial of an Iranian official for alleged terrorism in the European Union since the 1979 Iranian revolution.
- Belgian prosecutors and civilian parties to the indictment have said that Vienna-based diplomat Assadolah Assadi was guilty of attempted terrorism after a plot to bomb a demonstration by the National Council of Resistance of Iran (NCRI) near Paris in June 2018 was frustrated by Germany and French. and the Belgian police.
- Three other Iranians were convicted during the trial for their role as accomplices, with sentences of 15, 17 and 18 years respectively.
- “It has been established that the Iranian regime is using terrorism as an act of state and that the highest levels of the Iranian regime are involved,” said Shahin Gobadi, spokesman for the Mojahedin People’s Organization of Iran, which is part of the NCRI. he said outside the court.
Covid Watch: The number of reported coronavirus cases in India was 1.08,02,571 at the time of this newsletter, with a death toll of 1.56,197.
- More than 21% of the population, aged 10 years and over, showed evidence of prior exposure to Covid-19 in the latest national serosurvey by the Indian Council for Medical Research (ICMR), the government said on Thursday, noting that a large proportion of people remain vulnerable to infection.
- The third national serosurvey of the ICMR was conducted between December 7, 2020 and January 8, 2021. Presenting the results of the survey, ICMR Director General Dr. Balram Bhargava said that on 21, 4% of the 28,589 people, aged 18 and over, surveyed during the exposure period prior to coronavirus infection.
- In addition, 25.3% of children aged 10 to 17 belonging to the same number of the surveyed population had the disease, he said.
- Both urban (31.7%) and non-urban (26.2%) slums had a higher prevalence of SARS-CoV-2 than rural areas (19.1%), Bhargava said, adding that 23 , 4% of people over 60 years old had suffered from COVID-19.
- Blood samples were also taken from 7,171 healthcare workers during the same period and the seroprevalence was 25.7%, said the director general of the ICMR.
- The survey was conducted in the same 700 villages or neighborhoods in 70 districts of 21 states selected during the first and second rounds of the national serosurvey.