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Hunt news, not women: Activists, celebs to media

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MUMBAI: In a strongly-worded open online letter, around 60 human rights advocacy groups and more than 2,500 individuals from diverse fields have castigated “News Media of India” for allegedly conducting a misogynistic media trial of actor

Rhea

Chakraborty. “We write to ask you to do the right and responsible thing. Your jobs. Hunt news, not women,” it said.

Prominent among those who have signed the letter are organisations Akshara Centre, Saheli, Center for Women, Forum Against Oppression of Women. Individual signatories include actors and filmmakers such as Zoya and

Farhan Akhtar

,

Sonam Kapoor

Ahuja, Anurag Kashyap; academics Swagato Ray, professor at the Indian Statistical Institute and Shohini Ghosh, professor at Jamia Milia Islamia and Dalit activist Deepti Sukumar.

Published on Medium, a popular blogging platform on Monday under the blogger name Feminist Voices, the letter questioned the media’s alleged obsession with “creating only one narrative” and make “false accusations and moralistic innuendo” for what they feel was an attempt to spin a “Rhea ko phasao” drama.

The letter also alluded to the “kindness and respect” that the news media had shown in the past to “the Salman Khans and Sanjay Dutts of this world” while its misogyny was unmissable when it came to a young woman’s “concerns, ambitions, clothes choices,” all of which the letter rued was “trivialised, dismissed, persecuted.”

The Times of India is an Indian English-language daily newspaper owned by The Times Group. It is the third-largest newspaper in India by circulation and largest selling English-language daily in the world. according to Audit Bureau of Circulations.

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INDIA

Mehbooba Mufti’s daughter moves SC seeking to amend plea against continued detention of her mother

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SRINAGAR: Iltija Mufti, the daughter of former Jammu and Kashmir chief minister Mehbooba Mufti, has approached the Supreme Court seeking to modify her petition challenging the detention of her mother under the stringent Public Safety Act (PSA).

Mehbooba, the president of Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), was arrested on the eve of the abrogation of Jammu and Kashmir’s special status and its bifurcation into Union Territories on August 5 last year.

In her application before the Supreme Court, Iltija said it has been filed praying for permission to amend the writ petition seeking inter alia a writ of habeas corpus.

“The amendment sought is to include grounds of challenge and additional prayers for challenging the orders of confirmation (dated February 26) and subsequent extensions (May 5 and July 31) of the detention order (of Mehbooba) impugned in the writ petition,” the application reads.

The writ petition has challenged Mehbooba’s detention on several grounds. It contends that the grounds and the dossier for detention are “stale, vague and that they suffer from non-application of mind, malice in law and that they violate the provisions of Section 8(3)(b) of the PSA”.

“The detention order based on stale grounds have become staler even more since the petition was filed and the respondent administration has continued to act with total non-application of mind and the malice in law has only been reinforced and aggravated in confirming and extending the order of detention for further periods,” it said.

Seeking permission to allow her to amend the section of the writ petition entitled “Prayers”, Iltija pleaded for issuance of the writ in the nature of habeas corpus commanding the respondents — the central and Jammu and Kashmir governments — to produce Mehbooba forthwith before the court for being set at liberty.

Pleading for direction or order quashing the impugned order of detention and subsequent extension orders, the application sought appropriate compensation to Mehbooba for the “illegal detention that she has suffered” and to award costs of the litigation to the petitioner.

“I have challenged her PSA order and the subsequent extensions to ensure her continued detention. Her detention is illegal and questionable in a democracy,” Iltija said, adding “a key opposition leader has been jailed for over a year without recourse to trial.”

She said the application has been filed to bring to the notice of the Supreme Court that the Jammu and Kashmir administration is yet to file a reply to its earlier order, which shows the respect the authorities have for courts.

“We are also bringing to notice of court the treatment the former chief minister has received where she has been deliberately kept out of bounds for party people and barred from attending to her duties as PDP president,” she said.

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INDIA

PM Modi reviews Covid-19 situation with CMs, representatives of 7 states with high caseload

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NEW DELHI: Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Wednesday reviewed the Covid-19 pandemic situation with chief ministers and other representatives of seven high-case-load states through video conference.

The virtual meeting, also attended by health ministers of these states, began in the evening.

These states are Maharashtra, Andhra Pradesh, Karnataka, Uttar Pradesh, Tamil Nadu, Delhi and Punjab, officials said, noting that more than 63 per of the active cases in the country are concentrated in these seven states.

They also account for 65.5 per cent of the total confirmed cases and 77 per cent of the total deaths, a statement had said earlier.

Along with the other five states, Punjab and Delhi have reported an increase in the number of cases being reported recently, they said, adding that Maharashtra, Punjab and Delhi are also reporting high mortality with more than two per cent case fatality rate (CFR).

Other than Punjab and Uttar Pradesh, the case positivity rate of these states has also been observed to be above the national average of 8.52 per cent.

The Centre, as per the statement, has been leading the fight against Covid-19 in effective collaboration and close coordination with the state and union territory governments.

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INDIA

Opposition parties request President Kovind not to give assent to contentious farm bills

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NEW DELHI: Opposition parties have requested President Ram Nath Kovind not to give his assent to the contentious farm bills, and conveyed to him that their passage in Rajya Sabha was “unconstitutional”, Ghulam Nabi Azad said on Wednesday.

The government should have consulted all parties, farmer leaders before bringing the farm bills, Azad said after meeting the President.

“The Constitution was undermined …We have given a representation to President that the farm bills have been passed unconstitutionally and he should return these bills,” Azad said.

The Farmer’s Produce Trade and Commerce (Promotion and Facilitation) Bill, 2020, the Farmers (Empowerment and Protection) Agreement of Price Assurance and Farm Services Bill, 2020 and the Essential Commodities (Amendment) Bill, 2020, have been passed by both Houses and await presidential assent.

There was a ruckus during the passage of two of the three farm bills in Rajya Sabha on Sunday following which eight Opposition MPs were suspended.

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