The bent-toed gecko, named Cyrtodactylus urbanus, was earlier thought to be same as the Khasi Hills lizard
Guwahati, the largest city in the Northeast, has yielded a new species of lizard – the urban bent-toed gecko.
Jayaditya Purkayastha and Madhurima Das, two of the five herpetologists and researchers who made the discovery, had teamed up with four others to be the first to record the brown blotched Bengal tree frog from urban West Bengal last year.
The new species of lizard, zoologically named Cyrtodactylus urbanus, is markedly different in molecular structure, blotch and colour from the Cyrtodactylus guwahatiensis, or the Guwahati bent-toed gecko, that was discovered two years ago.
The study on the urban bent-toed gecko has been published in the latest edition of Zootaxa, a peer-reviewed scientific mega journal for animal taxonomists. Apart from Mr. Purkayastha and Ms. Das, the study was co-authored by Sanath Chandra Bohra, Mumbai-based Ishan Agarwal and Aaron M. Bauer, a global authority on geckos based in Pennsylvania, U.S.
“All bent-toed geckos in Northeast India were thought to be a single species, the Cyrtodactylus khasiensis found primarily in the Khasi Hills of Meghalaya. Photographs I had taken of the urban bent-toed from the Basistha area of Guwahati in 2011, when compared with other species, made global experts realise it was a different species,” Mr. Purkayastha told The Hindu.
Though the urban bent-toed gecko falls within the khasiensis group, it differs from other members of this group in mitochondrial sequence data as well as aspects of morphology such as the number and arrangement of certain pores in males, the number of mid-ventral scales and colour pattern.
The study on the urban bent-toed gecko also provided additional information on the Guwahati bent-toed gecko, the first of the two Cyrtodactylus endemic to the areas covered by the city and the fourth from Assam.
12th from Northeast
It was also the 12th recorded gecko from the Northeast.
“What this study tries to establish is that some urban spaces too have life forms that are often overlooked but in danger of being wiped out because of concrete development. More studies need to be done before time runs out for such life forms,” Mr. Purkayastha said, adding more than 50% of the species of bent-toed geckos on earth was described in the last decade.
Guwahati is home to 26 species of amphibians, 57 species of reptiles, 214 species of birds and 36 species of mammals. The city provides that edge for urban biodiversity to thrive because it encompasses 18 hills, eight reserve forests, two wildlife sanctuaries and a Ramsar site besides the Brahmaputra river.(The Hindu)
The novel coronavirus that causes the disease COVID-19 has spread from the site of the original outbreak in China to affect 75 countries around the world. If effective controls aren’t put into place, COIVID-19 could ultimately infect between 40% and 70% of the population worldwide in the coming year, according to Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health epidemiologist Marc Lipsitch.
Most of those cases would be mild, and some people might show no symptoms at all. But the prospect of being infected with a new virus can be frightening. The symptoms to look out for, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), are fever, coughing and shortness of breath. These symptoms usually appear between two days and two weeks of exposure to the virus.
In more serious cases of COVID-19, patients experience pneumonia, which means their lungs begin to fill with pockets of pus or fluid. This leads to intense shortness of breath and painful coughing.
Currently, testing for the virus that causes COVID-19 in the United States is limited to people with severe symptoms, according to Paul Biddinger, the director of the emergency preparedness research, evaluation and practice program at the Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health, who spoke in a university webcast March 2. This means that it isn’t appropriate to be tested at the first sign of a fever or sniffle. Seeking medical care for mild illness can also potentially transmit that illness, or lead to catching new illnesses in the hospital or clinic, Biddinger added.
If you become ill with these symptoms and live in or have traveled to an area where COVID-19 is spreading, which now includes parts of the U.S., the CDC recommends calling your doctor first rather than traveling to a clinic. Physicians work with state health departments and the CDC to determine who should be tested for the new virus. However, the CDC also recommends that people with COVI-19 or any respiratory illness monitor their symptoms carefully. Worsening shortness of breath is reason to seek medical care, particularly for older individuals or people with underlying health conditions. The CDC information page has more information on what to do if you are sick.
What to know about coronaviruses
Coronaviruses are types of viruses that typically affect the respiratory tracts of birds and mammals, including humans. Doctors associate them with the common cold, bronchitis, pneumonia, and severe acute respiratory syndrome (SARS), and they can also affect the gut.
These viruses are typically responsible for common colds more than serious diseases. However, coronaviruses are also behind some more severe outbreaks.
Over the last 70 years, scientists have found that coronaviruses can infect mice, rats, dogs, cats, turkeys, horses, pigs, and cattle. Sometimes, these animals can transmit coronaviruses to humans.
Stay informed with live updates on the current COVID-19 outbreak.
Most recently, authorities identified a new coronavirus outbreak in China that has now reached other countries. It has the name coronavirus disease 2019, or COVID-19.
In this article, we explain the different types of human coronaviruses, their symptoms, and how people transmit them. We also focus on three particularly dangerous diseases that have spread due to coronaviruses: COVID-19, SARS, and MERS.
Scientists first found evidence of human coronaviruses (HCoV) in the 1960s in the noses of people with the common cold. Two human coronaviruses are responsible for a large proportion of common colds: OC43 and 229E.
The name “coronavirus” comes from the crown-like projections on their surfaces. “Corona” in Latin means “halo” or “crown.”
Among humans, coronavirus infections most often occur during the winter months and early spring. People regularly become ill with a cold due to a coronavirus and may catch the same one about 4 months later.
This is because coronavirus antibodies do not last for a long time. Also, the antibodies for one strain of coronavirus may be ineffective against another one.
Cold- or flu-like symptoms usually set in from 2–4 days after a coronavirus infection and are typically mild. However, symptoms vary from person-to-person, and some forms of the virus can be fatal.
Scientists cannot easily cultivate human coronaviruses in the laboratory unlike the rhinovirus, which is another cause of the common cold. This makes it difficult to gauge the impact of the coronavirus on national economies and public health.
There is no cure, so treatments include self-care and over-the-counter (OTC) medication. People can take several steps, including:
resting and avoiding overexertion
drinking enough water
avoiding smoking and smoky areas
taking acetaminophen, ibuprofen, or naproxen for pain and fever
using a clean humidifier or cool mist vaporizer
A doctor can diagnose the virus responsible by taking a sample of respiratory fluids, such as mucus from the nose, or blood.
Coronaviruses belong to the subfamily Coronavirinae in the family Coronaviridae.
Different types of human coronaviruses vary in how severe the resulting disease becomes, and how far they can spread.
Doctors currently recognize seven types of coronavirus that can infect humans.
Rarer strains that cause more severe complications include MERS-CoV, which causes Middle East respiratory syndrome (MERS), and SARS-CoV, the virus responsible for severe acute respiratory syndrome (SARS).
In 2019, a dangerous new strain called SARS-CoV-2 started circulating, causing the disease COVID-19.
Limited research is available on how HCoV spreads from one person to the next.
However, researchers believe that the viruses transmit via fluids in the respiratory system, such as mucus.
Coronaviruses can spread in the following ways:
Coughing and sneezing without covering the mouth can disperse droplets into the air.
Touching or shaking hands with a person who has the virus can pass the virus between individuals.
Making contact with a surface or object that has the virus and then touching the nose, eyes, or mouth.
Some animal coronaviruses, such as feline coronavirus (FCoV), may spread through contact with feces. However, it is unclear whether this also applies to human coronaviruses.
The National Institutes of Health (NIH) suggest that several groups of people have the highest risk of developing complications due to COVID-19. These groups include:
people aged 65 years or older
women who are pregnant
Coronaviruses will infect most people at some time during their lifetime.
Coronaviruses can mutate effectively, which makes them so contagious.
To prevent transmission, people should stay at home and rest while symptoms are active. They should also avoid close contact with other people.
Covering the mouth and nose with a tissue or handkerchief while coughing or sneezing can also help prevent transmission. It is important to dispose of any tissues after use and maintain hygiene around the home.
In 2019, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) started monitoring the outbreak of a new coronavirus, SARS-CoV-2, which causes the respiratory illness now known as COVID-19. Authorities first identified the virus in Wuhan, China.
More than 74,000 people have contracted the virus in China. Health authorities have identified many other people with COVID-19 around the world, including many in the United States. On January 31, 2020, the virus passed from one person to another in the U.S.
Since then, this strain has been diagnosed in several U.S. residents. The CDC have advised that it is likely to spread to more people. COVID-19 has started causing disruption in at least 25 other countries.
The first people with COVID-19 had links to an animal and seafood market. This fact suggested that animals initially transmitted the virus to humans. However, people with a more recent diagnosis had no connections with or exposure to the market, confirming that humans can pass the virus to each other.
Information on the virus is scarce at present. In the past, respiratory conditions that develop from coronaviruses, such as SARS and MERS, have spread through close contacts.
On February 17, 2020, the Director-General of the WHO presented at a media briefing the following updates on how often the symptoms of COVID-19 are severe or fatal, using data from 44,000 people with a confirmed diagnosis:
Stage of severity
Rough percentage of people with COVID-19
Mild disease from which a person can recover
More than 80%
Severe disease, causing breathlessness and pneumonia
Critical disease, including septic shock, respiratory failure, and the failure of more than one organ
The Director-General also noted that the risk of serious complications increases with age. According to the WHO, few children get COVID-19, although they are still investigating the reasons for this.
However, while some viruses are highly contagious, it is less clear how rapidly coronaviruses will spread.
Symptoms vary from person-to-person with COVID-19. It may produce few or no symptoms. However, it can also lead to severe illness and may be fatal. Common symptoms include:
It may take 2–14 days for a person to notice symptoms after infection.
No vaccine is currently available for COVID-19. However, scientists have now replicated the virus. This could allow for early detection and treatment in people who have the virus but are not yet showing symptoms.
SARS was a contagious disease that developed after infection by the SARS-CoV coronavirus. Typically, it led to a life threatening form of pneumonia.
During November 2002, the virus started in the Guangdong Province in southern China, eventually reaching Hong Kong. From there, it rapidly spread around the world, causing infections in more than 24 countries.
SARS-CoV can infect both the upper and lower respiratory tracts.
The symptoms of SARS develop over the course of a week and start with a fever. Early on in the condition, people develop flu-like symptoms, such as:
Pneumonia, a severe lung infection, usually develops. At its most advanced stage, SARS causes failure of the lungs, heart, or liver.
According to the CDC, authorities marked 8,098 people as having contracted SARS. Of these, 774 infections were fatal. This equates to a mortality rate of 9.6%.
Complications were more likely in older adults, and half of all people over 65 years of age who became ill did not survive. Authorities eventually controlled SARS in July 2003.
MERS spread due to the coronavirus known as MERS-CoV. Scientists first recognized this severe respiratory illness in 2012 after it surfaced in Saudi Arabia. Since then, it has spread to other countries.
The virus has reached the U.S., while the largest outbreak outside the Arabian Peninsula occurred in South Korea in 2015.
Symptoms of MERS include fever, breathlessness, and coughing. The illness spreads through close contact with people who already have an infection. However, all cases of MERS have links to individuals recently returning from travel to the Arabian Peninsula.
A 2019 study on MERS found that the disease is fatal in 35.2% of people who contract it.
BOSTON —In the shadows of Boston’s old red-light district sex may not be for sale on the streets, but when 5 Investigates went undercover they found offers of sex for a fee happening behind closed doors.
The neon signs for massages glow in the windows of the second floor of 40 Harrison Ave. in the heart of Chinatown.
With cash in hand our producer hit two businesses, Diva Beauty Spa and Lotus Massage, on different nights.
When the massage ended, he said, “At a certain point with her hand on my private area she asked me if I wanted her to finish and made a hand gesture. In the old days you would see prostitutes on the street, now I just stepped into a doorway, went upstairs and found the same thing.”
Weeks later, two women were taken into custody and evidence was hauled out of Chinatown massage parlors during a Boston Police raid targeting alleged houses of prostitution and human trafficking.
Two of the businesses raided were part of our investigation at 40 Harrison Ave.
The detective sergeant who heads up the Boston Police Human Trafficking Unit told 5 Investigates police had received community complaints that people were going in not just for massages but to get illicit sex, illegal sex for a fee.
Investigators said in many cases what’s happening in Chinatown is more than just women working as prostitutes in massage parlors.
They believe it’s part of the underground sex trade involving human trafficking.
“Many of the women I’ve talked to who have come to this country have left very abusive situations back in China. They thought they were going to work in a restaurant or be domestic help and the next thing they know they’re involved in the sex trade,” said the detective.
The businesses and the services they offer can be easily found on websites popular with men on the hunt for sex.
Documents obtained by 5 Investigates show there’s been a history of problems at Diva Beauty Spa over the past few years. A complaint was filed in April with the state about alleged illegal sex at Diva Beauty Spa. They were also cited in 2012 for having an unlicensed masseuse.
The current owner of Lotus, Sophia Wang, was charged with sexual conduct for a fee back in 2008 and maintaining a house of prostitution in 2010. Both charges were dropped. Last year police obtained a search warrant after a massage therapist at Lotus told an undercover officer she would perform a sex act for $40.
Police don’t target the women providing the sex, who in most cases, are brought in from New York.
They focus on the business owners, the johns who provide the demand and pimps trafficking the women.
The head of the Boston Police Human Trafficking Unit said, “As you can imagine there’s a great demand and that’s the big problem. There’s a lot of money being made by pimps because guys are willing to pay two to three-hundred dollars for services at lunch.”
Both owners will be summonsed to court for maintaining houses of prostitution.
The state fined Lotus Massage last year for licensing and labor law issues. Diva Beauty Spa was issued a stop-work order last week, but that’s under appeal.
Because it’s difficult to prosecute these cases, city, state and federal investigators use a multi-pronged approach which includes looking at labor laws, immigration laws and inspecting the businesses.
Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights has filed an intervention in the Supreme Court on the Citizenship Amendment Act (CAA) and informed India’s Permanent Mission in Geneva about it, the Ministry of External Affairs said Tuesday, 3 March. The MEA asserted that the CAA is an internal matter of India and raised concerns about the sovereign right of the Indian Parliament to make laws.
This rare intervention by the topmost world body on human rights drew a strong response from the Ministry of External Affairs which argued that the the law was an internal matter of India. The controversial citizenship bill enacted on December 11, 2019, promises amnesty for undocumented migrants belonging to the non-Muslim faiths from Bangladesh, Afghanistan and Pakistan. Critics say that the law is discriminatory in essence.
“Our Permanent Mission in Geneva was informed yesterday evening by UN High Commissioner for Human Rights, Michelle Bachelet, that her office had filed an intervention application in the Supreme Court of India in respect to the 2019 Citizenship Amendment Act,” MEA Spokesperson Raveesh Kumar said. “We strongly believe that no foreign party has any locus standi on issues pertaining to India’s sovereignty,” he said.
“India is clear that the CAA is constitutionally valid and complies with all requirements of its constitutional values,” Kumar said.“It is reflective of our long standing national commitment in respect of human rights issues arising from the tragedy of the Partition of India,” he said.
“India is a democratic country governed by the rule of law. We all have utmost respect for and full trust in our independent judiciary. We are confident that our sound and legally sustainable position will be vindicated by the Supreme Court,” he said.
States Must Comply With Humanitarian Laws: UN HRC
According to the application, it seeks to provide the Supreme Court with an overview of international human rights norms and standards. It also provides a reminder to India on its stance on the “equal protection of the law” in 1949.
“It is remarkable that sixty years later, this very issue lies at the heart of this Honourable Court’s deliberations as it examines the Citizenship Amendment Act. This presents the Honourable Court with a historic and unique opportunity to give practical meaning to this fundamental right at the domestic level.”
The application recognises that while the issue of non-discrimination on nationality grounds falls outside the scope of the intervention, “it in no way implies that there are not human rights concerns in this respect.”
The Modi government is introducing a new law to fight this rising problem, affecting many thousands of boys, women and girls every year
For years India has remained the “top destination” for human trafficking in South Asia, according to the United Nations Office on Organized Crime (UNODC). This is a major problem in South Asian countries because of their porous borders, it says.
South Asian children continue to be trafficked for multiple forms of sexual exploitation. The abuse includes prostitution, sex tourism, child pornography, pedophilia – and to get them to work in factories, agriculture, domestic servitude and begging, for forced marriage, adoption, military recruitment and debt release.
According to the National Crime Records Bureau (NCRB) figures, the state of Bihar ranked third just behind Rajasthan and West Bengal in 2017, when 362 boys and 33 girls below 18 years of age were rescued from the clutches of traffickers.
In February 2018, the Indian Cabinet chaired by Prime Minister Narendra Modi, approved the Trafficking in Persons (Prevention, Protection and Rehabilitation) Bill for introduction in the parliament. The bill, if passed, will lead to the creation of a national anti-trafficking bureau, to comply with a December 2015 Supreme Court order that an investigative agency be established to counter human trafficking. It will criminalize aggravated forms of trafficking with the intent of preventing this crime, and rescuing and rehabilitating victims.
The NCRB reported that in 2016 the government had identified 22,955 victims of trafficking – a significant increase from 8,281 victims the previous year. The NCRB said about half of the victims (11,212) were subjected to forced labor, while 7,570 were exploited in sex trafficking, 3,824 exploited in an unspecified manner, and 349 victims were subject to forced marriages.
But the government did not specify the age, gender or nationality of victims who suffered this exploitation. It included a small number of other crimes involving another 162 victims.
Boys most affected
The Indian government identified 8,651 boys, 7,238 women, 5,532 girls, and 1,696 men as trafficking victims. The great majority were Indian – 22,932 victims, while the other people affected were Sri Lankans (38), Nepalis (38), Bangladeshis (36) and 73 from a range of other countries, such as Thailand and Uzbekistan.
Most of the statistics and data on trafficking is gathered in relation to cases of cross-border trafficking of women for sexual exploitation. So, there is less information on the extent of trafficking linked to other purposes and trafficking of boys. In some countries, it is a custom or ritual to detain trafficked boys for some form of labor or pleasure.
Some boys from Bihar and Uttar Pradesh are subjected to forced labor in embroidery factories in Nepal, while Burmese Rohingya, Sri Lankan Tamil, and other refugee populations continue to be vulnerable to sex trafficking and forced labor in India, according to US State Department estimates.
People are mostly trafficked from countries like Nepal and Bangladesh, Indian officials say. Often refugees are targeted by local people. Victims of natural disasters are also targeted. Displaced Rohingya were at great risk of human trafficking from the border of Myanmar and Bangladesh, experts said.
The scope of information available on trafficking in different countries varies widely. Bangladesh, India and Nepal compile limited data, while the lack of data in Bhutan and the Maldives makes it difficult to analyze trafficking patterns in those countries, researchers said.
Human trafficking was last addressed at the South Asia Association for Regional Cooperation, but SAARC is often sidetracked due to disputes between India and Pakistan over Kashmir, or accusations that Pakistan has interfered in Afghanistan.
The SAARC Convention on Preventing and Combating Trafficking in Women and Children for Prostitution was held in 2002, but few changes have occurred in South Asian nations due to the lack of legislation or enforcement of anti-trafficking initiatives.
Men or boys are usually considered an invisible population as the traditional discourse on human trafficking does not usually take them into account. They are usually seen as predators or buyers of women, who are considered to be more vulnerable than young men. Lack of opportunities or little support from families are usually given as reasons that led to young men becoming victims of human-trafficking rackets.
Experts say speedy trials need to be implemented and legal authorities given adequate funds and training to break the cycle of trafficking and rehabilitate the survivors, so they can access prompt and proper care, such as psychological counseling. (Asia Times)
NEW DELHI (AP) – At least 27 people were killed and 189 injured in three days of clashes in New Delhi that coincided with U.S. President Donald Trump’s first state visit to India, with the death toll expected to rise as hospitals continue to take in the wounded, authorities said Wednesday.
Shops, Muslim shrines and public vehicles were left smoldering from violence between Hindu mobs and Muslims protesting a new citizenship law that fast-tracks naturalization for foreign-born religious minorities of all major faiths in South Asia except Islam.
Twenty-four deaths were reported at two hospitals in New Delhi, officials said.
The clashes were the worst communal riots in the Indian capital in decades. The law’s passage in December earlier spurred massive protests across India that left 23 dead, many of them killed by police.
The dead in this week’s violence included a policeman and an intelligence bureau officer, and the government has banned public assembly in the affected areas.
Police spokesman M.S. Randhawa said 106 people were arrested for alleged involvement in the rioting.
Officials reported no new violence Wednesday as large police reinforcements patrolled the areas, where an uneasy calm prevailed.
National Security Adviser Ajit Doval toured the northeastern neighborhoods of Delhi where the rioting occurred, seeking to assure fear-stricken residents including a female student who complained that police had not protected them from mobs who vandalized the area and set shops and vehicles on fire.
While clashes wracked parts of the capital, Prime Minister Narendra Modi hosted a lavish reception for Trump, including a rally in his home state of Gujarat attended by more than 100,000 people and the signing of an agreement to purchase more than $3 billion of American military hardware.
On Wednesday, Modi broke his silence on the violence, tweeting that â€œpeace and harmony are central to (India’s) ethos. I appeal to my sisters and brothers of Delhi to maintain peace and brotherhood at all times.”
New Delhi’s top elected official, Chief Minister Arvind Kerjiwal, called for Modi’s home minister, Amit Shah, to send the army to ensure peace.
Police characterized the situation as tense but under control. Schools remained closed.
Sonia Gandhi, a leader of the Congress party, India’s main opposition group, called for Shah to resign. She accused Modi’s Hindu-nationalist Bharatiya Janata Party of creating an environment of hatred and its leaders of inciting violence with provocative speeches that sought to paint Muslim protesters against the citizenship law as anti-nationalists funded by Pakistan.
New Delhi’s High Court ordered the police to review videos of hate speeches allegedly made by three leaders of Modi’s party and decide whether to prosecute them, the Press Trust of India news agency reported.
The clashes escalated Tuesday, according to Rouf Khan, a resident of Mustafabad, an area in the capital’s northeast.
Khan said mobs with iron rods, bricks and bamboo sticks attacked the homes of Muslims while chanting “Jai Shri Ram,” or â€œVictory to Lord Ram,â€ the popular Hindu god of the religious epic â€œRamayana.â€
As Air Force One flew Trump and his delegation out of New Delhi late Tuesday, Muslim families huddled in a mosque in the city’s northeast, praying that Hindu mobs wouldn’t burn it down.
â€œAfter forcing their way inside the homes, they went on a rampage and started beating people and breaking household items,â€ Khan said of the mobs, adding that he and his family had to run and take shelter inside a mosque that he said was guarded by thousands of Muslim men.
â€œI donâ€™t know if our house was burned or not, but when we were running away we heard them asking people to pour kerosene and burn everything down,â€ Khan said.
Some of the dead had bullet wounds, according to Dr. Sunil Kumar, medical director of the Guru Teg Bahadur Hospital.
Others came to the hospital with gunshot and stab wounds and head injuries.
Among them was Mohammad Sameer, 17, who was being treated for a gunshot wound to his chest Wednesday at Guru Teg Bahadur Hospital.
Speaking to The Associated Press after having an operation, Sameer said he was standing on his family’s apartment terrace watching Hindu mobs enter Mustafabad when he was shot in the chest.
â€œWhen Sameer was shot, I took him on my shoulders and ran downstairs,” said the boy’s father, Mohammad Akram. â€œBut when the mob saw us, they beat me and my injured son. He was bleeding very badly. While they were beating with sticks, they kept on chanting â€˜Jai Shri Ramâ€™ slogans and threatened to barge inside our homes.â€
Akram said he managed to get his son into a vehicle, but they were stopped several times by Hindus demanding they pull their pants down to show whether they were circumcised before they managed to escape from the area and reach the emergency room. Muslims are generally circumcised, while Hindus are not.
In Kardampura, a Muslim-majority area where a youth was shot and killed on Monday, hundreds of police personnel in riot gear patrolled the area and asked people to stay indoors, while residents said they were living in fear.
â€œWe are scared and donâ€™t know where to go,â€ said one resident, Dr. Jeevan Ali Khan. â€œIf the government wanted, they could have stopped these riots.â€
Close by, black smoke still rose on Wednesday afternoon from a market that sold tires and second-hand car parts in Gokalpuri as fireman tried to douse the smoldering fire.
The violence drew sharp reactions from U.S. lawmakers, with Rep. Rashida Talib, a Democrat from Michigan, tweeting, â€œThis week, Trump visited India but the real story should be the communal violence targeting Muslims in Delhi right now.â€
Pakistani Prime Minister Imran Khan condemned the killing of Muslims, saying: â€œNow 200 million Muslims in India are being targeted. The world community must act now.”
Trump told reporters Tuesday that he had heard about the violence but had not discussed it with Modi. Instead, Trump gloated about his reception in India.
India has been rocked by violence since Parliament approved the citizenship law in December. Opponents have said the country is moving toward a religious citizenship test, but Trump declined to comment on it.
â€œI don’t want to discuss that. I want to leave that to India and hopefully they’re going to make the right decision for the people,â€ he said.
It was the worst religiously motivated violence in New Delhi since 1984, when Prime Minister Indira Gandhi was killed by her Sikh bodyguards, triggering a wave of riots that resulted in the deaths of more than 3,000 Sikhs in the capital and more than 8,000 nationwide.
In 1992, tens of thousands of Hindu extremists razed a 16th-century mosque in northern India, claiming that it stood on the birthplace of the Hindu god Rama. Nearly 2,000 people were killed across the country in the riots that followed.
The religious polarization that followed saw the right-wing Hindu Bharatiya Janata Party emerge as the single largest party in Indiaâ€™s Parliament. The Congress party and regional parties courted Muslim votes by portraying themselves as defenders of minority rights.
In 2002, the western Indian state of Gujarat erupted in violence when a train filled with Hindu pilgrims was attacked by a Muslim mob in a small town. A fire erupted – it remains unclear whether it was arson – and 60 Hindus burned to death. In retaliation, more than 1,000 people, mostly Muslims, were killed in the state.
Modi was Gujaratâ€™s chief minister at the time. He was accused of tacit support for the rampage against Muslims, but a court ultimately cleared him of wrongdoing. Still, for several years the U.S. included him on a travel ban. Hosting Trump in Gujarat was important symbolically for Modi.
Violent large-scale clashes between Hindus and Muslims last took place in New Delhi in 2014, months after Modi’s party came to power, in a largely poor neighborhood close to where this week’s rioting occurred.
A Muslim-owned shop was set on fire, Hindus pelted a mosque with stones, and dozens of angry Muslim men attacked Hindu homes. About three dozen people were injured.
Associated Press journalists Ashok Sharma and Shonal Ganguly in New Delhi, and Munir Ahmed in Islamabad, Pakistan, contributed to this report.
Aizwal: A Manipur based Gangte Students’ Organisation (GSO) on Thursday expressed concern over the deletion of the ‘Gangte’ tribe from Mizoram’s Scheduled Tribes list.
A statement issued by the organization said confusion was heightened when the Gangte tribe hitherto included under ‘Any Kuki tribe’ of the Schedules Tribe list 1950 and Scheduled Castes and Scheduled Tribes Lists (Modification) Order, 1956 was allegedly deleted from Mizoram’s tribe list as contended by the State Government following a resolution passed in the state Legislature in March 2011.
It said that the Gangte tribe having their own distinct social, cultural and ethnic identity, which have been maintained and preserved from time immemorial, have been recognized as distinct tribe in Manipur and elsewhere in the country.
The students’ body, headquartered in Manipur’s Churachandpur claimed that Gangte is a distinct ethnological tribe to denote a cohesive group of people who have a rich cultural heritage with a separate language of their own.
“Like other cognate tribes, the Gangte tribe, by virtue of being a Gangte first, has the freewill to choose Mizo or Kuki or Chin as a generic name for their ‘national entity. However, choosing any of Kuki/Chin/Mizo as their generic name/nomenclature does not warrant the ‘merger’ of Gangte tribe per se into that particular group or entity,” the statement issued by the organization president S. Paulallien Gangte said.
Upholding its stand for maintenance and preservation of Gangte as a distinct tribe, the student organisation said no individuals or organizations other than the Gangte apex bodies such as the Gangte Tribe Union (GTU), Gangte Youth Organisation (GYO), and Gangte Students’ Organisation (GSO) have the mandate to speak or act for and on behalf of the Gangte tribe.
It further appealed to all concerned to consult the Gangte associations on matter concerning the Gangte tribe and said that any decision arrived at concerning the tribe without the knowledge and consent of the associations will stand null and void.
In March 2011, the Mizoram Assembly had adopted a resolution recommending the Gangte tribe, which hitherto came under ‘Any Kuki tribes’ to be placed under ‘Mizo tribe’ of the Mizoram scheduled tribe list along with renaming of Zo ethnic tribe-Pawi into ‘Lai’.
Bengaluru: The software major has asked all its employees to work from their home until further notice amid an ongoing global crisis caused by deadly Coronavirus infection. German software giant SAP on February 20 shut down their offices in India for an “extensive sanitation” after two employees tested positive for swine flu (H1N1) at its Bangalore headquarters. The company has temporarily pulled the shutter in its headquarter in Bangalore along with other offices in Gurgaon and Mumbai. “Two SAP India employees based in Bangalore (RMZ Ecoworld office) have tested positive for the H1N1 virus. Detailed contact tracing that the infected colleagues may have come into contact with is underway,” said the company in a statement. The software major has asked all its employees to work from their home until further notice amid an ongoing global crisis caused by deadly Coronavirus infection. Advertisement Coronavirus virus has killed more than 2000 people in China and the number of infected cases stands at 75,685. The company in its statement has said that it will sanitise and fumigate the premises as a remedial measure to limit the spread of the infection and has also advised its staff to seek medical assistance if they or their family members have any symptoms of cold, cough with fever. However, the company has not informed whether these infected employees had any travel history. The H1N1 virus is a highly contagious zoonotic infection. Symptoms for this infection include fever, chills, and sore throat. The first case of this virus was reported in the United States in April 2009. The virus claimed lives of more than hundreds in 2014 and 2015 in India.
Expressing concerns over the rights of minorities in India the White House on Friday said that the US President will raise the issue of religious freedom with Prime Minister Narendra Modi during the prior’s scheduled visit to India next week. “President Donald Trump will talk about our shared tradition of democracy and religious freedom both in his public remarks and then certainly in private. He will raise these issues, particularly the religious freedom issue, which is extremely important to this administration,” a senior White House official told reporters in a conference call on Friday, February 21.
When asked about the new Citizenship (Amendment) Act and National Register of Citizens, the official said President trump will highlight both the issues. “I think the President will talk about these issues in his meetings with PM Modi and note that the world is looking to India to continue to uphold its democratic traditions, and respect for religious minorities,” The Indian Express quoted the official as saying. “Prime Minister Modi, in his first speech after winning the election last year, talked about how he would prioritise being inclusive of India’s religious minorities. And, certainly, the world looks to India to maintain religious liberty and equal treatment for all under the rule of law,” the official said, referring to a poll victory speech by PM Modi.
The official, noting that the US has immense respect for India and its democratic traditions and institutions, said that both the countries share the commitment in upholding the universal values and rule of law. “Of course, it’s in the Indian constitution — religious freedom, respect for religious minorities, and equal treatment of all religions. So this is something that is important to the President and I’m sure it will come up,” he added. The official pointed out that India is the birthplace of four major world religions, and said that the country has a strong democratic foundation. He further said that India is rich in religious, linguistic, and cultural diversity. Along with Trump, First Lady Melania Trump and daughter Ivanka will also be travelling to India on February 24 for two days. A 12-member delegation will be led by the trio to Ahmedabad, Agra, and New Delhi.