Modi Calls For Calm As 20 Killed In Delhi Riots

Congress Party workers shout slogans against Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi during a protest in Amritsar on February 26, 2020. NARINDER NANU / AFP.


Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi called for calm Wednesday after Delhi’s worst sectarian violence in decades left at least 20 people dead and calls for a military curfew.

This week’s battles between Hindus and Muslims have seen mobs armed with swords, guns and acid raze a northeastern district of the Indian capital.

The clashes, which also left almost 200 injured, were triggered by protests against a citizenship law seen by many critics as anti-Muslim and part of Modi’s Hindu nationalist agenda.

They exploded into brutal violence on Monday and Tuesday, with residents forced to flee their homes after seeing their homes destroyed and a mosque attacked.

“I appeal to my sisters and brothers of Delhi to maintain peace and brotherhood at all times. It is important… calm and normalcy is restored at the earliest,” Modi tweeted on Wednesday.

Delhi’s chief minister, Arvind Kejriwal, a political opponent, called for the army to be deployed and for a curfew to be imposed over the flashpoint areas.

“Police, despite all its efforts, (are) unable to control situation and instil confidence,” Kejriwal tweeted.

– Fear, anger –

Sunil Kumar, the director of the hospital where many of the wounded were taken, told AFP on Wednesday that almost 60 had gunshot injuries.

On Wednesday morning residents cleaned out the blackened interior of a trashed mosque, including a charred Koran, burned out during the violence in the Ashok Nagar area.

A video circulated on social media and verified by AFP showed men ripping off the muezzin’s loudspeaker on top of the mosque’s minaret and installing a Hindu religious flag.

Locals accused the police of doing nothing to help — or worse.

“We tried to make many calls to the police… that people are entering our neighbourhoods chanting ‘Jai Shree Ram’,” said Naeem Malik, referring to a popular Hindu chant.

“But police did not help us at all. We tried to save the women at the protest site but instead policemen started beating us up,” Malik said, showing wounds on his leg and hands.

Elsewhere a fire engine tried to put out blazes from the previous night, the air thick with smoke from still-smouldering cars, motorbikes, shops and homes.

“They say we are not Indians but we are Indians by blood,” Farhat, 22, a student in Islamic studies, said in her father’s shop as police looked on.

“We are afraid, we left our homes. There is no police in the streets at night, just during the day.”

The area is home to mostly poorer economic migrants living in many shanty neighbourhoods, and some fled on Wednesday ahead of more expected clashes.

“It is better to leave than to stick around here. Why would we want to die here?,” a tailor told AFP, adding that he was returning home to his village in northern India.

– ‘Politics of hate’ –

The unrest comes amid growing concerns at home and abroad about the direction of India and the future of its 200 million Muslims since Modi’s Hindu nationalist BJP swept to a second term last year.

Sonia Gandhi, president of the opposition Congress party, on Wednesday accused BJP figures of giving “inflammatory speeches spreading an atmosphere of hatred and fear”, including in Delhi city elections this month.

Congress “appeals to the people to reject the politics of hate,” Gandhi said, calling Home Minister Amit Shah, Modi’s close ally, “responsible” for the riots.

Since winning a second term, Modi’s government has revoked the partial autonomy of Kashmir, India’s only Muslim-majority state, and said it wants to conduct a nationwide citizens’ register to weed out “infiltrators”.

Together with the citizenship law, which fast-tracks claims for persecuted non-Muslim religious immigrants, this has stoked fears that Modi’s master plan is to remould India as a Hindu nation, something he denies.

The citizenship law has sparked months of nationwide protests as well as clashes that killed more than 25 people in December.

In recent weeks sit-ins, mostly by women, have sprung up.

The flare-up in violence occurred as US President Donald Trump visited India and held talks with Modi in Delhi on Tuesday. But Trump left as scheduled on Tuesday and his visit was not visibly interrupted by the violence.


Indian And Russian Leaders Praise Partnership

Indian And Russian Leaders Russian President, Vladimir Putin and the Indian Prime Minister, Narendra Modi, have strengthened relations between their countries by signing defence, energy and other deals.

President Putin announced that Russia would build a series of nuclear plants in India over the next two decades.

He said work on the first two reactors are now in preparation.

About $7 billion worth of deals have been signed during Mr Modi’s Russia trip, many of them defence related.

However, there has been no progress on an expected purchase by India of Russian s-400 missiles, Moscow’s most sophisticated aircraft defence system.

“I see in Russia a prominent partner in India’s economic transformation,” Mr Modi said after he and Mr Putin agreed to reduce visa requirements between the two countries.

Mr Modi was eager for Russia to participate in various infrastructure projects as his government strives to revamp India’s railway network and build nuclear energy plants to meet growing electricity needs.

They agreed on the location of a new Russian nuclear energy plant in the southern Indian State of Andhra Pradesh.

Russia is already constructing a nuclear plant in the nearby state of Tamil Nadu. Mr Modi said Russia had agreed to build a total of 12 over an unspecified timeframe.

Buhari Commits To 20% Emissions Cut At Conference Of Parties 21

Buhari President Muhammadu Buhari has announced Nigeria’s Intended National Determined Contributions, committing to emissions cut of 20 per cent. 

At the ongoing Conference of Parties 21 on Climate Change in Paris, President Buhari on Monday explained that Nigeria would meet this goal by making more use of natural gas and climate smart agriculture.

“There will also be more focus on energy efficiency measures and investment in renewable energy,” the Nigerian leader told the conference.

Providing Climate Finance

He asked developed countries to honour their promises in relation to providing climate finance to help developing countries including Nigeria adapt to and mitigate climate change.

President Buhari insisted that there must be constant review and monitor of The Paris Agreement, which he stressed must be legally binding and result orientated.

The Nigerian President is one of the 150 world leaders at the Conference of Parties 21 (COP21) on climate change.

President  Buhari is expected to also later in the day participate in the launching of the International Solar Alliance, an initiative of Indian Prime Minister, Narendra Modi.

The alliance, which is code-named the International Agency for Solar Policy and Application (INSPA), comprises all African nations located within the tropic of Cancer and tropic of Capricorn.

President Buhari will on Tuesday, also participate in the summit of the heads of state and government of the Lake Chad Basin Commission and Benin Republic which would dwell on Boko Haram and other issues on security.

He will also attend another event of the African Union, AU, tilted “Conference on Climate Change and African Solutions”.

Meanwhile, French authorities have elevated security level in the cities ahead of the meeting to prevent any eventuality.

The measure follows the recent devastating terror attacks in the capital city.


Two Indian Soldiers Killed In ‘Pakistan Firing’

indian soldiersThe Indian army says Pakistani forces have killed two of its soldiers in firing along the de facto border that divides Kashmir between the two countries.

The incident happened in the Gurez area of Bandipora district on Monday evening.

India and Pakistan have often accused each other of unprovoked firing along the disputed border.

A ceasefire agreed in 2003 remains in place, but the neighbours often accuse each other of violating it.

The latest incident came days before Indian Prime Minister, Narendra Modi’s scheduled visit to Indian-administered, Kashmir.

Kashmir, claimed by both countries in its entirety, has been a flash-point for more than 60 years and the South Asian rivals had fought two wars over the region.

India And Africa Must Work Together – Buhari

India And Africa Must Work Together - BuhariNigeria’s President, Muhammadu Buhari, says India and Africa must work together to uplift the lives of their people.

The President was addressing the third India Africa Summit which took place at the Indira Ghandi Stadium in the Indian capital, New Delhi.

He pledged that his administration was for the greater majority of humanity, observing that what India was doing was in the spirit of globalisation and the interest of the greater majority.

President Buhari called on the summit to fashion out a road map that would develop the continent and make Africa and India comparable to any western world.

The Indian Prime Minister , Mr Narendra Modi, pledged to continue to support Africa at all times.

He made a donation of 600 million dollars grant for which African countries should draw for development purposes.

President Buhari had earlier met with Chief Executive Officers (CEO) of Indian companies with interests in Nigeria, promising his administration’s commitment to maintaining macro-economic stability and improving investors’ confidence in Nigeria.

He said that the fall in oil prices would not deter his government from creating an enabling environment for businesses to thrive.

Buhari Reiterates Commitment To Recovering Stolen Funds

Muhammadu BuhariPresident Muhammadu Buhari has reaffirmed his resolute commitment to curbing corruption, plugging all loopholes in Nigeria’s public sector accounting and deploying available resources for the good of all Nigerians.

Addressing members of the Nigerian community in India on Wednesday, President Buhari said that his administration would continue to vigorously pursue the recovery of stolen funds and prosecution of persons who have been indicted for corrupt practices.

The President said that he expected the ongoing recoveries and prosecutions to serve as a deterrent to others who nurse the ambition of seeking public office solely for illegal personal gain.

President Buhari assured the gathering that his administration fully recognised the devastating consequences of the illegal diversion of public resources meant for national development into private bank accounts and was doing all within its powers to stop such diversions.

The President told the Nigerian community he was fully aware of the expectations of Nigerians who elected him on the platform of change, integrity, probity and accountability and was therefore doing his utmost best to meet those expectations.

President Buhari met with Nigerians in India after talks with the Indian Prime Minister, Mr Nedra Modi, that focused on deepening co-operations and using the potential of both countries to greater advantage.

Buhari Holds Bilateral Talks With Indian PM, Modi

Nigeria’s President, Muhammadu Buhari, has held talks with the Indian Prime Minister, Mr Narendra Modi, with focus on deepening co-operations and using the potential of both countries to greater advantage.

Briefing reporters on the outcome of the dialogue held on Wednesday, the Permanent Secretary, Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Danjuma Sheni, said that the discussion also centred on how India and Nigeria could assist each other to meet their aspiration of becoming members of an expanded United Nations Security Council.

Recovery Of Stolen Funds

President Buhari also met with the Nigerian community in India, promising to make Nigeria more secure, especially with regard to the health sector to avoid capital flight.

While addressing the President and other Nigerians at the meeting, the Acting High Commissioner in India, Shola Enikanoliaye, expressed optimism that Buhari’s administration would double effort to reduce capital flight to India, where over 40,000 Nigerian go to every year for medical attention.

In his speech, the President further reiterated his administration’s resolve to curb corruption and plug all loopholes in public sector accounting.

He vowed to sustain the recovery of stolen funds and prosecution of persons who had been indicted for corrupt practices.

This, he added, was to serve as a deterrent to others who nurse the ambition of seeking public office solely for illegal personal gains.

The high point of the meeting held at the Nigerian High Commission in Delhi was the revelation that no Nigerian living in India belongs to the ISIS terrorist group.

The President urged them to obey the laws of the land, promising to make life comfortable back home.

President Buhari arrived in India on Tuesday, where he is expected to participate in the 3rd summit of the India-Africa Forum slated to hold in the city of New Delhi.

According to statistics, over 10,000 Nigerians are living in India, with majority of them as students, with some of them especially from Kano, carting away academic laurels from Indian Universities.

Nigeria established its High Commission in 1962 to cater for the needs of Nigerians living in India.


President Buhari Arrives In India

BuhariNigeria’s President has arrived in India, where he is expected to participate in the 3rd summit of the India-Africa Forum slated to hold in the city of New Delhi.

President Muhammadu Buhari would hold bilateral talks with the Indian Prime Minister, Mr. Narendra Modi and other senior Indian government officials tomorrow (Wednesday), ahead of the opening of the summit on Thursday.

After the bilateral talks with the Indian Prime Minister, the President is scheduled to also meet with business executives of Indian companies, who have existing or prospective interests in Nigeria.

Issues expected to be discussed at the summit include climate change and international terrorism, measures aimed at boosting joint collaboration to accelerate the pace of socio-economic development in Africa and India, as well as efforts towards alleviation of poverty, disease and illiteracy.

President Buhari is scheduled to return to Abuja on Friday, October 30.

India Six-Year-Old Girl Raped By Staff Members

A sexual assault case was lodged indiaby a six-year-old schoolgirl who has been allegedly raped by two staff members at a prominent school in the southern India City of Bangalore.

The child was assaulted on July 2, but her parents discovered it only a few days after, when she complained of stomach ache and was taken to hospital.

According to BBC Hindi’s Imran Qureshi, the girl was allegedly raped by a security guard and a gym teacher, but with multiple guards and gym instructors in the school, they have been trying to identify the guilty.

As the news of the child’s rape became public, hundreds of parents gathered outside the school, protesting against the alleged insensitivity of the school management.

On Thursday, School Chairman, Rustom Kerawala, addressed a meeting of the parents where he offered his “sincere apologies” and promised “full cooperation” with the Police in investigation.

Scrutiny of sexual violence in India has grown since the 2012 gang rape and murder of a student on a Delhi bus, which led to a massive outrage in the country and forced the government to introduce tougher anti-rape laws, including the death penalty in rare cases.

The law has, however, failed to act as a deterrence. According to statistics from the National Crime Records Bureau for 2013, one rape was reported every 21 minutes in the country.

The new Prime Minister, Narendra Modi, has promised a zero tolerance approach on crimes against women, violence and discrimination.