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    On April 9, the Supreme Court ordered the Centre to file within four weeks a status report on basic amenities provided to two Rohingya camps in Delhi’s Kalindi Kunj and Haryana’s Mewat. Over the next three days, The Indian Express visited four settlements, including these two in Delhi, Mewat and Faridabad, and found practically unliveable conditions — with no access to drinking water, education, healthcare or sanitation. What also came to light were tales of women being denied reproductive rights and children suffering from malnutrition and diarrhoea.

    Noor Fatima (23) is petrified of leaving her three-month-old daughter Shazia alone even for a minute, so she takes her everywhere — including when she has to defecate next to an open drain near her shanty in Shram Vihar.

    “She was a month-old when a rat bit her all over the face. I was bathing and when I came back, she was covered in blood and it was nibbling her face. Is this any way to live?” she asks.

    At the slum in Shaheen Bagh, 90 Rohingya Muslim families are spread across a cluster of privately-owned plots, which they have taken on rent. They have lived here since 2012, when, like a thousand others, they fled Myanmar because of religious persecution.

    Semi-naked children with protruding bellies run around, stepping on faeces, slush, used band-aids, dirty diapers, broken syringes and bloody gauze. In the midst of the settlement is a bluish mountain of medical waste, right next to one of two hand pumps put up by residents. While some Rohingya Muslims work as labourers, many search through garbage to sell items and earn a living.

    “We wash utensils at this pump, bathe here, and drink this water too. Everyone is sick here — breathing problems, malnourishment and stones. The children almost always have diarrhoea,” said Mohd Younis (28), who came to Delhi from Bangladesh in 2012, after fleeing the violence in Myanmar’s Rakhine State. SOURCE

    Special category status row: Statewide bandh in Andhra Pradesh, motorcycle set ablaze near RTC bus stand in Tirupati

    Andhra Pradesh Pratyeka Hoda Saadhana Samiti is observing a one-day statewide bandh today over the demand of Special Status for the state. Opposition parties such as the Yuvajana Shramika Rythu Congress Party (YSRCP), Jana Sena, Congress and the Left parties have also extended their support to the shutdown. A Motorcycle has been set ablaze near RTC bus stand in Tirupati during the statewide bandh in Andhra Pradesh.

    The Left parties are protesting on National Highway 16 which connects Kolkata and Chennai. In the meantime, Karnataka State Road Transport Corporation buses will operate only till Andhra Pradesh state border due to the statewide bandh. However, the Telugu Desam Party (TDP), which has been agitating for the Special Category Status and implementation of the provisions of the AP Reorganisation Act, has opposed it and not taking part in the protest.

    Reacting to the shutdown call, Chief Minister N Chandrababu Naidu said bandhs were not welcome as they hamper development.

    The Jagan Reddy-led YSRC hit back, accusing the Chief Minister of adopting 'double standards'. "When Naidu was the Opposition leader, he had called for bandhs on many occasions, but as a Chief Minister he is now opposing them (bandhs), saying they hinder development," YSRC political affairs committee member Ambati Rambabu said.

    Rambabu said Naidu should understand that bandh was a form of a democratic protest and he had no right to oppose it. The YSRC leader also alleged that the ruling TDP government was threatening those who were supporting the bandh, saying cases would be booked against them. "Why this intimidation? As long as they are peaceful, we will continue all forms of democratic protests," Rambabu added.

    Meanwhile, Andhra Pradesh Chief Minister N Chandrababu Naidu will observe a day-long hunger strike here on his birthday, April 20, in protest against the Centre's non-cooperation towards the state.

    During an event to mark Ambedkar Jayanti in Guntur district, the Chief Minister unveiled the designs of 'Ambedkar Smriti Van' to be built in Amravati spreading over 20 acres with a cost of Rs 100 crores.

    While addressing the gathering, he announced that he will sit on fast on his birthday i.e., April 20 as part of his fight over the Central government demanding to fulfill assurances made in Rajya Sabha including Special Category Status and provisions of Andhra Pradesh Reorganisation Act.
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    Samsung Galaxy Note 9 leaks, could be codenamed ‘Crown

    Samsung has already started working on the new Galaxy Note smartphone, expected to launch sometime this fall. Some details about the Galaxy Note 9 have surfaced online and a report by popular leaker Evan Blass reveals the codename the flagship device will carry. According to Blass, the Galaxy Note 9 is said to bear the codename ‘Crown’. The Galaxy Note 9 will succeed the Galaxy Note 8, which made its debut in August last year.

    This isn’t the first time we’re hearing that the Samsung’s Galaxy Note 9 codename is ‘Crown’. Last year, South Korean site The Investor reported that Samsung was developing the Galaxy Note 9 under the codename ‘Crown’. Samsung is calling the Galaxy Note 9 ‘Crown’ internally, which shows that the company wants to position its next flagship as the best phablet in the market. For example, the Galaxy Note 8 was codenamed ‘Baikal’ and this was used to highlight the phone’s gigantic edge-to-edge display. For those who’re not aware, Baikal is one of the largest lakes in Europe and Russia.

    The Galaxy Note 9 will hog all the limelight when it arrives later this year. After all, the flagship is likely going to compete with Apple’s 2018 iPhone X and Huawei’s next Mate smartphone. Expect the Galaxy Note 9 to feature the top-of-the-line spec sheet and features. The handset will use two different processors  – a Snapdragon 845 chipset and Samsung’s own Exynos processor — depending upon the market. Samsung Galaxy Note 9 will likely come with a set of dual cameras on the rear. Plus, of course, the Galaxy Note 9 will also feature the S-Pen stylus which can be used to take notes.

    Suresh Raina misses first IPL match for Chennai Super Kings after 158 games

    Suresh Raina missed his first match for Chennai Super Kings (CSK) on Sunday after featuring in 158 matches (including IPL and CPL). Raina joined the yellow brigade in 2008 and has played all the matches in every season until Sunday’s encounter against Kings XI Punjab (KXIP). This was after he sustained a calf muscle injury against Kolkata Knight Riders (KKR) at the Chepauk last week. However, Raina expressed hope that he will recover in time to feature in CSK’s next encounter on April 20th. Suresh Raina leads the charts of players with most consecutive Twenty20 games for a team with 158 matches. Virat Kohli follows him next with 144 for Royal Challengers Bangalore. MS Dhoni has played 124 for CSK.

    Reflecting on his injury, Raina spoke from the dugout during the match between KXIP and CSK and said, “There is still some soreness in my calf. Sometimes injuries happen. I missed one match for Gujarat Lions during the birth of my daughter. But I will work hard to get fit for the game on April 20.”

    Ruing the loss of Raina in CSK’s playing 11, coach Stephen Fleming had said that it was impossible to replace a player of Raina’s stature. “We can’t replace him (Raina), he’s one of the best performing players in the IPL and the highest run-scorer in the history (of the league). So we can’t replace him, we just got to find a way to minimise his loss,” Fleming said.

    “We’ve got good players in our set-up – Dhruv Shorey, Murali Vijay who’s played here last year. So there’s guys here with points to prove, with international experience, and if they get the chance they’ll do their best what Suresh Raina can do. (This is) an opportunity for someone else but you’d like to get someone like Suresh Raina back into your side as quick as possible,” cricbuzz quoted him saying.

    Isco Leads Real Madrid To Malaga Win With Cristiano Ronaldo, Gareth Bale Rested

    Cristiano Ronaldo and Gareth Bale were both rested and Real Madrid hardly broke sweat as they beat Malaga 2-1 on Sunday to climb to third in La Liga. Isco scored one and set up another at La Rosaleda in a comfortable victory for a much-changed Real side, following Wednesday's last-gasp Champions League win over Juventus. Diego Rolan grabbed a consolation for Malaga with the last kick of the game but the result was never in doubt. "Today I can be happy with a job well done," Real coach Zinedine Zidane said.

    As well as Bale and Ronaldo, Luka Modric and Raphael Varane were left out, with the all-important Champions League semi-final against Bayern Munich looming next week.

    But Isco did his chances of a start in Germany no harm at all by bending in a free-kick that both Ronaldo and Bale would have been proud of, and then generously teeing up Casemiro when he might easily have finished himself.

    After scoring his first Real goal in nine appearances against his former club, Isco held his hands up apologetically, and he enjoyed a warm reception from the Malaga fans when substituted in the second half.

    "He has always been important, despite what everyone thinks," Zidane said of Isco. "He is important, even if sometimes you think I have something else in my head."

    Victory means Los Blancos leapfrog Valencia, who were beaten by Barcelona on Saturday, but remain four points behind Atletico Madrid in second.

    Malaga, meanwhile, stay bottom and are all-but doomed, sitting 14 points behind 17th-placed Levante, who had earlier been beaten 3-0 by Atletico.

    Fernando Torres stole the show at the Wanda Metropolitano, marking the announcement of his Atletico departure with his 100th La Liga goal off the bench.

    Six days after confirming he will be leaving his boyhood club at the end of the season, Torres rolled back the years with a volleyed finish, reminiscent of the 34-year-old in his prime.

    "Fernando is an icon here," Atletico coach Diego Simeone said.

    US, Britain, France jointly strike Syria; Trump warns Russia, Iran

    The United States, Britain and France launched punitive military strikes against Bashar al-Assad's Syrian regime in response to its latest alleged chemical weapons atrocity, President Donald Trump announced Friday.

    Shortly after Trump began a White House address to announce the action, large explosions were heard in the Syrian capital Damascus, signalling a new chapter in a brutal seven-year-old civil war.

    "A short time ago, I ordered the United States armed forces to launch precision strikes on targets associated with the chemical weapons capabilities of Syrian dictator Bashar al-Assad," Trump said in a primetime televised speech to the nation.

    "A combined operation with the armed forces of France and the United Kingdom is now under way. We thank them both. This massacre was a significant escalation in a pattern of chemical weapons use by that very terrible regime."

    A US official said the strikes had targeted chemical production facilities. Another official said multiple types of bombs were used, and a variety of targets chosen.

    Trump also warned Russia and Iran not to stand by their ally in Damascus.

    "Russia must decide if it will continue down this dark path or if it will join with civilized nations as a force for stability and peace," he argued.

    The strikes had been expected since harrowing footage surfaced of the aftermath of the alleged toxic gas attack in the Damascus suburb of Douma, which took place a week ago, and Trump reacted in an emotional tweet.

    "Many dead, including women and children, in mindless CHEMICAL attack in Syria," he declared.

    "President Putin, Russia and Iran are responsible for backing Animal Assad. Big price to pay."

    Trump's anger and apparent determination was quickly matched by France's President Emmanuel Macron, who signed his country up for a joint response.

    Dadasaheb Phalke Award for Vinod Khanna, Sridevi gets best actress

    The 65th National Film Awards on Friday recognised the contribution of Vinod Khanna and Sridevi to the Indian cinema by honouring them post-humously with the Dadasaheb Phalke and best actress awards, respectively.

    Announcing Sridevi’s name, feature film jury head Shekhar Kapur said that the actor was the most deserving candidate. Khanna, one of the biggest stars of Hindi films in 1970s and 1980s, became the 49th recipient of Dadasaheb Phalke award, Indian cinema’s highest honour, in a befitting homage to the legend whose first death anniversary is barely a fortnight away. 

    Sridevi, whose filmography spanned across 50 years and in 300 films in languages such as Tamil, Telugu and Hindi, was recognised for her role of an angry mother seeking justice for her daughter in rape revenge drama, Mom. Her death, at the age of 54 in February this year, had shocked the country.

    Mr Kapur had worked with Sridevi in Mr India. “It was not because of the relationship we shared but because she was the most deserving candidate for her portrayal in Mom,” Mr Kapur said.

    Sridevi’s husband Boney Kapoor became emotional when told about her win. “Thank you. I just wish she was here today to see this,” Mr Kapoor told agencies.

    The jury recognised the diversity in Indian cinema by appreciating films belonging to different regional languages. Rima Das’ Assamese film Village Rockstars, about the music aspirations of a village girl, was named the best feature film, besides scoring awards for the best location sound recordist, editing and best child artiste (Bhanita Das).

    Jayaraj was named the best director and the best adapted screenplay writer for his Malayalam film Bhayanakam. It also won the best cinematography award.

    Riddhi Sen was recognised as the best actor for Kaushik Ganguly’s Nagarkirtan, which was also bagged awards in multiple categories, such as the best costume, makeup and special jury.

    Oscar-winning music composer A.R.Rahman swept the best music direction category by winning the best songs for the Tamil Film Kaatru Veliyidai and the best background music for the Hindi film Mom. Sinjar, made in Jasari language, won the Indira Gandhi award for the best debut film for director Pampally. It was also recognised as the best film in Jasari langauge.

    Blockbuster Baahubali: The Conclusion won national award for best popular film providing wholesome entertainment, besides being named for special effects and action direction. Ganesh Acharya won the choreography award for the Hindi film Toilet: Ek Prem Katha.

    Hindi film Newton, a dark comedy on Indian democracy, was named the best Hindi film and a special mention went to its actor Pankaj Tripathi for his portrayal of a cynical CRPF officer Atma Singh. Mr Kapur called Mr Tripathi’s portrayal one of the highlights of the Amit V. Masurkar-directed film.

    “This is a very important day for me, and an equally important award. I am thankful to the government for recognising my work. When I stepped out of my village, I had the desire of winning a national award someday. I am humbled,” Mr Tripathi told PTI.

    Nargis Dutt award for the best feature film on national integration went to the Marathi film Dhappa, while Malayalam film Aalorumkkam was recognised as the best film on social issues. Hindi film star Divya Dutta was named the best supporting actress for her role in Irada, which also bagged the award for the best film on environmental conservation/preservation.

    Allahabad HC orders CBI to arrest Kuldeep Sengar, present report on 2 May Updates Unnao rape case

    The CBI on Friday arrested BJP MLA Kuldeep Singh Sengar in connection with the alleged rape of a 17-year-old girl in Uttar Pradesh’s Unnao district last year and the custodial death of her father earlier this week.

    Sources said, “The central agency decided to arrest the MLA when he failed to satisfactorily reply to questions during interrogation. He was giving conflicting versions during questioning and remained uncooperative,”

    Sengar will be produced before a designated court on Monday. Earlier in the day, the Allahabad high court passed an order saying that the CBI should arrest the MLA and not just detain him and the probe agency should consider filing of an application for cancellation of bail granted to other accused in the case. The court also asked the CBI to present a status report in the case on May 2.

    In an early morning raid, a CBI team picked up Sengar from his residence at 4.30 am on Friday and took him to its local office in Lucknow. A seven-member team interrogated him while another team left for Unnao to record statements of the victim and her family who are putting up at a hotel, said sources. The CBI team also arrested six suspended police personnel from Unnao and brought them to Lucknow for questioning.

    CBI supreintendent of police Raghvendra Vats went to Makhi police station in Unnao and seized all case documents. Those arrested include CO Kunwar Singh, SO Ashok Kumar and other police personnel.

    Meanwhile, chief minister Yogi Adityanath, while talking on the Unnao rape case, reiterated that his government would follow a zero-tolerance policy on crime and corruption. He said that the guilty would not be spared.

    The Yogi government had recommended a CBI inquiry into the case on Thursday morning and the request was immediately accepted. The Prime Minister’s Office (PMO) is said to have intervened to hasten the formalities and the DoPT which works under the Prime Minister immediately issued a notification to ensure that the CBI reached the state capital on Thursday evening. The Yogi government had lodged a case of rape against Sengar but decided against arresting him, saying that a decision on taking him into custody will be taken by the CBI.

    Police acting as Congress puppet, BJP tells Karnataka poll panel chief

    The Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) on Tuesday complained to the Karnataka election panel’s chief that the police were acting like the ruling Congress’ “puppet,” harassing and implicating its party workers in criminal cases in the run up to the May 12 assembly polls.

    In its memorandum to Karnataka chief electoral officer Sanjiv Kumar, the saffron party also complained of ‘rigid and arbitrary” interpretation of the Model Code by poll panel’s officials and said it was creating problems for them.

    A BJP delegation, including Union ministers Prakash Javadekar and Ananthkumar and party general secretary P Muralidhar Rao met CEC and submitted the party’s memorandum to him.

    Accusing the police of harassing BJP workers and its others sympathisers, the memorandum said false cases were being lodged against them.

    “The police department is acting as a puppet of the ruling Congress party, arresting several right wing activists. No action has been taken against the biased officials,” it said.

    The BJP petition also referred to the implementation of the election code of conduct with “rigid and arbitrary interpretation.”

    It said the “Mushti Dhaanya” programme (collecting of fistful of food grains from farmers household), aimed at showing solidarity with farmers in distress, covering all 224 assembly constituencies, was to conclude with sharing food with them at Yeddyurappa’s residence.

    The government officials, however, restricted the party leaders from holding the event. The programme was launched by Prime Minister Narendra Modi at a public rally recently.

    “The programe had begun much before the announcement of elections. However, the Election Commission officials, under the guise of Model Code of Conduct, are restricting farmers from reaching the house of Yeddyurappa.

    “It is beyond our imagination why the EC is creating obstructions to the smooth conduct of the in-house programme,” the memorandum said.

    It also alleged that officials were preventing party workers from holding bike rally, though BJP is a cadre-based party having a large base of workers who voluntarily want to participate in the programmes.

    How The Government Is Playing A Duplicitous Game Over 'Padmavati'

    It is a fact that most of those who raged and fulminated and fatwa-ed against Salman Rushdie had never ploughed through The Satanic Verses. Geoffrey Robertson who defended Rushdie in the blasphemy case writes "As with the Red Queen from Alice in Wonderland, his fatwa was a case of sentence first and trial later." And so it is with Sanjay Leela Bhansali's Padmavati, a film that has not yet been released but has already become target practice for the likes of the Shree Rajput Karni Sena, issuing threats of violence and bodily injury.

    Mahipal Singh Makrana, the president of the Sena has threatened to do to Deepika Padukone, the lead actor in the film what "Lord Ram's brother did to Surpanakha." Her latest "provocation" was to say that nothing can stop the release of Padmavati. The film's sets have already been vandalised, not once, but twice. Bhansali himself was attacked while shooting in Jaipur. Thakur Abhishek Som, national president of the Akhil Bharatiya Kshatriya Yuva Mahasabha demanded that Padukone leave the country or face beheading. He announced a Rs 5 crore reward to anyone beheading Bhansali or Padukone though he offered no proof the Yuva Mahasabha has Rs 5 crore to spare. He has finally been booked but remains defiant. The Bajrang Dal has already protested against even showing the trailer of Padmavati in Meerut. The Karni Sena vandalised shops in a mall in Kota in Rajasthan where a theatre was screening the trailer. To add more drama the Shri Rajput Karni Sena has vowed to write letters of protest in their own blood. At least it's their own blood.

    It is time, yet again, for the lumpen fringe to relish their fifteen minutes of fame.

    Bollywood films often do not even pretend to pay lip service to logical accuracy. It's ludicrous that they are being held to demands of historical accuracy.
    At one level, one could ignore them, deny them the media oxygen they desperately crave as they posture before news cameras. But when the Uttar Pradesh government says they are concerned that the release of Padmavati could be provoke "serious law and order problems" it means the fringe has very much entered the mainstream. "The release of the film of December 1 is not in the interest of peace and order," the Uttar Pradesh Home Department has told the Union Information and Broadcasting ministry. The Sarv Samaj Samiti blocked the gates of Chittorgarh shouting "Jai Jai Rani Padmini." The CBFC has returned Padmavati's application for certification citing "technical difficulties" which will probably delay its release.

    But at least the Karni Sena and its cohorts are unequivocal about their demands, bloodthirsty as some of those demands are – heads and noses.

    The government is playing a far more duplicitous game – talking pieties about law and order on one hand, yet indulging and coddling those threatening to disrupt law and order.

    Haryana minister Vipul Goel has said "glamourising Alauddin Khilji's character" was "like praising those who carry out acid attacks on girls."And it does not really help matters when highway minister Nitin Gadkari says "People have a right to be offended... filmmakers should not distort historical facts." And he's added that freedom of expression is not absolute.

    Of course, people have a right to be offended. It's probably the right exercised with most gusto in India these days. But to be offended means to not read a book, to not watch a film, to not listen to a song. To be offended can even mean a call to boycott a film. To be offended cannot mean to vandalise theatres, kill writers, ransack movie sets, and threaten to maim and behead people. And every time the government does not put that squarely front and centre, every time it says the law must be followed and then qualifies it with a "but filmmakers should show sensitivity" the vandals, the so-called fringe see it as a green signal, a wink and nudge. It is grotesque that Sanjay Leela Bhansali needs to show sensitivity in his film but the Karni Sena can threaten to cut off someone's nose in real life.

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