Lok Janshakti Party president Chirag Paswan spoke exclusively to The Daily Guardian and broke his silence on the entire Kangana Ranaut versus Shiv Sena row as well as the Sushant Singh Rajput case. He further outlined his plan for the upcoming monsoon session of Parliament.
Q: You’ve asked for President’s Rule in Maharashtra. Do you think the situation there is that bad?
A: The situation is in front of all of us to see. The way it has emerged and has manifested, people are scared. The behaviour meted out to Kangana Ranaut, who is an internationally acclaimed artist, is worrying and the reason behind this behaviour seems to be that she’s asked questions. A former Navy officer was beaten up because he forwarded a sketch of the CM. If people’s houses, offices are broken and they are manhandled for such trivial matters, then it is worrying. The way people are being targeted, look at the examples — the Navy officer was a North Indian, Kangana is a north Indian — then I am worried for the citizens of Bihar living in Maharashtra. We’ve seen what has happened with Sushant Singh Rajput, an individual from Bihar, that after his death, there was no chargesheet filed or proper investigation done for two whole months. The people who beat up the Navy officer were supporters of the ruling party and were out of jail within hours. If this goes on, how will the fear of law apply to criminals? They will see that this can be replicated. We will go, bash people up and then get released within hours, leading to a further increase in such cases. On one hand, you have still not been able to nail those who led to the cause of Sushant Singh Rajput’s death, while the culprits in a case that you have caught, where you have CCTV footage of the incident, could have been brought to justice and set a precedent to show that no one is above the law. Looking at all of this and more, this environment of fear that people are living under in Maharashtra, I don’t see any recourse other than President’s Rule.
Q: You’ve talked about how people from Bihar live in Maharashtra. Are you worried that they would be targeted?
A: There have been instances earlier of people from the north of India, especially Bihar and Uttar Pradesh, being targeted in Maharashtra. Right now, the Shiv Sena is in power, they are the elected representatives of Maharashtra, they have to provide a sense of security to the people living in their state. This sense of security should be extended to all people living in Maharashtra. You have the responsibility of being the saviour, do not turn into the attacker. I’m now sure people will be scared to even send private WhatsApp messages to each other because who knows when the ruling party will get angry at them. The beauty of democracy lies in asking questions, it is the responsibility of every aware citizen to ask questions. Even I ask questions from my government. It is the responsibility of the government to answer all your queries. They are not supposed to beat you up or demolish your office.
Q: Kangana Ranaut’s office was demolished, stating that it was illegally built, but gangster and terrorist Dawood Ibrahim’s house is still standing tall. How do you see this?
A: The answer lies in the question itself: why are people being targeted? Especially ones like Kangana Ranaut, who has very strongly put her words forward and has valiantly raised issues. I’d like to ask the Maharashtra government what they’re scared of. Why can’t you answer questions? What is it that you are trying to hide or are you worried that it would expose you? There is something that they’re trying to hide. After targeting Kangana, the government washed their hands off it and put it on the BMC. The BMC comes under the state government and is ruled by the same party that rules the state government. The ones who beat up the officer, which party are they from? If this goes on like this and they don’t set deterrents and precedents, then criminals will become brave and the common man will become scared. A government and society cannot function like this. For me, the biggest worry is the people from Bihar who live there. There are children from Bihar who study there. We’ve already seen what has happened with Sushant Singh Rajput. How the case was dragged on, the Maharashtra government floated different theories from nepotism to ‘groupism’, but the reality remains that even after 2 months you haven’t even filed an FIR, let alone nabbing someone. I can understand that the state government wanted their police force to solve the case but if you were not getting any clue or lead in the matter and when the entire world is clamouring for a CBI probe, then you should have handed it over to the CBI. Eventually, Bihar had to intervene and get the matter into the hands of the CBI. If this is how things keep going on, then who will trust the government? If the people lose trust in the government, and seeing the prevailing conditions, President’s Rule is the only way out.
Q: Doesn’t the kind of statements being made by senior leaders of the Shiv Sena show that they’ve turned to their old ways?
A: Who will a citizen of Maharashtra ask questions to? In the current circumstances, with the kind of answers being given to questions, the kind of language being used, especially for a woman like Kangana, who will even want to ask questions? Kangana is a huge name in her own right, the ex-Navy officer had a stature of his own, and if they are being treated like this, then how a common man from Bihar or anywhere would be treated, we can’t even fathom.
Q: The monsoon session is starting from Monday. Will the LJP raise these points there?
A: Of course, definitely. I wanted the CM of Maharashtra to come forward and say that “what has happened with Kangana is wrong and we will ensure no further incident takes place” or come forward for the former Navy officer and apologise while promising that no such harm in the future. But what we are seeing is that the culprits being nabbed are being released within a few hours. We expect the government to come forward and give a sense of security, but what is happening is the opposite. In the prevailing scenario, we will raise the point in Parliament and if it remains so, then I will formally ask the Central government to implement President’s Rule in Maharashtra.
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APPLE MAY LAUNCH M1X POWERED MACBOOK PRO, MAC MINI IN 2021’S Q4
Washington: Two MacBook Pro models and one Mac mini are expected to arrive within the fourth quarter of this year, with all three machines fueled by American tech giant Apple’s much-talked-about M1X chipset.
According to The Verge, reports suggest that both the M1X MacBook Pro models, which can likely include a 14-inch and a 16-inch version, alongside a Mac mini, will be launched in late October or early November. Since Apple did announce its M1-running MacBook products last year on November 10, this prediction could hold merit, but a lot can happen within the coming months. From what’s known, both the M1X MacBook Pro models are expected to feature mini-LED screens a bit like the M1 iPad Pro.
Unfortunately, Apple has run into supply issues with this particular component, and to mitigate those problems, the company has reportedly added another supplier to assist with production slowdowns.
Even then, Apple isn’t expected to start out production of the new portable Macs until late 2021, and since the Mac mini can’t be announced as a standalone product since it’ll deduct the spotlight from the MacBook Pro family, it’ll likely be unveiled alongside the 14-inch and 16-inch notebooks.
HERE’S WHY GOOGLE APP ON ANDROID PHONE KEEPS CRASHING
Washington: If you are an android user who is struggling with the Google app on your phone, then you are not the only one who is complaining and here’s the reason why.
The search engine giant usually keeps updating all its app and the ‘Google’ app is no different, but Mashable India reported that several people on the internet appear to be going through an annoying issue with the app which constantly makes it crash. Users on Twitter highlighted the issue until the officials from the Android Authority took note and figured out that an update to the app- ‘version 220.127.116.11.arm64 and 18.104.22.168’, is the reason behind the same.
Mashable India learnt that according to the note, there is “no easy way to check if you have an affected version of the app, but if you do have an affected version of the app, you will see repeated notifications that the app has stopped working.”
The issue is reportedly “reminiscent of a recent issue with Android System WebView, which caused Gmail and other Google apps to crash”.
There has been no official fix reported to fix this crash but the subsidiaries of Google have suggested that soft rebooting the phone can act as a potential remedy. Other suggestions include installing the latest beta version of the app, or reverting to a previous version.
Imran Khan’s comic reply exposes evasion
ISLAMABAD: Pakistan Prime Minister Imran Khan is being termed as the world’s leading anti-Islamophobia crusader as he has time and again refused to condemn China’s alleged human rights abuses against the Muslim-majority Uyghur minority in Xinjiang.
In an interview with ‘Axios on HBO’ on Sunday, when Khan was asked about his outspokenness about Islamophobia in Europe and the US but total silence on the genocide of Muslims in Western China, he replied, “This is not the case, according to them (Chinese authorities).” He has himself exposed the parochiality of his much-hyped anti-Islamophobia campaign. Khan, who just two years ago feigned ignorance on the ongoing religious persecution of Uyghur Muslims in China stating he “didn’t know much about it,” is today fully conversant with this issue.
“Whatever issues we have with the Chinese, we speak to them behind closed doors,” Khan said, appearing to imply that his country had taken up the issue with Beijing but doesn’t dare to take issue publically with China. He also admitted that China had been pouring cash into Pakistan, which is too critical of an alliance to challenge. “China has been one of the greatest friends to us in our most difficult times. When we were really struggling, when our economy was struggling, China came to our rescue,” he continued, noting that as a result of such financial assistance, “we respect the way they are.”
Xinjiang is a province in Communist China where an estimated two million Uyghurs and other Muslim minorities have been detained since 2016. They are believed to have been placed in detention centres across Xinjiang, according to the US State Department. Many former detainees allege they were subjected to attempted indoctrination, physical abuse, and even sterilisation.
The US government and several Western countries have labelled China’s actions in Xinjiang as genocide. But Khan said Beijing had denied reports of widespread abuses of Uyghur Muslims in private conversations with Islamabad. “We respect the way they are. How come this is such a big issue in the Western world? Why are the people of Kashmir ignored? It is much more relevant,” he said.
PM TRUDEAU FUELS ELECTION SPECULATION AFTER ‘TOXICITY’ BARB ON CANADIAN PARLIAMENT
OTTAWA: Prime Minister Justin Trudeau, while fuelling speculation regarding early polls, is portraying Parliament as a place of “toxicity” and “obstructionism” as opposed to his minority government’s agenda. The Canadian Broadcasting Corporation (CBC) reported that with key Bill being debated in the House of Commons, including Liberals’ budget implementation Bill, time is running short to get outstanding legislation passed. “We have seen a level of obstructionism and toxicity in the House that is of real concern,” Trudeau said outside of the steps of Rideau Cottage.
This comes after Trudeau returned from the Group of Seven (G7), NATO, and Canada-EU summits and is now quarantined under the country’s Covid-19 rules. The Canadian PM on Tuesday had said his government’s push to ban conversion therapy and enshrine the country’s aim to get to net-zero emissions by 2050 can happen with the help of the Bloc Quebecois and NDP. Trudeau said he welcomes parliamentary scrutiny of their work but found it troubling to see opposition MPs bring the head of the Public Health Agency of Canada to be publicly shamed. The opposition is demanding information on why two scientists were escorted from Canada’s highest security laboratory in Winnipeg two years ago and eventually fired. The issue has caused potential security concerns involving China.
WUHAN LAB’S CLASSIFIED INFO HAMPERING COVID ORIGIN SEARCH
A review of Wuhan Institute of Virology’s public records and internal guidelines have revealed the existence of unspecified classified projects and discussion of the lab’s responsibilities under China’s state secrets law, that hamper the search for the origins of the virus. This came amid mounting pressure over calls for a fresh probe into the origins of Covid-19.
According to Washington Post, some records mention protocols for disclosing information to foreigners and the sealing of some research reports for up to two decades. Tang Kaihong, a local representative of China’s National Administration for the Protection of State Secrets, discussed the national security risks of the institute’s research and warned of infiltration efforts by foreign spies, according to an account published by the Chinese Academy of Sciences.
The secrecy may help to explain why efforts to confirm or disprove the lab-leak theory of the pandemic’s origins have made little progress.
The US President had earlier ordered intelligence agencies to ‘redouble their efforts’ to determine the source of the virus, which is exactly the sort of operation the Wuhan lab prepared for more than a decade ago with the setting up of systems to handle confidential information.
The Wuhan lab has drawn global scrutiny because of its research on bat coronaviruses in the city where the pandemic began. The lab leak theory has recently become the subject of renewed public debate after several prominent scientists called for a full investigation into the origins of the virus.
As China’s threshold for the classification of secrets is lower than in some countries, the country’s State Secrets Law entails information on military and diplomatic affairs and on the country’s economic, scientific and social development to be confidential, reported Washington Post.
The topics of the Wuhan lab’s classified projects are unknown. Its guidelines on information disclosure say the institute shares details of its work with the public, except state secrets, research and work secrets, matters under investigation, and disclosures that would violate the law. This year, the lab distributed forms to students for sealing dissertations on confidential topics. One of the forms said “confidential” dissertations would be sealed for up to 10 years and “classified” ones for up to 20 years.
The hypothesis that the virus was accidentally leaked from the lab was largely disregarded by scientists in the early stages of the coronavirus outbreak. China has repeatedly denied that the lab was responsible for the outbreak.
GRAVE CONCERNS RAISED ABOUT UYGHUR PERSECUTION AT UN RIGHTS COUNCIL
Canada delivered a joint statement on behalf of 42 countries at the UN Humans Rights Council, on Tuesday, expressing grave concerns over the “Uyghur genocide” in China’s Xinjiang province,
During the UNHRC meeting on behalf of 40 countries, Canada’s Ambassador and Permanent Representative to the UN in Geneva Leslie Norton said, “We urge China to allow immediate, meaningful and unfettered access to Xinjiang for independent observers.” The statement was backed by major countries Germany, France, Italy, Japan, Australia, Britain, Spain and the United States, among others.
Norton also called on China to implement the Committee on the Elimination of Racial Discrimination’s Xinjiang-related recommendations, including ending the arbitrary detention of Uyghurs and other Muslim minorities. The remarks highlighted reports of torture or cruel, inhuman and degrading treatment or punishment, forced sterilisation, sexual and gender-based violence, and forced separation of children from their parents by authorities.
“We also share the concerns expressed by UN Special Procedures in their 29 March statement on alleged detention, forced labour and transfers of Uyghurs and members of other Muslim minorities and in a letter published by UN experts describing collective repression of religious and ethnic minorities,” the statement added.
The countries also urged China to allow immediate, meaningful and unfettered access to Xinjiang for independent observers, including the High Commissioner. Despite mounting evidence, China denies mistreating the Uyghurs and goes on to insist it is simply running “vocational training” centres designed to counter extremism. On Monday, UN High Commissioner for Human Rights Michelle Bachelet had said that she hopes to agree on terms with China for a visit this year to Xinjiang province, to look into reports of serious abuse against Uyghurs. This is the first time that UN rights official has suggested a timeline for the visit amid the growing pressure from the international community to secure access to Xinjiang.
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