State-run telecommunications company, BSNL, has ordered compulsory retirement of its employee and activist Rehana Fathima, who had attempted to enter the Lord Ayyappa temple at Sabarimala, for her “intentional” act of outraging the religious feelings of devotees through social media posts.

Fathima, a Telecom technician with the BSNL, was suspended from service following her arrest in November 2018 for allegedly hurting religious sentiments through her Facebook posts.

Condemning the decision, the activist said she would challenge the compulsory retirement order issued to her by the company at the appropriate forum.

Talking to reporters, she alleged political intervention behind the decision. In its order issued to Fathima, the company said it took the decision after conducting an internal inquiry on her conduct.

The company said there were many agitations against entry of women into the temple during the Sabarimala pilgrimage season in 2018 and during this period, Fathima A S, “being a woman BSNL employee conducted herself in a manner that had resulted in a criminal case being filed against her and her subsequent arrest.”

“An official working in BSNL is always expected to conduct in the best interests of BSNL. Hence, such acts on the part of Fathima A S are subversive of discipline and amount to misconduct,” the company said in its order issued to Fathima.

“I find that the acts on the part of Fathima were intentional and not accidental,” Deputy General Manager (Tax/ITA and Urban) said in the order.

The activist was arrested in Pathanamthitta in 2018 on a complaint that some of her Facebook posts hurt religious sentiments.

Considering the protest against her by devotees of Lord Ayyappa and BJP activists, the BSNL had earlier transferred her to the Palarivattom telephone exchange in the city where public contact is not required.

A controversy had erupted in Kerala after Fathima made an attempt to enter the Sabarimala temple when it was opened for monthly puja in October, 2018 following the Supreme Court order allowing entry of women in the age group of 10-50.

Fathima, who was also part of the ‘Kiss of Love’ movement in Kochi in 2014 against alleged moral policing, was among the two women who had reached the hilltop on October 19 but had to return before reaching the sanctum sanctorum due to massive protests by Ayyappa devotees.

Fathima and Hyderabad-based journalist Kavitha were taken to the hills under heavy police protection.

On September 28, 2018 the apex court had lifted the centuries-old ban on the entry of women of menstrual age into the shrine.

The decision was challenged by devotees.

The Supreme Court has formed a nine-judge Constitution bench headed by Chief Justice S A Bobde to hear the issue of allowing women and girls of all ages to enter Sabarimala temple, along with the other contentious issues of alleged discrimination against Muslim and Parsi women.

lso Read | Heavy crowd throngs Sabarimala Temple day after it opens for Mandala Pooja

Also Watch | Sabarimala temple opens for devotees

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A video of Muslims offering namaaz on the road is circulating on social media with the claim that this is how lockdown rules are being flouted in Delhi.

Facebook user “Ashish Mehta” posted the video on May 14, 2020, with a caption in Hindi which translates to, “This is the scene from a mosque in Patparganj where rules are being flouted openly. On the other hand, Arvind Kejriwal is asking for suggestions from people on what needs to be done. He should feel ashamed.”

The one-minute-four-second video looks like it has been shot from a running car. A background voice can be heard saying, “Look at this this should also stop don’t they have any fear of coronavirus? this is Patparganj industrial area and it is happening right in front of police”

The archived version of the post can be seen here.

India Today Anti Fake News War Room (AFWA) has found the viral post to be misleading. The video was shot and uploaded before the nationwide lockdown was imposed. The video was most probably shot on March 20, 2020, and was available on the Internet since March 21. Prime Minister Narendra Modi announced the nationwide lockdown on March 24, 2020, and it was imposed the following day.

Several Facebook users have posted the same video with the similar claim that Muslims are offering namaaz on the road in Delhi, flouting lockdown rules.

A YouTube channel named “Sirf News” had uploaded the same clip on May 13, 2020, with the caption, “Hundreds of Muslims offered namaz (salah) together near a mosque at the Patparganj Industrial Area in east Delhi on 13 May 2020, exposing themselves and others to the risk of contracting the highly infectious coronavirus disease (COVID). Innumerable instances of group prayers have been reported from across India in the course of the nationwide lockdown.”

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nXvNH6wzTpo

The archived version can be seen here.

AFWA investigation

After carefully listening to the background audio, which begins and ends abruptly, we suspected that the viral video must have been taken out from a longer clip.

With the help of InVID and reverse image search, we found a longer version of the viral video, which was uploaded by several users on social media even before lockdown and strict social distancing norms were imposed in the country.

Twitter user Rohtash Singh had posted the viral video on March 23, 2020.

A Facebook page named “Adarsh Vyavastha Nirbhik Sangvidhan” uploaded the longer version of the video. This clip is 1.27 minutes long. Here, at one point, the voice in the background says “today in 20th ” This video has been posted on the Facebook page on March 21, 2020.

The video can be seen here

Prime Minister Narendra Modi had announced the nationwide lockdown to control the spread of coronavirus on March 24, 2020, and it came into effect the following day.

Though we could not confirm exactly when the video was shot, but it was uploaded days before lockdown was imposed in India. Hence, the claim along with this particular video of Muslims praying on the road is wrong.

There, however, have been instances of worshippers flouting lockdown in different parts of the country.

ALSO READ | PM Modi says extremely anguished by migrant labourers’ deaths in Aurangabad rail accident

ALSO READ | Vizag gas leak: How events unfolded & why it happened | All you need to know

ALSO WATCH | Watch: Bodies of coronavirus victims lying next to patients in Mumbai’s Sion Hospital

ClaimMuslims offering namaaz in Patparganj, Delhi, violating Covid-19 lockdown rules.ConclusionThe incident of namaaz shown in the viral video was shot before lockdown was imposed in the country.

JHOOTH BOLE KAUVA KAATE

The number of crows determines the intensity of the lie.

  • 1 Crow: Half True
  • 2 Crows: Mostly lies
  • 3 Crows: Absolutely false
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With 206 fresh coronavirus cases, Rajasthan on Thursday broke its previous day record and reported its highest single-day spike in infections, taking the state’s total count to 4,534.

File image for representation: Reuters

With 206 fresh coronavirus cases, Rajasthan on Thursday broke its previous day record and reported its highest single-day spike in infections, with which the state’s total count reached 4,534.

Of the new cases, the maximum – 59 – were reported in Udaipur, followed by 36 new Covid-19 cases in Jodhpur, 22 in Jalore, 20 in Jaipur, 17 in Nagur, eight in Sirohi, seven in Ahmer, and five in Pali.

The total number of coronavirus cases in Rajasthan has now reached 4,534, out of which, 1,771 are active.

So far, 125 coronavirus patients have died in the state. This includes four Covid-19 deaths reported on Thursday.

As per the latest information by the Rajasthan government, 2,04,243 samples have been received by the state so far. Of these, 4,534 samples have tested positive for coronavirus and 1,97,269 samples have come out negative in the state. Meanwhile, 2,440 samples are under process.

IndiaToday.in has plenty of useful resources that can help you better understand the coronavirus pandemic and protect yourself. Read our comprehensive guide (with information on how the virus spreads, precautions and symptoms), watch an expert debunk myths, and access our dedicated coronavirus page.
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Union Home Minister Amit Shah on Thursday welcomed the special package announced by Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman for migrant labourers, the poor and farmers, saying the initiative is in consonance with the Modi government’s policy of ‘Sabka Saath, Sabka Vikas’.

In a series of tweets in Hindi, Shah said the Narendra Modi government has made every effort to help the farmers who feed the country with their hard work.

“I thank Prime Minister @narendramodi ji and Finance Minister @nsitharaman ji for the relief provided to the poor, farmers, labourers and middle class of the country, in keeping with the core motto of ‘Sabka Saath, Sabka Vikas’,” he said.

Appreciating the prime minister for giving two months’ free ration to the migrant labourers and the urban poor, he said the announcement will benefit eight crore people for which the government has earmarked Rs 3,500 crore.

“Due to this global pandemic, many migrant labourers living on rent have got problem, for this the Modi government will start a scheme under PMAY to provide affordable rent accommodation to these migrant labourers and poor homeless people living in the city. I heartily welcome this initiative,” he said.

The home minister said the central government has already given Rs 11,002 crore to the State Disaster Relief Funds of the states for the accommodation and food of the migrant workers.

Shah said by providing a loan of Rs 4,22,000 crore to three crore farmers and issuing 25 lakh new Kishan Credit Cards show the sensitivity of the Modi government and its commitment for the welfare of the farmers.

The home minister also welcomed the announcement of working capital loan worth Rs 5,000 crore for 50 lakh street-vendors rendered jobless by the lockdown and the government’s plans to allow inter-state portability of ration cards under the public distribution system (PDS) so as to allow migrant workers to use their cards anywhere in the country to get benefits.

The finance minister on Thursday announced a Rs 3.16-lakh crore package of free foodgrains for migrant workers, concessional credit to farmers and working capital loan for street vendors as part of the second tranche of fiscal stimulus to heal an economy hit hard by coronavirus lockdown.

At a news conference, Sitharaman said eight crore migrant workers will get 5 kgs of grains and 1 kg of pulses free for two months, while 50 lakh street vendors rendered jobless by the lockdown would be given a working capital loan of Rs 10,000 each.

As many as 2.5 crore farmers will be provided Rs 2 lakh crore of concessional credit through Kisan Credit Cards.

She also announced a Rs 70,000-crore boost to the housing sector through one-year extension of subsidised loan for affordable houses for the middle-income group with an annual income of Rs 6 lakh to Rs 18 lakh.

Sitharaman said the central government will bear Rs 3,500 crore cost of giving free foodgrain and pulses to migrant workers. State governments will be responsible for implementation, identification of migrants and full distribution.

LSO READ | PM Modi says extremely anguished by migrant labourers’ deaths in Aurangabad rail accident

ALSO READ | Vizag gas leak: How events unfolded & why it happened | All you need to know

ALSO WATCH | Watch: Bodies of coronavirus victims lying next to patients in Mumbai’s Sion Hospital

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