News Wrap


Security forces have killed over 200 militants in 2020. About 190 militants were killed in Kashmir valley, and the rest in the Jammu region. Indian security forces in an encounter on 01 November 2020 killed the top, Hazbul Mujahideen commander (Dr) Saifullah Mir, who was behind the recent killing of three Bharatya Janata Party activists in Kulgaon district of south Kashmir, An aide of Saifullah was captured alive from the encounter spot. Sailfullah was a school drop out, and never joined the medical profession. He wed to provide first aid to terrorist injured in encounters.

Health Disaster
The Corona-virus diseases has affected around 4000 people on a daily average in West Bengal. Members of the Global Advisory Committee (GAB) headed by Nobel laureate economist Abhijit Vinayak Banerjee are upset with the surge in number of Covid cases and deaths. Seasonal flu ahead of winter, fireworks during Kalipuja and Diwali, return of local trains, low tests, political programs, and the greater movement of people in the holiday season of Christmas and New Year, which are important socially and commercially, have triggered the pandemic, in west Bengal and Kolkata. India' Covid-19 epidemic crossed 8.5 million cases and 150,000 deaths.

Kabul University Killing
On 02 November 2020, gunmen stormed Kabul University, as it hosted a book fair attended by the Iranian ambassador Bahador Naroozi and some 40 Iranian publishers. The Taliban has issued a statement denying they took part in the assault. The insurgents are continuing peace talks with the US backed Afghan government. Militants armed with pistols and Kalashnikor assault rifles fired at a University school, with some 17,000 students.

Religious Sensibility In France
Mid October 2020, a teacher Samuel Paty, who had shown cartoons of the Prophet Muhammad in a lesson on freedom of expression, was murdered in Paris. A Tunisian, Brahim Assuiaoui, aged 21 years, entered the Notre Dame basilica in Nice, holding a knife with a seven inch blade on 29 October 2020 morning. He decapitated a 60 year old woman praying inside, and slit the throat of the church sexton, before stabbing another woman. All three died. Aouissaoui was shot by police but survived. In France, a trial has opened in September 2020, for people linked to the 2015 attacks, at "Charlie Hebdo" magazine office, and a kosher supermarket by gunmen who claimed allegiance to the Islamic State group and al Qaida, French authorities have attributed to Muslim extremists, the armed attacks in France, since September 2020. The attacks come amid a growing furor over caricatures of the Propheet Muhammad, that were republished by the satirical newspaper "Charlie Hebdo", renewing vociferous debate in France, and the Muslim world, over the depictions, that Muslims consider offensive, but are protected by French free speech laws. The French president Emmanuel Macron has taken a firm stand against the Islamism. There are plans to try and disband Muslim groups, seen as peddling dangerous radical views, or with foreign financing. At an orthodox church in Lyon, on 31 October 2020, a Greek Orthodox priest was shot and injured. The assailant then fled.

President Emmanvel Macron has forged ahead with effort to rid Islam in France of labels as "separatism". Islam is the second religion in France. With an estimated five million Muslims, France has the largest Muslim population, in western Europe.

Vol. 53, No. 29, Jan 17 - 23, 2021