An 85-year-old man set himself on fire in southern India to protest what he perceived as the central government’s efforts to “impose” Hindi – a language that is primarily spoken in the north – as the national language, police said. MV Thangavel demonstrated on Saturday (November 26, 2022), in front of Tamil Nadu’s ruling DMK party office, of which he was a member, raising slogans against “Hindi imposition.” Then, he reportedly set himself on fire after dousing himself with petrol. Although the party workers and the public tried to save the elderly man, he died of self-immolation at the scene, according to NDTV. “Modi government stop imposing Hindi. Why do we need to choose Hindi over our literature-rich Tamil... it will affect future of our youth.” – the placard he was carrying read. Read more: Indian police detain man accused of killing Australian woman because ‘her dog barked at him’ In the 1960s, the then-ruling Congress party sought to make Hindi the nation’s official tongue, inciting enduring resentment in southern India. The majority of the languages spoken in southern India are Dravidian, a language family different from the Indo-European that includes Hindi. Just under 44 percent of Indian citizens, or less than half, speak Hindi, according to the census conducted in 2011. While state administrations in India use regional languages, English is the country’s primary official language. However, a group of lawmakers led by India’s Interior Minister Amit Shah reportedly proposed making Hindi the nation’s official language last month, including for technical education like engineering and medicine. Read more: India's tribespeople seek formal recognition of ancient nature-worshipping faith The usage of Indian languages was encouraged by Prime Minister Narendra Modi, who described the use of English as having a “slave mindset.” But opponents accuse his administration of trying to impose Hindi over the southern Indian languages, causing anger in south.
Qatari soccer fans hit back at Germany’s World Cup protest on Sunday by holding pictures of former Germany player Mesut Özil while covering their mouths during the match against Spain. A group of fans held copies of a hand-drawn sketch of Özil, while others showed pictures of him in action for Germany. The clearly coordinated display was apparently in response to Germany players’ gesture on Wednesday, when they covered their mouths to protest against FIFA following the governing body’s clampdown on the “One Love” armband. That gesture was a response to FIFA’s effective nixing of seven European teams’ plans to wear armbands that were seen as a rebuke to host nation Qatar and its human rights record. Read more: FIFA World Cup 2022: Germany earn crucial late draw against Spain Qatari fans appeared Sunday to reference Germany’s own questionable treatment of Özil, the former player who quit the national team after becoming a target of racist abuse and a scapegoat for Germany’s early World Cup exit in 2018. Özil, a German-born descendant of Turkish immigrants, accused the country's soccer federation, fans and media of racism in their treatment of people with Turkish roots. “I am German when we win, but I am an immigrant when we lose,” Özil said at the time. The abuse started before the 2018 World Cup when Özil and Germany teammate Ilkay Gündogan posed for photographs with Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan. Gündogan also has a Turkish family background. He was subsequently jeered by German supporters during a World Cup warmup game. The abuse of Özil, in particular, increased after the tournament, helped by incendiary statements from Germany team manager Oliver Bierhoff and the federation president at the time, Reinhard Grindel. Read more: FIFA World Cup 2022: Croatia down Canada 4-1 Grindel later said he should have given Özil more support. After playing in Sunday’s game at Al Bayt Stadium, which Germany and Spain drew 1-1, Gündogan said he just wanted to focus on soccer from now on. “Honestly, my point of view is: now the politics are finished,” Gündogan said. “The country of Qatar is very proud to host the World Cup, also the first Muslim country, and I come from a Muslim family. So the Muslim community is proud. So I think now it’s just about football.”
Employees at the world’s biggest Apple iPhone factory were beaten and detained in protests over pay amid anti-virus controls, according to witnesses and videos on social media Wednesday, as tensions mount over Chinese efforts to combat a renewed rise in infections. Videos that said they were filmed at the factory in the central city of Zhengzhou showed thousands of people in masks facing rows of police in white protective suits with plastic riot shields. Police kicked and hit a protester with clubs after he grabbed a metal pole that had been used to strike him. Frustration with restrictions in areas throughout China that have closed shops and offices and confined millions of people to their homes has boiled over into protests. Videos on social media show residents tearing down barricades set up to enforce neighborhood closures. The ruling Communist Party promised this month to try to reduce disruptions by shortening quarantines and making other changes. But the party is sticking to a “zero-COVID” strategy that aims to isolate every case while other governments relax controls and try to live with the virus. Last month, thousands of employees walked out of the iPhone factory operated by Taiwan’s Foxconn Technology Group over complaints about unsafe working conditions following virus cases. A protest erupted Tuesday over complaints Foxconn changed conditions for new workers who were attracted by offers of higher pay, according to Li Sanshan, an employee. Read: China reports 10,000 new virus cases, capital closes parks Li said he quit a catering job in response to advertising that promised 25,000 yuan ($3,500) for two months of work. Li, 28, said workers were angry after being told they had to work two additional months at lower pay to receive the 25,000 yuan. “Foxconn released very tempting recruiting offers, and workers from all parts of the country came, only to find they were being made fools of,” Li said. Foxconn, headquartered in New Taipei City, Taiwan, said in a statement the “work allowance” has “always been fulfilled based on contractual obligation.” Foxconn denied what it said were comments online that employees with the virus lived in dormitories at the Zhengzhou factory. It said facilities were disinfected and passed government checks before employees moved in. “Regarding any violence, the company will continue to communicate with employees and the government to prevent similar incidents from happening again,” the company statement said. Protests have flared as the number and severity of outbreaks has risen across China, prompting authorities in areas including Beijing, the capital, to close neighborhoods and impose other restrictions that residents say go beyond what the national government allows. More than 253,000 cases have been found in the past three weeks and the daily average is increasing, the government reported Tuesday. This week, authorities reported China’s first COVID-19 deaths in six months. Read: WHO: World coronavirus cases fall 24%; deaths rise in Asia On Wednesday, the government reported 28,883 cases found over the past 24 hours, including 26,242 with no symptoms. Henan province, where Zhengzhou is the capital, reported 851 in total. The government will enforce its anti-COVID policy while “resolutely overcoming the mindset of paralysis and laxity,” said a spokesman for the National Health Commission, Mi Feng. The city government of Guangzhou, the site of the biggest outbreaks, announced it opened 19 temporary hospitals with a total of almost 70,000 beds for coronavirus patients. The city announced plans last week to build hospital and quarantine facilities for 250,000 people. Also Wednesday, Beijing opened a hospital in an exhibition center and suspended access to Beijing International Studies University was suspended after a virus case was found there. The capital earlier closed shopping malls and office buildings and suspended access to some apartment compounds. Foxconn said earlier its Zhengzhou factory uses “closed-loop management,” which means employees live at their workplace with no outside contact. The protest lasted through Wednesday morning as thousands of workers gathered outside dormitories and confronted factory security workers, according to Li. Other videos showed protesters spraying fire extinguishers toward police. A man who identified himself as the Communist Party secretary in charge of community services was shown in a video posted on the Sina Weibo social media platform urging protesters to withdraw. He assured them their demands would be met. Read: New coronavirus mutant raises concerns in India and beyond Apple Inc. has warned deliveries of its new iPhone 14 model would be delayed due to anti-disease controls at the factory. The city government suspended access to an industrial zone that surrounds the factory, which Foxconn has said employs 200,000 people. News reports said the ruling party had ordered “grassroots cadres” to fill in for Foxconn employees in Zhengzhou who left. The company didn’t respond to requests for confirmation and details about that arrangement.
The students of Institute of Fine Arts of Chattogram University (CU) Wednesday locked its main gate demanding shifting of the institute to the university’s main campus. The students took position at the main gate of the institute in the city around 11am today. All academic activities have come to a standstill at the institute following their protest. Read more: 22-point demand: CU fine arts students on indefinite class boycott No teachers’ bus and staff could enter the campus since morning due to the protest. The students have been staging demonstrations since November 2 to press home their 22-point demand, including renovation of dormitories and the library.
Law enforcing agencies will perform their duties if anyone causes public sufferings in the name of protests by blocking roads and vandalism, said Home Minister Asaduzzaman Khan on Thursday. The Home Minister referred to a recent statement by Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina that any party can hold their activities peacefully and there is no objection from the government. But, the minister said, action will be taken if there is any vandalism or public sufferings. “The Prime Minister believes that if the political activities are conducted normally, parties will hold meetings and talk about their demands. Our government does not intend to obstruct and are not obstructing such activities,” the minister said. read more: Don’t resort to violence in name of movement: PM Hasina warns BNP The minister made the remarks as he talked to journalists in a dialogue organised by Bangladesh Secretariat Reporters Forum (BSRF) at the secretariat on Thursday. He said that in case of any violent act, cases will be filed as a normal procedure. “Yesterday, a former justice's car was vandalised and he filed a case following the normal procedure. There is no need to find the smell of politics here,” said the minister. When asked if old political cases are being reopened against the opposition leaders, he said, ”There is a backlog of cases that need to be disposed of. We cannot keep old cases pending for decades, so nothing is being done here.” Read more: Attack on ex-judge Manik: 50 BNP men sued He said Awami League has always believed a party has to come to power through the people's mandate, and if any kind of untoward incident occurs or there are attempts to do so, the security forces will act.
Motijheel and its adjacent areas witnessed a huge traffic jam on Tuesday morning as workers of a RMG factory blocked roads protesting relocation of their factory to Keraniganj. According to the workers, the authority of Olio Apparels Ltd has relocated the factory from North Kamalapur area in the capital to Keraniganj without any prior notice. At least 400 to 500 workers put up barricade at different points in Motijheel area at 8:30 am, hampering movement of vehicles, said Yasir Arafat, officer-in-Charge of Motijheel police station.
A section of Islami University (IU) students carried out a protest rally demanding punishment of a Bangladesh Chhatra League (BCL) activist for allegedly harassing a female student and attacking her male friend on Thursday. The alleged harasser is Mehedi Hasan Hafiz, a student of the 2015-16 session of Political Science department and a follower of BCL IU unit General Secretary Nasim Ahmed Joy. According to eyewitnesses, victim student Popy went to the main gate area of the university with a male friend, where she was interrogated by Hafiz and some of his associates. At one point, Hafiz harassed Popy and beat up her friend. Read: IU student found dead in Meherpur The altercation stemmed from taking control of a hall seat. Using Hafiz’s reference, a student named Sayma got allotted to the room where Popy was living. As Sayma tried to get hold of a window seat, a heated exchange of words ensued between the two, which later resulted in Hafiz’s intervention. Hafiz denied his involvement when asked about the incident. “I don’t know the girl (Popy). An issue arose when a junior student did some foul talk. The allegation of managing the hall seat against me is false and fabricated,” said Hafiz.
Chadian security forces opened fire on anti-government demonstrators in the country’s two largest cities Thursday killing at least 60 people, the government spokesman and a morgue official said. Authorities imposed a curfew after the violence, which came amid demonstrations in the central African nation against interim leader Mahamat Idriss Deby’s two-year extension of power. Chadian government spokesman Aziz Mahamat Saleh said 30 people were dead in the capital, N’Djamena. Organizers of the march, though, placed the toll higher, at 40. Another 32 protesters were killed in Chad’s second-largest city, Moundou, according to an official in the city’s morgue. The official, who spoke on condition of anonymity due to the sensitivity of the matter, said more than 60 people were wounded. Other protests were held in the towns of Doba and Sarh. Read: 15 killed, 50 injured in anti-UN protests in Congo’s east These were the deadliest anti-government protests since Deby took over last year in the wake of his father’s assassination after more than three decades in power. Officials said the late President Idriss Deby Itno was killed by rebels while visiting Chadian troops on the battlefield in the country’s north in April 2021. At the main reference hospital in N’Djamena, overwhelmed doctors tended to scores of people with gunshot wounds. Some of the wounded were taken to Liberty Hospital by army vehicles and bore signs of having been tortured, witnesses said. Witnesses say demonstrators began to blow whistles at 3 a.m. all over the capital of N’Djamena. Police fired tear gas at the crowds but the demonstrators continued advancing and their numbers grew. It was then that security forces opened fire, leaving protesters struggling to gather the dead from the scene amid the tear gas. Among those killed was a Chadian journalist, Narcisse Oredje, who worked for CEFOD radio and was struck by a bullet.
Intern doctors of Rajshahi Medical College Hospital (RMCH) Thursday withdrew their indefinite strike against Rajshahi University (RU) students' "attack on them" over the death of a fellow student. The doctors called off the strike after a meeting with RMCH Director Brigadier General Shamim Yazdani. During the meeting, Brigadier General Shamim said: "Our acting administrative officer Anwar Hossain filed a complaint against 300 unnamed students of RU at Rajpara Police Station for the attack on the interns and vandalism after the death of a fourth-year student of the university Wednesday night." Additional Deputy Commissioner Rafiqul Islam, spokesperson for Rajshahi Metropolitan Police, said they received a written complaint from the RMCH authority. "It has not been registered as a case yet. We are reviewing it, and a decision will be made soon." "Some of the interns have already resumed their duties at the emergency department, and others will join work by 6am Friday," Shamim Yazdani said after the meeting. However, Dr Imran Hossain, president of RMCH Intern Doctors' Council, said if the attackers are not arrested within 24 hours they will launch a strong protest. Read: 5-member panel to probe Rajshahi University student's death KGM Shahriar, a fourth-year student of the marketing department of RU, was critically injured after falling off the roof of Shaheed Habibur Rahman Hall last night. Shahriar's friends took him to RMCH where he was declared dead. Shahriar's classmates said he was not given treatment for quite some time after being brought to the hospital. Alleging negligence in his treatment, they started vandalising RMCH in protest. At that time, some intern doctors and hospital staff "beat them up." Later, the intern doctors went on an indefinite strike, protesting the attack and vandalism carried out by the RU students and the hospital patients were left to suffer. Meanwhile, Shahriar's body was handed over to his family on Thursday night without an autopsy. A case of unnatural death was filed at the city's Motihar Police Station over Shahriar's death, following a complaint from a RU teacher, Rafiqul said.
Durga Puja, the biggest religious festival of the Hindus, began on Saturday, with the incarnation (bodhon) of the Goddess in temples across the country.But no celebration was seen in a Mandap in Dinajpur's Khansama upazila, rather the Hindus of this area are protesting by hoisting black flags instead of drumming and cheering, demanding the arrest and punishment of the killers of a woman who was murdered after rape.The incident took place at Kumarpara Sarvajanin Puja Mandap in Tongua of Bhervedi union. Read: Durga Puja fervour grips BangladeshSixty-four days back, a housewife named Upobala was killed after rape on her way home.A case was filed but no one was arrested in this connection, said Dhiman Das, President of Khansama Upazila Puja Celebration Committee.The case is now under investigation by the Police Bureau of Investigation (PBI), he added.Anant Kumar Roy, who joined the protest programme, said that they will not celebrate any religious festival with fanfare in the mandap until justice is done for Upobala's murder.Another protester, Nripendra Nath Roy said they boycotted their main festival only for getting justice for Upobala. Instead of celebrating Puja, they are holding a protest programme by hanging banners with anti-violence slogans on the entrance of the mandap titled 'Stand united against communal evil'.