Hours before his arrest, #SharjeelImam told me that the BJP was trying to vilify him in order to discredit the largely leaderless protest movement ahead of the Delhi state election.

"They want to discredit educated Muslims who speak up," he said.
The 31-year-old JNU history student has angered BJP members and others with what they said was a seditious call for the restive northeastern region of Assam to be “cut” from the rest of the country.

Last week, a BJP spokesman described Imam’s comment as a call for “open jihad”.
But Imam said he had only called for railway and road links to Assam to be disrupted as part of the ongoing campaign of protests against the #CAA_NRC_NPR

In a statement, Imam’s lawyers said he was fully cooperating with the investigation.

• • •

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More from @DevjyotGhoshal

Aug 24, 2021
Danish Siddiqui.

The Pulitzer Prize-winning Reuters photographer was killed on assignment near a dusty border town on the Afghanistan-Pakistan border on July 16.

This is the story of what happened that day - and the events leading up to it.

A thread.

For weeks, a small team of Reuters reporters - @StephenGrey, @char_greenfield, @AlasdairPal, @readelev & I - worked to piece together the sequence of leading up to Danish's death.

We interviewed dozens of people, studied social media, satellite images and Danish's own pictures.
Our main findings:

- Danish was killed after he was left behind during a hasty retreat by Afghan special forces (SF), who he was embedded with

- One soldier said he saw Danish and 2 others shot as they ran towards retreating vehicles. We can't verify exactly how he was killed Image
Read 8 tweets
Jun 15, 2021

India's govt said it doubled the gap between Covishield shots on the recommendation of an expert group to 12-16 weeks.

But members of NTAGI told us the group hadn't agreed on such a long gap.

@krishnadas56 & I report:

Why does it matter?

AstraZeneca/Covishield accounts for nearly 90% of the 257.5 million vaccine doses administered in India.

So rolling it out efficiently and quickly is key to controlling the pandemic, especially with a dangerous variant already moving around.
In closing, this appears to be further proof that the Indian govt may not be fully listening to scientific advice.

Earlier today, @zebatweets & I reported that the govt missed an early alarm on the B.1.617 variant in March, leading to its rampant spread.
Read 4 tweets
Jun 15, 2021

The #COVID19 Delta variant is now all over the world.

This is the story of how it all began in a rural Indian district in Feb - and how the Modi govt missed an early alarm, leading to the variant's spread.

@zebatweets & I report.

A thread:

Key findings:

- Top govt officials including Dr VK Paul were warned by a veteran public health expert of a possible variant

- Govt officials played down the possibility of a variant in a private meeting & in public

- Large gatherings like elections continued despite the alarm
The variant - B.1.617 - triggered a catastrophic wave of coronavirus cases in India.

Within around 80 days, it went from first ravaging Amravati district in India's Maharashtra to dozens of countries around the world, presenting a setback to global efforts to contain the virus.
Read 9 tweets
May 1, 2021

@krishnadas56 and I spoke to around a dozen scientists and officials to piece together the events that led up to India's massive second surge in COVID-19 cases.

We found that the govt had some early warnings but didn't act quickly.

A thread.

Our key findings:

- Govt was warned early about potentially dangerous COVID-19 variants

- Large gatherings continue for weeks after, unabated

- By early-mid April, key officials believe large scale lockdowns required

- Days later, PM Modi publicly argues against lockdowns
Today, India posted a record daily rise of 401,993 new coronavirus cases, while deaths from COVID-19 jumped by 3,523 over the past 24 hours.

Our reporting suggest that India couldn't have avoided a second wave - but we surely could have move quicker and been better prepared.
Read 13 tweets
Jan 26, 2021
Tractors have begun streaming out of Singhu border near New Delhi, where thousands of farmers have been protesting for two months.

Police has stood aside, so far.

The farmers have stopped just ahead of the Outer Ring Road. A number of them want to go straight. A large contingent of police, backed by water cannons and tear gas launchers, are imploring them to go right, as per a planned route.

Police and protestors have since scuffled, with police firing several rounds of tear gas to unsuccessfully hold the crowds back.

Concrete barricades and containers have been removed by protestors, and a large group has marched on to the ring road.
Read 7 tweets
Jan 25, 2021

How does India deliver the COVID-19 vaccine to a health worker in a remote tribal village with spotty mobile connectivity?

@DashJatin, @dansiddiqui & I travelled to Odisha's Koraput district, just as India's vaccination prog started.

Our story:

This is Pendajam, a tiny tribal hamlet in the south Odisha highlands that is home to Reena Jani, a 34-year-old ASHA worker, who was among the first wave of Indians to be vaccinated against COVID-19 earlier this month.
Jani woke up early on Jan 16, finished her chores, checked on a nearby pregnant woman and then sat pillion on a neighbor’s bike to reach the vaccination centre.

This is what her ride to Mathalput Community Health Centre looked ride.
Read 10 tweets

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