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NEWS DIGEST

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Sunday, 21 January 2018

21 Jan. ND: Prez approves EC recommendation to disqualify 20 AAP MLAs; Victimised us by imposing fake cases, says Kejriwal;Yashwant Sinha says disqualification of AAP MLAs ‘arbitrary’



Evening NEWS DIGEST  
21 Jan.2018:03 Jamadiul-1 1439:Vol:9, No:103
INDIA
Office of Profit case: Setback for Kejriwal as President approves EC recommendation to disqualify 20 AAP MLAs
New Delhi:In a massive blow to Kejriwal-led Delhi Govt, President Ram Nath Kovind has approved the recommendation of Election Commission to disqualify 20 AAP MLAs in connection with the ‘office of profit’ case.The latest development comes two days after the Election Commission had found 20 AAP legislators guilty of holding ‘office of profit’ by being parliamentary secretaries to Delhi ministers. As per the law, the President was bound by the EC’s view on matters of office of profit and, therefore, the disqualification of the MLAs was inevitable.A notification issued by the law ministry quoted the president as saying that in the light of the opinion expressed by EC, the 20 members of the Delhi assembly have been disqualified.“…Having considered the matter in the light of the opinion expressed by Election Commission, I, Ram Nath Kovind, president of India, in exercise of the powers…do here hold that the aforesaid 20 members of the Delhi legislative assembly stand disqualified from being members of the said assembly,” the notification said. On Saturday, Deputy CM  Manish Sisodia had said the 20 AAP MLAs would appeal to the President to hear the party’s views, against the “undemocratic” and “unconstitutional” move.With the disqualification of 20 AAP MLAs, the threat for the Kejriwal-led party is not immediate as their majority will reduce to 46 from 66 MLAs–still in a comfortable majority. CM Kejriwal held a meeting yesterday with the 20 MLAs along with senior party members in order to chalk out the party’s strategy.According to sources, Kejriwal’s message to the MLAs was to “prepare for bypolls” and guard against “attempts at poaching”, including from within. All affected AAP MLAs had moved Delhi High Court challenging EC’s recommendation but Justice Rekha Palli had refused to pass any interim order. Reacting to the development, Delhi Minister Gopal Rai said, “We had hoped to go to the President asking him to give us a chance to present ourselves. Now we received this news. AAP will knock the doors of HC and even SC if the need be.”Alka Lamba, one of the 20 disqualified AAP MLAs, said her party’s was considering legal options. “Unfortunate that the President took the decision in such haste, without giving us chance to speak. It’s an act of Centre using constitutional institutions. We’ve trust on judiciary. Doors of HC & SC is open for us,” she said.indianexpress
They have victimised us by imposing fake cases: Kejriwal on disqualification 20 MLAs
Delhi CM  Arvind Kejriwal on Sunday said AAP got 67 seats in 70-member Delhi assembly by God’s grace because after three years, 20 of his party’s MLAs were going to be declared disqualified.“I have always said that it was God’s grace. He also knew that after three years these people would declare 20 of our MLAs disqualified. That’s why he gave us 67 seats out of 70 in the Delhi Assembly polls,” he said, in a statement on AAP’s Twitter handle.His remarks came after President Ram Nath Kovind approved Election Commission’s recommendation to disqualify 20 AAP MLAs on the charges of holding office of profit.“They (BJP-led Centre) have tremendously victimised us by imposing fake cases on our MLAs. They conducted CBI raids on me and didn’t get anything and today they declared 20 of our MLAs disqualified,” Kejriwal said in another tweet.He said the party will now approach the high court against this “extremely unconstitutional, unethical and biased decision of the EC”.“If required we will go to the Supreme Court. The Constitution is supreme and is the law of the land and has been protected by our Judiciary time and again.”IANS
Senior BJP leader Yashwant Sinha hits out at President Kovind, says disqualification of AAP MLAs ‘arbitrary’
Senior BJP leader Yashwant Sinha on Sunday termed President Ram Nath Kovind’s approval of Election Commission’s recommendation to disqualify 20 AAP MLAs as “Tughlaqshahi” (arbitrary). “President’s order disqualifying the 20 AAP MLAs is a complete miscarriage of natural justice. No hearing, no waiting for High Court’s order. It is Tughluqshahi of the worst order,” he tweeted.newsx
Congress ready for bypolls, says Ajay Maken
New Delhi: Demanding the resignation of CM  Arvind Kejriwal after the disqualification of 20 AAP MLAs, Delhi Congress chief Ajay Maken on Sunday said his party was ready for bypolls.He also reiterated the allegation that BJP and Election Commission (EC) had "helped AAP by delaying the disqualification process and enabled it to send its three candidates to the Rajya Sabha".The party would have split due to "internal dissensions" had EC made the recommendation before Dec. 22, when the 3 AAP candidates were elected to the Rajya Sabha, Maken claimed.PTI
Om Prakash Rawat to succeed AK Joti as new Chief Election Commissioner on 23 Jan
Om Prakash Rawat has been appointed as new Chief Election Commissioner (CEC), succeeding incumbent Achal Kumar Jyoti to the post, the Law Ministry said on Sunday. AK Joti is expected to hand over the reigns of the Election Commission to Rawat on Jan. 23.Meanwhile, former finance secretary Ashok Lawasa has been appointed as election commissioner. Rawat is a retired IAS officer of MP cadre (Batch 1977). Prior to his appointment as Election Commissioner of India, Shri Rawat had retired as Secretary to the Govt. of India, Ministry of Heavy Industries and Public Enterprises, Department of Public Enterprises on Dec.31, 2013 on superannuation.indianexpress
Keep Haj subsidy until sea route opens: Haj Committee of India
New Delhi: Haj Committee of India (HCoI) will appeal to the Narendra Modi Govt  to retain the Haj subsidy until Govt  finalises a cheaper way for Indian Muslims to travel to Saudi Arabia for the pilgrimage, according to sources.The HCoI wants the Govt  to first finalise the modalities of going for Haj by the sea route and then scrap the Haj subsidy, sources told The New Indian Express. In a meeting called by the HCoI on Saturday, the issue of scrapping of Haj subsidy was discussed. “We have resolved to send a resolution to the ministry of minority affairs requesting it to not scrap the subsidy until the sea route for Haj pilgrims becomes operational. If pilgrims travel for Haj via the sea route in ships, as is being considered by the Govt , the cost of travel for pilgrims will come down. Otherwise, the cost of Haj without the subsidy will hit pilgrims, especially those from the poor section of the economy,” a senior HCoI official said.The official added that the resolution was only a suggestion and it was up to the Govt  to accept or reject it since the Govt  had formally announced the scrapping of the Haj subsidy from this year. Based on a 2012 Supreme Court order, the Central Govt has been steadily decreasing the amount of subsidy extended for the Haj pilgrimage. Until 2017, the Haj subsidy was mainly given in the form of discounted airfares to Saudi Arabia, and Air India was used for taking Haj pilgrims to Saudi Arabia.newindianexpress
‘Iss Factory Ki Licencing Hamare Paas Hai’: BJP leader North Delhi Mayor stokes row over Bawana fire
New Delhi: BJP leader and North Delhi Municipal corporation (NDMC) Mayor Preeti Aggarwal has stoked a controversy after she purportedly suggested her aides not to talk about the building that was engulfed in a massive fire on Saturday evening in Bawana, which left 17 people dead.In an ANI video, Aggarwal was caught on camera telling her aide, “iss factory ki licensing hamare paas hai isliye hum kuch nahi bol sakte (license of this factory is with us. So we can’t speak about it).”Denying the allegations, the BJP leader called it a fake video and instead blamed the Aam Aadmi Party for circulating the video on social media platforms to “politicise the death of the people”. She also demanded an apology from Delhi CM Arvind Kejriwal for retweeting the video.indianexpress
Controversy triggers over North Delhi mayor Preeti Aggarwal's 'video' on Bawana fire tragedy:IBNS
Delhi fire: Police arrest factory owner, 11 bodies identified
New Delhi:The bodies of 11 out of 17 persons who died in a major fire on Saturday evening in a factory here have been identified and the establishment's owner arrested, police said on Sunday.Out of victims in the fire in Bawana area, the bodies of 11 - nine women and two men, Deputy Commissioner of Police Rajneesh Gupta said.Those deceased were identified as Baby Devi, 40, Afshana, 35, Sonam, 23, Reeta, 18, Madeena, 55, Rajjo, 65, Sukhda, 42, Khusna, 47, Soni, 21, Suraj, 20 and Ravi Kant, 18.Gupta also said that a forensic team reached the spot to investigate the reason for the blast, while the owner of the plastic factory which was also used as a warehouse for fire crackers has been arrested.Manoj Jain was taken into custody on Saturday night after a brief interrogation as police filed an FIR against him under sections for negligent conduct with respect to fire or combustible matter, for culpable homicide not amounting to murder, causing hurt by act endangering life or personal safety of others under the Indian Penal Code and the Explosives Act, he said.IANS
Bawana fire: Case transferred to Crime Branch, prelim report confirms plastic factory used for firecrackers
4 killed, 9 injured in blast at chemical plant in Vadodara
Vadodara:At least four workers were killed and nine others injured on Sunday in a blast at a chemical plant located on the outskirts of Vadodara, a senior official said.The blast at a chemical plant of the GSP Crop Science Pvt Ltd led to a huge fire in the premises, a police official said.The blast occurred around 5.30 am in the filter plant of the company, located in the Gujarat Industrial Development Corporation (GIDC) area at Nandesari near Vadodara.“Four of the firm’s employees were killed in the mishap,” Vadodara collector P Bharthi said.The injured persons were admitted to different hospitals, she said, adding that two of the injured were reported to be serious.PTI
Police to probe Haldwani woman’s conversion from Islam to Hinduism: Hindustan times
Dehradun: A Muslim woman who converted to Hinduism to protest against the “oppression of  women in Islam” has virtually gone into hiding after her decision struck a discordant note among residents of her locality in Haldwani.The case will be handed over to the police, so it does not turn into a law-and-order issue.In an affidavit addressed to Haldwani city magistrate, 22-year-old stated that she has converted to Hinduism and changed her name from Shahnawaz to Sunita in protest against the lack of freedom accorded to women in the Muslim community. The district administration is investigating an allegation by Sunita’s parents, who reside in Muslim-dominated locality of Banbhoolpura, that she was coerced into changing her religion.Sunita had alerted the Nainital DM to her conversion on Jan.7 through an affidavit sent by registered post. The woman claimed in the document that she had to face religious orthodoxy and oppression at every stage of life since her birth in 1995. Sunita signed off the affidavit by stating that she has decided to embrace Hinduism in the knowledge that it will allow her more liberty as a woman. People familiar with the matter said she has been lying low ever since.Neema Aggarwal, a member of the right-wing Rashtra Sewika Samiti, said India is a democratic country where people have the freedom to embrace religions of their choice.Samajwadi Party general secretary Shoaib Ahmed said that while the personal choice of an individual was paramount, the administration must also affirm that the conversion was not performed under “pressure, coercion or duress”.The case has been handed over to the Haldwani police, so it doesn’t turn into a law-and-order problem.“Police will also investigate if the woman was converted under pressure,” said city magistrate Haldwani Pankaj Upadhyay. “Conversions are valid only if they are done without inducement or coercion.”Haldwani Kotwali inspector KR Pandey said he was still waiting for the case to be handed over, so the probe could begin. HT
Bajrang Dal man held as Muslim man still looks for Hindu wife a month after ‘abduction’
Bengaluru: Over a month after a 23-year-old was allegedly abducted while walking along with her husband outside a mall in Vashi in Mumbai, Navi Mumbai police on Thursday arrested a Bajrang Dal activist. Sunil Pumpwell, an autorickshaw driver, reportedly carried out the abduction at the behest of the woman’s Mangalore-based parents, who are opposed to her marriage with a Muslim man.The whereabouts of VK Reshma, however, remain unknown, with husband Mohammed Iqbal Chaudhury, 23, filing a habeas corpus petition in the Bombay High Court late last month. The court had asked police to investigate the matter, leading to the arrest of Pumpwell, who also belongs to Mangalore,on Jan.18. The marriage of Reshma and Chaudhury had been dubbed a case of ‘love jihad’, with Chaudhury projected as a Muslim radical by right-wing groups in Mangalore. Last month, days after Reshma went missing, the Bajrang Dal convenor in Mangalore, Sharan Pumpwell, had petitioned Defence Minister Nirmala Sitharaman seeking an NIA probe in the matter. As per an FIR filed by Chaudhury, 4 men had attacked him and Reshma on Dec.17, 2017, at Vashi, hit him and taken away Reshma. He said the men told him, “You have taken our sister.”In response, Reshma’s parents provided an affidavit dated Dec.20 to Mumbai police containing a statement from their daughter which said she had returned home of her own will and was under no coercion. A few days later, Chaudhury again approached police saying Reshma had called him on Dec.24, saying she was being held captive at a relative’s home in Kerala and wasn’t sure of the location. He sought police help to trace the mobile number from which the call was made.With no progress in the case, he approached the Bombay HC on Dec.28, claiming he had complained to Mankhurd police multiple times fearing that his wife would be pressured to return to her parents’ home in Mangalore and that they were being threatened. He approached the court in Jan again about the call he received from Reshma. Following court order to investigate the call, police first arrested a Mankhurd resident, Manoj Karotia. His interrogation led to the arrest of Pumpwell, police said. Chaudhury is an assistant engineer, based in Mankhurd suburb of eastern Mumbai. indian express
NIA changes stance, will now frame charges against Sadhvi: freepressjournal
Mumbai: In an interesting twist in 2008 Malegaon blast case, NIA is all set to change its stance yet again. Now, the central agency will act contrary to its previous decision. All of a sudden, NIA, which had exonerated right-wing Hindu terrorist Sadhvi Pragyasingh Thakur from the case, is left with no other option but to argue against her.Also, the central agency, which was accusing Maharashtra ATS of its “shoddy” investigation since last 2 years, is now compelled to rely on the findings of the state agency, which conducted investigations initially in the case.Special Public Prosecutor Avinash Rasal confirmed to the Free Press Journal that NIA will rely on ATS chargesheet. He said, “We had already exonerated her (Sadhvi) but still the special court refused to accept our findings citing the ATS chargesheet. Accordingly, the special court has now denied discharging her from the case.”“So, now we are left with no other option but to comply with the orders of the special court, which has specifically asked us to open arguments against all the accused. Though we have not invoked any charges against her in our chargesheet but, yes, we will have to frame charges with the help of the chargesheet filed by the ATS,” Rasal added.The trial in the case is likely to commence from Feb. 7, the day when NIA is expected to open its arguments for framing charges against all the accused.
Miscreants vandalise houses of SDPI workers in Kannur district of Kerala
Kannur: Widespread violence was reported from Kannavam area on Saturday as houses of SDPI workers and supporters were vandalised at Poozhiyode and Alappadamba. The violence follows the murder of RSS worker Shyamaprasad on Friday, allegedly by SDPI workers at Kommeri. As the situation turned tense, security was beefed up and many policemen were posted to take control of the situation.It was in the early hours of Saturday that the attackers ran riot at Poozhiyode, Alappadamba and 17th mile areas. According to the police, the house of K Kadeesu of Poozhiyode was vandalised by a gang of miscreants as they destroyed a television, fridge and furniture in the house, leaving the family members in a state of terror. 3 doors in the house of Pokkachi Abbas of Alapparamba were destroyed and a bike was damaged. A motorcycle, furniture and electronic equipment in the house of A T Subeida of Alappadamba were destroyed in another attack. At Edayar 17th mile, the houses of Kuttiadi Salam and B K Sainaba were vandalised by miscreants.newindianexpress
Koregaon Bhima violence: ‘Proof against pro-Hindutva leaders for starting protest’
Fact-finding committee claims audio-visual evidence against Milind Ekbote, Sambhaji Bhide.Fact-finding and coordination committee appointed by the Pune Rural police to get to the roots of the Koregaon Bhima violence concluded the report on Saturday and is all set to hand it over to the Pune rural superintendent of police Suvez Haque on Monday. It claims that pro-Hindutva leaders Milind Ekbote and Sambhaji Bhide are responsible for Jan.1 attack at Vijaystambh.The committee comprises 10 members from the Dalit community and is led by deputy mayor Siddharth Dhende. It also includes professor MN Kamble, Rahul Makhare, Vikas Salve, Datta Pol, Shyam Gaikwad, Rajendra Gaikwad, Kiran Shinde, Ramakant Khande and others. They revealed the findings in a press conference, saying that they evidences and video footage point at the pre-planned violent conspiracy.  The report claims that the strategy was devised by Ekbote and Bhide on December 30 during their meeting at Sonai Hotel on Pune-Ahmednagar Road. The committee added that these evidences were collected after visiting the place and communicating with people. They are of opinion that “culprits” must be grilled under NSA and that a special investigation team must probe the case. Deputy mayor Dhende said, “During our investigation, we came to know that after a few Dalit workers visited the tombs of Govind Mahar and Chhatrapati Sambhaji on Dec.29,it was washed with goumutra(cow urine). Inspector Ramesh Galande of Shikrapur, inspector Sarjerao Patil of Lonikand and DySP Ganesh More were aware about the possible violence, but they did not take any steps. They allowed some villagers to observe a black day on Jan.1.”He demanded suspension of these officials for spreading riots, while adding that these protests were deliberately initiated near the bridge in order to block Marathwada Dalits from entering the Koregaon Bhima Vijaystambh. “They had a plan to insinuate a stamped at the site by burning the tyres and blocking the road,” claimed Dhende.Another member Kamble added that these claims have been backed my audio-visual proofs on social media, which show Ekbote and Bhide.“It was not just a riot, but a pre-planned conspiracy. We have suggested action against the main perpetrators and to grill them under NSA. Investigation must be conducted in a very transparent way, by taking action against responsible police officers,” he said, adding that it was Bhide who put up the photograph of late RSS chief Hegdewar Guruji inside the tomb of Chhatrapati Sambhaji, and instigated locals against the history of Govind Mahar. Pune Mirror
Mevani backs Dalits’ fast unto death in Gujarat
Gandhinagar:Around 40 people from a Gujarat village, including women and children, have started a fast unto death in Detroj of Ahmedabad district against alleged atrocities, discrimination and harassment by upper castes. Rashtriya Dalit Adhikar Manch, headed by Jignesh Mevani — now an MLA from Vadgam constituency, has alleged that despite much hype created by BJP Govt  in the country about the Vibrant Gujarat model and good governance, the Gitapur Dalit villagers did not have either houses to live in or drinking water facility.“These Dalits are facing a social boycott from the upper caste communities of the villages and they can’t buy essentials like milk or grain or other commodities owing to their caste. “They had been complaining against this and unavailability of housing, water and electricity to ex-CM and now PM Narendra Modi to the present CM Vijay Rupani, but all their pleas have gone unheeded,” said Mevani.It was for this reason that 16 men, 17 women and 8 children were forced to sit on an indefinite fast-unto-death protest, he said.“Gitapur village panchayat does not allow them access to water, forcing them to travel one-and-a-half kilometers to get water. In 2013, in 2016 and in 2017 also they sat on fast-unto-death but failed to elicit any response from the authorities,” added Mevani.IANS
Muzaffarnagar riots: Adityanath Govt  mulls withdrawal of cases against BJP leaders
Muzaffarnagar:UP  govt headed by Yogi Adityanath has sought information on the possibility of withdrawing nine criminal cases pending in a court in Muzaffarnagar against BJP leaders in connection with 2013 Muzaffarnagar riots, according to a letter to the district magistrate by a senior State official.The cases were filed against UP Minister Suresh Rana, former Union Minister Sanjiv Balyan, Bijnor MP Bhartendu Singh, Budhana MLA Umesh Malik and party leader Sadhvi Prachi. In the Jan.5 letter to the district magistrate, UP  Dept of Justice Special Secretary Raj Singh has sought information on 13 points, including whether the cases could be withdrawn in public interest. The letter also sought the opinion of the Muzaffarnagar SSP.Though the leaders have not been named in the letter, the file numbers pertaining to the cases against them have been mentioned in it.The accused are facing charges under various sections of the Indian Penal Code for violating prohibitory orders, deterring public servants from discharging their duties and wrongful restraint.PTI
Ex-UP min Azam Khan gets bail in Rs 101 crore defamation case
Mumbai: Ex-UP  minister Azam Khan appeared before a magistrate court in Bandra on Saturday in connection with `101 crore defamation case filed against him by a city-based lawyer. The court granted Khan bail on a personal bond of Rs 15,000 and he will now contest his case against the complaint. Khan refrained from speaking about the case. All that he told Asian Age was, “I have visited this court for a case and am going back as the hearing is over now.”According to the complainant, Advocate Ejaz Abbas, as a member of Central Waqf Council, he visited UP Sunni Waqf Board, where he observed and found many alleged loopholes and mismanagement of waqf properties in various parts of the state. In his report, Advocate Abbas claimed that Khan allegedly encroached upon waqf land and had also recommended dissolving the UP Waqf Board.The complainant has alleged that following this, Khan called him a “RSS active worker” in his interviews to different national news channels. He also used defamatory and derogatory words against him. Khan labelled the complainant as “Atankwadio ka vakeel” (lawyer of terrorists) also. ASIAN AGE
As bombs found, officials deny Bodh Gaya blast
Bodhgaya:Security was tightened in Bihar’s Bodh Gaya on Saturday after a low-intensity bomb exploded hours after the Dalai Lama finished a sermon on Friday. Soon after, security personnel had found two “live bombs”, one barely 100 metres from the Tibetan Monastery, where the religious guru has been staying since Jan. 2. The Dalai Lama is on a visit to Bodh Gaya until February 2.While intelligence sources confirmed the blast, the administration maintained there had been no explosion. “Let us make it clear that there was no breach of security. Two bombs were recovered and both were found outside the premises of the temple and the Mahabodhi Society,” said Gaya District Magistrate Abhishek Kumar Singh.Sources in the Bihar Police and intelligence agencies said the idea behind the low-intensity blast was to create panic, rather than cause damage, at a time when about 10,000 people, many from other countries, have gathered at Bodh Gaya. They said the explosive had been kept in a flask placed under a generator at a tea shop, opposite the Kalchakra ground.indianexpress
Left describes BJP-IPFT tie-up as “unholy alliance” of communalism and divisive forces
Guwahati: Even as BJP is waiting for a formal announcement of its alliance with the Indigenous People’s Front of Tripura (IPFT) for Tripura Assembly election slated for Feb.18, CPI(M) – min constituent of the ruling Left Front Govt  in the state has described the upcoming BJP-IPFT alliance as an “unholy combination” of communal and divisive forces.“It is an unholy combination between communal and divisive forces. The way a national party is tying up with a group known as the face of terrorism, it looks like they will try to create any kind of situation in order to capture power,” Daily Desher Katha, a daily newspaper known to be mouthpiece of the CPI(M) in Tripura, said on Saturday. The newspaper, in its editorial, did not even for once mention the name of BJP, but said that the “national party” did not have any base in the state and was banking on hatching conspiracies, creating confusion and spreading misinformation in order to capture power. “They don’t have any ground below their feet. Their only resources are conspiracies, confusion and misinformation,” the newspaper said. The alliance between BJP and IPFT, which was worked out by senior Assam minister Himanta Biswa Sarma in two rounds of discussions on Wednesday and Thursday held in Agartala and Guwahati respectively, is yet to be formally announced. BJP however has allotted 10 seats to IPFT, keeping the remainder 50 for it for election to the 60-member Tripura assembly election.“While one partner of this alliance wants to divide the people by creating communal hatred and violence, the other wants to divide Tripura in the name of Twipraland. One is complementary to the other and are well-known as experts in creating tension,” it said.indianexpress
Ishrat Jahan’s mother opposes plea by accused
Ahmedabad :Appearing on behalf of Ishrat Jahan’s mother Shamima Kauser, 2 senior lawyers on Saturday objected to the application moved by two accused officers of IB. The accused had challenged a special CBI court order which took cognisance of a supplementary chargesheet and issued summons for their appearance.Senior lawyer I H Syed argued before the special CBI court that summons issued by the court is valid as there is no need to take prior sanction from the Govt  to prosecute Govt  servants in cases of criminal conspiracy. He cited two judgments of the Supreme Court to prove that in such cases prior sanction under Section 197 of CrPC was not required. 2 IB officers — Rajeev Wankhede and Tushar Mittal — had challenged the order saying there were was no permission by Centre to CBI to prosecute them. Besides Wankhede and Mittal, Mukul Sinha and former special director Rajinder Kumar were also accused.“This case is very peculiar…On what basis the chargesheet was not taken on record for so many years,” advocate Vrinda Grover argued. Both of them also opposed the discharge application of former DGP P P Pandey.indianexpress
MP: Youth posts on Facebook about saffron colour, gets arrested for hurting religious sentiments
After a Facebook post on saffron colour, that initiated a war of words, resulting in allegedly hurting the religious sentiments, a 19-year-old youth has been arrested from Manasa town in Neemuch district of Bhopal. Boy has been arrested on charges of hurting the religious sentiments after his Facebook post on saffron colour. Facebook post was followed by comments that allegedly raged a war, with social media users making derogatory remarks about religion.A complaint was filed against Rihan and 7 others who had liked the post or commented on it or insulted the Hindu gods. On Jan.15, Rihan Singh, 2-wheeler mechanic updated a post on Facebook that read, “Bhagwa Rang Se Hame Na Darao Saheb (don’t scare us with saffron colour)”. The post enraged several people and a series of comments started popping in the comment section. Some of the comments were against Hindu gods while some were against Islam. People were continuously posting their support while standing for and against the post. A counter- complaint was filed by members of the minority community against at least three persons. The complaint was filed by one Rahul Jagannath, a 19-year-old carpenter.The Police have sent the identity of the accused to the Cyber Cell to verify the other three persons. Rihan was arrested and sent to jail on Friday. “If the Facebook ID is found to be genuine, we will make arrests in connection with the counter-complaint too,’’ Inspector L S Parmar said. Rihan was booked under Section 295 A of IPC.  A BJP leader Ajay Tiwari has also blamed Rihan’s post for raging a war online that resulted in hurting the sentiments of people having different religious beliefs.NewsX
Hyderabad: Parents give a thumbs up to Islamic education in schools
Hyderabad:The neighbourhoods of Mehdipatnam and Toli Chowki are connected to IT Hub by means of the Old Mumbai highway. While the area is now a hub of commercial activity, over 5 years or so it has witnessed a spurt in Govt -recognised schools that offer courses in Islam tailor-made for students. Educationalists say that there are broadly two reasons that have given rise to the trend. The first being several parents of nuclear families having little or no time or expertise to impart religious education. The second is that with both forms of education under one roof, it has proved to be more convenient. Alongside the prescribed subjects, an SSC school has several classes a week earmarked for Islamic education.Parents say they chose the schools as Islamic education came as an incentive with it. thehindu
Hyderabad trust shows zakat's potential to bring change through education
Hyderabad: One of the 5 pillars of Islam, "zakat" is mandatory charity for every well-to-do Muslim. And Hyderabad Zakat and Charitable Trust (HZCT) has shown how this obligatory form of charity can be channelised to bring change in society through education.With this noble goal, the 25-year-old organisation has been using "zakat" to pull the community out of illiteracy and today more than 24,000 students study in its 106 schools. The trust made a humble beginning in 1992 when Ghiasuddin Babukhan, a reputed businessman and philanthropist of this city, with some friends and other like-minded people came together to pool their "zakat" for education. "It started with total 'zakat' of just Rs 11 lakh," recalled HZCT chairman Babukhan while talking to IANS.With a firm belief in "empowerment through education and freedom through knowledge", Babukhan and his friends formed a network of schools for poor, mostly in remote villages.Though these Urdu-medium schools were taken over by the Govt  under the Sarva Shiksha Abhiyan, the trust continues to monitor their functioning, appoint teachers, distribute free uniforms and books. What started with a total "zakat" of just Rs 11 lakh has now expanded to an annual budget of Rs 12 crore and has touched the lives of over a million people in the last two-and-a-half decades, including poor students, orphans and widows in Telangana, AP, Maharashtra and Karnataka.IANS
Marathwada to tide over water crisis with Israel aid
Mumbai: The parched Marathwada region of Maharashtra, which had to be supplied water in railway wagons just a couple of years ago, would get an ambitious Marathwada Water Grid project to tackle problems of drinking water and drought. A MoU to this effect was signed in presence of Israel PM  Benjamin Netanyahu between the water supply department of Maharashtra Govt  and Mekorot Development & Enterprise Ltd of Israel on Thursday. Newindianexpress
Flop-show: BJP’s Yuva Udghosh rally in Varanasi fails to attract youth, less than 5,000 turn up
The year 2018 is barely into the third week, but BJP has already started preparing general elections to be held in 2019. And to do the same, BJP has decided to focus on the first time voters.‘Yuva Udghosh rally’, held in Varanasi on Saturday, was an attempt to change the mindset of young voters. Even though the rally participants were previously registered through BHIM app by collecting INR 20 from each of them, the BJP could not fulfil the estimated as well as projected number of participants in the rally.According to various claims made by party’s various leaders, Yuva Udghosh rally was supposed to be attended by more than 17,000 people. But what it seemed that at the rally, the BJP could only manage to get around five thousand participants in the rally, whose age ranged between 17 years and 35 years.Rudra Prakash Mishra, one of the several managers in the rally, told TCN, “Party has tried hard to bring more and more people into the rally. But it seems that we are unable to meet our goal.”TwoCircles
India has shown it can attack enemies not only on its soil, but also in foreign territory: Rajnath
New Delhi;Union Home Minister Rajnath Singh on Sunday said India had given a strong message to the world by attacking enemies in Pakistan. “We have given a strong message to the world that we can attack our enemies not only on our soil, but also in their territory,” Singh said while addressing a public meeting in Lucknow.“A few months ago, Pakistan, in an act of cowardice, attacked and martyred 17 of our jawans.PM  Narendra Modi consulted all of us on this serious issue, and the Indian Army entered the Pakistani area and killed the militants,” the Union Home Minister added.indianexpress
Stone-pelters in JK: Repeat offenders may get amnesty too
MHA and J&K Govt  are working on withdrawing cases and releasing thousands of young Kashmiris currently in jail for repeat and multiple offences of stone-pelting in a move aimed at building bridges with the disaffected young people in the Valley. According to a top MHA official who spoke on condition of anonymity, this will be done as long as the young people aren’t involved in “heinous crimes”.The move comes after last Nov’s announcement of an amnesty to first-time stone-pelters by J&K Govt  on the advice of MHA soon after the appointment of Dineshwar Sharma as a special representative to hold dialogue with all stakeholders in the troubled state.HT
Where are records related to recognition of Nizam: CIC to home ministry
New Delhi: Where are 50-year-old records related to the Govt ’s recognition of Nawab Mir Barkat Ali Khan as the “ruler of Hyderabad State”, the Central Information Commission has asked as it pulled up the home ministry which said it was clueless about crucial file.Information Commissioner Yashovardhan Azad has also marked a copy of his order to the Union Home Secretary with the recommendation that a committee should be constituted to identify such files of historical importance and ensure that these are handed over to the National Archives.“It would also be in order that the process of transfer of files to the Archives, which was initiated in 1981 is monitored in the correct fashion so that chronology is maintained in the transfer of files. This would be a real treasure house for the researchers and scholars as well as the public at large while browsing through the pages of history,” he noted in a recent order.He directed the ministry to conduct a fresh search in the light of the document and if the file is traced, provide a copy of the certified information as sought by RTI applicant Sayed Khaliq.The roots of the case go the late Nizam of Hyderabad Mir Osman Ali Khan, the last ruler of the princely state who had nominated his grandson Nawab Mir Barkat Ali Khan, also known as Mukarram Jah Bahadur, as his successor making him the titular Nizam of Hyderabad.He had sought necessary recognition of the Govt  of India.PTI
Existence of other biometric databases may pose new challenge to Aadhaar
New Delhi: The widespread and largely unsupervised use of biometrics for everything from accessing university classrooms to identifying sea-faring fishermen along India’s coasts has resulted in the proliferation of public and private databases that could compromise the integrity of India’s Aadhaar-based authentication system.“Ordinarily, existence of these biometric databases would not scare me,” said Subhashis Banerjee, Professor of Computer Science Engineering at IIT Delhi. “But given the UIDAI uses biometrics for authorising transactions, these databases are a risk.”In effect, the real database problem for Aadhaar is not as much with its database but with these other databases. UIDAI, the agency responsible for the Aadhaar programme, did not respond to HT’s request for comment. Earlier this month, The Tribune reported that Aadhaar numbers and demographic information could be purchased for as little as Rs 500.HT
WORLD
Turkey's troops cross over into Syria's Afrin
Turkish ground troops have crossed into the Syrian enclave of Afrin as part of an operation against Syrian Kurdish armed group YPG, PM  Binali Yildirim announced.In a press conference in Istanbul on Sunday, Yildirim said Turkish forces had crossed into the YPG-controlled region in Syria at 08:05 GMT from the Turkish village of Gulbaba.He added that Turkey plans to establish a 30km "safe zone" in Afrin.Anadolu reported that the Turkish forces were backed by armoured vehicles, special forces and infantry regiments. They have reportedly advanced five kilometres inside Afrin. Confirming the Afrin operation, President Recep Tayyip Erdogan said on Sunday he hopes it will be completed "in a very short time". But Erdogan also warned pro-Kurdish opposition supporters in Turkey not to protest against the military's operation.Earlier, Anadolu also reported that Turkish-backed Free Syrian Army (FSA) fighters had advanced towards Afrin in the early hours of Sunday. Meanwhile, three rockets have been reportedly fired from Syria, hitting four locations in 2 neighbourhoods in the Turkish province of Kilis.aljazeera
Russia moves troops out of Afrin, as Turkey steps up it’s bombing on US-allied militia
Russian military operational group and military police have been relocated from Syria’s Afrin where Turkey has started its military operation against the Kurds, Interfax news agency cited the Russian defence ministry as saying on Saturday. Earler today, Reuters reported that Russian Chief of General Staff of the armed forces Valery Gerasimov and his US counterpart Joseph Dunford have discussed the situation in Syria by phone, RIA news agency reported on Saturday, citing the Russian Defence Ministry.Details of the call have not been disclosed.The talks took place after Turkish President Tayyip Erdogan said earlier on Saturday a military operation in Syria’s Kurdish-controlled Afrin region had begun after cross-border shelling by the Turkish army.middleeastmonitor
US to open its Jerusalem embassy by 2019
Washington: The US on Saturday decided to open its brand new embassy in Jerusalem by 2019, according to two US State Department officials close to US President Donald Trump.In a meeting chaired by the Trump administration on Thursday, officials had proposed to retrofit the existing US consulate in Jerusalem, rather than building a new one, which would take several years to complete and cost as much as billion dollars. The proposal was accepted by Trump on Friday.The existing US consulate is located in Jerusalem's Arnona locality. It is located near the Green Zone, which acts as the Israel-Palestine border. However, it does not have a consulate or an embassy in Palestine, CNN reported. According to the plan, the retrofitting of the US consulate would begin soon.ANI
Mike Pence starts Middle East tour amid Jerusalem anger
US Vice President Mike Pence has arrived in Egypt for the first leg of a Middle East tour marred by continuing anger over the US recognition of Jerusalem as Israel's capital last month. Pence, who landed in Cairo on Saturday, is the most senior US politician to visit the region since US President Donald Trump announced on December 6 that Washington would move its embassy in Israel to Jerusalem.The US vice president met Egyptian President Abdel Fattah El-Sisi in Cairo's presidential palace, where the pair discussed bilateral ties between the two countries.They also spoke about ways to eliminate what Sisi called the "disease and cancer" of terrorism.After Egypt, Pence is due to visit Jordan and Israel, where he is expected to meet Israeli PM  Benjamin Netanyahu and address the Knesset.His trip was initially scheduled to take place in December but was delayed apparently so that Pence could oversee a US congressional vote on tax reform, in which he could potentially have had to cast a deciding vote.aljazeera
Taliban claims deadly Kabul hotel siege:Al Jazeera
Afghan Taliban has claimed responsibility for the attack on Kabul's Intercontinental Hotel that left at least 5 civilians killed and 6 wounded.Gunmen dressed in army uniform stormed the heavily guarded hotel in the Bagh-e Bala area on Saturday evening, holding a siege that continued into Sunday.Al Jazeera's Jennifer Glasse, reporting from Kabul, said the siege was declared over following 16 hours of fighting."Officials are inside [the hotel] now to conduct their investigations and to assess whether they will find any more casualties," she said."We know the fighting went room-to-room, we know that many guests spent terrifying hours overnight hiding in their rooms as the gunmen moved through the hotel."Taliban group, which controls more than a third of the country, has said there will be no peaceful solution unless international troops leave Afghanistan."Our five fighters, Bilal, Ayubi, Khalil, Bashar and Abid entered the building and conducted the operation that resulted in the death of 10 foreigners and Afghan Govt  officials,"Taliban spokesperson, Zabihullah Mujahid said.Taliban claim, however, was at variance with the Govt , which said at least four attackers involved in the brutal attack were killed."We recovered the bodies of at least 4 attackers," said Interior Ministry spokesman Najib Danish.A witness, Abdulhaq Karimi, said that several dead bodies of security guards were near the gate of the hotel. Many were seen running out of the premises as the fighters barged in."The fighters can manage to attack anywhere they like. Nowhere is safe," Karimi said.The attack on the Intercontinental Hotel was just one of several assaults on Sunday.In a village in the northern province of Balkh, Taliban fighters raided houses in the middle of the night, pulling police officers from their homes and shooting them dead.At least 18 officers were killed, deputy police chief Abdul Raziq Qaderi told local reporters.In western Herat province, at least eight civilians were killed when a car hit a Taliban-planted roadside mine, officials said.Al Jazeera
UK school forced to reverse hijab ban
London: One of the UK’s leading state-funded schools which had hit the headlines as one of the first to impose a ban on the hijab for girls under eight has been forced to reverse its decision after widespread criticism. St Stephen’s School in Newham, east London, had been planning to extend the ban to girls under 11 later this year but has chosen to withdraw the plans.“The school’s uniform policy is based on the health, safety and welfare of our children. The school has taken the decision to make changes to this policy with immediate effect and this follows on from conversations with our school community,” the school said in a statement. “We will work with our school community to continue to review this policy going forward in the best interests of our children,” it adds.Arif Qawi, the chair of governors of the school who had recently called on the UK Govt  to take a firm stand on young children wearing the hijab and fasting during Ramadan, resigned from his post on Friday. According to ‘The Sunday Times’, the resignation followed offensive messages posted on social media against him and the school’s Indian-origin principal Neena Lall.PTI
Saudi cleric killed in rural Guinea after preaching
A Saudi Arabian Islamic preacher was killed in eastern Guinea after proselytizing to hunting communities in a remote region near the Mali border, police and lawyers said on Friday.The preacher’s death in the village of Kantedou Balandou on Tuesday was followed by the fatal stabbing on Wednesday of the head of a group of hunters, which authorities said was likely to have been a revenge killing.It was not yet clear who was responsible for the deaths. middleeastmonitor
Media Dept. Jamaat-e-Islami Hind,
Compiled and edited by Anwarulhaq (Released at: 8:19 PM)
For free internal circulation





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