Saturday, 21 January 2017

Evening NEWS DIGEST
21 Jan.2017: 20 Rabius Sani 1438: Vol:8, No:94
 INDIA
Can govts in secular democracy allot land to religious institutions? SC to address
New Delhi: Supreme Court has decided to address whether a govt  in a secular democracy like ours could allot land free of cost to a community for construction of a religious institution like temple, mosque or church.Dealing with a petition which challenged Tamil Nadu govt's decision on Sept.24, 1986 to allot 0.27 acres of land free of cost in Ullagaram village in Sadiapet taluk near Chennai (then Madras) for construction of a mosque, a bench of Chief Justice JS Khehar and Justice DY Chandrachud said instead of dealing with the issue piecemeal, it would be better to settle the larger issue.It directed the apex court registry to list for March 20 all similar petitions pending in the SC. "We will work it out for everyone. It will be a better idea to sort out the issue once and for all. We cannot do it piecemeal," the bench said. The petition by Federation of Chennai Suburban (South) Welfare Assocition had challenged the govt  order (GO) of Sept.24,1986, by which the TN govt had accepted the recommendation of the land administration commissioner and directed transfer of 0.27 acres to Muslim Cultural Association of Madipakkam, Chennai, for construction of a mosque without payment of any cost.TOI
Land for religous sites on Supreme Court radar
Allot land on Re.1 lease to Brahmin community to get Parshuram Bhawan constructed: Himachal Govt
Himachal CM  Virbhadra Singh has directed all the deputy commissioners of the state to allot land on one rupee lease to the Brahmin community to get Parshuram Bhawan constructed at the district level provided the land is identified by the members of the concerned community.He also directed officers of big temples in the state to establish libraries so that research scholars could be benefited whereas such libraries had already been working in the Sanskrit colleges and academies. He was presiding over a meeting of the Brahmin Board organized here at Dharamshala. He said that Sanskrit was an ancient and rich language and was a high scoring subject. He assured the members to consider their demand of introducing Sanskrit at senior secondary level in the govt schools.Merinews.com/IANS
Shariat council can only help in reconciliation: Madras HC
Chennai: Reiterating its earlier stand that the Makka Masjid Shariat Council located at the mosque on Anna Salai and other places can merely provide conciliation service to its members, the first bench of the Madras High Court has made it clear that the council cannot be allowed to function in a manner resembling a judicial forum. It has no legal sanctity, the court said.“We are unable to agree with the submission that the council merely provides conciliation service. If it is so, it would not have troubled us. What is our concern is the manner in which it is portrayed before the public, which does not give an impression as if it is only a conciliation proceeding and an endeavour to resolve family disputes amicably,” the bench of Chief Justice SK Kaul and Justice M Sundar said on Thursday. The bench was dismissing a PIL by Abdur Rahman, who alleged that hundreds of marriages are dissolved deceptively and property issues are settled to the whims and fancies of religious leaders with the help of lawyers, in a court like setup inside the premises of mosques, particularly in the Makka Masjid in Chennai. newindianexpress
Shariat Council can’t function like a judicial forum, says High Court: The Hindu
Jallikattu returns as TN governor approves ordinance, CM to inaugurate sport
Chennai:  After a three year long ban, Jallikattu will finally be held across Tamil Nadu tomorrow. Governor Vidyasagar Rao has approved an executive order or ordinance by the state govt  which will allow the bull-taming sport to be held in Tamil Nadu, CM  O Panneerselvam said this evening. The CM  is now headed to Alanganallur in Madurai to inaugurate Jallikattu celebrations tomorrow, which were banned by the Supreme Court in 2014. Thousands of people, who have been protesting at Chennai's Marina beach since Tuesday evening, had said they will not disperse till the ban is officially lifted.All Tamil Nadu ministers will inaugurate Jallikattu in their districts tomorrow at 11 am. ndtv
TN Governor promulgates ordinance to conduct Jallikattu, CM to inaugurate sport
Jallikattu ordinance cleared by Centre
Jallikattu protest a lesson for Hindutva forces, Uniform Civil Code cannot be "imposed": Owaisi
AIMIM chief Asaduddin Owaisi said the huge protests across Tamil Nadu against the Jallikattu ban are a lesson for Hindutva forces.Owaisi today tweeted, “#Jallikattuprotest Lesson for Hindutva forces,Uniform Civil Code cannot be "imposed"this nation cannot have one Culture we celebrate all.”kashmirmonitor
Asaduddin Owaisi links Uniform Civil Code to Jallikattu
Educated girl can’t cry rape if ditched by boyfriend: HC
Mumbai: A promise to marry cannot be considered an inducement in every rape case, the Bombay high court has ruled while granting pre-arrest bail to a 21-year-old youth after his former girlfriend lodged a case of rape following their break-up. Justice Mridula Bhatkar held that an educated girl who has consented to have pre-marital sex should take responsibility for her decision."In the event of consent obtained by fraud, inducement is a necessary ingredient. There should be some material on record to believe prima facie that the girl was induced to such an extent that she was ready to have sexual intercourse.Promise to marry cannot be said to be an inducement in these types of cases," said Justice Bhatkar. The judge said that though society was changing, it carries the baggage of morality. "Since generations, there is a moral taboo that it is the responsibility of a woman to be a virgin at the time of marriage. However, today, the young generation is exposed to different interactions with each other and is well informed about sexual activities. Society is trying to be liberated but carries baggage of different notions of morality wherein sex before marriage is a matter of censure. Under such circumstances, a woman who is in love with a boy forgets that to have sex is her option like her counterpart's but refuses to take responsibility for her decision."TOI
Educated girl cannot claim rape if boy walks out on 'marriage promise': Mumbai HC
Spl CBI court allows Ishrat’s mother to join trial as party
Ahmedabad:A special CBI court on Saturday allowed Shamima Kauser to join the Ishrat Jahan encounter case as a party. Kauser is mother of Ishrat Jahan who had moved a plea before the court recently in this regard. The special judge MK Pandya allowed the vakalatnama moved by her advocate. Her lawyer has also sought copy of discharge application moved by accused DGP PP Pandey who is the in-charge police chief of Gujarat. Kauser sought permission to join the trial as a party since she is the victim and a witness.Her lawyer senior counsel IH Syed sought copy of Pandey’s discharge plea and other court papers related to the case.Pandey, along with IPS officer GL Singhal, DSP NK Amin, retired IPS DG Vanzara, DSP Tarun Barot and 2 other policemen were chargesheeted by CBI for conspiracy, murder and kidnapping of 19-year-old Mumbai girl Ishrat, her friend Javed Sheikh alias Pranesh Pillai and two alleged Pakistani nationals in 2004. indianexpress
Office-bearer of RSS history wing set to join ICHR
New Delhi: Anand Shanker Singh, an office-bearer of the RSS’s Akila Bharatheeya Itihasa Sankalana Yojana (ABISY) and principal of Iswar Saran Degree College in Allahabad, is set to become the new member-secretary of the Indian Council of Historical Research (ICHR). The post has been vacant for one-and-half years — historian Gopinath Ravindran, a UPA-II appointee, resigned halfway through his term in June 2015, over differences with ICHR’s current head YS Rao on its decision to disband the advisory committee of its journal comprising 21 historians, including Romila Thapar and Irfan Habib. Singh, 51, was selected by a panel that included Rao. His candidature has the approval from HRD Minister Prakash Javadekar and the appointment will be announced soon.Singh is currently vice-president of the UP chapter of ABISY called Itihaas Sankalan Samiti. He has been principal of Iswar Saran Degree College, a constituent college of Allahabad University since 2005, and specializes in Indian numismatics and palaeography and ancient Indian socio-economic history.“I have worked on the inscriptions and coins found in Mathura and Kaushambi,” he said.But he is not the only ABISY member to be inducted into the ICHR under NDA-II govt. Council members Narayan Rao, Ishwar Sharan Vishwakarma, Nikhilesh Guha and the ICHR boss himself are associated with the RSS’s history wing. Indianexpress
Most Muslims lived in UP, Bihar, W.Bengal, backwardness of states hurt community: RSS leader
RSS leaders Dattatreya Hosabale and Manmohan Vaidya strongly defended their organisation from allegations that it was pushing for a saffron agenda in education and blamed the Left for distorting history.“People aren’t happy with education, which should be based on national ethos. Our 5000 years of achievement is not taught. We think all knowledge came from the British and teach disproved theories like the Aryan Invasion,” Hosabale said at the Jaipur literature festival. They lauded the Rajasthan govt  for their work in revising textbooks, which have come under fire for inaccuracies and peddling gender and caste stereotypes. “Religious values cannot be kept out of the classroom.”They attacked “Left liberals” for distorting education and history and said the word “secular” was un-Indian and not favoured by BR Ambedkar. “It was forcibly inserted in 1976 without demand, debate or discussion. The roots of this word are western where secular state was created in opposition to theocratic state. The Indian state has always been secular with no religious discrimination,” Vaidya said speaking to a packed house.The question of the upliftment of Muslims proved thorny. When asked to explain the poor socio-economic condition of Muslims as explained in the Sachar committee report, Hosabale said most Muslims lived in UP, Bihar and West Bengal, and the backwardness of the states hurt the community.“We must also see if there is something in the community that hinders development,” he said again to loud applause. Minutes later, a man got up and blamed Muslims for wanting to remain backward. “No one can help them,” he said to more cheers and hooting.But the most fire was reserved for the Left, which was accused of painting the wrong history. “They have blocked people in media and academia. Many have boycotted JLF because we were coming. This is social and intellectual untouchability.”HT
We made a number of demands, but PM did not respond to them at all says Muslim delegate, terms meeting with Modi just as 'symbolic'
New Delhi:When Narendra Modi reached out to the Muslim community on Thursday as he met a delegation comprising both liberal, progressive and conservative members of the community, the PM  divided opinion among the attendees. Independence icon Maulana Abul Kalam Azad's grandson and noted educationist Firoz Bakht Ahmed told Mail Today that Modi was on the right track."May be most Muslims don't like PM Narendra Modi, but let's not forget many have begun to like him too. Many Muslims are falling in line with what he thinks," said Ahmed.Narrating what transpired, he said the meeting was extremely cordial with PM meeting Muslim representatives in an informal way."PM Modi said he considered Hindus and Muslims as his two children and he will deal with both of them with equanimity and equality," he said. Delving into PM's vision, he said Muslims need to come out of the mentality of ghettoisation. "He reiterated his vision of seeing the Muslims with 'computer in one hand, and the Quran in the other', but he also said that he was not going to go for the uplift of the community by way of appeasement. He said he will do it under the inspiration of his motto of 'Sabka Saath, Sabka Vikas'," Ahmed said.He also lauded the PM's efforts and pointed at the increase in the Haj quota, more than many Muslim dominated countries. He also cited the financial assistance given to the kite-makers of Gujarat. "The assistance was given to kite-makers and most of them are Muslims. But the assistance was not given in the name of Muslims," he added. Maulana Bilal Ahmed Bijrolvi, on the other hand, described the meet as just a "symbolic" effort which "did not go a long way in bridging the gulf between the Hindus and the Muslims".Bijrolvi accepted that the PM tried to make the meeting informal and tried to put his guests at ease, even narrating tales of a "Haji" from his village who was extremely venerated by all and sundry, but then dismissed it as only "symbolism"."We made a number of demands, but the PM did not respond to them at all," he said. "We told the PM that Muslims should be allowed to do 'namaz' at Muslim sites preserved by the archaeological department. We told him Waqf land was being misused; reminded him of what he had promised on bringing science and Quran together and also about the minority status of AMU and preservation of other Muslim institutions. But, PM gave a long speech without ever addressing any of this."Bijrolvi gave Mail Today a letter that he submitted to the PM and which listed his demands. "If you allow minority status for AMU, you will be giving a chance to Muslims to thank you."He also demanded that the instant divorce practice of triple talaq be left alone as an institution."I also demand that the BJP leaders who are in a habit to give vitriolic speeches be punished," the cleric said.india today
Attacked over issuing Muslims visas, Sushma tweets religion not relevant for her
New Delhi:External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj took to Twitter on Friday to assert that all Indians were ‘her people.’ The reaction came after a Twitter user alleged she was biased towards issuing ‘Muslim Visa’. The allegations levied against her were directed towards PM Modi asking him to look into the matter. Far from ignoring the tweet, the foreign minister countered the allegation. Sushma said that matters of caste and religion were not relevant to her since India was her country and all Indians were her people. “India is my country. Indians are my people. The caste, state, language or religion is not relevant for me,” she tweeted. indianexpress
Constitution’s architect was against use of quota in perpetuity: Ambedkar’s grandson asks RSS leader
New Delhi;Prakash Ambedkar, grandson of BR Ambedkar, on Saturday strongly objected to RSS leader Manmohan Vaidya’s claim that the Constitution’s architect was not for continuance of quota in perpetuity and challenged him to state where the dalit icon made such a comment. Prakash, who leads Bharip Bahujan Mahasangh, hit out at Vaidya’s remarks favouring review of reservation policy, alleging RSS has been anti-reservation right from the beginning and urged people belonging to reserved categories to decide on their association with Sangh and BJP in this context.Prakash, however, did not make any direct reference to forthcoming assembly elections in five states as he made this appeal to community people.“On behalf of the party we condemn the statement of Manmohan Vaidya that reservation should be put to an end. We challenge Mr. Vaidya to state the source where Dr Babasaheb Ambedkar made the statement,” he told PTI.“RSS right from the beginning is against the reservation. All people belonging to reserved category have to decide on this background they would like to continue their association with RSS and BJP,” he added.PTI
 BSP, Congress target BJP over RSS leader's call for quota review
Lucknow:A senior RSS leader’s call for reviewing reservation policy gave political fodder to the BJP’s opponents on Saturday, potentially threatening to hurt the saffron party’s prospects in UP where caste equations play a major role in the election results.Assembly elections in UP, crucial for the BJP’s hopes of gaining majority in Rajya Sabha, will be held over seven phases starting Feb.11. A similar comment by RSS chief Mohan Bhagwat ahead of the 2015 assembly polls in Bihar is believed to have boomeranged on the BJP, resulting in a resounding victory for a Nitish Kumar-led grand alliance of JD(U)-RJD-Congress.BSP leader Mayawati, who projects herself as a champion of the Dalits, on Saturday asked the “suppressed community to teach the BJP a lesson in the assembly elections”, indicating the issue will dominate the party’s campaign.“If (the) BJP comes to power in UP, it will withdraw reservation,” Mayawati said a press conference adding that “Dalit, OBC, ST will reject the saffron brigade.”HT
Controversy as RSS says no community should have reservations for too long
Muslim reservation is unconstitutional: BJP
Kothagudem: BJP State president K. Laxman on Friday lashed out at TRS govt over its proposal to provide 12% reservations to Muslim minorities, alleging that move was “unconstitutional” and amounted to “religion-based reservations.” Laxman was speaking at the inaugural session of the two-day BJP State executive committee meeting, which commenced in the temple town of Bhadrachalam on Friday.Taking a dig at the Telangana govt  for its “Muslim quota” proposal, the BJP leader alleged that the TRS regime was pursuing vote-bank politics for selfish political gains. “Proposal is unconstitutional,” he said, adding that the BJP would explore legal options against it. thehindu
Congress moves EC over ‘campaigning’ by RSS
Congress on Friday drew Election Commission’s attention to media reports about the RSS allegedly doing “full swing” political activities in poll-bound UP.“It has been reported that RSS has deployed their volunteers in 403 assembly constituencies in UP led by one convener and 2 deputy conveners in each constituency,” Congress legal secretary KC Mittal wrote in his letter to the CEC Nasim Zaidi. Mittal also alleged RSS and its affiliated organisations have taken over campaign charge for BJP candidates in the state.“The fact is RSS and their affiliated organisations have been doing full swing political activities without being registered as a political party with the Commission,” Mittal said.HT
Congress rejects Akhilesh's offer of 99 seats, alliance with Samajwadi Party in trouble
New Delhi: Samajwadi Party-Congress alliance which was promising to alter the political equations for Assembly polls in UP is in trouble. Hectic negotiations for the last few days hit a wall on Friday when both sides, off the record, called the other's demand for more seats unreasonable. Amidst building tension, CM Akhilesh Yadav started talks with Congress leaders through back channels to iron out the differences since Saturday morning.At the heart of the trouble were two key issues - how many seats will each get and which seat will go to which party.By evening the talks were stalled once again. Akhilesh Yadav, who started bargaining from not more than 85 seats in the morning made the final offer by late afternoon. He has now put them all in the Congress's court by agreeing to give 99 of the 403 seats to the Congress. But the Congress wants nothing less than 110.The two parties had sent out all the right signals till Monday last. But when the two camps sat down for seat sharing talks trouble erupted. Senior Samajwadi Party leaders today indicated that Akhilesh who has already announced 210 candidates - some even on seats held by Congress legislators - may announce few more if talks fail as time is running out and nominations for the first phase are ending on Jan.24. CM is not waiting for the alliance to be through in more ways. Tomorrow, Akhilesh will be releasing his party's manifesto in Lucknow. ndtv
SP-Congress alliance in trouble, tussle over minority-dominated seats
SP banks on Muslim-Yadav formula:TOI
Lucknow: Focussing on its tested Muslim-Yadav (MY) formula, Samajwadi Party has given tickets to 56 Muslims and 26 Yadavs in the first list of 208 candidates announced on Friday.The list released by party's national president Akhilesh Yadav has most of the 38 names, including Shivpal Yadav from Jaswantnagar in Etawah, recommended by SP patriarch Mulayam Singh. Akhilesh's focus on Muslim candidates gains significance since Mulayam had said recently that there was a perception that UP CM was not pro-Muslim.TOI
Mulayam's aide Ambika Chaudhary joins BSP, slams Akhilesh
Lucknow: In a setback to Samajwadi Party, Mulayam Singh Yadav's aide Ambika Chaudhary today joined the BSP, saying he was saddened by the way the SP patriarch was treated by his son and CM  Akhilesh Yadav. Chaudhary, who joined the BSP in the presence of party chief Mayawati, has been promised a party ticket from his traditional Phephna seat in Ballia which he had lost in the 2012 UP Assembly elections. He later became a member of the Legislative Council. PTI
UP elections: SP leader Ambika Chaudhary joins BSP, Mayawati says ready for Shivpal too
UP: Clerics say no to political parties
Lucknow:Unhappy with the alleged misuse of their influence, religious places and educational institutions for political gain during elections, Muslim clerics have decided to distance themselves from political parties this poll season.Darul Uloom of Deoband was the first to make public its intention to avoid party leaders ahead of the upcoming state polls. Maulana Arif Ul Haq, Imam of the prestigious ‘Phoos ki Masjid’ in Baruat, met Imams of 262 mosques in the tehsil under the jurisdiction of the masjid on Sunday. The religious heads decided in the meeting to keep political leaders at bay during the 2017 UP elections. The Imam said, “Religion and politics should not be mixed. Politicians mislead people in the name of Imams and exploit religious leaders for their political gain during polls.” Mukti Zulfikar, state president of All India Imam Association, while supporting the decision of Muslim clerics said, “It is true that party leaders many times use innocent religious persons for their political benefit and unfortunately religious heads end up earning a bad name in the process.”HT
UP elections: Politicians tour Islamic seminaries and dargahs in hope of Muslim votes: HT
Mumbai: Muslim League leader joins Shiv Sena
Mumbai: In a major blow to the Indian Union Muslim League (IUML), its city unit vice-president Sajid Soopariwala has quit the party and joined Shiv Sena. Accompanied by Haji Arafat Shaikh, who heads Shiv Sena's minority wing Maharashtra Shiv Vahtuk Sena, Soopariwala met party president Uddhav Thackeray at Matoshree a couple of days ago and formally joined the party."I was with IUML for over two years, but didn't see it moving anywhere. I want to do something for the community and by joining the Shiv Sena, I will be a bridge between the community and the party which controls not just BMC, but also shares power in the state and at the Centre," said Soopariwala, a Memon from an affluent family.timesofindia
ED summons Zakir Naik, tells him to appear by Jan 30
Mumbai: The Enforcement Directorate (ED) has summoned Dr. Zakir Naik, asking him to appear for questioning by the end of this month. The summon is the first official communication by an investigative agency addressed directly to Naik and asking him to appear in person. The summons was issued earlier this week under the provisions of Prevention of Money Laundering Act.The move comes after the union govt , in November, issued orders banning Naik and his organisation IRF, of all activities. After the ban, NIA sealed the IRF offices and also seized documents and other evidence. Naik and IRF were banned under provisions of UAPA. Subsequently, ED registered a criminal case against Naik and IRF in Dec.The summons states that Naik should appear before the agency by the end of January to record his statement. ASIAN AGE
ED summons Zakir under Money Laundering Act
Scrutinization of Geelani’s bank accounts a ploy:Hurriyat
Srinagar;Hurriyat Conference(G)has termed the “scrutinization” of bank accounts of its chairman Syed Ali Geelani by the National Investigation Agency as a “ploy to dampen his sprits, harass him and deter him from raising the voice of the suppressed and the subjugated nation.” Commenting on news reports about Geelani’s bank accounts being “scrutinized” by NIA, a spokesman of the Hurriyat said:“This is a part of negative campaign. Nothing is concealed and his (Geelani’s) activities are open,transparent and unambiguous.” greaterkashmir
NIA used against resistance leadership: Hurriyat (G)
J&K:Separate homeland demand for Pandits gets right wing backing
Jammu:Several right wing organisations from various states today backed the demand for creation of Union Territory in Kashmir valley for displaced Kashmiri Pandits for their rehabilitation and breaking the state into four parts. At a convention here to mark 27th anniversary of exodus of Kashmiri Pandits from the valley due to militancy, all delegates endorsed the demand of Panun Kashmir organisation for creation of UT in Kashmir valley to the North and East of River Jhelum along with rehabilitation of all Kashmiri Hindus living all over India, Pramod Muthalik, founder of Sri Ram Sena, told reporters here.Muthalik, who had shot to limelight after an attack on a pub in Mangalore a few years back, addressed a joint press conference along with Tapan Ghosh, a firebrand nationalist ideologue from West Bengal, Charu Dutt Pingale, a social and cultural activist from Maharashtra, Ramesh Shinde, founder of Hindu Jagruti Samiti, Murli Sharma of Odisha-based Bharat Raksha Manch, Radha Krishen of Shiv Sena and Agnishekher, convener of Panun Kashmir.PTI
Mob attack in Kathua creates a sense of insecurity among Muslims of Jammu
Jammu: A week after RSS activists attacked tribal Muslim families living in the Hari Chak village of Tehsil Mahreen in Kathua district, an uneasy calm prevails in the Jammu division, where most districts are Hindu-majority districts.The trouble started on Monday, Jan.9, after tribal Muslims living in Hari Chak village were accused of slaughtering cow. Hearing this, a mob of more than 500 persons led by RSS activists entered the village with sticks and country-made rifles and fired on the people which led to five injuries including a minor girl.The incident has already caused a furore in the state with opposition cornering PDP-BJP coalition govt  in the state legislative assembly and separatist leader expressing their apprehensions by issuing statements and organising protests against the attack after Friday prayers across valley as way to express solidarity with Muslims living in Jammu division.TCN
Cannot prescribe solution or act as mediator on J&K:UK
London:UK can neither “prescribe” a solution to the Kashmir issue nor act as a mediator, the British govt  has said, asserting that it is for India and Pakistan to find a lasting solution to the problem. “India and Pakistan are both long-standing and important friends of the United Kingdom and we have significant links to both countries through Indian and Pakistani diaspora communities,”Alok Sharma, UK’s Foreign Office minister in charge of Asia, said during a debate on Kashmir in the Parliament.“…The long-standing position of the British govt  is that it can neither prescribe a solution to the situation in Kashmir nor act as a mediator. It is for the govt s of India and Pakistan to find a lasting resolution, taking of course into account the wishes of the Kashmiri people,” he said, stating Britain’s position on the issue.PTI
5743 Rohingyas staying illegally in JK: Govt
Jammu:Over 5,700 Rohingyas (Burmese Nationals) are illegally staying in J&K , CM  Mehbooba Mufti on Friday informed the Legislative Assembly in a written reply.  “5743 Rohingyas are staying in the state. They have entered the state on their own and are staying at various places in the districts of Jammu and Samba,” Mehbooba who is also holding charge of Home Minister of JK stated. greaterkashmir
Pak asks India to suspend work on hydro projects in J&K
Islamabad: Pakistan’s 2 parliamentary committees in rare joint resolution asked India to immediately suspend work on two hydropower projects in J&K and agree on the constitution of an arbitration court to resolve the water dispute.National Assembly’s Committee on Foreign Affairs and Water and Power held a joint sitting in Islamabad yesterday to discuss water issues with India.A joint resolution unanimously adopted in the meeting asked India to halt the construction work, Dawn reported. The resolution also called upon the World Bank to constitute a court of arbitration to adjudicate on issues raised by Pakistan against India’s ongoing construction of Kishanganga and Ratle hydro projects.PTI
China acquires strategic 40% stake in Pak stocks
Pak hands over soldier who inadvertently crossed LoC
New Delhi: An army soldier who had inadvertently crossed the Line of Control in September last year has been handed over to India by Pakistan at Wagah Border today. Sepoy Chandu Babulal Chauhan was being released on "humanitarian grounds", Pakistan said in a statement. The news of the 22-year-old soldier from Maharashtra being in Pakistani captivity had come just hours after India announced that in surgical strikes, troops had attacked seven terror launch pads or staging areas across the LoC in PoK. NDTV

Eatables high in fat, salt, sugar set to get ‘junk food’ label soon
New Delhi: A packet of popular branded potato chips might soon have a “junk food” label on it as the country’s food regulator wants to make a clear distinction between healthy and unhealthy foods.Foods Safety and Standards Authority of India’s (FSSAI) move reflects a growing concern over junk food — a grey area in India as the country doesn’t have clear-cut guidelines on food and beverages considered unhealthy.“We are trying to define junk food based on proportion of salt, sugar and fat content… The calculations are based on the Indian diet chart and recommended diet as well as international standards,” said Pawan Kumar Agarwal, CEO of FSSAI.The regulator is preparing guidelines to put caps on fat, salt and sugar content in packaged food. The manufacturers will have to put the junk food label on packets of any product that contains more than the prescribed limit of these ingredients. These suggestions were made by a panel that the regulator had formed to prepare guidelines for a healthy diet for Indians, including a definition on junk food. hindustantimes
Food regulator may soon label chips, samosas as junk food
SC to give final hearing on pleas of Teesta, others on Feb21
New Delhi: Supreme Court would next month take up pleas filed by social activist Teesta Setalvad and her 2 controversial NGOs, challenging the freezing of their accounts by the Ahmedabad Police, for final disposal. A bench of Justices Dipak Misra and R Banumathi said it would commence the final hearing on the pleas on Feb.21. economictimes
Bihar forms world’s largest human chain against alcoholism and liquor:PTI
Patna:Bihar today claimed to have formed the world’s largest human chain with CM  Nitish Kumar, political leaders, cutting across party lines, and citizens held each other’s hand to reaffirm commitment towards liquor ban. 45-minute-long human chain started at 12:15 PM at the historic Gandhi Maidan when CM  Nitish Kumar floated colourful balloons, and ended at 1 PM.The CM  joined hands with RJD supremo Lalu Prasad on the one side and state Legislative Assembly Speaker Vijay Kumar Chaudhary on the other to begin the chain of people to express unity in support of prohibition.Legislative Council Chairman Awdesh Narayan Singh, Deputy CM  Tejaswi Yadav, state Congress President and minister Ashok Choudhary, NCP General Secretary and MP Tariq Anwar and a host of ministers and legislators held each other’s hand at the begining of the chain which branched to different directions to stretch across Bihar.The human chain is estimated to cover a distance of 11,292 km involving two crore citizens. Bihar human chain is tipped to be the world’s largest so far.A student of Notre Dame Ayesha Sayeed, whose school stood in line near Kurji More here, said it’s a historic moment as we are becoming part of a great social revolution.Burqa-clad women stood in queue in Gandhi maidan display participation of people from all faiths.
Constitute separate ShiaWakf Board:Telangana HC to govt
Hyderabad: Hyderabad High Court has directed the Telangana govt to constitute a separate Wakf Board for Shia Muslims.A deadline of 6 weeks has been given to finalise the decision. Justice AV Sesha Sai gave this direction while dealing with a petition filed by Moulana Waheduddin Hyder a representative of Anjuman-E-Alavi Shia Imamia Ithna Ashari (Akhbari). Akhbari filed a petition, for not constituting a separate Waqf Board for Shia Sect though sections 13(2) and 13(2-A) of the Waqf Act, 1995 mandate it to do so. siasat
'Zaira Wasim Perfectly Shut Up A BJP Leader Who Took A Dig At Women In Burqas
Before she could even recover from the controversy that erupted when she met J&K CM Mehbooba Mufti, Zaira Wasim, girl who played the younger version of Geeta Phogtat in Dangal, has found herself embroiled in another.This time, it was BJP's Sports Minister Vijay Goel. He sent out an atrocious tweet, which we aren't sure was to empathise with her or just be vicious towards Muslims in general.In the image, Goel is seen looking at an artwork that shows a helpless woman in a cage. Behind her is a picture of a woman in a burqa.The painting depicts burqa as a symbol of Islamic oppression. How Goel though that could be equated to Zaira's journey (who he seemingly doesn't know too well) is something that only he knows but the child star didn't take too well to the tweet, obviously. huffingtonpost
I am Zaira: Dear Vijay Goel and bigots, wearing a hijab isn't oppression and acting in a movie isn't un-Islamic
 Separatist Asiya Andrabi’s son comes to Zaira’s defence
Saudi deports Syed Zaker Raheem, wanted for plan to kill BJP leaders
Saudi Arabia:Saudi Arabia has deported a man wanted in connection with a conspiracy to target leaders of BJP and other Hindu right wing outfits. Syed Zaker Raheem, who comes from Saidabad in Hyderabad and was living in Riyadh for many years, was arrested by Saudi authorities in May 2016 on the request of Indian authorities. After completing formalities, he was deported to Delhi Thursday and taken to Hyderabad Friday where Telangana police arrested him. Raheem is brother-in-law of wanted Farhatuallah Ghori, who is learnt to be holed up in Pakistan. Ghori is an absconding accused in an NIA case in connection with LeT’s recruitment of several youth in Karnataka and Telangana in 2010-11 to execute terror attacks and assassinate right-wing leaders. NIA had arrested several youngsters in the case. 13 of them were convicted by a court last September after they pleaded guilty to the charges. indian express


MP: Slain suspected SIMI man’s mother produces footage before court
Jabalpur: Mother of a slain suspected SIMI member - who was killed in an encounter after Bhopal jail break - produced footages revealing conversations between the Bhopal police forces chasing the under-trials. Mehmooda, 61, mother of slain Maharashtra-born Khalid Ahmed, who was among the 8 slain men, had approached Jabalpur bench of high court seeking to file a case of murder and criminal conspiracy against Madhya Pradesh Home Minister and DGP besides the Bhopal jail officials for the alleged encounter. She had also asked for registration of a separate FIR to probe circumstances that led to murder of the jail guard. Advocate Naeem Khan submitted footages in a CD before the court on her behalf. Next hearing has been posted for Feb.13. Before moving this PIL, Mehmooda had also submitted a complaint to Solapur (Maharashtra) police seeking action against Home Minister Bhupendra Singh and others alleging that her son was murdered. Khalid was among the SIMI members, who were killed after they escaped from the Bhopal Central jail in a daring pre-dawn jail-break. Sholapur police did not register any case though it had sent a copy to Bhopal police.TOI
Nursery admissions: HC stays govt’s notification, private minority unaided schools to accept neighbourhood criteria
New Delhi:Delhi High Court today stayed the operation of AAP govt ’s circular asking private unaided minority schools to accept admission forms based only on the neighbourhood or distance criteria, saying they are free to devise their own procedures and should be treated differently.The bench, which has rapped the AAP govt  for issuing such notification “at the eleventh hour putting everyone in a chaos like situation”, said the govt  in future should make an endeavour to frame such policy at least 6 months in advance, if not earlier.“Prima facie the Delhi govt notification dated Jan.7, 2017 is contrary to the constitutional mandate. This court is of the view that fundamental right of minority schools cannot be interfered with and their right to admit students cannot be taken away..PTI
Delhi HC stays govt  circular on private minority schools
Hamid Ansari calls for fearless journalism
New Delhi: Vice President Hamid Ansari on Friday said the media must stand up to fear, seek information and speak out.“It must not hesitate to tell the powers their errors in commission and omission. It is a fundamental function of the media and a basic requirement for the functioning of a healthy democracy,” Ansari said after giving away the C.H. Mohammed Koya National Journalism Awards 2016.IANS
AP, Telangana take lead in setting up ‘Gurukuls’ for Muslims
New Delhi:Govt  has approved 16 residential schools for Muslim students, which will be modelled on the traditional ‘Gurukuls’; and the southern states of Andhra Pradesh and Telangana are taking a lead in this.The newest Indian state of Telangana is taking proactive measures to avail benefit of the Centre’s scheme. The scheme is estimated to cost about Rs. 262 crore.Scheme is part of the Centre’s plan to modernise the education for Muslims in the country.
Police hike reward for information on Najeeb
 After failing to achieve any breakthrough in tracing missing JNU Najeeb Ahmed, the police on Friday hiked the reward to ₹10 lakh for anyone sharing information that might help them to find him. Police had initially announced a reward of ₹50,000, which was later increased to ₹1 lakh, then again doubled to ₹2 lakh. In November, the amount was hiked to ₹5lakh.the hindu
JNU Teachers on strike to lose out one day’s salary
JNU Teachers’ Association observed a strike against ‘administrative threats to colleagues’ and to press for the ‘democratic functioning of institutions within JNU’, among other things on Jan.17. However, Pramod Kumar, the Registrar of the university, has written to all faculty members asking them to convey in writing about their participation in a strike called by JNU Teachers’ Association (JNUTA) within 10 days.FE
Clinical trial of Unani medicine for diabetes soon:AMU don
Ludhiana: Teenager chops up 9-year-old’s body, eats flesh, drinks blood; arrested
Ludhiana:The police on Friday arrested a 16-year-old boy for murdering a nine-year-old and then eating his flesh. The accused, identified as Vikesh Kumar confessed he killed the boy Deepu to eat his flesh, told the police.As per police, the initial plan of the accused was to demand a ransom, but foreseeing failure of his plan, he ended up murdering the victim. After murdering the victim, he ate flesh from his thigh and drank his blood.Police also informed that he told he had removed the victim’s heart from his body and thrown it on the premises of his school here, with the intention of bringing ill-reputation to it.He confessed he never liked going to school and thus, he thought of doing so that the school gets closed.The heart was recovered by the police from the school compound.As per cops, the accused had some psychiatric problem due to which he used to eat raw meat.ANI
16-yr-old kills 9-yr-old, chops body into 6 parts, eats flesh, drinks blood:TOI
DEMONETISATION
Demonetisation: RBI says doesn’t know exact number of scrapped notes
More than 72 days after demonetisation, RBI has said it still does not know the “exact number” of junked currency notes that were in circulation and it is still “reconciling” the number of notes that were deposited back. In a written submission to Parliament’s Public Accounts Committee (PAC), the central bank said: “The exact number of Specified Bank Notes (SBNs) withdrawn from circulation is being worked out.”PTI
Demonetisation,pol.decision not economic:Sanjay Baru
Jaipur:Halfway into its tenure, the BJP govt  has “nothing but demonetisation” to highlight, which was essentially a political decision aimed at casting Narendra Modi as an anti-corruption crusader, author commentator Sanjaya Baru today said. Baru, who was the media advisor to former PM Manmohan Singh was speaking at a session at the ongoing Jaipur Literature Festival here. “The decision of demonetisation was a political decision not an economic one through which the PM Modi established himself as a powerful anti-corruption crusader.PTI
WORLD
Turkey moves closer to expanding Erdogan powers
Ankara: Turkish parliament early Saturday approved a draft bill that would dramatically expand the powers of President Recep Tayyip Erdogan, meaning the country will vote on changing the constitution later this year.The govt  insists the proposals to create an executive presidency will ensure simpler and more effective administration but critics say it will give Erdogan more power that is unchecked. Parliament approved 18-article constitution in a final vote with 339 "yes" votes. 142 MPs voted against the bill.Each article was put to a vote in the 550-seat parliament, where ruling AKP enjoys a comfortable majority. At least 330 votes -- a 3-fifths majority -- were needed to adopt the constitutional change. Immediately after the bill was approved, PM Binali Yildirim said the "last word" would be had by the people in a referendum, expected to be held in April.AFP
Turkish MPs approve bill to create executive presidency
Brotherhood’s Akef moved to private hospital due to health deterioration
Informed sources have revealed that ex-Muslim Brotherhood General Guide Mohammed Mahdi Akef has been moved from Qasr El-Eyni Internal Medicine Hospital, in central Cairo, to a private hospital.The move has apparently been made after an appeal from his family about the deterioration of his health. Akef was diagnosed with cancerous tumours in his bile duct, reported Cairo News Portal.On 26 Dec., Muslim Brotherhood revealed that its former leader’s condition is terminal and demanded that he be released. The Egyptian authorities have only responded to the movement’s request now.Akef is being detained on charges of involvement in the summer 2013 “Guidance Office incident”, after clashes between Brotherhood supporters and opponents. middleeastmonitor
Trump has fired all foreign US ambassadors with nobody to replace them
Shortly after Donald Trump was sworn into office as the 45th President of the US, all foreign ambassadors were fired and with no concrete replacement ambassadors lined up. Trump had demanded that every ambassador in countries all over the world, who had been appointed by ex-President Barack Obama, were told to leave their offices by midday on 20 January and with no grace period.His transition team had said on 23 Dec.there would be “no exceptions” for ambassadors requesting to extend their postings past Inauguration day, in contrast with other Presidents, even for ambassadors with young children.It is common policy, however, that politically appointed ambassadors resign at start of a new administration. It is less common to have no replacements in line. As many as 80 ambassadors for countries, agencies and issues - such as the ambassador for global women's issues - have been discarded at once. The move now threatens leaving many countries without Senate-confirmed envoys for months and cutting off a direct line to the President, and some in countries which have sensitive relations to the US. independent
In open letter to US Congressmen, 90 civil advocacy groups oppose anti-Muslim rhetoric
About 90 national religious, secularist, civil advocacy and civil rights organizations have urged  the members of Congress to "support core principles of the First Amendment and religious freedom in our country by denouncing anti-Muslim rhetoric and policy proposals."In an open letter sent on Jan.17, the organizations said as anti-Muslim rhetoric became more prevalent during the presidential campaign, the rate of crimes against Muslims also increased. "Establishing anti-Muslim policies, such as forcing Muslims to register on a national scale, goes directly against the American principles of freedom of religious belief and of expression."The open letter was sent to mark the Religious Freedom Day 2017.Milli Gazette
Kremlin: Putin ready to meet with Trump
Russian President Vladimir Putin is ready to meet US President Donald Trump but preparations for the possible meeting may take months, not weeks, Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov was quoted as saying by TASS news agency. Middleeastmonitor
US President Trump sworn-in, vows to obliterate radical Islamic terrorism
Trump admin makes defeating Islamic terrorism top foreign policy goal
Asian media decry isolationist US President Donald Trump, fear economic and diplomatic turmoil:Reuters
World jittery about Donald Trump’s ‘America first’ inaugural speech:AP
Bernie Sanders Should Have Been America’s 45th President. Democrats Elevated Trump and Cheated Bernie
Pentagon: US airstrikes kill 100 Al-Qaeda fighters in Syria
A US airstrike on Thursday targeting an alleged Al-Qaeda training camp in Syria’s Idlib province killed more than 100 militants, the Pentagon said in a statement yesterday.The strike took place just a day before the end of Barack Obama’s presidency and the beginning of Donald Trump’s, and a day after more than 80 Daesh militants were killed in other US airstrikes in Libya.“The removal of this training camp disrupts training operations and discourages hardline Islamist and Syrian opposition groups from joining or cooperating with Al-Qaeda on the battlefield,” Captain Jeff Davis, a Pentagon spokesman, said in the statement.US has never bombed Iranian proxies, such as Shia jihadists from the Lebanese Hezbollah or units from the Iraqi Hezbollah, despite both being listed as terrorist organisations by Washington.Middleeastmonitor
Deadly bomb blast hits Syria's Rakban refugee camp
A bomb blast struck the Rakban camp for displaced people in Syria near the border with Jordan on Saturday, causing injuries and deaths, said the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights, a Britain-based war monitor.The camp is home to displaced civilians and to rebel groups that fight both President Bashar al-Assad and ISIL armed group and was targeted by bombings last year.Jordan's official Petra news agency, citing a military source, confirmed that an explosion went off inside the camp. Syrian local media said the blast was caused by a car-bomb and caused deaths and injuries.There was no claim of responsibility for the bombing. Home to more than 85,000 displaced, the Rakban camp was also targeted by a bomb blast last month.On Saturday, the Russian defence ministry said six Russian warplanes carried out air strikes on ISIL targets in the Deir ez Zor provice, according to Russian media outlet RIA. The ministry added that the planes flew from Russian territory and returned after the strikes, RIA said.The attacks comes as the Syrian government and rebel groups prepare for upcoming peace talks in Kazakhstan. aljazeera
Opposition meet Russian delegates ahead of Astana talks
Ankara:Syrian opposition and Russian delegations mediating peace talks due next week in Kazakh capital of Astana met Friday in Ankara.The meeting was held in coordination with the Turkish co-guarantor of the cease-fire in Syria, the Syrian opposition's military delegation said in a statement.According to the statement, the two delegations discussed the structure, the goal, and agenda of the Astana talks."The meeting also covered how they would lead to a political solution in Syria in accordance with the UN security council terms of reference, the Geneva communique and resolution 2254," read the statement. Anadolu agency
Turkey’s Deputy PM rejects comments on Assad
Davos, Switzerland:Turkish Deputy Prime Minister Mehmet Simsek on Friday rejected a "distorted" news report carrying his remarks on Bashar al-Assad.Speaking to Anadolu Agency, Simsek said his comments quoted by Russian Sputnik news agency at the World Economic Forum in Davos did not reflect the truth and his remarks were "distorted”.Earlier, Sputnik quoted Simsek saying, "Turkey can no longer insist on an agreement without Assad."Anadolu agency
Mosul Op: 6,500 Iraq soldiers killed in 3 months
Mosul: Iraqi Kurdish Regional Govt 's peshmerga forces make preparations as they take positions as they attack Daesh targets to capture Imam Reza Village and the other surrounding villages from Daesh terrorists during the operation to retake Iraq's Mosul from Daesh terrorists, in Mosul, Iraq on October 20, 2016. A much anticipated Mosul offensive to liberate the city from Daesh began midnight of 16th of October. Middleeastmonitor
Losing in Iraq, IS seeks to shore up Syria presence:Reuters
2,250 militants ‘neutralised’ in Turkish-backed operation  in Syria
More than 2,250 militants have been killed, wounded or captured in northern Syria in a Turkish-backed operation launched late August, the Turkish military said in a statement today. Operation Euphrates Shield has resulted in 1,940 Daesh fighters and 315 PKK/PYD terrorists being “neutralised”, the Turkish General Staff said in a weekly briefing note on the 150-day campaign to eliminate the terror threat along Turkey’s southern border. middleeastmonitor
IS  destroys parts of 2nd-century Roman amphitheatre in Syria’s Palmyra
Denmark will deploy special forces to Syria to fight against Daesh
Deadly blast rocks market in Pakistan's northwest
A bomb blast ripped through a vegetable market in Pakistan's northwestern region in a predominantly Shia area, killing at least 22 people and wounding about 90 others. The explosion occurred Saturday morning at the Eidgah Market in Parachinar city, the capital of Kurram Agency, where a large number of people had gathered to buy fresh produce.Ashiq Hussain, who was lightly wounded, was being treated in Parachinar hospital. He said he was among the people purchasing fruit and vegetables loaded on a van when the explosion took place.Local official Kurram Ikramullah told Al Jazeera as many as 87 people had been wounded, some in critical condition. aljazeera
Suicide bombers blow themselves up in Saudi Arabia
Two suicide bombers have blown themselves up in a confrontation with security forces in Saudi Arabia's second city of Jeddah, local media reported.Sabq, a news website affiliated with the kingdom's Interior Ministry, reported on Saturday that security officers surrounded a house in Jeddah and exchanged fire with two men, who then detonated explosives that images showed completely destroyed the home.There was no immediate comment from the Saudi interior ministry. aljazeera

 Compiled and edited by Anwarulhaq (Released at: 7:55 PM)

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