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Tuesday, 28 February 2017

Evening NEWS DIGEST
28Feb.2017: 30Jamadiul Awwal 1438: Vol:8, No:128
Students, teachers from DU, JNU, Jamia hit streets, ABVP says DU environment being spoiled
New Delhi:The protest march in Delhi University against alleged ABVP violence at Ramjas College concluded Tuesday after a day of speeches and sloganeering. The protest march began from SGTB Khalsa College and went on in the direction of the Arts Faculty. Members of the Congress-backed NSUI were sitting on a hunger strike outside Arts faculty. Students from various Delhi University colleges joined the protest. While earlier protests were backed by Left student unions, the protest today was full of students unaffiliated to any political ideology. “We are not here to support AISA or ABVP but have come to show our solidarity for the freedom of speech and expression,” said a student from Khalsa College who wished not to be named. The protest today was later joined by various politicians. Sitaram Yechury and D Raja joined from CPI while Yogendra Yadav also pledged support. Students and teachers from JNU, Jamia Millia Islamia and Amdedkar University also attended the march. Ex-JNUSU president Kanhaiya Kumar was also present at the march and raised slogans against ABVP at the event. Kanhaiya was one of the 3 JNU students arrested last year in the sedition case. Gurmehar Kaur, daughter of the slain soldier in Kashmir who had raised her voice against ABVP and started the campaign ‘Not Afraid of ABVP’ was also slated to join the march. However, following rape threats and verbal attacks since her campaign, she chose to withdraw from the march and did not attend it. indianexpress
Ramjas protest LIVE updates: Give us azaadi from ‘ABVP gundagardi,’ demand students
Gurmehar Kaur’s protest against ABVP violence: LSR College backs their student
Delhi Police file FIR following DU student Kaur’s complaint of rape threats
After War Veterans, Sikh Group Comes Out In Support Of Gurmehar Kaur
Now, Kargil Martyr Saurabh Kalia's Father Backs Kaur
 Violence: Global academicians condemn Ramjas
New Delhi:Academicians from universities across the globe, including Coulmbia, Cambridge, Trinity College and New York University, have condemned the recent Ramjas College clashes as "State-tolerated violence".In a joint statement, the academicians said no progress is possible in a country if the young people are "not permitted" the full freedom to discuss difficult and pressing issues. "The issues that will matter to them long after the political leadership in the country has passed on," they said."We stand against the rule of state-tolerated violence on college campuses," the statement said. The signatories include professors from Columbia, Cambridge, University of Pensylvannia, University of Toronto, Trinity college, University of California, New York University and University of Göttingen, among others.PTI
AMU students, teachers march in solidarity with DU
Around 500 students and teachers of AMU on Tuedsay held a public meeting and a march in solidarity with the violence at Delhi University’s Ramjas College. The march “for the cause of free speech and the right to express opinions” started from the university’s Arts Faculty and culminated at Bab-e-Syed, the university gate, where some teachers and students addressed the gathering and recited poems. indianexpress
DU protest LIVE: NHRC issues notice to Delhi top cop over police excesses in Ramjas College
We beat teachers too: an ABVP footsoldier's confession
Modi's graveyard politics gets a Sakshi Maharaj twist: Muslims should also be cremated
New Delhi:Days after PM  Narendra Modi made his infamous 'qabristan-shamshaan' remarks at an election rally in UP, BJP MP Sakshi Maharaj has taken a leaf out of his book and suggested Muslims should also be cremated since there is not enough land for graveyards."Whether it is named qabristan (graveyard) or shamshaan (crematoriums), nobody needs to be buried.There are 2-2.5 crore Hindu saints in this country who should have a memorial after their death. That will require land. There are 20 crore Muslims, all of them need a grave. Where is the land in Hindustan?" Maharaj said today.At a rally in Fatehpur earlier this month, Modi had said, "If you create qabristan in a village, then a shamshaan should also be created. If there is uninterrupted electricity in Ramzan, it should also be given during Diwali. There should be no discrimination."The statement had triggered a storm, with the Opposition accusing Modi of trying to communalise the crucial 3-cornered UP  contest.IndiaToday
Muslims should be cremated: Sakshi Maharaj
From PM Modi to Akhilesh, all leaders are nervous about a hung Assembly  in UP
Hung mandates are like redoing an exam, you have to go through the entire charade of pretending to care for your text books one more time. While sometimes it can invigorate the zeal to excel, often it leads to sloth and a callous approach which could cause an even more disastrous outcome. Same is the case with our politicians, especially when 400-odd Assembly seats are in contention. Perhaps it is not a surprise then that as we move excruciatingly slowly towards the end of the UP polls, top leaders have started to warn voters about not throwing up a hung mandate.UP, a state of over 20 crore citizens is truly a mini-India. From urbane Noida to the heavily rural Devipatan zone, it is a sea of humanity of differing ideologies, religions, cultures and aspirations. So in the absence of a discernible Modi wave or pro-incumbency towards Akhilesh- it is a joust for each seat in India’s dusty heartland. While the actual results will only be known on March 11, it’s widely believed that BSP has pulled above its weight thanks to weaning away Muslim votes from the SP-Congress alliance. While it can also mean a potential gain for BJP with no concentrated Muslim block voting against them, the saffron party is bearing the brunt of the Jat-unrest in western UP. Hence a possibility of a classic hung assembly can’t be ruled out with none of the parties giving an indication of breaking away from herd.Both Akhilesh and Mayawati have expressed such concerns during the campaign trail. DNA India
HC denies parole to Ansari for campaigning in UP polls
The Delhi High Court on Monday denied parole to BSP MLA Mukhtar Ansari to campaign in the ongoing UP elections.The court observed that the right to contest the election does not give the candidate the get right to be released from jail for canvassing. His right to campaign is subservient to the constitutional mandate of holding free and fair elections.“Even though a person with criminal background and antecedents would not be a desirable person to contest the elections, the legislation does not debar him from contesting the elections. However, the right to contest the election cannot imply that the candidate gets a right to be released from jail for canvassing as a candidate for being elected,” Justice Gupta said. thehindu
Digvijaya booked for social media post saying madrasa, RSS schools spread hatred
Hyderabad: AICC general secretary Digvijaya Singh was booked by police here on Monday over his alleged post about the madrassas (seminaries) and the RSS-run Saraswati Sishu Mandirs.Police registered the case under section 295 A (deliberate and malicious acts, intended to outrage religious feelings of any class by insulting its religion or religious beliefs) of IPC against the Congress leader.A complaint in this regard was lodged by Majlis Bachao Tehreek (MBT) leader Amjed Ullah Khan, said Dabeerpura police inspector C Venkanna Naik. “We have registered a case under section 295 A of IPC and are investigating,” the officer told PTI.PTI
Hundreds of women March in Deoband against Tarek Fatah and Zee TV; FIR filed in Bulandshahar
Deoband:Hundreds of women in the historic town of Deoband marched in protest against the presence and hate-mongering of Islamophobe Tarek Fatah. Maintaining a dignified silence, protesters held placards in their hands that read, “Tarek Fatah is a Pakistani agent”; “Down with Tarek Fatah”; “Tarek Fatah go back”;“Tarek Fatah is a disdained figure”; “Arrest Tarek Fatah”; “Ban Zee News”; “Stop Spreading Sectarianism”; “Arrest Tarek Fatah” and “Long Live Ganga Jamni Culture”. They walked from Mohalla Abul Barakat, a locality in the vicinity of known Islamic seminary Darul Uloom, to local police station where they handed a four point memorandum to the deputy superintendent.The memorandum addressed to President and PM said, “India is a secular country in the development of which all Indians, regardless of their religious backgrounds, have played an important part. Majority of its citizens believe in living peacefully and share each other’s moments of sadness and happiness.”The memorandum urged the President and the PM to, “1) Cancel Tarek Fatah’s Visa; 2) Bar his entry into India; 3) Order the related authorities to file a case against Zee News and its owners for recording and telecasting and continuing a program that is spreading hatred; 4) Impose immediate ban on this program, proscribe and destroy all the recordings of this program so that no other channel can dare allow a Pakistani to spread communal hatred in this country in future.”The demonstration was organized by the students and staff of madrassa and seminary Mahad Aaisha Siddiqa Qasimul Uloom lil Banat, who were joined by hundreds of other residents of the town.In the meanwhile, Muslims campaigning for the ban on Fatah who have made several attempts to file FIR against Zee TV and Fatah but faced hurdles succeeded in registering one at Khurja police station in Bulandshahr.Caravan News
In orange cycles for Rajasthan school girls, Congress sees saffronisation bid
Kota: Amid allegations of “saffronisation of education”, the Vasundhara Raje govt in Rajasthan has started free distribution of bicycles – painted in orange colour — among school girls. A group of class 9 girls at a govt  school in Kota have now been gifted the new bicycles under a state govt initiative to check the drop out rate.Sources in the state education department informed that 6,283 bicycles would be distributed to as many beneficiaries at 297 govt  secondary schools in Kota alone. Gehlot said that the decision to change the colour of the bicycles was taken by state govt and only “higher ups can inform” why it was done, but added “new colour has made the bicycles look more attractive and distinguishable”. Meanwhile, the opposition Congress has termed the move to change the colour of bicycles as another attempt at saffronisation of education in the State. HT
No mechanism to stop uploading of obscene contents: Govt  to SC
New Delhi:The govt  Monday raised its hands before the Supreme Court and conceded that as of now there is “no mechanism” to prevent uploading of obscene contents like videos of sexual violence on websites, before these are uploaded. The submission came before a bench of Justices Madan B Lokur and UU Lalit which asked “what is the stand of the govt”, after internet service provider Google said there cannot be a “reasonable prevention” before such contents are uploaded on websites. “Today, there is no mechanism to prevent it before it is uploaded on the websites,” the lawyer appearing for the Centre said, prompting the bench to ask, “why is there no such mechanism?” Responding to the query, govt said, “somebody has to tell us about it (uploading of such contents). There are preventive mechanisms.”PTI
Citizen (Gujarat riot refugee) Nagar: After 15 yrs, no govt school, no hospital, no piped water: indian express
Ahmedabad:“28-2-2002 Godhra Rayot, Naroda Patiya, efackter visthapit cooloni (Rehabilitation Colony for those affected by 28-2-2002 Godhra riot from Naroda Patiya),” reads the scrawl on a black signboard at the entrance to Citizen Nagar. In the backdrop is a huge black mound that rises almost 135m high. This is where Ahmedabad dumps its garbage. “And here, Citizen Nagar, is where we have been put since 2003,” says Nadeemuddin Saiyyed, 52, one of the earliest residents of the colony that was set up on the outskirts of Ahmedabad. Citizen Nagar is where 116 families from Naroda Patiya — and some from Gulbarg Society — were resettled in 2003 after over 100 were killed in these colonies on Feb.28, 2002.Now, 15 years after riots, little has changed, say residents, except that the landfill behind them has got bigger, darker and the smouldering fires there more frequent.  Rows of shanties — one room-kitchen-toilet quarters with corrugated tin sheets for roofs — line either side of a 10-foot-wide road that’s slushy with sewage. Colony has no corporation schools for its 100-odd children, no health centre and no piped water. Built by the Kerala State Muslim League Relief Committee and the Citizen Relief Service of Shah-e-Alam, initially 30 families moved in to Citizen Nagar — it now has a population of around 800.
2002 riots: Don’t wish to pursue Kalol case, say Orphans
Kalol/panchmahals: 23-year-old Amirul Sheikh has vague memories of his house being burnt during the 2002 riots, “the tempo” in which he was fleeing with his parents being overturned by the attackers and him hiding in the farms behind his house. He also remembers losing sight of his brothers Moeen, 18, and Imtiaz, 19, and finding himself alone at a temple on the banks of river Ghuma for three days and a woman who took him to another temple in Kalol town. It was at this temple where his fuyee (father’s sister) found him and united him with his two brothers. Their parents — Razzakbhai and Mumtaz — were among the 14 killed by a mob outside Ambica Society on the main road in Kalol town when they were fleeing from the attackers from their village in Delol on Feb.28, 2002. All the deceased were members of one large family who resided together. indianexpress
Remembering 15 years since Gujarat riots
Rajkot brothers remanded: ‘Ramodia brothers belonged to respectable family’
Rajkot: Even as brothers Vaseem and Naeem Ramodia were sent to a 12-day police remand by a local court, those close to the family say that the Ramodias are a respectable family and that they never knew about any trouble till the Gujarat ATS arrested the duo. Vaseem (30) and Naeem (27) were arrested by ATS on Sunday for allegedly planning IS-inspired lone-wolf attacks in the state. 2 are son of Arif Ramodia, a retired employee of Saurashtra University, Rajkot. Ramodia senior retired as English stenographer from general dept.of Saurashtra University on June 14, 2015. He is also a cricket umpire associated with Saurashtra Cricket Association (SCA), Rajkot, for last 20 years and has been officiating in district-level matches. Those who know Arif say they regard the Ramodias as a respectable family. “Arif Ramodia never complained about any issues. He retired from Saurasthra University from a good post and the family was doing well financially also. His brothers are also businessmen. The entire family that I know of is a respectable one,” said a close friend of Arif, requesting anonymity. Vaseem had met Jaydevsinh Jadeja, a Rajkot-based supplier of surgical equipment in June last year in response to an advertisement given by the businessman for hiring a salesman. Jadeja said on Monday that his impression of Vaseem was that of an educated man coming from a good family. “He told me his garment business in Bhavnagar did not take off, and therefore he was in search of a job. When I told him that he was a software engineer by training whereas I was looking for a salesman, he told me he never made it big in that field and that he was ready to work as salesman for salary of Rs10,000,” Jadeja said. Jadeja, who is also president of Yuva Kshatriya Samaj, further said that he knows Arif Ramodia also and that the father had requested him to give an opportunity to his son. “We organise cricket tournaments where we invite Ramodia bhai to officiate in matches. After his son met me, he rang me up and informed that Vaseem was his son and that there will be no harm if I hired him. In the meantime, a smart young man also appeared for the interview for that post. I preferred him over Vaseem,” Jadeja added.Indian Express
Rajkot Bar Association passes resolution not to defend ISIS suspects
Rajkot: Rajkot Bar Association (RBA) on Monday passed a resolution that none of its members would defend the 2 ISIS suspects arrested by Gujarat ATS, RBA secretary Manish Khakhar said. However, a Jamnagar-based lawyer Imtiyaz Kotecha has come forward to defend 2 brothers — Wasim Ramodiya and Naeem, he said.“We have passed a resolution that none of our members will defend those involved in anti-national activities and therefore no lawyer of RBA will defend the two suspected ISIS operatives Wasim and Naeem in the court,” Khakhar said.RBA also praised the Gujarat ATS team and Rajkot City Police Commissioner Anupamsinh Gehlot for busting ISIS network in Saurashtra region.“Regarding Kotecha, we cannot say anything as he is not a member of RBA. PTI
3 acquittals before ex-SIMI head Nagori’s first conviction
New Delhi: Safdar Nagori, the former head of the SIMI, was convicted for the first time on Monday. 84-page judgment that convicted him followed the 48-year-old’s acquittals in 3 cases over the last few years. “There are several lacunae in the judgment and we will appeal against it on legal points,’’ his advocate Rahman Khan said.In 2015, Safdar was among 17 Muslim men, including 5 SIMI men who were sentenced to serve life on Monday, who were acquitted by a trial court in Hubli. Safdar’s advocate said he was acquitted in two other cases in Madhya Pradesh. Advocate said his client was an accused in at least two cases, including the blasts in Ahmedabad.Besides Safdar, 3 other accused hailed from Madhya Pradesh. Kamruddin Nagori is from Ujjain, Qamran from Khandwa and Aamil Parvez from Unhel in Ujjain district. Aamil’s brother Zadil was recently picked by Maharashtra ATS from Indore. indian express
2 seek discharge in 2008 Malegaon blasts case
Mumbai: 2 of the accused in the 2008 Malegaon blasts have sought discharge from the case. The submission for discharge was made before the special court hearing arguments on framing of charges. Shivnarayan Kalsangra and Shyam Sahu had been released on bail in 2011 after a Bombay HC order. Advocate Prashant Maggu, representing the two, submitted before the court that the High Court in its bail order had stated that sufficient material was not available to show their involvement in the blast. indian express
Kerala police clueless on death of 'IS recruit', ascertaining veracity of news
Kasaragod: A day after a message reached Hafeezuddin's close relatives that the youth, who was among the 17 from Kerala who are suspected to have joined the IS, was killed in a drone strike, the police are ascertaining the veracity of the information.Special Branch Deputy Superintendent of Police VT Assainar, however, said. that a ‘WhatsApp’ message, said to have been received by a relative of Hafeezuddin (26), a native of Padanna near Cheruvathur in Kasaragod district, showed the photo of the youth's body lying on the ground. “The local police could not as yet ascertain the whereabouts of the persons who went missing under mysterious circumstances in June last and are said to have joined the IS later,” Assainar said, adding that only Central agencies like the NIA could get any information, a stance maintained by Superintendent of Police KG Simon too.Meanwhile, a large number of people, including close relatives, were silently visiting Hafeezuddin’s residence as the youth’s father Abdul Hakeem reached home from Abu Dhabi.the hindu
Innocence Network: After freedom, the fight for justice
Wahid Shaikh is a 40-year-old teacher in Mumbai’s Abdus Sattar Shuaib Primary School. He started working in 1999 but he is still new here, familiarising himself with the staff and students. Shaikh was away for a decade, a period from which he carries memories of a broken arm, being blindfolded for long stretches, and nights of mental and physical trauma. Shaikh was in prison since Sept. 29, 2006 on the charge of harbouring some of the accused in the June 2006 Mumbai train blasts that killed 188 and left 829 injured. “I was in custody for three months before I was finally sent to jail,” he recalls. “There, I got to know the charges against me for the first time.”Prison is where Shaikh met 12 other inmates who had also been accused of the crime. Their experiences of being tortured into admitting guilt were horrifying similar to his own. “That is when we made up our mind to fight this injustice and not agree to any falsehood thrust upon us, whatever the degree of torture,” he says.It was a long wait. Shaikh was released in April, 2015, after a special court acquitted him of all charges. Always innocent, now free again, his life is far from the one he dreamed of in prison. Upon release, he has worked alongside organisations like the Jamiat Ulema-I-Hind, to fight a legal battle for other accused. In 2015, Suhail KK, an activist with the research and advocacy group Quill Foundation, introduced Shaikh to the Innocence Network, a collective inspired by similar initiatives across the world that offers pro bono legal aid for those wrongfully imprisoned, which was then taking shape.To highlight the plight of those who have been wrongfully prosecuted, the network held its first tribunal in October last year. 15 victims from across the country shared their testimonies with a panel that included academics like Nandini Sundar, chairman of 20th Law Commission of India, Justice AP Shah and filmmaker Saeed Mirza among others.HT
Protesters in Valley: Pellet guns to return to J&K, with a tweak
New Delhi: The use of pellet guns, which led to considerable injuries during street protests in Kashmir last year, is set to make a comeback. Paramilitary forces have found that the less lethal alternative PAVA (pelargonic acid vanillylamide) shells are not really effective in scattering protesters. CRPF Director General K Durga Prasad told reporters Monday that a modified version of the pellet gun will be used to break up any protest before and during anti-militancy operations. “The force has taken the decision to modify pellet guns, with the help of BSF, to minimise injuries,” he said. Pellet guns were widely used in the Valley during the protests that followed the killing of Hizbul militant Burhan Wani in July last year. Hundreds were injured by the pellets, many with serious injuries in the eyes. Following an outcry, the use of pellet guns was stopped, replaced by the chilli-based PAVA shells. indianexpress
How a CRPF bullet ended the dreams of a Kashmiri youth who wanted to be a teacher
Separatists, religious groups assail MHA's‘Kashmir report’
Separatists and religious groups on Monday expressed resentment over a Ministry of Home Affairs' report suggesting a close watch on moulvis (priests), masjids (mosques) and the media in the Valley in the wake of growing alienation. Supporters of the Hurriyat factions and JKLF held a sit-in protest at Srinagar’s Lal Chowk to protest against “growing intimidation”.In a joint statement, Syed Ali Geelani, Mirwaiz Umar Farooq and Yasin Malik described the MHA proposals as “an act of bullying the Kashmiri nation”.“Union Home Ministry is threatening people of Kashmir of dire consequences. We are told that our moulvis, masjids and its committees will be penalised. The revival of the police’s special operation group is also being proposed so that more oppressive steps are taken against Kashmiris. However, New Delhi will not succeed in breaking our resolve,” read the statement.Socio-religious group Jamaat-e-Islami (JeI) termed the MHA move as “a direct interference in the religious matters of Muslims in Kashmir”.“The move is tantamount to blatant violation of the fundamental right of religious freedom. These suggestions are not acceptable. If the human race is desirous of creating a peaceful and just world, it is achievable only by establishing an Islamic system of life,” said a JeI spokesperson.  the hindu
J&K Jamaat decries report about Masjid, Madrasas control
India, China seek common ground on Afghanistan
New Delhi: Despite differences on a number of issues, including over NSG, UN designation of Masood Azhar as a terrorist, and the China-Pak Economic Corridor, India and China began to look for a “common ground” on Afghanistan during Foreign Secretary S. Jaishankar’s visit to Beijing last week, official sources told The Hindu.Officials reportedly even discussed the possibility of “joint development projects” that could be undertaken despite economic rivalries between the two countries in other parts of the subcontinent.Foreign Secretary’s visit, which saw a restructured “Strategic Dialogue” with Chinese executive Vice-Minister of Foreign Affairs Zhang Yesui, also witnessed an effort by both sides to “stabilise India-China relations” at a time the world is experiencing a new “volatility,” a senior official said. thehindu
Data brokerage: All your personal data up for sale for less than a rupee
Bengaluru/New Delhi: If data is the new oil, then there is a gigantic oil spill all around you. Your personal data — be it your residential address, your phone number, email id, details of what you bought online, age, marital status, income and profession — is all up for sale. Most of this personal data is sold for less than a rupee per person — the cost of a chewing gum.Over one month, ET approached companies called 'data brokers' — who hawk their services on online listings and sell personal information — posing as a prospective buyer. For anywhere between Rs 10,000 and Rs 15,000, we were offered personal data of up to 1 lakh people in Bengaluru, Hyderabad and Delhi.The lists up for sale are creative and granular. One data broker said he could get lists of high net worth individuals, salaried people, credit card holders, car owners and retired women in any given vicinity.Some brokers sent free samples: excel sheets with personal data of people in Bengaluru, split by address and income profiles..ET /toi
Most ATMs in India use outdated tech, prone to fraud
3 of 5 ATMs in India use outdated technology and lack basic security features, making them prime targets for fake currency, banking experts say.Cash loaders don’t use the “one-time combination” (OTC) method –technology that is commonplace in developed countries – to operate most of these machines. Making things worse is the fact that most of the country’s 220,000 ATMs are not monitored by working CCTV.The poor security allows cash loaders to use the ATMs whenever they want, without any monitoring. This, experts say, indicates that crises such as the recovery of 5 fake Rs 2,000 notes carrying the “Children’s Bank of India” mark from a south Delhi ATM last week are disasters waiting to happen.“We have urged the banks several times to install OTC locking system at the ATMs so that monitoring improves, unfortunately most banks do not pay heed,” said NSG Rao, secretary of Cash Logistics Association. He said that banks had no data on whether the CCTVs installed in ATMs were in working condition.ATM security is under the spotlight after a string of cases of fake currency recovery from various parts of the country – some of the banknotes photocopied or high-quality replications – months after the govt  introduced new Rs 2,000 notes after scrapping old Rs 500 and Rs 1,000 notes.
Unions go ahead with bank strike, services suffer
New Delhi: Branches of public banks remained either closed or non-operational on Tuesday as staffers and officers went ahead with their day-long strike pressing for various demands, including accountability of top executives in the wake of mounting bad loans.Services like cash deposits and withdrawal from branches and cheque clearances have been hit hard by the strike, which has been called under the aegis of United Forum of Bank Unions (UFBU). "The strike has been forced on us because of adamant and insensitive attitude of the bank management and IBA. They even did not bother to talk on providing compensation for extra hours put in by bank staff during the demonetisation period," AIBEA general secretary CH Venkatachalam told PTI. UFBU is an umbrella body of 9 unions, but two of Bharatiya Mazdoor Sangh affiliates -- National Organisation of Bank Workers and the National Organisation of Bank Officers -- are not part of the stir.PTI
India Q3 GDP growth seen slowing to about 6% on demonetisation
The demonetisation drive may have slowed India’s economic growth to about 6% or lower during Oct-Dec.from 7.3% in Sept.quarter.While a Reuters poll of 30 economists forecast Q3 GDP growth at a 3-year low of 6.4%, some analysts fear a sharper slowdown to less than 6%.The actual number could be even lower given CSO numbers will not capture the output of small businesses immediately.An upward revision in 2015-16 GDP numbers will also have an adverse statistical base effect on Q3 numbers.“We are projecting the Q3 GDP growth at 5.8%. Some of manufacturing sectors including consumer goods, coupled with construction and trade has been impacted die to the demonetisation. We also have to factor in the upward revision in GDP numbers for 2015-16,” said Soumya Kanti Ghosh, chief economic advisor at the State Bank of India.HT
MP: ATM dispenses Rs 500 notes without serial numbers
New Delhi:Adding to the series of new bank notes with errors, an ATM in Damoh district in Madhya Pradesh has dispensed new Rs 500 notes without serial numbers. The police were informed and SBI ATM was sealed after 2 residents of the district had withdrawn two Rs 500 notes each and none of the notes bore serial numbers. There were 2 similar cases in Damoh last week. The bank told the complainants that it was not possible to exchange the notes immediately, and those facing the issue have to file a complaint with the bank.On Feb.22, an SBI ATM in South Delhi’s Sangam Vihar dispensed fake Rs 2,000 notes which read ‘Children bank of India’ instead of Reserve Bank of India and ‘Guaranteed by Children’s Govt’ instead of Guaranteed by Central Govt. indianexpress
Key NHRC post vacant as ministers campaign, SC told
New Delhi:The govt  told the Supreme Court on Monday that selection of an eminent person for a vacant NHRC post was delayed as key ministers were busy campaigning for the elections to five states.The SC had taken strong objection to the Centre's inability to find an eminent person to fill NHRC member's post that fell vacant in March 2014. It had asked the Centre in September last year to give details of the meetings held by the selection committee. Timesofindia
Ministry seeks ban on BBC correspondent, crew's entry into India for five years, revocation of visas
WORLD
Muslim groups in Kansas solidarity- Advocacy wings echo Sunayana's view that Srinivas fell to hate crime
New Delhi: Muslim human rights advocacy groups in America have provided some of the loudest support for the calls from Srinivas Kuchibhotla's wife and friends to call the attack on the slain Indian avionics engineer a hate crime.Among them are the Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR), the largest Muslim civil liberties group in the US, and the National Iranian American Council (NIAC), an influential group that helped facilitate the Washington-Tehran thaw under the Barack Obama administration.Their support for Sunayana Dumala's description of her husband's killing as a "hate crime" comes at a time the Indian American community has been divided over President Trump's attempts at curtailing immigration from seven Muslim-majority countries.Many South Asian human rights groups and Hindu American Foundation, an advocacy group for the religious community in the US, have criticised the immigration ban, now suspended by a federal court. But the Republican Hindu Coalition, led by Trump adviser and funder Shalabh Kumar, has supported Trump restrictions.The calls from bodies like the CAIR and the NIAC also come at a time the Indian govt 's diplomatic calculations have stopped it from publicly calling the attack a hate crime, despite privately airing concerns to US federal and state officials. telegraphindia
White House breaks silence on killing of Indian techie, says it's 'disturbing':TOI
New Delhi: After almost a whole week's silence, Donald Trump's White House today touched on the murder of an Indian techie in Kansas, only to say that "early reports out of Kansas are...disturbing."White House press secretary Sean Spicer made a passing reference to what many are calling a hate crime, while he was condemning attacks on Jewish community centres across the US."And while we're at it, I don't want to get ahead of the law enforcement, but I was asked the other day about the story in Kansas -- shooting in Kansas. And while the story is evolving, early reports out of Kansas are equally disturbing," Spicer said.Meanwhile, Indian Embassy in US has issued a demarche on the incident to the US Dept.and has called for a speedy investigation.ANI
Bernie Sanders: Israel needs to end its 50-year occupation
Democratic Senator and former presidential candidate Bernie Sanders has called for an end to the “50-year occupation” of the Palestinian territory by Israel in a speech on Monday, saying that Washington should pursue policies that would ensure a “prosperous future for Jews and Arabs, Israelis and Palestinians alike”. Middleeasteye
Russia pledges to veto UN sanctions resolution on Syria
UN: Russia pledged to veto a Western-backed UN resolution Tuesday that would impose sanctions on 21 Syrian individuals, organizations and companies allegedly involved in chemical weapons attacks in the war-ravaged country.The draft Security Council resolution would also ban all countries from supplying Syria's govt with helicopters, which investigators have determined were used in chemical attacks.The resolution, initially sponsored by Britain and France, was recently joined by the new US administration of President Trump.AP
Syria opposition calls for Russian backing in Geneva
Geneva, Switzerland - Syria's main opposition group has urged Russia to put pressure on the govt  of President Bashar al-Assad to shore up faltering efforts to end the conflict.The rebels' comments on Monday at a fourth round of UN-backed talks in Geneva came as a ceasefire at home fell apart. High Negotiations Committee, the main opposition group at the UN-sponsored talks, said it expects to meet a Russian delegation on Tuesday in the Swiss city."We hope ... that we will see real, positive and constructive support to the political process," said lead opposition negotiator Nasr al-Hariri after holding talks with Staffan de Mistura, UN special envoy for Syria. aljazeera
Chair of Russian Federation Council says demands for Assad to go are unacceptable
Chair of Russian Federation Council, Valentina Matviyenko, has called the demand for the immediate departure of Syrian President Bashar Al-Assad “unacceptable”. The people of Syria, she insisted, should decide their own destiny through a democratic process. middleeastmonitor
Palestinian prisoners urged to boycott Israeli courts
Palestinian officials have called for a boycott of Israel's military court system after Nael Barghouti, a Palestinian freed in a prisoner exchange, was rearrested and sentenced to a life term plus 18 years. Palestinian Prisoners' Club director, Qadura Fares, told Al Jazeera that the military court system was discriminatory against Palestinians, citing 2 recent high-profile cases to pass through the courts." Aljazeera
Israel indicts Palestinian women for preventing settlers from entering Al-Aqsa Mosque
Israeli Magistrate’s Court has indicted two Palestinian women, Sahar Al-Natsheh and Abeer Fawaz, on charges of preventing settlers from entering a “sacred place”. The women are both from Jerusalem.The incident in question happened in 2014 when the two women stood up to groups of Jewish settlers who stormed into Al-Aqsa Mosque and included Knesset member Shulamit Muallem of the extreme-right Jewish Home party.According to Qudsuna for Human Rights Foundation, the court regards Al-Aqsa Mosque as a holy place for Jews. In a press release, the foundation pointed out that the court had used Jewish religious terminology to bestow a Jewish character on the mosque. It warned against the use of such vocabulary and tools to Judaise the Noble Sanctuary of Al-Aqsa without any legal basis. middleeastmonitor
Israel renews administrative detention of Hamas official yet again
Israeli occupation authorities renewed the administrative detention of a Hamas leader from Nablus on Monday, Quds Press has reported. This is the third consecutive time that Adnan Asfour has been kept behind bars by the Israelis with neither charge nor trial.Asfour’s family told Quds Press that the occupation authorities let his lawyer know of the decision to renew the administrative detention order for another four months. He had been scheduled to be released on 3 March before the renewal decision was announced. middleeastmonitor
UNRWA suspends senior employee after allegation of Hamas membership
UN agency working with Palestinian refugees, UNRWA, has announced that it has suspended a senior employee in Gaza due to allegations that he has joined Hamas, Safa news agency reported on Monday. According to UNRWA spokesman Chris Gunness, Suhail Al-Hindi has been suspended “pending the outcome of an investigation” into the allegation.Safa said that the UN agency had “responded to Israeli correspondence” related to Al-Hindi, who is the chairman of the Association of Palestinian Workers of UNRWA in Gaza. Recent media reports claimed that he has been elected as a member of the Hamas political bureau in the coastal enclave. middleeastmonitor
Jailed Brotherhood spokesman disciplined for New York Times article
A spokesman for the Muslim Brotherhood has been moved to a disciplinary cell in Egypt’s notorious Al-Aqrab (Scorpion) Prison after writing an article for the New York Times. Gehad El-Haddad was arrested in Cairo in Sept., 2013, two months after the military coup against the Brotherhood’s Mohamed Morsi, country’s first democratically-elected civilian president.Since Morsi’s overthrow, the Egyptian authorities have launched an unprecedented crackdown on the Islamic movement, listing it as a terrorist organisation and detaining hundreds of its leaders and members.Haddad is now serving two life sentences in Al-Aqrab Prison on charges including espionage. The prison has been criticised by local and international human rights organisations for its inhumane conditions.Last week, Haddad wrote an article for the New York Times: I Am a Member of the Brotherhood, Not a Terrorist. middleeastmonitor
Helmand: Taliban kill policemen and confiscate weapons
Taliban fighters in southern Afghanistan attacked a checkpoint with firearms and hand grenades, killing 11 policemen and confiscating weapons and ammunition.But a provincial official said Tuesday's attack in Helmand province's capital Lashkar Gah could be an "insider attack" as one of the guards was still missing."An investigation is ongoing to find out if someone from inside has defected to the Taliban and paved the way for this crime," he said. Taliban spokesman Zabihullah Mujahid told Al Jazeera group was responsible for the attack, saying it killed 11 policemen and "claimed the area and weapons".
 Compiled and edited by Anwarulhaq (Released at: 7:59 PM)

Monday, 27 February 2017

Evening NEWS DIGEST
27 Feb.2017: 29 Jamadiul Awwal 1438: Vol:8, No:127
Can’t share details of govt response on Sharia banking: RBI
New Delhi:The response given by the Finance Ministry on an RBI report about the introduction of Sharia banking in India cannot be disclosed, the central bank has said. RBI was asked to give the copy of the letter sent to it by the ministry on the recommendation of its Inter Dept. Group (IDG) regarding Islamic banking. The central bank had sought response from the Dept. of Financial Services (DFS) under the finance minister whether their letter can be disclosed under RTI. “In this regard we have been advised by the DFS, Govt of India that the letter is exempt under Section 8 (1) (c),” RBI said in response to an RTI application filed by PTI. The Section bars disclosure of information “which would cause a breach of privilege of Parliament or the state legislature”.RBI had earlier proposed opening of “Islamic window” in conventional banks for gradual introduction of Sharia-compliant or interest-free banking in the country.“In our considered opinion, given the complexities of Islamic finance and various regulatory and supervisory challenges involved in the matter and also due to the fact that Indian banks have no experience in this field, Islamic banking may be introduced in India in a gradual manner.“Initially, a few simple products which are similar to conventional banking products may be considered for introduction through Islamic window of the conventional banks after necessary notification by the government,” the RBI had told the Finance Ministry in a letter, copy of which was received in response to the RTI query.PTI
Now CBI to probe financial irregularities at AMU
New Delhi:AMU, which is under scanner over irregularities in faculty hiring and financial matters, is in for more trouble as the CBI is also probing similar allegations.After HRD Ministry had in September last year issued a showcause notice against the VC of AMU, Zameeruddin Shah, on a complaint of irregularities in faculty hiring and financial issues, CBI too had sought a written reply from the University officials in Dec. last year. According to the University officials, they had sent a reply to CBI by January, but, a CBI official wanted more explanation on the matter. So the agency visited the University again this month.However, agency is mum over their further investigation which they carried out during their visit to the University. “A CBI official visited on February 18 and asked for more explanation on a reply that was sent by the University earlier, to a query in the month of December. The allegations are of financial irregularities, similar in nature to those being probed by the HRD Ministry too,” said Javed Akhtar, Registrar. hindustantimes

Dr Joshi, Sushma ahead in race for top post as Pranab’s tenure ends in July: The Hitavada     
New Delhi:Who will be India’s next President? Initial discussions in the BJP have catapulted veteran party leader Dr. Murli Manohar Joshi and External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj as top favourites.Informed sources, however, say the names of two other women politicians are also doing the rounds -- Lok Sabha Speaker Sumitra Mahajan and Jharkhand Governor Draupadi Murmu.Interestingly, L K Advani, once a staunch backer of the man who is today PM , is not being considered for the post of head of state that will fall vacant in July. Although these names have emerged in the discussions between the BJP and RSS, the final picture will become clear once the results of Assembly elections in 5 States become known. Swaraj, 65, is also being considered for the top post for more than one reason.Not only has she emerged as “a good minister” in the Modi Govt, her elevation will also help the RSS shrug away charges that it is anti-women.IANS/ The Hitavada     
SIMI chief Safdar Nagori, 10 others get life terms in sedition case: PTI
Indore: SIMI chief Safdar Hussain Nagori and 10 other activists of the banned group were on Monday awarded life imprisonment in a 2008 sedition case by a special court. Special Additional Sessions Judge BK Paloda pronounced that all 11 SIMI activists were guilty under various IPC sections  relevant provisions of the UAPA.On a plea of 10 of the accused lodged in Ahmedabad’s Sabarmati Central Jail, they were informed about the court’s judgment through video conferencing.Besides 45-year-old Nagori, the others convicted are Hafiz Hussain (35), Aamil Parvaz (40), Shivli (38), Qamruddin (42), Shahduli (32), Qamran (40), Ansar (35), Ahmed Baig (32), Yasin (35) and Munroz (40).Nagori, Parvaz, Qamruddin, Qamran, Shivli, Ahmed Baig and Hussain were also convicted under IPC Section 122 (collecting arms with intention of waging war against the govt of India).In its 84-page judgement, the court observed, “It appears from the activities of the convict that they don’t have faith in the lawfully and constitutionally established Govt of India...Their acts are against national unity and integrity of the country. They are involved in illegal activities by fomenting religious hatred with an aim to create serious danger for the entire humanity.”PTI
2013 Harda riots: SC asks MP govt to place chargesheet before court
Bhopal: While hearing a petition that alleged that the 2013 riots in Khirkiya tehsil of Harda district were not properly investigated, the Supreme Court has directed the MP govt to place the chargesheet, along with its translated version, before it within four weeks. Riots took place in Kheda and Pahatgaon villages under Chhipabad Police Station on Sept. 9, 2013, over an alleged case of cow slaughter. Later, a postmortem report had revealed that the animal had died because it had consumed polythene bags.While 54 persons had lost their houses and businesses, 12 FIRs were registered by the police naming Surendra Singh Rajput alias Tiger as the main accused in all the cases.Seeking a CBI probe in the case, activist Anurag Modi had moved the High Court with a prayer to book BJP leader and former minister Kamal Patel and his son Sudip alleging that they had instigated the riots with an eye on the assembly elections slated three months later. The petitioner had submitted what he called evidence of the duo’s alleged involvement in the riots.Holding that the investigation in the case was complete, the High Court rejected the plea after which the petitioner moved the apex court. indianexpress
ED declines all request, issues 4th summon to Zakir Naik
The Enforcement Directorate (ED) has turned down all the fears and requests of Dr Zakir Naik, and has issued its fourth summon to Naik with an instruction to be present for interrogation, within next 10 days in India.Last week, Dr Naik through his lawyer had handed over a letter with a request to mail him the list of questions, which he would reply back attached with required documents.The agency has declined all his requests. Sources within the agency told India Today, "We have rejected all his request of video-conferencing via Skype and his written reply through email, etc. He has no other option now, then to come to India and face the interrogation. The department has replied to his advocate in writing and also by sending an email to Dr Naik."While replying to Dr Naik, the ED officials issued him the fourth summon with an instruction to appear before the ED office, within next 10 days.Meanwhile, Dr Naik's sister Nailah Noorani has been summoned for this week. She owns 90%  shares in 6 dummy companies formed by Dr Naik, to launder money of about Rs 200 crore and more. Dr Naik's confidant Aamir Gazda (who is in judicial custody till March 8) is a 10 %  shareholder in these firms. indiatoday
ED offers Zakir Naik last opportunity to join probe, issues fresh summons: indiatvnews
IS ‘interested’ in India, wants to spread its ideology here, says Freed doctor:ANI
New Delhi: An Indian doctor recently freed from the clutches of the Islamic State has said that the dreaded terror group is “very much interested” in India, and wants to spread its ideology in the country. Dr K Ramamurthy, who was captured by the Islamic State in Libya two years ago, told ANI in an exclusive interview that his captors were aware of India as well as its recent progress in the fields of education and economic growth. “These ISIS people are well-educated youngsters who know about India and its development… They are interested in India. They want to spread their ideology to other parts of the world, including India,” he said.The doctor said that though he was abused verbally by his captors, they refrained from doing him physical harm. “They forced us to watch videos of what they did in Iraq, Syria, Nigeria and other places. The videos were a bit difficult to watch,” Dr said. The doctor said he was asked to conduct surgeries in Islamic State hospitals. “But I told them that as I was a 61-year-old man suffering from backache and nerve pain in my right leg, it was difficult to stand for more than 15 minutes at a stretch. I also informed them that I had no training in surgery. So they pulled me out of Mahakama jail and put in another. I saw all kinds of attacks there,” Dr said. He claimed IS cadre were a dedicated lot who strictly followed every rule prescribed for them. HT/ANI
I got rape threats for calling out ABVP, says Kargil martyr's daughter
New Delhi: The crack in her voice does not impair the statement that she makes but they do commission a moment of thought. Gurmehar Kaur, daughter of Captain Mandeep Singh who was killed in the 1999 Kargil War, has said she has received a barrage of threats including that of rape after she spoke out against the ABVP, a student union linked to the ruling BJP, following the violence at Delhi's Ramjas College on Wednesday."I've been getting a lot of threats on social media. When you open the profile picture that I changed, you keep seeing there are people threatening me and calling me an anti-nationalist. I think it's very scary when people threaten you with violence or with rape. There is this guy called Rahul and he's given a very detailed explanation in a comment saying how he would like to rape me. That is very scary," she said on NDTV's show We The People tonight. ndtv
Received rape threats on Twitter, says DU student who took ABVP on
BJP MP compares Kargil martyr’s daughter with Dawood Ibrahim
Mysuru : Journalist-turned-polician and BJP MP Pratap Simha has triggered a social media storm after posting a photograph on Twitter, comparing Gurmehar Kaur, daughter of a Kargil war martyr and a Delhi University student who opposed the ABVP, with underworld don Dawood Ibrahim. thehindu
Congress slams Minister, BJP MP for controversial remarks against Kargil martyr’s daughter
Central ‘squeeze’ on funds for Dalit scheme leaves thousands in lurch
Manoj Kumar Paswan, a Dalit student from Nawada district in Bihar, has lived a hard life, coming as he does from a poor marginal farmer family. He and his family saw a ray of hope after he got a scholarship in 2016 to get a degree in computer applications from a college in Nagpur.One year on, he is back to square one. The promised money from the central government's Post Matric Scholarship scheme, which was to be routed directly to his college, has not materialized. He is back in the village, repeatedly visiting the welfare office, pleading for a solution. "My seniors in college got the scholarship. But mine never came. The college said there are some issues, we are trying to sort them out. How can I continue like this? I came back home to pursue the matter with the welfare officer here," he told TOI from Nawada.His is not an exceptional case, as revealed by data collected by the Dalit advocacy group, National Campaign for Dalit & Human Rights (NCDHR). In response to a complaint made by them, the social justice ministry told them that they had released nearly Rs 5,000 crore in 2015-16 and 2016-17 but the states had demanded almost double of that, Rs 9,120.56 crore. "What has happened is that in the beginning, states continued to provide scholarships to Dalit students but the central govt put a squeeze. Finally, the pipeline dried up and the students were left high and dry. Colleges started demanding fees from the students or told them to quit. Thousands have been affected by this tragedy," said Paul Diwakar of NCDHR. timesofindia
SC order: Nearly 10,000 dalit govt employees may be demoted in Karnataka
Bengaluru: The fate of nearly 10,000 dalit govt employees hangs in the balance as they face the threat of being demoted, with the Supreme Court recently scrapping reservation in promotions.The Congress govt is gearing up to challenge the apex court order and is taking great pains to work out a please-all formula to prevent political damage ahead of the 2018 assembly polls."We are in a sensitive and tricky situation. If we fail to stand by the dalits, they will brand our party anti-dalit, which could have a huge impact on our election prospects.And if we decide to fight for them, the other backward and upward communities will view us with contempt," said a worried senior minister.Law and parliamentary affairs minister TB Jayachandra said govt is in the process of seeking the opinion of accountant general (AG) on what best can be done."Based on his inputs, we will take a final call," he added. timesofindia
As SC Scraps Reservation In Promotions, Nearly 10,000 Dalit Staff May Be Demoted In Karnataka
UP: Tension in Bulandshahr over video ‘insulting’ 'deities'
Agra:Bulandshahr’s Pahasu area was tense on Sunday after a video which allegedly showed a man using objectionable language against gods and goddesses went viral. Members of right wing organisations, in search of the accused, reached his family’s home, and resorted to stone- pelting. An FIR was lodged against the man while his family was detained for interrogation.According to police, the man in the video is seen abusing gods, women and PM Narendra Modi. The video was allegedly made in Hyderabad where the accused, a native of Pahasu, works in a carpet factory. Police added that after seeing the video, workers of right wing organisations reached his Pahasu home and created a ruckus, but did not find him. A mob then threw stones at them, leading to a clash.“Some people injured in the stone pelting were hospitalised.  “The video was made by some Rihan from Pahasu. A police team has been sent to Hyderabad to nab him. indianexpress
Youth booked for comments against RSS on social media
Shahjahanpur(UP): A youth was booked today for allegedly making "derogatory comments" against RSS on Facebook. A delegation of BJP workers today submitted a memorandum demanding registration of a case against the accused, in-charge Kotwali city RN Verma said. "Derogatory comments have been made against RSS involving freedom fighters and revolutionaries. On complaint of RSS worker Abhinav Mishra, an FIR has been lodged," he said. PTI
U.P. polls: 57.36 percent voter turnout recorded till 5 P.M.
Lucknow :The fifth phase of Uttar Pradesh assembly polls witnessed a voter turnout of 57.36 percent till 5 P.M. on Monday.The voting is being held across 11 districts. The districts going to polls in this phase are Amethi, Sultanpur, Faizabad, Barabanki, Ambedkarnagar, Bahraich, Shravasti, Balrampur, Gonda, Basti, Siddharthnagar and Sant Kabir NagarWhile there are 52 constituencies in this phase, elections are being held in only 51 seats as the Election Commission (EC) has postponed polls in Alapur after the death of a Samajwadi Party (SP) candidate Chandrashekhar Kanauji.ANI
Now, Uma Bharti and Naqvi say BJP should have fielded Muslims in UP polls
New Delhi: Union Ministers Uma Bharti and Mukhtar Abbas Naqvi on Monday echoed Home Minister Rajnath Singh's stand on the BJP fielding Muslim candidates in the ongoing UP  assembly elections.Bharti, Minister for Water Resources, River Development and Ganga Rejuvenation, said the Bharatiya Janata Party made a "huge mistake" by not fielding any Muslim candidate.Her Cabinet colleague Naqvi too said it would have been better if their party had fielded Muslim candidates.Rajnath Singh had earlier said Muslims should have been given tickets by the BJP in the UP  assembly elections."I am really feeling sorry that we could not field a Muslim. I spoke with (BJP President) Amit Shah and (state party President) Keshav Prasad Maurya about how we could have brought a Muslim to the assembly," Uma Bharti told CNN-News18.IANS
Not fielding Muslims in UP  a mistake: Uma Bharti
Would've been better had BJP given tickets to Muslims in UP: Naqvi
UP polls: As Ayodhya votes, Vinay Katiyar plays Ram temple tune again:HT
LUCKNOW: Ayodhya temple movement of 1990s catapulted both the BJP and firebrand OBC leader Vinay Katiyar into limelight.For the largely marginalised Katiyar, the building of a Ram temple as promised by the BJP is still the most important issue, even in the current UP  assembly elections.“Mandir ke bina Ayodhya kya hain? Uske bagair koi bhi vikas nahin ho sakta. Mandir se hi kalyan hoga. Usisey vikas hoga. Isiliye main kehta hoon ki Ayodhya vaasiyon ko toh sirf mandir chahiye (What is Ayodhya without temple? There can be no development without temple. In fact, temple is integral to Ayodhya’s development. That is why I say that Ayodhya residents can’t do without temple),” Katiyar told HT over phone.
Ayodhya: Hanumangarhi priest allows repair of mosque on temple land
Standing shoulder to shoulder with their hands held firmly, Mahant Gyan Das of Ayodhya's famed Hanumangarhi Temple and his childhood friend Sadiq Ali survey the ongoing repair of Shah Alam mosque. The election din and dispute over Ramjanmabhoomi Babri Masjid, less than a kilometre away from the mosque, has not taken away their bonhomie a wee bit.Shah Alam mosque, whose walls were crumbling and pillars falling off till seven months ago, stands on a land belonging to Hanumangarhi shrine.The mahant has allowed its reconstruction as local municipal body had ordered its demolition. The land for the temple was gifted by then Nawab of Awadh Shujaudullah in 1765. When Ayodhya municipal council wrote to Gyan Das on July 25 last year asking his opinion whether to demolish the dilapidated structure or repair it, his mind immediately raced to the horrors of 1992 demolition of Babri masjid, that is less than a kilometre away from here. "Kindly decide on repair or razing off the structure (Tatkaal jirnodwar athwa dhwastikaran sunischit karein. taaki bhaviyasa main koi apriya ghatna roki jaa sake" the letter said. "Within 24 hours, I rang up my childhood friend Sadiq, who I fondly call `Babu', and asked him to begin the repair work before polls. We didn't want to see any disharmony between our community for yet another time" Das recalls. Though he faced stiff opposition from both Muslims and Akhil Bhartiya Akhara Parish ad, he told the civic authorities that his decision was final. "Muslims told me that according to Sharia laws, I can't pay for their mosque. I agreed but I said I will bring my friend who will oversee the work. Hindus objected to my gesture. I told them we don't want to see another Babri episode in our peaceful Ayodhya before 2017 polls," he says. timesofindia
Aurangzeb tried to ensure welfare of Hindu, Jain temples: US Historian
New Delhi:Historian Audrey Truschke refuses to buy the argument that Aurangzeb razed temples because he hated Hindus saying it has roots in colonial-era scholarship, where positing timeless Hindu-Muslim animosity embodied the British strategy of divide and conquer.In her new book, she also says that had Aurangzeb’s reign been 20 years shorter, he would have been judged differently by modern historians.Truschke, an assistant professor of South Asian history at Rutgers University in Newark and an avid follower of Mughal history, New Jersey, has now come up with a new biography on Aurangzeb."Aurangzeb: The Man and The Myth", published by Penguin Random House, takes a fresh look at the controversial Mughal emperor.According to Truschke, Hindu and Jain temples dotting the landscape of Aurangzeb's kingdom were entitled to Mughal state protection, and he generally endeavoured to ensure their well-being."By the same token, from a Mughal perspective, that goodwill could be revoked when specific temples or their associates acted against imperial interests. Accordingly, Emperor Aurangzeb authorised targeted temple destructions and desecrations throughout his rule," she claims."Many modern people view Aurangzeb's orders to harm specific temples as symptomatic of a larger vendetta against Hindus. Such views have roots in colonial-era scholarship, where positing timeless Hindu-Muslim animosity embodied the British strategy of divide and conquer," she writes.She says there are, however, numerous gaping holes in the proposition that Aurangzeb razed temples because he hated Hindus.PTI/ jagran
RSS-affiliated schools bloom across Bengal: thehindu
Whether it is demonetisation or the arrest of Trinamool Congress MPs in the chit fund scam, West Bengal CM  Mamata Banerjee has been at loggerheads with the BJP govt at the Centre.However, the bitter acrimony seems to be absent when it comes to granting govt affiliation to RSS-controlled schools in Bengal.State govt gave affiliation to more than a dozen such schools last year. These schools are run by the Vivekananda Vidyavikas Parishad (VVP).VVP is the Bengal chapter of the Vidya Bharti Akhil Bhartiya Siksha Sansthan, an RSS-affiliated organisation. VVP’s website clearly states that its primary objective is to establish an education system which will create a generation of “youths with a Hindu mindset.”“Our aim is to develop an ideal education system which will create a generation of youths who will have Hindu mindset along with well developed spiritual outlook,” states website of VVP, which is run by RSS pracharaks and was founded in Bengal in 1982.
Shankaracharyas multiply, so do legal tangles
Haridwar: The recent episode of a Haridwar-based sadhu, Swami Achyutananda, who anointed himself as shankaracharya of the Dwarka Sharda peeth on Mahashivratri day has brought into focus the proliferation of shankaracharyas across the country.Adi Shankaracharya who started the monastic order set up only four 'maths' whose chiefs were to be ordained as shankaracharyas. But it is estimated that over 50 seers have proclaimed themselves as shankaracharyas of various peeths, although exact numbers are hard to come by. Disputes and litigation are ongoing in many.In the Dwarka Sharda peeth, for instance, there are currently three seers, including Achyutananda, who have declared themselves shankaracharya. Swami Swaroopananda, the incumbent shankaracharya of the peeth, soon after Achyutananda's anointment, claimed he would file a criminal case against the seer.Haridwar sadhus say that the move by "a few individuals who are desperate to grab high religious offices by any means" is giving the seer community a bad name. These things are very disappointing, and put the sadhu community under a cloud," said Swami Ravindra Puri of Mahanirwani Akhara. Another seer Brahma Vidyanand said, "None of the self-styled shankaracharyas can hope to fulfil the stringent eligibility conditions for becoming a shankaracharya laid down by Adi Shankaracharya. Only someone with pure conduct and character, possessing deep knowledge of the scriptures including the Vedas, Vedantas, Puranas, and Prasthanatrayee, which includes the Upanishads, Brahmasutra and the Gita, can be appointed shankaracharya." The anointment must have the sanction either of predecessor, or of the Kashi Vidwatparishad, a body of scholars based in Varanasi, he added. timesofindia
Waqf property grabbers will be punished: Naqvi
New Delhi:Union Minister Mukhtar Abbas Naqvi on Monday expressed concern over a large number of waqf properties being encroached upon and warned of "strict action" against the guilty."Serious irregularities in state waqf boards have come to our notice. A high-level inquiry is on into these matters and strict action will be taken against those responsible," Naqvi said.Addressing the 75th meeting of Central Waqf Council here, the Minister said the land grabbers were creating obstacles in the development of waqf properties and utilisation of the same for welfare of the society.Naqvi said a one-man "Board of Adjudication" at the Central level has been established under the chairmanship of retired Supreme Court justice to deal with complaints and disputes regarding waqf properties.Three-member tribunals are being established in the states to deal with such problems, he said, adding that 24 states have established these tribunals so far.IANS
Counter-terror ops: CRPF back to its ‘mandate’ in J&K
New Delhi: The Central Reserve Police Force (CRPF), is moving back to its old mandate in J&K , when it was sent there in 1989 for carrying out counter-insurgency operations aggressively. K Durga Prasad, director general of India's largest paramilitary force, two days before his retirement, in an exclusive interaction, said that "we (CRPF) are now not just doing normal law and order duty in Kashmir. We are engaged actively in intelligence based counter-terror operations where our men hunt down the militants in their den."Prasad said that CRPF was originally sent to J&K two decades back for counter-insurgency operations only. However, this role had been reduced to normal law and order duty in disturbed areas in last several years.TOI
Indian officials are cynical: Chinese media
NEW DELHI: India's foreign affairs officials are "pessimistic" and "cynical" despite the "positive" results of last week's foreign secretary level talks, said a newspaper run by the Communist Party of China."While most Chinese scholars and critics received the dialogue positively, believing it may thaw the atmosphere and propel the bilateral relations into a new era, their Indian counterparts turned out to be rather pessimistic-if not cynical, quoting the "unsolved" issues regarding India's NSG bid as well as the UN ban on JeM chief Masood Azhar," said an Op-Ed today in the Global Times.TOI
Muslim sects should come together for peace, says Syed Bilal Chishty
Jaipur: Muslims leaders have acknowledged the rising sectarianism promoted by various Islamic sects in Rajasthan.
Leaders of different sects—Sufis, Deobandis (Saudi School of Islam) and Shias—have called for organising joint meetings of various sects to reduce tension that has often led to law and order issues.Recently, Sunni Muslims didn't allow the burial of a follower of the Wahabbi school at their burial ground in Chittorgarh.At a session on 'Ittehad and Islam', Syed Bilal Chishty, 'gaddi nashin' and a 'khadim' at Dargah Ajmer, said, "Members of Jamiat Ulema-I-Hind (JUH), a social organ of Deobandi Muslims, visited the dargah in Ajmer which represents Sufi Muslims in last November. This had a positive impact on followers of both schools in the Indian sub-continent. The idea is to create common platforms to bury differences and to make Muslims part of the progressive society."He asked Muslims to remember the verse in Holy Quran which says that there's no difference between an Arab and a non-Arab, black and white.Yasmeen Farooqui, member, All India Muslim Personal Law Board (AIMPLB), said that sectarian divisions can be seen in some regions and not across the country. "These regions have been identified and AIMPLB is working to bridge the gap to minimize such conflicts," Farooqui said. Such interactions between various sects are required for peace, said Mohammad Atiq, secretary of the Marwar Muslim Educational Trust, underscoring the importance of scholarly work to counter the divisive narrative emerging from ignorance.TOI
Bhopal: Combination of modern and religious education need of the hour said Habibullah
Bhopal: Former chairperson of the National Commission for Minorities Wajahat Habibullah has said that temporal education devoid of religious content will not do the world any good. “All major scientific inventions and discoveries were first used for destruction and then put to peaceful uses shows what knowledge sans the moralising influence of religion can do”, he said, quoting the example of the atom bomb.Habibullah was speaking as the chief guest at the annual function of Muslim Education and Career Promotion Society (MECAPS) here on Sunday at Ravindra Bhavan Auditorium.The ex-IAS officer, who was also the Chief Information Commissioner of India, said that synergy between worldly and religious education is what the Muslims in India need. “I never went to a madarsa but the religious education which my mother gave to me played a key role in whatever little I could achieve in my life”, he said.
freepressjournal
15 years after Godhra: The politics of hate still divides us;Harsh Mander
‘Preplanned inhuman collective violent act of terrorism’: What Modi got away with in the Godhra case: Manoj Mitta
WORLD
French parliamentarians call on Hollande to recognise Palestinian state
Some 154 French lawmakers sent a letter on Sunday calling on President Francois Hollande to recognise the Palestinian state.“France must demonstrate its determination to break the deadlock in [the Israeli-Palestinian] conflict by solemnly reaffirming, in the name of the inalienable right of self-determination, that the Palestinian people are entitled to a state,” they wrote. “This is the way to respect international law as well as the security of Israel.”Parliamentarians from across France’s political spectrum signed the letter. They asked Hollande to “show himself” as being “up to the challenge and not miss this rendezvous with history.” They said he should recognise the state of Palestine now. Middleeastmonitor
Mahmoud Abbas: Defend two-state-solution for a Palestine state
Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas has called on the international community to defend the two-state-solution in an address at the opening of the 34th session of the United Nations Human Rights Council (UNHCR).Abbas told member states on Monday that Israel was moving towards an "apartheid solution" in Palestine in light of a new Israeli law passed earlier this month that legalised dozens of Jewish-only settlement outposts built on private Palestinian land.He also cautioned states from moving their embassies in Israel to Jerusalem, in a warning seen as a direct response to promises made by US President Donald Trump during his campaign for the White House in which he threatened to move the US embassy from Tel Aviv to the divided holy city."Palestine will remain the litmus test for this council … and whether it succeeds or not, will be crucial for the credibility of the human rights system throughout the world," said Abbas. aljazeera
'Defend two-state solution' says Palestinian leader Mahmoud Abbas
Israel denies Netanyahu's statements about int'l forces in Gaza
Nazareth, (PIC) A high ranking Israeli government official denied on Sunday Israel’s Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s recent statements about deploying international forces in the Gaza Strip.The Israeli official told Radio Israel that Netanyahu rejected a suggestion made by Australian Foreign Minister Julie Bishop to deploy international troops in the Gaza Strip. Netanyahu reportedly told Minister Bishop that Israel learned from long experience that it can’t rely on international forces to protect it.
101 Israeli settlers break into 3rd holiest site in Islam
Jerusalem, (PIC) 101 Israeli settlers stormed the holy al-Aqsa Mosque on Monday as part of the morning break-in shift. 101 Israeli settlers, escorted by policemen and two intelligence officers, broke into al-Aqsa Mosque via al-Maghreba Gate and defiled its plazas.Over the past couple of days, 267 Israeli settlers stormed al-Aqsa Mosque—third holiest site in Islam.
UN envoy decries violence against Rohingya refugees in Myanmar
Dhaka: Rohingya refugees who fled violence in Myanmar have told how government forces gang-raped women, slit people's throats and threw children into burning houses, a UN envoy has said after a mission to neighbouring Bangladesh.Yanghee Lee said the accounts given by Rohingya who had crossed into Bangladesh since a crackdown across the border in October indicated the violence was "far more extensive" than she had previously realised."There was not a single account I heard which was not harrowing," said the human rights observer in a statement after her four-day visit to Bangladesh that ended on Friday.AFP
Iran’s Rouhani to run for second-term – senior official
Iran’s President Hassan Rouhani has decided to run for re-election scheduled in May, Iran’s IRNA reported on Sunday, quoting the vice president for parliamentary affairs.“In recent weeks, Mr. Rouhani has reached a conclusion to take part in the presidential elections,” Hossein-Ali Amiri told IRNA reporters.According to the Iranian constitution, President Rouhani is eligible to run for presidential election for a second term. Middleeastmonitor
Turkmen official says Russia is not abiding by Astana commitments
A representative of the Turkmen component in the Syria High Negotiations Committee has accused the Russians of failing to comply with the commitments they made during talks in the Kazakh capital, Astana. Mohammed Shemaly made his comments as the Syrian regime forces continue their bombardment of opposition areas.Shemaly warned that Russia’s lack of commitment could influence the course of the Geneva 4 negotiations, since an effective ceasefire is a necessary confidence-building measure in the political process. He explained that during the past two days, the Syrian regime forces have shelled a neighbourhood in Homs, central Syria, which resulted in numerous deaths, although the district has been under siege for more than four years.
Suspected Russian raid kills 13 in northwestern Syria
At least 13 civilians were killed Monday by a suspected Russian airstrike in Syria’s northwestern Idlib province, according to a pro-opposition civil defense official. A warplane struck a residential neighborhood in Ariha town in Idlib’s northern countryside, Mohamed Hashem said. He said three buildings have been destroyed in the raid. “Around 30 people are still trapped under rubble,” Hashem said. Monday’s attack came despite a ceasefire -- brokered by Turkey and Russia -- that went into effect in Syria last December. World Bulletin
Senior Taliban leader killed in Kunduz air raid
A senior Taliban commander has been killed in an air raid in northern Afghanistan, the armed group said on Monday.Mullah Abdul Salam Akhund, who oversaw a Taliban offensive that briefly seized Kunduz city in 2015, had previously been reported dead several times by Afghan officials.Zabihullah Mujahid, Taliban spokesman, confirmed Akhund's death in a statement blaming the United States.Akhund was one of three fighters killed in an air raid by an unmanned aircraft in the Kunduz province, a senior Taliban official in the province told the Reuters news agency on condition of anonymity.Aljazeera
 Compiled and edited by Anwarulhaq (Released at: 8:09 PM)