Thursday, 23 February 2017

Evening NEWS DIGEST
23 Feb.2017: 25 Jamadiul Awwal 1438: Vol:8, No:124
SC refuses to hear SIO plea to add Urdu in NEET exam
The Supreme Court has refused to hear the matter filed by Students Islamic Organisation of India to add Urdu as a language to NEET exam. CBSE had announced that the exam can be conducted in 2017 in ten regional languages with the exception of Urdu.The student organisation had filed a petition in the top court against the board, the Union Ministry of Health and Family Welfare on Feb.17 for not including Urdu as one of the languages in NEET exam this year, said a NewsNation report.The body also said that it found the decision to not include the language in the upcoming exam unjustified and biased against those pupils who finish their higher secondary and senior secondary education in the Urdu medium. dnaindia
SC refuses to entertain SIO plea to add Urdu in NEET exam
SC refuses to hear matter filed by students over exclusion of Urdu in NEET
Centre asks for report as college protest moves to Delhi police HQ
New Delhi: The govt asked for a report as the uproar over an invite to JNU's Umar Khalid at Ramjas College moved outside the Delhi Police HQRS on Thursday - an unprecedented turn of events in recent times. Hundreds of angry students were seen milling outside the headquarters, demanding that separate cases be filed on their complaints - a demand the police chief said cannot be met. 2 students groups - BJP-linked ABVP and AISA -- had clashed repeatedly last evening during protests outside the college and 20 students and at least one teacher had been injured.The police have already filed a rioting case against students allegedly involved in the clashes. Students alleged that the police had rounded up some of them during Wednesday's protests and demand a separate case filed on that as well.  "I have asked for a report from the University on the issue," HRD Minister Prakash Javadekar said. After hours of protests outside the HQRS, a senior officer came out to talk to the students. But despite his explanation that in such cases only one FIR or First Information Report was enough to investigate the matter, the students continued with their demands. A day after police chief Amulya Patnaik earlier said, "We won't tolerate this," the police today admitted that excesses had also been committed during crowd control. The investigation will now be conducted by Crime Branch instead of the local police.The Delhi Police has also set up an inquiry into the "inappropriate and unprofessional action" of its personnel, said Joint Commissioner Dipendra Pathak.

 Teachers, students, journalists beaten up in clash with ABVP
College clash: Joint Commissioner admits to ‘unprofessional’ action by cops, AISA students protest outside Delhi Police HQS
ABVP themselves raise anti-India slogans on campuses, police works with them: Kumar Vishwas
 AAP today claimed that ABVP activists themselves raise anti-India slogans and foment trouble in educational campuses, a day after violent clashes at Ramjas College in Delhi involving the RSS-backed students body. Party also hit out at the Centre and the Delhi Police, accusing them of “shielding” ABVP activists, who it alleged resort to violence on campuses.PTI
The Quint’s Reporter Assaulted by ABVP Members at Ramjas College
ABVP disrupts, vandalises literary event at Ramjas college
Dear Amit Shah, rein in ABVP and act on your promise to set ‘gundas’ right: Harinder Baweja
Question from Ramjas to JNU: Is ABVP a students’ organisation or a bunch of hooligans? Editorials, HT
Najeeb’s mother, others protest at HRD ministry
New Delhi: Hundreds of students, social activists, and student leaders under the banner of Student Islamic Organisation of India (SIO) staged a protest outside HRD ministry on Wednesday demanding justice for the missing JNU student Najeeb Ahmed.The protest also witnessed Najeeb’s mother, Fatima Nafees, and JNU SU president Mohit. K Pandey pressurising govt and Delhi police to find Najeeb. A delegation of the protesters also met joint secretary to the HRD ministry and submitted a memorandum to him, who promised action over the issue.“Our universities are being turned into killing fields of deprived students. They are facing communal attacks. They killed Rohith. They enforced disappearance of Najeeb. We have to speak truth to these fascist forces. We have to keep asking #where is Najeeb,” said Pandey. Meanwhile, a Delhi court has fixed March 6 to hear the argument in connection with the missing case of JNU student after the Delhi police failed to submit the list of the students who gave the agency their consent for a lie detector test. The police told the court that the students were busy in preparation of the exam after which the court fixed the matter for the next date.On the next date, the police will also furnish the exam date sheet of the students. The Delhi police had issued notices to nine students to appear before it for a lie detector test.Asian Age
Over 400 world academicians express concern over new JNU admission policy: IndiaTomorrow
 New Delhi: Over 400 scholars and academicians from across the world have written to V-C of JNU urging him "to retain" the existing admission policy of the university and "to restore the institutional autonomy of JNU".In a letter to JNU VC Prof. M. Jagadesh Kumar, they expressed "deep concern and shock at the events unfolding on your campus..." "We urge responsible authorities to act decisively to protect the future of JNU as an internationally renowned university of academic excellence, which has produced generations of excellent researchers, scholars and other professionals. It is also well known for its academic freedom and autonomy that fosters debates, discussions and dissent," the academicians said in the letter.
Atmosphere of fear in universities threat to Indian democracy: Amartya Sen
New Delhi:Nobel laureate Amartya Sen has said the atmosphere of fear in universities is detrimental to Indian democracy.“Penalties imposed on teachers for giving lectures critical of the priorities of the ruling govt, and even on those who arranged the lectures at one university or other, will have far reaching impact on value of liberty in contemporary India,” said Sen while launching his book titled ‘Social Choice and Social Welfare’ in New Delhi.Sen, known for his strong views, also said that he has no hope of Modi-led govt  doing enough to improve health sector in the country. Economist further said that fear being faced by the minority communities in India cannot be seen as cultivation of fraternity.PTI
ABVP’s Communal politics in Karnataka? Hijab-shawl row spreads through colleges
Karwar: Communal politics is slowly entering college campuses in Uttara Kannada, as ABVP, student wing of the RSS decided to counter what they call the "burqa and hijab culture" by wearing saffron shawls.The open support to this 'Kesari Shawl Abhiyan' by Uttara Kannada MP Anant Kumar Hegde has added fuel to the fire. A fortnight ago, students from a private degree college in Sirsi began wearing saffron shawls to class, alleging that girls from the Muslim community were dressed in hijab (headscarf) and burqa. Students demanded that the college administration implement the uniform dress code among students and not allow anybody to display their religious identity in classrooms.After this, other colleges in the district too witnessed similar incidents, with the ABVP blaming radical elements behind the hijab and burqa. "A year ago, the same students were attending classes in uniform. What has suddenly prompted them to come to college wearing burqa?" asked Akash Naik of the ABVP.But Muslim girls deny this and say that they keep their faces uncovered even if they wear the hijab and burqa. "If we follow our religious customs, how does it offend the ABVP?" questioned Heena, a student. This was denied by the college principal, who said, "Lecturers and students wear hijab but not burqa, as alleged by the ABVP," said Bhageerathi Naik, in-charge principal of the college.TOI
Muslim constable moves Gujarat HC to keep his beard
Ahmedabad: A Muslim police constable has moved the Gujarat high court after the police department asked him to shave off his beard. Justice Sonia Gokani has admitted Shaikh's petition last week and scheduled final hearing on the issue for April 25. Mohammed Sajid Sabirmiya Shaikh from Sarkhej, 25, joined LRD in March 2016. He was posted at police HQRS at Shahibaug. For nine months, the department didn't object to him sporting a beard, but three months ago it told him remove it. Shaikh argued before senior officers that sporting a beard is part of his fundamental right to freedom of religion. However, the officials did not accept his argument citing departmental circular. His seniors insisted he could be exempted only if he had performed Haj.Shaikh told TOI, "I have been wearing a beard for seven or eight years. Nobody in the department objected for nine months but one fine day I was told to remove it. They say that I will be allowed to keep the beard only if I have completed the Haj pilgrimage. How can I spend Rs 2 lakh and go on the Haj just to keep my beard?" After the objection was rai sed, Shaikh has not been allowed to report for duty."I went to report for duty several times but senior officers don't allow me report to work with my beard," Shaikh said.TOI
POLLS & POLITICS
Maharashtra civic polls: BJP set for decisive gains, Sena has edge in BMC
Mumbai: BJP is set to make decisive gains in civic polls in Maharashtra even as it is locked in a neck-and-neck fight with its bickering ally Shiv Sena in Mumbai, the latest counting trends suggest.Congress and the NCP were headed for a rout across the state, including some of their strongholds like Pune. While Shiv Sena slightly improved on its showing in Mumbai and Thane, the BJP is set to retain Nagpur, Akola and wrest Pune and Ulhasnagar from the NCP and Nashik from the MNS. But, as the counting progressed into final rounds, it appears that the Sena is unlikely to touch the half-way mark of 114 seats in Mumbai, where the BJP is poised for a big leap after fighting the polls on its own.BJP is likely to come to power in at least 6 civic bodies —— Pune, Nashik, Ulhasnagar, Akola, Nagpur and Amravati —— out of the 10 corporations for which elections were held on Tuesday.Apart from Mumbai, the city corporations which went to the polls were Thane, Ulhasnagar, Nashik, Pune, Pimpri-Chinchwad, Solapur,Akola, Amravati and Nagpur.In Pune, BJP is leading in 74 out of total of 152 seats, in Ulhasnagar in 32 (78 total seats), Nashik — 32 (122), Nagpur — 72 (145),Amaravati — 21 (87) and Akola31 (73).PTI
81 seats: BJP makes massive gains in BMC polls, finishes 3 short of Shiv Sena's tally
#MaharashtraCivicpolls 2017: BJP dominates across state, Shiv Sena emerges as single largest party in BMC
Maharashtra civic polls: Owaisi's AIMIM wins 3 seats in Mumbai, 5 in Solapur
New Delhi:Making its debut in the high-stakes Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC) election, the Asaduddin Owaisi-headed AIMIM has won 3 seats in the 227-member civic body.AIMIM also won five seats in the polls for the Solapur Municipal Corporation, marking an impressive performance for the party.Its performance in BMC election was especially a surprise since this was the first time it was contesting polls for the India's richest municipal body.The party had fielded 59 candidates in Mumbai's Muslim-majority areas. Most experts have predicted AIMIM winning at least 6-8 seats.IndiaToday
61% voter turnout 4th phase of UP polls till 5PM, expected to cross 63% says EC
Lucknow:Voting ended in the fourth phase of assembly polls in UP  covering 53 seats in 12 districts with a large turnout of one crore electorate.A total of 680 candidates were in the fray, including 61 women.Huge polling was reported from districts in Bundelkhand region – Mahoba, Jhansi, Chitrakoot, Hamirpur, Banda, Jalaun and Lalitpur where people stood in serpentine queues to vote.But residents of some villages boycotted the polls to protest lack of development and basic amenities. Balloting in Rae Bareli, Lok Sabha constituency of Congress President Sonia Gandhi, was brisk through the day.IANS
BJP should have given tickets to Muslims for UP polls:Rajnath
New Delhi: Union Home Minister and veteran BJP leader Rajnath Singh on Wednesday said that the saffron party should have given tickets to Muslim candidates for the UP elections. During an interview, Rajnath said, “We've given tickets to minorities in many other states. Talks must have happened here in UP as well... I was not there, this is based on what I have learnt. May be the BJP parliamentary board didn't find any winnable Muslim candidate. But I believe even Muslims should get tickets”.When pressed further on whether Muslims should have been given tickets, the Home Minister said, “They should have been. Whoever deserves must get tickets”. BJP has not given a single ticket to a Muslim candidate for the 2017 UP state polls.DECCAN CHRONICLE
Ex-Delhi BJP MLA Vijay Jolly booked for rape after victim alleges he drugged her drink
New Delhi:Former Delhi BJP MLA Vijay Jolly has been booked in a case of rape after a woman alleged that he drugged and assaulted her, police said today.Ex- Saket MLA was booked under sections 376 (rape), 328 (causing hurt by means of poison, etc.) and 506 (criminal intimidation) of the Indian Penal Code after the Delhi-based woman filed a complaint at a women's police station here on Feb.21.The woman has alleged in her complaint that Jolly spiked her drink before sexually assaulting her at Gurgaon's Aapno Ghar Resort on Feb10.PTI 
Pregnant woman kicked in stomach, loses baby; BJP leader held
Krishnagar:A pregnant woman lost her baby after being kicked in the stomach during a scuffle over playing microphone in high volume in Nadia district, police said today. Five persons including a local BJP panchayat pradhan of Dhubulia area was arrested in this connection. The incident occurred after a man identified as Shambhu Chandra Das of Tantla village under Dhubulia police station protested against playing microphone in high volume in a kirtan programme last night.PTI
UP polls : No killing of cow, buffalo in BJP rule, will shut all slaughterhouses, says Amit Shah
New Delhi:A day after he controversially used ‘Kasab’ acronym to describe rivals, BJP national president Amit Shah on Thursday vowed to shut down all slaughterhouses across UP  once his party comes to power. In a recourse to beef politics, Shah, while campaigning in UP for the ongoing elections, said while cow, buffalo and ox were killed in the rule of Congress, SP and BSP, his party will end their killing and produce milk and ghee from them. He said, “Qatalkhane bandh karenge. Congress, SP, BSP ke raj mein gaai, bhains, bael ke khoon ki nadiyan bahi, hum doodh ghee ki nadi bahayenge.”
Digvijay Singh's tweet equating madrassas with RSS Shishu Mandir schools leaves Muslim groups fuming
Charminar: Congress general secretary Digvijaya Singh has stirred a controversy by his comment on social media. Senior leader equated madrassas to schools run by RSS and claimed both spread `hatred'. Muslim groups and political parties have slammed Singh for his remarks on Twitter.Singh took to the microblogging site to write, "Is there a difference between Madarsas and Saraswati Shishu Mandir Schools run by RSS ? I don't think so. Both spread Hatred. (sic)."Strong reactions poured in from various Muslim organisations, including MIM) Asaduddin Owaisi, the MIM president, objec ted to Singh's tweet. He asked Muslim socio-religious organisations, including Jamiat-e-Ulama, to take note of this `hatred'.Senior Congress leader and State Minorities chairman Abid Rasool Khan too expressed displeasure. In a terse reaction, Hafiz Peer Shabbir, Jamiat-e-Ulama, Telangana and AP chief, said he unequivocally condemns Singh's statement. "I want him (Digvijaya) to show me if any madrassa has weapons stashed in it? This is a part of a larger conspiracy which seeks to have no imams, muftis and aalims," he said even as he pointed out that several madrassas now teach their students `contemporary' subjects such as English and Mathematics apart from having programmes on computer literacy to help students have a bright future.TOI
OTHERS
Tribunal orders in-camera hearing on ban of Naik's IRF
New Delhi: Proceedings on the issue of ban on Zakir Naik's IRF would be held in-camera in view of the allegations made against the organisation and the confidential material to be scrutinised by a tribunal.This was decided today by Delhi High Court's Justice Sangita Dhingra Sehgal, who is presiding over the tribunal set up under the UAPA.The tribunal allowed the Centre's plea for in-camera hearing keeping in view the scheme of the Act, the allegations against IRF of radicalising the youth and confidentiality of the material to be scrutinised during the proceedings.Further proceedings are expected to be held on March 17, 18 and 20 for recording of evidence.IRF had opposed the Centre's plea for in-camera hearing, saying it was a "garb" to deny them the material relied upon to ban IRF.PTI
ED summons Zakir Naik’s sister in money laundering case
Mumbai: Zakir Naik’s sister Nailah Noorani has been summoned by the Enforcement Directorate to appear before it. On Wednesday, her counsel responded to the summons stating that she would appear before the agency next week. The central agency is probing an alleged money laundering case against Naik and his now outlawed outfit, IRF. According to sources, Naik had allegedly transferred around Rs 20 crore in the accounts held by his parents between 2012 and 2016. They had then collectively transferred over Rs 25 crore in two accounts held by Nailah. The sources said money was then transferred to the accounts of 4 companies — Longlast Constructions Pvt Ltd, Harmony Media Pvt Ltd, Majestic Perfumes Pvt Ltd and Alpha Lubricants Pvt Ltd. Nailah was the director with Longlast Constructions, which saw a surge in borrowing in the last couple of years but had not conducted any business, said the sources. indian express
Dr Zakir Naik's firms donated funds to 8 organisations: ED
J&K: 3 soldiers, woman killed as militants ambush Army convoy in Shopian
Srinagar: A joint search team of Army and police was attacked by militants at Mulu Chitragam, 60 km south of Srinagar. 3 soldiers and a woman were killed and 3 Army men injured as militants ambushed a search and cordon team in Shopian in J&K on Thursday.A Srinagar based police spokesman told The Hindu that a joint search team of the Army and police was attacked by the militants at Mulu Chitragam, Shopian, 60 km south of Srinagar, at 2am.“Attack resulted in injuries to 6 Army personnel, including two officers, of whom three died of their injuries,” said the police spokesman.The police said a woman, identified as Taja, “was hit by a stray bullet inside her house in the crossfire” and died, said the spokesman. the hindu
Delhi court asks why Dar wasn't set free
New Delhi: A Delhi court has issued a production warrant directing Tihar Jail superintendent to produce Tariq Ahmed Dar, the sole convict in the 2005 Delhi serial blasts case, by 2pm today, in connection with a related money-laundering case.Dar is currently lodged in Tihar Jail despite being granted bail in the case on Monday.The court has sought a reply from the superintendent as to why Dar has not been released from prison yet. Dar's brother Mohammed Ayub told HT that he was not allowed to meet Dar when he went to jail to see him after the latter was granted bail."This is torture.He should have been released from prison after being granted bail. But the jail authorities did not let me meet him," said Ayub. HT
Tihar yet to release Tariq Ahmed Dar, kin move court
Srinagar Men, Freed in 2005 Delhi Blasts Case, are Home After 12 Years
Srinagar: Mohammad Hussain Fazili wipes the small display of the cellphone and hands it towards his young nephew sitting in the far corner of the room."Dial me the number. I can't handle these touch-screen phones. Twelve years is a long time. So much has changed," said Fazili. 43-year-old Fazili and his prison-mate Rafiq Ahmad Shah, 34, are home after spending 12 long and traumatic years in Tihar.CNN-News18
Being Kashmiri doesn’t make me a terrorist, says acquittee in Delhi blasts case
Kashmiri teenager who wanted to be a doctor languishing in jail under PSA for a year
Doda: Rehmatullah Padder, a 19-year old, is one of the many victims of this PSA.After Kashmir division of J&K saw massive protests and scores of deaths during the aftermath of the death of militant commander Burhan Wani in July 2016.A month after the eruption of unrest, the state govt went hard after the people whom it call “trouble makers” and booked hundreds of people, particularly youths under draconian Public Safety Act.TCN
India uses excessive force in Kashmir: Amnesty
 Amnesty International criticized Wednesday the Indian security forces' use of "excessive" and "arbitrary" force against protesters in Jammu and Kashmir.“Security forces used arbitrary or excessive force against demonstrators on several occasions. In August, Shabir Ahmad Monga, a lecturer, was beaten to death by army soldiers,” the human rights group said in its annual report.Amnesty said the Indian government was using “crude, colonial-era sedition law” to “silence government critics,” adding "human rights activists and journalists in India faced intimidation and attacks from both state and non-state actors."World Bulletin worldbulletin
NIA court lets father of Malegaon blast case victim intervene
Mumbai: A special NIA court, hearing the 2008 Malegaon bomb blast case, allowed the father of a victim to intervene and attend proceedings. Advocate Shareef Shaikh, who appeared before court on behalf of intervenor, Sayyed Nisar, said they will assist the prosecutor and court. Earlier, the intervenor was allowed in court occasionally.Nisar had lost his 19-year-old son Azhar in the blast that killed 6 and injured 100. ATS arrested Sadhvi Pragya Singh Thakur, army lieutenant colonel Prasad Purohit, retired major Ramesh Upadhyay, Swami Dayanand Pandey and others for conspiracy. The probe was later handed over to NIA, which filed a supplementary chargesheet on May 13, 2016. NIA recommended prosecution of 10 terror suspects and said it did not find "sufficient evidence" against six other terror suspects, including Thakur. ATS had said in its chargesheet that her bike was used to plant the bomb and that she was part of the conspiracy."While NIA has no objection if she is granted bail, we have gone to the HC, saying prima facie there is evidence against her. If NIA has given some accused a clean chit, it does not mean they are discharged. The court has to consider the ATS chargesheet too, which clearly cites evidence against her. NIA cannot wash out the probe by the ATS. It's the court's duty to look into evidence and decide which investigation is correct," said Shaikh.TOI
Mumbai ATS probes disappearance of 27 'pilgrims' in Saudi Arabia
Mumbai: The state ATS has begun a probe after 27 pilgrims from West Bengal disappeared in Jeddah. Their south Mumbai tour operator approached the ATS last week, stating that the group did not reach their hotel in Jeddah.Sources in the security establishment said that the agent himself approached ATS and told the officers that the pilgrims obtained a 45-day Umrah visa through him. Their passports were issued from Bhubaneswar."Mumbai agent told us that he received a call from the Kolkata agent saying the pilgrims had not reached the hotel even 3 days after re aching Saudi Arabia," said a police source. No FIR has been registered yet.Mumbai travel agents generally help their counterparts in other cities across the country to obtain visas on a commission basis.TOI
Mangaluru : Moulvi ‘questioned’ about daughter’s friends
Mangaluru:In yet another incident of “moral policing,” a right-wing group created ruckus over the presence of three students in the house of their classmate belonging to another religion. The incident occurred in Kadaba, near Puttur in Karnataka. Police said 3 girls from a Mysuru engineering college had come on holiday to Mangaluru. They had been staying with their classmate since Sunday. Their classmate’s father, Mohammed, is a moulvi. All four were to leave for Mysuru on Wednesday.On Tuesday night, right-wing activists reached Mr. Mohammed’s home and started questioning him. A few Muslim youth came to the spot to counter them.the hindu
Now Tarek Fatah assaults Poonawalla during tv debate
New Delhi:Confident that being the guest of RSS and ruling BJP he is above law and can say anything against anyone and behave as he wishes, Islamophobe and Pakistani fugitive Tarek Fatah reportedly assaulted Shehzad Poonawalla, Secretary of Maharashtra Congress, during a heated debate on CNN News-18 where the two had been invited to participate in a programme.A hater of Urdu, three days ago he barged in Urdu festival Rekhta and showing his true colours and nastiness misbehaved with attendees who protested against his presence and the police as well.Poonawalla has shared a video recording on social media in which he can be heard asking Fatah, “How dare you hit me?” and Fatah can be seen using foul and abusive language against him.Caravan Daily
India’s GDP projected to slow to 6.6% post-demonetisation: IMF
Washington: India’s growth is projected to slow to 6.6% in 2016-17 fiscal due to the strains that have emerged in the economy as a result of “temporary disruptions” caused by demonetisation, IMF said on Wednesday.In its annual report, however, IMF said demonetisation would have only short term impact on the economy and it would bounce back to its expected growth of more than 8% in the next few years.The post-Nov.8, 2016 cash shortages and payment disruptions caused by the currency exchange initiative have undermined consumption and business activity, posing a new challenge to sustaining the growth momentum, IMF said in its annual country report on India.“Growth is projected to slow to 6.6 %  in FY2016/17, then rebound to 7.2% in FY2017/18, due to temporary disruptions, primarily to private consumption, caused by cash shortages,” it said. hindustantimes
Demonetisation hit economy: Odisha Governor SC Jamir
Bhubaneswar: Economic activity has been interrupted in cash-intensive segments post demonetisation, Odisha Governor SC Jamir said in his address on the opening day of the budget session of State Assembly on Wednesday.Observing that impact of demonetisation of ₹1000 and ₹500 currency notes was yet to be fully assessed, Jamir said it brought about a steep deceleration in the State’s economy and public finances during the initial period.“It is evidenced by a decline of over 11% in the tax collection in Dec.2016 over the previous month,” he said. The State has been taking a number of reform measures in budgetary and expenditure management, project formulation and accountability in order to improve the quality of public spending, said Jamir. thehindu
6,000 Indian millionaires shifted overseas in 2016: Report
New Delhi:India is among the top five countries globally which saw the maximum number of millionaire outflows with as many as 6,000 ultra-rich people shifting overseas in 2016, 50 %  more than the previous year. According to a report by New World Wealth, around 6,000 uber-rich Indians have changed their domicile in 2016, while in 2015 as many as 4,000 millionaires had shifted base.PTI
3 Months In, India’s Economy Remains Crippled By Demonetisation: BY PARTHA SEN
‘Economic loss of Rs 235K crore likely due to demonetisation’
Mumbai: Ex-finance minister P Chidambaram said the economy is likely to take a hit of Rs 2,35,000 crore if growth declines by 1.6 %  in the wake of demonetisation.“I expect growth to decline to 6-6.2 %  this fiscal. We started with 7.6 %  last year. The CSO then came out with a figure of 6.9 %  which was based on October 2016 figures. The RBI said 6.9 %  and the Centre for Monitoring Indian Economy said 6.2 % . I expect growth to fall to between 6-6.2 %  which is 1.60 %  lower than last year’s estimate,” Chidambaram said at a function to launch his book “Fearless in Opposition” as part of the Express Book Series along with Rupa.
Muzaffarnagar: Body of missing cleric Moulvi Harun found hanging from tree
Muzaffarnagar: The body of a Muslim cleric, who was missing since Monday, was found hanging from a tree at Kheri Karmu village in Shamli district.Moulvi Harun, who worked at a madrasa, was missing since Monday. His body was found hanging from a tree last evening, police said.The body has been sent for postmortem and a probe started to ascertain whether he committed suicide or was murdered.PTI
Pul’s widow withdraws from SC, says she will approach Vice-President
Passion for Urdu brings a teacher and seven students together in Ludhiana
Making profits through unnecessary Caesareans: dark underbelly of India’s healthcare industry: Radhika Iyengar
Bhagat Singh and Savarkar, Two Petitions that Tell Us the Difference Between Hind and Hindutva: BY THE WIRE
What Aurangzeb did to preserve Hindu temples (and protect non-Muslim religious leaders): Audrey Truschke


WORLD
5 children who got longer sentences for throwing stones than Israeli soldier who shot incapacitated Palestinian dead
An 18-month jail sentence handed down to an Israel Defence Force (IDF) recruit for the killing of a wounded Palestinian has prompted for widespread criticism for its apparent leniency in light of the severity of his crime.Then 19-year-old medic Elor Azaria was found guilty of manslaughter for fatally shooting 21-year-old Palestinian knife attacker Abdel Fattah al-Sharif in the head after the assailant had already been disarmed and injured in an incident in Hebron last year. The killing was filmed by an onlooker using a mobile phone in footage that was widely shared by Israeli human rights group B’Tselem. While prosecutors sought a term of between three and five years in jail, Azaria was given 18 months in prison, 12 months'  probation and was demoted from Sergeant to Private. Manslaughter is punishable by up to 20 years in prison under Israeli law. independent
UN decries Israel's West Bank demolition order
UN has raised concerns over a newly announced demolition plan in a Palestinian Bedouin village in the occupied West Bank that threatens dozens of buildings including a primary school. "This is unacceptable and it must stop," Robert Piper, UN's humanitarian coordinator for the Palestinian territories, said on Wednesday.Piper visited the village where the primary school is among 140 structures at risk of demolition.
Rebels seek 'direct negotiations' with Assad govt
Syria's main opposition group has called for face-to-face discussions with govt representatives, as a new round of talks in Geneva begins one year after meetings in the Swiss city fell apart."We ask for direct negotiations ... It would save time and be proof of seriousness instead of negotiating in [separate] rooms," Salem al-Meslet, spokesman for the High Negotiations Committee (HNC) umbrella group, told reporters.The talks began on Thursday. Aljazeera
Regime shelling kills at least 20 in Damascus
At least 20 people were killed and 100 others injured Wednesday by regime shelling in eastern Damascus, according to a local civil defense official.Regime forces targeted the city’s opposition-held Tishreen district with 20 missiles, Khaled Sherif, a pro-opposition civil defense official in the capital’s Eastern Ghouta area, said late Wednesday.The attack, which came one day before scheduled peace talks in Geneva, violates a ceasefire deal brokered by Turkey and Russia that went into effect last December. World Bulletin
Aid group: Situation in Yarmouk is tragic
The situation in the Palestinian refugee camp of Yarmouk, in the outskirts of Damascus, is very difficult and tragic, a Swedish aid convoy that recently visited the besieged area has said. “People in the camp rushed to the bus which was carrying the aid because of the scarcity of humanitarian support,” head of the convoy, Khaled Youssef, said.Nearly 3,000 food parcels, blankets and children’s toys were distributed by the group over the course of a week in cooperation with UNRWA in a number of Palestinian camps in both Lebanon and Syria. They also set up a kitchen which will provide free meals for refugees. middleeastmonitor
NYPD cops forced Muslim woman to remove hijab: lawsuit
New York:A Muslim woman has filed a lawsuit in a court at New York alleging that police officers forced her to remove her hijab and snapped photos of her after ‘false arrest’. Rabab Musa, 34, alleged in the Manhattan Supreme Court lawsuit that she was “unlawfully arrested” last September as she left a Starbucks in Midtown.PTI
Thousands mourn “blind sheikh” Omar Abdel-Rahman convicted in 1993 World Trade Center bombing:Reuters
Egypt:Thousands of mourners gathered in a small Egyptian town on Wednesday for the funeral of Muslim cleric known as “the blind sheikh” who was convicted of conspiracy in the 1993 World Trade Center bombing in New York. Omar Abdel-Rahman, who was also convicted of planning a broader “war of urban terrorism” in the United States, died on Saturday in a North Carolina prison aged 78. Movements across the Islamist spectrum from the Muslim Brotherhood to Al-Qaeda attended, including several leaders from Egypt’s Islamic Group, which renounced violence in 1997.Carrying signs that read “we will meet in heaven” and chanting “we will defend you with blood and soul, Islam,” hundreds of mourners gathered at Al-Gamaliya, his hometown in Egypt’s Nile Delta province of Gharbiya, to wait for Abdel-Rahman’s body as it made its way back from the US via Cairo.

 Compiled and edited by Anwarulhaq (Released at: 8:11 PM)

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