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)

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