Saturday, 4 March 2017

Evening NEWS DIGEST
04 March.2017: 04 Jamadiul Akhir 1438:Vol:8, No:132
Plan to dehyphenate ties: PM Modi’s visit to Israel may not include Palestine stop
New Delhi;In a significant move, South Block is “actively considering” to schedule a stand-alone bilateral visit by PM Narendra Modi’s to Israel and not to Palestine on the same trip, sources have told The Indian Express. This will be a radical departure from what has been the convention on the part of top Indian leaders, who have visited both countries during their visits. In the past, External Affairs Ministers from both BJP and Congress have visited both Israel and Palestine on the same trip. This included Jaswant Singh in 2000, SM Krishna in 2012 and Sushma Swaraj in 2016 – all of them visited both Israel and Palestine. Even President Pranab Mukherjee, who visited Israel in Oct.2015 – in first Presidential visit from India since 1992 – also visited both Israel and Palestine. Modi, sources said, is keen to delink relations with the two countries. He made this clear in his first months in office, sources privy to some of these discussions, said. Some officials had even baulked at the suggestion and advised to the contrary then, sources said. Sources said that the ground has been prepared by ministerial visits over the last two years, so that a de-hyphenation is clearer. Minister of State (External Affairs) MJ Akbar visited Palestine in November last year, along with Jordan, but did not visit Israel.Similarly, Home Minister Rajnath Singh visited Israel in Nov.2014, but did not pay a visit to Palestine. Government sources, however, told The Indian Express that since there have been no Prime Minister-level visits to Israel and Palestine so far there is no set precedent. Since this is going to be the 25th year of India’s diplomatic relations with Israel, New Delhi wants to break away from the past and give a greater visibility to the relationship with Israel without being defensive about it, officials said.NSA Ajit Doval’s meetings with Israel PM Benjamin Netanyahu and top Israeli officials, this week, sources said, was a preparatory meeting to firm up the schedule in the next few months. Netanyahu is also expected to visit this year and so is Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas. As of now, dates for a possible bilateral visit by Modi are being worked out. But there are two concrete possible windows of opportunity.Indian Express
Change of policy? PM will visit Israel, but skip Palestine
PM Modi may give Palestine a miss during visit to Israel
Israel offers scholarship to Indian students, professionals
New Delhi: Celebrating 25 years of its multi-faceted relation with India, Israel on Friday offered scholarship and training to Indian nationals in its academic programmes, said a release. “Through academic and governmental programmes, Indian students and professionals are offered unique scholarships and training programmes in Israel, ranging from Cyber Technology to Agriculture, Education, Women Empowerment and Startups,”said the Embassy of Israel release.Elaborating on the programmes, Ambassador of Israel to India Daniel Carmon said: “Higher Education is one of the up and coming fields of cooperation between India and Israel. Education is the foundation for every other field India and Israel have identified as of mutual interest and benefit.”“Programmes such as these bring together the brilliant minds of India and Israel, create more bridges between our peoples and provide a golden opportunity to create joint solutions to the challenges shared by India, Israel and the entire world,” he added. Israel government is offering partial sponsorship to Indian students for summer programmes in Cyber Security and full scholarship in Food Safety and Security at Tel Aviv University.In addition to academic programmes,Israeli Govt via MASHAV (Israel’s Agency for International Development Cooperation) is offering a range of courses to Indian professionals in various fields, including Agri Business, Climate Change and Renewable Energy, among others.IANS
Ex-diplomat, ex-MP Syed Shahabuddin passes away
Former Indian Foreign Service (IFS) officer and MP Syed Shahabuddin, who was suffering from prolonged illness, passed away at a hospital in Noida, adjoining the national capital, on Saturday morning. He was 82. “Shahabuddin, former President of All India Muslim Majlise Mushawarat left for heavenly abode this morning at 6.22 a.m.,” said close associate Navaid Hamid, who is currently heads the organisation. Shahabuddin, who is survived by his wife and four daughters, was buried at Panjpeeran cemetry in Nizamuddin with a large number of prominent Muslim figures in attendance. Born in 1935 in Ranchi, now in Jharkhand, he joined the IFS in 1958 but took premature retirement in the 1970s to delve into politics.As a diplomat, he lobbied for the creation of Bangladesh and rallied support in Latin America — where he was posted at that time — for Indian intervention in the affair. Although considered to be in the good books of the then Prime Minister Indira Gandhi, he was one of the few diplomats who were openly anti-Emergency.Within 8 months of relinquishing service, Shahabuddin was elected to the Lok Sabha in 1979 from Kishanganj in Bihar, a Muslim majority constituency that sent him to Lok Sabha multiple times but remained neglected by him as far as area development is considered. Shahabuddin shot to further prominence during Ramjanmabhoomi movement as he remained at the forefront of the movement from the Muslims’ side. Condolences poured from every quarter as the news of his demise spread. Vice President Hamid Ansari, who was also an IFS officer, condoled his death. In a message, Ansari said: “Syed Shahabuddin was a man of deep convictions, he pursued issues that were dear to him with great tenacity and determination.”“I am deeply saddened to learn of the demise of renowned political leader, scholar, diplomat and former parliamentarian Shahabuddin,” Ansari said, adding that passing away is a personal loss as Shahabuddin was his friend.Manipur Governor Najma Heptulla, AIMIM President Asaduddin Owaisi and other leaders also condoled the death.BJP leader Subramanian Swamy in a tweet, said: “Sorrow at my dear friend Syed Shahabuddin’s death this morning. He sacrificed a flourishing IFS career to enter politics. Giant intellectual”. financialexpress
Babri Masjid crusader Syed Shahabuddin passes away
Indian Muslim leader Syed Shahabuddin dies aged 82:Bbc
Indian-origin man Harnish Patel shot dead in US merely days after Kansas shooting
New York: Days after the Kansas Bar shooting incident, another Indian-origin businessman, Harnish Patel, has been shot dead outside his home in South Carolina, media reports said. As per a media report, Patel, 43, of 262 Craig Manor Road, Lancaster, was found dead outside his house in Lancaster, shortly after he closed his shop at 11.24pm on Thursday. Patel is survived by his wife and child in elementary school, who were at home when he was killed. Reportedly, police was informed about the incident by a woman who heard screaming and gunshots. When the police arrived, they found Patel dead from apparent gunshot wounds a few feet from his house, a media report said.Patel’s death comes just two days after the US President Donald Trump condemned the killing of Srinivas Kuchibhotla, 32, as “hate and evil”. He was shot dead on Wednesday in a Kansas bar.According to a report, the police was quoted as saying that the investigators believe that Patel was confronted by his killer when he got out of the vehicle while he was on his way back home from the store.As per a tweet, Lancaster Sheriff Barry Faile said that Harnish Patel was shot twice. The tweet further states that two shell casings were found outside his home.
5 SIMI volunteers acquitted after 11-year-wait
Mumbai: Accused of taking part in terror training in Pakistan, they were picked up in the aftermath of 2006 Mumbai serial blasts. 11 years after 5 Student Islamic Movement of India (SIMI) volunteers, with alleged links to Lashkar-e-Taiba (LeT), were arrested in the aftermath of the 2006 Mumbai serial train blasts, a sessions court acquitted all five of them.The sessions court ratified a magistrate's order acquitting all of them - Irfan Ali Anjuman Sayed, Mohd Najeeb Abdul Rashid Bakali, Firoz Abdul Latif Ghaswala, Mohd Ali Chand Mohd Chipa and Imran Nisar Ahmed Ansari - and even censured the crime branch (DCB CID Unit XI) for not taking the case "seriously"."The prosecution failed to prove the accused facing trial became members of the banned organization SIMI, took part in the meetings and assisted in its operations, that they involved themselves in activities like distribution of literature, circulating provocative clips of communal riots in Godhra, Gujarat and thereby failed to bring accused to the charge leveled against them," the judge observed."There are a number of reasonable doubts brought on record in the evidence of all the witnesses and its benefit goes to accused persons."One of the acquitted persons, Firoz Ghaswala, was accused of possessing RDX and is alleged to have connections with Zakir Naik, has been acquitted as well.The ensuing clampdown on SIMI, which was accused of perpetrating the blasts, saw several combing operations by the police force leading to many arrests, including the 5 accused. All the accused were represented by Tehwar Pathan and Ishrat Khan.Mumbai Mirror
Mumbai court upholds acquittal of 5 ‘SIMI members’
Plea against acquittal of 5 men accused of SIMI rejected
Money trail to Naik’s schools focus of ED probe
Mumbai: Focus of the money laundering probe against Zakir Naik is now on the two schools set up by him and the properties purchased through alleged front companies which purportedly showed “no business activities”. Enforcement Directorate (ED) has pegged Naik’s net worth at Rs 3,000 crore. According to sources, between 2003 and 2016, the Islamic International School (IIS) received Rs 57 crore from Naik’s now outlawed Islamic Research Foundation (IRF). Of this, IIS made cash withdrawals of Rs 56 crore, which is shown as money spent towards payment of salaries of its teachers/ staff, scholarships and rent for the school premises — Rs 4.48 crore was withdrawn as rent in 2010-2016. Indianexpress
Digvijay Refuses to Retract 'Madarssas, RSS Spread Hatred' Statement
Hyderabad: Congress general secretary Digvijay Singh on Saturday refused to withdraw his statement that schools run by madrassas and the RSS spread hatred.The Hyderabad Police had last month registered a case against Singh over his social media post criticising the Muslim madrassas (seminaries) and the RSS-run Saraswati Sishu Mandirs.These schools "spread hatred", the Congress leader had said."Whenever Digvijay Singh attacks the Hindu fundamentalism, the Muslim clergy loves it, but whenever I say something about the religious fanatics in the minority community, they have an issue," he told reporters here."If Telangana police comes to question me... I am not withdrawing my remarks. I stand by my remarks. The remarks are in the best interests of everyone. I have right to say that religious fundamentalism is a curse for the secular fabric of this country," he said.PTI
Rs 2.5K cr waqf scam: Involvement of underworld, cops & builders shows malaise much deeper: DNA spl report
Mumbai: 4 months ago, DNA got a lead that the Vigilance Department of the Enforcement Directorate (ED) has accessed a phone conversation between a member of a Dubai-based underworld mafia and its ringleader in Mumbai. The conversation, which happened sometime in 2014, was about a prime waqf land and how they should grab it with the help of prominent politicians and top police officials.A 4-page transcript of the conversation accessed by DNA reveals that the malaise is much deeper than the alleged Rs 2,500 crore land deal that led to the suspension of the former CEO of Waqf properties on Friday.ED sources disclosed that it was a “chance” intercept during their investigation into a hawala case. Congress-led govt was at the helm in Mumbai.A DNA team conducted an investigation to corroborate the transcript. The Waqf Board, however, remained tight-lipped on the pretext that they are carrying their own investigation into many such allegations. In the transcript, two men -- Yusuf and Asif – discuss getting a NOC for a waqf property. The conversation is about how much they may have to pay to each stakeholder -- the builder, senior police official Himanshu Roy, Minorities Minister and the Guardian Minister of Mumbai suburbs, during the Congress rule in Maharashtra, Arif Naseem Khan and the Waqf Board. The transcript is yet to be corroborated. The transcript, however, does warrant a probe into this deal.DNA
Centre may bring demands for ‘azaadi’ under sedition law, hints Venkaiah Naidu
Union minister M Venkaiah Naidu has said the central government was contemplating making the sedition law more stringent, indicating that calling for azaadi (freedom) would be covered under it. “If raising azaadi slogans is not treason, then I don’t know what is,” Naidu said.“Azaadi” was made famous by former Jawaharlal Nehru University Students’ Union president Kanhaiya Kumar, after his speech at the campus following his release from jail. He and two other students had been arrested on sedition charges for allegedly shouting “anti-national” slogans during a protest at the university, but was given a clean chit in the case on Feb.28. scroll
No rules were bent on appointment of Geelani’s grandson: SKICC
Srinagar:No rules were bent for the appointment of separatist leader Syed Ali Shah Geelani’s grandson as research officer, an autonomous body of J&K’s Tourism department said here today. Reacting to media reports in a national daily today, the spokesman for Sher-e-Kashmir International Convention Centre (SKICC) said proper selection procedure was followed in the appointment.The post for the research officer was advertised on Oct.3 last year for which 196 applications were received. Out of these, interview letters were sent out to 35 candidates, he said. The interviews for the post were held in November last following which Anees-ul-Islam, grandson of Geelani was selected.Anees had topped the merit list prepared by the 5-member interview panel, the spokesman said.He said the SKICC had received the clearance from the state Criminal Investigation Department late last month, and nothing adverse was found against Anees.“The selection was done in a transparent manner and anyone can access the files as well as the notings through an RTI,” the spokesman added.PTI
Alienating Kashmiris will help Pakistan take advantage of situation: Yashwant Sinha
Alienating Kashmiris without solving their issues would only lead to Pakistan taking advantage of the situation, former external affairs minister Yashwant Sinha said here today.“The road to Islamabad is via Srinagar and not the other way around. It is not to Srinagar via Islamabad,” Sinha said at a book release function where he was the chief guest.“I have been involved in the Kashmir issue for the last few months and I have come to this conclusion that the issues of our people (Kashmiris) should be settled first in order to tackle the disputes with Pakistan,” he added.PTI
J&K: Operation called off in Shopian district as militants manage to flee
Srinagar:The overnight anti-militancy operation in south Kashmir’s Shopian district was called off on Saturday as the militants managed to escape from the security forces’ cordon. Security forces launched a cordon and search operation in Chillipora village of the district on Friday night following information about the presence of militants there, a police official said.He said a gunfight broke out between the two sides as the security forces were closing on the militants’ positions. The exchange of fire between the two sides ended late Friday night but the security forces did not lift the cordon with the aim of stopping the militants from fleeing. “House to house searches were launched at day break on Saturday but no arrests were made. The militants had apparently managed to escape last night itself,” the official said. There were no casualties reported in the encounter.PTI
Army officer booked for molesting, blackmailing girl in J&K’s Ramban
An Army officer in J&K’s Ramban district was booked on Friday for allegedly blackmailing a girl after he molested her, PTI reported. Gulab Singh Parihar allegedly took photographs of the act, made a video out of them and then sent her messages from various mobile phones saying he would circulate them, police told the news agency.The accused also d.emanded that she sent him Rs 5 lakh and more photographs of her, otherwise he would post naked photos of the child online. The officer was posted in the Kupawara district. A case has been registered based on a preliminary inquiry. Scroll
Roy Mathew sting video: Fresh post-mortem on body of jawan after family raises doubts
Fresh autopsy was on Saturday ordered on the body of a jawan from Kerala,found dead after a sting video on the “abuse” of buddy system in the army, after his family insisted on it, raising doubts over this demise. The fresh post-mortem of Roy Mathew (33), a native of Karuvelil in Ezhukon in Kollam district, was underway at the Government Medical College Hospital in Thiruvananthapuram, hours after the body was brought to the city on Saturday morning by a flight, a senior police official said.Mathew was found hanging from the ceiling of a room in an abandoned barrack in Deolali cantonment in Maharashtra’s Nashik on Thursday. Alleging that there were marks of beating on his feet and blood had clotted in some parts, his relatives, including wife Finy, refused to accept the body until a fresh post-mortem was conducted in Kerala.PTI
Agra: UP ATS arrests BSF constable for trying to sell weapons
Agra:Uttar Pradesh ATS have arrested a BSF constable from village Murentha in Sikandra area of Agra for stealing two Beretta automatic carbines with magazines from BSF armoury at his post Khetanbar Kutti in West Bengal, where he was posted since the past several months.The Constable Chandrapal stole these carbines when he came home in Agra on leave and was trying to sell them off, but due to the high price, nobody was buying them. An FIR was filed in the Dinhata Police Station in West Bengal and the Frontier IG of BSF Rakesh Agarwal expressed his doubts on Chandrapal to the UP ATS IG Aseem Arun. Indiatoday
Found my son hanging in another room: Raza's father
Udham Singh Nagar: A piece of rope found in the police outpost room where Ziyauddin Raza, 16, was found hanging on Tuesday was sealed as evidence on Friday.His father told TOI that the room where Raza was found hanging wasn't the one in which he had left him an hour earlier."Police threw away his body like he did not have any family ," Mohd Yamin said.Four police personnel have been booked and suspended over alleged role in the death of Raza, reportedly taken into custody for a crime he didn't commit. Timesofindia
Hyderabad Police arrests parents after their sons sent ‘talaq’ on Whatsapp to their wives:  Indian Express report
Hyderabad:Hyderabad Police arrested the parents of two US-based brothers who sent ‘talaq’ messages on Whatsapp, for assaulting their daughter-in-laws when they refused to leave their house. The brothers, Abdul Sohail and Abdul Aqil, also put a display photo of tripe talaq on their mobile phones to convey the message to their wives, living in Moghalpura area. Police acted on the complaint lodged by the brothers’ wives who stated that after they received the talaq messages, the in-laws threw them out of the house 5 days ago and assaulted them when they resisted the eviction.  Police officials from Moghalpura Police station in South Zone arrested 60-year-old Mohammed Hafiz and wife Athiya Begum.Police said that the two brothers Abdul Sohail and Abdul Aqeel had gone to New York last year after getting jobs in a private company. While Abdul Sohail had married Heena Fathima in 2012, Abdul Aqil had married Mehren Noor in 2015. Sohail and Fathima have two children while Aqil and Noor have one child. However, since last two months, the brothers have been sending messages to their wives regarding divorce which they ignored.“5 days ago, my husband messaged ‘talaq’ written three times and another message that he had divorced me. This is unacceptable. My sister-in-law also received a similar message from her husband. Then both brothers put triple talaq as their status and display photo on Whatsapp. We have done nothing wrong to divorce us. If they want to divorce then it should be done legally and abiding the formalities. They cannot divorce us like this,’’ Heena Fathima said.The boys’ father, Mohammed Hafiz, said that as his sons divorced them, he could not keep them in his house anymore and kicked them out along with the children. The women staged a protest by sitting outside their husbands’ house.When DCP of South Zone,V Satyanarayana, intervened and asked the in-laws to allow the daughter-in-law in the house, Mohammed Hafiz flatly refused saying his sons had already divorced them.
2 Muslim Women In Hyderabad, Divorced Over WhatsApp, Are Fighting Back: NDTV
Ujjain police book ex-RSS man Kundan Chandrawat for Rs one crore bounty
Bhopal:Ujjain Police have registered a case against ex-RSS activist Kundan Chandrawat for announcing a bounty of Rs one crore on the head of Kerala Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan.At a meet in Ujjain to protest the killings of RSS pracharaks and activists in Kerala, Chandrawat had said that he would transfer his property worth more than Rs one crore to anyone who cut off Vijayan’s head. He also promised to offer a garland of three lakh human skulls to Bharat Mata in revenge. Indianexpress
Dalit writer Krishna Kirwale found murdered at his home in Kolhapur
Kolhapur:Noted Ambedkarite thinker Dr Krishna Kirwale was found murdered at his house in western Maharashtra’s Kolhapur city today. Police said his body was found with multiple stab wounds at his Rajendranagar residence. Kirwale (62), was the retired head of the Marathi department of Kolhapur’s Shivaji University. Meanwhile, one person has been detained in connection with the murder, police said, adding that an unidentified person hurled stones at the suspect’s house. Among Kirwale’s major contributions was a ‘Dictionary of Dalit and Gramin (Rural) Literatures’, a project undertaken under the aegis of the state govt. Among his other books was a biography of pioneering Dalit litterateur, Baburao Bagul.Kirwale also lectured widely on issues in Ambedkarite literature in particular, and Marathi literature in general.Police officers didn’t comment on possible motive behind the brutal murder.PTI
Dalits in Karnataka village ‘denied’ haircut, allege upper caste discrimination
Manchanabale:Nagaraj, a Dalit resident of Manchanabale village of Karnataka, has to walk to the nearest town of Chikkaballapur every time he needs a haircut. The reason though is hair-raising: the three salons of his village have been shut for more than a year over an unresolved dispute involving haircuts to Dalits.As many as 600 Dalits of the village accuse upper caste members of the village —with a population of some 4,000 — of practising caste discrimination and not allowing them to have a haircut at the local salons. Some of the Dalit youths objected to the practice but the upper castes reportedly stood their ground, preferring to shut down the salons.It has stayed that way since August, 2015. Peace meetings held in between have failed to broker a truce.“Since 2015, various meetings have been held with even the district deputy commissioner in attendance, but the established practices return as soon as the officials leave the village,” complained Prakash, a Dalit youth. Hindustantimes
In peaceful first phase, 82% voting recorded in Manipur
IMPHAL:For the first time, there were no police or State paramilitary personnel in the polling stations.Brisk polling with a voter turnout of 82 per cent was recorded till 3pm in the first phase of the Manipur assembly election on Saturday.The second phase will be held on March 8.
57.03% turnout in Phase-VI of UP polls
Lucknow: The polling percentage on these 49 seats was 55.04 in the 2012 state assembly polls.An estimated 57.03 per cent voters cast their ballots on Saturday in the sixth phase of the Uttar Pradesh elections covering 49 Assembly seats, including Mau, where gangster-turned—politician Mukhtar Ansari is in the fray.“The polling was approximately 57.03 per cent and passed off by and large peacefully,” office of UP Chief Electoral Officer said here.PTI
Akhilesh dares Modi to list out work done by him
Bhadohi (UP):Samajwadi Party president and Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Akhilesh Yadav challenged PM Narendra Modi to list out the work done by him.“I told you about 10 works done by my government. Can he (Modi) list 10 works? I am ready to give the performance report of my five year government. But, he should give the report of three years of rule at the Centre,” he said at an election rally here.PTI
A tale of two roadshows: PM Modi, Rahul Gandhi and Akhilesh Yadav descend upon Varanasi
Uttar Pradesh: Curfew relaxed for 12 hours in Lakhimpur
Lakhimpur (up):Curfew was relaxed on Saturday for 12 hours in Lakhimpur city where tension had prevailed following clashes over an objectionable video. “Curfew has been relaxed from 6 AM to 6 PM on Saturday. Banks and offices will be allowed to open. However, schools and colleges will remain closed,” District Magistrate Akashdeep said.He said security will remain in place in sensitive areas. There were reports from some areas of burning of makeshift shops by miscreants. The authorities on Friday held a peace committee meeting and took out a peace march in which people from different communities participated in large numbers. Shops and markets are open and normal movement was witnessed on roads.PTI
DU protests: hundreds march against ABVP
Delhi:It's a Citizen's March to begin from Mandi House where students across the city have gathered to protest. Students of various universities, members of left parties AISA and SFI, members of DUTA are participants of the march.People across Delhi on Saturday conduct a protest march against the violence caused by ABVP members at the Ramjas College a few weeks ago.Earlier, a series of marches were taken out on Delhi University campus protesting against the violence.It's a Citizen's March begin from Mandi House where students across the city have gathered to protest. Students of various universities, members of left parties AISA and SFI, members of DUTA are participants of the march. the hindu
Kerala priest’s rape of minor girl: Five nuns among eight booked
Kannur:8 people, including five nuns, have been booked for their role in hiding facts related to the alleged rape of a minor girl by a vicar of a church in the district. The in-charge of the private hospital at Kuthuparamba in the district, where the 16-year-old girl gave birth to a boy on February 17, and two others, besides the nuns, have been booked under non-bailable sections of POCSO Act and Juvenile Justice Act, Peravoor Circle Inspector, Sunil Kumar, who is the investigating officer in the case, said today.PTI
Rajasthan education minister Devnani now calls Mughal emperor Akbar ‘Aatank kari’
Jaipur: As if removing the suffix ‘Great’ from Akbar’s name wasn’t enough, Rajasthan education minister Vasudev Devnani alluded to the Mughal emperor being a terrorist. Devnani made the reference while responding to the alleged threat he received for changing the name of Akbar Qila (fort) to Ajmer Qila. Speaking to journalists outside the state assembly on Friday, Devnani said he was a nationalist and wherever places were named after terrorists, he makes an effort to change them.“I had asked the Akbar fort in Ajmer to be renamed to Ajmer fort…because I’m a nationalist and on that basis wherever there are names of terrorists…whatever changes are possible in that as per the rules, I requested for that. Besides that, several issues are raised in Ajmer about which I have a nationalistic perspective. I feel perhaps that is why I feel somebody wrote that kind of a letter to me.)When asked about it, the minister said he had used the word invader, not terrorist. “I never said aatank kari, I used the word aakranta (invader) and well Akbar had invaded India…that’s why we removed chapters that called him great“And it is true that I am a nationalist…On July 23rd, last year, a man on a scooter hit me on the road and ran…I fractured a leg. And now this letter; I wonder if there is any connection between the two incidents. It is for the police to decide,” he added.Devnani also reiterated on Friday his assertion about Maharana Pratap winning the battle of Haldighati. INDIAN EXPRESS
In new book, another  side of Aurangzeb: "he protected more Hindu temples than he destroyed'
Not something we are used to reading about the Mughal emperor, but historian Audrey Truschke has a distinct take on the most hated of Babur’s successors. In her book, “The Life and Legacy of India’s Most Controversial King,” Truschke unpacks a side of Aurangzeb largely unknown to Indians. Locating his personality in the time during which her ruled, she analyses a part of Aurangzeb that is ruthless and benign at the same time depending upon political necessities. Spoking to indianexpress.com on the most reviled of Mughal emperors, the writer said, "Aurangzeb protected more Hindu temples than he destroyed. He employed more Hindus in his imperial administration than any prior Mughal ruler by a fair margin (50% more Hindus, proportionally, than Akbar had included, for instance). Aurangzeb asked Hindu doctors and astrologers for advice throughout his life, even in his final years. Aurangzeb also destroyed some temples, reinstitute the jizya tax, and, along with the Marathas, caused mass human suffering in central and south India. The goal for a historian is to make sense of all of these aspects of Aurangzeb rather than singling out only one side of this complicated king." She added, "British colonialists depicted Indo-Muslim kings overall as undesirable and held up Aurangzeb as uniquely horrific so that British colonialism might shine by comparison. A good example of this tactic is Elliot and Dowson’s The history of India, as told by its own historians, a multivolume work that translated excerpts of premodern Islamic texts that were selected to display the alleged barbarity of Indo-Muslim kings. Elliot and Dowson were quite open about their goals in their prefaces. In volume one’s preface, for example, Elliot proclaimed “the supremacy of the British [colonial] Govt” over “Muhammadan” kings who display “the vices of a Caligula or a Commodus.” Dowson’s preface to the second volume says that readers can expect to see, through the translated excerpts, “Musulman despotism.” Even today, many people still cite this problematic work of colonial propaganda with little regard for its pro-British, pro-colonial agenda." She further added, "British colonialism finds few defenders in India today, but Hindu nationalists have gobbled up colonial-era depictions of Mughal history, including Aurangzeb, and spit them out in order to foster anti-Muslim sentiment. This embrace of colonial ideas is unsurprising given the history of Hindu nationalism, but it is deeply detrimental to the founding fathers’ vision of India as a secular state that embraced members of all religious traditions."
HRD ministry makes Aadhaar mandatory for students, cooks under midday meal scheme
WORLD
Majority of Muslims in South Asian nations want a Sharia law: PEW Study
Data provided by PEW, a US-based research centre suggests that South Asian nations are for the Sharia law. The law, which is the religious law forming part of Islamic tradition, is derived from the Quran – the religious text of the Muslims. India, which has the third largest Muslim population in the world, however, was not taken into consideration during the survey. In Pakistan, in addition to the support to the Sharia law, there is also the Blasphemy Law, which has seen the assassination of several prominent leaders even before their trial is over. The law provides penalties ranging from fines to death by hanging. In 2011, Salmaan Taseer, the Punjab governor was murdered by his bodyguard, Mumtaz Qadri, for supporting a Christian woman, Asia Bibi, who was charged with allegedly desecrating Islam's holy book, the Quran. Qadri was convicted and sentenced in late 2011, and hanged in Feb.2016. But he is viewed as a hero by many people who thought Taseer was a blasphemer. Interestingly, there was no data about India regarding that law. However, information suggests that India has had a long-standing debate over the law. Last year, the All-India Muslim Personal Law Board claimed that women feel more secure under the law, while a Muslim Women’s Group called Muslim Women’s Quest for Equality demanded a complete ban on sharia courts over the triple talaq issue, which is still being debated in India.
Iraq says 14,000 people fled western Mosul in one day
A rapidly increasing flow of people is pouring out of western Mosul, fleeing fierce battles between Iraqi security forces and ISIL fighters, as medical workers warned that women and children have been exposed to toxic gas near the city.Iraq's interior ministry said on Friday that 14,000 people fled the northern Iraqi city on Thursday alone, the largest wave of internally displaced people (IDPs) since a US-backed operation in west Mosul was launched on Feb.19.The total number of IDPs who fled western Mosul since the start of the military push has reached 46,000, the ministry said. aljazeera
Jordan hangs 15 convicts at dawn, most in years
Amman: Jordan hanged 15 death row prisoners at dawn today, its information minister said, in a further break with the moratorium on executions it had observed between 2006 and 2014. Ten of those put to death had been convicted of terrorism offences and five of "heinous" crimes including rape, Mahmud al-Momani told the official Petra news agency.All were Jordanians and they were hanged in Suaga prison south of the capital Amman. AFP
US delegation in Israel to discuss relocation of embassy to Jerusalem
An official American delegation will visit Israel today to discuss the possibility of moving the US embassy from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem, an Israeli news website reported.The delegation represents the Subcommittee on National Security of the US House of Representatives, including the Chairman of the subcommittee Ron DeSantis and Senator Denni Ross.The delegation is expected to talk about the possibility of relocating the embassy from both a practical and a political perspective. They will also be meeting Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and other Israeli officials with links to the touted Jerusalem embassy move. The delegation also plan to visit potential sites in Jerusalem and return to the United States with an “accurate analysis”, according to the Israeli news website.
middleeastmonitor

 Compiled and edited by Anwarulhaq (Released at: 7:58 PM)


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