Wednesday, 8 March 2017

08 March 17: ND: Lucknow encounter staged to polarise votes in UP in BJP’s favour: Advocacy group

Evening NEWS DIGEST
08 March.2017: 08 Jamadiul Akhir 1438:Vol:8, No:136
Lucknow encounter staged to polarise votes in UP in BJP’s favour: Advocacy group
Lucknow:Rihai Manch, an advocacy group that takes up cases of minority members wrongfully arrested in terror cases has cast doubts on the Lucknow encounter that ended Wednesday morning, and has described it as a tactic by the central government to polarise the last phase of election in UP in the BJP’s favour.It claimed that it had predicted such a scenario ahead of polls to help the BJP. UP ATS shot dead a suspected militant in an operation that lasted nearly 12 hours on the outskirts of Lucknow early Wednesday.Rihai Manch’s general secretary Rajeev Yadav said in a statement that the entire story leading to this action was riddled with loopholes, making it a case of political gain.A similar attempt was made in Sambhal in the first phase of election but the Jat voters punctured the plan, said Yadav. “Such a questionable action on eve of election shows the desperation on part of the Modi government,” he said.Manch which claims it is engaged in political mobilization against wrongful Muslim youths, has been fighting cases across the country on behalf of those it believes have been wrongfully arrested in terror cases. Yadav pointed out the blast in the Bhopal-Ujjain passenger train Tuesday morning that set off the chain of events leading to the Lucknow encounter, was attributed to a tubelight blowout in one of the compartments. Passengers spoke about it on camera, so did SP GRP Krishna Veni who initially said that the blast was caused due to an electrical short circuit.But the narrative changed after the Madhya Pradesh home minister Bhupendra Singh described the blast a terror strike.Similarly, UP police were at pains to answer some straight question, said Yadav. “Police has maintained it tried for surrender of youth holed up in the house, they even made his uncle to talk to him over phone,” he said.But no one is explaining how did the police know the name of terror suspect and where did it get the phone number of his uncle as well that of Saifullah who was killed in the action.Some reports say the police made the gunman Saifullah speak to his brother who implored him to surrender.He said the Manch had predicted that the security agencies would stage something like this to improve political fortunes of the BJP in this election. Before the sixth phase of polling the agencies were creating an atmosphere claiming the Prime Minister could be attacked. In the run up to the first phase of polling, a team of the special cell of Delhi police stayed in Sambhal to arrest Mohammad Usman following arrest of two persons in Gujarat. MP police had zeroed in on four men from CCTV footage at Bhopal railway station. They were picked up from Pipariya in Hoshangabad district earlier. These men are from Aligarh and Kanpur in UP. HT
Saifullah's dad refuses to accept son's body, alleging foul play in encounter
Lucknow: The father of Saifullah, the slain ISIS terror accused, has refused to accept his son's body, alleging foul play in the encounter carried out by Uttar Pradesh police and ATS on Tuesday. "2 and half months back he (Saifullah) left home after I hit him for not working. He called last Monday saying he's going to Saudi. I don't believe any of these accusations, they are all false. Saifullah was a well­behaved person; he performed namaz five times a day. We did not expect this," said Sartaj, Saifulla's father. Meanwhile, the father of terror suspect Imran and Faisal, who were arrested in Kanpur today also, denied the charges against them. "Faisal took care of a shop and Imran is married, has a daughter too. Danish is also my son, he had left home as I scolded him for not working," he said.ANI
Encounter: Saifullah’s dad says charges false
No evidence yet on Saifullah’s connection with IS, says UP ADG Daljit Chaudhary
Hours after Saifullah was killed, ADG of Uttar Pradesh, Daljit Chaudhary said in a press conference that the police has no evidence yet on his links with the terror outfit.ADG said, “We have no such evidence yet of any ISIS link”, while addressing to reporters on Lucknow terror operation that took place on March 7 in which Saifullah was gunned down by security forces after 12 hours of anti-terror operation. Inuth.com
Self-Radicalised, Self-Funded, Self-Proclaimed ISIS Cell, Says UP Police
Saifullah was self-radicalised, no evidence of ISIS link: UP Police
ISIS flag, pistols, maps found near militant's body:TOI report
Arrested terror suspects taken to Lucknow for further questioning:PTI
Kanpur: 2 suspected terrorists arrested from here and the neighbouring Unnao were on Wednesday taken to Lucknow by a team of UP ATS for further questioning. Searches are also underway for nabbing other terror suspects in Kanpur.SP (Kanpur City) Somen Verma said a team of UP ATS left from Kanpur to Lucknow with the two terror suspects at around 3AM on Wednesday for further questioning. Last evening, a team of UP ATS had arrested Mohammed Faisal Khan from Jajamau and his brother Mohammed Imran from a leather factory in nearby Unnao.Police had also apprehended one Shakeel alias Ajgar from the Rehmani market here but he escaped after shopkeepers there started protesting. Searches are also underway out to arrest him.
Swami Aseemanand an 6 others acquitted, 3 convicted in Ajmer dargah blast case
A NIA Special Court in Jaipur on Wednesday convicted three persons and acquitted seven, including Swami Aseemanand, in the 2007 Ajmer dargah blast case. Of a total of 13 accused, three are absconding. Those convicted are Bhavesh Patel, Devendra Kumar and Sunil Joshi.  Of them, Joshi was murdered in Dec.2007. The court imposed a fine of Rs. 1 lakh each on Patel and Kumar. NIA special judge Dinesh Gupta fixed March 16 for hearing arguments and pronouncing the order on sentencing the convicts.The explosion in 13th century dargah of Sufi mystic Khwaja Moinuddin Chishti on Oct.11, 2007, during Ramzan, left 3 people dead and 17 injured. The dargah was packed to capacity with about 5,000 devotees when the blast occurred at the time of Iftaar (breaking of fast).Swami Aseemanand's confession in the case before a Metropolitan Magistrate at the Tis Hazari courts in Delhi made headlines in Dec.2010. He stated that he and other activists were involved in bombing various places of worship across the country for taking revenge against the ''terror acts of Muslims''.The judge had twice deferred judgment in the case, saying it was a voluminous matter and he required more time for studying the documents submitted by the prosecution and defence.Besides Swami Aseemanand, Patel, Devendra Kumar and Joshi, the other accused in the case are Lokesh, Chandrashekhar, Harshad Solanki, Mehul Kumar, Mukesh Vasani and Bharat Bhai.the hindu
NIA Court Acquits Swami Aseemanand, 7 Others in 2007 Ajmer Blast Case
Ajmer blast case: Guilty booked under UAPA, quantum of punishment on Mar 16
NIA releases 2 Pakistani teens arrested for Uri attack
Srinagar: The country’s top anti-terror agency on Wednesday released 2 Pakistani boys arrested on charges of aiding the Sept.18 Uri attack and handed them over to the army to be sent back home.Clearing the two classmates of all charges, NIA said Faisal Hussain Awan and Ahsan Khursheed didn’t have terror links and strayed into India after a quarrel with their parents.“Faisal Hussain Awan and Ahsan Khursheed …have been released and handed over to the Army 16 Corps Hqr today ie 8-3-17 for sending them back to Pakistani authorities,” NIA said in a statement.As reported by HT on March 3, the agency was to file a closure report in a special court in Jammu on Wednesday. 2 runaways, who are 16 and students of Class 10, were lodged in Jammu’s Kot Bhalwal jail.HT
US: Balwinder Singh gets 15 years imprisonment for plotting terror attacks in India
NEW YORK: An Indian citizen has been sentenced to 15 years in prison for conspiring to support terrorist attacks in India, including assassination of an Indian government official, as part of the Khalistan movement to create an independent Sikh state. 42-year-old Balwinder Singh was sentenced yesterday by US District Judge Larry Hicks in Reno to 180 months in prison for conspiracy to provide material support and resources to terrorists for the movement to create the independent Sikh state, US Attorney Daniel Bogden for the District of Nevada and Special Agent in Charge Aaron C Rouse for the FBI's Las Vegas Division said. Bogden said, Singh, a Reno resident, was a member of two terrorist groups and provided material support to "intimidate" the Indian government and to harm persons who were not supporting the terrorism groups' cause. "This case is an example of multi-law enforcement agencies working collaboratively together to protect the United States and our foreign allies from a terrorist act," Bogden added. Singh, who also went by the alias Jhaji and Baljit Singh is a citizen of India and a permanent US resident. He had pleaded guilty in Nov last year. PTI
India's National Commission for Minorities has virtually no members, last of 7 retires tomorrow
New Delhi:National Commission for Minorities (NCM) -- an organisation established to safeguard the constitutional and legal rights of minorities and which was once headed by Hamid Ansari, now India's Vice-President -- currently has no chairperson and virtually no members.The last of its members will retire on Thursday and the government has so far not finalised names of the new Chairperson and members.Minority Affairs Minister Mukhtar Abbas Naqvi, asked about the reconstitution of the Commission, said that it may happen soon."The process is on. We have received a few names for the members and chairperson which I cannot disclose right now, but it may be done soon," Naqvi told IANS.NCM has a sanctioned strength of 7 members, including the chairperson, with each member having a fixed tenure of 3 years.So much so that the last Chairman, Naseem Ahmed, who completed his term on March 3, twice wrote to the Minority Affairs Ministry to fill the vacant posts as the workload was increasing on the remaining members - but nothing happened.IANS 
Assembly polls: 60% voter turnout in UP, 86% in Manipur till 5 pm
Lucknow/Imphal: Voting for the last phase covering 40 seats in Uttar Pradesh and 22 Assembly constituencies in Manipur began on Wednesday, with all eyes on the Prime Minister's Lok Sabha constituency Varanasi.60.03 per cent votes were polled till 4 pm on Wednesday in the seventh and last phase of Uttar Pradesh elections covering 40 Assembly seats spread over seven districts.Polling started amidst tight security arrangements this morning with all eyes on Prime Minister Narendra Modi's Lok Sabha constituency Varanasi."Over 41 per cent votes were polled till 2 pm. The polling is going on peacefully," office of UP Chief Electoral Officer said here.Manipur recorded a high voter turnout of 86 per cent till 5 pm on Wednesday. Polling is being held in 22 seats in the second and final phase of the state Assembly election.State Chief Electoral officer Vivek Kumar Dewangan said the percentage was expected to go up as long queues were still visible outside several polling booths."We are waiting for the final figures," he told PTI.PTI
60% turnout in final phase of UP polls
Rajasthan: Tension prevails in Chittorgarh after communal clash
UDAIPUR: Tension prevailed for some hours in Kapasan town of Chittorgarh district on Tuesday after a clash between two communities over some petty issue. The situation grew tense when the verbal spat turned physical and one of the youth was stabbed. Police had to fire aerial shots to disperse the crowd, a large battalion was deployed in the area till evening to control the situation.The incident took place around afternoon at Khariya chowk when youths of two communities entered into a scuffle. One of the boy was stabbed which increased the tension. Police rushed in to take control of the situation. Slight force was used to drive away the mob, few persons were hurt. All the shops were shut down and the market wore a deserted look throughout the day. Cops took out a flag march to restore peace and order. TOI
Tension, Dalits’ migration in Haryana village: CM sends minister
Chandigarh: Migration of Dalit families from a Haryana village due to tension in the wake of stone-pelting over ‘ghurchari’ was raised in the assembly on Tuesday, following which the government said a minister and a lawmaker were sent there to resolve the issue. Accusing the opposition of politicising the issue of tension over ‘ghurchari’ ritual in a Haryana village, Chief Minister Manohar Lal Khattar on Tuesday told the house that Minister of State for Social Justice and Empowerment Krishan Kumar Bedi and legislator Bhagwan Dass Kabirpanthi have been sent to Sagga village in Karnal district.Earlier, Congress legislator Kuldeep Sharma raised the issue of Dalits’ migration from the village.An altercation took place between members of two communities on March 3-4 night, after a Dalit groom was allegedly stopped from ‘ghurchari’ by some upper caste youths in the village, which led to stone-pelting.Khattar said his government was making efforts to normalise the situation in the village.Tension prevailed in Sagga after a Dalit groom was allegedly stopped from the customary riding of a mare before his wedding.IANS
Haryana: Nuh vaccination drive suspended
NUH: 4 days after rumours spread about vaccination drive causing infertility among the students in Nuh, the district administration on Tuesday decided to suspend the drive for at least a week and hold meetings in mosques and schools to clear the air.Holding a meeting with the officials concerned and prominent Muslim religious leaders of the region at district secretariat here, Deputy Commissioner Mani Ram Sharma directed the Chief Medical Officer to suspend the drive for at least a week as parents were not even allowing their children to attend schools. He further directed the CMO to constitute a team of senior doctors and visit at least 10 mosques every day to clear the air.Sharma said that he along with Additional Deputy Commissioner Naresh Narwal and other senior officers would visit 10 schools on Wednesday to scotch the rumours. the hindu
Chabahar port developed by India mustn’t be viewed as a counter to Gwadar: Advisor to Iran Foreign Minister
New Delhi: Rebuffing perceptions that the Chabahar Port jointly developed by India and Iran, is being viewed as a counter to Gwadar Port, developed by China in Pakistan, Advisor to Iranian Foreign Minister Hossein Sheikholeslam on Tuesday said the port is for everyone and would benefit every other country including Pakistan.“The relations between India and Iran are not against everyone, they are for everyone. Chabahar will no doubt help Afghanistan, Central Asia, Iran and India and we do not mind at Pakistan and China using Chabahar, it is better that they use it. We are encouraging them to use for the benefit of Balochistan and Pakistan,” Sheikholeslam told ANI.
WORLD
Islamic prayer practice can cut lower back pain, boost elasticity in joints:research
Washington:The complex physical movements of the Muslim prayer ritual can reduce lower back pain if performed regularly and properly, claims a recent research.The paper was published in the latest issue of the International Journal of Industrial and Systems Engineering. 5 times a day, roughly 1.6 billion Muslims worldwide, bow, kneel, and place their foreheads to the ground in the direction of the holy city of Mecca, Saudi Arabia, as part of the Islamic prayer ritual, the Salat. The ritual is one of the 5 obligatory elements of the faith set forth by the holy book, the Qur’an. “One way to think about the movements is that they are similar to those of yoga or physical therapy intervention exercises used to treat low back pain,” said Professor and Systems Science and Industrial Engineering Dept Chair Mohammad Khasawneh, who is one of the authors of “An ergonomic study of body motions during Muslim prayer using digital human modelling.”While the research focused specifically on Islamic prayer practices, similar movements are also found in Christian and Jewish prayer rituals along with yoga and physical therapy. Working with Khasawneh, an interfaith team of Assistant Professor Faisal Aqlan from the Dept of Industrial Engineering at Penn State Behrend, Assistant Professor Abdulaziz Ahmed from the Business Department at the University of Minnesota Crookston, and Performance Improvement Consultant Wen Cao from the Dept of Operational Performance Improvement at the Peninsula Regional Medical Center were all co-authors of the paper.All three are alumni of the Industrial and Systems Engineering doctoral program at Binghamton University.“Physical health is influenced by socio-economic, lifestyle and religious factors. Moreover, studies indicate that there is a strong association between prayer and vigilance about maintaining a physically healthy lifestyle,” said Khasawneh. “Prayer can eliminate physical stress and anxiety, while there is also research that indicates prayer rituals can be considered an effective clinical treatment of neuro-musculoskeletal dysfunction.” Researchers analysed statistics based on the movements of computer-generated digital human models of healthy Indian, Asian, and American men and women, and models with lower back pain.ANI /HT
Israel MPs give initial approval to bills quieting mosques
Israel's parliament gave preliminary approval Wednesday to two measures that would limit calls to prayers from mosques, including one prohibiting the use of loudspeakers at all hours, a parliament statement said. They were approved after a heated discussion that turned into shouting matches between ruling coalition members and Arab lawmakers, some of whom tore copies of the legislation and were ejected from the chamber. The bills passed 55-48 and 55-47.While the bills in theory would apply to any religious place of worship, Muslims say it is clearly meant to silence the traditional call to prayer at mosques.The notion of Israeli legislation silencing mosques has sparked outrage around the Arab and wider Muslim world.Supporters of the move say it is needed to prevent daily disturbance to the lives of hundreds of thousands of non-Muslim Israelis.World Bulletin
Nike unveils hijab for Muslim athletes
Beaverton: Nike has unveiled a hijab for Muslim female athletes.The Nike Pro Hijab has been in development for a year, the company said. Athletes contributed input into the product, and figure skater Zahra Lari was among those who tested it.The pull-on hijab is made of light, stretchy fabric that includes tiny holes for breathability and an elongated back so it will not come untucked. It will come in three colors: black, vast grey and obsidian. Beaverton-based Nike says the hijab will be available for sale next year.AP
To see ‘democracy’, to fight IS: Why foreigners volunteer to join Syrian Kurds
Captivated by the idea of fighting jihadists, or dedicated to starting a “revolution,” foreigners have diverse reasons for joining the Kurdish People’s Protection Units (YPG) in northern Syria.The group is the key component of the US-backed Syrian Democratic Forces alliance, now advancing on Islamic State group’s stronghold of Raqqa.Hundreds of foreign fighters have fought alongside the YPG in Syria, of whom at least 25 have been killed, the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights monitor says.Kimmy Taylor, a 27-year-old British citizen, travelled to northern Syria in 2016 to write about women’s rights after studying politics at university in Sweden.She had planned a 10-day visit but, after just three days, she decided to stay.Kimmy says she fell in love with the system of “autonomous administration” Kurdish authorities have implemented across northern Syria, describing it as “an answer to everything that I’ve seen wrong with the world”.Firas Vancouver, 23, was working as a correctional officer in a high-security prison in Victoria, Canada when he started learning about the YPG.“It was a tough job, you see kind of the dark side of humanity,” Vancouver says.At 20, Roger Benjamin -- now known as Jakdar Kawa, or Fighter Kawa in Kurdish -- is one of the youngest known foreign fighters.Maxime, a French citizen, is in northern Syria for his second stint with the YPG.AFP
Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi abandons Mosul
US and Iraqi officials believe the leader of Islamic State, Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi, has left operational commanders behind with diehard followers to fight the battle of Mosul, and is now hiding out in the desert, focussing mainly on his own survival.It is impossible to confirm the whereabouts of the Islamic State “caliph”, who declared himself the ruler of all Muslims from Mosul’s Great Mosque after his forces swept through northern Iraq in 2014.But US and Iraqi intelligence sources say an absence of official communication from the group’s leadership and the loss of territory in Mosul suggest he has abandoned the city, by far the largest population centre his group has ever held. HT
 Compiled and edited by Anwarulhaq (Released at: 8:03 PM)

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