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Friday, 10 March 2017

Evening NEWS DIGEST
10 March.2017: 10 Jamadiul Akhir 1438:Vol:8, No:137
Not possible to include Urdu in NEET 2017, will consider it for next year: Centre to SC
New Delhi: The Centre on Friday informed the Supreme Court that it will consider including Urdu in the National Eligibility-cum-Entrance Test(NEET), meant for admission to MBBS and BDS courses.The bench of Justice Kurian Joseph and Justice R. Banumathi was told the Centre cannot include Urdu in NEET for this year but was open to consider it for the academic year 2017-18. The Centre also sought time to file its reply to the plea filed by Students Islamic Organisation of India, a student wing of Jamaat-e-Islami Hind, that exclusion of Urdu as one of the languages in NEET was "discriminatory, arbitrary and violates Articles 14 and 21 of the Constitution".The petitioner's Counsel told the court that earlier no request was made by any state in this regard.However, he said, now Maharashtra and Telangana have officially made a request to the central government to include Urdu as one of the languages in NEET.The application form for NEET 2017, scheduled to be held on May 7, is already out and the last date for submission of forms was March 1.The exam will be held in 7 Indian languages, apart from English.According to the CBSE notification, the medical entrance examination will be held in Hindi, English, Tamil, Telugu, Gujarati, Marathi, Assamese and Bengali.The petitioner pleaded that the Health and Family Welfare Ministry and the CBSE be directed to make a provision for holding the exam in Urdu as well, even for those who have already applied and opted for another language before the last date of submission of forms got over."The decision to exclude Urdu, the sixth most-spoken language in India, while including the seventh most-spoken Gujarati and 12th most-spoken Assamese is completely without rationale," the petitioner said.-IANS
Centre open to conducting NEET in Urdu from next academic year
Not possible to include Urdu in NEET 2017:Centre
Can consider Urdu in NEET only from next year: Centre to SC


Original exit polls changed under pressure: SP on UP election predictions
New Delhi: Samajwadi Party suggested on Friday that television channels were pressurised to fudge exit poll numbers that showed the BJP emerging as the single-largest party in Uttar Pradesh.Speaking to news agency ANI, SP general secretary Ramgopal Yadav dismissed exit poll numbers and said the SP-Congress alliance would win a majority.His comments came a day after two exit polls gave the BJP a clear advantage over the SP-Congress alliance, while two others predicted a close fight between the two formations. The Bahujan Samaj Party was seen as a distant third in all four exit polls available. Results for the 403-member assembly are out on March 11. The halfway mark is 202.Exit polls have frequently gone wrong in the past, including in Bihar and Delhi in 2015. Hindustantimes
UP Elections Exit Poll Results: Rahul Gandhi Says 'Remember Bihar? We Are Winning'
New Delhi: Congress Vice President Rahul Gandhi has dismissed exit polls aired on Thursday, all of which have predicted that the BJP will be the number one party in Uttar Pradesh, with the Samajwadi Party - Congress alliance trailing in second place. Votes will be counted tomorrow in UP and four other states."Our alliance is winning. Such exit polls we saw in Bihar also. We will talk tomorrow," said Gandhi, who has sole charge of the party and key decision making with his mother and Congress president Sonia Gandhi away abroad for medical treatment. ndtv
Rahul Gandhi: Bihar exit polls were wrong, we are winning Uttar Pradesh, will talk tomorrow
3 Muslim women from Kerala barred at PM event, told to remove veil
Kozhikode: The Muslim organisations in the state are up in arms against the prime minister's security officials for harassing a Muslim women's delegation to a meeting attended by Mr Narendra Modi in Ahmedabad on Wednesday, Women's Day.3 women Muslim panchayat presidents from north Kerala, who wore the black veil,  were humiliated by the security officials when they went to participate in the national camp of Swachh Bharat Mission, called Swachh Shakthi- 2017. They were part of the 115-member delegation from the state.Mooppainadu panchayat president Shaharban Saithalavi removed the veil with protest, while two other women delegates from Kasargod refused to participate in the programme without the veil.  Shaharbhan told DC that the security guards refused to allow her into the meeting citing security threat."Later,  the Swachh  Bharat Mission  coordinators from Kozhikode intervened and allowed me to wear the veil," she said.The organisers later informed that there was a direction to the delegates to avoid wearing black dress and that the veil was removed by mistake as per the order.However, Muslim organisations have decided to take up the issue at the national level. The Indian Union Muslim League would organise a protest on Thursday and observe a black day in the state and hold protest marches at all district headquarters. IUML state general secretary KPA Majeed told DC that harassment meted out to Muslim delegates  was indicative of Modi's attitude towards the Muslim community.  Each community has the right to wear its particular dresses and religious symbols. Nuns, priests and Sikhs wear the dress in tune with their culture and identity."Modi should realise that it is not the first time Muslim women are participating in a programme organized by the PM.""Such  harassments  happen only after Modi came to power,"  he added. deccan chronicle
No change in India’s stance on UNSC veto:Akbaruddin
New Delhi: India is ready to accept a UN permanent Security Council seat without using a veto for the first 15 years, the MEA confirmed here on Thursday.Answering questions on the stand taken by India’s Ambassador to UN on Wednesday where he addressed the General Assembly’s Inter Governmental Negotiations on behalf of Brazil, Germany, India and Japan (called the G-4), MEA spokesperson Gopal Baglay said there had been “no change in the government’s position” on securing veto power at the UNSC, but India did not wish to “impede” the process.In his submission Ambassador Syed Akbaruddin had said that India and other G-4 countries were ready to accept a moratorium on using the veto.“While the new permanent members would as a principle have the same responsibilities and obligations as current permanent members they shall not exercise the veto until a decision on the matter has been taken during a review [expected after 15 years],” Akbaruddin said. “The Indian Ambassador’s statement merely stresses that the matter of veto need not be made into something to protract urgently needed reforms of the Security Council,” added Mr. Baglay. According to officials, India is hopeful that the Chairpersons of the Inter-Governmental Negotiations (IGN) will now put out a text recording every country’s views to take the reforms to the next step. thehindu
Had enough proof against Aseemanand: Prosecutor
New Delhi: NIA was undecided on appealing against a trial court order, which acquitted self-proclaimed monk and former RSS activist Swami Aseemanand and 6 others in the 2007 Ajmer Dargah blast case on Wednesday. Public Prosecutor Ashwini Kumar Sharma said that there was enough evidence against Aseemanand, including his confessional statement to a Delhi court.“Aseemanand’s statement where he had confessed to the terror act was on record, I don’t know why the court did not consider it and acquitted him. I am yet to receive a copy of the judgment and there could be another reasons as well for the acquittal,”  Sharma said.In his confessional statement recorded before a magistrate in a Delhi court, Aseemanand had said that he and other activists were involved in bombings at various places of worship across the country, such as Ajmer Sharif and Hyderabad’s Mecca Masjid, and Samjhauta Express for taking revenge against the “terror acts of Muslims”. Aseemanand is on bail in Samjhauta case and the trial in Mecca Masjid blast has almost concluded.Sharma added that the prosecution will seek life sentence for the two convicts — Bhavesh Patel and Devendra Gupta when the court pronounces the quantum of punishment on March 16. The third convict Sunil Joshi is dead.“We will ask for life sentence for the convicts as they were involved in terror activity and their involvement under sections 15 and 16 of the UAPA has been proven now,” he said.“It was not a case that deserved acquittal. NIA will decide whether they want to appeal against the acquittals after I send my comments to them…But its not unusual to not appeal against an acquittal, has happened on several occasions,” said Sharma. thehindu
Pak 'regrets' acquittal of Aseemanand in Ajmer blast case
Islamabad: Pakistan said the acquittal of right-wing activist Swami Aseemanand - an accused in the deadly 2007 Samjhauta Express blast case - by a special court in a separate case is "regrettable".Foreign Office spokesman Nafees Zakaria made the remarks at a media briefing here, a day after Aseemanand was acquitted along with six others in the 2007 Ajmer blast case."Aseemanand and Col Rohit were involved in the Samjhauta Express tragedy... Aseemanand himself confessed to the crime," Zakaria said.A total of 68 people, mostly Pakistani nationals, were killed in the blasts in two coaches of Samjhauta Express train in Panipat on Feb.18, 2007. Aseemanand is an accused in the case.Commenting on the issue of national security, Zakaria said Pakistan would maintain minimum deterrence capability.He said Nuclear Suppliers Group while considering membership of India should know that India was one of the largest buyers of weapons."India's massive arms build-up and testing of inter-continental ballistic missiles is the source of concern for the region," he said, adding that Pakistan would not indulge in any arms race.Zakaria also claimed that India was trying to deflect the world's attention from alleged atrocities in Kashmir by firing on the Line of Control.PTI
NIA must appeal Ajmer blast verdict, says Asaduddin Owaisi
Hyderabad: AIMIM president Asaduddin Owaisi on Thursday demanded the NIA file an appeal in the Ajmer Dargah blast case in a higher court.Owaisi told reporters here that the NIA must appeal against the acquittal of Swami Aseemanand so that justice is done and he is punished. “All guilty in the case must be punished. RSS workers were also involved in the blast along with Abhinav Bharat member Aseemanand, Harshad Solnaki, Chandrashekhar Leve, Mukesh Vasani, Lokesh Sharma, Mehul alias Mafat Bhai alias Mahesh Bhai Gohil and Bharat Mohan Lal Ratishwar,”MP said.Deccan Chronicle
Ajmer blast case: Aseemanand's acquittal indicates fate of Samjhauta Express, Mecca Masjid attacks
Ajmer Dargah blast case: NIA to examine order setting Aseemanand, others free
New Delhi:A day after a special court acquitted Swami Aseemanand and six others in the 2007 Ajmer Dargah blast case, the NIA said it will examine the order of the court. Public prosecutor Ashwini Sharma told Indian Express that there was “sufficient” evidence against Aseemanand and others. On Wednesday, the special NIA court convicted three persons, including two who identified as “RSS pracharaks” in court records, but acquitted seven others.Associated with the trial since its start, Sharma said: “The prosecution case failed as 29 key witnesses out of 149 turned hostile during the trial. Among the hostile witnesses, many of them recorded their statements before a magistrate under section 164 of CrPC but later retracted saying they gave statement under duress.”“We will wait until March 16 for the court to pronounce the quantum of sentence before taking any decision,” Sharma said.Indian Express
2008 Malegaon blast case: CBI expresses inability to transfer case of missing witness to NIA
Mumbai:In a fresh twist to the 2008 Malegaon blast case, the CBI has expressed its inability to transfer to NIA the case of the disappearance of witness Dilip Patidar. CBI’s communication comes despite the Home Ministry’s order last year to transfer the case. NIA has now moved the Indore bench of Madhya Pradesh High Court over the issue. Patidar (28) was a tenant of Ramchandra Kalsangra, a wanted accused in the Malegaon blast case. He was picked up by Maharashtra ATS personnel in Nov.2008, nearly a month after the blast, and brought to Mumbai. He never retured home.“Patidar was picked up and interrogated by an ATS team headed by ACP Rajendra Ghule, who was then an Inspector. The ATS claims that he was released on November 18 and asked to return with some documents,” said a source. When Patidar did not return, his family members filed a habeas corpus petition, following which a CBI probe was ordered. The CBI lodged a case against Ghule and Inspector Ramesh More. The agency filed a closure report indicting the two former ATS officers. indianexpress
No Islamic State link to Ujjain train blast, says U.P. DGP Javeed Ahmed
New Delhi : A day after the UP police issued a press statement that those involved in the Ujjain train blast belonged to the Islamic State, they retracted it, claiming there was no evidence linking these individuals to the terror group.“There is nothing to show that they were part of the IS.They were self-proclaimed sympathisers of the outfit; their affiliation to the outfit was one-sided,” Javeed Ahmed, UP DGP, said. None of the police officers in MP or UP could say why the accused, who were all living in a rented house in Lucknow, travelled more than 600 km to Bhopal to plant a bomb in a passenger train. The explosion left nine persons injured. Another police official said: “The accused were under watch and we were tracking them. We sounded an alert after we noticed that three of them had travelled to Bhopal all of a sudden. We believe that they sensed they were under watch as they were frequently changing their online identities. They were getting directions from more than one handler, who claimed to be abroad.” thehindu
Lucknow encounter: Ex-IAF man Ghaus Khan  held in Kanpur
Lucknow: Police on Thursday arrested a former IAF employee who they believe is the "mastermind" of a terror module that included Saifullah, a suspected terrorist killed in an encounter yesterday. Mohd Ghaus Khan was picked up from Kanpur by the ATS, and revealed vital information during questioning, said Additional Director General of UP Police Daljit Chaudhary.He said another suspect, identified only as Azhar, was also arrested by the ATS.Khan "is a technical man and a hardcore member of the module," Chaudhary said, adding he was the "main accused and mastermind" of the module.He said Azhar, the second suspect, was the main supplier of arms to the module. He did not say where he was arrested from, or in what capacity Khan worked in the air force.PTI
2 of 3 terror suspects students of Aligarh Muslim University: Cops
Investigations being conducted by the MP police into the backgrounds of the 3 suspects arrested in connection with Bhopal-Ujjain train blast have revealed an AMU connection. According to police sources, two of the arrested suspects Syed Mir Hussain alias Humza and Aatish Muzaffar alias Al Kasim, who nabbed along with Danish Akhtar alias Jaffar, had studied in AMU. Though details about their educational background are still sketchy, sources said while Syed Mir Hussain had done his BA, Aatish Muzaffar had dropped out from a diploma course at the University in 2011-12. Sources said an Aadhar card (number available with TOI) found in possession of Syed Mir Hussain, mentioning his address as house number 6, Indra Nagar, Aligarh, sent the police on his trail to the city. Sources said the MP ATS had sent this information to the Aligarh police last night, when the police encounter with the alleged ISIS operative, Mohammad Saifurullah alias Ali, who was also involved in the train blast, was underway in Lucknow.Subsequent investigation conducted through the night by the local police revealed that though Syed Mir Hussain and Aatish no longer stayed in Aligarh, they had studied at AMU. economictimes
Clerics Back Family's Decision to Refuse Terror Suspect's Body but Zafaryab Jilani says refusal amounts to insulting dead
New Delhi: Islamic scholars have welcomed a trend that started from 2008 when the mother of a Lashkar militant refused to take the body of her son for burial as he was guilty of anti-national activities and now slain Saifullah’s body too was rejected by his father for burial, calling it ‘a symbolic act of upholding an essential teaching of Islam’ and that is to ‘love the land they live in.’Khalid Rasheed Firangi Mahali, executive member of the AIMPLB, told News18 that’s Saifullah’s fathers’ refusal to take his body for burial upholds the Islamic teaching of loving one’s own country dearly.“The fact that Saifullah’s parents refused to take his body back is certainly Islamic. In Islam, a love for one’s own country has been given a lot of importance. It cannot be compromised at any cost. Hence when a Muslim goes against this principle and attacks his own countrymen, he is violating a fundamental principle of Islam and thus refusing to take the body of such a person for cremation is certainly not barred in Islam,” said Rasheed.Even the chairman of the Imam Council of India, Maulana Masood Ul Hassan Qasmi agreed with Khalid Rasheed and told News18 that the act of not accepting the body back is ‘certainly not against Islam.’However, another member of the AIMPLB, Zafaryab Jilani, differed with the above scholars and told News18 that this refusal amounts to insulting the dead and ‘this is certainly not allowed.’“This is definitely not a trend is only a very rare instance. Even during the time of the holy Prophet there used to be wars and enemies used to be killed, but there is no mention of insulting a dead body. A human is guilty only till he is alive and after his death, the decision lies with the almighty to convict him. But insulting a dead body is not allowed and refusing to bury is a personal call,” said Jilani.News18.com
From documenting hate speeches to advocating for terror suspects:Rihai Manch
Kanpur:Rajeev Yadav and Shahnawaz Alam set out to document hate speech after the communal riots in eastern Uttar Pradesh’s Mau in 2005.The duo began following Yogi Adityanath, recording his speeches. The acerbic ones, put in the public domain, invited sharp reactions. They had learnt making documentaries at Jawaharlal Nehru University and Allahabad University, and armed with video footage, they wanted to take on the harbingers of hate in court.“Our agenda was fighting communalism,” Alam, who now works from Lucknow, said. “Documentary was a way to capturing the faces of hatred and how they poison the minds.”Their fight changed after UP’s Special Task Force picked up Tariq Qasimi and Khalid Mujahid from Azamgarh for involvement in the 2007 serial blasts.The two were shown as arrested on December 22 that year from Barabanki railway station with RDX and other weapons. Family members said Qasimi and Mujahid were detained for 20 days illegally and forced into confession.Yadav and Alam converged on this case and a movement was born. Mayawati, chief minister then, formed a judicial commission headed by RD Nimesh to investigate the charges against Qasimi and Mujahid.The Nimesh panel report submitted in 2012 confirmed the fears: both had been implicated by the overzealous police. But Qasimi had been handed life imprisonment by then, and Mujahid died in police custody soon after the report was submitted. The report made the newly-installed Akhilesh Yadav government recommend a CBI probe into the case. “This case was the trigger for Rihai Manch, an advocacy group,” Alam said.The Manch – resistance against repression, as they describe it – formed panels of lawyers to provide legal assistance to people trapped by police deceit.“The narrative then was simple; you could not question the police if it had labelled someone as a terrorist, their view did not merit a trial,” Asad Hayat, who provides free legal advice to the forum, said.“Many believed there should be a mechanism that allowed us access to court for people arrested so we could effectively challenge the police theories in the court of law,” he said.But it was not easy for the advocates of terror accused. Lawyers Mohammad Shoaib in Lucknow and Randhir Singh Sumar in Barabanki were beaten up. Bombs went off on the court premises in Lucknow, Faizabad and Varanasi.The advocacy group, whose associates include former Lucknow University V-C Roop Rekha Verma, began holding ‘Jan Sunvani’ to help people with court cases. Such public hearings were attacked in Pratapgarh and other places.“Our agitation over the Batla House encounter in Lucknow was stopped with brutal use of force,” Anil Yadav, a Manch activist, said.It was clear to the advocacy group that they were facing a motivated political resistance, and that fighting it would not be easy.“But we knew what we were doing. We wanted to build a counterview in the society, we wanted this problem to be recognised,” Alam said.Till date, the Manch has helped 14 people charged with terrorism be acquitted. Hindustan times
SIT officer breaks silence: Ishrat killing was premeditated murder
Breaking his silence on the Ishrat Jahan case, Satish Verma, the IPS officer who assisted the CBI probe into the alleged fake encounter in Gujarat in 2004, on Wednesday said her killing was a “premeditated murder”.“Our investigation has found that Ishrat along with three others had been picked by IB (Intelligence Bureau) days before the encounter. In fact, there was no intelligence input with the IB that a woman would be accompanying the alleged terrorists. There was no input on Ishrat. These people were kept in illegal custody and then shot dead,” Verma told The Indian Express.He was one of the members of the special investigation team appointed by the Gujarat High Court.Mumbra girl Ishrat was killed along with three men on the outskirts of Ahmedabad on June 15, 2004. It was alleged that they were members of a Lashkar-e-Toiba group. Last week, former Home Secretary G K Pillai told Times Now that the alleged Lashkar group was lured by the IB to Gujarat in 2004. Indianexpress
2 youth with bullet injuries ‘critical’; 3 have both eyes hit by pellets
Srinagar: 2 youth hit by bullets near encounter site in Pulwama on Thursday are “critical” while 3 more have grievous pellet injuries in both eyes.As per the hospital data more than 20 people injured during protests amid gunfight between forces and militants in Pulwama had been rushed to Srinagar hospitals. A scene of mayhem was witnessed at SMHS Hospital on Thursday where around 20 injured were brought for treatment.  Of these, nine were hit by bullets and rest had pellet injuries, some of them severely hit in eyes. Hospital authorities said that five bullet injured were referred to Bone and Joint Hospital wherefrom two youth with vascular injuries in limbs were further referred to SK Institute of Medical Sciences (SKIMS) Soura for treatment. greaterkashmir
Brouhaha over AMU V-C’s appointment
New Delhi:AMU is in the eye of a storm yet again — this time over the appointment of its new Vice Chancellor, as one of the names finalised by the university, who is a professor suspected of being involved in corruption case.The university has finalised three names for the post of the new V-C and forwarded it to HRD ministry. According to sources, the ministry has recently forwarded the names to the Visitor, the President of India. One of the names is Professor Tariq Mansoor, who has been in large-scale corruption cases in the college where he is Principal. 2 other names that have been forwarded to the Visitor are — Dr Abu Saleh Sharif and Dr Shahid Jameel. The current V-C of the university, Zameeruddin Shah, is due to retire in May this year.Advocate Prashant Bhushan has now written a letter to the President to choose the V-C diligently. In his letter to the President, he wrote, “It is pertinent to mention that there are serious charges of corruption against Prof Tariq Mansoor who has been recommended by the AMU court and secured highest number of votes for the post of V-C”.The names of probable V-C candidates have been finalised by the AMU court on the basis of voting. Among the charges against Prof Mansoor, is misappropriation of funds meant for JN Medical College. DNA
Despite RBI Move, Some Indian Banks Risk Skipping Coupon Payments
Some Indian banks are at risk of skipping coupon payments on their capital instruments despite recent easing of rules by the central bank and capital injection by the government into state-run lenders, Fitch Ratings said on Thursday.Mid-sized banks are the most at risk of breaching capital triggers, the agency said. A Fitch analysis showed total capital adequacy ratio of 12 banks was at or below the minimum 11.5% required by the year to March 2019 to enable coupon payments on both legacy and Basel III additional tier 1 (AT1) capital instruments.There are 11 banks with common equity tier 1 (CET1) ratios at or below the minimum 8% that will be needed by March 2019 to make coupon payments on the AT1 instruments, Fitch said.
WORLD
UN: 200,000 die each year from pesticide poisoning
An average of about 200,000 people die from the toxic exposure of pesticides per year across the world, the United Nations says, calling for tougher global regulation of substances meant to control pests or weeds for plant cultivation.The UN report - published on January 24 and which is being presented to the UN human rights council on Wednesday - said although pesticide use has been correlated with a rise in food production, it has had "catastrophic impacts" on human health and the environment. aljazeera
UN proposes steps to curb sex abuse by peacekeepers
The United Nations has unveiled a new strategy aimed at stamping out sex abuse by its peacekeepers with measures that include withholding the salaries of the soldiers who are under investigation for such crimes and directing them to a victims' trust fund.Antonio Guterres, UN secretary-general, said on Thursday in an annual report that there had been a total of 145 cases of sexual exploitation and abuse involving troops and civilians across all UN peace missions in 2016 - up from 99 in 2015.The increase is partly explained by the fact that more victims are coming forward, said the report. Guterres, who took the UN helm in January, said the new strategy was aimed at putting "the rights and the dignity of victims first" and then "to focus on ending the impunity of those guilty of crimes and abuses". aljazeera
Suspected coalition raids 'kill 23 civilians' in Syria
At least 23 civilians, including eight children, have been killed in air raids on an ISIL-held village in northern Syria, according to a monitor. The fighter jets that carried out the strikes were believed to belong to the US-led coalition fighting the ISIS armed group, the UK-based Syrian Observatory for Human Rights said on Thursday."The raids hit the village of al-Matab after midnight and were likely carried out by the coalition," according to Rami Abdel Rahman, head of the Observatory. At least six women were also among the dead in al-Matab, which lies near a key road linking Raqqa - ISIL's de facto capital - to Deir Az Zor city, the capital of the adjacent oil-rich province. aljazeera
Israel considers bill forcing mosques to lower volume
Jerusalem: Israel's parliament has passed an initial reading of a bill that would make mosques lower the volume of their call to prayer, amid protests by Arab lawmakers. Arab-Israeli politician Ahmed Tibi tore up the proposal at the Knesset podium today. The bill still needs to pass several more hurdles.Devout Muslims pray five times a day, starting around 5 a.M. In Israel, the call to prayer is often loud enough to wake up residents in Jewish neighborhoods near Muslim communities.Supporters of the bill say it as a matter of quality of life. But Arab citizens of Israel see it as an affront. Arabs make up one-fifth of the population; they enjoy full rights but face discrimination in some areas. Many identify politically and culturally with Palestinians.AP
 Compiled and edited by Anwarulhaq (Released at: 4:33 PM)

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