Wednesday, 22 March 2017

Evening NEWS DIGEST
22 March. 2017: 22 JamadiulAkhir 1438:Vol:8, No:148
2 ‘RSS pracharaks’ get life imprisonment for Ajmer blast; Court questions over clean chit to others, Indresh Kumar
Jaipur: 2 persons were sentenced to life on Wednesday for the 2007 Ajmer dargah blasts, which killed three people and injured 15. Special NIA Court also imposed a fine of Rs 5,000 and Rs 10,000 respectively on “RSS pracharaks” Devendra Gupta, 41, and Bhavesh Patel, 39.Judge Dinesh Gupta ruled out a death sentence citing mitigating circumstances, including the fact that the two had not been involved in any criminal activity prior to the blasts; they hadn’t been shown to be a constant menace to society; and they had been found guilty by drawing inferences from circumstantial evidence.At the same time, the court questioned the NIA on its clean chit to two other accused, Ramesh Gohil and Amit, as well as “suspicious persons” such as senior RSS leader Indresh Kumar, Pragya Singh, Rajenda Chaudhary and Jayant, stating that it could not be done without invoking appropriate sections of the CrPC. It ordered NIA DGP to do so by March 28. Ramesh Gohil died recently.During the hearing, Public Prosecutor Ashwini Sharma told the court, “Hinduism is not just a religion, it is a way of life. Hinduism has always been viewed as a tolerant religion since anant kaal (eternity) and nobody could have imagined that a Hindu could have been involved in a terror activity. Hence, the actions of the convicts and other accused deeply hurt the established values of Hinduism.”Invoking ‘Vasudhaiva Kutumbakam (the world is one family)’, Sharma sought appropriate sentences for the guilty, adding that “apart from Muslims, Hindus also come in large numbers to pay obeisance at the (Ajmer) shrine and the aim of the bomb blast in the holy month of Ramzan was to spread terror between the two communities and to prevent Hindus from going to the shrine.” Countering Sharma, defence advocate JS Rana said the present case had nothing to do with Hinduism, its culture or its values. “At most, it can be said that those involved in this case acted foolishly while considering themselves as being ethical.” Ajmer blast case saw several twists and turns, with 26 of the total 149 witnesses turning hostile. On March 8, Gupta and Patel, along with Sunil Joshi (who died in Dec.2007), were found guilty.However, the court acquitted Swami Aseemanand and 6 others, giving them “benefit of doubt”, including Harshad Solanki, Chandrashekhar Leve, Mukesh Vasani, Lokesh Sharma, Mehul alias Mafat Bhai alias Maheshbhai Gohil and Bharat Mohan Lal Ratishwar.In its hearing on Wednesday, court said Gupta’s “active involvement” had been found in the blasts for he arranged SIM card used in the timer device. “He is not an inactive party but has constructive liability,” the court said.As for Patel, the court pointed out, he did not use his mobile phone between 8.22 pm on Oct.10 and 7.18am on Oct 12, 2007, and was found absconding by police. The blast at Ajmer Dargah took place on Oct.11, 2007.Questioning the clean chit to others, including senior RSS leader Indresh Kumar, the court said, “NIA has given clean chit and expressed its intention not to pursue further investigation against accused Ramesh Gohil and Amit as well as suspicious persons Pragya Singh, Samandar (alias Rajendra Chaudhary), Jayanti Bhai and Indresh Kumar. But in the view of this court, the court can’t consider NIA’s actions as meeting legal requirements without invoking Sections 169 and 170/173 of CrPC… DGP, NIA, New Delhi, is directed to (do the needful) against both accused and all the other 4 found suspicious by 28-03-2017.”indianexpress
2 RSS men get life imprisonment for Ajmer dargah blasts
Ajmer blast: 2 former RSS pracharaks sentenced for life, Defence counsel to challenge verdict
Ajmer blasts: 2 terrorists affiliated to RSS sentenced for life imprisonment
Centre can now reject judges for SC, HCs on grounds of 'national security'
New Delhi:Putting to end a 17-month standoff with the Centre, the Supreme Court collegium which is now headed by Chief Justice JS Khehar on Monday said it had cleared the memorandum of procedure (MoP) for appointment of judges to the apex court and various High Courts.The significance of this move is that the collegium has dropped its objection to prime bone of contention- Centre getting power to reject a candidate on grounds of national security and also setting up of secretariats in the apex court and each HC to screen judge aspirants. Khehar's predecessor TS Thakur, who headed the previous collegium was adamant that he will not clear the MoP with these provisions.It had resulted in matters being in limbo since August last year and stalemate over appointment of nearly five apex court judges and 500 HC judges. "MoP has been cleared. Now the filling up of vacancy in the High Courts can be sped up. There is also a need to increase the post of judges in the High Courts. But the priority will be to fill the existing vacancies," CJI Khehar said while disposing off PILs which sought speedy filling of judicial vacancies.Finalisation of the MoP, which will be sent to the Centre for approval and adoption this week, raises hopes of speedy filling up of vacancies in HCs, which are operating at below 60 %  of their sanctioned strength. The SC collegium also comprising SC's four senior most judges apart from the CJI agreed that a name of a candidate for judgeship can be rejected by the govt  on grounds of national security if specific reason is put in writing.
Will move court if media didn't apologize for linking my son with ISIS: Najeeb's family
New Delhi: The family of missing JNU student Najeeb Ahmed on Wednesday lambasted a section of media including TOI for running a false story linking Najeeb with terror outfit ISIS. While the media mentioned unnamed police official as source of the story, Delhi Police rubbished story yesterday itself. Najeeb’s family today warned that if media didn’t apologize for the fake story maligning Najeeb, they would approach the court for action. Addressing a press conference here, Najeeb’s mother Fatima Nafees said:TOI is a prestigious and responsible newspaper. How can you do this?If TOI would do irresponsible reporting, what can we expect from others?She urged media to help her find Najeeb, rather than giving her more pain.“Rather than help, media is giving us pain by saying Najeeb was linked to ISIS.We are Indians, ready to sacrifice ourselves for our nation, test us,” said Fatima. “Media is our strength, so please raise my voice rather than giving us pain," she appealed. “If media don't offer apologies and Delhi police does not take any action against those media outlets who ran the false story, we will approach the court for legal action,” she said.Najeeb’s lawyer Qamber Ali Zaidi said: “Family has been exhaustively seeking justice in the case for the last six months. So now if any such story comes that her son was supposed to join ISIS then think what a mother would feel.”“His mother told me that being a Muslim they are being targeted. Even if Najeeb was searching about ISIS, does it mean he committed any crime? If I search for bomb on Google, does it mean I want to make a bomb? Please have some responsibility and feel pain of a family,"said lawyer.IndiaTomorrow
Police rubbishes media reports linking Najeeb with ISIS
Zakir Naik refuses to appear before NIA, rebuffs summons
New Delhi: Founder of IRF Zakir Naik refused to be present at the NIA HQRS in association with a case filed against him under the anti­terror law.The development came after the NIA has dispensed a notice asking Naik to be present before the NIA HQ. Reportedly, Naik’s lawyer has said that his client Zakir Naik has not accepted any summons yet and hence he is not likely to be present before the NIA. “If the summons is not served upon him according to law, then there is no service of summons on him till today,” Naik’s lawyer M Solkar said.ANI
Babri Masjid issue
Babri demolition: SC postpones hearing in case against Advani, others till tomorrow
New Delhi: The Supreme Court adjourned on Wednesday a CBI plea challenging a trial court’s decision to drop criminal conspiracy charges against several BJP and other Hindu right-wing leaders in the Babri mosque demolition case. Justice PC Ghose said the matter would be heard on Thursday because justice RF Nariman, who was with him during the last hearing of the case, was not part of the bench on Wednesday. Justice Ghose also declined to adjourn the hearing by 4 weeks as requested by BJP patriarch LK Advani’s counsel, senior advocate KK Venugopal. Advani was among the 13 leaders exonerated by the trial court.“You want me to retire first,” the judge said in a lighter vein when Venugopal made the request. Justice Ghose is due to retire in May.On March 6, the bench had expressed anguish over the trial court dropping the conspiracy charges against the 13 leaders on technical grounds. They had hinted at reviving the conspiracy charges. Justice Nariman’s exclusion from the bench for Wednesday’s hearing had raised eyebrows among lawyers representing an individual who too has challenged the discharge of the senior BJP leaders.The hearing was to be held a day after a separate bench of the top court called for an amicable settlement to the decades-old dispute over the religious site in Ayodhya, saying the “sensitive and sentimental matter” is best settled out of court. Justice Nariman was more vocal in his criticism of the trial court decision.“People cannot be discharged like this,” he said at the commencement of proceedings.“There is something very peculiar going on in this case. We prima facie do not approve of the way these people have been discharged,” the bench had remarked.The criminal cases in the Babri Masjid case stemmed from two crime files – 197 and 198. Both were filed shortly after the Masjid was demolished. CBI, however, filed a combined chargesheet in the case.FIR number 197 was registered against lakhs of unknown kar sevaks and dealt with the actual demolition of the structure. The accused were charged with serious offences including robbery or dacoity with attempt to murder and promoting enmity between different religious groups.This case was being heard by a Lucknow court, which dropped conspiracy charges against the 13 leaders. 2nd, FIR 198, was registered against 12 persons, including Ashok Singhal, Giriraj Kishore, Advani, Murli Manohar Joshi, Vishnu Hari Dalmiya, Vinay Katiyar, Uma Bharti and Sadhvi Ritambhara, who were present at the Ayodhya when the masjid was being demolished.This case is also pending before a court in Rae Barelli.hindustantimes
Babri Masjid demolition case adjourned as judge is absent
Entire land should be for Ram Mandir, mosque can be built across river, claims Swamy, blames Muslim bodies for creating hindrances in resolving issue
New Delhi:RS member Subramanian Swamy argued that the Ram Temple should be built on Ram Janmabhoomi and the mosque can be built on the other side of the Sarayu river.The Ram temple should be built at Ram Janambhoomi (birthplace of Ram) while the Masjid (mosque) on the other side of Sarayu river to resolve Ayodhya issue, BJP leader Subramanian Swamy suggested today."We were always ready. Mandir and Masjid should be built but Masjid should be built on other side of Sarayu river. Ram Janambhoomi should be entirely for Ram Mandir," he told reporters here.Swamy argued that in Saudi Arabia and other Muslim nations, mosque is regarded as the place where 'Namaaz' (prayer) is offered and prayer can be offered at any place. "My suggestion is that Masjid be built on other side of Sarayu river and Ram Janambhoomi be handed over for Ram Temple. We cannot change the birthplace of Ram, but Masjid can be made anywhere," he said. According to PTI Swamy accused Muslim bodies of “creating hindrances” in resolving the dispute and said the “outer limit” to settle the issue is April 2018. Swamy made these comments a day after Muslim bodies appeared skeptical about the SC’s suggestion for an out-of-court settlement of Ayodhya dispute.“All Muslim parties had yesterday said on TV that this (out-of-court negotiation) is all waste of time…Only the SC should hear it…They create hindrances in the hearing…Somehow, they are trying to delay it,” he said.He said the matter has been pending before the SC for 6-and-a-half years, but not a single hearing has been held. “Either we reach a solution through mediation under SC judges or there is day-to-day hearing. If they (the Muslim parties) try to avoid by adjournment, then the outer limit is April 2018.” However, he did not elaborate what he meant by the “April 2018 outer limit”.DNA/PTI
Ram temple should be built at his birthplace, Masjid on other side of Sarayu: Swamy
Will pass legislation if compromise is not reached: Swamy on Ayodhya dispute
 UP Politics 
3 shops selling meat, fish set ablaze in Adityanath’s UP
3 shops selling meat and fish were allegedly set on fire by unidentified persons in Hathras, UP, triggering panic in the area, police said on Wednesday.The incident comes close on the heels of some slaughter houses being sealed in the state after Yogi Adityanath was sworn in on Sunday.Police said the incident took place in Manyawar Kanshiram Colony on Tuesday night. Shop owners said all their stock was charred in the fire.“Unidentified persons set ablaze 3 shops selling fish and meat. An FIR has been registered against them, ” said Dilip Kumar Srivastava, Hathras SP.SDM  Rakesh Gupta later met shop owners and heard their grievances. Hindustantimes
Mob Sets Meat Shops On Fire In UP As CM Adityanath Cracks The Whip On Cow Slaughter
Adityanath orders closure of slaughter houses in UP
Lucknow:In keeping with BJP’s manifesto, UP chief minister Yogi Adityanath on Wednesday directed police officials to prepare an action plan for closure of slaughter houses across the state.He also ordered a blanket ban on smuggling of cows and said zero tolerance would be exercised in this regard. Official sources did not specify the type of slaughter houses which will be shut. However, the BJP manifesto had said that all illegal slaughter houses would be closed and there would be a blanket ban on all mechanised slaughter houses.NDTV
Adityanath asks officials to enforce ban on cow smuggling, shut illegal slaughterhouses in UP
Aligarh DM gets NGT notice over slaughterhouse discharging filth in drain
Agra: National Green Tribunal,  issued notices to Aligarh district magistrate, UP Pollution Control Board (UPPCB), Central Ground Water Authority and 4 other agencies for turning a blind eye to a slaughterhouse discharging filth in a drain situated beside a government school in Aligarh. In Oct last year, the above respondents had told the tribunal that no slaughterhouse will be allowed to operate in the state without having permission under the Water and Air Act, especially in areas such as Bulandshahr, Ghaziabad, Sambhal and Aligarh. Tribunal has fixed April 20 as next date of hearing.TOI
UP govt cracks down on slaughterhouse, meat shops
Ghaziabad:2 days after the swearing in ceremony of BJP govt in UP, district administration in the state has swung into action on the pre-poll promises made by the party.A slaughterhouse in Varanasi, which was allegedly being run illegally, was sealed by the district authorities in the Kamalgadaha locality. Earlier, authorities had sealed two slaughterhouses in Allahabad. On Tuesday, the Ghaziabad administration cracked down on an illegal slaughterhouse and four meat shops in the district, and a case has been registered against the alleged owner.Around 7.30am on Tuesday, a team of senior district officials and police officers “acting on a tip-off” reached Kaila Bhatta locality in Gulzar colony of Ghaziabad. “We had received information that slaughterhouses were operating illegally in the area. By the time we reached, we found that the ground floor of a building was being used as a slaughterhouse. We found buffalo skin there,” said Atul Kumar, SDM (Sadar) Ghaziabad. According to the administration, around 10 meat shops in the area were closed. “These were opened by us and in four of them we found buffalo meat. These places did not have the necessary permission to operate and they were functioning illegally. A team comprising the Chief Veterinary Officer and District Health Officer inspected the meat and it was found to belong to a buffalo. All 5 places have been sealed,” Kumar said.While Kumar maintained that he was unaware of the source of the tip-off, sources in Ghaziabad administration maintained that an activist attached to a senior BJP leader’s NGO was behind information. According to the administration, there are around 4 approved slaughterhouses operating in Ghaziabad. “Apart from these four, the operation of any other slaughterhouse is illegal. We are carrying out inspection in the district and strict action against any illegal operation will be taken,” Kumar said. indianexpress
2 sentenced to 5 yrs in prison for cow slaughter in UP:HT
Muzaffarnagar:A local court in Muzaffarnagar has convicted 2 men and sentenced them to 5 years in jail for slaughtering cows. According to govt  lawyer Javed Ali, Additional District and Sessions Judge Manoj kumar has also imposed a fine of Rs 15000 each on the accused Gayyur and Gadhe Ali after holding them guilty under the UP  Prevention of Cow Slaughter Act.Police had intercepted a truck and seized beef from it at a check post under Jhunjhala police station in Shamli district in Jan.27, 2012, the two accused were arrested in this connection.A case was registered against them.PTI
Lucknow kabab lovers make no bones in slamming ‘food politics’
Laying down law! Ghaziabad leads drive against illegal meat trade,'corrupt cops' 2 days after new CM  is sworn in
Pan, tobacco banned in UP schools, colleges, hospitals
Livid at the sight of betel juice stained walls of the building that houses his office, UP  CM  Yogi Adityanath banned use of pan and tobacco products in schools, colleges, hospitals and other govt  buldings.On his first visit to secretariat annexe building here, CM gave a piece of his mind to officials there asking them to stop chewing pan and pan masala when on duty.PTI
Adityanath allocates portfolios, retains key 36 depts with himself;Maurya gets PWD, Mohsin gets  IT, Waqf, Haj
UP  CM  Adityanath Yogi today distributed ministerial portfolios among his council of ministers .Yogi has retained 36 key ministries under him, including the portfolios of home, housing and urban planning, revenue, food and civil supplies etc.  Meanwhile, deputy CM Keshav Prasad Maurya has been allocated public works, food processing, entertainment tax and public enterprises departments.Another deputy CM Dinesh Sharma has been allocated secondary and higher education, science and technology, electronics and information technology departments.Lone Muslim face in UP council of ministers, Mohsin Raza, gets Science and Technology, Electronics, IT, Muslim Waqf and Haj. Business standard
UP will witness no corruption, communal riots on my watch: Adityanath
After complaint of hurting 'Hindu sentiments' for poem mocking Adityanath, poet Srijato says he won't stop
A police complaint has been filed against poet Srijato Bandopadhyay for a poetry which has posted on his Facebook wall. The poetry, headlined ‘Abhishap’ or curse has, according to the complaint by Arnab Sarkar, a member of Hindu Samhati, hurt Hindu sentiments.“It appears that the poetry has been aimed against new CM  of UP Yogi Adityanath but my objection is on the use or rather misuse of the word ‘trishul’ in the poetry. ‘Trishul’ essentially signifies Hinduism. Poets and intellectuals like these can only insult Hinduism but they keep quiet when there is an offence created by members of some other religion,” Sarkar said.The complaint, filed at Siliguri’s Cyber Crime Police Station, said that the post was an attempt to deprive Hindus from their fundamental right to preach, practice and propagate their religion and that the poet should be immediately arrested. He also said that if police didn’t take any action against the poet they would move court. Bandopadhyay, however, said he had only exercised his fundamental right to freedom of speech and expression. “I think everyone should protest against anything that goes amiss in society and I, as a poet have only my medium of poetry to put up a protest. I had written a series of poems protesting against the killing of Bangladeshi bloggers and even at that time I had received several threats,” he said.Asked if such complaints would deter him from posting in future, he said, “I would not have written any poetry if I was afraid of these. Even in future my pen would speak for me against anything which I find I should protest against.” dnaindia
Dad to Adityanath: Women in burqa too voted for you, needs to respect all religions
Dehradun: Anand Singh Bisht, the 84-year-old father of UP CM  Yogi Adityanath, has some advice for his son. "He'll need to take everyone along," the retired forest ranger said. "Women in burqa have also voted for him. He needs to respect all religions, win their hearts." Bisht said his son had a lot of responsibility. "Muslim women voted for BJP as they have high hopes that the party would help them on triple talaq and other issues. People from all faiths believe BJP and Adityanath can take them on the path of progress. That has to be kept in mind," he said.Bisht, who lives with wife Savitri in Panchur village of Pauri district, said, "On day one, the CM told his staff not to use language that hurts people. He is making sincere efforts and it is visible." He said his son needed to shed the tag of "Hindutva campaigner".TOI
Adityanath's father advice: Muslim women voted for you, respect all religions
BJP MLA's posters naming Deoband as Deovrind create stir in UP
BJP MLA Brijesh Singh's posters thanking voters for the recent astounding victory have created a stir in Saharanpur district of UP  after they named Deoband as Deovrind.While Deoband is known for its historical significance and Darul Uloom Deoband since Mughal era, Brijesh Singh had demanded that the city be renamed Deovrind after BJP came into power."I have no such intention that can connect it to any Islamic institution.All I want is to rename Deoband to Deovrind.It is all about development", said Singh when asked about the posters. Singh's supporters too articulated his demand to rename Mughal structures."We not only want Deoband to be renamed as Deovrind, but also want all those places to be renamed which were once under the Mughal rule. We want this to be done under BJP govt," said VHP leader Vikas Tyagi. However, MLA's move has not gone down well with the Muslim community that forms a sizeable part of population in Deoband, which is one of the 5 constituencies in the district."It doesn't matter even if you change name a thousand times. Deoband will always be known because of Darul Uloom," said Maulana Arshad Madani, chief of Jamat Ulema."Is renaming Deoband the country's biggest issue? Will it aid in development anyway? Can this improve roads and provide better education?" asked a student. Posters have been put up in different parts of Deoband. Singh, in his defence, had earlier said that the region has been extant since the time of Mahabharata. According to him, even Pandavas worshipped here.  IndiaToday
OTHERS
'Reopen hotel Rabbani, India is Gandhi's land, not Godse's'
Jaipur:A large crowd gathered at Shaheed Smarak on Tuesday to protest against the closure of hotel Hayat Rabbani at Station Road late on Sunday on the basis of rumours that the hotel was serving beef."We will not allow the land of Gandhi to become the land of Godse," speakers said. Harkesh Bugalia, a leader of workers, said, "This is part of a deliberate strategy to break the backs of workers, farmers, adivasis and Muslims. We must stand together to resist this assault on our livelihoods."Late Sunday, Kamal Didi (who wears the robes of a sadhvi and signs her name with the suffix "Didi"), leader of the Rashtirya Mahil Gau Rakshak Mandal, led a mob seeking the closure of the hotel because, they alleged, beef waste was being fed to stray cows in the vicinity.Naeem Rabbani, the owner of the hotel, told TOI, "I later pleaded with mayor Ashok Lahoti to allow us to reopen the hotel. He says the meat will be examined and a decision taken in due course."
Jaipur meat assaults: Victims of cow vigilante attack were prosecuted – but not mob members
Hundreds protest in Jaipur against attack at hotel on beef suspicion
New Delhi gets ready to welcome Turkish President
New Delhi: Close on the heels of a series of big visitors, New Delhi is preparing to welcome Turkish President Tayyip Erdogan in first week of May for a visit that will be significant both for its timing and impact on bilateral ties, MEA and Turkish officials confirmed to The Hindu. Turkish President is expected to travel to Delhi with a large entourage of ministers, officials said, for his first visit to India since 2008. In 2015, Mr. Erdogan put off his plans to travel to India after a series of protests in his country.“This visit was long overdue, and we have been preparing for it for sometime, ever since it had to be put off in August 2015,” a Turkish diplomat said, adding that President Erdogan and PM Narendra Modi share a “good relationship”, having met twice already, including once in Turkey for G-20 summit.Officials also confirmed that the new Turkish Ambassador to India Sakir Ozkan Torunlar, who was earlier handling the India desk in the Turkish Foreign Ministry, will present his credentials to President Pranab Mukherjee on March 29 to facilitate protocol ahead of the visit. Officials on both sides didn’t wish to speak about the expected outcomes of the Erdogan visit, as discussions are ongoing, but said they would broadly follow the “road map for cooperation” in various fields, including tourism and trade, which was signed by visiting Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu and External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj in Delhi last August.the hindu
India tries to fix Iran trade payments as Trump hardens line
New Delh:India is exploring setting up a new payments mechanism for trade with Iran, after its old sanctions workaround broke down, as state banks remain fearful of handling payments from Tehran in case the US  imposes a fresh financial embargo.US President Donald Trump has denounced an agreement between Iran and major powers on its nuclear programme as a bad deal, and his administration has put Tehran “on notice” after the test-firing of a ballistic missile. Under previous Western sanctions, India had devised a barter-like scheme acceptable to Washington that allowed it to make some oil payments to Tehran in rupees through a small state bank, UCO Bank.Reuters
India ranked 131 on Human Development Index, bracketed with Pakistan and Kenya
UN:India has ranked a lowly 131 among the 188 countries surveyed for human development, a new UN report has said, bracketing third-largest Asian economy alongside its South Asian neighbours like Pakistan, Bhutan and Nepal.India has made no improvement in its ranking over the previous year, despite the Human Development Report for 2015 noting that foreign direct investment favours countries such as China and India. India’s Human Development Index (HDI) rank in 2014 was also 131. PTI
JNU admission: Massive seat cut in M.Phil, PhD courses
JNU drastically reduced M.Phil, PhD seats for the upcoming session of 2017-18, with only 194 seats available for the research aspirants in comparison to last year's figure of 1174 seats. According to the prospectus released by Varsity late on Tuesday night, only 194 seats are available that includes both integrated Mphil-Phd and direct PhD. In fact, there is "no" Mphil/PhD seat available in most of its centers.The prospectus came after the Delhi High Court last week rejected the plea of some Varsity students who moved to the court challenging the adoption of UGC May 2016 notification. dnaindia
Aurangabad: Cops deny permission for protest to allow permission for prayers at Bibi ka Maqbara Mosuqe:TOI
Aurangabad: Demanding that they be allowed to pray inside the mosque on the premises of Bibi ka Maqbara, local muslim groups, a few political outfits, along with Yakub Habeebuddin Tucy, who claims to be a Mughal descendant,tried to hold a mass protest outside the mausoleum on Tuesday.Police, however, denied permission to stage any protest sensing a possible law and order situation. ASI, in whose possession the mausoleum is, continues to stand by its decision of not allowing prayers inside the Bibi ka Maqbara as it is a non-living monument. Tucy, who claims to be the last direct descendant of Mughal emperor Bahadur Shah Zafar, has come to the city from Hyderabad and is presently camping here to press for the demand. He also said that he has proofs to support his claims. Bibi ka Maqbara was a living monument before ASI took charge of it. "A refusal to allow 'namaz' inside the mosque is a violation of basic principles of the Indian Constitution," he said, adding that he would make documents supporting his claim public on Wednesday. Tucy reiterated his argument that if prayers are allowed within the mosque located in Taj Mahal, then why not inside its replica—the Maqbara.Without naming anybody, he also blamed political elements for his failed bid to hold protest outside the historic structure."We were planning to hold peaceful protest in the form of hunger strike, but certain political elements tried to hijack our agitation by blowing it out of proportion, making the police deny us permission,"he said.
Lok Sabha passes Finance Bill making Aadhaar mandatory for filing tax returns
New Delhi;A day after Finance Minister Arun Jaitley proposed amendments to 40 laws incorporating them in the Finance Bill and sent it for consideration in the Lok Sabha, the lower house of the Parliament on Wednesday passed the Bill making Aadhaar mandatory for filing of Income-Tax returns. “We are moving towards a time when there will be no shadow economy but some are still seeing virtues of cash transactions,” said Jaitley in the Lok Sabha. He also said no arbitrary power will be given to the Tax Department and there are no plans to tax farmers’ income. The finance minister further said, “Tax buoyancy has improved in the last two years.” Indian express
Reminder: Text of Supreme Court order saying Aadhaar is not and cannot be mandatory:Scroll.in
What explains desperation to make Aadhaar mandatory for tax returns after July 1, 2017?Nikhil Pahwa
Law matters, not PM’s word: A-G to SC on note ban
Central govt’s top law officer, Attorney General Mukul Rohatgi, told Supreme Court Tuesday that the “law will prevail over” PM  Narendra Modi in deciding that people cannot be allowed to deposit demonetised currency after Dec.30, 2016. Rohatgi’s statement came in the wake of contentions that the govt  had wronged the people by issuing an ordinance to restrict the deposit of demonetised currency till December 30, 2016, after the PM  had declared that old notes could be deposited till March 31, 2017.“There is no question of PM’s speech…if PM says March 31, 2017 but the law says December 30, 2016, the law will prevail over the PM. Let’s be clear about that first,” the A-G submitted before a bench led by Chief Justice of India J S Khehar. The bench said the “nation has to know” through an affidavit whether the govt  was willing to give another chance to people to deposit old currency and if not, why. indianexpress
Churchill has as much blood on his hands as Hitler: Tharoor
New Delhi: Congress leader Shashi Tharoor has been in the news for some time after he wrote the book ‘Inglorious Empire’ highlighting the atrocities of British colonial rule in India. This time, the subject of news is one of the excerpts from the book where Tharoor has compared Winston Churchill with Adolf Hitler stating that the latter has as much blood on his hands as the former.“Churchill has as much blood on his hands as Hitler does. Bengal Famine – millions died because of the decisions he took or endorsed.  Not only did the British follow its own policy of not helping the victims of this Famine, Churchill persisted in exporting grain to Europe, not to feed actual ‘Sturdy Tommies’ as he described them, but to add to the buffer stocks that were being piled up in the event of a future invasion of Greece and Yugoslavia,”UKAsia quoted Tharoor. He further mentioned that ships carrying wheat were coming to India from Australia during the famine but Churchill instructed his people to sail the cargo to Europe instead. indianexpress
Cops refuse to share SIMI jailbreak ‘key’ pics
Bhopal: MP police have refused to share pictures of the 'keys' used by alleged SIMI operatives in the Bhopal jail breakout of November last year with their kin, saying, "It can give an idea about the size of the lock."Counsel for the alleged SIMI men killed in the post-jailbreak 'encounter' have jointly filed an application before the justice S K Pandey probe commission, demanding several evidence from police, including the keys that the undertrials were said to have fashioned to open the cell locks and escape. Police have objected to the demand, say sources in the department.At Tuesday's hearing, the jail and police department filed their affidavits, as did the family members of the deceased. The commission ordered the affidavits to be exchanged between officials and counsel for the dead undertrials."We have received the affidavits submitted by jail officials as well as police under instructions of the commission. After going through them, we will put forward an application for the cross-examination of the evidence placed before the commission," said advocate Sajid Ali, who represents the kin of alleged SIMI operative Mohammed Saliq. The next hearing is on March 27.A journalist and social worker has presented himself before the commission as a respondent. Panel will decide its admissibility on March 25.TOI
LeT, not JeM, involved in Uri attack: NIA report
New Delhi: March 8 NIA report absolving 2 Pakistani teenagers of involvement in the Uri terror attack of Sept.18 last year says it was LeT—and not Jaish-e-Mohammad as claimed by Army—that did it. NIA report one also names Abu Siraqa alias Mohammed Anas of Gujranwala as one of the possible attackers. The closure report filed in NIA court at Jammu led to the release of Faisal Hussain Awan and Ahsaan Khursheed, arrested after having strayed across LoC on Sept.21.According to report, accessed by HT, the NIA’s conclusion that LeT carried out the Uri attack is based on the coded matrix sheets recovered from the neutralised attackers. hindustantimes
Maximum Kashmiri youths joined militancy in 2016:Govt
New Delhi: A total of 88 Kashmiri youths joined militancy in 2016, the highest in last 6 years, the Centre has said, adding that infiltration almost tripled last year as compared to 2015.PTI
Delhi Police arrest alleged Khalistan Commando Force member wanted in over 50 cases
Delhi:A 51-year-old alleged member of Khalistan Commando Force (KCF) was arrested from south Delhi’s Mahipalpur. Police said the arrested man, Gursewak Singh aka Babla, was reportedly in the process of establishing KCF’s base in Delhi with the help of some gangs of autolifters and robbers. By committing bank and ATM robberies in Delhi, Rajasthan, Punjab and Haryana with the Delhi’s criminals, Babla was reportedly planning to raise funds to carry out terror activities in Delhi and Punjab, police said.“Babla was under pressure from his handler, KCF chief Paramjeet Singh Panjwar, to strike against India and revive their outfit’s presence in Delhi and Punjab. Panjwar is presently based in Pakistan and running anti-India activities allegedly with Pakistan’s intelligence agency ISI’s help,” said a crime branch officer.indianexpress
Build separate crematoriums for Dalits: Gujarat Assembly Panel
Gujarat govt  should build separate crematoriums for Dalits in those villages where the community is still facing problems, the Scheduled Castes Welfare Committee of the Gujarat Assembly has suggested.Assembly panel, which serves as watchdog of welfare schemes being run by various govt departments for SCs in Gujarat, also recommended reservation system for the recruitment in self financed colleges in Gujarat.These suggestions were made in 2 of the committee's reports tabled on the floor of House on 20 March. In it's scrutiny report on the welfare schemes for SCs run by the state Panchayats, Rural Housing and Rural Development department, Assembly panel said Dalits are facing problems in conducting last rites of their family members in those villages where there are separate crematoriums for various castes.PTI
Visit to study crime scene: Gujarat HC judges likely to visit Naroda Patiya riot site
Ahmedabad:A division bench of the Gujarat High Court is likely to visit Naroda Patiya this Saturday to understand geographical location of the scene of offence where 97 Muslims were massacred on Feb28, 2002, during the post-Godhra riots.The bench, comprising Justice Harsha Devani and Justice AS Supehia, has asked lawyers representing the Supreme Court appointed-SIT, which probed the case, to make necessary arrangements. A senior lawyer representing the SIT said the bench is yet to pass a formal order, but has orally instructed SIT officials to remain present at the spot on Saturday morning. The bench is hearing a set of appeal petitions moved by 30 convicts, including former BJP minister Maya Kodnani and Bajrang Dal leader Babubhai Patel alias Babu Bajrangi who have been sentenced to life imprisonment. The appeal also includes petitions moved by the victims and the SIT for enhancement of sentences and also against the acquittals.“We have been orally told by the bench that it wants to visit the scene of offence to understand the geographical location. There is a provision in criminal cases where judges can visit the crime scene for better understanding of cases,” said senior counsel Prashant Desai, who represents SIT in the court.The victims have narrated how a mob of 15,000 to 20,000 attacked the Muslims and went on killing spree, raping women and destroying properties. indianexpress
VHP-run vedic school in Allahabad joins hands with Muslim scholars to teach students: indiatoday
New Delhi:A Vedic school in Allahabad being run by the fringe group VHP is all set to undergo a 'virtual' metamorphosis with the help of a Muslim organisation.Students at Maharshi Bhardwaj Ved Vedang Shikshan Kendrais will soon be taught by Islamic scholars as the school has joined hands with Gujarati businessman Zafar Sareshwala's educational project Taleem-o-Tarbiyat.Acharya Pankaj Sharma, principal of the school, said, "Taleemo-Tarbiyat came up with the proposal to teach our scholars English, social science and computers. Though we teach our students in Sanskrit, we are open to the idea of Muslim scholars teaching our students in subjects which will enable them to have better understanding and perspective of life, making them more capable."Sareshwala,a close aide of PM Modi, had initiated the project to provide a virtual classroom to students of Madrasas in 6 towns across India. It aims to teach students only reading the Quran lessons in English, science and math.Sareshwala said, "Our aim was to bring Taleemo-Tarbiyat to Madrasas.But Vedic school is similar as only vedas are taught. Student is a student, the religion is irrelevant. We are looking at a tie up soon," he said.
UP: To avoid 'trouble' for kin, teen Hindu-Muslim couple kill selves
Shahjahanpur: For more than 4 months, Feroz Ahmed, 19, and Gunjha Sharma, 18, of Badagaon village in Powayan near here had been in a relationship. Over this time, they had come under increasing pressure from their respective families, who objected to fact that they were from different religions. According to their family members, the young couple had started feeling that, given the situation in the state, their relationship was going to bring trouble to their families. On Tuesday morning, near the railway station at Bantara here, in front of shocked eyewitnesses, the teenagers hugged each other, after which Feroz shot Gunjha in the head and then killed himself with a pistol.In the immediate aftermath of the couple's death, the first reaction of the police was to suspect that it was a case of honour killing, because of the religions of the boy and the girl. However, eyewitnesses informed the police how the teenagers hugged each other before Feroz shot Gunjha dead and then turned the pistol on himself.timesofindia
Muslims of Rajasthan village boycotted after man elopes with Hindu woman:HT
Jaipur:A mahapanchayat in Rajasthan’s Hanumangarh district has decided to boycott Muslims of a village after a man eloped with a Hindu woman, described by Hindu right-wing groups as a case of ‘love jihad’.Police confirmed the development but said they were trying to convince village heads to withdraw the boycott in Gudia, a Muslim-dominated village about 400 km from state capital Jaipur.HT
No council in 11 yrs, Jamia calls for polls amid uproar
Jamia Millia Islamia, which has not held student union elections since 2006 over allegations by the university that student representatives had started interfering in administrative work, plans to have elections for a Jamia Student Council (JSC) this year — albeit only for class representatives. The administration’s move, which has been severely criticised by students, states that only CRs can contest for the main offices — president, vice-president, general secretary and joint secretary.There are 2 CRs per det — one to be elected through a secret ballot, and the other is the class topper.
If Muslim quota increased, a Yogi will emerge in Telangana too: BJP
Warning the Telangana govt  against increasing reservation quota to Muslims in jobs and education in proportion to their population, a BJP MLA today said that a Yogi will emerge in this state too if TRS govt  goes ahead with its proposal to increase Muslim reservation from the current four %  to 12 % .Referring to the recent anointment of Yogi Adityanath, the hardline BJP leader, as UP CM, BJP MLA N.V.S.S. Prabhakar said, “If Muslims are provided the quota, another Yogi will emerge in Telangana.” indiatvnews
WORLD
US, UK impose ban on laptops, tablets in some flights from Middle East; social media calls out racism
US has banned large electronic devices onto flights bound for the country, citing it as an anti-terrorist precaution. Hours later, UK followed suit. The ban has been imposed on flights from certain countries in the Middle East and North Africa, as well as Turkey. Ban does not affect mobile phones, however, devices larger than a smartphone, that is phablet, tablets and laptops will no longer be allowed in the flight cabins.The airlines affected by the US, UK restriction are British Airways, EasyJet, Jet2, Monarch, Thomas Cook, Thomson, Turkish Airlines, Pegasus Airways, Atlas-Global Airlines, Middle East Airlines, Egyptair, Royal Jordanian, Tunis Air, Saudia, Saudi Arabian Airlines, Kuwait Airways, Royal Air Maroc, Qatar Airways, Emirates and Etihad Airways. Passenger on these flights would not be able to carry laptops in cabin luggage on inbound direct flights from Turkey, Lebanon, Jordan, Egypt, Tunisia and Saudi Arabia.
Muslim advocacy group seeks broader injunction against Trump's travel-ban;AP
A judge is weighing a request from a Muslim civil rights group for an even broader injunction against President Donald Trump's proposed travel ban than what is already in place. Federal judges in Hawaii and Maryland have issued orders that already block the vast majority of Trump's revised ban, which would restrict immigration from refugees and from six majority-Muslim countries.At a hearing in Alexandria, lawyers for the Council on American-Islamic Relations asked a judge to issue an injunction blocking the entire executive order. Lawyer Gadeir (geh-DEER') Abbas said a section of the order affecting how waivers are granted for visa applicants remains in force.
Muslims more satisfied with US than any religious group: poll
Almost half of their children face bullying at schools. They're twice as likely to face additional screening at airports. Yet Muslims in the US  are the religious group most satisfied with the nation's trajectory, a new survey found.The American Muslim Poll 2017 comes from the Institute for Social Policy and Understanding, a nonprofit focused on American Muslims, found Muslims and Jews are most likely to express fear for their personal safety after the election of President Trump. The study showed both Muslims and Jews reported higher levels of fear and anxiety than other faith groups because of the election results, with 38% of Muslims and 27% of Jews expressing fear for their safety because of white supremacist groups.UsaToday
Trump administration to host first anti-ISIL meeting
Foreign ministers from 68 countries will meet in Washington on Wednesday to agree on the next steps to defeat ISIL, the first such gathering of the US-led military coalition since the election of President Donald Trump in November.US Secretary of State Rex Tillerson and Defense Secretary Jim Mattis are expected to host Iraq's PM  and diplomats from the coalition partners in a meeting at the State Department. Aljazeera
Trump pledges support to Iraq in fight against IS:PTI
Deadly air raid hits refugee shelter near Raqqa: SOHR
Dozens of people were killed earlier this week in a suspected US-led coalition air raid that hit a school sheltering displaced people near Raqqa, ISIL's self-declared capital in Syria, according to a monitoring group.UK-based Syrian Observatory for Human Rights (SOHR) said on Wednesday that its contacts had counted at least 33 bodies at the site near the village of al-Mansoura, west of Raqqa.Group, which monitors Syria's war via a network of contacts on the ground, said it believed the air raid at the school-turned-shelter had been carried out by the US-led coalition fighting ISIL.The air raid early Tuesday morning was also reported by the activist-run Raqqa is Being Slaughtered Silently group, which said dozens of civilians were dead or still missing after the air raid.The US-led coalition has escalated its aerial campaign against ISIL around Raqqa this month, causing numerous civilian casualties. Aljazeera
Syria: 33 dead in US-led air strike as coalition meets today
Dozens of Mosul civilians killed by overnight US, Iraq airstrikes: Middleeastmonitor
Iraqi local and security sources have said today that dozens of civilians have been killed with dozens more wounded after airstrikes conducted by the Iraqi govt  and the US-led coalition against neighbourhoods in western Mosul.According to Al-Araby Al-Jadeed, the aerial bombardment lasted for most of last night in an attempt to facilitate further Iraqi govt  advances in areas of western Mosul held by Daesh militants. Airstrikes targeted Zanjabili, Rifai, Islah and Yarmouk neighbourhoods, as well as the Old City itself.The Iraqi govt  is predominantly backed by the US-led coalition, as well as Iran-backed Shia jihadists who fight under the banner of the Iraqi-sanctioned Popular Mobilisation Forces (PMF), as well as units loyal to the interior ministry. Local sources confirmed that no less than 50 civilians were killed, most of them women and children. Dozens more were wounded by the strikes.In addition to reports that at least 50 were killed in airstrikes in west Mosul today alone, Airwars’ statistics show that civilians are being killed in high numbers, and to a disproportionate level.
Water Day: Over half billion globally 'have no clean water'
More than half a billion people across the world lack access to clean water, with most of them living outside urban centres, according to an international charity.In a report released on Wednesday to mark World Water Day, WaterAid called for action to tackle existing challenges to water security and ensure reliable access to safe water."Today 663 million people globally are still without clean water and the vast majority of them - 522 million - live in rural areas," the report said. According to WaterAid, Papua New Guinea, Mozambique and Madagascar are among the countries worst off. aljazeera
Restored shrine at Jesus's tomb reopens in Jerusalem
The tomb where Jesus is believed to have been buried in Jerusalem's Old City has been unveiled again after months of delicate restoration work.The monument, which includes a 19th-century ornate edicule or shrine surrounding the tomb, is a key part of the Church of the Holy Sepulchre in Jerusalem's Old City.The tomb was formally reopened on Wednesday in a ceremony attended by religious leaders and donors, following a nine-month-long and $3.7m renovation led by the church's three main Christian denominations.The Greek Orthodox, Armenian and Roman Catholic denominations share custody of the church, but disputes between the three have led to renovations being delayed for decades.Al Jazeera's Imran Khan, reporting from East Jerusalem, said the group of churches controlling the site had previously been forced to agree on a restoration plan as the structure was deemed to be unsafe by authorities. "This is the first restoration that has taken place in about 200 years and is a considered as a historic event," he said. aljazeera
Israeli occupation most malignant in world:UN rapporteur
UN Special Rapporteur on the situation of human rights in the Palestinian territories occupied since 1967, Michael Lynk, has described the Israeli occupation as “the most malignant” in the world. The Canadian official added that perpetuating an alien rule over almost five million people, against their fervent wishes, inevitably requires the repression of rights, the erosion of the rule of law, the abrogation of international commitments and the imposition of deeply discriminatory practices.Lynk accused Israel of humiliating the Palestinians and intensifying the crackdown on human rights activists. He presented his report to the UN Commission on Human Rights and Human Rights Council during its latest session on Israel. Israeli and US diplomats boycotted the session dedicated to several UN reports criticising Israeli settlements, the blockade of Gaza and the excessive use of force against Palestinians.
Assad welcomes Russian mediation with Israel
Syrian President Bashar Al-Assad has welcomed Russia’s mediation with Israel after his forces fired an anti-aircraft missile at Israeli Air Force jets during an air strike in Syria last Friday. Assad said that Moscow could play an “important role” between Syria and its neighbour.Speaking to Russian journalists, the Syrian president said that Russia’s entire policy was based on international law, the UN Charter and UN Security Council resolutions. It can, therefore, discuss issues with the Israelis according to these criteria. He added that Russia could play a role in preventing Israel from attacking Syria again in the future.The president’s remarks came after comments by Israeli Defence Minister Avigdor Lieberman, in which he threatened to destroy the Syrian air defence system if it fired another missile at Israeli aircraft.Following the Israeli air force attack on a Syrian site near Palmyra, the Russian foreign ministry summoned the Israeli ambassador to discuss the incident. Israeli PM  Benjamin Netanyahu, meanwhile, said that the bombing targeted “sophisticated” weapons designated to be transferred to Lebanon’s Hezbollah militia.
Palestinian teen killed by Israeli fire in Gaza
A Palestinian teen has been killed and two other men wounded by Israeli fire in southern Gaza, according to health officials. Gaza Health Ministry spokesman Ashraf al-Qidra said 18-year-old Yousef Abu Athira was killed before dawn on Wednesday by Israeli artillery fire east of Rafah. aljazeera
Are past ties between India and Palestine being eroded?Maya Prabhu: aljazeera
UK Parliament Incident: Woman Dead, Others Treated For 'Catastrophic Injuries'
 One woman has died and other people are being treated for "catastrophic" injuries after an attack near parliament on Wednesday, British news agency Press Association reported, citing a junior doctor at a central London hospital. A policeman was stabbed, an assailant shot and several people injured on Wednesday close to Britain's Houses of Parliament in what police said they were treating as a terrorist incident.Reuters reporters inside the building heard loud bangs and shortly afterwards a Reuters photographer said he saw at least a dozen people injured on Westminster Bridge, next to parliament.The number of casualties was unclear. "Officers - including firearms officers - remain on the scene and we are treating this as a terrorist incident until we know otherwise," London's Metropolitan Police said in a statement.The House of Commons, which was in session at the time, was immediately suspended and lawmakers were asked to stay inside.Prime Minister Theresa May was safe after the incident, a spokesman for her office said. He declined to say where May was when the attack took place.The leader of the House, David Lidington, said in the chamber that an assailant who stabbed a policeman had been shot by police.NDTV
Shooting incident near UK Parliament: Cop stabbed, at least 12 people injured
Policeman stabbed, assailant shot at UK parliament
 Compiled and edited by Anwarulhaq (Released at: 7:45 PM)

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