Sunday, 2 April 2017

Evening NEWS DIGEST
02 April 2017: 04 Rajab 1438: Vol: 8, No:155
US govt report pans India over human rights violations citing Setalvad case, killing of 8 SIMI suspects in Bhopal
New Delhi:A US State Dept report has panned the Indian govt  over alleged human rights violations, citing the police case against activist Teesta Setalvad and encounter killing of 8 suspected SIMI activists in MP. The report on ‘Human Rights Practices in India for 2016’ also referred to restrictions on foreign funding of NGOs, including some whose views the govt  believed were not in the “national or public interest”, female genital mutilation and dowry-related deaths as human rights problems in the country.It mentioned about rejection of renewal of govt  permission to 25 NGOs to receive foreign funds, including senior lawyer Indrani Jaisingh’s ‘Lawyers Collective’ and US-based Compassion International’s 2 primary partners, noting that several voluntary organisations said these actions threatened their ability to continue to operate in India.It said the UN special rapporteur on freedom of assembly and association published a legal analysis claiming that Foreign Contribution Regulation Act (a law that governs foreign funding) did not conform to international law, principles, and standards, after which the Indian govt  was asked to repeal the Act. The report termed the police case against Setalvad, her husband Javed Anand and others for allegedly misusing donors’ fund as an instance of “govt al attitude regarding international and non-govt al investigation of alleged violations of human rights”. They were charged with embezzlement after donors claimed Setalvad, the founder of NGO Citizens for Justice and Peace, misused 1.5 million rupees (USD 22,500) collected for building a memorial to the victims of the Gulbarg Housing Society massacre during 2002 Gujarat riots.The killing of 8 suspected members of the outlawed SIMI in a police encounter after they escaped from Bhopal central jail also found a mention in the report under a sub-section “arbitrary deprivation of life and other unlawful or politically motivated killings”. The most significant human rights problems, as per the report, involved instances of police and security force abuses, including extra judicial killings, torture, rape and corruption, which remained widespread and contributed to “ineffective responses” to crimes, including those against women, children, and members of Scheduled Castes or Scheduled Tribes. Other human rights problems included disappearances, hazardous prison conditions, arbitrary arrest and detention, and lengthy pretrial detention, the executive summary of the report on Human Rights Practices in India alleged.“There were instances of infringement of privacy rights. The law in 6 states restricted religious conversion, and there were reports of arrests but no reports of convictions under those laws. Some limits on the freedom of movement continued,” it said.PTI
Why only madrasa students needed to get lessons on patriotism? Muslim bodies dub Govt-run MP Madrasa Board’s latest move as  highly discriminatory
Bhopal: A day after Madrasa Board announced the introduction of a syllabus on patriotism, the Co-ordination Committee for Indian Muslims (CCIM) Madhya Pradesh unit on Saturday strongly opposed the move of exposing "only" madrasa students to patriotism.Taking cognizance of the report published titled 'Madarsas to teach patriotism', a delegation of CCIM led by secretary Masood Ahmed Khan met the chairperson of MP Madrasa Board Syed Imauddin and raised their objection against the proposal sent to the govt  of India for its approval. Muslim leaders dubbed the move as highly discriminatory and said it should never be introduced in the state. In the meeting, CCIM members said that "the move could be seen as a discriminatory approach toward Muslims in the state.""If there is anything like teaching patriotism to students, then it should be meant for all students and mainstream schools. Why only single out madrasas?" the CCIM questioned, adding "instilling a sense of loyalty towards the country should then be taught to students throughout the country.""Why only madrasa students have been chosen to get lessons on patriotism? Does it mean that they are not loyal to their country by any chance? It clearly indicates that the govt doubts the credibility of madrasa students, which is extremely unfair," CCIM delegation asked the Madrasa Board chairman. The Muslim body's decision to oppose the govt 's move was supported by Jamat-e- Islami Hind, Jamiat-ul-Ulama-e-Hind, All India Muslim Law Board, All India Milli Council, All India Majils Tameer-e-Millat, Indian Union Muslim League, SDPI, Muslim Majlis Mashawrat, Jamiat ahl-e-Hadees, MP Muslim Vikas Parishad and others. The new syllabus, if approved by govt  of India would also have lessons on life stories of prominent leaders, including Narendra Modi, Shivraj Singh Chouhan, APJ Abdul Kalam, Pandit Deendayal Upadhyaya and others. Meanwhile, CCIM also appealed to other Ulemas to raise objections to such ideas, which they alleged are formed to malign the image of Muslims.TOI
MP Madrasa Board wants PM Modi biography in syllabus
Bhopal:BJP ideologue Deendayal Upadhyay, PM  Narendra Modi and Madhya Pradesh CM  Shivraj Singh Chouhan are among personalities whose short biographies could be taught in govt  recognised madrasas in MP. These figures, along with freedom fighters like Maulana Abul Kalam Azad and former president APJ Abdul Kalam, have found place in the draft syllabus being prepared by Madhya Pradesh Madrasa Board on the theme “Vatan Se Mohabbat Ka Islam Dharm Mein Kyan Mahatva Hai (What is the importance of love for country in Islam)”.Out of 7,401 madrasas in MP, 2,535 are recognised and allowed to teach modern subjects. Out of them 1,254 impart primary education and 1,281 have middle-level recognition. More than 2.30 lakh students are being taught in these recognised madrasas. BJP govt  said the revised curriculum will help students realise that Islam accords a high place to loyalty and love for country.
SLAUGHTERHOUSE,BEEF & POLITICS
Vote for me, I will ensure good beef: BJP candidate in Kerala by-election
New Delhi:Even as the BJP amended a bill reflecting stricter punishment for those found guilty of cow slaughter in Gujarat and initiated a crackdown on illegal slaughter houses in UP , its candidate in a by-election in Kerala is traversing a different path. N Sreeprakash, the party candidate in the upcoming Lok Sabha by-election in Malappuram, is promising voters that if elected, he will ensure the supply of good beef in the constituency. “There will be efforts from my side to ensure good-quality beef at clean abattoirs (if elected),” Sreeprakash told reporters at a ‘Meet the Press’ function. He blamed the Congress for enforcing ban on cow slaughter when it was in power in many states in the past. He said it was only illegal to consume beef in states where a ban on cow slaughter is in place. Sreeprakash’s frank admission comes a day after Chhattisgarh CM Raman Singh, BJP leader, said that anyone found committing gau hatya (cow slaughter) will be hanged. While BJP has pursued tough legislation and action on those committing cow slaughter in the northern and western states, it has been criticised of hypocrisy in states like Kerala and the northeast where consumption of beef is not illegal.indianexpress
BJP candidate for Kerala Lok Sabha bypoll promises quality beef if elected
UP slaughter ban hikes meat price and demand in Punjab, Haryana
Chandigarh: With the closure of slaughter houses in UP after the clamp down on illegal butchering of animals in the State, the demand and prices of chicken has hiked in both Punjab and Haryana.A supplier, requesting anonymity, said that around 350 truckloads of birds are sent to Delhi daily from Punjab and Haryana. From these, 150 trucks are sent to the Gazipur Mandi in Delhi and the rest to other places where the birds are slaughtered. Each truck carries three tones- 1500 to 1800 birds, to 5 tones- 2000 to 2500 birds.“Earlier, these birds were being sent to Delhi and then from there to other parts of the country, mainly UP where they were slaughtered and then sold. Now, as the slaughter has stopped in UP  these birds are slaughtered and dressed  in Delhi’s Gazipur Mandi and other places, then sent to UP,’’ he says. newindianexpress
After meat ban chicken, mutton sold like drugs in Ranchi
Ranchi: The govt's order to clamp down on unlicenced meat shops and slaughterhouses across the state have thrown open a new black market of mutton and chicken in the state capital.A mutton shop in Morabadi and Ratu Road and a few chicken shops in Dipatoli area continued selling popular meat items from their backdoor. timesofindia
Meat sellers protest at Dhanbad civic office
UP: 38 cow carcasses found in farmhouse of additional chief medical officer JN Mishra, owner booked
Agra:Police have recovered 38 carcasses of cows, buried under the ground, and rescued another dozen cows and calves from the farmhouse of an additional chief medical officer (ACMO) in Bahraich district’s Fakharpur area late Friday. The operation followed a tip-off from local Hindu Yuva Vahini members, said police, adding that a small Ayurvedic medicine manufacturing unit was also found operating inside the farmhouse in Maraucha village.Following this, police booked ACMO J N Mishra — posted at Bahraich District Hospital — under Prevention of Cruelty to Animals Act. He was also detained but was allowed to go on Saturday, said a police officer. “Further investigation will find out how the animals died and also, if some of them were being used to manufacture medicines,” the officer added.During questioning, Mishra reportedly told police that he was trying to develop his farmhouse as a gaushala and hence, villagers used to leave their sick cows with him. The bodies were of sick cows and none were killed, he claimed.Bahraich ASP Dinesh Tripathi, who was part of the operation, said:“Farmhouse has been sealed and an FIR has been lodged against the ACMO on a complaint filed by Hindu Yuva Vahini’s Swami Chinmayanand Maharaj.” “No arrest has been made so far, as the drug inspector claimed that all medicines found at the spot were ayurvedic… there were also some medicinal plants. It is yet to be confirmed whether cow organs and parts were used in making the drugs. Samples have been collected and sent for lab test,” he added.When contacted, Kaiserganj SDM Amitabh Yadav said: “We were informed by some members of an organisation that a large number of cows were being regularly killed at the farmhouse. They alleged that body parts and organs of the cows were being used to prepare medicines in the manufacturing unit. We found carcasses of 38 cows after digging up the ground and also rescued a dozen cows and calves who were in a starved condition.” indianexpress
Carcasses of 40 cows recovered from farmhouse in UP
Gujarat: BJP organises ‘gau pujans’ to celebrate passage of Bill against cow slaughter
Ahmedabad:Maldhari community members belonging to the BJP gathered at various places in Gujarat to celebrate the passage of a Bill providing for harsher punishment for violation of cow slaughter ban in the state. In Gandhinagar, there were gau pujan rituals, led by BJP leaders. “They fed them sukhdi, gur and lapsi. They also burst crackers at many places,” said state BJP spokesperson Bharat Pandya.State BJP president Jitu Vaghani, organising general secretary Bhikhubhai Dalsaniya, Gandhinagar MLA Ashok Patel and office-bearers of the city and district party organisation, besides religious leaders were present at the time of cow worship. They also commended the state govt  for its decisive action against the violation of cow slaughter ban, Pandya said. indianexpress
UP lays down strict guidelines for meat business
Agra: The daunting new rules stipulated for a green signal could wipe the small shops out, perhaps many of the big ones too. From transporting meat only in insulated freezer vans to health certificates for all workers, forbidding meat shops anywhere near religious places and vegetable markets to strict FSDA compliance to steel knives, the UP  govt  has sent out an elaborate list of dos and don'ts for meat shop owners, to be enforced by all district administrations.The requirements are so constricting and specific, and have such an exhaustive list of necessary infrastructure and permissions, said meat shop owners, that small shops in the state will have neither the financial ability nor manpower to operate any longer.TOI
Meat and milk are two sides of the same coin: Rajeev Gupta, a dairy farmer in Agra
Prolonged non-availability of meat may cause resentment among students: AMU VC
Aligarh: AMU VC Lt Gen Zamer Uddin Shah on Saturday said prolonged non-availability of meat could manifest in "resentment" as buffalo meat is the "staple diet" of students and set up a committee to manage supply of essential items to all messes. timesofindia
2 years after Maharashtra's beef ban, Mumbai's Qureshi butcher community struggles with poverty
For the past week, Naeem Qureshi, a meat shop owner in Mumbai, has been receiving calls from distressed relatives in Amroha, his hometown in UP, with news that he finds worryingly familiar.Qureshi comes from a community of traditional kasais, or butchers, involved in the meat business across most of India. Up till last week, his relatives in Amroha also ran meat shops, selling bada gosht, or buffalo meat, to local restaurants and families. But with the new BJP govt in UP  ordering a crackdown on illegal slaughterhouses in the state, their businesses have virtually shut down.Since Tuesday, following UP’s lead, other BJP-ruled states like Rajasthan, Uttarakhand, Chhattisgarh and MP have also started shutting down some slaughterhouses and meat shops found without requisite licenses.“UP govt keeps saying they are closing only illegal slaughterhouses, but we know from our people that legal ones are being forced to shut too,” said Qureshi, sitting with a group of fellow butchers in Mumbai’s Bandra bazaar. “If this goes on, people in UP are going to be in a worse condition than we have been in for two years.” Scroll.in
OTHERS
Krishna was legendary eve-teaser: Prashant Bhushan in reference to 'anti-Romeo squads' in UP
New Delhi: Ex-AAP leader Prashant Bhushan today fell afoul of the Hindutva squad thanks to his tweet commenting about UP  CM  Adityanath's new 'anti-Romeo squads'.The 'anti-Romeo squads' are supposed to crack down on 'eve teasing.' And 'eve teasing' is the benign term used in India for sexual harassment. Bhushan, who's also a public interest lawyer and founder of Swaraj Abhiyan, said there are fictional gods in Hindu myths that are looked upon indulgently despite their being 'eve teasers'. timesofindia
Bhushan calls Krishna 'legendary Eve teaser,' asks if Adityanath will call his teams 'Anti-Krishna squads'
Muslim leader files complaint against Bhushan for Hurting Hindu Sentiments
New Delhi: Congress spokesperson in UP Zishan Haider on Sunday filed a police complaint against senior lawyer and Swaraj Abhiyan leader Prashant Bhushan for his tweet taunting state CM  Yogi Adityanath if he would name the "anti-romeo squads" after Krishna. The police complaint filed by a Muslim leader against hurting "Hindu sentiments" in an issue close to BJP has made many commentators wondering if there was a political angle to it.News18.com
BJP leader files complaint against Bhushan for 'derogatory' tweet against Krishna
Fears in India over spread of 'Taliban-like' moral policing amid crackdown on meat, romance: Telegraph UK
Controversial “anti-Romeo” squads to police and control young couples in public are spreading across India after they were introduced by the firebrand Hindu leader of the country’s largest state, UP .The squads of plain-clothed and uniformed police officers have been accused of “Taliban-like" moral policing by patrolling public spaces to prevent men from loitering near women. The authorities claim they are only trying to protect women from sexual harassment.The patrols were launched just over a week ago on the orders of Yogi Adityanath, 44, a right-wing Hindu monk repeatedly accused of fanning religious tensions and who was jailed for 15 days in 2007 on charges of inciting riots, but who now rules a state of over 200 million people. telegraph
'Love' kills more in India than terror:TOI
Terror killed 20,000 people between 2001 and 2015. On the other hand, 'love' emerged as the officially recorded reason for 38,585 murders and culpable homicide cases and 79,189 suicides. Further, 2.6 lakh kidnapping cases were also filed in the same period with marriage being motive behind 'abducting' women. The math comes down to the following - love was responsible for 6-times the deaths caused by terror attacks.
Adityanath can build a temple 'inside' every mosque: Omar Abdullah lashes out at UP CM
National Conference (NC) working President Omar Abdullah has lashed out at UP  CM  Yogi Adityanath asserting that he is capable of building a temple inside every mosque, potentially creating chaos across the country."The minister that BJP has selected has never been true to his words. Yogi Adityanath is someone who can build temple inside every mosque, this is never going to unite the country but rather break it soon. So why does CM  of J&K  Mehbooba Mufti have to join hands with them," said Abdullah.Abdullah further stated that the PDP needs to be blamed for the current volatile situation in the Valley, instead of working on the security structure Mufti is making friendly ties with BJP."What Kashmiris underwent in 2016 or are facing now is beyond comprehension and expression. PDP had pushed Kashmiri youth to the wall and robbing them of an opportunity to live with peace and dignity. Rather than looking at the security structure Mehbooba Mufti is making friendly ties with BJP," said Abdullah.Abdullah further stated that the anti-people policy of the PDP-BJP indulgence has brought Kashmir at the volatile cross roads of history where nothing is visible except fear and harassment.DNA
Adityanath once said he will build temples in place of every mosque: Omar Abdullah
Will Adityanath offer Namaz, asks Azam Khan
Rampur: Azam Khan asked UP  CM  Yogi Adityanath if he would “prefer to offer namaz”, as he had earlier said it was similar to surya namaskar.Reacting to Adityanath’s remark that the prayers offered by Muslims resemble different postures of surya namaskar, Khan said: “He would have been handcuffed had he made such comments.”“Since you find similarities between surya namaskar and namaz, will you prefer to offer namaz?” he asked the CM . siasat
EVMs ‘poll’ in favour of BJP in MP bypoll, Chief Election Officer asks not to report in media: jantakareporter
In a development that could give credence to allegations of election fraud, an EVM machine with VVPAT attached, to be used for 9 April bypoll in MP’s Ater has been found to be designed to only vote in favour of the BJP candidate.The video of Madhya Pradesh’s Chief Electoral Officer, Salina Singh, carrying out inspection of EVM machine in the constituency has now gone viral.In the video (below), Singh is seen being surrounded by several election officials who try to test the accuracy of the machine by pressing the number four button of a VVPAT machine. However to everyone’s utter shock, the paper receipt showed the vote had in fact gone in favour of the BJP, whose election symbol, lotus, was against the first button and number four. When questioned, Singh asked the reporters not to report incident adding that the act could land them in jail.
Akhilesh seeks probe into EVMs as machine in MP dispenses only BJP slips
Lucknow: Samajwadi Party president and former UP  CM  Akhilesh Yadav on Saturday demanded an inquiry after a paper audit trail machine attached to an EVM in Madhya Pradesh dispensed slips only of the BJP.“There should be an inquiry after the electronic voting machine in MP were only dispensing BJP slips,” Akhilesh said in a tweet.HT
AASU, indigenous groups warn Centre against settling Hindu Bangladeshis in Assam
Guwahati:All Assam Students’ Union (AASU) and 29 other organizations representing various indigenous and ethnic communities of Assam on Saturday warned the BJP-led govt s at the Centre and in the state against trying to settle Hindu Bangladeshis who had arrived after 1971, and said these groups would not allow any such “conspiracy” to reduce the indigenous communities into a minority.“BJP, which came to power by promising to protect the indigenous communities by raising the slogan of jaati-maati-bheti, is now conspiring to reduce these communities of Assam into a minority by settling Hindu Bangladeshis who came after 1971. We will thwart all such attempts,” AASU general secretary Lurin Jyoti Gogoi said at a huge rally held here on Saturday.AASU chief advisor SamujjalBhattacharyya on the other hand said the Sarbananda Sonowal govt  must ensure protection of the interests of the indigenous and ethnic communities against the onslaught of Bangladeshis.“A Bangladeshi is a Bangladeshi irrespective of his or her religious affiliation.Assam Accord has clearly stated that only those who came before March 25, 1971 will be accepted. Sonowal must respect and abide by the Assam Accord,” he said. “Assam has taken enough burden of displaced population since the time Partition. It cannot take even one person more now,”AASU advisor said. indianexpress
Assam: AASU protest against granting citizenship to Hindu migrants from Bangladesh
Aadhar Card data has been leaked online! Modi Govt  finally admits Aadhaar can be hacked
The unique identification number issued by the govt , Aadhaar, has been growing to become an integral part of our day to day life. From getting admission for children in schools to paying our annual income tax, Aadhar Card had become mandatory for every process in India. However, the downside of storing this biometric data has been unveiled which brings back people’s fear of the dark web. According to a Ministry of Electronics and IT that has been leaked online, Aadhaar has been hacked, and the data of various Aadhar card holders has been leaked online.The picture of this official letter of Ministry of Electronics and Information Technology was first shared by The New Indian Express and has since gone viral on the internet. The letter has PM  Modi’s govt  finally accepting that various Aadhar details have been leaked online. india
J&K: Separatists call shutdown against PM Modi's visit to inaugurate India's longest tunnel; normal life affected
Normal life was affected in Kashmir Valley due to strike called by separatist groups against PM  Narendra Modi's visit to the state for inauguration of Chenani-Nashri tunnel, the longest in the country, on Srinagar-Jammu national highway.Most of the shops, business establishments and fuel stations were shut in Srinagar summer capital of the state, officials said.However, they said, weekly flea market, locally known as Sunday market, was open as many vendors had set up their stalls along TRC Chowk-Batamaloo axis through Lal Chowk. The officials said most of the public transport was off the roads, while private cars, cabs and auto-rickshaws were seen plying normally in many areas of the city here.Similar reports were received from other district headquarters of the Valley, they said. Asking people to observe a general strike, the separatists - chairmen of rival factions of Hurriyat Conference, Syed Ali Shah Geelani and Mirwaiz Umar Farooq, and JKLF chief Yasin Malik - in a joint statement on Thursday had said "all rhetoric about development or construction of tunnels and roads are futile and will not succeed in luring us".The separatists said Kashmir is a "political issue and not a problem related to governance, economic packages, incentives or a law and order".PTI
PM Modi inaugurates India’s longest Chenani-Nashri tunnel, dedicates it to the nation
Terms like 'Muslim terrorists' wrong: Dalai Lama
Guwahati:Tibetan spiritual leader Dalai Lama today strongly disapproved of terms like "Muslim terrorists" saying he feels immensely "uncomfortable" at such usage. Dalai Lama expressed his aversion to the negative, community-specific terminologies, while speaking at a platinum jubilee anniversary function of 'The Assam Tribune' group of newspapers here.PTI
Even Muslims have realised terrorism is an attempt to defame Islam: Rajnath
New Delhi:  Asserting that security forces are giving a befitting reply to the terrorists, Union Home Minister Rajnath Singh on Sunday said even the Muslims have realised that terrorism is an attempt to defame Islam.“The security forces are giving befitting reply to the terrorists. Even the Muslims have realised that terrorism is an attempt to defame Islam. The security forces are responding to terrorism in an appropriate manner. The entire country is united against terrorism,” said Singh.ANI
District administration orders probe into death of terror suspect Saifullah
Lucknow: Lucknow district administration on Saturday ordered a magisterial probe into the death of terror suspect Saifullah, who was killed on the outskirts of UP  capital on March 8 after 12 hours long of anti-terror operation.“A magisterial inquiry into the death of slain terrorist Saifullah has been ordered by the Lucknow district administration on the request of UP ATS,” ADM (Lucknow West) Jai Shankar Dubey said.He said that SDM Lucknow (Sadar) would be conducting the magisterial probe.“The probe will be comepleted in one month, after which a report would be submitted to the UP  govt ,” Dubey said.PTI
Ahmedabad blasts:12-day police custody for Yasin, Assadulla
Ahmedabad:Prime accused Yasin Bhatkal behind 2008 serial blasts at Ahmedabad was on Saturday remanded in police custody for 12 days. Yasin was sent to the police custody by Additional Chief Metropolitan Magistrate AS Vyas along with co-accused Assadulla Akhtar after they were produced in the court. The two were brought to the city yesterday by the state’s Crime Branch on a transit remand from Delhi’s Tihar jail.The police sought the duo in 14-day remand, saying the two were not cooperating with the investigators.PTI
‘Yes, Muslims condemn terror’: This woman proves it with 712-page Google doc
Why don’t Muslims condemn terrorism, a classmate asked 19-year-old Heraa Hashmi during an argument. It’s a question Muslims are often asked, and one that they are weary of answering again and again. “I told him “You are completely wrong,” says Heraa, in an email interview with Hindustan Times. “We do, but our voices are suppressed. And we don’t agree with the violent ideology of those on the fringe, but it’s not our fault if the public doesn’t hear it.”Her classmate, however, remained unconvinced and a frustrated Heraa returned home, only to hit upon the perfect way to counter prove her point: creating a 712-page Google document, compiling 5,000 entries of Muslims across the world condemning acts of terror. Heraa, who was born in Bihar but moved to the US with her parents as a child, studies Molecular Biology at the University of Colorado in Boulder. One of the things that contributed to her single-mindedness in executing the project was the political climate in the US, where as a minority you become answerable for the actions of fringe elements in your community.HT
Bhojpuri film on Babri gets banned by censor board
Bhojpuri superstar Khesari Lal Yadav probably didn’t know what he was getting into when he decided to do a film called Babri Masjid. A crude and kitschy take on the politics of communalism in Ayodhya, the film has been unceremoniously banned by the Censor Board Of Film Certification (CBFC).
JNU moves HC to restrain students from holding protest
New Delhi:JNU administration has moved the Delhi High Court seeking direction to restrain its students from staging any demonstration within 100 metres of administrative block.PTI
Haryana to provide Rs 21,000 to families for third girl child
Chandigarh: Haryana govt will provide one-time grant of Rs 21,000 to all those families whose third girl child was born after August 24, 2015, under the Aapki Beti, Hamari Beti scheme. The eligible families will receive the amount irrespective of their caste, creed, religion, income and number of sons, an official release issued on Saturday said.The scheme is aimed to combat the problem of declining child sex ratio and promote girls’ education in the state.PTI
 ‘Haj subsidy is albatross around our neck’
Now that newly-elected UP's Waqf and Haj minister Mohsin Raza has spoken against the "misuse" of Haj subsidy (earlier union minister for minority affairs Mukhtar Abbas Naqvi called it a blot on Muslims), the issue of Haj subsidy is back in the spotlight. Most Muslims wants to do away with the subsidy which sangh parivar has called it a "tool of minority appeasement.""The subsidy amount goes to the airfare for Haj pilgrims which is much higher than the normal airfare for a return journey to Jeddah from India. Subsidy is an albatross around Muslims' neck and must end," says Yusuf Ahmed Kherada of Al Khalid Tours and Travels. "Get a global tender for Haj travel and the airfare will reduce."A five-member committee, headed by secretary of Parliamentary Affairs Afazl Amanullah, is looking into whether subsidies have benefits and if pilgrims can travel paying less if there is no subsidy at all. "It is true the Supreme Court wants subsidy to end by 2022 and we are taking a wider perspective of the Haj policy," says Kamal Farooque, a member of the panel. timesofindia
President lays foundation stone of Haj House in Ranchi
Media owners being controlled by Modi govt, stories getting killed: Chidambaram
Bengaluru: P Chidambaram alleged that there was a “pervasive, systematic and infringed control” over the owners of media by the Narendra Modi govt .“Today, believe me, there is all pervasive, systematic infringed control over the owners of the media. You talk to any journalist in Delhi, they will tell you that. Stories are simply killed. This is a serious problem,” he said in an interaction after the launch of his book ‘Fearless in opposition - Power and Accountability’ in Bengaluru.PTI
What Mahatma Gandhi Said to Those Who Wanted Beef Banned in India:THE WIRE
Fake Nostradamus passages invented by Francois Gautier and published in TOI, Zee News, for Modi publicity: Pratik Sinha
WORLD
Russia's backing Taliban demand triggers controversy
Kabul:Days before a planned conference on Afghanistan in Moscow, Russia’s top diplomat has stirred a new controversy in an already complex situation by echoing the Taliban’s demand for foreign forces’ exit from the war-riddled country. Zamir Kabulov, Russian President Vladimir Putin’s special envoy for Afghanistan, said the Taliban’s longstanding demand for the exit of foreign forces from Afghanistan is ‘justified’. Russian envoy said none of Afghanistan’s neighbor is in support of the foreign military presence in Afghanistan.He also accused Washington of ‘sabotaging’ Russian efforts to help end the Afghan war by boycotting a Moscow meeting planned for mid-April.Afghan Ministry of Foreign Affairs  has declined to immediately comment on Kabulov’s remarks. Anadolu agency
As US Continues Its Longest War, Taliban Forges Russian Ties: Tanya Rohatgi
London attack: All 12 people detained, released without charge
All 12 people arrested in connection with the Westminster terror attack have been released without charge.A 30-year-old man detained on March 26 in Birmingham on suspicion of preparation of terrorist attacks was released on Saturday, Scotland Yard said.He was held on March 26, 4 days after Khalid Masood’s deadly attack which claimed the life of 4 victims, outside the Palace of Westminster. 11 other people previously arrested in connection with the investigation have been released without further action.Huffington Post
Custodian of Sufi shrine in Pakistan, arrested in killings of at least 20 visitors
 Islamabad:A custodian of a Sufi shrine in Pakistan’s Punjab province killed at least 20 people Saturday night, a district administration official said.The attack occurred in Sargodha, and four women were among the dead. The custodian, Abdul Waheed, and 4 others were arrested.Speaking with reporters, Deputy Commissioner Liaquat Ali Chatta said, “Abdul Waheed used club and knife to kill these people visiting the shrine. He has confessed that he killed the victims.”Chatta said an injured woman who fled the scene informed hospital staff of the attack, prompting police action.Waheed is said to be mentally unstable, Chatta said. The custodian is also said to have tortured devotees in an apparent effort to heal them.Killings have been reported during exorcism rituals at some shrines in the past, but such a mass killing would be unusual.
Arrests after 20 people killed at Sargodha shrine
Egypt court upholds 'terror group' designation for leading Muslim Brotherhood figures
Egypt's Court of Cassation rejected on Sunday an appeal by 18 Muslim Brotherhood members against an order placing them on an official list of "terrorist organizations."The appeal was filed by several leading figures in the now-banned Islamist group, including its supreme guide Mohamed Badie, along with Mohamed Mahdi Akef, Saad El-Katatny, Khairat El-Shater, Mohamed El-Beltagy, Essam El-Erian, Mahmoud Ezzat and Hossam Abu Bakr.Egyptian officials are expected to attempt to convince US President Donald Trump and his administration to declare Brotherhood a terrorist organization during President Abdel-Fattah El-Sisi's visit to Washington on Monday.
US ‘understands’ Israeli decision to build new settlement in W.Bank
US administration has said that it “understands” the Israeli cabinet’s decision to build a new settlement in the occupied West Bank, Times of Israel reported. middleeastmonitor
Israel arrests Islamic movement leader in dawn raid
Israeli police detained a leader of the Islamic Movement in northern Israel in a dawn raid on Sunday.  Suleiman Ahmad Agbaria, the former chief of Umm al-Fahm municipality, was arrested from his home in town,Israel Radio reported. Anadolu
254  killed as landslides devastate Colombia's Mocoa
At least 254 people have been killed and hundreds more are missing after torrential rains triggered severe flooding and mudslides in the city of Mocoa, in southwest Colombia.

 Compiled and edited by Anwarulhaq (Released at: 7:01 PM)


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