Thursday, 27 April 2017

Evening NEWS DIGEST
27 April 2017: 29 Rajab 1438: Vol: 8, No:176
3 soldiers, 2 militants killed in Kashmir’s Kupwara army camp attack: Civilian killed as army opens fire on protesters demanding militants’ bodies
Srinagar: An army captain and 2 soldiers were killed on Thursday when militants stormed a garrison in south Kashmir’s Kupwara, a defence official said. Hours after the attack, which ended in the killings of the 2 militants, a civilian was shot dead when forces opened fire on a crowd of protesters demanding the bodies of the camp attackers be handed over.In addition to the death of 50-year-old Mohammad Yusuf, 4 people were injured in the army firing. Sources said 5 injured soldiers have been shifted to a hospital in Srinagar.PTI quoted official sources to identity the dead army officer as Captain Ayush.The attackers, suspected to be fidayeen militants, sneaked into the camp before sunrise at around 4. Sources said the group of four militants are believed to have had crossed over from Pakistan.AP quoted army spokesperson colonel Rajesh Kalia as saying that the militants used guns and grenades to target soldiers northwest of Srinagar.The army cordoned off the entire area including a nearby forest area as bodies of only two militants have been retrieved so far. The attack is suspected to have been carried out by the Pakistan-based outfit Jaish-e-Mohammad. However, there was no independent confirmation of the incident and no rebel group has issued any statement so far.The attack came amid heightened tension across the valley since April 9, when 8 people including 7 students were killed by police and paramilitary forces during bypolls to the Srinagar Lok Sabha constituency.On Wednesday, J&K  Govt  ordered internet service providers to block Facebook, Twitter and 20 other social media sites and online applications for one month “in the interest of maintenance of public order”.The move came after after several videos and photos depicting alleged abuses of Kashmiris by Indian security forces sparked outrage and fueled protests.Students across Kashmir have been rallying this month at anti-India demonstrations, facing off against heavily armed riot police and paramilitary soldiers.HT
J&K:70-yr-old killed as army opens fire on stone pelters
3 soldiers, civilian killed in Kupwara attack; Army guns down 2 ultras
3 soldiers, 2 'rebels' killed in Kashmir: Aljazeera
Kashmir: Clashes erupt between security forces in Pulwama, students demanding release of peers
Srinagar:Clashes erupted in Pulwama town of south Kashmir on Thursday after students of Boys Higher Secondary School marched onto the streets, demanding release of their peers who were arrested on Wednesday.According to eyewitnesses, students staged protests inside the school and later marched towards the main chowk where police and paramilitary forces used tear gas to stop them.This triggered clashes between the students and the security forces forcing shopkeepers to lower their shutters.Meanwhile, district administration ordered for schools and colleges in Pulwama and Shopian to remain closed after violent clashes erupted in these areas in which five students sustained injuries.indiatoday
Muslim Majlis-e-Mushawarat urges Govt to initiate dialogue in Kashmir; asks youths to shun violence
New Delhi: While appealing the agitating youths and students in Kashmir Valley to shun violence and concentrate on studies to build their future, the All India Muslim Majlis-e-Mushawarat AIMMM, the representative body of Indian Muslims (confederation of sixteen major Muslim organizations) has urged the Govt  of India to give up policy of repression and excessive use of force and initiate unconditional dialogue with all stake holders on lines of former PM Atal Bihari Vajpayee policy.“Mushawarat firmly demands that the Govt  of India that should immediately give up policy of repression and excessive use of force and initiate unconditional dialogue with all stake holders on lines of former PM Mr. Atal Bihari Vajpayee policy. AIMMM further urges Govt  to give due considerations to Mr. Yashwant Sinha’s recommendations to solve the current crisis in the state”, said Mr. Navaid Hamid, President of All India Muslim Majlis-e-Mushawarat .AIMMM has expressed deep concern over the deteriorating law and order situation in Kashmir valley and continued cycle of violence for the past eight months.Mushawarat firmly blamed that Modi Govt  and the PDP- BJP coalition partner for their utter failure to bring about peace in the state. This the main reason for disquiet against the Govt among the people who are subjected to brutal use of excessive force.” Instead of reaching out to the protestors they are being dealt with force. All saner politician and defense experts including Former Army Chief Gen Malik, Lt Gen Panag and former GOC Lt. Gen Hooda pleaded for initiation of political dialogue with the all stake holders to end political crisis in the state. The centre had ignored their pleas as well as appeals of political groups. India is one of the greatest democracies in the world and the approach of our leaders should be to reach out to all those people who have remained away from the national mainstream, there is a need to apply balm to their wounds rather than further alienating them”, AIMMM president said.The other sad part of the crisis is that the youths in the valley also fail to understand that the key to the resolution of the crisis in state can be achieved through peaceful means and not by violent agitation. We all must walk on the path of peace and resume negotiation to find peaceful solution to the issue. Day by day the Kashmiri youth is feeling alienated because of the continuous attack on the students from Kashmir by hate mongers of RSS affiliated organizations in educational institutions mostly in BJP ruled states. Mushawarat appealed to the agitating youths and students in Valley to shun violence and concentrate on studies to build their future and reminds them that violence would not bring any resolution to crisis.INDIAN AWAAZ
Women police battalion may soon tackle stone pelters in Kashmir
Srinagar: Centre is set to raise an all-women India Reserve (IR) battalion consisting of around 1,000 personnel in J&K . The battalion will assist the state police and will primarily deal with incidents like stone pelting.The decision was taken in the Kashmir review meeting chaired by Union home minister Rajnath Singh in New Delhi on Thursday.The policewomen will be part of 5 India Reserved Battalions (IRBs), the central Govt  has already sanctioned.“The battalions are tasked by the state but a major chunk of expenditure is borne by the Centre. The Centre has now told the state Govt  to make one among the five an all-women battalion,” said a home ministry official privy to the decision. hindustantimes
Kashmir: Separatist leader Andrabi reportedly arrested
New Delhi:Separatist leader Asiya Andrabi, founder and leader of Dukhtaran-e-Millat, was arrested on Wednesday night, news agency PTI has confirmed, citing sources.
Centre releases Rs 19,000 crore for development in J&K
Centre has released an amount of Rs 19,000 crore out of the Rs 80,000 crore development package for J&K  announced by PM  Narendra Modi. This was disclosed at a high-level inter-ministerial meeting chaired by Home Minister Rajnath Singh here today, Home Ministry officials said.PTI
Utter uselessness of banning social media in Kashmir: Vidya Subramanian
‘People under foreign occupation’: Pakistan raises Kashmir at UN forum, India objects
India has strongly objected to Pakistan raising the Kashmir issue at a UN General Assembly session in New York, asserting that it is a bilateral matter which should not be brought up in the UN forum.Minister in Pakistan’s Permanent Mission to the UN Masood Anwar raised the Kashmir issue in his statement to UN General Assembly session of the Committee on Information on April 25. He said Pakistan appreciates the efforts by UN’s Dept of Public Information in arranging coverage of events related to the International Day of Solidarity with the Palestinian people.  “We would urge you to do the same for the people of Kashmir who continue to suffer under foreign occupation,” Anwar said.As soon as these remarks were made, Minister in India’s Permanent Mission to UN S Srinivas Prasad interrupted Anwar’s speech and strongly raised objections to the mention of Kashmir by the Pakistani delegate.“It is a bilateral issue which should not be brought here,” Prasad told the Chair of the session. Pak Ambassador to the UN Maleeha Lodhi, also present during the session, was heard prodding Anwar to “carry on” speaking even as Prasad raised his objections with the session’s Chair.PTI
China launches first home-grown aircraft carrier, catching up to India in naval power
New Delhi:China on Wednesday launched its first locally-built aircraft carrier, less than four years after the construction of the 70,000 tonne warship began at the Dalian shipyard.The Type 001A carrier is expected to be commissioned into the People’s Liberation Army Navy (PLAN) in two years as Beijing seeks to aggressively project its maritime power thousands of miles away from its shores.The Chinese carrier has been launched at a time when India is still struggling to build its first indigenous carrier Vikrant, being constructed at the state-owned Cochin Shipyard Limited.The construction of the Indian carrier began in 2009 and it was launched in 2013. The Indian Navy said the carrier would be commissioned in 2018 but a report by the national auditor contradicted the claim, stating that the project is years behind schedule. hindustantimes
Modi’s sub-regional road connectivity plan hits a hurdle after Bhutan backs out
New Delhi: PM  Narendra Modi’s ambitious sub-regional road connectivity plan involving Bangladesh, Bhutan, India and Nepal (BBIN) has hit a roadblock with Bhutan withdrawing the agreement from the agenda for its upcoming Parliament session.Bhutan took the decision, which threatens to further delay the project, on April 21. 4 countries had signed the motor vehicle agreement aimed at allowing seamless movement of passenger and cargo vehicles through each other’s territory at Thimpu in June 2015. However, all the nations involved have to ratify the pact for it to become operational. So far, only India, Bangladesh and Nepal have done so.“BBIN motor vehicle agreement is not likely to become operational anytime soon due to Bhutan Govt ’s latest move,” said a senior Union road transport and highways ministry official. Hindustan times
PERSONAL LAW RELATED ISSUES
India's Muslim women fight tradition and family for right to property, claims Reuters feature report
Lucknow: S habana was 18 years old when she was married to a man 15 years her senior, in the northern Indian state of UP. It wasn't long before he began beating her.Worried for her safety and that of her 2 young kids, Shabana begged her eldest brother to let her return to her parental home, where he now lived. He refused, saying her place was with her husband, and that she had no right over the home.The home was claimed by her brothers. Under Islamic law, Shabana and her two sisters were also entitled to a share of the property, but they were not aware of it. "My father had said he would leave me a share, but he did not leave a will, and I did not know I had a right," said Shabana, who asked that her last name not be used as she fears reprisal from her husband, who has refused a divorce."I thought I would have to live on the streets," she said, wiping off tears in the small beauty salon she runs to support herself and her children.It wasn't until Shabana approached a local women's group, Association for Advocacy and Legal Initiatives (AALI), that she gained the knowledge - and the courage - to ask for her share.It took 4 years of mediation by AALI before her brother allowed her to move into the house with her kids, she said.Other Muslim women in the country are less fortunate. Muslims are India's largest religious minority, making up more than 13% of 1.2 billion population.They are among the most excluded and marginalised communities, with social indicators such as education and employment lower than the national average.In matters of inheritance, marriage, family and divorce, Muslims are governed by their personal law, or the shariat.According to India's Shariat Act, women are entitled to half the man's share of property, but the rule does not apply to agricultural land. Some states have made provisions in their law to allow Muslim women to inherit land as well. Despite the law,it is local customs and traditions that determine inheritance rights for Muslim women across India. "Challenging inheritance rights means challenging the patriarchy, challenging the very notions of family and relationships," said Niti Saxena, an advisor at AALI who has studied Muslim women's property rights in UP .Fathers and sons are not willing to give married women a share of the parental property because they believe she belongs to the husband's family, and that she has already been compensated with a dowry at the time of her marriage, she said."Women, even if aware of their rights, are afraid that claiming their share will spoil their relations with the family. So they do not make a claim unless they are desperate - usually in the case of abuse or a divorce."Ownership of assets increases the value of a woman in the husband's household and reduces the violence she faces, a separate study by land rights advocacy group Landesa India showed.But women asking for a share in property faced violence and harassment, it said.
'Jamaat-e-Islam Hind never supported changes or reforms in personal law'
Vijayawada: Jamaat-e-Islam Hind AP vice-president M. Rafeeq on Wednesday said the organisation had never supported reforms and changes in the Muslim personal law.Referring to reports published in local media that Jamaat national vice-president Maulana Nusrat Ali had supported such reforms during his visit to Vijayawada on Tuesday. Rafeeq clarified that the views expressed by Mr. Ali “related to changes in the socio and economic condition of Muslims in India and not reforms in personal law”. Ali was speaking to local leaders and media after launching a mega campaign to create awareness on Sharia and Muslim Personal Law in the State. The campaign would be held from April 23 to May 7 in the State.the hindu
Jamaat takes up campaign on triple talaq, Muslim Personal Law in Telangana
Warangal: Jamaat-e-Islami Hind (JIH) has launched a campaign to create awareness among Muslim communities about Muslim Personal Law and the rules to be followed before choosing to divorce using triple talaq.The members of the JIH are touring the state to educate people about Muslim Personal Law and the misconceptions about it among people. They would be undertaking door to door campaign, organise seminars and talks, distribute literature explaining importance of following Sharia, besides organising group meetings, scholars’ meetings and public meetings in villages, district headquarters and cities.JIH would also set up counselling centres to educate people on Muslim Personal Law and its benefits. They would also hold meetings and round table conferences with non-Muslims to clarify their doubts and misconceptions on Muslim Personal Law.The organisation feels that there is nothing wrong with Muslim Personal Law and that a few people who are not aware of the real objective of it are misinterpreting and creating problem. Muslims have the “constitutional” right to follow their personal law, it said. JIH claims that the “propaganda” that a lot of women were affected by triple talaq is incorrect and misleading. “A few women are creating misconceptions on triple talaq and Muslim Personal Law. Most of Muslim women in the country are in favour of Muslim Personal Law.But those opposing it are trying to create an impression through media that almost all women are in favour of Uniform Civil Code,” claims JIH state president Khalida Parveen.  New Indian express
MP: JIH holding events to educate masses on Muslim Personal Law
Jabalpur: Jamaat-E-Islami Hind (JIH) holding series of events to educate masses on Muslim Personal Law by conducting nation-wide campaign. The nationwide campaign is being organised from April 23 to May 7. In order to educate Muslim society members about conduct as per Shariat Law and to protect them from misconduct that Muslims commit themselves which in turn presents a distorted image of Islamic law, said Mohammed Jafar Sahib, National Convenor of Awareness Campaign, while addressing a press conference, on Wednesday. He added that today a large segment of Muslim society suffers from ignorance about Islamic Family Laws and many in the community do not follow all the laws in their true letter and spirit. As different sections even Muslim community is not fully aware of real teachings of Islam. Rather they are usually misled by faulty conduct of Muslims themselves, added Mohd Jafar of Jamaat e Islami Hind. He added that equipping Muslims with authentic knowledge about Islam and their moral upliftment are priority of this campaign. Establishing a social mediation mechanism, JIH to initiate 3-phase system of settling family dispute amongst parties.In this learned represented of Muslim community having adequate knowledge of Muslim Personal Law will be given responsibility to counsel both parties to establish mutual consent for agreement.If not possible then at second level Shariyat Panchyats will be constituted to discuss issues at community level and in third point ‘Darul Kanzaa’ sort of Islamic court will be established to settle family disputes. If all the three fail then parties can go to court like they have option to plea before constitutional courts at any point of time.  The Hitavada     
Pune madrassa organises awareness meet on Muslim marriage
Pune: City-based Baitul Uloom madrassa led by religious scholar Maulana Tahir Hussain Sahab under the guidance of Mufti Mohammad Shakir organised a short training programme for the would-be brides and bridegrooms at Azam campus on April 25. The objective of the training programme was to make the youth and all the sections of the Muslim community aware about the Shariat based principles of marriage in Islam. A number of religious scholars, lawyers, students and Muslim intellectuals participated in the event organised in the wake of the triple talaq issue being discussed in the national media, said Mufti Shakir. The participants took home knowledge related to Islam and rights and duties of husband and wife in reciprocation to each other in the light of the Holy Quran. Shakir said "There is a dearth of Islamic knowledge with reference to marriage and how one should conduct on self pre and post marriage. Divorces have become the norm of the day and reconciliation has taken a backseat. We want to bring greater maturity amongst the community and at the same time make our non Muslim brothers aware about Islam. This training programme is the first step towards this goal."Mufti Shakir further said that a grass root programme is needed in educating Muslims and non-Muslims on the importance of marriage and keeping it intact for lifetime. He said that media was conveniently using the term triple talaq just as a cover to hide the other injustices being done to the citizenry and keeping people engrossed in a non issue. timesofindia
Ahmadiyyas come out against abolition of triple talaq:TOI
Amritsar: Ahmadiyya community of Punjab has questioned PM  Narendra Modi and UP  CM  Yogi Aditiynath's drive against triple talaq among Muslims and instead supported the procedure as enshrined in the Quran.A spokesperson of Ahmadiyya Jamat, India, Tariq Ahmad told TOI on Wednesday that triple talaq in a single session couldn't be justified. Stating that talaq was the most displeasing acts in the eyes of Allah, he alleged that due to the unjustified interpretation by so-called Muslim clerics the matter of talaq had become more displeasing.To support Ahmadiyya community's cause, Maqbool Ahmad and his wife Tahira Zahoor announced to begin a nationwide drive against attempts to abolish the practice of triple talaq. timesofindia
OTHERS
'Threat from Modi's nationalism' leads to abysmal rank for India in 'press freedoms' report
New Delhi: The "threat from (Narendra) Modi's nationalism" is the reason why global media watchdog 'Reporters Without Borders' (RWB) has ranked India an abysmal 136 of 180 countries in its "press freedom" report for 2017.According to the media watchdog, India, which slipped three places from last year, now ranks closer to China (176) - which doesn't even have an independent press corps - than it does to Norway (1). Even Afghanistan, Burma, Qatar and the UAE rank higher than India.To be sure, the report said press freedom has taken a huge hit around the world, with the US, UK and Canada too slipping in rankings. But that's precisely the danger highlighted by RWB - that is, that democracies like India and the US are no longer guarantors for freedom of the press. As RWB said - "Violations of the freedom to inform are less and less the prerogative of authoritarian regimes and dictatorships."A rising tide of nationalism around the world - exemplified by US President Donald Trump - is a big threat to freedom of the press in many democracies, including in India, the report said."With Hindu nationalists trying to purge all manifestations of "anti-national" thought from the national debate, self-censorship is growing in the mainstream media. Journalists are increasingly the targets of online smear campaigns by the most radical nationalists, who vilify them and even threaten physical reprisals," said RWB.The recent instances of Section 124a, or sedition, being invoked in India have also lead to increased self-censorship, according to RWB."Prosecutions are also used to gag journalists who are overly critical of the Govt , with some prosecutors invoking Section 124a of the penal code, under which 'sedition' is punishable by life imprisonment. No journalist has so far been convicted of sedition but the threat encourages self-censorship," the report said.The situation in troubled Kashmir - which has seen a spike in violence since security forces killed separatist Burhan Wani last year - also found a mention in RWB's analysis."On the first day of a wave of protests in Kashmir in July 2016, the Internet was cut by the military and was often interrupted thereafter to prevent communication between protesters and prevent coverage by the media and citizen journalists. Journalists working for local media outlets are often the targets of violence by soldiers acting with the central Govt 's tacit consent," said RWB.TOI
Turkish President Erdogan to visit India from April 30
New Delhi:  Within a couple of weeks since the Turkish constitutional referendum happened. Its President Recep Tayyip Erdogan is embarking on a two-day trip to India from April 30 accompanied by a huge business delegation.His visit assumes importance at a time when India is aggressively seeking a seat in the exclusive club of the Nuclear Suppliers’ Group (NSG), which Turkey had previously opposed.“We remain engaged with Turkey on NSG,” Ruchi Ghanashyam, Secretary (West), Ministry of External Affairs, told reporters here Thursday. thehindubusinessline
No objection to India's NSG membership: Turkish official
Ahead of Turkish President Tayyip Erdogan's visit to India this month-end, a senior Turkish official has said that his country does not have any objection to India becoming a member of the NSG. "I don't think Turkey has any objection to India joining the group," Ilnur Cevik, Senior Advisor to Erdogan, said in response to a question by IANS at a meeting on "India and Turkey's Place in the Rising World" organised by Turkish daily Sabah here on Wednesday evening. Setting aside all speculation about Turkey'ssupport for India's NSG membership bid, Cevuk said: "We feel that we also are interested in nuclear cooperation with India and all other peaceful countries that seek peaceful use of nuclear technology. So, I don't think Turkey at all has any objection to India's membership." IANS
India engaging Turkey, Cyprus, Armenia in tough balancing act:TOI
New Delhi: Indian diplomacy is in for a tough diplomatic balancing act this week, playing host to the Turkish and Cypriot presidents while Vice-President Hamid Ansari is visiting Armenia. Turkey doesn't recognize Cyprus, and Turkish president Tayyip Erdogan may be the single largest obstacle to the reunification of Cyprus (Northern Cyprus is under Turkish control).Ankara shows little inclination to remove over 30,000 of its troops stationed on the island. Vice-President Hamid Ansari is currently visiting Armenia whose relations with Turkey are even worse, stuck on the great Armenian genocide.On Tuesday, Ansari visited Tsitsernakaberd Memorial Complex in Yerevan, where he paid homage to the dead, placing India among those nations which agree with Pope Francis I that it was the first genocide of the 20th century. On April 30, PM Narendra Modi hosts the Turkish president, who has just won a referendum that has strengthened him with additional powers. New Delhi hopes that it will be able to change Ankara's mind on supporting its NSG membership bid, while also enhancing bilateral economic partnership.The engagements have kept the foreign office on its toes, especially in a part of the world where fragile geopolitics has a great bearing on ties.India is currently playing host to Cyprus president Nicos Anastasiades, who arrived in Mumbai on April 25 on a 5-day visit. On April 27, he will address a business forum and thinktank in the capital.
UP  ATS plans 'home-coming' program to de-radicalise youths from ISIS ideology to Indian nationalism
ATS of UP  has started a 'ghar wapsi' program to de-radicalise those youths who are inspired by the ideology of the ISIS terror outfit.The move by the security agency came after a joint sweeping operation was carried out and four suspected terrorists belonging to the ISIS Khorasan module were arrested while allegedly plotting a major strike.6 other suspects were taken into custody for interrogation. They were not arrested due to a lack of concrete evidence.According to IG, ATS, Aseem Arun, around 12 people across the state will be de-radicalised under this program. The program was named Ghar-Wapsi (home-coming) to convert radicalised youths into Indian nationalists.About 15-20 youths are being de-radicalised by the ATS, while over 100 sympathisers are under surveillance of several security agencies.According to a senior police officer, cops will de-radecalise with the help of family, friends and religious leaders.Even the Govt  will assist them in education, professional training and in getting jobs.He added that parents of candidate have been convinced that their wards need to undergo program by being shown videos and audio evidences.' During the process, time to time senior police officers have been meeting candidates and to counsel them if needed,' the officer said.According to senior ATS officers, these efforts started long back.Cops say most of the indoctrinated youths were unemployed and gave in to ideologies of the terror outfit.In the recent crackdown, evidence of self-indoctrination through internet were discovered.According to the official, the arrested youths were not directly working for any group, but were self-motivated, self guided and self-radicalised. daily mail
UP  ATS to run ‘Ghar Wapsi’campaign for misguided youth
Kin of terror suspects deny radicalisation
Lucknow: Mohammad Farooq had concluded namaz and was reading a holy Islamic text at home in his native Bijnor when news of Faizan’s arrest reached him. A relative informed him over phone.“I didn’t know how to react. My son had never had time for anything other than his work. He would not meet outsiders. He had no disputes with anyone,” Farooq, a mason, told The Hindu. Faizan or Mufti, as he is also known, was among the four persons arrested on April 20 on suspicion of plotting terror attacks. Farooq, however, says he saw no signs of suspicious activity or radicalisation in his son, who is a product of Deoband seminary. “I consider him innocent. We never found him inclined towards such things. We checked with the mosque where he was staying. They too say they never noticed any such tendency in him,” Farooq said.Faizan’s brother-in-law Kasim says that he was not even using an Android phone for the past few months. Family of Ahtesham, who was arrested along with Faizan, is also in shock. thehindu
Terror suspect Ghazi Baba was in touch with Punjab youths: ATS
Self-radicalised terror suspect Ghazi Baba, recently arrested from Jalandhar, is believed to have been in touch with some youngsters in Punjab and tried to rope them in for formation of a sleeper cell, say police."Ghazi Baba alias Muzammil was arrested in Jalandhar last Thursday by the UP ATS during a pan-India operation involving police of various states," a senior officer of UP ATS said. He said Ghazi Baba was reportedly in touch with a JeM operative.Ghazi Baba is among the four terror suspects arrested by UP ATS, other 3 being Umar alias Nazim (arrested from Mumbai), Muftii alias Faizan (arrested from Bijnore) and Zaqwan alias Ehtesham (arrested from Bihar's Narkatiyaganj).PTI
Suspected woman IS recruit to get bail from Kerala HC
Kochi: Bihar native Yasmin Ahmed, who was caught from the New Delhi airport last year while trying to leave for Afghanistan to allegedly join the Islamic State (IS), will be released on bail. NIA Court in Kochi issued her release order after bail was secured from the Kerala High Court. NIA officers said her release documents and bond execution paper had been sent to Women’s Jail, Thrissur, and she will be released once the bail is executed. Yasmin is lodged in the jail with her son.
Newindianexpress
Sadhvi Pragya: ‘Saffron terror’ a creation of  Chidambaram
Sadhvi Pragya Singh Thakur said the bogey of “saffron terror” and allegations against her resulted from a conspiracy hatched by the Congress Govt  at Centre and that torture by ATS had broken her physically and mentally but her soul was intact.
India warns against different approaches to Taliban & IS
New Delhi: India has issued a tacit warning about the danger of a policy of targeting the Islamic State in Afghanistan while making overtures to Taliban to join peace talks, saying such an approach could erode the gains made in the war-torn country. A policy of “zero tolerance towards violence and terrorism” and continued efforts to consolidate the Afghan Govt ’s capacity to deal with violence and promote development are essential, defence minister Arun Jaitley said in Russia during a speech at the Moscow Conference on International Security.Addressing an audience that included diplomats and leaders such Hamid Karzai, Jaitley said:“Facile assessments that imply there is a choice between the evil forces at play in (Afghanistan) are endangering the gains made by brave Afghan people with the support of international community over the past decade and more. Russia, China and Pakistan are among countries advocating peace talks with the resurgent Taliban. These countries have also suggested such an approach is necessary to counter IS. Afghan leaders, however, have expressed concern about these efforts. indianexpress
JNU sedition case: Delhi Police will question 31 students over 3 days
Delhi Police has asked 31 JNU students to make themselves available until April 29 for questioning in connection with the Feb.9, 2016, event, which had led to a case of sedition and the arrest of three students. A Special Cell of the Delhi Police’s Anti-Terrorism Unit has asked the varsity’s V-C to make arrangements for the interrogation at university’s administration block, official told Scroll.in.The list of JNU students includes former JNU students’ union Vice President Shehla Rashid and Rajya Sabha legislator D Raja’s daughter Aparajitha Raja. Officials said they had taken note of their presence during the February 9 event, which had been held to protest the hanging of Parliament attacks convict Afzal Guru. Scroll 
Kerala CM charges RSS of imparting kids, students training to ‘kill’
 Kerala CM  Pinarayi Vijayan on Tuesday alleged the RSS of imparted to students and children the training “to kill” during its drill exercise in the state, a charge dismissed by the saffron outfit.“Even students and children are given training to kill” Vijayan alleged Vijayan alleged while replying in the assembly during question hour.“Govt would take necessary steps to end the drill exercise of RSS”, he said.RSS rejected the allegations and said using the assembly form to “insult” the functions of RSS was an act of “cowardice.”PTI

Uttarakhand High Court issues notice to Election Commission on tampering of EVMs
Nainital:Uttarakhand High Court on Thursday issued notice to the Election Commission and state Govt  on a petition alleging tampering of EVMs in Dehradun’s Vikasnagar constituency. In the assembly polls held in Feb., BJP’s Munna Singh Chauhan had defeated former cabinet minister and Congress nominee Navprabhat by 6,418 votes.On the petition filed by Navprabhat, Justice Shailesh Kumar Gupta asked the Election Commission, its state unit, the state chief secretary, the returning officer of Vikasnagar and Chauhan to file their replies within 6 weeks. The high court also directed the judicial magistrate of Vikasnagar to seal and seize EVM machines “in his custody”. The petition alleged there was tampering and manipulation of the EVMs at Vikasnagar during the Feb.15 election.It was also alleged that many fake names were listed in the voters list in the constituency including Chauhan who was listed as a voter from two different places.PTI
Vaccination workers thrashed in Muslim areas in Jharkhand’s Dhanbad, Bokaro: hindustantimes
Dhanbad: The ongoing immunization drive against Japanese Encephalitis has stumbled upon a major roadblock in Muslim inhabited localities of Jharkhand’s coal belt Dhanbad and Bokaro districts.Superstitious mobs have taken immunization workers hostage and also thrashed them for ”forcibly” administering medicines to children to suppress their fertility and check the Muslim population.Justifying the manhandling incidents, a section of Muslim leaders in the two districts have gone on to allege that the health workers were executing a ploy by BJP Govt s in the Centre as well as in the state to make Muslim children ”impotent” and ”infertile”.The attacks have left health workers, mostly auxiliary midwives (ANM) and sahiya (rural health workers) panicky as majority of them have decided not to visit Muslim localities until they are provided security.Zubair Alam, vice president of the Coalfield Muslim Yatim Khana, said, “BJP is in power both at the Centre and state. Muslims do not trust the intentions of the BJP towards the community. Since kids in schools are being vaccinated without consent of guardians rumors are making round that such drive is being done to check Muslim population.”
Sindhi Muslim Families Leave Gujarat Village After Communal Violence
Vadagam: Vadagam, a village in the Dhansura block, Aravalli district of North Gujarat, is home to about 1,400 households. Of these, 35 are Sindhi Muslim families (also called Sandhai, a nomadic tribe), who settled in the region years ago.The village is heterogenous, including Brahmins, Patidars, Darbars (Kshatriyas), Dalits and Sindhi Muslims. Yet, travelling towards Vadagam from Dhansura, you cannot miss the multiple boards that read, “Hindu rashtra ke Vadagam, Dhansura, Harsol aur Talod me apka swagat hai (Welcome to Hindu rashtra’s Vadagam, Harsol and Talod)”.  The boards are signed by the VHP and Bajrang Dal.For years, Sindhi Muslims’ labouring skills have secured a cordial relationship between them and other residents of the village. thewire
Give us your religion, caste, Aadhaar: HRD to all college teachers
New Delhi: To set up a national teachers’ portal and detect “fake teachers” in the country, the Ministry of Human Resource Development has, over the last four months, profiled at least 60 per cent of more than 15 lakh university and college teachers, complete with individual details such as religion, caste, Aadhaar and phone numbers.Teachers who are yet to furnish personal details have another month to comply. Moves are also afoot to create a similar students’ database next year. R Subrahmanyan, Additional Secretary, HRD Ministry said: “We believe there are a lot of ghost lecturers. These are teachers who show up in multiple institutes, the ones not run by the government. Individual details such as Aadhaar numbers will help us identify such duplication.” Acknowledging that religion and caste identities of individuals will not help check duplication, Subrahmanyam said “those parameters were already part of the survey” process.Indian Express
WORLD
Israel approves 10,000 settlement units in Jerusalem
Israeli Ministry of Housing and the Jerusalem municipality have approved the construction of 10,000 new housing units in the area of Qalandia, also known as Atarot industrial area, in occupied East Jerusalem. Israel’s Channel 10 reported that the plan was supposed to be approved years ago but was frozen due to the ex-US administration’s opposition.Earlier this month Israeli Planning and Building Committee approved construction of 212 new housing units in the Pisgat Ze’ev and Ramat Shlomo settlements east and south of Jerusalem. middleeastmonitor
Israel is delaying the US embassy move not USA
US embassy has not been moved to Jerusalem following an Israeli request to keep it in Tel Aviv, a senior Israeli official has said.Many believed that it was the Trump administration that was delaying the move but the Knesset Speaker has said that Israeli officials asked US President Donald Trump to wait with the move: “They asked that he wait, go slowly – and that’s what he did.”Israeli newspaper Arutz Sheva, reported the comment made by the Knesset Speaker Yuli Edelstein this morning about the delayed transfer of the American embassy to Jerusalem. middleeastmonitor
Hamas: UNRWA must stop working as political security apparatus
Hamas called on UNRWA to stop working as a political security apparatus after the organisation reprimanded staff for their political views.“UNRWA employees express their opinions away from their workplaces,” a statement by the movement said yesterday. It stressed that the UN body, which is dedicated to helping Palestinian refugees, has to stop punishing its employees.UNRWA’s leadership might have forgotten that this body was established to help Palestinian refugees and afford work opportunities for them. It might have forgotten that its reference is the UN not the donor countries. Therefore, UNRWA, statement added, has to be involved in carrying out its “humanitarian” mission instead of its involvement in politics. middleeastmonitor
Palestinians on strike in solidarity with prisoners
Schools, banks and businesses across the West Bank were closed on Thursday as Palestinians observed a general strike in solidarity with more than 1,500 prisoners on hunger strike in Israeli jails. Public transportation came to a halt, and public and private institutions, including universities, were shut for the day. Hundreds of Palestinian prisoners declared an indefinite hunger strike last week to protest grievances, including medical negligence, administrative detention and limited family visits. Groups working to support the prisoners in their hunger strike also declared Friday to be a "day of rage," in which Palestinians were called on to confront Israeli soldiers at various contact points. aljazeera
Deadly air strikes target Idlib in Syria kill 19 people
At least 19 people were killed in suspected Russian and Syrian air strikes in several districts in Idlib province, a local official of the Syrian Civil Defence told Al Jazeera. "19 people were killed today. Khan Sheikhoun, Maaret al-Numaan, Jisr al-Shughour and other areas were targeted by suspected Russian and Syrian air strikes since the morning," Hamid of Civil Defence said on Thursday. "In the suburbs of Maaret al-Numaan, al-Jamea hospital was hit," he added.The Syrian Civil Defence, also known as the White Helmets, is a volunteer rescue group that operates mostly in rebel-held territory in Syria.Idlib's health directorate reported that the strike on al-Jamea hospital killed at least 3 patients and injured four others. aljazeera
Russian jets target civilian infrastructure in NW Syria
Syrians leave rebel stronghold Al Waer under evacuation deal
Thousands more Syrians have been evacuated from Al Waer district, the last opposition-held area in the city of Homs.The evacuation is part of an agreement between the Syrian Govt  and rebels to move people from besieged areas. aljazeera
'Israeli strikes' hit arms depot in Damascus
Israeli strikes have hit an arms depot operated by Lebanese Hezbollah group near Damascus airport, Syrian opposition sources said.Witnesses said a total of 5 strikes occurred near the Damascus airport road, about 25km from the capital, early on Thursday.Syrian state TV quoted a military source saying rockets fired from Israeli territory targeted a military area in the southwestern part of the airport which caused explosions.Al Jazeera's Hashem Ahelbarra, reporting from the Turkish city of Gaziantep near Syria's border, said opposition activists posted pictures online showing a huge fire near the area. aljazeera
Organ trafficking ‘booming’ in Lebanon as desperate Syrians sell kidneys, eyes
Trade in illegal organs is a booming business in Lebanon as desperate Syrian refugees resort to selling body parts to support themselves and their families, according to an investigation by BBC.A trafficker who brokers deals from a coffee shop in Beirut, identified as Abu Jaafar, said while he knew his “booming” business was illegal, he saw it as helping people in need. middleeastmonitor
Saudi increases Iran’s Hajj quota by 35%
Saudi Arabia has increased by 35%  number of pilgrims Iran can send to Hajj this year, head of Iran’s Hajj and Pilgrimage Organisation, Hamid Mohammadi, said.middleeastmonitor
Sudan: New govt to be announced next week
The new Sudanese Govt  of National Reconciliation will be announced next week despite some parties not presenting shortlists of candidates for the expected appointments, a Sudanese presidential assistant said. middleeastmonitor
UN calls for prevention of Afghan civilian casualties
UN Assistance Mission in Afghanistan (UNAMA) released Thursday its first quarterly report documenting 2,181 civilian casualties during the first three months of 2017.AA
FLASH: NEWS & VIEWS
RSS & revenge on history: ASHUTOSH, AAP leader
‘Like 1947 playing out in front of our eyes’: Story behind Jammu violence in the name of cow: Rayan Naqash
Congress hidden role in demolition of Babri Masjid:Madhu Trehan
‘Pehlu Khan, a cattle smuggler’: BJP must stop this awful victimise-the-victim game: KumKum Dasgupta
Iqbal, tolerance & Pratap Bhanu Mehta’s wrong turn:Umair Azmi
Mob, political complicity provide convenient cover to gau rakshaks to operate: Nandini Rathi
2016-17 saw over 45,000 cases of atrocities against Dalits
Where Hindus, Muslims offer prayers under same roof in Alwar: TOI
Coimbatore: Mosques take steps to conserve water for summer, build water harvesting plants: indiatoday

 Compiled and edited by Anwarulhaq (Released at: 8:28 PM)


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