Wednesday, 24 May 2017

Evening NEWS DIGEST
INDIA
Human rights abuses against minorities on rise in India:   Indian-American groups
An alliance of Indian-American groups has alleged that human rights abuses against social and religious minorities have been on the ascendance under the current BJP-led Govt  in the last three years.The report 'Minority Rights Violations in India by Alliance for Justice and Accountability' was prepared by the alliance, which represents several Indian-American groups, mainly those who had led a campaign against PM  Narendra Modi when he was the CM  of Gujarat.The groups include Indian-American Muslim Council, Dalit American Coalition, Organisation of Minorities from India, TwoCircles and South Asian Solidarity Initiative.The report has alleged "massive abuses" of human rights by state and non-state actors."Human rights abuses against India's social and religious minorities have been on the ascendance since the BJP Govt  came to power. This grim reality is already being acknowledged within India as well as internationally," the report, released at the Rayburn House office building at US Capitol, alleged. Running into more than 60 pages, the report alleged the unprecedented success of the BJP post 2014 has provided a "tremendous fillip to Hindu supremacist forces" who form a significant portion of its base."The latter's attacks on religious minorities have amplified. State agencies, including law enforcement and the bureaucracy are constitutionally mandated to act against such bigotry and supremacism. Alarmingly, these institutions are now under the control of the very Hindu ultranationalist forces who have run anti-minority campaigns," it alleged, adding that impunity for police and security officials has touched a new high in India in recent years."Impunity has also extended to BJP politicians, including those in elected offices, and supremacist groups that have been carrying out campaigns of vigilantism against the minorities."Legal challenges against police officials are rare;their prosecutions rarer and convictions next to nil. Trials are delayed. Threats of violence invariably force families and witnesses to withdraw complaints and reverse testimonies. The Indian state has made a mockery of provisions in the IPC for strict punishment for excesses by law enforcement officials," the report alleged.PTI
Human rights abuses against minorities on rise in India: Indian-American group
3 yrs of Modi govt: Duplicate entries, unused toilets puncture Swachh Bharat claims
Although Swachh Bharat Abhiyan (Clean India Mission) has sent India on a toilet construction spree, 51.6% of households across the country did not use an improved sanitation facility–a system that separates human excreta from human contact–between Jan2015 and Dec 2016. “Brother and Sisters, we are living in 21st century. Has it ever pained us that our mothers and sisters have to defecate in open? Whether dignity of women is not our collective responsibility?,” Narendra Modi said in his first Independence Day address as PM  in 2014. “Can’t we just make arrangements for toilets for the dignity of our mothers and sisters?”Household toilet availability has improved from 41.93% in 2014 to 63.98% in 2017, and Himachal Pradesh, Sikkim and Kerala have achieved 100% open defecation-free (ODF) status, data from the Ministry of Drinking Water and Sanitation show (as of May 22, 2017). However, almost all the progress reported by the ministry has been through no third-party verification, due to which the World Bank is holding off a $1.5 billion loan it had promised.As many as 3.1 million (88%) household toilets have been built in urban areas, against a target of 3.5 million for 2017-18, according to the Swachh Bharat Mission-Urbanwebsite. Also, 115,786 (56%) community toilets have been built against a target of 204,000.Yet, only 36.8% wards in urban areas reported a proper liquid-waste disposal system for community and public toilets, according to the 2016 Swachhta Status Report.The focus of Swachh Bharat Mission-Urban is slowly shifting from construction of toilets to solid waste management, the Accountability Initiative’s January 2017 analysis of the programme’s budget noted. Hindustantimes
Canada police say CRPF indulged in 'human rights violations'; bar retired officer from entering
A retired inspector general of the CRPF was denied entry into Canada with airport authorities saying he served in an organisation that allegedly engaged in "terrorism" and "gross human rights violations", prompting a strong reaction from India.T S Dhillon landed in Canada with his wife on May 18 and was put on the return flight to India on May 20. His wife was, however, allowed to proceed to her destination in Canada."I landed with my wife in Canada on May 18 as I had a family event to attend. But the Canadian border agency at the airport did not allow me to enter the country. I told them that I am a retired senior officer of the Indian police, CRPF. But, they did not heed to my statements and instead talked to me very rudely and in an unpleasant manner. They told me that my force had indulged in human rights violations," said Dhillon. PTI
Govt's Haj panel looks at Malaysian model to end pilgrimage subsidy
New Delhi: The Govt  panel reviewing Haj subsidy is closely looking at the Malaysian way of the Islamic pilgrimage.While the Indian Govt  subsidises a part of the Haj travel, the Malaysian model (Tabunjg Haji) allows people to deposit money over years and when the fund is enough for pilgrimage, the Govt  agency arranges the pilgrimage for the person.Unlike the Indian model, Malyasian pilgrims fund their own travel. But the catch is that the Malaysian model takes a long time before a person can go to Haj.The minority affairs ministry constituted a panel in January this year even as the Supreme Court directed the Centre in 2012 to gradually remove the Haj subsidy by 2022.Earlier, the external affairs ministry had proposed to cut the subsidy by 10% annually after the subsidy jumped to Rs 827 crore in 2008. 2 years ago, a group of MPs had also visited the Haj office in Malaysia to understand the model.“The model is otherwise perfect. But the only problem is that in Malaysia, the waiting period is 85 years. Such a long wait list can’t be accepted in India, which has a huge Muslim population,” said Afzal Amanullah, the head of the Govt  appointed panel.The panel is looking at a formula whereby the waiting period can be reduced to 40 to 50 years.The panel will be holding a fresh round of public hearing even as many Muslims have publicly sought an end to the subsidy regime.In 2008, then Rajya Sabha deputy chairman K Rahman Khan, along with other Muslim MPs, demanded that India to follow the Malaysian model on Tabunjg Haji as it is an “Islamic, Shariat-compliant” way.The panel is likely to formulate its report in a few weeks before the Govt  takes the final call on Haj subsidy. hindustantimes
An empty promise: What a totally vacant minorities’ panel indicates: Seema Chishti spl story
National Commission for Minorities has no members currently.Delhi High Court last week sought the Centre’s response, by Aug.11, on a plea against Govt  “inaction” on making appointments to National Commission for Minorities (NCM). Earlier in March, proceedings in Rajya Sabha were washed out after Opposition members protested unfilled vacancies in the commissions for Scheduled Castes, Scheduled Tribes, Backward Classes and Minorities.NCM is supposed to have a Chairperson, a Vice-Chairperson, and 7 members, at least 5 of whom should be from minority communities. The communities listed as minorities under the National Commission for Minorities Act, 1992, are Muslims, Christians, Sikhs, Parsis and Buddhists. Jains were included in the list in 2014.As of now, all posts at the NCM are vacant. Chairperson Naseem Ahmad retired on March 3, and the last serving member, Dadi E Mistri, completed his 3-year term on March 9. All other members had retired between September 9, 2015 and then, and none of the resulting vacancies had been filled. On the day Mistri retired, PTI quoted Minority Affairs Minister Mukhtar Abbas Naqvi as saying the process of making fresh appointments “was on”.So, what exactly is National Commission for Minorities? It is a forum for appeal, set up to safeguard rights and interests of India’s minority communities. Is the NCM a constitutional body? No. Unlike the National Commission for SCs and for STs, it is not. It was set up by an Act of Parliament in 1992. Does this make a difference? It does. The power and authority vested in a constitutional body are very different from those vested in a statutory body. Constitutional bodies have greater autonomy, they can take up and inquire into many matters suo motu, and have powers of a civil court. Again, not all statutory bodies are the same — the NHRC has more powers than the NCM. Degree of autonomy with which organisations like the NCM, NCSC, NCST or NCBC are able to function eventually decides how healthy a democracy is. These are systems that allow for a healthy evaluation of the state of the nation, a forum for airing of discontent, which ultimately strengthens the system, apart from allowing individuals to fully exercise their rights. indianexpress
'Beheading' of constitutional institutions set up for minorities
Centre appoints 5 members to minorities' panel
New Delhi: Facing flak from opposition over vacancies in the National Commission for Minorities (NCM), the Centre has appointed five members to the panel. NCM, which has the responsibility of protecting interests of minority communities, was left with no member in March this year. All its seven members, appointed by previous Congress- led UPA-II Govt , had retired between Sept 9, 2015 and March 9 this year. According to sources in Union Minority Affairs Ministry, social activist from UP  Gayarul Hasan will be the chairperson of the Commission. Activist and BJP leader from from Kerala George Kurian, former Maharashtra minister Sulekha Kumbhare, Jain representative from Gujarat Sunil Singhi and Vada Dasturji Khurshed, chief priest of Udvada Athornan Anjuman, are the other members of the panel.PTI
 Lack of appointments makes NCM dysfunctional
UP court grants bail to 6th Babri mosque demolition accused & ex Shiv Sena MP
A special CBI court has granted bail to Satish Pradhan, one of the accused in the 1992 Babri Mosque demolition case. Pradhan, a Shiv Sena leader, made an application for grant of bail before the court a short while ago.He was sixth accused in the case and Special CBI court judge SK Yadav granted bail on a surety of Rs.20,000 and a personal bond of the same amount. Pradhan is a former mayor of Thane in Maharashtra. He was also a member of Rajya Sabha from Maharashtra for two terms.The special CBI court that began day-to-day hearing in the politically sensitive case on 20 May has already granted bail to 5 VHP leaders named as accused.ANI
Jharkhand lynchings: ‘Mob pulled my brother out of police jeep, beat him to death’
Nagadi : While the policemen watched the lynching in Nagadi under Bagpeda police station near Jamshedpur on May 18, the mob pulled out one of the victims from the police jeep and beat him to death. The lynching took place barely 2 km from Bagpeda police station and 6 km from Jamshedpur town. For over three hours the victims were questioned, made to bring their friends and relatives to prove their identity, and then lynched. All this while, seven armed policemen were present. “Inquiry committee will look into all aspects. I am yet to receive the official order,” Prabhat Kumar, DIG Kolhan, said. Gautam Verma (27), his brother Vikas Verma (25) and their friend Gangesh Gupta were lynched at Nagadi village on May 18 following rumours of child-lifters being present in the area. 4 others were lynched in Shobhapur the same day.indianexpress
Jaipur court rejects civic body's plea, reorders opening of Hotel Rabbani: IndiaTomorrow
Jaipur: Though a city court had ordered reopening of the Hotel Hayat Rabbani on 29th April but the civic body did not follow the order offering lame excuses. It moved the court seeking change or stay on the order, but the court today repeated the 29th April order and asked Nagar Nigam to open the hotel or face contempt of court charge.On 19th March night, at the call of some members of a local cow vigilante group, the Jaipur Police raided Hotel Hayat Rabbani, forced guests out, arrested co-owner and a cleaner and sealed the hotel. Then, the police collected allegedly left-over meat from the hotel dustbin and sent for forensic test.After the lab cleared it was not beef, hotel owner Naeem Rabbani moved the court seeking order for unsealing the hotel.On 29th April, Additional Civil Magistrate and MM Amarjeet Singh, passed order in favour of the hotel owner and asked the municipal corporation to unseal the hotel within seven days of the order. But the civic body did not open the hotel and moved the court seeking stay on the order. However, Additional District Judge Bhupendar Singh rejected Nagar Nigam's appeal and gave order in favor of Rabbani.
Suspecting cow smuggling, police detain animal ambulance run by BJP minister's NGO
Ghaziabad:Overzealous Ghaziabad police detained an ambulance run by People for Animals (PFA) which was transporting a calf with a fractured leg to its animal hospital in Dhaulana - suspecting it to be a case of cow smuggling."Over-enthusiastic police wanted to capture cow smugglers transporting bovines for slaughter, and could not determine that it was an animal ambulance, though it had a blue light on the hood and it was written boldly on the side. They detained it for several hours," said Ashima Sharma, trustee of PFA which is run by Union Minister Maneka Gandhi."Ambulance is being run for the past more than 15 years for the welfare of animals. Police should ascertain the reason for detaining the ambulance and causing hurt to a noble cause," Sharma said. SP City Akash Tomar said that police let off the ambulance later. "Police verified the credentials of the ambulance and allowed it to move after it was found to be genuine," he said. Police could have been misled by Bajrang Dal activists,added Ashima.IANS
Attorney General: Muslim Personal Law Board’s affidavit an ‘eyewash’, Triple Talaq must be declared ‘invalid’
New Delhi: Attorney General Mukul Rohatgi has termed All India Muslim Personal Law Board's affidavit in the Supreme Court on its advisory on triple talaq a "mere eyewash" and said it was an attempt to gain "legal sanctity among the community". The attorney general also questioned the locus of the AIMPLB to issue any advisory against the practice of triple talaq and said it was a "desperate attempt" on its part to divert the attention of the apex court, which has already reserved its verdict on the issue.Rohatgi said the Muslim body, which has admitted in the top court that the practice of triple talaq was "not good", should have enlightened the 5-judge constitution bench to declare triple talaq invalid."I think this affidavit of AIMPLB is an eyewash. The board has no legal sanctity by itself. It is unclear as to how many people they speak for. They do not have any persuasive authority," said Rohatgi, who assisted the apex court in the triple talaq matter. The attorney general said it is not clear as to how many Qazis will abide by, agree and understand the advisory issued by the personal law board."It is also unclear as to how many Qazis will inform the bridegroom at the time of Nikah not to resort to triple talaq. There is no mechanism to oversee whether the Qazis have advised the bridegroom not to resort to triple talaq and whether the grooms would actually follow the advisory," he said.The Attorney General said that given the illiteracy rate and the dominant position of males in the community, it is difficult to comprehend as to "how many brides would come out to say what they actually want to say.""Therefore the whole thing is a desperate attempt to divert the attention of the court. Further if AIMPLB says that the practice is not good, then they should have enlightened the court to declare triple talaq as invalid," Rohatgi said. He said "in my humble view, the court should not give any credence to such an affidavit of the board". Rohatgi also said "it is a desperate attempt made by the AIMPLB to get some kind of legitimacy which it does not have".PTI
 Parents should be penalized for female genital mutilation: NGO report
New Delhi: Days after Women and Child Development Minister Maneka Gandhi vowed to end female genital mutilation (FGM), a report by NGO Lawyers’ Collective has recommended that parents whose daughters are subjected to the practice should be penalised. The report, A Guide to Eliminating FGM in India, was prepared by the NGO along with Speak Out on FGM, a combine of FGM survivors.The report, conceptualised by Indira Jaising, ex-additional solicitor general, says: “Since within the Bohra community, it is primarily the parents who take their daughters to cutters for FGM/C,they should be first category of perpetrators who may be held accountable.”indianexpress
PM Modi to address Madison Square-like event during historic visit to Israel: HT
New Delhi: PM  Narendra Modi is set for a Madison Square moment in Tel Aviv when he makes a historic visit to Israel in July.Sources in the Govt  said preparations are underway for a public meeting with tens of thousands in attendance, similar to the Sept.2014 event at New York’s Madison Square Garden theatre where the PM received a rockstar-like reception.The event is planned for July 5. Modi will be in Israel on July 5 and 6.“It will a Madison Square-type event,” a source privy to the matter told HT.The planners of the event have opened registration, targeting in particular around 75,000 Jews who migrated from India, particularly Mumbai and northeast, Indian citizens settled in Israel.“Modi will be the first Indian leader to hold such an event with the Indian diaspora in Israel,” the source said.In addition to Tel Aviv, Israel’s financial hub located along the Mediterranean coastline, Modi will also visit Jerusalem.The Indian community includes 8,000 people from Kerala working nursing jobs and 500 who are studying in different universities.A few dozen Gujarati families too are settled in parts of Israel, running diamond business.Modi is the first Indian PM  to visit Israel. The visit by any Indian leader to Israel in the past had been hyphenated with Palestine, but Modi will break this tradition. Hindustantimes
Ahead of Modi's Israel Visit, BJP says UPA's vote-bank politics affected ties
In an epoch-defining moment in Indian foreign policy, Prime Minister Narendra Modi would be the first Indian Head of the Government to visit Israel. In his two-day visit starting July 5, the PM will visit Tel Aviv and Jerusalem, during the course of which India and Israel are slated to sign agreements on defence, agriculture, water conservation and innovation/start-ups. CNN-News18’s Sumit Pande spoke to Dr Vijay Chauthaiwale, the head of BJP's Foreign Policy Department. The microbiologist who is said to have created the ‘Madison Square’ template for Modi’s foreign trips says that UPA may have kept India’s relationship with Israel under the radar due to vote bank politics.CNN-News18
3 yrs of Modi govt: Foreign policy takes an unconventional route
AMU students observe hunger strike in support of Palestinian prisoners in Israel
Agra: Aligarh Muslim University students on Tuesday observed a day-long hunger strike to express solidarity with Palestinian prisoners in Israeli jails who have refused to eat food to protest the alleged excess and abuse at the hands of the authorities there.Talking to TOI, AMUSU president Faizul Hasan said that President Pranab Mukherjee should extend support to Palestinian prisoners and India, which is a member of the UN, should intervene in the matter. He added that they will also take out a march on Wednesday.More than 1,500 Palestinian political prisoners, led by senior Fatah leader Marwan Barghouti, have been refusing to eat food to protest against the alleged abuse by Israeli authorities. timesofindia
Pakistan army denies India destroyed its posts
New Delhi: Pakistan today denied the Army's claim that it destroyed Pakistani posts along the Line of Control. The spokesperson for the Pakistan army tweeted:"Indian claims of destroying Pakistani post along LOC in Naushera Sec and firing by Pak Army on civilians across LOC are false. No Pakistani post destroyed by India on 13 May. Indians tgt civ on both sides of LOC. Pak response restricted to mil tgts only." The Pakistan army's comment came after India said its Army launched "punitive fire assaults" on Pakistani positions across LoC, inflicting "damage", days after two of its troopers were beheaded."With the mercury rising and snow-melting in the valley, the chances of infiltration increase from the Pakistani side. Army is all geared up to counter such threats," Major General Ashok Narula told reporters in New Delhi."It was part of the plan to proactively dominate the LoC and counter-terrorism operations to curb infiltration," he added. TOI
Any aggression by enemy will be remembered by their generations:Pak Air Force chief
Pakistan Air Force Chief Sohail Aman on Wednesday announced that all forward operating bases of the air force have been made operational in response to Indian ‘threats.’ He warned that any aggression by the enemy will be remembered by their coming generations.Air Chief Marshal Sohail Aman while talking to media at Qadri Airbase in Skardu said Pakistan is a peace-loving country, but is ready to counter any aggression.“Nation should not worry about the enemy’s threats and statements. We are ready to face all kinds of challenges,” he said.He also supervised war exercises by fighter jet squadrons held in Skardu area near Siachen. Aman also took part in the exercises by flying a PAF Mirage jet. thehindu
I was not a stone- thrower. I was kept thirsty from 10.45am till 7.30pm:Farooq, who used as human shield by Major
Srinagar: “If it was his (Army Chief’s) relative instead of me, will he still award the officer,” asked Farooq Ahmad Dar, who was tied to an Army vehicle and used as a human shield by Major Leetul Gogoi.Dar, responding to the award of a commendation certificate issued by Army chief General Bipin Rawat to Major Gogoi, termed it as “support to zulum (oppression).”“I was not a stone- thrower. I had voted that day. I was kept thirsty from 10.45 am till 7.30pm. I was driven around 28 km in various villages. I was used as a shield,” Dar, a weaver, said. A resident of Budgam’s Chill village, Dar was tied to an Army vehicle by the officer on April 9 during the Srinagar by-polls to escape stone throwers.“Army is not lying when it says no one pelted stones after I was tied (to the vehicle). Is the Army here to provide security to us or to their jawans only,” asked Mr. Dar, who remained in his village since the incident.27-year-old villager said he still gets nightmares. “I see a jeep travelling towards me whenever I fall asleep. My body starts shaking. My mother sleeps next to me, calming my pain and restlessness. This anxiety will end only when I will die,” he said adding “My mother too is depressed by the event”.Terming April 9 as his “new date of birth”, Dar only pleads for “insaaf (justice)” now to put a closure to his case.“Whatever is the punishment in the rule book, please follow that. I recently deposed before the State Human Rights Commission (SHRC). I was expecting some reprimand. Instead, he was awarded. Am I a bail (ox) or a human being,” Dar said. Regretting his decision to have voted on that day, he has pledged “not to vote again”.“One can only imagine what the Army could do to those who don’t vote. My case is an eye opener,” he said. Syed Ali Geelani said the Army act “clearly vindicates our claim that this is State sponsored policy”.“We are looking for International Court of Justice intervention like in the Kulbhushan Jadhav case. It was a severe crime against humanity,” said Mr. Geelani. Mirwaiz Umar Farooq, said, this award only underlines that “all enquiries are a farce”.“Fascist mindset is on a display in India while dealing with people of Kashmir. The Indian state has internalised the occupational mindset,” he said. The Hindu
ICJ should take suo-moto action against Major Gogoi: Geelani
Fake news triggered Republic TV, TV18 attacks on Arundhati Roy: The Wire
New Delhi: Fake news about a non-existent interview Arundhati Roy supposedly gave during a recent trip to Srinagar that never happened is responsible for BJP MP and actor Paresh Rawal’s outrageous tweet against the author which ignited a Twitter war between his supporters and those who denounced him for advocating violence.In his tweet, the actor and BJP MP said “Instead of tying stone pelter on the army jeep tie Arundhati Roy!” –  a thinly veiled reference to the April 9 incident where a Kashmiri civilian was tied to an army jeep and used as a human shield. Rawal’s tweet prompted many others on Twitter to endorse his call for Roy to be abducted and held hostage, with some adding their own threats and suggestions – that the writer be physically assaulted, burnt and shot.In a live debate on CNN-IBN on Monday night, the anchor Bhupendra Chaubey said Rawal’s tweet had been provoked by an interview Roy gave and flashed the Facebook page that Rawal had tweeted when he began what would be a series of rants against Roy.“It is [all nonsense]”, Roy told The Wire. She said she had not been to Srinagar recently or made any statements about Kashmir except for a short piece she wrote in Outlook last year.THE WIRE
Families of Khalistani terror suspects speak out: I fought terrorists, give my son a 2nd chance: Mann’s father
Amritsar: Father of the suspect arrested for his alleged links with Canada-based Khalistani groups says his son should be given another chance since he himself had stood up against terrorism during the troubled days in Punjab. Mann Singh, a resident of Simrai village near Batala town of Gurdaspur district, was arrested Sunday for his alleged involvement in terror-related activities. Mann’s father Deep Singh, a prominent leader of Tarna Dal, said, “It is good that Mann Singh has been arrested at an early stage. He was not involved in any serious crime. He has been arrested before he could fall into some serious problem. Govt  should show a soft corner towards Mann Singh because it is possible he was lured into such activities by some anti-social elements. Govt  should give him a second chance considering the past of my family.”Deep Singh claims to be the head of married volunteers of Tarna Dal, a known traditional body of Nahings. indianexpress
Families of Khalistani suspects speak out: He left home aged 11-12, drove taxi for living, says Sher Singh’s mother

Over 20 arrested after Dalit man killed in UP’s Saharanpur, security stepped up
Saharanpur: Police tightened security across western UP ’s Saharanpur region on Wednesday amid mounting tensions following the death of a Dalit youth a day ago in caste clashes. Police said unidentified people ambushed a group of Dalits returning from a rally by Bahujan Samaj Party chief Mayawati on Tuesday evening, killing one man and injuring 8.This was the second wave of caste violence in Shabeerpur and adjacent areas after May 5 clashes between Dalits and Thakurs where scores of houses of scheduled caste families were torched and one man killed. Attacks began over a Thakur-led procession to commemorate Rajput ruler Maharana Pratap. Since then, the caste violence has grabbed headlines and is being seen as the first law-and-order challenge for CM  Yogi Adityanath since the BJP swept to power in March. Saharanpur district has 26% Dalit population spread across villages and 10% Thakurs. But in Shabbirpur village, the total population of the village is 4,000 that includes 2,500 Thakurs and 600 Dalits and this lop-sided ratio worries the Dalits.Police have now launched a massive search operation and arrested more than 20 suspects on charges of inciting violence. Senior state Govt  officials are camping in the area. hindustantimes
Saharanpur: Day after fresh clashes kill one, official says situation tense but under control
BSP’s decision makers themselves want to finish party, I am not needed for that, says Naseemuddin: indian express
Expelled BSP leader Naseemuddin Siddiqui speaks about falling out with Mayawati & plans for new front. Siddiqui, whose expulsion has been followed by the resignation of many BSP leaders, speaks about his plans and the politics of the BSP. He said,"I don’t want to damage any party. BSP’s decision makers themselves want to finish the party. I am not needed for that."
MP ‘religious conversion’: 57 of the 60 children handed over to parents
Bhopal: 57 of the 60 children who were rescued from Ratlam railway station on Sunday night were handed over to their parents on Tuesday after nine persons escorting them to Nagpur were booked for ‘religious conversion’ and kidnapping by the govt railway police (GRP). The minors were made to alight from a train at Ratlam railway station by the railway protection force after authorities received complaints about suspicious movements of children.When questioned, the accused claimed they were taking the tribal children to attend a summer camp in Nagpur but could not furnish any documents to back their claim. Indian Express
Areeb Majeed files for bail again, cites dropped charge under a UAPA section
Mumbai: Areeb Majeed, Kalyan resident booked by NIA on terror charges, has filed for bail again, citing change in circumstances after the special court dropped a criminal section against him. In Feb, the charge for being a member of a terrorist organisation under section 20 of UAPA was dropped against Majeed. In his plea filed on Tuesday, Majeed has claimed that the special court’s order in February, ‘strengthens’ his claim that false charges have been applied against him. “The applicant (Majeed) was in the wrong place at the wrong time but the moment he came back to India, NIA made him a scapegoat for their own ulterior motive,” claims the 18-page bail plea hand written by Majeed filed through advocate Arif Siddiqui. Majeed has claimed that since the trial is at the commencement stage and there are 147 witnesses, it will take a long time to conclude.“The custody of the applicant is on the basis of flimsy and insufficient evidence…and inadmissible material retrieved (from social media) fraudulently by NIA. There are no eyewitnesses..nor any mention of the offence, the manner, place and time where it was committed or the names and number of people killed or injured,” the bail plea states. Special Judge VV Patil has directed the NIA to file a reply on the bail plea. Indianexpress
 ‘Bombay’ taken to be ‘bomb’, 6 Muslim youths from Kerala questioned
Mumbai: 6 youngters from Kerala had to go through several rounds of interrogation by the police after a railway commuter thought he heard them say “bomb”. After police interrogated the 6 Muslim youngsters on their way to a madrasa in Ratnagiri to learn Urdu, they found nothing wrong with the teenagers. There was a misunderstanding when one of the 6 boys were explaining to someone that they were in “Bombay” and the commuter heard them say “bomb” and reported them to the police. The 6 were eventually allowed to go.The incident in question took place on Monday evening when the 6 youngsters from Kerala were in a train in Mumbai for sightseeing. They were all from the same madrasa in Kerala and were headed to a madrasa in Ratnagiri to learn Urdu. While they were in the local train from CST to Panvel, one of them was talking to someone in Kerala in Malayalam. Senior inspector of Vashi Govt Railway Police (GRP) Suresh Patil said, “Since the person he was talking to could not hear him, one of 6 boys shouted ‘bomb-bay’. A commuter who heard ‘bomb’ suspected something foul and informed the Railway Protection Force (RPF).” We interrogated the 6 boys and realised that it was a mistake. They boys were actually headed to a madrasa in Ratnagiri from Kerala. We cross-verified the information they provided with the madrasas in Kerala and Ratnagiri and found their versions to be true,” the officer said. indian express
Over 2.38 lakh undertrials in jails: Law panel for cut in undertrials’ jail time
New Delhi: Law Commission is ready to submit to the Centre a set of recommendations intended to bring in revolutionary changes in bail jurisprudence which, if implemented, would help the release of the poor among over 2.38 lakh undertrial prisoners languishing in jails for years. The commission's report on amendments to bail provisions has been finalised and the radical recommendations, if accepted by the Govt  and implemented, would make true the Supreme Court's 40-year-old ruling in the State of Rajasthan Vs Balchand case, in which Justice Krishna Iyer had said in Sept.1977:"The basic rule may perhaps be tersely put as bail, not jail."Commission, headed by Justice BS Chauhan, examined Section 436A of the criminal procedure code, which provides that an undertrial, accused of offences that attract a maximum imprisonment of 7 years, should be released on serving half the sentence.The panel recommends that the period of incarceration be reduced to one-third of the maximum punishment.This means, if an undertrial is accused of an offence attracting a maximum 6-year sentence, he would be released on bail after 2 years in jail. For other offences, which attract a maximum jail sentence of over 7 years but excluding those punishable with death, an undertrial should be released on serving half the maximum sentence, commission sources said.The commission also suggests that the HCs must frame rules making it mandatory for trial courts to hear bail applications of accused within a week of their filing.TOI
Militants-turned-BJP leaders get life term in Assam terror funding case
Guwahati: A special court on Monday awarded prison terms to 15 people, including the former chairman and commander-in-chief of a disbanded Assam-based terror outfit, in two cases related to the siphoning of Govt  funds amounting to nearly Rs 1,000 crore for subversive activities.3 of the convicts were sentenced to life imprisonment. The cases – which pertained to Govt  officials and elected representatives of North Cachar Hills Autonomous Council (NCHAC) collaborating with militants to procure illegal arms through public funds – were the first to be handled by NIA upon its formation in 2009. The embezzlement part of the case is being probed by the Central Bureau of Investigation. Jewel Garlosa, former chairman of the now-disbanded terror group Dima Halem Daogah-Jewel (DHD-J), and Niranjan Hojai, commander-in-chief of the outfit, were among those sentenced to life by NIA special judge Rabin Phukan. Both were released on interim bail in 2011, following which they joined the BJP and became NCHAC members. While former NCHAC chief executive member Mohit Hojai was also sentenced to life imprisonment, senior Govt  official RH Khan was awarded 12 years in jail. All the other accused were sentenced to varying periods in jail, and awarded fines for their involvement in the cases.HT
CRPF IGP says fake encounter in Assam by Army, police, his force
New Delhi: In his report sent to CRPF headquarters in Delhi, Gujarat cadre IPS officer Rajnish Rai, currently posted in Shillong with CRPF as IG, North East Sector, has alleged that the encounter — neat Simlaguri village under Amguri police station — that led to the death of two suspected members of the National Democratic Front of Bodoland (Songbijit), or NDFB(S) faction, was staged. And that the 2 men were picked up from a house in D-Kalling village and killed in cold blood in Simlaguri. Calling for a full-fledged investigation, Rai has alleged that weapons were planted on their bodies. The two killed were identified as Lucas Narzary alias N Langfa and David Islary alias Dayud. He says he has witnesses who have identified the bodies as those of the two men who were picked up and that these witnesses are in his safe custody.indianexpress
Indian national ‘forced’ to marry Pak man allowed to return by Pak HC, ensured security till Wagah
New Delhi: Islamabad High Court has allowed Uzma to return to India and has also assured ‘police security’ till Wagah Border. Uzma, Indian woman, who alleged that she was forced to marry a Pakistani man, has been given the permission to travel to India, Pakistani news outlet Geo News reported on Wednesday.A bench of the Islamabad High Court returned Uzma her original immigration form, which her husband Tahir had submitted to the court a day earlier.
Delhi HC asks for all records related to Smriti Irani’s educational qualifications
Delhi High Court has sought records of the case pertaining to Union Minister Smriti Irani’s degrees, reported ANI. The court was hearing a petition filed by one Ahmed Khan who alleged that different affidavits submitted in a trial court had stated contradictory information.Khan had earlier filed a similar petition in the trial court, which was rejected. The court had said that the university had lost its primary records. The trial court had also added that Khan was trying to “harass” the minister. Khan had then challenged the trial court’s ruling.The High Court will take up the case next on Sept.13. It will decide then whether to summon Irani after examining the records, according to NDTV.In his petition, Khan alleged that in 2004, Irani had said she had a 1996 Bachelor of Arts degree from Delhi University, while in later elections she said her highest educational qualification was Bachelor of Commerce Part One (correspondence course) from Delhi University. However, the Election Commission as well as the Delhi University have said that Irani’s degree cannot be found. scroll
‘Fake degree’ row back to haunt Smriti as fresh petition filed
HC issues notice to Arnab Goswami on criminal case of ‘theft’
Delhi High Court on Tuesday issued notice to Republic TV’s founder, Arnab Goswami, in a case of theft filed by his former employer, Times Now.Issuing the notice Justice Manmohan observed, “It is averred in the plaint that defendant nos. 2 and 3 had signed and subscribed to an employment contract with the plaintiff wherein one of the conditions in the contract was the maintenance of confidentiality of employment activities, trade secrets, company information as well as an acknowledgement admitting to the intellectual property rights held, possessed and controlled by the plaintiff of all work in any form whatsoever, manual, digital etc. done and developed by them in course of their employment.”The judge also highlighted the relevant clauses of the Times Now employment contract on maintaining confidentiality. jantakareporter
News 18 India uses Indian minor’s video to portray Baghdadi, complaint filed in Indian embassy
In an appalling breach of personal privacy and a case of glaring Islamophobia, News 18 India, a channel of Network 18 Media Group, used the video of a 17-year-old Indian boy Obaid Shamshad to portray the childhood of the founder Abu Bakar-al-Baghdadi in one of their programs.‘News 18 India’ relayed this footage on channel and website in program named ‘Hadsha’. The video story was broadcast on March 31 on the channel and on April 1 with the name of “Special Report: How the Lecturer became a gangster of ISIS”.The video shown in the News 18 India channels was taken from the documentary made by the Obaid for his school’s educational project which was uploaded on YouTube in May 2015. He was merely 15 years old in the shown video.The anchor of this program, Digvijay Singh, claimed to have exposed every state of the life of Abu Bakar-al-Baghdadi in a very dramatic fashion. TCN
 ‘Rajeev Sharma’ writes biography of Prophet in Marwadi
Rajasthan: Rajeev Sharma, a resident of Jhujunu district in Kolsia village, now a writer of the book “Paigambar Ro Paigam” i.e Biography of Prophet Muhammed(PBUH) intends to grow harmony amongst people of different religions. “Removing the wrong perceptions about Islam and letting people who don’t understand Urdu, perceive preachings of Prophet in Marwadi,” Sharma explained the motive behind authoring the book.“Quran condemns terror. I would like to clarify that, none of the chapter of Quran is related to terror. Before reading Quran, we should know the lifestyle of the one on whom the Quran was revealed ,”said Sharma when asked about the linkage of Islam and terrorism.“How can we blame a person for supporting terrorism, when he has courageously forgiven his enemies?” added Sharma.When asked whether the Prophet’s teachings were restraint to Arabs, Sharma said: “There is no border, nation, religion for goodwill. It has to be followed by whole world. If we read his biography it has many useful points for the world to understand.”“It took 1 year for me to write, but 10 years to understand”“Life of prophet is more than enough to get inspiration,” Sharma said when asked about his inspiration for authoring the book. Siasat
‘Stop attacking Kejriwal without proof’: Yogendra Yadav’s letter to Kapil Mishra
New Delhi:A day after suspended AAP leader Kapil Mishra apologised to his ex-colleague Yogendra Yadav for launching a campaign to oust him from the party, the Swaraj India president has written an open letter to him asking to abstain from negative politics.In the 420-word letter which he put up on Facebook and signed as “your senior”, Yadav has advised his former AAP colleague that he should refrain from making allegations against Delhi CM  Arvind Kejriwal every day.HT

Note ban a ‘successful political coup’: French economist Sorman
New Delhi :Globally acclaimed French economist Guy Sorman has described demonetisation as a “successful political coup”, although it failed to meet the objective of weeding out corruption for which more steps are needed. “Demonetisation was a successful political coup which was heavily applauded by a majority of the Indian people. The Govt  showed it was serious about corruption,” Sorman told PTI.PTI
Fasting during Ramadan improves functioning of heart
Hyderabad: Heart performance is improved due to fasting for long hours during Ramadan. Fasting for the entire month also improves blood circulation thus making people healthier.As reported by the TOI, a research study conducted by doctors of 2 hospitals of the city revealed that due to increase in vagal tone (functioning of vagus nerve), fasting induces a change in the electrical activity of the heart. The positive change in the electrical activity of the heart decreases the risk of coronary heart disease (CHD) and sudden cardiac death (SCD).Doctors of Bhaskar Medical College and Malla Reddy Medical College for Women recently conducted a study on fasting and improvement in the electrical activity of the heart. siasat
WORLD
Saudi persuaded Trump to postpone embassy move: Israeli Army Radio
Israeli Army Radio reported that Saudi Arabia’s Foreign Minister, Adel Al-Jubeir, played the biggest role in persuading US President Donald Trump not to rush to move US embassy to Jerusalem. The radio station quoted Palestinian officials as saying that Al-Jubeir had played a role in persuading Trump to postpone the step of moving the embassy, in order to help secure suitable conditions for the resumption of Israeli-Palestinian peace negotiations.During his election campaign, Trump had pledged to move the embassy to Jerusalem but Washington has not taken any step in this regard so far, according to French national radio.Palestinians and Arabs are opposed to the move, which the international community has warned may ignite new tensions.Two weeks ago, US Secretary of State Rex Tillerson explained to NBC that Trump is still evaluating whether the idea of moving the embassy would help or hinder chances for peace between Israelis and Palestinians. Tillerson also said: “President is very cautious in his attempt to understand how such a decision could affect the peace process.”He suggested that Israel itself might have some ideas concerning this issue. US secretary of state added that Trump is still waiting to see if Israel believes that “the move could play a supporting role in any peace initiative or that it would hinder all such efforts.” However, in a statement issued by his office, Israeli PM  Benjamin Netanyahu hastened to dispel any doubts on the matter, in anticipation of any objections by his right-wing Govt. He said:“Israel has always expressed its position to the US Govt  and the world.” middleeastmonitor
Israeli settlers storm Jerusalem’s Al-Aqsa complex
Jerusalem: Hundreds of Israeli settlers on Wednesday forced their way into East Jerusalem’s flashpoint Al-Aqsa Mosque compound, according to a Palestinian official. Firas al-Dibs, a spokesman for the Jerusalem Islamic Waqf, a Jordan-run organization responsible for overseeing the city’s Islamic sites, said some 708 settlers had stormed the complex through Al-Mugharbah gate. “A number of mosque guards were wounded after they were assaulted by Israeli forces in the mosque’s courtyards” he said. According to the spokesman, 3 other guards were arrested by Israeli forces. Anadolu Agency
US hasn't verified IS link to Manchester attack:Reuters
The United States has not confirmed an Islamic State link to a suicide bombing that killed at least 22 people at a concert hall in the British city of Manchester, despite the militant group's claim of responsibility, the top US intelligence official said on Tuesday."I might mention that ISIS has claimed responsibility for the attack in Manchester although they claim responsibility for virtually every attack. We have not verified yet the connection," Dan Coats, Director of National Intelligence, told a hearing before the Senate Armed Services Committee.
US strikes in Syria kill more civilians than Assad's air forces: middleeasteye
The number of civilians killed in air strikes by US-led coalition in Syria over the past month was the highest monthly toll since it began its campaign against the Islamic State (IS) group in 2014, a monitoring organisation said on Tuesday.UK-based Syrian Observatory for Human Rights said that at least 225 civilians including 44 children and 36 women had been killed in the month between 23 April and 23 May.At least 122 IS militants and fighters loyal to the Syrian Govt  were also killed, the Observatory said."The past month of operations is the highest civilian toll since the coalition began bombing Syria," Observatory head Rami Abdel Rahman told the AFP."There has been a very big escalation." Figure appears to suggest that coalition air strikes in Syria are now causing more casualties than air attacks on rebel-held territory by Syrian Govt  forces.
US general: Kurdish independence in Iraq ‘not if, but when’: middleeastmonitor
An Iraqi Kurdish push for independence from Baghdad appears likely to be a question of “not if, but when,” in a significant challenge to Iraq’s stability, the head of US Defense Intelligence Agency said.Iraq’s main Kurdish parties announced in April a plan to hold a referendum on independence this year, after the defeat of Daesh militants. The vote will be non-binding, suggesting that the Kurds may decide to use it as a political bargaining chip rather than in an actual move for independence. DIA’s director, Lieutenant General Vincent Stewart, told a Senate hearing that the ability of Iraq’s Kurds to reach an understanding with Shia-dominated Govt in Baghdad would be essential to avoid renewed conflict.
5 civilians, not militants, killed in raid by US in Yemen
5 civilians were killed in a raid by US Navy SEALs in Yemen yesterday morning, human rights organisation Reprieve has said, refuting claims by the US military, who said that seven Al-Qaeda militants were killed and there was no civilian casualties. According to the organization, witnesses from Al-Jubah village in Marib province confirmed the five dead civilians are: Nasser Ali Mahdi Al-Adhal, Al-Ghader Saleh Salem Al-Adhal, Saleh Al-Taffaf, Yasser Al-Taffaf Al-Adhel and Shebreen Saeed Salem Al-Adhal. middleeastmonitor
Lankan President orders crack down on anti-Muslim violence
Colombo: Amid growing unease among Sri Lankan Muslims over recent attacks targeting the community, President Maithripala Sirisena on Tuesday asked the Law and Order Ministry to take action on the perpetrators without “fear or favour”.His instructions came at Tuesday’s weekly Cabinet meeting, where Muslim Ministers voiced concern over violence against minorities, incited allegedly by Buddhist hard-liners. PM  Ranil Wickremesinghe said the local police must be made accountable, according to a media statement from Cabinet Minister Mano Ganesan. Since mid-April, nearly 20 incidents of attack on Muslim-owned establishments and places of worship were reported, according to the Muslim Council of Sri Lanka, an umbrella organisation for Muslim civil society. “Clearly, there is incitement of violence and hate speech. But the police seem reluctant to arrest him [perpetrator] because he is in robes,” its vice-president Hilmy Ahmed said, referring to Galagoda Aththe Gnanasara, who leads the hard-line Sinhala-Buddhist organisation, Bodu Bala Sena (Buddhist Power Force). The monk has in the past been linked to anti-Muslim riots and faces several cases. thehindu
Lankan lawmakers blame anti-Muslim violence on Govt  inaction
Turkey orders arrest of scores of municipality, ministry staff - Reuters
Turkish authorities ordered the detention of 139 staff from Ankara municipalities and two ministries in an investigation targeting supporters of the US-based cleric accused of being behind last July's failed coup, CNN Turk said on Wednesday. Since the attempted putsch, authorities have jailed pending trial 50,000 people and sacked or suspended 150,000 from a wide range of professions including soldiers, police, teachers and public servants, over alleged links to what the Govt calls terrorist organisations.Detention warrants on Wednesday were issued for 60 staff at the Ankara city council, 19 at district councils, 30 staff at the development ministry and 30 at the education ministry, broadcaster CNN Turk said.

Myanmar's Suu Kyi opens fresh round of peace talks
Myanmar's leader Aung San Suu Kyi has opened a new round of talks aimed at reviving a stuttering peace process after months of intense regional fighting.Hundreds of representatives from some of Myanmar's biggest ethnic groups gathered in the capital city of Naypyidaw on Wednesday for a five-day conference.  aljazeera
Egypt’s Sisi: Those who challenge me, challenge God
Egyptian President Abdel Fattah Al-Sisi said yesterday that a number of people have threatened him following his decision to reclaim state-owned land that had been illegally appropriated by private investors over the past few years.Al-Sisi’s remarks came in a speech that he gave in Damietta to mark the opening of a number of projects in the province.He added that he will not allow anyone, no matter who they are, to acquire state-owned land, adding that illegal appropriation of state land is considered “theft”. Middleeastmonitor
FLASH: NEWS & VIEWS
After Operation Bluestar, Indira Gandhi insisted on keeping Sikh guards. Today, Kashmir demands similar maturity: JS Bandukwala

Tying of Farooq Dar to army jeep was violation of constitution’s spirit:Omar Abdullah

Yashwant Sinha-led group calls for Ramzan ‘truce’ in Kashmir

Smoke &Mirrors: India’s Human Rights report at UN: Final conclusions of UPR on India, like all such reviews, need to be read not in cold print, but between lines:Ravi Nair

Modi Govt  Cannot be Deaf to Concerns of Minorities: Ashutosh, AAP leader

Communal Violence Leading to Negative Image of India; Nilofar Suhrawardy, Milli Gazette

Muslim Personal Law Board is showing signs of giving up its rigid stand on triple talaq. It must now act against the practice: TOI Editorial

Did changing political scenario compel BSP chief Mayawati to visit Saharanpur?


 Compiled and edited by Anwarulhaq (Released at: 5:15 PM)


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