News and views across the globe.

Tuesday, 20 June 2017

Evening NEWS DIGEST
INDIA
Stones for building Ram Mandir start arriving in Ayodhya
Ayodhya: Even as the dispute regarding the title in the Babri Masjid/Ramjanmabhoomi case remains pending before the Supreme Court, VHP has sped up its preparations for the construction of a Ram temple on the Babri site in Ayodhya.On cue with the VHP’s announcement that the mandir would be constructed by the year’s end, two truckloads of stones, to be used to build the temple, arrived in Ayodhya on Monday. This is to be followed by more than a hundred trucks in the next few days. The trucks have been unloaded at the VHP’s headquarters Karsewak Puram in the town.At a high-level meeting of the VHP in June 2015 – attended by late leader Ashok Singhal – the radical Hindutva outfit had announced that it would run a nationwide drive to collect stones for the building of the mandir.Senior VHP leader Triloki Nath Pandey said, “Today two truckloads of stones to be used in the Ram mandir have arrived from Bharatpur in Rajasthan, we need more than a hundred truckloads to give final shape to the proposed temple.” In a similar move a year and a half ago, on Dec.20, 2015, two truckloads of stones for the same purpose had been brought to Ayodhya. The then Samajwadi govt in UP  promptly banned the entry of more stones, by denying VHP ‘form 39’ of the commercial tax dept, required for the import. But that impediment has been removed with Adityanath as CM “A month back we contacted the officer of the commercial tax dept, he immediately issued the form 39 that they were holding since a year,” said Pandey, adding, “There is a BJP Govt  in the state so now there is no hurdle in the way of the construction of the Ram mandir.” Reacting to this move by VHP, Khaliq Ahmad Khan, who a party to the case from the side of the Babri masjid, said, “The arrival of stones is just to send out a message to voters that the saffron forces are serious about the construction of the Ram mandir. The arrival of stones or any other activity of the VHP will not affect any other sentiments as the matter is in the Supreme Court, and the title of the land is yet to be decided,” he said. Ex-V-C of Lucknow University Roop Rekha Varma, said “As the Ayodhya issue is sub judice, such activities are illegal, and anti-national, and it may give rise to communal tension and disturb the peace and law and order, so the import of stones to Ayodhya in the name of the Ram mandir must be banned, and it is the responsibility of the state Govt  to do so.”The Wire
Ayodhya Ram Mandir issue: 2 trucks carrying stones arrive at VHP office:PTI
15 Muslim villagers arrested in MP for cheering Pakistan cricketers; slapped sedition charges
Indian police said Tuesday they have arrested 15 Muslim villagers and charged them with sedition -- punishable by life in prison -- for celebrating Pakistan's victory over India's cricketers in the Champions Trophy. The villagers were arrested in thr Burhanpur district of Madhya Pradesh state on Monday after police received a complaint that they set off firecrackers and shouted slogans following Pakistan's dramatic win on Sunday."We received a complaint from a local Hindu man who accused them of celebrating after India lost the match," Burhanpur police chief Raja Ram Parihar told AFP.The accused have also been charged with criminal conspiracy, the officer said, adding the celebrations continued for hours in the sensitive locality.The village has a large Muslim population and a history of communal clashes between 2 communities.AFP
15 arrested for cheering Pak in Champions Trophy:Bbc
Sedition charges against 15 Muslim men for raising pro-Pak slogans after Champions trophy match
Karnataka police arrest 3 men for celebrating Pak victory, BJP member filed complaint
A day after India lost to Pakistan in the Champions Trophy final that was held in London, three youngsters from Karnataka were arrested for "celebrating" Pakistan's victory.The incident occurred in Suntikoppa police station limits in Kodagu. Riyaz, Zahair and Abdul Samaan allegedly burst crackers at a public junction reportedly to celebrate the victory of the winning team.With emotions running high on India-Pakistan rivalry, the act earned the ire of some local residents. Chengappa, a local BJP member, filed a complaint with the Suntikoppa police on Monday. The same day, the police arrested the three men. "The accused does not belong to any political party, but they burst crackers and celebrated when Pakistan won in the cricket match.Some locals took objection to this and filed a complaint. A case has been registered against the three youth under section 295 (a) of the IPC," Suntikoppa inspector told TNM, confirming the arrest. The section criminalizes “Deliberate and malicious acts, intended to outrage reli­gious feelings of any class by insulting its religion or reli­gious beliefs”.thenewsminute
Journalist beaten up in Delhi by ‘Hindu mob’ for ‘being a Kashmiri Muslim’
An independent Kashmiri journalist based in Delhi, who writes for Caravan Magazine, has been assaulted allegedly by Hindu fanatics for being a Muslim on Sunday.The young journalist Basit Malik who was doing a news story on a mosque located in Ambay Enclave near Sonia Vihar in Delhi, which was demolished by members from the Hindu community. During the reporting, Malik addressed a gathering of nearly 60 people from the Hindu community.“I had presumed that he meant that it was a meeting between the Hindu and Muslim residents. But the responses I received to my query made me realise that I was mistaken, and that only the Hindu residents had gathered there. Not only did the gathering not include Muslims, its members turned hostile—and subsequently, violent—when they discovered that I had a Muslim name,” Malik wrote in The Caravan magazine.According to him, the mob dragged, kicked, punched and slapped him only for being a Kashmiri Muslim.“During this entire ordeal, which lasted for an hour and a half, I was surrounded at all times. People from the mob would angrily kick and slap me. I was continuously yelled at, and called various names, such as “mullah,” “Pakistani,” and “aatankwadi”—terrorist,” narrated Basit in Caravan.They also took videos of the assault on him while he was instructed to say ‘Pakistan murdabad!’ and ‘Hindustan zindabad!’ southlive
“Say, Pakistan Murdabad!”: Reporter recounts how mob in Delhi assaulted him when they identified him as Muslim
Issue fatwas against those who unfurl Pak flags in India: RSS leader Indresh Kumar
New Delhi: RSS leader and patron of its Muslim wing, Indresh Kumar on Monday urged Muslim religious heads to issue fatwas against those who raise the Pakistani flag on Indian soil.Kumar also called upon residents of Muslim localities that are dubbed as “mini-Pak” to protest against this categorisation. “Even after 70 years of Independence why are Muslim mohallas (areas) described as mini-Pakistan? If the places are mini-Pakistan then those staying there are Pakistani. Why are there no protests or complaints against this allegation? Why don’t Muslim religious leaders issue fatwas against this allegation?” he asked.Speaking at an iftaar hosted by the MRM, which had political leaders, diplomats and religious heads in attendance, Kumar said there should be no place in India where the Pakistani flag is unfurled including in “Kashmir”.“If the Pakistani flag is unfurled even in Kashmir, should we not from political and religious platforms announce that it is un-Islamic? And those who do so are anti-Islam and enemies of the country,” he said. MRM, which is leading the campaign against the practice of triple talaq and cow slaughter, has been persuading Muslims to lend support to the RSS’s demand for the construction of a Ram Temple in Ayodhya.It also wants Muslims to opt for a uniform civil code, instead of favouring the Sharia (Islamic Law).“I have asked many intellectual and religious heads why they want to follow the Sharia instead of what is written in the Quran, but no one has an answer. They acknowledge the opposition to triple talaq as interference with Sharia not Quran,” Kumar said.Sharing the stage with Kumar was Manipur governor Najma Heptullah and firebrand BJP MP Shakshi Maharaj who was booked for hurting religious sentiments after he blamed Muslims for the exponential population growth in India.HT
Deoband should issue fatwas against localities flying Pakistan flags: RSS leader Indresh Kumar:PTI
BJP spokesperson files complaint against journalist Rana Ayyub for criticising its presidential pick
BJP Spokesperson Nupur Sharma on Monday night registered a police complaint against journalist Rana Ayyub for what she called a “defamatory, hate-filled and derogatory” tweet about the NDA’s presidential candidate Ram Nath Kovind. Ayyub had said of the BJP’s choice: “And you thought Pratibha Patil was the worst bet.”A copy of Sharma’s complaint, which was circulated by the BJP on Twitter, said that Ayyub’s tweet reflected an “extremely casteist, hateful and disrespectful mindset” against the scheduled castes, which Kovind has long represented. The complaint added that Ayyub directly undermined “the abilities and position in society of a member of the scheduled castes” and was “blatant and scurrilously slanderous and casteist”. The complaint asks for Ayyub to be booked under the Scheduled Caste and Scheduled Tribe Prevention of Atrocities Act. scroll
Centre sends 1 lakh plastic bullets, chilli-filled PAVA shells to Kashmir Valley
New Delhi:Centre has supplied security forces in J&K  with over one lakh plastic bullet to control violent crowds in the valley.The Centre has also supplied security forces with PAVA (made of pelargonic acid vanillyl amide, an organic compound found in natural chilli pepper) shells that are more pungent, to increase their effectiveness. The new shells consists of oleoresin, which is more natural and pungent in comparison to the chemical-based PAVA shells.The larger supply of plastic bullets, considered less lethal than the much-maligned pellet guns, has been made after an extensive trial with a few thousand such bullets, Union home ministry sources said.“As part of the graded response to deal with violent crowds, the plastic bullets are being employed before using pellet guns,” said a Union home ministry official, who spoke on the condition of anonymity as he is not authorised to speak to media.HT
Kashmiri cops call out politicians as 'hypocrites' who don't give a damn about their lives
Police officers in Kashmir have called out politicians as "hypocrites" who are unconcerned when members of the J&K police are killed in the line of duty.Tahir Ashraf, a police official, tweeted, "Those who enjoy #JKpolice protection/help and fail to side with them at the time of grief are hypocrites with dead conscience."Indian Express reported that Ashraf is a SP rank officer posted as Staff Officer to an IGP.A total of 607 police personnel were killed in the country in 2014, according to NCRB data. Highest casualties were reported from UP  (82) followed by Maharashtra (69), Punjab (60) and Tamil Nadu (59) under this head during the year. There were 52 causalities reported in Anti Terrorist/Extremist operations from 10 States, the highest number of casualties was in Chhattisgarh (18), and J&K(13).According to the NCRB data for 2013, 13 police personnel were killed in J&K. HuffPost India
Another Shopian village suffers army vandalism: Kashmir reader
Shopian: Continuing their attacks on Shopian villages, army soldiers allegedly vandalised Saidpora-Payin village on Monday evening, damaging dozens of vehicles which the villagers had parked in streets, courtyards and on road sides.A resident of the village (name withheld) told Kashmir Reader that as soon as the army soldiers reached the village, they started smashing parked vehicles.Villagers added that forces also ransacked about eight residential houses. “They broke windows, window panes, other stuff without any stone throwing or provocations,” a local resident said.Locals added that there was fear and terror in the village when forces were abusing and shouting at people. “We hid inside our houses and some youth left the village because of the terror of the army,” an elderly man from the village said.
NIA trying to frame leaders on Zakir Naik pattern: Kashmiri Separatist leadership
Srinagar:In a statement, JRL said NIA frames and raids residences of pro-freedom leaders and activists “as a pre-planned psychological crackdown so that they surrender and stop voicing the sentiments of their nation.” “Although this agency (NIA) is being projected as an autonomous body, its services are however being utilized to terrorize the leadership and defame and discredit the ongoing freedom movement,” the Joint Resistance Leadership comprising Syed Ali Geelani, Mirwaiz Umar Farooq and Yasin Malik said. “They are trying to frame false cases against the resistance leaders and put pressure on them to weaken resistance movement.” greaterkashmir
China hints at blocking India’s move on Masood Azhar in UN again
Beijing: China hinted on Tuesday at blocking a UN ban on Pakistan-based JeM leader Masood Azhar once again, saying that disagreements continue to prevail in the UN Committee related to terrorism issues in this particular case.Chinese foreign ministry spokesman Geng Shuang’s comments came in response to a question on the Azhar issue ahead of its review by the 1267 Committee of the UN next month.“We have talked about our position many times. We believe that the principles of objectivity and professionalism and justice shall be upheld,” Geng told media briefing in Beijing.Geng was responding to a question whether there can be a forward movement over China’s repeated technical holds to block India’s move to get a UN ban on Azhar.PTI
Dialogue the only way to move forward: Pak envoy
As tension has been mounting between the nuclear-armed neighbours and ceasefire violation has become an everyday affair, Pakistan High Commissioner to India Abdul Basit expressed hope that the stalled dialogue process would start one day.He, however, reiterated that J&K  remains the “basic and core dispute” between India and Pakistan and without solving it “a durable peace cannot be achieved”.In an exclusive interview with Caravan Daily, the soft-spoken Pakistan envoy said one day the ice between Pakistan and India will melt as a framework for a comprehensive dialogue process already exists."The present impasse between the two neighbours will be over sooner or later as without dialogue we cannot move forward. One day Pakistan and India will have to come on the negotiation table for resolving their outstanding problems," says Abdul Basit. Caravan Daily

CRPF refuses to share probe report of killing of 25 personnel in April, saying killings of jawans by Maoists not violation of human rights
The killing of 25 personnel by Maoists in Chhattisgarh’s Sukma on April 24 this year apparently does not qualify as a “human rights violation” for CRPF.The force gave this response while refusing to share the inquiry report into the incident with a RTI applicant.Human rights activist Venkatesh Nayak had sought the report, saying the massacre violated the human rights of those killed.The force is exempted from making disclosures under RTI Act unless the information sought pertains to allegations of human rights violation and corruption which may or may not be committed by CRPF personnel.Citing the exemption clause, CRPF in its response said, “In the instant matter, there appears to be no violations of Human Rights as well as facts of the case do not attract allegations of corruption. Moreover, your application does not make any reference to such allegations. Hence this department is not liable to provide any information in this regard to your under RTI Act-2005.”PTI
India extends exiled author Taslima Nasreen’s visa for 1 yr
New Delhi: Controversial Bangladeshi author Taslima Nasreen’s visa has been extended for one year, with effect from July 23, 2017, by the Union home ministry. Home Minister Rajnath Singh on Tuesday gave approval for the visa extension, official sources said.Taslima, a citizen of Sweden, has been getting Indian visa on a continuous basis since 2004. Her visa has been further extended on the basis of the Swedish passport, they said. hindustantimes
South Asia Solidarity Group urges UN Special Rapporteur to investigate the spiral of human rights violations in India
London: The London based human rights organization South Asia Solidarity Group (SASG) has launched an online petition urging UN Special Rapporteur Rita Izs├ík-Ndiaye to investigate the growing human rights violation in India particularly the attacks on religious minorities and Dalits. “Human rights violations which target religious minorities, specifically Muslims and Christians, and Dalits are occurring on a vast and horrific scale in India today. While violence against Muslim and Christian communities have been increasing since the early 1990s, and upper caste atrocities on Dalits are a longstanding phenomenon, there has been a massive escalation in both since Narendra Modi’s BJP came to power at the Centre in 2014. Emboldened by the victory of BJP, Hindu supremacist gangs with links to the ruling party, or in some parts of India directly set up by the state, are the chief perpetrators of these abuses which are occurring unchecked. Below we outline some of the types of extreme violations affecting Muslims, Christians and Dalits.” Reads the petition.TCN
Zafar lynching: I’m asked why Taliban is being created in India, says Aruna Roy
Jaipur:Noted social activist Aruna Roy, while addressing a protest meeting in Jaipur on Monday, said that people she meets on her foreign tours often ask her why a “Taliban is being created in India”. Her comments came in the wake of recent incidents of mob violence and vigilantism in the country.The 5-day sit-in, which began on Monday, has been organised by civil rights groups to protest against the alleged lynching of Zafar Hussein.Roy said that India had shown the way of peace to the world and it was disturbing that it is now earning infamy over incidents of mob violence. “What Gandhi demonstrated in this country was followed by Martin Luther King Jr in the US and Nelson Mandela in South Africa,” said Roy, founder of Mazdoor Kisan Shakti Sangathan (MKSS). Furthering the discourse, Kavita Srivastava of PUCL said that Rajasthan was slowly becoming “lynchisthan” (lynching ground) and rule of the mob had taken over the state. PUCL general secretary mentioned the lynching of Pehlu Khan by cow vigilantes in Alwar in April among a number of other incidents of mob violence in the state.Srivastava also said that the most ‘shameful’ aspect was the registering of FIR against the victims. “It happened in the case of Akhlaq in Dadri and Pehlu Khan, and the same script is unfolding in the case of Zafar Hussein,” said Srivastava. The municipal commissioner, who is an accused in Zafar’s lynching along with three others, has filed a case against Zafar alleging that he had attacked the officials. The post-mortem report of the victim said that Zafar died due to cardio-respiratory failure but his kin rejected the report, alleging that it had been manipulated. “We are angry at the authorities trying to project it as a natural death. We demand the immediate suspension and arrest of the accused, a constitution of a high-level inquiry into the case, a compensation of Rs one crore for the victim’s family and the immediate construction of community and individual toilets in Hussein’s locality,” said Srivastava. In addition, the activists said that photographing defecating women was a crime under section 354C  of IPC and demanded that the policy be stopped immediately. Aruna Roy also expressed her disapproval regarding the recent changes in the school textbooks of Rajasthan. “The way they are distorting history and changing the curriculum, no student from state will get admission in foreign universities,” said Roy. hindustantimes
‘I won’t give up fight for justice’, says father of Shahnawaz ‘shot by police’ 24 yrs ago
Mumbai: It has been 24 years since Tahir Wagle lost his 17-year-old son Shahnawaz. On Jan.10, 1993, Shahnawaz, who was a science student at Elphinstone College, was allegedly shot by the police from point blank range near his house. “It has been a long time and people seem to have forgotten the case. It has to be brought back into public memory. I am continuing to fight for justice and will not give up,” says 65-year-old Tahir.The incident happened during the communal riots that broke out in the aftermath of the Babri demolition on Dec.6, 1992. Tahir says his son was not killed in the riots by a mob of Hindus but by policemen in uniform. “There were riots in the city but our area was not affected. I can say that none of my Hindu neighbours resorted to violence against us. My daughter Yasmin saw policemen shooting my son dead,” Tahir says. Tahir and his wife Akhtari continue to live in the same house at Pathan chawl in Mazgaon from where their son was picked up by the police.Akhtari stands on the small balcony pointing out the spot where her son was shot but apart from that does not speak much about the incident. They recall how they had been paid a visit by Justice B N Srikrishna and how Yasmin had told him about the incident. “On the night of the incident, Yasmin saw her brother being shot. She informed her mother and both rushed down. The cops told Yasmin that if she did not take her mother back home again, they would shoot her too,” Tahir says. He was away on a visit to his native town in Ratnagiri district and regrets not taking his family along. “There were no mobile phones then. I was informed only later. The Hindu neighbours came to the house the next morning and told my wife and daughter that they would take them to JJ Hospital where the cops may have taken Shahnawaz,” he says adding that they only found his body. In the Justice BN Srikrishna Commission of Inquiry constituted by the Govt  of Maharashtra, 2 pages detailed the “cold-blooded murder” of Shahnawaz by policemen. indianexpress
Mohsin's family wants Rohini Salian as SPP in the murder case
Pune: The family of Mohsin Shaikh, killed in 2014 allegedly by Hindu Rashtra Sena members, has sought appointment of Rohini Salian as special public prosecutor in the case. The demand came days after noted lawyer Ujjwal Nikam withdrew as special public prosecutor from the case. The family has written to CM  Devendra Fadnavis seeking Salian's appointment as special public prosecutor in the case. In 2016, Salian had withdrawn from 2008 Malegaon blast case alleging that the NIA had asked her to "go soft on the accused" in the case. Shaikh (28), a software engineer, was attacked and killed on June 2, 2014 allegedly by Hindu Rashtra Sena members in Hadapsar area. "In view of the cancellation of appointment of Advocate Nikam as special public prosecutor in the Mohsin murder case, we have written a letter to Fadnavis, seeking appointment of Advocate Salian in the case," said Mohsin's father Sadique Shaikh. Shaikh said he has already spoken to Salian and she is positive about appearing in the case further. "So we request the CM to give confirmation to our request," he said.The state Govt  last month cancelled appointment of Nikam as prosecutor in the case based on his request. Around 20 people, including HRS chief Dhananjay Desai, were arrested in connection with the case.PTI
I was Maulana from Bhatkal. That is enough to be arrested: How Shabbir Gangawali lost 9 yrs to false terror charges
Mention the name Bhatkal and the first thing that mainstream media will suggest is the coastal town’s association with terrorism. Over the past decade, numerous media houses have spent a lot of ink trying to ‘understand’, ‘explain’ and in some cases, even ‘reveal’ the causes behind the connection between terrorism and Bhatkal. In April 2017, the same media maintained a stoic silence when Shabbir Gangawali was acquitted of all charges and released. In this 9-part series, Amit Kumar looks at how Gangawali was framed; how 3 residents of Bhatkal were picked up in the most controversial fashion with little proof to substantiate the claims of the Police, how the vilification of a peaceful town has affected its residents and how beyond the image created by the media, a society that is rich in tradition and education continues to flourish. Here is the first part, the story of Gangawali’s redemption.For Gangawali, now 35, Nov.2008 was a time of exploring new pastures. After teaching and leading prayers at a Mosque in Mangalore for a few years, he had landed up in Pune to become an Imam. The money was barely sufficient, but this is all Shabbir, who had completed his Faziliat (equivalent to Masters) from Lucknow, knew:he would eat at his elder sister’s place and sleep at the mosque, which was thankfully next door. TCN
Note Ban Had Material Impact on Spending, Slowed GDP Growth Significantly: Fitch
New Delhi: Demonetisation of old Rs 500 and 1,000 notes had a “material impact on spending” as reflected in significant slowing of GDP growth in Jan-March, Fitch Ratings said on Tuesday, warning that the ongoing steep decline in investment could spell risks to growth potential. In its latest Global Economic Outlook (GEO), Fitch said Indian GDP growth slowed "significantly" to 6.1 %  in first quarter of 2017 from 7 %  in Oct-Dec. This was the slowest pace since fourth quarter of 2013-14. "Domestic demand accounted for the bulk of the slowdown. It appears that the cash squeeze of Nov.2016, whereby the Govt  pulled 86 %  of cash in circulation out of the economy virtually overnight, finally did have a material impact on spending," it said.Stating that the lagged effect of demonetisation on the economy is "quite puzzling", Fitch said this partly reflects the challenges of measuring spending in an economy with a large informal sector.Consumption growth fell substantially to 7.3% , from 11.3%  in the fourth quarter of 2015-16. "More worryingly, investment dipped into negative territory (-2.1%). This partly reflected poor construction activity, which fell by 3.7%, an unprecedentedly low level in recent years," it said, adding that this may have been affected by the demonetisation shock. Stating that investment has been persistently weak in recent years, Fitch said investment as a share of GDP has been trending down for several years and "ongoing steep declines could spell risks for medium-to-long term growth potential."PTI
‘Demonetisation led to GDP growth slowing 'significantly'
Tripura Governor digs up a Hindu-Muslim civil war quote from past: Indian Express
Guwahati: Courting controversy again, Tripura Governor Tathagata Roy tweeted what he called a 1946 diary entry made by Syama Prasad Mookerjee, who later founded the Bharatiya Jana Sangh, which stated that “the Hindu-Muslim problem won’t be solved without a Civil War”. This drew sharp reactions on Twitter and several exchanges later, Roy put out another tweet, saying “couple of dozen dimwits” trolled him for “advocating a civil war”, and that “I was quoting, not advocating”. At 12.23 am June 18, Roy took to Twitter: “Syama Prasad Mookerjee wrote in his diary on 10/1/1946: “The Hindu-Muslim problem won’t b solved without a Civil War”. So much like Lincoln!” This was followed by sharp exchanges with some accusing him of instigating communal violence, others calling for his sacking and arrest.19 hours later, Roy tweeted: “Instantly couple of dozen dimwits began trolling that I was advocating a civil war. None stopped to ponder that I was Quoting, not Advocating.” He continued: “I was quoting a diary of 70 years back, pre-partition India. And it was prophetic. Because Jinnah unleashed that civil war 7 months later. And Jinnah won that civil war and got his Pakistan. That is also something Dr Mookerjee predicted.”Earlier, while engaging the Twitterati, Roy posted a photograph of a banner attributed to “Shyampur Masjid Committee and the residents” and wrote “See this notice. It says “All music forbidden. Violators will call forth penalties.” Not ISIS. Not Taliban, not Saudi. But West Bengal, India”.
Kovind resigns as Bihar Governor, W.Bengal Governor Tripathi gets additional charge
New Delhi:A day after his name was announced as the NDA’s pick for the upcoming presidential election, Ram Nath Kovind resigned as Bihar Governor. West Bengal Governor Keshari Nath Tripathi was given additional charge of Bihar, news agency ANI reported on Tuesday. President Pranab Mukherjee has accepted Kovind’s resignation, ANI added. indianexpress
Mulayam calls NDA-Presidential choice Kovind ‘good candidate’, speculates BJP win
New Delhi: Samajwadi Party leader and former CM of UP , Mulayam Singh Yadav on Tuesday said that Ram Nath Kovind, who is the NDA presidential choice, is a ‘good candidate’. While talking to press, he also said that BJP can manage to win the Presidential poll even if they are short of 1% or 5 % votes presently, as he believed the party will garner those votes eventually. India.com
Shiv Sena announces support for NDA candidate
Shiv Sena Chief Uddhav Thackeray announced the party’s support to NDA candidate Ram Nath Kovind for the post of president.The Sena’s announcement comes as an additional support for the ruling BJP which has already received adequate backing from constituents of the NDA as well as non-NDA parties such as BJD and TRS to Kovind’s candidature. hindustantimes
Nitish,Lalu divided over BJP choice for president:sources
 Just as intended by BJP, the selection of Ram Nath Kovind for the President of India has fissured the opposition. Especially in Bihar, where Mr Kovind has served as Governor since August 2015 and where the 2 main partners in Govt ,CM  Nitish Kumar and Lalu Yadav, have a propensity for disagreement. Yesterday, the BJP stumped the opposition by picking Kovind  as its candidate for President. Because Mr Kovind is a Dalit, most opposition parties find it hard to disagree with his choice. Mayawati, for example, who is a Dalit icon, said she would not object to Kovind unless the opposition fields another Dalit as its candidate.Opposition parties are meeting on Thursday in Delhi to decide whether to back Kovind or enforce an election, as suggested by the Left's Sitaram Yechury. Ndtv
Guest anchors to discontinue as hosts: Hamid Ansari term to end soon, Rajya Sabha TV readies for transition
New Delhi:With THE Vice-President’s term coming to an end in August, and with little chances of BJP offering Hamid Ansari a third term, the Rajya Sabha TV is preparing for a transition. As the chairman of the Rajya Sabha, the Vice-President of India also becomes the head of Rajya Sabha TV, which was launched in December 2011 during Ansari’s first tenure. As part of the transition process, 4 guest anchors — MK Venu, editor of The Wire; Bharat Bhushan, editor of Catch; Govindraj Ethiraj, former editor-in-chief Bloomberg TV India who runs IndiaSpend.com and FactChecker.in; and Urmilesh Singh —were told not to host shows with effect from June 1. Siddharth Vardarajan, editor of The Wire, anchored a weekly show, but informed the RSTV in April that he would no longer be able to anchor it, and his last interview was telecast on April 7. Each of journalists held weekly shows on topics such as foreign and security policies, media and business news. These shows are now being hosted by RSTV’s in-house anchors. indianexpress
Madras HC reverses ruling in favour of Muslim woman’s husband
Madurai:Muslim personal law called Shariat may permit polygamy but that cannot be a ground for a court of law to compel a woman to live with her husband who has filed a petition for restitution of conjugal rights and yet married another woman within 4 months of filing the case, the Madras High Court Bench here has held. Justice RMT. Teekaa Raman passed the ruling while allowing a second appeal preferred by Kamirunnissa (name changed) of Tirunelveli in 2006 and pending in the Bench since then. The judge reversed an order passed by an additional district court in Feb.2004 in favour of the woman’s husband.“This court, while bearing in mind the right of a Muslim husband to contract marriage more than once, should also bear in mind that the decision in a civil suit for restitution of conjugal rights does not entirely depend upon the right of the Muslim husband. The court should also consider whether it would be equitable to compel the wife to live with her husband.” he said. “Our notions of law in this regard have to be held in a way so as to bring them in conformity with modern social conditions. There is no law or a rule which can compel a court of law to always pass a decree in favour of a Muslim husband in a civil suit preferred by him for restitution of conjugal rights.” “A duty is cast upon to the court to find out whether it will be just and reasonable to grant the relief to the husband and whether proved circumstances are such that it would be inequitable to do so for a Muslim woman,” the judge said after concurring with the submissions made by the appellant’s counsel D. Nallathambi. Further, pointing out that marrying another woman amounts to subjecting the first wife to cruelty, the judge said the rule would apply to Muslims too. “In the said circumstances, it could not be unreasonable to hold that after the plaintiff husband contracted second marriage, the appellant wife is justified in staying away from her husband,” the judge added. Initially, her husband filed a guardianship petition seeking custody of their third daughter and withdrew it after the appellant agreed to return all household articles gifted by her father.Thereafter, he had filed a petition for restitution of conjugal rights in 1999. The appellant’s paternal aunt had deposed before the trial court in favour of the appellant. thehindu
Telangana Jamaat chief gives KCR's iftar dawat a miss:TOI
Hyderabad:Jamaat-e-Islami Hind Telangana and Odisha president Hamed Mohammed Khan gave the CM 's iftar dawat a miss June 18. A day later, on Tuesday, he clarified that he did so in an individual capacity.While Khan made no public announcement of his intention, the news spread like wildfire with many lauding the move.Interestingly, other office bearers of the Jamaat were seen at the dawat. Khan confirmed that the decision was taken in an `individual capacity' and not as the president of the Jamaat."This is not a collective decision taken by the jamaat. It is my own decision. I did not to go because of a couple of reasons. First, I do not believe such iftars are important.There are other matters that demand the community's time.There is corruption everywhere," Khan said.
Bohras to plant 40000 trees to mark end of Ramzan
Mumbai:To make Mumbai greener, which is fast losing its trees to infrastructure projects, the Dawoodi Bohra community has decided to plant 40,000 trees in the city. The drive will mark the end of Ramzan.More than 50 trees have already been planted near Horniman Circle and near community mosques and housing colonies in Mazgaon, Muhammad Ali Road, Malabar Hill and Andheri. The programme will be extended to other locations such as Santacruz, Kandivli, Thane and Mumbra.HT
Changes in identification of Naroda gaam riots accused: Witnesses, not lawyers, to name them
Marking a change in the practice of identification of accused in the Naroda gaam riots case, principal city sessions judge PB Desai ordered that now on, the witness would have to identify the accused from the ones present in court and not simply say that he knew the person, as has been the practice till now.The order was implemented on Monday itself, with the defence witness calling out to 23 accused and identifying them in the manner prescribed.The witness, Javal Patel, submitted that he knew former MLA Maya Kodnani but she was absent from the court room. He added that all the 23 accused as well as Kodnani were not part of the rioting mob that had reached Naroda gaam on Feb.28, 2002. Additionally, he said that he had not seen any of them in the area on that day. Patel told the court that he is the owner of Prabhat newspaper and publicity and has a shop near Naroda police station. dnaindia
Naroda riot: witness says he didn't see Kodnani, Bajrangi
Delhi Govt  orders pension of Urdu poet ‘incorrectly declared dead’ to be restored
Delhi Govt  on Monday ordered the restoration of pension to Urdu poet Asrar Jamayee who had been “incorrectly declared dead” by the city’s Social Welfare Dept in 2013, PTI reported. Rajendra Pal Gautam, Delhi’s social welfare minister, visited Jamayee’s residence earlier on Monday, on orders of Deputy CM  Manish Sisodia.Gautam has asked Jamayee’s caretaker to submit necessary documents to restore his pension, PTI quoted an unidentified official as saying. He also directed officials of his ministry to determine what led to Jamayeee’s name to be removed from the records. Gautam said the 80-year-old poet’s name was removed from the records during a drive against “unlawful beneficiaries” of the old age pension scheme for the poor. “He [Jamayee] did not turn up to produce necessary documents annually and when teams were sent to his residence, he was not found there,” Gautam said. “However, this should not have happened. The department has been asked to get his bank pass book updated and help him link his bank account with Aadhaar card. His pension will be restored from this month.”scroll.in
Cow vigilantes strip, tie,beat up 'cattle smugglers' in Etah
New Delhi: The cow vigilantes were at it again, this time in Yogi Adityanath-ruled UP, where 3 alleged "cow smugglers" were brutally thrashed by villagers in Etah district. The alleged thieves were stripped, tied to a tree, and then beaten up mercilessly. This is not the first time when the alleged cow vigilantes took the law into their own hands. A video purportedly showing a large congregation of people around a man, who appears to have come under attack, is doing rounds on social media. A hapless police constable could also be seen in the video but is unable to do anything to protect the alleged cow smuggler. The man, denuded of clothes because of continuous kicking and boxing he received at the hands of the unruly mob, was then paraded, too. CNN-News18
Bhopal encounter: NHRC team arrives to probe complaints
Bhopal: A 3-member probe team of NHRC headed by Pupul Dutta Prasad, SSP and incharge of Group 3 Investigation Division of the Commission arrived here on Monday to investigate complaints of barbaric and inhuman behaviour with 21 SIMI under-trials in Bhopal Central Jail.Though the team would begin its formal probe on Monday, two members of the team visited the Central Jail on Monday and talked to jail officials. They, however, did not meet the under-trials.The kin of the under-trials had complained to the CM  and the NHRC that ever since the death of eight SIMI activists in a so-called encounter near Bhopal in October last year, the under-trials were being subjected to barbaric treatment. freepressjournal
IT Dept. slaps benami charges against Lalu's family
New Delhi:The Income Tax Department has charged the family members of Rashtriya Janata Dal chief Lalu Prasad, including his wife, son and daughters, under the Benami Transactions Act in connection with its probe into land deals worth Rs 1,000 crore and tax evasion.The department has served notices of attachment of assets on Mr. Prasad’s daughter Misa Bharti; her husband Shailesh Kumar; Prasad's wife and former Bihar CM , Rabri Devi; son and Bihar Deputy CM  Tejashwi Yadav; and Prasad's daughters Chanda Yadav and Ragini Yadav.PTI
Benami transaction charges against Lalu Yadav’s family, properties seized; ‘politics of vendetta’, says Tejashwi
Narada sting: TMC leader Iqbal Ahmed asked to appear before CBI on June 22
Kolkata: CBI issued a notice to TMC MLA and deputy mayor of Kolkata Municipal Corporation, Iqbal Ahmed, to appear before it on June 22 in connection with the Narada sting.Earlier on Saturday, the Muchipara Police summoned Narada News CEO Mathew Samuel to appear before it on June 27.
Justice Karnan arrested in Coimbatore by WB police
The controversial Calcutta High Court Judge C.S. Karnan has been arrested in Coimbatore, by West Bengal police.He has been evading arrest since May 10 after the Supreme Court sentenced him to 6 months imprisonment. thehindu
WORLD
Israel starts work on new West Bank settlement
Israel has begun construction of the first new settlement in the occupied West Bank in 25 years, with PM Benjamin Netanyahu calling it an "honour" to build the illegal outpost in defiance of international law. "After decades, I have the honour to be the first PM to build a settlement in Judea and Samaria," Netanyahu said on Tuesday, calling the occupied West Bank by its biblical name."There was not, and there will never be, as good a Govt  for the settlements as ours," the PM  added.Since 1992, much of the controversy surrounding Israel's settlement construction in the occupied territories has revolved around expanding existing settlements.Before the "Oslo Accords" officially opened negotiations in 1993 - between what would become the Palestinian Authority and Israel - roughly 200,000 settlers illegally lived in the West Bank and East Jerusalem. Since then, Israel has expanded the number of settlers to almost 700,000 - thereby making negotiations for a Palestinian state in the occupied territories ineffective. The new settlement - the first since 1992, according to Israeli NGO Peace Now - is intended to house residents of the illegal West Bank outpost of Amona after the Israeli military demolished it in February.The plan to construct the new settlement in Emek Shilo - close to the city of Ramallah - was condemned in March both at home and abroad, with UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres expressing "disappointment and alarm". According to Al Jazeera's Imran Khan, reporting from East Jerusalem in March, "Amona is one of the Israeli settlements in the occupied West Bank that was built on private Palestinian land."An Israeli high court said that this was illegal, so Netanyahu had to get rid of the people who lived there and move them on to somewhere else," he added in his report. "At that stage, [Netanyahu] said, 'By March 31, I will announce a new settlement for where these people can live', and [Netanyahu kept] his part of the deal." aljazeera
Israeli settlement building soars in West Bank
New settler home constructions in the Israeli-occupied West Bank has soared by 70 % in the year to March 2017, according to data released by Israel’s Central Bureau of Statistics.
Europeans for Jerusalem warns of Israel’s practices in holy city
Brussels/Berlin/Milan,(PIC):Europeans for Jerusalem foundation has warned against Israel’s persistence in its serious practices in Occupied Jerusalem in general and at the Aqsa Mosque in particular.In a statement, Europeans for Jerusalem described the exposure of the holy city in general and the Aqsa Mosque in particular to direct targeting, break-ins, desecration and assaults on worshipers under police protection as “a threat to regional stability.”   The foundation voiced deep concern about acts of desecration and sabotage which Jerusalem and the Aqsa Mosque are being exposed to, and assaulting and intimidating innocent worshipers inside the Islamic holy site, affirming that such practices are considered a serious violation of the international law.
Israel to impose entry restrictions at Aqsa Mosque as thousands expected to observe Laylat al-Qadr
O.Jerusalem, (PIC):Israeli occupation police said it would raise its security measures and deploy thousands of members on Wednesday in Jerusalem streets and in the vicinity of the Aqsa Mosque, where dozens of thousands of Muslim worshipers are expected to observe Laylat al-Qadr (the night of decree) prayers.In a press release on Tuesday, the Israeli police specified the ages of Palestinian citizens allowed on Wednesday to enter the Mosque ahead of the night prayers.
UNHCR wins nod to use Islamic alms, Zakat to aid Middle East refugees
Dubai: UN, short of funds to support millions of displaced people in the Middle East, has begun a scheme that would let Muslims make donations from the alms they typically pay state bodies for the benefit of the poor. Muslims around the world are expected to pay "zakat", typically 2.5% of any savings accumulated over the year, generally via state institutions that collect funds for aid to impoverished citizens.UN High Commission for Refugees said it had obtained religious rulings from top Muslim clerics in Egypt, Morocco and Yemen as well as a senior Islamic scholar in Saudi Arabia, that it hoped would persuade wealthy Muslims, especially in oil-rich Gulf countries, to donate their alms directly for relief work."It is an innovation in our efforts to raise funding," said Muhammed Abu Asaker, a UNHCR Middle East spokesman.UNHCR posted the rulings on its webpage that appeals for zakat contributions to aid programmes.The amount of zakat money distributed each year in Muslim countries ranges from $20 billion to $30 billion, experts say.UN has projected it will need a total of $8 billion this year to provide life-saving assistance to millions of Syrians inside their shattered homeland and to refugees and their host communities in neighbouring countries.UNHCR has also called for $2.1 billion to provide food, and medicine for Yemen, where 12 million people are at risk of famine and cholera brought on by two years of civil war.Millions of Syrians, Iraqis and Yemenis have been displaced by years of civil war, sometimes to neighbouring countries, straining the hosts' resources as well as UN and other non-Govt al humanitarian agencies. UNHCR said it will use some of the additional funds it expects from the alms project to help some 30,000 of the most vulnerable Syrian refugee families in Jordan, with around $180 in monthly cash support for each family.Reuters
By keeping US focus on IS, Trump risks wider Syria War
Washington: President Donald Trump has ordered stepped-up military operations against Islamic State and delegated more authority to his generals, but without a comprehensive Syria strategy, his approach risks a further confrontation with Syria, Iran and even Russia, according to US officials and analysts. While the US military's shoot-down of a Syrian jet on Sunday was a rarity in modern warfare, the first in 18 years, it was not an isolated incident.The US has taken a series of actions over the past three months demonstrating its willingness to carry out strikes, mostly in self-defence, against Syrian Govt  forces and their backers, including Iran. Reuters
Russia not sure if  al-Baghdadi died in Syria air strike:PTI
Moscow: Russia said on Tuesday it could not yet confirm that the elusive Islamic State (IS) chief Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi had been killed in a targeted air strike by its military in strife-torn Syria last month.The liquidation of the leader of the terrorist group has not yet been confirmed, Russian Deputy Foreign Minister Gennady Gatilov said.
Trump admin may expand drone strikes to Pak, curb aids to crack down on terror:Reuters
Washington:President Donald Trump’s administration appears ready to harden its approach toward Pakistan to crack down on Pakistan-based militants launching attacks in neighbouring Afghanistan, US officials tell Reuters.Potential Trump administration responses being discussed include expanding US drone strikes, redirecting or withholding some aid to Pakistan and perhaps eventually downgrading Pakistan’s status as a major non-NATO ally, the officials said, speaking on condition of anonymity.Some US officials, however, are skeptical of the prospects for success, arguing that years of previous US efforts to curb Pakistan’s support for militant groups have failed, and that already strengthening US ties to India, Pakistan’s arch-enemy, undermine chances of a breakthrough with Islamabad.US officials say they seek greater cooperation with Pakistan, not a rupture in ties, once the administration finishes a regional review of the strategy guiding the 16-year-old war in Afghanistan.Reuters
Reporters face 70 yrs in prison over anti-Trump march
Even when heavily armed riot police closed off a square block and surrounded protesters, media workers and legal observers alike, independent journalist Alexei Wood did not realise he was about to be arrested."It didn't even cross my mind that was what was happening," 37-year-old photographer and videographer told Al Jazeera. "I was waiting for an order of dispersal and the mass of people showed no sign of resistance when the police completely surrounded them."Yet on that day, January 20, protesters and observers say the order to disperse never came, and more than 230 people were arrested during protests against the inauguration of right-wing US President Donald Trump.Like other media workers who travelled to the capital from across the country for Trump's inauguration, Wood was covering the mass protests that gripped the city.Most of the protests that took place in the city that day passed without violence or mass arrests. Wood, however, was scooped up by police during the anti-fascist bloc's march.The arrests came after Black Bloc anarchists and anti-fascists clashed with police. Officers fired a volley of rubber bullets and tear gas at protesters and launched concussion grenades into the crowd.By the end of the day, the windows of cafes, restaurants and banks had been broken.Most of the 230 people arrested were the following day charged with felony rioting - charges that carry a statutory maximum sentence of 10 years in prison and a fine of $25,000. Among them were Wood and other journalists.A handful of arrested journalists, including Alex Rubinstein of RT and Evan Engle of Vocativ, subsequently had the charges against them dropped. But on April 27, the Superior Court of District of Columbia returned a superseding indictment which added additional charges for some 212 defendants, 3 of whom had not previously been charged. Along with fellow journalist Aaron Cantu, Wood was given additional charges.Al Jazeera
EU urges de-escalation of Qatar-Gulf rift
European Union has called on Gulf countries to "de-escalate the tensions and to engage in direct dialogue" following the ongoing crisis between Qatar and other Arab states in the region. Speaking after her arrival at the Foreign Affairs Council in Luxembourg on Monday, EU Foreign Affairs head Federica Mogherini said: "Any difficulty, any tension, can be and must be resolved at a table, discussing, in dialogue, finding common ways, and politically.""We invite all to de-escalate the tensions and to engage in direct dialogue," Mogherini said. "No unilateral steps."  Aljazeera
Sudan’s Al-Bashir arrives in Saudi for talks on Gulf Crisis
Sudanese President, Omar Al-Bashir, arrived in Saudi Arabia to hold talks with King Salman about the Gulf crisis, the official Sudan News Agency  reported.It is Al-Bashir’s first visit abroad since the decision by Saudi Arabia, the UAE, Bahrain and Egypt to severe diplomatic ties with the small Gulf state of Qatar. He was received on arrival at Jeddah International Airport by the Deputy Governor of Mecca, Prince Abdullah Bin Bandar Bin Abdulaziz and a number of officials. Sudan’s Foreign Minister, Ibrahim Ghandour, said Al-Bashir will express support for the mediation efforts of the Kuwaiti Emir Jabbar Al-Ahmad Al-Sabah to resolve the crisis. Sudanese media outlets also say that the two leaders will discuss the expected lifting of the US sanctions on Sudan as well as Khartoum’s participation in the Saudi led coalition in Yemen. Middleeastmonitor
CAR Govt  signs peace deal with rebel groups
Govt of CAR has signed an "immediate ceasefire" deal with rebel groups at a meeting in Italy's capital, Rome, aimed at ending violence in the strife-torn country. Under Monday's accord, armed groups will be given representation in the political arena in exchange for an end to attacks and blockades, and their members will be brought into the country's armed forces."We commit to the immediate implementation by political-military groups of a country-wide ceasefire, to be monitored by the international community, as a fundamental step on the way to definitive peace," the deal read. "Govt undertakes to ensure military groups are represented at all levels" and are "recognised as part of the reconstruction efforts", it said. Rebel groups pledged to ensure "the free movement of people and goods by removing illegal barriers as an immediate consequence of the ceasefire".The accord was mediated by the Roman Catholic Sant Egidio peace group, and calls for an immediate end to hostilities and the recognition of legitimate authorities following the last elections. aljazeera
Egypt kills 12 militants in North Sinai air strike - Reuters
Egyptian jets bombed a gathering site of Sinai-based Islamist militants, killing 12 and destroying several four-wheel-drive vehicles, the military said on Tuesday.The air strikes "resulted in the killing of 12 highly dangerous ... leaders of Ansar Bayt al-Maqdis," the military said.
FLASH: NEWS & VIEWS
What links the Dalit activism of western UP’s Bhim Army to Punjab?At 32%, Punjab has the highest proportion of Dalits in any Indian state:Akshita Nagpal
Modi Gov's Rs 500 Crore Bonanza to Adani Group Company: EPW
Kovind, Political Insider Who Helps Modi Flaunt Socially Inclusive Credentials:Ajoy Ashirwad Mahaprashasta
Ram Nath Kovind Backed Convicted BJP President Bangaru Laxman in Graft Trial: The Wire
A conversation with Dr Audrey Truschke, the author of Aurangzeb: Misbahuddin Mirza,TCN
 Compiled and edited by Anwarulhaq (Released at: 8:49 PM)

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