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Saturday, 1 July 2017

Evening NEWS DIGEST
INDIA:LYNCHING & HATE CRIMES 
Jharkhand lynching: Muslim women threaten to take up arms against cow vigilantes
Manuwa (Ramgarh):The mob lynching of a Muslim trader in Jharkhand’s Ramgarh 2 days ago has sent ripples of anger through the local population with women of the community saying they would pick up arms against self-styled cow protectors.The women say they are disillusioned with the police and believe the Govt  is in cahoots with cow vigilantes. A mob of 100 people on Thursday thrashed trader Alimuddin, also known as Asgar Ali, and set his car on fire on the suspicion that he was transporting beef – the latest in a string of similar incidents of cow-related violence.“Mob justice would be meted with mob-justice,” said Mariam Khatun, the wife of the dead trader, as scores of people flooded her modest home to console her. Around her, 70-odd women, many of them associated with local organisations, nodded in agreement.The village has erupted in anger and grief as many say Muslim men are becoming soft targets in the name of beef trade. Earlier in June, a 200-strong mob thrashed a 55-year-old Muslim dairy owner and set his house ablaze after a cow carcass was found near his home in Giridih.“We are scared of rising incidents of lynching targeting only Muslim men in the state. These are not accidents but a deliberate act of few groups supported by the administration,” said Mamina Khatun. She said that women were living in fear every day, worried that the male members of the family might not return home.“If Govt  can’t act, we will pick up arms against them to save our men,” she said.There is also anger against the administration that is seen as complicit in the violence.HT
‘They should declare a Hindutva state’: Grief turns to rage in village of Jharkhand lynching victim
In a small room packed with grieving relatives, Shama Parveen recounted the brutality of a video shot on mobile phone that showed her father being beaten to death by a mob on the suspicion of transporting beef. “Some people were beating him with rods while others were making sure they captured it on video,” said Parveen. “In the middle of the beating, one man even snapped my father’s head towards the camera so that they could capture his face.”Parveen was animated and angry – sometimes breaking into sobs but then recovering right away. Her mother, Mariam Khatoon, on the other hand, sat on the bed in a daze, her eyes puffy and face flushed. She had been crying earlier but wasn’t anymore.Early on Thursday morning, Khatoon’s husband, Alimuddin Ansari, had left his village, Manua in Jharkhand’s Ramgarh district, in a van. He was attacked in Ramgarh town by a mob of at least 10 people and his vehicle set on fire. As in earlier instances of cow vigilantism, the attackers took vidoes and photos of the violence and distributed it on social media. “They said he was carrying beef – but it wasn’t,” said Khatoon quietly.Khatoon’s shock resonated through Manua, Alimuddin Ansari’s village, which was reeling from the sudden brutality of violence that had burst out.“Fights over meat have become common now for the past 2-3 years,” said Kamruddin Khan, who had come over from a neighbouring village to attend Alimuddin Ansari’s funeral. “But now it is reaching new heights. The administration wants to rule us by fear, that much is clear.” scroll.in
Village Women Unite to Protest Lynching: 'Will Not Accept Body Until You Register FIR, Arrest Killers': The Citizen
Ramgarh Lynching: ‘Bajrang Dal activists killed my husband’, alleges Alimuddin’s widow
Another lynching in Jharkhand: Rape, murder accused beaten to death in Dumka
Jharkhand lynching probe looks at gau rakshaks, Bajrang Dal
Faridabad lynching: Junaid’s elder brother discharged from Delhi hospital, taken home
Khandawli:Mohammad Gufran grew accustomed to Shaqir’s hand gestures as the day drew on. His best friend of nine years lay still near him, with his eyes shut, and the stab wound next to his ear, throbbing. Gufran poured a little water into Shaqir’s mouth and then attempted to pat away his friend’s pain by slowly massaging his wound. It had been over twelve hours since 23-year-old Shaqir — older brother to 15-year-old Junaid Khan who was stabbed and killed on a Mathura-bound train last week — returned home from the hospital. His brother-in-law had driven him back in his SUV at 2 am on Thursday. The doctors sent him home with a volley of medicines: an antibiotic, a painkiller, a wound cleansing pill, a strong antacid, and a Vitamin D pill — to be taken daily for 10 days. A little after sunrise, almost the whole of Khandawli village came to see Shaqir. A long queue stretched out, with people lining up one after another to wish him well and offer some words of comfort. “Praise Allah that you are alive. Wish you a speedy recovery,” the village elders said. “People came and stood at the entrance to his room to catch a glimpse and then leave,” his older sister Rabia said.Indian Express.
When mob frenzy becomes irrational, we have to pause and reflect: President Mukherjee on lynchings
In the wake of growing number of mob lynching cases in India, President Pranab Mukherjee on Saturday asked whether the society is vigilant enough to save the basic tenets of the country. “When mob lynching becomes so high and uncontrollable, we have to pause and reflect, are we vigilant enough?,” Mukherjee was quoted as saying by ANI.Speaking at the release of commemorative publication of National Herald, President Mukherjee said, “I am not talking of vigilantism, I am talking of are we vigilant enough, proactively to save the basic tenets of our country.”Mukherjee inaugurated the programme in the presence of former PM  Manmohan Singh and Congress President Sonia Gandhi.Recently, the country witnessed widespread protests across various locations under the tagline “Not in My Name” to protest against a streak of mob lynching incidents in the country. The lynching of 15-year-old Junaid Khan in a Mathura-bound train last week was the genesis of the flashpoint.indian express
Adityanath says no one should break law in the name of cow protection
:UP CM  Yogi Adityanath said that people should not take the law into their hands in the name of cow protection and the Govt  will not spare anyone involved in criminal activities.Adityanath also said that triple talaq was a social problem and suggested that the parties involved in the Ayodhya dispute should try and reach a conclusion.IANS
Modi finally speaks out against lynchings of ‘beef eaters’: washingtonpost
Mumbai:PM  Narendra Modi broke his silence Thursday and delivered a speech condemning a recent spate of lynchings in India. Hours later, a news alert announced that yet another man had been killed by a mob for carrying beef.This was the second beef-related lynching in a week, and one of many since Modi came to power in 2014. His Hindu nationalist BJP, which has strong links to a number of far-right Hindu organizations, has been widely criticized for allowing such attacks to continue with little impunity. The violence happens in the name of protecting cows, which Hindus consider sacred.Modi said, “Today, when I hear that someone is killed in the name of a cow — whether he is innocent or guilty is something the law will decide — no person has the right to take the law into his own hands. I appeal to the people of the country: Violence is not a solution to the problems.”
Hours after Modi's speech, man accused of carrying beef killed in Jharkhand
97% attacks by cow vigilantes happened in Modi's regime
Muslims were the target of 51% of violence centred on bovine issues over nearly eight years (2010 to 2017) and comprised 86% of 28 Indians killed in 63 incidents, according to an IndiaSpend content analysis of the English media.As many of 97%  of these attacks were reported after PM  Narendra Modi's Govt  came to power in May 2014, and about half the cow-related violence -- 32 of 63 cases --were from states governed by (BJP when the attacks were reported, revealed our analysis of violence recorded until June 25, 2017.Of the 28 Indians who died over the 7-year period, 24 were Muslim, or 86 % . As many as 124 people were also injured in these attacks. More than half (52 % ) of these attacks were based on rumours, our analysis found. National or state crime data do not distinguish general violence from cow-related attacks and lynchings; IndiaSpend database is the first such statistical perspective to a growing national debate over such violence.2017 is on track to be worst-ever year for cow-related violence. In the first six months of 2017, 20 cow-terror attacks were reported -- more than 75 %  of the 2016 figure, which was the worst year for such violence since 2010.The attacks include mob lynchings by vigilantes, murder and attempt to murder, harassment, assault and gang-rape. In two attacks, the victims/survivors were chained, stripped and beaten, while in two others, the victims were hanged.These attacks -- sometimes collectively referred to as gautankwad -- a portmanteau of the Hindi words for cow and terrorism on social media -- were reported from 19 of 29 Indian states, with UP (10), Haryana (9), Gujarat (6), Karnataka (6), Madhya Pradesh (4), Delhi (4) and Rajasthan (4) reporting the highest number of cases.No more than 21% (13 of 63) of the cases were reported from southern or eastern states (including Bengal and Odisha), but almost half (6 of 13) were from Karnataka. The only incident reported in the northeast was the murder of two men in Assam on 30 April, 2017.About half the cases of cow-related violence -- 32 of 63 -- were from states governed by the BJP at the time.In 50.8 %  (32) of the cases, the targets were Muslim, in 7.9 %  (5) Dalit, 4.8 %  (3) Sikh or Hindu (names appeared Sikh, but it wasn't certain) and 1.6 %  (one) Christian; in 20.6 %  (13) cases, religion was not reported. Among 14.3% (9) cases, targets were Hindus, but their caste was not clear.iANS
Ex- AMU VC Zameeruddin Shah extends support to anti-mob lynching ‘Not in my name’ protests
Zameeruddin Shah, ex-Deputy Chief of Indian Army and the ex-V-C of AMU has supported the ‘Not in my name’ protests happening acrosss the country. People from different castes, religion and communities have started protesting against mob lynching incidents with the message ‘not in my name’, in order to distinguish themselves from the mob which is attacking the people over various baseless allegations. Shah (Retd) has been watching the incidents acorss the country, but he could not say anything as he was serving V-C post of AMU. TCN
Manmohan quotes Iqbal to denounce mob lynchings: Religion doesn’t preach ill-will against each other
New Delhi:Hours after PM Narendra Modi denounced mob lynchings in the name of cow protection, ex-PM Manmohan Singh expressed concerns about the kind of atmosphere being created in the name of religion in the country.“The atmosphere being created in the name of religion reminds me of Iqbal’s couplet (Mazhab ke naam pe jo galat asar phailaya ja rha hai, mujhe Allama Iqbal ki ek nazm yaad aati hai)…’Mazhab nahin sikhata aapas mein bair rakhna” (Religion doesn’t preach ill-will against each other),” Singh said while speaking at an Eid Milan function organised in Delhi.His comments come close on the heels of “Not in My Name” protests held across cities that underscored a spate of mob killings in the country, most recently of a 15-year-old boy, Mohammad Junaid, on a Delhi-Mathura train.Emphasising on communal harmony and peace, he said:“We should create an atmosphere that is in accordance with the path shown by our Constitution and the law. Strengthen brotherhood and embrace each other.”ANI/IE
BJP sees cow in people’s fridges, plates but not on streets eating poly bags: Sisodia
Delhi: The recent lynching incidents in the country, especially Ballabhgarh case in which 16-year-old Junaid Khan was killed and three others injured, dominated the Thursday discussion at the Delhi Legislative Assembly. Delhi Assembly passed a resolution urging people to “uphold the Constitution in letter and spirit” and condemn incidents of lynching in the name of “Gau Raksha.” BJP insisted that the House pass a resolution stating that J&K is an integral part of India. AAP leaders accused the saffron party of trying to divert attention from the real issue. Deputy CM  Manish Sisodia said, “BJP can only see cow in people’s fridge and their plates. Why can’t they see cow’s roaming in the streets of Delhi, eating poly bags and meeting with accidents? PM Narendra Modi goes abroad and hugs several people who eat beef but in India those who eat beef will be killed?” he said.HT
Shatrughan: Condemnation of mob attacks is a case of too little too late
Actor Shatrughan Sinha strongly condemns the lack of urgent and immediate police action against mobs who pick on individuals. The most outspoken soldier of the ruling regime, actor Sinha, is shattered by the spate of mob lynchings across the country. “I strongly condemn the lack of urgent and immediate police action against mobs who pick on individuals. This is a new trend and it is spreading all across the country. If we don’t control it now, we would soon be staring in the face of utter chaos with the mobs deciding what we should eat and what we should wear,” says Shatrughan Sinha vehemently.HT
“Is skinning a cow ok but eating it is not?” – Chetan Bhagat reacts against Jharkhand lynching
Jharkhand: Famous Indian Author, Chetan Bhagat reacting to the lynching of 42-year-old Alimuddin alias Asgar Ali, resident of Manua, tweeted, “Are the beef lynchers going to lynch themselves for wearing shoes made of cow leather?” He further questioned those who took the law into their hands and lynched Ali, “is skinning a cow ok but eating it is not?”It may be mentioned that on Thursday, people in the name of ‘Gau Bhakti’ lynched one innocent Muslim to death on suspicion of carrying beef. This incident occurred in tand area of Sadar police station limits of Ramgarh district of Jharkhand. siasat
Protect Muslims and Dalits: WPI
Welfare Party of India has urged President Pranab Mukherji to direct the Union Govt  to take action to protect Muslims and Dalits from gau rakshaks.Submitting a memorandum through the Deputy Commissioner, members of the party said that there have been incidents in which innocent Muslims were beaten to death by gau rakshaks in the name of protecting cows.People of these communities are facing a severe life threat from particular groups which indulge in such action claiming that they are protecting cows, they said and demanded immediate action to protect Muslims and Dalits and ensure their safety. the hindu
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GST impact: Banking services, insurance premium, credit card bills get costlier from today
New Delhi: With the country ushering in a new tax regime with the introduction of GST, consumers will now have to pay more for banking services, insurance premium payments and credit card bills beginning Saturday. Most of the financial services will attract a higher tax of 18% as against the previous 15 % under the new indirect tax regime.Almost all the banks and insurance companies have sent messages and mails to their respective customers about the new tax rates which will be charged. “Dear policyholder, revision of service tax on account of GST will come to effect from July 1, 2017,” said a LIC message.PNB informed its customers that “with effect from July 1, 2017, the existing service tax of 15 %  levied on all the banking services will be replaced by a GST of 18%.” Meanwhile, HDFC said, “GST is being implemented from 1 July 17. In accordance, Service Tax of 15% will change to 18%. Provide GSTIN for your a/c @ customercare@hdfcsec.com.”Among the banking services that will attract higher service tax include debit card, fund transfer, ATM withdrawal beyond the number of free services, home loan processing fee, locker rentals, issuance of cheque books/drafts/duplicate passbooks, collection of bills, collection of outstation cheques, cash handling charges and SMS alerts. In addition, life and non-life premiums will see an increase from 15%  to 18 % .Reflecting on the implementation of GST, Chanda Kochhar, MD & CEO, ICICI Bank said, “GST is a transformational structural reform which will have multiple benefits – the creation of a national market; enhanced ease of doing business; greater productivity & efficiency; and improved tax compliance. indianexpress
Traders apprehensive about GST, taxation dept gears up to implement new law
New Delhi: Most state govts are optimistic about GST which was launched on Saturday midnight, but for tax officials a punishing schedule is looming to put into practice the new law while traders in many parts of the country are unhappy.In Maharashtra many traders have been complaining of not having got their GST registration. Though the administration has claimed that 95% of 8 lakh traders have registered themselves in the new regime, thousands of new tax assessees are yet to do it.“We are all set to roll out GST from Saturday. It is difficult to say that all compliances have been done as it’s a massive task.But I can day that Maharashtra is much ahead in preparations that other states,” said Sudhir Mungantiwar, state finance minister. Meanwhile, the finance department has been receiving about 300 letters a day raising doubts and concerns over about the new tax regime.HT
GST effect: Pay more to buy home appliances from today


GST rollout: Shops shut in protest, restrictions in parts of Kashmir
Most of the shops and other business establishments were shut across Kashmir today to protest against GST in the state, prompting authorities to impose restrictions on the assembly of people in parts of Srinagar as a precautionary measure. The shutdown call was given by Kashmir Traders and Manufacturers (KTMF). The traders and the opposition parties claim the new tax regime would lead to erosion of the special status of J&K guaranteed by Article 370 of the Constitution.PTI
Once celebrated for being 'cashless', Telangana village goes back to old habit of using cash
After demonetisation threw the entire country into a tizzy, this village in Kamareddy district was celebrated as the first cashless village in December 2016. While urban places such as the district headquarter, Kamareddy, struggled to transition to a cashless economy, Ugrawai of Kamareddy mandal with a population of 1,500, delighted everyone by their embracing of technology. However, after six months of cashless marathon, the picture of this model cashless village began fading. The Gram Sabha, in the presence of Village Sarpanch Abbagouni Balakishan Goud, passed a resolution for the village to go cashless. Following this, the Sarpanch approached the local MLA, Gampa Govardan, who had earlier adopted the village under the Gramajyoti scheme launched by the Telangana Govt  in 2015. MLA then instructed Kamareddy Andhra Bank and other officials to provide the required support for the villagers to go cashless.Without much delay, the local bank officials distributed Point of Sale (POS)/swiping machines throughout the village at a cost of Rs 17,000.It all went well for the first few months, but with time, people gradually began to go back to liquid cash, according to some villagers. the news minute
‘Demonetization failed to achieve what it was meant to’
New York:  Demonetization failed to do what it was supposed to do and its impact is turning out to be more protracted than initially expected, a NYT commentary has said. And even from the point of view of promoting digital money, the Govt  need not have put 86 %  of all currency out of circulation, says Kaushik Basu, C. Marks Professor of International Studies and professor of Economics at Cornell University.  "Demonetization was too coarse an approach, and it accomplished too little while causing too much collateral damage," said Basu. Nearly 8 months after the Govt  scrapped Rs 500 and Rs 1,000 notes, he said a lot of data was now available to help assess what demonetization had actually wrought. IANS
After 10 yrs in jail, 1989 Bhagalpur riots convict acquitted by Patna HC for lack of evidence
Patna:Over 27 years after communal riots in Bihar’s Bhagalpur district claimed over 1,000 lives over a period of two months in 1989, the Patna high court has acquitted Kameshwar Yadav, a key figure named in connection with the infamous incidents. Yadav’s acquittal came on Thursday, after he had spent almost 10 years in jail following his conviction and sentencing to life imprisonment by a court on Nov.28, 2007. He had been held guilty for rioting and killing a shopkeeper during the 1989 Bhagalpur riots.While pronouncing the acquittal, the Patna high court directed authorities concerned to immediately release Yadav from the Bhagalpur central jail, where he had been serving his life term.A high court ‘third bench’, comprising justice Ashwani Kumar Singh, observed in its 39 page judgment that there was no concrete evidence in the police investigation that proved the involvement of Yadav in the riots. Ex-special public prosecutor Mohammad Salauddin said Kameshwar was the lone accused in the case lodged by Bibi Waleema in which she had accused him of killing her son, Mohammad Munna, when the latter.was downing the shutters of his shop (in Oct.1989).This Bhagalpur Kotwali police station case (no. 83/90), involving Yadav, was one of the 27 riot cases in which the accused escaped conviction for want of evidence, over 27 years ago. These cases were reopened by the Nitish Kumar Govt  in 2006, for fresh investigations. As such, after conviction and sentencing in Nov.2007, court of ADJ Arvind Madhav found Yadav guilty of shooting dead Mohammad Qayyum and sentenced him in 2009.. Yadav was charged with firing upon Qayyum while leading a mob of rioters in 1989. HT
3 yrs after Muslim techie murder, most accused on bail, family has no lawyer
Pune: In the 3 years since techie Mohsin Shaikh was murdered on the outskirts of Pune, his family’s fight for justice has been set back by bail granted to 18 of the 21 accused, besides prominent lawyer Ujjwal Nikam’s sudden decision to opt out as special public prosecutor. Mohsin, who hailed from Solapur and was working as an engineer with a Pune firm, was fatally assaulted by a large group in the suburb of Hadapsar on June 2, 2014, in an atmosphere of communal tension following the circulation of certain pictures that offended right-wing groups. The police arrested 21 activists of the Hindu Rashtra Sena (HRS) for the murder.Nikam’s decision came at a time when 17 of the 21, including a minor, were already out on bail. On Thursday, Bombay High Court granted bail to an 18th, Dada Modak, while Ravi Sathe and Sagar Sutar withdrew their bail applications. Sathe, Sutar and radical HRS leader Dhananjay Jayram Desai aka Bhai, 34, whose bail plea was rejected earlier, are the only 3 remaining in jail. indian express
Civilian fatalities on the rise in Kashmir: 2 more protesters killed near Anantnag encounter site
New Delhi: 2 civilians were killed on Saturday near an encounter site in J&K’s Anantnag, with police saying that they were caught in the cross-fire, as the restive state of late witnessed a spike in civilian killings after army talked tough.Eyewitnesses said that hundreds of protesters had moved towards the encounter site to save cornered militants, triggering clashes, and forces allegedly opened fire.So far 22 civilians — mostly protesters — were killed ostensibly in firing by forces since Feb.15 when army chief General Bipin Rawat warned of stern action against civilians who would try to disrupt counter-insurgency operations.Spot media reports of the 22 deaths, corroborated by rights activists in Kashmir, say that the deaths were caused either by alleged firing by forces to quell protests or in some cases, as authorities said, by a stray bullet in cross-firing between militants and security forces.In some cases, eyewitnesses claimed, victims were not even stone-pelters and were simply caught in the chaos.HT
Woman killed in encounter between security forces, militants in J-K’s Anantnag

Section 144 in Srinagar areas as Hurriyat calls protest on Syed Salahuddin terror tag
Srinagar:Following the Hurriyat call for protests after Friday prayers against the US decision to label United Jihad Council chief Syed Salahuddin as a “global terrorist”, the old city of Srinagar remained under restrictions on Friday. Apprehending large-scale protests in the old city, the authorities imposed Section 144 in Nowhatta, Maharaj Gunj, Rainawari, Khanyar and Safakadal police station areas. Civilian movement was also disallowed in these areas. indian express
Iran's Khamenei equates Kashmir with Yemen, Bahrain; calls for Islamic world to support protests
New Delhi : In a shocking statement from India's traditional ally, Iranian leader equated India's actions in its state J&K  to atrocities on people in Yemen and Bahrain. Iran's supreme leader Ayatollah Khamenei called for 'clear stance' on Kashmir from the Muslim world.  In his speech delivered on the occasion of Eid-ul-Fitr, the supreme leader 'advised Muslim nations to take a clear stance on issues in the Muslim world, even if it causes dissatisfaction of arrogant individuals.'Khamenei stressed that the 'Islamic Nations' especially Yemen and Bahrain were 'covered in wounds' and called upon the 'World of Islam' to express their disdain against the 'oppressors who've attacked the people in such horrible ways during the month of Ramadan'. Equating Kashmir to the Yemen and Bahrain crises, the Iranian leader said,"The same is true for the people of Bahrain and Kashmir: Our people can back this great movement within the World of Islam. Just as we explicitly express our position against enemies and adversaries, the world of Islam--especially the elites in it--should follow this path and take a position towards seeking to please God, absolutely, even if it leads to dissatisfaction of the arrogant front." news nation
Hizb chief Syed Salahuddin designated ‘global terrorist’ by US vows to fight on
 Hizbul Mujahideen chief Syed Salahuddin, declared a global terrorist by US this week, vowed on Saturday to continue his armed struggle against Indian forces to liberate J&K .“We will not end this fight without liberating Kashmir from India,” Salahuddin, 71, told a news conference in Muzaffarabad, the capital of PoK.The United States declared Salahuddin, who also heads the Pakistan-based United Jihad Council, a “global terrorist” hours ahead of PM  Narendra Modi’s maiden meeting with President Donald Trump in Washington on June 26, a decision the militant leader said was only made to appease India.He said the Hizbul Mujahideen only targets Indian forces and the Islamic State group and al-Qaeda have no presence in Kashmir. “Donald Trump’s decision will be thrown out if anyone challenges it in American courts,” Salahiuddin said. “No other Western nation has endorsed what this crazy Donald Trump has done.”He asked the UN to implement its resolutions and give the Kashmiri people the right to vote on independence or a merger with Pakistan. He said Hizbul Mujahideen may consider peace talks with India if Russia or China can guarantee that such parleys would produce results.HT
Defiant militant commander Syed Salahuddin denounces US terrorist designation: Reuters
Pak bans JuD front amid international pressure to curb terror funding
Islamabad:Pakistan has quietly banned Tehreek-e-Azaadi J&K , a new front for Hafiz Saeed’s Jamaat-ud-Dawa, as international pressure on the country grew, including from a global watchdog, to combat terror and its funding. TAJK gained prominence as a JuD front when it held pro-Kashmir freedom rallies and displayed banners and streamers across Pakistan on “Kashmir Day” on Feb.5, days after Saeed was put under “house arrest” for 90 days in Lahore.PTI
Omar Abdullah lashes out after Parrikar’s remarks on surgical strikes
New Delhi:Reacting strongly to Manohar Parrikar’s ‘surgical strikes’ remark, ex J&K CM Omar Abdullah asked whether ‘we are supposed to feel safer with this sort of decision making.’ Parrikar on Friday said that an “insulting” question by a TV anchor to union minister Rajyavardhan Singh Rathore after the 2015 anti-insurgency operation along the Myanmar border prompted him to plan last year’s ‘surgical strikes’ in PoK. Goa CM said, “The surgical strikes against militants in PoK  was planned 15 months in advance.”Abdullah took to Twitter to express his shock at the supposed decision of conducting surgical strikes and asked how a nation could feel safe with a decision taken on the basis of an ‘insult’ made by a news anchor. Abdullah tweeted, “#SurgicalStrike had nothing to do with #Uri. It was planned because a minister was asked “an insulting question”. What does one say! A news anchor’s question could have provoked a wider conflict with Pakistan & we are supposed to feel safer with this sort of decision making.” indian express
FIR against Azam Khan for ‘promoting enmity’ with remark against army
Bareilly: An FIR was registered against senior Samajwadi Party leader Azam Khan in his home district Rampur for promoting enmity with his recent statement suggesting sexual harassment of common people by soldiers in various parts of the country. Confirming the development SP of Rampur, Vipin Tada said, “An FIR against Azam Khan under section 153A and section 505 of IPC has been registered at civil lines police station. A police team is investigating the matter.”The investigators have started collecting video clippings of Azam’s statement which have been widely shared on social media.FIR was registered after a complaint by one Akash Saxena, son of Shiv Bahadur Saxena, a former BJP politician. Saxena met the SP with his supporters and lodged the complaint on Friday evening. He claimed that Azam’s statement harmed the morale of the Army and thus affected the integrity of our nation.Apart from this FIR, several other political organisations including the Congress and the BJP have lodged separate complaints in the region against Khan. Most of them have termed Azam’s statements an act of sedition.The controversy started when Azam Khan while addressing SP supporters at an Eid Milan function on Tuesday said “At some places female militants took away private parts of soldiers. They didn’t take away their head or limbs but their private parts. The act has such a big message to it which should have the entire country ashamed.”Meanwhile several right wing Hindu organisations have announced monetary rewards for beheading the SP leader.The outcry forced Khan to give a written explanation in which he claimed that the statement was in reference to a Maoist attack in Jharkhand earlier.“It was widely reported in newspapers and TV that female terrorists of Jharkhand Mukti Morcha mutilated the dead bodies of (CRPF) soldiers and took away their private parts,” read the statement.
Azam’s remarks on armed forces: VHP leader announces Rs 50 lakh cash for cutting off Khan’s tongue
India, Pakistan exchanged lists of nationals held in jails in respective countries: MEA
New Delhi:In a step aimed at strengthening bilateral ties between India and Pakistan, the Ministry of External Affairs on Saturday exchanged the lists of nationals of their respective countries who are currently lodged in the jails of the other country, news agency ANI reported. In addition, the Indian Govt  also requested Pakistan to grant consular access to Indians lodged in their custody, including Hamid Nehal Ansari and Kulbhushan Jadhav. The ministry was quoted by ANI as saying, “Again requested Pakistan to grant consular access to Indians lodged in their custody including Hamid Nehal Ansari and Kulbhushan Jadhav.”A report earlier handed over by Pakistan govt to the Indian envoy in Islamabad stated that at least 546 Indian nationals, which includes nearly 500 fishermen, are lodged in Pakistani jails. indianexpress
Pakistan unable to deal with PM Modi-led India: Pak Daily
Islamabad: US decision to ally with India vis-a-vis J&K  is a sign that "Pakistan has been unable to adapt its approach to India" led by PM  Narendra Modi, a Pakistani newspaper said on Friday. "Historically, the US has encouraged Pakistan and India to engage in dialogue on all disputes and issues between the two countries. But that encouragement is now meaningless if the US aligns itself with India on the Kashmir dispute," the Dawn said in an editorial.  This, the influential daily said, posed certain challenges to Pakistan, including how to mobilize world opinion against India over J&K . PTI
Road construction will represent ‘change of status quo with security implications for us, India tells China
Indian Govt  expressed deep concern over China constructing a road in the disputed Doklam area near Sikkim, and said it had conveyed to Beijing that such an action would represent a significant change of status quo with “serious” security implications for India. India’s reaction that follows a face-off between Indian and Chinese troops in the area prompted Beijing to take a tough stance and demand the withdrawal of Indian troops from the Sikkim sector as a precondition for “meaningful dialogue” to resolve the situation. China also accused India of being a “third party” to China-Bhutan dispute. Reacting to China’s contention, the Ministry of External Affairs (MEA) said it was essential that all parties concerned displayed utmost restraint and abide by their respective bilateral understandings not to change the status quo unilaterally.It is also important that the consensus reached between India and China through the Special Representatives process was scrupulously respected by both sides, the Ministry said.PTI
How India counters China over Doka La face-off near Sikkim
'China stops Mansarovar Yatra but BJP invites Chinese delegations in MP'
Bhopal: Congress has attacked the BJP for hosting Chinese delegation in MP just when China has stopped Kailash Mansarovar Yatra.The party has said that it is time to call for ban on Chinese goods, but the BJP is instead inviting Chinese officials and is entertaining them. Leader of Opposition in MP Assembly Ajay Singh has said that China has stopped Indian pilgrims at Nathu La and did now allow them to visit Mansarovar but MP CM Shivraj Singh Chouhan invites Chinese delegation and is strengthening business relations with them.The time is to object to the manner in which the pilgrimage was stopped. But BJP is doing precious nothing. Instead, it goes on cosying up with them though it should have warned China about its activities in North East too, the party leaders say.NewsBits.in
Modi heads to Israel, lifting curtain on close ties:Reuters
Narendra Modi is making a first visit to Israel by an Indian PM  next week, in a public embrace of a country that he has long admired for its military and technical expertise but which his predecessors kept at arm's length.India has traditionally trodden a careful diplomatic line in the region, analysts say, wary of upsetting Arab states and Iran - upon whom it relies for its vast imports of oil - and its large Muslim minority. It has been a vocal supporter of the Palestinian cause, even as it quietly pursued ties with Israel.But now Modi is lifting the curtain on a thriving military relationship. He will hold three days of talks with his Israeli counterpart, Benjamin Netanyahu, to advance sales and production of missiles, drones and radar systems under his signature "Make in India" drive, officials in Delhi and Tel Aviv said.The Indian leader will not travel to Ramallah, the seat of the Palestine Authority and a customary stop for visiting leaders trying to maintain a balance in political ties.At home, the apparent shift in what has long been a bedrock of India's foreign policy risks sharpening criticism that the country's 180 million Muslims are increasingly being marginalized under Modi's Hindu-nationalist BJP Govt , which swept to power in 2014."Narendra Modi's visit to Israel will only strengthen its occupation of Palestine," said Asaduddin Owaisi, a member of India's federal Parliament from a regional group that promotes Muslim rights.Reuters
Kerala Govt  launches housing scheme for widows, divorcees from minority communities
A total of 1,240 widows and divorcees from minority communities will get the benefit of a housing scheme by Kerala Govt . Named after late CPI(M) leader and former minister E K Imbichi Bava, the scheme will extend financial assistance of Rs. 2.5 lakh to each beneficiary.The state level inauguration of financial assistance disbursal was held in Malappuram on Friday. Minister for Local Administration and Minority Welfare K T Jaleel inaugurated the function.He said the scheme will be implemented with the support of voluntary organisations. Besides, Rs. one lakh will be given to beneficiaries from Livelihood Inclusion and Financial Empowerment (LIFE) mission by the LDF Govt .Twocircles
GULF CRISIS
'Attack on freedom of expression': UN slams Gulf's demand to shut Al Jazeera
Geneva [Switzerland]: US has voiced concern over Gulf nations 'unacceptable attack on the right to freedom of expression and opinion' by demanding Qatar to shut down Al Jazeera network, as well as other affiliated media outlets.  Spokesperson for UN High Commissioner for Human Rights, Rupert Colville, told a press briefing here on Friday, "High Commissioner is extremely concerned by the demand that Qatar close down the Al Jazeera network, as well as other affiliated media outlets.""Whether or not you watch it, like it, or agree with its editorial standpoints, Al Jazeera's Arabic and English channels are legitimate, and have many millions of viewers. The demand that they be summarily closed down is, in our view, an unacceptable attack on the right to freedom of expression and opinion," added Colville.The spokesperson said that if states have an issue with items broadcast on other countries' television channels, they are at liberty to publicly debate and dispute them but to insist that such channels be shut down is extraordinary, unprecedented and clearly unreasonable.ANI

Saudi pushes on with steep Qatar demands
Saudi Arabia has reiterated that its demands to Qatar to end the stand-off in the Gulf were "non-negotiable".Adel al-Jubeir, Saudi foreign minister, said on Twitter on Saturday that "demands on Qatar to stop funding terrorism are non-negotiable"."Restrictions on Qatar show zero tolerance for terrorism," Jubeir said, claiming that Doha had failed to keep previous pledges of stopping "funding terrorism and interfering in other countries' affairs". Qatar denies all allegations. Aljazeera
Qatar: Arab boycott is a ‘declaration of war’
A “declaration of war without blood” has been made against Qatar by the countries which have imposed a siege on the Gulf state, Minister of State for Defence, Khaled Al-Attiyah, said. “What can the closure of the land, sea and air borders to harm the citizens and hit the social fabric among the Gulf countries be described as?” he asked in an interview with Al-Araby Al-Jadeed.“What Qatar is being subjected to is a campaign and siege which is a declaration of war without blood.”Speaking ahead of his meeting with Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan, due to take place in Ankara today, Al-Attiyah said: “Qatar and Turkey have historical and continuing ties, and my visit comes in the context of strengthening defence cooperation between the two countries.”Adding that the Turkish military base in Qatar would be discussed during the meeting. Reagarding Doha’s relationship with America, Al-Attiyah said: “Qatar’s relationship with the United States is a strategic one, especially in the fight against terrorism.” middleeastmonitor
Gulf crisis: Qatar FM meets UN Security Council members
Qatar's foreign minister has asked members of the United Nations Security Council to urge a Saudi-led bloc of states to lift their blockade on the Gulf country, nearly one month after it began.Mohammed bin Abdulrahman Al Thani on Friday met with non-permanent members of the Security Council at the Qatari mission to the UN in the US state of New York, urging them to speak out publicly on his country's behalf.Al Thani told Al Jazeera he gave them "updates on the situation" and urged "all of them to call for a lifting of the blockade on Qatar". Aljazeera
UAE's envoy  Yousef al-Otaiba linked to Malaysia 1MBD scandal: WSJ
Companies connected to the UAE's ambassador to the US received $66 million from offshore accounts that contained money allegedly embezzled from Malaysia's 1MDB investment fund, according to documents reviewed by The Wall Street Journal. In 2015, allegations emerged that billions of dollars were stolen from Malaysia's state-owned 1MDB.WSJ said leaked emails of ambassador Yousef al-Otaiba included "descriptions of meetings between Shaher Awartani, an Abu Dhabi-based business partner of Mr. Otaiba, and Jho Low, the Malaysian financier the [US] justice department says was the central conspirator in the alleged $4.5 billion 1MDB fraud".US justice department said that the billions had been stolen from 1MDB by people close to Malaysian PM  Najib Razak.The fund is also at the centre of investigations in many other countries, including the UAE and Singapore.Aljazeera
UK's Jeremy Corbyn: Halt arms sales to Saudi
Jeremy Corbyn, the leader of the UK's main opposition Labour Party, has called for a halt in arms sales to Saudi Arabia and a ceasefire in Yemen.Since the start of war in Yemen, the UK has approved arms export licences to Saudi Arabia worth $4.1bn, according to London-based Campaign Against the Arms Trade. Corbyn said: "We have constantly condemned the use of these weapons by Saudi Arabia in Yemen, and called for the suspension of the arms sales to Saudi Arabia to show that we are wanting a peace process in Yemen, not an invasion by Saudi Arabia.Aljazeera
WORLD
Nearly half a million displaced Syrians return home: UN
Nearly half a million displaced Syrians have returned to their homes since the beginning of the year, mainly to find family members and check on property, the UN refugee agency said.The agency said it had seen "a notable trend of spontaneous returns to and within Syria in 2017".Since Jan, about 440,000 people who had been displaced within the war-ravaged country had returned to their homes, mainly in Aleppo, Hama, Homs and Damascus, Andrej Mahecic, a spokesman for the agency, known as the UNHCR, told reporters in Geneva on Friday.In addition, around 31,000 refugees in neighbouring countries had also returned, he said, bringing to 260,000 the number of refugees who have returned to the country since 2015.But Mahecic said this is a mere "fraction" of the five million Syrian refugees hosted in the region.Aljazeera
UN watchdog says sarin used in Khan Sheikhoun attack
A fact-finding mission by the UN's chemical watchdog, the OPCW, has concluded that sarin or a sarin-like substance was used as a chemical weapon in the April 4 attack in the Syrian town of Khan Sheikhoun.The confidential report released on Thursday by the Organization for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons (OPCW) will now be taken up by a joint UN-OPCW panel to determine whether Syrian Govt  forces were behind the attack."Based on its work, the FFM (fact-finding mission) is able to conclude that a large number of people, some of whom died, were exposed to sarin or a sarin-like substance," said the report, parts of which were obtained by AFP ."The release that caused this exposure was most likely initiated at the site where there is now a crater in the road," it added.Aljazeera
Thousands tortured to death in Syrian prisons, reports human rights group
The Syrian Observatory for Human Rights announced on Friday that it has documented evidence that around 13,000 people, including women and children, were killed in prisons run by the Syrian regime between March 2011 and June 2017, Anadolu has reported. UK-based organisation revealed the details in a report entitled “Stop the Torture Machine” issued to mark the UN’s International Day in Support of Victims of Torture.According to the report, 12,920 people were tortured to death inside Syria’s prisons during the period under review, including 161 children and 41 women. It added that the PYD, the Syrian branch of the Kurdish PKK, tortured 26 people to death, of whom one was a child and two were women. Daesh is said to have tortured at least 30 people to death, including one child and 13 women. A further 53 people were tortured to death by other groups involved in the Syrian conflict.
IS withdraws from Syria’s Aleppo province: Monitor
Beirut:The Islamic State group no longer has a presence in Syria’s Aleppo province after withdrawing from a series of villages where regime forces were advancing, a monitor said on Friday. “IS withdrew from 17 towns and villages and is now effectively outside of Aleppo province after having a presence there for 4 years,” said Rami Abdel Rahman, head of the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights. Regime forces had been advancing on a sliver of southeastern Aleppo province around a key highway linking Hama province to the southwest and Raqa province further east.AFP
IS retakes Raqa district from US-backed forces: Monitor
Beirut: Islamic State group jihadists recaptured an eastern district of their Syrian bastion Raqa on Friday, a monitor said, rolling back the advance of US-backed fighters. "IS fully retook Al-Senaa, which was the most important neighbourhood taken by the Syrian Democratic Forces," said Rami Abdel Rahman, who heads the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights. "IS fighters attacked the SDF with suicide bombers and (weaponised) drones, and also used tunnels," he said.AFP
Myanmar refuses visas to UN team investigating abuse of Rohingya Muslims: Reuters
Myanmar will refuse entry to members of a United Nations investigation focusing on allegations of killings, rape and torture by security forces against Rohingya Muslims, an official has said.The Govt , led by Nobel laureate Aung San Suu Kyi, had already said it would not cooperate with a mission set up after a human rights council resolution was adopted in March.“If they are going to send someone with regards to the fact-finding mission, then there’s no reason for us to let them come,” said Kyaw Zeya, permanent secretary at the ministry of foreign affairs in the capital, Naypyidaw, on Friday.“Our missions worldwide are advised accordingly,” he said, explaining that visas to enter Myanmar would not be issued to the mission’s appointees or staff. theguardian
Atleast 17 injured in US nightclub shooting
Police authorities said that 17 people were injured after a shooting broke out early Saturday which resulted due to a dispute. The Police estabilished that the incident was neither an “active shooter” nor a “terror related” incident in the shooting took place at a downtown Little Rock nightclub.Power Ultra Lounge, a club in a 2-storeyed building was the site of the shooting incident. The club is a mile away from the state capitol. Early Saturday, police had cordoned off the block as crime-scene technicians continued to investigate. Little Rock Police chief Kenton Buckner informed reporters that the shooting apparently resulted due to “some sort of dispute that broke out between people inside.”The shooting follows a week of multiple drive-by shootings in the capital city, though there’s no indication the events are linked. Early Saturday, Rada Bunch waited outside the club in apprehension, after one of her friends informed her that her son had been at the club and there’s a possibility that he had been shot. I’m sick of all the killing and I’m tired of all the shooting, the kids getting hurt,” Bunch said. Indian express
Death toll in Psk's Bahawalpur oil tanker blast reaches 190
The death toll from an oil tanker explosion in central Pakistan has risen to 190, hospital and Govt  officials said, as 16 more people succumbed to their injuries on Friday.The oil tanker overturned on Sunday morning on a main highway from the coastal city of Karachi to Lahore while carrying around 40,000 litres of fuel. aljazeera
Germany okays sale of more nuke-capable subs to Israel
BERLIN, (PIC):Germany’s national security council on Friday approved the sale of three more nuclear-capable submarines to Israel for a combined price of some 1.3 billion dollars.The new vessels are part of a deal marred by corruption accusations against top Israeli officials spearheaded by premier Benjamin Netanyahu as well as against others from Germany.The Israeli navy already obtained a fleet of five German submarines of the Dolphin Class, which can be equipped with nuclear warheads, with a sixth due for delivery this year, according to The Times of Israel newspaper.The approval of the deal on Friday was first reported by Der Spiegel news magazine, which did not cite the source of the information.German magazine said further that the council decided the deal would be revoked if an investigation into corruption suspicions over the submarines yielded any indication of wrongdoing.
 Jamaat-i-Islami  AJK elects new emir: Dawn
Muzaffarabad: Dr Khalid Mahmood was elected emir of Jamaat-i-Islami AJK and Gilgit-Baltistan (GB) for a 3-year term, it was announced on Friday.He has replaced Abdul Rashid Turabi, the longest-serving emir (22 years) after the party that was launched in AJK and GB in July 1974.Turabi is currently the member of the Legislative Assembly, against a special seat reserved for the technocrats. Dr Mahmood, who has been practicing medicine in Rawalakot, was chosen for the slot by the party’s General Council, comprising around 1,500 members from AJK, GB and Pak-based Kashmiri refugees, from among a panel of three candidates who included the incumbent emir. dawn
FLASH: NEWS & VIEWS
India's GST highest in the world: Here's what some other countries charge: Business Today
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Junaid, my son:Harsh Mander, Indian Express
How a Hindu temple was renovated by a Muslim and a Sufi shrine revamped by a Sikh in Pakistan:Haroon Khalid, sroll.in
Why the BJP has no incentive to stop the lynching of Muslims in India:Sushil Aaron, HT
Ballabhgarh Lynching: Lack of Political Will Failed the Minorities:Hilal Ahmed, The Quint
BJP's projection of itself as pro-Dalit by making Ram Nath Kovind its presidential candidate won’t work: Kapil Sibal, Indian Express
86% Dead In Cow-Related Violence Since 2010 Are Muslim; 97% Attacks After 2014:Delna Abraham & Ojaswi Rao
The string of lynchings point to a national dysfunction:Snigdha Poonam, HT

Thousands Rally Across India to #NotInMyName Protests Against Lynchings of Muslims, Dalits
Cows live better than the poor in Rajasthan! State to pay Rs 70 (80p) per cow per day, and Rs 26.65 (30p) for those living below the poverty line: Daily Mail
'Cow vigilantes? Not in my name': Protesters across India condemn attacks on Muslims amid fears Modi's Hindu nationalist Govt  is now showing its true colours
NALSA to launch web application to ensure no prisoner remains unrepresented in courts

 Compiled and edited by Anwarulhaq (Released at: 5:04 PM)

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