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Monday, 3 July 2017

Evening NEWS DIGEST
INDIA
UP police detain over 70 Dalit protesters who wanted to present Adityanath with giant bar of soap
More than 70 Dalit rights activists have been detained by the UP police in Jhansi and Lucknow to prevent them from presenting a 125 kg bar of soap to CM Adityanath. The Lucknow police also detained 8 Dalit activists outside the city’s Press Club on Monday where they were scheduled to address a press conference about their soap protest.The crackdown began on Sunday when the Jhansi police forced 43 Dalit, Adivasi and other backward class protesters from Gujarat to get off the Sabarmati Express, and detained them in a guest house. The protesters, from the Dr Ambedkar Vechan Pratibandh Samiti, had left Gujarat on Saturday night and were heading to Lucknow with the intention of handing over 125-kg soap to Adityanath. This was meant as a symbolic protest against the UP  Govt ’s decision in May to distribute soap and shampoo among Musahar Dalit families of a village in Kushinagar district, so that they could “clean themselves” before CM  Adityanath was to visit the village. The protest plan included organising a press conference on Monday, a rally featuring Dalit groups from across UP and a visit to Adityanath’s office to hand over the giant bar of soap. Permissions for all the events had already been obtained. However, as soon as the activists from Gujarat crossed the UP  border, the railway police entered their train, herded all the 43 activists into one compartment and made them get off at Jhansi, said Martin Macwan, a Dalit rights leader from Gujarat who helped organise the protest.“The police took our activists to a guest house and claimed they had made arrangements for them because they were worried about their security,” said Macwan. “But then the police forcibly detained them in the guest house, didn’t let anyone in or out, and on Monday early morning, put them back on a train to Gujarat.”Macwan claims that the police also took away the activists’ cell phones, and returned them later, after they protested the move.According to a police officer at the Jhansi circle office, the activists were detained on orders from higher officials to prevent a law and order problem. “We heard from the railway police that they felt the protesters were fighting amongst themselves,” said the officer. He added that they were detained because the authorities feared recurrance of a “Saharanpur-like incident”, referring inter-caste riots that occurred in UP’s Saharanpur town in May. While the protesters from Gujarat were dealt with in Jhansi, activists claim that the Lucknow police detained 22 Dalit protesters from Bundelkhand and other parts of UP  when they arrived in the state capital to participate in the rally scheduled for Monday.scroll.in
45 Gujarat Dalits coming to meet Yogi sent back forcibly
Dalit Activists Arrested During Press Conference In Lucknow as  they plan to protest march at CM's residence
Bhim Army holds meeting in Dehu Road, chalks out plan to fight caste atrocities: indian express
Pune: Bhim Army, which shot into limelight after the caste violence in Saharanpur in UP a couple of months back, is now spreading its base in Maharashtra, with Pune being considered as “an important centre”.On Sunday, Maharashtra unit of Bhim Army, led by Ashok Kamble, held a meeting in Pune in which 60 representatives from 24 districts in the state participated to discuss their agenda and future course of action. The meeting was held at the office of Bhim Army’s core committee member Suryakant Surve in Dehu Road.Advocate Ratnakar Daware, who heads the Bhim Army in Mumbai and who was present at the meeting in Pune, said, “We are mainly focusing on ten issues — protection of our women, fighting against the caste atrocities faced by Dalit officers and staffers in Govt  services, injustice done to Dalits in police stations, harassment of Dalits and minorities in rural areas, supporting the Dalit youths preparing for competitive exams conducted by UPSC, MPSC, raising voice for reservation in private sector, struggle for filling job vacancies in Govt  sector, encouraging Dalit youths to become entrepreneurs, fight for solving problems of students from backward classes. Also, we would soon start a campaign – Release Chandra Shekhar Azad.” indianexpress
Dalits going off welfare agenda, suggest falling Budget allocations: indian express
New Delhi: While the central Govt  claims the uplift of Dalits as a priority — manifested most recently in its choice of Ram Nath Kovind for President of India — data dug up by activists show that the share of budgetary allocation for Dalits has declined dramatically over the past three years. The amount set aside for the Self-employment Scheme for the Liberation and Rehabilitation of Scavengers, for example, has shrunk a hundred times from Rs 557 crore in 2013-14 to Rs 5 crore this year.“The proportion of the total Budget outlay allocated to Dalits is less than the last budget of the UPA and the first Budget of the NDA,” says PS Krishnan, ex- Secretary to the Govt  of India and a champion of social justice for the depressed classes for more than six and a half decades.While the share of schemes for Dalits in the last UPA budget was 2.49% of the total, it came down to 1.72% in 2015-16, and 1.96% in 2016-17. The allocation for the current financial year is 2.44%, but expenditure is expected to be lower than the allocation.Beena Pallical, who has been analysing Budget spends on Dalits and adivasis over many years, said “there is a shift not only in the sums allocated, but also in the approach: from a rights-based one, one of honouring rights of segments of society (marginalised for centuries) to one that is paternalistic and welfarist — of bestowing largesse.”BJP’s Dalit MP Udit Raj, who is also a member of the Standing Committee on Social Justice and Empowerment, said, “I have been regularly raising such issues in meetings of the Standing Committee. If Govt  has cut back on this spending, I will raise it with the Govt . It must be increased, not reduced.”Krishnan has written to the PM  and Finance Minister pointing out that what is being allocated for Dalits is far less than what is due to them. This, under the Special Component Plan, should be 16.6% — the same as the proportion of Dalits in the country’s population. But at Rs 10,4490.45 crore, the sum allocated to Dalits, Krishnan has calculated, works out to only 5.54% of what is due this year.The cuts have been the deepest for specific schemes and programmes meant to address discrimination in society, Krishnan said. Among them is the Self-employment Scheme for Liberation and Rehabilitation of Safai Karamcharis.  
Non-representation of Dalits, OBC is cause of imbalance in media: Senior journalist Urmilesh
Patna: Senior journalist Urmilesh has expressed deep concern over media eulogizing their political masters and not giving space to poor marginalized section of society and voices of dissent.Analyzing the reasons for the imbalance in media coverage Urmilesh cited many researches and studies and pinpointed to the lack of representation of various sections of society as the central reason for the omnipresent malaise and the deep-rooted rot.“There is hardly any representation of dalits, minorities and other deprived classes in journalism as well as in positions of authority in the media establishments. Certain sections who have traditionally been on the higher strata of the society have continued their ominous stranglehold over the major genres of media” he said while speaking at seminar on “Bhartiya Media: Kiska, Kiske Liye aur Kiske Dwara,” organized by Bihar Collective under its programme Guftugu.He said that Others’ interest simply do not make headlines or probably not even worthy of finding a cursory mention on the news due to the hegemony of the elite cartel has to be unshackled and the demographic imbalance in media must be addressed. A structural shift is the need of hour to make media more representative and sensitive to the issues concerning the masses.Indian Awaaz
Faridabad lynching: Bloodstained clothes found, no leads on main accused, say police
Gurgaon: Days after the arrest of 4 men in connection with the murder of 15-year-old Junaid Khan on board a Mathura-bound train, Haryana Railway Police have retrieved bloodstained clothing which they believe can serve as strong evidence against the men. Police, however, added that the four have been unable to provide any credible leads on the main accused. “We had taken the men into police custody for two days to seize some bloodstained clothing…. We have been successful in doing this…We have in our custody 2 shirts and a saafa belonging to the accused. This will be sent for DNA testing. If the blood belongs to Junaid, it will serve as hard evidence against the men,” said Mohinder Singh, DSP.He, however, refused to disclose where the testing would take place and when the report can be expected. The men — Rameshwar Sharma, an MCD worker, Pradeep Kumar, who was preparing for the Staff Selection Commission (SSC) examinations, Chandraprakash Sharma, who worked in the accounts department of a Ballabhgarh factory, and Gaurav Kumar, another factory worker — all belong to Khambi village in Palwal.They were arrested late Tuesday night.indianexpress
Ballabgarh lynching: Police announces reward of Rs 2lakh
CHANDIGARH: Haryana police on Monday announced a reward of Rs 2 lakh for information on identity of those involved in the killing of a Muslim youth inside a train near Ballabgarh in Haryana. Any person having information about the culprits can inform the Haryana Railway police chief, the Faridabad Railway additional deputy chief and the Faridabad GRP station house officer, an official spokesperson said."The police will provide a reward of Rs two lakh to the person helping it to identify the culprits," the spokesman said.PTI
Cow vigilantes stop vehicles carrying cattle, ‘beat up’ drivers near Guwahati
Guwahati:Cow vigilantes allegedly stopped three vehicles transporting cattle with valid papers and assaulted the drivers near Guwahati on Sunday evening. Police, however, declined to confirm the assault.Police in Sonapur, about 30km east of Guwahati, said they acted on a report that members of a local unit of the Hindu Yuba Chhatra Parishad stopped a truck and two three-wheelers carrying cattle.Local TV channels showed the vigilantes thrashing the cattle transporters but police did not confirm the assault as “no one filed any complaint”.“The drivers had proper papers for transporting the cattle but we found some irregularities in the permits of the vehicles,” said an officer of the Sonapur police station.While the truck had come from eastern Assam’s Tinsukia, 3-wheelers were transporting cattle locally.Kamrup (Metro) district commissioner of police Hiren Nath said he was not aware of any group having attacked the cattle transporters. “The vehicles have been sent to the transport department for verification and to check if they were carrying more cattle than the number permitted,” he said.A PTI report quoted a police official as saying that the Hindu Yuba Chhatra Parishad group was from Dimoria. The official said a police team was dispatched and it took control of the vehicles and the persons.HT
Kejriwal speaks out against lynchings, says no religion teaches us to kill
Delhi:Delhi chief mminister Arvind Kejriwal on Sunday termed the recent incidents of lynchings over beef rumours and religion in the country as “politics of hatred.”Interacting with volunteers of the AAP through social media, Kejriwal said that there was a need to stand together against such crimes in order to send out a stern message to those engaging in such acts of hate.“Some groups are murdering people in the name of religion and cows. This is not right. There is politics behind these incidents and its dirty politics,” he said.He emphasized on the need to take a strong stand on the issue. “We need to come together and raise our voice against these lynchings. Only then will the politicians behind these incidents get a strong message,” he said.“No religion teaches us to murder. I am also a Hindu, I have read Gita and the Ramayan. Every religion and every God — be it Jesus, Krishna, Ram or Prophet — teach only to love and help others. It teaches us to speak the truth and sacrifice for the betterment of the society. Lynching is a sin. It is a big sin,” Kejriwal said.HT
Aligarh's Muslim body for ban on cow slaughter
Aligarh: A body of Muslim intellectuals today said it would extend full support to any proposal of the Centre for banning cow slaughter and declaring cow as the national animal."Our organisation has passed a resolution welcoming PM  Narendra Modi's recent statement condemning the lynching of innocent people in the name of 'gau raksha' (cow protection) in different parts of the country," Director of Forum for Muslim Studies and Analysis (FMSA) Jasim Mohammad said here.PTI
Muslim protesters dismiss Modi’s cow violence criticism as hollow
New Delhi: Just 3 days after PM  Narendra Modi condemned the lynchings in the name of protecting cows, a sea of white-clothed Muslim protesters flooded Delhi’s Jantar Mantar, unsatisfied with his criticism and demanding justice for the victims.“It is a political statement. It doesn’t have any interest for the people. They who are lynching are members of the ruling parties,” said social activist Afzal Ahmad. “No action will be taken. They are taking political benefit from it.”Explaining his point, Ahmad talked about the Jharkhand BJP leader arrested this morning in connection with the lynching of a Muslim meat-trader on Thursday – the same day as Modi’s condemnation of the violence in a speech in Gujarat.A dozen of the estimated 200 Muslim protesters interviewed on Sunday afternoon dismissed Modi’s statement as hollow. Chanting “down with Modi, down with RSS, down with Govt ”, they blamed the Govt  for inciting violence, failing to prosecute vigilantes, and focusing on religious divides to the neglect of social development.Present at the protest were the family members of two lynching victims – Jallaluddin Khan, whose son Junaid was stabbed on a Delhi-Mathura train on June 23, and Irshad Khan, whose father Pehlu was beaten to death for transporting cows on a Jaipur-Delhi road on April 1.The Wire
Fear and loathing in Chhapra: How a peaceful Bihar town became a communal tinderbox
Over the past four years, religious tension has steadily increased in Chhapra, Bihar. For evidence, see how this once peaceful town in Saran district now celebrates Ram Navmi or Maha Shivaratri: the high point of the festivities is large processions of young men wearing saffron headbands brandishing swords and shouting “Jai Shri Ram” to a soundtrack of techno music.Most chants, though, are not remotely religious, said Jeelani Mobin, RJD’s head of Chhapra Zilla Parishad. “Doodh maango, kheer dengay. Kashmir maango cheer dengay,” goes one slogan. “Ask for milk and we’ll give you kheer. Ask for Kashmir and we will cut you down.”In such a charged atmosphere, even petty disputes take on communal overtones. “Recently, a Muslim boy killed a monkey that had been biting passersby,” Mobin offered an example. “A village headman began saying ‘Hanuman has been killed’ and a mob quickly took shape.”In Wajidpur, a small village about half an hour from Chhapra, Mohammad Shamsher, 22, was stabbed by a group of Hindu boys on the day of Holi, March 13. Shamsher died on the way to hospital. Two days later, his family told Scroll.in they still did not know why he had been murdered. But what had transpired just after the stabbing was telling.scroll.in
Main conspirator of SDPI worker Ashraf Kalayi murder, who shares dais with RSS leader, arrested:TOI
Mangaluru: Dakshina Kannada Police have arrested the mastermind behind the murder of SDPI worker Mohammed Ashraf Kalayi, here on Sunday, taking the total number of arrests in this case to 7.Confirming arrest of prime accused Bharat Kumdelu, 30, a resident of Bantwal, C H Sudhir Kumar Reddy, SP, DK said that he is secured and is being interrogated.Bharat will be produced in court after interrogation and police custody will be taken for further investigation.So far 6 of the accused have been arrested in the Ashraf murder case. Bharat Kumdelu was seen in a press meet held by Kalladka Prabhakar Bhat in Mangaluru on May 28.According to highly place sources, Bharat had planned the murder in Benjanapadavu. He himself had also collected weapons like sickle, knives and given to other accused.His sharing dais with RSS leader Kalladka Prabhakar during a press meet held recently had raised eyebrows. Police said they had an intention to create communal violence after the incident. The murder plot was hatched by 2 rowdy sheeters - Dhivyaraj Shetty, who was arrested earlier, and Bharat Kumdelu.Oother accused are Pavan Kumar, 24, Pudu village, Bantwal; Santosh, 23, Thumbay village; Shivaprasad, 24, Bollari house, Thumbay; Ranjith, 28, resident of Pudu village and Abhin Rai, 23, Thenkabellur village. Barring Santosh all the other have criminal cases registered against them. Abhin Rai was booked during Tipu Jayanthi violence in Bantwal, last year and a case was booked against Pavan in 2012 for placing pig head at a mosque in Bantwal to create communal tension.TOI
Hindu outfits protest over hosting of Iftar in Udupi Sri Krishna mutt premises
Mangaluru:Activists of three Hindu outfits on Sunday staged a protest in the twin districts of Dakshina Kannada and Udupi in protest against the hosting of an Iftar get-together and namaz at Udupi Sri Krishna mutt on June 24 by Pejawar seer Vishweshateertha Swamiji.Workers of Sri Rama Sene, Hindu Janajagruthi Samiti and Hindu Mahasabha staged the protests in the districts.Addressing the protesters at Lalbagh in Mangaluru, Hindu Mahasabha state convenor Dharmendra alleged that the seer’s action was being used by political parties and there was a conspiracy behind this at a time when state assembly elections are around the corner.The Swamiji’s action had “deeply hurt” the sentiments of Hindus, who were always emotionally attached to the mutt, he said and asked him to step down as head of the mutt as age was catching up with him.He should also tender an apology for holding the Iftar inside the temple complex, Dharmendra said. Hindu Mahasabha leader also wanted to know from the BJP why they were keeping a studied silence on the issue.PTI
Gujarati paper Sandesh, OneIndia fall for satirical post about man sentenced to death due to farting in mosques
It is one thing for Twitter trolls to use posts from satirical websites for political propaganda. However, for main stream media outlets to promote satire as news is quite disturbing. It shows how the process of news making lacks the due diligence in a few organisations. Sometime ago, Aajtak had published a fake fatwa about men being allowed to eat their wives if they are extremely hungry. Pune Mirror had published the same fake fatwa in their newspaper. It turned out to be a sarcastic column written by a satirist Moroccan blogger called Israfel al-Maghribi. Yesterday, yet another set of news organisations have fallen for a piece of satire claiming a Pakistani man was sentenced to death due to farting in mosques during Ramzan.This satirical post was published by a website called World News Daily Report. The website carries a disclaimer at the bottom of every page on its website stating that the nature of their content is entirely fictional. The disclaimer states, “World News Daily Report assumes all responsibility for the satirical nature of its articles and for the fictional nature of their content. All characters appearing in the articles in this website – even those based on real people – are entirely fictional and any resemblance between them and any person, living, dead or undead, is purely a miracle.” The statement about their content being fictional is also present on their disclaimer page. The photo used in the World News Daily Report article is that of one Behnam Yaali who’s been accused of murdering his former girlfriend in Canada.Despite the disclaimer, many on social media believed this report to be true and at the time of writing, this post has been shared/liked over 102,000 times on Facebook. People usually don’t scroll down to the bottom of the website and almost never visit the disclaimer page. A satirical post should ideally state that the content is fictional immediately after the main text of the article and not at the very bottom of the website. However, for the sake of traffic and the resulting money from advertisement clicks, many satirical websites often push the disclaimer to places where people are not likely to notice.Now, one main stream vernacular newspaper, Sandesh, and an online news portal called OneIndia have fallen for this. Sandesh has the second largest circulation in Gujarati papers in Gujarat.altnews
No mobile phones and jeans, khap panchayat tells girls in Rajasthan, also bans alcohol & selling tobacco
Jaipur: A village panchayat in Dholpur has said that girls should not wear jeans and “attractive clothes” and avoid using mobile phones as they are “ruining our culture.” The decision will bring a stop to incidents of molestation, the members said. Baldiyapura panchayat — under Sepmau sub-division— also initiated a ban on alcohol consumption and have also said in the case of a dispute villagers should not approach the police, but try and solve it through the panchayat. In case, they fail to arrive at a solution at the panchayat, the villagers can then approach the police. The panchayt also announced that those found consuming alcohol would be fined Rs 1,100 and those who inform the panchayat about the sale and consumption of alcohol would be given Rs 500. Selling of tobacco pouches will be banned at all shops in the village.“Good decisions were taken by the panchayat to eradicate social evils. Incidents of rape and molestation are on the rise as women wear attractive clothes,” said Kanasil Hariom Singh Parmar, the panchayat sarpanch said. Baldiyapura, which is dominated by the Kushwaha community, has a population of around 2,500. The same initiatives will soon be implemented in other villages under Kansil panchayat. hindustantimes
Upright officer’s transfer will send wrong message, say residents of UP’s Syana
Meerut: Residents of Syana in UP ’s Bulandshahr remember Shreshtha Thakur as an upright police officer and say her transfer after she took on local BJP leaders will send a wrong message.Thakur was transferred to the remote border district of Bahraich a week after she confronted an angry mob of BJP workers, who protested the police action against Pramod Kumar last Friday and tried to prevent him from being produced in a court.“She tried to resolve the dispute with the BJP leader through deliberation and mediation by influential people,” Rajesh Chauhan, the president of Syana Vyapar Mandal, said.“She even decided to let off the leader, Pramod Kumar, asking him not to violate traffic rules again. However, the situation worsened when the BJP leaders threatened to take the issue to higher authorities,” he added.Annoyed at this, the Syana Police booked Kumar, Chauhan said.HT
Jharkhand villagers lynch Muslim man who killed his wife
Ranchi: A man was lynched by villagers in Jharkhand’s Sahibganj district as he was trying to run away after murdering his wife, police said on Monday.Asadul, along with his elder brother, murdered his wife Shaili Bibi on Sunday. They were trying to run away when the villagers caught him and beat him to death, the police said.The brother managed to flee.The incident took place in Jamnagar which is around 500 km from here.The brothers had on July 28, 2015, murdered Shaili Bibi’s brother Saddam. They wanted her to mediate in that case, which she refused.Saddam was against Asadul and his sister’s marriage.On Sunday, the police reached the village and sent the couple’s bodies for post-mortem.IANS
Assam funeral row: Family to cremate Hindu woman ‘married’ to a Muslim
Guwahati: Ending 2 days of confusion over her last rites, the body of Tulsi Das, a Hindu woman ‘married’ to a Muslim, was handed over to her family members in upper Assam on Monday for cremation.The 23-year-old who allegedly committed suicide on Saturday following a tiff with her “husband” was denied burial and cremation due to lack of documentary proof of the couple’s wedding.“Finally the girl’s family came to the Tinsukia police station and took possession of her body. She would be cremated as per Hindu rites,” Puna Gogoi, in-charge of Tinsukia police station told HT.Police said the Muslim community had refused to bury the body due to lack of proof of the couple’s wedding, and Hindus were against cremating her because she had “married” outside the faith.Das had eloped four months ago with Bitu Ali, 27, said police. Though they lived together at a rented accommodation in Tinsukia town, there were no records to suggest they got married or either of them converted to the other’s faith, police said.“On Saturday night, the couple, who used to quarrel often, had another tiff. While Bitu left home, the woman locked herself in and committed suicide by hanging,” said Girin Sonowal, in-charge of police station at Margherita. Bitu works at a hotel in Margherita.“On hearing of his wife’s death, Bitu went back to Tinsukia and brought her body to Margherita for burial. But he was turned back from two burial grounds on Sunday as he didn’t have any documentary proof of his wedding as per Muslim rituals,” Sonowal added.HT
Ram Mandir Nirman Muslim Manch to offer prayers at dargah for construction of Ram temple in Ayodhya
Lucknow:A team of a pro-Ram temple Muslim group will visit the Dewa Sharif Dargah in Barabanki district on Monday to offer prayers and seek “divine intervention” in the early construction of a “grand” temple in Ayodhya. The visit by a 15-member team of the Shri Ram Mandir Nirman Muslim Karsewak Manch was announced after saints pledged to intensify their campaign for building the temple.“We will seek divine intervention for the construction of a grand temple for Ram Lalla in Ayodhya,” Mohd Azam Khan, the Manch president, told PTI today. Azam went on to say, “If the temple is built at a place, where Lord Ram was born, then we will hold a ‘bhandara’ (mass feasting) for 1,000 poor people. We will also offer ‘chaadars’ made of gold and silver at the shrine.”The Dewa Sharif Dargah, located almost 45 kilometres from here, is famous for the shrine of Haji Waris Ali Shah, a sufi saint. A push for construction of a Ram temple in Ayodhya is likely to gain momentum from Guru Poornima next week when saints gather at the Naradanand Ashram in Sitapur to chalk out a roadmap in this regard. indianexpress
Mosques can be built anywhere, but not temple:Swamy
With the Supreme Court set to hear the Ram temple matter today, BJP leader Subramanian Swamy on Monday expressed confidence that the decision would be taken in his favour.I would request to resolve the matter through dialogue and let the temple to be built there. Mosques can be built anywhere but temple cannot be constructed everywhere. So we have all the right. It is certain that decision will be taken in our favour, Swamy said.The Supreme Court will today hear the plea filed by Swamy, seeking its intervention in Ram Janmabhoomi issue. Swamy sought permission to perform puja in temple.ANI
PM Modi says India, Israel can cooperate more closely against terrorism ahead of his 3-day visit
New Delhi: PM  Narendra Modi -- set to begin his Israel visit from Tuesday -- has said New Delhi and Tel Aviv can “cooperative even more closely” in battling terrorism.Modi told newspaper Israel Hayom in an interview that his 3-day visit to Israel, the first by any Indian PM , had its own significance and would further strengthen bilateral ties.“Terrorism is a global menace. India and Israel are not immune to it either. We are in full agreement that elements which perpetrate violence on innocent people should not be allowed to flourish,” Modi said. Responding to the question that What is your position on the question of sovereignty in Jerusalem? Will India move its embassy? Modi said,“We believe in a two-state solution in which both Israel and a future Palestinian state coexist peacefully. A final-status agreement should respect the sentiments and address demands of all affected parties. The key to finding a solution to this issue lies with the affected parties. India supports all efforts to find an acceptable solution to all the pending issues, including Jerusalem. I assume the question refers to our embassy in Tel Aviv. We will take a decision on that after both sides have come to an agreement on Jerusalem.”HT
Modi's visit has huge symbolic significance: Israeli ministry
Jerusalem: PM  Narendra Modi's visit to Israel from July 4 to 6, the first ever an Indian PM , will have huge symbolic significance, the Israeli Foreign Ministry said on Monday. Addressing the media here, Mark Sofer, Deputy Director General of the Asia and Pacific Division of the Foreign Ministry and former Ambassador to India, said the visit -- coming as it does after 25 years of establishment of diplomatic ties -- will have huge symbolic significance. "Yes, it is crucial that this visit is taking place," Sofer said. "There will be concrete ramifications of this visit."  He said his ministry has put "enormous emphasis" on this visit. ET
PM Modi shouldn’t have skipped Palestine during Israel visit:Owaisi
Hyderabad:PM  Narendra Modi not visiting Palestine during his forthcoming visit to Israel would “strengthen the occupation of West Bank and Gaza” by the Jewish state, AIMIM president and Hyderabad MP Asaduddin Owaisi said on Monday.“PM , during his 3-day visit, is not visiting the occupied territories, which we (Indian leaders in the past) have done (visited). Whenever any Indian authorities went to Israel, they have maintained ties with Israel...we also reaffirmed our support to the Palestinian cause.“That’s why I say this (Modi not visiting Palestine) will strengthen the occupation of the occupied territories of West Bank and Gaza,” Owaisi said.The Palestine cause is “no more dearer to this Govt ”, unlike every previous Govt , MIM chief alleged.PTI
 Israel mein aapka swagat hai! Israelis welcome PM Modi in Hindi
Ahead of PM  Narendra Modi’s landmark visit to Israel, the Israeli embassy in India has posted a minute-long video on Twitter in which Israeli citizens enthusiastically welcome him in Hindi. “Israel mein aapka swagat hai,” (Welcome to Israel), said one woman featured in the video. Another one says, “Aapki yatra shub aur mangalmai ho (I wish you a fruitful visit). PM Modi graciously responded with a tweet thanking them in Hindi. On Tuesday, the Indian PM  will reach the Jewish nation on a 3-day visit aimed at strengthening diplomatic ties between 2 counties. He will hold discussions with his Israeli counterpart Benjamin Netanyahu in a bid to explore ways to enhance cooperation in key strategic areas. Indian express
India, China tension spikes after Beijing alleges ‘betrayal’
Beijing:China accused India of “betraying” a British-era territorial understanding apparently endorsed by former PM Jawaharlal Nehru over the border in Sikkim, intensifying a diplomatic row that could overshadow talks between PM  Narendra Modi and Chinese President Xi Jinping in Germany this week.Troops from the two countries are in a face-off near the border in Sikkim after the Chinese army attempted to build a road in the sensitive Doklam region, referred to as Donglang by the Chinese. The episode is one of the longest showdown the 2 sides have had since fighting a war in 1962, and experts in Beijing believe the issue could lead to a full-blown military confrontation.It could dominate informal meeting between Modi and Xi, who will meet on the sidelines of a G20 gathering in Hamburg. On Monday, the Chinese foreign ministry cited correspondence between ex-PM Jawaharlal Nehru and Chinese Premier Zhou Enlai to claim that India “endorsed” the 1890 Sino-British treaty on Sikkim, and said the ongoing “trespass” by Indian troops is a “betrayal” of the position taken by New Delhi since then.“Ex- Indian PM Jawaharlal Nehru endorsed the 1890 Sino-British Treaty on Sikkim in a letter to the then Chinese counterpart Zhou Enlai in 1959. Successive Indian Govt s have also endorsed this,” Geng Shuang, MFA spokesperson, said at the regular ministry briefing.HT
We're Not China Of 1962 — Beijing Hits Back At Jaitley
BEIJING:Chinese foreign ministry on Monday dismissed Defence Minister Arun Jaitley's remarks that India of 2017 is different from what it was in 1962, saying China too is different and will take "all necessary measures" to safeguard its territorial sovereignty.Jaitley who responded to China's oblique reference to the war the two countries had fought 55 years ago and asking India to learn from "historic lessons", had said, "If they are trying to remind us, the situation in 1962 was different and India of 2017 is different."Responding to Jaitley's remarks, Chinese foreign ministry spokesman Geng Shuang said, "He is right in saying that India in 2017 is different from 1962, just like China is also different."PTI
War is possible if conflict with India is not handled properly: Chinese observers
India planned intrusion to impress US during Modi-Trump meeting: Chinese media on Sikkim standoff
 China cancels Indian journalists trip to Tibet
 China has cancelled a trip of Indian journalists to Tibet, this was conveyed to the scribes by Chinese embassy in New Delhi.The cancellation of journalists’ trip, which was scheduled from July 8-15, came in the backdrop of a stand-off between Indian and Chinese troops in the Doklam area of the Sikkim sector.A batch of Indian journalists who were to visit Tibet at the invitation of Chinese Govt  were informed by the Chinese embassy in New Delhi that trip has been cancelled.PTI
India offers ‘best deal’ to Iran:$11 billion for natural gas field
New Delhi: An Indian consortium is offering a deal of $11 billion to Iran for developing a giant Iranian natural gas field and for building the infrastructure to export the fuel as long as the Persian Gulf nation guarantees a ‘reasonable return’ on the project, according to the company leading the group. “ONGC Videsh Ltd. has offered to invest as much as $6 billion on the Farzad-B field and spend the remaining amount to build a liquefied natural gas export facility,” said Narendra Kumar Verma, managing director of the overseas investment unit of India’s largest explorer, Oil & Natural Gas Corp.“The group is seeking a return of about 18 percent, and Indian companies are willing to buy all the gas exported from the project,” Verma said.“We have given our best offer to them. Now, it is up to them to agree or not agree,” Verma said in a phone interview. “We have told the Iranian authorities very clearly that some basic returns are necessary”As India, the world’s fourth-largest LNG buyer, seeks to lock up gas resources to meet growing demand and spur the use of cleaner-burning fuels, Iran is emerging from sanctions that stifled investment in its energy sector. The Persian Gulf nation on Monday plans to sign a formal contract with Total SA and China National Petroleum Corp. to develop its share of the offshore South Pars project, the world’s biggest natural gas field. siasat
Kashmir: Number of homegrown militants swells after Burhan Wani’s death
Shopian/Anantnag:When 16-year-old Ubaid Shafi Malla got distinction in class 10 and 12, his parents saw a future doctor in him. Tuitions were arranged in Srinagar, a studio apartment booked, and the teenager from Trenz Baba Khider, Shopian, was all set for a bright future.Two months later however, Ubaid (who turned 17 in March) figured in the Jammu and Kashmir police’s militants’ list. Malla family, upper middle class fruit dealers, found out only when they saw a picture of him holding a gun. They maintained that Ubaid was not driven by lack of good life or coercion.But the police also failed to point out any trigger — not even involvement in stone pelting. “He was scolded by his father and went missing the next day,” is all that the police records say. Ubaid had left home on Feb. 23 to join Hizbul Mujahideen, a militant organisation that had become a cult after local boy from Tral, Burhan Wani emerged as its commander about four years back.Ubaid is one of several Facebook warriors who has been inspired by Wani, who became the poster-boy of new-age militancy after he posted photographs of him and 10 gun-toting youths on social media in June 2015. Wani was the first Kashmiri militant who was unafraid of revealing his identity and was credited with the surge of local militancy while alive, and even after his killing by security forces on July 8 last year.The number of Kashmir’s Facebook warriors has swelled since Wani’s killing. They are all tech-savvy and make effective use of social media to propagate themselves, like Wani did. After his death, another photograph emerged. This time, the numbers had more than doubled to 24, from the ten Wani posed with.Wani’s death is changing Kashmir’s ground reality. After the first rush in 1989, when insurgency took root, the locals are once again outnumbering what the security establishment refers to as ‘foreign terrorists’. According to official figures, Ubaid, is among 29 youths who have joined militants this year. Last year, the number was 88, according to a report tabled in Parliament, the highest in 6 years, and which has been growing since the Narendra Modi-led BJP stormed to power in 2014.HT 
I never imagined a day when he wouldn’t be around: Captain Shafeeq’s widow strikes chord with her spirited FB post
New Delhi: There’s no denying that the life of an army officer is tough. Not only do they have to confront the most averse conditions, but they also have to stay away from their families for long and sometimes, indefinite periods of time. Along with the officers, their families also sacrifice and suffer a great deal, and sometimes they too make the ultimate sacrifice as their loved one is martyred. Sharing such a heart-rending story is Salma Shafeeq Ghori, who shared her story with Facebook page BeingYou. Wife of late Captain Shafeeq Ghori, Salma got married at the age of 19, but by 29 she was widowed. In the post, she says that though her marriage was short-lived, it was wonderful, as the couple would regularly exchange notes and letters. Ironically, she received his final letter the day she heard the news of his death. Widowed at an young age, she says that she was often told to move on, but she could never do so, as Major Shafeeq Ghori “was, is, and will always be my Forever”. At present, she works for the welfare of the army martyr families and women empowerment of the martyr widows in Karnataka. Her heart-wrenching story has struck a chord with people on social media. People are not only lauding her but many can also relate to her plight. The post has more than 28,000 shares at the time of writing.indian express
SC grants last chance to Maharashtra Govt  to remove Haji Ali encroachments
New Delhi:The Supreme Court on Monday gave the last opportunity to the Maharashtra Govt  and warned it of serious consequences if squatters from 908 square metre area near the historic Haji Ali Dargah shrine in south Mumbai are not removed in 2 weeks. The SC also warned authorities that non-compliance of its order on removal of encroachments will invite “serious consequences” and asked the Deputy Collector of Colaba zone to remain present on the next date of hearing.The bench made it clear that the encroachments have to be removed within two weeks from on Monday from the 908 square metre area earmarked in Bombay High Court order.PTI
Bihar: Nitish condemns those who forced Muslim journalist to chant ‘Jai Shri Ram’
Bihar CM Nitish Kumar on Monday condemned the accosting of a Muslim journalist by a group of men, believed to be members of Bajrang Dal, reported NDTV, the channel for which Munne Bharti works. On June 28, Bharti said the accused forced him and his family to say the Hindu chant “Jai Shri Ram”. scroll
WORLD
Gulf crisis: Qatar FM in Kuwait to respond to demands
Qatar has delivered its response to a list of 13 demands from Saudi Arabia and three other Arab countries that cut have ties with it and imposed a land, air and sea embargo amid a major diplomatic crisis.Mohammed bin Abdulrahman Al Thani, Qatar's foreign minister, was received by Kuwait's Emir Sheikh Sabah Al Ahmad Al Sabah on Monday to hand over a letter from Qatar's emir, according to state-run Kuwait News Agency. Kuwait is mediating in the dispute. The content of the letter has not been released.Qatar's response will be the focus of a gathering in the Egyptian capital of Cairo on Wednesday of foreign ministers from the four blockading countries: Saudi Arabia, Egypt, Bahrain and the UAE. Al Jazeera's Saad al-Saeedi, reporting from Kuwait City, said there was "a sense of relief, tinged with caution" in Kuwait."Qatar's response to the demands was handed to the emir, followed by an extensive meeting between the Qatari foreign minister and his Kuwaiti counterpart for more than one and half hours. After that, the Qatari foreign minister headed to the emir of Kuwait's residence to attend another meeting over lunch before his departure," he said.Al Jazeera
Qatar given 48 more hours to accept demands
Saudi Arabia and three allies boycotting Qatar have agreed to a request by Kuwait to extend by 48 hours Sunday's deadline for Doha to comply with a set of demands, according to a joint statement on Saudi state news agency SPA.Kuwait had received a response by Qatar to a list of 13 demands presented to it by a Saudi-led bloc of Arab countries, Kuwait's state news agency KUNA said on Monday.Without stating whether Qatar had rejected the ultimatum as was widely expected, KUNA said Kuwait's Emir Sheikh Sabah Al Ahmad Al Jaber Al Sabah asked Saudi Arabia and three other countries that have boycotted Qatar to grant it a 48-hour extension. Kuwait is mediating in the crisis. Aljazeera
Egypt issues warrant for Yousef Al-Qaradawi’s daughter, husband
CAIRO: A court on Sunday remanded to custody the daughter and son-in-law of Yousef Al-Qaradawi who chairs the Qatar-based International Union of Muslim Scholars, a judicial source said.Ula Al-Qaradawi and husband, Hisham Halet, were set to be released after being detained for 15 days, accused of being “members of an illegal organization [Muslim Brotherhood]” and “planning terrorist action against the security of public institutions”.Family lawyer Ahmad Ebu Ala Madi told Anadolu Agency the couple was arrested June 23 near Sahel Al Shamali on Egypt’s northern coast while on holiday for Eid-al-Fitr that marks the end of Ramadan.Anadolu Agency
Netherlands outraged after Israel seized Dutch-funded solar panels in West Bank
The Netherlands has reacted with outrage after Israeli authorities seized dozens of solar panels in a remote occupied West Bank village that were donated by the Dutch Govt .Israeli forces confiscated the solar panels in the isolated village of Jubbet al-Dhib east of Bethlehem on Wednesday that were installed last year, under the pretext that they were built without the nearly impossible to obtain permits required by Israel to develop in Area C, the 61 % of the West Bank under full Israeli military control.A report Saturday by Israeli news daily Haaretz cited a statement from the Dutch Foreign Ministry, that said the Dutch Govt  lodged a protest with Israel over the confiscation of the electricity equipment, which was said to be a hybrid power system of both diesel and solar power.Dutch Govt -donated electrification project in the southern Bethlehem region cost about 500,000 euros, 350,00 euros of which went to Jubbet al-Dhib, according to the report.Dutch Foreign Ministry has requested Israel return the equipment and is “currently assessing what next steps can be taken,” the ministry’s statement to Haaretz said. middle east monitor
All of Germany's Muslim MPs voted in favour of same-sex marriage despite Angela Merkel's opposition
All 6 of Germany's Muslim members of parliament voted in favour of same-sex marriage as Angela Merkel faced criticism for opposing the bill and announcing: "Marriage is between a man and a woman." Despite the Chancellor's opposition, the “marriage for all” measure was approved with 393-226 votes in the Bundestag on Friday, leading hundreds of MPs to rise to their feet in a spontaneous standing ovation.Green Party, who launched rainbow confetti into the chamber when the result was announced, have since confirmed that the party has four Muslim lawmakers – Cem Özdemir, Ekin Deligöz, Özcan Mutlu and Omid Nouripour – who approved the legislation. Aydan Özoğuz, a Muslim MP for the centre-left Social Democratic Party, also voted in favour of the bill after his party criticised Ms Merkel for "embarrassing" delays to the legislation. The issue has divided the Chancellor's Christian Democratic Union (CDU/CSU) party, which remains the largest in the German parliament and has enjoyed comfortable poll leads and local election victories ahead of September’s federal elections.Ms Merkel has always been unequivocal with her personal opposition to marriage equality, but her party's MP Cemile Giousouf, the first Muslim elected into the Bundestag in 2013, was praised on social media after endorsing the landmark measure. When opposing same-sex marriages Merkel has cited German law, her values as an evangelical Christian and those of her party, which describes its foundations as the “Christian understanding between people and their accountability before God”.The Independent
Atheists are less open-minded than religious people, study claims: The Independent
Religious people are more tolerant of different viewpoints than atheists, according to researchers at a Catholic university.A study of 788 people in the UK, France and Spain concluded that atheists and agnostics think of themselves as more open-minded than those with faith, but are are actually less tolerant to differing opinions and ideas.Religious believers "seem to better perceive and integrate diverging perspectives", according to psychology researchers at the private Catholic University of Louvain (UCL), Belgium's largest French-speaking university.Filip Uzarevic, who co-wrote the paper, said his message was that "closed-mindedness is not necessarily found only among the religious".He told Psypost: "“In our study, the relationship between religion and closed-mindedness depended on the specific aspect of closed-mindedness.“Somewhat surprisingly, when it came to subtly measured inclination to integrate views that were diverging and contrary to one’s own perspectives, it was the religious who showed more openness."Dr Uzarevic's paper, called "are atheists undogmatic?", states that "irreligion has become normative" in some Western countries.He inspected three aspects of mental rigidity in 445 atheists and agnostics, 255 Christians, and a group of 37 Bhuddists, Muslims, and Jews. 
35 Palestinians injured as Israeli forces attack Jerusalem funeral
JENIN(PIC):At least 35 Palestinian citizens were left wounded on Sunday after the Israeli forces aggressively attacked a funeral procession in Occupied Jerusalem.Reporting from Occupied Jerusalem, a PIC news correspondent said the Israeli forces came down heavily on Palestinians marching in the funeral procession of the Palestinian youth Ali Abu Gharbiya, who drowned in Lake Tiberias (Sea of Galilee) three days after he had gone missing.Fierce clashes burst out between the heavily-armed Israeli forces and the Palestinian citizens in al-Tour, al-Sawana, and Bab al-Asbat, in Occupied Jerusalem.According to the Palestinian Red Crescent, 35 citizens sustained wounds during the clashes, including one in a serious condition after he was hit with a rubber bullet in his eye and sustained an internal head hemorrhage. He was rushed to Hadassah Hospital.10 wounded people were transferred to the hospital so as to be urgently treated for the wounds inflicted by the attack.The Israeli soldiers further prevented the mourners from reaching al-Aqsa Mosque to pray for the deceased and sealed off al-Asbat Gate so as to prevent Palestinian youths from joining the funeral. Israeli forces attacked the mourners with randomly-discharged waves of teargas canisters, resulting in several suffocation cases.
Saudi's king suspends columnist after writer equates him to God
Dubai: Saudi Arabia's King Salman bin Abdulaziz has ordered an over-enthusiastic columnist to be suspended from his job after he equated him with God, Saudi media reported on Sunday. King Salman has frequently been lauded by columnists in local media, in traditional deference to authority, since 81-year-old assumed office in 2015.But Ramadan al-Anzi's column in al-Jazirah newspaper describing King Salman as "Haleem", or forbearing, and "Shadeed al-Eqab", strict in punishment — both terms associated in Islam with God — appeared to have gone too far.Reuters
In France 2 masked gunmen open fire outside Avignon mosque, 8 injured:Reuters 
8 people were wounded in a shooting in front of a mosque in the southern French city of Avignon in an incident police consider to be a settling of scores rather than a militant attack, a source close to the investigation said on Monday.2 of the 8 wounded were hospitalised after the incident, according to the source, who also said that worshippers leaving the mosque had not been the intended target.La Provence regional newspaper, which first reported the incident, cited a judicial source as saying police are "not at all treating it as terrorist related" and suspected instead a dispute between youths.
5 from Kerala killed while fighting for Islamic State in Syria, claims report:PTI
Kozhikode: Kerala Intelligence has received reports of death of five persons from Malabar while fighting for Islamic State in Syria, but the news cannot be authenticated as the information was first received by the victims' family, an official has said."Such news is not authenticated, it is only information. But the reports could be true as they were received by family circles," a senior officer in the intelligence wing said.He said relatives of one Sibi from Kanjikode in Palakkad district, had received the news of his death a few days ago. Sibi was working in Bahrain before joining the Islamic State in Syria. "Further details could not be known," the official said.Similar is the case of one Muhadis, reportedly killed in Aleppo in Syria in military operations.His brother who works in Bahrain broke the news of Muhadis' death to family members at Vaniyambalam in Mallapuram district when he came home about a month ago, the officer said.Abu Tahir from Palakkad district was reportedly killed in US military strikes in Syria in April this year. The intelligence official, however, did not give details of the other two persons reportedly killed in Syria.
Philippines Govt  signs pact with hardline Islamic group against drugs
While they might disagree on the very nature of the state, both Philippines’ central Govt  and the Moro Islamic Liberation Front (MILF) are steadfast in their opposition to drugs in Muslim-majority region of Mindanao.On Friday in Davao City, the Philippines Govt  and MILF signed a protocol that sets the “cooperation and coordination mechanisms” in combatting drug use, reported local media outlet Minda News.The protocol dictates terms on which MILF will cooperate with the Govt  on cracking down on drug crime – particularly methamphetamine known as shabu – including providing 24 hours’ notice before raids in MILF-controlled areas.It notes that MILF declares “the use, sale and proliferation of shabu as ‘haram’ and prohibited in Islam.”President Rodrigo Duterte has presided over a bloody drugs war since taking power last June, with around 8,000 people believed to have been killed. Rights groups allege there is widespread extrajudicial killings with impunity and police abuses. Asian Correspondent
FLASH: NEWS & VIEWS
Cow slaughter row: Narendra Modi has condemned gau rakshaks, but when will he act?Aakar Patel
‘Not In My Name’ protest is right; past silence wrong:Dhananjay Mahapatra
Has India Become ‘Lynchistan?’ Here’s What Data Says: This statistical analysis conclusively refutes the online right wing’s counter-narrative:Rupa Subramanya Economist
US should pressurise Saudi Arabia to end its stance on radical Islam … their relationship is unworkable: Ayaan Hirsi Ali, feminist, TOI

John Oliver Exposes The Right-Wing Media Empire Taking Over Your Local News: Ed Mazza Overnight Editor, HuffPost
In Advani’s Silence, the Sum of All Fears:RAVISH KUMAR, NDTV
Why are India-Israel ties so special?Nicolas Blarel

Mob lynching: are we entering a free-for-all stage of countrywide violence? Dr. Javed Jamil, Milli Gazette

Discomfort Of Home:Only recently have I begun to feel that what I say or what I think does not matter:Aamena Ahmad
 Compiled and edited by Anwarulhaq (Released at: 8:21 PM)

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