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Wednesday, 9 August 2017




Evening NEWS DIGEST
INDIA
Feeling of unease among Muslims and sense of insecurity among Muslims:Outgoing Vice President Ansari
New Delhi:Outgoing Vice President Hamid Ansari today said there is a feeling of unease and a sense of insecurity among the Muslims in the country, asserting the "ambience of acceptance" is now under threat. Ansari, whose second 5-year term as the Vice-President ends tomorrow, made these remarks in the backdrop of incidents of intolerance and cow vigilantism and comments made by some saffron leaders regarding the minority community. Stating that he had flagged the issue of intolerance with PM Narendra Modi and his cabinet colleagues, Ansari, also described as a "disturbing thought" that Indianness of citizens was being questioned. Asked in an interview to Karan Thapar on Rajya Sabha TV whether he shared his concerns with the PM , Ansari replied in the affirmative. "Yes...Yes. But what passes between the Vice President and the PM  in the nature of things must remain in the domain of privileged conversation," the Rajya Sabha Chairman said. He also said that he has flagged the issue with other union ministers too. In the interview, Ansari referred to incidents of lynching and 'ghar wapsi' and killings of rationalists as a "breakdown of Indian values, breakdown of the ability of the authorities at different levels in different places to be able to enforce what should be normal law enforcing work and over all the very fact that Indianness of any citizen being questioned is a disturbing thought." "Yes it is a correct assessment," Ansari said when asked whether he agreed with the assessment that the muslim community is apprehensive and that it was feeling insecure as a result of the kind of comments made against them. "Yes it is a correct assessment, from all I hear from different quarters, the country; I heard the same thing in Bangalore, I have heard from other parts of the country, I hear more about in north India, there is a feeling of unease, a sense of insecurity is creeping in," he said. Asked whether he felt that the muslims are beginning to feel they are not wanted, Ansari said, "I would not go that far, there is a sense of insecurity." He said India is a plural society that for centuries, not for seventy years, has lived in a certain "ambience of acceptance" which is now under threat. He was of the view that the propensity to be able to assert your nationalism day in and day out is "unnecessary". Ansari was of the view that while tolerance is a good virtue, it is not a sufficient virtue. "...Therefore you have to take the next step and go from tolerance to acceptance," he said. Responding to a question on comments made by some BJP leaders related to minorities, he said he would not talk about political people or political parties. "But to me, every time such a comment appeared or came to my knowledge; I mean my first reaction was that, A: the person is ignorant, B: that he is prejudiced and C: he does not fit into the framework that India has always prided to itself on, which is to be accommodative society," he said. Responding to questions on triple talaq, Ansari said it is a social aberration, not a religious requirement. He said the courts do not have to step in as the reform has to come from within the community. "The courts can say that we don't recognise it. That's all. I mean a marriage has to be recognised on certain occasions by the system of the state. And if a state functionary at a particular point of time refuses to recognise a happening which may be the product of a triple talaq, that's it," he explained. To a poser on the situation in J&K, he said, "the problem has always been primarily a political problem. And it has to be addressed politically." "That's my impression. And I'm not the only one in the country...When young boys and girls come out on to the streets and throw stones day after day, week after week, month after month, it's something to worry about because they are our children, they are our citizens. PTI
Gujarat riots case: HC defers order on Zakia Jafri's plea challenging clean chit to Modi to Aug 21
Ahmedabad: Gujarat High Court today deferred to August 21 the pronouncement of its order on a petition by Zakia Jafri, widow of slain Congress leader Ehsan Jafri, challenging a lower court order upholding a clean chit to the then CM  Narendra Modi and others in the 2002 riots cases. Justice Sonia Gokani told the lawyers representing Zakia, SIT and the state Govt  that she will pronounce the order on August 21.The hearing in the case had concluded on July 3. The high court had earlier said that it would pronounce the order today.It has heard a criminal review petition moved by Jafri and activist Teesta Setalvad's NGO Citizen for Justice and Peace, challenging the lower court order upholding the clean chit given by the SIT on the alleged larger criminal conspiracy behind the 2002 riots.The petitioners also demanded fresh investigation. The petition demanded that Modi and 59 others be made as accused on charges of criminal conspiracy behind the riots.PTI 
Muslim clerics tear into Shia board for Babri affidavit
Lucknow/Meerut: Muslim clerics have slammed the UP Shia central wakf board’s affidavit in the Babri masjid mosque case as an attempt to drive a wedge in the community.“The mosque belongs to Allah and not to a Sunni or a Shia. I don’t think the issue deserves any more importance,” Maulana Khalid Rashid Farangi Mahali said on Thursday. He is the imam of the Lucknow Eidgah and a member of the All India Muslim Personal Law Board (AIMPLB). He was referring to the board staking claim to the disputed site, saying the Babri mosque, which was demolished by a Hindu mob in 1992, was built by a Shia.The affidavit was an attempt to divert attention from corruption in managing of wakf properties, Shia cleric Maulana Kalbe Jawad said. “I have met CM  Yogi Adityanath and informed him about the misdeeds and illegal land deals by the wakf board. I am sure this move is an attempt to deflect attention from the charges against the board,” he said.The affidavit was just an appeal that had no legal, Babri Masjid Action Committee convener Zafaryab Jilani said. He said AIMPLB, which was monitoring the case, had clerics from both the sects and there were no differences between them.The affidavit is in contrast to the position the Shia board took in a meeting on Oct.6, 2010 when it decided to back the Sunni board in the Supreme Court in the Ayodhya title suit.Shia board chairman Waseem Rizvi didn’t answer the phone or respond to messages for comments.Rizvi is locked in a tussle with minister of state for minorities, waqf and Haj Mohsin Raza over the control of Shia board. Both Shia and Sunni boards are in the crosshair of the state Govt  with the Central Wakf Council recommending their dissolution and a CBI inquiry into their land deals.By toeing a pro-temple line, Rizvi was trying to impress the BJP, which is in power in the state and at the Centre, to save himself, sources said.Others see the Shia board’s move as a ploy by the RSS to pave the way for the construction of the Ram temple ahead of the 2019 Lok Sabha polls.“BJP and RSS are using the Shias to pave way for the construction of Ram temple in Ayodhya,” All India Imam Association state president Mufti Zulfikar said.The influential Islamic seminary Darul Uloom Deoband, however, distanced itself from the issue. Seminary’s vice-chancellor Mufti Abul Kasim Nomani said the Darul Uloom was a centre for education and he would not comment on the issue.HT
Babri case: Shia Board not main appellant to title dispute
New Delhi: The Sunni Wakf Board is one of the appellants, the Shia Central Wakf Board  is cited as one of the parties but not the main appellant to the title dispute. In an affidavit, the Shia board, asserted that the Babri Masjid site was its property and only it was entitled to hold negotiations for an amicable settlement of the dispute.Deccan Chronicle.
Shia Wakf Board's affidavit 'god sent', says Swamy
New Delhi: BJP leader Subramanian Swamy has said that Shia Waqf Board's affidavit in the Supreme Court about Ram Temple in Ayodhya is "god sent".While averring that the Shia's have always vouched for peace in the matter, Swamy said that Shia's affidavit is god sent which will give his case a positive push."That has been the original Shia stand; I have been to Iran also. I have checked up there and the Iranians are also of the view that we don't need to fight over the issue," said Swamy."The mosque belonged to the Shias. This notice has boosted my confidence. The probability of constructing a ram temple has increased. This intervention of Shia's has been in my opinion is god sent," he added.ANI
Doklam standoff: Countdown to clash between Indian and Chinese forces has begun, says China Daily
New Delhi: In one of the most scathing editorials till now aimed at India over the Doklam row in the Sikkim sector, China Daily has warned that ‘the countdown to a clash between the two forces has begun’.  The stinging editorial titled ‘New Delhi should come to its senses while it has time’, opined that the window to peacefully resolve the standoff in Doklam is closing even as the row enters its seventh week. “Countdown to a clash between the 2 forces has begun, and the clock is ticking away the time to what seems to be an inevitable conclusion.” Editorial goes onto say that all India needs to do is withdraw its troops from the Doklam area for any kind of meaningful talks and for Beijing to avoid any kind of conflict. “Beijing has time and again sent the message that to avoid conflict all India needs to do is withdraw all its troops from an area that based on historical treaties, historically expressed agreements and long-exercised control both have long agreed is Chinese territory.”India, the editorial said, should not take advantage of the restraint shown by China or underestimate the resolve of People’s Liberation Army.“There’s a ‘bottom line’to the restraint shown by China to India’s trespass,” it said. indianexpress
I dare RSS to ask PM Modi to snap India-China bilateral trade: Asaduddin Owaisi
Hyderabad:Dubbing senior RSS leader Indresh Kumar’s remarks that Indians should boycott Chinese products as “hypocritical”, AIMIM chief Asaduddin Owaisi has dared the Sangh to ask PM  Modi to discontinue the bilateral trade between India and China. Kumar had recently said Indians should boycott Chinese products and focus on “swadeshi” goods.“This is the hypocrisy of the RSS. If he (Kumar) really believes in what he is saying, Modi is also a swayamsevak. Let him go the PM . Let RSS go and tell the Govt  to put an end to bilateral trade with China immediately,” Owaisi said.PTI
NC, PDP unite against abrogation of Article 35A; warn New Delhi could lose legal validity over J&K
Srinagar: Political parties in Kashmir have not only warned of agitation over the abrogation of Article 35A that bars people from outside to own properties in Kashmir but maintain that New Delhi will lose the legal validity to call J&K  as an integral part of India if it is revoked.While some legal experts in Srinagar have opined that scrapping Article 35A will not only make the Presidential Order of 1954 – through which it was made part of the Indian Constitution – irrelevant, it would also affect other previous orders. National Conference (NC) and PDP have also stiffened their stand over the issue.Former CM  and NC working president Omar Abdullah has said that the abrogation of Article 35A will raise a debate on the validity of accession with the Indian Union. CM  Mehbooba Mufti has gone a step forward by declaring that there will no one left to hoist the Indian flag in Kashmir if the powers of the state to limit the state subjects' rights are abolished. firstpost
Teenager dies of pellet wounds sustained during clashes near encounter site
Srinagar: 3 militants were killed in the encounter in Pulwama district of J&K . A teenager died on Wednesday of the pellet injuries he sustained in clashes that broke between protesters and security forces near the site of an encounter in which three militants were killed in Pulwama district of J&K .Mohammad Younis (16) was brought to the SMHS hospital in Srinagar but he died of his injuries there, police said.The clashes broke out at Gulab Bagh in Tral area of the district.PTI
Caught between fear of arrest and need for compensation, Kashmir’s pellet victims face identity crisis
Srinagar:Bilal*, a youth from strife-torn south Kashmir, was hit by pellets during the summer unrest in the Valley last year. A bleeding Bilal was rushed to the nearest govt hospital from where he was referred to Srinagar. With pro-azadi sentiments running high among the youth at that time, Bilal got himself registered as “Burhan” in the hospital.But today, a partially-blind Bilal is at his wit’s end to prove his real identity in order to avail the compensation announced by the state government. He has to convince officials that it was indeed he (Bilal) who was hit by pellets that day, and not some fictitious Burhan.The large-scale protests that broke out last summer following the gunning down of Hizbul commander Burhan Wani, saw scores of stone-pelting youth receiving pellet injuries in retaliatory action by security forces. Most of these victims or their attendants did not enter their real identities in the hospital records to avoid “harassment” by police.HT
Evict encroachers on Waqf land: Delhi  HC to govt
New Delhi: Delhi High Court has asked AAP Govt and other agencies to enforce the pending eviction orders against encroachers of 990 Waqf properties in the national capital. court also directed the Delhi Govt, Waqf Board and other authorities to file an action taken report within four weeks with regard to recovery of the properties, failing which it said it “shall be compelled to initiate action against the officer concerned of the area”.A Bench of Acting Chief Justice Gita Mittal and Justice C.Hari Shankar said, “We have to remove the encroachers from those properties and recover it”. It expressed displeasure over the agencies’ failure to get back those properties, saying they “do not seem to be working at all”.The court has now listed the matter for September 18. The direction was issued after it was informed by the counsel for the authorities that they need some more time to file the status report with regard to restoring the Waqf properties to their original status.The court was hearing a PIL filed by advocate Shahid Ali on 990 Waqf properties, claiming that they have already been ordered to be vacated from illegal and unauthorised occupation of encroachers under Waqf Act, but the concerned SDMS have not been enforcing orders.thehindu
Delhi HC bars JNU students from protesting within 100 metres of University's admin block
New Delhi: Delhi High Court has ruled that students cannot protest within 100 metres of the administration building on the campus of JNU.The court also asked the JNU admin to set up CCTV cameras at the gates of the university and the admin block. JNU admin had approached the High Court seeking orders against protests in admin block which had blocked office work and entry of officials into h admin buildings.The High Court ruled that students did not have a fundamental right to protest anywhere in the Universities. The protests will now only be held at the earmarked designated places for protests in the JNU campus – the Sabarmati lawns, the open theatre and the student activity centre.The HC also ruled that the entry and exit of University officials cannot be stopped. The court also observed that it is not welcome that police has to enter a University but in the case of an obstruction the JNU admin can seek assistance.PTI
JNU teachers’ association protests university’s ‘failures’, march to administrative block
JNU teachers may soon organise public lectures on “research methodology” as entrance exams to research courses at the institute will have questions on the topic according to University Grants Commission guidelines. hindustantimes
Missing JNU student Najeeb: HC pulls up CBI over report
New Delhi : Delhi High Court has pulled up the CBI for submitting the same status report that it had submitted on July 17 regarding the steps taken to probe the disappearance of JNU student Najeeb Ahmad. “What is the idea of listing it today?…There is nothing new,” said a bench of Justice G S Sistani and Justice Chander Shekhar, adding that it had not transferred the case to the agency “for fun”. The bench also said that the previous status report showed only “cosmetic steps”.CBI said it has taken further steps, but is yet to come up with a status report. It also said there was progress in the case, and it was examining the investigation carried out by police. The CBI also sought an extension of two to three weeks to file a fresh status report. Noting that the status report mentions some people who have been examined, the bench asked the counsel for CBI if the agency had taken fresh statements of these people, or had mentioned examinations by the Delhi Police. The counsel replied that he was not aware of it and that he will meet the probe team in a week. indianexpress
Gujarat RS poll exposed BJP's personal vendetta, political terror: Ahmed Patel
Gandhinagar: After retaining his Rajya Sabha seat from Gujarat, Senior Congress leader Ahmed Patel on Wednesday alleged that the election exposed the "personal vendetta and political terror" of the BJP."BJP stands exposed of personal vendetta and political terror. People of Gujarat will give them a befitting reply in this year's election," Patel tweeted.He also thanked the Congress leadership for giving him the opportunity to fight this election and also lauded the MLAs who voted in his favour."I thank my party leadership for giving me this opportunity & all my party workers & colleagues whose relentless hardwork made this possible. I want to thank each & every MLA who voted for me despite unprecedented intimidation & pressure from BJP. They voted for an inclusive India," Patel said in a series of tweets.Patel said that his victory in Rajya Sabha polls was a defeat of the most blatant use of money power, muscle power and abuse of state machinery.ANI
Congress expels 8 Gujarat MLAs for violating party whip in Rajya Sabha polls
Hours after senior Congress leader Ahmed Patel won the Rajya Sabha elections, the party on Wednesday expelled 8 of it MLAs for violation of its whip. The party will also expel six more MLAs in coming days. “8 Gujarat Congress MLAs have already been expelled from the party. Six more have been expelled from the party for violation of the whip in the Rajya Sabha polls,” said Gujarat Congress in-charge Ashok Gehlot.All the 8 MLAs are close to senior leader Shankarsinh Vaghela who quit the party before the Rajya Sabha elections.In a bitterly fought contest, Patel beat BJP nominee after Election Commission reject the votes of 2 dissident MLAs of the main opposition party for violating electoral rules. indianexpress
Talk of JD(U) split as Sharad Yadav, others ‘unhappy’ with Nitish’s withdrawal from Grand Alliance
Patna: The possibility of a split in Bihar’s ruling JNU swirled on Wednesday, after the party broke ranks with the RJD and Congress to form a new Govt  with the BJP on July 27.Several JD(U) leaders, including former party chief Sharad Yadav, are said to be unhappy with CM  Nitish Kumar’s alleged unilateral decision to withdraw from the three-party grand alliance and realign with the BJP.Talk of a division increased after Yadav declared a four-day tour of Bihar from Thursday to assess the mood of party workers.Besides, RJD chief Lalu Prasad also fanned the flames on Wednesday, saying the grand alliance still exists as his party, the “Sharad Yadav-led JD(U)” and Congress are partners. hindustantimes
Ready to work with Lalu, but not out of fear of BJP: Owaisi
Hyderabad: In a surprised move AIMIM president and Hyderabad MP Asaduddin Owaisi extended his friendship to Rashtriya Janta Dal president and former CM  of Bihar, Lalu Prasad Yadav.While addressing a public meeting in remembrance of party revivalist Abdul Wahed Owaisi in the old city of Hyderabad, Owaisi said, ''Lalu yadav you cannot defeat BJP alone. If you want to work for the sake of Muslims welfare in Seemanchal , AIMIM is ready to come with you. But don't think that I am saying this because of fear of the BJP.'' Criticising Nitish Kumar who broke 'Mahagathbandhan' with Congress- RJD in the state and joined hand with BJP, Owaisi said that knew Nitish will one day join BJP. indiatoday
Sonia Gandhi indirectly attacks RSS, says 'some organisations didn't have a role in freedom struggle': ABP
New Delhi: Without naming the RSS, Congress chief Sonia Gandhi on Wednesday  targeted the right-wing outfit by saying "we must not forget that some organizations opposed Quit India Movement, such organisations have no role in freedom struggle."Sonia was speaking in Lok Sabha which was holding a special discussion to commemorate the 75th anniversary of Quit India Movement.She said in current environment, there are clouds of hatred and political vendetta hovering over the society. The scope of a dialogue has reduced in the public space. Describing the role of Congress leaders in the freedom struggle ,she said, " Nehru spent several years in jail, many Congress workers died in jail."
Those Who Boycotted Quit India Preach Nationalism Today: Ashutosh
‘Hindu-Muslim unity made Quit India Movement successful’
Marital rape is not penal offence; Parliament already debated it, says Supreme Court:PTI
New Delhi : The raging issue whether to make forced marital intercourse and sexual acts part of offence of rape in penal law has been extensively debated and now it cannot be considered as a criminal act, the Supreme Court today said. Section 375 of IPC, which defines the offence of rape, has an exception clause that says the intercourse or sexual act by a man with his wife, not below 15 years, is not a rape.The SC however, sought to know as to whether Parliament debated the aspect of protecting married girls, between the age group of 15-18 years, from the forced sexual acts by their spouses. It also asked whether the court could intervene to protect the rights of such married girls who may be sexually exploited by their spouses.
Rajiv Gandhi assassination case: High Court asks Tamil Nadu govt to file counter by August 16
Chennai:Madras High Court has directed the Tamil Nadu Govt  to file by August 16 its counter to a petition by two life convicts in the Rajiv Gandhi assassination case, seeking to be included in the list of 180 accused proposed for premature release on Republic Day eve.When the Habeas Corpus Petition filed by Robert Payas and Jayakumar came up for hearing on Wednesday, justices A Selvam and Pon Kalaiarasan in its order said “considering the long pendency of the matter the respondent (Govt ) is directed to file the counter by Aug16.”PTI
CIA discussed political scenarios in event of Indira Gandhi’s death: Report
Washington: Nearly 2 years before the assassination of Indira Gandhi, they had suggested that her son Rajiv Gandhi may not succeed her in the event of her sudden death because he was “politically immature” and had “failed to excite either the party or the public”, according to a secret report declassified by the US agency. CIA in a report dated Jan.14, 1983, noted that the Congress would become weaker in such circumstances. However, the sequence of events after the then premier’s assassination in Oct.1984 proved otherwise as she was succeeded by Rajiv, who within a few months was re-elected with an unprecedented mandate.A sanitised copy of the report ‘India in the Mid-1980s: Goals and Challenges’ was released by CIA under Freedom of Information Act (FOIA), which is similar to India’s Right to Information Act. Running into more than 30 pages, document discussed the prospects of India in mid-1980s and looked into various political scenarios, which among others included re-election of Indira Gandhi in the next general election in 1985 with a slim majority and what happens in the case of her sudden death.“In the event of (Indira) Gandhi’s sudden death, Raiiv Gandhi, working closely with President Zail Singh, would be one of major figures involved in the selection of a successor. His own chances of being elevated to the office right now are uncertain, in part because of his political immaturity and because of his still junior status,”CIA had said in its secret report declassified in Dec.PTI
NIA names 4in Bhopal-Ujjain train blast case: Daily Mail
NIA has filed its charge sheet against four men connected to the self-radicalised Kanpur ISIS module for the train blast between Bhopal-Ujjain that injured 10 people last March. According to investigators, 4 accused were self radicalised by online content and an ISIS-inspired publication. The accused reportedly tried to migrate to ISIS-controlled territory several times but failed.Investigators say the four took an oath of allegiance to ISIS leader Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi and planned to carry out several attacks in India.The charge sheet by the central agency was filed in a special NIA court in Bhopal where they named UP  residents Atif Muzaffar, Mohd Danish Akhtar alias Jaafar, Syed Mir Hussain alias Hamja Abu Bakkas and Ghaus Mohd Khan. They have been charged under various sections of the Indian Penal Code and UAPA
Bhopal: SIMI chief Nagori, others seek transfer to Gujarat
Bhopal: SIMI activists Safdar Nagori and 10 others have asked for transfer to a Gujarat jail, from Bhopal Central Jail.Jail superintendent has forwarded the application to the jail administration, whereas the Gujarat Govt  has already informed the state Govt , ‘no need to transfer’. SIMI chief Nagori and 10 members of his outfit were sentenced to life imprisonment by a special CBI court in Indore on Feb.27. Family members of some SIMI suspects lodged at Bhopal Central Jail have approached NHRC, alleging that prison authorities were torturing them and denying adequate food since the killing of 8 under trials in an encounter last year. NHRC team visited Bhopal Central Jail on June 21 to conduct on the spot inquiry for SIMI suspects.Gujarat Govt  has already informed MP Govt  that they are under trial of the case and through video conferencing their hearing is being conducted, so that it’s not needed to transfer them.Free Press
1,000 Muslim clerics urge UN to act against Saeed:TOI
Mumbai: Over 1,000 Muslim clerics and imams have passed a resolution against Hafiz Saeed, demanding that he be punished for his anti-India activities. The resolution, passed at a gathering at Madrassa Darul Uloom Ali Hasan Ahle Sunnat in Mumbai, also denounces JuD, along with several other Pakistan-based terror outfits.It has been sent to Amr Abdellatif Aboulatta, chair of the UNSCl's Counter-Terrorism Committee at Security Council, with a copy marked to the PMO. "Hafiz Saeed and the terror outfits he heads are threats to global peace. He calls India enemy number one but he is the enemy of Islam and humanity," said the chief of Mumbai-based NGO Islamic Defence Cyber Cell, Dr Abdur Rahman Anjaria, who introduced the resolution.The fresh resolution says that around 60 terror outfits operate from Pakistan, and urges the UN to initiate action against them. Asked the reason behind passing the resolution, Maulana Hashim Ashrafi, patron of Madrassa Darul Uloom Ali Hasan Ahle Sunnat, said Indian clerics were "morally bound to oppose those who kill or support the killing of innocents in the name of Islam". The head of Mumbai's Saki Naka madrassa Abdul Manzar Khan Ashrafi explained, "Pakistan is a nuclear-armed country and if people like Saeed are voted to power, he will be a bigger threat to not just India, but the world. He will try to influence Muslim opinion globally and radicalise more youths." Mufti Mohammed Manzar Hasan Khan issued a fatwa against suicide bombing at the same meeting.13-page resolution also asserts that Kashmir is an internal issue of India and no third party should interfere in it.
42 linked to terror groups, including IS, suspected missing in 5 years: Kerala CM
42 people linked with various organisations, including terror outfit IS, were suspected to have gone missing from Kerala in last five years, CM  Pinarayi Vijayan said on Tuesday. There was no information about these missing people, Vijayan said in a written reply in the state assembly, adding that all cases connected with IS were probed by NIA.Vijayan also said the state Govt  did not receive any confirmation report from central agencies about the death of any of these missing persons.PTI
Ready to include Urdu in NEET from new session: Govt to SC
New Delhi:  Supreme Court has considered the submission of the Centre Govt  that it was willing to include Urdu as a language in NEET, common entrance test for admission into undergraduate medical courses across the country, from next academic session onwards. According to PTI, a bench, headed by Justices Dipak Misra, noted the submission made by Solicitor General Ranjit Kumar, appearing for the Centre, that it was not opposed to conducting the NEET in Urdu medium also from 2018.On April 13, the Supreme Court had asked the Centre to conduct NEET examination in Urdu from academic year 2018-2019 onwards but ruled out holding the entrance exam in the language this year. The bench of Justice Dipak Misra, Justice A.M. Khanwilkar and Justice Mohan M. Shantanagoudar directed that NEET entrance exam be held in Urdu this year after CBSE told the court that it was extremely difficult to hold the exam in Urdu this year. The supreme court's direction came on a petition by filed by the Students Islamic Organisation of India.NDTV
Maratha reservation protest reaches Mumbai, Fadnavis says committed to grant reservation
New Delhi:Thousands of people demanding reservations for the Maratha community marched from Jijamata Udyan in Byculla till Azad Maidan on Wednesday. Mumbai briefly turned into a sea of saffron as protesters walked down south Mumbai’s JJ flyover. Traffic movement was disrupted in several areas of south Mumbai despite the presence of hundreds of policemen personnel.Protesters pulled down banners put up by the Shiv Sena as they did not want any “political interference”. Rajya Sabha member Chhatrapati Sambhaji Raje, who was part of the march, told reporters that he was participating as an “ordinary member” of the Maratha community. Bollywood actor Ritersh Deshmukh also extended his support to the march last night. “Ek Maratha, Lakh Maratha,” he tweeted in Marathi.The protest was organised by the Maratha Kranti Morcha, who had taken out 57 silent protest marches last year. This was, however, the biggest silent protest march so far. indianexpress
Soon, Maharashtra textbooks to omit mention of Mughals, Muslim rulers, to have larger chapter on Shivaji
Mumbai: History textbooks for class 7 and 9 students in Maharashtra will no longer have chapters on Mughals and Muslim rulers before them, a move that provoked an opposition attack on the BJP-led Govt  for promoting the "RSS agenda".The Devendra Fadnavis Govt  came in the line of the opposition's fire after the state education board revised the textbooks which would now focus mainly on the Maratha Empire founded by Chhatrapati Shivaji.Chapters from the previous edition on the Mughals, and Muslim rulers in India before them such as Razia Sultana and Muhammad bin Tuqhlaq, have been expunged from the new books for students of Govt  schools.At least 5 chapters on the rise and fall of major dynasties in India have been condensed into one chapter - India before the times of Shivaji Maharaj.PTI
Did Modi Mislead Parliament on the Number of Fake Ration Cards that Aadhaar Had Exposed? thewire
New Delhi: Nobody in the Narendra Modi Govt  seems to know where the PM  got the data on the basis of which he told the Lok Sabha that the use of technology and Aadhaar led to the discovery of 3.95 crore bogus ration cards (from 1:19 onwards in the video below), Right to Information Act activist Anjali Bharadwaj on Tuesday claimed at a press conference organised to “expose the false claims of the Govt  about the benefits of Aadhaar”.While Bharadwaj spoke about how Aadhaar has been cited to deprive crores of citizens of their right to food, other activists who participated in the meeting highlighted how the identity number has become a tool in the hands of the Centre as well as the state Govt s to reduce their expenditure on social welfare and to exclude people at will and on whims from their entitlement to pension, job cards under the Mahatma Gandhi National Rural Employment Guarantee Act (MGNREGA) rations and even mid-day meals.During the recently concluded hearings on privacy in the Supreme Court, the activists – who were drawn from Satark Nagrik Sangathan (SNS), Delhi Rozi Roti Adhikar Abhiyan, Mazdoor Kisan Shakti Sangathan (MKSS) and the Right to Food Campaign – said that while the Govt  made tall claims about Aadhaar ensuring food security for millions of people, the “experience on the ground and information accessed under the RTI Act shows that such claims are not backed by evidence”.While six months have passed since the PM  made the claim before the Lok Sabha, Bharadwaj said attempts by her to obtain information on how the PM  reached the conclusion have so far drawn a blank. “The PM ’s office and the department of food and public distribution (DFPD) have not been able to provide information or evidence on the basis of which the PM  made the statement in the Lok Sabha,” she said.
60 communal incidents in 2017 in UP,highest so far
The current year has seen 296 incidents of communal violence so far, with 44 deaths, according to data released by the home ministry in Parliament. The previous two years in their entirety saw 703 deaths (2016) and 751 (2015), with 86 and 97 deaths respectively. UP has seen the highest number of incidents with 60, while Karnataka, MP, Rajasthan and Bengal too figure high on the list. In UP ’s 60 incidents, 16 people have been killed and over 150 injured. indianexpress
WORLD
Israel involved in secret meetings about Syria truce
An Israeli paper has revealed that Israel, Russia and the US held a series of secret meetings last month to discuss the truce agreement in southern Syria, New Khalij has reported. According to Haaretz, Israeli officials and Western diplomats, all of whom requested anonymity, said that the meetings were held in Amman and a European capital before the announcement of the establishment of de-escalation zones in southern Syria. Senior diplomats and security officials from the 3 countries participated in those meetings.Furthermore, said Haaretz, the meetings were held in the presence of the US special envoy to Syria, Michael Ratney, and the White House envoy for the Global Coalition, Brett McGurk, as well as officials from Israel’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Ministry of Defence, the Israel Defence Forces and Mossad spy agency. Moscow’s special envoy to Syria, Alexander Lafrentiev, was also there. In Amman, attendees included Jordanian officials. The third meeting, in Europe, was at a higher level than the meetings in Jordan’s capital. The Israeli delegation apparently opposed the de-escalation memorandum, noting that, according to Tel Aviv, this deal does not pay enough attention to curbing Iranian influence across Syria. Israel’s representatives protested against the failure of the Russian-American agreement with Hezbollah and the Iranian factions, and called for the withdrawal of Hezbollah fighters, the Iranian Revolutionary Guards and Shia militia groups from Syria.Last month, in Hamburg, Russia’s Minister of Foreign Affairs Sergey Lavrov announced his country’s agreement with the US on a ceasefire in southern Syria.Despite the fact that Israel coordinates its security activities in Syria with Russia — such coordination is at the level of direct telephone calls at any time between Israeli military bases in the occupied Golan and Russian bases in Syria — Israel does not trust the Russian leadership.It doubts that the Russians could reach agreements with Iran concerning all matters related to the control of the land, as part of their common interest in keeping Bashar Al-Assad in power.It is known that Israel considers Daraa, the Province of Suwayda (Jabal Al-Arab) and other areas adjacent to the occupied Golan Heights as being of political interest and necessary for its own security. The Israelis have several allies there, including the Druze militia of Golan Knights and many others, with different names, which claim to be subordinates of the Free Syrian Army. Govt  in Tel Aviv believes that these allies can form the basis for the establishment of a “South Syrian Army”, similar to the “South Lebanon Army” that it established and financed in the past. middleeastmonitor
4 Palestinians wounded in Israel air attacks on Gaza:
At least four Palestinians have been wounded, one of them seriously, after Israel carried out air attacks on Hamas locations in Gaza. Attacks on Tuesday targeted 3 locations in Gaza, officials told Al Jazeera. Israeli military said it carried out the air attacks in response to a rocket fired towards Israel. Hamas spokesman, Hazem Qasem, rejected Israel's claims. "Airstrikes targeted Hamas positions in the centre of the Gaza Strip," Qasem said. " Occupation claims that a group from Gaza launched rockets at them, but there is no side in Gaza that has claimed responsibility."We are maintaining the period of calm and did not launch any rockets. It is not beneficial for the occupation to violate this period of calm." aljazeera
Israel demolishes two houses in occupied East Jerusalem
Israeli forces have demolished two homes in different Palestinian neighbourhoods in occupied East Jerusalem, residents have told Al Jazeera. Israeli army arrived at Thaer Siyam's newly-built house in Beit Hanina at 5am and razed it to the ground with a bulldozer.Ismaeel Siyam, Thaer's father, told Al Jazeera that he had built the house from wood so that the "Israeli occupation would not demolish it".40-sq metre house was uninhabited and sparsely furnished, and intended for Thaer to move in before he got married, Siyam said. AlJazeera
Fake companies in Jordan buy land in occupied West Bank for Jewish settlers
A local official revealed on Tuesday that a network of fake companies based in Jordan has been established in order to buy Palestinian land in the occupied West Bank for Jewish settlers, Al-Araby Al-Jadeed has reported. The settlers, it is claimed, are from the settlement of Amona, which Israel also regarded as illegal; and evacuated earlier this year.According to the neighbourhood head in Silwad, located to the east of Ramallah, a Jordanian MP is involved. Abdul-Rahman Saleh added that these companies pay high prices for the land, up to 60,000 Jordanian Dinars for each dunam (quarter of an acre), whereas the market rate would be around 2,000 Dinars. Saleh said that some of the Palestinians travelled to Jordan to be paid the money.After a review of the companies in question, he explained, they denied that they are buying land for Israeli settlers. However, he stressed that they have a history of buying real estate in Jerusalem on behalf of Israelis. middleeastmonitor
Israel committing ‘war crime’ by revoking residency of Jerusalemites
Israel is maintaining a two-tier system in Jerusalem, Human Rights Watch has warned, adding that this is illustrated by the fact that the residency of thousands of Palestinians in occupied East Jerusalem has been revoked over the years.“Deportation or forced transfers of any part of the population of an occupied territory could amount to war crimes under the Rome Statute of the International Criminal Court,” the rights group warned.ata provided by the organisation states that from the beginning of Israel’s occupation of Jerusalem in 1967 until the end of 2016, the residency of at least 14,595 Palestinians from East Jerusalem was revoked, according to the Israeli Ministry of Interior. middleeastmonitor
Israel: Security ties with Egyptian Army more vital than active Cairo embassy
Israeli PM  Benjamin Netanyahu cares more about maintaining good security ties with the Egyptian Army than with re-staffing Israel’s embassy in Cairo which has been empty since the end of 2016, National Security Council officials told a special session of the Knesset Foreign Affairs and Defence Committee last month.Ambassador David Govrin and his team left Cairo eight months ago on security grounds. They have not returned because of Egypt’s failures to ensure adequate security measures for the Israelis.The meeting of the foreign affairs subcommittee was convened after member of the Knesset Ksenia Svetlova sent a letter to Avi Dichter and Robert Ilatov, respectively heads of the committee and the subcommittee, outlined her concerns about the scaling back of relations between Egypt and Israel to contacts between a small number of army officers on both sides, and conversations by PM’s special envoy, Isaac Molho, with Egyptian officials. middleeastmonitor
'US-led coalition' air raids kill 29 civilians in Raqqa
US-led coalition raids on Raqqa in northern Syria have killed 29 civilians over the past 24 hours as American-backed forces battle the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant group, a monitor said on Tuesday. Britain-based Syrian Observatory for Human Rights said nine women and 14 children had been killed in coalition air raids on Raqqa city since Monday evening.It said 14 of the dead were members of one family, who had fled to Raqqa from Palmyra.The death toll could rise because of the number of critically wounded, it added.A US-backed Arab-Kurdish alliance is battling to overthrow ISIL from Raqqa, its main Syrian stronghold, and has taken around 45 % of the city.Meanwhile, Syrian activists say pro-Govt  forces have intensified their bombardment of the capital's rebel-held Eastern Ghouta suburbs, one day after rebels frustrated a Govt  attempt to advance.The opposition-affiliated Ghouta Media Centre said one civilian was killed and several others injured in Govt  shelling and aerial bombardment. aljazeera
US denies bombing Iraqi Shi’ite militia near Syrian border
US-led coalition fighting Daesh on Tuesday denied responsibility for an attack near the Syrian border which killed dozens of members of an Iraqi Shi’ite militia and, that group said, several of Iran’s elite Revolutionary Guards.A spokesman for the Iran-backed Kataib Sayyid al-Shuhada militia said 36 of its fighters had been killed in the attack on Monday and 75 others were wounded and receiving treatment.“We hold the American army responsible for this act,” the militia said in a statement late on Monday, noting that they were targeted with smart rockets.Iraq’s PM  Haider al-Abadi said on Tuesday that initial investigation showed that Daesh launched the attack against the militia group.“It seems that Daesh carried out a breach using artillery and car bombs,” Abadi said in a televised press conference in Baghdad.US-led coalition, which is attacking Daesh militants from the air in Syria and Iraq, said the allegations were “inaccurate” and denied conducting air attacks in that area at the time.In a statement circulated by its supporters, Daesh claimed it was responsible for the attack and said it had captured armoured vehicles, weapons and ammunition. middleeastmonitor
Qatar shipping company moves hub from UAE to Oman
Dubai’s status as a financial hub for the region is increasingly coming under threat as one of Qatar’s major shipping and logistics firm relocates its regional trans-shipment hub from Dubai to Oman’s Sohar port.With the Saudi led blockade of Qatar now entering its third month, Milaha Maritime and Logistics, which “delivers a comprehensive range of services to some of the region’s biggest players in the oil, gas and petrochemical sectors”, announced the move that may raise concerns in Dubai over its potential to remain the unrivalled economic hub of the region.One of the measures taken by the blockading countries was to deny Qatar access to their ports. Typically, cargo for Qatar stopped at the UAE’s massive port in Jebel Ali, Dubai, or in Abu Dhabi, then got put on smaller boats heading to Doha. Following the blockade, international free trade zones like Jebel Ali were off-limits to Qatari companies. Hundreds of containers destined for Qatar were seized by the authorities in clear breach of the provisions and laws of the International Trade Organisation that safeguard the free flow of goods. middleeastmonitor
UAE and Bahrain grant Qatar Airways new routes
Qatar Airways can now access a new route over international waters in the Gulf controlled by the United Arab Emirates and Bahrain, the world aviation agency announced.The Montreal-based International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO) has been working with "various Middle Eastern states to ensure equitable access to airspace for Qatar-registered aircraft" since sanctions were announced on June 5, ICAO spokesman Anthony Philbin said on Tuesday. aljazeera

Ex-Iraq official: Al Jazeera is cause of siege on Qatar
Qatar has been “treated unfairly” and the reason behind the Arab country’s siege on it is not its alleged support for terrorism, but Al Jazeera, the former Iraqi Ambassador to the United Nations, Salah Omar Al-Ali, has said.“The State of Qatar was treated unfairly in recent times, and the fundamental reason for its  siege is Al Jazeera and not terrorism,” Al-Ali explained in an interview with Quds Press today.“When we look at the details of the recent Gulf crisis, we find that Qatar is oppressed, because the countries that are accused of terrorism are Saudi Arabia in the first place, then the UAE, starting with the September events in the United States, up to the JASTA law,” Al-Ali said. middleeastmonitor
Meeting between heirs was ‘turning point’ in Saudi-Qatar relations
The Saudi-led blockade on Qatar took many people by surprise but, according to a report in the Wall Street Journal, the growing friendship between Abu Dhabi’s Crown Prince Mohamed Bin Zayed and Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed Bin Salman marked a “turning point” in Riyadh’s relations with its smaller neighbour. 2 struck-up a strong connection while on a camping trip in the deserts of Saudi Arabia a year and half ago.Quoting officials from both countries, the report described the meeting between the heirs to the thrones as the “pivotal moment” in the shift towards a more hard-line policy against opposition in the region. It is said that the two men hardly knew each other until they enjoyed the “beloved Gulf pastime together”.Several well-informed officials cited by the Wall Street Journal believe that the aggressive policies of Bin Salman were not inevitable. While the Saudi leadership was divided over its dealing with Qatar, Bin Salman himself was thought to have had good relations with the ruling family in the capital Doha. Nevertheless, because of the differences between the UAE and Qatar, Bin Salman was forced to choose between Abu Dhabi and Doha, says Andreas Craig, a former adviser to the Govt of Qatar and a Gulf expert at King’s College London. middleeastmonitor
10,000 people  die due to Yemen airport closure: NRC
At least 10,000 people have died in Yemen as a result of the Saudi-led coalition's restriction on airspace and the closure of Sanaa airport a year ago, Norwegian Refugee Council (NRC) said citing Sanaa's Ministry of Health.The rights group joined 14 other aid organisations that called on warring parties in Yemen to reopen the country's main airport on Wednesday, saying the year-long closure was hindering the flow of aid and preventing thousands of patients from flying abroad for life-saving treatment."Denial of access to travel has condemned thousands of Yemenis with survivable illnesses to death," Mutasim Hamdan, the NRC's director in Yemen, said in a statement."Without access to safe, commercial travel, Yemenis are left with no way to access critical medical care."The result is devastating. Thousands of women, men and children who could have been saved lost their lives."Coalition, which intervened in Yemen conflict in 2015 to support the internationally recognised Govt  of President Abd-Rabbu Mansour Hadi, controls the airspace over Yemen.Sanaa International Airport was closed on Aug.9 last year "leaving many Yemenis with no safe means of transport in or outside of the country", NRC said.Citing UN figures, NRC estimated that 7,000 Yemenis went abroad from Sanaa annually for medical treatment before the conflict.Now, the number of people needing life-saving healthcare is around 20,000 over the past two years because of the violence, the group added. aljazeera
FLASH: NEWS & VIEWS
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Minority status for Jamia Millia Islamia: Govt  has no regard for freedom fighters: SHAH ALAM

 Compiled and edited by Anwarulhaq (Released at: 9:01 PM)

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