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Wednesday, 16 August 2017



Evening NEWS DIGEST
16 Aug. 2017: 23 Zulqidah 1438:Vol:8, No:257
INDIA-CHINA
Indian troops foil China’s incursion attempt in Ladakh, minor injuries on both sides after stone-pelting
New Delhi:Indian troops on Tuesday foiled 2 incursion bids by the Chinese in J&K ’s Ladakh region but not before stones were thrown and soldiers injured on both sides as India celebrated 70 years of Independence. Clash near the Pangong Lake, which divides Indian and Chinese territory, comes at a time when the two neighbours are in a standoff thousands of miles away in the disputed Doklam plateau close to Sikkim on India’s northeastern border. 2-month-old row has soured ties between the two sides, with China accusing India of trespass. “Indian and Chinese troops came face to face at two places in Finger 4 and Finger 5 areas near Pangong Lake in Ladakh region,” a Govt source said. Finger 4 is almost 5km into Indian territory from the line of actual control (LAC), manned by Indo-Tibetan Border Police.When Indian troops told the Chinese to retreat, words were exchanged and then a scuffle broke out. “Stones were thrown at each other, resulting in injuries to troops from both sides after which finally the Chinese forces retreated,” the source said.The nature of injuries and number of soldiers involved could not be confirmed. The troops “disengaged” after an hour and the Chinese patrol went back, sources said.ITBP was not available for comments and the army refused to speak on the clash.The Pangong area is prone to such face-offs as two-thirds of the lake is under Chinese control. Normally things are brought under control after showing banners to the Chinese side, telling them they are in Indian territory. There, however, have been occasions when the Chinese refused to leave, leading to an impasse, sources said.Difference of perception over the territory leads to around 400 such skirmishes every year from Ladakh to Arunachal.HT
India & China troops clash along Himalayan border
China says it has no information of scuffle with Indian troops in Ladakh
Chinese foreign ministry said on Wednesday it was not “aware” of scuffles between its army and Indian forces in Ladakh where men from both sides exchanged punches and threw stones at each other.“I am not aware of the incident,” Hua Chunying, foreign ministry spokesperson said at the daily ministry briefing on Wednesday when asked about Ladakh incident.She added that Chinese border troops were always “committed to maintain peace and tranquillity” along Sino-India border. Hindustantimes
India, China hold border meet, discuss peace a day after Ladakh scuffle
New Delhi:Indian and Chinese officials were meeting at the border in Ladakh on Wednesday, a day after their troops were involved in a scuffle in the area.Government sources said a “pre-scheduled border personnel meeting” was in progress in Ladakh’s Chushul area since Wednesday afternoon, adding the Pangong Lake incident was also on the agenda.The two sides were also discussing strengthening of existing mechanisms for maintaining border peace and tranquillity, the sources said.“This is not a subject on which the govt normally makes a comment,” defence minister Arun Jaitley said.HT
A day after Ladakh scuffle, India & China Army officers to meet in Leh
Nepal- A de-facto battleground for regional supremacy between India, China:AFP
Janakpur (Nepal):  3 years after its last train hit the buffers, landlocked Nepal is building a new railway network to boost its ailing economy -- helped by the rivalry between its powerful neighbours, China and India.The railway to India was a lifeline for the small southern frontier town of Janakpur, used to import everything from sweets to clothes and cosmetics and fuelling a vibrant border economy.But it fell into disrepair after years of neglect and since 2014 the train has sat stationary, its rusting carcass now a playground for local children, while Janakpur’s markets are empty.“When the train was running, we would have a lot of business. I was easily providing (for) my family,” said Shyam Sah, whose small family-run cosmetics shop has suffered an 80 % drop in profits since the railway closed.Now it is being rebuilt with Indian backing, one of three new rail lines -- one funded by China in the north and a third by Nepal itself -- that the country hopes will help boost international trade.Nepal remains largely isolated from the global economy, dependent on aid and remittances.In recent years Kathmandu has tilted towards Beijing as part of a nationalist drive to decrease the country’s reliance on New Delhi.China has responded, ramping up its diplomatic ties with Nepal -- mostly through large-scale infrastructure investments.In 2017, Beijing pledged $8.3 billion to build roads and hydropower plants in Nepal, dwarfing India’s commitments of $317 million.Feasibility studies are also underway for a Beijing-backed railway connecting Kathmandu to Lhasa in Tibet, cutting straight through the Himalayas at an estimated cost of $8 billion. hindustantimes
OTHERS
US report slams Sangh Parivar, BJP for religious intolerance in India
US Commission on International Religious Freedom (USCIRF) has released its 2017 annual report accusing Hindu nationalist groups and their sympathizers for perpetrating numerous incidents of intimidation, harassment, and violence against religious minority communities and Dalits.US federal Govt  commission, which was created by the international Religious Freedom Act of 1998, named RSS, Sangh Parivar, and VHP as the flag bearers of religious intolerance in 2016.“During the past year, there were numerous reports of harassment and violent attacks against Muslims by Hindu nationalists, including local and state BJP members. Members of the Muslim community report that their abusers often accuse them of being terrorists; spying for Pakistan; forcibly kidnapping, converting, and marrying Hindu women; and disrespecting Hinduism by slaughtering of cows. Members of the Muslim community rarely report abuses because of societal and police bias and police and judicial intimidation by the RSS,” the report said.The report also pointed out that Muslim and Dalits are often attacked by so called “cow protector” vigilantes, the Hindu nationalists, for allegedly slaughtering, selling, or consuming cow products. It mentioned several incidents, including the July 2016 incident of Gujarat’s Una, as example for this.It also mentioned attacks against Christian and Sikh minorities. Report highlighted the plight of Scheduled Castes and Scheduled Tribes. “These violations were most frequent and severe in 10 of India’s 29 states. National and state laws that restrict religious conversion, cow slaughter, and the foreign funding of NGOs and a constitutional provision deeming Sikhs, Buddhist, and Jains to be Hindus helped create the conditions enabling these violations,” the report read. The report, which placed India on the tire 2, where the country has been since 2009, criticized BJP for its ties with the Hindu nationalists groups.It said, “While PM  Narendra Modi spoke publicly about the importance of communal tolerance and religious freedom, members of the ruling party have ties to Hindu nationalist groups implicated in religious freedom violations, used religiously divisive language to inflame tensions, and called for additional laws that would restrict religious freedom.” americanbazaaronline
Violence by cow vigilantes increased in India in 2016: US report
Cow vigilantism has increased in India; minorities feel vulnerable, says US report
Rohith Vemula not a Dalit, suicide triggered as not happy with worldly affairs: Centre's Commission Report
Rohith Vemula was not a Schedule Caste, action by university authorities didn’t trigger his suicide, there was no undue pressure from ex-HRD minister Smriti Irani or BJP leader Bandaru Dattatreya in the case, found a one-man judicial enquiry commission setup by the HRD ministry.There was widespread outrage following Vemula’s suicide with rights groups alleging that he had been discriminated against due to his caste and expulsion by the university had led to his suicide. After Vemula’s suicide on 17th Jan.2016, Dalit groups asserted that Vemula was one of theirs and that he had been a victim of oppression by BJP, including Irani and Dattatreya. The commission says that “none of the above in any way influenced the university authorities and they were just discharging their functions as the representatives of the public.”In a 108-page report which can be found on the MHRD website, AK Roopanwal commission has said that since Vemula’s mother belongs to the Mala community, she and Rohith could not be included in the Schedule Caste.Vemula and 4 others had been expelled from their hostels by the University of Hyderabad and the commission says that it was not the reason that contributed to the university scholar taking his life. It says that there was “no evidence of any factor circumstance available on the record which dragged him to commit suicide and no one is responsible for his death.” Out Look india
Rohith Vemula Not a Dalit, Committed Suicide Due to His Own Problems, Says Inquiry Commission Report
No action required against anyone in Rohith suicide case: Centre
Una Again? Dalits ‘thrashed’ by ‘Upper Castes’ in Gujarat
A Dalit man and his mother were thrashed allegedly by a group of 15 'upper caste' men for skinning a dead cow near a crematorium at a village in Anand district of Gujarat, instead of the place where cattle are disposed of, police said on Tuesday.The incident took place almost a year after four Dalit men were allegedly beaten up by the cow vigilantes at Una in the Gir-Somnath district, triggering an uproar across the country.In his complaint lodged with the Sojitra police, the 22-year-old man alleged that around 15 Rajput men, all from Kasor, stormed into his residence on Saturday night and started verbally abusing him and his 45-year-old mother by referring to their caste.When he protested, the mob allegedly thrashed the duo and threatened them with dire consequences, DSP, Khambhat division, DD Damor said.No arrest has been made so far, Damor said.     Thequint/PTI
Mob Lynchings in India: Oppressed groups unite in solidarity against Hindu nationalist attacks
New Delhi: From California to Gujarat and UP to New York, groups impacted by a rising tide of mob lynchings of minorities in India are taking to the streets to protest. The month of July witnessed a wave of demonstrations by people concerned that India’s ruling party, BJP, has inspired a huge increase in mob violence since taking power in 2014. “All of India’s religious minorities and oppressed classes are suffering attacks by the same Hindu supremacist elements,” said Arvin Valmuci, a communications director for Organization for Minorities of India (OFMI) in a press statement.Politicization of cow worship is central to the violence. Laws in 21 of India’s 29 states criminalize the slaughter of cattle to one degree or another. “Although most of the laws were passed decades ago, the BJP has made “cow protection” a core plank of its political platform,” alleged the statement. Twocircles
Kerala's alleged 'Love Jihad' case:SC orders NIA probe into woman’s conversion, marriage
New Delhi: Supreme Court has directed NIA to conduct a probe into the alleged “love jihad” marriage in Kerala after the central agency said it was not an isolated case but had similarities with another where allegations about a well-oiled mechanism to convert women from Hinduism to Islam were made.A bench headed by Chief Justice JS Khehar said retired SC judge justice RV Raveendran will monitor the probe to ensure the inquiry is fair.The bench’s order came on a petition filed by Kerala-based Shafin Jahan, a Muslim man whose marriage with a Hindu woman was annulled by the Kerala high court describing it as a case of “love jihad”.Love jihad is a term certain Hindu groups use to allege an Islamist strategy of converting Hindu women through seduction, marriage, money or threat.The top court refused to consider Jahan’s lawyer Kapil Sibal’s request to interview the woman. The senior advocate said the woman was a doctor and a major who could not be kept under lock and key.“Have you heard about the Blue Whale challenge? Such things can drive people to do anything. We want inputs from all sides before we take a final decision,” Chief Justice Khehar told Sibal.The bench also assured him that it would speak with the woman before passing any final orders. Additional solicitor general Maninder Singh told the court that the case was not an isolated case and the bench agreed with him, saying the HC order also mentioned it.Sibal initially objected to NIA probe and raised apprehension over its credibility as an independent agency. “I can file an affidavit pointing to so many U-turns it has taken in several cases,” Sibal contended. To this, the CJI said: “If we order some other agency (to conduct the probe) there would be some opposition.” He then suggested the probe be supervised by a retired SC judge.The senior counsel later agreed and the court said it will hear the matter after NIA completes its probe.HT
If sent back forcibly, we’ll be killed: Rohingya Muslims on deportation
Hyderabad: Centre’s decision to deport an estimated 40,000 Rohingya Muslims to their native country Myanmar has triggered panic among 4,000-odd members of the ethnic group taking refuge in the old city of Hyderabad for the past six years. Moulana Hameed-ul-Haq (50), a cleric at one of the Rohingya settlements in Balapur, says, “It will be better if we are killed in India than in our own country. We will anyway be killed if we are forcibly sent back.” Moulana had fled Myanmar after 2011 violence in which thousands of Muslims were allegedly massacred by the Myanmar military and radical Buddhist monks. He reached Hyderabad through Bangladesh along with hundreds of other Rohingyas. “Indian Govt was kind enough to acknowledge us as refugees. Telangnaa Govt has been looking after us really well and we feel safe and secure here. Now, suddenly the news about we being sent back has caused a lot of panic among us,” said Moulana. Sultan Mohammad (70), who arrived in India three years ago after deserting his agricultural land at Rakhine state in Myanmar, works as a teacher in Hafiz Baba Nagar. “The military personnel attacked my house and destroyed all my property. I came to Hyderabad along with my wife and two sons. We are thankful to the Modi Govt for allowing us to stay here as refugees. I am nearing death and I want my family to survive,” said Sultan. Though the Govt estimates say there are 40,000 Rohigya Muslims in India, Mazher Hussain, director of Confederation of Voluntary Associations, NGO which has partnered with UN High Commission for Refugees (UNHCR), says the number is not more than 16,000. “They are not illegal migrants as claimed by Govt, but are refugees as per UN convention. In Hyderabad, all of them have been given identity cards by UNHCR,”said Hussain. Rohingya Muslims have been living in subhuman conditions in slums. Each family pays around ~600 as rent per month. “Nearly 80% of Rohigya Muslims living in these settlements are rag pickers or daily wage workers,” M. Moosa Azmi, a registration officer working with UNHCR.HT
Adani mining giant faces financial fraud claims as it bids for Australian coal loan: The Guardian
A global mining giant seeking public funds to develop one of the world’s largest coal mines in Australia has been accused of fraudulently siphoning hundreds of millions of dollars of borrowed money into overseas tax havens.Indian conglomerate the Adani Group is expecting a legal decision in the “near future” in connection with allegations it inflated invoices for an electricity project in India to shift huge sums of money into offshore bank accounts.Details of the alleged 15bn rupee (US$235m) fraud are contained in an Indian customs intelligence notice obtained by the Guardian, excerpts of which are published for the first time here. The directorate of revenue intelligence (DRI) file, compiled in 2014, maps out a complex money trail from India through South Korea and Dubai, and eventually to an offshore company in Mauritius allegedly controlled by Vinod Shantilal Adani, the older brother of the billionaire Adani Group chief executive, Gautam Adani.Vinod Adani is the director of four companies proposing to build a railway line and expand a coal port attached to Queensland’s vast Carmichael mine project.The proposed mine, which would be Australia’s largest, has been the source of years of intense controversy, legal challenges and protests over its possible environmental impact.`Expanding the coal port to accommodate mine will require dredging an estimated 1.1m cubic metres of spoil near the Great Barrier Reef marine park. Coal from the mine will also produce annual emissions equivalent to those of Malaysia or Austria according to one study.One of the few remaining hurdles for the Adani Group is to raise finance to build the mine as well as a railway line to transport coal from the site to a port at Abbot Point on the Queensland coast.To finance the railway Adani hopes to persuade the Northern Australia Infrastructure Facility (Naif), an Australian Govt -backed investment fund, to loan the Adani Group or a related entity about US$700m in public money. While it awaits the decision on the loan, in Delhi the company is also expecting the judgment of a legal authority appointed under Indian financial crime laws in connection to allegations it siphoned borrowed money overseas.
1984 anti-Sikh riots: SC panel to assess 241 cases
New Delhi:The Supreme Court on Wednesday said it would appoint a supervisory committee comprising two of its former judges to vet if the investigation into 241 anti-Sikh riots cases was properly conducted before they were closed by a SIT.The SC was informed in March that 199 cases were closed as the trail had gone cold and investigation was on in another 59 cases. Appearing before a Bench led by Justice Dipak Misra, Additional Solicitor General Tushar Mehta submitted that 42 cases have been further closed while charge sheets were filed in 12 and investigation was pending in five more.To this, the Bench said it intended to appoint the committee to go through the records of the 241 cases closed and confirm that there is nothing more to do on them. The committee would report back to the court in three months, the Bench recorded. The names of the two judges would be finalised after consultations, it said.The case is next scheduled for Nov. 28. thehindu
UP: 3 men booked for cow slaughter under NSA
Muzaffarnagar:3 men arrested in June for allegedly slaughtering cows have been booked under National Security Act (NSA), a senior district official said on Wednesday. According to DM GS Priyadarshi, Khalil, Bhura and Inam Qureshi were booked under NSA on the recommendation of the local police on Tuesday evening.They were arrested on June 24 for allegedly slaughtering cows in Katka village under Jansath police station in the district and one quintal of beef was seized from their possession, he said.The accused have been in jail since then, added Circle Officer SKS Pratap.PTI
Urdu is language of entire country, sad that it has become a politicised issue: Hamid Ansari
New Delhi: Urdu was not only the language of Muslims but of the entire country, former Vice President Hamid Ansari said on Tuesday while asserting that now it was being spoken across the world.He expressed disappointment that Urdu had become a politicised issue and said, “...an opinion was formed that Urdu belongs to Muslims.”He was speaking at the launch of the Urdu version of online news portal ‘The Wire’.He further said one can easily find Urdu speaking people in south India, in West Bengal and in other parts of the country.“It is the language of the entire country,” he said, adding that nowadays there were Urdu speaking people in Canada, US, Australia and other parts of the world.When asked if Urdu could also be a means of livelihood, he said no but that did not mean one should not learn it.He said it was the biggest shortcoming of Urdu but what one can say and describe in the language cannot be done in any other language.PTI
Hamid Ansari Launches Urdu edition of The Wire
New Delhi: Former Vice President of India Hamid Ansari on Tuesday launched the Urdu edition (thewireurdu.com) of The Wire news website at Constitution Club of India. Under the leadership of Siddharth Varadarajan, former editor of The Hindu, The Wire was launched in May 2015 as an independent, not-for-profit website for news and analysis. In less than two and half years, it has established its respectable position among the Indian media. In February this year, The Wire had launched its Hindi edition (thewirehindi.com). Eminent journalist-activist Mahtab Alam will be editor of Urdu Wire.The wire is run by not-for-profit company Foundation for Independent Journalism with donations from public.indiatomorrow
Independence Day 2017: All Kashmiri markets remain closed as separatists call for shutdown
Despite the protest call, all official functions including parades, flag hoisting and cultural programmes were held peacefully across the Valley.While educational institutions, Govt  offices, banks and post offices remained closed because of the holiday, no public or private transport moved on the roads. Markets remained closed in Srinagar city and all other major cities and towns of the Valley.Train services between Baramullah and Bannihal were suspended in the wake of the protest call.Cellular and internet services were down for over five hours and were restored after the official parades at the district headquarters ended.IANS
Kashmir terror funding: NIA raids 12 locations linked to family, aides of top businessman Zahoor Watali
New Delhi:NIA today carried out raids across 12 locations in Srinagar and parts of North Kashmir in connection with the terror funding case.Sources in NIA said that premises belonging to family, relatives and aides of influential businessman Zahoor Watali were raided.Watali, Srinagar businessman, has been under NIA scanner for nearly two months and has been called for repeated questioning at the agency's Delhi HQRS.Besides Srinagar, locations in Baramulla and Handwara were searched by NIA officials today. Watali is known for his proximity with mainstream politicians as well as separatists in Kashmir."The case is regarding terror funding so we expect to get some incriminating documents related to fuelling unrest in the Valley," sources said.The premises searched by NIA included that of Watali's three close associates, two brothers-in-law and Handwara-based in-laws. Zahoor Watali's properties in Delhi, Mumbai, Chandigarh and Dubai are also under the scanner, said sources in the NIA. The house of Shafi Rishi, an advocate reported to be close to Watali, was also raided. NIA also searched Watali's driver Mohammed Akbar's house and the house of one Ghulam Mohammad Bhat in Tarhama village, who is the munshi in a plywood factory run by Peerzada Ghulam Nabi. Nabi's house too was searched. India today
Kashmiri separatists' Joint statement says their leaders subjected to inhuman treatment in Tihar jail
Srinagar: Joint resistance leadership on Tuesday alleged that the workers and leaders of their fold arrested by NIA have been subjected to psychological torture and inhuman treatment by NIA and the authorities in Tihar jail.In a statement, the leadership comprising Syed Ali Geelani, Mirwaiz Umar Farooq and Muhammad Yasin Malik expressed concern over the “ill and inhuman” treatment meted out to senior resistance leader Shabir Ahmad Shah in Tihar jail, saying, he is not allowed to take medicine and is lodged among notorious criminals. The leadership condemning the solitary confinement of Shabir Shah, Ayaz Akbar, Shahid-ul-Islam and Farooq Ahmed Dar (Bita Karate) said they are continuously harassed. It expressed grave concern over the deteriorating condition of political prisoners lodged outside state jails saying they are are denied facilities as per jail manual. Leadership also expressed serious concern over the “ill treatment” meted out to Syeda Aasiya Andrabi, Fehmeeda Sofi, Mushtaq-ul-Islam, Masarat Alam Bhat, Amir Hamza Shah, Moulana Sarjan Barkati, Mir Hafeez ullah, Mohammad Yousaf Falahi, Mohammad Yousuf Lone, Rayees Ahmad Mir, Abdul Gani Bhat, Mohammad Rafiq Ganai, Abdul Rahman Tantray, Tahir Ahmed Mir, Farooq Ahmad Tawheedi, Tanvir Ahmad War, Fayaz Ahmed Das, Atif Hussein Sheikh, Waqar Ahmed, Haji Mohammad Rustam Bhat and scores of others.Kashmir Reader
Modi govt's J&K policy has created space for Pakistan to misbehave: Rahul
Bengaluru: Congress vice president Rahul Gandhi on Wednesday flayed the J&K  policy of the Narendra Modi Govt , alleging that it has created a space in the troubled state for Pakistan to "misbehave".His attack on the Govt  at a party rally comes a day after Modi, in his Independence Day address, reached out to the Kashmiris, saying abuses and bullets would not resolve their problems but embracing them would."He (Modi) has created an environment in J&K  of hatred and anger, and the only people who benefit from violence and hatred are the Pakistanis," Rahul said.PTI
One cannot embrace with a gun in hand, P Chidambaram on PM Modi’s Kashmir speech
New Delhi;In a jibe at PM  Narendra Modi’s reference to Kashmir in his address on the occasion of the 71st Independence Day, senior Congress leader P. Chidambaram said “one cannot embrace with a gun in hand.”PM Modi had said that his Govt  is committed to the “lost glory” of Kashmir. “Na gaali, na goli, parivartan hoga gale laga ke (Neither bullets nor brickbats will solve the Kashmir issue, only love will),” the PM said. “I want to tell the youth of Kashmir and I’ve said this time and time again, come into the mainstream, you have a right to speak in a democracy,” he added.
Remove 'Sindh' from national anthem, we'll sing it: Lucknow's Nadwatul Ulema
Lucknow: Clerics, teachers and students of world renowned Islamic seminary Darul Uloom Nadwatul Ulema celebrated the Independence Day with enthusiasm. After hoisting of the national flag at the top of the old building of Nadwa, teachers and students sang 'Saare Jahan se Accha Hindostan Hamara' followed by special prayers for the safety and prosperity of the country. "It has been a tradition since 1947 to offer special prayers for the country after hoisting flag on the Independence day. It was followed this year as well," said Nadwa Maulana Khalid Ghazipuri Nadwi, a cleric. When asked why national anthem was not sung, he said that 'Jan Gan Man..." has the word 'Sindh' which is now in Pakistan. We cannot pray for Pakistan. If Govt  removes the word, we will sing it proudly," he added.Nadwa is not affiliated with the UP Madrassa Board which directed all madrassas to celebrate Independence Day and videograph it as an evidence."Though we have not received any directions from the Board, we read in newspaper that Govt wants madrassas to keep evidence, hence we conducting photography and video recording of the events," said Maulana Dr Saeedur Rehman Azmi, principal of of the institution."We celebrate Independence every year but it is the first time that media has come to record the event, said Mohammad Saqib a student pursuing Aalim course. "We have a group song team which practiced for months to sing Sare Jahan Se Achcha," said Mohammad Intekhab a student.On the other hand, students and teachers of Maulana Azad Memorial Madrassa in Balaganj, affiliated to UP Madrassa Board, also celebrated Independence day with flag hoisting and national anthem. Principal Qari Sabir Husain said the madrassa has been doing this for years. Had media paid attention earlier, the myth that madrassas don't celebrate national days would have been busted long ago." Ghazipuri told students that Nawab Sirajuddaula and Tipu Sultan were among first freedom fighters. Prominent freedom fighters associated with Nadwa include Maulana Shibli Nomani, Maulana Abul Kalam Azad, Maulana Allama Iqbal and Maulana Hasrat Mohani.TOI
UP madrasas defy Yogi govt order, refuse to sing anthem, record I-Day events
Bareilly/Meerut/Kanpur:Many madrasas across Uttar Pradesh defied on Tuesday a controversial state Govt  diktat that asked staff and students at the Islamic educational institutions to sing the national anthem and videograph Independence Day celebrations.In Kanpur, Meerut and Bareilly, 3 of the biggest madrasa centres in the state, students sang Saare Jahan Se Achha, a 20th century patriotic song penned by the poet Mohammad Iqbal and didn’t record proceedings, saying they didn’t want to give proof of their patriotism. “Students hoisted the flag and celebrated the occasion with traditional fervour. Govt order is an attempt to test our patriotism which is wrong,” said Haji Mohd Saleeh, convener of the Sunni Ulema Council. But many of the state’s 16,000 madrasas didn’t take the order well and many prominent clerics publicly opposed the order. UP has one of the highest proportions of Muslims in the country, nearly a fifth, and just 600 of the madrasas are Govt  aided.In Bareilly, students at the Manzar-e-Islam – the biggest Barelvi madrasa in the city – hoisted the Tricolour but didn’t sing the national anthem. Instead, around 500 students gathered at the open prayer hall to sing ‘Sare jahan se achha’. The madrasa authorities also refrained from videography. Mediapersons were not allowed to cover the main event, which lasted for over an hour.“Traditionally, we do not sing the national anthem during Independence Day or Republic Day celebrations. We only followed convention this time,” a senior cleric told HT on the condition of anonymity.The decision to oppose the Govt  order was taken by senior cleric Asjad Miyan, a descendant of 20th century Islamic religious leader Ahmed Raza Barelvi.Barelvi clerics justified their decision, alleging the national anthem was written in praise of George V, the then king of England. “Singing of the national anthem belittles the struggle of our freedom fighters.Thereby, it has been unanimously decided that such songs will not be sung on Independence Day,” they said in a press release.In Meerut, all madrasas organised Independence Day programme on their premises and hoisted the Tricolour. Teachers and Muslim clerics addressed the students on the sacrifices made by all communities, including Muslims, in India’s freedom struggle. Mufti Syed Ahmad of madarsa Noor-ul-Islam in old city said, “We cannot worship anyone else other than Allah.”In Kanpur too, orders to videograph the event or sing the national anthem weren’t followed. Haji Mohd Saleeh said the students sang ‘Saare jahan se Accha’ to show their love towards their country. “For us it is also a national song,” he said.HT
We don’t need to proof our nationalism, Muslim clerics defying Yogi-govt diktat to record I-Day celebration said
BJP MLA ensures I-Day celebrations in Jewar madrassas
BJP MLA Dhirendra Singh of Jewar constituency made sure that the madrasas in his constituency celebrated Independence Day and hoisted the National Flag, on the instructions of CM .“I celebrated Independence Day at the Qasim-Ul-Ulum madrasa. Our volunteers made sure that other madrasas also celebrate this important day with all the respect. People in my constituency showed a lot of interest in the celebration,” said Dhirendra Singh.Clerics of madrasas were happy for the limelight and said that at least people will pay attention to the development and modernisation of these institutions now.“We never had any issues in celebrating Independence Day. The only problem we came across was that few people were not comfortable singing Vande Mataram. This is our country and we have taken part in the freedom struggle and no Muslim has any objection to the celebrations until it interferes with our religious teachings,” said Mozzam Khan, who works in close association with the MLA.“Tomorrow, if the Communist Party comes into power, they will ask us to say ‘Lal Salaam’. So, this doesn’t mean that every party will come and force us into singing or saying things that they believe in,” added Khan.HT
In Mumbai 75 madrassas, masjids hoisted national flag, sang national anthem:HT
Mumbai: On Tuesday, as many as 75 madrassas and masjids hoisted the national flag and sang the national anthem to celebrate the 70th Independence Day of India.Muslim clerics and Ulemas (scholars) unfurled the tricolour at various places in the city and followed it up with sermons and call for peace. Bhendi Bazaar hosted the biggest flag-hoisting ceremony. More than 150 people sang the national anthem in unison. Anand Raj Ambedkar, grandson of Babasaheb Ambedkar, was the chief guest.“This was not our first Independence Day celebration and the numbers were also comparatively larger than last year. Some madrassas and masjids celebrated the day for the first time,” said Maulana Syed Moinuddin Ashraf, also known as Moin Miya, from Sunni Jama Masjid and founder of the Maharashtra Muslim Front. “We wanted to send out a message that Muslims care for the country too. We played as much part in the country’s Independence as anyone else. Our patriotic feelings are unparalleled,” Maulana added. Other madrassas organised events after Tricolour was hoisted. Chishti Hindustani Masjid in Byculla has been celebrating the day for more than 50 years.“There was a special sermon and the chief guests called for peace in the country. Our masjid has been hoisting the national flag ever since the country achieved independence. But there seems to be a sudden bout of patriotism among the community,” said Mohammed Irfan Aleemi, president of Aleemi Movement of India and member of All India Imam Tanzeem. Another madrassa in Mumbai celebrated the day for the first time. Maulana Ibrahim Aasi from Agripada said, “Independence Day is the right day to show everyone that we are patriotic too. The nation is as much ours as it is anyone else’s from any other faith.”
No space to RIP: Delhi graveyards vanish as realty spaces expand to meet housing crunch
New Delhi:Faced with a severe housing crunch, the Capital's growing population is making inroads into the dead zone. There are at least 70 residential colonies, office complexes and prominent buildings in Delhi sitting on what used to be graveyards.This is the conclusion Delhi Minorities Commission (DMC) has reached after a year-long study of Muslim burial grounds in the national Capital. These realty spaces - of several acres and worth crores - mainly in south, southeast, east and outer Delhi have been encroached upon by people and even Govt  agencies.Delhi Wakf Board, which is the custodian of these valuable sites for the minority community, just looked on, says the commission. Several people had complained to the DMC, which looks after the affairs of Sikhs, Muslims, Christians and Buddhists, about the lack of entombment spaces for their dead. In the past few years, Muslims have had to "reuse" graveyards after saturation every 2 to 3 years.Several insensitive but last resort practices such as "advance booking" and "bids" from Rs 50,000 to Rs Rs 1 lakh were also being made for the two yards of burial space.DMC officers said a study is ongoing regarding Christian cemeteries also, space for which is fast shrinking. Mail Today had carried a report on how Delhi's dead can no more rest in peace due to urbanisation and population explosion in April 2016."We commissioned a study on the phenomenon through a third party and the report was submitted to us recently. It compared various land records from even pre-1947 to the current situation on-ground. These included reports by British and Indian district commissioners and more recently, DDA files," Dr Zafarul Islam, chairman of DMC, told Mail Today."We found that many graveyards had simply vanished. They were eaten up by colonies bit by bit. Now the community is having problems finding space to intern its dead."He pointed out that since most of these kuccha colonies became semi or fully authorised, they simply refuse to vacate. "Litigation is a difficult option. The waqf board should have prevented this from happening," he said.Many Muslim-dominated areas such as Jamia Nagar, Batla House, Shaheen Bagh, colonies in Okhla, Shahzada Bagh in Inderlok and old Delhi face an acute shortage of space for burials.Report will now be submitted to the DDA, National Commission for Minorities and the ministry of minority affairs for action, he said."We will ask the DDA to compensate us with adequate amount of land in different parts of Delhi," senior officers in the DMC said.india today
CJI appeal to lawyers: Make people from all religions proud
Chief Justice of India J S Khehar has said he was “happy to be in a country which could honour you to be proud of your religion” and reminded lawyers that they “should make persons belonging to every religion proud.” “Whether it is Christians or Buddhists or Hindus or Zoroastrians or Muslims or Jains. Everybody should be proud in his own religion to be an Indian. Everybody should be proud in his own ethnicity, proud of it, to be a northeast Indian, proud of being an Indian and that’s what Constitution is all about,” he told a gathering of Supreme Court judges and senior lawyers at Independence Day celebrations organised by Supreme Court Bar Association. The event was also attended by Union Law and Justice Minister Ravi Shankar Prasad. CJI said he was born in Kenya when it was a British colony. His forefathers had migrated there fleeing their home in Lahore to evade arrest by British. “In a colony, you are the subjects of the empire. And when you get independence, you become, each one of you, citizens of a free country. On paper, it seems nothing.” He went on: “After you are a citizen, you are neither inferior nor superior to anyone… And that is how in our country, we have a President who is a Dalit who spend his childhood in a mud hut, we have a Vice President who is an agricultaralist who started his political career pasting posters, we have a PM who used to be…a tea vendor and you have a Chief Justice who was not a citizen of this country to start with and when he did become a citizen… he was equal to everybody else and he had an equal opportunity. This is what citizenship is. This is what independence is…” indianexpress
RBI hasn’t finished counting yet, where did PM get demonetisation cash figures from? asks Congress
new delhi: Congress on Wednesday questioned PM  Narendra Modi’s demonetisation figure he quoted during his Independence Day speech from the ramparts of the Red Fort on Tuesday. Leader of Opposition in Rajya Sabha and senior Congress leader Ghulam Nabi Azad wondered how PM  quoted the cash amount recovered post-demonetisation when RBI hasn’t finished counting yet. Azad said, “PM said Rs 3 Lakh crore came back to banking system post-demonetisation, RBI has not finished counting yet, how did PM get this figure?”
Maharashtra lawyer files plea terming PM’s Independence Day speech unconstitutional
Aurangabad: A city lawyer has filed a plea questioning the contents of PM  Narendra Modi’s Independence Day speech, claiming it has violated constitutional provisions. In her complaint addressed to CM Devendra Fadnavis and lodged with MIDC Police Station, advocate Rama Vitthalrao Kale has contended Modi referred to India and Bharat as “Hindustan”, several times in his 55-minute long speech from the Red Fort on Tuesday. “As per the Article 1 of the Constitution, India or Bharat are mentioned. Nowhere in the constitution there is a mention of ‘Hindustan’ which signifies the religious name of the country,” Kale told IANS. She claimed that the “disrespectful” reference to India as “Hindustan” before an audience of 125 crore Indians and many more people around the world, has hurt the sentiments of all patriotic countrymen.IANS
Doordarshan, AIR blacked out my Independence Day speech, told me reshape it: Tripura CM Manik Sarkar
A row erupted in Tripura Tuesday when CM Manik Sarkar, who heads a Left Front Govt  in the state, alleged that Doordarshan and All India Radio refused to broadcast his Independence Day address unless he “reshaped” it.PTI report from Agartala quoted a statement from CMO:“CM  clearly stated that he would not change a single word and described it as unprecedented, undemocratic, autocratic and intolerant step.”
'No freedom from social boycott in this AP village: Dalits hold black flag rally on I-Day eve
At Garagaparru village in Andhra Pradesh’s East Godavari, India’s 71st Independence Day was not celebrated by the Dalits. Instead on the eve of Independence Day, around 200 Dalits wore black ribbons and took out a black flag rally to mark their dissent after allegedly facing a social boycott for four months.  The alleged social boycott against Mala (Dalit) residents by the upper caste villagers began in April after a statue of Dr BR Ambedkar was installed. The social boycott, they alleged, included speaking to Malas and letting them work on the fields of upper caste villagers.Fed up of the social boycott, 200 Dalits from Chrstianpeta (Dalit colony) took out a rally on Tuesday towards the main village. Following the rally, Dalita Mahasabha state president Chintapally Guruprasad, Buddhist Society of India district president R Mani Singh, and Dalit activist Charabanda Raju addressed the gathering.
Woman 'boycotted' over support for Dalit farmer:BBC
An Indian woman in the southern state of Telangana says she is being "socially ostracised" because she supported a farmer from the Dalit (formerly untouchable) community.Sama Indira, 50, from the upper caste Reddys, says her community association has imposed a fine of 5,000 rupees ($78; £60) on anyone who talks to her.Police said the dispute was about land she had leased to a Dalit farmer.Caste-based discrimination continues to take place in parts of India.The Indian caste system divides Hindus into four hierarchical groups. Those outside the caste system are considered "untouchable". Members of Ms Sama's family told BBC Hindi's Imran Qureshi that the conflict is over two acres of her land that she leased to a Dalit farmer, Koppaveli Lakshmi, more than 10 years ago.They say the trouble started when another member of the Reddy community recently purchased land close to her property and started objecting to the Dalit family passing by his piece of land to work on their plot.The Dalit family's entire crop was destroyed a few months later, prompting Ms Koppaveli to go to the police, accompanied by Ms Sama."Village Reddy association wanted me to cancel the lease agreement with her, but I refused to do that because Lakshmi is a childhood friend of mine. That's why they are boycotting me," Ms Sama told BBC Hindi, adding that she was "deeply hurt" by the move.
MP: BJP wins, Cong improves tally in urban body polls
Bhopal: BJP, on Wednesday won 26 out of the 43 posts of presidents of urban bodies while Congress improved its tally to 14. Independent candidates won three posts of presidents. The votes for elections in these bodies were cast on August 11.Describing the outcome as satisfactory, Congress chief Arun Yadav said the results proved that people have voted for change. Opposition leader said the Congress had nearly doubled its tally of presidents in these bodies. BJP won presidents’ elections in Congress strongholds of Kailaras and Dabra. BJP lost three seats of councilors in the by-elections held in 2 Nagar Parishads in Mandsaur district, the epicenter of violence in June. The party, however, described the by-elections for councilors’ posts in Shyamgadh and Garoth Nagar Parishads in Mandsaur district as insignificant. indianexpress
PFI leader among two arrested in RSS worker murder case
Mangaluru: Dakshina Kannada police have arrested 2 persons, including a Popular Front of India (PFI) leader, in connection with the murder of Sharath Madiwala (28), an RSS activist, in BC Road last month. The police are on the look-out for five more persons suspected to be involved in the murder. The names of the arrested persons were given as Kalilullah (30), president, Chamarajnagar unit of PFI, and Abdul Shafi (36) of Sajipamunooru village, Bantwal taluk in Dakshina Kannada. Shafi is said to be associated with the PFI but the police are yet to ascertain it. P. Harisekaran, IGP (Western Range), said  on Tuesday that the 2 have been accused of giving shelter to those involved in the murder of July 4. They have been accused of arranging vehicles for the crime. thehindu
Don’t know why Jharkhand govt is after me, says Hansda Sowvendra Shekhar
Jharkhand: Hansda Sowvendra Shekhar, a doctor and the author of book “Adivasi Will Not Dance”, a collection of 10 short stories in English, was suspended by his employers, the Jharkhand Govt, on Friday, for allegedly portraying Santhal women in a bad light.One of the stories in the book, ‘Nov.Is the Month of Migrations’, is about a Santhal woman who trades her body for Rs 50 and a couple of bread pakoras. Santhals are a tribe who mainly live in Jharkhand, Odisha, West Bengal, Bihar and parts of Assam.Shekhar, 34, a doctor based in Pakur, 400 km from Ranchi won the Sahitya Akademi Yuva Puruskar in 2015 for his novel “Mysterious Ailment of Rupi Baskey”. He was suspended by Govt  for not taking prior permission to write the book.The book was published in 2015 and caused a stir among the Santhals. In the first week of August, Shekhar’s effigy and the copies of books were burnt by a group of tribals in Pakur, where he works as a Doctor. Shekhar has also alleged of facing continuous online abuses and threats after the book was published in 2015. TCN
WORLD
Brotherhood-led coalition wins big in Jordan local polls
A coalition led by the political arm of the Muslim Brotherhood has won 76 seats in yesterday’s local and provincial elections in Jordan, according to a coalition member. National Alliance for Reform won 25 seats in provincial councils, out of the 48 seats the bloc vied for,” Murad Al-Adayla, head of the election panel at the Islamic Action Front (IAF), the political arm of the Muslim Brotherhood group, told the Anadolu Agency. National Alliance for Reform is a broad coalition of parties led by IAF.Al-Adayla said the bloc also won the seats of 3 municipal chiefs, including the provincial industrial city of Zarqa.“At the level of local councils, the coalition won 41 seats, out of 88 candidates,” he said, adding that the bloc has also helped three candidates, who were not on the coalition lists, to win the seats of municipal chiefs during the polls.Official results are yet to be announced.Over 1.3 million people – or 31 %  of those eligible – voted in yesterday’s local and provincial elections, according to the country’s election commission.A total of 6,622 candidates competed for 2,109 local council seats and 350 in provincial council seats. middleeastmonitor
Saudi to reopen border with Iraq after 27 years
Saudi Arabia plans to open the Arar border crossing with Iraq for the first time since 1990, according to Saudi local news media and officials.Abdul Aziz al-Shammari, Saudi charge d'affaires in Baghdad, said on Tuesday "the crossing that will open soon will be dedicated to the transportation of goods". Mecca paper reported that Saudi and Iraqi officials toured the site on Monday and spoke with Iraqi religious pilgrims, who had access to the crossing only once annually during the Hajj pilgrimage season.Sohaib al-Rawi, governor of Iraq's southwestern Anbar province, whose staff was on hand for the ceremonies, said the Iraqi Govt  had deployed troops to protect the desert route leading to Arar and called its opening a "significant move" to boost ties."This is a great start for further future cooperation between Iraq and Saudi," said al-Rawi.The border was closed after Baghdad and Riyadh cut ties following former Iraqi President Saddam Hussein's invasion of Kuwait. Sadr's office said his meeting with Mohammed bin Salman, the Saudi crown prince, resulted in an agreement for Saudi Arabia to donate $10m in aid to Iraqi Govt  and study possible investments in Shia regions of southern Iraq.The opening of border crossings for trade was also on a list of goals for the talks published by Sadr's office. aljazeera
Saudi denies seeking mediation with Iran
Saudi Arabia has denied reports that it is seeking mediation with regional Shia rival Iran.An official Saudi source said today that the current Iranian regime “cannot be negotiated with”. “Saudi Arabia has not requested any mediation in any way with the Republic of Iran,” source said in a statement cited by official SPA news agency.The denial came after Iraqi Interior Minister Qasim Al-Araji said Riyadh has officially asked for Iraq’s mediation to ease tensions with Tehran.Saudi source renewed accusations that Tehran is “spreading terrorism and extremism”.He went on to call on countries around the world “to work to deter the Iranian regime from its hostile actions and compel it to comply with the international law.”middleeastmonitor
Report: Al-Assad used chemical weapons 5 times after Khan Shaykhun
NGO, Syrian Network for Human Rights, said that it had recorded the use of chemical weapons five times by the Syrian regime after the attack that targeted the city of Khan Shaykhun, in rural, Idlib last April.The report, issued by the London-based network, documented  chemical attacks conducted by the Syrian regime on opposition sites in Damascus as well as its hinterland.The network also asserts that the Syrian regime did not stop using chemical weapons after the US administration’s bombing of Shayrat airbase, from where aircraft carried out the attack on Khan Shaykhun took off. Report noted that the Syrian regime has tended to carry out small chemical attacks that do not leave a large number of victims, fearing that huge attacks would draw the attention of the world and “embarrass decision-makers and push them to respond.” middleeastmonitor
Irad: Thousands flee as air raids hit ISIL-held Tal Afar
Thousands of Iraqis have fled an ISIL-held town west of Mosul as Iraqi and coalition warplanes step up attacks before a ground offensive to drive out the group.Iraqi warplanes carried out air attacks on Tuesday against ISIL positions in Tal Afar in preparation for a ground assault to retake the town near the Syrian border, the military said.Plans to retake Tal Afar were announced on Monday by federal police chief Lieutenant General Raed Shakir Jawdat, who said "armoured and elite units" were headed for the town.On Monday, hundreds of exhausted civilians were brought by Iraqi army trucks from the front line to a humanitarian collection point just west of Mosul. Many described a harrowing journey of a day or more from Tal Afar, with no food or water.Alia Imad, a mother of three whose family paid $300 to a smuggler to lead them to safety, said there is no drinking water left in the town. Lise Grande, the UN humanitarian coordinator, told AP that the conditions in Tal Afar are "very tough"."Thousands of people are leaving, seeking safety and assistance. Families escaping northeast are trekking 10 and up to 20 hours to reach mustering points. They are exhausted and many are dehydrated when they finally arrive," she said.Anwar Hama, of the Iraqi air force, told AP that air raids this week have targeted ISIL HQRS, tunnels and weapons' stores. Their participation in the coming offensive could heighten sectarian and regional tensions. Tal Afar was once home to Shia and Sunni Arabs, as well as a sizable ethnic Turkmen community with close ties to neighbouring Turkey.Turkish officials have expressed concern that once territory is liberated from ISIL, Iraqi Kurdish or Shia forces may push out Sunni Arabs or ethnic Turkmen. aljazeera

Sierra Leone:Floods kill more than 300, fears rise for 600 missing
Sierra Leone entered a week-long mourning period for the victims of flooding that killed more than 300 people, with fears rising for at least 600 missing people.3 days of torrential rain triggered mudslides on Monday in the Regent area of the Sierra Leonean capital, Freetown, and massive flooding elsewhere in the city, one of the world's wettest urban areas. The exact death toll was unclear.Rescue workers recovered almost 400 bodies, Reuters reported, citing Freetown's chief coroner. A Red Cross official told AFP that the death toll was around 300 people on Tuesday evening.
Ousted Pakistani PM Sharif challenges dismissal
Ousted Pakistani PM  Nawaz Sharif has challenged his disqualification from office, requesting a review of the verdict which saw him dismissed for failing to declare his wealth on a parliamentary declaration.In three legal petitions submitted to the Supreme Court on Tuesday, Sharif termed the landmark verdict as "suffer[ing] from errors floating on the surface of the record".A 5-member bench of the Supreme Court disqualified Sharif on July 28, making him the latest PM  in Pakistan's 70-year history not to be allowed to complete his term in office.
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 Compiled and edited by Anwarulhaq (Released at: 7:54 PM)

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