News and views across the globe.

Sunday, 13 August 2017

Evening NEWS DIGEST
13 Aug. 2017: 20 Zulqidah 1438:Vol:8, No:254
I.Day celebrations: Centre asks states to create ‘patriotic mood’ in schools to realise PM’s ‘New India’ vision, W.Bengal says no
New Delhi: In an attempt to realise PM Narendra Modi’s ‘New India’ vision, the Centre has directed all the states to organise events in schools that can help in creating a ‘patriotic mood’ and ‘mass fervour’ in the country. However, Trinamool Congress Govt  in West Bengal has instructed its schools to refrain from following Centre’s circular. Terming the decision of the Mamta Banerjee led Govt as “unfortunate”, Union HRD Minister Prakash Javadekar shared a copy of the memo issued by State Project Director of the West Bengal Sarva Shiksha Mission, which says that the school education department has decided that Independence Day will not be celebrated in line with the Centre’s direction. Javadekar added, “Language used in the West Bengal Govt ’s memo is strange and unfortunate. I will talk to them. What we have proposed is a secular agenda, not a political party agenda.” Javadekar also added that the instructions, such as administering of the prime minister’s Sankalp Siddhi oath or commemorating the martyrs of freedom struggle or “various wars/terrorist actions”, are not binding on the schools and were part of a “secular agenda”. Maneesh Garg, Joint Secretary, MHRD, in a letter to the states wrote, “It is desirable that this momentous occasion should be celebrated with an objective to create a festive and patriotic mood across the nation and a movement is created to involve every citizen of this country in the mission of realising the vision of a new India, which is clean and free from poverty, corruption, terrorism, communalism and casteism.”He also added that, apart from administering oath, schools, including those affiliated to CBSE, may be asked to organise quiz competitions on the struggle for Independence and the country’s development and painting competitions on the same theme. The questions for the quiz can be downloaded from the Narendra Modi App or the Govt ’s official portal. indianexpress
UP: Singing national anthem Unislamic, say Muslim clerics
New Delhi: Following the order by the UP  Govt , which makes singing of the National Anthem and making a video of it on Independence Day compulsory, including in madrassas, clerics of the state appealed authorities to withdraw the diktat. According to them certain phrases in the national anthem is against the tenets of Islam and hence they will refrain from singing it. However, they encouraged the community to celebrate the day as patriots and hoist the flag.As per reports, Sharia laws restrict making of videos and photography and making a video of the independence day programme will be openly flouting the laws which is taught in these madrassas. TOI quoted Qazi Maulana Aszad Raza Khan of Bareilly, who said in order to remember the freedom struggle and the martyrs, he appealed madrassa managers to hoist the flag and distribute sweets.Khan also referred to the instance when Rajasthan governor Kalyan Singh raised objection to singing the national anthem. Singh stated that since the anthem praised the English Rulers, a certain phrase in it needs to be replaced. In the same tone, Khan said, since the anthem praised George V as the ‘adhinayak’, it is ‘unislamic’. According to him, in Islam only God is the ‘adhinayak’. Bareilly Qazi also emphasised on the fact that they do not disrespect the national anthem, but cannot sing it due to their religious sentiments. He said instead of the national anthem, we will sing ‘Saare Jahan Se Acha Hindustan Humara’.Mufti Maulana Jartab Raza Khan of Pilibhit has reportedly sought the intervention of UP  CM Yogi Adityanath in this matter. He said he appealed the Govt to withdraw the order, or else due to fear of hurting religious sentiments, they will be left with no choice but to defy it.India.com
Clerics divided on UP Govt’s order to madrassas to videograph I-Day celebrations
Celebrate I-Day but don't sing anthem or record video, it is un-Islamic: Clerics
Do not sing national song on I-Day: Cleric asks madarsas to defy Yogi govt order
Vande Mataram mandate: Urdu-medium Mumbai Municipal schools fear parents’ ‘backlash’
Mumbai:Just over a year after the Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC) issued a circular mandating Surya Namaskar (sun salutation) in all municipal schools, civic schoolteachers, especially in Urdu-medium schools, are fearing a backlash from parents if they mandate the singing of Vande Mataram.On Thursday, an elected body of corporators in Mumbai had passed a proposal to make singing of the national song compulsory across nearly 1,100 BMC schools. Last year, the BMC had okayed a proposal, mandating all BMC schoolchildren to perform the Surya Namaskar. Though a circular was issued, teachers and corporators said it was never enforced. “Vande Mataram means ‘worship the motherland’, whereas worshipping anything except Allah is forbidden in Islam. Why are they (BMC) forcing us to do so,” said Zarina Shaikh, principal of a BMC Urdu-medium school in Sion.The viewpoint of Muslim corporators and BMC teachers is that Islam forbids the apotheosis of any person, deity, animate or inanimate, except Allah.“This is exactly why many Muslims had opposed making Surya Namaskar compulsory in schools. We cannot bow before the Sun. Why is the BJP Govt  and the BMC administration keen on making it mandatory?” she asked. Iqbal Ali, a senior teacher in a BMC Urdu-medium school in Kurla, said parents have begun approaching them about the singing of Vande Mataram. “All we tell them is that we have not received any orders. Just like non-Muslims are not forced to adopt things not allowed in their religion, asking Muslims to do something, which is forbidden in their religion, is unfair. We respect our motherland, we make our students sing the national anthem every day. Then what difference does it make if we do not sing the national song?” he asked. According to Ali, even if the school implements this rule, it will be difficult for principals and teachers to convince the parents.SP leader Raees Shaikh said the verses of Vande Mataram are “in direct conflict” with the beliefs of Islam.  Meanwhile, Urdu school teachers are planning to write to the municipal commissioner and the state education minister. indianexpress
Dr Kafeel, the hero who saved lives in Gorakhpur, now removed from hospital duties
New Delhi:At the time when Gorakhpur's Baba Raghav Das (BRD) Medical College was in shambles over its rude awakening to the fast depleting oxygen supply, one man stood tall to save as many lives as possible. And he has now been removed from all hospital duties.On the intervening night of August 11, Dr Kafeel Ahmed, child specialist and doctor in-charge of the encephalitis ward received a frantic call from the hospital, informing him that all oxygen will soon dry up.Well aware that patients of encephalitis will not survive without continuous oxygen supply, Dr Ahmed swung into action and rushed to nearby hospitals to borrow cylinders for some critical patients.The first hospital he sought help from, gave him three cylinders- which he immediately drove to the hospital. Ahmed then made several such trips to various hospitals nearby to borrow oxygen cylinders till the next morning.  By Friday morning, the oxygen supply had almost trickled down to cipher, when Ahmed instructed his junior staff to pump oxygen through ambu bags (a self-inflating bag).All the while, Dr Ahmed continued to reach out to his doctor friends in other hospitals and local vendors to send some oxygen cylinders.He did manage to collect 12 oxygen cylinders and soon after received a call from a local supplier promising to send cylinders but only on cash payments.Dr Ahmed then handed over his debit card to one of his juniors and asked him to withdraw cash to furnish the payment at the earliest.His efforts did not go in vain but Dr Kafeel Ahmed did see 60 children die in front of him- gasping for air. Now, Dr Kafeel has been removed as the Nodal Officer for BRD Medical College's Department of Pediatrics, and replaced by Dr Bhupendra Sharma, ANI reported.IndiaToday
Gorakhpur hospital tragedy: UP govt removes BRD medical college nodal officer Dr. Kafeel Khan, who saved lives of many children
Hailed as hero, Gorakhpur BRD hospital doctor Kafeel Khan sacked
Gorakhpur hospital tragedy: 60 kids die in 5 days, 9 the day Yogi Adityanath came visiting
Lucknow: At least 60 children have died over five days at the state-run Baba Raghav Das Medical College hospital in Gorakhpur, prompting the UP  Govt  to order a magisterial inquiry into the incident. The deaths are being blamed on infections and possible disruption of oxygen supply in the paediatrics ward but the hospital and district administration have rejected oxygen shortage as a reason.Incidentally, CM Yogi Adityanath had visited the medical college two days ago — it falls in his Lok Sabha constituency — and inspected the paediatric ward. He had also inaugurated a ten-bed ICU, a six-bed Critical Care Unit and visited a ward meant for children infected with Japanese encephalitis virus, and cases of Acute Encephalitis Syndrome (AES). indianexpress
Gorakhpur hospital tragedy: Congress terms it ‘murder’, demands Adityanath’s resignation
Lucknow: UP  Congress on Sunday termed the large number of infant deaths in a Gorakhpur hospital “murder” and demanded CM Yogi Adiytanath’s resignation, saying if he was unable to handle an institution, how will he run the state.“70 children were murdered in the last 4 days (since Aug.10). The state Govt  is responsible for their murder. This govt is a killer and I want to ask how many more children will be killed,” UP  Congress Committee chief Raj Babbar told reporters.  “When a CM is unable to handle a medical college in his home district, how would he run the state? He should immediately resign from his post,” he told while attacking the UP  CM.PTI
SC refuses to entertain fresh plea against triple talaq
New Delhi: The Supreme Court has refused to entertain a fresh plea challenging the constitutional validity of 'triple talaq', 'nikah halala' and polygamy practices among Muslims, saying the issue is already pending consideration. The court, however, said the verdict rendered in pending petition will govern the outcome of the present plea as well."We are of the view that the issues agitated in the instant petition are already pending consideration before this court."It is, therefore, not necessary for us to entertain another writ petition on the same cause, which is already before this Court," a bench comprising Chief Justice J S Khehar and D Y Chandrachud said.While disposing of the plea filed by one Gurudas Mitra, the bench said, "It is needless to mention that the determination rendered in the pending petitions will govern the outcome of the present petition as well." Senior advocate Soumya Chakraborty has said that all the 3 forms talaq (Ahsan Talaq, Hasan Talaq and Talaq-ul- Biddat) were arbitrary, capricious and violative of fundamental rights of Muslim women.In a written submission, he has said that 'Khula' and 'Mubarat' are the only two traditionally acknowledged Muslim modes of dissolution of marriage at the instance of the woman."All the three practices of talaq, along with those of nikah-halala, polygamy, are violative of the fundamental rigts of Muslim women guaranteed under Articles 14, 15 and 21 of the Constitution," he said.A five-judge Constitution bench had reserved its verdict on May 18 on the batch of petitions challenging the constitutional validity of the practices of triple talaq among Muslims, after 6-days of marathon hearings.PTI
PM Modi Receives Model Nikahnama, by a women group Requests for Aadhaar Link

Give Babri land away and win hearts: AIMPLB Vice President Maulana Kalbe Sadiq
Lucknow: Revered Shia cleric Maulana Kalbe Sadiq on Sunday said that Muslims should give up their claim on the disputed Babri land if the Supreme Court verdict goes against them."Muslims should peacefully accept the decision of the Supreme Court of India even if its verdict goes against the community," he said while addressing a world peace and harmony conclave in Mumbai.Later, talking to TOI over phone, he said, "I would rather urge the community to give away the disputed land to Hindus whose feelings are so deeply attached to the place."Clarifying his view, he said, "By giving away a piece of land, the community can win millions of hearts."Citing wisdom from the Islamic literature, Maulana Sadiq added that one who knows whom to give, receives the benevolence of the almighty."If a person gives away a thing close to his/her heart, one receives a thousand times in return," said Sadiq who is also the vice-president of the All India Muslim Personal Law Board. Zafaryab Jilani, convener of the Babri Masjid Action Committee said, "AIMPLB, which is an umbrella organization of various Muslim bodies in the country, maintains its stand that land of a mosque cannot be given, gifted, donated or sold or exchanged. The same holds true for Babri Masjid as well. We all in the AIMPLB, including board's vice-president Maulana Sadiq, are bound by that decision. I wonder how and why he said this. It appears to be his personal opinion."TOI
Nobody can 'give' away a mosque, says Asaduddin Owaisi on Shia Waqf Board stand
Hyderabad:AIMIM chief Asaduddin Owaisi on Sunday said that no individual or organisation can "give" away mosques as Allah is their rightful owner, after the Shia Waqf Board told the apex court that the Babri Masjid can be built at a distance rom the disputed site in Ayodhya. "Masjids can be managed by Shia, Sunni, Barelvi, Sufi, Deobandi, Salafi, Bohri but they are not the owners. Allah is the owner," tweeted the MP in an obvious reaction to Shia Waqf Board's latest stand."Even AIMPLB cannot give (mosque)," added Owaisi. "Masjids cannot be given just because one Maulana says so. Allah is the owner not a Maulana. Once a Masjid always a Masjid," said the MP. He tweeted that the Supreme Court, which is hearing the title suit, will decide on the basis of evidence. PTI
Ayodhya dispute: SC to begin final hearing in Ram Janmabhoomi-Babri Masjid issue from 5 Dec
New Delhi: The Supreme Court will commence the final hearing in the long-standing Ram Janmabhoomi-Babri Masjid title dispute from 5 Dec., a day before the 25th anniversary of the demolition of the medieval-era structure.The apex court, after an intense deliberation for more than one-and-half-hours, reached a consensus on commencement of the hearing on a total of 13 appeals filed against the 2010 judgement of the Allahabad High Court in four civil suits. The high court had ruled a three-way division of the disputed 2.77 acre area at Ayodhya among the parties -- the Sunni Waqf Board, the Nirmohi Akhara and the Lord Ram Lalla.PTI
Ayodhya dispute: SC grants 3 months for translation of historic documents, final hearing on Dec 5
'Speeches of Zakir Naik have no terror content': TOI report
Kozhikode: The allegation that Zakir Naik played a major role in radicalizing Kerala youth who have joined the Islamic State seems to be far-fetched, believe those who have studied Muslim fundamentalism in the state.NIA has said that Naik's speeches along with that of the radical American preacher Anwar Al Awlaki had inspired the youth to take an extremist turn.After the raids in the houses of suspected Islamic State sympathisers in Alapuzha and Coimbatore a few days ago the NIA issued a statement that the persons had admitted that they were radicalised after listening the speeches of Awlaki and Naik."Awlaki continues to be the main inspiration for the IS supporters in Kerala, but Naik's case is different. He is professional performer, who has built an empire of his own. He is a popular televangelist and a crowd-puller. I am against his style but I don't think his speeches are anyway related to extremism," said Ashraf Kadakkal, assistant professor at Kerala University, who has done extensive studies on Islamic radicalization."I had listened many of his speeches available on the internet. But nowhere could I see him supporting any terrorist organization. He has, in fact, come out against extremism on some occasions," he said.Abdul Rashid Abulla, the leader of the IS module from Kerala, had derided Naik in one of the audio clips he sent from Khorasan in Afghanistan. Rashid said preachers such as Naik were enthusiastic in eulogizing the pluralist tradition in India but they had to face the ignominy of being hunted down by the rulers of the same country.In a document available on the internet the Salafi group has castigated Naik for his erroneous method of Dawa (propagation of religion). The document even branded Zakir Naik's Dawa 'as that of the Satan and not that of the Prophets.'The main grouse of the extreme Salafis against Naik is that he has the practice of quoting the verses from Hindu religious books such as Vedas and Upanishads in his speeches, which they believe is not a permissible way of Dawa in Islam. They believe that Dawa should be performed only by explaining Quran and Hadees.The extreme Salafis also find faults with Naik for honouring the Kafirs. The document cities an example of Zakir Naik's brother Muhammad Naik asking the audience to applaud a Hindu saint. They allege that Naik has addressed non-Muslims as 'brothers and sisters' which is against the concept of 'Al Walaa Wal Baraa' (bonding and exclusion) in Islam, a principle that bans any emotional bonding with Kafirs. Incidentally, Al Walaa Wal Baraa is one of the foundation stones of the Islamic State.TOI
China standoff stalls Indo-Nepal plan to remeasure Everest height
Visakhapatnam: A strip of land on India-China-Bhutan tri-junction border in Himalayas seems to be holding up a mission to recalculate height of the world's highest peak.An ambitious project initiated by Survey of India is believed to be delayed due to a standoff between India and China at Doklam, contiguous with Sikkim.Survey of India by joining hands with Nepalese authorities wanted to re-measure Everest to assuage doubts expressed by international scientific community that the massive earthquake of April 25, 2015, could've altered the peak's height. Survey of India (SoI) had sent a proposal through Ministry of External Affairs to Nepal.Everest expedition was also to commemorate the Survey of India's 250th anniversary.The current official height of Everest — 8848m was established by SoI in 1955, which was recognised by Nepal.Now, three months since the proposal was sent, SoI is still awaiting a nod from the Nepalese side on its plan. It was supposed to be a joint effort by India and Nepal.A proposal was sent to Nepal through MEA, but we have not received any communication yet.There has been no progress in the mission," Major General VP Srivastava, Surveyor General of India, said.TOI timesofindia
Chinese vice premier arrives in Pakistan for Independence Day celebrations
Islamabad:Chinese Vice Premier Wang Yang arrived in Islamabad to take part in Pakistan’s 70th Independence Day celebrations on Monday. Wang, the “special guest” for the Independence Day, is accompanied by a high-level delegation on the two-day visit. He was received at Benazir Bhutto International Airport by officials of Pakistan Govt  and Chinese Embassy, Geo News reported. The visit comes on the “directions of (Chinese) President Xi Jinping as a special gesture”, according to Pakistan’s Foreign Office, which described it as a “reflection of the all-weather strategic cooperative partnership” between the two countries. From Pakistan, Wang will head to Nepal, Chinese foreign ministry announced in Beijing yesterday. The visit to Pakistan and Nepal by the top Chinese official comes as India and China have been locked in a military standoff for nearly two months at Doklam near Sikkim. The face-off began on June 16 after Chinese troops tried to build a road in the disputed area. India has protested the move saying China was unilaterally changing the status quo at the trijunction with India’s ally, Bhutan. As a member of the Politburo of the Central Committee of the Communist Party, Wang is among the top leaders in China.In Pakistan, he will be the “special guest” to mark the country’s 70th Independence Day, and later call on President Mamnoon Hussain. He will also call on PM Shahid Khaqan Abbasi, a statement from the foreign office said. He will participate in an inauguration ceremony of projects related to the $50 billion China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC), which passes through Pakistan-occupied Kashmir.PTI
US ready to help India modernise its military: Top US commander
 US is ready to help India modernise its military and jointly they can improve India's military capabilities in "significant and meaningful" ways, a top American commander has said.Over the past decade, the defence trade between the US and India has touched nearly $15 billion and is expected to gallop in the next few years, as India is looking at the US for some of the latest military hardware including fighter jets, latest unmanned aerial vehicles and aircraft carriers."I believe that the US is ready to help India modernise its military. India has been designated a major defence partner of US. This is a strategic declaration that's unique to India and the US. It places India on the same level as many of our treaty allies," Commander of the US Pacific Command or PACOM Admiral Harry Harris said."This is important, and I believe that together we will be able to improve India's military capabilities in significant and meaningful ways," said Harris, who has been personally pushing for a strong India-US defence relationship.PTI
Israel fence systems, quick response team at Pakistan, Bangladesh borders: BSF DG
New Delhi:India is deploying along its volatile border with Pakistan a smart Israel-developed fencing system having a ‘quick response team’ mechanism which strikes when the CCTV-powered control room detects an infiltration attempt. The BSF is implementing an ambitious project called the comprehensive integrated border management system (CIBMS) as part of Modi Govt ’s plan to completely seal the Indo-Pak and India-Bangladesh borders in the next few years.BSF is tasked with guarding the over 6,300-km-long two borders and its chief, in an interview to PTI, said the new frontier guarding systems will bring a “sea change”, for the first time, in this domain. “There is going to be a paradigm shift in our operational preparedness. As of now, we patrol from point-A to point-B (along the border). What we are now planning is to shift to a QRT (quick reaction team)-based system and a number of new technologies which have not been tried so far are being tested,” said K K Sharma, the director general of the 2.65-lakh personnel strong force.PTI
Shopian encounter: 2 jawans killed, 3 injured during cordon and search operation
New Delhi:Two jawans were killed and three others, including a captain, injured on Sunday in an encounter with militants at Awneera village in south Kashmir’s Shopian district. A defence spokesman identified the slain Army men as Sepoy Ilayaraja P, a resident of Tamil Nadu, and Sepoy Gawai Sumedh Waman, a resident of Maharashtra.3 militants were also killed after security forces launched a cordon and search operation on Saturday night to flush out militants hiding in the area. “3 militants have been killed in the encounter at Zainapora in Shopian,” DGP, SP Vaid told PTI.Vaid said identity and group affiliation of slain militants is being ascertained. indianexpress
70 youth join militant ranks in seven months, most from south Kashmir districts: Official
Jammu:Jammu Seventy young men have joined militancy in the past seven months this year with most of the recruits from three districts in south Kashmir, according to a senior official. The new recruits mostly belong to Pulwama, Shopian and Kulgam districts in south Kashmir, which has become the hub of tech-savvy militants.“As many as 70 Kashmiri youths joined militancy in the Valley in seven months period this year,” the senior security officer told PTI quoting official statistics.PTI
Move to abrogate Article 35-A will be resisted tooth and nail: J&K   Jamaat
Jama’at-e-Islami J&K  has said that any move of tinkering with the special status of J&K  is aimed to change the Muslim majority character of the state into minority and thus paving way for non-state subjects. “The move will be resisted tooth and nail,” a statement of Jama’at said.“People of the state had been guaranteed by India that through a free and fair plebiscite they will be given a chance to decide their political destination but Govt of India subsequently backtracked from its commitment and people at helm in the state from time to time paved way for India to scrap that position,” reads the statement. Jama’at said ‘the ruling class has no mandate to fiddle with article 35 (A) and successive regimes in the state have made cracks to the special status of the state by cheating common people. kashmirlife
ED mislead court to obtain non-bailable warrant against separatist leader Shabir Shah, claims lawyer
New Delhi: Shabir Shah, the Kashmiri separatist leader who was arrested on July 25 by the NIA has moved a bail application through his lawyer, MS Khan, alleging that he was wrongly implicated in the case by the Enforcement Directorate (ED).On Wednesday, Shah was sent to a 14-day judicial custody by a court in a decade-old case of money laundering for alleged terror-financing.Additional Sessions Judge Sidharth Sharma sent Shah to jail for two weeks after the accused was produced before him on the expiry of his ED custody and after the central probe agency’s lawyer, N K Matta, told the court that he was not required for further custodial interrogation. Advocate MS Khan in the bail application has said that one person namely Mohd Aslam Wani was acquitted by the Delhi court in November 2010.TwoCircles
Hamid Ansari should head for any country ‘where he feels secure’: RSS leader Indresh Kumar
Nagpur:Senior RSS leader Indresh Kumar on Saturday advised former Vice President Hamid Ansari to go to any country “where he feels secure”. He was addressing a press conference after attending a Raksha Bandhan programme organised by Rashtriya Muslim Manch of which he is “margdarshak” (advisor).Replying to a question about Ansari’s recent observation that Muslims in the country were not feeling secure, Kumar said, “unfortunately Ansari received no support from any quarter. Even Muslims came out against him. He was secular for ten years when he was in chair. Now he has become a fundamentalist (kattarpanthi) Muslim. He was Bharatiya now he has become communal. He was a leader of all parties but has now become a Congressman. For all these 10 years, he didn’t feel insecure. He should point out any country in the world where Muslims are secure. I don’t feel Ansari should remain in trouble (taklif). So, he should head for any country where he feels he will be secure.”Talking about Kashmir issue, Kumar said, “the Manch is organising Quit PoK” programmes from August 9 to 14. The people in PoK still love India. Even today, 24 Assembly and six Council seats in J&K have been kept vacant for PoK. Manch demands that these seats should either be filled up by elections or through nominations in 2018. There is Parliament resolution from the days of Congress rule to evict Pakistan from PoK. Time has come to take it forward.” indianexpress
At Least 45 Dead In Himachal Landslide
Shimla:  At least 45 people were killed and several injured after a massive landslide buried two Govt  buses at Kotpuri near Padhar on the Mandi-Pathankot national highway in Himachal Pradesh, officials said today. The number of people could rise as over 50 passengers were travelling in the two buses hit by the landslide which was triggered by a cloud burst, they said.Mandi deputy commissioner Sandeep Kadam told ANI that 45 bodies had been recovered so far. Rescue operations were underway, he said.Teams of the NDRF) army and the police were rushed and heavy earth-moving machinery called in at the gorge where the two buses lay buried under a heap of debris.The highway was closed and hundreds of vehicles were stranded on either side, officials said. NDTV
60 killed as 2 buses hit by massive Himachal landslides
50 Feared Buried Alive In Landslide Near Kotrupee
Monsoon floods, landslides in Nepal, India kill 70
Kathmandu:Monsoon floods and landslides have killed at least 66 people across Nepal and India but officials fear that figure could almost double as rescuers search for dozens believed lost under mud and in submerged villages.Authorities Sunday upgraded the death toll from flash flooding across landlocked Nepal to 49 as the water kept rising, forcing thousands to flee for higher ground."Another 17 are missing. Search and rescue works are underway but the water levels have not declined yet," said Shankar Hari Acharya, the chief of Nepal's national emergency center. Red Cross estimated a higher death toll of 53, with dozens more missing and injured and thousands of homes destroyed.AFP
Flood creates havoc in Assam; 10 more killed taking death toll to 99
Guwahati: The flood situation on Sunday deteriorated in Assam, where the Army was called out for rescue operations as 10 more people were killed and 22.5 lakh affected in 21 districts. Following Sunday’s toll in flood-related incidents, the total number of persons losing their lives in this year’s flood-related incidents in the state went up to 99, including eight Kuwaiti, an Assam State Disaster Management Authority (ASDMA) report said. thehindu
Rajasthan: 40-year-old widow branded witch, made to eat faeces, beaten to death
Jaipur:A 40-year-old widow in Rajasthan’s Ajmer district was allegedly made to eat faeces, tortured and beaten to death by her relatives, who accused her of being a witch, the police said on Sunday.  The incident took place on Aug.3 in Kekri, a block around 135 km from the state capital, they said.“Kanya Devi Raigar was branded a witch and severely tortured before being beaten to death, she was also made to eat faeces by her relatives,” SP of Ajmer, Rajendra Singh, said. Police registered a case on Monday against four people –Pinky Raigar, Sonia Raigar, Mahaveer Raigar and Chandra Prakash Raigar — under relevant IPC sections, including murder, and provisions of the Rajasthan Prevention of Witch-Hunting Act, 2015. The woman succumbed to injuries at the spot, the police said.PTI
Day after riots, Aligarh police arrests 6 Muslim men
Agra: Aligarh police arrested 6 people and booked 96 others, including 80 "unidentified", in connection with the rioting that took place in upper court area on Friday.Violence broke out after the Friday prayers when some youths, who were protesting the killing of two brothers, Mohammad Wasim and Mohammad Aashu, by a man from another community, turned violent and indulged in heavy brick batting. SSP, Rajesh Pandey said that 3 separate cases have been registered. He said that the arrested were identified as Mohd Ashraf, Mohd Aamir, Mohd Naushad, Mohd Akram, Mohd Shoaib  and Mohd Jeeshan. He said that 50 other people have also been identified in the video recorded yesterday. 5 separate teams have been formed to search them."Houses have also been identified where stones were collected in advance and notices are being issued to them," he said adding that if any involvement of the house owners is found, strict action will be taken against them too.TOI
Tension in Surat after Patidar woman ‘elopes’ with Muslim
Surat: Tension gripped Mota Varachha area of Surat on Saturday after a Patidar woman allegedly eloped with a Muslim youth, a few days ago. Members of the Patidar community had planned to take out a rally on Saturday, but local police denied permission, citing the law and order situation in the area.The 24-year-old girl had married into a Patidar family a month ago at her family’s insistence but came back to her parents’ home. The girl then allegedly eloped with a 22-year-old Muslim neighbour. The girl’s family filed a complaint with the Amroli police in Surat on Friday after which the police launched a formal search.Meanwhile, the girl’s family decided to hold a ‘Beti Bachavo Jan Jagruti Abhiyan’ and hold a rally with the members of their residential society that also included Patidar community members. The police, however, denied the permission for the rally.Surat Police Commissioner Satish Sharma met the girl’s family on Saturday, giving them permission to hold an awareness meeting in the area instead. Sharma also met members of the Muslim community in the Mota Varachha area.The awareness meeting, organised at Lajamdi chowk under heavy police presence, ended peacefully. A resident, Masud Voraji said, “There is communal harmony in our village.” He added that there are over 1,000 Muslims, a majority of them farmers, in village. indianexpress
Kasargod college closed following clashes over students observing purdah
A college in Kasargod district in Kerala was closed on Friday following clashes between two groups of students in the name of students observing purdah.Classes at C K Nair Arts and Management College at Kanhangad were temporarily suspended after differences over permission to wear purdah. The college, which follows a uniform system, had allowed students to wear casual clothes on Wednesday. The issues started when four third-year students of BA English came to class wearing purdah on Wednesday.On August 2, a third-year girl came to college wearing purdah. Talking to the local media, she alleged that the teacher asked the girl to remove the veil citing it was against the college dress code.Protesting against the teacher’s action, four students came to class wearing purdah last Wednesday. When they were told to remove it, they refused and they were sent to principal’s room.TwoCircles
India at 70: Tailed by police for years, Hyderabad’s Muslim men lost their freedom:HT
Hyderabad: India is days away from celebrating its 70th Independence Day. Independence has helped people and communities to smash barriers of caste, class, gender, ability and faith and achieve their dreams. But structures of oppression persist, and many people languish in islands of darkness where freedoms are few and choices absent.HT brings you stories from of hope, courage and perseverance in “free India”, and of isolation, hate and despair that stalk the “unfree India”.In Part 2, read about the trials of Muslim men in Hyderabad and the success story of a Kashmiri businessman. In 2009, Ibrahim Ali Junaid stopped meeting friends.The 35-year-old Unani doctor had just been acquitted after two harrowing years in connection with the Mecca Masjid blasts in Hyderabad and thought keeping a low profile would keep him out of trouble.He was wrong. Over the next 6 years, the city police allegedly tailed his every move, followed him from home to work and back and picked him up every time there was communal violence in the city.“The police used to keep a watch on my movements till a couple of years ago…during the twin bomb blasts at Dilsukhnagar in Feb.2013, NIA authorities called me for questioning. And during the 2014 elections, I was bound over like a rowdy sheeter,” Junaid told HT.HT
 Innocent Muslim youth were subjected to third degree torture in jail: siasat
Hyderabad: Youth who were acquitted in Begumpet Task Force office blast case said that they do not need any character certificate but if investigations are carried out unbiased and with transparency, true character of Muslim youth will be exposed. Narrating their ordeal while languishing in jail for 12 years, the youth said there won’t be any yardstick to measure the atrocities and torture meted out to them. M. Abdul Zahed who was acquitted by the court a day before told that we were accused but were harassed more than the convicts. He told that one of his friends was not even granted bail on medical grounds.He said he went to jail thanks to media and police and had to suffer a lot. Media and police declared them terrorists and they were called by that name in jail too.
Salve to represent Malegaon blasts accused Purohit in SC
The bail plea of 2008 Malegaon blasts accused Colonel Shrikant Prasad Purohit is likely to come up for hearing on Monday before Supreme Court where he will be represented by senior lawyer Harish Salve.Salve was recently fielded by the Govt  to defend Kulbhushan Jadhav, the alleged Indian spy in Pakistan’s custody, at the International Court of Justice (ICJ). He earlier represented the State during the hearing of the Malegaon blasts case before the Bombay High Court during an appeal against the trial court’s decision to revoke stringent MCOCA against the blasts accused. Indian Express
Claiming support of 14 state units, Sharad Yadav faction to present itself as real JD(U)
New Delhi:Senior JD(U) leader Sharad Yadav is set to present his faction as the “real” party claiming that many of its state units are with him while the support for party president Nitish Kumar is confined to Bihar. The Yadav-led faction, which includes two Rajya Sabha MPs and some national office-bearers, has armed itself with letters of support from 14 state unit presidents, Arun Shrivastava, a close aide of Yadav said. Kumar recently removed Yadav from the post of party’s general secretary.To counter Kumar’s assertion that the JD(U) is recognised only in Bihar– a point made to debunk claims of support from other state units by the Yadav faction– Shrivastava claimed the party always had a national footprint. He said it was Yadav who headed the party before Kumar had merged his Samata Party with it.PTI
WORLD
Iraqi Shia leader visits UAE, strengthening ties with Sunni
An influential Iraqi Shia cleric plans to visit the UAE on Sunday, strengthening his ties with Sunni-ruled states of the Middle East.It will be the second such trip in as many months for Muqtada al-Sadr, who commands a large following among Iraq’s urban poor. He visited Saudi Arabia at the end of July. Emirati Govt  will send a special plane to fly Sadr to the UAE and return him to Iraq, according to a statement on the cleric’s website. Cleric is one of few Iraqi Shia leaders to keep some distance from Shia Iran, Saudi’s regional rival and the main backer of Syrian President Bashar al-Assad. In April, Sadr called on Assad to “take a historic heroic decision” and step down, to spare his country further bloodshed. Middleeastmonitor
Bahrain FM arrives in Iraq amid Gulf crisis
Bahrain’s Foreign Minister Khalid Al Khalifa arrived Sunday in the Iraqi capital Baghdad for an unscheduled visit.He will meet Iraqi President Fuad Masum and PM Haidar al-Abadi during his visit, a source with the Iraqi Foreign Ministry said on condition of anonymity because he was unauthorised to speak to media.The reason for the visit remains unclear. The visit comes amid a Gulf crisis after Saudi, Egypt, the UAE and Bahrain cut diplomatic relations with Qatar. middleeastmonitor
Iran boosts budget for missiles, Revolutionary Guards
Iran's parliament has overwhelmingly voted to increase spending on Tehran's ballistic missile programme and the elite Revolutionary Guards in retaliation for new sanctions imposed by the United States.In a session, a total of 240 politicians out of 244 present voted to allocate $520m to develop the country's missile programme and boost foreign operations of the paramilitary troops, with only one abstention. aljazeera
7 White Helmets medics killed in Syria's Idlib: aljazeera
Armed attackers early on Saturday stormed an office of a Syrian paramedic group active in opposition-controlled areas, killing 7 of its members and stealing two vehicles and other equipment in a northwestern region, the group and opposition activists said, while a suicide attack in the south of Syria killed at least 23 rebels.The Syrian Civil Defence group, more popularly known as the White Helmets, said in a statement that the attack happened in the early hours in the town of Sarmin.
Saudi Arabia and UAE 'tried to host' Taliban first
A former Afghan fighter turned mediator says Saudi Arabia and the UAE tried to host the Taliban before the armed group set up an office in Qatar.Abdulla Anas, a former friend of the late al-Qaeda chief Osama bin Laden, told the Middle East Eye on Friday that he was "bewildered" by Saudi Arabia's claim that Qatar supported "terrorism" by allowing the Taliban to open an office in Doha.That initiative was first established in Saudi Arabia, Anas said. "There were also some rounds in the Emirates. So if Qatar is accused of hosting terrorists, someone hosted the same 'terrorists' before this," he said.His statements apparently contradict a mounted campaign against Qatar for its alleged support of "terrorist groups". aljazeera
Failure in Afghanistan will invite terror attacks on our homelands : commander-in-chief of US and NATO forces
General John Nicholson, commander-in-chief of US and NATO forces in Afghanistan said that it is imperative for NATO to win the war against the insurgents in Afghanistan because failure in Afghanistan will embolden extremist groups in the West."Failure will embolden terrorists and jihadists globally to include those already inside our own countries. That is why we are here and that is why we must win," said Nicholson. As US President Donald Trump is set to unveil its new military policy in Afghanistan, Nicholson said that they should and will defeat the insurgents to safeguard their own homeland.ANI
US: Muslim woman wins $85k lawsuit after police remove her hijab
Los Angeles:A Muslim woman in the US, who was forced to remove her hijab when she was in police custody has been awarded $85,000 as settlement by authorities. The incident happened last year when Kirsty Powell and her husband were pulled over by police for driving a “low rider” car, according to the lawsuit.Powell was arrested after police found a warrant under her name for a shoplifting incident, the CNN reported. Powell’s husband requested a female officer handle the arrest, but the arresting officers denied the request and told Powell that she had to remove her hijab. Powell spent the night in prison without her headscarf. It was returned when her husband posted her bond, the report said.Powell filed the lawsuit in April 2016, alleging the police department had violated her First Amendment rights. Powell was “forced to appear in a publicly available booking photo without her religious headwear,” the lawsuit said.PTI
Asmaa Beltagy’s mother: My daughter sacrificed her life for Egypt’s victory, dignity and prosperity
Asmaa Beltagy, a 17-year old Egyptian, was standing among protesters in a sit-in staged in support of former President Mohamed Morsi when shots from a sniper rifle ended her life on August 14, 2013.That day Egyptian security forces violently dispersed the sit-in in eastern Cairo’s Rabaa al-Adawiya square, killing nearly 2,600 protestors, according to figures by the Muslim Brotherhood group.  Egyptian authorities, however, say only 623 people were killed in the dispersal, including a number of security personnel.The dispersal came a few weeks after the military, led by then-defense minister Abdel-Fattah al-Sisi, deposed Morsi, Egypt’s first freely elected president, in a military coup.In the aftermath of the coup, Egyptian security forces launched a harsh crackdown on supporters of Morsi and his Muslim Brotherhood groups, killing hundreds and detaining thousands. middleeastmonitor
Greek Church to challenge Israeli settler land sale
A controversial land sale in Jerusalem’s Old City between the Greek Orthodox Church and Israeli settlers, that angered Palestinians but was upheld by an Israeli court recently, will be challenged by the church.Theophilos III, the Greek Orthodox Patriarch for Jerusalem, Palestine and Jordan, said at a press conference in Amman on Saturday night that they “reject publicly and clearly” Jerusalem District Court’s decision two weeks ago. middleeastmonitor
Rights groups question Palestine's electronic crime law
Human rights groups are calling on the Palestinian Authority to suspend a new "electronic crimes" law that limits freedom of expression online.Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas clamped down on social media and news websites with a vaguely worded decree.Social media and websites are one of the main outlets for debate and dissent in the occupied West Bank. Critics say the clampdown allows his Govt  to jail anyone deemed to have breached the new law. aljazeera
 Compiled and edited by Anwarulhaq (Released at: 9:17 PM)
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