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Monday, 14 August 2017


Evening NEWS DIGEST
14 Aug. 2017: 21 Zulqidah 1438:Vol:8, No:255
SC hints at referring petitions against Articles 370, 35A to constitution bench which give spl status to J&K
New Delhi: The Supreme Court on Monday hinted at referring petitions against Articles 370 and 35A of the Constitution — which give special provisions to J&K — to a constitution bench. The top court said all petitions that demand scrapping of the articles should be heard together. The SC is now likely to hear all cases on August 29.Article 370 provides special status to Jammu and Kashmir, while Article 35A gives powers to the state legislature to define permanent residents of the state and their privileges.The Supreme Court last month had asked the Centre to file a reply within three weeks to a writ petition filed by NGO 'We the Citizens' seeking that Article 35A be struck down.PIL said the state government, under the guise of Article 35A and Article 370, has been discriminating against non-residents who are debarred from buying properties, getting a government job or voting in the local elections.Last month, Supreme Court lawyer Charu Wali Khanna also challenged Article 35A on the grounds that it was discriminatory towards women. Speaking in favour of the articles, NC leader Omar Abdullah said the two provisions can’t be scrapped. “The central government should file counter-affidavits,” he told reporters on Monday.The legal challenge to Article 35A had led to yet another separatists-sponsored strike in the Valley on Sunday, with schools, colleges,shops, business establishments and private offices remaining closed.The separatist camp, including the hardline and moderate factions of the Hurriyat Conference and JKLF, allege that the challenge is an attempt to change the demographic of the state.CNN-News18
Plea against special status to J&K under Article 35A may be heard by Constitution Bench, says SC
SC hints constitution bench to hear pleas against Art35 A
In J&K, Art 370's end is near: Subramanian Swamy
New Delhi: BJP’s Rajya Sabha MP Subramanian Swamy has said on Monday that in J&K , Article 370’s end is near.“With Art 35A question sent to a Constitutional Bench, means Art 370's end is near”, said Subramanian Swamy.The Supreme Court indicated today that if Article 35 A relating to special rights and privileges of the citizens of the J&K is ultra vires of the Constitution or if there is any procedural lapse, the issue may be dealt with by a 5-judge constitution bench, as reported by the Financial Express.India Samvad
Omar Abdullah kick-starts campaign against revocation of Article 35A
Jammu: Opposition National Conference today kick-started an awareness campaign against revocation of Article 35A of the Constitution with its working president Omar Abdullah asking party functionaries here to mobilise public support to defend the state subject laws." NC will not give permission to tinker with the constitutional provisions giving special status to Jammu and Kashmir... the rulers, whether in Srinagar or Delhi, should understand that we will not compromise on the big and serious issue which is related to our survival," he said at a seminar at the party headquarters here.The one-day seminar, attended by over 500 senior party leaders and activists, was organised to kick-start a campaign to make people aware about Article 35A of the constitution and its impact if the provision was removed. "Now it is your (party leaders and workers) duty to reach out to the people and make them understand what are the benefits of Article 35A and how its revocation will prove a death knell to their culture, language and identity," Abdullah said.Accusing the BJP of misleading the people he told the NC leaders and workers to counter it with "truth"."Understand Article 35A properly, the threat its revocation poses to the state especially to Jammu and make people aware of the benefits," the NC working president said. At the seminar, when a person said he was ready to shed his blood to safeguard the special status of the state guaranteed by the constitution, Abdullah said, "National Conference will never support bloodshed. Neither should you shed your blood nor the blood of anyone else."He said the 90-year-old law, introduced by Maharaja Hari Singh to keep the identity of Jammu and Kashmir intact, gives its people exclusive right over land, jobs in government departments, scholarship to students, special aid and relief. "Constitutional provision gives special rights to the people of J&K. You cannot buy land in Himachal...in Lakshadweep and northeastern states ? Manipur, Mizoram. But why is the BJP is not able to swallow this thing that the people outside the state cannot buy land in the state," Abdullah said.He alleged that the BJP was trying to "sell the issue as Kashmir versus Jammu" and said Jammu and Ladakh would face the major burnt if Article 35A is revoked.PTI
Hurriyat chief Syed Ali Shah Geelani hospitalized:PTI
Kashmiri separatist leader Syed Ali Shah Geelani was hospitalised in Srinagar due to ill health. Hurriyat Conference chairman was shifted to SKIMS hospital after he complained of abdominal cramps, dehydration and general weakness, a Hurriyat spokesman said.The spokesman added Geelani has been admitted at the hospital for observation and there is “nothing serious” as far as Hurriyat hawk’s health is concerned.
Hizbul Mujahideen appoints Mohamamd Bin Qasim as new chief after Yasin Yatoo’s death
Srinagar: After the killing its operation’s chief Mehmood Ghaznavi, Hizbul Mujahideen has named Mohammad Bin Qasim as its new chief in valley. The announcement has been made after Hizb chief Syed Salah-ud-din headed a meeting of the outfit’s “command council” in Muzaffarabad.“The meeting has decided to give the responsibility of operational commander to Mohammad Bin Qasim,” Hizb chief spokesman Saleem Hashmi said in a statement to local news agencies. While there is no militants by the code name of Mohammad Bin Qasim on the police radar, police sources say that the new commander could be Riyaz Naikoo, the Divisional Commander of Hizbul Mujahideen for south Kashmir. indianexpress
How Yaseen Yatoo was trapped: Muzamil Jaleel’s story
India plans to deport thousands of Rohingya refugees despite UN registration: aljazeera
India's govt is looking to deport an estimated 40,000 Rohingya Muslims back to Myanmar, including those registered with the UN refugee agency, a senior official has said. Deputy Interior Minister Kiren Rijiju told Reuters that the Rohingya living in India were illegal immigrants and must be deported. "As far as we are concerned they are all illegal immigrants," Rijiju, a high-profile minister in PM Narendra Modi's Govt, said." They have no basis to live here. Anybody who is illegal migrant will be deported."Their registration with the UN refugee agency was irrelevant, he said. "We can't stop them from registering. But we are not signatory to the accord on refugees," he said. Meenakshi Ganguly, HRW's South Asia director, slammed the plan, noting India as a member of the UNHRC was aware of the risks Rohingya refugees faced if deported. "India was part of the council that authorised a fact-finding mission after tens of thousands of Rohingyas fled to Bangladesh from Mynamar, following a security operation in which hundreds were killed and raped," she told said."So India is aware of the risks of abuse, and India has an international obligation to protect them." Office of UN High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) has issued identity cards to about 16,500 Rohingya in India, which it says helps "prevent harassment, arbitrary arrests, detention and deportation" of refugees.HRW's Ganguly said she was worried that Rijiju's comments could encourage vigilante violence against the Rohingya community in India.She also questioned the practicality of rounding up and expelling thousands of people scattered across the country. UNHCR's India office said it has not received an official word about a plan to deport Rohingyas, and had not received any reports of deportations taking place. It said the principle of non-refoulement - or not sending back refugees to a place where they face danger - was considered part of customary international law and binding on all states whether they have signed the Refugee Convention or not. India said it was in talks with Bangladesh and Myanmar about deportation plan.
India to deport Rohingyas, including those who have identity cards from UN Refugee Agency:reuters
Trade war looms between India-China after 93 Chinese products attract anti-dumping duties: Chinese media
New Delhi: Amid the Doklam standoff, a trade war appears to be looming between India and China after New Delhi last week imposed anti-dumping duties on 93 Chinese products, according to Chinese newspaper The Global Times. Urging the Chinese companies to think twice about the risks involved before making investments in India, the news report warned India to be prepared to face the consequences for its ‘ill-considered action’.The report also said that China could easily retaliate by putting restrictions on imports from India, but it doesn’t make much economic sense for the country. It said, “If India really starts a trade war with China, of course China’s economic interests will be hurt, but there will also be consequences for India.”Quoting statistics from China’s Ministry of Commerce, the article said that in the first half of 2017, India has initiated 12 probes into Chinese products.The Global Times also cited figures from the Indian embassy in China to show that Indian exports fell by 12.3 %  year-on-year to $11.75 billion, while India’s imports from China rose by 2 %  to $59 billion, resulting in a trade deficit of $ 47 billion.However, according to the Indian Commerce Ministry, the trade deficit with China mounted to over $52 billion in 2016 when the bilateral trade stood at $70 billion. indianexpress
North east's separatist militant outfits call for Independence Day boycott
Guwahati: 7 separatist militant outfits of Assam, Manipur and Meghalaya, proclaiming themselves pro-China have given a joint call for boycotting Independence Day celebrations in Assam and other northeastern states.However, the Khaplang faction of NSCN, which has been leading a joint forum of northeast militant outfits, has not been the part of the joint call. NSCN-K has called for the boycott of Independence Day in Naga inhabited areas separately.7 militant groups in their joint statement sent to a local newspaper said that India’s plans to celebrate their 70th Independence Day in a grand way is a sign of nervousness due to Doklam’s stand-off with China.The joint call has been given by anti-talk Ulfa(I) and United People’s Liberation Army from Assam, Coordination Committee (CorCom), the conglomerate of 4 outfits of Manipur, and Garo National Liberation Army of Meghalaya.ASIAN AGE
OTHERS
Sacked Gorakhpur Paediatrician Dr Kafeel Made 'Scapegoat,' Say Doctors In Delhi
Gorakhpur:Doctors at Delhi's AIIMS have alleged that a paediatrician Dr Kafeel Khan has been made the "scapegoat" at a hospital in UP 's Gorakhpur, where more than 60 children died last week. Dr Khan, who was head of paediatrics and the children's encephalitis wards at the hospital, was removed on Sunday. "Doctors are being made scapegoats," said  Dr. Harjit Singh Bhatti, who heads an association of resident doctors at AIIMS. The association has written a letter condemning Dr Kafeel Khan's sacking, accusing the state Govt  of "gross neglect of public health." By blaming doctors for the death of the children, the association said, "politicians are hiding their incompetency," and asked, "Who is responsible if oxygen, gloves, equipment not available?"The hospital maintains that there was a shortage of oxygen only for about 2 hours on Thursday, after the hospital's regular vendor stopped supply over non-payment of bills, but that liquid oxygen was soon sourced from other places. The head of the hospital Dr Rajeev Mishra was suspended on Saturday, while Dr Kafeel Khan, on whose watch oxygen supply dipped to a critical low at the hospital on Thursday, was removed yesterday.  Govt sources said he was sacked for failing to take action on a letter that was written on Thursday morning by those in charge of the hospital's oxygen supply, warning that that there was only enough to last till the evening and asking for emergency supplies."We want a proper enquiry, Govt  officials are also involved and even they should be held accountable. Not just a single doctor," said Dr Bhatti of AIIMS, who emphasised that hospitals lack infrastructure and basic facilities. Parents who lose their children in the Gorakhpur hospital tragedy said oxygen supply was low at the neo-natal ICU ward.
Gorakhpur hospital deaths: AIIMS doctors say Dr Kafeel made ‘scapegoat’, accuse Yogi govt of ‘gross neglect’
‘It’s a smear campaign, I was trying to help kids’, says Dr Khan on Gorakhpur tragedy
Lucknow: On Saturday, Dr Kafeel Ahmed Khan, the nodal officer for the Gorakhpur hospital's department of pediatrics, was removed from his post, without giving any reason. Prior to his removal, a "smear campaign" against the doctor started on social media where he was alleged for dereliction of duty, running a private clinic and for posting derogatory remarks against PM Narendra Modi and a few Bollywood actresses.The doctor was also called a "traitor" because he belonged to the Muslim community.Breaking his silence over the entire issue, Khan told reporters that he was targeted by vested interest groups."It's a smear campaign against me. I was only trying to help the children. I did everything from getting in touch with oxygen firms to ensuring prompt help to patients," he was quoted as saying by TOI. However, officials at the hospital questioned his "intention" for helping the kids. Speaking about being targeted for being a Muslim, Khan said, "I have seen campaigns on WhatsApp and Facebook targeting me for being a Muslim, I'd like to tell them, I am an Indian first, and what I did, I did because I am a doctor," he said.Oneindia
Gorakhpur hospital tragedy continues, 6 more children die
Gorakhpur: 6 more children have died from encephalitis since Saturday at state-run BRD Medical College Hospital in Gorakhpur where the death of nearly 70 of them, including infants, has set off a nation-wide outrage and political recrimination. Many of these deaths were alleged to have been caused by shortage of oxygen, a claim dismissed by the govt. "In the past three days -- from August 12 to August 14 -- 6 encephalitis patients, mostly children have died. In the same period, as many as 21 patients were admitted for treatment. At present nearly 75 encephalitis patients are undergoing treatment in BRD Medical College Hospital," he said. PTI

Gorakhpur hospital deaths: NHRC issues notice to Govt
Terming the case a serious violation of the Right to Life of the patients, the NHRC on Monday issued a notice to UP Govt  over deaths of over 60 children at Baba Raghav Das Medical College in Gorakhpur allegedly due to lack of oxygen supply. Taking suo motu cognisance of media reports, NHRC asked the UP Chief Secretary for a detailed report on the incident, as well as steps taken for the relief of the victims' families and action against officials responsible, within 4 weeks. thehindu
SC refuses to take cognisance of Gorakhpur hospital tragedy
New Delhi :The Supreme Court on Monday refused to take cognisance of the recent deaths of children at a Govt  hospital at Gorakhpur in UP .Bench comprising Chief Justice JS Khehar and Justice DY Chandrachud asked lawyer, who mentioned the issue before it, to approach the Allahabad High Court with his grievances.The lawyer has also sought an SIT probe into the deaths of children at the BRD hospital .PTI
Barelvi sect madrassas to flout UP govt I-Day order, say it is against the shariat
Lucknow: Around 150 madrassas connected with the Barelvi sect today decided not to follow the UP  Govt s order of reciting the national anthem and videography of the Independence Day function.A meeting of the sect held in the revered Dargah Ala Hazrat in Bareilly decided that neither will the national anthem be sung nor the function be videograhed in 150 madrassas of the state, Maulana Shahabuddin Rizvi, general secretary of Jamat Raza-e-Mustafa which chaired the meeting, said.In Pilibhit, shahar qazi Zartab Raza Khan also opposed the order, terming it as against the shariat which does not allow musical instruments. "The function of Independence Day will be celebrated with full gusto, tricolour will be unfurled in the madrassas, sweets will be distributed and tributes will be paid to those who fought for the freedom of the country, but no action will be performed which goes against the shariat like singing of the national anthem and videography," Rizvi stressed."It was decided in the meeting that instead of Jana Gana Mana the Quami Tarana of Sare Jahan Se Achcha Hindustan Hamara will be recited. Also, videographay is against the shariat and it will not be done," he said, adding programmes which are in accordance only with the shariat will be performed. Rizvi also said that the word adhinayak in the national anthem was in praise of the British used in 1911 and therefore, singing it was against the shariat.PTI
Muslim cleric opposes mandatory Independence Day directive for madarsas
New Delhi: A Muslim cleric has opposed the Govt  orders making it mandatory for madarsas to unfurl national flag and sing national anthem on Independence Day.UP  and Madhya Pradesh have directed the madarsas in the state to unfurl the national flag and sing the national anthem on August 15.Mufti Mukkaram, a cleric from Delhi, said such orders shouldn't be passed which question the loyalty and patriotism of the Muslims. "Such orders give a wrong impression about Muslims. We unfurl the national flag a day or two before Independence Day. But to doubt theMuslims or looking at them with suspicion is wrong," Mukkaram said.He argued that it is objectionable for people to believe that Muslims are not patriotic or are anti-nationals."We (Muslims) have contributed a lot to the country. There should be no reason to cast any doubts over our patriotism." He added.ANI
MP madarsas asked to hold 'tiranga' yatras, events on I-Day : PTI
I-Day celebrations in madrassas in UP  to be videographed
Bring law to make singing ‘Vande Mataram’ mandatory: Uddhav Thackeray
Mumbai: In an apparent dig at the BJP leadership, Shiv Sena chief Uddhav Thackeray on Sunday asked the party to enact a law to make singing ‘Vande Mataram’ mandatory instead of making statements.“What is wrong in singing ‘Vande Mataram’ and why should it be only on select days? It should be sung every day. BJP MLAs who warn others over ‘Vande Mataram’ can’t sing even four lines. Can you do anything at all? At least bring in a law for the same,” Thackeray said, addressing a gathering on the occasion of Marmik magazine’s anniversary. Thackeray questioned BJP’s commitment on the issue. “Before coming to power, you [BJP] had said that everyone must sing ‘Vande Mataram’ if they want to live in the country. What happened now? How can you say an individual will decide whether to sing or not?”the hindu
We're Muslims first, Indians later:SP leader Maviya Ali
New Delhi: Samajwadi Party leader Maviya Ali has just added fuel to the already raging debate over UP Govt 's controversial circular asking madrasas across the state to celebrate Independence Day record video of the event.Maviya Ali, who lost Assembly election from Deoband against BJP's Brijesh Singh, said UP Govt's notice regarding holding celebrations on August 15 in madrasas was anti-Islamic."We are not ready to abide by the instructions given by the UP govt. I want to reinstate that we are Muslims first and Indians next. If any situation leads to a rift with Islam then, we will not stand by the constitution. We would stand by Islam," Ali said.IndiaToday
Now, online permissions for sacrificing animals on Bakrid in Mumbai
Mumbai : People sacrificing animals for the upcoming festival of Eid Ul Zuha, popularly known as Bakrid, can now receive online permissions for it. The Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC) has decided to start an online process for a limited period between August 21 and Sept.4, where individuals can upload their details and get permissions to sacrifice an animal. The civic body will also launch a mobile application for this.Under the existing laws, animals can only be slaughtered in abattoirs. However, the BMC has the power to make an exemption to this rule and allow people to slaughter animals in other places as well. During Bakrid, the municipal commissioner under Section 403 E of the Mumbai Municipal Corporation Act (MMCA) will make an exception for three days and grant written permission for slaughtering to all those who will purchase animals from the Deonar yard.Up until now, the gate pass issued at the Deonar abattoir was seen as a document that was accepted as permission. However, many a times, the gate pass would not carry the name of the final buyer, leading to harassment and problems in observing the ritual.Under the new system, a person who has a valid gate pass after buying an animal can go on the BMC website and upload his identification proof as well as gate pass number to get a customised licence to sacrifice under his name.Speaking in support of the approach, Samajwadi Party corporator Rais Shaikh pointed out that the idea of the mobile application was aimed at following the directions issued by the Bombay High Court last year.Calling it a “needless harassment”, Mohamed Qureshi, president of the Mumbai Suburban Beef Dealer Association, said that including personal details for seeking permission for Bakrid was a way to intimidate people of the community.“If the BMC simply wants to maintain data, why do they need addresses and Govt  ID proofs, when none of that was required earlier? Given the political developments in the country, first they imposed the beef ban, and are now monitoring people celebrating Bakrid. Many people are unaware of these registration norms and this is just a way to create an atmosphere of fear,” he said.Qureshi said this kind of monitoring “is a step-by-step strategy of cornering the minorities”.“Such regulations violate privacy of people and create a feeling of guilt associated with eating meat. If the logic is to monitor slaughtering out in public, why doesn’t the same rule apply to fish or chicken, that are also slaughtered publicly?” he said.Other members from the Muslim community, including Congress corporator Asif Zakaria, said the new system would only prove to be a form of harassment and was not a practical solution. indianexpress
Jamiat’s Aman March spreads across 800 cities of India
Jamiat Ulama-e-Hind, one of the leading organization of Indian Muslims, led a countrywide peace march–‘Aman March’ on August 13 to spread the message of communal harmony. The peace march was held in 800 cities across India and had participants from not only the Muslim community but from all sections of the society.JUH leaders questioned the center and various state Govt s led by BJP about the steps being taken to restore the communal harmony in the country.As per the press statement issued by JUH, its president Mohammad Usman Mansoorpuri led the march at Jantar Mantar in New Delhi and General Secretary Maulana Mahmood Madani in Pune.Apart from the major cities like Mumbai, Kolkata, Hyderabad, Pune, Chennai, Lucknow, Kanpur, Guwahati, Bangalore, Varanasi and other major cities, Aman march was taken out in districts like Muzaffarnagar, Deoband, Bijnor, Aurangabad, and many other such places.The press statement said that the march was also taken out in the flood-affected Dhanera town of Gujarat where Hindus and Muslims both took part in the march to spread the message of communal harmony.TwoCircles
WhatsApp messages, pamphlets calling for boycott of Muslims fuel tension in Narkhed; 16 Muslims arrested
Nagpur: Changing the name of a WhatsApp group, posting of objectionable messages and then circulation of pamphlets calling for a social and economic boycott of Muslims in Narkhed, about 70 km from here, led to communal tension in the town last week. Police have arrested 16 people and registered 3 cases.Trouble began in July last week when Pramod Shendre, an army technician posted in Bhatinda, allegedly changed the name of WhatsApp group from ‘Narkhed Ghadamodi (Narkhed News)’ to ‘Vande Mataram Narkhed’. Some Muslims in the group objected to this, leading to objectionable posts being exchanged by both sides.Police said a group of Muslims then allegedly attacked a member of the group, Subhash Waghe, a doctor, in his clinic for an alleged offensive post. Later, these men allegedly beat up Waghe in the streets and took him to Shendre’s brother Rameshwar’s residence. Police as well as Rameshwar’s friends intervened and brought the situation under control. Police arrested 16 people from the Muslim community for the assault, and booked Waghe and others for posting “provocative” messages on the WhatsApp group. But angered by the attack on Waghe, unknown members of a rival group printed and circulated pamphlets calling upon Narkhed residents to boycott Muslims and stop business with them. Police have registered a case against unknown persons.Over the past week, the police and district administration have reached out to both communities to maintain peace. “It’s now business as usual in the town and we are maintaining strict vigil. Pamphlets have had no effect,” said SP (Nagpur Rural) Shailesh Balkawde.“Shendre allegedly changed the name of group…This wasn’t liked by some Muslim members…There were calls to utter Vande Mataram… Some Muslim youths also posted objectionable messages. Waghe too posted objectionable messages…,”he said.Asked if Shendre had been booked, he said, “Yes…We have seized several mobile phones and sent the message trail for forensic investigation.” indianexpress
JD(U) cracks whip on Sharad loyalists, 21 suspended Patna
Patna: JDU today suspended 21 leaders, considered loyalists of Sharad Yadav who has opposed CM  Nitish Kumar’s decision to join hands with the BJP, for allegedly indulging in anti-party activities.Bihar JD(U) president Basistha Narayan Singh ordered suspension from primary membership of these leaders including former minister Ramai Ram, ex-MP from Sheohar Arjun Rai, former MLA Raj Kishore Sinha and ex-MLC Vijay Varma, according to a statement issued by JD(U) State general secretary Anil Kumar.Besides, a few district level office bearers of the party have also been suspended for indulging in “anti-party activities”, the statement said.Ramai Ram and Arjun Rai were prominent faces who participated in Sharad Yadav’s three-day ‘Samvad Yatra’ which ended on August 12. JD(U) had also suspended Rajya Sabha MP Ali Anwar, who had participated in an opposition meet called by Congress president Sonia Gandhi in Delhi last week. thehindu
As Muslim man fights ‘IS’ taint for wife whose marriage annulled by Kerala HC , police at her door, in her room
T V Puram (kottayam):ARMED policemen keep an eye on every movement in the vicinity of a small house in this village, vehicles passing by are checked, and strangers told to show their identity. A policeman monitors footage of CCTV cameras installed across the premises. Search lights come up at night, and there are generators for standby power. 2 more policewomen are on permanent duty inside, keeping a watch on a 24-year-old, day in and out. The woman being “guarded” by the State machinery is Akhila alias Hadiya, 24-year-old whose marriage to a Muslim man, Shefin Jahan, was annulled by the Kerala High Court on May 24. She was sent to this house, belonging to her parents, 35 km from Kottayam district town, 3 days later by the court, which said “a girl of 24 years is weak and vulnerable, capable of being exploited in many ways…. Her marriage being the most important decision in her life can also be taken only with the active involvement of her parents.”While her parents alleged that the wedding was just a bid to take their daughter to join the Islamic State, in its report to the high court, police said they had found no evidence that Jahan had any criminal links. Jahan, 27, challenged the high court verdict in the Supreme Court. Hadiya hasn’t left her parents’ house in the 2 and a half months since the high court gave her custody to her father, K M Ashokan. Jahan, who lives 130 km away, in Kollam, says he has had no communication with her in all this time. He hasn’t been able to talk to her as she has no access to mobile phones. “I had sent a letter to her, but her father returned it with the acknowledgement ‘rejected by the guardian’. Once I went to TV Puram to visit her, but police did not allow me to enter the house.”Kottayam District SP N Ramachandran says it is a unique case. “Police are giving round-the-clock security to the woman and her parents. The high court had directed protection for them. They fear a threat, which can come from any quarters.”A police officer in Kottayam says, “We have intelligence reports that the woman and her parents face serious threat from Islamic fundamentalists. We have advised the family not to let the woman outside as it may endanger her life.”Hadiya’s father Ashokan, an ex-serviceman, says he will only talk after the case in the Supreme Court gets over. His voice breaking, he says, “I am fighting for the custody of my only daughter. I won’t allow anyone to meet her.”Sheela Sureshan, a panchayat member of TV Puram village, confirms no one has seen Hadiya since she returned home. “We have heard she is still leading an Islamic way of life, sometimes observing fast and reading the Quran.”Jahan reiterates that as an adult, Hadiya has every right to practise a religion of her choice. “By confining her within the house, her family is now attempting a forced conversion. That is why Hadiya is not allowed to speak. She is still my wife,” says Jahan. Because he had to stay back to fight the case, Jahan, who had been working in Muscat with a private firm as administration manager for the last 2 years, has lost his job. His parents are settled there. “My company told me to return to the Gulf only after settling the matter,” he says.A graduate in Islamic Studies, Jahan had been an active member of the Campus Front, the student outfit of the SDPI, during his college days. Police found no evidence that Jahan had any criminal links, but wrote in its report that he had been admin of a WhatsApp group called ‘SDPI Keralam’, and been in another called ‘Thanal’, that included core members of the SDPI Kerala. indianexpress
Survey finds Indians, Chinese, Saudis most positive about direction their countries are going
New Delhi: An online survey of people in 26 countries found that respondents in China, India and Saudi Arabia are the most positive about the direction their nations are taking.The monthly survey, 'What Worries the World', by global market research firm Ipsos, also found that that the majority of people across 26 countries think that their country is on the wrong track.Almost 87% of those surveyed in China think their country is going in the right direction, with 74% in India and 71% in Saudi Arabia believing the same.At the other end of the spectrum, only 8% in Mexico think their country is on the right track, with 9% in South Africa, 12% in Brazil, 14% in Italy and 21% in Hungary believing the same.More than 50 % of respondents in the US, UK, Sweden, France, Germany, Japan and Australia, among others, believed their country was on the wrong track. timesofindia
Delhi's Dowry Bazaar: HT Exclusive report
In Delhi, crimes such as murder, rape, robbery or snatching decrease every year but not dowry. Dowry harassment cases have almost doubled in the last 5 years. How big is Delhi’s dowry market? Does dowry exist only in lower income groups? What are the common dowry demands?HT analysed all 1,330 dowry cases registered in the first 6 months of 2017. Here are the findings.Cases HT analysed are allegations by the women but yet to be proven in court. Unlike other states, in Delhi all the 1,330 cases were registered by the order of the sub-divisional magistrate, court or a deputy commissioner of police.Each circle represents a woman in Delhi who filed a case of dowry harassment.In 959 cases, women alleged being harassed for a demand of either cash, car, motorcycle, LED TV or property.Let's take a closer look at these 959 cases.Out of 1,330 women, more than half specified the cash they paid or were asked. The total exceeded 66 crore. The rest were harassed for reasons other than cash.Bigger the dot, higher the cash demand.Dowry exists among the rich too. In 9 cases, the cash asked for was more than a crore. The highest demand was 2.5 crore.Bigger the dot, higher the cash demand.From an auto-rickshaw to an Audi, in Delhi, the size and brand of cars make or break marriages. One out of three women — 441 cases — alleged harassment for not giving a specific car. Honda City was the most sought after car in Delhi weddings.Bikes are less popular than cars. A two-wheeler was the demand in 198 cases. The most common was Royal Enfield Bullet.At least 5 women alleged their husband made sex tapes and threatened to upload them on the internet if the dowry wasn’t paid.In one case, a woman alleged her kidney was forcibly sold to a relative by her in-laws.54 women died because of dowry in the first six months of 2017. In most cases, women were found hanging.Every day, at least 10 women in Delhi report dowry harassment. Between 2012 and 2016, there have been 715 dowry deaths in the city.
Several dead, millions affected as floods create havoc in Assam, Bihar and West Bengal
Heavy downpour in the states of Bihar, Assam, Arunachal Pradesh and West Bengal has resulted in flash floods and landslides in many parts of the country. Continuous rainfall has left many dead across India, Nepal and Bangladesh. Millions of people are affected across borders and many are forced to flee their homes because of the heavy rains. indianexpress
WORLD
Saudi 'seeks Iraq's help' to mend ties with Iran
Govt of Saudi Arabia has sought the help of Iraq's PM  to mend relations between Riyadh and Tehran, according to news reports.Citing Qasim al-Araji, Iraq's interior minister, the Iraqi satellite channel Alghadeer reported that Mohammed bin Salman, the crown prince of Saudi Arabia, has asked Haider al-Abadi to lead the mediation with Iran. "During our visit to Saudi Arabia, they also asked us to do so, and we said that to [the] Iranian side. The Iranian side looked at this demand positively," Araji was quoted saying by Alghadeer on Sunday."After the victories that Iraq has achieved, it [Saudi Arabia] began looking to Iraq, at its true size and leading role."The calm and stability and the return of relations between Iran and Saudi Arabia have positive repercussions on the region as a whole."Araji visited the Iranian capital, Tehran, on Saturday to discuss "several issues" with top Iranian officials, according to reports. He also visited Saudi Arabia in July. Iranian news agency ISNA quoted Araji in Farsi as saying that Mohammed bin Salman wanted to "ease tensions" with Iran.Separately, Muqtada al-Sadr, the influential Iraqi Shia leader, announced on his website that he would be visiting the UAE on Sunday.Speaking to Al Jazeera, Saad Jawad, a political science professor at the London School of Economics, termed the Saudi-Iraqi diplomatic moves "odd"."If Saudi Arabia is [in a dispute] with Qatar about Qatar's relationship with Iran ... how could they ask the Iraqis to amend their relations with Iran?"The Saudis know very well that Iraq is a little bit biased in [its] relations with the Iranians, and they are under the influence of the Iranians."Jawad said Saudi Arabia could have asked a more neutral broker like Kuwait or Oman, both of which have "good relations" with Iran.For Reza Khaasteh, a journalist for the Tehran-based Iran Front Page website, the offer is a "sincere move" by Riyadh given the recent "signals exchanged betweent the two sides".Khaasteh pointed out that ahead of the announcement on Sunday, Saudi  Foreign Minister Adel al-Jubeir held brief talks with his Iranian counterpart Javad Zarif at the sideline of the Organisation of Islamic Cooperation meeting in Istanbul on Aug.1. Al Jazeera
Ex-Israel MK: Arab countries seek normalisation with Israel under guise of Al-Aqsa crisis
A number of Arab countries used the events at Al-Aqsa Mosque last month to continue their efforts to normalise relations with Israel, former Arab Member of the Israeli Knesset, Azmi Bishara, warned.Some countries, including Saudi Arabia, claimed that they were working on solving the crisis in Al-Aqsa Mosque, after the Israeli occupation increased “security measures” at the Muslim holy site. The Kingdom had also announced that it was because of its efforts that the measures were revoked. However, Bishara stressed that the Jerusalemites and the solidarity of the Arab and Islamic people with them is what compelled the occupation to retreat.Bishara went on to say that the Gulf’s siege on Qatar, where he lives in self-imposed exile, is an effort to settle an old score as Qatar stood with the Arab Spring revolutions whereas Saudi Arabia and the UAE supported the counter-revolutionary forces. Calls by these states for “secular Govt s”, Bishara said, did not mean that citizens would be allowed greater freedoms; rather that the authoritarian regimes would sanctify state leaders even more. He added that the issue of the Govt s’ fairness do not play a role in the struggle for influence in the region.middleeastmonitor
Israel to send gas to Egypt via Jordan: middleeastmonitor
Companies developing Israel’s natural gas reservoir are discussing a new route to export gas to Egypt through Jordan, Blomberg reported on Friday.“Israel’s Delek Group Ltd. and Houston-based Noble Energy Inc., the major stakeholders in the Leviathan gas field, are in talks to sell about 3 billion cubic meters a year to Egypt’s Dolphinus Holdings Ltd., according to Dolphinus’s co-founder, Alaa Arafa,” news site reported.“There is great potential for the Mediterranean to be a gas hub for the region and we want to be partners with Israel in this,” Arafa told Bloomberg.According to Bloomberg, gas would reach Egypt through Jordan instead of a direct pipeline through Egypt’s Sinai that has been inactive for years, Israeli sources said.
Israeli PM backs bill to declare war without Govt approval
Israeli PM  Benjamin Netanyahu is promoting a bill that would allow him to declare war with the approval of the Security Cabinet only, without getting Knesset support, according to the Jerusalem Post.Israel’s 2001 Basic Law requires a majority of MKs to approve any major military action, once the proposal has been put forward to the whole cabinet. Draft amendment seeks to reduce the approval needed to the ten members of the Security Cabinet only, without any notice given to the wider Govt . In some cases, all ten members would not even need to be present in order for the military decisions to be made.The Justice Ministry has defended the move as necessary in order to prevent information leaks, but it has been met with criticism in Israel. middleeastmonitor
Ex-UK PM Tony Blair ‘secretly bankrolled’ by the UAE
Tony Blair was “secretly bankrolled” by UAE while employed as the Middle East Envoy. Leaked emails obtained by a leading UK newspaper revealed that Blair was receiving millions of pounds from rulers in Abu Dhabi while holding the position of envoy of the Quartet for eight years until 2015.While his office, contacted by the Telegraph, denied that Blair benefited personally from his role as Middle East envoy, the leaked emails expose details of several meetings between Blair and his associates with the UAE which has led to the charge of conflict of interest to resurface once again.Questions over Blair’s connection with autocrats in the Middle East had been raised as early as 2011 in a documentary by British journalist Peter Oborne. Programme revealed Blair’s dubious business dealings, which raised allegations over conflict of interest. Blair was said to be on the payroll of the UAE and other despots in the region during the Arab Spring which saw millions of people rising up against many of the regimes in the region.These fresh allegations bring into sharp focus, once again, many of Blair’s controversial backers. His services to the autocrats in the region have seen Blair make more money after leaving Number 10 in 2007, than any former PM . middleeastmonitor
Syrian Govt  doubles territory under its control
Syrian Govt  has increased the size of the territory under its control by 2-and-a-half times in just two months, Russian Defense Minister Sergei Shoigu said on Sunday, as Syrian forces backed by regional allies and the Russian air force seized thousands of square kilometres from ISIL group in the centre of the country.Syrian Govt  forces supported by Iranian-organised armed groups and the Russian air force have recaptured much of the country's central Homs province from ISIL in 2017.Most of the province is desert. It contains several energy fields as well as phosphate minerals. aljazeera
Refugees and fighters in Lebanon's Arsal head for Syria
Buses carrying thousands of Syrian refugees and rebel fighters have begun leaving the Lebanese territory of Arsal for Govt  held areas of Syria, according to the Hezbollah-owned al-Manar TV station.The evacuation on Monday is part of a deal between rebels and Hezbollah, which ensures the safe passage of refugees and the fighters themselves.Previous deals have seen refugees head to rebel held territory but on Friday, the Lebanese security official overseeing the arrangements, General Abbas Ibrahim, said that a group of civilians would go to Assal al-Ward, an area just across the border from Arsal and held by the Syrian govt. aljazeera
Restaurant attacked by gunmen in Burkina Faso
An attack by gunmen on a Turkish restaurant that began late on Sunday left at least 18 people dead and eight wounded in the capital of Burkina Faso, a West African country that has seen a surge in violence by armed groups over the past few years.The figure was released early on Monday by Burkina Faso's communications minister Remi Dandjinou.There was no immediate claim of responsibility for the violence, which continued into early Monday. aljazeera
Protests, vigils around US decry white supremacism
Protesters decrying hatred and racism converged around the US on Sunday, saying they felt compelled to counteract the white supremacist rally that spiralled into deadly violence in Charlottesville, Virginia.A "Moment of Unity" was held in Charlottesville, giving citizens a chance to offer prayers and support for the victims. Bouquets were laid on the street where 32-year-old Heather Heyer died when she and other victims were mowed down as a car rammed a group of anti-racism and anti-fascist protesters.The man suspected of driving the car, James Alex Fields Jr of Ohio, 20, was charged with second degree murder and other crimes and is expected to appear in court on Monday.Other gatherings spanned from a planned march to US President Donald Trump's home in New York to a candlelight vigil in Florida. In Seattle, police made arrests and confiscated weapons as Trump supporters and counter-protesters converged downtown. aljazeera
Pakistan to back China on issues concerning Beijing’s core interests, says President Mamnoon Hussain
Pakistan President Mamnoon Hussain has assured his country’s firm support to China on issues concerning Beijing’s ‘core interests’ as he met with visiting Chinese Vice Premier Wang Yang in Islamabad.Hussain thanked China for sending a delegation to attend the commemoration of 70th anniversary of the independence of Pakistan, China’s official Xinhua news agency reported on the meeting. Pakistan and China are “iron friends,” he said, noting that Pakistan’s friendship with China forms the foundation of Pakistan’s foreign policy.He said Pakistan will continue to firmly support China on issues concerning China’s core interests, and enhance cooperation with China on international and regional affairs, the report said. The Pakistani president also pledged that Pakistan will actively join the Belt and Road Initiative and promote the construction of the USD 50 billion China-Pakistan Economic Corridor. India has opposed the CPEC as it traverses through Pakistan-occupied Kashmir. Wang said the relationship between China and Pakistan has maintained sound and stable development and become a model of country-to-country relations since they forged diplomatic ties 66 years ago. China is ready to make joint efforts with Pakistan to implement the important consensus reached between the leaders of the two countries, continue to deepen strategic mutual trust, and understand and support each other on issues concerning each other’s core interests, Wang said.PTI 

FLASH: VIEWS & NEWS
Opinion: Does Hamid Ansari need freedom to speak or is it Narendra Modi who craves it?; Apoorvanand
As India marks 70 years of partition, memories fresh of border bloodshed: Reuters
70 years on, digging a deeper hole in Kashmir: Salman Anees Soz
Missing Since 1947: Ghulam Fatima, a symbol of independence: Hamid Mir
70 years later: Kashmir still a snag in India-Pakistan relations:Bernard Smith
When Vande Mataram Becomes "More Important" Than Gorakhpur Tragedy for Crony TV Channels:Sam Jawed
#TruthOfGorakhpur: The Right-Wing Really Wants You to Believe Adityanath Is Innocent;Karnika Kohli
Stung by Ansari’s Observations, Modi, BJP Take Potshots at Outgoing VP:Ajoy Ashirwad Mahaprashasta
'Allah Is Owner Of Mosques': Owaisi Slams Clerics' Body
Erasing Kashmir's autonomous status:Ather Zia, Aljazeera
 Compiled and edited by Anwarulhaq (Released at: 9:09 PM)

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