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Sunday, 6 August 2017



Evening NEWS DIGEST
INDIA: Mob LYNCHING, HATE CRIMES
Jamaat-e-Islami Hind to provide legal assistance to lynching victims' kin
New Delhi: Jamaat-e-Islami Hind is planning to provide legal assistance to families of lynching victims, the Islamic body said. Mob lynching incidents can be best tackled through building public opinion and put "pressure" on the Govt through it to curb such incidents, a JIH statement said quoting its president Maulana Syed Jalaluddin Umri.  "We support public initiatives against communalism and for putting an end to mob lynching. No Govt can ignore popular and widespread public opinion," Umri said at a monthly press conference at the organisation's HQRS here. JIH secretary general Muhammad Salim Engineer said the organisation has identified certain states where mob lynching incidents have taken place and a plan is being prepared to tackle the issue.  "We will be meeting the heads of different religions in these states along with social organisations to promote communal harmony," he said. Formation of a 'Sadbhavna Manch' and activation of the legal cell of JIH for aiding victims of mob lynchings and their families will be part of the initiative, Engineer added. Incidents of lynching and attacks on members of the minority community by cow vigilantes, resulting in some deaths, have been reported from different states of the country in recent months. Umri said although PM  has condemned mob lynchings but the ground reality has not changed much. He demanded the Centre and states take stern measures to check such incidents.PTI /ET
Islamic body Jamaat-e-Islami Hind to provide legal assistance to kin of lynching victims: firstpost
JIH to give legal help to lynching victims' kin: greater kashmir
JIH to provide legal assistance to lynching victims’ kin: okhlatimes
JIH chalks out plan to counter mob-lynching:risingkashmir
Pune gau rakshaks attacked by Ahmednagar mob after intercepting tempo suspected of transporting cattle
7 gau rakshaks were injured when a mob of around 50 persons attacked them in Ahmednagar district on Saturday evening, according to media reports.The incident occurred when a tempo suspected of transporting cows for slaughter was reportedly intercepted near Shrigonda police station by the cow vigilantes.The gau rakshaks belong to the Pune-based group Akhil Bhartiya Krushi Gau Seva Sangh, according to Scroll. One of the members, identified as Shivshankar Rajendra Swami, said a team of 12 had come to Shrigonda taluka to lookout for vehicles illegally transporting cows to an animal market that is held in Kashti village on Saturdays, according to the report.Mid-day reported that Police Inspector Bajirao Powar said the gau rakshaks chased a tempo carrying cows from Pune, and when the tempo was parked within the Shreegonda police's jurisdiction, the men went to the police station."In the evening, when the gau rakshaks stepped out, a crowd of 20-25, including those running the tempo and local butchers surrounded the workers and attacked them," the report quoted Powar as saying.A DNA report said that the owner of the tempo, Wahid Shaikh, and driver Raju Fatrubhai Shaikh have been arrested under the Maharashtra Animal Preservation Act.Ahmednagar police said a case of attempt to murder has been registered at the Shrigonda police station, Indian Express reported.Ahmednagar DSP Sudarshan Munde said, "We have booked about 30 persons under Sections 307 (attempt to murder), 395 (dacoity) and other sections of the Indian Penal Code. Seven persons were injured in the incident. Investigation has been initiated to confirm the sequence of events and arrest the assailants," Indian Express reported. firstpost
In Pune, tempo held, mob attacks gau rakshaks in Ahmednagar, 7 injured
Mob allegedly attacks gau rakshaks in Maharashtra, 20 detained
MP moves bill to deal with lynching, vigilantism
New Delhi: Rejecting Govt argument that existing laws are enough to deal with mob lynching and cow vigilantism, a Rajya Sabha MP has now sought amendments to the penal code to provide stricter punishments for such crimes. Congress MP from Maharashtra Husain Dalwai has moved a private member's bill -- The Indian Penal Code (Amendment) Bill 2017 -- last week saying there can be "no culture of state indifference or impunity" in cases where a particular community becomes the target.Dalwai said there is a need to define hate crimes and vigilantism due to the “alarming rise” in attacks which are motivated by bias or prejudice due to religion, caste, choice of attire or eating. The bill envisages an imprisonment of up to five years for those involved in such crimes and life imprisonment in case there is death.“Such attacks are either driven by an ideology in which case it takes the shape of a hate crime or it is driven by an urge to take the law into their own hands and punish the victims on mere suspicion of an offence have been committed,” the Statement of Objects and Reasons of the bill said. deccanherald
BJP, Bajrang Dal in Bihar beef attack: ‘Our govt now’
Shahpur:The blocking of a truck and the alleged beating of at least one of the three men inside on suspicion of transporting beef in Bihar’s Bhojpur district was a well-planned move by BJP and Bajrang Dal workers who said they wanted to “produce proof” for police to take action against “illegal” meat traders. Bhuwar Ojha, BJP state executive committee member, said, “We had been telling police for some time about an illegal slaughterhouse in the Ranisagar area of Shahpur but they would not listen to us. Now that BJP is part of the state Govt, our morale has been boosted.”Ojha described Ranisagar and Bagahi, the only Muslim-dominated areas in the Shahpur assembly segment, as “the problem areas”. But, he said, the BJP’s top leaders in Bihar have asked him to ensure that “no untoward incident takes place”.“We are not staging any protests today because we hope for some action from police. We should not be protesting against our own Govt  now,” said Ojha, who had been kept in the loop by those who blocked the truck. Indian Express
Now cows are home: They are on roads, in fields,  Farmers worried, as are MLAs, 13-yrs after its anti-cow slaughter Act, MP struggles with stray cows
Nestled along a rocky hillock in Tikamgarh, this small village of about a thousand residents follows a fixed ritual at twilight. Before retiring for the day, men of Dumbar herd cows wandering in the village’s lanes into a makeshift enclosure, praying they won’t venture out at night. The cows don’t belong to them. The villagers don’t know who owns them either. The animals started appearing a few months ago, climbing over the hillock and destroying their fields. “Owners abandon them in the dark and they amble towards the village during the day,” rues Lakhan Pal, who tills five acres along with three brothers, and owns three cows of his own. Lamenting the damage caused to his fields where he grows black gram, he says, “Gai ki koi value nahin hai (cow has no value).”Dumbar is better off than neighbouring Chandooli and Pratappura, part of the same panchayat, which have no enclosures to hold the stray cows. “We simply chase them from one field to another,” says sarpanch Udham Yadav. The abandoned cows have become a source of friction in villages, 40-year-old adds. Recently, a farmer belonging to the dominant Brahmin caste in Dumbar village killed a cow after it entered his field.Mohan Tiwari, who is in his 20s, has been arrested under the anti-cow slaughter Act. Villagers say Tiwari went twice for a dip in the Ganga and held a puja, to “wash away his sins”. His father Bhumani Maharaj pleads to be left alone.Shankar Ahirwar, a Dalit whose cow was killed by Tiwari, says he had let it loose “because everyone does so during the day”. He also wonders, “I don’t know what would have happened had I killed a cow belonging to a Brahmin.” Though Ahirwar’s 9-acre fields sown with black gram are neatly fenced, cows keep making their way in.The growing problem of abandoned cows in the state was discussed in the Madhya Pradesh Assembly on July 21, with MLAs seeking immediate intervention. MLAs of the ruling BJP led the debate, regretting that cows were now being abandoned for good unlike earlier when owners would let loose their cattle post-harvest and later get them back in a practice often called “era pratha”. During the debate, BJP MLA from Susner, Murlidhar Patidar, suggested that BPL families be asked to rear a cow each as they benefit from govt schemes. Slamming gau bhakts, BJP MLA from Chandla RD Prajapati said,“They keep shouting ‘cow is our mother’. When I ask them have you ever reared one… (they say) ‘not cow, but buffalo is our mother’!” Prajapati also told the House there were 20,000 stray cattle in his constituency. “Let there be no development in my constituency, but please manage (the problem of) stray cows,” he said. Bharatiya Kisan Sangh leader Shivkant Dixit says 35 to 40 of Madhya Pradesh’s 51 districts are affected by the problem of stray cows. One solution, he adds, is ensuring demand for cow milk, as well as its urine and dung.The state’s ‘Kanji’ houses, where impounded cattle are kept till reclaimed by owners, have also collapsed under the weight of unwanted animals. MPhas had a cow slaughter prohibition law (MP Gauvansh Pratishedh Adhiniyam) since 2004, when BJP was voted into power. An amendment cleared in 2012 by President puts the onus on the accused in a cow slaughter case, while raising the punishment for killing a cow from three years to seven.Cow vigilante groups like the Bajrang Sena admit an increase in the number of cows on the streets, and take pride in it being a result of “our campaign”. indianexpress
Avoid killing of cattle, Hyderabad Muslims told: Deccan Chronicle report
Hyderabad: Muslim scholars in the city have urged the community to avoid killing of cattle. The advice comes in wake of skirmishes over cow slaughter across the country. “When someone gets hurt by any act, it is better to avoid it. There are other ways and they can be practised,” noted a religious scholar at a meeting.Mohammed Khan, president of Jamaat-e-Islami Telangana and Odhisa, said that certain groups are using the issue of cow slaughter to rake up communal violence. “In such situation, the community should desist from killing the cattle for a year or two,” Khan said.  The meeting was attended by heads of various organisations and Muslim groups. A delegate, Sadiq Mohiuddin, said that there is unrest in the country over cow slaughter. “It is up to the community to do it or not. It is voluntary,” he said.  However, Muslim United Forum, an umbrella of several religious organisations and eminent religious personalities, has asked the Govt  to provide security during the festivals.  “Every year, during Bakri Eid, vehicles carrying cattle are stopped and the people are attacked. We urge the Govt  to provide security to prevent any communal flare-up," said Moulana Mohammed Raheemuddin Ansari, president of the MUF.
Umer Ilyasi  demands nationwide ban on cow slaughter
Demanding a nationwide ban on cow slaughter, chief imam of the All India Imam Organisation (AIIO) Umer Ahmed Ilyasi today said that cow should be declared as a "national animal". He also said that religious sentiments of a group towards cow should be respected."Beef is openly consumed in Kerala, Goa and northeastern states, whereas there is a ban on it in some states. We want that there should be a uniform law in the country that will ban the slaughter of cows. Besides that, cow should be declared as a national animal," Ilyasi told reporters here."Cow is a matter of faith for a religious group and all other communities should respect it," he added.Talking about Bihar Minority Welfare Minister Khurshid alias Feroz Ahmad chanting 'Jai Sri Ram' in the state assembly premises recently, Ilyasi said, "Chanting or not chanting 'Jai Sri Ram' is a matter of personal faith. But I believe that 'Bharat mata ki jai' or 'Jai Sri Ram' chants are acclamation of their victories," Ilaysi said."I don't find anything wrong in someone's glorification.We should come out of such petty mindset," he added.PTI
Bihar has only 2 legal abattoirs, all others to shut
Patna: After UP , Bihar has now decided to clamp down on all illegal slaughterhouses in the state. The state's animal and fisheries resources minister Pashupati Kumar Paras made this announcement on Saturday, which will mean closure of virtually all 140-odd abattoirs in Bihar.Only 2 slaughterhouses in the state are legal. "I have asked the department secretary to furnish a report on all slaughterhouses in the state — licensed as well as illegal — within a week.Based on the report and the norms governing the same, we would close down all illegal slaughterhouses," Paras, who is from LJP said. TOI.
Hate speeches made by Hindu groups, crosses desecrated: Goa on fanaticism alert
It was a Saturday morning in July. Agnelo Fernandes, a retired seaman and resident of Goa’s Curchorem village was dressed to go out, but decided to call a staff member of the local church before doing so, to check with him the schedule for a Mass to celebrate the local MLA’s birthday. The committee member told him about desecrations at the church cemetery. Fernandes rushed to the cemetery – one of his daughters is buried there. “When I reached, I found bones lying near the entrance. Some crosses had been broken and niches damaged. I made my way to my daughter’s grave and the niche we had made in her memory. The granite stone covering the niche was broken. Still it didn’t strike me. Then I saw the satin bag on which I had written her name, her date of birth and the date of her death, before putting her bones in it to preserve her memory, lying on the ground. It was then that I realised that the bones lying near the entrance were my daughter’s,” he says, with barely concealed pain. Last month Goa was jolted by a spate of desecration of crosses, causing grief and alarm to Catholics inthe state. There were also reports of a temple being vandalised. “The method of destruction was the same everywhere – the base of the cross was broken by hitting it with some heavy implement. More than 40 structures were damaged,” says Father Savio Fernandes, executive secretary of the Council for Social Justice and Peace, which has been engaged in fact-finding studies into the desecrations. In some places the headstones on the graves and niches – where families preserve the mortal remains of a departed member – were broken. Goa Police has arrested Francis Pereira, a resident of Curchorem for the desecrations and claimed that he has confessed to the crime. But more desecrations were reported after Pereira’s arrest.hindustantimes
J&K, INDIA-CHINA & PAK
BJP to alter Article 35A on permanent residents in J&K?
New Delhi: Away from the attention that Article 370 usually invites, a section of BJP sympathisers are steadily pushing the party's less-noticed promise of altering Article 35A of the Constitution, which empowers the J&K Govt  to define "permanent residents" of the state.The article enables the state to provide special rights and privileges that permanent residents can enjoy but has been criticised by BJP as a provision that encourages alienation, deepens the concept of a separate identity and creates a political gap between J&K and the rest of India.Under the Article, state laws have barred non-residents from purchasing land in the state and the issue is in focus with a Kashmiri woman, Charu Wali Khan, recently filing a petition seeking changes in the constitutional provision as she wanted succession rights though she is settled outside the state.Responding to her plea, the Supreme Court sent notices to the Centre and state last month. Woman has argued that the state's laws, flowing from Article 35A, have disenfranchised her. Advocate General K Venugopal told the bench of Chief Justice JS Khehar and Justice DY Chandrachud that the petition against Article 35A raised "very sensitive" questions that required a "larger debate".The court referred the matter to a three-judge bench and has set a six-week deadline for final disposal. The bench is likely to deliver its verdict in Sept.first week. Union minister Jitendra Singh said that since the matter was sub judice, one should wait for the court's verdict. He said the court verdict would be binding on all. State BJP leaders are vocal about their views as they strongly feel that Article 35A should be repealed. timesofindia
BJP mulling changes in Article 35A on ‘permanent residents’ in J&K ?
In J&K, an advocate held in police lockup “without charges” since two weeks
Jammu: Family of a Doda-based lawyer and social activist Babur-ul-Islam Nehru has alleged illegal detaining of Nehru by J&K  police since July 22. Family members claimed that Nehru was picked by J&K police in Jammu district as he was coming out of the mosque in Christian Colony after offering morning prayers.“He was picked outside the mosque and was first taken to Gandhi Nagar police station. Later, he was shifted to another police station and now he is presently lodged in Akhnoor police station,” Babur’s brother Abdul Mateen Nehru said. Family has claimed that in last 2 weeks, Babar has been shifted to three different police stations.“When I went to meet him at the police station, he told me that a senior police officer had visited him and told him that he is a threat to peace and can become militant commander of some militant organisation in Chenab Valley in the next two years. I don’t know how he is a threat when he was doing his regular job and social work,” Mateen informed.The family is presently camping in Jammu to seek the release of their son and has alleged police of fabricating false case and putting him in jail on one pretext or the other. Importantly, Babur had resigned from the post of Legal Assistant in J&K Govt  on June 29, earlier this year and had resumed his regular practice at Doda court.When TCN contacted Akhnoor Police Station, officer on the line confirmed his presence in their lockup and said, “Yes, he is in our police station.” When asked about the charges he has been put in jail, he said that it is confidential and can’t tell it over the phone.TCN
Shabir Shah’s aid Aslam Wani arrested from Srinagar
Enforcement Directorate on Sunday arrested Mohammad Aslam Wani, an alleged hawala dealer, in connection with its about a decade-old money laundering case against Kashmiri separatist Shabir Shah.A senior official in central probe agency said Wani was arrested from J&K's summer capital Srinagar by the ED with the help of the state police. Official said Wani (36) is being flown in from Srinagar and will be produced by evening before a special judge in Delhi for his further custody.ED had recently got a non-bailable warrant (NBW) issued against him from a Delhi court. ED had issued multiple summonses for his appearance in the case, but he never appeared. The warrant has been executed and Wani will now be confronted with Shah and others in order to take the probe forward. Shah, now in ED custody, was similarly arrested by the agency from Srinagar on 26 July. The Quint
Army On Terror Hunt: Schools Shut, Clashes, 3 civilians injured in north Kashmir
Srinagar: Authorities today shut educational institutions in north Kashmir after the killing of 3 Lashkar-e-Toiba militants sparked spontaneous protests in parts of the Valley during which at least 3 civilians were injured in Army firing.Officials said following specific information about the presence of militants in Jamia Mohalla, Amargarh locality of Tarzoo in Sopore, a joint team of police, 52 RR and 92, 177, 179 BN CRPF cordoned off the area and launched the operation which ended with the killing of militants”.They said two locals militants and a suspected Pakistani national affiliated with the Lashkar were killed in an encounter. They were identified as Javed Ahmad Dar of Khanpora, Baramulla and Abid Hamid Mir of Hajin Bandipora while the identity of the third suspect is being ascertained, police said."A cache of arms and ammunition have also been recovered from the militants," a senior police officer said. The killing sparked spontaneous protests in the native villages of the slain local militants where a complete shutdown is being observed, forcing the authorities to shut down all the educational institutions in north Kashmir. “Educational institutions have also been shut in Sopore, Hajin and Sumbal areas of north Kashmir. A police constable was injured during the encounter and he was shifted to a hospital where his condition is stable,” the officer said. Meanwhile, at least 3 youth were injured after army opened fire in Saderkoot Bala area of district Bandipora today, allegedly after being attacked with stones.Earlier, protests broke out in the area against the killing of the militant Abid Hamid Mir in the encounter at Amargah. thecitizen
Abu Dujana helped set up al Qaeda in India: Zakir Musa in purported statement
Srinagar:Slain militant commander Abu Dujana was the “first martyr” in the war for an Islamic Kashmir and helped set up an al Qaeda cell in India, the global terror outfit’s valley chief Zakir Musa has allegedly claimed.Musa, a hardline militant, said in a purported statement on Friday that Dujana and Arif Lelhari, both of whom were killed by security forces on Aug.1, had left the Lashkar-e-Taiba to join the al Qaeda, once led by Pakistan-based terrorist leader Osama bin-Laden.HT could not verify the authenticity of the video message but officials said the voice matched earlier audio clips released by Musa, who left the Hizbul Mujahideen this year. hindustantimes
China daily warns of PLA might, ‘small-scale operation in 2 weeks’
Beijing/new Delhi: China is planning a “small-scale military operation” to “expel” Indian troops from the Doklam area “within 2 weeks”, an article in the State-run Global Times said here Saturday. “China will not allow the military standoff between China and India in Doklam to last for too long, and there may be a small-scale military operation to expel Indian troops within two weeks, Chinese experts said after six ministries and institutions made remarks on the incident within the past 24 hours,” the article in the daily run by the Communist Party of China said.Quoting Hu Zhiyong, a research fellow at the Institute of International Relations of the Shanghai Academy of Social Sciences, the article said, “Series of remarks from the Chinese side within a 24-hour period sends a signal to India that there is no way China will tolerate the Indian troops’ incursion into Chinese territory for too long.”“Chinese side will inform the Indian Foreign Ministry before its operation,” he told Global Times. Hu also said India would have to “bear all the consequences”, and that ties between the 2 countries were “severely damaged”. While there was no official response from the Ministry of External Affairs, Indian Govt  sources downplayed the threat and said they did not wish to add anything beyond what was said by ministry spokesperson Gopal Baglay on Friday and External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj on Thursday. “We have already said that war is not an option, and diplomatic channels are being used to defuse the situation. I think we will stick to that position, and not respond to such provocative articles in the Chinese media,” a top Indian diplomat said.An Indian source well-networked into Chinese think-tank circuit told Sunday Express that Hu is “a known India-baiter”, but “does not speak for the Chinese military establishment”. “I have met him at several conferences in China, he is quite condescending towards India, and negative in his views. But he is not a surrogate for the People’s Liberation Army (PLA),” he said, adding that Hu belongs to a provincial think-tank and not a Central think-tank. indian express
Sikkim standoff: China prepared for military confrontation, will ‘annihilate’ all Indian troops, says Chinese media
Way out of Doklam is to let Bhutan handle it with China: Karat
New Delhi:“India must seriously consider ways to diffuse the situation with China And the key lies in our accepting that this issue is between Bhutan and China and leave it to the Bhutanese to handle it,” said former general secretary CPI(M) Prakash Karat.In an interview on the India-China face off in Doklam, Karat said that New Dehi does not seem to be understanding the seriousness of the Chinese intentions. He said that China had spelt this out clearly in its official document and made it clear that India has no jurisdiction in its view at all. Beijing has repeatedly urged New Delhi to withdraw its troops from Doklam, and made it clear that any negotiations can only follow, and not precede this. Karat said that the Govt was downplaying the issue, and it does seem as if some troops have been withdrawn. But clearly this is not enough for Beijing to climb down and the best way out of this impasse would be for India to move out and allow Bhutan to step in and negotiate directly with the Chinese about the construction of the road and related issues.THE CITIZEN
OTHERS
Supreme Court to hear Ayodhya matter from Aug. 11; also deliver verdict on triple talaq case
New Delhi: Agreeing to early hearing on a bunch of petitions relating to the dispute over ownership of 2.7 acres of Babri Masjid-Ram Janmabhoomi land,Supreme Court has posted the case to Aug.11.Appeals challenging the Allahabad High Court verdict on the disputed land will be heard by a 3-judge bench. The matter was mentioned before Chief Justice J S Khehar on July 21 by BJP leader Subramanian Swamy who sought early adjudication of the decades-old dispute.CJI had assured Swamy of early listing and the case has now been posted for next week. "We are going to list the main matter soon. We will take a decision on it, "CJI had said.Apart from starting hearing on the vexed issue, the SC is also slated to deliver its verdict on the constitutional validity of triple talaq. timesofindia
Modi, Yogi Thanked with Rakhis for Raising Triple Issue
A group of women in UP  decided to send Rakhis to Narendra Modi and Yogi Adityanath ahead of Rakshabandhan. Women want to show their gratitude towards the 2 leaders for expressing concern for Muslim women in India who face a deplorable life due to Triple Talaq. Women praised Modi and Yogi for raising their voices against the practice.These women expressed their grief for all those women who have been married for 10-11 years with children, but are driven out of their home by their husband because of Triple Talaq. thequint
‘MLAs will be flown to Gujarat, will not meet Sonia in Delhi’
Bengaluru: Gujarat Congress MLAs, kept at a private resort near here, would be flown back to their home state directly and not to Delhi as has been reported by a section of the media, party sources said here on Sunday.Gujarat Congress had sent 44 of its MLAs here on July 29 to fend off the “poaching” attempts by the BJP, ahead of the August 8 Rajya Sabha poll in that state, in which Ahmed Patel, the political secretary to Congress chief Sonia Gandhi, is contesting.Denying the reports that the MLAs would first be flown to Delhi to meet Sonia Gandhi, Congress spokesperson Shaktisinh Gohil said they would be returning to Gujarat “directly”.However, he declined to disclose when would the MLAs return to Gujarat. “One thing that has been decided is that all of us (the 44 MLAs) will fly to Gujarat, not Delhi,” he said.PTI
Decoding Naidu's easy win in vice-presidential election: Will 2019 Lok Sabha polls be a boring affair?IndiaToday
New Delhi: BJP candidate for vice-presidential election M Venkaiah Naidu polled 516 votes and raced to an easy win against Opposition candidate Gopalkrishna Gandhi.Of the total votes polled in the vice-presidential election, Gopalkrishna Gandhi secured 244 with reports suggesting that several MPs from the Opposition camp cross-voted in favour of Venkaiah Naidu.As Vice-President of India, Naidu will be the Chairman of Rajya Sabha, where BJP recently overtook the Congress as the largest political party with 58 MPs.Sonia Gandhi-led Congress currently has 57 members in the Upper House. However, with the Rajya Sabha elections for the 9 seats from Gujarat (3 seats) and West Bengal (6 seats) scheduled to take place on August 8, the BJP's tally in the House is set to go up. With Nitish-led JDU back with the NDA, BJP has got a big boost in the Rajya Sabha.In the Lok Sabha, BJP alone has 282 members out of the total House strength of 543.Of the 29 states, BJP itself or in alliance with another political party under the NDA has CM s or deputy CM s in 18 states, Bihar being the latest entrant in the list.  Politically, things have never looked better for the BJP, be it in Parliament or in Legislative Assemblies.Just a look at the numbers and the recent instances of leaders from the Opposition camp joining the BJP shows which way the wind is blowing.Many political analysts are of the view that 2019 Lok Sabha elections are going to be the most boring elections in recent times with the BJP consolidating its vote share in crucial states.With a BJP Govt  in place, party has better chances of reaching out to more people ahead of the 2019 Lok Sabha elections.With a Govt  in alliance in Bihar,BJP's prospects in state in 2019 look brighter.
Naidu becomes VP-elect, 20 opposition MPs vote in his favour
Tolerance has to become an essential national virtue:Ansari
Bengaluru: Tolerance has to become an essential national virtue to promote harmony transcending sectional diversities, Vice-President M Hamid Ansari on Sunday said. Tolerance is a pragmatic formula for the functioning of society without conflict between different religions and political ideologies, among others, he said speaking at the 25th annual convocation of the National Law School of India University here.Yet, he said, tolerance alone is not a strong enough foundation for building an inclusive and pluralistic society and it must be coupled with “understanding and acceptance”. In this regard, he recalled Swami Vivekananda’s words, “We must, not only tolerate other religions, but positively embrace them, as truth is the basis of all religions.” The challenge also is to emphasise that equality has to be substantive, that freedom of religion be re-infused with its collectivist dimensions, he added. “Also toleration should be reflective of the realities of Indian society and lead to acceptance,” he said. Further, he said “version of nationalism” that places cultural commitments at its core promotes intolerance and arrogant patriotism.“Version of nationalism that places cultural commitments at its core is usually perceived as the most conservative and illiberal form of nationalism. It promotes intolerance and arrogant patriotism,” he said. PTI
Over 70 EVMs stolen in 3 states between 2003-2013: RTI
New Delhi: At least 70 EVMs were stolen in the states of Gujarat, Madhya Pradesh and Chhattisgarh between 2003 and 2013, an RTI activist has found in response to his query.The reply received by Congress member and activist Tehseen Poonawalla on Friday stated that during the 2003, 2008, and 2013 assembly elections in MP, a total of 15 EVMs were stolen, while Chhattisgarh reported "loss/ destruction" of 56 EVMs during looting by Maoists rebels during the 2003 and 2008 elections. One EVM was reported missing by Gujarat in 2007. The loss of that EVM led to an enquiry by the state commission and lie-detector tests were performed on the persons responsible for the safety of the machine, the reply read. All the information was provided by the respective state offices of the Election Commission. Poonawalla said that RTI reply undoes the ECI's argument which says, he continued, that EVMs cannot be tampered with because they are put under heavy security. "Today with these RTIs, I have proved EVMs are regularly being stolen and with reverse engineering, the source code can be obtained and results obtained," Poonawalla told IANS. He said that the Election Commission of India is regularly "shifting goal posts" on the question of fragile mechanism of the EVMs. He also said that EC should place an EVM before Parliament and allow technical experts to check whether it can tampered with. IANS
Nitish's U-turn most vivid example of crass opportunism: Jamaat
New Delhi:Jamaat-e-Islami Hind strongly criticized Bihar CM Nitish Kumar for his overnight switchover to the saffron camp even though he had got the political mandate for a secular coalition. "The political U-turn adopted by the Bihar Chief Minister in tying the coalition-knot with the BJP will go down in history as one of the most vivid examples of crass opportunism and complete contempt and disregard to democratic norms and the political mandate under which the Bihar electorate brought the JDU-RJD-Congress coalition to power," said top leaders of Jamaat-e-Islami Hind at their monthly press briefing on Saturday.Jamaat termed Nitish's move as "political corruption"."This murky affair is not only political betrayal at its worst but also a kind of "political corruption" that will devour the vital entrails of our democracy," said Maulana Syed Jalaluddin Umari, president of Jamaat.Jamaat leaders said that his act will weaken people's faith in democracy."This episode is bound to damage the people's "faith in democracy" and will make the electorate even more sceptical of their decisive power in shaping the contours of the govt that comes to power," they said.Jamaat also condemned the political development in Gujarat from where Congress party had to move its MLAs fearing their poaching by the ruling BJP.indiatomorrow
Nitish to provide funds for infrastructure development in 2,200 madrassas in Bihar
Patna: Bihar CM Nitish Kumar has decided to provide financial assistance for development of infrastructure in around 2,200 madrassas across the state."Funds, to be provided by the state's minority welfare department, will be used on construction of additional classrooms, toilets and providing drinking water facilities in all those madrassas which are in very poor condition," state's chief secretary Anjani Kumar Singh said here on Saturday.This is for the first time that the state govt is going to provide funds for infrastructural developments in the privately-run madrassa. Expenses on madrassas' infrastructural development is usually met from the contributions and donations collected from the community. So far, the Bihar govt had been providing only grant-in-aids to around 1,000 Govt  approved madrassa, that too only for payment of salary of their teachers and other employees.The decision to provide govt funds for infrastructural developments in madrassas was taken during a review meeting of the minority welfare department here on Friday. CM Kumar chaired the review meeting.Informing about the decisions taken at the review meeting, the chief secretary said, a majority of madrassas in Bihar are in very poor condition. Some of them are running in huts or thatched houses. Many of them don't have proper drinking water facilities. "Govt has now decided to provide funds for their infrastructural development. The funds will be provided to only those madrassas which are affiliated to the state Govt ," the chief secretary said.Sitting beside chief secretary, minority welfare department's principal secretary Amir Subhani said the department was preparing budget for providing funds to madrasas.On being asked as to how much fund has been earmarked for the purpose, chief secretary said, "There would be no shortage of fund for the purpose. Govt would provide as much fund the madrassas will require for their infrastructural development."Singh said the state Govt  has also decided to enhance the amount of financial assistance to a minority abandoned women to Rs 25,000 from the existing Rs 10,000. This assistance is provided once in a life to a minority abandoned women under the Mukhyamantri Alpasankhyak Mahila Sahayata Yojna.Govt also decided to extend the assistance of Rs 10,000 to those madrassa students who pass matriculation and intermediate examination with first division.Earlier this assistance was provided only to the students of govt-run schools. Timesofindia
Chandigarh police shockingly drop serious charges against BJP chief’s son, releases him in stalking case
In a shockingly development, the police in Chandigarh has dropped serious criminal charges against the son of the state BJP chief, Subhash Barala, in the stalking case involving an IAS officer’s daughter.The BJP chief’s son, Vikas Barala, and his friend were arrested on Saturday for stalking and attempting to kidnap an IAS officer’s daughter. 3 charges that have been dropped against the two are IPC sections, 341, 365 and 511, reported India Today. IPC Section 341 deals with wrongful restraint while Section 365 is related to “kidnapping or abducting with intent secretly and wrongfully to confine person.”  Section 511 of the IPC relates to “punishment for attempting to commit offences punishable with imprisonment for life or other imprisonment.”Legal experts feel that these charges were dropped to facilitate the alleged stalkers’ quick release from police custody. Senior lawyer Ranjan Lakhanpal told India Today, “Under these sections, the police did not have power to grant bail and release the accused. The charges were serious and the Sections added were non-bailable.”He said that cops had ‘bypassed the judiciary’ adding that ‘it seems attempts were being made to weaken the case as the accused are from influential families.’The incident had gained huge media attention after the father of the victim, senior IAS officer in Haryana Govt , wrote a heartfelt Facebook post explaining why he had decided to pursue the matter. He wrote that he ‘will be failing in his duty as a father to my daughter if I did not stand with her completely in this matter.’Janta Ka Reporter
Swiss banks to share info with India on suspected black money hoarders
New Delhi/Berne: Switzerland found India’s data security and confidentiality laws “adequate” for entering into an automatic exchange of information pact, which will open a continuous access to details about alleged black money hoarders in once-all-secret Swiss banks.In a detailed notification and fact sheet published in its official gazette for introduction of “automatic exchange of information relating to financial accounts with India”, the Swiss government has also cited decisions by other financial centres like Liechtenstein and Bahamas to enter into similar pacts.Besides, Switzerland also took note of the US tax authority, the Internal Revenue Service (IRS), recognising India among the countries that provide an “adequate degree” of data protection for mutual exchange of tax information.PTI
ATS arrests Bangladesh-linked terror suspect from Muzaffarnagar
Meerut: UP  ATS arrested a terror suspect, Abdullah-Al-Mamon, from Kutesara village in Muzaffarnagar district on Sunday.According to ATS, "Abdullah is originally a resident of Momin Shahi district of Bangladesh and was linked to banned terror organisation - 'Ansarullah Bangla Team' (ABT). He was staying in this region since 2011 and frequently travelled to Saharanpur and Deoband in particular. During questioning, he revealed that his main task was to settle the members of ABT in India by providing them with fake Aadhaar IDs and other documents." Currently, police of 3 districts - Saharanpur, Muzaffarnagar and Shamli -- are conducting massive search operations under DIG, Saharanpur Range, to nab more sleeping modules active in the region and who are in touch with Abdullah.Cops also seized fake stamps of village pradhans, district election officer and other administrative authorites to create fake IDs from the arrested suspect.TOI
Coimbatore: NIA grills trio for suspected links with IS
Kochi: Sleuths of NIA apparently stumbled upon fresh evidence relating to latent IS-related activity in the South when they took into custody 3 persons, including an Alappuzha native, on Friday following searches at their residences. Trio — a native of Kidangamparambu in Alappuzha and residents of Ukkadam and Karumbukadai in Coimbatore — came under the NIA scanner after the agency received ‘reliable information’ on them being in touch with IS handlers who are part of the Kanakamala (Kannur) terror module on social media platforms. Alappuzha native was working at a computer shop in Vyttila, Ernakulam. All 3 were grilled by the agency in separate locations, but their arrests had yet to be recorded, it was learnt. “One of 3 persons whose premises have been searched has admitted that he had been in regular contact with Abdul Rashid Abdullah, accused in the other IS-related cases of NIA (sic),” the agency said.Sources said the three suspects had been part of a group formed by Shajeer Mangalassery, aka Abu Ayisha, an absconder in the Kanakamala case who was reportedly killed in Afghanistan.the hindu
Conclusive proof that Mohammad Iqbal alias Travel Haq was IS member: Rajasthan ATS
Jaipur: Rajasthan ATS on Saturday said they have “conclusive evidence” that Mohammad Iqbal alias Travel Haq (32), who was arrested this February, sent money to the Islamic State (IS) and was its member.ATS filed a challan against Haq at the Jaipur district and sessions court on Saturday under various Sections of UAPA, Rajasthan ATS chief Umesh Mishra said.Haq, a resident of Chennai, was intercepted in Feb.while he was allegedly smuggling gold from Myanmar and entered the Northeast by road. Indianexpress
NIA arrests one over 2010 attack on Kerala prof for ‘blasphemous question paper’
New Delhi: NIA have arrested and booked a 47-year-old Kerala resident under terrorism charges for his alleged involvement in chopping off the hand of a college Professor back in 2010. The accused, identified as Mansoor Aliyar, hails from Ernakulam district and is believed to be a member of the PFI or SDPI.Nearly 31 people were accused of chopping off the hand of Professor TJ Joseph, who had allegedly ridiculed Prophet Mohammed in the Malayalam question paper prepared for the internal examination of B. Com students at Newman College, Thodupuzha, Idukki district. hindustantimes
Post note ban, Govt  focuses on expansion of currency presses, paper mills
New Delhi: With the sudden demonetisation decision exposing its chinks, the country's currency printing system is undergoing a complete overhaul, officials say.The system's capabilities were put to the severest test during last year's demonetisation, with millions of people standing in queues for long to get their quota of currency because the supply of new notes was slow in coming. Govt is now focussing on the expansion, indigenisation and upgradation of currency presses and paper mills, a top official told IANS. Burdened by the outdated technology of the printing presses and limited paper mill capabilities, the currency note printing system lagged way behind the demand long after the demonetisation process, announced last November, had concluded. IANS
11 Lakh PANs Deactivated By Govt . Is Your PAN Active? How To Find Out
Are you aware that more than 11 lakh PANs or Permanent Account Numbers have been either deleted or deactivated? As per rules, it is illegal for an individual to keep multiple PANs. Also, August 31, 2017 is the last date for linking Aadhaar with PAN. Explaining the rationale behind this the Govt  said: "The uniqueness of PAN is achieved by conducting a de-duplication check on all already existing allotted PAN against the data furnished by new applicant. Under the existing system of PAN, only demographic data is captured," it said from its Digital India account on microblogging site Twitter.It is paramount to check your PAN status and link the same with the biometrics-based identity number Aadhaar before the deadline set by Govt , say financial planners.Go to the Income Tax Dept's e-filing website - incometaxindiaefiling.gov.in. ndtv
PIL accuses JNU assistant professor of plagiarism: Delhi High Court seeks Centre stand
New Delhi: Delhi High Court has sought the response of the govt and JNU on a PIL accusing one of its assistant professors of plagiarism. A bench of Acting Chief Justice Gita Mittal and Justice C Hari Shankar issued notice to the assistant professor, who teaches Turkish language at the varsity, and sought his stand regarding the charges against him in the plea, which has also sought quashing of his appointment.The matter has been listed for hearing on Sept.21. During arguments, the bench asked the varsity how the assistant professor was appointed when he had scored only 33 out of 100 in the viva-voce (oral exam) conducted by Jamia Millia Islamia University where he had pursued a Diploma in Turkish Language. “He scored only 33 out of 100 in the viva and he is a professor. How,” the court asked.JNU said that he had scored over 70 marks out of 100 in his written exams.However, the petitioners, a Turkish language student of Jamia and a law student, contended that he had failed the course as he had scored only 33 out of 100 in the an oral exam conducted by Jamia. The petitioners have also alleged that the assistant professor had “plagiarised a literature work in Turkish language and published the same in 2012 with a title as ‘A new approach to Turkish language learning'”. indianexpress
2 Muslim youths who missing during Baduria-Basirhat riots in Bengal yet to be traced, families fear worst
Communal tensions in Baduria and Basirhat may have ebbed since July, but the effects are still being felt by the people in the region especially 2 Muslim families. During the riots, Alamgir Mondal, 26, and Arafat Gharami, 21, went missing and although it has been a month, the police are yet to even start an investigation in this regard. The lack of effort on the part of the Police also busts the right-wing narrative of the riots which sought to blame Muslims for all the damage and tried to show only Hindus as the victims.Alamgir Mondal worked as a labourer and belonged to the Akipur village of Basirhat block in Bengal’s North 24 Parganas. On July 4, when Baduria was simmering with communal tension after the controversial Facebook post, he stepped out for work to the nearby village of Tapatchar, which is under Harishpur police station. After that day, he never came back home. TCN
WORLD
Israel seeks to close Al Jazeera, ban its journalists
Israel's communication minister has announced that he has made a request to revoke credentials of Al Jazeera journalists and close the network's offices in Jerusalem.Ayoub Kara made the announcement on Sunday during a press conference, where Al Jazeera was barred from attending. Al Jazeera's Scott Heidler, reporting from Jerusalem on Sunday, said that the request to revoke the credentials cover all the networks journalists in both the Arabic and English channels. It was unclear when the request would take effect. Our correspondent reported that Israel is also seeking to shut down Al Jazeera's cable and satellite transmissions in the country.During the press conference, Kara also said that the interior ministry will also be involved in shutting down Al Jazeera's office in Jerusalem. Israeli PM Benjamin Netanyahu has been threatening to shut Al Jazeera's operations in the country, accusing the network of inciting violence against Israel.That includes Al Jazeera's reporting of the recent protests over the al-Aqsa Mosque compound. Rami Khouri of American University in Beirut, denounced the plan saying it is "very typical of regimes" in the region. "Regimes that want to control power will almost always go after two targets - the media and the foreigners. Everybody goes after the media." In recent months, Saudi Arabia and Jordan both shut down Al Jazeera bureaus as part of a coordinated diplomatic and economic campaign against Qatar, base of Al Jazeera's hearquarters. Al Jazeera's signal has also been blocked in UAE. Egypt, which is also part of the blocking group, banned Al Jazeera several years ago. Al Jazeera
Gulf blockade boosts local Qatar industries: aljazeera
While the blockade on Qatar by 4 Arab states has affected businesses, it has also created opportunities for the country. Qatar's industries relied heavily on imports, most of which used to come from its blockading neighbours, but since the crisis began two months ago, Doha has investigated how it can become more self-reliant and sustainable. At Don Construction Products, for instance, the workload has doubled in the last few weeks as the company tries to step up its manufacturing of construction chemicals.The blockade imposed by Saudi Arabia, UAE, Bahrain and Egypt has speed things up instead of slowing them down, Khashif Aijaz of Don Construction Products said."Our orders have increased and there is an above-proportional growth in the orders we are getting every day," Aijaz said."But at the same time, we are struggling with availability of raw materials, since we are importing raw materials from Europe, from China and from US.
UN slams 'disregard' for civilians after Yemen strike
A top UN official in Yemen has said reported Saudi-led air strikes, in which at least 12 civilians including children were killed, were an example of the "disregard" for civilians' safety shown by all sides in Yemen's civil war.At least 10 others were also wounded in Saada province after attacks on Friday on a house and a private vehicle, UN's Humanitarian Coordinator in Yemen Jamie McGoldrick said, citing reports from fellow aid groups.3 women and 6 children from the same family were killed in an air strike by the Saudi-led coalition on their home in the area, a local health official told the Reuters. aljazeera
Iraqi PM  Abadi rejects Muqtada al-Sadr call to dissolve Shia  militia Hashd al-Shaabi
Haidar al-Abadi, Iraqi PM , has rejected a call by Muqtada al-Sadr, the powerful Iraqi Shia leader, to dissolve a controversial militia involved in battling the ISIL group.Hashd al-Shaabi, a Shia unit alternatively called the Badr militia, was established in 2014 with the avowed purpose of fighting ISIL, after it captured vast expanses of territory in northern and western Iraq."Hashd al-Shaabi … is for Iraq and will not be dissolved," Abadi said in the capital Baghdad on Saturday."The next phase after liberating the land from Daesh is the battle of the unity of word." Hashd al-Shaabi has faced accusations of abuses against civilians in Sunni-majority areas.Speaking to supporters on Friday, Sadr called for dissolving Hashd al-Shaabi and absorbing its fighters in the Iraqi army.Sadr issued the statement after his visit to Saudi Arabia, where he held talks with the kingdom's leadership.He met Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman in the Red Sea port city of Jeddah and discussed issues of common interest, Reuters news agency reported on July 30.Sadr, an anti-American figure, commands a large following among the urban poor of Baghdad and the southern cities, including Saraya al-Salam, or Peace Brigades militia.He is now seen as a nationalist who has repeatedly called for protests against corruption in the Iraqi govt, and his supporters have staged huge protests in Baghdad calling for electoral reform. Aljazeera
Senior Hamas delegation arrives in Tehran
A 4-member senior delegation from the Palestinian Islamic Movement (Hamas) arrived in the Iranian capital, Tehran, on Friday to take part in the swearing in ceremony of newly elected President Hassan Rouhani.Palestinian media sources reported a statement by Hamas confirming that the delegation was headed by Izzat al-Reshiq and included Saleh al-Arouri, Zaher Jabarin and Osama Hamdan.The statement said the visit was in response to an invitation from the Islamic Republic of Iran to the head of Hamas’ Political Bureau, Ismail Haniyeh, and the leadership of the movement to attend the swearing in ceremony.Hamas said that it has sent a senior delegation to take part in the ceremony to honour Iran’s support for the Palestinian resistance and national rights.“Our participation confirms our movement’s resolve to strengthen our relationship with the Islamic Republic of Iran for the benefit of the Palestinian people and their just cause,” it said.middleeastmonitor
Myanmar: Buddhist nationalists attack Muslims, raise new fears among minority Rohingyas: Reuters
 Yangon:Religious tensions are on the rise again in Myanmar, after masked assailants attacked young Muslims and nationalists led by Buddhist monks set up protest camps in major cities this week.While the Muslim minority is buffeted by outbreaks of mob violence and places of worship have been shuttered, a small but vocal group of nationalists say the fledgling Govt  of Aung San Suu Kyi is failing to stand up for the Buddhist majority. In the early hours of Thursday, a group of about 30 people armed with sticks and swords entered the Muslim-majority Sakya Nwe Sin neighbourhood in the former royal capital,Mandalay, according to a resident.A local administrator said two young Muslim men were injured, but authorities insisted the incident was not sectarian.“That was just a fight between youngsters,” said Police Major Maung Htay.“But they were swearing in the quarter so it sounded like insulting the quarter’s residents.”However, Mandalay residents told Reuters the incident had stirred fears of a repeat of deadly communal violence that hit the same neighbourhood in 2014.
Myanmar Govt panel  dismisses claims of abuse against Rohingya Muslims
A Govt -appointed commission has cleared Myanmar security forces of systematic rape, murder and arson against Rohingya Muslims, dismissing UN allegations of widespread abuses during a recent crackdown. The commission examined the deadly violence which began in northwestern Rakhine state in October last year after suspected Rohingya fighters killed nine policemen in coordinated attacks on border guard posts near Bangladesh.In the ensuing military operation, security forces allegedly shot villagers at random, raped Rohingya women and burned down more than 1,000 houses. Hundreds were killed.The commission's findings were released as the Govt  is refusing to allow a 3-member UN mission to conduct its own probe into whether the security response amounted to "ethnic cleansing" of the stateless Rohingya minority. aljazeera
US: Mosque bombed during morning prayers
A mosque in the US state of Minnesota was bombed early on Saturday, while worshippers gathered inside for morning prayers. No one was injured in the attack at the Dar Al Farooq Islamic Center in Bloomington, but police say the imam's office had been damaged. FBI has launched an investigation into the attack, which took place at around 5am local time. Richard Thorton, the special agent in charge of the FBI's Minneapolis Division, said that the investigation will determine whether the incident was a hate crime and who may have been behind it. Thorton added that explosion was caused by an "improvised explosive device", and that investigators had recovered components of the device to figure out how it was put together. Worshippers managed to extinguish the blaze before firefighters arrived, according to a statement from the Muslim American Society of Minnesota. Group's director, Asad Zaman, told reporters that "a witness saw something being thrown at the imam's office window from a van or truck before the blast". Mohamed Omar, the mosque's executive director, added that the vehicle immediately sped away. Dar Al Farooq Islamic Center serves as a religious space and community organising platform for Muslim activists and leaders in the area, according to the Muslim American Society of Minnesota. Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR) urged Islamic centres and mosques across the country to step up security. aljazeera
Trump ‘appreciates’ China, Russia backing on N. Korea sanctions
WASHINGTON: US President Donald Trump on Saturday commended China and Russia for their support on a US-drafted resolution ramping up sanctions on North Korea, saying he "appreciates" their votes.“President appreciates China's and Russia's cooperation in securing passage of this resolution,” read a White House statement released after the UN Security Council's unanimous passage of the sweeping measures.“He will continue working with allies and partners to increase diplomatic and economic pressure on North Korea to end its threatening and destabilising behaviour.”Earlier, Trump touted new sanctions the U.N. Security Council approved for North Korea, saying they will have a “very big financial impact.” The Security Council unanimously approved the sanctions on North Korea, including banning coal and other exports worth over $1 billion. The U.S-drafted measure, negotiated with North Korea’s neighbor and ally China, is aimed at increasing economic pressure on Pyongyang to return to negotiations on its nuclear and missile programmes. thehindu
No coordination between Lebanon and Syrian armies against IS: Lebanese military source
Beirut : Lebanese army will not coordinate with the Syrian army to fight against Islamic State in the Lebanese-Syrian border zone, a military source told Reuters on Saturday, rejecting a local media report of direct military cooperation between the two. The source said the Lebanese army had the military capability to confront and defeat the group without any regional or international support.The presence of Islamic State and Nusra Front militants in pockets on Lebanon’s border is the biggest military spillover into the country from Syria’s civil war. An offensive launched last month by Lebanon’s Hezbollah – a key ally of Syrian President Bashar al-Assad – forced Nusra Front militants to leave for a rebel-held area in northwest Syria under an evacuation deal. Lebanese army did not take part in that offensive, but has been widely expected to lead an attack against the Islamic State pocket.On Friday Hezbollah leader Sayyed Hassan Nasrallah said an assault on Islamic State militants in the border zone would begin in a few days. He said the Lebanese army would attack Islamic State from the Lebanese side of the border while Hezbollah and the Syrian army would simultaneously attack from the Syrian side.Reuters
US-led strikes against IS claim another 21 civilian lives, toll reaches 624
Washington: US-led coalition fighting the Islamic State group in Iraq and Syria on Friday acknowledged another 21 civilian deaths in past air strikes, bringing the toll up to 624.In its monthly findings, coalition said it had completed investigations into 132 allegations of civilian casualties.“To date, based on information available, (the coalition) assesses that, it is more likely than not, at least 624 civilians have been unintentionally killed by coalition strikes” since the anti-IS campaign began in late 2014, the coalition said Friday.Aside from probing civilian death reports that come in from coalition pilots and through social media and other channels, military investigators also continued wading through a huge backlog of hundreds of allegations reported by the website Airwars.org. London-based collective of journalists and researchers has always had civilian death tolls that are wildly divergent from those acknowledged by the coalition.According to most recent Airwars tally, 4,734 civilians have been killed in coalition strikes.AFP
In Afghan Review, Trump's Frustration Carries Echoes of Obama Years:Reuters
WASHINGTON:Since taking office, US President Donald Trump has shown an affinity, and perhaps even a deference, to the generals he has surrounded himself with in his Cabinet and at the White House, save one exception: the war in Afghanistan.More than a dozen interviews with current and former US officials familiar with the discussions reveal a president deeply frustrated with the lack of options to win the 16-year-old war, described internally as "an eroding stalemate."The debate carries echoes of the same dilemma Barack Obama faced in 2009. Then, as now, odds are that Trump will ultimately send more troops, current and former officials say."It's the least worst option," one former US official familiar with the discussions said, speaking on condition of anonymity, while acknowledging that with Trump, a pullout cannot be completely ruled out.Trump's defense secretary, retired Marine Corps General Jim Mattis, has had the authority for nearly two months to add thousands more troops to the roughly 8,400 there now (down from a peak of more than 100,000 in 2011). Army General John Nicholson, commander of U.S. forces in Afghanistan, requested the troops back in February.But officials say Mattis won't use his authority until he has buy-in from Trump for a strategic vision for America's longest war. Beyond more troops for Afghanistan, the strategy would aim to address militant safe havens across the border in Pakistan.
FLASH: NEWS & VIEWS
Bhutan Stands By India, But Modi Is Weakening It: Mani Shankar Aiyar

Where is the opposition in India? Tabish Khair

If you are corrupt and with BJP, you have nothing to fear :N R MOHANTY
In Kerala, media lies are helping RSS spread propaganda:Every murder of RSS/BJP worker gets amplified in news while CPM casualties are conveniently played down or plainly ignored: Anand Kochukudy
Are we now looking at a fully evolved ‘Fascist’ India?Ruzbeh Hodiwala

All true patriots will welcome the Army tank in JNU:G. Sampath
Sharif Vs Imran Khan Slug Fest: Women Hurling Allegations Paraded by Both on TV:MOHAMMED RIZWAN
The Butterfly Effect Or Is It, Indeed, The Wrath of God!HUMAYUN GAUHAR, Pak based writer
Food Corporation lost Rs 35,701 crore during 2011-2016 because Govt  delayed payments, says CAG
Beyond minorities- Rethinking secular politics:Mukul Kesavan

Break Your Silence: 101 Christian Intellectuals to the Church in India
 

 Compiled and edited by Anwarulhaq (Released at: 8:33 PM)

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