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17 September 2017

17 Sept. NEWS DIGEST



Evening NEWS DIGEST
17 Sept. 2017: 25 Zilhajja 1438:Vol:8, No:279
In Rajasthan, BJP faces first serious challenge to its cow politics – from angry farmers
Prahlad Singh, a farmer from the Sikar district in Rajasthan, winced and pointed to the barbed wires surrounding his crop of bajra. “We need to put this up or awara, feral cows will eat up all my crop,” he said. “I spend thousands on this, what can I do?”Politics around the cow has taken centre stage in India of late, being one of the BJP’s main planks. The communal polarisation around the issue has helped the party do well electorally. BJP is now in the Govt of 16 states and, most recently, won UP, India’s most populous state. Yet, the cow is not only a religious animal in India – it is also an economic one. BJP’s focus on cow protection has hit the bovine economy hard. Farmers are finding it difficult to sell cattle. This means falling incomes and increasingly large herds of abandoned cattle that pose a threat to crops.This squeeze has resulted in a reaction from farmers in the Sikar district of Rajasthan. In response to a call from the All India Kisan Sabha, the farmer’s body of CPI(Marxist), since Sept.1, farmers gathered in large numbers at Agricultural Produce Marketing Committee Mandi in Sikar town. They also implemented a chakka jam, roadblock of the major highways crossing the district resulting in a near paralysis. The farmers were angry at their falling incomes. They demanded loans waivers, better prices and a let up in the draconian rules that now govern the sale of cattle slaughter in Rajasthan. On Thursday, 13 days after the agitation started, the Rajasthan Govt gave in to the movement and agreed to meet their demands.“Livestock is a farmer’s ATM,” said Amra Ram. “Anytime he needs money, he sells a cow or a goat.” The main face of the Sikar agitation, 61-year old Ram is a three-time MLA from the CPI(M) and National President of the All India Kisan Sabha.Ram explained how livestock is crucial to the life of a farmer. “Thirty % of a farmers income comes from selling milk and animals,” said Ram. “First notebandi hit the farmer severely. But he will still recover from that. You kill the animal trade and the farmer will never recover.”Livestock is especially crucial to Rajasthan given its status as an arid state with a low population density. As per 19th Livestock Census, 2012, Rajasthan had the second largest population of livestock of all the states across the Indian Union. However, of late, growth has plateaued. While from 2003 to 2007, the livestock population grew by 15.3%, the rate of increase between 2007-2012 was only1.9%.Bhagwan Bagariya, Kisan Sabha member and farmer from Badadar village, Sikar traced the inflection point to 1995, when BJP govt in Rajasthan had passed a stringent cow slaughter law (it was so strict that it upturned the dictum of innocent-until-proven-guilty and placed the burden of proof on the accused). Rajasthan even has a dedicated ministry for gau-kalyan, cow welfare.“Earlier when a bacchra, male calf, was born, the farmer was happy, his whole family was happy,” explained Bhagwan Bagariya. “It meant he would earn Rs 20,000-Rs 30,000 by selling it. But now that has nearly stopped. There are no buyers.”Bhagwan Bagariya pointed to the state of Rajasthan’s large animals fairs to buttress his point. “Once the animal fair in Naguar [around 3 hours from Sikar town] was the biggest in Asia,”he claimed. “But now it is barely anything.” The decline in the livestock trade, though, is not all due to the law. A large part is played by gau rakshak gangs, who often assault traders transporting cows, buffaloes and even goats. “Go raksha dals stop even farmers if we step out with our animals,” complained Gurdeep Singh from Rashidpura village in Sikar. “Due to this, animal traders have got scared and now they have stopped coming to our villages to buy our old cattle.”“Look what happened to Pehlu Khan,” pointed out Subhash Bagariya, a farmer from Badadar village. Khan, a dairy farmer, was lynched by a gau rakshak gang on April 1 in Rajasthan.While Khan named 6 people in a dying declaration, the Rajasthan Police claimed the names weren’t reliable and summarily closed the case. “If the gau raksha gangs will never be caught, why should a trader risk his life to buy and sell our animals?” Given that the cow plank has helped BJP politically, rather than pull back, the party has of late pushed it even harder. Scroll.in
‘Gau teerth’ village fears its ‘gau rakshaks’
Katarpur has a dwindling population of cows, and a memorial for ‘gau rakshaks’ “martyred” in 1918.99 years after that incident, to honour both, Uttarakhand Govt has decided to develop the village near Haridwar as a “gau teerth (cow pilgrimage centre)”.The proposal was made at a meeting last month between RSS functionaries and Uttarakhand Govt, including CM Trivendra Rawat and state Tourism Minister Satpal Maharaj. “We have agreed to develop Katarpur as a gau teerth. We are currently gathering the history of this village of cow-protecters, and will include it in the Uttarakhand tourism brochure,”Maharaj said.Rajendra Singh Chauhan is the chief of the village’s 11-member ‘Gau Rakshak Samiti’. Pointing to a miniature model of a cow in marble,at ‘Gau Rakshak Shaheed Smarak’, Chauhan says, “This is the exact spot where Muslims had tied cows to slaughter them on Bakr Eid, almost a century ago. British records mention that three Muslims were killed, but our ancestors told us many more Muslims were killed and a few Hindus died saving the cows from being slaughtered by Muslims.”A magazine published by the Gau Rakshak Samiti says that following the clash, four persons, including Chaudhary Mukkha Singh Chauhan, after whom a village road is named, were hanged to death.At least 136 more from Katarpur and 29 nearby villages were sentenced to 10 years, and sent to Kala Pani on Andaman & Nicobar Islands.indianexpress
PM’s statements on mob violence lack conviction: Mander
Jaipur : PM  Narendra Modi has the authority to control mob violence, but making general statements once every few months does not carry conviction, said noted activist Harsh Mander.He was talking on the sidelines of a press conference held on Friday to mark the arrival of ‘Karwan-e-Mohabbat’ (journey of love) in Jaipur. Civil society members and human rights activists have embarked on a nationwide journey to express solidarity with victims of mob lynching.“We can accuse our PM  of many things but we can’t accuse him of weakness. If he really is convinced that this kind of mob violence is wrong, he has the authority and he has the competence to control it,” Mander said.“Just making a general statement once in six months while all your official colleagues – union ministers, MPs, MLAs, and (state) home ministers on the floor of the House – continue to justify and support mob violence and police continue to act in partisan way, carries no conviction that the Govt  actually is opposed to this violence.”Mander said India Spend survey of reported cases of lynching post 2010 revealed that 97% of them happened after Modi’s Govt  came to power, and 86% people killed were Muslims and 8% Dalits.“We are seeing a pattern where political leadership has created a permissive climate for hate violence. There was always hate, but they couldn’t act upon it but now they have freedom to act,” he said.Members of the civil rights group decried that Rajasthan was the only state where the caravan was attacked. “The attack could not have happened if the police was not soft in its response. There is continuous appeasement of communal majoritarian community,” Mander said. The ‘journey of love’, traversing Assam, Bengal, Bihar, UP, Delhi, Haryana, Rajasthan and MP, will conclude at Mahatma Gandhi’s birthplace, Porbandar, in Gujarat on Oct.2, said civil rights activist Kavita Shrivastava.“We think there is a dangerous poison of fear and hate spreading in society. We have heard of a few cases but we have come to know that such incidents have taken place in many states,” she said.Activist John Dayal said today one could see that the dice was loaded against the Muslims.HT
For family of Pehlu Khan, man lynched by mob, mourning gives way to fear
New Delhi:Iddat or the period of mourning has been over for Jebuna Khan, but the grief of losing husband to lynch mob has not left her eyes.Dairy farmer Pehlu Khan’s widow says she is facing acute financial crisis and fear but the mother of eight children has vowed not to allow her children to buy any more cattle, be it cow or buffalo.“We have to cows and their 2 calves at home. I told my children not to try to get any more cattle under any circumstances. They can’t continue their father’s business. If possible, we will even sell our animals,” said Jeubna. Ever since Pehlu Khan was lynched in Rajasthan’s Alwar on April 1, Jebuna has hardly gone out of her home in Haryana. “I have not spoken to the police or any authorities. My world is destroyed. I now fear for the life of my children. My eldest son tells me that people are threatening him,” she weeps, while her youngest son sits on her lap. hindustantimes
In Alwar district, stones thrown at Karwan-e-Mohabbat
Karwan aims to bring back sanity & communal harmony
Activists flag ‘weak’ cases against cow vigilantes
Civil rights groups outraged by Pehlu Khan case closure
Amnesty urges authorities not to let-off cow vigilantes involved in lynching of Pehlu Khan
New Delhi: Responding to reports of the Rajasthan police clearing 6 men suspected of involvement in the lynching of Pehlu Khan, a dairy farmer falsely accused of being a cow smuggler, Asmita Basu, Programmes Director, Amnesty International India said: “Before Pehlu Khan died, he named six men – all members of groups with links to the ruling party - who he said led the attack on him. Rajasthan police’s conclusion that these men were not present at the scene of the crime must not now lead to impunity for the killing of Pehlu Khan.” “Civil society groups have alleged that the Rajasthan Govt is under pressure to shield vigilante 'cow protection' groups. Authorities must ensure that the investigation into this brutal crime is conducted independently and impartially. Otherwise, they risk further undermining the rule of law in the state.”Farmers’ joint platform All India Kisan Sabha (AIKS) also condemned the “motivated investigation of CB-CID” saying it became evident now that any grave crime committed by a person related to the Sangh Parivar will be exonerated by any investigation agency in “present day India”. Risingkashmir
Veteran RJD leader, ex0Union minister Taslimuddin dies
Veteran RJD leader and party MP from Araria Lok Sabha seat, Mohammad Taslimuddin died at a hospital in Chennai on Sunday.Taslimuddin was 74. He is survived by his wife, 3 sons and 2 daughters.He died due to breathing problem, MP’s son Sarfaraz Alam, who is also an MLA, said.On August 24, RJD MP was admitted to the hospital after he suddenly developed breathing problem.He had gone to Chennai in connection with a parliamentary committee meeting.Bihar CM Nitish Kumar expressed his grief over the death of Taslimuddin. RJD president Lalu Prasad and other senior RJD leaders Rabri Devi, former Deputy CM Tejashwi Prasad Yadav, Tej Pratap Yadav, Raghuvansh Prasad Singh, Bhai Virendra and others expressed grief over Taslimuddin’s death.“Taslimuddin’s death has caused an irreparable loss to the party which will be difficult to fill,” they said.LJP chief and Union Minister Ram Vilas Paswan said he was saddened by the demise of Taslimuddin who was known for his “frank” and “candid remarks”.Taslimuddin, who was a prominent Muslim leader hailing from Seemanchal area in Bihar, has been an 8-time MLA besides being a 5-time MP. He also served as union minister of state for home in the past.PTI
UP govt extends deadline for registration of madrassas by 15 days:PTI
UP Govt  has extended the deadline for all madrassas of the state to register themselves on the state govt’s website by 15 days. The last date for registration is Sept.30,Minority Welfare Minister Laxmi Narayan Chaudhary said.He said there were some technical bottlenecks, which have been removed.“The last date for all madrassas of the state to register themselves by submitting all the relevant information on the website has been extended by 15 days,” Chaudhary said.“Till now, as many as 2,500 madrassas have uploaded all their information,” he said.The UP govt had on Aug.18 launched a website related to madrassas, and orders were issued to upload all the relevant information pertaining to the managing committee of the madrassa, teachers, students and other information by Sept.15. At present, there are 19,000 recognised madrassas in the state. As many as 4,600 partially-funded madrassas are there in the state, while the number of 100% funded madrassas in the state stand at 560.Welcoming the decision, general secretary of Teachers Association of Madaris Arbia (an association of madarassa teachers) Deewan Sahab Zama said, “This is a good move. It will give some more time to the madrassas to share all the relevant information. However, during uploading the details, there are some technical glitches.”
Naqvi’s sister, anti-triple talaq activist, gets death threats
Bareilly: Union minister and senior BJP leader Mukhtar Abbas Naqvi's sister, a prominent social activist who runs an NGO working for women affected by triple talaq, was on Saturday afternoon waylaid by 3 men in a car in the middle of the city, and given death threats.Farhat Naqvi, 35, who runs the Mera Haq Foundation, was on her way back home when the alleged incident happened, metres from Chowki Chauraha police outpost here at 12:30pm.While investigations have begun, Chowki Chauraha police discovered that CCTV cameras, which could have captured the incident, were not operational because there was a power cut in the area at the time, and no power backup was available." TOI
Communal tensions in Nadia district of W.Bengal over ‘beef in Hindu locality’, 4 Muslims injured in attacks:TCN
With Durga Puja just a week away, W. Bengal saw communal tensions again, this time in Nadia district, over accusations of the presence of beef in a Hindu locality. 4 Muslims were beaten up following this incident, of which one is in serious condition. The police have imposed Section 144 of IPC until further notice. On Friday, Hindus of Patikabari village located about 35 km from Nakashipara block and 166 km from Kolkata, marched towards the Nakashipara police station chanting ‘Jai Shri Ram’, ‘Bharat mata ki jay’ and abusive anti-Muslim slogans.They complained that Muslims of the village had left slices of beef in the Hindu colony of the village, namely Mathpara. Crowded mob, during their return through the Chenga village from the police station, broke the doors and walls of the village mosque at around 7.30pm. This led a tussle between the two communities in two villages.When we spoke to Murad Rahaman Mallick about his mishap, he said, “I was returning from Bethuadahari hospital with my cousin after meeting another cousin who was admitted to the hospital. The key of my bike was taken by some people who were about 300-400 in number. I recognised a few of them and some of them asked me my name. Then suddenly, somebody hit me with some rod or bamboos compelling me to say ‘Jay Shri Ram’. We ran away from the place leaving my bike,” he said.
Assam population policy criticised for being ‘anti-minority
Guwahati:A policy passed by the Assam assembly on Friday to check state’s growing population has received flak from state’s minority outfits for being ‘against the marginalised’. The resolution, passed by the house within hours of state health and family welfare minister Himanta Biswa Sarma moving it, seeks to bar those having more than two children from contesting polls, getting Govt jobs or benefits.Badruddin Ajmal, chief of the All India United Democratic Front, said the population policy bore marks of the RSS’ influence and targeted the Muslims and other marginalised groups.“Muslims are not even 1% of Govt  workforce, and the policy intends to shut them out of the limited job opportunities in the future. There is a perception that Muslims have more children, but the world knows illiteracy and poverty add to the numbers,” Ajmal said.“Least BJP Govt  could have done is educate people about the benefits of small families before trying to impose it on the people,” he added.In a statement, Oxfam India’s Nisha Agrawal had earlier said the population policy infringed upon the reproductive rights of women who could be forced into unsafe abortions.Congress found a ‘link’ between the policy and BJP’s move to bring Hindu migrants from Bangladesh to counter the perceived demographic invasion by Muslims who constitute 34% of Assam’s total population.HT
10 injured as clashes break out in MP's Shajapur town
Indore: Prohibitory orders were imposed in Shajapur town of Madhya Pradesh after at least 10 persons were injured as clashes broke out between groups over a dispute related to burial of a body on Saturday.Violence erupted at 3 places in the town prompting police to lob teargas shells and lathi-charge groups that pelted tones. The police gained control over the situation, but prohibitory orders were clamped under Section 144 preventing assembly of more than four people.Shajapur district collector Alka Shrivastava told reporters that the dispute started when members of a particular community attempted to bury a body on land of a cremation ground. "Graveyard was situated on survey number 246, while cremation ground was developed on survey number 244 behind Mangalnath temple," she said.Members of both the community came face-to-face over the issue, exchanging heated words. Shrivastava and other senior officials rushed to the spot and dug out records of the land, clarifying the position. Family of the deceased was asked on land - survey number 202- earmarked for the graveyard.While the burial was nearly over, participants of the funeral procession pelted stones a group, sparking violence in the area. Stones were also pelted at vehicles moving on the highway. "Members of both the groups will be summoned and a clear demarcation of the disputed area will be made to prevent such confusion," Alka Shrivastava said adding information about similar disputes related to religious places was also being collected.These will be sorted out soon.TOI
Prohibitory orders in MP town after communal clash
Will propose to Muslim Board  to ban  ‘fake’ Maulanas: Farangi Mahali
Imam of Lucknow Idgah and a member of AIMPLB, Maulana Khalid Rashid Firangi Mahali, said the community members have decided to take up the issue with the Board to identify and ban these so-called maulanas who have little knowledge about Islam and Shariat."Many of these self-made Muslim clerics can be seen appearing in TV debates on serious subjects pertaining to Islam and Shariat without having any proper knowledge. Their utterances create confusion among the community members and create unnecessary controversies,"Maulana said.He further said he will propose to the Board to ban all maulanas appearing on TV channels and to nominate their own representatives for such activities."This will help people and intellectuals to understand Islam and its practices better" he said. Commenting on the triple talaq controversy, the Imam said the matter went out of the Board's hands due to the statements issued by these fake maulanas who had no understanding of talaq in the light of Shariat.He also demanded framing of rules and laws for maulanas and other muslim clerics."One does not automatically become a cleric by wearing a sherwani, growing beard, and donning a skull cap. It requires qualifications and a thorough knowledge of Islamic laws,"Maulana said.When queried, AIMPLB Secretary and Legal Advisor Jafrayab Jilani said Board will certainly discuss the issue if the community members make a representation."Board has always played an active and positive role to dispel any doubts regarding Islam and Shariat.It will certainly act on any such proposal,"he assured. dnaindia
How has a marriage become a regional issue, asks family of Ladakh man
In a village of 55 houses and one mosque, Syed Mohammad Shah is wrapping up celebrations post his son’s wedding. Of his five sons, two were supposed to get married on September 14. However, only one of them could make it.Murtaza Agha, his third son, and his bride have gone “underground” since the Ladakh Buddhist Association (LBA) took exception to their marriage. Slamming Agha’s marriage to a Buddhist woman, they issued an ultimatum to Muslims from Kargil in Leh to leave town if she wasn’t “returned”. The incident has led to communal tension in Leh.Agha and Stanzin Saldon, now Shifah, got married earlier in court, but Shah had hoped that the two could have a nikah along with his younger son on September 14. “I last spoke to Murtaza a day before Eid (Sept. 2). He said he and his wife were safe and that we should not worry about them,” Shah says.Agha’s elder brother Syed Sajjad asks why the decision of 2 individuals to marry has become a regional issue, with communal undertones. According to him, while Saldon had converted to Islam in 2015, trouble began after the family came to know of the marriage. “Shifah called up her mother and informed her. Her relations with her family had soured after her acceptance of Islam in 2015 but she spoke to them now and then,” Sajjad says.After Shifah’s call, he says, her family approached police in Leh and subsequently LBA, and the matter snowballed.While Shifah’s family has defended its actions asking why she won’t talk to them, Sajjad says she is angry at them for having gone to police.Now Agha’s family has also lodged an FIR, stating that if any harm were to come to their son or daughter-in-law, “the LBA should be held responsible”. indianexpress
Indus Waters Treaty: Pakistan asks World Bank to set up arbitration court to settle issue
Islamabad: Pakistan has requested the World Bank to fulfil its obligation to establish a court of arbitration to settle its water dispute with India in the light of the Indus Waters Treaty.The request came after delegations of India and Pakistan met at World Bank HQRS in Washington on Sept.14 and 15 for the second round of talks on Ratle and Kishanganga hydroelectric projects, over which Islamabad has raised objections.Citing sources, the Express Tribune said that despite the passage of more than a year, the World Bank is not establishing the court of arbitration.Pakistan has now requested the World Bank to fulfil its duties under the Treaty by empanelling the Court of Arbitration, the paper reported.Earlier, the secretary-level talks between the two countries ended without any agreement.PTI
Will not sit idle till Masood Azhar is brought to justice: India’s UN envoy
New York:Hoping that the UN would soon designate Masood Azhar as a terrorist, a top Indian diplomat has said that New Delhi will not sit idle till the Pakistan- based Jaish-e-Mohammed leader is brought to justice.“If I were to use a term, the matter is what we would call in judicial terms sub-judice. Currently the matter is with a UN committee. We hope that the committee will be able to fulfil its role in designating Masood Azhar who we have tried for quite some time but have not succeeded yet,” India’s Permanent Representative to the UN Syed Akbaruddin said in New York.“However, we would like to make it very clear, we will pursue Masood Azhar so that the ends of justice are met,” he said at a news conference in response to a question on India’s effort towards terrorist designation of Azhar,which has repeatedly been blocked by China.“He (Azhar) may try to delay this, but the inevitable will happen. So be certain about it.The clock is ticking for him. He will be pursued until justice is met,” he said.PTI
Pak raising Kashmir at UN is like 'Miyan ki daud masjid tak', says Syed Akbaruddin
UN: Taking a jibe at Pakistan, a top Indian diplomat has said Islamabad's decision to raise the Kashmir issue at the UN, which has not been discussed at the world body for decades, is like 'Miyan ki daud masjid tak'.India on the other hand is focused on progressive, forward looking agenda during the UN General Assembly session beginning Monday, India's Permanent Representative to the UN Syed Akbaruddin told reporters hereon Saturday."I have outlined our approach, that is progressive forward looking. We are visionary in our goals. If on the other hand there are other countries, who as you say, focus on yesterday's issues then they are yesterday's people," Akbaruddin said in response to a question on reports that Pakistan plans to raise the Kashmir issue at the UN.Pakistan's new PM  Shahid Khaqan Abbasi is scheduled to address the UN General Assembly this week.PTI
39 Indians abducted in Mosul: Iraq PM says fate of workers unknown
Iraqi PM  Haider al-Abadi says the fate of 39 Indians captured by the Islamic State group when the extremists initially overran Mosul 3 years ago is still unknown.Al-Abadi says the situation is “still under investigation at the moment. I cannot comment any further,” in an exclusive interview with AP today.The abducted workers, mostly from northern India, had been employed by an Iraqi construction company. PTI
Jail staff assault: No more weekly meets for undertrials
Hyderabad: There will be no more weekly meetings with their families for the three high security undertrial prisoners, who attacked and clashed with prison staff at the Chanchalguda Central Prison on Saturday.Senior officials issued instructions to this effect to the jail staff minutes after they came to know about the attack. As they are on the list of high security category prisoners, Mohammed Ibrahim Yazdhani, his brother Mohammed Iliyas Yazdhani and Mohammed Attaullah Rahman alias Ghouse, all alleged ISIS sympathisers, are placed in a separate cell as per the jail manual.The trio’s security will be enhanced further,keeping in view Saturday’s attack, Chanchalguda Central Prison Superintendent N Murali Babu said.“We don’t want to take any chances with respect to the security of the 3 ISIS prisoners. If something goes wrong, we will be in trouble,” he said.After consulting senior officials, a decision on the procedure to be adopted on enhancing security to these prisoners will be taken.As per the jail manual, prisoners will be allowed to avail mulakath (meeting facility) twice a week. Instead of availing the facility, the trio misused it and attacked the jail staff, officials said. “Our staff informed that the cover given by their relatives after mulakath would be handed over after checking it with the Deputy Superintendent. Enraged over this, they started abusing the staff and attacked them,” an official said. Telanganatoday
SDPI is no recruiting ground for IS: president
SDPI has debunked media reports quoting the NIA that the party is a gateway for impressionable youth to the Islamic State (IS). SDPI State president P. Abdul Majeed Faisy told the media here that two Keralites believed to have joined the IS in Syria had separated ways from the party in 2015. He identified them as Shijil and Shajahan, both residents of Kannur. There were unconfirmed reports that Shijil had been killed in combat recently. The world view of the IS was anathema to the SDPI. Much about the IS was unknown, including its origins, purpose and leadership. However, he feared that India has of late become a fertile ground for IS recruiters. The Muslims in the country were insecure as never before.For instance, the police citing lack of eyewitnesses, have failed to arrest the cow protection thugs who lynched a Muslim dairy farmer in Alwar in Rajasthan believing the man was leading his livestock to slaughter.SDPI stood for the emancipation of the Muslims, Dalits and the Backward Classes through political empowerment. It believed in parliamentary democracy.thehindu
Maha Minority Commission lying defunct, awaits Chairman
Formed with the aim to protect the rights of minorities, the Maharashtra State MInority Commission is still lying headless.With most of important posts lying vacant, the commission is finding it hard to act and take actions. But the funds allocation of the commission has still increased.The fact came to light in a reply to RTI application filed by Mumbai based RTI activist Sharique Raza Shaikh, commission responded that it is yet to fill posts of vice chairman and members of commission.As per Maharashtra State Minority Commission Act 2005, commission has one post of chairman, one post of vice chairman and 9 posts of commission members.But all these are lying vacant.However, the Commission had a chairman for more than two years but the chairman too was sacked. Mohammad Hussain Khan took over the chairman post on Jan.15, 2015, but was removed from his post on July 5, 2017, on the serious allegations of meeting criminals in his office and interfering in Wakf board affairs.TCN
4 yrs on, ‘Baba’ wanted for BSP leader’s murder held
Ghaziabad Police have arrested a self-styled godman, Swami Pratibhanand, in connection with the murder of real estate baron and BSP leader Deepak Bhardwaj in 2013. Pratibhanand had been absconding since the murder. Delhi Police had earlier arrested 7 persons and said the conspiracy was hatched by victim’s younger son, Nitesh, and an advocate, Baljeet Singh Sherawat.However, Pratibhanand,in his disclosure statement, has now alleged that another close family member was involved in the conspiracy, prompting Delhi Police to have a fresh look at the case. SP  Ghaziabad, Akash Tomar confirmed that they had arrested Pratibhanand, who carried a reward of Rs 1 lakh.“He was arrested on Friday from the railway station. We have recovered a.32 bore pistol and cartridges from his possession,” he said. During questioning, Pratibhanand claimed he used to sell ayurvedic medicines at a temple when he came in contact with lawyer Sherawat, who then put him in touch with Nitesh. indianexpress
Hardline Hindu outfit in Bengal looks to eat into Sangh’s gains
Kolkata:At a time when BJP and RSS were gearing up to take on West Bengal’s ‘secular and liberal camp’, a newly-formed saffron outfit has threatened to eat into the right-wing faction’s electoral gains.Formed in 2008, Hindu Samhati (HS) has started gaining prominence in the communally-charged politics of state by projecting itself as the ‘real protector’ of Hindus. Be it the violence-hit Malda or Basirhat, HS members appeared to be more active in ‘safeguarding’ Hindus’ interests as compared to their Sangh Parivar counterparts.“In West Bengal, BJP and RSS are out to reap benefits of Hindus’ sentiments but are not ready to pay for it. All they do for the Hindus is lip-service. We are spoiling their plan of portraying BJP as the sole custodian of the rights of Hindus. That is why RSS and BJP are our biggest critics,” said former RSS pracharak and HS founder Tapan Ghosh.HT
On PM Modi’s birthday, Andhra NGO sends 68 paise cheques as gift to highlight neglect of Rayalaseema
Hyderabad:A few members of Rayalaseema Saguneeti Sadhana Samithi, a Kurnool-based NGO, sent cheques of 68 paise as a gift to PM  Narendra Modi on his birthday to highlight the neglect of the backward Rayalaseema region of Andhra Pradesh. Some of the members are farmers who are in distress due to the continuous drought-like situation in the region, B Dasarath Reddy, president of the Samithi said.“Many rivers flow through the region but due to lack of irrigation and drinking water projects, farmers and people in this region face water shortage. We want to highlight our problems at the highest level so we are sending these cheques,’’ he said. Although, it is Modi’s 67th birthday some members assumed it was 68th and made out cheques accordingly. “It is a peaceful protest on our part but hope it will make a powerful impact,’’ Reddy said. 6 cheques of which Reddy displayed photos were made out to Narendra Modi and dated Sept. 15.
‘UID is a bad policy, fails constitutional tests’
New Delhi:At the 32nd annual Dr. Ramanadham Memorial Meeting, the People’s Union for Democratic Rights organised a discussion on “A very curious State, UID: welfare, surveillance, privacy and democratic rights”, here on Saturday.Speaking at the event, economist Reetika Khera said Unique Identification (UID) was nothing but a “bad idea and a bad policy”. “Project fails two constitutional tests — right to life and right to privacy. It is causing more harm than good,” said Ms. Khera.“Identity fraud is only a minor problem of the whole project while the quantity fraud is more important.People are still not getting the ration they are entitled to. For the poor, the transaction costs have gone up for the same amount of entitlement they were receiving even earlier. This is a problem that Aadhaar has not been able to cure,” added Ms. Khera. thehindu
 ‘ETHNIC CLEANSING’ OF ROHINGYA MUSLIMS
Last chance for Suu Kyi to halt offensive against Rohingyas: UN chief
Myanmar's de facto leader Aung San Suu Kyi has "a last chance" to halt an Army offensive that has forced thousands of the Rohingya Muslims to flee to Bangladesh, UN Secretary General Antonio Guterres said."If she does not reverse the situation now, then I think the tragedy will be absolutely horrible, and unfortunately then I don't see how this can be reversed in the future." Secretary General reiterated that the Rohingya should be allowed to return home.He also said it was clear that Myanmar's military "still have the upper hand" in the country, putting pressure "to do what is being done on the ground" in Rakhine state where the crisis broke out on Aug. 25.IANS
If Modi can think of Indian Muslims as dogs, what hope could Rohingya have:former union minister  Aiyar
Congress leader and ex-union minister Mani Shankar Aiyar has mounted a scathing attack on PM Narendra Modi over Centre’s stand on the Rohingya refugee crisis, drawing an analogy between the treatment of the persecuted minority and victims of Gujarat 2002 riots.“He thinks of Indian Muslims as dogs. What hope is there for Rohingya Muslims,” Aiyar said during his address at a conference on Rohingya refugees in New Delhi on Friday. The leader was referring to provocative remarks Modi had made during an interview with Reuters in 2013, when he was asked for his reaction on riots in Gujarat in 2002. Event was organised by pressure group Muslim Political Council of India (MPCI) and had senior lawyer Prashant Bhushan and Delhi Minorities Commission head Dr Zafarul-Islam Khan among its prominent speakers.Aiyar further called Modi Govt  for Centre’s discriminatory refugee policy, saying that Rohingya were only being targeted because they were Muslim.“India has always had a rich and proud tradition of welcoming persecuted peoples irrespective of where they come from and their religious beliefs. However, our refugee policy started to change from 2014,” Aiyar said.He pointed out that 3 legislations, Passport Act, Foreigners Act and the Citizenship Act, forbade Govt from deporting Rohingya Muslims. He condemned MoS Kiren Rijiju for threatening to deport Rohingya Muslims.“I have known him for 20 years. He wanted to join Congress but as things didn’t work out, he approached BJP. I know him as a really decent man but I can’t understand the reason behind his remarks,” Aiyar said.He also attacked Myanmar’s counsellor Aung San Suu Kyi, noting that she herself had spent time in India during the peak of political oppression in Myanmar under the military junta.nationalheraldindia
Rohingya Muslims in India: Don’t send us back to Myanmar, say the nowhere people
New Delhi: It was late one night in the summer of 2012 that Noorul Islam’s life changed forever, sealing his family’s fate as refugees from Myanmar’s Rakhine state.Noorul was then just seven, but remembers in detail how militants attacked their home in Rakhine. He also remembers their escape from death and the early days of struggle in Bangladesh from where they were turned out and made their way to India.“Our situation was really bad because my father didn’t have enough money to support us. We went hungry for days until we arrived in India and my father started selling fish to earn a living,” he said, tears welling up at the memory.Noorul’s family is one of the 70 staying in a camp in Shaheen Bagh, tucked away in a corner of south Delhi.They are the nowhere people, the Rohingya Muslims, considered by the UN to be the most persecuted minority in the world.There are about 1,200 Rohingyas in the national capital, some in Shaheen Bagh and the others in a camp in Madanpur Khadar.PTI
Rohingya boy opens up about brutality faced in Rakhine, says wants to attend school in India
BJP suspends minority leader in Assam for voicing support for Rohingya refugees
BJP has suspended a leader of its Assam state executive committee belonging to the minority community for voicing support for Myanmar’s Rohingya refugees.A few days ago Benazir Arfan had uploaded a post on Facebook requesting people to attend a fast in protest against the treatment meted out to the Rohingyas by the Myanmar govt.The programme organised by United Minority Peoples Forum, a Guwahati-based NGO, was to be held in the state capital on Sept.16 to show support to thousands of Rohingyas fleeing Myanmar.On Thursday, BJP’s state unit general secretary Dilip Saikia sent a letter to Arfan suspending her from the party with immediate effect and giving her 3 day time to explain why disciplinary action should not be initiated against her.“Despite being an active BJP member, you posted in social media seeking support for a programme organised by another organisation in connection with a problem related to Myanmar, without initiating any discussion about it in party platforms,” letter said. “Considering your act as against the party’s rules and ideology, BJP state unit president has relieved you of all responsibilities and suspended you from the party,” it added. Arfan, who was the party’s candidate from Jania constituency in Barpeta district in last year’s assembly polls, terms the action as vindictive.“My only mistake was that I wrote ‘a protest fast’ instead of a ‘prayer meeting’ for Rohingyas, both Hindus and Muslims, who died while fleeing Myanmar. I apologised for the wrong use of words, but the party didn’t listen,” she said.30-year-old victim of triple ‘talaq’, who had spoken against the practice from party platforms in the past, said she wasn’t given a chance to explain her stance and suspended without any warning.HT
Rohingya refugees face starvation in Bangladesh due to lack of food, shelter and water, says aid group
Cox's Bazar: Rohingya refugees in Bangladesh could die due to a lack of food, shelter and water, given the huge numbers fleeing violence in Myanmar, an aid agency warned on Sunday, as authorities began moving people to camps to streamline the distribution of help. Nearly 410,000 members of the Rohingya Muslim minority fled from Myanmar’s western Rakhine state to Bangladesh to escape a military offensive that UN has branded a “textbook example of ethnic cleansing”. “Many people are arriving hungry, exhausted and with no food or water,” Mark Pierce, Bangladesh country director for Save the Children aid agency said in a statement.“I'm particularly worried that the demand for food, shelter, water and basic hygiene support is not being met due to the sheer number of people in need. If families can’t meet their basic needs, the suffering will get even worse and lives could be lost.” Reuters
Bangladesh restricts movement of Rohingya refugees
Bangladesh has restricted the movement of Rohingya refugees, banning them from leaving designated areas in the country to which over 400,000 have fled from violence in Myanmar.Police said that they have issued an order prohibiting Rohingya refugees from leaving the areas and camps Govt  has designated for them in the border district.
WORLD
Hamas dissolves Gaza administration, agrees to talks with Fatah, to steps towards Palestinian unity
Hamas has agreed to talks with the rival Fatah movement and expressed its willingness to hold general elections in the Palestinian territories.In a statement issued on Sunday, Hamas said it has accepted key conditions set by President Mahmoud Abbas, and dissolved the Gaza administrative committee, a body viewed by Abbas' Palestinian Authority (PA) as a parallel Govt . Hamas has run Gaza since 2007, when it forced troops loyal to Abbas from the coastal enclave a year after defeating his Fatah movement in parliamentary elections.  Since then, the Palestinian leadership has been divided between 2 rival Govts, with Hamas controlling Gaza and Abbas in charge of autonomous enclaves in Israeli-occupied West Bank. Repeated attempts at reconciliation between the two factions have failed in the past.  In its Sunday statement, Hamas invited a unity Govt  led by Abbas to return to Gaza and said it was ready to enter talks with Fatah.The unity Govt  was formed in 2014, but has not been able to operate in Gaza. "Hamas invites the consensus Govt to come to Gaza to practice its mission and carry out its duties in the Gaza Strip immediately, and it accepts holding the general elections," the statement by Hamas said.Fatah has welcomed the new pledges, but said it wants to see vows implemented before making the next move. Nabil Shaath, an advisor to Abbas, told Al Jazeera that Fatah was "very optimistic" and "ready". "Once the consensus govt ... starts ruling Gaza and the West Bank, starts developing economically and starts solving the economic problems of the Gazans, that first step will set real optimism for the second step, which is elections," he said from Ramallah. "Legislative and presidential elections will bring back our elected govt," he said. Hamas' decision came after separate talks by Hamas and Fatah delegations with Egyptian officials in Cairo in recent days. The movement said it was "responding to the generous Egyptian efforts, which reflect the Egyptian desire to end the split and achieve reconciliation, and based on our desire to achieve national unity".Egypt has been brokering talks with Fatah to implement a deal signed in 2011 in Cairo with Hamas to end their dispute and form an interim Govt  before elections. Al Jazeera’s Harry Fawcett, reporting from West Jerusalem, said Hamas' change in stance was "hinged on a new relationship between Hamas and Egypt" after the group "disassociated itself, in not so many words, from the Muslim Brotherhood". Hamas has been weakened by an Israeli and Egyptian blockade, 3 wars with Israel and international isolation.In March, Abbas stepped up pressure on Hamas after it formed the contentious committee that runs Gaza. Punishing measures included cutting salaries of employees living in Gaza and reducing electricity supply to the strip. Hamas said it formed the committee after the unity Govt  failed to take responsibility for Gaza's administration. Political analyst Khalil Shaheen, said Hamas' step to dissolve the committee was "inevitable in light of the pressure from Fatah and all the other factions within the PLO". "Hamas was isolated after it formed this committee. The pressure from Abbas against Gaza increased the already dire political and economic conditions in the Strip," Shaheen told Al Jazeera.However, dissolving the committee, said Shaheen, "does not mean that Hamas' is giving up control over the PA's institutions in Gaza". Despite Sunday's announcement, any reconciliation deal would still face many obstacles.Al Jazeera
In nod to Fatah, Hamas disbands controversial committee
Hamas dissolves Gaza admin. in Palestinian unity bid
Iraq army 'to intervene' if Kurds' referendum escalates
Iraq is prepared to intervene militarily if the Kurdish region's planned independence referendum results in violence, PM  Haider al-Abadi said in an interview.If the Iraqi population is "threatened by the use of force outside the law, then we will intervene militarily," he said in an interview with AP on Saturday. Iraq's Kurdish region plans to hold the referendum on support for independence from Iraq on Sept.5in 3 governorates that make up their autonomous region, and in disputed areas controlled by Kurdish forces but which are claimed by Baghdad."If you challenge the constitution and if you challenge the borders of Iraq and the borders of the region, this is a public invitation to the countries in the region to violate Iraqi borders as well, which is a very dangerous escalation," Abadi said. aljazeera
Air strike 'kills 12 civilians' in Yemen
12 Yemeni civilians including women and children have been killed in an air strike by the Saudi-led coalition northeast of the capital Sanaa, an official, residents and rebel media said.The attack, which residents said claimed the lives 4 children and two women, hit a vehicle in the Hareeb al-Qarameesh district, about 70km from Sanaa, the capital, on Saturday.All the passengers were killed in the strike, reported Saba news agency, which is run by the Houthi rebels.Hareeb al-Qarameesh is controlled by the Iranian-backed Houthis, who have held control over Sanaa and northwestern parts of Yemen for the past 3 years. Saudi-headed coalition, which supports Yemen's internationally recognised Govt , has been at war with the Houthis since March 2015.The coalition has been repeatedly criticised for attacking civilians during the conflict. Aljazeera
Bombing in W. Mosul kills 15, including tribal fighters
Nineveh:At least 15 people were killed, mostly Sunni-Arab volunteer fighters, when a bomb went off in a school in western Mosul, an Iraqi military source said Sunday.“Fifteen people were killed, including 12 tribal fighters, and another 23 injured when a bomb went off inside a school in the village of Muharibeen, located between the town of Badosh and the Tal Afar district,” Army Captain Dergham Haydar al-Mawla told Anadolu Agency.According to al-Mawla, the school had been used to train members of Iraq’s Hashd al-Ashaeri, a pro-government fighting force composed mainly of armed Sunni tribesmen.Tasked with protecting villages in the area, the Hashd al-Ashaeri also fights alongside the Iraqi army’s 73rd Brigade. Al-Mawla did not speculate as to what group was responsible for Sunday’s attack.In a related development late Saturday, at least three people were killed -- including a policeman -- in a suicide attack in Iraq’s eastern Diyala province, according to a local security source.Anadolu Agency
Pentagon: Russia knowingly hit US-backed SDF in Syria
Russian air attacks have targeted US-backed Syrian Democratic Forces and coalition advisers east of the Euphrates River in Syria's Deir Az Zor province, according to the Pentagon.Saturday's incident wounded several SDF fighters, but the coalition advisers were unharmed, it said in a statement."Russian munitions impacted a location known to the Russians to contain Syrian Democratic Forces and coalition advisers," the Pentagon said.Russia's military spokesman earlier denied targeting SDF, an alliance of Arab and Kurdish fighters."This is not possible. Why would we bomb them?" Igor Konashenkov, Russia's military spokesman, told AFP at the Hmeimim base, Moscow's main outpost for its air operations in Syria. aljazeera
Rights group condemns apparent Saudi crackdown on critics
 Rights group Human Rights Watch condemned the arrest by Saudi authorities of some 30 clerics, intellectuals and activists this week as "a coordinated crackdown on dissent". The arrests were made ahead of a call by exiled opposition figures for demonstrations following Friday afternoon prayers, which did not appear to attract much support amid a heavy security deployment.Activists this week circulated on social media lists of people detained, including prominent Islamist preacher Salman al-Awdah, as well as some people with no clear links to Islamist activity or obvious history of opposition.The detentions follow widespread speculation, denied by officials, that King Salman intends to abdicate to his son, Crown Prince Mohammed, who dominates economic, diplomatic and domestic policy.There are also growing tensions with Qatar over its alleged support of Islamists, including the Muslim Brotherhood which is listed by Riyadh as a terrorist organisation."These apparently politically motivated arrests are another sign that Mohammed bin Salman has no real interest in improving his country's record on free speech and the rule of law," said Sarah Leah Whitson, Middle East director at HRW. New York-based watchdog said the arrests fit a pattern of human rights violations against peaceful advocates and dissidents, including harassment, intimidation, smear campaigns, travel bans, detention, and prosecution.Crown Prince Mohammed has rocketed to the pinnacle of power in the kingdom, pushing a reform agenda called Vision 2030 which is aimed at weaning the country off oil and introducing social reforms. But critics say he is not doing enough to liberalise politics in a country where the king enjoys absolute authority."Saudis' alleged efforts to tackle extremism are all for show if all the Govt  does is jail people for their political views," Whitson said.Reuters
NA-120 by-poll: Unofficial results show Yasmin, Kulsoom running neck and neck
Unofficial results of the NA-120 by-election pouring in as counting is under way shows a close race between Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf’s (PTI) Yasmin Rashid and Pakistan Muslim League Nawaz’s (PML-N) Kulsoom Nawaz.The results of 23 polling stations show that Yasmin has the edge with 8,087 votes while Kulsoom is not far behind with 7,152.The counting of ballot papers started after polling ended on Sunday evening.According to Express News,  scuffles between loyalists of PML-N and PTI were reported at a number of polling stations.People started casting votes at 9am which continued till 5pm.Kulsoom Nawaz of PML-N and  PTI’s Dr Yasmin Rashid are the main contenders and political analysts have dubbed it as a “tough competition” between the two. Political analysts say the ruling party was contesting to prove its narrative that the people of Pakistan have rejected the Supreme Court’s verdict of July 28 – deposition of Nawaz Sharif as PM. While on the other hand, its main rival, PTI, had built its campaign over the ruling family’s corruption and disqualification of Sharif in the Panama Papers case, they added. Tribune
Delay referendum, Kurdish official urges regional govt
Mela Bahtiyar, an official in northern Iraq’s Kurdish Regional Government (KRG), urged the government to consider recent proposals to postpone a planned Sept. 25 referendum on Kurdish regional independence.Bahtiyar, a member of the Patriotic Union of Kurdistan (PUK), made the remarks at a Saturday press conference in the city of Sulaymaniyah to discuss the upcoming poll.“The KRG should take recent proposals by the U.S., U.K. and UN seriously,” Bahtiyar told reporters, referring to statements issued last week in which the world body — along with Washington and London — called for the referendum’s postponement.The PUK, too, Bahtiyar added, “would like to see the referendum deferred to a later date”.Alongside the Kurdistan Democratic Party (KDP) of KRG President Masoud Barzani, the PUK is a member of the KRG’s ruling coalition government.According to Bahtiyar, KRG coalition partners plan to discuss proposals for postponing the poll before making a final assessment on the issue.Bahtiyar’s assertions come despite repeated statements last week in which Barzani ruled out any possibility that the poll might be postponed.Last Thursday, Barzani met with Brett McGurk, U.S. special envoy to an international anti-Daesh coalition; UN Iraq envoy Jan Kubis; and U.K. Ambassador to Iraq Frank Bakery, all of whom reportedly urged him to postpone the referendum.
Middleeastmonitor
Missing aid funds mean half million Syrian children not attending school
Millions of dollars pledged by world leaders last year to fund the education of destitute Syrian children refugees never reached the students nor can be accounted for, a top human rights watchdog group said on Thursday.The missing funds from several major donors from the United States to the European Union have contributed to about a half million Syrian children being out of school, HRW said in a report.World leaders made detailed promises of donations during a Feb.2016 conference in London that sought to address the humanitarian needs of millions of people displaced by the Syrian civil war. middleeastmonitor
               
FLASH: VIEWS & NEWS
India's policy towards Rohingya refugees is disappointing and unbecoming of a great democracy: Aakar Patel
Karwan-e-Mohabbat: Why we placed flowers at the site where Pehlu Khan was lynched, despite threats: Harsh Mander
Stones in Alwar, Rose Petals in Ajmer: Harsh Mander Recounts Journey of Karwan-e Mohabbat:Harsh Mander,
Calling invasion of Hyderabad state in 1948 as Liberation Day is the biggest lie in World history: The Milli Gazette
Rohingyas A Terror Threat? NDTV Finds Little Evidence Of Govt  Claim
Gained in Translation: They called me ‘anti-national’: Gauhar Raza



Compiled and edited by Anwarulhaq (Released at: 8:45 PM)

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