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24 October 2017

24 Oct.ND: Govt funds used for pro-BJP social media trends: NDTV /EC may announce Gujarat polls dates tomorrow



Evening NEWS DIGEST
24 Oct.2017: 3 Safar 1439:Vol:9, No:28
Govt funds used for pro-BJP social media trends: NDTV Report
In an investigative report on Monday, NDTV claimed that there has been a noticeable trend to indicate that the ruling Govt  has been ‘employing’ what are popularly known as ‘trolls’ to clean up their online image – and do damage control on social media on their behalf.NDTV journalists Sreenivasan Jain and Manas Pratap Singh, in their report, cited recent examples of the above phenomenon such as Twitter hashtag #HaryanaWithKhattar. The report observes that soon after the hashtag was ‘planted’ it began trending thanks to the ‘efficiency’ of certain Twitter users who bombarded the social media portal with multiple posts using the hashtag. To put things intoperspective, a certain Bhargav Jani,(going by Twitter handle @bhargavjanibjp) had posted 63 tweets (that originated on other accounts)in 92 minutes with #HaryanaForKhattar hashtag, reported NDTV.This is not the only instance in which BJP supporters have endorsed such tweets. Here are the key takeaways from the NDTV report:The report notes that Jani, whom PM  Narendra Modi follows on Twitter, has been a ‘social media manager’ at Ahmedabad-based IT firm ‘Silver Touch Technologies Ltd’ since December 2016. Jani’s detailed CV reveals that he tweets "at least 30 times a day while engaging influencers to increase the followership (sic) of client's social media profiles".Now, while Silver Touch Technologies has big names like Reliance Industries on its clientele, the firm mostly serves the Govt . It maintains 46 govt websites and develops apps for the President of India, MEA, among other govts arms,reported NDTV.Yet another employee of Silver Touch, namely, Himanshu Jain, one of the firm’s directors, was found to be endorsing pro-BJP tweets, through his handle @HimanshuJainOn. He had endorsed tweets using hashtags like #ModiTransformsIndia, for example. During the sting operation, NDTV learnt from one Jaiswal of Silver Touch:During the sting operation, NDTV learnt from one Mr Jaiswal of Silver Touch:"If somebody does a negative comment, how do you react to the negative comment, how to neutralise it. It comes under online reputation communication. So we do all these activities.(sic)"Moreover, a Manoj from the firm backed Jaiswal’s claim, saying that indeed they performed such services and did “reputation work” for Haryana. However, these “reputation management” activities would have to be disguised as “content writing or something else” on paper.Not only were Silver Touch’s executives unwilling to talk on camera when NDTV journalists visited their Delhi office, one Sanjoy Roy refuted all above mentioned claims of their being involved in “reputation management” activities, saying:" We are an IT services firm and have nothing to do with social media promotions."So what about Silver Touch’s employees aggressively sharing pro-BJP posts on Twitter and attacking dissenters? Well, Roy seems to think it’s merely tweeting in “private capacity” and has nothing to do with Silver Touch’s ethos. When interrogated over email by NDTV about the party’s connection with Silver Touch, this is what BJP IT Cell head Amit Malviya wrote in response:"I don’t know of anyone with the name Bhargav Jani who works with BJP IT Cell in any formal or contractual capacity, either in the national team or any of the state teams. He may be a volunteer though. I also don’t know of Silver Touch Technologies. Have never met any of their representatives. So the question of BJP IT department having any kind of dealing with them doesn’t arise."The Quint
Exclusive: The 'Silver Touch' Behind BJP's Online Dominance? NDTV
Gorakhpur horror revisited: 68 children die at BRD Medical College in 4 days
In what is becoming a tragically recurring occurrence, 68 children have died at Gorakhpur's Baba Raghav Das (BRD) hospital in the past four days. Out of the 68 deaths, 48 of them took place in the neonatal intensive care unit (NICU) and 24 of them died in the paediatric intensive care unit (PICU).  Encephalitis patients are usually treated in NICU and PICU wards. Yogi Adityanath and his Govt have come under heavy fire from all sides for the terrible health condition and resources in a constituency he has represented five times in the Lok Sabha. The mahant-politician has faced flak for focusing on bovine welfare while infants are facing severe health issues in the state.TOI reports that 16 kids died on Saturday, while the number of casualties during the previous three days was 18, 16 and 18, respectively. As many as 198 children are undergoing treatment at the two wards. So far the total number of deaths in Oct.this year is 362, while 586 kids died in 2016 and 662 in 2015 in the same month. timesnownews
68 kids die at Gorakhpur's BRD medical college in 4 days
Jay Shah case: Gujarat court issues summons to reporter and editors of ‘The Wire’
Ahmedabad:A Gujarat metropolitan court issued summons to a reporter and editors of ‘The Wire’ in a criminal defamation suit filed by Jay Shah, son of BJP chief Amit Shah. The court held that there was a prima facie case and ordered them to appear before it on Nov.13.Jay Shah had moved the metropolitan court after the news portal published a report on Oct. 8, stating, among other things, that the turnover of his company Temple Enterprise Private Ltd  increased 16,000 times in the year following the BJP’s election to power at the Centre in 2014.
EC likely to announce dates for Gujarat polls tomorrow; may carry out elections in two rounds
New Delhi: Election Commission is likely to announce dates for Gujarat Assembly elections on Wednesday.As per reports, the Gujarat assembly elections will be held in 2 rounds. EC is said to have prepared for the assembly elections.The counting of votes may happen on Dec.18.The EC had on Oct. 12 announced that polling for the assembly elections in Himachal will take place on Nov. 9, but held off announcing the Gujarat schedule. EC had just said the polling in the western state would be held before Dec.18. newsnation
PIL in SC for stronger, more independent election commission of India
A PIL has been filed before the Supreme Court for strengthening the Election Commission of India making it more independent while also providing protection to the Election Commissioners at par with the Chief Election Commissioner. PIL has been filed by advocate Ashwini Kumar Upadhyay seeking direction to the Centre to “take appropriate steps to confer rule making authority on the Election Commission of India on the lines of the rule making authority vested in the Supreme Court of India to empower it to make election related rules and code of conduct”. Upadhyay also prayed for direction to the Centre to provide independent secretariat to the Election Commission of India and declare its expenditure as charged on the consolidated fund of India on the lines of the Lok Sabha / Rajya Sabha secretariat.Besides, he sought “same and similar protection to Election Commissioners (EC) so that they shall not be removed from their office except in like manner and on the like grounds as the Chief Election Commissioner”. livelaw
Hardik Patel places set of demands before Congress for lending support
Patel quota stir leader Hardik Patel has put forward a set of demands before Congress, including an assurance about reservation for Patidars in govt jobs and educational institutions, as a condition for supporting the party in the Gujarat Assembly polls.Sources in the Congress party said Patel sought a maximum number of tickets for Patidar candidates in constituencies where community has dominant presence.24-year-old spearhead of ‘Patidar Anamat Andolan’, during his talks with Congress’ in-charge for Gujarat Ashok Gehlot on Monday sought greater representation in the party’s organisational set up for politically influential Patels, who hitherto backed BJP, they said.Patel, sources said, termed the representation of Patels in Congress’ organisational structure in Gujarat as “minimal”.Alpesh Thakor, a prominent backward class leader and ’Gujarat Kshatriya Thakor Sena convenor’, had joined the Congress in the presence of its vice president Rahul Gandhi on Monday. thehindu
To defeat ‘mahachor’ BJP, we can support ‘chor’ Congress: Hardik Patel
Vasundhara Raje Hits Pause Button on 'Draconian' Bill as Face Off With Media Intensifies
Jaipur: All major media organisations--including the Federation of Press Clubs in India have come together against Criminal Law (Rajasthan Amendment)Bill, 2017 moved by Rajasthan Govt  that effectively gags in the media while protecting public servants, magistrates, serving and former judges from being investigated for on-duty action.Rajasthan CM Vasundhara Raje who had decided to place the proposed Bill on the table of the House on Monday morning has had to to reconsider her decision in face of stiff opposition. The journalists, the opposition, as well as rights organisations like PUCL have all come out in strong condemnation of Raje’s move with Public Interest Litigations already filed in court against the Bill that seeks to shoot the messenger even as it protects those favoured by the Govt  of the day.By the end of Monday Raje lost much of her determination and rushed to convene a meeting of senior BJP leaders and Ministers to discuss what could be done. She reportedly urged them to reconsider the Bill even though the BJP has full majority of 160 legislators in the Rajasthan Assembly.The Rajasthan Govt  has hit the pause button for now, but it is still not a done deal. thecitizen
Protests force Raje to review gag bill as Rajasthan refers it to House panel
BJP MLA refuses to share stage with Rajasthan CM
Rift within the Rajasthan unit of the BJP became clear on Monday after a veteran saffron party MLA, Ghanshyam Tiwari publicly humiliated the CM, Vasundhara Raje Scindia.Tiwari, who was meant to be felicitated on the occasion of the birth anniversary of the former vice president, Bhairon Singh Shekhawat, said he would not like to receive the honour at an event, where Raje was presiding as chief guest. He said that Raje had been personally vindictive against her after he raised the issue of corruption in her Govt. jantakareporter
Tribal organisation rallies against amendment in Land Act, conversion law
Ranchi;A tribal organisation held a rally in Ranchi on Monday against Jharkhand Govt ’s Anti-Conversion Bill and its proposed amendments in 2013 Land Acquisition Act.Adivasi Sengel Abhiyan (ASA) organised the rally at Morabadi ground of Ranchi.“The Govt ’s policies are anti-tribal. The state Govt  is working against the sentiments of indigenous and tribal people. There is need to fight against the wrong policies of the state Govt,” Salkhan Murmu, president of AASA, said at the rally.He said “Anti-conversion Law and Amendment in the 2013 Land Acquisition Bill by the state is a cruel joke. We oppose both actions of the state Govt .” The BJP-led Jharkhand Govt  has passed the Religious Independence Bill 2017. If a person is found guilty of converting a person then he will be liable to three years imprisonment.The state Govt  has passed from the assembly to amend the 2013 Land Acquisition Act so that land can be acquired for industrial and other purposes.IANS
Mersal fallout: IT Search At Actor Vishal's House A Day After He Slammed State BJP Leader For Promoting Piracy
Income tax officials conducted a search at the production house of Tamil actor Vishal on Monday afternoon, a day after his accused Tamil Nadu BJP leader H Raja of promoting piracy by watching just-released movie Mersal online.The search was over the TDS discrepancy of Rs 51 lakh, reported The Indian Express.Initially, the search party was mistaken for men from the intelligence unit of GST, which became a hot button issue after a scene in the Vijay-starrer Mersal criticised the newly implemented tax structure and drew film fraternity members into a fight with BJP leaders who thought the scenes were false "criticism".Directorate General of Goods and Service Tax Intelligence (DGGSTI) on Monday denied that it raided the premises of top Tamil actor Vishal's film production house."It is to clarify that the officers of DGGSTI have not conducted any such search operations and the news which is being circulated is factually incorrect and false," Joint Director of DGGSTI P V K Rajasekhar said in a release in Chennai. Outlookindia
Ambani friendly firms acquire majority control in NDTV, after SpiceJet Ajay Singh’s exit:PGurus.com report
Now it is crystal clear that SpiceJet owner Ajay Singh has withdrawn from acquiring NDTV. Though Ajay Singh cited complicated legal cases and bad finances as the reason for his exit, according to solid information from Stock Exchange brokers, Mukesh Ambani has taken majority control in NDTV through recent purchases in Stock Exchanges using some friendly trading funds.It is reliably learnt that Reliance Industries head Mukesh Ambani now owns more than 51% of the NDTV shares through his associated companies and trading funds, leaving Ajay Singh to walk away from the deal.The recent run-up in the share price of NDTV has been nothing short of spectacular. NDTV is facing a plethora of lawsuits and has been running up losses quarter after quarter. In any other democratic country, it would have been a subjected to microscopic scrutiny by Stock Exchange Regulators and other agencies designed to probe Money Laundering. On September 4, NDTV’s share value was just Rs.39. On Oct. 11, it shot up to Rs 72!!! The current price is Rs 62.50 when stock exchanges closed on Oct. 23. It does not take a rocket scientist to figure out why this loss-making company’s shares are fluctuating so wildly. Someone, who knew what he/ she wanted was steadily buying. The next question would be why someone, who owns several media companies, wants to buy NDTV shares? It definitely should have been investigated by the market regulator SEBI, which is under NDTV friendly Finance Minister Arun Jaitley.Earlier – some three months ago this was the NDTV’s shareholding pattern. Founder Prannoy Roy and wife Radhika Roy and their shell company RRPR Holdings had around 30 % shares in NDTV. Mukesh Ambani associated companies own around 35 to 38 % shares after putting around Rs.400 crores in early 2010. This is established in Nira Radia tapes and in the recent revelations of former NDTV Editor Barkha Dutt.
After ‘harassment by usurer', family to self-immolation, 3 killed in Tamil Nadu
Tirunelveli: ‘Kanduvetti’ (lending money at usurious interest rates) related family traumas made a shocking re-entry, on Monday, as three persons of a family of four including a woman and her two daughters succumbed to severe burn injuries they suffered in an open self-immolation at the Tirunelveli district collector's office. Family head Esakkimuthu, a daily wage worker, is undergoing treatment with third degree burns.While the family had resorted to this unbelievably self-tormenting step to protest the alleged lethargy of the police and the district administration towards his complaint against an usurer, the gruesome incident happened in broad daylight at around 11 am on Monday in front of the hall where the public grievances redressal meeting was on at the Collectorate. Esakkimuthu (27), a daily wager from Kasidharmam village near Kadayanallur in Tirunelveli district along with his wife, Subbulakshmi and their two daugters, Mathisaranya (4) and Akshayabaraniya (2), came to the district collector’s office and were waiting under a tree in front of the public grievances day meeting hall when he suddenly doused himself, his wife and children with kerosene and set themselves on fire, tightly hugging his wife and children.As the fire raged, members of the public and police personnel nearby put out the fire after struggling for about 15 minutes. By then the four were critically injured and were rushed to the Tirunelveli medical college hospital in a police vehicle.Esakkimuthu’s younger brother, Gopi, who accompanied his brother’s family to the district collector’s office, asked his brother to wait under the tree and went out on personal work, when Esakkimuthu had resorted to this extreme decision.Rushing to the hospital on hearing of the incident, Gopi, in great depression, banged his head against the glass window pane of the hospital and injured himself. According to Gopi, his brother’s family was trapped by a usurer, Muthulakshmi, who too is a distant relative of Esakkimuthu, tortured him and his family demanding double the amount of Rs 1.45 lakh she had lent to Esakkimuthu a few years ago.Muthulakshmi is alleged to have been supported by a retired sub-inspector of the same village, who in turn allegedly influenced the local police (Achanputhur police), not to take on file the complaint against the usurious moneylender. Instead, Achanputhur police registered a complaint preferred by Muthulakshmi that Esakimuthu was cheating her of Rs 1.45 lakh and jewels worth Rs 60,000.“As the local police was not taking his complaint, Esakkimuthu sought the intervention of the Tirunelveli district collector and submitted a petition on the issue 6 times but in vain. With the police and the  district administration having failed him, deeply dejected Esakkimuthu, has resorted to this extreme step of burning himself as he believed at least then the officialdom would wake up to the issue of usury,”said Gopi, who too is undergoing treatment for his head injury in the same hospital.Deccan Chronicle
Aligarh:Communal clash, stone-pelting, gunfire after 2 families argue over who gets their shaving first
Agra: Tension prevailed in Harduaganj area of Aligarh after two families from different communities clashed and pelted each other with stones and also opened fire following an altercation at a barbershop over who would get a shave first.According to police trouble started after Sonu Singh and Mohd Aslam allegedly fought with each other over shaving at a barbershop. Police said that both men were taken into preventive custody under section 151 of CrPC.Taking to TOI, SSP, Rajesh Pandey said that it was not a communal issue but fight among two people from different communities over a petty issue. However, the situation is under control and both families have been warned. He said, a case under section 151 of CrPc against Mohd Aslam and Avdhesh Singh for disturbing peace in the area. Sonu's brother, Aadesh Kumar, a resident of Sapera Bhanpura village said that his younger brother went to a barbershop for a shave where another haircut was underway so he sat over there. Meanwhile, Mohd Aslam came and asked the barber to do his shave after finishing the haircut. This led to an argument between him and Sonu. While, Mohd Aslam claimed that an unnecessary issue was created, he said, "I had always allowed Sonu to have a shave first whenever they have reached barbershop together. However, since I was in a hurry, I requested the barber to serve me first".TOI
Mahisasur become rallying point of Dalits,tribals in Bengal
Kolkata :In the evening of Sept.19 (Mahalaya), the beginning of matri paksha, at a small pandal in front of a Durga temple adjacent to Durganagar rail station in the northern suburbs of Kolkata, one speaker after another walked up to the microphone to lambast the narrative of goddess Durga and the killing of ‘demon king’ Mahisasur.The podium was named after slain journalist Gauri Lankesh, described as ‘a martyr of Aryan imperialism’.The speeches ended with the salutations ‘Jai Bhim’ and ‘Jai Mahisasur’. A majority of the gathering of about 100-odd people described themselves as followers of the Ambedkar-Periyar stream of thoughts. By mid-Oct. more than 1,000 such gatherings were held across West Bengal.In Feb.2016, statements similar to their speeches found in a leaflet on JNU campus earned the wrath of the former HRD minister Smriti Irani, resulting in her outburst in Lok Sabha against those who hailed Mahisasur as a hero and ‘scandalised Durga’.Her speech had an unintended effect. In Bengal, where Durga puja is the biggest annual festival, it angered those who consider themselves as descendents of Mahisasur.“Mahisasur is the central figure Bengal’s dalit and adibasi people are uniting around,” said Ananta Acharya of Democratic Action Forum of Dalits, Women and Minorities.In Bengal, apart from members of the Asur community, who number a little more than 4,000, a large number of the followers of Sari and Sarna religions (Scheduled Tribe or ST), numbering at 4.93 lakh and 2.64 lakh respectively, consider Mahisasur as their ancestor, besides sections of people belonging to the Scheduled Castes (SC) and OBC.HT
How results of UP Judicial Services Exams 2016 bust a myth about AMU
Aligarh: Even as the central Govt is opposing the minority character of AMU on the premise that a centrally-funded institution cannot be minority-specific, the latest results of the UP  Judicial Services Exams 2016 have demolished a myth created about the university for long.That 10 of the successful candidates for the post of civil judges are from AMU should be enough to remove the tag of non-performer recently attached to the varsity in a Govt  report.But the results have demolished a bigger negative tag, rather myth - that AMU is sort of a madrasa where only Muslim students study.Of the 10 graduates of AMU who have recently qualified to become civil judges, seven are not Muslim.These candidates were offered coaching by AMU's Residential Coaching Academy.UP  Judicial Services Exams 2016 were conducted by the UP  Public Service Commission.IndiaTomorrow
Our marriage proves that the idea of love jihad is fake, says Kerala Hindu woman who wed Muslim man
“We are legally married couple, and I am glad that court endorsed our union. No one can separate us now.”That was 24-year-old Sruthi Meledath’s reaction to the Kerala High Court verdict on Oct. 19 affirming her marriage to 26-year-old Anees Hameed. Meledath is Hindu, while Hameed is Muslim.The couple shot into the spotlight earlier this month when Meledath testified in court about the physical and mental torture she had undergone at the Sivasakti Yogavidya Kendram in Ernakulam district. Yogavidya Kendram is among a handful of so-called reconversion centres functioning in Kerala in which Hindu women who have fallen in love with men from other religions are subjected to a variety of strategies, including coercion, to bring them back to Hinduism.In the couple’s first media interview since they were reunited, Meledath told Scroll.in that she will continue to live as a Hindu while her husband will follow the faith into which he was born. “This is our reply to proponents of fake ‘love jihad’ campaign,” Meledath said. Love jihad is a term frequently used by Hindutva organisations to allege a conspiracy by Muslim men to marry women from other religions solely to convert them to Islam. scroll
Imam accused of sexually assaulting 8-yr student arrested
Mumbai:JJ Marg police Monday arrested a 50-year-old imam accused of sexually assaulting a minor girl in Nagpada who regularly went to study in the madrasa where he taught. According to the police, Imam Abdullah Naji, who had fled after a complaint was registered against him last week, was booked under Section 373 of IPC(punishment for rape) and sections 4,6, 8 and 12 of Protection of Children from Sexual Offences Act (POCSO) that relates to sexual crime committed against minors.Police officers said a detailed medical examination conducted at the JJ hospital confirmed that the minor had been sexually assaulted.Dr Preeti Lewis, gynaecologist at hospital, said 8-year-old was brought for examination on Oct.14. “She had a history of sexual assault. After examination, she was moved to the paediatric ward,” she said. indianexpress
Salahuddin’s son Shahid Yosuf arrested by NIA in 2011 terror funding case
Srinagar:Hizbul Mujahideen chief Syed Salahuddin’s son, Syed Shahid Yosuf, was arrested by the National Investigation Agency on Tuesday in connection with the 2011 terror funding case.Before his arrest, Yosuf, 42, was questioned by NIA after his name cropped up during investigations. He will be produced before a magistrate later in the day.NIA officials alleged that Yosuf had over the years received funds from Hizbul Mujahideen member Ajaz Ahmad Bhat alias Ajaz Maqbool Bhat.“The NIA has already filed two chargesheets against six accused persons in this case in 2011. Out of these six chargesheeted accused, four including Ghulam Ahmad Bhat, close associate of Syed Ali Geelani, chairman Tahreek- e- Hurriyat are in judicial custody and facing the trial in the special court NIA, New Delhi. The other two namely Mohammad Maqbool Pandit and Aijaz Ahmad Bhat are still absconding. The red notice has already been issued against both the absconding persons,” NIA said in a press statement.
J-K Police close murder case against DSP Qadri as kin of victim turn hostile
New Delhi:J&K  police have closed the case against its DSP Yasir Qadri, who was accused of killing a 26-year-old during a police raid on his residence in the wake of ongoing protests in Kashmir over the killing of Hizbul Mujahideen commander Burhan Wani.Additional solicitor general Tushar Mehta submitted the closure report in a sealed cover to the Supreme Court on Monday. He informed the bench headed by justice NV Ramana that a decision to file a closure report was taken after the victim’s parents and sister turned hostile.hindustantimes
Money Laundering: Telangana legislative council leader named in chargesheet against meat exporter Moin Qureshi
Leader of Opposition in Telangana Legislative Council and senior Congress leader Shabbir Ali has been named in the chargesheet filed by ED against meat exporter Moin Qureshi in connection with a money laundering case. Shabbir Ali, a very vocal critic of TRS Govt  and CM  K Chandrashekar Rao, has been named in the chargesheet for his alleged involvement in the bribery ring.Ali dismissed all charges. “I live a very clean life and stay away from any controversial or illegal dealings. I do not have any link with Moin Qureshi or any Qureshi. I don’t know what this chargesheet you are talking about and why my name is in it,’’ Ali said.“If ED says I have some links with Moin Qureshi then either he is lying or ED making baseless allegations,’’ he said. indianexpress
Muslim outfits hold massive rally in support of Rohingyas in Kolkata today
Kolkata: As many as 14 Muslim organisations will hold a massive protest march in support of Rohingyas on Tuesday. According to ANI, rally will be held from Park Circus to the Myanmar Consulate at 12 noon. Among the prominent organisations which are participating in today's rally are - Bangiyo Imam Parishad,Jati Jagran Manch, Bhasa-o-Chetna Samity, Sankhyalaghu Parishad.Since Myanmar Consulate falls under the high-security zone, a heavy security blanket has been put in place there. The slogans, banners and posters condemned PM Modi for failing to raise the plight of the Rohingyas with the Nobel laureate, Aung Sang Suu Kyi.zeenews
Shocker from Vizag: Woman raped in broad daylight on footpath, onlookers record video
Visakhapatnam: In a spine-chilling incident, a woman was allegedly raped by a drunk man in broad daylight on a footpath along a busy road in Andhra Pradesh's Visakhapatnam. Shockingly, the horrific crime was captured on camera, as onlookers decided to take a video of the incident, instead of helping the victim. Reportedly, the accused, identified as 23-year-old G Shiva,  has been arrested. According to reports, the incident occurred on Sunday at 2 pm near a railway station in Vizag, where the woman was sitting behind a tree on the footpath. The accused, apparently heavily drunk at the time, approached her and allegedly forced himself upon her. The entire incident was recorded by an auto-driver present at the spot. However, even as several people walked past the road, not a single person made an attempt to stop the man from committing the crime of raping the hapless woman. Police later arrested the suspect after the police control room received a call regarding the incident. G Shiva has been booked under section 376 of the IPC that deals with rape. timesnownews
WORLD
Rex Tillerson says Taliban is welcome in afghan govt :news week
Secretary of State Rex Tillerson has said there is space for members of the Taliban militant group in Afghan Govt, despite Washington’s plan to ramp up its military action against the radical Islamist faction.“Clearly, we have to continue the fight against the Taliban and against others in order for them to understand they will never win a military victory,” Tillerson told reporters on his first visit to Afghanistan, which was unannounced.“And there are, we believe, moderate voices among the Taliban, voices that do not want to continue to fight forever. They don’t want their children to fight forever.” Afghan Govt and the Taliban have engaged in several rounds of peace talks in recent years, all of which have broken down.newsweek
Tillerson visits India seeking help fighting Taliban in Afghanistan:UPI
US Secretary of State Rex Tillerson visited India Tuesday — part of a multi-day trip to Asia and the Middle East that officials say is designed to cement a relationship instrumental in ending the war in Afghanistan.After making a surprise visit in Afghanistan Monday and traveling from Islamabad, Pakistan, Tuesday, Tillerson and Afghan President Ashraf Ghani arrived in New Delhi.Tillerson seeks a design for the region which involves a cooling of tensions between India and Pakistan, as well as persuading the Pak Govt  to take stronger action to end ties with the Taliban and other jihadist groups. Withdrawal of support would end the war in Afghanistan, India Express reported Tuesday.Last week, Tillerson addressed the Center for Strategic and International studies in Washington, D.C., and identified India as one of “two bookends of stability on either side of the globe” — the US being the other — and mentioned Pakistan and China as disruptive forces in the region.“India needs a reliable partner on the world stage, and the U.S. is that partner,” Tillerson said.
Want Afghan-controlled peace efforts: India to Ghani
New Delhi: India told visiting Afghan President Ashraf Ghani that it believes peace efforts in his war-wracked country should be "Afghan-led" and "Afghan-controlled". Welcoming the Afghan President to India, President Ram Nath Kovind also condemned the series of terror attacks in his country, including in the provinces of Kabul, Kandahar, Ghazni and Paktia, that have resulted in over 200 people being killed in the past week.Kovind expressed admiration for the astute leadership that Ghani has provided to Afghanistan through difficult times and commended Afghan President for strengthening bilateral relations between India and Afghanistan.IANS
PM Modi and Ashraf Ghani discuss range of issues, resolve to end terror
US mulls sanctions on Myanmar over Rohingya crisis
US is considering sanctions against Myanmar authorities for its "violent, traumatic abuses" of the Rohingya Muslims in restive Rakhine state. Washington may use a human rights law to target leaders or groups involved in the violence in the western state, US State Dept said in a statement. "We express our gravest concern with recent events in Rakhine state and the violent, traumatic abuses Rohingya and other communities have endured," the statement said. "It is imperative that any individuals or entities responsible for atrocities, including non-state actors and vigilantes, be held accountable.""We are exploring accountability mechanisms available under US law, including Global Magnitsky targeted sanctions," Heather Nauert, State Dept spokesperson, said. aljazeera
Bangladesh, Myanmar agree to halt the outflow of Rohingyas
Govt  officials from Bangladesh and Myanmar have agreed to halt the outflow of Rohingya Muslims to Bangladesh and enable the refugees to return home.The two sides met Tuesday in Myanmar’s capital, Naypyitaw, to discuss a crisis that has seen hundreds of thousands of Rohingya flee to Bangladesh to escape violence in Myanmar’s Rakhine state. The sides said in a joint statement that “Myanmar affirms its commitment to immediately halt the outflow of Myanmar residents to Bangladesh, to restore normalcy in Rakhine to enable displaced Myanmar residents to return from Bangladesh at the earliest” possible time. hindustantimes
Saudi crown prince vows to restore 'moderate, open' Islam in Saudi kingdom
Riyadh:“We will not spend the next 30 years of our lives dealing with destructive ideas. We will destroy them today. We will end extremism very soon,” he says.Saudi Arabia's powerful Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman on Tuesday vowed to restore “moderate, open” Islam in a kingdom known for its ultra-conservative rule.“We are returning to what we were before -- a country of moderate Islam that is open to all religions and to the world,” he said at an economic forum in Riyadh.“We will not spend the next 30 years of our lives dealing with destructive ideas. We will destroy them today. We will end extremism very soon,” he said.AFP
Kuwait emir warns of GCC collapse and crisis escalation
The emir of Kuwait, Sheikh Sabah Al Ahmad Al Sabah, warned of the collapse of the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) - an alliance of Gulf countries - should the crisis with Qatar remain unresolved. In a statement at a Kuwaiti parliament session on Tuesday, the emir warned GCC leaders of the potential dangerous military and political intervention that may ensue as a result of the political deadlock. "Contrary to our wishes and hopes, the Gulf crisis has the potential of escalating; therefore, all of us must be fully aware of its potential consequences," Sheikh Sabah said. "Any escalation will bring with it an outright call for regional and international intervention, which will destroy the security of the Gulf and its people." aljazeera
FLASH: VIEWS & NEWS
Taj and bigotry: BJP’s misreading of history raises questions on state’s ability to be a custodian for nation’s historical sites:Audrey Truschke, indianexpress
Adityanath Turns UP Into a State of Encounters: 433 Killed In 6 Months:Divanshu Bhalla, thecitizen
I Am A Refugee --Aborted, Stalked, Raped, Abused---As I Have No Home to Call My Own:Shoma A.Chatterji
Even in ancient India, the state was usually at war with the forest and its inhabitants:Upinder Singh
Kerala High Court’s Ban on Student Protests Poses Serious Threat to Democracy:KAVITA KRISHNAN
In Kafkaesque JNU, teachers & V-C at cross-purposes:Ayesha Kidwai
Court drops terror charges against Anzar Shah Qasmi
Maulana Anzar Shah has no links with terror outfit: Court
After registrar Khan , another top Mumbai varsity official quits
Mumbai: Libas chairman loses battle over store at Peddar Road
 
Compiled and edited by Anwarulhaq (Released at: 8:42 PM)

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