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18 December 2017

18 Dec.ND: BJP wins Gujarat, Himachal but compared to 2014 Lok Sabha polls, it has lost/ Hardik Patel accuses BJP of tampering with EVMs/BJP victory in Gujarat is because of EVMs:Congress



Evening NEWS DIGEST
18 Dec.2017: 28 Rabial Awwal 1439:Vol:9, No:75
GUJARAT, HIMACHAL POLL RESULTS
Gujarat 182 / 182- Target 92
         ALLIANCE
  RESULTS
CHANGE



                ASSEMBLY
NATIONAL
99
-16
-66
80
+19
+63
3
-3
+3

Himachal 68 / 68- Target 35
ALLIANCE
RESULTS
CHANGE



ASSEMBLY
NATIONAL
44
+18
-15
21
-15
+12
3
-3
+3
BJP wins Gujarat but short of century, sweeps Himachal
New Delhi: It is 2-0 to BJP, which has swept Himachal Pradesh and has also won Gujarat again, though by a decidedly lower margin of victory than last time. BJP has crossed the 92 seats it needs for a majority in the 182-member Gujarat assembly, but is still struggling to make the psychological 100 mark. BJP chief Amit Shah has attributed the lower numbers to the "Congress' caste politics and low level of political discourse." PM Narendra Modi said BJP's win in both states "show the country is ready for reform, rewards performance and is keen to be transformed." Rahul Gandhi has conceded defeat saying his party "accepts the verdict."10 hours after counting of votes began, BJP is ahead in 99 Gujarat seats, down 16 from last time, while the Congress is ahead in 80, up 19. BJP has 49.1%  vote share (47.85% in 2012) and the Congress 41.4% (38.93%  in 2012). BJP has lost most ground in the Saurashtra region, but is also trailing in a few seats in north and central Gujarat that it had won in 2012.In Himachal Pradesh, BJP is leading in 44 of the state's 68 assembly seats.In Gujarat, almost 2%  of voters chose NOTA option, effectively rejecting candidates across the political spectrum. That's higher than the shares of all other parties apart from the BJP or Congress." Congress party's campaign under the leadership of Congress President Rahul Gandhi ji has led to a moral victory for our party in Gujarat," said senior Congress leader Ashok Gehlot. Another senior leader Kamal Nath pointed out that the Congress' tally in Gujarat has gone up, stating, "This is the start of Rahul Gandhi's political story."NDTV
Compared to 2014 Lok Sabha Polls, BJP Has Lost in Gujarat, Himachal
BJP has certainly won the Assembly elections both in Gujarat and Himachal Pradesh and will form govts there but there is one big reason why the party leaders would be more worrying than celebrating the victory.In the 2014 Lok Sabha elections, BJP had got 60.11% vote share in Gujarat and 53.85% in Himachal and bagged all the Lok Sabha seats in the two states – 26 in Gujarat and 4 in Himachal. But in the present Assembly polls in Gujarat, the saffron party has got only 49.1% vote share and 99 seats. Compared to number of Assembly seats it won in 2012, it is the loss of just 15 seats but in view of the huge sweep it got in 2014 Lok Sabha elections, it has actually lost 66 seats in the present Assembly poll. Similarly in Himachal Pradesh, its vote share has come down from 53.85% in 2014 to 48.7% in 2017, and this translates into the loss of 15 seats.On the other hand, Congress has increased its vote share both in Gujarat and Himachal in comparison to its performance there in 2014 Lok Sabha polls. In Gujarat, its vote share is up from 33.45% in 2014 to 41.4% in 2017 and consequently it has got a gain of 63 seats. caravandaily
Exit Polls Predicted Congress Rout In Himachal; Results Tell A Different Story
 New Delhi: In a major setback for the BJP -- which is all set to form the government in Himachal Pradesh -- the party’s CM candidate Prem Kumar Dhumal is trailing in his Sujanpur seat. The Congress, which performed better than pollsters expected, sees its outgoing Chief Minister Virbhadra Singh in the lead in his Arki seat.Exit polls had predicted a complete rout for the Congress party in Himachal Pradesh, with analysis projecting anti-incumbency as the main factor that would lead to a BJP sweep in the state. Final numbers, however, tell a different story, and once again indicate just how inaccurate exit poll predictions can be. thecitizen
BJP's CM candidate in Himachal Dhumal loses
New Delhi: In a shock upset for the BJP, its CM  candidate in Himachal Pradesh, Prem Kumar Dhumal, was defeated despite his party coasting to a comfortable win overall.He lost to Congress candidate Rajinder Rana in Sujanpur.A two-time former CM , Dhumal's loss puts his party in a fix, and it must now pick a new head of the state Govt .Adding insult to injury, Dhumal was upstaged by former aide, Rana, who had been elected to the Himachal Legislative Assembly as an independent candidate, but later resigned to join the Congress in 2014."It's a symbol of people's confidence in Congress. I am thankful that they made me victorious. We have never stepped back from serving the people in Sujanpur and we will always serve them," ANI quoted Rana as saying after his victory.TOI
Gujarat poll results closer than you think: Victory margin between 200 to 2000 votes in 16 seats
New Delhi:BJP and Congress were locked in a nail-biting contest in at least 16 seats in Gujarat, where the victory margin was less than 2,000 votes and of just about 200 votes in a few. In seats like Dholka and Fatepura, smaller parties like NCP and BSP ate into the crucial votes which some described as snatching of near-certain victories from Congress. The independents also scored big in some seats.The assembly seats to have seen a photo-finish included Himatnagar, Porbandar, Vijapur, Deodar, Dangs, Mansa and Godhra. At many places, independent candidates, primarily rebels, cut votes of either of the 2 main parties.In tribal-dominated Dangs, Congress managed a slender margin of 768 over the nearest rival BJP while in Kaprada, another ST seat, the Congress sneaked victory by a mere 170 votes.However, there were at least 8 seats, where Congress candidates trailed their nearest rivals by less than 2,000 votes, including in Godhra where BJP’s C K Raulji won by just 258 votes. NOTA votes counted 3,050 in Godhra and one independent candidate got over 18,000 votes to finish third.In the Dholka constituency, Congress lost by a margin of 327 votes. Significantly, in this seat, BSP and NCP bagged 3139 and 1198 votes respectively. Similarly at the Fatepura seat, where BJP won by a margin of 2,711 votes over the Congress, NCP candidate got 2747 votes. Congress lost the Botad seat by a margin of 906 votes where BSP bagged 966 votes. 3 independents collectively got around 7,500 votes here. BJP had its share of narrow misses as well. Apart from the Kaprada constituency, party lost Mansa seat by a vote of 524 votes and the Deodar seat by 972 votes.HT
Hardik Patel accuses BJP of tampering with EVMs as it inches towards victory
New Delhi:As BJP marched towards victory in Gujarat, Patidar leader Hardik Patel accused the ruling party of tampering with the EVMs. Patel alleged that the voting machines in Surat, Rajkot and Ahmedabad were tampered with as the margin there was very less. “There has been tampering in EVMs in Surat, Rajkot and Ahmedabad, hence the gap is very less wherever tampering happened. EVMs are hackable,” said Patel. Patidar Anamant Andolan Samiti (PAAS) convener, who backed the Congress in the polls, said the party would have won had BJP not “indulged in cheating”. Patel announced that he would continue his stir to get OBC status for Patels.Upset with the poll results, Patel asked the opposition parties to take the movement against EVMs forward. “I urge all the opposition parties to take this concern against EVMs forward. If ATMs can be hacked, why can’t the EVMs,” said Patel.Patel also congratulated BJP for its victory in a sarcastic tone. “I congratulate the BJP which has won by tampering with the EVMs. Though people of Gujarat had taken a decision (of uprooting the BJP), the ruling party won though money power and by tampering with EVMs,” Patel told reporters.Patel also alleged that seals of EVMs were found broken before the counting started today at many places. “I urge all opposition parties to start a movement against the use of EVMs and demand that next elections be held through ballots papers only,” he said.Patel said it was “difficult to digest” the BJP’s victory on several seats such as Varachha Road and Kamrej in Surat which have sizable Patidar population. “Varachha Road and Kamrej have over one lakh Patidar voters each. They even turned up in huge numbers during my rallies in those areas. Despite that such results have come,” he said.Patel alleged the poll outcome showed that the BJP won through “unfair means”. “Congress could have won if they (BJP) had not done such cheating. Playing a safe game, BJP had set a target of winning only 100 seats so that no one questions their victory,” he said. Earlier in the day, Patel alleged that preparations have been made by an Ahmedabad-based firm to hack the source code of 5,000 EVMs with the help of 140 software engineers.The Patidar leader said, “It would make people laugh but no one will consider what I say. If the human body, which has been created by God, can be fiddled with, why cannot EVMs? If ATMs can be hacked, why not EVMs?” indianexpress
"EVMs Decide Our Country's Future," Says Hardik Patel
BJP victory in Gujarat is because of EVMs:Congress leader  Sanjay Nirupam
Mumbai Congress chief Sanjay Nirupam today said the BJP’s victory in Gujarat was not because of the people in the state but because of EVMs.He also termed EVMs a “big threat to Indian democracy”.“When the entire Gujarat was against the BJP and empty chairs could be seen during the PM ’s poll rallies, this victory for the BJP is not by the people of Gujarat but by the EVMs.“We suspected this right from the beginning. All beware, this is a big threat to Indian democracy,” the president of the Mumbai unit of Congress said. Ex-MP also recalled an Oct.24 tweet in which he said the Congress will win 125-140 seats and BJP only 40-47, contrary to opinion polls.“I still stand by this tweet. This would have been the result if EVM would not have been tampered,” he said. hindustantimes
Election Commission defends EVMs, Congress leader calls them ‘threat to democracy’
Congress closing in on BJP, on vote share, seats: sets to win highest number of seats since 1985: indianexpress
After the strong show in Gujarat, Congress president Rahul Gandhi can take solace in American sculptor Ruth Asawa’s quote: “sculpture is like farming, if you just keep at it, you can get quite a lot done.”The chisel was passed down to Rahul Gandhi after successive defeats in different state assemblies saw the Congress meekly concede the State to an aggressive opposition. Even before his elevation as party president, the Congress has been slowly chipping away at the BJP vote share. The gap this time, according to trends till 3.00 pm, was down to 8.4%  —lowest in BJP’s 22-year rule. This, however, could increase or decrease further as the Election Commission is yet to declare the complete results.In 2012, the difference in vote share between the two parties was 9 % , after BJP polled 47.9 %  votes against Congress’ 38.9 % . And in 2007, the BJP’s vote share was 49.12% against 39.63% of the Congress. The gap was 9.49%  then. Thus the party gained 0.49%  on the BJP in 2012 in comparison to 2007. The loss in vote share was attributed to ex-CM  Keshubhai Patel’s Gujarat Parivartan Party (GPP) polling 3.6 %  of the total votes. With the GPP out of the equation in 2017, BJP was expected to improve on its previous showing, while Congress was wary of Shankersinh Vaghela’s Jan Vikalp Morcha eating into its vote share. Neither of the two happened, though.Ever since the 2002 Assembly elections, the BJP vote share has been steadily falling. The party had cornered 49.85 %  of the votes in 2002, riding on the Hindutva wave. It is the party’s highest-ever in all of its six terms. Ever the Congress had gained due to the polarisation as its vote share increased to 39.45 % .Another worrying factor for the BJP in Gujarat is that its seat tally has also been steadily shrinking. It won 127 seats in 2002, the maximum it has ever won so far. In the next two elections, its scorecard read: 117 and 115. Now, in 2017, it slipped below 100 seats.As for the Congress, it has improved its tally from 51 seats in 2002 to 59 and 60 in 2007 and 2012. If the party can maintain its current leads, it is set to win its highest number of seats since 1985.
Dalit-rights activist Jignesh Mevani wins from Vadgam
Jignesh Mevani, a 36-year-old lawyer and activist, has won from Vadgam constituency in Gujarat where he stood as an independent candidate.Contesting with the support of Congress, Mevani secured 95,497 votes, almost 20,000 more than BJP candidate Vijay Chakravarti.Mevani has been at the forefront of the Ambedkarite movement in Gujarat where Dalits comprise about 7% of the State’s population.The Hindu
Alpesh Thakor And Jignesh Mevani Win But What Has The Congress Gained? India.com
BJP loses Modi’s hometown seat Unjha
 The headline from the Gujarat Assembly election results is perhaps not that the BJP is consolidating power and forming Govt  for the sixth straight time. In Unjha constituency, which encompasses PM Narendra Modi’s hometown Vadnagar, it is Congress candidate Asha Patel winning the seat by a margin of over 19,000 votes.Sitting BJP MLA Narayan Patel had previously won over Asha by nearly 25,000 votes in 2012. In what seems to be an encore of the election result five years ago, the Congress this time seemed to be riding strong on the Patidar wave. At least 40%  of the population in Unjha is from the Patidar community and anger against BJP is visible.
OTHERS
Malegaon blast: HC dismisses petitions filed by accused Lt Col Purohit, Kulkarni challenging UAPA
The Bombay High Court today dismissed petitions filed by Lt Col Shrikant Prasad Purohit and Sameer Kulkarni, accused in the 2008 Malegaon blast case, challenging the sanction for prosecution granted by the Maharashtra Govt under UAPA. The petitions said that under UAPA, the state law and judiciary department, the sanctioning authority, has to seek a report from an appropriate authority.“In this case, the sanction was given in January 2009 but the authority was appointed only in Oct. 2010. Hence the sanction order stands vitiated,” Purohit’s lawyer Shrikant Shivade had argued.NIA counsel Sandesh Patil, however, questioned the maintainability of the petitions. Purohit and Kulkarni had raised these contentions in the trial court in discharge pleas, and that court has reserved its order till Dec. 21, Patil pointed out. “The issue of sanction was raised by Purohit when his bail plea was being argued in the high court. In its order, the high court has extensively observed that the issue of sanction cannot be looked into at this stage and can be considered by the trial court,” advocate Patil said.Even the Supreme Court made the same observations in its order, though it granted bail to Purohit, he said.The HC accepted NIA lawyer’s arguments and dismissed the petitions.“The question is should we hear the petitions in the light of the observations made by the SC and the high court,”Justice Patil said.PTI
Malegaon blasts: HC upholds UAPA charges, rejects Lt Col Prasad Purohit’s plea
Sought suggestions from various quarters on triple talaq bill: Naqvi
Alwar:Govt  sought suggestions from various people while drafting the bill against triple talaq or instant divorce, Union Minority Affairs Minister Mukhtar Abbas Naqvi said here on Sunday. However, Muslim clergy and some Muslim organizations say that they were not consulted by the Govt  while drafting the bill that "interferes" in their personal laws. "We had sought suggestions from and consulted various people on the proposed legislation. There is no (sanction for) such thing as triple talaq at once in Islam," Naqvi said in response to a media query. "Apart from the penal provision, the new law will also have provisions for financial security of the divorced women and would protect their constitutional rights," he added. PTI
Draft law on triple talaq is associated with women’s honour: law minister
Bihar:Union law minister Ravishankar Prasad on Sunday said the draft law proposing to ban instant triple talaq is associated with the issue of women’s prestige, honour and justice.“The draft law banning instant triple talaq with provision of 3 years imprisonment for violations is associated with the issue of women’s prestige, honour and justice. And the BJP is with those women who are the victims (of triple talaq practice),” Prasad said.PTI
Barelvi body writes to opposition leaders, asks them to oppose bill on triple talaq
Bareilly A day after Union cabinet approved the proposal to introduce Muslim Women (Protection of Rights on Marriage) Bill 2017 to make instant triple talaq illegal and a punishable offence, All India Tanzeem Ulama-e-Islam, a religious and social organisation of Sunni Barelvi Muslims, has written to opposition leaders, including Rahul Gandhi, Akhilesh Yadav, Mamata Banerjee, Sharad Pawar, Lalu Prasad, Nitish Kumar and Sitaram Yechury, to oppose the bill. Clerics said that bill is against Shariat and it “will cause more fights in the family”. National general secretary, Tanzeem Ulama-e-Islam, Maulana Shahbudin Razvi, said, “I have requested the leaders of opposition that their parties should oppose bill on triple talaq for the benefit of minority community. The bill is not only against the Sharia law but also will cause more fights in the family. In most of the families, husband is the sole earning member of the family and if he goes to jail for giving triple talaq, it will affect the other members, including children.” He added, “If a woman is made to live with her husband even after triple talaq, it will create more problems for her instead of providing any relief. The woman will face harassment as she will never receive respect from the community.”Mufti Ashfaq Hussain Qadri, national president of the organisation, said, “There has been fear in the community as the Centre hastily wants to create law on triple talaq. If a man gives triple talaq and he has to submit fine and go to jail for three years, he will never be able to keep the woman at his house as he will never forget the punishment. The Centre should create a bill to make Muslim women financially independent instead of bringing bill on triple talaq which is against the Sharia law. Govt  should create awareness among people to avoid giving triple talaq. As Sharia law and Indian law will be in disagreement over triple talaq, it will lead to more problems in future.” timesofindia
Ayodhya dispute: Maulana Kalbe Jawad urges Adityanath to hold talks with Sunni waqf board
Lucknow: Shia cleric Maulana Kalbe Jawad on Sunday urged UP  CM  Yogi Adityanath to hold talks with Sunni Waqf Board too in connection with Ram temple-Babri Masjid dispute."I have requested the CM to talk to the Sunni Waqf Board over the Babri Masjid matter to resolve the issue. I want to solve the matter through peaceful means," the Shia Cleric told media after holding a meeting with Adityanath at his residence here. However, the cleric also said the UP Sunni Central Waqf Board chairman, Zufar Ahmed Farooqui, was not a trustworthy person and he has conveyed the same to the CM .During the meeting, as informed by Jawad, cow vigilante violence was also discussed. "CM said the state Govt  has issued orders in this regard that strict action would be taken against those who do so (violence). He has also said that if someone does this (cow smuggling), then the public should not take law into their own hands, but instead inform the police," Maulana Jawad. Reportedly, president of Shia Gau Raksha Dal, Shamil Shamsi and BJP leader Amil Shamsi were also present there.ANI
Terror funding case: NIA likely to charge 7 J&K separatists
New Delhi: A chargesheet will be filed soon against 7 Kashmiri separatist leaders and a businessman in a terror funding case. NIA sources said they had established that the pro-Pakistan separatists had used the money to fund local militants engaged in attacking security forces, spearheading stone pelting in the Kashmir Valley and recruiting youngsters for anti-India activities.Top officials in the anti-terror probe agency claimed that the case was backed by strong documentary and forensic evidence and statements of crucial witnesses, including some who worked with the separatists."The investigation is almost finished. We will approach the home ministry very soon seeking prosecution sanction and then a chargesheet will be filed in Jan," said an officer requesting anonymity.TOI
'Almost zero' terror camps in Bangla, says BSF, thanks Bangladeshi counterpart
New Delhi: Training camps and hideouts of Indian insurgent groups in Bangladesh have been reduced to "almost zero", the BSF has said, thanking its Bangladeshi counterpart for its help."Whenever we have information about (infiltration by) insurgents from the northeastern states into Bangladesh, we share the information and immediate raids are undertaken (by Border Guard Bangladesh),"BSF director-general K.K. Sharma said."As a result, the number of training places and hideouts of these insurgents has been reduced to almost zero. I congratulate our counterparts." telegraphindia
Raichur: ‘Mentally ill’ student claims of being forced into terror activities; police calls it false claims
Gadag: Sharanappa Nagaraj, a resident of Kanasavi in Lingsugur taluk of Raichur district and an engineering student of Vidyavikasa Engineering College, Mysuru on Friday tried to kill himself by consuming poison at  Gajendragad bus stand in Gadag district. He was rushed to the Govt  hospital by the Bus depot staff and was later shifted to Kumareshwar Hospital at Bagalkot for further treatment.During the investigations, police recovered a letter from the spot in which Sharanappa had claimed that he was being forced into terror activities by his fellow students at the college. He had named those students as Ismail and Rafiq of Mysuru. He also claimed the duo were teaching him how to make bombs and were also injecting something into his body.When contacted, Mysuru Police Commissioner Dr S Subrahmanyeshwar Rai, said there is no threat or presence of terrorist organizations or individuals in the city and that no such activities have come into their notice, he also assured media that his team is very vigilante and if there was something in this connection they would have cracked it lot earlier.Bagalkot SP, C B Rishvanth, personally paid a visit to the hospital and questioned Sharanappa. Later speaking to media he said, his brother informed him that Sharanappa was going through some mental issues and that it looked like false claims to police team who are probing case.Bhatkallys.com
Forced to indulge in terror acts, BE student attempts suicide: Starofmysore.com
3 Rohingya families rescued from slavery in Agra
3 Rohingya families from Myanmar comprising 13 people were rescued in Agra at the weekend after being enslaved for a year as rag pickers, authorities said.3 families came to India after an agent at a refugee camp in Bangladesh promised them jobs, but they worked long hours for no pay, according to activists who alerted the authorities.“The employers had paid these agents money and did not pay them any wages saying the amount was being adjusted against the work they were doing,” said Nirmal Gorana, convener of National Campaign Committee for Eradication of Bonded Labour, that took part in the rescue.“They came to India thinking they would find a job and safety ... but they lived in a polythene hut, the rent for which was being deducted from their non-existent wages.” Officials said no police case against the employer has been filed with an investigation underway but confirmed the refugees were enslaved.Reuters
Afrazul killing: Youth climbs atop water tank in Jaipur, raises slogans supporting Shambhulal Regar
Jaipur: A 26-year-old man climbed atop a water tank in Jaipur on Sunday, raising slogans, some of which were in favour of Shambhulal Regar, the man accused of murdering Muslim labourer Mohammed Afrazul. The man, identified as Anshul Dadhich, was later held and police claimed that he got on the tank because of “family problems”. Eyewitnesses said Dadhich, a resident of Brahmapuri area, got atop the tank in Kanwar Nagar locality in the afternoon.“He was saying ‘release Shambhu Regar or I will commit suicide’ He also said ‘If you want to stay in India, say Vande Mataram’,”said Aakash Rathore, a local resident who was present at the place. He added that Dadhich said he was protesting against “communal slogans” allegedly raised during a rally in Udaipur by the Muslim community to protest the killing of Afrazul in Rajsamand.“Dadhich has a group called the Azad Hind Sena and also is at the forefront of organising events in memory of martyrs such as Bhagat Singh…,” said Ankit Mohan Soni, one of his neighbours. Locals said Dadhich is also a member of Rashtriya Brahman Mahasabha. Gajendra Pareek, Jaipur in-charge of Rashtriya Brahman Mahasabha, said, “Yes, he is in-charge of our social media cell in Jaipur but he climbed atop the tank in his individual capacity as a Hindu and for Hindutva. We will convene a meeting to decide whether to support him.”Police had to reason with Dadhich for some time before he agreed to come down.In videos circulated on social media, Dadhich and several groups of people are seen raising slogans such as “A Hindu whose blood doesn’t boil, what runs in his veins is water not blood.”indianexpress
Inter student Padmaja bags prize for essay on Prophet Muhammad
Hyderabad: An Intermediate second year student B. Padmaja bagged second place with cash prize of ₹25,000 on Sunday for her Telugu essay on the life of Prophet Muhammad. The competition titled ‘Inspired by Prophet Muhammad’ was an initiative of the Jamaat-e-Islami Hind (JIH) affiliate Student’s Islamic Organisation.Ms. Padmaja arrived in the city from Jagtiyal specifically to participate in the competition. Speaking to The Hindu about what inspired to pen the essay, she said, “I read about the virtues of Prophet Muhammad and decided to enter the competition. He saw everybody as equal and took measures to protect women’s rights.” It did not take long for Ms. Padmaja to prepare for the competition. “The JIH gave me a book. I read it for about an hour a day before the competition. Then I spoke to my friends who are Muslims. After this, I wrote the essay,” she said.And how does she intend to use the prize money? “I will use it to pay for my education,” she said.With a keen interest on participating in similar competitions centred around different themes, Ms. Padmaja said, “It’s important that people look for good things in different faiths. Only this can help all of us co-exist.”While Ms. Padmaja was awarded the second prize, the first place went to Syeda Haajer, also an Intermediate second year student. She was awarded a cash prize of ₹50,000. A graduation student, Mariya Gouher, bagged the third place and was awarded ₹15,000.Around 20,000 students in different parts of the State wrote the essay in Telugu, Urdu and English. The winners were awarded prizes at Khaja Mansion where JIH Telangana and Odisha president Hamed Mohammed Khan spoke of the importance of pluralism and building bridges between different communities. thehindu
New AMUSU office-bearers slam BJP govt for ‘saffronisation’, Kashmir policy
AGRA: The newly-elected office-bearers of AMU Students' Union (AMUSU) have castigated BJP Govt  at the Centre on various issues, including allegedly spreading hatred across the country, for questioning the nationalism of the minority community and its "failed" Kashmir policy.At the swearing-in ceremony of the office-bearers, new AMUSU president Mashkoor Ahmad Usmani took on BJP Govt  for its attempts to "saffronise" the country, including universities. The first elected Kashmiri vice-president, Sajad Subhan Rather, raised the issue of "mob lynching" mentality allegedly being propagated by the ruling party and also its failure to win hearts in Kashmir by carrying out "unprovoked" atrocities on "peaceful" protestors. Usmani, a student of BDS, said the union would not allow the BJP to succeed in its attempts to saffronise the AMU campus. "In the current scenario, a cow is more precious than a human being, as Muslims are being killed in the name of love jihad and cow slaughter. It is shameful that members of the community are being asked to give evidence of their patriotism. "We will hoist such a big flag at the university library that it will be visible even at RSS HQRS in Nagpur," he said.TOI
At Aligarh's Chacha Nehru Madrasa, Kids Chant Gayatri Mantra And Quran Verses :TOI
At Chacha Nehru Madrassa in Aligarh, chants of the Gayatri Mantra can be heard every day. The matra is recited as part of morning prayers at the institution, followed by recital of Quranic verses and the National Anthem. Students at the madrassa are taught about different cultures and religions under the same roof. Chairperson of the society that runs the madrassa, Salma Ansari, wife of former vice-president Hamid Ansari said, "These children are going to be the future of the country. They should be brought up with knowledge of all religions, like the colours of the rainbow. This is the essence of India."Salma added, "Religion is deep-rooted in Indian culture and I want to spread it as an instrument of love, not hate. It should touch the human mind and soul in a positive manner. Every month, a havan, or Gita Path, or recital of Hanuman Chalisa is conducted at the madrassa, along with recital of Quranic verses. The purpose is to purify the surroundings and spread positivity among students. They are also taught how the havan is important scientifically and ritually in Hindu culture."This year, all 4,000 students of the madrassa, including 600 Hindu students, will be celebrating Christmas for the first time, as there are a few Christian students enrolled in the institution.Chacha Nehru Madrassa warden Junaid Siddiqui said, "Hindu children learn the fundamentals of Hinduism here, while Muslim children are taught about Islam. They are also given modern education. Our aim is to spread love among children and train them to grow up to be tolerant, with a fair understanding of both religions, apart from mainstream subjects."TOI
Eligibility test a must for teachers in unaided, minority schools:Bombay HC
Mumbai:Private, unaided minority educational institutions cannot appoint anyone who has not cleared the Teachers Eligibility Test, conducted by Maharashtra Govt, as a teacher. The Bombay high court held, last week, that Govt  resolution of August 2013, prescribing the test as a prerequisite for the appointment of teachers, was applicable to these institutes as well. Govt  resolution does not affect the rights of minority institutions to appoint staff of their own choice, the division bench of Justice Bhushan Gavai and Justice BP Colabawalla said, while rejecting a petition filed by Azad Education Society from Miraj in Solapur district.The society had approached the high court challenging the Govt  resolution on the grounds that it affected the fundamental right of private, unaided minority educational institutes, which is guaranteed under Article 30 of the Indian Constitution.Senior advocate Atul Damle, who represented the petitioner, argued that resolution violated Article 30 as it infringed on the rights of minority institutions to run the institute according to their own choice. hindustantimes
Govt  unlikely to table FRDI Bill in Budget Session too
New Delhi:Financial Resolution and Deposit Insurance Bill may not be introduced in Parliament even during the Budget Session, as the joint committee looking into it on Monday, got an extension for submitting its report.Lok Sabha Speaker Sumitra Mahajan informed the House that extension of time has been granted for the joint panel on the FRDI Bill “up to the last day of Budget Session, 2018”.It also comes at a time when concerns have been raised in some quarters about certain provisions of the bill, which was introduced in the Lok Sabha in August this year.The joint committee on the FRDI Bill, 2017 have decided to seek extension of time up to the last day of Budget Session, 2018, as the report of the joint committee would not be ready for presentation by Dec. 15.PTI
Dec 31 deadline: Assam NRC draft will only be a ‘part’ draft: indianexpress
Guwahati; Much-awaited draft National Register of Citizens (NRC), for which the Supreme Court had fixed Dec. 31 as the deadline, would now only be a “part” draft. There would be another publication of the remaining portion of the draft NRC at a later date. This became clear from an order issued by Justices Ranjan Gogoi and Rohinton Fali Nariman on Friday, in which they also said that names of applicants not included in the draft NRC to be published by Dec. 31 would be included in subsequent draft NRC if found eligible after scrutiny. “Claims/cases of the left out applicants whose names are not included in the draft NRC to be published on or before 31.12.2017, will be scrutinised and thereafter, if found eligible, would be included in the subsequent draft NRC,” the judges said. “We also make it clear that the publication of the draft NRC is not the end of the process and against such draft publications, claims and objections of the aggrieved parties can be filed, which, naturally, will be verified in accordance with law,” the judges said. The Supreme Court order comes at a time when the authorities are racing against time to publish the draft NRC containing about 2.38 crore names as Govt had recently committed before the SC. But with the verification process still on, a sizeable number of names from among the 2.38 crore that Govt had committed to the SC, are not likely to be included in the draft NRC to be released by Dec. 31. The Indian Express has gathered that many issuing authorities have not yet sent back verification reports of documents that have been sent to them by the NRC State Coordinator’s office, and this despite the fact that the process of sending such documents for verification had started in 2015 itself. Verification reports that have not come back to the NRC State Coordinator’s office include a large number of passports, birth certificates, land documents, and various other documents that the Supreme Court had listed as required for proving one’s eligibility to be included in NRC.“Such verification reports are awaited not only from issuing authorities in other states, but also from districts within Assam,” an official said.
Minorities Rights Day: Is India Doing Enough to Protect Them? thequint
On 15 Dec., a BSP corporator in Aligarh, Musharraf Husain, was beaten up and booked by the police for allegedly taking oath in Urdu. The complainant, BJP corporator Pushpendra Kumar feared that Husain’s action would lead to “a possibility of breakdown of law and order,” reports The Hindu. In Madhya Pradesh, 30 priests were detained and their car burnt when they were singing carols, on the allegation by a group of Bajrang Dal members that the priests were indulging in forced conversion.On Minorities Rights Day in India, The Quint takes a look at the year gone by, though a selection of reportage and opinion on minorities’ issues in India.How does an average Muslim in India react to everyday reports of cow-related violence in India? How has increased intolerance affected inter-community ties, social relations, mindsets, even business practices among India’s Muslims?In this multimedia immersive, The Quint spoke to Indian Muslims in cities across India to gauge how everyday life is increasingly being disrupted by the shadow of fear.THE QUINT
WORLD
Palestinian leaders to seek General Assembly's support if US vetoes Jerusalem resolution at UNSC
Palestinian leadership may turn to the UN General Assembly if Washington vetoes a draft UN Security Council resolution to reaffirm Jerusalem's status as unresolved, after President Donald Trump's decision to recognise it as Israel's capital.The Palestinian United Nations envoy raised this option in remarks published in Saudi daily Arab News on Monday, ahead of a Security Council vote on an Egyptian-drafted resolution about Jerusalem's status which the United States is expected to veto.The draft says any "decisions and actions which purport to have altered the character, status or demographic composition of the Holy City of Jerusalem have no legal effect, are null and void and must be rescinded".Arab News quoted Ambassador Riyad Mansour as saying that the Palestinians and Egyptians have worked closely with Security Council members while drafting the resolution to ensure that it gets overwhelming support."The Europeans in particular asked us to avoid terms like 'denounce' and 'condemn,' and not to mention the US by name," it quoted Mansour as saying. "We acceded to their request but kept the active clauses rejecting all changes to Jerusalem and the reaffirmation of previous decisions."The Palestinians have the option of invoking a rarely-used article of the UN Charter that calls for parties to a dispute not to cast a veto, Arab News said. But, it said, they are more likely to take the issue to the General Assembly under Resolution 377A, known as the "Uniting for Peace" resolution.Resolution 377A was passed in 1950 and used to authorise the deployment of US troops to fight in the Korean war.Mansour said Palestinians resorted to the "Uniting for Peace" resolution in the 1990's after Israel began building a settlement on Jabal Abut Ghnaim, a hilltop on occupied West Bank land south of Jerusalem, but left that session in suspension. However, they could seek a resumption of the session, he said."If the resolution is vetoed, the Palestinian delegation can send a letter to the UN Secretary General and ask him to resume the emergency session," he said, according to Arab News.Reuters
UNSC considers resolution to reject US recognition of Jerusalem amid worldwide protests
Turkey 'to seek UN General Assembly vote' on Jerusalem
Turkey is concentrating efforts on passing a resolution at the UN General Assembly against the US decision to recognise occupied Jerusalem as Israel's capital.Ankara is leading the push in the General Assembly because Washington is expected to veto a draft resolution to be voted on by the UN Security Council on Monday, Turkish officials told Al Jazeera.Turkish foreign ministry sources, who asked to remain anonymous, told Al Jazeera that as it was clear the draft resolution will be vetoed by the US at the UN Security Council, Turkey was shifting focus. aljazeera
UN Security Council to weigh resolution on Jerusalem
As Rafah reopens, Egypt stops Palestinian students from leaving Gaza
Egyptian authorities prevented scores of Palestinian students from leaving the besieged Gaza Strip through the Rafah crossing this weekend, Safa reported.The crossing had temporarily been opened for four days from Saturday, however Egyptian authorities returned more than 100 students to Gaza after they were questioned by security officials.Hundreds of Palestinian students had registered their names with Palestinian border authorities in an effort to leave the enclave to begin their studies abroad.During the 11-year Israeli-Egyptian siege on Gaza, hundreds of students have lost places at high education institutes abroad after they could not travel through the Rafah crossing. Egypt only opened the crossing for 44 days in 2016. middleeastmonitor
Israel hits Palestinian military positions in Gaza
Israeli aircrafts targeted Hamas military positions in Gaza city early Sunday, Anadolu reports.According to the Palestinian security source, who wanted to be anonymous, said Israeli aircrafts hit Hamas’s Al-Qassam Brigades positions in Gaza’s northwest.The source also said there was no reported casualty from the attacks targeting three positions.Israeli police said Saturday that two rockets fired from the Gaza city landed in rural areas of Israel’s Ashkelon. middleeastmonitor
Palestine’s Hamas denounces Pence’s Jerusalem visit
Palestine’s Hamas group called for an official and popular rejection of US Vice President Mike Pence’s visit to the region on Wednesday, Anadolu reports.A member of the Hamas Political Bureau, Hussam Badran said in a written statement that Pence’s visit “will be a challenge to our people.”Badran urged the Palestinian people “to ignite demonstrations and confrontations with the Israeli Forces at every possible place, especially around Jerusalem and Al Aqsa Mosque.” MEMO
Muslim Brotherhood general guide claims false imprisonment
The General Guide of Egypt Muslim Brotherhood, Mohammed Badie, claimed Saturday, that the group’s leaders and some of its members have been falsely imprisoned in order to conclude “the deal of the century”. Badie did not identify who he was accusing of carrying out the imprisoning, however.The term “the deal of the century” refers to the US administration plan to solve the conflict between Israel and the Palestinians. “Palestine is our eternal cause and the cause of the Arab and Islamic nation as a whole. We are locked up so that “some” could conclude the deal of the century. The group is innocent of these crimes. Release us and we will liberate Palestine” Badie told a Cairo criminal court judge.Cairo Criminal Court postponed on Saturday the trial of Badie and 738 other Brotherhood members in the Rabia al- Adawiya dispersal case til Saturday, according to a judicial source.The court allowed Badie to respond to eyewitness who claimed that members of the Muslim Brotherhood used violence during a sit-in organised in Rabaa al- Adawiya Square in August 2013, which Badie denied.For the second week in a row, Muslim, Arab and cities around the world witness demonstrating to protest US President Donald Trump’s decision to recognize Jerusalem as Israel’s capital. middleeastmonitor
Myanmar burned Rohingya villages despite refugee deal: HRW
Yangon: Myanmar’s army burned down dozens of Rohingya homes within days of signing a refugee repatriation deal with Bangladesh, showing the agreement was a mere “public relations stunt”, Human Rights Watch said. HRW, citing analysis of satellite imagery, said buildings in 40 villages were destroyed in Oct and Nov, increasing the total to 354 villages that had been partially or completely razed since last Aug. Dozens of buildings were burned the same week Myanmar and Bangladesh signed a memorandum of understanding on November 23 to begin returning refugees from Bangladesh within two months, HRW said in a report.“The Burmese army’s destruction of Rohingya villages within days of signing a refugee repatriation agreement with Bangladesh shows that commitments to safe returns were just a public relations stunt,” said Brad Adams, HRW’s Asia director, in the report, adding safety pledges for returnees could not be taken seriously.AFP
Over 350 Rohingya villages burned in Rakhine state: HRW
UN rights chief says genocide committed against Myanmar’s Rohingya minority
Geneva:The top UN human rights official has said he would not be surprised if a court one day ruled that acts of genocide had been committed against the Rohingya Muslim minority in Myanmar, according to a television interview to be aired on Monday.UN high commissioner for human rights Zeid Ra’ad al-Hussein told BBC that attacks on the Rohingya had been “well thought out and planned” and he had asked Myanmar’s leader Aung San Suu Kyi to do more to stop the military action.Zeid has already called the campaign “a textbook example of ethnic cleansing” and asked rhetorically if anyone could rule out “elements of genocide”, but his latest remarks put the case plainly, toughening his stance.“The elements suggest you cannot rule out the possibility that acts of genocide have been committed,” he said, according to excerpts of the interview provided in advance by BBC.“It’s very hard to establish because the thresholds are high,” he said. “But it wouldn’t surprise me in the future if the court were to make such a finding on the basis of what we see.”HT
Qatar: 26,000 human rights violations due to Gulf crisis
Some 26,000 cases of human rights violations have been documented since the start of the Gulf siege on the Qatar, the country’s foreign minister revealed yesterday.Speaking to Qatar News Agency (QNA) on Qatar’s National Day, Sheikh Mohammed Bin Abdul Rahman Al Thani reiterated his country’s readiness to take part in transparent talks based on mutual respect.Al Thani said Doha has succeeded in managing the unprecedented Gulf crisis with rationality and self-respect. “But we are concerned about the blockade’s impact on families. We confirm that if we overcome the crisis, we will not ignore these violations against the Qatari people,” the minister said.He stressed that resolving the crisis must ensure that when governments have political disputes, they should not retaliate against citizens.Regarding the crisis’ impact on the GCC, Al Thani said: “What saddens us is that the crisis has shaken confidence in the GCC, but we still see the need to preserve this collective security system.” middleeastmonitor
Report: Saudi billionaire Al-Waleed bin Talal refuses settlement with Crown Prince
Saudi renowned billionaire, Prince Al-Waleed bin Talal is reported to have rejected a settlement with the Saudi authorities in return for his freedom.The Financial Times reported two sources briefed on the investigations as saying that the prince intends to fight the allegations against him in court he even hired lawyers.The Saudi prince was arrested last month along with more than 200 people including members of the royal family and senior officials in the largest anti- corruption purge in the kingdom’s history.However, many princes are reported to have reached a financial settlement in exchange for their freedom.Saudi Arabia wants to secure at least $100 billion in the purge to finance its budget deficit.Bin Talal’s domestic and foreign investments have been severely hit with his detention approaches its second month.MEMO
Mohamed Bin Salam is mystery owner of world’s most expensive home
The identity of the person who owns the world’s most expensive home has been unmasked as Saudi Crown Prince Mohamed Bin Salman. The young prince, who is overseeing an anti-corruption purge within the Kingdom, was uncovered as the buyer of the $300 million French chateau.When the Chateau Louis XIV was sold for over $300 million two years ago, there was mystery surrounding the new owner. However the New York Times has discovered that it is none other than the 32-year-old Saudi royal.The purchase of the “gold-leafed fountain, marble statues and hedged labyrinth set in a 57-acre landscaped park” is one of several extravagant acquisitions made by Bin Salman even though he has imposed austerity measures on the country as part of a massive modernisation project to overhaul the Kingdom’s economy.According to the New York Times, the identity of the owner of the world’s most expansive home was concealed by various shell companies in France and Luxembourg that were ultimately owned by firms run by the head of Bin Salman’s personal foundation.MEMO
Greece: Police thwarts Erdogan assassination attempt in Athens
9 alleged members of Turkey’s far-left Revolutionary People’s Liberation Party-Front (DHKP-C) were arrested by Greek police for being suspects in an attempt to assassinate the Turkish President Recip Tayyip Erdogan, Greek daily To Vima reported, citing official security sources.The sources added that the Greek police seized notes during the arrest that revealed the suspects had planned to use rocket launchers, hand grenades, and Molotov cocktails in the assassination.In the assassination plot, the paper noted, Erdogan was codenamed as “Scorpio.”The group, the paper pointed out, had planned to attack Erdogan’s passing convoy with rocket launchers from two sides, with another member attacking from the rear, the paper reported.According to the report, the Greek police is working to find the rocket launchers and ammunition buried in the foothills of the Mont Parnitha, east of Athens.On 7 Dec, Erdogan paid a historic two-day visit to Greece, the first by a Turkish president in 65 years. Middleeastmonitor
Assad forces enter Idlib de-escalation zone as Russia air strike kills 10
Syrian regime forces have entered parts of opposition-held Idlib in the northwest of Syria, at the same time as Russian air strikes killed ten women and children in the province, according to Syrian news agency Zaman Al-Wasl.Idlib is a de-escalation zone as established by Russia, Turkey and Iran during peace negotiations; however this has not stopped months of attacks by forces allied to Syrian President Bashar Al-Assad on the province’s borders, as well as in the neighbouring region of Hama.Since Thursday,Syrian army has waded further into opposition-held territory, taking control of multiple villages such as Tal Al-Khazanir, from Hayat Tahrir Al-Shaam alliance.MEMO
Putin thanks Trump for CIA's help in foiling terror attack in St Petersburg
Moscow:Russian President Vladimir Putin called US President Donald Trump to express gratitude for the CIA's information that helped foil terrorist attack attempts in St Petersburg, the Kremlin said on Sunday. Russia's Federal Security Service said Friday that it detained 7 Islamic State supporters earlier this week for plotting to blow up the famous Kazan Cathedral in St. Petersburg, second largest city in Russia."The information received from the CIA proved to be sufficient for the search and detention of the suspects," Xinhua cited a statement from Kremlin.Putin told Trump that the Russian special services, upon receiving information regarding terrorist threats against the US and its citizens, will immediately provide it to their US counterparts.This was the second phone conversation between Putin and Trump within a week following a call on Thursday, when the two presidents discussed "urgent issues" in bilateral diplomatic relations and situation on Korean Peninsula.IANS
Obsessing around selfies could lead to recognised disorder ‘selfitis’: Study
London:“Selfitis” – the obsession of taking selfies on smartphones – may be a real disorder that requires treatment, according to a study conducted in India. Researchers at Nottingham Trent University in the UK and the Thiagarajar School of Management (TSM) in Tamil Nadu began investigating the phenomenon after a hoax story appeared in the media in 2014 claiming ‘selfitis’ had been classed as a genuine mental disorder by the American Psychiatric Association.They have now confirmed its existence and developed the ‘Selfitis Behaviour Scale’ which can be used to assess its severity.The scale was developed using a large number of focus groups with 200 participants and the scale was tested via a survey of 400 participants. Participants were based in India because the country has the most users on Facebook, as well as the highest number of deaths as a result of trying to take selfies in dangerous locations.PTI

FLASH: VIEWS & NEWS
Gujarat election results : Don’t blame BJP only; Congress too dumped the Muslims:Harsh Mander
After Victory in Gujarat, BJP’s War Against Minorities Likely to Gain Momentum:SIDHARTH BHATIA
New law criminalising triple talaq may not be in best interests of Muslim women:Javed Anand
BJP continues to fan communal tensions in coastal Karnataka over man’s mysterious death:TA Ameerudheen
Criminalising instant triple talaq is more about BJP’s politics than women’s welfare:Shoaib Daniyal
Divorce as crime: Making triple talaq a criminal offence is unnecessary and possibly counter-productive: The Hindu Editorial
Afrazul Killing Video as a Perfect Anti-Muslim Crime:Maaz Bin Bilal, academic, published in EPW
Growing up Muslim in India: Even a secular name didn’t spare me the stereotypes and discrimination:Sahil Wajid
Gujarat Is A Setback For BJP, But Will It Make Party More Humble? Amulya Ganguli
Is there a ‘new Gujarat model’ for the Congress and Opposition unity?Seema Chishti

Compiled and edited by Anwarulhaq (Released at: 5:22 PM)


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