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20 December 2017

20 Dec.ND: Muslim organisations not consulted on triple talaq bill: Govt tells Parliament/No plans to abolish articles 35A and 370: Govt



Evening NEWS DIGEST
20 Dec.2017: 01 Rabial Aakhir 1439:Vol:9, No:77
INDIA
Muslim organisations not consulted on triple talaq bill: Govt tells Parliament
New Delhi: Muslim organisations were not consulted before the Govt framed a draft bill to criminalise the practice of instant triple talaq, Lok Sabha was informed on Wednessday. Law Minister Ravi Shankar said Govt believed that the proposed bill would help ensure gender justice, gender equality and dignity of women. Govt has maintained that since the practice of instant triple talaq or ‘talaq-e-biddat’ continues despite the Supreme Court striking it down, there is a need to bring a law. To a written question on whether the Govt  consulted Muslim organisatons before framing the draft law, Minster of State for Law PP Chaudhary replied in the negative.In a separate written reply, Prasad said, “Govt is of the view that the issue arises from the humanitarian concept of gender justice, gender equality and dignity of women and not arising from faith and religion.”He said that since the SC struck down the practice of instant triple talaq, nearly 66 cases of husbands divorcing their spouses through this method were reported.PTI
Don’t criminalise triple talaq: women’s groups to Govt
New Delhi: Protesting the proposed criminalisation of instant triple talaq in the Centre’s Bill on the issue, various women’s groups have asked the Govt to hold wider consultations before passing the legislation, as it affects the very women whom it proposes to protect.A statement by Bebaak Collective, an intervener in support of the triple talaq plea by Shayara Bano, states that it is opposed to making violation of civil contract of marriage a criminal act.The organisation says this would render a woman more vulnerable, as with her husband in jail, she will be deprived of both financial security and of her right to stay at her matrimonial home. The statement has been endorsed by more than a dozen women’s rights outfits, including Jagori and LABIA (A Queer Feminist Collective), as also over a hundred academics and activists such as Nivedita Menon, Ayesha Kidwai, Teesta Setalvad and Mary E John. Hasina Khan, from Bebaak Collective, said criminalising talaq-e-biddat does not address the issue of unilateral talaq, which men can still pronounce over a period of three months under the personal law. “Instead of bringing in a new legislation that merely criminalises instant talaq, Govt should amend the existing Dissolution of Muslim Marriages Act, 1939.Act requires women to approach the court for divorce. It should be made gender-neutral so that even men have to approach the court for a divorce.”Bebaak Collective approached MPs from Opposition parties with letters stating that since instant triple talaq has been declared invalid by SC, the marriage is not dissolved and hence criminalisation would “violate the rights of conjugality”. It says, “The move to imprison Muslim men will add to the prevailing insecurity and alienation of the Muslim community.” The letter states that an aggrieved woman could use existing legal provisions.In a separate statement, All India Democratic Women’s Association demanded that the Bill be referred to a Parliament Standing Committee. indianexpress
Criminalisation of Triple Talaq Makes Muslim Women More Vulnerable: Women’s Groups
Karnataka: Muslim forum publishes booklet to create awareness on triple talaq
Hubballi: While the Union Govt is all set to table a bill banning triple talaq, Dharwad District Anjuman-E-Islam (DDAE) has taken an initiative of creating awareness against the same by publishing a booklet. It is also planning to hold workshops and interactive sessions for young Muslim boys and girls by next month. Hameed M Koppad, president, DDAE, said triple talaq is misinterpreted, and that women have been victims of this wrong practice.Referring to Hadees (sayings of Prophe), Jamaluddin S Hadagali, secretary, DDAE, said, "instant triple talaq is allowed only in specific circumstances. However, the practice of giving it instantly in an inebriated state, anger or excitement was started by men. In the modern age, it took new modes of technology. Triple talaq actually protects brides and their families. Triple talaq should happen in 3 phases—after saying talaq, some months will be given to the couple, with the hope that they can reconcile their differences," he said.Mufti Mohammed Ali Qazi, who has authored the booklet, said even the first talaq being pronounced is also not allowed, without a legitimate reason in Islam. "Instant triple talaq is allowed only in case of emergencies, like it happened somewhere in the 8th century, during the era of an Iraqi Sunni Muslim theologian and jurist, Hanifa. 2 brothers had married 2 sisters, in whose valima  Hanifa was present. Later, the brides entered the bedroom of the person, who was not their husband, by mistake. A blunder happened unknowingly.Then all 4 were taken into confidence that they should marry the person, with whom they had slept. However, to dissolve their first marriage, instant triple talaq was used" he said. Timesofindia
No plans to abolish articles 35A and 370: Govt
New Delhi:The government said on Wednesday there was no proposal as of now for abolition of articles 35A and 370 which give special status to Jammu and Kashmir.The reply came in response to the question posed by Akali Dal MP Sukhdev Singh Dhindsa about the status of abolishing Article 35A and Article 370.“No proposal regarding abolition of Article 35A and Article 370 in respect of Jammu and Kashmir is at present under consideration of the government,” Union minister of state for home Hansraj Ahir said replying to a written question.Abrogation of Article 370, that gives autonomous status to Jammu and Kashmir, continues to be a part of the core ideology of the ruling BJP, but the party maintains that it does not have enough numbers in Parliament to do away with it.In case of Section 35A, a writ petition was filed in the Supreme Court by an NGO seeking its abrogation.Article 35A was added to the Constitution by a presidential order in 1954 and it empowers the state legislature to define the state’s “permanent residents” and their special rights and privileges. While the Jammu and Kashmir government contested the petition saying the president had the power to incorporate a new provision in the Constitution by way of an order, the Centre had expressed its reservations.It filed a reply and requested the apex court to refer the matter to a larger bench as constitutional issues were involved in the case.The matter is currently sub-judice.PTI
Supreme Court finds ‘no merit’ in plea seeking ban on liquor
New Delhi:The Supreme Court has found ‘no merit’ in a plea seeking a ban on liquor across the country claiming that it caused death, health problems, rise in crime graph and financial loss to the people.The top court rejected the plea and also imposed Rs 1 lakh as costs on the petitioner NGO Chaitanya Sravanthi, a Vishakhapatnam-based organisation .A bench of justices R F Nariman and Navin Sinha said that there was ‘no merit’ in the plea and it was dismissed with the costs to be deposited with the Supreme Court Legal Services Committee within four weeks.Advocate Sravan Kumar, appearing for the petitioner, said that the court should also direct an audit of the manufacture, distribution, supply, sale and consumption of various types of liquor in the country.HT
Not all born in India are Hindus; govt, political parties don’t have right to build Ram temple: Shankaracharya
Mathura:Swami Swaroopanand Saraswati, the Shankaracharya of Dwaraka-Sharda Peeth, said that there was no logic in the assertion that those born in India were Hindus as he claimed it would “eliminate the basic structure of society”.He was reacting to the statement of RSS chief Mohan Bhagwat that anybody living in India was a Hindu.“The theory that one who is born in India is Hindu has no logic behind it since it will eliminate the basic structure of society,” the Shankaracharya told reporters in Vrindavan.A real Hindu has faith in the Vedas and Shastras, while Muslims read the Quran and Hadith and Christians follow the Bible, he said.Addressing a gathering in Tripura earlier this week, RSS chief said, “Muslims in India are also Hindus.” On the Ayodhya temple dispute, the Shankaracharya said that political parties did not have the right to build a Ram temple in Ayodhya. “Only Shankaracharyas and Dharmacharyas have the right to construct a temple in Ayodhya,” he added.The government too cannot construct a temple as India is “a secular (dharm nirpeksh) country”, he said.On a controversy surrounding the use of EVMs in elections, the Hindu religious leader said that he was in favour of the use of ballot papers.If most of the political parties do not want EVMs, the Election Commission should not stick to it, he said.PTI

Mohsin Shaikh murder: Bombay HC stays trial against Hindu Rashtra Sena chief till revision petition is decided
Mumbai:The Bombay High Court has stayed the trial against Hindu Rashtra Sena (HRS) chief Dhananjay Desai, an accused in the murder of IT professional Mohsin Shaikh , till the revision petition filed by Desai is decided by the High Court.In 2016, Desai had filed a revision application seeking discharge from murder charges in the case along with the other charge of attempt to murder. Desai has challenged a Pune sessions court’s order of June 2016, rejecting his plea for discharge from the case.Mohsin was allegedly killed by members of the HRS, soon after a meeting of the radical Hindu outfit in Hadapsar, Pune, on June 2, 2014. The revision application was admitted by the court on April 13, 2016.It was alleged in FIR that Desai delivered a speech on Jan. 19, 2014 in Pune provoking people from one religion, and attempting to promote enmity between different groups.The complaint added that on June 2, 2014, there was a post on Facebook containing derogatory remarks against Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj and late Bal Thackeray, which resulted in communal riots in Pune, during which the incident in question took place.“Prima facie, it is seen that the speech delivered by petitioner (Desai) and posting derogatory material on Facebook are two totally different and unconnected incidents,” observed the court… Undisputedly, the revision petitioner was not present when the group of 15 to 20 accused persons were discussing the matter at Gondhale Mala area of Pune, about killing people from the Muslim community,” the court had held while hearing the revision petition. indianexpress
Muslim family gives up Meerut home after protests
Lucknow: A Muslim family has decided to give up their house in a Hindu-dominated area of Meerut city, following protests by local residents as well as BJP leaders, police said.A Muslim man, Noman, recently bought a house in Maliwara locality from a Hindu, Sanjay Rastogi. When he and his family went to take possession of the house last Sunday, they faced protests from residents, BJP corporator Sandeep Goel and Bharatiya Janata Yuva Morcha (BJYM) general secretary Deepak Sharma. Following this, police took Noman and Rastogi to the police station, where it was decided that the buyer would leave the house and would be refunded the amount he paid.A shopkeeper said: “Sanjay Rastogi, who owns a jewellery shop, sold his 2-storeyed house to Noman for Rs 22.5 lakh. On Sunday evening, Noman reached the house with his family. Soon, local residents gathered and started protesting, claiming that it was a Hindu-dominated locality and Muslims would not be allowed.” He claimed that within an hour, over 200 people had gathered. “They all asked the family to leave. Some youths raised pro-BJP and pro-Hindu slogans.” Soon, BJP leaders joined the protests. indianexpress
Opposition unites against UP Govt's 'Draconian' UPCOCA
Lucknow: The opposition parties in UP  have decided to stand united against the UP Control of Organised Crime Act (UPCOCA) tabled by the Yogi Adityanath-led Govt  during ongoing winter session of the Assembly. They have termed UPCOCA as a tool to suppress the voice of opposition and against the interest of the common man.President of the Samajwadi Party, Akhilesh Yadav, said that UPCOCA is a tool to threaten the voices against the Govt . He said, “BJP used to say that encounters of the criminals will improve the law and order situation in the state but nothing has changed. Nothing will change until the Govt gives charge to able officers. UPCOCA will be used to suppress the voice of the opposition and to threaten them.” BSP supremo Mayawati also raised her concerns against UPCOCA and said that this would be used against Dalits, the poor and minorities. In a statement issued on Wednesday, Mayawati said, “BJP is using such laws against Dalits and the poor in the BJP-ruled states for their vested interest. Hence, UPCOCA which is made on the basis of MCOCA will also be misused to suppress the voices against the ruling party.”BSP MLA Mukhtar Ansari said, “My leader Mayawati has opposed UPCOCA and even I oppose such law which might be used against Dalits, OBCs and will also be used by the ruling party to threaten the opposition. I demand Yogi Govt to take back this bill immediately; our CrPC has enough law and is capable to handle any kind of crime.”Congress MLA Lallu Singh also raised concerns over the misuse of UPCOCA.Till now the police had to first arrest the culprit and then present him in the court, and then collect the evidences against him. But under UPCOCA, the police will first collect evidence against the criminals and then arrest them on the basis of that. The accused will now have to prove their innocence in the court.Apart from this, violent demonstrations against the Govt  have also been included in it. The Govt  will not only provide security to the witnesses but the testimony will also be held in closed rooms and the court will not reveal the name of the witness. Under this law, the accused will not have the right to know who has testified against him.News18
UP  assembly passes UPCOCA bill,
UP witnessed most communal incidents in 2014-16, govt informs Parliament; Karnataka, Maharashtra follow
New Delhi;UP  recorded maximum incidents of communal violence — a total of 450 cases — among all states in the country in 2014-2016, the Govt  informed the Rajya Sabha on Wednesday. It was followed by Karnataka and Maharashtra, with 279 and 270 cases, respectively, in the same time period. MP and Rajasthan, both BJP-ruled states, too, recorded a significant number of communal incidents, registering 205 and 200 cases, respectively, the Govt  submitted further. Bihar and Gujarat were at sixth and seventh on the list, with 197 and 182 incidents on record in 2014-16, respectively.Significantly, no communal incident was reported in Goa and northeastern states of Meghalaya, Mizoram, Nagaland, Sikkim and Arunachal Pradesh in 2014-16. Indianexpress

UP: Sadhvis accuse Swami Sachchidanand, 3 others of rape
4 Sadhvis of famous Sant Kutir ashram in Basti district of UP  have slapped rape and torture charges against four Swamis of the ashram, including Swami Sachchidanand, and their two women accomplices.After escaping from the ashram, four Sadhvis met the SP of Basti district and lodged an FIR against Swami Sachchidanand, Swami Chetnanand, Swami Viswashanad, and Swami Bairajyanand and  two women workers of Sant Kutir ashram at Sadar Police Station. All the accused are currently absconding. Famous for his religious discourses, Swami Sachchidanand runs his ashrams in several other states including Delhi, Mumbai, Bihar, Madhya Pradesh and Chhattisgarh.Basti SP Sankalp Sharma said that a case has been registered against four Swamis and two women workers of the ashram. “Sadhivs bore injury marks on their bodies suggesting physical assault and torture. They have been sent for the medical examination,” said Sharma. dnaindia
Yogi-led govt to set up cow protection panels in all UP districts
UP Govt has decided to set up cow protection committees in all districts of the state. The 'Gau Sanrakshan Samiti' would be headed by the district magistrate and it would ensure that cow sheds in the region operate efficiently, said a statement issued by the state Govt  here on Tuesday."The committee will be headed by the district magistrate, while the superintendent of police and the district's chief development officer will be its vice-chairmen. The chief veterinary officer will be its member secretary," Principal Secretary (Animal Husbandry) Sudhir M Bobde said.Apart from this, to make the committees self-reliant various cow-related products such as biogas, compost, soaps, incense sticks, mosquito repellant coil, phenyl made from cow's urine would be sold, he said. dnaindia
MP: Amid surging vigilantism, 1300 cows dead in 4 months at cow shelter in Gwalior
While cow vigilantism is soaring at an alarming rate in the country, cow shelters or ‘gaushalas’ constructed to protect the pious animal are regularly failing to sustain their lives. Around 1300 cows have died in four months in a Tipara cow shelter in Gwalior, MP. The cow shelter which has been witnessing the deaths is one of the biggest shelters in the state where injured and sick cows are brought in to be given adequate treatment. Gwalior Municipal Corporation (GMC) is under the scanner being the governing body of the cow shelter.NewsX
Gujarat: Now, Shiv Sena hints at EVM tampering in polls
Mumbai: Shiv Sena on Wednesday continued its tirade against the BJP over the Gujarat election results and hinted at the tampering of electronic voting machines in the polls.“If what  Hardik Patel says is true, then the BJP will have to garland EVMs also, besides Modi, for the Gujarat victory,” the Sena said. “When some in Mumbai are celebrating the win, despite the BJP failing to cross even the 100-seat mark in Gujarat, we can say that they have not understood the true meaning of this win,” the Sena said, referring to the Mumbai BJP workers bursting fire crackers after the results were out on Monday.It said the Gujarat elections showed that the ruling party “can stoop to any level” to win the elections.“Modi had said BJP will win 151 seats, while BJP chief Amit Shah said getting over 150 seats would be their real victory. However, the people of Gujarat did not even give them 100 seats,” it claimed.The party claimed the urban class had tilted towards BJP, but the “real Hindustan” was in villages where the problems of farmers and labourers remained unresolved.PTI
Muslim independents spoil Congress’ party in Godhra
Vadodara: The Congress would have fancied its chances in Godhra. With Congress rebel CK Raulji contesting the elections and caste equations in favour of Congress, it was well-placed till 5 candidates of the minority community threw their hat into the ring. BJP had fielded Raulji, who had deserted the Congress during the Rajya Sabha polls in August, from Godhra while the Congress picked up Rajendrasinh Parmar. Congress was banking on the fact that the sizeable number of votes of the minority community along with OBCs would swing the result its way as Dr Jaswantsinh Parmar, a BJP rebel, would eat into the saffron party votes. But the final tally came as a shocker to the Congress. After a see-saw battle, Raulji won with a wafer-thin margin of 258 votes.Among themselves, the five independent minority community candidates - Mukhtar Mansuri aka Painter Lala, Mehndisha Diwan, Inayatkhan Pathan, Wasin Bhana and Zuber Umarji - polled a mere 4,331 of the 1,78,911 of the votes. timesofindia
Muslims in Gujarat polls: Just a few candidates, tiny voteshare
Mumbai: The benefits of putting up a Muslim candidate in Gujarat are low for political parties, an analysis of election data show. As per Census 2011, Muslims make up 9.67% of the state’s population; however, the 203 Muslim candidates, who constituted 11.1% of the total 1,828 candidates in the 2017 Assembly elections, together received only 1.6% of the total valid votes polled.BJP, the dominant party in Gujarat for over two decades, put up a Muslim candidate each in the 1995 and 1998 elections, but none after that. Since 1990, the most Muslim candidates the Congress has put up has been 10 each in 1995 and 1998. Of the 6 Muslim candidates the Congress fielded in 2017, three won.1.6% voteshare for Muslim candidates in the 2017 election is the lowest since 2002 when, in the vote held some months after the riots, 57 Muslim candidates received just 2.87 lakh votes — 1.4% of the total votes polled. The voteshare of Muslim candidates rose in 2007 (116 candidates, 4.13 lakh votes) and 2012 (192 candidates, 6.51 lakh votes) before crashing in these elections (203 candidates, 5.04 lakh votes).The contrast between the Gujarat numbers and those in UP  are stark. Muslims are 19.26% of UP’s population, as per Census 2011 data. Even in the wave that propelled the BJP to 312 (out of 403) seats on its own in the 2017 Assembly elections, Muslim candidates drew 13.36% of the total votes polled.In Gujarat in 2017, each Muslim candidate polled 2,487 votes on average, while each non-Muslim candidate got 18,292 votes, more than seven times more. The gap was narrower for the six Muslim candidates fielded by the Congress, each of whom got 64,598 votes on average, compared to 70,890 votes for each of the party’s 170 non-Muslim candidates on average.indian express
Bengali workers leaving Rajsamand in large numbers after Afrajul’s murder
http://twocircles.net/2017dec20/419153.html                        
The murder of Afrajul Khan in Rajsamand district of Rajasthan a couple of weeks ago has also severely impacted the lives of hundreds of Bengali Muslims working in the region, with many returning to Bengal in fear that they could be the next victim.Since the murder of Afrajul, more than 250 labourers working in Rajsamand have left, either temporarily or for good.The incident has left such a scar on the minds of the Bengali workers that some have even left their possessions behind and taken the first train home. But, with jobs left behind, the biggest worry for these workers is to figure out how will they survive and for how long. Given that agriculture can employ them as labourers for a maximum of three months, many are already looking for alternative income sources. Some, however, are also hoping that they can return to Rajsamand once the conditions become normal. Nevertheless, all the workers have been left counting losses.Take the case of Room Khan, the brother of Afrajul, who was also working there with him. He said to TwoCircles.Net, “We had been working there for more than 15 years. We felt that we were settled down there and could manage our families. But now we don’t know what our fate will be. We cannot go back until or unless the situation becomes normal and even if it becomes normal, how can we stay there with the experiences of such horrific incidents?” He added, “We are now obliged to find some alternative place for work to earn our livelihood.”TwoCircles
Stones pelted at houses, communal tension prevails in Belagavi
Belagavi:Once again tension prevailed in and around the city after a group of miscreants started pelting stones in an alleged attempt to create communal tension, in Belagavi on late hours of Monday. Police rounded up 23 accused in connection to the violence on Tuesday wee hours.According to eye witnesses, at about 10.50 pm, a group of miscreants started pelting stones at Khadak Galli and its adjoining area. A car and three two-wheelers were burnt during the violence. Several people including three police personnel were injured and several vehicles were damaged in the incident.Miscreants in groups also attacked few houses and assaulted families. At the very intimation, police rushed to the spot and tried to bring the situation under control. However, as it was allegedly a planned attack, they faced a tough time in handling the situation.One of the injured police personnel was Assistant Commissioner of Police Shankar Marihal. newindianexpress
Suhaib Ilyasi, host of India’s Most Wanted, sentenced to life imprisonment for wife’s murder
New Delhi:A Delhi court has sentenced former TV producer Suhaib Ilyasi to life imprisonment for the murder of his wife in the year 2000. The court had last week convicted Ilyasi of stabbing his wife to death 17 years ago.Additional Sessions Judge S K Malhotra also imposed a fine of Rs 2 lakh on Suhaib Ilyasi. Besides, the court also directed that Rs 10 lakh be paid as compensation to the parents of Anju. Ilyasi, who was brought from Tihar jail, shouted that he was innocent and the award of life sentence is an “injustice”.During the arguments on sentence,prosecution sought capital punishment for the former TV producer contending that he gave “a painful death to his wife”.Ilyasi’s counsel, however, sought leniency saying he has faced around 18-year-long trial and three months in custody. The counsel also said that he (Ilyasi) never violated the bail conditions, successfully run magazines covering bureaucrats and has no criminal antecedents. indianexpress
Restrictions in Srinagar as separatists call shutdown against civilian killings
Srinagar;Authorities imposed restrictions in parts of Srinagar city on Wednesday to prevent protests during a separatist called shutdown in the Kashmir Valley, police said.Joint Resistance Leadership (JRL), a separatist conglomerate headed by Syed Ali Geelani, Mirwaiz Umer Farooq and Muhammad Yasin Malik, called for the shutdown against the killings of civilians in anti-militancy operations.Authorities have placed Mirwaiz Umer under house arrest.Placed under #HouseArrest again, while the inhuman brutal killings of #Kashmiris including our young women continue and the collaborators who preside over them sing paeans of their masters”, Mirwaiz tweeted.IANS
Akali Dal meets Pak High Commissioner over Sikhs' 'forced conversion'
New Delhi: A delegation of Akali Dal, lead by party president Sukhbir Singh Badal, met the Pakistan High Commissioner today over the issue of forcible conversion of Sikhs in Pakistan's Khyber Pakhtunkhwa province.This meeting comes after reports surfaced in regard to Pakistan's Sikh community alleged that they were "being forced to convert to Islam" by a Govt  official."An issue of forcible conversion (of Sikhs) in Pakistan has surfaced; a delegation of Akali Dal will have a meeting at the Pakistan High Commission this evening, over the issue," SAD chief said here.ANI
Pakistan issues visa to Kulbhushan Jadhav’s wife, mother; family to meet on Dec 25
New Delhi:The Pakistan High Commission in New Delhi on Wednesday issued visas to the mother and wife of death row prisoner Kulbhushan Jadhav to meet him in Islamabad on December 25. Pakistan’s Foreign Office spokesman Mohammad Faisal confirmed in a tweet that the visas have been issued. Jadhav, a former Indian Navy officer, was arrested in Pakistan on espionage charges.“Pakistan High Commission in New Delhi issued the visas to the mother and wife of Commander Jadhav to visit Islamabad to meet him, today,” Faisal tweeted. This comes days after Pakistan had rejected India’s plea for consular access to Jadhav at the ICJ, claiming that New Delhi wants the access to get the information gathered by its “spy”. In its counter-memorial submitted to the International Court of Justice (ICJ), Pakistan said the provision of such an access under the Vienna Convention is only for legitimate visitors and not for spies, a media report said. indianexpress
Pakistan Army Chief extends support to Hafiz Saeed, says JuD Chief can ‘take up Kashmir issue’
New Delhi: Pakistan Army Chief Gen. Qamar Javed Bajwa on Wednesday said that Jamaat-ud-Dawah chief Hafiz Saeed can play an ‘active role’ to resolve the Kashmir conflict, as every other citizen of Pakistan, reports ANI.Speaking at ‘in-camera session’ of the Senate Committee of the Whole in Islamabad, Bajwa while speaking on topics like counter-terrorism operations and foreign policy, said, “Like every other Pakistani, Saeed can also take up the Kashmir cause.” His statement comes days after ex-Pakistan President and military dictator Pervez Musharraf called LeT and JuD ‘patriotic’and expressed his willingness to forge an alliance with them for the “safety and security” of Pakistan. indianexpress
Number of Bangladeshi migrants in India comes down by 8 lakh in 17 years: UN
The number of Bangladeshis living in India has come down by 800,000 since 2000 and now stands at 3.1 million, a UN report said.In 2000, there were 3.9 million migrants from Bangladesh living in India, according to the 2017 International Migration Report released here on Monday.It said that the number of migrants from all countries living in India now was 5.2 million, a fall of 1.22 million from 2000.The definition of international migrants used in the report is broad and takes into account anyone living in a country different from their own and includes refugees and economic migrants, both those immigrating officially and those who do so “irregularly,” said Bela Hovy, the chief of the Migration Section of UN Dept of Economic and Social Affairs (UNDESA).According to data from UNDESA’s Population Division made available with the report, there had been 4.375 million people from Bangladesh living in India in 1990.There are 35,250 people from India now living in Bangladesh, an increase of 12,439 since 2000 when there were 22,811, according to the data.The data showed that there were about 258,000 fewer people from Pakistan now living in India than in 2000. There are now 1.095 million people originating from Pakistan in India, while there had been 1.353 million in 2000.IANS
India has completed DNA testing of families of 39 Indians missing in Iraq: Sushma Swaraj
New Delhi:India has completed the DNA testing of the families of 39 Indians missing from Iraq’s Mosul city since 2014 and forwarded the samples to Iraqi authorities for matching with the mortal remains in the graves there, the Lok Sabha was informed on Wednesday.The government has been making all possible efforts to trace the 39 Indian workers missing in Iraq and currently it is trying to obtain proof of their being alive or dead, external affairs minister Sushma Swaraj said in a written reply to a question.Asked if the government has initiated and completed the DNA testing of the families of 39 Indian workers who were kidnapped from Mosul, Swaraj said, “Yes, the government has initiated the process... DNA samples, as received from our respective state governments, have been forwarded to the Iraqi authorities.”Urgent steps were taken to arrange for DNA samples of the family members of the missing Indians to assist the Iraqi authorities in their investigations, she said.“Iraqi Martyr’s Foundation asked for DNA samples of the close relatives of the missing Indians for matching with the mortal remains...,” the minister said.PTI
Nobody's going to apologise: Angry Naidu on PM's allegations about Manmohan
New Delhi: Rajya Sabha Chairman Venkaiah Naidu angrily told protesting MPs today that "nobody is going to give (an) apology" for PM Narendra Modi's comments allegations that his predecessor Manmohan Singh is colluding with Pakistan. Naidu also told disruptive Congress MPs demanding an apology from PM Modi that the PM did not make his allegations in Parliament, which was why no apology was required.TOI
WORLD
 US Ambassador Haley sends warning letter to UN members ahead General Assembly voting on Jerusalem
US Ambassador to the UN, Nikki Haley, has sent a threatening letter to members of the UN General Assembly ahead of a vote on a resolution against the US decision to recognise Jerusalem as the capital of Israel.In the letter, obtained by Haaretz, Haley wrote that US President Donald Trump "will be watching [Thursday's] vote carefully" and "requested I report back on those who voted against us…" The warning came after the US was outnumbered 14 to 1 as it vetoed a UN Security Council resolution on Monday against Trump's decision on Jerusalem.Furious over the Security Council resolution against the move, Haley on Tuesday said it was "an insult" that would "not be forgotten"."It's one more example of the UN doing more harm than good in addressing the Israeli-Palestinian conflict," she said on Twitter.Anticipating the US veto in the Security Council, the Palestinian leadership in the occupied West Bank promised to take the issue to the General Assembly to seek the passing of a resolution there.Riyad al-Maliki, foreign minister of the Palestinian Authority (PA), said in a statement on Monday: "The member states of the General Assembly will be asked to vote on the same draft resolution that we presented to the Security Council, which the US has blocked with the veto."In the General Assembly, the US will not be able to use this privilege," he added.A vote in favour of the resolution in 193-member UN General Assembly, however, is not legally binding. This means it would only serve as a recommendation and would act as an expression of the international community's stance on Jerusalem.At the request of Turkey and Yemen, General Assembly is set to meet at 15:00 GMT tomorrow for discussion about Jerusalem. aljazeera
US will 'take names of those who vote to reject Jerusalem recognition
U.N. General Assembly to vote on Jerusalem tomorrow after US veto
Trump Jerusalem recognition harms Christmas: Catholic leader
The Catholic church's top official in Jerusalem on Wednesday criticised Donald Trump's controversial recognition of the city as Israel's capital, saying it damaged Christmas celebrations and led to hundreds cancelling trips.Archbishop Pierbattista Pizzaballa, apostolic administrator of the Latin Patriarch of Jerusalem, said "dozens" of groups had pulled out of planned visits after being scared off by the announcement and subsequent clashes.He added that the heads of the Christian churches in Jerusalem would find it difficult to accept an official request by US Vice President Mike Pence to visit the city's holy Christian sites in January, calling for him to "listen more" to other Christians."Of course this created a tension around Jerusalem and this diverted attention from Christmas," Pizzaballa said of Trump's Dec. 6 decision."After this there are some tensions in Jerusalem, Bethlehem also. This scared many people, so we've had less people than expected."He stressed, though, that they would continue with planned Christmas celebrations.AFP
Palestine president, Saudi king discuss Jerusalem issue
Ramallah:Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas on Wednesday met with Saudi King Salman bin Abdul Aziz in Riyadh, with whom he discussed recent developments pertaining to Jerusalem. At the meeting, Abbas briefed the Saudi king on steps he is taking to “safeguard Jerusalem from the threats it is facing”, according to Palestine’s official WAFA news agency.  Wednesday’s meeting comes exactly two weeks after U.S. President Donald Trump recognized Jerusalem as Israel’s capital. At the meeting, Abbas praised what he described as "the international consensus in support of the Palestinian people and cause and rejection of the U.S. decision [on Jerusalem]". The Palestinian president also commended Saudi Arabia’s stance on Jerusalem and the Palestine issue. On Tuesday, Abbas arrived in Saudi Arabia from where he will travel to France on Thursday to meet with French President Emmanuel Macron.Anadolu
We will shoot Jews. We declare intifada from Malmo: Sweden rocked by anti-Semitism after Jerusalem move: DailyMail
Anti-semitic attacks and protests have been taking place across Sweden since Donald Trump recognised Jerusalem as the capital of Israel, but Jews in the Scandinavian country say they have been under attack for years.Last week saw an arson attack on a synagogue in Gothenburg and an attempted arson attack at a Jewish cemetery in Malmö, Sweden's second and third-largest cities respectively.Demonstrations involving hundreds of people in Malmö and the capital Stockholm saw protesters shouting anti-semitic slurs and threatening terror attacks on Israel.Two days after the United States recognised Jerusalem as Israel's capital, around 200 people attended a demonstration in Malmö at which some participants chanted anti-Jewish slogans.Participants shouted: 'We have declared an intifada from Malmö. We want our freedom back and we will shoot the Jews'. A demonstration in the capital Stockholm this week saw hundreds carrying Palestine and Turkish flags chanting 'we march on Jerusalem, millions of martyrs' and 'Oh Jews, the Army of Muhammad will return.' The crowd gathered for a speech in Arabic, during which the speaker branded the Jewish people 'the descendants of cows and pigs', after which participants burned the Israeli flag with the Star of David. 
Israel detains 24 Palestinians in overnight raids
Ramallah, Palestine:The Israeli army detained 24 Palestinians in overnight raids in the occupied West Bank and East Jerusalem, according to Palestinian NGOs on Wednesday.In a statement, the Palestinian Prisoners Society said Israeli forces rounded up 18 Palestinians after raiding their homes in the West Bank cities of Ramallah and Nablus.Six people were also arrested in the Jerusalem neighborhood of al-Isawyia, according to Amjad Abu Assab, head of Jerusalem Committee for Families of Prisoners.The Israeli army frequently carries out wide-ranging arrest campaigns in the West Bank on the pretext of searching for "wanted" Palestinians.According to Palestinian official figures, more than 6,400 Palestinians are currently held in detention facilities throughout Israel. Anadolu
Right-wing Israel rabbi performs Talmudic prayers at Al-Aqsa Mosque
Extremist Israeli Jewish Rabbi Yehuda Glick performed Talmudic rituals in front of Al-Aqsa Mosque, Jordan’s news agency Petra reported.General Director of the Islamic Endowments and Al-Aqsa Mosque Affairs, Sheikh Azzam Al-Khatib, told the news agency that a group of settlers arrived in the Al-Aqsa courtyards through the Mughrabi Gate.He said that they were escorted by a large number of heavily armed Israeli occupation police and special forces.Glick has previously called for the demolition of Al-Aqsa Mosque to build the alleged Jewish Temple in its place and he has been known for his racist views towards Palestinians and Arabs. middleeastmonitor
Saudi permanently closes only land border with Qatar
Saudi Arabia has permanently closed its only land border with Qatar, which continues to be blockaded by the kingdom and some of its Gulf neighbours.According to a document issued by Saudi Arabia's customs directorate on Tuesday, the Salwa border gate had been shut permanently since Monday night.The letter said Saudi officials ordered the closure.The move comes as an ongoing diplomatic crisis nears eight months. The gate was first closed two weeks after Saudi Arabia, the UAE, Egypt and Bahrain cut diplomatic and trade ties with Qatar on June 5, accusing it of financing "terrorism" and maintaining too close a relationship with their regional rival, Iran. Doha denies the allegations. Aljazeera
Turkey denounces UAE over divisive 'propaganda' retweet
Turkey has accused the UAE of spreading divisive propaganda after its foreign minister retweeted a post denouncing President Recep Tayyip Erdogan's "ancestors" for their treatment of Arabs during the Ottoman Empire.Abdullah bin Zayed Al Nahyan, UAE foreign minister, had shared on Twitter a post that accused Fahreddin Pasha - an Ottoman governor of Medina from 1916-1919 - of committing crimes against the local population, including stealing their property."These are Erdogan's ancestors and their past with the Arabs," it said.The Turkish newspaper Daily Sabah quoted presidential spokesman Ibrahim Kalin taking Nahyan to task for the retweet, accusing him of a "propaganda lie that seeks to turn Turks [and] Arabs against one another". aljazeera
Myanmar bars UN probe as mass grave found in Rakhine
The UN's investigator into human rights in Myanmar has been barred from entering the country.Yanghee Lee had been due to visit in January to review Myanmar's human rights, including alleged attacks on Rohingya Muslims in Rakhine state.The Govt  said it had banned her because she was "not impartial and objective while conducting her work".Ms Lee said the decision to block her suggested "something terribly awful" was happening in Rakhine.On Tuesday, Myanmar's authorities said they found 10 bodies in a mass grave in a village there.Ms Lee last visited Myanmar in July, where she raised concerns over the treatment of Rohingya Muslims in Rakhine.In a statement on Wednesday, Ms Lee said she was "puzzled and disappointed" at the decision to block her, especially as she had previously been given access to Myanmar.BBC
India, Myanmar ink pact for socio-eco development of Rakhine
New Delhi:India and Myanmar today inked an agreement on restoration of normalcy and development of the Rakhine State, from where thousands of Rohingya Muslims recently fled following incidents of violence against the community. Signed between Foreign Secretary S Jaishankar and Myanmar Deputy Minister for Social Welfare, Relief and Resettlement U Soe Aung in Myanmar's capital Nay Pyi Taw, this is the first Govt  to Govt  pact inked by Myanmar with a cooperation partner focused on socio-economic development and livelihood initiatives in the Rakhine State. Jaishankar is on an official visit to Myanmar. "This is intended to help the Govt  of Myanmar achieve its objective of restoration of normalcy in Rakhine State and enable the return of displaced persons," the external affairs ministry said. business-standard
More than 9,000 killed in battle for Mosul: AP
Between 9,000 and 11,000 people were killed in the nine-month battle to recapture the Iraqi city of Mosul from the ISIL, an AP investigation has found.The civilian casualty rate is nearly 10 times higher than that previously reported. The deaths are acknowledged neither by the coalition, the Iraqi Govt  nor the ISIL's self-styled caliphate.Iraqi or coalition forces are responsible for at least 3,200 civilian deaths from air raids, artillery fire or mortar rounds between Oct. 2016 and the fall of ISIL in July 2017, according to the AP investigation. aljazeera
136 civilians killed in Saudi-led attacks in 11 days
At least 136 civilians have been killed in Yemen over 11 days this month as a result of intensified air raids by the Saudi-led military coalition, the United Nations says.Rupert Colville, a spokesman for the Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights, expressed deep concern on Tuesday at a "surge in civilian casualties" in an air campaign launched by the Saudi Arabia-led coalition in response to the Dec. 4 killing of Yemen's former president, Ali Abdullah Saleh. aljazeera
Egypt: Colonel jailed for announcing he will run for president
Colonel Ahmad Konsowa was sentenced to six years in prison by an Egyptian military court yesterday after announcing his intention to run against Egyptian President Abdel Fattah Al-Sisi in next year’s elections, his defence lawyer told the Associated Press.Konsawa was convicted of violating military regulations which ban active duty officers from participating in politics, after he announced earlier this month that he would take part in elections that are due to begin from Feb.It is believed that Al-Sisi, who was a military general himself before ousting democratically elected President Mohammed Morsi in 2013, will run in the upcoming election and win a second four-year term. middleeastmonitor
FLASH: VIEWS & NEWS
Islamic finance is becoming so attractive that even non-Muslims want in:CNBC
Mothers in UP  are still waiting for the money the PM  promised them in 2016:Priyanka Vora
Given the situation in Kashmir, Dineshwar Sharma initiative appears futile:Hilal Mir
Rajasthan HC 'guidelines' on religious conversion burden women, seem to contradict Right to Privacy law: Sharanya Gopinathan
#SolidarityWithKarim: The Syrian baby without an eye:middleeastmonitor


Compiled and edited by Anwarulhaq (Released at: 8:11 PM)

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