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23 December 2017

23 Dec.ND: Proud of India and India’s friendship with Palestine, says Palestinian envoy after UN voting against Trump’s move/Anti-Israel, anti-US demonstrations take place across India/Fodder Scam: Lalu, 15 Others Convicted, Sentencing On Jan. 3, Jagannath Mishra Acquitted



Evening NEWS DIGEST
23 Dec.2017: 04 Rabial Aakhir 1439:Vol:9, No:80
JERUSALEM ISSUE
Proud of India and India’s friendship with Palestine, says Palestinian envoy after UN voting against Trump’s move
New Delhi:Palestinians are proud of India and India’s support to the cause of peace in West Asia, Ambassador of Palestine said, hours after India voted in favour of a negotiated solution to the issue of Jerusalem and against US President Donald Trump’s recognition of the holy city as the capital of Israel. Ambassador Adnan Abu Alhaija’s comments came even as the Govt was praised by CPI for voting against the US recognition of Jerusalem as the Israeli capital. “We are proud of India and India’s friendship with Palestine. By voting for a negotiated settlement of the issue of Jerusalem, India has conveyed to the world that it stands for peace in West Asia. We wish to thank the Indian Govt, Indian people and their attitude at the UN which will ensure peace in our region and in the world,” he said. However, Israeli envoy Daniel Carmon reiterated his country’s claim to Jerusalem in backdrop of the developments at the UN General Assembly. “Jerusalem always was the capital of the Jewish people, is and will continue to be the capital of modern Israel. No vote at the General Assembly can change that,” he said.Officials said India’s reaction to Mr. Trump’s statement had indicated that India would vote for the UN resolution. The Hindu had reported that the Arab countries had also reached out to India for its coveted vote. The resolution moved by the Arab countries received 128 votes for and 9 against, with 35 countries abstaining.Apart from the diplomatic dialogue, External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj discussed the vote at the Consultative Committee on External Affairs on Thursday. “Sushmaji informed that India will vote for the resolution in favour of a negotiated settlement of the Jerusalem issue when D. Raja of CPI raised the issue,” said a source familiar with the meeting.“Govt has taken the right decision by supporting the resolution at the UN, which reflects India’s traditional policy on Palestine, as it is a highly sensitive issue,”Raja said.Significantly, Govt faced criticism from within for the vote, with Rajya Sabha member Swapan Dasgupta coming out against the UN resolution. “India should either have abstained or voted against UN resolution condemning the shifting of US embassy to Jerusalem. We should stand by Israel, a firm friend,” he said on Twitter. Palestinian anvoy, however, said the resolution was a clear sign that Israel could not lay any exclusive claim to Jerusalem. “There cannot be any state of Palestine without East Jerusalem as its capital. India has supported the two-state solution traditionally. We believe Jerusalem is the last and most sensitive of the dispute, and that is why we appreciate major countries like India which support a negotiated solution,” he said. thehindu
'No UN vote' can change Jerusalem's status, says Israel's ambassador to India, Daniel Carmon
Trump threatens countries including India who voted against Israel's Jerusalem move
Jerusalem move: Mehbooba, Farooq laud India’s stand
Jammu/Srinagar:CM  Mehbooba Mufti said that she was proud of India’s decision to vote in the UN against the US recognising Jerusalem as the capital of Israel.“Very proud to see that India joined over 100 countries at the UN to vote against recognising Jerusalem as the official capital of Israel. This vote further reaffirms our stand and support to Palestine,” she said in a statement on Twitter. J&K , India’s only Muslim majority state, has always reacted emotionally to Israel-Palestine conflict in the past.NC head Farooq Abdullah also welcomed the adoption of UNGA resolution opposing declaration of Jerusalem as the capital of Israel by the US. greaterkashmir
India made huge mistake by voting against US on Jerusalem: Subramanian Swamy
New Delhi: BJP MP Subramanian Swamy today denounced the Govt's move to oppose the United State's decision to recognise Jerusalem as Israel's capital at the UN, saying India has made a "huge mistake". PTI
Badruddin Ajmal applauds India's vote at UN against US' Jerusalem decision; Sushma says 'now you vote for us'
New Delhi: External affairs minister Sushma Swaraj on Friday returned AIUDF chief Badruddin Ajmal's compliment for India voting in the UN General Assembly against the US decision to recognise Jerusalem as Israel's capital, saying "vote for us". "Thank you Ajmal Sahib. Now you vote for us," Sushma Swaraj tweeted late on Tuesday evening in response to Ajmal's tweet."Thanks Govt of India for voting in the UN against US decision of Jerusalem as Israel's capital," said Ajmal, chief of AIUDF and MP from Assam's Dhubri constituency.IANS
‘Now you vote for us’: Sushma Swaraj’s reply to tweet on India’s UN vote on Jerusalem sparks row
Jerusalem: Anti-Israel, anti-US demonstrations take place across India, over a crore people participated
Over a crore people participated in coordinated protests at more than a thousand different locations to condemn US President Donald Trump’s decision to recognise Jerusalem as Israel’s capital.More than a crore protestors marched at over a thousand locations across the country on Friday to condemn US President Donald Trump’s decision this month to recognise Jerusalem as Israel’s capital.The protestors were brought together by Islamic organisation Jamiat Ulema-e-Hind, also witnessing participation from other Islamic,Dalit and Christian outfits, according to Jamiat’s spokesperson Azeemullah.“There were demonstrations in Mumbai, Delhi, Pune, Kolkata, Vellore, Guwahati, Agartala, Patna, Ranchi, Banaras, Kanpur, Dehradun, Gaya, Hyderabad, Ahmadabad, Surat, Bangalore, Chennai, in addition to demonstrations in other cities,” Azeemullah told National Herald.He said that Jamiat Ulama-i-Hind’s President Maulana Usman Mansoorpuri led the protest in Varanasi, which was the main center of the coordinated demonstrations.“There was a huge turnout in Varanasi. That was the main centre of the protest. I believe we have sent out a strong message to the Govt and the world,” he said, adding that the fact that Varanasi also happened to be PM Narendra Modi’s constituency was pure coincidence. Addressing demonstrators in Varanasi, President of Jamiat Ulama-i-Hind Maulana Usman Mansoorpuri called on Centre to issue an “unequivocal condemnation” against the US “in tune with India’s historically held position” on Palestine and East Jerusalem.“This attempt by the US is to legalise the illegal occupation of Palestinian territories by Israel. This is not going to help in the peaceful resolution of the Palestinian issue,” Mansoorpuri also said, according to a press release issued by the organisation.Azeemullah said that the biggest turnouts were witnessed in the states of Andhra Pradesh and UP .“There were a total of 422 protests in Andhra Pradesh. Many people turned up to express their solidarity with Palestine in Muzaffarnagar, Amroha and Varanasi too,” he said.In the lead-up to Friday’s demonstrations, Jamaat Ulema-e-Hind convened a meeting on Wednesday in New Delhi, which was attended by fourteen MPs from various political outfits and fifteen foreign diplomats, including Ambassadors of Palestine, Iran, Algeria, Turkey and Tunisia.The meeting was also attended by prominent social activists, including the head of National Confederation of Dalit Organisations (NACDOR) Dr Ashok Bharti, National Integration Council (NIC) member John Dayal and former election commissioner SY Qureshi, among others.Expressing solidarity with the Palestinian cause, a resolution moved at the end of the meeting asked India to condemn the US and throw its wholehearted support behind Palestine.Janata Dal (United) MP and party spokesperson KC Tyagi, a participant at the meeting, told National Herald that India should stick to its historic stand on Palestine.Tyagi further appreciated India’s vote at the United Nations General Assembly on Thursday, in which New Delhi had voted, along with 127 other nations, against the US and Israel to condemn the decision to recognise Jerusalem as Israel’s capital. Azeemullah informed NH that no BJP MP had been invited to the meeting, amid accusations that party leaders, in principle, are in favour of building ever closer ties with Israel. BJP MP Subramanian Swamy had been critical of India’s UN vote, saying that New Delhi should have sided with the US and Israel.Azeemullah said that Jamiat Ulema-e-Hind was planning massive protests at the time of Israel PM Benjamin Netanyahu’s visit to India next month. nationalheraldindia
Bhopal: Jamiat protests US move on Jerusalem
Boycott US, Israel goods, use Indian products: Cleric
Lucknow: Muslims should use products that are made in India, and stop using ones from Israel and the United States, exhorted Maulana Kalbe Jawad in Lucknow after conducting Friday prayers at the Asafi mosque. The day was also observed as a national day for protection of Quds (Jerusalem) denouncing America's declaration of Jerusalem as Israel's capital.The cleric, who is secretary of Majlis-e-Ulama-e-Hind, said that Muslims had the prime right over Jerusalem and that India's vote against US declaration at the UN General Assembly on Thursday, had brought relief to Indian Muslims. "If we all Muslims boycott the products made and sold by the 2 nations-US and Israel- it will indeed be a big financial blow to them. And since we are Indians, it is only our duty to increase the economy of our own country by using more and more Indian products," said Jawad while addressing those gathered to offer Friday prayers at the mosque.India's vote in favour of UN resolution denouncing US's announcement of Jerusalem as Israel's capital as 'null and void' was also applauded by the cleric and the community, who saw it as the Indian tradition to be on side of the weak, Palestine in this case. "India has always had a pro-Palestine policy and the vote at the UN assembly, was a proof of its continuation. It has brought great relief to all Muslims in the country," he said. timesofindia
UNGA resolution: 128 countries, including India, vote to reject US decision on Jerusalem
Over 100 countries including India defied US President Donald Trump on Thursday and voted in favour of a United Nations General Assembly resolution calling for the United States to drop its recognition of Jerusalem as Israel's capital.Trump had threatened to cut off financial aid to countries that voted in favour. A total of 128 countries backed the resolution, 9 voted against and 35 abstained. Trump's threat appeared to have some impact, with more countries abstaining and rejecting the resolution than usually associated with Palestinian-related resolutions. Nevertheless, Washington found itself isolated on the world stage as many of its Western and Arab allies voted for the measure. India did not speak on the floor of the Assembly in New York, but after Trump recognised the holy city of Jerusalem as the capital of Israel, it had said that its Palestine position was independent and consistent. Reuters
UN General Assembly rejects Trump's Jerusalem move
UN Jerusalem resolution: How each country voted
Arab outreach works, as India votes for negotiated settlement of Jerusalem
Palestinians in Jerusalem: UN vote 'pointless exercise'
Palestinian leaders have hailed the result of a vote at the UN rejecting a unilateral US recognition of Jerusalem as Israel's capital, calling it proof of international support for "justice"."The international community has unequivocally proved that it will not be intimidated or blackmailed, and its members will defend the global rule of law," Hanan Ashrawi, a senior member of the Palestine Liberation Organization, said in a statement after Thursday's vote. But for many on the ground, the resolution approved by the UN General Assembly was nothing more than a symbolic act. "It's a pointless exercise," Amany Khalifa, a political activist in Jerusalem, said."Palestinian Authority (PA) has to evaluate the whole diplomatic process of going to the UN. The experience we've had is that for decades now these resolutions have not changed anything.""We will take political, diplomatic and legal actions against Trump's declaration regarding Jerusalem,"Mahmoud Abbas said.But Khalifa believes that "the only ones who are still talking about the two-state solution are PA".Currently, between 600,000 to 750,000 Israeli citizens - or 11% of Israeli population - live in the occupied territories. Guarded by heavily armed Israeli soldiers, they have taken up large swaths of Palestinian private land. At least 12 such settlements have been built around and in the heart of Palestinian neighbourhoods in Jerusalem.AlJazeera
African National Congress resolves to downgrade embassy in Israel
African National Congress (ANC), South Africa's ruling party, has resolved to "immediately and unconditionally" downgrade the South African Embassy in Israel to a liaison office.The ANC's decision on Wednesday evening, announced during its 54th National Conference, came on the eve of a UN General Assembly emergency session where member states resoundingly approved a draft resolution rejecting US President Donald Trump's move to recognise Jerusalem as Israel's capital."[It] sends a clear message to Israel that there is a price to pay for its human rights abuses and violations of international law," the ANC said in a statement. Al Jazeera
China repeats support for independent Palestinian state
Beijing :Chinese Foreign Minister Wang Yi reiterated support for an independent Palestine state with East Jerusalem as its capital, Xinhua news agency reported on Friday."Peace in the Middle East cannot be achieved unless the Palestine issue is solved, as this issue is a root one in the region," Wang was quoted as saying by Xinhua.Wang's remarks came during his meeting with Ahmed Majdalani and Nabil Shaath -- the representatives of Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas -- in the capital Beijing.He called on the international community to back a 2-state solution and independent Palestine that enjoys full sovereignty on the basis of the 1967 borders.Anadolu
Palestinians to 'no longer accept' US peace plan, Abbas urges EU to take lead in peace efforts
Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas has called on the European Union to take the initiative in the Israel-Palestine peace process.Abbas also says he will "no longer accept" any peace plan put forward by the US following President Donald Trump's recognition of Jerusalem as the capital of Israel on Dec. 6. "US has proven to be a dishonest mediator in the peace process," Abbas said during a joint press conference with French President Emmanuel Macron in Paris. aljazeera
US may recognize Israel as Jewish state: Hamas chief
Gaza:US may recognize Israel as a Jewish state, Hamas political chief Ismail Haniyeh said Saturday.Speaking at a local convention in Gaza City, Haniyeh said his group had obtained information that Washington may take new decisions regarding Jerusalem and the Palestinian cause."We have information that the US administration may recognize Israel as a Jewish state, annex settlements and abolish the Palestinian right to return,"he said, without explaining where he got the information from.The Hamas chief called for a review of the Middle East peace process."The Palestinian Authority is requested to take a clear position regarding the Oslo peace accords and security coordination with Israel," he said.Haniyeh stressed that Jerusalem would remain the capital of Palestine. "Every step taken by the Israeli occupation is invalid," he said. Anadolu
What happened in Jerusalem will spread to Mecca:Father Musallam
A member of the Christian-Islamic Committee in support of Jerusalem and the Holy Places, Father Manuel Musallam, has warned that what has happened in Jerusalem will spread to Mecca. Father Musallam has also warned that what happened in holy city of Jerusalem will lead to a religious war, because Al-Aqsa Mosque will eventually fall down due to all the excavations Israel carries out underneath it.“We call on the world to stop the religious expansion of Israel. We reject religious war, but if the war was imposed on us, we as Christians will stand with our Muslim brothers to resist this Zionist-Christian fundamentalist attack against Jerusalem and the holy Al-Aqsa Mosque.”He called on Muslim countries to provide Palestinians with weapons to resist this attack.MEMO
Israeli forces kill two Palestinians in Gaza protests
At least 2 Palestinians in the Gaza Strip have been killed by Israeli forces during protests over US' decision to recognise Jerusalem as Israel's capital, according to Palestinian Ministry of Health.The ministry said on Friday that 2 Palestinians were killed and over 70 others injured during clashes with Israeli forces in northern Gaza near the border with Israel. aljazeera
Israel to formally ask withdrawal from UNESCO
PM  Benjamin Netanyahu on Friday instructed Israel's special envoy to the UNESCO to formally announce its withdrawal from the organization.According to Israeli daily Yedioth Ahronoth, Netanyahu asked Carmel Shama-Hacohen to submit an official letter of withdrawal by the end of the year.Israel's move came after the U.S. on Oct.12 notified UNESCO, it would exit the group, citing "anti-Israel bias" and financial reasons.
Hamas: Reconciliation agreement with Fatah ‘collapsing’
Head of Hamas in the Gaza Strip, Yahya Al-Sinwar, warned that the reconciliation agreement reached with rival Fatah movement is “collapsing”.“I regret to say that those who cannot see the reconciliation is collapsing are blind. The reconciliation is collapsing and everyone must intervene to save it,” he said during a meeting with youth and activists in Gaza.He added:“We have taken great steps to achieve the reconciliation and made a lot of concessions, but the reconciliation is still in the same place.”“Some want the reconciliation according to the American and Israel terms. This means handing over weapons, missile capabilities and tunnels,” Al-Sinwar added.Fatah and Hamas failed to meet the 10 Dec. deadline set for the Palestinian unity Govt to assume full responsibility of the Gaza Strip, in accordance with the reconciliation agreement signed on 12 Oct. in Cairo, Egypt. middleeastmonitor
INDIA-OTHERS
Fodder Scam Verdict: Lalu, 15 Others Convicted, Sentencing On Jan. 3, Jagannath Mishra Acquitted
Ranchi:  A stunned Lalu Yadav was jailed today after a CBI court in Ranchi found him and 15 others guilty of corruption in a fodder scam case when he was CM  of Bihar. 6 others, including former CM  Jagannath Mishra, were acquitted. The court will rule on the jail sentence on Jan. 3. Lalu Yadav's party RJD, which will be led by Lalu's younger son, Tejashwi Yadav, called the case "a tragedy of errors". The judgment came on the same day the ED filed charges against Lalu Yadav's daughter Misa Bharti for money laundering.NDTV
Fodder scam verdict: Lalu Prasad Yadav convicted by CBI court, quantum of punishment on Jan. 3
Fodder Scam: RJD to challenge Lalu's conviction in HC
Patna: Minutes after RJD chief Lalu Prasad was on Saturday convicted in a fodder scam case by a special CBI court in Ranchi, the party announced that it will challenge the verdict in the high court. "RJD will challenge the special CBI court's order in the high court soon," senior party leader Jagdanand Singh, considered close to Lalu Prasad, told the media here. A former state minister, Singh has termed the CBI as "tota" (parrot) and robot, controlled by the BJP-led central Govt.He asserted that the RJD was united and it would remain united.IANS
Relief for Ashok Chavan as Bombay HC rejects Governor’s prosecution order in Adarsh scam
Bombay High Court ruled that the order passed by the Maharashtra Governor granting sanction to prosecute former state CM  Ashok Chavan in the Adarsh housing society scam “cannot be sustained”.A bench of Justice Ranjit More and Justice Sadhana Jadhav quashed and set aside the sanction order.HC was hearing a petition filed by Chavan challenging decision of Maharashtra Governor C Vidyasagar Rao granting sanction to CBI to prosecute him in the case. The bench had earlier made Rao a respondent in the matter. indianexpress
Activists decry bill on instant triple talaq, ask why civil issue is being made criminal offence
60-year old Noorie Mohammed belongs to the erstwhile Katputli Colony at Shadipur Depot. Some weeks ago, she and her family of six members were moved to Narela in Delhi. She said that she had heard that talaq-e-biddat (instant talaq) had been struck down by the Supreme Court.But when Noorie was asked to give her views on whether she supported the idea of a husband who had pronounced triple talaq being jailed, she was aghast. "Which woman will want to send her husband to jail?," Noorie asked. "It will only serve to further erode the institution of marriage," she remarked.In Chitli Kaber, Delhi, middle-aged Ruksana Khan who earns her livelihood as a dai (mid-wife) is equally aghast at learning about these developments."We have never supported talaq-e-biddat, but we cannot support our boys being sent to jail either. As it is, our community is suffering and has its back to the wall,’ said Khan.Muslim activist in UP , Shabina Mumtaz uses the same logic to point out the travesty in of this current piece of legislation which is expected to be tabled in Parliament on Friday."Hundreds of Muslim women I have interacted with in the last few weeks have come up to me asking for a clarification on this piece of legislation. They point out, `Earlier a man could throw a woman out of the matrimonial house; now, we can turn around and throw him out of the matrimonial house. This is because the bill says that once a woman files an FIR, she can continue to live in her matrimonial house and take financial support from her husband. But if the husband is in jail, how is he going to support the wife and children? And which husband’s family will be ready to keep the wife if she is responsible for getting their son arrested? What kind of fool’s paradise is this?' these women ask me," pointed out Mumtaz."These women believe bill will leave both the women and their children more vulnerable. They do not want to be ostracised by the men in their community as they will have no place to vent their grievances," said Mumtaz.Even more important, women want to know why what is primarily a civil dispute is being turned into a criminal offence.Supreme Court advocate Indira Jaising, who is representing different women groups in court on this issue, said, "Marriage is a civil contract between two adult persons and so the procedures to be followed on its breakdown must be civil in nature." "We support the SC verdict striking down instant triple talaq. If a bill has to be legislated, it should stop at the portion of the verdict which says instant talaq shall be void and anti- legal," said Jaising.Hasina Khan of the Bebak Collective, an outfit which supported Shayara Bano’s petition against instant triple talaq, also insisted her organisation is opposed to making the violation of the civil contract of marriage a criminal act. "Bill has made instant triple talaq into a non-bailable offense, with the husband being given a three-year jail sentence. It will allow for the police to literally march into a couple’s bedroom and claim he has pronounced triple talaq and then arrest him,’"said Khan.Khan cited examples of cow vigilantism and love jihad where Muslim men are being lynched on the basis of rumour mongering.Prof Ayesha Kidwai of JNU is horrified at the surreptitious manner in which the bill is being passed. "Bill has not been circulated. No feedback has been taken from women's organisations and from Muslim groups to incorporate their point of view. The bill must be referred to a Parliament Standing Committee for wider consultations," said Kidwai.Members of Bebak Collective have met both Minister of State for Parliamentary Affairs Mukhtar Abbas Naqvi and Congress leader Ghulam Nabi Azad to express their dissatisfaction with the bill.The outfit has also written a letter to MPs from Opposition parties pointing out 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.’Jaisingh has warned that it will be unacceptable for the govt to pass this bill through a voice vote. "If the government does not hold wider consultations, the bill will be severely challenged in the SC." firstpost
Govt criminalising triple talaq to instil fear among Muslims: women’s rights activists
AP: Protest against triple talaq Bill
Kakinada:Opposing the Central govt’s move of introducing a Bill in the current session of the Parliament criminalising instant triple talaq, lawyers under the aegis of the Muslim Advocates Association of Andhra Pradesh (MAAAP) staged a protest at the Collectorate here on Friday.Addressing lawyers, president of the association’s State unit Md. Jawahar Ali said that though the Muslim advocates welcomed the Supreme Court’s directive on ‘instant talaq,’ they were strongly opposing the Govt’s move to promulgate an Act with proceedings that were against the Shariat.“The provisions of proposed Bill are quite objectionable. While banning the instant talaq, Bill proposed punishment in the form of fine and jail to the man and paved way for handing over the custody of children to the wife. It also proposed payment of alimony to the wife. When the talaq itself is nullified, where is the scope for alimony and punishment?” he asked. Accusing the Govt of trying to interfere in the Muslim personal law, Ali said that the entire Muslim community would oppose the move without a second thought. thehindu
Triple Talaq Bill Heads to Lok Sabha Amid Congress Din, AIMPLB Calls Board Meeting

Bill on Triple Talaq to be Introducted in LS Next Week

Country being divided, losing faith in govt: Catholic body
 New Delhi;Stating that the “country is being polarised due to religious affiliations”, the top Catholic body in the country has said the community is “losing confidence” in the Govt. “From the point of Christian community, this whole incident of attack on priests and seminaries in Satna and the state Govt’s move to file cases against the priests, arresting the poor and the innocent instead of finding the culprits, do not help us to keep our confidence in the Govt intact. We are losing our confidence in the Govt,” Cardinal Baselios Cleemis, President of the Catholic Bishops’ Conference of India (CBCI), apex decision making body of the Catholic Church in the country, said in an interview.“I agree such incidents can happen in a big country… But how do you evaluate the strength and stand of the Govt? It is the subsequent action and the legal protection are what matter.”“The country is being divided on the basis of religious belief. It is bad in a democratic country. I want my country to be united in a secular fabric. But now, this country is being polarised due to religious affiliations. We should fight against it,” the Cardinal said.Last week, 30 priests and seminarians singing carols in a village near Satna in BJP-ruled Madhya Pradesh were detained by police after Bajrang Dal activists accused them of trying to forcibly convert the villagers. One of the priests was arrested under the state’s draconian anti-conversion law.Indian Express
Karnataka: BJP MP Shobha Karandlaje booked for fuelling rumours with ‘jihadi’ angle in Honnavar
The Karnataka Police on Thursday filed a case against BJP MP Shobha Karandlaje for a tweet that alleged the role of “jihadis” in what she said was attempted “rape and murder” of a 14-year-old girl in Uttara Kannada’s Honnavar town. The girl had later confessed that fearing a stalker, she had inflicted the wounds on herself to end her life on Decr 14.The police booked Karandlaje under Section 153 (promoting enmity between groups) of the Indian Penal Code, The News Minute reported.In response, she said the Karnataka Govt was “protecting jihadis”. She said on Twitter that she would “continue [her] fight against jihadi elements” and would not succumb to the Govt’s pressure.Uttara Kannada district has been on the boil since Hindu and Muslim groups clashed in Honnavar on Dec. 6. The communal riots worsened after the body of a Hindu youth, Paresh Mesta, was recovered from a pond. BJP alleged that Muslims had tortured and murdered him. On Dec. 14, the town got tense again after reports that several Muslim men tried to rape and kill a 14-year-old girl, which the police later called rumours. scroll
Over 100 BJP workers  booked in Ghaziabad for rioting over Hindu lady Marries Muslim Man in UP
Over 100 workers of the BJP and other Hindu outfits, including a dozen-odd leaders, were booked in Ghaziabad on the charge of clashing with police and rioting over the marriage of a Hindu woman with a Muslim man, police said on Saturday.The case was lodged at midnight Friday by Kavi Nagar police through SI Dinesh Sharma.The accused had allegedly clashed with police earlier in the day in Ghaziabad over the marriage they dubbed as a case of "love jihad" and also staged a sit-in outside the house of the woman's parents and disrupted traffic.The woman's family had organised a wedding reception at their house in Ghaziabad.Police said they removed the protesters by using mild force on the ground that they were trying to interfere in the personal lives of individuals."How can police allow people to barge into someone's house? We got a distress call and performed our duty accordingly," SP HN Singh said.The bride's father Pushpendra Kumar said:"I was receiving phone calls for the last two days to stop the marriage. But both (bride and bridegroom) are majors and mature enough to know what's wrong and what's right."Bride Nupur Singhal is a psychologist with a Ph.D, while her husband Mansoor Harhat Khan holds a MBA and works in a private company. His family originally hails from Aligarh, though his father lives in Delhi but owns a house in Noida as well.“They have decided to live together, so they have registered their marriage under the Special Marriage Act in Ghaziabad. We had arranged a reception party today. I don’t see any love-jihad in their marriage,” Pushpendra Kumar said.According to him, the boy even offered to marry as per Hindu rituals. “But neither the groom’s family nor ours put any conditions and left it to the girl and the boy, and they went for court marriage,” father added.They are in touch with Noida SSP as they apprehend that on Saturday,“some mischief” could take place in Noida, at the house of the boy’s father.IANS
Interfaith marriage: Hindutva activists create ruckus at wedding reception
Not just Muslims, Adivasis have also suffered at the hands of ‘Gau Rakshaks’
Over the past 3 and a half years, India has witnessed an increase in attacks on marginalised communities in the name of “cow-protection” (Gau Raksha). From J&K to Karnataka and West Bengal to Maharashtra, it would be fair to say that the series of attacks have left few states untouched. The impact of these attacks has been especially felt in the state of Jharkhand, which has been witness to some of the worst attacks by right-wing goons in the name of ‘protecting’ cows. From the brutal murder in Latehar, including that of a minor, to the mob attacks in various parts of the state, the state has seen some of the worst attacks in the country. TCN’s Afroz Alam Sahil travelled across Jharkhand to understand and narrate how the terror spread by right-wing fundamentalists  under the garb of protecting the cow has left a trail of blood in its path. In the first of the eight-part series, Afroz looks at how the violence around “cow protection” often with the collusion of the local administration and police has left Adivasis reeling in their own state.Across India, it has now become common to see Muslims tortured, murdered and humiliated in the name of cow protection. In other cases, like in Una, Gujarat, Dalits have been at the receiving end of this terror. However, in Jharkhand, the violence has deeply impacted the lives of Adivasis, and these incidents are taking place  merely 40 km from the capital, Ranchi.The story of Alma Khalko, an Adivasi woman from the village of Naro, is one of the many such stories. Khalko was beaten up by the goons affiliated with Bajrang Dal for allegedly trading/selling?beef, even though Khalko, labourer, is actually a member of CPI (M-Leninist).Khalko says that the attacks on her followed a long period of threats from the fundamentalists of the region. “I have been working with the labourers and making them aware of their rights…this did not go down well with some of the locals. On Aug.24, my house was surrounded by goons of Bajrang Dal. They beat up my husband and accused me of selling beef.They also threatened to kill me. When I approached the Police to file a complaint, they instead rebuked me and failed to take any action against the attackers,” she said.On Dec.8, Khalko was attacked again, but the police refused to take action against the culprits.TCN
UP govt stops salaries of 298 madrasa staff and teachers
UP  Govt has stopped the salaries of 298 staff and teachers at 43 madrasas in the state that have not submitted the required details, an official said on Friday.Minority Welfare and Muslim Waqf Minister Laxmi Narayan Chaudhary told the legislative council that of the total 560 madrasas in the state, 43 failed to submit details.Salaries of all staff members and teachers at other madrasas were being given as per rules,Cabinet Minister added.In all, 3 are 8,764 teachers and staff members at these madrasas. Minister said a notice has been sent to the management of these madrasas again to set things in order, especially about the land they exist on.Senior legislator and teachers' group leader in the Upper House Om Prakash Sharma cited the example of a madrasa in Varanasi whose staff has lost out on salary after failing to furnish details of the land and asked if this is an issue why was the salary of teachers stopped.IANS
SC Refuses To Regularise Unauthorised Mosque On Public Property, Allows Exercise Of Option To Relocate
The Supreme Court vacation bench of Justice Adarsh Kumar Goel and Justice UU Lalit on Friday refused to interfere with the Bombay High Court judgment dated Nov.17 in Shafique Ahmed Khan & Anr v State of Maharashtra & Ors, wherein the high court has upheld the decision of the Maharashtra Industrial Development Corporation (MIDC) and a municipal corporation level committee to demolish an unauthorised mosque erected on public property at Shivaji Nagar, Navi Mumbai.Senior counsel Shyam Diwan, appearing on behalf of the petitioner Trust, referred to a Maharashtra state Govt Resolution (GR) dated May 5, 2011, which provides that all religious structures erected post September 29, 2009, shall have no protection while categorising structures erected prior to the said date into 3 categories – Category A, for regularisation; Category B, for demolition; and Category C, for rehabilitation. Diwan submitted that initially the mosque in question was categorised as belonging to Category C, but subsequently, an affidavit dated Nov. 17 was filed by the MIDC before the Bombay High Court, changing the category to B. The senior counsel further submitted that the said religious structure is very old, in view of the fact that it was first assessed to municipal tax in 1990-91. It was contended that the shrine is at a distance of 50 metres from the main road and should be placed in Category A. The survey report, the fact of registration in 1998 and the electricity and water bills were relied upon in support of the regularisation of the mosque. Relying on an earlier GR according the status of protection to all structures encroaching on state land, residential or commercial, in existence prior to the year 2000, it was argued, “It is also the land of the MIDC where slums have come up. If protection is being accorded to the residents of these slums, then why can the same protection not be extended to a religious structure on the same land?” live law
Ahmedabad court sets aside its gag order on The Wire in Jay Shah defamation case
An Ahmedabad civil court on Saturday set aside the interim injunction imposed on news website The Wire for its article on the spike in revenues of the company owned by the son of BJP President Amit Shah the year after Narendra Modi became PM  in 2014.The court had imposed a gag order on The Wire, barring it from publishing any content “directly or indirectly” related to Jay Shah or his Temple Enterprises. The Wire had filed a petition against injunction, arguing that it “represented an unconstitutional restriction on the freedom of the press”, and that the article mentioned “nothing defamatory” as it was based entirely on public records.Jay Shah had filed a defamation case against The Wire in October, after which the Ahmedabad court issued the injunction. On Nov. 28, the Gujarat High Court had rejected The Wire’s plea against the gag order and asked it to approach the Ahmedabad civil court that issued the order. The lower court had reserved its verdict in the case on Dec. 17.Going back on its earlier order, the civil court on Saturday ruled that barring the use of the words “Narendra Modi becoming PM /elected PM ” in relation to any debate on the original article on Jay Shah, The Wire is free to publish content on his business and public activities.scroll.in
Victory for The Wire as court lifts injunction granted to Jay Shah
Gujarat: Losing Congress candidates plan anti-EVM campaign
Ahmedabad: Several Congress candidates, who have lost the Assembly elections, are contemplating to launch a statewide campaign against EVMs, claiming that the machines were tampered with during the just concluded Assembly polls resulting in victory for BJP. Many of them said that they were not technical experts, but “circumstantial evidence point that the ruling party had tampered with EVMs”.Congress leader Ashok Jirawala, who contested from Kamrej seat in Surat said, “You don’t require to be a big engineer to understand that EVMs were manipulated to get results in favour of BJP. Everybody knows that BJP candidates could not hold rallies and public meetings in Surat city in the run-up to the polls. Over 80%  of the people in my constituency say they voted for the Congress. BJP candidate (V D Zalavadiya) was sitting at his house. He can’t move out due to opposition of the people. And when the results are declared, he scored over 20,000 votes more than me. This is unbelievable”. Indian express
Gujarat High Court denies 20-day bail to Babu Bajrangi
Ahmedabad:Gujarat High Court refused temporary bail to Babu Bajrangi, accused in Naroda Patiya massacre of 2002 Godhra riots. Bajrangi, who is currently lodged at Sabarmati Central Jail, had sought 20 days’ bail for his eye treatment in Chennai. Justices Harsha Devani and A S Supehia had sought details of Bajrangi’s treatment from the jail authorities. They submitted that “Bajrangi has refused to get treatment from Civil Hospital for unknown reasons.”indianexpress
Cong, BJP deliberately avoided Muslim empowerment during election campaign in Gujarat: Asaduddin Owaisi
Hydeabad:AIMIM President Asaduddin Owaisi said that both the Congress and BJP deliberately avoided talking about Muslim empowerment and their representation during the election campaign for the Gujarat election. Owaisi said “Both National parties, in no way, tried to give a message that they are interested in getting Muslim votes (in Gujarat).They deliberately avoided talking about Muslim empowerment and Muslim representation, and the proof is that BJP did not give a single ticket to a Muslim.Congress gave six tickets and only three are now elected”.UNI
Hindu priest,Muslim cleric say avoid celebrating New Year
Deoband in UP  has thrown up a surprise as Muslim clerics from the Darul Uloom and a pandit from the same city have expressed concern over celebrating New Year on Jan 1. Cutting cake and rejoicing is part of celebrating New Year. However, Maulana Mufti Tariq Quasmi has said the practice of cutting cakes is unIslamic."This is not legitimate in Islam," he said.Quasmi feels Muslims and those practising should stay away from such practices and abide by the practices of Islam. "Our new year begins in the month of Moharram. We have no objection to people of other religion following such practices but Muslims, especially the youth, should avoid such things," added Quasmi.Recently, Darul Ulum had banned the use of smart phones in their campus. Surprisingly, Quasmi's observations and suggestions have also been seconded by Hindu priests in the same area in UP. "According to Hindu shastras, our new year begins on the first day of Navaratri in the Chaitra month. Our new Nav Vikram Savant (new year) begins on that day and this is also mentioned in Govt records", Pandit Satendra Sharma of the Ma Shri Tripur Bala Sundari Mandir Seva Trust of Deoband said."Our youths should not follow English customs blindly. They should have basic knowledge of their religion," added Sharma. indiatoday
No Sikh in Pak converted to Islam: Pak Minister
Islamabad : Pakistan refuted media reports that some Sikhs in the Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa province were forcibly converted to Islam.“Misinformation is being spread about an incident in Hangu,” Foreign Office spokesperson Mohammad Faisal said, adding that some shopkeepers including Sikhs got into a row with a local official.The spokesperson said the concerned official was immediately suspended and a formal inquiry was ordered into the incident.Faisal said Pakistan remained committed to the freedom of religion and protection of the rights of all minorities. freepressjournal
Why should Vande Mataram rendition bother anybody, asks Naidu
Shirdi: Vice President M Venkaiah Naidu today wondered why should anybody have a problem with singing “Vande Mataram”, which meant salutations to the mother, a song that inspired millions during the country’s freedom movement.“Mother is not the photo but our motherland. ‘Vande Mataram’ is saluting the mother. Why should anyone have a problem with this,” Naidu said at an event in this temple town in Ahmednagar district.“Irrespective of our caste, creed and religion, we are one nation, one people and one country,” Naidu said, after inaugurating Global Sai Temple Trust Summit at Shirdi.PTI
Police awaiting legal opinion in Rohith Vemula case
Hyderabad:The Cyberabad police here today said they are awaiting legal opinion in the Dalit scholar Rohith Vemula suicide case, after getting a report from the revenue authorities that he did not belong to an SC community.The alleged suicide on the University of Hyderabad campus in January 2016 had triggered a firestorm of protest with nationwide repercussions. Former Union labour minister Dattatreya, Hyderabad University’s Vice Chancellor Appa Rao and three others were named in the criminal case under the Scheduled Castes and Scheduled Tribes (Prevention of Atrocities) Act lodged with the Cyberabad police over the suicide.PTI
NHRC Orders Probe into Prisoners’ Deaths in MP Jails Due to Lack of Doctors
New Delhi:NHRC on Friday ordered probe into death of several prisoners in the jails of Madhya Pradesh due to the lack of doctors. Taking suo motu cognizance of a media report, the rights panel has directed for an on-the-spot investigation by its own team.A large number of prisoners are said to be dying in the jails of Madhya Pradesh as out of 51 posts of doctors 46 are vacant. Moreover, 6 out of 11 central jails have no doctors. Not only this, all the 40 district jails in the state do not have doctors posted there.“Jail authorities are somehow managing with the part time services of the doctors from the Primary Health Centres and District Hospitals; as a result prisoners, suffering from serious ailments, fail to get timely treatment. Even if the jail administration calls a doctor, they have to pay Rs 500 as their fee, as a result only in very serious cases doctors from outside are called,” NHRC noted in its report. According to media reports, during the period of last five years, a total 733 convicts have died in jails. In one of the incidents, a 56 year old convict died due to cardiac arrest, as he was taken to the local health centre and then to the district hospital only when his condition deteriorated. Two convicts died in the district jail of Morena during the year, due to Cardiac Arrest. In a health camp organized in the district Morena, reportedly, 42 inmates were found suffering from TB. caravandaily
UP:47 women,minor girl rescued after cops raid 2 ashrams
Farrukhabad:In view of serious allegations raised against spiritual leader Virender Dev Dikshit’s Adhyatmik Vishwa Vidyalaya in Delhi, the police here on Saturday raided two ashrams run by him at Siktarbad and Kampil and rescued 47 women and a minor girl.Senior police officials led the raids. Facing a stiff opposition from the inmates, the police had to enter the ashrams through the roofs of the adjoining buildings, they said. The women inmates of the ashrams demanded a search warrant for opening the gates and were also involved in a verbal spat with the police.ASP Tribhuvan Singh said the minor girl, rescued from the Siktarbad ashram, would be produced before a magistrate and her statement would be recorded soon.The Delhi Commission for Women, along with the police, raided an ashram run by Dixit at Dwarka in the national capital on Saturday and rescued 5 girls.PTI
33 killed as bus falls into river in Rajasthan
At least 33 passengers of a bus were killed when their vehicle plunged into the Banas river in Sawai Madhopur district of Rajasthan after its driver lost control on a 100-foot high bridge near Dubi village on Dec. 23. The bus broke the railing of the bridge and fell into the river.The victims include seven women and four children, PTI quoted Soorwal police station SHO Anoop Singh as saying. He said that 19 bodies were handed over to kin of victims after post-mortem and autopsy of 14 bodies was yet to be conducted. The passengers were mostly from the nearby towns of UP  and MP, who were coming to Sawai Madhopur for visiting famous Ramdev temple. Thehindu
J-K: Army Major, 2 soldiers killed in Pakistan firing along LoC in Rajouri
New Delhi: 3 army men including a Major were killed and another injured in ceasefire violation by Pakistan in Keri sector of Rajouri district on Saturday afternoon.An Udhampur-based defence ministry spokesperson confirmed the casualties saying that more details will follow. Sources said that casualties took place when Pakistani troops suddenly opened fire on an Indian Army patrol moving on its Indian side of LoC in Keri sector around 12.15 pm. However, it could not be immediately known whether there had been any retaliation from the Indian side.
IS case: SIT files chargesheet against 3 Hyderabad youth, Shafi Armar:TOI
Hyderabad: SIT of Hyderabad police on Friday filed the chargesheet against 4 ISIS terror suspects including Shafi Armar on charges of waging war against the nation.Three Hyderabad youth, who tried to flee to Syria with the help of pro-Pakistani Kashmiri separatists, were arrested in Dec. 2015 with the help of Maharashtra ATS at Nagpur airport when they were about to board flight to Srinagar.The trio, Abdul Basith (22), Syed Omer Farooq Hussaini (24), both residents of Chandrayanagutta, and Maaz Hasan Farooq (24), resident of Mehdipatnam, were chargesheeted along with Shafi Armar.  Initially, police caught Basith along with others and counselled them for de-radicalisation in 2014 and were kept under watch.Abdul Basith, nephew of SIMI ex-president Syed Salahuddin who died in a road mishap in Nalgonda in 2014, is the prime accused in the module and according to SIT, he was inspired towards Jihadi ideology by Salahuddin's preachings. While the 3 accused youth are out on conditional bail, fourth accused Shafi Armar is absconding and was earlier believed to be in Syria.Cops didn't find any evidence against Kashmiri separatist group leader Dukhtaran-e-Millat Asiya Andrabi who was linked to the trio initially after their arrest. Asiya had denied meeting or having any links with them, and she said then that she visited Telangana when SIMI ex-chief Salahuddin had died. 3  Hyderabad youth, arrested for allegedly planning to join jihadi terror groups, aspired to meet Kashmiri separatist leader Asiya Andrabi using the name of Basith's late uncle and exSIMI chief Salahuddin,police said on Tuesday.TOI
PM Modi To Launch Section Of Delhi Metro's Magenta Line, Kejriwal Not Invited
New Delhi: As preparations are in full swing for the inauguration of a segment of Delhi Metro's upcoming Magenta Line by PM  Narendra Modi on Dec. 25, Delhi CM  Arvind Kejriwal could be missing in the launch photographs. Locked in a bitter battle with the centre over the recent fare hike of the Delhi Metro, Delhi CMO has denied receiving an invitation.NDTV
Rajasthan gives 1% quota to Gujjars, 4 other communities; reservation up to 50% in state
Jaipur:Following the governor’s nod, Rajasthan Govt on Friday issued a notification providing 1% reservation to Gujjars and four other backward communities, taking the total quota in the state to 50%.The new quota will be in addition to the reservation given to these communities, including Rebari, Banjara, Gadariya and Luhar, under the OBC category.The additional quota will be given in the ‘More Backward Classes’ category for which a bill was passed in Oct. hindustantimes
3 Muslims writers selected for Sahitya Akademi Award
3 Muslim writers were selected among others representing 24 Indian languages for this year’s Sahitya Akademi award. Afsar Ahmed for his Bengali novel, “Sei Nikhonj Manusta”, Baig Ehsas for his Urdu short stories “Dakhma” and poet Late Inqulab for his Tamil poetry “Kandhaal Naatkal” are among those honored with Sahitya Akademi award 2017.TCN
Citing oppression, violence and communalism, Tamil poet Inquilab’s family rejects Sahitya Akademi award
The family of Tamil poet Inquilab, born as Shahul Hameed, has rejected the Sahitya Akademi award awarded to him just yesterday by the Sahitya Akademi.Inquilab’s family has written a letter to the secretary of Sahitya Akademi and stated that Inquilab was a people’s poet and did not write expecting awards and felicitations. “…instead I foresee oppositions, condemnations, and repulsion,” read the letter written on behalf of Tamil Poet.“Interrogations on and off are the gifts. This Govt has given me, that’s only a start….Beyond that When my pen presses I am sure I will be gifted with Something no writer has ever been given on this Indian soil,” read his letter.“My father was not running behind any award. He wrote expecting action by authorities against him and not expecting any award. He had told us that he will decline the Sahitya Akademi award if he was given one,” his son S. Inquilab informed the media.TCN
WORLD
Deadly flood hits Philippines, over 100 people killed
More than 100 people have been killed and dozens are missing after Tropical Storm Tembin triggered floods and landslides in the Philippines.The storm, known locally as Vinta, hit the southern island of Mindanao, bringing winds of 80 kilometres per hour and torrential rain on Saturday. aljazeera
FLASH: VIEWS & NEWS
Books on Muslims’ contribution in Indian freedom movement released by Harsh Mander
Case without closure: Why 2G acquittals throw up more questions than answers;Sunil Jain
Compiled and edited by Anwarulhaq (Released at: 8:35 PM)

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