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28 December 2017

28 Dec. ND: After intense debate, Lok Sabha passes controversial Triple Talaq Bill, now in Rajya Sabha /After UN vote, India readies red carpet for Netanyahu



Evening NEWS DIGEST
28 Dec.2017: 09 Rabial Aakhir 1439:Vol:9, No:84
 TALAQ BILL
After intense debate, Lok Sabha passes controversial Triple Talaq Bill, now in Rajya Sabha
New Delhi: Lok Sabha has passed a bill that makes instant "Triple Talaq" a criminal offence and proposes a three-year jail term for a Muslim man who divorces his wife by uttering the word "talaq" thrice. Bill will now be sent to the Rajya Sabha, where it is expected to face rough weather. Prime Minister Narendra Modi said at a meeting of BJP parliamentarians this morning that he hopes the bill will be passed in parliament with the consensus of all parties.Law Minister Ravi Shankar Prasad, who introduced the legislation in the Lok Sabha, said it was a "historic day for India" and a "significant step towards women empowerment, women's respect and women's rights." The bill, the minister, said is about justice and respect for women and not about any religion or community.Several parties opposed the bill's introduction, including the AIMIM, whose chief Asaduddin Owaisi alleged that the bill "does injustice to Muslim women," violates the Right to Freedom and that Muslims were not consulted in its drafting. The Congress has emphasised that it supports "any move to abolish the Triple Talaq," though it has questioned the jail term provision and wants some changes in the bill. "We need to strengthen the bill to protect women. If a man who abandons his wife and family is sent to jail how will he give them maintenance?" said Congress spokesperson Randeep Surjewala. Congress has said it would prefer a review of the bill by a parliamentary panel and moved an amendment during the vote on the "Triple Talaq" bill in the Lok Sabha; the govt has a big majority in the house and so the bill sailed through anyway.Sources said the main opposition party is likely to seek amendments in the Rajya Sabha as well, which will mean that the bill will have to be sent to a parliamentary committee for review and is unlikely to be passed in the winter session.Both houses must clear legislation for it to become law.  Already the government side is depleted in the Rajya Sabha, with the "Triple Talaq" bill being opposed by parties like BJD and AIADMK, considered government-friendly as they regularly help it pass bills. Ruling BJP and allies are in a minority in the Rajya Sabha and so need the help of such parties to push bills. Trinamool Congress has not made its stand on the bill clear yet. Samajwadi Party has said it opposes the bill in its current form. ndtv
Lok Sabha passes Talaq Bill, ball now in Rajya Sabha
Congress MP Sushmita Dev calls triple talaq bill full of lacunae, BJP calls it ‘instant relief’
New Delhi:Terming triple talaq Bill as one with several lacunae, Congress MP Sushmita Dev said had there been more women in Lok Sabha a “flawed” bill like the one brought by the government can never be passed and asked why the government was not bringing the Women’s Reservation Bill in Parliament. BJP MP Meenakshi Lekhi said the bill had been brought to give Muslim women “instant relief”. Initiating the debate on The Muslim Women (Protection of Rights on Marriage) Bill, 2017, Dev pointed out that the government was not legislating on the issue of marital rape citing that the law might be misused, and questioned if the law on Talaq-e-Biddat may not be misused.“Women’s equality is not an idea but a right... Entire country is waiting for the Women’s Reservation Bill, not because we need reservation but had there been more women in the House, a Bill like this with so many lacunae would not be passed,” Dev said.“You are not ready to criminalise marital rape...Would this Bill also not open possibilities for abuse of Muslim men,” she said.Congress, while supporting the Bill, sought to send the Bill to a standing committee to weed out the shortcomings in the legislation, but the govt did not agree.Dev said there were contradictions in the Bill, and pointed out that while there is a provision for three-year jail term, the Bill also provides women right to seek maintenance from the husband, and questioned how a jailed husband would provide that amount, and urged the government to set up a corpus to help such women.She said the Bill’s provisions would close all ways for reconciliation. She also questioned why the government waited for the Supreme Court judgment before bringing the law if they found the practice so regressive.BJP MP Lekhi said, “Codification of Islamic law is needed in this country. No one knows what is Sharia, Talaq-e-Biddat... No one knows the difference” .IANS
Triple Talaq Bill in Lok Sabha: The 6 Questions that MP Sumitra Dev Asked Law Minister Prasad
Congress Backs "Triple Talaq", Salman Khurshid Strikes Discordant Note
New Delhi: Congress today said it supports the "triple talaq" bill introduced in the Lok Sabha but wants it to be strengthened to safeguard the rights of divorced Muslim women so they live a life of dignity with adequate subsistence allowance. "Triple talaq" is the Islamic practice of men divorcing their wives by stating "talaq" (divorce) thrice.Senior Congress leader Salman Khurshid, however, a former union law minister, struck a discordant note, insisting the proposed law will be an "intrusion" into the personal lives of individuals and bring divorce, a civil issue, into the realm of criminal law.Congress's communications department in-charge Randeep Surjewala said parliament must ensure the protection of rights of Muslim women and children under all circumstances. He said the Congress was the first political party to welcome the Supreme Court verdict banning "triple talaq", and had hailed it as a decisive step toward women empowerment and victory for the rights of Muslim women."The present bill needs to be strengthened to safeguard the rights of women to a life of dignity with adequate subsistence allowance. Parliament must ensure protection of rights of Muslim women and children under all circumstances," Surjewala said. Khurshid, however, said, bill is an intrusion into the personal lives of individuals."Taking criminal law into the family, you have to be careful. To make divorce in any form a criminl matter is unacceptable anywhere in the world," he said. Khurshid, also a Supreme Court lawyer,said divorce or consequences of divorce, are areas of civil law and not criminal law, which comes in only when there is violence."Criminal law is kept out of family as far as possible, which is a general policy everywhere. Why are we bringing criminal law into something which is a non-existing factor? 'Triple talaq' is no institution or institutional fact of life, the SC has made it very clear," he said. Surjewala said Section 5 of the bill merely states that Muslim women are entitled to subsistence allowance without defining subsistence allowance and explaining the method of calculating it. It also does not clarify whether the maintenance awarded to a Muslim woman under Sections 3 and 4 of the bill will be deducted from the proposed subsistence allowance or will it be in addition to that. He said there was no clarity on whether a divorced Muslim woman be entitled to one of the 2. "Why should onus of proving instant 'triple talaq' be on women? Like in every other law, the onus of proving the pronouncement of instant 'triple talaq' would be on the victim. Why can't this law then envisage a presumption in favour of the woman, putting the onus of proof on the husband to establish that instant 'triple talaq' was not pronounced by him?" the Congress leader said.All Muslim women's groups have asked an obvious question as to who will pay the maintenance and subsistence allowance once the husband is in jail,Surjewala said.PTI
Party in support of Triple Talaq bill, but wants it strengthened:Congress's House leader, Kharge
Govt using Triple Talaq Bill for political gains: Muslim board
New Delhi: All India Muslim Personal Law Board (AIMPLB) has dismissed the Triple Talaq Bill terming it as the govt’s attempt to make political gains.“Central govt’s approach is based on their political interests. They don’t have anything to do with Muslim women; they are only doing it for political gains,” Zafaryab Jilani, AIMPLB member told media.Jilani said the Parliamentarian was “misleading the Parliament” citing that apart from prayer, and ritual, the divorce law is also protected by Article 25 of the Constitution.The Constitution allows Muslims, the biggest minority in the country, to regulate marriages, divorces and inheritance through their own civil code.But in August, the Supreme Court had ruled that the practice is “void”, “illegal” and “unconstitutional”. nagpurtoday
Shia Waqf Board's Wasim Rizvi Seeks Minimum 10 Year Rigorous Imprisonment For Instant Triple Talaq
Shia Waqf Board has sought a minimum of 10 year rigorous imprisonment for instant triple talaq.  Shia Waqf Board President, Wasim Rizvi, has said that he has written a letter to Prime Minister Narendra Modi in this regard. In a press statement, he also condemned the Muslim Personal Law Board’s opposition to the Triple Talaq Bill.OUTLOOK
Triple talaq: Naqvi says Congress failure made Muslim women suffer
New Delhi:Union Minister Mukhtar Abbas Naqvi slammed the Congress for not passing a bill during its rule to criminalise instant triple talaq, saying Muslim women have been struggling for their rights due to the party’s failure. PTI
Don't bring religion into triple talaq bill: Soli Sorabjee
Eminent jurist and former Attorney General of India, Soli Sorabjee, on Thursday appealed not to bring religion into triple talaq bill.Sorabajee said the bill is to ensure gender equality and to see women are not treated in an arbitrary manner.ANI
Triple talaq debate: MJ Akbar asks who made personal law board representative of Muslims in India
Minister of State for External Affairs MJ Akbar questioned the credibility of the All India Muslim Personal Law Board and asked who had chosen the organisation to represent the Muslim community in the country.Akbar made the statement during a debate in Lok Sabha on triple talaq bill. scroll
Triple talaq: Owaisi says it violates fundamental rights
AIMIM’s Asaduddin Owaisi said Parliament lacks the legislative competence to pass the law as it violated fundamental rights.Muslim League’s E T Mohammed Bashir said the proposed law was violative of personal laws and was a politically motivated move. B Mahtab (BJD) said while he would not talk about the merits of the bill, its framing was “faulty and “flawed”. He said if the proposed law makes the practice of instant triple talaq illegal and void, how can a person be jailed for pronouncing ‘talaq-e-biddat’. A Anwar Raja of the AIADMK opposed the bill. indianexpress
AIMPLB women wing slam push for talaq law
Patna: The women's wing of the All India Muslim Personal Law Board (AIMPLB) on Wednesday came out against the Centre's decision to introduce a bill in the Lok Sabha to ban triple talaq. "Triple talaq is not an issue at all. It is just politics by the central government. We have freedom of religion and talaq for us is a religious matter and we should be allowed to resolve it," AIMPLB's Bihar coordinator Mahjabeen Naz said.Naz said the govt should focus on stopping incidents of "rape, atrocities on women, dowry system and should work towards improving education and freedom among women instead of harping on triple talaq."Naz and her colleagues were talking to journalists at Haj Bhawan in Patna.They announced a daylong conference on Dec. 30to protect the Shariat at the Anjuman Islamia Hall. AIMPLB general secretary Maulana Wali Rahmani and women's wing president Asma Zahra will be chief guests. Around 5,000 women delegates from all over the country are expected to attend.Naz also hit out at Muslim women who celebrated the Centre's move to ban triple talaq. "Their happiness is an outcome of misunderstanding of Islam. They wouldn't have done so had they understood their religion," Naz said. "They are dancing and playing holi, which is unIslamic. They are not actually Muslims."Huda Rawal, a teacher and AIMPLB councillor,said women with no Sharia knowledge find restrictions burdensome. She agreed triple talaq via phone, email or SMS has no place in Islam, but said those facing marital problems should seek the Imam's counsel. "Centre has no business meddling in Islam," she said. telegraphindia
Didn't consult Muslim bodies before drafting triple talaq bill: Minister PP Chaudhary
OTHERS
After UN vote, India readies red carpet for Netanyahu
New Delhi: Prime Minister Narendra Modi prepares to spend four days with Benjamin Netanyahu in January, weeks after India's recent Jerusalem vote in the UN prompting a diplomatic protest by Israeli govt which "expressed its comments and sentiments" through diplomatic channels.Netanyahu's visit, the first by an Israeli PM after the 2003 trip by Ariel Sharon, is expected to mark a new high in bilateral relations, with the Israeli PM having a packed schedule for four days beginning Jan16. While the formal part of the visit will be in the national capital where he will also deliver a keynote address at the Raisina Dialogue, Netanyahu will take a break from his official engagements to see the Taj Mahal in Agra with his wife. Modi will then accompany him to Ahmedabad, where, as chief minister, he had intensified ties with Israel.Netanyahu will meet India's business leaders in Mumbai and spend some emotionally charged moments with young Moshe, who will be returning to the Chabad House where his parents were killed during the 26/11terror attack in 2008.TOI
Netanyahu arriving in India on Jan 14 even as Israel protests UN vote
Israel takes India’s vote in its stride
New Delhi: Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s visit to India in a fortnight will focus on taking cooperation on “the double-T’s” of Technology, including on agriculture and water conservation and on (Counter) Terrorism to the “next level”, according to officials familiar with the planning of the visit. They also indicated that Israel’s unhappiness with India’s vote at the United Nations last week had been put behind both countries in a “diplomatic” manner.Netanyahu’s visit comes close on the heels of India’s decision to vote for a resolution that criticised the United States for its shift on the status of Jerusalem and urged Israel to keep its commitments on talks for the two-state solution.Officials didn’t deny that the Israeli govt had lodged a protest with India about its vote, but indicated that India’s stand had to be seen in the larger context of its growing alignment with Israel on other issues, and in particular PM Narendra Modi’s visit to Israel in July 2017 as first Indian PM there. As a result Israel had used “the right diplomatic channels” to express their sentiments, the sources added. thehindu
India, Israel hold talks on cooperation in defence, security
Ahead of Israeli PM Benjamin Netanyahu's visit to India next month, the two countries today reviewed their cooperation in strategic areas such as defence and homeland security.The review was done during the foreign office consultations in which the Indian delegation was led by Secretary Economic Relations in MEA Vijay Gokhale while the Israeli side was headed by DG of Israel's Foreign Ministry Yuval Rotem."2 sides reviewed our relations in defence, agriculture, S&T (science and technology), education and homeland security,"MEA spokesperson Raveesh Kumar said.PTI
Indian oil cos to drop anchor in Israeli waters as Iran deal hangs fire
New Delhi: A consortium of Indian state-run oil and gas hunters led by ONGC Videsh Ltd (OVL) appears set to drop anchor in Israeli waters for the first time amid New Delhi's growing closeness with Tel Aviv and a widening chasm with Iran over its recalcitrance in awarding the Farzad-B gas field discovered by the same Indian grouping.Israel's energy ministry gave its preliminary nod on Dec. 11to the bid for one block submitted by the Indian consortium of OVL, IndianOil, Oil India Ltd and Bharat Petroleum subsidiary Bharat Petro Resources Ltd. Energean of Greece was the other bidder to have secured approval for 5 blocks.ONGC Videsh MD NK Verma confirmed the development, saying the consortium will go through certain processes before deciding on drilling for oil or gas in the block. This was the first auction of exploration licences, consisting of 24 blocks, in 4 years since Israel blocked foreign companies from exploration in its eastern Mediterranean waters.TOI
Jordan’s king in India next year; security ties on the table
Jordan’s King Abdullah II will visit India next year to boost the existing ties between the two countries, especially in the areas of intelligence and security cooperation, its foreign affairs minister Ayman Safadi said today.Safadi said the relations between India and Jordan go back many decades and added that these were good but “nowhere near potential”.“Ties can be better. And we want to make them better. This is the priority for his Majesty King Abdullah II who is looking forward to his visit here next year. He wants to see expanded ties in every field -- in trade, investment, tourism, cultural exchanges and intelligence and security cooperation as we face the common enemy of terrorism and extremism,” he said. Foreign Affairs and Expatriates Minister of the Hashemite Kingdom of Jordan was delivering a lecture on ‘Middle East at Crossroads. The challenges of achieving peace and security’ at the Indian Council of World Affairs.PTI
Malegaon blast: Court not exonerating Pragya Thakur is vindication of our probe, says ATS
Mumbai: Even as the special NIA court dropped the MCOCA against the accused in the Malegaon 2008 bomb blast case, Maharashtra ATS officers, who were part of the investigation before the case was handed over to NIA, said that Wednesday’s decision is a vindication of their probe.“The fact that the court did not exonerate Sadhvi Pragya Singh Thakur despite NIA giving her a clean chit is a validation of our probe. We are completely sure that Sadhvi Thakur was a mastermind and the court also saw merit in our case and will try her under certain sections of UAPA relating to terror,” said an officer who was part of the investigating team.Stating that the investigation of the 2008 Malegaon blast was filled with “lacunae”, the NIA in May 2016, filed a chargesheet against ten accused while stating there is no case made out against Sadhvi Pragya Singh Thakur and five others.The chargesheet has not only said there is “considerable doubt” on applicability of MCOCA, but it has also called the methods used by the Maharashtra ATS “questionable” and “dubious”. It also said a CBI investigation has found ATS men linked to the disappearance of a key witness. In demolishing the ATS case, the NIA relied on key new witness statements. indianexpress
NIA hasn’t wiped out ATS probe: Judge Shripad Tekale
It's difficult to believe that Sadhvi Pragya had no links with Malegaon blast: court
Malegaon blast case: Court refuses to let Sadhvi Pragya go despite NIA suggestion
In Delhi, BJP-ruled civic body to ban display of non-veg food outside eateries over ‘sentimental’ reasons
Delhi: If the civic body has its way, non-vegetarian food displayed in the open on stalls outside restaurants and eateries of South Delhi would soon be prohibited for ‘hygiene’ and ‘sentimental’ reasons.The resolution approved in the last house of the BJP-ruled South Delhi Municipal Corporation (SDMC) will come for final confirmation in the next meeting on January 3 before policies outlining terms and conditions are finally framed.The resolution was moved by councillors Raj Dutt and seconded by Nandini Sharma saying that food items displayed in the open posed a danger of “contamination” and also “hurt the sentiments of vegetarian public”.“If restaurant owners are found displaying non-vegetarian items in public, action against them should be taken as per the municipal law,” the proposal stated.Many popular restaurants serving non-vegetarian food display items such as roasted chicken, kebabs and shawarma. Leader of the house Shikha Rai, who approved the proposal, said that the concern of the councillors was hygiene and sentiments of vegetarian people. The proposal, she said, had come from members in the health committee of the house.“It has been observed that shops displaying non-veg outside their premises attracts dogs and raise hygiene issue. Besides, it is also about hurting the sentiments of people who are vegetarian,”she said.An SDMC official said that the proposal would come for confirming the minutes of the meetings in the next house meeting scheduled on Jan 3. After this, it will take two more months to frame the policy outlining terms and conditions for rolling it out as per the Delhi Municipal Corporation Act. “We have nothing against shops displaying the items inside their premises,” he said. Saleem Khan of Al Bake in New Friends Colony also said that despite space crunch, he will ensure that no item is displayed on road, once the order comes to effect.HT
South Delhi Municipal Corporation Proposes Ban On Display Of Non-Veg Food Outside Eateries
Haj guidelines say lunatic and cripple, show bias: Activists
New Delhi: Criticising the Guidelines for Haj (2018-22), issued by the Ministry of Minority Affairs, disability rights activists have said that it not only discriminates against persons with disabilities by making them ineligible for Haj, but also refers to them as “crippled” and “lunatic.” ministry’s guidelines state that “persons whose legs are amputated, who are crippled, handicapped, lunatic or otherwise physically/ mentally incapacitated” cannot apply for Haj.In a letter to Minority Affairs Minister Mukhtar Abbas Naqvi, disability rights activists have said the guidelines not only “blatantly discriminate against persons with disabilities” but are also “in violation of the Rights of Persons with Disabilities Act (RPWDA), 2016, which has equality and non-discrimination as its guiding principle.” They have also pointed out that Saudi Arabia does not ban those with disabilities from undertaking the Haj and has, over the years, made the pilgrimage more accessible. Pointing out that the more politically correct term “persons with disabilities” has replaced words like “handicapped” and “physically/ mentally incapacitated”, Muralidharan, secretary of the National Platform for the Rights of the Disabled (NPRD), said terms such as “lunatic” and “crippled” are “abusive in nature.”“We have sent letters to Naqvi asking him to drop these discriminatory provisions, and have also discussed the matter with some Members of Parliament in the hope that they will raise it on the floor of the House during the ongoing winter session,” he said. Ministry officials did not respond to questions on the guidelines and whether they would be reviewed. indianexpress
No official data on existence of Female Genital Mutilation in India, Centre tells SC: indianexpress
New Delhi:In response to a writ petition seeking a ban on subjecting minor girls from Dawoodi Bohra community to Female Genital Mutilation (FGM), the Ministry of Women and Child Development has held that there is no official data or study that supports the existence of FGM in India. Ministry, in its affidavit recently filed in the Supreme Court, said, “It is respectfully submitted that at present there is no official data or study (NCRB etc) which supports the existence of FGM in India.”Writ petition, filed by child rights advocate Sunita Tiwari, sought a ban on “the inhuman practice of ‘khatna’ or FGM, also known as ‘female circumcision’ or ‘khafd’…making it a cognizable,non-compoundable and non-bailable offence”.
Fiscal deficit target under pressure: Centre to borrow Rs 50,000 crore more via G-secs in Jan-Mar
New Delhi: The government on Wednesday announced plans to borrow additional Rs 50,000 crore but said there will be no change in its Budget Estimates for net borrowing. This is because the additional borrowing of long term securities will be accompanied by similar reduction in outstanding Treasury Bills (T-bills). Analysts, however, expect the government to face fiscal pressures in the backdrop of muted collections of indirect taxes and weak economic growth.After the review of its borrowing calendar with the Reserve Bank, the finance ministry said the government will trim down the T-bills from present collections of Rs 86,203 crore to Rs 25,006 crore by March-end, 2018. T-bills are securities with short-term duration of less than one year while dated securities have longer maturity.“Government will raise additional market borrowings of Rs 50,000 crore only in fiscal FY18 through dated government securities. The government will thus, between now and March 2018, not be raising any net additional borrowing,” the ministry said. The govt had pegged the fiscal deficit target of Rs 3.2 per cent of GDP for the current fiscal. Additional borrowing by the govt may have impact on the fiscal math. Since the revenue collection from GST is slightly lower than the expected in the last 2 months, the additional borrowing would help bridge the shortfall. indianexpress
Facebook Asks New Users In India To Enter Names As Per Aadhaar
Facebook has begun testing a feature with a set of new users in India where they are being asked to enter names as per their Aadhaar details.The social media giant, however, is not asking new users to give their Aadhaar number but just the name as written on their Aadhaar cards."This is a small test where we provide additional language when people sign up for an account to say that using the name on their Aadhaar card makes it easier for friends to recognise them," a Facebook spokesperson said on Wednesday.Currently, only a small percentage of people who use Facebook on mobile in the country are able to see this feature."This is an optional prompt which we are testing," spokesperson added.IANS
Law ministry nixes plan to make Aadhaar mandatory for driving licences
New Delhi:Aadhaar, 12-digit identity number, can’t be made mandatory for issuing a driving licence, the law ministry has told the road transport ministry which is coming out with a new application form for drivers, HT has learnt.Aadhaar could be a “preferred identity document” but linking it to new licences should be “voluntary”, the law ministry said, citing the legal challenges the biometric identity number is facing in the Supreme Court. The apex court had on December 14 extended to March 31 the deadline for linking Aadhaar to various services and schemes. hindustantimes
4 years after Muzaffarnagar riots, Jats, Muslims meet MSY to reach 'settlement'
Muzaffarnagar: In a fresh, but welcome twist to the festering fight between Jats and Muslims following the riots in 2013 that killed 63 and displaced more than 50,000, a delegation of people from the two communities met former UP chief minister and Samajwadi Party leader Mulayam Singh Yadav at his Delhi residence on Tuesday to use his influence over both the communities for a compromise. According to the leaders who were there at the meeting, the two sides are trying to strike a deal which involves withdrawal of ongoing cases from both sides. Following the violence, both Hindus Muslims in large numbers had gone to court with cases against each other. Ompal Nehra, former cabinet minister in the Akhilesh govt in UP, confirmed to TOI that the meeting was held under the leadership of Mulayam. “People from Muzaffarnagar, belonging to both the communities, met Netaji in Delhi. A committee, which will work under his direction and has riots victims as its members, has been formed to work out resolution of these cases and bring back peace in the region.”Vipin Balian, president of Rashtriya Jaat Sanrakshan Samiti, said, “In the first phase, victims from four riot-hit villages – Purbalian, Kutba Kutbi, Kakara and Hadoli of Muzaffarnagar -- where a dozen innocent people were killed in 2013 will submit their affidavit in the Muzaffarnagar court for a compromise in the cases after due legal consultations.”Balian, who was also present at the meeting, told TOI, “We have 15 members from both the communities, including two former ministers of the previous Samajwadi Party government, in this committee. We will take legal advice before moving court. Around 1,400 people from the region were booked under various cases during the riots.” Ghulam Mohammad Jola, an active leader of the Bharatiya Kisan Union (BKU) who quit BKU after the riots and formed a new farmer organization called Bhartiya Kisan Mazdoor Manch, was also present at the meeting. “More than 100 Muslims from Muzaffarnagar, including riot victims, were present at the meeting in Delhi. It’s good that both the communities have begun to come on the same platform. We will make an attempt to reach compromises in cases where people have suffered for years in court cases.”TOI
VHP to identify 500 upper caste families in India to make friends with unprivileged
Bhubaneswar: VHP said that untouchability was against Hindu values and had never been permitted in any religion. VHP said that leaders and saints from all castes and creeds had come together in Udupi in Karnataka in November and “slammed casteism by clarifying that untouchability is not a product of Hinduism and there should not be any prejudice because all should be treated equally well in a Hindu society”. “Untouchability is against Hindu ideology and has never been granted in any religion,” according to a resolution passed at a meeting of VHP’s Board of Trustee and Managing Committee here.The meeting was attended by representatives from 35 countries and inaugurated by VHP international working president Pravin Togadia.To make India free of untouchability, the VHP resolved to identify 500 upper caste families in each districts of the country to make friendship with unprivileged, socially- backward, poverty-stricken families.PTI
Opposition against CPM move to open Co-operative Society based on Islamic banking in Kerala: TOI report
Kannur: The cooperative venture, Halal Faidah Co-operative Society (HFCS), launched by the CPM, based on the principles of Islamic banking, might prove counterproductive to the CPM, because it is facing opposition at political as well as legal fronts.Though the promoters claim this venture is not aimed at any particular religion, the very name, and the claim that it will function on the basis of the principles of Islamic banking might lead to further complications, because there is concern that it might have a communal angle. This was further strengthened when chief minister Pinarayi Vijayan was bit apprehensive and also in his inaugural speech on Sunday advised the society authorities to make sure they follow the rules and regulations pertaining to the cooperative sector to avoid any complications. Meanwhile, BJP state executive member K Ranjith said it was a clear case of communal appeasement and the BJP was exploring the possibility of taking legal steps in this connection because Islamic banking is not approved in India. "How can a party like the CPM use such an illegitimate path, which is not at all transparent, to woo a particular community, that too violating all the rules and regulations," he asked.However, HFCS president M Shajar asserted that the project was completed under the framework of cooperative law and the investors were given shares in the business ventures that the cooperative society invests. "The philosophy is to share profit instead of giving interest but some vested interests are trying to misinterpret it to create complications," he said.
Missing 21 From Kerala: NIA Releases Sketches of all
New Delhi: NIA has released sketches of individuals it has been looking into for the last one year to keep a tab of their involvement with the Islamic State. The missing 21, as the group has come to be known, had left Kerala around June last year and converted to Islam in order to join the Islamic State.NIA has been probing their disappearance and has now released sketches of all the accused. Marked as absconding by the agency, the photos have a red dot marked on those who have been issued notices. Of the 21, 6 are female.The details that the NIA has released states that 14 of the accused are under the age of 26, with the oldest in the list being Shajeer Managalassery from Kozhikode, who is 36.News18.com
Mehbooba’s brother Tassaduq Mufti takes oath as minister
Jammu:Tassaduq Mufti, brother of CM Mehbooba Mufti, was inducted into the council of ministers on Thursday.Javed Mustafa Mir, a three-time MLA, who was dropped from the council of ministers in 2016 when Mehbooba took over as chief minister, was also re-inducted as cabinet minister.In a simple and brief function, Governor NN Vohra administered the oath of office and secrecy to the two at the Raj Bhavan lawns. Mir took the oath first and was followed by Mufti.
Senior SC lawyer Rajeev Dhavan to make a comeback in court, will appear in Ayodhya case: indianexpress
New Delhi: Senior advocate Rajeev Dhavan, who recently gave up court practice in wake of his courtroom spat with Chief Justice of India Dipak Misra, has reconsidered his decision on the request of his client to appear in the Supreme Court in the Ram Janamabhoomi-Babri Masjid dispute.74-year-old Dhavan had on December 11 called it quits after what he described as a “humiliating end” to the Delhi government-Centre dispute case following heated exchanges between him and the CJI. Advocate Ejaz Maqbool, who is representing some of the Muslim bodies in the Ayodhya land dispute case, said that they had urged Dhavan to represent them in the matter and the senior counsel has accepted the request.He said that before Dhavan announced that he had given up court practice, the senior lawyer was appearing for them in the Ayodhya dispute case.“We requested him (Dhavan) to make an exception for the Babri Masjid case and he has accepted our request and he will continue to appear for us in the Babri Masjid case,” Maqbool said in a letter sent to the media.
India should control its border troops:Chinese military
Beijing:Highlighting Doklam standoff as its major achievement of international cooperation this year, the Chinese military said on Thursday India should “strictly control” its troops and implement border agreements to maintain peace and stability along the border.Chinese defence spokesperson Col Ren Guoqiang said the highlights of his country’s international military cooperation in 2017 included handling ‘hotspot issues’ such as Doklam.This year, under the unified deployment, the military has “resolutely” safeguarded China’s sovereignty and security interests, Col Ren told media here. Hindustantimes
Can't change India's mentality on OBOR, but doors of cooperation open: Chinese media
Cow vigilantism: Don’t ferry cattle at night to avoid misunderstanding, advises Jamiat
Jaipur:Concerned over attacks on people transporting cattle in Alwar, the Jamiat Ulama-i-Hind has asked dairy farmers and cattle owners to not ferry bovines in the night hours to avoid any trouble. The Jamiat leaders, who gathered in Alwar district on Tuesday to discuss the issue, said many dairy farmers and cattle owners from the Mev community transport cattle for dairy farming purpose but get targeted by cow vigilantes or mobs under the impression that the animals were being transported for slaughtering.“We have advised the dairy farmers and owners of the cattle to prefer transportation of the cattle in day time and not in the night because the chances of attack on them are high due to misunderstanding. It creates trouble and disturbs peace and harmony,” Maulana Hakimuddin Qasmi, secretary of the organisation, told PTI over the phone. He said that close to 50 leaders of Jamiat and Mev community were present in the meeting held in Alwar on Tuesday.PTI
Hegde apologises for his remarks on Constitution
New Delhi:In a bid to end the controversy that erupted over his remarks on the Constitution and stalled parliamentary proceedings, Minister of State for Skill Development Anantkumar Hegde today tendered an apology in the Lok Sabha. He said his speech at a function in Karnataka was distorted.Mr. Hegde first said that he held the country, the Constitution and its architect Dr. B.R. Ambedkar in high esteem and there was no question of showing disrespect to them.“As a citizen, I can’t think of violating the Constitution,” he said.PTI
Most Economies in the World Increased GDP and Lowered Unemployment in 2017. Not India:M.K. VENU, thewire
Kishanganj: Discontent growing against MP Asrarul Haque in Bihar’s most backward muslim hub: Tarique Anwar
WORLD
Iraqi Yazidis fighters abducting, killing civilians:HRW
A human rights organisation has accused Yazidi fighters in Iraq of forcibly kidnapping and killing 52 civilians from the Imteywit tribe earlier this year.Human Rights Watch(HRW), a US-based rights group, said in a report on Wednesday that Yazidi forces detained and executed men, women and children from 8 different families the Imteywit tribe in June.According to HRW report, several senior Yazidis have alleged that the tribe participated with ISIL in the executions and abuse of Yezidi men and women back in 2014. "As the ground fighting against ISIS winds down in Iraq, state security forces need to turn their focus to preventing retaliation and upholding the rule of law," said Lama Fakih, HRW's deputy Middle East director, in a statement."Past atrocities against the Yazidis don't give its armed forces a free pass to commit abuses against other groups, whatever their past."According to the victims' relatives, the abuses took place when families were fleeing clashes between the ISIL group fighters and Iraq's Shia-dominated paramilitaries, the Popular Mobilisation Forces (PMF) west of Mosul.A member of the PMF's intelligence services told HRW that he saw mass graves that local Yazidi residents claim contained the bodies of the victims.According to members of Imteywit tribe, the disappearance happened as they were being transported out of the desert in a convoy of about 70 cars driving towards Tel Afar after PMF forces captured the area from ISIL group fighters.The vehicles carrying the two men and their relatives - consisting of 52 members - broke off from the rest of the convoy, which was thought to have been ambushed by Yazidi fighters.They never reached their destination in Qabusiye village with the rest of the community, and their relatives say they have since not been able to find out anything else.The relatives provided HRW with a list of five suspects who they believe were responsible for the killings.At the start of this year, Yazidi fighters formed several brigades that were later incorporated under the PMF umbrella. PMF is largely outside government control, yet the Iraqi parliament formally recognised it as a state-affiliated institution when its own forces became depleted in the fight against ISIL.A PMF member told HRW that he investigated allegations in Sinjar province. With the help of local Yezidis, he was able to locate a cluster of 4 mass graves in Qabusiye.According to the report, he saw the bones and skulls of at least four children as well as women and children's shoes near the graves.Shortly after the disappearance, a legal advisor to a Yazidi brigade told HRW that Yezidi forces were involved in the capture of 52 people. According to the report, he also said that members of the tribe were "dogs who deserve to die".Members of the tribe denied these allegations and said that the Yazidis were blaming them for crimes committed by ISIL.HRW says an Iraqi official has pledged to investigate the crime, but they say no one has been held responsible yet. aljazeera
Syria Brotherhood rejects Russia-sponsored peace talks
Syrian Muslim Brotherhood has categorically rejected the Sochi conference sponsored by Russia scheduled for the end of Jan.In a statement, group said that the conference is an attempt to consolidate the Russian occupation and ignore the political solution stipulated in the Geneva resolutions, which starts with the formation of a fully-fledged transitional authority which does not include Bashar Al-Assad and his regime.The group reiterated its adherence to the principles of the Syrian revolution of overthrowing Al-Assad and his regime and rebuilding the country as a state of justice, freedom, equality and human dignity.It also called on all revolutionary forces and Syrian national figures to boycott the Sochi conference. Syrian opposition negotiating body said there was widespread rejection of the conference among opposition groups.MEMO
Turkey's Erdogan calls Syria's Assad a terrorist, says impossible to continue with him
Tunis: Turkish President Tayyip Erdogan on Wednesday called Syrian President Bashar al-Assad a terrorist and said it was impossible for Syrian peace efforts to continue with him.Syria’s foreign ministry quickly responded by accusing Erdogan of himself supporting terrorist groups fighting Assad in Syria’s civil war.Turkey has demanded the removal of Assad from power and backed rebels fighting to overthrow him, but it has toned down its demands since it started working with Assad’s allies Russia and Iran for a political resolution.“Assad is definitely a terrorist who has carried out state terrorism,” Erdogan told a televised news conference with his Tunisian counterpart Beji Caid Essebsi in Tunis.“It is impossible to continue with Assad. How can we embrace the future with a Syrian president who has killed close to a million of his citizens?” he said, in some of his harshest comments for weeks.Despite its differences with Russia and Iran, Turkey has worked with the two powers in the search for a political solution in Syria.Ankara, Moscow and Tehran also brokered a deal to set up and monitor a “de-escalation zone” to reduce fighting between insurgents and Syrian government forces in Syria’s rebel-held northwestern Idlib province.Reuters
Israel to set up fund for poor states to gain support
Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu is planning to establish a $50m fund to support development in poorer countries and get the country diplomatic backing, according to Israeli media reports.If the report by Israel's Channel 2 and other outlets is confirmed, the move comes just a week after the UN General Assembly voted overwhelmingly to reject the US decision to recognise Jerusalem as Israel's capital.Just eight states voted with Israel against the resolution, with 35 abstentions and 128 states voting in favour of the motion, which was authored by Turkey and Yemen. aljazeera
Kabul blast at Afghan Voice, Tebyan centre kills dozens
At least 40 people have been killed and dozens wounded in a blast in Kabul at a compound comprising a news agency, Shia cultural centre and religious school, the interior ministry has said.The explosion early on Thursday struck an area close to the Afghan Voice news agency and Tebyan cultural centre, local media reported.People gathered at Tebyan were marking the 38th anniversary of the Soviet invasion in Afghanistan. Women and children were among those killed. The majority of victims were visitors to the centre. aljazeera
Bilawal Bhutto blames Musharraf for Benazir's death
Islamabad, Pakistan - An impassioned Bilawal Bhutto Zardari has accused former Pakistani President Pervez Musharraf of being responsible for his mother Benazir Bhutto's murder. Speaking at a rally to mark the tenth anniversary of Bhutto's murder in the southern Pakistani town of Garhi Khuda Bux on Wednesday, Bilawal led a crowd of thousands in a chant declaring Musharraf "a murderer".Benazir Bhutto, who was twice elected as Pakistan's prime minister, was assassinated in a gun and bomb attack shortly after addressing a political rally in the garrison city of Rawalpindi while campaigning for elections in 2007. In August, a Pakistani anti-terrorism court exonerated five men accused of involvement in the attack, while convicting and sentencing two senior police officers for willful negligence and tampering with evidence during the investigation into the murder. aljazeera
UN: More civilians killed in Yemen’s ‘absurd, futile’ war
The top UN official in Yemen said airstrikes have killed scores of civilians in the past ten days, in what he called an “absurd war” in which all sides, including the Saudi-led military coalition, show “complete disregard for human life”, Reuters reported. “This absurd war …has only resulted in the destruction of the country and the incommensurate suffering of its people, who are being punished as part of a futile military campaign by both sides,” UN resident coordinator Jamie McGoldrick said in a statement.“Also on 26 Dec., an airstrike on a farm in Attohayta District, Al Hudaydah Governorate resulted in the killing of 14 people from the same family. These new victims are in addition to 84 civilian casualties reported in the last 10 days, including 41 people killed, and 43 people injured by airstrikes in several governorates throughout Yemen,” the statement said. middleeastmonitor

Compiled and edited by Anwarulhaq (Released at: 5:58 PM)

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