03 January 2018

03 Jan. ND: Rajya Sabha adjourned till tomorrow after Centre refuses Opposition's demand to refer triple talaq bill to select committee; Bill divides NDA, unites Opposition in RS

03 Jan.2018: 14 Rabial Aakhir 1439:Vol:9, No:89
Rajya Sabha adjourned till tomorrow after Centre refuses to refer triple talaq bill to select committee
The Rajya Sabha was adjourned till 11 am on Thursday after the Opposition vociferously protested against the Govt ’s refusal to refer the triple talaq bill to a select committee. Congress leader Anand Sharma, who moved the motion, also proposed names of the members the committee, none of whom were from the ruling BJP. The Opposition parties hold a majority in the Upper House.Some of the names suggested by Sharma were Renuka Chowdhury and K Rahman Khan of the Congress, Trinamool Congress’ Derek O’ Brien, Javed Ahmad of the Samajwadi Party, Majeed Memon of the NCP, and the CPI’s D Raja. Leader of the House, Arun Jaitley, however said that Congress was contravening parliamentary procedure by moving the motion without submitting it 24 hours in advance. The court’s deadline would expire on February 22, and thus Parliament must come up with a legislation within that period, the finance minister said. “There is an urgency that the country expects from Parliament, legislature must act with sense of responsibility,” Jaitley said. Congress leader Kapil Sibal, however, pointed out that Jaitley was quoting from the minority judgment in the Supreme Court verdict. scroll
Triple talaq bill in RS: Opposition demands amendments; Centre against sending it to select committee
Triple talaq bill: Rajya Sabha adjourned after ruckus over Opposition’s demand for division of votes
Triple Talaq Bill Divides NDA, Unites Opposition in RS: Telugu Desam in Major Move Deserts BJP
New Delhi: Triple Talaq Bill has created the first major dissension within the BJP led NDA with TDP splitting ranks to join the entire Opposition in the Rajya Sabha in the demand it be sent to a select committee for further consideration.In a major shift the TDP that has been very supportive of the BJP since the alliance came to power in Andhra Pradesh, wants the Bill to be referred to a select committee as per the resolution moved by Congress MP Anand Sharma. The entire Opposition, including conventional political rivals like the two Tamil parties DMK and AIADMK, the Left and the TMC, the Samajwadi Party and BSP, came together behind the resolution.This was stoutly resisted by BJP Ministers, with Finance Minister Arun Jaitley fortifying the arguments of Law Minister Ravi Shankar Prasad in insisting that the Bill cannot be so referred.The treasury and opposition benches crossed swords as soon as the Bill came up for discussion with PJ Kurien in the Chair doing a valiant job of keeping some semblance of harmony in the House.After a day of several adjournments on the violence against Dalits in Maharashtra, the Rajya Sabha met late afternoon to take up the Triple Talaq Bill. Anand Sharma moved the resolution to send the Bill to a select committee comprising members of all the political Opposition parties as well. Opposition MPs clarified through the ruckus that followed Sharma’s resolution that they were not against the Bill, but totally in support of a thorough parliamentary scrutiny to ensure a piece of legislation mired in justice.The treasury benches led by Jaitley and Prasad resisted, with the entire Opposition then insisting that either the Chair should recognise their majority in the House and accept the resolution, or move for a division and voting. Finally, the House was adjourned for the day with no decision taken. The story of the day thus was the shift in TDP stance, with AP CM  Chandrababu Naidu using the Triple Talaq Bill to signal his independence. Naidu who has been working closely with the BJP surprised all political parties when he made it apparent yesterday that the party will support the Opposition resolution. This comes after the Bill was passed in Lok Sabha with the support of all NDA allies.There was some uncertainty about the AIADMK with BJP members maintaining in Parliament earlier that the party MPs would shift support to the treasury benches. This clearly did not happen with a consolidated Opposition standing together and speaking in one voice. thecitizen
AIMPLB thanks those seeking talaq bill be sent to select panel
Lucknow: All India Muslim Personal Law Board  today thanked those parties in the Rajya Sabha that pressed for sending the bill against triple talaq to a select committee and hoped that they will stick to their stand."AIMPLB is thankful to the parties and MPs in the Rajya Sabha who pressed for sending the bill to the select committee for removing all its shortcomings," boards spokesman Maulana Khalilurrehman Sajjad Nomani told PTI."We hope that these parties will stick to their stand... We also hope that the allies of the BJP-led NDA will express their views on the issue in the Rajya Sabha in accordance with the voice of their conscience," Nomani said."The BJP is ignoring shortcomings in the bill which will make the issue of divorce more complex... We condemn the BJP in the strongest of words over its stance in this regard," he said."In its present form, the difficulties of Muslim women will increase manifold... This bill is not only against the Constitution but also the SC verdict of Aug. 22, 2017," Nomani said.PTI
Triple talaq bill will put Muslim women in trouble: Mamata
Kolkata: West Bengal CM  Mamata Banerjee termed the triple talaq bill as "defective" and claimed that the impending legislation will put the women of Muslim community in trouble. "BJP has come up with a defective bill on triple talaq. Let alone protecting the women, the women of that community will be in trouble because of the bill. BJP are doing politics over the issue of triple talaq," she said at a public meeting in the state's Birbhum district. "We have not firmly opposed the bill as we are in favour of the women, but the bill that centre is trying to push through is politically motivated," she said. "We do not want any form of oppression on women. I am in favour of the women from Muslim community as I am supportive of Hindu or Christian women. We have a special sentiment about women. "But if someone comes up with a defective bill and tries to tamper the law, TMC will not allow that," Banerjee said speaking on the issue for the first time since the Supreme Court held the practice of triple talaq as unconstitutional. PTI
Ishrat ready to campaign in Bengal, contest for BJP, but has pressing problems — no job, money for son’s school
Islamic experts should have been consulted, AIUDF on triple talaq bill
New Delhi: Triple talaq bill, continues to garner mixed reactions ahead of being tabled in the Rajya Sabha. AIUDF MP Ajmal Badruddin said the issue should have been consulted with Islamic experts before drafting of the Bill."This is an Islamic matter, and it should have been discussed with Islamic experts, AIMPLB, and all major ulemas (body of scholars), but the Govt  did nothing of this sort," Badruddin said and added that there were other ways of upliftment given that only two lakh cases of triple talaq have cropped up in the nation."To uplift Muslims, you (Govt) should instead focus on their education and employment; they will naturally incline towards you," he said.The parliamentarian also accused Centre of harbouring political motives. "Now they have made one woman (Ishrat Jahan) who had filed a case against triple talaq join BJP. This clearly shows they have political motives."ANI
Don’t support Triple Talaq Bill: Gujarati Muslim body to Congress
Ahmedaba : A delegation of Gujarat Muslim Hitrakshak Samiti, a conglomerate of several Muslim organisations in the state, on Tuesday called on state Congress president Bharatsinh Solanki and requested the Congress not to support the triple talaq bill in the Rajya Sabha. Stating that the triple talaq Bill, introduced by the Central Govt was “unnecessary and against the Sharia and the rights of women”, the delegation members, including women, said, “The Bill is not only against Article 25 of the Constitution of India which guarantees religious freedom, but also goes against the recent judgment of the Supreme Court on the issue of triple talaq?”They alleged that the Bill was brought by BJP Govt  with a political agenda.
Maharashtra bandh ends after protests, clashes rock State
The bandh in Maharashtra on Wednesday, which ended later in the day, began rather peacefully with increased police patrolling across Mumbai, Pune and Nagpur. Large parts of Pune, Nagpur and Mumbai witnessed protesters stopping vehicles. The bandh was called by Dalit organisations in protest against the clashes at the bicentenary celebrations of the battle of Bhima-Koregaon on Monday.Clashes broke out between Bhim Sainiks and Hindutva activists in some districts of the State during the bandh. In some districts in western Maharashtra, especially Kolhapur, Hindutva activists took out marches to counter the demonstrations of Bhim Sainiks.In South Mumbai's Colaba, not a single store or restaurant is open, barring an odd medical store. Groups of people with Jai Bhim flags were seen riding bikes over the past hour, shouting slogans and ensuring a total shutdown. The few commuters who ventured out were stranded owing to non-availability of bus services and taxis, reports Vikas Dhoot. Fort, by contrast, still has a handful of commercial establishments that are open so far.Several districts in the Marathwada region, especially Aurangabad, have been acutely affected by the bandh. Internet services were suspended since morning. First-year exams at Dr. Babasaheb Ambedkar Marathwada University  too were cancelled. Day-long bandh has been withdrawn, says Bharipa Bahujan Mahasangh leader Prakash Ambedkar. He tells reporters that nearly 50% of State’s population took part in the shutdown.Road blockades, arson and pelting of stones were reported in Mumbai and elsewhere during the day. However,  Ambedkar, claimed that the bandh was peaceful. thehindu
Arrest Bhide, Ekbote for violence against Dalits: Prakash
Mumbai: Bharipa Bahujan Mahasangh leader Prakash Ambedkar said that a host of Dalit organisations, Left mass organisations, as well as peoples groups had joined and supported his call for a state wide bandh after lakhs of Dalits, gathered around Bhima Koregaon near Pune to commemorate the 200th anniversary of the Battle of Koregaon were attacked, with a young adult killed on Monday. Within 24 hours the Dalits staged protests in Mumbai, Pune and other districts calling for action against the assailants, insisting they were targeted deliberately. Ambedkar said: “we are asking just one question of those who assaulted the people and pelted stones, why did you do this?” Asked if this was motivated, the Dalit leader hedged the question maintaining, “we are in the process of gathering the evidence and will speak once we have all the facts together.”Ambedkar, however, made it clear that two persons were responsible for the present crisis and demanded immediate action against them. Sambhaji Bhide, 85 and Milind Ekbote, 56 are being charged by the Dalit groups of stirring this current phase of violence by desecrating a Samadhi of a Dalit icon in Pune. Both have a history of involvement in incidents of violence usually directed against the Muslim community.
Maharashtra bandh: Dalit leader Prakash Ambedkar calls off shutdown
Pune violence: Two Hindu leaders booked, complaint against Mevani, Umar Khalid
Pune:Maharashtra police have registered cases against two local Hindu right-wing leaders for allegedly orchestrating the violence on January 1 in Pune district that caused the death of a 28-year-old man during bicentennial celebrations of a British-era war. The two leaders – Milind Ekbote of Hindu Ekta Aghadi and Sambhaji Bhide of Shiv Pratisthan – are accused of stoking the violence near Bhima Koregaon and booked under the Scheduled Castes And Scheduled Tribe (Prevention of Atrocities) Act.A separate complaint has been filed against Gujarat MLA Jignesh Mevani and Jawaharlal Nehru University student Umar Khalid in Pune for allegedly making controversial statements during an event in the city on Dec.31. Ekbote, an ex-corporator, who unsuccessfully contested civic elections on a Shiv Sena ticket in 2017, refuted the charges and said some organisations were deliberately trying to shift the blame on Hindutva outfits. “Me or my organisation has never discriminated between Dalits and non-Dalits,” he said. Bhide was unavailable for comment. hindustantimes
Congress accuses Hindutva outfits of triggering Maharashtra clashes
New Delhi: As several parts of Maharashtra continued to reel under caste violence, the Congress accused the RSS and certain Hindutva outfits of triggering it and demanded a probe by a Supreme Court judge into the clashes.Forcefully raising the issue in Lok Sabha during the Zero Hour, Congress leader Mallikarjun Kharge also trained his guns on PM  Narendra Modi, wondering why he was maintaining a studied silence on the issue.“RSS and certain hardcore Hindutva outfits are behind the violence. They are trying to drive a wedge between the Marathas and Dalits in Maharashtra,” Kharge alleged.A visibly anguished Kharge also tore some papers he was holding when BJP members vociferously protested his remarks.“Why is PM  Narendra Modi silent on the issue? He always maintaince silence on issues relating to Dalits. He has become a ‘Mouni Baba’on Dalit issues,” he said.PTI
India cancels $500 million defence deal, confirmes Israel arms firm Rafael
Jerusalem;A top Israeli arms firm has confirmed that India cancelled a USD 500 million deal to develop Spike anti-tank guided missiles and expressed “regret” over the decision just ahead of PM  Benjamin Netanyahu’s first visit to the country. “Rafael has now received an official notification from India’s Ministry of Defence concerning the cancellation of the Spike deal,” Ishai David, a spokesman for Rafael Advance Defence Systems Ltd, said here. Spike, in use by 26 countries around the world, is said to have been selected by India after a long and rigorous process and after complying with all the defence procurement regulations.“It should be emphasised that the cancellation was made prior to the signing of the contract and despite Rafael’s compliance with all the demands,” the company said in a statement. “Rafael regrets the decision and remains committed to cooperating with the Indian Ministry of Defence and to its strategy of continuing to work in India, an important market, as it has for more than two decades, to provide India with the most advanced and innovative systems,” it added. The firm did not give a reason for the cancellation of the deal. The cancellation comes days before Netanyahu’s 4-day visit to India starting Jan14 and is likely to be taken up for discussion. Rafael’s CEO would also be accompanying Netanyahu. The firm recently inaugurated its facilities in Hyderabad where the project was to be executed but company sources said that it is “designed to accommodate a number of other projects Rafael is engaged in with its Indian partners”.PTI
India cancels $500 million deal for Israeli anti-tank missiles
Cabinet approves MoU between India and Israel on cooperation in Oil and Gas Sector
New Delhi: Union Cabinet chaired by PM  Narendra Modi on Wednesday approved the signing of a MoU between India and Israel on cooperation in the oil and gas sector.The signing of MoU assumes importance coming close on the heels of Israel’s announcement of granting oil exploration license to a consortium led by ONGC Videsh (OVL) with Bharat Petro Resources, Indian Oil and Oil India as other partners.Also, the decision from India to sign a MoU between the two countries has come just ahead of Israeli PM  Benjamin Netanyahu’s proposed visit to India in the mid of Jan.“MoU is expected to provide impetus to India - Israel ties in the energy sector. The cooperation envisaged under the agreement will facilitate promotion of investments in each other's countries, technology transfer, R&D, conducting joint studies, capacity building of human resources and collaboration in the area of Start-ups,” an official statement said. economictimes
IB officials challenge summons by court in Ishrat Jahan case
Ahmedabad: 2 IB officials have challenged the summons issued to them by a magistrate’s court here in the Ishrat Jahan alleged fake encounter case.Special CBI judge JK Pandya will hear the IB officials’ pleas on Jan. 6.The magistrate’s court for CBI cases had last month issued summonses to central IB’s special director Rajinder Kumar and officers M S Sinha, Rajeev Wankhede and TS Mittal, based on a supplementary charge sheet filed by CBI naming them nearly four years ago. Wankhede and Mittal, who worked as assistant central intelligence officers when the alleged fake encounter took place in June 2004, have challenged the summons on the grounds that the CBI hasn’t received the sanction to prosecute them from Union Govt .CBI has charged the four IB officials with murder, criminal conspiracy, illegal detention and kidnapping. But all these years, no further action was initiated against them for want of sanction for prosecution.PTI
Delhi HC seeks Centres reply on plea to quash Haj policy barring differently-abled
New Delhi: Delhi High Court today sought Centres response on a plea seeking quashing of certain provisions in the new policy for Haj pilgrims that bar differently-abled persons from undertaking the annual Haj pilgrimage.A bench of Acting Chief Justice Gita Mittal and Justice Hari Shankar issued notice to the Ministry of Minority Affairs, the Ministry of Social Justice and Empowerment and the Haj Committee of India on the petition alleging that some provisions of the new policy violated Articles 14, 21 and 25- pertaining to equality and freedom to practice religion of Constitution.The court directed authorities to file their response by April 11 on the petition filed by advocate Gaurav Bansal against the eligibility guidelines under New Haj Policy of Haj Committee of India Pilgrims for Haj 2018-2022 .The guidelines under the eligibility for Haj mentions that any Indian citizen who is a Muslim can apply for the pilgrimage except those "who do not have the mental or physical health to perform the pilgrimage, persons whose legs are amputated, who are crippled, handicapped, lunatic or otherwise physically/ mentally incapacitated". PTI
Plea on ‘discriminatory’ Haj guidelines against disabled, Delhi HC seeks Centre’s reply
2,300 ‘fake’ madrasas in UP on verge of losing govt recognition:TOI
Lucknow: Nearly 2,300 madrasas in UP  run the risk of losing their recognition for not submitting their details on the website of UP  Madrasa Board, UP minority welfare minister said on Wednesday. The minority welfare dept is considering a proposal to treat these Islamic institutions as “fake”, UP minority welfare minister Laxmi Narayan Chaudhary said.“In UP, there are 19,108 madrasas, which have been recognised by the state Madrasa Board. Of these, 16,808 madrasas have submitted their information on the website of the board. There are no details submitted by nearly 2,300 madrasas,”Chaudhary told PTI.“Now where are these madrasas? We are considering them as fake. There is a possibility that action may taken against these madrasas by end of Jan,” Chaudhary said. However, he added, the state Govt  will wait till month-end for the madrasas to furnish information on this regard.“ Govt -recognised madrasas, which have not furnished their relevant details on the website can approach Govt in case they face any difficulty. If they tell us their problems, we may help in resolving them,” he said.With that said, the minister also made it clear that no student of the registered madrasa will be deprived of the opportunity to appear for any examination.Accusing the opposition of giving the matter a political twist, he said the aim of Govt  is to ensure proper education system in madrasas.On the issue of non-disbursement of salaries to teachers of some madrasas, Chaudhary said: “In the state, there are 560 Govt -funded madrasas and the funds for these have reached the respective districts. In 46 madrasas, the disbursement of salary to 298 teachers and employees is affected for various reasons.” “Disputes pertain to that of management, recognition and building parameters. The director of the department has been asked to resolve the dispute within a month. Once the disputes are resolved, the salary will be disbursed,” he said. Meanwhile, registrar of Madrasa Board Rahul Gupta said, “The deadline to submit information on the departmental website has expired. As a result, the registration of 2,300 madrassas will be cancelled.”However, the Teachers’ Association Madaris-e-Arabia (a body of madrassa teachers) demanded that the background of the madrasas should be verified, before the state Govt  deciding to take any action against them. “We demand from state Govt  that it should seek information from respective district minority officer as to how many madrasas have submitted their details to the office of district minority officer, and of these how many have submitted the information on the web portal.“Only then a clear picture will emerge,” Association general secretary Diwan Sahab Zama said.PTI
UP govt cuts Ramzan, other holidays of madrassas in new calendar while extends holidays on non-Muslim Festivals
Lucknow: BJP-led UP Govt has reduced the number of holidays allotted to state-recognised madrassas in the calendar for year 2018, drawing flak from Islamic institutions. According to the calendar issued by UP Madrassa Board Registrar Rahul Gupta, the holidays during several non-Muslim festivals like Christmas, Diwali, Dusshera, Mahavir Jayanti, Buddha Purnima and Raksha Bandhan have been increased. On the other hand, 46 holidays given on Ramazan have been reduced to 42. Besides, 10 holidays at the discretion of madrassa managers have also been scrapped.With new arrangement, number of holidays in madrassas have now been reduced to 86, as compared to 92 earlier.Protesting against the decision, the Teachers' Association of Madaris Arabia today wrote a letter to CM  Yogi Adityanath, demanding that he reconsider the move."As per the new calendar, holidays will be given two days before the start of Ramzan. Earlier, it was given 10 days before Ramzan. It will create difficulties for madrassa students and teachers to reach their homes in time for the festivities," Diwan Sahab Jaman, general secretary of the association, said. Contending that the new move would send a wrong message, he said, cancellation of 10 discretionary holidays given by madrassa managers should be reconsidered. Teachers' Association of Madaris Arabia also demanded 10 days special holiday and 47 days holiday on Ramzan. Meanwhile, justifying the changes in the new calendar, state Minority Welfare Minister Chowdhury Lakshmi Narain said the changes apply to all boards, universities and madrassas.He said the intention of the Yogi Adityanath Govt  was to educate the students about iconic personalities and not just declare the days as holidays."The new calendar applies to all boards, universities as well as madrassas. This decision is in the interest of students," the minister added.PTI
Yogi Govt  Cuts Ramzan Holidays, Orders Offs on Hindu Festivals in UP Madarsas
Deoband opposes  jazzy burkha, tight clothing for women
Darul Uloom Deoband has now issued yet another fatwa for Muslim women on Tuesday, banning tight salwars, jazzy burkhas, western clothing such as jeans, skirts and other clothing showing any body part.On a question whether or not Muslim women and girls should wear tight salwars and jazzy burkhas which attract stares from other males, the Ifta department of the Darul Uloom Deoband said it was 'unIslamic' and against the wishes of Prophet Mohammed."Prophet Mohammed had cautioned that Muslim women are to be saved from the outer world. Until and unless it is necessary, they should not step out of the house since Satans stare at them when they go out. They should wear loose and simple burkhas to cover all parts of their body if it is necessary to go out. Islam does not allow Muslim women to wear tight salwars and burkhas which attract dirty stares from other males. Wearing such tight dresses is a sin under Islam," said a committee of the Ifta department of Darul Ulooom, in reply to the question asked by a local Deoband Muslim man."Western culture has taken over Indians. Muslim college-going girls have come out of burkhas wearing jeans, tight salwars and other western clothes. Markets are full of these unIslamic clothes. Such clothes do not fulfil mandatory provision of purdah under Islam. Muslim women and girls should stay away from such dresses by wearing simple and loose burkhas," said chairman of Tanzeem Abna-e-Darul Uloom, Mufti Yaade Ilahi Qashmi.DNA
Country belongs to Hindus, incompetent leaders kept people with long beards: UP BJP MLA
Meerut :Vikram Saini, BJP MLA from Khatauli in Muzaffarnagar district, has triggered a row by saying that India is a country for Hindus. Speaking at an event on the occasion of New Year’s Day on Monday, Saini said, “Kuch nalayak netao ne in lambi dadhi valo ko yahan rok kar rakha. In logo ne jameen aur daulat hathiyaee. Agar ye na hote toh yeh sab hamara hota (A few incompetent leaders stopped these people with long beards from leaving. These people usurped land and wealth. Had they not been here, all this would have been ours)”.“Main kattar Hinduwadi hoon. Yeh meri pehchaan hain… yeh Hinduo ka desh hai (I am a staunch Hindu. This is my identity. This country belongs to the Hindus),” the BJP leader said at the event organised to felicitate meritorious students.Saini also said that during the Samajwadi Party regime in the state, “members of a particular community” were a major beneficiary of public welfare schemes. “While the BJP Govt  believes in Sabka Saath, Sabka Vikas, the previous Govt  worked with a bias and favoured members of a particular community. Jiski jitni lambi dadhi, usko utna lamba cheque (The longer one’s beard, the more the amount on his cheque),” he said at the event, a video of which has circulated on social media.
Muslims threat to social harmony, development: Union Minister Giriraj
Union Minister Giriraj Singh has landed in a controversy by claiming that the Muslim population is a threat to the country. Singh said, "Growing population of the country, especially Muslims, is a threat to the social fabric, social harmony, and development of the country."DNA
Treat kar sevaks at par with freedom fighters, Hindu seers urge Modi, Adityanath
Thane: Seeking early construction of the Ram temple at Ayodhya, several Hindu religious leaders have said the Govt  should treat those, who “sacrificed” their lives or were jailed during the Ram Janmabhoomi movement, on par with the freedom fighters.“It is the responsibility of the  Modi and Yogi  Govts to accord the status of Ram Sevaks to those who sacrificed their lives or were jailed during Ram Janmabhoomi movement and treat them on par with the freedom fighters,” said a resolution passed at a gathering of Hindu religious leaders. Resolution was passed at the Vaicharik Mahakumbh, a 4-day conclave of over 50 mahamandaleshwars from across the country, held at Bhayander, near Mumbai, from Dec. 29 to Jan. 1.Another resolution, passed at the gathering said a Ram temple should be built at Ayodhya in UP  at the earliest as it was a “matter of belief” of 125 crore Hindus, said a mahamandaleshwar, who took part in the meet. Mahamandaleshwar is a title used by Hindu seers of the Dashanami order of renunciates (swamis), founded by Shankaracharya, and refers to a person who has been elevated by his peers to the highest level of traditional Hindu spiritual guardianship.PTI
After Rajputs, Muslims want ban on Padmavati for showing, them ‘negative light’:HT
After Rajputs, voices of protest against the film Padmavati are being raised within the Muslim community too.Muslim religious leaders have said they will oppose the film if it distorts historical facts and hurts sentiments of the Hindus and Muslims.Film has been violently opposed by Rajputs for allegedly misrepresenting history and portraying queen Padmini of Chittor in poor light.Now Muslim leaders have come forward to protest misrepresenting of Delhi Sultan Ala-ud-din Khilji. Yunus Chopdar, Rajasthan Madarsa Board member and president of the Rajasthan Muslims Parishad said the film distorted Khilji’s character. “Film shows Muslims in negative light and should be banned. Govt should have rules regarding historical films so they do not misrepresent facts.”uslims leaders say there are apprehensions that the film could lead to communal tensions between Hindus and Muslims.A panel comprising Arvind Singh, and historians Chandramani Singh and KK Singh viewed the film Padmavati and expressed reservations on the content. Singh said the film portrayed Hindus and Muslims in poor light.Anjuman Talimul Islam chief in Udaipur Mohammed Khalil said both the Hindus and Muslims have lived in harmony in Mewar region for centuries and that should not be disrupted.
Mamata terms NRC conspiracy to expel Bengalis out of Assam
Kolkata: Speaking out for the first time against National Register of Citizens (NRC) in Assam, West Bengal CM  Mamata Banerjee called the exercise to determine original inhabitants of Assam a conspiracy to expel Bengalis out of Assam and compared NRC with the 1960s ethnic cleansing ‘Bongal Kheda’ movement. TMC supremo warned that ethnic problems in Assam would invariably have effects in West Bengal.“I urge BJP not to play with fire. People are being removed from their native land with this conspiracy of NRC. If Bengalis are attacked or expelled from Assam, we would not keep quiet,” she warned resulting in a huge applause.She drew comparisons of NRC with the 1960s ‘Bongal Kheda’ or ‘Expel Bengalis’ ethnic cleansing movement in Assam when nearly 50,000 Bengalis of Assam had to flee the state and take shelter in West Bengal. Another 14,000 Bengalis fled to West Bengal during 1972-73 Language Riots in Assam. “If Bengalis chose to stay in Assam, they have to be embraced,” she said.Names of more than 70 %  of Bengali speakers have reportedly not come up in the first draft of NRC, the most affected being Bengali-dominated Barak Valley in south Assam. CM urged Trinamool Congress MPs to stage a protest at the Parliament on Thursday against NRC.newindianexpress
UN system not allowing to make Hindi one of UN languages
India is ready to bear all expenses, if necessary up to Rs 400 crore, to make Hindi one of the official languages of the United Nations but its rules for acquiring such a status prevents the country from doing so, External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj said on Wednesday.According to the UN rules, support of two-third member countries (129 nations) is required out of the total 193 member nations, Swaraj said in the Lok Sabha during Question Hour.Besides, all member nations will have to bear the cost of making Hindi one of the official languages of the UN.“It is not difficult to get the support of two-third member nations. But when the issue of bearing the expenses comes, many small nations become hesitant which has led to a big hurdle in making Hindi an official languages of UN,” she said, adding that despite this, the efforts are on.indian express
‘What if we have a Tamil PM?’ Tharoor opposes bid to make Hindi an official UN language
The question hour of the Lok Sabha on Wednesday saw a war of words between MP Shashi Tharoor and External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj.The bone of contention was the latter’s efforts to make Hindi one of the official languages in the United Nations.A question posed by BJP MPs Laxman Giluwa and Rama Devi sought an answer from Sushma as to what steps were being taken to make Hindi an official language in the UN.In a strongly worded objection, Shashi asked why there was a need for such a move. "If tomorrow, someone from Tamil Nadu or from West Bengal becomes  PM, why should we force him to speak in Hindi at the UN?" he said.He also pointed out how Hindi enjoyed the status of an official language in India, but was not a national language. “Today, India may not mind paying for Hindi translations since the PM and External Affairs Minister speak that language, but it will be difficult to convince other nations to pay for Hindi translations since, outside India, Hindi is not spoken,” he said. thenewsminute
India girls 'attacked for meeting Muslim boys': BBC
Two female students have been attacked by a group of men in the southern Indian city of Mangalore, reportedly for meeting up with two Muslim boys.The group of teenaged friends were in a theme park when they were assaulted.Police told the BBC that they had arrested three men, who allegedly belonged to a right-wing group, and were looking for other suspects.The incident was caught on video and widely shared online, triggering outrage at so-called "moral policing".One of the men is seen heckling the girls, even as they were being escorted out of the park by police.2 girls and the Muslim boys are students in the same secondary school, according to local media reports.Police told the BBC that visitors at the park spotted the group of friends and then reported them to a right-wing fringe group, leading to members of the group showing up at the park and attacking them.The video shows the students being hit multiple times by the men, who also shouted at them, asking them to call their parents.BBC
Mangaluru : Bajarang Dal member hacked to death, 4 persons arrested in hot chase
Mangaluru: A trivial dispute regarding tying of buntings during a religious festival ended in blood bath on Wednesday with a member of Bajarang Dal being brutally hacked to death in broad daylight in Katipalla, about 16 kms from here. The police acted swiftly and arrested four persons in connection with the murder.The buntings issue had cropped up a few days back between both the majority and minority communities in that area and the issue simmered till it ended in murder. The deceased has been identified as Deepak Rao, resident of Katipalla Surathkal.Mangaluru City Police have arrested four assailants within a few hours while fleeing in a car near Mijar, Moodbidri, which is about 20 kms from the scene of the crime. The police gave a hot chase and also opened fire on the vehicle to stop them. Sources said that one of the assailants was injured during police chase. timesofindia
Mangaluru : Hindu outfits hold rally against 'Love Jihad'
Mangaluru: Hindu outfits VHP, Bajrang Dal and Durgavahini women's wing today began a 15-day awareness programme in the district against 'Love Jihad', the organisers said. They took out a rally from Sri Laxmi Narayana Temple here to mark the start of the programme. Love Jihad is a term used by sections of Hindu activists to describe marriages between Hindu women and Muslim men, who they claim seek to propagate Islam. The organisers said workers of the three outfits would visit colleges, work places and homes in the district to distribute pamphlets to create awareness on "Love Jihad". PTI
No evidence for 'love jihad' in Kerala:Kerala Home dept
 An investigation carried out by the State Home Dept showed that there is no evidence for alleged 'love jihad' in Kerala. There were reports that many girls have converted to Islam under the influence of others and also after love marriage. But there is no evidence to prove the alleged 'love jihad' behind these conversions. The probe report under Home Dept has dismissed the allegations on conversions of girls to Muslim community through 'love jihad.'Kerala Police in association with IB has investigated religious conversions including allegations of 'love jihad'. Home Dept findings also dismiss the statement of ex- DGP TP Senkumar on 'love jihad' in Kerala. According to the report, a total of 7,299 people converted to Islam from 2011 to 2016. Nearly 1,216 people converted to Islam in 2017. Majority of them decided to follow Islam under the influence of some people in their close circles. It is reported that 64 % of the people converted to this religion due to financial problems. The Home Department has collected the details of 568 people who converted to Islam in Malabar region as part of the investigation. Thrissur recorded the largest number of conversions. Palakakd is in second position.mathrubhumi
Fodder scam: Contempt notice to RJD, Cong leaders; Lalu’s sentencing likely tomorrow
Ranchi: A special CBI court in Ranchi on Wednesday served contempt notices to senior leaders of the RJD and the Congress for criticising the Dec.23 conviction of RJD chief Lalu Prasad Yadav in a fodder scam case on television.CBI judge Shiv Pal Singh directed senior RJD leaders Raghuvansh Prasad Singh, Shivanand Tiwari and Lalu Prasad’s son Tejashwi Yadav and Congress leader Manish Tewari to personally appear before the court on Jan23.Tejashwi Yadav is leader of opposition in the Bihar Assembly.The court which was scheduled to pronounce the quantum of punishment to Lalu Prasad and 15 others today is likely to announce it tomorrow, a CBI advocate said.The case did not come up today due to a condolence meeting held during the day to mourn the death of two lawyers, he said.HT
AAP picks Sanjay Singh, Sushil Gupta, N D Gupta as Rajya Sabha nominees
New Delhi:AAP on Wednesday nominated Sanjay Singh, Sushil Gupta and ND Gupta as its Rajya Sabha nominees. While Singh has been associated with the party since its inception, Sushil Gupta is a Delhi-based businessman and N D Gupta a chartered accountant.The decision was taken at CM  Arvind Kejriwal's residence in a meeting attended by around 56 party MLAs.The party's highest decision making body, PAC, met soon after and formally approved the decision. "Sushil Gupta has made big contributions in the education and health sectors in Delhi and Haryana. He provides free education to 15,000 children. Narayan Das Gupta is the former president of ICAI,"Deputy CM  Manish Sisodia told reporters.PTI
Lok Sabha passes bill allowing construction within 100m radius of heritage monuments
New Delhi: Lok Sabha has passed the Ancient Monuments and Archaeological Sites and Remains (Amendment) Bill 2017 that allows Govt  to take up infrastructure projects within the 100 metre prohibited periphery around protected monuments. Setting aside opposition to the bill by Congress MP Shashi Tharoor and RSP MP NK Premachandran, minister of state for culture Mahesh Sharma said banning construction in the prohibited areas was adversely affecting various public works and developmental projects of the central Govt . "Moving away from party lines, members have supported the bill," Sharma said, responding to concerns raised by members during the debate on the Bill.The bill proposes amendments in the legislation to the 1958 Act that prohibits carrying out any public work or project or other constructions in any prohibited area around protected monuments. The existing law described 'prohibited area' as land in 100-metre radius around a protected monument. At present, construction is not allowed in the prohibited areas except for repair and renovation works. Raising objections to the amendments to the bill, Tharoor questioned whether Govt   had done its homework before presenting this bill.Tharoor also cited the instance of the Ram Janmabhoomi, where ASI, by digging around the foundations of the Babri Masjid, found the ruined pillars of an old temple. "If you had built a road right past the Babri Masjid, you will have never known this," he said. Timesofindia
Never acknowledged the existence of Arunachal Pradesh: China
New Delhi :China on Wednesday did not mince its words when it said it had “never acknowledged” the existence of Arunachal Pradesh even as it kept mum over a media report that its troops intruded into the Indian side of the border in the frontier state. Geng Shuang, Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesperson, had made the statement after a media report stated that Chinese troops intruded into the Indian territory in Arunachal Pradesh for about 200 meters close to a village in upper Siang district.In a statement to media persons, Geng was quoted as saying by PTI: “First of all on the border issue our position is clear and consistent. We never acknowledged the existence of so-called Arunachal Pradesh. For the specific situation you mentioned, I am not aware of it.” China claims Arunachal Pradesh is part of South Tibet. The India-China border dispute covered 3,488 km along the LAC.indianexpress
Govt approves Rs 6,809-crore bi-directional Zojila tunnel project in J&K
New Delhi: Cabinet Committee on Economic Affairs today paved the way for construction of the Rs 6,809-crore strategic Zojila pass tunnel project in Jammu and Kashmir.During winters, Srinagar, Kargil and Leh remain cut-off from the rest of the world due to heavy snowfall and this project will provide all-weather connectivity to the region. indianexpress
Palestinians say Jerusalem "not for sale" after Trump threatens to cut aid
Ramallah: Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas's office said Wednesday that Jerusalem is not for sale after Donald Trump threatened to cut off financial aid to Palestinians."Jerusalem is not for sale, neither for gold nor silver,"Abbas spokesperson Nabil Abu Rudeineh said, according to official Palestinian news agency (WAFA). Palestine Liberation Organization Executive Committee Member Hanan Ashrawi said "Palestinians' rights are not for sale. By recognizing occupied Jerusalem as Israel's capital, Donald Trump has not only violated international law, but has also singlehandedly destroyed the very foundations of peace and condoned Israel's illegal annexation of the city."Ashrawi added "we will not be blackmailed. President Trump has sabotaged our search for peace, freedom and justice. Now he dares to blame the Palestinians for the consequences of his own irresponsible action!" Hamas spokesman in Gaza Fawzi Barhoum said in an emailed press statement that "U.S. President Donald Trump's threat to cut aid to UN Relief and Works Agency for Palestine refugees (UNRWA) and Palestinian National Authority (PNA) for getting to negotiations is a cheap political blackmail that reflects the barbaric and immoral American manner in dealing with the just Palestinian cause and the rights of Palestinian people."Xinhua
'Jerusalem is not for sale’: Palestine to Trump after US threatens to cut $300mn aid
Palestinian leader  to Trump: 'We will not be blackmailed'
Israel ‘killed’ peace process by approving United Jerusalem Bill: Abbas
PA President Mahmoud Abbas said on Tuesday that Israeli approval of the United Jerusalem Bill has “killed the peace process” and “initiated war on Palestinian people,”.“This makes clear that Israel is basically announcing the end of what is called the political process and the beginning of a policy of dictating matters to the Palestinians,” said Nabil Abu Rudeineh, the President’s spokesman. “There is no legitimacy to Trump’s decision and no legitimacy to the Knesset decisions, and we will not let such projects pass due to their dangerous repercussions on the region and the world.” middleeastmonitor
‘PLO Central Council will discuss cancellation of Oslo’
Palestinian President’s adviser on foreign affairs and international relations has said that the PLO Central Council will discuss the cancellation of the Oslo Accords, Quds Net News has reported.Such a strategic decision, explained Nabil Shaath, would have to be taken by the body which approved it in the first place. A decision would also be made about withdrawing official recognition of the State of Israel. Shaath pointed out that Central Council of PLO is the representative of the Palestinian National Council. “Both were the first to acknowledge the Oslo Agreement, so the PLO must go again to the Central Council to cancel the agreement. A decision can only be taken at this level.” middleeastmonitor
Islamic bodies condemn Israel’s United Jerusalem Bill
Islamic organisations in Jerusalem said on Tuesday that the Israeli Knesset’s approval of the so-called United Jerusalem Bill is “null and void” and called upon Muslims to work towards the liberation of the holy city. The statement was backed by the Council of Jerusalem Religious Endowments, the High Islamic Commission, Palestinian Fatwa Dept and the General Directorate of Jerusalem Endowments and Al-Aqsa Affairs. “Bill, which allows the Israeli authorities to demarcate the borders of occupied Jerusalem as if it is part of Israel, is legally and religiously null and void,” insisted the religious bodies. They called upon politicians and clerics in the Arab and Islamic world to take measures equal to Israeli violations of Jerusalem, not only deliver speeches and issue statements. middleeastmonitor
US: ‘our position hasn’t changed’ on status of W. Bank
US State Dept insisted that its position on the status of the West Bank as occupied territory “hasn’t changed”, but refused to explicitly confirm the nature of the position.The remarks, during a press briefing, came after a report last week that US Ambassador to Israel, David Friedman, was urging the State Dept to stop referring to occupation.Asked whether “the administration believe that the West Bank is occupied by Israel”, State Dept spokesperson Heather Nauert replied: “I can only say that our position has not changed. Our position on that hasn’t changed”. middleeastmonitor
Trump tells Israel that embassy will be moved this year
US President Donald Trump has told Israel that he is planning to move the American Embassy to Jerusalem this year, Israeli website Wallah revealed on Tuesday. Trump is apparently putting pressure on the relevant Govt  departments in Washington to coordinate with Israeli PM  Benjamin Netanyahu in order to get the relocation procedures started.“President Trump sent a clear message that he wants to start relocation of the embassy soon,” a White House source said. “He stressed that work is going to start as soon as possible in 2018.”
Rights group warns of medicine shortage in Gaza hospitals
The Palestinian Centre for Human Rights (PCHR) has said it is “deeply concerned” over what it describes as “the severe lack of medicines and medical consumables” in hospitals in the Israeli-occupied Gaza Strip.According to PCHR, the conditions of patients in the Gaza Strip could well “deteriorate due to the shortage of medicine and periodic medications”.The group urged the Palestinian Authority’s Ministry of Health in Ramallah “to guarantee the free and secure flow of all consignments of medicines and needed medical supplies for the health facilities in the Gaza Strip”. middleeastmonitor
Use of force against Gaza does not bring tranquillity: Ex- Israeli Foreign Minister  Livni
Former Israeli Foreign Minister Tzipi Livni said on Tuesday that the use of force against the Gaza Strip “does not bring tranquillity,”Al-Resalah has reported. Livni made her comments on Israel’s Wallah news website.“We need a diplomatic line that leads to disarming the Gaza Strip,” she explained. Force could still be used against Hamas, though, “when it is necessary.”The former minister, who announced the Israeli 2008/9 military offensive against Gaza when she was in Cairo, said that reoccupying the Gaza Strip and rebuilding Gush Qatif, a former Israeli settlement in the coastal enclave, “is not a proposed option.” middleeastmonitor
Ex- finance minister Ibrahim Al-Assaf acquitted of Saudi corruption charges
Saudi Arabia’s former Finance Minister Ibrahim Al-Assaf has been acquitted of corruption charges and attended the year’s first Cabinet meeting in Riyadh on Tuesday. Images of Al-Assaf at the meeting were released by the Saudi Press Agency.The minister was among dozens of Saudi officials and princes who were detained by the authorities during a recent anti-corruption purge ordered by Crown Prince Mohammad Bin Salman.Al-Assaf is the second prominent Saudi official to appear in public after being detained during the purge. On Saturday, state television broadcast images of former National Guard head Prince Miteb Bin Abdullah, another former detainee, alongside Bin Salman. He is said to have paid $1 billion to secure his release. middleeastmonitor
Egypt hangs 5 prisoners over a bombing case:AFP
CAIRO: Egyptian prison authorities executed on Tuesday five inmates who had been sentenced to death, four of them over a bombing that killed military cadets, security officials said.The hangings came days after the execution of 15 inmates convicted of attacking police and the military in the largest mass execution in Egypt in recent memory.Four of those executed on Tuesday had been sentenced to death by a military court over a 2015 the bombing at a stadium north of Cairo that killed three military cadets. The fifth had been sentenced to death over a criminal matter, the sources said without elaborating. The other four had been accused of having links with the Muslim Brotherhood movement of former president Mohamed Morsi whom the army toppled in 2013 following protests against his single year in office. On December 26, prison authorities hanged 15 inmates sentenced to death by a military court over attacks on the police and military in the Sinai Peninsula.Courts have since sentenced hundreds of Islamists to death, although most have appealed the rulings and won retrials.AFP 
Pro-Govt  rallies in Iran after days of protest, unrest
Tehran:Tens of thousands of Iranians took part in pro-Govt  demonstrations in several cities across the country today, Iranian state media reported, a move apparently seeking to calm nerves after a week of protests and unrest that have killed at least 21 people.While the rallies showed support among Iran's 80 million people for its clerically overseen Govt , smaller and smaller towns in the Iranian countryside appear to be experiencing the unrest that has already swept through urban areas, according to protesters' online videos.Official and semi-official media did not immediately offer new details of the unrest today. Demonstrators' videos corresponded with The Associated Press reporting from outside of Iran, though individual protesters themselves remain unreachable. The protests for now also appear to remain leaderless.AP/PTI
Iran accuses 'enemies' as US seeks emergency UN session
Iran's supreme leader has blamed external "enemies" for heightening turmoil in the country, as the death toll in ongoing nationwide anti-Govt  rallies has passed 20.The comments by Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, Iran's top authority, came on Tuesday hours before the US said that it would seek emergency United Nations talks on the protests in the Islamic republic. Aljazeera
Erdogan says Turkey values Iranian stability, praises Hassan Rouhani
Ankara :Turkey said on Wednesday President Hassan Rouhani’s response to days of protests across Iran was appropriate and that Ankara valued Iranian stability, in one of the first regional expressions of support for Tehran.A source in Turkish President Tayyip Erdogan’s office said he discussed the week-long unrest in Iran during a telephone call with Rouhani. The Iranian president told Erdogan he hoped the protests would be over “in a few days”, the source said.Reuters
Govt  air raids intensify in Syria's Eastern Ghouta
Beirut:The videos show chaotic scenes: first responders rush to evacuate wounded civilians in a marketplace, while others pull an injured man, covered in dust, out of the rubble of a stone home and onto a stretcher.Dozens of people have been killed in a recent spike in violence in Syria.At least 40 people have died in recent days in what opposition activists describe as "indiscriminate bombardment" by Syrian state forces.The air raids are believed to be part of the Govt 's assault on rebel-held positions in Eastern Ghouta, a neighbourhood near Damascus. Aljazeera

Leaderless and voiceless: A lament for the Indian Muslim:Salman Khurshid
Bill won’t help muslim women:Flavia Agnes
Toothless bill criminalising triple talaq is meant only to score political points:Randeep Singh Surjewala
”RSS/BJP Responsible for Instigating Violence Against Dalits in Maharashtra”SHIV NAIDU , thecitizen
Yashwant Sinha: The Mandate of 2014 Has Been Wasted
Right-Wing Groups Pick On Muslim Family for ‘Land Jihad’ in UP:thequint
Underlying Maharashtra’s Dalit protests, a tangle of old caste struggles and new Hindutva assertion:Smruti Koppikar
What's driving the protests in Iran?by Farah Najjar ,aljazeera
Turkey and Qatar: Behind the strategic alliance:aljazeera

Compiled and edited by Anwarulhaq (Released at: 7:59 PM)


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