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15 January 2018

15 Jan. ND: Netanyahu India Visit Sandwiched Between Protests In Tel Aviv & Delhi: Bibi Go Home/9 pacts including Cybersecurity, tech, oil, Gas signed between India Israel/ SC judges rift: No change in the Constitution Bench



Evening NEWS DIGEST  
15 Jan.2018: 27Rabial Aakhir 1439:Vol:9, No:98
INDIA ISRAEL: SOUTH ASIA  
Netanyahu India Visit Sandwiched Between Protests In Tel Aviv and Delhi: Bibi Go Home!
New Delhi: That all is not right at home was made resoundingly clear as Israel PM Benjamin Netanyahu boarded the flight for India with reporters asking why he was not taking his son Yair with him. All of course knew the reason for the question, as thousands took to the streets in Tel Aviv against Netanyahu for corruption and his son Yair’s anti-women comments.Several protests, against the Israeli PM’s state visit, were held in Delhi. The hashtag #NoToNetanyahu is making the rounds of the Internet. Protestors marched chanting slogans echoing calls for freedom for the Palestinians, and later dispersed closer to the Israeli embassy. Their voices echoed against the usual din of traffic, but all the individuals that this writer had a chance to talk to, spoke about the need for recognition of crimes and atrocities against the Palestinian people.The answers were based in nostalgia for the Gandhian support of the Palestinian cause, and extremely critical of the defense deals signed between the two countries in the wake of the Israeli military atrocities against the people of Gaza.The protests against the Netanyahu family have been increasing in strength and frequency over the past two months, with the PM  already under a probe for corruption that includes bribery and fraud. His son Yair Netanyahu who has been speaking loosely of Govt  deals, is now again in the eye of an even bigger storm with his disparaging remarks about women while touring stripper clubs with a state provided bodyguard and driver in tow. The tape in wide circulation has the son telling his friend, who is the son of business tycoon Kobi Maimon, not to argue with him over 400 shekels meant for a prostitute when his father received $20 billion from Netanyahu. Maimon is a real estate mogul and shareholder in Isramco, a company that owns owns Israel's offshore Tamar gas fields. Netanyahu signed this natural gas deal in 2015.In Delhi at least two major protests were held, covering most of the day coinciding with Netanyahu’s arrival here. In a statement signed “Left parties, All India Peace and Solidarity Organization, Palestine Solidarity Committee, India,” the first march today hit out at “the profits made through trade and defence relations (that) go directly into funding further oppression of Palestinians and more theft of Palestinian lands.”Students from Ambedkar University and Delhi University mentioned the imperial forces in power, and referred to the colonisation of Palestine, juxtaposed against Kashmir, recognising both lands as occupied territories. Burhan, a masters student from DU, said, “Palestine deserves to be recognised and given the right to self-determination. We are also here to protest the growing convergence between Fascism here[India] and the right-wing there.” He spoke in length about the manner in which several Palestinian and Arab citizens of Israel are made into second-class citizens, or non-citizens, similar to the treatment of Muslims and Dalits in current-day India.Detailing the convergence, Komita, a theater practitioner from Jana Natya Manch, mentioned that while there were obvious similarities, it would be unfair to club these together because the model of execution followed in India is still painted as informal mob-lynchings, and those in Israel are publicly known to be state-sponsored. Hindutva, in her opinion, was still in its initial stages.Moloyashree Hashmi, from the Jana Natya Manch, also spoke about the economic causes behind this growing affection. She noted that the two schools of Zionism and Hindutva were only two applications of the larger Right-wing philosophy. She spoke about the absolute lack of labour reforms. Capitalist motivations behind the relationship, associated with the USA, and its brand of neoliberal imperialism was central to the gathering.Meanwhile back home in Tel Aviv the media is full of reports about the protest and Yair Netanyahu’s tape. The son lives with his father in the official residence, and as Israeli commentators have pointed out, this makes the PM  responsible.There were protests in Kargil, Nagpur and Mumbai as well. A second protest in the national capital by citizens drew large crowds. Israeli PM  has been questioned seven times in a corruption probe that was converted into charges of bribery, favourities and fraud. All of December there were weekly protests against him in the country, with a demand to resign amidst chants of “Shame” and “Bibi Go Home”. Thecitizen
Protesters burn Israeli PM’s effigy in Kargil, Delhi
Thousands of people in J&K’s Kargil today protested against Israeli PM  Benjamin Netanyahu's visit to India.The protesters shouted slogans against the Israeli PM and burnt Netanyahu effigy, American and the Israeli flags. Protesters were holding placards and Palestinian flags to express solidarity with the people of Palestine.The protests were organised by the Imam Khomeini Memorial Trust (IKMT).While addressing a press conference, the chairman of IKMT said, “the land of Mahatma Gandhi can't tolerate war-criminal like Netanyahu.”He said India has always supported Palestine but the sudden “paradigm shift” will make India democratically weak internationally. Similar protests were held in Delhi on Sunday as a group of men showed crossed-out images of Israeli PM that read "Go back, Netanyahu” in English and Hindi. newsnation
Thousands march in Kashmir against Israeli PM’s India visit, burn his effigy
Left parties protest against Israel PM
9 pacts including Cybersecurity, tech, oil, Gas signed: Israel to invest $68.6 million in tourism, tech, agriculture
Indo-Israel relations underwent hiccups when India voted against United States’ decision to make Jerusalem the capital of Israel, but it seems both the countries are over the past as they signed nine agreements on Monday including on Homeopathy and Cybersecurity to take forward the trade ties beyond diamond and defence.The agreements were signed following delegation-level talks headed by PMs Narendra Modi and Benjamin Netanyahu in New Delhi. Interestingly, Benjamin Netanyahu, on Sunday, called Indo-Israel relationship a “marriage made in heaven”, and assured that one UN vote will not affect the ties between the two countries, which last year celebrated 25 years of diplomatic relations.9 pacts signed between the 2 countries will take Indo-Isreal trade ties beyond diamond and defence as proposed by Israel in 2007. Since the establishment of diplomatic relations between India and Israel in 1992, trade ties have comprised primarily of diamonds.While India’s exports to Israel in areas other than diamonds have increased over the years, diamonds continued to constitute around 49% of the bilateral trade in the year 2010. Besides diamond, defence has also been important for both countries. India is Israel’s biggest arms market, buying around $1 billion worth of weapons every year. However, India had cancelled $500 million order to Israel’s state-owned defence contractor Rafael for home-made anti-tank missiles, which Israel is confident of solving.Here is the list of MoUs/Agreements signed between India and Israel:1. MoU on Cybersecurity Cooperation between India and Israel.2. MoU between the Ministry of Petroleum and Natural Gas and the Ministry of Energy on Cooperation in Oil and Gas Sector.3. Protocol between India and Israel on Amendments to the Air Transport Agreement. 4. Agreement on Film-co-production between India and Israel. 5. MoU between the Central Council for Research in Homeopathy, Ministry of AYUSH and Centre for Integrative Complementary Medicine, Shaare Zedek Medical Center on Cooperation in the field of Research in Homeopathic Medicine. 6. MoU between Indian Institute of Space Science and Technology(IIST) and Technion-Israel Institute of Technology for cooperation in the field of space. 7. Memorandum of Intent between Invest India and Invest in Israel. 8. Letter of Intent between IOCL and Phinergy Ltd. For cooperation in the area of metal-air batteries.9. Letter of Intent between IOCL and Yeda Research and Development Co Ltd for cooperation in the area of concentrated solar thermal technologies. Israel will also invest $68.6 million to boost cooperation with India in areas like tourism, technology, agriculture and innovation over a period of 4 years. The commitment is in addition to the India-Israel Industrial R&D and Technological Innovation Fund of $40 million over 5 years.financialexpress
Netanyahu in India: calls Modi a "revolutionary leader", 9 pacts signed to boost cooperation
PM Modi invites Israeli defense companies to work in India
New Delhi: PM Narendra Modi said that he has invited Israeli defense companies to work and invest in India.“In defence, I have invited Israeli companies to take advantage of the liberalised FDI regime to make more in India with our companies,” Modi said while addressing a press conference along with his Israeli counterpart.“We are venturing into less explored areas of cooperation such as oil and gas, cyber security, films and start-ups,” he added. Modi said India and Israel would strengthen the existing pillars of cooperation in areas that touch the lives of peoples in both the countries, which include agriculture, science and technology and security.
India, Israel to focus on technology in science, industry, agriculture: MEA
New Delhi: India and Israel would like the new technology to be applied more effectively in science, technology and agriculture sectors, Ministry of External Affairs said.MEA Secretary (Economic Relations) and Foreign Secretary-designate Vijay K. Gokhalesaid, “PMs of India and Israelspoke on the use of technology in agriculture. Our PM, Modi stressed on the use of technology in the agricultural sector. PM of Israel, Benjamin Netanyahu, spoke about the technology used in agriculture such as – how it reaches farmers, how it improves productivity and yield of the fields through water and fertilisers. Both the countries are working on this proposal.”“We want to modernise our science and technology sectors with the help of technology, through Israel’s expertise. The fund that was announced by both the PM s at Tel Aviv, at the time of PM  Modi’s visit, has now been operationalised. The two countries have proposed 20 US million dollars. We have sent calls for proposals”, added Gokhale.“In the industrial sector, water can be treated effectively with the help of technology, when industries discharge waste in the water bodies. We would also like to implement the same here”, said Gokhale.ANI
China slams Gen. Rawat’s remarks as “unconstructive”, says contradict Xiamen consensus
China has slammed comments by the Chief of Army Staff Bipin Rawat as “unconstructive,” and said his remarks did not conform to the spirit of Sept.talks in Xiamen between Chinese President Xi Jinping and PM Narendra Modi.During last week’s press conference, Gen. Rawat had said that India needed to shift its military focus from its western border with Pakistan to its northern border with China. He had also observed that if China was strong, India was not weak either.Besides, Gen. Rawat had highlighted the possibility of the return of Chinese troops to Doklam — an area that was the scene of a tense 73-day standoff between Indian and Chinese troops last year.“During the past one year, relations between China and India witnessed some twists and turns,” Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesperson Lu Kang said in response to a question. He underscored that in September, the leaders of India and China reached some important consensus on properly handling the differences and promote China-India relations. “Recently, 2 sides enhanced dialogue on consultations, and bilateral relations have shown sound momentum of improvement and development,” he said, in an obvious reference to the visit to India by the Chinese foreign minister Wang Yi and State Councilor and Politburo member Yang Jeichi.“Under such background, unconstructive remarks by the Indian senior officials not only go against the consensus reached by the two heads of state, and do not conform to the efforts made by the 2 sides to improve and develop bilateral relations.” He added: “It cannot help to preserve tranquility and peace in the border areas.”When asked to spell out any specific remark of Gen. Rawat that had irked China, Lu said: “I have made myself clear. If the senior official according to the report referred to Donglang (Doklam), I think you are clear about our position - Donglang belongs to China and has always been in the effective jurisdiction of China.”“China border troops patrolling and stationed in the area are exercising our sovereignty rights. We hope the Indian side has learned the lessons of history and will avoid similar accidents to take place again,” Lu observed.He added: “If he refers to the situation in the whole India-China boundary, I have also said that last September the 2 heads of state have reached important consensus during the Xiamen summit. Both sides have maintained effective communication since then.”thehindu
Army General Rawat’s remarks ‘unconstructive’: China
Pakistan protests to US about Indian Army chief’s ‘irresponsible’ remarks, LoC ‘escalation’
Islamabad:Pakistan on Monday protested to the US against what it described as the Indian Army chief’s “irresponsible” remarks and the “pattern of escalation” on LoC and called on Washington to advise New Delhi to exercise restraint. Foreign secretary Tehmina Janjua raised the tensions with India during a meeting with visiting US acting assistant secretary of state Alice Wells. Wells is the first top American official to travel to Islamabad since the US suspended security-related aid worth nearly $2 billion over Pakistan’s counter-terrorism efforts.HT
‘Danger of conflict between Pakistan, India growing’ claims Pakistan daily
Islamabad;The danger of a conflict between Pakistan and India is growing, a leading Pakistani daily warned today after Indian Army chief said his force was ready to call Pakistan’s “nuclear bluff” and cross the border to carry out any operation if asked by the Govt .General Bipin Rawat made these remarks while responding to a question during a press conference in New Delhi last week on the possibility of Pakistan using its nuclear weapons in case the situation along the border deteriorates. “If we will have to really confront the Pakistanis, and a task is given to us, we are not going to say we cannot cross the border because they have nuclear weapons. We will have to call their nuclear bluff,” Rawat had said.Dawn newspaper in its editorial said the very idea of calling a “nuclear bluff” ought to give all right-thinking and sensible people in South Asia pause.“With the army chief appearing to suggest that the Cold Start doctrine has become a core part of Indian military strategy against Pakistan, the danger of a general conflict between Pakistan and India is growing. Crossing the international border is an act of war, and Pakistan would simply have no option but to respond,” the daily said.PTI
 7 Pak soldiers killed along LoC in retaliatory firing: Indian Army
Jammu: Indian Army said it killed 7 Pakistani soldiers along the Line of Control in Mendhar sector of Poonch district of J&K  in “retaliatory action” against “unwarranted and inhumane act”, days after an Indian soldier died in cross firing between the two neighbours.Both the countries accused each other of violating the 2003 ceasefire agreement on a day India is marking the 70th Army Day.The publicity wing of Pakistan’s army, ISPR, said the soldiers were busy with maintenance of a communication line when they were “fired upon and hit by [a] heavy mortar round” in the Jandrot sector of PoK.ISPR also claimed that 3 Indian soldiers were killed and a “few injured” in an exchange of fire,”report added.HT
OTHERS
SC judges rift: No change in the Constitution Bench
Days after a press conference was held by 4 senior Supreme Court judges and raised their concern on some of the burning issues in the Indian judiciary, according to the latest developments, there has been no change in the Constitution Bench. The bench comprising CJI Dipak Misra, and Justices AK Sikri, Khanwilkar, Chandrachud and Ashok Bhushan will hear eight matters listed for hearing from January 17. In the presser held by senior SC judges on January 12, the judges including — Justices Jasti Chelameswar, Ranjan Gogoi, Madan Lokur and Kurian Joseph — said that there was an immediate need to preserve the judiciary in the country if democracy is to be protected. The senior Supreme Court judges also went on to say that Democracy will not survive unless judiciary is preserved.However on Monday in another development in the SC judges row, the Attorney General while speaking to NewsX said that the SC judges matter has been resolved via talks between CJI and judges in the special meeting which convened in the morning. Also, the Bar Council of India Chairman Manan Kumar Mishra on January 15 said the issues raised by four dissenting top judges of the Supreme Court have been resolved, and that the judiciary did not want any political party to take advantage of the situation. “As you can see the matter has been laid to rest and all courtrooms in the Supreme Court are functioning normally,” Mishra informed media today. A 7-member delegation of the BCI on Sunday met 15 Supreme Court judges, including Chief Justice Dipak Misra, and three of the four rebel judges who went public with their differences with the Chief Justice.NewsX
After senior SC judges presser, NewsX decodes story behind it all
Judge Loya’s Son ‘Under Pressure’ to Claim ‘No Doubt’ About Father’s Death: Uncle Shrinivas
New Delhi: Just hours after late judge Brijgopal Harkishan Loya’s son reiterated his claim that there was “no doubt in family” that his father had died of natural causes, Loya’s paternal uncle Shrinivas Loya contradicted him, saying that he wanted an inquiry into the matter and that 21-year-old Anuj Loya was likely “under pressure” to make those claims.At a hurriedly-arranged press conference on Sunday evening, Anuj had blamed his earlier suspicions on “emotional turmoil,” adding that his family was not making allegations against anyone. Upon being asked whether he had ever harboured suspicions over the special CBI judge’s death, he said: “I was in emotional turmoil, right now I am in emotional turmoil.”When reminded about the doubts raised by his family members about the inconsistencies in what they had been told about Loya’s death, Anuj claimed yesterday: “They had some suspicions because of emotional turmoil at that period. So right now even they are clear with it and even they don’t have any issues.” Loya’s sister and Anuj’s aunt Anuradha Biyani, however, when asked whether she agreed with Anuj’s characterisation of her views, told an NDTV reporter: “I have nothing to say.” She had earlier told The Caravan that her brother had told her that Justice Mohit Shah had offered him a bribe of Rs 100 crore to give a favourable verdict in the Sohrabuddin case.THE WIRE
Won’t challenge discharge of officers in Sohrabuddin case: CBI
Mumbai: CBI told the Bombay high court on Monday that it will not challenge the recent discharge of any of senior IPS officers in the Sohrabuddin Shaikh encounter case.CBI counsel Sandesh Patil and additional solicitor general Anil Singh told the HC that the agency had already challenged the discharge of some junior officers in the case.However, CBI had decided not to challenge the trial court order that absolved senior officers, including former deputy inspector general of Gujarat DG Vanzara, Rajasthan IPS officer Dinesh MN and Gujarat IPS officer Rajkumar Pandiyan, in connection with the alleged fake encounter killing of Sohrabuddin and his aide Tulsiram Prajapati, they said.CBI’s submissions came while a single bench of Justice Revati Mohite-Dere was hearing a revision application filed by Sohrabuddin’s brother Rubabuddin Shaikh, challenging trial court orders of discharge of these officers.The trial court had in 2016 and last year discharged Pandiyan, Vanzara and Dinesh MN. Rubabuddin has filed separate petitions challenging the discharge of the 3 officers from the case.However, his counsel advocate Gautam Tiwari told the high court on Monday that while they had been able to serve notices to Dinesh MN and Pandiyan in the case, they had been unable to trace the address or contact details of Vanzara.The high court had earlier directed CBI to provide Vanzara’s address to the petitioner, but Tiwari said the central agency had provided an incorrect address.The court today directed the CBI to trace Vanzara’s whereabouts and serve him the notice directing him to present his side of the case in the HC on the next date of hearing.“CBI is a premier probe agency. It should not encounter any impediment in finding the respondent’s (Vanzara’s) whereabouts, or getting his address. We often direct the investigating officers to serve notices, so in this case the CBI should do it to avoid further delays in hearing,” Justice Mohite-Dere said.The special CBI court in Mumbai, hearing the case after the Supreme Court ordered for the trial to be transferred out of Gujarat, had discharged the above three officials on the ground that the CBI had failed to get prior sanction or the special permission to prosecute them.However, on a previous hearing, Justice Mohite-Dere had questioned whether the lack of such sanction alone could be an adequate reason to warrant an accused person’s discharge from the case.She had also dismissed the CBI’s argument that it had challenged the discharge of two Rajasthan police sub-inspectors Himanshu Singh and Shyam Singh Charan and senior Gujarat police officer N.K. Amin.PTI
Medical College Bribery Scam: CBI Tapes Talk of ‘Prasad’ for ‘Temple’ in Delhi, Allahabad: thewire
New Delhi: Transcripts of phone conversations involving three accused persons in the controversial medical college bribery scam – retired Odisha high Court Judge I.M. Qudussi, middleman Vishwanath Agarwala and B.P. Yadav of the Prasad Education Trust – show that college officials had indeed planned to bribe senior functionaries of the Supreme Court and Allahabad high court to get favourable orders. The phone conversations, transcripts of which have been accessed by The Wire, are available with the CBI which is probing the case. The matter assumes great importance in light of the ongoing fight between CJI Dipak Misra and the 4 senior-most puisne judges who, in a press conference on January 12, had accused Justice Misra of defying the court’s convention by allocating work to judges “selectively to the benches ‘of their preference’ without any rational basis for such assignment” and by-passing senior judges in the process. The bribery scam, in which the Prasad Education Trust is said to have lined up kickbacks up for senior judicial functionaries, has become one of the most significant cases on a subject usually-considered taboo – corruption in the judiciary.The telephone conversations between the three accused persons on September 3 and September 4, 2017 happened at a time when the trust-run Glocal Medical College and Super Speciality Hospital and Research Centre – which was barred from admitting medical students by the Union Govt  after having been found guilty by the Medical Council of India (MCI) for non-compliance with its requirements – had moved both the Supreme Court and the Allahabad high court against the Centre’s decision.In the hearings that lasted from August 2017 to September 2017, the trust was granted multiple favourable orders in the Supreme Court, all in benches headed by CJI.The Wire
Judicial crisis leads to “Save Constitution” march in Mumbai on Jan 26: Pawar, Yechury, Mevani, Hardi, to participate
New Delhi: “Democracy is in danger” warned the four senior serving Justices of the Supreme Court in an unprecedented press conference. India has been thrown in turmoil since with the Govt silent on the serious concerns expressed by the Justices. However, the Opposition has responded with a Republic Day march in the financial capital of India, to be led by senior leaders like Sharad Pawar (NCP), Sitaram Yechury (CPIM) and others.“Samvidhan Bachao” march with include the youth leaders Alpesh Thakor, Hardik Patel, Jignesh Mevani who is now a legislator from Gujarat. But will also involve workers and farmers organisations, including Shetti who walked out of the BJP front recently. Tushar Gandhi, great grandson of Gandhi, will also be a participant along with other Opposition leaders including Sharad Pawar. Patel has already responded to the call with,"I will be a part of #SaveConstitution rally in #Mumbai on 26Jan #Republic day. Country faces a serious threat to democracy and is inching towards #Fascism and we will not allow that to happen.... lets stand together and save our #Democracy and #Constitution.”Shetti has said that he will be part of this march, being one of the initiators, as it was in his mind but he was galvanised into action following the judges press conference. thecitizen
Opposition leaders, activists to protest in Mumbai against Centre’s efforts to change Constitution
Deoband: An Islamic Bank for Poor, Including 4% Hindus, Who Can't and Need Not Pay Interest
New Delhi: Earlier this month, Islamic seminary Darul Uloom Deoband issued a fatwa asking Muslims to avoid families that raise 'haram' (illegitimate) money earned from a banking job. Reason: Taking interest from loans is something that goes against the Sharia law and Islamic banking system.However, the first thought that an average man has before borrowing money from a conventional bank is the interest rate that the bank would levy. And how does a bank function without charging any interest money on the borrowed amount, except for the minimal organizational charges?RBI guidelines specifically state that banks are compulsorily required to charge an interest and pay taxes to the central Govt  according to pre-decided rates set by the apex bank and the finance ministry.However, Muslim Fund Trust in Deoband headed by Haseeb Siddiqui is a financial institution that works on an interest-free loan module adapted as per the Quranic Shariah model. Haseeb Siddiqui explains this ideology that he runs his trust on, “Interest is haram (illegitimate) in Islam. The Quran states that if you cannot provide a 100% assurance that a customer’s money is safe in your bank, charging an interest until then is wrong. Conventional banks levy upfront interests and say that your money is safe from everything, however, what if there is an earthquake or a sudden fire or flood? What will the banks do then? So, there is a chance that your money is unsafe even if due to unforeseen circumstances. This is where Islamic rules state that one shouldn’t be charging interest.”One wonders how the institution functions, financially, if there is no interest charged.To overcome the compulsory need for money, the trust has formulated mandatory rules for its potential consumers.The trust offers loans to only those who have a savings deposit account with them.“We need to have reserve some cash before we start lending. Therefore, we lend money only to those who have deposited money in our trust before. The entire procedure is very simple. You don’t need any identification proof and it takes only two hours. We have 76,000 accounts in our trust, with members coming from Deoband and its surroundings. 4% of these account holders are Hindus,”said Siddiqui.Conventional banks demand security before issuing loans, which it has the option of falling back upon, in case the consumer defaults. Muslim Fund Trust accepts only ornaments as security.While the entire procedure seems lucid, there is still a filling necessity for money to pay employees, run the office and take care of other expenses that conventional banks largely use the interest money for. The trust, however, has a different mechanism, much like the Govt  stamp papers where clauses of an agreement are authorized, Deoband’s trust sell what they call forms as agreement papers.“These forms cost 4% of the total loan amount that is disbursed. Say, a consumer takes a loan of Rs 10,000, provides the required ornaments of the exact market valuation and pays Rs 250 to get the agreement form. Proceeds from these forms are what go into the funds used to run the office and manage other ventures,” said Siddiqui. news18
MP: Catholic school outfit moves HC seeking protection from ABVP
Bhopal;Days after the district administration foiled an attempt by ABVP to enter St Mary’s PG College in Vidisha to recite Bharat Mata Aarti, the Madhya Pradesh Catholic Diocesan Schools’ Association has moved the high court seeking protection for their educational institutions alleging that the students’ body, affiliated to the ruling BJP, was trying to whip up communal tension.Secretary-General of Catholic Bishops Conference of India (CBCI) Theodore Mascarenhas said the institutions run by minority community were being increasingly targeted by the student body. He said the ABVP had given a call to its members on local WhatsApp groups to go to the college on Tuesday, forcibly enter its premises and recite the aarti. He said the minority community tried to initiate a dialogue with the students’ body but the effort was in vain. Hundreds of ABVP activists had created a ruckus outside the college on Jan.4 when they were not allowed to enter the premises. A few activists, who are also students of the college, had managed to enter the premises and chant Bharat Mata Ki Jai.The decision to move the court was also prompted by an alleged attack on priests and seminarians in Satna in December when they were singing carols ahead of Christmas. Priests and seminarians were detained in a police station. While the police had booked one priest for conversion, a Bajrang Dal activist was arrested for torching a car belonging to the minority community.In another incident, right-wing organisations have given a bandh call to protest the punitive action against around 20 students of St Joseph School in Namli, near Ratlam, for chanting “Bharat Mata Ki Jai” on Thursday. Accusing the school of being anti-national, Bajrang Dal activists alleged that students were not allowed to appear in a pre-board examination for chanting “Bharat Mata Ki Jai” in school after the morning assembly.IE
Madrassas produce IAS officers, not terrorists: NCM chief Ghayorul Hasan Rizvi
New Delhi: The chairman of the National Commission for Minorities today dismissed Shia board chief Wasim Rizvi’s controversial “madrassas breed terrorists” remark, saying the Islamic institutions produced IAS officers, not militants. Syed Ghayorul Hasan Rizvi said it was a “laughable” remark made to earn a few brownie points from the Govt. “It is laughable and juvenile to connect madrassas with terrorism. One or 2 isolated incidents cannot be used to defame madrassas,” he said. “Nowadays, children who studied in madrassas are becoming IAS officers and earning fame in multiple spheres. Madrassas don’t breed terrorists, they produce IAS officers,” he added. Waseem-ur-Rehman from Deoband in UP cleared UPSC in 2008. He got 404th rank. Maulana Hammad Zafar from Madrassa Ali Arabia in Mau, MP cleared the exam in 2013, he said. Minorities commission chairman said Rizvi’s letter would have no bearing on Govt’s stance towards madrassas. PTI
Bareilly based Muslim group announces bounty of Rs 10 lakh and Haj trip for head of Wasim Rizvi
Bareilly: Days after Shia Waqf Board president Wasim Rizvi said that he has been getting death threats, All India Faizan-e-Madina Council (AIFMC), Bareilly-based religious body, on Sunday announced a bounty of Rs 1,000,786 and a free Haj trip for anyone who brings them his head. It alleged that Rizvi had hurt Muslim sentiments by branding madrassas as places which produce terrorists.AIFMC head Moeen Siddiqui Noori said if Rizvi didn’t take back his statement and apologize within two days, followers of his organisation would behead him.“Soon after BJP came to power at the Centre, home minister Rajnath Singh said that there is no terrorist studying in Indian madrassas and that the Govt wouldn’t close any such institute. He made that statement in Lok Sabha and was supported by PM Narendra Modi, who patted the table in acknowledgement,” Noori said.“Today, Wasim Rizvi has become a big threat as he wants to ruin the social fabric of the country. We demand the state Govt  to immediately terminate his services as Shia Waqf Board president. If he doesn’t apologize for his statement, our organisation will behead him and we will award the person responsible with a cash prize of Rs 1,000,786 as well as a free Haj trip,” Noori said.TOI
Muslims burn effigy of UP Shia Board chief Wasim Rizvi
Congress obstructing justice by attempting to derail Triple Talaq Bill: M J Akbar
Criminalisation of triple talaq corrects the historic wrongs committed in Shah Bano case, said Minister of State for External Affairs MJ Akbar on the much debated Muslim Women (Protection of Rights on Marriage) Bill that was passed by the Lok Sabha recently. Speaking to ET, Akbar also responded to allegations made by people including former information commissioner Wajahat Habibullah that he has changed his stance on the reform of Muslim women, stating that people have "partisan, if not selective memory." He said, "I think this legislation will happen. There are means and ways. A joint session is also among the options that Govt can pursue. I am sure the Govt will make a serious effort to get it through Rajya Sabha. It has options which it will consider."ET
Rajasthan: Shambhulal  used 'love jihad' to hide extramarital affairs: Cops
Jaipur: Rajsamand hate crime accused Shambhulal Raigar has committed the gruesome murder of a migrant worker from West Bengal to divert attention from his extramarital affairs and show it as an act of revenge against migrant labourers involved in 'love jihad', the Rajasthan police have said in its chargesheet filed recently. 400-page chargesheet, filed before Rajsamand district court on Jan. 12, have named Raigar's wife Seeta and a nurse, with whom Raigar had an affair also, as witnesses. On Dec.6 last year, a chilling video of Raigar hacking 50-year-old migrant worker, Afrazul, to death and burning his body went viral and shook the nation's consciousness. Raigar was booked under various IPC sections and the IT Act.TOI
Face Recognition to Now Be Permitted as Additional Means of Aadhaar Authentication
UIDAI allowed face recognition as additional means of Aadhaar authentication to be used in combination with existing ways such as fingerprint or iris scan.The move will enable easy authentication for those individuals who face a difficulty in other biometric authentication like fingerprint and iris.The facility is being allowed only in a “fusion mode” that is along with other existing means of authentication and will be available by July 1, 2018, an official release said.“This facility is going to help in inclusive authentication of those who are not able to biometrically authenticate due to their worn out fingerprints, old age or hard work conditions,” UIDAI said.As of now, two modes of biometric authentication, fingerprint authentication and iris authentication, are allowed under Aadhaar.PTI
Govt plans to split Air India into 4 entities ahead of sale: Report
New Delhi: Govt  will split national carrier Air India into four separate companies and offer at least 51% in each of them as part of a divestment plan, Bloomberg reported on Monday.The debt-laden airline would be divided into core airline business, regional arm, ground handling and engineering operations, the report added.The core airline business comprising Air India and Air India Express, the low-cost overseas arm, will be offered as one company, and the process will be completed by the end of 2018, Bloomberg reported, Jayant Sinha, minister of state for civil aviation.“The aviation sector is a very fast growing sector, with really exciting opportunities for all participants, so we felt all of this will unlock growth and competitiveness of Air India group,” Sinha told Bloomberg. “We expect it to be a very bright future for its employees.”Reuters
Telecom to lose more jobs; on course to cull 90,000 more: Report
Mumbai:Faced with uncertainty, the once-sunshine telecom sector will continue to witness decline in headcounts for the next six-nine months taking the total number of job losses to 80,000-90,000, says a report. sector, which has been witnessing rough weather in terms of profitability due to rising competition and lower margins, has witnessed large scale lay-offs making job scenario uncertain, said a CIEL HR Services in a report on Monday.Report is based on a survey among around 100 senior and mid-level employees of 65 telco and software and hardware service providers to telecom firms.PTI
Minor Dalit girl brutally gangraped in Haryana, foreign objects inserted in private parts
New Delhi:In a grim reminder of the infamous Dec.16, 2012 ‘Nirbhaya gang rape’ of a 23-year-old paramedic student in New Delhi, a 15-year-old Dalit girl was brutally gang-raped and killed in a very ruthless manner.  The body of the minor Dalit girl was found with severe injury marks at the bank of a water channel in Jind district, Haryana on Saturday. She was missing from her home in Kurukshetra since Jan. 9. The postmortem of the body which was conducted at Rohtak forensic lab revealed that she suffered brutalities similar to ‘Nirbhaya’ before her death. According to the autopsy reports, the assailants inserted a blunt object into her genitals. Her lungs were also found to be crushed suggesting somebody sat on her chest.Reports also showed at least 19 injury marks including on her face, head, chest, and hands. She had several internal injuries suggesting foreign objects were inserted into her private parts. NewsNation
Togadia goes ‘missing’ as Rajasthan Police comes to arrest him, VHP blocks highway in protest
 New Delhi:VHP on Monday claimed its international working president Pravin Togadia was missing after a Rajasthan police team came in Ahmedabad to arrest him in relation to a 2015 case. The Ahmedabad crime branch confirmed that Togadia was missing and said they were investigating his whereabouts. VHP blamed the Rajasthan Police, saying Togadia went missing after he was detained by them. However, the police team said they could not find the VHP chief at his residence when they came to execute an arrest warrant against Togadia under Section 188 (disobedience to order duly promulgated by public servant) of the IPC in an old case.Meanwhile, BJP spokesperson Jay Shah claimed Togadia was detained by the Rajasthan Police and was taken away by them. However, the Rajasthan Police denied rumours that Togadia was in their custody and said they were returning empty-handed. “Togadia was not at all arrested by our team. indianexpress
Cong blames EVM tampering for loss in Himachal polls
Shimla;A month after Congress suffered a humiliating defeat in the Himachal Pradesh assembly elections, Pradesh Congress committee (PCC) chief Sukhwinder Sukhu raised questions on the fairness of the EVMs used in the polls and suspected selective tempering of the machines to influence the results.In a memorandum submitted to Chief Election Commissioner, Congress demanded that no EVMs should be used in the next Lok Sabha polls in Himachal. Previously, ex-CM Virbhadra Singh had also alleged EVM tampering at some of the polling booths to ensure that the Congress didn’t return to power. Congress won only 21 seats in the polls, while BJP returned to power with 44 seats in 68-member House.indianexpress
800 acres of waqf land encroached in Jammu: J&K Govt
Jammu;J&K  Govt  on Monday said nearly 800 acres of Waqf board land has been encroached in this region.Around 800 acres of land belonging to Waqf board has been encroached by various individuals and Govt  organisations in the region, Minister for Haj and Auqaf Abdul Rehman Veeri said in a written reply to the question of PDP member Firdous Ahmed Tak in the Legislative Council.PTI
Democracy at stake in the country: Jamaat-e-Islami Hind
Jalna: Jamaat-e-Islami Hind today said that democracy was at stake in the country. Its all-India secretary Iqbal Mulla today said that India's vibrancy and progress was due to its Constitution and democracy."Democracy is at stake and it seems as if the country is heading towards autocracy and fascism," Mulla said while addressing reporters here.He expressed anguish at the recent developments at the Supreme Court and stated that these developments were a matter of concern.Raising objection to the way the Muslim Women Protection of Rights on Marriage Bill was introduced in the Parliament, Mulla said that Govt should have consulted Muslims before its introduction.He informed that the organisation had started an "Islam for Peace, Progress and Salvation" campaign from Jan.12, which will run till Jan. 21, to remove misgivings in the minds of citizens about Muslims and Islam. "The aim is to replace the atmosphere of fear prevailing currently to one of love and brotherhood," he said.PTI
In Western UP, VHP Relies on Network of Waiters to Keep Check on 'Love Jihad'
New Delhi: Assault on a Muslim youth and his 2 brothers, allegedly by members of Hindu Yuva Vahini and VHP, has once again brought into focus right-wing groups’ fight against what they call “love jihad”.Over the last year, these outfits have come up with new ways to “keep a tab” on “love jihad” so they can intervene and put an end to interfaith relationships. The latest weapon in the VHP’s arsenal is a network of spies who work as restaurant employees across Western UP.“We have had great success in stopping the scourge of ‘love jihad’ in Western UP.This is primarily because we get information as soon as we hear about a potential relationship between a suspicious Muslim man and a Hindu girl. In fact, even the cops are befuddled! They don’t know how we get information before they do,” said a beaming Vivek Premi, VHP convener of Shamli, Muzaffarnagar and Baghpat districts.News18

WORLD
US coalition to build 30,000-strong Syrian border force; Erdogan says US trying to form 'terror army' in Syria
Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan said that the US was working to form a "terror army" on his country's southern border by training a new force in Syria that includes Kurdish fighters."What we are supposed to do is to drown this terror army before in comes into being," he said in an address in the capital Ankara on Monday, calling the Kurdish fighters "backstabbers" who will point their weapons to the US in the future.His comments came after reports revealed US' plan to establish a 30,000-strong new border security force with the involvement of Kurdish fighters in northern Syria.According to media reports quoting US officials, the US-led coalition fighting ISIL  will recruit around half of the new force from the Syrian Defence Forces (SDF),an umbrella group of fighters dominated by People's Protection Units (YPG).Ankara considers Kurdish YPG fighters as a "terrorist" organisation with links to the Kurdish fighters within Turkey that seek more autonomy. The US views the YPG as a highly effective fighting force against ISIL.Erdogan said that Turkey's armed forces had completed preparations for an operation against the Kurdish-controlled region of Afrin in northwest Syria and the town of Manbij. He warned Turkey's allies against helping "terrorists" in Syria and said: "We won't be responsible for consequences." Turkish foreign ministry made a statement in the same line late on Sunday, saying that it was "wrong and objectionable" to cooperate with the YPG."The establishment of the so-called Syria Border Protection Force was not consulted with Turkey, which is a member of the coalition," the Turkish foreign ministry said."To attribute such a unilateral step to the whole coalition is an extremely wrong move that could harm the fight against Daesh," it added, using an alternative acronym for ISIL.Turkish forces pounded US-backed Kurdish fighters in Syria with artillery fire on Sunday, after the intention to establish a new force was announced.Turkey carried out a military campaign called 2016 Euphrates Shield Operation, which targeted ISIL and the YPG. That eight-month battle officially ended in March 2017.US President Donald Trump decided to arm YPG fighters, despite Turkey's objections and a direct appeal from Erdogan at a White House meeting last May.American arms shipments began before the offensive to recapture the city of Raqqa from ISIL.aljazeera
Erdogan threatens to ‘nip in the bud’ new US-backed security force in Syria
US coalition to build 30,000-strong Syrian border force; Turkey cries foul
Russia: US wants to slice up Syria
Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov has said the United States "does not want to keep Syria as a state in its current borders", accusing Washington of seeking to establish a Kurdish-controlled entity along Turkish and Iraqi border zones.Speaking at an annual press conference in Moscow to review the past year's diplomatic activities on Monday, Lavrov also said Russia would not support Washington's attempts to change the Iran nuclear deal."The [US'] actions that we have been observing indicate that the US does not want to keep Syria as a state in its current borders ... The US wants to help the Syrian Democratic Forces to set up some border security zones," he said, referring to a US-backed rebel alliance dominated by Syrian Kurds, known as the SDF.aljazeera
Somalia political opposition leader’s son killed in Syria
Faysal Ali Warabe,leader of Somaliland’s Justice and Welfare Party (UCID), confirmed the death of his son by airstrike in Syria today, Garowe Online reported.At the age of 24, Hussein Faysal Ali Warabe travelled to Syria in 2013 and joined the Daesh insurgency to fight the President Bashar Al-Assad’s forces. Hussein took along his wife, who confirmed the death by sending a video clip to Hussein’s mother residing in Finland.Hussein last contacted his family on 24 Dec.telling his mother and siblings of his intention to leave the war in Syria and return to Finland.“I don’t have any information about the whereabouts of my son’s family – wife and two children who were born in Syria during his life with the extremist militant group,” Faysal Ali Warabe, founder and chairman of the Justice and Welfare Party in Somaliland, said.Hussein was born and raised in Finland and was known by the nom de guerre Abu Shuaib Al-Somali.middleeastmonitor
Saudi Binladin Group denies Govt  takeover after chief Bakr bin Laden detained
Riyadh: Saudi construction giant Binladin Group denied Saturday any state takeover after its chairman was detained, but said some shares may have been transferred to the Govt .The firm, which has been forced to lay off tens of thousands of workers due to financial problems, said it remained a private shareholding company and was undergoing restructuring. International media this week reported Saudi Arabia's Govt  had taken over the firm after chairman Bakr bin Laden was detained. Saudi Binladin Group "would like to confirm that it remains a private sector company owned by its shareholders", it said in a statement.But some company shares may have been transferred to the Govt  in a settlement of "outstanding dues", it added, without providing any details on the size of any such shares.newindianexpress
Binladen Group could concede their shares to Saudi Govt
Qatar monitoring Sheikh Abdullah's 'detention' in UAE
Sheikh Abdullah bin Ali Al Thani released a video statement on Sunday saying he was "a prisoner" in UAE capital, Abu Dhabi, and that if anything happened to him, "Sheikh Mohammed" is responsible. While he did not specify, Sheikh Abdullah appeared to be referring to Abu Dhabi's Crown Prince Mohammed bin Zayed."I am currently in Abu Dhabi. I was a guest of Sheikh Mohammed. I am no longer a guest; I am a prisoner," he said in the video, which was widely circulated on social media."They told me not to leave. I am afraid that anything could happen to me, and the people of Qatar would be blamed. So I just wanted to inform you that if anything happens to me, the people of Qatar are innocent," added Sheikh Abdullah."I am a guest of Sheikh Mohammed and if anything happens to me after this, he is fully responsible." UAE's foreign ministry denied that Sheikh Abdullah was held against his will. aljazeera
Trump leaning towards major cut in UNRWA funding
Trump administration is preparing to withhold tens of millions of dollars from the UN Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees in the Near East (UNRWA).Washington will cut “the year’s first contribution by more than half or perhaps entirely, and making additional donations contingent on major changes to the organisation”, according to a report by AP citing unnamed US officials.While Donald Trump has not apparently made a final decision yet, the AP story says that the US “appears more likely to send only $60 million of the planned $125 million first instalment.”“Future contributions would require the agency, facing heavy Israeli criticism, to demonstrate significant changes in operations,” officials added, saying “that one suggestion under consideration would require the Palestinians to first re-enter peace talks with Israel.”MEMO
Israel may ‘apply Israeli law’ to W.Bank settlement varsity
Israeli Govt is looking to “apply Israeli law to institutions of higher learning in West Bank”, with a draft bill that has already passed its preliminary vote in Knesset, reports Haaretz. According to paper, Education Minister Naftali Bennett threatened PM  Benjamin Netanyahu that he would block other legislation until this one advanced.Now, some 220 Israeli academics have backed a campaign “calling on Israel’s Council for Higher Education to oppose the bill that would place Ariel University under its auspices”.Haaretz article, written by Amiram Goldblum, professor emeritus at the Hebrew University of Jerusalem, argues that, if passed, the bill would be “a serious blow” to Israel’s academic institutions.MEMO
Abbas slams Trump over 'slap of the century'
Mahmoud Abbas has sharply criticised Donald Trump, saying Palestinian Authority (PA) will never accept the US president's decision to recognise Jerusalem as Israel's capital.PA president made his comments on Sunday at the start of a 2-day central council meeting of PLO in Ramallah."Politically, Jerusalem is our capital; in our religion, it is our capital; geographically, it is our capital," said Abbas."But it was removed from the map with a tweet from Mr Trump," he added."Now we say 'No' to Trump, we won't accept his plan - we say the 'deal of the century' is the slap of the century," noted Abbas, referring to the US president's pledge to achieve the "ultimate deal" - peace in the Middle East. aljazeera
Car bomb blast in Lebanon wounds Hamas member:aljazeera
A car bomb explosion in the southern Lebanese city of Sidon has slightly wounded a member of Hamas, according to the Palestinian group, which blamed Israel for the assassination attempt. Mohammed Hamdan suffered a leg injury on Sunday after a bomb planted in his car detonated, Hamas' media group said in a statement."Initial indications point to Zionist fingers behind this criminal act," Hamas said without further details. Hamdan was taken to a local hospital for treatment, according to local media reports and a photograph released by Hamas.
Orthodox Christian property sales to Israelis, documented
Central Council of the Orthodox Christians in Jordan and Palestine said on Sunday that it has documents proving that strategic properties belonging to the Patriarchate in Jerusalem have been sold to the Israeli occupation authorities and Jewish settlers, Safa News Agency has reported. In a letter sent to the Palestine Liberation Organisation, the Orthodox Christian body said that the documents also prove that property linked to Al-Aqsa Mosque has been sold as well.The letter reiterated the importance of countering Israel’s Judaisation plans for Jerusalem and the displacement of citizens through selling property belonging to the Orthodox Church. According to Safa, the letter also noted that these sales were carried out by a “Greek group monopolising Arab Orthodox Church”; Patriarch Theophilos III of Jerusalem is said to be at the top of the list of these “conspirators”. Such sales, group said, support Trump’s recognition of Jerusalem as the capital of Israel.MEMO
Myanmar says temporary camp will house 30,000 Rohingya targeted for repatriation
Yangon: Myanmar is building a camp to temporarily house 30,000 Rohingya Muslims targeted for repatriation after fleeing violence in Rakhine State, state media reported on Monday, as Myanmar and Bangladesh meet to discuss how to implement a repatriation deal.Over 650,000 Rohingya have headed across the border to Bangladesh after Army crackdown. Crackdown has been described by US and UN as ethnic cleansing, which Myanmar repeatedly rejects.Officials from Myanmar and Bangladesh meet today to discuss a repatriation deal signed on Nov.23. The meeting in Myanmar‘s capital, Naypyitaw, is the first for a joint working group set up to hammer out the details of the deal.State-run Global New Light of Myanmar paper said a camp in Hla Po Khaung in northern Rakhine will be a temporary transition camp for people who are to be “accepted systematically” for repatriation.“124-acre Hla Po Khaung will accommodate about 30,000 people in its 625 buildings,” the newspaper said, adding that some 100 buildings will be completed by end of Jan. Reuters
Deadly twin blasts rock central Baghdad
Twin explosions in the Iraqi capital of Baghdad have killed at least 38 people and wounded over 100, police and medical sources said. Aljazeera
FLASH: VIEWS & NEWS
Netanyahu Visit: A Reality Check on India-Israel Ties;The Wire
BJP leaders cite growing Muslim population as threat to India; facts don't back their claims: Chaitanya Mallapur,IndiaSpend
Goa’s cow politics: How gau rakshaks and NGOs have worked to starve the state of beef:scroll
A Meeting With Umar Khan’s Family: His Child Was Born 2 Days After He Was Killed by Gaurakshaks:KHAYATI SURI
Does BJP Intend to Change The Indian Constitution? — Prof Ram Puniyani
A Pakistani Spy & Lord Hanuman Walk Into an Aadhaar Centre. What Does the UIDAI Do?AnandVenkatanarayanan
Violence Against Dalits in Maharashtra Is Not New, but Dalit Reaction to It Is Changing:Sumeet Mhaskar
CIC Issues Notice to Ministry Over Release of Rs 2.5 Crore for a Film on Tilak That Was Never Made:Gaurav Vivek Bhatnagar
When Autocrats, Theocrats and Lapsed Democrats Pose as Liberators of Muslim Women:Rafia Zakaria
Interview: Former Law Minister Ashwani Kumar on the SC Judges’ Press Conference

Compiled and edited by Anwarulhaq (Released at: 8:30 PM)

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