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25 January 2018

25 Jan. ND: Forces that 'killed Muslims, Dalits, now are targeting our children says Kejriwal over violence after film release/ SC crisis: Opposition mulls impeachment motion against CJI



Evening NEWS DIGEST  
25 Jan.2018:07 Jamadiul-1 1439:Vol:9, No:107
INDIA
Forces that 'killed Muslims, Dalits, now are targeting our children says Kejriwal over violence after film release
New Delhi:Claiming that he "couldn't sleep all night" on learning of the mob attack on a school bus in Gurgaon during Padmaavat protests, Arvind Kejriwal said today that the forces "that killed Muslims and burnt Dalits are now coming after our children." Delhi CM  said it was a "matter of shame" for the nation that school children were attacked just a few kms from the national capital before Republic Day celebrations."I appeal to everyone. We cannot afford to remain silent anymore. They killed Muslims, burnt Dalits alive, thrashed them. Today, they have started pelting our children with stones, have started intruding into our homes. Don't remain silent now, speak up," Kejriwal said in a speech during an event to mark Republic Day tomorrow."It is the land of Rama, Krishna, Gautam Budhha, Mahavira, Guru Nanak, Kabir and Meera, followers of Prophet Mohammad and Jesus Christ. I want to ask whether the people who hurled stones were Hindus, Muslims or Christians. Which religion preaches violence against children?"Little children of GD Goenka World School kneeled down on the floor and held their teachers to escape stones thrown at their bus at the Sohna Road yesterday afternoon. The children cried in fear as the goons - around 60 of them - struck the bus with sticks in an attempt to force the bus to stop. The protesters were blocking the road and had burnt a state-run bus just seconds before.A video captured the frightening moments for the children and teachers, who were on their way home when their bus was caught in protests against "Padmaavat", which released today. "I couldn't sleep the entire night.... People here love their country and want peace and love. I request the powers at the Centre (Hukum marano), please spare us," said Kejriwal, adding that the attackers should be given punishment "harsher than Lord Rama's punishment to Ravana."NDTV
“When they killed Muslims, we remained silent. When they burnt Dalits, beat up Dalit, we remained silent”
School bus attack: Muslims, Dalits done, ‘they’ are targeting our children, says Kejriwal
Mobs that 'killed Muslims, Dalits are targeting our children': Kejriwal
Film Padmaavat released amid violence as school bus vandalised in Gurugram
New Delhi:Hindu right-wing groups have vandalised public and private properties and attacked cinema halls across five Indian states protesting against the release of Bollywood film "Padmaavat".Many Indian states ruled by the rightwing BJP, including Haryana, Gujarat, Bihar and Rajasthan, have stepped up security after members of Karni Sena, an organisation belonging to the Rajput caste, ran amok in the past couple of days.On Thursday, members of the Hindu outfit Karni Sena brandished swords, burnt tyres, stopped buses, vandalised shops and blocked roads in the state of Rajasthan and Bihar.  The film, dodged by protests since its inception, released on Thursday across the country after the Supreme Court lifted a ban on the film. An attack on a school bus in Gurugram, a wealthy suburb of New Delhi, on Wednesday by the members of Rajput caste forced authorities to shut schools in and around the capital, New Delhi, ahead of the release.Videos of petrified children sobbing while hiding under seats in the bus cowering in fear went viral on social media sites triggering a public outrage.At least 18 people have been arrested in connection with the school bus attack, a police official said.On Tuesday, protests in the state of Gujarat turned violent with a mob burning dozens of motorcycles and vandalising cinema halls, following which the state police opened fire at the crowd.Many commentators have however, criticised filmmaker Sanjay Leela Bhansali for portraying the medieval Muslim King Alauddin Khilji as a "monster". Writing in the DailyO website, columnist Kaveeree Bamzai said that "Padmaavat is actually about 'good Hindus' and 'bad Muslims'".Indian opposition parties have criticised the Govt for "failing" to uphold law and order."
Padmaavat movie protests: Bhansali’s film hits screen amid violence by Rajput outfits, cinegoers defy threat
‘BJP setting country on fire’. PM Modi faces criticism from all quarters over ‘Padmaavat’ violence
"Padmaavat" Twists Alauddin Khilji's Portrayal: Historians
People who did it are terrorists: Twitter slams Padmaavat mob attack on Gurgaon school bus
 A school bus in Gurgaon's Sohna Road was attacked by a mob carrying out protests against film Padmaavat. These protesters were videotaped hurling stones at the bus carrying children and screaming slogans, while the kids inside cowered in fear.Reacting to this, many have come on social media to lash out at the mob for hitting out at children. While the Gurgaon police has detained 18 people so far, people are not satisfied with how these violent protesters are being handled.Soon after the video clip from the school bus went viral on social media, big names like Congress President Rahul Gandhi, actors Farhan Akhtar, Prakash Raj, Ayushmann Khurrana took to Twitter to slam the protests and more.indiatoday
Padmaavat: 'Modi has surrendered before protesters. He has 56 inch chest only for Muslims,' says Owaisi
New Delhi:Asaduddin Owaisi of AIMIM criticised BJP in general and PM  Narendra Modi in particular over the Central govt's handling of protests related with Padmaavat movie."This is nothing but 'pakoda' politics practiced by BJP. PM  and his party have meekly surrendered before these people who are protesting. He has 56 inch chest only for Muslims," Owaisi said, reported ANI.ABP News
Padmaavat release: Contempt pleas in SC against 4 states, Karni Sena; hearing on Jan. 29
MP: 3 Muslim youths arrested for offensive post against queen Padmini
Bhopal: 3 Muslim youths from Dewas have been arrested for an alleged offensive Facebook post and comments against queen Padmini at a time there is uncertainty in Madhya Pradesh around the release of the film Padmaavat.A complaint was filed against Adnan Shaikh alias Addu, 19, and others for an offensive post against the queen in the Kotwali Police Station by Vinod Sisodiya, who identified himself as a member of the Rajput community.Sisodiya, who was accompanied by many people when he lodged the complaint, said his religious beliefs had been hurt by the comments made on Monday. The police said Sisodiya is not a member of any of the organisations leading protests against the movie. The first comment was posted by Adnan, a resident of Khari Bavdi locality in Dewas town.The police also arrested Aftab Irshad Shaikh alias Appu, 19, and Javed Khan, 21.indianexpress
Congress undecided over supporting impeachment motion against CJI Dipak Mishra
With the CPI(M) planning to censure CJI Dipak Mishra, the Congress is yet to take a stand on whether to support the Left’s move to bring in an impeachment motion against the CJI. CPI(M) has been hitting out at CJI Mishra after four Supreme Court judges questioned the functioning of the apex court, claiming that the democracy in the country was in danger. “Unless there are proper grounds, solid grounds… on concrete terms, you cannot go in for impeachment. There is no sufficient ground…. Unless evidence is available, I don’t think it is proper to go for the impeachment of the CJI…. It is not going to serve the purpose. It is not a political issue…. Going for the impeachment of CJI should not be a political issue. It should be a judicial issue,” said senior Congress leader and former Law Minister M Veerappa Moily.And while Congress president Rahul Gandhi had showed support for the four judges, the party has not yet decided its stand on the issue of impeachment motion against the CJI.Congress spokesperson RPN Singh said, “There are very important issues that have been raised by the Communist Party. Leader of Opposition in Rajya Sabha Ghulam Nabi Azad and party leader in Lok Sabha Mallikarjun Kharge would talk to everybody and make their positions clear.”Further stating that the judicial proceedings should not be politicised, Singh said, “We continue again to say that we will never politicise the judiciary of this country. They are a very important pillar of democracy and we have not politicised it nor raised any issue.”Justifying the party’s decision to stand by the demands of the judges, Congress sources said it was to ensure that correctives are introduced by the judiciary itself and political parties should not join the issue.apnlive
SC crisis: Opposition mulls impeachment motion against CJI Dipak Misra
CJI must act and resolve the crisis of faith in judiciary: Ex-chief justice of Patna HC
Ex-chief justice of Patna High Court, Iqbal Ahmed Ansari, was a colleague of the four senior Supreme Court judges who held an “extraordinary” press conference and questioned the conduct of the CJI,Dipak Misra. He also worked with Dipak Misra in the Patna HC. He said, "I certainly wish for a situation where the judges did not feel compelled to take such an unprecedented step. They are very accomplished and carry with them vast experiences of working in high courts from all over the country. So instead of second-guessing their decision maybe we should listen to what they are saying.Chief justice must act and resolve this crisis of faith in the judiciary." theprint
Dissent fine, but don’t celebrate Afzal Guru, Yaqub Memon: Venkaiah Naidu
New Delhi;Vice-President M Venkaiah Naidu said that while India would allow “dissent”, “disintegration” would not be acceptable and there should be no celebration of people like Afzal Guru and Yaqub Memon. He also expressed displeasure at particularly the intelligentsia who attack the Army on issues of human rights but said that public opinion was not with them. “Dissent is agreeable but disintegration will not be allowed. Afzal Guru can’t be celebrated. Yaqub Memon, who killed so many people, how can he be celebrated?”he said. indianexpress
Nitish’s Rs100 Cr Allocation for Minorities Stands at Rs56 Per Head. Are You Joking, Mr. CM?
 Patna:The Bihar Govt of CM  Nitish Kumar has decided to allocate Rs. 100 crore per year for employment generation among minorities in the state. Is it really an honest effort for economic upliftment of these communities or just a tokenism to keep a section of the voters in good humor? But given the huge population of the minorities (over 1.7 crore) in the state, it appears to be a cruel joke, nothing else. ‘Concerned’ with gross unemployment among minorities, the state cabinet chaired by CM Nitish Kumar on Tuesday gave its nod for an amendment in the guidelines for “Mukhayamantri Alpasankhyak Rozgar Rin Yojana” (CM Minorities Employment Loan Scheme) The amendment will enable Nitish govt to allocate Rs 100 crore every year to the State Minorities Finance Commission, with effect from the financial year 2017-18.As per Census 2011, Muslim, Christian, Sikh, Buddhist and Jain together account for 17% of the state population or in crude numbers, they are 1,77,55,202 out of total population of 10,40,99,452. Muslims alone are 1.75 crore. When one divides the sum of Rs 100 crore among the population of these five minorities in the state, it stands at just Rs 56 per head. What kind of employment will this amount generate?Caravan Daily
Relief for Maharashtra students: NEET 2018 will not clash with state entrance exams
Mumbai :Putting an end to speculations around the date of the NEET 2018, the CBSE has announced that the exam will be held on May 6.Medical and dental aspirants from Maharashtra had been worried that the dates for NEET and the state Common Entrance Test (MH-CET) would clash. The MH-CET, which is conducted by Directorate of Technical Education, Maharashtra for admissions to engineering, technology and pharmacy programmes, is scheduled on May 10.While the CBSE initially said that NEET 2017 will be conducted in eight languages including English, in the last week of January 2017 the board added two more languages to the list.NEET 2017 was conducted in English, Hindi, Marathi, Gujarati, Tamil, Telugu, Assamese, Bengali, Kannada and Oriya but despite repeated requests by Student Islamic Organisation (SIO) as well as several other state Govt officials, Urdu was not included in this list.The matter was dragged to court and the Supreme Court finally ordered CBSE to conduct NEET 2018 in eleven languages, including Urdu. hindustantimes
Followers of Islam in India not against cow protection: Bhagwat
Darbhanga: RSS chief Mohan Bhagwat said people belonging to all religious faiths in India were like brothers, and even followers of Islam were not against cow protection. RSS chief also said many Muslims in India did not eat beef. "In India, people of all religions are like 'sahodar bhai' (brothers born to the same mother). Even followers of Islam here do not oppose 'gopalak' and 'gorakshak' (people rearing and protecting cows)," he told a gathering of RSS volunteers. Bhagwat's comments came in the backdrop of incidents of cow vigilantism at several places for which opposition parties blamed BJP, RSS and its allied organisations. Noting that the condition of farmers was a cause for worry, Bhagwat said India's prosperity was closely linked to the well-being of those involved in agriculture, and stressed on promoting cattle rearing and organic farming. timesofindia
Karnataka: Not 23 ‘Hindu’ deaths, only 9, Congress tells BJP
Bengaluru:Congress rebutted BJP’s charge on “23 Hindu deaths” having taken place in Karnataka, saying only nine persons were killed in communal incidents.On July 8, 2017, Shobha Karandlaje, BJP MP, submitted a list of “murder of 23 Hindus” to Union Home Minister Rajnath Singh and cited the inefficiency of the State Govt to maintain communal harmony. She held “jihadi elements” responsible for the murder of the 23 people, who were affiliated to the BJP and its affiliate organisations. Home Minister Ramalinga Reddy said of the 23 listed by the BJP, 13 were not killed in communal incidents. Among the list, Ashok Poojary is still alive. Only nine deaths were caused owing to communal reasons; the rest were caused by personal enmity, accident or suicide, he said.The State Govt and the police have taken appropriate action and investigation of all cases,  Reddy said. thehindu
Karnataka: Basheer’s murder was conspired inside a jail
Mangaluru City police have identified four more people in connection with the murder of Abdul Basheer who was brutally assaulted following the murder of BJP worker Deepak Rao on January 3. Speaking to reporters in Mangaluru on Wednesday, City Police Commissioner TR Suresh said that the accused had visited the jail soon after the murder of Deepak. They met the accused lodged in the jail and conspired to kill Basheer. One of the accused, Mithun alias Kalladka Mithun, 28, from Bantwal who was picked for creating communal tension in Bantwal and is also accused in a jail assault case. He has several cases against him including attempt to murder. He has been shifted to Bengaluru jail. The other accused are Tilak Raj Shetty, 28, from Akash Bhavan in Mangaluru who was arrested in a murder case at the Kankanady police station and is currently lodged in Ballari jail; Raju alias Rajesh, 21, from Farangipete was arrested in a murder case and is currently lodged in Belagavi jail. Anup who helped in identifying the place and the victim is yet to be arrested.“Since most of the accused are in judicial custody, body warrant would be sought and they would be taken under police custody for further investigation,” the commissioner said.So far, the police had arrested Kishan Poojary, Srijith, Dhanush Poojary, Sandesh Kotiyan, Pushparaj and Latheesh. Bangalore mirror
Adityanath could create a law and order crisis by withdrawing riot cases against BJP leaders: the wire
Adityanath Govt has made its intentions clear. It wants to withdraw the pending cases against many senior BJP leaders for their alleged role in provoking violence against Muslims during the 2013 communal riots in Muzaffarnagar, which left 63 dead and more than 50,000 displaced.The move, which many have called a clear violation of the idea of justice, was communicated through a Govt letter to DM and SSP, Muzaffarnagar, asking their opinion on the possibility of withdrawing Muzaffarnagar riot-related cases filed against BJP leaders in “public interest”.It’s important to note here that the Adityanath Govt’s move came after Lok Sabha member Sanjeev Balyan, one of the BJP leaders booked for allegedly provoking the Hindu mob, asked the state Govt to withdraw the cases. Balyan had to surrender in a Muzaffarnagar court two weeks ago after a non-bailable warrant was issued against him for his failure to present himself.In a letter – seen by The Wire – that Raj Singh, special secretary in the UP Department of Justice, wrote on Jan. 5, the DM and SSP were asked about details of nine criminal cases pending against BJP leaders in a Muzaffarnagar court. The letter does not mention names of the leaders, but it does refer to the file numbers related to the riot cases against them.In the letter, Singh sought information from the two senior officials on 13 points, including facts about the people involved in the cases, evidence the prosecution has against them, logic the accused/applicant has put forward to support his withdrawal claim, the prosecution’s status report on available evidence and whether there is any merit in withdrawing the case.The Wire


Don’t need lessons in patriotism from Shia Waqf Board chief: Deoband Ulema
Muzaffarnagar: A day after UP Shia Central Waqf Board chairperson Wasim Rizvi wrote a letter to PM  Narendra Modi and UP CM  Yogi Adityanath demanding that the national anthem be made compulsory in all madrasas and their syllabus be developed on the lines of CBSE, ICSE and state board curriculum, religious leaders from Deoband on Wednesday said that they did not need "patriotism lessons" from Rizvi."It is good to sing the national anthem, but we do not need a recommendation from an opportunist like Rizvi who unnecessarily praises every move by the Govt to get importance. We are also in favour of modern education and lots of steps are being taken in that direction. However, we cannot force state or central board syllabus on Darul Uloom seminary students as it will amount to overburdening them. If we do that, they will neither be able to do justice to their existing course and nor to the new curriculum," said Deoband-based Maulana Salim Ashraf Qazmi.UP president of Tanzeem Ulema-e-Hind, Maulana Nadimul Wazidi said, "Who is Wasim Rizvi to tell us what we should do. He doesn't need to teach us patriotism. We love our country and we sing national anthem on January 26 and August 15. India knows that thousands of Muslim religious leaders made sacrifices for the country during the British rule. However, there are some people who like to play politics over such sensitive issues."TOI
Mannan Wani’s conduct not objectionable: AMU
Meerut: The internal probe constituted by the AMU into the conduct of Mannan Bashir Wani has found “nothing objectionable” against him in his stay and conduct as a student of the University. Mr. Wani was suspended by the AMU on Jan.8, 2018, immediately after a picture of him with an AK-47 surfaced on social media. 109-page report by the University, however, describes him as a “brilliant student” and certifies his “good conduct”. Wani, 25, was studying as a Ph.D scholar in Applied Geology after completing his Masters and M.Phil. in geology from AMU. Immediately after suspending Mr. Wani, the AMU had constituted a 2-member probe committee to submit a report on his activities at AMU. The committee declared in its report that it found “nothing suspicious or objectionable against Wani as far as his stay in the university as a student was concerned”.The report has been submitted to the Aligarh Police, which is probing Mr. Wani’s disappearance. AMU had filed a report with the police saying that Mr. Wani had gone missing since January 2. The University authorities had declared in the missing person complaint that if Mr. Wani was caught for his involvement in illegal activities, the AMU would not be held responsible for it.Aligarh SSP Rajesh Pandey confirmed receiving the committee’s report and said that the police will send it to the UP. Meanwhile, AMU Students Union (AMUSU) has decided to launch a nationwide campaign demanding the Govt “declare concrete evidence that Wani had joined a terror group”.AMUSU president Mashqoor Ahmad Usmani told media, “It is indeed sad and unfortunate that merely on the basis of social media reports, the Govt of India concluded that Wani has joined a terror group. Even the investigative agencies do not have any proof or evidence to substantiate the allegation.”thehindu
In J&K, Gujjar community threatens state-wide agitation against alleged rape and murder of 8-year-old Tribal girl
Jammu: J&K got a terrible news of the death of an 8-year-old tribal girl, a week after she went missing while doing household chores. The girl belonging to the nomadic Bakarwal community was found dead in Rasana village of Hiranagar, in Kathua district of Jammu and Kashmir and the family has alleged that she was raped before the murder. Mohammad Yousuf, the girl’s father, told News 18 that her modesty was outraged. She bore torture marks on her face and some other body parts, he said. “She was bitten on her lips. There were marks of violence on her thigh and face,” he cried, as dozens of mourners arrived at his home for condolence.The murder of eight-year-old tribal girl has led to protests in different parts of the state even after the Govt claimed to have arrested the accused.The students of Degree College Poonch on Tuesday also staged a protest in Poonch town against the alleged rape and murder of a tribal girl demanding immediate action against those involved.A group of people from Gujjar community who alleged Govt of not providing them justice also held a protest in south Kashmir’s Anantnag district on Tuesday, demanding justice and threatened of an agitation by the community in case no swift action is taken.“We are more than 26 lakh in population. If they fail to provide us justice, it would be a full-fledged revolt,” a protester was quoted as saying by Greater Kashmir.Jammu Muslim Front (JMF) has also condemned the brutal murder of the tribal girl and termed the“Beti Bachao Beti Padhao” programme of PM , a fake slogan.TwoCircles
Draw lessons to avoid nother Doklam: Chinese military to India
New Delhi:Hitting out at Army Chief General Bipin Rawat for his recent remarks that Doklam is a disputed territory, Chinese military on Thursday asserted that it is very much part of China, and India should draw lessons from the 73-day standoff to avoid similar incidents in the future. Responding to the remarks of Gen Rawat, Chinese Ministry of Defence spokesperson Colonel Wu Qian said, “Doklam is part of China.”“People’s Liberation Army (PLA) of China has occupied the area in the west of Torsa nullah called northern Doklam. At the actual spot the two sides have disengaged. The tents remain. The observation posts remain. This is a territory disputed between Bhutan and China,” Rawat had said on January 12 on the eve of the Army Day.Wu said, “The remarks of the Indian side also shows that the illegal crossing of the Indian border troops is clear in fact and nature”. He added the Indian side should draw lessons from the incident to avoid similar incidents in the future.indianexpress
Telangana :Qazis told not to solemnise nikah after 9pm
Hyderabad: Telangana state Wakf Board will act against those qazis who solemnise nikah at function halls after 9pm from February 1. The board received large number of complaints from the public for the nuisance being created with late night marriages.Mohammed Saleem, chairman of the wakf board said that if any qazi solemnises marriages after 9pm, in the first instance he will be issued a notice. If he caught again, the board will not issue him a marriage booklet or marriage certificate. To educate the community the board will be holding awareness programmes and urging imams of mosques to spread awareness in the community. Apart from Nikah all other activities at the function hall can continue till midnight, told a board representative.Religious scholars, heads of religious school of thoughts and senior police officials attended a meeting at Haj House and decided to curb ostentation and public worriment caused by late night marriages. Mufti Khaleel Ahmed, rector of Jamia Nizamia said that in the interest of the community and the poor families, we should abnegate such unnecessary practices.indiasamvad
BJP youth wing quiz question calls Nehru ‘greedy’
Bhopal: A question at a general knowledge quiz by the BJP’s youth wing, Bharatiya Janata Yuva Morcha here raised a storm with the question describing the country’s first PM Jawaharlal Nehru as “greedy”.Congress then questioned the contribution of Deendayal Upadhyay and the RSS in the freedom struggle.Most of the questions in the competition, attended by CM Shivraj Singh Chouhan, were about the policies of the state Govt. A booklet “Mere Deendayal” was also distributed on the occasion.While Congress was attacked in the booklet, one question called Nehru as “greedy for power”.IANS
Lingayats win Maratha, Muslim backing over separate religion
Kolhapur: Marathas, Muslims and 70 other communities from the city have extended their support to the state-level mega rally organised by the Lingayat community, which is demanding status of separate religion, on Jan. 28. Lingayats are around 1 crore across the state and the major population resides in south Maharashtra. They are considered as part of Hindu religion.A majority of seers from the community support the demand while some are opposed to it saying that it is against Hindu religion. The demand is widely being made in Karnataka, which is going to the polls in the next few months.On Wednesday, the leaders of over various communities attended the meeting at the Muslim Boarding. Similar support was extended by many communities to Marathas demanding reservation. Vasantrao Mulik, district president of Maratha Mahasangh, said, "We are not just extending support to Lingayats, but we will be actively involved in its activities. The demand was made many years ago, but the political establishments have been ignoring it."Lalit Gandhi of the Jain community said, "We fought to get the status of religion for the Jain community. The Lingayats' demand is just demand and the Govt should accept it."TOI
NIA chargesheet against trader Birju Salla who faked plane ‘hijacking’ midair
Vadodara: NIA filed the chargesheet against Mumbai-based businessman Birju Salla, 37, who allegedly faked the “plane hijacking threat” midair in October last year while travelling business class in a Jet Airways flight. NIA said that Salla’s act “jeopardised the safety of the passengers and crew members on board”.The investigating agency said in a press release “…it has been established that accused Birju Salla, who travelled in the business class of the Jet Airways flight on 30/10/2017, from Mumbai prepared a ‘threat note’ in ‘English’ and ‘Urdu’ and he intentionally placed it in the tissue paper box of the toilet near the Business Class thereby jeopardised the safety of the passengers and crew members on board.” indianexpress

Sohrabuddin encounter : As media gagged, most witnesses go hostile
Mumbai:Nearly 2 months since trial began in the Sohrabuddin Sheikh alleged fake encounter case, majority witnesses, presented by the prosecution to support its case that Sohrabuddin, his wife Kausarbi and associate Tulsiram Prajapati were victims of an extra-judicial killing, have turned hostile. Of the 40 witnesses examined until Wednesday, 27 were declared hostile by the prosecution, while the deposition of one has been deferred for later.Since November 29, when the media was restrained from reporting trial proceedings by the special CBI court in Mumbai, the trial has seen policemen say they are unable to identify their former colleagues — now accused — present in the court room. Eyewitnesses who gave statements to investigators earlier have said they never saw Sohrabuddin, Kausarbi and Prajapati being abducted from a bus in November 2005.indianexpress
ASEAN nations seek to purchase BrahMos, Akash missiles from India
ASEAN nations are seeking to purchase major defence and weapons systems from India, including the Akash and BrahMos missiles, according to a report by The Financial Express.According to the report, export of Akash and BrahMos will be topping the agenda when the 10 ASEAN leaders meet during the ASEAN-India Commemorative Summit in New Delhi on the eve of India's Republic Day.India has been increasing its engagement with the regional bloc as per its 'Act East Policy'. India has been making engagements in the fields of maritime security, military exercises, trade and investments.In August 2017, India clarified that it was not supplying BrahMos anti-ship cruise missiles to Vietnam even as the South Asian country had said that the comprehensive strategic partnership between the two nations had been growing in many fields including security and defence.moneycontrol
WORLD
It is wrong': 21 groups slam US for cutting UNRWA aid
The leaders of 21 aid groups have written to US administration to object to a decision to withhold $65m out of $125m in planned contributions to the UN agency for Palestinian refugees.The letter warned of "dire consequences" if the cut to the UN Relief and Works Agency for Palestinian Refugees (UNRWA) was maintained, according to the letter seen by Al Jazeera on Thursday."We are deeply concerned by the humanitarian consequences of this decision on life-sustaining assistance to children, women and men in Jordan, Lebanon, Syria and the West Bank and Gaza Strip," it said."Whether it is emergency food aid, access to primary healthcare, access to primary education, or other critical support to vulnerable populations, there is no question that these cuts, if maintained, will have dire consequences."The letter was sent on Wednesday to US Ambassador to the UN Nikki Haley, Secretary of State Rex Tillerson, National Security Advisor HR McMaster, and Secretary of Defence James Mattis.aljazeera
Israel tries to block draft resolution denouncing Trump’s Jerusalem decision
The Israeli Govt has been working intensively to block a draft resolution by the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe denouncing US President Donald Trump’s recognition of Jerusalem as Israel’s capital, Israeli Walla news site has reported.The site said yesterday that the council is expected to vote on the resolution today, noting that a delegation from the Israeli Knesset headed by MK Aliza Lavie of Yesh Atid party has been working to amend the draft resolution.The draft resolution was submitted by the Palestinian National Council which is a democratic partner in the Council.According to the site the draft resolutions condemns Israeli construction in the Palestinian occupied territories, including East Jerusalem, and calls on Israel to stop the policy of house demolitions.The draft resolution also includes a clause which states that the United States’ role as a serious broker in the peace process was undermined after its president declared Jerusalem to be the capital of Israel. middleeastmonitor
Israel media: US embassy transferring equipment to Jerusalem hotel
Israeli Channel 2 has reported that the US embassy is starting to transfer equipment from their Tel Aviv office to a hotel in Jerusalem, a preliminary step to moving the country’s headquarters to the city.Following the announcement of US President Donald Trump recognising Jerusalem as the capital of Israel, the US also stated their intention to move the embassy to the city, although a completion time has not been made public.Eyewitnesses in the Arnon neighbourhood reported seeing large trucks unloading equipment inside the Eidan Hotel yesterday, which was allegedly closed due to a lack of visitors. However, the hotel is now playing host to the US embassy’s equipment, with the proposed building situated less than one kilometre away.The US consulate in Jerusalem currently operates two facilities, the main branch on Agron Street and the consular section on Flusser Street in Arnon. In 2014, the US purchased a building next to the Flusser Street offices known as the Diplomat Hotel, which could be used as an annexe for the embassy or the consulate. middleeastmonitor
Over 10,000 People Including 700 Children Killed In US-Led Anti-Terror Coalition Forces In Syria In 40 Months
Over 10,000 people have been killed since the US-led anti-terror coalition forces began its operations against the Islamic State (IS) in Syria in Sept.2014, the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights said on Tuesday.According to the data, at least 2,815 civilians, including 655 children, and 7,396 IS militants were among those killed.London-based watchdog group said that the US-led coalition forces continue to carry out airstrikes in Syria, despite the loss of major IS strongholds in northern and eastern Syria. Only 3% of the country's territories is now controlled by the militant group.Syrian Govt criticised the US-led coalition force, slamming it as 'illegitimate' and conducting airstrikes without its consent.The Govt has urged the UN to dissolve the US-led coalition force, owing to a large number of casualties.ANI
Ex-US envoy says Rohingya global panel a 'whitewash', quits
A veteran US diplomat has resigned from an international panel set up by Myanmar to advise on the Rohingya crisis, saying it was conducting a "whitewash".Bill Richardson, a former member of Bill Clinton administration, accused Myanmar's de facto leader Aung San Suu Kyi of lacking "moral leadership". "The main reason I am resigning is that this advisory board is a whitewash," Richardson told Reuters news agency in an interview, adding he did not want to be part of "a cheerleading squad for the Govt".His resignation comes as the 10-member Advisory Board was making its first visit to western Rakhine State, from where nearly 700,000 Rohingya Muslims have fled since August last year. Richardson said he got into an argument with Aung San Suu Kyi during a meeting on Monday with other members of the board, when he brought up the case of two Reuters reporters who are on trial accused of breaching the country's Officials Secrets Act.He said Aung San Suu Kyi's response was "furious", saying the case of the reporters "was not part of the work of the advisory board". The argument continued at a dinner later that evening, the former New Mexico governor said.aljazeera
Myanmar army accused of gang-raping Rohingya women
Fears over US-Turkey military confrontation in Syria
A US-backed Kurdish militia has deployed fighters to the front line of Syria's Manbij to battle Turkey's military after President Tayyip Erdogan said it would be next after launching the cross-border Afrin operation. Manbij is about 100km east of Afrin where the United States has military personnel deployed in the fight against the ISIL, meaning troops from the NATO allies could come face to face on the battlefield. US military coalition operating in Manbij said soldiers there have the right defend themselves against any attack, and wouldn't hesitate to do so."Clearly we are very alert to what is happening, specifically in the area of Manbij because that is where our ... coalition forces are," spokesman Colonel Ryan Dillon told Reuters news agency. "The coalition forces that are in that area have an inherent right to defend themselves and will do so if necessary. "Sharfan Darwish of the Manbij Military Council - a unit of the YPG Syrian-Kurd militia currently under attack by Turkey in Afrin - said his forces were preparing to confront Turkish soldiers."We are in full readiness to respond to any attack. Of course our coordination with the international coalition continues with regards to the protection of Manbij," said Darwish. aljazeera

Turkish offensive on Afrin cuts fuel supply to 2 million in Idlib
The price of fuel has doubled for the two million people in Syria’s opposition-held Idlib province, after the Turkish assault on Afrin disrupted trade routes, according to news agency Syria Direct.Residents, hospitals and traders are being forced to utilise their stockpiles of mazot, a cheap form of diesel, to keep electricity and heat running, with the price per barrel rising from 40,000 Syrian pounds ($77) to 75,000 ($145) in the span of just five days.“Fuel is the backbone of life in Idlib city,” Ismael Al-Andani, president of the Syrian Salvation Govt’s Idlib city council, said yesterday. “We rely on it for electrical geerators, transportation, machinery and bakeries. Our fear is that this closure will last for long time.”Turkish armed force and the allied Free Syrian Army (FSA) began “Operation Olive Branch” on Saturday, an air and ground assault on Kurdish-controlled Afrin, cutting off the supply route that delivered fuel to opposition territories.
UN Special Envoy: Syria talks in Vienna at 'critical moment'
Vienna: A new round of Syria talks is starting on Wednesday in Vienna in what officials said may be the "last hope" for a resolution to the seven year-long conflict.Delegations representing both the Syrian Govt and the opposition are expected to attend the negotiations in the Austrian capital at the behest of the UN Special Envoy for Syria, Staffan de Mistura.The UN envoy defined this as a very critical moment for the languishing peace process. France's foreign minister, Jean-Yves Le Drian said the UN-led process is the only and last resort for the international community to find a way out of the Syrian crisis.aljazeera
Egyptian:  Sisi gets clear run as 'final rival' lawyer Khaled Ali quits election race
A prominent Egyptian human rights lawyer has become the latest presidential hopeful to withdraw his campaign, leaving only current President Abdel Fattah el-Sisi in the running.Khaled Ali said conditions did not allow for a fair contest in the presidential elections, which are set for the end of March."We today announce our decision not to enter this race and will not present our candidacy papers," Ali said during a news conference in Cairo on Wednesday, Reuters reported.The vote is scheduled to take place on March 26-28 across Egypt.Ali, an opposition leader who ran for president in 2012, faces a suspended jail term that was widely believed to hamper his ability to formally present his candidacy this year.Critics say the Sisi Govt has exerted pressure on its political opponents, several of whom have withdrawn their campaigns for president in recent weeks.On Tuesday, another potential challenger for the presidency, Sami Anan, was arrested by the army.aljazeera
NGOs urge Egypt to revoke death sentences
Ankara: 54 non-governmental organizations issued Wednesday a joint declaration urging Egypt to revoke death sentences that came after the 2013 military coup.Turkish and Egyptian NGOs called on the international public and international institutions which Egypt is part of -- including the UN, the Organization of Islamic Cooperation (OIC) and the African Union -- to discourage the executions from being carried out.“It is everyone’s responsibility to prevent execution of the death sentences of these people, most of whom are young political prisoners,” said the declaration. The Egyptian military deposed Mohamed Morsi, the country's first freely elected president, in a 2013 military coup after one year in power. Egypt’s current president, Abdel-Fattah al-Sisi, came to power in a 2014 election that followed the military coup.The NGOs gathered in Istanbul said that on the Sisi administration's watch 109 had been sentenced to death in 2013, 509 in 2014, 538 in 2015 and 237 in 2016.The statement added that most were not involved in violence and were pacifist activists, scholars or journalists. The statement also called for a cessation of human rights violations in Egypt. Anadolu agency
Members Of Ruling Communist Party In Muslim-Majority Region In China Sign Atheism Pledge
Members of the ruling Communist Party of China in a Muslim-majority region in the northwest, often dubbed as "China's Mecca", have signed an atheism pledge to proclaim their devotion to the pursuit of Marxist purity, official media reported today.Top regional CPC officials and party members of the Linxia Hui Autonomous Prefecture in Gansu Province last weekend signed the commitment at a Party meeting, state-run Global Times quoted Linxia committee of the CPC as saying.Linxia with a population of about two million is an autonomous prefecture for the Muslim Hui people. The prefecture also includes two autonomous counties for other Muslim groups, namely Dongxiang, Salar and Bonan.PTI
Over 800,000 children displaced in eastern DRC: UNICEF
More than 800,000 children have been forced to leave their homes due to conflict between the army and militia groups in the eastern part of the Democratic Republic of Congo, the UN Children's Fund (UNICEF) said on Thursday."The DRC is facing one of the biggest child displacement crises in the world," the UN agency said in a statement.The 800,000 displacements are in the South Kivu and Tanganyika provinces, UNICEF ​​said, adding that $65 million was needed to assist these children in the next six months."Children in eastern DRC continue to suffer the devastating consequences of these waves of violence which destabilize the region," said Tajudeen Oyewale, UNICEF representative in the DRC. ''Hundreds of thousands of children in the region no longer have access to health care and education."Anadolu agency
Canada: Freed Hassan Diab demands probe over 'terrorism' ordeal
After three years and two months held in solitary confinement in a maximum security prison in a Parisian suburb, Diab - a 64-year-old Canadian - was stunned in disbelief when his lawyer finally delivered the news that he had been dreaming about for so long.The judge had dismissed the allegations against him and had ordered for his immediate release.He was freed on January 15.Just to be sure that the "miracle" was real, Diab asked her to repeat and clarify the news a few times."If you don't know English any more, it means we won," she said.After 10 years of draconian bail conditions and imprisonment, Diab is finally a free man. He arrived back home in Ottawa last week, rejoining his wife and two children, the youngest who was born in his absence."It's a different world here," Diab told Al Jazeera. "I'm trying to reintegrate back to ordinary, normal life."Diab, a Lebanese Canadian was wrongly labelled a "terrorist", accused of involvement in the 1980 synagogue bombing in Paris that killed four people.He was arrested in Canada in 2008 at the request of French authorities and placed under draconian bail conditions before his extradition to France in 2014.aljazeera
FLASH: VIEWS & NEWS
Narendra Modi: A false crusader for women's rights:Ajaz Ashraf
Padmaavat violence shows Muslim groups have greater respect for Supreme Court than BJP, Rajputs:Ajaz Ashraf
Disqualification of AAP MLAs is questionable on both legal and procedural grounds:Shreenath A. Khemka, Law Scholar at University of Cambridg
How Hindutva Gang Backstabbed Netaji Subhash Chandra Bose:Shamsul Islam
Is Narendra Modi planning to call for early Lok Sabha elections this year?Rohan Venkataramakrishnan

Compiled and edited by Anwarulhaq (Released at: 7:27 PM)

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