Saturday, 27 January 2018

27 Jan. ND: Violence continues in UP's Kasganj: Mobs sets shops, buses on fire in Kasganj, 49 arrested/



Evening NEWS DIGEST  
27 Jan.2018:09 Jamadiul-1 1439:Vol:9, No:108
INDIA
Violence continues in UP's Kasganj: Mobs sets shops, buses on fire in Kasganj, 49 arrested
Violence erupted once again in Kasganj city in UP on Saturday, when groups of people returning from the cremation of a youth identified as Chandan killed in clashes on Friday committed arson,NDTV reported. While one group burnt down shops in Kasganj’s main market, another vandalised shops at an intersection and set two buses on fire.Kasganj District Magistrate told ANI that the police had arrested 49 people so far in connection with the violence. He said Section 144 – which prohibits assembly of more than four people –had been imposed in the city and its borders sealed.Chandan’s body was taken to Kali Nadi area early on Saturday for cremation. MP Rajveer Singh alias Raju Bhaiyya and Kasganj MLA Devendra Singh Rajput were present for the ceremony, HT said.But the cremation was delayed as people demanded that Chandan be declared a martyr, and that his family be provided compensation and a government job. They consented to the cremation only when the MP and MLA informed the state govt and assured the crowd that the demands would be considered. However, people returning from the cremation, raised slogans and burnt a kiosk at Ghantaghar. Uttar Pradesh Police said a special team had been constituted to investigate the incidents. The police have registered 2 FIRs. The first is in connection with the clashes during the motorcycle rally on Friday and the violence that followed. The second is over the death of Chandan. “Interrogations are taking place and those involved would be nabbed soon,” ASP PM Tripathi. Scroll.in
Violence continues in UP's Kasganj; buses, shops set on fire
UP's Kasganj Continues to be on Edge, Shops and Religious Structure Attacked
Illegal, Unscheduled ABVP Rally Leads to Communal Riots at Kasganj in UP; One Dead, One Injured
Fresh violence erupted this morning in UP’s Kasganj district where communal tension began on Friday after some unidentified people hurled stones at an “unauthorised” ‘Tiranga Yatra’ allegedly being taken out by RSS-affiliated ABVP and the VHP to mark the Republic Day.Despite imposition of a curfew, 2 buses were damaged and 5 shops belonging to a particular community were set ablaze following the cremation of Chandan Gupta who died in firing on Friday during the clash between 2 groups.Despite deployment of several companies of RAF and PAC along with the local police, eyewitness claimed that rioters were spotted with petrol bottles near Ghantaghar and Nadrai Gate area. “At least 5 shops owned by traders of a particular community in Ghantaghar area were set on fire, while two buses were vandalised in Nadrai Gate area on Mathura-Bareilly highway, after which the police rushed to control the situation,”a local told Newsclick requesting anonymity. Nearly 50 people, said a police officer, took out a bike rally from Bilram Gate area to commemorate the Republic Day “without the permission of the district administration”.“They were raising some objectionable slogans, which were objected to by a group of people in Badu Nagar. This led to clashes between the two groups that finally resulted in the stone pelting. Following this, an exchange of bullets took place in which Chandan Gupta, 22, who was part of the bike rally, died after he was fired in the chest. He succumbed to injuries on the spot. A Muslim youth Noushad also received bullet injuries on his leg and has been admitted to a hospital in Aligarh,” he said on the condition of anonymity. Footage shot at a Muslim-dominated Buddan colony at Balram Gate, where the clashes occurred on Friday before violence took place, shows youths with the national flag shouting slogans ‘Hindustan Mein Rehna Hoga, Toh Vande Matram Kehna Hoga’ (If one wants to stay in India, he has to chant Vande Mataram). newsclick
Assam tribals demonstration against RSS activist’s comment on Naga Accord: Curfew leaves train commuters stranded following death of 2 protestors in police firing
Assam officials imposed an indefinite curfew in the Maibang area of Dima Hasao district on Friday leaving more than 1,000 train passengers stranded, NDTV reported.Curfew was imposed to counter the violence that broke out following the deaths of 2 protestors after police police fired at them during a demonstration on Thursday. Trains bound for Silchar and Guwahati were stopped midway. The protestors were among the hundreds of Dimasa tribals who were demonstrating against a RSS activist’s purported comment that the draft plan for the Naga Accord showed that the district is part of Nagalim. RSS leader Jagdamba Mall, however, claimed he was misquoted, NDTV reported.The protestors have damaged the railway tracks, Dima Hasao Deputy Commissioner Deva Jyoti Hazarika told IANS. “It will take time to repair them [the tracks] and resume the movement of trains,” Hazarika said. “We have requisitioned 25 buses from Guwahati to send the stranded passengers to their destinations by road. However, the picketers did not allow the buses to proceed to New Haflong.” The passengers have been provided with security, food and water, Hazarika said.Southern Assam, Mizoram and Tripura are totally cut off due to this agitation, said Northeast Frontier Railway Chief Public Relations Officer Pranav Jyoti Sarma said. “The passengers have been waiting at the stations for more than 24 hours now. We cannot run trains till we are sure of the safety of the track,” Sarma said.On Friday night, protestors carried the bodies in a rally in Haflong, HQRS of Dima Hasao. Tribal groups called for a 48-hour bandh in district to protest against the killing. The protestors have demanded that the state govt clarify their stance on the draft plan in writing as well as the immediate suspension of police officials. They have also demanded a compensation package for the family members of the dead and injured.scroll
2,000 train passengers stranded, curfew in Assam town as 2 die in police firing
J&K: Pune girl suspected to be a suicide bomber free to go, police say ‘misinterpreted’ intel inputs
J&K police on Friday arrested an 18-year-old girl from Bijbehara town in south Kashmir after receiving intelligence inputs that she may attempt a suicide bomb attack near or inside the Republic Parade venue in the valley. Girl, identified as Sadiya Anwar Shaikh, was on the radar of security agencies for the past few years and had undergone a de-radicalisation programme also. She was suspected of joining IS. The girl had come from Pune and was living as a paying guest in Bijbehara. On Jan 23, an alert was sent out from the zonal headquarters of J&K Police in Srinagar and they arrested the girl. However, after extensive questioning, it was revealed that the girl was not planning an attack and was a school dropout who had been radicalised on social networking sites about alleged suffering of the Kashmiri people at the hands of security forces. J&K Police said they have informed the girl’s parents and she will be handed over to them as there is no case pending against her in Kashmir or Maharashtra.Police also said that it was a case of misinterpretation of an intelligence input by central security agencies that a Pune-based woman, who was detained by Maharashtra ATS on various occasions, was planning an attack on Republic Day in the Valley. ADG, Police Munir Khan issued an alert to all districts saying that a suicide bomber was planning an attack on the Republic Parade. “All are directed to please ensure that frisking of ladies at the (venues) is done meticulously and with utmost caution so as to thwart the designs of ANEs (anti-national elements),” the note, circulated on 23 Jan, read.However, Sadia’s family refuted all the allegations levelled against their daughter and said they will not believe the claims of security agencies. newx
An intel error? Suspected to be a suicide bomber, Pune girl is free to go
Counselled once, Pune girl held in Kashmir Valley after cops get Republic Day attack alert
Pune Woman Was Not A Suicide Bomber: Kashmir Police
J&K: Army Fires on Protestors, 2 Killed, 12 Injured
 Srinagar: Two youngsters were shot dead and close to dozen civilians suffered injuries after the Army resorted to “indiscriminate firing” at protesters in South Kashmir’s Shopian district which was observing shutdown for fourth consecutive day today against the killing of two local militants and a teenager earlier this week.Witnesses said violent clashes broke out in Ganawpora village of Shopian on Saturday afternoon when a group of youth pelted stones at a cavalcade of the Army's Rashtriya Rifles moving through the area. As the locality shut down and stone pelting intensified, the cavalcade came to a halt.“Some troopers got down and initially fired in the air to scare them but when the boys didn’t relent, they shot them. At least dozen youth were injured in the firing of whom two have died, the condition of one is critical while the others are stable,” a resident of Ganawpora told The Citizen over phone, on the condition of anonymity.thecitizen
Is governance getting too centralised, asks Raghuram Rajan
Former RBI Governor Raghuram Rajan raised doubts about BJP-led govt’s administration getting too centralised, the Economic Times reported on Friday. In an interview, Rajan expressed concerns about the Centre sidelining the bureaucracy. He said that while Finance Minister Arun Jaitley had talked about removing impediments to bureaucratic efficiency, this had not happened. “I worry that the bureaucracy is not making decisions,” he said.“But we also have to ask...if we are trying to run the economy by a very small set of people.”On International Monetary Fund’s view that India would become the fastest growing economy in the world, Rajan said economic growth should translate into job creation. “We really need growth for the jobs that our young people need. Even with this level of growth, are we creating those jobs?” he asked.Rajan said India needed “massive investments” in job-creating activities like infrastructure and construction. He added that the govt had not implemented big infrastructure projects that could create jobs. He told the government that it needed to protect the privacy of the Aadhaar data. “I do think that we have to assure the public that their data are safe,” he said. “All these reports about easy availability of data are worrying. We cannot just say trust us, trust us, it is all secure and then have these reports coming out.”scroll.in
Raghuram Rajan opens up on what's working and what's not working for India
There is a "climate of fear" and "helplessness" in the country: Arun Shourie
Kolkata: Describing the current political situation in India as a "sort of decentralized Emergency", renowned journalist and ex-Union Minister Arun Shourie on Friday said there is a "climate of fear" and "helplessness" in the country."The immediate circumstances are that today we have not a centralized Emergency but sort of decentralized Emergency... There is climate of fear and a sense of helplessness which I did not see during the Emergency," he said at Tata Steel Kolkata Literary Meet here."Forces that are to battle against this situation are divided. I have been long saying that you have to recognise the mortal danger that (Narendra) Modi and others represent to the country," he added.According to Shourie, there has been over the last 30-40 years a decline in the quality of persons in public life."The decline ... is the great problem. Even you look at the persons who were involved in the fight against the Emergency, their quality and the quality of persons today. There is a vast difference... That is the central problem for India today." He also questioned the system of selecting rulers in India. "This is not the way to select rulers for a billion people.Asked to spell out the constructive steps to ensure that better quality persons come to public life, he said: "We can think of stricter qualifications for persons who enter the legislature."IANS
#SaveConstitution March: Thousands Walk With Opposition Leaders in Mumbai
Mumbai: Thousands of people from different walks of life came out on the streets of Mumbai on the Republic Day on Friday to take part in the massive, silent #SaveConstitution march.Top leaders from almost all major Opposition parties attended the demonstration against the threats that the Constitution, Secularism and Democracy have been facing since the BJP came to power in the centre three and half years ago. Eminent leaders included Sharad Pawar and Praful Patel (NCP), Sitaram Yechury (CPI-M), D Raja (CPI), Omar Abdullah (NC), Sushil Kumar Shinde, Ashok Chavan and Prithviraj Chavan (all from Congress) and Patel youth leader Hardik Patel.Opposition leaders holding sit-in at the end of #SaveConstitution march in Mumbai on 26 Jan 2018.The march started from the Ambedkar Statue and culminated into a public sit-in at Shivaji Maharaj Statue near the Gateway of India.caravandaily
In Adityanath’s UP, education gets a visibly saffron curriculum
Lucknow : Saffron appears to be the colour of choice in BJP-ruled UP’s schools, colleges and universities — be it curriculum or competition for students.Identified as the colour of the BJP and the Sangh Parivar as a whole, a hint of the shade being stirred to paint the party’s ideologies in the education system showed up at a quiz contest last August in UP schools, where students had to answer questions about the state govt’s schemes on Pandit Deen Dayal Upadhyaya’s birth centenary.Then again in December, a singing competition based on the Shrimad Bhagavad Gita Rahasya was held at schools across the state. A boy from Gorakhpur, the home constituency of chief minister Yogi Adityanath, was declared the winner. Aliya Khan of Meerut finished second. They carried home winners’ cheques of Rs 50,000 and Rs25,000 respectively.Srimad Bhagavad Gita Rahasya is freedom fighter Lokmanya Tilak’s seminal work on the Hindu text, which gives critics of the government led by monk-politician Adityanath reasons to believe that the state’s education is undergoing a saffron change. Such events are allegedly adding to the students’ workload, although these are not mandatory and many academics encourage children to participate. “Holding quizzes is a good initiative, and all schools should participate. They should be inclusive and must not dwell solely on the Bhagavad Gita,” historian Rana Safvi said. But the government-sponsored quiz contest failed to impress academics such as Safvi. “We should definitely organise historical quizzes in schools, but they should represent our glorious history, not a blinkered view,” she said.The state govtt has also asked universities to set up a chair named after Upadhyaya, a leader of Bharatiya Jana Sangh which is considered the predecessor of the BJP. A government order, dated December 1 last year, says Rs 7 crore will be given among 14 state universities to promote his ieology through seminars and workshops. Filmmaker-writer Sohail Hashmi criticised the move. “It is sad the government is establishing a chair to promote its ideologue at a time when scholarships for poor students are being cut. Why couldn’t they create a chair in the name of Nobel Prize-winning economist Amartya Sen or Homi Jehangir Bhabha?” he asked. According to historian Makkhan Lal, opposing Upadhyaya’s philosophy amounts to politics. “Why Left thinkers were silent when chairs were created in the name of Pandit Jawaharlal Nehru?”he questioned. So-called saffron-tinted extra-curricular activities have spawned fears that the is trying to rewrite history to suit their ideology, an allegation the Opposition often fires at the party that came to power in UP in 2017 after 15 years. Also, experts believe the changes could turn into a drawback for the state’s students. Saffron shade is visible at BHU, the century-old institute in Varanasi, where the RSS has 15 shakhas or units on the campus — up from four three years ago. RSS, BJP’s ideological mentor, began stepping up its activities when GC Tripathi was appointed BHU vice chancellor in Nov.2014 — 5 months after BJP-led NDA wrested power at the Centre.HT
BJP objects to Tipu Sultan portrait in Delhi Assembly, Kejriwal asks them for names of RSS freedom fighters
The row over Tipu Sultan has spread from Karnataka to Delhi.While BJP has been trying to paint Tipu Sultan as a villain, presenting its own version of history and opposing his alleged ‘glorification’ in Karnataka, on Friday, this Republic Day, Delhi chief minister Arvind Kejriwal unveiled his portrait along with 69 other eminent personalities including freedom fighters, revolutionaries and heroes on Republic Day, to be put up in the Assembly’s galleries. BJP objected. BJP MLA Om Prakash Sharma said that the Delhi Assembly should refrain from putting up a portrait of a controversial personality. Manjinder Singh Sirsa, BJP-SAD MLA from Rajouri Garden, was reported by The India Express as saying, “I asked them (AAP), why include someone who is this controversial? Why not include people who are from Delhi? Why put someone’s portrait in the Delhi Assembly, who has not contributed in any way to Delhi or its history?”Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) said they had asked the BJP to suggest names from their party or the RSS. “We asked the BJP and their MLAs to suggest names from either their party or the RSS who had worked for the freedom struggle. But they couldn’t come up with any,” claimed AAP MLA and spokesperson Saurabh Bhardwaj, according to media reports.Assembly Speaker Ram Niwas Goel dismissed the objection to the portrait, saying that BJP leaders “always try to create controversy on any issue”.“I want to tell them that the Constitution of India also carries a picture of Tipu Sultan on page 144. So, either the people who fought the British to free the country and wrote this Constitution were ‘gaddaar’ (traitors) or they (BJP) are the ones… They should leave this cheap politics and do politics of development,” Goel said.According to officials, work on the portraits began six months ago. They have been painted by artist Guru Darshan Singh Binkal, who is a part of Shaheed Smriti Chetna Samiti, an organisation working to spread awareness on freedom fighters.apnlive
No Muslim involved for School Bus Attack: Gurugram Police Shoot Down Social Media Rumours
New Delhi: Denying social media rumours, Gurugram Police issued a statement on Friday saying there were no Muslims among those detained for the attack on a school bus during protests against Padmaavat.  “It is to bring it to your kind notice that no member from Muslim community has been detained/ arrested by Gurugram police in connection with Bhondsi violence or anywhere else in Gurugram,” a statement from Gurugram Police said.“The situation in Gurugram is peaceful and fully under control. It is, therefore, requested please do not listen to any rumours,” the statement added.This is to clarify that no Muslims boys have been detained in relation to the recent acts of vandalism on a Haryana Roadways bus and a School bus in Gurugram.The bus carrying 24 students, five teachers and an attendant was attacked by a group of protesters, believed to be supporting a fringe group. The mob pelted rocks and shattered the vehicle's window panes, forcing the children and teachers to crouch on the vehicle’s floor to avoid being injured. Gurgaon Police PRO Ravinder Kumar had said that 31 protestors were arrested for violating prohibitory orders under Section 144, while 18 were charged with torching a Haryana roadways bus and pelting the school bus with stones.Of the 18, 11 were sent to 14-day judicial custody, while seven minor will be produced in a juvenile court.Certain posts and tweets on social media, however, claimed Muslim men named Saddam, Nadim, Firoz, Aamir and Ashraf were among those arrested.news18
No Muslim involved in Gurugram school bus case: Police
Karni leader arrested for attack on school bus in Gurugram
New Delhi: Karni Sena national secy Suraj Pal Amu was arrested for anti-Padmaavat violence.Hours after detaining the national secretary of Shree Karni Sena, Suraj Pal Amu, Gurugram police on Friday arrested him on the charges of breaching peace in the city.Amu has been sent to judicial custody in Bhondsi jail for four days. The police had detained him on Thursday morning to question him about his involvement in the anti-Padmaavat violence in the city.Police suspect Amu’s role in Wednesday’s attack on a Gurugram school bus and violent protests where fringe elements took to roads torching vehicles and destroying public property to oppose Padmaavat’s release.Mail Today
Jaipur Literature Festival: Not as bad as being a Muslim, to be Dalit, says Christophe Jaffrelot
Jaipur: Eminent French political scientist Christophe Jaffrelot on Friday said that in the absence of reservation, Dalits would not have reached anywhere, and it was “not as bad as being a Muslim, to be a Dalit”. The author of ‘Dr Ambedkar and Untouchability’ said that BJP and RSS were now focusing on Dalits because they have realized that the community couldn’t be ignored anymore as a “vote bank”.“When there is no reservation…where will be the Dalits? So if you remove reservation, where are they? They will be no Dalits anywhere. Because the stigma is still there. It is not as bad as being a Muslim but pretty bad (being a Dalit),” he said, citing the example of media. Speaking at a session titled “Dr Ambedkar and His Legacy” at the 11th Jaipur Literature Festival here, Jaffrelot also spoke about the RSS and BJP focusing on Ambedkar. “They have started paying attention to them not because of goodwill, but because Dalits couldn’t be ignored anymore. “In 1989, when JD (Janata Dal) did better than BJP in Uttar Pradesh elections, they had to realise, and look at these emerging ‘vote banks’, and use divide and rule kind of policies,” he said.Despite having the “best laws” in the world, India, according to Jaffrelot, needed to implement them better to see that it becomes the country of Ambedkar’s dreams.“At a time when the issues we are fighting for, freedom of expression, equal rights, where are NGOs, universities, the media who do not self censor themselves.PTI
May drop cases against minorities, farmers, Kannada activists: Poll-bound Karnataka CM
Bengaluru: Karnataka CM Siddaramaiah is considering the withdrawal of cases filed against “minority communities”, farmers and pro-Kannada activists over the last five years. A circular seeking details of such cases —fourth in two months — was sent Thursday to all police divisions in state, prompting a sharp opposition BJP response.While BJP accused the Congress govt of “working against Hindus”, Siddaramaiah after Friday’s Republic Day event said, “We are considering withdrawal of not just cases filed against people from minority communities during communal disturbances but also farmers during agitations and pro Kannada activists during agitations.”He added that the proposal was pending with the Home Dept and that the govt would take a decision after “obtaining the opinion of the home department”. CM’s remarks came after a state police department circular to all police divisions seeking details of cases from the last five years where people from minority communities were booked in the course of communal disturbances was posted on Twitter by BJP.“Just when we were thinking that things can’t get more worse for Hindus in K’taka tyrant @siddaramaiah has moved to drop criminal cases pending against members of minority community involved in communal riots in the last 5 years,” BJP said on its Karnataka party Twitter handle.The circular was issued by the state police department and signed by AIG, Police, Shivaprakash Devaraju on January 25. It renewed calls issued earlier to state police units for details of cases filed against members of minority communities in the course of communal disturbances in the last five years. The circular was the fourth reminder in the last 2 months. According to state Home Minister Ramalinga Reddy, no “big cases” were under review. “We are looking at minor cases where people have been booked and considering their withdrawal. No big cases will be withdrawn,” he said on Friday.indianexpress
Law no solution to social ills: Owaisi says triple talaq bill ploy to send Muslim men to jail
Hyderabad: Law is not the solution to social problems, AIMIM president Asaduddin Owaisi has said, claiming that triple talaq bill was a ploy to send Muslim men to jail.“Will triple talaq stop after the law is brought?” a release from AIMIM quoted Owaisi as saying at `Tahafuzz e Shariayat’ (`Save Sharia’) public meeting here late last night.Dowry deaths and other crimes against women did not stop even when specific laws were made against these practises, he said.“Between 2005-2015, there were more than 80,000 dowry deaths in India. 22 women die daily on account of dowry, and even after the Nirbhaya incident, there was a rapid increase in number of rape cases. Law is not the answer,” he said.Further, triple talaq bill is a conspiracy against the minority community, Owaisi alleged. “It is a ploy to bring the women of the community on road and send the men to prison,” he alleged.BJP-led NDA govt tried to push the bill through Parliament without consulting Muslim clerics, he alleged.PTI
Pak again rakes up Kashmir issue during UNSC debate
Islamabad’s top envoy to the world body raised the Kashmir issue yet again during a UNSC debate on the Middle East, days after UN Secretary General Antonio Guterres ruled out any mediation effort between India and Pakistan.While participating in the Security Council discussion on Thursday, Lodhi said, “Pakistan will continue to support the legitimate aspirations of the Palestinians, as indeed, people living under foreign occupation elsewhere as for example in Kashmir.”She further said, “This esteemed body must live up to its responsibilities and ensure the implementation of its own resolutions on Palestine and other longstanding disputes such as Kashmir so that people of the world do not lose entire faith in the UN.”But, like before, there were no takers for Lodhi, the Permanent Representative of Pakistan to UN,during the debate on the current volatile situation in the Middle East. Following continuous ceasefire violations and firing from Pakistan side, which is causing casualties on both sides, the relation between the two countries have been strained these days.indianexpress
UK: Pakistani-origin lawmaker leads protests in London to call for Kashmir, Khalistan freedom
Clashes erupted outside the Indian High Commission in London on Friday evening when demonstrators, led by Pakistani-origin British MP Lord Nazir Ahmed, staged protests calling for the independence of Kashmir and Khalistan. The protestors planned the “black day” demonstration to coincide with India’s Republic Day. Police had to intervene after scuffles broke out between them and some pro-India counter-protestors, ANI reported.Billboard vans with messages such as “India Leave Kashmir: Free Kashmir”, “Khalistan Zindabad” and “70 Years of Indian Brutality” were seen in London during the demonstrations.“Not only us [residents of Pakistan-occupied Kashmir], but Khalistanis, and our brothers from Nagaland and Manipur, and minorities, who are oppressed in India, will also join us in the protest,” Ahmed, who organised the protest, had said on Thursday.“It will be a peaceful demonstration by a small gathering because we cannot have very large numbers outside the High Commission,” he had said. Ahmed, one of the first British Muslim members of the House of Lords, was born in PoK. scroll
Clashes in London after Lord Nazir calls for Kashmir's independence on Republic Day
RSS pracharak  from Kerala gets Padma Vibhushan
New Delhi: The senior most RSS pracharak from Kerala and 90-year-old bachelor boy of Sangh politics in the southern state, P Parameswaran, has been selected to be conferred with country's second highest civilian award the Padma Vibhushan. A formal announcement to this effect was made on the eve of Republic Day.A strong Hindutva thinker, orator, Parameswaran is the Director of Bharatiya Vichara Kendram and is also associated with the prestigious Vivekananda Kendra in Kanyakumari.  A passionate reader and ardent admirer of Bhagawad Gita, in 1998, as an answer to the rising crime rate and other social evils in Kerala, Parameshwaran had proposed observation of a 'Gita decade'.He joined the Jan Sangh and in 1968, he became and All‑India General Secretary of the organisation and later its vice president.UNI
34-yr-old woman Imam leads Friday prayers in Kerala
Malappuram: A 34-year-old woman has led Jumu'ah, a Friday prayer service of Muslims, here in Kerala.Jamitha, the general secretary of Quran Sunnat Society, took the role of the 'imam' of the prayers held at the office of the Society in the Muslim-dominated district yesterday.Jumu'ah, the congregational prayer held every Friday, is usually led by men.Around 80 people, including women, gathered to attend the prayers, led by the woman 'Imam', the Society sources said.Jamitha, known as 'Jamitha teacher' among her fellow people, claimed the Holy Quran never discriminates between men and women and Islam never stops women from being 'imams'."It is for the first time that a woman is leading Jumu'ah in the history of our country. It was held at the central committee office of our Society, where we used to gather every Friday for the prayers," she said. Jamitha also said she would continue to lead the prayer service on Fridays.PTI
Pre-Budget Session All-party Meetings on Sunday
Pre-Budget Session All-party Meetings on Sunday Two all-party meetings will be held on Sunday, ahead of the Budget Session of Parliament which is due to start on Monday, govt sources said on Saturday. New Delhi: 2 all-party meetings will be held on Sunday, ahead of the Budget Session of Parliament which is due to start on Monday, govt sources said.IANS
3 Muslim held for raising ‘black Pakistan flag’ at Republic Day rally in MP
Bhopal/Shajapur:Madhya Pradesh police have arrested three people for allegedly raising what seemed to be a black version of the Pakistan flag during a Republic Day rally in Shajapur district.The trio – Sadaab Khan, Adil Khan and Samir Khan – were booked under provisions of the Prevention of Insults to National Honour Act-1971, and later remanded in judicial custody. The law prohibits any form of desecration or insult to India’s national symbols, such as the Tricolour and the national anthem.“The accused raised a black flag with a crescent and a star during a two-wheeler rally taken out by members of the Muslim community on Republic Day. The others were all carrying the Tricolour. This created a law-and-order problem in the area for some time,” said Dinesh Prajapati, Shujalpur police station in-charge.An investigation is on. hindustantimes
Abdul Hakeem Faizy: The first Indian to join the governing body of League of Islamic Universities
Malappuram might be thousands of miles away from Cairo, but that has never deterred the exchange of ideas and scholars. And Abdul Hakeem Faizy Adrisseri, a 60-year-old resident of the Malabar district is the latest addition to the list of Indian Muslims who have made it big in the world of Islamic education. A few days ago, Adrisseri became the first Indian to be selected to the 21-member apex body of Cairo-based League of Islamic Universities (LIU) as its first executive member. The functionaries were impressed with the integrated education model of which Faizy is an untiring advocate. It is an apt reward for Adrisseri, who started almost four decades ago in much simpler surroundings.TCN
WORLD
Saudi billionaire Alwaleed 'released' from detention
Prominent Saudi businessman Prince Alwaleed bin Talal has been released after more than two months of detention on allegations of corruption, according to a family source.Prince Alwaleed, who was arrested among dozens of other royal family members, ministers, and top businessmen, arrived to his residence in Riyadh on Saturday, the Reuters news agency reported. Hours earlier in an exclusive interview with Reuters, he said he expected to be cleared of charges and released from custody within days."There are no charges. There are just some discussions between me and the government," the 62-year-old said in a televised interview."I believe we are on the verge of finishing everything within days."He and his counterparts were arrested in early November during the kingdom's "anti-corruption purge", and were held collectively in the country's Ritz Carton hotel.In his interview, Prince Alwaleed said he was continuing to maintain his innocence of any corruption in talks with authorities. He also said he expected to remain in full control of his global investment firm, without being required to give up assets to the government.During a previous interview, a Saudi official said charges against the billionaire prince included money laundering, bribery and extorting of officials.Also speaking to officials in the kingdom, Reuters said Saudi authorities were asking detainees to hand over assets and cash in return for their freedom.The deals involve separating cash from assets, such as property nd shares, and looking at bank accounts to assess cash values, one source told Reuters.aljazeera
US recognition of Jerusalem as Israel’s capital ‘null and void,’ : Saudi
Saudi Arabia denounced on Friday the US recognition of Jerusalem as Israel’s capital. The move is enough to cause “tension” in the Middle East and weaken the chances of finding a comprehensive solution to the Palestine-Israel conflict, said the Kingdom’s representative at the UN Security Council. Abdullah Bin Al-Maalami made his comment during a discussion of the situation in the Middle East, including the Palestinian issue. “UN stressed that all Israeli measures regarding Jerusalem are null and void, and have no basis in international law,” he reiterated.Saudi official pointed out that the Israeli measures meant by the UN include Israeli control of the holy city’s future, the displacement of its indigenous residents, the building of [illegal] settlements, confiscating land and property, harassing Jerusalem’s Palestinian residents and declaring the city as Israel’s capital.middleeastmonitor
Indonesian youth: Saudi has 'politicised' Hajj
Depok, Indonesia - Saudi Arabia has "politicised" access to the Hajj, according to organisers of a Muslim youth conference in Indonesia.Ziyad Abdul Malik, chairman of the Muslim Students Association's (HMI) branch in South Jakarta, lambasted the kingdom for using the pilgrimage to Mecca, considered Islam's holiest city, to impose its policies on other Gulf nations and Muslim-majority countries.HMI, the largest student group in Indonesia, organised the event - dubbed "Islamic Holy Places for All of the Ummah"- at the Indonesia University in Depok.Malik went on to accuse Saudi Arabia of interference in the conference itself. The event was originally slated to take place at the State Islamic University in Jakarta, located in the Indonesian capital, but it was cancelled at the request of the Saudi embassy."We are students, and students usually discuss many things," he said. "Why is this a problem for [Saudi Arabia]?" Other organisers echoed Malik's criticisms, arguing that Saudi Arabia had let political rows with several countries - Qatar, Syria, Iran and Yemen, among others - influence its Hajj regulations. aljazeera
Israeli army block entrances to West Bank village affecting 7,000 Palestinians
 Israeli human rights organisation B’Tselem has said the Israeli army have restricted the movement of more than 7,000 Palestinians living in the village of Hizma, northeast of Jerusalem, in the West Bank.“For more than a week the Israeli military has been severely restricting access into and out of the Palestinian village of Hizma in the West Bank, apparently in response to stone-throwing along a nearby road. Soldiers have been deployed at all entrances to the village, and physical roadblocks have been put in place barring vehicular access,” the centre said in a report issued yesterday.According to the report at various periods during this time the army denied non-residents from entering the village and men over 40 from leaving.The report pointed out that this violation of the freedom of movement of about 7,000 people is collective punishment, which is prohibited by international law.middleeastmonitor
Hamas calls on Abbas to give up on US as mediator
Palestinian Islamic Resistance Movement has called on President Mahmoud Abbas to stop banking on the US as a mediator in the peace process with Israel. Instead, said Hamas, the Palestinian Authority leader should align with the Palestinian people’s choice to resist the Israeli occupation. “Trump’s decision to recognise Jerusalem as Israel’s capital and transfer the US Embassy from Tel Aviv will not change the Palestinian people’s adherence to their land, including Jerusalem as their future capital for Muslims and Christians,” Osama Hamdan told Quds Press. “The decisions taken by the Central Council of the Palestine Liberation Organisation a few days ago are below expectations,”senior official added. MEMO
95 Killed, 158 Injured As Bomb Hidden In Ambulance Goes Off Near Embassies In Kabul:AFP
kabul:An explosives-packed ambulance blew up in a crowded area of Kabul on Saturday, killing at least 95 people and wounding 158 others, officials said, in one of the biggest blasts to rock the war-torn city in recent years.The suicide bomber passed through at least one checkpoint in the ambulance, saying he was taking a patient to Jamuriate hospital, an interior ministry spokesman told AFP."At the second checkpoint he was recognised and blew his explosive-laden car," Nasrat Rahimi said. The Taliban claimed responsibility for the attacks.
Kurds call on Syrian regime to help fight Turkey
Kurds in Syria have called on the regime of President Bashar Al-Assad to help them to fight against Turkish forces in the country’s north-western province of Afrin. In a statement released by Hawar news agency, the de facto official media channel of the US-backed SDF, Kurds appealed by claiming that Turkey’s aim is to occupy Syrian land.“We call on the Syrian state to carry out its sovereign obligations towards Afrin and protect its borders with Turkey from attacks of the Turkish occupier… and deploy its Syrian Armed Forces to secure the borders of the Afrin area,” said Kurds in a statement.MEMO
Ceasefire takes effect in Syria's Eastern Ghouta
A Russian-negotiated ceasefire has gone into effect in Syria's Eastern Ghouta, the last remaining rebel stronghold near the capital, Damascus.The truce, which started Saturday, is expected to bring temporary relief to an estimated 400,000 people in the area suffering from acute food and medicine shortages. Eastern Ghouta has been under a government siege since 2013.Al Jazeera's Stefanie Dekker, reporting near the Turkish-Syrian border, said Eastern Ghouta's proximity to Damascus underlines the importance of the area to the government of Bashar al-Assad.It is reported that the region "has the worst cases of malnutrition in the entirety of the Syrian war", our correspondent said.Not all opposition factions in Eastern Ghouta signed up to the deal, and it remains to be seen how long it will hold, our correspondent said. aljazeera
Iraqi officers say US plane mistakenly kills 7
Baghdad:Two senior Iraqi army officers say a US military plane has mistakenly fired at a gathering of tribal fighters and civilians west of Anbar, killing seven and wounding 11 others. The officers said Saturday the U.S. forces had thought the victims in the al-Baghdadi area were militants.AP
UN experts call for Egypt to halt executions
Egypt must stop executions until it has reviewed all death sentences and retry any convictions that are found to rest on unfair trials, five independent UN human rights experts said on Friday.Egypt’s mission to the United Nations in Geneva did not immediately comment on the appeal, but Egyptian prosecution and judicial sources rejected the criticism.“We have raised multiple specific cases with the Egyptian authorities and continue to receive more. In the light of these persistent serious allegations, we urge the Government to halt all pending executions,” the experts said in a statement.“The authorities should ensure that all death sentences are reviewed and, where convictions were based on unfair trials, ensure that individuals have retrials during which Egypt’s human rights obligations are fully respected.”An Islamic State insurgency in North Sinai has expanded to include civilian targets in the past year. Egypt this month renewed its state of emergency for three more months, broadening the power of authorities to crack down on what it calls enemies of the state.The five experts who issued the statement – special rapporteurs reporting to the UN Human Rights Council – said the death penalty should be used only for the most serious crimes and after a process with all legal safeguards.The experts were José Antonio Guevara Bermúdez, Agnes Callamard, Bernard Duhaime, Nils Melzer, and Fionnuala D. Ní Aoláin, who report to the Council on arbitrary detention, extrajudicial executions, enforced disappearances, torture and the protection of human rights while countering terrorism. middleeastmonitor
Trump apologizes for his anti-Muslim retweets
New Delhi: United States President Donald Trump has apologized for re-tweeting three anti-Muslim videos, which were originally posted by the deputy leader of one of the United Kingdom's most far-right groups.Trump had re-tweeted the tweets of Britain First's Jayda Fransen in Nov.Speaking to the U.K. broadcaster ITV on Thursday at the World Economic Forum (WEF) in Davos, Trump said, "If you are telling me they're horrible people, horrible, racist people, I would certainly apologise if you'd like me to do that". "I am often the least racist person that anybody is going to meet. Certainly, I wasn't endorsing anybody", he added.The U.S. President drew widespread condemnation, including from the British Prime Minister's office for the re-tweets.ANI
Philippine President  Duterte offers  '42 virgins' to visitors
Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte told a group of Indian and Filipino business leaders in New Delhi that he would like to attract visitors to his country by offering "42 virgins". In a speech on Friday aimed at luring investors to the Philippines, Duterte also said Indian businessmen should "avoid Mindanao" because "there's still martial law there", referring to the southern Philippine island, where armed Muslim rebels and fighters continue to battle government forces.Duterte was on a 3-day trip to the Indian capital to attend a regional summit between India and leaders of the ASEAN, and participate in the country's Republic Day celebration. In a statement on Saturday, a women's activist group called Duterte an "international embarassment", Rappler reported.
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Compiled and edited by Anwarulhaq (Released at: 8:04 PM)

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