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Tuesday, 9 January 2018

9 Jan. ND: SC modifies order, says playing of national anthem in cinema halls is not mandatory / Modi a threat to democracy, Constitution: Jignesh Mevani at Yuva Hunkaar' rally



Evening NEWS DIGEST  
09 Jan.2018: 20 Rabial Aakhir 1439:Vol:9, No:94
india
SC modifies order, says playing of national anthem in cinema halls is not mandatory
New Delhi: The Supreme Court has modified its November 30, 2016 interim order and made it optional for cinema halls to play the 52-second National Anthem before every show.A Bench led by Chief Justice of India Dipak Misra clarified that it is not mandatory to play the Anthem before screenings in cinemas. It left the choice of whether to play the Anthem or not to the discretion of individual cinema hall owners.However, if the Anthem is played, patrons in the hall are bound to show respect by standing up. The court clarified that the exception granted to disabled persons from standing up during the Anthem "shall remain in force on all occasions". The SC, this time, instead of shooting from its own shoulders, banked on a Home Ministry order of 2015 which directs that "whenever the Anthem is sung or played, the audience shall stand to attention"."Playing of the Anthem is directive, but showing respect is mandatory," Chief Justice Misra orally observed.The SC took umbrage from its judgment in the famed Bijoe Emmanuel versus State of Kerala judgment, which dealt with three children belonging to the Jehovah Witnesses sect who refused to sing the anthem in the school assembly though they stood up in respect, to drive in the point that standing up is indeed a sign of "proper respect" to Anthem. "Proper respect is shown  to the National Anthem by standing up when the National Anthem is sung," the Bench quoted Justice O. Chinnappa Reddy's words in the Bijoe Emmanuel verdict.The modification would be in place till the Centre takes a final decision on the recommendations of a 12-member high-profile inter-ministerial committee regarding occasions, circumstances and events for the solemn rendering of the Anthem. The ministerial panel would examine whether any amendments are necessary to Prevention of Insult to National Honour Act of 1971 to expand or specify the meaning of "respect" to the National Anthem. Committee, which was set up on Dec.5,2017, would submit its report in 6 months. Attorney-General KK Venugopal, for the Centre, submitted the ministerial committee would conduct a comprehensive study of the issue. The Govt  began the hearing by referring to its latest affidavit, suggesting to the court to modify its Nov. 30 order and give cinema owners discretion till the inter-ministerial panel takes a final call. Referring to incidents of complaints filed under 1971 Act against Infosys founder Narayanamurthy and Congress MP Shashi Tharoor for disrespecting the Anthem, Venugopal submitted "respect or disrespect to Anthem has to be decided on a case to case basis. Your Lordships cannot think of a 1000 ways of respect to the Anthem".Leaving the ball in Govt's court, the Bench finally summed up: "3 things are obvious. Anthem has to be respected as it is the salutation to the motherland. List of occasions for showing respect to the Anthem. Proper decorum has to be maintained during the Anthem." thehindu
SC rules National Anthem not mandatory in cinema halls; Opposition, experts welcome move
Modi a threat to democracy and Constitution, this is the Gujarat model: Jignesh Mevani at Yuva Hunkaar' rally
New Delhi: The Modi Govt  poses a “threat” to the country’s democracy and Constitution, Dalit leader Jignesh Mevani said on Tuesday at a youth rally for which the Delhi Police had refused permission. The newly-elected MLA from Vadgam in Gujarat termed the refusal to grant permission to the ‘Yuva Hunkar’ rally in Parliament Street an example of the “Gujarat model” of politics.“125 crore people of this country are watching that someone is not being allowed to speak for merely demanding release of Chandrashekhar Azad, effective implementation of the Constitution and two crore jobs to the youth.“If an elected representative does not have the right to do so, then this is Gujarat model,” Mevani said to a crowd comprising student activists from Delhi, Lucknow and Allahabad among other places.The rally – held in Parliament Street in the heart of the national capital where prohibitory orders are in force through the year – was demanding the release of Dalit outfit Bhim Army founder Azad.The gathering also sought to emphasise issues like educational rights, employment, livelihood and gender justice. Mevani said he will stand guard against the politics of hatred and stick to constitutional values and the “politics of love”, along the lines of statements made by Congress president Rahul Gandhi after the Gujarat polls. “I believe in politics of unity. I believe in politics of love, not love jihad. Alpesh Thakore, Hardik Patel and I are being targeted because we demolished their (BJP) pride and arrogance in Gujarat..There’s a looming threat to our democracy and Constitution today,”he said.Although authorities had maintained till the last minute that Mevani and his supporters did not have permission to hold the event, it seems the rally organisers and Delhi Police reached a compromise later. JNU student leaders, including Kanhaiya Kumar, Shehla Rashid and Umar Khalid, were present on stage, metres away from the Parliament Street Police Station.Assam farmers leader Akhil Gogoi and senior Supreme Court lawyer Prashant Bhushan were also present, apart from students from JNU, Delhi University, Lucknow University and Allahabad University among others.PTI
Hunkaar rally:Modi bubble has burst, says Umar Khalid
New Delhi: Dalit leader Jignesh Mevani's 'Yuva Hunkaar' rally began on Tuesday at Parliament Street, even as the Delhi Police maintained that no permission had been granted for the same. The rally, which began around 1 pm, saw a modest turnout, reported PTI. Student leaders speak Various student leaders spoke against the Modi Govt  and demanded justice for Rohit Vemula, Najeeb Ahmed and the release of Bhim Army founder Chandrashekhar Azad. 'Modi Bubble' has burst but student movements across the country have exposed the Modi Govt  for not delivering on Vikas, says Umar Khalid. "Govt  wants to reduce subsidy on education but give business incentives to Adani and Ambani," he added. Assam farmers leader Akhil Gogoi and senior Supreme Court lawyer Prashant Bhushan were also present apart from students from JNU, Delhi University, Lucknow University and Allahabad University among others. Bhushan said his generation had failed to bring social equality in the nation , As Reported By Hindu. According to the paper,"It is now time for the youth to fight the battle," he said. Heavy security Around 2,000 security personnel, including the paramilitary forces, have been deployed in the national capital in view of the rally. A senior officer from New Delhi district told PTI that additional forces from other districts of the city have been called in.the hindu
Post Bhima Koregaon Violence, Police Target Dalits Across Maharashtra; Minor Boys Worst Hit
Mumbai: Sarita Kamble stood in front of the tall, wooden door of the Dongri Observation Home for almost ten minutes before entering. “He can’t see me crying. It will make him weak. Let us go in once I feel composed,” she hastily tells her husband, Sanket, as she struggles to hold back her tears.It’s Jan.6, 3 days since her 15-year-old son was picked up by Chembur police for “unlawfully assembling on the street”, “rioting” and the most serious of all – “voluntarily causing grievous hurt to any person being a public servant in the discharge of his duty”. Sarita’s son studies in class nine at a municipal corporation run school near Deonar. He is one of the 16 boys, all below 16, to be booked and later lodged at Dongi Children’s Home for their alleged roles in the riot and vandalism at Chembur on January 3. Sarita, like other parents, has come to see her son.One law student from her neighbourhood in Govandi had told her that her son Rahul might be kept in “jail” for ten years. “That boy told me the sections are grave. He opened some page on his mobile phone and read it aloud,” Sarita says. “your son has gone in for ten years now,” Sarita recalls his exact words.But once she steps inside the observation home and speaks to the social workers from Resource Cell for Juvenile Justice (RCJJ) – a Field Action Project started by the Centre for Criminology and Justice Dept of TISS – Sarita gets some clarity. “They (social workers) said under-18 children cannot be kept here for over 3 years. But my son is still a child. He is innocent. I cannot let him be here for even a day more,” she tells The Wire while waiting outside the Probation Officer’s office, hoping to see her son. According to S Mane, senior police inspector from Govandi, Sanket, Rahul, along with 39 others, had indulged in vandalism and caused harmed to public property. These teenage boys, according to the police, were out on the street protesting against the violence unleashed on Dalits at Bhima Koregaon near Pune on Jan.1. But Sarita says her son was on his way to tuition class. “He was wrongly booked,” she repeats to everyone she speaks to in the next six hours inside the juvenile home.In Mumbai alone, close to 300 persons, all belonging to Bahujan communities have been arrested. DGP's control room confirmed a total of 502 FIRs have been registered across Maharashtra in the aftermath of the Bhima Koregaon violence.“We have not collated any data so far on the number of arrests made. But most arrests have been in Mumbai, Aurangabad, Nanded and some parts of Nagpur,” says the officer attending to calls on Monday morning. News reports from various district confirms the number of persons arrested could be anywhere between 4,000 and 5,000. At least 5,000 more have been booked, but yet to be arrested. Besides being a part of unlawful assembly, most of them have been booked under serious, non-bailable charges such as vandalism and attempt to murder.The Wire
Hindutva Leaders Named in Bhima-Koregaon Violence Should be Tried Like Yakoob Memon:Prakash Ambedkar
 Koregaon: Veteran Dalit leader Prakash Ambedkar, made a demand that right-wing activists Milind Ekbote and Sambhaji Bhide – who are accused of inciting violence during celebrations of Battle of Bhima-Koregaon on Jan.1 – should be arrested and tried like Yakub Memon. Ekbote (56) and Bhide (85) have been slapped under sections of the Prevention of Atrocities Act. 2 allegedly sparked the riots that engulfed the entire state, including Mumbai, by desecrating the memorial of Govind Gaikwad – a Dalit icon – at Wadhu village near Pune on Dec.29, 2017. Gaikwad is credited with performing Shivaji Maharaj’s son Sambhajiraje Bhosale’s funeral when nobody else would touch the body as it could have invited the Mughals’ wrath. “The violence which erupted at Bhima Koregaon was premeditated. People were incited and were given weapons to carry out violence. Ekbote (who runs Samast Hindu Aghadi) and Bhide (who founded Shiv Pratishthan Hindustan) are the masterminds of these attacks. 3 people lost their lives and many people suffered injuries. My question to the Govt  is how come these accused are on the run? Why are they not behind bars? I appeal to the Govt that people who are responsible should be arrested under section 302 of IPC just like Yakub Memon,” Ambedkar – the president of the Bharipa Bahujan Mahasangh – told Newsclick. newsclick
Dalit prof at Hyderabad univ complains against ABVP leader over ‘abusive’ FB post
Hyderabad:A Dalit professor at the University of Hyderabad has accused authorities of ignoring his complaint against a leader of the Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh-affiliated ABVP, who allegedly made an abusive comment against him on social media.K Laxminarayana of School of Economics complained in his letter to vice-chancellor P Appa Rao on Nov.30 last year that Karan Palsaniya, a research scholar, used filthy words on his Facebook page against him for asking a question about privatisation and saffronisation of education.“There had been no communication from the vice-chancellor’s office until Dec.30. I sent a reminder as to what action the authorities are taking with regard to my complaint. I got a mail from them stating that the complaint was referred to a proctorial board which would look into it,” Laxminarayana told the HT.“2 days back, I mailed again to the board as well as V-C to know the status of my complaint. Till now, I have no clue as to what is happening. It clearly shows the kind of discrimination the Dalit faculty and students are facing in the university,” he added.
Dalits in Gujarat's Una to Convert to Buddhism, Cite Discrimination by Other Castes
Ahmedabad: Dalits of Una region, including the family that was flogged in full public view in July 2016, are converting to Buddhism as a mark of protest against discrimination and atrocities by members of other castes. Conversions will likely be held on April 14, the birth anniversary of Dalit icon Dr Babasaheb Ambedkar.Vasrambhai Sarvaiya, one of the five Dalit youths who were flogged publically at Mota Samadhiyala village of Una Taluka said:"Quite clearly, Dalits are still being discriminated against even after so much uproar and protest by community.We have zeroed in on 2 dates:Jan 26 and April 14."
Snowden says reporter who exposed Aadhaar ‘breach’ deserves an award
New Delhi:American whistleblower Edward Snowden on Tuesday came out in support of a national daily reporter, who has been booked for exposing alleged flaws in UIDAI system. The Tribune newspaper had reported last week that its journalist was able to track down people offering access to the Aadhaar data for Rs 500. On Jan.7, UIDAI filed a case against the journalist and three others named in her report, leading to widespread criticism.Taking to Twitter, Snowden said instead of an investigation, the journalist needed to be rewarded for exposing that the Aadhar data was not secure and could be obtained at a cost of only Rs 500.In his tweet, the former United States Govt  contractor, who has taken asylum in Russia, also suggested that action should rather be taken against UIDAI, the body that runs Aadhaar programme.“The journalists exposing the #Aadhaar breach deserve an award, not an investigation. If the Govt  were truly concerned for justice, they would be reforming the policies that destroyed the privacy of a billion Indians. Want to arrest those responsible? They are called @UIDAI,” Snowden tweeted.ANI
Lawyers’ association moves Bombay HC seeking investigation into Justice Loya’s death
Bombay Lawyers’ Association has filed a petition in the Bombay High Court appealing for an investigation into the mysterious circumstances surrounding the death of CBI judge Brijgopal Harkishan Loya in 2014, NDTV reported on Monday. The association has the court to set up a commission of inquiry that will be headed by a retired Supreme Court judge.Loya had died when he was hearing a matter related to the allegedly staged encounter killing of Sohrabuddin Sheikh – a case in which Amit Shah, now the BJP chief, was an accused. Loya’s family has raised a number of questions about his death, as reported by the Caravan on Nov.20.Nearly 10 days after the Caravan published its report, the demand for an investigation into Loya’s death gathered support from many circles. Around 150 advocates of the 1,700-member Latur Bar Association, retired Bombay High Court judge BH Marlapalle and ex- Delhi High Court Chief Justice AP Shah have sought an inquiry.Ex-Navy Chief Admiral Laxminarayan Ramdas, ex-BJP leader Arun Shourie, Delhi CM  Arvind Kejriwal and the CPI(M), too, want the matter investigated.However, on Nov. 29, Loya’s son reportedly told the Bombay HCthat the family has no complaints or suspicions about the circumstances of his father’s death. Anuj Loya also claimed that the family had no suspicions about the integrity of the investigating agencies, and they are certain that his father died of a heart attack. scroll
Judge Loya’s Death: Another PIL Filed In Bombay HC Seeking Probe By Commission Of Inquiry
SC upholds freedom of expression for media, refuses to revive case against Rajdeep Sardesai
New Delhi:The Supreme Court has said that the media must be allowed freedom of expression and refused to revive a defamation case against senior TV journalist Rajdeep Sardesai. Dismissing an appeal filed by the daughter of a senior bureaucrat from Bihar, a bench headed by Chief Justice Dipak Misra said: “You must learn to tolerate in democracy. This court may have upheld the validity of the defamation law but that does not mean that every case can be categorised as defamatory.”The petitioner wanted Sardesai to face defamation proceedings for a report that was aired in 2010 in which she was accused of being involved in a land-allotment scandal.The bench said there may be instances of wrong reporting but they cannot be called defamatory and advised the petitioner to rest the matter.“Don’t hold it forever,” the court said.The petition was filed against Patna high court’s September 2017 order that quashed the defamation case against Sardesai and held there was no direct allegation against him.Sardesai was the editor-in-chief of the IBN network at the time. hindustantimes
SC sets aside order cancelling larger tobacco health warnings
The Supreme Court put on hold a lower court’s order that quashed central rules mandating larger health warnings on tobacco packages, in a setback for the country’s $11 billion tobacco industry.The high court of Karnataka last month struck down federal Govt  rules requiring 85% of a tobacco pack’s surface to be covered in health warnings, up from 20% earlier. The rules had been in force since 2016.The Supreme Court, which heard petitions brought forward by tobacco-control activists, stayed the Karnataka court’s order on Monday, citing the need to protect the health of citizens.Reuters
Hounded by Hindutva activists for WhatsApp text saying she likes Muslims, girl kills self; BJP Yuva head arrested
Karnataka: A local leader of Bharatiya Janata Yuva Morcha  from Mudigere region in Chikmagalur district of Karnataka, Anil Raj, has been arrested and several other Hindutva activists from the region are being tracked by the police following the suicide of a 20-year-old girl, who was allegedly harassed for her posts on social media.Dhanyashree, a first year B.Com. student, was allegedly hounded by youth activists from Hindutva groups like Bajrang Dal and BJYM, after she reportedly said on a WhatsApp group that she liked Muslims. She committed suicide on Jan.6.In a police complaint, her mother, Saraswathi Suvarna, a tailor, has said the harassment began on Jan.4, when an unidentified caller questioned Dhanyashree about her WhatsApp message. According to the complaint, the caller, who later identified himself as Santosh, a Bajrang Dal activist from Mangalore, also asked Dhanyashree why she was wearing a head scarf in some of her photographs posted on social media.Santosh reportedly made repeated calls, and even spoke to Suvarna on one occasion. Telling Suvarna to “control” her daughter, Santosh allegedly warned her that “embarrassing pictures” of Dhanyashree would be posted on social media.According to Suvarna, a group of men, who identified themselves as Bajrang Dal activists, visited their home the next day and threatened to defame her daughter.On Jan.6, when Dhanyashree was alone at home, she committed suicide. She reportedly left behind a note stating that she could not bear the harassment by Hindutva activists and their false claims that she was involved with a Muslim boy. The harassment had caused humiliation to her family members, she said.Calling it “moral goondagiri’’, police officers in Chikmagalur district said while BJYM local leader Anil Raj was arrested on the basis of Suvarna’s complaint, a search has been launched for others accused of harassing the girl, including Santosh. indianexpress
BJP-RSS hate politics cause of mass lynchings in country:Akhil Bhartiya Kisan Sabha leader Ragesh
Udaipur: Rajya Sabha member and secretary of Akhil Bhartiya Kisan Sabha KK Ragesh said that the 'politics of hate' of BJP and RSS is the reason for mass lynchings that had taken place across the country. "Some 30 such incidents of violence against the minorities have taken place in several states and in most of the incidents, the suffering families have effectively not received any relief," Ragesh said while speaking to media persons.The parliamentarian, who was part of a team of 27 delegates of the 'Bhoomi Adhikar Andolan', came to Udaipur on Sunday and held a public hearing at Gujarat Samaj Bhawan here. "Hate violence is in the name of cow slaughter or religion and at many places, people and police tried to criminalize the victims, even police has refrained from taking stringent action against the wrongdoers and they act at the will of the ruling party," Ragesh said.The team had also gone to Alwar and met victim Pehlu Khan's family and even spoke to the authorities. "Secular forces have to come together to battle communal clashes taking place. Unfortunately, the govt which should be resisting such incidents is, on the contrary, aiding them. We will definitely put up cases before the parliament," he said.The delegation which is compiling a fact-finding report on these incidents would submit it to the parliament in the coming days, Ragesh informed the media. On Sunday, the delegation heard grievances of people who had been sufferers of such incidents. Rashida Begum, wife of Jaffar Khan, a union leader who died in Pratapgarh in June last year, allegedly after being beaten up by sanitation workers also met the delegation. She claimed that none of the promises that the authorities had made including granting job to one of the dependents in the family or monetary assistance had been fulfilled. Some of the members of minorities complained that police had falsely implicated them in cases related to communal tension whereas most of them were not even present at the spot.TOI
People of different communities take part in Sadbhavna rally in Aurgangabad
Aurgangabad:  Persons of different communities from 32 various organisations in the city including thatof the Marathas, Dalits, Muslims, OBCs and others, on Monday tookout a massive peaceful Sadbhavna rally, called 'Shivrai to Bhimrai',here, in the wake of the Bhima-Koregaon violence last week. The mute rally started from Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj statue to Dr Babasaheb Ambedkar statue in a completely peaceful atmosphere. The purpose of the trally was to show integrity of all communitiesagainst the policy of RSS to'divide and rule' amongst the communities. It was alleged that the RSS wanted to divide the communities on thebasis of social, political and religious issues and it has enteredin conspiracy to crush the Dalit youths.It also wanted to create a rift between the Dalit and Maratha communities..The rally was taken out by 32 organisations without giving slogansand they fluttered blue, saffron, green and red flags without abanner of any political parties. Women were leading the rally, followed by senior citizens and students. Organisers of the rally were Sambhaji Brigade, Baliraja ShetkariSanghatana, Rashtriya Maratha Mahasangh,RPI-Bahujan Mahasangh, ShivKranti Sanghatana, CPI, Sambhaji Brigade, Maratha Seva Sangh, Phule-Shahu-Ambedkar Vichar Prabodhan, Jamaat-e-Islami Hind, WPI and Akhil Bhartiya Sena among others.UNI
Saudi increases India's Haj quota by 5,000: Naqvi
New Delhi:Saudi Arabia has increased India's Haj quota by 5,000, the second hike in two years, taking the number of pilgrims who can perform Haj from the country to 1,75,025 lakh, Union minister Mukhtar Abbas Naqvi said.Naqvi claimed that the increase over the past two years - of nearly 40,000 - is a "record expansion" since Independence.The increase in India's quota will be effective from Haj to be held later this year. Saudi Arabia last year increased India's quota by 35,000. In 2017, Haj quota was 1,70,025.PTI
Displaying Modi’s photo in madrassa is against sharia: Darul Uloom fatwa chief
New Delhi.Darul Uloom fatwa department chairman Mufti Arshad Farooqui today claimed that displaying photo of PM  Narendra Modi in a madrassa was against sharia, reported ANI. Reacting to a directive issued by Uttarakhand Govt, which makes it mandatory for all educational establishments in the country (including madrassas) to put up a picture of PM Modi in their premises, Mufti said, "There has never been any order to put photos of any PM ever, why now?""Govt must think before issuing orders that contradict Sharia. Such orders affect religious sentiments of Muslim," Mufti said.Last Friday, Madrassas of Uttarakhand had shot down directive which was issued shortly after Independence Day last year.Office bearers of madrassas in the state refused to comply with the directive "on religious grounds."The state CM  Trivendra Singh Rawat then urged madrassas to give up reluctance and "come out of their traditional thinking and function like other educational institutions". Timesofindia
Shut down Madrasas, they produce terrorists! Massive row after Modi gets shocking Shia Waqf Board chief Wasim Rizvi ’s letter
A massive row erupted has after Shia Central Waqf Board urged PM Narendra Modi to shut down madrassas in India and turn them into “secular” schools affiliated to CBSE or ICSE boards. Shia Central Waqf Board’s letter alleged that madrasas should be shut down as education imparted in these Islamic schools encouraged students to join terrorist ranks. Shia Board has also demanded that madrassas be replaced by schools affiliated to CBSE or the ICSE that will offer students an optional subject of Islamic education. It also suggested that all madrassa boards should be dissolved. In the letter, Shia Central Waqf Board chairman Wasim Rizvi argued for shutting down the madrassas by presenting shocking reasons about their functioning.Rizvi’s claims invited angry reactions from his opponents. “Rizvi is the biggest joker, the most opportunistic person. He has sold his soul to RSS. I challenge this buffoon to show one Shia or Sunni or Madrasa where such teachings are imparted. If he has proof then he should go and show it to the Home Minister,” AIMIM leader Asaduddin Owaisi told ANI. All India Muslim Personal Law Board spokesman Khalilur Rehman Sajjad Nomani as saying that madrassas had played a key role in the freedom movement and by raising questions on these schools, Rizvi was insulting them. financialexpress
Shia Waqf Board chief Wasim Rizvi claims madrassas produce terrorists, Owaisi calls him 'biggest joker'
UP: BSP MLA Mukhtar Ansari, wife suffer heart attack in Banda jail, both referred Lucknow for treatment
Lucknow: BSP MLA Mukhtar Ansari suffered a heart attack on Tuesday morning when his wife, Afsa Ansari, arrived to meet him in Banda jail where the mafia-don-turned politician is incarcerated. As per the sources, even the wife suffered a heart attack after seeing Ansari in pain inside the jail. Both were rushed to the trauma centre of the district hospital in critical condition and referred later to state capital Lucknow. Mukhtar had not been keeping well for quite some time. The sources said that Mukhtar complained of pain in chest while talking to his wife who also suffered the attack on seeing Ansari suffering. According to Dr KL Pandey of Banda district hospital, both had excruciating pain in the chest. Mukhtar is reported to have other medical conditions like diabetes, hypertension as well. newindianexpress
Cow vigilantes stopping beef supply in Goa have BJP support, claims Congress leader
Panaji:A Congress leader on Tuesday alleged that many of the cow vigilantes blocking the entry of trucks carrying beef into Goa had the support of the BJP-led state Govt. Ex-Congress MP Francis Sardinha also said the state Govt  should stop trying to “satisfy its bosses in the Sangh” and focus on the issues of public interest. “Many of these cow vigilantes are sponsored by the BJP-led state Govt. This is because the Govt wants to satisfy its bosses in the RSS,” Sardinha told a press conference at the state Congress headquarters here.He added that the Manohar Parrikar-led Goa Govt  should stop trying to please its bosses in the Sangh and concentrate on the issues being faced by the common man. Beef traders across the state are finding it difficult to run their business as the supplies from Karnataka have come to a halt after the cow vigilantes, along with the police, began stopping the vehicles at the border. Sardinha said beef was a staple food in the coastal state and that it was a part of the cuisine of the minority communities. “Almost 50 %  of the tourists, who come to Goa, eat beef,” he added. The Congress leader alleged that the cow vigilantes were harassing the beef suppliers, despite the fact that the imports from Karnataka were completely legal.All Goa Qureshi Meat Traders’ Association president Manna Bepari had earlier said that the suppliers from Karnataka categorically said that they would “not resume the supplies till action is taken against the so-called cow vigilantes”. He had also said that around 25 tonnes of beef were brought from Belagavi every day.PTI
‘I will eat beef if I want to’, Siddaramaiah-Adityanath’s war of words continues
Bengaluru:Continuing the tirade against his UP  counterpart Yogi Adityanath, Karnataka CM  Siddaramaiah on Monday questioned the former’s right to criticise the people’s food habits.“I have taken care of cows, I feed them and I have also cleaned cow dung. What moral rights Yogi Adityanath has got to criticise me? Has he ever taken care of cows?” tweeted Siddaramaiah.He said on what grounds has Adityanath questioned the food habits of the people.“Many in Hindu religion eat beef and I will eat if I want to eat beef, but I don’t like beef that’s why I don’t eat it. Who is he to ask?” the Karnataka CM  said in another tweet.Earlier on Sunday, Siddaramaiah lashed out at the UP  CM ’s earlier address in Bengaluru and opined that the latter could “learn a lot” from him. Adityanathquestioned Siddaramaiah on why he was “endorsing beef eaters” if he was a Hindu. hindustantimes
New brand of Sikh militancy: Suave, tech-savvy pro-Khalistan youth radicalised on social media
Chandigarh:A new brand of Sikh militancy has surfaced in Punjab — educated, suave, clean shaven and mostly millennial young men and women from families with no links to the pro-Khalistan movement, according to police.Radicalised through social media by Khalistani groups active abroad, these young Sikhs are recruited to kill specific targets set by their handlers, said police after busting several modules behind “targeted killings” in Punjab last year.“It’s a new way of spreading terrorism. Pro-Khalistani forces are radicalising people using cyber space… That’s why we handed the probe into all such cases to NIA,” state director general of police Suresh Arora said. “You never know how many such modules they have prepared for anti-national activities.”The alarm rang after police arrested five men who are said to be part of a module that had shot dead RSS members in Ludhiana, Dera Sacha Sauda followers and a Christian pastor between Oct.31 and Nov.7, 2017.These new-age militants have no trace of any Khalistani activity in at least three generations of their families. None of them is from households that suffered the worst during the 1984 anti-Sikh riots. They also have no links to “victims” of Punjab’s violent insurgency in the 1980s and early 1990s. HT
Telegram exchanges say militant killed in Nov.was ‘first militant’ of IS in J&K:indianexpress
Even as the Centre has ruled out the presence of Islamic State (IS) in J&K, state Police have reported a “closed Telegram channel” that claims to be “the official channel” of Islamic State in J&K  (ISJK). According to police, the channel, ‘Al Qaraar’, has claimed that a militant from Srinagar who was killed in an encounter on Nov.17 last year was the “first militant of the organisation”.In a confidential report sent to DGP SP Vaid on Dec.12 last year, J&K Police CID has said that “through its Telegram channel, Al Qaraar media group of ISJK has circulated a poster threatening attacks in India”.The communication (CID SML/SR/2017/763-66), sent by then IGP (CID), Abdul Gani Mir, to DGP Vaid, says:“Recently, a closed Telegram channel, namely Al Qaraar, cropped up. The channel claims to be the official Telegram channel of ISJK… (ISJK) has claimed that Mugees Ahmad alias Khattab, R/O Parimpora Srinagar, who got killed in a shootout in Zakura area of Srinagar, was the first militant of the organisation”.
Family of expelled AMU Kashmiri scholar for ‘Hizbul links’, calls for his return
Suspended AMU Kashmiri research scholar Mannan Bashir Wani's family called for his return back to home. “His father came and informed the police. He was in Aligarh and then disappeared. We also know of some photo being shared on social media, and we are investigating the matter,” a senior police officer said. Wani’s family has said that he had last left home a month ago for Aligarh and then disappeared. Mubashir Wani, brother of Mannan and a govt engineer, told HT that the entire family is in a state of shock. “We will be glad if he returns.” “All we want now is for him to come back,” his mother is seen wailing in a video clip that surfaced on Monday. In a video uploaded on local news platforms, Mannan’s father Bashir Wani is seen saying, “He is a mature person and I was never expecting this from him. If he has any issues, he could have addressed it some other way. I have no words to express what we are going through.” His reported joining militancy comes at a time when the J&K  police are encouraging local militants to shun the gun and return home.Wani was awarded the ‘Best Paper Presentation Award’ in an International Conference on ‘Water, Environment, Energy and Society’  held at AISECT University, Bhopal in 2016.The award, AMU’s website says, was conferred to Wani for his paper ‘Flood Risk Assessment of Lolab Valley from Watershed Analysis Using Remote Sensing and GIS Techniques’.He also raised issues of killings of hundreds of Kashmiris every year and had criticised Mirwaiz Umar Farooq for his statements against the hardline separatist Syed Ali Shah Geelani.HT
Salahuddin welcomes AMU scholar into Hizb
Srinagar; Hizb-ul-Mujahideen chief Syed Salahuddin has welcomed AMU doctoral scholar Abdul Manan Wani into the militant outfit. Thehindu
Kashmir teen who refused to give up militancy despite father’s FB plea dies in Anantnag encounter
Srinagar: 18-year-old Farhan Wani was one of the militants killed by security personnel in south Kashmir’s Anantnag district on Tuesday.The teenager, hailing from Khudwani village in Kulgam, had joined the militant ranks in mid-2017. In Nov., the young militant’s father – Ghulam Mohammad Wani – put up an emotional Facebook post urging him to relinquish violence and return home. The plea, however, went in vain.“My dear son, my body has begun betraying me ever since you left us. I scream from the pain you have inflicted upon us, but still believe that you will return home...” Ghulam had posted on Farhan’s page on Nov.24.A senior Kulgam police officer confirmed to HT that Farhan was killed on Tuesday.HT
J&K interlocutor Sharma acting as super CM: Omar
New Delhi:Taking on the ruling PDP Govt  in J&K, National Conference leader Omar Abdullah on Tuesday accused the Govt of aggravating the insurgency situation in the Valley. “You had held me responsible for creating Burhan Wani. But did you ever think about the number of Burhan Wani’s you have given rise to in the past one-and-a-half-years. If I am to be blamed for one, then you must realise how many have you produced.”Speaking in the Assembly, the Opposition leader also questioned the need for a special representative on Kashmir.  He asked the Centre to spell out the roles and responsibilities of interlocutor Dineshwar Sharma and the time period for which he would be engaged.indianexpress
Relief for Indian techies as US says no change in H-1B visa extension policy
Washington: In a relief to Indian techies, the US authorities on Tuesday said the Trump administration was not considering any proposal that would force H-1B visa holders to leave the country.The announcement by US Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) came days after reports emerged that the administration was considering tightening the H-1B visa rules that could lead to deportation of 7,50,000 Indians. The reports said the administration was mulling an end to extensions for H-1B visa holders. USCIS “is not considering a regulatory change that would force H-1B visa holders to leave the United States by changing interpretation of section certain language in Section 104 C of American Competitiveness in the 21st Century Act (AC21) statute that states that USCIS may grant the extensions,” an official said.This provides for H-1B extensions beyond the six-year limit.PTI
H-1B visa extension: No change in policy, says US Citizenship and Immigration Services
China avoids direct response after Indian Army chief claims PLA reduced troops in Doklam
Beijing:China skirted a direct response to Army chief General Bipin Rawat’s remarks that there was a major reduction of Chinese troops in Doklam, but insisted that its soldiers stationed in the area were exercising “sovereignty rights”.China and India were engaged in a 73-day tense standoff at Doklam in the Sikkim sector, which ended on August 28.“Dong Lang (Dokalam) area has all along been part of China and under China’s continuous and effective jurisdiction. There is no dispute in this regard,” Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesperson Lu Kang told the media when asked about Rawat’s remarks. Rawat said on Monday Indian and Chinese troops had resolved an issue over the recent attempt by Chinese teams to build a road on the Indian side of the border at Tuting in Arunachal Pradesh.Rawat also said there was a major reduction of Chinese troops in the Doklam area.PTI
China says Gwadar naval base report is speculation
China counselled the “outside world” not to speculate on Beijing’s reported intent to open a naval base in Gwadar, the starting point of the CPEC. “I am not aware of what you mentioned,” the Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesperson Lu Kang said, when asked to comment on reports that China would establish a naval base in Gwadar, to supplement its already existing Indian Ocean facility at Djibouti.“As you know the building of CPEC is an important part of the Belt and Road initiative, and China and Pakistan are also making efforts to build the CPEC, which is in the common interest of the countries along the route,” Lu observed.He added: “So, I don’t think it is necessary for the outside world to make too much guesses in this regard.”In Pakistan, the daily, Pakistan Today said that Beijing and Islamabad had no plans to build a Chinese naval base in coastal areas of Pakistan,and the matter had never been discussed between the two countries. thehindu
Ahmedabad: 2 rescued after part of mosque collapses
Ahmedabad: Part of an under-renovation mosque collapsed on Monday afternoon, near Teen Darwaja in Bhadra Plaza. 2 persons, who were in shops, sustained injuries after being hit by falling debris and were hospitalized by Ahmedabad Fire and Emergency Services (AFES).null AFES officials said they got a call at 1pm on Monday from Alif Mosque, adjoining Karanj Police Station, that a portion of a wall had fallen on nearby shops. "Fortunately a number of people were out for lunch and the number of injured was less. We questioned the mosque authorities, who said that the structure was under repair. The reason for collapse is yet to be ascertained," said an AFES official.2 person injured were identified as Mohammad Umar, 68, and Mohammad Aslam, 45. timesofindia
Muslim Clerics Welcomes Court’s Order To Ban Loudspeakers From Religious Places
Lucknow: Muslim clerics have welcomed the implementation of Allahabad high court order regulating use of loudspeakers at religious and public places. They however apprehended that the state administration could discriminate against Muslims and the order could be used as a tool to target the community ahead of 2019 Lok Sabha elections. Welcoming the UP govt’s move on removal of illegal loudspeakers from religious places, Secretary of All India Muslim Personal Law Board, Zafaryaab Jilani said, “I welcome the order as this is in the interest of the society and the nation. The order should be implemented without any discrimination. If the police are given powers to implement the High Court order and they discriminate then there will be protests.’’ Member of Muslim Personal Law Board, Maulana Kasmi opined,“There should be no scope for discrimination against anybody on any ground. Govt should either impose a blanket ban on loudspeakers or should regulate its use without any bias.”President of All India Imam Association, Maulana Sadiq Rashidi  said,”
AIMPLB asks Muslims to seek approval for loudspeaker use; Sadhus want UP govt to reconsider order
RSS-Linked Stalls to Sell Books on Love Jihad, Intolerance Debate at World Book Fair
New Delhi: Intolerance debate, 'love jihad', ethics in journalism are some of the subjects that Rashtriya Sahitya Sangam, a group of publishing houses run by people associated with RSS, hopes to shed light on through books at the World Book Fair 2018. The book fair is organised by the National Book Trust in the city. Hum Asahashud Log (We Intolerant People) by Lokendra Singh was released on Monday. The writer says that Mohammad Akhlaq's lynching was the trigger behind the book. Akhlaq, the UP  resident, was beaten to death by a mob in September 2015 on suspicion of consuming beef. Singh also spoke about Gauri Lankesh's murder and said how 'these movements are part of the fear'. news18
WORLD
UN urges Israel to stop forced relocation policy
Geneva:UN refugee agency on Tuesday called on Israel to halt its policy of relocating over 33,000 Eritreans and Sudanese. "UNHCR is again appealing to Israel to halt its policy of relocating Eritreans and Sudanese to sub-Saharan Africa," William Spindler, the agency’s spokesman, said in a news conference on Tuesday in Geneva.The appeal came after some 80 cases were identified in which people relocated by Israel risked their lives by taking dangerous journeys to Europe via Libya.On Jan.1, Israel ordered thousands of African migrants to leave the country by April or face imprisonment.Rights groups and activists expressed their outrage over the decision.“We have had a history of being migrants, and we find this treatment of African migrants disturbing and racist,” Jessica Sherman, spokesperson for Jewish Voices for a Just Peace (JVJP), said last week. According to UN, there are some 27,000 Eritreans and 7,700 Sudanese in Israel. Anadolu Agency
Arab Knesset member: No deal for Palestine under Trump
Jerusalem - Ahmad Taibi, a prominent Arab member of Israel's Parliament, said a solution to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict under Donald Trump would be impossible. Speaking to Al Jazeera from his office in the Knesset, Taibi said there is no political solution on the horizon, despite US statements to the contrary."There was nothing on the horizon when Trump came to power, and now that he is in power, a solution is impossible," he said.Taibi also dismissed the so-called "deal-of the-century", which, according to media reports offers the Palestinians a state in Gaza and parts of the West Bank, minus Jerusalem. According to Taibi, Trump and his allies have made a radical departure from previous US policies, especially on the issues of Jerusalem and illegal Israeli settlements."No doubt that the Trump decision is a complete adaptation of the Israeli narrative about Jerusalem and is a complete departure from the US foreign policy on the Middle East," Taibi said.However, Tzachi Hanegbi, Israel's minister of regional cooperation, told Al Jazeera that Trump's decision on December 6 should not hinder Palestinian claims to have occupied East Jerusalem as their capital."We claim that Jerusalem is our capital and should not be divided, but that's only a claim, not a diktat," Hanegbi, a member of PM Benjamin Netanyahu's Likud party said."Palestinians can claim East Jerusalem as their capital and we can negotiate a settlement. Although we annexed East Jerusalem, it is still up for negotiations," said Hanegbi.Taibi dismissed press reports about the so-called "deal of the century", which reportedly enlisted Saudi Arabia to pressure Palestinians into accepting a state in Gaza and parts of the West Bank, minus East Jerusalem. aljazeera
Trump’s son-in-law and senior adviser Kushner’s financial ties to Israel raise further doubts over peace broker role
Doubts have been raised as to the suitability of US President Donald Trump’s son-in-law and senior adviser Jared Kushner for the role of Middle East peace negotiator, amid new revelations of his ongoing business ties to Israel.A report in the New York Times yesterday revealed that Kushner has been benefitting from various property and investment trusts worth some $761 million, many of which have ties to Israel.In May 2017, shortly before Kushner accompanied the president on his official trip to Israel, the family business reportedly received a $30 million investment from Israeli insurance company Menora Mivtachim.Just one month earlier, in April, Kushner also worked with the Steinmetz family from Israel to buy some $200 million worth of Manhattan apartment buildings. He has also repeatedly taken out loans from Bank Hapoalim, Israel’s largest bank.“No one could ever imagine this scale of ongoing business interests, not in a local peanut farm or a hardware store but sprawling global businesses that give the president and his top adviser personal economic stakes in an astounding number of policy interests,” Robert Weissman, the president of Public Citizen, a non-profit Govt  ethics group said.MEMO
Israel arrests 17 Palestinians in W. Bank raids
Israeli forces rounded up 17 Palestinians in overnight raids in the occupied West Bank, according to the Israeli military. Individuals have been arrested for “suspected involvement in terrorist activities”, army claimed on Tuesday, without clarifying details.According to official Palestinian statistics, some 6,400 Palestinians are currently languishing in Israeli prisons, including 62 women and 300 minors. Anadolu
Israel to hold local elections in occupied Golan Heights
Israeli Interior Minister Aryeh Deri has issued a decision to hold local elections in the Golan Heights for the first time since Israel occupied the Syrian territories in 1967, Israel Hayom reported.The paper said the move aims to strengthen Israeli sovereignty over the Golan Heights and to integrate the local Druze community.The ministry explained that it had appointed temporary local councils to manage villages in the area until municipal elections are held in early Oct.Analyst and political activist, Salman Fakhr Al-Din, said in an interview with Quds Press that “conducting the elections under the supervision of the occupying state needs clarification and in-depth discussions within the whole Golan community, to understand the real purpose of these elections, especially if the region is under the UN supervision.”Fakhr Al-Din, who is also a resident of the village of Majdal Shams in the Golan, wondered whether the Israeli authorities intend to prevent some electoral lists from participating in the elections under the pretext of their loyalties to “hostile parties”. middleeastmonitor
Syria's Ghouta: 126 killed in 11 days, monitor says
At least 23 people have been killed in Syrian and Russian air raids on the outskirts of the country's capital Damascus.The UK-based Syrian Observatory for Human Rights (SOHR) said the figure includes 6 children and four women killed in Monday's attacks on the rebel-held Eastern Ghouta district. The monitor, which gathers its information from a network of sources inside Syria, added since Dec. 29 a total of 126 people have been killed in air strikes on the besieged area, including 29 children and 28 women. aljazeera
Qatar: UN report proof Saudi-led blockade illegal
A blockade against Qatar by several fellow members of the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) is arbitrary and negatively impacting the people of the region, according to a new UN investigation. Saudi Arabia, UAE and Bahrain, as well as Egypt, cut diplomatic, trade and travel ties with Qatar in June last year, accusing it of supporting "terrorism". Doha strongly denies the charge.In November 2017, representatives from the United Nations' Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights (OHCHR) visited Qatar, where they met with some 20 Govt al and civil society groups, as well as people who had been affected by the blockade. aljazeera
Kuwait emir warns over prolonged Qatar-GCC crisis
7-month-long blockade imposed on Qatar is being discussed at a two-day GCC summit in Kuwait.In his address, the emir of Kuwait urged nations to settle their differences. Sheikh Sabah al-Ahmad Al Sabah warned of greater regional instability if the dispute between Doha and other Arab countries is not settled.
Bangladesh court upholds govt ban on Rohingya Muslim refugees marrying citizens
Dhaka: A Bangladesh court today upheld a Govt ruling banning marriage between its citizens and refugees from Myanmar's persecuted Rohingya minority, who have fled ethnic violence in the neighbouring country.The High Court in Dhaka dismissed a legal challenge from a father whose son married a Rohingya teenager in a Muslim ceremony in September despite laws forbidding such unions. AFP
Egypt sets March 26-28 as presidential election date
Cairo: Egypt will hold a presidential election on March 26-28, with the incumbent Abdel Fattah al-Sisi widely expected to seek a second term in office.Sisi, who won a landslide victory after he led the military overthrow of elected President Mursi of the Muslim Brotherhood in 2013, has yet to announce his candidacy.Candidates must submit their official bids to the commission between Jan 20-29. Announcing the date, national election commission said a run-off would be held on April 24-26 if needed.It will be Egypt's third election since the 2011 uprising which ended Hosni Mubarak's long rule.Reuters
North Korea reconnects military hotline with South
Seoul:North Korea reopened a military hotline with the South on Tuesday in a further sign of thawing ties between Seoul and Pyongyang.According to a South Korean Govt  official cited by local news agency Yonhap, the hotline will be fully functioning by Wednesday.The move highlighted the progress made by the Koreas in their first formal meeting in over 2 years.Minister-level representatives convened at border village of Panmunjom earlier in the day to focus on the North’s offer to participate in the 2018 Winter Olympics in the South next month.North Korea is known to have offered to send a senior delegation of officials and athletes to PyeongChang 2018, while the South asked to find ways to reduce the chance of a conflict at the border among its proposals..A joint statement issued after the talks confirmed the North had accepted South Korea’s pitch to hold military dialogue in order to reduce tensions. Anadolu
Iran leaders shift focus to defending nuke deal::Aljazeera
Iranian officials have made various public appearances to criticise US' policies towards Iran and reinforce their position on the 2015 nuclear deal, in what appeared to be a coordinated effort. After days of protests and counter-protests in several cities in Iran, the country's top leaders on Monday shifted their focus back to US' plans to cancel nuclear agreement and looming threat of new US sanctions. Known as Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA), the hard-won agreement was signed in 2015 under Obama administration between Iran and the P5+1 countries-US, Russia, China, France, UK and Germany. In exchange for the easing of sanctions, Iran agreed to halt uranium enrichment.
Narrow sanctions won't help Rohingya Muslims: Activists
WASHINGTON:Targeted and partial sanctions will not stop Myanmar’s campaign of oppressing Rohingya Muslims, the head of a prominent U.S.-based organization advocating for Rohingya Muslims argued Monday.Speaking at a Washington press conference, Imam Abdul Malik Mujahid, chairman of Burma Task Force USA, said Myanmar’s military would not end its constant attacks on Rohingya Muslims unless the U.S. and the UN impose full sanctions against Myanmar."Our request from America, the Senate, and the Congress is that they should pass a bill which requires full sanctions on Burma [another name for Myanmar], and they should use each and every means available," he said."Myanmar is not going to listen unless full economic sanctions are applied." Anadolu
Anti-austerity protests in Tunisia turn deadly
A 55-year-old man has died after a protest over Govt austerity measures in Tunisia, the country's state news agency TAP has reported.5 others were injured during the demonstration, which took place in Tebourba, 40km west of capital Tunis.Tunisian Ministry of Interior confirmed on Monday evening that a 55-year-old man had died in a local hospital after being admitted with symptoms of dizziness. Other protests took place in some other parts of the country on Monday, after Govt's decision to raise taxes under its Finance Act. aljazeera
FLASH: VIEWS & NEWS
Accounts of Dalit protests in Maharashtra are incomplete, need to be leavened by context:Christophe Jaffrelot
Talaq Bill:An albatross around Govt's neck:Saira Shah H
Any efforts to make Hindi official language of UN will renew fears of non-Hindi speakers:Manuraj S
Freedom of Speech and Expression Cannot Be Compromised:M.K. VENU
Jaitley’s Support for Electoral Bonds Is a Reminder That Political Parties Are Sovereign in India:Jagdeep S.Chhokar
Talaq Bill & BJP’s selective concern for Muslim women: Flavia Agnes
6 months after Alimuddin’s murder, residents of his village continue to live in fear

Compiled and edited by Anwarulhaq (Released at: 7:47 PM)

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