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Wednesday, 28 February 2018

28 Feb.ND: Lawyers’ Association wants Bombay HC Judge hearing Sohrabuddin Case brought back/ Haj 2018: Relief for pilgrims as airfares slashed by Rs 20,000 to Rs 97,000



Evening NEWS DIGEST  
28 Feb.2018:11 Jamadiul-2 1439:Vol:9, No:131
INDIA
Lawyers’ Association wants Bombay HC Judge hearing Sohrabuddin Case brought back
Mumbai: 3 days after Bombay high court decided to reassign Justice Revati Mohite-Dere, the judge hearing a key set of petitions in the Sohrabuddin Sheikh-Kauser Bi fake encounter case and hand those those cases to a new judge, the Bombay Lawyers’ Association (BLA) has written to the chief justice asking her to take “remedial action”.In a letter addressed to acting chief justice  Vijaya Kamlesh Tahilramani,association has claimed that the transfer “is particularly intriguing considering how Mohite-Dere has consistently reprimanded CBI’s approach to the case.”Only 3 weeks ago, Mohite-Dere had begun hearing a batch of petitions challenging the discharge of some senior IPS officers in the alleged fake encounter case. Among them was a revision plea filed by Sohrabuddin’s brother Rubabuddin, challenging the discharge of IPS officers DG Vanzara, Dinesh MN and Rajkumar Pandian. 2 other revision applications filed by CBI against the discharge of ex-Gujarat IPS officer NK Amin and Rajasthan police constable Dalpat Singh Rathod were also being heard by her. In these three weeks, Mohite-Dere had on several occasions came down heavily on CBI for not cooperating with the court in the matter. “It is the primary duty of a prosecuting agency to place all evidence on record before the court. However, in this case, despite the court’s repeated queries, CBI has chosen to argue only on the role of the two officials whose discharge it has challenged,”Mohite-Dere had said.Each time the court had sought documents like the charge sheet, witness statements, notices and warrants issued in relation with the case, CBI has asked for time to arrange for them. The registrar’s office of the Bombay high court, while reshuffling the courts’ assignments, had claimed it was only a routine exercise. But the lawyers’ association today in its letter expressed its concerns over the move. “The power of [the] chief justice is to be exercised in consonance with conventions and above all keeping in view the larger public interest,” the letter states. The letter further points to the recent decision press conference of 4 senior judges of the SC in which they complained about the ‘selective assignment of cases’ by CJI Dipak Misra. The decision to take the assignment away from Mohite-Dere comes at a time when she was hearing arguments by senior advocate Mahesh Jethmalani in the petition filed against the discharge of Pandian from the matter. Jethmalani was expected to complete his arguments on Feb.26 and start with arguments against the plea challenging Vanzara’s discharge from the case. She has been hearing the matter on a daily basis since Feb. 9 this year.thewire
Bombay Lawyers Association slam reassignment in Sohrabuddin encounter case
In Rahul Gandhi's 'How did Loya die?' series, a question on removal of yet another judge
Continuing his attack on the Govt  in the Justice BH Loya death case, Congress president Rahul Gandhi today pointed out that "yet another judge" hearing the politically-sensitive Sohrabuddin fake encounter case has been removed from her position." Sohrabuddin case claims yet another Judge. Justice Revati Dere, who challenged CBI has been removed. Judge J T Utpat, asked Amit Shah to appear and was removed. Judge Loya asked tough questions. He died. #HowDidLoyaDie?" Rahul tweeted today, with a link to a news story on the removal of Justice Revati Mohite-Dere last week. indiatoday
Delhi HC stays bar council of India order to Gujarat bar council to proceed against senior lawyer
Delhi High Court put on hold a direction of the apex lawyers body, BCI, to Gujarat bar council to start disciplinary proceedings against senior advocate Dushyant Dave for statements allegedly made by him regarding the death of Special CBI Judge BH Loya.Loya, who was hearing the high-profile Sohrabuddin Sheikh fake encounter case, had died allegedly of cardiac arrest in Nagpur on Dec.1, 2014 when he had gone to attend the wedding of a colleague’s daughter. Justice Rajiv Shakdher issued notice to Bar Council of India (BCI) and questioned its jurisdiction to direct the state lawyers’ body on the mode and manner of carrying out the proceedings. Apart from the BCI, the court also sought the response of the Gujarat State Bar Council and listed the matter for further hearing on Aug.2,till when it has stayed BCI's Jan.24 order.PTI
Haj 2018: Relief for pilgrims as airfares slashed by Rs 20,000 to Rs 97,000
A month after it scrapped subsidies for Haj pilgrims, the Govt  has announced a significant reduction in airfares for devotees travelling to Saudi Arabia, with the prices of round tickets being slashed by Rs 20,000 to Rs 97,000.Union Minority Affairs Mukhtar Abbas Naqvi described the move as a "major step" that would end the "political and economic exploitation of Haj performers as was being done during Congress-led UPA regime , allegedly in the name of offering subsidies. The minister said the move sought to address concerns about airfares going up after Haj subsidy was abolished last month. "PMO took a keen interest in this (bringing down the rates). The decision is in line with our empowerment without appeasement policy, Naqvi said. Govt made available details of the 2014 airfares to highlight the price difference. 18-49% reduction in rates will be available on tickets for Jeddah and Medina on national carrier Air India, Saudia and Flynas, an air carrier based in Saudi Arabia. The maximum difference of about Rs 97,000 is on the Srinagar fare, which has almost been halved. A round ticket from the Kashmir city cost Rs 1,98,350 in 2014 and will now come for Rs 1,01,400. The minimum cut -- of around Rs 20,000 -- will be on a ticket from Varanasi, which is down from Rs 1,12,300 to Rs 92,004. Haj pilgrims can leave from 20 embarkation points (EPs). Indore is another EP but there are no devotees flying out from the Madhya Pradesh city this year. Air India will serve pilgrims from seven EPs -- Chennai, Goa, Mumbai, Nagpur, Varanasi, Kolkata and Srinagar. Saudi Airlines will transport devotees from another seven -- Delhi, Ahmedabad, Bangalore, Cochin, Hyderabad, Jaipur and Lucknow. Pilgrims from Aurangabad (Maharashtra), Bhopal, Gaya, Guwahati, Mangalore and Ranchi can travel by Flynas. The airfare from Ahmedabad, Delhi and Mumbai airports -- Rs 98,750 per head in 2014 -- will now cost Rs 65,015, Rs 71,853 and Rs 57,857 respectively. After the abolition of subsidies, Govt had asked the airlines not to charge "undue" fares from Haj pilgrims, Naqvi said. There used to be a political and economical exploitation of devotees during the UPA regime in the name of subsidy and it was shown as if a big favour was being done to them. There is no corruption, commission now, he added. The minister said the revised airfares were inclusive of GST.Asked how the fares in 2017 compared with those of 2014, Naqvi said there was not much of a difference in the rates last year. UPA-declared fares had become the standard rates, he said. The minister was also asked why the NDA Govt  had taken this decision now, almost four years after coming to power. A total of 1.75 lakh Muslims would undertake the pilgrimage this year from India. PTI
Modi Govt Slashes Airfares For Haj Pilgrims, Maximum Price Cut For Kashmiris
Jharkhand Govt  is fearing of our lawsuits against police atrocities: PFI speaks on ban
A resolution passed by the Central Secretariat meeting of Popular Front of India at Mysore stated that the ban imposed on the organization by the BJP Govt  of Jharkhand is intended to eliminate the kind of activism the organization has demonstrated in the state through legal and democratic means against the fascist forces and their Govt agencies.The press statement released by PFI said, “Ever since the declaration of the organization in the state in 2015, our members have stood in the forefront of fight against human rights violations such as hate speeches, lynching incidents and police atrocities.” According to PFI officials, when the ban was imposed, the organization was fighting dozens of cases including the six lynching incidents and two cases against police atrocities, one against SP of Pakur and the other against SP of Jhamtara.“By enabling victims to fight by democratic and legal means, Popular Front was building confidence among the victims and the weaker sections and was also setting a new example for the fight for justice. It is because of this reason that Popular Front is targeted in Jharkhand,”said PFI.“Our organization is an obstacle in courts, their calculation is to destroy the cases by eliminating the very petitioners,” said PFI officials in the meeting. The meeting warned that “such moves will only endanger our justice delivery system, the last hope of the victims”. Jharkhand Govt is, in fact, trying to overthrow the judiciary through indirect means by the misuse of CLA Act, 1908. The meeting expressed concern over the reports that false cases are being slapped in the name of continuing the activities after the ban against innocent people.The meeting of Central Secretariat reaffirmed that the activities of the organization being stopped in the state; we will resort to legal recourse as per provisions of the constitution and law for the removal of the ban.Chairman E. Abubacker presided over the meeting, which was also attended by General Secretary Muhammed Ali Jinnah, Vice-Chairman O.M.A Salam Secretaries Anis Ahmed and Abdul Wahid Sait, E.M. Abdul Rahiman and K.M. Shareef.twocircles
Centre denies IS existence in India after group claims attack in Srinagar
Centre has claimed that there was no presence of the Islamic State group in J&K, a day after the militant group claimed responsibility for gunning down a policeman in Srinagar.“There is no physical infrastructure or manpower of the Islamic State group in the Valley,”PTI quoted a Home Ministry spokesperson as saying. “It does not exist in the Valley.”Constable Farooq Ahmed Yatoo was killed when militants fired at him in Srinagar’s Soura locality. Yatoo was posted as a guard outside separatist leader Fazal Haq Qureshi’s home. Militants escaped with his rifle.Islamic State group’s mouthpiece, Al Amaq News Agency, claimed responsibility for the attack. “Assassinated an element of police in firing near city of Srinagar in Kashmir yesterday,” agency said, according to Indian Express. scroll
No evidence of IS hand in J&K policeman’s killing: DGP
16 Years After 2002 Gujarat Riots, Victims in Rehabilitation Colonies Still Fear Displacement:the wire
On March 16, 2002, Rahimbhai along with his family of seven, took refuge in a relief colony in Tankaria in Bharuch. Sixteen years later, the 12 feet by 20 feet room that was meant to be a temporary relief camp became his family’s permanent home.The rehabilitation colony at Tankaria established by an NGO, Islamic Relief Committee (IRC), today is home to eight families who were affected in riots of 2002 and migrated from various areas in Vadodara, Kheda and Ahmedabad.“I used to drive a private bus and own a meat shop. We fled from Makdarpura, Vadodara, where we had a house. A representative of IRC brought us here at Tankaria. We paid about Rs 2,000 for an electricity meter in 2002 from whatever money we could take with us while fleeing. But we got electricity connection only in 2005. We have no way of going back to where we were. My house was burnt and my meat shop has been taken over and is being run by someone else,” tells Rahimbhai, who now sells imitation jewellery to earn a living. Struggling for 16 years to to get ownership rights, Rahimbhai says,“We want ownership of the house where we have been living for 16 years now. The children have grown up and are getting married, we cannot go on living in one room. We don’t have any documents that will make us eligible for a loan. We have no option but to live here. We have tried conveying this to the officials of IRC but they never met us in 16 years to discuss transferring the ownership rights.”Currently there are over 3,000 families living in 83 relief colonies across Gujarat – 15 colonies in Ahmedabad, 17 in Anand, 13 in Sabarkantha, 11 in Panchmahal, eight in Mehsana, six in Vadodara, five in Aravalli and four each in Bharuch and Kheda districts. Most of the colonies have been built by four organisations – Jamait-e-Ulema, Gujarat Sarvajanik Relief Committee, Islamic Relief Committee, and United Economic Forum – besides some small trusts and local NGOs.thewire
Godhra riots anniversary: Mevani to address victims
As SC hears final arguments in Babri title suit, a ‘donation racket’ thrives in Ayodhya
With the Supreme Court hearing the final arguments in the Babri Masjid title suit, there is a scramble in Ayodhya to collect donations from Hindu pilgrims for constructing a Ram temple. But the money collected by a large number of temples and priests is apparently going unaccounted.“This exponential growth in the donation racket here is among the many unintended consequences of the Supreme Court starting final hearing in the case,” claimed Acharya Satyendra Das, chief priest of the makeshift Ram Janmabhoomi temple in the city. “Rumours that the court will deliver its judgement by the end of this year and that the construction of the Ram temple will start soon after has enabled this thriving racket. The rumours are being fuelled by the RSS and its affiliates.”Mahant Ram Das, head of Nirmohi Akhara, said, “Several prominent sadhus of Ayodhya have formed their own societies and platforms, each claiming to construct the Ram temple once the Supreme Court delivers judgement. A good many of them are associated with the Vishwa Hindu Parishad.”Pandas, or priests who have been traditionally helping pilgrims perform rites on the banks of the Saryu river, have emerged as the key players in this new economy. “You will sense it the moment you enter any temple that is participating in donation racket,” claimed Raghunandan Das, head of Ram-Janaki temple. “But everyone will tell you that it is the others who are pocketing the donations. The fact is that every temple that has hired pandas to ensure regular flow of pilgrims is participating in this racket.”scroll.in
Muslims should gift Ayodhya land to Hindus:Sri Sri
Varanasi: Reiterating his call for an out-of-court settlement of the Ram Janmabhoomi-Babri Masjid case, spiritual leader and founder of the Art of Living Foundation Sri Sri Ravi Shankar said on Tuesday that Muslims should gift the disputed land in Ayodhya to Hindus for building a Ram temple.Speaking at the 'Sant Samagam' organised here by his foundation, the spiritual guru said, "For a win-win situation, Muslims should gift the piece of land to the Hindus and withdraw all court cases. In return, Hindu saints should gift an equal area of land to the Muslims at a nearby location where they can construct a mosque. Such a settlement will lead to friendship between both the communities."Though several religious leaders from across the country attended the Samagam, Muslim, Sikh and Christian invitees skipped the conclave. "This clearly shows that they do not consider themselves a part of this nation and are least interested to agree to any kind of settlement...There is no point in fighting, it is Ram Janmabhoomi. Sri Sri's intentions are undoubtedly positive," the chief priest of Shri Satua Baba Ashram temple, Santosh Das said.Apart from Das, the other attendees included Kashi Vishwanath Temple chief priest Shrikant Mishra, mahant of Sankat Mochan Temple Vishambharnath Mishra, Mahant of Kashi Annapurna Mandir Rameshwar Puri, V-C of Sampurnanand Sanskrit Prof Yadunath Dwivedi and Dandi Swamis.Sri Sri also inaugurated the 'Om Anugrah Rail Yatra', a spiritual train journey from Varanasi, which would pass through the towns and villages in UP , along with 900 devotees.TOI
Ayodhya dispute: Sri Sri gives fresh mediation push, meets Adityanath in Gorakhpur
Sankaracharya Saraswathi dies: From murder charge to attempts to resolve Ram Janmabhoomi-Babri Masjid dispute
The senior priest of Sankara Mutt, Sankaracharya Jayendra Saraswathi passed awy today after suffering a cardiac arrest. He was 82. He will now be succeeded by Vijayendra Saraswathi, who will be anointed as 70th Shankaracharya. Sankaracharya born in Tamil Nadu was chosen as the successor of Parmacharya Chandrasekharendra Saraswathi at the mere age of 19. Jayendra Saraswathi mysteriously disappeared from the mutt in 1987 and left behind his sacred thread and other articles of faith in his quarter, according to reports. However, 3 days after he went missing, Jayendra was traced in Karnataka’s Talacauvery. Till date, nobody knows the reason behind the sudden disappearance of Jayendra Saraswathi. Jayendra mysteriously disappeared from the mutt in 1987 and left behind his sacred thread and other articles of faith in his quarter, according to reports. However, three days after he went missing, Jayendra was traced in Karnataka’s Talacauvery. Till date, nobody knows reason behind the sudden disappearance of Jayendra. Jayendra came under the spotlight in 2004 after he was named as an accused in the murder case of Sankararaman who was the temple manager. While the criticism of his influence continued regardless, he began to focus on issues that were affecting the nation. It was this intent that led him to try and bring out a solution to the contentious Babri Masjid dispute when the erstwhile NDA Govt. His efforts saw him engaging with stakeholders from both sides of the religious spectrum.financialexpress
Lucknow: Maulana Farangi Mahli urges mosque to shift Friday namaz by half hour this Holi
Lucknow: Sunni cleric Maulana Khalid Rasheed Farangi Mahli on Tuesday requested Muslims to shift namaz timings for Jumah prayers by half hour this Friday - the day Holi will be played across the country. While Farangi Mahli changed the timing for Friday prayers at the Eidgah's mosque, timing for the biggest Shia congregational Friday prayer held at Asafi Mosque of the Bara Imambara has also been altered. 2 days back, CM Yogi Adityanath, had while reviewing security preparations for Holi, directed officials to approach Muslim clerics to see if namaz timings could be changed in view of a peaceful Holi celebrations. The cleric who is also the executive committee member of the AIMPLB has urged mosques in mixed population areas to postpone their Friday prayers on March 2 keeping sentiments of Hindus in mind.Farangi Mahli on Tuesday requested mosques where prayer timings for a regular Friday congregation are between 12:30 pm and 1 pm to postpone prayers by half an hour. This, he said, to avoid any clash between the two communities who would both be in great numbers on the day, respecting sentiments of Hindus and foster the country's spirit of communal harmony.Setting forth an example himself, Farangi Mahli who is also the Imam of the Aishbagh Eidgah shifted the Friday prayer time at the Eidgah's mosque to 1:45 pm for March 2, over the regular 12:45 pm there. Friday prayer at Asafi Mosque for the Shia community will be held at 1 pm this time, instead of the regular 12:22 pm, said Imam-e-Jumah, Maulana Kalbe Jawad Naqvi. This too done keeping Holi in view."The official permission to play colours is till 12 pm but people do generally go beyond that time. We thought it will be best if all mosques, especially those in mixed population areas can just push their prayer timings by half hour, so that both events can be held peacefully, in these sensitive times,"Farangi Mahli told TOI.TOI
Imam asks mosques to delay namaz so ‘Hindu brothers’ can play Holi
Delhi HC asks govt to produce docs on not declaring Jama Masjid protected
New Delhi: Delhi High Court today directed Centre to positively place before it in May, documents containing the decision of ex-PM  Manmohan Singh that the historic Mughal-era Jama Masjid should not be declared a protected monument.The court also asked the central Govt  to file an affidavit disclosing the status of the file which the Govt  has failed to produce despite several orders.A bench of Acting Chief Justice Gita Mittal and Justice C Hari Shankar said the court had passed specific orders in April 2015, August 23, 2017 and November 16, 2017 directing the Ministry of Culture to produce the file wherein the decision was taken not to declare Jama Masjid a protected monument, but it has not been produced yet."The file shall be positively produced before the court on the next date, that is May 21," a bench of Acting Chief Justice Gita Mittal and Justice C Hari Shankar said.Central Govt  Standing Counsel Sanjeev Narula submitted that he was unable to produce the file and Jama Masjid was a live monument where people offered prayers and there are lot of restrictions.The court, however, made it clear that the Govt  shall produce the documents before it as it wanted to know the reason for such a decision.The court was hearing several PILs seeking directions to the authorities to declare the mosque a protected monument and remove all encroachments in and around it.Advocate D P Singh, appearing for petitioner Suhail Ahmed Khan, said the court orders were being flouted and not followed and asked why Jama Masjid was not under the ASI.The court also sought the response of the Delhi Waqf Board and Jama Masjids Imam Maulana Syed Ahmed Bukhari on a plea seeking to restrain the waqf board from using the title Shahi Imam. The plea has also sought to stop the practice of referring to imams of other mosques here as shahi (or royal).PTI
Ajmer Dargah committee violating appointment rules: Hereditary staff
Jaipur:Ajmer Sharif Dargahs Mausari Amla has accused the shrines committee of overruling hiring practices for hereditary staff, claiming the procedures existed since the Sultanate period. Mausari Amla (hereditary staff) has also threatened to boycott Urs of Sufi saint Khwaja Moinuddin Chisti next month.The committee of the centuries old shrine comes under the Ministry of Minority Affairs and is responsible for administering affairs as per provisions of the Dargah Khawaja Saheb Act, 1955.In a letter to the ministry, Muzaffar Bharti, a member of the hereditary staff, accused officials of the committee of not following the rules set by emperors for granting appointments to them.PTI
32 Hindu-Muslim couples married in Ram-Janki temple in Gonda
Gonda:As many as 32 couples, including four from the Muslim community and 28 from the Hindu community, have exchanged the wedding vows in a joint marriage ceremony programme here, at the Ram-Janki temple.According to Assistant Labour Commissioner Shamim Akhtar, the couples got married in presence of priests and clerics, as per their rituals on Monday, under the 'Samuhik Kanya Vivah Sahayata Yojna' (Joint Girls Marriage Help Scheme).The Kazi, who performed the rituals to accomplish the marriages of Muslim couples, decided Rs 5786 as 'mehar,' Akhtar told UNI on Tuesday, adding that daughters of 32 registered labourers were married under this scheme. They got Rs 55,000 each to start their new lives and under the Toilet construction scheme, they received Rs 12,000 and Rs 3000, under the health scheme.UNI
UP govt sends charge sheet to Bareilly DM, notice to Amethi SDM for social media posts
Lucknow: UP  Govt has asked Bareilly’s DM Raghvendra Vikram Singh and Amethi’s subdivisional magistrate Ashok Shukla to explain their controversial social media posts on administrative and governance issues, an officer has said.The Govt  has issued a chargesheet to Singh and a notice to Shukla and asked them to reply on the issue within 15 days, the officer of the state appointments and personnel department said on Tuesday.If their replies were found unsatisfactory, an investigating officer will be appointed to look into both the cases for further action, the officer added.The officer’s comment, posted on Facebook 2 days after a 23-year-old man was killed during a ‘tiranga yatra’ on Jan. 26 in Kasganj, created a flutter in the social and political circles.Singh’s post went viral on social media, drawing the Govt ’s attention and prompting the department of appointment and personnel to seek a report from Bareilly divisional commissioner PV Jaganmohan within 24 hours.hindustantimes
Bihar hit-and-run case: I promised both girls red frocks, grieves Abdul Waheed, father in village that lost 9 kids
Dharmpur:Abdul Waheed, who works as a mason in Ludhiana, said he would regret forever that he could not offer soil on the graves of his 2 daughters in Dharmpur of Muzaffarpur, Bihar. Shahjejan Khatoon, 11, and Sadiya Khatoon, 4, were among nine schoolchildren run over by a Mahindra Bolero on NH-77. By time Waheed, 31, reached home from Ludhiana, his daughters had already been buried.“Both girls had asked me to buy them a red frock. I had fulfilled my promise to Sadiya, who was younger,” said Waheed, sobbing as he showed the red frock. “I had promised Shahjehan that I would buy her a similar frock on my next trip to Bihar.”Waheed also a son, Mohammed Raza, 13.There were other grieving families in Dharmpur’s Hardiya Tola, a Muslim-dominated area with mostly one-room Indira Awas houses for families of 7 to 10. Most people here work for daily wages, and some as masons.“None of us can afford to send our children to a private school, but we ensure that we do send all our children to school,” said Mohammed Islam, who lost his daughter Heena,10,and son Salman, 4.I.Exp
Kerala HC unhappy with progress in Shuhaib murder probe
Kerala High Court has taken a critical view of the police investigation in the Shuhaib murder case and sought to know why there was a delay in recovering the weapons used for the murder.The court, while holding up a photograph of the slain youth, which was submitted by the petitioners, wondered how a man could be brutally hacked to death as in the case of Shuhaib.The court was considering a petition field by the parents of Suhaib seeking a CBI probe into the murder.In their petition, C. P. Mohammed and S. P. Raziya, the parents, submitted that a “killer gang of five belonging to the CPI(M)” was behind the murder.thehindu
UP sees worrying rise in cases of missing children:RTI
There has been a constant increase in the number of children who go missing every year in UP , an RTI filed with the State Crime Records Bureau has revealed.RTI, filed by Syed Pervez of Indian Social Institute, shows between 2015 and 2017, 8,695 children were recorded missing in UP, of which 4,834 children were reunited with their families. Worryingly, however, 3,861 children continue to remain missing.In 2015, a total of 2,660 children were recorded as missing of which 1,124 remain missing. The figure rose to 2,884 in 2016 of which 1,195 remain missing. In 2017, the situation got worse: 3,151 children were recorded as missing of which around half (1,542) continue to remain missing. Pervez said RTI showed a worrying trend which must be addressed.“The SC has time and again expressed deep anguish to a lot of Indian states over the rise in cases of missing children including UP. Govt does not seem serious at addressing this issue,” he added.TwoCircles
Delhi: Trilokpuri locals claim stones pelted, slogans chanted before funeral
New Delhi:A day after a second incident of stone-pelting was witnessed in Trilokpuri, residents on Monday claimed the 30-40 men involved in the violence had shouted slogans such as ‘Har Har Mahadev’, ‘Pakistan Murdabad’ and ‘Jai Sri Ram’, as well as derogratory words towards the minority community. While the temperatures appeared to have calmed down, Zakir (42), a resident of Block 27, claimed: “A group of 30-40 men pelted stones from Block 28 towards our block where we were preparing for a funeral…my neighbour had died in the afternoon. Everyone ran inside their homes, women and children were crying. The stone-pelters kept chanting slogans.” At least 5 eyewitnesses corroborated this.On Sunday, Rehmati (45), who was preparing for her son’s engagement, had fallen sick and was rushed to Lal Bahadur Shastri Hospital, where she died. “We had many relatives over from Okhla, Old Delhi and UP for the engagement… when my mother died, they stayed back. I was at the mosque when some boys told me there was stone-pelting and chanting. The police quickly brought the situation under control and escorted us to the kabristaan,” said 17-year-old Mukhtiar.indianexpress
Manjhi quits NDA, to join RJD-led Grand Alliance in Bihar
Hindustani Awami Morcha-Secular (HAM-S) head Jitan Ram Manjhi said on Wednesday he has cut his ties with the NDA and will join the RJD-led Grand Alliance in Bihar, in what could be a major setback to the ruling coalition in the state ahead of a bypoll and Rajya Sabha elections. Speculations that the party, an ally of the NDA since HAM-S was formed in 2015, could split from the alliance was rife after the BJP declined its demand to contest the bypoll in Jehanabad slated for March 11. The Manjhi-led party had also demanded that NDA should give one seat to its candidate for the six Rajya Sabha seats in Bihar, elections to which are slated for March 23.“I will join the Grand Alliance,” the former CM  said as he was flanked by RJD leader Tejashwi Prasad Yadav following talks at his residence. The Grand Alliance in Bihar now comprises the RJD, Congress and HAM-S and also has a strong backing of the Janata Dal(United) faction led by Sharad Yadav.Tejashwi, who is also the leader of Opposition, described Manjhi as his guardian and an old friend of his parents.hindustantimes
Bye-poll results: Congress leads in MP’s Mungaoli and Kolaras, BJD wins Odisha’s Bijepur
Counting of votes for Assembly seats in Mungaoli and Kolaras in MP and Bijepur in Odisha began on Wednesday morning.It is a direct fight between the Congress and BJP in Madhya Pradesh. At 4 pm, Congress candidate Brajendra Singh Yadav in Mungaoli led by 4,956 votes against his BJP rival Bai Sahab Yadav after the twelfth round of counting, the MP chief electoral officer’s website showed. In Kolaras, Congress candidate Mahendra Singh Yadav was ahead of BJP’s Devendra Jain by 3,425 votes.The bye-polls for Mungaoli and Kolaras seats were held on Feb.24. Both the seats in Madhya Pradesh recorded a high voter turnout – 77.05% in Mungaoli and 70.40% in Kolaras. The bye-elections were necessitated by the deaths of Congress MLAs Mahendra Singh Kalukheda from Mungaoli and Ram Singh Yadav from Kolaras.BJD candidate won the Bijepur Assembly seat by a margin of 41,933 votes.This is the first time in 15 years that BJD has won this seat, according to HT.Bijepur bye-poll was necessitated after Congress MLA Subal Sahu died in Aug 2017.scroll.in
MP bypolls: Congress wins Mungaoli, ahead in Kolaras
Northeast elections: 75% polling in Nagaland, one killed in clashes; 77% turnout in Meghalaya
Guwahati:A man was killed and three others injured in separate incidents of poll-related violence in Nagaland on Tuesday while Meghalaya witnessed a comparatively peaceful election day. Polling in the two Christian-majority states began at 7am. Although it was supposed to end at 4pm, officials permitted those in queue to cast votes after that.While 75% voting was reported till 5pm in Nagaland, the figure for Meghalaya stood at 77% at 11 pm. The poll percentage is expected to rise higher once inputs from remote areas are added. Nagaland and Meghalaya registered 90% and 88% voting respectively in the 2013 polls. HT
Ludhiana municipal corporation election results 2018: Congress wins with 62 wards, SAD-BJP reduced to 21
New Delhi;Continuing its winning streak in Punjab, Congress on Tuesday wrested control of Ludhiana Municipal Corporation from BJP-SAD alliance.Party won in as many as 62 wards, reducing SAD-BJP combine to merely 21 wards. SAD and BJP were relegated to second and third position, with 11 and 10 wards, winning respectively.The voting, which was held on Saturday, saw clashes between the Congress and Opposition party workers amid allegations of booth capturing. As many as 494 candidates were in the fray for a total of 95 wards. Meanwhile, Punjab Election Commission had ordered repolling in 2 booths of wards number 44 on account of bogus voting and booth capturing. Re-polling was held in booth numbers 2 and 3 of ward number 44 from 8 am to 4pm Monday. indianexpress
In a first, Rajya Sabha TV runs special programme on ‘right-wing icon’ Veer Savarkar
New Delhi:In a departure from the usual for state-run TV channel Rajya Sabha TV, a 24-minute feature on ideologue and political thinker Veer Savarkar was aired on Monday, with a repeat telecast on Tuesday. What makes the programme unique is that it is perhaps the first time that a “right-wing” icon and proponent of “Hindutva” was featured on RSTV.The feature came on Rajya Sabha TV’s ‘flagship’ programme, ‘Vishesh’. The programme has been a staple of RSTV for several years now, and is a current affairs programme. It has also done features on “personalities”, like the one on Mahatma Gandhi that was aired on Jan. 29. Others who have previously been featured on ‘Vishesh’ include Jawaharlal Nehru, Bhagat Singh, Sardar Patel.timesofindia
Karnataka Assembly poll dates will be out by April 15, says chief election commissioner: Report
Chief Election Commissioner Om Prakash Rawat said that the dates for the Karnataka Assembly elections will be announced by April 15, NDTV reported.Rawat said 3 election commissioners – Sunil Arora, Ashok Lavasa as well as himself – are likely to visit Karnataka in the first week of April to assess the state’s readiness for elections.“School board examinations likely to be over by the end of March and other examinations around April 14,” the chief election commissioner said. “Keeping that in mind, we will announce the poll dates around April 15.”scroll.in
Attack on minister  Imran Hussain planned by Lt Governor, Chief Secretary, IAS body: AAP
New Delhi:AAP accused Lt Governor Anil Baijal, Chief Secretary Anshu Prakash and the IAS Association of hatching a "conspiracy" to attack Delhi minister Imran Hussain.The party said the BJP-led Centre was also backing the IAS association for boycotting work of the Delhi Govt  following the alleged attack on the chief secretary on the intervening night of Feb. 19 and 20 by AAP MLAs Prakash Jarwal and Amanatullah Khan." The physical assault on Delhi minister Imran Hussain on Feb. 20 was pre-meditated and result of a conspiracy hatched at the LG House by the Lieutenant Governor, Chief Secretary and the IAS Association," Saurabh Bharadwaj, chief spokesperson of AAP's Delhi unit alleged.AAP's demand for action against the LG, chief secretary and police commissioner comes a day after a joint forum of Delhi Govt  employees sought action against CM  Arvind Kejriwal and his deputy Manish Sisoida in the case of alleged assault on Chief Secretary Anshu Prakash.PTI
INX case: Karti Chidambaram taken into CBI custody
Coming out as a major development in INX money laundering case, senior Congress leader, P Chidambaram’s son, Kati Chidambaram has been detained by CBI. Karti Chidambaram was detained on Feb. 28 at around 8 AM. Krati Chidambaram was detained soon after he landed in Chennai from London. According to CBI, Congress leader’s son, Karti had received money from INX Media for using his influence to manipulate a tax probe against it in a case of violation of FIPB conditions to receive investment from Mauritius. newsx
Jamaat-e-Islami Hind strongly condemns deadly bombing in Syria, calls world to stop offensive
New Delhi: Jamaat-e-Islami-Hind has strongly condemned the deadly bombings and airstrikes which have pounded Eastern Ghouta in Syria by the Syrian forces backed by Russian warplanes. In a statement released to the media, JIH chief Maulana Syed Jalaluddin Umari said: “We condemn the daily bombings in Syria. We are saddened by the news that over 520 people have died and thousands more injured. From media reports, we see that the bombing raids have targeted medical buildings, and doctors who are struggling to keep up with the stream of severely injured patients. A large number of the dead and injured are ordinary civilians and children. We appeal to the international community, particularly the UN, Russia, Syria, America, GCC and all important stakeholders to immediately stop the offensive in Syria and enforce an immediate ceasefire effectively as the war is devastating lives of innocent civilians and reducing the chance of finding a solution to the crisis’’. Maulana Umari averred: “The Syrian regime must realize that they have failed in protecting their own citizens by targeting civilian areas and they are responsible for Syria’s humanitarian crisis and refugee problem. The destruction of entire swathes of cities and hundreds of thousands of people is taking us further away from the solution to the crisis. We wish to remind them that war and violence can never be the solution to any problem’’.
Illegitimate Assad govt committing genocide in Syria: J&K Jamaat
Srinagar: Jamaat-e-Islami J&K expressed deep anxiety and grief over the genocide of innocent Muslims in Syria at the hands of the tyrant and illegitimate Govt of Bashar al-Assad assisted by the Vladimir Putin, the Russian President, and supported by other imperialist powers. The organisation, in their official statement, called on the impartial nations to come to the rescue of these innocent humans facing extinction. “It is deeply saddening that UNO and Security Council and so-called humanitarian organizations have deliberately ignored this massacre of Muslims going on throughout the Muslim world with the tacit help of the puppet regimes imposed upon them under a well-designed plan,”the statement read. kashmirmonitor
Sushma calls on Jordan's king Abdullah, discusses cooperation in defence, security and tourism sectors
New Delhi: External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj on Wednesday called on visiting King of Jordan Abdullah II bin Al-Hussein and discussed strengthening of bilateral ties across all sectors."Historical links getting stronger!" MEA spokesperson Raveesh Kumar tweeted while saying that Sushma Swaraj called on the visiting dignitary."Good conversation on strengthening ties across all sectors, specially in trade and investment, defence and security, tourism and people-to-people exchanges," Kumar said.On Tuesday, PM  Narendra Modi broke protocol and received King Abdullah — who arrived in Delhi on a three-day state visit to India — at the airport.Later on Wednesday, the king will visit IIT Delhi to explore collaboration with Jordan's technical institutes.He will also participate in a CEO Round-table followed by India-Jordan Business Forum jointly organised by Industry bodies Ficci, CII and Assocham.King will hold talks with Modi on Thursday during the course of which the two sides will discuss the entire gamut of bilateral relations as well as regional and international issues of mutual interest.The king will also deliver a special address on "Promoting Understanding and Moderation", organised by the India Islamic Centre at Vigyan Bhawan.India-Jordan trade stood at $1.35 billion in 2016-17, according to figures provided by the MEA.PTI
PM Modi welcomes Jordan’s King; Palestinian issue, radicalisation to be discussed
Justin Trudeau backs theory of ‘rogue’ Indian hand behind presence of Atwal at his event
PM Justin Trudeau is standing by a senior national security official’s startling accusation that a convicted Khalistani terrorist’s presence in India during his recent visit was an attempt by “rogue” elements in the Indian establishment to embarrass him on the issue of Sikh separatist activity on Canadian soil. As the debacle that was Trudeau’s visit to India captivated Canadian political class, opposition Conservatives raised the issue in the House of Commons, the lower house of Parliament. They asked whether Trudeau agreed with the “conspiracy theory” advanced by the official, identified by Canadian media as NSA Daniel Jean.Responding to the Opposition attack, Trudeau said, “When one of our top diplomats and security officials says something to Canadians, it’s because they know it to be true.”This brought a furious retort from Conservative MP and leader of Opposition, Andrew Scheer, who tweeted: “Justin Trudeau just made an incredibly serious charge against the Indian Govt  – which has real implications for Canada’s foreign relations and national security. He needs to provide proof of this immediately.”HT
MEA dismisses Canadian reports that Atwal visited India with help of ‘rogue’ Indian officials
New Delhi:Ministry of External Affairs has dismissed Canadian reports that said pro-Khalistan activist Jaspal Atwal visited India with the help of ‘rogue’ Indian officials.Responding to a question regarding exchanges in Canadian parliament featuring PM  Justin Trudeau, MEA’s Official Spokesperson said that India had “nothing to do” with the visit of Atwal that created a furore here during last week’s visit by Mr. Trudeau.“Let me categorically state that Govt of India, including the security agencies, had nothing to do with the presence of Jaspal Atwal at the event hosted by the Canadian High Commissioner in Mumbai or the invitation issued to him for Canadian High Commissioner’s reception in New Delhi. Any suggestion to the contrary is baseless and unacceptable,” said Spokesperson Raveesh Kumar. the hindu
TISS SC, ST students being discriminated, are disbursed scholarship equal to study cost in home district: Scholars
In a strange disbursement of scholarship meant for deprived sections, TISS students from SCs or STs, or those blonging to OBCs, studying in TISS are learnt to be "eligible" to availing only the amount at par with other students from their home districts, doing a similar course in a local Govt  college.Bringing this to light, a 3,000-word statement signed by mainly by scholars and activists in support of the striking TISS students belonging to its four campuses, Mumbai, Tuljapur, Hyderabad and Gawhati, says, "This means that if a student from Bastar studies in TISS, his course cost would be only the fees that another student from Bastar has to pay."Citing this as one of the several instances of discrimination against TISS' SC, ST and OBC students, the statement says, this suggests that there are clear cases of fund underutilisation. counterview
Test tube babies not un-Islamic, but process is: Deoband
Putting their followers in a piquant situation, clerics in Deoband, the seat of the country’s biggest Islamic seminary, have come to the conclusion that test tube babies are not “unlawful” in the eyes of Sharia, but the procedure certainly is. After “intense deliberations” over the issue, the clerics said that “if both sperm and egg belong to the husband and wife in question, they will be considered biological parents of the child. Even in case of surrogacy through artificial insemination, the child will still be considered the legal progeny of parents who underwent this procedure".However, Azeemullah Siddiqui, spokesperson of Jamiat Ulema, added, "But the procedure is un-Islamic.” Almost a dozen senior Islamic scholars and clerics took part in the deliberations, he said. “In one voice they all have said that Islam does not promote IVF procedure,” he said.
Haryana Cabinet approves proposal to give death penalty to rapists of girls aged 12 or below
Haryana Govt a has approved a proposal to enact a law to provide capital punishment to those found guilty of sexually abusing girls aged 12 years or below, PTI reported. The state Cabinet also decided to make the existing laws related to sexual offences more stringent.scroll
Triple bill a conspiracy against Muslim women: AIMPLB
Jaipur : Calling it “anti-Sharia and anti-women”, the women’s wing of the All India Muslim Personal Law Board will take out a silent march in Jaipur on Wednesday to oppose the triple talaq bill.The march, in which around 3 lakh women are expected to take part, will start from Char Darwaza.Addressing a press conference here, Dr Asma Zohara, convenor of the women’s wing of AIMPLB, said, “The board wants the Govt  to take back the bill as Muslim women are happy with Sharia law.”The bill , she said, has a fundamental flaw. While section 2 of the bill states that instant triple talaq is unconstitutional, section 3 says that if a husband gives triple talaq, he will be jailed. “If triple talaq is not valid, then how can you punish someone for it?” she asked. “We carried out a signature campaign against the bill and got 5 crore signatures, of which 2.8 crore were of Muslim women. They said they are satisfied with personal laws and don’t want any interference.”Fathima Muzaffer, AIMPLB member, said the Quran gave Muslim women rights 1,400 years ago. Yasmin Farooqui, member of the board, said the bill seemed to be a conspiracy against the Muslims.HT
Case schedule clouds Aadhaar link deadline, petitioners to seek extension in SC
New Delhi:Petitioners opposed to the mandatory linking of Aadhaar with bank accounts, phone numbers and other services will seek an extension of the deadline for such linkage, their lawyers said on Tuesday, citing the low probability of the case being concluded in the Supreme Court by March 31, the current deadline for such linking.The SC is expected to resume hearing the case on March 6. In December, it extended the last date for completion of the process to link Aadhaar with services to March 31. However, going by where the case stands, it is unlikely to be concluded by March-end, the petitioners contend. A delay also seems certain because the same five-judge bench hearing the Aadhaar case has been asked to hear the land acquisition case on priority.The land acquisition case has occupied centre stage in the Supreme Court with one three-judge bench taking issue last week with the 8 Feb. judgement of another three-judge bench that, in effect, overturns the judgement of yet another 3-judge bench dating back to 2014. HT
Proposed revision: Govt relaxes rules on cattle market, drops reference to slaughter
New Delhi; In a significant rollback, the Centre is all set to remove any reference to the term “slaughter” in its new version of the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (Regulation of Livestock Market) Rules, 2017, according to a draft of the notification being vetted by the Law Ministry.The original version, dated May 23, 2017, had notified a ban on sale of cattle for slaughter in animal markets, triggering an outcry over its effect on trade across the country. The diluted version is being vetted by the Law Ministry prior to its notification by the Ministry of Environment, Forest and Climate Change.According to the new version, “no unfit animal or young animal shall be sold in an animal market”. Further, it states that “no person shall permit an animal to be offered or displayed for sale in an animal market if it is likely to give birth while it is there or during its transportation to or from such animal market”. indianexpress
Rajasthan to amend cow slaughter law to allow seizing vehicles illegally transporting the animals
Rajasthan Govt has decided to amend the state’s Bovine Animals Act to allow the seizure of vehicles in which cows are illegally transported, HT reported. The amendment to 1995 law will not apply to transportation of buffaloes.State Parliamentary Affairs Minister Rajendra Rathore said the decision to amend the Rajasthan Bovine Animals (Prohibition of Slaughter and Regulation of Export) Act, 1995, was taken at a Cabinet meeting chaired by CM Vasundhara Raje.Rathore said buffaloes were excluded from the definition of bovine animals after directions from the Centre.scroll.in
Assam: 20 lakh Muslims likely to lose nationality
New Delhi: The percentage of Muslim population in Assam is 34%; the majority of them are Bengali Muslims who have settled here from the past 100 years. Most of them are poor, illiterate and agricultural labours, but RSS, ruling BJP and their like-minded local parties say that lakhs of illegal infiltrators from Bangladesh have settled in Assam.Election Commission has marked them in the voters’ list as ‘doubtful voters’, who could not produce proof of their citizenship.A list of all residents of Assam is being prepared under the supervision of Supreme Court for identification of illegal Bangladeshi infiltrators. The final list of NRC will be released in June.State Coordinator NRC, Shri Prateek Hajela told that ‘D voters or those who have been declared foreigners will not be included in the NRC. Besides 29 lakh women have submitted Panchayat certificate, their nationality will also be scrutinised. He says it is hard to say how many people will be removed from citizenship and nationality. This is a test whose result is inappropriate to declare now. According to civil society and human rights groups, lakhs of Bengali Muslims can be expelled after the NRC is released. Abdul Batin Khandkar of Justice Forum says the number of D voters and declared foreigners is nearly 5 lakh; their children would be around 15 lakh. siasat
Bank of Baroda’s role in S. Africa’s Gupta scandal
Johannesburg:Senior Bank of Baroda (BoB) officials suppressed numerous alerts filed by junior officials at the Johannesburg branch about transactions in accounts controlled by the Gupta brothers of the Sahara group, whose financial dealings resulted in the resignation of South African President Jacob Zuma.These alerts or suspicious activity reports (SARs) were voided by BoB managers and thereby never reached the South African Financial Intelligence Centre, an investigation by The Hindu and Organized Crime and Corruption Reporting Project has found.Over 17,000 transactions of BoB’s South African operations since Jan.2012, as well as internal communications, show that bank continued to allow Gupta brothers to operate a web of accounts to create a complex corporate maze even as the political scandal about their influence on Zuma was playing out. thehindu
To foster communal harmony, SSP Muzaffarnagar urges people to follow Prophet Muhammad's example on Holi
 Lucknow: With the festival of Holi falling on Friday, the police and administration are on their toes to keep the celebrations peaceful, especially in the areas which are prone to communal tensions. SSP, Muzaffarnagar, Anant Deo has urged people to keep calm and to follow the path shown by Prophet Mohammad. SSP had ordered distribution of pamphlets in which an incident has been mentioned where a Yahudi woman used to dump all her garbage on Prophet Mohammad while he used to pass by from her house. Prophet used to ignore it. One day when no one threw garbage over him, he enquired about the woman in the neighbourhood and came to know that she was ill. Prophet asked the woman if he can bring medicine for her. On this, the woman started crying realising her mistake that she used to throw her garbage on him every day and bowed down to him. The pamphlets reads: "Brothers, I request you all to follow the path shown by Prophet and adopt his ways." It is also requested in the pamphlet not to douse fire by fire. It cautions that for dousing fire you need water. It also advises people to think before doing anything else "Shaitan will take over your brain". news18
CBI still clueless about missing Najeeb’s whereabout
New Delhi: CBI said that it had a “fresh and very important lead” in the mysterious disappearance of Najeeb Ahmed, but the premier investigating agency apparently failed to walk the talk when it told the Delhi High Court that it was awaiting forensic results of call details, WhatsApp messages and location details of 9 students who are accused of assaulting Najeeb prior to his disappearance. CBI, which was handed over the probe on May 16, 2017, after Delhi Police failed to trace the young man, had said the same on the previous date of the hearing that had taken place on November 14, last year. Najeeb, a JNU student, had gone missing from the Hostel in 2016 following an alleged scuffle with students associated with ABVP, previous night.Senior Advocate Colin Gonsalves, counsel for Najeeb’s mother Fatima Nafees, argued to put on record the fact that the Crime Branch of the Delhi Police caught a random auto driver and peddled a false theory of him going on his own to Jamia Millia Islamia. CBI had on Nov.14, 2017, placed this fact on the record of the court that the Crime Branch officers had randomly picked up an auto driver and forcefully extracted a false statement from him.As the hearing resumed on Tuesday, the counsel for CBI referred to Monday’s demonstration outside CBI HQRS, alleging that the protesters blocked CBI gates. Students of JNU, Delhi University, JMI, AMU and others had on the call of Fatima Nafees staged a protest outside CBI HQRS, alleging that the agency is not doing enough to trace Najeeb. The court has set April 3 as the next date of hearing. Newsclick
 ‘No progress’ in Najeeb case, protests outside CBI HQ

WORLD
Afghanistan’s Ghani offers to recognise Taliban as political group as part of peace talks
Kabul: Afghan president Ashraf Ghani offered recognition of Taliban insurgents as a legitimate political group on Wednesday as part of a proposed political process that could lead to talks aimed at ending more than 16 years of war.The offer, made at the start of an international conference aimed at creating a platform for peace talks, adds to a series of signals from both the Western-backed Govt  and the Taliban suggesting a greater willingness to consider dialogue.Ghani proposed a ceasefire and a release of prisoners. He also said he would be ready to accept a review of the constitution as part of a pact with the Taliban, who have so far refused to accept direct talks with the Govt  in Kabul.“The Govt  offers peace negotiations to the Taliban without any conditions,” Ghani said in opening remarks to the conference attended by officials from around 25 countries involved in the so-called Kabul Process.The comments represented a significant shift for Ghani, who in the past has regularly called the Taliban “terrorists” and “rebels” although he has also offered to talk with parts of the movement that accepted peace.Taliban, fighting to restore Islamic rule after their 2001 ouster by US-led troops, have offered to begin talks with the US  but have so far refused direct talks with Kabul. It was unclear whether they would be prepared to shift their stance, despite growing international pressure.Ghani said a political framework for peace negotiations should be created with a ceasefire and the Taliban recognised as a legitimate political group with an official political office. In return, the movement would have to recognise the Afghan Govt  and respect the rule of law.In addition, Taliban prisoners could be released and their names removed from international blacklists, while security arrangements could be made for Taliban agreeing to join a process of reconciliation. Former fighters and refugees could be reintegrated and provided with jobs.Reuters
Ghani Offers Unconditional Talks, Legitimacy to Taliban
Afghan Taliban renew call for dialogue with US to end war
Kabul: Taliban urged the US to begin talks to end almost 17 years of war in Afghanistan, adding to a series of signals that suggest a greater willingness to explore options for dialogue.In its statement, two days before the start of a meeting of regional leaders in Kabul to discuss ways of ending the war, the movement said it wanted a peaceful resolution."Political Office of the Islamic Emirate of Afghanistan calls on American officials to talk directly to the Political Office of Islamic Emirate regarding a peaceful solution to the Afghan quandary," it said."It would help in finding a solution if America accepts the legitimate demands of the Afghan people and [puts] forward its own concerns and requests for discussion to the Islamic Emirate through a peaceful channel," it said.The statement referred to reported comments by Alice Wells, the Principal Deputy Assistant Secretary in the US State Dept's Bureau of South and Central Asian Affairs, that the "door is open" for talks with the Taliban.Less than two weeks ago, the Taliban issued a statement saying they preferred to "solve the Afghan issue through peaceful dialogue".Reuters
Taliban: Doha office remains vital for talks
New clashes on Eastern Ghouta outskirts: Monitor
Syrian Govt  forces have clashed with rebels on the outskirts of Eastern Ghouta, despite a Russian-sponsored truce that is now in its second day, a war monitor reported.Since Wednesday morning, during a second attempt at implementing a ceasefire in the besieged enclave, Syrian President Bashar al-Assad's forces have been locked in "fierce" fighting with rebels who have been in control of the area since 2013, according to the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights (SOHR). The confrontation is part of a ground offensive launched by the Govt  on Sunday. It has been fighting on multiple fronts in an attempt to penetrate the enclave.aljazeera
OPCW to probe chemical attacks in Syria’s eastern Ghouta
Organisation for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons (OPCW) on Sunday opened an investigation into recent attacks in Syria’s besieged, opposition-held eastern Ghouta to determine whether prohibited weapons had been used; Reuters reported citing exclusive diplomatic sources.According to the sources, The Hague based watchdog will investigate reports of repeated use of chlorine bombs this month in eastern Ghouta near the capital Damascus.The health department in an area controlled by the Syrian opposition said in a statement that people suffered from symptoms similar to those that follow exposure to chlorine gas which killed one child.The statement, issued by the local branch of the Ministry of Health in the Syrian Interim opposition Govt , said the victims, which include two ambulance paramedics, inhaled chlorine gas after a “massive explosion” in the Shifuniya district of eastern Ghouta. The statement added that at least 18 people were treated after the explosion with oxygen inhalers.middleeastmonitor
UN finds evidence that North Korea is helping Syria build ‘chemical weapons’, say reports
Syria conflict: Women 'sexually exploited in return for aid'
Women in Syria have been sexually exploited by men delivering aid on behalf of the UN and international charities, the BBC has learned.Aid workers said the men would trade food and lifts for sexual favours.Despite warnings about the abuse three years ago, a new report shows it is continuing in the south of the country.UN agencies and charities said they had zero tolerance of exploitation and were not aware of any cases of abuse by partner organisations in the region.Aid workers told the BBC that the exploitation is so widespread that some Syrian women are refusing to go to distribution centres because people would assume they had offered their bodies for the aid they brought home.One worker claimed that some humanitarian agencies were turning a blind eye to the exploitation because using third parties and local officials was the only way of getting aid into dangerous parts of Syria that international staff could not access.BBC
OIC slams Israel plan to tax Jerusalem churches
Jeddah:Organization of Islamic Cooperation (OIC) has blasted an Israeli plan to start taxing church property in occupied East Jerusalem.“We reject these measures, which are part of ongoing efforts [by Israel] to change the status of Christian and Muslim holy places [in Jerusalem] and systematically restrict their existence,”OIC said.It went on to voice solidarity with Jerusalem’s churches, warning against “the seriousness of these unprecedented Israeli actions which constitute a flagrant violation of international law and conventions”.OIC also urged the international community to “exert pressure on Israel, the occupying power, to compel it to abide by its responsibilities under international law and the Geneva Conventions and immediately reverse these illegal measures and continued violations against the city of Jerusalem, its people and holy sites”.On Sunday, Jerusalem’s Church of the Holy Sepulcher closed its doors to protest Israel’s new tax policy, which, if implemented, would subject the city’s churches to a property tax. “The church will remain closed until further notice,” Greek Orthodox Patriarch Theophilos III told reporters.Jointly administered by several major Christian denominations, Jerusalem’s iconic Church of the Holy Sepulcher is considered one of Christianity’s holiest sites. Anatulu Agency
13 dead in Christian-Muslim violence in Nigeria: police
Lagos:At least 13 people have been killed in clashes between Christian and Muslim youths in central Nigeria, police said today, in the latest violence to hit the region.Fighting broke out on Monday in Kasuwan Magani community in Kaduna state, about 45 kilometres by road from the state capital, Kaduna city. "The mayhem led to the death of 13 people with many houses and shops burnt," Kaduna state police commissioner Austin Iwar told AFP by telephone.Local reports gave a higher death toll. Iwar said 20 suspects have been arrested, and troops and police had been deployed to quell the violence. "The place is now calm. I was in the village yesterday to implore the community and traditional leaders to appeal to the warring youths to sheath their swords," he added."We don't want to jump into conclusion as to what led to the mayhem. The speculation was that some Christian boys were not happy that their girls are befriending Muslim boys," Iwar said.outlookindia
British driver deliberately hits Muslim woman twice in Islamophobic attack
A Muslim woman was the subject of a deliberate hit and run attack in London, reports said Wednesday.A driver identified as Paul Moore drove into a Somali woman named Zaynab Hussein, shortly before he tried to drive at a 12-year-old Somali girl, BBC reported.The incident reportedly took place on Sept. 20, a few days after the bomb attack in London, according to Nottingham Crown Court records.Hussein was wearing a headscarf when the incident happened and was hit twice by the same driver.The 12-year-old Somali girl was also hit by the same driver as she was heading to school, but he only clipped her side, the report said.Prosecutor Jonathan Straw noted that Moore attacked her "purely because of the color of her skin" and her "perceived Islamic faith." DAILY SABAH
Trump’s son-in-law Jared Kushner loses access to top secret White House data
US President Donald Trump’s administration has imposed restrictions on his son-in-law and closest adviser Jared Kushner’s access to top secret White House information, reports said. Kushner lost access to top secret US intelligence reports and the president’s daily brief after the White House had his security clearance downgraded.Kushner’s lawyer Abbe Lowell confirmed the development to US website Politico. The changes would “not affect Kushner’s ability to continue to do the very important work he has been assigned by the President,” Lowell told the news website. The president’s 37-year-old adviser is married to Trump’s daughter Ivanka. scroll
Media Dept. Jamaat-e-Islami Hind,
Compiled and edited by Anwarulhaq (Released at: 8:16 PM)
For free internal circulation
UK's May confirms Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman visit
Mohammed bin Salman, Saudi Arabia's 32-year-old crown prince, will visit the UK from March 7 on an official trip, according to Downing Street sources.A spokesperson for Theresa May, the UK's PM , said the meeting will tackle international challenges, such as "terrorism, extremism, the conflict and humanitarian crisis in Yemen and other regional issues such as Iraq and Syria".Since the Saudi-led military intervention started in Yemen in March 2015, the Arab world's poorest country has found itself on the brink of a devastating humanitarian crisis, with the UN warning of widespread famine and spread of disease.aljazeera
Baghdad claims to be mediating between Saudi and Iran
Iraqi Foreign Minister Ibrahim Al-Jaafari said today that his country is ‘still making efforts’ to strengthen relations between Saudi Arabia and Iran.“Certainly, Iraq can play a role in strengthening relations between Saudi Arabia and Iran,” Al-Jaafari told Sputnik. “We have a good neighbourly relationship with Syria and Turkey on the one hand, and with Iran and Saudi Arabia on the other.”“We worked on the rapprochement between them and we are still making efforts, because the relationship Iraq possesses with these countries necessarily calls for us to overcome existing tensions between them.”This is not the first time an Iraqi official admitted to playing a mediating role between Riyadh and Tehran. Last August Iraq’s Interior Minister, Qasim Al-Araji, said the same thing. Sputnik reported that Saudi Arabia asked Iraqi PM  Haidar Al-Abadi to end his country’s row with Iran.middleeastmonitor
Israel’s SC agrees to delay demolition of outpost homes until June
Israel’s Supreme Court has agreed to the state’s request to delay the demolition of 15 homes in the illegal settlement outpost of Netiv Ha’avot, located in the southern occupied West Bank.The court extended the deadline by three months, until 15 June, in order to allow for the construction of temporary housing for the residents.The court did, however, reject another state request, namely that in the case of six of the 15 buildings, to only demolish those parts of the structures which cross into privately-owned Palestinian land.Under international law, all Israeli settlements in the occupied Palestinian territory are illegal.middleeastmonitor
Veto-holding members of UNSC like criminals:UN rights chief
Geneva:The outgoing UN human rights chief accused the veto-wielding members of the UNSC of being second only to criminals who kill and maim when it comes to responsibility for some of the world's most egregious rights violations. Zeid Ra'ad al-Hussein delivered one of the strongest and clearest denunciations yet from a top UN official about certain uses of Security Council veto, which gives extraordinary powers to the five countries that wield it: Britain, China, France, Russia and the US.Speaking to Human Rights Council, Zeid didn't mention specific vetoes. But the comments were an unmistakable allusion to the war in Syria, over which Russia, a major backer of President Bashar Assad, and China have repeatedly used the veto to block efforts such as to hold war criminals to account or punish Assad's Govt  for alleged use of chemical weapons.Zeid instead spoke more broadly and decried "some of the most prolific slaughterhouses of humans in recent times"— Syria's Eastern Ghouta region, the Ituri and Kasai regions of Congo; the embattled city of Taiz in Yemen; Burundi; and Myanmar's northern Rakhine state.He denounced "minimal action" taken even though his office has repeatedly exposed human rights violations that "should have served as a trigger for preventive action." "Given this is my last address as high commissioner at the opening of a March session, I wish to be blunt," Zeid said. The outspoken Jordanian prince isn't seeking a new four-year term when his current one expires in Aug. Zeid insisted the 5 permanent, veto-wielding council members "must answer to the victims" if the veto is used to block any action that could reduce human suffering.AP
Facebook Removes Page of 'Buddhist Bin Laden' For Spreading Hate Against Rohingya Muslims
Yangon: Facebook has removed the page of a Myanmar monk once dubbed the "Buddhist Bin Laden" for his incendiary posts about Muslims, the company confirmed, as it faces pressure to clamp down on hate speech.Wirathu, a prominent face of Myanmar's Buddhist ultra-nationalist movement, had amassed hundreds of thousands of followers on the network, using it as a platform to attack Muslims, singling out the stateless Rohingya minority.Nearly 700,000 Rohingya have fled to Bangladesh since last August following a military crackdown in Rakhine state that has been likened to ethnic cleansing by the US and the UN, but which has been applauded by Myanmar nationalists online.A Facebook spokesperson told AFP late yesterday that Wirathu's page had been removed. news18
Lanka shops, mosque damaged in Buddhist-Muslim clash
Colombo:- At least five people were wounded and several shops and a mosque damaged in a clash between majority Sinhalese Buddhists and minority Muslims in eastern Sri Lanka, police said.Renewed tension has been growing between the two communities since last year, with some hardline Buddhist groups accusing Muslims of forcing people to convert to Islam and vandalising Buddhist archaeological sites.Police had been deployed in the eastern town of Ampara to control the unrest after a Sinhalese mob attacked a mosque, four shops and several vehicles late on Monday, spokesman Ruwan Gunasekara said.Gunasekara said no arrests had been made so far.Muslim Council of Sri Lanka, umbrella body that includes most Muslim organizations in the country, condemned the attack and requested the Govt  to conduct an impartial inquiry into it and arrest the perpetrators.Reuters
FLASH: VIEWS & NEWS
UNSC keeps losing credibility in Syria: Merve Şebnem Oruç, dailysabah
Amid Souring Ties, India May Choose Indonesia Over Maldives in UNSC polls:DEVIRUPA MITRA
Lawyer Vrinda Grover on Why Top Cop in Ishrat Jahan Case Must Face Trial:THE WIRE
Feb.28, 2002: Ahmedabad That Year, This Day When Jafri Made a 100 Calls for Help:AMARESH MISHRA
Poison in the air: Invisible pollutants are causing visible health damage: HT
MEA to appoint six envoys under new foreign secy Vijay Gokhale, more changes on the anvil: HT
Muslims Must Build Bridges With Dalits, Other Oppressed Groups:AIJAZ ZAKA SYED
Under Yogi govt, UP Police has instilled fear in criminals. But has it won the people’s faith?Prakash Singh
A 'system of control': Child detention in the occupied West Bank:Tala Kaddoura
Right-Wing Erupts Over Anti-Hindu Tweets By (Fake) Muslim Account
How a fake account with anti-Hindu tweets is tripping the right

Compiled and edited by Anwarulhaq (Released at: 8:16 PM)