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08 February 2018

08 Feb.ND:Babri case: CJI says SC won't hear political or religious arguments, to hear as 'pure land dispute'; next hearing on 14 March/ Sri Sri renews efforts on Ayodhya row, meets Muslim delegation comprising of Maulana Salman Nadvi / Triple talaq bill is a big 'dhoka' against Muslim men and women: AIMPLB




Evening NEWS DIGEST  
08 Feb.2018:21 Jamadiul-1 1439:Vol:9, No:116
INDIA
Babri case: CJI says SC won't hear political or religious arguments, to hear as 'pure land dispute'; next hearing on 14 March
The Supreme Court commenced its hearing into a crucial hearing on a batch of petitions in the politically-sensitive Ram Janmabhoomi-Babri Masjid title dispute case today, and said that it would not hear arguments based on politics or religion, Times Now reported. According to reports,the SC made it clear that it would deal with title dispute case as a pure land dispute and refused to hear it on a day-to-day basis. Times Now quoted Chief Justice of India Dipak Misra as saying that poor citizens were waiting for justice, and 700 petitions in the case "can be disposed by devoting a few hours". Books including Bhagavad Gita and Ramayana were submitted in the apex court on Thursday, along with 87 witness depositions.But due to the incomplete documentation process, the SC fixed 14 March as the next date of hearing, according to ANI.Speaking to reporters, BJP leader Subramanian Swamy quoted Misra as saying that the court would "certainly go on the principle of day-to-day hearing" after the next hearing.Times Now reported that the top court has given 2 weeks' notice for submission of documents in the matter.Today's hearing assumes significance as a special bench headed by Misra had rejected the submission by Sunni Waqf Board and others that the pleas be heard after the 2019 general polls.The bench had on 5 Dec., 2017, directed the listing of the matter today. Senior lawyers Kapil Sibal, Rajeev Dhavan and Dushyant Dave, appearing for some of petitioners, had pressed for postponing of the hearing, saying it would have repercussions on the country's polity.They had also sought a hearing by a 5-judge Constitution Bench. After the court rejected the submission for postponing the hearing till 2019, including hearing of the matter by a Constitution Bench, it asked senior counsel CS Vaidyanathan, who appeared for the deity, to commence his case on 5 Dec. At that point, Sibal, Dhavan and Dave sought the leave of the court to withdraw from the hearing.firstpost
Ayodhya case: Supreme Court says won’t entertain any intervening application at the moment
Treat Ayodhya case as a 'land issue': CJI
HC order splitting Ayodhya land an insult to justice, Sunni Waqf Board tells SC
AIMPLB demands action against those speaking of building temple on Babri Masjid site
Hyderabad: All India Muslim Personal Law Board (AIMPLB) has demanded contempt of court proceedings against those speaking of building Ram temple at the site of the demolished Babri Masjid in Ayodhya.The apex body of the Indian Muslims, which is beginning its crucial 3-day plenary here on Friday, said the court and the Govt should take action against those making such statements.“This is a clear case of contempt of court. The court and the Govt should take action,” said Board spokesman Moulana Sajaad Nomani.He told reporters that the Board would present its case before the Supreme Court and would abide by its verdict.Nomani said the Board had not received any proposal from any organization regarding the Babri Masjid case to queries about reports that some organisations sent a proposal offering alternate land for building a mosque.Babri Masjid committee of Board will place its report before plenary and the same will be discussed.IANS
Sri Sri renews efforts on Ayodhya row, meets Muslim delegation
Bengaluru; Renewing his mediation efforts on the Babri Masji case, Art of Living founder Sri Sri Ravi Shankar today held a meeting here with Muslim leaders, including members from the All India Muslim Personal Law Board and Sunni Waqf Board.After the meeting, the AOL said eminent members of the Sunni Board, AIMPLB and others met Ravi Shankar and expressed support for an out-of- court settlement in the Ayodhya matter.“They have supported the proposal of shifting the Masjid outside to another place. Many Muslim stakeholders are cooperating in this matter,” an AOL statement said. It said that 16 leaders from multiple organisations attended the meeting at which representatives and scholars from various states were present too.“A bigger meeting is slated to be held in Ayodhya soon,” the statement said.Muslim Personal Law Board executive member Maulana Syed Salman Hussain Nadvi attended the meeting, as also UP  Sunni Waqf Board chairperson Zufar Ahmad Farooqui, Maulana Wasif Hasan of Teelay Wali Masjid in Lucknow and retired IAS officer Dr Anis Ansari, AOL executive said.Other attendees were Centre for Objective Research and Development  director Athar Husain Siddiqui, businessman A R Rahman, London-based World Islamic Forum chairman Maulana Isa Mansuri, Lucknow advocate Imran Ahmed, ex-Haj committee of India chairman A Aboobucker and Dr Musa Kaiser of Bengaluru.PTI
Muslim delegation meets Sri Sri on Babri Masjid issue
'Give disputed Ayodhya land to Hindu parties': Sri Sri Ravi Shankar's aide presents 'compromise formula' to AIMPLB
Spiritual leader Sri Sri Ravi Shankar's aide has presented a "compromise formula" to AIMPLB in the Ayodhya dispute, according to News18.Ayodhya Sadbhavna Samnvyay Maha Samiti, which is promoted by Ravi Shankar, has proposed to the AIMPLB to give the disputed land for the Ram Temple to the Hindu parties.Samiti president Amarnath Mishra proposed in a letter to the AIMPLB president that they instead construct a mosque on the land to be given by Nirmohi Akhara.UNI reported that copies of 8-page letter to AIMPLB chairperson Maulana Rabe Hassan Nadvi, were given to eight other persons, including PM  Narendra Modi and UP  CM  Yogi Adityanath. Mishra's letter is the first proposal given by a Hindu organisation to AIMPLB.firstpost
Triple talaq bill is a big 'dhoka' against Muslim men and women: AIMPLB
New Delhi: AIMPLB termed the triple talaq bill a big "dhoka" (deception) and hit out at NDA Govt for trying to strong-arm its passage despite objections. Dubbing the triple talaq bill "flawed", a spokesperson for the board said that it was not opposed to the proposed legislation, but wants the "flaws" removed."Muslim Personal Law Board is not opposing the Triple Talaq Bill,but raising objections on the major flaws which are against fundamental rights of Muslim men and women. Bill is big 'dhoka',"AIMPLB spokesperson Moulana Khaleel-ur-Rehman Sajjad Nomani told ANI.He claimed that efforts were being made to enact a "very wrong law"."There is no such law in the whole world... an effort is being made to make a very wrong law. There are other such flaws. The Muslim Personal Law Board's stand is to get those flaws removed," reported PTI quoting Nomani.The board requested all opposition parties to consider whether the bill can be passed in its present form.Nomani alleged the bill in its present form would ban the institution of talaq itself."It is generally publicised that this bill is presented to stop triple talaq. But, the fact is, if you read the bill, this bill is to ban the entire institution of talaq," Nomani said.If a man gives triple talaq despite stating in the marriage contract that he won't, his wife could challenge it in a court of law, citing the nikahnama as proof, the board said.TOI
AIMPLB: remove flaws,loopholes, will welcome talaq bill
SC demands answers from UP govt on Taj Mahal protection efforts
New Delhi:The Supreme Court demanded a detailed plan for the future of Taj Mahal, warning UP Govt’s “ad hoc” approach jeopardised the centuries-old monument to love. Smog has been slowly yellowing Taj’s brilliant marble and conservationists have long fought to close polluting industries near the icon.But years of interventions — including using mudpacks to draw the stain from the stone — have failed to arrest the slow decay of India’s biggest attraction. The Supreme Court has ordered the state Govt to produce a “vision document” outlining its plan for protecting the wonder of the world within a month.In particular the court expressed concern about a “sudden flurry of activities” in the Taj Trapezium Zone — a buffer around the monument to protect it from pollution. “Leather industries and hotels are coming up there. Why?” the court asked, describing the Govt conservation plan for the Taj as ad hoc and inadequate.hindustantimes hindustantimes
Don't meddle in our affairs or we'll stop producing girls, Khap leaders warn Supreme Court
Leaders of Khap Panchayats have warned the top court of India not to meddle in their 'age-old traditions' lest their community will 'destabilise the society' by stop giving birth to girls. The threat comes a day after the SC reprimanded the Khap panchayats over issues of 'honour killing' and reiterated its stand on "inter-faith/caste" marriages by saying "no one should be allowed to interfere in marraige of 2 consenting adults."Hearing a writ petition by NGO Shakti Vahini on "honour killing", a three judge bench of Chief Justice Dipak Misra, Justice DY chandrachud and Justice AM Khanwilkar had said "Where two consenting adults agree to enter into matrimony, no individual rights, group rights or collective rights shall interfere therein or harass the couple."When the lawyer appearing for Khap Panchayats (Caste Panchayat) objected over marriages between Sapindas (same gotra marriage),as they are considered siblings, the CJI retorted: "Who are you to interfere?" "Don't be conscience keepers. If two adults want to get married nobody should interfere," court had said .Unimpressed with the order, Naresh Tikait, head of Balyan Khap, told TOI, “We respect the Supreme Court but cannot tolerate the SC’s interference in our age-old traditions. If these kinds of orders are passed by the SC, we will stop producing girls or won’t let them study so much that they start taking their own decisions. Just think, what will happen to society if girls become lesser and lesser in numbers?"“Maybe, the SC has taken this stand influenced by vulgar exhibition of modernity in cosmopolitan cities, but they must understand that village life is different and we are bound by our traditions,” said Rajbir Singh Malik, head of Malik Khap, Khaps are caste or community organisations in villages which at times act as quasi-judicial bodies and pronounce harsh punishments based on regressive and age-old customs and traditions.outlookindia
Gorakhpur children massacre: To hide its criminal negligence, Yogi govt punished Dr Kafeel Khan, Dr RK Misra and wife Dr Purnima Misra:jantakareporter
Yogi Adityanath Govt punished three individuals Dr Kafeel Khan, Dr. RK Misra and his wife Dr. Purnima Misra to hide its own culpability in the Gorakhpur massacres, according to a janta ka reporter report. UP Govt appointed KK Gupta as DG of Medical Education even though he was removed from the position by previous Akhilesh Yadav govt in 2015. Gupta, who ought to have been prosecuted for criminal negligence, was made head of an inquiry team to probe the children’s massacre. Janta ka reporter reports that how a massive cover-up exercise was carried out by the UP Govt with the help of pliable media outlets. According to report, the most atrocious of the report is of DGME KK Gupta which says that Dr. Purnima Misra, W/o Dr RK Misra was the kingpin of corruption in BRD Medical College & Nehru Hospital. It goes on to add that the grave mistake of Dr Khan was that he was doing private practice while being in govt service. But this Supreme Court Order clearly states that it is not a crime for a doctor in Govt service to do private practice as long as it is not affecting his / her official commitments. Jantakareporter writes that It’s a real travesty of justice that a few individuals were severely punished for doing their job with utmost sincerity while the corrupt and incompetent continue to enjoy the immunity because of their proximity to the ruling dispensation. The news portal writes, "In nutshell, just to hide their failures, Adityanath Govt simply made few scapegoats. The people in power – the health minister, DGME, Principal Secretary of Medical Education, DM, CMO and others were not even questioned on their failures. Though a director of Pushpa Sales was arrested, the Govt didn’t touch anyone from Inox Air Products."
Yogi govt to withdraw cases against BJP leaders accused in Muzaffarnagar riots
The leaders who stoked communal fire in Muzaffarnagar in 2013 that led to one of the worst riots of this decade are all set to roam around free as the Yogi Adityanath Govt has decided to withdraw cases filed against them in connection with the riots.Law and Justice Minister of UP Brijesh Pathak said that the Govt has decided to withdraw all ‘political’ cases related to Muzaffarnagar riots.But he did not elaborate about the nature of the ‘political’ cases. He kept mum when asked what was ‘political’ about inciting mobs to attack properties and individuals of a particular community for which these leaders were booked under serious sections of criminal law.No one in Govt is ready to answer whether Sadhvi Prachi, whose fiery speech on Aug.31, 2013, is believed to have triggered the riots, will also go scot-free. Or if the BJP MLA from Thana Bhawan, Shamli, Suresh Rana, who is also the Cane Development Minister, and Sangeet Singh Som, BJP MLA from Sardhana, will also get reprieve?No one has answers.nationalheraldindia
Kasganj communal clash: 2 more arrested, 29, all Muslims, accused charged with sedition and killing Gupta
Lucknow:2 more accused in the Kasganj communal clash, in which one person was killed, were arrested from the district on Wednesday. Those arrested were identified as Waseem and Naseem, brothers of prime accused Saleem. With this, the total number of arrests in the murder case has gone upto 19. 29 men, all Muslims, are accused of killing 22-year-old Abhishek Gupta. They were charged with sedition for allegedly raising “pro-Pakistan and anti-India” slogans shortly before the clashes on Jan. 26 this year. The charge follows a complaint submitted by Abhishek’s father Sushil Gupta.In FIR, Sushil stated that his sons Abhishek and Vivek participated in the Tiranga Rally. When they were passing through the tehsil road, a group from the Muslim community stopped them in front of Rajkiya Balika Intermediate College.They all were carrying firearms, Gupta alleged. They snatched Tricolour from them, threw it on the ground and raised slogans “Pakistan Zindabad” and “Hindustan Murdabad”, complainant alleged, adding, accused also said they had to chant with them if the Rally wanted to pass through the area.According to Kasganj police, so far 16 cases are being investigated by SIT in the incident.indianexpress
Elevation to Supreme Court: If Govt returns Justice Joseph’s file, Collegium is likely to send it back
New Delhi : With indications that Govt may consider returning the Collegium’s recommendation to elevate Uttarakhand High Court Chief Justice K M Joseph to the Supreme Court, sources have told The Indian Express that if this happens the Collegium proposes to send the name right back for the issuance of the Presidential warrant.Justice Joseph’s name was the only one of a judge, forwarded by the Collegium for elevation to the Supreme Court, with the other being that of Indu Malhotra who was elevated directly from the Bar — the first woman to be so recommended.Sources say that there was a consensus in the Collegium over proposing Justice Joseph’s elevation. In April 2016, Justice Joseph had quashed the Centre’s orders on Presidential rule in the state, deeply embarrassing the NDA Govt.Sources said that if the Govt neither returns the file nor clears it or if it returns it and then sits on it despite the Collegium sending it back, the Collegium is of the view that it will “not send any other names for elevation to the Supreme Court, at least until as long as this Collegium is in place”.The Collegium consists of the Chief Justice and four seniormost Judges Justices J Chelameswar, Ranjan Gogoi, Madan B Lokur and Kurian Joseph. Its composition will change only in June when Justice Chelameswar retires.indianexpress
Made claims on Loya death: Facing contempt charge, lawyer wants to apologise
New Delhi:The Supreme Court has allowed advocate Satish Uke, who is facing contempt charges, to tender “unconditional apology” to Bombay High Court. Appearing for Uke, senior advocate Kapil Sibal told a bench of Justices Ranjan Gogoi and Navin Sinha that his client wants to tender unconditional apology.The bench replied, “If you want to tender apology, it has to be to the Bombay HC. If the learned judges of the High Court accept it, we have no problem, because contempt is of HC.”Uke had hit the headlines recently after Sibal and other Congress leaders appeared with him at a press conference where lawyer claimed that he was privy to information on late CBI Special Judge B H Loya.Uke was found guilty of contempt of court by Bombay HC and sentenced to simple imprisonment for two months and slapped a fine of Rs 2,000. indianexpress
3 Muslim youth acquitted of terror charges
New Delhi:Jamiat Ulama-e-Hind which provides legal assistance to the innocent youth arrested on terror charges once again gained a major victory, when the 3 Muslim youth arrested on terror charges were exonerated. President Jamiat Ulama-e-Hind, Maulana Syed Arshad Madani, who has acquitted more than 100 innocent people, has welcomed the court ruling. He reiterated that the Muslims of the country are not terrorists. However, he lamented that the real culprits are roaming freely who are a threat to not only Muslims but the entire nation, while the innocents are being arrested.President Jamiat has issued a report in which Gulzar Azmi president Legal Aid Committee, stated that the session court judge has exonerated Haroon Abdur Rasheed Naik, Asrar Ahmed Abdul Hameed and Azharul Islam Mohammed Ibrahim Siddiqui in terror charges; however, it pronounced 6 years sentence for keeping fake currency.siasat
My son was doing his duty: Father of Major accused in Shopian firing moves SC to quash FIR
New Delhi:The father of army major Aditya Kumar has moved the Supreme Court, demanding that an FIR registered against his son by J&K  Police in the shooting death of three civilians be quashed.His son was just doing his duty and was “wrongly and arbitrarily” named, lieutenant colonel Karamveer Singh said in his petition, adding the officer’s intention was to save army personnel and property. Maj Kumar, who is with 10 Garhwal Rifles, was named in FIR filed against his unit after the army firing on protesters left three people dead in Shopian on Jan. 27.Police have accused the Garhwal unit of murder, attempt to murder and endangering life.The soldiers opened fire “only to impair and provide a safe escape from a savage and violent mob engaged in terrorist activity”, the plea said.The FIR was arbitrary as the incident was related to an army convoy on military duty in an area under AFSPA, he said.HT
Hiz claims it freed LeT's Naveed in Srinagar hospital raid
Srinagar: Kashmir’s home-grown militant outfit Hizbul Mujahideen has claimed responsibility for Tuesday’s attack on a Srinagar hospital during which gunmen shot dead two policemen and freed a Pakistani Lashkar-e-Taiba militant brought for treatment in custody.In a nearly 8-minute audio released on Wednesday, Kashmir’s Hizb commander Riyaz Naikoo claimed it was his men who raided the Shri Maharaja Hari Singh Hospital to free Naveed Jhatt. Naikoo said Jhatt had “reached south Kashmir” safely.On the killing of the two policemen guarding Jhatt, Naikoo said, “They were forced to kill Kashmiris to free their Pakistani brother.”HT
Srinagar hospital: 4 arrested for helping militant escape
Srinagar :In a major breakthrough, the J&K  Police have arrested at least four people who are believed to have helped Pakistani militant Naveed Jat alias Hanzulla escape from custody during a hospital visit. Raids were carried out at several locations in south Kashmir’s Pulwama and Shopian districts last night during which arrests were made.“The SIT started the probe and due to scientific evidence we ascertained who or what were involved. They were identified, raids were conducted. We apprehended two terrorists and two Over Ground Workers. After their arrest we are left with Naveed and another terrorist who are still at large,” said ADGP Muneer Khan in a press conference.indianexpress
Delhi court grants bail to LeT suspect in 2000 Red Fort attack
Delhi’s Patiala House Court on Wednesday granted bail to Bilal Ahmad Kawa, a suspect in the terror attack at the Red Fort in 2000, ANI reported. Kawa, a suspected Lashkar-e-Taiba militant, was arrested from the Indira Gandhi International Airport in New Delhi earlier this month.The police had then alleged that the 37-year-old’s bank account was used for the hawala transactions that funded the Red Fort terror attack, as well as militant operations in J&K .On Wednesday, Additional Sessions Judge Sidharth Sharma said there were others accused who had been acquitted or discharged by the trial court and the Delhi High Court, and they were facing more serious charges than Kawa, PTI reported. The court granted bail to Kawa on a personal bond of Rs 50,000, and asked him not to obstruct investigation.In his bail plea, Kawa said no purpose would be served by keeping him in custody.scroll
Another Kashmiri youth beaten up in Haryana
Ambala: 5 days after two Kashmiri students were beaten up by a group of youth in Haryana’s Mahendragarh district, a student from Kashmir was attacked by youths at a private university at Mullana, 50 km from Ambala. Incident occurred at Maharishi Markandeshwar University on Wednesday.Mullana SHO Rajesh Kumar and university security in-charge Manbir Singh said the complainant, Mudasir Ahmed, who is studying for a bachelor’s degree in radiology, and Krishan Kumar, a second year bachelor of pharmacy student, had an argument before he beat him up. Kumar was placed under suspension soon after the altercation. udasir, who hails from Sopore, said Kumar used to intimidate him and pass remarks about Kashmiris to which he objected. “On Wednesday, he sought to meet me but when I met him at the market near the university, he slapped and beat me along with some outsiders,” Mudasir said.HT
Haryana to withdraw 70 FIRs, Jats adamant on disrupting Amit Shah’s rally
Rohtak:Even as Haryana Govt announced to withdraw 70 cases against Jats registered during the February 2016 quota stir, All India Jat Arakshan Sangharsh Samiti president Yashpal Malik said they will go ahead with their plan to disrupt BJP national president Amit Shah’s Jind rally on Feb. 15.HT
Union Minister Giriraj booked in land grabbing case in Patna
PATNA:Union Minister and BJP MP from Nawada in Bihar Giriraj Singh has been booked in a case of land grabbing along with 32 others in Danapur of Patna district.On the direction of the Patna Civil court, an FIR was lodged at the Danapur police station, on the outskirts of Patna against Mr. Singh, who is Minister for Micro, Small and Medium Enterprises, allegedly for forcibly grabbing over 2 acres.Resident of Asopur village in Danapur Ram Narayan Prasad had petitioned in the SC/ST special court the 33 persons had conspired to grab his over 2 acres for sale and purchase.Danapur police station officer-in-charge Sandeep Kumar said the case has been lodged under various sections of IPC and SC /ST Act as well.The Rashtriya Janata Dal has demandedSingh’s resignation.thehindu
Budget Session: Chidambaram poses 12 questions to Modi, claims real GDP growth nil since 2014
Mocking the Modi Govt's economic policies, P Chidambaram said that we are the only country that claims that the jobs have gone down but the GDP has gone up."Where have all the jobs gone? what is this mystery? I will tell you," Chidambaram said as he read out a data about a slew of vacancies across Govt departments.  He asked 12 questions related to the state of the economy as he claimed that the real GDP of the country, in various sectors, has not changed since 2014. The real GDP values are adjusted for inflation, while the nominal GDP figures are not. firstpost
CBI probing how Aircel-Maxis draft report reached Chidambaram: Sources
NEW DELHI: CBI is conducting an internal inquiry into how a 2013 draft report prepared by it in connection with the Aircel-Maxis probe reached former finance minister P Chidambaram's residence, from where the Enforcement Directorate had seized it during a raid, CBI sources said.Sources in the ED said the document was seized by the sleuths of the agency on January 13+ from the Jor Bagh premises of the Chidambaram family.The agency, on that day, had searched a number of premises in Delhi and Chennai, linked to Chidambaram's son Karti Chidambaram.PTI
Tharoor fears BJP planning ‘major assault’ on the Constitution
BJP Govt is looking to make a’major assault’ on the Constitution if the ruling party gets a majority in both the Houses of Parliament, says Congress MP Shashi Tharoor, who feels the attack on various constitutional provisions, like Article 370  on Kashmir and secularism, will be part of attempts to create a Hindu Rashtra (nation).Tharoor, a second-time Lok Sabha member from Thiruvananthapuram in Kerala, also feels that the Congress and like-minded secular parties should come together on a common platform to resist the Hindutva onslaught in the next Lok Sabha elections. Even the Left parties could come on that platform post elections if necessary, according to him.IANS
Sushma Swaraj meets Saudi King, discusses steps to boost strategic ties
Riyadh;External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj on met Saudi King Salman bin Abdulaziz and discussed steps to further intensify the bilateral strategic partnership in all sectors and to work towards each other’s progress. Swaraj, who arrived on Tuesday on her maiden visit to Saudi Arabia, called on King Salman here. “Steps to further intensify our strategic partnership in all sectors and to work together towards each other’s progress came up during warm discussion,” Ministry of External Affairs spokesperson Raveesh Kumar tweeted. Earlier, Swaraj met her Saudi counterpart Adel al-Jubeir and discussed ways to enhance bilateral trade, energy, defence and security ties. Kumar said the discussions between the two leaders focused on enhancing trade and investment, energy, defence and security, culture and people-to-people ties. The two leaders also discussed the regional and global situation, Kumar said.PTI



Saudi temporarily bans poultry imports from India over bird flu
Saudi Arabia has temporarily banned imports of live birds, hatching eggs and chicks from India after a form of bird flu that is highly lethal for poultry was found, the Saudi agriculture ministry said on Thursday.In January, the World Organisation for Animal Health (OIE) said, citing a report from the India's agriculture ministry, that India had reported an outbreak of a highly contagious bird flu virus near Bengaluru in the southern state of Karnataka.The Saudi Ministry of Environment, Water and Agriculture said in a statement that its ban was issued in accordance with the warning released by the Paris-based OIE, the Saudi state news agency SPA reported. According to OIE report, posted on its website, the H5N8 virus was detected on December 26 among birds in the village of Dasarahalli, killing nine out of 951 birds. The others were culled. No details were given on the type of birds involved.Reuters
Palestine’s deputy envoy: PM Modi to “touch and see” Israel’s atrocities during his visit
Palestine’s President Mahmoud Abbas will show PM  Narendra Modi how Israel is “destroying” the two-state solution in the occupied territories by constructing settlements and military checkpoints.“The PM  will “touch and see on the ground” how Israel is destroying the two-state solution,” Dr Wael Albattrekhi, the Deputy Head of Mission at the Palestine Embassy in New Delhi has said.PM  Narendra Modi will be visiting Palestine on Feb.10, as part of his three-nation tour to the UAE and Oman.“We believe and expect that India will stand with justice, right and with the resolutions of international legitimacy and international consensus regarding the Palestinian issues and the conflict between Israel and Palestine, in order to end the Israeli occupation,” Dr Albattrekhi said ahead of PM’s visit.nationalheraldindia
India looks to pile pressure on China, seeks overhaul of UN sanctions committees
Washington;With China determined to block any effort to get Jaish-e-Mohammad chief Masood Azhar declared a terrorist by the UN, India has launched a diplomatic drive for more transparency and accountability in the way the world body sanctions terrorists, or other entities.The near-term objective of this ambitious project — a change of this kind at the United Nations could take 20 years or more — is to “raise the bar” for China, said an official familiar with the push, and make it difficult for Beijing to hold or block such an effort from the safety of anonymity.India’s permanent representative to the UN Syed Akbaruddin launched the drive Tuesday, as he questioned the functioning of sanctions committees, saying these formed the “subterranean universe” of the security council.“Unlike in the security council, where vetoes are cast in public meetings and explanations made publicly, in the subterranean universe, no such practice exists,” he said during a debate on the working methods of the security council.hindustantimes
India’s education budget still far short of what Kothari Commission recommended: RTE Forum
Right to Education (RTE) Forum on Wednesday expressed its concern over the education budget for the country which, it said, continues to fall short of the global average and the recommendations of the Kothari Commission. The forum, which invited several parliamentarians to discuss the funds for education in the Union Budget 2018-19, pointed out the reduced allocation for the Sarva Shiksha Abhiyan (SSA) and the other one meant for secondary education. Asking for an increased “transparency and accountability”, Forum’s convener Ambrish Rai said Govt reduced SSA’s allocation by 17 % in last three years (not including this year).IANS
Rajasthan Man held after slapping  a Muslim beggar, forcing him to chant ‘Jai Shri Ram’
JODHPUR: A 22-year-old man was arrested by Sirohi police after a disturbing video of him slapping a Muslim beggar and forcing him to chant "Jai Shri Ram" went viral on social media groups.In the 3-minute video, Vinay Kumar Meena, in an inebriated condition, is seen slapping Mohammad Salim (45) and hurling expletives at him. "The accused was heavily drunk and recorded the video himself. Meena grabbed Salim's beard and slapped him multiple times, asking him to chant "Jai Shri Ram", while the victim trembles in fear. Meena again punched and slapped him," an official informed TOI."The accused is a resident of Pali. He had come to meet his father who works at Abu Road. Meena realised that he was in trouble after the video went viral. To salvage his reputation, he shot another video wherein he apologised for the act and spoke about his firm belief in the diversity of the country," he said, adding that Meena was arrested on Tuesday.TOI
Woman’s parents allegedly kidnap her for marrying a Muslim man, HC tells them to get marriage registered
Mumbai: In good news for a Mankhurd-based Muslim man, his Hindu wife on Wednesday informed the Bombay High Court of her willingness to continue living with her husband and his family. This comes after the woman was allegedly kidnapped by her parents, who opposed the ‘inter-caste’ marriage. The woman, a native of Mangalore, was produced before the division bench of Justice Bhushan Gavai and Justice BP Colabawala, who were hearing the habeas corpus petition of her husband Iqbal Chaudhary.According to Iqbal, he met his wife on Facebook way back in 2011 and after having a love affair for nearly six years, the couple decided to marry in June 2017. His wife left her parent’s house in Mangalore and came down to Mumbai in June last year and within a few days she got converted into Islam. The couple got married as per rituals of the Muslim community.“After they got married, the wife’s family went to Iqbal’s house and threatened them; later, a group of men too barged into the house and made similar threats. While the couple were spending some time together in Vashi, the wife was kidnapped by some unknown persons, who Iqbal claimed were from her family,” said advocate Hasnen Qazi, who represents Iqbal in the court.freepressjournal
No proposal to remove Darwin's theory from curriculum: HRD
NEW DELHI: There is no proposal to remove Charles Darwin's theory of evolution from school or college curricula, the Rajya Sabha was informed today."CBSE has intimated that Charles Darwin's evolution of species is a part of the curriculum under the elective subject of Biology for class 12," Minister of State for HRD Satya Pal Singh said in response to a written question in the Rajya Sabha.PTI
India ranks 44 out of 50 nations in global Intellectual Property index
Washington :India has “increased substantially” its score in the latest international Intellectual Property (IP) index released by the US Chambers of Commerce on Thursday, ranking 44th out of 50 countries. India’s overall score has increased substantially from 25 per cent (8.75 out of 35) in the 5th edition of the Index to 30 per cent (12.03 out of 40) in the 6th edition, according to the annual report prepared by the Global Innovation Policy Center (GIPC) of the US Chambers of Commerce. Despite improvement in the score, India continues to remain towards the bottom of the ladder. It now ranks 44 out of 50 countries.PTI
WORLD
Maldives President sends envoys to China, Pakistan and Saudi ; India not on list
New Delhi:Maldives’ beleaguered President Abdulla Yameen, facing pressure from the world community to end a state of emergency, has dispatched envoys to the “friendly nations” of China, Pakistan and Saudi Arabia to lobby for support but has no plans to send a representative to India, one of the island nation’s closest allies.PTI, however, quoted the island nation’s envoy to India Ahmed Mohamed as saying, “ India was in fact the first stop planned and proposed for a visit of a special envoy of the president of Maldives. However, the dates proposed were not suitable for the Indian leadership.”“We understand the external affairs minister is out of country and the PM  is leaving for UAE during the week,” he added.An official said three members of the Cabinet, on the direction of Yameen, will visit “friendly nations of the Maldives and provide updates on the current situation”.Economic development minister Mohamed Saeed was sent to China while foreign minister Mohamed Asim left for Pakistan on Wednesday evening. Agriculture minister Mohamed Shainee was scheduled to travel to Saudi Arabia on Thursday.The move showed Yameen’s regime had decided to align itself closely with China, which had on Wednesday opposed any foreign intervention in the Maldives while responding to Nasheed’s call to India to use its military to end the turmoil in the island nation.hindustantimes
Ex-Bangladesh PM Khaleda Zia gets 5 years in jail for corruption
Dhaka:A Bangladesh judge convicted opposition leader Khaleda Zia of corruption and sentenced her to five years in jail on Thursday as police clashed with thousands of her supporters outside the court.The court found the two-time former premier guilty of embezzling money meant for an orphanage, a charge she had consistently dismissed as politically motivated.Zia, leader of BNP, is expected to appeal against the verdict, but it may affect her ability to stand in a general election slated for December.“This is a false and staged case. No way we will accept this verdict,” BNP secretary general Fakhrul Islam Alamgir told AFP after the hearing.Zia’s lawyer Khandkar Mahbub Hossain said the ruling was “political vengeance” and would be overturned by a higher court.Ahead of the hearing police fired tear gas at thousands of opposition activists who defied heavy security to escort the car taking Zia to the magistrates court.The private television station Somoy said at least five police officers had been injured and 2 motorcycles torched during the clashes that broke out several kilometres (miles) from the court premises. Around 3,500 opposition activists and officials were arrested in a sweep by security forces ahead of the verdict according to BNP spokesman Rizvi Ahmed.Human Rights Watch on Thursday urged the Govt to stop what it called “arbitrary arrests and detentions”.“The Bangladesh Govt’s claims to be open and democratic ring hollow as it cracks down on political dissent,” said the group’s Asia director Brad Adams. “The Govt has a responsibility to prevent and minimise violence, but it needs to do so in a way that respects basic rights, not flouts them.”Many private schools declared a holiday on Thursday in anticipation of the verdict, while several ride-hailing services announced a day-long suspension of their operations.AFP
Khaleda Zia jailed for five years in corruption case
Myanmar 'starving out' Rohingya in Rakhine: Amnesty
Authorities in Myanmar have robbed, abducted and deliberately starved Rohingya men, women and children, in an effort to make life "so intolerable" for members of the minority group that they will leave the country, Amnesty International says. In a briefing released on Wednesday, the human rights group alleged that "ethnic cleansing continues" against the Rohingya, nearly 690,000 of whom have fled Myanmar since the state launched a violent crackdown in northern Rakhine state last August.Security forces have robbed Rohingya families at checkpoints as they attempted to flee to Bangladesh and abducted women and girls from their villages, prompting others to leave in fear, Amnesty reported.However, the Rohingya said the main reason they continue to flee the country is a shortage of food."We weren't able to get food, that's why we fled," Dildar Begum, 30, from a village near the town of Buthidaung in Rakhine state, told Amnesty International.The food shortage has been caused in large part by the actions of Myanmar's security forces, who are blocking Rohingya from accessing their rice fields, markets and humanitarian aid, Amnesty said."Deliberate actions by the Myanmar authorities ... are in effect starving out many Rohingya who have tried to remain in their villages," the group said.Amnesty based its findings on interviews conducted in Bangladesh with 11 Rohingya men and eight women who fled their homes in December and Jan.Earlier this month, AP uncovered evidence suggesting that hundreds of Rohingya had been massacred in late August by Myanmar authorities and buried in mass graves.aljazeera
‘We’ll starve you out’: How hunger was used to target Rohingya in Myanmar
George W. Bush says Russia meddled in 2016 U.S. presidential poll
ABU DHABI:Former United States President George W. Bush on Thursday said “there’s pretty clear evidence that the Russians meddled” in the 2016 presidential election.Without mentioning President Donald Trump by name, Mr. Bush appeared to be pushing back on Mr. Trump’s decisions on immigration, as well as trying to have warmed relations with Russia.“There’s pretty clear evidence that the Russians meddled. Whether they affected the outcome is another question.” Bush said in Abu Dhabi at a summit put on by the Milken Institute, an economic think tank based in California. Bush said that “it’s problematic that a foreign nation is involved in our election system. Our democracy is only as good as people trust the results.”AP
East Ghouta reels under intense Russian, Syrian bombing
Residents and medical sources in Eastern Ghouta have warned that the Damascus suburb is running short of food, water and medical supplies amid intense Russian and Syrian bombardment of the rebel-held area.The area's designation as a de-escalation zone by Turkey and allies of the Syrian Govt, such as Russia and Iran, has not prevented Syrian forces aided by Moscow from trying to capture the area.Nearly 200 people have died in four days of intense bombardment in the area, whose 400,000 residents have been besieged since 2013. Ahmed Al-Khaled, a wheelchair-bound 34-year-old father of two, told Al Jazeera the area was being "pounded by rockets" day and night by Syrian warplanes, and that residents had few places where they could seek safety.Ahmad Ahmad, a local councillor, told Al Jazeera that Eastern Ghouta was facing a "catastrophic situation"."People here feel that there is no shelter or safe place to avoid the shelling," he said, adding: "I feel a serious threat to me and my family's life."Ahmad explained that, given the shortages of food and water, many were taking desperate measures to stay alive."Weare suffering from a major shortage of drinking water and food. aljazeera

Syria: Israel launched missiles at military targets
Syria has accused Israel of launching air raids on military positions near the capital Damascus, saying the attack showed its support for "terrorist organisations" operating in the area.The raids early on Wednesday targeted military forces in Jamraya, 10km northwest of Damascus, the Syrian military said in a statement carried by state news agency SANA."This morning Israeli warplanes fired several missiles from Lebanese airspace on one of our military positions in the Damascus countryside," it said. "Our air defence systems blocked them and destroyed most of them."UK-based monitoring group, the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights, said some Israeli missiles did hit Syrian targets."Syria's air defence system blocked some of the missiles, but others hit ammunition depots near Jamraya,"said SOHR chief Rami Abdel Rahman.aljazeera
Yemeni Nobel laureate: Saudi , UAE occupy Yemen
Yemeni Nobel Peace laureate Tawakkol Karman has called for an end to what she says is a military occupation of her country by Saudi Arabia and the UAE in an exclusive interview with the Reuters news agency.An outspoken rights advocate and activist with Yemen's Islah party, Karman won the prize in 2011 after camping out in a tent for months in pro-democracy protests that eventually forced Yemen's longtime leader Ali Abdullah Saleh to step down."Saudi-Emirati occupation ... betrayed the Yemenis and sold them out, exploiting the coup of the Houthi militia backed by Iran on the legitimate Govt, to exercise an ugly occupation and greater influence", Karman told Reuters by phone in an interview from her base in Istanbul, Turkey.aljazeera

FLASH: VIEWS & NEWS
Could the violence on the LoC graduate to higher levels of political and military standoff?Happymon Jacob

Egypt's Muslim Brotherhood Finds Favor Again:Abdallah Hendawy , Geneive Abdo, Bloomberg LP

Nine years and counting: Zakkariya, injustice and jails of the ‘Agrahara’:Fayiza CA for TwoCircles.net




Compiled and edited by Anwarulhaq (Released at: 8:03 PM)

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