News and views across the globe.

Sunday, 11 February 2018

11 Feb. ND: Modi launches project for 1st Hindu temple in Abu Dhabi/ 'Salman Nadvi no longer member of AIMPLB'



Evening NEWS DIGEST  
11 Feb.2018:24 Jamadiul-1 1439:Vol:9, No:118
INDIA
Modi launches project for 1st Hindu temple in Abu Dhabi
Dubai:PM  Narendra Modi on Sunday officially launched a project for the construction of the first Hindu temple in Abu Dhabi, describing the holy place as a “catalytic agent” of humanity and harmony that will become a medium of India’s identity. Modi laid the foundation stone for the BAPS Swaminarayan temple via video conferencing from the Dubai Opera House, where he addressed the members of the Indian community. “I would like to request all those associated with the construction of the temple that the rulers here have shown so much respect for India. They have been proud of India’s cultural history. Now it’s our responsibility that there is no mistake on our part,” he told the gathering, amid applause. Modi asked people associated with the construction of the temple and also the worshippers not to cause any harm to others. “This is my expectations from you,” he added.He thanked Crown Prince of Abu Dhabi Mohamed bin Zayed Al Nahyan on behalf of 125 crore Indians for the construction of the grand temple in the Gulf emirate. “People were surprised when Abu Dhabi’s Crown Prince took forward the talks of building a temple in Abu Dhabi. I whole heartedly thank his highness on behalf of all 1.25 crore Indians,” Modi said, amid applause. Modi said this temple will also become a “medium of India’s identity”. “We have grown in a culture where temples are a medium of humanity...Holy place is a catalytic agent of humanity and harmony,” he told the gathering. “I believe this temple will not be only unique in terms of architecture and splendour, but will also give a message of ‘Vasudhaiva Kutumbakam’ to people across the world,” he said.Temple Committee members had presented the temple literature to Modi and Mohamed bin Zayed Al Nahyan last evening in Abu Dhabi.The temple will come up on 55,000 square metres of land. The structure will be hand-carved by Indian temple artisans and assembled in the UAE. It will be completed by 2020, and open to people of all religious backgrounds.PTI
When Abu Dhabi's Sheikh Sultan started his speech with 'Jai Siya Ram' - Watch video
PM Modi addresses at World Govt  Summit, expresses his gratitude to UAE for being home to 12 lakh NRIs
Dubai:While addressing World Govt  Summit, PM  Narendra Modi on Sunday expressed his gratitude to UAE Govt  for accepting as many as 12 lakh NRIs as a part of their country and providing them shelter. "It is a matter of pride for not only me but also the 125 Crore people of India that I have been called as the Chief Guest at 6th edition of World Govt Summit: PM Narendra Modi in Dubai #ModiInUAE," he said. This is his second visit to UAE after 2015, however, each time he visits the land, he is warmly welcomed and shared that he feels no less than being at home.ANI
PM Modi to visit Sultan Qaboos Grand Mosque in Oman
Muscat: PM  Narendra Modi on Sunday arrives in Oman after concluding visits to Jordan, Palestine, and the UAE. On the last leg of his 4-nation tour, the PM will address a large community programme in Muscat. He will also visit a 200-year-old Shiva temple and Sultan Qaboos Grand Mosque in Muscat.The PM will visit Grand Mosque in Muscat on Monday. The mosque, which allows non-Muslim visitors, is one of the highlights of Muscat. The breathtaking complex is said to be a magnificent piece of modern Islamic architecture.Persian carpet in the main prayer hall measures 70m by 60m wide, making it the second-largest hand-woven Iranian carpet in the world. Six-hundred women took four years to weave the carpet. timesnownews
 PM Modi says ‘I am seeing mini-India in Oman’
 AIMPLB & BABRI ISSUE
Salman Nadvi no longer member of the board: AIMPLB
Hyderabad: AIMPLB today approved Maulana Syed Salman Husain Nadvi's "decision to quit" as its executive member, days after he met Sri Sri Ravi Shankar over the Ayodhya dispute and said at the board's meeting that shifting of a mosque is possible according to the Sharia."Moulana Salman Nadwi is no longer a board member. Sub- committee of the board accepts Nadwi's (sic) decision to quit the organization," All India Muslim Personal Law Board (AIMPLB) today said in its official Twitter account.However, AIMPLB member Qasim Rasool Ilyas said "action" was taken against Nadvi after he disagreed with the board's views on the matter.Asserting that Nadvi had himself "disassociated" with the board's views, Ilyas told reporters today, "The board has taken a stand and took the action... This is the Board's unanimous decision. Now he is a free man." Referring to Nadvi's remarks that a mosque can be shifted as per the Sharia (Islamic law), he said the AIMPLB had made its stand clear that masjid is the "home for Allah"."Masjid always remains like that. It cannot be shifted or gifted or sold. This is Sharia. Salman Nadvi's stand is opposite to this. He made it clear that he did not want to change his stand," Ilyas said. AIMPLB Secretary Zafaryab Jeelani and board member Kamal Faruqui told reporters that Nadvi had given statements against the board's stand."He (Nadvi) said he did not agree with the board's stand.He made allegations against the board and he himself said he wanted to leave the AIMPLB," Jeelani said, adding that Nadvi had said that he wanted to form a new board."He (Nadvi) skipped the meeting yesterday and today. As he himself is saying he wants to disassociate with the board, the committee unanimously accepted that he is no more a member... It is he who said he wanted to leave and left and we accepted it,"Jeelani and Faruqui said.When contacted today, Nadvi only said that he was at the airport boarding a flight. One of his close aides said Nadvi had offered to quit the board yesterday itself.PTI
AIMPLB removes cleric Nadvi after his remarks over Babri issue
Babri Masjid essential part of Islam's faith, Muslims can never ‘abdicate’ it: AIMPLB
Hyderabad: Babri Masjid will remain a mosque till eternity and Muslims can never exchange land for the masjid, AIMPLB said in Hyderabad on Sunday.In a statement issued on the concluding day of its 26th plenary, the board said Babri masjid is an essential part of faith in Islam and Muslims can never "abdicate" the Masjid."Babri Masjid is an essential part of faith in Islam and Muslims can never abdicate the Masjid nor can they exchange land for Masjid or gift the Masjid land. Babri Masjid is a Masjid and it shall remain a Masjid till eternity. By demolishing Babri Masjid, it never loses its identity as a masjid. And according to Shariah, it always remains a Masjid," the statement said.AIMPLB chief Maulana Rabey Hasani Nadvi presided over the 3-day meet which was attended by 400 members and special invitees from different spheres of life including clergy, intellectuals, social and political personalities. The meet discussed and decided to protect the Islamic Shariah.The board stressed the struggle for the reconstruction of the Babri Masjid would continue."Without any doubt, we make it clear that the struggle for the reconstruction of Babri Masjid continues and the appeal in the Supreme Court is being fought rigorously with all the resources available at the disposal of the board," the statement said.AIMPLB further said the country's topmost lawyers are appearing in the apex court in the case on behalf of Muslims.On the triple talaq issue, the board said a bill moved by the Centre to criminalise the practice is "anti-women" and is against the Shariah and the Constitution." Talaq-e-Biddat bill moved by the central Govt  is anti-women. It will create more difficulties for women. It is against Shariah and it is against the Constitution. The efforts made by the Board will continue to stop this bill in the Rajya Sabha," the statement said. AIMPLB will start a country-wide awareness campaign against the bill and will also coordinate with Opposition parties that are against the bill, it said. AIMPLB also decided that state-wide committees and district-level committees will be formed under the aegis of the central body for the purpose.PTI
Attempts being made to outlaw, alter some aspects of Shariah:AIMPLB
AIMPLB expels Maulana Salman Nadwi over Ram Janambhoomi-Babri Masjid remark
I was forced to quit, will continue working for Hindu-Muslim unity: Salman Nadwi
NEW DELHI: Hours after being expelled from the AIMPLB, former executive member Maulana Salman Nadwi said an amicable settlement of the Babri Masjid-Ram Janmabhoomi dispute was imperative for Hindu-Muslim peace and unity.After returning to Lucknow from the AIMPLB's 26th plenary session in Hyderabad, Nadwi alleged that "hardliners" had hijacked the board, which forced him to distance himself from their "official" stance on the Ayodhya dispute."Hardliners in AIMPLB are overpowering the board and it's stand on the Ayodhya dispute, so I stepped away and was made to step away. In 25 years, court could not do anything so it is better to have an out of court settlement for peace and unity," Nadwi told TOI.He opined that any ruling by the Supreme Court, which is currently hearing final arguments in the politically sensitive case, would be partisan and further divide the two communities."Board is saying it will wait for whatever the court decides, I'm saying why wait when you can sit together and decide for peace and stop any riot like situation in the future. Why have such disputes of land that separates people. What the court decides will hurt either one of the community," he said.The Islamic scholar said he will continue to hold meetings with people from both sides of the spectrum, adding that the next meeting will be held in Ayodhya.TOI
Will carry on effort to resolve the Babri Masjid issue out of court, says Maulana Salman Nadwi
Probe Board spokesman Sajjad Nomani's 'massacre of Indian Muslims' speech: Salman Nadvi’s attacks AIMPLB
Hyderabad/Mumbai: Salman Hussaini Nadvi has asked the govt to probe a speech by Khalilur Rahman Sajjad Nomani in which he talked about the "Rohingya style massacre of Indian Muslims"."It's a very serious matter. I want the government of India and also Prime Minister Modi to take a note of it and order a probe so that the facts come out", Salman Nadvi, who is in the news since last three days because of his "Ayodhya Peace Formula", said.Salman Nadvi was referring to a speech made few months before by Khalilur Rahman Sajjad Nomani, who is spokesperson of AIMPLB, in which he said "arms and weapons" have been distributed in every part and district of the country."I ask the government to probe who has distributed arms and weapons in every part and district of the country. It’s a serious matter and should be probed in depth" Salman Nadvi reiterated while talking to India TV."I also ask the RSS people to provide details of its camps where Sajjad Nomani is a regular visitor. The RSS should also make public the names of its members with whom the spokesperson of the Muslim personal law board has close relations", he said.Salman Nadvi said he had also raised the matter during the working committee meeting of AIMPLB which is underway since Friday in Hyderabad.He said he demanded from the Muslim personal law board to ask its spokesperson about his relation with the RSS but the board members were not ready to talk on the matter.According to Salman Nadvi, as soon as he entered the meeting hall, some of the board members started asking him to withdraw my proposal about Ayodhya dispute. “I however said that board spokesperson Khalilur Rahman Sajjad Nomani’s claim about the massacre of Indian Muslims is a more serious matter and hence should be discussed first”, he said, demanding dissolution of the Muslim personal law board.“The Muslim personal law board was never a representative body. As on today it has also lost its credibility. Hence it should be dissolved, and a more representative and accommodative Shariah Application Board should be formed”, he said.ummid
Hindu, Muslim bodies reject Sri Sri’s role in Babri parleys
Lucknow: Talks for a possible out of court settlement of the Babri Masjid dispute initiated by Sri Sri Ravi Shankar, founder of Art of Living, seem to have run into trouble at the onset.all-powerful chief of Ram Janmabhoomi Nyas, Mahant Nritya Gopal Das, VHPand prominent saints of Ayodhya have refused to accept any ‘outside’ mediation.Nritya Gopal Das is the most revered saint of Ayodhya and his opinion is taken seriously by the Yogi Govt .The comments coincide with a similar stance from Muslim organisation AIMPLB which too opposed parleys.“Nothing less than construction of Ram temple at lord Ram’s birth place in Ayodhya is acceptable. Babri Masjid will not be accepted in Ayodhya,” said Sharad Sharma, state spokesperson, VHP.HT
AIMPLB linked to terror groups operating in Pak, Saudi: Wasim Rizvi
Lucknow: Shia Central Waqf Board chairman Wasim Rizvi on Sunday termed AIMPLB as one of the subsidiaries of terror groups operating in Pakistan and Saudi Arabia."Terrorist organizations of Pakistan and Saudi take major decisions related to AIMPLB is a branch of such terrorist organisations that is spoiling the atmosphere of the country by following their ideologies," an official statement from Rizvi read.The statement comes in the backdrop of removal of its executive member Moulana Salman Hasni Nadvi, who supported the construction of Ram Temple on the disputed land in Ayodhya,Rizvi also stated that the AIMPLB should be considered a terrorist organisation and be banned.deccanchronicle
Babri: Intellectuals react strongly on attempt to out-of-court settlement
New Delhi:Anger prevails among Muslim circles, on the meeting of Muslim intellectuals with Sri Sri Ravi Shankar for out of court settlement of Babri Masjid dispute. Now that the Supreme Court has made it clear that the issue is of ‘place’ nor of ‘faith’, the meeting is meaningful.They urged Muslim Personal Law to clear its stand on the meeting and to take strict action against those who attended the meeting. Prof. Akhtarul Wasey said though there’s no ban on meeting with someone, but the interest of the community should not be toyed with. Chairman Delhi Minority Commission Dr Zafarul Islam Khan said Babri Masjid has been demolished, there’s no need to act without pondering, now SC will give the judgment. Religious leader and imam of Shahi Masjid Fatehpur, Dr Mufti Mukarram Ahmed said now all the phases of discussions have ended. He said when the court cannot intervene into the shariah how can some scholars decide of shifting the masjid at another place.This is not a house. President Muslim Majlis Mushaverat Naveed Hamed said that meeting of Muslim leaders with Sri Sri Ravi Shankar is technically meaningless, because the dispute cannot be solved without the consent of the parties, if they were so serious did they spoke to Sunni Waqf Board, AIMPLB and other parties who are party to the Babri Masjid dispute case, he asked. siasat
Babri Masjid dispute has nothing to do with Hindu faith: Swami Agnivesh
Kochi: Social activist Swami Agnivesh has urged the Central Govt  to complete the remaining proceedings in the Babri Masjid demolition case, in which several BJP leaders were chargesheeted by CBI. Agnivesh welcomed the Supreme Court decision to consider the controversial Babri Majid issue as a land dispute case. “Hindu fundamentalists are persuading Muslim groups to give up their claims on Babri Masjid. The dispute has nothing to do with Hindu faith though BJP leaders claim it to be a matter of Hinduism.  First, a decision should be taken over the further proceedings in the Babri Masjid demolition case in which leaders, including LK Advani, have been chargesheeted,” he told reporters here on Saturday. Agnivesh lambasted the claim of Hindu groups that the disputed land is the actual birthplace of Lord Rama. “There is no historical evidence to prove Rama was born at the place where Babri Masjid is located. There are more than 15 temples, claiming to be the actual birthplace of Rama, in the vicinity of the controversial land,” he said. He also cited a host of reasons to contradict the claim Babri Majid was constructed after demolishing a temple in 1528.“Poet Thulasidas was in Ayodhya when the invaders alleged to have desecrated the temple. Thulasidas should have been disturbed if a temple was demolished. There has been no mention of any such attack on the temple in any of his literary works. Great scholars like Guru Gobind Singh, Maharshi Dayanand, Swami Vivekananda or Mahatma Gandhi never mentioned about a Ram temple in Ayodhya in their lifetime,” he said.newindianexpress
Babri dispute: Maulana Salman Nadwi is going against the stand of his grandfather Maulana Ali Miyan

 AIMPLB Women members oppose triple talaq bill
Hyderabad:Women members and invitees to AIMPLB plenary meet reiterated their changes in Triple Talaq Bill.During the debate at the internal sessions in the evening, women were unanimous in their decision to oppose the Bill. High Court advocate Neelofar S. Akhtar, who had arrived from Mumbai on an invite, said, “We have freedom of religion and talaq for us is a religious matter and we should be allowed to resolve it. It is just politics by the Centre and should stop.” “Bill is being wrongly interpreted, though the present setup is sufficient. Women and men have equal rights in Islam but it is being projected wrongly,” she added.Another women member, who insisted on anonymity, said the model nikahnama being proposed by the board would reduce the problem to a certain extent. “Islam prohibits instant triple talaq. So where is the question of bringing in a law,” she said.deccanchronicle
OTHERS
Jammu Army camp attack: 5 soldiers, a civilian, and 3 militants killed, says Army
Srinagar: 3 soldiers, one civilian and the third militant killed in the ongoing operation against the holed up fidayeens in the Sunjwan camp of Army’s 36 Brigade on Sunday, according to the Army.Jammu-based Army Public Relations Officer Lt. Col. Devender Anand told The Hindu that the bodies of 3 soldiers, including a JCO, were found during the sanitising of the residential quarters. “They were killed by the terrorists in the initial stage on Saturday,” said the Army spokesman. He said the body of a civilian, a father of a jawan, was also found.“A total of six casualties occurred, including two JCO, and a civilian since Saturday morning,” said the Army.The Army said it killed third Jash-e-Muhammad militant. “The militant was also heavily armed like two others and was carrying AK-56, ammunition and grenades,” said the Army.All the deceased soldiers belong to Jammu and Kashmir, said the Army. The police had earlier suggested four militants were killed in the operation. 10 civilians, including six women and children, were also injured in the past two days. The condition of a 14-year-old boy remains “critical”, said an official. Meanwhile, the Army said the operation is on in the area.thehindu
Army confirms 9 fatalities in Army camp attack in Jammu
In the line of cross-fire: From bullets to guided missiles, the risks are a living reality along LoC
JKLF leader Maqbool Bhat death anniversary: Restrictions in Kashmir, separatist leaders detained
Srinagar ;Authorities imposed restrictions in Srinagar and some other parts of the Kashmir Valley on Sunday to prevent separatist-called protests to mark the 34th death anniversary of Maqbool Bhat, founder of the JKLF. Bhat was hanged on February 11, 1984, in Tihar Jail.Besides Srinagar, restrictions were imposed in north Kashmir’s Kupwara district and Sopore town. Bhat belonged to Kupwara’s Trehgam village.Senior separatist leaders, Syed Ali Geelani, Mirwaiz Umer Farooq and Muhammad Yasin Malik, have been placed under detention to prevent their participation. Contingents of police and paramilitary CRPF in full riot gear have been deployed in the restriction imposed areas. Public transport remained off the roads in Srinagar and most of the places in the Valley. Meanwhile, Saima Wani, 18, injured during gunfight in Shaigam village of Shopian district on January 24, succumbed in a Srinagar hospital.IANS
Kasganj murder case: Wife of accused dies, kin says was taken ill since his arrest
Lucknow: A 63-year-old woman, who had been ill since the arrest of her husband and son accused in the Abhishek Gupta murder case, died on Friday during treatment in Aligarh medical college. Police had picked up Naseeruddin (70) and Akram (19) following the Kasganj communal clash on Jan.26. According to their relatives, Naseeruddin’s wife Haseen Bano lost consciousness soon after the arrests. The duo were allowed to perform final rites of the deceased on Friday, on the orders of the DM.“Mother was rushed to a local clinic, but her condition did not improve. On Thursday, her condition deteriorated and we rushed her to Aligarh medical college where she died around 3.30 am the next day,” said son Masrat Hussain, 28, who runs a motorcycle repair shop in Kasganj.Apart from the murder charge, Naseeruddin and Akram are also accused of sedition. “They are falsely implicated in the case. Both were at their shop on January 26 when police arrested them. My sister later met senior police officers and told them that they were not involved in the violence. They had assured her that both would be released after questioning. However, next day, we came to know that police produced my father and brother before court on murder charge and they were sent to jail.”indianexpress
More Muslims than Hindus killed in communal murders: govt
Mangaluru: Stung by BJP's scathing comment ('It's ease of doing murders not business in Karnataka'), Conrgess Govt  has hit back by releasing statistics about communal killings during their tenure which indicate that such crimes have drastically reduced.On BJP's accusation of increase in communal murders, Congress pointed out that, since 2013, 13 Muslims were killed by organisations such as HJV, Sri Rama Sene, Bajrang Dal and others compared to 11 Hindus getting killed by Muslim activists. It pointed out that MP Shobha Kharandlaje's list mentioned 14 persons killed due to communal reasons, but investigation revealed that one person is still alive and majority of the rest were killed for "political" reasons and suicide.Majority of both Hindu and Muslim deaths had taken place in undivided Dakshina Kannada."BJP said Congress is fostering communal tensions and murders increased during our tenure. To expose their lies, we have released data which point to a steep decline in crime rates," said home minister Ramalinga Reddy. TOI
Central agencies nab 3 ISIS suspects in Gaya
Patna: The central intelligence agencies including NIA and IB along with Gaya police have nabbed 3 suspects allegedly owning allegiance to global terror outfit ISIS from different locations in Gaya district on Saturday.Intelligence agency sources said the suspects have been identified at Mohammad Anwar Hussain (24), Mohammad Shammi (22) and Mohammad Shaad (22). Arms and ammunition including a country made 9mm pistol have also been seized from their possession. Sources said that they were under surveillance for a long time and were involved in financial transaction made to different part of the country for terror funding and luring youths for ISIS. 2 posters appealing youths to join ISIS were also found in Rohtas and Aurangabad in Bihar in last one year.They also said the trio have associates in primarily in Jammu and Kashmir, Maharashtra, Kerala and UP.A senior intelligence officer on condition of anonymity, said that Anwar was running a marble cutting shop in Maroofganj under Civil Lines police station area but behind the curtain he along with the others were working as a covert agents for ISIS to build its network for terror attack across India.timesofindia
Bihar: NIA picks up 3 with terror links for quizzing
Policeman arrested for rape and murder of 8-yr-old girl in Jammu
Srinagar:  Last month, when a nomad family from Kathua district, 80 kms away from Jammu, filed a missing report for their 8-year-old daughter, among those appointed to trace her was a young Special Police Officer (SPO) called Deepak Khujaria. A week later, police found her body - she had been brutally raped and murdered. Now, the police say, it was the same officer who carried out the crime.Khujaria, a 28-year-old SPO posted at Police Station Heera Nagar, has been arrested by a Special Investigation Team of the Crime Branch for the incident.The little girl was kidnapped when she was herding horses at Rasana village on January 10. Her disfigured body was found on Jan.17.The police said Khujaria, along with an underage boy, raped and murdered the 8-year-old after holding her captive for a week."We have clinching evidence about his (Deepak Khajuria's) involvement. There was motive and we have evidence as well," said Alok Puri, the Additional DGP, Crime Branch Jammu and Kashmir.The police say the accused has confessed to his crime after he was confronted with evidence. The motive behind the crime was to spark fear among the nomad community.Khujaria was part of a police team that had searched the area after the nomad family filed a missing report at police station at Heera Nagar. When members of the nomad community held a sit-in protest demanding justice on January 21, the girl's family said, it was Khujaria who started hitting them with batons. Several people were injured in the police action.ndtv
SBI Wrote Off Rs 200 Billion Worth of Bad Loans in FY17
The country’s largest lender, the State Bank of India, wrote off bad loans worth Rs 203.39 billion in 2016-17, the highest among all the public sector banks. PSBs had a collective write off of Rs 816.83 billion for the financial year.The data pertains to the period when the associate banks of SBI were not merged with it.PSB’s write-off stood at Rs 272.31 billion in 2012-13, Govt  data showed.The figure has jumped nearly three-fold in five years.In 2013-14, the state-owned banks wrote off bad loans worth Rs 344.09 billion; Rs 490.18 billion in 2014-15; Rs 575.85 billion in 2015-16 and hitting Rs 816.83 billion in the fiscal ended March 2017.Besides SBI, Punjab National Bank had a write-off of Rs 92.05 billion in 2016-17, followed by Bank of India (Rs 73.46 billion), Canara Bank (Rs 55.45 billion) and Bank of Baroda (Rs 43.48 billion).In the current financial year, PSBs have written off loans worth Rs 536.25 billion in the six months to Sept.PTI
If Modi returns to power in 2019, there will be President’s rule, says Hardik Patel
Kolkata;Taking a dig at PM  Narendra Modi, Patidar leader Patidar leader Hardik Patel on Saturday said there would be “President’s rule” if Modi comes back to power after the 2019 general elections.He also called for a unity of non-BJP parties to fight against the Modi Govt  which was “trying to divide the country”.“If Narendra Modi comes back to power after the next year’s Lok Sabha elections there would be President’s rule. All non-BJP parties should unite to fight against the Govt  which has been trying to divide the country,” he told Bengali news channel ABP Ananda.Patel also criticised PM  for his comments in Parliament against the opposition.“I want to see someone as the PM  of the country who will speak on education, health, employment, agriculture and security or safety of the country but not someone who spends 90 minutes criticising the opposition in the Parliament. I do not want such a PM ,” he said.IANS
For second time in six months, Azam Khan and son get death threats on phone
Bareilly: Rampur police registered an FIR against unknown people on Saturday for threatening senior Samajwadi Party leader Azam Khan and his older son Abdullah Azam (MLA from Swar constituency of Rampur) on phone, senior officials said.“The FIR was registered in Ganj police station following a complaint from Abdullah Azam regarding the incident,” said superintendent of police, Rampur Vipin Tada. According to the police complaint submitted by Abdullah Azam, he received over four calls from two unknown numbers on Wednesday. “The caller used derogatory language and threatened to kill me and my father Azam Khan,” reads the complaint. The first call came at around 1 am on Wednesday. The next call from a different number was made at 7 am. Both the phone numbers are mentioned in the complaint.HT
OBC intellectuals and activists demand inclusion of caste category in 2021 Census
New Delhi:A group of academicians and activists from OBCs has demanded the inclusion of castes category in the next national general census in 2021.The group, consisting of retired bureaucrat PS Krishna and social activist Chandan Yadav, met at the Gandhi Peace Foundation in Delhi on Friday to discuss the status of the OBC caste census.The members demanded adding a column on caste in the census as had been the practice till 1931. Yadav said the recent Jat and Patidars’ agitations seeking reservation had forced the BJP Govt  to announce a commission, headed by Justice G Rohini, for sub-categorization of OBCs in August 2017. “But the panel does not have any OBC member in it,” he said.HT
Rajnath Singh inaugurates 6th Hunar Haat, platform for artisans from minority communities
New Delhi;Union Home Minister Rajnath Singh on Sunday inaugurated the sixth edition of “Hunar Haat” — a platform made available by the Govt  to the artisans from the minority communities — and pitched for promoting their talent nationally as well as internationally. “There is a need to recognise and publicise the skills of these master artisans. A portal should be developed for the Hunar Haat, so that this platform is publicised at the national and international level,” a statement quoted him as saying at the event.Union Minority Affairs Minister Mukhtar Abbas Naqvi was also present at the event, which is being held along the Baba Khadak Singh Marg here by his ministry. Themed on “development with dignity”, the event was inaugurated yesterday. It will go on till February 18. Singh said the handmade products were not only a result of hand skills, but also of application of the heart and mind. “Every region of our country is full of people who have such talent,” the home minister said. He also paid a visit to the stalls put up by the artisans, craftsmen and culinary experts, who have come from across the country to take part in the event.PTI
WORLD
UN calls for immediate de-escalation in Syria
The UN chief has called "for an immediate and unconditional de-escalation of violence" after Israel launched intensive air raids on what it called Iranian bases in Syria, raising tensions in the region."[A]ll concerned in Syria and the region have a responsibility and must abide by international law and relevant Security Council resolutions," Antonio Guterres said in a statement on Saturday."The secretary-general is following closely the alarming military escalation throughout Syria and the dangerous spillover across its borders," the UN chief's spokesman Stephane Dujarric said.The Israeli army on Saturday launched "large-scale" attacks inside Syria after intercepting what it said was an Iranian drone that entered occupied Golan Heights and the subsequent downing of an Israeli fighter jet by Syrian air defence forces.The White House expressed its support for Israel after the hostilities."Israel is a staunch ally of the United States, and we support its right to defend itself from the Iranian-backed Syrian and militia forces in southern Syria," the White House statement released late on Saturday read.aljazeera
Israel Carries Out "Large-Scale Attack" In Syria After Israeli Jet Crashes Under Anti-Aircraft Fire
Israel carried out extensive airstrikes inside Syria on Saturday, targeting what the Israeli military said were air defense batteries and army bases as well as Iranian positions, in a day of dramatic cross-border confrontations as the threat of a wider regional conflict looms.The Israeli military said it launched the "large scale attack" after one of its F-16 fighter jets crashed under Syrian antiaircraft fire. Eight Israeli jets had been responding to an incursion by an Iranian drone launched from Syrian territory by bombing a Syrian air base, Israel said.Seeking to contain Iran and its proxies, Israel has regularly carried out airstrikes inside Syria, though not on this scale.If a direct hit on the Israeli aircraft is confirmed, it would be the first time an Israeli jet has been brought down by enemy fire since 1982. The strikes that followed were Israel's most significant bombardment inside Syria since the beginning of the nearly seven-year civil war - hitting 12 military sites in the country - eight Syrian and four that Israel said were Iranian.Washington Post
Israel warns over Iran's presence in Syria after air strikes
Jerusalem:Israel issued stark warnings today over Iran's presence in neighbouring Syria after a confrontation threatened to open a new and unpredictable period in the country's seven-year civil war.Israel carried out major air raids in Syria yesterday, including against what it described as Iranian targets in the country -- the first time it had publicly acknowledged doing so since the war began.The raids came after an Israeli F16 fighter jet was shot down by Syrian air defences. The pilots survived, but it was Israel's first loss of a warplane in battle since 1982."We inflicted on Saturday a heavy blow to Iranian and Syrian forces," PM  Benjamin Netanyahu said at the start of today's cabinet meeting."We made clear to everyone that our rules of engagement will not change in any way.AFP
Assad quietly aids YPG against Turkey
US-backed YPG in northern Syria says it has reached agreements with the Russian and Iran-backed regime of Bashar al-Assad to allow reinforcements to be sent to Afrin, to sustain their war against Turkey. YPG is regarded by Turkey as an extension of the Kurdistan Workers' Party (PKK), which has fought a three-decade armed conflict in Turkey and is regarded as a terrorist group by the US and the European Union.Kino Gabriel, spokesman for the Kurdish-dominated Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF), said to Reuters news agency that YPG has reached an understanding with the Assad regime."There are different ways to get reinforcements to Afrin, but the fundamental route is via regime forces. There are understandings between the two forces ... for the sake of delivering reinforcements to Afrin."Aljazeera
Fresh regime attacks kill 6 in Syria’s Eastern Ghouta
EASTERN GHOUTA:Six civilians have been killed in fresh regime airstrikes in the Damascus suburb of Eastern Ghouta, according to a local civil defense official on Sunday.The attacks targeted several towns in the suburb, the official said on condition of anonymity due to security concerns.Two children and a woman were among the victims, the sources said.Anadolu Agency
71 killed as Russian passenger plane crashes near Moscow
Moscow:A Russian passenger plane carrying 71 people crashed outside Moscow on Sunday after taking off from the capital's Domodedovo airport, Russian media reported. The Antonov An-148 plane operated by the domestic Saratov Airlines was flying to Orsk, a city in the Urals, and crashed in the Ramensky district on the outskirts of Moscow. Russian news agencies reported 65 passengers and 6 crew were on board.News agencies said witnesses in the village of Argunovo saw a burning plane falling from the sky. A source from Russia's emergency services told Interfax that the 71 people on board "had no chance" of survival. AFP
Human rights icon Asma Jahangir passes away in Lahore
ISLAMABAD: Renowned lawyer and human rights activist Asma Jahangir passed away in Lahore on Sunday due to a cardiac arrest.Jahangir, 66, was a human rights lawyer based in Pakistan and was Pakistan’s first woman to serve as the President of Supreme Court Bar Association of Pakistan. Family sources have confirmed that her last rites will be performed in Gaddafi Stadium in Lahore at 2pm on February 13, as they await the return of Jahangir’s daughter.tribune
Mahinda Rajapaksa heading for landslide victory in Sri Lanka local poll
Former Sri Lanka president Mahinda Rajapaksa’s SLPP is heading towards a landslide victory at the local Govt  election garnering, 45 per cent of the majority votes, media reports said. Sri Lanka’s ruling coalition yesterday faced its first polls test with over 15 million eligible voters participating in the election to appoint 340 of the island’s 341 local councils, according to officials. According to the results, the Sri Lanka People’s Party (SLPP) has garnered 703,117 votes along with 909 seats whereas the United National Party (UNP) has secured 469,986 votes with 459 seats, the Daily Mirror reported. The SLPP is heading towards a landslide victory at the local Govt  election garnering, 45 per cent of the majority votes, it said. By morning, out of the 81 councils election results declared, Rajapaksa’s SLPP had won 51 councils in an unexpected good show.Both President Maithripala Sirisena’s Sri Lanka Freedom Party (SLFP) and PM  Ranil Wickremesinghe’s United National Party (UNP) are trounced. The UNP had bagged only 10 councils out of the 81 and was in level terms with the north-based Tamil party, Tamil National Alliance (TNA) who had also bagged 10 councils. The voter turn out in the poll was expected to cross 65 per cent, election officials said. Rajapaksa’s good show indicates that he may return to the big arena after being sidelined with his January 2015 loss to Sirisena in the presidential election. The two time president has been voted back with overwhelming support of the Sinhala Buddhist majority who view them as their hero for ending the 30 year separatist war of the LTTE. In a statement, he thanked the voters and appealed for calm in celebrating the victory.PTI
Saudi scholar: Women need not wear abaya robes
A senior religious scholar in Saudi Arabia has said women should not have to wear the loose-fitting abaya robe to cover up their bodies in public.Sheikh Abdullah al-Mutlaq, a member of the Council of Senior Scholars - the highest religious body in the country - made the remark in an interview with a local broadcaster on Friday."More than 90 percent of pious Muslim women in the Muslim world do not wear abayas. So we should not force people to wear abayas," he said.The call was received with mixed reaction on social media.Translation: "Sheikh Abdullah al-Mutlaq must appear on television to fully clarify his remark and take back this peculiar fatwa (religious decree)."aljazeera
Egypt hits Sinai targets, killing 16 and arresting dozens
Egypt’s military has destroyed dozens of targets, killed 16 militants and detained over 30 suspects as part of its latest operation against Islamic militants in the restive northern Sinai Peninsula, the army said on Sunday.Army spokesman Col. Tamer el-Rifai said that airstrikes hit vehicles, weapons caches, communications centres and illegal opium fields in the sweep, which began on Friday and comes as a response to a pickup in extremist violence in Egypt.“The air force targeted and destroyed 66 targets used by terrorist elements to hide from air and artillery attacks,” for shelter during raids by security forces, he said in a statement.AP
Myanmar Says Soldiers, Police Facing Action Over Village Killings
Action will be taken against 10 members of Myanmar's security forces in connection with the killing of captured Rohingya Muslims in Rakhine state, a government spokesman said on Sunday, adding it was not related to a Reuters report on the incident.Reuters on Friday published a report laying out events that led up to the killing of 10 Rohingya men in the northern Rakhine village of Inn Din who were buried in a mass grave after being hacked to death or shot by Buddhist neighbours and soldiers.A Myanmar government spokesman, Zaw Htay, said that "action according to the law" would be taken against seven soldiers, three members of the police force and six villagers as part of an army investigation that was initiated before the Reuters report was published.The arrests were "not because of Reuters news. The investigation was being conducted even before Reuters news," Zaw Htay said, adding that he was unable to specify what action would be taken against the 16 people.Reuters
Senior Hamas delegation leaves Gaza for Cairo
A senior leadership delegation from Hamas left the Gaza Strip on Friday to go to Cairo, spokesman Fawzi Barhoum has revealed in a press release. The group was headed by former Palestinian PM  Ismail Haniyeh, who was accompanied by other members of the movement’s political bureau, Khalil Al-Hayya, Rawhi Mushtaha and Fathi Hammad.Barhoum explained that the Hamas delegation is going to meet Egyptian officials and hold discussions related to the situation in Gaza and the Palestinian cause in general. “This visit comes as part of previous arrangements within the framework of consultations with Egypt,” he pointed out. “The talks are aimed at easing the life of Gaza’s residents and tackling the crises in the besieged enclave, which is on the brink of collapse.”He added that the visit is a follow-up to the implementation of the internal reconciliation based on the deals reached in 2011 and 2017, which were brokered by the Govt  in Cairo. Also on the agenda, said Barhoum, will be talks to protect the Palestinian cause in the face of more illegal Israeli settlements and the US move on Jerusalem.According to Quds Press, this is the second visit for Haniyeh to Cairo since he was elected as the head of Hamas in May last year.middleeastmonitor
Iran celebrating 39 years since Islamic Revolution
Iranians are celebrating their 39th Revolution Day, marking the return of Ayatollah Ruhollah Khomeini from exile.The shah of Iran was removed from power and the Islamic Republic of Iran was born.But many Iranians talk about the Islamic Revolution as though it never ended.aljazeera
UK: Muslim schoolboy triggered terror alert with water pistol, family allege Islamophobia
London: A 7-year-old Muslim schoolboy of Pakistani-origin triggered a terror alert after he spoke about a new water pistol at his school in northern England.His father, Mohammed Gulfraz, has accused Wycliffe CE Primary School in Shipley of targeting his son because he is “not white” and from a “Muslim family” when they sent West Yorkshire Police officers to their home last year.“When the police showed up, my son was scared they would take him away,” he told The Sunday Times.PTI

FLASH: VIEWS & NEWS

BJP Is Playing With Fire, It’s Decency of Ordinary Indians That’s Saved Us So Far:MANOJ JOSHI
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A contempt petition pending for over 20 years may cast a shadow on Supreme Court’s Ayodhya hearing:Ajaz Ashraf
Far from insulting the Karnis and their remote ‘ancestor’ Padmavati, Bhansali insults Muslims and extols the Rajputs:Meghnad Desai
How Darul Umoor is turning madrassa graduates into change agents of society:IANS
‘Aami’ is the safe and sanitised story of the trailblazing Kamala Das:Archana Nathan


Compiled and edited by Anwarulhaq (Released at: 9:25 PM)

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