Wednesday, 14 February 2018

14 Feb. ND: Failure of justice system in Sohrabuddin fake encounter case, HC should relook: Ex-judge Thipsay/ Sohrabuddin case: All accused should be present in court from today, says CBI judge



Evening NEWS DIGEST  
14 Feb.2018:27 Jamadiul-1 1439:Vol:9, No:120
INDIA
Failure of justice system in Sohrabuddin fake encounter case, HC should relook: Ex-judge Thipsay
Mumbai:The way several high-profile accused in the Sohrabuddin Shaikh alleged fake encounter case were discharged, the “absurd” inconsistencies in the legal process, signs of witnesses under pressure or threat, evidence of “mischief” — all point to the “failure of justice and of the justice delivery system”.These are among the series of observations made by Justice Abhay M Thipsay, a former judge of the Bombay High Court who ruled on four bail applications in the case, in an interview to the Indian Express. Speaking out for the first time on the case since he retired last year as judge of the Allahabad High Court in March 2017, Justice Thipsay said the Bombay High Court must exercise its powers of revision, even suo-motu if necessary, to relook at the case.Describing as “absurd” the inconsistencies he found in orders passed by the special CBI court currently hearing the case in Mumbai, Thipsay said the court believed there was an abduction and a staged encounter but still discharged senior police officers. Several aspects of the case raise suspicion, he said, and are “contrary to common sense.”A number of accused were discharged by observing that the evidence against them is weak but on the same evidence, the trial court found there is a case for proceeding against some of the accused. “The version of the same witness, as reflected in police statements, has been believed in the case of some accused and disbelieved in respect of others discharged,” said Justice Thipsay.“You believe that he (Shaikh) was abducted. You also believe that it was a fake encounter. You also believe that he was illegally kept in the farmhouse. And you don’t believe that Vanzara (then DIG Gujarat), Dinesh MN (then Rajasthan SP), or Rajkumar Pandiyan (then Gujarat SP) are involved in that. How could the constabulary or inspector-level officers have any contact with him (Shaikh)? You mean to say a sub-inspector abducted him (Shaikh) from Hyderabad and brought him to a different state? When, on the basis of the same material, you say that there is no case against the SPs (Pandiyan, Dinesh). So the suspicion is that superior officers have been treated differently,” he said.“These orders need to be scrutinised properly before the appropriate fora, and the High Court should look into it,” he said. “It is unusual that bail is denied to a number of accused for several years and then the court holds that there is no prima facie case against those accused. Lower level officers are not discharged but senior officers are discharged though the nature of material against them is the same,” said Justice Thipsay.15 of the 38 accused have been discharged in the case, which is being heard by a CBI court in Mumbai. Those discharged include BJP president Amit Shah, who was then a Gujarat Minister of State for Home Affairs and, Gulab Chand Katariya, then Rajasthan home minister, apart from Vanzara and Pandiyan.With 30 witnesses in the ongoing trial of 22 accused turning hostile since Nov.2017, Justice Thipsay said, “There are many unnatural things that I saw when I started looking at the orders about how discharge orders have been passed in the case.”As a judge of the Bombay HC, Justice Thipsay heard the bail applications of Vanzara, and M Parmar, former DySP, of Gujarat’s Anti-Terrorism Squad; Narendra K Amin, DySP, Ahmedabad Crime Branch; and BR Chaubey, sub-inspector, Gujarat Police. He rejected two and granted bail to Amin in 2013 and Vanzara in 2014.
Former HC Justice says Sohrabuddin Case ‘Failure of Justice’ following acquittal of high-profile accused
I have seen the discharge orders… HC should examine these orders: Justice (retd) Thipsay on Sohrabuddin case
Sohrabuddin case: All accused should be present in court from today, says CBI judge
Mumbai: The special CBI court hearing Sohrabuddin Sheikh alleged fake encounter case has directed all accused to remain present in court for the trial from Wednesday. 22 accused — most of them policemen from Gujarat, Rajasthan and AP — are facing trial. Most seek exemption from appearance before the court through their advocates. “All accused are directed to attend day-to-day trial as some of their advocates are engaged in other courts and remain absent. Hence,the court has to sit waiting for them. Even the witnesses to be examined in the future are required to be examined on the identification of the accused. This also necessitates accused persons to attend court. Any failure to obey this order will be seriously viewed,” Special Judge S J Sharma said in the roznama or daily record of the court.The issue came up on Tuesday when the court had to wait for advocates of the accused to come before it for cross-examination of a prosecution witness. While 2 of accused — Mukesh Parmar and Abdul Rehman — were present in court and most were represented through their advocates, a few were not present to state whether or not they want to cross-examine the witness.indianexpress
News portal carrying shocking report on BJP’s Ram Madhav vanishes
BJP on Monday sought strict action against the news portal that claimed that party leader Ram Madhav was caught red-handed by separatist NSCN with two Naga women in a hotel room in Nagaland even as the portal vanished."We are talking up with such cases very seriously and what is more suspicious is that the news portal which carried the story has completely vanished,"BJP national spokesperson Nalin Kolhi told journalists.He said that the party has sought for appropriate action against those responsible for the mischief under various sections of the law and IT Act.Senior BJP leader Rajiv Pratap Rudy, who was also present at news conference said: "It is a fictitious report intended to tarnish the image of Ram Madhav. Fake news cannot be tolerated. Suspiciously, the news portal has vanished but we are following up with the case aggressively."Media portal ‘News Joint’ had claimed that last week, Madhav, BJP General Secretary in-charge of the North East, “was caught red-handed and saffron faced, working well beyond his brief, with 2 Naga women in a hotel room”. “Madhav was held in captivity by NSCN (Nationalist Socialist Council of Nagaland) for hours. He then made frantic SOS calls to Assam (minister) colleague Himanta Biswa Sarma,” the report alleged, adding that Madhav was released only after Sarma reached out to the NSCN Quoting sources, media portal ‘News Joint’ claimed that last week, Madhav, the BJP General Secretary in-charge North East, "was caught red-handed and saffron faced, working well beyond his brief, with two Naga women in a hotel room"."Madhav was held in captivity by the NSCN (Nationalist Socialist Council of Nagaland) for hours. He then made frantic SOS calls to Assam (minister) colleague Himanta Biswa Sarma, BJP's trouble shooter in the Northeast," the report alleged, adding that Madhav was released only after Sarma reached out to the NSCN.The news portal also claimed that the NSCN also has the video footage in possession, which it has threatened to release in public, "if BJP-RSS do not give in to its demand to call off the assembly elections in Nagaland, due on Feb. 27".IANS
PNB's $1.8 billion fraud may affect other banks too
Punjab National Bank (PNB), the country's second-biggest state-run bank has detected a $1.8 billion fraud at one of its Mumbai branches, the impact of which could extend to other lenders as well. On Wednesday, the shares of PNB plunged almost 10% on the BSE.In a filing to the stock exchanges, PNB briefed about the fraud saying that it was “for the benefit of a few select account holders with their apparent connivance”. “Based on these transactions other banks appear to have advanced money to these customers abroad,” it added.The case poses further questions about the health of India’s banks, which are already grappling with one of the worst bad-loan ratios among big economies. It’s also likely to create a challenge for Chief Executive Officer Sunil Mehta, who took charge last May about a year after PNB and 12 other lenders were fined for violating rules on some $1 billion of foreign-exchange deals.RBI didn’t reply to an email seeking comment.Investigative agencies have been informed about the latest fraud transactions, PNB said. The bank didn’t elaborate on what impact the fraud may have on its finances and it didn’t name the other lenders which could be hurt.“So far there is no clarity on impact on the lender’s bottom line from this,” said Asutosh Kumar Mishra, a Mumbai-based banking analyst at Reliance Securities Ltd. “There is no clarity on whether these transactions are reversed, whether the bank is holding collateral that could back part of these transactions or whether enforcement authorities will be able to recover this amount.”The fraudulent transactions are the equivalent of eight times the lender’s 2017 net income of about Rs 1,320 crore, exchange filings show.TOI
PNB Rs 11,000-crore fraud: Recurring scams can erode investor’s faith in banks; incident calls for stronger checks
Not RBI, Not Jaitley, RSS Planted Note Ban Idea in PM Modi’s Mind: Rahul Gandhi
Bengaluru:Congress chief Rahul Gandhi has again attacked the BJP Govt  at the Centre and said that RSS is running Govt  and has planted its people in every department and ministry.On the last leg of his four-day bus tour of Hyderabad–Karnataka region ahead of Karnataka Assembly polls, Rahul, during his interaction with professionals and business leaders, said, “RSS is running Govt. It has planted its people everywhere.Even secretaries in ministries are appointed by RSS.” Rahul said that even NITI Aayog had RSS people. “Institutions don’t belong to any party or ideology. RSS has planted its people everywhere. Even India’s foreign policy is in a mess. China enjoys a lot of clout in all neighbouring SAARC nations. India has been isolated,” he said. He assured the business community that if the Congress returns to power in 2019, they will revise the complicated GST. He said “we will bring down the tax slabs. Currently GST is too high”.News18
J&K: 30-hour encounter ends, two militants gunned down near CRPF camp
Srinagar : The encounter near a CRPF camp at Karan Nagar in Srinagar, which began on Monday morning, ended with the killing of two Lashkar-e-Toiba militants on Tuesday afternoon, 30 hours after it started. The militants were killed after security personnel opened heavy fire towards the five-storey building they were holed up in. While CRPF constable Mujahid Alam was killed in the gunfight, a senior CRPF officer said one constable was injured. Police said he is undergoing treatment at Shri Maharaja Hari Singh hospital and his condition is stable. After failing to sneak into 23 Battalion CRPF camp, the two militants had taken shelter in a multi-storey building near the camp. The holed-up militants gave tough resistance to the forces and the operation continued through the night.“We could hear sound of bullets and blasts every hour during the night,’’ said Mohammad Aslam, who lives close to the encounter site.
Jammu's Sunjuwan attack: ‘Lost both son, father… God knows what will happen to this family’
Rishipora : Hundreds had gathered outside the residence when the bodies of Lance Naik Mohammad Iqbal and his father Ghulam Mohiuddin Sheikh arrived in wooden caskets on Tuesday. The father and son were among those killed in the terror attack on Sunjwan Army camp.Iqbal, 32, is survived by his mother, wife and an 18-month-old son. He joined the Army 13 years ago. His neighbours said that around a week ago, he called his father to Jammu for a medical check-up. “Unfortunately, this family lost both the son and the father. Only God knows what will happen to them,” said neighbour Ghulam Qadir.A relative said they broke the news to the family only on Tuesday morning. ‘’We had not told them about the killings as Iqbal’s mother suffers from several ailments.’’The body of Iqbal’s father Ghulam Mohiuddin Sheikh was washed and taken to the nearby ancestral graveyard for burial. Later, Iqbal’s body was also taken there. Hundreds of villagers participated in the funerals.indianexpress
5 of 7 Jammu attack martyrs Muslims, why no tweet from PM: Owaisi
Hitting out at the central Govt over the terror attack at Jammu's Sunjwan Military Camp, AIMIM chief Asaduddin Owaisi said 5 of the 7 soldiers martyred were Muslims. Owaisi also questioned why PM  Narendra Modi has not tweeted about the attack even after 4 days. "I want to ask the RSS why it is quiet when 5 out of 7 killed in in Sunjwan attack were Kashmiri Muslims. They question a Muslim's love and loyalty for the country every night in TV studios. They call us Pakistani, but we are the ones dying for the country," Owaisi said in Hyderabad, his Lok Sabha constituency.indiatoday
India-China ties may worsen: 'Uneasy truce could lead to unintentional escalation,' says US intelligence chief
New Delhi: India's ties with China and not just Pakistan are likely to get even worse than they already are, according to the US's intelligence chief."We expect relations between India and China to remain tense and possibly to deteriorate further, despite the negotiated settlement to their three-month border standoff in Aug, elevating the risk of unintentional escalation," said Coats during a hearing on 'Worldwide Threat Assessment' of the US intelligence community yesterday. US intelligence chief was referring to the standoff between India and China in Doklam on the border. The confrontation ended last August after both countries agreed they will pulled out their troops from the face-off site.The uneasy truce continues to be punctuated by aggressive rhetoric from China toward India, especially by its foreign ministry as well its state-controlled media.What the US's intelligence chief is talking about is the possibility that this tense truce, because of its fraught nature, may escalate tensions even if India and China don't provoke.As it is, China's doing plenty to provoke.TOI
Iran President Rouhani to visit India on Feb 15, to discuss bilateral relations with PM Modi: MEA
New Delhi:Iran President Hassan Rouhani will pay a state visit to India at the invitation of PM  Narendra Modi from Feb.15-17, 2018, said Ministry of External Affairs (MEA) on Wednesday. During his visit, both sides would review the progress achieved in bilateral relations and also exchange views on regional and international issues of mutual interest, added MEA.President Rouhani’s visit to India will be significant because only last year in December, Iran launched the first phase of Chabahar port which holds strategic and economic importance for India. The Indian Express had reported on December 4, 2017 that the Chabahar port allows India to bypass Pakistan and reach land-locked Afghanistan and Central Asian countries.New Delhi views Chabahar port project as a strategic response to China’s development of the Gwadar port in Pakistan,and its aggressive pursuit of Belt and Road Initiative. It is also key to accessing Central Asian markets for Indian goods. indianexpress
Trump criticises India for import tax on Harley-Davidson bikes, threatens ‘reciprocal tax’
US President Donald Trump on Tuesday criticised India for imposing a high import tax on Harley-Davidson motorcycles. He said the US charges no tax on Indian bike imports and that India’s new tax was an example of “unfair” trade practices. Trump said the US must impose “reciprocal taxes” to fight back.“I’m not blaming India,” Trump said while talking to lawmakers in the White House.scroll
Congress distances itself from Mani Shankar Aiyar’s ‘Pakistan love’ remark
New Delhi:Congress party on Wednesday distanced itself from the remark made by Mani Shankar Aiyar that he receives “much more hatred in India than the love he receives in Pakistan”, saying the suspended party leader doesn’t have any right to speak on the behalf of the party.“The remark is his own, he is suspended from the Congress party. He doesn’t have any right to speak on the behalf of the party,” ANI quoted Congress spokesperson Abhishek Manu Singhvi as saying in a press conference. Aiyar, who is in Karachi to attend a literature festival, on Tuesday said he receives “much more hatred in India” than the love showered on him by people in Pakistan. He also claimed that people applaud him in Pakistan because he talks of peace.indianexpress
With Aadhaar Act, consent is illusory: Kapil Sibal in SC
New Delhi: The Supreme Court sought to know whether the right of people to remain anonymous will come in the way of the state identifying beneficiaries for providing social welfare benefits.“You are claiming that preservation of anonymity is part of Article 21. Ancillary question to this would be whether that would not come into conflict with the identification of beneficiaries for social welfare measures,” CJI Dipak Misra asked senior advocate Gopal Subramanian, who was appearing for some of the petitioners. CJI Misra is heading a five-judge Constitution bench hearing a batch of petitions challenging the Aadhaar Act. Subramanian said that privacy includes dignity, and anonymity is an “important aspect of dignity”. He contended that Constitutional mandate is in favour of protecting the identity of marginalised sections who are entitled to state benefits.Earlier, senior advocate Kapil Sibal, representing West Bengal Govt,said even identity programme followed by Israel had provisions for both who give consent and those who do not. But with Aadhaar Act, he said, “consent is illusory”.Sibal said, “I don’t think anybody can say the state cannot ask for an identity. But it should be such as to ensure my identity is not in public place…is not centralised.”indianexpress

Withdraw FRDI Bill or will launch nationwide protest:Mamata
Kolkata : CM  Mamata Banerjee announced that Trinamool Congress will start a nationwide protest unless the Centre withdrew the Financial Resolution and Deposit Insurance (FRDI) Bill, which proposes a framework to oversee financial institutions, such as banks, in case of insolvency. “People deposit their hard-earned money in banks. Now, if this Bill is passed, there will be no guarantee that their money will remain secured. I caution the central Govt . It should either withdraw the Bill or be ready to face a nationwide protest,” Mamata said while addressing a public meeting in Nadia’s Krishnanagar area. The CM claimed that the FRDI Bill was Centre’s ploy to ruin the common people.indianexpress
Maneka says Centre may change laws to allow confiscating property of NRI men who desert wives
Women and Child Development Minister Maneka Gandhi said on Tuesday that the Centre is considering changes in criminal law that will allow property of Non-Resident Indian men who desert their wives to be confiscated, the Hindustan Times reported. The new law will also allow for prosecution of NRIs who do not answer summons.“If three notices have been served [to the husband on the ministry’s website] and the person does not appear, it will be assumed that he is evading summons and will be treated as an absconder,” Women and Child Development Secretary Rakesh Srivastava said. “The enforcement agencies will be authorised to attach the property of such persons and their families.”Srivastava said that MEA had already written to the Ministry of Home Affairs, proposing changes to the Criminal Procedure Code in this regard. External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj had headed an inter-ministerial panel to review the legal and regulatory challenges faced by women who are deserted by NRI men.scroll
Delhi Police arrest IM suspect Ariz Khan
New Delhi: Delhi Police Special Cell Wednesday nabbed a 32-year-old IM suspect, Ariz Khan alias Junaid. He has been on the run since the Sept.2008 Batla House encounter, where two IM suspects were gunned down while two others were nabbed by the police. He had managed to escape. Inspector Mohan Chand Sharma was also killed during the exchange of fire. Junaid was nabbed from the Indo-Nepal border.DCP (Special cell) PS Kushwaha, while confirming Junaid’s arrest, told The Indian Express that it was a big catch as he was absconding since 2008. Junaid, a native of Azamgarh, UP and an engineer by profession was allegedly hiding in house number L-18 in Batla House, Jamia Nagar, during the encounter operation by the Special Cell, said police.indianexpress
Deoband ulemas reject Shia scholar’s suggestion of building a college on Ayodhya site
Meerut: Agreeing with the opinion of AIMPLB that Babri mosque will remain where it is until the end of the world (qayamat), the Deobandi ulemas rejected Shia scholar Kalbe Sadiq’s suggestion of erecting a college on the disputed site in Ayodhya.Reacting on the issue, state president of Tanzeem Ulema-i-Hind, Maulana Nadeem-Ul-Wajdi, said, “In Islam, a mosque is the symbol of faith’s foundation and it cannot be changed once established. Neither the site of mosque can be gifted away nor can it be exchanged with some other land.”Another cleric and member of AIMPLB, Maulana Islam Qazmi, said, “The dispute over the site came into existence only after independence from the British. There was no dispute before and none is mentioned in any of the gazettes of pre-Independence India.”Apart from going with AIMPLB’s opinion, the clerics also exhibited “complete faith in the Supreme Court’s decision” on the issue. TOI
It’s time to dissolve AIMPLB, says ousted member Nadwi: news18
Lucknow:All India Muslim Personal Law Board (AIMPLB) ousted member Maulana Salman Nadwi said that “it’s time to dissolve the board”.Hinting at the ‘dictatorial attitude’ of the board members, Nadwi said, “I want peace to prevail in the society but the board is certainly not in this favour. I was not even given any show cause notice before being ousted. Neither any answer was sought from me.” news18
CPIM expresses concern over VHP’s ‘Ram Raj Rath Yatra’
New Delhil:CPI(M) expressed its concerns over the “Ram Raj Rath Yatra” flagged off from Ayodhya and said it had the potential to trigger communal polarisation in the country.The yatra was flagged off from the VHP’s local HQRS Karsewak Puram in Ayodhya by party general secretary Champat Rai. The 41-day yatra will reach Rameshwaram, in Tamil Nadu, after covering parts of UP , Madhya Pradesh, Maharashtra, Karnataka and Kerala.In a statement issued today, the CPI(M) politburo said the yatra flagged off in the presence of Faizabad BJP MP, Ayodhya’s BJP mayor and other BJP leaders had already declared its “main agenda to construct Ram temple” on the disputed land in Ayodhya and re-establish ‘Ram Rajya’.PTI
Ram mandir yatra begins; VHP, BJP leaders attend
Malaysian Court junks suit seeking Zakir Naik’s expulsion
Kuala Lumpur:High Court dismissed today a lawsuit by a group of activists against the Govt  for providing permanent residency to Indian preacher Dr Zakir Naik.Lawyer Adnan Seman, who appeared for Malay rights group Perkasa that acted as an intervenor,said Justice Datin Azizah Nawawi found that Hindraf erred by failing to make Dr Zakir a party to the action. He added that the judge said it was imperative to involve the preacher as any decision in the case would “have an immediate impact on his life.”“This is the reason the suit was struck out,” said Adnan.The plaintiffs were also instructed to pay RM5,000 in costs.Perkasa chief Datuk Ibrahim Ali said today’s decision proved Dr Zakir is a “world class preacher” and “clean”.“The allegations against Dr Zakir — claiming that his sermons have inspired terrorists — are not true. The perception against him has been created by certain parties with their own agenda.“So I hope with this decision Dr Zakir can move freely, can give his sermons and he will be left alone,” said Ibrahim.themalaymailonline
Complaint filed against viral song ‘Manikya Malarayi Poovi’ for allegedly hurting Muslim sentiments
A group of Muslim men has filed a complaint at the Falaknuma Police Station in Hyderabad against the song Manikya Malarayi Poovi from the Malayalam movie Oru Adaar Love, CNN News18 reported on Wednesday. The video of the song featuring actor Priya Prakash Varrier has gone viral on social media. Muqeeth Khan, one of the complainants, told Times Now that the video insults Prophet Mohammad. “After listening to the song, I went for the translation of the lyrics,” he said. “The translation is about our Prophet.”Khan said a boy and girl were shown romancing while, in the background, the prophet’s name comes up. He added that he had filed a complaint in an attempt to exercise his freedom of speech. However, Khan said that he had nothing against the movie, the actor or the song itself. Oru Adaar Love will come out in theatres on Eid at the end of June. The film’s director, Omar Lulu, told Scroll.in that Manikya Malaraya Poovi means “a pearl flower that is very precious”. He added that the song is about the love story of the Prophet Mohammad and his first wife.scroll
Ajit Singh camps in Muzaffarnagar, appeals to Jats, Muslims to reunite
Muzaffarnagar: With just a year to go for general elections, political parties have begun their informal campaigns in UP. On Tuesday, Rashtriya Lok Dal chief Ajit Singh held a meeting with senior Jat and Muslim leaders and appealed to them to bridge the gulf created between the two communities during the 2013 Muzaffarnagar riots.“Every Jat should shake hands with at least one Muslim daily. Members of Jat community should also start visiting homes of their Muslim brethren,” Singh said, adding that “the beginning of the end of BJP rule will begin from this place (westernUP) only”. Having completely lost political ground in his home turf in the past few years, Ajit Singh’s visit is being seen as an attempt to reunite Jats and Muslims, a strong political coalition his father and former PM  Chaudhary Charan Singh had stitched together many decades ago.Addressing a public meeting at the local party office, the ex-Union minister said, “This is the region which remained unaffected even in the aftermath of Babri mosque demolition in 1992. However, communal riots in 2013 split 2 communities here. But the time has come for them to reunite. Jats and Muslims should celebrate Eid and Holi together. Forget what happened in the past and focus on the future.”Many prominent Jat and Muslim leaders from the region were present at the meeting. Jat Sangarsh Samiti has held several similar meetings in the region in the recent past.timesofindia
Kasganj violence not a communal riot, was only a group clash: UP DGP
UP  DGP OP Singh said that the violence in Kasganj in January was only a “group clash”, and has now been “effectively checked”, PTI reported. One person was killed and several people were injured in the violence.Singh added that there have been no communal riots in the state for the last one year. “Tensions do arise due to group clashes in some districts but, overall, UP has been a riot-free state in the past one year,” he said. “There was tension in Kasganj due to group clash but it was effectively checked. We contained its spread.”scroll
Prasar Bharati shortlists Abhijit Majumder, Siddharth Zarabi for top editorial roles: Indian Express
Public broadcaster Prasar Bharati is likely to appoint journalists Abhijit Majumder and Siddharth Zarabi to top editorial positions at DD News and AIR, Indian Express reported on Wednesday. A high-level committee has zeroed in on Zarabi as head of TV news at DD News and Majumder as the chief editor of Prasar Bharati News Service. Zarabi is the executive editor of business news channel BTVI, and Majumder is managing editor of Mail Today. If they are appointed, Zarabi may host DD News’s prime time shows and will handle news production. Majumder is likely to take up news service operations and lead digital platforms.3 days after one person died in communal clashes in Kasganj, UP on Jan.26, Majumder sparked controversy when he wrongly claimed on Twitter that a second person had also been killed. This was based on rumours, for which the UP  police arrested four people. Majumder’s tweet had said: “We are told they deserved this for raising “provocative” slogans and carrying saffron flags in a “Muslim locality”. Such a dangerous justification.” He later deleted the tweet. scroll.in
Sahitya Akademi Winner Donates Prize Money to Lynching Victim Junaid's Family
New Delhi: Noted Malayalam author KP Ramanunni donated his Sahitya Akademi prize money to the mother of Hafiz Junaid Khan, the teenage boy who was killed on a train in Haryana for allegedly carrying beef. Ramanunni handed over the money to Junaid’s mother after receiving the award in New Delhi on Monday. He kept a token amount Rs 3 from the total prize money of Rs 1 lakh and gave the rest to the deceased’s family.KP Ramanunni, who is quite vocal against religious extremism, won the award for his book 'God's Own Book', which talks of harmony among Hindus and Muslims. “Junaid is someone who was killed by Hindu communal forces for just being a Muslim. Let me place this award amount as an offering at the feet of Junaid's mother as an act of penance for that wicked sin, for penance is a special observance in true Hindu tradition,” Ramanunni said. news18
Nagaland elections: BJP offers Christians free Jerusalem trip if voted to power
Among the promises the BJP is making while campaigning in poll-bound Nagaland is a free trip for Christians to Jerusalem, The Hindu reported. “We plan to send groups of senior Christian citizens to Jerusalem if our party comes to power,” Nagaland BJP spokesperson James Vizo said. Congress, meanwhile, has promised voters in the Christian-dominated state a subsidy for the trip. Nagaland Assembly polls are on Feb.27.The offer from BJP, which is contesting the elections as an ally of the NDPP, comes a week after the Nagaland Baptist Church Council warned voters against Hindutva forces in the state. “We cannot deny that the Hindutva movement in the country has become strong and invasive in the past few years with BJP, the political wing of the RSS, in power,” the council wrote in its letter to presidents of all political parties. Some other reports said it was unclear if the BJP’s offer of a free trip to Jerusalem applied only to Christians in Nagaland or also to the other 2 poll-bound states in the North East – Tripura and Meghalaya. Meghalaya will vote on Feb.27 along with Nagaland, and Tripura will have its polls on Feb.18.scroll
Male and female guests eating food together at wedding feast is un-Islamic: Barelvi fatwa
Bareilly: A fatwa passed by a cleric at the Dargah Aala Hazrat on Tuesday said that it was against Shariat for male and female guests to eat food together at weddings. The fatwa said that organisers should maintain difference between mehram (close relatives) and non-mehram (distant relatives, friends and acquaintances). It also said that DJs and dance at weddings are un-Islamic.The fatwa was passed after a resident of Pilibhit, Aniruddin, asked the seminary: “At a recent wedding ceremony of a cleric’s brother, there was DJ and people were dancing. I want to know if it is okay according to Islamic law. Besides, both male and female guests had food together in that party. Is it fine in the light of Shariat?” “Responding to his query, Mufti Kausahar Ali Razvi of Dargah Aala Hazrat has passed this fatwa. He said that both DJ and dancing are against Shariat. Male and female guests should not eat food together at weddings,” said Maulana Shahbudin Razvi.He added, “Islam promotes the pardah system and females should not eat with non-mehram members. Un-Islamic activities are rising during wedding ceremonies so we have decided to conduct a meeting with the imams of mosques and qazis who solemnize nikahs and chalk out a strategy of discouraging it. We had earlier launched a campaign in this connection but it did not help.”timesofindia
Despite Evidence, SC Dismisses Plea for Probe Into Chhattisgarh Chopper Scam: thewire
New Delhi: A Supreme Court bench of Justices Adarsh Kumar Goel and Uday Umesh Lalit on Tuesday dismissed 3 writ petitions seeking an impartial and independent probe by a SIT into what is known as the Chhattisgarh chopper scam.The scam involves the purchase of an Agusta 109 Power E helicopter by the Chhattisgarh Govt  in 2007, resulting in payment of $1.57 million (approximately 30% of the total cost of the helicopter) on the basis of a spurious global tender issued in May that year for the purchase of a specific model of a specific company – Agusta – despite several other manufacturers making helicopters with similar specifications.The petitioners also sought an inquiry into the alleged offshore accounts of Abhishek Singh, son of Raman Singh, the CM  of Chhattisgarh, “a few months after the alleged scam in the purchase of Agusta helicopter for VIP use”. It was alleged that Abhishek had links with some companies in the British Virgin Islands, and that these companies received kickbacks from Sharp Ocean Investments Limited (SOIL), Hong Kong – the dealers of Agusta.A report by the Comptroller and Auditor General (CAG) of India stated in 2011 that the procurement of the helicopter led to a Rs 65 lakh loss to the exchequer. The CAG calculated the loss on the basis of the extra cost paid by the state Govt  due to the avoidable delay in taking a decision on signing the contract by the due date for the purchase of the new helicopter.thewire
Unease in MP BJP over Uma Bharti’s ‘Vyapam conspiracy’ remark
Bhopal:Union drinking water and sanitation minister Uma Bharti’s remark that her name was dragged into the Vyapam scam as part of a political conspiracy has caused a flutter in the BJP, and insiders believe it could lead to an intra-party feud ahead of assembly elections.Addressing a press conference in Bhopal on Tuesday, Bharti had listed her mother’s demise, sister-in-law’s suicide and her name being dragged into the Vyapam scam as the three most agonising moments in her life. Notably, a charge sheet filed at a special court in the state capital had mentioned the Union minister’s name but not as an accused in the multi-layer examination scam. HT
Delhi: Man who allegedly killed missing 7-year-old had told the family that he was a CBI officer
The man arrested in Delhi on Tuesday for allegedly killing a 7-year-old boy had often faked his identity in front of the boy’s family, but was actually preparing for the civil services examination, the HT reported. He had told the family that he would soon join the CBI, and promised to help find the missing boy. 27-year-old Avadesh Sakya had killed the child on January 6 and kept his body in a suitcase at his home since then. Police found the body on Tuesday.The police are investigating his relationship with the women in the boy’s family to see if that had anything to do with the murder.“He would sometimes say he works for the Intelligence Bureau,” the boy’s father Karan Saini was quoted as saying. “At other times, he said he was with the income tax department. In January, he said he had become a CBI officer and would be taking up the job on February 12. He said he had been given a bungalow, a car and a gun. He spoke fluent English and was educated and confident. We believed him.”scroll
Campaign for minorities’ welfare: 1 lakh signatures collected, civil rights body to meet Gujarat  CM today
Ahmedabad;A delegation of minority communities plans to submit to Gujarat CM  Vijay Rupani “one lakh” petitions listing their demands which were signed by members of various religious groups as part of a month-long campaign, in Gandhinagar. Prominent demands include setting up of minorities affairs department in Gujarat and implementation of the PM ’s new 15-point programme.The signature campaign which was started a month ago by the Minority Coordination Committee (MCC), a civil rights organisation claims to have collected one lakh signatures. Mujahid Nafees, convener, MCC, said a delegation plans to call on Rupani with a charter of demands, seeking constitutional rights of minorities in the state.“The state has a population of 80 lakh persons belonging to the minority communities, but there is no department in the state Govt  for minorities unlike other states in the country,” said Nafees, adding that the budgetary provision for minority communities in the state was Rs 55 lakh only. Other states have much bigger minority budgets. “For example, UP has a provision of Rs 700 crore and West Bengal has provided Rs 1,700 crore,” he said.indianexpress
WPI to mount pressure on KCR govt for Muslim quota
Hyderabad:Welfare Party of India alleged that central and state Govt  failed in fulfilling their promises. Speaking to media persons, party’s national president Dr. Qasim Rasool Ilyas accused BJP led NDA Govt of adopting anti-people policies and said the PM is promising of Achhe Din which were far from sight during the past four years. Every class of society is troubled due to Govt ’s policies. Taking a dig at TRS Govt  in Telangana, Dr. Ilyas said that Govt had promised to provide 12 pc reservations to Muslims but no progress has been made during the past 4 years. While passing the bill in the assembly it was sent to the centre. It is imprudent to expect that central Govt will do anything in this regard.He said WPI will mount pressure on Govt for implementation of Muslim quota.siasat
WORLD
Israeli Opposition calls on Netanyahu to quit as Police recommends bribery, fraud charges against him
Jerusalem;Israeli opposition leaders called on PM  Benjamin Netanyahu to step down Wednesday as the embattled premier's allies rallied to his defense following police recommendations that he be charged with bribery and breach of trust in two corruption cases.The police announcement late Tuesday that Netanyahu accepted nearly $300,000 in gifts from two billionaires dealt the PM  an embarrassing blow after years of investigations, but did not appear to immediately rattle his lengthy rule as reaction largely fell along partisan lines.Nearly all of Netanyahu's Cabinet ministers issued statements of support and no coalition partners appeared ready to bolt. Netanyahu's coalition whip, David Amsalem, dismissed the recommendations and accused the police of committing "an illegitimate act here to attempt a coup d'etat in Israel."Opposition politicians, meanwhile, called on Netanyahu to step down, and urged his coalition allies to abandon his Govt . Labor Party leader Avi Gabbay said Finance Minister Moshe Kahlon and Education Minister Naftali Bennett, leaders of two of the larger parties in Netanyahu's coalition, need to choose between supporting the PM  and upholding the rule of law.AP
Israel Police recommends bribery and fraud charges against PM  Netanyahu
UN slams Israel for violating Palestinian teen’s rights
Israel is violating the international Convention on the Rights of the Child by detaining a Palestinian teenager for slapping an Israeli soldier, UN human rights experts said on Tuesday.After an incident in which she slapped an Israeli soldier, Ahed Tamimi, 17, appeared before an Israeli military court on Tuesday.UN experts called for her release, saying that future hearings should be held in strict accordance with international legal standards.“The Convention on the Rights of the Child, which Israel has ratified, clearly states that children are to be deprived of their liberty only as a last resort, and only for the shortest appropriate period of time,” said Michael Lynk, the special rapporteur on the situation of human rights in the Palestinian Territory occupied since 1967.middleeastmonitor
PA has to cancel punitive measures on Gaza or quit, insists Hamas
The Palestinian Islamic Resistance Movement is insisting that the Palestinian Authority in Ramallah should cancel its punitive measures against the Gaza Strip, Felesteen.ps has reported. Hamas denounced PA’s decision to “intentionally reinforce” the measures.The current Govt  was formed in 2014 based on a national agreement but remains dominated by Fatah and PA leader Mahmoud Abbas, whose term of office was supposed to end in 2009.A spokesman for Hamas, Fawzi Barhoum, denounced the Govt ’s “justification” of the punitive measures, which have contributed to the “miserable” situation faced by all Palestinians in the besieged territory. The healthcare sector is particularly badly hit. According to Barhoum, the Govt  is not meeting the needs of its hospitals and healthcare centres in Gaza and has not paid the cleaning companies working in them, pushing them to go on strike.middleeastmonitor
Israel extends education law to settlements
Israeli Knesset has approved a bill which will extend the Israeli education law on academic institution based in illegal settlements in the occupied West Bank, Quds Press reported yesterday.“Ariel University Bill” was passed with 56 votes for and 36 against. It abolishes the Council for Higher Education in the West Bank and brings the academic institutions there under the wings of the Council for Higher Education in Israel.The new law also allows for a medicine faculty to be opened at Ariel University located in the illegal settlement of Ariel. Extremist right-wing Knesset member Shuli Moalem-Refaeli, who submitted the draft law, said: “This law allows Israel to apply its sovereignty over settlements.”middleeastmonitor
Haaretz: Phone call stopped imminent Israeli-Iranian war
Isreali newspaper Haaretz revealed that Russian President Vladimir Putin stopped an imminent Israeli-Iranian war, with a telephone call, following recent escalation. This weekend Israel shot down an Iranian drone over the occupied Palestinian territories and then later had a Israeli F-16 fighter shot down over Syria. The newspaper described the call between Putin and Israeli PM Benjamin Netanyahu, on Sunday evening, as “decisive and fateful as it immediately stopped the escalation.”The newspaper concluded that the Russian President provided an acceptable solution to both conflicting parties, and pointed out that this is a clear conclusion which can be drawn from the sequence of events on Saturday, as translated by Arabi21. The newspaper also said that the Israeli raids on targets in Syria raised Moscow’s concerns, since they have targeted locations close to the areas of spread of Russian advisers, especially at Tiyas Military Airbase (T-4 Airbase) in eastern countryside of Homs.middleeastmonitor
Rights group: Syria regime has used chemical weapons 211 times
The Syrian regime, headed by President Bashar Al-Assad, has used chemical weapons 211 times since the start of the crisis, the Syrian Network for Human Rights said yesterday.Some 1,421 people have been killed in the attacks, group added.Of the chemical strikes committed, 33 were before UN Security Council Resolution 2118 was issued in 2013 and 178 took place after. The resolution provided a framework for the elimination of Syrian regime’s chemical weapons arsenal.Some 109 occurred after 2015 UN adoption of Resolution 2209 which condemns any use of chemicals as a weapon in the Syrian Civil War and threatens to use force if chemical weapons are used again in conflict.middleeastmonitor
Leader of Yemen’s Islah party assassinated in Aden
Unknown gunmen have assassinated a senior leader of Yemen’s Al-Islah Party in the southern city of Aden.Local sources in Aden said masked men riding a motorbike attacked the al-Islah party leader and the imam of Thowar mosque, Shawki Kamadi while he was in his car in a neighbourhood in the Mualla area and shot him.No one has claimed responsibility for the assassination.The city of Aden witnessed a series of assassinations against mosques imams, army officers and local officials.middleeastmonitor
Trump Lawyer Arranged $130,000 Payment for Porn Star’s Silence
A lawyer for President Donald Trump arranged a $130,000 payment to a former adult-film star a month before the 2016 election as part of an agreement that precluded her from publicly discussing an alleged sexual encounter with  Trump, according to people familiar with the matter.Michael Cohen, who spent nearly a decade as a top attorney at the Trump Organization, arranged payment to the woman, Stephanie Clifford, in October 2016 after her lawyer negotiated the nondisclosure agreement with Cohen, these people said.wsj
Paid $130,000 To Porn Star, Linked To Donald Trump, Says His Lawyer: Report
Trump wants to cut funds for UN missions in Middle East
US President Donald Trump's administration is seeking to decrease its financial contributions to the Middle East in 2019, most notably to UN missions in Lebanon, the occupied Golan Heights, and Western Sahara. The plan, revealed on Monday, is unlikely to make it past sceptical politicians in Congress, however. Douglas Pitkin, the director of the state department's Bureau of Budget and Planning, told reporters on Monday that "because [the department is] looking for greater cost containment at UN more generally,[it does] have lower funding level than the full peacekeeping estimate".Pitkin added that these figures are subject to change.Trump's plan includes slashing US contributions to the UN mission in Lebanon, as well as international peacekeeping missions worldwide. aljazeera
Erdogan slams US 'support for Kurdish YPG fighters'
Turkish President Tayyip Erdogan has slammed US' support for Kurdish YPG fighters in northern Syria, warning that Washington's move to fund the group will impact Ankara's future decisions towards its NATO ally." US decision to give financial support to the YPG ... will surely affect the decisions Turkey will take," Erdogan said on Tuesday."It will be better for them not to stand with the terrorists they support today. I am calling on the people of the United States - this money is coming out of the budget of the US, it is coming out of people's pockets," Erdogan said.His comments were a response to the Pentagon's new defence budget that allocates $550m to military activities in Syria.The US defence department requested $300m for Syrian "train and equip activities" and $250m for "border security requirements related to the counter ISIS mission," according to a copy of the budget.aljazeera
Egypt's former top auditor ordered detained for 15 days
Egypt's former top auditor Hisham Genena has been ordered detained for 15 days for questioning over his claims that the country's former army chief Sami Anan was in possession of "documents and evidence" that would undermine the country and its leadership.Genena's lawyer confirmed to local media on Tuesday he was taken from his home in the New Cairo district of the capital."The military prosecution has decided to detain the former head of the Central Auditing Organization, Judge Hisham Genena, for 15 days for investigation," the official news agency MENA said.aljazeera
Islamabad High Court bans Valentine's Day celebrations across Pakistan; rules it un-Islamic
Islamabad: Pakistan has once again banned Valentine Day's celebrations and its media coverage after the Islamabad High Court ruled the holiday as "un-Islamic".The Voice of America reported that in order to comply with the court ruling, Pakistan's Electronic Media Regulatory Authority (PEMRA) imposed guidelines to its TV and radio licenses to remind them of the ban."Respondents are directed to ensure that nothing about the celebrations of Valentine's Day and its promotion is spread on the Electronic and Print media. No event shall be held on an official level and at any public place. PEMRA is directed to ensure that all the TV channels shall stop the promotion of Valentine's Day forthwith," the PEMRA said in a statement.The judgment also prohibited any advertising or the sale of merchandise associated with Valentine's Day.ANI 
US Pushes to Put Pakistan on TerrorFinancing Watchlist
  US is pushing to get Pakistan placed on an international terror-financing watchlist a month after President Donald Trump suspended about $2 billion in military aid to the nuclear-armed nation.US, along with the U.K., have reported to the Financial Action Task Force that Pakistan hasn’t complied with terrorism regulations, Rana Muhammad Afzal Khan, a junior Pakistani minister for finance and economic affairs, said by phone on Wednesday. Khan said the body’s review is scheduled for early next week and that the charges were a “conspiracy.” Pakistan gave a comprehensive reply to the allegations on Feb. 5, “but now they are adding some more items.”The move is the latest attempt from Washington to get Islamabad take more action against terror groups that allegedly have support and sanctuary within Pakistan. Relations between the two nations have deteriorated drastically in the past year and in his first tweet of 2018, Trump said Pakistan gave “lies and deceit” in return for US funding. Being placed on the list may impede Pakistan’s access to global markets at a time when its foreign reserves are dwindling and external deficits widening ahead of national elections in July.Bloomberg
Ahead of Paris terror meet, Pakistan moves to ban Hafiz Saeed’s Jamaat-ud-Dawa, FIF
New Delhi : In a major development ahead of the Financial Action Task Force (FATF) meeting in Paris early next week, reports have emerged that Pakistan has placed Hafiz Saeed’s Jamaat-ud-Dawa (JuD) and Falah-i-Insaniat Foundation (FIF)  on the list of proscribed groups. According to PTI, Pakistan President Mamnoon Hussain signed an ordinance last Friday, aimed at reining in individuals and organisations that have been banned by the UNSC. The development was made public Monday. Last month, Shahid Abbasi-led Govt had also banned companies and individuals from making donations to JuD, FIF and other organisations.The ordinance amends a section of Anti-Terrorism Act, which will allow authorities to take action against UNSC-proscribed individuals and terror outfits, like sealing their offices and freezing their bank accounts. The move comes ahead of the FATF plenary meeting on Feb.18, where Pakistan is likely to be “grey-listed” for terrorist financing and money laundering.indianexpress
Mourners bid farewell to Pakistans human rights icon
Lahore; The funeral prayers for Asma Jahangir, Pakistans human rights icon were offered here at the Gaddafi Stadium which was attended by thousands of mourners.Asma, 66, died of cardiac arrest last Sunday in Lahore.Farooq Haider Maududi, the son of Jamaat-i-Islami founder and prominent Islamic scholar Abul Ala Maududi, led the funeral prayer.PTI
UN: Rohingya still not allowed to return to Myanmar
Rohingya refugees are still not allowed to return to Myanmar, the United Nations high commissioner for refugees has told the UN Security Council.According to Filippo Grandi, "conditions in Myanmar are not yet conducive" for the 668,000 Rohingya to return home.The refugees fled to neighbouring Bangladesh after the Myanmar authorities launched a violent crackdown in northern Rakhine state last August."The causes of their flight have not been addressed, and we have yet to see substantive progress on addressing the exclusion and denial of rights that has deepened over the last decades, rooted in their lack of citizenship," he said.Grandi also said the office of the UNHCR lacks access to Rakhine, where hundreds of villages have been burned down by the Myanmar military.aljazeera
Turkey, Saudi among allies pledging billions for Iraq’s reconstruction; UN urges world support
Iraq received billions of dollars in credit lines, loans, and investment from Turkey, Gulf Arab allies, Europe, and other countries, their representatives announced at an international conference in Kuwait on Wednesday.Turkey said it would give Iraq $5 billion in credit lines. Saudi Arabia’s foreign ministry said his country was providing a $1 billion-loan through its Saudi Fund for Development and $500 million in export credit. Qatar announced $1 billion in loans and investments while UAE pledged $500 million for rebuilding. Germany said it would provide $350 million in assistance.Britain pledged up to $1 billion annually in export credit over 10 years and Japan said it would contribute $100 million this year to Iraq through UN agencies and international organisations.UAE minister of state for foreign affairs Anwar Gargash later tweeted that there were also giving $5.5 billion from the UAE in private investments in Iraq “in addition” to his country’s pledge but it was not clear if this was a new announcement.Reuters
FLASH: VIEWS & NEWS
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7 decades after independence,b most Dalit farmers still landless:  HARRY STEVENS
Exclusive: How RBI Forced National Payments Body to Hire Govt Favourite as CEO:ANUJ SRIVAS
At India Today, Anchors Can Spread Fake News While Editor is Sacked For Speaking Out:KARNIKA KOHLI
Why has the Reserve Bank of India Killed the Indian Economy?PREM SHANKAR JHA
Why do Italian fascists adore Syria's Bashar al-Assad?by Patrick Strickland
Questioning Discharge of High-Profile Accused, Ex-Judge Says Sohrabuddin Case a ‘Failure of Justice’
‘Failure of justice’: Former Bombay HC judge raises doubts over past hearings in Sohrabuddin case

Compiled and edited by Anwarulhaq (Released at: 8:13 PM)

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