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25 February 2018

25 Feb.ND: Society divided in caste, religion needs protection: Maulana Jalaluddin Umari at SIO Conference/ Muslims Not a Vote Bank; Must Strive for Empowerment of Their Own – Owaisi at SIO Meet



Evening NEWS DIGEST  
25 Feb.2018:08 Jamadiul-2 1439:Vol:9, No:128
INDIA
Society divided in caste, religion needs protection: Maulana Jalaluddin Umari at SIO Conference
New Delhi:Jamat-e-Islami Hind (JIH) president Maulana Syed Jalaluddin Umari asked the activists of the Student Islamic Organisation (SIO) to come forward to protect the society that was divided in castes and religions.Addressing a huge gathering at a three-day conference – Reclaiming Dignity, Designing Future – Maulana said in the society where woman was not safe, innocent people were attacked on the basis of caste and religion and government had no plan for the youth, the youth are unaware of their future, somebody should come forward to unite the society raising the issue of humanity.He said political parties were using youngsters for their benefit. They do not chalk out plans to make better future of youths. Human rights are being violated in every state. “Adiwasi and Dalit women are unable to maintain their dignity. In such an atmosphere the activists of the SIO should work in their colleges, universities and elsewhere to eradicate this menace from the society. tribuneindia
Muslims Not a Vote Bank; Must Strive for Empowerment of Their Own – Owaisi at SIO Meet
New Delhi:The so-called secular parties have done little in the last 70 years for socio-economic and political empowerment of Muslims, and therefore it’s time the community came out of their shadow and worked for its political empowerment on its own, said Muslim politicians and community leaders while addressing a massive gathering of Muslim youths here on Saturday evening.“It is true there is an atmosphere of fear in the country today, but the same situation has been there for the last 70 years. When did we live peacefully? No government has done justice with us. Otherwise, Sachar Committee, Mishra Commission and Kundu Committee would not have said what they said about us,” said All India Majlis-e Ittehadul Muslimeen chief and Hyderabad MP Asaduddin Owaisi.While addressing the national conference of Students Islamic Organisation of India (SIO), Owaisi called upon the youth to aggressively take part in politics.“We should speak about Muslims with courage because our Constitution allows us to do so. To reclaim dignity, we must keep fear away from us. If our leaders had not decided in 1948 to keep off politics and power, our situation would not have become such,” said he. He categorically said that Muslims not pin any hope in so-called secular parties. Dr. SQR Ilyas, President, Welfare Party of India, had also similar views. “Need of the hour is that we must change our status of vote bank of this party or that party. What has prevented you from taking the lead role for construction of the country?” He said that “Muslims need a new manifesto for India to make it peaceful and prosperous” and stressed the need “to expose brutal face of Hindutva and Hindu Rashtra.”Mohammad Salim Engineer, Secretary General of Jamaat-e-Islami Hind said that youths must think seriously about the threats confronting the country and the community.“The theme of this conference will give a direction to the country and an opportunity to youth to think seriously about issues confronting the country and the community. We must think about our responsibilities as Muslim in the current situation in the country,” he said.“The threat is not only to Muslims but to the existence of the country and the foundations and values of the Constitution – Equality, Justice, Liberty, Freedom and Fraternity. Ours is a plural society and our system is democratic. But today we are witnessing that the foundations of the Constitution and existence of our country are in danger,” said Jamaat leader.In his presidential speech, Jamaat’s President Maulana Syed Jalaluddin Umari, while calling upon thousands of youths gathered from across the country, said that they are the future of the country and they will have to decide its future.“People ask me what will be the future of the country? I say these youths are the future of the country. They will decide its future. And they have already decided that it will be bright and prosperous. It is said Muslims are not safe and are being attacked. It is true. But we have to live here with dignity,” said Maulana Umari.Dalit youth leader and newly-elected MLA of Gujarat, Jignesh Mevani also addressed the SIO conference. Caravan daily
SIO’s All-India conference expresses solidarity with Palestine
Society divided in caste, religion needs protection
Dalits and Muslims are so oppressed in the name of caste and religion that we cannot rise: Mevani
Muslim youth vow to become part of the constructive efforts
Owaisi holds secular forces responsible for Muslims’ plight, Kejriwal gives SIO event a miss
Video: Owaisi comes to Okhla, addresses a full house
We will not give up on our claim to build mosque in Ayodhya: Owaisi: timesofindia
Babri Masjid was built at Ram Janmabhoomi site to demean Hindus, not for worship: Uma Bharti
Babri Masjid was built at the Ram Janmabhoomi site in Ayodhya to demean Hindus, not for worship, Union minister Uma Bharti said on Saturday. She justified this as the reason why the movement to build a Ram Temple at the site was needed, Indian Express reported.“When Mir Baqi, the Mughal governor of Awadh, reached Ayodhya on Babur’s instructions, he saw many Hindu believers came to the temple there,” she said. “Weren’t there other places in Ayodhya where a mosque could have been constructed? Why was only that spot identified for the mosque? It was chosen not for worship but to show Hindus their place and to demean us.”The drinking water and sanitation minister is an accused in the Babri Masjid demolition case. She made the comments on Saturday while speaking at a conference on “Vasudhaiva Kutambakam”, which means the world is one family, at the NDMC Convention Centre in Delhi.scroll
Islamic preacher, Peace School group head MM Akbar held in Hyderabad over objectionable study material
Thiruvananthapuram: The chairman of the Peace International school group, MM Akbar, was arrested at the Hyderabad international airport early Sunday in connection with a case of alleged propagation of communal hatred in schools run by the group, police said.Kerala police had issued a lookout notice against him in early 2017 after it was found that the schools were allegedly using study materials intended to create communal divide.“Our officers have left for Hyderabad to bring him back,” a senior police officer said.Police said Akbar had flown in from Australia and was heading for the Qatari capital where he was currently based when he was arrested.A spokesman of the Peace School group, who did not want to be identified, said in Kozhikkode that the chairman’s arrest was “part of a vilification campaign aimed at tarnishing a minority education group.” He said the group has faith in the country’s judiciary and will question his arrest in court. In October 2016, the Kerala Police had filed a case against Peace Educational Foundation which runs the Peace International schools in Kerala and neighbouring states of Karnataka and Tamil Nadu for allegedly including objectionable study material in school curriculum aimed at disrupting communal harmony.The state government had closed down one of the school branches in Kochi a couple of months back after the district collector and police chief submitted a report saying though the school was affiliated to the NCERT, its syllabus was quite different. The probe found contents of texts were radical and promoted enmity between different communities.In December 2016, the Kochi police had arrested three Mumbai-based publishers for printing the textbooks containing objectionable content that were taught that Peace International School in Ernakulam. Abdul Rashid, the alleged leader of the group which went missing, was a public relations officer with the school group before he disappeared. Similarly Yasin Ahmed, who was arrested at the Delhi airport on way to Turkey last year, taught English at the Malappuram branch of the school.
Kerala Islamic preacher M M Akbar arrested for promoting enmity among communities
Islamic Preacher MM Akbar, Known as Kerala’s Zakir Naik, Arrested on Way to Qatar

After Gita shlokas, now Gayatri Mantra recital in Haryana schools
Chandigarh:BJP government in Haryana has decided to add recital of ‘Gayatri Mantra’ — a hymn from Hindu religious scripture Rigveda — in prayers in all schools across the state.State education minister Ram Bilas Sharma said the decision was taken after a meeting with school principals, teachers and other stakeholders on Friday. “The government would issue a notification on Tuesday (February 27),” he said.Sharma added that including Gita shlokas in school syllabus soon after the formation of the government had yielded positive results.To a query on whether this was saffronisation of education, the minister said, “The sun’s first rays are saffron and the Tricolour’s first colour is saffron. What is wrong with saffron? We are not allergic to this colour,” he said.He added, “Gayatri Mantra is not about any religion, in particular. It is a prayer that urges the almighty to enable us to imbibe all good values from all directions. I do not think anybody should have any problem with it.”hindustantimes
AMU students: No RSS man with Kovind
Lucknow: STUDENTS’ union of AMU has threatened the university authorities of serious consequences if anyone with “RSS ideology” attend its March 7 convocation ceremony, where President Ram Nath Kovind is the chief guest.In a letter to AMU VC Tariq Mansoor, union secretary Mohammad Fahad has referred to a statement by Kovind in 2010, when he was a BJP leader. Addressing media, Kovind had sought that the Justice Ranganath Misra Commission, which had recommended inclusion of Muslim and Christian converts among Scheduled Castes, be “scrapped”. Asked how Sikh Dalits could enjoy the quota privilege in the same category, Kovind had said: “Islam and Christianity are alien to the nation.” In a letter, Fahad has said: “The statement made by Ram Nath Kovind against minorities is still in the mind of AMU students. Despite this, the student union respects the post of the President and welcomes him to the convocation ceremony. We also remind him that he is no more a member of RSS or BJP, but President to 1.25 crore people…He should maintain dignity of the post.”“Also, we warn the AMU administration that if it invites any RSS man along with the President, it should be ready to face consequences. This university will not tolerate any RSS man, (those who demolished) Babri Masjid or Gandhi’s killers on its premises,” he added.Student union president Maskoor Ahmad Usmani said they will not let any politician enter AMU. “In 2010, Kovindji gave a statement saying that Muslims and Christians are aliens in this country. It had hurt our feelings. He was a political person then, but now he is the President and the visitor of the university. We welcome him. But we would not let any other political person enter the university… no matter from which political party,” he added.M Shafey Kidwai, AMU member in-charge of public relation said only the President has been invited for the convocation. “In a letter to V-C, the union secretary has said that no one from the RSS of BJP should be invited, otherwise, they would stage protest. But we have only invited the President… this is above any political activity…After a gap of 32 years, a President is coming here, it a big moment for us,” he said. indianexpress
Bihar Accident: Vehicle That Killed 9 Students in Muzaffarpur Belonged to BJP Leader, Says Police
Muzaffarpur: The four-wheeler that killed nine school children and injured 10 other kids in Bihar’s Muzaffarpur district on Saturday belonged to a BJP leader from Sitamarhi, police officials said on Sunday. According to a report, the BJP leader Manoj Bhatia, was reportedly inside the Bolero when the accident took place on NH 77 and escaped along with his driver after the incident.The RJD was quick to launch an attack on Saturday’s incident on the JD(U)-BJP combine and sought strict punishment for those behind the deaths.The accident took place at around 1:30 pm in Muzaffarpur when school ended and students were crossing the highway to reach Dharampur village located on the other side of the highway.According to a report, a truck coming from Muzaffarpur and going towards Sitamarhi hit and injured a woman.The driver of a speeding Mahindra Bolero vehicle, which was coming from the opposite direction, lost its control, and the driver in his statement said that he was trying to avoid running over the injured woman and hit the school children. More than 10 kids are admitted to Muzaffarpur’s Sri Krishna Medical College and Hospital and two of them are said to be serious. India
PNB fraud: ED to seek info from over dozen countries on Nirav Modi, Choksi’s assets, says report
Mumbai/New Delhi:Widening its probe into the PNB fraud case, the Enforcement Directorate will soon send judicial requests to over a dozen countries for obtaining information about the overseas businesses and assets of diamantaire Nirav Modi and Gitanjali Gems owner Mehul Choksi.Official sources said the agency will approach a competent court in Mumbai with a request to obtain Letters Rogatories (LRs) to be sent to about 15-17 countries where the central investigation agency has traced the footsteps of the diamond and gold jewellery businesses of the firms owned by Modi, his uncle Choksi and others associated with them.PTI
Two arrested for alleged derogatory remarks against Hindu gods, PM Modi, Adityanath on Facebook
Ballia:Two people were arrested for allegedly making derogatory remarks against Hindu gods, Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Uttar Pradesh chief minister Yogi Adityanath in a video posted on a social networking site, the police said on Sunday.Acting on a complaint filed by Dharam Dev Singh, a case was registered against four people under section 295 A of the IPC (Deliberate and malicious acts, intended to outrage religious feelings of any class by insulting its religion or religious beliefs) and Information Technology Act.“Four people (Saahil, Indal Kumar, Anil and Sunny Kumar) of Lavai Patti Satahva village had made derogatory remarks against Hindu gods, Prime Minister Narendra Modi and UP chief minister Yogi Adityanath in a video, which was uploaded on Facebook and shared on WhatsApp,” superintendent of police Anil Kumar said.PTI
Ghulam Nabi Azad denounces Army chief over AIUDF remark
Guwahati :  Leader of Opposition in the Rajya Sabha, Ghulam Nabi Azad, today criticised Army Chief Gen. Bipin Rawat over his comment on Assam-based political party AIUDF and said the armed force should maintain its non-political character."We take pride in the fact that our Army is non-political unlike in some of our neighbouring countries.Since India's Independence, the Army has been a non-political outfit. It should remain like that," Azad said at a press conference here.The senior Congress leader said, "We have great regard for the Army -- our protector. But it should not be concerned about which political party has grown or where it has got support from."PTI
Army Chiefs should not be allowed to join politics 5 years post retirement, says Congress’ Tarun Gogoi
Criticising the Army Chief Bipin Rawat’s AIUDF controversial remark, Congress leader and former Chief Minister of Assam Tarun Gogoi has said that Army Chiefs should not be allowed to join politics for the next 5 years following their retirement. Talking about the issue to ANI, he said, “Since Independence, I have never seen an Army Chief making comment on political parties. Army’s main role is maintaining the security of the country and repulse attack by the enemies of the country.”A few days ago, the current Army chief General Bipin Rawat on the sidelines of a DRDO event said Assam’s AIUDF had grown faster than the BJP grew over the years. The Army chief added that he was concerned about the fast growth of the Muslim-oriented political front AIUDF in Assam. He said that the increasing problem of illegal Muslim migrants into the region was the reason for the growth of AIUDF and the Muslim population in the several districts of North-East state Assam.NewsX
NIA to seek Interpol Red Corner notice against Pakistan diplomat wanted in terror plot
NEW DELHI: NIA has initiated the process for securing an Interpol Red Corner notice against Pakistani diplomat Amir Zubair Siddiqui, who was chargesheeted last week for allegedly conspiring to launch terror strikes on the U.S. and Israeli consulates in South India.Officials in the agency said the paperwork was being completed and would be sent soon to the Interpol headquarters based in Lyon in France for issuance of the Red Corner notice against Siddiqui, who during his stint at Pakistani High Commission in Sri Lanka during 2014 had conspired to carry out terror strikes in India.He was named by a Sri Lankan resident Sakir Hussain, who is at present undergoing a simple imprisonment after pleading guilty in a court of law. He was arrested by the Tamil Nadu Police after the Intelligence Bureau busted the conspiracy in April 2014. His jail term will end next year.Hussain had carried out reconnaissance of the U.S. consulate in Chennai and Israeli consulate in Bangalore to facilitate a terror strike similar to 26/11. For this, two terrorists were to be flown in from Maldives.PTI
Villagers flee Kashmir front line as India, Pakistan trade artillery fire:Reuters
Srinagar: India and Pakistan have exchanged artillery fire in the disputed Kashmir region forcing hundreds of people to flee, police in Indian Kashmir said, raising fresh doubts about a 15-year-old ceasefire between the nuclear-armed rivals in the area.It was not clear what triggered the latest fighting on Saturday in the Uri sector on the so-called LoC that divides the mostly Muslim Himalayan region.But tension has been running high since an attack on an Indian army camp in Kashmir this month in which six soldiers were killed.India blamed Pakistan for the attack and said it would make its rival pay for the “misadventure”.Police superintendent Imtiaz Hussain said artillery shells fired by the Pakistan army fell in the Uri area and hundreds of villagers had fled from their homes.Indian forces returned artillery fire, an Indian officer said, the first time the heavy guns had been used since a 2003 ceasefire along the disputed frontier.The two armies have been exchanging intermittent small-arms and mortar fire over the past couple of years as ties deteriorated.Hussain said Pakistani authorities made announcements from a mosque advising villagers living close to the LoC on the Indian side to flee, saying the situation was bad. About 700 people were sheltering at school in Uri, he said.
Media equally responsible for present situation in Kashmir; NIA chargesheet
New Delhi: Media is “equally responsible” for the present situation in Kashmir as they are “not playing their role in peace, prosperity and communal harmony in the valley”, NIA has submitted in court as part of a chargesheet. The observation is in the chargesheet filed against freelance photojournalist Kamran Yusuf and 11 others for alleged terror funding and stone-pelting in the Valley.The remarks came while analysing videos, photos and audio files from Yusuf’s hard drive and phone. The particular remark — aimed at news channels that ran Yusuf’s footage — was made in relation to the video of multiple funerals held in a village after a militant encounter. “The video has been telecast by News GK… Media responsible for uploading such videos also seem not playing their role in peace, prosperity and communal harmony in the valley and by uploading such videos they may be favourite locally, but they also are equally responsible for cause of the present situation in the valley, which it felt appropriate, NIA should communicate to PCI,” NIA said in the chargesheet. NIA also observed in the chargesheet that it is the “moral duty of a journalist” to cover “developmental activity” of the government, as reported by The Indian Express earlier.indianexpress
Kashmiri student of AIIMS, Bhubaneswar missing: NIA, IB begin probe into ‘disappearance’
Bhubaneswar:A second-year Kashmiri student of AIIMS, Bhubaneswar, has been missing since more than a fortnight, catching the eye of NIA and the IB. His father, a schoolteacher, is camping in Odisha for a week, hoping for his return.MBBS student Suhail Aijaz, 20, from J&K’s Kupwara district left his hostel in AIIMS, Bhubaneswar, on the afternoon of February 9 after telling his friends he was going to attend a friend’s wedding in Chandigarh, said police. He told them he would return by February 16, police added. Suhail, however, did not return and AIIMS officials intimated police on February 18.AIIMS officials said NIA and IB officials have started investigations into Suhail’s mysterious disappearance. “We have given all information that the NIA and IB officials sought about him,” said Dr Prabhas Ranjan Mishra, vice-dean of the institute. hindustantimes
India, Canada pledge to neutralise Sikh, terror groups; sign six pacts
New Delhi : Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau on Friday sought to shed his government’s image of being soft on ‘Khalistan’ supporters as India and Canada came out with a framework for cooperation to counter the threats posed by global Islamic and Sikh terrorist outfits.The two countries committed to work together to neutralise the threats emanating from terrorist groups such as Al Qaeda ISIS, Haqqani Network, LeT, JeM, Khalsa International and the International Sikh Youth Federation, the framework document said.This came after Prime Minister Narendra Modi, in a veiled reference to Canada virtually turning a blind eye towards the activities of anti-India Sikh elements operating from its soil, told Trudeau that their two nations must not tolerate those who promote separatism.The two countries recognised the urgent imperative to disrupt recruitment, terrorist movements and the flow of foreign terrorist fighters, address the threat posed by cross-border and state-sponsored terrorism, stop sources of terrorist financing, dismantle terrorist infrastructure and prevent supply of arms to terrorists and counter violent extremism and radicalisation to violence. They emphasised the need to deny operating space to terrorist and violent extremist groups, the framework document said.thestatesman
RTI plea: Prince Yakub Tucy puts AIMPLB on notice
Hyderabad: Prince Yakub Habeebuddin Tucy, who claims to be a descendant of the last Mughal emperor, Bahadur Shah Zafar, has sought to know from the All India Muslim Personal Law Board (AIMPLB) whether it follows the Constitution.A set of 11questions were sent to the AIMPLB office in New Delhi by Tucy, who lives at Kanchanbagh in Hyderabad, on Friday. However, Tucy has sought to get answers from the board under the RTI Act though it does not seem to come under its purview. The AIMPLB website does not shown any provision for queries under RTI Act.In one of the questions posed the AIMPLB, he asked if the Board celebrates national festivals like August 15 (Independence day) and January 26 (Republic day).He also sought to know whether the board issues any fatwas and does it have power to issue them. He also sought to know details of the AIMPLB’s bank accounts details, donors and how the money was being utilised. He has also asked on what basis it has in its name 'All India Muslim'. Tucy wanted to know how many resolutions it had passed, whether they were binding or advisory in nature, and also if any were implemented practically. He also sought to know if there were any woman office-bearers."Which country is he from?" asked Dr Asra Zehra Sahiba, member of the executive committee of the board when it was mentioned to her by STOI that Tucy has filed an RTI. When pointed out that he describes himself as the great grandson of the last Mughal ruler Zafar, she claimed to have no knowledge of him. "Whoever he is does not matter. The point is the AIMPLB does not come under the purview of the RTI Act. But if he does want information, the board will only be too willing to give because everything is transparent in its functioning," she added. Of the 251 board members, there were 38 women and she herself heads the women's wing, Asra Zehra added.timesofindia
AR Rahman was not forced to embrace Islam, Sainaba tells Supreme Court
Delhi: The names of Oscar-winning composer AR Rahman and legendary boxer Muhammad Ali, both non-Muslims who embraced Islam later, got dragged into the sensational Hadiya case or matter pertaining to forced conversions in the Supreme Court. This happened when fervently denying any involvement in forcible conversions, A S Sainaba, president of the Women's wing of the Islamic organisation Popular Front of India cited their examples to drive home her point that people tend to embrace Islam on their own.Sainaba's remarks find place in an affidavit she filed in the Hadiya case in which the NIA has already questioned her.India Today TV had in November last year shown an elaborate sting operation exposing Sainaba, where she makes candid admissions to alleged forced conversions taking place in Kerala."A number of world-renowned intellectuals and personalities from different walks of life have embraced Islam all over the world and nobody can say that they so embraced Islam because of indoctrination, brainwashing, radicalisation, etc. Madhavikutty (a famous Kerala poetess), who embraced Islam at the age of 65 and since changed her name as Kamala Surayya, A R Rahman who embraced Islam along with his family, and Muhammad Ali are only few examples," Sainaba says in the affidavit filed through advocate Noor Muhammad. indiatoday


Kerala lynching case: 16 accused arrested for tribal man's murder, post-mortem report confirms assault
Palakkad, Kerala: All 16 accused in the murder of a 27-year-old "mentally unfit"  tribal man in Kerala's Attapady were arrested by the state police on Saturday, two days after the man, identified as Madhu, succumbed to his injuries after the mob tied him up and thrashed him. Madhu had been apprehended by the mob for allegedly being involved in a minor theft.  As per reports, the victim was assaulted for hours in the forests near Palakkad and later vomited and collapsed in the police vehicle when he was being taken away to the hospital. He was declared brought dead by the time they could reach the hospital by 5 pm. Following this, the police had registered a case of murder in connection with the matter. The accused were arrested after the post-mortem report confirmed the deceased had suffered injuries on his head and had bruises all over his body, the Indian Express quoted police officials as saying. The perpetrators would  be booked under relevant sections of IPC, including murder and SC/ST Atrocities Prevention Act, Thrisuur Range IG told the daily. timesnownews
Centre seeks report on Kerala lynching: 16 held, state declares Rs 10 lakh aid for kin
Kerala: Mob Beats a Tribal Man to Death Accusing Theft; RSS-BJP Give Communal Colour:Newsclick
Muslims top complainants to minority commission
NEW DELHI: National Commission for Minorities (NCM) received a total of 1,647 complaints in 2016-2017. Law and order issues and complaints from Muslims top the list.The complaints range over a variety of issues, including discrimination in educational institutes to not being allowed to exercise religious rights.More than 74 per cent of the total number of complaints—1,231—came from Uttar Pradesh, according to NCM’s 2016-2017 annual report that is likely to be placed before Parliament soon.While Muslims and Jains faced the most number of problems in Uttar Pradesh, Christians faced maximum discrimination in Tamil Nadu. The maximum number of complaints from Sikhs and Buddhists were received from Delhi. 3 complaints were received from the Parsi community, all from Maharashtra. The report, a copy of which is with The Sunday Standard, cites some cases of discrimination against minorities that were effectively resolved.For instance, the NCM says it gave relief to a minority institution in UP’s Meerut, which had not received a scholarship of over `28 lakh from the state government for academic sessions of 2009-2010 and 2010-2011. new indian express
NCERT will cut syllabus by half, says Javadekar
NEW DELHI:In a bid to provide relief to school students, the NCERT syllabus will be reduced by half from the 2019 academic session, Union Human Resource Development Minister Prakash Javadekar has said.He said the school syllabus was more than that of BA and B.Com courses, and it needed to be reduced by half so that students get time for other activities for their all-round development.“At the stage of development of cognitive skills, students need to be given full freedom. I have asked NCERT to reduce the syllabus by half and it will be effective from the 2019 academic session,” he told Rajya Sabha TV in an interview.
Aurangabad Tablighi  Ijtema begins with enthusiasm, and amid controversy:ummid.com
Aurangabad: Hundreds of thousands of Muslims from different parts of Maharashtra have gathered at Limbe Jalgaon village – some 25 kms from Aurangabad in Marathwada region of the state where 3-day Ijtema of Tablighi Jamaat began after Fajr prayers Saturday.More than 2 lakh Muslims had offered afternoon prayers a day before on Friday at the Ijtema site. The Friday prayer was led by Hazrat Ji Saad Kandhelvi who had earlier arrived at the Ijtema site to a rousing welcome. Hazrat Ji Saad Kandhelvi reached the Ijtema site on Friday in a fleet of cars that were showered with flowers and Rose petals.The Maharashtra level Tablighi Jamaat Ijtema will end on Monday. The Maharashtra government has announced a day’s holiday on Monday for the students and teachers of Urdu medium schools. The ongoing HSC or Class 12 board exam will however be held as per the schedule. “Muslim students should make a note that the HSC exam on Monday will be held as per schedule. Hence they should stay away from the Ijtema and concentrate on their studies”, appeals issued by various groups said.The Aurangabad Ijtema is underway amid the power struggle between two rival groups of the Tablighi Jamaat, and fatwa issued against the Tablighi Jamaat by Darul Uloom Deoband. It is also reported that the rival group in a show of strength is planning to organize their own Ijtema sometimes in April or May when the exams are over.Social media is also abuzz with messages criticizing the manner in which Hazrat ji Saad Kandhelvi’s car was showered with flowers. Some messages circulating on the social media are also questioning the “religious sanction” of holding such an Ijtema. Social media users are also slamming those who are making false claims regarding the number of people who have gathered in Aurangabad for the Ijtema.Earlier the Aurangabad Ijtema was in news because the police department denied the organisers the necessary permission saying they had approached the department late and also because the application was not attached with Non Objection Certificates (NOCs) from Fire Brigade Department, Traffic Police, Public Works Department (PWD), Maharashtra State Electricity Distribution Company Limited (MSEDCL) and others. The Ijtema organizers however submitted all the needed documents on February 17. The Police department consequently granted the organisers the permission and also promised all support.



WORLD
Hell on Earth: 500 deaths later, UN calls for ceasefire amid E Ghouta massacre
United Nations: The UN Security Council has unanimously demanded a 30-day ceasefire in Syria, as new air strikes on the rebel enclave of Eastern Ghouta took the civilian death toll from seven days of bombing to more than 500.With support from Russia, the Security Council adopted a resolution on the ceasefire to allow for humanitarian aid deliveries and medical evacuations, but the measure did not specify when the truce would go into force beyond saying it should be "without delay."After the council vote Saturday, Syrian warplanes backed by Russian air power launched new raids on a town in Eastern Ghouta, the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights said.At least 127 children are among the 519 dead in the bombing campaign that the regime launched last Sunday on the rebel enclave, just outside Damascus, the British-based monitor said.At least 41 civilians were killed in Saturday's strikes, including eight children. Russia has denied taking part in the assault.Quickly following up on the vote, French President Emmanuel Macron and German Chancellor Angela Merkel will speak by phone Sunday with Russian President Vladimir Putin to push for the truce to take hold "in the coming days," the Elysee palace said in a statement.To this end France's Foreign Minister Jean-Yves Le Drian will also go to Moscow on Tuesday.The UN vote was initially expected to be held Thursday, but was repeatedly delayed as diplomats were locked in tough negotiations to avoid a veto from Russia, which is militarily supporting President Bashar Al-Assad.AFP
Regime strikes in Syria enclave despite ceasefire call: monitor
Iran says attacks on ‘terrorists’ in Damascus suburbs to continue, despite truce
Iran said on Sunday that attacks will continue on Damascus suburbs held by “terrorists”, but elsewhere Iran and Syria will respect a UN resolution demanding a 30-day truce to allow aid access and medical evacuation, Iranian news agencies were quoted as reporting by Reuters.“We will adhere to the ceasefire resolution, Syria will also adhere. Parts of the suburbs of Damascus, which are held by the terrorists, are not covered by the ceasefire and clean-up (operations) will continue there,” the semi-official news agency Tasnim quoted Iran’s military chief of staff General Mohammad Baqeri as saying.
UN Security Council votes in favour of 30-day Syria ceasefire
Syrian forces begin new offensive in Eastern Ghouta
Nearly two dozen Afghan soldiers killed in multiple attacks
Nearly two dozen Afghan soldiers and 3 others have been killed in multiple attacks across the country. At least 18 Afghan soldiers were killed on Saturday in the Bala Boluk district of western Farah province when Taliban fighters stormed an army checkpoint.Meanwhile, 2 suicide car bombers killed at least two soldiers and wounded a dozen others in southern Helmand province.In the first attack in Helmand province, Taliban fighters used a Humvee to enter an army base in Nad Ali district but were identified by soldiers and pushed away. At least two soldiers were killed in the incident. A second car bomber targeted an NDS compound near a police headquarters in Helmand's provincial capital Lashkar Gah. At least seven people were wounded. aljazeera
Jerusalem's Holy Sepulchre shut in protest against Israeli policy
In a rare move, the Church of the Holy Sepulchre in Jerusalem has been indefinitely shut in protest against what church leaders say is "discriminatory" Israeli policy aimed at weakening Christian presence in the holy city. In a statement released on Sunday, church leaders said Israel was violating the status quo at the site, which is one of the holiest in Christianity, at an "unprecedented level".The church is believed by many Christians to be the site of Jesus' crucifixion and burial, and is a major pilgrimage site.  Referring to a bill recently introduced in Israel's parliament that would allow the Israeli state to take over church properties leased to private companies, they said: "The systematic campaign of abuse against Churches and Christians reaches now its peak as a discriminatory and racist bill that targets solely the properties of the Christian community ..." The statement, signed by Roman Catholic, Armenian and Greek Orthodox church leaders, also condemned plans by the Israeli government to begin imposing taxes on church properties. "These actions breach existing agreements and international obligations, which guarantee the rights and privileges of the Churches, in what seems as an attempt to weaken the Christian presence in Jerusalem," the press release read.The Church of the Holy Sepulchre is located in occupied East Jerusalem's Old City.
Former Hamas chief Khaled Meshaal slams US embassy move
Former Hamas political chief Khaled Meshaal on Saturday condemned the US decision of moving its embassy from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem in May 2018.Washington announced on Friday that it would move its embassy on May 14, to coincide with the day the state of Israel was established and officially recognised by the US administration in 1948. It will also coincide with the 70th anniversary of the Palestinian Nakba (Catastrophe).“We are against this decision and we will not allow it to take place. We will oppose any resistance to the Palestinian cause,” Meshaal said, speaking at the War, Migration and Poverty symposium organised by Istanbul-based Fatih Sultan Mehmet University, adding:"We hope Turkey will put pressure on the US."“Turkey helps Gaza, Al-Quds [Jersualem], Iraq, Myanmar and many countries in Africa. I believe Turkey will get something good through these efforts in return. We saw that they got Allah’s help and blessings on July 15, 2016.”middleeastmonitor
US embassy Jerusalem opening in May 'extremely worrying': Turkey
ANKARA: Turkey on Saturday described as "extremely worrying" the US move to open its embassy in Jerusalem in May to coincide with the 70th anniversary of the founding of Israel.Friday's announcement by Washington to move the embassy from Tel Aviv to the disputed city follows US President Donald Trump's recognition of Jerusalem as Israel's capital in December. "This decision shows the US administration's insistence on damaging the grounds for peace by trampling over international law, resolutions of United Nations Security Council on Jerusalem," the Turkish foreign ministry said in a statement.AFP 
Trump: US Embassy in Jerusalem will open in May to coincide with 70th anniversary of Jewish state
Nothing left: Govt bulldozes Rohingya villages, genocide evidence along with it
Yangon: Myanmar’s government is using bulldozers to erase dozens of villages in Rakhine state in a vast operation that rights groups say is destroying evidence of mass atrocities against the ethnic Rohingya Muslim minority.Satellite images released by Colorado-based DigitalGlobe on Friday show the empty villages and hamlets completely levelled by authorities in recent weeks.The villages were all set ablaze in the wake of violence in August 2017, when a clearance operation drove hundreds of thousands of Rohingya into exile in Bangladesh.While Myanmar’s government claims it is simply trying to rebuild a devastated region, the operation has raised concern among human rights advocates, who say the government is destroying scores of crime scenes before any credible investigation. The Rohingya believe the government is intentionally eviscerating the remnants of their culture to make it nearly impossible for them to return.One displaced Rohingya woman said she recently visited her former home in Myin Hlut and was shocked by what she saw. Most houses had been torched last year, but now, “everything is gone, not even the trees are left”, the woman, named Zubairia, said. “They just bulldozed everything ... I could hardly recognise it.”18-year-old said other homes in the area that had been abandoned but not damaged were also flattened. “All the memories that I had there are gone,” she said. “They’ve been erased.”AP
At least 14 dead in attack on Yemen counter-terrorism base
At least 14 people were killed and 40 wounded when suicide bombers and gunmen tried to storm the headquarters of a counter-terrorism unit in the southern port city of Aden on Saturday, security and medical sources said to Reuters.Daesh, in a statement carried by its Amaq news agency, claimed responsibility for what it described as two “martyrdom operations” targeting the camp in Tawahi district in south-western Aden.The agency provided no immediate evidence for the claim.Security sources said two suicide bombers detonated two cars laden with explosives at the camp’s entrance while six gunmen tried to storm the facility.
Death toll from Somalia twin blasts rises to 45
The death toll from twin car bomb blasts in the Somali capital late on Friday has risen to 45 from the initially reported 18, Reuters reported a senior government official as saying on Saturday.Al Qaeda-linked al Shabaab militants claimed responsibility for the attack near the president’s residence and a hotel close by. “The death toll from last night’s blasts has risen to 45, and 36 others were injured,” the official, who asked not to be named, told Reuters.
Decks cleared for Xi Jinping’s third term in office
BEIJING:China on Sunday cleared the decks for President Xi Jinping’s third consecutive term in office, ahead of a major session of parliament that commences early next month.China’s Xinhua news agency reported that Communist Party of China (CPC) proposed on Sunday that the President and the Vice President will not be constitutionally restricted to two consecutive terms in office. In effect, it means that the Chinese President Xi Jinping, who is serving his second consecutive five year term, can continue beyond 2023.
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Compiled and edited by Anwarulhaq (Released at: 11:12 PM)

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