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Monday, 12 March 2018

12 March ND: Bilkis Bano gangrape case: Gujarat govt given last chance to apprise SC on action against guilty cops/ SC considers Centre's response on setting up of minority panel in J&K



Evening NEWS DIGEST  
12 March 2018:23 Jamadiul-2 1439:Vol:9, No:140
INDIA
Bilkis Bano gangrape case: Gujarat govt given last chance to apprise SC on action against guilty cops
New Delhi: The Supreme Court has given a final chance to the Gujarat Govt  to file a status report on the disciplinary action taken against police officers convicted in the 2002 Bilkis Bano gangrape case. The SC bench, led by CJI Dipak Misra, gave the state a further 6 weeks time to file their reply.A pregnant Bilkis Bano was gangraped on March 3, 2002, in Randhikpur village, while fleeing the violence in the aftermath of the Godhra train burning in Gujarat. 14 members of her family were killed.During its last hearing in Jan, the SC had asked the Gujarat govt to file a report on the action taken against police officers convicted in the case and also sought its response on a plea demanding exemplary compensation for Bano. Considering the extreme violation of fundamental rights of the victim in the case, the court should revisit its law on assessment of the quantum of compensation to be given to Bano, the plea said.Bombay HC had on May 4 upheld the conviction and life imprisonment of 12 people in the gangrape case, while setting aside the acquittal of seven people, including policemen and doctors. indianexpress
Bilkis Bano case: Supreme Court gives last chance to Gujarat govt on action against guilty cops
Babri case, Karti’s plea among SC trials this week
New Delhi:The Supreme Court is likely to reserve its judgment on a batch of petitions seeking a court-monitored probe into the death of special CBI judge BH Loya. The top court is slated to have a busy week with many contentious cases listed for hearing.A special bench led by CJI Dipak Misra will assemble on Wednesday to take up Babri Masjid title case. On Feb.8, the bench had again granted time to the contesting parties to file the English translation of documents exhibited by them.The court even clarified that it never intended to hear the matter on day-to-day basis and would treat it merely as a “land issue”, indicating it would not be swayed by religious conflict and violence associated with the site. The plea of P Chidambaram, his son Karti, and 2 firms, challenging the ED’s decision to provisionally attach their properties in connection with the money-laundering case in the Aircel-Maxis deal will also be heard by a bench headed by justice Arun Mishra.The court is also expected to hear a fresh contempt petition filed by an NGO against the CBI’s move to appoint additional solicitor general Tushar Mehta to represent the agency in revision cases arising out of the trial court’s judgment in the 2G scam.HT
Supreme Court considers Centre's response on setting up of minority panel in J&K
New Delhi: The Supreme Court has taken note of the Centre's response that J&K  Govt  has indicated that it would consider setting up of a state minority commission and disposed of a PIL alleging that the benefits accruing to minorities there were being taken away by majority Muslim community.A bench comprising CJI Dipak Misra and Justices A M Khanwilkar and DY Chandrachud considered the submissions of Attorney General K K Venugopal that the state Govt  will consider and examine the need and feasibility of setting up of the state minority commission.Venugopal read out re-drawn minutes forwarded by the Office Memorandum (OM) of Feb.23, issued by the central Govt  after the meeting held on Jan.12 between it and other stake holder states including J&K."The state Govt of J&K has, in principle, given indication that (it) will consider and examine the need and feasibility of setting up of a state minority commission at the relevant point of time as and when need arises based upon the critical study of the social and educational backwardness of the minorities spread across various regions of the state," it said.PTI 
Constitutional status for minority body still pending
New Delhi:Over 40 years after National Commission for Minorities was set up by the Centre in 1978, and 25 years after it became a statutory body in 1992, the panel still does not enjoy constitutional status as the Govt  is sitting over the proposed legislation seeking to grant it the coveted status, even though it had been drafted way back in 2013.This impasse continues despite the fact that there has been a steady rise of 21 per cent in frequency of communal violence in the country between 2011 and 2016.Highly-placed sources indicated that the Union minority affairs ministry may soon send the bill for according constitutional status to the NCM for Cabinet clearance.Official sources further are of the view that the bill is likely to be expedited by the ministry, though it is being felt within legislative circles that this should have been done earlier as the proposed legislation had been prepared in 2013 and yet there had been no movement on it.While ministry officials claim that commission does take note of such incidents that take place against minority communities, and it had even written to UP chief secretary after Kasganj incident, sources said that unless the commission gets constitutional powers like those vested with the commission for SCs and STs, it cannot do much apart from conducting academic exercises related to progress and development of minorities and monitoring laws meant for their protection.Asian Age
Panel unhappy over funds underutilisation by minority ministry
New Delhi:A parliamentary panel has expressed its frustration over the perennial problem of underutilisation of budgetary allocations by the Union minority affairs ministry and said it would not make any more suggestion to the ministry on the matter.The trigger for the Standing Committee on Social Justice and Empowerment's comment was the ministry spending only 66.58 per cent of Rs. 4,195.48 crore up to February 20.The committee, chaired by BJP MP Ramesh Bais, noted that the underutilisation of funds was more or less due to the same reasons which were adduced by the ministry last year .The panel, in its 53rd report, has also observed it has now become a perennial problem of the ministry and that it is almost helpless to stop the trend of spending 30 per cent to 40 per cent of their allocation in "about last month" of the financial year.The committee said when it asked if the underutilisation would not impact fund allocation by the finance ministry, the minority affairs ministry told it that it would seek exemption from the ministry of finance .The committee said the minority affairs ministry should not take it for granted that it would always get the nod from the finance ministry.PTI
Now, Muslim women Board also wants changes in triple talaq bill
Lucknow:Muslim Women Personal Law Board (AIMWPLB), which had openly denounced instant triple talaq and demanded a ban on it after meeting PM  Narendra Modi, now wants changes to be made in the triple talaq bill, pending approval in the Rajya Sabha. “Though the bill is a step in the right direction, it is flawed and seems to have been drafted hastily. I have written a letter to PM Modi drawing his attention towards the amendments required in it,” said AIMWPLB president Shaista Amber.She said the bill should have a window for reconciliation between husband and wife and also some other clauses to prevent its misuse by vested interests.Amber, who was felicitated here by a local organisation on Saturday for her work, however, flayed the All India Muslim Personal Law Board (AIMPLB) for allegedly using Muslim women to oppose the bill.On the call given by the AIMPLB, various Muslim women outfits have decided to take out a march in Lucknow on March 18 to register their protest over the TT bill.“There would have been no need for this bill had they (AIMPLB clerics) heeded advice on denouncing and imposing a ban on instant triple ‘talaq’,” she said. “I respect the scholars in the AIMPLB, but the problem with the board is that while they admit that triple ‘talaq’ is wrong, they will not declare it invalid,” she says.AIMPLB spokesperson Maulana Khalil-ur-Rehma Sajjad Nomani says there is no scope for a change or modification when it comes to Islamic shariah (laws).hindustantimes
Nagpur: Muslim women' meet to protest against triple talaq bill
Nagpur: A meeting on Shariah Laws Awareness and Issue of Triple Talaq Bill with respect to women in Islam was held by Dr Asma Zehra,executive member of AIMPLB here, near Jafar Nagar, on Sunday. In order to stand against the interference of personal laws, AIMPLB has decided to stage a women’s rally at 2pm on March 20 in which around 15,000 women from the city are expected to participate. The rally will start from Kasturchand Park and move towards RBI Square. “Thousand of women dressed in burqa would symbolize the unity among the people of our community. The rally would be peaceful, non-violent and disciplined with no slogan-shouting. It will be a silent message against the controversial Bill on triple talaq now in the Rajya Sabha,” said Zehra. The initiative is being carried out across the country to awaken crores of Muslims and bring them closer to their faith so that they raise their voice to protect the Shariah, she said.TOI
Maharashtra farmers’ protest: Agitation called off after CM accepts most demands
New Delhi:Agitating farmers called off their stir on Monday after Maharashtra CM  Devendra Fadnavis said his Govt  has accepted most of the demands of the farmers. “We have accepted most of their demands and have given them a written letter,” Fadnavis was quoted as saying by ANI.The Govt  also said the issue of forest land transfer rights would be resolved within six months, adding that a committee would be set up with two representative from Akhil Bharatiya Kisan Sabha to look into problems of loan waiver to adivasis and farmers. Speaking in the state Assembly, CM  Devendra Fadnavis said his Govt  was open to talks with the farmers’ body, and that it was willing to consider all the demands put forth by farmers and tribals.  Nearly 40,000 farmers and tribals, who began their protest on March 6 from CBS chowk in Nashik, reached Mumbai early this morning; they have walked over 160 kilometres in the last six days.The farmers have a list of demands for the BJP-led Govt , including a complete loan waiver, an overhaul of the river linking scheme keeping in mind the tribal villages and implementation of recommendations made by Swaminathan Committee report that asserts farmers should be paid one and a half times the cost of production.indianexpress
Mumbai Muslim groups provide protesting farmers with food, medical aide
Mumbai: Dozens of Muslims associated with various NGOs past midnight on Sunday opened their arms to provide the protesting farmers with food and medical aide when they reached in South Mumba area.With packets of fruits, food items, snacks, biscuits and drinking water they waited near JJ Flyover Bridge for hours to help the farmers who entered Mumbai Sunday and walked overnight from Vikhroli to Azad Maidan. Among the Muslim volunteers was also a team of doctors with ambulance ready to assist the farmers who had injured themselves because they walked barefoot, and many others who complained of nausea and dehydration because of walking since last six days under intense heat.“Our NGO is working for downtrodden and weaker section of society. These farmers have walked more than 180 kms to highlight their legitimate demands. By our little effort, we are trying to help them in their fight for their right and extend our support to them”, a Muslim volunteer said.In Vikhroli and Sion area of Mumbai. Sikh groups were also seen helping with food packets and drinking water to protesting farmers. Members of Muslim Council Trust led by Ibrahim Tai, Mumbai Aman Committee led by Fareed Shaikh, and other Muslim NGOs including Jamiat-e-Ulema, Ulema Council, Muslim Personal Law Board were also present near Crawford Market and Mumbai CST to distribute water bottles, snacks and fruits to protesting farmers.ummid.com
Muslims, Sikhs Come out Offering Food, Water to Farmers in Mumbai

4 held Bengali workers released from Mumbai jail after court dismisses ‘Bangladeshi’ charge
4 workers from West Bengal who had been arrested on charges of being illegal Bangladeshis in Thane district of Maharashtra were released from the jail by Thane Court after they proved their Indian citizenship. 4 workers had to spend around 71 days in jail over the false accusations.However, 6 other workers from West Bengal who were arrested in Mumbai on similar charges continue to languish in jail due to the inaction of Mumbai Police even after they submitted documents which prove they are Indians. 4 workers were arrested on Dec.14 from Thane, where they worked in a fish market. The workers, who are from East Burdwan district, were accused under Section 169 of CrPc.Kiran Keni, the Advocate who was looking after the case, said, “Court ordered the Kalwa Police to release the 4 workers from the jail as the investigation proved that they are Indians. They don’t have any cases pending regarding this issue.”While the workers expressed relief at the order, they nevertheless feel they were unjustly treated and had to suffer huge losses.TCN
Passive euthanasia: Church says ‘taking of innocent life is never a moral act’
New Delhi: Days after Supreme Court recognised the “living will” and allowed passive euthanasia, the Church on Monday said legalising the same would place the lives of vulnerable people at risk. In a statement, the Catholic Bishops’ Conference of India (CBCI) said no one has the right to ask for this act of killing, for ourselves or for those entrusted to our care. “In India, the sanctity of life has hitherto been placed on the highest level. The right to life under Article 21 of the Indian Constitution does not include within its scope the right to die,” the Church said in a statement. “The taking of innocent life is never a moral act. Legalizing euthanasia would place the lives of vulnerable people at risk, including those whom others might be tempted to think would be better off dead.” indianexpress
SC order allowed me to stand by a faith I believed was right: Hadiya
Kozhikode: Kerala-based Hadiya who found herself at the centre of a raging debate around "love jihad" on Monday said she was grateful to the Supreme Court for allowing her to reunite with her husband.Days after the apex court set aside a Kerala high court order annulling her marriage with a Muslim man, Hadiya told reporters that the order was one that gave freedom to her to stand by a faith which she believed was right.No other person in the country should experience the pain and suffering like the one she underwent, Hadiya said.Flanked by her husband Shafin Jahan, Hadiya said she got freedom and justice from the apex court and thanked all those who stood by her during the legal battle."There should be no more controversies over me," she said.PTI
Didn't change religion to marry Shafin, I believe in Islam, says Hadiya days after SC ruling
After Indian Diplomats Complain of Harassment, Pakistan Protests Unfair Treatment of Its Officials
New Delhi:India-Pakistan playbook for coercion of diplomats is being followed assiduously. After a series of ‘harassment’ incidents against Indian diplomats, Pakistan has complained that there has been six cases of intimidation of its officials within 3 days in Delhi. According to sources, Indian diplomats have faced continuing harassment of serious nature. They are listed as forcible stoppage of vehicles belonging to the Indian high commission, intimidation and unauthorised entry. Apparently, the chancery’s contractor was threatened and told to close his services to the Indian high commission. In New Delhi, Pakistani officials began to report incidents of ‘coercion’ after a senior official’s car was stopped and vehicle was scratched in Chanakyapuri on March 7. A complaint was lodged with the MEA about the incident.A day later, Pakistani deputy high commissioner’s vehicle was chased by a motorcycle and a car, claimed Pakistani foreign office sources. At that time, his children were being ferried to school in the car. Abuses were apparently hurled at the driver, after he was asked to exit the vehicle.On the same day (March 8), vehicle of the Pakistan high commission’s minister political was also chased and scratched. Pakistani high commissioner Sohail Mahmood sought an urgent meeting with MEA to report the increase in harassment of his officials.After the meeting with MEA joint secretary in charge on Friday, Pakistani foreign office sources said that 2 more counsellors of the high commission “were harassed in the same manner as before”.THE WIRE
J&K Finance Minister Haseeb Drabu sacked after controversial Kashmir remark
Srinagar :J&K  CM  Mehbooba Mufti has sacked Finance Minister Haseeb Drabu from the cabinet for saying that Kashmir is ‘not a political issue’ – a statement that has set off a political firestorm across the state.The statement from the state finance minister had drawn sharp criticism not only from the opposition but also from leaders of PDP, prompting the CM to sack him.Sources said that after a meeting between CM, senior PDP leaders and legislators, a letter was sent to J&K Governor N N Vohra, informing him about the removal of Drabu on grounds of violation of party norms.While addressing an event themed ‘Kashmir: The Way Forward’ on March 9, Drabu had said that Kashmir is “not a political issue”, rather, it is a society with “social issues”. “Don’t see J&K as a conflict state and a political issue. It is a society which has social issues right now. We are trying to find our own space and we are going through a process which many other countries are also going through,” he said.indianexpress
Arrested for stone pelting, court grants bail to Kashmiri photojournalist after 6 months
New Delhi;A court on Monday granted bail to photojournalist Kamran Yousuf, accused of stone pelting in the Kashmir Valley.Additional sessions judge Tarun Sherawat allowed the bail plea of Yousuf, asking him to furnish two sureties of Rs 50,000.NIA on Sept.5 arrested Yousuf along with Javed Ahmad Bhat.
3 militants killed in an encounter in J&K ’s Anantnag
Srinagar: 3 militants, including one who claimed to have an affiliation to the Islamic State ideology, were killed in south Kashmir, the police said. "3 militants were killed, which include Eesa Fazli of Srinagar, Syed Owais of Kokernag and a third militant whose identity is being ascertained," said the police.The police said they were killed in an operation  in Hakoora area of Anantnag. Fazili, a B.Tech student, was believed to be part of the group influenced by the Islamic State ideology.thehindu
Clampdown in Srinagar as Hundreds Gather for Militant Funeral
Srinagar: Hundreds of mourners gathered in Srinagar today for the funeral prayers of a militant, reportedly working with the ISIS, who was gunned down in an encounter with security forces last night in South Kashmir’s Anantnag district along with two associates. Authorities have imposed curfew-like restrictions in parts of downtown Srinagar while all educational institutions in the city have been ordered to remain closed in the wake of militant killings that have sparked fresh tensions across the valley.High-speed mobile internet has been suspended in parts of the Valley as Govt, anticipating protests, placed moderate Hurriyat’s chief Mirwaiz Umar Farooq under house-arrest. Police also arrested JKLF chairman Muhammad Yasin Malik from his Maisuma residence.“To prevent him from leading any protest against the militant killings, Yasin Malik was arrested from his home this morning and was lodged at Kothi Bagh police station,” said a JKLF spokesperson.Some educational institutions, including a Govt  degree college in Ganderbal district, are closed in parts Kashmir areas following the late-night encounter.thecitizen
3,816 criminal cases against 1,765 MPs, MLAs: Centre to Supreme Court
New Delhi: A total of 3,816 criminal cases were registered against 1,765 MPs and MLAs across the country, of which 3,045 cases are pending, the Centre has told the Supreme Court in an affidavit. The figures, information for which was provided by 23 High Courts, does not include the cases registered in Maharashtra and Goa.UP leads the tally with 565 cases against 248 MPs and MLAs, closely followed by Kerala with 533 cases against 114 legislators. UP also has the maximum pending cases of 539, while Kerala is second with 373. Tamil Nadu is third on the list with 402 cases against 178 MPs and MLAs, of which 324 are pending. No case has been lodged against any MP or MLA in Manipur and Mizoram.The affidavit, filed by Union Ministry of Law and Justice, clarifies that requisite details from the Bombay High Court had not been received and as such, number of cases against people’s representatives in Maharashtra and Goa was not known yet. indianexpress
Delhi chief secretary assault case: AAP MLA Amanatullah gets bail, but conditions apply
Delhi High Court on Monday granted bail to AAP MLA Amanatullah Khan in the Chief Secretary Anshu Prakash assault case. Justice Mukta Gupta granted relief to the Okhla MLA, who was arrested on February 21, with certain conditions as imposed on AAP MLA Prakash Jarwal earlier.“The petitioner (Khan) has served an incarceration of more than 20 days and no further custodial interrogation is required. So the petitioner is released on bail,” the court said. During the hearing, the Delhi Police counsel submitted a status report, stating that Khan was named in 12 criminal cases, out of which he has been discharged in 3 cases.PTI
INX case: Delhi court sends Karti Chidambaram to Tihar till March 24, no special cell for him
New Delhi;Karti Chidambaram, son of former Finance Minister P Chidambaram, was sent to judicial custody by Delhi’s Patiala House court till March 24 after his three-day CBI custody ended in the INX Media case on Monday. The court also dismissed his plea to provide him a separate cell in Tihar Jail due to his threat perception. indianexpress
Jaitley silent on PNB scam to protect daughter: Rahul
Congress President Rahul Gandhi on Monday alleged that Finance Minister Arun Jaitley was silent on the ₹12,600 crore PNB fraud case to "protect his lawyer daughter" and asked why her firm was not "raided"."It's now revealed that our Finance Minister's silence on the PNB scam was to protect his lawyer daughter, who was paid a large retainer by the accused just a month before the scam became public. When other law firms of the accused have been raided by CBI, why not hers?"Gandhi said in a tweet.IANS
Denied Rajya Sabha seat, Naresh Agrawal dumps Akhilesh Yadav, joins BJP
Senior Samajwadi Party leader Naresh Agrawal on Monday joined the BJP in presence of Union Railways Minister Piyush Goyal. He was reportedly unhappy over being denied a Rajya Sabha ticket by his former party, which has preferred to nominate actor Jaya Bachchan over him.Also joining the BJP is his son and an SP MLA, Nitin Agrawal.Samajwadi Party has 43 MLAs in the current Uttar Pradesh assembly and can only send one candidate to the Upper House of the parliament.
TRS declares candidate for RS poll: No tickets for Mohammed Saleem, Mahboob Alam Khan
 The party which claims to impart social justice once again neglected the Muslims. The nominations for Rajya Sabha seats have been finalized but no Muslim names figures in it.It may be mentioned that last time, TRS nominated Dr. K. Keshav Rao, Mr. D. Srinivas and Capt. Lakshmikant Rao for Rajya Sabha. It was expected that this time, a Muslim candidate would be sent to Rajya Sabha. For the past few months, the names of Mr. Mohammed Saleem and Mr. Mahmood Alam Khan were making rounds in the political circles but their names did not figure in the list issued yesterday.siasat
Tamil Nadu forest fire claims lives of 9 trekkers
Theni: At least 9 people died in a forest fire in Kurangani hills in Tamil Nadu on Sunday, Theni district collector M Pallavi Baldev said on Monday.As many as 36 trekkers – 24 from Chennai, including 23 women, and 12 from Tiruppur, including three women and three children -- were caught in the fire on Sunday afternoon, said revenue administration, disaster management and mitigation commissioner Dr K Satyagopal. 6 of the nine deceased trekkers were from Chennai while the rest were from Tiruppur. The deceased have been identified as Subha, Hemalatha, Punitha, Akila; Arun, Vipin Dhivya, Vivek and Tamilselvan.Forest officials said the trekkers tried to take refuge inside a dried up stream but the dried grass in the stream quickly caught fire. The district collector said some of them fell into a pit.After massive rescue operations led by the India Air Force team, 21 people were rescued. TOI
Women Employees of Adityanath’s Helpline Claim Being Locked up for Protesting Over Salaries
New Delhi: Women staffers of UP CM Adityanath’s 1076 helpline have claimed they were locked up and tortured for protesting against non-payment of salaries on Friday. According to TOI, the employees – who have not been paid for the last four months – alleged that they were beaten up and locked in a room at Cyber Tower office in Vibhuti Khand.Over 10 other female employees fainted during Friday’s protest at their office in Lucknow’s Gomti Nagar area and had to be rushed to the nearby Ram Manohar Lohia hospital for treatment.A staffer told the daily that they were not allowed to punch their cards when they entered the office and were instructed to mark attendance on a sheet of paper, which they protested against.“We told them to give our salaries and we would leave,” one Akanksha Singh said, adding: “Officials took us into a room for negotiation but locked us in.”The Wire
School dropout rate among Muslim girls down to about 40%: Naqvi
New Delhi:Union Minister for Minority Affairs Mukhtar Abbas Naqvi has said the school dropout rate among Muslim girls has come down to about 40 per cent from over 70 per cent. He said the Govt  was working towards bringing it down to zero per cent.“Education is the golden key to guarantee of constitutional and social security of girls; we should take it as a mission to make education our first priority,” a press statement issued by PIB quoted Naqvi as saying. thestatesman
J&K: 4 booked on sedition charges for raising pro-Pakistan slogans
Jammu : J&K  police has booked four youths on charges of sedition for allegedly raising pro-Pakistan slogans during demonstrations against the state Govt ’s decision to appoint common Additional Deputy Commissioner for Nowshera and Sunderbani sub-divisions and another for Kotranaka and Kalakote sub-divisions.The first FIR was filed against Arun Gupta and Ashi Gupta, who were a part of a group demonstrating in Nowshera’s main market Thursday night. The agitation was sparked after Health and Medical Education Minister Bali Bhagat on Thursday announced both the ADCs would function at the two sub-divisions under their jurisdiction on rotation for a month. Arun and Ashi allegedly raised pro-Pakistan slogans and said they would not agree on anything less than a district status for Nowshera.On Friday, two more youths – Gurmeet Singh and Avtar Singh – allegedly raised similar slogans when they came face-to-face with some police vehicles.indianexpress
Allah has sent Muslims as the sympathizers for all: Maulana Rabey Hasni
Samastipur: Addressing the ‘Payam-e-Insaniyat’ conference organised by the All India Muslim Personal Law Board, Maulana Rabey Hasni Nadwi said it is important to practice the knowledge that is obtained. He claimed that ‘when we followed the teachings of the Holy Quran we gained victory in the entire world. When we renounced the message of the humanity we faced destruction in the entire world. We need to propagate the message of humanity. When we gave the message of humanity we became the greatest community in the world. When we lost morals our community is being looked upon with contempt. He further said Allah sent us as the sympathizer of the whole world. Misconceptions are being spread against us hence we are scorned at. To dispel the misconceptions we should practice the teachings of Prophet Mohammed (pbuh).siasat
WORLD
49 dead in US-Bangla plane crash at Kathmandu airport
Kathmandu:49 people died when a US-Bangla airlines plane crashed at Tribhuvan International Airport (TIA) in Kathmandu on Monday afternoon, Nepal Police said. There were 71 people including four crew members on board the 78-seater Bombardier Dash 8 Q400 aircraft that took off from Dhaka, Bangladesh. The plane crashed at 2:18 pm local time. According to Nepal Police Spokesperson DIG Manoj Neupane, 22 injured passengers are undergoing treatment at various hospitals in Kathmandu. Twelve passengers have been admitted at Kathmandu Medical College Hospital, Sinamangal, four at Norvic Hospital, Thapathali, three at Grande Hospital, Dhapasi, one at Om Hospital, Chabahil and one at Medicity, Bhainsepati.Nepal Police DIG Manoj Neupane said 31 bodies were pulled out from the crashed plane and nine others were declared dead at different hospitals.kathmandupost
'Pilot error' blamed for deadly Kathmandu plane crash
11 die as plane flying from UAE to Turkey crashes in Iran
Tehran:A Turkish private jet flying a group of young women from the UAE to Istanbul crashed Sunday in heavy rain in a mountainous region of Iran, killing all 11 people on board, authorities said.Days earlier, aircraft carried a bachelorette party bound for Dubai, although it was not clear who was on the plane when it crashed. Iranian state television quoted a spokesman for the country’s emergency management organization as saying the plane hit a mountain near Shahr-e Kord and burst into flames. Shahr-e Kord is nearly 370 km south of the capital, Tehran.The spokesman, Mojtaba Khaledi, later told a website associated with state TV that local villagers had reached the site in Zagros Mountains and found only badly burned bodies and no survivors. He said DNA tests would be needed to identify the dead.AP
Ghouta: At least 42 killed amid ongoing offensive
At least 42 people have been killed in Syria's Eastern Ghouta as Govt  forces continue to launch air raids on the rebel-held enclave while edging closer to its central towns.Activists in Douma, one of the main urban centres, told Al Jazeera on Sunday that Syrian jets have "not stopped bombing towns all over Ghouta".Syrian state television reported the town of Mudeira had been seized on Sunday by the army, which was now able to link up with units on the other side of Eastern Ghouta. Govt forces have now surrounded Douma after capturing the neighbouring town of Mesraba, 10km east of Damascus, on Saturday, it said.The advance on Mudeira has driven a wedge deep inside the rebel-held territory, leaving Douma and Harasta cut off.aljazeera
In besieged Syrian enclave, locals say unsafe even to bury the dead:Reuters
Amman/Beirut:Thousands of families are sleeping in the open in the streets of the biggest town of Syria’s rebel-held eastern Ghouta enclave, where there is no longer any room in packed cellars to shelter from Govt  bombardment, local authorities said. Army’s onslaught in eastern Ghouta, backed by air and artillery strikes, has killed about 1,160 people since Feb. 18, a war monitor said, as President Bashar al-Assad seeks to crush the last big rebel stronghold near the capital Damascus. Thousands of families have fled from the front lines to Douma, hoping to escape bombing. The town’s opposition-controlled authorities said on Monday the situation there had become “catastrophic”, with no more room below ground for civilians to hide.At least 70 people had been buried in a park because air strikes made it unsafe to reach the cemetery on the outskirts.
Civilians organise 'human shield' to protect Kurdish Afrin
People are planning to act as human shields in an effort to protect the Syrian city of Afrin as the Turkish military and its allied forces prepare to capture the Kurdish-controlled urban centre.Turkey launched its cross-border operation on January 20 saying it needed to eliminate the Kurdish militia known as the People's Protection Units (YPG), which is backed by the US, but which Turkey describes as a "terrorist" group.After weeks of fighting, Turkish soldiers and allied Free Syrian Army (FSA) fighters are now on the outskirts of the city and poised to enter. A number of towns and villages were taken from the YPG on Sunday by Turkey's military and its allies in the north and south of the Kurdish district."The speed of the assault has taken everyone by surprise," said Al Jazeera's Alan Fisher, reporting from the border town of Gaziantep. He added that supporters in Turkey were also planning to come and act as human shields in an attempt to prevent an all-out attack on Afrin."There were people who said they wanted to help the YPG against the FSA and the Turks, and so they offered themselves as human shields - an offer that was accepted by the YPG. And it's not just people from the Kurdish areas who are going there. We're also hearing reports of women's groups, socialist groups that are also offering their services - to put themselves between the FSA and the Turks and the YPG. Turkish President Tayyip Erdogan on Saturday said his forces would be inside Afrin in a matter of days, but for humanitarian reasons, they were taking their time to strategise and prevent civilian deaths.Erdogan also denounced NATO on Sunday, accusing the Western military alliance of failing to back Turkey's campaign.aljazeera
Afghan forces battle Taliban fighters in Farah
Taliban fighters have taken over a police headquarters in Afghanistan's western Farah province during an ongoing battle with the security forces as officials warned the district was likely to be taken over by the armed group.At least 20 members of the security forces are believed to be killed or wounded when the fighters attacked the Anar Dara district's police and administrative offices on Monday morning.The exact number of killed or wounded is still not clear as the fighting is still under way, officials said.The Taliban immediately claimed responsibility saying the district is now under their control.aljazeera
Saudi used abuse to seize billions during purge:NYT
At least 17 Saudi detainees were subjected to physical abuse during what was termed an anti-corruption campaign that saw the arrest of hundreds of prominent businessmen and princes in November, New York Times has found. The newspaper interviewed relatives, advisers, associates of the detainees, as well as Saudi officials, who denied the allegations. "Relatives of some of the detainees said they were deprived of sleep, roughed up and interrogated with their heads covered while Govt  pressured them to sign over large assets," the article, published on Sunday, said. According to the newspaper, the 17 detainees were hospitalised after facing abuse, while one Saudi general died in custody. "One person who saw the corpse of the officer, Maj. Gen. Ali al-Qahtani, said that his neck was twisted unnaturally as though it had been broken, and that his body was badly bruised and distended.aljazeera
Saudi establishes units to probe, prosecute corruption cases
Activists push US to advocate for human rights in Egypt
Dozens of members of the Egyptian diaspora in the US are gathering in Washington, DC, this week to develop strategies to push members of Congress to support freedom and human rights in Egypt.The two-day training, dubbed Egypt Advocacy Day, will bring about 60 delegates from 30 different states to the US capital on Monday and Tuesday, said Mohamed Soltan, one of the event organisers."We hope that we can bring folks together outside of Egypt, in the diaspora … to be the voice of those that can't have one, or [for whom] the cost of having a voice is simply too much to bear," Soltan told Al Jazeera.Soltan founded The Freedom Initiative, a US-based non-profit group co-organising the event, in late 2015 to advocate on behalf of political prisoners in Egypt, who human rights groups say now number in the tens of thousands.A citizen of both Egypt and the US, Soltan was jailed in 2013 by Govt of Egyptian President Abdel Fattah el-Sisi, which accused him of supporting the outlawed Muslim Brotherhood movement.The event is co-organised by the Belady Foundation, a group helping Egyptian street children that was founded by Aya Hijazi, a dual US-Egyptian citizen who was jailed in Egypt for over three years.Hijazi was released from prison and returned to the US in April 2017 after a Cairo court acquitted her of human trafficking, a charge human rights groups said was fabricated.aljazeera
Myanmar builds military bases where Rohingya homes and mosques stood: Amnesty
Yangon:After driving nearly 700,000 Rohingya Muslims out of the country, Myanmar’s military is building bases where some of their homes and mosques once stood, Amnesty International said on Monday, citing new evidence from satellite imagery.A harsh security response to attacks by Rohingya insurgents on Aug. 25 sent members of the mostly stateless minority fleeing to Bangladesh and saw more than 350 villages destroyed by fire in western Myanmar’s Rakhine state.An Amnesty report published on Monday echoed previous ones by saying the remains of some of those villages - and some buildings not previously damaged - had been bulldozed. As well as rapid housing and road construction in the area, at least three new security facilities were under construction, the global human rights group said. In one case, Rohingya villagers who had remained in Myanmar were forcibly evicted to make way for a base, it said.“What we are seeing in Rakhine State is a land grab by the military on a dramatic scale,”Tirana Hassan, Amnesty’s crisis response director, said in a statement. “New bases are being erected to house the very same security forces that have committed crimes against humanity against Rohingya.”At least four mosques that had not been wrecked by fire have been destroyed, or had their roofing or other materials removed, since late Dec, a time when significant conflict was not reported in the area, Amnesty said.Reuters
U.N. expert says Mynamar Govt employs starvation policy in Rakhine
Sri Lanka: UN condemns anti-Muslim violence
UN condemned a string of anti-Muslim attacks in Sri Lanka including the burning of mosques and businesses. Under-Secretary-General for Political Affairs Jeffrey Feltman told the Sri Lankan Govt  the people behind the violence should be brought to justice. During his visit, Feltman "condemned the breakdown in law and order and the attacks against Muslims and their property", a UN statement said.Feltman, who met with local Muslim leaders to show solidarity, "urged swift and full implementation of the Govt 's commitment to bring the perpetrators of the violence and hate speech to justice, to take measures to prevent recurrence, and to enforce non-discriminatory rule of law". aljazeera
Rise of violent Buddhist rhetoric in Asia:AFP
Hong Kong: Buddhism may be touted in the West as an inherently peaceful philosophy, but a surge in violent rhetoric from small but increasingly influential groups of hardline monks in parts of Asia is upending the religion's tolerant image.Buddhist mobs in Sri Lanka last week led anti-Muslim riots that left at least three dead and more than 200 Muslim-owned establishments in ruins, just the latest bout of communal violence there stoked by Buddhist nationalists.In Myanmar, ultra-nationalist monks led by firebrand preacher Wirathu have poured vitriol on the country's small Muslim population, cheering a military crackdown forcing nearly 7,00,000 Rohingya into Bangladesh.And in neighbouring Thailand, a prominent monk found himself in hot water for calling on followers to burn down mosques.What has prompted this surge in aggressive rhetoric from followers of a faith that is so often equated, rightly or wrongly, with non-violence? For many in the West, schooled in Buddhism via the beatniks, Hollywood, meditation classes, tropical holidays and inspirational Dalai Lama quotes, the visceral response of these monks can be a shock.But Michael Jerryson, an expert on religion at Youngstown State University who has just completed a book exploring Buddhism and violence, says throughout history some Buddhists — like any faith — have used religion to justify violence."There's a common mindset, whether it's Sri Lanka, Myanmar, Thailand... that Buddhism is somehow under threat," he said, describing the latest incarnation of violent Buddhist rhetoric."In many recent cases around Asia, this aggression has been targeted toward Muslims.Despite centuries of largely peaceful co-existence and trading, Buddhist fundamentalist groups portray Islam as invasive, toppling ancient Buddhist empires in Malaysia and Indonesia and now threatening the same for modern Buddhist nations through jihad or high birth rates.
UN: Israel settlements in W. Bank, Jerusalem ‘war crime’
UN High Commissioner for Human Rights Zeid Ra’ad Al-Hussein has described Israeli settlements in the occupied West Bank and Jerusalem as “war crimes”, Quds Press reported .According to local media, Al-Hussein’s warnings would be part of a report he is to introduce to the UN Security Council on 19 March.“Building settlements in the West Bank and East Jerusalem, including the social, economic and security facilities given to their residents with the aim to move Zionists to forcefully occupied lands, is a violation to article 147 of Geneva Convention,” the UN official wrote in his report.middleeastmonitor
Iraq’s Sadr allies with communist party in upcoming elections
Iraq’s Shia cleric and leader of the Sadrist movement, Moqtada Al-Sadr, has formed an alliance with the Iraqi Communist Party to run in the upcoming legislative elections scheduled for May.Sadrist movement leader, Ibrahim Al-Jabri, said the alliance is the first in Iraq’s history.“It is a revolution by Iraqis who want reform both secularists, like the communists, and moderate Islamists.”Al-Jabri told a crowd of anti-Govt  protesters in Baghdad that “the alliance is no surprise because we have been fighting together for two years”.In 2015, the Sadrist movement supported civil society activists in protests demanding reforms and fighting corruption.middleeastmonitor
Bangladesh ex-PM Khaleda Zia gets bail; party to consider poll boycott
DHAKA: A Bangladeshi court granted bail on Monday to former PM  Khaleda Zia, who was jailed last month for five years for graft, raising a chance her party might take part in a December general election.Zia is a two-term PM  whose bitter rivalry with PM  Sheikh Hasina has defined Bangladeshi politics for years.Reuters
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Compiled and edited by Anwarulhaq (Released at: 8:35 PM)

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