17 March 2018

17 March ND: Alimuddin killing: In a 1st, Jharkhand Court convicts 11 'Gau Rakshaks' including BJP leader for lynching / Does Anyone Remember Dr Kafeel, ‘Hero’ Who Saved kids in Gorakhpur?In Jail Without Bail

17 March 2018:28 Jamadiul-2 1439:Vol:9, No:144
Alimuddin killing: In a 1st, Jharkhand Court convicts 11 'Gau Rakshaks' including BJP leader for lynching
Ramgarh:A fast-track court in Jharkhand today convicted 11 of the 12 people accused in a cow vigilantism-related murder case. This is the first time people have been convicted in a case relating to violence in the name of cow protection anywhere in India. The sentencing will take place on March 21. 11 of the accused – including a local BJP leader and three members of a gau raksha samiti – were convicted under IPC Section 302 (murder). In addition, three of them were convicted under Section 120B (conspiracy) – indicating that the court was convinced that the attack was pre-planned.The 12th accused was initially being treated as a juvenile, Indian Express reported, but the prosecution had asked that he be treated as an adult as he was above 16 years of age. This plea – based on a CrPc amendment that says minors between the ages of 16 and 18 can be tried as adults if it can be proved that they were aware of the impact of their actions – is pending before the court. Defence lawyers told The Wire that they will be appealing the conviction.Alimuddin alias Asgar Ansari was lynched to death by a mob in Ramgarh on June 29, reportedly based on suspicions that he was carrying beef. His lynching happened the day PM Narendra Modi decided to finally break his silence around the issue of cow vigilantism. Ansari was reportedly carrying about 200 kg of meat in his van when he was attacked. His car was also set on fire. Police had intervened, but he succumbed to his injuries soon after being admitted to a hospital. 2 people were arrested in the case, including local BJP leader Nityanand Mahato. Another accused had surrendered.In videos of the assault that did the rounds on social media, the assailants were seen beating Ansari with pieces of meat while his car was on fire in the background. Ansari’s wife, Mariam Khatoon, had told the media then that she was certain that members of the Bajrang Dal were responsible for her husband’s death. “They were rogues owing allegiance to Bajrang Dal,” she had alleged.thewire
Ramgarh Lynching: 11 Including Local BJP Leader Convicted for Murdering Alimuddin Ansari
Jharkhand victim’s widow says she does not want death penalty for convicted gau rakshaks
Ramgarh:Mariam Khatoon, the widow of Alimuddin Ansari who was killed by gau rakshaks on June 29 last year, has said she does not want her husband’s convicted killers to hang. “Though they murdered my husband I don’t want them to lose their lives,” she said shortly after a court here found the 11 accused guilty of killing him. “I would prefer the court gave them life imprisonment.”The court’s guilty verdict for 11 men is the first conviction in India for gau rakshaks, self-styled  cow vigilantes linked to RSS-BJP-VHP-Bajrang Dal, who have gone on an attack-and-kill spree especially since the BJP-led govt of PM Narendra Modi came to power in May 2014. Sentencing is due on March 21.sabrangindia
Kashmir is ours, won’t mind crossing border to protect it: Rajnath Singh
New Delhi: In an indirect warning to Pakistan, Union Home Minister Rajnath Singh on Saturday said no power in the world can take Kashmir away from India and if required, forces are capable of crossing the border to protect the country’s territorial integrity. “Kashmir is, was and will be ours always,” Singh said, while addressing to a Summit.He made it clear that the Govt  is keen on finding a permanent solution to Kashmir, which has been the bone of contention between the two countries for quite some time. “We want lasting solution to the Kashmir problem and we are open to speaking to any party,” he said.“I want to tell those who are trying to teach jihad to innocent Kashmiri youths that they should first learn the real concept of jihad in Islam,” Singh said, adding that he has personally requested J&K CM  Mehbooba Mufti to ignore cases filed against the first-time stone pelters.indianexpress
‘Harassment’ of diplomats: Pakistan unlikely to send High Commissioner back to India
New Delhi: Pakistan is unlikely to send its High Commissioner to India Sohail Mahmood back to New Delhi any time soon, reported Express Tribune on Saturday. Islamabad’s decision comes in the wake of allegations of harassment and intimidation of diplomats of both countries, and their families. Mahmood is likely to remain in Pakistan indefinitely or until the situation between the countries is resolved. 2 days ago, after Pakistan summoned Mahmood to Islamabad for “consultations” over the allegations made, Indian Ministry of External Affairs had called it “pretty normal and routine” and not a recall.“Our high commissioner will not return to India anytime soon,”Senior Foreign Office official was quoted as saying by Express Tribune. Mahmood returned to the country from New Delhi on Friday. The officer added that Pakistan may withdraw the families of diplomatic staff from India, if relations didn’t improve. Earlier this week, Mahmood had said, “Through painstaking efforts over the past several months, we twice managed to ease tensions somewhat and began making progress on some of the tracks, including on humanitarian issues. The current approach and methods only militate against such efforts, while holding no prospect of advancing any particular objective. A re-think is in order.”indianexpress
To protest alleged harassment of diplomats, Pakistan pulls out of WTO meet in India: Report
Islamabad: Pakistan has decided to stay away from WTO meet in New Delhi next week in protest against alleged harassment of its diplomats in India. New Delhi last month invited Pakistan Commerce Minister Pervez Malik to participate in informal WTO ministerial meeting scheduled to be held in New Delhi on March 19-20 and Islamabad had initially accepted the invitation. Sources in the foreign ministry in Islamabad said the situation has changed after “repeated harassment of families of diplomats” and it was decided to skip the invitation.“We cannot send our commerce minister to India in the current situation and India has been informed about it,” according to a source. PTI
Courts in J&K are divided on regional lines, Jammu threatened by communalism: Yashwant Sinha committee report
Former finance minister Yashwant Sinha led committee has come up with a report saying religious divide in the conflict-hit state has clearly been deepened in recent years as communalism has taken deep roots.“People point out that even the courts in J&K are divided–the 2 benches in Jammu and Srinagar gave differing rulings on unfurling of the state flag, for example. This has caused fissures in the state’s social stability”, report reads. The group comprising Yashwant Sinha, Air Vice Marshal (Retd.) Kapil Kak, executive secretary of Centre for Dialogue and Reconciliation Sushobha Barve and senior journalist Bharat Bhushan had recently visited the state.The report says the latest issue that has flagged the rise in communalism in Jammu is the brutal rape and murder of an 8-year-old Muslim Bakkarwal girl, Asifa, in Kathua allegedly by a Hindu.“The attempt apparently was to frighten and evict the nomadic Bakkarwals from the land they occupied. Some local leaders of the BJP along with an outfit called the Hindu Ekta Manch have taken out public rallies with the tricolour in hand shouting slogans which suggest that Muslims are pro-Pakistan and need to be dealt with swiftly”, the report reads.“A prominent local Muslim businessman summed up how he felt saying, 'I belong to Jammu and have never felt unsafe here. But now even I have started feeling insecure. What am I to make out of Hindu Ekta Manch taking out a protest march waving the national flag over the Asifa rape case shouting - Those who want Pakistan will be sent to Qabristan (burial ground)? The only person who needs to be sent to Qabristan is the rapist. Even in the case of a rape, we are totally divided. This is frightening.“Communal divide in Jammu is being promoted by politically ambitious leaders who are intent on tearing apart the rich and diverse social fabric of the region for their short-term political benefits. Some prominent citizens, however, lamented the fact that local civil society organisations had not countered the communal narrative surrounding Asifa’s rape and murder. Others said that there was no civil society in Jammu and that the space for civil society’s activities had been taken over by communal politicians”, the report says. It added:“Not only is Jammu getting polarised communally, even State Assembly has been polarised after the Sunjuwan army camp attack. Increasingly the perception is that there is a ‘Hindu Jammu’ ruled by the BJP and then there is ‘Muslim Kashmir’ ruled by PDP – i.e. there is a communal division of labour between 2 political allies which govern state." outlookindia
Yashwant Sinha-led Concerned Citizens’ Group says ‘situation in Kashmir has deteriorated’
Geelani Claims To Have Spurned Talks Offer
Srinagar:Hurriyat leader and chairman of his faction of Hurriyat Conference, Syed Ali Geelani, revealed he spurned efforts by New Delhi to start Kashmir dialogue “without involvement of Islamabad” in the process.The octogenarian leader, who remains under house arrest at his Srinagar residence,was, according to his spokesman GA Gulzar, approached by an unidentified officer of the IB who wanted him to “startstart dialogue with New Delhi”.Geelani, spokesman said, turned down the offer. Urging New Delhi to engage Pakistan in a “meaningful” dialogue on Kashmir, Geelani, according to spokesman, told the unnamed officer that under "indifferent, apathetic and appalling situation” in Kashmir, talks will not succeed unless the situation is “conducive for talks between all its stakeholders including Pakistan”."Unless and until the Kashmir dispute is addressed in its historical perspective, all these attempts are futile. India must acknowledge the disputed status of the Kashmir and begin demilitarization to hold a referendum,” Geelani told IB officer, according to Gulzar. Geelani told the officer that New Delhi must accept Kashmir as a dispute and respect the aspirations of the people, "They should shun fanatical politics because the need of the hour is to acknowledge the ground realities of the long-pending J&K dispute,” Geelani, told the IB officer.thecitizen
Terror funding case: Court allows ED to quiz Kashmiri businessman
A Delhi court has allowed Enforcement Directorate to interrogate a Kashmiri businessman in connection with a terror funding case to unearth the money trail.Additional Sessions Judge Tarun Sherawat allowed the application filed by ED's counsel Nitesh Rana seeking permission to quiz Zahoor Watali, an influential businessman allegedly having friendship with Pakistani leaders and Kashmiri separatists, for 2 days - March 19 and 20.Watali, who was arrested by NIA on charges of receiving funds from Pakistan to sponsor terror activities and stone-pelting in Kashmir, is at present lodged in Tihar jail.He is said to be close to Syed Ali Shah Geelani. Besides Saeed, Salahuddin and Watali, ED has also named Geelani's son-in-law Altaf Shah alias Altaf Fantoosh, Bashir Ahmad Bhat and Javed Ahmad Bhat as accused. Hurriyat leaders Nayeem Ahmad Khan,Farooq Ahmad Dar alias Bitta Karate, Mohammad Akbar Khanday and Raja Mehrajuddin Kalwal have also been charged by agency in terror funding case.PTI 
J&K Jama’at calls for an end to security forces summoning Islamic preachers to their camps
Jama’at-e-Islami (JeI) J&K has alleged security forces of intervening in the religious affairs of Kashmiri Muslims in various places throughout the valley particularly in South Kashmir. Expressing anguish and resentment, JeI said organisers of the religious congregations are called to the army camps and intimidated and harassed without any justification and reasonable cause just to forcibly restrain them from these rightful activities.“Some of them are even beaten for organising such religious gatherings,” the spokesperson said. “At some places the Imams and preachers of Masjids are forced to attend the camps for reporting the religious activities going on in mosques and even asked to prepare audio/video recording of their speeches and send the same to the camps which is not acceptable at all being the worst form of violating the religious freedom guaranteed under UN Charter of fundamental human rights and the constitution of India too.”JeI alleged security force personnel of violating the constitution and law. TCN
Centre to SC: Don’t force us to allow Rohingya to India
Centre on Friday told the Supreme Court that it can’t force that Rohingya Muslims be allowed to come to India.Clarifying further its stand on Rohingya Muslims, the Centre said in an affidavit that that those who have valid travel certificate can come to India only. The Centre also said that if Rohingya Muslims come to India without valid certificate then this will be against national interest and it is a matter related to internal and external security of the country.The SC was also informed by the Centre that India have no policy to issue identity cards to refugees. “Rohingya Muslim refugees cannot be compared to Sri Lankan Tamil refugees. India has a bilateral treaty with Sri Lanka and so Tamil refugees were allowed to come to India. As far as Myanmar is concerned, there is no bilateral treaty with them,” the Centre said in the affidavit. SC was hearing a petition opposing the Centre’s decision to send back Rohingya Muslims back to Myanmar.The case will be heard on March 19.indialegallive
Rohingyas a security threat, deport them: RSS
Jammu:RSS has supported the demand for deportation of illegal migrants from Myanmar and Bangladesh, saying their presence in J&K  posed a security threat to the country. “We do not consider them (Rohingyas and Bangladeshis) as refugees as they are foreigners and have entered in our country illegally, RSS Prant Sanghchalk, Brig (Retd) Suchait Singh said.Singh, who was flanked by Prant Kariwah Parshotam Dadichi, said the state and central Govts should identify the illegally settled foreigners and sent them back. “Why should we tolerate them when they pose a security threat to the nation as well as state,”he said.Criticising the previous UPA Govt at Centre and National Conference-Congress coalition Govt in the state for allowing them to settle down in Jammu,he said “they are totally responsible for the present situation(agitation over deportation of Rohingyas and Bangladeshis in Jammu).PTI
Constable who ‘helped’ terror suspect Abdullah booked; alleged to have forged police report
Lucknow: 8 months after UP ATS arrested Bangladeshi terror suspect Abdullah-al-Mamon, Saharanpur police booked a constable for allegedly helping him obtain a passport by forging a police report. The forged police report confirmed Abdullah to be a native of Saharanpur. Based on ATS information over the passport, police conducted an internal inquiry.“During the course of departmental inquiry, it was found the police report sent to the Regional Passport Office had the signature of sub-inspector Nasir Hussain posted at Deoband police station. The address was later found to be fake. Nasir Hussain denied having signed report. On Wednesday, he submitted an application with SSP Saharanpur Babloo Kumar alleging that constable Satish Kumar, who was tasked with carrying the documents from the police station to different offices, had forged his signature on the report, which was later forwarded to the passport office,” said Pankaj Kumar Tyagi, Deoband police SHO.Following direction from SSP, FIR against constable Satish Kumar was lodged on Thursday under IPC section 420 at the Deoband police station, added Tyagi. The constable has since been sent to the Reserve Police Lines.Circle Officer (Deoband) Siddharth Singh said, “The police report will now be sent to experts to verify sub-inspector Hussain’s claim of forgery. The involvement of constable Satish Kumar would also be confirmed after his handwriting too is examined.” Abdullah, is lodged in Lucknow district jail.indian express
Does Anyone Remember Dr Kafeel, ‘Hero’ Who Saved kids in Gorakhpur?In Jail Without Bail
New Delhi:“You think by getting cylinders from outside you have saved lives and are a hero, we will see about that,” said CM  Yogi Adityanath to young doctor Kafeel Khan during his visit to Baba Raghav Das hospital in his home constitutency Gorakhpur. This was after over 70 children had died because of a shortage of oxygen, crucial as medication in encephalitis cases.Dr Khan had shot into prominence, without trying to, as he rushed trying to secure oxygen to save the dying children. It is an acknowledged fact amongst Gorakhpur’s medical community that had this doctor not taken the initiative, the toll would have been far higher. However, instead of thanking him and handing out the awards that the state govt uses as doles, Adityanath rebuked him in front of several staff members during his visit to the hospital. He was not in charge, was on duty in another ward, but rushed to save the children, working through the night. TV crews captured this and interviewed the doctor who in one of his initial responses spoke of the shortage of oxygen that was subsequently found not to have been renewed, because of nonpayment of dues. And despite several reminders by agency Pushpa Sales to the hospital and UP Govt with final warnings that further supply would be stopped until the backlog was cleared. Shortly after Adityanath’s ‘will teach you a lesson’ attitude according to sources who had heard him, Khan was suspended. The Citizen spoke to him at the time, found him terrified, and too scared to say a word. All he said was, “they are after me, I cannot speak” and switched off his phone. Others in Gorakhpur who knew him said he was scared, and under tremendous mental pressure. As a senior doctor said, “Khan is a good man, well known, diligent and did what any conscientious doctor would do. He has been penalised and jailed for a crime that is not his.Khan has spent almost 6 months in jail,with his bail pleas being rejected.thecitizen
After Giriraj’s terror barb, another BJP MP says: Araria, Katihar, Kishanganj will turn into Pakistan
New Delhi:Another BJP MP has made provocative comments on RJD’s Sarfaraz Alam’s win in the recent Araria bypolls, saying the seat is “slowly turning into Pakistan”. RJD’s Alam won the Lok Sabha seat in Araria in the recent by-elections. “Have been raising this issue since long that Kishanganj, Katihar & Araria (all in Bihar) are slowly turning into Pakistan but govt’s inaction, thinking & vote bank-politics has pushed Bihar towards the brim of destruction,” ANI quoted BJP MP Gopal Narayan Singh.This is not the first time a saffron party leader has made provocative comments on Araria while targeting its Muslim population.On Thursday, Union Minister Giriraj Singh said the seat would become a “hub of terrorism,” dangerous not only to Bihar but to the entire nation.“RJD has started a new political culture for its political ambitions…They have spawned an extremist ideology which is a danger not only to Bihar but also to the country in the coming days. It will become a hub of terrorism,” Nawada MP said. indianexpress
Youth charged with raising pro-pak slogans are not RJD men: Sarfaraz Alam
New Delhi:A day after Araria police in Bihar reportedly booked three youths for allegedly raising pro-Pakistan slogans after announcement of bypoll results there, RJD MP from the constituency Sarfaraz Alam on Friday stressed they did not belong to the party. Speaking to reporters outside the Parliament, the newly-elected Parliamentarian also said he did not believe in the slogans the youth concerned allegedly shouted.“Those are not RJD men, not of the alliance. I don’t believe (in what they have said), I believe in secularism,” Alam said. Meanwhile, Union Minister Ashwini Kumar Choubey, who hails from Bihar, told a news channel it was “unfortunate” that such slogans were allegedly raised in India.“It needs to be identified who these people are,” he added. According to media reports, the Araria police yesterday filed a FIR against 3 local youths for allegedly shouting slogans such as “Pakistan zindabad” and “Bharat tere tukde honge” after the result of the bypoll was announced on Wednesday. indianexpress
Araria Video Row: Tejashwi Demands Probe As He Shares New Video With No Anti-National Slogan
Gorakhpur DM, who stopped media from entering counting centre, promoted
 UP Govt has transferred 37 IAS officials, including 16 DMs, an official said on Saturday. Rajiv Rautela, DM of Gorakhpur, who courted controversy on Wednesday for barring the media from accessing details at Lok Sabha bypoll counting centre, has been shifted and prompted as Divisional Commissioner of Devipatan. SP has wrested Gorakhpur, CM Yogi Adityanath’s home constituency, from BJP after several decades.IANS
Mass transfers of bureaucrats: Gorakhpur DM rewarded, Bareilly DM, who wrote on Kasganj riots, transferred
Another blow for BJP in UP, Yogi’s minister Swami Prasad Maurya’s son-in-law joins SP
New Delhi: Ruling Yogi Adityanath-led BJP govt in UP  has suffered yet another blow after its embarrassing defeat in the recently held bypolls as state cabinet minister Swami Prasad Maurya’s son-in-law Naval Kishore joined Samajwadi Party. Kishore joined SP in the presence of party chief Akhilesh Yadav and Azam Khan. Prasad Maurya, a former OBC leader in BSP, had joined BJP in 2016 ahead of the assembly polls in the state in which the saffron party secured a thumping win. He is currently serving as the Minister for Labour, Service planning, Urban employment and Poverty alleviation Depts in the Yogi govt. indianexpress
People know EVM is ‘Each Vote for Modi’: Gujarat;s I&B minister
Gandhinagar;Praising Election Commission and I&B dept.of Gujarat Govt  for its work on voters’ awareness, Minister of State for Home Pradeepsinh Jadeja on Monday said that people have brought BJP into power identifying EVM as “Each Vote for Modi”. Speaking in the Gujarat Assembly while putting forward the budgetary demands of I&B the tune of Rs 126 crore in the House, Jadeja said that at a time when many people conspire to defame Gujarat in the country and even abroad, Information Dept is spreading message of development against the politics of appeasement.“If Gujarat has become number one in the country, the Information department has made lot of efforts in it,” Jadeja said. “It is Kaliyug, and in Kaliyug it is not enough only to be good, but it is equally important to do good work and show it (to the public),” he added.“Our Information dept.took up many works for creating voters’ awareness, to increase voting percentage…and we have got results also. Voters have become aware. Information dept.has a role in increasing voters’ awareness… Election results have come and after the results, all these (members of Opposition Congress) have raised objections related to EVM and VVPAT. (But) people have identified EVM as Each Vote for Modi and brought BJP into power.” Jadeja said.indianexpress
Congress demands ballot papers back, rejects simultaneous polls
 New Delhi:The main opposition Congress has joined the chorus of those seeking re-introduction of paper ballots in the elections in order to “ensure the credibility of the electoral process.”“There are apprehensions among the political parties and the people over the misuse of EVMs to manipulate the outcome contrary to the popular verdict,” the party said in its political resolution moved by senior leader Mallikarjun Kharge.“To ensure credibility of the electoral process, Election Commission should revert to the old practice of paper ballot as major democracies have done,” said the resolution moved at 3 day Congress plenary session being held in the national capital.In the backdrop of different groups expressing their concerns over EVMs, the resolution, which is being discussed and is expected to be adopted by evening, said the poll panel has the constitutional mandate to ensure free and fair elections. “Both voting and counting process must remain transparent to retain people’s faith in the integrity of the electoral system.”indianexpress
TDP leaves NDA amid dissent within, Chandrababu Naidu says PM has no time for allies
New Delhi:Carrying out its threat “in the interest of the people of AP”, TDP, which has 16 MPs in Lok Sabha, walked out of the ruling NDA Friday. TDP leader and AP CM N Chandrababu Naidu, who directed his party to bring in its own no-confidence motion against the Modi Govt , told the state assembly that “BJP allies are fighting for their rights in Parliament” but PM  does not have time to address their concerns. Ending his party’s 4-year alliance with BJP over denial of special category status to AP, Naidu announced in Amaravati that he had decided to leave NDA. Simultaneously, Thota Narasimhan, floor leader of TDP in Lok Sabha, gave notice to move a no-confidence motion against BJP-led govt.Sources said that at TDP politburo meeting Friday morning, leaders told Naidu that the TDP had walked into a trap laid by YSR Congress Party leader YS Jagan Mohan Reddy whose party had already given a no-trust motion notice. They said it appeared that TDP was a step behind its Andhra rival — before TDP politburo, Jagan said “until we raised the issue, TDP and CM were sleeping…Now, TDP and the rest have to follow”.In Lok Sabha, when Speaker Sumitra Mahajan said TDP motion could not be taken up as long as there was no order in the House, Thota Narasimhan gave another notice, asking her to “include the motion in the revised List of Business for March 19”.Opposition parties jumped in to to embarrass the Govt . While the Congress and Left leaders were the first parties to declare support, TMC leader and West Bengal CM Mamata Banerjee, who spoke to Naidu over phone, tweeted: “I welcome TDP’s decision to leave NDA. ”Mohammad Salim of the CPM said: “When the Andhra parties bring a no-confidence motion in Lok Sabha, we will support it.” Leaders of RJD, SP and AIMIM too said they would back the no-confidence motion when it is moved. These parties together account for 129 seats. Smaller parties friendly to Congress are also expected to join the bandwagon.BJP, which currently has 274 MPs — 2 more than the magic number — and its allies including SAD and JD-U will be able to defeat the motion. TRS, which has 11 members, also announced it would not back no-trust motion. BJP leaders, however, conceded that a no-trust motion and the debate over it could damage party’s image.indianexpress
Another blow for Modi Govt , opposition parties extend support to no-confidence motion
Defeat of ego: BJP’s LS tally will drop by 110 seats in 2019: Shiv Sena
Mumbai:Terming BJP’s loss in the Gorakhpur Lok Sabha bypoll a “defeat of ego and arrogance”, the Shiv Sena on Friday launched a fresh salvo at its ally, saying the party’s strength in the Lower House of Parliament will come down by at least 110 seats in the 2019 general elections. Sena also taunted its ally saying those who abandon their friends and “tread the path of lies” are destined to lose. “BJP won the tiny state of Tripura. While the party was celebrating the victory, the results of two Lok Sabha bypolls in UP  took the shine off the win. These results have created panic in the BJP camp. The party’s 2 strongholds- Gorakhpur and Phulpur- were won by SP,” Sena said in an editorial in its mouthpiece- ‘Saamana’.It said that since the Modi Govt came to power, bypolls to 10 Lok Sabha seats were conducted, of which the BJP lost nine.“Initially, there were 282 BJP MPs in the Lok Sabha, but the figure has now come down to 272. Under the leadership of Narendra Modi and Amit Shah, the BJP has lost virtually every bypoll,” the Uddhav Thackeray-led party said.PTI
Over 100 Left organisations to hold pan India protest against Narendra Modi govt on May 23
More than 100 Left-affiliated organisations will hold marches in all state capitals on May 23 to protest the Centre’s policies. ‘Jan Ekta Jan Adhikar Andolan’ (JEJAA), an umbrella organisation consisting of trade unions, peasant organisations, agricultural workers, state and central Govt  employees, bank and insurance workers, college and university teachers, students, women, dalits, adivasis and environmentalists, would observe ‘Protest Day’ on May 23.PTI
SP-BSP will fight 2019 polls with respectable seat-sharing: Azam Khan
New Delhi: Senior Samajwadi Party leader Azam Khan has said the SP and BSP will have a long-lasting alliance, including for the 2019 general election, and that the chiefs of 2 parties, Akhilesh Yadav and Mayawati, will work out a “respectable seat-sharing arrangement”. “If we split again, we will lose again. This alliance will be along one. We have united due to a common enemy,” Khan said in an interview to ET. He had accompanied Yadav to Mall Avenue residence of Mayawati on Wednesday evening after the SP swept the Gorakhpur and Phulpur bypolls with the BSP’s support, and the leaders held a discussion for almos an hour.economictimes
Maha says independent probe into Judge Loya’s death will destroy rule of law; SC reserves verdict
New Delhi:Maharashtra Govt  on Friday twisted the petitioners’ argument before the Supreme Court on its head by submitting that if an independent probe is ordered into Judge Loya’s death, it would destroy rule of law and independence of judiciary. Indeed, it was the petitioners’ contention before the Supreme Court throughout the hearing that if the court wanted to safeguard the rule of law and the independence of the judiciary, it should order an independent and impartial probe into the death of the judge under “suspicious” circumstances on Dec.1,2014, in Nagpur. As the SC bench, comprising CJI Dipak Misra, Justice A.M. Khanwilkar and Justice D.Y. Chandrachud, concluded the hearing of the arguments, the bench was left wondering which of the rival contentions before it should be accepted. The senior counsel for Maharashtra Govt, Mukul Rohatgi, completed his arguments by suggesting that the bench need not concern itself about the rival contentions over Judge Loya’s medical condition, and whether he had a heart attack or not, as the bench was not making a medical appraisal.  Rohatgi said so after bringing to the bench’s notice that Dr R.K. Sharma, exhead of the forensic medicine and toxicology department at AIIMS in Delhi, had backtracked what he was reported to have told Caravan magazine during an interview.Dr Sharma, after examining Loya’s post-mortem report, and the related histopathology report, had ruled out death due to a heart attack. Rather, according to him, the documents showed signs of trauma to the brain and even possible poisoning. Prashant Bhushan, however, challenged the reported denial of Dr Sharma, alleging that he was coerced to contradict. The bench, however, was, in no mood to listen to Bhushan, and advised him to respond to Rohatgi through written submissions.The bench has since reserved its judgment.thewire
Judge Loya’s death: Supreme Court reserves verdict on pleas for independent probe
Stop Muslims from offering 'namaz' at 9 disputed mosques:Waseem Rizvi  kicks up storm
Lucknow: UP  Shia Central Waqf Board chief Waseem Rizvi on Friday renewed his suggestion to All India Muslim Personal Board that community members desist from offering 'namaz' at 9 disputed mosques.Rizvi claimed that there are at least 9 disputed religious places across the country-4 in UP, 2 in Gujarat and one each in West Bengal, MP and Delhi. Besides the Babri masjid, in question, Rizvi said were Keshav Dev temple in Mathura, Kashi Vishwanath in Varanasi and Atal Dev in Jaunpur(UP), Rudra Mahalaya in Batna and Bhadrakali in Ahmedabad (Gujarat), Adina in Pandua (Bengal), Vijaya in MP's Vidisha and Kuvutul Islam Qutub Minar Delhi. Rizvi has shot off a letter to Maulana Rabe Hasan Nadvi, AIMPLB chairman on Friday, urging the board to stop Muslims from offering namaz at these sites since they are disputed. Rizvi pointed out that Islamic laws do not allow construction of a mosque on a land grabbed by destroying other religious structures. “Prayers offered at such mosques are not accepted under Quran and Sharia,” he added.UNI
‘Pak caller’ demands disputed Varanasi mosque be reopened
Varanasi city magistrate has said he had been receiving calls from someone allegedly from Pakistan demanding that a disputed mosque, sealed 2 years ago, be reopened. In April 2016, members of the Deobandi and Barelvi sects had clashed over control of the Badi Masjid in Konia area of the city and with that, the revenue from renting out land to shops nearby. Citing law and order concerns, the then city magistrate had sealed the mosque. Magistrate Dr Vishram said he had received 11 calls from an unknown number just days before a hearing in the case on March 14. indianexpress
Muslim women to march against "anti-women" triple talaq bill in Lucknow on March 18
On the call of the All India Muslim Personal Law Board (AIMPLB), Muslim women will on Sunday hold a peaceful protest in Lucknow against the central Govt's proposed triple talaq bill. To be held at the Teele Wali Masjid on Sunday afternoon, the protest will see burqa-clad women coming together against the "anti-women" triple talaq bill.Posters and banners informing men and women about the protest have come up in huge numbers across the old city for the event to be held from 1 pm. The protest is in line with similar events being organised in different cities across the country on AIMPLB's call.To be led by women, executive committee members of AIMPLB, Dr Asma Zehra from Hydreabad and Mamdooha Majid from Delhi will be in Lucknow to address the women with Maulana Najeebul Hasan Siddiqui as the convener of the programme.TOI
Muslim women’s rally against triple talaq bill on Mar 20 in Nagpur
Nagpur: After Malegaon, AIMPLB will be holding a women’s rally against the bill banning triple talaq in Nagpur. The Malegaon rally a few days ago is estimated to have been attended by 70,000 women, all wearing hijab (veil). The organizers claim a much higher number, though.In Nagpur, participation of 25,000 is expected at the rally planned on March 20, said Javed Ansari, convener of the event here. “The objective is show that Muslim women are satisfied with the Sharia law and do not want any interference in the matter,” said Ansari at a press conference held to announce the event. Before this, rallies have been held at Dhule and Jalna as well. The rallies, which are being held throughout the country, will be organized in other districts of the region too, he said.Ansari said the board’s stance is that Islamic law has its own procedures for divorce. One cannot simply divorce a woman by uttering the word talaq thrice, so the Govt ’s intervention in the matter is not needed.On the other hand, RSS backed Muslim Rashtriya Manch (MRM) has announced a pension of Rs500 per month for divorced Muslim women. TOI
Hawking said Vedas had a 'theory' superior to Einstein’s thesis, claims Harsh Vardan
Union Science Minister Harsh Vardhan has claimed that the late cosmologist Stephen Hawking once said the Vedas had a theory superior to that of Albert Einstein’s famous equation, E=mc2. Dr. Vardhan was speaking at the 105th edition of Indian Science Congress, organised at the Manipur University here, and his address preceded the inaugural address of PM Narendra Modi, who was also on stage. “We recently lost a renowned scientist, cosmologist Stephen Hawking.He emphatically said on record that our Vedas might have a theory superior to that of Einstein’s E=mc2,” Dr. Vardhan said in his address.E=mc2 is an equation that denotes the equivalence of mass and energy, and was first proposed by Einstein in 1905 as part of his Special Theory of Relativity. Dr. Vardhan, who’s also a medical doctor, didn’t clarify which specific Vedic “theory” he was talking about. When pressed for the source of this claim by Hawking, who died on Wednesday the 14th, he refused clarification. “You in the media should do some work and find out the source of this statement. When you have failed, then I shall disclose the source of my information,” he told a group of journalists.There’s no documented evidence for such remarks by Hawking. Hawking is, however, on record denouncing astrology.This isn’t the first time that Indian Science Congress has witnessed bluster regarding the links between ancient Indian texts and modern astronomy. At the Science Congress in 2015, there were claims that the Vedic texts spoke of sophisticated airplanes.the hindu
Indian GST system among most complex globally: World Bank
Indian GST system is among the most complex in the world with not only one of the highest tax rates but also one of the largest number of tax slabs, World Bank has said. It added that India has the highest standard GST rate in Asia, and second highest in the world after Chile. "Tax rates in the Indian GST system are among the highest in the world. Highest GST rate in India, while only applying to a subset of goods and services traded, is 28 %, which is the 2nd highest among a sample of 115 countries which have a GST (VAT) system and for which data is available," World Bank said in a report. What makes the Indian GST system even more complex is number of different GST rates applicable on different categories of GST. IANS
DMK leader MK Stalin says he hopes southern states come together to demand separate Dravidanadu
MDK Working President MK Stalin on Friday said he hoped India’s southern states came together to demand autonomy for a separate Dravidanadu, The Hindu reported.“If it [such a situation where southern states come together for the demand] comes, it would be welcome,” Stalin said in Erode. “We hope that such a situation arises.”Conceptually,Dravidanadu is a separate nation geographically identified with South India and whose inhabitants belong to Dravidian race, in contrast to North Indian Aryans. Social reformer EV Ramasamy – popularly known as Periyar – was one of the first thinkers to propound the concept. He had led the Dravidian movement in Tamil Nadu.The idea fizzled out gradually after the 1960s as the southern states got occupied with various other inter-state and intra-state
Stalin for ‘Dravida Nadu’
Karnataka: Veerashaiva seers threaten agitation if state recommends minority status for Lingayats
Bengaluru:A group of Veerashaiva Lingayat seers in Karnataka have said they will launch a statewide agitation if the Congress Govt  recommends minority status for Lingayats on the basis of the report of an expert panel on the issue. The group of seers met CM  Siddaramaiah here on Thursday. “If you do not adhere to our request, we will launch an indefinite agitation and a decision has been taken through community leaders, seers, writers and lawyers. Do not consider this as a threat but a request from the community to protect its interests,” the seers said in a memorandum to the state Govt .“If the state Govt  intends to ensure the welfare of the community, it should then declare the Veerashaiva-Lingayats as a religion,’’ the memorandum stated. Siddaramaiah told the seers that he would not take any hasty decision on the matter and that he was not trying to break the community. He has in the past stated that he is willing to recommend the status of an independent religion for Lingayats to the Centre if the demand is unanimous.indianexpress
Ahmed Bukhari urges Muslims to unite against terrorist forces defaming Islam
Exposing the forces promoting terrorism in the name of Islam and thus defaming Muslims, Imam Syed Ahmed Bukhari said Muslims around the world should unite against terrorist forces defaming Islam and should present the real picture of Islam.Shahi Imam who is on a visit to Uzbekistan offered Friday prayer at Jama Masjid Hazrat Shaikh Bahauddin Naqshbandi.He is accompanied by Ameer Shariat Uttarakhand Maulana Zahid Raza Rizvi and deputy Shahi Imam Jama Masjid Syed Shaban Bukhari.siasat
Jamiat Ulama inaugurates medical camp for 806th Urs pilgrims at Ajmer:TCN
Jamiat Ulama-i-Hind, one of the biggest Muslim organisations in India, on Friday inaugurated a medical relief camp for “Zaireens” or pilgrims arriving at Ajmer from different parts of the country and world for the 806th Urs festival in Ajmer that began on March 20.A brief inaugural event was held at Kaidu Vishram Asthali that was attended by prominent persons associated with the holy shrine like Sheikh Aleem, President of Dargaah Committee, Sher Mohammad, the son of Sayed Zainul Abedin, Abdul Wahid Chisti Angara etc. On this occasion, several Jamiat national and state leaders were also present. They together flagged off green flags to the medical ambulance.Maulana Shabbir Ahmad informed that that the medical camp would continue till March 30.
West Bengal Civil Services results declared, 40 Muslim candidates qualify
The son of a former ice-cream seller, Habibulla Laskar, is among the 40 Muslim students out of the total enlisted 321 candidates selected for appointment to the post of Joint Block Development Officer in the West Bengal Civil Service (Executive) examination, Group C. The results were published on Thursday, nearly two years after the completion of the Civil Service Exams. List of 40 Muslim candidates also includes 4 women. While 33 Muslim candidates are selected under OBC A category, which comprises 90% of Muslims, only one Muslim candidate, Md Masluddin Khan, was selected under OBC B category which comprises 42 Muslim sects. This clearly shows that the State Govt  is willingly depriving the Muslims under the reservation schemes and this is not the first time when they have been discriminated despite their reservation policies under maze of OBC A and OBC B. twocircles
Assad regime, Russian airstrikes kill 61 in Eastern Ghouta
Dozens of people were killed Friday — and hundreds more injured — when Syrian regime and Russian warplanes struck a crowded market in Eastern Ghouta, an opposition-held Damascus suburb.According to the White Helmets civil-defense agency, at least 61 civilians were killed in the attack, which occurred in the town of Kafr Batna.Anadolu correspondent based in the area reported that warplanes had targeted Kafr Batna’s main market, which had been teeming with people at the time of the attack.middleeastmonitor
Air strikes 'kill 30' in Ghouta as 'hundreds' more flee
Turkish strike hits hospital in Afrin, 16 civilians killed
Beirut: A Turkish bombing raid struck the main hospital in the Kurdish-controlled Syrian town of Afrin on Friday, killing 16 civilians, a monitor said. Kurdish Red Crescent medical service, which supports the hospital, confirmed to AFP hospital was hit but did not give a toll.According to Britain-based Syrian Observatory for Human Rights, the Turkish air strike “directly” hit the medical facility.“16 civilians were killed, including two pregnant women,” said Observatory head Rami Abdel Rahman.No medical staff were among the dead, he told. No medical staff were among the dead, he said.At least 15,000 people left Afrin on Friday, according to the Observatory. AFP.
Syrian civilians flee embattled E. Ghouta and Afrin
Civilians continue to flee Syria's Eastern Ghouta and Afrin in record numbers as Syrian and Turkish military operations continue against their respective foes.Roughly 50,000 people have fled the two areas - 20,000 from Eastern Ghouta, a Damascus suburb, and 30,000 from Afrin, in Syria's Kurdish-dominated northeast - according to some counts.Eastern Ghouta has been at the centre of fighting between rebels and President Bashar al-Assad's Russian-backed forces in recent days.The Syrian Observatory for Human Rights (SOHR) has said 46 civilians, including at least six children, were killed in air raids in the Kafr Batna district on Friday morning.Russian defence ministry estimated that 2,000 people more people left Eastern Ghouta on Friday morning.For his part, Bashar al-Jaafari, Syria's ambassador to the UN, told the UNSC on Friday that more than 40,000 people were able to flee Eastern Ghouta the day before. aljazeera
Syria's war: Offensives on Afrin,Ghouta continue
Ongoing debate on use of chemical weapons at UN
UN 'deeply alarmed' about civilians deaths in besieged Afrin
UN has said that there were alarming reports about civilian deaths in the Syrian enclave of Afrin, where Kurdish forces were said to be blocking civilians from leaving the city.UN rights office said it had been receiving "deeply alarming reports from Afrin in northwestern Syria about civilian deaths and injuries due to air strikes and ground-based strikes," adding that the area is under a siege and civilians could be being used as "human shields" by the Kurdish forces there.aljazeera
Israeli forces raid village of driver who killed two soldiers
Israeli army has raided the Palestinian village of Bartaa, arresting the brother of a man who has been accused of carrying out a car-ramming attack that killed two Israeli soldiers.The incident on Friday happened amid protests in the occupied West Bank against US' plans to move its embassy to Jerusalem.Alaa Rattab-a-Latif Kabha, the suspected driver of the car, was reportedly captured by Israeli security forces and lightly injured, after he had fled the scene of the suspected attack.Israeli forces have also suspended work permits of at least 100 members of the Kabha family as retaliation for the suspected attack that also injured 2 people, local media reported.aljazeera
Saudi denies Crown Prince has imprisoned his mother
Saudi Arabia has denied claims that Crown Prince Mohammed Bin Salman has kept his mother away from his father for the past 2 years.According to NBC News, “14 current and former senior US officials” have said that Bin Salman “blocked his mother from seeing his father, King Salman, more than two years ago and has kept her away from him as the young prince rapidly amassed power.”However, in a statement to the channel, spokesperson for the Saudi embassy in Washington, Fatimah Baeshen, said: “This is utterly untrue. If you would like to ask Her Royal Highness the Princess yourself and this includes meeting her in person, we will be happy to arrange this immediately.”The US channel is thought to have rejected the offer.middleeastmonitor
Tariq Ramadan maintains innnocence in new video
A new video by the Muslim scholar Tariq Ramadan - dating back to mid-November - in which he maintains his innocence has surfaced.The video, published by the French news website The Muslim Post, was apparently filmed a few weeks before Tariq Ramadan, 55, was set to appear before a French court.In the 10-minute recording, Ramadan - who is being investigated for sexual assault on 2 separate counts - says he is innocent and alleges he is the subject of a smear campaign."I would like to begin by saying that I am totally innocent of the crimes I am accused of … With time, we will know who has said the truth, who has lied, and, ultimately, who is innocent," he said.Ramadan advocates a "European Islam"free from foreign influence that promotes social integration.His supporters have strenuously rejected the allegations, characterising them as part of a concerted effort to defame the academic on the back of the #MeToo campaign. Ramadan says he had been closely monitored by French authorities in the past and that it would have been known to them if any of the alleged crimes had occurred.The testimony comes a week after a third rape case was filed against Ramadan.The plaintiff, a 45-year-old woman, accused him of violent sexual assault on multiple occasions between early 2013 and June 2014.The Paris Court of Appeal denied a request to release Ramadan earlier in February after a medical report said his health condition is compatible with his detention.aljazeera
Rohingya children are being 'thrown on to fires': Conservative MP demanding international action
A Conservative MP has told of the appalling state of the Rohingya people, who she says have suffered mass murder, rape and seeing their children “literally thrown on to fires”.Writing for Independent Pauline Latham warned that tens of thousands more people will die if international community does not act now over the ever-deepening crisis.She also hits out at erstwhile democracy campaigner Aung San Suu Kyi for refusing to help and “kowtowing” to Myanmar’s military. Ms Latham sits on House of Commons International Development Committee which was last month refused access to Myanmar, raising concerns that the country is trying to censor what is happening.MP for Mid Derbyshire describes life for the Rohingya refugees, many who have now fled to Bangladesh, as “heartbreakingly cheap”.She said: “And even if they survive the monsoons and cyclones, women, whose husbands have already been slaughtered, will be preparing to give birth to children conceived by the rape of Burmese military.“The plight of the Rohingya is like nothing on earth.“They are a people who have been de-humanised – they have seen their children literally thrown on to fires.”The independent
Merkel says Islam belongs to Germany, rebuffs minister’s remarks
German Chancellor Angela Merkel has rebuffed comments by her interior minister who said that Islam did not belong to Germany. Speaking at a joint news conference with visiting Swedish Premier Stefan Lofven, Merkel said Islam was part of the country’s culture and history like Christianity and also Judaism, Xinhua news agency reported.“4 million Muslims live in Germany, and they are practicing their religion here. They belong to Germany, and also their religion of Islam belongs to Germany,” she said. Merkel’s words came after Horst Seehofer, the new interior minister of Germany, told German daily that Islam does not belong to Germany, stressing the country’s traditions and cultures. Germany on Wednesday finally established a new Govt with a coalition between Social Democrats and Merkel-led Conservatives Union, which was comprised of Christian Democratic Union (CDU) and its Bavarian sister party Christian Social Union (CSU) that Seehofer comes from.The increase of the number of Muslims in Germany triggered Islamophobia and the rise of anti-migration populist party AfD.IANS
New York Police sued for forcing Muslim women to remove headscarves in arrest photos
New York: 2 Muslim-American women and a non-profit group on Friday sued the New York City Police Department for forcing Muslim women and others to remove their hijabs or other religious head coverings in post-arrest photographs.Arwa Aziz and Jamilla Clark, who were arrested in unrelated incidents, say in the lawsuit that they were forced to remove their hijabs by the NYPD to take post-arrest photographs. Turning Point for Women and Families, a non-profit organization based in the borough of Queens that supports Muslim women and girls who have been victims of domestic violence, joined the lawsuit.The suit challenges a 2015 NYPD policy requiring that booking photos have an unobstructed view of the subject’s head, ears and face, requiring the removal of any headwear. The plaintiffs contend that policy violates the women’s freedom of speech, Religious Land Use and Institutionalized Persons Act and New York state law.Reuters
Pakistan: Spike in attacks on workers of religious parties
Pakistan saw a sharp increase in terror attacks on workers associated with religious parties in 2017 while there was a 50%  reduction in attacks on workers of political parties, a new report has said.The figures were part of a report by the Centre For Research And Security Study. 34 workers of religious parties died in 2017 in different incidents whereas 12 had died in 2016.In 2016, 52 workers of political parties were killed while the figure for 2017 was 28.PTI
McCabe, target of Trump’s FBI scorn, is fired over candor questions: New York Times
Andrew G. McCabe, former FBI deputy director and a frequent target of President Trump’s scorn, was fired after Attorney General Jeff Sessions rejected an appeal that would have let him retire this weekend.McCabe promptly declared that his firing, and Mr. Trump’s persistent needling, were intended to undermine the special counsel’s investigation in which he is a potential witness. McCabe is accused in a yet-to-be-released internal report of failing to be forthcoming about a conversation he authorized between FBI officials and a journalist.In a statement, Sessions said that McCabe had shown a lack of candor under oath on multiple occasions. Lack of candor is a fireable offense at FBI., but McCabe’s last-minute dismissal was carried out against a highly politicized backdrop. McCabe was among the first at the F.B.I. to scrutinize possible Trump campaign ties to Russia. And he is a potential witness to the question of whether Mr. Trump tried to obstruct justice. Trump has taunted McCabe both publicly and privately, and Republican allies have cast him as the center of a “deep state” effort to undermine the Trump presidency.As a witness, McCabe would be in a position to corroborate the testimony of ex-FBI director, James B. Comey, who kept contemporaneous notes on his conversations with Trump. Comey said Trump prodded him to publicly exonerate the president on the question of Russian collusion and encouraged him to shut down an investigation into his national security adviser.

Russia expels 23 UK diplomats in retaliatory move in spy row
Russia will expel 23 British diplomats in retaliation against the UK's expulsion of 23 Russian diplomats, Russia's foreign ministry said.The tit-for-tat expulsion follows after the poisoning of a former Russian spy and his daughter in London on March 4.Blaming Russia for the attack, the UK said it would expel 23 Russian diplomats, the single biggest expulsion in more than 30 years.Skripal, 66, and his daughter Yulia, 33, were found unconscious on a bench outside a shopping centre in Salisbury, after they were poisoned with a military-grade nerve agent. aljazeera
When BJP wins, it credits vikas; when it loses, it shamelessly blames caste:SHIVAM VIJ
Sonia's fear that Cong is seen as a Muslim party completes the community’s abandonment:Harsh Mander
Disclosure Filed by Aseemanand in Mecca Masjid Blast Case Goes Missing: thewire has a copy
“Halt the Hate”: Amnesty International’s new website to track and document hate crimes in India
Ahmed Ali: A former rickshaw puller who helped build 9 schools in Karimganj, Assam
12 convicted for Ramgarh lynching: Why this can be an example for other vigilantism cases: CHARU KARTIKEYA
“Our Life Has Turned Upside Down, Cannot Even Begin to Tell You”: Ansari’s Widow After Conviction of 11 Lynchers:THE CITIZEN
Hubris Is Letting Down BJP — Amulya Ganguli
After Maharashtra, farmers vow to bring up’s Yogi govt to its knees

Compiled and edited by Anwarulhaq (Released at: 7:16 PM)


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