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24 March 2018

24 March ND: JNU students beaten as cops stop long march, journalists assaulted/Ayodhya title suit: Muslim parties challenge 1994 SC order that mosque is not integral to Islam; say no mosque in India is safe,can be demolished like Babri



Evening NEWS DIGEST  
24 March 2018:05 Rajjab 1439:Vol:9, No:149
INDIA
JNU's long march ends in chaos as police lathi charges protesting students, assaults journalists
New Delhi: The black clouds above JNU are still swirling as the tussle with the administration on one side and students and the academic community on the other side continues unabated.But on Friday, things took an ugly turn when the ‘long march’, taken out to protest the recent mandatory attendance rule, removal of various deans and chairpersons and sexual harassment charges against Prof Atul Johri, which saw over 1,000 students and teachers walking from the campus to Parliament Street was met with a police charge and water cannons near INA market.Upon being stopped, there was reportedly a brief scuffle as the police reportedly began to manhandle several protestors as well as journalists. “Professor Bikramaditya Choudhary, a few students and myself were talking to the officers at the barricade when they suddenly turned on the water cannon. Before I could understand what was happening, there was a lathicharge and students were getting hit,” JNU community medicine teacher Vikas Bajpai told the Telegraph.The Telegraph reported in detail how a journalist alleged that a police officer had groped her in the pandemonium.That wasn’t the only horror story to emerge. Praveen Singh, a journalist for Firstpost, was reportedly thrashed by the police, forcing him to protect his arm in a make-shift sling during his attempts to escape the confusion of a peaceful protest gone wrong.“HT photographer Anushree Fadnavis alleged an officer snatched her camera while she was trying to click a student being kicked. She had not got it back till 9.30pm,” reported The Telegraph. According to the Indian Express, roughly 20 students were detained at Defence Colony police station. They were eventually let go after a medical examination at AIIMS.thewire
Journalists protest outside Delhi Police HQ asking action against assault
New Delhi :A group of journalists belonging to various media organisations today staged a protest outside the Delhi Police Headquarters here, demanding strict action against the police personnel accused of assaulting and molesting media persons.2 journalists yesterday filed separate complaints - one for molestation and another for assault during a protest march organised by JNU students and teachers.The police lathicharged and used water canons to disperse the crowd near Sanjay Jheel in Lakshmi Bai Nagar.In a joint statement issued by Press Club of India, Indian Women's Press Corps, Press Association and Federation of Press Clubs in India, immediate action against the officers was demanded. The protesters also demanded the Commissioner of Police to hear their grievances.One of the protesting journalists who didn't wanted to be named said, "What happened yesterday was not only shocking but scary. It shows the lack of discipline of police forces that enforces law and order in the city... It is especially worse for women reporters.PTI            
Journalists harassed in JNU protest: Delhi Police tenders apology to media persons
Delhi Police on Saturday tendered their “deepest apologies” for the alleged harassment of two media personnel yesterday when police resorted to baton charge on protesting students of JNU, IANS reported.  “Yesterday’s  incident was a very unfortunate one. Our deepest apologies to the media. Our intention wasn’t to obstruct the media from doing its job,” said DCP and Delhi Police spokesperson Madhur Verma. Indianexpress
Students Beaten As Cops Stop the March at INA, 24 Detained, The Citizen Reporter Manhandled
Media Associations Demand Strict Action Against Police Personnel For Molesting Jornalists
NCW orders probe into police lathicharge at JNU protest march
National Commission for Women has ordered a probe into alleged manhandling of JNU students and a female journalist during a protest march in New Delhi.“We have ordered a probe and sent a team today to meet the police officials and we will further pursue the matter on Monday,”NCW Acting Chairperson Rekha Sharma said.
Ayodhya title suit: Muslim parties challenge 1994 SC order that mosque is not integral to Islam; say no mosque in India is safe,can be demolished like Babri
New Delhi:Almost 24 years after the Supreme Court said a mosque has no “unique or special status” and is not an essential part of the practice of Islam and namaz, Muslim parties involved in Ramjanmabhoomi title dispute wants the apex court to first re-consider its stand before going ahead with the hearing in the Babri Masjid case. In 1994, the SC observed that “Muslims can offer prayer anywhere, even in open”.Senior advocate Rajeev Dhavan, on behalf of the Muslim parties, challenged the rationale of 1994 ruling before a 3-judge Special Bench led by CJI Dipak Misra on Friday. “Who will decide that this place of worship is more significant than another? All are equal. All places are of equal signficance,”Dhavan argued.He challenged the right of Govt to have acquired the disputed site under the 1993 law. He submitted that it was impossible believe that Babri Masjid, built in 1528 and a subject of grants by Mughal emperors and even the British, had no significance at all to Islam.Dhavan said the court cannot ask Muslims to pray in the open after deciding that mosques are not an essential part of Islam. A mosque does not cease to be a place of worship merely because it has been demolished, he submitted.“It is, for all time to come, the property of Allah. A mosque is a mosque forever. Demolition cannot rob it of its religious significance... Ever since Islam became a faith, they have been building mosques,” Dhavan argued.Govt justified the acquisition as a step to promote harmony. But the Muslim parties suspected 1993 law as a veiled attempt to “perpetuate the consequences of the demolition of the mosque”. “I went through Quran and Hadith…They say a mosque is a mosque forever… You cannot say mosque has no unique place… It’s unique to that community… You can destroy a mosque, but you cannot rob it of its religious significance…,”said Dhavan indian express reposted. “No mosque in this country is safe and can be demolished like Babri Masjid if the view that mosques are not an integral part of Islam and Muslims can pray anywhere is upheld, he added as indiatoday reposted. He further said, “if we are proud of the Indian secularism we must build Babri Masjid on the same place, because the masjid was demolished on 6th Dec.1992 with a planned conspiracy.”The court will hear the matter next on April 6. Thehindu/Indian express/ indiatoday/siasat
No mosque in India is safe: Advocate tells SC in Ram Janambhoomi-Babri Masjid case
Babri case: Mosque can be destroyed, not its significance, says petitioner
Is Masjid integral to Islam?Query may delay Babri case
Babri Masjid must be built on same place if we are proud of secularism: advocate Rajiv Dhawan
Solution to Ram Janmabhoomi-Babri Masjid case lies with SC: Ajmer Dargah head
Jaipur:The spiritual head of Ajmer Dargah in Rajasthan, Zainul Abedin Ali Khan, said the solution to sensitive issues like Ram Janmabhoomi-Babri Masjid case lies with the Supreme Court.He also appealed to leaders of all religions to wait for the apex court's judgment in the case and respect its verdict."Religious fanaticism cannot provide solutions. Efforts to settle the matter outside the court were also unsuccessful and, hence, the court's decision should be respected in the interest of the country," he said.He is the Deewan of the dargah.PTI
Govt has no power to withdraw cases, it's court's call: Experts on Muzaffarnagar riots
Meerut: In the backdrop of reports that UP Govt  is considering to withdraw 131 cases pertaining to the 2013 Muzaffarnagar riots, senior lawyers said that doing so would not just be undermining authority of an independent judiciary, it would be difficult for the Govt  to actually do so. Out of these, 13 cases are of murder and 11 attempt to murder while 85 are mischief by fire or explosive with intent to destroy house.Senior Allahabad high court lawyer Sayyad Farhan Naqvi told TOI, “Let’s be very clear that the Govt  has no authority to withdraw a case which is sub judice. However, section 321 of CrPC empowers public prosecutor appointed by the Govt  in a particular case to petition the court to quash a case on reasonable grounds. But, again, it is the prerogative of the court to accept or discard that demand.”Manish Gandhi, a criminal lawyer in Delhi high court, said, “I do not think even section 321 of CrPC will come to the rescue of UP Govt  in this matter. More than 50 people died in the riots and heinous crimes are involved.”Supreme Court lawyer Vrinda Grover said, “What is implicit in the grant of power envisaged in section 321 of CrPC is that it should be in the interest of administration of justice. This is the guiding principle. Now, in this particular case of Muzaffarnagar riots, the state’s decision of withdrawing the cases is not in the interest of administration of justice because the state is duty-bound to protect the right to life with dignity... the court will have the final say in upholding the interest of administration of justice."Chandraveer Singh, a Muzaffarnagar-based lawyer who handled various riots cases, said, “Once chargesheet has been filed in a case, the trial begins in the court. The Govt  then has no authority to undermine the power of judiciary.”In a very strong observation in a similar situation during the Akhilesh Yadav regime when the latter tried to seek withdrawal of a case in 2015, a 3-judge bench of the Allahabad high court had said, “State Govt  is not at all free to exercise its authority under Section 321 CrPC in whimsical or arbitrary manner or for extraneous considerations apart from just and valid reasons. Even if Govt directs the public prosecutor to withdraw the prosecution and an application is filed to that effect, the court must consider all relevant circumstances and find out whether the withdrawal of prosecution would advance the cause of justice... Every crime is an offence against society and if the accused committed an offence, society demands that he should be punished.”During and after the 2013 riots, a total of 542 cases were lodged in Muzaffarnagar and Shamli districts. Of the 147 cases, the Govt  has recommended revoking of 3 cases, in which BJP leaders Sanjeev Balyan, Suresh Rana, Sadhvi Parchi and others are accused.
Move to withdraw Muzaffarnagar riot cases: My father-in-law is dead; someone must have killed him, says victim’s kin: Indian express
Across Muzaffarnagar, from Lank to Mohammadpur-Raisingh and Kharad to Pallada, families of victims in 13 Muzaffarnagar riot murder cases that UP ovt  is moving to withdraw say justice is all they have left and wondered how cases could be withdrawn.“We are very angry that Govt is thinking of withdrawing the case. We only want to ask Govt  how we are at fault. My father-in-law is dead. Somebody must have murdered him,”says Mehmuna, whose father-in-law of Mommhamad Sagir, was killed in Kharad. This is among the 131 cases on the withdrawal list.As part of its ongoing probe from local police stations, the paper Friday had tracked down family members in 6 of the 13 murder cases on the list.S
CPI condemns UP Govt  move to withdraw cases against riot-accused
CPI has condemned UP govt’s proposal to withdraw cases against riot-accused persons in Muzaffarnagar and Shamli districts of the state.In a statement issued on Friday, Central Secretariat of CPI said the move by Adityanath-led BJP Govt  to withdraw 131 cases related to the 2013 communal riots in Muzaffarnagar and Shamli “involve 13 found to be allegedly involved in murder, and 11 persons, in attempt to murder”. TOI
In new NCERT book, Gujarat anti-Muslim riots now called Gujarat riots
New Delhi:2002 Gujarat riots which were called “anti-Muslim riots” in NCERT political science textbook for Class XII are now called just the “Gujarat riots” in the revised version of the book that hit shelves this week. Changes have been incorporated in the last chapter of the textbook titled ‘Recent Developments in Indian Politics’ to tweak the nomenclature of the riots. So, the heading of the passage on the riots (on page 187) has been changed from ‘Anti-Muslim riots in Gujarat’ to just ‘Gujarat riots’. However, in the same paragraph, 1984 riots are described as anti-Sikh. In the previous version of the textbook, the first sentence of the above passage had read, “In Feb-March 2002, large-scale violence against Muslims took place in Gujarat”. The reprinted book no longer carries the words “against Muslims” in that sentence. The rest of the passage is the same as in the old version of the textbook. It lays out the chronology of events — the attack on the train full of karsevaks set on fire that was followed by violence against Muslims — and refers to NHRC’s criticism of the Gujarat Govt  for failing to control the violence.Paragraph also mentions: “A bogey of a train that was returning from Ayodhya and was full of Karsevaks was set on fire. 57 people died in that fire. Suspecting the hand of the Muslims in setting fire to the bogey, large-scale violence against Muslims began in many parts of Gujarat from the next day. This violence continued for almost a whole month. Nearly 1,100 persons, mostly Muslims, were killed in this violence.” The changes are part of the textbook review —first since 2007 — undertaken last year by NCERT, an autonomous organisation that advises HRD Ministry on school education.These changes were first suggested by CBSE in June last year, when RK Chaturvedi was its chairman.The first edition of Class XII political science textbook ‘Politics in India Since Independence’ was printed in 2007. The textbook was drafted by the textbook development committee of which Hari Vasudevan, UGC Emeritus Professor at dept of history in Calcutta University, was the chairperson and political scientists Suhas Palshikar and Yogendra Yadav. Yadav is now a full-time politician.This is first comprehensive review of NCERT textbooks after National Curriculum Framework was drafted in 2005. A curriculum revision is also overdue but will only happen once the new education policy is unveiled by Union govt.indianexpress
Jamiat opposes Centre’s affidavit on minority status of Jamia Millia
New Delhi:Jamiat Ulama-I-Hind has opposed Centre's affidavit concerning minority status to Jamia Millia Islamia and has termed it contradictory to fundamental rights enshrined in the Constitution. Leader of Jamiat Maulana Mahmood Madani asserted that historically and by its natural character, its a minority institution that cannot be changed merely on the basis that it receives Govt fund.In a press statement issued, Maulana Madani has argued that Shaikh-Ul-Hind Maulana Mahmood Hasan had laid the foundation of Jamia with his own hands and during initial period Dr. Zakir Hussain and his colleagues worked hard to strengthen its foundation. With this strong ground, JMI has been continuing to retain its minority character till now.indiatoday
Aurangabad: Thousands of Muslim women hold protest against Triple Talaq Bill
Aurangabad;Thousands of Muslim women held a rally here on Friday protesting against the Centre's Triple Talaq Bill.As per the order issued by Muslim Personal Law Board, the morcha was taken out from AamKhas Maidan to Divisional Commissioner Office in a disciplined manner.Organising Committee Convenor said the Act was against the provision of right of freedom of expression and religion enshrined in the Indian Constitution and accused the central Govt  of polarising Muslim community.UNI
India among 20 nations to pledge $100 million to Palestine Refugee Agency
UN: India is among 20 nations that have pledged a total of about $100 million to the UN relief agency charged with the well-being of Palestinian refugees across the Middle East. UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres voiced gratitude for generous pledges of approximately $100 million made at Extraordinary Ministerial Conference in Rome on March 15 titled ‘Preserving Dignity and Sharing Responsibility — Mobilizing Collective Action for UNRWA’. Almost 20 donors pledged additional contributions, including Qatar, Norway, Turkey, Canada, India and Switzerland. Giving details of the pledges made by the nations, Guterres’s spokesman Stephane Dujarric told reporters yesterday that Emir of Qatar pledged $50 million in new contributions, while Norway pledged $13.6 million, Turkey $10 million and a doubling of their food aid, Canada $7.7 million, India $5 million and Switzerland $4.2 million.He said ministerial conference was an “exceptional demonstration” of high-level support for UNRWA’s mandate and a recognition for the continued necessity of its work in support of over five million Palestine refugees.Dujarric added that the pledges made in Rome represent an important first step, yet a lot of work remains to fully close the critical shortfall.“The Secretary-General encourages all Member States and the private sector to provide support to UNRWA in order to close the still critical funding shortfall. He reiterates that the services provided by UNRWA to Palestine refugees are essential and contribute to bring stability to the region,” the spokesman said.PTI
Saudi ok for Air India's Tel Aviv service shows new image of India: Prabhu
New Delhi: Saudi Arabia's permission for overflight of Air India's new service between New Delhi and Tel Aviv has shown "a new image of India", Commerce and Industries and Civil Aviation Minister Suresh Prabhu said. While addressing CII northern region annual conference on 'New India: Translating Aspirations into Reality', Prabhu said: "There is the need to ensure that India makes progress and realises its true potential. I will give an example of this, Today...Saudi Arabia has allowed (flight operations) from Delhi to Tel Aviv over the airspace of Saudi Arabia.  "It has never happened that Saudi Arabia's airspace could have been used for landing into Israel. What this shows is the new image of India." IANS
Rajya Sabha elections: BJP emerges as the single-largest party, but NDA is still short of a majority
BJP became the single-largest party in the Rajya Sabha, winning 18 of the 58 seats contested. BJP-led NDA won 27 of 58 seats, of which 33 candidates were elected unopposed, but it still fell short of a majority, the Indian Express reported.BJP won 9  of the 10 seats in UP  and one each in Karnataka, Jharkhand and Chhattisgarh. In UP, the party ensured the defeat of BSP’s candidate Bhimrao Ambedkar, with BSP leader Anil Kumar Singh voting for Anil Agarwal, a BJP-backed independent candidate. Samajwadi Party’s MLA Nitin Agarwal is also believed to have voted for Agarwal. SP, which won a seat, and BSP later filed a complaint with the Election Commission, demanding that Nitin Agarwal and Singh be disqualified for not showing their ballot papers to the polling agents before casting their vote, but the complaint was later rejected. Ruling parties in Telangana and West Bengal also did well. TRS’s B Prakash, B Lingaiah Yadav and J Santosh Kumar won, TMC bagged 4 seats in West Bengal. Congress’ Abhishek Manu Singhvi won the fifth seat in West Bengal with TMC’s help.In Karnataka, where Assembly elections will be held in the next couple of months, the Congress won three of 4 seats up for grabs, and the BJP’s Rajeev Chandrasekhar also got elected. He polled the highest votes, with 50 legislators supporting his candidature, Mint reported.In Jharkhand, the Congress retained the seat it held earlier while the BJP gained one at the expense of the Jharkhand Mukti Morcha. Congress fashioned a dramatic victory, winning despite having only seven votes. Congress’ candidate, Dheeraj Sahu, defeated BJP’s Pradeep Sonthalia by a fraction of a value of votes, after the Election Commission took into consideration the second preference votes of three BJP MLAs, NDTV reported.In Kerala, Veerendra Kumar of the Sharad Yadav-led faction of the JDU won the one seat that was contested. The seat had fallen vacant after Kumar resigned from Upper House in Dec.after JD(U), headed by Bihar CM Nitish Kumar, joined NDA.scroll.in
All 6 candidates of RS from Bihar including of RJD declared elected unopposed
BSP suspends MLA Anil Singh for cross-voting; BJP’s victory result of malpractices, says Mayawati
New Delhi:After loss in Friday’s Rajya Sabha elections, the Bahujan Samaj Party on Saturday suspended its MLA Anil Singh for cross-voting in favour of BJP “to serve his business interest”. BSP’s candidate Bhimrao Ambedkar lost to BJP’s Anil Kumar Agarwal owing to the cross-voting.Reacting to the loss of the BSP candidate, party chief Mayawati said BJP’s victory was a result of malpractices and the voting was influenced by creating an environment of fear. She further claimed that BJP was attempting to break SP-BSP alliance but will not succeed in doing so.“BJP did not deter from indulging in malpractices. They exerted all their force to ensure that the BSP candidate does not win at any cost. The entire system was deployed to ensure that the newly formed ties between BSP and SP loosen,” ANI quoted the BSP chief as saying.indianexpress
BSP MLA votes for BJP in Rajya Sabha polls
Upset with BJP, GJM pulls out of NDA alliance
New Delhi; Gorkha Janmukti Morcha (GJM) on Saturday pulled out of NDA alliance accusing the BJP of betraying the trust of Gorkhas. GJM organising chief LM Lama said that the party has no relation with BJP-led NDA. GJM was upset with the recent statement of Bengal BJP president Dilip Ghosh that his party only had an electoral alliance with GJM.“The claim made by the BJP, leader of NDA, that GJM is a friend and a constituent of the NDA and the slogan of PM Modi that the dream of the Gorkhas is my dream have all been exposed by the statement of the Bengal BJP president Sh. Dilip Ghosh who stated that BJP only had an electoral alliance with GJM and that there was no agreement for a common political resolution. This statement makes it amply clear that BJP is neither sympathetic nor sincere towards the Gorkhas,” said Lama.indianexpress
Fodder scam: Lalu gets 14-year jail term in Dumka treasury case; RJD, BJP cross swords
New Delhi: RJD chief Lalu Prasad Yadav on Saturday was sentenced to “14 years of imprisonment” in the fourth fodder scam case that pertains to fraudulent withdrawal of Rs 3.5 crore from the Dumka treasury by Animal Husbandry Department officials between 1991 and 1996.A fine of Rs 60 lakh has also been imposed. Special CBI Judge Shivpal Singh pronounced the sentence through video-conferencing. RJD supremo is currently admitted to RIMS hospital due to health concerns.CBI counsel said that Lalu has been awarded 7 years imprisonment under IPC sections and seven years under sections related to PC Act. Lalu was on March 19 convicted by the special CBI court in Ranchi in connection with case. Another exCM, Jagannath Mishra, was, however, acquitted. Of the 31 accused, the court convicted 19 and acquitted 12.Reacting to the verdict, Lalu’s son Tejashwi Yadav said there is a threat to his father’s life. “He is a victim of a political conspiracy of BJP and JD (U).RJD calls has also called for an emergency meeting of its senior leaders.indianexpress
Veerashaiva group in Karnataka seeks religious minority status for entire sect, not just Lingayats
Akhila Bharata Veerashaiva Mahasabha has criticised Karnataka Govt’s decision to accord “religious minority” status to the Lingayat community, including the Veerashaiva-Lingayats, and demanded that the entire sect be called Veerashaiva-Lingayats, The Hindu reported.“Sub-clause that only those Veerashaiva-Lingayats who adhere to Basavanna’s philosophy must be dropped,”said Shamanur Shivashankarappa, Mahasabha’s president.Basavanna was a 12th-century Lingayat philosopher, poet and social reformer. Shivashankarappa,who is also a Congress MLA, asked the Centre to consider the Mahasabha’s 2013 petition seeking a separate code for the community’s enumeration in the census, instead of Siddaramaiah Govt’s recommendation, HT reported.BS Yeddyurappa, the president of the BJP’s state unit, welcomed the Mahasabha’s decision. scroll.in
Southern states unite against Centre on fund allocation disparity
The dynamics of north versus south debate in India is taking new dimensions as the southern states come together against the Centre on the distribution of tax funds among states. The new developments suggest that the friction between the BJP-led NDA Govt at the Centre and the south Indian states is getting worse. Kerala Finance Minister Thomas Issac has called for a meeting of finance ministers of southern states on April 10 to discuss the "skewed" Terms of Reference (ToR) of the 15th Finance Commission (FC).The major bone of contention for southern states is that 15th FC has used 2011 Census data as its ToR instead of 1971 Census data, which had been used until the 14th FC, for making recommendations. The new ToR may leave southern states with a smaller portion of funds due to its shrinking population.Issac said that the southern states are being "penalised" for the successful implementation of family planning policies from 1971,which had led to decrease in population. He raised the concern that "the quantum of devolution of funds to the states will be affected if 2011 census is taken as the basis point".theweek
SC/ST Act: Supreme Court verdict may have adverse impact on party, says BJP MP Udit Raj
New Delhi: BJP MP Udit Raj on Friday cautioned that the Supreme Court’s verdict, diluting punitive provisions of SC & ST (Prevention of Atrocities) Act, would have an “adverse” impact on the party if the Govt  did not file a review petition.The parliamentarian from north-west Delhi has sought an appointment with PM Narendra Modi over the issue.“The govt must file a review plea in the apex court against the order. If it does not, it will definitely impact us (BJP) adversely. When the Govt  takes credit for positive developments, it will also get discredited for something that goes wrong,” Raj said.Raj, who is a former IRS officer and heads All India Confederation of SC/ST Organisations, said he will raise the issue during a meeting of top BJP leaders, including the PM  and BJP president Amit Shah.indianexpress
SC verdict on SC/ST Act: RPI(A) to file review petition, says Athawale
New Delhi:Minister of State for Social Justice Ramdas Athawale on Friday said his RPI(A) – a BJP ally – will file a review petition in the Supreme Court on its own to challenge the judgment of a 2-judge bench on the Scheduled Castes and Scheduled Tribes (Prevention of Atrocities) Act, even as the Law Ministry was considering its stand on the issue.Dalit leader from Maharashtra, however, dismissed the charges levied by Congress MPs accusing the Modi-led govt of the weak defense of the case in course of the court hearing. “PM Modi has done much more for Dalit welfare than Congress. Rahul Gandhi does not have to take to the streets on this matter, PM Modi is on it. Rahul Gandhi can continue protesting at the foot of the Gandhi statue in the Parliament,” he said.indianexpress
AAP MLAs disqualification: BJP hails HC order, Congress backs EC: Business Standard
New Delhi:The Congress on Friday said it would fight the office-of-profit case involving 20 AAP MLAs in Election Commission of India (ECI) again, after the Delhi High Court set aside their disqualification and asked the poll panel to hear the matter afresh. The party also said that the AAP MLAs should resign on "moral ground" and seek re-election, as had been done by ex Congress chief Sonia Gandhi who resigned from the Lok Sabha following a similar controversy."We will fight it out in the EC again as these 20 MLAs have enjoyed perks. HC has not disputed or denied this.HC has just asked ECI to look at it again in the light of natural justice!" Congress's Delhi unit head Ajay Maken tweeted. He claimed that AAP Govt itself had admitted before the EC that a huge amount was spent on office,furniture, transportation and perks for these MLAs who worked as parliamentary secretaries.HC termed EC's recommendation on disqualification as "vitiated", and noted that there was violation of natural justice and no oral hearing was given to the MLAs before disqualifying them as legislators of the Delhi Assembly. "We respect today's judgement of the high court, but we would like to raise some important questions," Congress spokesperson Sushmita Dev said."Both the BJP and the AAP are now in the same boat. The rules of natural justice have been upheld, but just like AAP has made an absolute mockery of the laws, BJP is flouting every rule in Manipur," she alleged.Ee Chief Election Commissioner Achal Kumar Jyoti said that ECI gave enough opportunities to AAP MLAs to respond to its notice in their disqualification matter.BJP described the HC order as a "proof of the independence of the judiciary"."The decision of the HC directing the EC to hear again the petition of 20 MLAs involved in the matter of office of profit is a unique proof of the independence of judiciary and freedom in Indian democracy,"Delhi BJP chief Manoj Tiwari said.
Maharashtra Police Challenges Court Order on Fake Naxal Surrender, Illegal Confinement: thewire
Mumbai: A month after a magistrate’s court had busted the Gadchiroli district police’s attempt to stage a fake “Naxal surrender” and rescued a man kept in illegal confinement for over two months, the police have now moved the sessions court challenging the order. Dasharath Gawade, a 27-year-old man belonging to a tribal Gond community from Lawari village in Gadchiroli, was picked up after a “Naxal surrender” on December 15, 2017. He was kept in a confinement for 65 days and finally freed after the magistrate ordered his immediate release and concluded he was being kept illegally. However, in an appeal filed before a Gadchiroli sessions court, the superintendent of police and district collector of Gadchiroli have claimed that Gawade’s involvement in the arms movement was for a long period, and that he played a part in two attacks on the police and one murder case. Claiming that magistrate N.C. Borphalkar of the JMFC court in Gadchiroli completely ignored the police’s version and evidence gathered during the investigation, the police has sought for Gawade’s immediate arrest. The appeal is expected to come up for hearing next week. The Wire
PIL to be filed against UP fake encounters
A ‘public tribunal’ in the national capital resolved to file a PIL in the Supreme Court against fake encounter killings in UP . It also demanded that a court-monitored SIT be constituted to inquire into the deaths.Relatives of several victims were present at the tribunal held in the Constitution Club and claimed that several people killed for being dreaded criminals were actually innocent and had no cases against them. State Govt, they alleged, had turned a deaf ear to their complaints and had taken no action against policemen involved.Independent journalist Neha Dixit, who last month released her investigation into 14 such fake encounters in Western UP, told National Herald, “the reaction to my report published by The Wire has been predictable; families are being threatened, their neighbours are being threatened and some police officers even threatened me of dire consequences for reporting one side of a the story.”“What has not happened is that no one has filed a petition in this regard in any court. Someone needs to come forward and at least file a petition for an investigation in the case,” she added.nationalheraldindia
NAMO App transferring user data to US company:nationalheraldindia
PM  Narendra Modi’s fascination for Apps and Big Data has received two successive jolts in the last two days. First reports surfaced that 1.3 million NCC cadets in the country have been asked to download the NaMo App, developed ostensibly by BJP which prominently displays it on its website and is a partisan and political tool, on their smartphones or smartphones of their parents ahead of an interaction with the PM .On Saturday a French cyber security researcher tweeting under the pseudonym or moniker of Ellioot Alderson accused the NaMo Android App to violate even Google’s terms of conditions and European law by transferring user data to a third party, a US based companyAlderson also said that within a minute of his tweet on the NaMo app, the “app team” created a new Twitter profile to discuss the issue with him. He posted the chat transcript as proof.
Kozhikode: Muslim bodies back prof, demand case be dropped
Kozhikode: Muslim organisations jointly demanded on Friday to withdraw cases against Farook Training College assistant professor Jauhar Munavar, registered by the Koduvally police. Police on Thursday had registered a case against Jauhar Munavar for alleged  sexist remarks against girl students who ‘reveal their body like a slice of red watermelon’. IUML, Samastha Kerala, Jamaat Ulama, Nadvathul Mujahiddeen, Jamaat Islami, Jamiat Ul Ulama, Wisdom Global Islamic Mission and Dakshina Kerala Jamiat Ul Ulama, in a combined statement said that a section of people with vested interests was attempting to show Farook College in poor light. “He was speaking at a spiritual venue about the dressing pattern of the Muslim girls and a portion of his speech was taken out to spread allegations against him. The police registering case against him is also not fair,” they stated.Popular Front took out a march to the police station in protest against the case. However, Jauhar is not yet arrested, though he was charged with non-bailable sections. Police said that the petitioner did not present evidence against teacher.deccan Chronicle.
Kerala IS case:Yasmin found guilty, sentenced to 7 yrs
The special NIA court in its verdict in the first case registered in Kerala related to Islamic State pronounced Yasmin Mohammed Zahid of Bihar guilty and sentenced her to seven years in prison.Yasmin is accused of recruiting 15 people from Kasargod district in Kerala and helping them migrate to Afghanistan to join the terror outfit. Kerala Police had initially registered missing persons cases in this regard, and NIA later joined the investigation after the involvement of IS was suspected. Yasmin had attempted to join the IS with her son and was about to leave for Kabul when she was arrested by Kerala Police at Delhi Airport on July 30, 2016.theweek
How Ashraf Wani, a pellet victim, is trying to help more than 1,000 fellow pellet victims get treatment
Srinagar: No matter how hard you try to live a normal life in Kashmir, the truth is that in this conflict-ridden Valley, a moment can completely change the course of your life; often for the worst. Take the example of 28-year-old Mohammed Ashraf Wani, a resident of Rahmoo village in Pulwama district of North Kashmir.Before August 24, 2016, it would have been nigh impossible to find him at home during the day as he was dividing his time between studying and working at Airtel. When not studying for his graduation, Ashraf worked with the telecom major as a field officer, recovering outstanding bills from customers. But after the encounter of Burhan Wani, the region was united in protests, and Ashraf was no different.“That day people were protesting at Prichoo, Pulwama and I was also a part of it. We were peacefully registering our protest and I had even asked a police offer to let us do peaceful protest but he didn’t allow it. Soon, the arguments lead to stone pelting between protesters and security forces,” recalls Ashraf.Ashraf tried to move to a corner in order to look for a safe corner. But one of the officers from a CRPF vehicle started firing at the protesters, leading to the death of two people and six people injured. Ashraf was one of the injured that day, and like thousands of others in Kashmir, his life has never been the same again.TwoCircles
Son of New Hurriyat Chief Joins Hizbul: thecitizen
 Srinagar: In a significant development that will have far-reaching consequences, son of a senior separatist leader, Ashraf Sehrai, who recently climbed the ladder to replace Syed Ali Geelani as chairman of Tehreek-e-Hurriyat, has reportedly joined militant outfit Hizbul Mujahideen.Junaid Ashraf, son of Sehrai is reported missing from last 3 days according to a complaint lodged by his father at a police station in capital Srinagar. Police sources confirmed that a missing case has been filed into the “mysterious” disappearance.A photo of Junaid, who has reportedly done MBA from the University of Kashmir, brandishing an AK-47 rifle, has gone viral on social media, purportedly claiming that he has joined Hizb taking the alias of Aamir Bhai. However was no independent confirmation about the authenticity of the picture.Known for keeping a low profile, Sehrai, a close aide of Geelani who untill his elevation in Hurriyat acted as its general secretary, refused to speak about the issue,“Whatever I have to say, I have stated in my police complaint. We don’t know his whereabouts,” he said.A senior police officer said there are rumors of Junaid having joined militancy but he will not confirm them.
Number of poor families up by 18,932 in 2 years in Gujarat, reveals state govt data; indianexpress
Gandhinagar:The number of poor families in Gujarat has increased by nearly 19,000 over the last two years, revealed Rural Development Minister Bachubhai Khabad in the state Assembly during Question Hour on Friday. According to the data shared by Khabad, in Gujarat, more than 31.46 lakh families live below poverty line (BPL) and that number has increased by 18,932 in the last two years. Banaskantha district has the highest number of BPL families — 2,36,492.Several Congress MLAs from across the state had sought details about the number of BPL families in various districts of Gujarat.
NIA can’t take up probe into Kalburgi murder:Centre
New Delhi: Centre told the Supreme Court Friday that NIA could not take up the probe into the murder of Kannada scholar MM Kalburgi as it did not fall in the category of scheduled offences that could be pursued by the agency.Additional Solicitor General Pinky Anand conveyed this to a bench, comprising CJI Dipak Misra and Justices AM Khanwilkar and D Y Chandrachud, which was hearing a plea by the scholar’s wife Uma Devi Kalburgi, seeking an SIT probe into the murder.The bench directed that the matter be listed in the first week of July and asked the CBI and the state Govts of Maharashtra and Karnataka to file their responses in the meantime. Kalburgi, 77, was shot dead in broad daylight at his residence at Kalyan Nagar in Dharwad, Karnataka, on August 30, 2015.indianexpress
MP: 2-month social media ban in Sagar
Bhopal: The Sagar district administration has invoked Section 144 CrPC to ban the posting, messaging and forwarding of communal messages on Twitter, Facebook and WhatsApp.The decision was taken by collector Alok Kumar Singh after tension in the city following an alleged social media post on March 20. The prohibitory order will be in force till May 20.TOI
WORLD
Over 5000 leave E. Ghouta as evacuation continues
Eastern Ghouta:A second convoy of vehicles carrying civilians and opposition fighters from the Damascus suburb of Eastern Ghouta arrived in Hama province in west-central Syria on Saturday. 45-bus convoy left the besieged area late Friday carrying more than 3,290 people. Patients with urgent health conditions are expected to be transferred to the opposition-held Idlib and western parts of Aleppo province.  On Friday, a first convoy of 30 buses reached Idlib and the western countryside of Aleppo province carrying more than 1,900 people, including women and children. So far, 5,198 people have been evacuated from Eastern Ghouta, out of a total of 8,000 people -- including opposition fighters and their families – who are slated for evacuation from the regime-besieged region, as a part of a Russia-brokered agreement between Syria’s Assad regime and armed opposition groups.   Anadolu Agency
Hekmatyar calls for providing 'safe zones' to Taliban
Kabul:Former Afghan Mujaheddin leader Gulbuddin Hekmatyar on Saturday called on the govt to provide "safe zones"' to the Taliban in a bid to encourage them to join peace process.Addressing a news conference at his party HQRS in Kabul, Hekmatyar said he has shared a comprehensive peace strategy draft with the government, which includes establishing ‘safe zones’ for Taliban in different parts of the country.“These proposals are also under consideration in the White House and Pentagon”, Hekmatyar said, adding the Afghan govt is also deliberating upon his proposals.A number of local politicians are criticizing Hekmatyar for what they called floating the idea of “handing over” a number of provinces to the Taliban. Today, Hekmatyar rejected proposing such a thing. Meanwhile, the Taliban have reportedly rejected the idea of “safe zones”. According to the local Azadi Radio, Zabihullah Mujahed, Taliban spokesman, has termed the idea as an act of practically “dividing Afghanistan.”Anadolu Agency
Turkey plans to unite 57 nations to form Army of Islam
Istanbul: Turkey has decided to form a huge Army of Islam by uniting 57 Muslim countries. A Turkish newspaper in its report has revealed that the 5 million strong army will be named ‘Army of Islam’. 57 members of Organisation of Islamic Cooperation have been asked to form such a huge army that could siege Israel and attack it. According to the report, the population of OIC member countries is 167,45,26,931 while the active military of those countries is more than 52 lakh their defence budget is 174 billion 70 Cr dollars. As against that the total population of Israel is 80 lakh 49 thousand 314. And its active military is just 160000 while the defence budget is 15 billion 60 Cr dollars.Keeping in view the statistics, if OIC member countries agree to form the ‘Army of Islam’ it would be much more powerful than Israeli military which has occupied Jerusalem.siasat
UAE-backed forces accused of arbitrary arrests, torture in Yemen
A Yemeni militia backed by the UAE has been accused of kidnapping several young "northerners" in the southern port city of Aden, with relatives alleging they have been wrongly detained, tortured and denied access to a fair trial.In a series of videos and documents sent to Al Jazeera, the relatives said they had not heard from or seen their loved ones after they were picked up by the UAE-created Security Belt - a force set up in 2016 to police southern areas in the war-ravaged country.The sister of Ahmed Abdullah Salam al-Meshwali, who was 19 when he went missing, said all she knew was that her brother was being held at Bir Ahmed, a military camp controlled by the Security Belt in Aden."My brother was in the second year of his studies at the University of Aden. One day, he came to visit us in Taiz. Upon returning, he was arrested.aljazeera
Hamas has ‘proof’ implicating PM’s would-be assassins
Gaza Strip’s Hamas-run Interior Ministry says it has “clear evidence” implicating the perpetrators of a failed assassination attempt on Palestinian PM  Rami al-Hamdallah.“We have documented evidence — including video and audio — that will soon be produced in this regard,” leading Hamas member Ismail Radwan said.He went on to condemn accusations by Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas that Hamas, which has governed the Gaza Strip since 2007, stood behind the attempt on al-Hamdallah’s life.On March 13, during a visit by al-Hamdallah to the Hamas-run Gaza Strip, his convoy struck a roadside bomb in Gaza’s Beit Hanoun district.On Thursday, Gaza’s Interior Ministry announced that the “prime suspect” in the assassination attempt had been killed in a gunfight with Hamas-run security forces in the central Gaza Strip.middleeastmonitor
Egyptian city Alexandria’s security chief survives 'assassination attempt'
An explosion in the Egyptian city of Alexandria has killed at least 2 people, including a policeman, in what officials called an assassination attempt against the coastal city's security chief.The blast occurred near the Tolip Hotel on Saturday afternoon in Rushdi, a neighbourhood in Egypt's second city, close to the motorcade of Major General Mostafa al-Nemr, head of security in Alexandria, an Egyptian security source said.The suspected car bomb, which also wounded at least four people, targeted the motorcade, the source said.State news agency MENA quoted al-Nemr as saying that 2 people, a policeman and a driver, were killed in the blast.aljazeera
Jewish candidate for Islamist Ennahdha party, breaks barriers in Tunisia
Tunis: Simon Slama and his family are the only Jews left in the Tunisian city of Monastir, once home to a thriving Jewish community. But instead of joining the exodus, he is running for office as a candidate of Tunisia’s Islamist party.Slama’s candidacy with the Ennahdha party in the municipal elections to be held in May, is causing a sensation in this overwhelmingly Muslim country, and some controversy.Critics see it as a calculated tactic by Ennahdha to regain power and to restore its reputation among Western allies like the US. Others however see it as an example of Tunisia’s long-standing traditions of tolerance.A sewing machine salesman and repairman, 56-year-old Slama says he just wants to serve his country and the city where he was born, suffering from economic difficulties and social tensions.“I chose Ennahdha because I found that because of the crisis the country is going through, everyone is turning toward this party,” he told AP in his workshop.“I see no difference between the Islamic and Judaic religions. We are all one family and we are all Tunisian citizens and we should go hand in hand to build the Tunisia of tomorrow,” he said.Slama returned to Monastir, on Mediterranean coast about 170 km south of the capital, Tunis, after studying in French city of Strasbourg even as other Jewish families left because “we love the city and it has the spirit of my ancestors.” Tunisia is home to an estimated 1,500 Jews nationwide. Monastir “used to have 520 Jewish families. Today mine is the only one left,” Slama said.Tunisia is holding its first municipal elections since the 2011 revolution that overthrew a long-time autocrat and unleashed uprisings across the Arab world.While Nida Tounes and Ennahdha are currently in a Govt  coalition together, they are the main rivals in the municipal vote, which will determine the political contours of the country for years to come.AP
Qatar puts 28 people, entities on new terrorism list
Qatar has said it had placed 28 people and entities on a terrorism list, including several Qatari nationals already blacklisted by rival Arab states who accuse Doha of supporting militants. Adding to suspects identified in Oct., Doha's new list, published on the official website of its National Counter Terrorism Committee, included some individuals first named by its rivals, but stopped short of mentioning more mainstream Islamists whose regional influence they oppose.The move appeared to bring Qatar's blacklist more in line with that of the Arab states, but the motivation for its publication remained unclear. A Qatari Govt  spokesman did not immediately respond to a request for comment. 4 Arab countries, which have called themselves "Anti-Terror Quartet", maintain a list of 72 people and organisations they say have links to Doha. Reuters
Hardline Buddhist group accused in anti-Muslim riots in Sri Lanka to float political party
A hardline Sinhala-Buddhist group in Sri Lanka, which was allegedly involved in attacks on Muslims during the recent communal riots in the country, has decided to float a political party.Mahason Balakaya or Devil Mahasona’s Force, which had allegedly published videos of hate speech against Muslims, said it has forwarded papers to the authorities for the party’s registration.“Sinhalese have got no political party while every race has one. We have decided to form a new political party with Mahason Balakaya and several other Sinhala organisations,” a spokesman for the group said in the north central town of Anuradhapura. Mahason Balakaya was accused in arson attacks on Muslims, their religious sites and properties during the communal violence between majority Sinhala Buddhists and minority Muslims in the island’s central hills Kandy and Ampara districts.PTI
BNP-Jamaat backed lawyers sweep SC bar polls in Bangladesh
Lawyers backed by BNP and Bangladesh Jamaat-e- Islami have swept the Supreme Court Bar Association elections yet again in Bangladesh.The lawyer’s panel got 10 out of the 14 posts, including those of the president and the general secretary.BNP Vice-Chairman Zainul Abedin will serve as the president for the straight second term while Joint Secretary General AM Mahbub Uddin Khokon has been elected the association’s secretary for the 6th time.Candidates of the panel backed by the ruling Awami League won the rest four, including the posts of an assistant secretary and 4 members.UNI
War and disasters leaving more children at the mercy of traffickers – Nobel laureate
Children are more vulnerable now than ever due to conflicts and natural disasters with millions without homes or families, leaving them easy prey for human traffickers, Indian Nobel laureate Kailash Satyarthi warned on Friday.Ahead of a second summit of global leaders and Nobel laureates on children’s rights in Jordan on Monday, Satyarthi said orphaned child refugees have become a “common sight” in the Middle East – a region hammered by a seven-year war in Syria. UNICEF has reported a five-fold increase in the number of refugee and migrant children traveling alone since 2010, with 300,000 unaccompanied children on the move in the combined years of 2015 and 2016.“This has led to a significant increase in trafficking,” he said.MEMO
FLASH: VIEWS & NEWS
Journey of Muzaffarnagar Residents to 2nd  Class Citizenship:Harsh Mander, Akram Akhtar Choudhary
Hindu priests burn hundreds of mango trees in prayer ritual to curb ‘pollution’:Swati Gupta
Facebook Is Killing Democracy With Its Personality Profiling Data:Timothy Summers
In JNU, Another Example of Sacrificing Education to a Management-Driven Culture:Monobina Gupta
Why this liberal Muslim refuses to be patronised by the liberal Hindu:Irena Akbar
Why the Centre must go for revision of judgment on SC/ST law:Udit Raj
Election Commission’s action to disqualify AAP MLAs was patently malafide:Atishi Marlena
‘Modi Govt’s Opposition to Jamia’s Minority Status is Nothing But Majority Appeasement’:Alim Jafri
Is BJP planning an Ayodhya 2.0 in Varanasi? Abhishek Srivastava
IS flags seen at militant's funeral in J&K but clerics, politicians deny group is gaining ground in Valley

Compiled and edited by Anwarulhaq (Released at: 7:29 PM)

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