Thursday, 29 March 2018

29 March ND: Committee probing Gujarat ‘fake’ encounters submits report to SC in sealed cover/ 10 more questions raised over Judge Loya’s death / Let full court discuss Govt interference: Justice Chelameswar to CJI, 22 judges


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Evening NEWS DIGEST  
29 March 2018:10 Rajjab 1439:Vol:9, No:154
INDIA
Committee probing Gujarat ‘fake’ encounters submits report to SC in sealed cover
New Delhi:A Supreme Court-appointed committee to investigate alleged fake encounters in Gujarat between 2002 and 2007 has submitted its final report to the court in a sealed cover, even as one witness after another continues to turn hostile in the alleged fake encounter of Sohrabuddin Sheikh. The committee, headed by former SC judge H.S. Bedi, was appointed by the apex court in 2012 to probe 22 encounter deaths in the state when PM Narendra Modi was CM of Gujarat. Top political and police brass in the state were under the scanner for the alleged fake encounters.The court had also asked the committee to look into whether the encounters showed a pattern that people from the minority community were targeted as terrorists.The panel was set up after lyricist and poet Javed Akhtar, journalist B.G. Verghese and activist Shabnam Hashmi had moved the court seeking a judicial probe against the Gujarat Govt .Since five of the 22 cases were sub-judice, Bedi decided against investigating them. These cases included the Ishrat Jahan and Sohrabuddin Sheikh cases.“I submitted my final report to the court in a sealed envelope towards the end of last month,” Bedi told ThePrint, but declined to discuss the contents of his report.However, sources told ThePrint that the committee has raised questions over the police claims in at least five of the 17 deaths, including those of Kasim Jafar Hussain, Joginder Singh, Samir Khan Pathan and Sadiq Jemal.According to sources, the SC could schedule a hearing in the matter early next month, when it would also deal with the report.theprint
10 more questions raised over Judge Loya’s death
Even as the Supreme Court is yet to decide on an independent inquiry into the mysterious death of CBI Special Judge BH Loya in 2014, fresh questions have been raised by yet another investigation carried out by The Caravan, which first questioned the circumstances of the death in Nov. last year. The judge was hearing the discharge petition filed by BJP national president Amit Shah in the Sohrabuddin Sheikh fake encounter case. While Shah never appeared before the court, Judge Loya had reprimanded his counsel and demanded his presence on the next date of hearing.However, Judge Loya ostensibly died of a heart attack he suffered while staying in the VIP guesthouse Ravi Bhavan in Nagpur. Following the exposure in Caravan, 4 judges in their statement claimed that the judge had died of natural causes and that there was nothing fishy or controversial about it.The judge’s relatives, however, had voiced their doubt and claimed that the judge was under pressure to discharge the BJP national president. They had also claimed that the judge had been offered ₹100 Crore and a flat in Mumbai.In the latest investigation carried out by the magazine, its reporter interviewed as many as 17 current and former employees who were posted in Ravi Bhavan when judge Loya died. All of them claimed to have learnt of the judge’s death in the last few months after the story first broke in Caravan.nationalheraldindia
Let full court discuss Govt interference: Justice Chelameswar to CJI, 22 judges
New Delhi;Justice Jasti Chelameswar, the most senior judge of the Supreme Court, wrote to CJI Dipak Misra last week, seeking a full court on the judicial side to discuss the matter of Govt  interference in appointment of judges to high courts. CJI has not yet responded to the letter.The five-page letter to the CJI has also been copied to 22 other judges of the Supreme Court. Sources said that this was done to obviate criticism of some Supreme Court judges that they had not been taken into confidence when the four most senior judges —Justices Ranjan Gogoi, Madan B Lokur and Kurian Joseph, besides Chelameswar —held press conference on Jan.12, complaining that the CJI had taken no action on issues raised in their letter to him.Justice Chelameswar’s letter, signed on March 21, states that Govt has been selective in accepting recommendations of the SC Collegium for appointment of judges to high courts. It chooses to ignore or defer the names it finds uncomfortable, the letter states, thereby affecting the independence of the judiciary.The letter goes on to demand a full court on the judicial side to discuss the current situation. A full court meeting of the SC  is usually convened by CJI when a matter of public importance relating to the administration of the judiciary comes up.indianexpress
Law minister under scanner as SC’s 2nd senior most judge alleges govt’s intervention in judges appointment
Impeachment notice against CJI drafted, to be submitted to vice president on Monday
 New Delhi: MPs from the Congress, NCP, CPI, CPIM have signed a motion to initiate impeachment proceedings against CJI Dipak Mishra. More signatures from TMC and the DMK are awaited before the motion is submitted, as per the well laid out rules, to Vice President Venkiah Naidu on Monday.Sources said that the requisite number of signatures from 50 MPs are being obtained. NCP MP Majeed Memon confirmed that all members of his party have signed the petition.Congress Rajya Sabha MPs gave a hint of this in the House when they revealed that such a motion was being prepared, and signatures collected.Senior lawyer Prashant Bhushan, who is being consulted by the political parties on the issue given his lonstanding experience said, that the Vice President would have to accept the motion so long as it was signed by the requisite 50 MPs from the Rajya Sabha (100 from Lok Sabha) and the charges were specific to “misconduct”. He said that the requisite number of signatures, according to his information, have been collected.thecitizen
Videocon gets Rs 3250-cr loan from ICICI Bank, bank CEO’s husband gets sweet deal from Venugopal Dhoot
New Delhi:In Dec.2008, Venugopal Dhoot of the Videocon Group set up a company with Deepak Kochhar, husband of ICICI Bank MD and CEO Chanda Kochhar, and 2 of her relatives; then gave a Rs 64-crore loan to this company through a fully owned entity before he transferred the latter’s ownership to a trust headed by Deepak Kochhar for just Rs 9 lakh, an investigation by The Indian Express has found.In what raises questions of propriety and conflict of interest, the transfer of the company to Deepak Kochchar happened six months after the Videocon Group got a loan of Rs 3,250 crore from ICICI Bank. Almost 86% of that loan (Rs 2,810 crore) remains unpaid and Videocon account was declared an NPA in 2017.Sources have confirmed that the Dhoot-Kochhar-ICICI web of transactions is being examined by investigative agencies. A day after the paper sent a detailed questionnaire to ICICI Bank for its response to its findings, ICICI Bank issued a press release Wednesday evening saying “there is no question of any quid pro quo/nepotism/conflict of interest as is being alleged in various rumours.” It said the Board “reposes full faith” in Chanda Kochchar and added that “malicious and unfounded rumours” were being spread to “malign the Bank.”Statement, however, did not address the specific query from the paper on Deepak Kochchar-Venugopal Dhoot transactions or the conflict of interest.Indian Express
Rs 3,250 crore scam involving Chanda Kochhar: PM Modi was informed about corruption 2 years ago
Big Private Crop Insurance Scam: Farmers Pay Premium of Rs 482, Receive Rs 5 as Insurance! The citizen
 Chennai/New Delhi: Farmers of Tamil Nadu continue to be at the receiving end of an indifferent and callous state. After paying huge premiums of Rs 212 for corn, and Rs 482 for cotton, farmers received crop insurance cheques of Rs 5, Rs 7 and Rs 10 in many parts of the state under the PM s scheme Pradhan Mantri Fasal Bima Yojana.Karuppu Samy, Manivannan, Thangaraj and other farmers belonging to villages Manjanaicken Patti, Poduvar Patti, Kalipatti in Oddanchatram taluk of Dindigul district in the state of Tamil Nadu received the cheques of Rs.5, Rs.10 and Rs.20 for the failure of crops like corn and cotton being distributed by the private insurance companies and state cooperative banks.P.Ayyakannu, president, National South Indian River Interlinking Agriculturist Association, said, “the issue of cheques of Rs.5, Rs.10 as crop insurance amount shows the farmers are being looked upon as slaves and second class citizens in the country. The state and central Govt s give scant respect for the issues of farmers in the era of corporatization and privatization of agriculture”.
NITI Aayog releases ranking of most backward districts –11 out of 20 are Muslim concentrated
New Delhi:Niti Aayog, new avatar of the erstwhile Planning Commission, has released a ranking of 101 most underdeveloped districts in the country. Mewat, Muslim-dominated district hardly two2hour drive from the capital, is country’s most backward district.Aayog on Wednesday released a baseline ranking of 101 districts on the basis of 49 indicators across 5 sectors–Health and Nutrition (30% weightage),Education (30%), Agriculture and Water Resources (20%), Financial Inclusion and Skill Development (10%), and Basic Infrastructure (10%).In the composite ranking covering all five sectors, Mewat in Haryana stands at the bottom with just 26.02% score. Interestingly, Mewat is adjacent to glittering Gurgaon district (recently renamed as Gurugram), one of the leading hubs of MNCs in country.Mewat is not alone. In the top 10 from bottom, there are four more Muslim-concentrated districts – all from UP .In the list of 20 most backward districts in the country, there are 11 Muslim-concentration districts (written in bold in list below) including 3 from Bihar and 2 from Assam, besides 4 from UP.Caravan Daily
UP ‘terror funding’: Arshad, Naseem genuine traders  brothers, have loans of rs 3.27 crore from govt bank
Gorakhpur: 2 Muslims, among 10 arrested on ‘terror funding’ charges by the UP  police on Saturday, have turned out to be genuine businessmen brothers who have business dealings worth crores of rupees with a leading Govt  bank.While rubbishing the terror charges, the wives of Naseem Ahmed and Arshad Naeem have come out to say that some envious of their successful business have falsely implicated them in the case.Meanwhile, a top official of the Punjab National Bank has also said that they are among good customers of his bank and they pay loan installments on time. Their company Naeem & Sons has several loans worth Rs 3.27 crore from the bank.On Saturday, ATS of UP  Police had arrested 10 people for having alleged links with the Pakistan-based terrorist group Lashkar-e-Taiba and their alleged involvement in terror funding. They were arrested after searches in Gorakhpur, Lucknow and Pratapgarh (all in UP) and Rewa in MP.Police had identified 10 accused as: Ankur Rai, Dayanand Yadav, Mukesh Prasad, Arshad Naeem, Naseem Ahmad, Nikhil Rai, Niraj Mishra, Sahil Masih, Sanjay Saroj, Uma Pratap Singh. Nazneen, wife of Naseem Ahmad, told the media that her husband and brother-in-law are innocent and they have been falsely implicated.“My husband and brother-in-law were implicated in the false case. My husband is a businessman. Some envious to his successful business have implicated them,” said Nazneen who married to Naseem in 2003.caravandaily
Holes in Saharanpur encounter: Unheard shots, missing report and many versions
Saharanpur;When Mohammed Saleem (36), wanted in several criminal cases, was shot dead inside the Saharanpur Mandi on March 25,UP  police said they were forced to fire in self-defence after he shot at an officer when stopped at a check post. The police alleged Saleem alias Ehsan, who had just robbed a farmer of cash and shot at him, was attempting to avoid arrest.But on the ground,Indian Express found examples that show glaring inconsistencies — home guards posted at Mandi who did not hear shots fired or see police, varying police versions on where and when Saleem first opened fire, missing medical records of the injured policeman and a reward against Saleem declared before he was formally booked.indianexpress
Encounters in UP: Man who went to ‘surrender’ killed, mother who heard cops ‘finish’ son
Kasganj prime suspect Vishal Thakur who gave call for ‘tiranga yatra’ arrested
Claimed to be absconding since Jan. 26, Vishal Thakur, the prime suspect who gave the call for ‘tiranga yatra’ and was allegedly involved in Kasganj violence, was arrested on Tuesday evening. According to the police, Thakur was arrested when he along with a group of youths assaulted a Muslim youth for "playing cricket with local Hindu boys".An exclusive video accessed by TOI purportedly showed Vishal Thakur with Chandan Gupta, who was later killed in the violence, on a bike during the ‘tiranga yatra’. Gupta and Thakur, in fact, can be purportedly seen at the forefront of heated altercation with a Muslim group.2 days before the yatra, Thakur had posted a 44-second video on his Facebook page on Jan.24, asking youths in a large number to join the rally.A local source told TOI that Thakur is well connected with local BJP leaders. “One can still see pictures on Thakur’s Facebook page, in which he is standing beside senior BJP leaders and even MLAs,” he said. Kasganj SP Piyush Srivastava, who has recently been promoted as DIG, said, “A group of youths were caught assaulting a Muslim youth during a cricket match. Thakur and his men, who were absconding since Jan.26, were infuriated to see the youths of both communities playing together. They entered the cricket ground and attacked the boy.”TOI
Kasganj Violence: Absconding Prime suspect arrested while assaulting Muslim boy
Mahavir Jayanti: No meat in Haryana? BJP govt restricts shops from selling meat, eggs
On the occasion of Mahavir Jayanti, the authorities from Haryana have issued an advisory under which it has directed all slaughterhouses to remain shut for the day in the state. Following the directive issued, the sale of meat and eggs have also been restricted.The following directive was issued by Haryana urban local bodies’ minister, Kavita Jain on Wednesday. In the press statement issued by urban local bodies’ minister, the directive read, “The sale of meat, fish and eggs will also be restricted”. The minister, belonging to BJP also said that the occasion of Mahavir Jayanti is celebrated annually as a non-violence day. Commenting over the directive which is said to have drawn massive criticism from different religious bodies, Jain said that different religion bodies had met her and further asked for prohibiting the animals from being killed on the day of Mahavir Jayanti. She said, “Keeping in view the religious sentiments of Jain community, the proposal to close down slaughterhouses on March 29 and also restrict the sale of meat, fish and eggs has been approved.” The minister also said that all the concerned authorities have been given strict directives in order to make sure the strict compliance of the orders. As expected, the orders garnered strong criticism from a few of the meat traders operating in the city. Talking to TOI, one trader said that the ban would affect the poor people as most people belonging to lower income group are involved in this trade. Meanwhile, another traded criticised the Govt  stating that since the day BJP has assumed the office it has been ordering such curbs every year. The other shop owner asked that who will pay for the losses which they will face by shutting their shops for a day. NEWSX
Govt  offers to sell 76% stake in Air India to private bidders
New Delhi: 65 years after Tata Group-founded Air India (AI) was nationalised, the Govt  on Wednesday offered to sell 76% stake in AI to private bidders and effectively exit the airline business. Of AI’s total debt of Rs 50,000 crore, bidders for airline arm — AI, AI Express and AI-SATS (airport service company) — will have to take over debt of Rs 24,576 crore and liabilities of Rs 8,816 crore. The airline arm is being offered for sale first. TOI had first reported on March 6 that divestment of AI will begin with the airline arm being hived off first.The iconic Nariman Point headquarters will not be associated with the “new AI” and only the central Delhi HQ at Airlines House will be given to the successful bidder to use for “two years or more”, while the ownership will remain with the Govt . Among “core real estate”, the bidder will get 21.8 acres hangar space at Delhi and Mumbai airports, said senior officials.timesofindia
CAG red flags Air India's FY 17 accounts, says loss understated by Rs 35 bn
AITUC attacks govt over move to privatise Air India
New Delhi;Condemning the Govt 's move to privatise Air India, All India Trade Union Congress (AITUC) today accused the Centre of selling out national assets in the name of ease of doing business.In a statement, the AITUC has said that the Centre has been "obstinately" following the policy of dismantling the public sector."PTI
Israeli Airline Appeals Against Air India Flights Over Saudi
Israel's El Al airline said it appealed on Wednesday to the Supreme Court to cancel the authorisation of direct Air India flights between New Delhi and Tel Aviv via Saudi airspace. Air India began using the new route on March 22, reducing flight times between the two cities by more than two hours.Saudi Arabia had previously banned flights over its territory bound for Israel, a country with which Riyadh has no official diplomatic relations.Saudi Arabia has so far not allowed Israeli carriers to use its airspace, and El Al says it is the victim of unfair competition."The State of Israel does not understand the extent of the damage caused by the Govt ," said El Al chief executive Gonen Usishkin. "Today it is India, tomorrow it will be Thailand and all the east. It is impossible to assess the damage caused by this decision for the company's 6,000 employees."ndtv
Bombay HC again gives bail to 3 men accused of killing Muslim techie in Pune in 2014
MUMBAI: Bombay High Court today granted bail to 3 men, who are accused, along with others, of killing a Muslim IT professional in Pune in 2014 after they being "provoked" by the speech of the leader of a Hindu right-wing group.Justice Mridula Bhatkar granted bail to Vijay Gambhire, Ajay Lalge and Ganesh Yadav, maintaining her earlier observation that their act was not premeditated. She had granted bail to them in Jan.2017, while noting in the order that the men had acted without premeditation as they were "provoked in the name of religion".Maharashtra govt challenged the order in the Supreme Court, which sent it back to the HC, asking it to decide it afresh.Yesterday Justice Bhatkar asked the govt why it challenged only her order, as before her, 2 other judges of the high court had granted bail to 17 co-accused who face the same charges as the three men."If it was only because of the comment on religion, then I believe instead of approaching the SC you could have directly come to me. "You could have felt free and requested me to delete the remarks, I would have had surely made the changes. It is my duty to address the issue properly," she had said.PTI 
RSS puts up secular front, ropes in Muslims for Ram Temple construction
Kangra:In a first-of-its-kind, the RSS has sought the support of the Muslims, to get the Ram temple constructed at the birth place of Lord Rama, without any violence.Addressing a press conference at RSS office here on Wednesday, its national executive member Indresh Kumar said they were fighting for Ram Temple issue on two fronts- first, a legal battle and secondly, to have amicable settlement between the Hindus and the Muslims outside court.He said 40 Muslim Sammelans were held in the country to bring the truth about the Ram Janam Bhoomi before the members of the minority community and pave a congenial and peaceful path for the construction of Ram temple at Ayodya.He said in this connection, Muslims from different parts of Kangra district on Wednesday gathered at RSS office here and they were explained the factual position of Ram Janam Bhoomi and its historical backdrop.UNI
Delhi: Students, teachers march against UGC move of granting of autonomy to varsities
NEW DELHI:Thousands of students marched from Mandi House to Parliament Street on Wednesday in defence of public-funded higher education.The call for a ‘People’s March’ had been given by Delhi University Teachers’ Association (DUTA) and Federation of Central Universities’ Teachers’ Association (FEDCUTA) to raise voice against the “destruction of higher education”. March received support from students and teachers of Delhi University, JNU, AMU, Ambedkar University Delhi and Jamia Millia Islamia.Breaking across party lines, several political leaders attacked the Centre for granting graded autonomy to 60 universities saying that it would lead to commercialisation and privatisation of higher education.DUTA president Rajib Ray, who was at the march, said:“Govt has lately been pussy-footing around the question of public funding in higher education.However, as UGC regulation on autonomy and the finance minister's budget announcements on HEFA have shown, Govt is keen to withdraw public funding and impose self-financing models on public-sector universities and colleges and force them to take loans for infrastructure by mortgaging public resources such as buildings and land as collaterals.”He added that this puts a question mark on the affordability of higher education and manifests itself in Govt's unwillingness to appoint adequate teachers on permanent basis,allow fair promotional avenues, and give pensions to retired teachers.thehindu
Clashes broke out in Bihar’s Munger as Bhagalpur communal tension spread to 7 districts
Days after tension in Bhagalpur, clashes broke out in Bihar’s Munger between two religious groups. The communal tension which started 10 days ago on Ram Navami celebrations spread to 7 districts. Keeping in mind the law and order situation, authorities have deployed additional policemen and paramilitary jawans in the violence-hit districts. As per police officials, over the past 10 days, several shops located in the market have been set on fire and more than 100 people got injured, including policemen. The state authorities have called paramilitary and RAF personnel to tackle the unrest. Over 200 people have been arrested so far by security agencies and the state govt has imposed prohibitory orders in some areas. The violence in the eastern Bihar city broke out after some miscreants played controversial songs and inflammatory slogans shouted at an immersion procession of Chaiti Durga. When the rally reached the Neelam chowk of Munger district, the clashes broke out, following which people from both groups firearms, threw stones and set vehicles on fire parked at the spot. Police said, more than 100 rounds of gunshots were fired to handle the situation. Policemen got injured after stones were thrown at the police deployed there, after which security forces jawans got injured.newsx
Bihar communal clashes: BJP has set whole state ablaze, Nitish is finished, says Lalu
New Delhi :After communal clashes broke out in several areas in Bihar over the past week, RJD chief Lalu Prasad Yadav blamed his former ally and Bihar CM Nitish Kumar and reportedly said he was “finished”.“Nitish is now finished. There are riots and incidents of violence all over Bihar. BJP has set the whole state ablaze,” ANI quoted Yadav as saying to reporters outside AIIMS New Delhi where he has been brought in for a treatment.A day earlier, members of two communities clashed in Bihar’s Nalanda district over taking out a religious procession injuring more than 20 people — including four security personnel, PTI reported. Nalanda is also the native district of CM Nitish Kumar.“People from both sides indulged in heavy stone-pelting in Silao block of the district following a dispute over the route of a Ram Navami procession, and police had to resort to a mild use of force besides firing tear gas shells to quell the mobs,” Superintendent of Police, Nalanda, Sudhir Kumar Porika told PTI
Ram Navami violence: Union Minister Babul Supriyo booked for rioting, assaulting IPS officer in Asansol
Kolkata;Union Minister Babul Supriyo has been booked under non bailable section for allegedly violating Section 144 of the CrPC imposed in Asansol-where the situation continued to remain tense after violence erupted over a Ram Navami procession-said police. Police has filed suo-moto FIR against him. Asansol district administration on Wednesday had clamped prohibitory orders under Section 144 of the CrPC.“He has been booked under section of Rioting and 353 (assault or criminal force to deter public servant from discharge of his duty)”, a senior police official told the Indian Express. An FIR has been lodged against him in Asansol North Police station by IC Debojyoti Saha for violating prohibitory order and assaulting a senior IPS officer Rupesh Kumar.As per sources, Supriyo, who was heading to Asansol to take stock of the situation arising out of the violence in the region, was barred from entering the area by security forces on Thursday. He was taking a round in his constituency in the afternoon when he tried to drive through Kalyanpur in Asansol and thereafter his vehicle was stopped by police. Supriyo got off his car and an argument followed. The minister entered into a scuffle after police stopped him and asked a senior police official to shut up and stay away, to which the IPS officer said, “We have not come here to keep our mouth shut”.indianexpress
Over Hundred In 2017 Alone, Nearly 300 People Were Killed In Communal Clashes In 3 Yrs In India: Govt
Nearly 300 people, including 111 in 2017 alone, were killed in various incidents of communal violence in last 3 years across India, the Rajya Sabha was informed yesterday.Union Minister of State for Home Hansraj Gangaram Ahir said 111 people were killed and 2,384 others were injured in 822 communal incidents in the country in 2017.In 2017, highest 44 people were killed in UP in 195 communal incidents, followed by 12 deaths in 91 such incidents in Rajasthan. In 2016, 86 were killed and 2,321 others were injured in 703 communal incidents in the country. That year, among all states, UP had seen 162 communal incidents in which 29 people were killed.PTI
Hyderabad: Construction work at Shahgunj Masjid creates tension, police deployed
Hyderabad:Situation became tense when the construction work near Madina Masjid in Shahgunj started. It may be mentioned that conflict has been going on the Wakf land which is under the masjid. Meanwhile, organizers of Dundigal Vyayamshala got the orders from High Court for erecting the temporary shed. It created tension in the area. Heavy platoons of police were deployed. Police warned the people that they should not stage any protest or form groups.Masjid committee stated that the construction work is being planned on the Wakf land belonging to Masjid. It is reported that High Court permitted only for the erecting only temporary shed. It did not permit permanent construction.Anwar Rasheed, President, Sirajul Hasan, Secretary, Syed Zahid, Shakeel Ahmed and other members of the Masjid committee stated that all the formalities to file a contempt of court petition have been completed. The matter was also referred to Wakf Board. The committee is of the opinion that 91 square yards of land belong to Masjid whereas the other group states that it has bought 33 sq. yards of land from Housing Board which is illegal. All these records would be produced in the court of law.Siasat
NCHRO demands judicial enquiry into arrests of adivasi youths in Jharkhand
New Delhi:A Fact Finding Committee of NCHRO (National Confederation of Human Rights Organisation), which visited Jharkhand on March 23 and 24 in its Fact Finding Report has demanded a judicial enquiry into arrests of innocent adivasi youths in large numbers in Jhakhand.NCHRO has urged the NHRC and National Commission for Scheduled Tribes (NCST) that it should take note of these arrests and take necessary action against the state Govt . In a joint Press conference, Prof. A. Marx, chairman, NCHRO, Reny Ayline, Secretary, and Adv. Ansar Indori, national executive member, who were members of the Fact Finding Committee which visited Jharkhand, shared their experience and released the report on the occasion. NCHRO team members met some of the organization leaders, relatives of the people in jail and some social activists and spoke to them on the real situation that prevails now in Jharkhand.Meanwhile, it can also be mentioned here that the present BJP Govt in Jharkhand has arrested more than 4000 persons, mostly adivasis, for their participation in people’s movements and also has banned many organizations fighting for the rights of the people. Recently 2 such movements MSS and PFI were banned in the same lineup. MSS is a registered labour organization functioning in the mining and industrial areas in Jharkhand with more than 20,000 miners as its members from 1985 onwards. It is fighting for the rights of the workers. While PFI is also a registered organization functioning from 2006 onwards in almost all southern states and also in some states in North and East in the country.TwoCircles
Geelani's son listed as prosecution witness in terror funding case
New Delhi:Syed Ali Shah Geelani's son as well as the son of noted businessman Zahoor Ahmed Watali have been listed among the "prosecution witnesses" by NIA in a case related to terror funding in the Kashmir Valley.NIA, which filed a charge sheet in the case in January this year, have named Watali's son Yasir Gaffar at serial number 30 and Geelani's son Naim-ul-Zaffar at serial number 37 in the list of prosecution witnesses submitted to a special court.NIA has also submitted eight-page and 4-page statements given by Ghaffar and Zaffar respectively to an NIA official during course of investigation. A statement given before a police official is not admissible as a primary evidence in the court. The charge sheet has been filed by NIA against 12 people, including Lashker-e-Taiba chief Hafiz Saeed and Hizbul Mujahideen's head Syed Salahuddin. Both of them are in Pakistan.10 people arrested by NIA in connection with the case inlcude son-in-law of Geelani, Altaf Ahmed Shah, besides Watali.PTI
72-yr-old Ex- J&K Jama'at leader arrested from Bandipora
Bandipora: J&K Police Wednesday arrested a 72-year old former Jama’at-e-Islami leader in Hajin area of Bandipora district.Abdul Khaliq Parray alias Hanief, was a close confidante of Hurriyat chairman, Syed Ali Shah Geelani. He was expelled from Jamaat for meeting A S Dulat, former chief of intelligence agency RAW.Hanief is presently chairman Kashmir Resolution Movement and executive member Muslim Personal Board. A senior police officer confirmed Hanief’s arrest saying he “is involved in an FIR.”greaterkashmir
J-K: Youth joins militant ranks, fifth in 10 days
Srinagar:After a slain Hizbul Mujahideen militant’s son Bilal Ahmad Shah, another youth Fahad Mushtaq Waza from Srinagar’s Khanyar old city area has joint militant ranks. A picture of Waza, carrying an AK-47 rifle, appeared on the social networking sites on Tuesday, police said. According to the state police, at least 5 youths have joined militant ranks in the Valley in the past 10 days sending alarm bells within the security agencies, while local sources claim at least 25 youths have taken up arms since Jan.Last year, around 126 local youths had joined militant ranks in Kashmir, many of whom were killed in different encounters with security forces. A day after Waza’s picture holding an AK-47 rifle went viral on the social media, his family members appealed to him to return home. Waza is the second from the city to join a militant group this year. Police sources say, at least three youths from the city were already active.The trend of local boys picking up guns began after Burhan Wani was killed in an alleged encounter in 2016 at Kokernag in south Kashmir. “This is a worrying trend…Though some boys have returned to their families after joining militancy, still this is a matter of concern and efforts are on to stop it,” a senior police officer said.indianexpress
Marriages under Special Marriage Act not governed by personal laws:Delhi High Court
New Delh:A person who marries under Special Marriage Act and then converts to the partner’s religion is entitled to invoke the jurisdiction of a family court instead of personal law for dissolution of marriage, the Delhi High Court has ruled.Giving clarity on the issue faced in many inter-religious marriages, Justice J.R. Midha said, “When a person solemnises marriage under this law, then the marriage is not governed by personal laws but by the Special Marriage Act.” A man had challenged the jurisdiction of family court, where his wife had filed for divorce, claiming that their marriage was governed by the Muslim Personal Law as they had a nikah ceremony after they got married under the Special Marriage Act.But the court dismissed the man’s petition as “gross abuse and misuse of the process of law” with a penalty of ₹50,000.“Even assuming that the respondent [woman] had embraced Islam…it would not in any manner affect the jurisdiction of the family court to entertain and try the petition for divorce under the Special Marriage Act,” the court held.thehindu
Muslim women protest against Triple Bill in UP’s Sambhal
Sambhal: Hundreds of Muslim women took out a rally against the Triple Talaq Bill, proposed by the central Govt .Holding placards and banners, women in their tradition veil gathered on the streets in UP ’s Sambhal on Wednesday to voice against the imposition of a new law on triple talaq.The protestors feel that the Union Govt  is interfering in their religious affairs and demanded to recall the Triple Talaq Bill.siasat
Mumbai: Muslim women wing to stage protest against Triple Talaq at Azad Maidan on March 31
MUMBAI: Women wing of AIMPLB will stage protest at Azad Maidan against Triple Talaq Bill on March 31. Thousands of women are expected to arrive for the morcha from across the country. The march will be organised by AIMPLB and Kul Jamat. Salamat Ullah Nadvi, convener of the protest said, “We are against the bill because instead of protecting Muslim women, it would deprive them of the rights which they are getting now. Hence, the bill has more disadvantages than advantages, and will harm Muslim women.”Board members are expecting around 30-40,000 women from more than 75 cities across the country, adding that it will be a women-only morcha and all male members will be standing outside the maidan. “Even the speakers will be women. It is our battle now and we will fight for what is right,” said Munisa Abidi, member of Mumbai AIMPLB. The board says although the bill is a step in the right direction, it should have a window for reconciliation between husband and wife and also some other clauses to prevent its misuse by vested interests.Rauf Lala, from Kul Jamat, said, “Triple Talaq is a part of our religion, and the Govt  should not interfere in the Islamic law. The thousands of women who have participated in the march share this sentiment.” freepressjournal
​ Nikah halala being used to interfere in Shariat, defame Islam: Clerics
Meerut: Soon after the Supreme Court decided on Monday to examine the validity of Muslim practices, like nikah halala, Deoband-based ulemas have termed it a “deliberate attempt to defame Islam and a sinister campaign to interfere in Shariat”.“Earlier, it was triple talaq. Govt first raised the issue and later the Supreme Court termed it unconstitutional. Now, it’s nikah halala and polygamy. These kinds of issues are deliberately being raised to show Islam in a bad light. We have repeatedly said that nikah halala as is being interpreted by the Govt s and media is not recognized even in Islam. Similarly, polygamy is certainly allowed if there is need and is constitutionally valid in Muslim Personal Law (Shariat) Application Act 1937. But this Govt is not willing to listen to us and only creates an atmosphere that help courts to pass such orders,” said Maulana Nadeem-Ul-Wajdi, a senior cleric and Arabic scholar in Deoband.Mufti Arif Qazmi, another renowned cleric at Deoband, explained, “Nikah halala is a process in which a divorced woman is allowed to marry another man but she cannot marry her previous husband. But if her new husband also divorces her or if he dies, the woman is free to marry again and this person could be her previous husband as well. Now, the meaning of this provision has been twisted out of proportion and publicised in a negative light. It is shown as if woman is subjected a some kind of one-night stand with another man in order to get back to her previous husband, which is not allowed in Islam.”timesofindia
Muslim identity flattened in today’s India: experts
New Delhi;Many organisations in the development sector that worked with Muslims did not want to acknowledge that they did so, and then there were some who did not want to work with them at all.Activist and author Farah Naqvi said she realised the sombre truth during her research for her new book "Working with Muslims: Beyond Burqa and Triple Talaq" that was released by former vice president Hamid Ansari. The issue of "flattening" Muslim identity in India echoed in the packed hall of the India International Centre where an eminent panel discussed the book, which investigates the reality of NGOs and their developmental work with Muslims in eight major states of India.Written in collaboration with the Sadhbhavna Trust, the book studies 373 NGOs and their work with Muslims. Of the 373, 79 are from UP .PTI
Dr Bhimrao ‘Ramji’ Ambedkar: Yogi govt orders change of Dalit leader’s name in UP official records
New Delhi;Dr Bhimrao Ambedkar is now officially “Dr Bhimrao Ramji Ambedkar” in UP . At a time when BJP’s Dalit MPs are pushing for central Govt ’s intervention in the Supreme Court order on the SC/ST (Prevention) Act, the Yogi Adityanath Govt  in UP has decided to use the middle name of the Dalit leader in Govt  records. While ‘Ramji’ will be added as his middle name, the surname will be ‘Aambedkar’ in Hindi. Principal secretary, general administration department, Jitendra Kumar on Tuesday issued a circular in this regard to all the departments as well as the registrar of Allahabad and Lucknow benches of the High Court. The circular has directed to make changes accordingly in all the records of the departments concerned.Justifying its decisionthe Govt cited the Eighth Schedule of the Constitution where Dr Bhimrao Ambedkar’s name is written as “Dr Bhimrao Ramji Aambedkar”— in Hindi.indianexpress            
WHO appeals for contributions for health services to Rohingya refugees
New DelhI:WHO has urged the international community to contribute generously to enable appropriate health services to the 1.3 million “highly vulnerable” Rohingyas in Bangladesh’s Cox’s Bazar as the refugees face “grave” risks to their lives and health in view of the coming rainy season. This is one of the “biggest” humanitarian crisis in recent times, the WHO’s South East Asia Regional Director, Poonam Khetrapal Singh, said at a meeting of partners in Dhaka.“No single agency or the Bangladesh Govt  alone can meet the massive health needs of such a large population group. The Rohingya population are settled in an area that is prone to cyclone, and a terrain that would be flooded as soon as rains begin,” the official said.“The risk of outbreak of life threatening water and vector borne diseases under such conditions is huge,” Singh said. Coordinating the work of over a 100 partners along with the Ministry of Health, Bangladesh, the WHO has facilitated a contingency plan for the rainy season and coordinated a simulation around it.PTI
Not only elections, Cambridge Analytica’s parent firm worked on honour killings in India
The parent company of controversial political consultancy firm Cambridge Analytica was not only closely involved in Indian elections since 2003, it also worked on a project to assess the incidence of honour killings in the country.A cache of documents submitted by Cambridge Analytica whistle-blower Christopher Wylie to Britain’s parliamentary committee on digital, culture, media and sport, which was published on Thursday, includes texts of agreements that Strategic Communications Limited signed for elections in the US and elsewhere.The cache includes a document on its involvement in Indian elections that was tweeted by Wylie on Wednesday, but it also has details on issues such as “Comprehensive research, followed by a targeted intervention, radically changed voter behaviour in Thailand”, and “Covert sponsorship of peaceful rallies in Indonesia prevented disorder and ensured a smooth transition to civilian rule”.HT
WORLD
Morsi facing early death in inhuman prison conditions, British MPs say
Mohamed Morsi is held in solitary confinement for 23 hours a day, sleeps on a cement floor, and has been permitted to see his family once in the past three years, a panel of British parliamentarians and international lawyers has found.The former Egyptian president may die prematurely as a result of inadequate medical treatment, and Egyptian President Abdel Fattah al-Sisi could be held liable for his treatment under international law, according to the panel."We find that the conditions of Dr Morsi's detention would be of such continuing interest to the whole chain of command that the current president could, in principle, be responsible for the crime of torture," they said. The panel, led by MP Crispin Blunt, released its findings on Wednesday after it was commissioned by Morsi's family - through London-based law firm ITN Solicitors - to investigate the conditions in which the 67-year-old is being held.The panel asked to visit Morsi in Tora Prison and assess his situation first-hand earlier this month, but the Egyptian Govt  has not responded."We draw an inference that the Egyptian Govt  do not wish for independent oversight of Dr Morsi's detention," the report said. A former warden at the maximum security prison, nicknamed Scorpion, said in 2012 that the complex had been designed "so that those who go in don't come out again, unless dead". "We would have rather hoped that the revolution would have addressed that," Blunt said. "I think the evidence is that it hasn't. President Sisi ought to."With his re-election expected this week, Blunt said it could be a chance, however unlikely, for the president to "heal the divisions in Egypt" through addressing the prison conditions of Morsi and others.His son, Abdullah Morsi, told the panel that a doctor examined his father 6 months ago, but only had a stethoscope and blood pressure monitor. Further examinations and treatments have not been offered."The doctor in the prison is a general practitioner appointed by the state," Abdullah Morsi told the panel. "My father requires an assessment by a radiologist, blood tests, a physiotherapist and an ophthalmologist."His family has expressed fears that this denial of treatment may be purposeful. Tayyab Ali, a partner at ITN solicitors, said its likely that the report will be sent to the UN, the EU and the African Union to join a growing body of evidence about what is happening at Scorpion Prison.The panel, Ali added, have offered to write a second report if the Egyptian Govt  grants them access to Morsi. middleeasteye
Former Egyptian President Morsi 'facing premature death'
Sisi wins Egypt presidential election by landslide, says state media
President Abdel Fattah al-Sisi has been re-elected for a second term with 92 % of the vote, Egyptian state media reported on Thursday citing preliminary results.Some 23 million of the 60 million registered voters turned out during the three days of polling that ended on Wednesday, state-owned newspapers al-Ahram and Akhbar el-Youm, and the official MENA news agency reported.According to al-Ahram, 2 million voters spoiled their ballot papers, inserting the names of candidates who were not among the only two approved.Sisi ran virtually unchallenged after the other serious candidates were arrested and discredited.Sisi's only opponent, Moussa Mostafa Moussa, a Sisi supporter, gained 721,000 votes, al-Youm and al-Ahram reported.The electoral commission issued a last-minute call for people to vote, hoping to boost the turnout figure that Sisi regards as vital to legitimising his victory. But a turnout rate of less than 50 % will be seen as disappointing.In a push by authorities for a higher turnout, voters were given 50 to 100 Egyptian pounds ($3 to $5), or even a box of food or amusement park tickets. Middle East Eye
In survival mode, Egypt's last permitted Islamists, Nour Party back Sisi
ALEXANDRIA;Egypt’s last permitted Islamist party is backing former military chief Abdel Fattah al-Sisi for a second presidential term, a quirk of electoral politics that reflects the precarious state of the country’s Islamists.The ultra-conservative Nour Party believes it has no choice but to support Sisi if it wants to survive in a country where Islamists of other stripes are a political and military target for the army-backed authorities.With turnout the authorities’ top concern in an election this week Sisi is virtually guaranteed to win, the Nour Party is trying to ensure its members are seen at the polls by bussing in voters from poor areas.It has also set up centres to track participation and help people find their polling stations.While not unexpected, it is still an eye-catching manoeuvre by a party that has traditionally defined itself by opposition to all things Western. Islamists including the now-banned Muslim Brotherhood were for decades the backbone of opposition to autocratic rule in Egypt.Nour, founded after the toppling of Hosni Mubarak in 2011, has learned to adapt to shifts in the political landscape: It broke with the Brotherhood after it became clear that Egypt’s oldest Islamist group would not be able to stay in power.“Do I have an alternative?” said Yasser Borhami, a cleric in Nour’s parent organization, the Salafi Calling.Reuters
Western Countries Asked Us To Spread Wahabism To Counter Soviets During Cold War:Saudi Crown Prince
It was the Western countries that asked Saudi Arabia to accelerate the spread of  Wahabism, the virulent form of Islam accused of being the fountainhead of global terrorism, across the world to counter the Soviet Union during the Cold War, Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman told the Washington Post in an interview.Mohammed told the paper that Saudi's Western allies urged the country to bankroll the construction of mosques and madrassas in overseas to stop spread of Communism.“Investments in mosques and madrassas overseas were rooted in the Cold War, when allies asked Saudi Arabia to use its resources to prevent inroads in Muslim countries by the Soviet Union,” he told the paper in the interview that was initially off the record.According to WaPo, the meeting, conducted in English, was held off the record. Later the Saudi Embassy allowed to use portions for the article.“Funding now comes largely from Saudi-based “foundations,” he said, rather than from the Govt .OUTLOOK
Saudi crown prince meets pro-Israel groups in US
Mohammed bin Salman, the crown prince of Saudi Arabia, known as MBS, has met leaders from a number of right-wing Jewish organisations during his tour of the United States.The groups, which have donated millions to illegal settlement building and the fight against BDS (the Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions) movement, include officials from AIPAC, Stand Up for Israel (ADL) and the Jewish Federations of North America (JFNA).According to a leaked copy of his itinerary, Haaretz reported that MBS also met with leaders from the Conference of Presidents, B'nai B'rith and the American Jewish Committee (AJC).AIPAC, ADL and the JFNA have long targeted BDS, a non-violent movement that seeks to economically pressure Israel into providing equal rights and a right of return to Palestinians.Some of the pro-Israel US groups have spent millions in lobbying for the Combating BDS Act, a bill that seeks to stifle BDS.Meanwhile, JFNA gave almost $6m to illegal Israeli settlements between 2012 and 2015.JFNA supports a number of settlements over the Green Line (the border separating pre-1967 Israel from the Occupied Palestinian Territories), and helps families of Jews suspected or convicted of violence against Palestinians. While Saudi Arabia does not officially recognise Israel, analysts have repeatedly said the overtures by MBS overtures signal a warming of ties between the two countries.Mahjoob Zweiri, the director of the Gulf Studies Programme at Qatar University, said the MBS visit was "a PR campaign aimed to represent a new face of the kingdom to the US, one that was flexible and willing to change".aljazeera
US judge allows 9/11 lawsuits against Saudi to proceed
A US judge in New York on Wednesday rejected Saudi Arabia's request to dismiss lawsuits accusing it of helping in the 9/11 attacks.The cases are based on the Justice Against Sponsors of Terrorism Act(Jasta), a 2016 law that provides an exemption to the legal principle of sovereign immunity, allowing families of the victims to take foreign Govt s to court.The families point to the fact that the majority of the hijackers were Saudi citizens, and claim that Saudi officials and institutions "aided and abetted" the attackers in the years leading up to 9/11 attacks, according to court documents.US District Judge George Daniels in Manhattan said the plaintiffs' allegations "narrowly articulate a reasonable basis" for him to assert jurisdiction under Jasta.Still, Daniels dismissed claims against 2 Saudi banks and a Saudi construction company for allegedly providing material support to al-Qaeda and Osama bin Laden to carry out the attacks, saying he lacked jurisdiction.Riyadh and its Gulf allies had strongly opposed Jasta, which was initially vetoed by then-President Barack Obama.US Senate overturned the veto by overwhelmingly adopting the legislation.Critics of the law say it is politically motivated and an infringement on the sovereignty of foreign nations.middleeasteye
UNSC says no to Congo using “easily hacked” EVMs; wants paper ballots
Nikki Haley, the US Ambassador to the UN, has developed an image for talking tough. During a meeting with Govt  officials of the Democratic Republic of Congo recently, she was as blunt as she could be.The subject was elections in what many regard as the poorest country in the world. Many members of the UN Security Council were annoyed with President Joseph Kabila for clinging on to power much beyond his term and trying to avoid holding free and fair elections on one pretext or another.As international pressure kept mounting, Kabila has finally promised to hold elections in December this year. But he had one condition: voters would have to cast their votes on electronic voting machines.This is when Nikki Haley put her foot down. nationalheraldindia

FLASH: VIEWS & NEWS
Death Of Judge Loya: Testimonies Of 17 Current And Former Ravi Bhawan Employees Raise Troubling Questions About Statements Of 4 Judges: caravanmagazine
Diffusing a riot: A bureaucrat recalls how the Govt  quelled a riot nearly 50 yrs ago:Prateep K Lahiri, BOOK EXCERPT
SC/ST Act: SC ruling to have bad effect on reporting crimes against Dalits:Faizan Mustafa, The Wire
It’s not just religion, it’s also caste:Khalid Anis Ansari
Liberals disapprove of Hindu nationalism, but support the constitutionally consecrated view of the nation:Ashutosh Varshney
‘Religious’ processions with hate-filled Hindi slogans try to tear Bengal apart ‘Religious’ processions with hate-filled Hindi slogans try to tear Bengal apart:Garga Chatterjee
Media’s silence on Cobrapost ‘sting’: A fresh blow to credibility:Uttam Sengupta
Patriarchs of Hindutva happy with dilution of SC/ST Act :FARAZ AHMAD
From Glorifying Shambhu Lal in Rajasthan To Violence In WB, Bihar: Hindu Right Uses Ram Nevami to Assert Dominance:GAYETI SINGH

Compiled and edited by Anwarulhaq (Released at: 8:27 PM)

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