07 March 2018

7 March ND: By rewriting history, Hindu nationalists aim to assert their dominance over India/ Violence continues in Lanka despite emergency

7 March 2018:18 Jamadiul-2 1439:Vol:9, No:136
By rewriting history, Hindu nationalists aim to assert their dominance over India: Reuters
New Delhi:During the first week of January last year, a group of Indian scholars gathered in New Delhi. The focus of their discussion: how to rewrite the history of the nation. Govt of Hindu nationalist PM Narendra Modi had quietly appointed the committee of scholars about 6 months earlier. Details of its existence are reported here for the first time.Minutes of the meeting, reviewed by Reuters, and interviews with committee members set out its aims: to use evidence such as archaeological finds and DNA to prove that today’s Hindus are directly descended from the land’s first inhabitants many thousands of years ago, and make the case that ancient Hindu scriptures are fact not myth.Interviews with members of 14-person committee and ministers in Modi’s Govt  suggest the ambitions of Hindu nationalists extend beyond holding political power in this nation of 1.3 billion people - a kaleidoscope of religions. They want ultimately to shape the national identity to match their religious views, that India is a nation of and for Hindus. In doing so, they are challenging a more multicultural narrative that has dominated since the time of British rule, that modern-day India is a tapestry born of migrations, invasions and conversions. That view is rooted in demographic fact. While the majority of Indians are Hindus, Muslims and people of other faiths account for some 240 million, or a fifth, of the populace. The committee’s chairman, KN Dikshit said, “I have been asked to present a report that will help the Govt  rewrite certain aspects of ancient history.”Committee’s creator, Culture Minister Mahesh Sharma, confirmed in an interview that the group’s work was part of larger plans to revise India’s history.For India’s Muslims, who have pointed to incidents of religious violence and discrimination since Modi took office, the development is ominous. The head of AIMIM, Asaduddin Owaisi, said his people had “never felt so marginalised in the independent history of India.”“Govt,” he said, “wants Muslims to live in India as second-class citizens.”Modi did not respond to a request for comment for this article. Referring to the emblematic colour of Hindu nationalist movement, RSS spokesman Manmohan Vaidya said that “true colour of Indian history is saffron and to bring about cultural changes we have to rewrite history.” Balmukund Pandey, the head of the historical research wing of RSS, said he meets regularly with Culture Minister Sharma. “The time is now,” Pandey said, to restore India’s past glory by establishing that ancient Hindu texts are fact not myth.Sharma said he expects the conclusions of the committee to find their way into school textbooks and academic research. The panel is referred to in Govt documents as the committee for “holistic study of origin and evolution of Indian culture since 12,000 years before present and its interface with other cultures of the world.”Sharma said this “Hindu first” version of Indian history will be added to a school curriculum which has long taught that people from central Asia arrived in India much more recently, some 3,000 to 4,000 years ago, and transformed the population. Hindu nationalists and senior figures in Modi’s party reject the idea that India was forged from a mass migration. They believe that today’s Hindu population is directly descended from the land’s first inhabitants. Historian Romila Thapar said the question of who first stood on the soil was important to nationalists because “if the Hindus are to have primacy as citizens in a Hindu Rashtra (kingdom), their foundational religion cannot be an imported one.” To assert that primacy, nationalists need to claim descent from ancestors and a religion that were indigenous, said Thapar. Culture Minister Sharma said he will present the committee’s final report to parliament and lobby the nation’s Ministry of HRD to write the findings into school textbooks. That ministry, which is responsible for education and literacy programmes, is also headed by an adherent of RSS, Prakash Javadekar.“We will take every recommendation made by the Culture Ministry seriously,” Javadekar said. The minutes and interviews with committee members lay out a comprehensive campaign to achieve this, including the dating of archaeological sites and DNA testing of human remains.Culture Minister Sharma said he wants to establish that Hindu scriptures are factual accounts.
Try to find correlation between ancient Indian history and epics: Govt committee
After Lenin and Periyar, Ambedkar Statue Vandalised in UP’s Meerut
New Delhi: After Lenin and Periyar statues, a statue of BR Ambedkar was vandalised in Meerut district’s Mawana Khurd on Wednesday morning.UP police swung into action and rushed a team to the spot to avoid any untoward incident. However, sources said that it is not a “fall-out of any political vendetta”, but related to local caste tension. No clashes have been reported in the area and the statue has been re-installed, they said.2 days ago a finger of a BR Ambedkar statue was found broken in Aligarh, following which local residents had protested. Last year also there were reports of Ambedkar statue vandalism in Meerut and Muzaffarnagar. Calling B R Ambedkar a "holy symbol", Dalit activist John Dayal condemned the incident. He further said BJP should expel H Raja for his ‘casteist Periyar’ post, which was put up hours before the Periyar statue was vandalised in Tamil Nadu.“From statues to human beings, we are just a step away. And this is scary. This has to be condemned. H Raja should be arrested immediately for creating hatred among communities. It’s a criminal act, and I am surprised that BJP did not throw him out. It’s going to affect the party severly in South. Tripura governor Tathagatha Roy’s statement has only added fuel to the fire and he should not have tweeted that,” Dayal said.news18
After Lenin, Periyar, Jan Sangh founder Mookerjee's statue vandalized: PM condemns incidents
Following the pulling down of Lenin's statue in Tripura two days ago and vandalism of Periyar's statue in Tamil Nadu a day later, PM Narendra Modi condemned these incidents in strong words, saying stern action will be taken against those found guilty, a statement by his office read.Home Minister Rajnath Singh said PM Modi has spoken to him and "expressed strong disapproval of such incidents". PM's reaction came a little ahead of reports of vandalism of the bust of Bharatiya Jana Sangh founder Syama Prasad Mookerjee in Kolkata. delhidailynews
Lenin, Periyar, SP Mookerjee, Ambedkar: Statue vandalism the new political flashpoint
Ayodhya dispute: AIMPLB general secretary says only court order acceptable
Lucknow:A day after spiritual leader Sri Sri Ravi Shankar pitched for an out of court settlement of the Ayodhya issue, AIMPLB said today that only a court order on the matter was acceptable to it.The board also took exception to a recent reported statement made by the Art of Living founder on the Ayodhya issue."Sri Sri's statement that after court's decision situation of the country can become like Syria and Muslims should leave their claim on Ayodhya is threat to Muslims and the court both. This is an attack on the country's well being," AIMPLB General Secretary Maulana Wali Rehmani said.As far as the board is concerned, we have already said that the decision of court will be acceptable to all, he said.Asked about a letter written to AIMPLB by Ravi Shankar yesterday, in which he suggested Muslims gift one acre at Ayodhya site to Hindus who will provide 5 acres for a mosque, Rehmani said, "he will comment on it only after discussion with board members".Asked about Rabi Shankar's concerns regarding communal violence, Rehmani said, "If he has any such apprehension, he should find a way out to avoid a situation of communal clashes.PTI 
Ayodhya dispute: Shiv Sena launches scathing attack on Sri Sri Ravi for 'Syria' remark
The Shiv Sena today slammed spiritual guru Sri Sri Ravi Shankar for his remarks on the Ayodhya dispute through a stinging column in its magazine Saamana. Accusing Sri Sri of interfering with the Ram Mandir-Babri Masjid process, Saamana article said that the spiritual guru has issued a license of chaos and violence by comparing India to Syria. "Saying that peaceful and tolerant India can become Syria is a sign of lack of control. It is important to find out which agency this guru is associated with," the article said.indiatvnews
Sri Sri’s agenda exposed, court should take notice: Maulana Ajmal
 Barelvi clerics cold-shoulder Sri Sri’s mediation bid
Contempt action against Sri Sri sought
Hyderabad: Legal luminaries, Muslim religious scholars and political leaders have demanded that the Union of India should take action against Sri Sri Ravi Shankar, for inciting the people with regard to the Babri Masjid and Ram Temple issue.Justice P. Lakshman Reddy, ex-judge of the High Court, said that proceedings under the Contempt of Courts Act have to be initiated against Ravi Shankar as he has attempted to influence the Supreme Court through his statement.He said the Ram Temple and Babri Masjid case is purely a civil suit and the verdict will be based on the record and proof, and will not consider any extraneous circumstances. N. Ramachander Rao, BJP MLC and member of the Bar Council of India, said it must be seen in what context Ravi Shankar made such a statement. If it is a word of caution it would not fall under the definition of incitement or spreading hatred among communities and if it is for certainly inciting the people it is objectionable.Pappu Nageswara Rao,criminal lawyer in HC said that Centre has to looked into whether the statement of Sri Sri attracts Section 153(A) of IPC or not.DeccanChronicle.
Jamiat comes out in support of PFI, slams Jharkhand BJP govt for banning it: muslimmirror
New Delhi:After Jamaat-e-Islami Hind, another prominent Muslim group Jamiat Ulama-i-Hind has slammed Jharkhand’s BJP Govt  for prescribing ‘Popular Front of India’ (PFI). Jamiat said the decision of banning the outfit smacks ‘partisan attitude of the Govt while Hindutva outfits have been inciting violence and hatred against minorities in the state. It also said Jharkhand witness dozens of mob-lynching incidents but the state Govt failed to bring the culprits to book.In a statement issued to media on Tuesday, Maulana Mahmood Madani, General Secretary of Jamiat criticized the ban imposed on PFI in Jharkhand.He said that “allegation of being a terrorist was not a matter of joke while the country stands united in the fight against the menace of terrorism. Therefore it is an onerous responsibility of Govt s to take this issue with due care and sensitivity and adopt a tough stance on terrorism, he said.He said the ban on PFI seems to be a vindictive action against members of a particular religion.“But in this regard, they should refrain from steps which smack of partisan or vindictive action against members of any particular religion, caste and creed etc as it will lead to developing sense of victimhood among the marginalized section”.
Aadhaar linking deadline: Govt tells SC it could be extended beyond March 31
New Delhi:Almost daily people in India are getting tens of messages from their banks, phone service providers and various other companies and agencies that they must link the Aadhaar number to bank accounts and phones numbers etc before March 31. However, the central Govt has told the SC, which is hearing a constitutional challenge to Aadhaar programme, that it is open to extend the March 31 deadline to link Aadhaar with phone numbers and bank accounts. The Govt  has said that the deadline could be extended in case the decision in the Aadhaar case doesn't come before March 31.According to PTI, the Centre has said that more time would be needed to conclude the prolonged hearing in the Aadhaar case and hence the Govt  may extend the deadline from March 31.A 5-judge Constitution bench comprising CJI Dipak Misra and Justices AK Sikri, AM Khanwilkar, DY Chandrachud and Ashok Bhushan agreed with the contention of Attorney General KK Venugopal."We have extended the deadline in the past and we will extend the deadline again but we may do it by the end of month to enable the petitioners in the case conclude the arguments," Venugopal said.India Today
Aadhaar hearings: Aadhaar bank account linkage violates the 'Right to Equality' argue the petitioners
Don't make Aadhaar number mandatory for enrolling NEET candidates, SC tells CBSE
New Delhi:The Supreme Court directed the CBSE not to make Aadhaar number mandatory for enrolment of students appearing in the NEET 2018 and other all India exams.A five-judge Constitution Bench, headed by Chief justice of India Dipak Misra, directed the CBSE to upload the information on their website.On Feb. 27, Gujarat High Court dismissed a plea challenging CBSE's decision seeking Aadhaar number or Aadhaar enrolment number from those desiring to appear for the NEET.The appeal in the SC challenged the HC order.thehindu
Database on Hate Violence Launched in Delhi
New Delhi: A dedicated portal that would document hate violence in the country was launched on Wednesday here at the Constitution Club. The database, a first of its kind after the HT tracker was shutdown, is a joint civil society effort and is run by a large network of civil society organizations both at the national and at the grassroot level.“The objective of the database is to encourage community based reporting and intervention through a common documentation platform for civil society of marginalised groups:DOTO database. A platform that addresses both immediate and long-term issues related to the systemic violation of fundamental rights, erosion of constitutional values and the organization and deployment of ‘hate’,”said organizers. “The work on the database had started in late 2017. The incidents recorded on the database are post the year 2014.”“Currently, our database has 488 incidents in which 2607 victims are reported.In his speech, Dr. Zafrul Islam Khan, Chairman, Delhi Minorities Commission, while lauding the efforts behind the database, talked about suffering of thousands of Muslims and Dalits.Prof. Ram Puniyani, senior activist, pointed out that the efforts like this database are a major step in moving towards social justice. Dr. John Dayal illustrated the years of experience of civil society and Christian Networks in documenting cases of violence against Christians, and how they have been using church-based documentation, specific helpline to record data and thereafter the network of lawyers and advocacy tools at national – international level to pursue justice.Eminent civil rights activist Teesta Setalvad, founder of Peacemap and Helpline, was also present at the launch. Other dignitaries who spoke included Adv Sanjay Hegde, Senior Adv, Ravi Nair, Civil rights activist, and senior journalist Saba Naqvi.DOTO database are supported by various organizations including Quill Foundation, NCHRO, Jamaat-e-Islami-Hind, Jamiat Ulema Hind, APCR, Citizens Against Hate, United Against Hate, Citizens for Justice and Peace, SIO, Fraternity,N MSO, Jamiat Ahle Hadees, Mushawarat.caravandaily
Database for hate crimes launched in Delhi
President Kovind praises AMU role in education, nation building
Aligarh:The President of India, Ram Nath Kovind today commended the role of Aligarh Muslim University, AMU in imparting education and its special role in ‘India’s development’. He emphasised that mutual respect and acceptance of alternative ways of thinking and living are India’s natural way of life.Addressing the annual convocation of the AMU today the President said that students of AMU have made their mark not only in India but also in the other parts of the world, particularly in Asia and Africa.He recalled that during his state visit to Ethiopia in 2017, he was happy to learn that the wife of Ethiopian Govt  was an alumna of AMU.theindianawaaz
UP Police Cracks Down on AMU Students Who Called to Show Black Flags to President Kovind
Aligarh: UP Police has issued notice to 6 students of AMU for opposing President Ram Nath Kovind’s visit in the institute on its 65th annual convocation on Wednesday. The students have been asked to file bonds of Rs 5 lakh each declaring that they would not indulge in any disruptive activities including showing black flags to the President.Aligarh SSP Rajesh Pandey told the Times of India that notices were issued to the students under CrPC’s preventive sections 107 and 116 and they are being asked to file bonds of Rs 5 lakh each.The students who were issued notices are Mohd Junaid Ahmad, Mohd Nadeem Ansari, Adnan Aamir, Jayad Shervani, Rao Faraj Waris and Imran Khan.Students have been protesting against the President’s remark made in 2010 against the Muslims and Christians living in the country. “We are not opposing the visit of the President; we oppose the ‘sanghi’ mindset,” student union Secretary Mohammad Fahad had
UP police issues notices to 6 AMU students for opposing President’s visit on convocation day
BHU violence: Judicial probe lets ex varsity V-C off the hook, indicts Yogi Govt  for inaction
New Delhi:Letting former Banaras Hindu University (BHU) V-C GC Tripathi off the hook, the judicial inquiry, set up by the varsity to probe the incident of lathicharge on students protesting an incident of sexual harassment last year, has blamed the state administration for inaction and even alluded to a political conspiracy behind the agitation and the subsequent violence on campus. Ex-Allahabad High Court judge VK Dikshit, who was appointed in Sept.2017 by the then university V-C, submitted his report to the BHU authorities this month. According to university sources, a copy of the report has been shared with NHRC, National Commission for Women and HRD Ministry.indianexpress
MP HC disposes Muslim man’s plea to get back wife, sends her back to parents
Bhopal: MP High Court has disposed a habeas corpus petition filed by a Muslim man who said that the parents of his Hindu wife had “illegally detained” her because they did not approve of their marriage. Sameer Khan moved the high court in Jan., saying he married 23-year-old woman in Sept.and that the couple lived in Indore, where he runs a boutique. When her parents came to know of the marriage they took her away and did not let her return, he stated.The woman was produced in the court of justice J K Maheshwari on Feb.26. She said in court that she wanted to return to Sameer if he agrees not to marry again and she is not asked to change her name. Advocate Kuldeep Pathak, petitioner’s counsel, said after Sameer agreed to the conditions, the woman agreed to return to him. Govt  advocates then suggested that the judge hear the woman in his chamber because she had not been able to make up her mind and appeared confused.When the court met again at 3.30 pm, the woman said she wanted to go back to her parents, who were present in court. The parents told the court that they will take care of their daughter.Though the order was given on Feb.26, a copy of the judgment was made available laterThe judge disposed the plea, saying the girl was not in illegal detention.indianexpress
UP: Mob torches shop of Muslim youth who eloped with Hindu girl
Bareilly: A mob allegedly burnt down the pharmacy of a Muslim youth, who eloped with a Hindu girl, and later ransacked his house in a village here. BJP MLA Chhatrapal Gangwar gave an ultimatum of 24 hours to police to find the girl, failing which he said he would take up the matter with the CM .Meanwhile, fearing police action, men from both communities have fled the village after police filed FIRs against them. According to police, Raees Ahmed, 20, had eloped with a 16-year-old Hindu girl after Holi at Nadeli village under on March 3.TOI
No third party can interfere in marriage of consenting adults: Supreme Court
New Delhi:When two consenting adults get married irrespective of their background, no relative or a third person can interfere or threaten or unleash violence against them, the Supreme Court said on Wednesday. Centre told the top court that state Govt s must provide protection to couples fearing for their lives due to inter-caste or inter-faith marriages and such couples should inform the marriage officers of any such threat so that they can be protected.A bench headed by Chief Justice Dipak Misra said it will pass a detailed judgement on a plea filed by NGO Shakti Vahini, which had moved the apex court in 2010 seeking protection of couples from honour killings.PTI
Teesta Setalvad’s Organisation Calls for Help as She Faces Threat to Personal Freedom
New Delhi: CJP, which has been working “to promote harmony and secure justice for the victims and survivors of the Gujarat genocide of 2002”, has accused the state Govt  of “deliberately using malicious and fabricated cases to perpetuate a witch hunt” against it. Moreover, it has claimed that its secretary, Teesta Setalvad, now “faces imminent threat of her personal freedom being curtailed should the anticipatory bail granted in 2011, be cancelled.”Seeking support from its friends in these trying times, the organisation has pointed out that it has been “persecuted and harassed multiple times over the years for daring to speak truth to power”.The most recent challenge to it came in the form of the Gujarat Govt  filing an application before the Gujarat high court asking it to quash the anticipatory bail application with respect to the Naroda Gam case, in which the organisation has been accused of non co-operation with the police investigation.The Wire
Jailed UP strongman Atiq X factor in key LS bypoll
Allahabad:There’s BJP, there’s SP backed by BSP, there’s the Congress. And yet, all the buzz in UP’s political circles before the high-profile Lok Sabha bypoll in Phulpur Sunday is about an independent candidate who’s not even on the campaign trail.That’s because the late entry of Atiq Ahmed, a former MP and 5-time MLA from Allahabad West, on the last day of nominations 14 days ago, is being seen by the SP as a ploy engineered by the BJP to polarise votes and upset calculations. Facing over 40 of cases of murder, attempt to murder, criminal intimidation and assault, Ahmed is currently lodged in Deoria Jail for assaulting faculty members of an agricultural institute in Allahabad in 2016.“Everyone knows Atiq Ahmed is contesting on the directions of the BJP. But this has got people more angry, all the minorities will vote for us,” claims SP Allahabad district president Krishna Murti. Bypolls will be held on March 11 at Phulpur, vacated by Deputy CM Keshav Prasad Maurya, and Gorakhpur, traditional constituency of CM  Yogi Adityanath. On Sunday, SP pulled off a surprise by announcing that it had support of BSP. But on Monday, Ahmed’s entry remained the main topic of discussion among the predominantly Muslim weaving community in Allahabad’s Mau Aima.Significantly, BJP is now playing up Ahmed as its main rival in Phulpur. indianexpress
I don’t celebrate Eid, am proud of being a Hindu: UP CM Adityanath
Lucknow:Tensions ran high in the state Assembly on Tuesday as CM Yogi Adityanath responded to Leader of Opposition Ram Govind Chaudhary’s remark that he was a CM only to “so-called Hindus”, said he does not celebrate Eid and is proud of being a Hindu. “I do not celebrate Eid, I am a Hindu and I am proud of it. Wearing a sacred thread at home but coming out wearing a cap…this kind of hypocrisy is not something BJP Govt indulges in,” he said, adding that if someone wants to celebrate Eid peacefully, Govt would provide all support. CM further said, “There is nothing wrong in being proud of being a Hindu.”Lashing out at rival parties in his reply to the motion of thanks to the Governor’s address, he further said that while their Govt s used to teach students “Ga se Gadha (donkey)”, his govt had changed it to “Ga se Ganesha”. Earlier in the day, Chaudhary had, while speaking on the proposed amendment to the motion of thanks to Governor’s address, said that the present Govt was playing with the expectations of “Dalit, backwards and Muslims”. He further alleged that it appeared that Adityanath was the CM of only “so-called Hindus” and advised him to try to become a CM to all. Bringing up a recent statement made by Adityanath during Holi celebrations in Mathura, Chaudhary said that while just like Holi and Diwali are celebrated by the former, Eid was equally significant, and claiming he does not celebrate Eid because he is a Hindu is against the decorum of the post he holds.Citing the Kansganj violence, Chaudhary also alleged that if the country would ever be divided, it would due to the wrong policies of BJP. The leader of opposition further said that there was a new trend of taking out “Tiranga Yatras” just to extend the differences between Hindus and Muslims,and alleged, “Apka prateek Bhagwa raha hai.”Chaudhary said that BSP and SP have come together because BJP was ignoring the interests of the poor, Dalits, Muslims and Backwards. indian express
Ignored By Media, Nashik Long March Highlights Agrarian Distress
Mumbai: The simmering agrarian distress that has escaped media headlines took a new turn with the organising of the massive Long March of the Maharashtra unit of the All India Kisan Sabha (AIKS), which began from the CBS Chowk at Nashik on March 6 at 4.30 pm with tens of thousands of farmers from all over the state. The March stopped near the Valdevi river and today, March 7, it will proceed towards Igatpuri in Nashik district.The march will cover a distance of 200km and will reach Mumbai on March 12 when the farmers will move to gherao the state Assembly. Lead by kisan leaders the march will “denounce the BJP state Govt  for betraying all its assurances given to the peasantry during the last 2 years” on the above issues as well as the recommendations of the Swaminathan Commission and the implementation of Forest Rights Act.thecitizen
Karnataka Lokayukta Justice Shetty stabbed inside office, attacker arrested
Bengaluru:In a massive breach of security, Karnataka Lokayukta, Justice Vishwanath Shetty, a retired judge of the Karnataka High Court, was stabbed thrice in his stomach in his office on Wednesday. The accused gained access to the Lokayukta office in the guise of an advocate intending to lodge a complaint.The assailant, identified as one Thejas Sharma, was overpowered by staff at the office who arrived on hearing the screams of the retired judge. Justice Vishwanath Shetty was rushed to the Mallya Hospital in Bengaluru, where his condition is stated to be critical. The Vidhana Soudha police have arrested Sharma and are questioning him regarding the motive behind the attack.Home Minister Ramalinga Reddy said Sharma was a contractor from Tumakuru and he had complained to the Lokayukta about issuance of some tenders. indianexpress
Gujarat: As sex-ratio worsens, govt plans to rope in religious leaders to ‘change mindset’
Gandhinagar:Holding “social behaviour, mindset of the people and reference for boys owing to certain cultural reasons’’ as factors responsible for falling birth rate of females in Gujarat, Principal Secretary (Health and Family Welfare Dept) Jayanti S Ravi on Tuesday said that the govt has decided to rope in the services of temples, mutths, religious institutions, religious leaders, and kathakaar (discoursers) to check falling birth rate of girls and create awareness among the people about the social damage caused by it. Sample Registration Survey data of 2016, which was released by the office of Registrar General and Census Commissioner recently, revealed that sex ratio has worsened in Gujarat. In urban centres of the state, the sex ratio of girls in the age group of 0-6 years has fallen to 848 per 1,000 boys from 890 girls per 1,000 boys in 2011, despite a number of incentives given by the state Govt  for girl child over the decade. However, the survey stated that sex ratio in the age group 0-6 years in rural Gujarat was 914 girls per 1,000 boys.Jamaat-e-Islami’s Gujarat unit representative Iqbal Mirza said:“What is astonishing is that parents themselves are not allowing girls to be born.This makes the issue very serious. We need to change materialistic approach of the society to tackle this issue.”indianexpress
Peace school syllabus row: Chargesheet to be filed within a month
Kochi:The police team probing the case related to the teaching of textbooks propagating communal hatred in Peace International School, Kochi, will file a chargesheet before the court within one month. Peace Educational Foundation director and Islamic preacher MM Akbar will be named the first accused while the key operators of Navi Mumbai-based Burooj Realization, Islamic educational organisation, which prepared the controversial book, Dawood Mohamed Vaid, Sameed Ahammed Sheikh and Sahil Hameed Sayed, would be the other accused along with principal of the school and the administrator.Meanwhile, 3 managing committee members, who are leading businessmen in Kochi, have been omitted as they had no role in preparing the syllabus.Akbar, dubbed as Kerala’s Zakir Naik,  also told officers during the interrogation that the syllabus prescribed for the students was prepared by a panel headed by him. Meanwhile, Ernakulam Judicial First Class Magistrate Court rejected the bail petition moved by Akbar on Tuesday.newindianexpress
Pakistan accepts India’s humanitarian proposals for exchange of prisoners
Karachi:Pakistan has accepted humanitarian proposals received from India for exchange of prisoners over 70 years of age, facilitating the visit of medical experts from both sides to examine the mentally challenged prisoners for their repatriation and revival of judicial committee mechanism. Pakistan Foreign Minister Khawaja Asif, while accepting the proposals, also suggested that the exchange be applicable to child prisoners under 18 years of age and those who are over 60.“Foreign Minister, after consulting with all the stakeholders, has approved the following humanitarian proposals, which had been received from the Indian side, regarding the civilian prisoners incarcerated in both the countries: Exchange of three categories of prisoners, women, mentally challenged or with special needs and those above 70 years of age.ii. Revival of Judicial Committee mechanism. iii. Facilitating the visit of medical experts (from both sides) to meet and examine the mentally challenged prisoners for their repatriation,” a statement issued from Foreign Office said.Foreign Minister also expressed the hope that India would positively reciprocate Pakistan’s proposals, in the spirit that they have been made. He also stated that it was his desire that through such initiatives, Pakistan and India would embark on the road to a comprehensive dialogue and make a conscious effort to de-escalate the extremely vitiated current environment and the situation on the Line of Control and the Working Boundary.the hindu
Rohingya refugee case: SC grants Centre more time to file affidavit
New Delhi:The Supreme Court has granted more time to the Centre to file an affidavit in the Rohingya refugees case, where it argued that India did not want to become the world’s refugee capital. Earlier this year in February, the Centre had responded to a plea which alleged that Rohingya refugees who wanted to enter India after fleeing persecution in Myanmar were being ‘pushed back’ at border by BSF in violation of UN principle of non-refoulement.Advocate Prashant Bhushan, appearing for two Rohingya refugees who are in camps in India, had argued that BSF had adopted a policy called “non-engagement” to prevent the influx of more refugees from Myanmar. Bhushan told the court, “By this policy, the BSF does not arrest the Rohingya trying to enter India, but they push them back and do not allow them to pass through the border. Indian security forces push back Rohingya refugees using chilli and stun grenades.” indianexpress
Rs 2,000 crore compensation package approved for PoK refugees from J-K: Govt
New Delhi:The Govt  said it had sanctioned a Rs 2,000-crore compensation package for the refugees from Pakistan-occupied Kashmir (PoK) living in J&K .In a written statement, Union minister of state for home Hansraj Gangaram Ahir told Rajya Sabha that the financial package was sanctioned on Dec. 22, 2016.He said 36,384 families were provided Rs 5.5 lakh each.PTI
J-K: 17 protesters died of pellet gun injuries in 2016-17, says Home Ministry
17 protesters died of pellet gun injuries in J&K  in the past two years, the Rajya Sabha was informed on Wednesday. Union Minister of State for Home Hansraj Gangaram Ahir also said that two security persons were killed by protesters in the Valley in 2016.As many as 13 protesters were killed in 2016 when security forces used pellet guns to thwart the agitators while four other protesters were killed in 2017, he said. The minister in a written reply also said the Govt has constituted an expert committee on July 26, 2016 to explore other possible alternatives to pellet guns as non-lethal weapons.PTI
Dawood 'Keen To Return To India', But Indian Govt Not Agreeing To Preconditions: Lawyer
Established criminal lawyer Shyam Keswani on Tuesday said that mafia don Dawood Ibrahim Kaskar, who is wanted for his role in the 1993 Bombay blasts and is currently in Pakistan, is "keen to return to India" but his preconditions were not agreed to b Indian Govt. Keswani, speaking to media outside Thane Court where he was representing Dawood's brother Iqbal Ibrahim in an extortion case, said that among Dawood's conditions are that he should be lodged only in the high-security precincts of the Arthur Road Central Jail in Mumbai."He had also conveyed his intentions through (ex-union minister and eminent lawyer) Ram Jethmalani a few years ago but the Indian Govt  has not entertained any of his preconditions to return," Keswani said.newsworldindia
As tussle over AP special status continues, TDP ministers may quit Modi Cabinet soon
Vijayawada:There are reports that TDP is all set to end its alliance with BJP at the Centre amid the continuing dispute over special package for Andhra Pradesh.TOI reported on Wednesday that after the Centre refused to grant special category status to AP, most of TDP MLAs and MLCs are believed to have told the party leadership to pull out of the Modi-led NDA Govt  at the Centre. In fact, TDP chief and AP CM N Chandrababu Naidu is reported to be preparing to start the pull out by asking two TDP ministers - Ashok Gajapathi Raju and YS Chowdhary – to resign from the Narendra Modi Cabinet.As TDP MPs continued to stage protest inside and outside Parliament over the issue, Naidu today said “the Centre must fulfill assurances made in Rajya Sabha including Special Category Status, provisions of AP Reorganization Act, and give hand holding to Andhra Pradesh. Until we achieve these, TDP MPs will continue to fight inside and outside Parliament.”TOI
Violence continues in Lanka despite emergency
A shop and a mosque in central Sri Lanka have been attacked as communal violence continues in the South Asian island nation despite the declaration of a state of emergency over anti-Muslim riots.A resident of Madawala, a village close to the hill city of Kandy, said he saw a shop burning at 11:30pm on Tuesday, just hours after President Maithiripala Sirisena issued the emergency decree and imposed a curfew there."I heard a building was on fire and went outside to take a look and saw a massive blaze," Mohamed Manazir said.The shop which sold spare parts belonged to a Muslim man, he said."There are no other major incidents in Madawala. The police and army have taken full control of the area now, and the fire brigade has succeeded in putting out the fire," Manazir said.Ground Views, a local news website, meanwhile said mobs attacked a mosque in the Wattegama village, located to the northeast of Kandy. Colombo-based website posted on Twitter pictures of a shattered glass door and a broken chairs, and an audio clip from a man who said he was inside the mosque when the attack happened."The mosque is under attack by mobs. Police are shooting," he was quoted as saying by Ground Views.  aljazeera
Sri Lanka: Mobs clash with police, torch mosque
Lanka: Political rhetoric leaves minorities insecure
Jamaat-e-Islami Hind expresses serious concern over anti-Muslims violence in Sri Lanka
New Delhi: Jamaat-e-Islami Hind has expressed serious concern over the situation in Sri Lanka. In a statement to the media today, JIH President Maulana Syed Jalaluddin Umari said: ''We are deeply concerned about reports coming from Sri Lanka related to imposition of an emergency to control large scale violence against Muslims in the towns around the city of Kandy. We urge the government of Sri Lanka to take stern action against the rioters and quickly address fears regarding the safety and security of Muslims in the affected areas’’.Maulana Umari stated: “There are certain Sri Lankan lawmakers who are using provocative language while some local religious leaders are inciting violence. They should be apprehended and confidence building measures should be initiated so that normalcy is restored as soon as possible.” He welcomed the statement of Sri Lankan Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe who has condemned the targeting of minorities as “racist and violent acts.” and asked for being aware of the values of peace, respect, unity and freedom.Regarding India’s role, the JIH President urged the government of India to partner with the Sri Lankans to ensure a swift resolution of the problem and support them to counter the violence against minorities.
  US lauds Afghan offer to open talks with Taliban
US has lauded Afghan President Ashraf Ghani's offer to open negotiations with the Afghan Taliban, with senior US State Dept official Alice Wells saying armed group has some "legitimate grievances" over governance. "We've always said that the legitimate grievances raised by the Taliban over justice, over corruption, over predatory governance of the past - those issues need to be resolved," said Wells at a press briefing in Washington on Monday.Last week, President Ghani offered Taliban peace talks "without preconditions", with a view towards recognising the armed group, which has been fighting US and Afghan forces for 16 years, as a legitimate political party.Wells welcomed Ghani's proposal, saying the Kabul conference at which it was made was "a really historic and benchmark event".Afghan Taliban have yet to formally respond to the offer.The group has been resurgent in the battlefield in recent months, with a US watchdog reporting in October that 43 % of the country was being contested between the Afghan Govt  and the Taliban.In January, a BBC study found that the Afghan Taliban directly controlled 4 % of the country, but were openly active in 70%of Afghanistan.Responding to a question on relations with Pakistan, Wells appeared to soften US position on Afghanistan's eastern neighbour, with whom relations have been fraught since last year.aljazeera
Syria army intensifies fight against rebels in Ghouta
Rebels in Syria's Eastern Ghouta "refuse to leave" and have reiterated they will defend the area, saying a Russian-proposed withdrawal was not a serious offer, a spokesperson of one of the rebel groups in the enclave said.Wael Olwan, of the Failaq al-Rahman (Rahman Legion), a major armed group linked to the Free Syrian Army in Eastern Ghouta, said on Wednesday that Moscow insists on using military escalation as a means to cause "mass displacement"."Russia's persistence at causing mass displacement is a crime that cannot be ignored," he said.Earlier on Wednesday, Reuters reported that a military spokesperson for an unnamed rebel group said that they will not accept a negotiation brought forward by Russia.Since Feb.18, Russian-backed Govt  warplanes intensified their bombardment of Eastern Ghouta, killing at least 770 people to date, according to the SOHR.aljazeera
Aid groups vow to deliver life-saving supplies to Ghouta
Geneva:UN will try to resume the delivery of critical food and health supplies to the town of Douma in Syria's Eastern Ghouta on March 8 if conditions allow, UN officials have announced.A UN spokesperson said Tuesday that a humanitarian aid convoy carrying food and health supplies for 75,000 people was only partially able to unload its content on Monday, as heavy shelling from and into Eastern Ghouta continued, forcing the convoy to retreat. aljazeera
US-backed Syria force to redeploy 1,700 from IS fight to Afrin
Raqa:A US-backed alliance of Syrian fighters has announced it would redeploy around 1,700 members from front lines against the Islamic State group to a Kurdish enclave under Turkish attack.Turkey and allied Syrian rebels are waging a weeks-long offensive on Afrin, which is held by a Kurdish militia that makes up the bulk of the SDF. At a news conference on Tuesday, SDF announced it would pull fighters out of areas of eastern Syria, where they have been fighting pockets of IS jihadists, in order to shore up defences in Afrin. "We took the difficult decision to pull our forces out of Deir Ezzor province and battlefronts against Daesh to head to the Afrin battle," said Abu Omar al-Idlibi, an SDF commander, saying his fighters numbered 1,700. US and coalition officials have said they will not get involved in the Afrin fighting and expressed concern it would detract from the SDF's operations against IS. "We fought Daesh. We helped the coalition in Raqa, but without the coalition defending its partners," Idlibi said.AFP 
Brotherhood Supreme Guide “dying slowly” in Egypt: daughter
The daughter of Egypt’s Muslim Brotherhood Supreme Guide wrote on her Facebook page yesterday that her father is suffering from illnesses contracted inside the Egyptian prison where he is being incarcerated and doesn’t have any blankets or soap.Duha Mohamed Badie said that her father is “dying slowly” in Tora prison.“Blankets have been taken away [from my father’s prison cell]. He has been sleeping on the floor for more than a year now, and without blankets. The only chair in the cell has been taken away,” she wrote.Since a 2013 military coup that ousted President Mohamed Morsi, who hails from the Brotherhood, the group’s leaders and members have been subjected to an unprecedented crackdown. A series of arrest campaigns has left hundreds behind bars.Many members of Brotherhood, like Badie, are facing multiple trials in multiple court cases and are serving prison sentences or being held in pre-trial detention.Mohamed Badie, 74, is suffering from several health problems: “He cannot sit on the floor or get up without leaning on that chair, and he cannot prostrate or even kneel [during the Muslim prayer]. He used to pray [sitting] on that chair.”Duha Badie also complained that her father is not even allowed to use the washroom in privacy. Officers “storm cells at any time,” violating Badie’s privacy, she wrote.Duha Badie asked, “How can [this happen to] an old man who has been denied [family] visits for a year and a half, and has been held in solitary confinement for nearly 5 years?”       MEMO
Military operation displaces residents in Sinai
Al Jazeera has obtained exclusive footage from the Sinai Peninsula that shows the aftermath of a major Egyptian military operation that began a month ago against armed groups in the desert region.Witnesses told Al Jazeera the military has demolished schools and dozens of homes, using heavy weapons and arms machinery that range from howitzers, fighter jets, tanks and attack helicopters. Tawfik Hamid, an Egypt domestic affairs analyst, said that there was a deliberate message behind the show of arms."It has a very strong symbolic meaning by sending a message both to the radicals and Egyptian people [who] want to feel that something is being done seriously," Hamid told said.Yet the destruction in the Sinai has displaced many residents, who say they have nothing to return to.Al Jazeera
Indonesian Islamic varsity bans burqas on campus
An Indonesian state Islamic university faced criticism from Muslim groups and activists on Wednesday after it banned female students from wearing full-face veils citing fears over the spread of radical ideology on the campus.Indonesia is home to the world’s largest Muslim population, the majority of whom practice a moderate form of Islam.But the country has seen a recent rise in more conservative interpretations of the religion, which many see as a threat to its long-standing reputation for religious tolerance and diversity. State Islamic University in Yogyakarta city, on Java island, said it had 41 students using full veil, or burqa, who would be offered counselling sessions and ultimately be asked to take off the veil if they wanted to graduate. Reuters
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Kashmir: Civilian killings threaten new anti-India protests;Rifat Fareed, aljazeera

Compiled and edited by Anwarulhaq (Released at: 5:14 PM)


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