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Thursday, 8 March 2018

8 March ND: SC restores Hadiya’s marriage, sets aside Kerala HC order, no relief to her husband from NIA probe/ UN human rights chief says he is disturbed by discrimination against Dalits, Muslims in India




Evening NEWS DIGEST  
8 March 2018:19 Jamadiul-2 1439:Vol:9, No:137
INDIA
SC restores Hadiya’s marriage, sets aside Kerala HC order, no relief to her husband from NIA probe
New Delhi: Upholding freedom of choice, the Supreme Court in a landmark judgement on Thursday restored the marriage of 26-year-old Hadiya and set aside the May 2017 Kerala high court order that had annulled her marriage with Shafin Jahan. The judgment is in line with the apex court’s statements over the previous few hearings, when it said that a 26-year-old woman has the freedom to make her own marital choices and the courts cannot intervene in a consensual marriage.The bench was headed by CJI Dipak Misra and also comprised Justices D.Y. Chandrachud and A.M. Khanwilkar. Hadiya, born a Hindu, had converted to Islam to marry Jahan, setting off cries of religious conversion by the Hindu Right which termed it as ‘love jihad‘. In its ruling, the Supreme Court also said that the Kerala high court should not have annulled the marriage in the first place. However, according to LiveLaw, the court also said that NIA can continue its investigations into whether there was any criminality involved, but it shouldn’t  probe into the marriage. The court also reportedly said that Hadiya was free to pursue her future endeavours as per law.According to NewsMinute, during the hearing, the Supreme Court bench reiterated that the court cannot intervene in the case of a marriage between two consenting adults.“Marriage, plurality and individual choices should be zealously guarded from state intervention,” the bench reportedly said.The bench also said that however good or bad a marriage is, the HC cannot annul a marriage, saying that “the state cannot be allowed to enter into the marriage whether it approves of it or not.”In addition to annulling the marriage, the Kerala high court had said that Hadiya was to be in the custody of her parents (who opposed her conversion and choice of partner).THE WIRE
SC upholds Hadiya and Shafin’s marriage
Kerala love jihad: Didn't portray Hadiya's spouse as terrorist, says NIA
New Delhi: NIA has denied in the Supreme Court the allegation of Akhila alias Hadiya, involved in Kerala’s love jihad that she was misled to portray her husband Shafin Jahan as a terrorist and also of treating her as a criminal.In an affidavit filed on Wednesday, NIA denied that the agency behaved with her with a prejudice as if she is a criminal or a terrorist. The allegation was baseless as NIA was conducting investigation in a fair and objective manner based upon evidence and material collected so far.. It also said that the allegation that Shafin Jahan was portrayed as a terrorist was incorrect and it had carried out the probe under directions of the apex court and whatever it had stated reflected in the status report filed by the agency.Regarding the probe, NIA said it had almost completed the investigation except examination of 2 individuals, Fasal Musthafa and Shirin Shahand, who are material and crucial witnesses in the case. Asian Age
SC sets aside Kerala HC order, reinstates Hadiya's marriage; no relief to her husband from NIA probe
Hadiya's was an 'adjustment' marriage, will consider moving review plea: father
Kochi: KM Asokan, father of Hadiya, said he would consider moving a review petition in the Supreme Court against its judgement setting aside a Kerala High Court order annulling her marriage with a Muslim man. "Will consider filing a review petition," he told reporters, reacting to the ruling by the apex court bench headed by CJI Dipak Misra.He maintained that his daughter's marriage with Shafin Jahan was an act of "adjustment" done by a group. "It was a kind of an adjustment marriage. There is no doubt. I will try to convince the court about it once again," he said. PTI
Muslim daughter can inherit from Hindu father: Gujarat HC
Ahmedabad: A division bench of Gujarat high court on Wednesday held that a woman, who follows a religion other than Hinduism, is entitled to the inheritance of her Hindu father’s ancestral property, according to the Hindu Succession Act.A bench of Chief Justice RS Reddy and Justice VM Pancholi upheld an order passed by a single-judge bench to this effect and dismissed an appeal against the order, said advocate Dhruv Dave, who represented the woman, who had converted to Islam and renounced her Hindu faith.The case involves Naina alias Nasimbanu Firozkhan Pathan from Vemali village in Vadodara. She renounced Hinduism and embraced Islam to marry Firozkhan, a Muslim man, in 1991. Her father Bhikha Patel passed away in 2004, leaving behind certain land parcels in the village. When she staked a claim to the property and applied to enter her name on the list of heirs, her sister and brother opposed it on the ground that she was not eligible to inherit the property because she had converted.Interestingly, the deputy collector held that Muslim woman was entitled to inherit the property. But the district collector and state revenue secretary overturned the decision and said that as Naina had embraced Islam, the provisions of the inheritance laws for Hindus could not be applied in her case.TOI
UN human rights chief says he is disturbed by discrimination against Dalits, Muslims in India
UN human rights chief has said he was disturbed by the discrimination and violence directed at Dalits, people from other scheduled castes, and religious minorities such as Muslims in India.In an annual report to the UN Human Rights Council, High Commissioner for Human Rights Zeid Ra’ad al-Hussein said, “In some cases, this injustice appears actively endorsed by local or religious officials.”“I am concerned that criticism of government policies is frequently met by claims that it constitutes sedition or a threat to national security,” the human rights chief added. “I am deeply concerned by efforts to limit critical voices through cancellation or suspension of registration of thousands of NGOs, including groups advocating for human rights and even public health groups.”Al-Hussein also criticised Syria for its continued offensive in Ghouta. scroll.in
AIMPLB spokesman Sajjad Nomani booked for sedition for 9 Feb.speech in Huderabad
Lucknow: UP Police has booked AIMPLB spokesman Maulana Sajjad Nomani on sedition charges for allegedly hurting religious feelings during a speech in Hyderabad. Hazratganj police registered a case on Wednesday against Nomani based on a complaint by head, UP Shia Waqf Board, Waseem Rizvi. The complainant has alleged that Nomani in his Feb.9 speech in the general council meeting of the All India Muslim Personal Law Board (AIMPLB) in Hyderabad had deliberately hurt religious feelings, police said.“Referring to Rohingya Muslims, Nomani said attempts are underway to make the situation of Indian Muslims like that of their Rohingya counterparts. He even said he had proof of arms, ammunition and training being given to all, even in the smallest of villages, to make Indian Muslims suffer.“This speech was widely broadcast by TV channels, which had a mass impact,”  Rizvi said. He also gave CDs as proof to the police to back his complaint.Nomani, however rubbished the allegations as false and baseless.PTI
 Wasim Rizvi complains against AIMPLB spokesman Nomani  over 'provocative' speech in Hyderabad
Complaint lodged against Sri Sri in Jamia Nagar police station
New Delhi: A political leader of Okhla, Parvez Aalam Khan lodged a complaint against Sri Sri Ravi Shankar, founder of Art of Living against his remark in connection with Babri Masjid dispute. The complaint was lodged in Jamia Nagar police station against Sri Sri on the charges of promoting uprising and anarchy in the country and threatening Muslims.Aalam who is associated with Congress party clearly mentioned that if FIR is not filed against Sri Sri’s controversial remark then he will move to Court and take legal action against him. He said Babri Masjid issue is not related to one or two Muslims but is related to crores of Muslims across the country and we have faith in Court and we will accept whatever judgment comes.Parvez said that Sri Sri’s remark is a threat against integrity and solidarity of the country hence complaint has been lodged in police station.siasat
Expelled AIMPLB member Nadvi to form ‘Manavta Kalyan Board’
Lucknow:Expelled member of AIMPLB, Maulana Salman Nadvi, announced he is setting up a ‘Manavta Kalyan Board’ with an aim to spread the message of humanity in the society.“I am constituting the board to spread message of humanity. It will have members of all the religions. The objective is to stand united where ever there is an atrocity on anyone irrespective of his caste,” Nadvi told reporters here.He said that while AIMPLB was for issues related to personal laws, there was a need to constitute a board, from where voice of the oppressed could be raised.Not only Muslims, people from all religions can raise their voice from this forum, he said. “There was no such platform after 1947 from where issues related to all castes and religions were taken and attempts could be made to resolve contentious issues,” he said.Asked about the Ayodhya issue, Nadvi said the issue was not on his agenda at present.“I tried for an amicable solution but both the communities are not ready,” he said..The proposed Manavta Kalyan Board will have a former chief justice as its president and will have separate committees for society reform, legal assistance, medical help, women’s rights, children’s rights and an application bench besides others.PTI
Muslim man sentenced to 2 yrs’ jail for bigamy; 2nd marriage termed as crime under Special Marriage Act as it overrules any religious legal code
Pune: In a unique judgment, a Muslim man was sentenced to 2 years of rigorous imprisonment for bigamy. Accused had married his first wife under the Special Marriage Act as well as Islamic laws and rituals. Prosecution pointed out that his second marriage was a crime under the Act and overruled any religious legal code. The wife, Dr Sana Shaikh, had filed a plea in court and asked that charges of bigamy be added to her complaint of cruelty against her husband Zarar Khan.  She had also accused her in-laws of cruelty.She also stated in her complaint that on Jan.1, 2016, Khan married a second time. When the case came up for trial, assistant public prosecutor Sanjay Dixit filed an application, requesting that insert Section 494 (bigamy) of IPC be added. Dixit said, “As per Section 44 of the Special Marriage Act, the provisions are binding on every religion. In this case, the couple has performed their marriage as per this Act and also Muslim rites and rituals. But, Special Marriage Act overrules provisions of Muslim law and therefore bigamy is a crime.” “Prosecution submitted that the accused has admitted that he had performed a second marriage and we have no need to prove the fact. The admission itself is proof enough,”public prosecutor added. While pronouncing the judgment, Judicial Magistrate First Class, NS Saraf stated that though the couple had married according to Islamic law, Section 44 of the Special Marriage Act does not discriminate according to caste, creed or religion. When the accused requested the court to execute the good behaviour bond, the court stated that the only good behaviour that could be accepted from him was to repent, return to his wife and discontinue his second marriage. As long he was not prepared to do so, there was no question of any probation for good conduct. The court acquitted Khan and his family of all other charges, including 498 A (cruelty). But he was sentenced to two years of RI for the offence of bigamy.Pune Mirror
RSS outreach to Muslims : Monthly pension for divorced women, free books for orphans
Having apparently succeeded in making some inroads into the Muslim community, especially among women, by aggressively campaigning against “triple talaaq”, RSS has begun a second and subtle round of wooing the minorities. The move assumes significance in the run-up to the crucial 2019 Lok Sabha polls, where the BJP under Prime Minister Narendra Modi would be seeking a second term.While RSS — BJP’s ideological parent — vehemently denies that it is “doing anything of this sort”, its affiliate organisations like .(MRM) have undertaken an aggressive plan to romance the minorities, particularly women. And for this, they have started first-of-its-kind initiatives like monthly pensions for divorced Muslim women, and freebies like books and uniforms for orphans in many parts of the country.In Uttar Pradesh alone, which accounts for 80 of the Lok Sabha’s 543 elected seats, the MRM has adopted some 700 families under its unique pension scheme that is being run in Varanasi, Gorakhpur and the Bundelkhand region. Muslims comprise about 20 percent of Uttar Pradesh’s 220 million population.Denying any RSS role in these pro-minority moves, Indresh Kumar, “guide” of MRM, says the organisation was being run by “nationalist and well-meaning Muslims who wanted their community to shun dogmas and become progressive in life”. He said that they were moving fast in the direction of achieving their objectives. “Hum tez gati se aage badh rahe hain,” he mused while pointing out how the number of volunteers was swelling, “irrespective of the negative portrayal by the media”.He added that initiatives like the monthly pension scheme of Rs 500 per divorced woman were efforts to “bring light” to the otherwise dark and gloomy setting these women are forced to live in.IANS
Delhi court extends AAP MLAs’ judicial custody by 14 days in chief secretary ‘assault’ case
A court in Delhi has extended by 14 days the judicial custody of AAP MLAs Amanatullah Khan and Prakash Jarwal, who were arrested for allegedly assaulting Delhi Chief Secretary Anshu Prakash in Feb, PTI reported. The order was passed by Metropolitan Magistrate Shefali Barnala Tandon.The case will be now be heard by a special court in the Patiala House Courts complex following a Delhi High Court order. The High Court had designated two special courts to deal with criminal cases against elected members of Parliament and legislative assemblies.On March 1, the High Court had asked the city police to respond to Jarwal’s bail petition within a week and file a status report on the matter by March 7. Delhi High Court told an Assembly committee not to insist Chief Secretary Anshu Prakash to appear before it in connection with a complaint against him in an alleged bank fraud case. The Question and Reference Committee’s move to issue a notice to the bureaucrat seemed like an attempt to circumvent the law, Justice Rajiv Shakdher observed.scroll.in
TDP ministers Gajapathi Raju, YS Chowdary resign, say will continue with NDA alliance
PM Narendra Modi on Thursday spoke to AP CM Chandrababu Naidu, day after TDP chief announced to pull out of the NDA government at the Centre due to inadequate allocation of funds for the state in this year’s Union budget.Civil Aviation minister P Ashok Gajapati Raju and Union minister of Science and Technology YS Chowdary later met the PM at 7 Lok Kalyan Marg and handed over their resignation letters.Earlier in the day, Naidu had targeted the BJP government at the Centre for behaving as “callously” as the Congress government did during bifurcation in 2014. Addressing the budget session of the state legislative Assembly, Naidu added that regional parties have to take tough decisions to protect their interests.In the wake of TDP’s decision to pull out of the government, two BJP ministers resigned from Naidu’s Cabinet this morning. Kamineni Srinivas, Health and Medical Education minister, and P Manikyala Rao, Endowments Minister, tendered their resignations to the chief minister this morning, ahead of the start of the state Budget session. Indianexpress
Kashmir: Civilian killings must stop, forces should show restraint, says govt’s interlocutor
New Delhi: Indian govt’s interlocutor on Kashmir on Wednesday appealed to the security forces to “show restraint” in Valley and put an end to “civilian killings”, describing the recent spate of violence in the region as a “setback”.“Civilian killings must stop. The security forces must show restraint and not resort to disproportionate firing,’’ Dineshwar Sharma, a former chief of the IB, said in an interview..“I was hoping for a better summer but violence has come as a setback. Amongst the districts in south Kashmir, Shopian is particularly alienated and angry. We must be sensitive while dealing with the people of Kashmir,’’ he added.hindustantimes
Kathua rape and murder being hushed up by ‘communal narrative’:J&K women’s group
A group of women from J&K condemned the “horrifying politicisation and communalisation” of an eight-year-old girl’s rape and murder in Jammu’s Kathua district. In a statement, the women alleged that “vested interests” were “trying to sabotage investigations”. Not just fringe groups, “2 senior sitting ministers” from the ruling alliance of PDP and BJP are also politicising the crime, the group claimed. “We feel there is a deliberate attempt to hush up the case by building up a communal narrative around the heinous crime and its investigations,” the women said.14 women signed the statement, which is meant to lead up to an online signature campaign demanding justice for child. Anuradha Bhasin, executive editor of Kashmir Times, Shehla Rashid Shora, former vice president of JNU Students’ Union, and author Nitasha Kaul are among the activists, academics, journalists and advocates who signed statement.scroll.in
Gujarat HC notice to Teesta Setalvad on Gujarat plea for pre-arrest bail cancellation
Ahmedabad: Gujarat High Court today issued a fresh notice to social activist Teesta Setalvad on a plea of the Gujarat government to cancel her anticipatory bail in connection with a 2011 offence pertaining to alleged fabrication of evidence in the 2002 Naroda Gam riot case.Justice JB Pardiwala issued the notice as the one issued last week could not be served to Setalvad due to some technical reason.The state govt last week moved the HC after the Supreme Court on Dec.6 disposed of Setalvad's appeal challenging the decision of HC upholding a magisterial court order for a probe against her former close aide, Rais Khan Pathan.While issuing the notice last week, judge Pardiwala observed that "since the proceedings have been concluded by the SC, the matter is now ripe for hearing".On the basis of Pathan's submissions, the special court-ordered filing of an FIR against him in a magisterial court.PTI 
Statues of Gandhi, Ambedkar vandalised in Kerala, Tamil Nadu
The statues of Mahatma Gandhi and BR Ambedkar were found vandalised in Kerala and Tamil Nadu on Thursday, the latest in a series of attacks on statues of political figures across country.In Kannur’s Thaliparamba area, the spectacles of the Gandhi statue were damaged by unknown miscreants. The police have arrested one man in connection with the incident. “He is mentally unstable and we are ruling out any political relation,” ANI quoted a police officer as saying.In Chennai’s Tiruvottiyur area, unidentified people poured red paint on Ambedkar’s bust. The acts of vandalism follow PM Narendra Modi’s condemnation of such incidents. He had asked states to take stern action against those accountable. Madras High Court on Wednesday ordered the Tamil Nadu govt to provide protection to the statues of all leaders in the state. It also directed the administration to ensure that law and order is maintained, not disrupted.scroll.in
Dawood aide and 1993 Mumbai blasts accused Mohamed Farooq extradited from Dubai
Dawood Ibrahim’s aide Mohamed Farooq alias Farooq Takla has been extradited from Dubai in the UAE and brought to India on Thursday morning.Farooq, who is wanted in the 1993 Mumbai serial blasts case, will be produced before the Terrorist and Disruptive Activities court in Mumbai around 11 am on Thursday, ANI reported. CBI is currently interrogating him. At the request of Indian authorities, the Interpol had issued a red corner notice against him in 1995. The notice is intended to locate and provisionally arrest individuals pending extradition. According to the notice, the charges that Farooq faces include criminal conspiracy, murder, attempt to murder and voluntarily causing hurt by dangerous weapons or means.scroll
AP: Swamy Paripoornananda demands shifting of Islamic University
Tirumala:Chief pontiff of Sri Peetham Swamy Paripoornanda on Tuesday kicked up a row by demanding that the State government shift the Islamic university at Thondavada from the present location. Expressing concern over the location of the university, which has been built in the vicinity of the historical Thimmappa temple, about 11 km from Tirupati, he said the government should initiate steps for the shifting of the university to either Kadapa or Ajmer.He said the authorities should expedite steps for renovating the Thimmappa temple which enjoyed equal fame on a par with the Tirumala temple some about 700 years ago. The environs of the temple have been encroached upon. The fact that only the remains of the temple exist in the form of few pillars reflect the negligence of the consecutive governments, he alleged.thehindu
Over 14,000 Gujarati women went missing in 2 years
Gandhinagar: On the eve of International Women’s day, the BJP government in Gujarat admitted that 14,004 women from the state were reported missing during the last two years — of these, about 76 per cent were found during the same period.This information was furnished in the Gujarat Legislative Assembly by Minister of State for Home Pradeepsinh Jadeja on Wednesday.The minister said that while 10,720 women were found during this time, the whereabouts of the remaining women were still not known.The urban conglomerates of Ahmedabad and Surat recorded maximum cases of missing women during this time-period, with 2,905 women from Ahmedabad and 2,626 women from Surat reported missing.Besides women, over 4,900 children also were reported missing during these two years.IANS
Indian architect Doshi wins 2018 Pritzker Prize
Long considered to be one of India’s foremost living architects and urban planners, Doshi is widely known for designing extensive low-cost housing projects and public institutionsIndian architect Balkrishna Doshi was awarded this year's Pritzker Prize for being able to interpret architecture and transform it into buildings that respect Eastern culture, at the same time that he has improved the quality of life in his homeland, according to the judging panel's statement. Pritzker Prize is regarded as architecture's equivalent to the Nobel Prize.IANS
Thane: Mumbra’s Al Fukran Masjid invites all for a ‘peace mission’
Mumbai: Every religion has its own beauty and customs. People from various religion fancy about the practices from other religions. There are many myths involved about the practices in Muslim religion. To get to know the religion that preaches love, the Muslim community has initiated to welcome guests from other religion to visit and get to know the place of worship a ‘masjid’ at Mumbra. Jamat e-Islami Hind is an organisation that has initiated this project of peace in Mumbra. “This initiative is a part of peace mission. There were lot of confusion and many people had fascination about the inner world of masjids. Hence, the initiative. We are here to show our non-muslims communities how the masjid perform as in prayers and the inner world of the mosque,” Ahmad Asre of Jamat informs us.There are many places in world where masjids are the part of tourist attraction and people do visit them as a heritage or historical place. But most of them do not know the preaching of religion and also does not know the practices that are been followed. Masjids are watched from outside, but many other religion following people do not try and enter in it. Al Fukran Masjid on Sharifa Road, Mumbra will be welcoming the guests from various places.freepressjournal
WORLD
Israel passes law to strip residency of Jerusalem's Palestinians
Israeli parliament has passed a law that allows the minister of interior to revoke the residency rights of any Palestinian in Jerusalem on grounds of a "breach of loyalty" to Israel. The bill, ratified on Wednesday, will also apply in cases where residency status was obtained on the basis of false information, and in cases where "an individual committed a criminal act" in the view of the interior ministry. Under the new measure, Israel's Interior Minister Aryeh Deri, leader of the ultra-Orthodox political party Shas, will be able to strip the residency documents of any Palestinian whom he deems a threat. Hanan Ashrawi, a senior member of Palestine Liberation Organisation, described the law as "an extremely racist piece of legislation. "By unethically stripping the residency of Palestinians from Jerusalem and depriving the rights of those Palestinians to remain in their own city, the Israeli government is acting in defiance of international law and is violating international human rights and humanitarian laws," said Ashrawi, according to a statement published on Wafa, the official Palestinian news agency. Aljazeera
Macron: France will recognise Jerusalem as Israel’s capital one day
France will recognise Jerusalem as the capital of Israel one day, French President Emmanuel Macron told Jewish groups in Paris yesterday, Ynet News reported. At an annual dinner hosted by CRIF, the Representative Council of French Jewish Institutions, Macron responded to the request from the head of the organisation for France to recognise Jerusalem, saying that the government would do so “at the right moment”.“It would not be honest on my part to make you happy for one evening with such a declaration,” he said, later adding," The day will come and France will recognise Jerusalem as the capital of Israel at the right time."He argued that making such a statement would result in France relinquishing “our status as a fair mediator, only status that benefits the region in the current situation.”MEMO
Palestinian National Council to convene this month without Hamas
PLO’s Executive Committee decided yesterday to hold a meeting of the Palestinian National Council (PNC), the highest national body, at the end of the month, Quds Press reported.Executive Committee said that convention of the PNC on 30 March aims to choose new members for the Executive Committee. PNC, which includes representatives for the Palestinians from the occupied territories and diaspora, MPs, factions’ leaders and independent politicians, was established in 1948.It does not include Hamas, which achieved an overwhelming majority in last general election held in 2006, nor does it include Islamic Jihad.MEMO
Israel demolishes 2,000 Palestinian homes in West Bank, Jerusalem over last 12 years
Israeli authorities have demolished at least 1,964 Palestinian homes in the occupied West Bank and East Jerusalem over the last 12 years, according to new data by human rights NGO B’Tselem.From 2006 until the end of February this year, Israel demolished at least 1,328 Palestinian homes in the West Bank, making 5,979 Palestinians homeless – including at least 3,025 children.In East Jerusalem over the same time period, meanwhile, which Israel has illegally annexed, 636 Palestinian homes were demolished, leaving 2,353 homeless (including 1,276 children).middleeastmonitor
Israel govt council spent millions on unauthorised settlement outposts
An Israeli local authority spent “millions of shekels” building infrastructure for unauthorised settlement outposts in the occupied West Bank, reported Haaretz. According to the paper, official documents show that the Mateh Binyamin Regional Council spent $1.9 million over a three-year period from 2013-2015, funding the construction of “infrastructure, roads and buildings at the outposts”.The data was received as part of a Freedom of Information request filed with the regional council by Peace Now.middleeastmonitor
Lanka 'on the brink' amid fresh anti-Muslim violence
Ambatenna: Sinhalese Buddhist mob came by the hundreds, screaming at the top of their lungs and carrying sticks, stones and petrol bombs, as they descended on the hill town of Ambatenna in central Sri Lanka on Wednesday.Some 2 dozen policemen and soldiers watched helplessly, according to residents, as the mob vandalised and set fire to Muslim homes and businesses in the town's Welekada area."We were so scared," Fathima Zameer said, clutching her 3-week-old infant as she recounted the violence that swept through her neighbourhood that morning."We have nowhere to go. They broke all the windows in my house. Our whole house is burnt."Mob, which witnesses said was between 200 and 500-strong, overran Welekada defying a curfew and a state of emergency imposed by President Maithiripala Sirisena a day earlier to quell anti-Muslim riots that began in the highland district of Kandy over the weekend. In Welekada, rioters vandalised at least 15 houses belonging to Sri Lanka's Muslim minority and a mosque, residents said. 4 of the buildings and several vehicles were also torched.The attacks have raised fears of a return to conflict and instability in Sri Lanka, less than a decade after the South Asian island nation ended a bloody civil war with Tamil separatists.The latest bout of communal violence began on Sunday when a man from the mainly Buddhist Sinhalese majority died after being beaten by a group of Muslim men over a traffic accident in the town of Teledeniya in Kandy, an area famous for its tea plantations and Buddhist religious sites.The next day, hundreds of Sinhala Buddhists, mostly outsiders, according to officials and residents, poured into Kandy and attacked and torched dozens of Muslim businesses, houses and mosques. The body of a 23-year-old Muslim man was found in a burned building, and the government, fearing more violence, imposed a state of emergency on Tuesday. It also deployed the army and extended a police curfew in the region.The violence, however, continued. Govt has also suspended internet services in the area and blocked access to Facebook and other social messaging applications including Whatsapp and Viber in an attempt to halt incendiary rumours. aljazeera
Sri Lanka Prez removes PM Wickremesinghe as law and order minister after communal riots
3rd rape case filed against Muslim scholar Ramadan:Reuters
Paris: A 45-year-old woman filed a new rape case in France on Wednesday against Swiss academic Tariq Ramadan, the third against the Islamic studies professor, judicial sources said on Wednesday.The woman accused Ramadan of violent sexual assault on multiple occasions between early 2013 and June 2014, according to the filing seen by Reuters.Ramadan’s lawyers were not immediately available for comment. Ramadan was ordered last month to remain in custody in France and was notified that he was the target of a full investigation into rape allegations, which he denied. Ramadan is a grandson of Hasan al-Banna, an Islamist thinker and activist who founded the Muslim Brotherhood. He enjoys a substantial following among young Muslims and has challenged French restrictions on wearing veils.Reuters
US drone targeting Pakistani Taliban kills 21 in Afghanistan
2 missiles fired from a US drone hit a militant facility in neighboring Afghanistan, killing 21 insurgents, including the son of the head of the Pakistani Taliban, 2 Pakistani intelligence officials and local Taliban commanders said Thursday.The strike, which the officials said took place on Wednesday, targeted a compound frequented by Mullah Fazlullah, the leader of Pakistani Taliban who is believed to be hiding in Afghanistan...The intelligence officials said Fazlullah was apparently not there at the time of the strike in Afghanistan’s Kunar province, miles away from Pakistani border, but his son was killed. AP
Ghouta aid convoy postponed amid heavy shelling
The delivery of aid to Syria's rebel-held Eastern Ghouta has been "postponed", the Red Cross has said, as Syrian government forces stepped up their offensive against rebels in the enclave.An aid convoy was scheduled to reach the besieged area on Thursday, and aimed to deliver much needed medical supplies that were prevented from being delivered earlier this week. On Wednesday, members of the United Nations Security Council called for the immediate implementation of a resolution it had passed on February 24, which demanded a 30-day ceasefire in Syria.aljazeera
Syria regime ready to cut eastern Ghouta in two
Syrian army is poised to slice opposition-held eastern Ghouta in two as forces advancing from the east link up with troops at the enclave’s western edge, a pro-Damascus military commander said today.The advance puts the zone effectively under Syrian government control as the remaining strip of territory was within weapons range.The government, backed in the war by Russia and Iran, is seeking to crush the last major opposition enclave near Damascus in a ferocious campaign that the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights says has killed 898 civilians in the last 18 days, including 91 yesterday.Defeat in eastern Ghouta would mark the worst setback for rebels since the opposition was driven from eastern Aleppo in late 2016 after a similar campaign of siege, bombing, ground assaults and the promise of safe passage out.middleeastmonitor
Saudi prince says Turkey part of “triangle of evil” – Egyptian media
Saudi Arabia’s powerful Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman has described Turkey as part of a “triangle of evil” along with Iran and hardline Islamist groups, Egypt’s Al-Shorouk paper reported. Saudi prince also accused Turkey of trying to reinstate the Islamic Caliphate, abolished nearly a century ago when the Ottoman Empire collapsed.His reported comments reflect Saudi’s deep suspicion of President Tayyip Erdogan, whose ruling AK Party has its roots in Islamist politics and who has allied his country with Qatar in its dispute with Saudi Arabia and some other Gulf states.Turkey has also worked with Iran, Saudi Arabia’s arch-rival in the Middle East, to try to reduce fighting in northern Syria in recent months, and Iranian and Turkish military chiefs exchanged visits last year.MEMO
Kurdish opposition accuses Iran of assassinating prominent leader in Iraq
Kurdistan Democratic Party in Iran has accused the Iranian regime of assassinating prominent leader, Qadir Qadri in Sulaymaniyah province in Iraq.Member of the Kurdistan Democratic Party in Iran, Ibrahim Zewayee, accused the Iranian security services of assassinating Qadri.The incident comes days after another prominent party member, Salah Rahmani, 33, was assassinated in Erbil. Rahmani and Qadri were from Iranian Kurdistan and were Peshmergas for the Democratic Party of Iranian Kurdistan (PDKI).middleeastmonitor
Coca-Cola to launch alcoholic drink in Japan amid shrinking sales in its core business
Soft drinks company Coca-Cola has said it is all set to launch the first alcoholic drink in its 132-year history, The Guardian reported. The drink, which is likely to be sold only in Japan, will be a version of “Chu-Hi”, a canned, sparkling flavoured drink that contains a local spirit known as shochu. Drink has 3% to 8% alcohol content.
FLASH: VIEWS & NEWS
Pluralism, socialism, communal extremism: A decade-wise political journey of Muzaffarpur: Mohammed Sajjad
Can NIA Prove Anything in J&K Terror Funding Case?Surangya Kaur , newsclick
Explainer: TDP’s Anger Against Modi Government and What It Means for BJP:AJOY ASHIRWAD
In Embarrassing Leak, Details of Top Secret India-Seychelles Military Agreement Made Public:DEVIRUPA MITRA
Judicial Aberrations on Gender Issues Are Worrisome:FAIZAN MUSTAFA
Online database of religion-based hate crimes launched:PTI


Compiled and edited by Anwarulhaq (Released at: 7:50 PM)

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