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Saturday, 14 April 2018

14 April ND: India embarrassed as UN chief demands justice for Kathua rape victim/ Unnao rape case: Accused BJP MLA Sengar sent to 7-day custody



Evening NEWS DIGEST  
14 April 2018:26 Rajjab 1439:Vol:9, No:164
INDIA
India embarrassed as UN chief demands justice for Kathua rape victim
Terming as “horrific” the rape and murder of an eight-year-old girl in Jammu and Kashmir’s Kathua district, UN chief Antonio Guterres has expressed hope that the authorities will bring perpetrators of the brutal crime to justice.She was allegedly raped by six men who had held her in captivity in a village temple for a week in January. The victim was drugged, raped repeatedly before being bludgeoned to death.“I think we’ve seen the media reports of this horrific case, of the abuse and the murder of a young girl. We very much hope that the authorities will bring the perpetrators to justice so they can be held accountable for the murder of this young girl,” Guterres’ spokesperson Stephane Dujjaric told reporters at his daily press briefing on Friday.Dujjaric was responding to a question about the Secretary General’s response to the rape and murder of the girl. A SIT of Crime Branch, formed to probe the incident, has arrested eight people, including 2 special police officers, a head constable and a sub-inspector,who were charged with destroying evidence.Expressing anguish over the incident, Prime Minister Narendra Modi, on Friday, called it a “shame” for the country and asserted that the guilty will not be spared.“I want to assure the nation that no criminal will be spared. Justice will be done. Our daughters will get justice,” he said.nationalheraldindia
Kathua rape: Ensure justice, UN to govt; BJP-PDP alliance under threat?
Amid protests, 2 J&K BJP ministers who backed Kathua rape accused, resign
New Delhi:BJP J&K state cabinet ministers Chaudhary Lal Singh and Chander Parkash Ganga, who attended the march in favour of the accused in the Kathua Rape Case, quit J&K Cabinet. The two were under fire for participating in rallies supporting the rape accused. The resignation comes on the backdrop of a nationwide outrage over the alleged rape and murder of an 8-year-old in Kathua district of Jammu and Kashmir. While eight people have been arrested, incident is being exploited by political groups for creating a communal tension.The case, along with Unnao rape incident in Uttar Pradesh, where Kuldeep Sengar, a BJP MLA is the prime accused has resulted in a widespread anger across the nation. BJP at centre as well as in the states- in an alliance with PDP in J&K, and in power in UP under CM Yogi Adityanath- has been under fire for not taking action against the alleged culprits. Chaudhary Lal Singh, forest minister and Chander Parkash Ganga, industries minister had, in March addressed rallies held by one Hindu Ekta Manch in March in support of the accused.TOI
Lawyer Talib Hussain, who has been fighting Kathua Victim's case, attacked in Udhampur
Bakarwal lawyer and social activist Talib Hussain, who has been leading from the front for justice in the Kathua gangrape and murder case, was attacked by some people reportedly affiliated to BJP in J&K’s Udhampur on Friday night.On Jan. 21, Hussain was arrested by the police while leading a protest rally in Kathua town against the local authorities for failing to arrest the girl’s murderers and allegedly hushing up the case.Hussain was arrested on amid a candle light protest on Kathua highway by more than hundred people against the brutal killing of the girl.He was only released the next day after outrage in the Assembly. Since then he has been at the forefront to secure justice for the victim.outlookindia
SC notice on bid by Kathua lawyers to block police
New Delhi:Taking serious note of the attempt by a group of lawyers in Kathua to prevent J&K Police from filing a chargesheet last week in the gangrape and murder of an 8-year-old Bakerwal girl, the Supreme Court sought explanations from the Bar Council of India, Jammu and Kashmir Bar Council, Jammu High Court Bar Association and Kathua District Bar Association.The apex court asked for replies from all by April 19. A Bench of CJI Dipak Misra and Justices A M Khanwilkar and DY Chandrachud took cognizance of the developments brought to its notice by a group of lawyers and said that impeding the process of law “affects the delivery of justice”.indianexpress
Kathua mother wants death for culprits who raped and murdered her ‘beautiful, intelligent’ girl
Udhampur:As the Bakerwals make their way to the upper reaches of Jammu and Kashmir with their belongings, she trudges along burdened by the weight of her eight-year-old daughter’s death.“She was so beautiful and intelligent. I wanted her to be a doctor when she grew up,” the biological mother of the girl reminisces.The grief-stricken mother wishes for death penalty for the guilty.“My only wish is the culprits should be hanged for the heinous crime, so that no other family has to go through it,” she says.The girl was adopted by the woman’s brother and his wife in Rasana hamlet of Kathua district when she was one year old.Still in shock, she blames herself for leaving her daughter at brother’s house.“Why was she killed? She was grazing cattle and taking care of horses. She was eight years old. Why did they kill her in such a brutal way. They should be given death sentence,” she says.Girl’s father said she was at maternal uncle’s home in Rasana.“Killers should be given death penalty. We do not need a CBI probe, we have faith in investigation by Crime Branch,” he says.HT
Allah’s is highest court where everyone has to face trial: Kathua victim’s father
Kathua gang-rape and murder: Civil society outraged, demands justice
Kathua rape case: On the Bakerwal migrant trail, a long march under death’s shadow
Kathua rape-murder case: Gujjars, Sikhs take out rallies, demand death sentence for accused
Jammu:Gujjars and Sikh organisations took out separate marches seeking death penalty to those accused of the rape and murder of an eight-year-old girl in Kathua district. Led by Choudhary Nazakat Khatana, a Gujjar and Bakerwal leader, Gujjars raised slogans against J&K High Court Bar Association over its call for a Jammu bandh on Wednesday seeking transfer of investigations into the case to CBI. They also demanded Chief Minister Mehbooba Mufti to sack her two cabinet ministers, Chander Parkash Ganga and Choudhary Lal Singh, for their support to the demand for a CBI inquiry during a rally of Hindu Ekta Manch in Hiranagar.indianexpress
Kathua, Unnao rape cases: PM Modi breaks silence, says ‘our daughters will definitely get justice’
Notice to media houses for disclosing Kathua rape victim’s identity
Unnao rape case: Accused BJP MLA Kuldeep Sengar sent to 7-day police custody
New Delhi;A day after he was arrested by the CBI in connection with the alleged rape of a 17-year-old girl in Uttar Pradesh’s Unnao district, BJP MLA Kuldeep Singh Sengar on Saturday remained defiant in claiming his innocence and said he has ‘faith in the judiciary’, ANI reported. The four-time MLA, who was produced before a Lucknow Court earlier today, has been sent to seven-day police custody.The victim, who arrived at CBI zonal office in the city earlier in the day, was later taken to Ram Manohar Lohia hospital for medical examination. A day after PM Narendra Modi’s assurance, the victim expressed her confidence in receiving justice.indianexpress
Unnao rape case: BJP MLA Kuldeep Singh arrested, HC says law & order machinery under his influence
Warangal; SIO protests demanding severe punishment in Kathua rape case
Warangal: Scores of Muslims under the aegis of Students Islamic Organisation of India (SIO) staged a protest after morning prayers in front of Madrasi mosque at Mandi Bazar in Warangal on Friday demanding severe punishment for the culprits who raped and murdered eight-year-old Asifa in Kathua district of Jammu and Kashmir.Speaking on the occasion, Sd Ahmed Ali, SIO Warangal city president, demanded the government to fast-track judicial proceedings in the case and take action on the perpetrators regardless of their social and political background. telanganatoday
On Ambedkar Jayanti, UN sees protests by Sikhs over atrocities against minorities
A group of Sikhs held a protest against atrocities against minorities and Dalits in India during BR Ambedkar’s birth anniversary celebrations at the UN.About 25 Sikhs, some wearing black turbans and others black bands, held up posters and silently turned their backs on India’s Permanent Representative Syed Akbaruddin as he spoke on Friday.Unperturbed, Akbaruddin continued with his speech and no action was taken inside the conference room against the protesters. The president of the Youth Akali Dal (Amritsar) US, Amandeep Singh told IANS that the group wanted to “expose the hypocrisy” of the Indian government celebrating Ambedkar’s birthday before the world while his ideals were violated in India by the atrocities against Sikhs, Muslims, Christians and Dalits.He said the Golden Temple was violated and thousands of Sikhs have been killed then and later during riots but no action has been taken against many important persons responsible for the killings.Singh said the protest was held on behalf of Shiromani Akali Dal (Amritsar).As the protesters filed outside the conference room, they were stopped by security personnel, who confiscated their posters and all the papers they had and let them go with a warning that such activities were not allowed inside the UN.IANS

On Ambedkar Jayanti, minor clashes in Punjab, Gujarat as politicians vie for Dalit icon’s legacy
New Delhi:Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Saturday led the country in paying tributes to the architect of the Indian Constitution Dr Babasaheb Ambedkar on his 127th birth anniversary even as tension gripped several parts of India.“Pujya Babasaheb gave hope to lakhs of people belonging to the poorest and marginalised sections of society. We remain indebted to him for his efforts towards the making of our Constitution,” Modi tweeted. President Ram Nath Kovind greeted the nation and tweeted: “Homage to Dr B.R. Ambedkar on his birth anniversary. An icon of our nation, Dr Ambedkar was a multifaceted personality who waged a life-long struggle for a modern India free of caste and other prejudices, ensuring equal rights to women and for the disadvantaged.”hindustantimes
UP: Dalit woman hangs herself in Muzaffarnagar, girls stop going to school in Saharanpur
Two shocking incidents of sexual harassment of women have come to light in just one day in UP. The first incident took place in Raipur village which comes under Phugana police station in Muzaffarnagar district. Sudesh, a 39-year-old Dalit woman, was first harassed and then forcibly pulled into a sugarcane field by some molesters. At that time, her 8-year-old son was also with her.When the victim went to the police station with her husband to file a complaint, the police locked up her husband instead. Frustrated and feeling helpless, the woman hanged herself to death. In her suicide note, she clearly mentioned that since the police were siding with the accused, she did not have any hope of getting justice. And therefore, she was ending her life. After the tragic incident, Muzaffarnagar SSP Anant Deo Tiwari suspended the inspector of the police station.The second incident took place in Lakhnauti village of Saharanpur district. Three sisters of this village decided to drop out of school after being constantly harassed by ruffians on the street. These girls studied in a school located in Gangoh which is 2 km  away from their village. Former chairman of the Gangoh area, Noman Masood, said, “This very government had formed the Anti-Romeo Squad and is now running the ‘Beti Bachao, Bet Padhao’ campaign, but unfortunately, we are now forced to save our daughters from them only.”nationalheraldindia   
UP; Another Ambedkar statue is vandalized,replaced
Greater Nodia:Hours after a statue of Bhimrao Ambedkar was found damaged at a Greater Noida village on Friday morning — a day before Ambedkar Jayanti — the administration made an urgent bid to prevent any escalation in tension. The solution: replace the damaged statue with a new, “metal” statue of the Dalit icon. Deputy Superintendent of Police (Greater Noida) Anit Kumar said, “We had asked for a new statue made out of metal. It has come from Aligarh and has already reached the park. It will be installed today, in time for Ambedkar Jayanti.”indianexpress
SC/ST Act verdict: Kerala files separate review petition in Supreme Court
Kerala on April 14 became the first State to file a separate review petition against the March 20 verdict of the Supreme Court banning immediate arrest of persons accused of committing atrocities against Dalits. LDF govt urged the apex court to recall the judgement, and said it has become a source of insecurity among SC/ST community. 19-page review petition echoes the arguments of the Centre’s review petition. Written submissions filed recently by Centre to augment its plea for review of the judgement said the verdict is causing disharmony and “great damage” to the country.thehindu
Ishrat fake shootout case: Injured in road accident, petitioner and father of Javed Sheikh alias Pillai, dies
Thiruvananthapuram:Gopinatha Pillai, the father of Javed Sheikh alias Pranesh Pillai, who was killed allegedly in a fake encounter along with Ishrat Jahan in 2004, died Friday after he was injured in a road accident, police said. A native of Thamarakkulam in Alappuzha district, 77-year-old Pillai was on his way to Kochi on Wednesday morning when the car, he was traveling in, hit a truck. He was admitted to a hospital in Kochi, but died on Friday. After Pranesh’s death, Pillai was living with his younger son Aravind. His wife had died earlier.Pranesh was among the four people who were shot dead on the outskirts of Ahmedabad on June 15, 2004. The others gunned down were Ishrat Jahan, Zeeshan Johar and Amzad Rana. Police termed them Lashkar-e-Taiba operatives allegedly on a mission to kill then Gujarat chief minister Narendra Modi.Pillai had joined Jahan’s mother in her legal fight in the Supreme Court. He had travelled to Ahmedabad at least 18 times to depose before the Special Investigation Team, which in 2011 had found that Jahan and others were killed in a fake encounter. In Dec. last year, he had moved a petition opposing the discharge petition filed by former in-charge DGP of Gujarat P P Pandey. After Pranesh’s death, Pillai sold his property to rehabilitate his widowed daughter-in-law and her three children.indianexpress
Ishrat fake shootout case: Petitioner in case dies in road accident, probe begins
Ishrat encounter case; Court adjourns hearing on police officials discharge pleas
Ahmedabad;A special CBI court on Friday adjourned the hearing on discharge pleas of exIPS officer D G Vanzara and ex SP NK Amin, accused in Ishrat Jahan encounter case, after the CBI sought time to file its reply on the pleas. CBI sought two weeks’ time to submit its written response to the discharge plea.Both of them moved the court after their then superior officer PP Pandey, retired DGP, was discharged by the special court. Vanzara claimed that this was “politically motivated” and he was charged “with a view to topple the democratically elected government, the entire plot appears to have been deployed by the then central govt (UPA)…”indianexpress
CJI Dipak Misra meets two top judges, tells them he’s looking into issues they raised
New Delhi:Under pressure after the letters from Justices Jasti Chelameswar and Kurian Joseph about the government’s role in stalling appointment of judges to the Supreme Court and high courts, cjiDipak Misra is understood to have informed two of his colleagues that he is working to address the concerns. Sources said that CJI Misra informally met Justices Ranjan Gogoi and Kurian Joseph on Wednesday and indicated that he was looking into the issues pertaining to the SC.The meeting, which lasted for half-an-hour, followed the inauguration of the gymnasium in the Supreme Court premises by the CJI.Without referring to the letters or naming any individuals whose appointments have been stalled, CJI Misra is learnt to have informed his two colleagues of his meeting with Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Tuesday. Sources said CJI spoke to Modi at a meeting to discuss Lokpal selection committee.indianexpress
Bairia BJP MLA at UP rally: ‘Lok Sabha polls will be Islam versus bhagwan’
Lucknow: BJP MLA from Bairia, Surendra Singh, has declared that the 2019 Lok Sabha elections will be a contest between two “mentalities” — Hindu and Islamic. “2019 elections are going to be Islam versus bhagwan,” Singh told the public during a rally in Ballia on Thursday. “That is why my brothers… you should decide whether Islam is going to win or bhagwan. Decide whether the dishonest should win or Modi’s honesty. The fight is going to be between two… India’s faith will be on one side and on the other will be those who are pro-Islam,” he said. He also painted the Opposition as “anti-national”. “Opposition is anti-national. Their masters are in Islam or in Arab countries. The principles of some others lie in Italy,” he added.He took a jibe at Congress president Rahul Gandhi’s trip to Italy earlier this year. “You might have seen that Rahul (Gandhi) ji does not have the time to sit in the Lok Sabha, but he definitely has the time to go to Italy twice a week. Why is this? His culture does not salute the land of India… His culture salutes the land of Italy,” MLA said.Speaking to Indian Express, Singh said he spoke his mind and stands by it.“The whole meaning of what I said is that the 2019 elections will be between those with Hindu mentality and those with Islamic mentality. The whole pack of villainous parties… the Congress, Samajwadi Party and BSP would be one one side and the only ‘Ram Dal (Ram’s party)’ we have… BJP… will be on the other.” he said over phone. “In Indian politics there is just one playing the role of Lord Ram and that is Narendra Modi. Rahul Gandhi is playing Ravan.”indianexpress
Patna: Muslim groups call protest rally to ‘save religion, save country’
Imarat Shariah, which is headquartered in Phulwarisharief in Patna, and All India Muslim Personal Law Board (AIMPLB) have jointly organized a mega protest titled Deen Bachao, Desh Bachao (Save Religion, Save Country) on April 15 at Patna’s Gandhi Maidan. A number of senior clerics and community leaders are expected to unambiguously vocalise the sentiment that under BJP govt, neither the Muslims’s deen (religion) nor the desh (country) is safe.Having held a series of marches and demonstrations of burqa-clad women across the country against the triple talaq bill, the Muslim Board has teamed up with the Imarat Shariah to draw up a bigger action plan, clubbing the country’s law and order issue and threats to the Constitution with the perceived danger to Islam. Incidentally, Imarat Shariah was founded in 1921 to guide Muslims on Sharia-related issues in Bihar, Jharkhand and Orissa.“We waited for 4 years, hoping BJP would learn to run the country while upholding its constitutional obligations.Our personal laws which are part of the Muslim faith are under attack. We are forced to tell the countrymen that, along with the country, Muslims’s religion is also under threat,” said AIMPLB’s general secretary Maulana Wali Rahmani. Rahmani who is also ameer-e-shariat or chief of the Imarat Shariah added that ‘Deen Bachao, Desh Bacho’ meet is a wakeup call, especially for Muslims. “We want to convey the message that if you don’t wake up now, there will not be enough space and opportunity to act later. There are a number of issues on the RSS agenda which this government will try to implement. After the ban on triple talaq will come the Uniform Civil Code and ban on azaan through loudspeakers…They have a long list,” he explained.To ensure that Muslims turn up in huge numbers, the vast networks of Imarat Shariah, AIMPLB, madrassas and masjids have been used. Most of the attendees—the organisers expect no less than 3 lakh—will come from different districts of Bihar and Jharkhand and some from Orissa as well. Bihar has been divided into different halqas (regions) under the supervision of a madrassa. “Each madrassa has been tasked to mobilise a crowd from over 2 dozen villages and each village has hired its own buses. Everyone is paying for their travel and food. Some donations have been sent to Imarat Shariah too to make arrangements in Patna,” said Maulana Muntazir Qasmi of Madrassa Arfia at village Sangram near Jhanjharpur in Madhubani district.Imarat Shariah’s general secretary Maulana Aneesur Rahman Qasmi denied that any opposition party was backing the massive rally. “Leaders of political parties may come but no politician will speak. This time we will speak and political leaders will listen,” he said.TOI
Dying children, stalled cases, shortage of staff: Nothing has changed at the BRD Medical College in Gorakhpur
When more than 23 children lost their lives in Gorakhpur based Baba Raghav Das Government Medical College in August last year, many believed that the government would take necessary steps to prevent such events in the future.But it seems that the administration has learnt no lessons from the previous incident. In the first three months of 2018, more than 500 children, neonates, and infants have been declared dead at the BRD Medical College.This number was revealed by sources at the Medical College, as College authorities and the administration have stopped providing death figures for the past several months. When contacted, authorities refused to agree or disagree with the numbers.According to the latest numbers, about 330 children lost their lives in Neonatal Intensive Care Unit (NICU) until March 31. Moreover, about 175 kids were declared dead in Pediatric ICU and about 33 kids dead in the encephalitis ward between January 1 and March 31.twocircles
Friday prayers not allowed in Jamia Masjid for 2nd week in Srinagar
Srinagar:No Friday prayers were allowed for the second successive week in the historic Jamia Masjid in downtown Srinagar, where curfew-like restrictions remained imposed since Thursday to prevent any law and order problem following call by separatists to hold protests after prayers against civilian death.Police said restrictions under section 144 CrPC have been imposed in the areas falling under the jurisdiction of police station M R Gunj, Nowhatta, Safa Kadal, Khanyar and Rainwari in the downtown and Shehar-e-Khas (SeK).All roads leading to Jamia Masjid, stronghold of moderate Hurriyat Conference (HC) chairman Mirwaiz Moulvi Umar Farooq, remained closed and the main gates of the historic mosque, where Mirwaiz addresses Friday congregation every week, were locked.The Mirwaiz was placed under house arrest as a precautionary measure in view of the death of four civilians in security force action in Kulgam on Wednesday.UNI
3 held for plotting to kill Waseem Rizvi
New Delhi: 3 men were arrested for allegedly conspiring to kill Uttar Pradesh Shia Waqf Board Chairman Waseem Rizvi at the behest of gangster Dawood Ibrahim, the police said on Friday. The three accused, identified as Arif, Abrar and Saleem, was arrested from Bulandshahr in Uttar Pradesh, they said. In Jan., Rizvi had written letters to Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath, in which he claimed that madrassas bred terrorists and demanded that the Islamic institutions should be shut.Rizvi also said that the arrest of three people who were conspiring to kill him clearly shows that he is on target of extremists due to his pro-Ram Mandir stand.PTI
IS case:Youth still in jail after high court grants bail
Kozhikode: A 26-year-old youth continues to be in prison even after the high court granted him bail as his relatives and friends are scared to help him as hewas branded as an ‘Islamic State terrorist.’ Muhammad Riyaz, hailing from Peringadi near Mahe, was arrested on charges of trying to smuggle a girl to the Islamic State-controlled areas in Syria. But in the order granting bail the division bench of HC clearly stated that the investigating agency had, thus far, did not find any terror link in the case. The bail was granted to Riyaz on Thursday with the stipulation that he should furnish a simple bond for Rs one lakh with sureties for the amount. But Riyaz is still in jail as no one has come forward to stand as surety. “I have made arrangement for the money, but no one from our family iswilling tobecome a surety for him. They are all frightened,” said Riyaz’s father RasheedP P, who isin Saudi Arabia. “Our relatives have snapped even my WhatsApp connection,” he said.Two other accused in the case, who are also Riyaz’s relatives, were arrested and released on bail. Even those who stood as surety for them are not willing to help Riyaz. “I have tried my best to get someone help me. Saturday and Sunday are holidays and I want him out at least on Monday,” said Rasheed, who was on the verge of tears while speaking to TOI from Saudi Arabia over the phone.TOI
Shekhar Gupta elected Editors’ Guild president
New Delhi: Editors Guild of India unanimously elected ThePrint editor-in-chief Shekhar Gupta president at its annual general body meeting Saturday.Gupta, a veteran journalist who founded ThePrint last year, is the first editor of a news website to be elected to the position.The other members elected Saturday include A.K. Bhattacharya, the editorial director of Business Standard, as the general secretary and Sheela Bhatt, editor (news affairs) at NewsX, as treasurer, the guild said in a release.PTI
Rector Darul Uloom Waqf Maulana Mohammad Salim Qasmi dies at 92
Deoband: Maulana Mohammad Salim Qasmi, noted Theologian and Islamic Scholar, who was Chief Rector of Darul Uloom Waqf ever since its foundation, died today afternoon in Deoband. He was 92.He was ailing since last few months and was under medical observation in a local hospital. He was shifted to his home in Deoband a couple of days back where he was kept on life support. His funeral will be held in Deoband today on Saturday after Eisha prayers, family sources said.Born on January 08, 1926, Maulana Mohammad Salim Qasmi was the son of Qari Mohammad Tayyab and grandson of Maulana Hafiz Muhammad Ahmad, Mohtamim of Darul Uloom Deoband and great grandson of Maulana Muhammad Qasim Nanotvi, the founder of Darul Uloom Deoband.Maulana Salim Qasmi was the Chief Rector of Darul Uloom Waqf Deoband, Vice President of All India Muslim Personal Law Board, president of advisory board of Mazahirul Uloom Saharanpur, President of All India Muslim Majlis-e-Mushawarat and is permanent member of Fiqh Council of Al-Azhar, Cairo (Egypt) till his death.ummid.com
WORLD
US, UK, France launch attack on 'chemical weapon sites' in Syria
US, UK and France have launched strikes "on targets associated with the chemical weapons capabilities" in Syria, US President Donald Trump announced early on Saturday. The strikes come after a suspected chemical weapons attack in the former rebel stronghold of Douma last weekend.Lt. Gen. Kenneth F. McKenzie Jr, director of joint staff, said the US air strikes delivered a "severe blow" to Syria's chemical weapons production capability. He said the operation is "far more damaging to Syria".McKenzie also said that none of its missiles were intercepted, and that all weapons hit the targets at their designated time of target of about 4am local time in Syria. McKenzie said the US military is "ready anytime" in case of retaliation.Dana W White, Pentagon spokesperson, said the use of chemical weapons is an "inexcusable violation of "international law". She said the US "successfully hit all targets". Turkey's President Recep Tayyip Erdogan welcomed the US-led operation in Syria, calling it an "appropriate" response to the recent chemical attack on civilians.Prime Minister Binali Yildirim added that it was a "positive step", saying the people in Syria "have been slaughtered for seven year".The EU on Saturday called for Russia and Iran to help stop more chemical weapons attacks by the Syrian government, warning of fresh economic sanctions.A senior Russian military official has said that Syrian air defence had intercepted at least 71 cruise missiles fired by US, UK and French forces.aljazeera
Russia: Syria air defence intercepted 71 missiles
Russia calls for UN meeting on Syria, mulls supplies of S-300 systems
Russia on Saturday called for an emergency meeting of the United Nations Security Council as Moscow said it would consider supplying S-300 missile systems to Syria following US-led strikes.“Russia convenes an emergency meeting of the UN Security Council to discuss aggressive actions of the US and its allies,” President Vladimir Putin said in a statement published on the Kremlin website.“The current escalation of the situation around Syria has a devastating impact on the whole system of international relations,” he added.MEMO
UN chief on Syria: 'Cold War is back with a vengeance'
"Cold War is back with a vengeance, but with a difference" - the words of the UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres - who is warning that the situation in Syria is in such chaos that it poses a serious threat to international peace and security.aljazeera
350 injured as Gazans demonstrate for third Friday in Great March of Return
Protests have continued to take place on the Gaza border as thousands of Palestinians demonstrate for the third Friday as part of the Great March of Return.As of 4pm local time, some 350 people were injured today, adding to the over 3,000 Palestinians who have been wounded over the past two weeks. There are reports that Israeli soldiers have fired teargas at the field hospital in the east of Khan Yunis causing at least ten medics to experience suffocation. Palestinian journalist Ahmad Abu Hussein and photographer Mohammed Al-Hajjar have also been shot, adding to the growing list of reporters wounded whilst documenting the protests.Many of the protesters have burnt tyres in an attempt to hide themselves from Israeli snipers. Near Khan Yunis in the south, protesters also burned pictures of Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, US President Donald Trump and Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed Bin Salman, whom they view as cooperating with Israel.middleeastmonitor
Israel forces continue to 'shoot to kill' Gaza protesters
4 Palestinians dead in Gaza explosion – health ministry
An explosion in the southern Gaza Strip killed 4 Palestinians on Saturday, the local health ministry said.Medics at the scene in the Rafah area said it was caused by an Israeli tank shell.But an Israeli military spokesman said the army was not involved. “We have no knowledge of any Israeli strike in the area,” he said.Local residents at the hospital morgue identified the four dead men as members of the Palestinian Islamic Jihad militant group. Islamic Jihad did not immediately confirm the men were members.Violence has flared in the Gaza Strip since March 30, when Palestinians began protests along the border area with Israel.Israeli troops have shot dead 31 Gaza Palestinians and wounded hundreds since the protests began, drawing international criticism of their lethal tactics.Protesters have set up tented camps near the frontier as a protest dubbed “The Great March of Return” – evoking a longtime call for refugees to regain ancestral homes in what is now Israel – moved into its third week.middleeastmonitor
Israeli Settlers set fire to West Bank mosque
Israeli settlers set fire to a mosque in the Aqraba village in eastern Nablus, in the northern occupied West Bank, before dawn today.Local activist Youssef Deiriyeh told Ma’an that surveillance cameras showed two masked figures wearing backpacks entering the Sheikh Saadeh mosque in western Aqraba at 2am local time.The two masked figures poured flammable materials at the building’s entrance and set it on fire before fleeing the scene.Pictures of the aftermath showed fire and smoke damage to the front of the mosque, as well as the words “death” and “price tag” spray painted onto the outside walls of the mosque.middleeastmonitor       
Swiss woman files rape complaint against scholar Tariq Ramadan : Reuters
Geneva:A Swiss woman has filed a criminal complaint in Geneva for rape against the Islamic scholar Tariq Ramadan - already being held in custody in France on similar allegations - her lawyer said on Friday.The allegation by the unnamed Swiss woman, a convert to Islam, relates to an alleged incident in Geneva in Oct.2008, the daily Tribune de Geneve said, citing a 13-page document. The woman was about 40 at the time. Yael Hayat, one of Ramadan’s lawyers in Geneva, declined to comment on TV, saying she was unaware of the case filed with the Geneva prosecutor.Prosecutor’s spokesman did not immediately respond to a query. Ramadan, 55, was ordered in February to remain in custody in France and was notified that he was the target of a full investigation into rape allegations, which he denied.
Egypt says 8 troops killed, 15 wounded in Sinai clashes
CAIRO: Egypt’s military says eight soldiers have been killed and 15 wounded after militants wearing explosive belts blew themselves up as they tried to infiltrate a military base in central Sinai.A Saturday military statement says that clashes at dawn with militants accompanying the suicide bombers left 14 militants dead.There was no immediate claim of responsibility for the attack, which bore the hallmarks of the extremist Islamic State group now spearheading an Islamic insurgency in Egypt’s Sinai Peninsula.Saturday’s attack comes two months after the launch of a massive operation against militants in Sinai as well as parts of Egypt’s Nile Delta and the Western Desert, along the porous border with Libya.AP
Pakistan SC disqualifies ex-PM Nawaz Sharif from politics for life
ISLAMABAD: In a unanimous verdict, the Supreme Court of Pakistan on Friday ruled that any person declared dishonest and not righteous by it is disqualified from politics or holding public office for life.The ruling ended doubts about the duration of last year’s disqualification of former Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif from office for failing to disclose his assets and wealth before contesting the 2013 general elections.TOI
FLASH: VIEWS & NEWS
I am pessimistic about Justice in Kathua rape, murder case: Talib Hussain, Tribal activist
Kathua Rape: Meet the Duo Fighting to Get Justice for the 8-Yr-Old:SANJANA RAY
Should’ve Never Split From Her: Father of Girl Raped in Kathua
Communists and Ambedkarites need to work together to fight the communal forces:D. Raja
A Look at BJP’s Tainted History: Several Members Face Allegations of Sexual Offences:Newsclick
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Compiled and edited by Anwarulhaq (Released at: 8:10 PM)

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