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15 April 2018

15 April ND: Kathua rape: BJP leader, Hindutva hardliners among those at forefront of protests defending accused/ Countrywide protests over Kathua, Unnao rape cases


Evening NEWS DIGEST  
15 April 2018:27 Rajjab 1439:Vol:9, No:165
INDIA
Kathua rape: BJP leader, Hindutva hardliners among those at forefront of protests defending accused
The men who began an agitation defending the accused in the rape and murder of a nomad girl in J&K's Kathua, have been either associated with BJP, or espouse the belief that Hindus have been discriminated against by govts led by Muslim CM s. The protests that followed the filing of a case against 8 people, including some police officials, were spearheaded by a BJP state secretary. Subsequently, other community groups and political parties also joined them. The agitation took up a number of issues apart from seeking a CBI probe in the case — including discrimination against Hindus in terms of representation in the Legislative Assembly and in jobs. These issues were used to fuel the unrest.Lawyers in Jammu have continued to strike work, seeking that CBI should investigate the Kathua rape case instead of the Crime Branch. In Kathua, protesters have demanded that the Crime Branch chargesheet be held as invalid.The agitators have been holding public rallies against the Crime Branch officials, terming them tainted. They have even organised community meetings of influential Hindu groups to rally support.A look at the ideological positions of those who led the agitation reveals that they have played an active role in spreading communal hatred. They have also tried to shut down markets to seek a CBI probe in the case. Even as trade associations and some influential community groups lend support for the CBI probe, here are some of those who spearheaded the agitation.The chief of Hindu Ekta Manch (HEM), Sharma is also the state secretary of BJP. He launched HEM after the death of the nomad girl, contending that the accused were being framed by the Crime Branch. BJP didn’t act against him or 2 ministers who participated in the protests — Lal Singh and Chander Prakash Ganga — until they resigned on Friday. Sharma, a practicing lawyer has been organising protest rallies in Kathua near the home of the victim, seeking the release of the accused. BJP had been seeing this agitation as a new issue which would help it gain Hindu votes, before the Congress slammed it for supporting the rape accused. Ex-Dean of Social Sciences of Jammu University, Hari Om was always at the forefront of agitations that sought to pit Hindu majority Jammu areas against the Muslim-majority Kashmir region. As a spokesperson of BJP, he was a staunch opponent of political parties of Kashmir, including the NC and PDP. He has denounced them for discriminating against Jammu in jobs and representation in Assembly seats. He contends that the Hindu majority areas of Jammu, which have a higher population and larger area than Kashmir, have been given less seats in the Assembly. Ex-additional advocate general and the president of Jammu Bar Association, Slathia had earlier rallied lawyers first to seek the deportation of Rohingya Muslims from Jammu. More recently, he sought that the probe in the Kathua rape case should be handed over to CBI. On his call, lawyers have struck work in the courts. He was associated with Congress in its legal cell and remained the chief election agent of ex-CM  Ghulam Nabi Azad during 2014 Lok Sabha polls. Sheikh Shakeel, a prominent advocate from Jammu, described Slathia as a “fundamentalist and an opportunist.”An ex-Congress minister, Charak wields considerable support of Dogra Hindus of Jammu. As the president of the Dogra Sadar Sabha, Charak was approached by lawyers and civil society members to lend support to 11 April strike call of Jammu Bar Association.He favoured the call and later issued a statement that the Jammu region was being discriminated against. firstpost
Kathua rape:BJP may give ministers who backed accused second chance,but some party leaders lobbying for new faces
Countrywide protests over Kathua, Unnao rape cases
New Delhi: Candle-light marches are being held in half a -dozen cities including Delhi, Mumbai and Bengaluru, Goa, Bhopal and across Kerala as public outrage over a spate of rape and murder of children spiral. Over the last two weeks, two cases have shaken the nation. Last Sunday, a 16-year-old, who was allegedly raped by a BJP lawmaker in Unnao, tried to commit suicide outside UP CM Yogi Adityanath's house. The tipping point was the rape and murder of an 8-year-old in Kathua, where the chargesheet spoke of unspeakable brutality. A third -- the death of a 9-year-old girl in Surat, whose body was covered in 80 wounds -- emerged this morning.Thousands have joined in marches, carrying placards and forming human chains, are being held across Delhi, Mumbai, Bengaluru, Goa,  and across Kerala. Protests are also being held in Rajasthan's Ajmer, Gujarat's Surat, Punjab capital Chandigarh, and Bhopal, the capital of Madhya Pradesh.Nearly 2,000 protesters, including activists who participated in the "Not In My Name" protests last year, have gathered in Parliament Street at the heart of Delhi. Swati Maliwal, the chief of Delhi Women's Commission, is holding a hunger strike.In an open letter, a group of 49 former civil servants have asked PM  Narendra Modi to reach out to the families of the children targeted in Kathua and Unnao and "seek their forgiveness".ndtv
India unites in protests against Kathua, Unnao rapes: Live
Mufti accepts resignations of BJP ministers present at rally in support of Kathua rape-murder accused
J&K CM Mehbooba Mufti today accepted the resignations of two controversial BJP ministers, who had participated in a rally in support of the people arrested in connection with the rape and murder of an 8-year-old Muslim girl in Kathua, officials said. Resignations of Lal Singh and Chander Prakash Ganga were received from BJP state chief Sat Sharma this morning which were immediately accepted and forwarded to Governor NN Vohra for completing the procedural formalities, they said.With these resignations, the number of ministers in the state Govt  has come down to 22, including 9 from the BJP.PTI
Ministers who quit J&K Cabinet claim BJP asked them to attend rally in support of Kathua accused
2 BJP ministers who quit J&K Cabinet on Saturday claimed they had attended a rally supporting the accused in the Kathua rape and murder because the party had asked them to.“Our party leaders asked us to attend the rally. Our state chief Sat Sharma sent us to the rally,” Chander Prakash Ganga said. “People at the event said that we do not trust the investigation, and demanded a CBI inquiry.” He claimed his resignation was a “sacrifice” made to save BJP’s image.BJP on Friday sent the resignations of 2 of its ministers in the state Cabinet to CM Mehbooba Mufti, PTI reported.scroll.in
BJP sent us to Kathua rally, sacrificed ourselves to protect party's image: Resigned J&K Minister Ganga
Kathua rape victim buried 8km from village after locals refuse land
Kathua:A long walk up a treacherous hill nearly 8km from Kathua’s Rasana village leads to an acre of golden wheat fields. In one corner of the fields lies a grave — that of the 8-year-old girl who was raped and killed in village in Jan.When her body was discovered on Jan.17, her foster father, who had adopted her when she was a toddler, wanted to bury her on a piece of land in Rasana.It was the same piece of land where his 3 children and mother were buried after they were killed in a road accident a decade ago.But Rasana villagers opposed the burial, saying the land did not belong to the family from the Muslim nomadic tribe of the Bakarwals.“It was around 6pm and we were half-way into digging the ground when the villagers arrived at the scene and refused to let us go ahead. They produced documents to claim that the land did not belong to us,” said the girl’s biological grandmother.According to the relative who later offered his land for the burial, the girl’s foster parents had purchased the property from a Hindu family over a decade ago. “But they did not go through the documentation process properly. So, the villagers found an opportunity to get back at us,” said the relative.Rasana Hindus, however, said the property never belonged to the girl’s family and they had been burying their dead illegally there all these years.“How much land would the girl’s body occupy? We had in our arms a child who was raped and killed. Villagers could have shown a bigger heart at such a time,” said girl’s biological grandfather. HT
Kathua victim’s mother: ‘Girl who loved horses, meadows… now in a lonely grave’
Proxy candidate wrote B.Sc  exam for Kathua accused at centre in Muzaffarnagar, UP?
New Delhi:A proxy candidate allegedly appeared for Kathua gang-rape accused Vishal Jangotra, who had claimed during his interrogation that he was writing his B.Sc Part I exam at a centre in Khatauli, Muzaffarnagar, at the time of the incident. CCTV footage and digital video recording of the exam centre have suggested that Vishal and 3 other students of Aakanksha College in Meerapur did not turn up to write the test in January, said Gyan Prakash Shrivastav, registrar, Chaudhary Charan Singh University, Meerut. According to the registrar, even the documents submitted by Vishal and the three students, who were pursuing B.Sc Agriculture, were found to be fake.He said a special investigation team of J&K Police came to the university to collect information about the four students. Their probe revealed that the students mentioned their address as Rasulpur in Muzaffarnagar district of UP , even though 3 of them are from Kathua in Jammu and one is from Delhi.“SIT sleuths took the CCTV footage of the exam centre at KK Jain College in Khatauli with them. Vishal and the other three students were not seen in the video recording conducted on the day of the examination. It might be a case of sending a proxy candidate to write the exam,” added Shrivastav.thehindu
Jamaat-e-Islami Hind seeks justice in Kathua, Unnao rape, murder cases
Jamaat-e-Islami Hind has condemned the gruesome rape and murder of 8 year old girl from Rasanna village of Kathua and alleged rape of a girl from Unnao, UP. In a statement, secretary general of JIH, Muhammad Salim Engineer has condemned the gruesome rape and murder of 8 year old girl. “We also express our outrage at the alleged rape of the girl from Unnao, UP at the hands of an MLA from the ruling party. The custodial death of the Unnao rape victim’s father is a very serious crime and needs to be investigated properly,” the statement reads.Secretary general of JIH further said both the crimes have stirred the soul of the nation and we stand in solidarity with the protests and condemnations emanating from various justice loving people and civil society groups who are demanding swift justice for Asifa and Unnao rape victim.’ “This tactic for carrying out ethnic cleansing has been used earlier too in Muzaffarnagar and against tribals in various states. What is also worrying is that certain groups tried to shield the perpetrators of Asifa’s rape by invoking nationalism and playing the victim card,” he said.greaterkashmir
9-yr-old girl raped, killed in Surat; body found with 86 injuries
Surat: Even as the nation struggles to come to terms with the brutality of the Kathua rape and murder case, another horrific incident has emerged from Surat. A 9-year-old girl's body has been found with over 80 injuries, including some on her private parts, reports ANI. After a 5-hour long postmortem, it was revealed that the girl was raped and tortured for at least eight days. She was later strangled to death, the report added.Most injuries, it seems, were caused by a wooden weapon, the forensic head of the Civil Hospital in Surat said, adding the girl was finally strangled."On conducting a post-mortem, we found wounds on her body which were between one to seven days old. She had 86 external injuries on her body," Civil Hospital forensics head Ganesh Govekar said.The body was found by the police on April 6 at a ground in Surat's Bhestan area, but the girl has not been identified yet."The body of 11-year-old girl was found around 6 am near a road next to a cricket ground by people on their morning walk...We are trying to establish the identity of the girl," police officer KB Jhala said.ndtv
Shocking! all deaf and mute girls at this school in Maharashtra were sexually abused by caretaker
In a shocking revelation, it has come out that almost all students with speech and hearing disabilities have been sexually molested at Karjat boarding school in Mumbai. According to Mumbai Mirror, two complaints were filed against the caretaker of  the  school, but the investigation revealed the majority of the children have faced the sexual harassment. The police are in the process of recording the statements of more students. “We have so far recorded the statements of seven girls. They are all in the age group of 6 to 13,” said Sunita Tanawade, senior inspector of Karjat police station.The police have roped in a sign language interpreter from Ali Yavar Jung National Institute of Speech and Hearing Disabilities to get help in the investigation.On Wednesday, the statement of the two victims were recorded along with statements  of their mothers and one witness who is a school employee. “Girls are able to communicate everything through sign language. Recording one statement takes about three hours as the interpreter first understands them and then tells us. With more victims coming forward, we will add their names to the case. Almost every girl [at the school] was molested,” said Tanawade. As per the police, the caretaker assaulted students on several occasions. A few days ago, the 2 victims named in the case — aged 7 and 10 — were able to pick out the caretaker from an identification parade, the police said. The investigation has also revealed that the accused had vaginal and anal sex with the victims and police said that he even recorded girls having bath or attending nature’s call as bathroom didn’t have windowpanes. indiatimes
19-yr-old kidnapped, confined, tortured, raped for 10 days in Delhi’s Aman Vihar:HT
New Delhi:A 19-year-old woman was kidnapped, confined in a house and sexually assaulted for 10 days allegedly by a 30-year-old man in outer Delhi’s Aman Vihar, police said on Saturday. The woman, who had suffered multiple injuries, was given medical attention at a Govt hospital and is now being counselled by members of an NGO, police said.The suspect, identified as Kuldeep, is absconding since an FIR was booked against him at Aman Vihar police station on April 9. Woman managed to flee from confinement on the same day. She has alleged that Kuldeep had been stalking her for a few months.
Posters banning entry of BJP leaders to protect ‘women and girls’ put up across India: jantakareporter
The brutal gang-rape and murder of an 8-year-old girl in J&K’s Kathua and a BJP MLA’s alleged involvement in raping a teenager in UP’s Unnao appear to have caused an unprecedented shame for the saffron party across India.What has also increased the public’s anger against BJP was how two cabinet ministers of the BJP in Kathua joined the Hindutva gang, who were protesting in support of the rapists and murderers. Residents in Allahabad in UP on Saturday put up posters warning that BJP leaders were not allowed in their neighbourhood since ‘women and girls’ live there. A report by ANI said that the residents of Shivkuti colony in Allahabad put up posters outside their houses, stating ‘entry of politicians and members of BJP is prohibited’. Locals, the report added, said that this had been done due to the alleged role of BJP functionaries in increasing number of rapes and crime against women.Similar posters were shared on social media from around the country under trending hashtag #GirlsUnderThreat. Here are some examples.jantakareporter
Posters in Kerala homes with young girls ask BJP vote seekers to not enter
Indian Americans express outrage and demand full justice to rape victims of Kathua, Unnao
Hema Malini agrees with Maneka, demands death penalty for raping minors below 12 yrs
Rape has become a culture. People in our society still feel that they can pick whichever girl and do whatever they feel like. They are not scared. They are fearless. If the law is failing to send shivers down the spines of these monsters who think that they have a right to rape a woman, there's something that needs to change.Deeply saddened and disturbed by the Kathua rape case of an eight-year-old, Hema Malini seconds Maneka Gandhi and demands that the rapists of minors (below 12 years of age) shall be hanged to death.indiatimes
Farooq Abdullah wants bill to award death penalty for raping minors
Kathua gangrape case: Expelled NC leader says Hindu first, need to fight ‘injustice’
New Delhi:National Conference has expelled a party leader from Jammu for being part of the Hindu Ekta Manch, set up to support the accused in the Kathua gangrape and murder case. Shanti Swaroop, NC’s Hiranagar block president, claimed that the party was yet to inform him about the expulsion.  “But even if they have expelled me, I don’t mind. I am a Hindu first, then part of any party. It is my responsibility to fight injustice done to Hindus. This is why I became part of Hindu Ekta Manch,’’ he said. Omar Abdullah said once Swaroop’s involvement came to notice, the party leadership expelled him without even serving a notice to explain.Swaroop called the Manch “above party lines” and said that several other NC leaders and activists had joined protests called by the organisation. “After all, we have to stand with the Hindu society. Both PDP and NC leaders from Kashmir are against Hindus — they are giving Hindus a bad name,’’ he said.Swaroop also said that while they want justice for the victim, police and the Govt  “should not commit atrocities on Hindus”.indianexpress
Kathua rape case: JHCBA welcomes SC intervention, says main demand is to shift illegal settlers
Behind Kathua case, Talib Hussain, lawyer’s fight to seek justice: Muzamil Jaleel
25 mobile schools to migrate with nomads in J&K
Jammu:Ahead of the annual migration of nomadic Gujjars and Bakerwal families this month, authorities in Rajouri district of J&K  today said over two dozen schools would move with them to ensure proper educational facilities to students.A total of 25 schools having an enrolment of 801 students - 410 boys and 391 girls - will move with the migratory population.“These schools have been provided 45 teachers for running the schools in higher reaches during the annual migration to higher reaches in Kashmir, an official spokesman said.He said district development commissioner, Rajouri, Shahid Iqbal Choudhary finalized the plan at a meeting of senior officers from various departments and heads of migratory schools along with staff. Annual migration of nomadic Gujjars and Bakerwal families is beginning later this month.The spokesman said another 41 schools for tribal population would remain stationary which will cater to 1,451 students including 802 boy students and 651 girl students where 95 teachers have been posted.Choudhary directed that books and uniform be provided to the students before migration.PTI
Rohingya Camp Burnt to Ashes in Delhi:Over 250 refugees rendered homeless
New Delhi: As many as 205 Rohingya refugees were rendered homeless when a massive fire burnt to ashes a camp they were residing in Delhi’s Madanpur Khadar area in the early hours of April 15. According to Abu Johar, a resident of the camp, situated in South East district of Delhi, the fire was first noticed around 3 a.m from near the area where the camp’s makeshift toilet was placed. “We were all sleeping and rushed out of our tents on seeing the fire. Since many of the tents are made of tarpaulin and have plastic coverings, the fire spread fast. Also, some of the houses had gas cylinders that burst, adding to the enormity of the fire,” Johar said. Residents of the camps said they lost everything in the massive fire. “All our belongings are lost. We couldn’t save anything, only our lives. Some people have got minor injuries while fleeing the site. Since we have no bank accounts, we used to keep whatever savings we could make from our daily work in our tents. Most of us lost those savings too,” said a resident.Johar said, “This also includes all the documents that we had to show to prove our origin in the Rakhine state of Myanmar. All the 205 residents belonging to 57 families had the refugee cards issued by the UNHCR. Those cards are gone too.” Though the Chin refugees of Myanmar are getting a monthly stipend from UNHCR, Johar said, “We have the cards but the Rohingyas don’t get stipends.”On seeing the fire, Johar, a student of political science from the distance learning department of Delhi University, called the Jaitpur police station at 3.10 am. “In five minutes a team arrived at the site and have since been there. They are co-operating with the victims. It was the police which called the fire engines. The fire brigade arrived at 3.55 am and continued to douse the fire till 7.40 am.Police said investigation is on to ascertain the cause of the fire.  A Jaitpur police official said, “It could be a shot circuit too as the fire began from the toilet side which has electricity connection. It is difficult to say the cause of it now.”When UN representatives visited the camp this past Jan,Johar and some others expressed their apprehension about losing their identity “if a big fire takes place.” Thereafter, 5 fire extinguishers were given to the camp. “But they proved ineffective in dousing this massive fire, Johar added.The camp is also home to Mohammad Salimullah and Mohammad Shaqir, the two petitioners in the Supreme Court seeking education and healthcare on the lines of Sri Lankan Tamil refugees given such families in Tamil Nadu. The Wire
Fire razes Rohingya camp in New Delhi
Manage BJP leaders to avoid death in police counter: UP cop suspended after sensational audio goes viral
UP Police have suspended one of its officers after his audio advising a criminal to manage two BJP leaders to avoid his death in police encounter.In the viral audio, Suneet Kumar Singh, SHO of Mauranipur police station, is heard telling Lekhraj Yadav, who’s accused in dozens of murder, kidnapping and extortion cases, that his phone and location were on police’s radar and he was next on the list of encounter. Singh then goes on to ask Yadav to manage BJP’s Jhansi district president Sanjay Dubey and Babina MLA Rajiv Singh Paricha. He tells Yadav, “You’ve also gone to jail even during the Samajwadi Govt . There are 60 cases against you and you are the fit case for encounter. You along with your boys will be eliminated.”Paricha has reacted angrily over his name being dragged into the conversation. “I have never spoken to this police officer. He himself has a chequered past. Why would he drag me into this? However, this conversation shows that criminals are scared of the Govt ’s resolve to eliminate crime in the state,” He was quoted by NDTV.jantakareporter
“Manage” BJP leaders if you want to save your life, UP cop allegedly told accused criminal
Dalit community miffed with Yogi being felicitated as Dalit Mitra, calls BJP anti-Ambedkar and anti-Dalit
Lucknow;With the Dalit organization, Babasahib Dr Bhimrao Ambedkar Mahasabha, felicitating UP  CM  Yogi Adityanath with the ‘Dalit Mitra’on the 127th birth anniversary of the Dalit icon, Dr Bhimrao Ambedkar, there seems to be a rift within the community with regards to the Dalits having ‘trust’ on CM Yogi. While the award might make many to think that the CM is a friend of Dalits, but then the bigger question is – Does the Dalit community considers him as their ‘mitra’ and have enough trust on him, despite the recent mutilation of the statues of the iconic Dalit leader, who drafted the Indian Constitution, across the state?Caravan Daily interacted with many from the community on the occasion. Many while speaking, maintained to have denounced Yogi and even accused BJP of indulging in anti-Dalit politics in the name of Ambedkar.Caravan Daily
Clash: Internet services suspended in 4 Punjab districts
Chandigarh: Internet services were suspended in 4 districts of Punjab on Saturday after tension gripped the industrial town of Phagwara following clashes between the Hindu and Dalit groups over a poster of Babasaheb B.R. Ambedkar.Punjab Police on Saturday remained on high alert in Phagwara town following the clash. Tension prevailed in the industrial town, around 130 km from here, on Saturday following the clash that started late on Friday over the putting up of Ambedkar’s poster at Goal Chowk.CM Amarinder Singh ordered suspension of mobile Internet services in Kapurthala, Jalandhar, Hoshiarpur and Shaheed Bhagat Singh Nagar (Nawanshahr) districts as a precautionary measure, to check rumour mongering on social media.Informed sources in the police said that shots were allegedly fired during the clash, which also witnessed some stone pelting. Taking serious note of the clash between the Dalits and “upper caste men”,CM Amarinder Singh said:“Would not spare the culprits.Trouble arose on the eve of Ambedkar Jayanti when one group tried to put up the poster at the crossing which was opposed by the other. Shiv Sena leader Rajesh Palta was beaten up allegedly by the Dalits during the clash. Senior police personnel along with additional forces have been deployed in the town following the clash. IANS
MP cop suspended for taking part in Dalit protests
Morena:A police constable allegedly seen with agitators involved in damaging rail tracks during the nationwide protest on April 2, called by Dalit outfits, has been placed under suspension, a senior police officer said. SP Aditya Pratap Singh said that police constable Vinit Maurya, who was posted at the city’s Harijan police station, has been suspended after a video, in which he is allegedly seen participating in the protests at a local railway station, went viral on social media.Agitators, during this protest, had damaged railway infrastructure and had pelted police with stones, he said.A case in this regard was also registered at the local railway police station on that day. Railway police station in charge Haricharan Lal said, “In the video, constable(in civil dress) is seen participating in stone pelting and other unauthorised acts along with a mob of protesters.”PTI
Christian missionaries behind vandalisation of Ambedkar’s stautes:BJP Ballia MP
Ballia:A BJP MP has alleged that Christian missionaries were behind the vandalisation of Babasaheb Bhimrao Ambedkar’s statues. Speaking to reporters at Ballia on Saturday at a programme held to mark the birth anniversary of Babasaheb Ambdkar, BJP MP from Ballia Bharat Singh said, “It is at the behest of the Christian missionaries that the statues of Babasaheb Ambedkar are being damaged and vandalised. The missionaries are also financing the people who are indulging in damaging and vandalising the statues of Babasaheb.”Reacting to Singh’s statement, senior SP leader Ramashankar Vidyarthi said, “BJP is simply trying to mislead the people of this country in the name of Ambedkar.”PTI
SC/ST Act verdict: Centre considering various options, including ordinance
New Delhi: There is a need to overturn the Supreme Court order laying down fresh guidelines on arrest of those accused of committing atrocities against SC and ST communities, the Govt  feels, and bringing an ordinance to restore the original provisions of the SC/ST (Prevention of Atrocities) Act is one of the options being considered.Sources aware of deliberations within the Govt  at different levels say promulgating an ordinance to restore the original provisions would help calm tempers.Introducing a bill in the Monsoon session of Parliament slated for July to amend the Scheduled Castes and Scheduled Tribe  Act, 1989 to overturn the SC order is the second option before the Govt , the sources said.PTI
End of hardline Hindutva in VHP after Togadia’s ouster from cabinet? hindustantimes
New Delhi:Praveen Togadia’s ouster from the central board or cabinet of the VHP should not be read as a sign of the organisation deviating from its hardline stance, said senior functionaries of RSS on Saturday.VHP is an affiliate of the Sangh.A vocal critic of the Narendra Modi Govt , Togadia, who is known for inflammatory speeches on issues such as cow slaughter and interfaith marriages, has already dubbed his ouster as evidence of VHP caving into pressure from the Govt . “Now, today, it is very shocking and saddening to see such a grand VHP, that we all built to this fantastic level, has been made to bend before power, not for Hindu well-being but for individual whims and fancies of some power mongers,” he said.However, senior Sangh functionaries differ. They point out that with the election of former governor VS Kokje as international president and advocate Alok Kumar as working president, the organisation has picked “legal luminaries” who will play a crucial role in the hearing of the Ram Temple issue in the Supreme Court.HT
Peace with India possible only through dialogue:Pak army chief
Islamabad: The peaceful resolution of disputes between Pakistan and India, including Kashmir, is only possible through a comprehensive and meaningful dialogue, Pakistan Army chief Gen Qamar Javed Bajwa has said.“It is our sincere belief that the route to peaceful resolution of Pak-India disputes - including the core issue of Kashmir - runs through comprehensive and meaningful dialogue,” he said while addressing a passing out parade of cadets at the Pakistan Military Academy in Kakul on Saturday.“While such dialogue is no favour to any party, it remains the inevitable precursor to peace across the region. Pakistan remains committed to such a dialogue, but only on the basis of sovereign equality, dignity and honour,” he said.Pakistan is a peace-loving country and seeks harmonious and peaceful coexistence with all countries, especially its neighbours, he said, but warned: “However, this desire for peace must not, in any sense, be construed as a sign of weakness.”“Our valiant Armed forces are fully prepared to respond across the full spectrum of threat in a befitting manner.”HT
SIT investigating accident that killed Gopinath Pillai, petitioner in Ishrat Jahan case
https://scroll.in/latest/875750/special-team-investigating-accident-that-killed-gopinath-pillai-petitioner-in-ishrat-jahan-case                                           
A SIT in Kerala is looking into the death of Gopinath Pillai, reports said on Sunday. Pillai, a petitioner in the Ishrat Jahan fake encounter case, died in a road accident in Kerala’s Alappuzha on Friday. His son was also killed in the alleged fake encounter in Gujarat in 2004. “So far, we have not found evidence that suggests foul play in his death,” Pattanakad Sub Inspector B Shajimon, who is part of the SIT, told The News Minute. He said forensic experts were checking evidence. “We have taken custody of the vehicles involved in the accident.”Sijeev Pattanakkad, the driver of the truck that rammed into Pillai’s car on Wednesday, is in police custody, Mathrubhumi reported. Pillai, 77, was travelling with his brother when the vehicle crashed into their’s. He died of multiple fractures on Friday morning.scroll.in
Ishrat Jahan fake encounter: Role of Gopinath Pillai who fought for his son Javed Sheikh
Minorities have more rights than the majority:Union minister Satyapal Singh
Union minister Satyapal Singh has said all people were not equal before the law, adding that minorities enjoyed more rights than the majority, reported PTI.Speaking on BR Ambedkar’s role in nation-building at Delhi University, Singh said it was time to re-interpret the Constitution. “In the last about two decades, the way the Constitution has been interpreted and the laws have been interpreted, it requires revisit,” said the Union minister of state for human resource development. “Let us revisit them. The kind of rights that have been given to minorities in the Constitution, still they feel cheated about it. They have the rights to run their institutes, religious institutions, but the majority does not have. Law is equal to all.”He said rule of law means the law is equal for everyone. “However, a person stealing Rs 100 and another stealing Rs 100 crore get the same punishment,” he said. “Does it give justice to the society? I say it does not. Therefore, there is a need to amend laws.” he said.scroll.in
JNU Proposes Courses to Train Pandits, Experts in Religious Tourism, Vaastu Shastra
New Delhi: JNU has proposed a course that aims to make Sanskrit a more employable option for students.The newly-founded School of Sanskrit and Indic Studies (SSIS) has proposed to introduce PG Diploma in Kalp Vedanga and offer courses to train pandits, who from across castes and gender, will comprise the next academic session of 2019. Girish Nath Jha, the first dean of the new SSIS told News18 that in future we can expect JNU-trained pandits to go to temples and perform rituals.The students will dabble with the Śrautasūtras, based on the śruti, and the Smārtasūtras, rules based on the smriti or traditions to perform rituals, among other traditional texts. The proposal was made in the first meeting of School Coordination Committee, of School of Sanskrit and Indic Studies on Feb.23.The school has proposed a PG Diploma course in Religious Tourism saying that the country has a rich tradition of dhams. Similarly, a PG diploma course in Vaastu Shastra is expected to bring viable options for students to get jobs with the civil engineering companies looking for experts in Vaastu Shastra.news18
Exaggerations in history need to be removed from time to time: ICHR chief
New Delhi:The debate in the country on rewriting history is unnecessary as certain “exaggerations” need to be removed from time to time, Indian Council of Historical Research (ICHR) Chairman Arvind Jamkhedkar has said. The historian also said the mandate of the ICHR, a body under the HRD Ministry, was not to dictate history or decide curriculum but to encourage research to facilitate the rewriting of history. “Rewriting is part of the writing of history,” he said.History was divided into various eras, he said, elaborating how it had been dealt with differently over time. “When colonial history was written there was a need to write it from a different point of view as Professor BB Kaushambi realised that this type of history did not have any meaning unless we studied economic history,” Jamkhedkar said.“A complete new school came into being which included Professor RS Sharma, Irfan Habib and so many others who actually rewrote the earlier history,” he added.PTI
Bihar:  Muslim cooperative interest-free loan society helps transform lives of Hindus, others
Patna:Kamla Devi, Pankaj Kumar, Geeta Devi and Sanjay Singh, all Hindus, share one thing in common. Their lives have been transformed through "interest-free" loans provided by a Muslim cooperative credit society in Bihar, yet another example how integrated Indian society has always been at the grassroot level.They are four of nearly 9,000 Hindus -- mostly vendors, small traders, roadside shopkeepers, marginal farmers and women -- who got rid of exploitative moneylenders thanks to interest-free loans by the Al-Khair Cooperative Credit Society Ltd that is based here."I used to sell potatoes and onions in a small roadside shop. I was often exploited by moneylenders for a small amount of Rs 2,000 to Rs 5,000 that I needed for my business. But a few years ago, I was surprised when someone informed me of interest-free loans from Al-Khair Society," Kamla, in her mid 40s, told IANS at her shop in Mirshikar Toli here.She first took a Rs 10,000 loan to run her shop, followed by loans of Rs 20,000 to Rs 50, 000."It helped me expand my business from a vendor to a wholesale trader," she said.Now doing financially well, Kamla managed to fund the education of her two sons, with one getting admission in an engineering college and the other in a B.Ed. college.Based on the Islamic principle of prohibiting interest, Al Khair Society has provided interest-free loans of more than Rs 50 crore to nearly 20,000 people, mostly those struggling for survival, in the last one decade of its existence.About half of these beneficiaries are Hindus. Regardless of religion and any other considerations, Al Khair Society has opened new vistas for large sections of marginalised people, skilled and unskilled, from unorganised sectors.Geeta Devi not only turned her small roadside vegetable shop into a big one; she has opened another vegetable shop for her son."Our life has changed after I came into contact with Al Khair Society. It helped us live a life of dignity. For poor people like us, interest-free loans are God's gift and, unlike in regular banks, there are no uncertainties about getting the loan," she said.Manju Devi, another beneficiary, has been taking a loan of Rs 20,000 to pay the annual school fee of her children for the last five years. Her husband runs a roadside shop.Sanjay Singh, another beneficiary of the interest-free loans, said banks have no time for vendors like him and they have no interest in giving out small loans."Interest-free loans may be a concept associated with Muslims as Islam prohibits interest as it terms it unjust, but it has a universal appeal and can benefit all, not just Muslims," said Shamim Rizvi, a retired bank officer closely associated with Al Khair Society for nearly a decade.Nayiar Fatmi, managing director of Al Khair Society, said that interest-free loans are gaining popularity.IANS
Delhi Waqf Board facing 'severe' crunch of technical, revenue officials
New Delhi: Delhi Waqf Board, responsible for management of over 2,000 Muslim properties across the city, is facing "severe" crunch of technical and revenue officials, sources said.As against 64 sanctioned posts, 28 posts, mostly technical and revenue related, are lying vacant, upkeep of properties and other works are hampered, a Govt  official said."More than 90 %  work of the Waqf Board relates to revenue but there are no revenue officials such as patwari, kanoongo and tehsildar. The last such official retired in 2012 while the post of kanoongo is vacant for last 30 years," he said.The problems of managing properties, including land, shops, residential buildings, located at prominent locations like Daryaganj, Ansari Road, Vasant Kunj, Greater Kailash and other areas, is affected due to vacancies on technical posts.PTI
Maulana Abdul Wahab Khilji laid to rest in New Delhi
New Delhi: Hundreds of people from Delhi, Punjab, Haryana, UP  and the neighboring cities and towns on Saturday participated in the funeral of Maulana Abdul Wahab Khilji, noted Islamic Scholar and community leader. Maulana Khliji was laid to rest at Qoum Panjabiyan Qabrustan Shidipura in Delhi.Maulana Abdul Wahab Khilji (63),originally hailing from Malerkotla Punjab, was ailing since last few months. His condition deteriorated a week before and he died after Friday prayers on April 13, 2018.A few year back Maulana Abdul Wahab Khilji suffered paralysis then heart stroke after about a year. He was admitted to a Gurgaon hospital after brain hemorrhage.ummid
Owaisi's AIMIM not to contest Karnataka Assembly polls: Report
Bengaluru: In a major relief to secular parties in Karnataka, AIMIM led by Asaduddin Owaisi has decided not to contest the state assembly elections scheduled to be held on May 12.Reports citing unnamed AIMIM sources said that the party has taken the decision after a series of consultation meeting wherein it was realized that contesting election will only divide the secular votes in Karnataka.ummid.com
‘Alleged Love Jihad & ISIS Abduction’ Case:Victim Girl’s Mother Withdraws Plea in SC for NIA Probe
Bindu Sampath, the mother of suspected ISIS sympathizer Nimisha alias Fathima from Kerala has withdrawn her petition filed in the Supreme Court in Oct.last year seeking its intervention and a direction for a NIA in investigation into alleged incidents of love jihad radicalization in the state of Kerala. Senior advocate Shyam Divan and lawyer Aishwarya Bhati who appeared for Bindu Sampath submitted before a bench of CJI Dipak Misra and justices AM Khanwilkar and DY Chandrachud on April 13 that they wished to withdraw the petition for “filing a properly drafted petition with more evidence and materials”. “Shyam Divan, learned senior counsel appearing for the petitioner, on being instructed, seeks leave of this Court to withdraw the writ petition with liberty to file a properly drafted writ petition”, the bench noted in the order allowing the petitioner to withdraw the plea.livelaw.in
Judgment Day in Mecca Masjid Blast Case Tomorrow, Security to be Ramped Up
Hyderabad: Almost 11 years after a powerful bomb went off during the Friday prayers inside Mecca Masjid near Charminar, the special court for NIA cases at Nampally in Hyderabad will pronounce its judgment on April 16 in the case.Elaborate security arrangements have been made by the police in and around the court premises for the big verdict.Nine people had been killed and 58 were injured in the blast on May 18, 2007, a Friday. Two live IEDs were also recovered by police and defused. Later, 5 more people were killed in subsequent police firing on the crowd outside the mosque.Eight people, including Hindu right-wing members Aseemanand, Devender Gupta, Lokesh Sharma, Bharatbhai, Rajender Chowdhary and others were charged by the NIA in the blast case. The court, however, would deliver its verdict for only five accused.One accused Sunil Joshi, a RSS pracharak, was murdered during the course of investigation. Two other accused, Sandeep V. Dange, former RSS pracharak and Ramchandra Kalsangra, electrician-cum-RSS activist, also from Madhya Pradesh are still eluding the investigators.news18
Mecca Masjid blast: Citizens demand Bhaskar Rao Commission report
Hyderabad: Muslim organisations and human rights groups are demanding the Govt  to make the Justice (retd) Bhaskar Rao Commission report public. The Commission was constituted in June 2007 to inquire in to the police excesses, including firing, which claimed five lives. The police had resorted to firing to “quell angry mobs” soon after a blast rocked the Mecca Masjid. Human rights activists and various political parties and Muslim groups termed the action “unprovoked” and “targeted”. Five persons were killed and a few sustained injuries in the police firing. The demand gains strength in view of the expected judgement of the Mecca Masjid blast case.Following the outcry over the incident that took place in the vicinity of the Mecca Masjid soon after the blast, the then Govt  had set up a Commission to probe in to the circumstances of and action of the police.deccanchronicle
WORLD
Air strikes 'largely symbolic': What mission has the US accomplished in Syria? aljazeera
US President Donald Trump has announced that the US-led strikes in Syria were a "mission accomplished", adding that he had no intention of launching further strikes against President Bashar al-Assad's targets.Trump's announcement came hours after US, French and British forces launched strikes against three sites, which according to the US president are associated with the chemical weapon capabilities of Assad.The coordinated strikes came as a response to the Syrian regime's alleged use of chemical weapons in Douma last week, killing scores of civilians.But Twitter reality is far different from the reality on the ground in Syria, where many indicators point to the fact that the strikes did not cripple the Syrian Govt 's capabilities, nor did it affect Assad's morale. According to several analysts, the strikes have achieved one goal only: not to provoke Russian forces in Syria, thus minimising any possibility of an escalation between Moscow and Washington. Contrary to Trump's strong language and threats before the attacks, the mission did not have any impact and only helped Assad's regime to gain a new moral momentum.This failure, which Trump presented as a great achievement, was echoed in British PM  Theresa May's statement, saying the strikes were not about "regime change" or "intervening in a civil war", but were to "deter the use of chemical weapons" by the Syrian Govt .French Foreign Minister Jean-Yves Le Drian also said that the attacks did not target Syria's allies, in reference to Russia and possibly Iran and Hezbollah.Even the Pentagon, the US Department of Defense, stated that the strikes were not aimed at changing Assad's regime, but rather were intended to deter Assad from using chemical weapons.Various political analysts revealed that Trump's goal behind the strikes was simply to ease the burden of the scandals that had beset him in Washington, such as the FBI questioning of his personal lawyer Michael Cohen.Yet it remains unclear what effect, if any, the US-led strikes had on alleviating the suffering of Syrians.On the battlefields, Assad forces are making more gains, and Syrian rebels continue to count their losses on various fronts.The majority of Syrians find themselves once again disappointed by those who call themselves friends of the Syrian people, while their reality stagnates or becomes even worse.Ibrahim al-Marashi, an associate professor of history at California State Univesity, said that US strikes embody "largely symbolic actions with little consequence on the ground".
Egypt court upholds life sentence against Brotherhood supreme guide Mohamed Badie
Cairo: An Egyptian appeals court today upheld a life sentence against the Muslim Brotherhood's supreme guide Mohamed Badie for "planning violent attacks", judicial officials and his lawyer said.The Court of Cassation also upheld life sentences against two other Brotherhood leaders including Mahmoud Ghozlan, a Brotherhood spokesman, along with five-year prison terms for 14 others, defence lawyer Abdel Moneim Abdel Maksoud told AFP. Badie's life sentence -- his third -- and the court's other rulings are final and cannot be appealed.The defendants were accused of conspiring to stir unrest during protests that followed the July 2013 military-led ouster of Egypt's Islamist president Mohamed Morsi, who hailed from the Brotherhood.The retrial came after the Court of Cassation scrapped a 2015 ruling under which Badie and 13 others were condemned to death and 34 defendants given life terms -- 25 years in Egypt.The court has cancelled scores of death sentences against Morsi supporters, including against the deposed president himself.AFP
Gunmen attack house of Pakistan SC judge who is monitoring cases against Nawaz Sharif
Lahore:The residence of a Supreme Court judge who is monitoring the corruption cases against ousted premier Nawaz Sharif came under firing by unknown gunmen on Sunday, triggering widespread condemnation in Pakistan.No casualty or injury was reported in the firing incident at the house of Justice Ijaz ul Ahsan in Model Town Lahore.According to a statement issued by the Supreme Court, Justice Ahsan’s residence was targeted twice at 4:30am and 9am on Sunday.Following the incident, Chief Justice of Pakistan Mian Saqib Nisar reached Justice Ahsan’s house and summoned Punjab inspector general Arif Nawaz Khan.The Chief Justice is personally monitoring the situation, it said, adding that a forensic team has also reached the scene to collect evidence while ballistic experts are called in to determine the nature of fire.PTI
Saudi's King Salman rejects US plan to transfer embassy to Jerusalem
DHAHRAN: Saudi Arabia's King Salman on Sunday opened an Arab League summit by criticising US President Donald Trump's decision to transfer the US embassy in Israel from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem."We reiterate our rejection of the US decision on Jerusalem," the king said in a speech in Dhahran in eastern Saudi Arabia."East Jerusalem is an integral part of the Palestinian territories," he added.AFP
Qatari emir not attending Arab summit in Saudi
Qatar will not be represented by a senior official at an Arab summit taking place in Saudi Arabia on Sunday, in a sign that a nearly year-old dispute between Gulf Arab neighbours is still a long way from being resolved.Qatari delegation will be headed by Doha’s permanent representative to the Arab League, Saif bin Muqaddam al-Buainain, the state news agency said without elaborating.Most of the 22 other countries are represented by heads of state or Govt . Qatari Emir Sheikh Tamim bin Hamad al-Thani headed Qatar’s delegation at last year’s Arab summit in Jordan.middleeastmonitor
Israeli forces arrest Hamas official in West Bank
Israeli forces detained a Hamas official in the West Bank town of Al-Bireh on Sunday, according to local residents.Israeli soldiers raided and searched the house of Jamal al-Taweel in Umm al-Sharayit neighborhood before taking him into custody, the residents said.Israeli army has yet to confirm the arrest.Al-Taweel was elected as a mayor of Al-Bireh in 2006.middleeastmonitor
Myanmar's first Rohingya repatriation 'staged', rights groups say
Rights groups are expressing scepticism over the announcement that Myanmar has repatriated the first Rohingya family, despite warnings from the UN."This is a deception," Rohingya Blogger, a watchdog and Rohingya rights website run by Rohingya activists in Europe, said in a statement on Sunday.The Myanmar Govt  announced in a Facebook post on Saturday that a family of five had returned to the country from the border area between Bangladesh and Myanmar, where thousands of refugees are holed up.aljazeera
FLASH: VIEWS & NEWS
A Scholar’s Voice From Gaza: ‘Silence is Complicity, Speak Up Please!’:HAIDAR EID
Real Instinct Lurking Behind Kathua Horror: Apoorvanand
Why are children’s bodies battlefields of communal and family wars? Swati Parashar
From Babri Masjid to Gujarat riots: Sahmat posters are an archive of political and cultural history:Zinnia Ray Chaudhuri
No Conscience- No Morality- Only Arrogance: Why Are Our Leaders Tearing India Apart:LT GENERAL VIJAY OBEROI
Similarities Between British Rule and the Hindu Communalists in India:MANISH KUMAR
No Conscience- No Morality- Only Arrogance: Why Are Our Leaders Tearing India Apart:LT GENERAL VIJAY OBEROI
Out of my mind: The largest minority: Meghnad Desai
Dalit youth have no use for leaders any longer:Sujata Anandan
Muslim polygamy and the bigamous Hindu:Flavia Agnes
Modi’s Handling of Kathua, Unnao Rape Cases an ‘Existential Crisis’, say Former Civil Servants
Bhakts will soon face an existential crisis, because messiah Modi is set to lose votes:KUMAR KETKAR
Protest rally to 'save religion, save country' by several Muslim groups and AIMPLB's in Bihar

Compiled and edited by Anwarulhaq (Released at: 8:04 PM)

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