25 April 2018

25 April ND: Asaram found guilty of raping teenager, awarded life term/ Dr Kafeel gets bail from HC/ HC recalls earlier order opposing minority status of Jamia

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25 April 2018:08 Shaban 1439:Vol:10, No:07
Asaram found guilty of raping teenager, awarded life term
Jodhpur:A Jodhpur court today awarded life sentence to self-styled godman Asaram after holding him guilty of raping a teenage girl in his ashram 5 years ago, the second case of a powerful spiritual leader being convicted of a sexual offence in less than a year after Dera Sacha Sauda head Gurmeet Ram Rahim last Aug.Special judge Madhusudan Sharma's verdict, which comes as the debate over sexual violence, particularly the rape of minors, intensifies across the country, was read out in Jodhpur Central Jail where 77-year-old Asaram has been kept for over 4 years. Special court for SC/ST cases convicted two other accused, Shilpi and Sharad, and acquitted two, Prakash and Shiva."The court has awarded life imprisonment to Asaram while the two other convicts have been each sentenced to 20 years in jail," a senior police official said.Arguments for the quantum of sentencing were earlier held inside the heavily fortified jail premises, where the trial court delivered its verdict in accordance with the directions of the Rajasthan HC.Asaram, who started from a hut on banks of the Sabarmati, created a Rs 10,000 crore empire with 400 ashrams in India and other parts of the world in 4 decades.PTI
Top cop who led probe in Asaram rape case received 2,000 threat letters, phone calls
Senior police officer Ajay Pal Lamba received more than 2,000 threatening letters and hundreds of phone calls while he was overseeing the investigation in the rape case against self-styled godman Asaram.A special court in Rajasthan’s Jodhpur on Wednesday convicted Asaram of raping a minor girl at his Jodhpur ashram in 2013. Asaram faces at least 10 years in jail; under the charges, he could be sentenced to life imprisonment. The quantum of sentence is yet to be pronounced.HT
3 witnesses killed, several attacked and threatened for speaking against Asaram
Asaram conviction: We lived in constant terror, satisfied with verdict, says victim’s father
New Delhi:The father of the 16-year-old girl from UP’s Shahjahanpur, who was raped by self-styled ‘godman’ Asaram five years ago, said justice has been served and that he was satisfied with the verdict. A special court in Jodhpur on Wednesday convicted Asaram, 77, in the 2013 rape case and sentenced him to life imprisonment .
After more than 7 months in jail, Dr Kafeel Khan gets bail from Allahabad High Court
Lucknow: After spending more than seven months in jail, Dr Kafeel Khan, prime accused in the death of dozens of children at the BRD Medical College in Gorakhpur last year, was granted bail by the Allahabad High Court on Wednesday. The single bench of Justice Yashwant Verma while granting bail said since the chargesheet has already been filed in the case there was no need of custody. Dr Khan’s family had applied for bail on six different occasions in the past seven months. Gorakhpur Police have already dropped charges of corruption and private practice against Kafeel, who is one of the nine accused in the BRD Medical College case that left many dead allegedly due to oxygen shortage in the children’s ward. Addressing a press conference in Delhi last week, Dr Shabista Khan, the wife of Dr Kafeel Khan, alleged that the prison authorities were not giving proper medical care to her husband. Citing her husband’s ailing health, Dr Shabista urged the government to consider his deteriorating condition as an emergency and grant him bail on medical grounds.news18
With $69 billion, India world’s top recipient of foreign remittances – 54% of them from 5 Muslim countries
New Delhi:With $69 billion in foreign remittances, India was the world’s biggest recipient of remittances in 2017, says a World Bank report released on Monday. The country has witnessed a surge in critical foreign remittances after a slowdown for two consecutive years. Around 54% of India’s remittances — $37 billion — have come from 5 Muslim nations alone. Remittances to low- and middle-income countries rebounded to a record level in 2017 after two consecutive years of decline, says the World Bank’s latest Migration and Development Brief. Bank estimates that officially recorded remittances to low- and middle-income countries reached $466 billion in 2017, an increase of 8.5%  over $429 billion in 2016. Global remittances, which include flows to high-income countries, grew 7% to $613 billion in 2017, from $573 billion in 2016.“The rebound in remittances, when valued in US dollars, was helped by higher oil prices and a strengthening of the euro and ruble,” the World Bank said in a press release on Monday.“Remittance inflows improved in all regions and the top remittance recipients were India with $69 billion, followed by China ($64 billion), the Philippines ($33 billion), Mexico ($31 billion), Nigeria ($22 billion), and Egypt ($20 billion).”According to the World Bank, remittances to South Asia grew a moderate 5.8 %  to $117 billion in 2017. Remittances to many countries appear to be picking up after the slowdown in 2016. Remittances to India picked up sharply by 9.9 %  to $69 billion in 2017, reversing the previous year’s sharp decline. Flows to Pakistan and Bangladesh were both largely flat in 2017, while Sri Lanka saw a small decline (-0.9 % ). In 2018, remittances to the region will likely grow modestly by 2.5 %  to $120 billion.India got $69 billion ($68,968 million to be specific) from its workforce scattered in over 100 countries – the bulk has come from 10 countries. Around 54% of $69 billion have come from five Muslim countries. Out of $68,968 million, $37042 million have come together from United Arab Emirates, Saudi Arabia, Kuwait, Qatar and Oman.With $13,823 million in remittances from Indian expatriates, UAE was No. 1 sending country for India, followed by US from where India got $11715 million. UAE is home to over 33 lakh migrants from India.CaravanDaily
HC recalls earlier order opposing minority status of Jamia
New Delhi: Delhi High Court has recalled its order taking on record an affidavit of the NDA Govt  saying Jamia Millia Islamia was not a minority institution, and striking off the response of the erstwhile UPA Govt  supporting its minority status. The high court recalled its 13 March order saying it had "erroneously" not noted that there were other parties in the matter who could have been affected by the proceedings.It allowed the plea of the university V-C, its registrar and the teachers' association that the present Govt  has not established any ground for replacement of the existing affidavit of 29 August, 2011. They said that neither were they served a copy of the Centre's recent application to take on record the fresh affidavit, nor were they heard before the disposal of the plea. A bench of Acting Chief Justice Gita Mittal and Justice C Hari Shankar said there was merit in the submission and added: "we have erroneously not noted that there were other respondents, who could have been affected by the outcome of the proceedings". The court said it was trite that all the affected parties were required to be heard before passing an order and recalled its 13 March order. On 13 March, the court had accepted the prayer made by the Centre's counsel and permitted them to file a fresh counter affidavit which was submitted on 5 March. It had also said that the 2011 affidavit supporting the minority status, shall stand struck off from the record. Reversing the previous Govt 's stand, the Centre had filed the revised affidavit in the high court opposing the order of National Commission for Minority Educational Institutions (NCMEI) declaring Jamia as a religious minority institution.HRD ministry, under then minister Kapil Sibal of the UPA-II Govt, had on 29 August, 2011, submitted an affidavit in the court stating that the Govt respects the declaration made by NCMEI. The fresh affidavit, filed by the BJP-led Govt last month, cited the Supreme Court's decision in the Azeez Basha Vs Union of India case of 1968 to justify the change in stand. It stated that the first affidavit did not take note of the Azeez Basha case, in which the apex court had said that a university incorporated under an Act of Parliament cannot claim the status of a minority institution.PTI
Delhi High Court recalls order admitting Centre’s affidavit opposing Jamia Millia’s minority status
Call full court to discuss Supreme Court future: Justices Gogoi, Lokur write to CJI Dipak Misra
Two days after seven Opposition parties gave notice for impeachment of CJI Dipak Misra, two senior judges of the Supreme Court, Justices Ranjan Gogoi and Madan Lokur, wrote to CJI that he call a “full court” to discuss “institutional issues” and “future” of the apex court.Opposition notice for impeachment was rejected Monday morning by Vice President and Rajya Sabha Chairman M Venkaiah Naidu. Justice Gogoi is expected to succeed CJI Misra who demits office in Oct.In a brief two-sentence letter delivered to CJI Misra Sunday, Justices Gogoi and Lokur, who are members of the Collegium, demanded that he call a “full court” on the judicial side to discuss “institutional issues” and the “future” of the court.CJI has not yet responded to their letter. Sources said that when the issue of a full court was raised by some judges during the customary morning meeting of all Supreme Court judges over tea on Monday, CJI Misra was non-committal on the matter.A full court meeting of the SC, involving all judges, is usually convened by CJI when a matter of public importance relating to the judiciary comes up.This letter follows 2 other letters by senior members of the Collegium, both written in the past few weeks, which asked the CJI to involve all judges in protecting the judiciary from undue interference by govt.indianexpress
Supreme Court justices write letter to CJI Dipak Misra, warn of 'institutional issues' regarding future of court
RTI asks when Rs 15 lakh promised by PM Modi during campaign will be transferred to bank account; PMO says query doesn't come under 'information'
New Delhi: A query on when the Rs 15 lakh promised by PM  Narendra Modi during his 2014 election campaign would be transferred to people's bank accounts, does not come under the definition of 'information' under RTI Act and so cannot be answered, PMO has told Central Information Commission.RTI applicant Mohan Kumar Sharma filed a plea on Nov.26, 2016 --nearly 18 days after demonetisation of Rs 1,000 and Rs 500 was announced by the PM  -- seeking to know the date of deposit of Rs 15 lakh in the account of each citizen as promised by Modi, besides other queries.During the hearing, Sharma told CIC R K Mathur that complete information had not been provided to him by PMO and RBI.'The respondent no.1 (PMO) stated. they have informed the appellant that information sought by him on point nos.1 and 4 (regarding date of deposit of Rs 15 lakh in the account of each citizen as promised by PM Narendra Modi; how print media houses came to know before the announcement of PM Narendra Modi about demonetisation, etc.) of RTI application does not fall under the definition of 'information' as per Section 2(f) of RTI Act,' Mathur noted.According to the section 2 (f) of RTI Act, "information" means any material in any form, including records, documents, memos, e-mails, opinions, advices, press releases, circulars, orders, logbooks, contracts, reports, papers, samples, models, data material held in any electronic form and information related to any private body which can be accessed by a public authority under any other law for the time being in force.PTI 
AADHAAR Seeding Fiasco: How To Geo-Locate By Caste and Religion In AP With One Click
A public online dashboard on a website maintained by the AP government allows anyone with an internet connection to use "religion" or "caste" as a search criterion to identify the homes of 5,166,698 families in 13 districts in AP. The vulnerability was first spotted by Srinivas Kodali, a security researcher.HuffPost India is not revealing the website to protect the privacy of those listed in its database.On using the dashboard, HuffPost India found the precise latitude and longitude of homes inhabited by Muslim families, Dalit families, Hindu homes and even Zorastrian families. When HuffPost India checked back on the database, the number of families enrolled had increased, suggesting the database continually updated and the privacy implications are growing every hour. HuffPost India is not publishing the exact numbers, as this is sensitive information. The dashboard uses Aadhaar numbers as a unique identifier to compile detailed information about beneficiaries of a widely-promoted government subsidy programme.huffingtonpost
Another Aadhaar vulnerability exposed? Andhra Pradesh families can be geo-located with one click
'Casting couch everywhere, Parliament not immune', says Congress party's Renuka Chowdhary
New Delhi: Congress leader Renuka Chowdhary today said the hallowed halls of Parliament aren't immune to the casting couch mentality.Her comment came in response to statements earlier in the day by a Hindi film choreographer, Saroj Khan, who said the casting couch mentality is rampant in her industry."It is not just in the film industry. It (casting couch) happens everywhere and it is the bitter truth. Don't imagine that Parliament is immune or other work places are immune to it. It is time that India stood up and said, 'Me Too'", said the Congress's Chowdhary.'Me Too' is a movement to end sexual assault. It spread rapidly on social media starting last Oct, after US actor Alyssa Milano encouraged women to tweet about their experiences with sexual harassment and assault - as in, 'Me Too' -- to "give people a sense of the magnitude of the problem".Earlier today, Hindi film choreographer Khan also spoke of the casting couch. She had a take on it that was a lot different from Chowdhary's. She acknowledged that the mentality has existed in Bollywood for decades now, "but at least it provides a livelihood."TOI
UP: Dalit convert to Islam beaten, shaved by right-wing activists
Meerut: Pawan Kumar, 34, a welder by profession, converted to Islam 20 days ago. He grew a beard and started wearing a skullcap as well. On Monday night, right-wing groups got to hear of this and descended on his home at Vishwakarma locality of Shamli. They beat him up, threw his skullcap away and got him shaved. A video of the assault has been uploaded and widely shared online.The activists also alleged that a local madrassa had coerced Kumar to convert to Islam. Kumar denied the allegations and said, “I read a lot about Islam on the internet and one day decided to embrace the religion. No one forced me or lured me into this. I want to remain a Muslim but these rightwing activists beat me up and shaved off my beard.”Kumar has 4 married sisters. His parents are dead and he lives alone. A few days ago he was seen on the streets with a new look and the news spread rapidly.Vivek Premi, regional head of students of Bajrang Dal said, “Locals informed our activists in Vishwakarma colony about this sudden change. However, after counselling he understood that he had made a mistake and agreed to return to Hinduism. We conducted a shuddhikaran ceremony late on Monday night.”Police on the other hand kept a safe distance from the entire episode. Parvez Ahmad, station officer at Shamli police station said, “We have heard about the incident but no one approached us with a complaint.” TOI
UP Sunni Central Waqf Board Tribunal case: Allahabad HC issues notice to Yogi Govt.
Lucknow: Allahabad High Court has issued a notice to Yogi Govt  in UP Sunni Central Waqf Board Tribunal case and has asked tough questions. Besides, it has also sought clarification from Sunni Waqf board regarding the nomination of Mutawalli. This order was issued while hearing a case filed by Mohammed Shafi Khan Secretary Haji Syed Qasim Husain Hashmi shrine.A 2-member bench of Justice Vikram Nath and Justice Sunil Kumar has put the next hearing on May 15 and asked the parties to appear before the court with complete details.The lawyer of the petitioner, senior advocate Syed Farman Naqvi argued that Rehan Ali Khan, whom Sunni Waqf Board has made Mutawalli, has serious charges against him. Besides while appointing him Awqaf Act has been violated. On the other side advocate, Naqvi also challenged the decision of state Govt  in which yogi Govt  shrunk the Waqf tribunal from 3-member to 2-member in 2017. siasat
AMU alumnus' pic with Hizb operatives seen on social media:TOI
Lucknow: Another photograph of former AMU PhD scholar Mannan Wani has surfaced on social media. Security agencies tracking scores of Kashmiri youths who have strayed from mainstream and joined militancy, stumbled upon Wani's photograph and shared it with UP Police few days back.Fears of law enforcement agencies came true as the photo shows Wani posing with two other terror suspects, including Hizb-ul Mujahideen's most wanted operative Saifullah, and one Hafiz Aadil. Saifullah, who hails from Pulwama district, was also a PhD scholar.The photo shows Wani, Saifullah and Aadil posing with AK series rifles and sword in a hideout in Kashmir valley or across the border. The photograph landed at the desk of top officials at DGP headquarters last week and was passed on to anti-terrorist squad of UP police on Monday. "We have received a dossier on Wani and his activities and are trying to find out if he is in touch with youths in Aligarh. We are taking help of Aligarh police and have deputed cyber experts to find out from where the photograph was uploaded," said inspector general of UP ATS Asim Arun.TOI
'Sacrifice Squad' Will Hit the Streets if Ayodhya Verdict Does Not Go Our Way: BJP's Vinay Katiyar
Lucknow: Ex-Rajya Sabha MP, senior BJP leader Vinay Katiyar has said that if the decision regarding Ram Mandir does not come in their favour then a ‘Balidani Dasta (Sacrifice Squad)’ will be formed. The leader, famous for his controversial statements, said that the ‘Balidani Dasta’ will not be engaging in any work till the judgment is given by the apex court. Katiyar said, “If Ram Mandir is not constructed, then Balidani Dasta will do the needful and help in construction of the Temple. However, Balidani Dasta will not come into play till the time Supreme Court gives its decision. The process, though, has been started.” Katiyar also added that Iqbal Ansari, a party in Babri case, has little knowledge about the entire issue.News18
Nationalists claiming MNC hand in vaccines actually hurting Indian firms: WHO top officer
New Delhi:As allegations of “MNC vaccine lobby” and “vested interests” pushing their agenda in India refuse to die down, WHO Deputy DG Dr Soumya Swaminathan has said that “nationalist” organisations that claim immunisation helps MNCs are not aware that they are hurting Indian companies the most, as globally 60 %  of all vaccines are made in India.According to her, questioning the technical process for inclusion of new vaccines in India’s Universal Immunisation Programme (UIP) is to question the integrity of 3 secretaries to the Govt of India. As director-general of Indian Council of Medical Research (ICMR) and secretary in the Department of Health Research, Swaminathan herself was, until October last year, one of those three top officials in the Govt . The committee is tasked with deciding which vaccines every child in India will have the right to be given free of cost at Govt  health centres.“The voices against vaccines are based mostly on hype, not on facts. Some nationalistic bodies claim that the immunisation programme helps MNCs – it is just not true,” Dr Swaminathan said from Geneva. “They do not know that they actually hurt Indian companies the most. Even the HPV vaccine that they are so upset about will soon have an Indian manufacturer. Serum Institute of India is already conducting phase-III trials. There are other companies, too.”indianexpress
4 militants, 4 security men killed in J&K forest shootout
Srinagar: 4 JeM militants and two security personnel were killed on Tuesday in an gunfight in a forested area in Jammu and Kashmir’s Pulwama district, officials said.Four militants, all of the Jaish-e-Mohammed, were killed, said state police chief S.P. Vaid. The army also announced that four militants had been killed.Police sources said the security personnel killed included an Indian Army soldier and a state policeman.IANS
Day after encounter, life comes to grinding halt in some areas in J&K
Normal life came to a grinding halt on Wednesday in some areas in south Kashmir district of Pulwama, where four militants, including two foreigners, were killed in an encounter with security forces on Tuesday.Even though there was no strike call given by any separatist organization, shops and business establishments were closed and traffic was off the roads in Tral and adjoining areas against the killing of the militants. An Army soldier and a policeman were also killed in the encounter in Laam Forest in Tral.Meanwhile, clashes erupted in Aripora between security forces and protestors, who took to streets and tried to take out a protest rally against the killing of the militants.UNI
Kathua gangrape-murder case: Minor accused denied bail, court says crime grave, not ‘juvenile’
Jammu:Observing that the crime attributed to him prima facie appears grave and heinous, and not a “juvenile” offence, a local court in Kathua on Tuesday denied bail to the juvenile, who is among eight people arrested by police on charges of abduction, rape and murder of an eight-year-old girl in the district earlier this year.In his order, CJM Amarjeet Singh Langeh noted that the applicant is a juvenile, and his bail application thus needs to be considered in light of Section 13 of Juvenile Justice Act, which has an overriding effect.However, he pointed out, the law carves out an exception, recommending denial of bail to a juvenile in two scenarios: when his release would conceivably bring him into association with any known criminal or expose him to moral, physical, or psychological danger; and, second, when bail will have consequences of defeating the ends of justice.indianexpress
How Unregistered Weapons Were Procured for Fake Encounters, Surrender Dramas:Imphal Free Press
Imphal: Naib Subedar Ramesh Chand Sharma of 30th Assam Rifles has revealed how weapons were procured clandestinely by the military and paramilitary to get promotions, how many officers took advantage, in the name of counter insurgency operations, to stage various alleged encounters and surrender dramas as well as planting weapons where it suited them.In an interview with Imphal Free Press, Ramesh implicated many officers of the security forces for gathering weapons from unauthorised sources. Ramesh, number JC 3000449 of 30th Assam Rifles, was stationed at ‘B company’ at Khurkhul Spinning Mills in 2013. On Feb.3 that year, a call came from the second in command of B company, namely Mahavir Singh, that a junior commissioned officer was (JCO) be sent to Mantripukhri headquarters.As per the directive, Ramesh went to Mantripukhri Assam Rifles headquarters in a bulletproof vehicle (MNO6-T/0773) along with three security personnel which included the driver. At around 6.30 am, they met Col Ved Pal Yadav, (Sena Medal) who belonged to 1st Naga Group and was the commandant of 30th AR, Adjutant Major P.M. Tekhrwade belonging to the 290 Artillery, Subedar Major K.D. Bhotia, Subedar Ganga Singh, Naib Subedar Jaibir Singh, BHM Danesh Sharma, CHM Ramananda. The said personnel were standing by the road near the CO office located at Mantripukhri, Ramesh said.thewire
Ex IG Darapuri flays Yogi Govt on fake encounter raj in UP
Lucknow:S R Darapuri, ex-IGP of UP, is known as a socially-conscious and sensitive social activist providing support to social justice movements in India. He speaks to Caravan Daily about the spate of fake encounters and worsening law and order situation in the BJP-ruled UP. He discusses the prevalent criminal justice system in the state, truth of Police encounters and corruption under Yogi Govt. Darapuri said, "The criminal justice system being practiced by the present BJP Govt is a clear transgression of the existing laws. They had promised of making the state crime-free and criminal free if they are voted to power. To achieve this goal Govt  has adopted some very wrong tactics.There is a rise in the number of fake cases which are being registered on the basis of concocted stories designed to implicate people who are not allies of BJP. Interestingly, we see a number of people with serious criminal charges are being set free, while those with minor charges are being punished. Contrary to the claims made by the UP’s BJP Govt , the number of crimes committed against women or atrocities against Dalits have been on the rise."Caravan Daily
Gadchiroli: Naxal body count now 37, police laid an ambush, and waited
Boria:An ambush, heavy weapon fire and pinpointed information gave Maharashtra Police the edge in encounters over the last two days in Gadchiroli, in which 37 Maoists were killed and no police casualty was reported.The bodies of 15 more rebels were recovered Tuesday from the Indravati river into which, police said, the Maoists jumped to escape.While 31 Maoists were killed in a firefight Sunday in a police ambush in Kasnasur region, 6 more were gunned down in another encounter in Aheri tehsil Monday night.Among the 15 bodies recovered Tuesday and flown to Gadchiroli in a helicopter, eight were women. Police ambush on Sunday was along a 2-km stretch of land where the river crosses into Chhattisgarh, which police said the Maoists had chosen to set up camp. But before they could settle in, security forces had swooped in with heavy weapons and lobbed several grenades, which sources said killed many Maoists in one stroke.indianexpress
Mecca Masjid blast case: ‘Is it difficult to prove that Aseemanand and I were in jail at the same time?’
Hyderabad:“If Aseemanand and I were not in Chanchalguda Jail at the same time then how did he know my name which he mentioned in his confession statement? How did he know that I was arrested earlier on suspicion of being involved in the Mecca Masjid blast case?” asked Shaik Abdul Kaleem, to whom Aseemanand allegedly confessed his involvement in the Mecca Masjid blast case. Kaleem was earlier arrested as a suspect in the case in 2007 and acquitted by court in 2008. The prosecution had submitted Aseemanand’s confession before a magistrate in New Delhi and before Kaleem as the main evidence against him in the chargesheet, and the entire case hinged on these 2 points.In the judgment delivered by NIA court on April 16, Judge K Ravinder Reddy who acquitted all accused in case, including Swami Aseemanand, observed the prosecution failed to prove that Kaleem and another youth, Maqbool Bin Ali,were in Chanchalguda Jail when Aseemanand was lodged there.Kaleem, 29, wondered why the CBI and the prosecution lawyer did not seek jail records to prove that they were together. “Is it so difficult to prove that 2 persons sent to judicial custody to Chanchalguda Jail, where entries are made, records are maintained and prisoners are given numbers, were there at the same time or not? (Accused) Lokesh Sharma and Devender Gupta were already there and then Aseemanand came. Sharma and Gupta were taken elsewhere and only Aseemanand was there in the barracks. We were together for a few days and that is a fact. That is what I told the court. I told this in Ajmer court as well as the Panchakula court where the prosecution made me a witness,’’ Kaleem says.indianexpress
10 get life sentence for lynching in Jharkhand
Ranchi:A fast-track court in Jharkhand’s Bokaro district on Tuesday awarded life imprisonment to 10 persons convicted of lynching a person in April last year after suspecting him of being a child lifter.The court of additional session judge at Tenughat, Ghulam Haider, had held the 10 persons guilty under Section 302 (murder) of the IPC, among other offences, on April 18.On April 4, 2017 a mob chased victim, Shamsuddin Ansari, suspecting him of kidnapping children, at Narra village under Chandrapura police station area of Bokaro district when he had come to his in-laws house. The mob thrashed Ansari brutally, following which he succumbed to his injury. The sister in-law of the victim Naimul Biwi had lodged an FIR against accused in the case. Convicts who were slapped with life term include Kishor Dasoundhi, Sagar Turi, Suraj Kumar Burnwal, Manoj Turi, Sonu Turi, Chhotia Koiry, Ram Kumar Koiry, Jitendra Thakur, Jitendra Rajak,and Chandan Dasoundhi.HT
BJP loses in most of cow-lynching areas in Jharkhand civic polls
Ranchi: In the recent civic polls in Jharkhand, the ruling BJP won most of the seats but its performance was poor in the areas where lynching or violence was conducted by gangs of cow vigilantes in the recent past.The saffron party won 10 out of 10 seats of mayors and deputy mayors in 5 municipal corporations in as many cities. But out of 26 seats of Chairman and Vice Chairman in 13 Nagar Panchayats (semi-urban areas), BJP could win only 15 seats. Its performance was worse in towns where elections for Nagar Parishads were held. Out of 32 seats of Chairman and Vice Chairman in 16 Nagar Parishads, BJP could win only 11 seats.The civic polls were held on 16th April and results were announced on 20th April.Some of the Nagar Parishad and Nagar Panchayat areas where BJP performed poorly included those areas where brutal gangs of gau rakshaks, with support of Hindu-right groups, had carried out violence in the name of cow or beef. Some people were even lynched by the mob.caravandaily
Drop the term Dalit, stick to SC/ST, RSS tells its workers
New Delhi: RSS wants its volunteers to avoid using the word Dalit, which it considers a colonial appendage with derogatory connotations, senior functionaries from the group said.A senior RSS official, speaking on condition of anonymity, said the RSS brass now wants its volunteers and those associated with its many affiliates to opt for the “constitutionally approved terms Scheduled Castes (SC) and Scheduled Tribes (ST)” instead. Alok Kumar, the international working president of RSS offshoot VHP, said the Sangh feels the terms SC and ST are more appropriate as it has constitutional sanction.“SC/ST is a term that has no castigation and is not derogatory,” he said. Last week, the ministry of social justice and empowerment wrote to all states and Govt departments, in the wake of a Madhya Pradesh high court verdict, to refrain from using the nomenclature ‘Dalit’ for members of SC/ST communities.HT
MANUU’s Residential Coaching Academy allocates only 16% of Budget for hiring as UGC delays extension
Hyderabad: MANUU, Residential Coaching Academy established by the UGC in 2009 seems to have run into rough weather, with the grants aid to the residential academies yet to be approved.The MANUU Civil Service Examination-Residential Coaching Academy (CSE-RCA) had submitted a detailed budget proposal of  Rs 1.33 crore to the UGC for providing coaching to the civil services aspirants during 2018-2019 session out of which only Rs 21 lakh has been allocated for hiring resource persons and the rest for paying salaries of permanent staff and other activities. Usually, the approvals are given by March 31st every year, but till this report was filed, MANNU had not received the approval.In a conversation with TCN, Professor Amirullah Khan, Director MANUU RCA said that the UGC was still looking into the matter. “Actually, people are speculating that we may close the academy as March 31 has passed and we haven’t yet received the extension,” Professor Khan said. TCN
Pak extends visa of Indian woman who married, embraced Islam during her visit
Lahore: Pakistan has extended for 6 more months the visa of an Indian woman, who had embraced Islam after marrying a local man during her visit to Pakistan to attend the Baisakhi festival, according to a media report .Kiran Bala, who after converting to Islam has taken the name Amna Bibi, had applied for a Pakistani citizenship and extension to her visa.Bala, who hailed from Punjab's Hoshiarpur district, had arrived in Lahore by a special train on April 12 to attend Baisakhi festival celebrations.During her visit, she embraced Islam and married a resident of Hingerwal, Lahore, on April 16 at a ceremony held at an Islamic seminary here.PTI
Shatrughan Sinha attacks BJP again: ‘Not rebelling against party, showing mirror to those in power’
Pune:Actor and BJP leader Shatrughan Sinha attacked BJP-led Govt  at the Centre over its policies and “failed promises” at an event in Pune on Tuesday. BJP MP said he was not rebelling against his party but was “showing a mirror to those holding the reins of power”. Sinha also warned that while change was “inevitable”, the “arrogance and ego” of those in power could only result in “ruin”.“Change is inevitable as no one is permanent. The arrogance and ego will not help, but they will take those in power towards ruin. The wave of change is in full swing,” said Sinha at the ‘Discussion of Development after 2014’, an event organised by Vasantdada Seva Sanstha, a social organisation. Senior Congress leader and former CM  Prithviraj Chavan was also present at the event.The disgruntled BJP leader said “honesty and transparency should go together”, and demanded to know “where is the transparency in the Govt ”. Without naming PM  Narendra Modi and BJP chief Amit Shah, Sinha said, “It is very unfortunate that it is a one man show and two-man army”.“Where are the tall promises made during the elections? There are efforts to divert focus… by raising issues of Hindu-Muslim communities. The country is united despite so many religions and castes… don’t instigate anyone,” cautioned Sinha.
India tops list of websites blocked, its telcos filter the most
New Delhi:Indian internet service providers (ISPs) have installed the highest number of Internet filtering systems and blocked the maximum number of web pages, an investigation covering 10 countries by University of Toronto-based Citizen Lab, along with the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation (CBC) and Indian Express in India, has found.Covering 10 countries where technologies marketed by Canadian company Netsweeper “appear to be filtering content for national-level, consumer-facing ISPs”, Citizen Lab spotted 42 of these installations by 12 ISPs in India — Pakistan came second with 20 installations. These findings will be published in a report to be released Wednesday. The highest number of blocked unique URLs in these countries — 1,158 out of 2,464 — was also found in India. This only accounts for representative samples of censorship coinciding with the testing period between August 2017 and April 2018, and is probably a fraction of the censored content.Other than those dealing in porn or piracy, websites and web pages found blocked at different points during the testing period in India include those belonging to domestic and foreign NGOs, UN organisations, human rights groups, health forums, feminist groups and political activists. Indianexpress
Syria regime kills 20 civilians in Yarmouk refugee camp
Around 20 civilians have been killed in week-long regime airstrikes on Syria’s Yarmouk refugee camp, according to local sources today.Several people were injured in the attacks, sources said on condition of anonymity due to security concerns. According to the sources, regime forces were trying to advance from the southern side of the camp, which accommodates some 2500 families, amid heavy bombardment. The attacks come after the regime and ISIL failed to reach a deal on evacuating the terrorist group’s militants from the Yarmouk camp and its vicinity.MEMO 
Yarmouk camp: From a 'war on stomachs' to 'annihilation'
There's only one thought that comes to Rami al-Sayed's mind when asked to describe an ongoing Syrian Govt offensive against an ISIL pocket south of the capital, Damascus. "Doomsday," says 35-year-old. "It's like Judgement Day."Al-Sayed is a former resident of Hajar al-Aswad, one of the neighbourhoods of the besieged Palestinian refugee camp of Yarmouk which is currently under attack by forces loyal to Syrian President Bashar al-Assad and Russian fighter jets. Activists say at least 15 civilians have been killed and more than 100 wounded since the fierce push to retake Hajar al-Aswad, Tadamun and Beit Sahem - which make up a considerable chunk of Yarmouk - began on April 19.Before the Syrian war started in 2011, the camp was home to Syria's largest Palestinian refugee population.The six-day operation by Syrian Govt  forces and their allies to drive out ISIL fighters has now turned the camp into a "ghost town", al-Sayed, who is currently based in the nearby rebel-held town of Yalda, told Al Jazeera on Monday."No clinics, no doctors, no supplies - it's pretty much empty," he added."People are not able to leave to purchase things they need. If they leave, they have to walk miles before seeing another person in the street; it is that uncommon to see people outside." UNRWA estimates that over the past few days some 5,000 Palestinians from Yarmouk have been displaced to Yalda.According to activists, more than 580 air raids struck Hajar al-Aswad and Tadamun since Thursday evening, the majority of which targeted "civilian basements".Residents of the besieged camp have called on Palestinian leaders, including PLO - Palestinian political parties - to help bring relief to the people of Yarmouk.Among those forced to leave was Majd al-Masry.aljazeera
UN WFP: Syria regime refused humanitarian aid for 200,000 civilians: middleeastmonitor
UN World Food Programme (WFP) said the Syrian regime has prevented supplies from entering eastern Ghouta meaning that some 200,000 civilians who stayed after the regime retook it from rebels went without much needed humanitarian support. “Eastern Ghouta is no longer under siege, but we still have not received passes to enter the region” Jakob Kern, WFP Syria Country Director said at a press conference at UN Office in Geneva.He called on the Syrian regime to allow the WFP teams to enter the area to deliver urgent aid to the population.
Saudi arrests nearly 1 million people in 4 days
Saudi authorities said they had arrested 994,000 people between 18 April to 22 April, Saudi Okaz newspaper reported. According to the paper, 14,467 people were stopped by the security agencies and border security forces regarding issues related violations of residency and labour regulations and attempted infiltration across the border into the kingdom.The paper said 58 %  of those arrested were Yemenis, 39% were Ethiopians and 3%  from other nationalities. The paper added that the Saudi security forces have arrested 640 people while trying to exfiltrate from the kingdom.MEMO
Kuwait: Not resolving GCC crisis is destructive to region
Kuwait's deputy foreign minister said Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) member-states were determined to resolve the ongoing crisis in the Gulf because not doing so would be destructive to the region, the official KUNA reported on Tuesday.Deputy Foreign Minister Khaled al-Jarallah who met Qatar's foreign minister, Sheikh Mohammed bin Abdulrahman Al Thani, on Tuesday discussed the "means of solving the crisis."Aljazeera
Egypt: Former top auditor sentenced to 5 years in prison
An Egyptian military court has sentenced Hisham Genena, the country's former top auditor, to five years in prison for "spreading news that harms the armed forces."Genena, a top campaign aide to former presidential hopeful Sami Anan, was arrested on Feb.13 after allegedly threatening in an interview to release "documents and evidence" of corruption in the army's higher ranks if Anan was harmed in detention.Anan, a retired army general, had been detained in January, just three days after announcing his short-lived presidential bid. The trial on Wednesday was contested by Genena's lawyers who argued the case did not fall under the military court's jurisdiction. According to local media, Anan's son accused Genena of slander and was looking to take legal measures against the former chief auditor.A journalist who interviewed Genena, Moataz Wadnan, was also detained on February 23.aljazeera
Egypt denies imprisoned Aboul Fotouh suffered heart attack
Egyptian authorities have denied claims that political leader, Abdel Moneim Aboul Fotouh has suffered two heart attacks during the past days that almost killed him.An Egyptian security source said that “Aboul Fotouh enjoys good health, and his family visits him in accordance with security regulations.” The source said that the claim that Fotouh suffered a heart attack was designed to spread terrorist lies and convey a false image about his health status in the media.middleeastmonitor
Malaysia releases photo of suspect in Palestinian's killing
Malaysian police have released a photo of one of the two suspects in the killing of a Palestinian engineer, and say the duo could still be in the country.Gaza's ruling Hamas group has accused Israel of being behind Saturday's shooting of Fadi al-Batsh, an important member of Hamas. Israel has neither confirmed nor denied involvement.Malaysian police earlier released computer-generated images of the two suspects, believed to be from Europe or the Middle East.A Kawasaki motorcycle was found abandoned near a lake about nine minutes from the scene, from which police were able to trace a photo of one of the suspects, IGP Mohamad Fuzi Harun told reporters.The new photo shows a light-skinned man with dark, wavy hair and a prominent goatee.aljazeera
US HC reviews Trump’s power to block Muslim immigrants
President Donald Trump’s effort to ban immigrants from several Muslim-majority countries heads to the Supreme Court today, which will decide if his argument asserting national security interests was tainted by religious bias.The case, known as Trump v. Hawaii, will address the president’s broad powers to set immigration policy, which the administration says permit Trump’s travel ban, one of his hallmark policies since taking office in Jan.2017.Legal experts say the court is usually loathe to rule on executive powers.But the travel ban’s focus on Muslim countries has left Trump the target of allegations that it violates constitutional religious protections, which led lower courts, including the federal court in Hawaii, to rule it illegal.PTI
Iran threatens to quit NPT if US scraps nuke deal
Tehran:A senior Iranian security official said on Tuesday that his country would consider withdrawing from the nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty (NPT) if the US scraps the 2015 nuclear deal, Tehran Times reported.“According to the NPT, the (contracting) countries can easily withdraw from the treaty if they realize that it does not benefit them and this is a possible option for the Islamic Republic of Iran,” said Ali Shamkhani, secretary of Iran’s Supreme National Security Council.IANS
Afghan Taliban announce fresh offensive in apparent snub to peace efforts
Kabul: Taliban launched their annual spring offensive on Wednesday, in an apparent rejection of calls for the militants to take up the Afghan Govt ’s offer of peace talks.Operation Al Khandaq -- named after a famous seventh century battle in Medina in which Muslim fighters defeated “infidel” invaders -- will target US forces and “their intelligence agents” as well as their “internal supporters”,a Taliban statement said.The Taliban said the offensive was partly a response to US President Donald Trump’s new strategy for Afghanistan announced last August, which gave US forces more leeway to go after insurgents. Annual spring offensive traditionally marks the start of the so-called fighting season, though this winter the Taliban continued to battle Afghan and US forces. The group also launched a series of devastating attacks in the Afghan capital Kabul, killing and wounding hundreds of civilians.Al Khandaq will mainly focus on “crushing, killing and capturing American invaders and their supporters”, the Taliban said.It added the presence of American bases “sabotages all chances of peace” and were key to “prolonging the ongoing war”, which began with US-led intervention in 2001 that overthrew Taliban regime. Western and Afghan experts said Taliban announcement was an apparent rejection of the offer and heralded more intense fighting in the drawn-out war.AFP
Never seen a ‘Balatkari Bachao Abhiyan’ by ruling party: Kavita Krishnan
West UP: Bhim Pathshalas give fillip to both education and Dalit movement:Biswajeet Banerjee
Remembering ex Chief Justice of Delhi High Court Rajinder Sachar :  Manzar Imam
Kathua rape puts Sidhra, one of few remaining Muslim settlements in Jammu, at focal point of communal rift: Sameer Yasir
Is a military coup possible in Iran?Saeid Golkar
British paper’s claim: Raghuram Rajan is contender for Bank of England’s governor’s job

Compiled and edited by Anwarulhaq (Released at: 3:39 PM)


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