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Sunday, 29 April 2018

29 April ND: Dalmia Group 'adopts' Red Fort:Opposition parties accuse Modi govt of 'selling' historic monument to corporates



NEWS DIGEST, MID-DAY  
29 April 2018:12 Shaban 1439:Vol:10, No:09
INDIA
Dalmia Group 'adopts' Red Fort:Opposition parties accuse Modi govt of 'selling' historic monument to corporates
New Delhi:Opposition parties questioned govt's move to allow a private entity to maintain the iconic Red Fort, days after a corporate house signed an agreement with the tourism ministry under its 'Adopt a Heritage' project. Congress on Saturday took potshots at the BJP over Dalmia Bharat Group signing an agreement with the tourism ministry.It posted a poll on Twitter, asking neizens which monument would be next “leased out to a private entity” in the country. Dalmia Bharat Group, under the memorandum of understanding, would maintain 17th-century monument and build basic infrastructure around it and has committed a sum of Rs 25 crore for the purpose over a period spanning 5 years.Sources in the know claimed the Dalmia Bharat group bagged the contract for Rs 25 crore after beating IndiGo Airlines and GMR group.“President announced a govt scheme on World Tourism Day in 2017 that those interested in value addition to any service of monuments can come forward. Some services of Red Fort has been given to Dalmia Group. No profit activity will take place,”Union tourism and culture minister Mahesh Sharma said.Under the scheme, private, public sector companies and corporate individuals are invited to adopt heritage sites for promoting sustainable tourism through conservation and for developing them.First-of-its-kind adoption enables Dalmia group to construct, landscape, illuminate and maintain activities related to provision and development of tourist amenities.  In addition to promoting sustainable tourism through conservation, Dalmia Bharat will also introduce other key amenities for the visitors like app-based multilingual audio-guide, digital interactive kiosk, digital screen, free W-Fi and cafeteria along with souvenir shop which will help in promoting local art and craftsmanship.The decision opposed by Congress, CPI(M) and Trinamool Congress, which slammed the government for virtually handing over the symbol of India's Independence to a corporate."PM Narendra Modi is preparing to mortgage India's symbol of Independence, Red Fort to corporates. Does Modiji or BJP even understand the importance of Lal Quila?"Congress' spokesperson Randeep Singh Surjewala said.TMC chief Mamata Banerjee tweeted, "Why can't the Government even take care of our historic Lal Qila? Red Fort is a symbol of our nation. It is where India's flag is hoisted on Independence Day. Why should it be leased out? Sad and dark day in our history."Deploring the move, the CPI (M) said that the government has virtually handed over the Red Fort to the Dalmia group.newindianexpress
Red Fort. Couldn't Spare Rs. 5 Crore, Asks Opposition
Historians object to Centre’s move to give Red Fort for upkeep to corporate group
Historians of AMU have taken strong exception to the Union Govt’s decision to give the Red Fort, protected monument, to a corporate group under the central Govt’s ‘Adopt a Heritage’ scheme. Scholar Irfan Habib, who is professor emeritus in the department of history in AMU, said that the Govt should not have given the Red Fort to a corporate group as they are not archaeologists or historians and are not aware of the “style” of that era.“Govt’s aim is just to increase the tourist footfall and revenue, but in the process, private firms are being allowed to destroy the beauty of these protected monuments,” Habib said. RC Agarwal, ex-joint director, Archaeological Survey of India, said the move was not in the interest of the monument. “Dalmia group has no in-house expertise. They will also hire someone on contract and this will not be good for the monument,” he said, adding that basic amenities should not be provided at the cost of the monument itself.Agarwal also agreed with Habib’s view that ministry doesn’t have archaeologists, conservators and historians, and as a result, they do not "seem to understand that preserving heritage should be the primary motive while marketing should be the secondary concern". Shireen Moosvi, professor in history dept of AMU and ex secretary of Indian History Congress,said “They should not modernise heritage as this is our identity and people want to see it.” Citing the example of conservation work undertaken by Agha Khan Trust at Humayun’s tomb, Moosvi said the colours, paint and brackets at Mughal emperor’s mausoleum are not like the original. “With such interventions, historical monuments will become like 21st century buildings,” she added.TOI
Inputs from RSS chief, gurukul heads may be included in Modi govt’s new education policy
New Delhi: BJP-led NDA Govt ’s new education policy is likely to incorporate inputs and suggestions given by RSS chief Mohan Bhagwat and educationists associated with the Sangh-backed gurukul system, HRD minister Prakash Javadekar has indicated.“We would want to have a subject in class XI and class XII looking at ancient India and its contribution to various fields like science and astronomy,” Javdekar said speaking at the Virat Gurukul Sammelan in Madhya Pradesh’s Ujjain Saturday.The event was organised jointly by the BJP Govt  in Madhya Pradesh and Mahrishi Sandipani Rashtriya Ved Vidya Pratisthan. Bhagwat and MP CM Shivraj Singh Chouhan were also present at the event.Classes XI and XII students will study a subject called ‘Bharat Bodh’ that will contain lessons on ancient India.Javdekar said that he has received 34,000 suggestions on the proposed curriculum.While Javdekar hinted at inclusion of Vedic education in the new education policy, CM Chouhan pledged his Govt ’s support to provide legal status to the gurukul system of education.“The state will register the gurukuls and treat them on a par with mainstream schools. Every district will promote the gurukul system and Govt will help trusts to open new gurukuls,” Chauhan said. “We will try to make the gurukul education autonomous,” added the CM.Bhagwat asked the existing gurukuls not to depend on Govt s for support. He said more parents are adopting homeschooling in the absence of an education system that could ensure holistic development of their children.“The education should be changed if needed. Even science undergoes change,” said RSS chief.“Newton was challenged by Einstein and Einstein was challenged now by recent discoveries of quantum physics,” he said. Minister of state for HRD Satyapal Singh, who was also present, said, “We are coming with a new education policy and I believe including Vedic education will make education system holistic.” theprint
Muslim teachers' request to provide time for Friday prayers leaves Delhi govt in jitters
A Delhi Minorities Commission letter forwarding a request to provide time for Friday prayers to Muslim teachers in primary schools has left Delhi Education Dept in jitters and officials hiding behind technicalities.The letter surfaces at a time when consolidation of votes in communal lines has taken a toll on the electoral prospects of political parties with secular credentials. On one hand, act of supporting Delhi Minorities Commission recommendation might be played as minority appeasement for votes by Opposition parties at the cost of school education to children, and on the other hand, opposing it might be construed as siding with majoritarian politics.The letter addressed to the Education Dept of Delhi and those of Municipal Corporations of Delhi on 11 April came with the subject ‘Regarding permission to Muslim employees of Govt  of NCT of Delhi to offer Juma prayers between 1-2 pm on Friday of every week’. The letter stated, "In this connection on the basis of this letter, the commission has desired for a detailed report. You are hereby requested for forward the detailed report in the aforementioned matter for consideration and further necessary action at end of the Commission latest by 27 April 2018."firstpost
Break for Jumu'ah prayers not allowed during school hours: Delhi Gov
Mann-Ki-Baat programme:PM Modi remembers Prophet, talks about his teachings of harmony
New Delhi: Days before crucial polls in Karnataka, which has a sizeable presence of Muslim population, PM  Narendra Modi on Sunday made a reference to one of the greatest teachings of Islam and said the Prophet himself had said that the biggest lesson for life is to help poor and feed the needy.“Prophet himself had once said greatest teaching of Islam is to help the poor and needy and feed them irrespective of whether you know him or not,” Modi said in his monthly radio broadcast Mann-Ki-Baat programme over All India Radio.PM said very shortly the sacred month of Ramzan will be on and this will be the time to reflect on the teachings and messages of the Prophet Mohammad.“From Prophet’s life, we must learn to live in equality and harmony,” Modi said.“The Prophet had great faith in knowledge and love and affection. He was never proud of anything. Prophet used to say it is the pride that kills one’s knowledge,” PM  said.dailyexcelsior
Suspended UP Minority Commission Member Held For Allegedly Impersonating Yashwant Sinha
Ex-UP  Minority Commission member Kunwar Afzal Chaudhary was arrested for allegedly impersonating as ex-BJP leader Yashwant Sinha to get his personal works done by authorities, police said. CM Yogi Adityanath sacked Chaudhary, a BJP leader from Ghaziabad, with immediate effect.According to the police, Chaudhary was making phone calls and mounting pressure on officers for getting his work done, posing himself as ex-Union finance minister Sinha.SSP Vaibhav Krishna said Chaudhary was quizzed by the crime branch of police. A probe was initiated against him when he tried to dupe the district authorities for getting his illegal works done, the officer said. Chaudhary also pretended to be UP deputy CM Dinesh Sharma and ex-Gujarat CM Shankar Singh Vaghela over phone calls to get some works done, he said. "He made phone calls to me to release 2 accused of thrashing a UP roadways bus conductor in a very dictating way,"SSP said, adding that he once even asked the district magistrate, Ritu Maheswari, to decide a land matter in favour of retired officer."Such activities created suspicion and a probe was launched to trace out the caller,"he said.Yesterday, the crime branch arrested Chaudhary and his accomplice Krishna Kumar. PTI
AMUSU keeps BJP MPs away from symposium
AMU Students' Union (AMUSU) has organized a symposium for MPs but did not invite any parliamentarian from the ruling BJP. The symposium, "Marginalised section in India Tolerance, participation and legitimacy of the state" saw participation from MPs from various political parties, including Rashtriya Lokdal, SP and Jan Adhikari Party.This is not the first time when BJP MPs have not been invited by the students union, which in fact had even warned the university administration against inviting any BJP or RSS functionary to the varsity’s convocation this year.They had initially raised objection to even the participation of the President of India, Ramnath Kovind, at the convocation function but had relented on the plea that he holds a constitutional post.President of AMU students union, Mashkoor Ahmad Usmani said that no BJP or RSS person will be allowed in the campus as they always pass statements against the institution and which are aimed at dividing the society and nation.He said, recently, a senior BJP leader and Rajya Sabha MP, Subramanyam Swami made a statement dubbing AMU as a "hub of terrorists".Earlier, local MLAs had also commented against AMU. Interestingly, no Congress MP’s turned up at the symposium. However, 6 MPs were invited including Abhijeet Mukherjee, Deependra Singh Hooda, Pratap Singh Bajwa, Tariq Anwar, Sanjay Singh and Guarav Gogoi.TOI
AMU students slam RSS' request to hold 'shakha' in campus
Anger is simmering among the students of AMU following a request made by an RSS functionary to hold their 'shakha' at the varsity campus.Furious at the 'audacity' of such an idea, AMU students have threatened of dire consequences if such an attempt is made by the saffron outfit to encroach into the institution. Haji Jamiluddin, a retired academician and an AMU alumnus said that since BJP came to power, RSS is becoming bolder and has even started recruiting some misguided Muslim youth into its cadre in order to look like a secular organisation. Jamiluddin said that the RSS is only aiming at destroying the minorities and establishing a Hindu dominion in the country. Entering a prominent minority institution like AMU will be a major victory for them.He said that allowing an organization like RSS to enter AMU campus will be equal to throwing black ink on face of Sir Syed Ahmed Khan, founder of AMU.Jamiluddin demanded that the Muslim youth who has made the request to hold a 'shakha' inside the university campus should be arrested immediately.Ex-AMU professor AA Qureshi too said that the Muslim youth who requested the permission to hold shakha inside the campus has sold his soul to the RSS. No AMU student, whether former or current, would write such a letter and orchestrate the entry of a divisive organisation like RSS into the campus.India Today,
RSS Muslim Manch seeks AMU, Jamia VCs permission for shakhas
Violence in Azamgarh over FB post, 15 held:TOI
15 people were arrested from Saraimeer area of Azamgarh district on Saturday after clashes broke out in the region over an allegedly derogatory post on Facebook. Facebook user was apprehended a day earlier and booked under the IT Act. The accused Amit Sahu on Thursday had allegedly written a post on Facebook, titled, “Islam mein burqa kyon (Why does Islam advocate the use of burqa)”.Following this, enraged members of Muslim community gheraoed the Saraimeer police station on Friday, demanding Sahu’s immediate arrest for hurting their religious sentiments. Based on a complaint by Obaidur Rehman of Pathani Tola, police registered an FIR against Sahu under sections 66A and 295A of the IT Act. Sahu was apprehended on Friday night and sent to jail on Saturday.On Saturday, scores of demonstrators gathered at Saraimeer and demanded action under the NSA against the accused.Fifteen demonstrators were arrested for rioting, said Azamgarh SP AK Sahani, adding that Sahu’s post had been removed from his Facebook wall. A case has been registered against the miscreants and they will be charged under the NSA.TOI
Azamgarh town tense after objectionable Facebook post on Prophet
Ayodhya case purely property dispute:Hindu bodies to SC
New Delhi: Hindu religious bodies have told the Supreme Court that Ram Mandir-Babri Masjid dispute in Ayodhya was purely a “property dispute” and the issue of political or religious senstivities cannot be a ground to refer the matter to a larger bench. A bench of CJI Dipak Misra and Justices Ashok Bhushan and S. Abdul Nazeer was told by senior advocate Harish Salve, appearing for original plaintiff Gopal Singh Visharad who was among the first to file a civil suit in the case way back in 1950, that there was no need to refer the matter to a larger bench since a three-judge bench was already seized of it. Salve said that as per the prevalent practices and traditions of the apex court, the appeals against orders passed by a full bench of any High Court have always come up for adjudication before a three-judge bench of the top court, instead of a two-judge bench.However,Salve maintained that factors like “politically sensitive, religiously sensitive” should be kept out of the court room. “These (issues) are all those things which should be kept outside the gate of the court,” he said, adding that the matter was a title suit which would be adjudicate on whether the property belongs to ‘A’ or ‘B’. Former Attorney-General and senior advocate K. Parasaran, appearing for the deity, Ram Lalla Virajman, supported Salve’s arguments and said the matter should be heard by a three-judge bench only.He too said the court should not send the matter to a five-judge bench as several evidence and documents will be needed to be examined and the larger bench should not do it as it is a property dispute.At the outset, Advocated Ramachandaran said the matter needed to be referred to a larger bench as it is matter of “sheer importance”. He said that considering the importance of the matter, the arguments of the state Govt, a full bench of the high court had dealt with the matter. “This case in the high court was dealt by the full bench not because there was substantial question of law or there was conflict of opinion among judges, but only due to the sheer importance of the matter, the background and the parties involved,” he said.He said the outcome of this case will have wide ramifications on the social fabric of the country as two major communities are involved in it.The hearing on the matter remained inconclusive and would continue on May 15.PTI
It seems L-G does not to reconstitute the Delhi Waqf Board: Amanatullah Khan
New Delhi:Reconstitution of Delhi Waqf Board, which was dissolved in 2016 over allegations of corruption, is awaiting L-G's approval, official sources said,while AAP MLA Amanatullah Khan alleged that it seems Anil Baijal was not willing to reconstitute the body. In Oct.2016, then Lt Governor Najeeb Jung dissolved Delhi Waqf Board after 2 of its members resigned alleging corruption.Jung had referred the matter to CBI for a probe into alleged "corruption" and procedural "irregularities" in the functioning of the board chaired by AAP MLA Amanatullah Khan."With the election of Himal Akhtar to the Board from Bar Council quota last month, the last hurdle in reconstitution of the body was cleared. Now, L-G's approval and notification to the elected and nominated members is awaited," a Govt  source said."A file of members nominated by Delhi Govt  on Board is lying pending with L-G (Anil Baijal)," source said.Amantullah Khan claimed that the issue was raised by AAP, including CM Arvind Kejriwal, in the budget session of the Assembly, but nothing happened.PTI
For 2nd consecutive yr, over 50 Muslims qualify for UPSC
New Delhi: For the second consecutive year, over 50 Muslim candidates have qualified for the coveted civil services.An analysis of the civil services examination results, declared by UPSC on Friday, shows that 51 candidates from the community cleared the three-stage examination. This is one short of the figure from the previous year, when 52 cracked the exam. In percentage terms, 5.15 %  of the successful candidates are Muslims as 990 qualified this year.Saad Miya Khan, at number 25, secured the highest rank.The increasing number of Muslims clearing the exam, considered the toughest in the country, is being attributed to the community’s concerted effort to groom Muslim youths for top bureaucracy. Syed Zafar Mahmood, ex-civil servant, who has been running Sir Syed Coaching and Guidance Centre under the parent organisation, Zakat Foundation of India, since 2007,which offers scholarships to about 50 students annually.This year, 26 students from his centre qualified.Some other popular academies for Muslim students are IKLAS IAS Academy in Chennai, Aaghaz Foundation in Lucknow, Hamdard Study Circle in New Delhi, MP Waqf Board in Bhopal, Noor and Jahan Foundation in Hyderabad.As there were 14.2% Muslims in India as per Census 2011, the aim should be to reach a proportional representation in administrative and police services, Mahmood said. “We still have a long way to go but the growth has been remarkable since last year”newindianexpress
Around 50 Muslims crack civil services exam, 5 of them are in top 100
2008 Malegaon blast case: MP High Court sets aside trial of two former-ATS officials
Mumbai:Indore bench of the MP High Court has set aside the trial of 2 former officials of the Maharashtra ATS in the case of alleged kidnapping and disappearance of Dilip Patidar, a witness in the Malegaon 2008 blast case. Maharashtra Govt has so far not granted sanction to prosecute them. In its order passed on April 13, the high court observed that then ATS officials, Rajendra Ghule and Ramesh More, had acted within the discharge of their official duty and therefore, Govt sanction would be necessary to prosecute them. It said that the CBI, the prosecuting agency in the case, shall be free to obtain sanction under Section 197 of CrPC and to proceed with the case, in case it is granted.The court went on to quash the Indore special CBI court’s order of July 2017, which had led to the 2 men facing trial for offences,including wrongful confinement, kidnapping and giving false evidence.Patidar, a 28-year old resident of Indore, stayed along with his family as a tenant of Ramji Kalsangra, the main accused in the blast which occurred on Sept.29, 2008.With Kalsangra absconding, Maharashtra ATS, which was investigating the case, had approached Patidar on Nov.10, 2008. He was taken to Mumbai on Nov.11 and his statement recorded as a prosecution witness. ATS had claimed that Patidar consented to give a statement to the magistrate under Section 164 of the CrPC and since he did not have any identity proof, he was asked to return home to get it. Patidar has been missing since.indianexpress
Kasganj communal violence: SIT files chargesheets over murder, violence
SIT probing the Kasganj communal clashes on Friday filed 2 chargesheets — one in the Abhishek Gupta murder case and the other in a case of violence that followed the murder. The chargesheet in the case of 22-year-old Gupta’s murder names 24 persons, including a 60-year-old man. Of them, 23 are lodged in jail, while one is absconding. The property of the accused on the run has been attached as per an earlier court directive. Chandan was shot dead while taking out a ‘Tiranga Yatra’ in his locality on January 26 to mark Republic Day. His murder led to a series of violent clashes in Kasganj town.“Chargesheet against 24 accused in the Chandan Gupta’s murder has been filed in the court of CJM, Kasganj. The court has taken cognizance of the chargesheet, which is filed on various charges including murder,” said the investigating officer, Inspector Ramesh Chand.Among those chargesheeted are prime accused Saleem and his two brothers Rashid and Wasim. They are prominent businessmen in Kasganj. Wasim was a member of a district industrial cell. Additional SP, Om Prakash Singh, who is heading SIT, said, “Role of 5 other persons is being probed in the murder case. As per evidence collected against them, action would be taken.”Meanwhile, the chargesheet in the case of violence names 36 accused, including 27 Muslims and nine Hindus. All accused are lodged in jail.indianexpress
Gujarat, where survivors of Naroda Patiya massacre plan for their next battle
On April 29, survivors of the massacre at Naroda Patiya, where 97 people were killed in the 2002 riots of Gujarat, gather to discuss their future course of action. On April 20, the Gujarat High Court acquitted exBJP Minister Maya Kodnani, who had been jailed for being the “kingpin of the violence”.Advocate Shamsad Pathan, who appeared for the victims in the case, admitted that the verdict amounted to a big setback and they would have to decide how to approach the Supreme Court to challenge the verdict.After the riot, survivors shifted to safe places such as Narol, Juhapur and Vatva. Even after 16 years of the violence, only a handful of families have returned to their original homes, while the rest have settled in other places.“It’s no use going back there because it only brings us memories of those brutally killed,” said a victim, now settled in Juhapura. He lost 3 members of his family.Working with Jan Sangharsh Manch, an outfit set up by the late advocate Mukul Sinha to fight for justice for the victims of the riots, Mr. Pathan is bringing survivors, witnesses and others together to chalk out a strategy for their legal battle in the Supreme Court.thehindu
‘Kathua mastermind had twin motives Saving rapist son, scaring away nomads’
Jammu: Sanji Ram, the mastermind of rape and murder in J&K ’s Kathua, has told investigators that after knowing that his son had also raped the abducted nomad girl, he decided that she should be murdered – to protect his son and scare away the nomads, police sources said on Friday, reports IANS.Sanji Ram told investigators that he came to know about the victim having been raped after four days.“After he came to know that his son Vishal was among those who had raped the victim, Sanji Ram decided that the victim could not be left alive,” a sources cited Sanji Ram as having told the investigators. A juvenile accused, who is Sanji Ram’s nephew, according to the revelations made before the investigators, had raped the victim on Jan.10 – same day she was abducted.freepressjournal
‘Rape’ in Madrasa: Muslim Body Demands Exemplary Punishment to Culprit through Fast-Track Court
New Delhi: All India Muslim Majlis-e Mushawarat (AIMMM) has demanded a fast-track court to prosecute the person accused of allegedly raping a minor girl inside a madrasa in Ghaziabad in UP. A 17-year-old boy has been arrested from the neighborhood of the madrasa.Navaid Hamid, President of AIMMM, has also demanded “exemplary punishment” to the accused when proven guilty.A 10-year-old girl from Ghazipur in Delhi was allegedly raped by a 17-year-old boy, known to her and her family, inside a madrasa in Ghaziabad area of UP  on 21st April. Until recently, girl’s family would live in the neighborhood of the madrasa and the accused knew her and her family. Girl went missing on 21st April from near her house in Ghazipur when she out to purchase some household item. When she did not return, her family lodged a missing complaint with the police. CCTVs showed the girl with the accused. Later her mobile signals were traced to the madrasa. The minor accused was arrested by the Delhi Police.caravandaily
‘Dr Kafeel Khan Sache Bharati’ Families of Children He Saved Greet Doctor As He Steps Out of Jail
Gorakhpur: Dr Kafeel Khan was released from jail a pale shadow of his former, confident self. Eyes staring, reflecting the terror of eight months in jail without bail, the doctor had not been forgotten by the families of the children he had managed to save at BRD hospital in CM Yogi Adityanath’s constituency. Carrying placards, they welcomed him back with “Dr Khan is our hero.” For the rest it was a quiet journey home with the doctor unable to factor in his ‘freedom’. With a stamp on the palm of his hand marking the release. His family, happy and relieved to have him back, have still the morrow to consider. As it will be of regular court appearances, and a struggle to win the case against the UP Govt .Videos and photographs after Dr Khan emerged from jail. People wait for “our hero” Dr Khan outside the jail.Dr Khan emerges to be greeted by his wife and little daughter, and the rest of the family along with a posse of journalists who he kept pleading with to let him go. “Please I am mentally exhausted,” he said.thecitizen
Bhima Koregaon violence: Dalit teen’s death a case of murder, says ‘fact-finding panel’
Pune;Members of a self-declared “fact-finding committee” formed by the Bhima Koregaon Shauryadin Prerna Abhiyan —the body which had organised the Elgaar Parishad in Pune on December 31 — on Saturday alleged that Puja Sakat, a 19-year-old Dalit girl who was found dead earlier this month, was murdered.At a press conference on Saturday, the committee shared its “report”, along with photographs of Puja’s body during post-mortem, purportedly showing marks of blood near her mouth.Professor M N Kamble, a member of the committee as well as the Bharip Bahujan Mahasangh, said, “If the girl had died because of drowning in the well, then how could she have been bleeding from her mouth…There were injury marks on her face and hands. We suspect it to be a case of murder.” Police have been treating Sakat’s death as a suicide and have booked nine persons, on the complaint of her family, on charges of abetting her suicide. Committee, however, alleged that Sakat was “killed by Hindutva activists” and linked her death to the violence in Koregaon Bhima on Jan.1. Committee accused police of lodging a case of suicide instead of murder to “protect Sambhaji Bhide and Milind Ekbote.”indianexpress
Phagwara: Dalit youth shot at during clash with members of pro-Hindu organisations succumbs to injury
Jalandhar:Phagwara is on edge after a Dalit youth who was allegedly shot during a violent clash between Dalit activists and members of pro-Hindu organisations succumbed to a bullet injury last night at DMCH in Ludhiana. He was allegedly shot in the head on April 13, hours before  Ambedkar Jayanti, over the renaming of a Chowk. Senior police and administrative officials confirmed that 18-year-old Yashwant, alias Bobby, had succumbed to his bullet injury. The police has thrown a tight security blanket over Phagwara town and sealed off all entry points to the neighbourhood where his family lives. Mobile internet services in the area have been snapped.Asha Ghai, aunt of the deceased, on phone, confirmed that body has reached Phagwara and preparations for the cremation is being done under tight security. Yashwant was first taken to a Jalandhar hospital, and due to the critical nature of his injury, he was shifted to DMCH Ludhiana for treatment on April 14. Ever since he was admitted to the Ludhiana hospital, the youth had been on life support system and there was no improvement in his condition.indianexpress
Ahead of Budh Purnima, 300 Dalits in Gujarat's Una to Convert to Buddhism Today
Ahmedabad: Dalit families of Mota Samdhiya village in Una taluka of Gujarat will convert to Buddhism on Sunday to protest against discrimination against the Dalit community.They are likely to be joined by around 300 Dalits from across the region, who will also embrace Buddhism. Those who will convert include people who were flogged and paraded half-naked through Una town in July 2016 by cow vigilantes, allegedly for skinning dead cattle.About 300 forms, having the details of persons and their consent to convert to Buddhism, have already been collected and handed over to the district administration, but Dalits say that the numbers will go much higher as others will give their consent at a function that has been organised at Mota Samdhiya village on Sunday to mark Budh Purnima.Buddhist monks from Porbander have been invited to preside over the function and invitations have been given to local political leaders as well.Ramesh Sarvaiya, one of the victims of the Una Dalit flogging incident, told News 18, “We got beaten and insulted in full public view almost two years ago. Several promises were made by the government, including Anandiben Patel, who was then the chief minister of Gujarat. None of those promises have been fulfilled by this government. What is the point of being a part of the religion that does not accept us as its own. After a lot of consideration, Dr Babasaheb Ambedkar had chosen Buddhism as the religion where there is no discrimination. I along with others will convert to Buddhism on Sunday.”news18
Una Dalit flogging case: Dalit victims set to embrace Buddhism today
Supreme court’s SC/ST Act ruling: Dalits, tribals organisations plan big rally on May 1
New Delhi:In a demonstration expected to be bigger, and more organised, than the Bharat bandh held on April 2, Dalit and Adivasi organisations from across the country plan to take to the streets on May 1 against the Supreme Court’s order on the Scheduled Castes and Schedules Tribes (Prevention of Atrocities) Act.‘National Coalition for Strengthening POA Act and its Implementation’, a collective of over 500 Dalit and Adivasi groups, has given call for holding peaceful demonstrations on May Day. “…this day is celebrated globally for realisation of the rights of working class.In India, most of the working class belong to SC and ST community,” read a statement issued by the Coalition.indianexpress
Brahmins learned, PM Modi is one, as was Ambedkar: Gujarat Speaker
Gandhinagar:Gujarat Assembly Speaker Rajendra Trivedi on Saturday described both PM Narendra Modi and Dr B R Ambedkar as “Brahmins”, and Krishna as an “OBC” who was “made God” by Rishi Sandipani. Trivedi was addressing a “Mega Brahmin Business Summit” in Gandhinagar.The “learned” Brahmin community has never been “power hungry”, and was instrumental in the success of kings such as Chandragupta Maurya, and of gods such as Lord Ram and Lord Krishna, Trivedi said.“Brahmins made the gods, and I have always said that Lord Ram was a Kshatriya, but it was the “rishis and munis” (learned sages) who made him god,” he said at the business summit-cum-job-fair organised by the Samast Gujarat Brahma Samaj at the Mahatma Mandir.“The shepherd of Gokul — today we would refer to him as an OBC — who made this OBC a god? It was Sandipani Rishi, a Brahmin,” Trivedi said, referring to Lord Krishna. Brahmins safeguarded the Sanskrit language, he said:“Bhagwan Vyas, the son of Matsyakanya, was made a god by the Brahmins.”indianexpress
BJP and RSS are spreading hatred in India: Rahul Gandhi at 'Jan Aakrosh' rally
Congress President Rahul Gandhi is addressing a public rally - 'Jan Aakrosh' - at the Ramlila Maidan in New Delhi, his first in the national capital since assuming the top party post."BJP and RSS spread hatred and we spread love. Dalits are being attacked. Rohit Vemula had to die. But the PM had not one word to say.Congress party is India's imaarat . We protect the minorities, Dalits and farmers."PM Modi used to spread lies about Congress and it's leaders. Now people are realising the strength of Congress and its workers.  In Gujarat, we were told we will get 25 seats. But see what happened.They (BJP) had every institution - CBI, ED - every worker and see what we did." Rahul Gandhi says the people of India are very unhappy with this government.
SP-BSP alliance poses tough challenge to BJP in Kairana, Noorpur bypolls
Bijnor: A day after announcement of poll dates for by-elections in UP’s Kairana Lok Sabha and Noorpur assembly constituencies, political activity has begun in both areas. After the recent drubbing the ruling party received in eastern UP's Phoolpur and Gorakhpur, the two bypolls in western part of the state are seen as an acid test for BJP as much as for the SP-BSP combine. The bypoll results will also set a tone for the 2019 general elections in the region.While there is still time for announcement of candidates, BJP is banking on sympathy wave in both the seats and is almost set to field Avani Singh, wife of deceased MLA Lokendra Chauhan, in Noorpur and Mriganka Singh, daughter of BJP MP Hukum Singh, in Kairana.Chauhan died in a road accident in Sitapur on Feb.21 while Hukum Singh died after prolonged illness on Feb.3.However, according to a BJP insider, the party’s popularity in the region has taken a hit after death of Dalits during the April 2 violence.“SP-BSP alliance will certainly pose a tough challenge for BJP. The recent violent protest by Dalit groups has also left the party concerned. Besides, the opposition is exploiting the Dalit agitations to their advantage,” a BJP leader said on the condition of anonymity.timesofindia 
PM Modi, Xi Jinping want peace in border area, will not let another Doklam happen
Wuhan: As the informal summit concluded on Saturday, PM  Narendra Modi and President Xi Jinping vowed that India-China border will be a quiet place. Narendra Modi and Xi Jinping also pledged that they will personally advise the militaries of both the countries to prevent a Doklam-like scenario in the future. At the 2-day informal summit in Wuhan, the meetings between the two leaders are expected to have a positive impact on a number of matters, said Foreign Secretary Vijay Gokhale. "2 leaders underscored that it is important to maintain peace along India-China border region and decided that they will issue strategic guidance to their respective militaries to strengthen communications and to build trust and understanding," Gokhale said briefing the media yesterday. To handle the situations at the border, Modi and Xi have decided to work on making the mechanism strong. Gokhale said that the two leaders agreed that Special Representatives from India and China will have to be more involved to make efforts to come to a mutual settlement on border talks. Timesnownews
Iran varsity  wants India’s help to boost yoga & ayurveda
New Delhi: A university in Iran has approached India to start courses in yoga, ayurveda and unani medicine for its students.In an invitation dated 24 April, the Iranian Embassy in India wrote to National Commission for Minorities chairperson Syed Ghayorul Hasan Rizvi, requesting him to visit the Al-Mustafa International University, which counts “disseminating Islamic teachings” as one its chief activities.For this initiative, Rizvi is all set to go to Iran on a five-day visit starting 9 May. He is expected to discuss the logistics involved in starting these courses.The vice-chancellor of the university recently met Rizvi for a preliminary discussion. “The university basically wants India to help Iran in the area of health,” Rizvi said.“After my visit, I will approach the AYUSH ministry to decide on the nature of courses.”theprint
101 Muslim couples get married in mass marriage ceremony in Aurangabad
Aurangabad(Maharashtra): 101 Muslim couples married in a mass marriage ceremony in Aurangabad. The marriage ceremony was organised by a prominent Congress leader Baba Siddique. Baba Siddique is known for organising such events since past several years. People in large numbers from the state flocked to witness the unique marriage ceremony.ANI
WORLD
Israeli forces kill 4 Palestinians, wound 955 at Gaza protest
Israeli soldiers shot dead three Palestinian demonstrators and wounded more than 950 at the Gaza border, despite UN human rights chief urging Israel to stop using excessive force against Palestinian protesters.A fourth victim, a 15-year old boy named Azzam Hillal, died of his wounds on Saturday. He was shot in the head by Israeli military during Friday's protest.   Among the wounded, 178 were shot with live ammunition on Friday while others sustained injuries from rubber-coated steel rounds,or required treatment for tear gas exposure. Thousands gathered in the besieged Gaza Strip for the fifth-straight Friday as part of a mass sit-in known as the Great March of Return movement. Palestinians have been demanding the right to return to their homes seized by Israel in 1948. Protests raised the total death toll to at least 45 Palestinian demonstrators, with more than 6,000 wounded since the mass movement began on March 30. There have been no Israeli casualties. Al Jazeera's, reporter, said thousands of demonstrators were seen "running towards the border fence with Israel, the closest that they have ever been in the past five weeks of protests"."We heard an opening of live fire [by Israeli forces] trying to push people back from that border,"Dekker said."Israel has made it very clear that they want people to stay away from ... what they call a buffer zone. They say people will be shot."18 medical personnel and journalists were among the wounded.Ashraf al-Qidra, spokesperson for Gaza's health ministry, said Israeli forces also targeted medical service points twice with quantities of unidentified gas east of the Al-Bureij refugee camp in central Gaza.A number of victims experienced convulsions, severe vomiting and suffocation as a result of their exposure, he said.Amnesty International on Friday called for Govt s worldwide to impose an arms embargo on Israel following the country's "disproportionate response" to the demonstrations along the border fence. "The nature of these injuries shows that Israeli soldiers are using high-velocity military weapons designed to cause maximum harm to Palestinian protesters that do not pose imminent threat to them,"Amnesty report noted. UN High Commissioner for Human Rights Zeid Ra'ad al-Hussein condemned Israel's use of "excessive force" against Palestinian protesters, saying its security forces must be held to account.aljazeera
Gaza protests: All the latest updates
PA intelligence official behind PM's convoy blast:Gaza official
An official in the Hamas-administered Gaza Strip has accused a senior intelligence officer in the Palestinian Authority (PA) of involvement in the bomb blast that targeted the West Bank-based Palestinian PM 's convoy last month.Rami Hamdallah's motorcade - which included the PA's intelligence chief Majed Faraj - was attacked just after it crossed through the Israeli-controlled Erez checkpoint, known to Palestinians as Beit Hanoun, in northern Gaza on March 13.Hamdallah and Faraj - who returned to Ramallah in the West Bank later in the day - were unharmed but seven security guards were wounded in the blast.Iyad al-Bozom, spokesman for Hamas Govt's interior ministry, made allegations at a press conference on Saturday in Gaza.He said that while he does not explicitly accuse the Palestinian General Intelligence Service as an institution of involvement, elements within the department were behind the blast."Our investigations were clear and complete. We are not accusing the Palestinian Intelligence, but in the course of our investigation we discovered that Brigadier-General Baha Balousha of the intelligence department orchestrated the attack," said Bozom.Bozom said the interior ministry's investigation was thorough and extensive and resulted in the arrest of the main perpetrators behind the attack. Al Jazeera
PLO Legislative body to discuss ending ties with Israel
Legislative body of the Palestinian Liberation Organization (PLO) is set to discuss suspending the recognition of Israel, in addition to several other critical issues of Palestinian politics. For the first time in nine years, the Palestinian National Council (PNC) is scheduled to convene in Ramallah on Monday, in a meeting that has Palestinians split between supporters and opponents of the gathering.Critics of President Mahmoud Abbas have rejected the PNC meeting as a shrewd political manoeuvre, while others see it as a potential turning point in Palestinian politics.PNC is expected to vote in a new 18-member Executive Committee of the PLO, the governing body of the organisation, and discuss transforming the Palestinian Authority, which governs parts of the occupied West Bank, into a state with its own institutions and monetary system.aljazeera
New Secretary of State Pompeo briefs Saudi , Israel on Trump plans for Iran N-deal
Washington’s new chief diplomat was to meet Saudi and Israeli leaders today to rally coordinated opposition to Tehran and brief them on President Donald Trump’s threat to end the Iran nuclear deal. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo touched down in Riyadh shortly after Tehran-backed Huthi rebels in Yemen fired missiles across the kingdom’s border. US officials travelling with Pompeo said Huthi missiles had been supplied by Iran, and cited the attacks as evidence that regional powers should work together. Pompeo had dinner with Saudi Arabia’s Crown Prince Mohammed Bin Salman, and was due to meet his father King Salman.Then he was due to fly on to Jerusalem to meet Israeli PM Benjamin Netanyahu and then on to Amman in Jordan, wrapping up a weekend of talks with some of Iran’s most fervent foes in the region. Trump is due to decide on May 12 whether to reimpose nuclear-related sanctions on Tehran, putting in peril landmark nuclear deal, which most world powers see as key to preventing Tehran from getting bomb.AFP
Mike Pompeo to Saudi : End Qatar Blockade
On his first trip as the United States' top diplomat, Mike Pompeo is imploring Saudi Arabia to end the blockade against Qatar, which has been in place since June 2017. US officials told reporters that the US Secretary of State would urge Saudi Foreign Minister Adel al-Jubeir, Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman and King Salman to resolve the Gulf Crisis in a series of meetings on Saturday and Sunday. aljazeera
Qatar dismiss Saudi ultimatum for troop deployment in Syria: middleeastmonitor
Qatari Foreign Minister Mohammed bin Abdulrahman Al Thani has said that Saudi Arabia’s ultimatum over Doha sending troops to Syria or losing US support is not even worth responding to.“This statement [by the Saudi Foreign Ministry] is not worthy of an answer. Qatar refutes the brainwashing of the public opinion in the Arab world in such a way,” RT quoted Thani as saying on Saturday.He added that the Saudis would not be able to manipulate the public with such statements because “Arab consciousness is much greater than what they imagine.”On Wednesday, Saudi’s Foreign Minister Adel al-Jubeir said that Qatar must “send its military forces [to Syria] before US president cancels US protection of Qatar, which consists of the presence of a US military base on its territory.”
Germany moving to limit arms sales to Saudi, UAE, Turkey
A draft bill in Germany aims to ban weapons exports to Saudi Arabia, UAE and Turkey for their involvement in military conflicts.The bill aims to prevent weapons exports and all other related goods and services to countries that may use them for human rights abuses.The draft, proposed by the social-democratic opposition party Die Linke, focusses mostly on Saudi Arabia and UAE for their role in the war in Yemen, but it also singles out Turkey for its military mission in northern Syria where the country has been fighting Kurdish forces.aljazeera
UNRWA: 3,500 Palestinian refugees flee Syria's Yarmouk camp
An estimated 3,500 Palestinians have fled the embattled Yarmouk refugee camp during a week of violence, according to the UN, as the Syrian Govt  escalates its ongoing military operation in southern Damascus.Yarmouk, which has been besieged by the Syrian Govt  and opposition groups since 2013, was once home to nearly 200,000 people, among them Palestinian refugees, Syrians and others."Those stark figures tell their own tragic story, of the destruction of a once thriving refugee community, now reduced to abject, untold suffering," Chris Gunness, a spokesperson for UNRWA, the body responsible for Palestinian refugees, said."Many are sleeping in the streets and begging for medicine."There is almost no water or electricity. Their suffering is unimaginable."On April 19, the Syrian Govt  and allied armed groups, including some Palestinian factions, launched a renewed military offensive targeting Yarmouk and surrounding areas citing the presence of fighters.Monitors have accused the Govt  of carrying out an intense campaign of air raids as well as using barrel bombs, missiles and shells.As of Friday, at least 31 people had been killed over a week of intensified violence, according to the UK-based Action Group for Palestinians of Syria.l Jazeera
Yemen strike kills 38 Houthis including two commanders: Saudi TV
An air strike on Yemen's capital by a Saudi-led military coalition has killed dozens of Houthi rebels including two commanders, according to a Saudi TV station.Saudi state-owned news channel Al Ekhbariya said on Saturday that more than 50 rebels were killed in an overnight attack on a Houthi interior ministry building on Friday, including two high-ranking rebels. A police building adjacent to the Houthi-controlled ministry was also struck..Houthis confirmed an air raid on Sanaa but gave no details.On Saturday, Houthis staged a large-scale funeral for the two commanders in Sanaa, in a display of military strength.aljazeera
Egypt court sentences 6 to death over 2013 violence
Egypt’s highest appellate court on Saturday confirmed the death penalty for six people in connection with violence in the wake of the ouster of former President Mohamed Morsi in 2013.The Court of Cassation upheld the death sentences against the six after being convicted of storming a police station in Minya in central Egypt and killing a security official, a judicial source said on condition of anonymity because he was unauthorized to speak to media.The court also commuted the death sentences handed down against six other defendants to life in prison, the source said.The appellate court also confirmed life sentences against 59 defendants and cleared 47 other people in the same case, according to the source.Saturday’s verdicts are final and cannot be appealed.middleeastmonitor
Egypt to execute 6 Brotherhood loyalists over police station attack
Son of Brotherhood leader disappears, despite being found not guilty
The son of a senior Muslim Brotherhood leader in Egypt, Anas El-Beltagy, has disappeared despite being found not guilty of charges of inciting violence.El-Beltagy’s ordeal began on 31 December 2013 when he was arrested at a friend’s house and tortured for a month at Nasr City police station. From here he was moved to Abu Zaabal prison where he was put in solitary confinement. Anything he ate or drank was smuggled to him and anyone found to be helping him was punished.From here he was moved to two different prisons and held in cells measuring one by two metres. Detainees kept in Egyptian prisons have often described the dire conditions inside where they are regularly tortured, not given enough food to eat and denied medical treatment.During his years spent incarcerated a number of charges were levelled at him – involvement in the Al Jazeera case in which three journalists were accused of airing “fake news”, beating prison guards at Scorpion prison and taking part in illegal demonstrations.It took four and half years for a Cairo court to find El-Beltagy not guilty – by this time he was 25 years old and had already wasted precious years of his life. Still, with the charges cleared his family expected to see him within a month. But before this could happen El-Beltagy disappeared.middleeastmonitor
Khaleda may get crippled, fear her personal physicians
BNP today alleged that its 'critically ill' Chairperson Khaleda Zia cannot be taken to a specialised hospital for better treatment as a file in this regard remains stuck at the PM 's Office. Besides, Khaleda's three personal physicians feared that she can be crippled and can lose her eyesight if she is not given proper treatment immediately in any specialised hospital."We've come to know the jail authorities in consultation with doctors recommended sending her (Khaleda) to a specialised hospital. What we've heard that this file remains stuck at the PM 's Office," said BNP secretary general Mirza Fakhrul Islam Alamgir.He came up with the allegation at a press conference at BNP's Nayapaltan central office. Khaleda's three physicians also spoke at the press conference about her physical condition.The BNP leader said their chairperson's health condition is gradually falling for lack of proper treatment only because of the Govt 's delay in taking a decision to send her whether to United Hospital or Apollo Hospitals.thedailystar
Koreas to sign peace deal, pursue 'complete' denuclearisation
North Korea's Kim Jong-un and South Korea's Moon Jae-in have pledged to formally end the 1950s Korean War and pursue "complete denuclearisation" of the peninsula in the first inter-Korea summit since 2007.The two leaders signed a joint statement after an historic summit on Friday that saw Kim become the first North Korean leader to step into South Korea since the end of the Korean War in 1953. The peace talks were held in Panmunjom village along the demilitarised zone.A strictly choreographed day of talks and symbolic gestures momentarily gave way to some spontaneity when Kim asked his South Korean counterpart to reciprocate by briefly stepping into North Korea. aljazeera
UNSC team visits Rohingya in Bangladesh camps
Kutupalong: A UN Security Council team visited Rohingya refugees trapped in the no man's land along the border between Bangladesh and Myanmar Sunday, as it weighs its response to one of the world's worst refugee crises.Myanmar has faced intense international pressure since the start of a military campaign in August that has driven some 700,000 Rohingya Muslims over the border into Bangladesh, where refugees have provided harrowing testimony of murder and rape by security forces and local mobs.The UN delegates will interview refugees in the Bangladeshi camps before travelling to Myanmar and meeting civilian leader Aung San Suu Kyi, who has been denounced in the West for her failure to speak up for the Rohingya.The council is urging Myanmar to allow the safe return of the Rohingya and take steps to end the decades of discrimination that the stateless Muslim minority has suffered in the Buddhist-majority country.AFP
FLASH: VIEWS & NEWS
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Mecca Masjid Blast Case: How CBI and NIA Turned a Blind Eye to Evidences:Newsclick
Kathua rape case sparks rumours, polarisation as J&K Police marshals forensic evidence to nail accused:Rashme Sehgal
The rise of Hindu radicalisation, mass manipulation and the remaking of India:Samar Halarnkar
‘Anti-Hindu’ Charge Against Congress Reflects on Accusers, Not Accused — Prof Ram Puniyani
Back to the Beginning: Air Force RFI For Fighters to Replace Scrapped Rafale Deal:MOHAN GURUSWAMY
One Year Before General Elections, Modi Faces His First Oil Dilemma:Noor Mohammad
Aakar Patel: The agenda of Modi’s China visit remains a ‘secret’ from Indians
One hundred Muslim and Hindu interfaith couples listed on 'love jihad' hit list:Annie Gowen

Compiled and edited by Anwarulhaq (Released at: 2:58 PM)

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