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Sunday, 27 May 2018

27 May ND: Cobrapost’s sting claims media houses open to ‘paid Hindutva content’/ Paytm shared user data with PMO, its bosses boast of close contacts with RSS/ Ravish Kumar says frequency of death threats increased, calls it 'all well organised'; UN experts ask govt to protect journalist Rana Ayyub


NEWS DIGEST, MID-DAY  
27 May 2018:10 Ramazan 1439: Vol:10, No:30
INDIA
Cobrapost’s sting claims media houses open to ‘paid Hindutva content’, firms deny
New Delhi:Weeks after its first set of sting videos on 17 media groups, web portal Cobrapost on Friday released 49 videos of senior officials of 27 media organisations purportedly talking to an undercover reporter regarding a proposal to promote “Hindutva” politics and content criticising leaders of political parties including the Congress, BSP, SP and the JD(S) in return for money. The videos purportedly feature executives of Network18, Star India, Zee News, Times Group, India Today Group, Dainik Jagran, Hindustan Times and Paytm, among others.In some cases, owners or editors of the media groups also feature in the videos. These include Kalli Purie, vice-chairperson of the India Today Group; Vineet Jain, managing director of Times Group; Ajay Shekhar Sharma, vice-president of Paytm and brother of the company’s founder Vijay Shekhar Sharma; Brijesh Mishra, CEO and editor-in-chief of Bharat Samachar.On Thursday, the Delhi High Court had restrained Cobrapost from releasing a documentary on “media malpractices”. Dainik Bhaskar Corporation Limited had sought the injunction from the court, which ordered that “till further orders unless varied by the court”, Cobrapost’s parent organisation is “restrained from in any manner releasing in public domain the documentary ‘Operation 136: Part II’ in any manner”.Following the injunction, Cobrapost cancelled its press conference and released videos online. The title, Operation 136, refers to India’s ranking on the press freedom index in 2017.The undercover reporter, Pushp Sharma, in a report in 2016, had claimed that documents accessed by him under RTI Act showed that the Ministry of AYUSH was not employing Muslims. The Govt  had claimed that the documents Sharma claimed to have accessed were forged. He was arrested and later released on bail.Sharma approached media groups with hypothetical offers ranging from Rs 1.5 crore — for local news channels — to Rs 500 crore for national networks including Star India and the Times Group. None of the videos shows that any money was exchanged or a contract was signed or if any of the news groups ran content in lieu of money.Posing as an “acharya” and representing a fictitious Shrimad Bhagvad Gita Prachar Samiti, Sharma asked these media groups to promote Krishna’s quotes from Gita and promote “Hindutva” on their platforms in the first phase of his campaign. In the second phase, he asked these media houses to run content, including jingles to “thrash” his “political rivals” by using terms like “pappu”, “bua”, “babua” etc and promote “firebrand Hindu leaders”.As the General Election approaches, Sharma told the media houses, the third phase would include aggressive campaigning. He also said that his organisation would use this content to “polarise” and “communalise”  atmosphere on the ground.Kalli Purie is heard saying:“…for any kind of advertising the content is not decided by us in any way. Anyone is allowed to put whatever content they want on the platform as long as [it] is within the guidelines…” She purportedly says twice during the conversation that there will be no “interference” in India Today Group’s editorial line. She, however, agrees to create the content internally at the India Today Group. Undercover reporter tells Purie his organisation will use the campaign to “polarise” the atmosphere through “in-field activities” and that they will not be answerable to the India Today Group for that, to which Purie purportedly says, “Agree. But at the same time, if you are doing some in-field activities that we don’t agree with editorially we will be criticising you”. Sunday Express sent an email to 25 of the media groups named in the sting, asking them about the authenticity of the video and whether there was a follow-up to the chat. No comment was received from India Today, which issued a statement referring to Cobrapost saying: “Your reporter was told in no uncertain terms that the Group will not do anything unethical, and that any advertising creative that divides the country on religious or caste lines will not be acceptable, and will not be aired on our channels. However, in your video posted online, this has not been adequately reflected and has distorted the truth.”It said the video is “out of context and has been manipulated with clear intention to sully, tarnish, disparage, discredit and to running down an otherwise impeccable standing and reputation of India Today Group”.In his interaction with Times Group MD Vineet Jain, Sharma is purportedly discussing possible ways he can give money to them. Sharma tells Jain that he wants to pay about Rs 50 crore cash, to which Jain and an associate purportedly try to convince Sharma to pay by cheque.According to the video, Jain explains they are ready to work with him but they need to appear neutral.Jain and his associate, Sanjeev Shah, head of Merger and Acquisitions at the Times Group, are also seen discussing the possibility of payment through big corporate groups to avoid cash exchange.indianexpress
As Economic Times Pulls Down Paytm-Cobrapost Sting Story, Questions Over Its Coverage Arise
Paytm shared user data with PMO, its bosses boast of close contacts with RSS
Cograpost Sting: From Promoting Yogi to Running Down Akalis, Zee's Journalism Laid Bare
Cobrapost Expose: Senior VP at Paytm Claims Firm Was Asked to Share User Data with PMO
Ravish Kumar says frequency of death threats increased, calls it 'all well organised'; UN experts ask govt to protect journalist Rana Ayyub
Journalists in India are often a victim of death threats or hate campaign over their reporting. Recently, UN human rights experts called on the relevant authorities in India to act urgently to protect journalist Rana Ayyub, who received death threats following an online hate campaign. Now it's NDTV's Ravish Kumar who is facing threat to life. The senior journalist has alleged that the frequency of death threats that he has been receiving since 2015 has increased in the last month, according to reports.He told NDTV that it happened between 25-26 April when he had not been going to the office. "Suddenly, I started getting thousands of calls on my phone. When I used to block one number, I got calls from another and the kind of language used by all of them was derogatory."The latest in the series is from an ex-CISF jawan who has sent him a video message threatening to shoot him in his office, according to a report in The Hindu.Another person who claims to be from the Bajrang Dal in UP  has been sending him details of his residence address, the route he takes from home to office. The culprit also threatened to kill Kumar and rape the women in his family, the report added."It is all well-organised and has a political sanction," Kumar told The Hindu. His complaints to the police in Ghaziabad and in Greater Kailash have reportedly led to no action. Another journalist Ayyub has also reportedly received a barrage of hate-filled messages. UN human rights experts, in a release issued by UN OHCHR, had asked the Indian Govt  to urgently take steps to protect Ayyub. "We are highly concerned that the life of Rana Ayyub is at serious risk following these graphic and disturbing threats," said the UN experts. firstpost
UN experts ask govt to protect journalist Rana Ayyub from online threats
Jharkhand: 4 arrested for assaulting Muslims, released after policemen attacked, held hostage
Ranchi: In an ugly show of poor law and order in the BJP-ruled Jharkhand, a police team was attacked and held captive in Koderma district on Saturday over arrest of 4 persons for assaulting some Muslim families the previous night. To secure the release of the policemen, the arrested persons were released.On Friday evening, when Muslims were breaking their Ramazan fast in the Kolgarma village under the Koderma police station, a big mob attacked the Muslim settlement. The mob attacked several homes, barged into the mosque and assaulted several people there. They warned the Muslims to leave the village otherwise each one of them would be killed. Around 20 frightened Muslim families fled the village in the night itself and walked about eight kilometers to reach the Koderma district headquarters. There are 20 Muslim homes in the village of 250 homes and a section of the local Hindus have been opposing construction of a mosque since last year. Around 4 PM on Saturday, 4 people who were already named as attackers in the complaint by Muslims reached the District Collector’s office where the Muslim villagers had been taking refuge since Friday night. They had gone there to submit a memorandum over the issue. They also threatened the Muslims sitting there. Police immediately arrested the four and a police team was sent to the Kolgarma village for patrolling. As soon as the police team reached the village, they were attacked and assaulted by villagers.They were held hostage seeking release of 4 arrested villagers.A local lawyer told Caravan Daily: “At 4PM police arrested 4 accused persons when they came to the District Collector’s office for giving a memorandum and threatened Muslims who are camping at DC office. Thereafter at around 7PM police patrolling party went to the village where they were attacked and held hostage. One constable has been seriously injured and referred to RIMS hospital in Ranchi. The accused party demanded the release of 4 arrested accused persons and only after the release of the accused persons they released police personnel.”caravandaily
Muslim Man Beaten Up For Failing To Name PM, Forced To Say 'Bharat Mata Ki Jai' in West Bengal
A Muslim man named Jamal Momin, a migrant laborer, was allegedly assaulted by 4 men in a moving train in West Bengal after he failed to answer their questions about PM  Narendra Modi and the national anthem.Momin was forced to say, "Bharat Mata Ki Jai."His co-passengers did nothing to help him.The man was reportedly on a moving train, on his way to Kaliachak in Malda district from Howrah on May 14, when he was assaulted, PTI reported. Men asked him questions about Modi, the national anthem, and CM  Mamata Banerjee. "Who is PM of India? Who is the CM of Bengal? What is our national anthem?," they asked, TOI reported.When he could not reply, 4 men asked, "Who is Nawaz Sharif?"Then, they asked him, "Do you offer namaz?"When he replied in the affirmative, they said, "Shame on you. You offer namaz every day at a mosque but you don't know national anthem."Jamal was reportedly so scared that he did not even tell his wife about the incident. 5 days later, on May 19, he left for Gujarat.A local NGO, Bangla Sankriti Mancha, has used the videos taken by other passengers in the train to file a complaint at the Kaliachak Police Station and an investigation is underway.huffingtonpost
Sikh Cop wins hearts for saving Muslim Man from mob attack
A video purportedly showing a Sikh policeman saving a Muslim youth from a mob after the latter was allegedly found in a "compromising position" with a Hindu girl at a temple near Ramnagar in Nainital district has gone viral.ADG (law and order) Ashok Kumar said the incident occurred on Tuesday when a Muslim youth went to meet his girlfriend, a Hindu, at Garjia Devi temple about 15 km from Ramnagar. Locals somehow came to know about it and reached the temple to "teach the duo a lesson", he said.  On being informed about a trouble in the area, sub-inspector Gagandeep Singh rushed to the spot where he found a mob preparing to attack the couple.He immediately rushed to their rescue drawing the Muslim youth close to him to act as a shield to him, and in the process taking several blows from the mob on himself, ADG said, adding the mob was dispersed and the couple was taken to a police station from where they were sent back to their families.5 people whose faces are visible in the clip have been booked and a search is on to nab them. A reward of Rs 2,500 has been announced for Gagandeep Singh for his act of bravery, he said.Singh is garnering respect and affection on social media for  his bravery.outlookindia
Kanpur: Muslim youth beaten up for befriending Hindu girl
Kanpur: A 22-year-old Muslim youth was assaulted at Shivrajpur railway station by a group of men, allegedly belonging to a right-wing organisation, for befriending a girl belonging to Hindu community.A video of the incident in which the youth is seen being slapped repeatedly and voices are heard of inquiries about his relationship with the girl has gone viral on social media, following which the police has identified the victim and is examining him.According to police, no compliant has been filed so far by the youth about the incident which occurred Saturday.The victim told PTI over phone that the attackers claimed that they were members of a right-wing organisation and he did not file a complaint as he was afraid.SP, Rural, Pradyumna Singh, said the youth had gone to Shivrajpur railway station to meet his friend, belonging to another community, when about half a dozen youngsters living in the same locality questioned him about his relationship.PTI
Court is secular place, no religious practices should be allowed:Vadodara's district judge to Bar Association
Vadodara: The principal district judge here wrote to the president of Baroda Bar Association (BBA) on Friday raising concerns after a video of Muslim lawyers offering prayers in the bar library went viral recently. The bar association had allowed some lawyers to offer prayers during the month of Ramzan.In his letter, the Principal district judge J C Doshi has stated that the court is secular and no religious practices should be allowed there. “In a Govt  building such religious activities cannot be performed. It is also necessary to maintain the decorum of the court building. Therefore permission for performing any religious activities should not be granted,” the letter stated.The judge has also directed Nalin Patel, the president of BBA, to not permit any religious activities in future and also instruct all lawyers on behalf of BBA to not perform any religious activities in any room or area of the court complex. “This is for the first time that our group of Muslim lawyers had sought permission to offer prayers during Ramazan since the nearest mosque is two kilometer away. Our concern was that a lawyer may fall ill if he travelled in such heat while fasting therefore we asked for permission. The issue is being raised for no reason,” said advocate Sajid Gajiawala.Gajiawala added that the lawyers used to perform only one ‘namaaz’ in the afternoon in the bar room and within 10 minutes the room was vacated for others usage. When the courts used to function from the heritage Nyay Mandir and Laal Court buildings, Muslim lawyers did not have a problem since there were three mosques in the vicinity.TOI
Congress’ 40 questions to Modi Govt on ‘failed promises’
New Delhi:Countering BJP’s “Saaf Niyat, Sahi Vikas” (Clean Intentions, Right Development) campaign to mark the completion of four years in office, the Congress has coined the tagline ‘India Betrayed’, raising 40 questions on the “failed promises” of Modi Govt .Congress president Rahul Gandhi in a tweet said BJP Govt  had got A+ only in “slogan creation” and “self-promotion.”Tweeting a ‘report card’ of the Govt , he said the Govt  had got F-grade or failed in agriculture, foreign policy, fuel prices and job creation. Only in “slogan creation” and “self-promotion” did the Govt get an A+. Under ‘final remarks’, Gandhi said: “Master communicator; struggles with complex issues; short attention span.”Responding to BJP’s ‘Saaf Niyat, Sahi Vikas’ campaign to mark NDA Govt’s 4 years in power, Congress’ communications chief Randeep Surjewala said in last four years, the BJP Govt ’s popularity had dipped. “BJP is the only party in Indian political history which came to power with 282 seats in 2014 but is now down to 269 seats in the Lok Sabha. BJP lost all 10 Lok Sabha bypolls held in last 2 years. 4 of these were won by the Congress and 6 by other opposition parties,”Surjewala said.He was speaking at a press conference in the national capital along with Congress general secretaries Ashok Gehlot and Ghulam Nabi Azad, highlighting BJP Govt ’s failures.Congress claimed that BJP had failed in its promises and was now using fudged statistics to paint a rosy picture. “For all their lies, people have started replying to BJP using their votes. I am happy that it all started with Gujarat and we saw it in Karnataka too. Now we will see a similar response in Rajasthan, MP and Chhattisgarh,” Azad said. thehindu
People now know Modi-Shah duo is harmful to country, says Congress
No achievements, unprecedented assault on India's social fabric in 4 years of Modi: Left
Left claimed that BJP Govt  has nothing to show for its four years at the centre except "failures and rhetoric" and should be ousted from power. CPI (M) alleged that these four years had seen an "unprecedented assault" on India's social fabric and the livelihood of the people.The future of the country and the people can only be safeguarded and improved with the ouster of this Govt, general secretary Sitaram Yechury said."These 4 years have seen an unprecedented assault on India as a country and livelihood of our people. There has been a four-pronged attack that continued to intensify by the day during these four years," he said.PTI
Modi says BJP in power in 20 states; Truth is, it has a clear majority in only 10: the wire
New Delhi: In a response to the growing moves for opposition unity, PM Narendra Modi told a rally in Cuttack on Saturday that “BJP is in power in 20 states of the country which shows that people have endorsed NDA’s performance in the last 4 years.”While figure is impressive, a study of assembly election results and alliances indicates that BJP “is in power” in these states largely as a result of smart electoral alliances (both pre-poll and post-poll) with regional parties. In fact, minus its allies,BJP is in a clear majority only in 10 of 29 states of India.
Teachers, Students Fraternity Denounces Saffronization and Privatization of Education
New Delhi:Speaking on the first day of the ongoing 3-day citizens’ conclave — Building  an Inclusive India, student leaders and members of teaching fraternity  from all over the country denounced the educational policies adopted by the BJP Govt  during the last four years.During the conclave students and professors expressed strong objection to policy of saffronization and privatisation of education and said that they would like to see the party defeated in 2019 Lok Sabha polsl. “BJP and RSS have only one model — Hindutva. Students’ movements need to stop this assault on education. We want to kick back this Govt but don’t want to bring same kind of Govt of any other political party,” said Delhi University professor Abha Dev Habib.Participants at the conclave also expressed grave concern about interference of the governmnet in Universities all over the country.“In last 4 years, youths have stood as powerful opposition against this regime.They have kept alive dissent. Modi ji is scared of educated students because they ask questions. So, each University is being targeted in different ways,” said Kawalpreet Kaur, AISA President from DU said.Student leaders from various universities raised questions over increasing unemployment, fee hike, commercialization of education and and communalization of campuses.Referring to the policy of privatization Pooja Shukla, student leader from Lucknow University said that the Govt  is playing in the hands of private players.Caravan Daily
Baghpat on edge after sugarcane farmer dies during dharna
Baghpat:In Baghpat’s Baraut tehsil, all eyes were on a corpse kept on two thick slabs of ice. Sugarcane farmer Udayveer Singh, who was on a dharna over non-payment of dues by sugar mills and an increase in rural power tariff, died on Saturday morning at the protest site. Singh, 58, was among the 50-odd sugarcane farmers who launched the protest on May 21. As news of Singh’s death spread, the protest site swelled and hundreds of angry farmers from the sugarcane belt laid siege to tehsil office. Leaders of Opposition parties, including SP, RLD and Congress, rushed to the protest site.Baraut tehsil is barely 30 km from where PM  Narendra Modi will, on Sunday, throw open the country’s first “smart” highway, which touches the UP district of Baghpat. Initially, district authorities claimed that Singh may have suffered a cardiac arrest. Around 8 pm, nearly 10 hours after his death, the family lodged an FIR, which said Singh had suffered an “unnatural death”.indianexpress
BSP national convention: No alliance if not given fair share of seats to contest, says Mayawati
Lucknow : BSP chief Mayawati on Saturday said her party will enter into any future poll alliance only if it gets a “respectable share” of the seats to contest on. Otherwise, she said, the party will contest alone.Mayawati, who was part of the show of unity among opposition parties at the swearing-in ceremony of Karnataka CM  H D Kumaraswamy, said although talks over forming alliances with parties in UP  and a few other states are going on, BSP leaders should first be prepared to strengthen the party under all circumstances. indianexpress
We seek cooperation to resolve Rohingya influx, tackle terror: Bangladeshi PM Hasina
Asansol: Bangladeshi PM  Sheikh Hasina on Saturday sought the cooperation of all neighbouring countries in the sub-continent to resolve the influx of Rohingya refugees in the region and save youth from clutches of terrorism.Speaking after receiving a honorary degree from Kazi Nazrul University during a special convocation in Asansol area of West Burdwan, she said, “We have given shelter to about 11 lakh Rohingya refugees on humanitarian grounds. We want this issue to be resolved quickly. We have to protect our youths from the clutches terrorism and divisive forces.We seek the cooperation of all neighbouring countries in the sub-continent to achieve this.She also urged attending students to rise above communalism and uphold the secular fabric of the country. Later in the evening, Hasina had a one-on-one meeting with Mamata in Kolkata. “The discussion was friendly and cordial. We discussed trade, economic ties and their improvement among other things,” she said, according to PTI. indianexpress
If Pakistan ready for talks, shows initiative, India won’t say no: Rajnath
New Delhi:STATING THAT India is not averse to holding talks with Pakistan, Union Home Minister Rajnath Singh has said that Islamabad should also “take some initiative” and demonstrate its intent by stopping infiltration attempts and coming forward to “jointly launch action” against terrorists.While he admitted that measures to restore normalcy in Kashmir, through initiatives like the appointment of an interlocutor, have not had the desired results, Singh said the Govt  was committed to restoring peace and may extend the ceasefire in Kashmir after Ramzan “if the situation remains peaceful”.“If Pakistan is ready to talk, why won’t we talk? We want to have good relations with our neighbour. But even the neighbour will have to take some initiative. Pakistan is firing at our borders, indulging in ceasefire violations. It is trying to infiltrate terrorists. It is not mending its ways. But it will have to (mend its ways) one day,” Singh said.indianexpress
5 militants killed as infiltration bid is foiled in Kashmir
Srinagar:5 militants were killed in a gunfight as Army claimed to have foiled an infiltration bid in Kupwara district. Infiltration bid was foiled a day after Army Chief General Bipin Rawat, who completed his two-days visit to Kashmir on Friday, asked Pakistan to “stop infiltration and establish peace along the border”.The incident took place when troops intercepted a group of infiltrating militants near Gagadari eagle post close to LoC in wee hours on Saturday.“As the Army noticed suspicious movement around 3 am, the group was challenged. Infiltrating militants opened fire, triggering a gunfight. So far, five militants have been killed,” defence sources said.tribuneindia

Srinagar Jamia Masjid closed after clashes
Srinagar: The historic 624-year-old Jamia Masjid here has stopped prayers to clean the blood spilt on its floor during clashes on Friday afternoon, which left over 30 civilians and dozens of security personnel injured. Old City here observed a shutdown on Saturday in protest.“Unnecessary presence of security forces on Friday outside the mosque was the cause of confrontation. Scores of protesters were hit in the eyes with pellets. The police fired pellets through the gaps in the closed doors of the mosque,” said Hurriyat chairman Mirwaiz Umar Farooq, the Valley’s head priest who delivers sermons from the grand mosque’s pulpit.A video of the clash went viral online, showing women worshippers suffocating after security forces fired pepper gas shells, blood on the floor and youth raising slogans inside the mosque. “We have decided to close the mosque for prayers till an ablution is done to clean the mosque,” a caretaker said.“If the Govt  fails to stop its ploys to damage the sanctity and sacredness of the grand masjid, a sustained campaign will be started and the entire responsibility will then lie on the ruling dispensation,” a joint statement by separatist leaders, including Syed Ali Geelani and Yasin Malik, said.The video evoked condemnation from civil society too. Local people alleged that shells landed on the wooden roof of the mosque, endangering the architectural marvel.thehindu
A spring of hope in Shopian as ceasefire ushers in calm:Spl story of the hindu
It is just after the morning Sehri prayers that mark the beginning of the fast during Ramzan, and Pervaiz Ahmed Bhat and his family know they must move quickly.The “suspension of operations”, what is called a conditional ceasefire or cease-ops, announced by the Union Home Ministry, has been in place for a week, and Bhat wants to maximise the time he can spend harvesting his crop of ‘Double Gilaas’ and ‘Misri’ cherry varieties this month.Bhat hopes the cease-ops orders mean security restrictions will also be relaxed as, at present, they must submit identity cards to the security pesonnel and account for each family member going into the orchards, mentioning a fixed time for their return.“I hope the cherries will reach the markets in time and won’t be damaged in storage rooms due to lockdowns of the security forces and the shutdowns sparked by killing of militants and civilians now,” said Bhat, particularly bitter about the frequent and intensive “Cordon and Search Operations” that routinely disrupt life.While the fruit hangs on the trees, the air in Shopian still hangs heavy with the bloodshed of the recent past. Laden with nature’s bounty, these orchards across four districts of south Kashmir — Anantanag, Pulwama, Kulgam and Shopian — have also doubled as hideouts for militants from these areas, and hence often became the unwitting sites of violent encounters and deaths.thehindu
Nagrota attack: NIA arrests Kupwara resident
Srinagar:NIA has arrested a resident of Kupwara in connection with the attack on an Army camp in Nagrota in Nov.2016, in which seven personnel, including two officers, were killed. “Today, NIA arrested Syed Muneer-ul-Hassan Qadri, resident of Khurhama, Lolab, Lalpora, Kupwara in NIA case RC-16/2016/NIA/DLI. J&K Police have played a key role in the arrest of the accused,” NIA spokesman, IG Alok Mittal said. “Preliminary interrogation of the arrested accused revealed that the attack was carried out by Jaish-e-Mohammad, a banned terror group, in furtherance of a well-planned conspiracy in Pakistan,” he said.NIA termed Qadri’s arrest as a breakthrough in the investigation of the case.indianexpress
Jailed separatist leader Shabir Shah’s daughter tops CBSE Class XII in J&K
Srinagar:The daughter of incarcerated separatist leader Shabir Ahmad Shah, who is lodged in Delhi’s Tihar Jail in connection with a terror funding case, has topped CBSE Class XII examinations in J&K . Sama, a student of DPS in Srinagar, secured 97.8%  marks in the examination, the results for which were announced on Saturday. Jammu Kashmir DFP leader, Shabir Shah was arrested by NIA on July 26, 2017, in a terror funding case.CM  Mehbooba Mufti congratulated the 19-year-old student and called her an “inspiration” for the youth in the state.Attributing her success to the “guidance” from her jailed father, Sama said: “I attribute it to my father only for being a source of inspiration, for being an idol for me. And my mother, for being source of strength for me. She has given us the strength that I have today and because of her I was able to study. I was not in depression because of my mother, because she was herself so strong.”“I am very proud of my father. He has spent 31 years in prison. So this one year wouldn’t have affected my studies,” she said, adding that she had to top the exam to make her father proud.indianexpress
Infant deaths: 111 dead in five months in Adani-run hospital, probe ordered
Bhuj:Gujarat Govt  on Friday ordered an inquiry into the deaths of 111 newborns in five months at the Adani Education and Research Foundation-run G K General Hospital in Bhuj. As per the data released by the hospital, 111 infants died in the first five months of 2018, ending May 20.While the hospital management cited reasons including delayed admission or malnutrition for the deaths, the Govt  formed a team of experts to conduct the inquiry. “We have formed a team of experts to probe reasons behind these deaths. We will take appropriate steps after the team submits its report,” Gujarat Commissioner of Health Jayanti Ravi said.PTI
India is incomplete without Muslims: Mani Shankar Aiyar
New Delhi: Muslims have inhabited India for years, they are part of its soil. There is such a large population of Muslims in the country that India couldn’t be imagined without Muslims. Former union minister and MP Mani Shankar Aiyar told this during an iftar party hosted by SDPI.He said joint culture is the identity of India and Muslims are also part of it. On the occasion, he lamented the changing political scenario and hate politics. He said some forces have come to power who want that the secular country becomes a Hindu Rashtra. He stressed the need for a united effort to stop them. He urged all secular forces to sink their differences and join hands to combat those anti-secular forces. He stressed the need for Dalit, tribal and Muslim unity to change present scenario.siasat
Telangana:Waqf graveyard turns into stable for horses, camels
Charminar: Overgrown and littered with dead leaves, Oontwadi graveyard, spread over 3,000 sq yards in Jummerat Bazaar, is lying in neglect. The graveyard, which is the final resting place for hundreds of people, has now turned into a stable for nearly 50 horses and camels.Waqf Board chairman Mohammed Saleem along with other officials visited the graveyard last year after repeated complaints were filed and removed all encroachments before issuing a warning to the owners of all horses and camels found inside.According to the activists, Waqf inspector concerned is not taking any action on the issue in spite of being aware of the encroachments.“The auditor inspector of the area, who happens to take that route almost every day, is aware of the encroachment but hasn’t submitted a report on issue to the Waqf board,” a waqf activist said.Activists also say encroachments on waqf properties have only increased in recent time.Several other waqf properties in Attapur, Puranapul, Jiyaguda and Karwan have also been encroached upon. In some encroached areas, people have set up workshops and built houses within the waqf properties, including graveyards.“All the area inspectors of Waqf Board should submit a weekly report on all waqf institutions saying that the said properties are free of encroachments or vice-versa,”Mohammed Habeebuddin, waqf activist said. Interestingly, according to this year’s inspection report of the Central Waqf Council, total waqf land under Telangana State Waqf Board is 77,677 acres of waqf land belonging to 32,596 institutions across the State, but out of which 89 % waqf land is under encroachment or legal dispute.TOI
Pandit who writes in Prophet’s praise, says Prophet belongs to all of humanity, not just Muslims
Mumbai: At a time of anxieties over prayer locations and portraits of historic figures, in a quiet, sea-facing flat in Mumbai’s Colaba, Pandit Ram Sagar Prithvipal Tripathi, or simply Sagar Tripathi, reverentially opens Saibaan-e-Rahmat (Tent of Mercy),his collection of 'natiya shairi’ or devotional poems penned in praise of Prophet Muhammad.68-year-old, hailing from a family that patronises the Ram Lalla Vinyas, a temple trust in Ayodhya, is also world president of the Vishwa Brahmin Parishad. But that’s not what he’s well known for. He has become a famous face at mushairas (traditional soirees where Urdu poets recite couplets) for his poetry, and in particular for always opening his session with a 'hamd' (penned in praise of God) and a ‘natiya kalam,’ a panegyric extolling the Prophet and his message.In his house, dozens of awards and citations that he’s won for his works jostle for space with copies of the Quran, biographies of the Prophet, the Bhagavad Gita and the Ramayana. Behind a huge sofa are placed several prayer mats that he spreads often for Muslim guests who want to pray if they wish to."Prophet Muhammad doesn’t belong to Muslims alone. He is for humanity, and there is nothing wrong if I seek some blessings from him," says Tripathi.TOI
WORLD
Palestinians risk losing Jerusalem ID over Israel loyalty law
Ramallah, Occupied West Bank - "Exile is like death," Ahmad Attoun, a member of the Palestinian Legislative Council (PLC), told Al Jazeera. "I can't explain my relationship to Jerusalem. It is part of my soul.""Jerusalem is now just a few metres away from me, but I can't enter. There are no words to describe the pain we are feeling," he said.Attoun, along with PLC members Mohammad Totah, Mohammad Abu Teir and former Palestinian minister Khaled Abu Arafeh, were forcibly deported from occupied East Jerusalem in 2011 after Israel's interior minister revoked their Jerusalem residencies over allegations of "breaching loyalty" to the Israeli state.Attoun's deportation from the city put his life in disarray. He only sees his family on weekends when they travel to Ramallah, where he now resides. His eight-year-old daughter has never experienced living with her father."I wish I could see her just once in her school uniform when she comes home," Attoun said, noting that his family has continued to reside in Jerusalem despite his expulsion.On April 29, Israel's Interior Minister Aryeh Deri upheld the deportation of the four parliamentarians, after Israel's parliament passed a law in March granting the interior minister full power to revoke the Jerusalem residencies of Palestinians over allegations of "breaching allegiance" or "loyalty" to the Israeli state.Rights groups have raised serious concerns over the new law, noting that the legislation is a clear breach of international law and threatens the basic rights of Palestinians in occupied East Jerusalem.Palestinians residing in East Jerusalem following Israel's occupation were not granted Israeli or Palestinian citizenship, but were instead issued Jerusalem residency ID cards, which can be revoked by Israel at any time.Al Jazeera
Israel airstrikes target Hamas positions in Gaza
Israeli warplanes bombed 2 Hamas positions in the Gaza Strip late on Saturday, causing no casualties, according to local sources. One of the targeted sites affiliated with the Ezzedine al-Qassam Brigades, the armed wing of resistance movement Hamas, which has governed the Gaza Strip since 2007, is in the southern Gaza Strip.Israeli aircrafts targeted another Hamas site in the west of Khan Younis city in the southern Gaza Strip.middleeastmonitor
Tunisian opposition ‘committed’ to law criminalising normalisation with Israel
A leading opposition MP in Tunisia has said that democratic forces in the country remain committed to passing a law which criminalises “normalisation” with Israel, Quds Press has reported.“Palestinian cause,” added Al-Irada Party leader Imed Al-Daimi, “remains a priority for the political elites and leaders in Tunisia.”Al-Daimi expressed his regret at the way the Tunisian public and officials reacted to Israel’s violations against the Palestinians, calling the response “weak and substandard”. He attributed this to Tunisians’ preoccupation with post-revolution local entitlements, in addition to the Tunisian communities’ reduced confidence in political participation and its replacement by social media.“We are witnessing a serious social phenomenon here in Tunisia, which is the reluctance to participate in political and public affairs. This was evident in the weak turnout for the recent municipal elections.” MP asserted that the lack of public protest against Israeli crimes does not mean that the Palestinian cause is not of central importance. “Tunisian people and all political elites with their different ideologies still view the Palestinian cause as their own main cause.”However, Al-Daimi undermined his argument about the importance of talking about normalisation by stressing that “this strange and deplorable phenomenon does exist, but is isolated.”middleeastmonitor
Trump: US-North Korea summit back on for June 12
North Korean leader Kim Jong-un believes a face-to-face meeting with US President Donald Trump in Singapore next month could "put an end to the history of war" between the two nations, South Korea's president said.Moon Jae-in also said on Sunday that Kim reaffirmed his commitment to "complete" denuclearisation of the Korean Peninsula in talks they had at a surprise meeting a day earlier at the demilitarised zone. "Chairman Kim and I have agreed ... our quest for the Korean Peninsula's denuclearisation and a perpetual peace regime should not be halted," Moon told reporters."He also expressed his intention to put an end to the history of war and confrontation through the success of the North-US summit and to cooperate for peace and prosperity." Saturday's meeting was the latest dramatic turn in a week of diplomatic ups and downs surrounding the prospects for an unprecedented summit between the US and North Korea, and the strongest sign yet the two Korean leaders are trying to keep the on-again-off-again meeting on track.aljazeera
Pakistan to hold general elections on July 25
Pakistan will hold general elections on July 25, a presidential spokesman has said even as the deadlock between ruling PML-N and the opposition persisted over picking up an interim PM . Election Commission of Pakistan (ECP) in a letter to the president on May 21 had proposed to hold elections for the National Assembly and four provincial assemblies between July 25 and 27.President Hussain on Saturday approved July 25 as the polling date for general and provincial elections, officials in the President Office said.PTI
Erdogan asks Turks to convert dollars, euro into lira
At the end of a volatile week for the embattled Turkish lira, President Recep Tayyip Erdogan has called on Turks to convert to convert foreign currency savings into the country's currency. The lira, which has fallen about 20 % this year, hit a low of 4.93 against the US dollar on Wednesday, before Turkey's central bank raised its top interest rate by three percentage points to 16.5 % in an attempt to help stabilise the currency.aljazeera
Top Egypt court orders month-long YouTube ban over Prophet video
Egypt's top administrative court has ordered authorities to block video-sharing website YouTube for a month over a short film that denigrated the Prophet Muhammad.The ruling on Saturday ended a years-long appeals process over the 2012 film, Innocence of Muslims, which depicts the Prophet Muhammad in a negative light.Mohamed Hamid Salem, a lawyer who filed the case in 2013, told Reuters the court's decision also ordered all links that broadcast the film be blocked.A lower administrative court had ordered YouTube be blocked in 2013 over the video, but Egypt's National Telecommunications Regulatory Authority appealed and it remained available during the appeal process.aljazeera
After repealing ban on abortion by a referendum, Irish PM says new laws by end of the year
A new abortion law will be in place by the end of the year, Irish Prime Minister Leo Varadkar has said. It follows a landslide vote in favour of repealing the Republic of Ireland's constitutional ban on abortion.The proposed legislation will allow abortions during the first 12 weeks of pregnancy, and up to the 24th week in exceptional circumstances.Irish Minister for Health Simon Harris will seek the cabinet's backing on Tuesday to draft the new legislation.The result south of the border has shifted focus to Northern Ireland's similarly strict abortion laws, with UK Prime Minister Theresa May facing calls to act.Northern Ireland will soon become the only part of the UK and Ireland with an almost blanket ban on terminations.But Mrs May is in a difficult situation because her administration depends on the support of 10 Democratic Unionist Party MPs - who strongly oppose any reform.On Saturday, Penny Mordaunt - who is responsible for the women and equalities brief in government - said the referendum signalled a "historic and great day for Ireland" and a "hopeful one for Northern Ireland".Nicky Morgan and three other former holders of the women and equalities role - Amber Rudd, Justine Greening and Maria Miller - all back Ms Mordaunt's support for liberalising the laws in Northern Ireland, the Sunday Times reported. BBC
Ireland abortion referendum: 'Monumental day for women'
Parliament has no power to annul vote results: Al-Sadr
Baghdad;Iraqi parliament has no jurisdiction to annul the results of the country’s parliamentary election, firebrand Shia cleric Muqtada al-Sadr said Sunday.In a statement, al-Sadr’s spokesman Jaafar al-Moussawi said the election commission is responsible for looking into complaints about the vote results.“What the parliament is doing is an attempt to violate the powers of other authorities,” he said.Al-Sadr's Sairoon coalition won 54 parliamentary seats in the May 12 polls, followed by a Hashd al-Shaabi-linked coalition (47 seats) and PM  Haidar al-Abadi's Victory bloc (42 seats), according to the election commission.Vote results, however, were greeted with widespread fraud allegations during the polls.Anadoluagency
US warns of 'firm measures' if Syria launches new assault
US has warned Syria it will take "firm and appropriate measures" if government forces violate a ceasefire by launching an anticipated assault on the rebel-held region of Daraa.Emboldened by recent victories over rebel outposts near Damascus, government forces of President Bashar al-Assad were on Wednesday reportedly moving into the Daraa province, and Syrian government aircraft have dropped leaflets there calling on rebels to surrender or face being killed.The territory, one of the last large areas controlled by rebel groups, is covered by a ceasefire agreement signed between the US, Russia and neighbouring Jordan.middleeasteye


FLASH: VIEWS & NEWS
Citizenship Bill: If it's about sheltering the persecuted, why not include Rohingyas?UDAYAN TANDAN
Modi’s two biggest mistakes and how he fell into a Congress trap:Tavleen Singh
Why the BJP is sleepless over Jats & Muslims joining hands in UP  poll:KUMAR ANSHUMAN
Ghettoisation and Disturbed Areas Act are dividing urban spaces in Gujarat, pushing Muslims to the edge;Christophe Jaffrelot
Archbishop’s message: Real issue is not whether or not he is entitled to make a political statement:Abdul Khaliq
Cobrapost case study: Media on Sale: Indian media really for sale and ready to peddle ideology for a few crores?
Opposition unity and a focus on economic distress: How the Kairana bye-poll is a test case for 2019
How Muslim voices are breaking stereotypes online:Danish Raza



Compiled and edited by Anwarulhaq (Released at: 4:16 PM)

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