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Tuesday, 29 May 2018

29 May ND: Amid massive protest across Assam against Citizenship Bill, Congress asks Asom Gana Parishad, Bodoland People’s Front to form Govt, offers support/ NGT seeks centre reply on petition against use of loudspeaker in mosques


NEWS DIGEST, MID-DAY  
29 May 2018:13 Ramazan 1439: Vol:10, No:32
INDIA
Amid massive protest across Assam against Citizenship Bill, Congress asks Asom Gana Parishad, Bodoland People’s Front to form Govt, offers support
Guwahati: Opposition Congress in Assam has made an offer to Asom Gana Parishad (AGP) and Bodoland People’s Front (BPF) to initiate a process for the formation of a non-BJP Govt, committing that the grand old party will extend outside support to it.AGP and BPF are constituents in the state’s BJP-led 3-party ruling coalition. What made the Congress to come up with the offer is AGP’s straining of ties with BJP over the Citizenship (Amendment) Bill, 2016, which Modi Govt wants to pass to grant citizenship to non-Muslim immigrants of Bangladesh besides Pakistan and Afghanistan. Congress wants the formation of an AGP-led Govt with BPF and minority-based AIUDF as its constituents. Congress says if the 3 of them come together, it will extend outside support to the formation. 4 parties together have 64 MLAs as against BJP’s 61 in 126-member Assam House.There is also an Independent MLA.“If an alternative Govt is formed, the Congress will not participate in it. However, the party will extend outside support to it for democracy to prevail,” Assam Congress chief Ripun Bora said. Congress MLA Abdul Khalek, who had first come up with the idea, claimed the party was in talks with some AGP leaders. He said the non-BJP formation would see the light of the day only if there was a positive response from AGP.The development comes amidst rising anger in the state against BJP over Citizenship Bill. Assamese groups and organisations fear that if the Bill is passed it will destroy the locals’ ethnic identity among others.newindianexpress
Assam: Ruling BJP’s ally AGP, 28 groups on fast demanding to withdraw Citizenship (Amendment) Bill
Guwahati:Altogether 28 organisations, led by All Assam Students Union (AASU), came together for a day-long hunger strike in Guwahati today against the Citizenship (Amendment) Bills, 2016, which seeks to give Indian citizenship rights to persecuted religious minorities of select neighbouring countries. Ruling coalition partner of BJP-led state govt, Asom Gana Parishad (AGP), also joined the protestors with AGP president and cabinet minister Atul Bora himself participating in the agitation programme.Supporters of 28 organisations as well as other groups and individuals joined the 11-hour hunger strike that began at 0600 hours at Assam Engineering Institute field at Chandmari in the city. Leading personalities from film, cultural and journalist fraternity, along with intellectuals and writers, participated in the hunger strike.AGP head Atul Bora, who is the Agriculture minister in the state Cabinet, and former two-time CM Prafulla Kumar Mahanta of AGP also came to the agitation site to lend their support to the cause. UNI
Massive protest across Assam against Citizenship Bill
NGT seeks centre reply on petition against use of loudspeaker in mosques
New Delhi: On plea seeking ban on use of loudspeakers in mosques for allegedly causing noise pollution, National Green Tribunal (NGT) sought response of the Centre and others on Monday. A bench headed by acting NGT Chairperson Justice Jawad Rahim issued notices to the Ministry of Home Affairs, Delhi Pollution Control Committee (DPCC), police and others while seeking their replies before June 26. The tribunal was hearing a plea filed by NGO Akhand Bharat Morcha alleging that illegal use of loudspeakers at mosques adversely affected the health of residents living in their vicinity. The plea, filed through advocate Rahul Raj Malik, had alleged that the activities of some mosques were in violation of Environment (Protection) Act, 1986 and Noise Pollution (Regulation and Control) Rules, 2000, adding that authorities have not taken any action despite several complaints. It has claimed that these places of worship were located in silent zones housing schools and hospitals and noise from their loudspeakers surpassed the laid down decibel levels.The petition referred to NGT’s Sept. 2017 order which directed the Delhi Govt and DPCC to ensure that religious places in East Delhi strictly adhere to the guidelines of noise pollution.The tribunal had asked the DPCC to take appropriate action against the places of worship in case any violation was found by authorities.PTI
Petition seeks ban on speakers in mosques
Massive EVM failure affects by polls: EVMs in 90% booths of Muslim, Dalit areas selectively targeted, alleges Kairana SP MLC, calls it ‘scientific rigging’
As Kairana Lok Sabha Constituency went to bypolls on Monday, the malfunctioning of the EVMs and VVPAT emerged to be the biggest story from the polling ground. The extent of EVMs malfunctioning grew severe as the day progressed.Over 200 EVMs and VVPATs from the polling booths of all the 5 assembly segments of Lok Sabha were reportedly malfunctioning, which led to Samajwadi Party and RLD to raise allegations of “scientific rigging” in the byelection. Interestingly, even BJP leadership raised the issue of EVM malfunctioning and urged the EC to conduct repolls at some booths. RLD's candidate in Kairana Tabassum Hasan, who got the support of Opposition parties, wrote to the CEC complaining about malfunctioning EVM and VVPATs in her constituency. Many of the local Muslim leaders complained that after EVMs stopped functioning, many of the voters in Muslim area of Kairana returned home from the booths because they were fasting and they could not stand in the long queues in the terrible heat. This was deliberate, they alleged.“Muslims are fasting, so they preferred to turn up in the morning hours and waited for their turn in the queue. In areas like Kairana town, for instance, which has strong Muslim population or in Garhipukhta in Thana Bhawan, which is known to be a Muslim stronghold. Both the areas saw many huge lines outside the polling booths as the EVMs stopped working,” said Mahmood Hasan from Kairana, a local active member of civil society. “But people who are fasting cannot wait for long in this terrible heat. So, they had no option but to leave. I have a strong feeling that it was a deliberate strategy in Muslim areas for stopping people from giving their votes,” he added. Hasan made it a point to mention that while the voters faced difficulties, they were left clueless. Local SP MLC Udaiveer Singh said that it was “scientific rigging”. “It is scientific rigging because EVMs in 90% polling booths of Muslim and Dalit areas were selectively targetted. When we tried to approach the local officers, their phones were switched off. No engineers were available. The administrative officers are behaving very rudely and irresponsibly. It seems that the local officers have been told to ensure victory at any cost,” he said.newsclick
EVM malfunctioning mars bypolls in UP, Maharashtra; Opposition lodges protest
Voting for the Kairana Lok Sabha bypoll on Monday witnessed a voter turnout of 54.17%, according to the Election Commission. And 61%votes were cast in Noorpur Assembly bypoll. The elections were marred by complaints of EVM malfunctioning, with EC having to replace faulty machines at a few places. EC assured that a re-poll will be ordered in a few booths if necessary.Bypolls for Lok Sabha seats in Maharashtra’s Palghar and Bhandara-Gondia seats were marred by large-scale malfunctioning of the electronic voting machines and VVPAT.In Palghar, 46% polling was recorded while in Bhandara-Gondia it was 31% .indianexpress
VVPAT glitches pose a new headache for poll panel
 Opposition alleges EVMs tampered with everywhere, faulty machines not replaced in Dalit, Muslim areas
China Foreign Ministry: CPEC will not affect China’s stand on Kashmir issue
China has refrained from making any direct comment on Pakistan’s latest move on exercising administrative authority on Gilgit-Baltistan, but said the CPEC, which traverses through the disputed region, will not affect its stand that the Kashmir issue should be resolved between India and Pakistan. Pakistan’s Cabinet on May 21 approved Gilgit-Baltistan Order 2018 which was also endorsed by the region’s assembly. The order is being seen as Pakistan’s efforts towards incorporating the disputed region as its fifth province.The move sparked anger in the region and drew strong reaction from New Delhi which said the entire state of Jammu and Kashmir, which also includes the so-called ‘Gilgit-Baltistan’ areas, is an integral part of India.Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesperson Hua Chunying told a media briefing that “Kashmir issue is a historical baggage between India and Pakistan and therefore shall be resolved between 2 sides through dialogue and consultation”. Asked to comment on Pakistan govt’s Gilgit-Baltistan Order, Hua reiterated Beijing’s stand that the USD 50 billion CPEC, which goes through Gilgit and Baltistan, will not affect its stand that the Kashmir issue should be resolved between India and Pakistan.“We have stressed many times that CPEC is an initiative for economic cooperation.This is a cooperation framework which serves the purpose of economic development and the people’s livelihood. This initiative does not affect our position on Kashmir issue,” she said.Pakistan has bifurcated occupied Kashmir into two administrative parts – Gilgit-Baltistan and Pakistan-occupied Kashmir. Gilgit-Baltistan was treated as a separate geographical entity by Pakistan till now.It is believed that China’s concerns about the unsettled status of Gilgit-Baltistan prompted Pak to change the region’s status.PTI
J&K govt asks Army, revenue authorities to inspect demarcation of land
Jammu:J&K Govt has asked the revenue and the Army authorities to carry out a joint inspection for demarcation of land under Army occupation in Poonch district. District Development Commissioner, Poonch, Mohammad Aijaz Asad, took a decision in this regard at a meeting convened to settle defence land issues in the district, a govt statement said.It said that the meeting was convened in view of grievances raised by various quarters regarding non-payment or delayed payment of rent and arrears for proprietary land acquired by the defence estates for the establishment of army camps in the district besides the compensation on account of land acquired by General Reserve Engineer Force (GREF) to be expedited. Development Commissioner has ordered a joint inspection by the revenue and the Army authorities for demarcation of land under ‘Bobby Camp’ to iron out years-old dispute between land owners and Defence Estates Dept, statement said. According to official figures, over 21,400 hectares of land are under unauthorised occupation of the Army and other security forces in the state.PTI
Pak Army orders court of inquiry into former ISI chief’s book co-authored with ex-RAW head
Pakistan Army on Monday ordered a formal court of inquiry into the revelations made by ex- ISI chief Lieutenant General (retired) Asad Durrani in his book Spy Chronicles: RAW, ISI and the Illusion of Peace, reported Express Tribune. Durrani co-authored the book with former Research and Analysis Wing chief Amarjit Singh Dulat and Indian journalist Aditya Sinha.The book is a series of discussions between the two former spy agency chiefs and Sinha on a range of topics, including the Kashmir matter.A press release issued by the Pakistan military’s media wing ISPR said that a “competent authority” has been approached to place Durrani’s name under Exit Control List, prohibiting him from leaving the country.scroll
Ex-RAW chief defends Pakistan’s former ISI head Durrani over ‘Spy Chronicles’
New Delhi:Ex-RAW chief AS Dulat defended ex chief of Pakistan’s ISI Lieutenant General (retired) Asad Durrani, saying, “There are no new things in the book.” “His views are well-known. There are no new things in the book (‘Spy Chronicles: RAW, ISI and the Illusion of Peace’). This is very unfortunate that such things are being done to Asad Durrani,” Ex-Raw Chief Dulat said on his co-author and ex-ISI Chief Asad Durrani who has been placed on the Exit Control List (ECL) by Pakistan.“Things written in book are his (Durrani’s) memories. Even former Pakistan’s Foreign Secretary Riaz Mohammad Khan said that 26/11 Mumbai attacks destroyed Pakistan’s credibility in Kashmir. If a former foreign secretary can get away with it, why not ISI chief?” Dulat added.ANI
For talks, Centre should first accept Kashmir as a dispute: Geelani
Srinagar:While mainstream political parties have cautiously welcomed Home Minister Rajnath Singh’s talks offer to separatists, separatist leaders have said that the Central Govt  should accept Kashmir as a “dispute” for any serious dialogue. “We are not against dialogue, but if New Delhi is serious, it should first accept Kashmir as a dispute,” Hurriyat chairman Syed Ali Shah Geelani said.“Dialogue will not serve any purpose until the ground reality is accepted.”Geelani said he got to know about the offer through the media. “If there is no seriousness in the dialogue, it is no fun,” he said.Mirwaiz Umar Farooq and Yasin Malik did not comment. Mainstream political parties welcomed Singh’s talks offer.indianexpress
India abides only by UN sanctions, not those US has imposed on Iran: Sushma Swaraj
External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj has said India only abides by sanctions imposed by the UN and not by other countries, in a reference to US sanctions on Iran, News18 reported.“We don’t make our foreign policy under pressure from other countries,” she told reporters at a press conference, when asked whether US sanctions against Iran and Venezuela would affect India, AFP reported. “We believe in UN sanctions but not in country-specific sanctions.”Iranian Foreign Minister Dr Mohammad Javad Zarif, who is currently in New Delhi on a one-day visit, met Swaraj for delegation-level talks. “We [India and Iran] have had very good relations in the past and we expect to continue these relations,” he told ANI ahead of his meeting with Swaraj.scroll.in
Swaraj Bristles at Charge of 'Outsourcing Policy to PMO', Talks Iran, Pakistan
A week in govt, Karnataka CM  Kumaraswamy has a deputy and no cabinet
 Almost a week since Karnataka got a new Govt , it has only two ministers including CM  HD Kumaraswamy.JDS leader and his deputy from the Congress, G Parameshwara, remain the only members of the cabinet since the grand swearing in ceremony on Wednesday that segued into the opposition's anti-BJP unity show.In a sign of trouble from the word "go" - as predicted by BJP - the coalition partners are unable to agree on an important ministry, finance, sources have said. Congress is to get 22 of the 34 ministries in the state and JDS 12 as part of the deal between the two parties when they formed an alliance after a hung verdict.But differences over ministries seem to have slowed the whole process down. ndtv
At top Karnataka media group, Hindutva advertiser promised ‘editorial support’
New Delhi:2nd part of Cobrapost’s investigation, ‘Operation 136’, released on YouTube on Friday, highlights the manner in which line between advertising, advertorials (euphemistically called ‘brand promotion’) and paid news has been blurred with the management side of many national and regional media organisations promising clients with deep pockets assurances of favourable news coverage too.At some media houses, Cobrapost’s undercover reporter – who posed as a representative of an unnamed ‘sangathan’, or organisation, and sought to buy time and space to promote what he said was a Hindutva agenda – encountered executives who openly boasted about their political preferences, affiliations and influence. In surreptitiously recorded video conversations with the influential Bengaluru-based news channel Suvarna and its sister publication Kannada Prabha, a senior management representative boasts of their owner, Rajeev Chandrasekhar’s affiliations to the ruling party, describing him as “a Hindutva guy”. Chandrasekhar is a BJP MP in the Rajya Sabha.thewire
Media professionals body demands right to question govt
New Delhi: Foundation for Media Professionals (FMP) has issued a set of demands to protect the freedom of the press in the country and its right to question the Govt  of the day. At the top of its demands included a press meet that PM  Narendra Modi should call “without further delay, to uphold, if nothing else, the media’s right to question any holder of that high office”.“Narendra Modi is perhaps the first PM  of India to have not held a single press conference, four years at a stretch. This could not, however, have been unrelated to a series of events that raise fresh concerns about media freedom,” it said.thewire
National parties under RTI Act: ECI clarifies
New Delhi: Election Commission has said national parties are public authorities under the RTI Act as declared by the Central Information Commission, a day after the poll panel’s appeal order on an RTI application saying “political parties are out of the purview of RTI Act” was reported. ECI clarified that it goes by CIC order of 3rd June, 2013 that declared national parties as public authorities for the purposes of RTI Act.PTI
Amit Shah, Cabinet ministers meet RSS leadership to discuss Govt  policies
BJP leaders, including party chief Amit Shah, and 6 cabinet ministers met the leadership of RSS in New Delhi on Monday to discuss Govt  programmes and policies, PTI reported.RSS Joint General Secretary Krishna Gopal chaired meeting that was also attended by BJP Vice-chief Vinay Sahasrabuddhe, General Secretary Ram Madhav and Secretary Ram Lal. Union ministers Rajyavardhan Rathore, JP Nadda, Maneka Gandhi, Mahesh Sharma, Prakash Javadekar and Thawarchand Gehlot represented Govt.Leaders from RSS’ different depts such as the social work wing, the education wing, and the body dealing with ideological issues held meetings with the top BJP leaders and Govt  ministers. They reportedly provided them feedback about how Govt’s schemes can be better implemented and made suggestions about drafting new policies. These meetings may continue for the next two days, and are likely to shape the ruling party’s plans ahead of a series of state elections this year and 2019 General polls, HT reported last week.scroll.in
Haryana Rohingya camp fire: heatwave adds to woes
Gurugram: A day after a fire broke out at a Rohingya camp in Haryana’s Nuh district, rendering around 50 families homeless, some NGOs, locals and the district administration came forward for their relief and rehabilitation.The affected families, however, said that the efforts were not enough and the children and the elderly were suffering because of heatwave conditions. “Soon after the fire, SDM visited the camp on Sunday evening and a tent was erected for the affected families. However, it was after several calls to the district officials that a water tank was brought to the camp on Monday. There were no buckets and utensils to store the water. It was emptied in a huge underground water tank in the village. A few locals and non-Govt  organisations brought food for the families around noon,” said Ali Johar, who has been co-ordinating with the administration and the NGOs for the relief work.Johar said that a few children and elderly in the camp were taken ill due to heatwave conditions and the district administration and NGOs were requested to expedite the rehabilitation work.“A few NGOs had offered to provide bamboos and tarpaulin to make jhuggis for the families but we requested them to use tin sheets as they last long and are fireproof. Local MLA Zakir Hussain also visited the camp and offered to provide monetary help for it,”  Johar added.thehindu
Lal Masjid of delhi almost saved by timely intervention of Delhi Minorities Commission
New Delhi: This is among dozens of old, some centuries-old, mosques facing usurp by land sharks in India’s national capital – who happen to be individuals sometimes and sometimes they are Govt  agencies and departments. However, the Lal Masid was fortunate to have been almost saved by timely intervention of Delhi Minorities Commission. The Govt  agency, in this case CRPF, had reportedly not honored the stay order of a court against the occupation of the mosque and destruction of its adjacent graveyard on the plea of waqf activist Adv. Shahid Ali last year.Minorities Commission had issued a notice to the CRPF to explain as to “how and why it occupied the land of Lal Masjid in CGO Complex area near Lodhi Road.” The commission had issued a notice after media reports that the CRPF had occupied a large part of the land on 26th Feb.2018 and caused damage to the mosque and adjacent graves, and the personal visit by commission’s chairman Dr. Zafarul Islam Khan.Responding to commission’s notice, CRPF said that it has been allotted the land by a competent authority and had occupied it only with the permission of the Delhi High Court. “CRPF said that per HC order it has not touched the Lal Masjid or the adjacent graves,” said the commission in a communication.Dr. Khan inspected the site personally on 28th Feb. and again on 21st May.“He found during the first visit that both power and water supplies were cut off and the ablution area (wuzukhana) was broken. Now on the second visit, he found that power and water supplies have been restored and ablution area was repaired,” said commission.However, Dr. Khan was told by the caretaker of the mosque that some things more need to be done to completely restore the mosque.The caretaker of the mosque told Dr. Khan that CRPF has connected the mosque’s water pipe to its supply line which is erratic as CRPF jawans restore supply or cut it off at will. Lal Masjid’s electric supply has been connected to that of a hut on the site.In the light of the chairman’s inspection visit and CRPF replies, commission has issued the directives to CRPF:Allow the mosque to connect to its original electric supply line. Allow uninterrupted water supply to the mosque from your source or allow the caretaker to reconnect to the previous Jal Board pipeline connection. No changes should be made in the status quo.Caravan News
More space in Classes VI to X NCERT books for ancient Indian knowledge systems, tradition
New Delhi: Ancient Indian knowledge, tradition and practices now find more space in the new NCERT textbooks that hit the shelves in March, shows a content analysis of 25 textbooks by the Indian Express.Books meant for students of Classes 6 to 10 carry new or additional information on ancient Indian philosophy, ayurveda, yoga, teachings of Upanishads and smritis and scientific achievements of ancient India in areas such as astronomy and metallurgy.These changes are part of the textbook review —first since 2007 — undertaken last year by the NCERT, an autonomous organisation that advises the HRD Ministry on school education.They assume significance against the backdrop of the growing demand from BJP and the RSS to give more space to the country’s ancient past in school textbooks.Speaking at a lecture series organised by IGNOU and the Sangh-backed Bhartiya Shikshan Mandal in August last year, HRD Minister Prakash Javadekar had mentioned that NCERT will work on giving students a better understanding of Bharat and its “glorious past”.Indian Express compared old and new versions of 25 textbooks across 5 subjects – History, Geography, Political Science, Science and English. The comparison revealed new and additional content on the country’s ancient past not only in history textbooks, but also in science and geography.Indian Express
UP Sanskrit University to provide scholarships worth Rs 1 crore to students of J&K
UP  based Sanskrit University has announced that it will fund scholarships worth Rs 1 crore to the students of J&K . According to reports, the University has claimed that it has a variety of fresh courses assuring placements for the students. As per reports in a leading daily, the executive director of the University, PC Chabra told the media that the Sanskrit university has taken a decision of giving opportunities to the students of the J&K  state to enroll for higher education at its Mathura campus.NewsX
Auto driver's daughter Aafreen scores 98.31% in Gujarat class 10 board exams
Aafreen Shaikh, daughter of an autorickshaw driver in Ahmedabad, has come out with flying colours in GSEB SSC exams. Scoring a 98.31%, MBBS aspirant wants to fulfill her parent's wish."My parents wants to see me as a doctor and I will work hard to fulfill their dreams," says Afreen.Regular studies, hard work, parent's support and a goal to pursue MBBS in future, are some of the reasons she credits her success to.Her father, Shaik Mohammad Hamza reveled in his daughter's success and said that he always wanted that she serves the country by becoming an able doctor."I have always encouraged her to study. I always wanted to make her a doctor and now I expect her to serve the nation," Hamza told ANI.ndtv
Gujarat HC extends relief from arrest to activist Teesta Setalvad till June 13
Gujarat High Court has extended the protection from arrest to activist Teesta Setalvad and her husband Javed Anand till June 13, in a Rs 1.4 crore fund embezzlement case. Earlier in the day,Justice AY Kogje,in whose court the matter was listed, recused himself from hearing it saying “not before me.”PTI
Kathua rape case: Delhi HC directs to remove news disclosing victim's identity
New Delhi:Delhi High Court today directed to remove the news items which disclosed the identity of Kathua rape victim.The court has further listed the matter for July 16.On May 18, HC issued notice to Google, Facebook, Twitter and other social media sites after their Indian subsidiaries informed the court that they are not concerned entity to reply to court's notice on disclosing the identity of Kathua victim.ANI
Aurangabad: Jamaat-e-Islami Hind distributes financial relief to riot-hit persons
Aurangabad,Maharashtra:Jamaat-e-Islami Hind has distributed financial relief of more than Rs 13 lakh to the people who lost their properties in the recent riot here.In a programme organised at Shahganj, the organisation distributed cheques of various amounts to the affected people.After the riot, the workers of the organisation had conducted a survey to collect relief for riot-hit persons. Local head of Jamaat, Maulana Ilyas Khan Falahi, was present along with his office-bearers.UNI
Mumbra: Jamaat-e-Islami’s ‘Ramzan Parichay’ campaign gives people chance to know more about Ramzan
Thane: Jamaat-e-Islami-Hind, an organisation in Mumbra is all set to let people know about the sacred month of Ramzan and its importance. Also to make the masjid familiar for non-Muslim people so that they learn the beauty of the religion.Jamaat organised ‘Ramzan Parichay’ campaign in Mumbra to give a proper introduction  of the religion to  non-Muslims in  various ways. On May 27, there was ‘Ramzan Parichay’ campaign in Mumbra. Jamaat was behind this initiative to give an introduction of the religion  to the non-Muslim community in various ways. The organisation had invited people to be a part of its initiative.“Ramazan is a sacred month and the importance of fasting will be taught in during this campaign. All information about practices such as iftari, roja, zakat and fitra will be given  taught. People have lot of miscon ceptions about our religion and the practices. We are here to let people know the importance of the practices. Also they will know about the masjid and the prayers offered here. The meaning of it also will be introduced,” informed Parvez Khan, Media Coordinator, Jamaat. The people will get a chance to participate in the Iftar party when the community people will break the roja. Scholars from community will lecture about all these practices and the importance of religion.freepressjournal
Hindu Temple in Malappuram Hosts Iftar Party for Muslims
Malappuram: A Hindu temple in Kerala organised an iftar party for the Muslim community as part of the annual ‘prathishta’ (idol installation) ceremony in the temple thus giving a boost to communal harmony. Lakshmi Narasimha Murthy Vishnu temple near Vettichira in Malappuram district hosted an iftar party for the Muslims who were observing fast in the holy month of Ramzan last week. The iftar was attended by more than 400 people from both the communities.The event held on May 24 is the second edition of such iftar party being arranged by the temple committee.“We used to distribute food for the residents every year during the ‘prathishta’, since the Ramzan falls during this time we decided to host iftar so that we can accommodate all people irrespective of their faiths,” says KP Baiju, the treasurer for the temple committee. “Iftar was noted with the presence of not just Muslims, but even Hindus living in the locality participated in the event,” says Baiju, who was at the forefront of organising iftar. Since the iftar party was hosted by temple, only vegetarian food was being distributed.news18
Months after son’s murder by his Muslim lover’s family, Delhi man plans iftar for love
New Delhi:The father of a young Delhi man killed over his relationship with a Muslim woman is organising an iftar this Ramzan to ensure love, not hatred, marks his son’s legacy. Ankit Saxena, a 23-year-old photographer, was stabbed to death by the family members of his long-term girlfriend in Feb.this year, a cold-blooded murder fundamentalists hijacked to push their agenda of polarisation.But Yashpal Saxena has continued to reject the attempts to politicise his son’s death, and wants Ankit to be an inspiration for those in inter-faith relationships. With this in mind, on 3 June,Saxena will organise an iftar in his locality, west Delhi’s Raghubir Nagar.The event, Yashpal said, was a “starting point” for the trust he has established in Ankit’s name to help couples who want to marry outside their faith. Even though the trust has not yet been registered — it will be in “just a few more days”, Yashpal says —iftar can be considered its first event, he added.theprint
Sikh man’s video waking up Muslim neighbours for Sehri goes viral in J&K
A video clip has gone viral in which an unidentified elderly Sikh man seems to have taken the responsibility of waking up his Muslim neighbours in J&K’s Pulwama district for Sehri -- pre-dawn Ramzan meal.21-second video clip, showing man beating the drum to wake up his neighbours, is being widely shared on various social media platforms in Srinagar.“Allah Rasool de pyaaro,jannat de talabgaro, utho roza rakho (Beloved of Allah and his messenger, the seekers of paradise, wake up to start your fast),”unidentified Sikh man shouts. Many of netizens lauded Sikh man, saying he embodied communal harmony that has existed in Kashmir for centuries.PTI
Tamil Nadu permanently shuts down Sterlite plant
Tamil Nadu Govt  has ordered the closure of Sterlite plant following the death of 13 people in police firing during the anti-Sterlite protests in Thoothukudi. The protests against the Sterlite plant was happening over 100 days in Tuticorin as the agitators were protesting against the expansion of the plant as it was polluting the environment. The decision has come after a cabinet meeting by the Tamil Nadu Govt .In the last couple of days, the protests over Sterlite protests in Thoothukudi has been at the centre-stage of nation’s attention after around 13 lives were lost and more than 100 people were injured in the clashes, police firing while it was dealing with angry agitators who were marching towards the plant.newsx
Monsoon rain may decline by 45% in long term, shows climate model made by Indian scientists
Bengaluru: An advanced climate model, developed by a group of Indian researchers from around the world, predicts an overall decline of 45%  in the monsoon rainfall in the long term, with severe repercussions.In a paper published earlier this year in ‘Proceedings of National Academy of Sciences’ (PNAS), a leading scientific journal in the US, the team of scientists showed patterns of how low pressure systems that cause summer storms are formed.theprint
40 Dead In Thunderstorms In UP , Bihar,Jharkhand
40 people have died as thunderstorm and lightening struck different parts of UP, Bihar and Jharkhand on Monday.19 of those deaths have been reported from Bihar. In neighbouring Jharkhand, 12 people were killed and 28 were injured due to lightning.  9 people were killed in thunderstorm and lightning in Unnao, Kanpur and Rae Bareli in UP. Ndtv
WORLD
Libya: Muslim Brotherhood Demands Haftar’s Exclusion from Paris Summit
Muslim Brotherhood in Libya sought to exclude Libyan National Army commander Field Marshal Khalifa Haftar from the international conference in Paris aimed at resolving the North African country’s crisis.The meeting, hosted by French President Emmanuel Macron on Tuesday, will include the most prominent Libyan officials to prepare for presidential and parliamentary elections. Newly elected head of the High Council of State Khalid al-Mishri said on Saturday that the Paris meeting should only include the political parties that signed the Skheirat agreement in Morocco in 2015.Mishri is a prominent member of the political wing of the Mudlim Brotherhood. High Council of State offers recommendations to the parliament as stipulated in the Skheirat deal.“Haftar was not part of the agreement and he does not recognize it. The dialogue should just be limited to High Council of State, parliament and National Accord Govt, headed by PM  Fayez al-Sarraj, he added.He confirmed that he received an invitation from Macron to attend Tuesday’s conference.He also informed French authorities that elections would be a success if a referendum over the constitution was held.Haftar meanwhile chose to ignore Mishri’s statements. Paris meeting will be sponsored by the UN. It will be attended by Sarraj, Saleh, Haftar and Mishri in order to “open a new period of stability and cooperation which is awaited by Libyan people," a statement from French presidency said. The conference will be attended by some 19 countries and 4 international organizations, including countries that have influence on the ground such as Egypt, Italy, Qatar, Turkey and the UAE. UN special envoy to Libya Ghassan Salameh will also attend.Asharq Al-Awsat
Libyan HCS’s Muslim Brotherhood member Mishri to attend Paris conference
Jordan’s Islamic Action Front urges gov't to step down
Amman: Islamic Action Front (IAF), political arm of Jordan’s Muslim Brotherhood group, has called on Govt of PM  Hani al-Mulki to step down. The call comes amid mounting political tension after the Govt  last week approved a revised version of proposed income tax legislation.“With regret, we have noted Govt's insistence on passing an income tax bill in response to recommendations issued by the International Monetary Fund,” IAF said in a Monday statement.It went on to assert than IMF representatives were “directly negotiating with relevant committees in Jordan’s parliament in clear violation of [Jordan’s] national sovereignty”.IAF also called for the departure of al-Mulki’s “failed Govt ”, which, it said, had “exhausted the country and the people with its actions”.On Wednesday, several Jordanian trade unions plan to go on strike to protest the income tax bill, which will be debated in parliament later this week.Anadolu Agency
Brotherhood official: Egypt is arresting opponents in search of its lapsed legitimacy
Muslim Brotherhood stressed that “campaign of arrests carried out by the Egyptian security authorities against a number of opposition activists and the resumption of talk about the Brotherhood scarecrow and terrorism are part of the current regime’s search for a lapsed and terminated legitimacy.”Deputy leader of Muslim Brotherhood, Ibrahim Munir, said in an interview with Quds Press that “Egyptian regime, after failing to pin the crime of terrorism on the Brotherhood, resumed the campaign of arrests against its opponents at home.”Munir pointed out that “opposition political activist Hazem Abdel-Azim, who was arrested by the State Security Prosecution on Sunday, is not affiliated with the Brotherhood but is one of the opponents who the regime bans from freedom of expression.”On Sunday, security services ordered the imprisonment of political activist Abdel-Azim for 15 days pending a probe. He was charged with joining a group founded contrarily to the provisions of the law and issuing fake news about the country’s political and economic situation. Brotherhood’s deputy leader said that “the campaign of arrests led by the authorities in Egypt against its opponents reflects the regime’s confusion and its failure to establish its legitimacy at home and abroad.”MEMO
Sheikh Hasina's directly involved in hundreds of secret detentions as part of crackdown on opposition?
London: Bangladesh’s PM signed off on secret detentions by the country’s intelligence services as part of a widening crackdown on the opposition, a close associate has claimed. Sheikh Hasina is said to have given the country’s military intelligence agency Directorate General of Forces Intelligence, known as DGFI, “clearance” to illegally pick up two men linked with the opposition who were secretly detained for months.The whereabouts of one of the men remains unknown, 20 months after he was detained.Bangladesh has faced severe criticism from human rights organisations over its record of enforced disappearances. Under the current administration, there have been hundreds of secret detentions by law enforcement authorities, many involving the political opposition, with dozens of victims turning up dead or never returning.Early last year, UNWorking Group on Enforced or Involuntary Disappearances, and other UN experts, called on “Bangladesh to act now to halt an increasing number of enforced disappearances in the country”.Interviews with the associate, a close political colleague of Sheikh Hasina, are however the first time that evidence has pointed towards PM ’s direct involvement in secret detentions.The associate spoke on condition that his identity would not be disclosed, fearing repercussions.The political associate of the PM  said that the disappearances of both Mir Ahmed Bin Quasem, a British-trained barrister who was picked up from his flat in Dhaka in front of his wife and children, and Hummam Quader Chowdhury, who was taken from his car as his mother watched, were “authorised by PM ” in Aug.2016 after DFGI approached Sheikh Hasina with a “concocted” story about a conspiracy between them against the Govt . Bin Quasem, also known as Arman, is the son of a Jamaat-e-Islami leader who was subsequently executed in 1971 war crimes case. Chowdhury’s father was a prominent leader of BNP and was also executed in the war crimes case.Whilst Chowdhury was released onto the streets of Dhaka in April 2017 after disappearing for seven months, Bin Quasem remains missing.Chowdhury and his family have refused to speak about his ordeal.Speaking specifically about Chowdhury, associate said that “Without her clearance, they wouldn’t pick him up” and that “of course” Hasina knew that “[Chowdhury] was continuing to being detained.”“This whole thing happened in such a way that officially Govt, you cannot pinpoint the Govt, PM or anybody,” PM’s political associate added.Michael Polak,UK lawyer acting for Mir Quasem said, “This is evidence that the PM  had a direct hand in Arman’s fate and should she wished she could release him tomorrow.” Tahera Tasneem, Quasem’s sister said, “Our entire family is shattered in grief and sorrow. We want him back as soon as possible.”Analysts said that the associate’s claims about PM’s involvement are not unexpected.thewire
Iran denies alleged meeting in Jordan with Israeli intelligence
Iran’s Foreign Ministry has denied reports of a “secret meeting” allegedly held in Amman recently between Iranian officials and Israeli Mossad officers, reports Anadolu.Iran’s state-run Islamic Republic News Agency quoted Foreign Ministry spokesman Bahram Qassemi as saying “no talks were held” between Iranian officials and Israeli intelligence agents in the Jordanian capital.On Sunday, London-based Arabic-language news outlet Elaph — which is owned by a Saudi businessman — quoted a “participant” at the alleged meeting as saying that Iran’s envoy to Jordan, along with several Iranian security officials, had met with Israeli intelligence agents in Amman.MEMO
Russia: Only Syrian forces should be stationed on Israel border
Russia's Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov has said that only Syrian forces should be present in areas alongside the country's border with Israel and Jordan, as rebels in southern Syria prepare for a possible offensive by Govt  troops. In recent days, Syrian Govt aircraft have dropped leaflets on rebel-held areas in Deraa, warning of an imminent push and urging the fighters to lay down their arms.Southern province, which is mostly controlled by opposition groups, is close to the volatile Israeli-occupied Syrian Golan Heights, which has emerged as a flashpoint in a wider standoff between Israel and Iran.aljazeera
11 Syrian opposition groups form new front in Idlib
11 opposition groups fighting against the Bashar al-Assad regime in Syria formed a new alliance in northwestern Idlib province.The sources from the groups said they merged under the name of "National Front for Liberation."“The aim of the new formation is to unite the components of the Free Syrian Army in Idlib province on Syria under one roof,” the new formation said on social media.The formation includes following groups: Sham Legion, Jaysh al-Nasr, Free Idlib Army, 1st Costal Division, 2nd Costal Division,1st Division, 2nd Army,Army of Elites, Shuhada al-Islam Darayya, Al-Hurriyat Brigade,and 23rd Division.Anadolu
 Saudi preacher Musa transferred to mental hospital
Saudi preacher Musa Al-Qarni, professor of Islamic jurisprudence and ex director of Islamic University of Science and Technology, had a stroke in prison and has been moved to a psychiatric hospital as a result of negligence in prison, online activists have said.Twitter account M3takl, which focuses on plight of Saudi prisoners, wrote: “Urgent news. It is confirmed that prisoner Al-Qarni is suffering from a stroke that caused him to lose control of his mind because of health negligence in prison.”“Al-Qarni unjustifiably attacked the prisoner who shared a cell with him several times. He was then transferred to solitary confinement and after more strange behaviour, it was revealed that he had suffered a stroke and he has been moved to a mental hospital. Isn’t this a big crime?”activists added.Al-Qarni’s treatment, they continued, is similar to that of Sheikh Abdulaziz Al-Wahibi 2 years ago, adding that “violations continue in and outside prisons”.MEMO
Croatia rejects extradition of suspect in Hamas engineer killing
Croatia's top court on Monday blocked the extradition of a Bosnian man to Tunisia over the alleged murder of an aerospace engineer, who Palestinian group Hamas said was one of its members.Mohammed al-Zawari, 49, was killed in a hail of bullets at the wheel of his car outside his house in the city of Sfax, 270km southeast of Tunis, in Dec.2016. "The Supreme Court accepted the appeal of the suspect ... and rejected the request for extradition from the Republic of Tunisia," the court said. The final decision will be made by the justice minister. Leaders from both Hamas and the Lebanese Hezbollah group accused the Israeli spy agency Mossad of assassinating al-Zawari.aljazeera
Officials: Afghan forces mistakenly kill 9, mostly civilians
Kabul:Officials say Afghan forces killed nine people, mostly civilians, by mistake during a raid on a house in eastern Nangarhar province.Provincial governor Hayatullah Hayat says on Tuesday that eight other civilians were wounded in the raid late last night in Chaparhar district.Hayat said a local police commander was among the dead.He said gunfire had been coming from the house that was raided, but the casualties were identified as mostly civilians once the operation ended.AP

FLASH: VIEWS & NEWS
EC needs to do more than just blame the heat wave for malfunctioning EVMs, VVPATs:Tejinder Singh Bedi
Exclusive: Will K’Taka Hasten Move to Hold Simultaneous Elections?Chaitanya Kalbagup
Savarkar: He admired Hitler and other lesser-known facts about him:Adrija Roychowdhury
Cobrapost sting: Media subservience to power, its contempt for the citizen:Pratap Bhanu Mehta
How many EVM malfunctions will it take for Opposition to reject them?  Rohit Prakash
Non-Muslim women take on Ramadan hijab challenge:Saba Aziz, aljazeera

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

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