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Wednesday, 30 May 2018

30 May: Law Commission in its final report could suggest postponing Uniform Civil Code's implementation by 10-yrs/ Centre Wants "Mass Surveillance Tool" to track Social Media, Emails/ Minorities in India felt increasingly vulnerable, says US repor


NEWS DIGEST, MID-DAY  
30 May 2018:14 Ramazan 1439: Vol:10, No:33
INDIA
Law Commission in its final report could suggest postponing Uniform Civil Code's implementation by 10-yrs
New Delhi:Law Commission of India in its final report on the Uniform Civil Code (UCC) could suggest postponing its implementation by 10 years, ThePrint has learnt, recommending instead the tweaking of personal laws across religions. The final report is expected in the next few months. “We may want to recommend bringing changes in the personal laws religion-wise, and wait for another 10 years for the implementation of a UCC,” a source in the law panel said. The commission has been holding consultations with several stakeholders, including the All India Muslim Personal Law Board, ex law minister Salman Khurshid, ex Congress leader Arif Mohammad Khan, BJP leader Ashwini Upadhyay among others — and has asked for their legal opinions on a range of issues such as custody of children in Islam, inheritance, age of marriage etc.In keeping with its 2014 general polls manifesto promise, BJP Govt  asked the Law Commission in June 2016 to examine whether UCC— which would replace personal laws based on the different religious scriptures and customs with a common code — could be introduced in India.Earlier this year, the commission invited detailed submissions from stakeholders, but said it would steer clear from issues of nikah halala and polygamy among Muslims since they are already sub-judice and so out of bounds for the commission.In its report, the commission will seek to emphasise that as opposed to popular understanding, a UCC, if brought about, would not be anti-Muslim or anti-Islamic in any way.“There are certain progressive tenets of Islam that will be highlighted and could be applied to other religions as well,” a member of the commission said.“We have communicated this to Muslim groups too.”For example, under Islamic law, a man can only bequeath or gift 1-3rd of his property to an individual who is neither his child nor his wife, and is bound to keep 2-3rd for his family.“This is a very progressive aspect in Islam, and we could recommend that it be applied to Hindus as well,” the member said. Another aspect about Islam to be highlighted in the report is that the faith, right from its beginning, has entitled women to inherit property, unlike Hinduism. “Although in Islam, women only inherit half of what their male counterparts do, they always had the right to inherit… In Hinduism, this right came much later,” the member added.However, the commission has sought replies from Muslim groups on why daughters only inherit half of what sons do. The groups are expected to send in their responses after Eid.Another issue on which the commission has sought their response is the minimum age for marriage within Islam. While the Prohibition of Child Marriage Act, 2006 stipulates 18 and 21 years as minimum age for marriage for boys and girls respectively, under the Islamic law, marriage is permitted after puberty. “(Prohibition of) Child Marriage Act is a secular law, so it should be applicable across,” a source said.theprint
Centre Wants "Mass Surveillance Tool" to track Social Media, Emails
Govt  is looking for a company to analyze social media posts to help boost nationalism and neutralize any "media blitzkrieg by India's adversaries."In a lengthy tender posted online, I&B Ministry said it wants a company to provide analytical software and a team of at least 20 professionals to "power a real time New Media Command Room."They should monitor Twitter, YouTube, LinkedIn, Internet forums and even email in order to analyze sentiment, identify "fake news," disseminate information on behalf of Govt  and inject news and social media posts with a "positive slant for India," tender said. Under PM  Narendra Modi's administration, ministries and cabinet ministers have been active on social media, tweeting new policies and interacting with citizens. But this tender suggests the Govt  now wants more powerful social media tools to shape a positive narrative about India and encourage nationalism among citizens in the lead up to state and national elections. "Essentially,the hub will be a mass surveillance tool," said Nikita Sud, an associate professor of international development at Oxford University. "Nationalism seems to be equated with agreement with Govt of the day, or even with the party in power.There are grave implications here for India's democracy, and for the fundamental rights to free speech and expression guaranteed by the Indian constitution."A spokesman in the PMO did not immediately respond to a call or text. Calls to a spokesman for the Ministry of I&B were not answered.In the tender, the Govt  seeks the ability to track trends, topics and Twitter hashtags relevant to Govt  activities. But it also seeks the ability to drill down and monitor individual social media accounts, create historical archives of conversations and help shape a positive narrative about India.It suggests the social media tool should use "predictive modeling" and "data mining" to "make predictions about the future or unknown events," including the impact of headlines in international publications such as the New York Times, the Economist and Time magazine.The Govt  tender is dated April 25, and noted it was accepting bids until May 17.ndtv/  Bloomberg
Govt plans to hire crack team to track social media
Minorities in India felt increasingly vulnerable, says US report; ‘India does not prosecute violence by vigilantes’
US state dept.said in an annual religious freedom report released on Tuesday that authorities in India “often did not prosecute violence by vigilantes against persons, mostly Muslims”, trading in or consuming beef.“Members of civil society and religious minorities stated that under the current Govt, religious minority communities felt increasingly vulnerable due to Hindu nationalist groups engaging in violence against non-Hindu individuals and their places of worship,” the annual report on the state of religious freedom around the world said.The report, which excludes the US, said that “while the national Govt sometimes spoke out against incidents of violence, local political leaders often did not”, citing minority community representatives.The state department publishes reports every year about US view of the state of civil rights and religious freedom around the world, as mandated by US Congress. However, these reports have also raised questions and faced criticism at home for ignoring similar challenges in the US, specially under President Donald Trump — his administration has been under fire for the discriminatory travel ban on people from some Muslim-majority countries. Secretary of state Mike Pompeo, releasing the report, said the US plans to call a ministerial meeting on religious freedom on July 25 and 26 with Govt and religious leaders, rights advocates, and civil society from around the world.On India, the report, based largely on published news accounts and commentary, said: “There were reports of religiously motivated killings, assaults, riots, discrimination, vandalism, and actions restricting the right of individuals to practice their religious beliefs and proselytise.“There were several violent incidents by so-called ‘cow protection’ groups against mostly Muslim victims, including killings, mob violence, assaults, and intimidation. Authorities often failed to prosecute those committing the attacks.”HT
Religious minority communities in India felt increasingly vulnerable in 2017: US report
Mecca Masjid blast case: NIA not to appeal against trial court order acquitting Swami Aseemanand
New Delhi: NIA has said that it will not appeal against the trial court judgement acquitting Swami Aseemanand in 2007 Mecca Masjid blast case.According to CNN-News 18, a top official of NIA said that three of the 18 points in the trial court’s judgement are tough to challenge and the agency will not appeal against the Hyderabad court’s order.“No decision on appealing against Mecca Masjid judgement at this stage,” YC Modi, NIA DG said.  Last month, a Hyderabad court had acquitted all 5 people accused in Mecca Masjid blast case due to lack of evidence. NIA had then said that they will appeal in the High court after reading the order. financialexpress
Telangana Praja Samithi asks state Govt to move HC against suspects' acquittal in Makkah masjid blast case
Telangana Praja Samithi (TPS) head Neera Kishore has demanded that the State Govt move High Court against the verdict of acquittal of those allegedly involved in Mecca masjid Blasts case. TPS, which spearheaded Telangana movement in 1969 will move the court against the acquittal of the accused if Govt  fails to do so, she said.In a letter addressed to CM  K Chandrashekhar Rao here, Neera Kishore took serious exception that Govt  failed to take action even after one month of the verdict. It was heart-breaking terror attack on the Mecca Mosque in the heart of the city with impunity that claimed nine lives and injured 54 and the culprits were let off scot free. Justice has been denied to kin of victims of the bomb blast and there is no sign of taking action against it by the Govt, she said. If Govt fails to file a case it is tantamount to protecting the guilty and failure to protect fundamental rights,she alleged.siasat
Mecca Masjid blast: Owaisi hits out as NIA advised not to appeal Aseemanand acquittal
NIA has reportedly decided not to appeal the acquittal of the 5 accused in Mecca Masjid blast case, including main accused Swami Aseemanand. Responding to it, AIMIM chief Asaduddin Owaisi dubbed it a ‘political decision’."NIA didn't pursue it in an honest way. They pursued it in a way that Aseemanand should be acquitted by the court. This is a political decision taken by PM  Narendra Modi," Owaisi said.In April this year, Owaisi led a delegation and met with Telangana and AP Governor to submit a memorandum seeking the re-trial of the accused in the Mecca Masjid blast case.The delegation comprised of 20 people including Owaisi and others like Charminar MLA Syed Ahmed Pasha Qadri and top officials of the Majlis-e-Ulema-e-Deccan, United Muslim Forum, Jamaat-e-Islami Hind and Jamaat-ul-Ulema among other such groups.thenewsminute
UP ATS officer, probing key terror & blasts cases,  dead, police say he shot himself
Lucknow:An UP  ATS officer, who probed several terror cases including 2013 Patna crude bomb blasts, allegedly committed suicide by shooting himself with his service pistol on Tuesday. Sources said ASP Rajesh Sahni left no suicide note. He was supposed to be on a 12-day leave to get his daughter admitted to Mumbai’s TISS. But sources said he was called to office on Monday to get the statement of an accused recorded before a court. He went to office again on Tuesday and allegedly shot himself dead. Sahni’s role was appreciated in cracking Khorasan terror module involved in a blast in MP. He led team that gunned down terror suspect Saifullah in Lucknow in March 2017. Sahni was supervising the team, which arrested alleged ISI agent Ramesh Singh from Uttarakhand on May 23.Sahni investigated 2013 Patna blasts during his stint with NIA. He was also part of NIA team, which probed the 2013 Bodhgaya blast.IG (ATS) Asim Kumar Arun claimed Sahni was not called to office on Tuesday. He said Sahni left home telling family he was going to bring ‘prasad’ and would return home soon.“After coming to office, he asked his driver, constable Manoj, to bring his service pistol as he has to go for an operation,’’ he said. “Manoj handed over the pistol to Sahni and returned. After few minutes, Manoj came to Sahni’s room for some work to find it bolted. When Sahni did not respond, Manoj informed Sahni’s confidential assistant, RK Singh, who alerted me.” Arun said they rushed to his room and found him dead. “Sahni had shot himself on his right temple.”ADG Anand Kumar said prima facie it appears Sahni committed suicide. indianexpress
Row over Pranab Mukherjee attending RSS event, ex Congress minister asks him to reconsider
New Delhi:Ex-president Pranab Mukherjee accepting an invite from RSS to be the chief guest at a function at Sangh headquarters on 7 June snowballed into a row with a former union minister urging him to reconsider his decision in the interest of secularism.While Congress refrained from making a comment on the issue, a party leader asked if the RSS accepted what the former president said as a minister and Congress leader about the Sangh being the “worst” outfit which was “communal”, “anti-national” and “unpatriotic”.While a union minister defended Mukherjee’s decision saying RSS is not Pakistan’s ISI and an “untouchable” and it was a “good beginning”. RSS, on its part, claimed even Mahatma Gandhi and Jaiprakash Narayan attended their functions and former PM  Jawaharlal Nehru had invited its workers for the Republic Day parade in 1963 after being impressed with its work.Former union minister CK Jaffer Shareif, in a letter to Mukherjee, expressed surprise over the move and said he like other secular people was “stunned” to hear about his attending the RSS function. “I personally think that a person of your stature, being secular and in politics for decades, having served in various capacity including the highest position of ‘Rashtrapati’, visiting ‘Sangh Parivar’ at this point in time before Parliament elections is not proper. Delhi Congress leader Sandeep Dikshit said as a Congress leader and minister, Mukherjee has spoken about RSS and the BJP many times on various issues and dubbed it as “bad” and “worst” outfit, which is “communal” and “anti-national”.Amid raging debate over Mukherjee’s address at RSS event, RSS said the likes of Mahatama Gandhi and Jaiprakash Narayan have attended its functions in past. PTI
Pranab Mukherjee at RSS event: What is the Sangh Shiksha Varg? Who have been the chief guests earlier?
As Pranab Heads To RSS Meet, His Secret Role Emerges
New Delhi: He is a former president but with the invite to be chief guest at an RSS event next month, Pranab Mukherjee has sent out signals that he is not a write-off just yet. While many are stumped in the Congress party, the move is seen as a clear indication that Citizen Mukherjee -- as he calls himself on Twitter -- is asserting an identity independent of the Congress, his party of over 5 decades.NDTV has spoken to a wide range of politicians across party lines who confirmed that the 82-year-old is playing a significant role in bringing non-Congress, non-BJP leaders together to form an alternative front ahead of 2019. Some of those leaders went as far as to pitch the ex president as a potential PM candidate in 2019. They point to talks that Mukherjee has been having with political leaders who have met him at his official bungalow in Delhi.It all goes back to low-key meeting held in Bhubaneswar in January at home of Odisha CM  Naveen Patnaik, the chief of BJD. Patnaik had invited the leaders for the launch of a biography of his father Biju Patnaik. Unlike other high-profile dinners hosted recently by Sonia Gandhi or NCP leader Sharad Pawar,this one was revealed in a tweet showing Pranab Mukherjee, JDS's Deve Gowda, Left leader Sitaram Yechury and BJP veteran LK Advani having lunch with Mr Patnaik.But sources told NDTV it was one of the first meetings that set the ball rolling on a potential Third Front.ndtv
Hindu Yuva Vahini, Adityanath’s Hindutva army, seeks to rebrand itself without CM’s support
Before swearing in as CM of UP, Yogi Adityanath aka Ajay Singh Bisht used to visit Varanasi almost every month with a convoy of SUVs and sedans. Yogi, who was then MP from Gorakhpur, used to pray at Kashi Vishwanath Temple, and the vehicles labeled with saffron flags of Hindu Yuva Vahini used to stand on the busy road of Chowk and Bulanala waiting for Yogi to come back.But as soon as the first few phases of assembly election in 2017 passed, district units of Yuva Vahini in almost every region of the state were disbanded after the nod of Adityanath. Soon, Yogi took oath as the CM  of the state and he went on to disband the central committee of Vahini as well and told the workers to be more involved in “creative work”. Since that day, no vehicle labelled Vahini has stopped on the busy road outside of the Kashi Vishwanath Temple of Varanasi.Even in the Gorakhpur Bypoll of 2018, one was expecting that the campaign on the ground would be managed by the workers of Vahini — the power through which Yogi reigned the Gorakhpur — but Vahini was overshadowed by BJP and RSS’s ground workers. This reflected in the results of the Bypoll where Gorakhpur not only slipped away from the hands of BJP but also from the hands of Gorakshanath Temple, whose chief priest Mahant Avaidyanath followed by Yogi Adityanath used to lead the socio-political diaspora of the district.However, absence of Vahini from the scene partially ended on May 13 when a new organisation named “Hindu Yuva Vahini Bharat” was born in Lucknow under the leadership of Sunil Singh, ex-state chief of Yuva Vahini. The meeting was held in VVIP guest house of Lucknow and Singh was elected as National President of the new outfit, clearing any doubt that Yogi will be associated with Yuva Vahini Bharat.TCN
New icons in NCERT books: Bajirao to Maharana Pratap
The revised NCERT textbooks place new emphasis on a fresh set of nationalist icons, many of whom, BJP and right organisations claim, were deliberately sidelined in the country’s collective memory. Spiritual leaders Sri Aurobindo and Swami Vivekananda, freedom fighters Lala Lajpat Rai and Vallabhbhai Patel, Peshwa and Maratha general Bajirao Ballal, Jat king Suraj Mal, Rajput icon Maharana Pratap and Chhatrapati Shivaji, founder of the Maratha empire, have either been introduced or have more space dedicated to them in the new History textbooks that hit the shelves two months ago.Indian Express, in a month-long exercise, compared old and revised versions of 25 textbooks meant for Classes 6 to 10, across 5 subjects — History, Geography, Political Science, Science and English. According to the analysis, revision is more noticeable in case of Swami Vivekananda and Aurobindo Ghose. NCERT has made 1,334 changes, which include additions, corrections and data update, in its 182 textbooks. Of these, the maximum changes (573) have been made to Science books, followed by Social Science (316) and Sanskrit textbooks (163).indianexpress
Pak, India vow to implement 2003 ceasefire deal:aljazeera
Pakistan and India have agreed to curb cross-border violence to comply with a ceasefire agreement signed between the two nuclear-armed neighbours in 2003.The understanding was reached by Pakistani and Indian armies on Tuesday after reviewing a spike in violence along the Line of Control since Sept.2016."Both director generals of military operations reviewed the prevailing situation along the Line of Control and the Working Boundary and mutually agreed to undertake sincere measures to improve the existing situation ensuring peace and avoidance of hardships to the civilians along the borders," a statement from Pakistan army's media wing said.The 2 sides also agreed to "fully implement the ceasefire understanding of 2003 in letter and spirit forthwith and to ensure that henceforth the ceasefire will not be violated by both sides," said the statement.aljazeera
J&K : Encounters fuel militant hiring, says official report
New Delhi :Almost half the recruitments into militant ranks in the Valley after the killing of Hizbul Mujahideen commander Burhan Wani came from within 10 km of the residences of killed militants or encounter sites and these recruitments took place within 40 days of the encounters.These are among the findings of security agencies in J&K, part of a report on militancy and recruitment in the region that set the stage for the Ramzan ceasefire.After the killing of Burhan Wani on July 8, 2016, 121 militants have been killed and 216 local youths joined militancy.The report analysed 43 encounters since November 5, 2016, until April 26 this year, in which 77 militants were killed while 104 were recruited and this recruitment was directly linked to the killing of militants in their area or a killed militant belonged to their area.Inspector General of J&K Police, Kashmir zone SP Pani said that the increase in local recruitment into militancy has been the “biggest challenge”.“We have been trying to dissuade local recruitment. Until now, 11 youngsters (who had joined militant ranks) have come back. Five (new recruits) were caught alive during encounters,’’ he said.“It is imperative that local recruitment is contained.”The report on the trends in local militancy since 2016 suggests that there are a “host of circumstances” that “draw a correlation between militants killed in encounters and the corresponding new inductions”.According to the report, killing of local militants in encounters “is part of a circle” that “acts as a catalyst to push further recruitment”.Killing of civilians, who gather at encounter sites to protest, adds to the anger. “A single encounter in an area today draws severe law and order situations ending up many a time in attack on the encounter site. (and) the deaths of protesters,” states the report. indianexpress
Kashmir separatists say ready to join peace talks if ‘Indian leadership speaks in one voice’
Srinagar:India’s leadership has to speak “in one voice” about J&K  before Hurriyat Conference can join the peace process, the state’s separatist leaders said on Tuesday after home minister Rajnath Singh offered talks.“Let the Indian Govt  give clarity on what it wants to talk about and speak in one voice. We are ready to join the process,” Joint Resistance Leadership (JRL), a conglomerate of separatist groups in Kashmir, said in a statement.Syed Ali Geelani hosted a meeting at his Hyderpora residence on Tuesday. Hurriyat chairman Mirwaiz Umar Farooq and JKLF Front chairman Yasin Malik were also present in the meeting.JRL said that it is important to have transparency in such a process and an assurance from all sides that promises and pledges will be honoured.HT
Separatists: Ready for dialogue if Pak is part of process
Rajasthan Wakf Board row in Supreme Court
New Delhi:A case pertaining to removal of the Chairman of the Rajasthan Wakf Board, Syed Abu Waqar Naqvi, on Tuesday reached the Supreme Court.Senior counsel, Sanjay Hegde, mentioned the matter before the apex court.A division bench, headed by Justice L Nageshwa Rao and also comprising Justice M Shantanugowdar, said,'' We would hear the matter likely on Monday.On the directions of Rajasthan HC, Chairman of state Wakf Board was removed from his post. Naqvi then approached the SC against the order.UNI
Tamil Nadu:Upper-caste men attack Dalits, killing 2
New Delhi: 2 Dalits were killed and 6 others severely injured in an attack in Kachanatham village Tamil Nadu’s Sivaganga district. Upper-caste Hindus were “enraged” that Dalits did not present temple honours to a upper-caste family, and a Dalit man sat cross-legged in front of upper-caste men, The Hindu reported. An armed group of 15 men brutally attacked Dalit villagers at 9:30 pm on Monday night, the newspaper reported, while most families were in their homes.Several houses were also damaged and personal belongings broken, the newspaper said. Indian Express quoted Communist Party of India (Marxist) leader Kandasamy M., who visited the village after the violence, as saying that the attack occurred after Dalits protested the sale of marijuana in the area by people from a neighbouring village. “Following arguments during a recent temple function in the area, there were reports that Dalits had faced threats from a section of Thevar community in the neighbouring village,” he said.thewire
UP: Meet 4 poor Muslim families whose breadwinners are languishing in up jail under NSA
Lucknow: More than 2 and half months have passed since they were arrested from homes day after a minor communal clash in Barabanki district of UP . They were arrested under normal criminal laws but exactly when they were getting released on bail, a draconian law NSA  was slapped on them and they have since been in the jail. Their families opened their hearts and homes before a team of human rights group Rihai Manch during a recent visit.On 14th March 2018, on the occasion of Maha Shiv Ratri, an idol procession was passing through Mahadeva area in the Barabanki district. Hundreds of people were on tractors in the procession. Some of them allegedly threw colors on a young Muslim girl who was going on a bike with her brother. When her brother opposed, some members of the procession assaulted the youth.“Shah Fahad was taking her sister on bike. Some people in the idol procession threw colors on the girl, leading to scuffle. And then clashes erupted between the 2 communities in the Mahadeva area. Twelve people, all Muslims, were arrested, many of them from their homes next day. When they were getting released on bail, four them of them were again sent to jail as they were slapped with NSA,” says Rajeev Yadav who headed the Rihai Manch delegation to the homes of the 4 families.They met families of Rizwan, Zubair, Ateeq and Mumtaz – the 4 who were slapped with NSA. The delegation also met Shah Fahad, whose sister was hit with colors, to know the truth. Fahad is also an accused but out on bail.caravandaily
Kairana bye-election 2018: Repolling underway at 73 polling booths
New Delhi:Repolling is currently underway at 73 polling booths in Kairana Lok Sabha seat, which went to polls on Monday and saw a voter turnout of about 54 % . Election Commission had Tuesday ordered re-polling at 123 polling booths [Kairana (73) and Bhandara Gondia (49) (Maharashtra)] Lok Sabha seats taking cognizance of the number of complaints of faults in VVPAT machines during the bypolls held across 10 states.In Kairana, around 80,000 voters will exercise their franchise in 23 polling stations at Nakur, 44 in Gangoh and one at Thana Bhawan in Saharanpur and five in Shamli. The repolling, which started at 7 am, will end at 5 pm.indianexpress
Kairana, Noorpur bypolls: EC takes serious note of VVPAT snags, orders repoll in 73 booths
EC orders re-polling in 49 stations of Bhandara-Gondiya in Maharashtra
EC, democracy mistress of those in power: Shiv Sena
Shiv Sena has dubbed the Election Commission, democracy and elections as “mistress” of those in power, launching a scathing attack on the poll panel over complaints of the malfunctioning of EVMs and VVPAT machines in bypolls. Unsparing in its criticism of ally BJP, the Sena alleged that the ruling party, which, it said, has an “autocratic mindset”, has corrupted the EVMs to serve its own purpose.It warned that people’s loss of faith in the election process was “dangerous” for democracy.PTI
Surat : Brave Imran awarded for saving 2 minor girls from becoming human sacrifice
Even after a long hunt, the Maharashtra Police could not find 2 minor girls who were kidnapped by a 65-year-old man. The girls were to be used as a sacrificial offering by the culprit. However, a brave man had the courage to save the girls and he has now been awarded a man by the police for rescuing the girls. One of the girls was 11-years-old and the other was 8-year-old. The two were kidnapped from Maharashtra and were brought to Surat with the intention of being used as sacrificial offerings.Imran Bhai Shah, a server at Kim Kothwa mosque in Surat district, heard the two girls crying. He approached them and was told that they were kidnapped by a man called Babban Pawra, from their home some 5 days ago. The girls were residents of Sahda village in Maharashtra's Nandurbar district. Imran and other servers of the mosque immediately approached the closest police station. Kosamba police reached out and took the two girls under their custody.The accused Babban Pawra was arrested by the Kosamba police and the girls were handed over to their father, reported India Today. Pawra is also accused of murdering his own son as a sacrificial offering. indiatimes
Gurugram: 7 attack imam over namaz site curbs
GURUGRAM: 7 people, all from the minority community, armed with pistols, attacked an imam on Tuesday, while he was conducting a meeting inside the mosque near Rajiv Chowk, to discuss the issue of holding prayer congregations in the open with his followers.This came a month after the controversy, that had flared up over holding Friday prayers in the open, when Hindu groups first threatened disruption and followed up their threat next Friday at prayer meets across the city. The administration conducted a series of meetings with different groups, at the end of which Muslim community leaders agreed to reduce the number of prayer meets in open areas to around 40 places (including mosques and idgahs), from over 100.“We’re trying to maintain peace and harmony in the city. After consultation with administration and civil society members, number of places where we would conduct prayer meetings was reduced. But this has not gone down well with certain sections,” said Shahzad Khan, who had first filed a complaint against disruption of prayers in Sector 43, following which, 6 youths were arrested. TOI
AMUSU praises Sikh cop who saved Muslim youth
Agra: “You have not saved the life of a Muslim youth but have saved humanity. Your act will definitely prove to be a landmark event and go down in the annals of history,” read a letter issued by AMU students’ union to Gagandeep Singh, the Uttarakhand police officer who took blows on himself to save a Muslim man from the ire of mob that had found him in the company of a girl from a different community.The letter also says that officers like Singh represent the real India who execute their duty without caring for consequences. Secretary of AMU students’ union, Mohd Fahad said, “We will invite him (Singh) to AMU campus to felicitate him.”timesofindia
In a first, RSS to host Iftar party in Mumbai
Mumbai: Muslim Rashtriya Manch (MRM), an affiliate of RSS, will host an iftar party for diplomats from Islamic countries and prominent members of the community on June 4 at Malabar Hill. This is the first time RSS will be holding an iftar party in Mumbai.Virag Pachpore, national convenor of MRM, said, “Consuls general of about 30 countries, 200 prominent members of the Muslim community as well as 100 members from other communities are expected to attend the event.”The event in Mumbai is an attempt by the Sangh to reach out to Muslims in western and southern parts of the country.Pachpore said, “Mumbai is the financial capital of India, and a large number of countries have their consulates here. Mumbai is home to many Muslim businessmen who have contributed to the nation’s growth, and there are many Muslim personalities who are a vital part of the entertainment industry. Through this iftar party, we would like to interact with them.”Political analyst Prakash Akolkar said, “This is part of the RSS’s game plan to show how they treat all communities as equally and that they are not against any particular community, especially Muslims. But unless they address the concerns of Muslims on issues like beef ban and the violence over it, common civil code and alleged targeting of Muslim youths in the name of terrorism, there cannot be an honest dialogue between the Sangh and the Muslim community.”Mumbai Mirror
Telangana Govt to host iftar at 800 mosques, CM to attend
To show solidarity with the Muslim community in the state, the Telangana Govt  is all set to host a grand iftar party for the under-privileged people on June 8. The state has identified as many as 800 mosques to host Daawat-e-iftar for the poor.A grand feast for iftar, when the Muslims break their dawn-to-dusk fast, will also be hosted at LB stadium in Hyderabad on the second Friday of June. The event will also be graced by state CM  K Chandrasekhar Rao.After the feast, three pairs of clothes will be gifted to the poor in the mosque. The Govt  has joined hands with the Telangana handloom and weavers cooperation society to supply the clothes that would be required to distribute as gifts to the poor.Mirror Online
Medical student Dubey, his friends serving sehri in hospitals in Bhopal
Bhopal: Shailendra Dubey and his friends leave their beds well before 'Sehri' timings during the holy month of Ramzan, not because they are observing Roza but to prepare food for 'Rozedaar' kin of Muslim patients undergoing treatment at different hospitals in the city.This idea struck Shailendra after he saw a Muslim woman, whose kin was admitted in the same ward as his father, taking only water during 'sehri' as she could not get any edibles in such early hours of the day.Shailendra, a student of Rishiraj Dental College, said: "On May 19, my father suffered cardiac arrest and we rushed him to Hamidia hospital for treatment. While I was with him in the night, I saw a Muslim woman doing sehri with water. Since food was unavailable at 3 in the night, she did not get anything to eat. After that I decided to do something for such people.I called my friends and we decided to start a sehri distribution service during Ramzan. Since we are not yet earning, we decided to save from our pocket money and spare Rs 50 for needy people. We provide an omelette, 4 stuffed parathas and one glass of milk mixed with raisins to a rozedaar for sehri."He said, "6 of my friends also help me in my endeavour. My friend Syed Ali and I do the delivery work, while 5 others cook sehri in their houses. We started broadcasting message on social media along with our contact numbers so that if someone finds a person who is kin of an admitted patient in any of the city's hospital and is unable to buy food for sehri could call us."Mishti Manjhi, another member, said: "2 days ago, I had my college exam due after which I was little tired, still I went to deliver sehri to 2 women in Hamidia hospital on Friday. When I delivered food packet to them, they told me that they are forced to do sehri only with water and it was because of me that they were able to do sehri with food.Their blessings made me very happy." Shailja Dubey, group member, said: "Initially it was little difficult as I belong to a traditional Hindu family. In the beginning, my family members did not support me but now when they see people doing sehri provided by food by us, they support us. We will continue this during entire Ramzan period."TOI
Hindus, Muslims share iftar meal at Mumbai mosque
Mumbai: A different iftar greeted members of Furqan Masjid in Mumbra on Sunday. As the clock struck 7.15pm, the members shared their fast-breaking meal with eight Hindus, making it an evening to remember.As part of an inter-community gathering, these ‘special guests’ visited the mosque to learn about the rituals of Islam and practices followed during the holy month of Ramzan.Everyone sat down for the meal in the vast prayer hall in 2 rows – the guests on one side and the hosts on the other. Saif Asre, a trustee of the mosque, said, the idea was to have an interaction with members of the other community so that they could learn about Islam.“In our religion, we have been asked to do three things – solve issues within ourselves, help fellow Muslims and explain to people who don’t know what Islam is. What can be a better time for doing this than during Ramzan?That way we will can clear the misconceptions that divide the two religions. It would be an ideal world when Hindus and Muslims could sit together for iftar,” said Asre.Shubhangi Shinde, a resident of Mumbra, one of 8 guests, said she had attended another such session at the Masjid earlier and had even observed the Ramzan fast last year. For Nilesh Uprikar, who came all the way from Kalyan, it was a great learning experience. “I learnt about the various postures in which people pray and the significance of each one,” said Uprikar.HT
 4 killed in UP as Mosque minar collapsed on house
Lakhimpur Kheri: 4 people were killed and 5 others were injured when a 120 feet Minar of a mosque fell on a house in Gola area during thunder storm on Tuesday.Sources said that the Minar fell on the house of one Azizullah in which 4 of his family members were killed. UNI
Major relief or comic relief? Petrol prices cut only by 1 paisa not 59 paisa; check latest prices
The big cut in petrol prices, initially touted as a major relief for the common man, turned out to be a comic relief after after IOC’s website corrected the prices, implying only a 1 paisa cut as opposed to 59 paise reported earlier. According to the revised prices published, one litre of petrol retailed at Rs 78.42 in Delhi; Rs 81.05 in Kolkata; Rs 86.23 in Mumbai; and Rs 81.42 in Chennai, all implying a 1 paisa cut from yesterday’s prices. Initially, the 59 paisa cut had come as a welcome relief, as it was a major reduction after 16 consecutive days of hike following the Karnataka polls.financialexpress
No bids for Air India so far, govt will not extend deadline
Govt will not extend the May 31 deadline it had set for submission of Expressions of Interest (EoIs) in Air India, Civil Aviation Secretary RN Chaubey said. No bids were received so far from any private players, he added. The deadline was earlier extended from May 14 to May 31.indianexpress
Bank strike LIVE : 10 lakh employees reject 2 %  salary hike, ATM services likely to be hit
Around 10 lakh bank employees went on a 2-day strike from Wednesday as the conciliation efforts by the Govt  failed to convince bank unions to call off the stir against the proposed low wage hike. Call for the strike has interrupted the banking services across the country.As several rounds of talks between banks and the unions did not make any headway, United Forum of Banking Unions , an umbrella body of nine bank unions, has gone on strike against the proposed wage hike of 2%  as against 15%  given last time, All India Bank Employees Association, general secretary C H Venkatachalam said.
WORLD
Hamas-Israel ceasefire holds after night of violence
A ceasefire agreement between Hamas and Israel appears to be holding following one of the worst days in violence in the Gaza Strip since 2014 Gaza war.Hamas said on Wednesday that armed groups in the Gaza Strip had agreed to a deal with Israel following a night of air attacks targeting several Hamas and Islamic Jihad positions in the coastal enclave.The Israeli Govt  had yet to comment on the offer but Khalil al-Hayya, Hamas's deputy chief in Gaza, said the group was committed to a truce as long as Israel was."A number of mediators intervened in the past hours, and an agreement was reached to return to a ceasefire in Gaza", Hayya said in a statement. Hours earlier, a Hamas-affiliated Twitter account announced that the group had agreed to return to an understanding on a ceasefire in the Gaza Strip so long as the "occupier" did the same.Our reporter said Egyptian security officials had helped broker the deal after Israel warned of "tougher retaliation measures" against the groups' leadership."Truce came about after Israel conveyed a message to the Egyptians that if the Palestinian factions didn't stop, Israel would react in a stronger, harder way and target the leadership of those groups. aljazeera
Israel MK calls for occupation of Gaza
Janoob FM, Israeli Minister of Justice Ayelet Shaked said that it is time to get ready to occupy the Gaza Strip.Following the firing of mortars from the Gaza Strip towards the surrounding settlements in response to the recent crimes committed against Palestinians by the occupation, Shaked said: “It is time to get ready to occupy the Gaza Strip as part of efforts to destroy the authority of Hamas.”Commenting on the fall of a mortar near an empty nursery early yesterday, she said: “A great disaster would have happened and it could have led to war.”MEMO
HRW: Israeli banks financing illegal settlements
Many of Israel’s largest banks are providing financial services that help support, maintain and expand illegal settlements by funding their construction in the Israeli-occupied West Bank, HRW said in a report released Tuesday.According to the report, Israel’s 7 largest banks provide numerous financial services to settlements.The report documents the involvement of many prominent Israeli banks in helping to build new housing units for preexisting settlements by acquiring property rights in occupied territory.middleeastmonitor
Russia wants Iran out of Syria; Iranians aren't so happy
Partners in the Syrian war and arch sceptics of Washington, Russia and Iran have come together in recent years as both countries pursue a more hands-on role in the Middle East.Yet doubts about Russia’s reliability are surfacing in Tehran, as a host of regional players begin to pick their way through tensions in southern Syria.For weeks, there have been signs that Russia is trying limit Iran’s military activity in Syria.On 17 May, Russian President Vladimir Putin said that with the Syrian army’s recent victories, foreign forces should withdraw from Syria. When asked for clarification, Putin’s envoy said that the president was referring to Turkish, American, Iranian and Hezbollah soldiers.Then on Monday, days after the Syrian army dropped leaflets warning rebels in Daraa to put down their weapons, both Israeli and Russian officials said publicly that only Syrian soldiers should be present as the Govt  seeks to retake the southern province. From Tehran, Russia’s about-face has been a surprise, triggering fierce reaction and a debate over whether Moscow can be trusted any longer."As long as terrorism exists and the Syrian Govt  wants, Iran will have a presence [in Syria]", said Iranian foreign ministry spokesman Bahram Qassemi on 21 May. He added: "No one can force Iran to do something. Iran is an independent country and its policies are determined based the interests of the Islamic republic in the world."Ali Shamkhani, secretary of Iran’s Supreme National Security Council, said on 27 May that Iran is in Syria at the request of Govt  in Damascus.  middleeasteye
Israel source: Russia to back Israel against Iran in Syria
Israel and Russia have been supporting opposing sides in the Syrian war but according to sources in Israel the two countries have reached a “dramatic understanding” whereby Moscow will concede to virtually every single demand made by Tel Aviv.The deal,according to Israel’s Channel 2News, will see coordination between Israel and Russia with the view to halt the spread of Iranian influence in the region. Senior political figures in both countries are said to have reached an understanding over a framework to ensure Israel’s security.MEMO
Iran willing to push for ceasefire in Yemen talks with European powers
Iran and European powers have made good progress in talks to end the conflict in Yemen as Tehran has shown itself willing to push for a ceasefire and ease the humanitarian crisis there, according to officials on both sides.Talks were launched in February as part of efforts to avert President Donald Trump’s decision to pull the US out of a 2015 nuclear deal and reimpose sanctions on Tehran.Created on a separate track to the nuclear negotiations, they are meant to address US concerns over Iran’s regional role and show Washington that Europe could prise compromises from Tehran.MEMO
Iraq’s Sadr rejects Iran, US intervention in new Govt
Iraqi leader Muqtada Al-Sadr yesterday rejected meddling by both Iran and the US in the next Govt which is being formed in the country.“Iran is a neighbouring country concerned with its own interests. We hope that it does not interfere in Iraqi affairs and we refuse to have anyone interfere in its affairs,” Al-Sadr said, adding that “America is an occupying country and we absolutely do not allow it to intervene.”Al-Sadr’s Saeiroon alliance won a majority of the votes in the country’s general elections which were held earlier this month and he is set to form a new Govt  of technocrats.middleeastmonitor
Philippine passes autonomy bill for volatile Muslim region to end decades of conflict
The Philippines moved a step closer on Wednesday to end decades of conflict on its resource-rich island of Mindanao after lawmakers approved a bill that will eventually allow self-rule for the country's Muslim minority.Lower house lawmakers voted 227 to 11, with 2 abstentions, to pass Bangsamoro Basic Law (BBL), seen as key to forging a lasting peace with separatist rebels and thwarting the rise of Islamist extremism in the nation's poorest and most dangerous region.The bill is the result of a 2014 peace deal between the Moro Islamic Liberation Front (MILF) and the government to end nearly 50 years of conflict that has killed more than 120,000 people and displaced 2 million.Reuters
Israel, Myanmar sign agreement that allows changing each other's history textbooks: middleeasteye
Israel and Myanmar will be able to edit passages concerning their own history in the other state's textbook after signing an education cooperation deal on Monday."Education agreement with Myanmar, continuing cooperation with our friends around the world," Israel's deputy foreign minister Tzipi Hotovely said.
Halal slaughter only in approved abattoirs;EU top court
Europe's top court has said halal slaughter is only allowed in licensed slaughterhouses, ruling that a Belgian ban on the ritualised religious slaughter by Muslims elsewhere did not infringe on freedom of religion.The case was brought by a group of Muslim organisations against Belgium's Flanders region after it banned temporary religious slaughter houses - set up during the Islamic Feast of the Sacrifice, or Eid al-Adha, which this year begins on Aug.21.European Court of Justice ruled the regulation on where to allow ritual slaughter aimed "to organise and manage the freedom to carry out slaughter without prior stunning for religious purposes."Reuters

Compiled and edited by Anwarulhaq (Released at: 4:23 PM)

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