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Thursday, 31 May 2018

31 May ND: Lok Sabha by poll: BJP loses UP's Kairana as RLD's Tabassum gives big win for Opposition; In Maharashtra BJP retains Palghar while loses Bhandara-Gondiya seat/ Assembly bypoll result : BJP wins just one of 10 seats, SP wins Noorpur, CPM retains Chengannur, Nitish loses prestige battle in Jokihat



NEWS DIGEST, MID-DAY  
31 May 2018:15 Ramazan 1439: Vol:10, No:34
INDIA
Lok Sabha by poll: BJP loses UP's Kairana as RLD's Tabassum gives big win for Opposition; In Maharashtra BJP retains Palghar while loses Bhandara-Gondiya seat
Electoral success continued to evade BJP in the face of an united opposition in Uttar Pradesh bypolls as the saffron party was trounced by RLD in Kairana Lok Sabha seat. RLD candidate Tabassum Hasan, who was backed by SP and Congress and tacitly supported by BSP, defeated BJP’s Mriganka Singh by over 50,000 votes.Singh, the daughter of late BJP leader Hukum Singh, whose death in Feb. necessitated bye-election, conceded defeat and said the alliance had emerged strong. Meanwhile, in Mahatashtra, BJP’s Rajendra Gavit won the Palghar Lok Sabha seat in Maharashtra and NCP-Congress candidate Madhukar Kukde emerged victorious in the parliamentary constituency of Bhandara-Gondiya.The bypoll in Palghar was necessitated after the death of sitting member of Parliament Chintaman Wanaga in Palghar, where the fight was multi-cornered with BJP, Shiv Sena and local outfit Bahujan Vikas Aghadi in the fray.There was a direct fight between the BJP and NCP in Bhandara-Gondiya, where the bypolls were held after Nana Patole resigned as the MP.Both the seats were held by BJP.However, Shiv Sena claimed there was discrepancy in the counting of votes in a few rounds in Palghar and demanded recounting. Sena has shot off a letter to the election officials. In north east, Tokheho Yepthomi of the ruling NDPP has consolidated its lead over his NPF nominee by increasing its margin to over 41,000 votes for the lone Lok Sabha seat, EC sources said. Yepthomi of Nationalist Democratic Progressive Party (NDPP) has so far bagged 2,15,835 votes, while C Apok Jamir of opposition Naga People's Front (NPF) secured 1,73,863 RPT 1,73,863 votes in a straight fight.PDA's major partners are NDPP and BJP. Congress has extended its support to NPF candidate. Indian express /ht
Begum Tabassum, Naim Ul Hasan Defeat BJP in Yogi’s UP
Assembly bypoll result : BJP wins just one of 10 seats, SP wins Noorpur, CPM retains Chengannur, Nitish loses prestige battle in Jokihat
 Counting of votes to 10 Assembly seats was held in 9 states across the country. The results from the Rajarajeshwari Nagar constituency in Karnataka, where elections were delayed by the Election Commission over malpractice, was also declared today.Congress has secured wins in 4 seats — Maharashtra’s Palus Kadegaon, Meghalaya’s Ampati, Karnataka’s RR Nagar and Punjab’s Shahkot. In Kerala’s Chengannur, meanwhile, CPM registered a massive win with its candidate Saji Cherian winning by over 20,000 votes. In Bihar, RJD has trumped Nitish Kumar’s JD(U) to win the Jokihat seat. Samajwadi Party has won UP’s Noorpur seat.In Punjab’s Shahkot constituency, ruling Congress candidate Hardev Singh Ladi wrested the assembly seat from the Shiromani Akali Dal, defeating the party’s nominee Naib Singh Kohar with a margin of 38,801 votes, an election office spokesperson said. The results to the seat, a SAD bastion, is a considered a referendum on the Congress Govt t in the state.In West Bengal’s Maheshtala, ruling Trinamool Congress candidate Dulal Das defeated BJP’s Sujit Kumar Ghosh by 62,827 votes.The constituency had recorded over 70 per cent votes. Jharkhand Mukti Morcha has won both Assembly seats in Jharkhand, Gomia and Silli.BJP won the seat in Uttarakhand with a margin of over 1,990 votes. Munni Devi Shah defeated Congress' Jeetram. With results to just one Assembly bypoll seat pending, here's a list of winners in the other 10: Palus Kadegaon (Maharashtra) -- Congress Vishwajeet Patangrao Kadam, Ampati (Meghalaya) -- Congress, Miani D Shira, Jokihat (Bihar) -- RJD, Shahnawaz Alam, Noorpur (Uttar Pradesh) -- SP, Naeemul Hasan, Chengannur (Kerala) -- CPM, Saji Cherian, Shahkot (Punjab) -- Congress, Hardev Singh Laddi Sherowalia, Tharali (Uttarakhand) -- BJP, Munni Devi Shah, Gomia (Jharkhand) -- JMM, Babita Devi.
Crucial bypoll: United opposition derails Modi wave
Congress-led UPA wins 12 out of 15 Lok Sabha/assembly seats in by-polls
With by-poll losses, BJP has lost its Lok Sabha majority
New Delhi: BJP has continued its poor performance in by-polls. After having lost 6 Lok Sabha seats in the last 2 years, on Thursday it lost two more constituencies that it had won in 2014. 4 Lok Sabha seats – Kairana in western Uttar Pradesh, Palghar and Bhandara-Gondiya in Maharashtra, and the Nagaland constituency – were up for grabs. With this loss, BJP, minus its allies, no longer has a majority in the lower house of parliament.With the loss of two Lok Sabha seats, and one win in Palghar, the current strength of the party in the Lok Sabha is now 270 in the current 542-member assembly, including two nominated members. This means that the BJP has lost its majority on its own and is entirely reliant on its allies in NDA to prove its majority in the lower house. thewire
Karnataka portfolio allocation: JD(S) to get Finance, Congress Home
After days of hectic negotiations, JDS  and the Congress have decided to have the Finance portfolio and the Home department respectively in Karnataka, highly placed sources in the parties said in New Delhi on Thursday.The power-sharing arrangement between the two parties was being finalised and was in the final stages, the sources said.Leaders of both parties have held five rounds of talks in New Delhi since May 30 on portfolio allocation.Congress president Rahul Gandhi was on board on the issue and had spoken to leaders on phone from the United States, where he is travelling along with his mother Sonia Gandhi for a medical check-up for her, the sources said.PTI
In Assam, Rohingya-like situation? As state counts citizens, Muslims fear they may be left out: Aljazeera
Assam:Bimala Begum is worried. She is among nearly 3 million married women in India's northeastern state of Assam who have been asked to prove their citizenship."Since I received the notice, I have gone to two neighbours and asked them what to do. I am really worried," said Begum, 37, showing the two-page Govt t notice in local Assamese language.The state is currently updating the National Register of Citizens (NRC) - the first time since 1951 - as part of a Govt t campaign to identify undocumented immigrants from neighbouring Bangladesh.2.9 million women, most of whom are Muslim, and nearly 4.5 million others are part of about 13 million people who were left out from the first draft NRC published on Dec.31 last year.The authenticity of documents submitted by more than 7 million people, including 2.9 million married women, are now being verified by authorities to decide whether they are Indian citizens or immigrants.The first list designated about 19 million people as legal citizens out of the total population of 32 million.The Supreme Court has set June 30 as the deadline to verify the documents.But activists accuse officials of creating hurdles in the verification process."Women who used the panchayat certificate are being subjected to harassment," said Rejaul Karim Sarkar, chief, All Assam Minority Students Union."Though all the communities have to fill up the form for the NRC updating, the verification process has particularly been made very tough for Muslims and Bengali Hindus,"he said.The state's indigenous communities are exempted from the rigorous documentation process.Sarkar fears a large number of genuine Indian citizens might be dropped from the NRC list, which is slated to be published next month.Activists say the NRC is not going to decide on the fate of more than 300,000 people who have either been declared foreigners or have cases pending against them in special courts called as Foreigners Tribunal (FT).Abdul Batin Khandakar, an activist based in the capital, Guwahati, pointed out that their family members will also be excluded from the NRC process.A total of 245,057 cases are pending in FTs, while 90,206 people have been declared foreigners, according to Govt t data.Activists and experts fear that tens of thousands who do not find their names in the NRC list will be thrown in detention centres and may be rendered stateless - similar to the Rohingya people in Myanmar.Like most people in riverine areas, Begum is a farmer and never went to school. In the absence of school certificates or any other Govt t certificates, they obtained domicile certificates from the panchayat.But initially, the authorities refused to admit the panchayat certificate as a legal document, after which the country's top court had to intervene.Begum, a resident of Mazidbhita char, a river island in Barpeta district, is nervous because she has heard many stories of people losing their citizenship or sent to detention centres after marked as 'Doubtful' or ‘D’ voters.Begum and Khatun are among millions of Bengali origin people who have lined up at thousands of centres across the state as part of the mammoth exercise to determine who is a genuine Indian citizen.aljazeera
Citizenship Bill: Ulfa threatens to end talks with Centre
New Delhi: ULFA" has threatened to derail the peace accord with the Centre if the Modi Govt t goes ahead with the Citizenship (Amendment) Bill, 2016. 8-member central committee conveyed its strong opposition to Govt t interlocutor AB Mathur during a meeting in New Delhi last week.  ULFA suspects the bill would reduce the indigenous people in to a minority. Ulfa secretary-general Anup Chetia told ET his outfit strongly opposed the bill during talks with Mathur. If Parliament passes this bill, we will have no choice but derail the peace process. We cannot go against the people of Assam for whom we have fought for years, Chetia said and added that Mathur assured them that he would convey their demands to the home ministry. The bill aims to grant citizenship to non-Muslim refugees who have fled from Afghanistan, Bangladesh and Pakistan following persecution. However, in Assam several indigenous groups view it as a move to legitimise Hindu migration from Bangladesh after 1971.Chetia told Mathur that indigenous Assamese would become a minority in their own state if the bill is implemented.economictimes
Credit rating agency Moody’s reduces India’s GDP growth forecast from 7.5% to 7.3%
Credit rating agency Moody’s Investors Service on Wednesday slashed India’s growth forecast for the year from the previous estimate of 7.5% to 7.3%, PTI reported. The firm said in its Global Macro Outlook report that the country’s economy was recovering, but higher oil prices and tighter financial conditions would slow down the growth rate.The agency, however, added that its growth expectation for India for 2019 remained unchanged at 7.5%. An acceleration in rural consumption, aided by higher minimum support prices and a normal monsoon would help the economy grow, it said. “The private investment cycle will continue to make a gradual recovery, as twin balance-sheet issues – impaired assets at banks and corporates – slowly get addressed through deleveraging and the application of the Insolvency and Bankruptcy Code,” Moody’s added. GST could impede growth in the next few quarters, and that poses risks to the forecast, IANS quoted the firm as saying. “However, we expect these issues to moderate over the course of the year.”scroll.in
Think tank urges I&B ministry to withdraw tender for tool to analyse social media activity
Internet Freedom Foundation, an NGO, on Wednesday asked the Ministry of I&B, to recall a tender for creating a social media communications hub. NGO said it would be “constrained to seek remedies in accordance with law” if this was not done. The tender is open till May 31.The “social media analytical tool” will create digital profiles of citizens, ostensibly to gauge their opinions about official policies, as Scroll.in reported. The tool, according to the specifications of the bid document, should have the capacity to monitor a range of digital platforms: Twitter, YouTube, Instagram and blogs. The tool should also be able to “listen to” email. The Govt t hopes to use this information to target individuals with personalised campaigns to promote “positive” opinions and to neutralise “negative sentiments” about Govt t schemes.Internet Freedom Foundation called the project “illegal, unconstitutional and a violation of the right to privacy”. scroll.in
Election Commission inexperienced to handle 2019, fear former poll body chiefs
New Delhi: A few former chief election commissioners have expressed concern about the fact that a relatively inexperienced brass would lead the country’s apex poll body into next year’s Lok Sabha election. The report comes at a time when doubts have been raised about the conduct of the Election Commission (EC).The issue was raised at a closed-door meeting chief election commissioner O.P. Rawat and the two election commissioners, Sunil Arora and Ashok Lavasa, had with former EC chiefs on 21 May.By the time 2019 general election is held, the chief election commissioner will have overseen only 10 assembly elections — less than half the experience his predecessors had in 2009 and 2014.Arora, the most senior election commissioner, will take charge as chief election commissioner in Dec.2018, when Rawat demits office. Lavasa, who will be the second most senior official in the EC after Arora’s elevation, will have supervised even fewer elections, having assumed office only on 23 Jan.this year. The remaining election commissioner, meanwhile, will be appointed in Dec.Ex- chief election commissioners who participated at the meeting last week included M.S. Gill, J.M. Lyngdoh, T.S. Krishnamurthy, B.B. Tandon, S.Y. Quraishi, V.S. Sampath, H.S. Brahma and Nasim Zaidi, with ex election commissioner GVG Krishnamurthy also in attendance.“Some former chief election commissioners raised this concern since it can get very difficult to hold elections with an experience of a few months or one year. You need some thoroughness and about three to five years of experience to hold national-level elections,” said one of the former EC chiefs.theprint
On Legal Front, Cobrapost's 2nd  Exposé Stung More Than First: The Wire
New Delhi: While none of the 17 media organisations which had figured in Part I of the sting conducted by Cobrapost, titled ‘Operation 136’, took legal recourse against the portal following the release of tsecretly recorded conversations with its executives in March this year, 4 major media groups out of the 27 shown in Part II a few days ago have already either taken injunctions from court or sent legal notices to the portal.At least one major television network is also learnt to have made a bid in vain to seek a take down order from a Delhi court.Both parts of the sting showed media organisation owners or executives warming to business proposals made by Cobrapost‘s undercover reporter that sought to promote a Hindutva political agenda for a price.Amongst the first of these media houses to move court was the Dainik Bhaskar group. As Cobrapost had planned to announce the details of the second part of its sting at 3 pm on May 25, the group had moved the Delhi high court a day earlier and obtained an ex-parte injunction restraining the release of “the documentary, Operation136, Part II”.As a result, Cobrapost decided not to upload the videos or the story pertaining to the Bhaskar group and went ahead to release those pertaining to other media houses at the designated hour. On Wednesday morning, Cobrapost’s challenge to the injunction came up before the chief justice in the high court. Representing the portal, Kapil Sibal argued that the sting operation was conducted on senior management including the deputy MD and CFO of Dainik Bhaskar, who agreed on tape to accept cash for publishing material that would polarise. Sibal argued that gag orders against publication are deprecable. In its hearing, the division bench of the HC subsequently admitted Cobrapost’s appeal, argued by senior advocate Raju Ramachandran, against the injunction granted by the single judge restraining it from publishing Bhaskar recordings. The bench did not agree to lift the injunction but it issued notice to the paper and listed the matter to be heard on July 3, after the court’s summer recess.Meanwhile, Cobrapost has also taken down the recordings pertaining to Suvarna news channel as the latter has obtained an injunction from a Bengaluru court.The portal said this was not a take down order, but an injunction. Sources said another big TV group had attempted to obtain a take down order from a Delhi court, but the judge had rejected the demand and asked it to come after the vacations.
Ukraine says kickbacks worth Rs 17.5 crore to Ministry of Defence officials, asks for help
 New Delhi:Ukraine is investigating alleged kickbacks to the tune of $2.6 million (Rs 17.55 crore) in India’s purchase of spares for military transport aircraft An-32 in which its Anti-Corruption Bureau suspects the involvement of Indian Defence Ministry officials.On Feb.13, this year, according to records accessed by Indian Express, National Anti-Corruption Bureau of Ukraine (NAB) sent a “request for international legal assistance” to Ministry of Home Affairs via the Indian envoy in Kiev. This sought identification of the Defence Ministry officials who participated in the negotiations, development, signing and implementation of the contract.NAB’s suspicion, records show, stems from the fact that nearly 11 months after Ukrainian state-run Spetstechnoexport signed the agreement with Ministry of Defence (Air Force HQRS) on Nov.26, 2014 for supply of spares to Hindustan Aeronautics Ltd, Spetstechnoexport signed another pact with a little-known Global Marketing SP Ltd for its implementation.“Despite the fact that the Ukraine alleges 17.5-cr kickbacks to MoD officials, asks India for help terms of the agreement had not been actually fulfilled, the parties signed statements of completion whereupon Spetstechnoexport transferred $2.6 million of budget funds to the account of Global Marketing opened in the UAE,” wrote the Chief Unit of Detectives of the NAB.Indian Express
PM Modi meets Malaysian PM Mahathir and ex-DPM Anwar Ibrahim; holds 'productive' discussions to boost ties
Kuala Lumpur:PM  Narendra Modi today met his newly-elected Malaysian counterpart Mahathir Mohammad and the two leaders had a productive exchange of views on strengthening the strategic partnership.Modi, who arrived here today on the second leg of his three-nation tour, met 92-year-old Mahathir in his office at Perdana Putra Complex, Putrajaya.The two leaders discussed ways to boost economic and cultural relations between India and Malaysia.Modi is among the first world leaders to meet Mahathir after becoming PM. External Affairs Ministry Spokespman Raveesh Kumar said the 2 leaders had a productive exchange of views on strengthening the strategic partnership.During his brief stopover, Modi also met with Deputy PM  Dr Wan Azizah Wan Ismail and her husband Anwar Ibrahim."Deputy PM  of Malaysia Dr. Wan Azizah called on PM @narendramodi during PM's brief stopover in Kuala Lumpur. Good discussion took place to take our relationship to newer heights. Ex-DPM Anwar Ibrahim was also present," Kumar tweeted.PTI
NIA was forced to drop idea of joint trial in Samjhauta Express, Mecca Masjid and Ajmer Dargah blast cases
New Delhi:NIA considered holding a joint trial of 3 bomb blast cases dating back to 2007 on the premise that it could have better prosecuted the suspects, but the idea was dropped in January 2014 because of an adverse legal opinion and other factors, current and former officials familiar with the matter said. The 3 cases relate to the explosions that took place in Feb.2007 on the Samjhauta Express near Panipat in Haryana while on its way from Delhi to Lahore, in May 2007 at the Mecca Masjid in Hyderabad and Oct.2007 at the Dargah Ajmer Sharif in Ajmer, Rajasthan. “An opinion was sought from the law ministry through Union home ministry in June, 2013 in this regard as the agency wanted to move the Supreme Court for clubbing the trial” in the 3 cases, a home ministry official familiar with the matter said on condition of anonymity.Separate trials have led to a situation where an accused, Devendra Gupta, was convicted in one case (Ajmer blast) but acquitted in another (Mecca Masjid blast). In another curious twist, NIA ended up trying a person as a suspect in two cases and presented him as a witness in one He has been acquitted in both cases in which he was a suspect. A common trial may have averted such contradictions, NIA officials said.Last month, a special court of NIA in Hyderabad acquitted all the five charge-sheeted in the Mecca Masjid bomb blast case for want of concrete evidence after some of the witnesses turned hostile. On Tuesday, amidst news reports that NIA would not appeal the acquittal, an NIA official said on condition of anonymity that no decision had been taken and that the agency was still in the process of seeking and considering legal opinion.“All the 3 cases were tied with the confessional statement of Swami Aseemanand and he was listed as prime accused in them and the incidents took place within a span of one year,” added the home ministry official cited above.“As per our understanding, the agency was required to seek sanction of the Supreme Court to hold trial in these three cases as the offences had taken place in different states. Here the trial was not only to be clubbed, but required shifting from one state to another, therefore an opinion was sought from the law ministry in this regard,” said a former NIA official with the direct knowledge of the matter. “These three offences were committed under same conspiracy by almost same set of accused within a span of one year. They were fit for a joint trial,” added the former official.HT
NCERT nuances negative comments in textbooks on politicians, bureaucracy
New Delhi:The revised NCERT Class 10 Political Science textbook, Democratic Politics-II, has retained a cartoon by Surendra, from The Hindu, in Chapter 5 — Popular Struggles and Movements. But there’s a difference. The caption of the cartoon, which shows bureaucracy hindering implementation of RTI, has been changed.It no longer reads “RTI  is one of the recent legislations passed by Parliament. Who is shown as obstructing the implementation of the legislation?”. That has been changed to “Many democratic Govt ts provide RTI to the citizens. RTI Act, 2005 is a landmark legislation passed by our Parliament. Under this Act, citizens can seek information from Govt t offices pertaining to different activities. Do you think the cartoon exaggerates the obstructionist role of bureaucracy in the implementation of the Act?”.6 years after it dropped several “offensive” cartoons from its Political Science textbooks, NCERT has gone a step further and toned down commentary on Indian politics and politicians in its Class 10 book. In 2012, Opposition parties had protested the use of political cartoons in NCERT textbooks on the ground that political satire wasn’t suitable for young minds. Back then, And now, political commentary in textbooks has been further diluted.indianexpress
Cow vigilante strikes Udupi, Killed a old man
Udupi: A cow vigilantism incident took place at the village in Perdoor, near Hiriadka in which Hussainabba (61 yrs), a resident of Jokatte, Mangaluru was killed. As per the report Hussainabba and few others were carrying cattles in Scorpio car early morning near Perdoor and were surrounded by cow vigilantes. Fearing the attack, persons inside car fled while Hussainabba couldn’t manage to escape. Family of the deceased suspect that Bajrang Dal vigilantes were involved in the crime. Hiriadka police have filed FIR and seized 12 cattles and scorpio car from the crime scene. Further investigation is underway.coastal-mirror
Muslim rickshaw-puller, brick kiln laborer among 5 in jail under NSA in BAHRAICH of UP
Lucknow: In the last one year, since Yogi Adityanath became CM  of Uttar Pradesh, dozens of people, mostly Muslims and Dalits, have been arrested under the National Security Act or NSA following communal or caste clashes. Human rights group Rihai Manch is conducting a fact-finding probe about the incarcerated people and their families. In PART ONE of the series, Caravan Daily published a brief about four such poor Muslim families of Barabanki whose breadwinners are in jail for more than two and half months. PART TWO here is about 5 such families of Bahraich district.On 2nd December 2017, following the communal tension during the Eid Milad procession in Nanpara of Bahraich district, several people from the minority community were arrested – 5 of them were slapped with NSA and thus they are still in the jail. A delegation of Rihai Manch under the leadership of eminent rights activist and its general secretary Rajeev Yadav met their families recently to find out the truth.“A large number of people from the Muslim community were arrested. They could not get relief from the lower court. They moved the High Court from where most of them got bail. Five people are still in jail under NSA,” said Yadav.Wife of rickshaw-puller Noor Hasan recalled the day while holding her two-year-old daughter in the lap. “My daughter was sick. My husband had gone to Dr. Hussain Bakhsh for her medicine, but he could not take medicine due to the tension and clashes. Then a police van came and he was picked. When we asked they said he is being taken to police station for questioning. He has not yet returned,” says Aqueela Bano.Munna’s brother Abdul Khalid says that his brother had just returned from the brick kiln when the Police arrived and took him away. Besides him, his two nephews – Sajan and Rajan – and brother Nasibul were also picked. Later, Munna was slapped with NSA.Aslam’s wife Shanno says her husband was sitting at his shop of bangles. He was picked by the police from there and has not yet been released. Caravan News
Mumbai: Muslim cleric Ehsan Haider’s death sparks ruckus at a Mira Road hospital
Mumvai: Tension gripped Wockhardt Hopital in Mira Road following the death of Maulana Ehsan Haider – a 52-year-old cleric and Shia scholar, here late on Tuesday night.The cleric complained of chest pain and collapsed, following which he was rushed to the Wockhardt Hospital located near Naya Nagar in Mira Road at around 9:30 pm on Tuesday.On-duty doctors claim to have started cardio-pulmonary resuscitation (CPR), but could not revive the patient who was declared dead at around 11.00 pm.However, alleging medical negligence, agitated devotees and followers of the highly revered religious personality, who had gathered in large numbers, allegedly went on a rampage in the hospital premises, breaking glass panes and damaging vehicles that were parked outside.The timely intervention of the police averted any major untoward incident.freepressjournal
Another Muslim man breaks fast to donate blood, saves two newborns' lives
Patna:A Muslim man in Bihar broke his Ramadan fast on Wednesday to donate blood to save the lives of two newborns, officials said.Mohammad Imran, in his mid 20s, donated blood to nine-day-old Bharat Kumar and two-day-old Raj Kumar in Siwan district, a district health official said."Imran donated blood to the two newborns after their family members failed to arrange a suitable donor. Both children were saved," Siwan's Sadar Hospital official Mahendar Prasad said.It is the third such case within 10 days. Last week, Jawed Alam donated blood to an 8-year-old thalassemic boy Rajesh Kumar to save his life in Gopalganj district.On Sunday, Mohammad Ashfaque, a young Muslim man in Darbhanga district, broke his Ramadan fast to donate blood to save the life of a newborn.IANS
Major Gogoi faked identity on Facebook to befriend Kashmiri woman, J&K Police tell court
Jammu and Kashmir Police on Wednesday told the chief judicial magistrate of Srinagar that Major Leetul Gogoi had faked his identity and posed as a Muslim youth to befriend a Kashmiri woman with whom he wanted to stay at a hotel in Srinagar, Firstpost reported. Gogoi was detained after an altercation with the hotel staff on May 23.The police said the woman was 19 years old and had gone to the hotel of her own volition, the HT reported. Neither the woman nor the owner of Hotel Grand Mamta had lodged a formal complaint against Gogoi, they added.The police submitted the status report after human rights activist Mohammad Ahsan Untoo filed an application with the chief judicial magistrate last week. They alleged that Gogoi had used the name Ubaid Arman on Facebook to befriend the woman.scroll.in
Don’t come into contact with Army men: Hizbul warns Kashmiri women
 In an audio clip released after the controversy involving Major Leetul Gogoi and a Kashmiri woman at a hotel here, the Hizbul Mujahideen has asked girls from the valley to desist from coming into contact with Army personnel as the former were being used as “honey trap” to catch militants.“Army has touched a new low by employing Kashmiri girls as honey trap after using them as spies,” Hizbul commander Riyaz Naikoo said in the audio clip. “We have received information that the Army is luring girls and using them to spy on mujahideen. Army is blackmailing girls and pitting them against us," he said in the audio clip that has gone viral in the Kashmir valley.TOI
J&K: CBI court convicts former top police officer, BSF official in 2006 child sex abuse case
A special Central Bureau of Investigation court on Wednesday held 5 persons, including a former DIG of the BSF and a former DSP of Jammu and Kashmir guilty in a case related to sexual exploitation of minors, PTI reported. In 2006, Jammu and Kashmir Police had recovered CDs showing Kashmiri minors being sexually exploited. The minors were allegedly forced into prostitution and sent to top police officials, bureaucrats, politicians and surrendered militants. On Wednesday, former BSF DIG KC Padhi, former DSP Mohammad Ashraf, Maqsood Ahmed, habir Ahmad Langoo and Shabir Ahmad Laway were convicted in the case. The quantum of sentence will be pronounced on June 4.scroll.in
JK sex scandal: Poverty drove minor into flesh trade, says CBI
Probe into plot to kill another rationalist may have led police to ‘Lankesh murder mastermind’
Praveen, suspected to be one of the top recruiters of the gang, was among those who identified the radical thinkers to be ‘eliminated’, say police sources.Bengaluru: The man believed to have masterminded the murder of Kannada journalist-activist Gauri Lankesh has allegedly coughed up an entire hit list in his confession.Praveen alias Sujeet Kumar of Karnataka was one of four people arrested earlier this month for an alleged conspiracy to murder rationalist K.S. Bhagwan. The other three have been identified as Amol Kale from Chinchwad in Maharashtra, Manohar Edave from Bijapur in Karnataka, and Amit Digwekar from Ponda in Goa. They are all reportedly associated with the Goa-based Hindutva organisation Sanatan Sanstha and its affiliate Hindu Janajagruti Samiti (HJS). According to police sources, Praveen, suspected to be one of the top recruiters of the gang, was among those who identified the radical thinkers to be “eliminated”. Digwekar is reportedly an employee of the Sanathan Sanstha and the editor of its mouthpiece, ‘Sanathan Prabhat’.theprint
BJP leads in donations of over ₹20,000 from unknown sources:ADR
88 per cent of the donations of over ₹20,000 made to BJP in the year 2016-17 was from unknown sources, a new analysis by poll watchdog Association for Democratic Reforms (ADR) and National Election Watch has found.The ruling party declared a total of ₹532.27 crore through 1,194 donations of over ₹20,000 during the period, out of which ₹464.84 crore were collected under ‘Voluntary Contributions’. These contributions formed 99.98% of BJP’s total income from unknown sources, as per the new finding.nationalheraldindia
ZEE TV at it again; calls shuttlecock Burqa ‘Talibanisation’ of Indian Muslims
NEW DELHI;On May 28th, soon after the Lok Sabha by-polls for Kairana town of Western UP wrapped up, reports of several EVM being found faulty started to come in. The same evening Zee TV’s Sudhir Chaudhary used his prime time show DNA, to make an absurd and illogical claim regarding the practice of wearing shuttlecock burqa by women in Western UP. In the episode titled ‘Analysis on the arrival of the shuttlecock burqa in Kairana’ Chaudhary claimed that the Muslims in the region are being radicalized to propagate the ‘ideology of Wahabism’.With his faulty analysis and baseless conclusion Chaudhary has invited the wrath of Muslim women.Raising strong objection to establishing a relationship between shuttlecock burqa and  Talibanisation of the Indian Muslim community several Muslim women slammed him for communally biased and untrue reporting.Chaudhary is also being trolled on twitter for the false and concocted story.Caravan Daily
Mohammad Kaif Mulla tops Karnataka in class 10th exam after revaluation
Belagavi: St Xavier’s High School student Mohammad Kaif Mulla who had secured the second rank in the state after the results of the SSLC examination (Class 10th) were announced is now first in the state after revaluation.He has scored 625 marks of 625 marks against 624 marks which was earlier announced in the result. deccanherald
WORLD
Israel approves construction of 261 settlement units in Hebron
An Israeli committee has approved the construction of 261 settlement units on Palestinian land in occupied Hebron. Planning Committee today approved a plan to build 102 settlement units in the illegal Nighot settlement in the upcoming weeks.It also agreed to build additional settlement neighbourhoods in the settlements of Mount Hebron.The committee explained that it approved the construction of 135 units in the settlement Tina Omarim, built on Al-Dhahiriya land, and 24 units in the Carmel settlement southeast of Yatta.In 2016, the UN Security Council overwhelmingly approved Resolution 2334, which considered Israeli settlements in the 1967 occupied territories, including East Jerusalem, as “illegal” and called for their immediate and complete cessation.MEMO
Israel erects roadblocks, closes roads near Ramallah, Jenin
Israeli occupation forces yesterday closed a road and erected military checkpoints around some Palestinian cities in the occupied West Bank.According to Quds Press, local sources and eyewitnesses said yesterday that the Israeli occupation forces erected three military checkpoints in several locations in the city of Jenin and soldiers began inspecting Palestinian vehicles which approached.The sources added that the Israeli occupation forces closed the Ramallah-Jalazone road without notice. Soldiers prevented Palestinian vehicles from travelling through the road. No reason was given for the measure.The occupation army checks the identities of Palestinian citizens under the pretext of searching for wanted persons.MEMO
Israel ‘is selling nuclear information’ to Saudi
Western security agencies believe that Israel is selling nuclear information to Saudi Arabia, Arabi21 has reported. According to Israeli writer Ami Dor-on, such information will give the Govt t in Riyadh nuclear weapons capabilities. Writing on the News One website, Dor-on said that the joint intention is to make sure that Iran will not be the only country in the region that possesses such weapons which threaten the security and safety of the Kingdom.“This information should shock us,” he said, “as we see the world is changing for the worse, following the race for the possession of nuclear weapons that pass right over our heads in the Middle East.” Saudi Arabia no longer conceals its wish to develop nuclear weapons, the writer added.middleeastmonitor
Shakira cancels Israel concert after pressure from BDS
Columbian star Shakira will not be performing in Tel Aviv this year following pressure from activists who support the Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions movement.The Palestinian Campaign for the Academic and Cultural Boycott of Israel (PACBI) said in a statement yesterday that it “welcomes the announcement that Shakira will not be performing in Tel Aviv anytime soon, dashing Israel’s hopes to use her name to art-wash its latest massacre in Gaza.”middleeastmonitor
Taliban, Afghan officials in ceasefire talks: US general
WASHINGTON:Senior Taliban officials have been secretly negotiating with Afghan officials on a possible ceasefire, the Pentagon has said.“A lot of the diplomatic activity and dialogue is occurring off the stage, and it’s occurring at multiple levels,” General John Nicholson said in a teleconference with reporters at the Pentagon.He would not identify the figures involved in the negotiations, except to say that they included mid- and senior-level Taliban officials.“I should point out they met in secret. This is how they were able to advance the talks,” he said, adding that the success of the effort depends in part on the “confidentiality of the process.”Gen. Nicholson, who has sought to drive the Taliban to the negotiating table by bringing to bear increased US military pressure, maintained that violence and progress can coexist.He likened the situation in Afghanistan to that of Colombia where the fighting continued up until the FARC guerrilla group and the Govt t signed a peace accord in 2016.AFP
US military claims to kill 50 Afghan Taliban commanders, while Taliban terms  it “propaganda”, says it kills 5 civilians
Kabul: More than 50 senior Taliban commanders were killed in an artillery strike on a meeting in Afghanistan’s southern province of Helmand, a US military spokesman said on Wednesday, as fighting continued across the country. Details of last week’s operation emerged as fighting continued in other parts of Afghanistan, where the Taliban, aiming to restore their version of hardline Islamic law, launched their annual spring offensive last month.Gunmen in Kabul, the capital, attacked the heavily fortified interior ministry, battling security forces for more than two hours before the assault was suppressed.US military said the May 24 meeting in Helmand’s district of Musa Qala involved commanders from a number of Afghan provinces, including neighbouring Farah, where Taliban fighters this month briefly threatened to overrun the provincial capital.“We think the meeting was to plan next steps,” said Lt. Col.Martin O’Donnell, spokesman for US forces in Afghanistan. The Taliban dismissed the report as “propaganda” and said the attack had hit 2 civilian houses in Musa Qala, killing 5 civilians and wounding 3.“This was a civilian residential area, which had no connection with Taliban,” spokesman Qari Yousaf Ahmadi said in a statement.In the northern province of Takhar, Taliban fighters in Dasht-e Qala district centre captured the governor’s compound and police HQRS on Wednesday but heavy fighting was continuing, police spokesman Khalil Aseer said.Reuters
'Poverty, gender bias, conflict threaten 1.2bn children'
More than half of the world's children are at risk from conflict, poverty or gender discrimination, according to an international charity.In a report published on Wednesday, UK-based Save the Children said at least 1.2 billion minors face one of these threats, with 153 million facing all three. The study, titled The Many Faces of Exclusion, comes ahead of International Children's Day on June 1."Without urgent action, we'll never meet the promises made three years ago by every country at the UN in 2015 to ensure that by 2030 every child survives, learns and is protected," Save the Children CEO Helle Thorning-Schmidt said in a statement. aljazeera
Syria's Assad vows to retake areas held by US-backed Kurds
Syrian President Bashar al-Assad warned US-backed Kurdish forces he wouldn't hesitate to use force to retake one-third of the country they currently control.Assad also warned in an interview with Russia Today on Thursday that US should learn the lesson of Iraq and remove its troops from Syria."The only problem left in Syria is SDF," Assad said, referring to Kurdish-led SDF, which spearheaded battles against ISIL."We're going to deal with it by two options: the first one we started now opening doors for negotiations, because the majority of them [SDF] are Syrians. Supposedly they like their country, they don't like to be puppets to any foreigners," Assad said."If not, we're going to resort ... to liberating those areas by force. It's our land, it's our right, and it's our duty to liberate it, and the Americans should leave. Somehow they're going to leave," he added.Both the SDF and Russian-backed Syrian Govt t troops are engaged in separate operations against ISIL in eastern Syria, creating a highly volatile situation where de-confliction mechanisms have already been tested several times.Assad said a confrontation between Russia and US forces over Syria had been narrowly avoided.aljazeera
Tariq Ramadan's accuser changes details of rape account
A woman who has accused Tariq Ramadan of sexual assault has changed her account of the events that led up to the incident, French daily Liberation reported on Wednesday.Hend Ayari, the first of four plaintiffs to have accused the Muslim scholar of rape, initially told judges that her encounter with Ramadan took place in March 2012 at the Crown Plaza hotel in Paris' Place de la Republique.Ayari's latest testimony stated she met Ramadan on May 26, 2012, in a different part of town, namely the Holiday Inn hotel near the Gare de l'Est train station in eastern Paris.41-year-old women's rights activist said she had thoroughly reviewed all documentation, including a diary she kept which led her to believe the incident had taken place in May and not March.Ramadan, who has consistently denied the charges, affirmed in previous accounts that he had briefly spoken to Ayari on April 6, 2012, during a Muslim community congress at the Bourget, on outskirts of Paris.aljazeera
Raped Rohingya women due to give birth in refugee camps; UN expects 25,000 babies to be born in May-June
Thousands of Rohingya women, some of whom were raped during a military crackdown in Myanmar's Rakhine State in August last year, are due to give birth. More than 700,000 majority-Muslim Rohingya have sought refuge in neighbouring Bangladesh. They now live in squalid and overcrowded refugee camps and relief organisations are working with communities to make certain rape victims and their children do not face discrimination.aljazeera
Iraq vote fraud allegations trigger recount:  Election commission annuls thousands of votes
Authorities in Iraq have annulled votes cast at more than a thousand polling stations, following allegations of fraud, including those in the Sunni-predominant provinces of Anbar, Saladin and Diyala. Iraq's Independent High Electoral Commission said in a statement on Wednesday that the decision was taken following the verification of several "red complaints", wherein gross violations affecting the outcome of elections are deemed to have taken place. The commission added that it annulled votes cast at 1,021 of the country's 53,000 ballot boxes, and that a probe had been launched "with a view to holding violators accountable".aljazeera
FLASH: VIEWS & NEWS
Gurgaon namaaz row marks one more victory for majoritarianism –a template for India today:Harsh Mander
Modi has established himself as Hindutva’s militant voice. There’s no need for reiteration:KUMAR KETKAR
By Attacking the Bishop of Delhi, BJP Has Exposed Its Double Standards:Devika Sequeira
Analysing 101 Companies’ Statements on Modern Slavery – Here's Verdict:Rosanna Cole and Mark Stevenson
Forget the Cobra That Stings, We Need to Worry About Media That Poisons:Siddharth Varadarajan
Peace initiatives on LoC, and internally in J&K, must be enthusiastically welcomed, but not taken at face value:Syed Ata Hasnain
4-yrs of NDA Govt t have put India on a downward spiral:Randeep Singh Surjewala
Recruitment to the civil service needs to be modernised:Wajahat Habibullah

Compiled and edited by Anwarulhaq (Released at: 4:49 PM)

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