18 July 2018

18 July NEWS DIGEST: No trust motion accepted in Lok Sabha, discussion on Friday/ UN Human Rights Chief hits back on claims of bias on Kashmir report

18 July 2018:04 Ziqada 1439: Vol:10, No:68
Parliament monsoon session Day 1 LIVE: No trust motion accepted in Lok Sabha, discussion on Friday
Lok Sabha Speaker Sumitra Mahajan today accepted the no-confidence motion raised by TDP against the Modi govt over special status to AP. Admitting the notice, Mahajan said the discussion will take place on Friday. Speaker named all opposition members who had moved similar no-confidence motion notices and said TDP’s Kesineni Srinivas would move his motion as his name had come up in lottery. TDP leaders also staged a protest in Rajya Sabha, after which the House was adjourned for a brief period.TMC leader requested Sumitra Mahajan to postpone the discussion on no-confidence motion on Monday as most of the party leaders will be away in West Bengal. "At least 35 leaders will be missing from discussion," party leader said. Congress leader Mallikarjun Kharge also requested Mahajan to postpone the discussion to Wednesday.  Adding that since Friday is the last day of the week, some MPs would be unavailable for the voting event due to other commitments, Kharge requested Speaker to shift the date. Reacting to the development,Ananth Kumar, Parliamentary Affairs Minister said, "No-confidence motion is an important discussion. All members should give this prominence rather than other party activities."According to PRS Legislative Research, a total of 68 Bills are pending in Parliament. Of these, 25 Bills are listed for consideration and passage, and three for withdrawal during the session. 18 new Bills are listed for introduction, consideration, and passage. Worries remain if the impasse seen in the Budget session will carry over to this session. Parliament’s budget session was the least productive budget session in 18 years.CPI(M)demanded the enactment of a comprehensive law in the current Monsoon session of Parliament against lynching to meet the Supreme Court direction. Condemning the "brutal" attack on Swami Agnivesh in Pakur, Jharkhand, yesterday, Left party expressed its apprehensions that though the guilty had been "identified" as BJP Yuva Morcha supporters, as per norms, BJP state government was expected to treat them with great leniency. The party demanded proper and adequate medical attention be provided to Agnivesh and the culprits be punished immediately. It alleged that the very fact that the culprits, even when identified, go unpunished, spoke volumes of the "patronisation provided by the RSS/BJP".indianexpress
Ruckus in RS as Shashi Tharoor blames right-wing activists for mob violence
Sabarimala temple row: Woman’s right to pray is equal to that of a man, observes SC judge
New Delhi:Hearing the contentious issue relating to the ban on entry of women between 10 and 50 years of age in Kerala’s historic Sabarimala temple, the Supreme Court on Wednesday observed that a woman’s right to pray is equal to that of a man and it should not be dependent on law.“Your (intervener) right to pray being a woman, is equal to that of a man and it is not dependent on a law to enable you to do that,” observed Justice DY Chandrachud.CJI while hearing the matter observed, “On what basis you (temple authorities) deny the entry. It is against the Constitutional mandate. Once you open it for public, anybody can go.”The SC began hearing the case on Tuesday and asked the counsel for petitioners Indian Young Lawyers’ Association and others to limit their arguments on the questions of reference made by a 3-judge bench of apex court last year. The top court had last year asked a constitutional bench to examine the legality of the ban on entry of women in the age group of 10-50 at the temple.indian express
India seeks leniency in US sanctions on Iran, cities oil imports, Chabahar port venture
New Delhi:India has made a strong pitch to the US for leniency in complying with sanctions on Iran, citing their likely impact on its oil imports and investment in the Chabahar port.US signalled that it would consider sanction waivers for countries that would need more time to slash oil purchases from Iran, in an apparent attempt to avoid disrupting international oil markets, 2 persons familiar with the development said.A US delegation led by Marshall Billingslea, US assistant secretary for Terrorist Financing in the Department of the Treasury met officials of the ministries of external affairs, home and finance on Monday to discuss various issues related to the sanctions on Iran as well as the United Nations proscribing terrorist individuals and entities, one of the persons cited above said on condition of anonymity. US delegation held the discussions in New Delhi a day after Iran’s deputy foreign minister Seyed Abbas Araghchi, one of the main negotiators of the Iran nuclear deal that the US has walked out of, was in New Delhi for consultations with foreign secretary Vijay Gokhale.“New Delhi has been apprised of the US thinking on the sanctions on Iran. Indian side conveyed to the US delegation certain facts on the ground. Iran is an important partner of India’s oil imports along with Saudi Arabia and Iraq. Any immediate disruption in oil supply can have implications for India both in terms of crude availability and the international crude price fluctuating. At the same time the US is also an important partner for India with which India worked on similar issues in the past,” said the second person, requesting anonymity.HT
UN Human Rights Chief hits back on claims of bias on Kashmir report
New Delhi:Over a month after UN human rights commissioner Zeid Ra’ad Al Hussein released a report which was greeted by claims of personal “prejudice” from New Delhi, his office has denied any collusion with Pakistani activists. It also said that the Kashmir report had been sourced from Indian official reports.On June 14, UN’s high commissioner for human rights released a report which mainly focused on the “human rights situation” in India’s Jammu and Kashmir from July 2016 to April 2018 based on “allegations of widespread and serious human rights violations were received, notably excessive use of force by Indian security forces that led to numerous civilian casualties”.The outgoing human rights chief had called for an international commission of inquiry into the allegations, but it wasn’t taken up during the last session which ended on July 6. Last week, UN secretary general Antonio Guterres had backed the human rights commissioner.When the report had been released, the Indian government’s response had implied that Zeid was biased against New Delhi on the Kashmir issue. India disparaged the report as recently as July 9 in a debate at the Security Council, where Pakistan referred the matter. India’s deputy permanent representative to UN described the report as “reflecting the clear bias of an official who was acting without any mandate whatsoever and relied on unverified sources of information; a document that was not even found fit to be considered by the membership of the forum where it was submitted”. Referring to the official response from New Delhi, the UN human rights commissioner’s spokesperson said that they were “deeply disappointed by the reaction of the Indian authorities, who dismissed the report as ‘fallacious, tendentious and motivated’ without examining it and responding to the very serious concerns about the human rights situation in Indian-administered Kashmir and Pakistan-administered Kashmir as laid out in the report”.Since the release of the report, there has also been a steady stream of articles in the Indian media which cast doubt about the credibility of the Kashmir human rights report. “’Nefarious conspiracy”, “Pakistan-authored report”, “fallacious”, “mala fide” – these are some of the accusations levelled by numerous Indian media outlets against the UN Human Rights Office for our publication last month of the first-ever UN human rights report on Kashmir,” said the high commissioner’s spokesperson Rupert Colville.He said that the human rights chief’s office was “disturbed by the sustained attempts to distract and divert the focus away from the human rights violations on both sides of the Line of Control”.“UN Human Rights Office has a global mandate and works independently, with a well-established methodology, in its public reporting. Ultimately, our goal in drafting this report was to assist the States and others to identify and address human rights challenges and to give a voice to all Kashmiris who have been rendered voiceless amid the deep political polarisation,” he added. Colville asserted that it was “not about politics”, but “about human rights of millions of people in Kashmir”.thewire
Counsel for Kathua rape-murder accused made J&K's additional advocate general
Jammu:Jammu and Kashmir administration has appointed a counsel representing the main accused in the Kathua rape and murder case as additional advocate general.Figuring at serial number 7 in the list of additional advocates general, deputy advocates general and government advocates, issued for Jammu wing of the state High Court by Law Department, Aseem Sawhney is one of the lawyers representing some of the accused in the case, which is being heard in Pathankot, Punjab.On Tuesday, Sawhney said, “Since July 2, I have not appeared in the case.” He said he was only a “chamber counsel’’ in the matter, and his father A K Sawhney is the main counsel.Of the 10 prosecution witnesses, he said, he had got “only two examined”. The other eight, Sawhney said, were examined by his father.Asked whether he will now withdraw his vakalatnama in the case involving rape and murder of an eight-year-old, Sawhney said there is no need for it, except that “I shall not appear in the case’’. There should be no clash of interest, he said.Sawhney said he has not been informed of the department to which he is allocated.indianexpress
Defence counsel in Kathua case appointed AAG; PDP, NC criticise decision
Kathua rape: Cop ‘washed’ dress, ‘concocted’ evidence
A J&K policeman has accused his senior of not depositing clothes of the eight-year-old victim in the Kathua rape and murder case to the malkhana, or warehouse, of police station so as to tamper with the evidence. Head constable Surinder Pal, during his examination in the trial court on Monday, further alleged that sub inspector Anand Dutta also intimidated him to record backdated entries when he submitted “concocted” evidence the following day. Dutta is a co-accused in the case over abduction, rape and murder of the nomad Bakarwal girl in Rasana village in Jan. Pal has deposed that Dutta had come to the Hiranagar police station on January 18 with three pieces of evidence — a hair band, dupatta (long scarf), and shoes of the deceased. As per procedure, every case property after being sealed by the investigative agency is to be deposited in the malkhana of the concerned police station. But Dutta did not deposit the evidence he had brought. On January 19, Dutta again came to the station with three pieces — ash, astone and a lock & key, Pal said. Jammu & Kashmir Crime Branch, which is investigating the case, has alleged that Dutta had concocted these three pieces of evidence to confuse the investigation and disprove theory that the girl was kept in a ‘devasthan’ (temple). Dutta had claimed to his seniors that the girl was instead kept in a cow shed close to the devasthan. Besides these, Dutta also made 4 packets of evidence labelled ‘A’,‘B’,‘C’ and ‘D’.Packet A contained blood stained clay recovered from the place where the girl’s dead body was found.Packet B contained clay sample, and packet C contained swabs recovered from the body. Packet D was supposed to contain the clothes of the deceased, containing blood stains and smeared with clay. Pal has alleged that Dutta directed him to make backdated entries in record to show that all the pieces of evidence, including the 4 packets, were deposited in the malkhana on Jan.17 and 18. Indian express
Peace TV, Pak's GeoTV,28 other channels banned in J&K
Jammu and Kashmir has directed cable television operators to stop airing 30 television channels, including controversial preacher Zakir Naik's Peace TV, among several others that originate from Pakistan.Sources said the decision was taken by Governor N.N. Vohra after the Union Ministry of Information and Broadcasting took up the issue with the state govt.In a letter written to all District Magistrates, the state Home Department on Tuesday directed them to act against transmission of "these channels as they have the potential to encourage violence and disturb the law and order situation".Among others, the channels ordered to be taken off the cable television platform are GEO TV, Peace TV, ARY TV, QTV and ABB TAKK TV.Tanvir Ahmed, a cable operator in the old city area, said: "With this order in place, we will have to off-load our staff. This could finally close our business."IANS
Kashmir Terror Funding: NIA not ready to share details of protected witnesses
After 6 accused were arrested by NIA in Kashmir Terror Funding for over 6 years, there has been no respite for the accused, as NIA Special Court kept the next hearing on Sept.6. According to a senior NIA official, lawyer of the accused had demanded details, including statements of witnesses. India Today has learnt that NIA showed its inability to share details of 23 witnesses, who they claimed were protected under Section 17 of NIA Act, 2008.The act provides protection of witnesses essentially stating that if Special Court is satisfied that the life of such witness is in danger, it may take some measures to keeping the identity and address of such witness secret.indiatoday
Kashmir: PhD scholar defends joining militancy, says they feel dignity in fighting Indian forces: newindianexpress
Srinagar: Hizbul Mujahideen commander Manan Wani, a PhD scholar who joined the militancy early this year, has defended his joining the militant ranks and said "the militants don't fight to die but to win and don't feel dignity in death but feel dignity in fighting Indian forces".Manan in the statement, which was released by Hizb media cell, said decade's long bloody conflict has turned Kashmir into one of most politically mature nations of the world."India is slowly but steadily failing in justifying its "colonial rule" to people of Kashmir. But, we as a nation and community have to evolve and update ourselves of the new military, mental and diplomatic tactics of India as a colonial state," he said.According to Manan, who belongs to a well-off family from Kupwara and joined Hizb in January this year, the modern era of resistance started after the 2008 agitation. "Since then methods of resistance have drastically and positively changed. The tactics of suppression also evolved".
Shobhapur lynching: Jharkhand court sentences 12 for attacking cops
Jamshedpur:A fast-track court in Jharkhand’s Saraikela has sentenced 12 people to four years’ rigorous imprisonment for obstructing and attacking a police team trying to save four men they allegedly lynched in the district in May 2017.Additional district and sessions judge Ashish Saxena sentenced Krishna Sahu, Bhagirath Jyotishi, Kunda Jyotishi, Falguni Jyotishi, Tarun Jyotishi, Arun Jyotishi, Krishna Jyotishi, Kanhu Jyotishi, Chaturbhuj Sahu, Sitaram Sahu, Bara Kanhu Jyotishi and Laltu Lohar on Monday.He slapped a Rs 2,000 fine each on the convicts held guilty of “obstructing and assaulting government officials on duty, attacking with deadly weapons, trespassing into other’s house, disturbing law and order, breaking public peace’’etc. in Saraikela .Laxmi Kant Behra, Agasti Sahu and Pankaj Kumar Nag were acquitted for the want of evidence. The state govt had handed over the case to the fast-track court for speedy trial given the nature of the crime.The convicts were part of a mob that first lynched Haleem and Nayeem in Saraikela’s Shobhapur before killing Sajjad and Siraj Khan in Padnamsai, around 20 km away,in Sariakela-Kharsawan district over rumours of child lifters in the area on May 18, 2017. It attacked the house of a man identified as Murtaza Ansari where the four had taken refuge, as well as the police party that had rushed to save them.HT
Horrific video of Bidar lynching emerges: Azam was dragged with rope before brutal killing: Caravan News
Hyderabad: 5 days after the lynching of software engineer Mohammad Azam in Bidar district of Karnataka, some gory details of the incident have emerged, including a video which shows Azam, then fully alive, being dragged with rope and members of the blood mob hitting, punching and kicking him. 22-year-old Azam, a UK-educated Accenture employee, was lynched by a mob while his three friends, including a Qatari national, survived the brutal assault following rumors on Whatsapp about child lifters. 4 had gone to Bidar, 125 kms from Hyderabad, for a picnic. Azam is survived by one-and-half-year-old son and young wife.In the video shared b NDTV, some policemen are seen pleading with the mob with folded hands. As many as 28 people, including Manoj Kumar Biradar, admin of Whatsapp group “Murki mother” have been arrested. Azam along with 3 other friends had left home in Hyderabad on Friday promising to return in a few hours. He was accompanied by Qatari national Salham Eid Al Qubaisi, Noor Mohammad and another friend Mohammad Salman. Al Qubaisi was on a visit to Hyderabad to meet his maternal relatives. Without informing the family, the group left for Bidar where they were joined by another local friend Firoz.According to a detailed report in Gulf News, which is based on the account of 4 survivors and the statement of the police, the mob attack and lynching were preceded by the playful Al Qubaisi playing marbles with local kids in a village. Later the group left for a picnic spot in the vicinity and on the way he threw chocolates he brought from Qatar towards the kids from the moving car. His innocent love for children was misunderstood by someone, deliberately or otherwise, and in no time a rumor spread on Whatsapp where the group was branded as child kidnappers. But the group was oblivious of the spread of rumor about them.
Mob lynchings: Victims’ kin welcome apex court order
New Delhi:Families of the victims of mob lynchings welcomed the Supreme Court order calling for the framing of a law to prevent such crimes, while saying that the mindset of society needed to change. “My brother’s children are minors. They need all kinds of support. We do welcome the SC order. It will definitely help in punishing people who are part of such groups that target people hiding behind the garb of religion,” said Mohammed Salim, younger brother of Mohammed Qasim who was lynched on June 18 by an irate mob that accused him of attempting cow slaughter near Pilkhuwa in Hapur, UP. According to the family, Muslim community is still apprehensive regarding its safety in the area.newindianexpress
Swami Agnivesh is ‘fraud’ and a ‘foreign agent’:Jharkhand minister
New Delhi:A day after Swami Agnivesh was assaulted by a mob in Jharkhand’s Pakur district, state’s Urban Development Minister CP Singh made a scathing remark on the social activist on Wednesday, branding him as “fraud” and a “foreign agent”.“As far as I know, Swami Agnivesh is a person who survives on foreign donations. The saffron dress that he wears is to deceive the simple Indians. He is a fraud and not a Swami. He had himself planned this attack to gain popularity,” he told ANI.The minister made the remarks outside Jharkhand assembly today while talking to reporters. The opposition parties staged a noisy protest in Jharkhand assembly over the assault on Agnivesh forcing adjournment of the house till lunch break. Pandemonium prevailed in the house despite Parliamentary Affairs Minister Nilkanth Singh Munda saying that Chief Minister Raghubar Das had set up a probe committee immediately after receiving the information. “Such things should not happen in a democracy,” Munda added. Congress chief Rahul Gandhi also took a jibe at the BJP over the assault on the 79-year-old activist and posted a “pop quiz” on Twitter, asking, “I use hatred and fear to maintain the hierarchy of power, who am I”, reports PTI.Gandhi also tagged a video of the assault shown by a news channel. “I bow to the most powerful in the line. A person’s strength & power are all that are important to me. I use hatred & fear to maintain the hierarchy of power.indianexpress
Police book BJP leader after mob beats up mentally challenged woman in Jalpaiguri
Siliguri: Police in north Bengal’s Jalpaiguri town on Tuesday registered a case suo-motu against a BJP leader who allegedly led a mob which tied a mentally challenged woman to a pillar and thrashed her after accusing her of being a child lifter on Monday.Police registered the case after Taramani Roy, vice president of BJP Mahila Morcha, Jalpaiguri district committee was seen in a video where the mob was thrashing Sunita Bakshi (35) in Dhupguri area of Jalpaiguri.The incident is the latest in a series of assaults and lynching across the country where people have attacked strangers at the slightest suspicion of them being child lifters.“A case has been initiated against Taramani Roy said Amitabha Maiti, SP  of Jalpaiguri district.Police said that Roy was on the run. Hindustantimes
Congress calls for return to ballot paper, sees link between BJP, lynchings
New Delhi:Congress has demanded restoration of the old system of conducting elections through ballot papers to replace EVMs. Addressing the media, Leader of Opposition in Rajya Sabha Ghulam Nabi Azad said leaders of 12 opposition parties, who met on Monday, were in agreement that EVMs should be removed and the older system should be brought back so that all parties have “faith in the election system”.He said machines that are too “sensitive” to heat or cold cannot be trusted.Congress leader in Lok Sabha Mallikarjun Kharge alleged that there is a “huge nexus” between the ruling party and the people involved in incidents of lynching. BJP leaders, he said, are “garlanding” people accused of such acts, and even visiting them in jails.He cited the case of Minister of State for Civil Aviation Jayant Sinha, who had met 8 men convicted of killing Alimuddin Ansari, a meat trader, in Jharkhand.Kharge said BJP shows interest in women’s issues only when it leads to votes. He pointed out that even a recent survey by international news agency Thomson Reuters had shown that the image of vis-a-vis women’s safety has taken a beating globally. On the dilution of reservation in institutions of excellence, the Congress leaders pointed out that BJP governments are only allowing single vacancies for each post, so that reservation policies would not be followed.indianexpress
Shashi Tharoor's "Hindu Taliban" Jibe Riles BJP Amid "Hindu Pakistan" Row
New Delhi: Senior Congress leader Shashi Tharoor, deep in controversy over his "Hindu Pakistan" remark, today fought back, asking if there was a "Taliban emerging within Hinduism now". Ex-diplomat was expressing his outrage after BJP and right wing groups said he should be deported to Pakistan for his remark that India would become a "Hindu Pakistan" if BJP returned to power in the 2019 Lok Sabha polls."They are telling me to go to Pakistan. Who has given them the right to decide that because I am not a Hindu like them, that's why I can't stay in this country? So is there a Taliban emerging within Hinduism now? We must ask our Hindu brothers and sisters if people can be allowed to speak with reference to our religion in this manner," he said at a public meeting."As individuals, as politicians, as thinking people we are saying, BJP's talks, BJP's talks about Hindu Rashtra, is very dangerous. It can destroy our country," he added.ndtv
Chandan Mitra quits BJP, expected to join TMC on Saturday
BJP’s former Rajya Sabha member Chandan Mitra is expected to join the Trinamool Congress (TMC) on Saturday.“We are in touch with Mr Mitra and he is expected to join us, if everything goes alright,” a TMC official told The Hindu. Mitra, however, told The Hindu on Wednesday that he would not comment till “next Monday” (July 23).Earlier the week, Mitra said that he had had a meeting with TMC chief Mamata Banerjee.“I met her [Mamata Banerjee] for advertisement in my paper in Kolkata. But we did not discuss about my joining [TMC],” he told The Hindu on Monday.Mitra, owner of Delhi-based English daily The Pioneer, is a 2-term Rajya Sabha member of the BJP. He was always known for his proximity to Ms. Banerjee. He is also a member of the BJP’s National Executive, headed by PM Narendra Modi.In an interview to ANI, Mitra confirmed that he has quit the BJP. “I have given the resignation. I have not decided when or where I will join, I am not going to disclose it,”ANI quoted him as saying.Mitra’s name still figures in BJP’s list of National Executive members.the hindu
Owaisi Dares PM Modi to Reveal Muslims Recruited for Central Police Forces in Last 4 Years
Hyderabad: Accusing the Centre of neglecting Muslims, AIMIM leader Asaduddin Owaisi has dared PM Narendra Modi to reveal the number of members from this community recruited in the central armed police forces in the last 4 years.Owaisi's challenge drew a sharp response from the Union Home ministry which said religion is not a "criteria" for recruitment in the central paramilitary forces.Union Minority Affairs minister Mukhtar Abbas Naqvi also slammed Owaisi for his remarks on lack of representation of Muslims in the paramilitary forces, saying counting the number of soldiers on the basis of religion was the result of a "distorted secular mindset".Owaisi said despite the prime minister's 15-Point Programme expressly stating that all efforts would be made to increase the share of the minorities in central government jobs, little was done about it. BJP-led NDA govt came to power in May 2014."CRPF, CISF, ITPB, they all come under central govt. You (BJP) have been in office for the last four years. PM loudly claims he would like to give Quran in one hand and computer in the other. So, what have you done (for Muslims) in the last four years?"In the last 4 years, under central sector,whether banks, whether railways, centra paramilitary forces....How many recruitments of minorities have taken place?" Owaisi said.PTI
No room for any religion in paramilitary forces recruitment process: Home ministry
Home ministry has said for recruitment in central paramilitary forces religion is not a criteria.The ministry’s assertion came after AIMIM leader Asaduddin Owaisi accused the Centre of neglecting Muslims and demanded that PM Narendra Modi tell how many of them got government jobs, including in central paramilitary forces.“Religion is not a criteria for recruitment in paramilitary forces. There is no room for any religion in the recruitment process,” a home ministry spokesperson said.PTI
Cricketer Harbhajan calls for Indians to stop Hindu-Muslim fight and learn from World Cup finalists Croatia
New Delhi :As France and Croatia readied to face off in arguably the biggest game on the planet, cricketer Harbhajan Singh had a strong message to share for his fellow Indians. Croatia who played and lost the World Cup final 4-2 at the Luzhniki Stadium in Moscow, became an example to follow world over. A tiny nation with population of just over 40 lakhs (as per 2016), Croatia were looking to become the second smallest country to win the World Cup but couldn’t replicate their giant killing in the crucial game. Despite that, they gave everyone reason to dream and learn from as they went further in the competition with heavyweights falling by the wayside.Harbhajan, before kickoff on Sunday, had tweeted that a small country of about 50 lakh has reached the World Cup final while we in India, with a population of 135 crore, continue to play the Hindu-Muslim game. He followed up the comment with the hashtag “#sochbadlodeshbadlega” (change your thinking and the country will change too).indianexpress
Govt drops plan to control funding of universities after criticism from states under proposed HECI
New Delhi:HRD ministry has walked back a provision in a draft law that put it in charge of grants given to institutions of higher education after this was criticised by states and also other stakeholders. Instead, it will create an independent body of experts that does this. A number of states and experts had also alleged that the provision of an “Advisory Council” — which was to be chaired by the HRD minister — will lead to politicisation and that provision too has been modified in the amended draft Act.On June 28, the ministry announced its decision to replace University Grants Commission with the Higher Education Commission of India (HECI) by repealing UGC Act, 1956 and passing the HECI Act. According to the draft of the new law that was published seeking feedback from stakeholders, the new commission was to exclusively focus on academic matters with monetary grants coming under the purview of the ministry.The move faced immediate criticism.A senior HRD ministry official said that the ministry received over 6,000 suggestions and comments as feedback, and that on the basis of those remarks, amended the proposed law. The last date for sending suggestions is till  July 20, but major changes have been incorporated in the revised draft, a copy of which has been accessed by HT.The government is likely to put up the amended law for cabinet approval and table it in Parliament during the monsoon session that begins on Wednesday. A number of states, teachers union and other stakeholders had alleged that putting HRD ministry directly in charge of grants would result in interference by it. “The proposal to give this power to HRD ministry has been dropped and this power will be given to an independent body. This would be a body of experts and will operate in a transparent manner by being completely online,” added the HRD ministry official who spoke on condition of anonymity.HT
‘Completely paralysed’ despite Constitution Bench verdict, Delhi govt tells Supreme Court
New Delhi:Despite a 5-judge Constitution Bench ruling that the Lieutenant Governor in Delhi has no independent power to take decisions, the Delhi government Wednesday informed the Supreme Court that its functioning remains “completely paralysed” and its hands tied on matters regarding transfer and posting of officers.The matter was heard by a Bench of Justices A K Sikri and Navin Sinha. The court said it will hear the matter on July 26 since it is not a regular bench. “Functioning of the government is completely paralysed. We cannot post officers, we cannot transfer officers despite the recent constitution bench verdict which has explained every aspect. These issues need to be adjudicated at the earliest,” said senior advocate P Chidambaram, appearing for the Delhi govt.Senior advocate Indira Jaising, who also appeared for the Delhi government, said officers are not willing to file an affidavit on this matter and Delhi Deputy CM Manish Sisodia had therefore filed the affidavit.“I just wanted to clarify the situation,” Jaising said.indianexpress
No coercive steps against Kanhaiya till Friday, HC to JNU
Delhi High Court on Wednesday directed JNU not to take any coercive steps against the former JNUSU President Kanhaiya Kumar till Friday.Former JNU Students Union leader was fined by a university panel in connection with a 2016 incident when anti-India slogans were allegedly raised at an event.Justice Rekha Palli's order came while hearing Kumar's plea challenging the university's order which has imposed a fine against him.As the bench of Justice Siddharth Mridul was on leave, Justice Palli deferred the matter till Friday.Kumar's plea, filed through advocates Tarannum Cheema and Harsh Bora, has sought quashing of the order passed by JNU through its Chief Proctor on July 4.IANS
Marriage doesn’t mean wife always ready for sex: Delhi HC on marital rape
New Delhi;Marriage does not mean that a woman is always consenting for physical relations with her husband, the Delhi High Court on Tuesday observed and also held that physical force is not necessary for constituting the offence of rape.A bench of Acting Chief Justice Gita Mittal and C Hari Shankar said that in a relationship like marriage, both man and woman have a right to say ‘no’ to physical relations.The court’s observation came while hearing pleas seeking to make marital rape an offence and others opposing it.“Marriage does not mean that the woman is all time ready, willing and consenting (for establishing physical relations). The man will have to prove that she was a consenting party,” the bench observed.It did not agree with the submission of NGO Men Welfare Trust, which is opposing the plea to make marital rape an offence, that in spousal sexual violence, the use of force or threat of force are important elements to constitute the offence.“It is incorrect to say that (physical) force is necessary for rape. It is not necessary to look for injuries in a rape. Today, the definition of rape is completely different,” the court said.PTI
By walking on path of Sufism, terrorism can be ended: Mukhtar Abbas Naqvi
New Delhi:Sufism spreads the fragrance of peace and by walking on its path, terrorism can be ended, Minority Affairs Minister Mukhtar Abbas Naqvi said on Tuesday.Speaking on the sidelines of an event, Union minister also countered AIMIM chief Asaduddin Owaisi’s remarks on lack of representation of Muslims in the paramilitary forces, saying counting the number of soldiers on the basis of religion was the result of a “distorted secular mindset”.Owaisi, while speaking to reporters in Hyderabad, accused the Centre of neglecting Muslims and demanded that Prime Minister Narendra Modi tell how many of them got government jobs, including in central paramilitary forces.PTI
If Rome Colosseum can be adopted by pvt company why not Taj Mahal: Tourism Minister
New Delhi:Tourism Minister K J Alphons Tuesday wondered what was the problem in entrusting a private company with the task of restoring the Taj Mahal under the government’s Adopt-a-Heritage scheme if Italy can turn to a footwear firm to restore the 2000-year-old Colosseum in Rome. Talking about the Adopt-a-Heritage scheme of the tourism ministry at an event in New Delhi, he said it had run into controversy when the Red Fort was entrusted to the Dalmia Bharat Group, a cement company for maintenance, but the deal was proceeding as per plan.The Taj Mahal is now on the list of monuments under the Adopt-a-Heritage scheme.“A large number of monuments are on the list under the scheme and Taj is also on the list. If thecan be adopted and managed by a footwear company why not the Taj?” he said when asked about the status of the Mughal monument under the scheme.PTI
Meerut: Clash over bidi turns communal, 7 SP men booked
MEERUT: A petty dispute over payment for a pack of bidis on Sunday night resulted in a clash involving Samajwadi Party workers and Bajrang Dal activists in Shamli. Police force of all three thanas of Shamli had to be rushed to the spot to control the situation. Police nabbed 12 individuals from both sides but on Monday, seven SP men, including local SP leader Rashid Ahmad, were booked. A heavy police force has been deployed in the area. After Rashid Ahmad was arrested, newly elected MP from Kairana constituency, Tabassum Hasan, approached Shamli SP, requesting an impartial inquiry into the matter. “I have asked the police administration to conduct an impartial inquiry into the matter and that no one must be harassed,” she said. According to police, a local Bajrang Dal leader’s father runs a small shop in Barkhandi locality of Shamli. A group of three Muslim youth bought a pack of bidis but refused to pay for it.This led to an altercation and both groups called their respective supporters. It soon snowballed into a clash between Bajrang Dal members and a group led by local SP leader Rashid Ahmad with both sides indulging in stone-pelting and firing.TOI
Syria: Buses arrive to evacuate two rebel-besieged Shia towns
Dozens of buses on Wednesday entered two government loyalist towns under siege from rebels in the northwest province of Idlib, as part of a deal to evacuate residents to government-controlled areas, according to state news agency, SANA.Some 6,000 people will leave, emptying out the mostly Shia towns of al-Foua and Kefraya, a commander in the regional alliance that backs Syrian President Bashar al-Assad told Reuters."What are we going to do with our land and property? Oh my hometown," a 42-year-old who wished to remain anonymous told AFP news agency."I pray this will go well."Rebels from Hayat Tahrir al-Sham - a group formerly linked to al-Qaeda - and Iran-backed forces agreed the deal to evacuate people in return for the release of more than 1,500 civilian and rebels in state prisons, sources said on Tuesday.A deal for the evacuation of residents from the two Shia towns was first reached in April 2017 but had only partially materialised with only a group of people evacuated to government-held areas.aljazeera
Israel turns away Syrians seeking help as air strikes kill civilians
Israeli forces on the Golan Heights frontier turned away scores of Syrians seeking help or refuge from a Syrian government offensive on Tuesday, as more than a dozen civilians were killed in air strikes nearby.A Syrian government offensive to take control of southern Daraa province has forced tens of thousands of civilians to seek shelter along the frontier with the Israeli-occupied Golan Heights, with Israel refusing to give them asylum."Go back before something bad happens. If you want us to be able to help you, go back," an army officer on the Israeli side of the frontier fence told the crowd in Arabic through a megaphone."Get a move on." The Syrians got within 200 metres of the security fence, before the military convinced them to turn back.The crowd, which included women and children, walked back slowly towards their encampment. Some stopped midway and waved white cloths in the direction of the Israelis. Middleeasteye
Netanyahu: Israel convinced Trump to exit Iran nuke deal
Israel is convinced US President Donald Trump will exit the Iran nuclear deal, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu told Likud party members, according to a recording leaked by Israeli television broadcaster Kan.In a video clip believed to be filmed two weeks ago, Netanyahu can be seen boasting to party members and activists that Israel alone campaigned against the rest of the international community for the deal to be nixed.“We convinced the US president [to exit the deal] and I had to stand up against the whole world and come out against this agreement,” Netanyahu says in the video. “And we didn’t give up.”Netanyahu then proceeds to talk about the Iranian regime, when someone in the audience calls out “It will disappear with the help of God.”middleeastmonitor
Ex-Israel PM says Netanyahu endangering Zionist project
JERUSALEM:Former Israeli Prime Minister Ehud Barak has opened fire on incumbent Premier Benjamin Netanyahu, describing him as a threat to the establishment of a Zionist state in Israel. In a lecture held in Tel Aviv on Tuesday, Barak described the current Israeli government as “dark, nationalist government”, according to the Israeli Yediot Ahronot newspaper on Wednesday.“The single inevitable result of this purpose is Israel’s decay into a nation with a Muslim majority [with] constant internal violence and strife, and one that is not Jewish, Zionist, or democratic,” he said.Barak argued Netanyahu’s refusal of accepting 2-state solution would thwart the possibility of separating from the Palestinians.Anadolu
Hamas accepts Egyptian vision for Palestinian reconciliation
Hamas accepted Egypt’s vision for the Palestinian reconciliation, Tuesday, which includes formation of national unity government within five weeks, Anadolu reports.Informed sources told Anadolu that Egypt is waiting for Palestinian Authority (PA) President, Mahmoud Abbas, to respond. According to the Egyptian vision the PA will lift sanctions on the Gaza Strip.PA will also pay for Gazan ministries to take over management responsibilities and cancel the taxes imposed on the fuel supplies for the electricity plant.According to the informed source, the Palestinian factions will have five weeks to form a national unity government. This would absorb all the civil employees recruited by Hamas during its control of Gaza. Fatah and the PA have accused Hamas of undermining its work in Gaza, but Hamas has denied these accusations.MEMO
Egypt gives Hamas ultimatum to stop flying kites into Israel
Dozens of international Jewish groups back BDS, slam false ‘antisemitism’ claims
Dozens of Jewish groups worldwide issued “an unprecedented joint statement on Tuesday backing the Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions (BDS) movement and saying that criticism of Israel’s actions does not equate to antisemitism”, reported The New Arab.The initiative was led by US-based Jewish Voice for Peace (JVP) and the signatories include 36 Jewish groups from 15 countries, including Britain, South Africa, Germany and Brazil.“As social justice organizations from around the world, we write this letter with growing alarm regarding the targeting of organizations that support Palestinian rights in general and the nonviolent Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions (BDS) movement, in particular”, the statement begins.“These attacks too often take the form of cynical and false accusations of antisemitism that dangerously conflate anti-Jewish racism with opposition to Israel’s policies and system of occupation and apartheid”.middleeastmonitor
US Episcopal Church adopts boycott of Israel
US Episcopal Church has announced it has adopted a series of human rights resolutions which will set a screening mechanism for Israeli companies.According to the resolution, the companies will be screened for human rights violations and activities.The number of Episcopal Church followers in the US is estimated at 2 million.The vote on the resolutions which took place on Friday at the church’s headquarters in Austin, Texas and is considered a new victory for the Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions (BDS) movement.The movement is supported by a number of American churches, most recently the Presbyterian Church in June, preceded by the United Church of Christ and the Churches of Christ.middleeastmonitor
Israeli forces 'deliberately killed' Palestinian 20-yr paramedic Razan
An investigation conducted by Israeli human rights organisation B'Tselem has concluded that Israeli security forces deliberately shot and killed Palestinian paramedics Razan al-Najjar, contradicting the Israeli army's claims that it was an accident.On June 1, the 20-year-old al-Najjar was shot in the chest with the single bullet, exiting through her back, while she was trying to help wounded demonstrators in Gaza near the perimeter fence with Israel.B'Tselem's investigation found that a member of the Israeli security forces aimed and shot directly at her as al-Najjar stood some 25 metres away from the fence, "despite the fact that she posed no danger to him or anyone else and was wearing a medical uniform.""Contrary to the many versions offered by the [Israeli] military, the facts of the case lead to only one conclusion," Amit Gilutz, spokesperson for B'Tselem said.aljazeera
Only Person Who Heard Rahul Gandhi's 'Muslim Party' Remark Was a Reporter Who Wasn't Present:Mahtab Alam
Congress and Muslims: Uniting communities in a plural society:Ram Puniyani
I am a Muslim Indian and I am not the problem:Mohd Asim
War on Terror Pit Islam Against Rest of the World. It’s Time to Battle This Narrative, Writes Lt Gen DS Hooda
Lynch mobs are an Indian problem, not WhatsApp:Mihir Sharma , Bloomberg
The union of judiciary with executive is the greatest danger to democracy:Kapil Sibal
Jayant Sinha, ‘hard work’ again getting the better of Harvard?Zafar Agha
Swami Agnivesh: First they came for Muslims. Now, they’re going after Hindu Arya Samajis:JYOTI MALHOTRA
Going by BJP's attack on Rahul Gandhi for Muslim remark, we're in for divisive, vicious 2019 poll campaign:Ajaz Ashraf
Ex-Rajya Sabha MP Chandan Mitra quits BJP, may join Mamata Banerjee’s Trinamool Congress

Compiled and edited by Anwarulhaq (Released at: 6:43 PM)


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