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Saturday, 28 July 2018

28 July ND: NCW push to abolish confession: Bishops’ body says move shocking for all those who stand for religious freedom


NEWS DIGEST, MID-DAY  
28 July 2018:14 Ziqada 1439: Vol:10, No:75
INDIA
NCW push to abolish confession: Bishops’ body says move shocking for all those who stand for religious freedom
 A day after the National Commission for Women (NCW) said it has recommended that the Govt  abolish the practice of confessions in churches as “they come in the way of security and safety of women”, a bishops’ body from Kerala said the NCW’s suggestion is shocking not only for Christians but for all those who stand for religious freedom.The president of the Catholic Bishops’ Conference of India, who is also the Bombay Archbishop, too, expressed shock at NCW’s recommendation. This comes after NCW chairperson Rekha Sharma said on Thursday that the commission has sought a probe by a central agency into two sex scandals in churches in Kerala that surfaced last month. She also said that the commission had recommended that the practice of confession be abolished as it is being misused by the priests. Union Minister Alphons Kannanthanam on Friday said the central Govt  rejects the recommendation and insisted that it would never interfere in religious beliefs of people.Kerala Catholic Bishops Council president Archbishop Soosa Pakiam said in a press meet that the NCW’s recommendation infringes upon the religious freedom envisaged in the Constitution.Confession is an integral part of the Christian faith and the priest who hears the confession is only a representative of God and it is the God who absolves the sins of a person, he said. The NCW’s opinion shows “ulterior political motive” and the “communal agenda” of the chairperson, he added. Senior Congress leader and Leader of Opposition in Assembly Ramesh Chennithala said the women’s commission should not have made such a recommendation. “It is a matter of Christian faithful. The Commission should not have abruptly come to such a report,” he said.Oswald Cardinal Garcias, Archbishop of Bombay and president of Catholic Bishops’ Conference of India, said, “I was shocked to read in the press about the demand from the National Commission for Women for a ban on the Christian Sacrament of Confession. This demand by the Commission betrays a total lack of understanding of the nature, meaning, sanctity and importance of this Sacrament for our people; and also an ignorance of the strict laws of Church to prevent any abuse.”indianexpress
Minority Commission rejects NCW's recommendation to ban confessions in churches
New Delhi:National Commission for Minorities (NCM) today strongly opposed National Commission for Women's (NCW) recommendation for abolishing the practice of confessions in churches, saying it was an integral part of Christianity and cannot be interfered with.The assertion by NCM comes a day after the NCW chief Rekha Sharma recommended the ban saying the practice can lead to blackmailing of women.Sharma made the recommendation after allegations against four priests of the Malankara Orthodox Syrian Church in Kerala of using a married woman's confession to sexually abuse her came to light last month. "The minority commission outrightly rejects the recommendation and is opposed to it," NCM chairperson Syed Ghayorul Hasan Rizvi told PTI."The practice of confession is an integral part of the religion of Christianity, so it cannot be banned. There can be no interference with religious practice," he said.Yesterday, Union minister Alphons Kannanthanam, a native of Kerala and a Christian, too dismissed NCW's recommendation, saying Modi Govt  would never interfere with people's religious beliefs."It is not the official stand of the Govt ," Kannanthanam, Union Minister of State for Tourism, said in a Facebook post."It is the personal opinion of NCW chairperson Rekha Sharma," he added. PTI
Unhappy with ISPs for not removing key words for child porn, SC warns them: Act, or face fine; also expresses anguish over lynchings
New Delhi:The Supreme Court on Friday expressed anguish over lynchings and observed that “all kinds of things” are appearing on social media, and that even as “people are getting lynched”, “no one seems bothered”. The comments came from a bench of Justices Madan B Lokur and U U Lalit while hearing a matter related to implementation of proposals for dealing with online child pornography.The court had earlier directed internet service providers (ISPs) to remove certain key words used in search for child pornography, and was unhappy that its directive was not complied with.Advocate Aparna Bhat, amicus curiae in the matter, told the court that while desktop search of these words threw up some warnings, such advisories were missing when searching on Android phones. Lashing out at the ISPs, the bench told their counsel: “You people (ISPs) are hopelessly irresponsible. Do you or your client have some responsibility to the citizens?…. You are trying to make a fool of everybody in this country…this is getting completely out of control. We are at your mercy.”Turning to the Additional Solicitor General, who was representing the Govt , Justice Lokur said that the Govt  too is not doing anything.indianexpress
“People getting lynched, nobody is bothered”:SC
In first meet, Govt  panel on lynching discusses need to frame new law
New Delhi :Framing of a new legislation to prevent incidents of lynching was one of the suggestions made during the first meeting of a committee headed by Union Home Secretary Rajiv Gauba on Friday, it is learnt. The committee, formed on Monday on the directions of the Supreme Court, is likely to meet again on Saturday and take up cases of lynchings reported from across the country.According to sources, in its first meeting, the committee members were explained the apex court’s order, and suggestions were invited from all stakeholders. One key component of the deliberations was to make changes in CrPC, a source with knowledge of the developments said.Under Section 223 (a) of CrPC there are legal provision to “prosecute persons accused of the same offence committed in the course same transaction.” But legal experts say the provision falls far short for prosecuting lynch mobs.indianexpress
Out on bail, convict in Jharkhand beef lynching case dies of electrocution
Ramgarh: Sikandar Ram, one of the 11 convicts in the Ramgarh district beef lynching case, who was later granted bail by Jharkhand High Court, was Friday electrocuted near his home in Ramgarh town, police said. Ram was walking towards a market when he came into contact with a live wire that had snapped from an electric pole and fell on the ground, Rajesh Kumar, the Officer-in-Charge of Ramgarh Town police station, said. Ram was killed on the spot.Ram’s body was recovered and sent for post-mortem examination, a senior police officer said.Ram was one among the 11 convicted in the lynching case. They were awarded life imprisonment by a fast track court in Ramgarh in March.A group of people had lynched 40-year-old Alimuddin Ansari in Ramgarh town on June 29,2017, because they suspected he was carrying beef in his car. PTI
J&K Police detains hundreds on 'apprehensions' of cow slaughter
Jammu and Kashmir Police has detained hundreds of people in the past one year on the 'apprehension' that they may have carried out cow slaughter. This has prompted BJP to seek a ban on the 'rampant killing' of the animal in Muslim-majority areas of the state.The police have registered criminal cases against hundreds of people in the Hindu-majority areas of Jammu for transporting bovine animals to Muslim-majority areas of Kashmir without the permission of authorities. The cases have been filed for violating the orders of DMs, according to which prior permission of the tehsildar is required even for Muslim nomadic Gujjars to take flocks of animals for the purposes of grazing to Kashmir.These orders specify that the permission is required so that the sentiments of Hindus who “see the cow as a sacred animal” are not violated.In Jammu and Kashmir, the police have carried out several raids in the Udhampur area, which falls on the way to Kashmir, and in Rajouri district, from where cattle are taken to the Valley. The police have detained many people for transporting animals without prior permission.Over 230 cases have been registered in the last one year for violation of the orders of the DM, Rajouri for failing to procure the authorisation from the executive magistrate, said Superintendent of Police, Rajouri, Yugal Kumar. The official said that the requirement for permissions has been put in place, 'while keeping in view that religious sentiments of people should not be hurt.'In Jammu, incidents of mob violence have increased, and there have been several incidents of right-wing groups intercepting cattle herders and attacking them. A number of incidents have been reported in the last three years, after the BJP came to power in the state.firstpost
PDP leader warns Modi Govt  to stop lynching of Muslims in name of cows or face another partition
New Delhi:Senior PDP leader Muzaffar Hussain Baig has said that the rising cases of mob lynching of Muslims in the name of cow vigilantism must be stopped otherwise the country will have to face dire consequences. According to news agency ANI, Baig who is an MP from Baramulla, on Saturday said that the country may have to face another partition if mob killings of Muslims are not checked.“The killings of Muslims in the name of cows and buffaloes should be stopped otherwise the outcome will not be good. There has already been a partition in 1947 (Gai aur bhains ke naam par musalmano ka katal bandh karein warna naateje achhe nahi honge. 1947 mein ek partition pehle hi ho chuka hai),” he said. PDP’s chief spokesperson’s remark comes in the backdrop of rising cases of mob lynching. In almost all cases, the victims were from the minority community. Recently, a Muslim man identified as Akbar Khan was beaten to death by a mob in Alwar of Rajasthan merely on suspicion that he was a cow smuggler.financialexpress
'Rising Muslim population needs to be curbed, is reason for increase in lynchings':BJP MP Hari Om Pandey
New Delhi: A day after a BJP MP from UP said Hindus should have at least 5 children to save Hindutva, another BJP leader has said that it's of "grave concern" that the Muslim population is increasing because that's the reason for growing incidents of terror crime and lynching, reported Times Now. BJP MP from UP, Hari Om Pandey, further said in an interview with the TV channel that at the rate the Muslim population is growing we will see the creation of another Pakistan and that doesn't bode well for India. He further said a bill must be brought in Parliament, applicable to everyone,to control population. Pandey, said that at the rate the Muslim population is growing we will see the creation of another Pakistan He further said a bill must be brought in Parliament, applicable to everyone, to control population The MP said that Muslims don't believe in birth control or any form of planning  "The main problem in India is because terrorism, crimes, mob lynching are increasing and the reason for this is the population of the country. There's a huge increase in the country's population today compared with the time of independence and the reason for that is one community, that of the Muslims," said Pandey. MP from UP's Ambedkar Nagar constituency said that Muslims don't believe in birth control or any form of planning, and Muslim religious leaders say it isn't allowed in Islam. "They say 'Allah talaa however much our population increases it isn't enough', and because of that terrors, crime lynchings are all rising," said Pandey. Pandey also said one Pakistan in the neighbourhood is enough - "they just had elections and already they are being called 'Aatankistan'" - and unless a bill is passed in parliament to curb population "we will produce another Pakistan".TOI
'Rising Muslim Population Behind Terrorism, Rapes in India': BJP MP's Shocking Statement
36 cows found dead in Delhi’s gaushala
Delhi: In the country where cows hold more importance than lives of common people, at least 36 cows reportedly died in last 2 days. The deaths were reported from Delhi’s Chhawla area on Friday morning. Soon after the matter was reported, a team of doctors and police personnel rushed to the spot. As per early reports, police suspects that the cows died because of an outbreak of some kind of infectious disease. Meanwhile, doctors are investigating the gaushala to ascertain the cause of death of the cows. Reports add that the police were alerted about the incident at around 12:30 pm.The cow shelter in Delhi’s Chhawla area acts as a house for over 1,400 cows. The following reports surface just a few weeks after it was reported that 14 cows belonging to Bal Gopal gaushala in Punjab’s Bhatinda had died. Media reports suggested that the cows died after they had consumed urea along with the fodder.NewsX
If I Were Home Minister, I Would Order Police to Shoot Intellectuals: Karnataka BJP Leader
Senior BJP MLA and former union minister Basanagouda Patil Yatnal courted controversy on Thursday with his remark that that he would have ordered the police to shoot all intellectuals if he were the home minister of the state. Addressing a "Kargil Vijay Diwas" function in his Assembly constituency Vijayapura (formerly Bijapur),Yatnal dubbed liberals and intellectuals "anti-nationals". Referring to former chief minister Siddaramaiah's media advisor Dinesh Amin Mattu, he said Mattu had made a statement that youngsters join the army to escape from poverty and die. Blaming India’s first Prime Minister Jawahar Lal Nehru for the Kashmir problem, he also said that PM Narendra Modi would scrap Article 370, which gives special status to Jammu & Kashmir state. He held the civil society responsible for the unrest in country.Ruling JDS and Congress have demanded an immediate action against Yatnal.Yatnal, a Lingayat, is considered close to state BJP president BS Yeddyurappa. He was a BJP MLA between 1994 and 1999. Between 1999 and 2009 he was a BJP MP from Bijapur.News18
Now Raj Thackeray objects to use of loudspeakers during azaan
Pune: In a controversial statement, MNS chief Raj Thackeray on Friday questioned the use of loudspeaker for azaan, the Muslim's call for prayer, and asked them to pray at home without disturbing others."Today, I want to ask all the Muslims that why do you need loudspeakers for morning azaan. If you want to offer namaaz, then pray at home. Why do you block roads?" Thackeray asked.He said people should understand their responsibility so that there is no situation of a confrontation in country or state should arise.Thackeray was addressing a gathering of party workers here on the occasion of Guru Purnima on Friday.The row over loudspeakers at religious places erupted last year when singer Sonu Nigam lashed out at "forced religiousness" in India after being woken up by the azaan from a mosque nearby his residence."God bless everyone. I'm not a Muslim and I have to be woken up by the azaan in the morning. When will this forced religiousness end in India," Nigam had then said.Reacting to which, Senior Congress leader Ahmed Patel said the Quran or Islam never said that azaan has to be delivered through loudspeakers. "Quran or Islam never said that azaan has to be delivered through loudspeakers.Azaan should be delivered in such a way that others do not get disturbed," Patel had said.ABP News
Raped, starved, burnt: Horror tales from Bihar shelter where 29 inmates were assaulted
Patna:Horrifying stories of torture and exploitation are emerging from the shelter home in Bihar’s Muzaffarpur where 29 girls were raped by operators and visitors last year, according to the state women commission. Members of the Bihar state women commission who met the rescued inmates of Muzaffarpur short stay shelter home at Mokama Nazareth Academy on Thursday said the girls were duped and drugged to keep them silent and allow sexual exploitation.The girls were starved and beaten with shoes at any hint of rebellion.Those who complained and protested were stripped, beaten and burnt with cigarettes. A girl who dared to stand up to the oppressors, despite repeated threats, was beaten to death and her body disposed of in a rickshaw, the commission said.Altogether 31 girls rescued from the Muzaffarpur shelter home are staying at the Nazareth Academy, Mokama where they are being counselled by 2 experts from Bangalore and Delhi for the last few days.“Most of the girls are in a better condition from the day I met them at a hospital in Patna. But the memories of physical and mental abuse they have suffered may take time to wipe out. At the shelter home they were denied food and clothes and were beaten with shoes,” Dilmani Mishra, state women commission chairperson said.hindustantimes
Cleric held for sexual abuse at Pune orphanage; 36 children rescued, trafficking suspected:News18
Pune: In one of the biggest rescue operations carried out in the city, 36 children were freed from a Muslim orphanage in Pune's Katraj area after 2 of them alleged persistent sexual exploitation by a maulana. The accused cleric was arrested by the police and booked under relevant sections of the Indian Penal Code and Protection of Children from Sexual Offences Act on Friday.2 boys, both 10-year-old, had recently escaped from the orphanage and were found at the railway station by an NGO. On being questioned as to why they chose to run away, the boys revealed that they were scared after a cleric, who visited the orphanage, sexually abused one of the inmates on several occasions in the name of education.The accused, 21-year-old Maulana Rahim, was a teacher at the orphanage, which runs under the banner of Jamiatul Khairiya Al-Islamia Educational and Charitable Trust.Rescued children, all aged between 8 to 15, were forced to live in inhuman conditions with no toilets but plastic water tanks, said the police after they raided the orphanage. Statements of children were recorded by Child Welfare Committee (CWC).During investigation, it was found that all the children hail from Bihar and some of them are not even orphans, triggering suspicions of a child trafficking racket. "We took the two boys to CWC where they revealed that they were being sexually exploited by their teacher. We then approached the police and raided the orphanage,"Yamini Adbe, Child rights activist told News18.News18
Minor Muslim girl beaten to death by young men for not sharing number
Jaipur: A Muslim girl who was allegedly beaten by some youth for not giving them the mobile number of her friend died in Rajasthan’s Dausa district on Thursday. The girl’s mother has filed a case against Ganpat, Nemi, Kishan, Ravi and others.The police have not arrested anyone so far.It was alleged that 16-year-old Rukhsar who studied in class 10 was returning home when some young men allegedly stopped her and asked to give mobile number of her friend on Tuesday afternoon. When she refused, the young men started beating her up and she fell. Her parents reached the spot on being informed and took her to the hospital where the doctors declared her dead.Angry people reached the hospital and demanded the arrest of the culprits. They surrounded two youngsters accusing them of killing the girl but the police safely escorted both of them to the police station. SP, Dausa district, Chunaram Jat said no arrest has been made so far because an investigation was still going on. asianage
Aadhaar to Web: Govt gets roadmap for new law to protect citizen’s data
Saying that citizens must come at the top, the Srikrishna Committee Friday submitted the draft of a data protection Bill containing sweeping recommendations, including amendments to at least 50 laws such as Aadhaar and RTI, setting up a regulator and imposing strict terms for storage.The draft comes after a year of deliberations by the panel headed by former Supreme Court judge, Justice BN Srikrishna, and at a time when a Constitution Bench of the apex court has reserved its judgment on a clutch of petitions challenging the validity of the Aadhaar unique ID system.The draft sets the stage for a Data Protection Act, which Gov  will begin working on while keeping committee’s recommendations as a basis, Union Minister of Law & Justice and Electronics & IT Ravi Shankar Prasad said. Pointing out that the report will go through the process of inter-ministerial consultations as well as Cabinet and parliamentary approval,Prasad said:“It is a monumental law and we would like to have widest parliamentary consultation…We want Indian data protection law to become a model globally,blending security, privacy, safety and innovation.” indianexpress
Rafale deal alleged to be crony capitalism worth ‘Rs 1,30,000 crore’
Congress party has accused Modi Govt  of deceiving India in the “mother of all Defence deals”—referring to the Modi Govt’s decision to purchase 36 Rafale fighter aircrafts in April, 2015—and termed it a ₹1,30,000 crore scam.Congress President Rahul Gandhi tweeted: “Dear Trolls, I apologise for my earlier tweet in which I stated Mr 56’s friend’s JV, received 4 Billion US$’s of “offset” contracts. I forgot to add the 16 Billion US$ RAFALE “lifecycle” contract. 20 BILLION US$, is the actual benefit. So Sorry!!”In a press release on the Rafale deal issued on Friday by All India Congress Committee Communications in-charge Randeep Singh Surjewala and MPs Amee Yajnik and Naseer Husain, Congress made the following allegations: Public Sector Undertaking HAL denied biggest ever ‘Defence Offset Contract’Private company with zero experience in manufacturing fighter aircrafts bags contract insteadA company with zero experience in manufacturing fighter aircrafts, which did not own any land or building, granted industrial license for defence production by then Commerce Minister Nirmala SitharamanViolation of Defence Ministry’s own guidelines in awarding ₹30,000 crore ‘Defence Offset Contract’ to Reliance Defence Ltd. nationalheraldindia
Gujarat Court Sets Aside Adani's Criminal Defamation Complaint Against The Wire
New Delhi: Ruling in favour of The Wire‘s contention that no case of criminal defamation was made out against the website and its journalists and writers as alleged by the Adani group in regard to an article on how the Modi Govt  had tweaked the rules governing an SEZ where the company had invested and two other articles, a court in Bhuj ordered that the case and accompanying summons be set aside.The Wire‘s challenge to the summoning order, issued pursuant to the criminal defamation complaint filed by Adani Power Ltd., was listed before additional sessions judge N.R. Joshi on Friday.The complaint had been made by Adani Power regarding the publishing of an article authored by Paranjoy Guha Thakurta and three other journalists. The piece, originally published in the Economic and Political Weekly, had been republished by The Wire. Guha Thakurta, who was editor of EPW at the time, resigned after the journal’s trustees insisted the article be taken down from its website following receipt of a legal notice from the Adani group threatening unspecified consequences in the event of non-compliance.The Wire had received a similar threat but refused to take the article down.thewire
Cop in uniform kneels down with folded arms before Yogi Adityanath to seek blessings
Gorakhpur:Photographs of a police officer in uniform kneeling down at the feet of UP CM Yogi Adityanath, on the occasion of Guru Purnima at the Gorakhnath temple in Gorakhpur, went viral on social media.Adityanath is also ‘Peethadishwar’ and ‘Mahant’ (head priest) of the Gorakhnath Math.The photographs of the police officer, Pravin Singh, kneeling down at Adtiyanath’s feet with folded hands, went viral on the social media, forcing him to clarify his stand.“I was deployed at the temple for security duty and I went there after completing my work with full dedication, when most of the disciples were seeking blessings. Out of my devotion and after removing my belt, cap and other accessories and covering my head with a handkerchief, I took blessings of Peethadishwar Mahant Yogi Adityanath,” Singh said.Singh is posted as Circle Officer, Gorakhnath in Gorakhpur.PTI
Mehbooba urges PM Modi to accept Imran Khan’s call for India-Pak talks
Srinagar: PDP chief Mehbooba Mufti on Saturday urged Prime Minister Narendra Modi to respond positively to Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf chief Imran Khan’s overtures on Kashmir at a time when the former cricketer looks set to become the neighbouring country’s next premier. “I want to tell Prime Minister Narendra Modi that a new Govt  is forming in Pakistan. He (Imran Khan) has offered India the hand of friendship. He has talked about dialogue and you should respond positively to that,” Mufti said in her address on the 19th raising day of the PDP in Srinagar.Mufti’s call came a day after separatist leaders welcomed Khan’s speech suggesting a resolution to the Kashmir issue through dialogue. PTI  emerged as the single-largest party in the recently held general election.PDP chief said the upcoming elections should not stop Modi from trying to establish peace with Pakistan. “Elections keep on coming. You may remember how Vajpayeeji had offered his hand of friendship to Pakistan before the 2004 elections, and announced ceasefire on the borders. That is the magnanimity of a leader. A big leader does not think about elections, he thinks about the people,” she added.HT
After warning Centre against breaking PDP, Mehbooba Mufti calls for inviting Hurriyat for talks
JAMMU: Days after she warned the Centre against breaking her party PDP, former Jammu and Kashmir chief minister Mehbooba Mufti has now pressed for the inclusion of Hurriyat Conference leaders in talks over Kashmir.Addressing a rally, Mehbooba Mufti said, PDP took initiative for the ceasefire during Ramzan. I appeal to the Centre to show a positive attitude towards Hurriyat and aim to bring them to the table to start a dialogue.'' PDP took initiative for ceasefire during Ramzan.The PDP leader had sometimes back warned the Centre of serious consequences if attempts were made to break her party.''If Delhi, tries to dismiss the voting rights of people like 1987, if it tries to create divisions and interfere like that then I think just like a Salahuddin and a Yasin Malik were born in 1987...if it tries to break PDP like that then outcomes will be dangerous,'' the PDP leader had said.zeenews
Hurriyat warns of mass agitation as hearing on Article 35A’s validity nears
Srinagar:Separatist leader Mirwaiz Umar Farooq on Friday warned of massive agitation in Jammu and Kashmir if the special rights accorded to the state by the Constitution of India were taken away. Hurriyat chairman made the comments as the Supreme Court is set to hear on August 6 a petition challenging the validity of Article 35A of the Constitution. The Article empowers the Jammu and Kashmir state’s legislature to define “permanent residents” of the state and provides special rights and privileges to those permanent residents. Addressing the Friday congregation in the city’s Jamia Masjid, Farooq said that Kashmiri people have been fighting for their rights since 1931 against various powers in the state. He said the people of Kashmir are cautiously and carefully watching the events around the hearing on the Article 35A.“People of Kashmiris from all spheres of life will never take machinations against them lying low and will oppose them tooth and nail. The people of Kashmir will hit the streets and start agitation on the mass scale,” he said.Mirwaiz accused the BJP and RSS plan of changing the demographic nature of Jammu and Kashmir by doing away with the state subject law and flooding it with people from outside and warned that changing Kashmir’s status will never be allowed.“The resulting consequences will entirely be the responsibility of those who will force people to take drastic steps,” he said.The hearing comes amidst the lack of an elected Govt  in the state which was put under governor’s rule after the BJP pulled out of the coalition Govt  with PDP.HT
Six get lifer in 1981 Biharsharif communal riot
Biharsharif:A local court today awarded life sentence to 6 accused involved in 1981 communal riot here claiming lives of several people and leaving others injured.Fast track court judge of the district court Ram Prasad Asthana awarded life sentence to Ishwari Singh, Chhote Kahar, Cristo Patwa, Nandlal Yadav, Ajay Singh and Sunil Kahar alias Sunayana after finding them guilty of murdering and indulging in other serious offences.The court convicted them under sections 302, 307, 392 and other sections of Indian Penal Code.The court sentenced another accused Lakshman Ram to 10 years of imprisonment.The court slapped a penalty of Rs 10,000 against each convict and in the event of default in payment of the penalty, the convicts would have to serve two years of additional imprisonment.UNI
Maharashtra: Bus carrying university staff plunges into gorge in Raigad, killing 33
Pune:As many as 33 persons were killed after a bus fell into a gorge in Ambenali Ghat near Poladpur town in Raigad district around Saturday noon. Only one of the 34 passengers traveling in the bus survived as he jumped from the bus while it was sliding along the steep slope of the gorge.The passengers in the bus, all employees of Dapoli Agriculture University in Ratnagiri district, were on their way to Mahabaleshwar for a two-day trip. The incident came to light after the lone survivor, Prakash Sawant Desai, assistant superintendent with the University, who managed to jump out of the bus, climbed up the slope, took the phone of a passerby and made calls to police another staff member from university and the police.Desai has told the local authorities that the driver of the bus lost control as a tyre of the bus skidded at a muddy spot on the Ambenali Ghat road. The bus fell till 500 feet down in the 800 feet deep gorge.indianexpress         
15 Muslims put on saffron clothes, join Kanwar Yatra from UP to Jharkhand: hindustantimes
Gorakhpur:A group of 70 kanwariyas, which include 15 Muslims, from UP’s Kushahari village in Deoria district began their journey for Baba Dham in Jharkhand’s Deoghar district. Kanwar Yatra is an annual pilgrimage undertaken by Lord Shiva’s devotees, also known as kanwariyas. The devotees from Kushahari village will reach Sultanganj in Bihar, from where they would collect water of the Ganga river and walk around 104 km to Baba Dham, to offer the water to the deity at Baidyanath Jyotirlinga temple.Village head Nizam Ansari, who initiated the unique programme, and some others of his faith wore saffron clothes and joined the yatra on their own expense.Flagging off the yatra on Friday, Sanjiv Shukla, a leading social worker of the area said, “This is the real example of Ganga-Jamuni culture of India. We should all take lesson from it and give preference to love and peace over hatred.”Ansari said, “I want all the people of my village to participate in functions related to all religions... this will provide us more opportunities to come closer and serve the society. I want blessings of people and development of my village.”PTI
Photos of Sikh Kirpan factory falsely circulated by Hindutva groups on social media as PFI stock of swords
Thiruvanantapuram: Last Thursday when a group of BJP youth wing workers were protesting on the streets here demanding a ban on Popular Front of India (PFI), another group of the saffron outfit was busy – off the streets – in fabricating a false story to malign the Muslim organization in order to strengthen their ban demand. They were circulating images of a Punjab warehouse of Sikh kirpans or swords as the stock of swords prepared by PFI to carry out attack on Hindus. Though a week later, they have been exposed in a media investigation.A Facebook account that goes by the name of Bhagwa Diwane posted a collage of photos of the Sikh sword factory with a hateful and provocative comment in Hindi.Very soon the post went viral until the falsehood was exposed. The post had made several false claims: “Police had raided PFI arms factory, and a huge quantity of swords were seized in the raids; these arms were to be sent to mosques, madrasas and Muslim areas; Muslim community is preparing for a bloodbath of Hindus.”The team of India Today contacted the Kerala police whose officer Anoop VR from the Hi-Tech Crime Enquiry Cell rebutted the facebook post as false.“There has been no such raid against the PFI where swords have been recovered,” the Kerala police officer said.PFI’s general secretary Mohammad Basheer said the post was an attempt to denigrate the organisation and PFI had brought the matter into notice of cyber cell.caravandaily
WORLD
Egypt: Cairo court sentences 75 pro-Morsi Govt protesters to death
An Egyptian court sentenced 75 people to death for participating in a 2013 protest against the ousting of the country's democratically elected president Mohamed Morsi. Senior members of the outlawed Muslim Brotherhood organisation were among those ordered executed by the Cairo Criminal Court on Saturday for their involvement with the sit-in demonstration at Rabaa Square in the Egyptian capital, Cairo.The rulings will be referred to Egypt's chief Islamic legal authority, the Grand Mufti, for a non-binding opinion. Egyptian law requires any capital sentence to be referred to the Grand Mufti before any execution can take place. The Mufti's decision is rarely ignored by the courts. In 2014 the Mufti rejected a death sentence proposed for the leader of the Brotherhood, Mohamed Badie, who is part of the same case. Badie has since been sentenced to life in prison.A final verdict is expected by Sept.8.The case is part of a mass trial being conducted by the court involving 739 defendants alleged to have been involved in the 2013 sit-in, which was violently broken up.Amnesty International says the dispersal of the sit-in killed more than 800 protesters. Egypt's Govt  said many demonstrators were armed and 43 police officers were killed.International human rights groups condemned the use of force and criticised the ongoing trial, alleging it violates Egypt's constitution.Husain Baoumi, an Egypt campaigner for Amnesty International, told Al Jazeera the court's decision was "shocking" and "completely unfair ... [as] not a single member of the security service has been held to account"."The court is likely to hand this sentence down, its just a technicality [for it] to go through the Grand Mufti," he added.aljazeera
Egypt sentences 75 Brotherhood members to death
Israeli forces storm Al-Aqsa Mosque with tear gas, stun grenades
Israeli forces have reopened the gates of the Al-Aqsa Mosque compound in occupied East Jerusalem after closing them for several hours, preventing all entry into one of Islam's holiest sites.Earlier on Friday, Israeli soldiers stormed the compound, firing tear gas and stun grenades at Muslim worshipers who had gathered for prayers."At least 50 policemen raided the Al-Qibali Mosque, attacking worshipers and arresting 20 others," Firas al-Dibs, a spokesman for al-Waqf, Jerusalem's Religious Endowments Authority, said in a statement.According to the Jordan-run body, a total of 15 Palestinians were injured, including three mosque guards, in the melee.Al-Dibs said the Israeli authorities sealed Al-Aqsa Mosque with iron chains and prevented Palestinian worshippers from entering it.The closure consequently led to confrontations with worshipers, Palestinian news agency Wafa reported.aljazeera
3 Palestinians killed by Israeli fire during Gaza protests
3 Palestinian protesters, including two teenagers, have died after being shot by the Israeli army during Friday's protests along the Israel-Gaza border, Gaza's health ministry has said. Mohmen al-Hams, 17, from Rafah, succumbed to his wounds Saturday morning, the ministry said. Majdi al-Satri, 14, and Ghazi Abu Mustafa, 43 died on Friday.According to the ministry, a total of 264 Palestinian demonstrators were injured during the protests, 90 of whom were wounded by live fire. Of those wounded, 11 are in serious condition, it said.The ministry statement said Hams was shot in the chest during protests near the southern Gaza town of Rafah.It also said Mustafa was shot in the head by Israeli soldiers east of the southern city of Khan Yunis.middleeasteye
US backs Israeli decision to build 400 new illegal settlement units
Trump administration has supported Israel’s decision to build 400 new settlement units in the illegal Geva Binyamin settlement, also known as Adam, in the occupied West Bank, Anadolu reported on Friday.An Israeli official was quoted by Maariv as saying that Washington had been informed of the decision to build the new settlement units and has “welcomed” the step. The announcement to build the new units was made by Defence Minister Avigdor Lieberman.middleeastmonitor
Imran’s PTI emerges largest party with 116 seats: official results
ISLAMABAD:Imran Khan’s Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf on saturday emerged as the single largest party in the general elections, winning 116 National Assembly seats out of the contested 270 parliamentary constituencies, according to the election commission’s final results.The final announcement of results of the parliamentary polls held on July 25 has been marred by delays, causing anger among the leaders of losing parties which levelled allegations of fraud.Jailed former prime minister Nawaz Sharif’s PML-N with 64 and former president Asif Ali Zardari’s PPP with 43 seats are placed at number two and three respectively, Election Commission of Pakistan (ECP) said.Muttahida Majlis-e-Aml Pakistan (MMAP) came fourth with 13 seats, it said.13 independent candidates have also won and would play important roles as PTI needs their support to form the Govt  at the Centre. Karachi-based Muttahida Qaumi Movement Pakistan (MQMP) managed to get just six seats.  ECP has also released the total votes each political party got in the election.PTI is on the top with 16,857,035 votes, followed by the PML-N with 12,894,225 and PPP with 6,894,296 votes. The independent candidates with 6,011,297 votes are the fourth largest group in terms of votes cast, it said.Among the religious parties, MMAP got 2,530,452 votes, Tehreek-i-Labaik Pakistan 2,191,679 and Allah-o-Akhbar Tehreek 171,441 votes, ECP said.ECP also issued final voters’ turnout in election of both national and provincial assemblies, showing 51.7% turnout for the National Assembly(NA), 55% for Punjab provincial assembly, 47.6% for Sindh, 45.5% for Khyber-Pakhtuakhwa and 45.2% for Balochistan provincial assembly. The provincial results have been also announced and the PML-N has become the single largest party with 129 seats in Punjab, PPP with 76 in Sindh, PTI with 66 in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa and the Balochistan Awami Party with 15 in Balochistan.Tehreek-e-Labaik Pakistan (TLP), a party of hardline Sunni Brailvi sect followers, clinched two seats in Sindh assembly. PTI
Mahesh Kumar, first Hindu candidate who won a general seat in Pak elections
 Islamabad: PPP number in National Assembly has not even come close to Imran Khan-led Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf, however, a party candidate has made history in the historic Pakistan general elections 2018. The man in focus is the first non-Muslim candidate to grab a general seat in the Assembly. Mahesh Kumar Malani is the first Hindu candidate to secure a seat in Pakistan’s National Assembly and the amendment in the Legal Framework Order that was passed in 2002 has made it possible, he told local news daily Dawn. Malani, who was up against 14 candidates from Grand Democratic Alliance (GDA), Allah-o-Akbar, Tehreek-e-Labbaik Pakistan among other independent candidates from NA-222 (Tharparkar-II) seat. He was also the first non-Muslim lawmaker to win a general seat in the Sindh province, as reported by Dawn. He was handling the Standing Committee on Food in Sindh Assembly. Times Now
Minority groups in China facing repression, says Ministerial to Advance Religious Freedom
Washington:The first-ever Ministerial to Advance Religious Freedom, that held its meeting in Washington this week, has expressed serious concerns over restrictions on religious freedom in China, particularly on the minority groups such as Uighurs, Hui, Kazakh Muslims, Tibetan Buddhists, Catholics, Protestants, Falun Gong. In a statement after its three-day deliberations, the Ministerial in a statement said that these groups are facing severe repression and discrimination in China.The Ministerial, held from July 24-26, was hosted by US Secretary of State, Michael R Pompeo. It saw interaction between various stakeholders, including foreign ministers, representatives from international organisations, religious leaders and members of civil society who discussed the challenges and ways to fight religious persecution and discrimination. The concluding session was also attended by US Vice President Mike Pence. At the end of its 3-day discussions, Ministerial released specific statements on China, Iran and Burma.ANI
Trump seeks to revive 'Arab NATO' to confront Iran
WASHINGTON:Trump administration is quietly pushing ahead with a bid to create a new security and political alliance with six Gulf Arab states, Egypt and Jordan, in part to counter Iran’s expansion in the region, according to US and Arab officials. The White House wants to see deeper cooperation between the countries on missile defense, military training, counter-terrorism and other issues such as strengthening regional economic and diplomatic ties, 4 sources said.The plan to forge what officials in the White House and Middle East have called an “Arab NATO” of Sunni Muslim allies will likely raise tensions between the US and Shi’ite Iran, two countries increasingly at odds since President Donald Trump took office.Reuters
Saudi ‘undermining’ hajj of Qatari pilgrims
A spokeswoman for the Qatari Foreign Ministry has accused Saudi Arabia of putting obstacles in the way of hajj trips for Qatari pilgrims, Anadolu reported on Friday.“Saudi Arabia must deal seriously with such obstacles facing Qatari citizens,” insisted Lolwa Al-Khater, “including the hate speech of a number of Saudi journalists.”She said that these obstacles pose a threat to Qatari citizens when they enter Saudi Arabia. Qatar no longer has a diplomatic mission in the country to deal with hajj issues.“Every Qatari feels offended due to the Saudi measures regarding hajj because this is a duty and guaranteed right for every Muslim,” Al-Khater explained.middleeastmonitor
Saudis demand release of top cleric, Safar Al-Hawali
Saudi activists have launched a campaign to demand the release of Islamic scholar Sheikh Safar Al-Hawali and members of his family from Saudi prisons.Campaigners wrote on Facebook that the fate of Sheikh Al-Hawali, his sons and brother remain unknown following their enforced disappearance after being arrested and detained without charges and without legal basis.Details of why the Sheikh was held by authorities will be revealed by activists in the comping days, the statement continued.The campaign called on human rights activists around the world and scholars to support the release of the Sheikh and his sons.middleeastmonitor
US-backed Syrian Kurds agree to 'roadmap' with Assad Govt
US-backed Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF) says it has agreed to work with Syrian Govt  towards a "democratic, decentralised Syria," as it moves towards cementing its autonomy in the war-ravaged country.Syrian Democratic Council (SDC), the political wing of the SDF, issued a short statement on Saturday saying it would form committees to develop negotiations and "chart a roadmap to a democratic, decentralised Syria".Founded in 2015, the Kurdish group controls between 25-30 percent of Syria, and backs a federal country made up of autonomous cantons in various regions.It has already set up cantonal administrations in areas it controls in the north, including the Kurdish-majority areas of Hasakeh and Kobane, which raise their own revenues and operate their own police and other services.Riad Darar, the SDC's co-chair, said on Friday the talks in Damascus were aimed at "working towards a settlement for northern Syria," as it was it was time to "solve our problems ourselves".Syrian Govt  has been open to negotiations with SDF over autonomy since last year, with Foreign Minister Walid al-Moualem saying Damascus could sit with the Kurds and listen to their demands once ISIL was defeated.aljazeera
UN chief welcomes law giving extra autonomy to Muslims in Philippines
UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres welcomed a new law which grants extra autonomy to Muslim communities in the Philippines, describing it as a “landmark achievement” for “lasting peace”.Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte signed the new legislation, formally known as the Organic Law for Bangsamoro in the Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao, on Thursday, raising hopes that years of separatist violence involving central Govt  troops and militants from the Moro Islamic Liberation Front, can be brought to an end.“The secretary-general congratulates negotiators for the Govt  of the Philippines and the Moro Islamic Liberation Front, the Bicameral Conference Committee, the Bangsamoro Transition Commission and civil society groups for their efforts,” the UN chief said in a statement issued by his spokesperson, Stephane Dujarric. 5 million Muslims in southern Philippines have gained autonomy after Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte signed the Bangsamoro Organic Law.PTI
Lunar Eclipse Highlights: Blood moon dazzles skywatchers, rises over world
Skywatchers around much of the world watched a complete lunar eclipse that is the longest of this century. It was visible on July 27 from different parts of India amid cloudy night. During this rare phenomena, the Moon turned bright red and was visible in India as well. NASA predicted the total lunar eclipse will last for close to one hour and 43 minutes, starting late at night on July 27 and continuing till the early hours of July 28.In addition, the event was also be visible in parts of South-America, parts of Europe, Africa, Asia, Australia. All of Asia (including India), and Eastern Africa. The entire eclipse included two partial lunar eclipse.The first part of lunar eclipse started at around 11:44 PM IST on July 27. The Moon turned red only at the highest point of the total lunar eclipse, which started around 1 AM on the night of July 28. The phenomenon lasted till around 2:43 AM IST on July 28.  Unlike solar eclipse, one does not need to cover their eyes with protective filters to view the Blood Moon.indianexpress
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