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Sunday, 5 August 2018

5 Aug ND: Kashmir shuts down ahead of SC hearing on Article 35A/ Jamaat delegation to meet Prez, over growing incidents of lynching


NEWS DIGEST, MID-DAY  
05 Aug 2018:22 Ziqada 1439: Vol:10, No:80
INDIA
Crucial hearing in Supreme Court tomorrow on Article 35A
New Delhi:The Supreme Court tomorrow will consider whether a Constitution Bench should probe the grant of special status to J&K  in 1954 under the aegis of the Nehru Govt. The special status was bestowed on J&K by incorporating Article 35A in the Constitution. Article 35A was incorporated by an order of President Rajendra Prasad in 1954 on the advice of the Nehru Cabinet.Parliament was not consulted when the President incorporated Article 35A into the Constitution through a Presidential Order issued under Article 370. Article 368 (i) of the Constitution mandates that only the Parliament can amend the Constitution.Article 35A gives the J&K  State Legislature a carte blanche to decide the ‘permanent residents’ of the State and grant them special rights and privileges in State public sector jobs, acquisition of property within State, scholarships and other public aid and welfare programmes.The provision mandates that no act of the State legislature coming under the ambit of Article 35A can be challenged for violating the Indian Constitution or any other law of the land. Attorney General K.K. Venugopal, for the Centre, has already cautioned the three-judge Bench led by Chief Justice of India that the issue was a "sensitive" one.This 3-judge Bench would decide whether or not to refer the issue to the Constitution Bench after hearing the final arguments on Monday.One of the main writ petitions is filed by NGO We the Citizens, which challenges the validity of both Article 35A and Article 370. It argues that 4 representatives from Kashmir were part of the Constituent Assembly involved in the drafting of the Constitution and the State of J&K was never accorded any special status in the Constitution. Article 370 was only a ‘temporary provision’ to help bring normalcy in J&K and strengthen democracy in that State.The Constitution makers did not intend Article 370 to be a tool to bring permanent amendments, like Article 35A, in the Constitution.The petition said Article 35 A is against the “very spirit of oneness of India” as it creates a “class within a class of Indian citizens”. The controversial Constitution (Application to J&K) Order of 1954 followed the 1952 Delhi Agreement entered into between Nehru and Sheikh Abdullah extending Indian citizenship to the ‘State subjects’ of J&K.Presidential Order was issued under Article 370(1) (d) of the Indian Constitution. This provision allows the President to make certain “exceptions and modifications” to the Constitution for the benefit of ‘State subjects’ of J&K .thehindu
Kashmir shuts down ahead of SC hearing on Article 35A
Srinagar:Kashmir shut down completely on Sunday in protest ahead of Monday’s hearing in the Supreme Court on a batch of petitions challenging the validity Article 35 A of the Constitution that guarantees special privileges to the state.J&K ’s summer capital Srinagar woke up to desolate roads and markets as businesses and shops were closed and public transport off the roads amid heavy deployment of security forces in sensitive places.  residents said that the shutdown was unprecedented citing the example of auto-rickshaws which are off the roads which has happened on rare occasions in the past 30 years of unrest. Even the Dal Lake’s iconic Shikaras (leisure boats) lay moored in the jetties.The fear that the state’s special status will be revoked through a legal route is palpable.“There is an unprecedented concern among people that our special status will be revoked and our land will open to machinations from outside. How can we remain silent?” said 34-year-old Javaid Ahmad, Shikara owner.State authorities suspended movement of Amarnath Yatra convoys from Jammu to Kashmir owing to the shutdown even though the pilgrims present in Kashmir were allowed to move towards the cave shrine from the two base camps.A sit-in followed by a protest rally was organized by traders in the city-centre against any change in state’s special status.Separatist leaders Syed Ali Geelani, Mirwaiz Umar Farooq and Yasin Malik under the banner of Joint Resistance Leadership(JRL) had called for a 2-day shutdown on Sunday and Monday across the state blaming “BJP and RSS of attempts to change the demography” of the state.They warned of launching a “mass agitation of hitting and occupying streets” if Article 35A is “tinkered” under a legal garb.HT
Kathua rape-murder case: Accused was not in Meerut: handwriting tests
Jammu:The scientific tests carried out by the crime branch of J&K  confirms that Vishal Jangotra, an accused in the rape and murder of an 8-year-old girl in Kathua, was not in Meerut when the crime took place in Jan, PTI reported on Sunday.In the chargesheet by police, it was alleged that Vishal, accused of raping the girl, had tried to create an alibi of his absence from the crime scene by allegedly “resorting to manipulation of records and creation of false evidence with the connivance and assistance of his father”. According to the charge sheet filed by the crime branch,the answer sheets as well as attendance sheet of Vishal, son of alleged main accused Sanji Ram, were sent to handwriting experts, also known as Questioners of Examined Documents (QED).“The opinion given by the expert has inter alia revealed that the first name (Vishal) could not be connected with his usual signatures on the attendance sheets dated Jan.12 and 15,” report of the scientific test said. The girl was kidnapped on Jan.10 and subsequently killed on Jan.13 night. Her body was allegedly dumped by Vishal, his juvenile cousin and Khajuria on Jan.14 after which he took a train for Meerut. The body of the victim was recovered on Jan.17.The handwriting experts also opined that the surname of accused (Jangotra) “could have been anachronistically added on the attendance sheets of Jan 12 and 15”. The crime branch also seized answer sheets written by the accused in examination centre on Jan.9 to compare it with the answer sheets of Jan.12 and 15, which as per investigation were written by him after examination and commission of the crime.indianexpress
Police poke holes in Kathua rape accused’s alibi with handwriting test
J&K: 5 militants killed in overnight op; civilian also dead
Srinagar:A joint team of J&K  Police, Army and CRPF personnel killed 5 militants in south Kashmir’s Shopian in an overnight operation that began on Friday and ended on Saturday. A civilian in Shopian’s Ganawpora, who was reportedly part of a group of protesters against the security operation, also received bullet injuries. He succumbed later. Army said the man, Bilal Ahmad Khan, died in crossfire during the operation. Villagers denied this and alleged that as local youths took to streets in protest after funeral of the militants, the forces opened fire directly on them, killing Bilal and injuring two others. One of the injured is critical, they said. Soon after the funeral, many youths began throwing stones at the forces. Residents said over 20 protesters were injured near the encounter site when security personnel opened fire to keep protestors away.The slain militants were identified as Umar Nazir Malik and Waqar Ahmad (of Malikgund, Shopian), Ajaz Ahmad Paul (Losedanow, Shopian), Arshad Ahmad Khan (Ganawpora, Shopian) and Arif Ahmad (Pahalgam).Later in the day, people from different parts of south Kashmir converged on Shopian to participate in funeral of the militants. At Malikgund, Naveed Jatt, one of the most-wanted Lashkar militants, appeared at the funeral and offered “gun salute”. A group of militants came to the funeral at Ganawpora as well.About the death of the civilian, Bilal Ahmad, Defence spokesperson Col Rajesh Kalia said:“Around 1500 hours, Army troops came under fire from terrorists near Ganawpora orchards. Troops immediately retaliated.In crossfire, one civilian unfortunately got injured, who later succumbed to injury.”indianexpress
Cattle trader killed in Army firing in J&K
Jammu:A 28-year-old cattle trader was killed and another injured allegedly in firing by Army personnel in Ramban district of J&K on August 5, police said.Police registered an FIR against the Army personnel involved in the incident. The Army, however, said the soldiers opened fire when they came under attack after challenging the people moving suspiciously in the area.Mohammad Rafiq Gujjar (28) and Shakeel Ahmad (30), both residents of Gool, were allegedly fired upon by soldiers of the 58 Rashtriya Rifles when they were leaving Kohli village around 4 am, a police official said. He said Mr. Gujjar died on the spot while Ahmad was injured and admitted to a hospital.Both of them were cattle traders and had come to the village in connection with their business, the official said citing preliminary investigation.SSP, Ramban, Mohan Lal confirmed the death of a civilian and injuries to another in the firing. A defence spokesman said the soldiers fired when they came under attack after they challenged the suspected individuals. “On being challenged, the suspected individuals opened fire on the Army patrol. On this, the Army patrol retaliated effectively,” the spokesman said. However, the police officer said no weapon was found at the scene or in the possession of the deceased.Meanwhile, Tribal Research and Cultural foundation — an organisation representing Gujjars and Bakerwal communities — condemned the incident and demanded a judicial inquiry. “Killing of a cattle rarer and injuries to another is highly condemnable which needs to be investigated thoroughly,” the foundation said in a statement.PTI
J-K: Relatives of man shot dead at Farooq Abdullah’s Jammu house stage protests
Jammu:Dozens of relatives of the youth, who was shot dead by security forces after he forcibly drove into the residence of former CM s Farooq Abdullah and his son Omar today, staged protests demanding an inquiry into the incident, officials said. Syeed Murfad Shah (25), a resident of Chinore locality in the outskirts of Jammu, was killed when he drove his XUV into the heavily fortified residence of the former CM  at Bhatindi this morning before being shot dead by security forces, according to witnesses.On hearing about the incident, Shah’s father and other family members reached the spot and demanded a probe into the incident, officials added.After the body was taken to the Govt  Medical College hospital for postmortem, about 200 acquaintances of the deceased, originally hailing from Mendhar tehsil of Poonch district, assembled there.They prevented doctors from performing an autopsy for several hours and asked why an “innocent unarmed person” was killed, officials said. While the postmortem of the deceased was underway at the hospital, another large group of protesters blocked the main road at Chinore, they said.PTI
Jamaat delegation to meet Prez, over growing incidents of lynching
New Delhi:Jamaat-e-Islami Hind (JIH) has expressed deep anguish over the growing incidents of lynching and hate crimes all over the country. It is planning to meet the President of India along with different faith leaders and will present a joint-memorandum to him over the issue.Addressing a press conference on Saturday, JIH Secretary General, Muhammad Salim Engineer said: “we are approaching different faith leaders for meeting with highest constitutional authority of the country over lynching incidents and hate crimes.” He continued, “the latest incidents being the gruesome killing of Rakhbar Khan of Alwar (Rajasthan) and the public lynching of Mohammed Azam a Hyderabad techie in Bidar.Bidar incident happened in full public view and the presence of police who could not save Azam’s life. Other cases of hate crimes also continue unabated with a recent report that the beard of a Muslim youth was deliberately shaved and thrashed by miscreants in Gurugram (Haryana).Since the last four years hate crimes and lynching against Muslims and Dalits have increased a lot. "The Secretary General has demanded that the Central Govt  and the state Govt s must put an end to such incidents of lawlessness and act seriously in maintaining law and order as well as communal harmony in the country which is the basic duty of any Govt. Expressing deep concern over the exclusion of four million people from the citizenship of India in final draft NRC in Assam, Vice President Mr. Nusrat Ali said, “thus far NRC has held about 40 lakh people (over 10% of the state population) of 3.3 crore applications to be invalid and hence disqualified to be bonafide citizens.Indian Awaaz
Agnivesh demands that mob lynching accused be tried as 'terrorists'
New Delhi: Social activist Swami Agnivesh, who was assaulted allegedly by members of saffron groups in Jharkhand last month, has demanded that those accused in mob lynching cases be treated as "terrorists" and tried under the counter-terror law UAPA.Alleging that police in Jharkhand was taking no action regarding the case of assault on him at Pakur on July 17, he said he will file a petition in the Supreme Court seeking a SIT probe into the entire incident."Even after 15 days, no arrest has been made despite the accused being identified as members of saffron outfits including BJP.It is clear the accused assaulted me on orders from higher level. BJP Govt at Centre and in Jharkhand are involved in it," he alleged. Agnivesh said he will tour several parts of Kerala besides Ludhiana and Saharanpur later this month to consolidate protests against mob lynchings and atrocities on Dalits, minorities and tribals."Those who lynch people on any ground are nothing terrorists and must be treated as such. Provisions of UAPA should be invoked against all such elements and outfits that are accused of mob lynching in the country," he said.PTI
Jharkhand: Year after lynching, victim’s family struggles to get death certificate
Ranchi :It has been over a year since  45-year-old Alimuddin Ansari was lynched by a mob of cow vigilantes in Ramgarh district of Jharkhand, but police are yet to submit a report to establish where he died — a crucial piece of information that has denied Alimuddin’s family his death certificate.On June 29, 2017,Ansari was intercepted in Ramgarh town of Jharkhand by a group of cow vigilantes and assaulted. He later succumbed to his injuries.Alimuddin’s son Shahjad Ansari, in his early 20s, said, “We have been running around — to the police station, the office of Sub-Divisional Officer, office of the Deputy Commissioner and also RIMS in Ranchi. My father had some savings in insurance schemes. We need money for our sister’s wedding, but we can claim the insurance money only if we have a death certificate.” Alimuddin was the sole earning member of the family. While the family was ping-ponged from one office to another, a lot happened: a fast track court convicted and sentenced to life imprisonment 11 of the 12  accused, and at least nine of them got bail from the Jharkhand High Court in June this year. A controversy erupted after some of the convicts who walked out on bail were honoured by Union minister Jayant Sinha.indian Express
Man leading Union Territory demand in Barak Valley, family of cops among those left out of NRC draft
Silchar:Sanjit Debnath, the most prominent advocate pushing for Bengali-speaking Barak Valley to break away from Assam is among the more than 40 lakh people who have not made it to the second and final draft of the National Register of Citizens or NRC.Debnath (64) is the president of Union Territory Demand Committee, an organization which has been asking that Barak Valley districts of Cachar, Karimganj and Hailakandi be declared a Union Territory.The three districts were part of erstwhile Cachar which remained with India as the rest of Sylhet decided to go with East Pakistan following a referendum in 1947.Debnath is angry.“I served Assam Govt  for 40 years. My father was a freedom fighter here. We have been living for at least three generations,” he said adding how not only him and his family but a total of 18 members in his extended family too have not made the cut in the draft list.He worked as a clerk at the office of the Inspector of Schools, in Silchar.Debnath and his family including his six brothers and a sister were asked to come to a verification centre.“They found everything okay,” he said.There is similar angst in the Sinha household in Ambika Pur village on the outskirts of Silchar. “Yesterday, they called us foreigners. Are we foreigners? Can they tell us which country we belong to?” asks Birendra Kumar Sinha, a retired sub inspector of Assam Police.Sinha’s children, his brother Subal Sinha, a sub inspector in Assam Police and his family, too, do not feature in the draft. Adding insult to injury, some villagers questioned his antecedents, Sinha claims. Family belongs to Bishnupriya community which migrated to Silchar from Manipur. They claim they have been living here for generations. “My father was a gold medalist cop in the Assam Police,” he said showing a bunch of certificates including the pension documents of his father dated 1967 issued from an office in Shillong,erstwhile capital of Assam.Ironically, Sinha had been a prosecuting officer in the foreigners’ tribunal at Cachar which adjudicates on cases of suspicious illegal immigrants.“Are we Bangladeshis despite so many years of our service?”he asks.HT
BJP leader says equal number of Hindus and Muslims left out of NRC list
Silchar:A senior BJP leader in Assam has claimed that an equal number of Muslims and Hindus may have been left out of the draft of NRC  published on July 30. The draft excluded 40,07,707 people.“It is my idea that an equal number of Hindus and Muslims have been left out,” said Kabindra Purkayastha, ex Union minister of state said on Saturday. “It is propaganda that there are more Muslims or more Hindus.”Purkayastha gave no explanation for his 50-50 theory. There has been no official break up of religious affiliations of those left out of the NRC with Prateek Hajela, the state coordinator of NRC going on record to say that the secretariat does not have a religious data of applicants. “We did not ask for it,” Hajela said.HT
UPA deported over 80,000 Bangladeshis in 2005-13, NDA did 1822 in 4 years: Congress
New Delhi:Congress on Saturday alleged that BJP chief  Amit Shah lied on the deportation of foreigners, claiming that UPA Govt  had deported 82,728 Bangladeshi foreigners between 2005-2013, while the count was only 1,822 in the last four years of Modi Govt .On deportation, Congress spokesperson Randeep Singh Surjewala recalled three replies given by the Home Ministry in Rajya Sabha on three different occasions in 2008, 2016 and 2018. These replies given in Parliament state that 88,792 Bangladeshi nationals were deported between 2005 and 2013 (during UPA rule). The reply also stated that from 2014 to 2017, 1,822 Bangladeshi nationals were deported during the NDA rule.IANS        
Indian American Muslim body seeks suspension of NRC
Washington: An Indian American Muslim advocacy group has called for an immediate suspension of NRC in Assam until irregularities that have resulted in four million people being excluded from the list are resolved."The ethnic group that is the worst victim of this mass disenfranchisement is the Bengali-speaking Muslim community in Assam, accused of being 'infiltrators', although they are Indian citizens," said Indian American Muslim Council (IAMC)."The fact that this is an exercise in subversion of democracy and has a clearly bigoted, discriminatory agenda, is reflected in the exclusion of the relatives of the former President of India," said IAMC President Ahsan Khan."The entire programme should be suspended until the criteria for exclusion are clearly defined," added Khan International bodies such as Amnesty International and HRW have expressed concern about the process.IANS
Assam NRC: Govt should’ve consulted all parties, says Sharad Yadav
Bhopal:Centre should have consulted all parties to work out a “unanimous mechanism” before going ahead with NRC exercise in Assam, Loktantrik Janata Dal leader Sharad Yadav has said.Taking a dig at the Modi Govt , the former Union minister said it has been unable to ensure the safety of women and girls in the country but talks of cow protection.“The Govt  should have called an all-party meeting to find out an amicable solution to the problem in Assam. But if you do it just like that, you won’t be able to do it by just declaring a cut-off date… you will get tired,” Yadav told PTI.PTI
Ex-Assam CM  Anwara Taimur not included in draft of NRC
Dispur: Assam’s lone women CM’s name is missing from the National Registry of Citizens draft. Syeda Anwara Taimur was the first Muslim woman to occupy the CM post in India. Taimur, who currently resides in Australia, plans to return home to start the process of enlisting herself and her family in the register of citizens of the state, PTI reported.''It is sad that my name is not there in the list. I will return to Assam in the last week of August and then initiate the process to get mine and my family's name enlisted in NRC," the octogenarian told a channel. Taimur was the leader of the Indian National Congress party in Assam and wasalso a member of All India Congress Committee. She was CM of Assam from Dec.1980 to June 1981.Times Now
Scrapping section 377 will lead to moral anarchy: Jamaat
Jamaat-e-Islami Hind has said that scrapping section 377 of IPC will lead to moral anarchy in the country.Expressing dismay over media reports that the Supreme Court may revise its opinion and legalize homosexual behavior between two consenting adults and it will not wait for the Govt  to act if any law (i.e. section 377 of IPC criminalizing homosexuality) violates fundamental rights, President of Jamaat Maulana Syed Jalaluddin Umari said, “it may be recalled that JIH along with leaders of different religious organizations had welcomed the decision of the SC (delivered on 11 Dec 2013) wherein it has refused to do away with section 377 and persisted with the view that homosexuality is a criminal offence.With that historic decision, the SC had kept the country from going on to the path of moral degradation.” He continued, “IPC correctly describes homosexuality as a punishable offence. Decriminalizing homosexuality and permitting male-male and female-female marriage will destroy the family system and prevent the natural evolution and progress of the human race.” theindianawaaz
SC judges to meet chief justice against govt. ‘interference’
New Delhi: The judges of the Supreme Court are planning to meet CJI Dipak Misra against the central Govt’s alleged interference in the judicial appointments – the latest case is alteration in seniority of Chief Justice of Uttarkhand High Court Justice KM Joseph who was appointed as judge of the Supreme Court along with 2 other judges on Friday night. The Collegium of the Supreme Court had recommended Justice Joseph’s name for the SC in Jan.this year. After sitting on the file,the central Govt rejected the recommendation about him, saying he was junior to several senior chief justices of high courts. Collegium again recommended his name in July along with 2 other names — Madras High Court Chief Justice Indira Banerjee and Orissa High Court Chief Justice Vineet Saran.In the appointment notification for the three on Friday night, the central Govt  has put the name of Justice Joseph after Justice Indira Banerjee and Justice Vineet Saran, eventually making him junior to the two at the Supreme Court. Govt did it despite the fact that Justice Joseph’s name was recommended in Jan.itself, months before the one for other 2.caravandaily
Satish Uke, petitioner in case concerning Judge Loya, arrested in Nagpur in a 17-yr-old case
Satish Uke, a lawyer and activist, was arrested by the Economic Offences Wing of Nagpur Police’s Crime Branch for offences he allegedly committed 17 years ago, in 2001. In June this year, Uke had filed a petition in Bombay High Court demanding official compensation for the family of the late CBI judge BH Loya, on the basis of Govt  documents showing that the judge was in Nagpur “for govt work” at the time of his death. 2 weeks before his arrest, Uke filed another application in the court, requesting it to entertain the petition. The court has not yet listed the petition for its first hearing. Uke has previously filed petitions accusing the CM, Devendra Fadnavis of electoral offences, alleging that Fadnavis filed inaccurate nominations for 2 assembly polls.According to Lalit Vartikar, the investigating officer in the case against Uke, the police arrested activist-lawyer following a complaint by Shobharani Nalode, the secretary of a cooperative housing society in Nagpur. Vartikar said Uke had presented forged documents in order to purchase land from the society. Vartikar told us that though Nalode had filed the complaint in April, the Economic Offences Wing registered a FIR against Uke on the same day as his arrest. When we asked him about the unusual alacrity shown in this case, he said that a preliminary investigation was already ongoing against Uke since April, and that they registered FIR because Nalode approached the police again on 31 July. That morning, right after registering FIR, the police appeared to have concluded that the evidence furnished by the preliminary enquiry was already enough to charge Uke on 10 counts of IPC and arrest him as well.Caravan Daily
Civil courts can grant maintenance, mehr and share in matrimonial property to the women: Bombay HC
Mumbai:Under the Dissolution of Muslim Marriages Act, 1939, a civil court can grant maintenance, mehr and a share in the matrimonial property to a Muslim woman said the Bombay High Court. “Merely because the Dissolution of Muslim Marriages Act, 1939, does not mention that the court has the jurisdiction or power to grant such relief, it cannot be said the court does not have jurisdiction to grant it, if it is incidental, claimed and the court finds it necessary to grant the same,” said Justice Shalini Phansalkar-Joshi in her verdict.She added, “The right of maintenance and right in matrimonial property are consequences of marriage or its dissolution. Those reliefs are incidental to the main relief of dissolution of marriage and therefore an integral part of same proceeding even if at times such reliefs are not asked for also.”In 2011, the Thane civil court, under the 1939 law dissolved the marriage of a woman and ordered payment of mehr, maintenance of Rs 15,000 per month each of two minor children and a 50% share in their jointly owned flat.Then the husband to the HC after his appeal was dismissed. Javeed Hussein, his lawyer argued saying, “The entire act is silent on the rights of married Muslim women towards such relief. They may have those rights under other enactments like the Protection of Women from Domestic Violence Act, 2005 or under the Muslim Women Act, 1986 but not under the 1939 act.”Phansalkar pointed out that the DV Act grants concurrent jurisdiction on the family court, court of judicial magistrate first class and the civil court in matters like maintenance. She said, “Hence, it cannot be said the trail court has exceeded its jurisdiction.”The Hans India
Civil Court can grant reliefs like maintenance, right to matrimonial property, return of meher to Muslim women:HC
Shiv Sena: Uniform Civil Code will unite country
Mumbai: Shiv Sena has said that Uniform Civil Code should be brought in to keep the country united.In an editorial in the party mouthpiece Saamana, the Sena said that Bal Thackeray had talked about Hindutva to bring all regions and languages together. “But, Hindutva has also been destroyed in the current regime. Any issue taken as national interest starts from caste and ends with caste. While Maratha community was agitating in Maharashtra, the Modi Govt, in the Make in India initiative, has enacted a caste-based law, keeping an eye on the polls,” said the editorial.“The intended meaning of common civil code for the Constitution makers was equal justice for all castes and religions. 2 poisonous attempts were made in the Parliament in form independent law and constitutional commission for protection and rights of each caste,” said Sena, referring to the recent amendment in the SC/ST Atrocities Act.indianexpress
Ex-servicemen join forces with Dalits, farmers for August 9 nationwide agitation
New Delhi:For the first time, ex-servicemen will join hands with Dalit organisations and the All India Kisan Sabha on August 9 to protest against NDA Govt  at the Centre, seeking redressal of their grievances.Indian Ex-Servicemen Movement (IESM), which has in the past fought for ‘one rank, one pension’, rues that Govt ignored many of their demands. “Whatever PM Narendra Modi had promised us on ‘one rank, one pension’ has not been delivered.He lied to us.Earlier, we fought separately. Now, we will fight unitedly with farmers’ organisations and Dalits,”Priyadarshi Chowdhury, coordinator for IESM, said.All India Kisan Sabha(AIKS), farmers’ organisation of CPI(M), has given a call for ‘jail bharo’ across the country on Aug.9, demanding action on the agrarian crisis. “This is the first time ex-servicemen will join a protest called by a Left organisation. We have come together to put forward our demands,” AIKS general secretary Hannan Mollah said. Though AIKS,Dalit outfits and ex-servicemen have separate sets of demands, the three organisations will band together to protest the growing incidents of hate crime and lynching.PTI
Families boycott case: In Moradabad, police rule out ‘conversion’ theory, both sides dig in
Moradabad:After it emerged that a caste panchayat of the Saini community in Moradabad had ordered social boycott of 12 families after accusing them of converting to Christianity — a charge the families deny — the police say they will not intervene in the matter since no one has filed a complaint. The police had visited the settlement in Nawabpura locality on Friday and ruled out conversion.On Saturday, Naresh Kumar, SHO of Nagphani police station, said, “The people who have allegedly converted have not filed any complaint regarding boycott. At present, we will take no action because members of community (caste panchayat members) have told us that they are just breaking community ties with these families. Nothing has been put down in writing.”There are approximately 300 Saini families in the settlement, over four cramped lanes. The man alleged to be “converting” them, Sagar Kumar, said that he holds ‘Masih Satsang’ – in a room in his tiny house on the premises of St Joseph Kanya Junior High School in the area – and is “not interested” in converting anyone. Every Sunday, around 20 people attend the satsang for two hours – they pray for each other and sing hymns, he said. “I am not interested in converting anybody. This is not a missionary space,” Kumar said. “Most people join the satsang when they are in distress, and leave once their problems are resolved. We don’t ask them to stay – I just identify (myself) as a sevak.” In the locality, rumours — that people from the boycotted families have dumped idols of Hindu Gods in garbage, that they eat meat during Navratri, that women no longer wear sindoor, and they receive money from Christian missionaries—- have led to paranoia, and a perceived threat to the community. Besides, there’s the “reality” about Sagar Kumar’s satsang, too. Kanhaiya Lal Saini, a local resident, said, “Earlier, only four families went to this church. Over time, it has increased to 12. Had we not taken strict action against these people, their numbers would have increased.”indianexpress
Locals back doctors who were asked to move out for being Muslim
Kolkata: 4 city doctors, who were asked to vacate a rented flat at Kudghat because of their religious identity, will continue to stay there. Sanghati Abhijan — the volunteer group which came forward to help Aftab Alam and his friends — has sorted the issue by talking to locals, their landlord and the family members of the neighbour who opposed their stay. When TOI spoke to the neighbour, he said it was a “small” matter and those young doctors, being immature, made a big issue out of it. “I didn’t make any communal statement, nor did I intend to hurt anyone’s religious sentiment. It was only for the security of the apartment that I wanted their ID cards.” However, he added that he was against the stay of four bachelors in and the same would be discussed at the evening meeting so that further misunderstandings do not occur. Since Thursday, TOI has been flooded with calls from people, who want to help resolve the issue. Alam said, “We will stay as other neighbours have stood by us. Also, our landlord did not have any problem so we have decided not to shift.” TOI
Muzaffarpur shelter home case: Brajesh Thakur- under his care 34 girls were ‘sexually assaulted’
At first look, it’s an abandoned house — unkempt lawn, doors bolted with rusted locks, reams of soggy newsprint in the courtyard and a stray dog on a stroll in one of the rooms. But a little closer and the world of Brajesh Thakur unfolds, one storey at a time.A tilted board, held up by wires, at the entrance of a narrow lane on Muzaffarpur’s Sahu Road announces the office of Pratah Kamal, the Hindi daily that Thakur’s family has been running since 1982. Inside the compound, there is more than just a newspaper office.Spread across three buildings are a common lobby, employee residences, a printing press, the family home and the now infamous shelter from where 44 girls were rescued on May 30 following allegations of sexual abuse.An FIR lodged on May 31 named Thakur’s NGO, following which 10 people, including Thakur, were held. One person, former chairman of the district Child Welfare Committee, Dilip Verma, is absconding. Girls have since been moved to shelters across the state and the newspaper has stopped printing here.Besides Pratah Kamal, Thakur brought out Urdu daily Halaat-e-Bihar and English daily News Next from the same premises.indianexpress
Reservation won't help because there are no jobs: Gadkari
Stating that reservation will not guarantee employment as jobs are shrinking, Union minister Nitin Gadkari today said there is a "school of thought" which wants policy-makers to consider the poorest of poor in every community.Gadkari made the remarks, responding to reporters' questions on the ongoing agitation by the Marathas for reservation and similar demands by other communities in Maharashtra."Let's us assume the reservation is given. But there are no jobs. Because in banks, the jobs have shrunk because of IT. Govt recruitment is frozen. Where are the jobs? "Problem with the quota is that backwardness is becoming a political interest. Everyone says I am backward. In Bihar and UP, Brahmins are strong. They dominate politics. (And)They say they are backward," senior BJP leader said."So one school of thought is that a poor is a poor, he has no caste, creed or language. Whatever may be the religion -- the Muslim, the Hindu or Maratha(a caste), in all communities there is one section which has no clothes to wear, no food to eat.PTI
Spl NIA court frames charges against two men for instigating Mumbai youth to join IS
Mumbai: A special court for NIA cases in Mumbai framed charges against two men on Friday under the stringent UAPA for allegedly instigating city youths to join terrorist organisation Islamic State. The court on Friday framed charges against the 2 under IPC section 120 (b) (criminal conspiracy) and various sections of UAPA, NIA said.According to NIA, 2 indoctrinated one Ayaz Mohamad in 2015 and persuaded him to get a passport. In Oct.that year, Ayaz went to Kabul from Delhi and allegedly joined the Islamic State in Afghanistan.They tried to incite many other youths in Malvani area to leave India and join the Islamic State for jihad in West Asia, the NIA alleged.PTI
7 convicted of assaulting foreigners' tribunal member
Guwahati: CJM's court in Goalpara convicted seven persons, all lawyers, for assaulting Ajoy Phukan, a member of an additional foreigners' tribunal in Goalpara on Feb.15 last year. Investigating the incident, Goalpara Police had filed chargesheets against 8 persons, one of whom was acquitted by the court. Amitava Sinha, SP Goalpara , said, "The convicts were identified as Shahjahan Ali, Nazrul Islam, Omar Faruq Choudhury, Anwar Hussain, Abdul Hamid, Mir Abdul Baten and Mainal Haque. Another accused in the case, Anisul Islam, was acquitted." The investigation found that all the seven were involved in assaulting the tribunal member as backlash after he had declared eight villagers from the district's Bagnawara area as foreigners earlier on Feb.9. Unhappy with the judgement, Nazrul Islam, an advocate, and his cohorts reached Phukan's court chamber and assaulted him after an argument regarding the judgement. The incident had triggered protests across the state, with many saying it was an attack on the judiciary by 'illegal infiltrators'.All Assam Students' Union (Aasu), Gauhati high court bar association, Prabajon Virodhi Manch and various other organizations and individuals condemned incident and demanded that additional protection be provided to foreigners' tribunal members. Police beefed up security arrangements in the foreigners' tribunals of state thereon.TOI
Kodnani was at Naroda riots spot: SIT to court
Ahmedabad: SIT probing Naroda Gam massacre case of 2002 Gujarat riots on Friday told the special court here that the main accused and ex-state minister Mayaben Kodnani was present at the spot for around 10 minutes and left after “instigating the mob”. During Friday’s hearing, special public prosecutor (SPP) Gaurang Vyas told special judge M.K. Dave that concrete evidence in the form of eyewitness accounts establish Kodnani’s presence at Naroda Gam at around 9 am on Feb. 28, 2002,a day after Godhra train burning incident.Questioning the defence witnesses who had claimed that Kodnani was either in the Gujarat Assembly in Gandhinagar, or at her hospital in Ahmedabad or at Sola civil hospital that day, Vyas said that such witnesses were “created only to save Kodnani”. In her defence, Kodnani had claimed before the court that she was in Gujarat Assembly in Gandhinagar during the early hours of February 28 and then arrived at Sola civil hospital, where bodies of “karsevaks” were brought from Godhra.Vyas maintained that Kodnani reached Naroda Gam at around 9 am after leaving from Gandhinagar at around 8.40 am.SPP said that the records of her mobile tower locations suggests that she reached Sola area at around 10:00 am.Citing the testimonies of eye witnesses, Vyas said that people of that area saw Kodnani at Naroda Gam during the morning. He said that the case against Kodnani is mainly about instigating the mob by giving a speech outside the Naroda Gam area.“Eyewitnesses have said that she was there for around 10 minutes. She did not enter the area. She came, made a speech to instigate the mob and left. This case is mainly about inciting the mob,” Vyas said.On Monday, the court will watch the CD of a sting operation carried out by former Tehelka journalist, Ashish Khetan, on the 2002 riots accused.PTI
Changes in RTI privacy clause will allow corrupt babus escape scrutiny: Information commissioner
New Delhi:Changes in the privacy clause of RTI Act as suggested by Justice Srikrishna panel will allow corrupt officers to escape public scrutiny, an information commissioner has said.Calling the changes proposed in the draft Personal Data Protection Bill, 2018, unwarranted, information commissioner Sridhar Acharyulu has written to CIC RK Mathur and all other commissioners to discuss the recommendations and take a stand to oppose “to save the Right to Information”.“We need to emphasise that any proposal to amend provisions of the RTI Act shall not be taken up without wide ranging consultation with public in general and ICs in particular,” Acharyulu said in a note circulated among all commissioners, a copy of which is accessed by the PTI.The draft Bill seeks to amend Section 8(1)(j) of the RTI Act which exempts from disclosure personal information subject to several conditions.PTI
EVMs tamper-proof, problem lies with VVPATs, says former EC chief Navin Chawla
New Delhi:It is not EVMs, but the technical glitches reported in the use of VVPATs that have set off concerns about the technology, former CEC Navin Chawla said.EVMs equipped with VVPATs were used in last year’s elections in Himachal Pradesh and Gujarat, allowing voters to verify that their vote had indeed gone to the candidate of their choice. VVPATs were aimed at ensuring transparency in the voting process.On Thursday, as many as 17 opposition parties revived their demand for reverting to paper ballots in 2019 Lok Sabha elections.Leaders of these parties familiar with development said EVMs, even if they come equipped with the VVPATs, would not be acceptable and they will meet the Election Commission over the next week to push their demand. Chawla claimed that the efficiency of EVMs is not in doubt.HT
BJP govt turning Aadhaar into surveillance tool: Chavan
Mumbai:Ex-Maharashtra CM  Prithviraj Chavan today accused the BJP Govt  of working hand in glove with global tech giants and turning Aadhaar into a surveillance tool. The senior Congress leader also alleged that in 2016 UIADI had asked global tech companies to embed Aadhaar encryption into their technology.“BJP Govt working in cahoots with global tech giants and turning AADHAR into a surveillance tool. Govt  must come clean,” Chavan said in a tweet.PTI
Top journalists of Indian TV channel forced to resign after anti-Modi program: caravandaily
New Delhi: Senior journalists at a prominent Hindi TV channel were forced to resign or sent on long leave earlier this week following broadcast of some programs that did not please Govt of PM Narendra Modi.Milind Khandekar, Managing Editor at ABP News, quit on 1st August while the channel’s prime-time anchor Punya Prasun Bajpai resigned on 2nd August. Another senior anchor Abhisar Sharma has been asked to go off air for some weeks.Some weeks ago, channel had aired a program that claimed that a woman farmer who appeared in a video interaction with PM Modi had been tutored to make false claims that her income had doubled. On camera, the woman had told the channel that some officials had come to her home days before the interaction with PM and taught her something. She said that she told PM what she was asked to tell. She also denied that her income had doubled. Following the program, several ministers of Modi Govt criticized the channel for the program. Some reports say that even BJP chief Amit Shah had allegedly threatened action against the channel. Meanwhile, resignations of the two journalists apparently under compulsion have triggered a debate on freedom of the press, the accountability of media owners and Govt’s attitude to criticism.
BJP tent at Airport terminal dedicated to Hajis : Nothing official about it
As Hajis walk into Haj terminal at Ahmedabad airport, it is hard to miss the photograph of PM Narendra Modi smiling benevolently at them from a huge saffron hoarding next to a vast tent. The tent has been set up by BJP to offer refreshments and medical treatment to Muslim pilgrims.While a large crowd visits the tent, no one seems to be questioning how it sprung up at the airport overnight. Maybe the huge photographs of State BJP leaders give it a sheen of legitimacy. However, Mirror found out that the political party has no official permission either from airport authorities or Haj Committee, which decides such matters, to erect the tent on the airport premises.ahmedabadmirror
WORLD
Thousands of Druze protest against Israel's Jewish law
A rally against a "discriminatory" law that declares Israel the exclusive homeland of Jewish people has gotten under way in Tel Aviv.Druze community members, who organised the event, estimate 150,000 people will take part in Saturday's protest, held under the motto, "Equal rights for all citizens".The Druze are an Arabic-speaking group with their own distinct religious and cultural traditions.They make up two %  of Israel's 8.8 million population and are found mainly in the northern regions of Galilee and Carmel.The Druze have had special status since the 1950s, when they were drafted into the military, unlike Israel's Muslim and Christian populations.Salma Zeidan is a minority Druze whose two sons were killed during military service for Israel."If this law doesn't change, I will get your bodies exhumed from this military cemetery and bury you in your grandfathers' land, Zeidan said. Critics say the new legislation makes Israel's non-Jewish minorities into second-class citizens, further marginalising some 1.8 million Palestinians with Israeli citizenship and other smaller minorities, including the Druze.Basic Law, which has standing similar to a constitution, gives only Jews the right to self-determination. The new law also strips Arabic of its official language designation, downgrading it to a "special status". About 6 out of 10 Druze men have served in the Israeli army. Talks between members of the Druze community and the Govt  have so far yielded no concrete results. Palestinian citizens of Israel, who make up about 20% of the country's population, have also heavily criticised the law and are planning a series of actions in a bid to cancel it.aljazeera
Trump moving to strip Palestinians of refugee status:report
US President Donald Trump and his administration are making moves to strip millions of Palestinians of their refugee status, according to a US-based magazine report.As part of the initiative, the Republican president along with his son-in-law and senior adviser, Jared Kushner, have been trying to disrupt the UN agency for Palestinians, UNRWA, Foreign Policy (FP) magazine revealed in an article published on Friday. In a controversial move in January, the US Govt  announced that it was withholding $65m of a planned $125m funding instalment to the relief agency, after Trump accused the Palestinians of being ungrateful for the millions of dollars in aid.Prior to the announcement, Kushner, in a leaked email obtained by FP, wrote: "It is important to have an honest and sincere effort to disrupt UNRWA.""This [agency] perpetuates a status quo, is corrupt, inefficient and doesn't help peace," he reportedly wrote in an email dated January 11 and addressed to several senior US officials. Palestinian officials told FP that Kushner -  tasked with reviving the stalled Israeli-Palestinian peace process - allegedly pressed Jordan to strip more than two million Palestinians of their refugee status, so the UNRWA would no longer have to operate there.The White House declined to comment on the record for FP's story. Report also mentioned 2 bills in the US Congress that try to redirect more funding away from UNRWA, and significantly reduce the number of Palestinian refugees eligible for US aid.Those steps are all reportedly part of Kushner's so-called "deal of the century" to resolve Israeli-Palestinian conflict.UNRWA, said: "We cannot comment on the so-called 'deal of the century' as we do not know definitively any details about it.aljazeera
Iran to open interests office in Saudi Arabia
Iran announced on Saturday that it intends to open an interests office in Saudi Arabia's capital.Bahram Qasemi, a spokesman for the Foreign Ministry, told the Iranian ISNA that the office in Riyadh aims to look after Iran’s interests in Saudi Arabia.He added that the office would be located in the Swiss Embassy in Riyadh under an agreement concluded eight months ago between Tehran and Bern.Anadolu agency
Iran getting new planes from Europe over US sanctions
Less than 48 hours before renewed US sanction go into effect, the flag carrier of Iran has said that five new planes from the French-Italian firm ATR will soon arrive in Tehran as part of efforts to replenish the country's ageing fleet."Based on existing agreements, 5 new ATR aircraft will land at Mehrabad Airport at 9am tomorrow (Sunday)," Iran Air announced on Saturday on its Telegram channel.The first round of US sanctions is set to snap back after a wind-down period expires on Monday, August 6.While ATR is based in Europe, it also does business in US, and is thus subject to sanctions.Years of US sanctions have prevented Iran from purchasing new jets, or even buying spare parts for those aircraft, and those restrictions have been partly blamed for country's extremely poor aviation record.Those limits were only eased after the signing of the 2015 nuclear deal.The new ATR-72600 planes are part of a deal for 20 new aircraft that Iran Air agreed to buy in April 2017, of which, eight have been delivered so far.But the deal was thrown into doubt by US President Donald Trump's decision in May to withdraw from the agreement between Tehran and major powers, and reimpose sanctions.aljazeera
Russia confirms Syrian refugee proposal sent to US
Russia's defence ministry confirmed it proposed working with the United States on funding the return of Syrian refugees to their homes in the war-torn country, but the proposition was reportedly rejected.The proposal, which came in the form of a letter addressed to the senior US military general in July, referenced an informal refugee camp in Rukban, the ministry said in a statement on Saturday.The poorly equipped camp, home to at least 55,000 Syrians, is located in a desert area near the convergence of the Iraqi, Syrian and Jordanian borders.In the letter, the Russian chief of staff, General Valery Gerasimov, said Moscow was ready to discuss with Damascus safety guarantees for refugees stranded at Rukban, as well as creating conditions for their return home.aljazeera
Syrian scientist killed in apparent car-bomb attack
The head of a Syrian research centre the West accuses of being part of a chemical weapons programme was killed after his car exploded, reports said.Aziz Asber, director of the Syrian Scientific Research Centre in Masyaf, a town close to the city of Hama, died in the blast, the pro-Syrian Govt paper al-Watan reported on Sunday."[Asber] died after an explosion targeted his car in the Hama countryside," it said.A UK-based war monitor, the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights, also confirmed his death, which it said occurred on Saturday night. Esber played a role in Syria's missile development programme and had close links with the Govt  and its Iranian allies, the Syrian Observatory added. It is unknown who was behind the attack. Masyaf facility was previously hit by what the Syrian Govt  said were Israeli strikes in July, and in September last year, killing two people.aljazeera
'Assad regime keeping over 500,000 captives in prisons'
A Syrian Turkmen commander said the Assad regime has kept at least 500,000 people in prisons.Turkmen Mountain region's 3rd Coastal Armed Division Commander Tarik Solak recalled his two-and-a-half-year ordeal of captivity in the regime’s notorious Saydnaya Prison in capital Damascus.“Around 4,000 people are held hostage at Saydnaya Military Prison. There are at least half a million prisoners nationwide,” Solak said.“They have even turned schools into prisons. There are prisons that we are not even aware of.”Amnesty International has termed Saydnaya a “human slaughterhouse”, known for its systematic murder, torture, enforced disappearance and extermination carried out since 2011.“Our division was at the Israeli border. We were 270 people. We wanted to leave the military and join the opposition. There was no opposition back then, we wanted to join the civilians,” Solak said.Anadolu Agency
Afghanistan: Taliban bomber kills NATO troops in Parwan
A suicide bomber killed 3 NATO troops in eastern Afghanistan in an attack that also wounded a US service member and two Afghan troops.NATO Resolute Support mission troops killed in attack, which took place at about 6am local time  on Sunday near the town of Charikar, in Parwan province, were all Czech service members.Taliban claimed responsibility.aljazeera
Bangladesh clashes continue as protests intensify
Violent clashes continued in Bangladesh as authorities fired tear gas and shut down mobile internet connections after a week of student protests that brought tens of thousands to the streets.By 1pm on Sunday, thousands of students from various schools and colleges started controlling traffic in the capital, Dhaka, for the eighth consecutive day. Bangladeshi police fired tear gas at students occupying an intersection in central Dhaka."It was a peaceful rally but suddenly police fired tear gas shells aimed at us [that] left several injured," Mohammad Atikur Rahman, one of protesters, said.A number of journalists were also beaten and had their cameras taken away, reportedly by ruling Awami League party members. aljazeera
Yemen 'worst humanitarian crisis in the world': EU
Yemen has become the "worst humanitarian crisis in the world", the European Union said, demanding the protection of civilians who continue to die in the three-year-old conflict.An EU statement on Saturday highlighted the Red Sea port city of Hodeidah, which recently witnessed a bloody assault that killed at least 55 people and was blamed on air strikes by the Saudi-Emirati coalition fighting there. An alliance spokesman denied responsibility for the carnage.  "The consecutive air strikes in the city of Hodeidah have once again claimed dozens of lives with many people injured," EU statement said.More than 121,000 people have fled the city since the start of the offensive, according to a United Nations report.aljazeera
Egypt forbids politics during Hajj
Egypt’s Religious Endowments Minister Mohamed Gomaa on Sunday warned imams accompanying the country’s official Hajj mission against talking about politics during the ritual in Saudi Arabia. Speaking to reporters, Gomaa said the main mission of the official mission is to serve pilgrims and represent Egypt, without talking about politics. He also urged imams not to answer any question related to politics or engage in any religious debate with delegations from other countries during the Hajj pilgrimage, which will start later this month. Anadolu
Egyptian forces kills 52 militants in Sinai – military
Egyptian troops and security forces have killed at least 52 suspected militants in recent days, the army said in a statement on Sunday, as authorities push ahead with an operation to crush Daesh.The deaths brings to more than 300 the number of suspected militants killed in the operation that the Egyptian army, backed by police and other security forces, launched in February as part of a campaign to eradicate insurgents behind a wave of violence in the desert region.The statement, issued by the defence ministry, said that troops and security forces also destroyed 15 vehicles laden with weapons and ammunitions while trying to infiltrate the western border, and 17 more in the southern military region.middleeastmonitor
US hopes spat with Turkey over pastor resolved ‘in coming days’
US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo said he hoped Americans detained in Turkey would be released “in coming days”, following a meeting with his Turkish counterpart in Singapore which both sides said was constructive.Washington earlier this week imposed sanctions on 2 Turkish ministers over the case of Andrew Brunson, a US pastor on trial in Turkey for backing terrorism. US has also been seeking the release of three locally employed embassy staff detained in Turkey.Investors’ deepening concern over Turkey’s ties with the United States, a major trading partner, have sent the lira to record lows and hammered local stocks and Turkey’s debt risk profile.“I had a constructive conversation with my counterpart yesterday. I made clear that it is well past time that pastor Brunson be free and permitted to return to the US and that the others being held by Turkey also similarly be freed as well,” Pompeo told reporters in Singapore.middleeastmonitor
Amidst protests against Denmark’s face veil ban, photo of woman cop embracing woman in burka goes viral
New Delhi:As protests in Denmark continue after a new law banning face veils in public took effect on Wednesday, a photograph of a cop hugging a woman wearing burka drew global attention to the ban after it went viral.Clicked by Reuters photographer Andrew Kelly,photo features a Danish policewoman embracing a visibly emotional woman protesting against the ban. The incident was also caught on camera and shared widely.According to a Reuters report, thousands of woman joined the protest and marched through the capital Copenhagen wearing veils after the law, which many feel violates freedom of religion and expression, was passed.  However, a 28-year-old woman in Denmark has already been fined under the new law.Though the law states that “anyone who wears a garment that hides the face in public will be punished with a fine” and does not explicitly mention the traditional piece of clothing worn by Muslim women, according to a NYT report, many protestors claim that the ban particularly targets minorities. The protests have garnered attention from people all around the world, with many sharing the viral picture of 37-year-old woman named Ayah.indianexpress
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