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Sunday, 16 September 2018

16 Sept ND:Same group behind killings of Dabholkar, Kalburgi, Lankesh; members linked to Sanatan Sanstha:Police/ JNUSU election results: Left sweeps polls, wins all top posts


NEWS DIGEST, MID-DAY 
16 Sept. 2018: 05 Muhram 1440: Vol: 11, No:04
INDIA
Same group behind killings of Dabholkar, Kalburgi, Lankesh; members linked to Sanatan Sanstha:Police
Mumbai:The same group of right-wing activists is behind the killings of rationalists Narendra Dabholkar, MM Kalburgi and journalist Gauri Lankesh, a senior police official said quoting investigation reports.However, the probe agencies have not been able to establish the group’s link with the killing of rationalist and communist leader Govind Pansare, he said.“During the investigation, it came to light that a gang of like-minded people was involved in the killings of Dabholkar, Lankesh and Kalburgi. Almost all members of this gang have links with the Sanatan Sanstha and its offshoot Hindu Janjagruti Samiti,” the official said Saturday. Dabholkar, Kalburgi and Lankesh were assassinated by members of this gang because they were raising their voice against the Hindu religion, he claimed.“The probe so far indicates that those arrested in connection with the seizure of huge cache of explosives from Nallasopara in Palghar district have direct links with the killings of Dabholkar, Kalburgi and Lankesh,” he said.PTI
Dabholkar murder case: Kalaskar, Raut dismantled 4 pistols, dumped them in water bodies says CBI
Pune :2 of the accused arrested in connection with the Nallasopara explosives and weapon seizure case last month, Sharad Kalaskar and his aide Vaibhav Raut, had dismantled four pistols and thrown them in water bodies at Kalva, Vasai and Kalyan on the night of July 23, the CBI team probing the Narendra Dabholkar murder case told a special court in Pune on Saturday. Kalaskar is alleged to be one of the two shooters who killed the anti-superstition activist in Pune five years ago.When Kalaskar was taken to all three sites by CBI officials, he said he had dumped the pistol in the night and did not confirm the exact spot where he had thrown away the weapons, said CBI’s lawyer Vijaykumar Dhakane.The agency sought an extension in Kalaskar’s police custody to probe the matter further and the court remanded him in police custody for two more days. While Kalaskar and Vaibhav Raut were arrested by Maharashtra ATS, inputs from ATS had led CBI to Sachin Andure, a resident of Aurangabad, who was arrested on Aug 18.indianexpress

JNUSU election results: Left sweeps polls, wins all top posts
New Delhi: United Left Alliance swept the JNU students polls’, winning the post of president, vice president, general secretary and joint secretary. N Sai Balaji has been elected as President after winning with a margin of over 1,000 votes, and Sarika Chaudhary won the post of Vice President with a higher margin of over 1500 votes. And Aejaz Ahmed Rather is the new General Secretary and Amutha Jayadeep is Joint Secretary.The counting process, which began on Friday, was marred with allegations of rigging and had to be stopped for over 14 hours on Saturday.ABVP had alleged that the Election Committee was attempting to rig the polls.Leaders of the RSS affiliated student organisation stormed the counting centre around 3 am Saturday and allegedly tried to snatch ballot papers, and “intimidated” the EC, accusing them of starting counting without the presence of their polling agent. They remained inside the building until 5.30pm.“The counting process, which had began yesterday at 10 pm has been suspended due to forcibly entering into the counting venue and attempt to snatch away sealed ballot boxes as well as ballot papers from our counting centres. This was in addition to intimidation and violence on our EC, including on our female members led by a Presidential and a Joint Secretary candidate,” EC chairperson Himanshu Kulshrestha said in the morning.Around 6.10 pm, EC made an announcement over the loudspeaker that counting would “resume in 20 minutes”.The elections saw the highest voter turnout in recent years, with nearly 68% students coming out to exercise their mandate. Indianexpress
Gorakhpur infant deaths: Former BRD college principal claims robbery, papers missing
Lucknow:Former Gorakhpur BRD Medical College principal lodged an FIR alleging that his campus residence was robbed and that several documents relating the deaths of children last year were missing. Over 70 children had died in the hospital in August last year. Rajiv Kumar Mishra, the complainant, was arrested in connection with the incident and is out on bail. Police said that the “stolen” documents were photocopies of original documents, and that their loss will have no bearing on the the investigation in the case. According to the FIR, the robbery took place sometime in between September 4 and September 13, when no one was at the house.“The things missing include some jewellery, around Rs 80,000 to Rs 1 lakh in cash and documents related to the oxygen supply, which I received from the govt during the case.” indianexpress
J&K panchayat polls to be held in 9 phases from Nov.17
New Delhi :Panchayat polls in Jammu and Kashmir will be held in nine phases between November 17 and December 11, J-K Chief Electoral Officer Shaleen Kabra said on Sunday. In Nov., the polls will be held on 17, 20, 24, 27 and 29, and on 1, 4, 8 and 11 in December. Votes will be cast using ballot paper and the counting process will also take place on the same day, said Kabra.The announcement came days after the PDP and National Conference (NC) announced that they would boycott the panchayat and municipal polls over Article 35-A, which is pending with the Supreme Court. Both the parties asked the Centre to clear its stand on the issue and also take “effective steps” to protect it.indianexpress
Falsely identified as masked colleague, J&K cop lives in fear
A Jammu and Kashmir policeman says that he fears for his life after being wrongly identified as the masked man whose pictures were published last week joining protesters throwing stones at police, and then arresting one of the protesting youths.The policeman told The unday Express that he is depressed, and has asked to be transferred out of his current posting.Last Friday and Saturday, two pictures — one of a masked man throwing a stone during a protest at Jamia Masjid in the old city, and another showing the same man to be an undercover policeman with a weapon arresting a protester — were published across media. On social media, details, purportedly of the policeman in the picture, were posted — including his name, the area where he was posted, his phone number and the name of the neighbourhood where he lives.Soon after, a message appeared on Facebook, purportedly from the policeman himself, admitting that he was, indeed, the man in the pictures, and apologising for his actions.But the policeman named in the social media posts told The Sunday Express that he is not the man in the photos, and that the Facebook account created in his name is fake. He spoke with this correspondent but refused to meet.indianexpress
Belying police claims, Islamic State shadow lengthens over Kashmir Valley: The Hindu report
New Delhi/Srinagar:Asif Nazir Dar, an engineering dropout, is remembered by locals and friends in Pulwama’s Panzgam area as a “polite and religious person who never participated in street protests”.Dar was found dead on Sept.8 outside Srinagar’s Kashmir University campus.Soon messages on social media platforms affiliated to the Islamic State said he had been killed on the orders of Hizbul Mujahideen commander Riyaz Naikoo.However, a day later, another message was posted that Dar was killed by “Indian agencies.”Confirming the latter post, a senior J&K police official said Dar was the tenth militant influenced by the Islamic State (IS) ideology to be killed in the past 10 months in the Valley.The social media post showed him posing with a sophisticated weapon with the typical, black IS flag in the background.The latest death also challenges the police narrative that the strength of IS-influenced cadre in Kashmir is in single digits, and was limited to the unfurling of black flags at the funerals of militants.Dar alias Abu Anwar al-Kashmiri, according to the police, was the third amir (chief) of ISJK to be killed, after Eisa Fazli in March and Dawood Ahmad Sofi in June.“Numberwise their presence is minuscule. But it is the radical ideology propagated by this group that is spreading fast. Their numbers are nothing in terms of Hizbul, who have organisational backing from Pakistan, but they are a serious challenge… There are around four-five active members and all of them are identified. They were involved in snatching weapons from policemen,” said a senior Home Ministry official.The United Jihad Council has accused the group of “creating confusion” and warned it of “dire consequences”.At his funeral, Dar was wrapped in a black flag with IS inscribed on it. He was a Bachelor of Technology student at Jammu when he disappeared in January 2017. He reappeared online holding a rifle.thehindu
Mob lynching in name of cow vigilantism ‘blot on democracy’: Mayawati
Lucknow :Terming mob lynching in the name of cow vigilantism as a “blot on democracy”, BSP supremo Mayawati Sunday accused BJP governments of laxity and indifference on the issue.“The increasing tendency of indulging in mob lynching in the name of cow vigilantism in BJP-ruled states is a blot on democracy, yet the governments are exercising laxity and are being indifferent to it,” Mayawati told reporters here.“These activities of the BJP governments (against the Dalits, tribals, backwards, Muslims and Christians) are going on since inception and are result of the BJP’s intention to go against the Constitution and maintaining a step-motherly relationship with the Constitution. This has been the part of the basic policy of BJP, which has assumed alarming proportions after they came to power.”PTI
Telangana town tense after murder of Dalit man in front of pregnant wife
Hyderabad:Thousands of people participated on Sunday in the funeral of P Pranay Kumar, a Dalit who was hacked to death in front of his pregnant wife on Friday afternoon in Miryalaguda town in Nalgonda district of Telangana. Miryalaguda town was tense on Sunday as emotions ran high over the brutal murder and heavy security was deployed to maintain law and order. Pranay’s funeral procession was taken out on Sunday afternoon after his brother Siddharth arrived from Ukraine, where he is studying MBBS. The murder in the name of caste and honour has shocked the state and several SC/ST organisations and Dalit activists have condemned the incident.Pranay and Amrita Varshini, who belongs to a forward caste, got married in January against the wishes of her family. Following the marriage, Varshini’s father had threatened to kill Pranay several times as he belonged to the Scheduled Caste. On Saturday, police took Amrita’s father T Maruthi Rao and uncle T Shravan Rao into custody for allegedly plotting the murder of Pranay and paying Rs 10 lakh to a hitman to kill him.indianexpress
Lok Sabha elections: Janata Dal (United) says seat sharing talks with BJP at final stage
The Janata Dal (United) announced on Sunday that seat sharing talks with the Bharatiya Janata Party for the 2019 Lok Sabha elections were at the final stages and it will be officially announced soon.“The seat sharing arrangement with BJP is in final and last stage,” Rajya Sabha member and Janata Dal (United) leader RCP Singh said in Patna, The Hindu reported. Singh spoke to reporters following a four-hour long state executive meeting of the party.“This time JD(U) will give priority to youths in ticket distribution for upcoming Lok Sabha poll,” he said. “At the meeting, the party discussed how to strengthen and expand its organisation upto panchayat level.”scroll.in
 Political strategist Prashant Kishor joins Nitish
Kumar’s JD(U) ahead of 2019 elections
Patna:Political strategist Prashant Kishor, who first shot to fame after constructing successful campaigns for Prime Minister Narendra Modi, joined JDU in Patna on Sunday to help chief minister Nitish Kumar in Lok Sabha elections next year.“He is the future I tell you,” the Bihar chief minister told NDTV about Kishor, 41, before a JD (U) state executive meeting in Patna.“Excited to start my new journey from Bihar!” said a Twitter handle associated with Kishor, who hails from Buxar in Bihar. He waved a slip acknowledging his JD(U) membership at the meeting.HT
J&J tells court: Damages claims by India victims ‘undue’, filed only after $2.5-bn US settlement
New Delhi :While the lawsuits filed in the country’s top consumer court against Johnson & Johnson for its faulty hip implants drag on, the firm’s main defence in at least two such cases has been that the demands of Indian patients are “unreasonable and undue” as they approached the forum after getting to know of a $2.5 billion settlement by the firm in the United States a year earlier.In the US, the hip implant class action law suit against the pharma major began in 2011. Two years later, in 2013, the firm agreed to pay an estimated $2.5 billion to settle thousands of lawsuits from affected patients.In response to a petition filed by 52-year-old Jyoti Sharma, who moved the National Consumer Disputes Redressal Commission (NCDRC) in 2016 suing Johnson & Johnson for Rs 2 crore in damages, the firm filed an affidavit in July 2016 before the consumer court saying, “On failing to approach this honourable commission in time, the complainant has sought to now approach this forum as afterthought and with a view to make unreasonable, undue and wrongful windfall gains probably after getting to know about the USA settlement programme of Johnson & Johnson,” states the affidavit filed by the company in India.indianexpress
Assam: At least 1.39 lakh people in six districts affected in fresh wave of floods
At least 6 districts in Assam have been affected as torrential rains in Arunachal Pradesh increased water levels in the Brahmaputra river and its tributaries downstream on Saturday. Around 1.39 lakh people across 337 villages have been affected in the latest wave of floods in the northeast state.A report published by the Assam State Disaster Management Authority said villages in Dhemaji, Lakhimpur, Biswanath, Barpeta, Majuli and Dibrugarh districts have been flooded. The report said no death were recorded in the fresh floods. Two previous floods killed at least 50 people in the state, according to the report.The disaster management authority said Dhemaji district was worst affected with 221 villages flooded, while 75 villages in Majuli have been reeling under the fresh wave of floods. Around 25 metre of railway track has been breached at Panitola Block Gaon in Dhemaji, while roads, bamboo bridges and culverts were damaged in other districts.scroll.in
Several Assam districts along Brahmaputra impose blanket ban on mechanised boats; thousands left high, dry
Guwahati: A blanket ban on mechanised country boats since 11 Sept.has left thousands of families stranded, in many cases separated from each other, in the char (sandbar) areas along the banks of the Brahmaputra. Known as bhutbhutis, these single engine country boats lacking basic safety features like life jackets, constitute the only available lifeline for around 31 million people spread across 14 districts and 2000 villages dotting the 3608 square kilometres sandbar area. With the region reeling under severe floods as it is, this latest ban following the death of two persons, with another two reported missing in north Guwahati, has left thousands of char villages without the only source of transportation for people and essential commodities to reach them.“I had come to the town to sell vegetables on Tuesday,” said Rahim Ali, a vegetable vendor who comes into Dhubri town every morning from his village Dewanir Khuwa, in a bhutbhuti. “When we heard about the ban, I stayed back in Golakganj hoping that the ban would be lifted in a day or two. But I have not been able to return home. My children must be hungry. They also cannot come to town. We are stuck and separated.”It is a common tale being heard not just in Dhubri but in other areas of Assam as well. According to 2011 Census, Dhubri has the highest number of char areas consisting of 480 villages.The Brahmaputra, before entering Bangladesh, flows through this district, home to other unknown and unheard of char villages like Banshi, Purar Char, Nateenirnalaga, Brinda Khaowa, Saitanmari, Kalaibari, Sultamari and Majherchar. Hundreds of villagers have been stuck in these places for close to a week waiting for a boat take them into town, their only source of livelihood, as are the many stranded on the town side waiting for a boat to take them home.firstpost
LGBT Youth At Higher Risk of Drug Use: Study
Recent researches say that sexual minority youth are at a higher risk of substance abuse. The study, published in the journal Drug and Alcohol Dependence, suggested that they are also at higher risk of polysubstance use than their heterosexual peers."This data shows definitively that polysubstance use is an issue among many youth who identify as sexual minorities, meaning they are facing added health risks," said Sarah Dermody, Assistant Professor at the Oregon State University in the US."But there are also differences among the subgroups of youth who identify as sexual minorities, suggesting we need to look beyond the averages to understand what factors may be influencing substance use in this population," Dermody added. Sexual minority is an umbrella term for those who identify with any sexual identity other than heterosexual or who report same-sex attraction or behaviour.For the study, the team involved more than 15,000 lesbian, gay or bisexual youth. The goal of the study was to better understand the risks associated with polysubstance use, or the use of three or more types of drugs, among sexual minority youth.outlookindia
WORLD
Palestinian Official Says US Will Never Present Middle East Peace Plan
 West Bank: US will not present its long-awaited plan for Israeli-Palestinian peace any time soon and is instead trying to unilaterally change the terms of reference for any future proposal, a senior Palestinian official said on Saturday.Echoing deep scepticism among the Palestinians, Arab countries and analysts, Saeb Erekat, Palestinian chief negotiator, said that the Trump administration was siding with Israel on the core issues of the decades-old conflict, burying all chances for Middle East peace.“I don’t think they will ever introduce a plan,” Erekat said in an interview with Reuters in Jericho. “The whole world is rejecting their ideas. They are already implementing their plan by changing the terms of reference,” he said.Doubts have mounted over whether Trump’s administration can secure what he has called the “ultimate deal” since December when the US president recognised Jerusalem as Israel’s capital and then moved the US embassy there.Reuters
Power outages to stop health services in Gaza hospital
Gaza:An official at the Palestinian Ministry of Health warned on Sunday that medical services provided by the largest hospital in the Gaza Strip would soon stop due to an ongoing electricity crisis."Only one week of fuel is available for Al-Shifa Medical Complex, which provides services to half a million patients a year," Medhat Abbas, director general of the hospital, told a news conference.He added: "This hospital also saved the lives of thousands of Palestinian people injured in the ongoing marches on the security fence." He said in a few days "there will be no fuel to run generators used to provide power needed to operate departments and organs of the hospital".Anadolu Agency
Israel bombs Iranian weapons-loaded aircraft in Syria
Jerusalem:Airstrikes by Israeli forces destroyed a Boeing plane loaded with Iranian weapons, hours after it landed at the Damascus International Airport, media reports said Sunday.Israel's Channel 2 reported that Israeli jets also hit weapon stores at the airport hangars.The channel citing unnamed sources said the Israeli army declined to comment on the issue.The weapons were supposed to be delivered to the Syrian regime or its pro-Tehran Shia allies, the report said. Syrian News Agency (SANA) confirmed that Israel bombed the Damascus airport on Saturday evening."Our air defenses responded to an Israeli missile attack on Damascus International Airport and dropped a number of rockets," the agency quoted an unnamed military source as saying, without giving further details.In recent months, Israel has admitted to striking a number of Iranian targets inside Syrian territory.Anadolu Agency
Syria state media: Israel fires missiles at Damascus airport
Kurds refuse to take part in polls in first local elections in Syria since 2011
Syria is holding its first municipal elections since 2011 amid tensions with the country's self-administered Kurdish region, which is refusing to allow polls to take place.Polls opened on Sunday in government-controlled areas, with more than 40,000 candidates standing for 18,478 council seats, according to the Ministry of Local Administration. The Kurdish-led self-administration is refusing to include north Syria in the elections.Its officials say they want a federal Syria that respects their autonomy from Damascus, AP reported.Seven years since the last vote, when the country's uprising erupted against President Bashar al-Assad's rule, the conflict has killed more than 360,000 people, forced millions more to flee and left the economy in tatters.Now, Syrian troops are back in control of around two-thirds of the country after a string of victories, most recently around Damascus and in southern Syria.Polling booths opened at 7am local time across government-held parts of the country and will be open for 12 hours, with a potential five-hour extension depending on turnout, the state news agency SANA reported.middleeasteye
Turkey faces prospect of Syrian refugee wave amid currency crisis
Reyhanli, Turkey - When Syrians first started trickling in through the border, fleeing the flaring conflict, residents of the Turkish border town of Reyhanli in Hatay province welcomed them."We are all human beings and we are Muslim, so it is our duty to help them," said 47-year-old Coskun Kaya, sitting in the sports cafe he runs on the outskirts of the city.The tens of thousands of Syrians who settled in Reyhanli brought their savings with them and started spending on rent, property and food, which boosted the local economy.Some opened businesses, others - mostly the poor - started working in the local agricultural sector.Kaya's small business also picked up, as Syrian youth started coming to his cafe to play football on the small artificial turf pitches he rents out."I'd say [the refugees], more or less, affected the economy in a positive way," he says.But seven years into the Syrian conflict, the effect of this initial boost to the local economy has worn off and local businesses are now suffering from the ongoing currency crisis in Turkey.Since the beginning of the year, the Turkish lira has lost 40 percent of its value to the dollar, making foreign debt payments more difficult and forcing the central bank to raise interest rates to stabilise the slumping local currency.aljazeera
Houthis 'sign memorandum' with UN to transport wounded abroad
Yemen's Houthi rebels say they have signed a memorandum of understanding with the United Nations to airlift critically ill patients abroad for treatment.The Houthi-run Saba news agency reported on Saturday that the memorandum, signed between Foreign Minister Hisham Sharaf Abdullah and UN Humanitarian Coordinator in Yemen, Lise Grande, would include transporting critically ill Yemenis abroad from Tuesday 18 Sept, for a period of 6 months."MoU is the first step to alleviate the suffering of patients in need of treatment abroad," said Abdullah."The move does not in any way mean we are delaying our demand to reopen Sanaa International Airport for commercial and civil flights. The air bridge covers only a limited number of cases, but it is necessary in light of the continued siege and aggression."aljazeera
Sudan economic crisis: New government is sworn in as PM keeps finance portfolio
Sudan's new 21-member cabinet was sworn in on Saturday, with Prime Minister Mutaz Musa Abdalla also assuming the finance portfolio in a bid to revive the country's ailing economy.Sudan has been grappling with an acute foreign exchange shortage and inflation of more than 65 percent for several months, prompting President Omar al-Bashir to sack the previous 31-member cabinet to "fix the situation", AFP said.Reuters reported on Saturday that Abdalla Hamdok, initially named finance minister, declined the appointment. Hamdok is a former executive secretary of the United Nations Economic Commission for Africa."After consultations with Prime Minister Mutaz Musa Abdalla, President Bashir decided that the prime minister will hold the finance portfolio," the presidency said in a statement.Later the new, smaller cabinet took the oath of office at the presidential palace.Bashir said the people of Sudan have "high hopes" for the new government. "One of the biggest challenges for the new government is to resolve the economic issues," Bashir said in a separate statement after the swearing-in ceremony.middleeasteye
Iraq parliament elects Sunni lawmaker al-Halbousi as speaker, breaking deadlock
Iraq's parliament has elected Sunni lawmaker Mohammed al-Halbousi as speaker, marking an important step towards establishing a new government four months after an inconclusive national election. Parliament had been due to elect a speaker and two deputies during its first meeting on 3 September, but failed to do so as lawmakers were unable to determine which competing bloc had the most seats.The pro-Iran bloc led by Hadi al-Ameri's Conquest Alliance now looks positioned to take the lead after the election of its candidate Halbousi. Halbousi's election on Saturday marks the start of a 90-day process outlined in the constitution, designed to eventually lead to a new government.middleeasteye
Spiritual practices in childhood may boost health, cut depression later:study
New York:  Are you keen to boost your children's health as well as keep them away from depressive symptoms, smoking, drugs in adulthood? If so, start training them to indulge in spiritual practices right from childhood, researchers suggest. A study showed that spiritual practices acted as a protective factor for a range of health and well-being outcomes in early adulthood. Children and adolescents who attended religious services at least weekly were nearly 20 per cent more likely to report higher happiness as young adults (ages 23-30) than those who never attended services. They were also 29 per cent more likely to volunteer in their communities and 33% less likely to use illicit drugs. Those who prayed or meditated at least daily while growing up were 16 per cent more likely to report higher happiness as young adults, 30 per cent less likely to have started having sex at a young age, and 40 per cent less likely to have a sexually transmitted infection compared to those who never prayed or meditated. "These findings are important for both our understanding of health and our understanding of parenting practices," said lead author Ying Chen from Harvard University. "Many children are raised religiously, and our study shows that this can powerfully affect their health behaviour, mental health and overall happiness and well-being,"Chen added.  The results were published in the American Journal of Epidemiology. IANS
Egyptian court orders arrest of Mubarak’s sons over stock market manipulation
An Egyptian criminal court ordered the arrest of ousted President Hosni Mubarak’s two sons on charges of stock market manipulation, state news agency MENA reported Saturday.Alaa and Gamal Mubarak, with seven other men, are accused of violating stock market and central bank rules to make unlawful profits through dealing in shares of Al Watany Bank of Egypt.Three other men including Yasser El Mallawany and Hassan Heikal, current and former board members respectively at Egyptian investment bank EFG-Hermes, were also arrested, a judicial source said.All those accused in the case, which began in 2012, had been released on bail and barred from travel.middleeastmonitor
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Compiled and edited by Anwarulhaq (Released at: 7:15 PM)

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