News and views across the globe.

Tuesday, 25 September 2018

25 Sept. ND: Rs 5,000 crore bank fraud: CBI approaches Nigeria seeking info on absconding businessman Sandesara/ Bangladesh leaders, across party-line slam Amit Shah’s illegal immigration remarks, say ‘such statements create new dispute in friendly relations’/ Kerala-based Muslim group moves SC against triple talaq ordinance, calls it 'arbitrary'


NEWS DIGEST, MID-DAY 
25 Sept. 2018: 14 Muhram 1440: Vol: 11, No:11
INDIA
Rs 5,000 crore bank fraud: CBI approaches Nigeria seeking info on absconding businessman Sandesara
New Delhi: CBI has asked the Interpol wing of Nigeria to confirm if absconding businessman Nitin Sandesara has moved in that country, PTI reported. Latest development comes a day after reports emerged that Sandesara, the owner of Gujarat-based Sterling Biotech group and a key accused in a Rs 5,300-crore bank loan fraud, has fled from the UAE.On Aug. 15, Indian agencies had learnt that Sandesara had been detained by UAE authorities. Both CBI and Enforcement Directorate (ED) had immediately written to the UAE apprising it of the cases against him and requesting his provisional arrest. However, the information now received by the agencies is that he is no more in the Gulf country. “What we have learnt is that he had been detained by authorities in the UAE for an offence related to local issues. The detention was not related to our case. He is not in UAE anymore. We do not exactly know where he is. He has investments and companies from the United Kingdom to Nigeria. He could be anywhere,” an official involved with the investigation said.It is in the Sterling Biotech case that CBI has told the Central Vigilance Commission that it is probing its Special Director,Rakesh Asthana. Sandesara and his brother Chetan Jayantilal Sandesara, both directors in the Vadodara-based Sterling Biotech pharmaceutical firm, are key accused in the case. It is alleged that the company took loans of Rs 5,383 crore from a consortium led by Andhra Bank, which later turned into non-performing assets.The case is also believed to involve politicians and bureaucrats. Sandesara brothers have been absconding since the case was registered by the CBI in Oct. 2017.ED is probing a case of money laundering against the company and the Sandesaras.indianexpress
Rafale: Dassault CEO chose Reliance at the last minute, despite team opposition; report
More skeletons are tumbling out from the technical rooms of Rafale jet-mkaer Dassault Aviation, creating more headaches for PM  Narendra Modi and BJP. Completely contradicting the official statement from Dassault Aviation, two top technical heads have stated in an interview to India Scoops, that the entire technical staff team at Dassault Aviation were unhappy with the move to drop the Indian public sector undertaking Hindustan Aeronautics Ltd (HAL) from the deal and instead partner with Anil Ambani’s Reliance Defence Ltd.According to the report, the experts, who did not want to be identified, said there were heated discussions between Dassault officials and several mails were sent over a week. Entire technical team wanted to work with HAL, but the decision was overruled by the top Dassault management headed by CEO Eric Trappier at the last minute. The experts said that Trappier and two others were adamant that they could only go with Reliance Defence and refused to listen to the advice of the departmental HODs.“We were sure we would be working with HAL and not any other Indian company... At the last minute, we were informed that HAL was dropped and a new Indian company with whom we had never worked before and which had no expertise in manufacturing fighter aircraft was selected for the job,” the article quoted the officials as saying.“The entire technical team and our team heads and HODs were shocked. It was a bolt from the blue. But we had to follow instructions. At the end of the day... if the top management decided to work with Reliance Defence, we had to toe the line... But it was CEO Eric Trappier and a couple of other officials’ at DA who took the decision to go with Reliance Defence,” the officials were further quoted as saying.nationalheraldindia
Bangladesh leaders, across party-line slam Amit Shah’s illegal immigration remarks, say ‘such statements create new dispute in friendly relations’
A day after BJP president Amit Shah raised the issue of illegal immigration from Bangladesh and said that “infiltrators” are eating the country “like termites”, at least three top functionaries in Bangladesh – across the political divide – slammed the remarks, calling it “inappropriate”, “unwanted”, and one that “vitiates the atmosphere”.While the Bangladesh High Commission or the Foreign Ministry did not raise the issue officially with the Indian Govt  or the Indian High Commission in Dhaka, two top Govt  functionaries in Dhaka and one functionary from main opposition BNP expressed their concern. Bangladesh’s Information Minister Hassanul Haq Inu said,“We think Amit Shah’s statement is inappropriate, it is not based on information, and it is unwanted. We regard this statement as a private statement, and not of Govt.”“Indian Govt has categorically told us that what is happening in Assam (NRC) is an internal issue, and will have no impact on India-Bangladesh relations. In the [last] 47 years, there have been no report of illegal migration from Bangladesh to (India’s) north-eastern states. Indian Govt  has never ever raised the issue of illegal immigration in bilateral talks,” he said.He said Bangla-speaking people in India are “legal citizens of India and have no relationship with Bangladesh as a country”.He also said that PM Narendra Modi is handling the relationship “superbly”, and “we have full confidence in the Govt  in Delhi and the PM , that this issue will not have any influence on bilateral ties with Bangladesh”. Bangladesh PM  Sheikh Hasina’s media adviser Iqbal Sobhan Chowdhury said, “It is India’s internal affairs but if (there are) any consequences, we have reason to be concerned. We are already overburdened with Rohingya refugees. If any environment leads to more people coming to India, there are consequences for India, and will be again putting burden on Bangladesh.”He said, “Such statements create a new dispute in the otherwise friendly relations between India and Bangladesh.” Chowdhury said that the two countries have resolved the land boundary issue, and signed the land boundary agreement, there is cooperation in the energy sector, and also opening up of transit to the north-eastern states of India. He said there is a growing bilateral relationship and the Bangladesh PM ’s zero tolerance policy for insurgent and terrorist activities is appreciated both in the civil society and by Govt  in India, as it has already added to peace and stability in the region.“Any new issue that dvelops will have repercussion, will have some souring effects on our friendly relationship. We hope the BJP leadership and Govt is (enough) mature to understand this,” he said.On the use of word termites, he said, “It is up to leaders on how they use political rhetoric.”“I hope this spirit will continue…if any new issue vitiates atmosphere, that will be unfortunate,” he said. BNP chairman Khaleda Zia’s foreign affairs adviser Sabihuddin Ahmed said, “When BNP was in power, we always maintained that people who are Indian citizens and Indian voters are not migrants from Bangladesh.” indianexpress
SC to deliver verdict on constitutional validity of Aadhaar tomorrow
The Supreme Court will on Wednesday deliver its verdict on the constitutional validity of Aadhaar. After a marathon hearing that lasted 38 working days spread over four months, a 5-judge Constitution bench headed by CJI Dipak Misra had in May reserved its judgment on a clutch of petitions challenging the Constitutional validity of the 2016 Aadhaar Act.The linking of 12-digit biometric number with various Govt services has been criticised by many for allegedly trying to violate the right to privacy. In an interim order in March this year, the apex court had said that the mandatory linking of bank accounts and mobile phones will stand extended ‘indefinitely’ till judgement on the petitions pending before it is pronounced.The top court will essentially decide on whether Aadhaar meets constitutional provisions and whether the Govt  can continue seeking it as a mandatory identification in the name of furthering its welfare goals.The Govt  had made Aadhaar compulsory for a host of services and welfare measures, including PAN cards, bank account, passport, mobile service and even driving licenses.indianexpress
Babri Masjid case: Is Mosque Essential Part of Islam- verdict likely on Sept.28
New Delhi:The Supreme Court is likely to pronounce its judgment on Sept.28 on whether to refer the question if a “mosque as a place of prayer is an essential part of Islam” in the Ramjanmabhoomi-Babri Masjid case, appeals to a Constitution Bench. The petitions are seen listed in the advance causelist for Sept.28. A 3-judge Bench of CJI Dipak Misra and Justices Ashok Bhushan and S. Abdul Nazeer had taken up the long-pending Ayodhya land title appeals against the Allahabad High Court judgment of 2010, which had ordered a three-way partition of the disputed land. CJI Misra had in the beginning observed that the appeals would be decided like any other civil suit, shorn of any “religious sentiments” displayed by the parties.However, as the hearings progressed in the appeals, the Muslim appellants pressed that the place of a mosque in Islam and the importance of the practice of offering prayers inside a mosque should be first decided by a five-judge Bench. They said this question should be answered before the court goes into the main title dispute.The bone of contention here is an observation made in a 1994 judgment of the Supreme Court in the Ismail Farooqui case that “a mosque is not an essential part of the practice of the religion of Islam and namaz (prayer) by Muslims can be offered anywhere, even in open”.Senior advocate Rajeev Dhavan, for the Muslims appellants, argued that the observation has affected the status of mosques in Islam. the hindu
SC verdicts this week: From Aadhaar to Ayodhya, big judgments expected

Assam govt to move SC for sharing NRC updating process
Guwahati:Assam Govt  today said that it will approach the Supreme Court to make it mandatory for the state Govt to be taken into confidence in all decisions pertaining to the ongoing process of updating the National Register of Citizens (NRC) for the state.This was stated by Parliamentary Affairs Minister Chandra Mohan Patowary during the Question Hour in the state Legislative Assembly here.Replying to a question from Aminul Islam (AIUDF), Patowary said the State Govt  wants the Supreme Court to share NRC-related matters with it.Patowary said both the State Govt  and the Centre, as well as the Congress party, wanted NRC-related matters to be shared by the SC which has been closely monitoring NRC updating process in Assam. “NRC state coordinator Prateek Hajela has submitted a report to the Supreme Court in a sealed cover.UNI
Kerala-based Sunni Muslim group moves SC against triple talaq ordinance, calls it 'arbitrary'
Samastha Kerala Jam’eyyath ul-Ulama, a religious organisation of Sunni Muslim scholars and clerics, filed a petition in Supreme Court on Tuesday against the triple talaq ordinance, ANI reported.In its plea, the Kerala-based outfit challenged the constitutionality of the ordinance and said that the ordinance is arbitrary.Plea said the Ordinance promulgated by the Centre was "arbitrary and discriminatory" and violative of Articles 14, 15 and 21 of the Constitution and should be struck down. "The Ordinance has introduced penal legislation, specific to a class of persons based on religious identity. It is causative of grave public mischief, which, if unchecked, may lead to polarization and disharmony in society. Further, adjudication of the legality of the Ordinance by a plurality of High Courts under Article 226 would mean multiplicity of litigation over the same cause of action," the plea, filed through advocate Zulfiker Ali P S, said.The petition said that Article 123 enables the promulgation of ordinances only in instances requiring "immediate action" and the "absence of emergent reasons" negates any invocation of the provision in the given circumstances."Despite the Central Govt  having had ample opportunity to abolish the practice before the judgment in Shayara Bano, if not for 1400 years, at least the 67 years of the existence of Constitution preceding Shayara Bano, the Govt  chose to await the adjudication in Shayara Bano case."Once there was declaration made by this Court under Article 141 in Shayara Bano, there was no surviving action, let alone "immediate action" warranted to reiteratively abolish the practice and penalise Triple Talaq by way of an Ordinance under Article 123. Hence the promulgation of impugned Ordinance is against the spirit of Article 123 and a fraud on the Constitution," the plea added.The petition claimed that the Ordinance would lead to "polarization and disharmony in society", as it applies to a specific class of people based on religious identity. "The Ordinance has introduced penal legislation, specific to a class of persons based on religious identity. It is causative of grave public mischief, which, if unchecked, may lead to polarisation and disharmony in society," the plea said. Cabinet approved the ordinance to ban the practice of instant triple talaq. President Ram Nath Kovind later signed the ordinance. firstpost/ANI/PTI
Plea in Supreme Court challenging ordinance to make instant triple talaq penal offence
SC says it can’t ban criminals in politics, asks parliament to frame laws to bar them from polls
The Supreme Court has declined to ban politicians with criminal cases from contesting elections but underlined that it is time Parliament enacts laws to ensure that people with criminal cases do not enter politics.Society has a right to be governed by better people, the judges said while observing that politicians with criminal cases must be “kept at bay”.Such a law should be enacted as soon as possible, it said.“The sooner the better, before it becomes fatal to democracy,” a five-judge bench of the SC led by CJI Dipak Misra said.Nearly 1,700 MPs and MLAs, a little over a third of all elected representatives in India, face criminal charges.Under the existing law, politicians are banned from contesting elections for 6 years only if they are convicted for the crime. Also, there is nothing to stop convicted politicians from heading political parties.A bunch of petitions filed before the Supreme Court had argued that this should change.The judges ruled that the court was not in a position to add a disqualification to bar people with criminal cases from entering politics or contesting elections. So it cannot declare that legislators who have been charged of serious offences should be disqualified.But the court lamented the state of affairs.HT
SC dismisses BJP leader’s plea, says MPs, MLAs can practice as advocates
A Supreme Court bench comprising of Chief Justice Dipak Misra, Justices DY Chandrachud and AM Khanwilkar has dismissed a plea by BJP leader and lawyer Ashwini Kumar Upadhyay contending that MPs and MLAs practising as advocates pose a conflict of interest.Upadhyay had sought a ban, under provisions of the Advocates Act, 1961, and the Bar Council of India Rules (BCI), on members of Parliament and legislative assemblies from practising as advocates. The bench, however, said there is no bar on lawyers, who are MPs or MLAs, from practising in court during their tenure as lawmakers. There is no rule of BCI or law that bars them from practicing in court, the bench said.IANS
Election Commission orders probe after viral video shows Muslims pledging vote to TRS
New Delhi: State Election Commission of Telangana Tuesday ordered a probe after a video purportedly showed a group of Muslim men pledging their support to TRS party in upcoming state assembly elections in the presence of a state minister, PTI reported.“There were some newspaper reports and complaints have also been made. Now, since the model code of conduct is not on, if a voter takes the oath, I don’t think it falls within the purview of the electoral code violation. But we have asked the district electoral officer concerned to give a report on that,” state’s CEO Rajat Kumar said.The development comes as the state gears for legislative elections after chief minister k Chandrashekhar Rao dissolved the state assembly. KCR is currently serving as caretaker CM in the state. The video shows some people promising their votes to Transport Minister in the caretaker Govt Patnam Mahender Reddy. The minister is contesting from Thandur. After the video went viral, opposition parties criticised the caretaker Govt and alleged that KCR is indulging in ‘cheap tricks’ and ‘communalising’ the elections. Congress then lodged a complaint with the Election Commission and raised questions as to why the body was not stepping in to check such practices.PTI
Assam: 4,130 rapes, over 15,000 dowry cases since BJP came to power in 2016
Guwahati:Assam has witnessed 4,130 cases of rape and over 15,000 dowry-related cases ever since the BJP-led Govt  came to power in the state two years ago, according to an official data.The figures could prove to be an embarrassment to BJP-led state Govt  since it came to power in 2016 on a slogan of change and had assured to protect the lives and property of the people.Assam Industry Minister Chandra Mohan Patowary on Monday said that while 4,130 cases of rape have been reported from across the state in the last two years, a total of 15,470 cases related to dowry have been reported during the period.Patowary was replying to a question by AGP legislator, Ramendra Narayan Kalita. He was replying on behalf of state Home Minister Sarbananda Sonowal, also CM of Assam.“Besides, 15,741 cases of abduction, 32,248 cases of burglary and 2,438 cases of killing were reported (between 2014 and 2016),” he said, adding that 21 deaths related to superstition and witch-hunting have also taken place during the period.IANS
V-C didn’t make Parsi prof HOD because of his religion: Syndicate members of Gujarat’s University to minority panel
Surat:Syndicate members of Veer Narmad South Gujarat University (VNSGU) here on Monday sent a letter to National Minority Commission, alleging that the V-C has not appointed a senior professor as the Head of mathematics Department because of his “caste or religion”.In the letter, the Syndicate members alleged that V-C Dr Shivendra Gupta has done “injustice” to professor Dr Munir Timol, a Parsi, by not appointing him as the HOD of mathematics despite the latter being the seniormost. The Syndicate members who have signed the letter are Sanjay Desai, Dr Mahendra Chauhan, Dr Ghansyam Rawal and Kirit Patel.“We believe that Dr Timol has been denied of his statutory right because of his caste/religion, which the vice-chancellor may be prejudiced against. Hence, we request you to give justice immediately in the interest of the harmonious atmosphere, which prevails in our university among all caste, creed and religion since its inception.”The letter was sent by Sanjay Desai to chairman of National Minority Commission, New Delhi. indianexpress
Delhi HC bans slaughter in Ghazipur Murga Mandi
New Delhi: In an interim direction, the Delhi High Court on Monday banned the slaughter of poultry at the Ghazipur Murga Mandi here till further orders. A bench of Chief Justice Rajendra Menon and Justice V. Kameswar Rao, however, allowed sale of live chicken at the market and listed the matter for further hearing on Oct. 29. The court asked the authorities to file an affidavit indicating a plan to set up a designated slaughter house in the area. The order came on a report filed by the Delhi Pollution Control Board which has raised violation of animal welfare laws at the Mandi and sought its closure. The court turned down the plea. "We are concerned with the larger issue of pollution in the area," the judges said. The court was hearing a plea filed by animal rights activist Gauri Maulekhi, who alleged that there was indiscriminate violation of animal rights and blatant abuse of animal welfare laws at the Mandi.IANS
Koregaon Bhima violence: Prakash Ambedkar seeks to examine one of two probe panel members
Mumbai: President of Bharipa Bahujan Mahasangh, Prakash Ambedkar, who on Monday appeared before the two-member inquiry commission constituted to probe the clashes at Koregaon Bhima on Jan. 1, said that he wanted to examine Sumit Mullick, the former state chief secretary and a member of the commission. Following this, Mullick agreed to be examined before the panel. Ambedkar said that he would submit an application seeking to examine Mullick before the commission next week. Mullick is a member of Govt-appointed judicial commission inquiring into the Koregaon Bhima violence headed by retired Calcutta High Court Chief Justice J N Patel.“It was Govt’s failure. His examination is required to establish as when he got know about the violence. While the violence started around 9.30 am, the chief minister’s office was not aware of it till afternoon pm when I called. Subsequently, I called the office of MoS for Home (Urban) but it was also not aware about it. So, we want the then chief secretary’s examination to know when he got to know about the incident,” said Ambedkar.indianexpress
3 yrs after Akhlaq was lynched in Dadri, case is stuck in ‘fast-track’ court
Bisara, Uttar Pradesh: 3 years after Mohammad Akhlaq was lynched over rumours of cow slaughter and possession of beef, the case is stuck at the local ‘fast-track’ court.Despite 45 dates set by the court for the hearing since 2015, charges are yet to be framed against the accused.“The case was to be heard on 13 September, but due to a strike called by lawyers of Surajpur court, the matter could not be heard that day. The next date of hearing is going to take place on 5 October, and charges are to be framed against the accused,”said Ram Saran Nagar, legal counsel for some of 18 accused.Advocate Yusuf Saifi, who represents Akhlaq’s family, said the battery of lawyers representing the young men accused of Akhlaq’s murder has each sought additional documents and filed applications. This, apart from strikes and holidays, has led to “slow movement” and delayed justice in the case, he said. “Nearly 3 years have passed since the charge sheet in this case was admitted in court. The defence lawyers are delaying it in some way or another, probably because they know they are guilty,” Saifi said.“It is only after framing of charges that evidence is produced in court. If they (accused) were innocent, they would not have delayed the court case. They would have wanted the charges to be framed soon, so that evidence is produced and their innocence proved.”theprint
UP uses stringent NSA against 3  men from minority community following cricket fight turns communal
Meerut:A month after a cricket match between teenagers snowballed into communal clashes in restive Purbaliyan village of Muzaffarnagar, sections of the stringent NSA have been invoked against 3 men of the minority community, one of who is a 65-year-old. Members of the community have termed police action as one-sided.  On Aug.21, a fight between 2 boys from different communities had led to clashes over several days between the communities. Former village pradhan Shakar Ali said, “It was just a small fight between kids with little communal overtones, but was made to look like a big communal clash in order to settle scores with minority families. No action was taken against the majority community.”On Aug.22, Sumit Pal, father of the other boy, filed an FIR against a dozen named minority men and 20 unidentified ones.On Aug.24, Abid Ahmad, servant of one Shamsher Ahmad, was allegedly beaten in the farm by two masked men.Local activist Nilofer Chaudhary said, “Soon, senior police officers and a large police force began pouring into the village and later a PAC contingent was also called in.”Waseem Chaudhary, a relatives of Shamsher Ahmad said, “Police and PAC jawans entered homes and broke furniture and terrorised family members.”Later, another FIR was filed against 26 minority men under sections 153A (promoting enmity between different groups) of the IPC apart from the previous FIR’s sections.TPS Pahel, SHO of Mansoorpur police station said, “Another section was later included, for attempt to murder, in the second FIR filed on August 24 against 26 persons.” While Shamsher’s brother Waseem Chaudhary blamed right-wing groups for attacking the servant Abid, the groups alleged it was a ploy to counter the earlier FIR.On the basis of the FIRs, in all 38 men were booked by name and 20 were unidentified, out of which 28 are in jail including Shamsher, Mehboob Ahmad and Aftab, who have been slapped with NSA. Families of those jailed rubbish police claims.Mohsin, brother of Shamsher said, “Police arrested Shamsher who had no role in what is being termed as a conspiracy. When his nephew Mehboob who was not even in the village at the time of the flare-up went to the police station to look for Shamsher, he was also detained. Abid was forced to change his statement and when he did not relent his name was also included in FIR.”
U’khand madrassas to be inspected over Juvenile Justice Act, general awareness
Dehradun: The state child rights panel has directed the social welfare and education department to conduct inspection of all the madrassas of Uttarakhand to find out their adherence to Juvenile Justice Act and submit the report within a month. The move comes after class VII students of a madrassa had during an inspection by a team of the commission failed to answer basic questions.One of the students had named Uttar Pradesh as the country where we are living in, and described Tipu Sultan as a freedom fighter who helped India gain independence in 1947.Following which, the director general of education and principal secretary of social welfare department had on Sept. 22 directed to conduct separate inspection across all madrassas of the state. The notice by the child rights panel reads, “We inspected one of the madrassas on Sept. 19 in Sahaspur area and found that the living standards and food facilities for the students are below average.” Inspections should be carried out to find if the madrassas are adhering to Juvenile Justice Act, the notice adds. TOI
Taj Mahal preservation: Submit vision document by Nov.15, SC tells UP govt
New Delhi: The Supreme Court, which had earlier slammed the UP Govt for its failure to maintain and preserve Taj Mahal,extended the deadline for submission of the state govt’s Vision Document on the protection of the world heritage site. The court is hearing a plea filed by petitioner MC Mehta, an environmentalist, who told the bench that the green cover in the area has reduced and there were encroachments in and outside the Yamuna floodplains.Uttar Pradesh Govt on Tuesday told the apex court that it would be difficult to declare Agra a ‘heritage city’, as proposed by the Centre last month. The apex court asked the state Govt  to contemplate declaring certain portions of the area surrounding Taj Mahal as heritage, responding to which the state Govt  informed the court that an Ahmedabad-based Centre for Environmental Planning and Technology was assisting it on the same.In last month’s hearing, Additional Solicitor General (ASG) Tushar Mehta and advocate Aishwarya Bhati, representing the Uttar Pradesh Govt , had said the School of Planning and Architecture (SPA) team, which was drawing up the document, was also looking at a comprehensive plan to deal with all issues.indianexpress
World Bank is finalising a new initiative to resolve Indus Waters Treaty, says Pakistan
 World Bank is in the process of finalising a fresh initiative to resolve the Indus Waters Treaty and will soon approach India and Pakistan with it, according to a statement from Pakistan’s Mission to the United Nations. World Bank President Jim Yong Kim met Pakistan Foreign Minister Shah Mahmood Qureshi at the sidelines of the United Nations General Assembly in New York on Monday, where they discussed the treaty. “The focus of the meeting was the World Bank’s role in implementation of the Indus Waters Treaty as its administrator,” said the statement. India’s construction of hydroelectric power projects on the Kishanganga and Ratle were in violation of the treaty as Pakistan had exclusive rights to the western rivers, Qureshi told Jim. He added that the new Govt , led by PM  Imran Khan, saw this as a humanitarian issue and was not interested in politicising it.scroll.in
UP: ‘Girl rescued from VHP activists’ thrashed by cops for choosing Muslim partner
Meerut: In a viral clip, a battery of cops on-board a UP Police van can be seen thrashing a girl, who is a nursing student at a Meerut-based college, and calling her out for choosing a Muslim partner. She was detained by local police after VHP activists had allegedly harassed and assaulted the couple on Sunday."All 4 cops, including a lady constable and homeguard, have been placed under suspension and a departmental inquiry has been initiated against them," ADG (Meerut Zone) Prashant Kumar said.The incident happened on Sunday when a mob of VHP activists, led by their Meerut region chief Manish Kumar, raided a rented location in Meerut's Shashtri Nagar area. The right-wing group was tipped off about an interfaith couple in the area. The mob harassed and assaulted the couple in public before the local police station was alerted. The couple, both in their twenties, claimed to be friends from the city based nursing college.They were completely caught unaware after a mob raided the rented location. They were later brought to the police station where VHP activists created ruckus after police denied to take action against the couple for no fault of theirs. However, the couple was detained in the police station before their parents arrived to finally rescue them. In the viral video, a homeguard, driving the police van is seen filming the shocking incident. Girl is initially interrogated on her whereabouts and is later assaulted by the lady cop sitting next to her in the van. Other cops can be heard hurling abuses and calling her out for choosing a Muslim partner. TOI
Why date a Muslim when there are so many Hindus: UP cops ask woman
Israeli police get uniform from Kerala dressmaker
Why are officers of the Israeli police force travelling all the way to a non-descript town in north Kerala in frequent intervals?Because, their elegant light-blue, long sleeve uniform shirts are being stitched at an apparel unit in Kannur, which has the glorious tradition of handloom making and textile export.Hundreds of tailors at Maryan Apparel Pvt Limited, operating at the industrial park at Valiyavelicham in the district, are toiling hard to get the spic and span uniforms ready for the Israel police.They not only stitch the double-pocket shirts but also design and attach the trademark emblems on its sleeves.The local dressmakers have been supplying nearly one lakh shirts annually to the Israeli police for the last three years.Owned by Thodupuzha-based businessman Thomas Olickal, the company also bagged the orders for supplying uniforms for Kuwait’s fire service and national guard.PTI
WORLD
World Bank warns Gaza economy is 'collapsing'
The economy in the Gaza Strip is "collapsing" mainly due to the 11-year blockade on the coastal enclave in addition to cuts in donor aid, according to a new report from the World Bank.The report described the economy as being in "free fall", shrinking by six percent in the first quarter of 2018, and warned of "further deterioration since then".It said unemployment in Gaza had reached more than 50 percent, while 70 percent of young people are jobless.A combination of war, isolation, and internal rivalries has left Gaza in a crippling economic state and exacerbated the human distress," said Marina Wes, the World Bank's director for the region."Increased frustration is feeding into the increased tensions which have already started spilling over into unrest and setting back the human development of the region's large youth population," she added.The report cited a number of factors affecting the strip other than the blockade, such as the Palestinian Authority's decision to reduce the monthly payments by $30m to the area, the winding down of the $50-60m a year of the UN' Govt  aid programme, and the cuts to the UN Relief and Works Agency (UNRWA) for Palestinian refugees. World Bank called on Israel to lift restrictions on trade and movement of goods and people, to help improve Gaza's economy. It also urged the PA to work on economic development policies and emphasised the need for the development of "legitimate institutions to govern Gaza in a transparent and efficient manner."aljazeera
‘You cannot airbrush Palestinians out of history’: UNRWA spokesperson warns US
Liverpool, UK:spokesperson for United Nations' refugee agency for Palestinian refugees has warned against US attempts to “airbrush” the refugees out of history, ahead of a new push for funds at the UN in New York this week to replace $305m axed by the Trump administration. US cut all funds to UNRWA’s programmes at the end of August in a move that jeopardises services to millions of refugees in the occupied Palestinian territories, Jordan, Lebanon and Syria.Chris Gunness, who spoke at a meeting of the Friends of Palestine and Middle East group at the UK Labour conference on Monday, said that the funding cuts were a “political attack” on the Palestinian people and the agency, but that only the UN could change the status of refugees and UNWRA’s mandate.“You cannot airbrush out of history 5.4 million people who belong to a UN-protected community, you cannot wish away their rights, their right to education, their rights to health and their rights to self determination," Gunness said.
Palestinian talks: Egypt seeks to regain regional power
Egypt has been mediating talks between rival Palestinian factions, but analysts say Cairo is trying to capitalise on the situation to re-establish itself as a regional powerhouse.Fatah and Hamas reconciliation talks have been stalled for months over a deadlock that has shown no sign of progress for the 11-year political division. Fatah-led Palestinian Authority (PA) wants complete control over the Gaza Strip, including its security, which means the disarmament of Hamas' armed wing the al-Qassam Brigades - a point that the Hamas movement has made clear it will not concede on.Last month, Egyptian intelligence acted as a broker between the Gaza-based Hamas movement and Israel in indirect talks, in order to reach a gradual long-term ceasefire and prevent Palestinian discontent from boiling over.Israeli security establishment is against another war, hoping that a ceasefire will lead to negotiations that will bring back the bodies of two Israeli soldiers that have been missing since the 2014 Gaza offensive.Gaza Strip governed by Hamas is home to about two million people and has seen mass protests in the past several months against a decade-old Israeli sea and air blockade. More than 170 Palestinians have been killed since March 30 trying to cross the Israeli fence to commemorate the ethnic cleansing of Palestinians in 1948.aljazeera
American Jews ‘horrified’ at Israel under Netanyahu
The schism between Israel and American Jews is at a “crisis point” with a growing number of Jews coming to realise that the dream of a Jewish and democratic state respecting liberal values has been shattered. In remarks that reveal extreme disillusion at the direction that the country is taking, Jewish-Americans have described their “horror” at watching Israel under the right-wing Govt  of Benjamin Netanyahu. They fear that Israel in its current manifestation has turned its back on Jewish values and Jewish communities outside the country.At the heart of the schism is the tension between Israel’s move towards the far-right and its open display of “fascistic” tendencies, as one Jewish professor put it while exploring the reasons why the two communities are growing apart.“History of Jews as promoters of enlightenment and universalist values… is drawing to a close,” wrote Professor Eva Illouz in Haaretz. Her article pits “the state of Israel” against “the Jewish people”. Illouz, from the Hebrew University in Jerusalem, said that she was “stunned” by the new alliances between Israel and populist politicians characterised by ethno-nationalism and racism.middleeastmonitor
Khomeini’s grandson leaves Iran for Iraq
Ali Khomeini,grandson of the late leader of the Iranian revolution Ruhollah Khomeini, has immigrated to the city of Najaf in central Iraq.“Khomeini’s grandson has left Iran to stay in the Iraqi city of Najaf to continue his religious activities and teach at Najaf’s seminary (Hawza) instead of Qom seminary,” Iranian Khabar Online news agency reported.Najaf is the stronghold of Shia Muslims in Iraq and the place of residence of renowned Shia cleric, Ali Al-Sistani.Mohammad Reza Naini, a close associate of Khomeini’s grandson, said the decision was natural as Ali aims to benefit from the vast teaching in Najaf.He added that Ali may stay in Najaf for several years.He  is also son-in-law of Jawad Al-Shahristani, Al-Sistani’s deputy.middleeastmonitor
UN: 1,700 Libyan families displaced by fighting in last 48 hours
More than 1,700 families have been displaced by fighting in Libya's war-ravaged capital over the last 48 hours, the UN has said, as clashes between rival groups intensify. UNO for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs said on Monday that at least 1,700 families had sought "safer areas" since Sunday, bringing the total number of families driven from their homes since Aug. 26 to 5,000."Many are afraid to leave their homes because of looting by armed groups or criminal elements," UNOCHA said in a statement."As the fighting escalates, the number of civilians affected by violence is bound to increase."aljazeera
EU, Iran agree on new payment system to skirt US sanctions
In a major snub to the US, the European Union has decided to set up a new mechanism to enable legal trade with Iran without encountering US sanctions. The EU will create new payment channels to preserve oil and other business deals with Iran, Federica Mogherini, the bloc's foreign policy chief said late on Monday, in a bid to evade US punitive measures.US President Donald Trump withdrew from a 2015 nuclear deal in May and re-imposed sanctions on the country.Mogherini's announcement came after a meeting with foreign ministers from Britain, France, Germany, Russia, China, and Iran on the sidelines of the United Nations General Assembly in New York. Aljazeera
HRW accuses Yemeni Houthis of torturing prisoners
Human Rights Watch (HRW) has accused Yemen's Houthi rebels of torture, hostage-taking, and other serious abuses against people in their custody.The New York-based watchdog said in a report released on Tuesday that it had documented 16 cases of illegal imprisonment by the rebels, "in large part to extort money from relatives or to exchange them for people held by opposing forces"."Houthi officials have treated detainees brutally, often amounting to torture," HRW said, adding that former detainees described being beaten with iron rods, wooden sticks, and assault rifles.It said prisoners were shackled to walls, caned, and threatened with rape, noting that hostage-taking "is a serious violation of the laws of war and a war crime".aljazeera
US releases report documenting systematic violence against Rohingya Muslims by Myanmar's military, including widespread killings, rape
UN:US has said it had found evidence of systematic violence by Myanmar's military against the Rohingya minority, including widespread killings and rape. The State Department released the report just as the US announced $185 million in new funding for Rohingya refugees during a meeting at the UN on Myanmar.The State Department study, based on interviews in April with 1,024 Rohingya adults who have taken refuge in neighbouring Bangladesh, provided accounts consistent with reports from human rights groups but kept largely to dispassionate descriptions of events. The report notably did not use the terms genocide or ethnic cleansing to describe the mass killings of the Rohingya, a mostly Muslim group concentrated in Rakhine state that is despised by many in Buddhist-majority Myanmar and who are not considered citizens."The survey reveals that the recent violence in the northern Rakhine state was extreme, large-scale, widespread and seemingly geared toward both terrorising the population and driving out the Rohingya residents," said the report by the State Dept's Bureau of Intelligence and Research. "Scope and scale of the military's operations indicate they were well-planned and coordinated," it said.AFP
Maldives destroys British statues deemed offensive to Islam
Colombo: Police armed with pickaxes and power tools have destroyed a modern artwork by a celebrated British sculptor in the Maldives, after the outgoing president in the tourist haven declared the installation offensive to Islam.Abdulla Yameen in July ordered the sculptures demolished but his ruling was not acted upon until Friday, on the eve of a presidential election which he lost to a liberal candidate.A series of statues by Jason deCaires Taylor were placed inside a semi-submerged metal cube in July at a resort in the Maldives, an archipelago of 340,000 Sunni Muslims popular with tourists.Islam, the official religion in the Maldives, bans the depiction of idols, and the work provoked some criticism from clerics even though the statues have no religious symbols or meaning.Yameen said in July that "significant public sentiment" against the artwork known as 'Coralarium' had guided his decision to destroy it.AFP
Indian-American diplomat Uzra quits state dept, calling out racist and gender bias in Trump administration
Washington: A senior Indian-American diplomat has quit the US state department alleging racial and sexist bias in a Trump administration trend that she says involves "the exclusion of minorities from top leadership positions in the state department and embassies abroad".Uzra Zeya, a US-born diplomat daughter of Indian immigrants, resigned from the state department in spring after serving more than 25 years, but she has only now begun giving insights into the turmoil in Foggy Bottom, where she says there is purge of minorities, and suggests it is back to the time of a "pale male club" before America diversified rapidly."In the first five months of the Trump administration, the department's three most senior African-American career officials and the top-ranking Latino career officer were removed or resigned abruptly from their positions, with white successors named in their places. In the months that followed, I observed top-performing minority diplomats be disinvited from the secretary's senior staff meeting, relegated to FOIA duty (well below their abilities), and passed over for bureau leadership roles and key ambassadorships," Zeya wrote in Politico last week, chronicling the eclipse of minorities after Trump became the president.TOI
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Compiled and edited by Anwarulhaq (Released at: 8:14 PM)

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