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Saturday, 29 September 2018

29 Sept ND:Pehlu Khan lynching case: Witnesses, including sons, fired at while going to depose/ Apple employee Tiwari shot dead by UP police for not stopping car in Lucknow/ Muslim youths killed in Aligarh encounter were innocent, says slain Hindu priest’s family

NEWS DIGEST, MID-DAY 
29 Sept. 2018: 18 Muhram 1440: Vol: 11, No:14
INDIA
Pehlu Khan lynching case: Witnesses, including sons, fired at while going to depose
Witnesses in Pehlu Khan’s lynching case, including his sons, were allegedly fired upon by unknown men at NH-8 in Alwar Saturday morning while they were going to Behror to depose Khan’s lynching. Lawyer Asad Hayat, who was in the car, said, “I was in the car with witnesses Azmat and Rafiq and Pehlu’s sons Irshad and Arif, along with driver Amjad. We were going to Behror to depose Pehlu’s lynching but when we crossed Neemrana, a black Scorpio without a number plate tried to overtake us and make us stop.” Irshad, one of the son’s of Khan said, “The vehicle came near and the men inside waved their hands, asking us to stop. We might have even stopped, but we didn’t as their vehicle did not have a number plate. Then their vehicle came nearer and the men started hurling abuses at us, telling us to stop at once. Then they overtook us and fired upon us.”Hyatt said that they had to make a U-turn to avoid the SUV. “They started firing at us as we didn’t stop. We sped away and their vehicle went on towards Behror. We are taking another route through the villages to reach Alwar and meet the SP,” he added.“We don’t even know this route and are asking locals for directions, who will depose if we are killed too?,” Irshad said.indianexpress
Apple employee Tiwari shot dead by UP police for not stopping car in Lucknow
Lucknow:A sales employee of multinational technology company Apple was on Saturday shot dead in Lucknow by a constable of the UP police, allegedly after he refused to stop his SUV car for checking at the call of the policemen who were on patrol duty on a motorcycle.The victim, identified as Vivek Tiwari, was dropping his colleague Sana Khan home when the incident took place near the Gomti Nagar Extension area in the early hours of Saturday between 1:30 am and 1:45 am.A case of murder has been lodged against the two constables, Prashant Chaudhary and Sandeep, said Lucknow SSP Kalanidhi Naithani, adding that the two had been found guilty of “excessive use of force.” The constables have been arrested.UP DGP O.P. Singh has constituted an SIT under IG Lucknow to probe the case after the victim's family demanded a CBI probe into the incident and alleged that the police were trying to cover up the incident. ADG Law and Order Anand Kumar said the autopsy report of the victim established that he died due to a gunshot injury to his chin.While the policeman who was on patrol duty claimed he fired at the car in self-defence as it tried to run over his motorbike, questions are being raised on the sequence of events as narrated by the police. As per FIR filed by Ms. Sana Khan, the victim's colleague, Tiwari had parked the SUV near the City Montessori School when two policemen approached them.“We tried to avoid them but they tried to stop us and then I suddenly felt that a bullet was fired. Our car moved forward and collided with the wall of an underpass. Vivek was bleeding heavily from his head,” read FIR. After being fired at, Tiwari reportedly lost control of the vehicle and rammed it into an underpass wall. He was rushed to a hospital where he succumbed to his injuries. Talking to the media, Ms. Khan said that Tiwari did not stop the car as he thought it was not wise to stop a car in an isolated place with a woman inside. Prashant Chaudhary, the constable who fired the bullet with his service weapon, said he had found the vehicle to be “suspicious” and claimed that the car tried to run over him when he waved at it to stop. “The car was closed and its headlights were off too. We did not know who was inside, nothing could be seen. As soon as we moved forward, the car tried to run over the bike,” said Mr. Chaudhary, adding that his two-wheeler was damaged.He said he had pulled out the pistol to scare off the driver but alleged that Mr. Tiwari tried to run him over three times. “When he did it for the third time it was with the intention to kill because I had fallen on the ground,” said the constable.thehindu
UP: Apple executive shot dead by cop for evading check point, probe underway
Muslim youths killed in Aligarh encounter were innocent, says slain Hindu priest’s family
Aligarh:The family of slain temple priest Roop Singh has told a delegation of human rights activists that the two Muslim youths killed in a police encounter here last week were innocents. Two alleged criminals – Naushad, 17, and Mustakeem, 22 – were killed here on 20th September. After the encounter, police told the media that they were behind six murders including that of a temple priest Roop Singh in the district in the last one month.A delegation of rights group Rihai Manch and some students of Aligarh Muslim University recently visited the families of Naushad and Mustakeem in Aligarh’s Atrauli and that of Roop Singh in Safedpur area.In a press statement, Rihai Manch said: “Giriraj Singh, brother of the slain temple priest Roop Singh, not only raised question over the murder of his brother but also on the 20th September police encounter. He said that the time when the priest was killed according to the police is actually the time when his elder brother had met him (priest) at the temple. Regarding the killing in police encounter of the alleged killers of his brother, he said the police have not yet been able to recover priest’s mobile and bag. Why will they (two Muslims) kill him (priest)? They are innocents.”Three bodies, including that of priest Roop Singh and a couple, were found in a field in Safedpur village under Harduaganj Police Station in Aligarh on 16th September. “Bodies of Yogendra Kumar Lodh (40) and his wife Vimlesh (38) were found in a field. In another incident at the same village, body of 45-year-old Roop Singh was found on the premises of Durani Mata Mandir,” PTI quoted Aligarh Police as saying. caravandaily
Aligarh ‘encounter’: 10 booked for abducting kin of deceased
Aligarh: The controversy over the alleged fake encounter of two suspected criminals here took a new twist on Friday with the police booking 10 activists, including Aligarh Muslim University and JNU student leaders, saying they had abducted family members of one of the deceased. The case was registered at Atrauli police station on Thursday on the basis of a complaint filed by the wife of Mustaqeem (22), one of the suspected criminals shot dead in the encounter, Hina, SHO Pervaish Rana said.The activists have been charged with abducting Mustaqeem’s mother and grandmother.The group of activists included JNU student leader Umar Khalid, but he has not been named in the complaint.Those named in the complaint include activists of “United Against Hate” forum, including former presidents of AMU Students’ Union Masqoor Usmani and Faizul Hasan, Rana said.According to Hasan, the activists visited Mustaqeem’s residence on Thursday and assured his family members of all possible legal aid in their quest for justice.The group then visited Atrauli police station and raised the issue of alleged harassment of Mustaqeem’s family members by police.. Hasan claimed that while the group was talking to SHO, some local right-wing activists came and tried to browbeat them into leaving the place. An argument ensued and the police had to intervene.Mustaqeem’s mother, Shabana, and grandmother, Rafiquan, then left with the activists, who were apparently going to Delhi. Following this, the police registered the abduction complaint.On Sept.20, Mustaqeem and another alleged criminal Naushad, who carried a bounty of ₹25,000 each on their heads, were killed in an encounter with police in Harduaganj here.PTI
Arrest of activists not over dissent, says SC in 2-1 ruling, declines to interfere in case
New Delhi :Rejecting pleas to release activists Varavara Rao, Arun Ferreira, Vernon Gonsalves, Sudha Bharadwaj and Gautam Navlakha, arrested by Maharashtra police as part of a probe into a Pune meeting on the eve of the January 1 violence at Bhima Koregaon, the Supreme Court, in a 2-1 verdict Friday, declined to interfere in the proceedings, saying “dissenting views expressed or difference in political ideology” had nothing to do with the case. CJI Dipak Misra and Justice A M Khanwilkar, who delivered the majority decision and said the “investigating officer is free to proceed” against the accused, rejected the plea to order a probe by a Special Investigation Team. But Justice DY Chandrachud, who gave a dissenting opinion, was all for a SIT probe. In his order, he said “voices in opposition cannot be muzzled by persecuting those who take up unpopular causes”.Ruling on petitions by historian Romila Thapar and others, CJI Misra and Justice Khanwilkar (he wrote the order for both) said they had examined the material gathered by police during the investigation and were “of the considered opinion that it is not a case of arrest because of mere dissenting views expressed or difference in the political ideology of the named accused, but concerning their link with the members of the banned organisation and its activities”.The house arrest of the five activists, held by Pune police on August 28, was extended by four weeks. The bench said they could seek relief from appropriate court during this period.Disposing the petitions, the majority judgment said “in the present case, except pointing out some circumstances to question the manner of arrest of the five named accused sans any legal evidence to link them with the crime under investigation, no specific material facts and particulars are found in the petition about mala fide exercise of power by the investigating officer. A vague and unsubstantiated assertion in that regard is not enough”.The two judges said “this is not the stage where the efficacy of the material or sufficiency thereof can be evaluated nor it is possible to enquire into whether the same is genuine or fabricated. We do not wish to dilate on this matter any further lest it would cause prejudice to the named accused and including the co-accused who are not before the Court”.“We find force in the argument of the State that the prayer for changing the Investigating Agency cannot be dealt with lightly and the Court must exercise that power with circumspection.” indianexpress
Elgaar Parishad arrests: Can’t muzzle voices in opposition, says Justice Chandrachud
New Delhi :Observing that “voices in opposition cannot be muzzled by persecuting those who take up unpopular causes”, Justice DY Chandrachud, in a dissenting opinion Friday on petitions seeking the release of five activists arrested in the Bhima Koregaon violence case, said “there are serious doubts” about the Pune police probe.“Conscious as the Court is of the public interest in the effective administration of criminal justice, it cannot be oblivious to the overriding Constitutional concern to secure the dignity of the individual. The key to the balance between the two lies in a fair, independent and impartial investigation of crime. As a matter of principle, I am unable to agree with the views expressed by the learned Chief Justice and my learned brother Justice A M Khanwilkar,” Justice Chandrachud said.Coming down hard on Pune police, he said there is “sufficient material” placed before the bench “on the need to have an independent investigation”.While the court “does not determine the course of the investigation”, he said, it acts as a “watchdog to ensure that a fair and impartial investigation takes place”.“A fair and independent investigation is crucial to the preservation of the rule of law and, in the ultimate analysis to liberty itself… In the present case, police briefings to the media have become a source of manipulating public opinion by besmirching the reputations of individuals involved in the process of investigation. What follows is, unfortunately, a trial by the media. That the police should lend themselves to this process is a matter of grave concern,” Justice Chandrachud said.indianexpress
SC removes gender barrier, throws open Sabarimala to women of all ages
New Delhi :Throwing open the doors of the Sabarimala temple in Kerala to women of all ages, the Supreme Court, in a 4-1 verdict Friday, ended the entry ban on women of menstruating age, saying the centuries-old custom at the shrine was not an essential religious practice and “the attribute of devotion to divinity cannot be subjected to the rigidity and stereotypes of gender”.Four of the five judges on the Constitution Bench — CJI Dipak Misra, Justices R F Nariman, A M Khanwilkar and D Y Chandrachud — ruled against the restriction on women while Justice Indu Malhotra gave a dissenting opinion, saying “the religious practice of restricting the entry of women between the ages of 10 to 50 years is in pursuance of an ‘essential religious practice’” and “notions of rationality cannot be invoked in matters of religion by courts”.The majority judgment held as unconstitutional Rule 3(b) of the Kerala Hindu Places of Public Worship (Authorisation of Entry) Rules, 1965, framed in exercise of powers conferred by Section 4 of the Kerala Hindu Places of Public Worship (Authorisation of Entry) Act, 1965. It said Ayyappa devotees do not constitute a separate religious denomination within the meaning of Article 26 of the Constitution.Writing the order for self and Justice Khanwilkar, CJI Misra said Rule 3(b) “that stipulates exclusion of entry of women of the age group of 10 to 50 years, is a clear violation of the right of Hindu women to practise their religious beliefs which, in consequence, makes their fundamental right of religion under Article 25(1) a dead letter.”“The right guaranteed under Article 25(1) has nothing to do with gender or, for that matter, certain physiological factors, specifically attributable to women. Women of any age group have as much right as men to visit and enter a temple in order to freely practise a religion as guaranteed under Article 25(1),” he said.indianexpress
Sabarimala verdict: Justice Indu Malhotra dissents — Can’t invoke rationality in religion
New Delhi :Not going with the majority verdict in the Sabarimala case, Justice Indu Malhotra, in a dissenting opinion, said “what constitutes an essential religious practice is for the religious community to decide” and not a matter that should be decided by the courts. She said “notions of rationality cannot be invoked in matters of religion by courts”.In her order, Justice Malhotra said that in matters of practices of faith, the courts should intervene only if they are “pernicious, oppressive, or a social evil, like Sati”.Beginning with a cautionary note on how issues raised in the petition have wide implications for all places of worship in India, across religions, which have their own beliefs, practices and rituals “which may be considered to be exclusionary in nature”, she said that “in a secular polity, issues which are matters of deep religious faith and sentiment, must not ordinarily be interfered with by courts.”Noting that the petitioners in the Indian Young Lawyers Association vs. State of Kerala case are not believers of the particular faith in question, she said that permitting such PILs “in religious matters would open floodgates to interlopers” who are not followers of that faith, to question its beliefs and practices, and this would be a matter of grave concern, especially for minority communities. She said the writ petition “does not deserve to be entertained” and the “grievances raised are non-justiciable”.indianexpress
Babri action panel convenor ‘satisfied’, Owaisi asks: What is Indian Muslim left with? Indian Express
New Delhi: Supreme Court’s decision, declining to set up a larger bench for a relook of its 1994 verdict which held that a “mosque is not an essential part of the practice of Islam” drew widely divergent reactions from different leaders of the Muslim organisations.Welcoming the decision, Babri Masjid Action Committee convenor Zafaryab Jilani said that in clarifying the question of whether a mosque is integral to Islam the court has paved the way for an amicable settlement to the Babri dispute. Asaduddin Owaisi, Lok Sabha MP from Hyderabad, however, contended that the verdict is among a long line of judgments attempting to deprive Indian Muslims their identity.Jilani said:“The court clarified that the 1994 judgment was in a particular context and that the question is not relevant to the title suit. People are unnecessarily trying to create an impression that this has bearing on the upcoming hearing on Ayodhya.The court today clarified just that – it said the previous verdict has no relevance to the title suit.”e said,“We are satisfied with the judgment; now Ayodhya hearing can commence.”Kamal Farooqui, member, All-India Muslim Personal Law Board (AIMPLB), on the other hand, said that “things have gone haywire” with Thursday’s decision. It was important for the Ayodhya hearing that 1994 judgment be referred to a larger bench but since that did not happen, chances of the 2010 Allahabad HC verdict being upheld seem “brighter than ever”,Farooqui said.“Immediate implication of mosque not being an integral part of Islam is that there is no bar on the government acquiring the Babri Masjid land for its three-way division, as mandated by Allahabad HC,” he said.He said, “Ismail Faruqui judgment did not go into religiosity of the matter, (and) that is why we had gone to court asking for that question to be clarified first. Now that it has been upheld, the danger is that it can be used for any religious institution. It also seems likely that the 2010 judgment would be upheld because the basis of that judgment was this (1994 verdict). I do not see any more legal options in front of us either.”Emphasising that mosque is an integral part of Islam —- “the Quran says so, as does the Hadees” – Owaisi, a member of the executive committee of AIMPLB, said, “It would have been in the fitness of things for the matter to be referred to a larger bench. First they said beard is not integral to Islam, then they said triple talaq is not integral to Islam, now they say mosque is not integral to Islam. What is the Indian Muslim left with then?He asked, “If masjid is not integral to Islam, are religious places of other religions integral to their religion?”Referring to the Haryana Chief Minister’s recent remarks that namaz should be offered only in mosques, Owaisi asked, “Where does that place Manohar Lal Khattar?”indian express
Muslim Groups Come Together To Seek Withdrawal Of Triple Talaq Ordinance
Hyderabad: Various Muslim socio-religious and political organisations came together on a common platform in Hyderabad on Friday to demand the withdrawal of the triple talaq ordinance. Muslim groups representing various sects urged the government to ensure that the religious and cultural rights and freedom guaranteed to Muslims by the Constitution are implemented in letter and spirit and not tampered in any manner.A resolution passed at the public meeting organised by United Muslim Forum (MUF),an umbrella group of different Muslim organisations, condemned the ordinance issued last week, criminalizing triple talaq. It said the piece of legislation was enacted through backdoor.MIM president and Hyderabad MP Asaduddin Owaisi, Jamaat-e-Islami's president of Telangana and Odisha unit Hamid Mohammed Khan, MUF president Raheemuddin Ansari and leaders of various organisations addressed the public meeting at MIM headquarters Darussalam."The present government seems to be conspiring to take away the religious identity of Muslims. When it failed to get the triple talaq bill passed in the Parliament, the government has chosen to get an ordinance promulgated in an undemocratic manner," the resolution said. A It hoped that better sense would prevail and the government would reconsider its decision.ndtv
Bhopal: SIMI man gets 10 yrs jail for attack on cops
Bhopal : A court here awarded 10 years' rigorous imprisonment to a member of the SIMI on Friday for an attack on a police team in Madhya Pradesh's Ratlam district in 2011.Additional District Judge Girish Dixit awarded the sentence to SIMI activist Farhat after convicting him under section 307 of and under the Arms Act, a prosecution officer said.The judge also imposed a fine of Rs 1,000 on him, he added.A police team arrested Farhat, along with another SIMI activist Zakir, during a raid in Ratlam on June 3, 2011, for allegedly murdering a police constable.Bhopal
Kerala: Shiv Sena calls for statewide hartal on Monday in protest against SC verdict on Sabarimala
New Delhi:Kerala unit of the Shiv Sena has called for a statewide strike on Oct.1 against the Supreme Court’s verdict to allow women of all ages to enter the Sabarimala Temple. Saying that the age-old traditions at the hill shrine should be protected, Uddhav Thackeray-led party announced the call for a hartal on Monday.In a 4-1 verdict on Friday, the Supreme Court ended the entry ban on women of menstruating age at the Sabarimala temple, saying the centuries-old custom at the shrine was not an essential religious practice and “the attribute of devotion to divinity cannot be subjected to the rigidity and stereotypes of gender”.Addressing a press conference, the Shiv Sena said it would also ask other Hindu outfits to file a review petition against the verdict, according to Manorama News. While the state’s Left Front government and Congress have welcomed the apex court verdict, Kerala BJP president P S Sreedharan Pillai said the government should not hurt
BJP demands derecognition of parties boycotting J&K local body polls
Jammu :BJP’s J&K unit demanded derecognition and withdrawal of symbol of the parties which have announced that they will boycott the upcoming urban local bodies (ULB) and panchayat polls in the state. ULB elections are scheduled to take place in four phases beginning October 8 and the panchayat polls will be held in November-December in nine phases.Four parties — National Conference (NC), PDP, CPI (Marxist) and BSP — have announced that they will be boycotting the polls. “The BJP urges state chief electoral officer to de-recognise those political parties which have announced (their decision to) boycott ULB and panchayat polls,” party’s state spokesperson Anil Gupta told reporters here. He said NC, PDP, CPI(M) and BSP are state or national level parties with reserved election symbols and are mandated to participate in all elections according to Section 29A(5) of Representation of People Act, 1951. “Elections are the core of the democratic process and afford people an opportunity to express their will. By boycotting the elections, these political parties have not only betrayed the people of the state but also disrespected the Constitution which they had pledged to safeguard while applying for recognition of their respective political parties,” he added.indianexpress
anyone in its attempt to implement the order.indianexpress
China defends move to block India’s bids at UN to list Azhar Masood as global terrorist
Washington :Chinese Foreign Minister Wang Yi has defended Beijing’s repeated blockage of India’s bids at the United Nations to list chief of Pakistan-based militant group Jaish-e-Mohammed (JeM) Azhar Masood as a global terrorist, arguing that the issue lacks “consensus” among the members of the UN Security Council as well as the “directly concerned” parties – India and Pakistan.A veto-wielding permanent member of the UN Security Council, China has repeatedly blocked India’s move — supported by the US, Britain and France — to designate Azhar a terrorist under the Al-Qaeda Sanctions Committee of the UN Security Council.“If all parties come to a consensus, we will support it. But it is the parties that are rightly concerned who are not coming around to the same conclusion, like India and Pakistan don’t have the same conclusions,” Wang said on Friday in response to a question on China defending Pakistan-based terrorist in UNSC at a conference organised by American think-tank, Council on Foreign Relations.He said if the parties “directly concerned” are able to come to a consensus, then “together we will be able to push the process forward”.financialexpress
Domestic political, electoral compulsions behind India’s reluctance to talk, says Pakistan
Pakistan’s foreign minister Shah Mehmood Qureshi has alleged that India’s “domestic political and electoral compulsions” were behind New Delhi’s reluctance to talk to the new government in Islamabad. External affairs minister Sushma Swaraj and Qureshi were slated to meet on the sidelines of the ongoing UN General Assembly session in New York.However, India called off the meeting last week, citing the brutal killings of three policemen in Jammu and Kashmir and Islamabad releasing postage stamps “glorifying” slain Kashmiri militant Burhan Wani.“Why are they reluctant? Simply politics, elections...they are scared of the electorate. They have swung the pendulum to such an extreme (that), now they’re finding it difficult to bring it back. And (with) the elections round the corner, they (Indian government) felt that it could boomerang,” Qureshi said Friday in response to a question at an event organised by the Asia Society here. India has maintained that there can be no talks with Pakistan unless it stops supporting terrorists. On Thursday, Swaraj, in a huge snub to Pakistan, left a meeting of the SAARC foreign ministers early, which was attended by Qureshi.PTI
Exploring alternative oil supplies so ‘our friend’ India isn’t affected: US official on Iran sanctions
With a tougher round of US sanctions on Iran coming into effect from November 4,a top Trump administration official said Washington recognises India’s need for significant oil imports and is having conversations to ensure there are alternative supplies of the fuel “so that our friend India’s economy is not adversely affected”. Earlier this year, the US had withdrawn from the 2015 Iranian nuclear deal and reimposed a series of tough sanctions on Iran. While the first phase of sanctions is already in place, the sanctions would come into full force on November 4 and the US expects all countries, including India, to bring down their import of Iranian oil to zero by then.The US has made it clear that any country that continues to do business with Iran will be blocked from accessing the American banking and financial system. However, the sanctions are not endorsed by the UN and it has been a traditional policy of India to enforce only UNSC-authorised sanctions. Though India, one of the biggest importers of Iranian oil, has already reduced its import, it has indicated that it is unlikely to go down to zero given its massive energy needs.PTI
No talks of putting India deal on hold, says Russia amid threat of US sanctions
India will make a “sovereign decision” on Russian defence purchases, which are facing possible US sanctions, according to Russia’s foreign minister Sergey Lavrov.“I understand that India will be taking sovereign decision (on) how to proceed and what kind of weapons it needs,” he said at a news conference at the United Nations on Friday.Asked by a reporter if the proposed $8.5 billion defence deal with Russia, which includes a missile defence system, that was expected to be signed next month during Russian President Vladimir Putin’s visit to India was on hold, Lavrov said: “I haven’t heard anything about the timing, about postponement, about putting anything on hold.”IANS
Modi Govt Populating Institutions With Mediocre People Under RSS Patronage, Say Historians
New Delhi:Amidst repeated allegations by professional historians that history is being rewritten by the Prime Minister Narendra Modi-led NDA government, a two-day All India History Summit kicked off at Nehru Memorial Museum Library (NMML) on Saturday with prominent historians asserting that the major institutions in the country are being populated by “mediocre” people with RSS patronage. They also expressed fear that this will damage the country’s academic discourse.Asked about allegations by intellectuals, activists and historians that there have been attempts to “re-write” history, Thouseef Madikeri, the Director of Centre for Educational Research and Training (CERT), which organised the summit, agreed that there is “no question about it”.“The Hindutva forces are trying to rewrite history, and it is not a recent phenomenon, they have been trying to do so since 1970s. Akhil Bharatiya Itihas Sankalan Yojana (a subsidiary organisation of RSS) worked on it for a long time. The changes that we are now seeing in history textbooks are old contributions, but they are being implemented now,” Madikeri told IANS on the sidelines of the summit. “What they are doing now is getting control of the institutions like Indian Council of Historical Research (ICHR) and Universities by populating them with their people. So whatever RSS wanted to do, is now being implemented since the past four years. Attempts and research are over, now they are implementing the changes by placing their mediocre historians at the top posts of our institutions,” he added.He said that the position of historians is that they believe that such things happen “all the time”.“But the problem with the BJP is that they do not have credible people, they do not have qualified historians, they are placing mediocre people at top posts of the institutions. We have no problem with ideology but the person concerned should have credible qualities. That is missing and that is a big problem because it is going to do damage to the academic discourse,” he contended.Prof Najaf Haider, from Centre of Historical Studies at the JNU pointed out that there are two ways in which history is being rewritten.IANS
Tariq Anwar quits NCP over Sharad Pawar’s ‘defence’ of PM Modi
New Delhi :Peeved over NCP chief Sharad Pawar’s “defence” of Prime Minister Narendra Modi on the Rafale deal row, senior NCP leader Tariq Anwar on Friday quit the party and said he will resign from Lok Sabha.One of the founders of the NCP, Anwar said rejoining the Congress, which he left in 1999 along with Pawar, was one of the options he is exploring.Anwar, who wrested Katihar Lok Sabha seat from BJP in 2014 election despite the Narendra Modi wave, said that he is leaving the NCP because of Pawar’s statement. “From his statement, I felt he has some soft corner for the BJP and the PM.”Sources in the NCP, however, said he had been thinking about leaving the party for some time.Asked how a seasoned politician like him could leave the party on the basis of one statement, he said, “We have been waging an agitation against the BJP, particularly against the Prime Minister, and it will not be proper if that campaign is weakened in any way….Our party has always been anti-communal. It is not right if any softness appears in that stand.”indianexpress
WORLD
7 Palestinians killed by Israeli fire in Gaza March of Return protest
Seven Palestinians were shot and killed by Israeli forces and at least 509 were injured on Friday during protests in the besieged Gaza Strip.The Gaza health ministry identified four of the slain Palestinians as 14-year-old Mohammed Naif al-Houm, who was shot in the chest with a live bullet; Iyad Khalil al-Shaaer, 18, who was killed east of Gaza City; Mohammed Waleed Haniyeh, a 23-year old from the al-Shati refugee camp; Mohammed Bassam Shakhsah, a 24-year old from east of Gaza City, and Mohammed Ali Inchassy, an 18-year old from east of Khan Younis. The fifth Palestinian who was killed, a 12-year old, has been identified as Naser Azmi Musbeh. The ministry later identified the sixth and seventh victims as Mohammad Anshati,18, and Mohammad Awwada, 26.At least 509 were injured, three of them in serious condition. According to Ashraf al-Qidra, the spokesperson of the health ministry, four paramedics, 4 journalists and 90 children were injured by live ammunition.Thousands of Palestinians protested on Friday to demand the lift of the 11-year Israeli-blockade over Gaza and the return of Palestinian refugees to their lands and towns in present-day Israel.It has been six months since Palestinians in Gaza first began participating in the Great March of Return on 30 March - one of the biggest mass demonstrations since Second Intifada, between 2000 and 2005.middleeasteye
Gaza protests: All the latest updates
Hamas delegation heads to Egypt for talks
A delegation of Palestinian group Hamas set out for Cairo from the blockaded Gaza Strip on Saturday to hold talks with Egyptian officials, Anadolu Agency reports.A statement by the media office of the Rafah border crossing reported the departure of the Hamas delegation, without giving further details.The delegation includes Khalil al-Hayya, Hamas deputy leader in Gaza, and other leading members, a Palestinian source close to Hamas said.In mid-August, Palestinian factions met with Egyptian officials in Cairo to discuss proposals for Hamas-Fatah reconciliation, a ceasefire with Israel, and the implementation of humanitarian projects in Gaza.Last October, Hamas and Fatah signed a reconciliation agreement in Cairo that would — if implemented — allow the Ramallah-based Palestinian government to administer Gaza, which has been run by Hamas since 2007.middleeastmonitor
UN experts says Egypt systematically targets rights activists
Seventeen UN human rights experts criticised Egypt on Friday for its use of anti-terrorism laws to detain activists fighting for women’s rights and against graft, torture and extra-judicial killings. The experts’ joint statement, unusual for attracting such a large number of signatories, named activists who had been detained for months, highlighting the case of women’s rights campaigner Amal Fathy.Her verdict will be announced on Saturday, on charges of “incitement to overthrow the regime, terrorism, and publishing fake news in relation to her efforts to promote women’s rights”, the UN statement said.“We are gravely concerned at the human rights defenders’ prolonged periods of detention, reportedly arising from their peaceful and legitimate defence of human rights,” they said.middleeastmonitor
US shuts down consulate in Iraq's Basra citing Iranian 'threats'
United States has announced it is closing its consulate in the Iraqi city of Basra and evacuating its diplomats from there after increasing threats and rocket fire from Iran and Iran-backed fighters.The decision adds to mounting tension between the US and Iran, which is the target of increasing economic sanctions imposed by Washington. US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo, explaining the move, renewed a warning that his country would hold Iran responsible for any attacks on US diplomatic facilities and citizens.The move follows recent rocket attacks that Pompeo said were directed at the consulate in Basra.aljazeera
Iraqi Kurds vote in parliamentary polls Sunday
Voters in northern Iraq’s Kurdish region will cast ballot in the region’s parliamentary elections on Sunday in which 29 parties and coalitions are vying for seats.The High Election Commission in Kurdish region has established some 5,933 voting stations in the cities of Erbil, Sulaymaniyah, Dohuk and Halabja for the polls.Around 3.8 million voters are eligible to cast ballot in the vote to elect 111 members of parliament.Voting will begin at 08.00 a.m. local time and end at 18.00 p.m.Electronic vote counting, which has caused uproar during Iraq’s May 12 parliamentary election, will not be used in the Kurdish polls. Votes, instead, will be counted manually.
Hundreds dead as quake, tsunami hit Indonesia's Sulawesi
Nearly 400 people have been killed after a powerful earthquake triggered a tsunami that hit Indonesia's central Sulawesi island.The national disaster agency put the current death toll at 384, all of them reported in the tsunami-struck city of Palu, but warned the number was likely to rise as rescue efforts continued on Saturday.In Palu - home to around 350,000 people - partially covered bodies lay on the ground near the shore, the day after tsunami waves triggered by a 7.5 magnitude earthquake came ashore.aljazeera
Canada strips Myanmar's Suu Kyi of honorary citizenship
The parliament of Canada has unanimously voted to strip Myanmar's leader Aung San Suu Kyi of her honorary citizenship over her handling of the Rohingya crisis. Thursday's vote came a week after Canadian MPs approved a motion recognising the crimes committed against the Rohingya as genocide.Aung San Suu Kyi received the honour from Ottawa in 2007, when she was a democracy advocate under long house arrest.But the Myanmar leader has been under fire for her failure to condemn the military campaign that has driven more than 700,000 Rohingya into neighbouring Bangladesh in what the UN human rights chief called "a textbook example of ethnic cleansing". Canadian parliament's decision to revoke the symbolic honour was due to a "persistent refusal to denounce the Rohingya genocide", said Adam Austen, spokesman for Foreign Minister Chrystia Freeland."We will continue to support the Rohingya by providing humanitarian assistance, imposing sanctions against Myanmar's generals and demanding that those responsible be held accountable before a competent international body,"said Austen.aljazeera
FLASH VIEWS & NEWS
Supreme Court verdict decriminalising adultery death-knell for family system:Dr. Javed Jamil,
How a Botched Investigation Helped Get 6 Accused in Pehlu Khan’s Killing off the Hook:Shruti Jain
Politicising Surgical Strikes Erodes the Army's Potency and Deterrent Value:Pravin Sawhney, writer is editor, Force newsmagazine.
Here’s what you can do if your Aadhaar is linked to phone and banks accounts: MANEESH CHHIBBER
EC has been seeking SC’s aid to stem criminalisation of politics. Its verdict falls short:S Y Quraishi
The Rise of Hindutva Destroyed Ahmedabad’s Indigenous Capitalist Traditions:Sharik Laliwala
On Aadhaar Authentication and Linking, the Supreme Court Barely Scratched the Surface:Shaswati Ghose
Why Justice Chandrachud Thinks an SIT, Not Maha Police, Should Probe Bhima Koregaon Case

Compiled and edited by Anwarulhaq (Released at: 6:33 PM)

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