News and views across the globe.

Monday, 1 October 2018

1 OCT ND:Bhima Koregaon case:Delhi HC ends activist Navlakha’s house arrest, says detention ‘untenable’/ Collect biometrics of Rohingyas, will take action through diplomatic channels: Rajnath to states/UIDAI asks telecom firms to submit Aadhaar de-linking plan in 15 days


NEWS DIGEST, MID-DAY 
01 OCT. 2018: 20 Muhram 1440: Vol: 11, No:16
INDIA
Bhima Koregaon case:Delhi HC ends activist Navlakha’s house arrest, says detention ‘untenable’
New Delhi :The Delhi High Court on Monday ended the house arrest of Gautam Navlakha, one of five rights activists under house arrest in the Bhima Koregaon case, saying his detention had exceeded 24 hours which is “untenable”. The development comes days after the Supreme Court, while extending the house arrest of Navlakha and others by 4 weeks, said the accused could seek legal recourse in an appropriate court.A bench of Justices S Muralidhar and Justice Vinod Goel held that the case diary relating to Navlakha’s arrest was in ‘Marathi’ and that it was nobody’s case that the trial court judge was well conversant in ‘Marathi’.The bench also criticised the trial court for not looking into the material for grant of transit remand, saying Navlakha’s case was dealt in a cosmetic manner.It also held that Navlakha was never made aware of the ground of his arrest, nor given any prior notice about the same. The court did not accede to the request made by the Maharashtra police counsel for extension of the house arrest by another two days. Pune police had arrested Navlakha from Delhi last month following searches in several cities. A transit remand was also secured from Saket district court in South Delhi to take him to Pune. The high court Monday also set aside Navlakha’s transit remand.Apart from Navlakha, four other activists- Varavara Rao, Vernon Gonsalves, Arun Ferreira, Sudha Bharadwaj were also arrested from different parts of the country on Aug.28.  The following day, on Aug. 29, the activists were put under house arrest backing an apex court order on the plea by historian Romila Thapar, economists Prabhat Patnaik and Devaki Jain, sociology professor Satish Deshpande and human rights lawyer Maja Daruwala against the police action.The high court further questioned the Maharashtra government over the arrest of Navlakha and said it will examine the legality of the state police’s action to arrest him and the transit remand order to take him to a Pune court. Maharashtra Police wanted to take Navlakha to Pune in connection with an FIR lodged there following an event — ‘Elgaar Parishad’ (conclave) — held on Dec.31 last year that had triggered violence at Koregaon-Bhima village.indianexpress
Rioting Cases Against Maharashtra Right-Wing Leader Sambhaji Bhide Dropped, Reveals RTI
Mumbai: Maharashtra government has withdrawn at least 6 riot cases against right-wing leader and the main suspect in Koregaon-Bhima violence Sambhaji Bhide, the response to an RTI has revealed. Hundreds of workers of the Shiv Pratishthan Hindustan, headed by Mr Bhide, have been cleared in rioting cases. Rioting charges have also been dropped in dozens of cases involving BJP and Shiv Sena leaders and supporters. The police, however, have clarified that no charges against 85-year-old Sambhaji Bhide and others have been removed in Koregaon-Bhima violence case."The investigation is in progress," Pune SP Sandeep Patil told ANI.3 of the 6 cases dropped against the former RSS member were related to violence following the release of Hindi film Jodhaa Akbar.In the protests led by the Shiv Pratishthan Hindustan, hundreds of activists tore down posters of the film and shouted slogans outside a multiplex in Sangli, about 375 km from Mumbai. The protesters went on a rampage throwing stones at cops and damaging buses and vehicles, including a police van.Maharashtra's Finance Minister Sudhir Mungantiwar said the withdrawls were done in accordance with the government resolution (GR) issued by the previous Congress-NCP govt. "GR says that cases of protests and movements initiated for public can be withdrawn," he said.The information revealed by the RTI added that at least eight circulars were issued by the Maharashtra government since June last year asking for withdrawal of cases against Bhide, leaders of BJP and Shiv Sena and thousands of party workers.ndtv
No cases withdrawn against Sambhaji Bhide, other right wing leaders: Deepak Kesarkar
Mumbai :Responding to allegations it has withdrawn cases against right-wing leader and the main suspect in Koregaon-Bhima violence Sambhaji Bhide, Maharashtra government has denied taking any such step.Minister for Home (State)Deepak Kesarkar clarified the cases against the former  RSS member are related to the agitation following the release of the Hindi film Jodhaa Akbar and have nothing to do with the Koregaon-Bhima violence of 2018.“The cases (as is being claimed) withdrawn were disposed in Jan. 2017. The violence at Koregaon Bhima took place the same month in 2018. Please tell me how are the two connected (the violence and the cases)? We have not withdrawn a single case in connection with the Koregaon Bhima violence,” Kesarkar told The Hindu.thehindu
Collect biometrics of Rohingyas, will take action through diplomatic channels: Rajnath to states
New Delhi :Outlining the Centre’s policy to resolve the Rohingya issue, Home Minister Rajnath Singh on Monday said states have been asked to collect biometrics of the illegal migrants, following which action would be taken through diplomatic channels with Myanmar. Chairing 23rd Eastern Zonal Council meeting at the West Bengal Secretariat, Nabanna, Singh also assured the state governments that the Centre would provide adequate Central forces if required. “States have been told to identify them (Rohingyas). They have to take their biometrics also. After that, they will send a report to the Centre. Then the Central government will initiate action through diplomatic channels with Myanmar and then we will get it resolved,” he said.Singh’s remarks come after the Supreme Court directed the Centre to ensure that no illegal migrants are issued unique identity cards. The MHA has also asked the states to share with the UIDAI the particulars of those illegal migrants who have wrongfully obtained Aadhaar cards for appropriate legal action.The meeting was attended by West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee, Jharkhand Chief Minister Raghubar Das and Bihar Deputy Chief Minister Sushil Kumar Modi. Odisha was represented in the meeting by Finance Minister Shashi Bhusan Behera. There are more than 40,000 Rohingya illegally staying in India out of which the maximum is reported to be in Jammu and Kashmir.indianexpress
UIDAI asks telecom firms to submit Aadhaar de-linking plan in 15 days
New Delhi:Following the Supreme Court’s judgment setting aside the mandatory linking of Aadhaar to bank accounts and mobile numbers, UIDAI Monday asked the telecom operators to submit a plan for discontinuation of Aadhaar-based authentication system for mobile SIMs by Oct. 15, PTI reported.The communication, seen by PTI, says: “…all TSPs are called upon to immediately take actions in order to comply with the judgement dated 26.09.2018. In this regard, TSPs are hereby directed to submit by 15th Oct., 2018 an action plan/exit plan to the authority for closure of use of Aadhaar based authentication systems…”In a landmark judgment on Sept.26, the SC had struck down certain provisions within the Aadhaar (Targeted Delivery of Financial and Other Subsidies, Benefits and Services) Act, 2016 with a 4:1 majority.Striking down the part of Section 57 which allowed corporates to use Aadhaar-based authentication, the court had said, “This part of the provision which enables body corporate and individuals also to seek authentication, that too on the basis of a contract between the individual and such body corporate or person, would impinge upon the right to privacy of such individuals.This part of the Section, thus, is declared unconstitutional.”On the recent move, UIDAI CEO Ajay Bhushan Pandey told PTI, “In order to ensure smooth discontinuation, there are certain requirements which are there under the Aadhaar regulations. The companies are in the best position to know what exactly is needed and they can submit their plan by Oct.15. If any additional requirements are to be made from the UIDAI side, we will tell them after receipt of their plan.”indianexpress
Apple executive killing: Wife claims pressure, minister Brijesh Pathak agrees
Lucknow :The wife of Apple executive Vivek Tiwari, who died early Saturday morning after being shot by a police constable in Lucknow, has filed a second FIR in the case.The new FIR claims that police officials who reached the spot did not allow Tiwari’s associate Sana Khan, who was with him at the time of the shooting, from receiving or making calls. It also accuses policemen of forcing Khan to sign on a blank paper.Speaking to PTI, Uttar Pradesh Justice Minister Brijesh Pathak backed some of the claims, accusing police of “hushing up” the killing. “The lone eyewitness was kept in police custody for nearly 17 hours and her signature was taken on a plain piece of paper. The FIR was not registered the way it should had been. There is no consistency between the statement of Sana (who was accompanying the victim) and the FIR. And efforts were made to hush up the case,” he said.The new FIR on Sunday was lodged by Tiwari’s wife Kalpana. The first one had been filed by Khan and named Constables Prashant Chaudhary, who is accused of shooting Tiwari, and Sandeep Kumar, who was with him. Kalpana has said in the FIR that the details of what had happened had been revealed to her by Khan.indianexpress
UP cops tried to malign my dead husband’s character: Vivek Tiwari’s wife Kalpana
Lucknow: If all hell broke loose early on Saturday morning for Vivek Tiwari’s wife Kalpana, the night was tumultuous for the young widow, who was fighting not just an outer battle with the system demanding justice for her husband, but an inner battle too, with thousands of unanswered questions running in her mind.Taking unending questions from social workers, politicians and media persons, Kalpana spoke on various concerns. Kalpana accused UP Police of trying to malign her dead husband's character, she said, “The police had tried to malign my dead husband’s character and that of a nice and innocent girl, whom I know. They had no right to do so, but it is my fundamental right to seek justice and ask questions to the government on what has been thrown at us.” With a calm exterior, and a demeanour that appeared more like the lull before a storm, Kalpana, said, “I want lifelong protection for my mother-in-law, my 2 daughters and myself from Prashant Chowdhary—who killed my husband—and his wife, who is sympathizing with a murderer. They can come back at us anytime for speaking up against this injustice. I am scared for my daughter’s safety. That cop is telling everyone that police can do anything!” timesofindia
Aligarh ‘encounter’ killings: we’re poor, won’t get justice, say families
New Delhi:On the day when entire national media, besides the social media, was genuinely crying for justice for the family of Apple executive Vivek Tiwari who was killed in cold-blood by the Uttar Pradesh Police in the state capital Lucknow, two poor Muslim families from Aligarh, also in the state, were trying to make their voice heard at the Press Club in Delhi. They also wanted justice because they said their sons Naushad and Mustakeem were also killed in cold-blood, not in an encounter as the police claimed. The two were picked by the police from their home full four days before the ‘encounter,’ they said. On the same day of the killing (20th Sept.),they had addressed a press conference in Aligarh, but the ‘national’ – most of them have become ‘nationalist’ also – just buried their voice.“Since we are poor, we won’t we get justice? We have come here for justice. We have come here on our own will. Nobody has kidnapped us. Now justice is in your hand. Will Modi deliver justice? Is there no justice for us?” asked angry Shabana, mother of 22-year-old Mustakeem who along with his brother-in-law Naushad, 17, were killed in a controversial police encounter in Aligarh on 20th Sept.After huge media uproar over the killing of Apple executive Vivek Tiwari, the Yogi Adityanath government has offered a government job to one member of the family, Rs 25 lakh in compensation and a house. The government has also promised a CBI probe into the Friday night killing of Tiwari in Lucknow.While narrating her ordeal to the media here on Saturday, Shabana broke down.A fact-finding team from United Against Hate (UAH) group comprising of senior journalists and rights activists visited Atraulli village in Aligarh on 27th September. They met the families of the two deceased persons and also the police.At the Press Club, the team told media that there are many contradictions in the police version in all four FIRs lodged by police and four different motorcycles with four different numbers allegedly used by Naushad has been mentioned.  They said that Atrauli police did not provide any concrete information about the case and has been repeatedly asking the families to not meet media.AMU Students’ Union president Maskoor Ahmad Usmani and former president Faizul Hasan who also featured the press meet in Delhi told that Aligarh police has lodged a baseless FIR against both of them including an ‘unknown’ person charging abduction of the family members of Mustakeem and Naushad after returning from their home on 27th Sept. They had gone to meet the victim families.The fact-finding team also informed that both Shabana and Shaheen have filed a petition in the local court denying the allegations of the police that AMU student leaders abducted them.caravandaily
Jammu and Kashmir cop accused of stealing 8 guns seen with Hizbul militants in photo
Srinagar:A special police officer (SPO) in J&K who ran off with firearms from a PDP lawmaker’s house in Srinagar appears to have joined militant group Hizbul Mujahideen. According to a photograph being circulated on social media, Adil Bashir is seen in the company of four Hizbul militants holding two weapons.Adil Bashir had told guards at the PDP lawmaker Aijaz Ahmad Mir’s official residence in the city’s high-security area that he had come to clean the house as the legislator was supposed to return later on Saturday evening.By evening, however, the SPO disappeared with seven AK-47 rifles and lawmaker Ajaz Mir’s licensed pistol.Dilbagh Singh, the Jammu and Kashmir police chief, said the police had some leads about people who might have helped him and “are working on those leads”.In the last few years, there have been several incidents of policemen and SPOs deserting the force along with weapons to join militant groups have been reported. This is the first time that a policeman has deserted the force with such a large number of weapons.The incident comes against a backdrop of militant threats to special police officers in the state to quit the force. Some of them did give in to the threats and posted videos announcing their intention to resign.HT
Centre takes control of indebted lender IL&FS in surprise move
Govt will immediately seize control of a shadow lender whose defaults have caused widespread upheaval at mutual funds, a rebuke that’s only happened to one other firm.Officials were granted approval to oust Infrastructure Leasing & Financial Services Ltd.’s board and a new six-member board will meet before Oct. 8, the National Company Law Tribunal said on Monday. India’s richest banker Uday Kotak and ICICI Bank Chairman GC Chaturvedi will be part of the proposed board, which will elect a chairperson themselves. The nation’s corporate affairs ministry has sought to take control of a company on just two prior occasions, and only followed through once, with Satyam Computer Services Ltd. in 2009.The dramatic move, which unfolded within the span of a hectic day in Mumbai, underscores the government’s concern about IL&FS’s defaults spreading to other lenders in the world’s fastest-growing major economy. Considered systemically important, the group has total debt of $12.6 billion, 61% in the form of loans from financial institutions. The ripple effects of its defaults have already seen mutual funds post mark-to-market losses, a slump in corporate bond issuance and a brief but sharp sell-off in equities.Bloomberg
Rafale deal is father of Bofors: Shiv Sena MP Raut
Mumbai :Shiv Sena MP Sanjay Raut has described the Rafale deal as the “father of the Bofors scandal” and said Congress chief Rahul Gandhi’s importance has increased in the country’s politics for speaking out on the issue while other political parties maintain a silence. “Those who had accused Sonia Gandhi’s relatives of getting benefits of Rs 65 crore are in power today. They are accused of pocketing Rs 700 crore in the Rafale jet deal,” Raut wrote in the party’s mouthpiece, Saamana. Taking a jibe at BJP, Raut said whether former French president Francois Hollande should also be called a Rahul Gandhi supporter or an “anti-national” for his recent claims on Rafale deal.“The question is not that Anil Ambani was given a contract for the Rafale jets. UPA govt had finalised Rs 527 crore for the Rafale jets and this was revised by the Modi govt to Rs 1,570 crore. It means around Rs 1,000 crore were gained by middlemen,”MP added.indianexpress
Supreme Court issues guidelines to prevent vandalism in guise of public protests
The Supreme Court on Monday issued additional guidelines to deter acts of vandalism and hooliganism carried out in the guise of public protests.In the ruling, the apex court refused to give a date for a hearing to a mentioning by lawyer RP Luthra, seeking action against the lawyers who had allegedly tweeted against SC judges. The SC said it will hear the case later.As per reports, the following ruling was given while the apex court was listening to a petition filed by Kodungallur Film Society. The petition had sought framing of guidelines in this regard.The following petition was filed during the release of Sanjay Leela Bhansali’s magnum opus Padmaavat. During this time, massive protests were witnessed across the country. Several violent protests were carried out by Rajputs organisations as they alleged that their community was shown in a bad light in the movie. Padmaavat starred Shahid Kapoor, Ranveer Singh and Deepika Padukone in lead roles.NewsX
Uzbekistan President calls for dialogue between Kabul and Taliban
New Delhi:A month after a Taliban delegation held talks with Uzbekistan, visiting President Shavkat Mirziyoyev on Monday sought political dialogue between Kabul and the fighters to end the conflict in Afghanistan.President Shavkat Mirziyoyev said that his country had suffered a great deal in the past because of the lingering conflict in Afghan areas and urged for peace.“Because of the conflict in Afghanistan we have suffered a great deal in the past. There is no military solution to the problem and the government of Afghanistan should hold political dialogue to end the conflict,” said President Mirziyoyev. The Uzbek leader, who is visiting India soon after the last week’s visit by his Afghan counterpart Ashraf Ghani, is one of the tallest regional leaders to speak on dialogue between Kabul and the Taliban fighters who are challenging Mr. Ghani’s government in large parts of Afghanistan.A Taliban delegation visited Uzbekistan in August for a 4-day visit at the peak of the fighting in the Ghazni city in Southeastern Afghanistan. Mirziyoyev’s push for dialogue between the government and the fighters in Afghanistan is the latest in his initiatives. In March, he sought an end to the conflict through the formula of “Afghan-led and Afghan-owned” political solution.He said that India and Uzbekistan agree on key regional security issues and highlighted the agreement to conduct joint military exercise. Mirziyoyev and PM Narendra Modi presided over a ceremony where seventeen agreements were signed and exchanged at the Hyderabad House on Monday.thehindu
Indian airspace violation: PoK 'PM' claims helicopter was within Pakistani limits
Pakistan-occupied Kashmir’s (PoK’s) “Prime Minister” Raja Farooq Haider has claimed that the white chopper he was travelling in was “very close” to the LoC but within Pakistan’s airspace, and that there was no need to inform the Indian authorities about the flight as it was not a military helicopter.The Indian Army said on Sunday that a Pakistani chopper violated the Indian airspace along the LoC in Poonch district of Jammu and Kashmir but turned back after it was “engaged by air sentries”.Indian officials claimed that the white helicopter crossed into the Indian airspace in Gulpur sector and hovered over there for sometime before turning back.Three forward posts fired small arms after noticing the airspace violation, the sources said.Pakistan-occupied Kashmir (PoK) leader Mr. Haider said he was travelling with two Ministers and his personal staff officer in a civilian white-coloured aircraft on Sunday when it was attacked near Abbaspur village. Haider said the incident took place at around 12:10 p.m.PTI
J&K: Army fires at chopper on LoC; PoK says its PM Raja Farooq, Ministers on board
Separatist leaders write to UN secretary-general on Kashmir issue ahead of his India visit
Srinagar: Kashmiri separatist leaders said on Monday that they have written a letter to UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres ahead of his India visit, drawing his attention to the urgency of the need to resolve the Kashmir issue.Joint Resistance Leadership (JRL), a separatist amalgam, said in the letter, "As you embark on your trip to India, we in the State of J&K take this opportunity to draw your attention towards the urgency of the need to resolve the dispute over it."JRL, comprising Syed Ali Shah Geelani, Mirwaiz Umar Farooq and Mohammad Yasin Malik, said they felt that India's refusal to hold dialogue was doing "unimaginable harm not only to Kashmir, but to the entire South Asian region" at a time during which interconnectedness culturally, economically and politically is the driving force in international relations. "We would like to urge you to advocate that New Delhi engage with us in Kashmir and with Pakistan, with whom India's relations are also deteriorating by the day," they said. The separatists also raised the alleged human rights violations by the security forces.The UN secretary-general will be on a three-day visit to India from on Monday.PTI
J&K civic polls: No candidate or no contest in 60% of seats
Srinagar:In almost 60% of the seats going for municipal polls in the Valley in the first 2 phases, either no candidate has filed nomination or nominees have been elected unopposed. In 4 municipal bodies, no candidate has come forward in more than half the seats, while in at least 12 of the 24 municipal bodies, no voting would be needed.A total of 315 seats will go to polls in the first 2 phases, on Oct 8 and Oct 10, of which 185 have seen either no candidate or no contest. These seats do not include the more volatile regions of the Valley, including Shopian, Tral, Pulwama and Awantipora in South Kashmir and Hajin and Sopore in North Kashmir — going to polls in the third and fourth phases — which may see even more muted response. The figures for 307 seats were released by Chief Electoral Officer Shaleen Kabra 4 days after the last date of filing of nominations ended for the first phase. Asked what would happen to the 62 seats where no candidate had filed nomination, Kabra said “such seats would see by-elections”.On 123 seats being won uncontested, he said, “It is the people’s choice.”indianexpress
Huge difference in EVM purchase figures given by ministry and EC; RTI replies show
Figures given by the Union Law Ministry and the Election Commission of India (ECI) on purchase of EVMs from public sector manufacturers have thrown up glaring differences, according to replies received under RTI law. The discrepancies are now part of a PIL before the Bombay High Court.According to an RTI reply given by the Law Ministry on Nov.1, 2017, to Mumbai-based activist Manoranjan Roy, 13,95,306 balloting units (BUs) and 9,30,716 control units (CUs) of EVMs were purchased, totalling to 23,26,022 pieces.Just a month later, on Dec.11, 2017, ECI's RTI reply said that it had received a total of 38,82,386 pieces from the two public sector undertakings which manufacture EVMs. Bharat Electricals Ltd (BEL), Bengaluru,supplied 10,05,662 BUs and 9,28,049 CUs, totalling 19,33,711 pieces, while Electronics Corporation of India Ltd (ECIL), Hyderabad, supplied 10,14,644 BUs and 9,34,031 CUs—a total of 19,48,675 pieces.This total from the two companies—38,82,386 pieces—is higher by 15,56,364 pieces from the figure of 23,26,022 pieces cited by the Union Law Ministry, barely a month earlier.Again, on March 3, 2017, ECI issued LoIs to the 2 companies for supplying a total of 4,10,000 BUs and 3,14,000 CUs, totalling 7,24,000 pieces, for year 2017-2018. Accordingly, BEL supplied 2,05,000 BUs and 1,57,000 CUs (total:3,62,000 piece), while ECIL supplied 2,17,653 BUs and 35,858 CUs (total: 2,71,653).Compared to the LoIs issued, the final figure supplied fell short by 90,347 pieces, the exact status of which is not clear, said Roy.Surprisingly, despite having a large number of new EVMs in stock, the ECI said on Sept.25 that it will henceforth deploy only voter verifiable paper audit trail machines, or VVPATs, for all future parliamentary and assembly elections in the country.nationalheraldindia
Delhi : 1.4 lakh voters name missing from voters list in Okhla : Volunteers of Change
New Delhi: The names of 1.4 lakh voters are missing from voter list in Jamia Nagar says Abdur Rashid Agwan  the convener  of  Volunteers of Change (VoC) an NGO  working actively for the development of this  Muslim dominated pocket of South Delhi.Apart from that approximately the names of one lakh new voters are yet to be registered in the voting list who have grown eligible to utilize their right to vote in Okhla. It was reported that names of lots of people have been removed from voter lists. To ensure maximum participation of voters, people need to issue voter identity cards and for this, they need right direction and correct guidance, he added.But the community organizations complain that political parties, who need their votes, have not come out to aware and encourage people to apply for voter identity card. “Neither they raise local issues of political nature nor they come forward for helping voters in their registration” said Abdul Rashid Agwan. “All India Muslim Majlis Mashawirat (Delhi) in collaboration with VoC  organized 3 camps  which guided hundreds of people to get their names registered in the voters list, but it is not enough for the large population of this constituency. In more than 30 colonies of Okhla, we need at least 100 Guidance camps” says Agwan.muslimmirror
Hyderabad mosque opens doors to people of different religion to spread harmony
Hyderabad:Masjid-E-Rehmat-Alam mosque in Hyderabad opened its door for people of different religions to spread communal harmony, peace, and brotherhood. Keeping in mind how various religions coexist in India, a group of 20 volunteers came up with this idea for the public at large to meet, share, and experience the value and culture of Indian Muslims. It also aims at bringing awareness to the public on how the mosque functions and how prayers are offered. Speaking about the event named "Visit My Mosque" which drew as many as 1200 people last year across various religions, the chief organiser, Mohammad Ahmed Khan, told ANI:"It has been a complete teamwork to bring people here. This is the third time we have done such an event. We call our Hindu brothers to visit the mosque and tell them how we offer namaz and a mosque functions, so that, there is no misunderstanding between the people. It's an attempt to promote peace and harmony. I am pleased with the feedback we have got so far from the visitors."A visitor, Lekha, said:"I have found this experience to be extremely revealing, mainly because, for us, it's a very closed society. I have never been inside a mosque. I have been outside of a mosque several times. I didn't even know that women are also allowed inside a mosque. So, for me, it's a very nice experience. I have also loved the way they explained to us the entire thing."Another visitor, Navneeta, also lauded the organisers for the initiative, which, she said, helps expand one's knowledge about the subject. ANI
Controversy in Bihar's political circles after Nitish's cabinet colleague refuses to wear skull cap at a conference of Muslims
Patna: A major controversy erupted in Bihar’s political circles on Sunday after one of the senior-most leaders of Bihar CM Nitish Kumar’s party JD(U) refused to wear a skull cap at a conference of the Muslim community at Katihar district headquarters, about 300 km west of Patna.The state’s ruling JD(U), as per its schedule, organised a Talimi Bedari Conference at Katihar on Sunday. Bihar's energy minister Bijendra Prasad Yadav - who is considered the third senior-most minister in the Nitish Kumar cabinet after deputy CM Sushil Modi - was chief guest at the programme.When one of the organisers offered a skull cap to Yadav, he accepted it but instead of putting on his head, passed the cap to his assistant who was standing behind the minister.Yadav’s gesture reportedly caused anger among the devout Muslims present in the meeting. Some of them even lodged their protest over Yadav’s refusal to wear skull cap in front of local media persons.TOI
MP: Computer baba resigns as Minister of State, accuses BJP government of being ‘anti-religion’
Bhopal :Six months after he was accorded the status of minister of state, Computer Baba resigned on Monday accusing BJP govt of being “anti-religion”.The self-styled godman accused the govt of doing little to stop illegal mining in the Narmada river. He said he had brought the rampant illegal mining in the river to the notice of Chief Minister Shivraj Singh Chouhan but he did not pay heed to his words.Born as Namdev Tyagi, 53-year-old was among five religious functionaries who were accorded Minister of Status in April this year. He said he was unhappy with the government because despite holding the status, he was unable to do anything for saints and seers.A day after the CM announced the establishment of a cow ministry, he alleged the cow protection board did not do anything for cow and there was no need for a separate ministry.indianexpress
Rape charges filed against self-styled Maharaj
Delhi Police on Monday filed a chargesheet in the alleged rape case against self-styled godman Daati Maharaj, ANI reported. The charges have been filed nearly three months after an FIR was registered against the godman on June 11. The charges were filed under IPC sections 376, 377 at Saket court in Delhi. The self-proclaimed soothsayer is accused of raping a 25-year-old woman, who is his former disciple. In her complaint with Fatehpur Beri police station in south Delhi on June 7, the woman had said she was a disciple of Daati Maharaj for a decade, but after she was raped by him and two of his disciples, she was forced to return to her native place in Rajasthan.She also alleged that a female disciple of the godman used to force her into his room and if she refused, would tell her that other disciples slept with him as well, the police said.indianexpress
WORLD
Egypt court orders retrial of Muslim Brotherhood's Mohamed Badie, other senior figures
A Cairo court has ordered a retrial of the Muslim Brotherhood's leader Mohamed Badie and other senior figures from the group from October 7, judicial sources and state news agency MENA reported.Badie, the Brotherhood's spiritual leader, has already been sentenced to death and prison terms in other trials since Egypt's military removed President Mohamed Morsi, also a member of the Brotherhood, in July 2013.According to MENA, the retrial relates to a case in which Badie and 14 others were handed life sentences for incitement to commit murder and attempted murder of anti-Muslim Brotherhood demonstrators near group's HQRS in June 2013.Four others were sentenced to death in the Feb. 2015 ruling. New charges include premeditated murder, attempted murder, beating to death and possession of unlicensed weapons, MENA reported.It is not clear why the charges were modified but according to Egyptian law, charges can be altered if new evidence arises.The retrial, ordered by the Cairo Criminal Court, affects only those in custody and not those defendants who were tried in absentia.Earlier this month, an Egyptian court upheld death sentences against 75 people in one of the largest mass trials since 2011.aljazeera           
Indonesia Asks For Help, Over 1,000 Graves Dug After Earthquake, Tsunami
Palu: Indonesian volunteers dug mass graves for more than 1,000 bodies on Monday after a quake and tsunami devastated swathes of Sulawesi,as authorities -- struggling to deal with the sheer scale of disaster -- appealed for international help.Indonesia is no stranger to natural calamities and Jakarta wanted to show that it was able to deal with a catastrophe that has killed at least 832 people so far according to official toll.But four days on some remote areas have yet to be contacted, medicines are running out and rescuers are struggling with a shortage of heavy equipment to reach desperate victims calling out from the ruins of collapsed buildings.In response, President Joko Widodo opened the door to the dozens of international aid agencies and NGOs lined up to provide live-saving assistance."Last night, President @jokowi authorized us to accept international help for urgent disaster-response & relief," senior govt official Tom Lembong wrote on Twitter, asking rescuers to contact him directly via his account and email.Officials fear the toll will rise steeply in the coming days and are preparing for the worst.At Poboya -- in the hills above the devastated seaside city of Palu -- volunteers dug a 100 metre-long grave to bury the dead, with instructions to prepare for 1,300 victims to be laid to rest.AFP
Indonesia plans mass burials for tsunami victims
Iran fires missiles into Syria over parade attack
Iran's Revolutionary Guard has said it launched ballistic missiles into eastern Syria, targeting fighters it blamed for a recent attack on a military parade in southwestern Iran."Our iron fist is prepared to deliver a decisive and crushing response to any wickedness and mischief of the enemies," Guards said in a statement on Monday. The attack took place at 2am local time and targeted the bases of "takfiri terrorists" backed by America and regional powers in eastern Syria, the statement said. The powerful military force said at least six missiles were fired into Syria. It added that seven drones were also used to bomb rebel targets during the attack, which killed a number of fighters and destroyed supplies and infrastructure used by the group.Syrian state media did not immediately acknowledge the missile strike - second such attack on Syria in more than a year.aljazeera
3 yrs of Russian air strikes on Syria kill 18,000 people: Monitor
More than 18,000 people, almost half of them civilians, have died in Russian air strikes on Syria since Moscow began its game-changing intervention three years ago, a monitor said on Sunday.An ally of Syria's govt, Russia began carrying out bombing raids in the country on 30 September 2015 - more than four years into the conflict, AFP said.Since then, they have killed 18,096 people, according to Syrian Observatory for Human Rights. "That number includes 7,988 civilians or nearly half of the total," said Observatory chief Rami Abdel Rahman. Another 5,233 Islamic State group militants were also killed in Russian strikes, with the rest of the dead including other rebels and militants, the monitor said.Russia's defence commission published drastically different figures on Sunday,saying its "accurate" strikes had killed 85,000 "terrorists".middleeasteye
Strike empties streets: Palestinians unite against Israel’s nation-state law
Jerusalem;In a rare show of unity since 1948, Palestinians across the occupied territories staged a large-scale strike on Monday denouncing Israel’s nation-state law, but also expressed widespread grievances against the ‘deal of the century’ and the imminent demolition of Khan al-Amar.From factories to small village shops, schools to offices, Palestinians in Israel, East Jerusalem, the West Bank and Gaza from a variety of political factions emptied workplaces, stopped shopping and brought busy streets to a standstill.“The general strike of the Palestinian people in all locations is proof of the failure of the attempt to divide us,” Jamal Zahalka, head of the Balad National Democratic Party, told Middle East Eye.“We declare that we are all united in our refusal to finalise our Palestinian case through the nation-state law or through the ‘deal of the century’. Both are two faces of the same coin.”middleeasteye
Palestinians urge UN to list Israel as violator of children’s rights
Palestine Liberation Organisation (PLO) today sent a letter to UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres urging him to list Israel as a state that “violates children’s rights” in its annual report on children and armed conflict, reported Xinhua.The letter, sent in the name of PLO Secretary-General Saeb Erekat, came two days after Israeli occupation forces shot dead two Palestinian children during protests in the occupied Gaza Strip.Since 30 March, dozens of Palestinian children have been shot by Israeli snipers with live ammunition while posing no threat to Israeli soldiers and in many cases, far from the perimeter fence.“From reports you received from UN agencies working in occupied Palestine and through our bilateral channels, it becomes evident that Israel, as an occupying power, continues its grave violations of its obligations under the Fourth Geneva Convention and other treaties, including UN Convention on Right of the Child,” the letter states.middleeastmonitor
Amnesty: Imminent demolition of Khan Al-Ahmar ‘heartless’ and a ‘war crime’
With Israeli authorities’ demolition of Palestinian village Khan Al-Ahmar imminent, after an Oct. 1 deadline ran out, Amnesty International has declared that destruction of the community in the occupied West Bank would constitute a “war crime”.“Today’s planned demolition by Israeli forces of a West Bank village and the forcible transfer of its residents to make way for illegal Jewish settlements is a war crime”, Monday’s statement began,with some 180 residents facing expulsion by the Israeli army.The planned expulsion has been endorsed twice by Israel’s Supreme Court, “following desperate appeal by residents”, including a demolition order for “the village’s school”.The village is slated for destruction on the basis that it “was built without relevant building permits”, however, as Amnesty noted, “these are impossible for Palestinians to obtain in Israeli-controlled areas of the West Bank known as Area C”.MEMO
Irish national broadcaster won’t sanction staff who boycott Eurovision in Israel
Ireland’s national broadcaster “will not be sanctioning any staff members who refuse to travel to Israel for the Eurovision Song Contest in 2019”, according to reports by TheJournal.ie.The development comes after RTÉ’s Director General Dee Forbes met with representatives of the Ireland-Palestine Solidarity Campaign (IPSC), who has called for a boycott of next year’s content in line with the Palestinian-led Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions (BDS) campaign.IPSC has called on Ireland to shun the event “due to Israel’s oppression of the Palestinian people”. The report noted that more than 11,000 people have signed a petition urging RTÉ not to send an Irish representative to Tel Aviv next year.“Campaigners for the boycott include Irish and international public figures, musicians and artists, including Roger Waters, Brian Eno, Wolf Alice, Christy Moore, Mary Black, Charlie McGettigan, Mike Murphy, Carrie Crowley, Paul Brady and Doireann Ní Bhriain”.middleeastmonitor
Israeli paper reveals secret meetings held between Netanyahu and Arab leaders
Israeli newspaper Maariv revealed secret meetings held between Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and Arab leaders and officials in New York, on the sidelines of the United Nations General Assembly.Israeli writer Yossi Melman described a slip of the tongue by the Minister of Communications, Ayoob Kara, when he said during a ceremony on Friday in New York that Netanyahu secretly met with Arab leaders (he did not name) who have expressed their admiration and appreciation of him. Melman said that Netanyahu did not only meet Egyptian President Abdel Fattah el-Sisi but instead met other Arab leaders who praised his “leadership skills”.Israeli website i24News quoted Egyptian President Abdel Fattah el-Sisi as saying to Netanyahu during their meeting on Friday in New York that he “believes in and relies on him.”Both sides have met on the sidelines of the 73rd session of the UN General Assembly in New York. According to Israeli website, Netanyahu asked el-Sisi to pressure the Palestinian leader Mahmoud Abbas regarding the Gaza Strip.He pointed out: “The meeting between Netanyahu and el-Sisi was held in a friendly atmosphere during which the two leaders exchanged views on matters of common interest.” MEMO
Saudi writer reveals establishment of movement against House of Saud
Saudi writer Marzoq Mashan Al-Otaibi revealed that “tens of thousands” of oppositionists of what he called “the new regime of House of Saud” intend to establish of an anti-regime bloc under the name “National Mobilisation Movement.”Al-Otaibi, who says he worked as a journalist for the 2 Saudi papers Makkah and Al-Sharq, published this in a statement under his name on Sept. 28 and posted it on his Twitter page.“We intend to start preparing a National Mobilisation Movement, with the aim of contributing to efforts to establish a wise ruling regime in the Arabian Peninsula, which preserves the country and the people’s interests,” the statement said.Al-Otaibi added: “Tens of thousands of our brothers and sisters called for the (Saudi) regime to reform, develop the country and to grant the people their rights.”According to the statement, these have called for “the consolidation of equality, fairness, justice, the independence of the judiciary and the rule of law,” and they have warned of “corruption and depletion of the country’s resources.”middleeastmonitor
Trump complains US is 'subsidising' Saudi's military
US President Donald Trump has complained that the United States is "subsidizing" military of Washington's Middle East ally Saudi Arabia, echoing similar jibes at European members of the NATO alliance.Speaking at a West Virginia rally for local candidates of his Republican Party, he also criticised Japan and South Korea over the same issue."When you have wealthy countries like Saudi Arabia, like Japan, like South Korea, why are we subsidising their military?" asked Trump, who pushes an aggressive "America first" policy on trade."They'll pay us. The problem is nobody ever asks."Trump added that he had spoken to Saudi Arabia's King Salman on Saturday to make the same point, the AFP reported.Saudi Arabia and Japan are major buyers of US-made weaponry, and the United States provides intelligence and aerial refueling support to a Saudi-led coalition fighting Houthi rebels in Yemen. Japan and South Korea host tens of thousands of US troops.middleeasteye
Ex-Maldives leader Gayoom freed on bail
Former Maldives president Maumoon Abdul Gayoom has been released on bail a week after his estranged half-brother Abdulla Yameen was defeated in a presidential election.Gayoom, country's longest-serving leader, and his legislator son Faris Maumoon were released on Sunday by the High Court in capital Male after they filed fresh appeals against their controversial convictions.Gayoom, 80, was arrested in Feb.along with the country's chief justice and another Supreme Court judge for attempting to topple Yameen, who declared a 45-day state of emergency to block his impeachment. The High Court released Gayoom on a bail of $3,900 and he was also ordered not to travel abroad without its permission.Gayoom was serving a 19-month jail term for obstruction of justice and was also under trial on a "terrorism" charge."aljazeera
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Compiled and edited by Anwarulhaq (Released at: 7:30 PM)

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