News and views across the globe.

Thursday, 11 October 2018

11 OCT ND:Rafale aircraft deal: To get contract, deal with Reliance was a condition, says Dassault official/ Kerala HC dismisses Hindu Mahasabha’s plea for Muslim women’s entry to mosques/Hindu Groups Force Gurgaon Meat Traders to Close Shop During Navaratri


NEWS DIGEST, MID-DAY 
11 OCT. 2018: 29 Muhram 1440: Vol: 11, No:23
INDIA
Rafale aircraft deal: To get contract, deal with Reliance was a condition, says Dassault official
French newsportal Mediapart has reported that a top official of Dassault Aviation explained to his staff in May 2017 that firm’s joint venture with Anil Ambani’s Reliance group for discharging offsets in the 36-Rafale deal was a “condition”, “imperative and obligatory” to win the deal for 36 Rafale aircraft from India.Mediapart said it had obtained an internal document which shows that Deputy CEO of Dassault Aviation Loïk Segalen said on May 11, 2017 during a presentation of the joint venture Dassault Reliance Aerospace Ltd (DRAL) from Nagpur: “It was imperative and obligatory for Dassault Aviation, to accept this condition, in order to obtain the export contract for Rafale from India”.Dassault has maintained that “in accordance with the policy of Make in India, Dassault Aviation has decided to make a partnership with India’s Reliance Group” and that “it is Dassault Aviation’s choice, as CEO Eric Trappier had explained in an interview”.Segalen’s remarks echo what Francois Hollande, the French President when the deal for 36 Rafale aircraft was signed between India and France, had told Mediapart. “It was the Indian government that proposed this service group (Reliance), and Dassault who negotiated with Ambani. We didn’t have a choice, we took the interlocutor who was given to us,” Hollande was quoted as having said.Ambani’s Reliance Defence became part of the offset programme of the Rs 59,000-crore Rafale deal through DRAL in which it holds a 51% stake. Dassault Aviation holds 49% stake in DRAL. In Oct.2017, Dassault CEO Eric Trappier had announced an investment of 100 million euros in the DRAL factory planned at Nagpur, which was scheduled to start production in 2018.This was after Trappier and Ambani laid the foundation stone for the Nagpur factory in the presence of then French Defence Minister Florence Parly; Roads and Highways Minister Nitin Gadkari; Maharashtra CM Devendra Fadnavis and Ambassador of France to India Alexandre Ziegler.indian express
Chose Reliance ‘freely’ for Rafale deal, French firm later clarifies amid Sitharaman France visit
The decision to partner with Reliance Defence on Rafale aircraft deal was taken ‘freely,’ Dassault Aviation said in a press release today. he clarification came a day after reports in the French media suggested that the company was made to choose Reliance Defence in a “trade-off” to get the Rafale aircraft deal from India.“Dassault Aviation has freely chosen to make a partnership with India’s Reliance Group. This joint venture, Dassault Reliance Aerospace Ltd (DRAL), was created on Feb.10, 2017.Other partnerships have been signed with other companies such as BTSL, DEFSYS, Kinetic, Mahindra, Maini, SAMTEL.Other negotiations are ongoing with a hundred-odd other potential partners,” Dassault Aviation said.The clarification from Dassault Aviation forms the backdrop of a visit to France by Defence Minister Nirmala Sitharaman today. thehindu
Papers Show Reliance Joint Venture 'Mandatory' For Rafale Deal: Report
Internal Dassault Document Says Reliance JV was a 'Trade-off' for Bagging Rafale Deal: French Report
Defence Minister Sitharaman likely to visit Dassault plant in France
Defence Minister Nirmala Sitharaman will hold the first defence minister level dialogue with her French counterpart Florence Parly today and is expected to visit Dassault’s Rafale fighter jet manufacturing facility outside Paris on Friday during her 3-day visit to France. She may also meet President Emmanuel Macron, although there is no confirmation on this.Government officials familiar with the matter said on condition of anonymity that Sitharaman’s visit to the Rafale facility comes from her desire to have a firsthand experience of its flying capabilities and to discuss with the plane’s maker Dassault Aviation, the delivery status of the 36 fighters ordered in fly away condition by India from France in a government to government deal. The first fighter is expected to land in India in Sept.2019.HT
PM Modi behaving like ‘chowkidaar’ of Anil Ambani: Rahul Gandhi on fresh Rafale report
New Delhi:Accusing Narendra Modi of corruption, Congress President Rahul Gandhi Thursday alleged that the Prime Minister influenced the Rafale deal to save “debt-ridden” Reliance group chairman Anil Ambani’s business. PM Modi, Gandhi said, is behaving like the “chowkidaar (watchman)” of industrialist Anil Ambani.“To save his (Ambani’s) business, he (Modi) took Rs 30,000 crore from IAF and put it in Ambani’s pocket,” Rahul alleged.Citing a French media report that said a top official of Dassault Aviation told his staff that the firm’s joint venture with Ambani’s Reliance group for discharging offsets was a “condition”, “imperative and obligatory” to win the deal for 36 Rafale aircraft from India, Gandhi said: “Earlier,ex French President revealed that Indian PM had told them that Reliance should get a deal. Now a senior official of Rafale has said the same. It is a clear-cut case of corruption.”indianexpress
Kerala HC dismisses Hindu Mahasabha’s plea for Muslim women’s entry to mosques
Kerala High Court on Thursday dismissed a petition filed by Akhila Bharat Hindu Mahasabha seeking directive to the Centre for issuing an order enabling Muslim woman to enter mosques for offering prayers.A division bench of Chief Justice Rishikesh Roy and AKJ Nambiar observed that the petitioner failed to establish that there’s denial of women’s entry to Kerala mosques.Petitioner submitted that in the context of a recent Supreme Court order allowing entry of women of all age groups into the Sabarimala temple, the need of the hour is the entry of Muslim women devotees in mosques for prayers along with men.He submitted that women were discriminated against by not allowing them to enter and pray in mosques in the main prayer hall.The petition was filed by Swamy  Dethathreya Sai Swaroop Nath, who is the state president of Akhila Bharatha Hindu Maha Sabha, Kerala unit.This was to be viewed in the context that Muslim women were allowed entry in Mecca, his petition said.He also said imposition of a dress code like purdah for Muslim women would enable anti-social elements to misuse it and commit crimes.
After Sabarimala Verdict Women's Group to Move Supreme Court to Seek Entry Into Sunni Mosques
New Delhi: Days after Supreme Court lifted the ban on entry of menstruating women in the Sabarimala temple, a Kerala-based Muslim women’s outfit is now all set to approach the top court to gain entry in Sunni mosques. Social Activist VP Zuhra, President of Kozhikode-based progressive Muslim women’s forum NISA, has decided to petition the Supreme Court, praying that Sunni mosques across the country must allow entry to women. Zuhra said that the prime reason for her decision to move court is the "apparent gender discrimination" at mosques. She added that the move will help the cause of “equality”.NISA chief said that Advocate Venkita Subramoniam will be filing the Muslim women’s plea in the top court this week itself or by next week.She said at present, women are allowed to offer prayers at mosques under Jamaat-e-Islami and Mujahid denominations, while they are barred from mosques under the predominant Sunni faction.News18 /PTI
Kerala-based women's forum to move SC seeking right to offer prayers, entry in mosques
'Stop Spreading Misinformation': AIMPLB Member on Row Over Entry of Women in Mosques
Lucknow: A day after a Kerala-based Muslim women's outfit decided to move the top court for getting entry into Sunni mosques, AIMPLB member Khalid Rasheed Farangi Mahali today hit out at the body, clarifying that woman are allowed in mosques. He said that some people were trying to spread misinformation, which is not good. "Islam allows both men and women to offer namaz in mosques. Some people are spreading misinformation that women are prohibited from offering namaz in mosques, which is not good. Spreading such misinformation about the basics of any religion, be it Islam or Hinduism is wrong. It has become a fashion nowadays to raise irrelevant questions on basics of any religion and then drag it to court, this should be stopped," he said while speaking to News18.News18
100 Dalit families stopped from installing idol in temple, threaten to convert to Islam
Meerut:At least 100 Dalit families from Meerut’s Mussourie village threatened to convert to Islam after some “goons” allegedly stopped them from installing a Kali idol in a local Shiva temple on Wednesday, the first day of Navratra. The villagers reached the district magistrate’s residence to protest and alleged that the goons had threatened to thrash them if they tried to install the idol.  The villagers alleged that the four families that had stopped their entry into the temple used its premises to park their cars and tractors. Vijay Kumar, one of the protestors, said, “During the kanwar yatra, we had hosted a bhandara at Shiva temple and had floated the proposal of installing a Kali Maa idol there. Everybody, including the families that are stopping us now, had agreed to the idea and it was decided that the idol would be set up on the first day of Navratra. However, when we went ahead with our plan on Wednesday, the four families stopped us, claiming to be members of the temple committee, even though they don’t have any documents to prove it.” The villagers alleged that the four families, who also happen to be Dalits, had captured the temple premises and apart from parking their vehicles there, used it to drink liquor. “If we are not allowed to set up the idol in the temple, we will convert to Islam. This holds for at least 100 families of the village, who were not let into the temple. If the district administration does not intervene, we will convert to Islam,” said Kuldeep Kumar, another villager. TOI
Hindu Groups Force Gurgaon Meat Traders to Close Shop During Navaratri
New Delhi: Barely 5 months after a number of right-wing Hindu groups had disrupted the offering of namaz in several parts of Gurgaon –and Haryana CM Manohar Lal Khattar, instead of taking strong measures, had justified their actions as legitimate protests – communal activism has resurfaced in the city.On Wednesday, members of 22 Hindu groups went around the city and forced meat shops to shut down on account of Navaratri celebrations. While doing so, they not only terrorised several members of the minority community but were also seen slapping some meat traders who objected to their strong-arm tactics.The forcible shutting down of meat businesses by these groups was a stark reminder of the manner in which they had similarly, in April and May, repeatedly disrupted the offering of namaz in various parts of the city.Emboldened by state patronage to their actions, activists belonging to 22 different Hindu organisation went around the city on Wednesday running their writ and demanding that all the meat shops remain closed during Navaratri, which began yesterday and would continue till Oct.18.Coming together under the banner of Sanyukt Hindu Sangharsh Samiti, Gurugram, activists said they had decided to go about ensuring that all meat shops remain shut during the period since the district administration had not acted on their demand of enforcing this ban.The demand for the meat ban had been made by the local unit of Shiv Sena. Its district president, Gautam Saini, went on the record to state that after the administration did not act, the organisation formed four teams of 125 members to enforce the decision.“If any shop opens during the festival, we would close it. If anything happens, we will take care of it,” he declared.Samiti members said they had also approached the meat traders over the last weekend and urged them to keep their businesses closed over the festival period.However, since this demand made no sense to the traders – as their livelihood depends on meat sale – none of the shops had ceded to it.But as word about the organised protests during the day spread, most of the meat shop owners downed their shutters. Seeing the huge groups of protesters, they were clearly perturbed by the turn of events. As one of the meat traders, Mohammad Yusuf, a resident of Sector 55, said: “I have been living in this area for the last 56 years and have been in the meat business for 44 years, but never before have I seen these kinds of protests.” He said that in order to avoid any confrontation, most of the shopkeepers have decided to close their shops.In some places, the shop owners were also beaten up for resisting the closure move. News channels showed a man being slapped by an activist during the closure raids.Incidentally, the action of the Hindutva activists had no sanction from either the local administration or the police.thewire
Yogi Govt Cancels Recruitment of 4,000 Urdu Teachers, Muslim Clerics Cry Foul
Lucknow:Yogi Adityanath-led BJP govt in UP has stalled the recruitment process of 4,000 Urdu teachers which was initiated by the erstwhile Samajwadi Party govt. Additional Chief Secretary of Basic Education Department Prabhat Kumar said that there were enough Urdu teachers in primary schools and that the additional recruitment wasn’t required.Akhilesh government had announced a total of 16,460 posts for assistant primary teachers in the state on Dec.15, 2016, out of which 4,000 posts were reserved for Urdu teachers.However, their recruitment was put on hold as soon after BJP came to power in 2017.Muslim clerics find this decision as a veiled attack on the Urdu language. “This step is a setback for Urdu language and as well as Urdu teachers,” Maulana Khalid Rasheed Farangi Mahali said. “Govt should reconsider its decision. Urdu is like any other Indian language and should not be looked upon only as the language of Muslims.”news18
2 Hizbul Mujahideen militants, including PhD scholar Manan Wani, killed in Kupwara encounter
2 Hizbul Mujahideen militants, including a PhD scholar of AMU, were killed in a gunfight with security forces in Jammu and Kashmir's Kupwara district today. Police officials said that at least three militants were trapped inside a house in the Shatgund Balla area of Handwara. After a tip-off, a joint operation was launched by the Army 30 RR and the Special Operation Group on Thursday morning. The police officials had earlier said that one of the trapped militants was Manan Wani and later identified him as the one who was killed. Sources said that the militants were also asked to surrender before the police, which they denied.The area was later cordoned off by the security forces whereas all the educational institutions and other offices were ordered shut. The killing of militants come at a time when the civic polls are underway in the state and the Hizbul Mujahideen has issued warnings to the contestants as well as the voters.Wani had joined militant ranks early this year and was known for various letters that he penned down reasoning why he took up arms. He was said to be inspired by Hizbul Mujahideen commander Burhan Wani who was killed in 2016.Wani was a PhD Scholar studying Applied Geology at AMU. In a letter, Wani had stated how young educated Kashmiris, who have little or no sources of income, are now resorting to joining militancy to raise their voice against the government. It also claimed that the trust deficit between Kashmiris and the government is fading especially since New Delhi is not ready to listen to a counter-point of view.Mannan also wrote that he didn't join militancy to die, but for him living a life of freedom is important and for that, he chose the path of resistance.25-year-old hailed from a small hamlet, Takipora, in Kupwara district. He was described as a bright student who went on to study Masters and MPhil in Geology and later on a doctorate in Applied Geology at AMU.He had also reportedly received the best research paper award during an international conference on 'Water Environment, Ecology and Society' in 2016. He was felicitated for his research on flood risk assessment of Lolab valley using remote sensing and GIS techniques. Wani was described by his friends at AMU as one whose interest lies heavily in student politics and Islamic revivalist movement.ibtimes.co.in
J&K: Militant, a PhD scholar, killed in encounter; Mehbooba rues losing educated boys everyday
Kashmir Valley records just 3.4% turnout in second phase of urban local body elections
Srinagar :Kashmir Valley recorded just 3% turnout in the second phase of urban local body elections on Wednesday. In the first phase on Monday, only 8% of voters had cast their ballot. However, Jammu witnessed a far better turnout, Greater Kashmir reported. “[As much as] 78.6% polling was witnessed in 214 wards of Jammu while Kashmir division witnessed average 3.4% polling in its 49 wards,” state Chief Electoral Officer Shaheen Kabra said. The overall polling percentage stood at 31.3%.In Kashmir, the highest voting percentage was recorded in Sumbal town in northern Bandipora district where 35.6% of voters exercised their right to franchise, Kabra said. On the other hand, the Srinagar Municipal Corporation areas of Batamaloo and Habba Kadal Assembly segments recorded just 2.3% polling. In Anantnag town, only 1.1% of eligible persons cast their vote.One of the polling stations in Anantnag will hold fresh elections as BJP candidate died after casting his vote. In Langate municipal committee in Kupwara, the voter turnout was 5.1%. In Watergam town of Baramulla district, it stood at 7%. In Jammu province, 72.8% turnout was recorded in Kishtwar, 72.8% in Doda, 79.5% in Ramban, 79.2% in Udhampur and 79.4% in Kathua district, Greater Kashmir reported.scroll.in
Delhi HC Directs Media to Remove News, Videos Linking JNU Student Najeeb Ahmed to ISIS
New Delhi: After allowing CBI to file a closure report in the case of the disappearance of JNU student Najeeb Ahmed, Delhi high court on Wednesday asked some media houses to retract from their websites and YouTube certain news reports and videos which allegedly link him to ISIS.Justice J.R. Midha issued the direction on a defamation suit moved by the student’s mother, Fatima Nafees, contending that the news reports and videos are defamatory and seeking an apology as well as Rs 2.2 crore in damages from the media houses.Advocate Nabila Hasan, who appeared for Nafees, said, “the court has directed all the defendants (media houses) to retract all articles and video clips from their websites and also remove YouTube links”.She said the matter was listed for further hearing on Oct.29 when it will take up Nafees’ plea seeking an apology from the media houses.In the petition, Nafees has contended that even Delhi Police during its investigation into Ahmed’s disappearance, had not said that he had any links to the ISIS.In her lawsuit filed in the Delhi high court against Times of India, Times Now, Dilli Aajtak as well as reporters of the India Today group, Ahmed’s mother has sought damages worth Rs 2.2 crore and immediate retraction of all articles.thewire
62 Hindu families left Haridwar village under pressure from another community, claims Prachi; district authorities denied any exodus
Haridwar:Right-wing leader Sadhvi Prachi stoked controversy once again on Wednesday by claiming that 62 Hindu families of Dhanpura village in Haridwar district had left in the past few years under pressure from another community. She added that she would soon meet chief minister Trivendra Singh Rawat and seek his intervention in the matter. However, district authorities denied any exodus from the village. They added that some people may have left the village for personal reasons but it was “not under any pressure.” Sadhvi, who was in Dehradun on Wednesday, had said, “Hindus have been forced to leave communally sensitive Dhanpura village. I will not sit silent over the issue.” She added that exodus of Hindus in UP was “common” but it was “shocking that such things are being reported in Devbhoomi as well.” “Minor girls are being misled and forced into marriage. There is a need for a law to prevent cases of ‘Love Jihad’ in the country,” she said. When contacted, Haridwar SSP Krishna Kumar VK said that there was no law and order problem in the village. TOI
Gujarat riots: It's now for courts to decide: Setalvad
The revelations made by Lt. General Zameer Uddin Shah (retd) about the deployment of Army during the 2002 Gujarat riots "corroborates what we have been saying", Teesta Setalvad, the co-petitioner seeking a criminal trial of then CM Narendra Modi and 62 other politicians and government officials for alleged "complicity" in the riots, said."The account by Lt General Zameer Uddin Shah (retired) corroborates what we have been saying in the Zakia Jafri Case (still pending in the courts) since 2006," the 56-year-old civil rights activist told IANS in an email.She said that at the time of filing the complaint, on August 8, 2006, they had detailed "ground reports from the Gujarat state police", which included affidavits of police officers and home department records.She further said that all the probe papers, 24,000 pages of records, were quoted in the Protest Petition filed before a Magistrate on April 15, 2013. "Now we have his (Shah's) account," she said. "SIT (headed by RK Raghavan(today Ambassador to Cyprus) was a travesty of an investigation. It disregarded hard, contemporary documentary evidence."Despite statements of Zakia Jafri and myself (as co-petitioners) recorded in 2009, they did not record Zameer Uddin Shah's statement. Why not? Now it is left to the Courts of India to decide," she said. IANS
NDMC Suspends Head of Wazirabad School for Segregating Students on Religious Lines
New Delhi:Head of an NDMC-run school in north Delhi’s Wazirabad was suspended Wednesday for “segregating students” into Hindu and Muslim sections, the commissioner of civic body said here, while denouncing his action as “unimaginable” and “unpardonable”, according to PTI. “I was apprised of the allegations of students being segregated by our officials. We decided to probe the accusations, and unfortunately they were found to be true. We have suspended the head of the school with immediate effect and initiated a major penalty charge sheet against him,” North Delhi Municipal Corporation (NDMC) commissioner Madhup Vyas told PTI. The conduct of the official was “bizarre” and “unpardonable” and “goes against the grain of our pluralistic society,” Vyas said.The commissioner said, “During our probe, it was found that it was the school-in-charge who had initiated this segregation. These are children coming from poor background, and such acts would have deleterious effects on them. We will not tolerate such things, it is unpardonable.”C.B. Sehrawat Singh, a teacher in North MCD Boys’ School, was appointed as head when the previous principal was transferred. When the attendance register of the school was accessed by the Indian Express, the names of the students were marked with their religion. thewire
IT raids at ‘The Quint’ office, owner and senior journalist Raghav Bahl’s home
New Delhi:Income Tax dept today morning conducted raids at the office of news portal ‘The Quint’ in Noida and at the home of its owner and media baron Raghav Bahl. Right now in Mumbai, Bahl told the Editors’ Guild about the raids and expressed his strong concern. “I have a matter of great concern to share with the Guild. While I was in Mumbai this morning,dozens of IT officials descended on my residence and The Quint’s office for a ‘survey’,” Bahl said to Editors’ Guild.Bahl, who is founder of ‘The Quint’ and Network18 group, further said: “We are a fully tax compliant entity, and will provide all access to all appropriate financial documents.”He said he told the IT officers over phone not to pick or see any email from The Quint office because they may contain sensitive journalist materials.caravandaily
#MeToo campaign: Woman No. 7 speaks up against Union Minister MJ Akbar
New Delhi: Facing allegations of sexual harassment and misconduct by as many as six women journalists on record, today, Union Minister MJ Akbar has been accused by a seventh journalist, for the first time of assault and molestation.In a detailed account written for The Wire, Ghazala Wahab, executive editor of Force magazine, described several instances where Akbar allegedly molested her by grabbing her, rubbing his body against hers and forcefully kissing her in his office.Wahab, who worked withThe Asian Age from 1994 to 1997 —where Akbar was founder-editor — wrote that he would make her sit opposite him “while he was supposedly writing his weekly column” and if he “needed to look up a word in the gigantic dictionary placed on a low tripod on the far end of his cabin, he would ask me instead of walking across the room”.Indian Express
#MeToo: Smriti Irani puts onus on MJ Akbar to respond to harassment charges
New Delhi: Union minister Smriti Irani today put the onus on minister of state for external affairs MJ Akbar to respond to allegations of sexual harassment levelled against him."The gentleman concerned would be better positioned to speak on this issue," Smriti Irani said while responding to questions over allegations against Akbar. "I appreciate that the media is accosting his (ex) female colleagues but I think it is for the gentleman concerned to issue a statement (and) not for me because I was personally not present there," Irani added. She urged people not to mock the women who are speaking out against the harassment meted out to them.TOI
Sohrabuddin, Prajapati ‘encounters’: CBI submits list of 3 more witnesses to be examined
Mumbai: CBI has submitted a list of 3 more witnesses to be examined in the Sohrabuddin Shaikh and Tulsiram Prajapati alleged fake encounter cases.3 witnesses include an assistant of Gujarat Police officer ML Parmar, accused in the case, and two men from Gujarat — Mahendrasinh Jhala and Ramzan Qureshi — who were booked as co-accused with Sohrabuddin and Tulsiram for a firing incident at Navrangpura in 2001. The latter two had said in their statements in 2010 that they were falsely implicated in the firing case in 2001 and had spoken about the alleged criminal links of discharged accused, Gujarat policeman Abhay Chudasama, including his links with Sohrabuddin.indianexpress
Centre clarifies citizenship status of Gorkhas living in Assam
https://scroll.in/latest/897838/centre-clarifies-citizenship-status-of-gorkhas-living-in-assam                                             
The central government on Wednesday said that members of the Gorkha community living in Assam can neither be sent to detention centres nor can cases on their citizenship status be referred to the Foreigners Tribunals, The Hindu reported.In a letter to the state government, the Ministry of Home Affairs said the Gorkhas who were Indian citizens at the time of commencement of the Constitution, or those who are Indian citizens by birth, or those who have acquired Indian citizenship by registration or naturalisation according to the provisions of the Citizenship Act, 1955, cannot be termed “foreigners”. Such cases, therefore, cannot be referred to the foreigners’ tribunals./scroll.in
Muslims to observe 13th Oct as ‘day of resistance’ against lynching, fake encounters, systematic discrimination
New Delhi:A group of professionals, activists, journalist and academics from the Muslim community is going to mark the upcoming 13th Oct.as “Day of Resistance” against unchecked trend of lynching in the name of faith, fake encounters in the name of law and order and systematic discrimination and injustice. The open event will be held across the country – from villages to towns to cities to metros and capitals.“Every Indian citizen deserves equal compensation and dignity. Every Indian citizen deserves equal access to legal justice,” say the organizers who want to demand “Respect our right to Economic Activity; Respect our right to; Education; and Respect our right to Life.”As part of the event, organizers have appealed to all to organise or join a street protest, post pictures on social media using the hashtag #EqualCitizens, create a Facebook event for a protest in their neighbourhood, wear black armband to office or workplace, change their Facebook profile picture to black with #EqualCitizens and change WhatsApp status to #EqualCitizens.Talking to Caravan Daily about the event, Mumbai-based eminent social activist Aamir Edresy, the brain behind the 13th Oct event says: “We have decided to hold this event as a mark of protest against the continuous injustice and bias against Muslims. Our purpose is that we want to highlight that Muslims are equal citizens of this country and any attempt to made them second class citizens must be opposed.”“We are going to hold this event in various cities like Delhi, Mumbai, Bengaluru, Gaya and also at universities like Jamia Millia Islamia, JNU and Aligarh Muslim University, says Edresy who last week created a WhatsApp group ‘Vote Hamara – Baat Hamari’ to spread the message about the event.Caravan Daily
Ignored by the Govt, Environmentalist G.D. Agarwal Dies While on Fast to Save the Ganga
New Delhi: Environmentalist G.D. Agarwal who had been on a fast to ‘save the Ganga’ since June 22, died on Tuesday. A former faculty member at the Indian Institute of Technology, Kanpur, Agarwal had given up drinking water on October 9 and was in a hospital in Rishikesh. He breathed his last at around 1:30 pm.“I was with him. He was weak but reasonably okay. He was talking. And all of a sudden, he left us. Doctors say that it was because of a heart attack,” said Prem, a caretaker who had been with Agarwal for years.For several years, Agarwal had been demanding that steps be taken to make the Ganga ‘aviral’ (free flowing). He wanted the government to stop the construction of all hydroelectric projects along the tributaries of the Ganga and the enactment of Ganga Protection Management Act.thewire
UP: Communal clash flares up over installation of Durga idol; 6 policemen injured
Bahraich : 6 policemen were injured when they tried to intervene in a clash between members of two communities over installing a Durga idol in the Sisaye Salon locality here, police said Thursday.The incident occurred Wednesday when some people tried to install the idol of Goddess Durga in the Risiya police station area without permission of the authorities concerned, ASP(Rural) Ravindra Kumar Singh said.People from the other community objected to it, leading to a clash. Members from Hindu and Muslim communities indulged in brick-batting, he said.The clashing groups also attacked the police team rushed to control the situation. Police have registered cases against 290 people of the two communities, naming 40 of them. 15 of them have been arrested, he said.devdiscourse.com
Rampal verdict: Self-styled baba convicted in 2 murder cases, quantum of punishment next week
Self-styled godman Sant Rampal was convicted by a Hisar court in 2 murder cases today. The quantum of punishment will be announced on Oct.16 and 17.Rampal, who enjoys a huge fan following, is currently lodged at Hisar’s Central Jail-2. He was arrested in November 2015 after a two-week long stand-off between his followers and police which had left six dead and several others injured.A special court was set up inside the jail — Hisar’s Central Jail-1 — to pronounce the judgment via video conference. In the wake of the verdict, nearly 1,800 policemen were deployed to maintain law and order.indianexpress
UP: Mystery shrouds death of BSP's former MLA Haji Aleem from Bulandshahr
Lucknow: Mystery shrouds the death of BSP's ex MLA Haji Aleem, whose body was found lying at his Bulandshahr residence on Wednesday morning.A pistol was also recovered from the spot leading the police to suspect it to be a case of suicide.The body was sent for autopsy and a thorough probe was underway.The police were also looking into the killing of Rehana, Aleem's second wife, who was allegedly murdered by 2 of her stepsons in New Delhi 3 years back.Aleem, who had several criminal cases registered against him, was found dead a day after the death anniversary of his second wife, who was murdered in New Delhi 3 years back. Sources said that the family members, who prayed on Rehana's death anniversary on Tuesday, were shocked to find the body of Aleem lying in a pool of blood in his room in Uppercoat area of Bulandshahr. The deceased had bullet injuries and a pistol was found lying nearby.The family suspects it to be a case of murder but the police are of the view that it is a case of  suicide.dailypioneer
Trump threatens countries including India to stop importing oil from Iran or face action
US President Donald Trump today said that America will take care of countries including India which defy its directive to stop importing oil from Iran by Nov.4. Trump’s warning has come on the heels of Oil Minister Dharmendra Pradhan announcing that two state refiners have placed orders for importing crude oil from Iran in Nov.According to reports, US is going to announce a fresh batch of sanctions on Iran’s oil and shipping sectors as well as its central bank.Earlier, US had asked buyers of Iranian oil to cut imports to zero starting in November. However, India, which is Iran’s 3rd largest oil importer, went against US warning and cited growing energy requirements while placing orders from Iran. Indian Oil Corp (IOC) and Mangalore Refinery and Petrochemicals Ltd (MRPL) together have placed order for 1.25 million tonnes (MT) of crude oil from Iran.newsx
Cyclone Titli LIVE: 8 dead in Andhra’s Srikakulam, Vijayanagaram districts, storm slowly losing steam
At least 8 people have died in AP’s Srikakulam and Vijayanagaram districts due to cyclone Titli. Power supply and communication systems have been affected in both districts while coastal villages are cut off from the mainland as the roads are damaged.The very severe cyclone Titli, that made landfall in Palasa-Srikakulam south-west of Odisha’s Gopalpur with a wind speed of 126 kmph on Thursday morning, changed direction and spared Odisha today. The storm hasn’t caused much damage as expected.According to reports, the cyclonic storm made a landfall between 4:30 am and 5:30 am. newsx
WORLD
Egyptian ex-President Morsi's youngest son held,  later released by police
Egyptian police have detained the youngest son of overthrown former President Mohamed Morsi from his home on the outskirts of Cairo on Wednesday, then released him on bail hours later, his family and security sources said. Attorney General Nabil Sadek issued a brief statement late Wednesday ordering the release on bail of 5,000 Egyptian pounds ($280) on the charges after questioning by Egypt's Supreme State Security Prosecution. Abdullah Morsi was taken into custody by security personnel for questioning along with his ID and mobile phone, but when he was released his phone was not returned, his brother Ahmed said.2 security sources said Abdullah was arrested on charges of "spreading false news", in connection with an interview he gave to AP last week that focused on his father's detention. Ahmed told Reuters the police officers did not present a warrant for his brother's arrest and said they were taking Abdullah for questioning.Abdullah is the youngest of Morsi's 5 children and was sentenced to a year in jail in 2015 for alleged drug possession.Another son, Osama, is also in prison and was among hundreds recently sentenced in connection with protests against Mohamed Morsi's overthrow. Abdullah's latest arrest comes just days after he told AP in an interview that his father's health had deteriorated due to prison conditions and that the family was rarely allowed to visit. Abdullah said he was seeking more visitation rights and better healthcare for his ailing father. aljazeera
US intel intercepts suggest Saudi crown prince ordered Khashoggi operation: Report
Saudi Arabia's Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman, the country's de facto ruler, ordered an operation targeting journalist and US resident Jamal Khashoggi, who has been missing for more than a week, the Washington Post reported on Wednesday, citing US intelligence intercepts.The Post, a newspaper to which Khashoggi contributed, cited unidentified US officials as saying that Saudi officials had been heard discussing a plan to lure Khashoggi from the US state of Virginia, where he resided, and detain him.The paper cited several of Khashoggi's friends as saying that senior Saudi officials had approached him offering protection, or even a high-level government job if he returned home - but that Khashoggi was sceptical of the offers.A former US intelligence official told the Post that capturing him does not meet "duty to warn" threshold.middleeasteye
US outcry grows over Khashoggi with lawmakers demanding action
Washington:A bipartisan and influential group of US senators called on President Donald Trump to investigate and potentially sanction Saudi Arabia under US human rights law for the disappearance and alleged murder of Saudi journalist Jamal Khashoggi. In a letter released by Senator Bob Corker, Republican chairman of Senate Foreign Relations Committee, the senators invoked terms of the 2012 Magnitsky Act requiring the president "to determine whether a foreign person is responsible for an extrajudicial killing" and demanding a report to Congress within 120 days."Our expectation is that in making your determination you will consider any relevant information, including with respect to the highest-ranking officials in the government of Saudi Arabia,"letter signed by 22 senators said on Wednesday. Magnitsky Act provides for an automatic trigger if members of Congress request a probe. aljazeera
Jamal Khashoggi case: All the latest updates
Khashoggi dragged from consulate office, killed, dismembered
Jamal Khashoggi was dragged from the consul general's office inside the Saudi consulate in Istanbul last Tuesday before he was brutally murdered by two men who cut up his body, sources close to the investigation have said. Turkish officials say they know when and where in the building the veteran Saudi journalist was killed and are considering whether to dig up consul-general's garden to see whether his remains are buried there.Khashoggi has been missing since last Tuesday when he entered the consulate to obtain paperwork so he could remarry, and has not been seen since. Since Saturday, Turkish officials have maintained that he was assassinated inside the building, but have not provided evidence or spoken on the record. Meanwhile, Saudi officials have said the 59-year-old left the consulate soon after he arrived and are concerned about his whereabouts.“I would like to confirm that... Jamal is not at the consulate nor in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, and the consulate and the embassy are working to search for him,”Saudi consul-general,Mohammad al-Otaibi,said on Saturday after consulate was opened to Reuters journalists. “We are worried about this case.”But a Turkish source with direct knowledge of the investigation has given MEE a detailed account of what investigators say happened in the consulate last Tuesday."We know when Jamal was killed, in which room he was killed and where the body was taken to be dismembered. If the forensic team are allowed in, they know exactly where to go," he said. Middle East Eye
Arrests of tribal elder fuel conflict between Bin Salman and National Guard
According to intelligence sources, King Salman has recently been forced to intervene in the power struggle between Saudi Crown Prince Mohammad bin Salman and the tribes that form the National Guard.National Guard consists of fighters who represent the central tribes in the kingdom, which have been loyal to the family of the House of Saud since the founding of the country and has enjoyed considerable independence from Saudi security services for years.Mohammad bin Salman wants to remove privileges that the tribes have gained under their National Guard connections.However, a number of tribal sheikhs were arrested and forced to follow the Crown Prince’s political line, according to the French “Intelligence Online” journal.The move caused a great disturbance among the tribes, and as soon as they recovered from the trauma they suffered because of oppression, the tribes of Mutayr, Otaibah, Anazzah, Bani Auf, Al-Buenan, Ghamd, BaniJizan and Bani Hilal complained to the Royal Palace. middleeastmonitor
UAE violating Somalia arms embargo: Report
A new report by a panel of experts from UN Sanctions Committee seen by Al Jazeera reveals that UAE has continued to violate arms embargo imposed on Somalia. The report, yet to be released, notes that UAE has carried on with the construction of a military base in Berbera in Somalia's Somaliland region, including the transfer of military equipment despite international resolutions against these arms shipments.UAE began construction of the base last year, under an agreement with officials in Somaliland, a northern region of Somalia that self-declared independence from the latter in 1991 following a civil war. UAE is investing in developing a port, which is strategically located close to Yemen, where UAE troops have been fighting as part of an alliance with Saudi Arabia against Houthi rebels since 2015.Somalia has previously urged UNSC to take action against the construction of UAE base in Somaliland.The report also noted that the panel of UN experts did not receive a response from authorities in Somaliland when they were asked to comply with the embargo in place. When the panel asked UAE to present them with more details of the construction of the base, response was: "Te UAE concluded all agreements with Somali regions based on constitutional powers granted to the heads of those regions to achieve security, stability and prosperity for the Republic of Somalia and its people."Al Jazeera
Israel, UAE envoys share dinner date
Israel’s Ambassador to the US had a dinner date with his counterpart from UAE yesterday, in the latest sign of strengthening ties between the two countries.Israel’s Ambassador to the US, Ron Dermer, sat with Yousef Al-Otaiba, the Emirati envoy to the US, at the annual dinner of the Jewish Institute for National Security Affairs held in Washington DC yesterday. The pair were seen talking amiably while they listened to a speech made by US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo. Egyptian Ambassador to US, Yasser Reda, was also at the same table.As Haaretz points out, “it is rare for officials from Arab states that don’t have formal ties with Israel to be seen in public with Israeli officials”. However, this is not the first time Al-Otaiba has been seen sharing a table with senior Israeli figures. middleeastmonitor
US’ Pompeo: ‘We want the whole Middle East to look like Israel’
US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo said that “Israel is everything we want the entire Middle East to look like going forward” and that US-Israel relations are “stronger than ever”.Speaking at an award ceremony held by the Jewish Institute for National Security of America in Washington DC, Pompeo hailed Israel as “democratic and prosperous”, adding “it desires peace, it is a home to a free press and a thriving economy,” Arutz Sheva reported. Pompeo then compared Israel to Iran, citing the latter’s “corrupt leaders [who] assault the human rights of their own people and finance terrorism in every corner of the Middle East”.Pompeo lamented that the US administration under former President Barack Obama “had more respect for the leaders of Iran than it did for the State of Israel,” stressing that "under President Trump’s leadership, US is standing where it should firmly be: On the side of Israel."middleeastmonitor
Malaysia to abolish death penalty
Malaysia's cabinet has agreed to abolish the death penalty and halt pending executions, a move that has been hailed by international human rights groups and foreign diplomats.A proposed bill on abolishing capital punishment is likely to be discussed by the government when the Malaysian parliament meets on Monday."All death penalty will be abolished. Full stop," a Channel NewsAsia report cited Law Minister Liew Vui Keong as saying.Keong called for a halt on all executions until the decision is in effect, saying: "Since we are abolishing the sentence, all executions should not be carried out.""We will inform the Pardons Board to look into various applications for convicts on the [death penalty] waiting list to either be commuted or released," he said. Communications and Multimedia Minister Gobind Singh Deo confirmed that the cabinet, which met on Wednesday, had resolved to end the death penalty. More than 1,200 people are on death row in Malaysia, which mandates hanging as punishment for a wide range of crimes including murder, kidnapping, drug trafficking and treason, among others.aljazeera
Syria rebels pull out heavy arms in a boost to Sochi deal
Turkey says a planned buffer zone in the northwestern Syrian province of Idlib has been cleared of heavy weapons as part of a deal reached between Moscow and Ankara, but experts say Ankara still has more challenges ahead.National Liberation Front(NLF), an umbrella organisation of Turkey-backed rebels that includes Free Syrian Army, confirmed that it had completed process of withdrawing its heavy weapons from Idlib, the last rebel-held bastion in Syria. Our heavy weapons - including tanks and cannons - have been moved to the back lines of the de-militarised zone so that they are no longer a target for Russian warplanes," NLF spokesperson Naji al-Mustafa, said."We will remain in our defence lines with our small arms and light weapons," al-Mustafa said.The agreement, signed on Sept.17 in Russian resort city of Sochi, aims to stave off a large-scale government assault on Idlib by creating a 15-20km buffer zone.aljazeera
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Compiled and edited by Anwarulhaq (Released at: 6:34 PM)

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