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Tuesday, 23 October 2018

23 OCT ND:CBI bribery case: Maintain status quo on proceedings against Asthana, Delhi HC tells CBI; Kumar to be quizzed for 7 days/ Opposition says PM destroying independence of probe agencies/Constitution Bench to decide an ‘independent mechanism’ to appoint Election Commissioners



NEWS DIGEST, MID-DAY 
23 OCT. 2018: 13 Safar 1440: Vol: 11, No:39
INDIA
CBI bribery case: Maintain status quo on proceedings against Asthana, Delhi HC tells CBI; Kumar to be quizzed for 7 days


Delhi High Court has given relief from arrest to CBI’s Special Director Rakesh Asthana till Oct.29 a bribery case. A day after CBI arrested its own DSP Devender Kumar for “falsification of records” in connection with bribery allegations involving its Special Director Rakesh Asthana, Delhi High Court today directed that status quo be maintained with regard to Asthana who has been named in CBI FIR.Justice Najmi Waziri also issued notice to CBI Director Alok Verma, Joint Director AK Sharma and Department of Personnel and Training on separate petitions by Asthana and Devender Kumar.Asthana urged the court that no coercive step be taken against him since CBI has already arrested DSP Devender Kumar. At this, the court, while observing that it would prefer not to use the term “no coercive steps”, directed that “status quo be maintained with regard to petitioner (Asthana)”.The court did not intervene in the arrest of Kumar and sought CBI’s stand on his plea seeking quashing of FIR lodged against him.The court will hear the matter next on Oct.29. CBI has to respond before that.Asthana moved the court as his ongoing war with Director Alok Verma escalated. Devender Kumar,who was Investigating Officer in the Moin Qureshi case as part of a SIT headed by Asthana, was arrested around 2 pm Monday. CBI had earlier searched Kumar’s office in CBI building. Kumar was accused Number 2 in FIR filed by CBI last Tuesday which named Asthana as accused Number 1.CBI said Kumar was arrested on the allegation of “falsification of records in an ongoing investigation”, that he had allegedly fabricated the statement of businessman Sana Sathish Babu “as an afterthought plan to corroborate baseless allegations” made by Asthana against CBI Director. According to FIR, Sana, a witness in the Moin Qureshi case, allegedly paid bribes to Asthana for getting relief in investigation from CBI SIT headed by him. Meanwhile, a Delhi court allowed CBI to quiz in custody for 7 days its DSP Devender Kumar, who has been arrested in connection with bribery allegations involving Asthana.indian express
PM destroying independence of probe agencies: Cong
New Delhi:Charging PM Narendra Modi of interfering into the probe against senior most officials of the Central Bureau of Investigation, Congress demanded an impartial time bound probe into the charges against these officials. Party also charged PM of systematically destroying the independence of investigating agencies like ED, Income Tax Department, CBDT,SFIO and NIA. AICC media in-charge Randeep Surjewala said,’’ habitual and perpetual misuse of CBI by PM Modi and BJP chief Amit Shah in fixing political opponents and illegal intervention to tamper fair investigation of serious criminal cases has landed CBI in an unfathomable mess, eroding its independence and credibility. PM, Narendra Modi’s role in the entire matter is under a cloud. Entire nation is looking for a fair,impartial and independent investigation of the serious charges of corruption involving senior-most officers of CBI and RAW. UNI
CBI infighting: Modi Govt collapsed all institutions, says Chandrababu Naidu
AP CM N Chandrababu Naidu charged the Narendra Modi collapsed all institutions. "Govt of India has messed up everything. It's a very bad situation.They are messing up everything", he lamented. "Today, the democracy is at stake. The secularism is in danger. The economy has collapsed. The institutions were destroyed. The centre-state relations are deteriorated,” he said.Mumbai Mirror
Sharad Pawar hits out at PM Modi over CBI row
NCP chief Sharad Pawar said if the central Govt  was "effective", there would not have been bribery charges at the highest level in the CBI, and asked PM  Narendra Modi to act over the matter. He also attacked the BJP-led Centre over the Rafale jet deal and demanded a probe into it by a joint parliamentary committee.PTI
CBI vs CBI: BJP damaging India's institutions, alleges Sitaram Yechury
Referring to an internal feud in CBI between its directors, CPI(M) leader Sitaram Yechury alleged BJP was damaging and destroying the country's institutions.PTI
Constitution Bench to decide an ‘independent mechanism’ to appoint Election Commissioners
New Delhi:In a major step months before the General Elections, Supreme Court on Tuesday found ambiguity in the appointment process of Election Commissioners and referred the question to a Constitution Bench for a “close look.”The order passed by a Bench of CJI Ranjan Gogoi and Justice S.K. Kaul came on a PIL filed by Anoop Baranwal seeking an “independent mechanism for appointment of ECs” outside the exclusive power of the Govt. Bench was not satisfied by the argument made by Attorney-General K.K. Venugopal for the Centre that the appointment of ECs to the top poll body is “consciously and deliberately” a part of the executive function of the State.Mr. Venugopal said the current appointment process under the aegis of Govt has in the past given eminent persons, including T.N. Seshan, who was a byword for independence. Advocate Prashant Bhushan, for Baranwal, argued that appointments of ECs should be made under a “collegium system.” The appointment process of ECs should be in tandem with that of other top constitutional functionaries. There is a “gap in the law” as far as appointment of ECs are concerned. It is necessary to “plug the gap to ensure the independence and dignity of the institution.”thehindu
SC rules out blanket ban on firecrackers
New Delhi:The Supreme Court today ruled out a national ban on manufacture and sale of firecrackers but went on to impose restrictions on the public about bursting them during festivals, especially Diwali, which comes after 2 weeks from now.The SC ruled against the manufacture and use of high decibel crackers and suggested community bursting of firecrackers.The restrictions have been put in to balance the popular interest of people to celebrate festivals with the public need for clean and noise-free environment.thehindu
Supreme Court puts partial ban on firecrackers, allows 2-hour window during Diwali
SC to hear Sabarimala review petitions on Nov. 13
New Delhi:The Supreme Court has fixed the date for hearing the review petitions against its September 28 majority judgment allowing women of all ages entry into the hill shrine at Sabarimala in Kerala, on Nov.13, 2018. On Monday.CJI Ranjan Gogoi said the date would be fixed for a hearing on a mentioning made by National Ayyappa Devotees Association.The court had declined to stay the judgment. It had also refused to hear them before it closed for Dussehra holidays on Oct.12.The petitions, including the one filed by Shylaja Vijayan, president of Ayyappa Devotees Association, argued that ‘reform’ does not mean rendering a religious practice out of existence on the basis of a PIL petition filed by “third parties” who do not believe in Sabarimala deity.thehindu

Cracks within Bihar NDA; LJP, RLSP refute seat sharing finalisation
BJP allies LJP and RLSP leaders today refuted media reports that seat sharing has been finalised in the NDA for 2019 Lok Sabha polls in Bihar but there appeared to be growing restlessness on the issue in the BJP-led NDA in Patna.LJP state president Pasupati Kumar Paras, who is also minister in NDA Govt  led by Nitish Kumar, said no such thing has happened till date about seat sharing."It is only in media that seat sharing has been finalised in NDA in Bihar for 2019 polls," Paras said.Paras, younger brother of LJP chief and Union Minister Ram Vilas Paswan, told media here that seat sharing talks would start only after Chhath, a popular festival in Bihar after Diwali, in mid November and finalisation might take place in Dec.Similarly, senior RLSP leader Bhagwan Singh Kushwaha said how can seat sharing be finalised without a meeting and discussion taking place. "No seat sharing has been finalised yet."It was reported that the Bharatiya Janata Party and its major ally Janata Dal-United in Bihar have finalised seat-sharing formula for 2019 Lok Sabha elections. According to reports on the basis of sources in the BJP and JD-U, as per seat sharing formula has BJP has agreed to contest 17 of 40 Lok Sabha seats in Bihar, the JD-U 16, LJP five and RLSP two seats.Both the LJP and RLSP leaders have repeatedly said that they would not contest seats less than what they had contested in 2014 Lok Sabha polls as allies of NDA.LJP contested from seven seats and won six seats and RLSP contested three seats and won two seats.The BJP contested from 30 seats in 2014 and won 22 seats.In 2014, the Janata Dal-United contested on its own but performed poorly. It was only two seats.IANS
Vajpayee’s niece to contest on Congress ticket against Chhattisgarh CM  Raman
Ex-PM Atal Bihari Vajpayee’s niece, Karuna Shukla, will contest on a Congress ticket against Chhattisgarh CM  Raman Singh in the state assembly elections in Nov. Shukla has been announced as Congress candidate from Rajnandgaon in the party’s second list of candidates. Raman Singh had served in Vajpayee’s Cabinet before becoming CM of Chhattisgarh in 2003.On Oct18,Congress announced its first list of 12 candidates for the first phase of the state elections. Elections to the 90-member Assembly will be held in two phases: Nov.12 and Nov. 20. The first phase covers 18 seats spread across eight Naxal-affected districts — Bastar, Bijapur, Dantewada, Sukma, Kondagaon, Kanker, Narayanpur and Rajnandgaon.indianexpress
Bhagwat’s Ram temple law demand proves its image makeover bid superficial: Yashwant Sinha
Nagpur :RSS chief Mohan Bhagwat’s demand for a law to construct a Ram temple in Ayodhya “proves” that the organisation would never change howsoever it tries to improve its image by inviting prominent people at Sangh events, former finance minister Yashwant Sinha said Monday.In an apparent reference to the Govt  take-over of the debt-laden firm IL&FS, Sinha said the country was facing a “payment crisis” because public money is being “misused” to “bail out” banks and NBFCs through LIC. Addressing a press conference en route to Akola where he would address a rally of farmers Tuesday, the former BJP leader questioned the legitimacy of the RSS chief’s demand for a Parliamentary law.“How can an act of Parliament be passed when the issue (title suits for the disputed land in Ayodhya) is being heard in the Supreme Court.“This (Bhagwat’s statement) means that you want to prevent the apex court from giving the order. Though I had left the BJP, but (I know that) the BJP’s stand is that this issue be resolved either through consensus or through the decision of court,” he said.“As the issue is being heard in the apex court, they should wait for the court’s decision,” he said.indianexpress
I'll once again extend hand of friendship to India after 2019 elections: Imran Khan
Riyadh:PM Imran Khan on Tuesday said that he would once again extend a hand of friendship to India after the 2019 Lok Sabha elections as he believed New Delhi rebuffed his offer of talks because Pakistan is an issue in the elections in the neighbouring country.Speaking at the high-profile Future Investment Initiative forum in Riyadh, Khan said Pakistan wants "peace with all our neighbours particularly India and Afghanistan for regional peace and stability.""Peace with India would help the two countries to divert their resources towards human development instead of indulging in arms race," Khan was quoted as saying by state-run Radio Pakistan.Similarly, peace in Afghanistan would help Pakistan to have an easy access to Central Asian states for bilateral economic and trade activities, he said. Khan said he had extended a hand of friendship to India, which rebuffed the move. After assuming power in August, Khan wrote to PM Narendra Modi suggesting a meeting between the two countries' foreign ministers on the margins of the UN General Assembly in September.PM Khan said he would try once again following the conclusion of the general elections in India.The general elections are due to be held in India next year.Speaking at the summit, which is the brainchild of Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman to attract foreign investment into the kingdom, Khan said that his govt is approaching the IMF and the friendly countries to seek loans to plug the financial gap.PTI
China still elusive on backing India’s request on listing Azhar as global terrorist
Beijing:China on Tuesday made it clear that there is no change in its position on India’s request to list Pakistan-based JeM chief Masood Azhar as a global terrorist by the UN and said it will decide on the issue on the “merits of the matter”.India on Monday asked China to support the pending application in UN to designate Azhar as a global terrorist during the first India-China high-level meeting on bilateral security cooperation which was co-chaired by Home Minister Rajnath Singh and Zhao Kezhi, State Councilor and Minister of Public Security, China, in New Delhi.A veto-wielding permanent member of the UN Security Council, China has repeatedly blocked India’s bid at the UN to list Azhar as a global terrorist. When asked to comment on India’s request, Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesperson Hua Chunying said she has to check the specific details of the talks between the two ministers.“As per to India’s request for the listing of Masood  we already stated our position for many times,” she said. “On the counter terrorism issue, China has always actively participated in international anti-terrorist operations. We have always made our decisions and judgements on the merits of the matter itself,” she said. “We will continue to step up the security cooperation to uphold the regional peace and stability with parties,” she said.PTI
J&K govt withdraws order to issue Gita, Ramayana books to all schools
Srinagar:Chief Secretary B.V.R.Subrahmanyam today withdrew order issued by the education department “to procure in bulk Urdu and Kashmiri version of Bhagavad Gita and Ramayan in all educational institutions and libraries of J&K ”.The order was issued on Monday and came under criticism from political parties and civil society groups. “Communication issued by the School Education Department has been withdrawn ab-initio on the directions of Chief Secretary,” an official spokesman said. Omar Abdullah had questioned Govt move. “Why just the Gita and Ramayana? If religious texts are to be placed in schools, colleges and Govt libraries (and I’m not convinced that they need/should be) then why is it being done selectively? Why are other religions being ignored? [sic]” said Abdullah.The order, which was issued after a meeting president of Governor Satya Pal Malik’s advisor B.B. Vyas, evoked a huge response on social media too.“Now Kashmiri Muslim students will have to read Ramayana and Bhagwad Gita but no mention of Quran. Why this religious divide? In spite of Muslims being in a majority, the local Govt s never in the past enforced teaching of Quran for minorities in Kashmir. We will resists these ugly designs,” said Raja Muzaffar, a RTI activist.thehindu
Major shift in security situation in J&K, decrease in stone pelting incidents: Rajnath
New Delhi :Home Minister Rajnath Singh on Tuesday said that there has been a major shift in the security situation in Jammu & Kashmir in last four months. Addressing a press conference at the end of his day-long visit to the state, Singh said, “As far as the J&K security situation is concerned, a major shift is seen in last four months. There has been a decrease in the numbers of stone pelting incidents. Also, I have got information that there has been a fall in the number of militant recruitment in the state.”Rajnath’s visit comes just a day after three militants and six civilians were killed during an encounter launched by security forces in Laroo area of Kulgam on Monday. The civilians were killed when an explosive went off at the encounter spot when locals gathered before the sanitisation could be completed by the forces. The centre announced a Rs 5 lakh compensation to the next of kin of the deceased.Former CM Mehbooba Mufti also met with Rajnath and appealed to resume dialogue between India and Pakistan. “Good relations with Pakistan have a positive impact on the ground situation in the state and it also encourages reconciliation among stakeholders within the state which automatically results in decline in alienation levels of people,” the Peoples Democratic Party leader said.indianexpress
Assam shuts down against Citizenship Bill, protesters disrupt road, rail traffic
Guwahati:Protesters burnt tyres on roads, disrupted of vehicular movement and rail traffic at several places in the state as a 12-hour shutdown called by 46 indigenous groups in Assam against the proposed Citizenship (Amendment) Bill, 2016 began in the morning.The shutdown, backed by the opposition Congress and the BJP’s ally AGP, has been called from 5 in the morning till 5 pm. Essential services have been kept outside its purview.The bill proposes to grant citizenship to religious minorities from Bangladesh, Pakistan and Afghanistan. Assam’s indigenous groups oppose the bill as they feel it will marginalize them by encouraging more migrations of Hindus from Bangladesh.“We have been forced to call for the shutdown as we have no other alternative left to protect rights of the indigenous Assamese. We want to warn Centre to desist from tabling the bill in Parliament,” said Akhil Gogoi of KMSS.HT


Jaitley’s daughter was on Mehul Choksi’s ‘payroll’, alleges Rahul Gandhi
New Delhi :Congress president Rahul Gandhi trained his guns at Union Minister Arun Jaitley, alleging that his daughter received lakhs of rupees from PNB scam accused Mehul Choksi.  He also alleged that Jaitley “sat on his file and allowed him” to flee the country.“Jaitlie’s daughter was on the payroll of thief Mehul Choksi. Meanwhile, her FM daddy sat on his file & allowed him to flee. She received money from ICICI a/c no: 12170500316 It’s sad that media has blacked out this story. The people of India won’t,” Gandhi tweeted.Earlier today, addressing a farmers’ rally in Raipur, Gandhi said:  “You must have heard about Nirav Modi and Mehul Choksi, who had stolen Rs 35,000 crore of the country. Choksi deposited lakhs of rupees in the bank account of FM Arun Jaitley’s daughter.”indianexpress
CIC Directs PMO to Reveal All Details of Black Money Brought From Abroad
New Delhi: In a major decision, the Central Information Commission has directed PMO to disclose information about quantum and value of money brought back from abroad and documents, related to efforts made by PMO in this regard, within 15 days.In 2014, PM  Narendra Modi, while campaigning for Lok Sabha polls, had promised to bring back black money from abroad and deposit Rs 15 lakh from it in every citizen’s bank account.Though he had subsequently made similar claims in his ‘Mann ki Baat’ radio programme, his office had refused to respond to queries in the matter.But in a recent order based on an application filed by whistleblower and Indian Forest Service officer Sanjiv Chaturvedi, CIC R.K. Mathur has directed the PMO to furnish all the information in the matter.thewire
Ishrat encounter case: Have sought Gujarat govt’s nod to prosecute Vanzara, Amin, says CBI
Ahmedabad:CBI has said that it has approached Gujarat Govt  for permission to prosecute retired IPS officer D G Vanzara and former superintendent of police NK Amin in connection with 2004 Ishrat Jahan encounter case.CBI’s submission comes on an order passed by the special CBI court in August this year. While rejecting the discharge applications of Vanzara and Amin,court had directed CBI “to either obtain sanction for prosecution from the concerned authority or declare in writing the legal position as per the law, with regard to sanction for prosecution against the accused”.“We have approached the state Govt for the sanction (to prosecute Vanzara and Amin,” CBI inspector Ketan Mehta told special judge JK Pandya Monday.Asked by the judge how much time will CBI take to get the sanction, Mehta responded by saying “it will take time”.The court adjourned the hearing in the matter to Nov. 22. Sources said that CBI had written a letter to Gujarat Chief Secretary JN Singh on Oct. 9, requesting permission for prosecuting the 2 ex cops officers under section 197 of CrPC, that mandates the probe agency to seek the Govt’s permission before prosecuting a public servant.indianexpress
Sohrabuddin, Prajapati encounter case: Husband is being threatened to give evidence in favour of accused, says witness wife
Mumbai:The wife of a key witness in Sohrabuddin Shaikh and Tulsiram Prajapati alleged fake encounter case has claimed her husband,currently in judicial custody in Rajasthan, was being threatened to give evidence in favour of the accused. She said her husband was arrested over 10 days ago by Udaipur police in Delhi and was currently being kept in prison in Rajasthan, she said. Witness was Tulsiram’s co-prisoner before his alleged encounter in December 2006 and was a co-accused along with Tulsiram and Sohrabuddin in the murder case of a man named Hamid Lala. CBI had previously summoned him to appear as witness but had told the court that he was named absconding in a few cases and was not traceable. “I met my husband in custody and he told me that he is ready to give evidence in court. He said he was being threatened with dire consequences and pressurised to give evidence in favour of the accused and not against them. He was earlier threatened in police custody and is now being threatened in prison,” she said.She said she had given an application in court, seeking police protection for him to appear before court. She has stated in the application that her husband was booked in about nine false cases and had been “arrested deliberately”.indianexpress
India, Myanmar discuss Rohingya crisis, regional connectivity
New Delhi :India and Myanmar on Monday reviewed all matters related to their bilateral ties, including the Rohingya refugee crisis, and signed a crucial memorandum of understanding for the appointment of an operator of port that will boost connectivity.According to a statement issued by MEA, Foreign Secretary Vijay Gokhale called on Myanmar State Counsellor Aung San Suu Kyi, during the course of which all matters relating to bilateral cooperation as well as matters pertaining to international and regional matters of common interest, including development in Myanmar’s Rakhine state, were discussed.After meeting Suu Kyi, Gokhale called on Transport and Communications Minister U Thant Sin Maung and discussed matters related to connectivity and transport infrastructure being developed by India in Myanmar.Following the meeting, Gokhale and U Win Khant, Permanent Secretary, Ministry of Transport and Communications, signed MoU for the appointment of a private port operator for the operation and maintenance of Sittwe Port, Paletwa Inland Water Terminal, and associated facilities that are part of the Kaladan Multi Modal Transit Transport Project.indianexpress
Malegaon blasts: HC orders to expedite hearing India
Mumbai: Bombay High Court on Monday passed an order directing special NIA court to hear the 2008 Malegaon blast case preferably on day to day basis and to expedite the trial. Malegaon blast case is being heard by NIA court. The application seeking appropriate directions to the special NIA court seeking a speedy hearing in the Malegaon trial was heard by a bench comprising of Justices SS Shinde and AS Gadkari.NIA court will hear the matter next on Oct.26. NIA court on Saturday had rejected the plea of Lieutenant Colonel Shrikant Purohit, one of the accused in the 2008 Malegaon blast case, seeking dismissal of charges against him under UAPA. NIA court had asserted that the prosecution of Lt Col Purohit under UAPA is valid. 6 people were killed while more than hundred got injured in the blast that took place on Sept.29, 2008, in the Muslim majority town of Malegaon. In Nov.2008, ATS arrested 11 people in this connection. In April 2011, the investigation was transferred to NIA.ANI
Rohingyas urge India to create conditions conducive for their return
Hyderabad: Rohingya refugees living here have appealed to the Indian Govt  to mount pressure on Myanmar to create conditions conducive for their safe return. Worried over reports that India may deport them, the refugees said they would return on their own once assured safety. They also want Myanmar to grant them citizenship and return their lands.The deportation of seven Rohingya Muslims earlier this month has left refugees across Indian cities worried.7 Rohingya, who were held in a Assam jail since 2012 for illegally entering India, were handed over to the Myanmar Govt  after the Supreme Court turned down a plea to stop the Govt  from deporting them. The deportation prompted UN High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) to remind New Delhi that the international laws required nations to refrain from sending refugees back to countries where they could still face danger.About 18,000 Rohingya refugees registered with Unhcr are living in India. Of them, 4,000 of them have found a home in Hyderabad. About a million Rohingya reported to have fled Myanmar to escape persecution by armed forces. Majority of them have taken refuge in Bangladesh. While thanking the Indian Govt  for allowing them to live all these years, the refugees appealed to the Govt  not to turn them back as they still face danger to their lives in Myanmar.“Don’t send us back. Instead, bomb us here. At least we will have graves here. We don’t even get a burial there,” said Sultan Mahmood, one of the refugees, told IANS.He recalls how they fled to escape persecution in Myanmar’s Rakhine state and landed up here.IANS
Jharkhand HC orders CBI probe into encounter of 12 alleged Maoists
Jharkhand High Court ordered a CBI inquiry into an alleged fake encounter in 2015 in Palamu, in which security forces killed 12 people after branding them as Maoists. Justice R.A. Mukhkhopadhaya ordered the probe on a petition seeking an inquiry by the Central Bureau of Investigation into the incident. The court observed that the investigation was not going in the right direction, petitioner lawyer Jawahar Yadav said. People's faith in the judicial system has been dented due to the police and CID investigation. To restore the faith of the people in the judicial system, a CBI probe is ordered, Yadav said, citing the court order. The case was being probed by the state CID, which gave a clean chit to the police officials involved just before the High Court was to hear the case on Monday.IANS
Togadia joins active politics, slams BJP for Ram Mandir betrayal
Former VHP leader Pravin Togadia said on Tuesday he was “jumping into mainstream politics” and would soon announce the name of his new party that would contest the 2019 Lok Sabha elections.Addressing his supporters and votaries of a grand Ram temple in Ayodhya, the firebrand leader of the pro-Hindutva Antarrashtriya Hindu Parishad charged the BJP with betraying the people on the temple issue. Togadia had formed the Parishad soon after being expelled from the VHP.IANS
Shivpal Yadav launches new party, says forced to leave SP due to ‘sycophants’
New Delhi :A month on since launching his new front after falling out of favour with Samajwadi Party supremo Mulayam Singh Yadav and his nephew Akhilesh, Shivpal Singh Yadav on Tuesday announced his new political party Pragatisheel Samajwadi Party Lohia at an event in Lucknow.Launched just seven months ahead of 2019 Lok Sabha elections, Yadav’s new party may upset equations in the caste-ridden state where Opposition comprising SP, BSP, and Congress will be locked in a direct clash with BJP.“Our new party has been registered (with Election Commission). Its name is Pragatisheel SP Lohia,” Yadav, who is still an SP MLA from Jaswant Nagar in Etawah district, said at the event. Without naming any SP leader, Yadav said though he always wanted unity in the party, he was forced to leave due to “sycophants”.indianexpress
The world’s fastest-growing economies India and China have the most toxic air
Asia’s largest economy,China, has long had a reputation for smoggy skies. But these days, neighbouring India is fighting the far bigger battle with pollution: South Asian country is home to the world’s 10 most polluted cities. Outside India’s capital, New Delhi, Kusum Malik Tomar knows the personal and economic price of breathing some of the world’s most toxic air. At 29, she learned that pollution was the likely driver of cancer growing inside in her lungs. She had never touched a cigarette. Her husband Vivek sold land to pay for her treatment. They borrowed money from family. Their savings slowly disappeared.“Govt is thinking about the economic growth of the country, but people are dying of diseases or suffering from diseases,” Tomar said.“How can you grow economically when, within your country, your citizens are facing economic problems because of the air pollution?”Bloomberg
PFI mouthpiece Thejas to stop publication this year
Kochi :Thejas, a Malayalam daily owned by the extremist Popular Front of India (PFI), has announced its decision to cease publication from end of this year.Kozhikode-headquartered broadsheet has 6 editions in Kerala and close to 250 employees including 200 permanent staff. The management informed the staff on Monday that the newspaper’s last edition would be published on Dec.31. However, a magazine by the same name and the digital arm of the newspaper will continue to operate. Intermedia Publications chairman and PFI president Naseruddin Elamaram said the lack of Govt  ads had affected flow of other ads also. “Without advertisements, the publications was running into debts and it has become difficult to continue,”he said.indianexpress
Delhi Police Censured By Minorities Commission For Calling Hindutva Outfit’s Trishuls ‘Mementos’
New Delhi:Delhi Minorities Commission has snubbed the Delhi Police for calling the trishuls (tridents) distributed by a Hindutva outfit in some areas of the National Capital in July this year as “mementos” and their distribution “symbolic”. The commission had issued notice seeking report from the Delhi Police.In reply to the notice regarding public distribution of trishuls in Sonia Vihar and Gokulpur Nahar Road area of east Delhi, DCP North East has informed the Commission that “no law was broken and that the symbolic trishuls distributed were “mementos”.”Peeved by the reply, the Commission has written to the DCP North East saying that his reply is “awkward” and distribution of trishuls is “not symbolic and the trishuls are not mementos but are used to intimidate opponents.” Delhi Minorities Commission had issued the notice to the police over the distribution of trishuls at two events where hateful and provocative speeches were also allegedly given by members of a saffron outfit named “Hindu United Front”.On 1st July, the group had distributed 251 trishuls in Sonia Vihar area. Then on 15th July, it distributed 371 trishuls on Gokalpur Nahar Road in East Delhi. It also had a plan to distribute one lakh more trishuls in the city.“This outfit, which operates from B-437 Mukhya Chowk, Shahdra, is planning to distribute one lakh trishuls in the near future. All this activity takes place in the open on public land amid hate-filled speeches promoting hate and violence in society,” the minority panel had said in its notice in the last week of July.caravandaily     
Ambani’s Reliance Slaps 7000 Cr Defamation Suit On TC’s Editor Seema Mustafa For Rafale Coverage
Anil Ambani’s, Reliance Infrastructure Limited & Others has filed 'Suit for damages for Defamation' against Seema Mustafa Founder- Editor of 'The Citizen' before Ahmedabad City Civil Court at Gujarat and demanded damages for a sum of Rs 7000 Crore. In a statement issued today, The Citizen said, "The suit follows the coverage on the Rafale defence deal.The Citizen is a non funded news organization that takes pride in honesty, courage and independence. We believe in professional integrity and maintain a code of ethics centering on public trust, truthfulness, fairness, integrity, independence and accountability.We are determined to fight for the truth.The case is sub judice so it is difficult to say more at this stage. We need your support and solidarity.We have rejected Ambani’s charges in toto and thank Senior Advocate, Colin Gonsalves and his legal team including Shreeji Bhavsar, Advocate for their amazing support.We reject attempts to silence the media, and believe that an independent media -- devoid of political or corporate funding--is crucial to the future of journalism. "thecitizen
Rs 272 Crore of MP Funds Lie Unspent in 3 Poll-Bound BJP States
New Delhi:With less than 6 months left in Lok Sabha elections, a research by Caravan Daily reveals that a huge sum of Rs 272 crore of the MP Local Area Development Funds is lying unspent in the three BJP-ruled states that are going to Assembly polls in a few weeks from now.Rajasthan, MP and Chhattisgarh have together Rs 271.72 crore lying unspent, shows the Lok Sabha website that records sanction, spending and unspent amount of Members of Lok Sabha. Assembly elections will be held here on 7th Dec. Rajasthan which elected BJP candidates on all 25 Lok Sabha seats in May 2014, has unspent sum of Rs 119.96 crore. In the by-polls in Feb.this year, BJP lost Ajmer and Alwar to Congress.It is followed by Madhya Pradesh with unspent amount of Rs 112.68 crore. In the 2014 elections, BJP had won 26 out of 29 Lok Sabha seats. The state is going to Assembly polls on 28th Nov.Chhattisgarh, which has only 11 Lok Sabha seats, has unspent sum of Rs 39.08 crore. In the Narendra Modi wave here too, BJP had won 10 seats. Two-phase Assembly polls will be held here on 12th and 20th Nov.caravandaily
Ram is not a God in the original Ramayan, he is only a prince : Justice Katju
New Delhi: Apparently taking a jibe at union minister Giriraj Singh over his ‘Muslims are descendants of Lord Ram’ statement justice Markandey Katju, the ex-judge of Supreme Court  in his Facebook post wrote ‘Ram is not a god in the original Ramayan in Sanskrit by Valmiki. He is only a prince (and later a king) but no god.He becomes a god 2000 years later in Tulsidas’ Ramcharitmanas. ‘I cannot comment on Ramayans in other languages e.g. Kambar Ramayan since I have not read them. Will some Tamilian kindly enlighten me about Kambar Ramayar ? Is Rama a god there or only a prince or king?’  he added.Muslim Mirror
30% of Gujarat Govt  school students in classes 6 to 8 can’t read, write
Ahmedabad: 3 of every 10 students in classes 6,7 and 8 at Govt  schools in the state cannot read and write basic simple sentences in Gujarati and English. What’s worse is that they cannot even do basic arithmetic, like adding or subtracting single digit numbers!Top sources in the education department told TOI: “Of the estimated 21 lakh students surveyed in classes 6-8, nearly 6 lakh students cannot do basic reading, writing or basic arithmetic.”Basic reading and writing constitutes the child’s ability to read simple sentences like: ‘My name is Ramesh’ or “Gaay ghaas khay che” (Gujarati for: A cow eats grass).“They could not even do basic maths like answering 2+2=4; 3+7=10; 7-4=3,” the official said. This revelation on the shocking state of education was revealed in the seventh edition of the ‘Gunotsav’ drive, a study undertaken by the state Govt  where primary school students are assessed to ascertain their levels of learning.Education minister Bhupendrasinh Chudasama admitted that the major learning gap was a cause of concern. He said that state was committed to turning the situation around.TOI
Urdu can bridge gap between communities:Idara-e-Adab-e-Islami Nagpur's symposium
Nagpur: Over the years, technological advancement has enabled access to Urdu texts on phones and feed information to computers. This has helped a huge chunk of Urdu speakers to stay digitally connected and is a true wonder of digitisation, said noted writer Rehan Kausar from Kamptee. Kausar was talking at a symposium organized as part of a daylong regional conference organized by Idara-e-Adab-e-Islami at Markaz-e-Islami Hall, Jaffar Nagar, on Sunday. Idara-e-Adab-e-Islami is a literary wing of Jamaat-e-Islami Hind.“Today, internet and social media platforms like Google, Facebook, Twitter and WhatsApp have given us access to Urdu which holds a bright future for its literature. One of the most heart-warming examples of this is Rekhta Foundation which focuses on online shayari and celebrates Urdu poetry and literary works on social media,” said Kausar. This conference was organized to assess the ‘Current challenges for Urdu literature’ and its future sustainability. A panel discussion and mushaira were also organized. The speakers expressed their confidence that the future of Urdu literature is bright due to its nature of acceptability to all age groups irrespective of caste, class and colour. Zeenatullah Javed, retired professor of Urdu who was the chief guest, believed that Urdu literature has been a medium of disseminating love and togetherness in the society.Khan Hasnain Aaqib and Mateen Achalpuri were present. Maulana Shakir Falahi conducted the symposium.TOI
WORLD
Khashoggi killing a 'political murder': Erdogan
Turkish President Tayyip Erdogan has said the murder of journalist Jamal Khashoggi at the kingdom's consulate in Istanbul was planned by Saudi officials days in advance.Addressing legislators from his Justice and Development Party (AK Party), Erdogan detailed Khashoggi's disappearance and murder, but stopped short of accusing Saudi royals for the "savage" killing that has caused global outrage."On Sept.28, Khashoggi arrived at the Saudi Arabian consulate for him to sort out his wedding paperwork,"Erdogan said during the speech in the Turkish parliament in the capital, Ankara."It seems that at that time they [Saudi officials] started to plan a roadmap for his murder."He added some officials left Turkey and travelled to Saudi, "indicating they planned the murder".Erdogan called the killing a "political murder", adding that international investigators should be included in the probe.He called Khashoggi's killing "savage", adding that Ankara continue its investigation until all questions have been answered."Why did they [Saudi team] come to Istanbul, on instruction by whom?" Erdogan asked, adding that Saudi Arabia should make clear why it did not let investigators into the consulate until days later.Erdogan also demanded answers on what happened to Khashoggi's body, mentioning reports that a local cooperator allegedly disposed of it."Where is the body? There are claims his body has been given to a local person, but who is this local person," Erdogan asked."Nobody is allowed to think this case will come to an end without answering all these questions," he added.He also said Saudi was taking the right steps by working with Ankara on the investigation and carrying out the 18 arrests. aljazeera
Unsatisfied with Saudi accounts on Khashoggi: Trump
US President Donald Trump said has that he was still not satisfied with what he has heard from Saudi Arabia about the killing of Jamal Khashoggi in Turkey, but did not want to lose investment from Riyadh.Trump spoke with Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman, the de facto ruler of the world’s top oil exporter. He told reporters on Monday that he has teams in Saudi and Turkey working on the case and would know more about it after they returned to Washington on Monday night or Tuesday. CIA Director Gina Haspel was travelling to Turkey on Monday to work on the Khashoggi investigation, two sources familiar with the matter told Reuters. “I am not satisfied with what I’ve heard,” Trump told reporters at the White House. “I don’t want to lose all that investment that’s been made in our country. But we’re going to get to the bottom of it.”Reuters
Saudi crown prince's aide directed Khashoggi killing over Skype: Report
A top aide to Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman directed the killing of Jamal Khashoggi at the Saudi consulate in Istanbul, Reuters reported on Monday, citing Saudi, Turkish and Arab officials.A high-ranking Arab source with access to intelligence and links to members of Saudi’s royal court told the news agency that Saud al-Qahtani, a longtime adviser to bin Salman, was beamed into a room at the Saudi consulate via Skype. He began to hurl insults at Khashoggi over the phone, Reuters reported.According to Arab and Turkish sources Khashoggi answered Qahtani’s insults with his own.A Turkish intelligence source also relayed that at one point Qahtani told his men to dispose of Khashoggi."Bring me the head of the dog," Turkish source said Qahtani instructed.middleeasteye
Saudi investment forum opens under Khashoggi shadow
Saudi Arabia has brushed off an outcry over Jamal Khashoggi and went forward with an investment conference boycotted by Western political figures, leading international bankers and A-list executives.3-day conference  a brainchild of Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman, who is under intense scrutiny over Khashoggi's killing, kicked off on Tuesday.Future Investment Initiative (FII), dubbed "Davos in the Desert", is being held in capital Riyadh as part of bin Salman's much-touted Vision 2030 and is intended to attract foreign investments in the kingdom heavily dependent on oil revenues. Analysts say the lofty vision for the Saudi economy largely rests on the country's ability to attract foreign direct investment and create enough jobs for the next generation of young Saudis who will be entering the work market in coming years. Aljazeera
Belgium calls for canceling arms sales to Saudi
Belgium should take Germany as an example and stop the selling of weapons to Saudi Arabia, Belgian Deputy PM  Alexander De Croo said on Tuesday.De Croo called on his country to stop selling arms to Saudi Arabia over the gruesome killing of Jamal Khashoggi.“Arm export decision was taken by the regional parliaments, therefore, they don’t have authority other than to advise. We shouldn’t hide behind the EU. We should take Germany as an example and stop the arms sales to Saudi Arabia,” De Croo said. Anadolu agency
Revealed: Israel backed body gave loans to build illegal settlements
World Zionist Organisation (WZO) gave dozens of loans to aid the establishment of illegal Israeli settlements in the occupied West Bank, a new investigation has revealed. Investigation, conducted by Israeli newspaper Haaretz, uncovered documents which “show a pattern in which settlers have established farms and unauthorised outposts over past 20 years with loans from the [World Zionist Organisation’s] Settlement Division — financed entirely through taxpayers’ money and frequently secured by liens on agricultural equipment or livestock”. Haaretz obtained “dozens of documents relating to mortgages pertaining to 26 outposts across the West Bank” including Amona, which Israel evacuated in 2017 after deeming it had been established illegally on Palestinian land.The illegal settlers were then relocated to Amichai, the first brand new settlement to be built since Oslo Accords. Although Israel differentiates between settlements and outposts – which do not have official Govt recognition – both are deemed illegal under Fourth Geneva Convention which prohibits transferring of civilian populations into occupied territory.MEMO
Israel dismantles Palestinian school in W. Bank
Ramallah:Israeli forces today demolished a Palestinian school in the northern Jordan valley for being built without a permit, according to a local Palestinian official.“Israeli military force raided the village of Ibzeeq near the West Bank city of Tubas and dismantled two caravans used as a school,” Moataz Bsharat, who is in charge of tracking Israeli settlement activity in Tubas and Jordan Valley,said.“Students and teachers were prevented by Israeli forces from approaching the school before razing it,” he said.The makeshift school was opened by Palestinian Education Ministry to serve students in Bedouin communities facing demolition by Israeli authorities in the occupied West Bank.Last week, Israeli authorities closed a school in the West Bank city of Nablus, claiming that students were hurling stones at Israeli soldiers and settlers.Under 1995 Oslo agreement between Israel and Palestinian Authority (PA), the West Bank -- including East Jerusalem -- was divided into Areas A, B and C.Anadolu agency
HRW: Palestinian authorities committed abuses
Human Rights Watch (HRW) has condemned the "systematic arbitrary arrests and torture" carried out by the Palestinian Authority (PA) in the occupied West Bank and Hamas in Gaza.In a report published on Tuesday, the international rights group demanded the Palestinian Govt s hold those responsible to account and also called on donors to the Palestinian authorities to suspend aid to the agencies implicated in abuses until action is taken. The findings of the report were rejected by both PA and Hamas as inaccurate and "biased".Titled, 2 Authorities, One Way, Zero Dissent: Arbitrary Arrest and Torture under the Palestinian Authority and Hamas, 149-page document evaluated "patterns of arrest and detention conditions" in West Bank and the Gaza strip.The report is the result of a 2-year probe of 86 cases and interviews with 147 people who were mostly ex-detainees, family members, lawyers and NGO officials. Iyad al-Bozom, spokesman for Hamas, said that he received an inquiry from HRW in March asking for details about alleged human rights abuses committed by Hamas's police organization. He said that he sent HRW a detailed response explaining all the cases they inquired about,but the group never considered them when they issued their report. aljazeera
France's niqab ban violates human rights: UNHRC
Geneva: UN Human Rights Committee said on Tuesday that France’s ban on niqab, full–body Islamic veil, was a violation of human rights and called on it to review the legislation. France had failed to make the case for its ban, the committee said, giving Paris 180 days to report back to say what actions it had taken. The panel‘s findings are not legally binding but could influence French courts.“In particular, the Committee was not persuaded by France’s claim that a ban on face covering was necessary and proportionate from a security standpoint or for attaining the goal of ‘living together’ in society,” it said.The panel of 18 independent experts oversees compliance with International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights (ICCPR).Implementation of its decisions is not mandatory, but under an optional protocol of the treaty, France has an international legal obligation to comply “in good faith”.Reuters
EC secy: No law to bar Bangladesh  Jamaat from election
There is no law to bar Bangladesh Jamaat-e-Islami from participating in the election, the Election Commission (EC) Secretary Helaluddin Ahmed has said.The commission has no jurisdiction to prevent anyone from contesting the election independently, or with a coalition, he told reporters—after a meeting with the Forum for Secular Bangladesh and Trial of War Criminals of 1971, at the EC Secretariat, in Dhaka’s Agargaon on Tuesday. During the meeting, the forum handed a memorandum to the commission— making a number of demands. The demands include keeping Jamaat out of the running for the election, bringing to justice those who threaten minorities, and ensuring the security of the minorities in risky polling areas.In 2013, the High Court declared Jamaat’s registration illegal and unlawful—as many provisions of its charter ran counter to the country’s constitution and Representation of RPO.dhakatribune
Egypt jails 16 Muslim Brotherhood loyalists 15 years for inciting violence
Cairo:An Egyptian court has sentenced 16 loyalists of the Muslim Brotherhood group to 15 years in prison over inciting anti-state violence and protests, official MENA reported.16 members of Muslim Brotherhood of former Islamist President Mohamed Morsi, were arrested in 2014 in the Nile Delta province of Sharqiya, north of the capital Cairo, for spreading leaflets against the armed forces and the police and shouting anti-Govt slogans during protests.The prosecution charged the defendants with holding illegal protests, blocking traffic, using guns and fireworks and terrifying citizens.Most Brotherhood leaders, members and supporters, including Morsi himself and the group's top chief Mohamed Badie, are currently in jail.Many of them have received appealable death sentences and life imprisonments over charges varying from inciting violence and murder to espionage and jailbreak.Xinhua
Egypt MP calls for ban of face veil in Govt  buildings
An Egyptian MP has called for the country to follow the example of Algeria and ban women from wearing the full face veil in Govt  buildings, the Egypt Independent has reported. Ghada Agamy, a member of Foreign Relations Committee of the House of Representatives, praised the Algerian Govt ’s decision as “courageous” and argued that the move was necessary for Egypt, citing national security.“Security troubles in Egypt are accelerating these bold decisions in light of attempts to target state institutions and increasing criminal and terrorist crime rates,” Agamy said. “The negatives of the full-face veil are numerous and no longer compare to any positives.” Agamy argued that such a ban could not be considered a violation of personal freedom, as wearing the face veil was putting the liberties of others at risk. She added that all institutions, especially the Govt , have the absolute freedom to impose their own rules of work that employees have to abide by.middleeastmonitor
Anti-Muslim campaigning in US is 'losing strategy': report
Washington; Republican candidates claiming that Islam is a political ideology rather than a religion.Super PACs broadcasting a slew of TV ads linking Democratic candidates to "terrorism". Anti-Muslim campaign fliers sent out in areas across the country.With US midterm elections slated to take place on November 6, a new pre-election report blasted these types of anti-Muslim campaigning tactics as a "losing strategy". Published on Monday by the Muslim Advocates civil rights group, "Running on Hate" describes a swell of anti-Muslim campaign rhetoric throughout the era of US President Donald Trump.It documented 80 instances of "clear anti-Muslim rhetoric" employed by political candidates in 2017 and 2018, adding that 64% of the candidates held office before or enjoyed a presidential endorsement.Scott Simpson,public advocacy director of Muslim Advocates, explained that anti-Muslim candidates have vied for "every level of Govt" office in "every region" of the country in the past two years."Behind the world view pushed by these candidates is something very troubling: Muslims and non-Muslim allies are conspiring to take over Govt to replace the constitution with Sharia law," he said.Aljazeera
'Not Rape, It Was Consensual': Tariq Ramadan Admits to 'Sex Games' After a Year:Reuters
Paris: Swiss academic Tariq Ramadan, a professor of Islamic studies, said on Monday he had engaged in "sex games" with two women in France who accuse him of rape, but said the "submissive-dominant" relationships were consensual.It is the first time in the near one-year long case that the Oxford University professor, who has taken a leave of absence from the British institution, admits to having had sexual relations with the plaintiffs."He can finally speak freely, and he's relieved," his lawyer, Emmanuel Marsigny, told reporters after Ramadan was heard by investigators in Paris.Ramadan faced one of the accusers, named only as "Christelle", during a 10-hour confrontation on Sept.18.Woman, an Islam convert who suffers from disabilities arising from a car accident, says Ramadan raped her in Oct 2009 in a hotel room in Lyon, southeastern France.Ramadan said he had "relations akin to sex games of the submissive-dominant kind, but always in a consensual and knowing way," his lawyer said.Ramadan's lawyer said a series of text messages found in the two women's mobile phones showed the relations were consensual.He filed a request for Ramadan, in custody since he was notified of French investigation on Feb.2, to be freed. He is a grandson of Muslim Brotherhood founder Hasan al-Banna. He enjoys a substantial following among young Muslims and has challenged French restrictions on wearing veils. Reuters
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Compiled and edited by Anwarulhaq (Released at: 5:49 PM)

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