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Thursday, 25 October 2018

25 OCT: IB men caught ‘snooping’ outside CBI chief Verma’s house, MHA says ‘presence was projected otherwise’/Verma, Asthana to continue their respective duties: CBI/ Yashwant Sinha, Arun Shourie, Prashant Bhushan move SC, seek CBI probe into Rafale jet deal


NEWS DIGEST, MID-DAY 
25 OCT. 2018: 15 Safar 1440: Vol: 11, No:41
INDIA
IB men caught ‘snooping’ outside CBI chief Verma’s house, MHA says ‘presence was projected otherwise’
New Delhi: 4 men in plain clothes, who were allegedly trying to snoop on sidelined CBI director Alok Verma and his family, were caught at around 6 am today by Verma’s personal security officials outside his official residence. 4men, found with purported Intelligence Bureau identity cards, were then handed over to Delhi Police. It is also alleged that there were two other persons in civilian clothes who were spying on Verma’s house, allegedly from R&AW. They managed to escape in the melee that followed once the four suspected IB officers were identified. An MHA official said that the officers halted to “check why an unusual collection of people had collected at Janpath. This was with a view to check the reason why people had collected at the location. This is a high-security zone where several protectees reside. Unfortunately, their presence was projected otherwise.” It also said that officers were “routinely deployed” on a “regular basis” in “sensitives areas” that affect “public order” and “internal security.”Earlier today, IB sources denied that their officers were outside Verma’s residence. Amid an unprecedented feud in the agency, Verma was abruptly “sent on leave” in a midnight Govt order on Tuesday. indianexpress
4 IB Operatives Held for Snooping Outside CBI Director Alok Verma's Residence
Verma, Asthana to continue their respective duties: CBI
New Delhi: Alok Verma and Rakesh Asthana will continue to serve as CBI Director and Special Director, respectively, CBI said today.A CBI spokesperson said that M. Nageshwar Rao, who has been appointed as the interim director of the investigative agency, will look after the duties and functions of CBI Director till the time Central Vigilance Commission (CVC) completes the probe into allegations levelled against Asthana and Verma." Verma will continue to remain CBI Director, Asthana to remain Special Director.M Nageshwar Rao to look after duties and functions of CBI Director in the interim period till the time CVC looks into the allegations," CBI spokesperson said.The spokesperson added that whatever the probe agency is doing is to ensure that the credibility of the agency does not suffer. On Wednesday, Verma and Asthana were divested from their duties as the two hit out at each other over bribery accusations in the meat exporter Moin Qureshi money laundering case. In the wake of this, Rao, who was working as the Joint Director of CBI, was appointed as the interim director with immediate effect.ANI
Alok Verma still chief, says CBI day before SC hears his petition
Yashwant Sinha, Arun Shourie, Prashant Bhushan move SC, seek CBI probe into Rafale jet deal
 New Delhi :Former Union ministers Yashwant Sinha and Arun Shourie and lawyer-activist Prashant Bhushan have moved a fresh petition in Supreme Court, seeking a CBI probe into the Rafale fighter jet deal.The petitioners said they had collected some “evidence” and approached CBI on Oct.4, seeking registration of an FIR and a probe into the case of “criminal misconduct” by “high-ranking public servants”.They alleged that there was “enormous pressure on CBI because of the nature of the persons involved not to undertake this investigation” and as a result,no FIR had been registered. The plea contended that “high ranking public servants have abused their position in making a new deal without following the laid down procedures in order to obtain a valuable thing in the nature of offset contracts for  Ambani.”This would amount to criminal misconduct under the Prevention of Corruption Act, it added.The petitioners sought a direction to the agency to file an FIR and investigate the matter “in a time bound manner and to submit periodic status reports to the Court”.The plea also prayed the court to ensure that records are not tampered with and officials probing the case are not transferred mid-way.indianexpress
Rafale deal: CBI chief Alok Verma says Modi govt interfered when probes didn’t suit Centre
NGO moves SC challenging Verma's removal as CBI head
New Delhi: Common Cause,NGO through advocate Prashant Bhushan,today petitioned the Supreme Court to quash orders passed by CVC and Union Govt to withdraw work from CBI Director Alok Verma.The orders had reasoned that the divestment of CBI directorship from Mr. Verma was necessitated to retain the credibility of CBI and to ensure that there was no erosion of public faith in the institution due to the persisting acrimony between  Verma and CBI Special Director Rakesh Asthana, who was also asked to sit out.The petition wanted the Appointments Committee's October 23 order giving charge of the agency's directorship to senior officer M. Nageshwar Rao quashed.  Bhushan orally mentioned the petition before a Bench led by Chief Justice of India Ranjan Gogoi. He sought the removal of Asthana and urged the court to order an investigation by a special investigation team into the unprecedented incidents witnessed recently within CBI and corruption allegations levelled against its senior officials.The petition contended that the Lokpal and Lokayuktas Act of 2013 had amended DSPE Act of 1946, under which CBI was constituted. Under the amended Lokpal Act, Central Vigilance Commissioner-led panel, under Section 4C of DSPE Act, had power only to recommend the appointment, curtail or extend the terms of CBI officers from the level of SP to above, including the CBI Special Director, but not CBI Director, petition said.thehindu
With Alok Verma's Ouster, Fate of Probes Into Opposition Leaders Uncertain
New Delhi: With the Centre intervening into the power struggle within CBI, questions are now being raised about the fate of several high profile cases involving opposition leaders that are being investigated by the agency. With 2019 general elections just a few months away, the opposition may cry foul that CBI is being misused by the Modi Govt to tackle political rivals. According to the Indian Express, at least 4 ex CMs, an ex Union minister,several state ministers and senior politicians are being probed by top investigative agency for their alleged corrupt activities. Almost a dozen cases that are being investigated by CBI involve politicians from opposition parties. Some of the high-profile cases also involve Vijay Mallya and Nirav Modi and are reportedly at a critical stage of investigation. Opposition parties on Wednesday had criticised Centre for intervening into CBI’s internal power struggle, calling it a ‘systematic dismantling’ of the agency. Congress accused Modi Govt of using CBI to dig up old cases against opposition leaders instead of letting it act independently.Among the former CMs who are being probed for corruption are Virbhadra Singh of Himachal Pradesh, Bhupinder Singh Hooda of Haryana. Hooda is being investigated for National Herald case and is alleged to have ordered restoration of an institutional plot at Panchkula to Associated Journals Ltd at old rates.thewire
After Rafale backlash, J&K Guv scraps insurance deal with Anil Ambani firm, calls it fraud
At a time when Anil Ambani's Reliance Group is on a notice-serving spree to media houses over their coverage of shoddy Rafale jet deal, J&K Governor Satya Pal Malik has announced scrapping of controversial Group Medical Insurance Policy for Govt employees with Anil Ambani’s Reliance General Insurance.The governor said “it was full of frauds”, and pertinently, the finance department has held responsible for erroneous implementation of the policy. He added that the entire process was carried out in secrecy and even the tenders were opened on a holiday to suit a particular company. Incidentally, the proposed insurance contract aimed at covering around 400,000 Govt employees and pensioners was allotted by Malik’s administration to RGIC soon after he took over as Governor.While it was mandatory for employees of PSUs, autonomous bodies and universities, it was supposed to be optional for pensioners and other categories of employees and accredited journalists.“I have ordered termination of J&K  Group Medical Insurance Policy for Govt employees. I went into roots of the case and it turned out to be full of frauds. Formal orders will be issued in the next two days,” said Malik, when asked about the policy running into ₹20,000 crore to ₹25,000 crore.Formal orders to this effect will be issued in the next 2 days, he added.nationalheraldindia
Office-of-profit case: President dismisses plea to disqualify 27 AAP MLAs
New Delhi :In a major relief to AAP, President Ramnath Kovind has dismissed a plea to disqualify the party’s 27 MLAs for allegedly holding office of profit by being appointed as chairpersons of Rogi Kalyan Samitis attached to various Delhi hospitals.The order, a copy of which has been obtained by The Indian Express, was signed by the President based on an opinion by the Election Commission that found no merit in the plea. Such pleas are sent to the President who forwards it to the poll panel. EC then gives its opinion based on which the President has to issue orders.In 2016, the poll commission had issued a notice to the 27 MLAs on the basis of a petition seeking their disqualification for allegedly holding office of profit. Petitioner claimed that these MLAs were holding posts of chairpersons of Rogi Kalyan Samitis (RKSs) of different Govt hospitals in Delhi without any sanctity of law.indianexpress
18 MLAs case: Madras high court confirms their disqualification; AIADMK govt in TN safe for now
Chennai:Madras high court today confirmed the disqualification order passed by Tamil Nadu assembly speaker P Dhanapal, expelling 18 AIADMK rebel legislators from the assembly under anti-defection law. With the verdict of the Supreme Court-appointed third judge Justice M Sathyanarayanan, ruling AIADMK Govt is safe for now.In view of the order, AIADMK Govt can survive with 107 votes in case of a trust vote. As on date, the Edappadi K Palaniswami-led Govt is assured of the support of 109 AIADMK legislators. Even in the case of a tie in voting, the ruling party can count on the speaker’s support.The judge vacated the interim order restraining the Election Commission of India from notifying by-elections to 18 constituencies. The high court verdict is not the final one, as the MLAs have an option to go on appeal before the Supreme Court resulting in status quo of the present situation.TOI
Ayodhya dispute: VHP sends 70 truckloads of stones for Ram Mandir construction work
VHP has initiated its preparations for the Ram temple construction work even before the hearing of Ramjanmabhoomi-Babri Masjid title dispute case which is scheduled on October 29 in Supreme Court.In the hope of a favourable outcome of the hearing, VHP is said to have ordered trucks loaded with stones and gathered a number of artisans to carve them into pillars and structures that would be accumulated into a three-storied Ram temple.As stated by VHP leaders in Ayodhya, 70 more trucks carrying stones – almost four times the quantum that they brought in more than a year ago at its Ramjanmabhoomi Mandir Nirman Karyashala (workshop) – will expectedly arrive soon. The workshop is being closely managed by VHP top brass and Ramjanmabhoomi Nyas."We are not going to step back. This is a battle for victory of truth. We are just waiting for the Supreme Court order," VHP's vice-president Champat Rai told TOI. The road to Ramjanmabhoomi was closed for public movement as security personnel kept a close watch around the disputed site. While the petitioner Triloki Nath Pandey, who has been associated with the workshop, is hopeful of the Supreme Court hearing on the issue, the chief litigant Iqbal Ansari, was not happy. He said that BJP Govt needed to stop VHP from getting into the construction work as the case was pending before the apex court. "Whenever elections are round the corner, VHP steps up its activities," Ansari added.ibtimes
Ram temple issue: At meeting with RSS arms, Amit Shah says hope for Supreme Court order soon
Lucknow:Days after RSS chief Mohan Bhagwat urged the Govt to bring in a law for the construction of a Ram temple in Ayodhya, BJP brass Wednesday said it was hopeful that the Supreme Court verdict on the issue would come soon. The ruling party’s stand suggested that it may wait for the apex court judgement on the issue.Sources said BJP president Amit Shah made the indication during a coordination meeting of the RSS, its offshoots and UP  Govt in Lucknow on Wednesday. After the meeting, RSS Sah-Sarkaryavaha Krishna Gopal denied any discussion about Ram Temple, but sources said a functionary from an affiliated organisation had raised the issue, saying the temple should be built as soon as possible. Sources said Shah replied that the Ram temple was a commitment of the party, but the Govt was bound by the Constitution. Shah then told the gathering that the Supreme Court is going to start hearing the matter and party was hopeful that a decision will come soon, sources added.indianexpress
Muslim litigant Ansari in Ayodhya suit threatened
timesofindia.indiatimes.com/city/lucknow/muslim-litigant-iqbal-ansari-in-ayodhya-title-suit-threatened/articleshow/66356032.cms
Faizabad: Iqbal Ansari, a litigant from the Muslim side in Ramjanmabhoomi-Babri Masjid title suit pending before the Supreme Court, has claimed to have received a letter in which the writer has threatened him of dire consequences if he does not pull out of the case. Ansari is the son of one of the first litigants in the title suit. Ansari said the letter has warned him to "leave the case, or else he would be thrown out of India". 4-page letter was delivered through registered post and the sender has identified himself as one Surya Prakash Singh, a resident of Dadra village in Musafirkhana tehsil of Amethi district.Ansari said that he had got such threats in the past also and the Govt must increase his security, otherwise it would be held responsible if something untoward happened to him. Faizabad SSP Joginder Kumar said he was unaware of any such letter, but SHO of Ramjanmabhoomi police station PK Singh confirmed that Ansari had received such a letter and the matter was being investigated. TOI
BJP pressuring Parrikar to remain CM: Goa RSS ex-chief
Panaji :Former Goa RSS chief Subash Velingkar on Wednesday accused BJP central leadership of putting pressure on an ailing Manohar Parrikar to keep him continuing as the CM  in the BJP-led Govt in Goa at the cost of his deteriorating health.Maintaining that there is a growing anger among the cadre, Velingkar said, “There is restlessness in RSS. The entry of 2 (Congress MLAs) has triggered disgust in RSS. The decision was taken from the top without consulting grassroots workers..” Velingkar was addressing an RSS meet in Mandrem, north Goa, the constituency which will go to the bypolls after Congress MLA Dayanad Sopte quit.He said BJP leadership is responsible for a lot of “wrong decisions”, including the manner in which it continues to put pressure on Parrikar to remain CM .indianexpress
Malegaon blast: Lt Col Prasad Purohit moves Bombay HC against prosecution nod under UAPA
Mumbai :Lieutenant Colonel Prasad Purohit, facing trial in the 2008 Malegaon bomb blast case, has moved the Bombay High Court, challenging the order of the special NIA court, that had last week rejected the pleas of the accused questioning the applicability of the anti-terror law against them.Purohit has sought stay on the hearing and directions to the special judge not to frame charges till the appeal, filed on Wednesday, is decided by the High Court. Purohit has urged the court that the order passed by the special NIA court should be “quashed and set aside”.The matter was mentioned on Wednesday before the division bench of Justice SS Shinde and Justice AS Gadkari, and is likely to be heard on Thursday. On Monday, same bench, hearing a petition of one of the accused, Sameer Kulkarni, directed the NIA not to seek an adjournment on October 26, when the court is likely to frame charges against the accused. The bench also said that the trial should be expedited as per the Supreme Court directions. indianexpress
Action being initiated against Sanatan Sanstha: Maharashtra Home Minister
Mumbai:Maharashtra State Home Minister Deepak Kesarkar said that India Today's investigation which exposed Sanatan Sanstha members is being considered as an important piece of evidence. Kesarkar said that tapes have been sought from India Today group and those will be adjudicated after which proper action will be initiated against Sanatan Sanstha.India Today exposed Sanatan Sanstha members involved in bomb blasts through an investigative story on Oct.8. India Today /Aaj Tak ran a detailed investigation against members of the organisation Sanatan Sanstha, who were involved in bomb blasts in the past.The investigation revealed and brought to light the facts regarding the role of the acquitted Sanatan Sanstha sadhaks (members) in the bomb blasts that happened in Thane and Vashi in Maharashtra in 2008.Sadhaks (members), who had been acquitted, confessed to India Today's undercover reporters and revealed in detail how they had planned, executed the blasts. They said that it was planned in Sanatan Ashram at Panvel.Deepak Kesarkar said, "Our action is going on and if we find proof, we will surely act against them as we did against Zakir Naik's organisation. Tapes have been sought from India Today group and action will be expedited. As soon as we find proof against the organisation and once the evidence is scanned, which has been brought to light by India Today group, appropriate action will be taken."Refuting claims made by Kesarkar, Maharashtra state President for NCP Jayant Patil said, "Claims made by Kesarkar and his Govt were completely false. After 12 arrests of Sanatan Sanstha members, cases of murders, blasts, why is the organisation not being banned."indiatoday
Muzaffarpur case: SC terms as ‘horrible’ and ‘scary’ details placed before it by CBI
New Delhi:The Supreme Court today termed as “horrible” and “scary” details placed before it about the investigation into the case of Muzzafarpur shelter home where several girls were allegedly raped and sexually abused.A Bench headed by Justice Madan B. Lokur perused the status report filed by CBI and said “what is this going on? This is horrible”.The SC also took note of allegations referred by the CBI against shelter home owner Brajesh Thakur and issued notice to him to explain why he should not be transferred to a jail outside the state.CBI in its report had alleged that  Thakur is an influential person and a mobile phone was recovered from him inside the jail where he is currently lodged under judicial custody.Bench, also comprising Justices S. Abdul Nazeer and Deepak Gupta, noted that Thakur is an influential person.The SC also asked the Bihar and CBI to explain the delay in tracing whereabouts of ex-Minister Manju Verma’s husband Chandrashekhar Verma.It had asked Bihar Police to investigate the ex Minister and her husband in connection with the recovery of huge quantity of ammunition from them. Ms. Verma had to resign as the Minister of Social Welfare from the Bihar Govt in the wake of Muzzafarpur shelter home sexual abuse case. Bench said CBI team investigating the case should not be changed and posted the matter for hearing on Oct.30.PTI
Bhima-Koregaon case: Maharashtra govt. moves SC challenging Bombay HC order on activists arrest
New Delhi:Maharashtra Govt moved the Supreme Court today against a Bombay High Court decision refusing the State police an extension of 90 days to complete its investigation and file a charge sheet against lawyer Surendra Gadling and others, who were accused of Maoist links in the aftermath of Bhima-Koregaon violence. Bombay High Court's Oct. 24th order opened the window for Gadling, Nagpur University professor Shoma Sen, activists Sudhir Dhawale and Mahesh Raut and Rona Wilson to seek default bail.“Police started the probe but could not complete the same. On Sept.3, 90 days were completed since the date of arrest of the respondents,” Maharashtra Govt petition filed through State counsel Nishant Katneshwarkar said. Katneshwarkar mentioned the case before the Bench led by CJI Ranjan Gogoi. On Sept.2, the trial court had allowed an extension of 90 days, following which  Gadling and the others moved the high court, which set aside the trial court order. The high court however stayed its order till Nov. 1 to give the State time to appeal the SC. thehindu
J&K Jama’at seeks judicial probe into alleged forces’ atrocities in Pulwama district
Srinagar:Jama’ate-Islami (JeI) J&K  has once again condemned, what it said, the atrocities and excesses inflicted on the residents of Trichal village in south Kashmir’s Pulwama district by the state forces, demanding judicial probe into the incident.  “A team of Jamaat Islami visited Trechal village in Pulwama district where the forces thrashed the residents after a mine blast some days ago. The forces also smashed all the window pans and doors and household goods of the people.These unruly forces have fractured limbs of a number of persons including minor boys, young ladies, aged persons and even tried to molest the women folk as per the statements of the victims of their barbarity,” the Jama’at spokesman advocate Zahid Ali alleged  in a statement.  “Jamaat while vehemently condemning the inhuman attitude of the forces, demands a high level probe by some impartial judicial agency into such atrocities,” Jamaat spokesman said.  greaterkashmir
Aircel Maxis case: ED files chargesheet against P Chidambaram, 8 others
New Delhi :Enforcement Directorate today filed chargesheet against ex finance minister P Chidambaram in Aircel-Maxis money laundering case. A total of nine accused have been listed by agency including Chidambaram, S Bhaskaraman and 4 Maxis companies. CBI special court has fixed Nov. 26 for consideration of the chargesheet in the case.ED had filed the first charge sheet in the case against Chidambaram’s son Karti; later, a supplementary charge sheet was also filed against him.“As per rules and FDI policy of Govt of India in 2006, Chidambaram, then Finance Minister was empowered to give approval of the foreign investment to the proposals involving foreign investment up to Rs 600 crore only. The foreign investment proposal of Global Communication and Services Holdings Limited should have been referred to Cabinet Committee on Economic Affairs (CCEA) but it was not done and approved by Chidambaram under a conspiracy,” said the ED, filing 2nd supplementary charge sheet.indianexpress
Jamiat to launch nationwide movement for enlisting missing names in voter’s lists
A daylong meeting of Jamiat Ulama-i-Hind’s working committee under the presidentship of Maulana Usman Mansoorpuri, JUH National President was hel yesterday at its central office in New Delhi. The members of the apex body i.e. Jamiat Ulama-i-Hind Working Committee (JUHWC) has decided to launch a nationwide movement for enlisting missing names of Muslims in the voter’s lists. The members of (JUHWC) also took stock of Uttrakhand’s High Court decision for banning fatawa and prevailing situation in Islamic world especially in Saudi Arabia.Jamiat took decision to launch voter’s list movement in the wake of revelation made by Centre for Research and Debates in Development Policy (CRDDP) that names of several lakhs Muslims have been missing from the voter’s lists that is affecting electoral and social strength of community. In order to rectify the anomaly, National Working Committee has issued advisory to all its local branches in various states to take up this work on war footing.TCN
Delhi: AAP to set up SC/ST, Minority wings
New Delhi:AAP has announced the formation of SC/ST and Minority wings, as the party seeks to bolster its social base ahead of Lok Sabha elections next year.“The party is reconstituting its frontal organisations. The wings are being constituted to reach out to the communities. The wings will not only help create awareness about the policies of our Govt, but also help the party reach out to the public,” AAP’s Delhi Convener Gopal Rai told reporters here. Rai had on Monday announced the formation of 2 frontal organizations — AAP Youth wing and Senior Citizens wing.On Tuesday, the party had announced the setting up of an Uttarakhand Wing, a Purvanchal Wing and a South Indian Wing.AAP rules Delhi, with its Convener Arvind Kejriwal as the CM .IANS
DU Committee Wants the Word 'Dalit', Kancha Ilaiah's Books Dropped From Syllabus
Delhi University’s standing committee for academic affairs has recommended that the word “Dalit” be replaced with “bahujan’, “ambedkarwadi” or “scheduled caste” in books used by post graduate political science students. It recommended that three “controversial” books written by activist and academic Kancha Ilaiah Shepherd also be dropped from the reading list of political science students.According to HT, during the committee’s meeting on Wednesday, members had objected to the usage of “Dalit” in a course taught by the political science department. Hansraj Suman, committee member and chairperson of DU’s SC/ST/OBC teachers’ forum, told HT that there was an “immense of Dalit word in a course titled ‘Dalit Bahujan Political Thought'”. The committee had suggested that “bahujan” or “ambedkarwadi” or “scheduled caste” be used instead. “We should not be using the word in our syllabi despite Supreme Court’s recent order that we should refrain from using the word Dalit and use scheduled caste instead,” said Suman. There is in fact no Supreme Court order banning the word. The Bombay HC had asked the Centre and state Govts and its functionaries to “refrain from using the nomenclature ‘Dalit’ for the members belonging to Scheduled Castes and Scheduled Tribes as the same does not find mention in the Constitution of India or any statute”.thewire
 NIA arrests travel agent Shafeek in fake passports case
NIA arrested Shafeek Ahmed, a resident of Tamil Nadu's Thanjavur, for his involvement as a conspirator in a 2017 case.In the case, Shahjahan -- traveled to Turkey and Syria after procuring a fake passport, which Shafeek, 30, allegedly helped him procure. Shahjahan, a resident of Kannur, travelled under the name Mohammed Ismail Mohideen.NIA IG Alok Mittal said that "Shafeek is the third arrest in the case. After questioning of Shahjahan and Abdul Razak, 2 of the accused, we found out that Shafeek was making fake passports for those who wanted to enter IS territory."This case was initially registered at a Delhi Special Cell in 2017, with Delhi Police arresting Shajahan on July 1 last year at the airport, while he was being deported by the Turkish authorities in connection with his involvement with IS.A few days after Shahjahan's arrest, another accused, named Mohammed Mustafa, was arrested in Chennai.India Today /Reports
Kerala BJP leader approaches High Court seeking ban on entry of non-Hindus in Sabarimala temple
The Kerala High Court is likely to hear a petition seeking a ban on entry of non-Hindus into Sabarimala temple. The petition has been filed by a state BJP leader citing that Supreme Court in its September 28 allowed only entry of Hindu women. BJP leader TG Mohandas, in its petition, said that the entry of non-Hindu and non-idol worshippers into Sannidhanam violates Rule 3 of the rules framed under Kerala Places of Public Worship (Authorization of Entry) Act, 1965 Act. He further alleged that it is highly unfair that the Pinarayi Vijayan Govt was providing police protection to non-Hindu devotees to facilitate their entry into Sabarimala temple. He said the Supreme Court, in its September 28 verdict, had only allowed entry of Hindu women into Sabarimala temple for worship. The Supreme Court had struck down a rule that disallowed girls and women in the 10-50 age group from entering the Lord Ayyappa temple.Meanwhile, the high court has sought directions from the state Govt on a petition filed by 4 women seeking police protection for entry into Sabarimala temple. The court has fixed the matter for hearing on October 29. The petition has been filed by PS Jalajamol, PS Jayamol and advocates AK Maya Krishnan and S Rekha.NewsX
Heera Gold's Nowhera granted conditional bail by Hyderabad court
Nowhera Shiek, the managing director of Heera Gold was granted conditional bail on Wednesday by the Metropolitan Sessions court, Nampally in Hyderabad. The court has asked her to deposit an amount of Rs 5 crore as surety. Court has also placed travel restrictions and set her cooperation with the CCS as one of her bail conditions. CCS division of the Telangana police had arrested Nowhera on Oct.16 for allegedly cheating investors in her companies.Ram Kumar ASPwith CCS said, “Nampally Court granted conditional bail, she has been asked to deposit Rs 5 crore before Oct.29 and was released after giving a surety of Rs 5 lakh to the court. She has been asked to surrender her passport and not leave the country without court approval. She will also be cooperating with the police and one of her bail condition is that she submits herself for interrogation on Oct.27,29,30 and 31 from 10 am to 1 PM."Nowhera was arrested during the course of an investigation into a case against her at Banjara Hills police station for cheating, criminal breach of trust and criminal intimidation.She runs 15 companies in India and with operations across Middle East.She is also the party president of the recently formed All India Mahila Empowerment Party, which contested Assembly polls in Karnataka.thenewsminute
 Air Quality in North India Is Already Hazardous, but the Worst Is yet to Come:The Wire
New Delhi: On Thursday morning, air quality in Delhi slipped to its worst this season and is predicted to get much worse in the coming days. Pollutant PM10, which is fine enough to enter and lodge in our lungs, was recorded at 369 according to Central Pollution Control Board (CPCB). That is 7 times WHO prescribed limit. Pollutant PM2.5, which is finer still and can enter the blood stream via the lungs, was recorded at 168 – almost seven times WHO prescribed limit.The Indian standards for these pollutants are more generous, but those too have been breached comfortably.PM10 levels were almost four times the Indian standards, while PM2.5 levels were almost 3 times more. Air Quality Index (AQI), which provides a figure based on the levels of eight different pollutants, has also seen a steady increase over the last few weeks and touched 339 on Thursday morning, according to ministry of earth science’s System of Air Quality and Weather Forecasting and Research.


WORLD
Khashoggi murder premeditated: Saudi prosecutor
Saudi Arabia's public prosecutor said the assassination of journalist Jamal Khashoggi inside the kingdom's consulate in Istanbul was premeditated, Reuters news agency reported, citing state-run TV network al-Ekhbariya. Prosecutors are interrogating suspects on the basis of information provided by a joint Saudi-Turkish task force, the report said.Meanwhile, Turkey's foreign minister said that Turkey had no intention of taking Khashoggi's case to an international court, but would share information if court launched its own investigation. Mevlut Cavusoglu said today that Ankara is taking all necessary steps to clear up the mystery surrounding what happened to Khashoggi and is cooperating with everyone who wants to cooperate, including Saudi.He also reiterated that everyone involved in the killing should be investigated and tried to Turkey, while speaking at a news conference with Palestinian Foreign Minister Riyad al-Maliki.Former CIA Director John Brennan has said he has "no doubt" that Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman would have had prior knowledge of any plans to kill Khashoggi.Speaking at a live event on Wednesday, Brennan joined international chorus of condemnation of the murder."Whether or not [Bin Salman] authorised the dismemberment, the horrific and brutal killing and torture of [Khashoggi] and the reported dismembering of his body, I don't know. But I have no doubt in my mind that MBS was fully aware of what was ultimately going to happen to Jamal Khashoggi and had approved it," he said.CIA Director Gina Haspel is flying back to Washington, DC, from Turkey after reportedly listening to an audio recording that captured Khashoggi's killing,Washington Post reported. Quoting people familiar with her meetings with Turkish officials, the newspaper said Haspel heard the "compelling" recordings while on a visit to Turkey this week. Turkish media reports also suggested CIA boss heard recordings documenting Khashoggi's death.Saudi Arabia's Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman on Wednesday said the case of the slain Saudi journalist Jamal Khashoggi was "painful", and "justice will prevail". Calling Khashoggi's murder a "heinous crime that cannot be justified", the powerful crown prince said all culprits will be punished, and Saudi Arabia and Turkey will work together "to reach results".He said the killing of the dissident journalist will not "drive a wedge" between the kingdom and Turkey. "We will cooperate with Turkey to discover the truth behind Khashoggi's killing,"Saudi crown prince said.Salman broke his silence on the Oct.2 killing while addressing the Future Investment Initiative in Riyadh, summit now overshadowed by the Khashoggi case.aljazeera
Saudi crown prince calls Khashoggi killing 'heinous' after inner circle is implicated
Riyadh:Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman has described the killing of Washington Post columnist Jamal Khashoggi as a "heinous" crime in his first comments since some of his closest aides were implicated in the Saudi journalist's death.Speaking at an investors' conference in Riyadh that has been overshadowed by the crisis, bin Salman said those responsible for the killing would be brought to justice."This was a very, very painful incident for all Saudis and also for everybody on this planet. It was unnecessary," he said.The crisis has presented a threat to bin Salman in a way that a bloody war in Yemen, the alleged abduction of the Lebanese Prime Minister and a crackdown on dissent at home have not. After Saudi admitted over the weekend that Khashoggi was killed Oct.2 in its Istanbul consulate, 5 high-ranking officials were dismissed, including bin Salman's media chief and the deputy head of the Saudi intelligence service. 18 people were arrested.CNN
Erdogan adviser says bin Salman has Khashoggi’s blood on his hands
An advisor to Turkish President, Tayyip Erdoğan said that Saudi Crown Prince, Mohammed bin Salman has on his hands the “blood” of the journalist, Jamal Khashoggi who was murdered inside the Saudi consulate in Istanbul on October, 2.The statement is the bluntest to date by a figure associated with the Turkish president on the Saudi prince’s involvement in the murder.Ilnur Cevik wrote in a column in Turkey’s Yeni Birlik newspaper “it is a disgrace that reaches all the way to Crown Prince (Mohammed bin) Salman. At least five members of the execution team are Salman’s right hands and are people that wouldn’t act without his knowledge,”.“Even if President Trump saved bin Salman, in the eyes of the world he is a suspicious person with Khashoggi’s blood on his hands” he added.MEMO
Bill to halt arms sales to Saudi over Khashoggi killing introduced in US Congress
Almost 2 dozen UN members of Congress introduced a bill that would suspend future US arms sales to Saudi Arabia in response to the death of Jamal Khashoggi.The bill, introduced in the US House of Representatives on Wednesday, also includes a prohibition on security assistance, intelligence, training and equipment, but does not extend to activities related to safeguarding US diplomatic posts or personnel.It was co-sponsored by 17 Democrats and three Republicans, but it remains unclear whether the bill has enough support to successfully pass a vote in the House."With the murder of Jamal Khashoggi, it’s time for US to halt all weapons sales and military aid to Saudi Arabia,” said Representative James McGovern, who originally sponsored the bill.middleeasteye
Under pressure over Khashoggi killing, MBS praises Qatar economy
Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman has praised Qatar's economy, a rare conciliatory remark about the Gulf state that his country has been blockading since June 2017.Speaking at Future Investment Initiative conference in Riyadh on Wednesday, the de-facto Saudi leader said: "Qatar, despite the differences we have, has a great economy and they will be doing a lot in the next 5 years."The comments were made during a segment about economic potential in Saudi and neighbouring Middle Eastern countries.He also claimed the "new Europe would be here in the Middle East", alluding to the region's economic promise.Bin Salman is one of the key figures behind a land,sea, and air blockade of Qatar, along with leaders of UAE, Bahrain, and Egypt. aljazeera
Afghan Taliban founder Mullah Baradar 'released' by Pak
Pakistan has released the Afghan Taliban leader from prison, a spokesman for the Taliban said on Thursday. Mullah Abdul Ghani Baradar, also known as Mullah Baradar, is a cofounder of the Taliban movement in Afghanistan. He was arrested by Pakistani authorities in the southern port city of Karachi in 2010.Pakistan has released Mullah Abdul Ghani Baradar, and he joined his family on Tuesday, Zabihullah Mujahid, a spokesman for the Afghan Taliban, said.Local English daily The News reported that Pakistani authorities released Baradar on the solicitation of the Govt of Qatar. Qatar's Foreign Minister Sheikh Mohammed Bin Abdulrahman Al Thani visited Islamabad last Friday and held meetings with Pakistani PM  Imran Khan and Foreign Minister Shah Mehmood Qureshi.Two unnamed Pakistani intelligence officials also confirmed that Mullah Baradar was freed "after high-level negotation,"AP reported.The development came after Taliban confirmed that they had held talks with US Representative for Afghanistan Reconciliation Zalmay Khalilzad in Doha, the capital of Qatar.Taliban set up a political office in Doha in 2013 at the request of the US to facilitate peace talks. Baradar is one of four men, including Mullah Omar who founded the Taliban movement in 1994. He served in several key positions when the Taliban ruled Afghanistan from 1996-2001.aljazeera
UN investigator says Myanmar genocide against Rohingya 'ongoing'
Genocide continues to take place against Muslim-majority Rohingya in Myanmar and Govt is increasingly demonstrating it has no interest in establishing a fully functioning democracy,a UN investigator said.Marzuki Darusman, chair of UN fact-finding mission on Myanmar, said the estimated 250,000 to 400,000 Rohingya who remained in the Buddhist-majority country following last year’s brutal crackdown "continue to suffer the most severe" restrictions and repression."Atrocities continue to take place today," Darusman told reporters as he prepared to brief UN Security Council on the situation on Wednesday. "It is an ongoing genocide that is taking place. "There is increasing global pressure on Myanmar to act following a military crackdown in the western state of Rakhine that drove some 700,000 Rohingya across the border into Bangladesh, amid accusations of mass rape, murder and torture.Myanmar's Govt has rejected the 440-page UN report on the crackdown, which concluded top military leaders should be prosecuted for war crimes, crimes against humanity, and genocide for their role in the crackdown.UN investigation was "flawed, biased and politically motivated",Myanmar's council representative said.Darusman's briefing to the Security Council drew objections from 6 of its 15 members including China, which is Myanmar’s neighbour and ally, and Russia.Darusman told the council the mission's report on the crackdown showed a "human rights catastrophe" that would affect Rohingya for "generations to come, if not forever". He urged the council to hold Myanmar accountable.Yanghee Lee, UN special investigator on human rights in Myanmar, told reporters leader Aung San Suu Kyi was "in denial" about the crackdown, and her Govt did not appear to be all that different from military dictatorship of the past.aljazeera
Israeli warplanes carry out air attacks in Gaza
Israeli warplanes hit several locations in the Gaza Strip early on Thursday causing extensive damage to property in the besieged territory, according to the Palestinian news agency, WAFA.The fighter jets targeted a military compound in the northern Gaza Strip and a training facility and a munitions manufacturing and storage site in the south, the Israeli military said in a statement.An Israeli army spokeswoman said the raids were in response to a rocket fired from Gaza which caused no casualties or damage but which evaded Israel's Iron Dome defence system, triggering an inquiry.Hamas, which governs the besieged strip, said there were no casualties in the attacks.It comes a week after Israel carried out 20 air attacks following a rocket attack in the southern Israeli city of Beersheba.aljazeera
US ambassador: I’m an ‘unapologetic right-wing defender of Israel’
US Ambassador to Israel David Friedman yesterday said that he is an “unapologetic right-wing defender of Israel” and described himself as a “security hawk”.Friedman made the comments in a speech at Jewish Federation of North America’s General Assembly meeting, which took place in Tel Aviv yesterday. He told the audience – comprised of some 700 US and Canadian Jewish delegates – that:"I will bet that there are people in this room who disagree with me on Israeli policy — I am an unapologetic right-wing defender of Israel. I’m a security hawk. That’s who I am."He went on to say that his response to these critics would be: “I value your thinking, I respect your views and, most importantly, I’m grateful that you care, that you care enough to form an opinion on this incredibly important subject, and we can now have a discussion,”Times of Israel reported.MEMO
Israel illegal settlement councils receive $39m govt funding
Israel’s illegal settlements receive 144 million shekels ($39 million) in Govt funding for regional councils, a new Knesset report has revealed.The report was undertaken by the Knesset’s Research and Information Centre and disclosed the vast sums of money the Israeli Govt gives to its illegal settlements in the occupied West Bank across education, welfare and support grants.The report found that Israeli Govt gives $39 million to regional councils located in occupied West Bank, which amounts to 25% of Israel’s regional council budget, Ynet reported. This is despite the fact that West Bank councils only account for 5% of all Israeli regional councils.MEMO
Gaza interior ministry criticises HRW’s report on torture
Palestinian Ministry of Interior and National Security accused Human Rights Watch of ignoring the reality and facts about the situation of freedoms in Gaza Strip.“With great concern, we followed up the report issued by HRW on Oct.23, that included allegations against the Security Forces in the Gaza Strip accusing them of repressing dissent,” the ministry said.The ministry stressed that the HRW’s report “lacks accuracy and objectivity and does not reflect reality” in Gaza Strip.In a statement, the ministry said that the it had “received some inquiries” from HRW “on issues related to freedoms in the Gaza Strip,” stating that the organisation “asked about certain persons who were being allegedly arrested in the Gaza Strip.”The ministry “clarified and elaborated all issues, explaining the grounds of all the cases in question,” stating that it was “shocked” because the organisation “ignored our explanations”.middleeastmonitor
Coptic monks beaten by Israeli police at Jerusalem's Church of the Holy Sepulchre
Tens of Coptic monks were beaten by Israeli military police on Wednesday during a protest over the contested al-Sultan monastery on the site of the Church of the Holy Sepulchre, the head of Jerusalem's Coptic Church told Middle East Eye.The monks were staging a sit-down protest in the plaza of the church in Jerusalem's Old City to oppose Israeli-led restoration works at the site which they say favour Ethiopian monks living in the monastery. One monk, Macarius Orshalemy, was dragged and pinned to the ground by the military police at the protest, while others were struck with batons as they sought to obstruct workers from Israel's Antiquity Authority moving restoration materials and tools inside. Orshalemy was released half an hour after the Coptic Church asked the Egyptian embassy in Tel Aviv to interfere, Coptic Bishop Anba Antonius told MEE."The Israelis are carrying out a restoration in the Coptic church's property without our consent, and in favour of the Ethiopian monks. That's why we were protesting and tried to prevent them," Antonius said. middleeasteye
Iraq PM sworn with partial cabinet as lawmakers disagree
Iraq’s new PM  Adel Abdul Mahdi was sworn in on Wednesday with only a partial Cabinet after lawmakers failed to reach a consensus on key postings including interior and defence, Reuters reports.A rowdy parliament session to approve Abdul Mahdi’s Govt list created more uncertainty for Iraq, months after an inconclusive election, with parties and blocs wrangling over appointments.The new premier faces the daunting task of rebuilding much of the country after a devastating war against Daesh, as well as solving acute economic problems and power and water shortages.8 ministries have yet to be decided, ahead of a Nov. 2 deadline. Among the 14 ministers who were sworn in, Thamer Ghadhban became Oil Minister and veteran Kurdish politician Fuad Hussein Finance Minister.
Saudi-coalition air strikes kill at least 16 civilians in Yemen's Hodeidah
At least 16 people have been killed in air strikes that hit a factory for vegetable packaging in Yemen's Hodeidah province, medical workers and residents have said. A Saudi-led coalition that intervened in Yemen's war in 2015 has conducted frequent air strikes targeting the Iran-aligned Houthi group and has often hit civilians, although it denies doing so intentionally.Medics and residents in Bayt al-Faqih, a town 70km south of Hodeidah city, said twelve people were also wounded on Wednesday.They said bombs fell on a vegetable packaging factory in the al-Masoudi neighbourhood and the victims were workers there, the Reuters news agency reported.Houthi media said 19 were killed and 10 were wounded in the same area.middleeasteye
'Explosive devices' sent to Clinton, Obama, CNN
At least 5 suspicious packages were sent to top Democrats, including ex President Barack Obama and ex Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, and CNN's New York offices, authorities said on Wednesday.All the packages were intercepted, and there were no reports of injuries.  US Secret Service said it recovered a single package addressed to Clinton in Westchester, a suburb north of Manhattan late on Tuesday.A second package, addressed to Obama, was found early on Wednesday in Washington, DC."Packages were immediately identified during routine mail screening procedures as potential explosive devices and were appropriately handled as such," the Secret Service said in a statement."The protectees did not receive the packages nor were they at risk of receiving them," it said.Secret Service launched an investigation to find the source of the packages. Hillary Clinton was not at her New York home when Tuesday's package was sent, but her husband, former President Bill Clinton was present, officials told the Associated Press. While at a Florida fundraiser, she said "we are fine" and thanked US Secret Service for intercepting the package "long before it made its way to our home". Aljazeera
Pak "Out Of Pressure" Thanks To $6 Billion Saudi Loan: Imran Khan
 Pakistan PM Imran Khan thanked Saudi Arabia for easing the pressure on Pakistan by extending financial help to the cash-strapped nation."My Pakistanis, today I am here with a good news for all of you. We were facing really hard times. We were highly pressurised into paying heavy debts. But thanks to Saudi's extension of assistance, we are out of the pressure," he said during a public address.Mentioning that the nation was "at the brink of becoming defaulters" due to limited resources, Imran Khan continued, "We had two options; either go to IMF or seek help from friendly countries. If we had gone to IMF directly, we'd have had to borrow more money and that would have meant stricter conditions which would crush our poor strata of society. But now we are in a better position."He further indicated that "more good news" is in store, as Pakistan is in talk with two more "friendly nations".Khan also stated that Pakistan will be acting as a mediator in the on-going crisis of Yemen so as to "unite the Muslim World".Launching a scathing attack at the preceding Pakistan Govts, Imran Khan claimed that the Govts had "accumulated Pakistan's debts from Rs. 6,000 billion to Rs. 30,000 billion" in addition to the circular debt of Rs. 1,200 billion left behind by the previous Govt.ANI
China vows to defend Taiwan, South China Sea 'at any price'
https://www.aljazeera.com/news/2018/10/china-vows-defend-taiwan-south-china-sea-price-181025025650453.html                                          
China vowed it will never give up an inch of its territory - whether it's the self-ruled island of Taiwan it claims as its own or in the disputed waters of the South China Sea.China's Defence Minister Wei Fenghe made the remarks on Thursday at the opening of the Xiangshan Forum in Beijing, which China styles as its answer to the annual Shangri-La Dialogue security forum in the wealthy city-state of Singapore."If someone tries to separate Taiwan from China, the Chinese armed forces will take action at any price," Wei warned.China's military ties with the United States are important and sensitive, he said, adding Taiwan is a "core" interest and Beijing opposes displays of strength by "outside forces" in the South China Sea.Beijing has been infuriated by recent US sanctions on its military, one of a growing number of flashpoints in ties with Washington that include a bitter trade war, Washington's backing of Taiwan, and the US' military posture in the South China Sea.aljazeera
FLASH VIEWS & NEWS

Jamal Khashoggi’s India connect in spotlight:Elizabeth Roche
The mosque in Islamic law and faith:A. G. Noorani, frontline
Islamic inquiry:ZIYA US SALAM, frontline
#MeToo: When asserting women’s rights did not devolve into seeking mob justice on social media:Seema Mustafa
'Tainted' Saudi prince ruins Trump's Middle East plans: analysts
Bhima Koregaon: Police Watered Down Case Against Milind Ekbote, Says Complainant
NRC Process and Spectre of Statelessness in India
Will the US and UK seek a palace coup against Mohammed bin Salman?Mark Curtis

Compiled and edited by Anwarulhaq (Released at: 6:15 PM)

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