Saturday, 22 December 2018

22 Dec.ND: All accused of Sohrabuddin ‘fake’ encounter case acquitted: It looks like my brother killed himself, says Rubabuddin/ Surveillance notification reiteration of UPA order, aims to curb terrorism: Govt; Cong alleges ‘undeclared emergency’


NEWS DIGEST, Afternoon 
22 Dec. 2018:14 Rabiul-II 1440: Vol: 11, No:81
INDIA
All accused of Sohrabuddin ‘fake’ encounter case acquitted: It looks like my brother killed himself, says Rubabuddin
Mumbai :Rubabuddin Shaikh, the younger brother of Sohrabuddin Shaikh, the only family member present in the special CBI court on Friday, said that with nobody held responsible for his brother’s death, he will have to conclude that Sohrabuddin had killed himself. Rubabuddin, on whose petition the Supreme Court had in 2006 directed a probe into whether Sohrabuddin’s encounter was genuine, said that he had lost hope of the accused being held guilty when the Bombay High Court had discharged 6 policemen.In Sept., the HC had dismissed Rubabuddin’s pleas against the trial court’s order discharging IPS officers, including DG Vanzara, Rajkumar Pandian and Dinesh MN.“There was enough evidence against the accused, but it seems that the court has turned a blind eye towards it. This judgment is just not right. It is not in the interest of justice,” he said.He added, “Court has not accepted any evidence. It looks like my brother Sohrabuddin killed himself. When the HC discharged six policemen in Sept., I lost hope. It was very clear that the accused before the trial court will also be acquitted.”Rubabuddin said CBI had neither filed an appeal against the discharge of most of the accused nor the agency supported his appeal before the HC against the discharge of the three officers. Rubabuddin, who had deposed before the trial court on Nov.17 as a prosecution witness, had claimed that he had filed a petition in the SC after he was informed that his brother’s encounter was not genuine. “The journey was not easy, we had put in so much effort, right from seeking a CBI probe before SC in 2006. It is a sad day, we have not got justice. But I will pursue the appeal till SC,” he said. Besides Rubabuddin, his 2 other brothers, Nayamuddin Shaikh and Shahnawazuddin Shaikh, had also been included as prosecution witnesses. Nayamuddin, however, had contradicted prosecution’s claim during his deposition by claiming that CBI had “planted” Sohrabuddin’s associate Tulsiram Prajapati in “abduction story” though he was not present.On Friday, Nayamuddin claimed that the court had “selectively” looked at evidence. “So many witnesses turned hostile during trial. We had sought for the court to take action against those.The relief for accused is only temporary as we will be seeking a retrial.” Shahnawazuddin, who had initially sought to be examined as a witness but later did not turn up despite summons, claimed that he had been served summons only on WhatsApp. “During the trial as well, it was clear that they were deposing under pressure. Tulsiram’s mother Narmadabai also did not depose. The result is not surprising given the nature of the evidence,” he said.indianexpress
All accused of killing Sohrabuddin are acquitted, court says evidence weak
Mumbai :A special CBI court Friday acquitted all 22 accused in the alleged fake encounter killings of gangster Sohrabuddin Shaikh, his wife Kausar Bi and his associate Tulsiram Prajapati more than a decade ago, saying the evidence brought before the court could not establish the role of any accused in the case. Delivering his last judgment before he retires on Dec. 31, special judge S J Sharma said he felt “helpless” and “extremely sorry” for the families of the three victims.He said though three investigation agencies probed the case —Gujarat ATS, CID and CBI — the evidence before the court was “not satisfactory” to establish the guilt of the accused beyond reasonable doubt.indianexpress
Vanzara admits to ‘premptive’ murder by Gujarat Police
A day after a CBI court acquitted all the 22 accused in the Sohrabuddin Sheikh fake encounter case, one of the accused police officers DG Vanzara publicly seemed to admit that Gujarat Police did indeed kill Sheikh, his wife Kauser Bi and an accomplice Tulsiram Prajapati in cold blood. Vanzara’s use of phrase ‘Preemptive Encounter’ embarrassed the judiciary and outraged many. What does ‘premptive encounter mean’ asked social scientist Nandini Sundar while editor and journalist Malini Parthasarathi exclaimed that this was an astonishing public admission by Vanzara that the trio had actually been murdered by Gujarat Police without following due process.Even the CBI court had concluded that the trio had been murdered. But it claimed to be helpless in the face of inadequate evidence produced by CBI against the accused.Vanzara, who was arrested and spent two years in jail, had written a threatening letter from prison, claiming that the encounters had been carried out at the behest of political masters. He had held out the veiled threat of exposing the masters if they failed to stand by police officers.“Terrorists successfully assassinated. Political Leaders like Indira Gandhi, Rajiv Gandhi, Beant Singh, Benazir Bhutto and Premdasa. Had Post-Godhara preemptive encounters not carried out by Gujarat Police, @narendramodi would have met the same fate. We saved Saviour. #SohrabuddinCase,” controversial retired IPS officer wrote on Twitter on Friday.nationalheraldindia
Sohrabuddin would have killed Modi if not for encounter, claims former officer DG Vanzara
Leading Activists, Muslim Leaders Flay CBI Court Verdict in Sohrabuddin Case
New Delhi:The verdict is out in one of the most controversial cases of recent times. All the 22 accused in the fake encounter of Sohrabuddin, by a special CBI Court in Mumbai, were let off on Friday. The accused listed in the case included several serving and retired police officials and politicians like the powerful BJP President Amit Shah and Gulabchand Kataria.The verdict received sharp criticism from the civil society. Reacting to the verdict, senior Supreme Court Lawyer and founder of Human Rights Law Network, Colin Gonsalves, speaking to Caravan Daily said, “This verdict by CBI court proves the fact that this investigating agency (CBI) has become a puppet of the present Govt .The fact that all honest officers investigating this case have been charge-sheeted shows how low the CBI has stooped to fall in line with the Govt . This judgment actually proves how the present Govt  has undermined the institutional integrity of the judiciary, educational institutes and even RBI.”Echoing a similar sentiment was Navaid Hamid, head, Muslim, Majlis-e-Mushawarat. “This is an unjust verdict. From the day one, the investigating agency has been under pressure. The comment of the judge – ‘prosecution has failed to prove’ has a deep political connotation. It actually reflects the pressure under which the investigating agencies work. I wouldn’t be wrong, if I said that today, is the saddest day in the history of Indian judiciary,” he said.He also maintained that the road to justice doesn’t end with this verdict. “This case will definitely have some international ramifications as it’s no ordinary case. Also, the petitioner should apply for the revision of this verdict,” he added. Salim Engineer, General Secretary, Jamat-e-Islami Hind slamming the verdict said, “I feel this verdict will shake the people’s faith in the Indian judiciary. We have always had faith in the court. But this verdict indicates that court are no longer independent. The judiciary is definitely losing its credibility.” He added, “It’s not in this case alone. A similar pattern is being observed in all the cases where people having some kind of association with the present Govt  are the accused.”S R Darapuri, ex DG of UP  Police and leading rights activist, said, “One can see the conspiracy of the Govt  clearly in this case. All the witnesses have turned hostile, honest officers investigating this case have been removed. The judiciary is under immense pressure, especially the lower court. Such cases actually clearly depict a true picture of our judiciary, which is totally influenced by the Govt  today. This has happened in the past, but has increased to a greater extent under the present Govt .”Echoing a similar sentiment, Dr Zafarul Islam Khan, Chairman of Delhi Minorities Commission, said, “This is a really sad verdict and shakes one’s faith in the judiciary. But then this has been the case with all the cases in which people close to the present Govt have been associated with. This verdict also proves that people belonging to a particular ideology can get away with anything.”caravandaily
Surveillance notification reiteration of UPA order, aims to curb terrorism: Govt
New Delhi:The notification on surveillance is a reiteration of the order that was amended by UPA Govt  in 2008, when A Raja was the Minister of communication and information technology and Shivraj Patil was the home minister, Govt said on Saturday. The clarification also added that the rules under Section 69 of IT Act  were framed in 2009, during the tenure of Raja and then home minister P Chidambaram. It was in 2011 when home ministry under Chidambaram issued the standard operating procedure (SOP) for interception, handling, use, copying, storage and destruction of messages, telephonic intercepts, e-mails under section 5(2) of Telegraph Act and Section 69 of IT Act.The clarification came 2 days after the Centre authorised select security and intelligence agencies for purposes of interception, monitoring and decryption of any information generated, transmitted, received or stored in any computer resource.The agencies empowered by Govt in accordance with the Information Technology Act, 2000, are the same agencies, which were given authorisation by SOP of 2011 and include IB, Narcotics Control Bureau, ED, CBDT, DRI, CBI, NIA, Cabinet Secretariat (RAW) and the Commissioner of Police, Delhi. Govt further added that various technology platforms are being misused for rather dangerous activities which include harming children, spreading terrorist propaganda and recruiting terrorists. Despite repeated requests, social media and messaging service providers are not expeditiously sharing details about people posting and sharing such material, it said.The statement said these electronic platforms have recently been used to threaten Supreme Court judges, where social media and messaging service providers are not sharing details about people posting and sharing such material. TOI
Centre’s order on monitoring computers is an attack on privacy, we may move court, says Congress
Congress said it may move court against the Centre’s notification enabling 10 agencies to monitor, intercept and decrypt “any information generated, transmitted, received or stored in any computer”. Congress leader Abhishek Manu Singhvi said the move of the Ministry of Home Affairs was a direct attack on the fundamental rights of the citizens and their right to privacy.“We condemn this move to snoop on people of this country,” Singhvi told reporters. “We will oppose it and if needed we will fight it in the court also.”Congress President Rahul Gandhi had earlier in the day referred to PM  Narendra Modi as an “insecure dictator” in his criticism of the order. “Converting India into a police state isn’t going to solve your problems, Modi Ji,” Gandhi said in a tweet. “It’s only going to prove to over 1 billion Indians, what an insecure dictator you really are.” Scroll
MHA order on monitoring: Cong alleges ‘undeclared emergency’, Jaitley says rules framed in UPA regime
‘Computer snooping will usher in surveillance state’: RS adjourned amid ruckus over MHA order
China refutes report about secret defence project in economic corridor with Pakistan
China refuted a report in New York Times that Beijing and Islamabad are collaborating on a secret military project under the guise of the China-Pakistan Economic Corridor project. Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesperson Hua Chunying told reporters that her information indicated that the report was “not true”.The daily had claimed that it had seen a confidential plan that detailed collaboration between Pakistani Air Force and Chinese officials to increase the development of Chinese military jets, weaponry and other hardware as well as measures to improve bilateral cooperation in space. The China-Pakistan Economic Corridor is part of China’s Belt and Road Initiative. India has opposed the project as part of it will pass through disputed territory in Kashmir. China’s Foreign Ministry spokesperson reiterated the claim that the “Belt and Road” project is solely an economic and social agreement. “CPEC is an important cooperation framework with a view to the long-term cooperation and development between China and Pakistan in various fields, aiming to promote the economic and social development and enhance the livelihood of relevant regions,” she said. “On Dec20, Joint Coordination Committee of the CPEC held its eighth meeting in Beijing.”scroll.in
Pak PM Imran Khan Called UN Chief, Raised "Kashmir Issue": Official
UN: Pakistan's PM  Imran Khan telephoned UN chief Antonio Guterres and raised the "Kashmir issue", a UN spokesperson said.Stephane Dujarric, the spokesperson for the UN Secretary General, did not give further details about the conversation between Imran Khan and Guterres.When asked by news agency Press Trust of India about India's strong retort to Imran Khan that Pakistan should "mind its own business" and that "Kashmir is an integral part of India", Dujarric said, "Our position on Kashmir has been reiterated. There is an observer group as mandated by the Security Council."He was referring to the UN Military Observer Group in India and Pakistan (UNMOGIP).Dujarric added that the Pakistani PM  wanted to speak to the Secretary-General. "It's only normal that the Secretary-General speak to heads of Govt s and heads of state and, as I said, I can confirm that the call took place and that the PM  raised the issue of Kashmir," Mr Dujarric said.External Affairs Ministry spokesperson Raveesh Kumar recently said that "Statements coming out from their (Pakistan) side demonstrates the insincerity and duplicity".PTI
Six militants killed in J&K's Pulwama
Srinagar:6 militants of Al Qaeda-affiliate Zakir Musa’s group Ansar Ghazwatul Hind, including its Kashmiri deputy, were killed on Saturday in a gunfight with the security forces in Tral area of J&K ’s Pulwama district, the Defence Ministry said.“Six terrorists have been killed in the Tral area encounter. Weapons and war-like stores have been recovered. The operation is over,” Defence Ministry spokesman Colonel Rajesh Kalia said here. According to sources, militants killed in the operation belonged to the banned outfit Ansar Ghazwatul-Hind. The militants were were spotted following specific intelligence about the presence of terrorists in an hideout set up in an orchard along Tral-Awantipora road."The militant group opened fire triggering off a gunfight which lasted for a brief time. The bodies of all the slain militants along with as many weapons and other arms and ammunition were recovered from their possession," said the police. Preliminary reports suggest the 6 militants belonged to the Ansar Ghazwat-ul-Hind militant outfit. "The outfit's 'Deputy Chief' Soliha is among the dead," said the official.The identities of the other 5 militants are being ascertained. Mobile Internet service in the district and rail services between the valley and the Bannihal town of Jammu region was suspended.thehindu
Pak national stranded at Bhopal police station set to be repatriated: Indian express
Bhopal:Mohammed Imran Warsi says of some of his uncles stayed in India while his father moved to Pakistan during Partition.“I have learned some hard lessons in the last 10 years. I don’t even think of escaping or doing anything that is in contravention of law. Where will I go even if I manage to flee?” says Warsi, as he watches officials at Bhopal’s Shahjahanabad Police Station.In his late 30s, Imran has spent more than nine months at the police station waiting to be repatriated to Pakistan. The police station has become his home ever since he was released after spending 10 years in jail on charges of espionage, and for forging documents to get a passport from Bhopal.His sentence ended in January, but Imran had to spend two more months in jail because he did not have money to pay the Rs 8,000 fine slapped by the trial court. He was released from Bhopal jail on March 14 and sent to Shahjahanabad Police Station, a nodal station where foreigners like him are kept till they are repatriated.Officials confirmed that Imran will leave Bhopal on Monday and cross the border on Wednesday.
 ‘Expressing concern about nation I love’: Protests prevent Naseeruddin from opening Ajmer Lit Fest
Jaipur:Veteran actor Naseeruddin Shah has wondered why he was being called a traitor for expressing concerns about the country he loves, even as protests in Ajmer prevented him from inaugurating the Ajmer Literature Festival (ALF).Speaking to Harsh Mander-led Karwan-e-Mohabbat earlier this week, Shah had said, “The poison has already spread. It will be very difficult to capture this djinn back in the bottle. There is complete impunity for those who take law into their own hands. In many areas we are witnessing that the death of a cow has more significance than that of a police officer. I feel anxious thinking about my children. Because they don’t have a religion… tomorrow if a mob surrounds them and asks ‘are you a Hindu or a Muslim?’ they will have no answer. It worries me because I don’t see the situation improving anytime soon. These matters don’t scare me, they make me angry…”Earlier this month, inspector Subodh Kumar Singh was killed in mob violence in Bulandshahr after cow carcasses were found.As the video of Shah went viral and drew criticism from some sections, Congress tweeted, “Naseeruddin we concur, do not fear the hate, fight it.”On Friday, Shah, who was in Ajmer to attend the ALF, said, “I don’t know why (people are criticising the comments), because what I said was as a concerned Indian… I don’t know what I have said now that I’m being called a traitor.“I am saying something and expressing concern about my nation which I love, which is my home. What sin have I committed?,” Shah told reporters in Ajmer,”.Shah was scheduled to attend ALF’s inaugural ceremony at 2 pm on Friday, along with wife Ratna Pathak Shah and poet Ras Bihari Gaur, who is the festival coordinator. This was to be followed by a session titled ‘Naseer ki Nazar’ at 2.30 pm.indianexpress
UP  Navnirman Sena chief wants Naseeruddin Shah to go to Pakistan, books ticket
Meerut: A day after Naseeruddin Shah’s “I fear for my children in India” remark, UP Navnirman Sena chief Amit Jani on Friday booked a Mumbai to Karachi flight ticket for Aug. 14 — Pakistan’s Independence Day — for him, calling him a “traitor” to the nation. “If Naseeruddin Shah feels scared in India, he should leave for Pakistan with any delay. I have booked an August 14 ticket for him so that India has one less ‘traitor’,” said Jani.In a video interview to Karwan-e-Mohabbat India, the actor and theatre personality had said that he was anxious about the future of his children after the Bulandshahr violence where “cow is being given more importance than a police officer”. In Bulandshahr, alleged cow slaughter led to the death of a police officer earlier this month. “If a mob surrounds my children and asks them ‘are you a Hindu or a Muslim?’. They will have no answer,” he had said. “In many areas, we are witnessing that the death of a cow has more significance than that of a police officer.” Jani posted a photo of the Sri Lankan Airlines ticket on Twitter. “If Shah doesn’t want to go to Pakistan, he should read Hanuman Chalisa because BJP MLC Bukkal Nawab said Hanuman is a Muslim,” Jani said.TOI
Bulandshahr violence: ‘We are being targeted because we are Muslims’ says Safruddin
Bulandshahr:Tears rolled down the eyes of Sarfuddin as he hugged his children – 2 sons and a daughter – after spending 16 days in jail on fake charges of cow slaughter in Bulandshahr.For Sarfuddin, a post-graduate in political science, the 16-day nightmare is over but questions and agony remain.As Sarfuddin returned to his village Nayabaans after his release from jail on Friday, he burst into tears on seeing the villagers coming to meet him.Interestingly, Nayabaans is also the native village of Bajrang Dal district co-ordinator Yogesh Raj, who had lodged an FIR against Sarfuddin and 3 others accusing them of cow slaughter.Yogesh is prime accused in Bulandshahr violence which led to violence in Bulandshahr resulting in the killing of 2 people, police inspector Subodh Kumar Singh and a local Sumit Kumar. Yogesh is on the run.“I don`t know why the Allah punished me for none of my fault. Who will return 16 precious days of my life and sufferings of my family and children,” said Sarfuddin, who runs a small cloth shop in Syana town of Bulandshahr.“We are being targeted because we are Muslims. Administration has failed to nab the real troublemakers even 18 days after the violence,” he said.HT
Bulandshahr Violence: Who’s accountable for 16 days of trauma we faced, ask ‘framed’ Muslim boys
Telangana:Jamaat to meet TRS MPs over triple bill
Hyderabad:With the triple talaq bill being introduced in Parliament, Jamaat-e-Islami Hind (Telangana and Odisha) will meet TRS parliamentarians to explain to them the nuances of divorce and also the stand of the organisation. Jamaat hopes that TRS MPs will oppose the bill. According to sources, a delegation comprising Jamaat senior leadership, accompanied by Telangana Home Minister Mohammed Mahmood Ali, will meet the parliamentarians on Saturday. Jamaat state president Hamid Mohammed Khan said, “Before the elections, senior TRS members wanted us to explain to them what is instant triple talaq.Even CM K Chandrasekhar Rao wanted some clarity on the subject. I have sent a file containing some details to almost all TRS MPs.”Reiterating the Jamaat’s stand, Khan said that the organisation considers the bill as a violation of Muslim personal laws. He also said that bill is an infringement of Article 25, which provides for freedom of religion, and Article 14, which provides for equality before law and protection from discrimination on grounds of religion, gender, race, caste and place of birth. Telangana State Waqf Board member and senior Jamaat member Malik Motasim Khan said that Jamaat also intends to explain the differences of jurisprudential opinion that exist on the subject of talaq. “While a majority of Muslims follow the Hanafi school of thought, there are the Ahle Hadees who consider any number of talaq pronouncements in one sittings as one. For the sake of clarity, we will speak to the parliamentarians about this also,” Khan said.thehindu
Telangana : Mahmood Ali takes charge as Home Minister
Lone Minister in Telangana CM K Chandrashekar Rao’s cabinet Mohd Mahmood Ali took charge as Home Minister in his chambers at the Secretariat. Ali was Deputy Chief Minster and Revenue Minister in the previous K Chandrashekar Rao’s Govt . Speaking to media, the Home Minister said that he will accord top priority to the maintenance of law and order and reduce the crime rate further in the future. State police already received accolades at national and international level for its efficiency and technological expertise in cracking the crimes in a short time, he added.  THE HANS INDIA
Bhagwat, Shah Hindu saints discuss way forward in Ram temple issue
Ahmedabad:RSS chief Mohan Bhagwat, BJP president Amit Shah and Hindu saints Friday discussed ways to go ahead with the construction of a temple at disputed Ram Janmabhoomi-Babri Masjid site in Ayodhya, religious leaders who participated in the meeting said.  Bhagwat and saints present at the 2-day Hindu Acharya Sabha meeting at Rajkot, which is 210 km from Ahmedabad, explicitly expressed the view that construction of the temple should start before May 2019, when the term of the Narendra Modi Govt ends, they said. In the meeting, Shah gave the assurance that the temple will be built in Ayodhya, the Hindu leaders said."The issue was discussed in detail. One way is the legal route... Political leaders are doing their bit. Saints said they want to push for construction of Ram temple as early as possible," Acharya Satgiri Maharaj, who took part in the meeting which concluded on Friday, said.PTI
Wasim Rizvi booked for hurting religious sentiments
Lucknow: An FIR was lodged against UP Shia Central Waqf Board chief, Waseem Rizvi, in Mumbai for deliberately hurting religious sentiments through his soon-to-be released film titled ‘Ramjanmabhoomi’. FIR was lodged by Mumbai police at JJ road police station on the complaint of one, Ejaz Ahmed Abdul Quddoos Kashmiri, against Rizvi for instigating communal tension between Hindus and Muslims and Shias and Sunnis within the Muslim community, by making the film and releasing its trailer on social media. The complaint said that Kashmiri had watched the trailer of the film on social media on Nov.19, and found that the Prophet and his companions were being misrepresented. The complainant said that Rizvi being the writer of film, wants to instigate hatred and spark violence between the communities. Dialogues insulting the religion and the Prophet have been used in the film, he added. TOI
WhatsApp rumours make 100s of UP madrassas reject vaccination:TOI
Meerut: Hundreds of madrassas across western UP have refused permission to health department teams to administer the measles-rubella vaccine to their students due to several “WhatsApp rumours”, exposing lakhs of children to deadly and contagious diseases.In Meerut alone, at least 70 of the 272 seminaries have refused entry to health officials. Meerut district immunization officer Vishwas Chaudhary said, “This is because of wrong information being spread mainly over WhatsApp. According to these messages, the vaccine can make a child impotent.”“Some madrassa authorities have asked students to stay at home on the day of vaccination. We have now setup teams to conduct awareness drives and to inform people that the vaccine is safe,” said Dr BS Sodi, CMO Saharanpur. Madrassas in Bijnor and Moradabad are also opposing the vaccination drive. Measles is highly-contagious and spreads through coughing and sneezing. According to a Govt  report, over 49,000 children were killed in 2015 due to it. Rubella, according to WHO, is a contagious, mild viral infection that occurs most often in children and young adults. While rubella is the leading vaccine-preventable cause of birth defects, its infection in pregnant women may cause fetal death or congenital defects. The state health department is now taking help from senior clerics to quell rumours. City qazi for Meerut, Qazi Zainus Sajidin, has in his sermon asked all madrassas to allow Govt  teams into their campuses. “The vaccine has no side-effects. It has been tested by doctors of Aligarh Muslim University and Jamia Millia and no problem was found,” he said. Several other madrassas in Saharanpur, Bijnor and Moradabad have also taken a similar stand.
Muslim parents in Mumbai refuse MR vaccines for their school going kids
Mumbai:In the light of rumors regarding the irresponsible handling of MR vaccines by the BMC, Muslim parents in Mumbai refused to get their children vaccinated at schools.The parents refused to participate in the drive run by the BMC to immunise school children from disease like measles, fearing contraction of infection and diseases due to unsafe handling og vaccines.Madrasa and Urdu medium schools in Mumbai organised counseling sessions for the parents to explain the importance of vaccination but couldn't convince them. Only 5%  parents sent their children to schools on the day when vaccines were to be given. indiatvnews
Photo of Mosque Replaces Ashok Chakra on Tricolour, Complaint Filed in UP
Shahjahanpur: Police on Friday said that they have ordered a probe after Hindu outfits Jagran Manch and Akhil Bharatiya Hindu Mahasabha submitted a complaint alleging that disrespect was shown to the national flag during the Muslim celebration of Julus-e-Gausia on December 19 night. The event took place in Puranpur area. According to the complaint, instead of the Ashoka Chakra in the middle of the flag, photo of a mosque was put up which, the Hindu groups allege, amounts to showing disrespect to the national flag.SP Balendu Bhushan Singh said the matter was being probed and action will be taken if anyone is found guilty.PTI
First Dalit, then Muslim, now a UP minister says Hanuman was ‘jaat’
Lucknow: Opining that Lord Hanuman belonged to the Jaat community, UP  Minister for Religious Affairs Laxmi Narayan Chaudhary joined the debate surrounding the identity of the Hindu deity.The state minister likened Hindu god's characteristics to that of a person belonging to the Jaat community."I think Hanuman ji was a Jaat, because upon seeing someone being troubled a Jaat also jumps in even without knowing the issue or the people. In this sense Hanuman ji's behaviour was very similar to that of Jaat because following Goddess Sita's abduction by Raavan he immediately came to Lord Ram's help as his follower,” UP Cabinet Minister Laxmi Narayan told ANI.ANI
Loan Waivers Not Enough, Don't Treat Farmers Like Minority Vote Bank: RSS-Backed Kisan Sangh
New Delhi: As state Govt s compete to waive loans ahead of 2019 elections, RSS-backed Bharatiya Kisan Sangh said that the waivers have become a kind of 'appeasement policy', which “won't reap benefits like the minority vote bank”.Recently, BJP Govt  in Assam had approved Rs 600 crore farm loan waiver, while Gujarat's Vijay Rupani Govt  announced a decision to waive electricity bills of connection holders in rural areas.The newly formed Congress Govt s in Rajasthan, Madhya Pradesh and Chhattisgarh also announced to waive farm loans, following which Rahul Gandhi tweeted, "It’s done! Rajasthan, Madhya Pradesh and Chhattisgarh have waived farm loans. We asked for 10 days. We did it in 2."Mohini Mohan, national secretary of Bharatiya Kisan Sangh (an affiliate of RSS), said, "Farm loan waiver is not a solution like the appeasement policies practiced by political parties. It has never given good results. The recent announcements reek of this kind of policy. The way politicians try to win over Muslims, they are trying to do the same with us. But it will not work.Reiterating what Niti Aayog had earlier stated, Mohan said, "We have not learnt from the past instances where farmers were given farm loan waivers but it did not ameliorate their situation."He added that there were also loopholes in the Govt s' loan waiver announcements. News18
32-Inch TVs, Movie Tickets Get Cheaper; 7 Items Moved From 28% GST Rate
GST Council removed seven items from 28 % tax bracket, the Govt  said on Saturday. 6 items - such as pulleys gear boxes, monitors and TVs (up to 32 inches), digital cameras  and video game consoles - moved from 28%  to 18%  while one item - parts and accessories for carriages for people with disabilities - moved from 28 %  to 5 % , the release added. The new GST rates will be effective from Jan.1, 2019.To simplify the indirect tax regime, Govt  moved goods to a reduced GST rate.Only luxury and sins goods items will remain in the 28% slab now. However, GST on real estate will be discussed in next GST Council meeting, the release further said. Govt had said earlier this week that 99% of items can be moved under 18% GST. GST, Govt 's biggest tax reform, sets rates from 28%  to 5% on most items, replacing an array of central and state duties.ndtv
Sajjan Kumar moves SC against conviction in 1984 anti-Sikh riots case
New Delhi:Former Congress leader Sajjan Kumar on Saturday moved the Supreme Court challenging the life imprisonment awarded to him by the Delhi High Court in a 1984 anti-Sikh riots case.Senior advocate H.S. Phoolka, who is representing the victims of the riots cases, said he has been conveyed by the apex court registry that Sajjan Kumar has filed an appeal against the High Court’s judgment.PTI
Alka Lamba says AAP chief asked her to resign over proposal to withdraw Rajiv Gandhi’s Bharat Ratna
Delhi legislator Alka Lamba on Friday said she will resign from the Aam Aadmi Party after party chief Arvind Kejriwal allegedly asked to her to do so for not supporting a proposal in the Assembly on revoking late former PM Rajiv Gandhi’s Bharat Ratna, PTI reported.Lamba tweeted on Friday that she had walked out of the House after refusing to support the resolution and that she was ready to face punishment for her action. “After I staged a walkout, I got a message from the CM  to tender my resignation,” she told PTI.“Party has asked for my resignation,” ANI quoted Lamba as saying. “I’m ready to resign but Rajiv Gandhi has sacrificed a lot for country [and] I didn’t support the proposal in Assembly of taking back his Bharat Ratna. I’ve been asked to resign because I stood against the decision of the party.” scroll
No mention of Rajiv Gandhi in original resolution, never asked Alka Lamba to resign: AAP
AAP MLA Jarnail Singh clarified that the resolution passed in the Delhi Assembly on Friday did not include a demand that former PM  Rajiv Gandhi be stripped of the Bharat Ratna for justifying the 1984 anti-Sikh riots. “It was my feeling and I said it. Technically, it wasn’t in the notice,” said Singh.Meanwhile, AAP MLA Alka Lamba said that she is not quitting the party, putting to rest reports that party chief Arvind Kejriwal has sought her resignation after she disagreed with the resolution. Earlier, AAP leader and Deputy CM  Manish Sisodia had said, “No resignation has been sought and from no one, all these are rumours,” he told reporters.The explanation from the two leaders came a day after a massive crisis broke out within AAP over the resolution which was introduced in the Delhi Assembly. AAP spokesperson Saurabh Bhardwaj had on Friday claimed that the resolution did not contain the part on Rajiv. “Malviya Nagar MLA Somnath Bharti added the line on his own. It was his demand,” he had said.indianexpress
Draft JNU sedition chargesheet names Kanhaiya Kumar, Umar Khalid, Anirban
New Delhi:Almost 3 years after an FIR of sedition was registered against students of JNU for allegedly raising “anti-national slogans” during an event on campus, the Delhi Police’s Special Cell has finalised draft chargesheet in the case, naming Kanhaiya Kumar, Umar Khalid and Anirban Bhattacharya as the main accused. Apart from the three — Kanhaiya was the JNU students’ union president at the time — police have included eight others in the draft chargesheet, which has been sent to the public prosecutor for vetting and is expected to be filed in the Patiala House Courts soon.”Police have found concrete evidence against the eight others, all hailing from Kashmir… two of them are students at JNU, two at Jamia Millia, one at AMU, one is a Muradnagar-based doctor and 2 are students,” a senior police officer said on condition of anonymity. According to police sources, the investigating officer in the case has identified the eight Kashmiri students, including two brothers, after questioning Khalid and recording the statements of other students. “Police collected evidence after scanning the social media profiles of some of the students. One of them had posted a slogan raised at the event on Facebook. Most of these students were asked to mobilise people for the event,” said an officer linked to the case.Police sources said the draft chargesheet also includes the names of 32 others, including former JNU students’ union vice-president Shehla Rashid, but added that “sufficient evidence has not been found” against them. indianexpress
Derogatory, unacceptable: NCW over Darul fatwa on women, men eating together at public events
New Delhi:National Commission for Women Chairperson Rekha Sharma has sought an explanation from the vice chancellor of Darul Uloom Deoband seminary over reports of a fatwa issued by the institution that termed women and men eating together at public events "un-Islamic", saying it is "derogatory and unacceptable". Sharma also lashed out at the Deoband-based Islamic cleric for his alleged comment that "women eating or taking part in programmes in which strange men are present is not good for women and it is strongly forbidden and is a sin under the Islamic law". Taking a "serious note" of a fatwa issued in this regard, Sharma, in a letter to Darul uloom Islamic school V-C Abul Qasim Nomani, said it is "derogatory, unacceptable and the NCW rejects it outright".She also sought an explanation from him on the matter.According to some news reports, the Darul Uloom Deoband seminary said it is "un-Islamic and a sin for men and women to consume food together at public events like weddings".The fatwa reportedly said men and women eating together is 'na-jayaz', or 'not recommended', and could result in moral decline.PTI
Jamia student says barred from exam for wearing hijab, writes to UGC
New Delhi :Jamia Millia Islamia student Umaiyah Khan (23) has written to UGC chairperson, alleging she was not allowed to appear for UGC-NET  Exam on Thursday because she was wearing a hijab.Responding to this, HRD Minister Prakash Javadekar Friday told reporters, “The Supreme Court has laid down norms for what you can carry and what you cannot carry. So we’re following SC guidelines.”Khan, a student of MBA in International Business and is appearing for management exam, wrote, “When I reached the centre, a male staff member asked me to remove my head scarf. I was shocked as there were no such guidelines mentioned in the admit card…I told him I can’t remove it as I follow my religion…When I approached the female staff members, they didn’t let me in either and asked me to remove my hijab…”Khan said, “People should do their duty, but not by telling people to give up their religious symbols whether it’s a Muslim, Sikh or Hindu.”Requesting the chairperson to “approve her as a NET-JRF qualified candidate”, Khan said, “For future, I request you to make sure this doesn’t happen with anyone no matter what their religion gender or identity is.”indianexpress
 ‘No entry test for 2019-20 admissions to DU, JNU
New Delhi: In contradiction to the ministry of human resource development’s earlier stand of countering the menace of ‘high cut-off’ with an entrance exam for undergraduate courses in Delhi University,HRD minister Prakash Javadekar said that “for 2019-20 admissions in Delhi University will be based on Class XII marks only”.Interestingly while JNU has already announced that its entrance examination in May for the academic year 2019-20 will be conducted by National Testing Agency, which NTA officials also confirmed, the minister during his briefing said that “nothing is final yet”. The high cut-offs for admission to DU have often received flak and the university’s admission committee has been discussing the possibility of introducing an entrance test since 2017. Moreover, DU admission process takes around four to five months.However, given complexities of the admission process and students’ groups like ABVP and the teachers’ association opposing move, a consensus could not be reached in 2017 and 2018. Timesofindia
Parrikar trying to blackmail Modi with Rafale deal to retain CM post, claims Congress leader
Senior Congress leader and former Union minister Jaipal Reddy has accused Goa CM  Manohar Parrikar of trying to blackmail PM  Narendra Modi with Rafale deal to retain his post, PTI reported.Reddy was addressing party’s concluding function at the Jan Akrosh Rally in Margao on Thursday. Congress has been staging rallies across the state claiming that Parrikar’s poor health has affected the functioning of the Govt . Parrikar has been suffering from pancreatic cancer and has made very few public appearances since Oct.scroll.in
 ‘Modi unmade India’: Yaswant in no-holds-barred book
GDP numbers are misleading, RBI’s autonomy is in extreme danger and demonetisation is the biggest banking scam, former finance minister Yashwant Sinha claims in his new book.He also says that PM  Narendra Modi’s idea of self-employment is a “distraction from more serious issue of unemployment and underemployment”. Sinha, who has been quite vocal about the Govt ’s policies since the past couple of years, quit the BJP in April. Party leaders have been dismissing his allegations on several issues with BJP chief Amit Shah once asking if people should believe the ministers or those “who did not get jobs”. According to Sinha, Modi blew a golden opportunity to send the economy soaring to new heights.“He could have fixed the UPA’s legacy issues and fundamentally raised India from a poor country to a middle-income country, but he squandered the chance,” he says, adding his book demonstrates how “Modi unmade India”.PTI
WORLD
Israeli forces kill 3 Palestinians in Gaza protests
3 Palestinians, including a teenager, have been killed and dozens of other protesters injured while taking part in the ongoing demonstrations along the lands east of the besieged Gaza Strip near Israel's fence.According to Gaza's health ministry, Mohammed al-Jahjouh, a 16-year-old demonstrator, was killed after being struck in the neck by Israeli army gunfire on Friday.Abdulaziz Abu Shree'a, 28, succumbed to his wounds after he was shot in the stomach, the ministry added.Maher Yassin, 40, a person with special needs, also died after being critically wounded by Israeli live fire.About 40 Palestinian protesters - including four medics and two journalists - sustained injuries, the ministry said.For 39th consecutive week, Palestinians converged along the Gaza-Israel buffer zone to take part in ongoing demonstrations against Israel's decades-long occupation.aljazeera
China gives $2 million to UNRWA in Gaza
UN Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees in Near East (UNRWA) announced that People’s Republic of China has provided $2.35 million in support of the Agency’s emergency appeal for the occupied Palestinian territories (oPt).In a statement, UNRWA said that “we appreciate the generous donation of $2.35 million from the China in support of the Agency’s appeal for the Palestinian territories,” adding: "This generous donation from China provides immediate and critical emergency food aid during the months of Oct. through Dec. 2018 to approximately 1 million Palestine refugees who are classified under absolute poverty and extreme poverty categories in Gaza as part of agency fourth emergency food aid."Head of the Representative Office of the People’s Republic of China to the Palestinian Authority, Guo Wei, said of the announcement that: “China attributes great importance to the vital role that UNRWA plays in alleviating the humanitarian situation of the Palestine refugees.” “[China] appreciates the work done by UNRWA in the areas of health, education, and other basic services, and that is the reason why the Chinese Govt  has made additional contributions worth two million dollars to UNRWA this year,” he added.MEMO
Russia plans to bring Fatah, Hamas together in Moscow
Senior Russian officials have revealed Russia’s desire to convene a meeting between Fatah and Hamas in Moscow. Speaking in the wake of Hamas leader Ismail Haniyeh’s invitation to visit Russia, Russian Deputy Foreign Minister Mikhail Bogdanov said: “We have invited [Haniyeh] and he accepted the invitation with gratitude. [visit] is likely to take place early next year. Now, work is ongoing to agree on a date that is convenient for both parties to form a delegation,” Sputnik reported.Bogdanov hopes the planned meeting between Fatah and Hamas will contribute to the promotion of national reconciliation between the 2 sides, which have been engaged in a fierce feud since Fatah refused to hand over control of Govt  in the wake of Hamas’ 2006 election victory.“In our opinion, the priority should be the establishment of Palestinian national unity,”Bogdanov explained,adding:“It is extremely important that Fatah and Hamas, together with other Palestinian outfits, meet and agree on the restoration of political and geographical unity.”“We have hosted [such meetings] on numerous occasions and are ready to once again bring them together in Moscow:representatives or heads and deputies,” he added.MEMO
Lebanon's border tense as Israel excavates 'Hezbollah tunnels'
Kafr Kila, Lebanon - Across the border wall that divides the village of Kafr Kila in south Lebanon from Israel, the sound of Israeli excavations is disturbing a relative calm that has endured for 12 years.On Dec 4, Israel decided to take on Hezbollah in Lebanon and began "Operation Northern Shield". It started digging along several points on the Lebanon-Israel border to locate and destroy what it said were tunnels dug by Hezbollah into Israel.aljazeera
Trump Syria pullout ‘blow’ to Tel Aviv: Israeli experts
US President Donald Trump’s decision to withdraw troops from Syria has come as a “major blow” to Tel Aviv, according to Israeli analysts. Analysts quoted in the Israeli media, meanwhile, have said the move came as a shock to Tel Aviv.Israeli PM  Benjamin Netanyahu said that both Trump and US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo had informed him Tuesday of the decision to withdraw troops from Syria. In a subsequent statement, Netanyahu said: “Withdrawal from Syria is a US decision, of course, but we will study the consequences of this withdrawal and its impact on Israel’s security.” Israel’s permanent representative at UN, Danny Danon, for his part, said: “It is a US decision; we respect the decision made by the administration.” MEMO
Turkey Vows to Take on IS After US Withdraws its Troops from Syria
Turkey will take over the fight against Islamic State militants in Syria as US withdraws its troops, President Tayyip Erdogan said on Friday, in the latest upheaval wrought by Washington's abrupt policy shift.  Erdogan has long castigated his NATO ally over its support for Syrian Kurdish YPG fighters against Islamic State. Turkey considers the YPG a terrorist group and an offshoot of the armed Kurdistan PKK, fighting for Kurdish autonomy across the border on Turkish soil. Reuters
Erdogan delays Syria operation, welcomes US troop withdrawal
US pullout from Syria result of secret deal with Turkey, says expert
US president’s decision to withdraw troops from Syria was a result of a secret deal between Washington and Ankara, Lebanese analyst Nidal Sabi, a leading expert on the Syrian dossier, told TASS.He said that after a period of bitter differences between the US and Turkey, Ankara "has once again earned their total confidence and will again promote US interests in the Middle East.""The regional policies of Ankara and Washington pursue the same goals and are aimed at fragmentation of Syria and Iraq," the expert said.He believes that Turkish President Tayyip Erdogan is likely to use the deal with the US to relocate extremist groups, which are now being withdrawn from the Idlib de-escalation zone, to the eastern bank of the Euphrates River.TASS
Yemen: Head of UN mission monitoring Hodeidah ceasefire arrives
Head of a UN mission tasked with monitoring a fragile ceasefire in the Yemen's strategic port city of Hodeidah has arrived Aden.Patrick Cammaert, a retired Dutch general, with experience in Sri Lanka, Cambodia and DR Congo, arrived in the southern city of Aden on Saturday, and is due to meet with Govt  representatives before travelling to the rebel-held capital Sanaa and onwards to Hodeidah.Cammaert's team will secure the functioning of Hodeidah port, a key gateway for aid and food imports in the impoverished nation, as well as supervise the withdrawal of fighters from the flashpoint city.aljazeera
Egypt declares killing of 8 Muslim brotherhood loyalists including 4 detained
Interior Ministry of Egypt announced, that 8 Muslim Brotherhood loyalists were killed and 4 others were arrested. The killed and arrested belong to Hasm Movement, an affiliate to the Muslim Brotherhood which has been classified as a terrorist group by the Egyptian Govt, Xinhua reported.Egypt has been fighting against a wave of terror activities that killed hundreds of policemen and soldiers since the military toppled former Islamist President Mohamed Morsi in July 2013 in response to mass protests against his one-year rule and his currently blacklisted Brotherhood.devdiscourse.com
Egyptian court acquits 40 NGO workers whose case strained ties with US
40 NGO workers, including at least 15 Americans, were cleared by an Egyptian court in a case concerning the work of groups promoting democracy in the country.In 2013, a group of 43 Americans, Europeans, Egyptians and other Arabs were sentenced to jail terms ranging from one to five years on charges including operating NGOs without necessary approval. NGOs have felt exposed since late 2011, when authorities raided 17 pro-democracy and rights groups, accusing them of joining a foreign conspiracy against Egypt after the uprising that toppled veteran leader Hosni Mubarak. Egypt’s crackdown on organisations including U.S.-based groups linked to the US’ two main political parties caused outrage in Washington, which supplies Cairo with $1.3 billion in military aid each year.Reuters
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Compiled and edited by Anwarulhaq (Released at: 6:13 PM)

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