Tuesday, 1 January 2019

01 Jan.ND: Sabarimala row: 30 lakh women form 620-km ‘Vanitha Mathil’ in Kerala, take pledge to uphold gender equality /PM Modi: Triple Talaq matter of gender equality, Sabarimala is about tradition/ Ram Temple ordinance only after legal process gets over:PM Modi


NEWS DIGEST, Afternoon 
01 Jan. 2019: 24 Rabiul-II 1440: Vol: 11, No:91
INDIA
Sabarimala row: 30 lakh women form 620-km ‘Vanitha Mathil’ in Kerala, take pledge to uphold gender equality
In a defining moment for feminist politics in Kerala, lakhs of women filled the roads from Kasaragod to Thiruvananthapuram and took a pledge to protect the renaissance value and uphold gender equality.Although the wall was organised by the state's LDF against the backdrop of the Supreme Court verdict on Sabarimala, the women's pledge reportedly had no reference to the shrine. Women actors from across the state and political leaders gathered at the venue to support the 620-km Vanitha Mathil or the women's wall."Today's women wall formation was an aim to strengthen gender equality. Women should no longer be pushed into dark sides," CPM leader Brinda Karat said.Today afternoon, Women from across 14 districts in Kerala reportedly started assembling by the side of the national highways by 3pm.The event finally began at 4 pm and saw women of all ages thronging the venue. LDF govnt, led by CM Pinarayi Vijayan, said it won't allow Kerala to be taken back to the dark ages, and that women have equal rights. Vijayan, Devaswom Minister Kadakampally Surendran and Finance Minister TM Thomas Isaac took take part in the event in Thiruvananthapuram. Health Minister KK Shylaja was at the starting point in Kasaragod while Politburo member Brinda Karat joined everyone at Thiruvananthapuram.With close to 30 lakh women attending the event, it is believed to the largest/longest women's gathering in world.There were also reports of stone pelting from Bekal in Kasarkod district, aimed at the women participants. Kerala govt has been facing heat from both BJP and Congress over its efforts to implement the SC verdict. The SC struck down a ban that prevented women aged between 10 and 50 from entering the shrine dedicated to Lord Ayyappa, considered to be eternally celibate.indiatoday
Women’s wall in Kerala HIGHLIGHTS: ‘Vanitha Mathil’ falls into place across state
PM Modi: Triple Talaq matter of gender equality, Sabarimala is about tradition
PM Narendra Modi today said that while Triple Talaq is a matter of gender equality, entry of in Sabarimala is related to tradition.PM tried to clear the air on BJP's apparent contradiction in its stand on the controversial Triple Talaq Ordinance and the ban on entry of women between age group of (10-50 years) in the Sabarimala Temple by saying the Ordinance against Triple Talaq was brought keeping in mind gender equality and social justice and it should not be seen as interference in religious issues.However, on the entry of women of menstrual age in the Sabarimala Temple and protests by Hindu groups, PM said that the issue relates to tradition and the Supreme Court judgement that saw a dissent by a lady judge should be read carefully."Triple Talaq Ordinance was brought after Supreme Court verdict. We have said in our BJP manifesto that a solution would be found to this issue under the Constitution,"Modi said." Most Islamic countries have banned Triple Talaq. So it is not a matter of religion or faith. Even in Pakistan, Triple Talaq is banned. So it is an issue of gender equality, matter of social justice. It is not an issue of faith. So keep the two separate," he said. indiatoday
Ram Temple ordinance only after legal process gets over:PM Modi
New Delhi:PM  Narendra Modi today made it clear that any decision on bringing an Ordinance on Ram temple can be considered only after the judicial process gets over. He also suggested that the judicial process was being slowed down because Congress lawyers were creating "obstacles" in the SC."We have said in our BJP manifesto that a solution would be found to this issue under the ambit of the Constitution," PM said about the Ram temple matter when asked whether Ram Mandir issue had been relegated as merely an emotive issue for BJP.BJP,as articulated in its manifesto, wants building of a majestic Ram temple in Ayodhya. Recently, there has been a renewed pitch within the party as well as by its sister outfits in Sangh Parivar for expediting the process of construction of temple. Parivar outfits have expressed unhappiness over the delay in resolving the matter and there are demands for promulgating an Ordinance, similar to the one issued on Triple Talaq, to facilitate construction of a temple.The demand for Ordinance has been articulated even by BJP's ally Shiv Sena.Asked whether Govt could consider issuing an Ordinance on Ram temple, PM pointed out that the matter is before the SC and possibly in the final stages."Let the judicial process be over. After the judicial process is over, whatever will be our responsibility as Govt, we are ready to make all efforts," he added.The matter is slated to be heard by the SC on Jan.4.ANI
PM Modi LIVE: Ram Temple ordinance only after legal process gets over
Gujarat changes roll call: Jai Hind, Jai Bharat to replace Yes Sir, Present
Ahmedabad:Taking inspiration from a Rajasthan teacher who was honoured in Ahmedabad last Saturday by RSS-affiliated ABVP, Gujarat Govt  asked all schools to ensure that students respond with “Jai Bharat” or “Jai Hind” during roll call from Jan.1. Govt Resolution (GR) was issued in a circular by the Gujarat Secondary and Higher Secondary Education Board, and Director, Primary Education. “In order to instil nationalism from a young age, it is directed that students of all schools, Govt , grant-in-aid as well as private, should say ‘Jai Bharat’ or ‘Jai Hind’, instead of ‘Yes sir’ or ‘Present sir’ across the state from Jan.1, 2019. Ensure this is followed across all schools,” circular states. According to officials, the decision was inspired by Sandeep Joshi, a History teacher at a school in Rajasthan’s Jalore district, who received the Yashwantrao Kelkar youth award, at ABVP’s national conference, for his work in education, including for getting his students to say “Jai Hind” and “Jai Bharat” during roll call.Education Minister Bhupendrasinh Chudasama said: “There is nothing bad in taking inspiration from such a good initiative. This was followed in Gujarat decades ago but somewhere down the line, it was forgotten.”indianexpress
Gujarat IPS officer G L Singhal, key accused in Ishrat Jahan case, gets promotion
Ahmedabad :Gujarat Govt  has promoted IPS officer GL Singhal, who is out on bail in 2004 Ishrat Jahan encounter case, to the rank of IGP. Singhal’s name figures in the list of six IPS officers and DIG rank officers of 2001 batch who have been promoted to IGP.Singhal is among the key accused in Ishrat encounter case who was arrested by CBI in 2013. He was granted default bail after the central probe agency didn’t file chargesheet in the stipulated time. In May 2014, Singhal was reinstated with promotion as Deputy Inspector General. Singhal gave damning evidence to CBI in Ishrat case which included 2 pen drives containing 267 voice recordings that had suggested the illegal surveillance of woman under the orders of then minister of state for home Amit Shah, now BJP chief, allegedly acting at the behest of a “saheb.”Vipul Aggarwal, currently posted in Ahmedabad as ACP (administration), has also been promoted to IGP. Aggarwal was involved in the Sohrabuddin case from which he was discharged. In this case, a special CBI court in Mumbai acquitted all the accused last month. The other officers promoted is JR Mothaliya, ACP (Traffic), Ahmedabad. Mothaliya is part of SC appointed-SIT which probed 2002 post-Godhra riots. The other officers are MA Chawda, Range IG, Gandhinagar and DN Patel, ACP, sector-2, Surat city. State Govt has also promoted Surat commissioner Satish Sharma to the rank of DGP.indianexpress
Sohrabuddin encounter case: Smriti Irani says Sonia Gandhi used CBI to frame BJP chief Amit Shah
Union Minister Smriti Irani has accused the Congress of running a political conspiracy against BJP president Amit Shah in 2010 in Sohrabuddin fake encounter case. Addressing a press conference on the matter, she said the Congress ran a dubious campaign against her party president as he was discharged by a special CBI court in 2014 in Sohrabuddin Shaikh fake encounter case. Her statement comes days after a CBI court acquitted all the 22 accused, mostly the policeman from Gujarat and Rajasthan, in Sohrabuddin fake encounter case due to lack of evidence. She further accused UPA chairperson Sonia Gandhi of using CBI to falsely frame the BJP president. She further said years of fake propaganda by Congress against Amit Shah has crumbled.NewsX
Sohrabuddin Case a pre-meditated theory to implicate political leaders:CBI Court
Thwarting the prosecution's case and evidence placed on record, Special CBI Judge SJ Sharma who presided over the Sohrabuddin trial, recorded in a 358-page judgement that the entire investigation of the prosecution was based on a pre-meditated and scripted theory that the killing of Sohrabuddin Shaikh, Tulsiram Prajapati and a pregnant Kausar Bi, was part of a larger conspiracy hatched by politicians with the help of both Rajasthan and Gujarat police."CBI while investigating Sohrabuddin case was trying to establish a pre-conceived and pre-meditated theory, rather than finding the truth. They had a script intended to implicate political leaders anyhow" Judge Sharma said in the judgement dated Dec.21, acquitting all 22 accused. A copy of the judgement was made available today.Judge Sharma retires on Dec 31.A total of 210 witnesses were examined in the case, out of which 92 turned hostile. Initially 38 accused were named in the case, however, 16 were discharged, including Amit Shah, and former home minister of Rajasthan Gulab Chand Kataria. The remaining 22 accused were acquitted.However, the judgement reveals that almost all the crucial witnesses who supported the case of prosecution turned hostile. All the witnesses that turned hostile had refused to corroborate their own statements recorded by CBI. Most of the witnesses that did not turn hostile were police officers.For example, according to the prosecution, Sohrabuddin, Kausar Bi and Tulsiram were travelling in a luxury bus run by Sangeeta Travels to Sangli when they were picked up by the Gujarat police. Thereafter, Tulsiram was handed over to Rajasthan police and Sohrabuddin was taken to Disha farm outside of Ahmedabad along with his wife Kausar Bi. But all the witnesses who were present in the bus during the said incident, including the driver and conductor, turned hostile.A particular witness who runs a Dhaba near Pune had deposed that Rajasthan police had stopped at the Dhaba and he was told by one police personnel that they were carrying a hardened criminal from Gujarat. He also stated that his staff had served breakfast to Sohrabuddin.He turned hostile as well.Court also refused to accept the prosecution's case that Tulsiram was present along with Sohrabuddin and Kausar Bi in the bus when they were picked by the police. Court observed that there was no material evidence to prove that Tulsiram was indeed present during the bus journey. Also, the prosecution's claim that Tulsiram complained about a threat to his life depended on the testimonies of inmates who were with Tulsiram in Udaipur prison before his death. All the inmates turned hostile.Court was not convinced of the prosecution's case that the killing of the deceased was linked to the shooting that took place at the office of Popular Builders in Ahmedabad. Court further recorded that CBI had completed their investigation in a hurried manner. livelaw
Sohrabuddin Case: Court Says Prosecution Failed to Prove Politician-Cops Nexus
30 Lakh File Claim for Inclusion, But 10 Lakh Lose Out as Assam NRC Deadline Ends
Shillong:Of the 40 lakh applicants excluded from the final draft National Register of Citizens (NRC) in Assam, around 30 lakh had filed claims for inclusion by Monday evening, when deadline for the “Claims and Objections” round ended, officials said.While the final tally is expected to be clear Tuesday morning, officials said objections against 700 names in the final draft had also been filed till Saturday. The Supreme Court, which is monitoring the updation process, had fixed Dec.31 as the deadline for submission of claims and objections. The process for verification of applications in the round is scheduled to begin from Feb.15, according to the SC. Asked about the 10 lakh who have not filed their claims, official sources said that “non-genuine citizens” who had tried to get in earlier “may not try again”.AB Khandekar, who heads Association for Citizens’ Rights (ACR), which focusses on citizenship issues,said a clear picture would emerge only after the final figures are released, including those whose applications are “on hold”. When the final draft was released on July 30, officials estimated that around 2.48 lakh applications were on hold, pending verification. “2 factors may have led to even some genuine citizens being unable to file claims. First, the freezing of ‘legacy person’ for applicants. And second, lack of capacity building of ground-level officials to deal with complications faced by applicants,” Khandekar said. Standard Operating Procedure (SOP) of the claims round, as accepted by the SC on Nov.1, states that a person cannot use a different “legacy person”than the one already listed in the initial application. In NRC process, legacy persons are those through whom applicants draw their ancestry from prior to March 25, 1971.“Those who don’t file their claims will not figure in the final NRC but that doesn’t mean they are rendered stateless immediately. They will get a chance to appear before the state’s foreigners tribunals to prove they are Indian citizens. Then, there’s the High Court and the SC,” said Aman Wadud, a Guwahati-based lawyer.“But one fallout of not being in the final NRC could be the Govt deciding that they will be disenfranchised until they can prove their citizenship,” Wadud said.On Monday, official sources said the state govt is unlikely to seek another extension.indianexpress
30 Lakh File Claim for Inclusion, But 10 Lakh Lose Out as Assam NRC Deadline Ends
House Panel on Citizenship Bill to Table its Report by Jan.7
New Delhi: Joint Committee of Parliament constituted to look into the various aspects of the contentious Citizens (Amendment) Bill, 2016 is likely to submit its report by Jan. 7 during the present session.The Committee headed by BJP's Lok Sabha member Rajendra Agarwal met on Monday and discussed clause by clause the Bill that seeks to grant easy Indian citizenship to non-Muslim minorities from Pakistan, Bangladesh and Afghanistan. "Today we had a clause by clause discussion on the Bill. Some of the proposed amendments were considered, some were rejected. We are aiming to table the report by January 7," Agarwal told IANS after the meet. However, he refused to go into the specifics.Sources close to the development said the ruling party tried to fervently push for most of its points even inside the Committee, but the Govt is unlikely to bring the Bill immediately in Parliament. AASU and various other groups in Assam and even BJP ally in Assam state Govt, AGP, have been vociferously protesting against the Bill and have warned Govt  against it.Assamese groups are already preparing to move the Supreme Court on the Bill.IANS
Man accused of attacking Bulandshahr cop with axe during mob violence, arrested
Lucknow: A second man who led the fatal attack on a police officer in Bulandshahr, during the mob violence of December 3 has been arrested. The police said the man, identified as Kalua, had attacked Inspector Subodh Kumar Singh with an axe, chopping off a couple of his fingers and then inflicting a head wound. After that, the officer was shot. Prashant Nutt, the man who allegedly pulled the trigger, was arrested on Dec.28.Subodh Kumar Singh's body was found in an SUV abandoned in a field. Officer was part of the police team called in to control a mob that had gone berserk after carcasses of more than 20 cows were found in the outskirts of a village in the district.The man was arrested from a bus stand on Monday night, pushing up the number of accused arrested in the case to 30."Kalua said on December 3, he was felling a tree to block a road. When the inspector stopped him, he attacked him with an axe," said Atul Kumar Srivastava, a senior police officer of Bulandshahr. Prashant Nutt, Kalua and a third man, Johnny, who had snatched the officer's revolver were identified from a cellphone video from the spot. All 3 are residents of Bulandshahr and a hunt is on for Johnny. The police are also looking for the man who allegedly instigated the attacks - Yogesh Raj, a member of the right-wing Bajrang Dal. Yogesh Raj claimed he was innocent and has been absconding since.ndtv
New ISIS module: NIA raids homes of 2 suspects, who were arrested last week, in UP 's Amroha
Amroha: NIA today carried out "follow up" searches at the homes of 2 suspects, who were arrested last week in connection with its probe into the new IS module.The suspects whose homes were raided this morning are Saeed (28) and Raees Ahmed. As per locals, NIA team arrived at the homes at around 5:30 am."Follow up searches are being carried out today at five locations in Amroha," an NIA spokesperson said.On Sunday too, the counter-terror probe agency had carried out searches at few places in east Delhi's Jafarabad area and interrogated some people as part of its probe.On December 26, the NIA had arrested 10 people, including the group head Mufti Mohammad Suhail.Times Now
Jamiat Ulema to provide legal aid to people arrested by the NIA for having ISIS link
New Delhi: NIA arrested 10 terror suspects by raiding simultaneously at 17 places in UP and Delhi with the help of local ATS. Not only Rihai Manch but the biggest organisation of Sunni Muslims - Jamiat Ulema-e-Hind - has decided to to provide legal help to them. Jamiat president Arshad Madani said that despite all big claims made by the police and intelligence agencies, when these arrested youths go to court, they are released after 5, 7 and 10 years of court battle in want of proof. They are released sometimes by the lower court and sometimes by the high court and even by the Supreme Court. So it clearly tells that their lives have been deliberately destroyed.They were innocent as intelligence agencies and the police don't have any proof against them. Proofs are mostly fabricated by forceful and by illegal means. The external influence that is threatening UP, Madani said that mountain hill is made out of a mole but in reality there is nothing against these youths. This is where the role of Jamiat comes in picture to fight cases of such innocent people. "What I feel that these children will also be released if legal aid is given to them. It doesn't matter whether from the lower court, the high court or the SC. We are fighting around 60 such cases and we are getting relief from courts." But the way these cases are presented that had these arrests not been made and intelligence agencies had not done this excellent job by their excellent skills, the country would have been destroyed. Sometimes it is being claimed that a CM was in the radar of these terrorists, sometimes it is said that republic Day was on target or Independence day was in the target but police fail to provide proof against them. Madani was of the view that people having the intention of harming the country by making bomb or scheming to make bombs or sharing secrets of the country with other countries of the world must not be spared. But the issue becomes delicate for Muslims where the attitude of the police, media and intelligence have always been like that when Muslims are arrested throughout the year. oneindia
Modi Govt is targeting innocents at the name of terrorism: Alvi
Amroha:Congress spokesperson and former MP Rashid Alvi here on Monday alleged that BJP Govt  at Center was targeting innocent people at the name of terrorism.
Addressing the media here on Monday, Mr Alvi said that on direction of center Govt NIA was targeting innocent people at the name of terrorism.Questioning on recent raids of NIA in western UP and NCR region, he said that before elections BJP was targeting minority community people for political gains.HE met with family members of arrested accused and assured them that he will talk to Union Home Minister Rajnath Singh in this matter.He alleged that BJP was scared after defeat in three state assembly elections and was trying to disturb communal harmony for political gains before Lok Saba polls.UNI
Triple Talaq Bill: It’s not good for govt to interfere in religious practices, says LS deputy speaker Durai
Chennai: Stating that it was the duty of AIADMK to protect the rights of the minorities, Lok Sabha deputy speaker M Thambi Durai said his party would oppose the Triple Talaq Bill in Rajya Sabha. “It is not right for the Govt to interfere in religious practices. It is our party’s stand to protect the rights of the minorities. Hence, we will stoutly oppose the Bill that will harm our Muslim brothers,”Thambi Durai told reporters at Chennai airport on BJP Govt’s move to pass the Talaq Bill. Party’s MP A Anwhar Raajhaa spoke vehemently against the Bill in Lok Sabha on Thursday, creating ripples within his party. He said that the Bill was against the Muslim community and the AIADMK would oppose it. TOI
Opposing triple talaq Bill, Mehbooba says: Don’t want Zia-ul-Haq’s Pak in Gandhi’s India
Srinagar:Saying that Indian Muslims are against creating “Zia-ul-Haq’s Pakistan in Gandhi’s secular India”, PDP president Mehbooba Mufti on Monday asked the Centre not to interfere in religious matters, referring to the triple talaq Bill.“All the Muslims, who have stayed back in India, have stayed in Gandhi’s India. J&K , which despite being a Muslim majority state, aligned with India, did it because of Gandhi’s secular India,” Mufti said at a press conference in Srinagar. “We don’t want to create a Zia-ul-Haq’s Pakistan in Gandhi’s India.”Speaking on the triple talaq Bill passed by the Lok Sabha, Mufti said, “Today, there is an assault on the family structure of the Muslims… Being a Muslim first, a woman, and also having gone through a broken marriage, I thought it is my duty to speak,” she said.She said Bill was introduced without consulting even a single Muslim parliamentarian. “In such a big parliament, not a single Muslim Parliament member has supported this Bill,” she said.indianexpress
Fiddling with Sharia law not acceptable: NC over talaq bill
Srinagar: National Conference has accused BJP of "fiddling with Muslim Sharia law" for electoral benefits and asserted that tinkering with the customary Islamic law is not acceptable. "Fiddling with the Muslim Sharia Law is not acceptable to us. The whole process is being executed by the ruling BJP to leverage poll benefits," said NC general secretary Ali Mohammad Sagar, addressing workers from different parts of the valley at the party HQRS Nawa-e-Subh here."BJP's recent drubbing has made it pretty clear that people have now rejected it as a jumla' party," he added "BJP Govt  has been mulling to come up with a bill criminalising triple Talaq since long. But Mehbooba didn't raise the issue with her former ally at any forum when she was hand in gloves with them. I fail to understand what purpose her statements serve now.PTI
Unfair to point finger at AIMPLB; Board members reject Imam Bukhari’s allegation
Lucknow: It is wrong to point finger at All India Muslim Personal Law Board. Board has been strongly opposing triple talaq bill. Said the officials of AIMPLB while responding to the remark made by Shahi Imam Syed Ahmed Bukhari.After the passage of triple talaq bill in Lok Sabha, Imam had said AIMPLB has failed in fulfilling its responsibilities. Rejecting Shahi Imam’s claim Board member Dr Qasim Rasool Ilyas said that the Board with all its might mounted pressure on the Govt against the bill keeping itself within the framework of the constitution. The Board wrote a letter to the Govt especially to the PM, a delegation of the Board met opposition leaders motivating them to oppose the bill and it also engaged strongest advocates in Supreme Court to pursue the case. That is why the bill will not pass in Rajya Sabha. Though the number of BJP members in parliament are more, despite that just 245 votes in favour of bill proves that not only opposition, even BJP members of the parliament are not in favour of the bill.siasat
J&K Governor warns of action if women relatives of militants are harassed
New Delhi:Taking cognisance of an incident of alleged harassment of a militant’s family in south Kashmir’s Pulwama, J&K Governor Satya Pal Malik said strong action would be taken against police officials if found they were found guilty.“It has been widely reported in media that 3 close relatives of a militant were allegedly arrested and harassed by the J&K Police. It has also been alleged that the clothes of a woman, who was one of the persons arrested, were also torn,” said Malik. He also directed police officers not to harass women relatives of militants. “I’ve been informed that there has been no tearing up of a woman’s clothes or her being harassed by police. All police officers and staff will be directed not to harass women who happen to be relatives of militants or treat them in any unbecoming manner,” he said. Malik also said that he would direct IG Police, Kashmir, to look into the matter and verify if indeed the woman was harassed or her clothes were torn. If necessary, action will be taken against police staffers found guilty, the Governor said.indianexpress
Anniversary of Battle of Bhima Koregaon: HC refuses relief to Bhim Army for Pune meet, Azad set to visit Jaystambh
Pune: Bhim Army has cancelled its public meeting in Pune after Bombay High Court refused to grant interim relief to the outfit over its plans to hold events in the city. However, the Dalit outfit’s chief Chandrashekhar Azad is set for his first visit to Jaystambh in Perne village to mark the anniversary of the Battle of Bhima Koregaon. “We respect the decision of the High Court. It was possible for us to hold public meetings in Pune even without permission. But we believe in the Constitution, and so we are not holding any public meetings. But I will visit the Mahatma Phule Wada, Lal Mahal and will also meet some people,” Azad told mediapersons in Pune on Monday. On his plans to visit Koregaon Bhima and the Jaystambh, Azad said, “I will be going to Koregaon Bhima for sure. I am a citizen of India and not a terrorist, and it is my fundamental right to visit place (Jaystambh), which is a symbol of bravery of Bahujans. Dr Ambedkar used to visit this place. So, nobody can stop us from going there…”.He added, “It was not right to impose a ban on our public meetings. It seems Maharashtra has rajtantra (monarchy) and not loktantra (democracy). All Bahujans should unite for 2019 polls and bring a change.“I have come here to strengthen Dalit movement. I am not aware of the politics in Maharashtra. I will take inputs, understand the basic problems and then support the right parties.” Azad is also scheduled to address public meetings in Latur and Amravati for which, he said, the requisite permissions have been obtained. Referring to the arrests of activists in connection with the Elgaar Parishad case, Azad said, “Those raising voices for their rights are being branded Maoists and terrorists in this rule. Even I am a victim of this.”Bhim Army has also said that Azad will visit Jaystambh on Jan.1 and shower flowers on it from a helicopter.But Pune Police said it has received no application seeking permission for entry of a helicopter in the area.indianexpress
Ghazipur: Villagers allege police barged into Dalit homes, damaged property
A day after police raided the houses of members of Nishad community and allegedly knocked down doors and damaged property, locals alleged that another team barged into the houses of Dalits at Chakfarid village in Ghazipur district Sunday night and created ruckus.The police raid on Chakfarid village came in connection with the death of head constable Suresh Pratap Vats, who was killed on Saturday when a mob attacked a police vehicle as police tried to control protesters belonging to the Nishad Party.Chakfarid village is less than 1 km from where Vats was killed. IG Varanasi (range) Vijay Singh Meena on Monday said that 27 people have been arrested so far in connection with Vats’s death.Locals alleged that while police raid was confined to the houses of Nishads and washermen on Saturday, policemen on Sunday barged into the houses of Dalits and damaged their property. Police men also allegedly threatened the women with consequences if they helped the men hide from the police, the villagers alleged.“On Sunday around 8 pm, policemen arrived at the village in 6 vehicles. They first created a ruckus at the Nishad basti. I had just finished my dinner and was about to go to bed when I got to know about this. I hid on the terrace. Minutes later, several policemen entered my house and started asking my 55-year-old mother about the male members of the family. They also forcibly entered the room of my sister-in-law looking for other family members,” alleged Bittu Kumar (23), a resident of Dalit basti.indianexpress
Modi Govt makes NET mandatory for Dalit scholars: Newsclick
In an exclusionary move that can have a detrimental effect on scholars from marginalised communities, the Modi Govt  has now made qualification of JRF through NET mandatory for Dalit students to avail the special research fellowship.So far, to get the special fellowship, dalit students did not need to take the NET: they only needed to pass their post-graduate exam and were selected on the basis of their research proposals.  Coming from communities that still face caste discrimination across the country, this move by the Modi-led BJP Govt has been termed as “unjust”, as it will lead to further excluding Dalit students from higher education. Speaking to Newsclick, Swali, a post-graduate scholar in English from Delhi University, said, “Govt through these moves wants to send out a message that the fundamental right to education should rest with the majority. I come from a background where being a woman from the marginalised community, affording to acquire education in the national capital has not been easy, I want to question this Govt  why doesn't it want dalit and Muslim scholars to avail the advantages of higher education.” Most dalit students cannot afford coaching and, left out of the JRF, were using the special fellowship to research topics on social discrimination and social disparity, among others.newsclick
NHRC sends notice to HRD Ministry over suicide of 49 JNV students, seeks reply in six weeks
New Delhi: A week after an investigation by Indian Express revealed that 49 students of Jawahar Navodaya Vidyalayas (JNVs) committed suicide between 2013-17, NHRC today sent a notice to Ministry of HRD regarding the matter and sought a reply within 6 weeks. Of the 49 suicides, half were by Dalit and tribal students, and a majority of them were boys.“All, except seven, were suicides by hanging, and bodies were discovered either by classmates or members of the school staff. The contents of the report cannot be ignored or overlooked as this reported pattern of suicides by so many students in JNVs might still increase, if not checked in time with appropriate measures,” NHRC said.NHRC also expressed concern regarding the proportion of suicides from SC/ST communities. The commission has sought information on whether trained counsellors were available on campuses to whom adolescent students can open up and talk about their feelings.Information has also been sought on whether dedicated staff are employed to ensure that children are not left alone in rooms and whether emergency assistance through phone counselling and suicide hotline services were available to them.indianexpress
Withdraw cases or will review outside support in Rajasthan, MP: Mayawati
New Delhi:BSP chief Mayawati on Monday warned that the party will have to “review” its decision of outside support to Congress Govts in Rajasthan and Madhya Pradesh unless cases registered against “innocent” people in connection with the Bharat Bandh on April 2, 2018 are withdrawn.BSP also asked the Govt s in both states to fulfill promises made to farmers in the Congress’s election manifestos.Mayawati’s remarks come on the heels of Samajawadi Party chief Akhilesh Yadav’s warning signals to the Congress by expressing unhappiness with the party for not giving a Cabinet berth to the lone SP MLA in MP.In a statement, Mayawati maintained that cases were lodged against innocent people as part of political and caste “vendetta” in Rajasthan and MP, both then governed by BJP, during Bharat Bandh, observed to demand restoration of the SC/ST Act and reservation in promotions.indianexpress
With 1 million homes still in the dark, Modi Govt  misses power goal?
Modi’s Govt missed a self-imposed target to electrify every home, delaying the success of a marquee $2.3 billion development goal that his party plans to showcase before national elections early this year.After bringing electricity connections to 23.9 million households across 25 states, about 1.05 million homes in four states still lack power, Govt’s Press Information Bureau said in a statement Monday, the year-end deadline. Power Minister R.K. Singh reaffirmed as recently as late Nov.that the Govt would meet its Dec. 31 target, which had earlier been moved up by three months. Achieving full energy access has been one of Modi’s key reforms amid his outreach to rural communities, where his BJP has been challenged by dissatisfaction and joblessness. Electrification success would be a political boon for Modi and BJP as they face national elections in the coming months.Bloomberg/ET
JNU Professor Calls Muslim Student a ‘Terrorist’, Makes Communal Comments
Amita Singh, a professor at JNU, allegedly made Islamophobic comments at Aejaz Ahmed Rather, General Secretary of JNUSU. She allegedly addressed Rather, in the presence of several other students, as someone who “looks like a terrorist who has committed 10 bomb blasts.”Aejaz was having tea with his friends near the canteen of Sanskrit Centre, JNU on the afternoon of Dec.26, when Prof. Singh of the Centre for the Study of Law and Governance (CSLG), to the shock of the students, allegedly started raising questions about the students’ social and religious backgrounds. He said, “She asked for our names, demanded that we show her our identity cards, and, in a brazen display of arrogance, made comments about our religious backgrounds.”  He said that Prof. Singh would have known his identity, as he is a known activist in the campus as well as the students’ representative, and has had several encounters with her at protests and meetings with the administrative staff, but she still asked about his identity just to provoke him. “She made communal and hateful comments regarding my religious background. She even suggested that I had come here at the behest of some other Muslim students,” he said. The students refused to show their identity cards to her. Aejaz said, “Since Professor holds no authority to demand us to prove our identity, we refused to do so.” After that, the Professor allegedly told the students, “You people are outsiders, you look very vulgar and uncultured, and lack the minimum decency to be a JNU student,” and hurled abuses at them, insisting that they show their identity cards. He added, “When Prof.Singh persisted with her forced interrogation, we asked her as to what authority did she have to demand us to show our identity cards and why should we as registered students agree to such surveillance.Professor took this as an opportunity to personally target me and started making anti-minority and Islamophobic comments towards me.”newsclick
Arnab Goswami directed to appear in J&K court with Republic TV colleagues in criminal defamation case
A court in J&K has directed controversial Arnab Goswami, founder of Republic TV, with his colleagues in a criminal defamation case filed by former minister and senior PDP leader, Naeem Akhtar. CJM of Srinagar has ordered Goswami along with Adidtya Raj Kaul, Zeenat Zeeshan Fazil and Sakl Bhatt.Aditya Raj Kaul is a senior Associate Editor with Republic TV,while Zeenat Zeeshan work for the channel as its J&K  bureau chief. Akhtar, in his defamation case, had accused Republic TV of broadcasting ‘scandalous’ news content against him. He had pleaded before court to hold the named Republic TV individuals on trial. The court has directed Goswami and his colleagues to appear before it by 9 February, 2019.Akhtar, according to local media reports, had filed his defamation case on 16 Nov.against one Molvi Abid Ansari, BJP activist Khalid Jahangir Sheikh and others for accusing him of corruption. Akhtar’s counsel, Jahangir Iqbal Ganai was quoted by KashmirWalla website that Abid Ansari was facing an arrest warrant against him after he failed to turn jup in the court during the last hearing. CJM Srinagar Aijaz Ahmad Khan had issued a bailable arrest warrant against him for not appearing before the court.jantakareporter
UP: Muslims decide to socially boycott cow slaughterers
Muradnagar: After the complaint and incident of cow slaughter and subsequent sale of the beef, the Muslims of Muradnagar have unanimously decided in a panchayat held at Rawli road Muradnagar, to boycott all those who are involved in the act.Non-Muslims along with Muslims welcomed the decision. In the panchayat, it was decided not to extend any sort of help to those who slaughter the cow.The panchayat was held by the notables of the city under the chairmanship of former vice chairman Bhure Chaudhry. He told that some people indulge in cow slaughtering and disrupt the peace of the city.The panchayat unanimously decided that if any Muslim is caught for being involved in cow slaughtering and selling beef, no one will help him and he will be socially boycotted.siasat
UP Shia board meeting today to discuss stance on Ayodhya temple issue
Lucknow:Shia Central Waqf Board in UP  has called a meeting to discuss its stance in support of a Ram Temple at the disputed site in Ayodhya and rebuilding the mosque elsewhere today, ahead of the hearing in the title dispute case in the Supreme Court. The board has already filed a 30-page affidavit before the top court, saying that since the mosque was a Shia Waqf property, it alone is entitled to negotiate with other stakeholders to arrive at a settlement.“Now that the hearing in the case is scheduled to commence from January 4, I have called a meeting with our lawyers to discuss the way forward on how best we can resolve the issue,” said Waseem Rizvi, controversial chairman of the Shia Waqf Board.HT
Actor-writer Kader Khan  who dies today, designed courses in Islamic studies
Mumbai:A little-known facet of Kader Khan, the veteran Bollywood actor-writer-comedian who passed in away Toronto early on morning, was that he was a Quranic scholar who designed a special academic syllabus in Islamic studies, besides simplified Arabic and Urdu courses, a family friend said. “Though deeply immersed in Bollywood, around early 1990s, he bowed before the wishes of his aged father, the late Maulana Abdul Rahman Khan, to take forward his ideals for propagating Islamic studies and help clear misconceptions among the minds of people by using simplied language with their meanings,” said Javed Jamaluddin, a veteran Urdu journalist and close friend of the late actor. Originally hailing from Kabul, Afghanistan, Maulana Khan was a renowned Islamic scholar who remained in India post-Partition and in the early 1950s, migrated to Holland, where he set up Arabic & Islamic Institute. However, in early 1990s, Kader Khan was summoned by his father who wanted him to take over and carry forward his legacy, but actor – then already a big name in Bollywood – was reluctant, arguing he had acepractically no knowledge of Islam or Arabic or Urdu.Adhering to his father’s wishes, he set up a team of experts in Mumbai and also at his bungalow in Pune’s posh Koregaon Park where he designed various Islamic courses for students from nursery to post-graduate levels covering Islamic tenets, Sharia laws and the like.He followed up by opening the KK Institute of Arabic Language & Islamic Studies in Dubai and later in Canada to impart training in Arabic and Islamic laws as preached in the Holy Quran, said Jamaluddin. IANS
WORLD
Bangladesh election makes mockery of democracy: Main Opposition  leader
Dhaka:The leader of the main opposition BNP has said that Sunday's general election was a "fraud" and marred by widespread irregularities."Yesterday's election was totally fraud," Mirza Fakhrul Islam Alamgir, the general secretary of BNP, told Al Jazeera after PM  Sheikh Hasina registered an unprecedented victory.Ruling Awami League (AL) captured 288 out of 298 seats for which elections were held, winning a whopping 96 %  of the seats, drawing criticism from the opposition."Ballot papers were stuffed on the night before the election. Except for few, irregularities were found in almost all the constituencies. It was preplanned, and the result was decided much earlier," Alamgir alleged. BNP leader said that the vote rigging was facilitated by " Govt  agencies, the police and other law enforcement agencies in collaboration with the election commission officials"."This is a mockery of democracy. Bangladesh has lost an opportunity to come back to democracy," said Alamgir, who is among the seven BNP candidates to win their seats.Meanwhile, many Bangladeshi voters shared their stories on social media, some of them complaining of irregularities on the election day.Shaquib Ahmed, a Dhaka resident, told Al Jazeera that he was kicked out of the polling booth after he voted for the BNP."There was no curtained area in the room to vote. As I put my seal on the BNP symbol a man standing beside me snatched the ballot paper away and shouted, 'what do you think you are doing?'," he said.34-year-old Ahmed says he was later abused at Dhaka's Tejgaon College polling centre. "I did not protest as there were other people with him and it was very intimidating," Ahmed told Al Jazeera. Mahbub Uddin Khokon, ex-BNP member of parliament, blamed the "fraudulent" election for his defeat in Noakhali 1 constituency."The election commission and the Govt collectively committed fraud against the nation, the voter, and the constitution," said Khokon, who is the secretary of Supreme Court Bar Council."The night before the election, they stuffed ballot boxes in each centre with the help of the police," he alleged."I met with the chief election commissioner 3 times before the election to take action against the police who were lodging false cases against opposition members. He did not do anything."But PM  Hasina rejected the rigging charges, saying people voted her party to power for development work done in her 10-year rule.Al Jazeera
Houthis stole food 'from mouths' of hungry Yemenis: UN
UN's food agency has accused Houthi rebels of stealing food "from the mouths" of hungry Yemenis, hours after an investigation by AP found that both sides in conflict had stolen aid meant for the country's most vulnerable.David Beasley, the Executive Director of the World Food Programme (WFP), said on Monday that his agency had collected evidence showing the Houthis had diverted shipments of food sent to help alleviate "the world's worst humanitarian crisis"."At a time when children are dying in Yemen because they haven't enough food to eat, that is an outrage," Beasley said."This criminal behaviour must stop immediately". Yemen's 4-year war and ensuing economic collapse have unleashed the world's most urgent humanitarian crisis with over 22 million people needing some kind of aid to survive.Food prices have increased by an average of 68% , and the price of commodities such as petrol, diesel and cooking gas has increased by at least 25%  in the past year.WFP said the photographic and other evidence it had obtained showed trucks illicitly removing food from designated food distribution centres and local officials falsifying records and manipulating the selection of beneficiaries.aljazeera
UN: 85 FARC members killed in Colombia since peace deal
In the 2 years since Colombia signed a peace deal with the left-wing FARC rebels, 85 members of the armed-group-turned-political-party have been killed, the UN said.Colombia's special investigation unit, quoted in a new UN report, blamed "illegal armed groups and criminal organisations" for the killings.In his quarterly report on the UN's mission to Colombia, Secretary-General Antonio Guterres urged Colombia's President Ivan Duque - a vocal critic of the peace accord, signed by his predecessor Juan Manuel Santos- to better protect ex-combatants. FARC, formerly known as FARC of Colombia, now operates as a political party under the name, Revolutionary Alternative Common Force. aljazeera
Netanyahu refuses to resign amid corruption allegations
Israeli PM  Benjamin Netanyahu has said he would not resign if indicted on corruption charges, as police continue to investigate several cases involving him ahead of April polls.Netanyahu, who is enmeshed in three corruption cases and denies any wrongdoing, announced last week that a snap parliamentary elections would be held in April, seeking a fresh political mandate after his right-wing ruling coalition collapsed.On Monday, Netanyahu said at a press conference during his Brazil visit that he would not step down "in the event of being summoned for a hearing by the prosecutor general before the elections".The lawyer general's decision on indictments is expected in the coming months and some see Netanyahu's decision to call early elections as a manoeuvre to fight any charges with a fresh mandate. aljazeera    
US and Israel formally quit UNESCO
United States and Israel have officially quit UNESCO at the stroke of midnight on New Year's Day, the culmination of a process triggered more than a year ago. Withdrawal is mainly procedural yet serves a new blow to UNESCO, co-founded by US after World War II to foster peace. Trump administration filed its notice to withdraw in October 2017 and Israeli PM  Benjamin Netanyahu followed suit, accusing the UN agency of anti-Israel bias.Paris-based organisation has previously criticised Israel's occupation of East Jerusalem, naming ancient Jewish sites as Palestinian heritage sites, and granting full membership to Palestine in 2011.aljazeera
Syrian regime attacks Idlib in violation of Sochi deal
IDLIB:Syrian regime forces and Iran-backed terror groups intensified their attacks in Idlib province’s de-escalation zone Monday despite a ceasefire agreement, according to a civil defense official. "Assad regime forces have intensified airstrikes on Idlib and Homs on civilian settlements since the evening," Mustafa Hajj Youssef, director of the White Helmets civil defense agency in Idlib, told Anadolu Agency.Two civilians were killed and six others were wounded in a camp for displaced people, Youssef said.Following a meeting on Sept. 17, 2018 in the Russian city of Sochi between Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan and his Russian counterpart Vladimir Putin, the two sides agreed to set up a demilitarized zone -- in which acts of aggression are expressly prohibited -- in Syria’s Idlib province.Anadolu
Taliban attacks kill police in northern Afghanistan
At least 23 security personnel have been killed and dozens of others wounded in a series of attacks by the Taliban on security checkpoints in Afghanistan's northern Sar-e-Pul province, officials said on Tuesday. Fierce gun battles raged for several hours late on Monday in the centre of Sayyad district and outside the provincial capital, Sar-e-Pul, provincial council chief Mohammad Noor Rahmani said. A high-ranking provincial official with an Afghan spy agency, a local police commander, and an army company commander were among the dead provincial council member Mohammad Asif Sadiqi told dpa news agency. Taliban spokesman Qari Yousof Ahmadi claimed responsibility for the attacks.Sadiqi said at least 25 others were wounded in the attacks that began around 7pm local time and continued for more than seven hours with Taliban fighters overrunning the posts.aljazeera
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Compiled and edited by Anwarulhaq (Released at: 7:00 PM)

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