21 January 2019

21 Jan. ND: CJI Gogoi recuses himself from hearing plea challenging interim CBI chief Rao’s appointment/ One in Every 3 Under-Trial Prisoners in India Is Either SC or ST: Study/ Wealth Of 9 Richest Indians Equivalent To Bottom 50% Of Country: Report

NEWS DIGEST, Afternoon 
21 Jan. 2019: 14 Jamadiul-I 1440: Vol:11, No:107
CJI Gogoi recuses himself from hearing plea challenging interim CBI chief Rao’s appointment
New Delhi:Chief Justice Ranjan Gogoi Monday recused himself from hearing the petition challenging the appointment of M Nageshwar Rao as the interim chief of CBI. CJI cited that he is part of the high-level committee that will meet on Jan.24 to appoint new CBI chief. Rao’s hearing is scheduled for same day.Rao’s appointment was challenged by NGO Common Cause. The petition states that the appointment of Nageshwar Rao was “not made on the basis of recommendations of the high-powered selection committee”.The petition wants a full-time director appointed. It also seeks that the procedure laid down in Section 4A of Delhi Special Police Establishment Act,1946, amended by Lokpal and Lokayuktas Act,2013 should be followed for the appointment of CBI director. Petitioner alleged that “Govt …has attempted to stifle independence of the institution of CBI by appointing Director of CBI in an arbitrary and illegal manner” and that “the lack of transparency in the process of appointment prevents any meaningful public scrutiny and allows Govt to exercise undue influence in the process especially at the stage of short-listing of candidates, thereby undermining the institution of CBI”.After the removal of former CBI chief Alok Verma by committee headed by PM  Narendra Modi, Rao was named as the interim chief of the agency for second time.Verma was transferred as DG of Fire Services, Civil Defence and Home Guards, an offer which he refused and subsequently resigned from IPS instead.The decision to call a meeting of the committee on Jan. 24 follows Congress leader Mallikarjun Kharge’s letter to PM, urging convening of a meeting at the earliest. Lone dissenter in the 2-1 decision that led to the ouster of Verma over alleged charges of corruption, Kharge called appointment of Rao as Interim chief “illegal”.indianexpress
Chief Justice, On Panel To Pick New CBI Chief, Withdraws From Key Hearing
CBI DSP AK Bassi, probe officer in Asthana case, moves SC challenging transfer order
New Delhi : Crisis within CBI showed no signs of abating as DSP Ajay Kumar Bassi Monday moved the Supreme Court challenging his transfer order to Port Blair issued by interim CBI chief Nageswara Rao on Jan 11.DSP, in his petition, said his transfer would prejudice the probe in the alleged corruption case against ousted CBI Special Director Rakesh Asthana.“It is passed by an officer/authority not competent to pass such orders. The impugned order intends to victimize the Petitioner herein. The impugned order seeks to unfairly prejudice the investigation against Asthana, in FIR dated October 15, 2018,” said Bassi, who was the investigating officer in Asthana case.After Alok Verma was reinstated as CBI chief on January 9 by the Supreme Court, he revoked the transfer order of officials probing the alleged corruption case against Asthana. Asthana has been accused of taking bribes in the Moin Qureshi case. However, Rao reversed all the transfer orders issued by Verma after a high-powered committee led by PM  Narendra Modi ousted CBI chief based on corruption charges in a CVC report.indianexpress
NIA chief frontrunner in race to be CBI boss
New Delhi: With the high-powered selection committee all set to meet on Jan.24 to appoint the new CBI director, Y.C. Modi, who is currently holding the post of NIA chief, has emerged as the strong contender for the post.The high-powered selection committee that will meet on Thursday to appoint the new CBI director is headed by PM  Narendra Modi, with the leader of the Congress in the Lok Sabha, Mr Mallikarjun Kharge, and the Chief Justice of India (or his representative) as its two other members. Govt  had proposed the meeting on January 21 earlier, while Mr Kharge wanted it to be held on either January 24 or 25.Deccan Chronicle.
PDP MLA’s Vehicle Used to Carry Out Attack on Amarnath Pilgrims, Claims NIA Probe
Srinagar: A probe conducted by NIA has revealed that the vehicle of ex J&K  MLA Aijaz Ahmad Mir was allegedly used to carry out the attack on Amarnath pilgrims in July 2017, which left seven dead and nearly 20 injured.The attack took place near Batengu area of south Kashmir’s Anantnag on Srinagar-Jammu highway when a bus ferrying the pilgrims was fired upon indiscriminately by militants.DSP NIA Ravinder has written a letter to J&K  Police’s Additional Director General (police headquarters) stating that Mir has a “soft corner towards separatists” and one of his vehicles was used in “attack” on Amarnath pilgrims.The investigation agency has sought “crime record” and “integrity report” of the former legislator.Mir was MLA from Wachi constituency of south Kashmir’s Shopian district.Days after the attack, police arrested Mir’s driver, Touseef Ahmad Wani, who was deputed with him by J&K Police’s security wing. At the time of his arrest, police had alleged that he was “linked” to militants.News18
NIA detains man from Jaipur airport
Jaipur :A man was detained by NIA at Jaipur airport, police said.Mohammad Hussain, a resident of Kuchaman city of Rajasthan’s Nagaur district, was detained on Sunday evening after he arrived here from Dubai. “There was a lookout notice against him and on information by the immigration officials, a team of NIA detained him under the unlawful activities prevention act on Sunday evening and took him to Delhi,” a senior police official said.PTI
Malegaon case: HC asks NIA how it verified photocopies of evidence
Mumbai: Bombay High Court has asked NIA how it and the trial court verified the authenticity of photocopies of some documentary evidence relied upon in 2008 Malegaon blast case.A bench of justices A S Oka and A S Gadkari asked NIA to inform the high court about it on Wednesday.The bench was hearing a bunch of appeals filed by Sameer Kulkarni, one of the accused in the case. Kulkarni has challenged the decision of the special NIA court permitting the probe agency to bring photocopies of missing statements of witnesses and confessions of the accused on record,and lead evidence in its support.In 2017, special NIA court had permitted the use of photocopies after the probe agency submitted that some files containing original witness statements and confessions of accused under CrPC Section 164 had gone missing and could not be traced.PTI
One in Every 3 Under-Trial Prisoners in India Is Either SC or ST: Study
New Delhi: Members of the Scheduled Castes (SC) and Scheduled Tribes (ST) are over-represented, in relation to their population, in India’s prisons, a new study has found. While the groups account for 24% of India’s population, their representation in prisons is significantly higher, at 34%.The report titled ‘Criminal Justice in the Shadow of Caste’ has been prepared jointly by the National Dalit Movement for Justice and the National Centre for Dalit Human Rights. It draws heavily from NCRB data. The report also finds that certain states have strikingly higher levels of disparity between the percentage of SC/STs in their total population and in their prisons.It says that Assam, Tamil Nadu, Maharashtra and Rajasthan as the worst performers. In Tamil Nadu, for instance, the difference is as high as 17%. As many as 38% of under-trials in Tamil Nadu are either SC or ST, while their share in the total population is 21%.“These facts together point to a pattern of targeting Dalit and Adivasis and call for investigation of factors leading to the continued victimization of the community by the Police and further victimization as under trials,”report said. It also notes that when members of Dalit or Adivasi communities register atrocity complaints, the accused often register counter FIRs against the victims. “This is done with the sole intention of counter blasting the complaint filed by the SC victims. As a result of the counter cases, SC victims of atrocities are being arrested and subjected to criminal litigation as accused in the counter cases,” the report said. This is kind of misuse that the Supreme Court said the SC/ST (Prevention of Atrocities) Act was subject to, and based on which it decided to dilute the Act in March last year.2015 NCRB report noted that Dalits, Adivasis and Muslims constitute 55% of the undertrial prisoners in India.This figure is considerably disproportionate to their total share of the population. According to the 2011 Census, 3 communities constitute 39% of the total population in India.thewire
Wealth Of 9 Richest Indians Equivalent To Bottom 50% Of Country: Report
Indian billionaires saw their fortunes swell by Rs. 2,200 crore a day last year, with the top 1 %  of the country's richest getting richer by 39 %  as against just 3 %  increase in wealth for the bottom-half of the population, an Oxfam study said on Monday.Globally, billionaires' fortunes rose by 12 %  or $ 2.5 billion a day in 2018, whereas the poorest half of the world's population saw their wealth decline by 11 % , the international rights group said in its annual study released before the start of the five-day World Economic Forum (WEF) Annual Meeting in this Swiss ski resort town.Oxfam further said that 13.6 crore Indians, who make up the poorest 10 %  of the country, continued to remain in debt since 2004.Asking the political and business leaders who have gathered in Davos for the annual gathering of the rich and powerful of the world to take urgent steps to tackle the growing rich-poor divide, Oxfam said this increasing inequality is undermining the fight against poverty, damaging economies and fuelling public anger across the globe.Oxfam International Executive Director Winnie Byanyima, one of the key participants at WEF summit, said it is "morally outrageous" that a few wealthy individuals are amassing a growing share of India's wealth, while the poor are struggling to eat their next meal or pay for their child''s medicines."If this obscene inequality between top 1% and the rest of India continues then it will lead to a complete collapse of the social and democratic structure of this country," she added. Noting that wealth is becoming even more concentrated, Oxfam said 26 people now own the same as the 3.8 billion people who make up the poorest half of humanity, down from 44 people last year."India's top 10 % of the population holds 77.4%  of the total national wealth. The contrast is even sharper for the top 1 %  that holds 51.53 %  of the national wealth.The bottom 60 % , the majority of the population, own merely 4.8 %  of the national wealth. Wealth of top 9 billionaires is equivalent to the wealth of the bottom 50%  of the population," Oxfam said while noting that high level of wealth disparity subverts democracy.ndtv
India's richest 1% get richer by 39% in 2018; just 3% rise for bottom-half: Oxfam
Small number of Bangladeshis to be benefitted from Citizenship Amendment Bill: MHA
New Delhi:Only a small number Bangladeshi nationals are likely to be benefitted from Citizenship Amendment Bill, as less than 200 people from the neighbouring country have so far availed Long Term Visa (LTV) regime introduced in 2015, a senior Home Ministry official said. The majority of those who are likely to apply for Indian citizenship under the Citizenship Amendment Bill will be from Pakistan, as nearly 35,000 of such people have got LTVs so far.“ Number of LTVs issued by the Union Home Ministry to Bangladeshi nationals from 2011 to Jan. 8, 2019, is just 187, while total LTVs issued to Pakistani nationals during the same period is 34,817,” the official told PTI.Those who will apply for Indian citizenship under the Citizenship Amendment Bill must fulfil similar criteria of LTVs.“There cannot be too many Bangladeshis applying for the Indian nationality under the proposed new law. Otherwise, they would have already taken the LTVs for which criteria are the same,” the official said.Of the 187 LTVs granted to Bangladeshi nationals, only two were given in 2018, three in 2017, 50 LTVs were given in 2016, 26 LTVs were issued in 2015, 74 in 2014, 27 in 2012 and four in 2011.No LTV was issued to any Bangladeshi national in 2013.PTI
Naga CM: Citizenship Bill Not Applicable as State Protected Under Article 371(A)
Kohima: Nagaland CM  Neiphiu Rio has written to home minister Rajnath Singh, saying the Citizenship (Amendment) Bill will not be applicable to the state as it is protected under Article 371 (a) of the Constitution.A cabinet meeting, chaired by Rio, on Friday asserted that the state is protected under provisions of Article 371 (a) and the Inner Line Permit (ILP) as per Bengal Eastern Frontier Regulation, (BEFR) of 1873, a release issued by the CM ’s office said on Sunday.The article deals with special provisions with respect to Nagaland.It states that no act of parliament with respect to religious or social practices of the Nagas, Naga customary law and procedure, administration of civil and criminal justice involving decisions according to Naga customary law, ownership and transfer of land and its resources, shall apply to the state unless the legislative assembly by a resolution so decides.the wire
Protests against Citizenship Bill continue in Assam
Guwahati: Protests against the contentious Citizenship (Amendment) Bill continued for fourth week in Assam. CM  Sarbananda Sonowal was shown black flags in Chirang district on Monday.Students Federation of India activists waved black flags at Sonowal's convoy when he was on way from the helipad to a school he was to inaugurate in Bijni town.The protestors were then forcibly removed and three persons were taken into custody, the police department said.In Dhubri district on the banks of the mighty Brahmaputra river, various political, social and students organisations took out a massive rally to protest against the Bill and demanded its withdrawal.PTI
BJP Ally JD(U) to Vote Against Citizenship Bill in Rajya Sabha
New Delhi: BJP’s NDA partner JDU has decided to step up its protest against Citizenship (Amendment) Bill, deciding on Sunday to vote against it in the Rajya Sabha. Party will also send a delegation to the Northeast to meet civil society bodies on January 28 and 29.Bill, which seeks to provide citizenship to undocumented non-Muslim immigrants from Bangladesh, Afghanistan and Pakistan who have faced ‘religious persecution’ was passed in the Lok Sabha on January 8. Protests have broken out in several parts of the Northeast opposing the Bill and the BJP’s ally, Asom Gana Parishad, walked out of the alliance in protest.A four member delegation, comprising leaders vice-president Prashant Kishor, secretary general K.C. Tyagi, Afaque Ahmad Khan and N.S.N. Lotha, will visit the Northeast. Ahmad Khan told the Economic Times that the party has reiterated its stand against the Bill. “In Rajya Sabha, the party will vote against the Bill,” he said.the wire
Muslims should limit themselves to 2 children: BJP Leader
BJP's Leader of Opposition in Rajasthan Assembly Gulab Chand Kataria raked up a fresh controversy by advocating that Muslims should limit themselves to two children.Holding the Muslim population responsible for the plight of the nation, Kataria asserted that laws need to be changed."If we (Hindus) limit ourselves to two children then they (Muslims) should also restrict to two. All our efforts towards improving the system went in vain because of this (Muslim population) reason," said Kataria.He said that the condition of the population will worsen in the coming 50 years if not properly dealt with by amending or changing the laws. "The condition is hard to imagine in the next 50 years,"Kataria said."There is an urgent need to change the law and law can only be changed if we have the two-thirds majority," he said.ANI
Vibrant Summit helped Gujarat recover its image following 2002 riots: CM Rupani
Gandhinagar:The “successful experimentation with Vibrant Gujarat Summit” has helped Gujarat overcome the loss of image that it suffered after the 2001 Kutch earthquake and 2002 post-Godhra riots, Gujarat CM  Vijay Rupani said on the concluding day of the ninth edition of the investment summit here on Sunday. Crediting the vision of PM  Narendra Modi at a textile conclave where Union Textile Minister Smriti Irani was present, CM  said, “The successful experimentation with Vibrant (Gujarat) Summit is at the very roots of Gujarat becoming the growth engine of the nation. Remember those days in 2001 when earthquake struck, and 2002 when Godhra riots happened. An entire group of people had tried to defame Gujarat. But due to Vibrant Summit, Gujarat managed to stand (back on its feet).”CM was referring to 7.7 magnitude earthquake that hit Bhuj in Kutch on Jan.26, 2001 and left nearly 20,000 people dead; and the 2002 riots that broke out in the state following Godhra train burning incident in which over 50 passengers, mostly kar sevaks, were killed. The communal riots that followed Godhra incident continued for nearly a week and left over 1,000 people dead and over 2,500 others injured.indianexpress
Muslims in Jammu feeling vulnerable: Mehbooba
Srinagar:PDP chief Mehbooba Mufti alleged that Muslims in Jammu are “feeling vulnerable”. She also alleged that the Gujjar-Bakerwal community is being “selectively targeted”. “I (as CM) had issued an order that till the time the Forest Act comes into force in J&K , the Gujjar Bakerwal community shouldn’t be disturbed. We were hopeful of same treatment under the Governor-led administration… But unfortunately, under the nose of Governor, this time there is selective targeting of Gujjar-Bakerwals (in Jammu),” Mehbooba said.She said she met Governor Satya Pal Malik and told him about the matter. “I want to say that Muslims in Jammu are feeling vulnerable. I was hopeful that after the Governor’s assurance, nothing of this sort would happen again. He assured me that for the time-being, they (Gujjar-Bakerwals) won’t be disturbed…But unfortunately, excesses are happening with these people,” said Mehbooba.She warned, “If they don’t take care of this fragile situation, it can have dangerous consequences not only for Jammu but also for Kashmir…”indianexpress
Madras HC issues notice to Centre on 10% quota law
New Delhi:The Madras High Court on Monday issued a notice to the Centre on a petition challenging the Constitution Act, 2019, which provides 10%  quota for economically weaker sections in the general category. The HC has asked Centre to file its reply by Feb.18. Petition was filed by DMK organising secretary R S Bharathi last week, stating that reservation was not a “poverty alleviation programme” but more in the nature of a “social justice programme to uplift communities which have not had access to education or employment and consequently do not have representation in the services of the state or in upper echelons of society”.indianexpress
Tejashwi, Manjhi, Radhika Vemula to Attend United Against Hate Event on Bihar Lynchings
Patna:Leader of Opposition and former Deputy CM  Tejashwi Yadav and former CM  Jitan Ram Manjhi besides several leaders from Rashtriya Janata Dal and Congress will attend United Against Hate’s anti-lynching protest event in Patna on Wednesday.The Patna event is part of United Against Hate’s national campaign “Ab Ki Baar Nafrat Ki Haar” which was recently launched to mobilize civil society against the politically-motivated communal atmosphere that has resulted in lynching of dozens of people in different parts of the country in the name of beef and cow in the last four and half years. Most of such incidents took place in Rajasthan, Haryana, UP  and Jharkhand.In Bihar also, in the last couple of months, at least three incidents of lynching took place.During a Durga Puja procession in Sitamarhi, 80-year-old Zainul Ansari was killed by a mob. In Araria, one Kabul Miyan, 55, was lynched on suspicion of cattle theft. In another incident in Nalanda, one Abid was attacked by a mob but he survived.At the Wednesday event at Patna’s BIA Bhawan, son of Zainul Ansari and son-in-law of Kabul Miyan will also speak.Besides Tejashwi Yadav and Jitan Ram Manjhi, RJD MLAs Akhtarul Islam and Alok Mehta, and Youth Congress leader Kumar Ashish will also attend.Rohit Vemula’s mother Radhika Vemula will also speak along with United Against Hate leaders Nadeem Khan, Banojyotsna Lahiri and Laeeq Ahmad.India Tomorrow
RSS Training People To Make "Weapons, Atom Bomb": Madhya Pradesh Minister
New Delhi: A cabinet minister in Madhya Pradesh has alleged that RSS-- BJP's ideological mentor-- was imparting training to make "weapons, bombs, atom bomb, grenade, and triggering blasts".The comment was made by Dr Govind Singh in response to BJP's attack on the Congress Govt  over law and order in the state."RSS has been imparting training in making weapons, bombs, atom bomb, grenade and triggering blasts," Dr Singh told local media. Dr Singh is a prominent Congress leader in Madhya Pradesh. He was the home minister of the state during Digvijaya Singh's regime. He is a 7-time member of legislative assembly from Lahar in Bhind district. Earlier this week, the Congress Govt  came under attack from the opposition over two murders in the state. BJP leader and civic body chairman of Mandsaur, Prahlad Bandhwar, 50, was shot in full public view on Thursday. The second murder took place at a busy marketplace in Indore where, Sandeep Agarwal, 45, a builder and local businessman was killed.ndtv
Parrikar's Photos Reveals His Greed For Power: Ex-Goa RSS chief
Panaji: Photographs of CM  Manohar Parrikar that are being shared by the BJP and state Govt  agencies reveal weakness and agreed to cling to power, former Goa RSS chief Subhash Velingkar said.Addressing a press conference in Panaji, Velingkar said that the populace of Goa is suffering due to chronic lack of governance, demanding that Parrikar hand over charge of at least some of the 20-odd Govt  departments to a Deputy CM , in order to ensure that governance and administration does not suffer."May the Lord give him (Parrikar) better health and longer life, but the condition of his body is not well. He cannot even walk two steps. He has to be held from the rear. Tubes have to be slipped in his mouth. Goans cannot see him like this. He is weak and still clinging on to the chair...," Velingkar told.His comments come at a time photographs of Parrikar -- who is suffering from pancreatic cancer and has rarely attended public functions and office over the last 11 months -- were released to the media by state BJP officials or Govt  outreach agencies recently.The photographs of Parrikar, still wearing medical paraphernelia, inspecting an under-construction bridge, speaking to officials of CMO, ministers, bureaucrats over the last few weeks during rare interactions have evoked a mixed response. While his supporters have commended him for braving his illness, the opposition has said that the photo blitz was aimed at garnering sympathy and slighted the former Defence Minister for sticking to his chair "at any cost".NDTV
SIT report a cover-up of Gujarat riots:Ex Army officer
Kolkata:Lt General Zameer Uddin Shah (retd), whose explosive memoir "Sarkari Mussalman" created a storm in 2018, said on Sunday that SIT report that cleared then Gujarat CM  Narendra Modi's name is a "cover up" of the 2002 riots in the state."Army was not given logistical support by the Gujarat administration when we arrived. It took them more than 24 crucial hours when hundreds of lives were lost to provide us with vehicles, guides and other logistical support. "SIT report contradicts everything that I have written in my memoir but let me make this very clear. I was never called by SIT to present my version of events. I had submitted a detailed report in 2002 itself," Shah, a decorated Army veteran who was sent to Gujarat to quell the 2002 riots, said during a panel discussion on his book at the closing day of Apeejay Kolkata Literature Festival.He reiterated that he had written the 'Gospel truth', adding that the sequence of events had been recorded in the "war diaries" of the Army.Shah said in his memoir that after about 3,000 troops landed at the Ahmedabad airfield by 7 a.m. on March 1, 2002, they had to wait for over a day to receive transport and other logistical support from the state Govt  in order to fan out to the cities and towns which were engulfed in violence. This delay, he said, happened despite a direct request by him to Modi at 2 a.m. on March 1 in Gandhinagar, in the presence of Union Defence Minister George Fernandes.Shah's version of events has been backed by then Army chief Gen S. Padmanabhan.IANS
Ajit Doval's Son Files Defamation Case Against Caravan Magazine, Jairam Ramesh
New Delhi: NSA Ajit Doval’s son Vivek Doval on Monday filed a criminal defamation complaint against a news magazine for allegedly publishing a defamatory article. Doval also sought prosecution of Congress leader Jairam Ramesh in the case.The complaint has been filed against The Caravan and the author of the article, besides Ramesh.The article claimed that Doval’s younger son, Vivek Doval was running a hedge fund, in the Cayman Islands, a known tax haven, whose promoters are of dubious antecedents.thewire
Kerala govt to set up commission to settle disputes of waqf properties
State Govt is committed to settling the disputes regarding various waqf properties across the state, said Minister for Higher Education and Waqf KT Jaleel. The minister added that the Govt  would appoint a joint survey commission to complete the pending survey activities to settles the dispute.Jaleel minister exuded confidence that the three-member tribunal will help to settle the cases on a fast track basis.He said that that the new tribunal would consider only Waqf related complaints ensuring the speedy disposal of the cases. The three regional tribunals, which were in existence until the formation of the state level tribunal, were considering other cases also causing a delay in the disposal of waqf cases, he said.TOI
Annihilation of caste and corruption remain two big challenges: Mevani
Pune:People fail to acknowledge the presence of casteism in our society and annihilation of caste and eradication of corruption remain two big challenges facing the country, youth leader and Vadgam (Gujarat) MLA Jignesh Mevani said on Sunday at a session on ‘Casteism and Corruption’.“Casteism is a blot on democracy. People do not want to admit and acknowledge issues of casteism. But it’s a reality that everyday, Dalit women are raped and individuals are murdered due to their caste in various parts of India. Despite this, whenever the question of casteism is raised, Dalits have to face counter questions about ‘Why reservations should be continued?’” said Mevani. The event is being supported by Union Ministry of Youth Affairs and Sports and State Ministry of Higher and Technical Education and Ministry of Sports and Youth Welfare, among others.Throughout day, several other important speakers like senior Supreme Court lawyer Prashant Bhushan, environmental activist Vandana Shiva, Congress’s Abhishek Manu Singhvi, lawyer Majeed Memon, Congress leader Vishwajit Kadam, and MLA Ashish Butail (Palampur, Kangra, Himachal Pradesh) attended and spoke at the event.indianexpress
Jat leaders say will oppose BJP if not given quota, support Maya
New Delhi :Jat leaders from across the country Sunday called for the defeat of the BJP in the forthcoming Lok Sabha polls unless their demand for reservation was met. Gathered under the banner of the All India Jat Arakshan Bachao Maha Andolan (AIJABMA), leaders from UP, Rajasthan, Haryana, Delhi and Madhya Pradesh said that the Govt  had cheated the community by not accepting its demand for quota and giving forward castes 10%  reservation “within seven days” instead. Almost three years after the Jat agitation for reservation turned violent in Haryana leaving almost 30 dead, leaders from UP asserted that they will ask their community to vote for Mayawati in the state saying that the BSP chief was only UP leader who had supported reservation for Jats and criticised the action taken by the Govt  against Jats in the 2016 agitation in Haryana.“UPA Govt  had given us reservation in central jobs. But when it was challenged in the Supreme Court, the present NDA Govt  deliberately did not argue our case well and the Govt  order was quashed. Since then, the Narendra Modi Govt  has just been giving us assurances. I warn the Govt  that Jats won’t be manipulated anymore. We will campaign in 131 constituencies where Jats have a significant population to defeat BJP,” said Dharamveer Chaudhary, Chief Coordinator of AIJABM said at a press briefing in Delhi.indianexpress
Nepal’s central bank bans use of India’s Rs 2,000, Rs 500, Rs 200 notes
Kathmandu :Nepal’s central bank has banned the use of Indian currency notes of Rs 2,000, Rs 500 and Rs 200 denominations, a move that could affect Indian tourists visiting the Himalayan nation where Indian currency is widely used.Nepal Rastra Bank on Sunday issued a circular prohibiting Nepali travellers, banks and financial institutions from holding or carrying and trading Indian bank notes higher than Rs 100, the Kathmandu Post reported. The central bank said in its circular letter that Indian currency of 200, 500 and 2,000 denominations cannot be carried and used for trading, it said,Under the new regulation, Nepali citizens cannot carry these denominations to countries other than India. Similarly, Nepalis are also not allowed to bring such notes from other countries. Indian notes of 100 or below, however, are allowed for trading and conversion, the bank’s circular reads.On December 13, the Cabinet had decided to publish the notification in the Nepal Gazette not to allow people to carry Indian currency notes above 100 denominations in Nepal.PTI
Opposition mega show failed to represent Muslim interest: Azam Khan
Firozabad : The recent TMC-led mega opposition rally in Kolkata where Samajwadi Party (SP) chief Akhilesh Yadav had participated did not adequately represent the interests of the Muslim minority, senior party leader Azam Khan has said."The representation of the second biggest population or the Muslim minority was merely namesake. Only one leader from Kashmir and another from Assam attended the rally. Muslims are worried about their representation," Khan said while addressing reporters here.ANI
Keep nikahs simple, preaches Jamat-e-Islami
Nagpur: Over 150 women with scarves around their faces were in the audience at a brief play enacted by a group of women on Sunday. The characters were a matchmaker and parents of girls who had reached marriageable age. The theme was to keep nikah (Muslim weddings) a no-frills affair, with stress also on not delaying marriage. The play was part of the women’s wing of Jamat-e-Islami-Hind, which is running a door-to-door campaign on having simpler nikahs.Other things will come eventually in the course of life, but one should marry when the time is right, said the play. The groom need not wait to get wealthy enough first. Nor should the woman always expect to get a man of very high status. Being God-fearing and religious is the quality one should look for in a prospective partner was the message.Several micro-level meeting, like the one held near Jaffar Nagar on Sunday, have taken place throughout the state over the week. The stress is on keeping marriages low key affairs, in lines with the teachings of Islam, and also take marriage as a natural phenomenon. Marriages need not wait for other achievements in life, rather one should tie the knot at the right age as it can help prevent sexual crimes. At the same time, lavish parties and dowry should be avoided, said the preachers.“These are part of the regular drives taken up by the Jamat’s women’s wing. We have held campaigns on topics like Delhi gang-rape, triple talaq and other social issues from time to time,” said Zeba Khan, one of the speakers.TOI
Choksi, accused in PNB fraud, surrenders Indian citizenship in favour of Antigua and Barbuda
NEW DELHI:Wanted diamond trader Mehul Choksi has surrendered his Indian passport, sources confirmed on Monday.The confirmation came a year after Choksi and his nephew, Nirav Modi, left India, just before the major financial scam involving them and PNB came to light. Choksi was subsequently located in the Caribbean island of Antigua.“Mehul Choksi has surrendered his Indian passport to the High Commission in Guyana. It may be kept in mind that whenever an Indian citizen acquires foreign nationality, he is expected to surrender his Indian passport,” said the sources.It was learnt last year that Mr. Choksi had taken the citizenship of Antigua before fleeing India.thehindu
Shivakumara Swami, Lingayat head, dies at 111; 3-day state mourning declared
New Delhi:Shivakumara Swami, head of Lingayat-Veerashaiva faith, passed away Monday in Karnataka’s Tumakuru. 111-year-old pontiff was undergoing treatment for a lung infection and was on ventilator support.Karnataka CM HD Kumaraswamy said the final rites will take place on January 22 at 4.30 pm.“ State Govt has declared 3-day state mourning and one-day holiday for all schools, colleges and Govt  offices on the demise of Siddaganga Math seer Sri Shivakumara Swamiji,” Kumaraswamy said.Born on April 1, 1907, in Veerapura village of Ramanagara, Lingayat religious head was well known for his philanthropic activities. indianexpress
Bashir allows Israeli PM to fly over South Sudan
In an unprecedented move, Sudanese President Omar Al-Bashir allowed Israeli PM  Benjamin Netanyahu to fly over South Sudan.Sudan – whose aviation authorities control South Sudan’s airspace – does not hold formal diplomatic ties with Israel and, like other Muslim and Arab countries, does not allow its airspace to be used by Israeli aircraft. However, Khartoum yesterday allowed an El Al plane to carry Netanyahu back from a day visit to neighbouring Chad, during which the two countries agreed to restore relations for the first time since 1972. Netanyahu labelled the visit a “historic and important breakthrough” which forms “part of the revolution we are [undertaking] in the Arab and Muslim world”.According to the Times of Israel, the Israeli PM ’s Office “asked reporters who accompanied Netanyahu to and from Chad not to publish the fact that the flight home [to Israel] was being routed over South Sudan before the plane had landed at Tel Aviv’s Ben-Gurion Airport”.  Details of the flight were kept secret “presumably for security reasons and to prevent any last-minute efforts from other parties to change the decision by the Sudanese authorities,” the Israeli daily added.That the flight was allowed to go ahead will be seen as yet more evidence of Al-Bashir’s indecisiveness on his country’s ties with Israel. Earlier this month, Al-Bashir refused a request by Kenya’s national air carrier to fly over Sudanese airspace on route from Kenyan capital Nairobi to Tel Aviv. Al-Bashir said at the time that he rejected “any normalisation with Israel”.middleeastmonitor
New Israeli airport to open near Jordanian border
Israel has officially inaugurated a new international airport on Monday near the Red Sea resort town of Eilat, a few kilometres from Jordanian border.PM  Benjamin Netanyahu attended the inauguration ceremony at the sleek, glassy terminal, arriving on the ceremonial first flight."Ramon airport, this is Arkia 683, we're very excited," Netanyahu said from the cockpit on arrival in an exchange with the tower relayed over loudspeakers.The new airport is named after Ilan Ramon, Israel's first astronaut who died in the crash of the space shuttle Columbia. Initially, it will handle only domestic flights, operated by Israeli carriers Arkia and Israir.In the future, the airport plans to host jumbo jets from around the globe, and will also serve as an emergency alternative to Tel Aviv's Ben-Gurion airport."It (Ramon) is going to be a regional airport and if some of our tourists are going to Aqaba and Taba, that's great," Chanan Moscowitz, head of Eilat-area airport operations, told Reuters, referring to the Jordan and Egypt border crossings.Jordan's state-run al-Mamlaka television reports that officials in Amman said the location of the Israeli airport violates the kingdom's air sovereignty.Al-Mamlaka television said Jordanian authorities lodged a complaint with international bodies over the Israeli airport, without giving further details.There was no official comment from the Jordanian authorities on the report.aljazeera
Saudi cleric Al-Amari dies, one week after being released from prison
Saudi cleric Ahmad Al-Amari has died one week after Saudi authorities dropped all charges against him and released him from prison.Saudi authorities arrested Al-Amari with one of his sons from their home during a campaign led by Crown Prince Mohammed Bin Salman against clerics, writers and human rights activists.Last week, authorities informed Al-Amari’s family that “he was released and that all charges against him had been dropped and that they could see him”. However, the family discovered that the release came after all doctors confirmed that he is “brain dead”.News reported claimed that the cleric was declared brain-dead after Saudi officials injected poisonous a substance into his body while torturing him in prison.Rights group Prisoners of Conscience said they suspect Al-Amari had suffered a brain hemorrhage after the injection.middleeastmonitor
UN: Number of Saudi asylum seekers triples in 5 yrs
Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR ) said the number of Saudi asylum seekers has increased by 318 %  in 2017 compared with 2012.The Economist magazine said the case of Saudi teenager, Rahaf Al-Qunun, who has recently been granted refuge in Canada, has drawn the world’s attention to the situation of thousands of Saudi men and women who flee difficult conditions in the kingdom.According to the UN agency, the number of Saudi asylum seekers reached about 815 in 2017 compared to less than 200 in 2012.middleeastmonitor
 23 detainees killed in UAE-run prisons in Yemen
Al-Khaleej Online reported that it had obtained a document revealing that as many as 23 Yemeni detainees had been executed in secret prisons run by UAE in the southern Yemeni city of Aden.In a letter sent by detainees at Bir Ahmed Prison to Yemeni Interior Minister Ahmed Al-Maisari said the prisoners had been killed in Shallal, Abu Al-Yamamah, Saleh Al-Sayyid, Yasran, Bir Ahmed Al-Qadim and Mansoura prisons.In another handwritten document, the detainees revealed that 23 detainees are missing in the prisons of Shallal, Abu Al-Yamamah, Yasran, Saleh Al-Sayyid and Al-Tahalof.middleeastmonitor
Egypt adjourns hearing on constitutional change to extend Sisi tenure
An Egyptian court has postponed hearing a case that would have the country's parliament discuss constitutional amendments allowing president Abdel Fattah el-Sisi to stay in power after the end of his second term in 2022.The Cairo Court for Urgent Matters, led by judge Wael Abu Shadi, decided on Sunday to postpone the case until 24 February, pending the plaintiff’s submission of supportive documents.Pro-Sisi lawyer Ayman Abd al-Hakim filed the case in December 2018 “on behalf of a number of citizens” to demand changes to Article 140 of the Egyptian constitution, which he said was “unfair to the great Egyptian people” who are “the source of powers”.The plaintiff dismissed Article 140 as “a heresy created by the constitutional committee to simulate Western countries despite the different circumstances in different countries”.The proposed amendment to Article 140, which limits presidents to two four-year terms, would allow Sisi to extend his time in office if voters approve the amendment in a popular referendum. middleeasteye
Palestinian rights activist wins legal fight over 'terrorism' database
The head of a leading Palestinian lobby organisation has won a legal fight over his listing on the World-Check financial database which falsely linked him to terrorism.In a settlement announced on Monday, Majed al-Zeer, the director of the Palestinian Return Centre (PRC), which is recognised by the United Nations for campaigning for Palestinian refugees’ right of return, was removed from the terrorism category and paid £10,000 ($13,000) in damages. Lawyers representing Zeer, who was also paid legal costs, believe he was added to World-Check because of a “politically motivated” proscription by the Israeli Govt .They said the outcome had “made a dent” in what they said was Israel’s tactic of abusing due diligence databases for political ends."For the Palestinian cause this is a historic moment," Zeer said.middleeasteye
Philippines' Muslim region votes on new autonomy law
Manila;Nearly 3 million Filipinos from the country's Muslim-majority southern region are set to decide on a new law which would place them under a substantially more autonomous regional Govt .Monday's plebiscite on the Bangsamoro Organic Law could make or break the decades-old peace process between the national Govt  and the Moro Islamic Liberation Front (the Front), which started out as a secessionist armed movement in the southern island of Mindanao in the late 1970s.If the "yes" vote wins, the Bangsamoro, which means Moro nation, will replace the existing Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao (ARMM), which has been criticised as merely nominal, and failed to end the violent conflict that has left at least 120,000 people dead over the past five decades.Voters have until 3pm to cast their ballots.On paper, the proposed new Bangsamoro is a more powerful and possibly larger political unit than ARMM. It will have its own parliament, some exclusive powers previously held by Govt  in Manila, and a significantly larger share of local revenues.aljazeera
Taliban kill at least 12 in attack on Afghan military base
At least 12 people, mostly military personnel, are dead and over 30 wounded after an attack by the Taliban a military base and police training centre in eastern Afghanistan, according to an Afghan official.Some of the wounded are in provincial hospitals while the more serious cases are being treated in Kabul, said Salem Asgherkhail, head of area's public health department. The coordinated assault began around 7am local time, with a car bomb that detonated at the gate of the base in Maidan Shahr, the capital of Wardak province, according to Nasrat Rahimi, the deputy spokesman for the Interior Ministry.Armed Taliban fighters then moved in, a tactic the group has used in many previous attacks.aljazeera
 US Senator urges Trump to meet Pak PM
Senior US Senator Lindsey Graham has urged President Donald Trump to meet Pakistani PM  Imran Khan, as intense contacts between the two countries continue over negotiations to end the 17-year war with the Taliban in neighbouring Afghanistan.Graham spoke to reporters in the Pakistani capital Islamabad on Sunday, capping off days of meetings that saw the top US envoy on Afghan reconciliation and its commander of military forces in the region also visit South Asian country."I've seen things change here and all in a positive direction," said Graham, a senior member of the powerful Senate Armed Services Committee who has visited Pakistan dozens of times in recent years.aljazeera
US has 'no plan for Syria' after pullout: Ex-envoy Brett McGurk
United States has no plan for Syria as it proceeds with President Donald Trump's order to pull troops out of the country, Washington's former anti-ISIL envoy, who quit in protest against the withdrawal, said.Brett McGurk, who was the envoy to the US-led global coalition against the ISIL, group, said on Sunday that "there is no plan for what's coming next" and this increases the risk to the US forces.He spoke in an interview with CBS's Face the Nation, after a suicide bomber on Wednesday killed four US military personnel and 15 others in the northern Syrian town of Manbij.It was the deadliest attack on the US troops since their deployment in Syria in 2014 to assist the local forces fighting ISIL.aljazeera
Israeli army says it hit Iranian targets in Syria
Israeli military carried out overnight attacks on Iranian targets in Syria, while Syrian state media reported the country's air defences shot down "hostile targets". Russia's defence control centre was quoted by Interfax news agency as saying Syrian military air defences destroyed more than 30 Israeli cruise missiles and guided bombs during the raids.An attack targeting an airport in southeastern Damascus killed four Syrian soldiers and wounded six, the military centre was quoted by RIA news agency as saying on Monday.Israel's President Reuven Rivlin said on Monday the attacks were in response to a surface-to-surface rocket that Iranian forces fired towards Israel on Sunday.During a meeting with Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko in Jerusalem, Rivlin spoke about the raids and called them "a direct response to the unacceptable missile fire on us," and added "the international community must understand that the build-up of Iran's forces in the Middle East could lead the region into escalation".aljazeera
flash: views & NEWS
Communal violence in the time of Modi has a distinct shade. Here’s why:HARSH MANDER
‘I Felt Scared,’ Says Tribal Who Found Kathua Rape Victim’s Body:AISHWARYA S IYER
Saffron Congress rising:Amit Agnihotri, newindianexpress
On Assamese Cultural Icon's Death Anniversary, BJP Pushes Communal Agenda:Sangeeta Barooah Pisharoty
Death Row Convict Seeks IB Report To Prove Innocence, Delhi HC Asks CIC To Reconsider Order Of Denial [Read Judgment]
Sword of Constitution (ST) Amendment Bill, 2019 hangs over Sonowal as Assam CM walks tightrope over expansion of ST list: Sushanta Talukdar
2019 Polls: UP Muslims Demand Representation Proportionate to their Population from SP, BSP:Nisar Siddiqui
Right-wing website Swarajya once again caught publishing fake news, ‘falsely’ links Rajdeep Sardesai to Kapil Sibal’s Harvest TV
Babri Revisited: ASI Suppressed cooked animal Bone Findings At Mosque Site
WB mosque allows women to pray; cleric says need separate 'enclosure' as we don't want a 'Me Too' moment
Gandhi rooted for secularism, successfully forged Hindu-Muslim unity: Historians
LIVE: Experts demonstrate hacking of Indian EVMs in London today

Compiled and edited by Anwarulhaq (Released at: 7:06 PM)


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