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22 January 2019

22 Jan.ND: EVM hacking: US-based 'cyber expert' claims Munde was murdered, 2014 polls were rigged; EC asks Delhi Police to file FIR against Shuja/ Munde's Nephew Seeks R&AW Probe Into Uncle's Death After Cyber Expert's EVM Hacking Claim


NEWS DIGEST, Afternoon 
22 Jan. 2019: 15 Jamadiul-I 1440: Vol:11, No:108
INDIA
EVM hacking: US-based 'cyber expert' claims Munde was murdered, 2014 polls were rigged; EC asks Delhi Police to file FIR against him
London:In a shocking claim, a self-proclaimed US-based cyber expert has alleged that BJP leader Gopinath Munde was murdered in 2014 because 'he knew about electronic voting machines (EVM) hacking'. Addressing a press conference in London via Skype, Syed Shuja, the expert who claims to have designed the EVMs used in India, also claimed that the 2014 Lok Sabha Elections were rigged. The event, which took place in London, was organised by the Indian Journalists' Association (Europe) and attended by senior Congress leader Kapil Sibal. Meanwhile, the Election Commission of India issued a statement, calling the UK hackathon event a "motivated slugfest". EVMs are foolproof in nature, reiterated the EC. Here are the sensational claims made by Syed Shuja:It is not possible to hack a machine using Bluetooth. A graphite-based transmitter is required to get into an EVM. Transmitters were used in the 2014 Lok Sabha elections, said expert Syed Shuja.The expert has claimed that someone was pinging EVMs to manipulate data.He added that successive chief election commissioners have told him that EVMs cannot communicate wirelessly. However, "our tech allows you to do it using a modulator at low frequency at 7hz".This is a military grade frequency. He claimed that he met a BJP leader in 2014 who knew about this. He further alleged that his team members were killed in an attack after they approached BJP leader. Gopinath Munde was aware of hacking and he was murdered as he was about to "expose" govt, claimed the expert.Munde, leader from Maharashtra, had died in a road accident in June 2014.  ​The expert also claimed that they stopped the transmission in Delhi and the elections were won by AAP. In Delhi Assembly polls, the transmission initiated by BJP IT was intercepted. "We changed the frequency to favour AAP. The actual results were similar to 2009."The expert said they even tried to intercept low-frequency transmission. He added that BJP IT has a prototype and when challenged, they "use a machine that even we can't hack". "entire" 2014 Lok Sabha polls were "rigged", claimed Shuja. he also alleged that elections in Maharashtra, UP, and Gujarat were also rigged. Shuja alleged that slain journalist Gauri Lankesh had agreed to run the story for him, but she was murdered. Lankesh was killed after she filed an RTI to know who manufactured cables used in EVMs, he claimed. Shuja alleged that Reliance Communications aided the BJP to get low-frequency signals to hack EVMs.“Reliance Communications have network to transmit the data, BJP is the beneficiary.There are nine places in India where there are facilities. Employees don’t know that they are tampering with EVMs. They think they are doing data entry,” he claimed.Not much information is available on the man who claimed to have designed the Electronic Voting Machines that are used in India. At the press conference in London today, Shuja said that he is a former employee of Electronics Corporation of India Limited (ECIL). EVMs in India are manufactured in ECIL in Hyderabad and Bharat Electronics Limited (BEL) in Bengaluru under very strict conditions. ECIL had received orders for 1.91 lakh ballot units and 1.25 lakh controlling units for the purpose of 2014 Lok Sabha polls. Meanwhile, ECI asked the Delhi Police to file a FIR against a US-based “cyber expert” a day after he claimed that 2014 General polls were rigged, ANI reported. Times Now/ ANI
Munde's Nephew Seeks R&AW Probe Into Uncle's Death After Cyber Expert's EVM Hacking Claim
Mumbai: NCP leader Dhananjay Munde has demanded a probe either by the R&AW or a Supreme Court judge into the death of his uncle and former Union minister Gopinath Munde after a cyber expert claimed that the BJP leader was "killed" as he was aware of hacking of EVMs in the 2014 Lok Sabha polls.Dhananjay, who is Leader of the Opposition in the Maharashtra Legislative Council, also termed as "shocking" the claims made by self-proclaimed US-based Indian cyber expert. He said those who loved Gopinath Munde had always raised questions over his death wondering "if it actually was an accident or a sabotage".Munde died in a road accident in New Delhi weeks after BJP won 2014 elections."A cyber expert has made a sensational claim that former Union Minister Late Gopinathrao Munde saheb was murdered. This claim needs immediate attention and investigation from RAW/ Supreme Court, as it is directly linked to the death of mass leader. #EVMHacking," Dhananjay tweeted. "Everybody who followed Munde saheb's leadership and loved him had raised questions about his death. After today's revelation, the doubt has been addressed. If the claim of #EVMHacking is true, then it also violate the norms of the biggest democracy of the world(sic),"he added. In another tweet in Marathi, Dhananjay said, "Each of those who loved Munde Saheb had doubted that he died in the accident, but it was a sabotage. "Hence, the startling claims made by cyber expert Syed Suja in a live press conference backs the suspicion," he said. news18
Cyber expert says 2014 polls rigged, EVMs hacked; EC stands by its machines
2014 general election was 'rigged' by BJP, claims cyber expert
Congress distances itself from EVM hacking, demands 50% VVPAT check in 2019 polls
New Delhi: Congress distanced itself from the London press conference wherein a self-proclaimed Indian cyber expert claimed EVMs can be hacked and the 2014 parliamentary election was "rigged", and demanded an investigation into allegations.Congress spokesperson Abhishek Singhvi said party leader Kapil Sibal was invited by a journalist and he did not represent the Congress party at the press conference, held under the aegis of the Indian Journalists' Association (Europe). He said Congress and other parties want that there should be a system in place to check 50 per cent of VVPAT to reassure the country on the infallibility of EVMs."The charges made are very serious. I cannot vouch for them or deny them, as they have not been investigated. But they certainly need investigation. These should be looked into with an open mind by Election Commission," he told reporters. On BJP's charge about involvement of the Congress in organising the event as it was attended by Sibal, Singhvi said, "Obviously, Congress party had nothing to do with organising the press conference and does not know the principal actors and has no role to play."He said Sibal has himself clarified that a journalist had invited him and he went, "but he was certainly not claiming to be representing the Congress party". PTI
EC mulls legal action on anti-EVM campaign
EVM hacking: Opposition parties to take up issue with EC after US-based hacker’s stunning claims
 West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee on Monday said that she will raise the issue of EVM tampering with Election Commission after a US-based hacker made stunning allegations that 2014 Lok Sabha polls were rigged.In a tweet, Banerjee said, “Our great democracy must be protected. Every vote of yours is precious. All Oppn parties discussed #EVM issue after the #UnitedIndiaAtBrigade rally. We are working closely together and decided on Jan 19 itself to consistently take up matter with EC. Yes, every vote counts.”jantakareporter
Akhilesh Yadav raises question on credibility of EVMs, cites Japan's example
Lucknow: Samajwadi Party chief Akhilesh Yadav again raised a question on the credibility of EVMs citing the example of Japan not using it.Akhilesh said, "If someone has raised a question then it must be thought that what is the reason that a developed country like Japan is not using EVMs.It is not a question of a political party; it's a question of trust in democracy. Election Commission and government should make a decision."ANI
Amid EVM hacking row, Mayawati seeks 2019 polls through ballot paper
New Delhi:BSP chief Mayawati has demanded that the election commission should conduct 2019 Lok Sabha polls using ballot paper as was the case before the EVMs were introduced during 1990s. “Keeping the larger interest of democracy in view, it is essential to look into EVM matter so that it gets resolved soon. It’s possible to validate ballot paper but it’s not the case with EVM. We demand EC to hold 2019 general election using ballot paper, taking this into cognizance,” said Mayawati. Another Opposition leader N Chandrababu Naidu, AP chief minister earlier took to Twitter to term EVM as a “big threat to democracy”. Naidu said, “EVM is turning out to be a big threat to democracy. It is worrying to know the claims made on the possibility of tampering EVMs. EC must seek opinion of all political parties and revert to the paper ballot system immediately.” HT
BSF Hands Over 31 Rohingyas to Tripura Police Ending Standoff With Bangladesh
New Delhi: Border Security Force on Tuesday handed over the 31 Rohingya Muslims, who were stranded on the India-Bangladesh border for 3 days, to Tripura police, ending a standoff with its counterpart, BGB, on the issue, officials said.They said the border guarding force signed papers and handed over the 31 Rohingyas to the staff of the Amtoli police station in West Tripura district police at 11 am.The decision was taken after the BSF HQRS here obtained an approval from the home ministry, they said. Rohingya Muslims were stuck in no-man's land, beyond the barbed wire fence along the Indo-Bangladesh border in Tripura since Friday last. The situation had led to a blame game between the BSF and its counterpart -- Border Guards Bangladesh (BGB) -- with the two sides accusing each other of pushing them into their territories.PTI
BSF arrests 31 Rohingya migrants at Indo-Bangla border, hands them over to Tripura Police
Can’t accept Rohingya, no proof of them crossing over: MHA official
30 More Guwahati-Bound Rohingya Arrested In Tripura-Assam Border
Agartala: Even as 31 Rohingya Muslims are stranded along the India-Bangladesh borders since Friday, 30 more Rohingyas, including 12 children, were on Monday night apprehended along Tripura-Assam border, a police officer said." Assam police have arrested 30 Rohingya Muslims from a Guwahati-bound bus at Churaibari along the inter-state border on Monday night," North Tripura Distrct police chief Bhanupada Chakraborty told IANS over phone from the district HQRS Dharmanagar, 200 km north of Agartala.Quoting Assam police officials, he said that the 30 Rohingya Muslims, including nine women and 12 children, boarded the Guwahati bound bus from Agartala.Chakraborty said senior Assam police officials would interrogate the detainees in Karimganj, one of the four districts of southern Assam. They would be produced in a local court in Karimganj today.IANS
Pak agencies threaten Indian mission staff, Delhi lodges protest
Varanasi :Days after a woman in Delhi lodged a police complaint against a Pakistan High Commission staffer for allegedly touching her inappropriately at a market, India has accused Pakistani intelligence agencies of threatening to lodge retaliatory complaints against two of its diplomats. Indian Express has learnt that Indian High Commission in Islamabad has sent a “note verbale”, an unsigned less-formal mode of diplomatic communication, detailing the incident in Pakistan’s capital city.“On Jan.15, at 10 am, while going from the High Commission to the World Mart market in Diplomatic enclave, 2 of the staff members of this mission, were intercepted by Pakistani agency personnel and questioned them about the alleged incident with a Pakistan High Commission official in India on Jan.and why that happened. Further, they threatened mission officials that they would reciprocate in the same way,” note verbale sent to Pakistan Foreign Ministry recently said.“Ministry is requested to kindly investigate this incident and instruct the relevant agency to ensure that such incidents do not recur,” it said, while requesting that “the esteemed ministry may kindly share the results of the investigation with the High Commission”.indianexpress
Pakistan shares draft pact on Kartarpur Corridor
New Delhi:Indian and Pakistani officials are expected to meet next month to discuss a “draft agreement” on the Kartarpur corridor in Punjab, sources confirmed. The meeting follows Pakistan govt’s announcement that it had shared the draft of the agreement, to be signed by the two governments, for “facilitation of (Indian) Sikh Yatrees to visit Gurudwara, Darbar Sahib Kartarpur, Narowal, Pakistan”.In a statement on Monday, the Pakistani Ministry of Foreign Affairs said the draft had been shared “in line with PM Imran Khan’s commitment” to open the pilgrim corridor in time for the 550th Birth Anniversary of Baba Guru Nanak in Nov.2019. Pakistan govt also appointed its Director-General (South Asia & SAARC), Dr. Muhammad Faisal “as the focal person on Pakistan’s side and requested that the Government of India designate a focal person at its end”, the statement said, and called for an Indian delegation to travel to Islamabad to finalise the agreement.thehindu
US pull out from Afghan can cost India dear: Report
New Delhi: Any US decision to drastically reduce troop levels in Afghanistan could draw countries in the region, including India, into 17-year-old conflict and embolden Pakistan to increase its backing for the Taliban, a report by Rand Corporation has warned.Last month, President Donald Trump reportedly directed US authorities to reduce by half American troop presence in Afghanistan. This coincided with his decision to order a complete withdrawal of US forces from Syria, and Trump has said repeatedly that he wants to end the US deployment in Afghanistan. The report, authored for the US-based think tank by James Dobbins, former president George W Bush’s special envoy for Afghanistan, Laurel E Miller, former acting special representative for Afghanistan and Pakistan, and former defence officials Jason H Campbell and Sean Mann, said US relations with Afghanistan’s most-important neighbours such as Pakistan are “at their lowest point since 2001”. Key players in the region such as Russia, Iran, India and Uzbekistan “have a history of support for Tajik,Uzbek, and Hazara warlords” in Afghanistan and could be drawn further into the conflict in the event of a sudden US withdrawal, the report said. “These relationships will likely be reinforced as the (Afghan) central government’s financial base collapses, its writ weakens, and its cohesion erodes,” it said.Russia and Iran have “generally supported Kabul govt” since 2001, but “have provided limited aid to the Taliban as a hedge” in recent years, it added.“Pakistan has long tolerated and facilitated use of its territory by the Taliban. In the event of a precipitous US withdrawal, Pakistan will likely become more open in its backing,” the report said. Taliban would also lose “interest in negotiating peace with the US” and the group would extend its control over territory and population while Afghanistan could descend into a “wider civil war”, report said. “That there is no military solution to war in Afghanistan has become a commonplace. But this is, at best, only half true. Winning may not be an available option, but losing certainly is.A precipitous departure, no matter how rationalised, will mean choosing to lose,” the report concluded.HT
On plea for early hearing on Article 35A providing special rights to J&K residents, top court to take ‘in-chamber’ decision
New Delhi:The Supreme Court on Tuesday said it would take an “in-chamber” decision on listing of a petition challenging the constitutional validity of Article 35-A, which provides special rights to permanent residents of Jammu and Kashmir.The petition filed by an NGO claims that Article 35A is illegal and that it was added to the Constitution without being brought before Parliament. The petitioner, Supreme Court lawyer, Charu Wali Khanna has asked for an urgent hearing in the case claiming it “affects the rights of children and women”. Hearing the petitioner, CJI said that he would take a call later and give a decision in-chamber.Article 35A became a part of the Indian Constitution in 1954 via as part of the deal between the Maharaja of Kashmir, Hari Singh, and the Republic of India. The article aimed to protect the privileges of Kashmiri residents.According to the petitioners, the Article gives the President sweeping powers to add or change existing provisions.HT
IPS officer’s brother among 3 slain militants in J&K's Shopian, say police sources
Srinagar: 3 militants, including the brother of an IPS) officer, were killed in a fierce gunfight in south Kashmir’s Shopian on Tuesday, sparking violent street clashes.An official said three militants were killed and the bodies were retrieved from the encounter site at Shopian’s Heff-Shirmal area. “However, the identification process of the slain militants has been initiated,” said the police. Earlier, the operation was jointly carried out by the Army’s 44 Rashtriya Rifles, PARA commandos and the police’s Special Operation Group (SOG) following the inputs about the presence of a group of militants, including the brother of an IPS officer, in the area.“One soldier was also injured in the gunfight,” said an official.Preliminary reports suggest at least four militants were trapped in an orchard, where the security forces managed to blast the hideout. However, only three bodies have been spotted near the encounter site so far, said an official.Police sources suggested that Shamsul Haq Mengnoo, whose elder brother Inamul Haq is an IPS officer and posted in the North-East, may be among the dead. Mengnoo was pursuing BUMS degree from a government college in Zakura campus and joined militancy last year. The family hailed from Dragad in Shopian.thehindu
'Showered With Pellets After Raising Camera': 4 Photojournalists Injured in Shopian
Srinagar: 4 photojournalists, including one whose photograph helping an injured CRPF trooper in J&K went viral last year, were hit by pellets while covering a gun battle in the Shopian region on Tuesday.The injured included Hindustan Times photojournalist Waseem Andrabi, Rising Kashmir‘s Nisar ul Haq, Junaid Gulzar and Mir Burhan – both working with local publications. Andrabi’s photograph helping CRPF trooper had received widespread acclaim with the Director General of the paramilitary force personally issuing a statement of appreciation through various media houses.On Tuesday, however, Andrabi was left with six pellet wounds in his face and neck, narrowly missing his eyes.
Speaking to The Wire, he narrated the sequence of events.He said the journalists were walking towards the encounter site in Shopian when they came across a barricade put up by some youth. Government forces and locals were engaged in violent clashes around the same area where the journalists were present. thewire
MP govt to withdraw ‘false’ conversion cases
Bhopal: Congress government’s move to withdraw “politically motivated” cases filed during the BJP rule includes “false” cases registered against members of the Christian community for conversion and for taking part in protests.“The process is meant for all and includes Congress workers, farmers and Christians. We will review only false cases of conversion and cases in which Christian community members were booked for taking part in protests,’’ MP Law Minister P C Sharma said.Responding to BJP’s allegations that the Congress government wants to withdraw all cases of conversion, the minister said the charge was misplaced. He, however, did not elaborate on how the govt will decide which conversion case is false and how the cases will be reviewed.BJP spokesperson Rajneesh Agrawal said Congress govt’s move will “embolden missionaries to engage in conversion”. “If Congress government withdraws cases, BJP will oppose it tooth and nail,’’ he said, adding that even the Father of Nation was against conversion.National coordinator of Rashtriya Isai Maha Sangh Fr Anand Muttungal had called on Law Minister with a request to withdraw “false” cases of forced conversion lodged against Christians during BJP rule in MP. He said He claimed that even though many cases had been registered, not one incident had been proved in court of law.indianexpress
Tripura :98 tribal Christians reconverted to Hinduism, claims right-wing group
Kailashahar: Hindu Jagran Manch, a Hindu right-wing group, claimed that 98 Christians belonging to 23 tribal families were “reconverted” to Hinduism in Tripura.The people, mostly tea garden workers hailing from Bihar and Jharkhand, had been converted to Christianity in 2010, Tripura unit president of the Hindu Jagran Manch Uttam Dey said.“This is like a return of lost family members to their own home. They were Hindus, but were lured into Christianity after Sonamukhi tea garden in Unakoti district, where they were working, was closed in 2010,” Dey said.He said most of converted persons belong to Orao and Munda tribal communities. VHP was also associated with the reconversion programme that took place here in Kailashahar district, around 180 km from state capital Agartala, on Sunday.VHP Unakoti district secretary Madan Mohan Goswami said it was ‘Ghar Wapsi’ for the people.PTI
Darul Uloom advisory to students: ‘Don’t travel on R-Day, environment of fear’
Darul Uloom Deoband in Saharanpur district has issued an advisory to students to avoid unnecessary travel on Republic Day as “there is checking at several places and a feeling of uneasiness is caused”, resulting in an “environment of fear”.Issued by the hostel in-charge of the Islamic seminary, the advisory also asks students to avoid any arguments.The notice in Urdu reads, “Dear students, on Republic Day, you travel to different places. There is checking at one place after the other. A feeling of uneasiness is caused. An environment of fear is created. Keeping these circumstances in mind, you are advised to avoid travelling unless necessary. Avoid indulging in unnecessary arguments.”Requesting anonymity, a senior staff member at the seminary said, “Institution keeps issuing such advisories for students on issues. This year, the Republic Day is on Saturday, and with Friday being a holiday at our institute, the students are getting two-day leave. Usually, a large number of students leave during holidays and return in 10-12 days. The notice has been issued to prevent them going on a long leave.”He further said the notice is not applicable to any particular community but that there is heightened security in the country in general during this time.“This should not be misunderstood as if we are feeling that a particular community is being targeted. We would have made it public and would have issued a press note. We only have issued a simple advisory notice to our students. This is nothing to do with us being an Islamic institution,” he said.indianexpress
Ban madrasas or ISIS influence will grow in India: Waseem Rizvi
UP Shia Waqf Board head Waseem Rizvi has written to Prime Minister Narendra Modi warning him against alleged indoctrination by ISIS in madrasas, reports ANI. “If madrasas are not shut down, ISIS influence will grow and in 15 years more than half the Muslims in the country will be influenced by their ideology”, Rizvi warned in his letter.Rizvi, known to explicitly express views on controversial issues, added in his letter that ISIS influence can be openly seen in Kashmir.HT
Terror funding case: NIA arrests man from Jaipur
New Delhi : NIA has arrested a 43-year-old man from Jaipur for allegedly being involved in a terror funding case.The man, identified as Mohammad Hussain Molani alias Babloo, was sent back from the UAE and is an accused in a terror funding case, involving Lashkar-e-Taiba’s front called Falah-e-Insaniyat Foundation (FIF).On October 15, Indian Express had reported on how the FIF funded the construction of a mosque in Haryana’s Palwal district through a man from Delhi’s Nizamuddin.The man from Delhi, identified as Mohammed Salman, was arrested by the NIA along with Mohammed Salim and Sajjad Abdul Wani on September 26 for allegedly receiving funding for terror activities from Lahore-based FIF, an NGO set up by Hafiz Saeed’s JuD, which is LeT’s parent organisation.The NIA suspected that the funding was an attempt by the LeT to build a base that could be used later for the outfit’s activities in India. The agency’s probe had found that Salman had received Rs 70 Lakh from a man named Kamran in Dubai. Kamran is alleged to be a Pakistani national who handles FIF operations in Dubai and is in touch with FIF’s second-in-command.Molani is alleged to be the conduit between Kamran and Salman.indianexpress
CBI interim director Rao transfers 20 officers
New Delhi:Interim CBI director Nageswara Rao has transferred at least 20 officers, including the those investigating 2G scam case and the incident of police firing on protesters against a Sterlite plant in Tamil Nadu. The transfer order, however, says all the officers, who have been specially directed to supervise, investigate or inquire into any case or matter by any constitutional court, shall continue to do.Vivek Priyadarshi, posted in the anti-corruption branch in Delhi and probing the 2G scam case, has been transferred to Chandigarh.A Saravanan, who was probing the police firing in which 13 people were killed during protests against Sterlite in May last year, has been shifted to the banking, securities and frauds branch in Mumbai, the order said. The branch is handling the cases of loan default against diamond traders Nirav Modi and Mehul Choksi, among others.According to the order, Saravanan will continue to investigate anti-Sterlite protests case. Prem Gautam, posted in the special unit of the Central Bureau of Investigation which is in charge of internal snooping on officers as a vigilance measure, has been relieved from the position. He will continue to probe economic offences and will also handle the additional charge of the deputy director (personnel), it said.PTI
I have plenty of papers on Rafale, says Anna Hazare
 Anti-corruption activist Anna Hazare had hit out the Narendra Modi government over the alleged scam in the purchase of Rafale fighter jets from France. Speaking to reporters, Hazare said that he had ‘plenty of papers’ on Rafale and he intended to do a press conference on the issue soon.The veteran anti-corruption crusader, according to PTI, said, “If Lokpal was there, scam like Rafale would not have happened. I have plenty of papers on Rafale and I will hold a separate press conference after studying it for two days. One thing I do not understand how a company formed a month ago before the deal was made partner in it.”Hazare said that he will start his hunger strike at his village Ralegan Siddhi on 30 January and continue till the government meets his demands.jantakareporter
Court to hear defamation plea of NSA Ajit Doval’s son against Caravan on Jan 30
New Delhi:A Delhi court on Tuesday took cognisance of the defamation complaint filed by NSA Ajit Doval’s son Vivek Doval against a news magazine for allegedly publishing a defamatory article and posted the matter for next week.Additional Chief Metropolitan Magistrate Samar Vishal posted the matter against The Caravan for January 30 when the statement of witnesses named by Mr. Vivek Doval will be recorded.PTI
On saving the cow, Gehlot’s Congress tries to outdo the BJP in Rajasthan
Jaipur:A month after returning to power in Rajasthan, Ashok Gehlot-led Congress is keen on reclaiming the cow in the state from the previous BJP govt, which had sought to own the issue by announcing the country’s first dedicated Gopalan Ministry.Pramod Bhaya, Minister for Gopalan, said: “In all our shastras, it has been said all gods and goddesses reside in gaumata. But probably no other animal is facing as much difficulty as the cow today. Stray cattle in a very big issue at present and it is our moral responsibility to make necessary arrangements for them and to also promote them.”Bhaya, who said he didn’t eat food without first keeping aside a share for cows, has also raised the stray cattle issue at a recent Cabinet meeting. He now plans to hold a conference of all registered cow shelters in Jaipur soon. “After cows stop producing milk, they are abandoned. We are hoping to raise this question with all stakeholders in the conference and seek suggestions from social workers and sants,” he said.indianexpress
Woman who entered Sabarimala: ‘They may attack me, they may kill me, but I feel no fear’
For days this month, Bindu Ammini has been on the move: bouncing from one safe house to the next, separated from her husband and daughter and weighing the risks of returning home.Still, in an interview near the city of Kochi, she said the trip to Sabarimala had been worth it. A lower-caste woman who had grown up in grinding poverty, Ammini emphasized that her entering the temple should not fall under the category of activism. All she was doing, she said, was exercising a constitutional right to equality.“We were not trying to start trouble,” she said. “Our goal was only to visit the temple. For the next generation of women, this is motivation. ”Every year, millions of people wait for hours to climb the 18 gold-plated steps leading to the Sabarimala Temple, one of Hinduism’s holiest shrines. For centuries, however, pilgrims say, they have observed a de facto bar against women between the ages of 10 and 50, thinking that to allow menstruating women inside would disturb the temple’s celibate deity, Lord Ayyappa.NYT
Controversy continues over Justice Khanna’s elevation
New Delhi:In the backdrop of the controversy over the appointment of Justice Sanjiv Khanna, a 1998 opinion by the Supreme Court may shed light on the questions raised by the episode.The objections against are not merely over seniority, but extends to questions about the Collegium dropping the names of two judges considered earlier and the reasons given for changing its decision.As Justice Khanna shared the Bench with the Chief Justice of India Ranjan Gogoi on Monday, a section of legal experts condemned the controversy as a “selective” outcry.They cited the recent example of the Collegium recommending Justice K.M. Joseph for appointment to the SC over many other judges senior to him. Why cannot the same happen to Justice Khanna, who was ranked 33 in the all-India high court judges’ seniority list, they asked.A nine-judge Bench in the ‘Special Reference Case’ of 1998 had ruled that “merit is the pre-dominant consideration for the purposes of appointment to the Supreme Court”.thehindu
 ‘Cow vigilantes dragged me on road, snatched Rs 2,000 too’
Rohtak: Appearing in public for the first time after he was taken into police custody over accusations of cow smuggling on Saturday, UP native Naushad Muhammad told media on Monday that cow vigilantes dragged him on the road and robbed him of Rs 2,000. Naushad said he had been living in Charkhi-Dadri and working for Sunil Kumar, who has a dairy in Paithawas village there, for 10 years. “I was on the way to sell a buffalo and two calves on Saturday night when cow vigilante Jashpal Kharab stopped me by chasing me on his scooter along with other men. When I stepped out, he called me a cow smuggler and they started beating me up. Some people in the mob, taking advantage of the chaos, snatched Rs 2,000 from me and then dragged me on the road,” he said.He added that he was trembling in fear when the mob started to threaten him. “Yei UP kay musalmaan ko hum theek karengay. Gau hatyaray hain yeh (We will teach a lesoon to this Muslim from IP. He is a cow killer). That is what they said,” he told TOI.TOI
Muslim man dies in police custody in Lucknow, family demands action
A man, arrested on theft charges, died in jail allegedly after third-degree torture by the Police in Lucknow. The family of the victim alleged that he was beaten black and blue by the police. There were injury marks on his back. The police, however, denied charges but said that action will be taken against those found guilty.newsnation
Religious Hate Crimes from 2009-2018: Muslims Were Victims in 58% Incidents
New Delhi:In a period of nine years, from 2009-2018, as many as 278 religious hate crimes took place in the country in which 99 people were killed and 687 were injured, says a report in Fact Checker. Muslims, who account for 14% of India’s population, were victims in 58% incidents. But if 32 incidents out of 278 where religion of the victim was not reported are kept aside, then the percentage of Muslim victims will touch 66%. “Muslims--14% of India’s population--were victims in 58% incidents.Christians--2% of population--were victims in 15% cases. Hindus--80% of population--were victims in 14% cases. In 12% or 32 incidents, religion of the victim was not reported. Considering only the 246 incidents where the religion of the victims was known, Muslims were victims in 66% attacks, Christians in 17% incidents and Hindus in 15% cases,” says the website which has prepared a Citizen’s Religious Hate-Crime Watch database in collaboration with Aman Biradari and newsclick.in. indiatomorrow
Sedition case: Alpesh challenges cancellation of bail order in HC
Surat :Patidar PAAS leader Alpesh Katheriya Monday filed an application before Gujarat High Court, challenging the cancellation of his bail in a sedition case. The application was filed by Katheriya’s lawyer Rafik Lokhandwala as the former is absconding. Lokhandwala requested the court to hear the case on an urgent basis.The court, however, refused. Lokhandwala said,“We have filed an application before the Gujarat High Court today to challenge the Principal and Session judge’s order of cancellation of bail of Alpesh in sedition case. We have requested the court to take the matter on urgent basis which the court refused to do. Now, in the coming days our application will come for hearing and we will put our side to challenge the cancellation of bail.”indianexpress
Hold caste Census in 2021 to gauge OBC numbers, pave way for crossing 50% quota cap: Nitish
Patna:Bihar Chief Minister Nitish Kumar has said that conducting caste-based Census in 2021 was the way forward for taking a call on the growing demand for a hike in the 50% quota ceiling, which, according to him, was reasonable in view of the increase in the population of OBC sections.“As of now, we are bound by Supreme Court’s cap of 50%. But the demand for aligning the ceiling with population has merit as the last caste Census was carried out way back in 1931,” he said, in his view on the population-based quota debate in wake of Centre’s 10% quota policy for EWS (economically weaker sections), after his weekly Lok Samvad programme. The chief minister said that there was no uncertainty regarding population figures of SC/STs since the Census took them into account. Once OBC population’s numbers were accounted for, clarity would emerge and a proper decision could be taken on the issue, he said.To a related query on state governments stand on 10% quota for poor among the upper castes, Nitish Kumar said that after notification of the new Constitutional provision by the Centre, it will also be implemented in Bihar.HT
MANUU Chancellor Firoz Bakht Ahmed appointed Chairman, Jamia Urdu Aligarh Academic Council
Aligarh: Firoz Bakht Ahmed presently Chancellor of the MANUU Hyderabad has been appointed Chairman of Jamia Urdu Aligarh Academic Council for two years. In this connection Jamia Urdu Aligarh OSD Farhat Ali khan told that Firoz Bakht Ahmed has been appointed Chairman of the   Jamia Urdu Aligarh Academic Council for two years. He added that presentably Firoz Bakht Ahmed is the Chancellor of MANUU Hyderabad. He told that Bakht is the grandnephew of first education minister of India Maulana Azad. TCN
Mumbai: Jamaat-e-Islami Hind hails Maharashtra govt move to fight for dance bar ban
Mumbai: A Muslim organisation, Jamaat-e-Islami Hind, has welcomed the state govt's decision to bring in a fresh ordinance, banning dance bars. The Jamaat expressed its disappointment over the Supreme Court's recent order, setting aside the ban on dance bars. "It [lifting of the ban on dance bars] will increase obscenity in society and destroy many families. The Supreme Court's verdict is dangerous for the social fabric and our culture,"said Syed Aziz Mohiuddin, secretary, national and international affairs, of the organisation's Maharashtra unit. He welcomed state finance minister Sudhir Mungantiwar's announcement that the state government would introduce a fresh ordinance to ban dance bars. "We appeal that the government come forward to eradicate obscenity, addiction from society," he added.TOI
AIMPLB mourns demise of its first woman member
New Delhi: All India Muslim Personal Law Board (AIMPLB) is mourning the demise of its first woman member, Begum Naseem Iqtidar Ali, who passed away at her residence in Lucknow due to prolonged illness.  AIMPLB member Khalid Rashid Firangi Mehli said, "She was a well known scholar, writer and social activist. She used to always raise her voice strongly in the board meeting on women issues, especially to empower them economically and provide them good education."Another AIMPLB member, Zafaryab Jilani said, "She had been a member for more than three decades. It's because of her we were able to establish our women wing. She has worked tirelessly for social and economical upliftment of the Muslim women."indiatoday
Ahead of Elections Yogi Govt Announces Pension for Hindu Seers in Uttar Pradesh
LUCKNOW;Ahead of the Lok Sabha Elections, UP CM Yogi Adiyanath has announced pension scheme to Hindu seers who are above the age of 60.The pension would be provided under the state pension scheme for senior citizens.“The state government has decided that all destitute persons (including women, disabled etc) will get a pension of Rs 500 per month as compared to Rs 400 earlier,” CM Yogi said. However, the announcement being made by UP’s saffron clad Chief Minister to give pension to Hindu seers just ahead of general elections evoked criticism from the opposition parties.The opposition parties have levelled the Hindu appeasement charge against Yogi govt after the move was announced. Slamming the move by Yogi Adityanath, Samajwadi Party leader and former CM Akhilesh Yadav said it was an appeasement move ahead of the General Elections. He termed it as a soft Hindutva card to polarise voters before the polls.Caravan News
WORLD
14 dead as ships with Indian, Turkish crew members catch fire off Russia
Moscow: 2 ships carrying Indian, Turkish and Libyan crew members caught fire in the Kerch Strait separating Crimea from Russia, killing at least 14 sailors, according to media reports.The fire broke out on Monday off Russia's territorial waters. Both vessels were flying Tanzanian flags. One of them was a liquefied natural gas carrier and another one was a tanker. The fire broke out as the two ships were transferring fuel from one to the other.One of the ships, the Candy, had a 17-member crew, including 9 Turkish citizens and 8 Indian nationals. The other one, the Maestro, had 15-member crew, including seven Turkish nationals, seven Indian citizens and an intern from Libya, Russian news agency Tass quoted maritime authority as saying.14 people were killed in the accident, Crimea's head Sergei Aksyonov told reporters on Tuesday.As many as 12 people have been rescued, while six are still missing. Search and rescue efforts are underway.Meanwhile, the ministry of external affairs said the Indian embassy in Moscow was in constant touch with the Russian agencies concerned to get more information on the Indian nationals affected in the incident and to extend necessary assistance.PTI


US demands security guarantee for Kurdish YPG from Turkey
The protection of allied forces who fought and died battling ISIL in Syria must be guaranteed, US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo told his Turkish counterpart Mevlut Cavusoglu in a phone conversation. Pompeo and Cavusoglu talked on Monday as the NATO allies try to reach an agreement over the fate of US-backed, Kurdish-led fighters, who fought against ISIL, following the planned withdrawal of US troops from northern Syria. US State Department said Pompeo also reiterated Washington's commitment to addressing Turkey's security concerns along the Turkish-Syrian border. During the discussion, Pompeo emphasised " importance that US places on the protection of forces that worked with the US and the global coalition to defeat ISIS", department spokesman Robert Palladino said in a press release.US-backed People's Protection Units (YPG), which spearheads the Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF) operations, played a key role in the removal of ISIL fighters after the armed group captured vast territory in Syria and Iraq in 2014.aljazeera
Turkey readies international probe into Khashoggi killing
Turkey has said it is planning to launch an international investigation into the murder of Jamal Khashoggi and will take further steps in the coming days. Speaking at a youth meeting in Istanbul on Monday, Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu said Saudi Arabia has not shared with Turkey any information from its own probe regarding the Washington Post writer's murder. Cavusoglu said his country's investigation had forced Saudi Arabia to recognise the assassination of Khashoggi, and accused Western countries of trying to cover up the crime. "We see how those, who speak of freedom of press in the world, cover this thing up when they see money," Cavusoglu said."Now we have made preparations for an international probe in the coming days. We will take the necessary steps," he added, saying Turkey is well aware of the difficulties in shedding light on the murder.Despite a joint investigation with Saudi officials looking at their consulate in Istanbul, the consul's residence and several other locations, the whereabouts of Khashoggi's remains are still unknown.aljazeera
As many as 100 Afghan security forces killed in Taliban attack
Dozens of Afghan security forces were killed when armed Taliban fighters attacked a military base about 44km southwest of Kabul on Monday.Afghan officials say the death toll is at least 45, according to the AP, while others put it higher.Provincial Council Member Nafisa Selai Wardak said at least 126 members were killed in the attack that began Monday morning when a suicide bomber detonated his explosive-laden vehicle outside the base in Maidan Shahr, the capital of Wardak province.Another provincial council member, Khawanin Sultani, told The Associated Press on Tuesday that the attack also left more than 70 wounded.Intially the government had said 12 people were killed and about 30 were wounded.Some of the injured were in provincial hospitals, while the more serious cases were being treated in Kabul, said Salem Asgherkhail, head of the area's public health department.aljazeera
Dozens of armed fighters killed in Egypt's Sinai
Egypt said at least seven troops, including an officer, were killed in clashes with armed fighters in recent operations in the restive northern Sinai Peninsula.In a statement on Tuesday, the military said its forces killed at least 59 suspected fighters and arrested 142 others. Air strikes destroyed 56 vehicles containing weapons and ammunition in the Western Desert, south and northeastern border areas, and seized 242 explosive devices as part of the operation.aljazeera
Rights group: Israel to force Palestinians out of Jerusalem after closing UNRWA schools
Israeli occupation authorities are planning to force Palestinians out of Jerusalem by threatening to close UNRWA schools, Insan Centre for Democracy and Rights said yesterday.Recent news reports revealed Israeli plans to stop the activities of UNRWA in occupied Jerusalem and move the supervision of its schools into the hands of the Israeli Ministry of Education and the Israeli Municipality of Jerusalem. middleeastmonitor
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Compiled and edited by Anwarulhaq (Released at: 6:24 PM)

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