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06 February 2019

6 Feb.ND: Muzaffarnagar: 7 Muslim men held guilty for killing 2 youths that led to 2013 riots/ Sabarimala review pleas: SC reserves order, temple board says will respect verdict


NEWS DIGEST, Afternoon 
06 Feb. 2019: 30 Jamadiul-I 1440: Vol:11, No:121
INDIA
Muzaffarnagar: 7 Muslim men held guilty for killing 2 youths that led to 2013 riots
New Delhi : 6 years after the Muzaffarnagar riots, a local court today convicted 7 people for killing 2 Hindu youths in Kawal village. The incident is believed to have triggered 2013 Muzaffarnagar riots that left 63 people dead and displaced over 40,000.Additional District and Sessions Judge Himashu Bhatnagar held Muzammil, Mujassim, Furkan, Nadeem, Janangir, Afzal and Ikbal guilty for killing Gaurav and Sachin on Aug.27, 2013, and rioting. The quantum of their sentences will be pronounced on Friday.While there still is a dispute on the exact cause of the riots, it is alleged that a girl from the Jat community was allegedly eve teased by a Muslim youth Shahnawaz Qureshi in Kawal village.In retaliation, Sachin and Gaurav, relatives of the girl, killed Qureshi on August 27, 2013. Brothers were lynched by a Muslim mob while trying to escape. According to FIR, 2 youths were battered to death by the 5 of the men.The riots began a few days later on Sept.7, when people returning from a mahapanchayat were attacked. Court convicted the 7 after examining 10 prosecution witnesses and 6 in their defence. As per figures given by district prosecution counsel Rajiv Sharma, over 6,000 cases were lodged following 2013 riots and 1,480 accused were arrested for their alleged roles in the riots. A special investigation team, which probed the cases, had filed charge sheets in 175 cases. 56 of them involving 430 accused resulted in acquittal. Recently, the state Govt has directed the district administration to file withdrawal applications for 18 such cases in court. indianexpress
UP recommends withdrawal of 38 cases against Muzaffarnagar riots accused
Lucknow:BJP Govt has recommended withdrawal of 38 criminal cases against more than 100 individuals who were charged in the 2013 Muzaffarnagar riots. TOI has accessed the recommendation note — prepared by special secretary JP Singh and under-secretary Arun Kumar Rai — that was sent to the Muzaffarnagar district magistrate a week ago.UP Govt gave its sanction for withdrawal of the cases on Jan.10 and the note was sent on Jan.29. Govt had sought an opinion on withdrawals of at least 119 riot FIRs filed at 6 police stations in 2013. “Ă„fter evaluating the facts and available correspondence and documents, it has been decided after careful consideration, that the cases against accused must be withdrawn by presenting the approval before the district court,"recommendation note said.TOI
Sabarimala review pleas: SC reserves order, temple board says will respect verdict
New Delhi:The Supreme Court today reserved verdict on a batch of petitions seeking review of its September 28, 2018 judgment that allowed women of all age groups to enter the Sabarimala temple in Kerala.Following a marathon hearing that lasted more than 4 hours, 5-judge Constitution bench headed by CJI Ranjan Gogoi reserved its judgment on as many as 65 petitions — 56 review and four fresh writ petitions — and said that it would pronounce its order on whether to review the judgment or not.While the Kerala Govt stuck to its stand and opposed any review of the Sabarimala verdict, the Travancore Devaswom Board, which controls the Lord Ayappa temple, made a U-turn, saying it supported the entry of women of all ages.“We have taken a decision to respect the judgment lifting age restrictions on women entry,”senior advocate Rakesh Dwivedi, who represented Board, said. Travancore Devaswom Board is an autonomous body controlled by the state govt. At this, Justice Indu Malhotra, the lone judge who had given a dissenting verdict and ruled in favour of the customs, reminded Dwivedi that the board had earlier opposed the entry of women of all ages to the temple. The Board had earlier contended that the celibate character of Aiyappa at Sabarimala temple was a unique religious feature which was protected under the constitution.indianexpress
Ayodhya dispute: VHP suspends mandir construction campaign till Lok Sabha elections
After a series of Dharma Sabha and rallies to build pressure on Modi Govt to bring in an ordinance for the construction of Ram Mandir in Ayodhya, VHP on Tuesday announced that it has temporarily stopped its campaign. Given Lok Sabha elections are right around the corner, the move can be seen so as to prevent any negative publicity of the ruling saffron party, for whom Ram temple dispute is a core political issue.“VHP has decided to suspend its campaign for constructing the Ram temple at Lord Ram’s birthplace in Ayodhya till the general election process gets over, as the organisation does not want it to become an election issue,”said VHP’s international joint general secretary Surendra Jain.Jain added that after the Lok Sabha elections, when a new Govt is formed, then only the outfit will decide its future course of action.As for the Ram temple-Babri masjid case, last week, Centre field a petition seeking permission to return 67.703 acres of land in Ayodhya, adjacent to disputed site, to its original owners including Ram Janmabhoomi Nyas. What’s interesting is that while the Govt has not acted on the ordinance call given by the outfit in the recent rallies, the demand to return the excess land around the disputed site was taken at Dharma Sansad held in Prayagraj.NewsX
Ayodhya Ram Temple: VHP springs surprise, no agitation for 4 months
2019 is not 1991: Message from Kumbh Behind RSS, VHP’s Sudden Retreat on Ram Mandir
On Feb.1, in the biggest assembly of Hindus across the globe, Kumbh, chiefs of the largest Hindu organisation, the Sangh, were presiding over the most popular Hindutva issue — Ram Mandir.One by one, over 2 dozen seers seated on a stage took over the mic to address a half-empty hall. In the first hour of the hugely publicised ‘Dharm Sansad’ on Ram Mandir, there were, in fact, more people seated on stage than in the audience, discounting VHP’s special invitees and volunteers. Could a fatigue over Ram Mandir be the reason? Only 2 days earlier, a different conclave on Ram Mandir, ‘Param Dharm Sansad’, presided over by Shankaracharya Swaroopanand Saraswati of Dwarka Peeth ended with Swaroopanand asking all Hindus to gather at the disputed site in Ayodhya on Feb.21 and lay the foundation stone of the grand Ram temple.It was a direct challenge to the Sangh’s authority on the Ram Mandir issue. The Sangh responded, in its 2-day event held from Jan.31, through a show of unity, flexing its entire organisational strength on stage. news18
Gujarat: Tyre burnt inside heritage mosque; FIR filed, ASI probes
Vadodara:Police registered an FIR against unknown persons on Tuesday after a tyre was burnt inside the premises of Jama Masjid, one of 114 monuments listed by Baroda Heritage Trust, in Champaner.The mosque is a part of Champaner-Pavagadh Archaeological Park, a UNESCO World Heritage Site. The case was registered after the representatives of Muslim community in Godhra submitted a memorandum to Panchmahal district collector and superintendent of police demanding strict action against those involved in the incident.“…India is a democratic and secular country, and unity in diversity is our identification. Whichever anti-social element tried to disrupt peace and break the unity, strict actions should be taken against them. At the mehrab, where the imam offers namaz, some anti-social elements burnt a tyre, and tried to damage the heritage site. We request you to initiate strict actions against them, identify them and arrest them,” the memorandum stated.Conservation Assistant, Archaeological Survey of India, Vadodara Circle, Rajesh Johri said that there “visible damage” to the monument.“We have inspected the entire area, but such activities are unacceptable. We have filed an FIR and also asked security agency to initiate an inquiry into the matter since this was a breach of security despite a security personnel being on duty,”he said.indian express
Hindu Mahasabha leader Pooja Pandey arrested for recreating Mahatma Gandhi’s assassination
New Delhi:Hindu Mahasabha national secretary Pooja Shakun Pandey, who was at the centre of a controversy for recreating the assassination of Mahatma Gandhi, was arrested by Aligarh Police on Wednesday along with her husband Ashok Pandey.In a purported video that surfaced on the death anniversary of Mahatma Gandhi, Pooja was seen shooting thrice at the late leader’s effigy with an air pistol and then burning it later at the Hindu Mahasabha office in Gandhi Park. ABHM members also allegedly garlanded Nathuram Godse.An FIR was lodged against 9 people, including Pooja and her husband and ABHM spokesperson Ashok. Confirming that they have recreated Gandhi’s assassination, Ashok Pandey later said: “We don’t find anything wrong in it because the country celebrates Ravan dahan as well by recreating the scene. We have done the act inside our office premises.” “He (Gandhi) was also responsible for Partition… Over 10 lakh Hindus died,” he added.Later, an ABHM member had filed a complaint against Pooja alleging that she was not a part of the organisation and that she misused the banner. The complaint was filed by Rajeev Kumar who was a member of ABHM, whose president is Swami Chakrapani.indian express
There’s danger that Constitution will be replaced by Hindutva-inspired document: Chidambaram
New Delhi: Fear rules the country today and there is a danger that the Constitution will be replaced by a document inspired by Hindutva, claims senior Congress leader P Chidambaram.The former Union minister says this scenario will be the end of the ‘idea of India’ given to us by the founding fathers, adding that to restore that idea will require nothing less than another freedom struggle and another Mahatma Gandhi.He makes these comments in his new book “Undaunted: Saving the Idea of India”, a collection of his essays published last year.According to him, an economy derailed can be put back on the rails and a society divided can be healed and united but one thing cannot be fixed if it is broken, and that is the Constitution and the constitutional values embodied in that document.“At present, every value of the Constitution is under attack – freedom, equality, liberalism, secularism, privacy, scientific temper, etc.,” he says.“There is a clear and present danger that the Constitution of India will be replaced by a document that will be inspired by an ideology called Hindutva. That will be the end of the ‘idea of India’ given to us by the founding fathers; and to restore that idea will require nothing less than another freedom struggle and another Mahatma,” he writes in the introduction of the book.“I have no hesitation in saying that, today, fear rules India. Every individual lives in fear – fear of the neighbour, fear of self-styled moral brigades, fear of the law applied with an evil mind and unequal hand and, above all, fear of the snooping Indian State,” he goes on to say.For reclaiming freedom, fear must be driven away, he says, adding it is not an easy task, but we cannot give up.Former vice president Hamid Ansari has written the book’s foreword in which he talks about the efficacy of institutions and cites few examples.PTI
5 Bajrang Dal men held for attacking K’taka Muslim women over beef
In an incident that has rattled the small community of Raghavendra Nagar, in Sakleshpur taluk in Karnataka, unknown miscreants, believed to be from right-wing Bajrang Dal, attacked two elderly Muslim women on 31 Jan, on the pretext of these women cooking and selling beef items at the local village market.Khamrunissa, 70 years old, and her sister-in-law Shamim, 50 years old, were attacked and had their small stalls burnt down by enraged youths who believed they were selling beef. According to the women, the miscreants overturned their vessels of food, kicked their stove and gas cylinder, and finally doused the plastic tarp covering the stall with kerosene and burnt it to the ground. Much of the hot food splashed on the women’s faces and bodies. They were also manhandled and threatened not to come to the fair again.On Tuesday, police arrested four men and a minor for attacking the 2 women.The arrested attackers were identified as Karthik, 24, Deepu, 21, Prathap, 29, Raghu, 20 and the minor, who was not named by the police. According to police, Karthick is the president of the local unit of the Bajarang Dal. 4 arrested men have been sent to judicial custody, while minor has been handed over to the juvenile justice department.An FIR was lodged at Sakleshpur Town police station the following day.AN Prakash Gowda, SP, confirmed that no beef was recovered from the ladies’ stalls. Thequint
Delhi court gives police time till Feb.28 for sanctions to prosecute Kanhaiya, Umar, others
New Delhi :Delhi Police informed a trial court that it had failed to procure prosecution sanction against former JNU Students’ Union leaders Kanhaiya Kumar, Umar Khalid and others in 2016 JNU sedition case. Police informed the trial court that the sanction to prosecute, which is pending with the Delhi govt, was expected in a few days.The court directed the Investigating Officer to ask the Govt to expedite the decision. It also said that the authorities cannot sit on files for an indefinite period. The court gave Delhi Police till Feb.28 to obtain the sanction to prosecute Kumar and others.On Jan.19, the court had rapped the Delhi Police asking why they had filed a chargesheet without taking approval from the legal department. While there is a lot of speculation around the Delhi govt’s position on the issue, Indian Express was told by authoritative sources that the nature of the case led the Home Department knocking on the door of the Law Department, to seek clarity on what the “guidelines” are.What made this exchange particularly significant is the fact that the Home Department had to seek guidelines as there is no immediate precedence for it to refer to in charting the course ahead.Home Dept, which controls the Directorate of Prosecution, mentioned in file that the last precedence of a similar nature dates back to 1982.indianexpress/TOI
Delhi court gives police time till Feb.28 for sanctions to prosecute Kanhaiya Kumar, others
AMU to Wait for SC Verdict on Minority Status Before Implementing EWS Quota
New Delhi: AMU has decided to wait for the Supreme Court to deliver its verdict on the minority status before going ahead with 10% EWS quota implementation. According to HRD ministry, 10% quota shall be provided to EWSs for admission in Central Educational Institutions (CEI) – as defined in clause (d) of section (2) of CEI Act,2006–from academic year 2019-20 onwards. AMU spokesman Shafey Kidwai said:“University will maintain status quo on its admission policy as the case of minority status is sub-judice. Till the time the court doesn’t pronounce its judgment, we will go with the admission policy we have – 50% quota for the internal students and 50% seats for the external students.”Govt has exempted some categories of public institutions to implement the quota, like minority institutes.“Quota would not be applicable to 8 institutions of excellence, research institutions, institutions of national and strategic importance as specified in the schedule to Central Educational Institutions (Reservation in Admission) Act, 2006, as amended from time to time, and appended to this OM,and to the minority educational institutions referred to in clause 1 of article 30 of the constitution,” HRD ministry memo said.An HRD official said that as per Govt orders, minority institutions are exempted from 10% EWS quota implementation. news18
HRD ministry, HC fault AMU for not promoting teacher
New Delhi:HRD ministry and Allahabad high court have held AMU guilty of acting in a biased and discriminatory manner in the promotion of a faculty member. AMU was facing allegations of having denied promotion to a political science teacher,Rachna Kaushal, while her colleagues with lesser Academic Performance Indicator  points were promoted.In an order on Jan.21, 2019 Allahabad HC said the university’s decision not to promote teacher was “not fair.”“Inescapable conclusion in light of the discussions made on the analysis of material placed is that action of university in holding the petitioner ineligible for promotion to the post of professor is not fair and transparent. Impugned action is, therefore, found to be irrational, arbitrary and unsustainable,” HC said.It directed the university to reconsider the petitioner’s claim for promotion within 2 months.3 days later, HRD ministry wrote to AMU questioning the inaction on the fact finding committee’s report.TOI
Elgaar Parishad: Bhardwaj moves HC to seek bail
Mumbai:Human rights activist and lawyer Sudha Bhardwaj, arrested in connection with the Elgaar Parishad case, has moved the Bombay High Court to seek bail.The plea was taken up for hearing on Wednesday by Justice NW Sambre.Bhardwaj, through her lawyer Yug Chaudhary, challenged the decision of a Pune court that had rejected her bail plea in October last year.Chaudhary told the bench that the Pune court, while denying the bail to Bhardwaj, had relied upon four letters produced as incriminating evidence by the Pune Police.However, Chaudhary said he wanted to show to the high court that the letters could not be accepted as admissible evidence under the Indian Evidence Act.The bench is likely to hear the plea in detail on Feb.18.PTI
Bhushan served notice in contempt petitions over tweets on appointment of Rao as CBI interim chief
The Supreme Court today issued a notice to lawyer and activist Prashant Bhushan on contempt petitions filed by Attorney General KK Venugopal and Centre over the former’s comments on the appointment of interim CBI director Nageswara Rao. Both Venugopal and Centre in their petition said that Bhushan’s remarks accusing the Govt of misleading the SC through top law officer amounted to contempt of court. Govt has contended that Bhushan’s “willfully and deliberately” tweeted false statement in a case that was then pending in the court. Today, after the hearing on the contempt petition, the Court gave Bhushan 3 weeks’ time to file a reply.NewsX
Haryana: Teen accused of cow slaughter alleges abuse in reform home, HC seeks report
Chandigarh:Punjab and Haryana High Court has directed IGP, South Range, Rewari to personally file a status report in a case where the father of a 17-year-old — who is an accused in a case under Haryana Gauvansh Sanrakshan and Gausamvardhan Act — has alleged that his son was physically abused by the officials and inmates of Children Reforms House, Faridabad after being accused of cow slaughter.The case is listed for hearing on Feb.7. According to the petition, when the juvenile was sent to the reforms of the home, the officials “got enraged” with him due to the nature of the case and “started saying that you have indulged in cow slaughter” after which he was given several beatings by around 16-17 fellow inmates. He was also made to drink urine and water was also thrown on him while a cloth was put in his mouth, according to the petition.The alleged abuse, according to the petition, took place on Jan.2 and 3. “Petitioner has been wrongly implicated in the case…as the son of petitioner belongs to Muslim religion and the son of the petitioner has been victimised due to religion…,”petition reads.indianexpress
After SC’s rap, Rajnath says govt committed to complete NRC on time: indian express
New Delhi:Home Minister Rajnath Singh has asserted that the Govt is committed to complete NRC process in Assam within the stipulated time and will ensure that no foreigner is included or any Indian citizen excluded.He also said the home ministry wants that the National Register of Citizens, a list of Assam’s residents, is completed with fairness and for this the state govt has been provided with all necessary assistance, including funds.“Our Govt is committed to complete the update of NRC within the stipulated time so that no foreigner is included in it and no Indian is left out,”he said. His comments came hours after the SC came down heavily on the govt, saying it is not cooperating in NRC process and seems the entire effort of the home ministry is to destroy the exercise.Singh said the central govt has also sent paramilitary forces to Assam so that law and order is maintained while completing the huge task of NRC process.He said it is NDA govt which has expedited the process of the update of NRC, which has been pending for 30 years ever since the Assam Accord was signed in 1985. It was expedited by the NDA Govt and the present BJP Govt in Assam in a manner that NRC process has reached the final stage, he said. Singh said the final draft of NRC was published on July 30,2018 and the claims and objections process completed by Dec.31, 2018.
Make sure all hurdles are cleared, trial is conducted smoothly in Malegaon blast case: HC tells NIA
Mumbai:The Bombay High Court has told NIA that it should make sure that all the hurdles in the form of several applications filed by the accused in the 2008 Malegaon case, are cleared and the trial is conducted smoothly.A division bench of Justice AS Oka and Justice AS Gadkari was hearing a petition filed by Sameer Kulkarni, one of the accused in the case, challenging the decision of the special NIA court, permitting NIA to bring photocopies of missing statements of witnesses on record and lead evidence in support of the same.In April 2016, trial court had been informed that original documents, including 13 witness statements recorded before the magistrate under Section 164 of CrPc and 2 statements of the accused recorded under MCOCA, were untraceable. In Jan..2017, trial court had allowed NIA to use available copies as secondary evidence in place of papers that had gone missing.The bench said they had noticed that the accused in the case have filed so many applications that there are over 3,000 exhibits to the matter before the trial court. The bench said the “poor judge” has to address so many applications and has to pass orders. The special judge should take strict action, if he finds that applications filed by the accused are frivolous, the bench said. The bench further told NIA that it should make sure that “all these hurdles are cleared and trial is conducted smoothly”.indian express
Chargesheets in Dabholkar, Pansare cases by next week
CBI and Maharashtra CID told Bombay High Court today that they would file their supplementary charge sheets in the killings of rationalists Narendra Dabholkar and Govind Pansare by next week.CBI and the state CID are probing killings of Dabholkar and Pansare, respectively. CBI counsel Anil Singh told the bench that it had arrested and identified Sachin Andure and Sharad Kalaskar as 2 persons who shot at Dabholkar, leading to his death.Singh said the CBI will file the supplementary charge sheet against the two by Feb. 13.PTI
Indians may consider visiting Iraq barring 5 terror-hit provinces: MEA
New Delhi; Almost 4-and-a-half years after New Delhi cautioned Indians against travelling to Iraq,NDA govt Tuesday revised its travel advisory and said that Indians may now consider travelling to Iraq but avoid five terror-affected provinces.This comes almost a year-and-a- half after ISIS was defeated and less than 11 months after the Govt confirmed the death of 39 Indians, who were killed in captivity.Issued by Ministry of External Affairs (MEA), updated advisory said that “due to the improvement in the security situation”, Indians may now consider travelling to the country except to 5 provinces which are still affected by terrorism and violence. “With improvement in security situation in Iraq, Indian nationals may now consider travelling to the country except to 5 Provinces of Iraq, namely Nineveh, Salahuddin, Diyala, Anbar and Kirkuk,”MEA advisory said.indianexpress
Army detains three RR men over killing of soldier Aurangzeb
New Delhi: 3 personnel of 44 Rashtriya Rifles have been detained by the Army and are being questioned for their alleged involvement in the abduction and killing of fellow soldier Aurangzeb by militants in June last year. Sources said it is suspected that 3 RR soldiers shared information about Rifleman Aurangzeb who was abducted after he set out from the camp for his home in Poonch. His killing led to outrage across the country. He was conferred Shaurya Chakra posthumously on Independence Day last year. 2 days ago, his father joined BJP in the presence of PM Narendra Modi at a rally in Jammu. On Monday, 27 year-old Tawseef Ahmad, brother of Abid Wani, one of 3 soldiers detained, was taken to hospital with multiple bruises after being assaulted, allegedly by RR personnel. Ex-CM  Mehbooba Mufti, who visited Srinagar hospital Tuesday to inquire about Ahmad’s condition, said: “I will talk to the Corps Commander regarding the matter. I am sure Governor Sahib will take note of this matter… his brother is also missing, his whereabouts are not known.”Sources said detained RR personnel Abid Wani, Tajamul Ahmad and Adil Wani are facing an inquiry for allegedly sharing information about Aurangzeb. indian express
Army sends Pak tough message over its plan for Kashmir event near LoC
New Delhi:Ahead of PoK solidarity day on Tuesday, Pakistan Army approached Indian Army to inform about plans for a demonstration on the occasion near LoC, sources said.But Indian Army responded that it will be seen as an “act of provocation” and appropriate response will be undertaken, sources said. Following this,there was a small-scale demonstration near the LoC in PoK.Sources said that the conversation between the two sides took place through defence diplomatic channels.While Pak tried to attract international attention by organising an event in UK’s parliament which was attended by Foreign Minister Shah Mahmood Qureshi, sources in Delhi said that the meeting was only attended by Pak-origin MPs or those with some “Pakistan connection”. “All 11 British MPs who attended the event have some Pak connection,” sources said.indianexpress
Hold state, parliamentary polls together in J-K: NC minority cell
Jammu:Batting strongly for holding assembly polls along with the parliamentary polls in J&K, the migrant cell of National Conference Tuesday said only an elected Govt can bring the state out of morass and uncertainty."We want that elections be held as soon as a possible in J&K. We urge the Election Commission to take a call is this regard," NC minority cell president MK Yogi told reporters here.He said most of the political parties in the state, including the NC, were in favour of holding the assembly elections along with Lok Sabha polls.PTI
Madrasa education be modernised to make it sustainable: Frank Islam
New Delh: The madrasas (Islamic seminaries) and the education imparted in them must be modernised to make it sustainable, US-based Muslim philanthropist Frank Islam said here on Tuesday."Clergy that resists the modern education has his own interests. (But) They must understand that the education being given there cannot provide any jobs to students," he said during an interaction with mediapersons here.Known for funding higher education in India, Islam however said that he has no plans to fund ay madrasas here.Asked if he has any plans to fund or establish a "model madrasa" where religious education can be gelled with contemporary learnings, he said: "As of now I have not thought about it. But I think a few people here in India including Lt Gen (retd)Zameeruddin Shah are working on this concept."He shared a few ideas regarding the educational empowerment of Muslims.IANS
Tax department sends notices to Wakf boards for not paying service tax, GST
New Delhi :Tax officials have started sending out notices to various Wakf boards for not paying service tax and GST on rent received from properties being used for non-religious and non-charitable purposes, a source said. Out of 30 Wakf boards in the country, only 2 -- Kerala State Wakf Board and Dawoodi Bohra Wakf, Mumbai-- are registered under GST regime."Department has started sending show cause notices to the Wakf boards for default in payment of erstwhile service tax which was required to be paid on rental income from leasing of properties for commercial purpose. The same is applicable under GST," a source told PTI.The source, further said, that Wakf boards collectively are the largest owner of immovable property after defence and railways and the estimated tax revenue that could accrue to the exchequer could be around Rs 100 crore annually. Although the income of the Wakf boards is exempt from Income Tax, it is not the case with regard to GST and the erstwhile service tax levy. PTI
Linkage of PAN with Aadhaar is mandatory for filing I-T return: SC
New Delhi:The Supreme Court has said that linkage of PAN with Aadhaar is mandatory for filing of Income Tax returns. A Bench comprising Justices A.K. Sikri and S. Abdul Nazeer said the top court has already decided the matter and upheld Section 139AA of Income Tax Act. The court’s direction came on an appeal filed by the Centre against a Delhi High Court order allowing 2 persons, Shreya Sen and Jayshree Satpute, to file IT returns for 2018-19 without linking their Aadhaar and PAN numbers.“The aforesaid order was passed by the High Court having regard to the fact that the matter was pending consideration in this Court.Thereafter, this Court has decided the matter and upheld the vires of section 139AA of the Income Tax Act. In view thereof, linkage of PAN with Aadhaar is mandatory,” the Bench said.PTI
Jat body to herd cattle at Shah, Yogi rally venue:TOI
Agra: To protest against rising stray cattle menace in UP , national president of Rashtriya Jaat Ekta Sangathan (RJES) Sunil Chaudhary announced that such animals would be herded to the venue in Aligarh where BJP chief Amit Shah and CM Yogi Adityanath are scheduled address party's booth-level workers on Wednesday. Chaudhary said the CM's promise of resolving the crisis faced by farmers remained unfulfilled. "We just want to ask the CM what farmers should do in such a situation?" said Chaudhary. He added that around 200 people will gather at the venue with the stray cattle to make the CM realise the gravity of the situation.
Will decide at appropriate time to snap ties with NDA : Meghalaya CM
Meghalaya CM and National People's Party (NPP) President Conrad Sangma on Tuesday said his party will decide at an "appropriate time" on snapping ties with NDA Govt over controversial Citizenship (Amendment) Bill, 2016."We will decide at an appropriate time, if the (Central) Govt goes ahead with the Bill in Rajya Sabha," Sangma said responding to questions on the demand of several groups to snap ties with BJP over amendment Bill.The tribal-centric NPP is supporting BJP-led Govt in Manipur and Arunachal Pradesh.While BJP is supporting the NPP-led Meghalaya Democratic Alliance govt.IANS
WORLD
Israeli court 'enables, validates' Palestinian home demolitions
Israel's top court enables and validates the disposition of Palestinians and the demolition of their homes in the occupied West Bank, a new report has found.According to the report, which was released on Wednesday by Israeli rights group B'tselem, Israel's Supreme Court has been enabling the state to continue implementing illegal policies while ignoring the defects in Israel's "planning policy" in the West Bank.The report, "Fake Justice", details how the state's policy minimises Palestinian construction and aims to expand the building of illegal Jewish settlements."When, faced with no other option, Palestinians are forced to build without permits, the structures are deemed 'unlawful' and Israel issues demolition orders,"B'Tselem said.The report is based on careful examination of hundreds of Supreme Court cases, judgments and decisions regarding the demolition of Palestinian homes in the West Bank.According to B'Tselem, in none of these cases did the judges accept the arguments of the Palestinian petitioners who attempted to overturn demolition orders.B'Tselem figures from 2006 through to 2018 reveal Israel demolished at least 1,401 Palestinian residential units in the West Bank alone, leaving more than 6,000 people without a home."The fact that the judges choose, time and again, to approve and validate Israel's policy, played a pivotal role in further cementing the occupation and the settlement enterprise and in dispossessing Palestinians of their land," Yael Stein, a B'Tselem researcher and author of the report, said. aljazeera
US Senate approves anti-BDS bill, slowdown of Syria withdrawal
Washington, DC:US Senate has passed legislation defining US security policy in the Middle East, introducing a measure that would allow state and local governments to sanction those who support boycotts, divesture and sanctions against Israel.Tuesday's Senate vote, which was 77-23, sends the legislation to the House of Representatives where it will likely face renewed debate, politicians said.The legislation authorises $3.3bn a year for 10 years in US military aid to Israel, reauthorises US-Jordan Defense Cooperation Act and imposes financial sanctions on the Govt of Syrian President Bashar al-Assad or companies and banks that do business with Damascus."Israel is without a doubt one of the best friends in the world," Senator Jim Risch, an Idaho Republican and chairman of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, said in remarks to the Senate. "Certainly, in that neighbourhood they live in, which is a dangerous neighbourhood, they need our help. We worked with them very closely in many, many respects."The legislation, which consolidated four bills that did not make it to Congress last year, drew controversy in the Senate and opposition from a number of senators because of added language authorising state and local governments to terminate contracts with US citizens who support the pro-Palestinian Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions (BDS) movement.Anti-BDS measure "is designed to see that the BDS activity is tamped down and that it is not appropriate to use against our friend, Israel", Risch said.Critics decried the measure as contrary to the free speech rights of Americans under First Amendment of the Constitution, which in US jurisprudence has provided protection for people participating in boycotts as a form of political protest. "Our country was founded upon the concept and in the midst of a great boycott,"Senator Rand Paul, a Kentucky Republican, said in remarks to the Senate opposing the measure. "At the time, we were boycotting British goods and most specifically, British tea. There is likely nothing more American than to protest, to dissent and to boycott."26 states have adopted anti-BDS measures, which is backed by the influential American Israel Public Affairs Committee advocacy group. However, US judges in Kansas and Arizona struck down such laws in 2018.In addition to supporting Israel, legislation signals strong sentiment among politicians for continuing the limited US military engagement in Syria. Senior Republican leaders and a number of key Democrats said they want a delay and reevaluation of Trump's order to withdraw US special forces from Syria.aljazeera
Iran warns Israel of 'firm' response to air raids in Syria
Iran has warned Israel of a "firm and appropriate" response if it continued attacking targets in Syria, where Tehran has backed President Bashar al-Assad and his forces in their nearly eight-year war against rebels and ISIL fighters.Israel, which views Iran as its biggest security threat, has repeatedly attacked Iranian targets and those of its allied militia in Syria.With an election looming in April, Israel has been increasingly open about carrying out its air strikes.In a meeting on Tuesday with Syria's Foreign Minister Walid al-Moalem in Tehran, the secretary of Iran's National Security Council Ali Shamkhani said the Israeli attacks violated Syria's territorial integrity and were "unacceptable". "If these actions continue, we will activate some calculated measures as a deterrent and as a firm and appropriate response to teach a lesson to the criminal and lying rulers of Israel," Shamkhani was quoted as saying by the Fars news agency.aljazeera
Taliban Demand New Isalmic Constitution For Afghanistan at Rare Talks in Moscow
Kabul: Taliban demanded a new constitution for Afghanistan and promised an "inclusive Islamic system" to govern the war-torn country at a rare gathering with senior Afghan politicians in Russia Tuesday that excluded Kabul government. The insurgents' manifesto, outlined in Moscow before some of Afghanistan's most influential leaders, comes a week after the Taliban held unprecedented six-day talks with US negotiators in Doha about ending 17-year war. Doha and Moscow discussions, though entirely separate, both excluded the Govt in Kabul, where President Ashraf Ghani is seen as increasingly sidelined from key negotiations for peace in his country.Moscow meeting — Taliban's most significant with Afghan politicians in recent memory — saw the insurgents praying together with sworn enemies including ex-president Hamid Karzai as they discussed their vision for the future."Kabul Govt constitution is invalid. It has been imported from the West and is an obstacle to peace," Sher Mohammad Abbas Stanikzai, who headed Taliban delegation, told attendees at a central Moscow hotel."It is conflicted. We want an Islamic constitution," he said, adding that the new charter would be drafted by Islamic scholars.No representatives from Kabul Govt were invited to Moscow but some of Ghani's chief rivals — including Karzai as well as opponents in an election slated for July — were in attendance.Taliban consider Ghani and his administration to be US puppets, and have refused offers to talk a truce.Stanikzai said did not want a "monopoly of power" but "an inclusive Islamic system". They also promised to stamp out Afghanistan's poppy cultivation and take steps to prevent civilian casualties in a conflict that has killed and wounded hundreds of thousands. 2 women attended the roundtable conference. "I think all sides are ready for a compromise. It is a good start," said Muhammad Ghulam Jalal, the head of an Afghan diaspora group who hosted the meeting.But images of Karzai and other powerful leaders attending prayer lead by a Taliban figure and dining with the militants invoked anger in Afghanistan. Taliban are scheduled to hold another round of peace talks with the US in Doha on Feb.25.​AFP
Taliban, Afghan opposition hold Moscow talks without government
Greece’s Muslim minority complain of ‘marginalisation’ in Komotini
Komotini: Outwardly, Komotini looks like other Greek cities, but there is a major difference: it has nine mosques whereas there are none in Athens.The northeastern city has existed from the second century and was captured by Ottoman-era Turkey in the 14th. It was an important hub connecting the capital city of Constantinople, as Istanbul was then known, with European part of the empire. Now it is home to nearly 30,000 Muslims, many of whom complain of marginalisation. Greece has for centuries had a testy relationship with Turkey, with a slew of disputes ranging from Aegean sea issues to the long-running Cyprus problem.“The minority Muslims and their Greek compatriots cohabit but each side lives in its own corner,” said Mustafa Mustafa, a lawmaker from PM  Alexis Tsipras’s party, speaking in this frontier city of some 60,000 people.Tsipras visits Turkey on Tuesday in a bid to improve relations.“Relations deteriorated in the 1960s and until 1990 many villages in the area were ringed by military barricades,” Mustafa, who is in his sixties, said.“We could not access our properties or get a driving licence,” he said.AFP
French, Germans think Islam clashes with their values: Survey
Paris:Nearly half of French and Germans believe Islam is incompatible with the values of their nations, a survey has revealed.However the research by pollster YouGov found that fewer people in Muslim-majority countries think Christianity fundamentally clashes with their country's values, said an Euronews report.It comes as Pope Francis embarked on a 48-hour visit to UAE on Sunday, with a meeting with Grand Imam of Al Azhar, Shaikh Ahmed al-Tayeb scheduled for Feb.5.UNI
Turkey to investigate deportation of Egyptian facing death sentence
Turkey is investigating the deportation of an Egyptian citizen to Cairo after he reportedly sought asylum upon his arrival to Istanbul’s Ataturk airport last month, officials told Middle East Eye.Mohamed Abdelhafiz Ahmed Hussein, also known as Mohamed Abdelhafiz, was sentenced to death in absentia in July 2017 on charges of receiving militant training in the Gaza Strip as part of an alleged plot to murder Egypt’s former Attorney-General Hisham Barakat.However, the 28-year-old was deported to Cairo on 17 January after airport authorities found that he held a forged visa, according to Yasin Aktay, a senior adviser to Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan.Initially, the Istanbul governor's office denied Abdelhafiz had requested asylum." According to Turkish law, the foreign individual was sent back to his country with inadmissible passenger (INAD) status," a statement said."There wasn’t any notice by the individual to airport staff or police force about an international asylum request, there is no information  whether he is on trial in Egypt or any other country." However, on Tuesday the office released a fresh statement saying eight police officers working for Turkey's passport control office have been suspended pending probes.Pictures of Abdelhafiz, handcuffed aboard a Turkish Airlines flight to Cairo, have sparked the anger of Egyptian rights activists and exiles in Turkey, who blamed deportation on both Muslim Brotherhood officials and Turkish authorities.middleeasteye
Ali Issa Ahmad: British football fan faces 15 years in UAE jail for wearing Qatar shirt
A British football fan is facing 15 years in prison in the UAE for wearing a Qatari national football shirt.Ali Issa Ahmad, 26, an Arsenal fan from Wolverhampton who “loves all football”, was on holiday in UAE when he was arrested after going to an Asian Cup match between Iraq and Qatar on Jan 22.Despite UAE hosting the tournament, it has outlawed the wearing of Qatar’s national jersey in public amid its diplomatic dispute with the nation. In June 2017 UAE, Bahrain and Egypt joined Saudi Arabia in sanctioning Qatar for its support of the Muslim Brotherhood and its ties with Iran.
Over 1,000 swine flu cases in Delhi; 1 death: Report
New Delhi :One death due to swine flu and 124 fresh cases of Influenza A (H1N1) has been recorded in Delhi, taking the total number of people affected by the disease in the city this year to 1019, according to a report.PTI
flash: views & NEWS
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Budget fails to address dismal productivity, not just in agriculture, but across all workers: Bhaskar Chakravorti, indian express
‘Congress’ Swami’s Pressure, RSS’s Political Epiphany Force VHP to Put Ram Mandir Issue on Backburner:Rasheed Kidwai, news18
America has lost Afghan war:Stanly Johny, thehindu
Recreation of Gandhi’s assassination is symbol of rise in divisive Hindu Nationalism by RSS-BJP: Ram Puniyani
‘Citizenship Amendment Bill Is An Act of War on Indigenous People’:Sunzu Bachaspatimayum

Compiled and edited by Anwarulhaq (Released at: 6:23 PM)

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