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17 March 2019

17 March : Over 67.82 lakh farmers miss out on PM-KISAN scheme benefits as request for funds not made/Ayodhya case: Seer wants Sri Sri removed from mediation panel, approaches SC/Israeli court orders new closure for Al-Aqsa prayer space



NEWS DIGEST, Afternoon 
17 March 2019: 09 Rajab 1440:Vol: 11, No:153
INDIA
Over 67.82 lakh farmers miss out on PM-KISAN scheme benefits as request for funds not made
Over 67.82 lakh farmers will be left out of the Direct Benefit Transfer (DBT) scheme as West Bengal, Sikkim and Delhi have not uploaded their details on the PM-KISAN portal, Union Agriculture Minister Radha Mohan Singh said on Sunday.The 3 states are besides Madhya Pradesh, Rajasthan, Arunachal Pradesh, Meghalaya and Lakshadweep where funds have not been transferred to the eligible farmers as uploaded data has not been verified and request for fund release has not been made.Singh said 67.11 lakh farmers in West Bengal would have received ₹2,000 each had the state's availed the first installment of ₹1,342 crore under the Pradhan Mantri Kisan Nidhi (PM-KISAN).IANS
NGT slams Yogi govt for failure to provide safe water in 154 villages in western UP; demands Rs 5 cr bond
A four-judge bench of National Green Tribunal has asked the Uttar Pradesh government to furnish a Rs 5 crore compliance bond for failure of the state authorities to redress deadly health hazards faced by residents in villages lying along the Hindon river.Hearing a case filed by NGO Doaba Paryavaran Samiti through its advocate Gaurav Kumar Bansal on March 15, NGT bench, led by Justice AK Goel, observed that UP govt had failed to comply with its previous orders.It stated in its order, "In view of serious failure of the State of UP so far and alarming situation of pollution of River, affecting public health, we find it necessary to require furnishing of performance guarantee in the sum of Rs. 5 crores to the satisfaction of the CPCB by the State of UP to the effect that action plan will be implemented within 6 months from today."On failure, amount will be forfeited," said the top green court of the country, as it gave a 6 month time period to BJP govt to provide clean drinking water in affected villages and identify victims in the affected villages. No arrangements from potable water have been made by govt in villages, says Bansal.nationalheraldindia
India largest beef exporter in Modi’s regime: Seer Swami Swaroopanand Saraswati takes a jibe at PM
Varanasi: Taking a jibe on ‘Modi hai to Mumkin hai’ slogan by BJP men, shankaracharya of Jyotish and Dwarka Sharda peeths Swami Swaroopanand Saraswati said: “Offcourse, it is all because of PM Modi that India is now the largest exporter of beef in the world.” This is happening for the first time in India’s history, the seer added. “This is the same Modi, who as a chief minister of Gujarat used to say painfully that his heart is burning to see cow slaughter in the country, but after becoming Prime Minister he made the India the biggest exporter of beef. And his men proudly say all is possible if there is Modi. I would like to ask what is this pride all about,” said the seer while delivering discourse at Shri Vidya Math on Friday. He further said that after becoming the PM, he (Modi) shifted the abattoirs from industry to farming category, and the road tax from the abattoir to the airport was abolished completely. Besides, the tax on beef export was also reduced from 10% to 6%, and abattoirs were given electricity equal to the rate of farming.The killers of cows may get further benefits if Modi continues, he said adding when Modi became the PM we had great expectation from him regarding complete ban on cow slaughter, but unfortunately it did not happen. TOI
BSNL May Move NCLT Against Anil Ambani’s RCom to Recover Rs 700 Crore
New Delhi: State-owned telecom firm BSNL will approach National Company Law Tribunal this week to recover dues of about Rs 700 crore from Reliance Communications, according to official sources.Earlier, debt-ridden RCom in its plea before the NCLAT said that it wants to voluntarily go back into the insolvency process, as it will help selling its assets in a time bound manner.It had moved the appellate tribunal, seeking directions to the 37 lenders led by SBI to release Rs 260 crore directly to Ericsson. However, lenders of RCom have opposed the plea, saying that it will lead to outgo of public money for settling payment of a private party. “BSNL has already invoked bank guarantee of around Rs 100 crore submitted by RCom for default on payments. Decision was taken on January 4 by BSNL Chairman and Managing Director Anupam Shrivastava to start legal proceedings against RCom for recovery of dues of around Rs 700 crore,” the sources told PTI.PTI
Goa chief minister Manohar Parrikar passes away
Goa Chief Minister and ex Defence Minister Manohar Parrikar (63) passed away on Saturday after a year-long battle with pancreatic cancer. Parrikar has been suffering for the last one year and has undergone treatment in the US as well as at AIIMS, Delhi, and a private hospital in Mumbai.He was shifted to AIIMS in New Delhi on Sept. 15 last year and returned to Goa on Oct. 14. Since then, he had been recuperating at his private residence at Dona Paula. Parrikar resigned as Defence Minister in 2017 for his third stint as Goa CM after BJP, which failed to cross the half-way mark in the Goa assembly polls, enlisted the support of GFP, MGP and 2 Independents, to reach the magic figure of 21 in the 40-member house. indianexpress
Ayodhya case: Seer wants Sri Sri removed from mediation panel, approaches SC
Spiritual leader Adhokshajanand Deo Tirtha Maharaj has called for replacing Sri Sri Ravi Shankar from the panel formed by the Supreme Court to mediate Ram Janmabhoomi-Babri Masjid land dispute. “While I appreciate the gesture of the apex court for finding out an amicable settlement by forming a mediation panel, I urge them to replace Sri Sri since he had earlier failed in his mission of a compromise formula. And, therefore, he might not be taken seriously by both the sides,” Maharaj said.The seer clarified that he did not have any grudge against Sri Sri. However, he added, since Sri Sri’s compromise formula was not acceptable to both the groups, an eminent person, who has patience, might bring fruitful result. “Modi should have brought a bill for the construction of a Ram temple because people had given a huge mandate in Uttar Pradesh and at the Centre. The atmosphere was also conducive, but now… the time has passed,” the seer said.PTI
Cracks in BJP’s northeast grand alliance days after announcement
Guwahati:Days after its announcement, cracks have developed in BJP’s grand alliance with parties in northeast for the coming Lok Sabha polls after several smaller players decided to field own candidates and refuted having any pre-poll tie-up.On Saturday, the Indigenous People’s Front of Tripura (IPFT), partner in BJP-led coalition government in Tripura, announced its own candidates for the 2 LS seats in the state after talks on seat sharing with BJP failed.“Since we are part of the govt in Tripura and also a partner of North East Democratic Alliance (NEDA), we had asked BJP to give us one seat in the state. But they refused. Hence, we have decided to field our own candidates,”NC Debbarma president of IPFT said.While Debbarma, who is the revenue minister in the Biplab Deb-led govt, would contest from the Tripura East seat, Suklacharan Noatia would be the IPFT candidate from Tripura West.HT
Bihar NDA Announces Seat Allocation; Gaya and Siwan Among 4 Seats Vacated by BJP for JD(U)
Patna: 3 NDA constituents in Bihar — BJP, JD(U) and LJP — on Sunday announced the constituency-wise deal for 40 Lok Sabha seats in the state. As per the announcement made at a joint press conference of the three parties here, BJP and JD(U) will contest 17 seats each and the LJP in 6. An agreement on seat-sharing had already been reached between 3 parties. Union minister Ram Vilas Paswan's LJP will contesting the Lok Sabha seats of Hajipur, Samastipur, Jamui, Nawada, Khagaria and Vaishali.As per this deal, the BJP has vacated Valmikinagar, Jhanjharpur, Siwan and Gaya constituencies for JD(U),and Nawada for LJP.news18
Raj -led MNS won’t contest Lok Sabha elections
New Delhi :Raj Thackeray-led Maharashtra Navnirman Sena (MNS) on Sunday made it clear that the party would not contest the upcoming Lok Sabha elections. There were indications in the last few weeks that the NCP was keen on having Thackeray on board as part of a greater Opposition front against BJP-Sena combine despite objections from the Congress.indianexpress
Lok Sabha elections: NC’s Omar says open to alliance in J-K if Congress agrees seat sharing offer
Former Jammu and Kashmir chief minister and vice president of NC Omar Abdullah said on Sunday that his party was open to a pre-poll alliance with the Congress if the latter agreed to NC’s seat sharing formula for the upcoming Lok Sabha elections.Speaking to the media on the sidelines of a party function in Anantnag district, Abdullah said: “We have received an offer from the Congress, but we are very clear about taking forward any alliance plan only if our candidates are to contest all the Lok Sabha seats in Kashmir.”HT
Delhi BJP demands spl observers at mosques, AAP says rule should apply on RSS shakhas too
New Delhi:As days are closing in on the Lok Sabha elections, the Delhi BJP on Saturday shot off a letter to Chief Electoral Officer, requesting to appoint special observers at mosques to prevent any attempt to influence voters on “religious lines”.In a sharp attack at AAP Chief Arvind Kejriwal, BJP wrote in the letter, “We are bound to write you this complaint, due to repeated recent attempts to polarise voters on religious and caste lines by Kejriwal and his other party members.” The letter further alleged: “Kejriwal in the recent past has been a centre of many controversies due to the hate speeches he has been giving to incite the sentiments of the Minorities.”Responding to BJP’s allegations and its demand for the appointment of special observers to prevent ‘hate speech’, AAP said it will welcome all steps by poll watchdog to prevent any communal discord. “However, observers should be attached with RSS shakhas as well,” it added.indian express
J&K: Shah Faesal launches political outfit, says he admires Imran Khan, Kejriwal
New Delhi:Nearly 2 months after announcing his resignation from the IAS, Shah Faesal on Sunday launched his political outfit ‘J&K People’s Movement’ at an event in Srinagar. Former JNU Students’ Union vice-president Shehla Rashid also joined Faesal’s outfit. While announcing the launch of his outfit, Faesal said he admired Pakistan Prime Minister Imran Khan and Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal for their political struggle.In its vision document, the outfit said it would pursue a “peaceful resolution of the Kashmir problem as per the will and aspirations of the people of J&K”. With a political row going on over Article 35A, the outfit underlined that it would seek to protect the special status granted to the state under the Constitution.“The party shall work for upliftment of ethnic, linguistic and religious minorities in the State and work for the peaceful and dignified return of Kashmiri Pandits to their homeland,”29-point document further mentioned.Amid speculation that he would be joining the National Conference, Faesal has been travelling through different districts in the Valley, meeting and bringing “like-minded individuals” into the fold. indian express
As a return of favour, Congress to leave 7 seats for BSP-SP-RLD alliance in UP
New Delhi:In a return of favour ahead of upcoming Lok Sabha elections, Congress on Sunday announced that they would leave seven seats for BSP-SP-RLD alliance in UP. Among 7 seats, three- Mainpuri, Kannauj, Firozabad have been announced for SP, whereas BSP will be contesting from one seat and two seats are for RLD leaders Ajit Singh and Jayant, said Uttar Pradesh Congress chief Raj Babbar.The remaining one seat could be Azamgarh. However, it is unconfirmed which party will get it.Babbar added that two seats would also be given to Apna Dal- Gonda and Pilibhit with which they sealed a pact on Saturday. “We are leaving seven seats vacant for SP, BSP and RLD. These include Mainpuri, Kannauj, Firozabad and whatever seats Mayawati ji and RLD’s Jayant ji and Ajit Singh contest from. We will also give two seats to Apna Dal – Gonda & Pilibhit,” said Babbar. Alliance between Congress and Apna Dal was finalised on Saturday. indianexpress
47 Muslim-Yadav-Dalit seats will decide BJP's fate in UP: India Today analysis
By joining hands, arch rivals BSP and Samajwadi Party (SP) have set themselves up for a mouth-watering contest against the ruling BJP.As per C-Voter, a well-known survey agency in India and overseas, 47 out of 80 parliamentary seats in Uttar Pradesh could prove to be the bane of BJP in the elections. In these 47 constituencies, Muslim-Yadav-Dalit (MYD) population is higher than 50 per cent. C-Voter data suggests that every parliamentary constituency (PC) in UP has more than 40 per cent MYD population.BSP and SP decided to contest on 38 and 37 seats respectively, leaving three seats for their smaller partner, RLD. Trio have agreed to not field any candidate from the Congress family bastions of Amethi and Rae Bareli.The success of BSP-SP combine will squarely depend on the caste arithmetic their coming together brings to the table. Or so does C-Voter data says. One of the major reasons for the SP-BSP alliance is Muslim-Yadav-Dalit (MYD) combination. According to 2011 Census in UP, Muslims constitute 19 per cent of the total population, while Dalits constitute 21 per cent. While the census does not give caste-wise data for OBCs and General categories, many analysts have counted the Yadav population in UP to stand at around 9-10 per cent. The total population of all 3 (MYD) communities constitutes nearly half of total population of UP.BSP claims Dalit support, while SP has had a strong Yadav and Muslim support base for the past 2 decades. This makes the erstwhile foes confident of crashing Modi juggernaut. C-Voter did a parliamentary seat-wise calculation of MYD numbers.Their data paints a challenging picture for the BJP.As per C-Voter, every parliamentary constituency (PC) in UP has more than 40% MYD population. Indiatoday
With Urdu Gate gone Azam Khan threatens to boycott Lok Sabha elections
Rampur: Samajwadi Party (SP) leader Azam Khan has threatened to boycott 2019 Lok Sabha elections over demolition of his illegally-constructed ‘Urdu Gate’ and shifting of Unani Hospital inside Madrassa-I-Aliya building, which was occupied by his Trust.“The state govt and local officials are responsible for the volatile situation in Rampur. They have created a J&K-like situation here. So, how can we expect impartial election in this kind of an environment?” Khan asked. Rampur DM commented, “We have not initiated action against any institution. All these allegations levelled by Azam Khan against authorities are false and baseless. Gate was demolished because it was illegally constructed. Possession of govt-owned guest house and the power house station was taken because it is a public property. And to preserve the centuries-old Islamic culture, the Unani Hospital was again brought into the building of Madrassa-I-Aliya.”TOI
India didn’t offer new proof to support blacklisting of Masood Azhar: Global Times
Beijing:In a bid to counter what it calls “anti-China sentiment” in India following China’s ‘technical hold’ in the UNSC, the state-run Global Times said India did not present “new proof” to support the blacklisting of Jaish-e-Mohammed leader Masood Azhar.In a short video, Global Times editor-in-chief Hu Xijin,said Indians “should notice that China just put a technical hold on the move. It did not veto it. In fact, based on what I know India didn’t present new proof to support blacklisting Azhar.” He said Indian nationalists “making a fuss of the issue reflects their shallowness. China is India’s friend not a hostage of Indian nationalism.”Citing a Chinese scholar on South Asian Affairs, Hu said he was told that New Delhi didn’t expect the proposal to be approved this time. “By forcing China to put a technical hold on India’s bid, Indian government aims to instigate domestic public opinion, direct pressure away from New Delhi and win more support for BJP in the upcoming general election,” he said. Speaking specifically on UN 1267 Sanctions Committee, which is “tasked with sanctioning Al Qaeda and ISIS”,Hu said that to blacklist an outfit and individual under this committee, “connections with those terror organisations have to be proved”. “India should provide specific material to prove the connection between Azhar and these outfits. India’s nationalists making a fuss of the issue reflects their shallowness. China is India’s friend not a hostage of Indian nationalism,” he said. The Global Times also ran a news piece, ‘China needs solid proof in Azhar case’, citing “3 experts” on why China decided to put a ‘technical hold’ and needed more time to examine the request. Liu Zongyi, a senior fellow at the Shanghai Institute for International Studies, who is quoted in the piece, said “China’s technical strategy is to question India’s definition of terrorism, which lends itself to deep divisions. There is a lack of consensus to proscribe Azhar under the 1267 Al Qaeda Sanctions Committee of UNSC.”Liu also said that “JeM has been included in the Security Council terrorism sanctions list. It does not target civilians but the Indian military and police. India is forcing China to support its bid. But China will not yield to pressure.” He added: “New Delhi always links a small issue to the larger canvas of China-India bilateral ties,and asks for favours without paying back.”Another commentator, Long Xingchun, a non-resident fellow of Chongyang Institute for Financial Studies at Renmin University, said that if India cannot offer “new evidence”, China “will not change its position”. “It is not known if India has consulted China and Pakistan beforehand. If it wants China to back its claims, it should hand out solid evidence against Azhar as China has always requested.But if there is no new evidence, India should anticipate China’s refusal.”indian express
Pakistan seeks UN probe into disclosure of Hafiz Saeed’s info to Indian news agency PTI
New Delhi :Irked over disclosure of information regarding the UN’s rejection of Jamaat-ud-Dawa chief Hafiz Saeed’s plea for removal of his name from the list of global terrorists earlier this month, Pakistan has written to the global body urging the setting up of an enquiry to find out how India’s news agency, PTI, got information. This is one of the rare occasions when a country has written to the UN seeking a probe into publishing of happenings at the world body.“In a letter to the UN last week, Pakistan’s Ambassador to the UN Maleeha Lodhi urged the setting up of an enquiry to find out which of the 15 members of the Committee had provided the information to India’s ‘official news agency’ about UN’s rejection of Hafiz Saeed’s plea for removal of his name from the list of global terrorists earlier this month,” a government source said here.On March 7, PTI broke the story about UN rejecting an appeal by Saeed to remove his name from a list of banned terrorists. UN decision had come after India provided detailed evidence, including “highly confidential information”, related to JuD leader’s activities,sources had told PTI.PTI
India, Pakistan Threatened to Unleash Missiles at Each Other, Pacified After US Intervention: Reuters
New Delhi: Sparring between India and Pakistan last month threatened to spiral out of control and only interventions by US officials,including NSA John Bolton, headed off a bigger conflict, five sources familiar with the events said.At one stage, India threatened to fire at least 6 missiles at Pakistan, and Islamabad said it would respond with its own missile strikes "3 times over", according to Western diplomats and govt sources in New Delhi, Islamabad and Washington.The way in which tensions suddenly worsened and threatened to trigger a war between the nuclear-armed nations shows how Kashmir remains one of world's most dangerous flashpoints. Exchanges did not get beyond threats, and there was no suggestion that the missiles involved were anything more than conventional weapons, but they created consternation in official circles in Washington,Beijing and London.
As India-Pakistan tensions mounted, Navy deployed aircraft carrier and nuclear submarines
New Delhi;As tensions between India and Pakistan escalated in Feb, India put its key Naval assets including aircraft carrier INS Vikramaditya and nuclear submarines on operational alert, the Navy said in a statement on March 17.“The major combat units of the Indian Navy including the Carrier Battle Group with INS Vikramaditya, nuclear submarines and scores of other ships, submarines and aircraft swiftly transited from exercise to operational deployment mode as tensions between India and Pakistan escalated,” the statement said.thehindu

Pak to be part of India after 2025: RSS leader Indresh
Mumbai:Senior RSS leader Indresh Kumar has said Pakistan would be a part of India after 2025. Addressing a gathering here on the subject of ‘Kashmir-Way Ahead’, the Sangh national executive member said, “You can take it down that 5-7 years later, you will get a chance to buy a house or do business somewhere in Karachi, Lahore, Rawalpindi and Sialkot.”Kumar added,“There was no Pakistan before 1947. People say it was a part of Hindustan before 1945. It will again be a part of Hindustan after 2025.”Hoping for an “Akhand Bharat” where borders were like EU, Kumar implied that Delhi had ensured that Bangladesh had a govt favourable to it.“Indian govt has taken a tough line on Kashmir issue for the first time. This is because the Army acts on political willpower, and now, the political willpower has changed. So, we have dreams of settling in Lahore and not needing permission from China to go to Mansarovar. We have ensured a government in Dhaka of our liking…A Bharatiya Union of Akhand Bharat on the lines of EU can take shape,” RSS leader said. Claiming that Opposition leaders were themselves surprised about the stand taken by their parties post-Pulwama attack, Kumar called for laws against “traitors” so that there is “no Naseeruddin,Hamid Ansari or Sidhu”.indian express
Post-Pulwama: India ready to let another country verify terror apparatus in Pakistan
For the first time India is said to be open to third-party and international verification of terror infrastructure in Pakistan, even as it fears the action taken by Islamabad against terror groups in the past few weeks has been cosmetic. Sources in the govt said many countries with excellent credentials could verify the facts of India’s dossier on the presence of terror camps inside Pakistan. This is important, sources said, as India cannot visit and verify this itself.Sources said India has shared key details such as coordinates of the terror groups operating from Pakistan soil with Islamabad, which can be verified by a third country. Pakistan continues to deny the presence of terror infrastructure in its territory, and has claimed to have cracked down on some of these outfits. Sources said that this is in line with India’s demand that Islamabad’s action against terrorists, groups, their proxies and the infrastructure should be “credible”,“verifiable”and “sustained”.However, internationally, there are no clear precedents for verification of dismantling of terror infrastructure, unlike that for nuclear programmes, which is done by International Atomic Energy Agency. indianexpress
India’s Pak concern now: narrow Kartarpur focus, Khalistan meet
https://indianexpress.com/article/india/indias-pak-concern-now-narrow-kartarpur-focus-khalistan-meet-5630108/                                          
New Delhi:Two days after differences emerged between India and Pakistan over the proposed Kartarpur corridor, New Delhi said that Islamabad’s perceived generosity is not matched with its approach during the bilateral talks.Sources said that while Pakistan PM Imran Khan’s initial statements about the Kartarpur corridor were very generous and an open-ended offer, when its team came for the discussions, they have a very “narrow” and “limited focus” on the project.Sources said that India was also concerned about plans by some Sikh groups in US, Canada and Australia to organise a convention in Pakistan to draw support for “referendum 2020” under which they are seeking support for a separate Khalistan. They said New Delhi is conveying to the countries, where pro-Khalistani activities are taking place, that talking about separatism in another country will be tantamount to interference in internal matters of India. They said India is of the view that the noise being made by a small group of people does not represent the views of the Sikh community and that people agitating for the referendum are not citizens of India.Pakistan govt sources have said,“India is in no position to object…Every country has the right to decide how a religious corridor within its territory would operate and we take no dictations…”Both sides will meet again on April 2 at Wagah on the Pakistani side. indian express
‘Anti-India terror groups won’t be allowed to operate in Afghanistan’
New Delhi:US special envoy for Afghanistan reconciliation,Zalmay Khalilzad has conveyed to Foreign Secretary Vijay Gokhale that anti-India terrorist groups will not be allowed to operate in Afghanistan, and this has been part of US-Taliban conversation.Gokhale, who met Khalilzad this week during his trip to US, got a briefing on the state of play in the negotiations between US and Taliban, which was held in Doha.When Khalilzad told Gokhale that among the issues discussed with the Taliban, there has been an assurance that Afghanistan’s territory will not be used for terrorist activities, the foreign secretary asked him whether this included “anti-India” groups as well. Khalilzad’s answer was in the affirmative, sources said. Gokhale is also learnt to have conveyed to Khalilzad, an Afghan-born US diplomat, that India does not want an “interim arrangement”, and wants an elected political structure in place in Kabul. Delhi has been pushing for elections on time in Afghanistan.After what he called a “marathon round of talks” with the Taliban in Doha, Khalilzad had said the conditions for peace have improved. “It’s clear all sides want to end the war. Despite ups and downs, we kept things on track and made real strides,”he tweeted.“Peace requires agreement on four issues: counter-terrorism assurances, troop withdrawal, intra-Afghan dialogue, and a comprehensive ceasefire.In Jan.talks,we ‘agreed in principle’ on these 4 elements. We’re now ‘agreed in draft’ on the first two,” he said.indianexpress
Geelani concerned over Ratnipora arrests, PSA on political, religious leaders
Srinagar:Hurriyat Conference (G) Syed Ali Geelani today alleged that New Delhi was using its agencies and armed forces as an aggressive and repressive measure against peaceful and unarmed civilians including pro-freedom leaders and activists in J&K. “We express deep concern over the unabated arrests and detention of 14 civilians of Ratnipora, Pulwama, slapping PSA on Mushtaq Ahmad Veeri and Jamaat-e-Islami activists,” Geelani said, in a statement.“These actions can’t in anyway deter the people from supporting the ongoing movement. For, coercive measures, killings, detentions and suppressions will yield nothing, instead these will lead to devastation,” he said.he said, “Authorities are hell bent to curb and strangulate the genuine aspirations and political voice for right to self-determination  Purely a political and peaceful movement as recognized in UN charter is being suppressed with muscular policy and by resorting to military might.”greater kashmir
Ex-SC judge Ghose set to be India’s first Lokpal
New Delhi:Retired Supreme Court judge Pinaki Chandra Ghose is set to become India’s first Lokpal, an anti-corruption ombudsman. Selection Committee for Lokpal, comprising Prime Minister Narendra Modi, CJI Ranjan Gogoi, Lok Sabha Speaker Sumitra Mahajan and eminent jurist Mukul Rohatgi reportedly finalised the name during a meeting on Friday, IANS reported.Justice Ghose retired from the SC in May 2017 and has been serving as a member of the NHRC since then.Leader of Opposition in Lok Sabha and Congress member Mallikarjun Kharge, who is part of the committee, did not attend the meeting. Kharge had refused to attend the meeting of the Lokpal selection committee as a “special invitee” as the category does not grant Kharge any rights of participation in the selection process.In a letter to PM Modi, Kharge wrote that the government had not tried to amend the Lokpal Act to include the leader of the single largest Opposition party as a member of the selection committee, and “nothing stops the government from appointing a Lokpal” even if a leader of Opposition is not there, he said. He reminded Modi that he had objected to being invited as a special invitee at least on six previous occasions.indian express
Not getting salary, CBI’s AK Bassi, who probed Rakesh Asthana, tells Supreme Court
DSP of CBI, AK Bassi, told the apex court through his lawyer that he has not been receiving his salary from the department after he refused to take on his new posting in Port Blair.Senior advocate Rajeev Dhawan told a bench of the Supreme Court led by CJI Ranjan Gogoi that Bassi has not received his salary since October after his transfer orders were issued and he did not report to the new post. The counsel reported the matter to court while seeking an early hearing of Bassi’s petition questioning his transfer.The bench adjourned the matter for 3 weeks after solicitor general Tushar Mehta asked for time on behalf of the department of personnel and training to submit a response.Mehta initially said Bassi could file a representation before the new CBI director, to which Dhawan replied: “CBI had on the last hearing sought time to file its response. Let them file one.”HT
Muzaffarnagar riots case: Police arrests man who shot key witness dead
Muzaffarnagar: UP police has managed to crack the murder of the key witness.Police arrested the accused from Khatauli. UP police arrested the accused, Vasu and confiscated the murder weapons as well. The man was accused of murdering a key witness of the Muzaffarnagar riots. The brothers of the deceased had been murdered in the riots and he was the sole eye witness of the same.The police arrested the accused along with 3 others who might have had a significant role to play in the murder. Reportedly, the accused has other murder cases to his name and was even arrested initially. The accused met with his allies in jail. The accused continued pressurizing the accused, asking him to take the case back. Days before the court hearing, the accused shot the victim with the help of his allies. The accused was accompanied by 3 others.Police recovered the pistol and the motorcycle that the accused had used while committing the crime. timesnownews
Suleman Usman Bakery massacre case: Conduct trial on regular basis, says Court
Mumbai:Sessions court hearing the case against 7 policemen accused of killing 9 Muslims at Suleman Usman Bakery during the 1993 communal riots in Mumbai has directed that the trial be conducted on a regular basis.On Saturday, court expressed displeasure at Pydhonie police officials as they failed to comply with its previous orders to submit certain documents, which would be required during the trial. It directed officials to co-operate with the probe, so that the matter can be conducted regularly.“Considering that the present matter is quite old and number of witnesses are to be examined, it is desirable to fix some programme for recording evidence,” the court said, scheduling the case to be heard on three days in a row next month.The prosecution also submitted a list of witnesses to the defence, as directed by court earlier. indianexpress
Custodial Killing of 2 Muslims: Ex-Bureaucrats Urge Bihar CM for Stern Action Against Officials
In an attempt to create pressure on the Nitish Kumar-led Bihar Govt a group of former IAS, IPS, and IRS officers have written a letter to CM Kumar demanding immediate stern action to be taken against police officials responsible for the gruesome custodial death of two Muslim youths in Bihar’s Sitamarhi district.On March 6, two youth from Ramidha village were detained in connection with a theft and murder case. Both Gufran Alam 30 and Taslim Ansari 32 had been accused of stealing a motorcycle and killing its owner Rakesh Jha. According to Alam’s father Munnavar Ali, jeeps from Chanakya Police Station had arrived to arrest boys on March 6.Following the arrest, the families have alleged that the boys had been physically tortured in police custody. The last time that the family talked to Gufran, he could barely talk and had informed his parent that the police had broken his legs.caravandaily
Gujarat: Patidar leader Reshma Patel quits BJP, calls it ‘marketing company’
Accusing BJP of running a “marketing company” to promote “hollow schemes,” Patidar quota stir leader Reshma Patel tendered her resignation to saffron party and announced to contest the upcoming elections to Porbandar Lok Sabha seat and Manavadar Assembly seat as an Independent if she is not offered any ticket from mainstream parties. Indianexpress
NDA Allies, Sushma Swaraj Give Modi’s #MainBhiChowkidar Campaign a Skip
New Delhi: Almost all NDA alliance partners of BJP have given PM Narendra Modi’s #MainBhiChowkidar hashtag campaign a skip.Unlike most BJP leaders and union ministers, they have not joined his campaign by prefixing their names on Twitter handles with word “Chowkidar”. At least one prominent Cabinet colleague of Modi – Sushma Swaraj – had also refrained from jumping onto the bandwagon, at least until Sunday evening. Rajnath Singh signed on well after most changed their handles. BJP president Amit Shah and railways minister Piyush Goyal were early adopters.General perception is that Modi is trying to counter Congress president Rahul Gandhi’s attack against him on corruption charges – especially in the wake of the Rafale deal and flight of multiple Indian loan defaulters during Modi’s rule. Gandhi had been gunning for Modi with his own “chowkidar chor hai” slogan and campaign for a while. On Saturday itself, Rahul Gandhi reacted to Modi’s announcement by asking if PM was feeling a bit “defensive”. thewire
As Narendra Modi thanks ‘Niirav Modi’ on Twitter, social media breaks into laughter
"Chowkidar, Where's My Son?" Najeeb Ahmed's Mother Takes On PM Modi Campaign
New Delhi: PM Narendra Modi's latest campaign -- "Main Bhi Chowkidar"-- may have taken social media by storm, but there are a few who claim that he has fallen short in playing the watchman for all sections of the society. Among them is Fatima Nafees, whose son-- Najeeb Ahmed -- disappeared under mysterious circumstances from his hostel room in JNU 3 years ago."If you are a chowkidar, then tell me where is my son Najeeb? Why ABVP goons not arrested? Why three top agencies failed to find my son?" she questioned in a tweet, along with a hashtag that read #WhereIsNajeeb. Although Ms Nafees believes that members of BJP-affiliated ABVP were responsible for her son's disappearance, the CBI claimed otherwise. In its closure report filed before the Delhi High Court on Oct.15, 2018, JNU told the court that it has investigated the case from all angles but found no trace of foul play.Ms Nafees maintains that CBI wrapped up the case due to "political compulsions". ndtv
WORLD
Israeli court orders new closure for Al-Aqsa prayer space
An Israeli court on Sunday ordered authorities to once again close a holy site within Jerusalem's Al-Aqsa mosque compound that that was only recently reopened for Muslim prayer.The religious authority that manages the site, the Waqf, reopened the Bab al-Rahmeh (Mercy Gate) prayer space in February despite opposition from Israeli authorities, who first closed the site to Muslims during the Second Intifada, or uprising, the 2000-2005 outbreak of heightened Israeli-Palestinian conflict.Israeli police detained several senior Jerusalem religious officials and banned them from entering the mosque's compound. Jerusalem magistrates court said Bab al-Rahmeh, which is part of the larger, sealed Bab al-Dhahabi (Golden Gate), on the eastern edge of the Al-Aqsa compound, should be closed while the case continues.The Jordan-sponsored Waqf was given 60 days to respond to the court case involving the building. Israeli police have called for the building to be closed."Israel seeks to turn Bab al-Rahmeh into an abandoned area with a view to facilitating the annexation process," Palestinian Authority Minister of Jerusalem Affairs and newly minted member of the Waqf Adnan al-Husseini said in Feb.middleeasteye
Israeli court orders closure of Aqsa’s Rahma gate
Israel arrests 2 Aqsa guards amid mounting tension
Israeli police detained two guards at East Jerusalem’s Al-Aqsa Mosque compound on Sunday, according to Palestinian authorities.  One guard was arrested as he went out from Al-Majlis gate, one of the Al-Aqsa mosque gates, Jerusalem's Religious Endowments Authority, a Jordan-run agency mandated with overseeing the city's Muslim and Christian holy sites, said in a brief statement.  It said the guard has been taken into custody for interrogation.  Another guard was arrested while entering the holy site, according to the authority's spokesman Firas al-Dibs.  Anadolu Agency
Christchurch terror attack: 7 Indians killed in New Zealand Mosque attacks, death toll rises to 50
7 people including a woman were among the 50 people killed in the Christchurch terror attacks when a white supremacist opened fire at two mosques full of worshipers attending Friday prayers in New Zealand. The mass shooting took place in the Al Noor Mosque in central Christchurch and the Linwood Mosque in the city's outer suburb on Friday. Indian High Commission in New Zealand on its Twitter account confirmed the names of the five people among those who lost their lives in what appeared to be the worst attack on Muslims in a western country. The Twitter post stated, "With a very heavy heart we share the news of loss of precious lives of our 5 nationals in ghastly terror attack in #Christchurch -Mr. Maheboob Khokhar, Mr. Ramiz Vora, Mr. Asif Vora, Ms Ansi Alibava, Mr. Ozair Kadir". abplive
New Zealand PM Says Got "Manifesto" From Gunman "9 Minutes Before Attack"
New Zealand PM Jacinda Ardern said her office received a "manifesto" from the gunman minutes before Friday's attack."I was one of more than 30 recipients of the manifesto that was mailed out 9 minutes before the attack took place," Ms Ardern said. "It did not include a location, it did not include specific details," she said, adding that it was sent to security services within 2 minutes of receipt. Ms Ardern said she had read "elements" of the lengthy, meandering and conspiracy-filled far-right "manifesto". "The fact that there was an ideological manifesto with extreme views attached to this attack, of course, that is deeply disturbing,"she said.New Zealanders flocked to memorial sites to lay flowers and mourn victims of twin mosque massacres Sunday, as testimony emerged of epic heroism and harrowing suffering in gun attack that has claimed 50 lives.AFP
Mosque massacre: Rashid, Hero who tried to wrestle gun from shooter, dead
Naeem Rashid has died after he tried to wrestle the gun from the Christchurch shooter, as it's revealed his son was also a victim of the terror attack.Rashid tried to overpower the gunman - Brenton Tarrant - during a mass shooting at Masjid Al Noor mosque in Christchurch on Friday afternoon.Hero was left badly wounded after he launched himself at the shooter in a bid to protect fellow worshippers.He was rushed to hospital following the attack, but died late on Friday night.Rashid was from Abbottabad, a city in Pakistan, where he worked with a private bank before he moved to Christchurch to work as a teacher.In a tragic twist, Rashid's 21-year-old son, Talha, also lost his life during shooting.  Dr Khursheed Alam confirmed to ARY News that his brother Rashid and nephew Talha had been killed in the attack. Pakistan's High Commission in Wellington earlier confirmed that 4 Pakistani men were wounded and 5 others missing. daily mail
Pakistan to honour Christchurch mosque 'hero' Naeem Rashid with national award
A Pakistani man, who died trying to tackle New Zealand mosques attacker, will be honoured posthumously with a national award, PM Imran Khan has said.Naeem Rashid, 49, was among 9 Pakistanis killed in the attacks on two mosques in Christchurch. aljazeera
Mosque attack hero Abdul Aziz 'saved many more lives by grabbing terrorist's gun'
A story of true heroism is emerging from horrific terror attacks on innocent Muslims in New Zealand. Mosque worker Abdul Aziz risked his own life to challenge the gunman and try to snatch his weapon, according to attack survivor Syed Mazharuddin.He said up to 70 people were praying inside Linwood when gunshots were heard.“Just around the entrance door there were elderly people sitting there praying and he just started shooting at them“, Mazharuddin told Sky.He described seeing a woman shout “help”, before being shot in the face at point blank range.“At just that moment, there was one young guy who usually takes care of the mosque and helps with parking and other stuff, so (man) saw an opportunity and he pounced over to him and grabbed his gun.“Hero tried to chase and he couldn’t find the trigger in the gun… he ran behind him but there were people waiting for him in the car and he fled.”Aziz said: “He gets into his car and I just got the gun and threw it on his window like an arrow and blasted his window. “That’s why he got scared.”A number of onlookers told similar accounts of a young man creeping up behind shooter and “hold him until his gun dropped”.A second survivor, Faisal,said:“If that hadn’t happened, many more would have died and I wouldn’t be here now.”yahoo
Erdogan: New Zealand mosque attacks suspect targeted Turkey
Turkish President Tayyip Erdogan showed video footage at an election rally from the attack on two New Zealand mosques and said the suspected gunman had made threats against Turkish Muslims.Erdogan said the suspect had twice visited Turkey and warned Turks have no place in Europe. He said that Turkish authorities were investigating his visits and his contacts.He said the suspected attacker had said he wanted Turkish Muslims removed from Turkey's European territory.A senior Turkish security source said Tarrant entered Turkey twice in 2016 - for a week in March and for more than a month in Sept. Turkish authorities began investigating everything from hotel records to camera footage to try to ascertain the reason for his visits, source said.aljazeera
Christchurch terror attack: New Zealand futsal goalkeeper Atta Elayan among those killed
Taliban kill 22 Afghan forces in attack on checkpoints
Kabul:A overnight Taliban assault on checkpoints in northern Afghanistan killed 22 troops, after some 100 Afghan forces fled a similar assault in the country’s west last week and tried to cross into neighboring Turkmenistan, officials said Sunday.The 2 battles mark the latest setbacks for the country’s battered security forces, who come under daily attack by the insurgents and have suffered staggering casualties in recent years. The attacks have continued even as Taliban have been holding direct negotiations with US aimed at ending 17-year war.Mohammad Tahir Rahmani, head of provincial council in the northern Faryab province, said the insurgents launched the attack late Saturday against checkpoints manned by police and pro-govt militias, setting off a fierce gunbattle that lasted into Sunday morning.Army sent in reinforcements, who were among those killed.He said another 20 Afghan forces were wounded in the attack.Last week, around 100 Afghan soldiers in the western Badghis province fled their posts and tried to cross border during a weeklong battle with Taliban, officials said Sunday. Mohammad Naser Nazari, a provincial council member in Badghis, said the soldiers weren’t allowed to cross the border and their fate remains unknown.Taliban have posted pictures of captured soldiers on social media.Jamshid Shahabi, provincial governor’s spokesman, said 16 soldiers have been killed and 20 wounded during the ongoing battle in the Bala Murghab district, in which the military carried out airstrikes and dispatched reinforcements. He said a number of soldiers tried to flee, without providing an exact figure.Nazari provided a higher toll, saying 50 soldiers were killed and around 100 others were missing. He said Bala Murghab is almost completely controlled by Taliban, with Afghan forces confined to district HQRS.AP
Rights group calls for urgent treatment of Muslim Brotherhood leader imprisoned in Egypt
Al-Shehab Centre for Human Rights has called for urgent treatment of Muslim Brotherhood leader Mohammad Al-Beltaji, who is imprisoned in the notorious Al-Aqrab Prison in Egypt.In a statement, Al-Shehab said that on 10 Jan. Al-Beltaji started suffering symptoms of diseases that were the result of “intentional” medical negligence inside his prison. Some of the illnesses are psychological, Arab 21 reported.On 3 March, Al-Beltaji appeared in court with the effects of the diseases very clear on his body. He told the court that he had not received proper medical care since the start of his illnesses. The rights group condemned “medical negligence and the violations practiced against Al-Beltaji and the other prisoners in Al-Aqrab Prison,” blaming the prison administration and the Egyptian prison authorities for any harm caused to him.Al-Shehab called for Egyptian authorities to give those being held in Egyptian prisons their right to human treatment and medical care, calling for Public Prosecution to question those responsible for torture inside prisons. middleeastmonitor
Egypt's Court of Cassation upholds verdict putting 169 Brotherhood members on terror list
Court of Cassation upheld a verdict that placed 169 convicted members of the Muslim Brotherhood on the country's terror list for 5 years. 169 had appealed May 2018 decision by a criminal court. Saturday's decision is final and cannot be appealed. 169 people were convicted of conspiring to infiltrate state institutions with the aim of overthrowing the regime by force and spreading chaos in the country. Egypt's terror list contains over 1500 names, including top Brotherhood leaders.Ahram
Yemen’s Houthis say ready to strike Saudi, UAE if coalition moves on Hudaydah
Yemen’s Houthi said they were building their ballistic capabilities and their forces stand ready to strike Riyadh and Abu Dhabi if implementation of a UN peace deal in the port city of Hudaydah is breached, reported Reuters. A spokesman of the Houthi forces said the group has a “stockpile of missiles” and the group can hit Saudi Arabia and UAE, 2 Gulf states leading the coalition backing the government of Abd-Rabbu Mansour Hadi, whenever the military command decides on the timing.“We have intelligence asserting that the enemy is preparing for an escalation in Hudaydah and we are following their movements closely. Our forces stand ready for any requested and adequate measure,” colonel Yahya Sarea, a spokesman of the Houthi forces, said.MEMO
Algeria: Ruling party abandons Bouteflika amid protests
Algeria’s ruling party has abandoned support for President Abdelaziz Bouteflika after weeks of protests against his decision to stand for a fifth term in the upcoming election.Many indicators have shown that Algeria’s ruling party, FLN, is giving up support for Bouteflika after thousands protested in the capital Algiers calling for his departure. The protests have continued despite his announcement earlier this week that he would not run for a new term.Bouteflika has quickly begun to lose allies in the past few days after he returned from treatment in Switzerland. Ruling party’s senior leader, Hussein Khaldoun, told Al-Nahar TV last night that Bouteflika “is history now”.Khaldoun’s statement was a new blow to Bouteflika, who was hoping to ease tensions in Algeria by pledging to change the political arena he has dominated for decades.MEMO
US Navy veteran sentenced to 10 yrs in Iranian prison: Lawyer
A US Navy veteran has been sentenced to 10 years in an Iranian prison for insulting the country's leader and publishing private information publicly, according to his family's lawyer. Michael White was arrested in July last year while reportedly visiting an Iranian woman in the city of Mashad. Iran confirmed the arrest in Jan.On Saturday, lawyer Mark Zaid said White was sentenced to two years for insulting Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei and 10 years for posting a picture.The two sentences - handed out in separate hearings on March 6 and March 9 - will apparently be served concurrently. Iranian authorities have not released details of the charges and official Iranian media has not reported on the case.aljazeera
Indonesia: 50 killed and several injured in flash floods in eastern Papua province
At least 50 persons were killed and dozens seriously injured after flash floods hit Indonesia’s easternmost province of Papua, Reuters quoted authorities as saying on Sunday. In a statement, country’s national disaster agency spokesperson Sutopo Purwo Nugroho said a search operation was underway to locate the missing persons and the toll could rise.scroll.in
Flash: views & NEWS
Islamophobia Industry and Christchurch Terror Attack: A Call to Dismantle Hate:MOHAN J.DUTTA
Be watchful when nationalism merges with hatred: Rajmohan Gandhi
In Bihar, Muslims are facing increasing hostility and hatred after 2017:Natasha Badhwar, Harsh Mander, Navsharan Singh, John Dayal
Listen up, bureaucrats, time for bhakti is over:HarishKhare
Tales From Karwan-E-Mohabbat in Mewat: Voices Unheard and a Long Wait for Justice
Men, machinery and mind of RSS behind BJP's poll power punch:IANS
80-90% of Child Labourers in Telangana Belong to SC, ST Communities: Survey
Philippines hopes Islamist group 'neutralised' after de facto leader killed:Reuters

Compiled and edited by Anwarulhaq (Released at: 9:11 PM)

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