25 March 2019

25 March ND: Cross-check more votes on VVPATs, SC tells EC/ Assam: Muslim families evicted weeks before polls/ AIMPLB meets to discuss Ayodhya issue

NEWS DIGEST, Afternoon 
25 March 2019: 17 Rajab 1440:Vol: 11, No:159
Cross-check more votes on VVPATs, SC tells EC
New Delhi:The Supreme Court on Monday told the Election Commission to file an affidavit listing its stand on increasing the proportion of EVM votes to be verified with paper trail. But the judges also indicated that they felt Election Commission should increase percentage of votes randomly verified against VVPAT.“We would like you to increase,” observed a bench led by CJI Ranjan Gogoi that is hearing a petition by leaders of 21 political parties that want at least 50% of votes cast with voting machines to be matched and cross-checked with VVPATs slips. The Supreme Court also nudged the election body to be open to suggestions. The bench said no institution including the judiciary should insulate itself from suggestions or improvements.At present, Election Commission matches VVPAT slips for only one polling booth in each constituency.2019 Lok Sabha election would be the first where all voting machines would be attached with VVPAT machines but the poll body has not specified yet how many of these would be counted.HT
Supreme Court in favour of increasing random physical verification of VVPATs
Assam: Muslim families evicted weeks before polls
Hojai: After battling for life for 5 days at a hospital in Guwahati, the capital of the northeastern Indian state of Assam, Kulsuma Begum succumbed to her injuries on March 11.Her mother-in-law alleged police and paramilitary forces barged into her house to physically remove Kulsuma - who had given birth to a baby boy just 2 hours ago - during an eviction drive at Sarkebasti village in central Assam's Hojai district, about 150km east of Guwahati.Authorities in Karbi Anglong Autonomous Council (KAAC) forcibly evicted more than 600 Muslim families from their land in Hojai, saying the families, including Kulsuma's, had encroached upon government land."7 to 8 policemen entered the house and started ransacking it. I could take some stuff out. When I came back I saw Kulsuma was lying on the floor and couldn't move," Ramisa Khatun told Al Jazeera. "I took up the baby as I feared they might kill him," said Ramisa, 50. As Kulsuma was being ushered out of the house she collapsed, said Ramisa.22-year-old was rushed to Guwahati after a local hospital in Hojai referred her to Gauhati Hospital, where a doctor said she had "suffered shock".In one corner of the Guwahati hospital corridor, the newborn baby was sleeping next to Ramisa on a visibly dirty blanket. The baby has now been handed over to the family. Following public outrage, a FIR was filed against several KAAC officials as well as a local police officer. Tuliram Ronghang, chief executive member of the KAAC and leader of the ruling BJP in Assam, alleged that undocumented immigrants from Bangladesh had encroached upon land,which belonged to Karbi Anglong. However, the evictees refuted Ronghang's allegations, saying they are genuine Indian citizens. Some activists questioned the legality of the entire operation, saying Sarkebasti village fell under Hojai district and not under KAAC jurisdiction." Karbi Anglong district doesn't have any locus standi to evict the people here," Saidur Rahman, president of Hojai district committee of Krishak Mukti Sangram Samiti, a peasant movement, said.A letter by a top Hojai official to Assam's chief secretary corroborated their claims. Despite concerns of human rights violations and legal complications, Karbi Anglong administration still went ahead with its operation to uproot hundreds of families weeks before the general elections scheduled in April and May.A court in Guwahati finally put a stop on the evictions asking the administrations in Hojai and Karbi Anglong to settle the border dispute.Experts say that recurring ethnic strife and floods in Assam have resulted in the state having one of highest numbers of internally displaced persons, IDPs in the country. In 2015, Assam hosted an astounding 74.4% of all IDPs in the country. Assam has 362,450 landless families spread across 31 of its 33 districts, Forest Minister Pramila Rani Brahma told assembly. Muslim IDPs in Assam carry an additional risk of being stripped of their citizenship rights, according to Guwahati-based activist Hafiz Ahmed.aljazeera
Assam:600 Muslim families forcibly evicted in Hojai
AIMPLB meets to discuss Ayodhya issue
All India Muslim Personal Law Board (AIMPLB), on Sunday, held a closed door meeting of its working committee in Lucknow to deliberate on the Ayodhya issue. AIMPLB member Syed Qasim Rasool Ilyas said that around 70 per cent of AIMPL's working committee members attended the meeting. The meeting was also attended by representatives of the Sunni Central Waqf Board. Ilyas, however, refused to divulge what was discussed in the meeting. The SC on March 8 referred Ram Janmabhoomi-Babri Masjid land dispute case for mediation and appointed Justice (Retd) FMI Kallifulla as chairperson of panel of mediators. Meanwhile, VHP national spokesperson Vinod Bansal said mediation could not fetch any result in past. dnaindia
SC dismisses plea challenging constitutional validity ‘triple talaq’ ordinance
Supreme Court has dismissed a plea challenging the constitutional validity of an ordinance which makes the practice of instant triple talaq a punishable offence. A bench headed by CJI Ranjan Gogoi dismissed a plea of a Kerala-based outfit and said it will not like to interfere. Muslim Women (Protection of Rights on Marriage) Ordinance was first notified on September 19 last year, hours after the Union Cabinet had cleared it. The ordinance making the practice of instant triple talaq a punishable offence was issued for the third time in less than a year on Feb.21.newsonair
Missing in national job market: 2.8 crore rural women over the last six years
New Delhi:Over 5 crore rural women have left national job market since 2004-05.Female participation has fallen by 7% points since 2011-12, amounting to approximately 2.8 crore fewer women looking for jobs.The decline, according to Periodic Labour Force Survey (PLFS) 2017-2018 report by NSSO which the government has withheld, is more acute in the working age group of 15-59 years. In this bracket, the rural female participation rate fell from 49.4%in 2004-05 to 35.8 per cent in 2011-12 and further to 24.6 per cent in 2017-18. In effect, participation of rural women of working age has been halved since 2004-05 .“Higher participation in education is one answer to the puzzle but that cannot explain such a massive drop.One explanation is that fewer women are likely to remain in a shrinking job market where men have the upper hand. Part of it could also be the result of a cultural shift that makes the once-independent village woman a victim of growing social taboos against going out and working,” said an expert who did not want to be named.In the urban segment, though, female participation increased by 0.4 percentage points in the six years ending 2017-18, amounting to 12 lakh more job seekers. This bucks the trend as female participation in urban job market had fallen by 2.2% points between 2004-5 and 2011-12.indian express
CIC directs census body to file affidavit saying it has no information about OBC caste data
Central Information Commission has directed the country’s census body, Registrar General of India, to furnish an affidavit declaring that it does not collect data relating to the Other Backward Classes population of the country.The last caste-based census in the country had taken place in 1931 based on which VP Singh government had announced 27 per cent reservation for OBCs.Several groups have been demanding caste-based census to press for their demands of proportionate representation in government services. An RTI applicant had approached PMO seeking details about the Other Backward Classes population in the country. His application was transferred to the Registrar General of India, which conducts census in the country.Not getting satisfactory information, the applicant approached the Central Information Commission, the highest appellate body in RTI matters. The applicant submitted that the information pertaining to the details about the Other Backward Classes population has been denied to him on the grounds that it does not fall under the purview of Office of Registrar General of India.HT
We hope India, Pakistan will resolve issues through dialogue: China
Beijing:China on Monday reiterated its intent to remain engaged in easing tensions between India and Pakistan following last month’s Pulwama attack.In response to a question regarding the exchange of greetings between PM Narendra Modi and his Pakistani counterpart Imran Khan on the occasion of Pakistan’s National Day, Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesperson Geng Shuang said China welcomed “the goodwill sent out to each other by both India and Pakistani leaders.”thehindu
‘JeM Militant’ arrest: Sajjad Ahmad Khan was held more than a month ago, father says NIA lying
Srinagar:Denying NIA claims of Delhi Police arresting alleged JeM militant Sajjad Ahmad Khan from New Delhi on Thursday, his family says he was picked up more than a month ago.Khan’s father Ghulam Nabi Khan said his son had been arrested on Feb.16, with Delhi Police telling them he would be released in a few days. “They (NIA) are lying,” Khan told Indian Express. “He (Sajjad) was picked up by Special Cell of Delhi Police on Feb.16 from Delhi Gate.”Khan admitted that 2 of his sons Ishfaq and Showkat were militants and had died in encounters with security forces. “That doesn’t mean they will pick up my third son. Ahmad is innocent.”While the Delhi Police Special Cell refused to comment, it had reported on Feb.19 that it had detained 7 men from Pulwama in Kashmir for questioning on Feb.16 and “released them” after verifying their details.After NIA claimed Ahmad’s arrest on March 22, Special Cell confirmed to Indian Express that he was among 7 picked up then. Announcing Ahmad’s arrest, NIA said he was a JeM militant and had been first held by Delhi Police on March 21. It said 26-year-old resident of Handoora in Pulwama district had been arrested under UAPA and on charges of waging war against govt of India. In its statement, NIA also said Ahmad was “specially sent to Delhi to set up hideouts” in Delhi-NCR. “This was done to select specific targets and also to radicalise and recruit Muslim youths to further terror activities.” Denying this, Khan said Ahmad had been running a shawl business in Delhi and that, on coming to know of his son’s arrest, he had visited Delhi Police Special Cell at Lodhi Garden to meet him. 54-year-old farmer, who also works as a carpenter, said, “They admitted his arrest but didn’t show him to me.”Khan said Delhi Police kept assuring him that Ahmad would be released soon. “I was in Delhi for 25 days. Every day they told me to come the next day. Every day they told me he would be released the next day. When I told them I want to give him some clothes and money, they told me they will give it themselves to him and would later collect the money from me.”Khan also said that Ahmad was picked up along with 4-5 boys from different villages of Kashmir. “They were released a day later, but my son wasn’t.” indian express
Govt's New Policy is to Choke Democratic Space in Kashmir:Mehbooba Mufti
Srinagar: PDP president Mehbooba Mufti said choking the democratic space and punishing people collectively was a new policy adopted by the Centre to deal with Kashmir.The purpose behind the "repressive measures being taken in Jammu and Kashmir by BJP-led government is to show the electorate how tough the saffron party is against Kashmiris",Mufti claimed. "Choking democratic space and punishing people collectively is unfortunately a new policy adopted by the government of India to deal with Kashmir,"she said.PTI
‘If anyone abuses Pakistan, I will abuse them ten times’: NC leader Akbar Lone
Kupwara:National Conference (NC) leader Muhammad Akbar Lone has said that he will be abusing those who hurl abuses at Pakistan.“The other side of this is a Muslim country,it should remain prosperous and successful. Our friendship with them should intensify. India and Pakistan should have a friendship with each other and I am an admirer of this friendship. If anyone will abuse them once, I will abuse him ten times from here,” he said while addressing a public rally. Lone, who is also NC’s candidate from Kupwara parliamentary seat, raised pro-Pakistan slogans.ANI
Mob in Bangalore beats Kashmiri youth with rods
Bangalore:A 24-year-old Kashmiri student was allegedly beaten with iron rods by a group of youths at AECS Layout, near HAL, in southeast Bangalore on March 20. Deccan Herald reported that while 4 accused were arrested, they made bail the same day.The victim Absar Zahoor Dhar hails from Srinagar. Dhar models to fund his studies. He said that the accused men roaming free made him fearful.As per the report, Dhar was having coffee at Madouk Café when four or 5 people approached him. One of the men identified himself as Nithin and accused Dhar of eve-teasing. Dhar refuted the allegation, following which Nithin and his friends warned him and left the cafe.The next day, the accused dragged the victim out of an ice-cream parlour in AECS Layout and began assaulting him with iron rods. This time, the accused said he was riding his bike rashly.Dhar was rushed to a nearby hospital. He told Kashmir Walla he received 13 stitches on his hand, 6 on the face and five on the head.Dhar said over the phone that he had lived in Bangalore for 3 years, “and never such incident has happened with me.”He said that he still doesn’t know why exactly he was attacked.caravandaily
Jobless & A Dropout: Main Accused in Gurugram’s Mob Attack
A heated argument over an alleged cricket game could have remained just that. But 19-year-old Mahesh Kumar, the main accused in the Gurugram violence, slipped into a fit of rage. He headed to his village and returned with reinforcements to vandalise the home of Sajid Siddiqui. While he was the first to be arrested on 22 March, a day after the incident, police are currently working on rounding up the others.Sajid's home is buzzing with local leaders and mediapersons who are escorted to different floors by Sajid's family. They reiterate details of the brutal mob attack patiently. Broken glasses, windows, dented doors and blood stains are strewn all over for everyone to see. But about a kilometer away in Mahesh's neighbourhood, everyone is tight-lipped. Mahesh’s neighbours who responded to his calls for a confrontation with Sajid's family were also dropouts and engaged in daily labour.Mahesh’s family does not deny his participation in the vandalism. They even admit that they would have stopped him if they could.Sajid’s family, meanwhile, completely deny that Mahesh was hit by a cricket ball. They insist that he, in fact, started the issue by asking the Muslim boys why they were playing cricket in the compound, adding that they should “go to Pakistan and play”.Naya Gaon primarily consists of Gujjars. "We are Badhana Gujjars," the locals say with pride. Mahesh and the others who accompanied him were all from the same community. thequint
‘Mastermind’ of Gurugram family attack arrested
‘Need to recognise that violence is not spontaneous but orchestrated’: sociologist Dr Raheel
Mumbai :Sociologist Dr Raheel Dhattiwala has penned a book ‘Keeping the Peace: Spatial Differences in Hindu-Muslim Violence in Gujarat in 2002’, which dwells on the mechanisms of peacekeeping during mass violence. In an interview with Indian Express, she explains how spatial layouts dictate patterns of violence and how it is possible to ensure peace even in the face of intergroup hostility.  Dr Raheel said, "People changed strategy and were actually making decisions in the middle of violence. Even though people’s prior motivation may be differences, violence is situational and it changes your prior motivation. The state may claim that riots are uncontrollable because it was a frenzied faceless mob and they could not do anything, but that is not true. At the macro level, you can see that the political logic of violence is not random. In 2002, the violence was least in areas where the BJP was strongest. If it was spontaneous, you would believe that the largest number of attacks would be in BJP strongholds. However, that was not the case. The maximum violence happened where BJP had greatest complications in the upcoming elections." She further said, "We need to recognise that violence is not spontaneous but orchestrated. You need to ensure that legal action is taken against people involved in violence. Also, conflict societies prime people to avoid routine conflict by maintaining superficial relations with contiguous neighbours, especially when residential mobility is constrained. People can come together but it would be rather naive to think that we can stay as one big happy family."indianexpress
Modi is demon for Minorities: Chandrababu Naidu
Amaravati: AP CM and TDP president N Chandrababu Naidu termed PM Narendra Modi as 'demon for minorities'. As Gujarat Chief Minister, Modi had claimed the lives of 2,000 people, said Naidu.He also said minorities were living in fear in the backdrop of attacks on them in Uttar Pradesh and atrocities on women in Kashmir.Naidu said he had said after Godhra massacre that Modi was not eligible to be the chief minister. “I opposed tooth and nail when he brought Triple Talaq Bill to jail our minority brothers," he added.Mumbai Mirror
AIUDF will not contest more than 3 seats in LS polls in Assam
 Sounding new political equation, Dhubri MP and chief of AIUDF Barduddin Ajmal said that his party is not going to contest more than three seats in the Lok Sabha polls. He declared his decision to restrict to three seats is aimed at stopping BJP from taking the advantage of division of “secular votes.” Earlier the party has declared that it will contest 8 out of 14 Lok Sabha seats. ET
‘I cannot be a chowkidar because I am a Brahmin,’ says BJP MP Subramanian Swamy
BJP MP Subramanian Swamy has purportedly made a casteist comment when he said that he cannot be a chowkidar (watchman) because he was a Brahmin.On March 17, top BJP leaders, including the prime minister, prefixed the term “chowkidar” to their names on Twitter. The party also started a #MainBhiChowkidar campaign on social media, urging people to join it. The BJP started the campaign to counter Congress’ “Chowkidar Chor Hai” jibe.In an interview to a Tamil channel, Thanthi TV, Swamy was asked why he did not add “chowkidar” before his name on Twitter. “I am a Brahmin. I cannot become a chowkidar. I will teach them. And as per that, I will work for the chowkidar.”The clip of the interview is being shared widely on social
Rahul Gandhi: 20% of India’s poor will get Rs 72,000 a year if Congress comes to power
New Delhi :Rahul Gandhi Monday announced minimum income support scheme and said 20 per cent of the poor in the country will be given Rs 72,000 per year, if the Congress is voted to power in the upcoming Lok Sabha election. Assuring to wipe out poverty from the country, Congress party president said, “The scheme will assure that 20 per cent of the poorest people in the country earn at least Rs 12,000 a month,” Gandhi said, adding, “If Narendra Modi can give money to India’s richest, Congress party can give Rs 72,000 to the poorest of this country.” Click for more election newsGandhi also said the plan has been prepared and it is “fiscally perfectly possible”. “Five crore families i.e. 25 crore people will be able to avail this scheme. We will eradicate poverty from the country,” he added.indianexpress
15 Madrassa students fall ill after consuming dinner in Hyderabad: Over 300 Madrasas yet to register with Child panel
Hyderabad:At least 15 children residing at an orphanage in Kachiguda were admitted to the hospital Sunday following a food poisoning caused by bad quality of food donated for them. Initial inquiries reveal that the orphanage -- Anjuman Khadil Musalmin -- was not registered with the Child Welfare Committee (CWC) of Hyderabad district.According to provisions of the Juvenile Justice Act, it is for CWC to issue licences to any NGO taking care of children in a district. The monitoring of these children and NGO then comes under the purview of the CWC and the govt. In the absence of a registration, it becomes rather difficult to ascertain the authority that maybe held questionable.Officials from the District Child Protection Unit who visited the children noted that they had previously served notices on the said Madrasa to come under government purview, however, they refused to do so.According to officials at least 300 Madrasas in Hyderabad district alone are outside purview of CWC. Officials note that these Madrasas prefer and demand to come under Minorities Commission or Wakf board and deny to register under the CWC.“We have been in constant communication with the Wakf Board and with the Minorities commission regarding the issue. Since it is a sensitive matter where religious minorities are involved,we are trying to sensitise them before incorporating them into system,” noted Imtiyaz Rahim, District Child Protection Officer. The three departments--Wakf Board,Minorities Commission and DCPU -- are also planning to convene a meeting post-elections with the many stakeholders and initiate process, sources told Express.newindianexpress
Goa put on a terror alert after Christchurch attack
Panaji:In the context of possible Christchurch mosque vengeance reaction, Goa has been put on an alert following a tip-off from Central Intelligence Agencies, Goa IGP Jaspal Singh confirmed on March 25.This alert is about a possible attack on Israeli tourists in the Coastal tourist State. Singh said that though now there are not many Israeli tourists, two Chabad Houses in North coastal belt has not been operational while one in Canacona in South Goa has been under constant vigil, where a few visitors come for prayers.thehindu
Hyderabad: Thousands attend funeral prayer of Christchurch victim Uzair qader
Hyderabad: Body of Hyderabadi youth Uzair qader who died in mosque shooting in Christchurch New Zealand, reached Hyderabad on Saturday night.Funeral prayer of martyr Uzair Qader performed after Zohar prayer at Jama Masjid Darushifa and he laid to rest in the graveyard adjacent to Masjid-e-Yaseen, dabirpura. Thousands of people participated in the funeral prayers of Uzair Qader, Home Minister Mohammed Mahmood Ali also attend funeral prayer.siasat
500 Aurangabad mosques spread message on water conservation during Friday prayer
Aurangabad: The clerics from around 500 mosques in the city gave a message on water conservation during Friday’s prayer on account of World Water Day. The initiative was led by city-based NGOs and Muslim organisations.As part of campaign, rallies, interventions and sessions are being held involving the mosques, schools and colleges to educate people about using water judiciously.During Friday prayers at the city mosques with a large number of people came together under one roof, Read and Lead Foundation gave a message on saving water. “One can save water by reusing it for other purposes and ensuring that any leaking taps are repaired,” Nadvi said. Talks are going on with the mosque administrators for reusing water used for ‘wazoo’ (abulation), the social worker said. TOI
JIH recognizes outstanding work of ‘Nagpur Heroes’
Nagpur: Some winners and nominees of TOI’s Nagpur Heroes award, who made a significant contribution to the betterment of society in their own way, were felicitated by the north-west unit of Jamaat-e-Islami Hind (JIH) on Sunday.Fifth edition of Nagpur Heroes was held on Jan.23 in which distinguished services of six persons were recognized and were given awards.Of the winners, paediatrician Vinky Rughwani, celebrity chef and world record holder Vishnu Manohar, mountaineer Avinash Deoskar (in absentia), Tanveer Mirza,Iqbal Kashmiri, chief of NGO Janakrosh Ashok Karandikar, Moin Quazi and Yusuf Quazi were among those who were felicitated by JIH with the aim of giving them encouragement to carry forward their work and motivate others. The felicitation ceremony, held at JIH office, Avishkar Colony, Zingabai Takli, was presided by Prof Ayyub Khan. Nazimuddin Ghazi conducted programme. Introducing the beneficiaries, Iftikhar Ahmed said, “It is important to recognize the selfless efforts of these eminent personalities who have been working with a passion to help the needy.”Dr Rughwani said, “All the heroes who were honoured have achieved exemplary feats in their respective fields.” TOI
Israel rocket attack: 7 wounded north of Tel Aviv
An early morning rocket, allegedly fired from the Gaza Strip, struck a home in central Israel on Monday, wounding seven people and prompting Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu to cut short a trip to Washington. The developments set the stage for a potential major conflagration, shortly before Israel's upcoming elections. The rocket attack destroyed a residential home in the community of Mishmeret, north of the city of Kfar Saba, wounding six members of the family.Israel's ambulance service said it treated seven people overall, including two women who were moderately wounded. The others, including 2 children and an infant, had minor wounds. The sounds of air raid sirens jolted residents of the Sharon area, northeast of Tel Aviv, from their sleep shortly after 5am.A strong sound of an explosion followed.An Israeli military spokesperson said the rocket attack was carried out by Hamas, adding that the army was set to deploy 2 brigades and infantry units to the southern Gaza area. It also called up reserves after the rocket attack.There was no immediate claim of responsibility for incident.Hamas official has denied that the movement was behind the attack. aljazeera
Trump to recognise Golan as its territory Monday: Israel
US President Donald Trump will sign an order recognising Israel's sovereignty over Golan Heights when he meets PM Benjamin Netanyahu in Washington on Monday, Israel's foreign minister said.AFP
Honduran president calls Jerusalem Israeli capital, not moving embassy yet
Honduran President Juan Orlando Hernandez on Sunday called Jerusalem Israel’s capital, saying the Central American country would open a trade office there, but he stopped short of announcing plans to move his embassy from Tel Aviv, Reuters reports. Hernandez has in recent months signalled that his government is mulling moving the Honduran embassy to Jerusalem, and made his comments on the holy city during his appearance at a conference on U.S.-Israeli relations in Washington.“Today I have announced the first step, which is to open a trade office in Jerusalem, the capital of the state of Israel, and this will be an extension of our embassy in Tel Aviv,” Hernandez said in a statement issued by his government.“I’ve said that a second step will draw a lot of attacks from the enemies of Israel and the United States, but we will continue along this path,” Hernandez added.middleeastmonitor
Recognition of J'lem as Israel’s capital ‘illegal’: PLO
No party has right to unilaterally recognize Jerusalem as Israel’s capital, the Palestinian National Council (PNC) said in a Monday statement.Based in Jordan, PNC is a PLO-affiliated body responsible for formulating PLO policy. Monday’s statement came in response to reports that some states were considering the relocation of their Israel embassies from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem.Such a move, PNC declares in its statement, would constitute “a violation of international resolutions calling on all states to refrain from establishing diplomatic missions in the city of Jerusalem”.It goes on to assert: “Whoever recognizes occupied Jerusalem as the capital of the Israeli occupying state is considered a partner and protector of this colonial occupation and violates the Fourth Geneva Convention of 1949 and successive resolutions… including UNSC Resolution 2334 of 2016”.
Jordan King cancels visit to Romania, protests plan to move embassy to Jerusalem
Jordan’s King Abdullah II cancelled a planned visit to Romania following revelations that the country plans to move its embassy to Israel to occupied Jerusalem, the Jordanian Royal Court revealed today.In a statement on Facebook, the Royal Court said King Abdullah had planned to meet officials and Romanian President Klaus Iohannis during his visit. It added this was cancelled “in solidarity with #Jerusalem, following Romanian PM Viorica Dăncilă’s remarks expressing the intention to move her country’s embassy to Jerusalem”.MEMO
Netanyahu’s reasons for allowing submarine sale to Egypt are ‘state secrets’
Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has said that the reasons he approved the German submarine sale to Egypt are “state secrets”, Israeli media reported. According to Haaretz, Netanyahu admitted that the decision was made without the knowledge of the defence minister, but at the same time he denied making financial gains as a result of the sale.In a surprise interview with the Israeli TV Channel 12, Netanyahu said he could not reveal his reasons for authorising the sale of submarines to Egypt because they are state secrets. He said: “My reasons are security reasons and security reasons alone. The State of Israel has secrets that only the prime minister knows and a handful of people.” Germany had not needed Israel’s formal approval for the sale to Egypt, Haaretz reported, but because of the special relationship between Israel and Germany, Berlin approached Israel on the issue. middleeastmonitor
9 US democratic presidential candidates boycott AIPAC conference
The decision comes after MoveOn, a progressive advocacy movement asked Democratic presidential candidates to skip this year’s conference.Israel’s Haaretz paper said the group posted a poll on Twitter “showing that 74%of them [its members] want candidates to skip the annual AIPAC conference”. The candidates are Senator Elizabeth Warren of Massachusetts, Senator Bernie Sanders of Vermont, former US representative Beto O’Rourke, Senator Kirsten Gillibrand of New York and Senator Kamala Harris of California as well as former Starbucks CEO, Howard Schultz, who is also considering running independently for president.The paper quoted an AIPAC official as saying that the Democratic presidential candidates’ decision will have little impact because the committee only allows US presidential candidates to address the conference during the election year.MEMO
2 key Israeli election candidates to lobby Jewish group in US
Taliban Kill Dozens of Security Forces in Major Strike in Afghanistan                                              
Afghan military has suffered its worst loss of the year in southern Afghanistan, with at least 40 security force members killed in a Taliban attack this past week, but senior officials had still not released a death toll 2 days later, according to residents and functionaries from the area who spoke on Sunday.The national authorities and those at the provincial level in Helmand confirmed that an attack occurred in Sangin District, one of the most heavily contested areas in the country, on Friday night, but they either refused to give any details or claimed not to have any as of Sunday.It was yet another indication that the Taliban were continuing to attack Afghan govt forces aggressively even as they have entered peace negotiations on an American withdrawal from the country, with another round of talks expected in Qatar this month.Some estimates put the number of security forces killed in Sangin late Friday and early Saturday at 65, including 48 Afghan National Army soldiers, 10 pro-government militia fighters and seven police officers, with 43 others wounded, according to Mohammed Hashim Alokozai, an Afghan senator, who is from Sangin.“Govt is trying to keep it secret, but this is what has happened in just a single attack in Sangin District,”Alokozai said. He said he was in touch by phone with residents and officials there.NYT
10 Children Among 13 Killed By US Air Strike In Afghanistan:UN
Kabul: 10 children, part of the same extended family, were killed by a US air strike in Afghanistan, along with three adult civilians, UN said.The air strike early on Saturday was part of a battle between the Taliban and combined Afghan and US forces that lasted about 30 hours in Kunduz, a northern province where the Taliban is strong.The children and their family had been displaced by fighting elsewhere in the country, UN Assistance Mission in Afghanistan (UNAMA) said in releasing its preliminary findings about the incident. UNAMA said that it is verifying that all 13 civilian casualties occurred around the time of the air strike. 3 other civilians were injured. The incident happened in the Telawka neighbourhood near Kunduz city.Reuters |
UN calls on Egypt to ‘immediately’ release opposition figure Salah Sultan
UN’s Working Group on Arbitrary Detention (WGAD) demanded an “immediate release” for the Egyptian prominent opposition figure, Salah Sultan, who has been held in jail for five years. In an official order addressing the Egyptian authorities, WGAD called for “opening an investigation into Sultan’s detention circumstances.” UN working group’s fifth-degree arbitrary detention order described Sultan as a “prisoner of conscience.”Sultan, along with his son Mohamed, were arrested in 2013 at Egypt’s Cairo International Airport in the wake of the military coup against the Muslim Brotherhood-affiliated first freely-elected Egyptian President Mohamed Morsi in June 2013. He was charged with “inciting violence” and “planning to cause chaos in Egypt.”middleeastmonitor
Royal court adviser fired over Khashoggi killing 'not on trial'
A Saudi royal adviser fired over the killing of Jamal Khashoggi is not among 11 suspects on trial at secretive hearings in Riyadh despite Saudi pledges to bring those responsible to justice, sources familiar with the matter have told Reuters.Saudi public prosecutor indicted 11 unnamed suspects in November, including five who could face the death penalty on charges of "ordering and committing the crime".CIA and some Western countries believe Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman (CMS) ordered the killing at the Saudi consulate in the Turkish city of Istanbul last October - a claim denied by Saudi officials.Saud al-Qahtani, a top aide to MBS until he was sacked then sanctioned by the US Treasury over his suspected role, is not on trial and has not appeared at any of the four court sessions convened since January, according to seven sources who are familiar with the proceedings but have not attended the trial.aljazeera
Algeria ruling party official says country needs a new president
Algeria's ruling FLN has withdrawn its support for President Abdelaziz Bouteflika's proposal to hold a national dialogue conference aimed at getting the country out of the current political deadlock.FLN spokesman Hocine Khaldoun told the private Dzair TV network on Sunday that the conference - which would see the participation of opposition parties and civil society actors and is aimed at reforming the constitution - will "not solve the problem"."Honestly, we are going to revise our position on the conference," Khaldoun said, adding that the "conference will not solve the issue because participants will not be elected.""The conference will not be of any use. What we need is an elected president. If we want to win time, then we ought to establish an independent elections commission … whoever gets elected can then address the people and the movement."Hundreds of thousands of Algerians have been taking part in nationwide protests against Bouteflika's re-election bid since Feb.22. aljazeera
Fire Breaks Out in California Mosque, Mysterious Note Referring to Christchurch Attack Recovered
Escondido: A note referencing the recent terrorist attacks in New Zealand was found at the scene of a possible arson fire at a Southern California mosque, police said Sunday.Nobody was hurt, and members of Islamic Center of Escondido were able to extinguish the small blaze before firefighters, officials said.The incident was being investigated as arson and a possible hate crime, said police in the city about 48 kilometers north of downtown San Diego.A note was found in the parking lot referencing the shootings this month that killed 50 people at mosques in the city of Christchurch, New Zealand, police Lt. Chris Lick said. He did not elaborate about the contents of the note.Investigators did not release information about a suspect.Seven people were inside the mosque at the time of the fire, police told the KNSD TV station. They were able to put out the fire with a fire extinguisher before firefighters arrived on the scene, KNSD reported."There are people who sleep there overnight," member Yusef Miller said.AFP
Man held under Mental Health Act over UK mosque attacks
London:A man arrested on suspicion of racially aggravated criminal damage after attacks on 5 mosques across the city of Birmingham earlier this week has been detained under UK's Mental Health Act, West Midlands Police said on Sunday.34-year-old handed himself into a Birmingham police station on Friday after counter-terrorism officers launched an investigation into the smashing of windows and vandalism at five mosques in the city.Local police said that while its investigation continues, they are not seeking anyone else in connection with the attacks and do not believe the man arrested was part of any organised network.Another 38-year-old man arrested after being detained by members of the community on Friday afternoon will face no further action and has been released without charge, West Midlands Police said in a statement.PTI
UK: Islamophobia soars after New Zealand attack
Anti-Muslim hate crimes have soared across the the aftermath of the New Zealand terror attacks, a monitoring group found.Tell Mama, an NGO that documents Islamophobic incidences in UK, reported Sunday that anti-Muslim hate crime increased by 593 percent in the U.K. in the week after the Christchurch shootings in which 50 Muslim worshippers were murdered by a right-wing terrorist.“This shows that some people see Muslims as fair game for hate and it is now clear that we have an ongoing and persistent ideology of hate that is generating a focus on Muslims,” said Iman Atta, director of Tell Mama.“Muslims in New Zealand were killed and British Muslims feel the anger of bigots. It is perverse,” she added.According to the monitoring group, 95 incidences were reported between March 15, the day of the New Zealand attacks, and March 21. Some 85 incidences, 89 percent of the total, directly referenced the New Zealand attacks and featured gestures that mimicked firearms and guns being fired at Muslims.Muslims in north London, Southampton and Oxford have reported verbal abuse being directed towards them, including intimidating gestures that include gun gestures and bullet noises. In other incidences of verbal abuse, Muslims were told that “you need to be shot” and that “Muslims must die”.Anadolu
Watch: Man invites New Zealand PM Ardern to embrace Islam, video goes viral
New Delhi: A dialogue between New Zealand Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern a Muslim man has gone viral on the social media in which the Labour Party leader was invited to embrace Islam.In the video, the prime minister is seen talking to a young Muslim man, who told her: "To be honest with you, what brought me here it's you. I have been crying every day for the last three days. I have been making one dua (prayer) from Allah and I said I wish other leaders can look at your leadership skills.""And my other one wish is I hope one day you enter into Islam and I wish I will be with you in Jannah (paradise)," he said.To that, Ardern replies that Islam taught humanity and she felt she had it. ''Islam teaches humanity and I think I have it.abplive
Armed with rifle, police officer wears hijab in support of Christchurch victims
Pictures of a police officer holding a semi-automatic rifle and wearing a hijab while guarding a cemetery, where a funeral for the Christchurch terror attack victims was being held, have gone viral on social media. Identified as constable Michelle Evans, who joined the police force three years ago, she wore the hijab and a rose in support of the Christchurch shooting victims and their families,Daily Mail reported.indianexpress
Mali sacks top army chiefs, dissolves militia after scores killed
Mali's government has announced the sacking of top military officers and the dissolution of a militia, a day after the killing of more than 130 people.Prime Minister Soumeylou Boubeye Maiga said on Sunday new military chiefs would be named, and that the Dan Nan Ambassagou association, comprising Dogon hunters, had been dissolved."The protection of the population will remain the monopoly of the state," Maiga told journalists. Survivors of Saturday's attack said ethnic Dogon hunters carried out the raid in Ogossagou, a village in central Mali inhabited by the Fulani community.Later on Sunday, Reuters news agency reported that army chief of staff General M'Bemba Moussa Keita was removed and replaced by General Abdoulaye Coulibaly, while chief of land forces General Abdrahamane Baby was replaced by Brigadier-General Keba Sangare. aljazeera
Thailand's Junta 'Manipulated' Election, Ousted PM Thaksin Says in NYT Article
Bangkok:Thailand’s ousted ex PM, Thaksin Shinawatra, said on Monday that ruling military junta “manipulated” the results of an election after a party of his loyalists did worse than expected.Partial results of Sunday’s election, the first since a military coup in 2014, showed an unexpected popular vote lead for a pro-military party that wants to keep junta leader Prayuth Chan-ocha as prime minister.“I knew that the junta running Thailand wanted to stay in power, but I cannot believe how far it has gone to manipulate the general election on Sunday,” Thaksin wrote in an opinion piece in New York Times. Reuters
Flash: views & NEWS
In UP, law is misused to target minorities:Christophe Jaffrelot, Syed H A Rizvi
Why executions in Egypt are skyrocketing and why they should end: Amr Magdi
'Tip of the spear': US Christian movement praying for Trump and Israel: Azad Essa, New York City
Simply Put: The cases other than Samjhauta:Deeptiman Tiwary
The truth about Gaza's anti-Hamas protests: Motasem A Dalloul
Tashkent Files trailer: Pankaj Tripathi, Naseeruddin Shah star in political drama about former PM’s death
Throwing Stones From Inside a Glass House – India’s Human Rights Record Since 2014:Salil Shetty
Samjhauta Express Blasts Case: Acquitted For Want of Evidence:Vivan Eyben
State Impunity to Blame for Lynching of Muslim Man in Sonbhadra, UP:Shabina Akhtar
In Photos: After Young Principal's Custodial Death, Grief and Anger in Kashmir:Waseem Dar and Mudasir Nazar
'We Fear Drought More Than War,' Say Border Villagers in Gujarat
UN Must Urgently Investigate Hindutva Extremist Violence Against Indian Muslims: Adam Garrie
Silent screams of India's Muslims:Aditya Sinha

Compiled and edited by Anwarulhaq (Released at: 8:40 PM)


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