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03 March 2019

3 March ND: Air strikes were meant to warn, refutes media reports on casualties:Union minister/ Jamaat lauds de-escalation between India and Pakistan, urges media to avoid war-hysteria/Kashmiri Leaders Oppose Decision to Ban J&K Jamaat


NEWS DIGEST, Afternoon 
03 March 2019: 25 Jamadiul-II 1440:Vol:11, No:141
INDIA
Air strikes were meant to warn, refutes media reports on casualties:Union minister
Union minister of state SS Ahluwalia has claimed that the Indian air strikes in Pakistan were only meant as a warning and refuted media reports which claimed over 300 casualties in the strike. “Did Modi say that 300 people have been killed?” Ahluwalia, the minister of state for electronics and information technology, said at a press conference in West Bengal. Video of his speech was shared by some Opposition leaders.“Has any BJP spokesperson said it? Has Amit Shah said it anywhere? Why was there no destruction? By throwing a bomb next to your house, it was made clear that we can destroy you.That was what was needed. We didn’t want any human casualty,” he is heard saying in the video.Multiple media reports, quoting unidentified officials, had pegged the number of casualties at over 300, and some estimated it at even 600. IAF has refused to give any number officially, and said it would be premature to give an estimate.Ahluwalia said neither government officials nor ministers had given an official figure of the casualties. “I was asked whether I stand by the government’s statement or by the reports of Indian media which have said 300 to 350 terrorists were killed,” Ahluwalia, an MP from Darjeeling, said. “I stand by the government’s statement. How can I vouch for media reports?”Congress leader Omprakash Mishra and CPI(Marxist) shared the video of press conference on social media.“No terrorists killed in Pakistan by our airstrike,”Mishra said on Facebook. “BJP MP and central minister Ahluwalia says media reported about killing of terrorists but BJP never said so. PM did not claim so.” CPI (M) asked if the government was backtracking from its claims on striking a terror camp in Pakistan. “If what Minister says is correct, then what it means is that Modi Govt has connived with lies pedaled by the jingoistic media [and] taken the country for a ride,” the tweeted. “They now say they deliberately did not take terrorists out as they did not want human casualties.” scroll.in
‘Did PM Modi, Amit Shah say 300 terrorists were killed?’ Ahluwalia slams media reports
Balakot Air Strike Was A Message, Did Not Intend To Kill says Union Minister:NDTV
By invoking Rafale, Modi himself is questioning Balakot air strikes: Congress
New DelhI:Congress on March 3 claimed that Prime Minister Narendra Modi has himself “questioned” the recent anti-terror air strikes in Pakistan by his remarks that the country is feeling the absence of Rafale fighter jets as the results could have been different if India had these aircraft.The party also said it had neither sought proof of such strike earlier nor is it asking for it now.“PM has himself questioned the air strikes. He said had the Rafale jets been there (with IAF), the results would have been different. What is the meaning of this,”Congress spokesman Manish Tewari asked during a press conference in New Delhi.Asserting that PM should himself explain what would have been different with Rafale jets, he held Modi responsible for the delay in induction of French-made fighter jets into the IAF by “cancelling” the earlier negotiations.Modi on March 2 hit out at the Opposition for doubting the armed forces on the anti-terror air strike in Pakistan and said the country was feeling the absence of Rafale jets as the results could have been different if India had these aircraft. “India is feeling the absence of Rafale. Entire country is saying in one voice today, if we had Rafale probably the result would have been different. The country has suffered a lot due to selfish interests earlier and now politics over Rafale,” he said at a media event.thehindu
India refuses to share proof of strikes in Pakistan amid doubts of militant deaths:Reuters
A top Indian minister has said the government would not share proof that “a very large number” of militants were killed in air strikes inside Pakistan this week, after doubts were raised there were any casualties in the attack that stoked tensions between the nuclear-armed rivals.The flare up appeared to be easing on Saturday after Pakistan handed back a captured Indian fighter pilot on Friday night, amid efforts by global powers to prevent another war between the arch enemies.Finance Minister Arun Jaitley, one of PM Narendra Modi’s top lieutenants, said “no security agencies ever share operational details”.“It’s a very irresponsible stand,” Jaitley said.
Social media warriors, go to front: Wife of pilot killed in crash
Nashik:The wife of an Air Force officer who was among the seven killed when an Mi-17 chopper crashed in Jammu and Kashmir's Budgam last week sent out a strong message to those who are using social media to vent their anger over India-Pakistan tension. Vijeta Mandavgane's husband, Squadron Leader Ninad Mandavgane, was cremated with full military honours in Maharashtra's Nashik.Vijeta Mandavgane urged social media users to show restraint and not whip up sentiments."There is a lot happening on social media and on TV. Media acts responsible and sometimes don't. You shout slogans. Instead of that, if you truly want to bring about change, for my Ninad, for WC Abhinandan and the martyrs, do a small thing. Either join the forces or make your family members join the forces. If you can't, then at least bring about small changes around you to help the nation. You can keep your surroundings clean, not litter the roads, not urinate in the public, not harassing girls," Ms Mandavgane told reporters. The message was widely shared online.ndtv
IAF air strike: Karnataka college professor forced to kneel, apologise for criticising BJP rhetoric
A professor at Dr PG Halakatti College of Engineering and Technology in Karnataka’s Vijaypura district was forced to kneel and apologise to activists of BJP and the Akhil Bharatiya Vidyarthi Parishad on Saturday, for a Facebook post that allegedly criticised Centre for creating war hysteria following IAF strikes in Pakistan. Professor Sandeep Wathar also allegedly praised Pakistan Prime Minister Imran Khan, Indian Express reported on Sunday.“Who sounds more intelligent in all this?” Wathar had said regarding India-Pakistan tensions following the Balakot strike and the intrusion by Pakistani jets into India. “You…bhakts. You will [be] the reason for destruction of millions of lives if this tension escalates. BJP…absolutely zero shame.” BJP and ABVP activists have demanded that Wathar be suspended. BJP spokesperson Vivek Reddy claimed that the posts were an attempt to break the country’s unity and praise an enemy country.Professor has since deleted the Facebook posts.Wathar was made to kneel and apologise. “I won’t repeat it in future, forgive me for my Facebook post,”he is heard saying in a video.scroll.in
IAF air strike: Digvijay says Centre should provide evidence of Indian operation in Balakot
Congress leader Digvijaya Singh on Saturday said that the Centre should provide evidence of the Indian Air Force’s strike on a Jaish-e-Mohammad camp in Pakistan’s Balakot on Feb26. “I am not questioning the recent IAF action against Pakistan-based terrorist camps,” Singh told reporters in Indore, according to PTI. “But pictures of any incident in open space can be accessed through satellite technology. So we should also give evidence, the way US government presented evidence of Osama bin Laden’s killing before the world.”He also praised Pakistan Prime Minister Imran Khan for releasing IAF Wing Commander Abhinandan Varthaman from custody. “I also congratulate the honourable Prime Minister of Pakistan Imran Khan for showing us a new way of being a good neighbour and returned the brave Indian Air Force officer to us,” Singh said. “Now he should show courage by handing over Hafiz Saeed and Masood Azhar to us.” scroll.in
‘BJP, PM Modi using India-Pakistan tension to hide govt’s failures’, says Mayawati
BSP chief Mayawati on Sunday alleged that BJP and Prime Minister Narendra Modi are trying to hide their failures using the situation in Jammu and Kashmir and the cross-border tension.“The people are concerned over terror attack in Jammu and Kashmir as well as continuing tension on India-Pakistan border, BJP and Prime Minister Narendra Modi are busy using the event to hide the failure and incompetency of his government and this is not hidden from the public,” Mayawati tweeted. She accused BJP of indulging in petty politics following Pulwama attack. “Worried 130 crore people have seen as to how BJP could not desist from indulging in petty politics even at such a time and they have now realised that country’s honour and security is not in strong and safe hands,” she said, according to PTI.
 ‘BJP ministers leaked exaggerated casualty numbers when IAF gave none,’ says Trinamool
Trinamool Congress MP Derek O’Brien accused BJP ministers of “leaking exaggerated numbers” to the media about the casualties in Indian Air Force’s strikes across the Line of Control on Tuesday. He wondered whether any statistics given by the government can be taken seriously.O’Brien questioned the authenticity of the media’s reporting by questioning reportage attributing numbers of casualties to “sources”. “Journalists? Or slaves to propaganda aka sources?” he tweeted along with screenshots of TV news reports giving various numbers of killed in the strike.O’Brien also accused Prime Minister Narendra Modi and BJP chief Amit Shah of playing “divisive politics”.scroll.in
Plebiscite solution invalid for Kashmir, won't allow it to secede from India: Chidambaram offers solution
Chennai: Congress leader P Chidambaram has ruled out the plebiscite route for Kashmir saying the solution was offered in a different day and age and the situation has changed since then. Amid a tussle between the government and the opposition to use the latest stand-off with Pakistan for political gains, Chidambaram said engaging the neighbouring country is “very complicated” but necessary to avoid war, making a pitch for a dialogue with Islamabad.  "Plebiscite was offered under very different conditions; please understand that,” he was quoted by the news agency PTI as saying. At a public event in Chennai, Chidambaram while taking questions from the audience said the option of the plebiscite was offered to a “United Kashmir”. “Nearly one-half of Jammu & Kashmir has been occupied by Pakistan now. The plebiscite solution was offered to the whole of Jammu and Kashmir...now Jammu thinks differently, Ladakh, Leh and Kargil think differently today..." the senior Congress leader said. Times Now
Masood Azhar is alive: Jaish denies reports of his death
After numerous speculations over Jaish-e-Mohammed chief Maulana Masood Azhar's death, the outfit came out with a statement on Sunday and denied any such report. In an interview to CNN, Foreign Minister Shah Mehmood Qureshi earlier admitted that the JeM chief is in Pakistan and is "very unwell", but said the govt can act against him only if India presents "solid" and "inalienable" evidence that can stand in a court of law. "He is in Pakistan, according to my information. He is unwell to the extent that he can't leave his house, because he's really unwell," Qureshi said. India TV News
 Speculation Over Masood Azhar’s ‘Death’
Jaish-e-Mohammad was not behind Pulwama bombing:Pakistan foreign minister
Pakistan Foreign Minister Shah Mahmood Qureshi has denied that Jaish-e-Mohammad had claimed responsibility for the Pulwama bombing. In an interview with BBC, Qureshi claimed that “people known to them [Jaish-e-Mohammad]” have contacted the terror group. “The people here, who are known to them, have contacted Jaish leadership,” said Qureshi. The minister said, “We’re not sure of that...The leadership when contacted said ‘no’ [they had not claimed the attack]. They denied that.”Qureshi said that Jaish-e-Mohammad had not claimed responsibility for the attack. scroll.in
Jamaat lauds de-escalation between India and Pakistan, urges media to avoid war-hysteria
New Delhi: Jamaat-e-Islami Hind (JIH) has lauded the de-escalation between India and Pakistan after the extremely heightened tension prevailing between the two neighboring countries. JIH President Maulana Syed Jalaluddin Umari along with Vice President Nusrat Ali and Secretary General Muhammad Salim Engineer addressed the media in its monthly press conference here today. The JIH Secretary General of while briefing the media said,"We appreciate the de-escalation of the situation. We hope practical steps are taken to achieve this and an atmosphere of peace and amity prevails between the two countries. The tension seems to have reduced perceptibly and both the countries are exploring the process of negotiation and dialogue. We condemn the Pulwama attack that took place on 14th February. However we feel that the manner in which the ruling party tried to exploit the Pulwama attack for electoral benefits is highly appalling and most political parties have objected to it strongly”. Mr.Salim Engineer continued saying: “role of a large section of our media especially the electronic media was highly irresponsible when the situation between the 2 countries had become very fragile, It looked as if TV studios had turned into war rooms. The media had created a climate of war mongering and mass hysteria, trying its best to push the country into a war with its neighbor. The debates, discussions and news emanating from the TV rooms had become tools for incitement and propaganda.”Answering a query,Maulana Umari said: “Jamaat-e-Islami Hind feels that the ban on an organization in J&K by the name of Jamaat e Islami Jammu and Kashmir (JIJK) and arrest of its leadership and members is completely wrong and an unwise step. JIJK is active in the fields of education, social reformation, welfare and charity. We feel that the government must withdraw its ban on JIJK considering its aforesaid role in the state. This step will send a clear and positive message to the people of J&K”. newsdigestdaily.in
Jamaat-e-Islami Hind lauds de-escalation between India and Pakistan,urges media to avoid war-hysteria
Muslims condemn Arnab’s Republic TV for calling Maulana Umari Commander in Chief
New Delhi: Anger prevails among Muslim community after the Republic TV of Arnab Goswami made a nefarious attempt to list President Jamat-e-Islami Hind, Maulana Jalaluddin Umari among terrorists by calling him Commander in Chief of Jamat-e-Islami, Kashmir.It must be noted that keeping in view the situation in Kashmir following Pulwama attack, the government of India has put a ban on Jamat-e-Islami Kashmir but Jamat-e-Islami Hind has nothing to do with the said organisation. However, Republic TV created confusion by reporting such fake news. As reported by the Inquilab, in another reprehensible move, CNN News 18 while showing shots of the property of Masood Azhar of Jaish-e-Muhammed (JeM) also showed the video of Masjid-e-Haram, Masjid Nabawi and Masjid-e-Aqsa, the three holiest places of Muslims; thus hurting the sentiments of Muslims.This is all done to polarise the situation. It is not out of place to mention here that, father of Republic TV Chief Arnab Goswami is the leader of BJP and the channel is funded by BJP members. No wonder it is using cheap tactics to tarnish the image of Muslims of the country.Meanwhile, Muslim leaders have called for legal action against Republic TV which is trying to defame Muslims by airing false news.siasat
JK Jamaat leaders arrested,dozen assets sealed in Jammu
Jammu: 3 prominent leaders of the recently banned Jamaat-e-Islami J&K(JeI) were arrested and nearly a dozen assets sealed during raids across six districts of Jammu province, police said Sunday.The day-long raids on the offices and houses of JeI leaders and activists were conducted in Kishtwar, Doda, Ramban, Poonch, Rajouri and Jammu districts Saturday, during which a large quantity of incriminating documents were seized for scrutiny, a police officer said.He said at least 6 bank accounts linked to the group have been identified and the banks concerned directed to immediately freeze them. Top leaders of the organisation along with over 150 activists were arrested in Kashmir Valley, where the group has a large presence, last week.Mohammad Majeed Sheikh, Mohammad Iqbal Naik and Ghulam Qadir Bhat were arrested from Kishtwar district, where another Jamaat leader, Ghulam Nabi Gundana, was put under house arrest as he had undergone surgery recently, officer said. He said 2 Jamaat activists, who were detained in Doda, were later released after questioning.All schools run by JeI in the districts were searched during the raids on Saturday, the officer said adding these schools were not sealed but are being kept under surveillance. Meanwhile, vice president of state Congress and ex minister GM Saroori voiced his resentment against the crackdown on JeI and said the action against the group is against the democratic set up of the country.“Jamaat is not a terrorist organisation… It is running over 300 schools in the state for six decades and providing employment to thousands of educated youth,” Saroori, who hails from Kishtwar district, said.He said the action against the religious organisation seems “politically motivated” in view of the upcoming Lok Sabha election. “If govt has any proof against Jamaat, it should make it public. The action against anyone involved in terrorism or waging war against the country is justified but banning a group which is involved in religious preaching and believes in Islamic ideology is against the democratic values,” he said.PTI
J&K Jamaat Workers' Properties Sealed In Kashmir
Srinagar: Days after the centre banned Jamaat-e-Islami J&K (JeI), houses of dozens of workers and leaders of the group have been sealed by authorities at several locations across the Kashmir valley. Magistrates issued orders of sealing all institutions and properties linked to the JeI. Meanwhile, NIA over the last 5 days, raided seven locations, including on the houses of separatists like Mirwaiz Umer Farooq, in connection with cases related to funding and separatist groups in J&K. NIA claimed that it found "high-tech internet communication setup" from the residence of Mirwaiz.NDTV
Omar Abdullah asks govt to review ban on J&K Jamaat, says it’s having major social impact
Srinagar: Omar Abdullah Sunday said the ban on the Jamaat-e-Islami J&K “is having a major social impact” in Kashmir and appealed to the government to “urgently review” its decision to seal schools and mosques run by it.“The politico-religious role of the Jamaat (JeI) is one aspect but there is also the social aspect. The recent ban is having a major social impact which isn’t being taken into consideration,” Omar wrote on Twitter.He said people were being “turned away from mosques” where they usually congregate for prayers and schools with tens of thousands of students and employing thousands of teachers were being “sealed”.“There is nothing to suggest (that) sealing mosques will improve the security environment. Sealing schools risks forcing so many young kids out on the streets rather than studying to make a future for themselves,” he said.Omar said that while the government may take some time to review the need to ban the organisation, “there is a need to urgently review the ban on schools and the sealing of mosques”. Kashmir Chamber of Commerce and Industry (KCCI) also opposed the ban on the Jamaat.“The ban is part of a provocative and motivated crusade against a particular community. Political advantage is being extracted out of the prevailing hostile situation by creating deep divisions amongst sections of the society,” a KCCI spokesman said.“The onus is on the government to start explaining to the public the compulsions justifying targeting of religious institutions belonging to a particular community. Sealing of residential houses and schools violates basic principles of humanity and demonstrates the desperation of people after global rejection of their politics of hate, communalism and pernicious designed propaganda,”KCCI spokesman said.indianexpress
Kashmiri Leaders Oppose Decision to Ban J&K Jamaat
Kashmir: Kashmiri Leaders like ex J&K CM Mehbooba Mufti and bureaucrat-turned-politician Shah Faesal opposed Modi govt’s decision to ban a non-violent Islamic group Jamaat-e-Islami J&K.“JeI is involved in anti-national and subversive activities in the country intended to cause disaffection,” said the notification released by the government. The ban came after the crackdown on the Jamaat cadres arresting JeI chief Abdul Hamid Fayaz and other senior leaders. Terming it ‘another example of high handednesses’, PDP chief Mufti condemned the move of Modi government. She said “Democracy is a battle of ideas, crackdown followed by banning of Jammat is condemnable, another example of high handedness and muscular approach of GOI to deal with political issue of J&K”.She also targeted the Modi government for giving free hand Hindu radicalized group but banning an Islamic group that tirelessly works for Kashmiris. She said “Why is GoI so uncomfortable with Jamaat? Radicalized Hindu groups representing fringe elements are given carte blanche to spread misinformation & vitiate the atmosphere. But an org that has worked tirelessly for Kashmiris is banned. Is being anti BJP anti national now?” The ban on JeI was also opposed by IAS Topper Shah Faesal.caravandaily
Ban on Jamaat-e-Islami: MHA gives J&K Governor powers to order seizure of funds, assets
Ban on Jamat-e-Islami 'unacceptable', says Kashmir Traders Association
OIC resolution condemns ‘Indian terrorism’ and ‘mass blindings’ in Kashmir
Organisation of Islamic Cooperation has adopted a resolution on Jammu and Kashmir, condemning the “atrocities and human rights violations” in the state. This came a day after India’s External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj urged the organisation to come together to fight global menace of terrorism and extremism.The resolution on Kashmir had phrases such as “mass blindings” – referring to the use of pellet guns by security forces on protesting youth, and references to “Indian terrorism” in the state, The Hindu reported. It also said the group “condemns the trend of unprecedented escalation of ceasefire violations by Indian occupation forces”. The recommendations included an appeal to members of the OIC to mobilise funds for “humanitarian assistance to the Kashmiri people”.In response, India issued a statement saying that Jammu and Kashmir is an integral part of the country, and the matter is “strictly internal to India”. UAE Foreign Minister Sheikh Abdullah said the group had sent a “very clear and positive sign to India”. However, the resolution on Kashmir was kept out of main negotiated document, Abu Dhabi Declaration. Indian Express, citing sources, said that resolutions such as the one on Kashmir “are based on country proposals and are not negotiated documents”./scroll.in
OIC: Sushma says Muslims in India microcosm of its diversity, not influenced by extremist ideology
Abu Dhabi:External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj has told the Organisation of Islamic Cooperation (OIC) conference that Muslims in India were a microcosm of its diversity and very few of them have fallen prey to the poisonous propaganda of radical and extremist ideologies. Addressing the plenary of the conference as a “Guest of Honour”, a first for India, she referred to India’ strong bonds with several member countries of OIC including Bangladesh, Maldives and Afghanistan which are in its neighbourhood., IANS
 ‘Israel’ Playing Major Role in Ino-Pak Conflict: UK Analyst
A prominent British columnist has argued that Israel’s warming relations with India has contributed to the escalating tensions between India and Pakistan amid fears of an all-out conflict between the two nuclear-armed rivals.Robert Fisk, the senior analyst writing for The Independent, said in an article that ‘Israel’ was desperately seeking to capitalize on the anti-Muslim sentiment among the Hindu nationalists in India to sell more arms and weapons to New Delhi.Fisk said the recent escalation between India and Pakistan is in fact a product of growing Israeli influence in New Delhi, saying Israel’s fingerprints are visible all over the conflict.Fisk said the Indian army’s use of Israeli-made Rafael Spice-2000 “smart bombs” in its attack on militant positions inside Pakistan was a clear proof that the regime in the occupied Palestinian territories was benefiting from the conflict.“Well, don’t let the idea fade away. Two thousand five hundred miles separate the Israeli ministry of defense in Tel Aviv from the Indian ministry of defense in New Delhi,” wrote Fisk in his commentary, adding, “but there’s a reason why the usual cliché-stricken agency dispatches sound so similar.”Fisk, an award-winning journalist and writer, said that ‘Israel’ was trying to capitalize on the growing power of the right-wing nationalist government of Indian PM Narendra Modi by pretending that the two governments are both under attacks by Muslims.Fisk said India was Israel’s largest arms client in 2017, paying $700 million for Israeli air defense. He said ‘Israel’ ensured the Indian government about the lethal force of its weapons by providing evidences of their use in Palestine and in Syria.Press TV
Israel is playing a big role in India’s escalating conflict with Pakistan: Robert Fisk, The Independent
Over 600 citizens appeal for peace and reason as India-Pakistan tensions escalate
Several activists, journalists, public servants and citizens has expressed concern at the escalating tensions between India and Pakistan and the “climate of intolerance” around it. They urged both governments to refrain from further hostilities.The petition, called “Appeal for Reason”, was signed by more than 600 citizens, including ex Chief Justice of Delhi High Court AP Shah, writers Amitava Ghosh and Mukul Kesavan, activists Aruna Roy, Bela Bhatia, Bezwada Wilson, Harsh Mander, Jean Dreze, Agnivesh and Stan Swamy, lawyer Indira Jaising, Gujarat legislator Jignesh Mevani and former Delhi Lieutenant-Governor Najeeb Jung.scroll.in
J-K: 400 additional bunkers sanctioned for border residents in Poonch and Rajouri
Jammu :The administration sanctioned additional 400 individual bunkers for the twin districts of Poonch and Rajouri which witnessed intense shelling from Pakistani troops over the past five days.“In view of the heightened cross-border shelling, govt has sanctioned additional 200 individual bunkers each for Poonch and Rajouri districts,” an official spokesman said.PTI
J&K: 2 suspected militants, one CRPF jawan killed on third day of Handwara encounter
Indian security forces killed two suspected militants in north Kashmir’s Handwara on Sunday, the third day of the gunfight. A jawan was also killed in the gunfight, Greater Kashmir reported. On Friday, a civilian and 4 jawans had been killed in encounter.IG SP Pani told ANI that the operation is almost over and a final search is under way. “We have recovered 2 bodies of terrorists, their identities are being ascertained,” Pani said. “The reason for prolonged operation is the tough terrain along with a heavy civilian population.”As many as 11 security men including a CRPF officer have been injured in the battle.“This operation posed considerable difficulties to the security forces due to the topography of the area,” the statement said. “Area where the terrorists were hiding was very congested and civilians in the adjoining houses had to be evacuated to the safer places away from the site of encounter.”scroll.in
Don't make it Hindu vs Muslim; people of J&K united in favour of Article 35A: Ghulam Nabi
Jammu: Senior Congress leader Ghulam Nabi Azad on Saturday voiced support for Article 35A that gives special rights and privileges to the citizens of J&K."The people of Jammu, Ladakh and Kashmir are united in favour of continuation of the constitutional provision.... Don't make it an issue of one region or Hindus versus Muslims. All the three regions are united," Azad said."The abrogation of the article will bring more harm to Jammu and Ladakh as people are ready to buy the land in the two peaceful regions," Congress general secretary said.PTI
Security agencies debrief Abhinandan
New Delhi:Wing Commander Abhinandan Varthaman on March 3 underwent debriefings by security agencies even as his medical checkup continued for the second day at a military hospital in New Delhi, officials said.A number of senior IAF officials also met Wg. Cmdr. Varthaman who was brought to Delhi after he returned to India from Pakistan through the Attari-Wagah border late on March 1.Wg. Cmdr. Varthaman was debriefed by the security agencies and it will continue for the next couple of days. He also underwent several medical tests as part of a cooling down process, the officials said. “The efforts have been to ensure that he returns to the cockpit soon,” a military official said.PTI
Ex-IAS officer Shah Faesal recommends Nobel Peace Prize for Imran Khan, draws flak
As petition to nominate Pakistan PM Imran Khan became viral, a recent post by former Indian Civil Service officer Shah Faesal praising Imran Khan's conduct during the India-Pakistan standoff has drawn flak on social media.A resolution was submitted in the Pakistan Parliament on Saturday to endorse Prime Minister Imran Khan for the prestigious Nobel Peace Prize. Information minister Fawad Chaudhry submitted the resolution in the secretariat of National Assembly, the lower house. The resolution stated that Imran's decision to release Indian Air Force pilot Wing Commander Abhinandan Varthaman has de-escalated hostilities between Pakistan and India, which made Pakistan PM Nobel-worthy.Amidst the chaos on social media about the ongoing crisis, ex-IAS officer Shah Faesal's post has been received in a bad light by the netizens. 35-year-old wrote on Facebook that Imran Khan deserves the Nobel Peace Prize for saving South Asia from a Nuclear catastrophe. newindianexpress
Soldiers from Assam village fight a bitter battle to prove citizenship
Guwahati: Indian Army, CRPF and BSF have never had a problem counting these soldiers as their own and deploying them to protect the country’s borders from the frozen reaches of the Siachen glacier to militancy hit Kashmir or to combat home-grown insurgents. But these battle-hardened men from a western Assam village have struggled for years to overcome a bigger threat back at home — a system that continues to doubt their citizenship. Barpeta district’s Saru Harid, about 145 km west of Guwahati, is often referred to as a village of ‘faujis’. At least half a dozen youth from the village of some 6,000 people, most of whom are Muslims, join the security forces every year.But that has not stopped the local administration, particularly the State’s Border Police, from suspecting them to be foreigners and asking them to prove their citizenship.The irony does not escape farmer Ratul Ali, whose brothers are among at least 7 serving soldiers or paramilitary personnel from Saru Harid labelled foreigners since 2003.thehindu
Days After Tragedy, Retired CRPF Soldiers March In Capital For Pensions: ndtv
New Delhi: Hundreds of retired paramilitary personnel from across the country on Sunday held a protest at Delhi's Jantar Mantar to demand One Rank One Pension (OROP) for all servicemen that will provide the same pension for the same rank, for the same length of service, irrespective of the date of retirement. The protest comes just weeks after 40 CRPF men were killed in Pulwama. Several others have been killed since then in encounters with terrorists."If an Army man dies, his family gets his salary till the time he would have ideally served and his full pension also after that. But the family of a CRPF soldier who loses his life doesn't get that,"65-year-old Mohammad Sher of J&K, who served as a constable in CRPF for 26 years said."We should also get martyr status," he added.
SC Might Hear Rafale Review Petitions On 6th March
The 3 Judge Bench of the Supreme Court headed by CJI Ranjan Gogoi is likely to hear the review petitions filed in Rafale case on 6th March.This bench, also comprising of Justices Sanjay Kishan Kaul and KM Joseph would sit after the proceedings of CJI headed 5 judge constitution bench in Ayodhya case gets over. Ayodhya case is posted on 6th March for the limited purpose of passing orders on reference of the dispute to a Court appointed mediation process. As this might not take much time, it is most likely that the three judge bench will hear the review petitions in Rafale cases.Last week, when these review petitions filed by former ministers Yashwant Sinha and Arun Shourie, Advocate Prashant Bhushan and AAP Rajya Sabha MP Sanjay Singh, were taken up in CJI's Chamber, the judges had decided it to give an open court hearing. Along with the review petitions, the Court will also hear the correction petition filed by Central Govt, and also the petition filed for initiating perjury proceedings against officials who allegedly misled the Court by submitting false information in the notes submitted to the Court.livelaw.in
Centre approves NIA’s proposal to set up research cell on Islamic State
Union Home Minister Rajnath Singh has said govt had approved a proposal of the National Investigation Agency to open a research cell on the Islamic State terror outfit, PTI reported. Singh said 100 new posts have been created in the probe agency for effective investigation and supervision.“Terror funding is a big factor in promoting terrorism,” said Singh in Hyderabad. “The way NIA performed its role, the result is that there has been a decline in terror funding compared to earlier,” Singh said here.“We have also given approval to the NIA to set up a research cell on ISIS,” Singh said. “The conviction rate of NIA is 92%. It’s a matter of pride for all us.”scroll.in
Constitution knowledge made essential for Qazis: AIMPLB
Lucknow: With triple talaq issue making part of the poll narrative, All India Muslim Personal Law Board (AIMPLB) has decided that qazis at Shariat courts (Darul Qaza) be imparted lessons on Indian Constitution to ensure their knowledge on the provisions meant for the minority community.The decision of AIMPLB is being seen in the perspective of the new triple talaq rules.  The triple talaq victims often complain that Darul Qazas don’t lend them a judicious ear. They opine that  a new law is needed to protect them against the divorce and also domestic violence perpetrated by the in-laws as  the   AIMPLB claims that Shariat court is competent enough to deal with such issues.AIMPLB member Khalid Rasheed Farangi Mahali said that some people from the community had been defaming the sharia courts. “Darul Qaza work very much within the constitutional framework. Most of the issues that are brought to Darul Qaza are solved without hassle,” he said.The Muslim body feels that apart from Islamic knowledge, the qazis should also be aware of the various articles related to their community in the Constitution. They have also decided that the words ‘adaalat’ and ‘court’ will no longer be used to refer to Darul Qaza.“Qazis appointed in the Darul Qaza will now be trained in the knowledge of Articles of Indian constitution especially those related to the rights of Muslims. Darul Qaza has nothing to do with the judicial system of the country,” said senior lawyer and member AIMPLB Zafaryab Jilani.newindianexpress
5 charged with Bulandshahr cop’s murder, saffron outfit leaders face lesser charges
A SIT probing last Dec’s violence in Syana (Bulandshahr) in UP and the killing of a police inspector filed a charge sheet on Saturday in a local court naming five men for the murder and 33 others including Bajrang Dal leader Yogesh Raj, BJP leader Shikhar Agarwal and VHP leader Upendra Raghav for inciting violence and arson.The SIT submitted a 3,400-page case diary and 103-page charge sheet against the 38 accused in the court of Bulandshahar CJM.SP Atul Kumar Srivastava said Prashant Natt, Rahul, David, Johny and Lokendra were guilty of killing inspector Subodh Kumar Singh of Syana police station while he was trying to pacify the angry mob, near Chingrawathi village, after an incident of cow slaughter in the night of Dec.2 last year.Srivastava said the 33 other accused, including Yogesh Raj, Shikhar Agarwal, Upendra Raghav and armyman named Jeetu have been charged for attempt to murder, inciting violence, arson, damaging public property etc.“Investigation against one accused, who is jail, was still underway,” said Srivastava adding that NBW had been issued against five other accused who are still at large.HT
11 Muslims Acquitted 25 Years After Being Charged Under Anti-Terrorism Law
New Delhi: A Nashik court has acquitted 11 Muslim men nearly 25 years after they were first charged and arrested under the now-repealed TADA.According to an Urdu daily, citing a lack of evidence and violation of the TADA guidelines, Justice S.C. Khati of Nashik’s Special TADA Court ordered their acquittal on Feb.27.Socio-religious NGO Jamiat Ulema had provided legal assistance to the 11 men: Jameel Ahmed Abdullah Khan, Mohammed Yunus Mohammed Ishaq, Farooque Nazir Khan, Yusuf Gulab Khan, Ayyub Ismail Khan, Waseemuddin Shamsuddin, Shaikha Shafi Shaikh Azeez, Ashfaq Syed Murtuza Meer, Mumtaz Syed Murtuza Meer, Haroon Mohammed Bafati and Moulana Abdul Qader Habibi.11, according to The Siasat Daily, were arrested from different parts of the country on May 28, 1994 and charged under section 120 (B) and 153 of IPC and Section 3(3)(4)(5) and Section 4(1)(4) of TADA Act for allegedly conspiring to avenge the December 1992 Babri Masjid demolition and obtaining terror training. As per a July 2018 Hindustan Times report, 11 accused include a doctor and an electronics engineer. They were alleged to have conspired to bomb a railway station and a power plant in Maharashtra’s Bhusawal. After being taken into custody in May 1994, the accused were granted bail within months. The case then got stuck due to doubts over the applicability of TADA against the accused. Gulzar Azmi, in-charge of Jamiat Ulema legal cell, was quoted as saying: “Justice has not been denied but these men have lost so many years of their precious life. Who is responsible for this? Will the government pay for their loss and return their dignity? The families of these men have also suffered a lot while some members of their families have also died.” the wire
Gujarat Police Accused of Filing FIR against Victims after Muslims’ Homes Burnt Down in Khambat
Gujarat: A group of people pelted stones and burnt down the homes of Muslims living in Khambat’s Akbarpura area on 24 Feb. The incident charged the area with communal animosity. Acting on the incident, the police filed an FIR against 52 people of which 35 are Muslims. “People who lost their homes and were victims of violence have been named in FIR. This phenomenon is not new. Following riots in Vadavali, Patan in 2017, cases were filed against Muslims,” Advocate Shamsad Pathan, Who is also the convener of Alpsankhyak Adhikar Manch, was quoted by News Click as saying. “Interestingly, role of an outfit named Sriram Sena formed about 3 years ago in Khambat is being played down,” he said.Informing about the cases registered against the people, Govind Patil, investigator officer, said “A total of 52 persons have been identified in FIR, and 800 to 900 people have been booked. Of the 52 identified, 27 have been arrested, while the rest are absconding. Combing operations are underway, and more arrests will be done soon”. Caravandaily
Lok Sabha polls 2019: AAP declares candidates for 6 of 7 seats in Delhi, says no tie-up with Congress
New Delhi: AAP has announced names of its candidates for 6 of 7 Lok Sabha seats in Delhi. The announcement was made by Delhi AAP convenor Gopal Rai, who also said that the party will not be entering into an alliance with the Congress.While Atishi Marlena has been nominated to contest from East Delhi, Guggan Singh will contest from Northwest Delhi. AAP political affairs committee member Raghav Chadha will contest from South Delhi,while Pankaj Gupta has been nominated to contest from the Chandni Chowk seat. Dilip Pandey and Brijesh Goyal will contest from Northeast Delhi and New Delhi seats respectively.The party has not yet decided who will contest from the West Delhi seat.HT
Whoever speaks against PM faces I-T, ED raids: Naidu
AP CM Chandrababu Naidu on Sunday alleged that whoever speaks against Prime Minister Narendra Modi faces ED and Income Tax (IT) raids."Whoever speaks against Narendra Modi faces IT and ED raids. We will not be afraid of all these acts. We will fight for justice until we achieve it. I am speaking on behalf of 5 crore people. I will not tolerate any injustice to Telugus residing in any part of the world," he said.ANI
Trump says India charges US ‘very high tariff’ on exports, reiterates call for reciprocal tax
US President Donald Trump has claimed that India charges America very high tariffs on exports, and called for a reciprocal tax. “India is a very high-tariff nation. They charge us a lot,” he said in an address to the Conservative Political Action Conference in Washington DC, PTI reported. Trump once again cited the export of Harley Davidson motorbikes to India as an example. “When we send a motorcycle to India, it’s a 100% tariff,” he claimed. “We brilliantly charge them nothing. So, I want a reciprocal tax or at least, I want to charge a tax. It’s called the mirror tax, but it’s reciprocal.”scroll.in/PTI
WORLD
US downgrade of Palestinian mission to 'take effect on Monday'
US is expected to move ahead with a downgrade of its mission to the Palestinians on Monday by merging its Jerusalem consulate with the embassy to Israel, a US official has said.US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo on Saturday said the announcement to merge the two offices in October was intended to improve "efficiency and effectiveness" and did not constitute a change in policy.But Palestinian leaders have seen the decision as yet another move against them by US President Donald Trump's administration, which they froze contact with after his 2017 decision recognising Jerusalem as Israel's capital.A date for the merger of the consulate into the embassy had not been announced, but a State Department official told AFP on condition of anonymity that it "is expected to take place on March 4".The Jerusalem consulate general, which has acted independently as a de facto embassy to the Palestinians since the Oslo accords of the 1990s, will be replaced by a new Palestinian affairs unit within the embassy.PLO Secretary-General Saeb Erekat said at the time of the announcement last year: "It [merger] has nothing to do with efficiency and a lot to do with pleasing an ideological US team that is willing to disband the foundations of the international system."aljazeera
Israel bans Waqf officials from Aqsa amid tension
Jerusalem :Israeli police have banned two top religious officials from entering East Jerusalem's flashpoint Al-Aqsa Mosque, according to a Palestinian official on Sunday. "Sheikh Abdul Azi Salhab, the head of the Muslim Waqf (Endowment) Council in Jerusalem, was banned from entering the mosque compound for 40 days," Firas al-Dibs, a spokesman for the Jerusalem Islamic Waqf, a Jordan-run organization responsible for overseeing the city’s Islamic and Christian sites, said. He said Sheikh Najeh Bkerat, the deputy director of Muslim Endowments and Al-Aqsa Affairs, was also banned from the holy site for four months. Israeli police also banned a mosque guard from entering the holy site for a six-month period, the spokesman said. Israeli ban has drawn fire from Jordan's Awqaf Ministry, which described the move as an "intimidation". "This is an intimidation of the Awqaf Council members…and a direct targeting of the Hashemite (Jordanian) guardianship of Islamic and Christian holy sites," the ministry said. Anadolu
Arab parliamentarians meet in Amman for Jerusalem
Amman :An inter-Arab parliamentary conference kicked off in Amman on Sunday with a view to drawing support to the holy city of Jerusalem."Main topic of our conference is Jerusalem after US decision that undermined all human principles," Ali Abdelal, head of the Arab Parliamentary Union, told the opening session.  In late 2017,US administration unilaterally recognized Jerusalem as the capital of Israel, triggering world outcry. "This reckless decision…has run counter to all principles of international law and is legally invalid," said Abdelal, speaker of the Egyptian parliament.   Atef Tarawneh, Speaker of Jordanian parliament, called for rallying Arab efforts with a view to activating the joint Arab action.  Anadolu Agency
Top Palestinian official hails UNRWA
Palestinian refugees’ lives are better thanks to UN agency to help Palestinians, said Riyad Al-Maliki, Palestine’s foreign minister.Speaking at a UN Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees (UNRWA) event hosted in Istanbul, Turkey’s commercial capital, Maliki thanked Afghanistan for their $1 million donation for Palestinian refugees.He also hailed the UNRWA’s support, saying the agency provides for the basic needs of Palestinian refugees such as education and food.“The UNWRA is successfully carrying out a very demanding task today. Great results have been achieved. The efforts made last year are very important,” he said.AA
British Labour Party head calls for UK to condemn Israel’s targeting of Palestinians
Head of British Labour Party Jeremy Corbyn has called for the UK govt to condemn Israel’s killing of Palestinians as well as to freeze arms sales to the occupation state.His remarks came in the wake of a UN report which found that Israel might have committed war crimes against Palestinians. Corbyn said: “UN says Israel’s killings of demonstrators in Gaza – including children, paramedics and journalists – may constitute ‘war crimes or crimes against humanity’”.“Govt must unequivocally condemn killings and freeze arms sales to Israel.”MEMO

Netanyahu: Israel, Russia to cooperate on foreign troop exit from Syria
Israel and Russia will work together on securing an exit of foreign forces from Syria, Israeli PM Benjamin Netanyahu said on Sunday after visiting Moscow to advocate against the Iranian presence in the country.As Syrian President Bashar al-Assad beats back an 8-year-old insurgency, Israel worries that his reinforcements from Iran and Tehran-backed Lebanese militia Hezbollah will stay on to form a new front against it.Israel has carried out hundreds of strikes against suspected Iranian and Hezbollah targets in Syria. middleeastmonitor
US-Taliban negotiations in Qatar enter fifth day
Negotiations between the Taliban and the US officials in Qatar entered fifth day in an attempt to end the 17-year war in Afghanistan.The talks mark the highest level negotiations between the two sides since US ramped up peace efforts last year.Cofounder of the Taliban, Mullah Abdul Ghani Baradar, has joined the talks as the new head of the Taliban team. He met the US special representative, Zalmay Khalilzad, for the first time on Monday.Since then, the two men and their respective delegations have been working to hammer out details of a framework agreement reached in six days of negotiations in Doha in Jan."We have two core issues. The withdrawal of all foreign forces from Afghanistan is a core issue for us. And a core issue for the American side is that the soil of Afghanistan should not be used against the Americans and against its allies," said Taliban spokesman Suhail Shaheen as talks entered a second day on Tuesday.  US has also been asking for a Taliban ceasefire. "If we do not reach a solution in this round of talks, then we will in the next round of talks, but that is our target," Shaheen said. In the latest round of talks, working groups are trying to find formulas that work for both sides.Meanwhile,Taliban continues with its offensives in Afghanistan, despite the talks.Taliban fighters killed at least 23 Afghan security forces in an attack on Friday on Camp Shorab, a sprawling military base in Helmand province. In northern Sari Pul province, Taliban ambushed a convoy of Afghan security forces, killing 9, said spokesman for governor.aljazeera
Egyptian military court upholds jail sentence of former anti-corruption chief
An Egyptian military court has rejected an appeal made by Egypt’s former anti-corruption chief and an opposition figure against a 5-year prison sentence for spreading false news harmful to the military, Reuters reported his lawyer as saying on Sunday.Shortly before his arrest Hisham Genena had served on the campaign team of former military chief of staff Sami Anan, who was planning to run as an independent candidate against President Abdel Fattah al-Sisi in March 2018 elections. But Anan’s presidential bid was cut short in when the military arrested him in January 2018 for allegedly running without permission.Genena was arrested a month later after he told HuffPost Arabi news website that Anan possessed documents that were damning of senior Egyptian officials.MEMO
Jailed exEgypt MP Beltagy’s health deteriorating: Family
The health of Muslim Brotherhood leader Mohamed al-Beltagy, who was jailed after Egypt’s 2013 military coup, has recently deteriorated, members of his family said. “For the third year in a row, we have been prohibited from visiting him in Cairo’s Al-Aqrab Prison,” the family said.“We recently learned of his deteriorating health condition,” the statement read. “He has suffered a stroke inside prison.”“We hold the Egyptian regime, the Interior Ministry, the Prison Service and the attorney-general responsible for his safety,” it added. The family goes on to demand al-Beltagy’s "immediate" transfer to a hospital for the necessary treatment.  Anadolu Agency
US: Anti-Muslim signs at West Virginia Capitol roil state, draw outrage
West Virginia : An anti-Muslim poster outside the West Virginia House of Delegates chamber falsely connecting a freshman congresswoman to the Sept. 11 attacks has drawn strong rebukes from local and national lawmakers, while causing the resignation of a Capitol staffer and the reported injury of another.The sign, which loomed over a table loaded with other Islamophobic flyers on a “WV GOP Day” at the legislature Friday, bore an image of the burning World Trade Center juxtaposed with a picture of US Rep. Ilhan Omar, one of the first Muslim congresswomen ever elected.“‘Never forget’ — You said,” was written over the Twin Towers. On Omar’s picture, a caption read, “I am the proof you have forgotten.”“No wonder why I am on the “Hitlist” of a domestic terrorist and “Assassinate Ilhan Omar” is written on my local gas stations,” Omar wrote on Twitter as the images went viral. AP
Flash: views & NEWS
It’s Advantage Modi, But Poll Results Far from Being Sealed in Favour of BJP — Amulya Ganguli
From Pulwama until Abhinandan's Return, Where All Has Narendra Modi Been?thewire
‘Crackdown on Jamaat Will Only Increase Its Social Significance’:AZAAN JAVAID
Ban on Jamaat-e-Islami is an attack on ‘Middle ground’ in Kashmir, say experts
As fear of war grips Kashmir, its largest English daily will no longer get state ads:Hilal Mir
What Modi says about ‘pilot projects’ – and what it says about his record on terrorism/LManoj Joshi
‘Biggest sign of statist control is that no businessman will speak out against govt. It’s different in the US’
While RSS has maintained a radio silence in this regard, common people are beginning to question the timing of the attacks:Sujata Anandan
Hiring Muslims in China to detain more Muslims: NYT

Compiled and edited by Anwarulhaq (Released at: 5:36 PM)

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