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Sunday, 31 March 2019

31 March ND: Army Gen who oversaw surgical strike submits national security blueprint to Rahul Gandhi/Pulwama attack a gift to BJP before polls: Ex RAW chief Dulat/ RTI activist petitions SC with discrepancy doubts on EVMs


NEWS DIGEST, Afternoon 
31 March 2019: 23 Rajab 1440:Vol: 11, No:164
INDIA
Army Gen who oversaw surgical strike submits national security blueprint to Rahul Gandhi
New Delhi:Congress president Rahul Gandhi on Sunday tweeted that a blueprint of what may form the Congress’s policy for national security is ready. A team of experts led by Lt General (Retd) DS Hooda, who oversaw 2016 surgical strike across Line of Control in the aftermath of the Uri terror attack, has prepared the document.“Lt. General (Retd.) DS Hooda & his team have put together a comprehensive report on India’s National Security that he presented to me today. This exhaustive report will at first be discussed & debated within the Congress party,” Gandhi wrote on Twitter.This comes days ahead of the first phase of voting for the Lok Sabha elections on April 11. The issue of national security has been a bone of contention between the Modi government and the Opposition with each side accusing the other of compromising it.The Opposition has singled out major terrorist attacks including those at Pathankot, Uri and Pulwama to target the Modi government. BJP-led ruling coalition has accused the Congress and other Opposition parties of going soft on anti-national forces.Meanwhile, the Congress roped in former chief of the army’s northern command Lt Gen DS Hooda (retired) to head a task force on national security. Lt Gen Hooda was the main architect of the surgical strikes carried out by Indian Army in  2016.HT
Pulwama attack a gift to BJP before polls: Ex RAW chief Dulat
Hyderabad :The terror attack on a convoy of CRPF personnel in Pulwama was a gift to the BJP ahead of the elections, former R&AW chief A S Dulat said on Saturday.Speaking on the sidelines of Asian Arab Awards in Hyderabad, Dulat said, “It was a gift to BJP ahead of the general elections and India had the right to carry out the surgical strike on terror camps in Pakistan. I have said this earlier also, and I am saying this now, Pulwama attack was a gift by JeM to (PM) Modi. As elections were due, it was expected that there would be a retaliation. It was inevitable that something would happen. The surgical strike deep in Pakistan was alright.”Dulat said that nationalism should be looked at in a broader perspective, and where patriotism is enough, there should be no emphasis on nationalism. “Nationalism can lead to war. We should talk with Kashmiris and that is the way forward,’’ he said, adding former PM Manmohan Singh came very close to signing a peace treaty with Pakistan.indian express
Raghuram Rajan thinks RSS could be a problem for India
Former RBI governor Raghuram Rajan has not always been in the good books of RSS, parent organisation of the BJP. Now, when asked about his views on the saffron organisation, Rajan had a word of caution about it—he said that the narrow worldview of the RSS "is deeply problematic for an open democratic country like ours".In an interview to The Week, Rajan said the RSS's narrow view might be an anomaly to the India that was built upon "the views of our founding fathers like Nehru and  Gandhi as well as the Constitution". "So to that extent, I believe it is a much narrower view and because of this, it does not give as much of freedom of participation in the broad stream of Indian life to a variety of communities outside the majoritarian community, and others that it considers part of the majority. That, to my mind, is deeply problematic for an open democratic country like ours. We cannot afford it," Rajan siad. He said that it is the organisational aim of the RSS that he is not in agreement with. However, Rajan reminded that RSS shaped great personalities like former prime minister Atal Behari Vajpayee. "There are good people in every organisation, there have been very very honourable and praiseworthy members like Atal Behari Vajpayee, Bharat Ratna and a very decent human being as well as a great leader," Rajan said.Rajan is currently in India to promote his third book 'The Third Pillar', which was released on Tuesday. The book, Rajan said, was largely against the aims of the populist nationalist organisations like the RSS. The Week
RTI activist petitions SC with discrepancy doubts on EVMs
Mumbai based RTI activist Manoranjan S Roy has petitioned the Supreme Court to direct the Election Commission to file a proper affidavit on his petition alleging huge discrepancies in the EVMs supplied by manufacturers, the EVMs deployed and the EVMs said to have developed defects. A large number of EVMs are also not accounted for according to replies furnished by the ECI under Right To Information Act, the petition states. Roy claimed in his petition filed in the Supreme Court that although he had filed the PIL in the Bombay High Court over a year ago, the Election Commission of India failed to file an affidavit despite repeated adjournments. The Bombay High Court, his petition states, allowed several adjournments and despite his prayer for directions well before the general election of 2019, his plea was ignored.Seeking an early hearing, the petition claims that the HC in its written interim order dated March 8, 2019 observed,“we have no doubt that the Election Commission would maintain proper record of the machines purchased including the record of the machines which are not in use or machines which are found to be defective. Stand over for four weeks.”In his Special Leave Petition filed through advocate KK Mohan under article 136 of Constitution of India, the activist has claimed that he had obtained information from the Election Commission as well as the manufacturers based on RTI applications. Nationalheraldindia
Plea in SC to bring political parties under RTI
A PIL has been filed in the Supreme Court urging that political parties registered with the Election Commission be brought under RTI Act.BJP leader Ashwini Kumar Upadhyay has petitioned the court that political parties registered under Section 29A of the Representation of the People Act, 1951 be declared 'public authority' under Section 2(H) of RTI Act 2005.He has also prayed that all registered and recognized political parties be directed to appoint Public Information Officer, appellate authority, within four weeks and make disclosures in letter and spirit of RTI Act and in the event of non-compliance of the provisions of the RPA, RTI Act, Income Tax Act, Model Code of Conduct and other Election Laws and Rules, the political parties shall be de-recognized by the ECI.livelaw.in
200 muftis declare all schemes like Govt's interest based Sukanya Sammridhi Yojana unlawful in Islam
NEW DELHI:Led by Jamiat Ulama-i-Hind, 200 muftis from different parts of the Country passed a fatwa here in Delhi declaring “unlawful in Islam” all schemes like Centre’s “Sukanya Samriddhi Account Yojana” for the girl child that provides “interest” on the money deposited in the bank. They cite the Sharia which they say holds any kind of interest based financial transaction as unlawful in Islam to justify the resolution passed at the end of a three day conference here in the Capital.However, the muftis see no problem in financial transactions by different mobile applications, cash back or reward points by Paytm or Easy Paisa etc. “Similarly booking taxi etc. by mobile applications is also allowed in Sharia,” it is stated in another resolution passed at the conference. They also passed a resolution saying that use of ‘Google Adsense’ for advertising lawful goods is allowed. However it cannot be used for the promotion of movies and illegal programs.As per a statement from JUH, about 200 Islamic jurists from Darul Uloom Deoband,Nadawatul Ulama, Lucknow, Jamia Qasmia Shahi, Muradabad and different Islamic institutions participated in the conference.The resolution passed by the muftis states that “under ‘Sukanya Samriddhi Yojana’ a bank account is opened in the name of girl child of less than ten years of age by her parents. The parents keep on depositing money in the account for certain age of the child. The bank annually increases the amount by adding annual interest up to nine percent etc. It is because that this scheme involves interest; it is clearly un-Islamic.”When asked that would this not deny genuine beneficiaries from low income families financial benefits, Niaz Ahmed Farooqui, secretary JUH said, “Irrespective of how idealistic the vision behind a scheme providing interest is as per Islam it is unlawful. It is for people to follow or not follow.” Kamal Faruqui from All India Muslim Personal Law Board explained, “Islam calls for earning through business and participataory transaction. It does not approve of living off interest generated out of Capital sitting in a bank,” he added.TOI
Prashant Bhushan: BJP will spend ₹90,000 crore in LS polls, democracy, elections becoming hostage to money
BJP would be spending ₹90,000 crore in the 2019 general election, claimed noted Supreme Court lawyer and anti-graft activist Prashant Bhushan on Saturday."It is estimated that ₹1 lakh crore would be spent on the 2019 Lok Sabha elections and 90 per cent of it would be spent by the BJP," said Bhushan delivering a talk on 'Reclaiming the Republic', a manifesto released by socio-political body Swaraj Abhiyan.Lamenting that democracy and elections were becoming a hostage to money, Bhushan told the gathering that the entire election system was dependent on money and there was no limit on spending by political parties."Drastic electoral reforms are urgently needed to bring in transparency in electoral funding. No country in the world has a non-transparent instrument like electoral bonds' we have in India where corporate and foreign entities can send money to any party funds secretly but legally," said Bhushan.IANS
BJP chief Amit Shah’s wife’s income grew 16-fold in 5 years
BJP President Amit Shah has said his wife Sonal Shah's income grew from Rs 14 lakh annually to Rs 2.3 crore in the last five years, which is a 16-fold increase.The declaration was made by Shah while filing his nomination papers for the Lok Sabha elections from the Gandhinagar constituency.As per the declaration, the BJP President's total movable and immovable assets are worth over Rs 31 crore. Shah has also shown that he inherited over Rs 23 crore from his late mother Kusum Shah in 2013.Shah's income for 2017-18 has been shown as Rs 53,90,970.In 2013-14, Shah's income was Rs 41,93,218.His wife's income grew from Rs 14,55,637 in 2013-14 to over Rs 2.3 crore in 2017-18.IANS
5,000 Members of RSS-linked Muslim Rashtriya Manch to Join Congress After Facing 'Discrimination'
Nagpur:Several office-bearers of the Muslim Rashtriya Manch, a body affiliated to RSS, joined the Congress on Saturday, claiming that they were facing discrimination and apathy.City president of the Muslim Rashtriya Manch Riyaz Khan alleged that the RSS and BJP were ignoring their demands, and claimed that some 5,000 members of the Manch were joining the Congress along with him and some 20 other functionaries.Congress' candidate for the Nagpur Lok Sabha constituency, Nana Patole, welcomed them into the party fold at a function here.PTI
Rahul Gandhi picks Wayanad as his second Lok Sabha seat, will fight to retain Amethi too
New Delhi :Putting speculations to rest, the Congress Sunday announced that party president Rahul Gandhi will be contesting from Wayanad Lok Sabha seat in Kerala in addition to his Amethi constituency. Addressing a press conference on Sunday, senior Congress leader A K Antony said, “Rahul ji has given his consent to contest from two seats, very happy to inform you that he will also contest from Wayanad in Kerala.”“This is a message to the southern states that they are deeply valued and respected. Congress President Rahul Gandhi has said that he will represent Amethi but will also represent southern states as they are an important part of India’s way of life,” PTI quoted Congress chief spokesperson Randeep Surjewala as saying.When asked if Gandhi was not confident on winning the Amethi seat this time, Surjewala said, “Why did Modi ji leave Gujarat and contest from Varanasi? Was he not confident in Gujarat? These are immature and childish comments. She (Smriti Irani) will complete a hat-trick of losses.”indianexpress
Dalits and Minorities Being Attacked Across the Country: Rahul
Vijaywada:Congress President Rahul Gandhi has said the ultimate goal of Prime Minister Narendra Modi is to destroy the Constitution of India, but said the Congress would never allow this.Kicking-off the party’s election campaign here, he said ‘divide India and steal from India’ is the politics of Modi.He said Dalits and minorities were being threatened and attacked across the country. “People are murdered and women are raped. There is atmosphere of fear. This is the politics of Narendra Modi. Divide India and steal from India,” he said in a rally.“Everybody knows the ultimate goal of Modi is the destruction of the Constitution of India. We are never going to allow that. Dalits, minorities, tribals, farmers, weaker sections, everybody has a right to live in this country in peace.This country is not the personal property of one man or one organization,” he said.IANS
Giriraj Singh Lands Himself in Fresh Soup, Shares Stage With Muzaffarpur Shelter Home Rape Case Accused
New Delhi: Ahead of Lok Sabha elections, Union Minister Giriraj Singh has landed himself in a soup for sharing stage with former Bihar minister Manju Verma, who is out on bail in Muzaffarpur shelter home case. Singh was addressing a rally in Begusarai on Saturday when Verma was spotted sharing the dais with the minister. She had been lodged in Begusarai jail since Nov.20 last year in connection with the recovery of cartridges from her in-laws' residence during a CBI raid as part of the probe into the shelter home case.News18
‘No action, suspensions yet’: Family questions custodial death of J&K school principal
Srinagar :Even as 10 days have passed since his custodial killing, the family of Awantipora school teacher Rizwan Asad is still searching for the answers. And both the J-K Police and the government are silent.While the government has initiated a probe into the killing, several gaping holes in the story have surfaced. “There has not been any development in the case so far,” Rizwan’s older brother Mubashir Asad said.“None of our questions have been answered. We are now waiting for the probe to end before deciding about the legal course,” he added.On the night of March 17, Rizwan, a post graduate in Chemistry and principal of Sabir Abdullah Public School, was picked up by the police from his home in Awantipora. On Tuesday morning, police claimed Rizwan had died in custody. The family has accused the cops of killing the school teacher in custody. Even though 10 days have passed, the government is yet to initiate any disciplinary action against the officials involved in the case – there have been no suspensions, no attachments or transfers till date.In 2011, when a Sopore youth, Nazim Rashid Shalla, had died in police custody, the government had suspended 3 police officials, attached a DSP and had also transferred the then SP of the area.indian express
Dadri lynching case accused seen sitting in front row of BJP rally
The accused in the Dadri lynching case were seen sitting in the front row of a BJP rally addressed by Uttar Pradesh CM Yogi Adityanath in Bishahra village of Dadri area on Sunday.Adityanath is campaigning for Union Minister and BJP candidate Mahesh Sharma who is contesting from Gautam Budh Nagar.In the charge sheet filed by police, Vishal was accused of making an announcement from a local temple that Akhlaq had consumed beef and was storing it in his house.Vishal and 16 other accused were seen sitting in front row of the rally and chanting ‘Bharat Mata Ki Jai’.thehindu
Bombay HC grants relief to ex-Urdu daily editor
Mumbai: Bombay high court has given relief to Shirin Dalvi, former editor of an Urdu daily, Awadhnama and disposed of the petition filed by her.A division bench of Justice Ranjit More and Justice Bharti Dangre was hearing a petition filed by Ms Dalvi wherein she was seeking to quash 4 FIRs against her in the state.In the year 2015, a controversial cartoon of Prophet was published in the French magazine ‘Charlie Hebdo’ that hurt the religious sentiments of the Muslim community. Ms Dalvi, on January 2015, had published the same cartoon in her newspaper with an editorial on the front page. After which, several police complaints were filed throughout the state against her and police had also reached her home with an arrest warrant. According to her petition, she was threatened by people because of which she had to go underground. She had to change her dressing style, switch off her mobile phones and leave her residence out of fear.On February 2015, the court had granted relief to Ms Dalvi saying no coercive action will be taken against her till the court takes decision on her petition. Meanwhile, police had also opposed her anticipatory bail application and argued that she has hurt religious sentiments of people.Asian Age
Delhi: Jamia Millia Islamia cancels fashion show, dice game after protests
The engineering department of Delhi’s Jamia Millia Islamia University on Saturday cancelled a fashion show and a dice game after protests erupted on campus. The protesting group claimed that such activities were “against [the] Islamic ethics and cultural ethos of Jamia”. Both events were part of Faculty of Engineering’s 3-day annual festival, Xtacy. The protesting group, which calls itself “Students of Jamia” on Facebook, has been campaigning against these events. In two Facebook posts on Saturday, the group described the events as “peak level of immodesty” and rallied support against it. “Dear brothers, if you are left with even a bit of Ghairah [zeal]…come out and stop such evil acts. Come out against such filth so that we won’t be ashamed on the Day of Judgment,” read one of the posts.The organisers had the permission and support of both the Faculty of Engineering and the university administration to host these events.“We cancelled the show only because we feared the protestors would get violent,” said one of the students. Scroll.in
WORLD
Some of Khashoggi's killers received training in US: WaPo report
Some members of the Saudi hit team that killed Saudi writer Jamal Khashoggi in his country's consulate in the Turkish city of Istanbul received training in the United States, according to a new Washington Post column. Khashoggi, a critic of Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman (MBS), entered the building on October 2, 2018, to obtain documents necessary for his forthcoming marriage. He was killed inside the consulate by a team of Saudi operatives in what has been described as a "premeditated murder".His body is yet to be found.According to the reporting by Washington Post's David Ignatius, which included interviews with more than a dozen US and Saudi sources who requested anonymity, some of the special-operations training that members of the hit team received in the US might have been conducted by Tier 1 Group, an Arkansas-based company. The training, part of a wider intelligence and defence partnership between US and Saudi Arabia,was conducted under a State Department licence, said the Post, for which Khashoggi was a columnist. It has not resumed since.A US project to help modernise and provide training to the Saudi intelligence service is also on hold, pending State Department approval of a license, according to the newspaper.aljazeera
Leaked documents reveal abuse of Saudi prisoners: Report
Saudi political prisoners suffered torture and malnutrition, according to leaked medical reports prepared for King Salman, the Guardian newspaper has revealed.The medical reports are understood to have been prepared for the king along with recommendations that include potential pardoning for the prisoners or early release due to health concerns.The medical examinations included in the report are believed to have been conducted in January for up to 60 prisoners as part of an internal review ordered by the king, despite objections by aides of Crown Prince Mohammed Bin Salman (MBS), the Guardian wrote.The report was to be circulated around the royal court, a source told British paper.The conditions of the prisoners as reported in the leaked documents are consistent, the Guardian said, with several reports that have emerged in recent months involving claims of torture in Saudi prisons.MBS, the kingdom's de facto leader, is also facing reproach over the murder of Saudi journalist Jamal Khashoggi , who was killed inside his country's consulate in Istanbul on Oct.2, 2018 by a team of Saudi operatives in what has been described as a "premeditated murder".aljazeera
Afghan vice president narrowly escapes Taliban attack
Afghanistan's Vice President Abdul Rashid Dostum has escaped unhurt after a Taliban attack that killed one of his bodyguards, according to officials.Attackers ambushed Dostum's convoy on Saturday on the way from Mazar-i-Sharif, a city in Balkh province, to Jawzjan province in northern Afghanistan, said Bashir Ahmad Tayenj, a spokesman for Dostum's Junbish Party. Dostum was aware of a planned attack but decided to travel anyway, the spokesman added.2 of his bodyguards were wounded.Dostum had held a rally in Balkh earlier in the day as he had joined the election team of Afghan Chief Executive Abdullah Abdullah, one of several contenders in the presidential election scheduled for Sept. 28. Taliban claimed responsibility for the assassination attempt. In a tweet, Zabihullah Mujahid, a spokesman of the group, said four guards were killed and six wounded in the attack.The assault came 8 months after Dostum avoided injury in a suicide bombing at Kabul airport that killed 23 people.
Brazil's Bolsonaro visits Israel with embassy decision pending
Brazil's President Jair Bolsonaro began his visit to Israel on Sunday with a decision pending on fulfilling a promise to move his country's embassy to Jerusalem, a policy change opposed by military officers in his cabinet.The four-day visit by the far-right leader comes a week before Israel's closely contested election in which the right-wing Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu is battling a popular centrist candidate and corruption allegations, which he denies."I love Israel," Bolsonaro said in Hebrew at a welcoming ceremony, with Netanyahu at his side at Tel Aviv's Ben-Gurion airport. Netanyahu said he and Bolsonaro would sign "many agreements", including security deals, and that the Brazilian leader would visit Judaism's holy Western Wall at the Al Aqsa Mosque compound.Yuval Steinitz, Israel's energy minister, said on Sunday that Brazilian state-run oil firm Petrobras "will take part in a process of oil and gas exploration in Israel".aljazeera
Half of Arab leaders absent from Tunisia summit
Around half of Arab leaders will not take part in the annual Arab summit, due to open in the Tunisian capital on Sunday.  According to information compiled by Anadolu, only 13 Arab leaders will attend the one-day summit, including Saudi King Salman, Qatar's emir Tamim bin Hamad and Egypt's President Abdel-Fattah al-Sisi. Other attending leaders include Tunisia's Beji Caid Essebsi, Sheikh Sabah Al-Ahmad of Kuwait and King Abdullah II of Jordan as well as the leaders of Iraq, Lebanon, Palestine, Yemen, Mauritania and Djibouti.   Libya will be represented by the head of the country's presidential council Fayez al-Sarraj.   Meanwhile, eight leaders will be absent from the summit; most notably Sudanese President Omar al-Bashir, Algeria's Abdelaziz Bouteflika,Omani Sultan Qaboos bin Said and Moroccan King Mohammed VI. War-torn Syria will not be represented by any official at the summit as the country's Arab League membership has been frozen since 2011.  Anadolu Agency
Voting begins in Turkey’s local elections
Ankara :Polling in Turkey’s local elections began on Sunday, with 57 million registered voters expected to cast their ballots in the country's 81 provinces.Voters living in Turkey’s larger cities will vote to elect a mayor for the entire city, as well as district municipal mayors, city council members, mukhtars (neighborhood officials), and members of elder councils. The voters will choose from 12 political parties competing in the local elections.More than 44 million citizens are expected to vote at 142,777 polling places in 30 biggest cities, called metropolitan municipalities.Meanwhile, 12.8 million voters will vote at 51,851 polling places across 51 provinces in Turkey.The major competing parties are the ruling Justice and Development (AK) Party, main opposition Republican People's Party (CHP), Nationalist Movement Party (MHP), Good (IYI) Party, and Peoples' Democratic Party (HDP).Also taking part are the Independent Turkey Party (BTP), Grand Unity Party (BBP), Democrat Party (DP), Democratic Left Party (DSP), Saadet (Felicity) Party, Communist Party of Turkey (TKP), and Patriotic (Vatan) Party.Anadolu
Before mosque attacks, New Zealand failed to record hate crimes for years: Reuters
Wellington:Weeks before a gunman killed 50 Muslims in Christchurch, a man had threatened to burn copies of the Koran outside New Zealand mosques, in what community leaders said was the latest in a long list of threatening behaviour against religious minorities.Police said they warned a 38-year-old man over the incident, which was unrelated to the Christchurch attack, but could not say if it was part of a pattern.That’s because, unlike many Western countries including the UK and the US, New Zealand’s government keeps no comprehensive record of hate crimes, failing to act on requests to do so from local and international agencies spanning more than a decade.“For many years our view has consistently been that this needs to be prioritised and implemented urgently,” said Janet Anderson-Bidois, Chief Legal Adviser at the Human Rights Commission.“It is imperative that we have good data.”In the wake of New Zealand’s worst mass shooting, questions are being asked about what signs agencies missed and where resources should have been allocated to protect vulnerable communities.Anwar Ghani from the Federation of Islamic Associations of New Zealand, said anecdotal evidence suggested there had been a rise in anti-Muslim behaviour in recent years.Joris De Bres, New Zealand’s Race Relations Commissioner between 2002 and 2013, said he was alarmed at signs of an uptick in threats against Muslims when he took up the role soon after the 9/11 attacks.De Bres said he repeatedly asked the government and police to create a central system for recording details about crimes motivated by hatred and racism.He raised the issue with the UN Committee on the Elimination of Racial Discrimination, which in its 2007 review of New Zealand said the lack of records was a concern, and asked the government to collect data on complaints of racially motivated crimes.In its latest report on New Zealand in 2017, the UN committee repeated its concerns and requests and asked the government to provide the data for its next report as a priority.New Zealand has had no previous extremist mass attacks, unlike neighbouring Australia, but civil society members say an underbelly of racism has always existed and may have been escalating.Anjum Rahman from the Islamic Women’s Council of New Zealand said the group had repeatedly alerted the government over the past 5 years about the rise of the extreme right and the growing threat Muslim women felt in New Zealand.“Without the data, without the measurement it’s really hard to push for change...I feel like it wasn’t taken seriously because it wasn’t hard data because we didn’t have it,” she said, adding she felt “a resistance to creating that data.”Human Rights Commission said it received 417 complaints relating to race in 2018, up from 350 in 2014. Those included 63 complaints of “racial disharmony”, which includes hate speech, a 26 percent jump from four years earlier.
Flash: views & NEWS
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Prashant Bhushan on Current Threats to the Constitution
'There has been a distinct political articulation of Moditva, a Right-wing populsim':Political commentator Maidul Islam about his latest work
India Today Deletes Article About Amit Shah’s Granddaughter Refusing to Wear BJP Hat:Jignesh Patel

Compiled and edited by Anwarulhaq (Released at: 6:48 PM)

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