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03 April 2019

03 April ND:Hindus feature on NIA's most wanted terror accused list/ US-based historian Truschke, Vardarajan, Ashutosh Owaisi reminds Modi instances of Hindu terror


NEWS DIGEST, Afternoon 
03 April 2019: 26 Rajab 1440:Vol: 11, No:167
INDIA
Hindus feature on NIA's most wanted terror accused list
New Delhi:PM  Narendra Modi's remarks on Hindus never indulging in terror activities don't match the claims of NIA - country's federal anti terror probe body.NIA website has a section for 'most wanted' in terror related cases and this includes accused from various religions, be it Hindus, Muslims or Christians.When it comes to a bounty, it's some of the Maoists or the Red rebels that exceed the amount compared to Islamic terrorists.Maoist leader Laxman Rao alias Ganapati has the highest cash reward of Rs 15 lakh on his head.Ramchandra Kalsangra and Sandeep Dange part of a "terrorist gang" according to NIA wanted in the Samjhauta Express train bombings and Mecca Masjid blast in Ajmer come in the second highest category and attract a cash reward of Rs 10 lakh each along with several others belonging to Indian Mujahideen.The Interpol has also issued a red corner notice for both crimes involving the use of weapons and explosives, and terrorism.Aseemanand and 3 others were recently acquitted in the Samjhauta train blast case in which 68 people had died.Ramesh, another accused in Samjhauta case is absconding and declared most-wanted by NIA.Another Hindu wanted in a terror case named by NIA is Somraj Jay Prakash alias Anna wanted in a bomb blast case of Margaon, Goa in 2009. Rudra Patil also named as an accused in the case is absconding.The 2 have an Interpol Notice issued in their name.Braj Kishore Giri is named in a case for planting a pressure cooker bomb at railway tracks in Motihari, and 3 persons, Moti Lal Paswan, Umashanker Patel and Mukesh Yadav were arrested by the Motihari Police in connection with the case.indiatoday
US-based historian Truschke, Vardarajan, Ashutosh
Owaisi reminds Modi instances of Hindu terror
NewDelhi:Reacting sharply to ‘no Hindu terror’ statement made by PM  Narendra Modi, noted historian and academician Audrey Truschke has reminded PM of the terror incidents carried out by Hindus at different points of time.In a series of tweets, Truschke, who is an assistant professor at US-based Rutgers University, mentioned assassination of Mahatma Gandhi, 2002 Gujarat pogrom and 2007 Samjhauta Express blast. Sharing the statement made by Modi published on the front page of TOI, Truschke, who is the author of the book “Aurangzeb: The Life and Legacy of India’s Most Controversial King,” said “India’s PM, Modi, thinks that no Hindu, ever, has committed an act of terrorism. Hindus are about 15% of world population, by the way, so it’s a pretty large group. A few hard facts from the past…”.Mentioning the assassination of Gandhi, she said “Perhaps single most well-known act of terrorism in the entire history of India is when Nathuram Godse assassinated Mahatma Gandhi. Anyone who knows anything about Indian history knows that a Hindu shot Gandhi. Modi knows this. Why might he want to gloss over that? Well…”Similarly, prominent journalists Siddharth Vardarajan and Ashutosh Gupta and AIMIM chief Asaduddin Owaisi also asked PM  about Godse who killed Mahatma Gandhi.‘PM  – who is Godse !! If not a terrorist,” asked Ashutosh.Reacting to PM’s statement, Owaisi said “The one who killed Mahatma Gandhi, what was he? Godse. Was he Owaisi’s brother? Who was he? Was he not a terrorist? Speak up Modi. Who was Godse?” She also said that Hindu terrorism is not a thing of the past. At the present time, saffron terror is being used by Hindutva individuals and groups who commit terror activities.Terming 2002 pogrom a terror act, Truschke said “2 high-profile cases:2002 pogrom in Gujarat and 2007 Samjhauta express bombing, to which an RSS guy confessed”.She also reminded Modi of prosecution, intimidation, violence committed by Hindus against Muslims of India.“Last 5 years in India have seen numerous small cases of intimidation and violence used against Muslims in particular, by Hindus.Not infrequently, these are caught on tape.They are more rarely prosecuted”. According to Truschke, it is insane to say that no Hindu committed an act of terrorism. Like Muslims and Christians, Hindus also committed the terror act. “In summary, it is nothing short of insane to say that no Hindu has ever committed an act of terrorism. It is just as insane as saying no Muslim or no Christian has ever committed an act of terrorism. So why did Modi say it?”Slamming BJP for ignoring the facts about India’s past and present, Truschke said “The world of facts, about India’s past and present, is not kind to BJP interests. So they leave it behind. The best hope for BJP in the current election is to run on a platform of violence while verbally denying the ground beneath their feet and pray that nobody notices”.caravandaily
 Ex-diplomats question Abu Dhabi Crown Prince on reports of Modi inaugurating temple during polls
Experts and former diplomats have criticised the Crown Prince of Abu Dhabi, Sheikh Mohammed bin Zayed, and the Saudi Arabia for pitching behind PM  Narendra Modi, calling it a dangerous game. This was after reports emerged that Modi may be taking part in the second foundation laying ceremony of a Hindu temple belonging to the Swami Narayan sect in Abu Dhabi on 20 April.As reported by the Abu Dhabi govt-owned paper, Modi had taken part in the first foundation ceremony in during his visit to the kingdom in Feb.2018, when he also launched the project of the capital’s first Hindu temple.The latest round of foundation ceremony comes right in the middle of the Indian elections amidst Modi making desperate attempts to provoke India’s Hindu voters to seek a second term for himself in office.Ex-diplomat KC Singh criticised the Crown Prince of Abu Dhabi and Saudi Arabia for helping Modi extract the much-needed electoral mileage in the elections. Singh wrote on Twitter, “News today Modi likely to inaugurate Abu Dhabi Temple in April. Code of Conduct ? Crown princes of AbuDhabi/ SArabia playing a dangerous game by pitching behind Modi. Foreign nations should absolutely avoid direct/indirect interference in Indian polls.” Ambassador Rajiv Dogra too agreed with KC Singh, advising Abu Dhabi against this visit on the grounds that Modi will use the visit to extract the electoral advantage in the ongoing elections. “UAE is the most liberal of Gulf monarchies and our relationship with them is also very old. However, a visit by PM to participate in a shilanyas in election season will throw up visuals that will be used in the elections,” Ambassador Dogra was quoted by The Hindu.The publicity material sent by the organisers have not yet confirmed Modi’s name as one of the guests. There are also questions on whether Modi can take part in a religious event abroad when the Model Code of Conduct is in effect.jantakareporter
JNU sedition case: Delhi govt seeks month’s time to grant sanction to prosecute Kanhaiya,Umar others
Delhi govt has informed Patiala House court that it needs a month’s time to grant sanction to prosecute ex JNU students’ union president Kanhaiya Kumar and others in a 2016 sedition case. Chief Metropolitan Magistrate Deepak Sherawat directed AAP govt to file a “proper reply” citing a definite time-frame, reported PTI.The court had earlier expressed displeasure over the Delhi Police for not procuring requisite sanctions in the case and asked the police to proceed in the matter without it.Delhi government is yet to grant approval to prosecute Kumar and others under IPC Section 124A (sedition).Police also charged ex JNU students Umar Khalid and Anirban Bhattacharya for allegedly shouting anti-India slogans during an event.indianexpress
SC cancels bail granted by Delhi HC to trader Watali in terror funding case
The Supreme Court has set aside the Delhi High Court order granting bail to a trader from J&K, Zahoor Ahmad Shah Watali, an accused in terror funding case. The NIA had moved the apex court challenging the bail granted to the accused by Delhi HC in a terror funding case.The SC order setting aside Watali’s bail was passed by a bench headed by Justice AM Khanwilkar. The Delhi High Court had in September last year granted bail to Watali, who was arrested for his alleged role in a terror-funding case. He has been lodged in Delhi’s Tihar Jail after his arrest in August 2017.indialegallive
Air pollution killed 1.2 million people in India in 2017, says report; bigger killer than smoking
China and India together were responsible for half of the total global attributable deaths from air pollution in 2017, a new global study released Wednesday has revealed. Long-term exposure to outdoor and indoor air pollution is estimated to have contributed to nearly 5 million deaths in 2017, of which China and India reported 1.2 million deaths each. China’s “major regulatory reforms appear to be driving substantial reductions in PM2.5 exposure,” it notes.State Of Global Air report 2019, produced by the Boston-based Health Effects Institute (HEI), noted that air pollution collectively reduced life expectancy by 1 year and 8 months on average worldwide, rivalling that of smoking. “This means a child born today will die 20 months sooner, on average, than would be expected in the absence of air pollution,” SOGA2019 noted.Overall, 10 countries with highest mortality burden attributable to air pollution in 2017 were China (1.2 million), India (1.2 million), Pakistan (128,000)  Indonesia (124,000), Bangladesh (123,000), Nigeria (114,000), US (108,000), Russia(99,000),Brazil (66,000), and Philippines (64,000), the report states.Across the world, air pollution is responsible for more deaths than many better-known risk factors such as malnutrition, alcohol use and physical inactivity, states the report. “Each year, more people die from air pollution-related disease than from road traffic injuries or malaria,” it said.indianexpress
China hits out at US for ‘complicating’ Masood issue
China on Wednesday hit out at US for threatening to use “all available resources” to designate JeM chief Masood Azhar as a ‘global terrorist’, saying Washington’s move is complicating the issue and not conducive to peace and stability in South Asia.Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesman Geng Shuang told a media briefing here that China is adopting constructive and reasonable stand on the issue to resolve it properly.He was responding to a question about State Department spokesman’s assertions that US will use all “available resources” to blacklist Azhar. US on Tuesday reportedly said it will “utilise all available resources” to ensure Azhar, was held accountable.The State Department was responding to China criticising US, France and UK  for moving a draft resolution at UNSC as “not a constructive move” and that it “set a bad example”.On Monday, Geng claimed “has been made to resolve the vexed issue and accused US of scuttling its efforts.On Wednesday, the Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesman said vast majority of UNSC members believe that efforts should be made under 1267 Sanctions Committee to solve this designation through dialogue and consultation instead of pushing the draft resolution at UNSC.“Also China has been working hard with relevant sides and is making positive results. US knows that very well.Under such circumstances US still insists on pushing the draft resolution, doesn’t make any sense,” he reiterated. PTI
Pakistan could be blacklisted by FATF due to ‘lobbying by India’: Foreign Minister Qureshi
Pakistan could be blacklisted by Financial Action Task Force (FATF) due to “lobbying by India”, Foreign Minister Shah Mahmood Qureshi said as he estimated that the country could suffer USD 10 billion loss annually if it remains in the watchdog’s grey list.In June last year, the Paris-based FATF had placed Pakistan on the ‘grey list’ of countries whose domestic laws are considered weak to tackle the challenges of money laundering and terrorism financing.“Foreign Office is calculating the annual loss if Pakistan is pushed in the black-list by FATF as India is lobbying for this,” Foreign Minister Qureshi told reporters at the Governor’s House here.PTI
J&K Has Banned a Third Local Daily from Receiving Govt Ads: Kashmir Editors' Guild
Srinagar:Kashmir Editors’ Guild (KEG) has accused J&K administration of banning yet another local daily from receiving state advertisements, taking the number of proscribed publications to three.“KEG regrets that while it was expecting the lifting of the ban on govt business to two major newspapers –  Greater Kashmir and Kashmir Reader –govt has added Kashmir Uzma to the list,” said a statement by the editors’ guild. “The ban, as usual, is unexplained and implemented without conveying the decision to the newspaper,” it added.It said the ban is in continuation with the onslaught that Kashmiri media has been facing since 1989.“The onslaught has led to untold miseries to the media and the shaking of the institution’s faith in democracy,” the KEG said.PTI
UN Rights Experts Criticise India for Deporting Rohingya Back to Myanmar
New Delhi: After the deportation of another batch of Rohingya refugees last week, United Nations human rights experts have called on India to stop their forced return to Myanmar in breach of international law. 5 UN Human Rights Council experts – special rapporteur on contemporary forms of racism, racial discrimination, xenophobia and related intolerance E. Tendayi Achiume, special rapporteur on the human rights of migrants Felipe Gonz├ílez Morales, chair-rapporteur of the working group on arbitrary detention Seong-Phil Hong, special rapporteur on minority issues Fernand de Varennes and special rapporteur on the situation of human rights in Myanmar Yanghee Lee – issued a statement on Tuesday on the planned deportation of a Rohingya father and his two sons.“We are dismayed by the decision of the Indian Government to continue forced returns of Rohingya to Myanmar, where they face high risk of attacks, reprisals and other forms of persecution because of their ethnic and religious identity,” said a joint statement from the experts. They have relayed their concerns to the Indian authorities.thewire
BJP Terrifies Labourers In Village Of Muslim Man Lynched By 'Hindutva' Goon
When Afrajul Khan’s coffin arrived at his house, 2 neighbours wrapped their arms around Gulbahar Bibi’s waist and held her back from falling on the body.The widow had spent the last two days slipping in and out of consciousness and when Khan’s remains arrived, all she wanted to do was hug him and cry.But the small crowd of women who’d gathered at her home tried their best not to let Gulbahar touch or hug Khan’s body. It was only later that she realised why.“When they started taking off the cloth wrapped around him, clumps of burnt flesh came off and stuck to the bedsheet,”Gulbahar said. She remembers screaming in horror and fainting again.More than a year after Khan, a labourer from Malda district in West Bengal,was hacked and burnt to death in Rajasthan’s Rajsamand town by a man claiming to be a Hindutva ‘soldier’, his family is yet to come to terms with his murder.Khan’s village, where the majority of men have migrated to other states in search of work, remains fearful of what may happen if BJP gets a second term at the centre. Jobs are hard to come by in the area, and the men who have no option but to leave their homes keep their heads down, wary of attracting any attention on themselves. Huffington post
Ahead of Polls, Gujarat's Muslims Have a Wish List For Political Parties
Over last 2 decades, Hindutva forces have succeeded in achieving communal polarisation in the laboratory of Gujarat. As Lok Sabha polls approach, Muslims in the state have been making an effort to ensure their safety and livelihood, while seeking rights that are constitutionally granted to them.Over the last few days, various groups and organisations have released charters and manifestos containing demands which specify what Muslims in the state seek from various political parties. One such demand is enactment of an atrocity prevention law along the lines of SC/ST (Prevention of Atrocities) Act, 1989, that make crimes against the community a non-bailable offence.This demand has been vociferously aired by Minority Coordination Committee Gujarat as well as Alpsankhyak Adhikar Manch.For Ikram Mirza of Jamaat-e-Islami Hind,who also represents APCR, safety and security remain the biggest concern as “discrimination has reached new heights”.“For example, just look at the incident that took place at a Semeradi village in Amreli district a few weeks ago.When police had gone to nab an alleged criminal, a constable was injured in a scuffle.Police then retaliated by targeting entire village, which has 45 Muslim families. 28 vehicles carrying policemen ransacked houses, breaking things and even destroying their stores of water.It is plain harassment in the name of law and order,”he said.thewire
MIM Stood by Hindu Women Abandoned by Husbands: Owaisi
MIM President Asaduddin Owaisi on Tuesday said his party stood by Hindu women who were abandoned by their husbands."Majlis stood by our Hindu sisters who are victim to the cruel social evil of abandonment without divorce," tweeted Owaisi.His comments came a day after PM Narendra Modi raked up the issue of triple talaq at an election rally in Hyderabad.Modi told the rally that he had to face criticism for bringing a bill in Parliament to protect the country's "sisters and daughters" from the "repressive tradition" of triple talaq. Asaduddin and his younger brother Akbaruddin also hit back at Modi for calling MIM a 'big speed-breaker' in the development of the old city of Hyderabad.IANS
WPI fields its President in Jangipur of West Bengal
Kolkata:The Jangipur Lok Sabha constituency in West Bengal is going to be one of the prime constituencies in the coming Lok Sabha elections in the state. Except Congress which holds the seat, three other leading parties, including BJP, have fielded Muslim candidates for the seat represented by former President of India Pranab Mukherjee for 2 terms.Welfare Party of India, one of the smaller parties that contested the seat in 2014 also, has this time fielded its national president SQR Ilyas. Ilyas has filed his nomination papers in Jangipur. Congress, which has been winning the seat since 2004 without any break, has fielded its sitting MP and Mukherjee’s son Abhijit Mukherjee.Ex-President Mukherjee had won the seat in 2004 and 2009. When he became President in 2012, Congress fielded his son Abhijit and won the seat. Abhijit won it again in 2014 but with a narrow margin of 8,000 votes.To fight against Abhijit of Congress, CPI-M has fielded Zulfikar Ali and ruling Trinamool Congress has fielded Khalilur Rehman. Interestingly, BJP has also fielded a Muslim candidate -- Mahfuza Khatun. Khatun, ex CPI-M MLA, had recently joined BJP.The polling for Jangipur seat will be held in the 3rd phase on 23rd April.Jangipur falls in the district of Murshidabad where Muslims comprise about 67% of the population as per Census 2011.India Tomorrow
EC seeks report on NaMo TV, I&B ministry says channel an advertorial platform
The ministry of information and broadcasting has told the Election Commission that NaMo TV is not a licenced channel but a direct-to-home advertisement platform. Election Commission had taken notice of the launch of NaMo TV ahead of the Lok Sabha elections and sought a report from ministry of I&B.In its reply to the EC, I&B ministry said the party [BJP] is incurring cost of the advertisements, sources said.NaMo TV, a 24-hour TV channel broadcasting PM  Narendra Modi's election campaigns, was launched on March 31.indiatoday
Narendra Modi is a terrorist:Chandrababu Naidu
Chittoor:A day after PM  Narendra Modi compared AP CM  to blockbuster "Baahubali" movie's primary antagonist Bhallala Deva, Naidu retorted by calling PM  a terrorist, in Chittoor. Chandrababu said, "Modi is a hardcore terrorist. He is not a good Samaritan. I request the minority brothers present here only one thing. If you vote for Modi, many problems will arise. This Modi brought triple talaq act planning to put you behind bars, right?"Evoking the Gujarat riots of 2002, he said, "I was the first person who demanded his resignation. Later most of the countries in the world banned his entry. After becoming the PM , he is once again trying to attack minorities."Earlier on April 1, PM  Modi repeatedly called TDP chief 'U-turn Babu' and alleged that TDP has been involved in stealing people's data.indiatoday
Over 80% of clean Ganga fund not yet spent
New Delhi: Only 18% of the total money collected under Clean Ganga Fund (CGF) founded by Modi govt has been spent so far, a RTI query filed by The Wire has revealed.In Sept.2014, the Union cabinet had approved the formation of CGF for Ganga cleaning. It was finally set up in Jan. 2015, with the objective of collecting funds from the general public, as well as private and public sector companies, non-resident Indians and people of Indian origin. From the time of its conception till Dec. 2018, a total of Rs 243.27 crore was received. But so far, only Rs 45.26 crore has been spent on cleaning the river – about 18% of the total amount. The comptroller and auditor general’s (CAG’s) report on National Mission for Clean Ganga (NMCG) cautioned that only a small portion of the amount received under CGF has been spent. CAG report stated that it important to spend CGF money in order to carry forward task of Ganga cleaning. CAG advised the NMCG to draw out a plan for the growth and utilisation of CGF.However, despite CAG’s warning,only 18% of CGF money was spent.thewire
Cong Muslim candidates upset SP-BSP-RLD alliance
Lucknow: Congress fielding Muslim candidates in at least 7 seats in UP with significant Muslim votes has upset BSP-SP-RLD alliance.These parties have alleged that even as Congress claims to be against BJP, its only agenda seems to be to derail the alliance’s election. Out of 7 seats, Congress is hopeful of doing well in at least 2 — Saharanpur and Kheri. However, more contentious of the seats include Badaun where Congress’s Salim Shervani is pitted against SP chief Akhilesh Yadav’s cousin Dharmendra Yadav. Badaun has around 18 lakh voters out of which around 15% are Muslims and 30% Yadavs, claim parties. Sources said BJP will gain if two strong candidates are pitted against each other and Muslims drift towards the Congress. Naseemuddin Siddiqui, former BSP leader, is being seen as the other spoiler. He moved to Congress in 2018 and is contesting from Bijnor, where BSP has fielded Malook Nagar, a Gujjar. Reports suggest that 30% Muslim voters in this constituency will lead to a vote split.In Sitapur, Congress has fielded former BSP leader Kaiser Jahan. This seat is with BSP which has so far not announced its candidate. SP sources said other than some Congress candidates, who had an individual presence, Congress did not have a base in any of these constituencies. They claimed that fielding Muslim candidates on specific seats seemed like an attempt to damage the alliance election, since soon after that they spread information that Congress would leave seven seats for the alliance but did not include seats important to the alliance in these.TOI 
BJP : 100 Muslims join BJP; SP calls it propaganda
Agra: Inamul Jafri, 43, who had been loyal to the Samajwadi Party for over two decades, joined BJP with around 100 Muslims on Monday in presence of party’s Agra seat candidate SP Singh Baghel. SP Singh Baghel said, “The support of people from Muslim community will ensure historic mandate for BJP on Agra seat.”However, downplaying the incident, Samajwadi Party city president Wajid Nisar said, “A few young boys were misled by BJP leaders to showcase that Muslims are ending their loyalty for SP and joining BJP. This is part of their propaganda. Inamul Jafri was made to contest councillor’s election by the party twenty years ago. He has not been an active member of the party for many years. He has joined BJP for his personal gains.”Besides Inamul, city-based businessman Haji Mubarak, Raheeshu, Mohammed Hanif, Amir Khan, Shahzarool Hussain, Imran Jafri, Syed Rehman Ali were some other prominent faces who joined BJP.TOI
SC order on RBI’s ‘Feb 12, 2018 circular’: Congress vindicated, says Chidambaram
New Delhi:Congress leader and ex Union finance minister P Chidambaram Wednesday targeted the BJP for its “wrong policies” and “wrong approach” that drove companies in the steel, power and coal sectors into insolvency. He also criticised the party for its “one-size-fits-all” approach to NPA problem.Chidambaram’s comments come a day after the Supreme Court struck down RBI’s controversial ‘Feb.12, 2018, circular’, which replaced all earlier guidelines on resolution of stressed assets with a new framework. Issued when Urjit Patel was Governor of the central bank, the circular introduced a one-day default norm — “As soon as there is a default in the borrower entity’s account with any lender, all lenders — singly or jointly — shall initiate steps to cure the default”.Chidambaram said the Congress is “vindicated” by the apex court’s judgment.indianexpress
Poll panel steps in to allow launch of book of N.Ram on Rafale deal
Chennai:A few hours after an election flying squad in Chennai served a letter banning the release of a book on the Rafale fighter aircraft scam, the publishing house managed to launch the book by obtaining the nod from Election Commission of India.Sources in Commission later said the members of flying squad that conducted the raid have been relieved from duty and issued a show cause notice.A new team has been constituted as part of the flying squad, they added.The book Nattai Ulukkum Rafale Bera Oozhal (Rafale scam that is rocking the country), by social activist S. Vijayan was brought out by Tamil publishing house Bharathi Puttakalayam. The price tag of the slender volume is ₹10. thehindu
‘Eroding independence’: Govt wants to probe complaints against former CICs, ICs too
New Delhi :Itis not just complaints against the sitting Chief Information Commissioner (CIC) and Information Commissioners (ICs) that the government proposes to scrutinise by setting up committees dominated by bureaucrats, as reported in Indian Express Tuesday but also complaints against ex CICs and ICs.In a March 7 note to Secretary, Central Information Commission, DoPT proposed that complaints against ex commissioners too be scrutinised by a committee chaired by the sitting CIC with DoPT Secretary and Secretary (Coordination), Cabinet Secretariat, as its members. The proposed guidelines state:“If on preliminary scrutiny, the concerned committee considers it necessary to investigate into the allegation, it shall devise its own procedure and method of investigation which may include recording of evidence of the complainant and collection of material relevant to the inquiry which may thereafter be conducted by a judge of the SC.”Findings of the committee would be submitted to the President. If he is of the opinion there are reasonable grounds for inquiry, he would refer it to CJI, who may nominate a SC judge to conduct an inquiry.indianexpress
‘Soul of India at Stake’: AG Noorani Decries RSS at Book Launch
Scholar, lawyer and author AG Noorani launched his latest book The RSS:A Menace to India, a comprehensive, research-intensive deep-dive into one of India’s biggest and most secretive organisations on Tuesday, 2 April.When asked if with RSS’s seeming omnipresence in today’s times, can we afford to accept the organisation as a political reality, Noorani told The Quint, “With RSS, no compromise! Fight to the finish.”In a political climate where it seems creative freedoms are curbed and intimidation is growing, the publishers of the book, LeftWord Books, alleged they were being threatened by the Delhi Police before the launch.thequint
Lok Sabha elections: BJP’s ignoring of Brahmin leaders raises hackles in RSS
RSS top brass has conveyed its dissatisfaction to BJP’s central leadership over the treatment being meted out the party’s Brahmin leaders in UP, Bihar, Jharkhand and several other states, RSS sources said.RSS is learnt to have conveyed to BJP President Amit Shah that ignoring several sitting Brahmin MPs in the northern states could have a pan-India impact on the party’s prospects in the Brahmin community. RSS is said to have reminded the BJP that Brahmin community had thrown their weight behind Narendra Modi’s campaign in 2014 which helped BJP-led NDA win on several seats across the country. “BJP has been sidelining its Brahmin leaders, some of them very senior in stature and age. Congress, on the other hand, is finding a resonance among the community, especially after Priyanka Gandhi’s foray into UP’s politics,” Amit Shah had been told last month, as per top RSS sources.In Bihar, the sitting BJP MP from Valmiki Nagar Satish Dubey has been sidelined for a ticket so that BJP could accommodate its ally JDU. Valmiki Nagar constituency is among 5 seats that BJP has sacrificed for its ally, besides Nawada, Jhanjharpur, Darbhanga and Gopalganj.In UP,ignoring of candidature of senior leader Murli Manohar Joshi for a second term from Kanpur has also not gone down well with the RSS. Another veteran leader and sitting BJP MP from Deoria, Kalraj Mishra, is also not contesting the elections this time around, apparently due to lack of support from PM  Narendra Modi and Amit Shah.nationalheraldindia
Congress wants Modi booked immediately after Rs 1.80 crore ‘recovered’ from CM Khandu’s convoy before PM’s election rally in Arunachal
In a stunning attack against the BJP, the Congress on Wednesday accused the saffron party in Arunachal Pradesh of carrying out ‘cash for votes’ scam alleging that Rs 1.80 crore in cash was recovered from CM  Pema Khandu’s convoy. Releasing the videos of 2 cars carrying the huge quantity of black money in the midst of a high-octane election campaign, the Congress also asked the Election Commission to register a case against PM  Narendra Modi as well as the CM  and his deputy. The money was allegedly recovered from the CM ’s convoy in Pasighat around midnight, hours before Modi was to address a rally there on Wednesday morning.Congress’ chief spokesperson Randeep Singh Surjewala said that Khandu and his deputy Chowna Mein should be immediately sacked. He also said that Tapir Gao’s candidature must also be terminated. Gao is the saffron party’s Arunachal Pradesh president and has been from Arunachal West constituency.jantakareporter
MGNREGA wages fall below minimum wage in 34 states, Union Territories
Foolowing the lowest increase since its inception, wages being paid under the MGNREGA have fallen below the minimum wage in 34 of 35 states and union territories. Data shows that this is maximum recorded divergence between Centre-notified MGNREGA wages and state-notified minimum wages since 2009, when both were brought on a par for the first time.indian express
US deports Indian national wanted in home country for attempted murder, extortion
New York:Ubaidullah Abdulrashid Radiowala, 46, also known as Obed Radiowala, is a key accused in the 2014 cases of alleged conspiracy to kill Bollywood director Mahesh Bhatt and firing on film-maker Karim Morani.A man, wanted in India on charges including attempted murder, extortion, theft and possession of illegal firearms, was removed from the US and turned over to Indian authorities, an official statement said Tuesday.PTI
MP: Security restored at RSS office after govt drew flak from BJP
Bhopal:Withdrawal of security outside RSS office in Bhopal led to a war of words between the ruling Congress and Opposition BJP, forcing Kamal Nath govt to restore it within 24 hours.Security personnel were deployed outside Samidha, organization’s office in Arera Colony, more than a decade ago. Late on Monday, SAF guards were withdrawn and a tent pitched outside the big bungalow was removed.The govt initially justified the decision stating that there was a shortfall of security personnel and they would be deployed somewhere else in view of the elections.indianexpress
Meraj: Namaz was mandated for Muslims this night
Mumbai: Night of Wednesday marks Islamic observance of Shab E' Meraj, which commemorates Prophet Mohammed's ascent to heaven and meeting with Allah. It was this day that the 5 daily namaz were enjoined upon Muslims.It is observed on 27th day of the month of Rajab. The story goes that after a spiritual journey (Isra) from Mecca to Jerusalem, Prophet was led through the 7 heavens by Archangel Gibrael, where he met previous prophets.Then he was ushered into the Allah's presence. Allah Almighty asked what gifts he had brought Him, to which the Prophet said faith through his deeds, wealth and tongue. Allah then awarded him the namaz, the final two verses of Surah Baqarah and the Muqhimat, which is forgiveness of all sinners except those who commit ‘shirk’ (associate partners with Allah).Maulana Akram Ishati of the Four Bungalows mosque in Andheri said, "One can gauge the importance of namaz by the fact that it is the only prayer to be obligatory from heaven." Initially, Allah Almighty mandated 50 namaz a day, which the Prophet entreated and reduced to five. These five, however, earn the reward of 50.Neither fasting nor special prayer is obligatory at Shab E' Meraj though, given that the Prophet did not instruct his followers to celebrate the occasion.TOI
How these mosques are going green by changing their taps
WORLD
Algeria: Joyous scenes of celebrations after Prez Abdelaziz Bouteflika resigns
Algiers:"I am super happy and excited. We have won a battle. This will be a sleepless night", Bilal, a 27-year-old carpenter, told Al Jazeera in downtown Algiers as he and thousands of other Algerians celebrated President Abdelaziz Bouteflika's resignation. The ailing, 82-year-old leader announced he was stepping down with immediate effect in a letter published by state-run APS on Tuesday, just hours after the army chief demanded action to remove him from office."My intention ... is to contribute to calming down the souls and minds of the citizens so that they can collectively take Algeria to the better future they aspire to," Bouteflika said in the letter to the president of the Constitutional Council."I have made this decision to avoid and prevent the arguments which distort, unfortunately, the current situation, and avoid its turning into serious skirmishes, to ensure the protection of persons and property," he added.Under the capital's Tunnel des Facultes that leads to Maurice Audin square, a jubilant group of protesters, some draped in the national flag, jumped up and down with excitement while singing "the country is ours and we'll do what we want". Others set off fireworks at the entrance of the tunnel. Standing near a plaque dedicated to Audin, a French anti-colonial activist during Algeria's Liberation war, Youcef, a 26-year-old video editor, said he believed that Bouteflika's dismissal marked the beginning of a new era in the North African country."It is the first day of a new life for the Algerian people. April 2 will be a red-letter day in Algeria's history, such as July 5", Youcef told Al Jazeera, referring to the country's Independence Day.Farida, a 23-year-old mathematics student, who was heading to central Algiers with her 3-year-old daughter, agreed."This feels new.We are experiencing an exciting and historical moment. My generation has grown up only knowing one president our whole life.""We've had enough. We were desperately waiting for a change," said Farida, adding that she had been involved in the protest movement since it broke out on Feb.22. Similarly, Brahim, a 36-year-old law professor, believed that Algeria had reached a turning point, comparing the end of President Bouteflika's 20-year rule, the longest in the country's history, to France's defeat in the War of Independence in 1962.Al Jazeera
Bouteflika: Algeria's longest-serving president
Brunei enacts new penal code as sultan calls for 'stronger' Islam
Brunei is enacting a strict new penal code that imposes death by stoning for adultery and gay sex, as well as amputations as punishment for theft, despite widespread criticism. An absolute monarchy, ruled for 51 years by Sultan Hassanal Bolkiah, oil-rich Brunei first announced the new penal code in 2013, but full implementation has been delayed.Bolkiah, 72, is the world's second-longest reigning monarch and ranks as one of the world's wealthiest people.New law mostly applies to Muslims, though some aspects will also apply to non-Muslims. It stipulates the death penalty for a number of offences, including rape, adultery, sodomy, robbery and insulting or defaming Prophet.It also introduces public flogging as punishment for abortion as well as amputation for theft and criminalises exposing Muslim children to the beliefs and practices of any religion other than Islam. The sultan first announced plans for the code in 2013.Small Muslim-majority island had introduced penalties in stages, all of which come into force on Wednesday. aljazeera
Turkey election: 8 Istanbul districts to recount votes
Turkey's High Election Board (YSK) will recount local election votes in eight districts of Istanbul following objections, YSK head Sadi Guven said on Wednesday after President Tayyip Erdogan's AK Party appealed results across the city.The main opposition, which had earned a narrow victory over the ruling AK Party according to initial results, had appealed the recount, prompting YSK to halt them late on Tuesday .Speaking to reporters in Ankara, Guven said that the recount would mostly focus on invalid votes, adding that this was not an unprecedented decision.Appeals to YSK were still ongoing, he said.But the opposition Republican People's Party's (CHP) candiate that had been projected to win, Ekrem Imamoglu called on YSK to declare him mayor. He said that while there could be minor errors in vote counts the outcome will not change.Initial results published by state-run Anadolu Agency on Monday showed that ruling AK Party lost the mayoral elections in the country's 3 largest cities - Istanbul, Ankara and Izmir - in a stunning election setback for Erdogan.aljazeera
Turkey warns of external meddling after local polls
Turkey called on all parties late Tuesday to refrain from taking any actions that could be seen as interfering in the country’s domestic affairs following weekend local elections.“We urge all parties, including foreign govts, to respect the legal process and refrain from taking any steps that may be construed as meddling in Turkey’s internal affairs,” Fahrettin Altun, Turkey's presidential communications director, said on Twitter in response to remarks by US State Department spokesman."Free and fair elections are essential for any democracy.That means acceptance of legitimate election results, which is essential,” Palladino said at a press briefing.“We expect nothing less from Turkey, which has a long, proud tradition in this respect,” he added.Anadolu Agency
Egypt sentences dozens to prison on terror charges
Cairo:Egypt has sentenced over 70 suspected members of the Muslim Brotherhood group to prison on terror-related charges.Ismailia criminal court on Tuesday sentenced 9 of the defendants to 15 years in prison and 43 others to 10 years. Another 22 were sentenced to three to seven years, and 14 were acquitted. Nearly half of the defendants were tried in absentia.The defendants were accused of burning police vehicles and attacking a coffee shop. Violence came in response to the dispersal of two mass sit-ins in Cairo in 2013, in which security forces killed hundreds of Brotherhood supporters.AP
Palestinian killed by settler
An Israeli settler shot and killed a Palestinian man on Wednesday after an alleged stabbing attack near the occupied West Bank city of Nablus, according to the Israeli army.Medical sources said Palestinian, identified as Mohammad Abdul-Fattah, a resident from the northern West Bank district of Salfit, was in critical condition. He was taken to an Israeli hospital east of Tel Aviv, where he was pronounced dead, according to Maan news agency.A Nablus hospital says another Palestinian, 22-year-old Khaled Rawajbeh, was moderately wounded in Wednesday's shooting, which took place near a checkpoint.aljazeera
Senator Anning blasted for New Zealand mosque attack comment
The parliament in Australia has overwhelmingly voted to censure an independent far-right senator, Fraser Anning, for his "inflammatory and divisive comments" about the Christchurch mosque attacks.In a bipartisan motion, the Senate voted on Wednesday to censure Anning, saying his comments were "seeking to attribute blame to victims of a horrific crime and to vilify people on the basis of religion" and does not reflect the opinions of the Senate or of Australians. Last month, a self-confessed Australian white supremacist killed 50 people in a terror attack on two Christchurch mosques in New Zealand.
Netanyahu promised no deal with Hamas until release of soldier’s remains, claims family
The mother of an Israeli soldier killed in Gaza said on Tuesday that PM  Benjamin Netanyahu has promised her that he will not agree a deal with Hamas without the release of her son’s remains, Quds Net News has reported.“Our struggle to regain Hadar has not come to an end yet,” Leah Goldin told Radio 103. “We have the promise from Netanyahu, who said there would not be a truce with Hamas and there would not be reconstruction projects in Gaza before the release of the [bodies of] soldiers [held in Gaza].”She compared her son Hadar and other soldiers with humanitarian aid. “Do you offer humanitarian aid? Hadar and the others’ issue is humanitarian, too.”middleeastmonitor
Hamas supports Jordan in face of external pressure
Head of the political bureau of Hamas, Ismail Haniyeh, yesterday reaffirmed the movement’s support for Jordan in the face of “foreign pressures, especially US and Israeli pressure, aimed at changing the region’s geopolitics”. Haniyeh added that Hamas “will not accept any solution to the Palestinian cause at the expense of Jordan and its sovereignty”, stressing that the “deal of the century” targets Palestine, Jordan and Palestinian refugees. Haniyeh also reiterated movement’s rejection of “settling Palestinian refugees in their places of residence, especially at the expense of Jordan’s sovereignty”. middleeastmonitor
Plan advances for Jewish religious school
Israeli authorities in occupied East Jerusalem are advancing plans for a new Jewish religious school in Palestinian neighbourhood of Sheikh Jarrah, settlement watchdog Ir Amim reported.According to Ir Amim, the District Planning and Building Committee has now deposited for objections the plan for the Ohr Somayach Yeshiva. The plan “calls for construction of an eleven-story building with eight levels above ground and three below, including a dormitory for hundreds of students and housing for faculty, to be located at the mouth of Sheikh Jarrah”, explained NGO, describing it “as an alarm bell in the context of Israel’s ramped up efforts to deepen its circle of control around Old City Basin.”MEMO
Israel to displace 65,000 Bedouin citizens in ‘development’ plan
Israeli government has announced a plan that would see tens of thousands of Bedouin Palestinian citizens displaced from their communities, under the guise of development.According to far-right news outlet Arutz Sheva, plan unveiled by state’s Bedouin Authority aims to “regulate”situation of some 125,000 Bedouin citizens in the Negev who currently live in homes or entire communities that are deemed illegal or “unrecognised” by authorities.Bedouin Palestinian citizens have faced systematic discrimination since the founding of the state, including mass displacement, segregation, land confiscation, and lack of investment. middleeastmonitor
Flash: views & NEWS
Dear Narendra Modi, Hindutva terror is a fact, not a fiction: Ashok Swain
Delhi must act with maturity,keep a long view, find a political solution in J&K, to counter Pak:ArunPrakash
RSS Stands for Principles That Are in Violation of the Indian Constitution:Hamid Ansari
Encounter killings will boomerang on BJP in Western UP :Biswajeet Banerjee
‘Who Was Godse?’ Asks Twitter After PM’s ‘No Hindu Terror’ Remark

Compiled and edited by Anwarulhaq (Released at: 6:24 PM)

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