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Saturday, 20 April 2019

20 April ND: CJI Gogoi terms sexual harassment charges ‘unbelievable’, says judiciary’s independence under ‘severe’ threat/ Muslim Prisoner Burn-Stamped ‘Om’ On Back in Delhi's Tihar Jail, denied food by officials, Court Orders Probe/


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20 April 2019: 14 Shaban 1440:Vol: 11, No:180
INDIA
CJI Gogoi terms sexual harassment charges ‘unbelievable’, says judiciary’s independence under ‘severe’ threat
New Delhi :At an emergency special session of the Supreme Court Saturday, a bench led by Chief Justice of India Ranjan Gogoi expressed serious displeasure over allegations of sexual harassment in reports in some online portals against the CJI himself and called it an attempt to undermine the independence of the judiciary. At the session which was convened at 10.39 am, hours after some news portals reported on the allegations by an ex staffer, CJI sitting with Justices Arun Mishra and Sanjiv Khanna said:“This is unbelievable. I should not stoop low even in denying it.”Attorney General KK Venugopal and Solicitor General Tushar Mehta prodded the court to take up the matter seriously.CJI said that an attempt was being made to undermine the judiciary and to “deactivate” the office of the CJI by levelling the allegations and added “the judiciary is under very serious threat”. CJI said all that was happening was because there were important matters coming up for the consideration of the court next week.“This is the reward CJI gets after 20 years?” he asked, adding he had “Rs 6,80,000 in my account after 20 years. Anyone can check the balance. Even my peon has more money”. He added he will not give in and will discharge his duty till his retirement. Venugopal said there were 2 precedents: one involving charges against retired Justice Swatanter Kumar and other against senior advocate Abhishek Manu Singhvi and in both cases, the media was restrained from publishing matters related to it.He added that even “under the law on sexual harassment, the name of the accused and victim cannot be published” but in the instant case, “the report had totally brazenly” published names. The law officer said even he had been attacked on social media.A Delhi court Saturday said it would hear on April 24, a police plea to cancel the bail of an ex woman Supreme Court employee, who has accused CJI Gogoi of sexual misconduct, in a cheating and criminal intimidation case, PTI reported. An FIR for alleged offences of cheating, criminal intimidation and criminal conspiracy was lodged against the woman on March 3, after a complaint was filed by Naveen Kumar, a resident of Jhajjar in Haryana, alleging that the ex SC employee had defrauded him of Rs 50,000, which he claimed she took as part of a bribe, promising him a job at the SC. CJI pointed out that the allegations have coincided with the date of hearing the bail applications of the complainant in some criminal cases against her today. Mehta said the charges were coming from an “unscrupulous” person.indianexpress
Ex-SC employee alleges sexual harassment by CJI
Muslim Prisoner Burn-Stamped ‘Om’ On Back in Delhi's Tihar Jail, denied food by officials, Court Orders Probe
New Delhi:A Muslim undertrial claimed that he was beaten and branded with an Om symbol by Tihar jail officials inside the jail premises.The case came to light after the man's family approached Karkardooma court with a complaint that their son's life was "in danger in the jail".When Shabbir alias Nabbir was brought before magistrate Richa Parihar, she found that the Om symbol had been engraved on his back.Shabbir is 34 years old and has been in Tihar since Nov.2017.On April 12, Shabbir raised a complaint with the superintendent of jail no 4 - Rajesh Chauhan. Shabbir told Chauhan that the induction stove in their barracks was not working properly. Incensed by complaint, jail official then started beating Shabbir. Chauhan then summoned Shabbir into his office, berating him for "trying to be a neta" and raising complaints. Behind closed doors, Chauhan and some other jail officials beat Shabbir again. They did not stop there.Not satisfied with the beating, Chauhan took a metal Om symbol, heated it, and branded the Om on Shabbir's back.Shabbir was then denied food for 2 days, and on April 14, Chauhan told Shabbir that he had "converted to Hinduism as he had 'fasted' during Navratri". The jail officials also berated him for his religion saying that "you Muslims have destroyed our country". Shabbir narrated his ordeal to his family, who contacted their advocate.On April 16, when advocate Jagmohan met his client(Shabbir) in jail, branded symbol had only healed a little.The case was heard by the court on April 17 when Shabbir was already scheduled to be brought to court for a hearing in the ongoing trial against him. The judge passed orders that Shabbir was to be medically examined, and immediately removed from "direct or indirect supervision of jail superintendent Chauhan". The court also ordered an enquiry and ordered DGP Prison to submit CCTV footage and take statements of the other prisoners within 24 hours.The brazenness of the authorities came out on April 18 as no official from the Tihar authority appeared before the court.The medical examination and enquiry reports also did not come to the court.The judge has now issued repeated orders, asking for a report from DGP Prisons, and will hear the matter on April 22. Meanwhile, Tihar authorities, in a statement to India Today, tried to downplay the incident."There is little possibility that any such incident has happened. We are conducting an enquiry,"a source said.The family is scared but have placed their hope in the judiciary.
Tribunal serves notice to Jamaat-e-Islami J&K, asks why JeI can't be declared unlawful association
Srinagar:Unlawful Activities (Prevention) Tribunal, constituted by the Centre, has issued a showcause notice to Jamaat-e-Islami J&K (JeI), which was banned by govt in Feb, asking it why the organisation cannot be declared as an unlawful association. "A notice is hereby given under sub-section (2) of Section 4 of the Act (UAPA)) and you are hereby called upon to show cause, within 30 days from the date of service of this notice, as to why your Association, declared as unlawful, be not adjudicated to be so and why an order confirming such declaration be not made under Section 4(3) of the Act," said the notice issued by Registrar, UAPA Tribunal, Lorren Bamniyal, to the JeI.The notice was issued on April 5.The Tribunal asked the Jamaat to file objections or reply affidavits, if any, before the next date of hearing of the Tribunal at the office of the Registrar. "In case the objections/reply and the documents are in regional language,true English translation thereof be also attached. You may appear through a duly authorised person before the Tribunal on 20 May, 2019 at 3 PM in Court Room number 26 for further proceedings," notice said.Centre had constituted tribunal headed by a Delhi high court judge to decide whether there is sufficient cause for declaring JeI as an unlawful association. PTI
ELECTIONS
Sadhvi Pragya Mocks Karkare, says he died because her curse: police officers slam her
Mumbai:Sadhvi Pragya Singh Thakur’s claim that former Maharashtra ATS chief Hemant Karkare, who was killed in Mumbai attack, died after she “cursed” him has triggered outrage among Karkare’s ex colleagues who expressed shock at “hurtful” remarks. Ex-Maharashtra DGP, Anami Roy,under whom Karkare-led ATS charged Thakur in 2008 Malegaon blasts case, said he was “appalled by the unethical and immoral statement”. Thakur’s remarks also brought back into focus a visit by the then Gujarat Chief Minister Narendra Modi to the central Mumbai residence of Karkare on Nov.28, 2008, even as NSG commandos were clearing the attack sites. And his promise of Rs 1 crore to the families of “security forces who were martyred while fighting terror”.11 years ago, speaking to reporters outside the Oberoi Hotel, Modi had said: “We must commit ourselves to destroy terrorism from its root.. I have visited the house of two brave police officers — those of Shriman Karkare and Shriman Salaskar… I have made an announcement today that those jawans of the security forces who were martyred while fighting terror, Gujarat govt will give their families Rs 1 crore… Yesterday, PM (Manmohan Singh) had a message for the country. I also expressed my feelings through the media yesterday, but the country had many expectations from PM, his message to the country was disappointing.”Karkare’s wife Kavita Karkare reportedly declined a cash award from the Gujarat government at the time.Ex state DGP Roy said: “(Thakur’s) comments have really hurt me and hence I am talking to you to defend someone who is not alive to defend himself. As the ATS reported to me, I was involved in the overall supervision of the investigation and stand by the chargesheet, which was done in a professional manner and without any extraneous influence or pressure. Chargesheet stands vindicated as the accused were not discharged and the trial court has framed charges and the trial is underway.”Speaking about Karkare, Roy said: “He was an absolute professional who did not have any political leanings. The man is no longer there to defend himself and as a service colleague, it is hurtful to hear such statements.” Former IPS officer Meeran Borwankar, who was a batch senior to Karkare, said she was “distressed” at Thakur’s comment. “I knew him for more than 20 years. He was a gentleman to the core and one of the most professionally sound police officers I have interacted with. Just because he is no more to defend himself, what right does Pragya Thakur have to smear his name? It is most unethical and against the Indian culture that the lady professes to believe in. I condemn her statement.” Former Mumbai Police Commissioner Julio Ribeiro said: “Karkare was one of our finest officers and it is so annoying to see such statements being made about him.” On Thakur’s case, Ribeiro said: “He did what Krishna told Arjun on the battlefield: To do one’s duty. Karkare did his duty like a good Hindu.”Dinesh Agarwal, a retired officer who was an inspector with Maharashtra ATS when Karkare was its chief, said: “He was one of the most upright officers I knew… Do you think it is easy to charge someone as influential as a Sadhvi (Pragya Thakur) or an Army Lt Colonel (Prasad Purohit) unless you have foolproof evidence against them? No officer would take such a chance.”indianexpress
Pragya’s statement on Karkare attracts police force’s outrage
Sadhvi Pragya Thakur Mocks 26/11 Hero Karkare, Says He Died Because She Cursed Him
Fielding Pragya a reply to those who called Hindu civilisation 'terrorist': Modi
New Delhi:PM Narendra Modi has said the fielding of Pragya Singh Thakur, an accused in Malegaon blasts case, as BJP candidate from Bhopal was a symbolic answer to all those who labeled the rich Hindu civilization as “terrorist” and asserted that “this symbol will prove costly for the Congress”.He said the Congress worked with a certain modus operandi to create false narratives on incidents such as the Samjhauta Express blasts and the death of judge B.H. Loya.IANS
Pragya gets show-cause notice from Bhopal poll official for derogatory remarks against Karkare
Bhopal District Election Officer has served a show-cause notice on BJP's Bhopal candidate Pragya Singh Thakur for her derogatory remarks against Hemant Karkare.She has been told to respond within24 hours.thehindu
Shazia Ilmi: BJP is absolutely right in giving Pragya  ticket'
BJP Insulting Martyrs Like Karkare:Owaisi
AIMIM chief Asaduddin Owaisi, who is seeking reelection for Lok Sabha from Hyderabad for the fourth consecutive term, alleged that BJP is insulting martyrs like police officer Hemant Karkare who died fighting terrorists during Mumbai 26/11 attack. caravandaily
Pragya’s comment on Karkare insults martyrs:Agnivesh
Social activist Agnivesh has said terror accused Pragya Singh Thakur’s statement that former Mumbai ATS chief Hemant Karkare died because she had cursed him had “insulted the martyrs” of the country.scroll.in        
Pragya’s Remarks on Karkare Insulting: IPS Association
UP: BJP MLA Ashok Chandel Gets Life Imprisonment In 22-Year-Old Murder Case
BJP MLA from UP's Hamirpur district, Ashok Chandel, on Friday was sentenced to life imprisonment after he was found guilty in a 22-year-old murder case.He was sentenced by Allahabad High Court for his involvement in the murder of five people on Jan.26, 1997. A bench of Justice Ramesh Sinha and Justice D.K. Singh also sentenced 10 others to life imprisonment. Rajiv Shukla, the victim's family member, told IANS: "3 people from my family -- elder brothers Rajesh Shukla and Rakesh Shukla and nephew Ganesh -- were killed along with our security guards Ved Prakash Nayak and Shrikant Pandey."He said he approached the High Court after a lower court acquitted the accused.IANS
BJP leader booked for 'anti-Muslim' remarks in UP
Barabanki :An FIR was registered against a BJP leader on Friday for his controversial statements against Muslims."A case has been registered against BJP leader Ranjit Bahadur Srivastava for violation of model code of conduct. A probe is on in the matter," ASP R S Gautam said.Addressing a gathering on Thursday as BJP candidate Upendra Rawat filed his nomination papers from Barabnki Lok Sabha constituency, Srivastava asked people to vote for Prime Minister Narendra Modi to "break the morale of Muslims"."Muslims want to grab power with their votes but they will not succeed. It's the right time for Hindus to unite," the former Nagar Palika Chairman added.PTI
Cast vote in favour of BJP if you want to destroy Muslims: UP BJP leader
‘We agreed and then...’: AAP on failed alliance talks with Congress
New Delhi:AAP on Saturday blamed the Congress for not having an alliance on 18 Lok Sabha seats of Delhi, Haryana and Chandigarh. Senior party leader and Delhi Deputy Chief Minister Manish Sisodia said the Congress “wasted time” in the name of discussion over alliance against BJP-led ruling coalition in Lok Sabha elections. “Congress was doing timepass, it had no intention of having an alliance in Haryana,” said Sisodia explaining why seat-sharing talks between the Congress, AAP and JJP of Dushyant Chautala.Sisodia said, “sole reason for us to go for an alliance with Congress was to defeat the Modi-Shah pair in the election and not to fight over which party contests how many seats in these 18 Lok Sabha seats. But Congress backtracked from the last agreed seat-sharing arrangement for Haryana.” This came after AAP’s announcement on Friday that it had accepted one of Congress’s proposals for an alliance formula to share seats in Lok Sabha polls indicating revival of their on-again, off-again discussions for electoral pact that began over 4 months ago.Sisodia said the three parties had agreed for Congress’s proposal for a 7:2:1 seat-sharing arrangement in Haryana. Congress was to contest seven seats, JJP two and the AAP one.HT
UP: In Rohilkhand, Gangwars in Bareilly and Muslims in Badaun could hold key
:In Rohilkhand region’s two prominent seats, Gangwar votes have become crucial for Union Minister Santosh Gangwar in Bareilly while in adjoining Badaun, Muslim votes are crucial for SP candidate Dharmendra Yadav. Santosh’s main opponent, SP’s Bhagwat Sharan, is also a Gangwar, whereas in Badaun, Muslims have an option in Congress’s Salim Sherwani.Polling on both these seats is on April 23.Of total 17.76 lakh voters in Bareilly constituency, more than 5 lakh are Muslims. The second most dominant community is Gangwar (Kurmi, an OBC) — around 4 lakh voters. There are also around 1 lakh Vaishya voters, 3 lakh Scheduled Castes, 1 lakh Lodh farmers and nearly 1 lakh Maurya-Shakya, 70,000 Yadavs and 25,000 Jats.indianexpress
In Rampur, Azam Khan looks for Yadav-Jatav push as opponents cosy up to Congress
Rampur:Abdulla Azam Khan, MLA son of Azam Khan, has launched a bicycle rally in Rampur’s Topkhana area after the Election Commission banned his father from campaigning for three days. Azam Khan, Samajwadi Party’s candidate from Rampur in 2019 Lok Sabha elections, faced EC’s wrath after his “misogynistic” remarks against rival BJP candidate Jaya Prada.Abdulla told reporters,“The central government and some people want to curb the voices of Muslims, OBCs and Dalits, but they will not be successful.”This was only a few days after his father, while referring to the DM, had said: “Don’t fear the collector, have you seen the photos where these officers are seen polishing Mayawati’s shoes? I will get them to polish her shoes again.”The campaigning style of the father-son duo is reflective of the fact that in this Muslim majority Lok Sabha seat, support from OBCs (particularly Yadavs) and Scheduled Castes (particularly Jatavs) could be a big push for Azam, who is making his debut in parliamentary elections.An MLA for 9 terms since 1980, except in 1996 Assembly elections when he lost to Congress, Azam currently represents the Rampur assembly segment;his son Abdulla is MLA from Swar-Tanda segment.Turks’ votes among Muslims are nearly 1.45 lakh and they are considered against Azam Khan. Moreover, Pathans’ total vote in Rampur is nearly 1.35 lakh and a small number of them, who are elite, never liked Azam. While they may not go with BJP but are most likely to align with the Congress candidate — a move that may strengthen the prospects of BJP candidate Prada. indianexpress
Azam Khan's jibe: Many Muslim women say remarks unwarranted, but will vote for him
‘Politics of UP, Gujarat Won't Work Here': Muslim Leaders in Rajasthan Struggle for Political Space
New Delhi: Despite having a sizable population of about 9.07 per cent in Rajasthan, the Muslim community’s representation in politics remains minimal. While the Congress has fielded one Muslim candidate, Rafique Mandelia from Churu seat, in the ongoing Lok Sabha polls, BJP has not fielded any. In its history of fielding candidates, the saffron party in Rajasthan picked a Muslim candidates only once, in 1979 from Bikaner. The Congress, on the other side, has been giving ticket to one Muslim leader every election, except in 1962, 1967 and 1972.Muslim leaders in the desert state complain about the lack of electoral opportunities. Many among them believe that question of ‘winnability’, the ability of a candidate to garner votes from different communities affects their chances of candidature. A Muslim leader from the BJP’s state minority cell in Jaipur, wishing anonymity, said the party’s central leadership has sidelined Muslim leaders in Rajasthan and the number of Muslim candidates fielded by the party in Assembly polls has also fallen sharply. News18
BJP spokesperson disrespects Quran, Islam;attacks Mahtab Osmani during debate on Sudarshan TV
New Delhi: A debate was organised on Sudarshan channel on the issue of Muslim women’s entry into the mosques. During the debate, BJP spokesperson Priya Chaudhry spoke about Quran and Islam with disrespect. When one of the panellists Mahtab Osmani objected on this, she started beating him. Apart from Priya Chaudhry three other sadhus also assaulted Mahtab Osmani.An Urdu newspaper with reference to INN reported that Mahtab Osmani, Shamsul Hasan Abidi and his wife participated in the debate. Some Muslim women from old Delhi were also called for it. BJP spokesperson Priya Chaudhry was also present. According to Mahtab Osmani, Priya Chaudhry spoke badly about the Quran. Mahtab Osmani tried to silence her by reciting an Urdu verse, on which Priya Chaudhry got up and attacked Mahtab Osman. Emulating her three sadhus also assaulted him resulting in bleeding of his nose.siasat
Case against Union Minister Irani over degree controversy
A local Congress leader in Amethi has formally lodged a complaint with the Election Commission accusing Union Minister Smriti Irani of submitting wrong information about her educational qualifications in her affidavit.In the affidavit accompanying her nomination papers filed on April 11, Irani had stated that her highest educational qualification was 'Part 1 of Bachelor of Commerce from Delhi University in 1994'.In a 2004 affidavit when she was contesting from the Chandni Chowk seat in Delhi, she had submitted that she did her BA in 1996 from the Delhi University (School of Correspondence).IANS
EC directs Eros Now to stop online streaming of web series on PM Modi
New Delhi :Days after deferring the release of the biopic on Prime Minister Narendra Modi, the Election Commission Saturday directed Eros Now to stop online streaming of the web series on the life of PM Modi until further orders.Titled as ‘Modi – The journey of a common man, the web series was released on April 3, and till now, 5 episodes have been released. The web series is directed by Umesh Shukla of OMG: Oh My God fame, and stars Mahesh Thakur essaying the role of PM Modi, along with an ensemble cast.indianexpress
Dalit man chops off finger after accidently voting for BJP
Lucknow:A Dalit man, who accidentally cast his vote for BJP in Uttar Pradesh’s Bulandshahr, has chopped off his index finger for the “mistake”.Pawan Kumar, in a video clip that has gone viral on social media, can be heard saying that he got confused with too many symbols on the voting machine and pressed the wrong button on Thursday.“I wanted to vote for the elephant, but I voted for the flower by mistake,” he said in the video.Kumar had gone to vote in the Shikarpur area in Bulandshahr and cast his vote for BJP’s Bhola Singh instead of the BSP’s Yogesh Varma.IANS
OTHERS
Pakistan spins Swaraj’s Balakot remark, claims finally the ‘truth under ground reality compulsions’
Though External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj only reiterated on Thursday that India had avoided civilian and military casualties during the Balakote air strike across the Line of Control, Pakistan sought to use her statement to propagate “their version” of the attack. Major General Asif Ghafoor, DG of Pakistan Army’s Inter-Services Public Relations wing, tweeted, “Finally the truth underground reality compulsions. Hopefully, so will be about other false Indian claims ie surgical strike 2016, denial of shooting down of 2 IAF jets by PAF and claim about F16. Better late than never.”On Thursday, Swaraj only reiterated India’s position that the attack was carried out in self-defence and avoided civilian and military casualties.indianexpress
JKLF chief Yasin Malik on hunger strike against NIA custody, ‘seriously ill’, alleges family
Yasin Malik, JKLF chief, is “very ill” after he went on a hunger strike to protest against his “illegal” detention by NIA, his family has alleged. He has been shifted to a hospital in Delhi, they said. “We had gone to Jammu to meet him (Malik), but when we reached there in the evening, we heard that he has been taken to Delhi. So we returned without meeting him. Since then, we are only in touch with his lawyer. The lawyer, Raja Tufail, was also not allowed to meet Malik,” the family said while addressing a press conference.He has been remanded in NIA’s custody till April 22 and was shifted to Delhi’s Tihar Jail.The family further said Tufail had to get court permission to meet JKLF leader. “It was then that they (NIA officials) were forced to tell him (lawyer) that Malik was very ill as he (Malik) had been on a hunger strike since April 10 and was admitted to a hospital on April 16. Jail authorities had not informed us about his health condition,” they said. Meanwhile, Hurriyat leader Mirwaiz Umar Farooq expressed that the safety of the Malik was the responsibility of the state. indianexpress
Suspension of cross-LoC trade unfortunate: Mirwaiz
Srinagar:Mirwaiz Umar Farooq has termed the Centre’s decision to suspend cross-LoC trade “extremely unfortunate” and said such measures for “short-term gains” come at a huge price for the people.Hardening its stand against Pakistan, India indefinitely suspended cross-LoC trade at two points along LoC in Jammu and Kashmir effective Friday, following reports that it was being “misused” by elements from across the border to smuggle weapons,narcotics and fake currency. “Extremely unfortunate that GoI (govt of India) instead of enhancing people to people contact as families of both side of LoC stand divided & improving trade & other ties, even whatever little had been achieved since (former PM Atal Bihari) Vajpayee time is being blocked & stopped. “Such measures for short term gains come at a huge price for people” Mirwaiz tweeted.PTI
Foreign Secretary Gokhale to visit China for talks with Chinese FM
Beijing :Foreign Secretary Vijay Gokhale starts his two-day visit to China on Sunday during which he will hold talks with Chinese Foreign Minister Wang Yi as both countries grapple with a host of issues, including Beijing’s continuous attempts to block efforts to list Masood Azhar as a “global terrorist”. Gokhale will be visiting China for regular consultations, Indian Embassy here said on Saturday. He is due to meet China’s State Councillor and Foreign Minister Wang Yi on April 22. His schedule here is being worked out, it said.PTI
China stresses cooperation, ties after India boycotts BRI forum
China has said that it is preparing for a summit with India despite New Delhi skipping next week’s Belt and Road Forum, billed as the biggest event in Beijing’s diplomatic calendar for year.State Councillor and foreign minister Wang Yi, played down differences between the two sides on Belt and Road Initiative (BRI), President Xi Jinping’s flagship connectivity project. New Delhi has consistently told Beijing a key component of BRI, China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC), violates India’s territorial sovereignty as it passes through POK. Addressing a news conference on the second Belt and Road Forum to be held in Beijing during,Wang all but dismissed India’s sovereignty concerns over CPEC, but couched his remarks in diplomatic jargonhindustantimes
Bhopal gas tragedy among world’s ‘major’ accidents of 20th century: UN report
1984 Bhopal gas tragedy which killed thousands of people is among the world’s “major industrial accidents” of the 20th century, a UN report has said, warning that 2.78 million workers die from occupational accidents and work-related diseases each year.The report released by UN labour agency ILO said in 1984, at least 30 tons of methyl isocyanate gas, which was released from Union Carbide pesticide plant in MP capital, affected over 600,000 workers and nearby inhabitants. “Govt figures estimate that there have been 15,000 deaths as a result of the disaster over the years.Toxic material remains and thousands of survivors and their descendants have suffered from respiratory diseases and from damage to internal organs and immune systems,” it said.The report titled ‘The Safety and Health at Heart of Future of Work – Building on 100 years of experience’ said the Bhopal disaster was among world’s “major industrial accidents after 1919”.PTI
 NIA takes 3 into custody in Hyderabad
Hyderabad: NIA picked up 3 people following searches at 3 locations in the outskirts of Hyderabad, in connection with the arrest of three youths for links with the ISIS in August 2018.The searches were carried out after investigators found that a person from King's colony in Mailardevpally was in touch with two of the arrested — Mohammed Abdullah Basith and Mohammed Abdul Qhadeer. The details of the other 2 are yet to be confirmed. On Saturday morning at 4 am, NIA officials reached the residence of Mohammed Taaha, and conducted searches after questioning him and his wife. Taaha was later taken to the NIA office in Madhapur for questioning. Sources confirmed that Taaha was in touch with Basith and Qhadeer in connection with an Abu Dhabi terror module of Islamic State busted in 2016. The investigating agency had filed supplementary charge sheet against Basith and Qadeer in Feb.During interrogation, Basith reportedly told NIA officials that Taaha had provided them shelter at Nagpur. Further searches were also conducted at Bandlaguda and Falaknuma based on the fresh leads.thehindu
SIMI Case:Acquitted men say their happiness is 'incomplete'
Kozhikode: They were branded as “terrorists” by both the media and the state.Their ordinary lives were shattered, and families harassed. They spent more than 40 months in jail after being convicted in a terror case investigated by NIA.Panayikulam SIMI case, as their case was widely known as, became a phrase, synonymous with terror.After the Kerala high court announced their acquittal on April 12, Abdul Rasik, Nizamudeen and Shammas are now preparing to return to normal life. According to the HC verdict, NIA court’s 2015 decision to convict them was a “serious error”. Talking to a packed hall in Kozhikode, they said their happiness will only be complete when the thousands of other innocent people kept in jail are freed. Their co-accused – Shaduly and Ansar – are still in jail in connection with other cases –which rights groups allege, are fabricated.Abdul Rasik, Nizamudeen and Shammas, along with Shaduly and Ansar, were acquitted by the Kerala HC last week.They were arrested with a handful of others on Independence Day in 2006, when they were holding an event at an auditorium. thewire
Indian Muslims Need to Stand Up on Their Own Feet: Jamaat Chief Sadatullah Husaini
New Delhi:Syed Sadatullah Husaini has been elected as the new chief of Jamaat-e-Islami Hind for a tenure of 4 years (2019-2023).In an interview with caravan daily, he talks about various issues and challenges facing Muslims in India as well as all over the world and his organization’s plans to deal with them. He sheds light on the marginalization of Indian Muslims and the rise of Islamophobia all over the world. He speaks of his dream about India. He said, " Indian Muslims are realizing that they need to stand up on their own feet.The dependence and reliance on others is a liability for them. They can’t rely just on the govt. Education is the fundamental requirement to get socially and politically empowered. Secondly, this situation is motivating Muslims particularly its youth to build relations with the non-Muslim majority community. I think this is also very important, long-felt and long-neglected need. We need to engage with the majority. Perhaps the rising hate mongering is forcing us to engage with non-Muslims and to make them understand what Islam stands for. Such engagement should be accelerated and strengthened." The Jamaat chief further said," I have already mentioned a few points about our main concerns in the current situation; that our engagement with our majority community should be a priority, not just for the jamaat but for the entire community. Muslims should be motivated, trained and guided to take up this task of communicating the message of Islam.Second important need is the empowerment of Muslims educationally, socially and politically. The third being the youth; India is considered as a young nation. It has the highest youth population. Jamaat has always focused on youth and has established many organisations. SIO is an important organization. I think in this term we will be having a special focus on youth."caravandaily
India’s Haj quota hiked, all applicants from larger states cleared for trip
New Delhi :A hike in India’s Haj quota means that all those who applied for this year’s pilgrimage from larger states like UP, West Bengal, Andhra Pradesh and Bihar will be able to undertake the journey.The increase, the third since the Modi govt came to power, would also benefit all applicants from Andaman & Nicobar Islands, Dadra & Nagar Haveli, Goa, Lakshadweep, Manipur, Odisha, Puducherry, Assam, Chandigarh, Daman & Diu, Himachal Pradesh, Jharkhand, Punjab, and Tripura.Sources said this is the first time since independence that no applicant from these states will be left out. Saudi govt had on Thursday issued a formal order with regard to the increase in India’s quota. Indianexpress
Violence in Libya: Sushma Swaraj asks Indians to leave Tripoli immediately as situation worsens
External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj has appealed Indians in Tripoli, Libya’s capital, to leave for home immediately as the situation in the city has worsened.Libya faced political instability and violence for several years now.“Even after massive evacuation from Libya and the travel ban, there are over 500 Indian nationals in Tripoli,” Swaraj tweeted. “Situation in Tripoli is deteriorating fast. Presently, flights are operational. Please ask your relatives and friends to leave Tripoli immediately.We will not be able to evacuate them later.”scroll
Starvation looms large in Tripura’s Bru refugee camps, tribals threaten to loot govt godown
Agartala:Facing delay in supply of ration for over 20 days, Bru tribals living in 6 refugee camps on Saturday threatened to loot the government godown at Gachiramparan. In a letter to North Tripura District Magistrate CK Jamatia, Mizoram Bru Displaced Peoples Forum (MBDPF) said, “Ration for the month of April is yet to be distributed, while the due date to receive the ration is generally between 1st-5th of every month.” “Take immediate steps for distribution of ration, otherwise all the displaced Brus will have to launch a democratic agitation including a blockade of road and looting of nearest Government relief Godown under the banner of MBDPF”, letter read.Bru body warned the state government to take immediate steps for distribution of ration, failing which the displaced Brus would blockade the road and loot nearest government relief godown. “There will be many casualties in the camps due to starvation if the ration is delayed further,” MBDPF general secretary Bruno Msha and president Apeto Sawibunga said, adding that the condition of those living in the camps is fast deteriorating. MBDPF added that the supplies were being delayed by 10-20 days every month for last 4 years. It added that MHA sanctioned free ration to Bru camps till Sept.31, 2019. Kanchanpur SDM, Abhedananda Baidya said that the delay was caused due to official formalities as MHA asked to halt supplies to camps after March 31, 2019. Over 37000 Bru tribals fled Mamit, Kolasib and Lunglei districts of Mizoram during ethnic clashes in 1997. They were sheltered in six major relief camps in Kanchanpur and Panisagar sub-divisions of northern Tripura. Nearly 7000 Brus returned to Mizoram in eight phases of repatriation. However, nearly 5,000 others sought shelter in Tripura in 2009 when fresh clashes broke out. 32,000 Brus still live in 6 relief camps in Tripura.indianexpress
WORLD
Egypt votes in referendum aimed at extending Sisi's rule to 2030
Egyptians have begun voting in a three-day referendum on proposed constitutional amendments that could see President Abdel Fattah el-Sisi's rule extended to 2030.State television on Saturday showed images of el-Sisi casting his ballot at a polling station in the eastern suburb of Heliopolis. Egypt's parliament had on Tuesday voted overwhelmingly in favour of the changes, which include allowing the general-turned-president to extend his current term by two years and stand for another six-year-mandate, potentially extending his rule until 2030. 596-member assembly is packed with el-Sisi supporters, with 531 of the 554 legislators who attended the vote opting in favour of the constitutional changes.aljazeera
Egyptian police coerce shopkeepers to support pro-referendum campaign
Egypt carrying out ‘witch-hunt’ against journalists, report claims
The press freedom situation in Egypt has become more alarming under President Abdel Fattah Al-Sisi, Reporters Without Borders has said in its annual report.“Egypt is now one of the world’s biggest jailers of journalists,” the report wrote: “Some spend years in detention without being charged or tried. Others have been sentenced to long jail terms or even life imprisonment in iniquitous mass trials.”It added: “Since 2013, the authorities have waged a witch-hunt against journalists suspected of supporting Muslim Brotherhood and have orchestrated a ‘Sisification’ of the media.”“The internet is the only place left where independently-reported information can circulate,but over 500 websites have been blocked since the summer of 2017 and more and more people are being arrested because of their social network posts.”MEMO
Trump praises Haftar in apparent reversal of US policy
Thousands of protesters took to the streets in Libya's capital, Tripoli, on Friday after US President Donald Trump praised Libya's Khalifa Haftar amid a military assault by the renegade general to seize the capital.A White House statement said Trump and Haftar spoke by phone on Monday "to discuss ongoing counterterrorism efforts to achieve peace and stability in Libya".On April 4, Haftar and his forces launched an offensive against the country's internationally recognised govt, which is based in Tripoli.In their phone call, Trump "recognised Field Marshal Haftar's significant role in fighting terrorism and securing Libya's oil resources, and the two discussed a shared vision for Libya's transition to a stable, democratic political system."It was unclear why White House waited several days to announce the phone call.aljazeera
Sudan's al-Bashir charged with money laundering
Sudan's public prosecutor has begun investigating deposed President Omar al-Bashir on charges of money laundering and possession of large sums of foreign currency without legal grounds, a judicial source told Reuters news agency on Saturday. The source said that military intelligence had searched al-Bashir's home and found suitcases loaded with more than $351,000 and 6 million euros, as well as five million Sudanese pounds. "The chief public prosecutor... ordered the (former) president detained and quickly questioned in preparation to put him on trial," the judicial source told Reuters."The public prosecution will question the former president in Kobar prison," the source added.aljazeera
Sudan protest leaders to unveil interim civilian council
Sudan's protest leaders have announced plans to unveil a civilian body to take over from the country's ruling military council as huge crowds of demonstrators continued their days-long sit-in outside army HQRS in the country's capital, Khartoum. Protesters braved scorching heat and fatigue for a 14th day on Friday, demanding the military council, which took power after overthrowing longtime leader Omar al-Bashir, quickly make way for a civilian administration.Sudanese Professionals Association (SPA), which has been spearheading the months-long protests, said in a statement on Thursday that civilian council members would be named at a news conference at 17:00 GMT on Sunday outside the army complex to which foreign diplomats are also invited.aljazeera
‘B's must go': Algerians keep up pressure on old guard
Hundreds of thousands of demonstrators have taken to the streets for a ninth successive Friday in Algeria to demand a complete political overhaul in the wake of former president Abdelaziz Bouteflika's resignation.The protesters gathered in multiple cities throughout the country, including the capital Algiers, to call for root-and-branch reforms and the departure of the military's powerful chief of staff, General Ahmed Gaid Salah.Bouteflika's April 2 exit has failed to placate many Algerians, who instead want to remove entire clique historically aligned to the ailing ex-leader and a political elite that has dominated the country since its independence from France in 1962 and is widely perceived as corrupt.Algeria's parliament has tried to no avail to appease the demonstrators by naming an interim president, Bouteflika loyalist Abdelkader Bensalah, and announcing an election to be held on July 4.aljazeera
Gaza fishermen: Israel extending fishing zone is token gesture
Under cover of early morning darkness, Hassan Zidan, a Palestinian fisherman in Gaza, puts on warm clothes and ventures out to sea in a rickety fishing boat along with his friends. They hope to catch a good amount of fish to sell in the morning market. But before that, they will have to face a series of dangerous obstacles that hundreds of Palestinian fishermen are coping with on a near-daily basis."Only a few days ago, the Egyptians arrested four fishermen, and the week before that, Israel confiscated five fishing boats," Zidan said, adding both incidents had no pretext or clear reason.Israel enforces its 12-year blockade on the Gaza Strip with tens of gunboats that set the terms for an ever-changing limit on how far the fishermen can sail out into the Mediterranean Sea, keeping a tight grip on the siege against the impoverished enclave.aljazeera
Israel hinders Good Friday celebrations in Jerusalem
Israeli restrictions on Friday prevented many Palestinian Christians — especially those from the blockaded Gaza Strip — from taking part in Good Friday celebrations in Jerusalem’s Old City.Marked each year on the Friday preceding Easter Sunday, Good Friday commemorates the crucifixion of Jesus on Mount Calvary outside Jerusalem. Nevertheless, despite the deployment of Israeli troops on the streets of the Old City, thousands of Christians — many carrying crucifixes — marched along the Via Dolorosa on Friday to the Church of the Holy Sepulcher.According to Wadie Abu Nassar, a local church official, Palestinian Christians from blockaded Gaza were unable to take part in Friday’s celebrations due to restrictions imposed by Israeli authorities.MEMO
Kuwait paper reveals plan to destabilise Jordan
Kuwaiti newspaper Al-Qabas has revealed a “dangerous” plan aimed to destabilise Jordan by promoting an individual close to King Abdullah II.The Kuwaiti paper reported security and political sources as saying that the man behind this plan is the husband of the King’s aunt, Al-Wattan Voice reported on Friday. The man is believed to be a businessman charged with corruption and a senior security official loyal to a former intelligence agency chief. It is thought he has relations with a number of politicians and journalists inside and outside Jordan. According to the Kuwaiti newspaper, the “hellish plan” would have cast doubt over the King’s ability to choose heads of government, as well as include a deliberate campaign to weaken the current Prime Minister, Omar Al-Razzaz, by using information about recruiting ministers and MPs’ brothers to public positions with high salaries. This would be used to mobilise members of the different Jordanian tribes to start a protest in front of the Royal Palace in order to create a state of unprecedented instability. The newspaper reported that the planners asked the country’s banned Muslim Brotherhood to join the protests, but the group refused.middleeastmonitor
Turkey arrests ‘UAE spies’, probes Khashoggi link
Turkey has arrested two men suspected of spying for the UAE and is investigating whether the suspects were linked to the murder of Jamal Khashoggi, according to media reports. The state-run Anadolu Agency, citing judicial sources on Friday, described the two men as "intelligence operatives" working on behalf of the UAE, and said they were "referred to a court on charges of political and military espionage". The agency also released apparent surveillance images of the pair in the streets, as well as photographs of the two men taken following their arrest on Monday.aljazeera
35 Syrian soldiers killed in clashes with ISIS
At least 35 regime soldiers have been killed in clashes with (ISIS) Daesh in Syria’s western Homs province, according to local sources on Saturday.The sources said a group of Daesh militants , who have been trapped in a desert area in Homs, engaged in clashes with Iran-backed militias, using hit-and-run tactics.The Daesh militants also laid an ambush for regime forces patrolling nearby, the sources said.35 soldiers were killed and dozens injured in exchange of fire between Daesh and regime forces, which came to save the Iran-backed militiamen, the sources said.Daesh still has some presence in the Syrian desert after losing most of its strongholds in the war-torn country. Anadolu Agency
Democrats reject Barr's offer to see less-redacted Mueller report: aljazeera
Top Democrats in US House of Representatives and Senate on Friday rejected Attorney General William Barr's proposal to allow them access to a less-redacted version of Special Counsel Robert Mueller's Russia investigation report.In an April 19 letter to the attorney general, 6 Democratic politicians led by House Speaker Nancy Pelosi and Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer instead reiterated their demand for Barr to release the unredacted Mueller report and underlying evidence to Congress. But they also said they were open to discussing a "reasonable accommodation" with Justice Dept.
Flash: views & NEWS
‘Hindutva terror’ acquittals expose India’s deeply compromised criminal justice system:Mohsin Alam Bhat & Harsh Mander
Sadhvi Pragya Was First Arrested in Terror Case by BJP Government, Not Congress :Kashif Kakvi
Does the Modi Government Really Want to Promote Urdu?Faiyaz Ahmad Wajeeh
Malegaon blast wasn’t first 'right wing terror' case for Hemant Karkare
Insult to Hemant Karkare: BJP scores a self goal by fielding terror accused Pragya Singh Thakur:Sujata Anandan
Suspension of LoC trade shrinks space for manoeuvre in Kashmir and with Pakistan:Editorial , indianexpress
Rajinder Sachar, a life-long socialist, showed the true picture of Indian Muslims: Prem Singh
Imran Khan wants peace and dialogue. Engaging Pakistan is in India’s interest: Khaled Ahmed
Rights panel had found no evidence of torture:Sharmeen Hakim , Mumbai Mirror
EC's 'Studied Silence' on Complaints About Modi Playing Politics with Armed Forces:Gaurav Vivek Bhatnagar
India elections: Will farm crisis be PM Modi's undoing? Deepa Kurup

Compiled and edited by Anwarulhaq (Released at: 8:12 PM)

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