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Saturday, 27 April 2019

27 April ND: SC gives RBI final warning, orders it to disclose wilful defaulters’ list under RTI/Beijing tries to woo India after BRI summit snub/ In another America First move, Trump withdraws from UN Arms Trade Treaty


NEWS DIGEST, EVENING 
27 April 2019: 21 Shaban 1440:Vol: 11, No:186
INDIA
SC gives RBI final warning, orders it to disclose wilful defaulters’ list under RTI
The Supreme Court on Friday gave the RBI "one last opportunity" to disclose annual inspection reports of banks as it just stopped short of issuing a contempt notice against RBI Governor Shaktikanta Das, and ordered the Reserve Bank of India to disclose the wilful defaulters' list under RTI.The top court also ordered the central bank to withdraw its non-disclosure policy, which the court concluded is in violation of the apex court's judgment in 2015.Taking a serious view of the continued defiance the court came down heavily asking the RBI to make full disclosure of its annual inspection reports on the financial health of banks including position of NPAs and also withdraw its disclosure norms as it came in the way of making public informations on the state of banks under the RTI.A bench of Justice L. Nageswara Rao and Justice M. R. Shah said: "Any further violation will be viewed seriously."IANS
PM's Assets Grew By Half In 5 Years, Tax Department Owes Him Rs. 85,000
New Delhi: PM Narendra Modi's total assets grew 52 %  since 2014. He declared total assets of Rs. 2.51 crore in his affidavit with the Election Commission when he filed his nomination on Friday from Varanasi constituency for the Lok Sabha poll. In 2014, he had declared total assets of Rs. 1.65 crore. PM's movable assets nearly tripled from Rs. 51 lakh in 2014 to Rs. 1.41 crore this year. He declared immovable assets worth Rs. 1.1 crore on Friday.The main sources of PM Modi's income are his salary and interest received on bank deposits. PM had Rs. 38,750 in hand as on March 31 this year. He declared no liabilities, though income tax department owes him a projected returns of Rs. 85,145 and PMO has to give him Rs. 1,40,895. PM Modi has a balance of Rs. 4,143 in a State Bank of India account in Gandhinagar, Gujarat. He owns a property in Gandhinagar that he bought in 2002 for Rs. 1,30,488;its current market value is approximately Rs. 1.1 crore.In the last 5 financial years, PM Modi declared his annual income as Rs. 19.92 lakh (2018), Rs. 14.59 lakh (2017), Rs. 19.23 lakh (2016), Rs. 8.58 lakh (2015) and Rs. 9.69 lakh (2014).ndtv
IAS officer who checked PM Modi’s chopper says will fight case in court
Bengaluru:Breaking his silence, Mohammed Mohsin, IAS officer who was suspended by Election Commission of India (ECI) on April 16 for checking the helicopter in which PM Narendra Modi was travelling, said he had not violated any rules and was unaware of the charges against him.“I acted strictly as per the letter and spirit of the ECI guidelines. I have not violated any rules and I have not done anything wrong in this matter. This is why I asked for a copy of the report against me, but they have so far not shared this. I am fighting this case in the dark,” he said.An officer of 1996 Karnataka cadre, Mohsin was serving as general observer for the Sambalpur Lok Sabha constituency in Odisha, where the PM addressed a rally on April 17. ECI order had stated that Mohsin did not act in conformity with its instructions concerning those guarded by Special Protection Group. It also barred him from election duty until further notice.On Thursday, it revoked his suspension, but recommended that the Karnataka state Govt , to whom Mohsin now reports, carry out disciplinary action against him.Mohsin claimed he was not at the spot when the alleged incident occurred.“I was not at the spot when the incident happened.I am not aware of what happened at the helipad. I have only read media reports, which I can neither confirm nor deny,” he said.Describing the events of the day, Mohsin said he had visited the helipad where chopper of the PM was parked.HT
IAS Officer Mohsin to Challenge EC Order Recommending Action Against Him
IAF’s public clarification on report of holding back Mi 17 crash inquiry report until after LS polls
Indian Air Force has issued an extraordinary clarification after a report said that it was holding back findings into Mi-17V5 helicopter crash that killed six IAF officials. This was after a report by journalist Ajai Shukla alleged that the IAF had been ordered to put on hold its findings into the Mi-17V5 crash until after the elections since the conclusion had the potential to cause embarrassment to BJP-led govt!IAF took to Twitter to clarify, “Today in an article written by Ajai Shukla he has incorrectly speculated that IAF Court of Inquiry constituted to investigate the Mi-17 V5 crash at Srinagar on 27 Feb has been put on hold.This is his imagination and IAF categorically denies this.“CoI of aircraft accidents are meticulous & time consuming. All past inquiries of aircraft accidents bear testimony to this. Proceedings of a CoI are not commented upon by IAF till completion of the inquiry in all cases.There is no connection between elections & completion of CoI.”In his blog, Shukla, also a former military officer, had reported that IAF had been ordered ‘to put on hold (until after the elections) its Court of Inquiry findings that IAF helicopter shot down the day after the Balakot strike was downed by an IAF air defence missile in a “friendly fire” incident.’ Shukla wrote in his blog, “For reasons that remain unclear, Mi-17V5 helicopter was not in the safe corridor as it approached from the direction of Budgam, to south of Srinagar. The ground missile units assumed the radar track they picked was that of a hostile aircraft.”jantakareporter
Beijing tries to woo India after BRI summit snub
After India boycotted BRI summit for the second time in a row, Chinese President Xi Jinping on Friday tried to rope in New Delhi to his Belt and Road Initiative with vows to prevent debt risks.Xi made the remarks at the launch of the second BRI summit in Beijing on Friday, which aims to rediscover ancient Silk Road to connect Asia to Europe and Africa involving massive investments in maritime, road and rail projects.India maintained that the project violates its sovereignty and would push the countries into a debt trap. Many nations across Asia, Europe and Africa, too, have expressed similar concern.“Belt and Road is not an exclusive club,” Xi told the gathering of 37 world leaders. “We also need to ensure commercial and fiscal sustainability of all projects so that they will achieve the intended goals as planned.”On Thursday, Chinese finance minister Liu Kun said that the country would present to the forum a debt sustainability framework to “prevent the debt risks”. Lack of transparency in deals under BRI between Chinese companies and local Govt s has also raised alarm. “Everything should be done in a transparent way and we should have zero tolerance for corruption,” Xi said. China will also promote “green” development, he said, amid warnings that some of the massive projects are causing environmental damage in Asia. AP
Pak PM: We hope to have ‘civilised relationship’ with India after elections
New Delhi :Pakistan PM Imran Khan has expressed that his country is hoping to have a “civilised relationship” with New Delhi after the ongoing Lok Sabha elections in India are over. He also stated that while Pakistan has a “decent relationship” with other countries, its relationship with India is “only problem” for ensuring peace and stability in the region. “Whatever happens in Afghanistan affects Pakistan’s bordering areas. So we are working for a peaceful region. We have a decent relationship with Iran and we are trying to strengthen them. The only problem right now is our relationship with India,” he told state-run APP, according to PTI. “But we are hoping that after the Indian elections, we will again hope to have a civilized relationship with India too,” he said.His recent remarks come days after he had said that there may be a better chance of peace talks with India and “some kind of settlement in Kashmir” if BJP wins Lok Sabha polls, causing a furore in Opposition. Defence Minister Nirmala Sitharaman hit back at the opposition and alleged it could be a “ploy by Congress to oust the ruling party.”Khan, who is currently in China to take part in the 2nd Belt and Road Forum, (BRF), said that unless there is peace and stability in the region, economic prosperity is difficult for Pakistan, and that is what right now the Pakistan Govt  is working on.India once again gave Belt and Road Forum a miss over its opposition to China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC), which cuts through Pakistan-occupied Kashmir. US also did not attend the forum this year.indianexpress
About 200 US companies seeking to move manufacturing base from China to India: Report
 About 200 American companies are seeking to move their manufacturing base from China to India post general elections, a top US-based advocacy group has said, observing that there is a fantastic opportunity with firms looking at alternatives to the Communist giant.US-India Strategic and Partnership Forum's (USISPF) President Mukesh Aghi said that the companies are talking to them about how to set up an alternative to China by investing in India.Aghi said that USISPF’s recommendation to the new Govt  would be to accelerate the reforms and bring transparency in the decision-making process.PTI
Ailing Muslim Prisoner Allegedly Assaulted by Cops at Hospital in Rajasthan, Dies
Jaipur:An ailing elderly Muslim prisoner was allegedly assaulted by cops at Kota hospital in Rajasthan 5 days ago. The person identified as Mohammad Ramzan, 60, died late Friday night. His family is not giving permission for autopsy before registration of FIR against the erring cops and announcement of compensation.Giving details of incident, Adv. Ansar Indori said: “Ramzan, resident of Mangrol in Baran district in the state, was convicted in a case in 1992 and awarded two years imprisonment. He got bail and moved the high court challenging the lower court order. When the high court upheld the lower court order, his bail was cancelled and he was sent to prison in 2018. He was sick. Some days back, his condition worsened. The jail sent him to district hospital for treatment, from there he was referred to Kota hospital in Kota district. At the Kota hospital five days ago, some cops who were staying with him at the hospital assaulted him. They were drunk. They also hurled communal abuses at him. As he was already sick, after the beating his condition worsened and he died late Friday night.” Talking to India Tomorrow from Kota, a relative of Ramzan said that the family is not giving permission for autopsy. They are demanding registration of a case against the cops who allegedly assaulted him and compensation for the family.In a video believed to be shot at the hospital after the alleged assault some days ago, prisoner said: “3 policemen beat me with pipe. They were my guard and deployed by the police. They beat me 8-10 times with the pipe. They threatened to beat me more if spoke about it.”India Tomorrow
Sick Elderly Muslim Prisoner Dies after Alleged Assault by Cops in Rajasthan
Rights Groups Demand Impartial enquiry into Assault on Muslim Undertrials at Jaipur Jail
Jaipur:Human rights groups Rihai Manch and Association for Welfare, Medical and Legal Assistance (AWMELA) have demanded for an impartial inquiry into the brutal assault on Muslim undertrials lodged in Jaipur Central Jail.A delegation of the human rights groups had visited the jail only to discover that Muslim undertrials, accused in various terror cases, had been dragged and beaten with lathis, rods and pipes by the jail authorities. “Karapal Wilson Sharma, jailer Mahendra Pratap Vishnoi, chief Karapal Kailash Sharma, jailer Raj Mahendra Singh, Sunit Sharma, Awdhesh Sharma, Bhagwan, guard Ramesh Chandra Meena and inmate Gunna Sardar along with other jail personnel, home guards and few other inmates, about 50 in number, entered the high security ward number 10, dragged out under trials one by one from their cells and brutally beat the inmates with lathis, iron rods and pipes,” stated the fact-finding report prepared by the delegation. According to the report, the inmates were ruthlessly assaulted at 12.30 am on 30 March because they had been demanding for the installation of complaint box and along with a judge visiting them so that they could easily raise their grievances. They even went on a hunger strike to make those in authority pay heed to their demands. One of the undertrials Salman fell sick because of the hunger strike. He was one of the inmates who was brutally beaten by the jailers.Caravan Daily
CJI ‘framing’ case: Complainant deposes as in-camera hearing begins
New Delhi:The former woman employee of the Supreme Court who levelled sexual harassment charges against CJI Ranjan Gogoi appeared Friday before an in-house committee of three serving judges, constituted to inquire into the allegations. The inquiry which remained inconclusive Friday, will resume on a date fixed by the three judges. In-chamber proceedings began three days after a full court of the SC on the administrative side approved formation of a 3-member in-house inquiry committee, for an inquiry into the matter. indianexpress
CJI ‘framing’ case: Ex-judge says he will begin inquiry after the one into sexual harassment is over
Missionary school in Manipur burnt down after disciplinary action against students
Manipur:A Christian missionary school in Sugnu of Manipur’s Kakching district was burnt down on April 25 night, a few days after school authorities suspended six of its students for indiscipline.The incident took place at St. Joseph’s Higher Secondary School in Sugnu, the second oldest Catholic school in Manipur.“A total of 10 rooms have been destroyed, two of them had important documents, files and equipment,” school Principal Rev Fr Dominic said.The Principal said that school authorities had initiated disciplinary action on six students a week ago but were allowed to attend classes.ANI
TN Thowheed Jamath now on intelligence watch list
Bengaluru:Intelligence agencies across South India have brought a local Muslim body, Tamil Nadu Thowheed Jamath (TNTJ) and its sister wing, the Sri Lanka Thowheed Jamath, under high surveillance, in the wake of the explosions that ripped through Colombo.This was done after Sri Lanka police pointed the finger of suspicion at National Tawheed Jamaat(NTJ),an obscure group, for bombings. However, TNTJ’s state president Shamsulluha and its Karnataka chapter member Md Ghani clarified that they have no links with the NTJ and are a non-political Islamic organisation involved in the socio-religious activity.“Our organisation was founded in 2004 in Tamil Nadu and has branches across South India. Our work focuses on four objectives — giving dawah (inviting people to Islam), socio-religious activities, open questions forum to clear misconceptions of Islam by non-Muslims and organising protests in a democratic manner against any injustice, irrespective of religion,”said Md Ghani, orator, Audit Committee Member, Tamil Nadu Thowheed Jamath.Blaming the media and others who tried to link 2 organisations because of the common name ‘Thowheed Jamath’ which means ‘oneness with God’, Shamsulluha said, “Just because we have a common name, they cannot call us extremists.There are many organisations with Gandhi or words like Dravida and Kazhagam in their names. Does it mean that all of them have the same ideology or have links?”The Jamath members said they don’t get any funding from the Govt , nor do they seek donations from outside the organisation. They are said to have 8 lakh members in South India, including Kerala, Karnataka and AP. There are 2,000 followers from Karnataka.“We have businessmen and several officials among our members who fund us. During the Chennai floods, we donated a huge amount of money and nearly 30,000 volunteers helped,”said Md Ghani. Explaining how their name was “dragged” into this, he said a post on Facebook led to confusion. The organisation put out a post on social media, condemning the attack, and meanwhile, Sri Lanka police suspected that NTJ could be behind the blasts.“This led to several people across the world trolling us and posting negative comments. It is sad that this happened,” Ghani added. However, officials from the state intelligence bureau said irrespective of these claims, some members of the organisation will be on their radar.“There are at least 5 offices of TNTJ in Karnataka, and also offices across Tamil Nadu. Their headquarters in KG Halli and Chennai will also be under scanner,” said a senior officer. newindianexpress
19 terrorists present in Tamil Nadu, planning major attacks on trains in several states: Karnataka Police
Karnataka Police has issued an alert to as many as seven states and one Union Territory warning them about terrorists planning major attacks on trains in the coming days. According to sources, the Karnataka DGP has written to top police officials in Tamil Nadu, Kerala, AP, Telangana, Goa, Maharashtra and Pondicherry, alerting them about terror attacks being planned on trains. The letter also talks about presence of 19 terrorists in Tamil Nadu's Ramanathapuram. According to the letter, a person claiming to be a lorry driver named Swamy Sundar Murthy called the police control room in Bengaluru and claimed to have information about terrorists planning attacks on trains in as many as seven states, along with Pondicherry.  Swamy also claimed about the presence of 19 terrorists in Ramanathapuram, the letter added.  newsnation
7 states including Kerala put on alert after phone call on terror attacks
NIA plans to extend probe after S.Lanka’s bombings
Mumbai: NIA plans to question alleged associates of ‘Islamic State-Coimbatore module’ following Easter bombings in Sri Lanka. NIA wants to probe if there is a link between Indian suspects and Lankan terrorists or their handlers, a source said.“While probing activities of IS Coimbatore module, we stumbled on key conspirator of Sri Lanka’s bombings, Zaharn Hashim. We have found many of his videos were used for indoctrination. To probe a possible larger conspiracy, we will question associates of the module,” said an official on condition of anonymity.The source said Computer Emergency Response Team (CERT-In) played a part in unraveling the Lankan conspiracy. CERT-In is the national nodal agency for responding to computer security incidents.ET
Bengaluru: Tighter vigil at places of worship
Bengaluru: After the city police commissioner issued a security alert to all religious prayers hall, the heads of three major religions - Hindu, Muslim and Christian, plan to hold meetings to implement various safety measures.In the wake of Easter Sunday attack in Sri Lanka, Police Commissioner T. Suneel Kumar had issued security alert and asked religious heads to increase security and alert police if they come across any suspicious activity.Agamatraya Mahamandala President Somasundara Deekshith who heads temples run by Muzrai Dept will meet the Muzrai Commissioner to enhance security cover at all temples and post guards.Maqsood Imran Rashadi, Imam and Khateeb of City Jamia Masjid said there are 1,200 mosques across the city and 6,000 across the state. Heads, presidents and secretaries of all these mosques have been asked to install CCTV at all the entry and exit points.However, CCTVs per se cannot prevent any disasters, he has also suggested to appoint volunteers to zero in on movement of suspicious people and inform the same to the police as well to the Jamia Masjid head.Imam said that during the Friday prayer meetings terror attacks in the name of Islam must be condemned and youth should be guided on the right path. He said the police commissioner had visited city Jamia Masjid and was impressed by the security measures.Public relation officer of Archdiocese of Bangalore J.A. Kantaraj said that once Archbishop of Bengaluru is in town an emergency meeting would be convened to follow the security diktats issued by the police department.Deccan Chronicle.
Goa: Surveillance in port town heightened
Security in the port town has been beefed up in view of recent attacks in Sri Lanka. Apart from witnessing a large influx of migrants, a number of sensitive sites such as the airport, oil reserves and central agencies lie within Vasco’s jurisdiction.  Vasco police inspector Nilesh Rane said that while round-the-clock cover for every religious structure in the town was not possible, security for churches has been heightened on Sundays. Similarly, close vigils for mosques are maintained on Fridays and for Damodar temple on Mondays, Rane said, adding that police robot vehicles are also put on regular patrols.St Andrew’s Church, Madina masjid, Taybah masjid and Shafi masjid are among the religious sites that have been listed as sensitive. TOI
A Bond Of Togetherness! Hindus, Muslims Come Together To Preserve Assam Mosque
Puranigudam Minar, as the locals call it, stands tall in a dusty bylane of Nagaon. Situated inside the Puranigudam Masjid, built in 1824, the turret was about to be demolished to make way for a highway expansion project. People of Purunigudam, cutting across religious lines, would not let that happen.In 2015, NHAI proposed expansion of NH-37 into 4-lane highway. Minar was in its way.A few concerned locals, both Hindus and Muslims, approached district administration with a memorandum to preserve Minar, but the NHAI and public works dept said moving it would be difficult. Not relenting, some of them started a crowd-funding initiative. Soon, their campaign caught the attention of an engineering firm based in Haryana."We proposed a technique called lifting-and-shifting ... We lift the structure from its base, using plate rollers, and move it," explained Gurdeep Chauhan, engineer who worked this out. Technique uses limestone and sticky rice."The base of the Minar has a perimeter of 42 feet, intricately designed. A few accidents have damaged it a little over the year,"he added.Now, the Minar is being moved 70 feet away from the original site, engaging six labourers. "Initially, we estimated a Rs 5-lakh budget. But it has shot up to Rs 8 lakh. So, our firm is chipping in. The work is 60% done. In another 20 days, we will be able to finish it," Chauhan further said.TOI
Asaram son, 4 aides convicted of rape
Surat :A Surat district sessions court on Friday convicted the son of self-styled ‘godman’ Asaram Bapu, Narayan Sai, and four of his close disciples in a rape case.The judge will deliver the quantum of sentence on April 30. Under strict police arrangements, Narayan Sai was produced before court by Surat police from Surat district Central Jail, on Friday. Police personnel were present inside and outside the courtroom, prepared to handle any untoward incident, considering that the accused has a large following.Narayan Sai and 9 others were charged under various IPC sections for rape,unnatural sex, molestation, wrongful confinement, unlawful assembly, criminal intimidation and criminal conspiracy.Except Narayan, all other 9 accused were out on bail.indianexpress
ELECTIONS
Congress set for landslide election victory, US-based website’s report triggers debate
A report published in medium.com said that Congress led by Rahul Gandhi could win as many 213 seats with 39% vote share. It said that the BJP’s vote share may remain 31%, same as what the party secured in 2014.Quoting an unnamed British research group, the website said that 160 seats with 30 % of vote share may go to India’s regional parties. The unnamed British research group, according to the website, has made its prediction based on receiving inputs from 20,500 respondents spread over 24 states in India that included 52% male and 48% female.In 2014, Congress had won just 44 seats even though it later went on to win several parliamentary by-elections, taking its tally to close to 50. If the prediction of US-based website holds true, this will be a huge turnaround in electoral fortunes for Congress. India is currently going through its crucial Lok Sabha polls in 7 phases. 3 phases of polling have taken place with the counting scheduled for 23 May.jantakareporter
Election Commission Accused of Violating MCC for Delaying Action on Modi
New Delhi: The citizen who earlier this month alleged that the Election Commission (EC) refused to act on his repeated complaints about the prime minister’s alleged violations of the model code of conduct (MCC), has now accused the poll panel of itself violating the code guidelines.In a complaint sent to EC on April 20, Mahendra Singh, president of the West Bengal Forum for Mental Health, wrote that by not acting on his repeated complaints about code violations by Modi, poll panel violated MCC guidelines provided in chapter 23, page 227. These guidelines, he said, clearly spell out that “Complainants will also be informed of the action taken by SMS and by the call centre. Complainants can also see the details of the action taken on their complaints. This system should be operational within 24 hours of the announcement.All complaints should be dealt with promptly and properly.”With EC not providing any answers to why action has not been taken on his complaint against Modi, Singh asked:“When guidelines are so clearly articulated by ECI in writing to all political parties and their strict compliance sought, then where is scope for Commission to sit on my complaint?”thewire
Urmila Matondkar: Modi has time to record apolitical interview but not to address a press conference!
Congress candidate from North Mumbai constituency, Urmila Matondkar took a jibe at PM Modi’s apolitical interview saying that the PM could spare time amid a hectic campaigning schedule to record an apolitical interview but he does not have time to hold a press conference. The actress cum politician has been pitted against BJP’s Gopal Shetty from Mumbai North. She said, “I am happy to know that our PM has ample time to record apolitical interview with Akshay Kumar but not to address a press conference. He did not hold a single press conference in last five years. He did not talk to the media which is the fourth pillar of the democracy but he did not consider it important or necessary to talk to them. Instead, he recorded an ‘apolitical interview’ with Akshay Kumar! As far as Akshay is concerned, what can I say about him?”The veteran actress who is known for her versatile acting prowess and critically acclaimed films like Pinjar, Satya has been criticised by her opponents for being an aspiring politician with zero experience in politics.nationalheraldindia
If J&K is in loss due to Article 370, let PM Modi leave Kashmir: Mehbooba Mufti
Mehbooba Mufti says if J&K is in loss due to Article 370, let PM Narendra Modi leave Kashmir: When J&K like other states is witnessing Lok Sabha elections and Assembly polls are around the corner, Article 370 and Article 35A have become major issues for political parties to stay relevant and grab the power. Almost in every election rally, politicians make comments related to the special status enjoyed by J&K.Following the same, ex CM Mehbooba Mufti on Saturday asked PM Modi to leave Kashmir if he thinks the state is a loss due to Article 370 of the country’s Constitution.She was referring to the statement of PM Modi that after retaining power at Centre, BJP Govt would put an end to Article 370 and Article 35A, enjoyed by state residents. NewsX
‘Salute’ Yasin Malik for choosing death over bowing before Delhi: Farooq Abdullah
Srinagar: NC president Farooq Abdullah saluted JKLF chairman Yasin Malik for “choosing death over bowing before New Delhi”. Addressing an election rally in Kulgam district Abdullah congratulated Malik for his strong willpower and praised his unwillingness to sell self-respect of Kashmiris. Reacting to Farooq’s statement Mehbooba Mufti's PDP said that it was Farooq who forced youngsters like Yasin Malik to pick up the gun.Peoples’ Conference Chairman Sajad Gani Lone also called out the "hypocrisy" of former J&K  CM and blamed him for torturing Yasin Malik and putting a bounty on his head.  Lone tweeted: “Dr Farooq congratulating Yasin Malik for his sacrifice after Delhi imprisoned him. Dr Farooq did U not arrest him and torture him post 1987. Did u not put a bounty on his head post 1987And y doesn’t ur son go on hunger strike. Y should other people’s sons sacrifice their lives.”TOI
WB: Imams send thousands of letters, urge Muslims to vote for 'secular' party
Imams and clerics all over India under the banner of the All India Milli Council are writing letters to Muslims urging them to vote unitedly for a secular party in Lok Sabha polls. Letters do not name any political party. In West Bengal alone, 10,000 letters have been sent by the state chapter of the Islamic body, signed by its president Qari Fazlur Rahman, imam who leads Eid namaz at Red Road, and vice president Maulana Shafique Qasmi, imam of Nakhoda Masjid. "We've appealed to Muslims to use the opportunity carefully so that no communal force in the country can raise its head and a secular force is voted to power," Rahman was quoted as saying by DNA. “Through the letters, we are urging Muslims not to make a mistake in 2019 polls. We are stating that political consciousness is necessary along with religious consciousness,” said Rehman.The clerics are also using sermons to urge community members to vote for a secular party that has the maximum chance of winning in their areas, as they feel that division in the Muslim vote bank has led to a rise of 'fascist forces'. Quoting an Islamic scholar, the letter also said even if Muslims say their 'namaz' on time five times a day, it would amount to nothing if there is no political consciousness among them.newindianexpress
Mamata hits out at PM Modi, says Hindus or Muslims do not indulge in riots, it is RSS which does it
Raniganj: Miffed over PM Narendra Modi’s disclosure that she sends him kurtas and sweets, a vitriolic Mamata Banerjee Friday said that the people of Bengal will offer him ‘rosogollas’ made of clay with fillings of gravel instead of votes. TMC supremo had earlier said that BJP will score a ‘big rosogolla’, also invoked in the state to mean score zero in examination due to the shape of its famed sweet, in the ongoing general elections from West Bengal, which sends 42 MPs to the Lok Sabha. “Modi is coming to Bengal regularly to seek votes. But the people will give him rosogollas made of clay with fillings of gravel; his teeth will break if he tries to take a bite,” Banerjee said at a rally at Raniganj. Banerjee had earlier said that Modi has made a “political issue” of the “courtesy” shown by her by making public that she sends sweets to him.freepressjournal
Will Not Support Pragya, Unless She Apologises: BJP Muslim Leader
BJP Muslim leader Fatima Rasool Siddique said she will not campaign for the party’s candidate for Bhopal Lok Sabha seat Pragya Singh Thakur, unless she apologises for remarks that allegedly hurt religious sentiments, reported PTI.Siddique, who contested the Assembly polls from the Bhopal North seat in November last year, said some of Thakur’s statements were “communal and obnoxious,” on Thursday. She said “I won’t campaign for her as she has made statements like waging a ‘dharm yudh’ (crusade). Her controversial statement against former ATS Chief Hemant Karkare, a martyr who laid down his life fighting terrorists in the 26/11 attacks in Mumbai, has also hurt me badly.”“Pragya's statements about dharm yudh and against Karkare have not gone down well in my community also," she said. Siddique said, 49-year-old right-wing activist’s remarks have also tarnished the image of BJP leader and former Madhya Pradesh CM Shivraj Singh Chouhan.The Quint
Mumbai: Imams urge Friday congregations to vote out 'communal forces':TOI
Mumbai: At Friday congregations across mosques, two days ahead of polling in the city, imams appealed to Muslims to use their votes to stop "communal forces" from coming to power. Though community organisations or senior clerics have desisted from issuing a fatwa to defeat the BJP and its allies, the message at many Friday sermons was loud and clear: If not now, we may not get another chance to stop the saffron juggernaut. The call is significant in the context of the fact that there are concerns among community leaders that the Muslim vote may get split between the principal opposition parties and smaller parties like the SP, which has put up candidates in all seats in Mumbai, and MIM. Muslims make up nearly 20% of Mumbai's electorate. Maulana Abdul Jabbar Azmi Mahirul Qadri,imam of Hindustani Masjid at Byculla and head of the Imams' Association, said he used his sermon to hammer home the need to vote. "I told the people that voting is as important as food and clothes. In today's toxic atmosphere when fascist forces are out to change the Constitution, it is our duty to save secularism in the country and stop it from slipping into dictatorial rule," Qadri said. "Votes are the only tools through which an anti-minority regime can be stopped."
Video of PM Modi accepting shawl in Muslim dominated area goes viral
Varanasi: PM Narendra Modi accepted a shawl from an man in Sonarpura, a Muslim dominated area of Vanarasi Lok Sabha seat.In the video which went viral on social media, the man can be seen waving the shawl as he wanted to gift it to Mr. Modi. In order to accept it, Modi stopped his cavalcade. Soon, one of his security guards approached the man and asked him to toss it.When Modi received the shawl, he wore it.siasat
Pak wants Modi to remain PM so that fundamentalism can be stronger there: Yechury
CPM general secretary Sitaram Yechury Friday claimed that Pakistan wants Narendra Modi to remain the PM of India so that Hindu communalism grows in India which will eventually strengthen Muslim fundamentalism there. The comments from Yechury came after Pakistan PM Imran Khan told foreign journalists in Islamabad that there may be better chance of peace talks with India and resolving the Kashmir issue if BJP wins.“Pakistan wants Modi to win.indianexpress
SRI lANKA BLASTS
Sri Lanka's Muslims hold subdued Friday prayers amid tight security
Colombo:Armed police and sniffer dogs guarded mosques in Sri Lanka as Muslims trickled to Friday prayers, with many staying away over fears of revenge attacks after the island's Easter suicide blasts.Some mosques cancelled prayers, and Sri Lanka's Muslim affairs minister called on Muslims to pray at home instead, in solidarity with churches that have closed over security fears.Other Muslims have expressed fears that they could be targeted by Islamist hardliners, after the community's religious leadership said the attackers would not be buried at mosques in the country.Among mosques that did hold prayers on Friday in the capital Colombo, attendance was thin, with some of the few worshippers who did show up saying they wanted to stand up to extremists."We are sending a message to extremists that we will not be scared or deterred," said Reyyaz Salley, chairman of Dawatagaha Jumma mosque in the capital Colombo."But the main reason we are here is because we want to say a special prayer for the victims of the church bombings," he added.Salley said Friday prayers at Dawatagaha Jumma Masjid regularly attracts up to 700 worshippers, but only around 100 turned up this week.Prayers were also cut short from the usual one hour to 15 minutes because of security situation.AFP
Sri Lanka falsely identifies American Muslim activist Amara Majeed as ISIS terrorist
Sri Lankan Govt has been slammed for releasing a photo of American Muslim activist and author Amara Majeed and claiming that she is an ISIS involved in the Easter Sunday attacks.The events unfolded after photos of six suspects were released by Sri Lanka to seek help from locals. Amara's photo was circulated to claim that she was a terrorist named Abdul Cader Fathima Qadiya.Sri Lanka's CID had released the photos. They later clarified that Amara's photo was incorrectly used by the department to identify Qadiya.They have acknowledged that it was a mistake and apologised to Amara. Amara is an American Muslim activist from Baltimore. She is the founder of 'The Hijab Project' and author of the book 'The Foreigners', which combat stereotypes about Islam.ibtimes.co      
Sri Lanka police hunt 140 after Easter bombings as shooting erupts in east
colombo:Sri Lankan police are trying to track down 140 people believed linked to Islamic State, which claimed responsibility for the Easter bombings, as shooting erupted in the east during a raid.Muslims in Sri Lanka were urged to pray at home after the State Intelligence Services warned of possible car bomb attacks, amid fears of retaliatory violence.And US Embassy in Sri Lanka urged its citizens to avoid places of worship over the weekend after authorities reported there could be more attacks targeting religious centres.Reuters
6 children, 3 women among 15 killed in in raids on terror hideouts in Sri Lanka
At least 15 people, including 6 children and 3 women, were killed when suicide bombers blew themselves up during a shootout with security forces in Sri Lanka's eastern province, police said Saturday. The security forces continue their hunt for alleged members of National Thowheeth Jamath (NTJ)."A total of 15 bodies recovered, 6 men, 3 women and 6 children. At least 4 suspected suicide bombers are dead and 3 others who were injured are in hospital," a poluice spokesperson said.PTI
‘Do not wear veils, hinder forces’ efforts’: Sri Lankan Muslim scholars urge women after blasts
Amid manhunt for those responsible for the deadly serial blasts that tore through churches and hotels in Sri Lanka on Easter Sunday, an association of Islamic theologians have urged Muslim women not to “hinder the security forces in their efforts by wearing veils”. All Ceylon Jamiyyathul Ulama (ACJU) in a statement released in the aftermath of heightened tensions following the bombings, called upon the Muslim women in the country to not cover their faces with a ‘niqab’ that hinders the security forces from validating their identity.“As responsible citizens, Muslims are duty-bound to maintain peace and order of Sri Lanka,” the statement read.It further requested everyone to comply with authorities and forces who are investigating the matter.The organisation also asked the people to keep their national identity card with them at all times and produce it when requested by security forces. Sri Lanka has released photographs of six suspects, including three women, wanted for their involvement in deadly Easter attacks. the statesman
India: Religious heads condemn Sri Lanka attacks
Jaipur: Representatives of various religions, from across the state came forward, to show solidarity towards the victims and survivors of the recent terror attacks in Sri Lanka, that took away over 350 lives. Religious leaders of Christian, Buddhist, Hindu, Arya Samaj, Jain and Muslim faiths gathered for a press conference and unanimously criticised the violent act committed by the people who have wandered away from the path. Satyavrat Samdevi, representing the Arya Samaj said that such an incident was actually a death of humanity. “All those people who committed this act belonged to educated and wealthy families but were given false preachings about their religion. Our culture is unity in diversity, and people of our country must be united against this threat,” said Samdevi. Mohd. Saleem Engineer, vice-president of Jamaat-e-Islami Hind, while criticizing the terrorists said, violence in the name of religion is not religion. “People behind such gruesome attacks must be arrested and strict action must be taken against them. No religion in the world teaches to hurt other believers. Violence is not a solution to any problem and this should be dealt with strictly,” said Saleem. TOI
Mysuru Muslim leader appeals to stand outside Church to offer solidarity with Christians: PTI
Mysuru chapter of Jamaat-e-Islami Hind has appealed to Muslims to stand outside a church here while Sunday service is underway to offer solidarity to Christians following the attacks in Sri Lanka that killed over 250 people. President of JIH, Mysore, Munawwar Pasha, said the appeal has been made to convey the message that Muslims and other communities stand by the Christians at this hour of grief.“I am sending this message to ask the Muslims to stand outside the main church of Mysuru, St Philomena, this Sunday to extend solidarity and show that we stand united and hate cannot divide us,” he told PTI. In the audio message, circulated through social media, Pasha said when New Zealand had faced the terror attack at a mosque last month, the Muslims were overwhelmed with the amount of support received from various communities.“We saw thousands stand together in solidarity with us against the far right attack,” he said..
WORLD
In another America First move, Trump withdraws from UN Arms Trade Treaty
UN: Continuing Washington’s drift from multilateralism, US President Donald Trump has announced that he was withdrawing the country from the Arms Trade Treaty (ATT).At a meeting, he dramatically pulled out a letter for ending US participation in the treaty and signed it on stage to a standing ovation by the audience of weapons control opponents.He called ATT “badly conceived” and said:“UN will get notice that we are formally rejecting this treaty.”US signed the treaty in 2013 but has not ratified it. Trump said that he was withdrawing it also from Senate.Advancing his America First policy, he has already withdrawn US from UNESCO, the Intermediate-range Nuclear Forces Treaty (INFT),which bans nuclear-tipped missiles with ranges of 500 to 5,500 km, and the agreement on denuclearising Iran that was made by the five permanent members of UN Security Council, Germany and Tehran.IANS
Bangladesh Jamaat reformists to announce new political initiative: media reports
Dhaka: Pro-reform leaders within Bangladesh Jamaat-e-Islami will announce their fresh political initiative on 27 April and have finalised a declaration in this regard. Meanwhile, central leaders of the party are taking measures to ensure no one from the main party or from its student front Chhatra Shibir join the programme. Those involved in the new initiative have said they are not directly going to announce a new party at the moment. They will not follow Islam or religion-based parties in their new initiative, but will place importance more on equality and human rights.It has been learnt that Mujibur Rahman (Manju), recently expelled from Jamaat, is at the forefront of this process. He had at one time been the central president of Islami Chhatra Shibir and later a member of Jamaat’s central majlis-e-sura. Mujibur Rahman is to announce the new political initiative at a press conference to also be attended by eminent persons as guests or observers.Speaking to Prothom Alo, Mujibur Rahman said, “I envisage new politics of people’s aspirations, good governance and people’s rights. This will reflect the mindset and thoughts of the new generation.”The reformists say that Jamaat leaders at various levels are going all out to thwart their initiative. They are keeping a sharp watch to ensure the party leaders and activists do not join this process and are ready to take disciplinary action if they do so. They have already summoned at least 50 leaders and members of Jamaat and Shibir in Dhaka, Chittagong. Sylhet and Rajshahi and have warned them in this regard. Some among these leaders are reportedly joining the reform process.Jamaat sources have said that the party’s central secretary general Shafiqur Rahman has gone to London via Malaysia in an effort to prevent the reformists from forming a new party. There are large number of Jamaat leaders, workers and supporters in these two countries who are in favour of reforms. Shafiqur Rahman travelled to Malaysia last week in this regard where he addressed several informal meetings and spoke against the reformists. He is presently in London. Incidentally, Abdus Razzak, the leader who recently resigned from Jamaat, has been residing in London from beforehand.Prior to his Malaysia trip, Shafiqur Rahman had been in Saudia Arabia. He met with party leaders there too and cautioned them against the reformists. After he returned, pro-reformist Jamaat leader Shahjahan Chowdhury then went to Saudi Arabia too. He has reportedly long been pushed to one side in the party.Concerning his sudden London trip, Shafiqur Rahman told Prothom Alo that he is in London on a visit. When asked if he was there to prevent the reformists’ move, he said, “That’s the first time I have heard about this.” Prothom Alo
Former members to float new party, Bangladesh Jamaat says ‘not worried’: Dhaka Tribune
Amir-ul- Azeem New Pak Jamaat Secretary General
Ameer Jamaat e Islami Pakistan, Senator Siraj-ul- Haq , after consultation of Shoora has appointed Amir-ul- Azeem as the new Secretary General of the party for the next 5 years.Amir-ul- Azeem has served as Information Secretary of Jamaat e Islami Earlier, he has been the chief of the Islami Jamiat e Talaba.8 new Naib Ameer of the JI are Liaqat Baloch, Prof. Muhammad Ibrahim Khan, Rashid Naseem, Asad Ullah Bhutto, Dr Farid Ahmed Piracha, Mian Muhammad Aslam, Dr.Meraj-ul- Huda Siddiqui and Abdul Ghaffar Aziz.These office bearers took their oath at a simple ceremony held at Mansoora, on Friday morning.Two senior most Naib Ameers of the JI, Prof. Khurshid Ahmed and Hafiz Muhammad Idrees declined to accept the office of the JI deputy chief for the next term on account of their ill health. Siraj paid rich tributes to their valuable services for the JI.He said that the two elderly leaders had devoted their lives for the JI and the Islamic revolution in the country. He expressed the hope that the two would continue to their patronage for the JI. Urdupoint.com
Jordanian Muslim Brotherhood leader dies during sermon
Amman:A leading member of Jordan’s Muslim Brotherhood group has passed away during attending a Friday sermon at a mosque in Amman.“Abdul-Latif Arabiyat died after losing consciousness while listening to Friday sermon,” Murad al-Adayla, secretary-general of the Islamic Action Front (political arm of the Muslim Brotherhood in Jordan), said.Arabiyat was born in 1933 in Jordanian town of Al-Salt west of Amman.He later served as parliamentary speaker for three successive terms from 1990 to 1993.Arabiyat, who also served for a time as Islamic Action Front’s leader, was 86 years old at the time of his death.Anadolu Agency
Jordanians stage pro-Palestine rally near Dead Sea
Thousands of people demonstrated on Friday in Jordan’s western Dead Sea region against the so-called “Deal of the Century”, a backchannel US Middle East peace plan, terms of which have yet to be publicized. Organized by the Islamic Movement (affiliated with Jordan’s Muslim Brotherhood), the rally was held in the Sweimeh area adjacent to the Israeli-occupied West Bank.Protesters chanted slogans in support of Jerusalem’s Al-Aqsa Mosque and condemned recent incursions into the mosque compound by Jewish settlers and Israeli officials.Demonstrators also demanded the right of Palestinian refugees to return to their homes in historical Palestine, from which they were driven in 1948 to make way for the new state of Israel.Anadolu Agency
Thousands gather for prayers outside Sudan army HQ
Thousands of protesters have been staging a sit-in for 3 weeks outside military headquarters in Khartoum and say they will not go home until military leaders immediately hand over power to civilian rule.While the resignation of three members of ruling military council triggered jubilation among the protesters, the release of several members of former President Omar al-Bashir's Govt  aroused their anger.The feeling in Khartoum is that the military council has been hoping the protesters will become disappointed and go home, but so far, the demonstrators have refused to disperse.aljazeera
'Do not forget Rohingya': UN urges support for refugees
Top UN officials have urged the international community not to forget the plight of Rohingya refugees in Bangladesh and called for global support to ensure their safe and voluntary return to Myanmar. Following a visit to refugee camps in Bangladesh's Cox's Bazar, Mark Lowcock, UN under-secretary-general for humanitarian affairs, said the body was seeking to raise nearly a billion dollars to help Rohingya refugees and their host community. aljazeera
Commission asks US to punish Saudi over executions
United States Govt  commission on religious freedom has urged action against ally Saudi Arabia after its mass execution of 37 people, most of them Shia Muslims.The US Commission on International Religious Freedom, whose members are appointed by the president and legislators across party lines but whose role is advisory, said the US State Department "must stop giving a free pass" to Saudi Arabia.On Friday, the commission issued a statement after reports emerged the youngest of the 37 men executed on Tuesday was only 16 when he was charged.Abdulkarim al-Hawaj's death sentence had prompted an outcry from UN, which had urged the kingdom to overturn ruling.Hawaj reportedly "confessed" to his crimes after being beaten and tortured with electricity while his hands were chained above his head, human rights charity Reprieve has said.aljazeera
Turkey indicts third US Consulate worker in Istanbul on terrorism charges
Turkey has indicted a third US Consulate employee and his wife and daughter on charges of membership of a terrorist group, according to a copy of the indictment seen by Reuters, a move likely to further strain ties between Ankara and Washington.Nazmi Mete Canturk, a security officer at the US Consulate in Istanbul, and his wife and daughter are accused in the indictment of links to the network of Fethullah Gulen, the US-based Muslim cleric blamed by Ankara for a failed 2016 coup.A Turkish prosecutor is seeking jail sentences for all 3 on charges of membership of an armed terrorist organisation, according to the indictment, which was completed on March 8 but has not been made public.It says Canturk was in contact with dozens of individuals under investigation for being members of Gulen’s network and that “evidence has been obtained regarding suspect’s actions in line with the instructions of the (terrorist) organisation”.middleeastmonitor
US man rammed car into pedestrians thinks Muslim
A man in California deliberately ploughed his car into a group of 8 pedestrians because he thought some of them were Muslim, local authorities have said.Isaiah Joel Peoples, 34, faces 8 counts of attempted murder for injuring eight people, including a 13-year-old girl, after he deliberately veered his car into the pedestrians. The teenage girl was the most seriously injured in the incident and is currently in a coma with severe brain trauma.3 adults also remain in hospital with injuries that include broken limbs and fractures.aljazeera
Petition to stop mural of PM Ardern hugging Muslim lady
More than 9,000 people are calling for a proposed mural depicting the New Zealand PM hugging a Muslim woman to be scrapped.More than $11,000 has been raised through a GoFundMe campaign for 23-metre-high mural of Jacinda Ardern.Renowned street artist Loretta Lizzio had offered to donate her time "to paint an image of unity, an image of hope" on Tinning Street silos, which is in north of Melbourne .But the idea to promote the message of peace following the Christchurch massacre which left 50 people dead has been met with some opposition.About 9,300 people have signed a change.org petition in a bid to halt the project."Its (sic) not wanted in Australia. Nothing to do with Australia," one woman commented on petition. GoFundMe page for the mural raised the $11,000 needed to paint it in just one day.Yahoo News UK
Nearly 39,000 displaced as Libyan crisis worsens:UN
UN is “gravely concerned” about reports of indiscriminate shelling of civilian areas of Tripoli, Stephane Dujarric, spokesman for UNSG Antonio Guterres, said.Nearly 39,000 people have been displaced since fighting broke out in Libya’s capital, Dujarric said, citing data from UN Migration Agency, and the humanitarian crisis there is worsening. Anadolu
US imposes visa sanctions on Pakistan
 US has imposed visa sanctions on Pakistan after it refused to take back its citizen deportees and visa over-stayers, as per US State Department."Consular operations in Pakistan remain unchanged.This is a bilateral issue of ongoing discussion between the US and Pakistani Govt s and we are not going to get into the specifics at the time," Sputnik quoted a US State Department spokesperson as saying.ANI
Shia cleric assassinated in Iran
A Shia clergyman was killed in an armed attack in Iran’s northwestern Hamadan city, according to a security official on Saturday.Hujjat-ul-Islam Mustafa Ghasemi, 46, was shot dead while leaving a local madrasah, an Islamic religious school, Bahsh Salih, head of the provincial police department, told local media.There was no claim of responsibility for the attack. Police launched an investigation into the incident.Anadolu
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