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Saturday, 11 May 2019

11 May ND: Babri Masjid case: SC grants time till August 15 to mediation panel/ My earnings reflected in tax returns, Why is ED 'lying'? Zakir Naik/ TIME magazine cover features PM Modi with controversial headline ‘India’s divider in chief’


NEWS DIGEST, EVENING 
11 May 2019: 05 Ramazan 1440:Vol: 11, No:198
INDIA
Babri Masjid case: SC grants time till August 15 to mediation panel
The Supreme Court has granted additional time to the Ayodhya dispute mediation panel after it sought an extension to find an amicable solution to the decades-long land dispute. Next hearing has been scheduled for Aug.5."If the mediators are optimistic about the result and are seeking time till Aug.15, what is the harm in granting time? This issue has been pending for years and years. Why should we not grant time," the bench comprising Justices SA Bobde, DY Chandrachud, Ashok Bhushan and S Abdul Nazeer told the counsel appearing for the parties.The SC also allowed parties to raise objections before the panel till June 30, adding that nobody will come in way of the mediation process.3-member mediation committee on Ayodhya land dispute submitted an interim report to the SC in a sealed cover on Thursday. CJI Ranjan Gogoi also said, "we're not going to tell you what progress has been made, that’s confidential". The matter was heard for the first time since March 8 order by which the SC had referred the decades-old politically sensitive case for mediation by a panel headed by ex SC judge FMI Kalifulla for exploring the possibility of an amicable settlement.outlookindia
Litigants hail Ayodhya mediation extension
Faizabad: Key litigants in the Ram Janambhoomi and Babri Masjid title dispute welcomed Supreme Court’s decision to grant additional time to the special mediation panel.Mufti Hisbullah Badshah Khan, litigant from Muslim side and president Jamiat Ulema Hind, said, “We are cooperating with the Supreme Court for harmonious negotiation. If the court feels the mediation panel can deliver results with more time, we hail the decision.” Mahant Dinendra Das of Nirmohi Akhara, main litigant from Hindu side, said, “I support the Supreme Court decision to give more time to the mediation panel as it’s working on a centuries-old dispute.” Iqbal Ansari, original litigant from Muslim side, said, “The panel is working on a 70-year-old case and there’s positivity about what it’s doing. The case has been going on for decades and we can wait for a few more months.” Acharya Chakrapani, president of Hindu Mahasabha, another party in the case from Hindu side, said, “I support the Supreme Court’s move to extend mediation time and we are hoping for a harmonious solution. It will prove to be a giant leap in establishing Hindu-Muslim brotherhood in the country.”  VHP leader Triloki Nath Pandey, who is a main party in Supreme Court from Ramjanambhoomi side, said, “We are ready to talk on this issue, but we will not allow a mosque to be built near the Ram Mandir.” timesofindia
Kashi Vishwanath project makes Muslims worried about Gyanvapi mosque, fearing same fate as Babri
Varanasi: On Oct. 25, 2018, Eijaz Mohammad Islahi had returned home from the Gyanvapi Masjid around 10pm when his cellphone rang. "A platform of the mosque is being demolished," said the voice on the other end. Islahi rushed to mosque, adjacent to Kashi Vishwanath temple, where a crowd running into hundreds, mostly Muslims, had gathered. The chabootra at Gate number 4 of the temple — Gyanvapi mosque complex, a property of Sunni Central Waqf Board — was being demolished by the administration as part of the Kashi Vishwanath corridor project. Islahi, caretaker of 17th century mosque for 30 years, said, "As a visibly angry mob paced by, the demolition was halted and the district administration had to rebuild the platform." But if there has been resistance, there is also anxiety. "Gyanvapi mosque could meet the same fate as Babri," said SM Yaseen, joint secretary of Anjuman Intezamiya Masajid (AIM),Varanasi, an administrative body of Gyanvapi mosque. "I remember the chant ' Ayodhya was just a glimpse, Kashi and Mathura now remain' which became popular among kar sewaks after Babri Masjid in Ayodhya was demolished in 1992.". The administration, though, says the fears are unfounded. DM of Varanasi Surendra Singh said: "The mosque is completely secure behind the barricades. There has been and will be no harm to it". Singh also said that while the 'chabootra' in question is not part of the barricaded mosque's campus, it is however in possession of the Sunni Waqf Board and isn't a religious site. What is it about the project that has led some members of the minority community to draw parallels with the 1992 incident that triggered massive communal riots? The answer lies in the labyrinth of narrow lanes — most of it now rubble — that leads to the temple and the mosque. Yaseen puts it in perspective. "Until now, the shops and houses in the narrow lanes shielded mosque. Now it stands exposed, surrounded by temples."Mufti Abdul Baatin Nomani,imam of the mosque and secretary of AIM, agrees. "We don't object to corridor, but are concerned about the way it is being done. Lanes restricted movement and widening them could lead to an Ayodhya-like mob attack." TOI
SC Reserves Order on Review of 'No Probe' Verdict in Rafale Case, Dropping Rahul Contempt Case
New Delhi: The Supreme Court has reserved verdict on petitions challenging its Dec.14 judgment against a probe into the controversial fighter jet deal. The court also reserved its orders on the contempt proceedings against Congress chief Rahul Gandhi. A bench headed by CJI Ranjan Gogoi reserved its verdict on a batch of petitions seeking review of its Dec.14 judgment last year which had dismissed the pleas challenging India's agreement with France to procure 36 Rafale fighter jets. Lawyer Prashant Bhushan, during two-hour-long hearing, referred to various aspects including alleged suppression of material facts from the court and said that an FIR should have been lodged and a criminal investigation launched into the case.He also referred to the documents relating to alleged parallel negotiations being undertaken by PMO and said that three members of Indian Negotiation Team had objected to the parallel negotiations. He said that a prima facie cognisable offence has been committed and it warranted registration of FIR. In the contempt case, Gandhi told the SC  that he has already tendered unconditional apology for "wrongly attributing" to it the "chowkidar chor hai" remarks and the criminal contempt proceedings against him should be closed.News18
Why no FIR on Rafale deal complaint: SC
Centre Used "Falsehoods" For Favourable Rafale Verdict: Petitioners
SC/ST quota in promotions: SC OKs Karnataka law
New Delhi :Underlining that quota for Scheduled Castes and Scheduled Tribes is “not at odds with the principle of meritocracy” and is “true fulfilment of effective and substantive equality by accounting for the structural conditions into which people are born”, the Supreme Court, in a landmark ruling Friday, upheld constitutional validity of a 2018 Karnataka law granting consequential seniority to government servants promoted on the basis of reservation.A bench of Justices UU Lalit and DY Chandrachud, while upholding the validity of the Karnataka Extension of Consequential Seniority to Government Servants Promoted on Basis of Reservation (to the Posts in the Civil Services of the State) Act, 2018, said it “has cured the deficiency” on account of which a 2002 law on reservation in promotions had been quashed in 2017.The “deficiency” referred to was the lack of an exercise to determine and collect quantifiable data on inadequacy of representation, backwardness and the impact on overall efficiency before the law was enacted, as mandated by the Supreme Court’s 2006 judgment in M Nagaraj vs Union of India.indianexpress
My earnings reflected in tax returns, Why is ED 'lying'? Zakir Naik on money laundering probe
Preacher Zakir Naik has dismissed allegations that he was indulging in money laundering and asked why the Enforcement Directorate (ED) was "lying" that he had no sources of income when he was involved in various businesses."Why is ED lying? When everyone - including all govt agencies - know that I have multiple businesses and revenue streams and my earnings have always reflected in the tax returns I've filed, why is ED lying about it?," said Naik in a statement issued in his defence.Naik asked, "whether the pressure so huge" that the ED had to lie to achieve the goal set out by their political bosses?"For once, can they start showing some spine and be truthful in treating my case?" Naik added."...I am a full-time preacher and part-time businessman, just as Prophet Muhammad (PBUH) was. I don't charge for my lectures nor do I earn from Peace TV. So I do need another revenue stream to survive, which I have. Implying that I could survive outside India without earning anything is not just illogical, it's childish," said Naik.Naik claimed that "ED's allegation that he had no earnings and yet moved Rs 49 crores to India is a lie"."I have filed my tax returns dutifully every year till 2016 and ED has access to all my tax papers. The papers clearly show that I have multiple businesses and revenue streams. I am an NRI since 2010, living and earning outside India for nine years now." I earn over a crore a month, and I send money back to India as and when required. I sent it from my Dubai account to my India account, and every penny is then accounted for in my tax returns, the papers for which are with the Indian agencies," read his statement. "Between 2010 and 2016 - in the 6-year period - I must have sent 49 crores to India. How is sending 65 lakhs per month a problem? For a country that receives more than Rs 6,000 crores every month from UAE based Indians, how is my Rs 65 lakhs a problem?" he asked. "By law, I am not supposed to explain my overseas job or business to anyone in India, till the time I'm using legitimate channels and account for every penny I send to India. So it is totally puzzling when the ED says I have not been earning anything. How on earth can they even think that?From where does ED get these ideas? Of course,I earn.I have had multiple businesses - legitimate businesses - including real estate...."read his statement.ANI
Ready to return if SC assures I will not be arrested till conviction: Zakir Naik
SC to hear on Monday challenge against ECI refusal to prepone voting time during Ramzan
Supreme Court has agreed to hear the petition challenging Election Commission's order refusing to prepone the voting time during holy month of Ramzaan. The vacation bench of the Supreme Court will hear the matter on MondayWith Election Commission of India rejecting the request for changing the poll timing to 5 AM instead of 7 AM, petitioners have moved apex court against the order asking for a direction to the Election Commission for extension in polling hours during 6th and 7th phases of ongoing general elections scheduled on May 12 and may 19 respectively. It seeks polling to commence at 5:30 AM or even 6:00 AM (instead of the notified time of 7:00 AM) on account of the unprecedented heat wave prevailing in several parts of the country and the onset of the holy month of Ramzaan. With Metrological Department warning severe heatwave conditions over the next days in large parts of India and temperatures soaring high and considering the fact that in this intense heat, it will be very difficult for the elderly and Muslim voters (during Ramzaan) to queue up at the polling booths during the day to exercise their franchise, a public interest litigation is before the Supreme Court asking for extension in polling hours during 6th and 7th phases of ongoing general elections.Petition has been filed by Mohammad Nizamuddin Pasha.livelaw.in
Petition against Amit Shah for NRC, CAB remarks
Guwahati:An intervention application has been filed in the Supreme Court seeking action against BJP president Amit Shah for his statements on Assam’s National Register of Citizens and Citizenship Act (Amendment) Bill, 2016.The petition, filed by Assam Andolan Sangrami Manch which is against the citizenship amendment bill, said Shah had stated that the citizenship bill would come first and then NRC. Such an assertion had shocked the people of Assam and left them scared, NGO said. It claimed the amendment to 1955 act allows legally migrated Hindus,Sikh,Christians and Jains from Pakistan, Afghanistan and Bangladesh to be citizens of Assam, which would affect the interests of the indigenous people.The petition said Shah’s statement had given “a colour of religion” in the process of updating the NRC. HT
SC Orders Yogi Govt to Pay all Subsistence Allowances to Dr Kafeel Khan
New Delhi – Supreme Court has ordered the enquiry regarding suspension of Dr. Kafeel Khan to be concluded timely and has further directed the Yogi Adityanath government in UP to pay all subsistence allowances payable to Khan pending his suspension.The order was given by a division bench of the apex court comprising Justice Sanjay Kishan Kaul and Justice Indira Banerjee.Dr. Kafeel was represented before the Court by Senior Advocate Ms. Meenakshi Arora, Advocate on Record Fuzail Ahmad Ayyubi and Ibad Mushtaque. Khan thanked their counsels for arguing his case pro bono.In a video posted on his Twitter account, Khan stood in front of the SC and spoke about the order. He said that the Yogi govt will have to speed up the trial and pay him subsistence allowance pending for 20 months.In the video, he said that the Yogi govt wants the case to remain suspended so that an enquiry against the real culprits is not taken up. He named the 2 doctors Aushotosh Tandon and Siddharth Singh and said that their greed for 10% commission had led to 70 children dying at BRDO Hospital. He called the death of 70 children in the hospital a massacre. He was thankful to the SC for giving him relief during Roza.Caravan News
Gorakhpur hospital case: SC refuses to interfere in suspension of Dr Kafeel Khan
Army Called in as Clash Over Friday Prayers Leaves 1 Dead, 14 Injured in Assam’s Hailakandi
Hailakandi (Assam): Army has been called in to maintain peace after curfew was clamped in this Assam district on Friday following a communal clash that left one person dead and 14 others injured, officials said.Chief Minister Sarbananda Sonowal has ordered an inquiry into the incident.Deputy Commissioner Keerthi Jalli said the curfew was clamped from 6 pm in the district till 7 pm on May 12 as some groups were trying to "indulge in violence and there is apprehension of grave risk and danger to human life and property".Earlier, an indefinite curfew was clamped only in Hailakandi town from 1 pm following the clash.District administration sought the Army's help after clashes broke out between members of 2 communities when some people protested against prayers being held on a road in front of a mosque, the officials said.At least 15 people were injured, 3 of them critically, in the clash and over 15 vehicles damaged and 12 shops vandalised and set on fire in different parts of the town, they said.Official sources said one of the injured died at Silchar Medical College and Hospital at night. He has been identified as Jashim Uddin, 28, they added.Trouble started when a group of people decided to hold the Friday noon prayers on the road, located at Kali Bari point of the town, in protest against some motorcycles being damaged by people belonging to another community, the officials said.Police attempted to disperse the protestors by firing in the air in which 15 people were injured, they said.Jalli said a tense situation arose which "necessitated immediate and speedy action for the maintenance of public peace and tranquility". Appealing to the people not to spread rumours, she said "the administration was doing everything to maintain peace and security of the people".News18
Communal clash in Sawai Madhopur, 8 injured
Jaipur:Members of 2 communities clashed on Thursday when a religious procession was passing by a mosque in Chhan town of Rajasthan's Sawai Madhopur district, leaving eight persons injured, following which three suspects have been arrested, police said.A group of people objected to loud music being played by those taking out the procession as it neared the mosque which resulted in a brawl on Thursday, they said.People from both the sides pelted stones at each other in which eight people, including a sub-inspector, sustained injuries, SP, Swai Madhopur Sameer Kumar Singh, said Friday. Police used cane charge and fired 2 rubber bullets to disperse the mob, he said.The officer said that additional police force has been deployed in the town and the situation is completely under control.A case has been registered against five people from both sides and three were arrested, he added.PTI
Dalits in Gujarat boycotted: ‘They felt that if Dalits don’t do their work, how can they take out procession’
Mehsana:A day after 5 upper caste men were arrested for allegedly boycotting Dalits socially in Lhor, the village in Kadi tehsil of Mehsana district was swarming with policemen and politicians alike, amid deserted streets with shut shops on Friday.The upper caste communities, mainly Thakors, had called for the boycott on Wednesday after Mehul Parmar, a Dalit bridegroom, took out his marriage procession in the village on May 7. Mehul’s father Manu had registered an FIR against 5 persons, including Sarpanch Vinu Thakor and his deputy Baldev, following which they were arrested late on Thursday and sent to judicial custody by a local court on Friday.The residents of the village said things were not this bad, till the Dalits were lifting and clearing carcasses of animals owned by the upper castes.Dalits said that untouchability manifested in several ways earlier too like the local barber refusing to cut their hair and ban on them at temple.Now, even the local grocer refuses to sell them provisions. “Whenever there is a community dining in the village during religious festivals, Dalits have to sit separately. Not only that, food is served only by upper castes,” said Navin Parmar, a local Dalit.indian express
Guj stab victim's kin take Muslim woman's corpse, bury it
Ahmedabad :In a major goof up in a civic-run hospital in Ahmedabad in Gujarat, the corpse of a Muslim woman was handed over to kin of a Dalit woman who was stabbed to death in Bavla town on May 8.The issue came to light Friday morning after relatives of the Muslim woman, identified as Nasrin Banu, arrived at Ahmedabad Municipal Corporation-run VS Hospital and realised she had been the subject of morgue mix-up. According to hospital authorities, a staff at the hospital's morgue handed over Banu's corpse thinking it was that of Mittal Jadhav when the latter's kin arrived on Thursday.Mittal Jadhav (19) was stabbed multiple times on Wednesday in Bavla town by one Ketan Vaghela and two others.For Banu's family, it was too late to set things right as Jadhav's family had carried out funerary rituals and buried the body on Friday morning.In Gujarat, Dalits usually opt for burial, and not cremation, if the deceased is an unmarried woman.PTI
For 7 days, Alwar cops sat on Dalit gangrape, waited for polls to end
Alwar:It took Rajasthan police seven days to make the first arrest after an 18-year-old Dalit woman complained that she was gangraped by 5 men in Alwar, in front of her husband. In that crucial 7-day gap, the accused men threatened her family repeatedly, demanded Rs 10,000 and even circulated a video of the sexual assault on social media.And police even told the complainant and her family that they would have to wait until polling ended in the region — Alwar was among 12 seats in Rajasthan that went to polls on May 6 — and only a day later, police made its first arrest.Speaking to the complainant’s family, police officers and witnesses, Indian Express found glaring gaps in the police response between April 30, when the crime was reported to the police, and May 7, when the first arrest was made: from ignoring established protocol in dealing with complaints, particularly involving women and Dalits to delays in registering an FIR and recording the complainant’s statement.Following sharp criticism, Alwar SP Rajeev Pachar has been removed and the local SHO suspended for inaction. Under fire, CM Ashok Gehlot Friday said the matter will be taken up under the case officer scheme, wherein police will monitor the entire prosecution process.indian express
Rajasthan Jamaat Holds Gehlot Govt Responsible for Inaction in Alwar Gang-rape Case
Alwar:A delegation of Jamaat-e-Islami Hind’s Rajasthan chapter met the family members of the Dalit girl who was gang-raped in front of her husband in Rajasthan’s Alwar district.After the meeting, Jamaat’s state head Mohammed Nazimuddin, who was leading the delegation, held Ashok Gehlot govnt and Rajasthan police responsible for the shocking incident.  “They have come to power by making promises about keeping law and order in place. In fact, problems related to poor law and order in the state was strongly raised during their electoral campaign. But the situation has gone worse. Such incidents are happening at different places. This is the biggest failure of this government. I directly hold the government responsible for incident,”said Nazimuddin.  “The role of the police was extremely shocking. They filed the FIR against the accused on May 2, about an incident which took place on April 26. You can assume what a wicked role, the police played in this case. They would have been under pressure to not take the necessary action due to the elections. The incident has been kept under the wrap for political benefits,” claimed Nazimuddin. He maintained that the rape case became a major issue only after the rape video was made viral by the accused. He claimed that the police wouldn’t have taken any action and would have whitewashed the incident had the video not gone viral.Caravan Daily 
Dalit youth beaten to death: Being pressured to drop charges, but I am not afraid, says sister
Tehri: As one approaches Tehri Garhwal’s Basan village in Uttarakhand, a one-room structure with blue walls can be spotted from a distance.First house as one enters the village, it stands apart from the other establishments — because its occupants are Dalits, residents say.The one-room house is where Jitendra Das, 21, lived with his mother and 2 siblings. Jitendra’s death, his relatives say, occurred because he “challenged” members of upper castes over discriminatory practices and “dared to take a stand”.He succumbed to injuries days after he was allegedly beaten by seven people, all from the same family and a higher ‘Savarna’ caste, for eating in front of them. The incident occurred on April 26, at the wedding of his cousin. Jitendra’s relatives said he reached the venue early to help with arrangements. “After completing the preparations, he took some food on a plate and sat on a chair to eat. Some high-caste members did not want him to sit near them. They asked him to move, but he refused,” said Padam Das, his cousin.indianexpress
Jamaat-e-Islami Hind Condemns China's Ban on Ramadan Fasting
New Delhi:Jamaat-e-Islami Hind, one of the largest Muslim organizations in India, has condemned the Chinese government for restricting its Muslim citizens from fasting in the holy month of Ramadan.In a statement to the media, JIH President Syed Sadatullah Husaini said: “We strongly condemn the Chinese govt for banning Uighur Muslims of China from performing their fundamental religious obligation of fasting in the month of Ramadan.This repressive measure is completely unacceptable and must be challenged immediately by the international community.”He also condemned Chinese restrictions on display of basic Muslim religious practices.“The manner in which the authorities of Xinjiang Uighur Autonomous Region are clamping down on display of basic religious practices like keeping of beard, sporting the hijab, avoiding alcohol and fasting in Ramadan by terming them as signs of extremism and punishing those practicing them is a complete violation of human rights and should be condemned by all those who uphold freedom and justice,” said Jamaat Chief.He also questioned the silence of the world Muslim community on reports of about one million Muslims languishing in concentration camps in China. indiatomorrow
Jamaat condemns Chinese ban on fasting in Ramadan: theindianawaaz
In Maharashtra, 610 farmers committed suicide between Jan and March of this year
Mumbai: Data exclusively accessed by Mirror Now has revealed that 610 farmers committed suicide in the state of Maharashtra between January and March of this year. This translates to the fact that as many as seven farmers were driven to take their own lives every single day in different parts of the state in the first three months of this year.This worrying trend shatters the illusion presented in the public sphere by concerned officials and the Maharashtra govt which claims to have put their best foot forward with regards to the issue of farmer suicides by re-vamping a scheme which has been shrouded with allegations of corruption and ineffectiveness. What is even more worrisome is that different parts of the state are currently battling severe drought and the situation is going from bad to worse with every passing day.TOI
Kerala success story: Bihar migrant boy is board exam star, in Malayalam medium
Bhutto Sajid, 41, is an ‘angootha chaap’ (illiterate). Born into a poor peasant family in Bihar’s Darbhanga, Sajid’s family didn’t have the financial means to send him to school. Doing odd jobs, first in his village and then later in Delhi, Sajid was among the first wave of migrant workers in 1999 travelling thousands of miles to Kerala, a state grappling with a shortage of labour after its own people left in droves looking for jobs in Gulf countries.In the past two decades, Sajid has made Kerala home, working in a small shoe factory in the industrial area of Edayar in Ernakulam district and living with his wife and five kids.If the lack of education suppressed Sajid’s dreams in life, on Sunday, in a bittersweet moment for him, his eldest child, Muhammad Dilshad, made him and his family proud by topping from his Malayalam-medium government school in Class X Board examinations and securing A+ grade in all subjects.indianexpress
Legal Dispute Over Hamdard’s Control Hits Rooh Afza Supply
New Delhi:Recent shortage of the summer refreshment syrup Rooh Afza in the market may have its roots in a legal dispute over who would head its parent company Hamdard Laboratories (India). The dispute flared after the death of its ‘Chief Mutawalli’ or CEO Abdul Mueed in 2015. Several members of the family claimed authority over the company and in the latest legal development, the Supreme Court gave Hammad Ahmed the green light to temporarily run the affairs of Hamdard, according to a report by barandbench.com. Market experts and participants feel this legal battle and the uncertainty over the leadership has affected the company’s operations and its production cycle. The company has claimed that it is facing supply constraints of certain herbal ingredients. Mansoor Ali, chief sales and marketing officer at Hamdard, according to a report, had said earlier in the week, “We are facing supply constraints of certain herbal ingredients. We hope to fix the demand-supply gap within a week.”Hamdard was established in 1906 by Hakim Hafiz Abdul Majid and after his death in 1922, the company was taken over by his wife and two sons. His survivors executed a “Wakf Deed” in 1948 to manage the affairs of Hamdard. Legal conflict over the post of Chief Mutawalli started in 2015 after Abdul Mueed passed away. Several of suits were filed in the Delhi High Court, with various family members claiming to be Chief Mutawalli.Hammad Ahmed contended that since he was the senior-most surviving male descendant of the Wakif Mutawalli, he was entitled to take over as Chief Mutawalli. Meanwhile, Abdul Majeed, son of the deceased Chief Mutawalli, passed an order claiming the post for himself.IANS
PFI member linked to Ramalingam murder arrested:HT
NIA has arrested PFI member Mohammad Faruk, a resident of Trichy, in connection with the murder of catering contractor Ramalingam in Feb.this year.NIA had earlier carried out searches at 20 locations, including the houses of accused persons on May 2, in connection with the case during which incriminating material had been seized. A NIA spokesperson said that Faruk, 48, was summoned and interviewed and simultaneously search was also conducted at his residence on Thursday during which some digital evidences were seized."Tamil Nadu Police had earlier arrested 10 accused in this case. 6 other accused are still absconding,”NIA added.HT
ELECTIONS
59 LS seats go to polls under sixth phase tomorrow
59 constituencies, spread over seven states, will go to the polls in this phase. Voting will take place for 14 seats in Uttar Pradesh; all 10 in Haryana; eight each in West Bengal, Bihar and Madhya Pradesh; all seven seats in Delhi and four in Jharkhand.Prominent candidates include Union Ministers and BJP leaders - Radha Mohan Singh, Harsh Vardhan, Maneka Gandhi, Narendra Singh Tomar, Krishan Pal Gurjar and Rao Inderjit Singh. BJP's Pragya Singh Thakur and Samajwadi Party President Akhilesh Yadav are also contesting. In Delhi, prominent candidates in the fray include Dr Harsh Vardhan, BJP's Delhi Unit Chief Manoj Tiwari and cricketer Gautam Gambhir also from BJP, former Delhi Chief Minister and Congress leader Shiela Dikshit and her party colleagues Ajay Maken and boxer Vijender Singh, AAP's Raghav Chadha, Atishi and Dilip Pandey.  Voting will begin at 7 AM and continue till 6 PM. newsonair
Lok Sabha election: AAP alleges Gautam Gambhir is using a doppelganger to campaign for him
BJP’s East Delhi candidate Gautam Gambhir has been using a “duplicate” to campaign for him in order to avoid the heat, Delhi’s Deputy Chief Minister Manish Sisodia alleged on Friday. AAP leader shared pictures of the alleged impersonator on Twitter, claiming that the man was actually a Congress leader.“This is the mahamilavat between Congress and BJP,” Sisodia tweeted. “Gautam Gambhir is sitting inside an AC car as he has issues standing in sunlight. Instead of him, his lookalike is standing on top of the car wearing a cap. Party workers are garlanding the ‘duplicate’ Gambhir. And this duplicate is, in fact, a Congress worker.”scroll.in
TIME magazine cover features PM Modi with controversial headline ‘India’s divider in chief’
New Delhi:PM Narendra Modi has been featured on the cover page of American news magazine TIME for its May 20, 2019 edition. Titled ‘India’s divider in chief,’ the cover carries a caricature of Modi. In the cover story “Can the World’s Largest Democracy Endure Another Five Years of a Modi Govt?”journalist Aatish Taseer talks about rising populism in democracies like Turkey, Brazil, Britain, US and India.The article opens with the sentence: “Of the great democracies to fall to populism, India was the first.” Under Prime Minister Modi, the story read, “nation’s most basic norms, such as the character of the Indian state, its founding fathers, the place of minorities and its institutions, from universities to corporate houses to the media, were shown to be severely distrusted.”“…Under Modi, minorities of every stripe – from liberals and lower castes to Muslims and Christians – have come under assault,” it reads. Talking about the economic promises made by Modi in 2014 elections, the writer says, “Not only has Modi’s economic miracle failed to materialise, he has also helped create an atmosphere of poisonous religious nationalism in India.”The author also adds that Modi is ” lucky to be blessed with so weak an opposition–a ragtag coalition of parties, led by the Congress, with no agenda other than to defeat him.” “Modi will never again represent the myriad dreams and aspirations of 2014. Then he was a messiah, ushering in a future too bright to behold, one part Hindu renaissance,one part South Korea’s economic program. Now he is merely a politician who has failed to deliver, seeking re-election. Whatever else might be said about the election, hope is off the menu,” the write-up reads.indianexpress
Vajpayee wanted to sack Modi in 2002, Advani stalled it: Yashwant Sinha
Bhopal: Former BJP leader Yashwant Sinha has claimed the then PM Atal Bihari Vajpayee was set to dismiss Narendra Modi, Gujarat Chief Minister at the time, after the 2002 post-Godhra riots, but withheld the decision as Home Minister LK Advani had threatened to resign from the Cabinet on the issue. He also dismissed as a non-issue the controversy over the alleged misuse of INS Viraat by former Prime Minister Rajiv Gandhi."After the communal riots in Gujarat, Atal Bihari Vajpayee had decided that then state chief minister Narendra Modi should resign."While going to the national executive committee meeting in Goa in 2002, Atal ji had made up his mind that the Gujarat government would be dismissed if Modi ji refused to resign," he claimed.PTI
ECI writes to Indian army for commanders allegedly influencing polls, terms it ‘gross violation’
In what appears to be a serious case of violation, the Election Commission has written to the Indian Army informing the military leadership in J&K about complaints of senior commanders making attempts to influence this year’s Lok Sabha polls.This was after it emerged that some army commanders had sought to know the voting preferences of their juniors as they cast their votes using postal ballots. Taking a dim view of the complaints, local election officer and IAS officer, Avny Lavasa, has written to the local army leadership asking for an explanation. Her hard-hitting letter said that she had received a complaint from a contesting candidate for the 4 Ladakh Parliamentary constituency for the Lok Sabha elections, ‘wherein it is alleged that there are malpractices on part of various commanding officers of the Indian Army in the electronic postal ballot system.’The letter said, “It is alleged that the commanding officers are telephonically asking jawans for their voting preference rather than supplying to them the ballot paper for casting their vote.” Terming the complaint a ‘gross violation of the secrecy of voting’ she said that the malpractice in question had the ‘potential to invite strict legal action.’jantakareporter
WORLD
US sends Patriot missiles, warship to Middle East to deter Iran
US government has approved the deployment of a Patriot missile defence battery and another warship to the Middle East amid increasing tensions between the US and Iran.The USS Arlington, which transports marines, amphibious vehicles, and rotary aircraft, as well as the Patriot missiles, will join the USS Abraham Lincoln carrier strike group, which already passed through Egypt's Suez Canal on Thursday, and is currently sailing in the Red Sea, according to CNN.US says the deployments of military hardware to the region comes in response to "heightened Iranian readiness to conduct offensive operations".Patriot missile system is a defence mechanism against aircraft, drones, cruise missiles and ballistic missiles, and is currently deployed in Bahrain, Jordan, Kuwait, Qatar and the UAE."Acting Secretary of Defense has approved the movement of USS Arlington (LPD-24) and a Patriot battery to US Central Command (CENTCOM) as part of the command's original request for forces from earlier this week," a Pentagon statement said.aljazeera
Israel gunfire kills Palestinian in Gaza days after ceasefire
Israeli fire has killed a Palestinian in Gaza during demonstrations by the Israeli fence Gaza officials said, despite a ceasefire agreement reached on Monday that ended days of fighting. Abdullah Abd al-Aal, 24, was shot in the stomach on Friday near the Israeli fence east of Rafah in the southern Gaza Strip, Gaza's health ministry said, in the first protests there since a deadly flare-up last week. The ministry said that a total of 30 Palestinians were injured in the protests on Friday, including four children and one field paramedic, who was moderately wounded by an Israeli gunshot to the head.The Gaza Health Ministry said that since the start of the weekly Great March of Return protests last year, the Israeli army has killed more than 275 demonstrators and wounded 17,000 others, who were officially referred to hospitals.aljazeera
Hamas chief, UN’s Mladenov discuss Israel siege on Gaza
UN Envoy for the Middle East Process Nikolay Mladenov yesterday discussed with Hamas Chief Ismail Haniyeh the Israeli siege imposed on Gaza and the situation of prisoners inside Israeli prisons.In a statement, Hamas said that Mladenov called Haniyeh to discuss the efforts being exerted by different sides to end the humanitarian crisis in Gaza, as well as to lift the Israeli siege which has been imposed on the Strip since 2007.The latest Israeli offensive on Gaza and the human and material losses of this aggression also formed part of the discussions.Hamas’ statement also noted that the pair discussed Israel’s procrastination in carrying out the terms of the deal which ended the latest hunger strike by Palestinians inside Israeli jails.middleeastmonitor
Muslim Brotherhood prepares for diplomatic campaign against blacklisting
The Muslim Brotherhood is preparing for a “diplomatic campaign” against the US’ plan to blacklist the group. Deputy supreme guide of the Muslim Brotherhood, Ibrahim Munir, yesterday said that many Western countries are likely unwilling to accept the US endeavour to blacklist the group, noting that its new diplomatic campaign would focus on an international audience.However, Munir did not rule out that US President Donald Trump would continue his plan to blacklist the Muslim Brotherhood. In an interview with Anadolu, he said: “The ideology of the Muslim Brotherhood is far from violence, to the degree that some accuse us of being weak and apostate.”He continued: “I do not think that EU countries would accept blacklisting the group after the famous report issued by the British government in 2015, which found that the Muslim Brotherhood’s ideology stands as a barrier against extremism.”If blacklisted, Munir stressed that members of the group would not become a threat to US interests, pointing to the fact that Muslim Brotherhood members absorbed the shock of 2013, when the first democratically-elected president of Egypt, Mohammad Morsi, was ousted.“[Egyptian President Abdel Fattah] Al-Sisi will face the same fate of others [who harmed the group],” he said. “All of them passed and the group remained. This will happen soon.”During the interview, Munir called for Al-Sisi to learn a lesson from his predecessors, hailed Morsi and called for him to be patient, and called for Egyptians to unite as they did during 25 January Revolution in 2011.middleeastmonitor
Sri Lanka orders mosques to submit recordings of sermons
Colombo:The Sri Lankan government on Friday ordered mosques to clamp down on extremists and to submit copies of sermons in new fallout from the bombings. The Ministry of Muslim Religious and Cultural Affairs said mosques must not be used for radicalising congregations.“In view of the prevailing situation in the country, the ministry directs all trustees of mosques not to engage in or permit any gathering to promote or propagate hatred or extremism in any form,” the ministry said.It said all mosques must submit copies of sermons given within their premises.Since the attacks, the government has carried out raids across the country and killed several suspected radicals. At least 56 suspects are in custody, according to police, while authorities have also expelled 200 foreign clerics who had overstayed their visas.AFP
Don't allow mosques to promote hatred; Submit recordings of sermons: Lanka govt
Muslims afraid, resentful as ethnic divide deepens in Sri Lanka
Rathmalyaya:NK Masliya says she has been visiting a neighbourhood clinic in the northwestern Sri Lankan village of Rathmalyaya for over 5 years, always dressed in a black abaya - a cloak-like over-garment worn by some Muslim women.But when Masliya went to the clinic nearly 3 weeks after the bombing, she said things had changed.The 36-year-old said she was in a queue with her five-year-old daughter when a nurse told her to remove her abaya, saying: “What if you blow us up with your bomb?”Muslim groups say they have received dozens of complaints from across Sri Lanka about people from the community being harassed at workplaces, including government offices, hospitals and in public transport since the Easter Sunday attacks.Now, anger against Muslims seems to be spreading. On Sunday, a violent clash erupted between local Muslims and Christians after a traffic dispute.“Suspicion towards them (Muslims) can grow and there can be localised attacks,” said Jehan Perera of non-partisan advocacy group, the National Peace Council. “That would be the danger.”Reuters
Gun fired outside London mosque during Ramadan prayers, no injuries reported
London:Armed police were scrambled to an east London mosque after a “masked” gunman entered the building during Ramzan prayers before shooting a firearm outside.Worshippers at the Seven Kings Mosque in Ilford were part-way through evening prayers late on Thursday when the sound of a gunshot rang out, the Evening Standard newspaper reported.Scotland Yard said that early investigations suggested that a “blank firing handgun” had been discharged. No injuries or damage to the building were reported. They were not treating the incident as “terrorism-related”.The man, said to have had his face covered, was reported to have entered the mosque but was chased out by people inside before he fired the gun at 10.45 p.m. (local time). No arrests were made.In a statement shared by a Muslim Council spokesman on Twitter, the mosque’s imam Mufti Suhail said suspect’s motives had not been established.IANS
Syria's war: NGOs suspend aid to embattled Idlib province
UN-linked aid groups have suspended activities in parts of violence-plagued northwestern Syria,where escalating bombardments by the govt and Russia are jeopardising the safety of humanitarian workers."As of May 8, at least 16 humanitarian partners have suspended their operations in areas impacted by conflict," UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs, or OCHA, said on Friday.World Food Programme [WFP] said it has suspended "deliveries to about 47,000 people in towns and villages ... [that] have come under bombardment". Speaking from Damascus, Marwa Awad, an officer at WFP, said that more assistance was required.aljazeera
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Compiled and edited by Anwarulhaq (Released at: 6:27 PM)

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