Thursday, 20 June 2019

20 June NEWS DIGEST: Prez lays down roadmap for next 5 yrs; Focus on Triple Talaq, NRC,One Nation, One Poll/ Rahul makes clear he'll go, says "there has to be accountability"/ Ex-Gujarat Top Cop Sanjiv Bhatt Sentenced To Life


NEWS DIGEST, EVENING 
20 June 2019: 15 Shawal 1440:Vol: 11, No:226
INDIA
Parliament: Prez lays down roadmap for next 5 yrs; Focus on Triple Talaq, NRC,One Nation, One Poll
President Ram Nath Kovind laid down the roadmap for the next 5 years as he discussed issues such as Triple Talaq, Nikah Halala, NRC,surgical strikes and One Nation, One Election in the joint session of Parliament today. Addressing lawmakers of both the Rajya Sabha and Lok Sabha, Ram Nath Kovind raises the contentious issues of the National Register for Citizens. "Foreigners entering India illegally are a great threat to internal security. My government has decided that the process of the NRC will be implemented on a priority basis in areas facing the infiltration problem."In his concluding remarks, President Kovind says that the need of the day is to bring in a "one nation one election system" so that the "country can grow faster". Highlighting women's empowerment as one of the highest priorities of the govt Kovind said eradication of social evils like 'Triple Talaq' and 'Nikah-Halala' is imperative for ensuring equal rights for women in the country. Kovind urged all the members to cooperate in these efforts to make the lives of women "better and dignified". "To secure equal rights for every sister and daughter in the country, eradication of social evils like 'Triple Talaq' and 'Nikah-Halala' is imperative," Kovind said.The Parliament’s Budget Session, which began on June 17, will continue till July 26. Economic Survey will be presented on July 4 followed by the Budget for 2019-20 on July 5. news18
NRC will be implemented on priority basis in areas affected by infiltration:president
Eradication of Triple Talaq and Halala imperative for ensuring women equality: President Kovind
After Prez’s push, Centre introduces triple talaq bill in Rajya Sabha
New Delhi:The govt today reintroduced the Muslim Women(Protection of Rights on Marriage) Second Ordinance -- popularly known as the Triple Talaq Bill -- in the Rajya Sabha.It is part of 10 other ordinances introduced in the upper house today - the beginning of 17th Lok Sabha.The other ordinances introduced include Jammu and Kashmir Reservation (Amendment).To build consensus, govt had called a meeting of political party leaders on June 19, to discuss the agenda for the first session of 17th Lok Sabha.The opposition has not opposed the bill, however, it has is opposed to penal provisions. The Bill proposes a punishment of three years for a Muslim man practicing triple talaq and says the accused can get bail only from the magistrate before the trial starts, provided his wife concurs. Opposition parties led by the Congress have objected to a jail term in the law and are also seeking state compensation for the deserted wife and her children. The proposed law directs the husband to provide maintenance for the wife and her children.HT
Modi to Khan: Trust key to boosting India-Pakistan relations
 PM Narendra Modi has told his Pakistani counterpart that while India desires normalised relations with its western neighbour, this would require "an environment of trust, free of terror, violence and hostility". Modi wrote a letter responding to a congratulatory message by Pakistani Prime Minister Imran Khan, the Indian foreign ministry said in a statement today."As per the established diplomatic practice,PM and [Foreign Minister S. Jaishankar] have responded to the congratulatory messages received from their counterparts in Pakistan," Raveesh Kumar, spokesman for India's foreign ministry, said."In their messages, they have highlighted that India seeks normal and cooperative relations with all neighbours, including Pakistan."Aljazeera
India rejects Pak report claim that New Delhi ready for talks with Islamabad
India has rejected a Pakistani media report claiming New Delhi is ready for talks with Islamabad, saying Prime Minister Narendra Modi and External Affairs Minister S Jaishankar made no such reference in their response to congratulatory messages from their counterparts in that country.A report in the Express Tribune claimed that Modi and Jaishankar responded to Islamabad’s renewed call for dialogue by conveying New Delhi’s desire to engage with all countries, including Pakistan, for the prosperity of the region.Responding to the queries regarding the replies to congratulatory messages by Pakistan’s PM Imran Khan and Foreign Minister Shah Mehmood Qureshi, Ministry of External Affairs Spokesperson Raveesh Kumar said: “As per the established diplomatic practice, PM and EAM have responded to the congratulatory messages received from their counterparts in Pakistan.”In their messages, they have highlighted that India seeks normal and cooperative relations with all neighbours, including Pakistan, he said.PTI
Govt docs exploit loopholes in Ayushman Bharat scheme, pocket public funds, reveals BJP MLA
Exploiting loopholes in the Union Govt's mega health scheme - Ayushman Bharat, hundreds of doctors allegedly pocketed huge amounts of public funds meant for the treatment of poor patients. Though the scandal seems to have spread across various states, initial reports indicate that several hospitals in Uttarakhand have been found involved in siphoning off funds under the scheme.Under the scheme, doctors of government hospitals referred patients to private hospitals for specialized treatment. However an enquiry found that neither were the patients admitted nor was any operation or treatment carried out. "It seems to be a big fraud. Poor patients were victimised," alleged Harbhajan Singh Cheema, an MLA from Uttarakhand's Kashipur district. Concerned about the ongoing scandal, the Uttarakhand High Court has now directed the Trivendra Singh Rawat government to probe threadbare the financial irregularities related to the health scheme which ensures treatment up to Rs 5 lakh per year for poor patients.The scam first broke out in Kashipur district, located 90 km from Nainital. Local resident Munidev Bishnoi complained that scores of poor patients were referred by government hospitals for treatment in private hospitals but these patients turned out to be 'ghosts' on verification. No documents were made available to confirm treatment.Later, Bishnoi decided to unravel the scam and subsequently filed a public interest litigation in the High Court.nationalheraldindia
Nearly 50% of All NPAs Due to Loans Taken by Top 100 Borrowers:the wire
Nearly 50% – or Rs 4.5 lakh crore – of the total value of India’s non-performing assets (NPAs) are due to loans taken out by the top 100 borrowers, an RTI query filed by The Wire has revealed.RBI said that as of December 31, 2018, loans taken by the top 100 borrowers created NPAs worth Rs 4,46,158 crore. This means that on average, each of the top 100 borrowers is responsible for NPAs worth Rs 4,461 crore. RBI refused to provide details on who these top 100 borrowers are.According to an answer given by the then finance minister in the Rajya Sabha on February 5, 2019, the total value of NPAs in scheduled commercial banks was Rs 10,09,286 crore as of Dec. 31, 2018. Of that, the value of NPAs in public sector banks was Rs 8,64,433 crore.This means that 44% of the total NPA value is owed by just the top 100 borrowers. And if only public sector banks are considered, then 52% of the total NPA value is owed by these top 100 borrowers. As of March 2019, 9.3% of the total given loan amount had been declared as NPA.On April 26, 2019, the Supreme Court heard a contempt plea regarding the RBI’s refusal to divulge details on defaulters. The court criticised RBI and directed the bank to reform its transparency guidelines and provide these details to the public.The highest court said that this was RBI’s last chance, and that if the bank still refused to provide details, action would be taken against the central bank for contempt of court.Yet, in response to the RTI filed by The Wire, the RBI refused to provide details on the accounts of the top 100 borrowers. It did not provide the names of the account holders, the amounts owed by them or the interest rates at which they have borrowed money. RBI said that such information is not available. RBI said that it collects information regarding debt under Section 27(2) of the Banking Regulation (BR) Act 1949 and under Section 28 of RBI Act, 1934. RBI’s response said: “As per Section 28 of the BR Act, RBI can only disclose information collected under Section 27 (2) of the Act in such consolidated manner as it deems fit.”The bank said that in terms of Section 45(E) of the RBI Act, RBI is prohibited from disclosing credit information except under certain conditions as stated in the Act.In its recent judgement, the SC had directed the RBI to furnish details of its annual inspection reports and regarding its show-cause notices. But the RBI has violated the SC’s directive and refused to provide this information.thewire
Rahul makes clear he'll go, says "there has to be accountability"
New Delhi: Congress's Rahul Gandhi, who decided to step down from the position of the party chief after the abysmal performance in the Lok Sabha election,  made it clear today that he is sticking to his resolve and would not be involved in the process of the selection of the new party chief.Underscoring that there has to be "accountability in the system", he told NDTV, "I am not going to get involved in that process, otherwise it will complicate things and the party has to decide".A dynastic control combined with a lack of accountability has been the critics' big grouse against the Congress, which became loud after the party's rout in the national election. For the second time in a row, the party got decimated, getting only 52 seats - a marginal rise over its score of 44 in the 2014 election. What accentuated the defeat was Gandhi's loss from Amethi, his family turf, to the BJP's Smriti Irani.NDTV
Rahul maintains there was corruption in Rafale deal
New Delhi:Congress president Rahul Gandhi today maintained that there was ‘corruption’ in the Rafale fighter aircraft deal and indicated his firmness on stepping down as party chief by declaring that that the organisation would choose its next president.While walking out of the Central Hall after President Ram Nath Kovind's address to the joint sitting of Parliament, journalists asked him about his response to the mention of Rafale aircraft in the Presidential address.“My stand has been the same that there has been corruption in the Rafale jet deal,”Gandhi replied.President Kovind in his address referred to the delivery of the first lot of Rafale by the end of this year.thehindu
Ex-Gujarat Top Cop Sanjiv Bhatt Sentenced To Life In Custodial Death Case
Jamnagar: Sacked Gujarat-cadre IPS officer Sanjiv Bhatt, who took on Prime Minister Narendra Modi over the Gujarat riots, was sentenced to life imprisonment today in a 30-year-old case of custodial death. The sentence by the Jamnagar court comes a week after the Supreme Court denied Mr Bhatt's petition to examine additional witnesses.Sanjiv Bhatt is currently in custody for an alleged drug planting case from 1996 after the top court declined to interfere with a Gujarat High Court order refusing bail.The custodial death case for which Bhatt has been sentenced dates back to 1989 when he was posted as ASP in Jamnagar district. He had detained approximately 150 people during a communal riot and one of those arrested, Prabhudas Vaishnani, died in hospital after his release.Prabhudas Vaishnani's brother complained to the police naming Sanjiv Bhatt and 6 other policemen, accusing them of torturing him while in detention.Bhatt had several run-ins with BJP govt in the past over 2002 post-Godhra riots. IPS officer had alleged that Modi, then Chief Minister of Gujarat, was complicit in the riots of 2002. His claims were rejected by the SIT appointed by the Supreme Court to probe nine riots related cases.Last year, he was arrested by CBI in connection with a 23-year-old case of allegedly planting drugs.Part of his house --- which was allegedly illegal construction -- was razed by the Ahmedabad Municipal Corporation after the Supreme Court dismissed his plea seeking a stay on the demolition.ndtv
 Spl court warns Zakir Naik, orders to appear on July 31
A special PMLA court has ordered Zakir Naik to physically appear before it on July 31. The court said that a non-bailable warrant will be issued against Naik if he fails to appear before it.PMLA court was hearing an application filed by Enforcement Directorate (ED) seeking a non-bailable warrant against the controversial Islamic preacher, who is believed to be in Malaysia.India said it has made a formal request to Malaysia and will continue to pursue his extradition.ANI
J&K Jamaat ban case: Tribunal begins hearing, govt seeks in-camera proceedings
Srinagar:J&K govt sought in-camera proceedings and redaction of witnesses as a 3-day hearing against the ban on the Jamaat-e-Islami (Jammu and Kashmir) began before Unlawful Activities Prevention Tribunal in Srinagar on Wednesday.The court allowed both the applications by the government.As the hearing began, the govt asked the Tribunal to order in-camera hearing and redaction of witnesses (protection against the identification of witnesses).As the Tribunal allowed both the appeals, two senior officials of the state government who had submitted their affidavits deposed for cross-examination. A third government official, who has filed an affidavit, would be cross-examined on Thursday.The Tribunal has also issued a notification saying that anybody among the public can come and depose before them. An official said that the Tribunal has received one affidavit from an individual who is ready to depose.The hearing at the Tribunal that is presided over by Delhi High Court judge Justice Chander Shekhar would continue on Thursday.indian express
Bihar’s Killer Heat Wave: Deaths Toll Rises to 142, Over a Thousand Hospitalised
Patna: Bihar has been caught in the grip of a raging heatwave since June 15, which has left 142 persons dead in four days and has led to the hospitalisation of 1,195 people, according to the state health department. Local newspapers, however, are putting the death toll as high as 304.The state has dismissed that figure as unreliable. “I don’t know where they get the figures from and can’t comment on this,” said Kaushal Kishor, addition secretary of the Bihar health department.Using the powers vested under Section 144, the Bihar government has issued prohibitory orders to keep people from stepping outside in searing heat, particularly between 11 am and 4 pm.The state government has imposed a ban on any kind of construction work (government or non-government) between 11 am and 5 pm. In addition, work under MNREGA plan is also prohibited during this period. The orders also prohibits all public gatherings during the afternoon. All schools, colleges and private tuition institutes have been asked to remain closed till June 22.Section 144 was first imposed in the district of Gaya. District magistrate Abhishek Singh said that the orders have been imposed in order to ensure that people do not go out in the heat and that it will remain in place until the next order. Retailers’ unions have also been urged to keep the shops closed in the afternoon except to offer emergency services. A day later, Section 144 was imposed in the entire state. Experts claim that this is probably the first time that such prohibitory orders have been imposed in Bihar due to an extreme heatwave, and also the first time that the heatwave has killed so many people.thewire
Attacks on doctors, model: Muslims urge Mamata to act against culprits
New Delhi :A prominent group of Muslims in Kolkata has written to West Bengal CM Mamata Banerjee, seeking stringent action against the culprits involved in the attack on doctors and harassment of model Ushoshi Sengupta in order to overcome the “perception” that they are being “shielded or appeased”.“We have been deeply concerned with 2 events that occurred recently…The attackers in both instances were members of our community…We are grieved and embarrassed,” a letter by a group of 46 Muslims to the Chief Minister read.“Bring the assailants to book not just in these two instances but in every single instance where Muslims are involved. They should not be allowed to get away because they happen to be Muslims (as is the growing perception). This will send out a message that members of one community are not being shielded or appeased (as most people believe),” the letter added.The letter also urged the state government to “engage or encourage engagements with Muslim youth and their families across Kolkata in gender-sensitisation, civic consciousness and law-compliance, etc.”Mudar Patherya, a communications expert who drafted the letter to Banerjee, said the state government must shun vote-bank politics and address the issue considering the betterment of the next generation. “The moment they start doing that, I think things will start taking a positive turn for us,” he said.Another signatory, nutritionist Neha Hafiz, said there is a need to change the perception that the Muslims in the state was “getting more privileges than others”. “This is a problem that we cannot deny. We need to address it,” she added. indian express
West Bengal: Bhatpara on edge as fresh clashes leave two dead, three injured; section 144 imposed
Kolkata; 2 persons were killed and 3 others injured in violence-hit Bhatpara in West Bengal’s North 24 Paraganas district today after clashes broke out between two unidentified groups. Section 144 has been imposed in the area and senior police officials have rushed to the spot.Considering the law and order situation in Bhatpara area, the West Bengal govnt formed a new police station by separating Jagdal and Bhatpara which was scheduled to be inaugurated by DGP Virendra Kumar in the morning. Hours before the inauguration of this newly formed police station, massive violence broke out in the area. “2 people have died, few have been injured. The situation is still tensed,” a senior police official said.While the BJP alleged that 2 were killed in the police firing, police officials denied the saffron party’s allegations saying they only lobbed tear gas shells to control the situation.“2 persons have died in police firing in Bhatpara which was disturbed since morning today. We will be sending a team in the area,” party’s West Bengal in-charge Kailash Vijayvargiya said.Meanwhile, TMC leaders alleged BJP supporters were firing when some got injured.Accusing BJP of creating violence in the area, local TMC leader Madan Mitra said, “The violence is being triggered by Arjun Singh and his people and we have to take serious action to tackle the situation”. Mitra also compared Bhatpara to once violence-hit areas like Jungle Mahal and Darjeeling.indian express
AMU students raise objections over Yoga celebrations in campus
 AMU students have raised objections on Yoga celebrations in the campus, as common sitting arrangements have been made by the administration for men and women. According to students, these celebrations are nothing but a waste of money, as no one would become healthier by doing yoga for a day. Former president of Students’ Union, Faizul Hassan, said that the administration should have made separate arrangements for male and female, as Islam has strongly emphasized the concept of decency and modesty in the interaction of the opposite sex. He further said, “in Islam, we offer namaz five times a day and it’s like performing yoga,” he added that any Muslim who offers namaz five times a day does not need to do any yoga. Hassan said that these celebrations are meaningless and if the authorities want to make any real difference, they should have yoga classes round the year. AMU court member, Shafikurhman Khan from theology department also opposed the Yoga day celebration in the university. He said, “We welcome yoga if it it is part of the curriculum but not if it is forced under a particular ideology”. He added that it’s unfortunate that Yoga instead of being seen as a science had been given a given a communal colour. Former vice-president of students’ union Hamza Sufyan said that the amount which is being spent for Yoga celebrations should be spend on education as the varsity’s budget has been going down every year. Spokesperson of the university, Shafey Kidwai said, these are all baseless allegations. He said, if students can study together then why can’t do Yoga together. On the issue of one day Yoga celebration, Kidwai, said that a week-long celebrations are planned for International Yoga Day. TOI
Malegaon blast case: NIA court rejects BJP MP Pragya Thakur’s exemption plea
New Delhi :A special NIA court in Mumbai today rejected Bhopal MP Pragya Singh Thakur’s plea seeking exemption from appearing before it once a week in connection with the 2008 Malegaon terror blast case.Thakur, a key accused in the case, had moved the plea citing ill-health, distance, security, attending Parliament on a day-to-day basis and her life as a Sadhvi. However, the court has given her exemption from attending the court for today.Thakur’s lawyers said her party BJP has issued a whip from time to time for attending Parliament. To this, the court said obeying the party and attending Parliament is necessary. However, no papers were submitted regarding it.Last week, the court had granted her exemption from appearing before it on Saturday following a plea by her advocates that while she was willing to appear, they had advised her against it as the judge was on leave.indian express
Setback for TDP in Rajya Sabha, 4 MPs set to join BJP
In a jolt to TDP, 4 of its Rajya Sabha MPs are all set to join BJP. TDP MPs C M Ramesh Y Satyanarayana Chowdhary, TG Venkatesh and Garikapati Mohan Rao today wrote to Rajya Sabha Chairman M Venkaiah Naidu announcing their decision to switch. The development comes at a time when TDP chief Nara Chandrababu Naidu is on holiday in Europe with his family.“For the sake of development of my Rayalaseema region I want to join BJP. BJP also wants to increase its members in Rajya Sabha so I have agreed. It will take some time. Obviously, I will quit TDP,” Venkatesh, who hails from Kurnool, said. Venkatesh said he was speaking for himself and did not know the plans of his colleagues.While Ramesh is currently being probed by Income-Tax, Chowdhary, who served as union minister till 2018, is under CBI and ED scanner in connection with a bank fraud case. indian express
One nation, one poll: Mayawati wants talks on EVMs, Akhilesh says govt must fulfil promises first
Lucknow :BSP and SP on Wednesday opted out of the all-party meeting called by Prime Minister Narendra Modi for discussions on ‘one country, one election’ idea.While BSP supremo Mayawati said a discussion on EVM is more important than the idea of ‘one country, one election’, SP chief Akhilesh Yadav said the government should focus on fulfilling promises on which it came to power. Mayawati said the idea of ‘one country, one election’ is “anti-democratic” and against the Constitution. “If the meeting of presidents of the political parties called by the central government today was convened to find solution to the concerns about EVMs, then I would have definitely attended it,” she said in a statement.BSP chief said that the people’s faith in EVMs had dwindled to “worrisome level”. “Country’s democracy and Constitution are facing real threats following the stubbornness of the ruling party for conducting elections through EVMs instead of ballot paper,” she said. Mayawati also said elections in any democratic country can never be a problem and they should not be weighed from the point of view of expenditure and extravagance. “The ‘one country, one election’ is an attempt to divert the attention from burning national issues such as poverty, inflation, unemployment and increase in violence, and is simply an illusion.”indianexpress
Hyderabad: Muslim man attacked after he reveals his name
Hyderabad:Nawaz, was allegedly attacked by unidentified assailants in Hyderabad after he reveals his ‘Muslim name.’ According to reports, the incident took place on Tuesday at around 11:55 pm in Gowliguda Kaman area when the victim, a resident of Kishanbagh was driving the Tata Ace and was on his way from Mangalhat when he was attacked by three assailants. The accused in an “inebriated” state asked his name and after Nawaz reveals his ‘Muslim name’ they brutally assaulted him saying ‘He’s a Muslim’. The attackers also smashed the vehicle’s windshield during the attack. A video of an injured Nawaz speaking about the incident is doing rounds on social media.“The moment I revealed my Muslim identity, they started hurling abuses at me,” Nawaz said adding “when I pushed them away and tried to flee the scene, the accused chased me and continue the assault while the locals prefer to remain mute spectators.”According to the victim, no one came to his rescue when he was attacked.Fortunately, police reached the crime scene on time and rushed the injured Nawaz to Osmania General Hospital for treatment. If the police had not arrived on time, he would have died on the spot, said Nawaz.An FIR was later lodged at the Mangalhat police station.siasat
Beaten by co-workers in Pune, Dalit man dies
Pune : 3 persons from Rajasthan have been booked on charges of murder and under sections of the Scheduled Caste and Scheduled Tribe (Prevention of Atrocities) Act, 1989, for allegedly brutally thrashing a Dalit man, who eventually died of his injuries.Police have identified the deceased as Ram Swaroop (21), who was from Nagaur in Rajasthan.3 accused in the case are also from Nagaur and belong to an upper caste, said police. According to the complaint, Ram Swaroop came to Pune about two months ago to work with one of the accused, Pappu Ram, at a furniture shop in the city’s Kharadi area. But Pappu Ram and his aides Jagdish and Hazariram allegedly forced Swaroop to perform chores such as washing their clothes, cleaning utensils and sweeping their residence.After a few days, when Swaroop refused to do these chores any more, Pappu and the two other accused locked him inside a room and thrashed him, said police.Swaroop was seriously injured in the beating, which took place on May 5, but the accused allegedly sent him back to Rajasthan by train the next day despite his injuries. On reaching Rajasthan, Swaroop was treated at hospitals in Jaipur and Jodhpur, but succumbed to his injuries about a month later, on June 4.indianexpress
Gujarat: Dalit dy sarpanch waited for security, killed by suspected upper caste men
Rajkot:Manji Solanki, a Dalit deputy sarpanch of a village in Gujarat, whose application for police security was pending for almost 2 weeks, was murdered, allegedly by a group of men from upper-caste Kshatriya community on Wednesday.From Jalila village in Ranpur taluka of Botad district, Manji was riding his motorcycle when it was knocked down by a car whose occupants then beat him up with clubs and iron pipes, said Manji’s son Tushar Solanki. He died en route to a hospital in Ahmedabad.RN Nakum, DSP of Botad division, which covers Ranpur, said information shared by the victim’s family about the sequence of events appeared plausible.“We have sent a team to Ahmedabad to collect information and then register an offence. But the crime scene suggests that what the victim’s family is saying looks prima facie true,” Nakum said. Botad SP Harshad Mehta said that Manji did make a representation to his office on June 6.“He had approached us with a request to give him personal security officers. As part of the due process, the police station concerned was undertaking a threat assessment,” he said, adding that Dalit family did not have any police protection as of Wednesday.This is the third incident in less than a month in the Saurashtra region where a Dalit has been murdered, allegedly by Kshatriyas.The victim’s family claimed Manji’s repeated requests for police protection did not elicit a positive response.  indianexpress
Hundreds of Dalits Embrace Buddhism in Mysuru
Mysuru:Hundreds of Dalits took out a rally against attack on youth from the community and embraced Buddhism stating that “there is no love, compassion and equality in Hinduism”. They took a pledge to join Buddhism as Buddhist monks Gjana Sheela and Bodiraksha read out Panchshil of Buddha, considered to be basic code of ethics to be a follower and practitioner of Buddha. Progressive activists and Dalits turned up in large numbers at Gundlupet town in Chamarajanagar district on Tuesday to condemn the incident of a Dalit youth being thrashed, stripped and paraded naked.Hundreds of protesters reached the town in a ‘padayatra’ from Sri Shaneshwaraswamy Temple, about 3 km from the town where the incident occurred, to the venue of the meeting near the old bus-stand.The crowd stood to exhibit unity and repeated Panchashil to continue on the path of enlightenment. While Bodiraksha prescribed 22 vows of Ambedkar to the gathering with a belief that it would liberate the converts from superstitions and wasteful and meaningful rituals.Caravan News
CVC seeks sanction to prosecute ex-NITI Aayog CEO, ex MSME secretary, IAS in INX Media case
New Delhi: Central Vigilance Commission (CVC) has advised the Department of Economic Affairs under the Ministry of Finance to issue a sanction to prosecute ex NITI Aayog CEO Sindhushree Khullar, former secretary of the Ministry of Micro, Small & Medium Enterprises Anup K Pujari and current principal secretary in the Himachal govt, Prabodh Saxena, in the alleged case of corruption involving INX Media.The CVC sent its request on 13 May. Khullar, Pujari — both retired IAS officers — and Saxena served in the Department of Economic Affairs, which is the competent authority to grant or refuse a sanction after examining whether the material placed before it by the investigative agency prima facie indicates that an offence has been committed.firstpost
Why Muslims in this UP village are burying the dead in their homes
"You're sitting on my grandmother's grave," Salim Shah told this correspondent. She has been buried, he said, in his living room. A clutch of houses in Chah Pokhar in Achnera block of Agra have turned into graveyards as families are forced to bury their departed in their homes due to lack of a burial ground. As a result, the dead here are a constant part of day-to-day life. TOI found women cooking next to where their children were buried while the elderly rested on cots in a backyard full of graves. In one of the houses, Rinki Begum told TOI that 5 bodies were buried in her backyard, including that of her 10-month-old son who had died of an untreated fever. Another resident, Guddi, said, "For poor people like us, there is no dignity in death. Due to lack of space in houses, people have to sit and walk over graves. It is so disrespectful." Most of the Muslim families here are poor and landless and men scout for work as contract labourers. They said their demand for a graveyard has been ignored for years.The apathy of the administration can be gauged from the fact that a plot allotted for a graveyard some years ago falls right in the middle of a pond. Repeated complaints have fallen on deaf ears and residents are running out of space. The fresh graves are no more cemented to ensure they occupy less space and stones of different sizes kept over them are the only way to tell them apart. Protests have erupted in the past over the issue. In 2017, after the death of resident Mangal Khan, his family refused to bury his body until land for a graveyard was provided in the village. After assurances by the authorities, they buried Khan near the pond. But the promises came to nothing. "All we are asking for is some land for our ancestors. There is a cremation ground for the Hindus in the periphery of the village, but we are living with our dead," said Munim Khan, a factory worker. Desperate residents even tried reaching out to nearby Sanan village and Achnera town that have burial grounds. But they were not willing to part with precious space.TOI
Delhi's BJP MP seeks probe into mosques ‘mushrooming’ on government land
BJP MP from West Delhi constituency, Parvesh Verma, wrote to Lieutenant Governor Anil Baijal, seeking an inquiry into “mushrooming of mosques on government land” in the national capital.In the letter, Verma said that if the “menace” of construction of mosques on government land was not addressed on priority, it will take an “ugly shape” which would be difficult to manage later.“I would like to apprise you regarding a peculiar type of trend seen in certain areas of my constituency, in particular, but prevailing in whole Delhi,that of mushrooming of mosques on govt land, roads, and secluded places. These mosques not only hamper the smooth flow of traffic, but are a great cause of inconvenience to the public in general,” Verma’s letter said.Seeking the formation of a committee to initiate an inquiry into the matter, Verma said that he expected the matter to be taken up seriously to stop the “menace”.“I would urge you to please constitute a committee headed by DM of the concerned area which should conduct a survey where these mosques have come up on government land,” the letter said.According to Verma, at least 20 mosques have been built on government land at different locations, including Raghubir Nagar and Uttam Nagar in West Delhi Lok Sabha constituency.Syed Tariq Bukhari, general secretary of Muslim Majlis-e-Amal said that the issue needed to be looked into appropriately because if any mosque was built on government land allotted for the purpose as per the rules or purchased by the management committee, it was the responsibility of the authorities, such as Delhi Traffic Police, to manage traffic in the area.“As per Sharia law, a mosque is not valid on encroached land,” said Bukhari.newindianexpress
My father slapped me for loving Muslim guy: Sunaina accuses Rakesh, Hrithik of harassment
A day after Hrithik Roshan's sister Sunaina tweeted in support of Kangana, the latter's sister and spokesperson Rangoli Chandel alleged in a tweet that Sunaina was being "physically assaulted" by the Roshan family because she was in love with a Muslim man.In an Interview to Pinkvilla, Sunaina accepted her relationship and claimed that nobody was okay with it, neither Hrithik nor her father Rakesh Roshan. She also alleged that her father slapped her when she confronted him about her relationship."Last year (I fell in love) and because I was in love with a Muslim guy, my father slapped me and told me that the guy I loved was a terrorist, which Ruhail isn’t," the portal quoted Sunaina as saying."I didn’t want to talk about this but I want them to accept Ruhail right now because they are making my life hell and I cannot tolerate it... They don’t want me to meet him. I don’t know about marriage but right now I want to be with Ruhail. Just because he is Muslim, they cannot accept him," she added.Of late, Sunaina has been hinting that all is not well in her life. In an earlier interview, Sunaina mentioned about her family issues and had said, "Yes, there are certain issues, but please don't ask me to talk about this more as it's about my family and I don't want them to be affected further."She also spoke about reaching out to Kangana for the help in order to get justice. While she didn't know what happened between her brother and the actress, she said there couldn't be any smoke without fire.News18
18 dead, over 30 injured as bus falls in gorge in Kullu district of Himachal Pradesh
New Delhi:At least 18 people were killed and more than 30 injured when a private bus they were traveling in skidded off a mountainous road and plunged 500-feet down the hill into a stream at Banjar in Kullu district on Thursday.Kullu SP Shalini Agnihotri said that the bus was on its way from Kullu to Gadaghusheni.The accident happened about two kilometers from Banjar town at 4:40 pm.“Number of casualties is likely to rise as more bodies have been spotted,” said Agnihotri adding that a rescue operation is underway.PTI
WORLD
'Historic' UK decision outlaws arms sales for Saudi war on Yemen
London:Campaigners hailed an "historic" ruling by the United Kingdom's court of appeal declaring British arms sales to Saudi Arabia for use in its war against Yemen unlawful as a potential turning point in the conflict.The decision in London on Thursday follows a challenge by Campaign Against Arms Trade (CAAT) that accused the UK govt of licensing arms sales despite a clear risk their use could breach international humanitarian law. Although it will not halt the Saudi-led war in Yemen - in which an estimated 100,000 people have died since 2016 - it adds enormous support to international efforts to end the conflict."This ruling is huge," said Sam Perlo-Freeman, a research coordinator at CAAT."We can see that arms sales for use in Yemen are now being challenged internationally - in US and Europe - but this from a court in one of Saudi's top two arms suppliers takes that to a whole new level."It is historic in terms of the govt's approach to export licences being found to be illegal and adds huge momentum to the campaign both in this country and internationally for a halt to arms sales to Saudi and Saudi-led coalition."Since the Saudi-led coalition began its military intervention in Yemen in 2015, UK has licensed at least 4.6 billion pounds ($6bn) worth of arms to Saudi forces. Weapons and military support from Britain to Saudi Arabia - that now accounts for 43 percent of London's arms exports - is crucial to the war effort.However, public disquiet has grown about Britain's role with a poll commissioned by CAAT indicating only six percent of people in the country support arms sales to Saudi Arabia.aljazeera
Iran's Revolutionary Guard shoots down US drone
Iran has shot down a US drone, raising fears that a major military confrontation could erupt between Tehran and Washington in the Gulf.While Iran's elite Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC) said the unmanned aircraft was brought down by a surface-to-air missile on Thursday after flying into Iranian airspace, US officials said the drone was in the international territory at the time. The different accounts could not be reconciled immediately."US-made Global Hawk surveillance drone was brought down" in the country's southern coastal province of Hormozgan, IRGC's website said. "It was shot down when it entered Iran's airspace near the Kouhmobarak district in the south." aljazeera
China hosts top Taliban leader in bid to expand role in Afghanistan
China today confirmed that it had hosted Taliban leader Mullah Abdul Ghani Baradar — the group’s deputy chief on political affairs — as part of its bid to expand its role in Afghanistan, which is set for another major transition.In response to a question, foreign ministry spokesperson Lu Kang said that Chinese officials exchanged views with Baradar and his aides on “peace and reconciliation process as well as the fight against terrorism”.The dialogue took place ahead of the seventh round of talks between the Taliban and the US in Doha, Qatar.Analysts point out that “peace and reconciliation” process would conclude once the Afghan government and the Taliban agree on a power-sharing formula.China has stepped up its engagement with Afghanistan, apprehending that the proposed US military withdrawal from Afghanistan can result in a power vacuum, which can trigger an outflow of militants belonging to the East Turkestan Islamic Movement (ETIM), destabilising the neghbouring Xinjiang region. Lu stressed that China was focusing on promoting an internal dialogue between the Taliban and the Afghan government led by the President Ashraf Ghani.“We always support Afghan-led, Afghan-owned extensive and inclusive peace and reconciliation as well as the internal dialogue among the Afghanis,” Lu said. “So we have made our position clear with Baradar. This is also an important part in our efforts to promote peace talks,” he noted. “Both sides agree this exchange is mutually beneficial and we also agree to seek communication and cooperation on the political settlement of the Afghan issue. We will try to talk though various means and ways to play our due role in realising our due role peace and reconciliation, stability and development of Afghanistan.” Lu pointed out that both the opposition and the Afghan govt appeared ready to resolve their differences. “I believe relevant parties in Afghanistan who are committed to peace talks hope to resolve the internal situation in Afghanistan and achieve sustainable peace and reconciliation there so that we can work to insure that final peace and reconciliation.”He acknowledged that China was trying to promote a dialogue among Afghan groups. “Another important issue is about the joint fight against terrorism,” he said. China’s active diplomacy on Afghanistan was also visible at the United Nations headquarters in New York. State-run Xinhua news agency is quoting Ma Zhaoxu, China's permanent representative to the United Nations, as saying on Wednesday that the international community must help boost Afghanistan's capacity for combating terrorism and maintaining stability.thehindu
India cautions against hasty US peace deal with Taliban
UN: As a new round of negotiations between the US and the Taliban is to start in Qatar, India has cautioned against a hasty deal with the group that is dictated by a Washington timeline rather than the best interests of Afghanistan.Speaking at Security Council yesterday, India's Permanent Representative Syed Akbaruddin also said that shutting down terrorist safe havens in Pakistan must be a precondition for a peace agreement to go forward.While welcoming the international efforts for ending the Afghanistan civil war, he said: "We see that some may be driven by a sense of an urgency with timelines which are, perhaps, not intrinsic to the needs of the Afghan people."He also warned that terrorist organisations cannot be allowed to negotiate from a position strength that is guaranteed to them by the sanctuaries given to them by Pakistan.But Khalilzad clarified in a tweet that the US sought "a comprehensive peace agreement, not a withdrawal agreement". Speaking at the Security Council, Rodney Hunter, the political coordinator at the US Mission, said: "US has made clear to Taliban that we are prepared to reduce our forces; however, we have not agreed to numbers or a timeline with the Taliban." IANS
Sri Lankan Finance Minister Protests Anti-Muslim Remarks of Top Buddhist Monk
New Delhi: Three days after a top Buddhist monk stated that he condones the stoning of Muslims, Sri Lankan finance minister Mangala Samaraweera yesterday strongly came out against the statement and said that “true Buddhists” should unite against the “Talibanization” of the religion.However, there has been no other vocal condemnation from other politicians, including from the top leadership.In fact, president Maithripala Sirisena on Tuesday took part in a religious ceremony to consecrate relics presided over the top monk who had preached social boycott and physical violence against Muslims. The sermon by chief prelate of the Asgiriya Chapter of Buddhism Warakagoda Sri Gnanarathana was made on June 15, but reported in the media a few days later.As per media reports, the chief prelate called for a boycott of all Muslim-owned businesses, claiming that they were working to “sterilise” Sinhala population. thewire
Belgian Embassy in China faces criticism for forcibly removing Muslim family
The last time Abdulhamid Tursun spoke to his wife, she was huddled in a Beijing hotel room with their four children, frightened after being evicted from the Belgian Embassy in the dead of night. Suddenly, plainclothes police officers burst into the room, cutting off the couple’s video call.Tursun says he has not heard from her since. His wife, Wureyetiguli Abula, 43, had gone to the Belgian Embassy to seek visas so the family — from the Uighur Muslim minority group — could be reunited with Tursun, 51, in Brussels, where he won asylum in 2017. But instead of finding protection, Abula and her children, ages 5 to 17, were dragged away after Chinese police were allowed to enter the embassy.Now the case is raising alarms back in Belgium, where lawmakers are asking how it could have happened and where Tursun’s family has been taken. It illustrates how, two years after China began detaining Uighurs in a vast network of internment camps, the group has limited protections — even from Western democracies — against persecution by the Chinese government.Even Uighurs who make it to the West have not always been safe.New York Times
Turkey to push for truth to emerge on Morsi's death
Turkey will endeavour to shed light on the suspicious death of Egypt’s ousted President Mohamed Morsi during a court trial on Monday, President Recep Tayyip Erdogan said.“We [Turkey] will struggle to enlighten the case [the death of Morsi] making best of the international law,” Erdogan told a press briefing in Istanbul.Turkish president also urged for a UN investigation into the unexpected demise of Egypt’s first democratically-elected president in 2012.“I believe UN will address Morsi's suspicious death as an agenda item and bring those responsible [for his death] to account,” Erdogan said.“We will never let the tragedy of Morsi be forgotten, just as we did with the murder of [Saudi journalist] Jamal Khashoggi,” Erdogan added.Anadolu Agency
Moroccans protest treatment of Egypt's Morsi
Dozens of people in Morocco’s Fez province protested Wednesday against Egyptian govt’s treatment of former President Mohamed Morsi, who died this week during a court appearance to face espionage charges.The protestors chanted in favor of the Egyptian Revolution of 2011 which ended the 30-year reign of former President Hosni Mubarak and paved the way for Morsi’s presidency.One of the protesters, Yousef al-Aruzi, told Anadolu Agency that Morsi died due to a lack of medical care over the past six years and noted the attitude towards him in court prevented a fair trial.He said the demonstration was held to condemn the cruel practice of military coups and to help maintain the culture of democracy and human rights in Morocco.Some demonstrators carried placards which said “End the military administration”, “Morsi is dead, Sisi to answer” and “Lived as mujahedeen, died as martyr”.Anadolu
Pakistan’s parliament offers prayer for Morsi
Members of Pakistan’s lower house -- the National Assembly -- on Wednesday offered a prayer for Egypt’s first democratically-elected President Mohamed Morsi, who died on Monday.The prayer was led by Maulana Abdul Akbar Chitrali, a parliamentarian of religious Jamaat-e-Islami party, state-run Pakistan TV reported.Shehbaz Sharif, the opposition leader in the assembly; and Bilawal Bhutto Zardari, chairman of opposition center-left Pakistan People’s Party, also took part in the prayer.In a tweet, Bilawal Bhutto Zardari said: “You will remember my words. Do not kill the lions of your nation, lest you will encounter a similar fate by the dogs of your enemies. President Morsi rest in peace.”On Tuesday, lawmakers of the provincial assembly in southern Sindh also offered prayers for Morsi on the call of Jamaat-e-Islami MP Syed Abdul Rasheed.Anadolu
Hamas: Palestine was always in mind,heart of Morsi
Gaza:Hamas leader Ismail Haniyeh has said that Palestine was always "in the mind and heart" of Mohamed Morsi. Morsi died on Monday after falling unconscious inside his soundproof glass cage during his trial on "espionage" charges. Activists and his family have long maintained that he was not receiving treatment for a host of health problems including diabetes. Haniyeh said: "Palestine was in Morsi's mind and heart even before he became president."Haniyeh recalled that Morsi had defended Gaza during Israel's attack in 2012 and closely followed the developments.He wished God's mercy to Morsi and offered condolences to his family and Egyptian people.Anadolu Agency
UK: Javid's bid for Downing Street comes to end of road
Britain's Home Secretary Sajid Javid is the latest Conservative figure to drop out of the race to be Britain's next prime minister, receiving just 34 votes in the fourth secret ballot of the party's 313 MPs.Boris Johnson maintains his lead at the head of the field, having received 157 votes, 96 ahead of his nearest rival, now Michael Gove, who currently has the support of 61 Conservative MPs.Foreign secretary Jeremy Hunt, who has been second in the race since the first ballot, came third in the latest round with 59 votes.Whoever wins the competition to become the leader of the Conservatives, the party that is currently in power, becomes by default the next prime minister of Britain as the country prepares to leave the European Union, or Brexit.aljazeera
Rohingya group demands UN chief to resign: report
Dhaka:A Rohingya advocacy group on Tuesday called on UN chief and his senior aide to resign over the global body’s “systemic failure” in addressing genocide against the Rohingya under their leadership.Secretary General, his aides should be held accountable for failure to address Myanmar's persecution of ethnic minority, says Rohingya group. Free Rohingya Coalition(FRC) criticized UN Secretary General Antonio Guterres and former UN Resident Coordinator in Myanmar Renata Lok-Dessallien for failing to safeguard thousands of Rohingya in Myanmar, reported Anadolu Agency.36-page official report titled “A brief and independent inquiry into the involvement of UN in Myanmar from 2010 to 2018” and prepared by former Guatemalan Foreign Minister and UN diplomat Gert Rosenthal acknowledges the UN’s "systemic failures".About the controversial role of Lok-Dessallien while working in Myanmar, the statement said: “[She] reportedly suppressed an internal report of the alarming failings of the UN in Myanmar in taking the egregious rights violations amounting to crimes against humanity, specifically against the persecuted Rohingya ethnic minority.”UNI
Qatar distributes funds to Gaza families
Qatar has distributed $100 grants to thousands of families in Gaza as part of an understanding with Israel intended to restore calm in the blockaded Palestinian enclave. Under the agreement, gas-rich Qatar will make regular payments to impoverished families as part of an informal truce agreed between Israel and Gaza's rulers, Hamas, in Nov.Qatari envoy Mohammed al-Emadi said on Wednesday that 60,000 families would receive the grants from post offices in the latest disbursement.
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