Sunday, 9 June 2019

9 June ND:‘Brazen misuse of law’: Editors Guild condemns arrest of journalists for ‘defamatory content’ on Yogi/ Palestine considers ICC complaint against US Ambassador Friedman/


NEWS DIGEST, EVENING 
09 June 2019: 05 sHAWAL 1440:Vol: 11, No:218
INDIA
‘Brazen misuse of law’: Editors Guild condemns arrest of journalists for ‘defamatory content’ on Yogi
New Delhi:The Editors Guild on Sunday condemned the arrest of a journalist and the editor and the head of a news channel by the UP govt, calling it a “brazen misuse of law” and an “effort to intimidate the press and stifle freedom of expression”.An FIR was lodged against freelance journalist Prashant Kanojia for posting “objectionable” content against CM Yogi Adityanath. The journalist had allegedly uploaded a video on Twitter in which a woman is heard making some claims about Adityanath. Kanojia had posted a comment with the video. Besides Kanojia, Ishita Singh, head of Nation Live and one of its editors Anuj Shukla were also arrested for broadcasting the content and allegedly propagating defamatory content.Taking note of the govt’s actions, the Editors Guild, in a statement, said, “The police action is high-handed, arbitrary and amounts to an authoritarian misuse of laws. The Guild sees it as an effort to intimidate the press, and stifle freedom of expression.” “FIR is based on the journalist sharing on Twitter the video of a woman claiming a “relationship” with the chief minister of Uttar Pradesh. The television channel had broadcast a video on the same issue. Whatever the accuracy of the woman’s claims, to register a case of criminal defamation against the journalists for sharing it on the social media and airing it on a television channel is a brazen misuse of law. To give the police powers to arrest, provisions of Section 66 of IT Act have also been added,” the statement read. While referring to a recent case in which an FIR has been registered against the editor of a Kannada daily, the Guild said, “As with a recent case in Karnataka that the Guild spoke about, FIR in this case is also not filed by person allegedly affected but suo motu by the police. This is a condemnable misuse of law and state power.”Meanwhile, terming the arrests as “illegal and arbitrary”, Congress leader and lawyer Abhishek Manu Singhvi tweeted, “detention of Kanojia for merely posting a video which fell foul of actors of State govt is illegal, arbitrary and a grave miscarriage of justice. Would request the High Court to take suo Motu cognizance of the matter.” indianexpress
Journalists' Bodies Condemn Arrest of 3 Journalists for 'Defaming' Adityanath
In Assam, campaign urging Bengali Muslims not to list Assamese as mother tongue has sparked protests
In Assam, a social media campaign called “Chalo Paltai – Mission 2021” is causing a stir.The war cry, “chalo paltai” – “let us change” – is a call to Bengali speakers who identified Assamese as their mother tongue in the previous censuses to stop doing so in 2021 census. People behind the campaign say adopting Assamese had not saved them from being “branded as illegal migrants” in the state. In recent years, the Bengali-speaking community of this border state has felt particularly targeted by the National Register of Citizens. The register, being updated for the first time since 1951, proposes to sift Indian citizens living in Assam from “illegal immigrants”.“Our forefathers established Assamese medium schools, all of us went to those schools, yet our nationality is routinely questioned,” said Abu Eusuf Mohammad Raihan, who runs a “Chalo Paltai” Facebook page from Middle Assam’s Nagaon. The effects of the campaign have spilled out of the virtual world. On May 31, a Guwahati-based Right to Information activist filed a first information report against a “so-called called intellectual Garga Chatterjee from West Bengal” who had supported the campaign. Soon afterwards, members of the Asomiya Yuva Mancha in Lakhimpur burnt effigies of Chatterjee and Bengali Hindu leaders from Assam. Former Assam chief minister Tarun Gogoi has now smelt a “conspiracy” in the campaign and exhorted the “Assamese people to be alert”.scroll.in
NRC is waste paper: Former Assam CM  Gogoi
Guwahati:Former Assam Chief Minister Tarun Gogoi has waded into Sarbananda Sonowal govt’s “mishandling” of ex-serviceman Mohammed Sanaullah’s case to question the validity of the process to update the National Register of Citizens. He said NRC has been designed to omit more than 100,000 genuine Indian citizens who settled in Assam up to the midnight of March 24, 1971, the cut-off date for detecting and deporting illegal migrants as per Assam Accord of 1983. “NRC is waste paper and has become useless with lakhs of genuine citizens certain to be excluded from the final draft of the NRC to be published by July,” Gogoi said, adding that the Supreme Court should not have given the responsibility of updating the citizens’ register solely to State NRC Coordinator Prateek Hajela.Referring to Mr Sanaullah’s case, the former CM said the NRC exercise for detecting illegal foreigners by spending a fortune has been wasted.“The Assam government has no contribution in the Gauhati High Court granting bail to Sanaullah. The government has even failed to take action against the investigating officer who lodged the FIR against him. People have lost faith in the Foreigners’ Tribunals whose functioning needs to be probed,” Gogoi said. All Assam Minority Students’ Union (AAMSU) also criticised Chief Minister Sonowal for failing to stand up for the ex-serviceman who was sent to the Goalpara detention centre for foreigners on May 28.thehindu
India requests Pakistan to let PM Modi’s flight pass through its airspace
New Delhi :India has requested Pakistan to let PM Narendra Modi’s aircraft fly over its airspace to Bishkek in Kyrgyzstan where he has to attend the Shanghai Cooperation Organisation (SCO) summit on June 13 and June 14, said a senior government official.Pakistan had fully closed its airspace on Feb.26 after an IAF strike in Balakot. Since then, it has only opened two routes, both of them pass through southern Pakistan, of the total 11.“We have requested Pakistan to let the PM’s plane fly over its airspace through one of the routes that has not been opened as yet. The PM has to attend the SCO meet on June 13 and June 14,” a senior government official said.Pakistan had given special permission to India’s then external affairs minister Sushma Swaraj to fly directly through Pakistani airspace to attend the SCO Foreign Ministers’ meet in Bishkek, Kyrgyzstan, on May 21.Apart from the two routes through southern Pakistan, the neighbouring country’s airspace remains closed for commercial airliners.indianexpress
India will help in conservation of Friday Mosque in Maldives: PM Modi
Male ;Prime Minister Narendra Modi has said that India will contribute to the conservation of one of the Maldives' oldest and iconic Friday Mosque, a historic landmark made up of coral stones.Addressing the Maldivian Parliament, The People's Majlis, Modi said the relations between India and the Maldives were older than history.He said India will contribute to the conservation of Maldives' Friday Mosque also known as Hukuru Miskiy."There is no such mosque elsewhere in the world like this historical mosque made up of coral," Modi said.He said he was happy that the Maldives was working towards sustainable development and has become a part of International Solar Alliance. Maldives President Ibrahim Mohamed Solih thanked the Indian side for their offer to carry out restoration of the mosque by the Archaeological Survey of India under an Indian grant.He also appreciated the recent visit of senior scientists of the Indian Council of Agricultural Research and their ongoing cooperation with the Maldivian counterparts, a statement said.Built in 1658, Friday Mosque is one of the oldest and most ornate mosques in the city of Male in Kaafu Atoll. The mosque was added to the tentative UNESCO World Heritage cultural list in 2008 as unique examples of sea-culture architecture.PTI
Easter attacks: NIA shares with Sri Lanka numbers of five locals linked to IS
New Delhi :In the wake of the Easter Sunday bombings which killed more than 250 people, India has shared with Sri Lanka phone numbers of 5 Lankans suspected to be associated with Islamic State (IS). India has also shared call logs and details of some Indians who were in touch with the family of two Lankan suicide bombers involved in the attacks.A NIA team was in Sri Lanka last week in connection with the agency’s probe into two IS modules in India that are suspected to have had connections in Sri Lanka. “NIA had found four to five numbers in Sri Lanka which were in touch either directly or through social media with certain Islamic State suspects in India. These have been shared with Lankan authorities for further investigation.Whether these numbers belong to those associated with the Easter bombings in any way is not known,” said a Home Ministry official.indianexpress
US approves sale of armed drones to India
India is only the third country and the first non-NATO member country to have been offered the armed version of Guardian unmanned drones by the US, the acquisition of which has been under discussion for almost a year now, according to people aware of the negotiations. Technical briefings have taken place and discussion are now focussed on determining the number of drones that India would like to purchase, they said. The only other countries offered the armed drones are the UK and Italy, both NATO partners of the US.HT
Ramdev involved in mega land scam of hundreds of crores: Congress
New Delhi:Congress has alleged that the ‘crusader’ against corruption ‘Baba’ Ramdev and his right hand man Acharya Balkrishna are ‘involved in a mega land scam’ running into hundreds of crores of rupees. They are the promoters of Patanjali group whose fortunes have jumped by leaps and bounds during the last 5 years of the BJP-led NDA govt.The party alleged that the deal was done with the “active connivance and blessings” of Haryana’s BJP government. It strongly demanded the inquiry into the deal and accountability of politicians and officers involved in the scam which falls under the Kot Village in district Faridabad of Haryana in the NCR Region.Revealing the details of the alleged land scam at a press conference here at the party headquarters, Congress, spokesperson Pawan Khera claimed that the Patanjali group and Acharya Balkrishna along with some property dealers have acquired 400 acres of forest land falling in the Aravali Mountain range and the deal was done through power of attorneys.Khera also alleged that the deal was done with the blessings of the Haryana government was of BJP. He said that land has been categorised as ‘Gair mumkin Pahar’ by the state govt and the Supreme Court which is called ‘Shamlat Zamin’ and it belongs to the Panchayat. As per the law, there can be no cultivation or any other activity on such land.Giving details of the land, Khera said that in 2011, the then State Govt had ordered Panchayat to vest ownership of the ‘commons’ and the issue is pending in the court of DC Faridabad.It is said that four people representing 321 disputed land owners of these ‘village commons’ presented power of attorneys of about 400 acres of property. One, Praveen Kumar Sharma submitted copies of 104 PoAs as proof in the court who was acting as authorized representative of a company called Herbo Ved Gram Pvt.Ltd. Congress leader claimed that as per the regulatory filings (2016-2017), this company was fully owned by Patanjali Ayurved Limited and in 2017-2018 ownership of 99% was transferred to Acharya Balkrishna.“The regulatory filing also shows that this company had purchased many pieces of land in Kot Village by paying advances to the land owners against their land. As per 2017-2018 records, this company has earned only Rs60,000 as revenue from its operations, but gave advance of Rs 16.77 crores, including Rs.15.58 cr, as advance were given for land.”There is another company called Verve Corporation Pvt. Ltd and in 2016-17, this company was also owned by Patanjali Ayurved Ltd. and was later taken over by Acharya Balkrishna, he added.“The firm has 2 Directors – Mrs. Saroj Sharma and Kishna Vir Sharma – sister and brother-in-law of Shri Parveen Kumar Sharma. Incidentally, Mr. Kishan Veer Sharma is in the Board of Directors of Sanskar TV and Managing Director of the Aastha Broadcasting Network Ltd. – both these Broadcasting Companies are a part of so-called Shri Ramdev empire.” caravandaily
Cong accuses Ramdev of land scam with help of Khattar govt in Haryana
Gujarat admits to fraud in Smriti Irani’s disbursement of MPLAD fund
Admitting there was fraud and bungling in making payments amounting to ₹5.93 crore from the MPLAD funds of Union minister Smriti Irani to Sharda Majdoor Kamdar Sahkari Mandli, a cooperative society of BJP members, Gujarat government has informed the Gujarat high court in an affidavit that it has attached five bank accounts of the organisation containing nearly ₹86 lakh and initiated proceedings against 3 govt officials.The state govt’s admission has come in response to a petition filed in the high court by state Congress head Amit Chavda two years ago. The govt also said it is trying to recover money from a private agency hired as an implementing agency for development works.The state govt's affidavit stated it had served charge-sheet on 3 officers who had "bypassed" procedures and guidelines established under MPLAD scheme, resulting in "serious consequences". 3 officers served charge-sheet are Anand district planning officer CR Birai, deputy executive engineer AD Rathod and deputy accountant Hina P Patel. Petitioner’s advocate Anand Yagnik alleged that the govt’s action against the district officials was aimed at whitewashing the role of Irani,Rajya Sabha member.Irani was elected MP from Gujarat and selected Anand district as her nodal district for implementation of works under the MPLAD Scheme. nationalheraldindia
Twice in 8 months, Centre blocks Justice AA Kureshi’s elevation as Chief Justice of High Court
Centre’s Modi govt has ignored the Supreme Court Collegium’s recommendation on elevating Justice AA Kureshi as the Chief Justice of Madhya Pradesh High Court. Instead, it has decided to appoint Justice Ravi Shanker Jha for that post.Chief Justice of the MP High Court, Justice Sanjay Kumar Seth, is retiring on 9 June and state is now being governed by Congress.Collegium had recommended Justice Kurishi’s name since he was the senior-most Judge from Gujarat High Court and at present is functioning, on transfer, in Bombay High Court. His transfer had caused a huge controversy in November last year. The Centre had abruptly transferred Justice Kureshi to the Bombay High Court just when he, as the then next senior most judge in the Gujarat High Court, was expected to become the Chief Justice of the Gujarat High Court since the post had fallen vacant because of the elevation of Justice Subhash Reddy to the Supreme Court. Collegium had said on 13 May, “Having regard to all relevant factors, the Collegium is of the considered view that Justice A.A Kureshi is suitable in all respects for being appointed as Chief Justice of the Madhya Pradesh High Court.”However, according to Indian Express, the Centre on Friday notified that under “the powers conferred by Article 223 of the Constitution of India, the President is pleased to appoint Justice Ravi Shanker Jha, seniormost judge of the Madhya Pradesh High Court, to perform the duties of the office of Chief Justice of that High Court with effect from 10 June, 2019 consequent upon the retirement of Justice Sanjay Kumar Seth, Chief Justice, MP High Court.”jantakareporter
JD(U) will not be part of NDA outside Bihar, says Nitish Kumar at national executive meeting
New Delhi : JD-U Sunday decided not to be a part of the BJP-led NDA outside Bihar. At its national executive meeting held at the residence of Bihar CM Nitish Kumar, the party also decided to go it alone in the upcoming Assembly elections in J&K, Jharkhand, Haryana and Delhi. However, Nitish Kumar made it clear that JD(U) would fight the 2020 Assembly elections in Bihar in alliance with BJP.“We refused central berths and had not put forth any names for them. Amit Shahji had called up Nitish (Kumar) ji multiple times in this regard and our CM said no to him every time,” said JDU spokesperson KC Tyagi after the meeting.indian express
Home Ministry issues advisory, says Mamata govt failed to curb post-poll violence
Taking note of the incessant clashes in West Bengal, the Ministry of Home Affairs on Sunday expressed “deep concerns” over “unabated violence” even after the Lok Sabha elections, calling it a “failure on part of the state govt” to ensure law and order.Governor Keshari Nath Tripathi is scheduled to meet PM Narendra Modi on Monday to discuss the situation in the state. “Unabated violence over the past weeks appears to be a failure on the part of the law enforcement machinery of the state to maintain the rule of law and inspire confidence among people,”Home Ministry advisory said. It was “strongly advised” to ensure that all necessary measures are taken to maintain law and order, peace and public tranquillity, the statement said. “It is also requested to take strict action against officials found delinquent in discharge of their duty,”advisory added.indianexpress
West Bengal: Tension prevails in Sandeshkhali, police looking for ‘missing’ persons
Kolkata:Tension prevailed on Sunday in strife-affected Sandeshkhali in West Bengal’s North 24 Parganas, with the BJP and Trinamool Congress accusing each other of orchestrating Saturday’s violence that allegedly claimed at least four lives.A huge contingent of police officers has been deployed in the village and its surrounding areas under the Nyajat police station in the district, where the violence broke out in the evening, to prevent the tension from escalating.While BJP leadership on Sunday claimed that five of its supporters were killed in the clash, the TMC said that six of its workers were missing.The bodies of one TMC worker and two BJP supporters have been identified by family members at a local hospital.As of Sunday morning, police are carrying out search operations to trace the persons alleged to have gone missing in what has been deemed as the “worst political violence” following general election.State BJP general secretary Sayantan Basu Saturday said 3 of his party workers — Sukanta Mondal Pradip Mondal and Shankar Mondal — have been shot dead, while state minister Jyotipriyo Mallick maintained that TMC worker Kayoom Mollah has been killed in the clash.In claims and counter-claims over the political fallout, both the parties have stated that several of their workers have gone missing.indianexpress
ED to move Interpol to get Zakir Naik to India
New Delhi: Enforcement Directorate is all set to send requests for an Interpol Red Notice against Islamic preacher, Zakir Naik for his extradition from Malaysia. The ED would send the notice after securing a non-bailable warrant against from a special court in Mumbai. The move comes in the wake of the court taking cognisance of the chargesheet filed against Naik and others in connection with a money laundering case. The court would hear the matter next on June 19, following which an application seeking a non-bailable warrant would be moved. Zakir Naik After securing the warrant, the ED would move the Interpol to issue a Red Notice.  Naik is currently in Malaysia.
Tribal lecturer held for beef posts on FB out of jail on bail
Jamshedpur:Tribal drama activist and a lecturer in Jamshedpur Cooperative College(JCC), Jeetrai Hansda, who was arrested last month for his Facebook posts in May 2017 supporting beef party in Chennai, was released from Ghaghidih jail here on Saturday after a local count granted him bail on Friday.“We released Jeetrai Hansda from Ghaghidih jail this morning after corrected court order on his regular bail was produced before us. He had got bail on Friday, but there were some mistakes and wrong entries in his release order issued by the court. Hence, he could not be released Friday evening,” Satyendra Chowdhry, Ghaghiidh jail SP, said.FIR against Jeetrai, NSD graduate, was lodged under IT Act and IPC sections on June 2, 2017, on a complaint by ABVP after which Graduate College for Women had removed him from the college.HT
Top Delhi Surgeons Under Police Scanner in International Kidney Racket
New Delhi:Over a dozen leading private surgeons, including top urologists of Delhi are under the scanner of Uttar Pradesh Police in connection with a sensational international kidney transplant racket, spread across Turkey and the Middle East countries.So far, 13 people, including CEO of Pushpawati Singhania Research Institute(PSRI) Dr. Deepak Shukla have been arrested. Two leading doctors of Fortis hospital have been served notice in the kidney racket. The investigation against another leading hospital located in central Delhi is underway and more arrests are likely to be made in the case which has sent ripples across medical fraternity. SSP Kanpur, Anant Deo said that the Fortis hospital has been served notice in cases relating to the violation of Transplantation of Human Organs Act.“Besides Fortis and PSRI, the role of one more hospital of Delhi has come to light where poor people were being cheated by doctors and hospital administration through an organized chain of middlemen,” said Anant Deo, a UP cadre IPS officer supervising the investigation.According to SSP, the police has launched a massive hunt for one Dr. Ketan Kaushik, a key accused in the case, who brought patients for kidney transplants from countries like Turkey, UAE and other places in the Middle East.“The racket is spread far and wide. Different groups were operating in different regions. As of now, we have busted one of the groups linked with Delhi-based hospitals,” Deo revealed.SSP said the name of Dr. Deepak Shukla was revealed by at least 10 accused involved in the case. Shukla will be confronted with accused already arrested by the police.In fact, the racket operated like a well-organized crime syndicate.For instance,international clientele was approached by a different set of people while local kidney donors were trapped by touts already operating in the human organs transplant racket.IANS
Tamil Nadu youth arrested for objectionable pics with Thanjavur sculptures
Tamil Nadu’s Trichy police arrested a 28-year-old youth for posting obscene pictures he had got clicked with sculptures of women at thousand-year-old Thanjavur Brihadeeswara temple complex. The youth was arrested on Saturday.Police sources reveal, act of sacrilege came to light when the accused, Mujibur Rahman posted the objectionable pictures & selfies on Facebook. Rahman is seen kissing, hugging & touching –inappropriately some female idols and sculptures at Thanjavur Temple. “Rahman hails from Othakkadai area of Madurai. Currently, he is residing and working as a food delivery boy in Trichy. As he wanted to celebrate; he went to the nearby ancient town of Thanjavur Wednesday. There, he visited King Raja Raja Chola built Brahideeswara Temple-better known as ‘big temple’.In the temple, he took controversial pictures with the women sculptures, said Trichy police.In his Facebook, Rahman also put in a comment suggesting that the sculptures should be covered in ‘shawls’. It might be recalled that Tamil Nadu govt has ordered it’s women staff to compulsorily wear shawls when wearing ‘Chudidaar’ dresses.HT
Muslim Youth Brutally Attacked by Mob in Delhi's Jaitpur, Rescued by Hindu Friend's Relatives
New Delhi:Just within 5 days of BJP winning a landslide mandate in general election and three days of PM Modi’s speech in the Parliament’s Central Hall urging his leaders to win confidence of Muslims, a youth in Delhi’s Jaitpur was threatened, abused with communal slurs and beaten badly by a mob for being a Muslim. However, the hate crime left a streak of silver lining. He was rescued by the relatives of his Hindu friend who reached just in time to save him.On May 28, Mohammad Sajid, a residence of Jaitpur Extension Part 2, who works as a salesman in the same area, was returning home from the shop with his friend Gaurav. When the 2 youth reached near a Gurudwara of Jaitpur, they were waylaid by a large group of youths who attacked both Sajid and Gaurav. While Gaurav, somehow managed to escape, Sajid was caught and brutally assaulted by the miscreants. After knowing the fact that Sajid is a Muslim, they violently beaten him. “My friend Gaurav and I were returning to our home. I was talking with my sister on the phone. When we reached Molad Band area, two youths called Gaurav from behind and ask him to come to them. We went near them. They shook hands with us and took our phone. Then they took us to a near-by lane. When we asked our phones to be returned they took their blades out and put them on our throats asking us to hand over our belongings to them,” the victim said.“They kicked on my chest and when I screamed ‘Allah’, one of them said, “He is a Mullah, a Muslim, kill him. They took Gaurav away from me. Then one of the attacker came and shouted your friend has ran away,” Sajid further narrared his ordeal. According to Sajid, the spot was swarming with attackers joining the mob. “The assailants hired an auto rickshaw and took me across the Jaitpur area and stopped at a Gurudwara. Around twenty five people must have gathered there. They were beating me with chains and rods. Some of the men were waving the swords. They were shouting that he is a beast kill him,” he said. In order to create panic they tried to hurt the religious sentiments of Sajid. According to him, one of the attackers said, “Bring the meat of Pig and force him to eat, cut his beard, pass urine in his mouth”. Sajid said that they were making my video and made it viral. Sajid’s friend Gaurav who had escaped the beating informed his family about the incident. India Tomorrow
Aligarh child’s murder: Wife, brother of key accused held
Aligarh : Police has arrested the wife and the brother of Jahed, an accused in the murder of a two-year-old girl in Aligarh, for their alleged involvement in the crime.The arrests come days after Zahed and another accused were held after the decomposed body of the girl was found in a garbage dump near Zahed’s home.“Zahed’s wife and his brother Mehdi Hasan were arrested on Saturday and have been sent to jail. Their role had come up during the investigation. We have also recovered the piece of clothing in which the girl’s body was wrapped. It belongs to Zahed’s wife, who has admitted to it. Prima facie, it appears that they will be probed under IPC Section 120B(conspiracy),” said a senior police officer. Zahed and another accused allegedly abducted the girl from outside her home on May 30, and disposed her body in a garbage dump after killing her — allegedly over a monetary dispute Zahed had with the girl’s grandfather. The body was found three days later, by which time it had decomposed and animals had damaged it,said police.According to Zahed’s neighbours, a scuffle had erupted between Zahed, Mehdi and the family members of the victim after her body was found, following which Mehdi went missing.indianexpress
20-day-old baby mercilessly killed in Gujarat
In a shocking development, 2 goons mercilessly killed a 20-day-old baby in Ahmedabad on Thursday night. According to PTI, police have arrested 2 men, identified as Satish Pattni and Hitesh Marwadi, for the gruesome murder of the baby in the Meghaninagar area of Ahmedabad.Local police inspector PG Sarvaiya was quoted as saying that a group of goons armed with sticks stormed the victim’s family on Thursday night and began to mercilessly thrash three women in the family. The motive, according to the officer, was believed to be ‘some old grudge or previous enmity.’“They even hit baby girl Khushbu (Laxmi’s daughter) on the head, causing her death,” Sarvaiya added.While the 20-day-old baby died, her mother Laxmi and aunt sustained severe injuries. DCP Niraj Badgujar said that efforts were on to arrest the remaining three goons.Both Satish Pattni and Hitesh Marwadi are known criminals and have several criminal cases filed against them.jantakareporter


After Bilkis: 100-plus hearings since Dec 2010, waiting to tell her story
42-year-old hasn’t heard of the Supreme Court order directing the Gujarat government to provide compensation, and a government job and accommodation, to Bilkis Bano. The last she heard was about the Mumbai High Court verdict upholding life to the accused in the Bilkis case.Sitting in a two-room apartment in a colony built for the riots-affected Muslims, in Panchmahal district, the 42-year-old says she has spent the past 17 years seeing her case drag on in court, and waiting to be called to tell her story. The only one remaining of her family of eight is her son, now 19, who survived the March 1, 2002, attack with her.“I still can’t sleep at night,” she says. “I have spent nights and days crying. My son is my only hope, but I am dead inside. My life has not moved from that point.”The family had fled to the fields that day, to escape a mob of around 200 armed with weapons and petrol that attacked their village. “We spent a day and night without any food or water.Early next day, we came out. My husband owned a small tempo and 38 of us got on, hoping to make our way to Kalol. But midway, near Ambika Society in Panchmahal, we found more armed men and the road blocked with sacks of sand. Our tempo overturned, and they shouted, “(Kill, cut these Muslims’.”As the men were burnt alive, including her husband, and his father and brother, 42-year-old says one part of her hoped to be killed too.“I could not imagine living with those visuals of my family members being killed.”indian express
WORLD
Palestine considers ICC complaint against US Ambassador Friedman
Palestinian Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Expatriates is considering filing a complaint against US Ambassador to Israel, David Friedman, at the International Criminal Court (ICC) over his recent comments on the long-awaited US peace plan.Friedman, a staunch supporter of Israeli settlements, said Israel has the right to annex at least "some" of the occupied West Bank in an interview published by the New York Times on Saturday."Under certain circumstances, I think Israel has the right to retain some, but unlikely all, of the West Bank," he said.In a press statement, the ministry condemned Friedman's remarks, describing him as "a threat to regional peace and security" and his words as "an extension of the policy of the US administration, which is fully biased towards the occupation and its expansionist colonial policies"."What reasoning could justify Friedman's logic that Israel has the right to annex parts of the West Bank? International law prohibits the annexation of a land by force, as well as a reality imposed by occupying powers," the ministry said in a statement.Friedman's remarks elicited a strong reaction from Palestinian politicians.Publication of the plan looks set to be delayed after the Israeli parliament called a snap general election for September, the second this year. The US proposal is regarded as too sensitive to release during the campaign.aljazeera
Germany says to continue support for UNRWA
Germany will continue to support UN refugee agency UNRWA, German Foreign Minister Heiko Maas said.“We see support for UNRWA as very important and we will continue it,” Maas told a press conference in Amman following talks with his Jordanian counterpart Ayman al-Safadi. Maas said his talks with the Jordanian minister tackled the situation in Middle East region and current regional tensions.He said their discussions also dwelt on the Palestinian-Israeli conflict. “The two-state formula is the only solution” to the decades-long conflict, Maas said.The top diplomat said Berlin will provide Amman with a $100-million loan.MEMO
Hundreds of settlers storm Aqsa complex
Hundreds of Jewish settlers on Sunday forced their way into East Jerusalem’s flashpoint Al-Aqsa Mosque complex, according to Jerusalem’s Religious Endowments Authority.“Israeli police shut the compound’s Al-Mugharbah Gate after allowing 334 settlers through it into the site,” the Jordan-run authority tasked with overseeing the city’s Muslim and Christian holy sites, said in a statement.Last week, a settler tour inside the flashpoint site during the final day of the fasting month of Ramadan triggered clashes between Israeli police and Palestinian worshippers.For Muslims, the Al-Aqsa represents world’s third holiest site. MEMO
Palestinian Prisoners Affairs Commission: ‘Crimes against our captives take an unprecedented, dangerous detour’
Major General Qadri Abu Bakr, chairman of the Prisoners Affairs Commission, has condemned the repeated crimes committed by Israel against Palestinian captives, which he says have taken “a very dangerous and unprecedented detour” designed to quash their patriotism and humanity, as well as complicate their daily lives in prison.Abu Bakr said in a statement yesterday that Israel is mobilising all its capacities to create new realities in prisons and detention centres. He stressed that Israel uses all available opportunities to take revenge on prisoners and their families, so much so that it has become a competition between Israeli politicians and military officers.He added: “There are daily incursions into prisons and detention centres, and a large number of detainees are transferred from one prison to another.”Abu Bakr argued that Israel does not want Palestinian captives to have stable conditions in prison, pointing to the instruction issued by Ashkelon prison last week not to allow prisoners to celebrate Eid El-Fitr as evidence that Israel is racist.middleeastmonitor
Sudan police fire tear gas as civil disobedience campaign starts
Sudanese police have fired tear gas at protesters taking part in a "civil disobedience" campaign, called in the wake of a deadly crackdown on demonstrators, that began on Sunday.Protesters gathered tyres, tree trunks and rocks to build new roadblocks in Khartoum's northern Bahari district, an unnamed witness told AFP, but riot police swiftly moved in and fired tear gas to disperse the crowd."Almost all internal roads of Bahari have roadblocks. Protesters are even stopping residents from going to work," said the witness.The latest bid by demonstrators to close off streets in the capital comes nearly a week after a deadly raid on a sit-in outside the army headquarters that killed dozens.The bloody crackdown last Monday prompted Sudanese Professionals Association (SPA), which first launched protests against longtime ruler Omar al-Bashir in Dec, to announce the campaign."The civil disobedience movement will begin Sunday and end only when a civilian government announces itself in power on state television," the SPA said earlier.aljazeera
New US sanctions show offer of talks with Iran not genuine: Foreign Ministry
Additional sanctions imposed on Iran by the United States show that Washington’s offer of talks is not genuine, Iranian Foreign Ministry spokesman Abbas Mousavi said on Saturday, reported Reuters.US sanctioned Iran’s largest petrochemical holding group on Friday for indirectly supporting the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC), a step it said aimed to dry up revenues to the elite Iranian military force but that analysts called largely symbolic.US President Donald Trump said earlier this month that he would be willing to talk to the Islamic Republic.“It was only necessary to wait one week until the claim of the president of America about talks with Iran were proven to be hollow,” Mousavi said in a statement, adding:The American policy of maximum pressure is a defeated policy.Tensions have risen between Iran and the United States in recent weeks after Washington sent more military forces to the Middle East, including an aircraft carrier, B-52 bombers and Patriot missiles, in a show of force against what US officials call Iranian threats to US troops and interests in the region.middleeastmonitor
Lankan Prez warns against emergence of a 'Muslim Prabhakaran'
Colombo: Warning against the emergence of a "Muslim Prabhakaran", Sri Lankan President Maithripala Sirisena has called for unity among all communities in the country which saw the worst attack on Easter Sunday. Acknowledging that the country has now been divided, Sirisena, who spoke in Mullaitivu, a former bastion of the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE), said on Saturday that religious leaders and politicians in the country were divided today. The President urged the public "not to leave room for a Muslim Prabhakaran to be born," Colombo Gazette reported.Velupillai Prabhakaran was the founder and leader of LTTE that sought to create an independent Tamil state in the north and east of Sri Lanka. The civil war in Sri Lanka that has claimed the lives of tens of thousands of people ended with the killing of Prabhakaran by Sri Lankan army in 2009. "If we divide and fall apart the whole country will stand to lose. Another war will break out," he warned. PTI
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Compiled and edited by Anwarulhaq (Released at: 7:45 PM)

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