Thursday, 18 July 2019

18 July ND: Babri masjid case: Mediation to continue till July 31, Supreme Court hearing likely from Aug 2/ Karnataka: Assembly adjourned without trust vote, BJP to sit on ‘overnight dharna’/ Bangladesh expresses concerns over Assam’s NRC process for first time


NEWS DIGEST, EVENING 
18 July 2019: 14 Dhul Qadah 1440:Vol: 11, No:248
INDIA
Babri masjid case: Mediation to continue till July 31, Supreme Court hearing likely from Aug 2
New Delhi:The Supreme Court has allowed the panel appointed by it to find a solution to the Ayodhya dispute to continue the mediation process and sought another status report by the end of this month. Constitution bench, headed by CJI Ranjan Gogoi, directed the panel headed by former SC Judge FM Ibrahim Kalifulla, to provide an update on the progress of the mediation as on July 31.The report has to be filed latest by Aug.1, the bench, also comprising Justices SA Bobde, DY Chandrachud, Ashok Bhushan and Abdul Nazeer, said. It added that hearing on appeals against the 2010 judgment of the Allahabad High Court will begin on Aug.2 depending on the status report.On July 11, the apex court had sought a report from the panel, saying daily hearing on the appeals challenging the HC verdict will likely commence on July 25 in case the mediation efforts are not making progress and have to be concluded. Accordingly, the committee submitted its report which the court considered today.The judges were hearing a plea by Rajendra Singh, son of Gopal Singh Visharad who was one of the plaintiffs in the original civil suit in the Ayodhya land matter.indianexpress
Babri:AIMPLB not ready for out of court settlement
Lucknow:All India Muslim Personal Law Board (AIMPLB) has clarified they are not ready for any out of court settlement in the Ayodhya case.“AIMPLB will fight the case in a strong way in the SC,” the Board said.AIMPLB general secretary Maulana Wali Rahmani said they are not ready to take or accept other things as replacement of Babri mosque.“We participated in the mediation committee as it was constituted by the SC,” he said.UNI
Babri case: Land title holder favours more time for mediation, Ram Janmabhoomi Nyas feels otherwise
3-member mediation panel constituted to find amicable solution to Ram Mandir-Babri Masjid dispute is due to submit its report in Supreme Court today. One of the main litigants, Iqbal Ansari said that more time should be granted to mediation panel for n effective solutiuon.But Ram Janmabhoomi Nyas is against further delay. Ansari, one of the main litigants in the Ayodhya dispute, feels that the mediation panel set up by the SC should be given more time so that views of all stakeholders are considered."I welcomed the SC decision to form a mediation panel and a solution can be reached if the panel gets more time. I will accept whatever decision the SC or the panel comes up with," said Ansari, title holder of the dispute land.However,Nyas feels otherwise.Nyas said that further mediation was not necessary as there was no doubt as to where Ram was born. Mahant Kamal Nayan Das,member of Nyas, said the temple would be built in Ayodhya for which either the court gives permission or Parliament brings a legislation for it."We were always against SC-appointed 3-member mediation panel formed to resolve the dispute," he said.indiatvnews
Karnataka: Assembly adjourned without trust vote, BJP to sit on ‘overnight dharna’
HD Kumaraswamy-led JDS-Congress govt in Karnataka, which is on the brink of collapse after mass resignations, will not face a trust vote today as the Assembly was adjourned till Friday. In protest, BJP has begun an overnight ‘dharna’ demanding a response from Speaker KR Ramesh over Governor Vajubhai Vala’s letter. After a delegation of BJP leaders met Governor over the delay in holding the floor test, Vajubhai Vala had sent a letter to the Speaker asking him to complete the trust vote proceedings by the end of the day. The CM had moved a confidence motion earlier in the day. Speaking on the floor of the House, the CM hit out at 15 rebel MLAs — 12 Congress and 3 JD(S) — for making “false allegations” against his “stable govt” in the Supreme Court. During the House proceedings today, Congress and BJP were engaged in a war of words over the trust vote. While Congress alleged that BJP had “abducted” one of its MLA, BJP said that the coalition wanted to postpone the floor test.On being asked to clarify the apex court’s order on whips, the Speaker said he would not restrain parties from “exercising any authority”. The Speaker, however, is yet to decide on their resignations, as allowed by the SC.He is currently meeting legal experts to decide his next move.Before the House was adjourned, BJP leader BS Yeddyurappa declared that his party members would stay put in the House itself overnight and even till the time the trust vote was decided. indianexpress
Karnataka: High Drama But No Trust Vote, BJP MLAs to Sit in Overnight Dharna
Jaishankar calls Kulbhushan’s detention ‘illegal’, urges Pakistan for immediate release
New Delhi :A day after the International Court of Justice (ICJ) ruled in India’s favour in the Kulbhushan Jadhav case, External Affairs Minister S Jaishankar today described the retired navy officer’s detention as “illegal”, and urged Islamabad to release and repatriate him immediately.Jaishankar, in Rajya Sabha, said the verdict was not only a vindication for Jadhav but also for all those who believe in the rule of law.Jaishankar said, “Kulbhushan Jadhav is in illegal custody of Pakistan under fabricated charges. I call upon Pakistan to release and repatriate Jadhav.” indianexpress
Kulbhushan ‘guilty of crimes’, will proceed further as per law: Pakistan PM Imran Khan
New Delhi :A day after International Court of Justice (ICJ) ruled that Pakistan must review the death sentence for Indian national Kulbhushan Jadhav, Pakistan Prime Minister welcomed the court’s decision not to set him free. Khan, in a tweet, alleged that Jadhav “is guilty of crimes against the people of Pakistan and the country shall proceed further as per law”.indianexpress
 Pakistan will only release Kulbhushan if India 'admits he was a spy': Firstpost report
Faced with orders from ICJ to review Jadhav's case in the light of Pakistan breaching the Vienna Convention, Islamabad plans to use third-country diplomatic assistance to explore the possibility of sending him home in return for an official admission from New Delhi that he was engaged in espionage, sources close to the Pakistan government have told Firstpost.Jadhav, an Islamabad-based Pakistani official told Firstpost, is being held in an ISI-run facility in Rawalpindi, rather than a prison, even though he is awaiting execution.Islamabad, one senior Pakistani official said, hopes the offer will help bring about wider India-Pakistan talks,derailed since 2018.“Army understands that Pakistan’s economy cannot be subjected to the risk of another military crisis with India”, the official said. “They see talks as a way to finding some tactical breathing space.”The deal Pak hopes to make builds on a secret diplomatic offer earlier made to New Delhi.Documents submitted to ICJ show that Pakistan had first offered to extradite Jadhav in a letter dated 30 Oct,2017, written soon after India moved the ICJ against his conviction.“Without prejudice to the proceedings so far”, the letter stated,“Govt of Pakistan is prepared to consider any request for extradition that the Government of India may make in the event that Commander Jadhav is considered to be a criminal under the law of India.”Put in plain language, letter constituted an offer to return Jadhav to India, if New Delhi accepted his complicity in terrorism against Pakistan and was prepared to subject him to a criminal-law process.India had, however, rejected Islamabad’s offer, seeing it as a ruse to tarnish high officials in the military and intelligence services. Islamabad’s supplementary FIR filed on 6 Sept, 2017 against Jadhav names NSA Ajit Doval, former naval chief Suresh Mehta, and former RAW chief Alok Joshi as being among 15 “accomplices and facilitators”.New Delhi, 2 Indian official sources said, would still treat any release offer with caution,if it involved an official admission that the country extended support to insurgent groups in Balochistan.Firstpost
Bangladesh govt expresses concerns over Assam’s NRC process for first time
Bangladesh government has expressed concerns over the fallout of Assam’s National Register of Citizens process aimed at identifying undocumented migrants. “While we should not be worried, there is some anxiety after reading news reports,” Bangladesh Foreign Minister AK Abdul Momen told a local television channel on July 13. “We are already in much difficulty with the 11 lakh [Rohingya refugees], so we can’t take anymore. Bangladesh is the most densely populated country on the planet.”Momen also denied that the people identified under the NRC process were Bangladeshi immigrants. “The people that have been there for 75 years, they are their [India’s] citizens not ours,” he said.This is the first time the Bangladesh government has publicly expressed concern over Assam’s NRC process. scroll.in
 If people can’t express anguish with poetry, then what’s the country coming to: Mander on Miya poets
“Indian republic has crossed a new line into its descent into darkness by criminalising Miya poets who are simply putting forth their lament and dissent in Assam. Even Bhakti and Sufi poetry were dissent poetry. We would be impoverished without such poetry,” said a concerned Harsh Mander, a social activist and a retired bureaucrat.A series of police complaints have been filed against Miya poets and activists across Assam accusing them of various crimes. The poets Hafiz Ahmed, Shalim M Hussain, Abdul Kalam Azad, Rehna Sultana, Ashraful Hussain have been named in many of these police complaints for simply writing poetry in their tongue articulating their identity, isolation and selfhood. Miya poetry has emerged as a tool of resistance, confrontation and empowerment. It echoes the fears of a community threatened by social and systematic discrimination as well as the looming threat of exclusion from the National Register of Citizens.The word ‘Miya’ literally means gentleman in Urdu, but the Bengali-origin Assamese Muslims have realised that in Assam, Miya is a slur meaning “Bangladeshi” or “illegal immigrant”.9 of these poets have been charged with Section 153 A of IPC and it deals with“Promoting enmity between different groups on grounds of religion, race, place of birth, residence, language, etc., and doing acts prejudicial to maintenance of harmony.”“What happens when you police poetry. You are cutting off ethical markers with which we see the world around you. This poetry has been called a threat to Assamese people and to national security. We must express solidarity,” observes Githa Hariharan, an author and social activist, at a solidarity meet organised in the Capital.nationalheraldindia
An Assam Muslim body demands regulation of madrasas, alleging them encouraging fundamentalism; other contested claims
An ethnic Assamese Muslim organisation has raised concerns over the quality of education being imparted in madrasas in the state’s river islands, with dominant immigrant Muslim population demanding that the government step in to regulate these unregistered religious schools. Goriya Moria Desi Jatiya Parishad’s demand comes at a time when controversy rages over ‘Miya Poetry’,a relatively new poetic genre being practised by Muslims of Bangladeshi origin who write in their native dialects in a state where language and identity are sensitive issues. 'Miya' is a derogatory term for migrant Muslims in Assam.The Parishad, which has often spoken against the rise of unregulated madrasas, suspects that a radical brand of Islam is being taught in these schools.“Madrasas, which claim to provide Islamic education to the poor immigrant Muslim population, have mushroomed in big numbers in Assam’s river islands. Many of these madrasas are not even registered with the govt and hardly anything is known about the quality and kind of education. The govt of Assam should step in to monitor the course being taught there,” said Goriya Moriya Desi Jatiya Parishad working president Nurul Haque.A source in the Assam education department contested Haque’s claims. Around 700 madrasas were following government norms, the sources told Firstpost on condition of anonymity. “We are not aware if there are any more such institutes functioning in Assam,” the source said.A section of clergy is resisting modernisation of the religious schools. Certainly, some madrasas were regulated by the govt but not all can be controlled, Maulana Fazlul Karim Qasimi, Jamiyat Ulama’s state secretary said.“There are many madrasas which are established by the mosques to teach the Quran Sharif and Hadith and are run by the contribution of the local population. The govt has no right to interfere in their activities and no Muslim will ever tolerate government interference in such madrasas,”he said.Firstpost
CPI(M) Opposes Govt Petitions Seeking New Round of NRC Verification in Assam; Sees Political Ploy
CPI (M) today strongly opposed the Centre and Assam govt’s petitions in the Supreme Court seeking a sample re-verification of the names included in the draft National Register of Citizens in Assam which was published on July 30, 2018. The largest constituent of Left Front sees BJP’s agenda in the demand.“This sudden demand on the eve of July 31 deadline appears motivated by the agenda of BJP which seeks to identify citizenship on the basis of religious affiliation,” said CPI(M).Caravan Daily
Bihar, Assam floods: Death toll crosses 80, Congress blames Centre for ineffective readiness
With the arrival of monsoon in India, the weather has been pleasing for most of the states barring a few. On one hand, there are states like Chennai that’s on the verge of becoming the first city to run dry due to rainfall deficiency. While on the other, states like Assam and Bihar are inundated with water with no corner to reside. Ever since monsoons hit the two states, the news of deaths has been flashing on TV screens every now and then.The latest number when it comes to deaths in Bihar has been claimed 67 while in Assam the death toll has risen to 27 leaving more than 43 lakh displaced. Meanwhile, Congress has slammed the Centre for lack of preparation and disaster management remedies. Congress members in Lok Sabha criticized the Union govt over its handling of floods in Assam and Bihar.In Assam, ASDMA has cited 27 deaths so far.  NewsX
Jamaat demands to declare floods in Assam, Bihar national disaster; Asks its members to help victims
New Delhi:Jamaat-e-Islami Hind (JIH), while expressing deep concern over the death of more than 50 people in the floods in Assam and Bihar, has demanded the central government to declare the natural calamity as national disaster. The JIH has also asked its cadres “to play a leading role in the relief and rescue works in flood affected areas.”In a press statement, JIH’s president Syed Sadatullah Husaini said:“Heavy rain and unprecedented floods and landslides have driven the states into a terrible catastrophe. Many parts of the states are lying under water. People are fleeing in great numbers.”According to media reports, the deluge has affected 33 districts affecting 45 lakh and claimed 17 lives so far in Assam. In Bihar, at least 33 people were killed by the floods with 25.7 lakh people affected in 16 districts of the state.In the wake of the huge losses caused by the floods in the two states – thousands of houses were submerged and thousands of people left stranded in various parts of states – JIH chief Hussaini has asked the central government to declare floods in Assam and Bihar as a national disaster.India Tomorrow
Manipur: SC agrees to reconstitute bench to hear cases on alleged fake encounters by Army, police
The Supreme Court today agreed to reconstitute a bench for hearing cases on alleged extrajudicial killings by the Indian Army, Assam Rifles, and police officials in Manipur, PTI reported. A SC bench headed by CJI Ranjan Gogoi said that it would reconstitute the bench as Justice MB Lokur, who was hearing the matter, had retired. The counsel for the petitioners, senior lawyer Colin Gonsalves, said that the matter had not been heard since Lokur’s retirement. He also said that he had brought it up before a bench of Justice UU Lalit, who has heard such cases along with Lokur, but he was told to approach the chief justice’s bench.PTI/scroll.in
Mob lynching: SC declines urgent hearing of contempt plea against states
The Supreme Court today declined to hear on an urgent basis a contempt plea against states that have not complied with its 2018 verdict laying down guidelines to prevent mob lynching, PTI reported. The SC had turned down the plea on July 5 and said it would come up for hearing in regular course of proceedings in the court.A three-judge bench of CJI Ranjan Gogoi, and Justices Deepak Gupta and Aniruddha Bose said there was no urgency to hear the contempt plea.The SC observed that 50% of the statements made by lawyers seeking urgent listing of cases were found to be incorrect. PTI/scroll.in
Samjhauta Express blast: Case lacked proof, was instituted with political motive, claims Amit Shah
Union Home Minister Amit Shah has told the Rajya Sabha that the chargesheets filed in the Samjhauta Express blast case did not have any substantial proof, The Hindu reported. Shah defended the government’s decision not to file an appeal against those acquitted in the case.Religious leader Aseemanand, Lokesh Sharma, Kamal Chauhan and Rajinder Chaudhary were acquitted by a special NIA court on March 20. Shah alleged that the case had been instituted with a political motive. scroll.in
Rapper Hard Kaur supports Khalistani group, says ‘minorities fed up of Indian government’
Rapper Taran Kaur Dhillon – famously known as Hard Kaur – has joined a secessionist and pro-Khalistani campaign for a separate land for the Sikhs. In a series of videos posted on her social media, Kaur advocated for Sikh fundamentalist organisation Sikhs For Justice and its “Referendum 2020” campaign.On July 10, the Union Home Ministry banned the Sikhs for Justice group for its alleged anti-national activities. Its founder Avtar Singh Pannu was seen shouting slogans and wearing a T-shirt that said “Khalistan Zindabad, Referendum 2020” at the India-New Zealand cricket match recently. Kaur shared 3 videos on “Khalistan Freedom movement” with the caption:“Every minority state is fed up of Indian government & the racist Hindus. No one wants to live with you because you are the most dirty minded people in the world...Indians hate the truth.”scroll.in
J&k Jamaat-e-Islami ex-general secretary Lone held
When 70-year-old Ghulam Qadir Lone and his son were summoned by the police in J&K’s Handwara district on July 16, he had not expected that he would be detained under the draconian Public Safety Act (PSA). Lone is an Islamic scholar and former general secretary of the banned Jamaat-e-Islami J&K. A close relative, requesting anonymity, said, “In the morning, Lone’s son and another family member was summoned by the police. They were interrogated, their data was taken and then were asked to leave. At around 12, Lone was summoned by Kralgund Police Station after which he was shifted to Mattan Jail. Lone is an aged man and is known for his good character and deeds - his arrest without warrant is uncalled for. We have no idea why he was arrested. Last month another Jamaat activist from another village was arrested.”newsclick.in
Kathua rape and murder case: HC issues notice to accused, J&K govt
Punjab and Haryana High Court today issued notice to the accused and the Jammu and Kashmir government on a petition seeking an enhancement of the sentence awarded to the convicts of rape and murder of an eight-year-old girl in Jammu's Kathua in 2018.A Bench of Justice Rajiv Sharma and H.S. Sidhu, while issuing the notice to the respondents, fixed the case for August 7.“The court has issued notice to all the accused and the State of Jammu and Kashmir in the matter,” lawyer of the victim's family Utsav Bains told reporters.The girl from the nomadic Bakerwal community was kidnapped from Rasana area on January 10 in 2018 and found dead on January 17.The victim’s father had approached the High Court seeking an enhancement of the sentence awarded to six convicts. In his petition, he also challenged the acquittal of one accused.thehindu
Kalburgi’s wife identifies man who shot him, accused is reportedly linked to Lankesh murder
The son of Kannada writer MM Kalburgi has said that his mother has identified one of the accused involved in the murder of the rationalist in a test identification parade, Indian Express reported. Kalburgi, a Kendriya Sahitya Akademi awardee and anti-superstition activist, was shot dead at his home in Dharwad district in Karnataka on Aug.30,2015.“She identified the culprit in the identification parade today,” Shreevijay Kalburgi.
Jharkhand: Ranchi court withdraws order to distribute Quran for bail over communal post
A court in Ranchi on Wednesday withdrew its order to a college student to donate copies of the Quran, Live Law reported. Judicial Magistrate Court withdrew the order after Pithoria police submitted an application for modification of the bail condition as it was difficult to implement. On Tuesday, Judicial Magistrate Manish Kumar Singh had asked Richa Bharti, who was arrested for allegedly sharing objectionable post about a community, to donate four copies of the religious text to government-owned educational institutions and one to the complainant, Mansur Khalifa, who is also a member of Sadar Anjuman Committee. The order stated that Bharti had to donate the copies of Quran within a fortnight in police presence, and asked for a compliance report.The order triggered a controversy as the Ranchi Bar District Association took out a protest rally and boycotted the magistrate’s court on Wednesday. The association had claimed that the order could affect the woman’s psyche. “RDBA would abstain from judicial activities in JM’s court on Thursday as well,” Live Law quoted RDBA General Secretary Kundan Prakashan as saying. “We are also demanding his transfer.”scroll.in
Martial arts centre run by Darsgah-E-Jihad-O-Shahadat shut down by Hyderabad cops
Hyderabad: Police has shut down martial arts training camp run by the Muslim fundamentalist organization, Darsgah-E-Jihad-O-Shahadat(DJS) in Saidabad. Intelligence agencies are on alert as DJS started a special training camp under the banner “Learn self defence & Save Ummah” at Hazrat Ujale-Shah Eid Gah Grounds in Akbarbagh, Saidabad, amid scores of alleged mob lynching incidents across the country. The sudden plans of DJS to commence training camps comes in the wake of intelligence agencies stepping up vigil in the twin cities and were carrying out anti-desecration drills at places of worship of both communities. Self-defence training is being imparted to boys of the same locality between the ages of 12 and 16 years. The training camp was to continue till July-end, the sources added.“We are carrying out vehicle checking in Saidabad on a regular basis,” said ACP Malakpet M Sudarshan. After the death of DJS head Shaik Mahboob Ali on Aug.3, 2013, training camps were temporarily stopped. But the sudden revival of the training camps has forced police to maintain alert in the area as Saidabad is also one of the communally sensitive areas in the city. DJS president Mohammed Abdul Majid said, “DJS never preached communal hatred among youths, but it is proud to say that it has trained as many as 50,000 Muslim youths in self-defense as it is the need of the hour to impart self defence training to the youngsters of the community”. TOI
Hindutva forces trying hard to make beef an issue in Tamil Nadu
Chennai:Consuming beef, which was never an issue in the dravidian state of Tamil Nadu, now seems to be becoming one. After a man was thrashed for a post on having beef soup, another one has been arrested for a social media post on conducting a beef festival. However, on the upside, the incidents have spurred outrage and brought to the fore the debate on caste discrimination in Hinduism, an issue that had been lying dormant in the state for some time. S Ezhilan (Ram Kumar), founder head of TNKKwas arrested in the early hours of Tuesday for inviting people for a beef festival on Facebook. A complaint was registered against him by Sundaran, the village administrative officer of Kallupuliyur panchayat. Ezhilan reportedly put up the post as a reaction to the incident of a Muslim youth thrashed up by an extreme Right wing group in the past week. Mohamed Faizan, 24, of Poravachery village of Nagapattinam district, was allegedly attacked by members of the Hindu Makkal Katchi, a Sangh Parivar outfit on July 19, for his Facebook post on eating beef. Incidentally, people across the world have been reacting on social media on these recent developments, unheard of in Tamil Nadu, a state which has a glorious history of resistance against brahmanical hegemony in Hinduism. “Why is food eaten by a considerable section of people being opposed? This raises an important question,” said Aadhavan Dheetchanya, general secretary of Tamil Nadu Progressive Writers and Artists Association.  He said beef was not a common item of consumption in the State but about 20%of population ate beef.“Statistically speaking, Nagapattinam has a dense Muslim population. Eating beef is not an issue there. But these (Right wing) people are attacking a person even in such a place. They are extending their cow vigilantism to Tamil Nadu now,” he added.newsclick.in
DU’s English dept agrees to drop sections on Gujarat and Muzaffarnagar riots
New Delhi :Delhi University’s English department has decided to drop a story based on Gujarat riots and remove mention of the Muzaffarnagar riots from its undergraduate course so as to “not hurt anyone’s sentiments”, HoD said. The decision comes a day after university’s Academic Council (AC) sent back syllabi to English and History departments to take a final call, after a section of teachers raised objections. Political Science and Sociology, 2 other subjects against which objections were raised, were reportedly passed with “minor modifications”.“We don’t want to hurt sentiments… so we are removing a story called ‘Maniben alias Bibijaan’, and from the English journalism course we are removing mention of Muzaffarnagar riots. Besides this, we are revising a few other things,” Head of English Department Raj Kumar said.indianexpress
Mumbai Police arrest former Bigg Boss contestant Ajaz Khan for videos on Jharkhand lynching
Mumbai Police today arrested ex Bigg Boss contestant and actor Ajaz Khan for allegedly sharing objectionable videos on social media.A statement by the cyber cell of the Mumbai Police said that videos shared by Khan promoted religious enmity ‘between different groups on grounds of religion and created hatred among public at large.’The statement by Mumbai Police said, “Cyber Crime Police Station, Mumbai had received a complaint along with few videos which have gone viral on social media.It was found that Ajaz Khan has created/uploaded these videos with objectionable contents mainly promoting enmity between different groups on grounds of religion, etc. and created hatred among public at large.” jantakareporter
Plans afoot to introduce chip-enabled e-passports with advanced security features: Govt
New Delhi:Plans are afoot to issue e-passports with advanced security features such as a chip storing personal details of an applicant embedded in the physical passport booklet, govt informed.In a written reply in the Rajya Sabha, Minister of State for External Affairs, V Muraleedharan said that in case anyone tampers with the chip, system shall be able to identify it resulting in the failure of the passport authentication.PTI
8,189 Indian prisoners lodged in foreign jails: MEA
As many as 8,189 Indian prisoners, including undertrials, are lodged in various jails around the world, the External Affairs Ministry said. Saudi Arabia has the highest 1811 Indian prisoners, followed by UAE with 1,392 and Nepal 1,160 jail inmates, Minister of State for External Affairs V Muraleedharan said in the Rajya Sabha.PTI
Centre admits unemployment data was leaked, says it’s trying to identify those responsible
Centre today admitted in the Rajya Sabha that data on unemployment figures had been leaked and that efforts were being made to identify who was responsible for it, PTI reported. Minister of State for Planning and Statistics Rao Inderjit Singh termed the matter serious, and said data pertaining to unemployment figures were leaked ahead of its announcement in May. He was responding to queries during the Question Hour.
Ex- Congress Gujarat MLA Alpesh Thakor joins BJP
New Delhi :Former Congress leader Alpesh Thakor joined BJP Thursday in the presence of Gujarat BJP president Jitu Vaghnai, according to PTI. Putting an end to days of speculation, Thakor joined the saffron party along with another leader Dhavalsinh Zala.indianexpress Defamation case: Faced with list of other complainants, MJ Akbar witnesses say don’t know
New Delhi :Two witnesses appearing in support of the criminal defamation case filed by former Union minister MJ Akbar told a Delhi court on Wednesday that they were not aware of allegations of sexual misconduct leveled by other women and were aware only of those made by journalist Priya Ramani.They also told the court that they were not deposing in the present case due to their personal, professional and financial relationship with Akbar.indianexpress
Delhi's unauthorised colonies to be fixed: Kejriwal
New Delhi: Residents of unauthorised colonies in Delhi will soon have ownership rights of their properties, Delhi chief minister Arvind Kejriwal said today. He went on to say that the Centre has "agreed" to the proposal sent by the Delhi government in this regard.Mr Kejriwal said that the Delhi government on Wednesday received a reply to the proposal it had sent to the Centre in November 2015. "Centre has sent a very positive response. They are ready, and asked some questions which will be replied by us in a few days," he said.ndtv         
Cleric arrested for sexually harassing girl in Aligarh
Aligarh:UP Police has arrested a cleric for allegedly sexually harassing a 9-year-old girl here.According to police, the cleric, identified as Mohammad Ahmad, was a tuition teacher of victim hired to impart Quran teachings. He was arrested on the basis of a complaint by the victim's mother."When we were conducting a public hearing, there was a woman who complained that Ahmad, who is a cleric in a mosque located inside AMU premises...she had invited him to her home to teach Quran to her 9-year-old daughter...and that he (cleric) indulged in bad behaviour with her daughter... and sexually harassed her," SSP, Akash Kulhari said.AMU PRO Omar Saleem Peerzada said that Ahmad has been removed from his post following the incident.ANI
WORLD
Defying Trump, US House votes to block Saudi arms sales
US House of Representatives approved 3 resolutions aimed at blocking President Donald Trump's planned sale of guided missiles and other weapons to Saudi Arabia,UAE and Jordan.The approval of the measures is another political rebuke of Trump's relationship with Saudi Arabia, which has drawn sharp criticism in Congress over human rights abuses and the mounting death toll from the war in Yemen.Citing new military tensions with Iran in May, Trump used an "emergency" loophole in US arms control law to bypass Congress to complete the sale of more than eight billion dollars in weapons to Saudi,UAE and Jordan.The move circumvented US law that gives Congress the power to review major weapons sales.Many politicians view Trump's claims of an emergency as exaggerated, pointing out that most of the weapons sales at issue could not be delivered for months, even years.The House vote sends three of 22 joint resolutions of disapproval of already passed by the Senate to the president who is expected to veto the measures.House Majority Leader Steny Hoyer, a Democrat, said the 3 specific resolutions were "most significant" because they would cancel contracts related to arms that could be used in the war in Yemen.aljazeera
US Democrats remove ‘occupation’ from 2-state solution resolution
A US House Democrat’s resolution in support of the two-state solution has been amended to remove references to the Israeli occupation and settlement activity, reports the Times of Israel. The amended bill also claims attempts by Palestinians to achieve statehood outside of negotiations with Israel as is unacceptable.In April, California Democrat Alan Lowenthal introduced House Resolution 326, a symbolic resolution that reaffirmed the US’ commitment to resolving the Palestinian-Israeli conflict through a two-state solution.The original text highlighted “the special relationship between US and Israel” and how US“remains unwavering in its commitment to help Israel address the myriad challenges it faces.” It also mentioned the long history of US presidents seeking a two-state solution and how “delays to a political solution… pose a threat to the ability to maintain a Jewish and democratic state of Israel.” The resolution asserted American support for Israel, but it also asserted the need for justice for Palestinians, in the form of “an end to the occupation, including opposing settlement activity and moves toward unilateral annexation in Palestinian territory.” MEMO
US expels Turkey from F-35 fighter jet programme
US has said that it was removing Turkey from the F-35 fighter jet programme, a move that had been long threatened and expected after Ankara began accepting delivery of an advanced Russian missile defence system last week.The first parts of the S-400 air defence system were flown to Murted military airbase northwest of Ankara on Friday, sealing Turkey's deal with Russia, which Washington had struggled for months to prevent. " US and other F-35 partners are aligned in this decision to suspend Turkey from the programme and initiate the process to formally remove Turkey from programme," said Ellen Lord, undersecretary of defence for acquisition and sustainment at Pentagon. aljazeera           
Iran seizes foreign oil tanker for 'smuggling oil'
Iran's Revolutionary Guard Corps have seized a foreign tanker accused of smuggling oil with a crew of 12, according to Iranian state TV.The report did not identify the impounded vessel, but said it was "smuggling one million litres of fuel" from Iranian smugglers to foreign customers.The announcement came a day after Iran's foreign ministry said Iranian forces assisted a foreign ship "with technical failure" after it sent out a distress call.Al Jazeera's reporter said the ship impounded was the same one towed by Iranian forces."The Iranians say this tanker was initially rescued on Sunday after it sent out distress signals. But once it was towed into Larak island, they say they understood it was smuggling oil and that's when they seized it," she said, adding that the crew were arrested.aljazeera
UN investigator calls for tougher approach on Myanmar abuses
US sanctions imposed on senior military leaders in Myanmar should have been tougher and applied to more generals, UN special rapporteur on human rights in Myanmar has said.Yanghee Lee said the measures against Commander-in-Chief Min Aung Hlaing and three others as a result of their role in the "ethnic cleansing" of the Rohingya in the restive western state of Rakhine did not go far enough."It's better late than never," she said of US move on Tuesday, but added, "they should freeze all their assets; the assets of their families too, and the travel ban should include the families of these individuals."Lee, who says Myanmar's crackdown on the majority-Muslim Rohingya was a war crime, arrived in Malaysia on Tuesday after her visit to Thailand was cut short because of what she described as "interference" targetted at those she was working with.aljazeera
Parliament bars debates on Rakhine net ban
Myanmar parliament today blocked an urgent motion seeking the immediate lift of an internet ban in western part of the country where over 40,000 people displaced by the fresh fighting. The internet blackout in eight townships in Rakhine state and one in Chin state has been effective since June 21 when Transport and Communication Ministry directed all mobile service providers to temporarily block the internet access.Khin Saw Wei,a lower house lawmaker representing Rathaytaung township of Rakhine state, said over phone that she submitted the motion to parliament on Wednesday."We are hoping to debate it [in parliament] today as it is important and urgent issue," she said today before the parliamentary debate hopeful.She added that house speaker did not considered it an important matter and rejected the motion.Anadolu
US replacing soldiers with mercenaries in Syria:Russia
US is reportedly replacing some of its regular troops in northern Syria with mercenaries from private military companies (PMC), the spokeswoman for Russian Foreign Ministry Maria Zakharova has announced. Zakharova said: “The number of personnel of PMCs in Syria exceeds 4,000. It is notable that in the second half of June alone, 540 people had already arrived in the country, including 70 commanders and instructors. The transfer of mercenaries is carried out by car in groups of 12-16 people.”The main tasks of the mercenaries in Syria consist of training militant groups allied to the US, such as those of the Kurds, and to protect valuable assets such as oil sites across the war-torn country.
Syrian rebels say Russia deploys ground troops in Idlib push
Russia has sent special forces in recent days to fight alongside Syrian army troops struggling to make gains in a more than two-month assault in northwestern Syria to seize last opposition bastion,senior rebel commanders said.The claims in Thursday's report were swiftly rejected by the Russian defence ministry. "Russia has never had and has no ground forces in Syria," the ministry said. Earlier, rebel commanders were quoted as saying that although Russian officers and troops had been behind front lines directing the operations, using snipers and firing anti-tank missiles, this was the first time Moscow had sent ground troops onto the battlefield in the campaign that began at the end of April.aljazeera
Kuwait arrests dozens of stateless Bidoun: Amnesty
Amnesty International has said that Kuwaiti authorities have arbitrarily arrested more than a dozen “stateless” people, known as Bidoun, during the past week for demanding equal rights.The organisation said, in a statement, that campaign of arrests took place between July 11 and 14, following demonstrations organised last week by members of the Bidoun group. This followed the suicide of a young Bidoun man, Ayed Hamad Moudath, 20, who was unable to obtain official documents and eventually lost his job. The detainees include prominent human rights activist, Abdul Hakim al-Fadhli.MEMO
Over 1,000 rights violations in Egypt in 2019:NGO
Over 1,000 human rights violations have taken place in Egypt since the start of 2019, according to Cairo-based NGO El-Nadeem.In total El-Nadeem recorded 283 cases of individual torture, 30 deaths in custody and 111 people who have been subject to medical negligence. The issue of medical negligence in Egyptian prisons has gained traction in recent months after Morsi death.MEMO
Khayrat Al-Shatir rejects charges of spying
In Egypt, Deputy General Guide of Muslim Brotherhood Khayrat Al-Shatir's has rejected the charges of spying for Hamas, prior to the 25 January 2011 revolution during Tuesday court session. The hearing was as part of the retrial of the Brotherhood on charges of communicating with Hamas prior to the January revolution. The case was adjoined to 28 August for sentencing. Toward the end of the defence lawyers’ statement in the case, the deputy chairman of the Freedom and Justice Party, Issam Al-Iryan, asked the judge to permit Al-Shatir to make a statement about what happened with him during the meeting with UAE Foreign Minister and the Assistant US State Secretary inside the prison in the aftermath of the coup. After Al-Iryan made his request, Al-Shatir spoke for the first time since 3 July 2013 coup addressing court for about 45 minutes. middleeastmonitor
Arson attack at Japan anime studio kills 26
26 people are dead and dozens injured after a man set fire to an animation studio in Japanese city of Kyoto, officials say.Police said a suspect broke into Kyoto Animation studio on Thursday morning and sprayed petrol before igniting it.Suspect has been detained and was taken to hospital with injuries. Japan's PM Shinzo Abe said the incident was "too appalling for words" and offered condolences.Kyoto Animation, known as KyoAni, produces films and graphic novels and is well regarded by fans for the quality of its productions. BBC
Pakistan: Sindh Assembly adopts resolution to end forced conversions; Pak Jamaat, PPP, PTI support
Karachi: Amid rising incidence of forced conversions and alleged kidnappings of Hindu girls, the Sindh Assembly unanimously adopted a resolution on Tuesday demanding this practice be stopped and action be taken against the elements involved in the practice. The resolution was moved by GDA MPA Nand Kumar Goklani. Ruling PPP as well as MQM, PTI and the Jamaat-e-Islami supported the resolution. GDA MPA Goklani, who had earlier moved a bill against forced conversions, briefed the House about legislation and the then governor’s dissident note and said, “This assembly passed a law against forced conversions, but after the governor’s objection, I have submitted another draft, which is still pending approval”. PTI MP Khurrum Sher Zaman suggested to remove the name of Hindu girls from the resolution and said, “We have great respect for the non-Muslims living in Pakistan, but we should avoid using such words like ‘Hindu girls’ as this defames Pakistan aboard. Kidnapping incidents also happen with Muslims from other sects too”.Minister for Parliamentary Affairs Mukesh Kumar Chawla assured the House that the government was serious in introducing a law against forced conversion.Abdul Rashid of Jamaat-e-Islami supported the resolution but rejected the notion that only girls are being converted.Express Tribune,Pak
Ex-Pak PM Abbasi held in multi-billion rupee case
Ex- Pakistan PM Shahid Khaqan Abbasi was arrested by NAB in connection with a multi-billion rupee case linked to the award of a LNG import contract, Dawn reported.
 Angry messages from Ennahda leaders to Ghannouchi: middleeastmonitor
Leaders of Ennahda movement have accused the party’s executive office and its president, Rached Ghannouchi, of bias in favour of his allies and “lack of respect for the will of senior voters,” following the results of the internal elections. Ennahda’s executive office has made changes to the preliminary lists of candidates for the legislative elections, in a move considered by many as a coup against the rules and will of senior voters, according to Al Jazeera.Both Abdel Latif Al-Makki and Abdel-Hamid Al-Jellassi refused to comply with the decisions of the executive office, following their removal from the lists of Grand Tunis and appointment in the Kef and Nabeul governorates. middleeastmonitor
Flash: views & NEWS
As Trust Vote Nears, Karnataka Offers Lesson in Subversion of Democracy:Imran Qureshi
Rejoinder: Jama’at and political Islam in Kashmir:TheCaravan
Floods and NRC: A Toss up Between Life and Citizenship:Monobina Gupta
Beyond the Hurrahs, 8 Takeaways from the ICJ Ruling on Kulbhushan Jadhav:S. Varadarajan
A helpline to fight hate crimes: Mumbai Mirror
New Policy will ensure our higher education system remains a client of global science:Milind Sohoni
Raja Dhale’s words and work stirred sleeping souls and gave expression to simmering Dalit anger: Suraj
Can India really deport illegal immigrants after final NRC
BJP membership drive in UP: A joke or effort to poison young minds? BJP MLA enrols school kids as members
K’taka one more step towards an Opposition-mukt Bharat: BJP’s One Nation, One Party dream:T. Bhattacharya

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(Released at: 7:53 PM)

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