21 July 2019

21 July ND: 4 villagers lynched in Jharkhand after panchayat decides they practice black magic/Several Opportunities for Saving Babri Masjid were Lost: Ex-Home Secretary Godbole / RSS is a mass movement, part of Indian ‘mosaic’: German envoy

21 July 2019: 17 Dhul Qadah 1440:Vol: 11, No:250
4 villagers lynched in Jharkhand after panchayat decides they practice black magic
New Delhi:4 villagers in Jharkhand's Gumla district were lynched to death by a group of 10-12 men on suspicion of them practising black magic.The 2 men and 2 women belonged to three families in Gumla. The incident took place under the jurisdiction of the Sisayi police station on Saturday.Around a dozen masked men raided the Nagar Shikari village under Sisayi police station around 3 am on Saturday and picked up Shuna Bhagat (65) Fagni Devi (60) Champa Bhagat (65) and Peti Bhagat (60) from their house. Villagers on condition of anonymity said that an assembly (panchayat) was organised before the incident took place. Charges were framed against the four deceased that all of them were involved in the practice of witchcraft and black magic.4 people were dragged to a distance from the village and lynched with traditional weapons such as sticks and iron rods.SP Gumla, Anjani Kumar Jha, told ANI, "Prima facie it appears the victims were involved in witchcraft. The crime seems to have happened because of superstitious beliefs. An investigation is underway."The killings have spread tension and fear among locals in the area. They are refusing to talk about the incident.indiatoday
Jharkhand: Four persons lynched on suspicion of practising witchcraft
Most of lynching cases are fabricated,fake: Naqvi
Union Minister for Minority Affairs Mukhtar Abbas Naqvi has made a big statement about lynchings. When asked about the recent cases of lynchings in our country, Naqvi said most of these cases are concocted and fake.Naqvi was replying a question on SP MP Azam Khan's statement who had said that Muslims are still serving the sentence after 1947.Khan said,"If Muslims went to Pakistan, they would not get this punishment. Why our ancestors did not go to Pakistan? They regarded India as their own country. Now they will be punished and they will have to endure." Criticising Naqvi, Congress leader Randeep Surjewala said,"I respect Naqvi ji but does he even know what is happening with minority in this country?" "BJP doesn't feel anything for the minorities. Everyone in ruling party is trying to shield the culprits", Surjewala added.Meanwhile, Bihar CM Nitish Kumar sought to play down the killing of a Muslim man and two tribal persons by a mob in Saran district, saying it should not be seen as a case of "mob lynching" as the three men "had been caught stealing cattle".Almost 43% of all cases of harassment of minorities and Dalits, taken up by NHRC, were registered in UP alone.This includes cases of lynching.India Today
Several Opportunities for Saving Babri Masjid were Lost: Ex-Home Secretary Godbole
New Delhi:Several opportunities for saving Babri Masjid were lost, as neither Rajiv Gandhi govt, VP Singh govt nor that of Narasimha Rao was “receptive” about finding a solution to the sensitive issue, says Madhav Godbole, who quit as Union home secretary after demolition of 16th century mosque, and has penned his thoughts on simmering Ramjanmabhoomi-Babri Masjid issue in a new book. Godbole, who quit in March 1993— 18 months before his retirement — says that “successive govts did not really pay attention to the subject”.“It is surprising that a number of very sensible suggestions were made during the time of Rajiv Gandhi, and according to me, any one of those suggestions would have met the demands of both Hindus and Muslims, and also preserved the masjid,” he said.“But I am unable to understand why Rajiv did not find time to attend to any of the suggestions. Discussions with the concerned parties could have been taken further in terms of arriving at an understanding,” Godbole, whose new book ‘Babri Masjid Ram Mandir Dilemma:An Acid Test for India’s Constitution’ is being released next month, told IANS in an interview.Elaborating on the suggestions put forth to Rajiv Gandhi, who was PM from 1984 to 1989 when the Babri Masjid issue was burning, Godbole said of the 3 main suggestions, one came from Syed Shahabuddin, who was member of Babri Masjid Action Committee. Shahabuddin made a proposal that Babri Masjid should be taken over by the Govt and be retained as it is under an Act as a monument, and the remaining area on the outskirts of masjid should be given for construction of a Ram temple. “This would also have met with the point of view of the Hindus and Muslims. A similar proposal was made by Karan Singh, who was a minister at the time, and considered a staunch Hindu.”Karan Singh’s proposal was that a Ram temple should be constructed “where the Ram Padukas are there, on the outskirts of the masjid area, and the masjid should be retained as it is.” Then Kamlapati Tripathi, who was very close to the top Congress leadership, wrote to Rajiv, saying the Babri Masjid issue is a very important and “cannot be ignored”.“If this dispute continues, possibilities of the division of the country will increase,” Tripathi wrote.“But even then the letter was not paid attention to. And Rajiv Gandh in all his wisdom allowed shilanyas to take place (in 1989) and started his own election campaign from there,”says Godbole. VP Singh govt, which followed, passed an ordinance according to which the Masjid was to be retained as it is with a wall constructed around it to preserve it, and the remaining area was to be given for construction of a Ram temple. “And this was an ideal suggestion. But I don’t know why there was such opposition to it. And obviously,VP Singh decided to cancel the ordinance the very next day.”“I would unhesitatingly call Rajiv the second most prominent kar sevak, after Nayar, DM of Faizabad, who encouraged the clandestine placement of Ram Lalla idol in Babri Masjid on Dec 22,1949.Against this background, it was surprising to read the ludicrous claim made by Rahul that if someone from Nehru-Gandhi family was in power, the Masjid could have been saved! India has paid a heavy price for these missed opportunities”.IANS
Rajiv Gandhi was 2nd most prominent karsevak, claims  Ex-Home Secretary Madhav Godbole
RSS is a mass movement, part of Indian ‘mosaic’: German envoy Walter Lindner
New Delhi:Terming the RSS a “mass movement” in India, German Ambassador Walter Lindner said his visit to RSS HQRS in Nagpur was part of his attempt to understand the “Indian mosaic”.Speaking to The Hindu about the criticism he has faced over the visit, including one online petition that is calling for his resignation or recall, Lindner said he had visited Nagpur to review progress in the city’s Metro project which Germany has helped finance, and decided to also meet with RSS chief Mohan Bhagwat. “I went to educate myself about the organisation,” said Lindner. “I had read very negative and very positive articles about it, everything from its social engagement to accusations of fascism, and I wanted to make my own impression.So I asked Bhagwat many questions.” Lindner’s visit was considered unusual as very few foreign diplomats have made interactions with RSS public, although a group of ambassadors had met Bhagwat in Delhi some years ago. In a tweet about his meeting, Lindner had written that RSS, “Founded [in] 1925, it is world’s largest voluntary organization—though not un- controversially perceived throughout its history.” Explaining the comment, Lindner said that as a German, he was conscious of the organisation’s history during the 1930-40s, including the inspiration some of its leaders had drawn from Germany’s Nazi movement and had discussed that with Bhagwat.“I asked many questions on radicalism, and there are no simple answers to these questions,” the Ambassador said. “The [RSS] is one part of the mosaic that makes up India. You can’t deny that this is a mass movement and whether one likes it or not, it is out there,” he asserted.Ambassador’s visit to RSS HQRS came in for criticism on social media, and led to an online petition filed by an American scholar on South Asia Pieter Friedrich, with more than 1,000 signatories who are demanding that the Ambassador “resign or be recalled.”The Ambassador’s visit to Nagpur is part of India-wide tour to various cities to discuss bilateral ties ahead of the biannual India-Germany summit expected in Oct or Nov this year, when German Chancellor Angela Merkel will travel to Delhi. The hindu
German Ambassador to India Walter Lindner on visit to RSS HQ, India-German ties, and his 'Auntie Amby'
Majoritarianism put india under threat:Hamid Ansari
New Delhi:Without taking the name, ex vice president of India Hamid Ansari on Friday ripped into the Narendra Modi govt and its fountainhead RSS, saying an Indian version of ‘Muslim-phobia’ has been inducted in the social media discourse and the ‘majoritarian’ ideology has  put the plural, diverse, egalitarian, and democratic character of the country under threat.Former CJI,Justice AM Ahmadi also flagged that the Constitution of India is under peril which needs to be protected. Delivering the Fakhruddin Ali Ahmad Memorial Lecture on “Sins and Sinners: Where Did It Go Wrong?” at the Ghalib Institute here on Friday evening, Ansari, a scholar of eminence and career diplomat, has observed that India stands at the crossroads as the India of today is a very different place in its perception, and practice while old India is dead as the ideology of a ‘cultural’ organization (read RSS) has been injected into segments of public opinion unnoticeably in the name of the ‘nation’ and ‘national security.’In his presidential note, justice Ahmadi said also echoed Dr. Ansari’s sentiments,Ex-Lt Governor of Delhi Najeeb Jang also expressed his views.caravandaily
 ‘Floating cattle’ smuggling prompts BSF to deploy more troops, boats along Bangla border in WB
New Delhi:A sudden rise in “floating cattle” in West Bengal meant for smuggling across the Bangladesh border has alarmed BSF which has deployed additional troops, motor boats and surveillance gadgets to curb the crime, officials said Sunday.“Hundreds of cattle are being smuggled through the rivers which are in spate along this border. We are increasingly intercepting cattle that are being cruelly tied to banana trunks and set afloat in the stream so that they can be collected across the border in Bangladesh by smugglers,”a senior BSF official said.Over 1,200 cows and buffaloes have been seized in just over a week by the border guarding force, they said, adding that the cost per cattle head has gone upto Rs 1.4 lakh, from earlier Rs 80,000, in anticipation of the Bakrid festivities in Aug.The seizure is only one-third of what is being actually smuggled and hence BSF has ordered deployment of additional troops, motor boats and hand-held thermal imagers to better mount vigil and check the menace of cattle smuggling that is rearing its head again after it was curbed over the last few years, officials said. Indian express
NIA drops terror charges against 4 Muslim youth
New Delhi:NIA has dropped terror charges against 4 men arrested last year for allegedly trying to establish an “Islamic State caliphate” by resorting to large-scale terrorist attacks in and around Delhi.Mohammad Irshad, Raees Ahmad, Zaid Malik and Mohamamd Azam walked free earlier this month after spending over 6 months in jail.A senior govt official said NIA found no evidence against them.In a chargesheet filed against 10 others on July 21 in a special court at Patiala House in Delhi, NIA said:“Group wanted to manufacture IEDs,to be detonated by remote controlled devices, of more than 100 metres range.”2 of the accused recorded videos that was to be broadcast after their suicide attacks, it said. Irshad, a resident of Amroha in west UP, is an autorickshaw driver. Ahmad, also a resident of Amroha, worked at a welding shop. At the time of their arrests, Malik was living at Jafrabad in east Delhi and Azam ran a medical store at Seelampur in east Delhi. 4 were arrested in Dec. 2018 with 10 others.Their counsel, M.S. Khan, said, “NIA said in court that sufficient evidence was not found against them but investigations will continue.” Accused against whom the chargesheet was filed are Mufti Mohd Suhail, Anas Younus,  Zubair Malik, Rashid Zafar Raq,  Md. Saqib,  Md. Absar Said, Md. Gufran,  Md. Faiz,  and Naim Choudhary. the hindu
NIA charges Rajasthan man in Falah-i-Insaniyat case
New Delhi: NIA has filed a chargesheet agaa resident of Rajasthan in connection with Falah-i-Insaniyat (FIF) case, in which Hafiz Saeed is main accused. NIA filed charges against one Mohammad Hussain, a resident of Nagaur in Rajasthan.Investigation carried out by NIA reveals that Chief of FIF namely Hafiz Saeed along with Dy.Chief of FIF namely Shahid Mahmood hatched a conspiracy around 2012 to create sympathizers/sleeper cells and logistic base in Delhi and Haryana under the garb of religious work e.g. Construction of mosque, madrasa education and financial assistance for marriage of poor Muslim girls etc. Shahid Mahmood tasked his associates namely Mohammad Kamran, a Pak national based at Dubai, for re-routing funds from Pakistan to Dubai and further to India through hawala channels. He started transferring large amount of funds with the help of above accused Mohammad Hussain in the name of religious work, construction of mosque Khulfa-e-Rashideen in Uttawar at Haryana and for marriage of Muslims girls. oneindia
Draft education policy violates federal system, encourages commercialisation: CPI(M)
New Delhi: Draft National Education Policy contravenes the Constitution and the federal system, according to CPI (M). In a letter to HRD Minister, its general secretary Sitaram Yechury called for the complete withdrawal of chapter recommending the centralisation of powers in education governance. The Constitution puts education in the Concurrent List, giving authority and responsibility to both the States and the Centre. However, Yechury alleged that the draft had robbed the States by creating “an excessively centralised structure of authority” and vesting overarching powers with PM-led Rashtriya Shiksha Aayog (RSA). “States are expected to function merely as local-level units of RSA, without having the freedom to establish their own priorities or position themselves critically against the policies of the Centre,” said the letter. “RSA hierarchy of decision-making is an insult to the federal character of our Constitution and its clearly defined relationship of the States to the Centre... it imposes uniformity and one-size-fits-all solutions on a diversity of learning needs and circumstances that require nuanced policy responses”.Yechury also opposed the “elitist and pro-corporate” thrust of the policy, claiming that it would ensure the “centralisation, commercialisation and communalisation of the Indian education system”. thehindu
Central agencies threatening Trinamool leaders, asking them to join BJP: Mamata
West Bengal CM Mamata Banerjee has alleged that Central agencies are threatening TMC leaders and elected representatives with prison in chit fund scam cases if they don’t get in touch with BJP. TMC holds Martyrs’ Day rally in Kolkata every year on July 21 in the memory of the 13 Youth Congress activists who were killed in police firing on this day in 1993.TMC chief, addressing the Martyrs’ Day rally in Kolkata, also said the party will launch a State-wide protest on July 26, demanding return of black money “siphoned off” by the BJP.“Central agencies are threatening our leaders and elected representatives over chit fund scams, asking them to get in touch with BJP or face prison,” Banerjee said.CM accused the saffron party of luring TMC MLAs with money and other perks.PTI
At rally, Mamata accuses BJP of EVM tampering, horse-trading, lynchings
Replace EVMs with ballot papers, demands Mamata
Mamata Banerjee has demanded return of ballot papers in place of EVMs and said electoral reforms are required in the country to save democracy and stop the use of black money during polls.Banerjee, CM  of West Bengal, also demanded State funding of elections.“Do not forget that EVMs were earlier used in England, France, Germany and America. But they have now stopped using them. So why cannot we bring the ballot papers back?” she said.PTI
TMC MPs submit notice to discuss 'serious incidents of atrocities on SC/STs' in RS tomorrow
Trinamool MPs have submitted a notice under Rule 267 in Rajya Sabha, for suspension of all business and to take up discussion on "serious incidents of recent atrocities on SC/STs" on Monday. This comes after a 3-member TMC delegation led by MP Derek O'Brien which was on its way to UP's Sonbhadra district to meet the families of those affected in the firing earlier this week, was stopped at Varanasi airport on Saturday. However, delegation was later allowed by administration to come out of the airport and visit the hospital where those injured in Sonbhadra firing incident are admitted.ANI
Govt tells Air India to freeze all appointments
In the wake of its proposed privatization, the govt has asked Air India to put a freeze on large-scale promotion and appointments.A new flights has to be started only when it is extremely necessary and after due diligence from commercial aspect."The direction came almost a week back. It says that due to impending privatization, no major initiatives have to be taken up. There will be freeze on appointments and promotions," an official source told IANS.The direction has come from the Department of Investment and Public Asset Management or DIPAM.After failing to find a bidder in its previous term, the Modi 2.0 Govt is working on war-footing to sell Air India to a private player. It has already reconstituted the group of ministers (GoM) to decide the course of privatization.nationalheraldindia
Taslima’s residence permit extended by one year
New Delhi:Controversial Bangladeshi author Taslima Nasreen’s residence permit has been extended for one year by the Union Home Ministry, officials said on Sunday.Taslima, a citizen of Sweden, has been getting residence permit on a continuous basis since 2004.A Home Ministry official told PTI that her residence permit has been further extended for one more year till July 2020.She was last week given a 3-month residence permit following which she took to Twitter requesting Home Minister Amit Shah for extending it for 1 year. PTI
Hindu priest attacked near temple in US
New York:A Hindu priest was attacked by a 52-year-old man while he was walking down the street in his religious garb near a temple in Floral Park, New York, according to a US media report.Swami Harish Chander Puri said near the Shiv Shakti Peeth in Glen Oaks, while he was walking down the street in his religious garb, a man came up from behind and started hitting him, repeatedly, PIX 11 news channel reported. Puri said he was beaten so badly, he had to be rushed to the hospital.The priest suffered bruises and abrasions all over his body, including his face during the attack on July 18, the channel reported.“I’m in a little pain,” the priest was quoted as saying by the channel.PTI
AMU to take legal action if Salma Ansari’s madrassa violates lease rules to build temple
AMU has threatened to take legal action against the madrassa run by former vice-president Hamid Ansari’s wife, Salma Ansari, if any conditions of the lease are violated to get temple constructed inside the seminary. Confirming this, AMU spokesperson Shafey Kidwai said that the madrassa stood on land that was on lease from AMU for 10 years. The land was given in 2016 and as per lease conditions, no fresh construction would be allowed without permission from AMU authorities. He confirmed that no official request for construction of temple had been taken by Salma Ansari so far. Ansari, however, told TOI that she decided to make an existing room as a prayer room where both Hindu scriptures and Quran would be kept for students to pray. TOI
Rajasthan Govt school teaches Sanskrit 'shlokas' and Quranic verses to Muslim students
Jaipur: A Govt school in the city's Bhatta Basti area in Shastri Nagar, teaches students to recite Quran and Sanskrit 'shlokas' -- all under one roof."This is a Sanskrit School. Students studying here belong to the Muslim community," Umeed Khan, who played a key role in getting the school set up, told ANI.Jaipur's Bhatta Basti is a fabled Muslim dominated area. In the past, the region was reeling under communal disharmony but away from the hotspot, the state-run school is trying to spread harmony among the students here.The school conducts classes for the students of Cass I to VIII and is run in 2 shifts where these students are taught lessons in Urdu and the Quran in the morning followed by Sanskrit 'shlokas' in the afternoon."These students are motivated by their parents and guardians to study Sanskrit in our school. Parents expect their children to get acquainted with the combined syllabus," Deepak Sharma, a teacher, told ANI.ANI
Priyanka capable of leading Congress, non-Gandhi will cause party to split: Natwar Singh
New Delhi: With the Congress leadership in limbo after the resignation of Rahul Gandhi, party veteran Natwar Singh on Sunday joined the chorus backing Priyanka Gandhi Vadra for the top post, adding that having a non-Gandhi at the helm will cause the party to split.Praising Priyanka for her visit to Sonbhadra to meet victims of a firing incident, former external affairs minister told ANI that she is capable of handling the party. "You must have witnessed what she did in a village in UP.It was amazing. She stayed there and achieved what she wanted to," he said.Singh suggested that Rahul's decision of a having someone from outside the Gandhi family as the party chief will have to be reversed.On being asked if Priyanka would be elected as the party president, the Congressman said, "It will depend on Priyanka because her brother (Rahul Gandhi) had said that nobody from the Gandhi family will become the Congress president. Now, the family will have to reverse the decision and only they can do it."Earlier, Anil Shastri, son of ex PM Lal Bahadur Shastri, had said that Priyanka Gandhi should be made Congress president as no one other than her is "100 %  acceptable".ANI
Delhi bids adieu to Sheila Dikshit as its longest-serving CM is laid to rest with state honours
New Delhi: Politics was put aside. The sudden downpour ignored. All gathered for her last journey — those she worked alongside, those she fought and those she fought for.As the hearse carrying the casket moved slowly from her house to the party HQRS towards the funeral, cries rang through the air, “Jab tak suraj chand rahega Sheilaji ka naam rahega”.Former CM  Sheila Dikshit passed away on Saturday after a cardiac arrest. In the next 24 hours, political rivalries were momentarily put aside as tributes and condolences poured in. From the upper echelons of the Congress to BJP’s top leadership to state parties.Top Congress leaders, including Sonia Gandhi and Priyanka Gandhi Vadra, were present at the funeral.Union Home Minister Amit Shah, Delhi CM Arvind Kejriwal, his deputy Manish Sisodia and Home Minister Satyendar Jain were among those who attended the last rites.News18
In Some Uttarakhand Villages, Not a Single Girl Was Born in 3 Months
New Delhi: In 132 villages in Uttarkashi, a district in the state of Uttarakhand, no girl children were born in the last three months, according to a report in the Times of India. The only children born here were boys, 216 of them.The imbalance has raised the possibility of sex-selective abortions or the killing of girl children that may be occurring in these villages.The situation is “suspicious and has highlighted female foeticide”, said Uttarkashi’s district magistrate Ashish Chauhan.“We will monitor the data and activities of all these villages for next six months and will take strict action against ASHA workers if the situation does not improve. Moreover, we will also take legal action against the family who will be found guilty,” said Chauhan.These 132 villages have been marked for investigation and intervention by the local Govt. ASHA workers have been asked to pay more attention here.Over the last three months, there were 51 deliveries in Dunda block, 49 in Bhatwari block, 47 in Naugaun, 29 in Mori, 23 in Chinyalisaur and 17 in Purola. But no girl child was born anywhere.While Uttarakhand’s sex ratio is at 963 females per 1,000 males, Uttarkashi district is at 958 females. This makes the district ninth in the state, in terms of sex ratio. According to the last census in 2011, there are 1,61,489 women and 1,68,597 men in Uttarkashi.thewire
Bhanu Mehta resigns as V-C of Ashoka University
New Delhi: Pratap Bhanu Mehta, one of India’s foremost political analysts, resigned Saturday as V-C of Ashoka University, a private, prestigious liberal arts universities, citing that he needed “to return to more full-time academic life”.Stating that his decision to step down “was not an easy one”, Mehta said that his role as the vice-chancellor left him “without enough space for my writing and other academic interests”. Ashoka University is believed to have recently come under pressure from Modi govt, with an Intelligence Bureau Note in January this year, describing Mehta as an unrelenting critic of the ruling dispensation. theprint
No Adivasi Judges Named in List of Jharkhand Judicial Promotions
Jharkhand Janadhikar Mahasabha, a coalition of civil society organisations, alleged on Saturday that not a single Adivasi judge found place in a recent round of judicial promotions in the state.It posted the list of promotees for the post of additional district judge, which showed none of the 51 junior judges promoted was an Adivasi, and most belonged to dominant caste groups.A lawyer associated with the coalition said on the condition of anonymity that Adivasis are very poorly-represented in the state judiciary. This is a serious problem in a state like Jharkhand, which was created to give Adivasis their due recognition and representation.thewire
UP man gets Rs 128-crore electricity bill for using ‘fan and light’
A resident of Chamri village in UP’s Hapur has received an electricity bill of Rs 128,45,95,444. Shamim, who lives with his wife Khairu Nisha, said the electricity department has cut off his connection for not clearing the bill. “No one listens to our pleas, how will we submit that amount? When we went to complain about it, we were told that they won’t resume our electricity connection unless we pay the bill,”Shamin told ANI..indianexpress
Iran says tanker crew safe, warns UK against rising tensions
Iran has warned UK against escalating tensions between the two countries in the wake of its seizure of a British-flagged oil tanker - an act UK Govt has called "hostile".Britain has rejected Tehran's explanation that it seized the Stena Impero on Friday because it had been involved in an accident, and told its ships to avoid the Strait of Hormuz, a major oil passageway."UK Govt should contain those domestic political forces who want to escalate existing tension between Iran and the UK well beyond the issue of ships. This is quite dangerous and unwise at a sensitive time in the region," Hamid Baeidinejad, Iran's envoy to Britain, wrote on Twitter. "Iran, however, is firm and ready for different scenarios," he said.His comments came a day after Jeremy Hunt, UK foreign secretary, said Tehran's actions showed "worrying signs Iran may be choosing a dangerous path of illegal and destabilising behaviour". Hunt - who is also seeking to become the next leader of Britain's Conservative party, and by default the country's PM  - called the seizure it a "tit-for-tat" situation, as it came hours after a court in Gibraltar said it would extend by 30 days the detention of the Grace 1 Iranian tanker seized by British authorities in the Mediterranean 2 weeks ago on allegations of breaching UN sanctions against Syria.Iran, which says the seized tanker risked maritime safety and has opened an investigation, remained defiant.Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif said Iran's actions were taken to "uphold" international maritime rules.aljazeera
18 Indians, crew aboard seized British-operated tanker are safe: Iranian TV
Iran thanks Saudi for release of its oil tanker
Dubai:Iran said on Sunday it appreciated Saudi Arabia’s efforts in the the return of an Iranian ship that had docked at Jeddah port because of technical problems in May, the semi-official Fars news agency quoted a Foreign Ministry spokesman as saying.“Iran appreciates efforts by the authorities of Saudi Arabia, Switzerland, and Oman to secure the safe return of Iran’s Happiness 1 oil tanker,” Abbas Mousavi said.Iranian media reported in early July that Saudi Arabia - Iran’s regional rival - was not allowing the ship to leave Jeddah because of a dispute over the payment of repair costs.Reuters
Twitter suspends accounts of Iranian media outlets
Twitter has suspended the accounts of several Iranian state media outlets, citing what it said was the "coordinated and targeted harassment" of people linked to the minority Baha'i faith.The Farsi language Twitter accounts of the official IRNA, semiofficial Mehr news agency were inaccessible on Saturday.The Twitter page of Young Journalists Club(YJC), run by the state broadcaster IRIB, was also suspended. "Account suspended. Twitter suspends accounts which violate the Twitter rules," read messages on each of the accounts. Mehr and YJC said the affected accounts had been inaccessible since Friday. Labelling the move "illegal", Mehr said it had not been informed of a reason for the suspension.It suggested the move followed its coverage of Iran's seizure a British-flagged tanker in the Strait of Hormuz. aljazeera
Imran Khan not accorded due welcome after landing in US, Embassy claims US officials were present
Washington:Pakistan PM  Imran Khan’s maiden trip to US, where he is slated to meet US President Donald Trump, started on a bad note. It looked like Donald Trump administration doesn’t care much about Pakistan premier's maiden visit. Reports have emerged that not a single US official came to receive the Pakistan PM  at the airport.Khan, who had boarded a commercial flight instead of a private jet to cut down expenses, was instead received by Pakistan Foreign Minister Shah Mahmood Qureshi at the Dulles International Airport. A video shared by Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) showed the PM  deboarding the commercial flight and being received later by Qureshi and Pakistan ambassador to the US Asad M Khan. Pakistan Embassy in the US claimed that the PM was received by senior officials of the US State Department; however, no US official was seen in the video clip shared by Twitter handle.Khan arrived in Washington for his 3-day visit to meet President Donald Trump and is accompanied by Pakistan's Chief of Army Staff General Qamar Javed Bajwa, ISI DG Faiz Hameed and Advisor to PM for Commerce Abdul Razzak Dawood.During his stay Imran will also meet IMF acting chief David Lipton, World Bank President David Malpass and the US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo will call on him on Tuesday.Times Now
Several killed in attacks in Pak Dera Ismail Khan
Islamabad:At least 8 people have been killed and over 30 wounded in twin attacks in the northwestern Pakistani town of Dera Ismail Khan, according to police. Gunmen on motorcycles first attacked a police post in the west of the city, killing two policemen early on Sunday, district police chief Saleem Riaz said. 4 attackers fled the scene. Later, a female suicide bomber detonated her explosives when the policemen's bodies were brought to a Govt hospital."In addition to those killed in the [firing], two policemen and four civilians were killed in the hospital explosion," Riaz said.At least 30 people were wounded from the force of the explosion at the District Headquarters hospital, he added."About seven kilograms of explosives were used," Riaz said.aljazeera
Tunisia:Ghannouchi to stand for parliamentary poll
Rached Ghannouchi, the leader of Tunisia’s Ennahda party, will stand in the next parliamentary elections in October, a move widely seen as an attempt to seek a leadership position in the country, reported by Reuters. Ghannouchi has been a major force since Tunisia’s 2011 revolution, but he has never run for any official position. The 78-year-old remains a dominant figure who critics say effectively controls the country in tandem with the President Beji Caid Essebsi, 92, often dubbed the “two sheikhs” in reference to their age.“The decision to present Ghannouchi at the top of the party’s electoral list in Tunis, is to have leaders of parties play a more important role at this crucial stage in the history of the democratic transition in Tunisia,” Ennahda party official Imed Khmiri told Reuters.Ghannouchi’s candidacy for a parliamentary seat reinforces expectations that he is seeking to play a bigger role, possibly as PM  or speaker of parliament, if his party wins the poll.Parliamentary polls are expected to be held on 6 Oct with a presidential vote following on 17 Nov.They will be the third set of polls in which Tunisians can vote freely following the 2011 revolution.The parliamentary race is expected to be fought closely by the Ennahda party, secular Tahya Tounes party of PM  Youssef Chahed, Nidaa Tounes party led by Hafedh Caid Essebsi, the president’s son, and the Courant Democrate party. Tunisia has been hailed as the only democratic success of Arab Spring uprisings, with a new constitution, free elections and a coalition Govt with secular and moderate Islamists in a region otherwise struggling with upheaval.MEMO
UK: Hammond plans to resign as chancellor if Johnson becomes PM
Philip Hammond has told the BBC he intends to resign as chancellor if Boris Johnson becomes UK's next PM. He said a no-deal Brexit, something Johnson has left open as an option, was "not something I could ever sign up to".Asked if he thought he would be sacked next week, Hammond said he would resign on Wednesday to Theresa May.He said he intends to quit after PM 's Questions but before Mrs May steps down. Hammond said it was important the next PM and his chancellor were "closely aligned" on Brexit policy. Johnson has said the UK must leave the EU by the new Brexit deadline of 31 Oct "do or die, come what may". His leadership rival Jeremy Hunt has said a no-deal exit cannot be ruled out, but he is prepared to further delay Brexit if required to get a new withdrawal deal.BBC
Gaddafi’s PM to be released for medical care abroad
The man who served as Libya’s PM  for the final 5 years of dictator Muammar Gaddafi’s rule will be released on Saturday to receive medical treatment abroad, Libya’s justice ministry said in a statement, reported by Reuters.The authorities in Libya were no longer able to provide effective treatment for Al-Baghdadi Ali Al-Mahmoudi, who needed care of international specialists, the statement said. It gave no information about the nature of his ailment.MEMO
Mass demonstrations in Hong Kong
Thousands gathered in Hong Kong to support democracy holding a giant march to protest the bill for extradition to China and the violence of the police to the protesters on Sunday.The march, organized by the Civilian Human Rights Front, one of the largest activist groups in the region, was attended by mostly young people.Protesters shouting slogans "No to extradition to China", "Free Hong Kong", "Independent investigation to the police" and "Democracy now" reacted to Beijing administration, which they accused of intervening in Hong Kong's autonomy.At the end of the march, the activists gathered outside the police station and continued to chant slogans.Anadolu Agency
Flash: views & NEWS
History lessons for Amit Shah on Kashmir that he should have studied in school:Praveen Davar
If Vijayvargiya was wrong, what about BJP lawmakers who rail against Muslims?Humra Quraish
NIA (Amendment) Bill: ‘Why more powers to NIA when its independence under cloud’:D. Tiwary
$5 trillion economy is not an extraordinary goal: P Chidambaram
Amit Shah has mounted gameplan to trigger enough defections in RS by year-end: Coomi Kapoor
RSS in Textbooks: Contrasting Concepts of ‘Nation’ and ‘Nation Building’:RAM PUNIYANI
Humans of Assam: This farmer got rid of the ‘Bangladeshi’ tag – but it’s now back to haunt him:Arunabh Saikia
A Manipur Muslim family struggles to understand why a lynch mob thought their MBA-son was a thief:Harsh Mander
Protests in India,abroad against ‘lynching’ :Amit Sengupta
Official on NRC duty complains of overwork, rights violation

Compiled and edited by Anwarulhaq
(Released at: 7:49 PM)


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