06 August 2019

6 AUG.ND: India reacts sharply after China calls UT status for Ladakh ‘unacceptable’, advises caution on Kashmir / Lok Sabha also scraps Kashmir special status/Day-to-day hearing begins in Babri Masjid land case in SC: Nirmohi Akhara opens arguments saying no Muslim entered Ram temple since 1934; CJI says prove temple's existence

06 AUG. 2019: 04 ZilHajj 1440:Vol: 11, No:264
India reacts sharply after China calls UT status for Ladakh ‘unacceptable’, advises caution on Kashmir
China today said India should avoid “unilateral actions” in J&K that could spark tensions in the region even as it described New Delhi’s decision to reorganise Ladakh as a union territory as “unacceptable”.In a swift response, India’s external affairs ministry rejected Chinese criticism and said the proposal to form a new union territory of Ladkah was an “internal matter”. It also pointed out the two sides had agreed to maintain peace along their disputed border until a mutually acceptable solution is found to the issue. Beijing’s strong response came a day after the Govt revoked the special status of J&K and proposed splitting the state into two separate union territories of J&K and Ladakh. China hadn’t immediately responded to the move on Monday, though it was expected to do so for two reasons – its close ally Pakistan is deeply invested in Kashmir, and part of the disputed Sino-India boundary in Aksai Chin lies in Ladakh.The Chinese foreign ministry issued two separate statements in Mandarin on the issue on Tuesday.“We urge India to be cautious in its words and deeds on the border issue, strictly abide by the relevant agreements reached between the two sides, and avoid taking actions that further complicate the border issue,” said a statement published on the foreign ministry’s website, referring to protracted negotiations between the two sides on the disputed border.“China has always opposed India’s inclusion of Chinese territory in India’s administrative jurisdiction in the western part of the Sino-Indian border. This position is firm, consistent and has never changed,” the statement added in a reference to the area in Ladakh that New Delhi claims but is controlled by Beijing.“In recent days, the Indian side has continued to undermine China’s territorial sovereignty by unilaterally amending its domestic laws. This practice is unacceptable and will not produce any effect,” the statement said.In a separate statement on India revoking Kashmir’s special status and exchanges of fire between Indian and Pakistani troops on the Line of Control, the foreign ministry described the situation in the region as very tense.The statement also referred to India despatching a large number of troops to the region and said:“China is seriously concerned about the current situation in Kashmir. China’s position on the Kashmir issue is clear and consistent. This issue is a legacy of history between India and Pakistan, which is also the consensus of the international community.”It added, “The parties concerned should exercise restraint and act with caution, especially to avoid actions that unilaterally change the status quo and exacerbate the tension. We call on the two sides to peacefully resolve relevant disputes through dialogue and consultation and safeguard regional peace and stability.”Responding to China’s criticism, external affairs ministry spokesperson Raveesh Kumar said bill introduced in India’s Parliament for creating a new union territory of Ladakh was “an internal matter concerning the territory of India”.“India does not comment on internal affairs of other countries and similarly expects other countries to do likewise,” he said. Kumar noted New Delhi and Beijing had agreed to find a “fair, reasonable and mutually acceptable settlement” of the border dispute on the basis of “Political Parameters and Guiding Principles for the Settlement of India-China Boundary Question”.He added both sides had agreed to maintain peace and tranquillity in border areas till such a settlement is reached.HT
China ‘seriously concerned’ over Kashmir situation, slams move on Ladakh
When I talk about J&K, PoK, Aksai Chin are included in it: Amit Shah in Lok Sabha
Home Minister Amit Shah today asserted that PoK and Aksai Chin are part of J&K and that Kashmir Valley is an integral part of the country.“Kashmir is an integral part of India, there is no doubt over it. When I talk about J&K, Pakistan occupied Kashmir and Aksai Chin are included in it,” he said. On this, Opposition leaders said that the minister was getting “worked up”. Shah hit back saying he was “ready to die for Kashmir”. indian express
Lok Sabha also scraps Kashmir special status
The Lok Sabha today has vetted the govt’s move to immediately scrap Article 370,a provision that had extended a special status to J&K, and carve 2 union territories out of it. The two changes that would bring the state under the direct control of the Centre, govt insists, would help curb terrorism backed by Pakistan and fast track development.The resolution to end special status for J&K and the bill to split J&K into 2 centrally-administered territories were passed by more than 351 votes in favour of the motion, 72 against. Shah withdrew a third bill to extend 10% quota in jobs and education for poor to people in Kashmir, pointing that this reservation would now extend to the people in J&K automatically.HT
Process adopted by Prez to revoke special status of J&K is unconstitutional:Petition in SC
New Delhi :A petition has been moved in the Supreme Court challenging the Presidential notification on the revocation of special status to J&K under Article 370. The petitioner Advocate ML Sharma today said that the process adopted is unconstitutional. By changing the interpretation of certain terms that find mention in Article 370, Monday’s Presidential order, through Article 367, alters the interpretation of the special provision. However, the President draws the power to issue such a notification from Article 370 itself. Article 370 sub-clause 1(d) empowers the President to extend provisions of the Indian Constitution to J&K.Presidential order also requires the concurrence of the Govt of the state. However, since J&K is currently under Governor’s rule, Governor Satya Pal Malik’s concurrence is deemed to be the govnt’s concurrence.Advocate Aman Hingorani, an expert in Kashmir constitutionalism, said that since the Governor is appointed by the President, this concurrence could be held invalid.indianexpress
Experts say Govt order to end J-K autonomy could be challenged in court
Was Detained At Home, Home Minister Lying": Farooq Abdullah Breaks Down
New Delhi: National Conference patriarch Farooq Abdullah today contradicted Union Home Minister Amit Shah's comment in parliament that he has "neither been detained nor arrested". "I was detained in my house... I feel sad that Home Minister can lie like this," 81-year-old told NDTV from Srinagar.Minutes before, during the debate on the J&K Reorganisation bill in the Lok Sabha, Amit Shah had said Farooq Abdullah has neither been detained nor arrested. When Nationalist Congress Party leader Supriya Sule pointed out the veteran leader's absence, Amit Shah, who introduced the bill in the lower house, said: "He has neither been detained nor arrested. He is at home by his own will.""Why would I stay inside my house on my own will when my state is being burnt, when my people are being executed in jails? This is not the India I believe in," said Farooq Abdullah, emotionally describing his emerging to speak to reporters as a "breaking the door". Then he explained how he made it outside. "I told them (securitymen) that the home minister says I'm not detained. Who are you to detain me?""I don't know how many of my securitymen will be dismissed (because of this)," he added.The exchange in parliament came amid opposition concerns about the mainstream leaders in J&K, who have been kept in confinement since Sunday evening - hours before the Govt's move to end special status for the state.Ex-CMs Mehbooba Mufti and Omar Abdullah, who were initially placed under house arrest, were formally arrested yesterday. There has been no word from the Govt on when they would be released.Abdullah broke down while talking of the Govt's move. "How do you think one would feel when your body is being carved, the body that stood together in all odds, fought every evil unitedly...They divided regions, will they divide hearts too? Will they divide Hindus and Muslims? I thought my India was for all, everyone who believes in secular, unity," he said."It is not a small thing that we were given this state. It was not ordinary. It was given by leaders like Nehru. We will sit and take it to logical end. We won't give in," Abdullah said.Amid a huge security build-up the Govt has also effected a clampdown on internet and phone services in parts of J&K. All public meetings and rallies have also been banned."What worries me is what must be the ordinary man going through. Locked up, he may not even have medicine, food in his house,"Farooq said. "I want to leave a message for people of my state and people of India - We have been with you through thick and thin, I hope you will be with us through thick and thin and pray for return of democracy, secularism in our country," he added.NDTV
‘Not detained, Farooq Abdullah is at home,’ Amit Shah responds to MPs
Kashmir open-air prison now, Kashmiris don’t know their future: Mehbooba’s daughter
Kashmiris are being treated like animals in their own land with total restriction on their movement or communication so much so that no helpline for any emergency is there, Iltija Javed, daughter of PDP chief Mehbooba Mufti has said.“I think the entire country and the international community should know what is happening with people here and the mistreatment being meted out to them. They’re being treated like animals. They are being kept at home – they are unable to communicate or go out. In case of an emergency, there is no helpline. How can there be a helpline when all the numbers are down?” Iltija said from Srinagar.She said that her mother was first kept under house arrest with nobody beingf allowed to meet her, but later she was detained and shifted to guest house. nationalheraldindia
US media watchdog urges India to allow rnet access in Kashmir Valley, expresses alarm over ‘communication blackout’
Washington:A US-based media watchdog has urged India to ensure access to internet and communications services in Kashmir, which were suspended in the Valley as a precautionary measure to maintain law and order.  Committee to Protect Journalists expressed alarm over communication blackout in J&K."A large-scale communication disruption at such a crucial time for Kashmir is an egregious violation of citizens' rights to information from a free press," said Aliya Iftikhar, senior researcher for CPJ's Asia programme.PTI
National integration isn’t furthered by tearing apart J&K: Rahul Gandhi
With Congress leaders split on scrapping of the special status to Jammu-Kashmir, Congress MP Rahul Gandhi slammed BJP Govt saying “national integration isn’t furthered by unilaterally tearing apart J&K”.He also warned that the Govt’s move will have “grave implications for our national security”.Party leader P Chidambaram called it a “black day”. Earlier, the party’s chief whip Bhubaneshwar Kalita resigned from Rajya Sabha protesting against its stand. Another Congress Rajya Sabha MP, Abhishek Manu Singhvi  said that in “personal capacity” it was hard to oppose Centre’s move while expressing concern over the security situation in Kashmir.Outside Parliament, veteran leader Janardan Dwivedi said a “mistake” had been “rectified”. “It is not a new issue… Ever since Independence, many of the freedom fighters had been demanding that Article 370 should be removed… An Independence-era mistake has been rectified and it is a matter of national satisfaction,” he said.Jaiveer Shergill, another Congress national spokesperson, tweeted:“My personal point of view:I support abrogation of Art 370… but only in accordance with provisions & methodology provided by the Constitution of India which mandates consent of J&K state assembly…”indianexpress
Plan to approach UNSC, will fight it at every forum: Pak PM on Kashmir issue
A day after India abrogated a section of Article 370, which gives special status to J&K, Pakistan PM Imran Khan told the joint sitting of Parliament that Islamabad is considering approaching the UNSC over the Kashmir issue. The joint sitting of Pakistan Parliament was called to discuss the country’s future course of action after India revoked J&K’s special status.Khan also accused India of “planning to change the demographics of Kashmir in violation of the Geneva Convention”.“We will fight it at every forum. We’re thinking how we can take it to International Court (of Justice)… to UNSC ,”Khan said in an address to Pakistan’s parliament today.indianexpress
Pak army: Prepared to ‘go to any extent’ to help Kashmiris
Pakistan Army chief General Qamar Javed Bajwa today said his troops were “prepared and shall go to any extent to fulfil our obligations to Kashmiri people”. In a series of tweets, DG of Inter-Services Public Relations (ISPR) Major General Asif Ghafoor said Army fully supported Pakistan Govt’s “rejection of Indian actions” regarding Kashmir.“Army firmly stands by the Kashmiris in their just struggle to the very end. We are prepared and shall go to any extent to fulfil our obligations in this regard,” Pakistan Army said.It said Pakistan never recognised Article 370 or Article 35 A of the Indian Constitution. “Pakistan never recognised the sham Indian efforts to legalise its occupation of J&K through article 370 or 35-A decades ago, efforts which have now been revoked by India itself,” Ghafoor tweeted.indianexpress
Pak may shift Army from Afghan to India’s border
New Delhi: Pakistan could withdraw its army from Afghanistan border and deploy them on border with India after revoking of Article 370 in J&K, said defence sources.“It will take 3-4 days for the Pakistan army to gather their wits and make a strategy. We are keeping a close watch and ready to respond swiftly to any threat emerging from Pakistan,” said sources in the defence establishment.  The reaction from Pakistan could come as soon as Tuesday afternoon in form of ceasefire violations. According to sources there are series of meeting planned by the Pakistani establishment in the next few days.  “Pakistan could also shift its forces from Afghan and push them to our Western border. This move could put pressure on US which is trying to make a deal with Taliban,” said sources.  ASIAN AGE
Turkey expresses concern over Kashmir move
Turkey has expressed concern that India's unilateral decision to revoke Article 370 of the Constitution which grants a special status to the disputed Kashmir region is likely to increase tensions.“We are concerned that the annulment of Article 370 of the Constitution of India on 5 August 2019 which accords a special status to J&K could further increase existing tensions,” Turkish Foreign Ministry said.Turkey is ready to contribute to efforts to reduce tensions in the region if the parties agree, the statement stressed.“We sincerely hope for the resolution of the problem through dialogue and within the framework of the relevant UN resolutions by observing the legitimate interests of all people of J&K as well as Pakistan and India,” it added.Anadolu Agency
J&K bifurcation: India briefs UNSC members, Islamabad summons Delhi envoy
As foreign ambassadors reached out to the Govt for clarity on the move to scrap the special status granted to J&K under Article 370, New Delhi moved quickly to brief foreign envoys, especially the members of UNSC. Sources said that the briefing was led by Foreign Secretary Vijay Gokhale and other secretaries, who briefed the ambassadors of US, UK,France, China and Russia,among others.Some other major countries, including Germany,Canada,Japan and ASEAN countries, were also briefed.Incidentally, none of the Organisation of Islamic Cooperation countries have been briefed by Govt so far,according to sources.indianexpress
Student outfits toe respective parent party line on scrapping of Article 370
New Delhi:Student outfits toed their respective parent party''s line on the Govt''s move of revoking Article 370 of Constitution, which accorded special status to J&K, on Monday.Activists of RSS-affiliated ABVP celebrated at Delhi University after the decision and thanked the central Govt for it.Congress-affiliated NSUI did not comment on the development.CPI(ML)-backed AISA''s Delhi president Kawalpreet Kaur accused the Centre of betraying the people of Kashmir."We are ashamed of Modi Govt for failing the people of Kashmir and betraying Indian Constitution."So even today when Indian Govt betrayed the historical agreement with people of Kashmir, it doesn''t matter to many. Let us not even talk about how many were killed during the Operation Polo. Let us only hope that Kashmir survives without bloodshed," she posted on Twitter.Jayant Jigyasu, member of RJD''s student wing, said, "This decision is not of the Indian people but it fulfils the agenda of Sangh. It is unconstitutional and unwanted." In solidarity with the situation in Kashmir,Birsa Ambedkar Phule Students Association (BAPSA) cancelled its protest scheduled for Aug.7 demanding a hike in fellowship for research scholars.Labeed Shafi, president of Students Islamic Organisation of India (SIO), said scrapping Article 370 is a "slap on Indian democracy and Constitution"."The decision will sabotage Indian Democracy and is a clear violation of human rights. These provisions were included by then PM Nehru after a long negotiation with people of Kashmir,"he said.PTI
Students protest amendment to Article 370
 Shocked by decision, state will lose Muslim-majority character, say Kashmiri residents
People of Kashmir have expressed apprehensions about a new cycle of violence in the Valley, with many saying that scrapping of Article 370, which gave special status to the state, could lead to change in its Muslim-majority identity. “We are shocked by the decision and it left us disappointed because our sentiments were attached with this Article… Its scrapping means that the state will lose its Muslim-majority character,” said 50-year-old Farooq Ahmad Shah, a resident of Srinagar who was visiting Jammu.He said though the state’s ruling parties rendered the Article a mere skeleton over the last 70 years in collusion with the different Govts at the centre, its scrapping is bound to provoke the people to vent their anger. “How long they will keep us under house arrest?” asked Arshid Warsi, a man in his 20s from the Valley who was also visiting the city. Revoking Article 370 does not mean “we cannot express our resentment”, he said.A school teacher, who wished not to be named, blamed the state’s mainstream parties for the “current crisis”. “Today we feel we have lost our identity and it is very unfortunate that the Govt has taken a decision which is going to create more resentment among the masses rather than bringing peace,” she said.PTI
Sikkim wants Centre's assurance on sanctity of Article 371 providing special status
Opposition parties in Sikkim today sought an assurance from the Centre that the state's special status enshrined under Article 371(F) will not be disturbed following the revoking of provisions of Article 370 in J&K. The ruling Sikkim Krantikari Morcha leaders, however, refused to comment on this issue. Opposition Sikkim Democratic Front (SDF) and Hamro Sikkim Party (HSP) were of the view that the Article 371(F) should not be tinkered with as the situation in the two states are different. Contrary to prevalence of insurgency in J&K since 1947, Sikkim has been a peaceful state ever since it became a part of the Indian union in 1975, senior SDF leader K T Gyaltsen said. "Article 371(F) is there to stay forever as the integration of Sikkim with the Union of India is final and irrevocable," said Gyaltsen, who was the speaker of Sikkim Assembly from 2009 to 2014. Senior SDF leader, however, demanded an assurance from the Centre on the sanctity of Article 371F to soothe nerves of the people who, he said, are anxious after hearing the news of abrogation of Articles 370 and 35A. PTI
‘Don’t worry’, Nagaland Governor Ravi allays fear over removal of Article 371(A)
Newly appointed Nagaland Governor RN Ravi today assured people of the state not to worry about removal of Article 371 (A) following developments related to J&K after Centre scrapped Article 370 which granted special status to that state.Article 371(A) of the Constitution states that no Act of Parliament related to religious and social practices of Nagas, their customary law and procedure, administration of civil and criminal justice involving Naga customary law and ownership and transfer of land and resources will be applicable to the state unless the Nagaland assembly takes a decision on that through a resolution.“Some people have expressed apprehensions over the implications of the development in J&K on Nagaland. I would like to categorically assure you all that you do not have to worry at all,” Ravi said in a statement issued to the people of Nagaland.The former deputy national security advisor who was the Centre’s interlocutor for the Naga peace process took oath as Nagaland Governor on August 1.“Article 371 (A) is a solemn commitment to the people of Nagaland. It is a sacred commitment. We are earnestly working to happily conclude the ongoing political process which is at a very advanced stage,” the statement added.HT
Day-to-day hearing begins in Babri Masjid land case in SC:  Nirmohi Akhara opens arguments saying no Muslim entered Ram temple since 1934; CJI says prove temple's existence
Day one of Supreme Court hearing the case of Ram Janmabhoomi-Babri Masjid land dispute in Ayodhya concluded with petitioner Nirmohi Akhara telling the SC bench that no Muslim was allowed inside the temple since 1934 and sought the control and management of the entire 2.77 acre disputed land. The Nirmohi Akhara, one of the parties to the case, presented its case before CJI Ranjan Gogoi-led Constitutional bench and said that the structure has been in its exclusive possession.The SC, observing that the mediation efforts in the decades-old dispute had failed, took up the case for day-to-day hearings starting today.Before the arguments began, bench, comprising Justice SA Bobde, Justice DY Chandrachud, Justice Ashok Bhushan and Justice SA Nazeer, rejected the plea for recording the Ayodhya case proceedings as was sought by ex RSS ideologue KN Govindacharya.  Counsel for one of the petitioners in the case the Nirmohi Akhara presented their arguments first today."We have been fighting for this for so long because it is an issue of emotions for us," the petitioner said.Advocate Sushil Kumar Jain, appearing for the Akhara, said that "Ram Janmasthan" belonged to, had been the possession of, and was managed by the organisation. The lawyer also said that its suit in the case was basically for possession and management rights of the disputed region."Outer courtyard has always been in possession of Nirmohi Akhara, therefore suit of Akhara is limited to inner courtyard," Jain was quoted by The Leaflet as saying. He added that the saffron organisation, one of 14 akharas recognised by Akhil Bharatiya Akhara Parishad, had been occupying the inner courtyard for "hundreds of years".Staking a claim over the disputed 2.77 acres of land, Jain argued, "The place known as Ram Janmasthan was also in possession of Nirmohi Akhara." While the 5-judge Constitution bench asked questions to understand the "structure and locations" of the disputed site, the Akhara argued that its temples had been "demolished by some miscreants with no caste, or creed, or religion" on 6 Dec.1992.Nirmohi Akhara, claiming that Jhansi ki Rani was also "protected" by them after the battle of Jhansi when she "took refuge" at the temple in Ayodhya, claimed during its arguments that no Muslims were allowed to enter the structure since 1934 and it has been in exclusive possession of Akhara.He also cited judgments to back his claim that "a place cannot be considered a mosque if no prayers or namaz are offered there."However, in response,the SC cited the Allahabad's high court's order saying that before 1934, Muslims were offering regular prayers at the site.The ongoing hearing also witnessed a heated exchange of words between the bench and senior advocate Rajeev Dhavan, who is appearing for a Muslim party. While the bench was asking the counsel for Akhara to confine his arguments to the civil dispute and skip reading some written statements, Dhavan interfered and said perhaps there should not be any curtailment of arguments.At this, CJI said, "Dr Dhavan, keep the dignity of the court." Dhavan said he had only replied to some questions. Justice Chandrachud,  questioned Jain over whether the basis of the claim of Akhara to the land was possession or ownership, to which the counsel said,"Ownership because of possession."The SC, in reply said, "In any case, you have been given one-third of the disputed area in a preliminary decree by the Allahabad HC."CJI Gogoi, reading from the HC judgment just before the bench took a break for lunch, quoted the statement and said, "There is no evidence to show that there existed any temple and that there were idols in it". In response, Jain said,"My lords, structure was demolished in 1992."However,CJI countered the claim by demanding evidence from the advocate, citing the Allahabad judge's statement about there being "no evidence".The hearing concluded for day 1 to resume tomorrow .firstpost
Malegaon blast: Pragya , Purohit back NIA plea for restrain on reporting trial
Mumbai:BJP MP Pragya Singh Thakur and Lt Col Prasad Purohit, accused in 2008 Malegaon blast, filed their replies on Monday supporting NIA’s application seeking restrain on publication of trial proceedings. However, another accused, Major Ramesh Upadhyay (retd), has opposed NIA’s application stating that it is “belated, insincere”.NIA had last week sought for the proceedings in the trial to be held “in-camera”. A group of 11 journalists, including from The Indian Express, have also filed an intervention application opposing NIA’s plea to restrain the media from reporting the trial. In her application filed through lawyers JP Mishra and Prashant Maggu, Thakur has claimed that the accused have been subjected to “media trial” and have been “over-exposed” to media debates, “influencing” the opinion of the public at large including witnesses. She has further claimed there is apprehension of threat to communal harmony and “jeopardising fairness of the trial”.Purohit has also similarly cited security of witnesses claiming that many of them have “expressed apprehension to their lives at the hands of ATS officers” and “anti-national elements” to suppress the truth. Upadhyay, however, in his reply filed through advocate Sudeep Pasbola, has claimed that the case does not warrant an in-camera trial alleging that “unless NIA has something to hide, the application has no merits”. He has further claimed that the NIA has not furnished names of witnesses whose identity they need to protect or has not stated how the ends of justice would be met by not allowing journalists access to the hearing.An intervention application filed by the father of a man killed in the blast has also stated that victims are entitled to know the progress in the case and open access to the trial is as important as any aspect of a fair trial. Plea filed by journalists through advocates Rizwan Merchant and Gayatri Gokhale states that NIA had relied on section 17 of NIA Act on protection of witnesses in its plea but is “devoid of any material” to enable the trial court to conclude that the life of any witness is in danger to pass such a restrain.indian express
Jamiat meet calls for law against lynchings, moots platform to promote amity among different faiths
New Delhi: At Talkatora indoor stadium a congregation of thousands of Muslim community members gave voice to the demand for the enactment of a stringent law against mob lynching. The “Aman Aur Ekta Sammelan” saw leaders of different faiths vociferously condemn hate crimes in the name of religion or patriotism. The speakers, however, cautiously steered clear of making any public statements on the govt’s recently enacted law against triple talaq or the Centre’s decision on Kashmir. Organised by Jamiat Ulama, the congregation saw participants unanimously vow to fight against the menace of mob-lynching. JUH general secretary Mahmood Madani shared that it has been decided to establish ‘Jamiat Sadbhawana Manch’ at the district and city level to promote amity and friendship among people of different faiths, caste and creed. In a joint declaration adopted at the meet, it is stated that “various misconceptions and falsehoods tainting Islam with terrorism, radicalism and gender injustice are being spread by forces inimical to the eternal truths of our Islamic faith and heritage. Terrorism in all its forms is condemnable and against the basic tenets of Islam.” Madani said that this sadbhawana manch will be a medium to dispel these misconceptions being spread by “a small section trying to create a majoritarian perception”. Through the declaration, the community sought legislation against mob lynching providing for strict punishment to the perpetrators and police and administrative officials found negligent in fulfilling their duty. “Killing, burning, and elimination of unarmed vulnerable civilians in the name of religion or patriotism and publicising such acts on social media to terrorise the public at large as the most repugnant and abominable acts. It cannot be tolerated in any civilised society. We disown and denounce any such barbarous movements and organisations. We demand effective action against them,” it is stated. Maulana Arshad Madani appealed to the Govt to ensure a safe environment for the minorities. He warned those trying to create unrest between Hindus and Muslims by saying that “the brotherhood between the two communities is too strong and the foundation of this unity cannot be shaken by anyone.” Besides leaders from the minority community, other faith leaders too participated in the meeting including Swami Chidanand Saraswati Maharaj President of Parmarth Niketan Ashram, Acharya Lokesh Muni, Gyani Ranjeet Singh and Anil Joseph Thomas among others. TOI
Artists, historians, writers support 49 personalities in their appeal to PM Modi to stop lynchings
89 eminent personalities today joined their counterparts who had last month urged PM Narendra Modi to stop mob lynchings in the country and expressed solidarity with them.The signatories include a group of artists, economists, academics, filmmakers and writers. They include artists Vivan Sundaram, Atul Dodiya, Veer Munshi, Nalini Malani, Arpana Caur, historians Irfan Habib, Sohail Hashmi, Amar Farooqui, Atlury Murali, Arjun Dev, economists Jayati Ghosh, Vikas Rawal, CP Chandrasekhar, filmmaker Anand Patwardhan, writers Ashok Vajpeyi, Arun Kamal, Om Thanvi,Udayan Vajpeyi, Dhruv Shukla, Naresh Saxena and media personality Sashi Kumar, among others.“We the following artists, academics, theatre persons, writers and activists fully endorse dissenting voice raised by our colleagues and express solidarity with their statement that expresses concern and alarm at the increasing violence being generated against the minorities and Dalits within the nation’s politics,” their statement read.They attached the letter signed by 49 personalities that told Modi that “Jai Shri Ram” slogan had become a “provocative war cry” and reason for a number of lynchings.scroll
6 dead, 16 injured in fire in Delhi’s Zakir Nagar
New Delhi:6 people died and 16 were severely injured after a major fire broke out in South East Delhi’s Zakir Nagar area in the early hours today.A senior fire official said the five storey building caught fire after a spark in the electricity meter board. The call was made around 2.20 am after which 5 fire tenders were pressed into service. “One woman jumped from the second floor and a body was recovered from the third floor,” the official said.The fire dept said that 16 people, including 2 firemen, were injured; some of them critically. About 10-15 vehicles were also damaged in the incident, it added.thehindu
Prof Akhtar Haseeb Joins As New AMU Pro-V-C
 Professor Akhtar Haseeb, former V-C, Narendra Deva University of Agriculture and Technology, Faizabad, has been appointed as the Pro-V-C of the varsity, till further orders and in addition to his own current duties. The V-C of AMU, Professor Tariq Mansoor has appointed Professor Haseeb in his new role, according to a statement from the varsity.NDTV
Bakrid: United Shia Movement appeals against animal sacrifice on Aug 12
Bareilly:Ahead of Eid al-Adha, known as Bakrid or "festival of sacrifice", United Shia Movement has urged people to not sacrifice animals on August 12, which falls on the last Monday of Sawan."Last somvar (Monday) of sawan also falls on same day, there are many people who go to temples. So, we have appealed to people to not conduct animal sacrifice on August 12 and only do namaaz. Sacrifice can be done next day," said KH Naqvi, General Secretary, United Shia Movement.Earlier Imam Maulana Khalid Rasheed Firangi Mahali, had requested Muslims to sacrifice only those animals, whose slaughter is permitted by the govt.ANI
Kashmir issue and US-China trade war dent rupee to biggest fall in 6 years
Impact of US-China trade war along with domestic political factors led the Indian rupee to its biggest fall since Sept. 2013 on Monday.Global cues, such as a rise in protectionist measures along with a massive fall in the Chinese Yuan and other emerging markets (EMs) currencies, dented the Indian rupee.Additionally, the abrogation of Article 370 which provided special status to J&K, spooked foreign investors, further impacting the rupee. Rupee weakened to 70.7350 per US dollar from its previous close of 69.6013.The currency had opened at 70.06 to a greenback. It ranged, thereafter, between 70.06-70.7350 to a dollar.IANS
UN calls for sanctions, arms embargo against Myanmar army
Yangon: A week after his soldiers began storming villages in Myanmar's Rakhine state, slaughtering thousands as they burned people alive in their homes and raped women and children, the country's military chief invited local businesses to a donation ceremony to support the bloody campaign.The Sept.2017 ceremony, where senior general Min Aung Hlaing raised over $1.4m, is just one example of how the Myanmar military has exploited a large network of business ties to fund "brutal operations against ethnic groups", a United Nations fact-finding mission said in a report published on Monday. In the 111-page report, the panel of three legal experts called on the international community to sever all ties with the Tatmadaw, as the military is known locally, urging financial sanctions, an arms embargo and a consumer boycott.It follows a report last year by the mission that called for Min Aung Hlaing and other senior military officials to be prosecuted for genocide for their role in the brutal 2017 crackdown, which forced more than 730,000 Rohingya to flee to Bangladesh. The military has vehemently denied any wrongdoing and describes its actions as legitimate "clearance operations" in response to attacks on border posts by Rohingya armed groups it says are "terrorists". A military representative did not answer several phone calls seeking comment on the latest report.The report offers a guide for anyone looking to hit the generals in their pockets by trying "to map as comprehensively as we've been able to the economic activities of the military," Christopher Sidoti, a member of the panel and an international human rights lawyer, told Al Jazeera.aljazeera
Differences resolved on US troop withdrawal:Taliban
US and the Taliban have resolved differences in peace talks over US troop withdrawal from Afghanistan, as well as over insurgent guarantees on cutting ties with other extremist groups, a Taliban official said today.The development came during US-Taliban talks over the past two days in the Gulf Arab state of Qatar, where the Taliban maintain a political office.US side did not immediately confirm or provide details of what was resolved but the US envoy reported “excellent progress” in the talks. The Taliban official spoke on condition of anonymity because he was not authorized to discuss details of the negotiations.Technical teams from the 2 sides were continuing discussions on Tuesday in Doha. US peace envoy Zalmay Khalilzad has made intra-Afghan talks and a permanent cease-fire among his priorities in the negotiations. Khalilizad said in a Twitter post overnight that “we have made excellent progress” in the discussions.US and the Taliban now appear to be closing in on an agreement under which US forces would withdraw in exchange for guarantees that Afghanistan would not become a haven for other terrorist groups. Khalilzad has said he is hoping for a final agreement by Sept.1, which would allow the withdrawal of US and NATO troops. AP
China vows to counter US deployment of intermediate-range missiles in Asia
China today said that it “will not stand idly by” and will take countermeasures if US deploys intermediate-range missiles in Asia-Pacific region, which Washington has said it plans to do within months. The statement from the director of foreign ministry’s Arms Control Department, Fu Cong, follows US’s withdrawal last week from the Intermediate-Range Nuclear Forces Treaty, a move Fu said would have a “direct negative impact on the global strategic stability” as well as security in Europe and the Asia-Pacific region.Fu said China was particularly concerned about announced plans to develop and test a land-based intermediate-range missile in Asia-Pacific “sooner rather than later,” in words of one US official.AP
UK joins US-led security mission in Strait of Hormuz
UK  has joined the US in a maritime security mission to protect shipping lanes in the strategic Strait of Hormuz after Iran's seizure of merchant vessels in recent weeks.While British officials stressed on Monday that there was no change to London's policy on Iran, they said joining the US is the most significant non-Brexit foreign policy move to date of the newly-appointed PM, Boris Johnson.Just two weeks ago, Britain was calling for a European-led naval mission. Now, it has joined what it said was a US-led "international maritime security mission".No other countries are yet involved. aljazeera
Unacceptable:US warns Turkey of operation in Syria
US has warned that any Turkish operation in northern Syria would be "unacceptable" and vowed to step up talks to prevent unilateral incursions, as tensions between Washington and Ankara simmer.On Sunday, President Recep Erdogan said Turkey, which already has a foothold in northwest Syria, will carry out a military operation in a Kurdish-controlled area east of the Euphrates in northern Syria against US-backed Kurdish YPG that Ankara views as a terrorist group. "Clearly we believe any unilateral action by them [Turkey] would be unacceptable,"US defence secretary Mark Esper said in Tokyo."And so what we are trying to do now is work out with them an arrangement to address their concerns and I'm hopeful we'll get there," said Esper.Erdogan has threatened an imminent attack in the northeast and he renewed that pledge today. aljazeera
Almost all masjids, graveyards of Greece’s Kos island ruined: Association
Ankara:A Turkish cultural association has said that almost all mosques and graveyards on Greece’s Kos (Istankoy) island were “ruined” and closed to worship. Rhodes, Kos and Dodecanese Turks Culture and Solidarity Association urged Greece to respect the freedom of religion of the Kos Turkish community prior to the Eid-al Adha.The organization’s president, Mustafa Kaymakçı, said in a written statement that the Algerian Gazi Hasan Pasha (Lonca) Mosque has yet to be repaired following a 2017 earthquake that damaged the structure.Founded by Turks who migrated from Rhodes and Kos to Turkey, the association is based in the western province of Izmir on the Turkish Aegean coast. Kaymakçı said that shops under the mosque - which were owned by the Kos Muslim Foundation Properties Management - were also damaged.He underlined that another mosque in Germe village on the island was damaged due to earthquake. However, the restoration of the mosque was not permitted with local Muslims forced to use its courtyard for their daily prayers. Anadolu
Egypt blames Cairo attack on Brotherhood offshoot
Egyptian Govt has blamed the Hasm group for carrying out a terrorist attack at Cairo’s main cancer hospital after an explosion on Sunday night killed 20 people and injured 47.The Interior Ministry has said the explosion occurred after a speeding car travelling against the traffic filled with explosives collided with three other cars outside National Cancer Institute. President Abdel Fattah Al-Sisi has said that Egypt will defeat “brutal terrorism” and “pull out terrorism by the roots.” Authorities have now accused the Hasm group, which they say is a wing of the Muslim Brotherhood, and have announced the arrest of one member.Most political prisoners in Egypt are blamed for part of the Muslim Brotherhood, whether they are or not. The organisation was made illegal in 2013.The Egyptian Govt has been criticised for having a disproportionate reaction to terror attacks and carrying out severe human rights abuses across the country in the name of the war on terror.MEMO
Israel’s right-wing sign pledge to annex 60%of WB
Candidates of several Israeli right wing parties signed a document agreeing to annex 60 % of the occupied West Bank – Area C, Quds Press reported.Israel’s Public Broadcaster reported the document saying: “Israel is a national home for Jews, guarantees individual rights and equality among all citizens, opposes the creation of a Palestinian state and imposes sovereignty over Judea and Samaria [West Bank].”Area C covers 60 % of the occupied West Bank and was designated as such by the Oslo Accords. It is under full Israeli military and administrative control. There are a number of illegal Jewish only settlements located in the area and Israel has been working to increase the number of settlers in the West Bank.Israeli authorities are set to advance more than 2,400 settlement housing units this week, in parallel to granting retroactive approval to four unauthorised settlement outposts, according to settlement watchdog Peace Now.MEMO
Senior Hamas founder Hamdan dies at age 80
Hamas has announced the death of one of its founders Ahmed Nimer Hamdan from the southern Gaza city of Khan Yunis.80-year-old Hamdan died after a long battle with cancer, Hamas said, noting that he remained committed to the principles of the movement until the last day of his life.“Hamdan was a symbol of courage and a responsible leader all of his life,” the movement’s head Ismail Haniyeh said during the funeral.“He faced all the difficulties with high responsibility and spent many years in prison and was expelled to south Lebanon in 1992 along with over 400 Hamas leaders and members and about 15 Islamic Jihad officials,” Hamas said in a statement..MEMO
Church says evidence proves corruption in settler takeover of Jerusalem properties
Greek Orthodox Patriarchate in Jerusalem filed a suit in an Israeli court “seeking to overturn a court ruling that three strategically placed properties in Old City of Jerusalem had been legally sold by the church to Ateret Cohanim”, Haaretz said.The suit claims “new evidence shows that the sale of the properties was tainted by corruption on part of representatives of Ateret Cohanim” – which works to boost the settler presence in occupied East Jerusalem – and that its “conduct was tantamount to that of a criminal organisation”. The new legal action seeks to have a district court verdict reopened in light of the new evidence, following a June decision by the Israeli Supreme Court which confirmed the earlier ruling.MEMO     
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Centre has failed Kashmiris who believed in the Constitution, stood by India: Imad-ul Riyaz
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Has Central Govt Taken Custody of Kashmir Mosques?thequint
Sheikh Abdullah, Ayyangar, Sardar Patel: How Article 370 was negotiated, debated:Seema Chishti
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J&K bifurcation: All laws will now apply — from property purchase to IPC
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Constitution Torn to Shreds as RSS Indulges Article 370 Fantasy in Kashmir:Siddharth Varadarajan
Compiled and edited by Anwarulhaq,(Released at: 5:01 PM)


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