Thursday, 8 August 2019

8 AUG.ND: Kashmir: India’s ‘draconian’ blackout sets worrying precedent, warns UN/ India asks Pak to review downgrading of ties; Pakistan to review downgrading of diplomatic ties if India reconsiders Kashmir move: Pak Foreign Minister


NEWS DIGEST, EVENING 
08 AUG. 2019: 06 ZilHajj 1440:Vol: 11, No:266
INDIA: J&K ISSUE
 India’s ‘draconian’ blackout sets worrying precedent, warns UN
UN’s special rapporteur on freedom of expression has said unprecedented communications blackout imposed on Kashmir could signal a departure in the way democratic states clamp down on information in contentious areas,David Kaye said:“There’s something about this shutdown that is draconian in a way other shutdowns usually are not.”Kaye said that, globally, communication blackouts tended to be focused on internet or mobile phone coverage.He pointed to the suspension of internet access during the school exam period in countries such as Iraq, Ethiopia and Uganda, which Govts said were an effort to stop cheating.UN rapporteur for freedom of expression added: “I can’t say this hasn’t happened before– but I can’t recall a situation were there has been a total blackout of not only the two-way multi-point communication systems that we are familiar with now–anything on internet, WhatsApp, etc – but also the one-direction communications like TV. “That’s pretty extensive and one of my concerns would be – in part because this is happening in a democratic state– it could be seen as a new departure for many states that are thinking about how to clamp down on the flow of information.”He said it was hard to identify a set of circumstances where a country shutting down access to the internet, especially for an extensive period of time, was legal under international law.A spokesperson for UN office for human rights added:“We are deeply concerned that latest restrictions in Kashmir will exacerbate human rights situation in the region.” theguardian / AFP
Kashmir : UN 'deeply concerned' over restrictions
Contacts are being made at various levels with India, Pakistan: UN SG spokesperson
UN and its leadership is in contact with India and Pakistan at “various levels”,with Secretary General Antonio Guterres reiterating his appeal to all parties involved to exercise maximum restraint amidst tensions over Kashmir, UN chief’s spokesperson has said.The spokesperson was responding to a question as to why Secretary General is reluctant to take on the issue of India and Pakistan.“Look, there is no reluctance on the part of the Secretary General. We are very well aware and following the situation with a lot of concern. Contacts are being had at various levels, and we urge all of the parties involved to exercise maximum restraint,” Spokesman for Secretary-General, Stephane Dujarric said at the daily press briefing here.When asked again why wouldn’t Guterres engage with the leaders of India and Pakistan,Dujarric said, “I understand. I’ll refer you to my last answer I just gave you.In response to another question, Dujarric confirmed that the UN has received a letter from Pakistan Foreign Minister Shah Mahmood Qureshi, who wrote to world body on Kashmir issue.“It was received. It will be circulated as a document of Security Council, as requested, and we’re obviously studying very closely the content of letter.” Responding to questions on the situation in Kashmir, Monica Grayley, spokeswoman for President of UN General Assembly(PGA) Maria Fernanda Espinosa, said PGA is currently travelling and is following the situation “as she can” on her trip. “She is looking forward to be briefed by Secretary General when she returns to New York.PTI
India did not consult or inform on scrapping J&K's special status:US official
There is an “urgent need” for dialogue among all actors to reduce tensions and to avoid a potential military escalation in South Asia, US said, hours after Pakistan expelled the Indian envoy and downgraded its diplomatic ties. “There is urgent need for dialogue among all actors to reduce tensions and to avoid the potential for military escalation,” a senior Trump Administration official told PTI in response to a question on the developments in South Asia. The official also said that the Indian Govt “did not consult or inform the US Govt before moving to revoke J&K’s special constitutional status.”“US would welcome improved relations between India and Pakistan, and we will continue to support efforts that reduce tensions and create an environment conducive for a direct dialogue between India and Pakistan,” official said on condition of anonymity.“US calls for calm and restraint on all sides, noting the history of violence and conflict in the region,” the official added.PTI
‘J&K situation is serious’: UK PM Boris Johnson
UK PM Boris Johnson has described the situation in J&K as “serious”,while foreign secretary Dominic Raab spoke to external affairs minister S Jaishankar and conveyed London’s concerns over the developments.A Downing Street spokesperson said Johnson discussed the situation during a telephone conversation with Pakistan PM Imran Khan. “PM received a call from PM Imran Khan of Pakistan to congratulate him on his new role. The leaders discussed the serious situation in Kashmir and agreed on the importance of maintaining dialogue. And they underlined their continued commitment to the bilateral relationship between UK and Pakistan,” the spokesperson added.HT
 UK Expresses Concern, Reiterates Call for Calm
 India asks Pak to review downgrading of ties
Pakistan should review its decision to downgrade ties with India and suspend trade, Ministry of External Affairs  said today after Islamabad declared that Indian envoy would be asked to return. Pakistani actions were aimed at presenting an “alarmist picture to the world.”An MEA statement maintained that the ending of special status to J&K was an internal affair of India and was aimed at bringing developmental opportunities to the people there.Pakistan exploited the lack of developmental opportunities to generate disaffections and “to justify its cross-border terrorism.”“Govt of India regrets the steps announced by Pakistan yesterday and would urge that country to review them so that normal channels of communications are preserved,”it said.“Recent developments pertaining to Article 370 are entirely the internal affair of India. The Constitution of India was, is and will always be a sovereign matter. Seeking to interfere in that jurisdiction by invoking an alarmist vision of the region will never succeed,” it  said. thehindu
Pakistan to review downgrading of diplomatic ties if India reconsiders Kashmir move: Foreign Minister
Pakistan today agreed to review the downgrading of diplomatic ties with India only if New Delhi decided to reconsider its move regarding Kashmir. Earlier today, New Delhi expressed regret over Pak move and urged Islamabad to review its decision so that “normal channels for diplomatic communications are preserved.” “Are they ready to review their decisions? If they do, we can also review our decisions. Review will be on both sides. That is what Simla (agreement) says, PTI quoted Pakistan Foreign Minister Shah Mehmood Qureshi. Qureshi said that Pakistan is not looking at military action, adding,“Don’t we reserve a right to respond in case of any aggression,” Reuters reported. He also said Pakistan will legally examine Simla pact.indianexpress
Pak suspends Samjhauta train service, bans films
In a move that is likely to further inflame tensions between India and Pakistan,Islamabad today announced it was suspending the bi-weekly Samjhauta train service connecting Lahore and Delhi.Pakistan’s minister for railways, Sheikh Rashid Ahmad, said the service will remain suspended indefinitely. Rasheed said the bogies of Samjhauta Express will now be used for passengers travelling on the occasion of Eid.News reports from Pakistan also said Indian films will not be allowed to screen in cinemas. Geo English quoted Dr Firdous Ashiq Awan, Special Assistant to Pakistan PM on I&B, as saying:“No Indian movie to be screened in Pakistani cinemas.”Meanwhile, Samjhauta Express was stopped by Pakistan at Wagah border, briefly leaving passengers stranded. Pakistan authorities stopped the train from entering into India citing security concerns to its crew. Around 110 passengers were travelling from Lahore to Delhi, a spokesperson of Northern Railways said. PTI
Work on Kartarpur to continue as planned: Pak
Work on Kartarpur Corridor would continue as planned, said Pakistan after it made the unilateral decision to downgrade diplomatic ties with India in the wake of PM Modi-led Govt abrogating Article 370.The announcement was made by the Pakistani Foreign Office today.ANI
‘No talks’, says Pak on Jadhav, rejects demand of unimpeded consular access
Pakistan has turned down India’s demand for “unimpeded consular access” to ex Indian naval officer Kulbhushan Jadhav, who is on a death row, over the suspension of bilateral ties.Pakistani sources said that talks on consular access for Jadhav “have ended as of now”.Pakistan had earlier allowed access with conditions that its officials will be present during the meeting, which will also be recorded.India had rejected Pakistan’s offer for consular access to Jadhav in its current form and officials said that New Delhi has asked Islamabad to provide “unimpeded” contact with the Indian national on death row.In response to Islamabad’s conditional offer of consular access that was conveyed last week, Indian Govt asked Pakistani side last Thursday to provide “unimpeded consular access” to Jadhav “in an environment free from the fear of intimidation and reprisal”.The access should also be “in light of the orders of International Court of Justice (ICJ)”, official added. HT
Chinese envoy to Pakistan calls Kashmir ‘internationally recognised disputed territory’
China's Ambassador to Pakistan Yao Jing has said that J&K was an "internationally recognized disputed territory", and criticised Indian Govt for unilaterally revoking its special status.Yao, speaking to journalists, also stressed on need for compliance with international laws and hoped that both Pakistan and India would "take a suitable decision for the betterment of the Kashmiri people", Ary News reported.Yao said that de-escalating tension between Islamabad and New Delhi would be beneficial for the entire region.He said that being a permanent member of UNSC, China had special responsibilities in connection with restoration of peace and stability in the region.IANS
PM Modi to address nation today at 8 pm, expected to talk about Article 370
New Delhi:PM Narendra Modi will address the nation today at 8 pm during which he is expected to talk about govt’s decisions on modifying Article 370.On Wednesday, as Union Cabinet proceeded to approve a proposal to honour BJP’s oldest ideological commitment of stripping J&K of its special status, PM Modi advised his ministerial colleagues that there is no room for triumphalism and reminded them that it’s now that the heavy-lifting begins, sources said.“It is a big day for the country. We should demonstrate foresight and statesmanship to take everyone along on this,” said a source about Modi’s message to the Cabinet on the morning of August 5 while approving Home Minister Amit Shah’s proposal to strip J&K of its special status and bifurcate state into 2 Union Territories. indian express
SC refuses urgent hearing of plea challenging withdrawal of J&K’s special status
The Supreme Court today refused to urgently hear a petition challenging the Presidential order on Article 370 of the Constitution, PTI reported. The plea was filed on Tuesday by advocate ML Sharma, who claimed that the Presidential order was illegal as it was passed without taking consent from the J&K Assembly.The top court also did not hear urgently another petition filed earlier on Thursday against the decision to impose stringent restrictions in J&K after provisions of Article 370 were repealed. Justice NV Ramana asked petitioner, Tehseen Poonawalla, to mention it before CJI Ranjan Gogoi. During the hearing of his petition, Sharma said the matter was urgent as Pakistan might take it to the United Nations and then “we will lose Kashmir forever”, Bar and Bench reported. Ramana rejected his request, asking, “Can UN stay Indian Constitution’s amendment?”The court told Sharma that his plea would be heard in due course.In the other plea, Poonawalla sought withdrawal of curfew, restrictions and other measures such as blocking of communication services in Kashmir. He also requested a direction from the Supreme Court to release political leaders of J&K, including former CMs Omar Abdullah and Mehbooba Mufti. He sought the appointment of a judicial commission to look into the ground realities of the region. Poonawalla clarified that he was in favour of “wateringdown of Article 370” and the application of the Constitution. scroll.in
Has muscular nationalism resolved any conflict in world, asks Chidambaram
New Delhi:Senior Congress leader and former home minister P Chidambaram on Thursday attacked the Govt over its actions on J&K, asking if "muscular nationalism" has resolved any conflict in the world. Chidambaram also cited ex civil servant Shah Faesal's comments on the issue to hit out at Govt." He has called the Govt's actions on J&K as 'the biggest betrayal'," Chidambaram said in a series of tweets.If Shah Faesal thinks so, imagine what millions of ordinary people of J&K think, he said."Has 'muscular nationalism' resolved any conflict anywhere in the world?" Chidambaram asked.PTI
Is J&K underdeveloped as stated by Amit Shah?
Union Home Minister Amit Shah has linked poor healthcare, poverty, lack of doctors and slow economic growth in J&K to amendment to Article 370. However, a look at how the State, now bifurcated into Union Territories, compares with other States in key indicators suggests that these concerns are exaggerated.J&K ranked third out of 22 States in terms of life expectancy. The former State had an average life expectancy of 73.5 between 2012-16. Kerala had the highest life expectancy of 75.1, while UP had the lowest (64.8). The national average was 68.7.3,060 persons were served by one Govt doctor in J&K in 2018. Only 6 States have had lesser people served by one doctor.The best State was Delhi (2,203 people per govt doctor) while the worst State was Bihar (28,391 persons served by one govt doctor).J&K was placed 21st for rural unemployment rate in 2011-12. Out of every 1,000 people, 25 were unemployed in rural areas of J&K. The best State was Gujarat (3 out of every 1000 people were unemployed) while Nagaland was the worst (151 were unemployed out of every 1000 people). The national average was 17.J&K stood eighth in terms of poverty rate (10.35)%. Goa had the lowest poverty rate of 5.09%, while Chhattisgarh had the highest poverty rate of 39.93%. The national average was 21.92%. The former State had an infant mortality rate (IMR) of 24 and was placed 10th in the country in 2016. Goa had the lowest IMR (8 infant deaths per 1000) while Madhya Pradesh had the highest (47 infant deaths per 1000). The national average for IMR was 31.In 2016-17, J&K had per capita net State GDP of ₹62,145. Goa was the top-ranked State (₹3,08,823) while Bihar (₹25,950) was the lowest ranked State.In 2017, J&K’s Human Development Index (HDI) was 0.68, higher than even States like Andhra Pradesh and Gujarat. Kerala had the highest HDI (0.77) while Bihar had the least (0.57). HDI is a composite index of life expectancy, education, and per capita income indicators.thehindu
Security tightened in AMU ahead of tentative debate on Kashmir issue
Following speculations of a debate being organised in AMU on Kashmir issue, district administration beefed up security around the campus to avoid any untoward incident.Sharing details of the development, Civil Lines CO Anil Samanya said, "Through social media we had received information that some AMU students were going to have a debate on Kashmir issue and scrapping of Article 370.He also informed that one company of RAF, civil police and PAC have been deployed to ensure there is no law and order problem.ANI
Kashmir like a concentration camp:Adhir Ranjan
New Delhi:Congress leader in Lok Sabha, Adhir Ranjan Chowdhury, today compared the prevailing situation in J&K with that of infamous concentration camps. Questioning Govt's approach on the issue, Chowdhury said PM Narendra Modi was not living up to his theory of embracing Kashmiris instead of controlling them with muscle power. "PM had announced from Red Fort that we will take Kashmiris forward not with bullets but by embracing them. But today, the situation in Kashmir is similar to that of a concentration camp. There is no mobile or internet connection. Amarnath pilgrimage was curtailed despite heavy security presence. What is happening there?" he told ANI. ANI
Muslim activists hold protest over scrapping of special status to J&K outside Indian Embassy in US
Washington: Muslim rights activists, including members of Pakistani-American community, held demonstrations outside the Indian Embassy in Washington to protest against the scrapping of special status to J&K. Accusing India of human rights violations in Kashmir, protestors on Tuesday sought the intervention of US President Donald Trump and UN to solve the vexed issue.They raised slogans against India and PM Narendra Modi.People of Kashmir “deserve independence, deserve their rights and deserve justice,”Nihad Awad, national executive director of Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR), said outside Indian Embassy in Washington. “There is a humanitarian crisis brewing in the Kashmir valley. The State Department should urge the Indian Govt to immediately reinstate the protected status, lift the siege, and enter into peaceful negotiations," said Awad. CAIR is one of the largest Muslim civil rights and advocacy organization in US.The protest was organized by Chicago-based Sound Vision, which claims to be the pioneering Muslim-media organization of North America. Members of other Muslim organizations, including the Islamic Leadership Institute of America,Burma Task Force which is working among Rohingya Muslims, and those representing Palestine groups, also participated in demonstration. Separatist Kashmiri leader Ghulam Nabi Fai has announced to hold a large protest rally against India in front of Indian Embassy and the White House on Saturday. Muslim activists also held demonstration outside the Indian Consulate in Chicago.PTI
Govt releases helpline numbers for residents outside J&K, special trains announced
New Delhi: Govt today released 2 helpline numbers for residents and students outside J&K to contact their families back home. DM of Kashmir Shahid Choudhary tweeted out two numbers — 9419028242, 9419028251 — for residents living outside the state to contact their relatives back home.DM said, “Families back home are also using these lines to reach out.”Kashmir has been on lockdown since Sunday and all communication services in the region were blocked on Tuesday, including cellular network, landline, mobile internet, and broadband connectivity.Special trains and extra coaches have also been announced for workers, including those returning home on occasion of Eid, from Udhampur. For people’s assistance on the availability of trains, a helpline number has been setup — 9797532910.indianexpress
Social media under surveillance: Action to be taken for disseminating misleading information
New Delhi: Union home ministry has asked central law enforcement agencies to monitor social media platforms and identify those spreading rumours or hateful content online in the aftermath of Govt’s decision to scrap J&K’s special status.Sources said the ministry was also keeping an eye on social media content critical of the decision to split the state into 2 Union Territories.“Legal action will be taken against people who are found spreading rumours, hateful content or disseminating misleading information on social media against Kashmiris. Such rumour mongering impacts harmony and public order,” an official said.The agencies, he said, have been asked to keep a tab on people circulating false narrative on social media that might lead to violence in the Valley.“Social media posts designed to create a false narrative against the govt’s decisions are also being closely monitored,” official said.The agencies, sources said, are monitoring Twitter, Facebook and other social media platforms to identify people posting provocative messages against the Govt as well as Kashmiris.“The agencies will be analysing and collecting content from these social media platforms and compiling digital dossiers that would track people’s networks and associations,” IB official said. telegraph india
Danish Ali removed as floor leader of BSP in LS for refusing to toe party line on J&K
New Delhi: BSP chief Mayawati dropped Amroha MP Danish Ali as the party’s floor leader in Lok Sabha on Wednesday, a day after his refusal to toe the party line on the abrogation of Article 370 in House. Sources told TOI that after Ali, who differed with the party’s line on the issue, decided not to speak, BSP’s view was presented by Girish Chandra, also the party’s chief whip. BSP supported Govt’s move to void Article 370 on grounds that BR Ambedkar had also opposed its inclusion in the Indian Constitution when it was first drafted. Ali has been replaced with retired bureaucract and Jaunpur MP Shyam Singh Yadav. Besides replacing Ali, which followed a meeting of the party MPs in the capital, Mayawati also appointed first-time MP Ritesh Pandey as deputy floor leader of BSP in Lok Sabha. TOI
Under arrest, Mehbooba Mufti sends message to PDP MPs: quit Rajya Sabha
New Delhi :Former J&K CM Mehbooba Mufti was moved from Hari Niwas guesthouse to Cheshma Shahi guesthouse, after she was able to send out a message asking her 2 MPs to resign from Rajya Sabha. PDP chief, along with National Conference leader Omar Abdullah, was arrested hours after Govt scrapped the special status granted to J&K.PDP, which was in alliance with the BJP till latter withdrew support in June 2018, has two members in Rajya Sabha — Mir Fayaz and Nazir Ahmed Laway. When Amit Shah had tabled the Bill to bifurcate J&K into 2 Union Territories last Monday, MM Fayaz had torn his kurta and then along with Nazir Ahmad Laway tore copies of the Constitution, prompting the Rajya Sabha Chairman Venkaiah Naidu to order that they be physically removed.indianexpress
OTHERS 
Babri Masjid land case: SC asks how birth place can be made party to land dispute
The Supreme Court today asked 'Ram Lalla Virajman', one of the parties in the politically sensitive Ram Janmabhoomi-Babri Masjid land dispute at Ayodhya, as to how the birth place of the deity can be regarded as a "juristic person" having stakes in the case.  The SC, which was hearing the case on the third day, said that so far as Hindu deities are concerned, they have been treated as juristic person in law which can hold properties and institute a litigation.A 5-judge Constitution bench headed by Chief Justice Ranjan Gogoi, however, asked senior advocate K Parasaran, appearing for 'Ram Lalla Virajman', as to how 'Janamsthanam' (birth place) can file a suit in this matter as a party. "Whether the birth place can be held to be a juristic person. So far as idols of deities are concerned, they had been held to be a juristic person," said the bench, also comprising Justices SA Bobde, DY Chandrachud, Ashok Bhushan and S A Nazeer. Responding to the query, Parasaran told the bench, "In Hindu religion, idols are not necessary for a place to be regarded as a holy place of worship.... Rivers and Sun are also worshipped in Hinduism and birth place in itself can be treated as a juristic person." The law suit filed by the deity in the Ayodhya case has also made the birth place of Lord Ram as one of the parties. The bench then referred to a judgement of the Uttarakhand High Court in which holy river Ganga was held to be a juristic entity entitled to pursue the litigation. "The HC has said that the rivers are also juristic entities capable of being a party in the case," the bench observed. The bench then asked Parasaran to proceed with his submissions on other issues. Parasaran alleged that the deity 'Ram Lalla Virajaman' was not made a party when the magistrate had attached the disputed site and when the civil court granted injunction by appointing receiver in the case. At the outset, senior advocate Rajeev Dhavan, appearing for a Muslim party, said that 2 separate law suits filed by 'Ram Lalla Virajman' and 'Nirmohi Akhara' respectively are at "loggerheads" of each other and if one is allowed then other goes automatically. He suggested that Muslim party can be asked to advance submissions in either of the law suits as only can be allowed legally. PTI
Can Janmasthan be living entity subject to law?SC
Celebrate Independence Day with pomp and gaiety: UP govt to madrasas
UP Board of Madrasa Education has issued an advisory to all madrasas – Islamic academic institutions – in the state to celebrate Independence Day with traditional fervour and also pay tributes to martyrs and acquaint students with contribution of freedom fighters. There are 16,461 madrasas in UP.“You should direct all madrasas in your divisions and districts to celebrate Independence Day with traditional pomp and gaiety,” said a letter sent by the board’s registrar SN Pandey to all deputy directors of minority department and district minority welfare officers yesterday.The letter advised them to promote good quality programmes and also send their report to the board. Besides flag hoisting and singing of the national anthem, letter asked them to pay tributes to martyrs, highlight importance of I-D, presentation of national song by madrasa students, giving information about freedom struggle and its background and acquainting students with lives of freedom fighters.Tree plantation by students, cultural programmes on national integration and sport activities should also be held, it said. When asked about move, Teachers’ Association Madaris Arabia President Diwan Sahan Zaman said that there is nothing new in this.PTI
Urdu, Persian tough to understand, why use it in FIR, asks Delhi HC
Delhi High Court today directed Delhi Police Commissioner to explain why Urdu or Persian words are used in an FIR when the same are not used by the complainant.Observing that FIR is not for comprehension of the police, but for the accused and others involved, a bench of Chief Justice DN Patel and Justice C Hari Shankar said simple language should be used instead of “high sounding” and “bombastic” words. Referring to Urdu and Persian words used in FIR, the bench sought an explanation from Police Commissioner on “whether these words are of the complainant or the police”.“Why they (police) use words which are not spoken by the complainant. In fact, FIR should be in words of the complainant. Too much flowery language is not needed, the meaning of which has to be discerned from a dictionary… FIR is for the public at large. It should not be something for which one has to do a doctorate in Sanskrit, Urdu or Persian,” the bench said.It said that the police should use simple language, instead of high sounding words and also asked the Police Commissioner to file an affidavit explaining the reason for the usage of such words by the next date of hearing, Nov.25.Delhi Govt additional standing counsel Naushad Ahmed Khan, appearing for the police, said the Urdu and Persian words used in FIRs can be understood by making a little effort. indian express
Not worth our time: Supreme Court on revelation of NRC data in Assam assembly
The Supreme Court today said it would not interfere with revelation of National Register of Citizens (NRC) data in the Assam state Assembly. “Our actions and decisions are discussed every moment. We don’t think it’s worth our time…What we want is NRC out in scheduled time,” the top court said.The court’s statement comes after the Assam Govt, earlier this month, had revealed district-wise data regarding exclusion from draft NRC, published last year to the state Assembly. The final NRC is scheduled to be published on Aug. 31. This action of the state Govt had gone against the apex court’s last year order, on August 16, when the bench had asked NRC state coordinator Prateek Hajela “to file in Court, in a sealed cover, percentage of the population in each district (district-wise) who have been left out of the final draft NRC.”The state Govt had said in districts close to the Bangladesh border — where the share of Muslims in the population is high —exclusion percentage was lower, while in other districts it was comparatively higher.Govt used this data to argue that NRC process was flawed and several BJP MLAs slammed the court-mandated coordinator Prateek Hajela.indianexpress
Difficult Bakrid ahead for Mumbaikars: HC bans slaughter of goats and sheep inside flats, houses
The High Court of Bombay has banned the slaughter of sheep and goats in flats and homes during celebration of Eid-ul-Adha or Bakrid.The division bench of HC comprising of Justice Satyaranjan Dharmadhikari and Justice Gautam Patel restricted the Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC) from giving permissions for slaughter inside flats and houses.HC bench further asked the corporation to give permission for slaughtering animals in housing societies, but with a rider that approval should not be granted if the housing society is located within one kilometre distance from a community space for slaughtering, including a religious slaughtering space.According to TOI report,"In our view, requirements of public safety, hygiene and sanitation makes it impossible to accept any policy that permits slaughtering inside individual flats. In a city that is as densely crowded and congested as Mumbai and where typical residential apartments are small, we do not believe it is possible to make effective arrangements for human, hygienic and safe methods of sacrificial slaughter within a residential flat. Many of these flats are homes for the very old or the very young (or both). We believe these concerns override all others," said the judges.High Court has asked the corporation to "strictly and stringently maintain all applicable safety, hygienic and public safety norms and requirements and to move expeditiously against all violations."The Court was hearing a plea filed by 2 outfits Jiv Maitri Trust and Viniyog Parivar, challenging BMC's policy to grant temporary NOC for the slaughter of sheep and goats during the festival.Earlier, the bench had suggested that the entry points and toll nakas into Mumbai and suburbs like Chembur, Kurla, Byculla and Sewri could be monitored.nationalheraldindia
Mumbai Municipality to highlight hygiene in Bakrid
Unnao rape: Allegations of rape against expelled BJP MLA Kuldeep Senghar true, CBI tells court
New Delhi:Expelled BJP MLA Kuldeep Singh Sengar, accused of raping the Unnao woman at his residence in 2017 when she was a minor, did commit the heinous crime, CBI told Tis Hazari courts.CBI told the court that investigation has revealed that the allegations of accused Kuldeep Singh Senghar raping the victim on June 4, 2017 and Shashi Singh being involved in the conspiracy are true. It was following the findings that a chargesheet was filed, CBI told court on Wednesday.In her statement, the victim, who was 17 at the time of the incident, told CBI that when she reached Sengar's house, no guards were present. She said Shashi took her in from the back gate after which Kuldeep Singh came to the lawn, dragged her and took her into a room where he raped her.CBI said there is evidence that nails accused Kuldeep Singh Senghar on the basis of investigation and statements of victim and her mother under sections 161 and 164 of CrPC.indiatoday
EVM Hatao-Desh Bachao-Ballot Paper Lao: Activists to Launch Nationwide Campaign on August 9
New Delhi:Civil society groups and prominent activists on Wednesday urged the public to join the nation-wide ‘EVM Hatao-Desh Bachao-Ballot Paper Lao’ (Abolish EVM-Save Nation-Bring in Ballot Paper) campaign on Aug.9, marking the anniversary of Quit India Movement which Mahatma Gandhi launched on same day.Calling the incumbent BJP Govt at Centre “EVM Sarkar”, they said the electronic voting machines have posed grave threat to democracy in India as is evident from the results of the recently concluded national elections. Addressing the media here on the eve of the protest launch, the activists highlighted EVM’s vulnerability to manipulations. They said the machines compromise the free and fair election. In this connection, they said, a national consultation was held in Delhi on July 14 before giving a call for nationwide protests against EVMs.Why the BJP is shying away from paper ballot election while 23 other political parties of India are demanding it, they asked.N Sai Balaji, president JNU Students’ Union (JNUSU), said in the last Lok Sabha elections, several shocking facts about the discrepancies in the EVMs have come into the public domain.Caravan Daily
Kashmir to triple talaq: Lok Sabha passes most bills since 1952 in its most productive session
New Delhi:The first session of 17th Lok Sabha has set a new record as House managed to pass the maximum number of bills ever in a single session. Speaker Om Birla tweeted and congratulated the members over this feat. The house passed a total of 36 bills during the session. The Speaker claimed that this was the highest since 1952. The house saw historic bills such as Kashmir Reorganisation Bill, 2019, abrogating Article 370 and The Muslim Women (Protection of Rights on Marriage) Bill to criminalise triple talaq pass during the session.Out of the 39 bills tabled in the Lok Sabha during the first session of the second Modi Govt, a record 36 bills were passed by the House.indiatoday
Flood situation worsens in west Maharashtra, 1.5 lakh evacuated
Pune :The flood situation in Kolhapur, Sangli and Satara districts of western Maharashtra worsened on Wednesday, forcing authorities to evacuate over 1.5 lakh people. Road connectivity in most parts in region remained disrupted yesterday, affecting the movement of essential services.16 people have reportedly lost their lives in Satara, Pune, Sangli, Kolhapur and Solapur — 5 districts of Pune Division — in last 5 days.indianexpress
 9 dead after rescue boat capsizes in Sangli
9 people were killed after a rescue boat overturned in flood-hit Sangli district. Pune divisional commissioner said the mishap took place near Brahmanal village in Palus tehsil when private rescue boat was carrying around 30 to 32 people.“9 bodies have been recovered so far. Around 14 to 15 people, who fell from the boat after it overturned, swam to safety,” official said.HT
‘Jai Shri Ram, cut money’ make it to question papers in West Bengal:HT
‘Jai Shri Ram’ slogan and ‘cut money’ that became key issues in the Lok Sabha elections earlier this year and have since rocked Bengal politics found their way into a question paper of a school. Bengali language paper of Akna Union High School in Hooghly district, 55km from Kolkata, asked class 10 students to write how the Jai Shri Ram slogan was generating adverse effects in society and how the return of ‘cut money’ was benefiting people.The students, in the exam held on Aug.5, were asked to write a ‘report for a newspaper’ on any one of the two – ‘harmful effects on the society of chanting Jai Shri Ram’ or on the ‘bold step of Govt to stop corruption by returning cut money.The ‘cut money’ is a reference to Mamata Banerjee asking those who embezzled funds from Govt welfare schemes through ‘cut money’ (commission) to return it to original beneficiaries. BJP leaders, through Lok Sabha election campaign, had often referred to ‘tolabazi tax’ to refer to this commission.
WORLD
Muslim Brotherhood leader Badie still sleeps on the floor in solitary confinement in Egypt prison
Doha Badie, daughter of the Supreme Guide of Muslim Brotherhood Mohamed Badie, said that her 76-year-old father sleeps on the ground in his cell in an Egyptian prison, Anadolu Agency reported. On Facebook, Doha noted that her father turned 76 and has spent 19 years in jail, both since the coup and during the reign of President Anwar Sadat.“This year is different,” Doha wrote, “I am unable to say happy birthday to you as I am unable to see you even through a glass cage that blurs vision and distorts sound.”She also noted that in the light of the ban on family visits, no news sites had reported on her father and she did not know whether the money sent to him in prison, to allow him to purchase his medication, had reached him. The family had no details of the condition of his health.The only news which they have been given, Doha said, is that her father “is locked up in solitary confinement and sleeps on the ground in an empty cell.”“I hope that you are healthy and that you are freed before the end of this year,” she wrote.No comment was obtained from Egyptian authorities.MEMO
How Saudi has blocked Palestinians fleeing Syria's war from Hajj:Middle East Eye
Stateless, displaced and driven from home by war, tens of Palestinian refugees from Syria have been denied the chance to perform Hajj by Saudi Arabia, Middle East Eye can reveal.Millions of Muslims are currently flocking to the holy city of Mecca for the pilgrimage, which is a cornerstone of Islamic faith and begins on Friday. However, around 70 Palestinian refugees in Lebanon, the majority of whom are over 70 years old, were informed by authorities last week that they would not be given visas to undertake the pilgrimage that every Muslim must do at least once in their life.The rejected Palestinians are refugees twice over. They are the descendants of Palestinians expelled from their homes during the creation of Israel in 1948, and have now settled in Lebanon after fleeing the Syrian conflict next door in 2012.Though they hold Syrian-issued travel documents, they hold no country's citizenship.
US judge orders release of official documents on Khashoggi’s murder
An American judge has ordered federal agencies to disclose thousands of documents related to the murder of Jamal Khashoggi.On their part, representatives of the Departments of State and Defence told Judge Paul Engelmayer that producing 5,000 pages monthly makes it impossible to respond, in a timely manner, to other requests made to them under Freedom of Information Act. But Engelmayer insisted that they carry out his order, saying that the Saudi journalist’s case was of “considerable public importance”. Judge’s order came in response to requests by 2 organisations – Open Society Justice Initiative and Open Society Foundations – for authorities to release the records of the Departments of State and Defence under the Freedom of Information Act.The State Department has said it estimates there are 288,000 pages that are potentially subject to FOIA request. The Department of Defense has said it may have 22,637 relevant pages.middleeastmonitor/AP
UK FM: Israel’s settlements are contrary to international law and must be stopped
Israel must halt settlement expansion in contravention of international law, British Foreign Minister Dominic Raab said.The British Foreign minister attacked Israel’s decision to build 2,304 new settlement-housing units on occupied West Bank lands.“We urge Israel to halt its settlement expansion, which is contrary to international law and promotes the effective annexation of the West Bank,” Raab added in a statement.The statement noted that the Israeli cabinet  a week ago approved 700 housing units for Palestinians. However, the minister considered that “much more needs to be done”.“UK continues to urge the Govt of Israel to develop improved mechanisms that allow Palestinians to build within Area C,” the statement continued.middleeastmonitor
HRW: Syria regime restricts aid deliveries to punish opposition
HRW has revealed that the Syrian regime is meddling in the delivery of aid in order to divert it to “fund its atrocities, punish opponents, and benefit those loyal to Govt”.In a report published on its website, HRW said that Syrian Justice and Accountability Centre (SJAC), a Syrian human rights organisation, obtained documents that revealed Syrian intelligence branches have long interfered with the aid response in Syria.It said that the new documents confirmed findings from earlier reports by HRW and Chatham House.MEMO
Syria rejects US-Turkey safe zones deal
Syrian Govt has called the agreement between Turkey and US regarding a safe zone in northern Syria a "blatant attack" on the country's sovereignty.On Wednesday, Turkey and US reached a deal to establish a joint operations centre to coordinate and manage the setting up of a safe zone in northern Syria.A joint statement by the Turkish Ministry of Defence and the US embassy in Ankara said the 2 sides agreed to set up the Turkey-based operations centre "as soon as possible" and that safe zone "would become a "peace corridor", without providing further details."Syria expresses categorical rejection of the agreement announced by US and Turkish occupations on establishing the so-called [safe zone] which constitutes a blatant aggression against sovereignty and territorial integrity of the Syrian Arab Republic and a flagrant violation of the principles of the international law and UN Charter," Syrian source at Ministry of Foreign Affairs said. aljazeera
US removes travel restrictions on Pak diplomats
US President Donald Trump’s administration has announced to remove travel restrictions placed on Pakistani diplomats based in America over a year ago, a media report said  today.US State Department confirmed the development to The News International yesterday the travel controls were being removed from the Pakistani diplomatic personnel assigned to the Pakistan’s Embassy in Washington and their dependents.The Department said: “Govt of Pakistan has reciprocated with a similar measure in relation to our diplomatic personnel assigned to our Embassy and Consulates in Pakistan.“Both sides are committed to a renewed effort to remove impediments on our respective diplomatic missions in line with international norms.”The announcement comes after PM Imran Khan visited US last month, where he had lengthy meetings with President Trump and other high-level officials and discussed issues of mutual concern.IANS
Maryam Nawaz: Pak's leader of opposition arrested
Pakistan opposition leader Maryam Nawaz has been arrested by country's NAB, a spokesperson for her party said.PML-N vice-president was detained today while she was visiting her father, Nawaz Sharif, at a Lahore prison, local media reported.aljazeera
Flash: NEWS,views,Articles
Indian economy is blaring warnings, but Modi Govt remains in denial:Jayati Ghosh, qz.com
No Kashmiri politician will work with or alongside BJP after this: Historian Andrew Whitehead
Article 370: Apprehensions That NE Will be Next
‘It’s our land that matters to them, not our lives’: A Kashmiri student’s account of a horrific week:Tanveer Ahmad Khan
India’s annexation of Kashmir is straight out of the Israeli playbook: Azad Essa
A Kashmiri Pandit On Why He Feels Sad For Kashmiri Muslims:Pradeep Magazine
How the Budget session has cemented Amit Shah’s position as No. 2 in Modi govt:D.K. SINGH
How Sheikh Abdullah’s note to Nehru saved Kashmir from falling into the hands of Pakistan:Rajesh Ahuja
3 days before Ranbir Penal Code was replaced by IPC, SC struck down its adultery clause
During the Quit India Movement, the Hindu Mahasabha Played British Game:Sharik Laliwala
In Kashmir, Clampdown on Movement and Communication Fuels Anxieties:Kaisar Andrabi
Abrogation of Articles 370, 35A sparked passionate reaction across the border: Khaled Ahmed
Modi’s Kashmir move proves his fiercest critics right:Adam Taylor
Compiled and edited by Anwarulhaq,(Released at: 8:00 PM)

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