Saturday, 30 November 2019

30 NOV. NEWS : GDP growth falls to 4.5%, BJP allies say state of economy alarming / With 169 votes, Uddhav-led govt sails through Assembly floor test


*NEWS DIGEST, Evening* 
*30 NOV. 2019: 02 Rabius Sani 1441: Vol: 12, No: 70*
**INDIA: ECONOMY*
GDP growth falls to 4.5%, BJP allies say state of economy alarming
New Delhi :Even as India’s GDP growth rate for the second quarter of 2019-20 hit a 26-quarter low, allies of the ruling BJP did not mince words on the prevailing economic situation. One ally pointed to a “talent deficit” in the government, while another asked the government to hold an urgent meeting of political leaders and economists to find a way out of the crisis. BJP leaders, meanwhile, avoided making public remarks on the economy.“The state of the economy is alarming, we all are concerned,” SAD leader Naresh Gujral said. “It is causing alarm because of the joblessness and lack of growth which is leading to unemployment.”Articulating disquiet among NDA partners, Gujral said BJP had not convened any meeting of allies to discuss serious issues. “The allies are quite unhappy. The oldest ally, Shiv Sena, has already walked out and others are waiting at the departure lounge,” Gujral said. “Allies are not vying for positions, but there has to be consultation.”JD(U) leader KC Tyagi said his party was concerned about the falling growth rate, transfer of PSU assets to private parties and gloom in the agriculture sector which triggers exodus from villages. “The government should not ignore or ridicule warnings of economists or former RBI governors. It should open modes of communication, there should be a meeting of political leaders and economists. People like (ex PM) Manmohan Singh should be called to discuss the issue. Because this is not a matter of confrontation, it is a matter of consultation,” Tyagi said.“Being a socialist party, JD(U) has serious concerns about the pace in which assets of PSU are being sold to private firms. Selling PSU assets for revenue collection has proved to be a wrong method of dealing with economic crisis. During Atal Bihari Vajpayee’s time, there was a ministry for it, but it did not yield results. Even in Manmohan Singh’s term it happened but with no results,” he said. According to Tyagi, the government should not “ignore or ridicule” warnings from economists.“Ex-RBI governors have been giving warnings,” he said.One leader took exception to the remarks of various ministers to downplay crisis. “When NSSO reports on unemployment and rural consumption reports came to light, our people cited alternative statistics on automobile sale, Ola/Uber services, full airports, cinema earnings to counter. That finance minister has come to a situation to admit slowdown, if not recession, is a way of acknowledging the situation ultimately,” the party functionary said.“There is no buoyancy in industry/business these days. Even GST collections are down. It is a matter of concern. We will talk over it. But not on phone please,” said a senior BJP MP.indianexpress
Real growth is around 1.5%, Modi wants only Yes Men, not me: BJP leader Subramanian Swamy before GDP figures were released
Subramanian Swamy is not known to mince his words and he had predicted, in 2015, that the economy was headed for a tailspin. Ex-Harvard economics professor, who has been long ignored for FM post, had said that a ‘major crash was inevitable’.2 days before GDP figures had been revealed, he had slammed Nirmala Sitharaman saying she ‘doesn’t know any economics’ and that the real growth was around 1.5%.He had told Huffington Post 2 days before GDP figures were revealed: “Do you know what the real growth rate today is? They are saying that it is coming down to 4.8%. I’m saying it is 1.5%.”He had also told HuffPost that he had been overlooked because Modi didn’t want him, that the ‘PM didn’t want any minister to talk back to him, let alone in public, but in private cabinet meetings too’.Swamy’s observations matched ex Chief Economic Advisor Amitabh Kant’s who had argued in a piece for Indian Express in June that GDP growth was being over-estimated by 2.5% points per year between ‘2011-12 and 2016-17’.He had argued: “My results indicate that methodological changes led to GDP growth being overstated by about 2.5 percentage points per year between 2011-12 and 2016-17, a period that spans both UPA and NDA governments. Official estimates place average annual growth for this period at about 7 per cent. Actual growth may have been about 4.5 per cent, with a 95 per cent confidence interval of 3.5 to 5.5 per cent.”freepressjournal
GDP figures unacceptable, state of economy ‘worrying’: Manmohan Singh
Former prime minister Manmohan Singh Friday said that India’s economic condition is “deeply worrying” and that the latest GDP figures released by the government are clearly “unacceptable”.“GDP figures released today are as low as 4.5 per cent. This is clearly unacceptable. Aspiration of our country is to grow at 8-9 per cent. The sharp decline of GDP from 5 per cent in Q1 to 4.5 per cent in Q2 is worrisome. Mere changes in economic policies will not help revive the economy,” the veteran Congress leader was quoted as saying by ANI.Singh also said that the state of the economy is worrying but the state of our society is “even more worrisome”, adding that there exists a “palpable climate of fear” in our society.“Many industrialists tell me they live in fear of harassment by government authorities. Bankers are reluctant to make new loans, for fear of retribution. Entrepreneurs are hesitant to put up fresh projects, for fear of failure attributed to ulterior motives,” Singh said.“Policymakers in government and other institutions are scared to speak the truth or engage in intellectually honest policy discussions. There is a profound fear and distrust among our various economic participants,” he added.indianexpress
BJP has ruined economy: Priyanka on falling GDP
New Delhi :Congress general secretary Priyanka Gandhi Vadra on Saturday hit out at BJP for the lower GDP growth rate and accused it of making false promises and ruining the country’s economy.“Promise after promise…2 crore jobs every year, double the price of crops, good days, Make in India, making the economy USD 5 trillion… Will any promise be accounted for? Today GDP growth is 4.5% which shows that all promises are false,” she said in a tweet in Hindi.PTI
Amid outrage, plea in apex court to stay electoral bonds
New Delhi:A plea has been filed in the Supreme Court seeking stay on the implementation of Electoral Bond Scheme, 2018, saying it has opened the floodgates of unlimited corporate donations to political parties and anonymous financing by Indian as well as foreign companies that can have serious repercussions on democracy in the country. It said that certain amendments made in Finance Act, 2017 and earlier Finance Act, 2016, both passed as money bills, have opened doors to unlimited political donations, even from foreign companies and thereby legitimising electoral corruption at a huge scale, while at the same time ensuring complete non-transparency in political funding.“Finance Act of 2017 had introduced the use of electoral bonds which is exempt from disclosure under the Representation of Peoples Act, 1951, opening doors to unchecked, unknown funding to political parties. “The said amendments have also removed the existing cap of 7.5 per cent of net profit in the last three years on campaign donations by companies and have legalised anonymous donations,” said the plea, filed by Association for Democratic Reforms (ADR).HT
*POLITICS*
Maharashtra: With 169 votes, Uddhav-led govt sails through Assembly floor test, BJP stages walkout
Uddhav Thackeray-led Shiv Sena-NCP-Congress government, also known as Maha Vikas Aghadi front, won crucial floor test in Maharashtra Assembly with 169 votes in their favour on Saturday. Meanwhile, BJP, which has 105 MLAs in the assembly, staged a walkout before the headcount of MLAs began. The boycott, BJP said, was against the “unlawful manner” in which the ministers were sworn in and the House session convened. Pro tem Speaker Dilip Walse Patil informed House that 4 MLAs abstained during the vote. They include 2 from AIMIM, one from CPI(M) and a member of MNS, led by Uddhav’s estranged cousin Raj Thackeray. Thackeray, clad with a saffron turban, thanked House members of people of the state after it was declared that his government had won the floor test.“I thank all the members for trusting me. I also thank the people of the state. It is not possible to work without their blessings,” he said. The session was telecast live for the first time in history of the state’s legislature.The House witnessed chaos as soon as it assembled with BJP leader Devendra Fadnavis claiming that Assembly session was not being conducted as per the rules.However, Dilip Walse Patil, who was appointed pro-tem Speaker of the House Friday after replacing BJP MLA Kalidas Kolambkar, said that the session was being held as per Governor’s nod. Fadnavis also objected to Patil’s appointment saying, “Never was a pro tem speaker replaced in India, why was Kolambkar replaced from the post.”Responding to the allegations, pro-tem Speaker said, “I am following the Supreme Court order. The apex court has asked to immediately conduct the floor test and the procedure is also laid down by the top court. That is why we are today openly conducting the floor test.”Responding to Fadnavis’ claim of oath-taking not being done as per constitution rules, Thackeray said that he will continue to take oath in name of Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj and his parents. ” Yes, I took oath in name of Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj and also in name of my parents. If this is an offence then I will do it again,” he said. indian express
‘We are going to Goa...’: Shiv Sena sounds alarm bells for BJP
Mumbai:After successfully blocking the formation of a BJP government in Maharashtra, the Shiv Sena, now wants to oust the former ally from power in neighbouring Goa by forging an alliance with Vijay Sardesai’s Goa Forward Party.“After Maharashtra it is Goa, and then we will go to other states. We want to make a non-BJP political front in this country,” Shiv Sena spokesperson Sanjay Raut told reporters in Mumbai on Friday morning.Raut’s statement indicates party’s ongoing transformation from anti-Congressism to anti-BJPism after parting ways with its ideological twin, ending nearly thirty years of partnership.“Goa ex-minister and ex deputy CM Vijay Sardesai is here along with three MLAs, and is forming an alliance with the Shiv Sena. A new political front is taking shape in Goa, just like it happened in Maharashtra,” Raut said. Saamana editor claimed there will soon be “magic” in Goa as some MLAs supporting BJP government there were now in touch with the Shiv Sena.“We are going to Goa…,” Raut said and claimed that people in the state did not like the way the BJP had formed the government.HT
Jharkhand elections: 62.8% turnout till end of voting
RANCHI:An estimated 62.87% votes were cast when voting ended at 3 p.m. on Saturday in the first of 5-phase Jharkhand assembly elections in 13 constituencies, amid sporadic incidents of violence, officials said. The percentage is likely to increase as voters who entered the polling stations by 3 p.m. will be allowed to exercise their franchise, they said.A total of 37,83,055 electorate, including 18,01,356 women and 5 third-gender voters were eligible to exercise their franchise in first phase of polling across 6 districts, which began at 7 am, Election Commission officials said.ADGP Murari Lal Meena said Naxalites exploded a bomb near a culvert in the forests of Gumla district, but there was no casualty or damage.The fate of 189 candidates, including 15 women nominees, will be decided in the first phase of the polling in Chatra, Gumla, Bishunpur, Lohardaga, Manika, Latehar, Panki, Daltonganj, Bishrampur, Chhatarpur, Hussainabad, Garhwa and Bhawanathpur. The rest of 4 phases for 81-member assembly will be held on Dec.7, 12, 16 and 20. Counting is scheduled on Dec.23.PTI
Jharkhand polls Phase 1: 2 BJP candidates have highest number of criminal cases; 31% are crorepatis
The first phase of Jharkhand elections has 13 constituencies which went to polls with 189 candidates in the fray. Only 15 of them are women.According to a report by Association of Democratic Reforms, while 44 candidates out of the 189 have declared criminal cases against themselves, at least 26 face serious criminal charges. 2 candidates with the highest number of cases filed against them are both from BJP. Both face murder charges.BJP’s Panki candidate Kushwaha Shashi Bhushan Mehta has 11 cases filed against him, including murder, attempt to murder, criminal intimidation, evidence tampering, and undue influence and personation at an election.According to ADR report, at least 59 candidates of the total 189, or 31%, are crorepatis.thehindu
Pragya apology: Perception concerns led BJP to accede to demand
Concerns over perception about BJP, especially after recent political developments, seems to have forced the ruling party to be defensive about the Pragya Singh Thakur row and direct the Bhopal MP to offer her apology twice on the floor of the Lok Sabha for her remark praising Nathuram Godse.Asked why the BJP — which initially tried to deny that Thakur was referring to Godse — changed its stand, a senior leader said: “For the perception.” He added that BJP did not want to give “a fresh weapon” to the Opposition.Sources said the decision to make Thakur apologise in the House was taken at the top level on Thursday evening.Party leaders admitted that BJP — which has always tried to lead in the battle of perception over its political rivals — faced a major setback as its political moves in Maharashtra could not succeed. “When the party is facing severe criticism over the economic slump and Maharashtra developments, it would not have been wise to let this controversy carry on,” said a party leader.An unrelenting Opposition forced Thakur to apologise for her remark in Lok Sabha for a second time on Friday after rejecting her first apology as “conditional” — in which she targeted Congress leader Rahul Gandhi for calling her a “terrorist”.With the BJP all set to fight the upcoming elections in Jharkhand, Delhi and Bihar on Modi’s image, the party has to avoid such situations that have the potential to dent it, said a BJP MP.Party leaders had admitted that the developments in Maharashtra “left a deep dent in its credibility, damaged the image of PM Modi and gave an impression that the BJP is a greedy power-grabbing party”.
Malegaon Blast: SC Agrees to Hear Plea of Victim against Bail Granted to Pragya Singh Thakur
NEW DELHI:The Supreme Court of India has said it would hear after two weeks a plea of 2008 Malegaon blast victim challenging the Bombay High Court’s April 2017 order granting bail to Pragya Singh Thakur, one of the accused in the blast case.Though she is facing trial for her alleged role in the twin blasts of September 29, 2008 that killed seven people and wounded around 80 others, BJP fielded her as its Lok Sabha candidate from Bhopal in May this year. She won the poll defeating Congress heavyweight Digvijaya Singh.On Friday, a top court bench headed by Justice A M Khanwilkar agreed to hear after two weeks the plea filed by the father of one of the blast victims.Petitioner Nisar Ahmed Haji Sayed Bilal, father of one of the blast victims, has alleged in his plea that Thakur was a “powerful person” and could influence the witnesses in the case. “The high court failed to appreciate that Sadhvi Pragya Singh Thakur is an influential person and is likely to wield her power and influence in an illegal and unlawful manner to tamper with evidence and influence witnesses,” PTI has quoted him as saying in his plea.India Tomorrow
* Hyderabad rape-murder case
BJP MLA, supporters give Hyderabad rape case false communal spin
The rape and murder of a 26-year-old veterinary doctor shocked the nation this week. That didn’t stop some people including a BJP MLA and the party’s supporters from giving this incident a false communal spin and in turn trivialising the incident, even while the family was grieving. Hyderabad Police has now promised action against such people.A day after the charred body of a 26-year-old veterinary doctor was found on the outskirts of Hyderabad, police arrested four people identified as Mohammed Areef (26), Jollu Shiva (20), Jollu Naveen (20) and Chintakunta Chennakeshavulu, all residents of Narayanpet district in Telangana.A senior cop debunked any narrative which suggested a communal angle to the incident.  Reddy also assured that the police will take action against those spreading rumours and disinformation.At around 1:41 pm, Goshamahal (Telangana) BJP MLA Raja Singh tweeted a video in which he is talking about the incident. He went on to say that they had expected that someone like a ‘Mohammed’ would be named in the incident.However, the truth is that the police has identified the other three accused as Jollu Shiva, Jollu Naveen and Chintakunta Chennakeshavulu and not just a ‘Mohammed’.However, Raja is just one of many people who tried to give a communal spin to the case while the investigation is still underway.Suresh Chavhanke of Sudarshan News went a step ahead questioning the police action and asking the central government to investigate if the other three have been arrested under pressure.But disregarding the facts, a false narrative, mentioning the name of only the Muslim accused, was shared by many prominent people on Twitter.Postcard news Founder Mahesh Hedge posted a message on Twitter clearly stating that the culprit of the case was a ‘Peaceful’, a word used sarcastically for Muslims, referring to the oft-made statement that Islam is a ‘religion of peace’. Prashant Patel, who is known for spreading misinformation online, too trained his guns at just one accused – Mohammad Pasha.Even the national In-charge of BJP’s IT Cell, Amit Malviya, didn’t shy away from naming only one accused. But disinformation doesn’t stop here.One of the top trends on Twitter today was not demanding justice for the victim, but was targeting one religion. thequint
Hyderabad rape-murder case: All 4 accused sent in judicial remand for 14 days
New Delhi: 4 persons arrested in connection with the rape and murder of a Hyderabad-based veterinary doctor have been sent in judicial remand for 14 days, ANI reported. They have also been shifted to city’s Chanchalguda Central Jail from Shadnagar police station.Using CCTV footage and technical evidence, the Cyberabad Police arrested a truck driver, his assistant and two other persons. They have been identified as Mohammed Areef (26), Jollu Shiva (20), Jollu Naveen (20) and Chintakunta Chennakeshavulu (20), all belonging to the Narayanpet district. The accused had planned the abduction after noticing that the victim had parked her 2-wheeler at the Tondupally toll plaza. Assuming that she would come to pick it up later in the evening, they deflated the tyre.“The accused had consumed alcohol and noticed the veterinary doctor parking her bike at the toll plaza around 6 pm. They hatched a plan and Naveen deflated her scooter’s tyre. When the victim returned, Areef got down from his truck and told her about the flat tyre. After offering to help, Shiva took the bike on the pretext of getting it repaired. Then, Areef, Naveen and Chennakeshavulu forcibly took the victim into an abandoned room nearby, where she was raped,” Cyberabad Police Commissioner V C Sajjanar said earlier.Earlier, officers said that police were able to track the accused based on inputs from people, clues from the crime scene and CCTV footage. “Police had formed 10 teams to nab the accused,’’ an officer, on condition of anonymity, had said.The charred body of the 27-year-old veterinary doctor, who worked in a state-run hospital, was found on the outskirts of the city on Wednesday night. indianexpress
Telangana doctor murder: They raped, smothered, burnt her after hatching crime over drinks
*NRC - CAB*
12 MPs from Northeast write to PM opposing Citizenship Amendment Bill
New Delhi: 13 non-BJP MPs on Friday urged Prime Minister Narendra Modi to exclude the northeastern states from the purview of the proposed Citizenship Amendment Bill, saying if it comes into effect the tribal population of the region will be vulnerable to displacement.MPs, most of them belonging to the Congress and from the Northeast, said civil society organisations of the region are also opposing the Bill.“We collectively believe if such a Bill is implemented uniformly across the nation, it will particularly render indigenous and tribal population of Northeast vulnerable to displacement,”the letter signed by 12 members of Lok Sabha and Rajya Sabha said. Shillong MP Vincent H Pala, who took the initiative to write the letter, told PTI they felt that it was their moral duty to convey the sentiment of the people of the region to prime minister.MP from Barpeta (Assam) Abdul Khaleque, another signatory of the letter, said people in the Northeast have strong reservations about the Citizenship Amendment Bill and hence have been protesting strongly.“We the undersigned as members of Parliament representing the indigenous tribes of Northeastern region would like to express our strong objection to the passing and implementation of CAB in our region,” letter said.Among those who signed the letter include former Arunachal chief minister and Rajya Sabha member Mukut Mithi and Assam’s Nagaon MP Pradyut Bordoloi. Pala said those who signed the letter are MPs from Assam, Meghalaya, Arunachal, Nagaland, Manipur, Mizoram and Sikkim. BJP MPs from Northeast --around 15 -- did not sign letter.BJP MP from Manipur Rajkumar Ranjan Singh had, however, requested Home Ministry to exempt the northeastern state from purview of the Citizenship Amendment Bill.PTI
Amit Shah begins meeting on CAB with groups from Northeast
New Delhi :As Home Minister Amit Shah began a series of meetings with stakeholders from Northeastern states on the Citizenship Amendment Bill (CAB) on Friday, sources said the government may exempt the Northeast states that have Inner Line Permit (ILP) regime from the CAB. Exemption of such regions in Northeast states which come under the Sixth Schedule of the Constitution is also under consideration.This would virtually mean that Arunachal Pradesh, Nagaland and Mizoram may be kept out of the purview of CAB, as well as certain autonomously administered regions in Assam and other states such as Bodo Territorial District Area.Raising the issue during Zero Hour in Lok Sabha on Thursday, BJP MP Dr RK Ranjan Singh said, “I would like to draw the attention of the Government of India to the Citizenship (Amendment) Bill that is going to be placed in this winter session. It is also reliably learnt that some safeguards are likely to be given to Northeastern states. However, a few days ago, it was brought out in media that an exemption from this citizenship law will be given only to those states where the Inner Line Permit system is enforced. That means the law will not be applied in the states of Nagaland, Arunachal and Mizoram.”Singh said this was causing a lot of discomfort in his state. Meanwhile, Home Minister began meetings with politicians and civil society members from Northeast states. The first two meetings were held Friday evening with representatives from Tripura and Mizoram.Shah’s discussions on Friday, Saturday and Dec.3 will be with North East Students’ Organisation, All Bodo Students’ Union and students bodies from Meghalaya, Nagaland and Arunachal Pradesh. Meetings with CM are on Saturday, an official said. Leaders of political parties and heads of socio-cultural organisations have also been invited for discussion. Shah is holding the meetings in the wake of protests against CAB in the Northeast.indianexpress
After losing West Bengal bypolls, BJP leaders point to NRC as reason for defeat
Kolkata : BJP’s losses in 3 bypolls in West Bengal appeared to expose infighting within the state unit, with some leaders on Friday pointing to the “scare” over the issue of NRC as a reason for their failure.On Friday, BJP state vice-president Chandra Kumar Bose said it was time for the party to devise a state-specific plan, as a pan-Indian strategy would not apply to the “land of Vivekananda and Netaji Subhas Chandra Bose”.Bose, who is Netaji Subhas Chandra Bose’s grandnephew, said that the NRC should not have featured as the poll plank during campaigning for bypolls.“Since 1985, NRC was primarily concerned with the people of Assam. NRC was never considered for West Bengal. Union Home Minister Amit Shah had clearly said that first Citizenship Amendment Bill (CAB) will be tabled in Lok Sabha and after implementing CAB, there will be discussions on NRC. So there was no need for our party to campaign on NRC during bypolls,” Bose said.Two of the BJP candidates in the bypolls blamed the NRC “scare” for their losses, and said the party had failed to explain the issue to the people. Union minister and BJP leader Babul Supriyo too said the party was unable to explain to the people what the NRC and CAB are.indianexpress
BJP MP seeks inclusion of Gorkhas left out of NRC
New Delhi : A BJP MP told Lok Sabha on Friday that many members of the Gorkha community have been excluded from NRC in Assam and asked the government to give them recognition as the state’s inhabitants.Raising the issue during Zero Hour, Raju Bista (BJP) said that the exclusion of names of many Gorkhasy from NRC is a question mark on the sacrifices made by those freedom fighters who were from this community.He said the Gorkha community has made numerous contribution in nation-building. Congress leader in the House Adhir Ranjan Chowdhury demanded that the Kurmi tribe be given the status of Scheduled Tribes.Jagdambika Pal of BJP was of the view that the corridor of Sharada Peeth should be opened. PTI
*J&K & SOUTH ASIA*
Kashmiri truck driver says beaten by cops, inquiry initiated
Faridabad Police have initiated an inquiry after a truck driver was allegedly beaten up by a police officer in Ballabgarh on Friday.Mohammed Maqbool, the driver, hails from Kashmir’s Yusmarg. He was on his way to Srinagar when the policeman allegedly thrashed him and his friends for stopping the truck on the expressway. Maqbool said, “We were carrying pipes from Kolkata to Srinagar for a government project. In Faridabad, near the Maujpur toll plaza, I stopped the truck since I wanted to take some rest and let someone else drive. As I stepped out of the truck, the policeman came in his van and shouted at me.”He alleged that the policeman, a sub-inspector posted with the Ballabhgarh police station, was accompanied by three constables. “They pinned me to the ground and kicked me. I told them to let me go but they didn’t listen. They also thrashed my friends and later took Rs 30,000 from our wallets,” Maqbool alleged.indianexpress
Demilitarise Jamia Masjid area, allow prayers without hassles: Kashmir Anjuman Auquaf
Srinagar:For the first time in more than three decades, historic Jamia Masjid here has been locked for successive 17 weeks with neither `namaz' being offered nor  `azaan’ being called by devotees since August 5 when Centre revoked special status of Jammu and Kashmir under Article 370 and divided the state into two union territories.During 2016 unrest, no Friday prayers could be held for 16 weeks in the historic Jamia Masjid at Nowhatta area in the Old Srinagar city.Anjuman Auquaf Jamia Masjid has asked government to demilitarize Jamia Masjid area and remove all the forces from its surroundings so that people could come to offer prayers without any fear.“There is an atmosphere of fear. Security forces are deployed outside the gates of the Masjid. How can people come and offer prayers when hundreds of forces personnel are standing outside the mosque?” asked Shams-ur-Rehman, close aide of Mirwaiz Umar Farooq, chief cleric of Kashmir.India Tomorrow
Terrorism in Kashmir very low after abrogation of Article 370: Union minister Javadekar
New Delhi:Terrorism in Kashmir has been at a minimum level after the repeal of Article 370, Union minister Prakash Javadekar said today, describing the first 6 months of the Modi government’s second term as dedicated to development and security of the country.Javadekar said India has had a little impact of the global economic slowdown and efforts to recover from it too have been hastened by govt.The information and broadcasting minister said Modi government completes 6 months of its second term today, with the country moving fast on the path of progress.PTI
Pakistan waging proxy war as it can’t win conventional one: Rajnath
Defence Minister Rajnath Singh today said Pakistan was indulging in a “proxy” war as it had realised that it cannot win a “conventional” one. The path of “proxy” war chosen by Pakistan would only lead to its defeat, he added. Singh was speaking at the passing out parade of 137th course at National Defence Academy in Pune.PTI
Won’t allow third country affect our ties: Gotabaya on India’s China worry
New Delhi :In one-on-one talks for an hour Friday with Prime Minister Narendra Modi, visiting Sri Lanka President Gotabaya Rajapaksa is said to have conveyed that he will not allow “any third country or third force” to come in the way of the strong bilateral ties between Delhi and Colombo.Modi announced a $50-million Line of Credit for security and counter-terrorism, and another $400 million for development and infrastructure projects in Sri Lanka.This is Gotabaya’s first overseas visit after he took charge of the country as President less than two weeks ago. He invited Modi to visit Sri Lanka as the first head of government after he assumed office.Brother of Sri Lanka’s Prime Minister and former President Mahinda Rajapaksa, Gotabaya is learnt to have conveyed to Modi that relations with India will be his “top priority”.In a public statement after the bilateral meeting at Hyderabad House, he tried to assuage Indian concerns on Chinese projects in the island country. “While with India, our cooperation is multi-faceted, with priority given to security-related matters; With other countries, initiatives for cooperation are by and large economic and commercial (in nature),” he said.indianexpress
 BABRI MASJID CASE*
Plea in Madras HC against protests in Tamil Nadu on Babri Masjid demolition day
An advocate has petitioned Madras High Court to restrain all Muslim organisations from holding any form of protest on Dec.6 or any other day to mark the anniversary of Babri Masjid demolition. When the plea by K Gopinath came up for hearing, a Division Bench of Justices R Subbiah and P Velmurugan adjourned the hearing to Dec.2. The petitioner, who is also the president of Hindu Munnetra Kazhagam, said he apprehended threat to peace and tranquility in society if outfits were allowed to protest to mark the anniversary even after the recent Supreme Court verdict in Ayodhya case. “TMMK and SDPI have called for demonstrations throughout the state on Dec.6 condemning the verdict; any such protest would attract contempt of court proceedings,” he said in his plea.PTI
With SC verdict in favour of  Ram temple, VHP to not observe 'Shaurya Diwas' on Dec. 6
Lucknow: With Ram temple path now clear in Ayodhya after Supreme Court’s verdict on the decades-long dispute, VHP has decided to relinquish its 25-year-old traditional practice of observing ‘Shaurya Diwas’ (bravery day)  on Dec. 6 -- the anniversary of Babri Masjid demolition, this year. Instead, the outfit has decided to light diyas at all the prominent muths and temples to mark the day in the temple town. “Since the top court has given the verdict in favour of Ram Mandir, we have decided to mark the day by lightening of diyas across the temples of Ayodhya,” said VHP spokesperson Sharad Sharma.VHP, along with its affiliate organisations has been observing Shaurya Diwas on Dec. 6 every year since the Babri Masjid was demolition on this day in 1992.newindianexpress
Ayodhya's Muslims to mark Dec 6 as 'Day of Sorrow'
Ayodhya: Muslim community in Ayodhya will again be observing the coming December 6 as 'Yaum-e-Gham' (Day of Sorrow) to mark 27th anniversary of the demolition of Babri Masjid, a local leader of the community said. For the last 27 years, from Dec.6, 1993 onwards, Muslim community in Ayodhya led by Haji Mahboob, who was one of the main litigant from Muslim side in Babri Masjid case, and president of local organization 'Anjuman Muhafiz - Masajid wa Maqabir' (organisation and protectee of mosques and mausoleums), has been observing the day in this manner.  Haji Mahboob said that he will arrrange a mourning session on the morning of Dec.6 and will be inviting top Muslim leaders to this ocassion, including Asaduddin Owaisi and Zafaryab Jilani.Many other Muslim organisations like Muslim League and Muslim Majlis will also hold different programmes to mark the 'Shahadat' (demolition) of Babri Masjid.IANS
Muslims must voluntarily hand over Gyanvapi Mosque, Mathura complex to Hindus:K K Muhammed
Mangaluru: Karingamannu Kuzhiyil Muhammed aka K K Muhammed, part of the first ASI team that excavated the historical site at Ayodhya, averred that Muslim community should now voluntarily come forward to hand over Gyanvapi mosque in Varanasi and Krishna Janmastham Complex in Mathura to Hindus.They missed an opportunity to do so at Ayodhya thanks to the influence that the Marxist historians had on them, Muhammed said.In an interaction with Harsha Bhat at a session on ‘Excavating Truth’ at Mangaluru Lit Fest on Friday, he said various excavations carried out at Ayodhya by ASI pointed to just one truth that a temple existed there. “When I stated this to the media first, uncharacteristic for government servant to do so, I did bear in mind that an archaeologist is speaking about the issue, and me being a Muslim, I had double the responsibility to speak only the truth,” he said. “We must strive for united India rather than fight about it,” Muhammed, who retired as regional Director with ASI in 2012, said.“Hinduism is a very tolerant religion and because India is a Hindu majority country, India remains secular in the truest sense of the term,” he said.“We need to adopt Indian heroes such as Lord Ram, which Muslim countries have done,” he said, adding it was such references that excavations threw up which tipped the Supreme Court in coming out with a ‘fair judgement’ on the case.TOI
*OTHERS*
UP Law Commission recommends Anti-Conversion Law; Politically-motivated move, say civic leaders
NEW DELHI:Uttar Pradesh State Law Commission has recommended a law to check alleged forced conversions with a provision of one to seven years jail term. In its 290-page report to the state government, that carries a draft bill also, the commission has also recommended that if a conversion is done for the sole purpose of marriage, such marriage should be declared null and void. Eminent members of the civil society have termed the report as “a politically-motivated move” and an attempt to “push the agenda of Sangh Parivar”.Justice (Retd.) Aditya Nath Mittal, Chairman of the UP Law Commission, submitted the “Eighth Report of VII State Law Commission on Freedom of Religion” to Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath in Lucknow on Nov. 21. The report also carries a draft bill “Uttar Pradesh Freedom of Religion Bill, 2019.”After presenting the report to CM, Justice Mittal told media: “Indian Constitution has given freedom to exercise religion, but some agencies are misusing this freedom. They lure people into converting religion in the pretext of marriage, better jobs & lifestyle. We don't have any existing provisions to stop such conversions. That's why we have recommended new legislation to stop religious conversions.”Interestingly, the commission has presented the report couple of weeks after VHP  announced to launch campaign against conversions. Just after the Supreme Court verdict in favour of Ram Temple on the site of Babri Masjid in Ayodhya on Nov.19, VHP had made the announcement.Commenting on the UP Law Commission’s report for an anti-conversion law, members of civil society, including a Christian leader, a civil rights activist and a senior lawyer have said that the move appears to be politically-motivated. While Christian leader said he will challenge the law in court if it comes, the lawyer said some provisions of the proposed law would not withstand scrutiny of law in the court.  AC Michael, National Convenor, United Christian Forum, asked if there is any forced mass conversion in UP that the law commission had to recommend such a law.The Christian leader said the UP law panel move is purely politically-motivated and he would challenge any such law in the court.Rajiv Yadav, general secretary of Lucknow-based civil rights group Rihai Manch, said the law panel has come up with the report just days after VHP made an announcement to launch campaign against conversion.Senior Advocate of Allahabad High Court Syed Farman Ahmad Naqvi told India Tomorrow: “The question is how they will come to the conclusion that it is a forced conversion. Will it be done on the basis of a third person saying that it is a forced conversion, and not the person who got converted to some other religion? Who will decide which is forced conversion and which not?”India Tomorrow
Will Ayurveda rescue Muslim Sanskrit professor of BHU? Firoze Khan appears for a fresh interview
Varanasi: Muslim professor from Banaras Hindu University, who was at the centre of a major protest over his appointment as Assistant Professor in the Sanskrit department of the varsity, reportedly appeared for an interview in the Ayurveda department of the university on Friday.The interview was apparently conducted at a secret guest house in view of the violent protests that erupted at the university. Firoze was among eight candidates that turned up for the interview.Interestingly, head of Ayurveda department, Professor Yamini Bhushan, claimed that Firoze was the best among all candidates, IANS reported.Firoze might be shifted to the Ayurveda department in wake of the protests over this appointment in the Sanskrit department.timesnownews
Thousands Of JNU Students Protest Outside HRD Ministry, Demand Complete Withdrawal Of Fee Hike
NEW DELHI:Continuing their series of big protests against hostel fee hike, thousands of students of JNU marched from the campus to the Union Human Resource Development Ministry (MHRD) office near the Parliament House on Friday.Holding placards and banners in their hands with messages against fee hike and commercialization and privatization of education, the JNU students and many others who had come from other universities in their support, were demanding complete rollback of the proposed hostel fee hike and hostel manual. Today’s was their fifth massive protest demonstration on this issue in the last 30 days.Besides the roll-back of hike fee regime and hostel manual, the students were also demanding removal of Vice Chancellor M. Jagadesh Kumar alleging that he has not held a single meeting with students to resolve the issue.India Tomorrow
Maulana Maududi teachings more pertinent now than ever: scholars
Hyderabad: "To decimate communal hatred and spread the message of peace and harmony, Muslims must preach Islam in the language understood by the people of the said geographical area, believed Maulana Abul Ala Maudidi, the founder of Jamaat-e-Islami," observed Muslim intellectuals and scholars. Speaking during the release of the book written in Urdu on 'The life and achievements of Maulana Abul Ala Maududi' on Thursday evening, by the renowned scholar Ahmed Abu Sayeed, Muslim scholars said Maulana Maududi's teachings were more essential in the present times at a time when the country was going through a socio-political change. Maulana Maudidi was not only an exegesist of Holy Quran but also a philosopher, jurist and journalist, the said. Professor Mohsin Usman Nadvi presided over the function. Maulana Hamid Mohammed Khan, president of Jamaat-e-Islami (Telangana), MESCO secretary Dr Fakhruddin Mohammed, Dr Rafiuddin Farooqui, Dr Mujtaba Farooque, Dr Faheemuddin, Maulana Rahmatullah Shareef and Dr Islamuddin Mujahid spoke on the different aspects of the life and services of Maulana Maududi. Asif Al Amoodi was also present on this occasion. The author who compiled many books on the works of Maulana Maududi covered the chronology of the events in the life of revolutionary Ameer (leader) of the Jamaat-e-Islami in his voluminous book. Gawah Urdu Weekly editor Dr Syed Fazil Hussain Parvez presented a vote of thanks.Hans News
UP man warned for trying to reconvert to Hinduism
Shamli;A truck driver in Shamli district has filed a complaint against his neighbour Naushad, alleging that the latter threatened to kill him for wanting to reconvert to Hinduism.The complaint was filed by 30-year-old Salim on Tuesday.According to reports, in 2003, Salim, then named Sushil, was converted to Islam. He later married a Muslim girl.Recently, he had a change of heart and decided to reconvert to Hinduism.Salim told reporters here: "After converting in 2003, I left my native village Kairan and settled in the city. I got married to a Muslim woman and have four minor kids with her. After I expressed my desire to reconvert, some locals threatened to kill me." He said he would not pressurise his family to convert to Hinduism and they would continue living with him.Shamli DSP Jitender Kumar said: "an investigation is on. Action will be taken accordingly."-IANS
America-based scholar likely to become 53rd Dai-Ul-Mutlaq, head of Bohra community:Free Press Journal
Mumbai:To resolve the dispute over who should be the 53rd Dai-Ul-Mutlaq, religious head of Dawoodi Bohra community, the Bombay High Court is presently examining an America-based Islamic scholar and a professor, who is an expert of Islam.The dispute arose after the death of the community’s spiritual head and 52nd Dai-al-Mutlaq Syedna Mohammed Burhanuddin. His elder son Syedna Mufaddal Saifuddin, had taken over as the spiritual head or Dai-al-Mutlaq of the community, against the claim made by his uncle Syedna Qutbuddin, who claimed himself to be the spiritual head by virtue of being the brother and ‘mazoon’ (deputy) of the deceased Syedna Burhanuddin, for around 50 years. He also claimed that his slain brother had conferred a “nass” upon him, i.e. declaring him the his successor, in a secret ceremony.However, now Syedna Qutbuddin too has died and his son Syedna Taher Fakhruddin has become the religious head of the sect.To substantiate his claims, Syedna Taher Fakhruddin had contacted the expert - Devin Stewart, who is a Professor of Arabic and Islamic studies in Emory University. He had submitted his opinion over the issue, in July this year. Now, Prof. Stewart is being examined by the legal team led by senior counsel Iqbal Chagla, who represents Syedna Mufaddal Saifuddin. The expert would be examined for three more days by advocate Chagla, who has till now asked over 100 questions to him.Free Press Journal
Compile data on terrorists, unlawful organisations, MHA writes to state govts
New Delhi:Months after Unlawful Activities (Prevention) Amendment Bill 2019, was passed by the Parliament, the Centre has started compiling a list of terrorists operating from Indian soil.As per sources, the Ministry of Home Affairs has sought information from all state governments on designated terrorist organisations and unlawful associations in the country.This is the first time details have been sought after the anti-terror bill was passed in the last session of the Parliament which empowered Centre to designate individuals as terrorists. In its communication the state governments, MHA has mentioned all organisations listed under the First Schedule of UAPA and sought inputs on counts like their present strength and threat posed by them.Other than terror outfits, the MHA has also sought information on organisations declared as unlawful.Sources said post review, the Centre will take a call on the first listing of individuals on Indian territory as designated terrorists.indiatoday
ISIS case: NIA officials check homes in Tiruchi, Thanjavur districts
Ttiruchi:Officials of NIA carried out checks at a few places in Tiruchi and Thanjavur districts on Saturday morning. While a team led by a DSP began a search at the house of Sarbudeen (28) at Srinivasa Nagar Extension on outskirts of Tiruchi, another team is searching a house in Enamkulathur.The search at Sarbudeen’s house is to check whether he has any links with Islamic State terrorists. NIA has swung into operation a day before Sarbudeen is reportedly scheduled to fly to a Central Asian country.NIA sleuths are also conducting an inquiry and search at a house in Aattumandhai Street, Thanjavur.thehindu
Gujarat: Ishrat Jahan encounter accused police officer PP Pandey gets President’s Medal
Ahmedabad :Former in charge police chief of Gujarat DGP PP Pandey was among 168 police officers from the state who were conferred with medals for distinguished and meritorious service by Chief Minister Vijay Rupani in Ahmedabad Thursday.Pandey was an accused in Ishrat Jahan encounter case of 2004 and was later discharged. Another retired IPS officer Mohan Jha who was in the Supreme Court-appointed SIT that investigated the Ishrat Jahan encounter case was also among those awarded at the event.Ishrat Jahan, Pranesh Pillai and 2 others – Amjad Ali Rana and Zeeshan Johar, were killed near Kotarpur waterworks on the outskirts of Ahmedabad on June 15, 2004 allegedly by Ahmedabad City Detection of Crime Branch, then led by DCP DG Vanzara. Pandey was the Joint Commissioner (crime) at the time. indianexpress
Indian Express reporter Kaunain Sheriff  receives national award for reports on medical malpractices
New Delhi :Kaunain Sheriff M, principal correspondent with The Indian Express, received the national award named after Dr Mangalam Swaminathan from BJP working president JP Nadda on Friday for Excellence in Medical Malpractices Investigation.At the event, Nadda praised those who work quietly behind-the-scenes on big tasks. “People who win, perform big tasks very silently. I say silently because from politics, I understand the glitz well. But there are a lot of people who stay away from the glitz and contribute positively in a massive way,” he said.Sheriff received the award for his series of stories on Johnson & Johnson. In Aug.2018, Indian Express first reported on how the US pharma giant buried key facts on faulty hip implant surgeries and kept the country’s regulator in the dark.National Award for Excellence in Journalism was conferred to Ranjana Narayan, a senior editor with Indo-Asian News Service for her life time achievement. National Award for Excellence in Science Reporting was given to V D Selvaraj, senior editor, Kalakaumudi, a Malayalam weekly.indianexpress
*WORLD*
Iraq PM resignation would only be 'first step': protesters
 Baghdad's Tahrir Square broke out in celebration minutes after Iraqi Prime Minister Adel Abdul Mahdi announced he will submit his resignation to parliament after weeks of deadly anti-government protests.But while the move was welcomed with singing and dancing in the capital, some protesters remained sceptical and reiterated their demands for the complete overhaul of the country's political system.Friday's announcement came a day after more than 50 protesters were killed by security forces in Baghdad and Iraq's mainly-Shia southern cities of Nasiriya and Najaf.Thursday was described as the "bloodiest day" since anti-government demonstrations began in early October, bringing the reported death toll to at least 400 people.The statement by Abdul Mahdi, who took office a little over a year ago, came shortly after Iraq's top Shia leader, Ayatollah Ali al-Sistani, condemned the use of lethal force against protesters and called for a new government.Quoting al-Sistani's speech, which was delivered to worshippers at Friday prayers in the holy city of Karbala by his representative, Abdel Mahdi said he would present his resignation to parliament so legislators could select a new government - an announcement that was welcomed by protesters.aljazeera
Shadow of strife looms over Iraq's political crisis
Taliban confirm informal talks with the US
Taliban has confirmed a claim by US President Donald Trump that Washington has resumed informal talks with the Afghan armed group nearly two months after peace negotiations were abruptly suspended.The group told Al Jazeera that some preliminary meetings have taken place in the Qatari capital, Doha, where the Taliban have an office, and could pave the way for the resumption of formal peace talks.During an unannounced Thanksgiving visit on Thursday to US troops in Afghanistan - his first to the South Asian country since becoming president - Trump said the US was "meeting with" the Taliban."Taliban wants to make a deal and we are meeting with them and we are saying it has to be a ceasefire and they didn't want to do a ceasefire and now they do want to do a ceasefire, I believe. It will probably work out that way," he told reporters.In an apparent contradiction, the group's official spokesman, Zabihullah Mujahid, told AFP news agency earlier on Friday that it was "way too early to talk about the resumption of talks for now".He added that an official statement would be issued later.Michael Semple, a visiting research professor at the Institute for Global Peace, Security and Justice at Queen's University in Belfast, told Al Jazeera that, for talks to resume, the Taliban will need to "accept some sort of violence reduction". "Whether it's partial or global, the optimum one being a full ceasefire, but it's possible they could agree to more limited measures to reduce violence. They have to agree to start turning off the violence and they have to agree to a pathway to direct talks with the Afghan government," he said.Trump's visit came a week after a prisoner swap between the Afghan government and the Taliban, which had raised hopes for the revival of peace talks that were conducted in the Qatari capital since last year.During Thursday's visit, Trump met Afghan President Ashraf Ghani. Ghani said on Twitter that the two leaders had "discussed the important progress we have jointly made in our military efforts in the battlefield," and the necessity of a ceasefire with the Taliban.aljazeera
China criminalises 'fake news' created with AI, bots
China has issued new rules banning online video and audio providers from using artificial intelligence (AI) and virtual reality technologies to produce "fake news".The regulation published on Friday by China's cyberspace authority said both providers and users of online video news and audio services were "not allowed" to use new technologies such as deep learning and virtual reality to create, distribute and broadcast "fake news"."Fake news" has been generalised to mean anything from a mistake to a parody or a deliberate misinterpretation of facts.Failure to follow them could be considered a criminal offence, the Cyberspace Administration of China (CAC) said, without offering details on punishments.AFP
Are you ‘brain-dead’: Erdogan raps Macron before NATO summit
Turkish President Tayyip Erdogan has said that Emmanuel Macron’s warning that NATO was dying reflects a “sick and shallow” understanding, telling the French president “you should check whether you are brain dead”.The comments drew a swift rebuke from the French foreign ministry, which summoned Turkey’s ambassador to Paris to protest over what a French presidential adviser called “insults”.Erdogan was speaking days ahead of a summit of the military alliance, which Macron has said is experiencing “brain death” because of US unpredictability under President Donald Trump and strained ties with Turkey.Turkish and French presidents, who have traded criticism over Ankara’s cross-border offensive in northeast Syria, will be among NATO leaders meeting at a summit of the transatlantic alliance in Britain on Dec. 4. “I’m addressing Mr Macron from Turkey and I will say it at NATO: You should check whether you are brain dead first,” Erdogan said.Macron said in an interview 3 weeks ago there was a lack of strategic coordination between European allies on the one hand and US and Turkey, on the other. He has also decried NATO’s inability to react to what he called Turkey’s “crazy” offensive into northern Syria. Reuters
Man wearing 'hoax explosive' shot dead in London Bridge attack
British police have shot dead a man who had strapped a fake bomb to his body and stabbed several people on Friday, including two fatally, in what they said was a "terrorism incident" near the London Bridge area of the capital.The attacker went on the rampage just before 2pm (14:00 GMT), targeting people at Fishmongers' Hall in the heart of the city's financial district. Authorities identigied the suspect as 28-year old Usman Khan, who had been convicted of "terrorism" offences and was released from prison last year.Two people - a man and a woman - were killed in the attack. In addition, a man and two women were injured and remain in hospital, Basu said.aljazeera
In Pakistan village with no Sikhs, Hindus renovate and reopen gurdwara, Muslims prepare langar
Ludhiana :The followers of Guru Nanak (Nanak Naam Lewa) have renovated and reopened a gurdwara at a village in Pakistan’s Sindh that had been lying closed since the Partition. Apart from the Sri Guru Granth Sahib, a Bhagwad Gita has also been installed at Gurdwara Baba Nanak.Dewa Sikandar, member, Pakistan Hindu Council, said the gurdwara, lying abandoned at the village Janoji in Salehpat of Sindh province’s Sukkur district, was reopened Friday as part of celebrations marking 550th birth anniversary of Guru Nanak.Interestingly, there is no Sikh population in Janoji and entire arrangements were made by members of Hindu and Muslim communities. “Local Muslim villagers arranged langar for the devotees. They prepared lunch and karha prasad and also decorated the gurdwara for opening day. Nanak Naam Lewa Sangat chanted Waheguru prayers as well as aarti,” Sikandar said, adding that Hindus in Sindh are ardent followers of Nanak and call themselves “Nanakpanthis”.indianexpress
Suriname President sentenced to 20 yrs for killings
Suriname's President Desi Bouterse has been been sentenced to 20 years in prison for the execution of 15 political opponents.The decision by a panel of three judges on Friday marked the end of an historic trial that began in November 2007, although it was not immediately clear what happens next.The judges did not issue an arrest order, and Bouterse's attorney, Irvin Kanhai, immediately appealed against the decision, calling it a "political verdict".aljazeera
* Compiled and edited by Anwarulhaq (Released at: 7:34 PM).*