09 January 2017

09  Jan.2017: 10 Rabius Sani 1438: Vol:8, No:84
Reverse love jihad surfaces in UP
She calls herself Ameesha Thakur now, a name given by her husband Arvind. Dressed in a blue and pink sari with sindoor in her hair and a shiny bindi on her forehead, she looks the archetypal obedient bahu. But all is not what it seems in the Thakur home in Chaubiya Rampur village in eastern UP’s Kushinagar district. Just across the lane is Ameesha’s nanihal (maternal grandparent’s house), where her family doesn’t even acknowledge her existence. Abducted three years ago when she was just 13 and now married to a Hindu and living as one, she is not their little Zubeida Khatun any more.“They made a public announcement in the panchayat that they will make her a Hindu. Now she is living like one, how can we accept this?’’ questioned her uncle Abdullah. The reality is hard to accept for the family, which is one amongst the few Muslim families in the village. He alleges that their little girl was kidnapped by the powerful Thakur family and was forced to convert.According to the FIR filed by Zubeida’s family in 2013, Rameshwar Thakur and his sons Arvind and Nagin Thakur have been charged with kidnapping and compelling a young woman into marriage. As per the family, Rameshwar Singh’s friends in the Hindu Yuva Vahini (HYV) and the right-wing Hindu group, formed by BJP MP Yogi Adityanath, engineered Zubeida’s abduction.A few months after she disappeared, Zubeida appeared before a magistrate and voluntarily accepted to marry Arvind. Her family resisted, claiming that she was under age and had been tricked by Arvind. “We tried a lot, filed police complaints, took the matter to the court, but eventually they produced false documents proving her legal age and she got married to the Hindu,’’ said Abdullah. What stings even more is that the Thakurs showed their clout during a panchayat, beating drums in a procession to celebrate a Muslim girl’s conversion into Hinduism. “They did this to shame us in the village,’’ Abdullah added. Zubeida alias Ameesha, the girl in the proverbial centre of the storm who claims she is 21, says she got married willingly. “My family is angry because I married a Hindu,’’ she says. Her abduction, she says was a ‘misunderstanding’. “Every couple has some problems, we also had some. I do everything as a Hindu, pray to god, fast and live as my in-laws tell me to,’’ she says, cradling her three-year-old son.The real story lies somewhere between Abdullah’s claims and Ameesha’s statements. But whatever the truth is, Kushinagar seems to have become ground zero of what is being called ‘reverse love jihad’ — a reversal of the label BJP leaders, including Adityanath. Cases of Muslim boys getting married to Hindu girls had become a hot potato issue in politically sensitive UP during the 2014 elections with Adityanath and others calling it a threat to national security. On its website, under the section ‘ideology’, HYV cites a write-up that says, “journey of Islam from jihad to love jihad”. Between 2014 and October 2016, 389 cases of underage girls missing or kidnapped were registered by the district police. Superintendent of Police Bharat Kumar Yadav says, “No parents would want their daughters to marry willingly. Sometimes these girls are underage or have no documents to prove their age, in such cases we take their statements in front of a district magistrate. Some of them voluntarily choose to marry the opposite community,” Yadav added. A fact finding report of the AIMMM on Kushinagar found dozens of cases of rapes and forced kidnappings of young Muslim girls for religious conversion. The report, submitted to Chief Minister Akhilesh Yadav in January 2016 blames ‘local goons of HYV’ for the atrocities against girls.According to AIMMM President Mohammad Sulaiman, who believes all men accused of crimes have a connection with HYV and, the strong influence of HYV and backwardness of the Muslim community in the region is a major factor behind the increasing number of cases. “The Muslims here are backward and socio-economically weak. Many families where the girls were abducted either had no elder male member or their father was a migrant worker, they are helpless and vulnerable.’’DNA
UP:Ahead of UP state elections, ‘love jihad 2.0’ polarises

Indian police accused of mass rape during operation
India's human rights watchdog said more than a dozen tribal women were raped by police in restive Chhattisgarh state with the victims' lawyer slamming authorities over delays in arresting the accused. NHRC said at least 16 women were "victims of rape, sexual and physical assault" after it concluded an investigation into reports that police attacked several villages in Bijapur district in the central Indian state during an operation against communist rebels in Oct.2015."Prima-facie, human rights of the victims have been grossly violated by the security personnel of the govt of Chhattisgarh, for which the state govt  is vicariously liable," the govt  commission said in a statement. NHRC said it was in the process of recording the testimonies of 20 more victims who were allegedly sexually assaulted during the incident.India is fighting thousands of armed communist rebels in the so-called "Red Corridor", which passes through swathes of resource-rich areas of central and eastern India and is mostly inhabited by underprivileged tribes. Several media reports at the time said police officers had raped or sexually assaulted at least 40 women in 5 villages, and destroyed and looted homes during the anti-Maoist operation. Reports said 11 women were gang-raped, including a 14-year-old girl and a pregnant woman. Police launched an investigation over the allegations, but no arrests have been made yet.Kishore Narayan, who is representing 14 victims, told AFP the panel has backed their claims and accused the police of deliberately shielding the culprits."The victims gave the names of the policemen involved in the barbarity but nothing has happened. They carried a sham investigation and are trying to obfuscate the case," Narayan said. aljazeera
Chhattisgarh must identify and prosecute policemen who raped 16 women, demand activists
NHRC notice to Chhattisgarh on Bijapur rapes: Few dare to tread ground zero
Rapes shame Meghalaya; MLA, 11 others held; protest rally on Wednesday
Guwahati:A series of rape cases including an alleged case of trafficking of minor girls that has rocked Meghalaya in the past three weeks or more has so far landed 12 persons including an MLA in jail, with the police looking for more people involved in them. Meanwhile, several NGOs and civil society groups of Shillong have called for a protest rally in the state capital on Wednesday against the incidents.While Independent MLA Julius Kitbok Dorphang was arrested in Guwahati on Friday night in connection with the Shillong rape and trafficking case first registered on Dec.16, other 7 arrested so far in this case includes a female waiter of a guest house allegedly owned by a senior minister in the Congress-led govt in the state.“It appears to be a huge racket involved in trafficking of girls. This 14-year old girl in fact was brought to Shillong from a poor family in the East Khasi Hills district by a woman of her village, who handed her over to a woman called Mamoni Parveen, who first made her work at her house, and then sent her to different guest houses. It was only after the victim girl picked up courage to report that the racket is slowly getting exposed,” Meena Kharkongor, chairperson of the Meghalaya State Commission for Protection of Child Rights said. indianexpress
Deportation of 17 Bangladeshi immigrants from Assam postponed
Guwahati: The deportation of 17 Bangladeshis from Assam, scheduled on Monday morning, has been postponed because district authorities in southern Assam did not get clearance from the union home ministry, police said. The exercise is likely to be carried out on Thursday. 17 were then taken back to a detention camp in Slichar, headquarters of the neighbouring Cachar district, more than 300 km away from Guwahati. 3 of the 17 deportees are Hindus, believed to have been hounded out of Bangladesh.“The delay in deporting these people who illegally entered Assam over the past few years is because of reasons beyond our control. We hope to complete the formality on Thursday,” Pradip Ranjan Kar, SP of Karimganj district, said on Monday.17 were among 54 people from Bangladesh and Myanmar who were caught after illegally entering India during the past few years. They had been languishing in a detention camp in Silchar Central Jail mainly due to the lack of communication with officials of these 2 neighbouring countries until 2015. Last year, on Oct.13, southern Assam officials had deported 10 Bangladeshis. Deportation comes amid a raging controversy in Assam over BJP’s decision to grant citizenship to non-Muslim “refugees” from Afghanistan, Bangladesh and Pakistan. Assam is particularly wary of becoming a haven for Hindu Bangladeshis if BJP succeeds in amending the Citizenship Act. “BJP says it will drive out illegal Bangladeshi immigrants. Then, it contradicts its position through its move to grant citizenship to Bangladeshi Hindus by amending the Citizenship Act,” ex-CM Tarun Gogoi of Congress wondered. Asom Gana Parishad (AGP), BJP’s ruling partner in Assam, is angry too.“Assam shouldn’t be made a dumping ground by being forced to accept non-Muslim immigrants,” senior AGP leader and ex CM Prafulla Kumar Mahanta said.A few weeks ago, Mahanta petitioned President Pranab Mukherjee against Centre’s move.While other parties define non-Muslims from Banadesh as illegal immigrants, BJP says they are refugees and victims of partition, who fled to India in the face of torture and religious persecution. HT
J&K govt. announces ex gratia payment of Rs. 5 lakh to kin of deceased in 2016 unrest
Jammu: J&K govt  on Monday announced an ex gratia of Rs. 5 lakh to the kin and a job to the next of kin of those killed during the 2016 unrest, sparked by the killing of Burhan Wani. CM Mehbooba Mufti announced in the Legislative Assembly in Jammu that “families of the deceased will get Rs 5 lakh as ex gratia and a job.”Govt said those blinded with pellets would also be provided with employment. Unofficially, over 90 civilians died in the unrest. However, officials put the death toll at 76. Over 1,000 civilians sustained pellet injuries in the eyes. Eyesights of over 300 civilians were impacted badly. Announcing district level special investigation teams to probe excessive use of force, Ms. Mufti said such a team would probe the killing of ATM guard Riyaz Ahmad Shah and college lecturer Shabir Ahmad Mangoo.the hindu
Wary of 'raw anger against India', Yashwant Sinha-led Citizens Group suggests talks with Hurriyat
Concerned Citizens Group (CCG), senior BJP leader Yashwant Sinha-led initiative to find answers to the Kashmir imbroglio, has concluded that there is raw and palpable anger against India in rural Kashmir, despair and lack of fear among youngsters confronting security forces and apprehension among Kashmiris that the worse is yet to come.Among many suggestions, the group has strongly recommended holding dialogue with stakeholders, including Hurriyat, which the Indian govt  has avoided so far. dnaindia
Kashmir unrest: CRPF refuses to reply to RTI query on use of pellet guns
New Delhi: In the wake of death of over 90 people and injuries to over 12,000 from use of pellet guns during the unrest in J&K, CRPF has refused to give, in response to an RTI query, details of the number of such weapons and ammunition used. The unrest in J&K was triggered on 9 July by the death of Hizbul commander Burhan Wani a day earlier in a gunfight with the security forces.In reply to RTI application, the CIC Officer of CRPF said: "Security forces, including CRPF, are exempted to provide information except for information related to allegation of corruption/violation of human rights."IANS
Jehovah’s Witnesses may challenge SC national anthem order
New Delhi:Over 30 years ago, a college professor in Kerala, who belonged to the Jehovah’s Witnesses sect, knocked at the doors of the highest court in India on behalf of his children, citing religion as the reason to safeguard their right to not sing the national anthem at school. Next month, when a Supreme Court bench headed by Justice Dipak Misra restarts hearing petitions on its order last year on national anthems in cinema halls, the Jehovah’s Witnesses may again be at the forefront in challenging that decision.On Aug11, 1986, the Supreme Court had allowed Emmanuel’s plea and held that forcing the children to sing the national anthem at school violated their fundamental right to religion. Latest move by the Jehovah’s Witnesses will seek to overturn the SC’s order on Nov.30, 2016, that all cinema halls in India would play the national anthem before the feature film starts. This order also made it mandatory for all present in the hall “to stand up to show respect to the national anthem” as part of their “sacred obligation”.This time, it’s learnt that representatives of Jehovah’s Witnesses, including a US-based general counsel, are in the process of finalising a detailed application to be filed shortly in the SC, which will restart hearings on Feb.14. Among other things, the sect plans to seek the court’s intervention in ordering that its followers won’t have to stand up for the anthem in movie theatres. The sect hopes to convince the court that while it respects the national anthem and the flag, its religious beliefs prevent members from standing up for or singing the anthem.The organisation has already secured relief on behalf of the sect on various issues in several countries, including saluting the flag and/or singing a country’s national anthem. ”Our patriotism can never be in doubt. But even standing for the national anthem is not allowed in our religion. Courts in several other countries have accepted our pleas on this count. The fact that we are looking to contest the court’s order doesn’t mean that we don’t respect our flag or our anthem. We hope to convince the court about that, like we have done in other countries, including the US and Canada,” said sources linked to the sect’s move.Jehovah’s Witnesses is a Christianity-based evangelical sect, which bases its beliefs solely on the text of the Bible. The group does not celebrate Easter or Christmas and believes that traditional Churches have deviated from the text of the Bible. However, the sect is not considered a part of mainstream Christianity because it also rejects the doctrine of the Holy Trinity.In the 1986 case, the Supreme Court bench had ruled in favour of the Jehovah’s Witnesses family. “Our tradition teaches tolerance, our philosophy teaches tolerance, our Constitution practices tolerance, let us not dilute it,” the bench had said.It had also noted that there was “no provision of law”, which “obliges” anyone to sing the national anthem. indianexpress
Kerala: Director Kamal being hounded over national anthem row in Kerala, asked to leave country
PMO does not have information about the status of national anthem and national song
Varsities for minorities: Another step to woo Muslims
New Delhi: Centre has formed 2 panels to look into modalities of setting up 5 universities for minorities and offer grant-in-aid to madarsas offering mainstream education, a move that comes ahead of polls in five states including UP which has a sizeable Muslim population.10-member committee on varsities, formed at the far end of the last month, is expected to submit its report in the next 2 months to Maulana Azad Education Foundation (MAEF), which comes under Minority Affairs Ministry, sources said.Former secretary to Govt  of India, Afzal Amanullah, is the convener of the committee. AMU -C Lt General Zameeruddin Shah, his Jamia Milia Islamia University counterpart professor Talat Ahmed, ex-Calicut varsity V-C Padmashri Iqbal Hasnain and ex-Parliamentarian Shahid Siddiqui are among other members of the panel. MAEF secretary D Madhukar Naik is the member secretary of the panel. Govt has decided to set up the universities to empower minorities educationally. These new varsities will have world class institutions that will impart education in medical, skill development and other areas. The committee is expected to tell the Foundation modalities of how the universities will be formed, sources said. The panel, inter alia, is supposed to help the govt  identify places where the campuses of the varsities will be established and also discuss whether the universities will hold minority tag. Govt  is looking for big spaces, around 100 acres for each of the varsities, to set up the institutions to impart Ayurved, Unani medical education, skill development training to students from the communities and to set up residential schools.Haryana and Rajasthan govts have already evinced interest in it and suggested some properties where the varsities can take shape there, sources added.Banker Udayan Bose, educationists Feroze Bakht Ahmed and Qamar Agha and social activist Kulsoom Noor Saifullah are the remaining members of the panel. Sources said govt plans to commission academic sessions at the universities in 2018.The other panel on considering a grant-in-aid scheme for madrasas will have 7 members with Syed Babar Ashraf, MAEF member, as its convener.The committee is expected to submit a report on a scheme to offer grant-in-aid to madarsas which are imparting modern education to their students, they added.PTI
Centre forms panels to set up 5 universities for minorities
Process for setting up 5 world-class institutes for minorities starts:UNI
NEET 2017: Urdu likely to become a medium of exam
It is widely speculated that over 11, 000 students in Maharashtra alone study science subject in Urdu medium, besides the medium of instruction in a high numbers of schools and colleges under the Maharashtra State Board of Secondary and Higher Secondary Education is Urdu.  Following the online petition organised by the Student Islamic Orgnisation (SIO), Urdu language is likely to become one of the medium of NEET examination, as it garners over 2000 signatures. Following these efforts, Maharashtra Health Minister Girish Mahajan has urged the central govt to think about the the same, on Wednesday. SIO has addressed its online petition to the Union Health Minister JP Nadda and Union HRD Minister Prakash Javdekar demanding Urdu as one of medium languages in conducting NEET examinations as the fate of huge portion of students, who have been pursuing sciences, are at stake.It is widely speculated that over 11, 000 students in Maharashtra alone study science subject in Urdu medium, besides the medium of instruction in a high numbers of schools and colleges under the Maharashtra State Board of Secondary and Higher Secondary Education  is Urdu. As many as 156 junior colleges in Maharashtra alone is Urdu medium. In an ardent vouch for Urdu, the petition also quoted Supreme Court's decision from Ansari Mahin Fatema and Ors Versus Union of India and Ors that identified a large number of students pursuing higher secondary in science subjects such as physics, chemistry, and biology in the Urdu medium get very less chances to get into medical science.  In states of J&K , New Delhi, UP , AP, Jharkhand, Bihar, and Uttarakhand, Urdu was given official language status. There are huge proportions of Urdu medium students in these states. india today
‘Muslim women face discrimination in govt-run healthcare institutions’
http://indianexpress.com/article/india/muslim-women-face-discrimination-in-govt -run-healthcare-institutions/
Mumbai: When Behrampada resident Ruhi Fatema (30) delivered her first baby in Bandra West-based govt  hospital in Dec.2016, she was shocked when the gynaecologist slapped her during labour pain. No curtains were drawn to offer her privacy, instead she found ayahs ‘pointedly rude’. She says later, when other women who came to see her newborn shared similar experiences, she realised such behaviour was common towards Muslims. “It was humiliating,” she sums up. 2 reports, one commissioned by the Ministry of Minority Affairs and second a study by NGO Cehat, have found similar discrimination against women of marginalised community in govt healthcare institutions.Multifactorial development of Muslims report commissioned by the state was prepared by Research Centre for Women Studies, SNDT, after interviewing close to 250 Muslim families and married women in Mumbai slums, where 77 %  were found to have access govt  hospitals. The report found that Muslim women felt they were treated badly because they are Muslims, and are at the receiving end of abuses.“Govt does not discriminate. But those implementing the services have bias against this community. It is not just hospitals, educational institutes too were found to discriminate against Muslims,” said Parul Khanpada, a member of the research team, adding that women were humiliated most during registration of their newborns, when they are “often taunted for birthing several children”.A similar report from NGO Cehat, which interviewed 85 slum women — 44 Muslims and 41 non-Muslims — observed that there is a triple burden of “being poor, female and Muslim” when it comes to access to healthcare facilities for these women. “Women are made to take off the burqa at gate of the hospital as there have been incidents of children being stolen,” the study said, further adding they were “embarrassed and humiliated by derogatory labels”.  indian express
Hyderabad madrassa empowers girls with course on fatwa:TOI
Hyderabad: Over a dozen students, all clad in burqas, are in a small classroom.Their teacher, dressed identically, keeps a close watch.Everyone is on the floor while books on Hadith (traditions of the Prophet), commentaries on the Quran and tomes on fatwas line the walls. This is the Madrassa Jamiatul Mominath in Moghalpura, which is the city's first and only institute that trains women to become muftias.Instruction is imparted in Darul Ifta, or fatwa department."There are several questions that women hesitate to ask muftis. We thought women would be more comfortable discussing their issues with muftias. That's why we introduced this one-year course 12 years ago," said Hafiz Mastan Ali,Jamiatul Mominath's founder. Set up in 1991, the madrassa has 2,500 students today , of whom 400 are hostellers. The muftia course began with only five girls, but this year, the department is training 15.So far, the madrassa has produced 318 muftias.The fatwa department's head, Nazima Aziz, said making girls muftias is empowerment. "Once an alima (female graduate) completes fazila (post-graduation), she is eligible for the fatwa course."Interestingly, Aziz and her students backed All India Muslim Personal Law Board 's stand on triple talaq. "Talaq in one sitting should be discouraged, but it cannot be banned as that will be tantamount to interference in sharia laws," said Mohammed Hasnuddin, head of Mominath's fatwa department for men.
Shiv Sena suggests Centre to bring in ordinance on uniform civil code, Ram temple
Mumbai;Accusing the Centre of increasingly taking the ordinance route for “political expediency”, ruling BJP’s ally Shiv Sena Monday suggested to the NDA govt  that it adopt the same method on uniform civil code and Ram temple in Ayodhya. “A record in (issuing) ordinances is being created. In such a scenario, nobody should have problem with ordinances for the construction of Ram temple in Ayodhya and for implementing the Uniform Civil Code,” Sena said in an editorial in party mouthpiece “Saamana”.The ruling partner also continued its tirade against the note scrapping decision, saying women nowadays are standing in queues and facing a lot of hardships due to “the atrocities inflicted on them by demonetisation”.“Women are disturbed these days. Due to demonetisation, market is lull, pace of economic development has slackened and small traders are bearing its brunt. Many have been rendered unemployed,” it alleged.PTI
When it Comes to Uniform Civil Code, Fear and Reform are Contradictory: Mohammad Azeemullah
Triple talaq evil, use it to divorce the gun: RSS leader Indresh Kumar
New Delhi: Amid a raging debate on triple talaq, senior RSS leader Indresh Kumar on Sunday described the practice as “evil” and used it as a metaphor to appeal to the youth of Kashmir to divorce the gun and shun violence.“Talaq is evil… and teachings of prophet also say no to it. So, if you want to say talaq, tell it to guns,” he told a gathering of Kashmiri students at a conference here organised by Muslim Rashtriya Manch (MRM), an RSS affiliate.PTI
RSS-affiliated MRM to launch welfare fund for divorced Muslim women
To provide sustenance to divorced Muslim women and educate their children, RSS-affiliated Muslim Rashtriya Manch (MRM) has decided to launch a welfare fund which will be financed through contributions from the community."MRM will start a Baitul Mal (fund) for divorced women and children. This will be financed through zakat contributions," MRM national convenor, Mohammed Afzal, told DNA.
CIC slaps Rs 25,000 fine on DU official for rejecting RTI query on PM Modi's degree
In a controversy that has been raging for a while, Central Information Commission (CIC) is said to have slapped a fine of Rs 25,000 on Delhi University’s Central Public Information Officer for rejecting an RTI query asking about PM  Narendra Modi’s graduation degree.e CIC M. Sridhar Acharyulu pulled up DU’s CPIO Meenakshi Sahay, mentioning that he found her suggestions for not furbishing the information as “penny wise, pound foolish”.The plea to inquire about the PM’s degree was filed by a Delhi-based lawyer Mohammad Irsad and application was turned away, stating that the Indian Postal Order  was not marked to the registrar of the University. outlookindia
PM’s degree row: Allow scrutiny of records, says CIC
Gujarat Dalits remain victim of caste discrimination even inside jails; NHRC issues notice: IndiaTomorrow
Ahmedabad: Dalits, in streets or inside jails, often become victim of caste discrimination and victimisation. After the Una incident of July last year when 4 Dalits youths were flogged for allegedly skinning a dead cow, now reports have come from Amreli of the same state Gujarat that Dalit prisoners are victimised by upper caste prisoners and the jail authorities turn deaf ear to complaints. Taking suo motu cognizance of such media reports, the NHRC has issued a notice to IG (Prisons), Gujarat calling for a report in the matter within 6 weeks.As per media reports, the prisoners belonging to lower caste are being subjected to grave injustice and discrimination inside the jail. Even, they cannot drink water from Reverse Osmosis (RO) plant installed in Amreli District jail. The prisoners from lower castes are victimized by the upper castes prisoners and complaints regarding this go unheard by Jail Superintendent.
Demonetisation: Rs 14 lakh crore in old notes are back, only Rs 75,000 crore out
New Delhi: The govt  is resigned to the prospect of only about Rs 75,000 crore in demonetised Rs 500 and Rs 1,000 notes not returning to the formal banking system, a top official said. When the decision to scrap these high-denomination notes was taken, the govt had estimated that up to Rs 3 lakh crore or almost 20% of the total value of demonetised currency would not return, and be available for spending once the liability is extinguished.According to information now available with RBI and govt, about Rs 14 lakh crore in demonetised currency have been deposited with banks, so far.“We also now know for sure that another Rs 50,000 crore in old notes of Rs 500 and Rs 1,000 were already available with banks when PM  Modi announced the decision to demonetise the high-denomination currency,” official said.Govt  officials also claimed that almost Rs 10 lakh crore in new currency have already been supplied to banks.To expedite the return to normalcy, the govt , nevertheless, sought the RBI’s opinion to know if it could release about Rs 75,000 crore from its own currency reserves. But the RBI has been of the opinion that the situation would be close to normal in another fortnight or so with almost Rs 2-2.5 lakh crore additional currency, freshly printed, being dispatched to currency chests of banks.Indian Express
Demonetisation: Parliament panel can summon PM Modi if RBI Governor Patel’s reply not satisfactory
New Delhi:Public Accounts Committee (PAC) of Parliament can call PM  Narendra Modi on the issue of demonetisation if it is not satisfied with the answers given by top finance ministry officials and the RBI Governor Urjit Patel, to whom a detailed questionnaire has been sent. A PAC meeting on this issue has been called on Jan. 20th, in which the RBI Governor Urjit Patel, Finance Secretary Ashok Lavasa and Economic Affairs Secretary Shaktikanta Das will be present.“We have not yet received answers for the questions we have sent to them. They will reply few days before the January 20th meeting. Their replies will be discussed in detail,” PAC Chairman and senior Congress leader KV Thomas said.PTI
Demonetisation: 35%  job losses, 50%  revenue dip, says study by largest organisation of manufacturers
Chennai;In the first 34 days since demonetisation, micro-small scale industries suffered 35 %  jobs losses and a 50 %  dip in revenue, according to a study conducted by India’s largest organisation of manufacturers.The study, conducted by the All India Manufacturers’ Organisation (AIMO), has also projected a drop in employment of 60%  and loss in revenue of 55 %  before March 2017. AIMO represents over 3 lakh micro, small scale, and medium and large scale industries engaged in manufacturing and export activities.The study stated that almost all industrial activities have come to a standstill, with the Small and Medium-sized Enterprises (SMEs) sector worst-hit. “While AIMO understands certain immediate repercussions of such a bold step (demonetisation) by the govt, it did not anticipate or was prepared for such a jolt to industries even after one month,” said the study. indianexpress
Demonetisation effect on Bengal’s economy: ‘Possible shortfall of Rs10,000 crore’
Modi’s demonetisation to hit GDP: Growth to fall to 6.3% from 7.1% in FY17, says HSBC
Mumbai:Foreign brokerage HSBC today projected sharply lower growth numbers for the year at 6.3 % , way lower than the official CSO estimate of 7.1 %  for 2016-17.PTI
Petrol pumps will accept card payments after Jan. 13 too:Petroleum Minister
No rift between me, Akhilesh; one person behind Samajwadi Party’s feud: Mulayam
New Delhi: Samajwadi Party patriarch Mulayam Singh Yadav Monday claimed there were no differences between him and his son and UP CM Akhilesh Yadav and sought to put the blame for the prevailing bitter feud on his cousin, Ramgopal Yadav. “There is no problem between me and my son (Akhilesh)… There is some problem in the party, one person is behind this feud; sure that issues will be resolved,” said Mulayam outside Election Commission’s office in Delhi where he had gone with his team, comprising brother Shivpal Yadav and close aide Amar Singh, to stake claim to the party’s election symbol, the cycle.Some time later, Akhilesh, too, visited the EC office along with his delegation that included his uncle, Ramgopal Yadav.Stating that the ball is in the court of the EC, the SP patriarch said their party symbol is in a controversy now and it is up to the EC to decide which faction of the party would get the symbol. indianexpress
113 upper caste, 97 Muslim candidates in BSP list
Lucknow: BSP on Sunday announced candidates for 101 Assembly seats in UP, completing the exercise for all but 2 of the 403 constituencies, fielding 12 more Muslim candidates this time to ensure Dalit-Muslim consolidation in a bid to wrest power from Samajwadi Party.Candidates for the two remaining seats in Sonebhadra district will be finalised after a decision is taken as to whether they are general or reserved for ST, the BSP said in a release in Lucknow on Sunday.Out of the 403 seats up for grabs, the BSP had prepared a final list comprising 97 Muslim candidates (12 more than 2012), 87 Dalits and 106 OBCs, besides earmarking 113 seats for upper castes — Brahmins 66, Kshatriyas 36 and others 11. PTI
UP Elections 2017: BSP announces final candidate list; 12 more Muslims this time
Dalit temple ban doesn’t figure in Uttarakhand poll battle
Dehradun:More than 350 temples dot the valley of Jaunsar-Bawar in western Uttarakhand. But until two years ago, Keshar Singh, a 28-year-old Dalit accountant from Bijnar, one of the region’s 400 villages, had never stepped into one.He is surprised anyone wants to know why. “It never occurred to me. No Dalit in the village ever has … nor their parents, neither their grandparents. This is how it has always been.”A deep-seated caste system rules this isolated part of the Himalayan state, as nine upper-caste families dictate the lives of 18 Dalit families in Singh’s village.“If you dared to enter a temple, you would have to face punishment. You pay the temple a fine: one goat and Rs 10,000. No one has escaped it in the 400 years of these temples’ existence,” said Baru Nirala, a Dalit folk singer from Bhewana, a village in the Chakrata tehsil.His brother had to pay the penalty when he tried to enter the Kukurshi Maharaj temple in Gabela village.In October 2014, Nirala and Keshar Singh trekked to the temple with Dalit activist Daulat Kunwar, and sat outside its gates on a seven-day hunger-strike.HT
Note ban: Shahi Imam of Kolkata's Tipu Sultan Masjid issues fatwa against Modi, BJP demands his arrest
Kolkata: imam of a Kolkata mosque on Saturday issued a 'fatwa' Against PM  Modi, accusing him of "bluffing" the people through demonetisation, evoking a sharp reaction from BJP which demanded his arrest.Syed Nurur Rahman Barkati, Shahi Imam of Kolkata's Tipu Sultan Masjid, said, "Everyday people are harassed and facing problem due to demonetisation.""Modi is bluffing the society and the innocent people of the country through demonetisation and nobody wants him to continue as PM," he said during a joint conference by the All India Majlis-e-Sura and All India Minority Forum.PTI
Gujarat anti-terror law back with Centre
New Delhi: A year after the Modi govt withdrew controversial Gujarat Control of Terrorism and Organised Crime Bill from the President’s Secretariat, the proposed legislation is back with the Centre.Home Ministry sources confirmed to the paper that an updated Bill from the state has been received and is under process before it is sent to President again. Indian Express
Why SC favours nationalism over democracy:Noah Feldman
'Supreme Court struck a blow for religious neutrality, while the decision delivered a gift to the ruling BJP at the expense of India’s minority faiths and castes'. Bloomberg
Study rings alarm over Indian work in ‘predatory’ journals
At University of Colorado, associate professor and library scientist Jeffrey Beall maintains an online “black list” of publishers and journals that may be questionable.IndianExpress
Trump & terror to hog Davos as over 100 Indians ready for WEF: PTI
Panama paper leak case: SC adjourns matter for 4 weeks as SEBI seeks time
CBSE exams 2017 to begin from March 9, postponed by a week due to elections
Israeli diplomat caught on camera plotting to 'take down' UK MPs
An Israeli embassy official has been caught on camera in an undercover sting plotting to “take down” MPs regarded as hostile, including foreign office minister Sir Alan Duncan, an outspoken supporter of a Palestinian state.In an extraordinary breach of diplomatic protocol, Shai Masot, who describes himself as an officer in the Israel Defence Forces and is serving as a senior political officer at the London embassy, was recorded by an ­undercover reporter from al-Jazeera’s investigative unit speaking about a number of British MPs  Israeli ambassador, Mark Regev, apologised to Duncan on Friday. An Israeli spokesman said Regev made clear that “the embassy considered the remarks completely ­unacceptable”. Israeli embassy said Masot “will be ending his term of employment with the embassy shortly”. Masot declined to comment or to elaborate on what he meant when he said he wanted to “take down” a number of MPs. theguardian
Signs suggest truck driver who killed 4 soldiers supported IS: Israeli PM
 Israeli PM  Benjamin Netanyahu said a Palestinian truck driver who rammed a group of soldiers in Jerusalem, killing four and wounding 15 others, was likely a supporter of IS. Reuters
Bashar al-Assad: Everything on table in Astana talks
Syrian President Bashar al-Assad has declared that his govt  is ready to negotiate "on everything" during upcoming talks in Astana, Kazakhstan, brokered by Russia and Turkey. Assad said there were still questions surrounding the talks including "who will be there from the other side". "We don't know yet," he said.Turkey has suggested the Astana talks could be convened around the last week of Jan. Aljazeera
Turkish army says 48 IS militants killed in Syria on Sunday
Ex-Iranian President Rafsanjani Dead At 82
Tehran: Former Iranian President Akbar Hashemi Rafsanjani, a wily political survivor and multimillionaire mogul who remained among the ruling elite despite moderate views, died on Sunday, state TV reported. He was 82. Iranian media reported earlier on Sunday that he was taken to a hospital north of Tehran because of a heart condition. AP
Iran to expand military spending, develop missiles
Arab League denies Egyptian-Saudi “strained relations”
There are no tensions between Egypt and Saudi Arabia, Arab League’s Assistant Secretary General Hossam Zaki said in a press conference. Arab League’s premises in Cairo, Zaki has blamed the media over spreading that the two countries’ relations are “tensioned”. middleeastmonitor
Pakistan to introduce uniform prayer timings for all sects
Islamabad: Pakistan plans to introduce “uniform prayer timings” for all sects of Islam across the country, a significant move in a society divided along sectarian lines.PTI
22000 Rohingya fled Myanmar to Bangladesh in 1 week:UN
2016:Israel approved 19,000 settlement units in Jerusalem
 Compiled and edited by Anwarulhaq (Released at: 7:44 PM)


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