03 March 2017

Evening NEWS DIGEST (Late)
03 March.2017: 03 Jamadiul  Akhir 1438: Vol:8, No:131
NEET: Supreme Court Seeks Response From Centre And CBSE On SIO Plea To Conduct NEET In Urdu
NEW DELHI: The Supreme Court of India today directed CBSE to respond to a plea asking to include Urdu as one of the languages in which National Eligibility-cum-Entrance Test (NEET) is to be conducted. Justice Kurian Joseph and Justice R. Banumathi have also directed the Medical Council of India (MCI) and the Dental Council of India to respond to the plea and have posted the matter for March 10. NEET is a national level exam introduced in 2016 conducted for admission to MBBS and BDS programs at medical and dental institutes in India. The petition was filed by Students Islamic Organization of India (SIO), a student wing of Jamaat-e-Islami Hind, last month. The plea said that the decision to not conduct the exam in Urdu was unfair to students who finish their senior secondary education in Urdu language. According to IANS, the petitioner's counsel informed the court that while earlier no state had come forward with the request, now the state governments of Maharashtra and Telangana have also requested the Central government to include Urdu as one of the languages in NEET. The application process for NEET 2017 ended on March 1. The exam is due to be held on May 7 in seven Indian languages apart from English, i.e. Hindi, Tamil, Telugu, Gujarati, Marathi,Assamese and Bengali. The petitioners have pleaded that CBSE should make provision to hold the exam in Urdu as well for candidates who have already applied and opted for any other language in absence of Urdu as an option. Earlier, SIO had stated in its petition that the decision to exclude Urdu the sixth most spoken language in India against languages like Gujarati which was seventh most spoken and Assamese which was twelfth most spoken was discriminatory.NDTV
SC issues notice on plea for NEET in Urdu
SC seeks reply of Centre, MCI on plea to conduct NEET in Urdu
Uniform Code: Law panel assures Muslim, Christian groups that personal laws will not be touched, 'beyond the extent permitted by Constitution'
Law Commission, which has embarked on a gigantic exercise of sourcing public opinion on the contentious Uniform Civil Code (UCC), has sought to dispel fears raised by Muslim and Christian groups assuring them that personal laws will not be touched 'beyond the extent permitted by the Constitution'.In his first interview after receiving over 40,000 responses to a questionnaire on the proposal, commission chairman Justice Balbir Singh Chauhan told Mail Today that the focus of the exercise is only to end gender discrimination and social injustice.  The effort is to synergise family law with gender equality, he said, ruling out any attempt to end plurality of laws. The ruling BJP has been pushing for such a common code despite resistance from rivals and even some allies.Religious minority groups have opposed the plan, saying such a common law would interfere with their codes of conduct.Terming the number of responses to the questionnaire 'overwhelming', Chauhan said in a lighter vein that 'now it has become like counting money which has accumulated in a temple hundi'. 'We will not go outside the constitutional framework,' he said. 'So there is no reason for anyone to have any kind of apprehension. It is a comprehensive exercise of the revision and reform of family laws. 'The objective is only to address discrimination against various groups and harmonise various cultural practices.' said Chauhan. Asked about fears raised from various quarters that the UCC would infringe this fundamental right, the former Supreme Court judge said, 'We are making it clear that we are not touching any constitutional right of any individual.'We are very mindful of that. Whatever we will do, will be within the framework of the Constitution and law of the country.'The demand for a uniform civil code essentially means unifying personal laws to have one set of secular laws that will apply to all citizens of India irrespective of the community they belong to.'Why can't there be a healthy debate on the issue?' Chauhan asked. 'That is the purpose behind the questionnaire. Why should the commission take a decision without knowing what the people want?'According to us, this is the most democratic approach and Article 44 of the Constitution says the state shall endeavour to secure for the citizens a uniform civil code. So this whole exercise has the backing of the Constitution also.' DailyMail
Uniform Civil Code aims at synergy of family law, gender equality: Law Commission chairman
Defying China, India to host Dalai Lama in Arunachal
New Delhi: Union government representatives will meet the Dalai Lama when he visits Arunachal Pradesh in April, officials said, despite a warning from China that it would damage bilateral ties.India said the Tibetan spiritual leader will make a religious trip to Arunachal Pradesh+ next month, and as a secular democracy it would not stop him from travelling to any part of the country.A trip by the Dalai Lama, whom the Chinese regard as a dangerous separatist, would ratchet up tensions at a time when India is at odds with China on strategic and security issues amid Beijing's growing ties with Pakistan.Prime Minister Narendra Modi's administration is raising its public engagement with the Tibetan leader, a change from earlier governments' reluctance to anger Beijing by sharing a public platform with him."It's a behavioural change you are seeing. India is more assertive," Kiren Rijiju, Union minister of state for home affairs, told Reuters in an interview.Reuters
China warns India against allowing Lama to visit Arunachal,says it will cause ‘serious damage’ to ties
Beijing:China on Friday warned India against allowing the Dalai Lama to visit Arunachal Pradesh, saying it would cause “serious damage” to the bilateral ties and peace in the disputed border region. “China is gravely concerned over information that India has granted permission to the Dalai to visit Arunachal Pradesh,” Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesman Geng Shuang told the media here.PTI
Ex-Chinese diplomat says concession on Tawang can resolve border dispute, India says not possible
Beijing: The border dispute between China and India can be resolved if New Delhi accepts Beijing’s claim over strategically vital Tawang region in Arunachal Pradesh, China’s former top diplomat has said, but Indian officials dismissed it as neither practical nor possible. Dai Bingguo, who served as the China’s boundary negotiator with India from 2003 to 2013, told Chinese media, “If the Indian side takes care of China’s concerns in the eastern sector of their border, the Chinese side will respond accordingly and address India’s concerns elsewhere.” Maharashtra:Fire Breaks Out In Dyeing Factory Elaborating China’s stand, Dai who conducted border talks with five Indian Special Representatives starting with Brajesh Mishra in 2003 said, “The disputed territory in the eastern sector of the China-India boundary, including Tawang, is inalienable from China’s Tibet in terms of cultural background and administrative jurisdiction.”He said that colonial British government which drew the “McMahon Line” accepted Beijing’s claim on Tawang. China has rejected “McMahon Line” in India’s case but accepted it in settling boundary dispute with Myanmar. “Even British colonialists who drew the illegal McMahon Line respected China’s jurisdiction over Tawang and admitted that Tawang was part of China’s Tibet,” Dai told the China-India Dialogue magazine.PTI
Army jawan who featured in sting criticising sahayak system found dead
Indian Army jawan who featured in a video recently on how officers exploit the sahayak or buddy system of armed forces, was found dead today in his room.33-year-old Roy Mathew, a gunner in the army was found hanging from the ceiling of his room in Deolali Cantonment in Maharashtra.His body has been sent for post-mortem.Mathew was among the several jawans or soldiers who could be seen doing mundane chores for officers in the sting video.It showed jawans, walking dogs of their seniors, washing their clothes and even taking children to school.His video sparked a major uproar in army ranks and otherwise against the buddy system, that allows exploitation of jawans in the name of duty.It soon went viral, following which he along with many other jawans were questioned.IndiaToday
Soldier found dead after accusing senior officers of harassment in TV interview
'Freedom For Kashmir, Palestine' Poster Surfaces At JNU, Removed
New Delhi: JNU has ordered removal of a controversial poster which sprang up on its campus demanding "freedom for Kashmir and Palestine". The poster with "Freedom for Kashmir! Free Palestine! Right to Self Determination Long Live! DSU" written on it was spotted on a wall by some students who alerted the university authorities."We don't know who put up the poster... the administration has asked the staff to bring it down," a senior university official said.Stressing that a small group of people are trying "vitiate the academic environment", official said, "the university has already lost precious time and energy in such unnecessary controversies."3 JNU students, then member of Democratic Students' Union (DSU) Kanhaiya Kumar, Umar Khalid and Anirban Bahttacharya - were arrested in Feb.last year on sedition charges in connection with an event on the campus where anti-national slogans were allegedly raised.NDT
Maldives plan to sell atoll to Saudi Arabia has India worried:TOI
NEW DELHI: India might be faced with another security challenge in its neighbourhood as a controversy erupted in the Maldives over the Abdulla Yameen government's plan to give control of an entire atoll to Saudi Arabia.Members of the opposition Maldivian Democratic Party told TOI that the decision to "sell" Faafu — one of the 26 atolls — to Saudi Arabia would aggravate Wahabism in the country. The archipelago already accounts for one of the highest numbers of foreign fighters in Syria in terms of per capita.Saudi Arabia's King Salman bin Abdulaziz Al Saud will be travelling to Maldives soon. MDP member and former foreign minister Ahmed Naseem said the government did not bother to take people's consent. "In the old days, selling land, which is scarce in Maldives, to foreigners would have been seen as high treason punishable by death." The govt passed a constitutional amendment in 2015 that allowed foreigners to own land in the Maldives. Maldives remains the only country in India's neighbourhood that PM Narendra Modi has avoided visiting. India has been unwilling to be seen as obtruding upon the internal affairs of Maldives. However, it may soon be required to take a position with elections likely next year in the country.MDP chief and former president Mohamed Nasheed, currently living in exile in London, will contest the polls.He told TOI last month that India had a moral obligation to ensure free and fair elections in the country. MoS M J Akbar recently visited Male and reiterated India's support for a "stable, democratic, peaceful and prosperous Maldives fulfilling the aspirations of its citizens".
India sees red over Maldives’ plans to sell island to Saudi Arabia: Report
UP's Lakhimpur Under Curfew After Communal Clashes Over 'Objectionable Video'
Curfew has been imposed in the Lakhimpur city of Uttar Pradesh after communal clashes over an objectionable video that was allegedly circulated by two students.The curfew was imposed on Thursday night. Tension had gripped the city after the video, which allegedly hurt religious sentiments, went viral on social media.The city police arrested the students who had allegedly circulated the video.However, protests began last evening and the markets were also closed. There were reports of clashes and firing following which the district magistrate announced the imposition of a curfew till further orders."To maintain peace and law and order, curfew restrictions in the city area have been imposed and people have been asked to stay home," District Magistrate (Kheri) Akashdeep told reporters today.PTI
Western UP on boil again after communal sparks:TOI
Lucknow: Seen as a communal cauldron after Muzaffarnagar riots and lynching over beef-eating in Dadri, Western UP is again on the boil as the state enters the extremely crucial last leg of assembly elections, with just two phases to go.With a series of what seemingly minor incidents rapidly taking shape of communal clashes in the recent past, most of the districts in the region are simmering with tension, keeping police on their toes.What has however emerged as a new and rather dangerous pattern is a fact that the region, which was somewhat silent during the elections, is showing signs of restlessness and communal upheaval after polling was held on Feb.11 and 15 respectively. Even minor altercations and road mishaps are leading to law and order crises. Senior police officers admit that a scenario indicated that all was no well in West UP.The Bulandshahr incident where a video which reportedly showed a man using objectionable language against gods and goddesses went viral triggering off a communal clash was just an indicator of the extent to which the atmosphere was surcharged in and around the district. Mobs went berserk damaging shops owned by another community. What happened in Muzaffarnagar on Feb.25 was even more baffling. A minor altercation between a Dalit and a Muslim youth in Khadarwala area led to panic.The heated exchange that took place a stones throw distance away from a Maha Aarti function at Shiv Chowk, saw the communities came face to face leading to sporadic incidents of stone pelting. The incident saw shopkeepers down their shutters and the market place was deserted in no time.Senior police officers in the region however a design behind whipping up communal passions in the region. "In two separate incidents, pieces of meat were found outside a temple in the district and at a farm field. The size of the pieces suggested that they were probably of a bovine leading to tension," said a senior IPS officer adding that such incidents are a result of some conspiracy as they require planning. In both the incidents the police acted swiftly and managed to contain the situation in time.
'Why Modi Is Silent on BJP Leader's Arrest in Child Trafficking Case?' Asks Cong
New Delhi:The Congress today targeted the BJP after the arrest of its women's wing leader Juhi Chowdhury for her alleged involvement in a child trafficking case, and asked why the Prime Minister was silent over the issue."Prime Minister Modi is silent on the sex racket in WB (West Bengal), but makes divisive statements in UP," Congress leader Manpreet Badal said.Addressing a press conference here, the Congress leader said it is "glaringly shameful" that the West Bengal BJP Mahila Morcha general secretary Juhi Chowdhury has been arrested for her involvement in a child trafficking racket. He claimed Juhi has now told the police that she was advised to escape to Nepal by an MP of BJP.outlookindia
Muslims shifted mid-way from SP-Cong to BSP, will pave our victory, says BJP
Varanasi: Muslims shifted their loyalty mid-way during the UP elections from the SP-Congress alliance to the BSP, a trend that BJP claims will consolidate its victory in the state. “Muslims were with the SP-Congress alliance in the earlier phases of the polls...but lately they realised that they had bet on the wrong horse. Shivpal Yadav has also damaged Yadav votes for the alliance in Phase-III. Muslims then shifted towards BSP. As a result, BJP will get a majority,” a senior BJP functionary said. He said media overhyped the strength of the SP-Congress alliance and thereby confused the Muslim voters. The leader added that for the first time in UP elections, BJP was getting votes from almost 3-and-a-half groups out of the six voting in the state and it was confident of getting 34% vote-share, which would be needed for a majority in a 3-cornered contest.economictimes
RSS, CPM violence flares up in Kerala, 3 DYFI activists attacked in Palakkad
New Delhi:Amidst the ongoing tussle between RSS and CPM in Kerala, 3 Democratic Youth Federation of India (DYFI) activists were attacked at Elappulli in Palakkad district. 5 unidentified men who came on motor bikes attacked the 3 activists- Rathish (30), Yousuf (31) and Sudheesh (28). The attack in Palakad happened few hours before the bomb attack on RSS office in Kallachi in Kozhikode district on Thursday. DYFI is the youth wing of the CPM.Police filed a complaint naming three BJP workers for attacking the two youths. In another attack, the CPM office in Vishnumangalam, Kozhikode area was set on fire on Thursday night. RSS supporter Virag Pachpor told ANI on Friday that since the last eight months when the Communist Govt came to power in Kerala, there had been continuous attacks on RSS people.Yesterday, RSS leader from Ujjain Kundan Chandrawat announced a bounty of Rs 1 crore on Kerala CM Pinarayi Vijayan’s head and promised to “offer a garland of 3 lakh human skulls to Bharat Mata” in revenge.indianexpress
VHP calls for equal population policy, demographic balance
New Delhi;Observing that 'jihadi terrorism cannot be tackled through military action alone, the VHP on Friday urged the United Nations to evolve policies to ensure demographic balance through equal population rights.Referring to a report from American think tank Pew Research Center, VHP Joint General Secretary Surendra Jain pointed out that the Muslim population growth rate is 70 per cent, whereas the Hindus are growing at a rate of 34 per cent only."So, it is all the more important for India to have policies urgently to check demographic imbalance, as it is headed to become the country with largest Muslim population in the world by 2050," Jain said in a statement.IANS
Maharashtra govt suspends former Wakf CEO over alleged Rs 2500 crore fraud
Maharashtra government on Friday suspended former Wakf Board's CEO Naseem Banu Patel after a preliminary inquiry found her guilty of ruling a wakf property worth Rs 2500 crore in Nashik as non wakf despite all the evidences supporting the claim. Patel had been removed from the post of CEO in January.The property running into 55 acres at the prime location of Nashik now has a township coming up on it after the builder managed its possession by paying compensation to the encroachers, who proved themselves to be the legal heir of the land after the CEO declared it non wakf. “The suspended officer had passed an order on 4.2.2016 stating that the said land in Nashik was not a wakf property and the preliminary inquiry conducted by the minorities department has proved that the intention of the officer was malafide in nature,” reads the order passed by revenue and land department on Friday.DNA
Note ban affected 56 per cent economic activity, says Kerala Economic Review
Kerala Economic Review of 2016 said 56 per cent of economic activity in the state was severely affected by demonetisation.The review, placed before the Assembly on Thursday, said cash transactions were predominant in the state’s economy, particularly in the unorganised and the traditional sectors.Cash-intensive sectors such as retail, hotel and transport account for over 40 per cent of the state’s economy, and the primary sector accounts for another 16 per cent of the economy. Thus, 56 per cent of the economy was immediately affected by the demonetisation, said the report. indianexpress
SBI to charge for breaching monthly average balance in saving accounts
Mumbai : Come April 1, and the State Bank of India will once again begin to charge customers for failing to maintain the monthly average balance (MAB) in their savings bank accounts. The bank done away with this rule in July 2012 to expand customer base.The country's largest lender will levy charges to partly cover costs incurred for managing systems and operations for saving bank accounts. The charge is linked to the gap between the amount held in an account and the MAB required to be maintained in it.According to an SBI communication to branches, the monthly average balance that customers will have to maintain in savings bank accounts with branch in metropolitan areas is Rs 5,000.If the shortfall -- the gap between amount in account and Rs 5,000 (MAB in metropolitan region) is 50 per cent or less, then SBI will levy a charge of Rs 50 plus service tax. For shortfalls between 50-75 per cent, the penalty will be Rs 75 plus service tax and for gaps above 75 per cent, the charge is Rs 100 plus service tax.
Hosni Mubarak acquitted over 2011 protester killings
6 years after the uprising that ended his rule, former Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak has been acquitted over his alleged involvement in the killings of hundreds of protesters in 2011.The Court of Cassation's final ruling on Thursday could see Mubarak walk free."It has been six long years. Mubarak has stood so many trials in front of various courts.He's been tried mainly for two things. First in his role in killing protesters in the 18 days of the Jan.25 revolution. He was also tried for corruption. Egyptians were closely watching the trial for involvement in killing protesters.In 2012, he was found guilty and was sentenced to life. He appealed that ruling. He was found innocent today.This means that we don't know who killed the protesters.Habib al-Adly, his minister of interior, was found innocent before, and now Mubarak is "free'.Most of the youth leaders of the revolution have been found guilty and are in jail. They are both from youth groups and religious groups. About 60,000 activists are in jail today. The govt was able to find enough evidence to indict them and sentence them to years in prison.The striking point sf that the most senior leaders of the Mubarak regime, who people revolted against, are found innocent because of a lack of evidence." Aljazeera

Israel demolishes Arab-Israeli’s home without notice
Israeli bulldozers demolished an under-construction house owned by an Arab-Israeli in the central Israeli town of Kafr Qasim this morning.Israeli police raided the home of Ramzi Bin Bari and demolished it.According to locals, the demolition was carried out because the building lacked difficult to obtain Israeli-issued building permits. Bin Bari had recently moved to the town, locals added.Despite attempts by residents to prevent the demolition, the bulldozers continued work until the house was completely destroyed.Bin Bari told Ma’an that his case was still being discussed in court in an attempt to gain a permit for the property. He added that he had not received a demolition order and was shocked when bulldozers arrived at the house. Worldbulletin
Kurds start killing each other in northern Iraq
Rival Kurdish groups clashed in Iraq’s northwestern Sinjar region on Friday, two Kurdish security sources said, causing deaths on both sides.The fighting erupted when so-called “Peshmerga Rojava” forces deployed towards the border with Syria, encroaching on territory controlled and claimed by a local affiliate of the Kurdistan PKK operating in Iraq.The unrest highlights the risk of conflict and turf wars between the multiple forces arrayed against Daesh, many of which lean on regional patrons for political support or arms.“There are martyrs and wounded on both sides,” one security source said.The Peshmerga Rojava force is made up of Kurds from Syria and was formed and trained in Iraq with the backing of Masoud Barzani, the leader of the Kurdistan Democratic Party and the president of Iraq’s autonomous Kurdistan KRG, who enjoys good relations with Turkey. Turkey is at war with PKK, which established a foothold in Sinjar after aiding Iraq’s Yazidi population when Daesh overran the area in the summer of 2014, and set up a local franchise known as the YBS.In a statement released today, the YBS said the fighting began when the Peshmerga Rojava tried to seize its positions in the town of Khanasor. YBS accused Turkey of instigating the violence. middleeastmonitor
Amnesty: Human rights crisis in Egypt continues
Egyptians are still suffering tough anti-human rights measures in Egypt, Amnesty International has reported.Days before the German Chancellor Angela Merkel’s visit, Mohamed Ahmed, an expert at the organisation, said in a press statement that “Egypt is currently facing a severe human rights crisis that can never be compared to the situation during Mubarak’s rule,” referring to former dictator Hosni Mubarak who was toppled after a popular revolt in 2011.Ahmed stressed that the intervention of the international community was the “only way” to influence the Egyptian government to halt their crackdown on human rights. He expressed hope that Merkel’s visit would cover various topics on the abuse and torture that are being carried out against Egyptians in general, and against human rights defenders in particular. middleeastmonitor
Merkel strongly criticised for ‘passive’ position on human rights in Egypt
A priest in Germany has criticised Chancellor Angela Merkel yesterday for her “passive” position on the human rights situation in Egypt as she headed to North Africa on a tour to enhance trade and investment ties.Joachim Schroedel, a German priest who has worked in Egypt for over 20 years, expressed his anger towards Merkel’s assertion that Egyptian Copts’ situation is “very good” in Egypt and her description of Egypt as a stabilising force in the region. middleeastmonitor
Brotherhood leader says reviews do not mean reconciliation with Egypt regime
Mohammed Imad El-Din, a Muslim Brotherhood senior leader, said that the group is conducting an ongoing review into revising policy, despite the internal crisis that it is facing. He told the Egyptian Masr Al-Arabiya news site that revisions constitute one of the fundamentals for the group since it was established, as they believe in revisions, not retreat.He continued saying that revisions do not mean reaching reconciliation with the current regime of President Abdel Fattah Al-Sisi or giving up on the rights of those killed by the regime, because these rights are not the Brotherhood’s to give up.The review could include policy revisions on political, economic and social matters, he said. middleeastmonitor
High court bans liquor sales in Pakistan's Sindh province: The Hindu
The High Court in Pakistani province of Sindh has banned sale of liquor and ordered the provincial government to shut all liquor shops and prepare a strategy to regulate its sale.The order comes in response to a complaint filed by the Pakistan Hindu Council, a representative body of the Hindu community in Pakistan. Pakistani law allows sale of liquor to minorities, including Hindus and Christians. But the law is often manipulated when Muslims get liquor through their non-Muslim colleagues, friends or employees, according to its critics.The Sindh High Court Chief Justice, Sajjad Ali Shah, ruled that liquor was being wrongfully sold in the name of non-Muslims. The Hindu Council and Dr. Ramesh Kumar Vankwani, a member of the National Assembly, argued before the court that sale of alcohol beverages without regulation is violation of Article 37(h) and Hudood Ordinance. The ordinance, enacted in 1977 as part of the then military ruler Zia-ul-Haq's ‘Islamisation’ process, replaced parts of the British-era Penal Code, adding new criminal offences. The ruling came after Advocate General and lawyers of wine shops admitted that most of wine shops are not operating according to their permits.
US: Hanging of young Muslim prompts calls for FBI probe
 A Muslim civil rights group is calling for a federal investigation after an 18-year-old black Muslim was found hanged in the northwestern US state of Washington.Ben Moussa Keita, who was set to graduate from high school, went missing last November. He was discovered in the woods by passers-by last month in the city of Lake Stevens, where the family lives.After a weeks-long search effort and no clear answers, the Council on American-Islamic Relations' (CAIR) local branch is urging the FBI to take over."The family really wants answers," Arsalan Bukhari, head of CAIR Washington, told Anadolu Agency.World Bulletin
School in Germany bans Muslim children from prayer
A high school in Germany’s western city of Wuppertal has banned Muslim students from publicly praying in the school building, sparking a heated debate in social media.Johannes Rau all-day high school asked teachers on Feb. 16 to issue a "friendly warning" to students who perform prayers in the building, a leaked document circulated in social media has revealed.The school management said the ritual washing at the school toilets, and publicly praying in the school building are not permitted. It also urged teachers to report names of students who don’t observe the rules.The controversial ban has drawn widespread criticism in social media, but was backed by the country’s far-right party Alternative for Germany, or AfD.World Bulletin
 Compiled and edited by Anwarulhaq (Released at: 7:41 PM)


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