News and views across the globe.

Tuesday, 18 April 2017

18 April 2017: 20 Rajab 1438: Vol: 8, No:168
Vande Mataram must in schools, colleges: SC asks Centre to respond
New Delhi: The Supreme Court on Tuesday issued a notice to the Centre on a petition that asked the govt to make singing Vande Mataram, the national song, mandatory in schools. The Centre has 4 weeks to respond, and the next date of hearing is on August 23. On a separate petition on the national anthem, the Centre told the top court respect for the anthem was non-negotiable and it was unfortunate that some people want to disrespect it.The court has allowed the petitioner in the case to modify the plea demanding a law to punish those who disrespect the national anthem.In Feb, the top court rejected the plea filed by senior Supreme Court advocate Ashwini Upadhyay seeking direction to give equal respect to the national song as given to the national anthem and observed there was no concept of a national song under the law. The plea sought a direction to frame a national policy to promote and propagate the national anthem, national song and national flag in the spirit of Article 51A. hindustantimes
SC issues notice to Centre on plea to make Vande Mataram mandatory in schools, colleges
SC Seeks Centre's Reply On Plea For Policy On National Anthem, Song
Why Vande Mataram Isn't Treated On Par With National Anthem, Court Asks Centre
National Anthem: SC Extends Exemption To Several Categories Of Disabled; Order Recall Plea Admitted
The Supreme Court extended the exemption granted to certain categories of disabled persons from standing while national anthem is played in cinema halls to those affected with autism, cerebral palsy, multiple disabilities, Parkinson disease, stenosis, leprosy and polio cured. “Having heard learned counsel for the parties, we are inclined to modify the orders and direct that the persons who are wheel chair users, those with autism, persons suffering from cerebral palsy, multiple disabilities, parkinsons, multiple sclerosis, leprosy cured, muscular dystrophy and deaf and blind be treated notto be within the ambit ofthe orders passed by this Court. As far as the other categories, which we have not referred to mentioned in the application, are concerned, same may be considered by the Union of India”, said Bench. livelaw
Census puts Muslim divorce rate at just 0.56% as compared to 0.76% among Hindus
The divorce rate among Muslims in the 2011 Census is lower than among Hindus. And while there is no survey on cases of ‘triple talaq’, the incidence could be as low as 1% of the total. While PM  Narendra Modi and his govt , TV channels and the Supreme Court are all concerned over the ‘regressive’ practice of triple talaq, here are 10 facts that put the issue in perspective. Census of 2011 had put the divorce rate among Muslims at 0.56% (0.76% among Hindus).Neither the govt  nor the Law Commission has conducted any survey on the extent of triple talaq among Indian Muslims. There is no survey on the extent of polygamy among either Muslims or Hindus. Empirical evidence, however, puts the instances of polygamy among the poorer sections of the 2 communities as high or as low as the other. While a Constitution Bench of the Supreme Court is to hear a batch of petitions seeking a ban on polygamy and halala and to decide whether triple talaq is against Constitutional principles, several scholars have questioned the Govt’s eagerness to flag the issue. national herald
Nearly 5 crore Muslims declare support for triple talaq, object to uniform civil code
Triple talaq issue not religious, related to social reforms:Naqvi
Rampur: Union minister Mukhtar Abbas Naqvi today described the contentious issue of triple talaq as "not religious, but one related to comprehensive social reforms" which were the "need of the hour".Naqvis remarks came a day after Modi made a strong pitch against triple talaq, insisting that "exploitation" of Muslim women should end and justice should be meted out to them. "Triple talaq is not a religious issue. Its related to social reforms. Comprehensive social reforms are the need of the hour," Naqvi said.PTI
Ban AIMPLB for endorsing triple talaq: Adityanath's lone Muslim minister Mohsin Raza
New Delhi: UP minority affairs minister Mohsin Raza on Tuesday dubbed All India Muslim Personal Law Board (AIMPLB) as 'All India Maulawi (Cleric) Personal Law Board' and said the organisation which endorses practices like triple talaq should be banned."AIMPLB should not be called as Muslim Personal Law Board but a Maulawi (Cleric) Personal Law Board. Such organization should be banned as it does not work for the welfare of society but endorses practice like triple talaq that is harassment to women. Triple talaq is somewhere against the Constitution as it does not come within the prevalence of it. Any organization should work according to the Constitution of India," Raza told ANI.Backing PM  Narendra Modi and UP  CM  Yogi Adityanath's stand on triple talaq, Raza further said that a new law should be implemented putting an end to triple talaq practice.Meanwhile, reacting to Raza's assertion, member of AIMPLB Maulana Khalid Rashid Firangi Mahali said the political leaders are making political issue out of the triple talaq, adding Muslim Personal Law Board is a registered organization."From the very first day nothing Islamic or nothing religious is being said or done as far as the issue of triple talaq is concerned. It has been completely made a political issue. Anyone can see that from the time of the election campaigning for the UP election till now. We think it will continue till 2019. Muslim Personal Law Board is a registered organization under the Society Act," Mahali said.TOI
Forced imposition of majoritarian view on religious practices of minorities will be wrong: JD(U)
New Delhi: Janata Dal (U) on criticised any “forced imposition” of a majoritarian view on the religious practices of minorities amid a raging debate over triple talaq. Its spokesperson K C Tyagi said the state should work to bring in the Uniform Civil Code but insisted that it must be based on a broad consensus and not imposed in an authoritarian way.“Any attempt to impose the Uniform Civil Code without consultation and a consensus, especially on minorities, could lead to social friction and an erosion of faith in the constitutional guarantee of the freedom of religion,” he said in a statement.PTI
Muslim leaders question "newfound" concern of Modi Adityanath for Muslim women
The debate on Muslims that PM  Narendra Modi launched over the weekend has assumed a sharp edge and got yoked to seemingly unrelated yet inseparable topics. Jamaat-e-Islami Hind secretary-general Salim Engineer said: "Let the courts decide. Are they trying to interfere in the court proceedings...? It is highly objectionable that when the matter is in court, such influential people in the govt are speaking in such a manner." Both Assadudin Owaisi and Engineer questioned the "newfound" concern of Modi and Adityanath for Muslim women."If they are so concerned about the well-being of Muslim women, why not ensure justice for Zakia Jafri or the Muslim women who were raped during the Muzaffarnagar riots of 2013?" Engineer added that if the two were so concerned about divorced Muslim women, they should enact a law mandating govt jobs for them within 6 months of divorce."Why is Modi govt showing no compassion towards JNU's missing student Najeeb's mother who is also a Muslim. Modi speaks about backwards among Muslims but attack on slaughterhouses in UP is affecting the Quraishi community the most," Owaisi said.According to Owaisi, data collected by the Muslim Mahila Research Kendra (MMRK) through RTI applications in family courts in Muslim concentration districts showed the prevalence of divorce among minority community to be lower than Hindus, contrary to the perception that is sought to be made about his community being a perpetually divorcing lot.Asma Zehra of the MMRK and a member of the AIMPLB said a random sample survey of 13,000 women across the country showed 100 cases of divorce, of which a dozen were through instant triple talaq. Reacting to Adityanath's statement, AIMPLB member Zafaryab Jilani said: "The community is not ready to give up the Sharia at any cost. We have decided on our own to boycott those who don't follow it during the triple talaq. But some people, including PM , are issuing strange statements on this matter." Telegraph
Stay away from triple talaq issues:Fatehpuri Shahi Masjid Imam Mufti Mukarram
New Delhi: Fatehpuri Shahi Masjid Shahi Imam Dr Mufti M Mukarram Ahmed on Monday made a fervent appeal to all the political parties to sway away from the contentious triple talaq issue, saying neither any govt  nor any political party has any right or authority to meddle in the religious practices followed by any community. He urged the govt to set up a centralised centre for registration of Qazi’s who could solemnise marriages of the Muslim community.Dr Ahmed said the triple talaq issue was dominating political and public space only because people were not well informed about the religious teachings of the Quran. “If a person says talaq just once, it is a divorce. But after giving a thorough thought, the person can again live with his wife. If there are serious differences between the couple after first talaq, one can give a second talaq as well. Even after second talaq, Islam says, the couple can again lead their marriageable life. But on the third occasion, the marriage is bound to end.”Dr Ahmed said that talaq is solemnised under Muslim laws and it was in no way, a human rights issue. “Govt has no religion. Like Muslims should stay away from interfering in the religious practices of Hindus and Sikhs, same way other religious figures should not meddle in our practices.” Asked why triple talaq was not being practised in an Islamic state like Pakistan, Dr Ahmed said the marriage in the neighbouring country is solemnised through registered Qazi by the govt  machinery. “Nikkah (marriage is registered in Pakistan) with certain conditions and rules. And for talaq also, they follow the guidelines with prior information to the govt .” asianage
Triple talaq, other Shariyat issues should be left to Muslims to handle: Azam Khan
Lucknow: Minutes after UP CM  Aditya Nath Yogi questioned those silent on the issue of triple talaq, equating it with the Draupadi's cheerharan on Monday, Samajwadi Party's Muslim face, Azam Khan said issues related to Shariyat should be left to Muslims to handle."Muslim clerics never questioned the system of sati; nor do they have the authority to decide how mantras should be recited and how the marriage rituals should be performed by the Hindus," Azam said in Rampur, adding that similar mutual respect should be shown towards the religious practices of the Muslims. "How Muslims are to offer namaaz, observes fasts, perform Nikah (marriage) or talaq (divorce) should be left to us," he said. Timesofindia
Fresh PIL In Supreme Court For Uniform Civil Code
Advocate Farah Faiz, has filed a PIL seeking the Centre to enact the Uniform Civil Code (UCC) to bring all communities on the common platform in the light of diverse personal laws in different religions.Filing the PIL, the petitioner lawyer said the Uniform Civil Code is the urgent need of the day “to abolish the discrimination among citizens on the basis of region and to end the vote bank politics.”
Hindu Yuva Vahini Calling Shots On UP's Streets Now That Yogi Adityanath Is CM: Reuters
Unnao : One recent afternoon, dozens of young Hindu men, swords drawn and saffron scarves draped around their necks, rode motorcycles through a Muslim neighbourhood near the capital of India's most populous state and chanted "Hail Lord Ram!"In the preceding weeks they and their peers had acted as informers, police officials say, helping them identify thousands of Muslim-run butchers' shops that have since been shut and urging officers to stop Muslim youths talking to Hindu girls in the street.Their organisation is the Hindu Yuva Vahini (Hindu Youth Force), a private militia set up in 2002 by Yogi Adityanath,a local priest and politician, to assert the dominance of India's main religion which he felt was being eroded by minority faiths.Since Adityanath's promotion last month to CM  of UP , home to 220 million people of which a fifth are Muslims, the group has become emboldened, openly proclaiming its Hindu roots and putting pressure on police.The appointment of the 44-year-old, known for his fiery anti-Muslim rhetoric and a campaign against "Love Jihad" - or the conversion of Hindu women to Islam - has shocked some Indians, who say it undermines the country's secular status.They worry that PM Narendra Modi's "development for all" agenda will be overtaken by radical, Hindu-first policies with the potential to stoke communal tensions that have erupted sporadically through India's 70-year history.Adityanath declined to be interviewed for this article."Blood can be shed, and Muslims will feel the pain," Pankaj Singh, a senior leader of the Hindu Youth Force, told Reuters in an interview on the sidelines of the rally in Unnao, an hour's drive southwest of the capital Lucknow. Such comments have sent a chill through some in the Muslim community, on the defensive in UP  since this year's election in which Adityanath rallied the Hindu majority and delivered a resounding victory to the ruling BJP.
'Will fight with swords if Muslims touch Hindu girl': Hindu Yuva Vahini call the shots on streets of UP
Hardline Hindu youth call shots on streets of northern India
Hindu Janajagruti Samiti And Shiv Sena Seek Ban On Use Of Loudspeakers In Mosques
Sonu Nigam's rant on Twitter against Azaan or the Muslim call for prayer seems to have resurrected a demand that has often figured in the agenda of the Hindu right-wing.According to a report in the Indian Express, Hindu Janajagruti Samiti has released a statement saying that the use of loudspeakers by mosques causes noise pollution and is in violation of rules laid by the govt . The statement says that even though the Mumbai High Court has ordered all loudspeakers at mosques to be taken down, the Mumbai police department has not managed to do it yet because they fear doing so may cause "a law and order situation."ANI
Mosque's loudspeakers mightier than law: Sanatan Sanstha accuses Mumbai Police of no action
It's not about azaan or aarti but loudspeakers: Sonu Nigam
After his angry rant on twitter on 'forced religiousness', and the backlash he received for targeting just one religion, Sonu Nigam has clarified his stance. The singer has justified his statement saying that those tweets were not against any religion but usage of loudspeakers.Standing by his statement, Sonu wrote, "Your stand exposes your own IQ. I stand by my statement that loudspeakers should not be allowed in Mosques & Temples.
Mufti Mukarram questions Sonu Nigam's 'motive' for rant on azaan
Muslim cleric Sayeed Mufti Mukarram on Monday condemned Sonu Nigam's rant against azaan, the muslim call to prayer, saying the singer wants to attract media attention and that's why he is making such 'objectionable' comments.ANI
Zafaryab Jilon sympathises with Sonu Nigam's 'individual' Azaan problem
After Sonu Nigam shared how he was forced to wake up early because of the sound of morning Azaan from a local mosque, AIMPLB secretary Zafaryab Jilon Monday suggested the former to directly talk to the Muslims of his locality.Jilani said, "If Sonu Nigam has any problem, then he should talk to the concerned people of that area. He can ask them to lower down the volume of the speaker facing his house.""It is his individual problem and I personally sympathise with him," he added.Talking on the same, however, Congress said that be it Azaan at the mosques or prayers at the temples and churches, these are old traditions. Its spokesperson Tom Vadakkan said if the 43-year-old singer does not find it pleasing, then it is his "point of view.""These are parts of pluralistic society. When I hear the Bhajans coming from the nearby temple at 5 o'clock in the morning, it's music to my ears. But if Nigam ji does not find Azaan soothing, then that's his personal view," he said.ANI
Alwar lynching: Pehlu Khan’s uncle threatens to commit suicide with entire family
Jaipur: As alleged accused in the lynching of dairy farmer Pehlu Khan in Alwar roam free, victim’s uncle Hussain Khan on Monday threatened to commit suicide along with his entire family if “justice” eludes them for long.55-year-old dairy farmer from Nuh in Haryana was grievously assaulted by self-styled cow vigilantes near Behror in Rajasthan on Delhi-Alwar highway on April 1, branding him as a cattle smuggler. He succumbed to his injuries at a private hospital on April 3.Even more than two weeks after the incident, police have failed to trace 6 absconding accused, infuriating the bereaved family, who staged protest in Jaipur along with other members of their community.“My nephew was beaten mercilessly to death even though he had the documents to prove he legally purchased the. Govt , instead of arresting the accused, is trying to protect them. If we don’t get justice soon, I along with all my family members will commit suicide,” Hussain told the HT on the sidelines of agitation at police Commissionerate in Jaipur.
‘Justice for Pehlu Khan’ dharna from April 24-26
Cow Vigilantes Should Be Booked Under Anti-Terror Laws: Swami Agnivesh
Jaipur: Social activist Swami Agnivesh sought to equate cow vigilantes with terrorists and demanded they should be booked under the stringent anti-terror laws for allegedly terrorising people.The way cow vigilantes are terrorising people, their act should be considered a crime committed by a terrorist, and booked under the sections of law similar to that are applicable on terrorists, he said addressing a gathering here.Social organisations today organised a protest at Shahid PTI
BJP’s Goa ally, Congress protest VHP beef ban call
Panaji: A day after a VHP functionary called for a ban on beef in Goa, BJP ally Goa Forward Party (GFP) as well as opposition parties asked the Manohar Parrikar govt  to ensure that the state’s communal harmony is not disturbed. On Sunday, VHP’s Acharya Radha Krishna Manori called for a ban on beef consumption in Goa. Stating that he did not need the state govt ’s help in converting Goans’ food habits, he said the Bajrang Dal and Durga Vahini will “awaken the Goans” the way they have been doing in the rest of the country. Manori was speaking at a VHP event on Ram Mandir.On Monday, GFP leader Vijai Sardesai spoke to Parrikar over phone and sought a ban on “leaders who make careless and polarising statements” from entering the state. “Individual liberty is not a state subject. Constitution protects a citizen on his food habits and no politician can dictate terms,” Sardesai said. “We already have a law which states cow slaughter is banned in the state.”Congress leader Luizinho Faleiro asked the govt  if there was any “hidden agenda” behind such statements. indianexpress
Goa: GFP sends a strong message to VHP, says will deal with those who create communal disharmony
Toeing Adityanath’s footsteps, Bhopal mayor to act against illegal meat sellers
Bhopal:Toeing line of UP  CM  CM  Yogi Adityanath, Bhopal mayor has decided to start a crackdown on illegal meat sellers. Mayor Bhopal Alok Sharma on Monday told reporters that Bhopal Municipal Corporation has identified 100 meat sellers in Bhopal who were found selling in violation of the laid down norms. He said he has also received many complaints regarding already dead poultry being sold from some meat shops in Bhopal.“We are not sparing those who violate the norms. We will conduct raids on illegal meat sellers and seize the animals and poultry. Such seized animals and birds will then be sent to Van Vihar National Park Bhopal”, he said.HT
video: Muslim youths assaulted for not saying “jai shri ram” in Chikkadpally, 10 arrested
Hyderabad: 2 days back an incident had taken place in Suryanagar Colony of Chikkadpally area, Hyderabad, wherein Muslim youths who were going on bikes were stopped and asked to say “Jai Shri Ram”. When they did not raise this slogan, the miscreants beat them and caused injuries to their bodies. They also damaged the vehicles passing through that road. In this incident, 5 youths were injured and they were sent to hospital for treatment.Police arrested 10 persons and posted police pickets in Surya Nagar area. Police also registered cases against both the communities alleging violence and attempt to murder.Task Force arrested 10 persons and presented them before the court. siasat
Zakir Naik has permanent resident status in Malaysia: Deputy PM
International preacher from India, Dr Zakir Naik, has a permanent resident status in Malaysia and not a Malaysian citizen, said Deputy PM  Datuk Seri Ahmad Zahid Hamidi. Ahmad Zahid, who is also Home Minister, said the preacher did not reside in Malaysia but stayed in several other countries."He (Zakir) obtained the permanent resident status five years ago, but he is not a Malaysian citizen," he said when asked whether Zakir was a Malaysian citizen. He said this to reporters when approached after officiating the Human Ecology International Conference 2017, here today.
Zakir Naik has held permanent residence status in Malaysia for at least 5 yrs: deputy PM
Naik’s sister says she acted as front for  his firms
In her statement to ED, Zakir Naik’s sister Nailah Noorani said that she acted as front for companies established by her brother after 2013. According to an Indian Express report, Noorani in her statement said that she “acted as a front” in Harmony Media, the firm set up by Naik in 2005, which produced videos of his “provocative speeches”.Noorani told ED officers that she was associated with 5 companies the Harmony Media Ltd, Long Last Construction Pvt Ltd, Magestic Perfumes Pvt Ltd, Right Properties Pvt Ltd and Alpha Lubricants but she was unaware from where the money for buying these properties came.According to HT report, the ED claimed that Naik and his wife Farhat had the majority of shares in these companies, which they transferred to Noorani in 2013 after they became NRI. Since 2013, Noorani has held 95% of shares in Harmony Media and Long Last Construction.
ED Files Case Against Zakir Naik's Aide Aamir Gazdar
New Delhi:ED filed a prosecution complaint against Zakir Naik's close aide Aamir Gazdar for money laundering. Based on the investigation conducted, Gazdar was arrested by the ED under Section 19 of the PMLA on Feb.16 and is currently in judicial custody.The ED said during the investigation, it was found that certain dummy companies were established by Naik for routing the proceeds of crime. IANS
Vijay Mallya arrested in London, gets bail within hours
New Delhi: Businessman Vijay Mallya was arrested by the Scotland Yard in London on Monday on India’s request for his extradition on fraud charges. He was released on bail a few later after he appeared at a central London police station. “Officers from the Metropolitan Police’s Extradition Unit this morning arrested a man on an extradition warrant. Vijay Mallya was arrested on behalf of the Indian authorities in relation to accusations of fraud,” said the Scotland Yard.The London Metropolitan Police said Mallya was arrested after attending a central London police station. He appeared at Westminster magistrates’ court in London and was seen walking out with his legal team a few hours later after being granted bail.PTI
‘Usual Indian media hype. Extradition hearing as expected,’ Vijay Mallya tweets after arrest, bail
To win 2019 polls, Modi govt can fight war with Pak: Digvijaya
New Delhi:Digvijaya Singh launched another tirade against the BJP Govt . Casting grave doubts on the intention of the Modi dispensation, Singh mentioned there is an attempt to build an atmosphere in the direction of war with Pakistan."BJP govt  is not fulfilling the promises it made to the people. So, there is no alternative left in the country to win the election. So, in this situation, Modi govt  can fight a war with Pakistan. This kind of an atmosphere is being built to win the 2019 elections."livemint
Kashmir on the boil as stone-pelting, poll boycott mark India's loosening grip over state: IANS
Srinagar: An alarming spurt in violence in early spring has been marked by attacks on civilians by militants, the army using a civilian as a shield against stone-pelters, the lowest ever voter turn-out in a parliamentary by-election and the use of social media as a tool to stoke passions.These are all indications of bad days ahead for Kashmiris, who were looking forward to a calmer summer in 2017. If this is the bad news, what is even worse is that the situation appears to be slipping out of the hands of both the state and the non-state actors in Kashmir's sordid drama of pain and suffering.
Varsities, colleges closed in Kashmir Valley:PTI
Srinagar: Universities, colleges and higher secondary schools today remained closed across Kashmir on the orders of the divisional administration in view of the widespread student protests in valley. Universities, colleges and classes XI and XII remained closed today following orders to this effect issued by Divisional Commissioner Kashmir Baseer Khan yesterday, officials said.They said these educational institutions were closed as a precautionary measure to prevent further protests.
At least 100 students injured in Kashmir as latest anti-India protests lead to more violence in contested state
Mobile internet remain suspended in Kashmir: uni

China says CPEC has ‘no direct link’ with Kashmir issue
Beijing:China on Monday sought to allay India’s concerns over the China-Pakistan Economic Corridor, saying it has “no direct link” with the Kashmir issue and New Delhi was welcome to participate in the ‘One Belt One Road’ project. Chinese Foreign Minister Wang Yi, at press conference on One belt One Road (OBOR) summit to be held here from May 14-15, said, “Although (an) Indian leader will not be here but India will have a representative” at the OBOR summit.PTI
Army camps in Kashmir have succumbed to ‘Mandir’ culture: Parvez Imroz, Chief, JKCSS
A Civil Rights activist for decades and well-known lawyer, Parvez Imroz is the Chief of the J&K Coalition of Civil Society (JKCCS) and possesses a long-standing experience of human rights activism in Kashmir. He also represents ‘the International People’s Tribunal on Human Rights and Justice in Kashmir’ and is accorded with international recognitions for efforts carried out to bring anomalies of conflict in Kashmir to the outside world. net
Kashmir: Girl student suffers skull fracture from stone hurled from CRPF bunker
Modi will be 1st PM to visit Israel; confirms trip in July
PM Narendra Modi on Monday for the first time spoke about his impending visit to Israel – a first by an Indian Prime Minister – thus stamping the official seal on the shift in Indian foreign policy.Modi will be visiting Israel on July 5 and even as his itinerary has not been made public, he in all probabilities will be skipping Palestine during his visit.He made the announcement of his visit to Israel during an event in Surat: “I am soon going to Israel, in fact, I'm the first Prime Minister to go to Israel, and I'm going there on your behalf. You have trading relations with that country.” Modi’s visit will be coinciding with 25th anniversary of the diplomatic ties between the two countries.
PM to diamond barons: Going to Israel as your representative
BJP not anti-Muslim, Centre working on schemes for them:Naqvi
Nagpur:Union Minister Mukhtar Abbas Naqvi condemned the opposition parties for terming the BJP as “anti-Muslims”, while rejecting doling out more reservation to the community saying the demand has no “constitutional” merit. He said the Muslim community has indicated that they will not let the anti-BJP forces “mislead or befool” them for “political benefits”.Naqvi said central govt  is working on programmes for establishing education and skill development facilities for the community and trying to get more industries set up to generate more employment opportunities. PTI
Centre headed for confrontation with EC over funds for paper trail machines
The govt and the election commission seem headed for a confrontation over funds for the purchase of devices that leave a paper trail of votes cast on an electronic machine.Sources in the govt  said on Monday the delay in release of money was a logistic holdup, even as the poll panel complained its request for funds to buy voter-verifiable paper audit trail (VVPAT) machines had remained unheeded.The confrontation comes at a time when opposition parties are demanding the poll panel go back to paper ballot and discontinue the use of EVMs, alleging the devices can be tampered with.Both the govt  and election commission have denied the charge and said EVMs were completely safe. hindustantimes
Plea in HC to use VVPAT equipped EVMs for MCD polls
New Delhi: A plea was today moved in the Delhi High Court by the AAP seeking a direction to the Election Commission to use VVPAT machines attached to EVMs in the upcoming MCD polls in the national capital. petiTion for urgent hearing was mentioned before a bench of acting Chief Justice Gita Mittal and Justice Anu Malhotra who agreed to hear it today itself. Petition filed by Mohd. Tahir Hussain, who is contesting as a councillor in the MCD election, and AAP was mentioned by senior advocate Indira Jaising, who urged the court to list the matter for today in view of the recent alleged incidents of EVM manipulation in various states.PTI
Techie who questioned EVMs back: ‘EC’s latest challenge is a mistake’: indianexpress
New Delhi: It has been almost 8 years since Hari K Prasad tried to prove that the electronic voting machine used in India is not tamper-proof. The face of EVM sceptics movement in 2009, however, had been keeping a low profile during the current controversy over EVMs being vulnerable to tampering.
NIA relief signal on Malegaon suspects
New Delhi:  NIA told the Supreme Court that there was no need to keep the accused in the 2008 Malegaon blast case in judicial custody as a chargesheet had been filed.The agency's counsel appeared before a bench of Justices R.K. Agrawal and A.M. Sapre and said it was not pressing any more for the custody of accused. "Chargesheet has been filed in the case, arguments on framing of charges are going on and at the moment the agency is not pressing for custody of the accused," counsel said. The bench then adjourned the matter. Lt.Col. Shrikant Purohit and another accused, Sudhakar Dhar Dwivedi, had moved the SC saying the investigation had remained incomplete, NIA had failed to file a chargesheet and, therefore, their detention without trial was illegal. telegraphindia
Further custody of Malegaon case accused not needed: NIA
We don't need custody of Lt Col Purohit, NIA tells SC
Ajmer blasts case: NIA to hear litigant
Jaipur: NIA Special Court here will hear the complainant in the 2007 Ajmer Dargah blast case before deciding on the closure report filed by  NIA, which clears senior RSS leader Indresh Kumar, key accused Sadhvi Pragya Singh Thakur and 2 others of all charges.Special Judge Dinesh Gupta said on Monday that he would first hear the complainant, Syed Sarwar Chishti, a khadim (worker) in the dargah, on whose statement the FIR was registered in the case. The court will then decide whether the closure report is to be accepted or rejected. thehindu
Ajmer blast case: How a key evidence lost value due to mistakes committed by investigators
A key piece of evidence which could have provided some insights into how the prime conspirators in a larger Hindu terror conspiracy were connected to each other lost its value as a proof in the Ajmer blast case due to goof up by investigators. In the trial, only two accused, out of nine, were convicted by a special NIA court in Jaipur. Those acquitted included Swami Aseemanand, an alleged mentor of the Hindu extremists involved in a series of blasts in Malegaon, Hyderabad’s Mecca Masjid and the Samjhauta Express train. hindustantimes
Abandoned women vastly outnumber victims of triple talaq & it’s time Modi spoke up for them:  Abusaleh Shariff And Syed Khalid
Time for PM to speak up as abandoned wives outnumber Triple Talaq victims
Triple talaq will not be addressed by political rhetoric, trial by media or social boycotts. It will take strategic legislation to bring genuine reform: Tahir Mahmood
Batakh Mian vs Nathuram Godse: How has India forgotten about the man who refused to poison Gandhi?Ajaz Ashraf
In Bengal, Left parties' secular ideology, posturing has done nothing for development of Muslims: Sharjeel  Imam , Saquib Salim
Discussing Kashmir, I almost felt like an ‘anti national’ speaking for Jewish rights in Nazi Germany: Rajdeep Sardesai
Let’s not go back in time: Suspending democracy, imposing governor’s rule, would undo political progress in Kashmir: Wajahat Habibullah
Australia abolishes visa programme used largely by Indians
Indian trains smash records in running late, 800% jump in number of trains arriving more than 15 hours late
Monitor says suspected US coalition air strikes kill 23 in Syria: Reuters
Beirut: A war monitor said air strikes, thought to be by planes from a US-led military coalition, killed at least 23 people in two parts of the eastern Syrian province of Deir al-Zor on Monday.There was no immediate comment from the coalition which has said it tries to avoid civilian deaths in its bombing campaigns against Islamic State militants in Syria and neighbouring Iraq.Jets “believed to belong to the international coalition” struck the town of al-Bukamal in the south of the province near the Iraqi border, killing three militants and 13 civilians including children, the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights said on Tuesday. Britain-based war monitoring group said air strikes also killed seven civilians in the town of al-Husainiyah further north along the Euphrates river.
US troops deployed deep into Syria
'Deadly US air strike in Syria hit peaceful mosque'
US forces failed to take necessary precautions before launching a lethal drone strike in northern Syria last month that hit a mosque full of worshipers, 3 separate investigations have revealed. Research by HRW, London-based Forensic Architecture and open-source investigative unit Bellingcat reveal that US air strikes hit a western Aleppo mosque on March 16, killing at least 38 people and injuring dozens of others. US Central Command (CENTCOM) claimed they targeted "an al-Qaeda in Syria meeting location", killing "dozens of core al-Qaeda terrorists" after thorough surveillance. But interviews with locals, coupled with photographs and video of the building, show it was a well-known mosque in the village of al-Jinah that hosted lectures every Thursday evening, according to investigation. Researchers also allege that US launched "Hellfire" missiles at civilians as they fled the mosque.Ole Solvang, lead researcher on HRW probe, told Al Jazeera that "US forces failed to take necessary precautions to minimise civilian casualties".  "Based on statements from US military personnel, they didn't know this was a mosque, which reflects poorly on their intel."HRW interviewed by phone 14 people with first-hand knowledge of the attack, including 4 who were in the mosque at the time of the attack. In carrying out the investigation, HRW used research provided by Bellingcat, which analysed video footage and photographs from the attack, and Forensic Architecture, which created models of the mosque and a reconstruction of the attack. 3 organisations conducted "separate but complimentary" investigations into attack, said Solvang."Our analysis reveals that contrary to US statements, the building targeted was a functioning, recently-built mosque containing a large prayer hall, several auxiliary functions and the Imam's residence," according to Forensic Architecture. Aljazeera
Iran intervenes to stop fighting between Kurdish & Shia militias in Iraq
The commanding officer of Al-Quds Force in the Iranian Revolutionary Guards Corps has visited Kirkuk and met with a number of politicians in order to prevent fighting between the Kurdish Peshmerga militia, which effectively rules the Iraqi city, and the Shia militias beyond the city boundaries, Al-Araby Al-Jadeed reported on Monday.A Kurdish political source said that Major General Qasem Soleimani’s visit to Iraqi Kurdistan lasted for several days. “During this visit,” explained the source, “Soleimani was a political official, not an army officer.” He pointed out that the general would be informing Baghdad of his vision for the situation. middleeastmonitor
Iran’s Republican Guards send message to Trump about Khamenei’s failing health
Sources in Iran have revealed that a secret message has been sent from the Iranian Republican Guards Corps (IRGC) to US President Donald Trump concerning the deteriorating health of Supreme Leader Ali Khamenei. Former President, AbulHasan Bani Sadr gave details of the “secret message” to the IRNA news website, Al-Arabiya has reported.“IRGC is preparing to support conservative Iranian cleric Ibrahim Raeisi to replace current President Hassan Rouhani,” added Bani Sadr. According to Bani Sadr,IRGC has justified Raeisi’s presidential nomination by citing Trump’s victory. Former US President Barack Obama “understood Rouhani” but Trump does not understand the language of the current Iranian president, he explained.The secret message apparently demanded that the new US president should ease the sanctions on Tehran, so as not to affect the options of the religious establishment, which may have to choose a conservative successor to Rouhani.The sources pointed out that Tehran has promised that Washington’s cooperation or understanding could contribute to the arrival of a more moderate successor for Khamenei. Such a candidate, it is said, could play a role similar to Shia leader Ali Sistani’s in Iraq. middleeastmonitor
Abbas threatens Gaza at America’s request:Hamas
The threats made against Gaza by the Palestinian Authority and Fatah head Mahmoud Abbas are in “response to requests by America,” a senior Hamas official has claimed. According to, the Deputy Leader of the movement, Mousa Abu Marzook said that Abbas had to make such threats ahead of his visit to the White House. “This is regarded as his part in fighting ‘terrorism’,” he added.PA has cut the salaries of staff in the Gaza Strip, noted Marzook, but he rejected the reasoning behind the move. “Cuts due to the budget deficit must surely affect employees in both the Gaza Strip and the West Bank,” he insisted. “PA knows very well that its payment to Gaza is declining continuously due to the halt of new recruitment since the start of the [political] division.” middleeastmonitor
Almost 1,200 Palestinians have ‘disappeared’ in Syria
A report on enforced disappearances in Syria has said that almost 1,200 Palestinians have gone missing in the war-torn country.  Task Group for Palestinians in Syria released the report on Monday to mark Palestinian Prisoners’ Day, Quds Press has reported.The report pointed out that the actual figure could be far higher than the 1,183 cases of disappearances among Palestinian refugees in Syria due to the lack of official statistics. Furthermore, said the organisation, many families do not provide information about enforced disappearances, fearing a violent backlash by the Syrian regime. middleeastmonitor
Israel punishes hunger-striking Palestinian prisoners
Israeli prison officials have cracked down on Palestinian prisoners after more than 1,100 political detainees launched an open-ended hunger strike on Monday.The Palestinian Committee of Prisoners' Affairs released a statement on Monday saying that Israeli Prison Service (IPS) officials had forcibly moved hunger-striking prisoners to different sections of Israeli jails, confiscated clothes and personal belongings and placed leading figures in solitary confinement. aljazeera
Pak Taliban leader Ehsanullah Ehsan 'surrenders'
Islamabad: A prominent leader of Pakistani Taliban's Jamaat-ur-Ahrar (JuA) faction, Ehsanullah Ehsan, has surrendered to security forces, the military said.The announcement was made on Monday by Asif Ghafoor, Pakistan's military spokesman, at a press briefing in Rawalpindi, near the capital Islamabad. Ghafoor gave no further details about the arrest, including when and where it took place."People,  state and the institutions of Pakistan have made considerable progress in the betterment of country's security situation," said Ghafoor. "We have progressed to the point that the people who've been planning attacks on Pakistan's soil from across the border have started to see that the situation has changed. aljazeera
Turkey to extend state of emergency by three months
Turkey's govt  has extended the country's state of emergency for 3 more months. Deputy PM  Numan Kurtulmus on Monday said the National Security Council had recommended extending the state of emergency, set to expire on April 19, "to provide the continuance of measures aimed at securing the rights and freedoms of citizens."Parliament is to meet on Tuesday to vote on the recommendation.It will be the third extension of the state of emergency in Turkey since it was initially imposed following a failed coup attempt by a group within the military in July 2016. The decision enables the govt  to bypass parliament in enacting new decrees, but critics say the move could suspend rights and freedoms. aljazeera
Theresa May calls snap general election for June 8
British PM  Theresa May called for an early general election to be held on June 8, 2017, in a surprise announcement on Tuesday as Britain prepares for delicate negotiations on leaving the European Union.May said she will go to parliament on Wednesday to seek approval for the early election. "We need a general election and we need one now. We have at this moment a one-off chance to get this done ... before the detailed talks begin," May said, speaking in front of 10 Downing Street."I have concluded that the only way to guarantee certainty and stability for the years ahead is to hold this election," she said.May added that the UK needed an election because other parties are opposed to the Brexit plans to leave the EU. May had previously said there would be no early election under her leadership. aljazeera
 Compiled and edited by Anwarulhaq (Released at: 7:53 PM)



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