15 July 2017

15 July 2017: 20 Shawwal 1438: Vol: 8, No:237
China says no room for negotiations on Sikkim standoff, adds Ladakh to dispute with India
Beijing: With no end in sight to the standoff in the Sikkim sector, China on Saturday said there is “no room” for negotiations to resolve the military face-off and the only solution is the withdrawal of Indian troops from the Donglang or Doklam region.India will face “embarrassment” if it does not withdraw its border troops to its own side and the situation could get “worse”,  the official Xinhua news agency said in a commentary on Saturday night.“China has made it clear that there is no room for negotiations on this incident, and India must withdraw its border-crossing troops from Doklam. For China, border line is the bottom line,” the commentary said.The commentary sought to add yet another dimension to the face-off by bringing in the Ladakh region and linking it to Pakistan, China’s “iron brother” ally.“India should not regard the existing situation as the same as or even similar to the previous two standoffs in 2013 and 2014 near Ladakh, a disputed area between China, Pakistan and India in southeastern Kashmir. Diplomatic efforts led the troop’s frictions there to a well-arranged end. But this time it is a totally different case,” it added.It is rare for China to call Ladakh a “disputed” region and make a reference to Kashmir.This is the first time that China has clearly articulated – through one of its primary official channels - that there is no room for parleys to resolve the weeks-long impasse in Donglang, which is under China’s control but claimed by Bhutan. Until now, the foreign ministry had listed the withdrawal of Indian troops hinted as a precondition for resolving the face-off but had hinted there is an ongoing effort to end it through diplomatic negotiations. Xinhua is an organ of the Chinese Govt  and is affiliated to the State Council, Communist country’s cabinet. Commentaries published by Xinhua and People’s Daily, Communist Party of China (CPC) mouthpiece, are taken to be a reflection of the thoughts of the Govt  and the all-powerful CPC.“India has repeatedly ignored China's call for pulling its border-crossing troops from Doklam area back to its own territory. However, turning a deaf ear to China will but worsen the month-long standoff and put itself further into embarrassment,” the commentary said.It added that India had “lied” to the world by saying it dispatched troops to Donglang to help its ally Bhutan, whereas “apparently” Thimphu had extended no invitation to New Delhi to intervene. “New Delhi claimed encroachment of its own territory by China before saying it sent troops to ’protect’ its ‘ally’ Bhutan, a sovereign state which has apparently so far made no such an invitation for the sake of that boundary area,” it said.The commentary, however, described foreign secretary S Jaishankar’s remarks during a recent speech in Singapore as a “positive” sign.HT
Doklam border standoff: Govt’s briefing to Opposition parties in 5 points
Ahead of Doval’s visit to china, India raises importance of diplomacy
Sikkim Standoff: 'China caught off guard by India's strong response to border dispute at Doklam'
UN chief stresses on engagement, dialogue between India, Pak on Kashmir
UN: UN chief Antonio Guterres has reiterated the need for engagement and dialogue between India and Pakistan for peaceful resolution of the Kashmir issue.The remarks were made by Guterres’ spokesman Stephane Dujarric during a press briefing on Thursday. When asked: “Was the Secretary-General going to pay any attention to what is happening over there (Kashmir)?” or “we are just waiting for some sort of big tragedy to occur for the Secretary-General to take attention”, the spokesperson replied: “…We reiterate the need for the parties to find a peaceful solution through engagement and dialogue.”“…in terms of paying attention, I think the Secretary-General answered in his own words that question during the press conference,” the spokesman said referring to the Secretary General’s first ever press conference on June 20.When asked by a reporter at the June conference at the UN HQRS if Guterres was involved in bringing about a dialogue between the two countries to resolve the Kashmir dispute, he had replied: “Why do you think I met 3 times the PM of Pakistan and 2 times the PM  of India?” “For someone accused of doing nothing it is quite a number of meetings,” he added as he responded to criticism that he was not doing anything in the face of rising tensions in the subcontinent. However, Guterres did not expand on what his efforts have been.IANS
UN chief calls for ‘peaceful’ Kashmir resolution
Turkish envoy: Erdogan remarks on J&K issue wrongly translated
New Delhi: According to Torunlar, Erdogan had said in an interview to Wion TV channel, “Look, in order not to give opportunity to further casualties, especially the bilateral dialogues, could be also multilateral dialogues.” This, the Turkish envoy said, was different from what was translated and broadcast which said, “We shouldn’t allow more casualties to occur. We should strengthen multilateral dialogue. We can stay involved through multilateral dialogues.”Turkish President’s comments had appeared on the day of his arrival, which was followed by a weekend, and the remarks were not corrected immediately as they did not catch the “eyes and the attention of the President’s press office and the Turkish embassy in Delhi”, Torunlar said. But, on Friday, as he interacted with some reporters on the eve of the first anniversary of the thwarted coup attempt in Turkey on July 15 last year, the Turkish ambassador said that the President had only suggested that they can play a role “if requested”.When asked if the issue was raised and discussed between the two leaders, Torunlar said he will have to check if he can share the contents of the discussion. Speaking about the presence of members of the Fetullah Gulen group in India, he said that “we advise all our friends to be vigilant”. Whether the Indian Govt  has cooperated with the Turkish Govt  on cracking down on the Gulenists in India, he said, “There is a serious and very good cooperation between Indian and Turkish authorities. We are happy with the cooperation.” indian express
Kashmir problem won’t be solved till entire country supports us; Unfortunately China has started interfering in Kashmir: Mehbooba after meeting with Rajnath
New Delhi:J&K  CM  Mehbooba Mufti met Home Minister Rajnath Singh on Saturday in New Delhi. The two discussed the security situation in Kashmir. “Kashmir me hum law and order ki ladaai nahi ladd rahe. Jab tak pura mulk, political parties saath nahi dete tab tak ye jang nahi jeet sakte (The war we are fighting in Kashmir isn’t that of law and order problems. We cant win this war unless different political parties and the entire country supports us),” she told reporters after meeting the Home Minister.“Foreign powers are behind the attacks that are taking place. Now, even China has started meddling in our affairs,” Mufti said in a reference to the stand-off between the two countries over Doklam in Sikkim sector. J-K CM  went on to express happiness regarding the joint effort being carried out by political parties to find a solution to Kashmir issue. “I am happy that the political parties have come together to find a solution to problems in Kashmir,” Mufti said. Also Read: Doklam border stand-off: All that has happened so farSources told The Indian Express that the tense situation in the state, inability of ministers to break political impasse, especially in South Kashmir and gaps in governance were discussed in the meeting. “She (Mehbooba) told the meeting that ministers have to shape up or ship out. She said that appraisal will be based on performance, public contact and behaviour towards workers.” sources said. Indian Express
Unfortunately China has started interfering in Kashmir: Mehbooba on attack in J&K
RAW operating from Afghanistan to create tension: Pak army
Karachi:Chairman Joint Chiefs of the Staff Committee, General Zubair Mahmood Hayat, said on Saturday RAW was operating from Afghanistan and other locations to create unrest in Pakistan, especially in Balochistan.Pakistan is aware of the threats emanating from hostile intelligence agencies, especially India's RAW, against the country and China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC), a senior Pakistani Army officer has said.According to Dawn News, Chairman Joint Chiefs of the Staff Committee, General Zubair Mahmood Hayat, said on Saturday RAW was operating from Afghanistan and other locations to create unrest in Pakistan,especially in Balochistan. "Their designs (and) oblique actions to sabotage CPEC are also well known,"he said while attending a ceremony at Pakistan Naval Academy near Karachi. Pointing to the existential threat emanating from India, Hayat said that asymmetry had reached a critical threshold in the east.  In order to counter such threats, Pakistan's armed forces are committed to undertaking "synergetic national efforts", he said.IANS
J&K: 3rd day of restrictions in Srinagar amid continuing clashes
Restrictions imposed in J&K ’s Srinagar entered its third day, as clashes between security personnel and civilians continued in Narbal, Anantnag and Pulwama. The police arrested 14 youth on Friday. “At least 10 youth and four policemen sustained injuries in the clashes,” an eyewitness told Greater Kashmir.The state Govt  enforced curbs in areas falling under the jurisdiction of 6 police stations in Downtown Srinagar. The violence began in Narbal chowk after Friday prayers.Friday prayers were not allowed at Jamia Masjid for the fourth straight consecutive week. Govt  forces kept all its gates locked and cordoned off all roads leading to it.
Muslims help perform last rites of Kashmiri Pandit in Valley
Spreading a message of unity and brotherhood, around 3000 people, mostly Muslims, gathered in Pulwama's Trichal village to attend the final rites of a local Kashmiri Pandit.50-year old Tej Kishan, who lived here in Muslim dominated area, died after remaining paralyzed for one and a half year at his home. Muslim community helped the family to perform the last rites of Kishan as per the Hindu rituals.his is true Kashmir; this is our culture and we share brotherhood. We do not believe in duality or divisive politics. We share composite culture, said Janki Nath Panditha, deceased's brother.Tej Kishan decided to stay back in the Valley during the tumultuous years of nineties, when majority of the population of the Kashmiri Pandit Community chose to move out of the region due to the threat from Islamist Kashmiri militancy."Majority of people present in the last rituals were Muslims. We performed his last rites. We condemn incidents which try to create differences between Hindus and Muslims. We live here in peace and harmony," Muhammad Yousuf , Kishan's neighbour, said.Another relative of the deceased said that the villagers live in peace and harmony without any communal tension.Kishan's Muslim neighbours spread the word about performing his last rites over Mosque loudspeakers in the entire region.ANI
All India Radio is working overtime to bring Kashmir back into India's fold
New Delhi: Ever since the attack on Amarnath pilgrims on July 12, All India Radio (AIR) has been running programmes for audiences in J&K , Pakistan-Occupied Kashmir and parts of Pakistan that highlight the involvement of Muslims in maintaining the shrine and running the yatra as a trust-building effort. These programmes have been broadcast in six languages — Urdu, Kashmiri, Dogri, Gogri, Pahari and Hindi — and they attempt to showcase the anger Kashmiris felt at the terror attack.A programme broadcast on Tuesday, a day after the attack that killed seven pilgrims, traced the origin of the cave that’s home to the shrine. ‘Putting Amarnath in Perspective’ showcased the narrative of the cave being discovered by a Muslim saint and told of how the shrine has been maintained by Muslims for years. It also said several local Muslims are actively involved in hosting pilgrims, transporting them and other yatra-related activities.TOI
Slaughterhouse crackdown in UP, Butchers, farmers hit but great businesses gain for big companies exporting buffalo meat: IndiaSpend
Mohammad Shafiq took solace from the large grain container placed in a corner of the room. “This will last six to nine months. At least we won’t starve now,” he said.52-year-old, who lives with his family in a small hutment in a graveyard in Kanpur’s Idgah Colony, used to procure meat from the nearby Govt  slaughterhouse and sell it by the roadside.In March 2017, the newly-elected BJP Govt  in UP ordered action against slaughterhouses and meat-sellers operating without valid licences and violating environmental and health rules.Across the state, numerous shops and slaughterhouses, including Govt -run abattoirs, were sealed, leading to severe shortage of meat and affecting the livelihoods of thousands like Shafiq who made a living by using common Govt  abattoirs for a small fee. Essentially, failure of municipal administrations to upgrade these facilities had destroyed the vast unorganized meat industry, and hundreds of thousands of ancillary jobs.For a while, Shafiq went back to his ancestral village with his wife and kids. There, he worked as a farm-hand even though his left hand does not function properly. “It was wheat harvesting season. I had never done that work before but with my kids’ support, I managed somehow and got 500kg grain in return,” he told IndiaSpend on a muggy June evening.Now back in Kanpur, Shafiq hawks churan (tangy powder), tamarind and jamun around town. “Earlier my elder son used to do this work, but he suffers from night blindness. I thought I can put in more hours than him. He has now taken to buying and selling scrap. I make Rs 200-250 a day while he manages between Rs 75-125,” Shafiq said.From meat-selling, Shafiq used to earn Rs 400-500 within 3 hours.“Meat, fresh from the slaughterhouse, would sell quickly. We don’t have refrigeration, so I would only buy as much as I could sell easily. Any leftovers, the family would use,” he said.While India registered a 3.33% decline in livestock population during 2007-12, UP saw a 14% growth, indicating the economy’s dependence on livestock and allied businesses, IndiaSpend reported on March 29, 2017.Kanpur’s Bakar Mandi slaughterhouse, from where Shafiq used to buy meat, was one of many govt facilities which had not been modernised despite repeated reminders from the UPPCB.Butchers would pay a small fee (Rs 25 for buffalo, Rs 10 for goat) to use the facility at night and the meat would be put on sale around the city by early morning.“I support modernisation, but the Govt  should have made an alternative arrangement before closing it down. A gradual phase-out would have helped everyone,” Shafiq said.Danish Qureshi, 25, of Rampur town was similarly rendered jobless. He now drives a rented e-rickshaw for hire, although he considers meat-selling his family business. “My father had a licence issued by the Municipal Corporation 45 years back. I used to get it renewed every year,” he said, “Why didn’t anybody tell us we were doing business illegally?”His bigger complaint is that the Govt  is not helping butchers secure bank loans to upgrade their shops, a prerequisite to get FSSAI licenses.At the Sunday cattle market in Tirwa village, about 15 km from Kannauj city in central UP, very few transactions were taking place as farmers were not getting the price they were quoting.This was largely due to enforcement of NGT order. The more recent central Govt  ban on sale of cattle for slaughter in cattle markets–currently on hold following a Supreme Court order–is yet to be implemented on the ground.“Last year it was notebandi, and this year it is meat bandi that has reduced demand,” said Arjun Singh, a farmer from Achanakapur village. He was seeking Rs 50,000 for a young female buffalo, but was getting offers of Rs 32,000.Since the slaughterhouse crackdown, farmers are unable to fetch good prices even for milch cattle because buyers are worried they will be unable to resell.“What if a buffalo is unable to breed? No other farmer would touch it. Should we keep spending on its fodder or sell it to a slaughterhouse? Why can’t the Govt  understand this simple logic?” asked a farmer at a cattle market in Chaubepur village near Kanpur.Brajal Kumar Dwivedi, a young farmer from Jaisinghpura village, wanted to sell a mother-calf buffalo pair for Rs 90,000. He was getting offers of up to Rs 70,000. “I bought it last year for Rs 80,000 from Sakipur mandi, had it fed and impregnated, and am still unable to get the price I paid,” he said. Engaged to be married, Dwivedi needed money for his wedding but said he would wait a few weeks for prices to stabilise, and would sell milk to the local dairy until then.Jaddunath Singh of Kithwa village was not so lucky–he had to sell a buffalo at a Rs 11,000 loss because he needed money for the treatment of his hospitalised father-in-law.Those providing ancillary services are also affected. Rajendra Singh, who lets out vehicles to transport animals, was staring at another dull day. “Most farmers are taking their animals back on the vehicles they came on. Only a buyer would hire a vehicle here, but not many deals have come through. This has been the case for the last three months,” he said.The Pechbagh hide market in Kanpur, the largest in India for buffalo skin, has also seen trade decline over the last couple of years–particularly since 2015 mob lynching of a Muslim man, Akhlaq, and his son, who were suspected of stealing and slaughtering a stolen cow calf, in Dadri in eastern UP.“Fear of cow vigilantes who beat up transporters even if they are transporting only buffalo skins has scared away suppliers,” said Akhtar Hussein Akhtar, a godown owner at Pechbagh and an office-bearer of the local Hide Merchants’ Association. Akhtar explained that large, mechanised slaughterhouses sell hides directly to big tanneries, and only those engaged in skinning dead animals sell to merchants in Pechbagh.“[Earlier] most of the supply came from Govt  abattoirs while weekly supply from villages filled the gap.Now whatever raw material we are getting is from villages and that too of animals who die of natural causes, not slaughtered ones,” he said, adding that supply has gone down from 10,000 hides per month to 500. “We have also reduced our employee strength from eight workers to just one now,” he said.According to the Hide Merchants’ Association, around 40,000 people are directly engaged in this trade. Membership of the association has reduced by half in the last few years as many have turned their godowns into garment shops.According to the All India Meat and Livestock Exporters’ Association, UP’s meat industry employs nearly 2.5 million people. But there’s a stark difference between the formal market consisting mostly of wealthy exporters and the informal community of butchers, meat suppliers and those trading in animal byproducts. While the former own mechanised, well-equipped slaughterhouses that usually have the requisite permits, the informal market is dependent on Govt -run abattoirs, most of which have now been shut down for failing to comply with rules.The crackdown has therefore skewed the market in favor of big companies, which have thus far been engaged in export of buffalo meat. “Big companies are making tidy profits as the cattle market has tanked due to no demand from butchers. On the other hand, shortage of meat in the market has caused its price to increase. So, the companies can buy animals at a low price and sell meat at a premium,” Dharmendra Malik, general secretary of the UP branch of the Bharatiya Kisan Union (BKU), told IndiaSpend.To combat the meat shortage, the Kanpur DM arranged a meeting of meat-sellers and private companies operating from Unnao, a leather and chemicals hub 15 km from Kanpur. “We are granting no-objection certificates for meat shops to operate on the condition that they source meat from these companies,” Dr A.K. Singh, the veterinary officer at Kanpur Municipal Corporation, told IndiaSpend. Similar arrangements have been made in other cities, including Bareilly, Moradabad, Aligarh and Muzaffarnagar. The price of buffalo meat has gone up from Rs 150 per kg before the clampdown to Rs 200 now.Businesses are happy to tap the market not open to them earlier. “People are not very keen on the frozen meat we supply as they are used to getting raw and fresh meat from the city abattoirs. But that option is not available now. We are currently supplying 3-4 tonnes of buffalo meat per day to Kanpur and hope to scale it up to 30-35 tonnes,” Abhishek Arora, owner of AOV Exports Limited, told IndiaSpend.Butchers, however, are unhappy at being compelled to buy from large companies.  Many said an ideal solution would be to set up an alternative slaughtering site away from habitation until Govt  abattoirs are modernised. HT
UP Slaughterhouse Crackdown: Butchers And Farmers Hit; Big Businesses Gain:Manu Moudgil, IndiaSpend
Union Minister Athawale says Everyone Has Right To Eat Beef, condemns gau-rakshaks, lynching
At a time when there is seems to be nothing stopping the attacks over beef suspicion and cattle smuggling and the Govt  is making hardly any attempt to stop the violence, a minister in the Narendra Modi cabinet has said that whoever wants to eat beef can do it.Union Minister of State for Social Justice, Ramdas Athawale, has said that every individual has the right to eat beef, and that it is “Not right to become a nar-bhakshak in the name of being a gau-rakshak”.“Every individual has the right to decide what they should eat. If anybody wants to eat beef, it is their individual right. Today, cow vigilantes in the name of cow protection are stopping vehicles carrying meat or animals and beating people. Many innocent people have lost their lives, which cannot be justified or overlooked,” the Republican Party of India leader from Maharashtra said.He also suggested that the rise in vigilante attacks is a ploy to undermine the Modi Govt .“The increasing incidents of violence in the name of the cow could be a strategy to undermine PM  Narendra Modi. Opposition leaders have alleged the role of a section of the BJP working to undermine the rising status of Modi.” Indian times
Indian Muslims want special law to protect minorities against mob lynching, attacks
Muslim organisations and civil society groups across Maharashtra state in western India are demanding a strict law to counter mob lynching and attacks on minority groups on the line of legislation to prevent atrocities against the Dalits or former “untouchables”.Demanding an act like the Scheduled Caste and Scheduled Tribe Prevention [Atrocities Act], the groups, including Muslim and Dalit organisations, have already led three “Aman” or peace rallies in Pune, Latur and Solapur, Indian media reported.The SCST Act has saved Dalits’ lives, and property and even personal dignity, on several occasions in all parts of India because of the stiff penalties it provides for. It is one reason why high-caste Hindu does not insult Dalits as before.Another “Aman” one is scheduled to be held on July 15 in
Welfare Party hold protest demonstration against mob lynching
New Delhi: elfare Party of India organized a big protest demonstration against growing incident of mob lynching across the country. The protest was joined by many other social and political groups at historic Jantar Mantar on Thursday. Protesters demanded stern action against those involved in rising lynchings and mob attacks on Muslims. Party leaders condemned the attitude of the BJP-led Govt  saying the PM  is only doing lip-service. They alleged that the Govt  did not take any concrete step to curb this ‘lawlessness’ in the name of protecting cattle which even doesn’t know what is happening in her name.Welfare Party President Dr. S Q R Ilyas said that the Govt  has shown least concern about the growing incidents of mob lynchings and attacks on Muslims in which members of BJP’s affiliate organizations are involved. Dr Prem Singh, General Secretary of the Socialist Party of India, said it is most reprehensible that innocents are being killed in the name of protecting a cow. Prof Mohammad Suleman, President of Indian National League, said since the Yogi Govt  came to power in the India’s largest state, a reign of terror is unleashed by Hindutva groups with the tacit support of the administration. A Raghavan from Lokraj Sanghatan, Sikh leader Baljit Singh and Intezar Naeem from Jamaat-e-Islami Hind also addressed the gathering and condemned the growing scourge of mob-lynchings and attacks on Muslims in the country. theindianawaaz
Christian Groups Join Thousands Protesting Against Religious Intolerance, Hindu Mob Attacks in India
Muslim women molested, family assaulted, robbed on train in UP’s Mainpuri by mob
Members of a Muslim family were beaten up and their women allegedly molested before being robbed of cash and jewellery by a group of hoodlums aboard a passenger train in UP’s Mainpuri district on Wednesday.The incident happened after Mohammad Shakir (50) and his family, returning from a wedding, boarded the Shikohabad-Farukkhabad passenger, which did not have GRP personnel, from Bhongaon at night.Reportedly,culprits snatched the mobile phone of Faizan, a physically challenged child of the family. As Shakir and his relatives objected, the accused got violent.According to other passengers, accused also passed comments on the women of the family, provoking Shakir and his 3 male relatives to strike them.The accused hit them back and called their friends, who boarded the train at subsequent stops and assaulted them with batons and iron rods, and also pelted stones, breaking the train’s window panes.“My family members suffered fractures, head injuries and internal injuries. Some even lost consciousness,” Shakir told the police, adding that the accused also molested the women, and fled with jewellery and Rs 60,000 cash.Police detained 4 youths. However, they were not found to be involved in the incident.Officiating SP of GRP, OP Singh said these youths and other passengers had given clues that may lead to the culprits.A video shot by one of the victims’ family member showed there were around 15 assailants, a number of whom had got in after the train stopped at Pakham station.HT
Muslim Family of 10 Assaulted, Looted and Abused by Mob in Train near UP’s Farrukhabad

HC asks UP govt to file reply on bail plea of accused in Dadri lynching case
Allahabad: Allahabad High Court has asked the UP  Govt  to file a reply on the bail application of one of the accused in the Dadri lynching case.A single judge bench of Justice Pratyush Kumar asked the state Govt to file its reply on the bail application of Vishal by July 21, the next date of hearing.The HC had in April granted bail to two other accused in the case. Akhlaq (55) was beaten to death and his son Danish was brutally assaulted by a mob that had barged into their house at Bisada village of Gautam Buddh Nagar district in Sept. 2015.PTI 
Jharkhand lynchings: Muslims fear backlash, Hindus dread arrest in Sobhapur
Haldipokhar:House of Mohammad Murtaza is under lock and key. His neighbour, Abdul Hakim, has also left with his family for a place known to none.A little ahead in the lane at Sobhapur village in Jharkhand’s Seraikela-Kharsawan district, three more houses were also found locked and the families traceless.An uneasy calm prevails in the village, with around 130 houses, 80 of them Muslims, that witnessed grisly scenes of violence as an agitated mob lynched four men, all Muslims, on suspicion of being child lifters on May 18. Investigations later revealed that they were planned murders, and alleged cattle theft and smuggling — not child lifting — was the actual cause of the lynching.During the lynching, the berserk mob had also attacked and vandalised few houses. Those families were the first ones to flee.Villagers after much persuasion revealed that the families have migrated days after the lynching incident. “More families are planning to shift to safer places,” they said.Around one and half months after the gruesome incident, in Sobhapur and neighbouring Muslim-dominated Haldipokhar from where the victims hailed, the local populace has undergone a lot of social, political, and behavioural changes.Muslims and Hindus, who peacefully coexisted and lived in harmony for decades, look at each other with suspicion. Muslims in Sobhapur — the only village under Rajnagar police station area, around 170 km from capital Ranchi, with a sizeable Muslim population — are feeling insecure and migrating gradually to safer places.A HT team traced Murtaza in Haldipokhar, a semi-urban Muslim colony housing at least 1200 families, eight kilometres from his village, where he has built a small asbestos roofed house on the outskirts.“I feel safe here,” he said, putting up a plastic sheet outside his house to cover few household articles from the rain.“It was painful migrating from the village where I was born and my forefathers lived but there is nothing else we could have done. The fear of reprisal after massive police crackdown against those involved in the lynching loom large on the Muslim families,” Murtaza rued.A farmer, he occasionally visits his farms in Sobhapur for a couple of hours during the day but returns before sunset just like other villagers who have stopped stepping out of the house in the night.“We are living in constant fear. The only solace is the newly set up police outpost in our village. Their presence is giving us strength,” said Md Zakir, who hasn’t migrated yet.At Hata Chowk, the local market, Muslims shut their shops early.TOI
Muslim man beaten up by cow vigilantes in Maharashtra is a BJP leader: Now Fear in Muslim locality
Bhorsingi (Nagpur): Shabbir Shiekh (25), a resident of Shahar Masjid area in Katol town of Nagpur, is a devout Muslim but he is afraid to grow a long beard nowadays.“We had heard about Muslim men being lynched in north India, but now a person from our own locality has been attacked. This is shocking and dreadful. We feel unsafe,” Shiekh told this reporter.He was referring to a group of men attacking his neighbour Salim Shah at Bhorsingi village (15 km from Katol) a couple of days ago on the suspicion that he was carrying beef. Shiekh is not the only person in his locality who feels this way.“This (attack by cow vigilantes) should not have happened in Maharashtra. We believed our State is safe compared to northern States,” said Shiekh Abid, another resident of Shahar Masjid locality. “Even when there were incidents of communal violence in other parts of the country, our area never witnessed any rift. Hindus, Muslims, and Buddhists have been living here peacefully. But what is happening now is not good. The situation has changed in the last few years. There was Akhlakh, there was Junaid and now there is Salim. The attackers should be given strict punishment.”Muslims in the area are afraid, though Shah is a BJP leader and his party has openly condemned the incident. BJP’s Nagpur rural president Rajiv Potdar said Shah was carrying mutton, not beef.Almost all the residents had gathered in front of Shah’s house when he came home on Thursday and the fear among the people was palpable. Shah was attacked by “5 to 8 men” in Bhorsingi village. “They attacked him at the bus stop. He ran to my garage. I heard the noise and came out as the group was thrashing him. I asked them to stop, but someone said they would murder him. I called up the police and the policemen came here quickly and saved his life,” said Allauddin Sheikh of Bhorsingi, an eyewitness to the incident. However, apart from Allauddin, no other villager was willing to talk about the incident that took place in the busiest square of the village at 10 am.Parents of the main accused, Moreshwar Tandurkar, were unapologetic.“The entire village participated in the attack, but only my son was arrested. He was taluka president of the Prahar organisation and would be the first person to help anyone in need. It must have been beef and Moreshwar must have had the correct information,” said Moreshwar’s father Lakshan Tandurkar.“But they should not have beaten that man. They should have handed him over to the police, because we knew the villagers would back out when it came to police matters.”Ashok Raut, a close friend of Moreshwar who met him in jail, said he showed no remorse. “He said he knew it was beef and he told me what he did was right,” Raut said.“There are slaughter houses in Amner village and this man was transporting beef to his customers in Katol,” claimed Arun Dhote, another friend of the main accused.However, Amner sarpanch Devendra Bondre denied the allegations. “There are slaughter houses in the old locality of our village, but I have never heard of cows being slaughtered there. They do slaughter old and sick horses and other animals, but not cows,” he said. 4 villagers from Amner — Sheikh Habib, Sahebrao More, Santosh Jevankar, Javed Qazi — and inspector of Jalalkheda police station Vijay Tiwari also denied the allegation that cows are slaughtered in Amner and beef is transported to other areas. the hindu
Muslim man beaten up by cow vigilantes for ‘carrying beef’ in Maharashtra is a BJP leader
Cow vigilantes or extortionists? India Today exposes Maharashtra's cow saviours
There have been several cases across the country where beef transporters or even meat transporters were lynched on suspicion of carrying beef by self-styled gau rakshaks from various right-wing factions. India Today team met several beef sellers and spoke to them about the issue and the revelations made by beef sellers were shocking.The information revealed by beef sellers and transporters pointed towards groups of these self-styled gau rakshaks, who had started making easy money threatening them, if they failed to pay a premium to get their consignment into area near Mumbai, their consignments would be destroyed and they'll be lynched.In broad daylight, these gau rakshaks pose as saviours of cows, but their real intentions were exposed when India Today conducted a detailed ground investigation through two sting operations at two major entry points of Mumbai.The first sting operation was carried out on the outskirts of Mumbai on a very important national highway which comes from Gujarat carrying heavy transport. We are talking about Wada-Bhiwandi highway which originates from Mumbai-Ahmedabad highway near Manor and reaches interior Thane district passing through the Wada taluka. It is one of the most dreaded routes for businessmen getting beef from Gujarat.On this very route is a very famous cow shelter named Gopala Gaushala in a village named Angaon. Gopala Gaushala runs regular patrol on the highway and nearby areas with the help of Bajrang Dal activists and the team is called as Gashti Pathak. Members of the Gashti Pathak are feared by beef businessmen as they have built an image of being cow protectors, who destroy, damage if beef is found being transported irrespective of whether it's cows, bulls or bullock beef.When we approached one of the key members of the Gashti Pathak, seeking protection for the beef we were getting from Gujarat and was to be sold in Mumbai. The person called us for multiple meetings and finally what he revealed was shocking. He agreed to give protection for a decided sum and also assured that once he was in the vehicle transporting the beef, no one including police would bother to stop the vehicle.Gopal Gaushala has been infamous amongst beef businessmen who cater to areas of Bhiwandi which is Muslim-dominated suburb of Mumbai.Businessmen claim that earlier when the deals were not struck with Gaushala's Bajrang Dal activists, they would destroy the beef by throwing diesel and coal tar over it making it inedible. Gaushala also has a website which boasts of cow protection and activities of the Bajrang Dal Gashti Pathak (Bajrang Dal Patrolling squad). Reporters initially surveyed the area after meeting some beef sellers and came to know about Gopala Gaushala and its Bajrang Dal Gashti Pathak.Accordingly the undercover reporters, initially posed as informers, met a Bajrang Dal person to provide tip-off regarding a consignment. He provided us with the number of Vasudev Patil, who is a very active gau rakshak and member of Bajrang Dal Gashti Pathak.India Today 
Miscreants write ‘Pakistani Block’ on Muslim family house in Chandigarh
Chandigarh: Tension griped colony number 4 in Industrial Area, Chandigarh, on Saturday after miscreants wrote ‘Pakistani Block’ on the wall of a house belonging to a Muslim family.Chandigarh police had to deploy heavy forces at the area to ensure that the situation is kept under control. According to sources, it is for the first time that such an incident has happened in Chandigarh. After the news of defacement spread in the city, activists of Congress party and Bajrang Dal reached the area and raised slogans of ‘Bharat Mata ki Jai’.Activists also repainted the wall and wrote ‘Bharat Mata Ki Jai’ in place of ‘Pakistani Block’.“I am unaware, who wrote this on the wall,” said Islamudin, resident of the house. He added, “Action should be taken against those who are trying to disrupt communal harmony.”“This is an unfortunate incident and the person responsible will not be spared,” said secretary Chandigarh Pradesh Congress Shashi Shankar Tiwari.HT
No Haj for Muslims if they create obstacles in construction of Ram Temple: BJP MLA
Kanpur:BJP MLA from Charkhari, Brijbhushan Rajput, warned Muslims that they won’t be allowed to go on Haj pilgrimage if they create obstacles in the construction of Ram Temple in UP ’s Ayodhya.He issued the warning through a video on his Facebook page.“Muslim community should respect the feelings (on the issue of Ram Temple) of 100 crore Hindus in the country. If they don’t do so, we will not respect their feelings too,” he said.“If they (Muslims) create hindrance or stop construction of Ram Temple, their Haj pilgrimage will also be stopped,” Rajput said.MLA also called upon the people to avenge the killing of 7 Amarnath pilgrims by “storming the houses of terrorists”.Rajput demanded that the minority status of Muslims should be repealed and the subsidy given on Haj pilgrimage should be scrapped.After putting up the video on his Facebook page, Rajput told HT it was not his statement but that of 100 crore Hindus. Justifying his stand he said if Muslims were taking it as a threat then let it be. “I completely stand by what I have said in the video,” he said.HT
Imam Bukhari to Centre: Muslims concerned over cattle slaughter restrictions
Shahi Imam of Delhi's Jama Masjid, Syed Ahmed Bhukari, has expressed concern over the rising incidents of violence and killing of innocent people in the name of cow protection. In a letter dated July 12 and forwarded to Union Home Minister Rajnath Singh, Bukhari said even people carrying buffaloes are not being spared. "This situation has made us particularly concerned. This concern has increased due to the coming festival of Eid-ul-Adha, wherein animals are sacrificed. On this occasion, animals from small towns and districts are taken to big cities for selling. Apart from goats, buffaloes too are carried to the markets. The restrictions imposed by the Govt  in the recent past on the sale of cattle meant for slaughter in the cattle markets a likely to disturb the sacrifice of animals on a large scale," he said. He said these restrictions have instilled in Muslims deep concern as well as fear. "It is also strongly feared that people carrying animals to the markets will become a target of violence. We are not n favour of sacrificing cows. Sentiments of a particular religious community are attached. We give due respect to their religious sentiments, but if those carrying buffaloes and cows are attacked in the name of the protection of animals, then the peace of the country will be affected," Bukhari cautioned.ANI
Bajrang Dal Members In Bengal Have A New Mission, To Put Tilak On A Muslim Minister
Alarmed by what they call "systematic persecution" of Hindus in Bengal, VHP Bengal leg organised a mega sant sammelan in Kolkata. The agenda of this summit is to help Hindus of the state find a way to makes themselves heard, in the light of the recent Basirhat riots. One of the main resolutions passed in the summit was to put tilak on Bengal Urban Development Minister Firhad Hakim. No non-Hindu person can be made the head of any committee of a Hindu place of worship. This resolution is in direct reference to the controversy that erupted recently after Mamata Banerjee appointed her close aide and Minister Firhad Hakim as the chairman of the newly formed Tarakeshwar Development Board (TDB) in Hooghly district.Opposition has accused the CM of playing appeasement politics by appointing a Muslim leader as the head of the board that will also take care of the Tarakeshwar temple, which is a famous 288-year-old Shiva temple. "We firmly believe that if he is being made the head of a Hindu temple he should not object to a tilak. We have directed all Bajrang Dal members to put tilak on him wherever he is spotted," Sourish Mukherjee, spokesperson of Bengal leg of VHP, told ScoopWhoop News. Another resolution passed in the summit was that Hindus should prepare to protect themselves from any eventualities. "Irrespective of caste, creed, and political affiliations, all Hindus should unite to protect their own interest and for their security," said Mukherjee.  Scoop Whoop
Kerala: Muslim organisations raise concerns  over cow vigilantism, PM’s Israel visit
Kozhikode: Raising serious concerns over instances of cow vigilantism in the country and the recent visit of PM  Narendra Modi to Israel, leaders of several Muslim organisations have called upon people to resist the attempts being made to alter the secular and social fabric of the country.The leaders under the umbrella of the Muslim Organisation Coordination Committee, which met in Kozhikode, adopted a resolution seeking the support of like-minded parties to be part of a rally as its first phase of campaign to be held in Kochi shortly.IUML leader Syed Hyderali Shihab Thangal presided over the meeting. Other signatories to resolution include P.K. Kunhalikutty and E.T. Mohammed Basheer, MPs, Syed Mohammed Koya Thangal Jamulalli, Ummer Fazi Mukkom, K. Moinkutty, TP Abdulla Koya Madani, P. Uneenkutty Moulavi, Kunhi Mohammed Madani Paravur, CP Salim, Sheikh Mohammed Karakunnu, PP Abdurehiman Peringadi, Ali Akbar Moulavi, EP Ashraf Bakhavi, Kadakkal Abdul Aziz Moulavi, Thodiyoor Mohammed Kunju Moulavi, Abdul Kher Moulavi and P. Mammed Koya.the hindu
 SC amends order, prevents demolition of Kinara mosque  near Haji Ali Dargah in Mumbai
New Delhi: The Supreme Court on Friday modified its earlier order on encroachments near the Haji Ali Dargah in Mumbai and protected the Kinara mosque located near the shrine from demolition. The court also asked the Maharashtra govt to decide within a week the plea seeking regularisation of the mosque. A Bench comprising Chief Justice JS Khehar and Justice DY Chandrachud took on record the consent of all parties including the Haji Ali Trust that if the State Govt  rejects the regularisation plea, nobody will oppose the demolition of portions of the mosque which are built on encroached land near the historic shrine.The Bench initially suggested that the parties should agree to shifting of the mosque to some other place. It has been alleged that certain parts of the Kinara mosque fall under the encroached area which have been ordered to be cleared by the Bombay High Court. The SC has also upheld it and the Bench has now fixed the matter after one week. the hindu
Zafarul Islam Khan appointed chairperson of Delhi minorities commission
Arvind Kejriwal Govt  on Friday constituted the 3-member Delhi Minorities Commission and appointed Zafarul Islam Khan as its chairperson.Anastasia Gill and Kartar Singh Kochhar have been appointed as the other two members.Zafarul Islam Khan is a scholar and editor of the Milli Gazette. Delhi govt officials said the appointment has been cleared by lieutenant governor Anil Baijal. The panel will be in office for 3 years.Khan is a PhD from Manchester University in Islamic Studies and has worked for several international organisations, an official said.“Kejriwal approved and recommended the three names, which were proposed by the deputy CM , Manish Sisodia,” official added.The previous panel commission had completed its tenure earlier this year. Ex-AAP MLA from Rajouri Garden, Jarnail Singh on Friday assumed the charge of vice-chairman of Punjabi Academy. HT
Be vegetarian, wear saree, don’t talk cricket or politics during family time: An RSS guide on values, ethics
Nagpur: What to eat, what to wear, how to celebrate birthdays and advice on public conduct -- all this is part of the RSS’ family counselling programme launched in April.The pan-India campaign involves visiting people’s homes to “instill values and ethics” apart from advocating vegetarianism and promoting Indian attire. Named Kutumb Prabodhan (family counselling), the campaign will continue till 2019 general elections.The move comes amid widespread outrage and anger over mob violence in the name of the cow, considered holy by many Hindus.RSS insiders said senior swayamsevaks, along with one or two swayamsevaks and a Rashtra Sevika Sangh (RSS’ women’s wing) worker, visit families and ‘educate’ them on the benefits of vegetarianism and how to avoid being influenced by foreign culture, especially as shown by various television channels and social media portals.One such group led by RSS leader Ashok Bhatt, Vidarbha convener of Kutumb Prabodhan, visited the family of Suresh Deshpande in Nagpur’s Sadar locality last week.The team advised them to wear sarees and kurta-pyjamas during festivals and told them celebrating birthdays by blowing candles and cutting cakes was not a part of the Indian culture. Deshpandes,a family of 4, were told about traditional Hindu practices such as chanting mantras before meals. They said all the family members must eat together at least once a week and should not watch TV at the time, instead bond with each other.During their family time,they should avoid discussing politics and cricket. Besides, every person must respect women, fight casteism, and inculcate the habit of reading good books that feed one’s intellect.Deshpandes were told to take up social work.HT
Supreme Court orders probe into Manipur's alleged extrajudicial killings
Human rights groups have welcomed Indian Supreme Court's decision ordering a probe into allegations of extrajudicial killings by security forces in the north-eastern state of Manipur.The court made the call on Friday after hearing a public interest litigation seeking a probe and compensation for 1,528 alleged extrajudicial killings in Manipur from 2000 to 2012 by the army, paramilitary and police forces."It sends a strong message that accountability will finally take place," Suhas Chakma, the director of the Asian Centre for Human Rights, told Al Jazeera on Saturday."The indivduals who committed these crimes and those who made it possible should be prosecuted. These crimes should never have taken place. The Govt  and security forces should now fully cooperated with investigators," Chakma said. Aljazeera
Indians among 130 million at risk of displacement by floods: Report
Manila: 130 million people living in low-lying coastal areas in India, Pakistan and Bangladesh are at high risk of being displaced by the end of the century due to floods, a report has said.It warned that by 2050 Mumbai, Chennai, Surat and Kolkata will be among 13 of the top 20 cities in the Asia-Pacific region to face huge losses due to annual flooding.The flooding would significantly impact the region that has a population of around four billion people besides affecting the world economically, the report produced by the Asian Development Bank (ADB) and the Potsdam Institute for Climate Impact Research (PIK) said.IANS
NIA begins probe into discovery of explosives in UP Assembly
LUCKNOW: NIA on July 15 began a probe into the discovery of the high-grade Pentaerythritol Tetranitrate (PETN) explosive material inside the UP  Assembly, an official said.Officials told IANS that a NIA team arrived in Lucknow on July 14 and was immediately briefed about the case.The NIA officials, other than visiting the spot where the explosive material was discovered on July 13 evening, were likely to grill the security staff and agencies of the State police responsible for the security of the Vidhan Sabha.IANS
Plastic explosives found in UP  assembly
Court acquits prominent Bijnor cleric Mufti Anwar-Ul-Haque of rape charges, orders FIR against complainant
Bijnor:A court here acquitted a prominent cleric of rape charges after the woman, who had leveled the grave allegation against the Imam of city's Jama Masjid, and three other witnesses turned hostile during the course of the trial. While pronouncing the order, ADJ Mumtaj Ali also ordered police on Thursday to register a case against the woman, her husband and two other witnesses for reversing their statements in the court.The woman had accused cleric Anwar-Ul-Haque of raping her on August 25 last year on the pretext of driving out the devil inside her.In her complaint to police, she had said: "The maulana had told me that I was possessed by a devil, and that he would set me free from its clutches. He called me to a house in Bakshiwala village on the pretext of performing certain ritual and raped me. He also made a video of the act."Soon after registration of the case, Haque went missing. He was declared an absconder on September 3. Later, he had surrendered before the court and was sent to Bijnor Jail.Interestingly, before the rape allegation was leveled, the cleric had filled a case against five persons for attempting to rape his wife after beating him up while the couple was on their way to their house in Najibabad area.The woman, who filed the rape case against Haque, was the wife of one of the accused named in the FIR filed by the cleric.TOI
Dargahs, Mosques demolished in Nizamuddin area of Delhi; businessmen shut shops in protest
3 mosques and 2 Dargahs were demolished in Delhi on July 10 by Delhi Development Authority (DDA), and the locals are not happy with it. Local businessmen around Hazrat Nizamuddin Dargah closed their shops to protest against the action.Nizamuddin Tikona graveyard is situated near Khusro Park, Delhi. Graveyard is claimed to be more than 500 years old. Even as per Gazette records, the graveyard is shown to be more than 100 years old.In the same graveyard, three mosques and two dargahs are situated. The whole graveyard is listed under the property of the Delhi Waqf board, over which the mosque and dargah have been built.TCN
Tensions mount as Al-Aqsa remains closed
Ramallah: Palestinian religious and political figures have denounced the ongoing closure of Al-Aqsa mosque compound, calling it a violation of their religious freedoms. Al-Aqsa remained closed on Saturday, a day after a deadly shooting attack outside an entrance to the holy site in occupied East Jerusalem."There is no excuse for the closure of Al-Aqsa mosque, and we oppose this decision," said Sheikh Yusuf Idis, Palestinian Authority's minister of religious affairs. "The freedom to worship is a right guaranteed in law and any violation of that right is rejected."The compound has been shuttered by Israeli police since three Palestinian assailants shot and killed two Israeli policemen in Jerusalem's Old City on Friday morning. The attackers were subsequently shot dead by Israeli forces inside the compound.It was the first time that Friday prayers at Al-Aqsa had been cancelled in decades, and Israeli authorities later extended the closure until Sunday at the earliest, citing security concerns.Hundreds of additional Israeli forces were deployed in parts of the Old City and at checkpoints throughout. Many worshippers who had planned to pray at Al-Aqsa ended up praying in the streets of Jerusalem instead.Jerusalem Mufti, Sheikh Mohammed Hussein, was briefly detained by police and released on bail on Friday after he attempted to gain access to the site and led open-air prayers close to the compound. This is a decision that aims to deter further attacks and it will be interpreted by most Palestinians as collective punishment. Analysts warned that the decision to prohibit entry to the sacred site - which was last closed to Muslim worshippers in 2014, following the shooting of Yehuda Glick,a prominent Temple Mount activist who is now a Knesset member - would likely exacerbate tensions in the city in the short-term."This is a decision that aims to deter further attacks and it will be interpreted by most Palestinians as collective punishment," said Ofer Zalzberg, a senior analyst for Israel/Palestine at the International Crisis Group.Late on Friday, Israeli police released security camera footage of the early stages of the attack, which appeared to show the armed assailants approach the officers from inside the compound.Some Israeli right-wing Knesset members have subsequently called for dramatic changes to security and the uneasy status quo at the site, where non-Muslim worship has been prohibited since Israel captured East Jerusalem 50 years ago."Israel must bolster its rule and control over the [holy sites], and to ensure that all Jews can pray there at any time in safety," said Eli Ben Dahan, Israel's deputy defence minister and a member of the Jewish Home right-wing faction, in response to the attack.Jewish Home MK Moti Yegev said the holy site "should be closed to Muslim [worshippers] for a long time", while Israeli PM Benjamin Netanyahu said the compound was shut for security reasons, noting that the status quo would be "preserved".Aljazeera
Israel shuts down Al-Aqsa mosque after shooting
Israeli closure of Aqsa Mosque serious violation,crime;OIC
Jeddah:Israeli closure of Al-Aqsa Mosque, which prevented worshippers from performing prayers there, is a serious violation and crime against the Palestinians and Muslim world, said Organization of Islamic Cooperation's (OIC) Secretary General Dr. Yousef A.Al-Othaimeen Saturday.Kuna
Ex-mufti says Al-Aqsa closure 'collective punishment'
A senior Palestinian cleric has denounced Israel's closure of the Al-Aqsa Mosque following a rare gun attack, calling the measures "collective punishment" that affects thousands of worshippers. Sheikh Ikrima Sabri, the former grand Mufti of Jerusalem and Palestinian territories, said on Saturday that Israeli authorities have barred clerics from entering the mosque and banned prayers there for a second day after a shootout near the compound left 5 people dead."This is unprecedented. The mosque has not been closed for centuries. The situation is dangerous," said Adnan Husseini, Palestinian Authority's Jerusalem governor, on Saturday.Aljazeera
Israel in talks with Saudi to organise special flights for Haj pilgrims: HT
New Delhi:In what appears to be a boost for Israel’s Muslim citizens, the Benjamin Netanyahu Govt  is in talks with Saudi Arabia to organise special pilgrimage flights to Mecca for the Haj.According to the proposal, Israeli Muslims will be able to fly directly into Saudi Arabia from Tel Aviv’s Ben Gurion International Airport, Bloomberg reported.The move comes weeks after US President Donald Trump — a crucial ally for both countries — broke a historical taboo by flying directly from Riyadh to Tel Aviv.Officially, Saudi does not recognise Israel but over the past few years, the two countries have grown closer due to rising tensions with Iran — a common foe — and the threat of the Islamic State.Israeli news outlet Heraatz reported that Saudi crown prince Mohammed bin Salman has had several meetings with Israeli officials over past 2 years. HT
Islamic Jihad delegation to Egypt for talks
A senior Islamic Jihad delegation headed to Cairo to discuss mutual relations as well as the latest development in the Palestinian cause, Quds Press reported yesterday.Speaking to the news site, the group’s spokesperson, Daud Shihab said that the delegation of consisted of the Secretary-General Ramadan Shallah and his deputy Ziyad Al-Nakhla who both live in exile.He noted that this visit came following an invitation from Egypt in an effort to discuss the humanitarian situation in Gaza and other developments on the ground.This visit comes after a similar visit by the group in March. middle east monitor
Over 800,000 people still displaced from Mosul: UN
Geneva: More than a million people were displaced from Mosul by battle in the Iraqi city against the Islamic State group, but nearly 200,000 have returned home, UN said Friday.Out of nearly 1.05 million people who fled the fighting after the offensive against IS began last October, 825,000 remain displaced, the International Organization for Migration (IOM) said in a statement. The city on the Tigris river in northern Iraq had an estimated population of two million in 2014.Iraqi PM  Haider al-Abadi on Monday declared Mosul fully retaken from the jihadist group after a Western-backed operation.But it is still near-impossible to access the Old City, where sweeping and demining operations continue.AFP
No direct talks in sight between Syria's warring sides
The head of Syrian Govt  delegation has said his team has not been asked to meet face to face with the opposition in the seventh round of UN-mediated indirect talks held in the Swiss city of Geneva.Bashar al-Jaafari, Syria's ambassador to the UN and the delegation chief, said the issue of direct talks was something "that has not been raised with us - not directly or indirectly".  "We have given sufficient explanations to the special envoy about our vision and the way we see this," Jaafari said on Friday after his final meeting with Staffan de Mistura, the UN special envoy for Syria. "The most important thing is for us to have a national partner and not a client for a foreign agenda," he said alluding to foreign backers of the main opposition, like Saudi Arabia and Turkey, as well as smaller opposition factions. Aljazeera
US cannot confirm Daesh leader Baghdadi’s death
Washington:Defense Secretary James Mattis said Friday the U.S. can’t confirm claims Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi, Daesh's proclaimed "caliph", is dead."We assume he's alive until it's proven otherwise. And right now, I can't prove it otherwise," Mattis told reporters. "If we knew, we would tell you. Right now, I can't confirm or deny it."UK-based Syrian Observatory for Human Rights was the latest group to claim Baghdadi is dead when it said earlier this week sources within Syria's Deir ez-Zour city had confirmed it.
US Supreme Court asked to overturn Muslim ban ruling
US Dept of Justice has asked the Supreme Court to block a judge's ruling that prevented President Donald Trump's Muslim ban from being applied to grandparents of US citizens and refugees already being processed by resettlement agencies.In a court filing on Friday, the administration asked the justices to overturn Thursday's decision by a US district judge in Hawaii, which limited the scope of the administration's temporary ban on refugees and travellers from six Muslim countries. The latest round in the fight over Trump's March 6 executive order, which he says is needed for national security reasons, came after the Supreme Court intervened last month to partially revive 2 bans, which were blocked by lower courts. Aljazeera
Trump: We will maintain good relations with Qatar
US will maintain good relations with Qatar, President Donald Trump has told an American news channel, adding that the US airbase will not be moved out of the Middle Eastern country despite the diplomatic and economic blockade imposed on Doha by the Saudi-led group. Qatar is home to the Al-Udeid airbase that holds the forward headquarters of Central Command and hosts around 10,000 American troops. But while saying there are "10 countries willing to build us another base", Trump said "we will not have a problem with the military base".Aljazeera
Turkey dismisses thousands of police and civil servants
Turkey's Govt  has issued a new executive decree under the ongoing state of emergency imposed after last year's failed coup, dismissing more than 7,000 police, civil servants and academics.A total of 7,563 people -- including police -- have been dismissed in the latest purge, the Anadolu news agency reported.Turkish authorities also stripped 342 retired army personnel of their rank, Anadolu said.The new decree came a day before Turkey marks the first anniversary of the failed coup, which Ankara says was organised by US-based cleric Fethullah Gulen, a former ally of President Recep Tayyip Erdogan. Gulen denies the accusations.In all, Turkey has sacked or suspended more than 150,000 officials and arrested some 50,000 people from the military, police, judiciary, academia and other sectors.Turkey's Govt  is looking to extend the ongoing state of emergency by another 3 months, with President Erdogan saying the sweeping powers will only be lifted when "unrest ends".Aljazeera
Turkey marks one year since failed coup attempt
Turkey will hold a series of events on Saturday to celebrate the first anniversary of the defeat of last year's failed coup attempt, as it sacked thousands of officials in the latest crackdown.Ankara has declared July 15 - the day of the failed coup attempt - an annual national holiday of "democracy and unity", billing the foiling of the putsch as a historic victory of Turkish democracy.At least 249 people, not including the plotters, were killed when a faction in the army sent tanks into the streets and war planes into the sky in a violent bid to overthrow President Tayyip Erdogan.At least 50,000 people have been arrested and more than 100,000 have been dismissed from services over the past year.AP/Aljazeera
Visit by Turkish official to Israel expected
Israeli Energy Minister, Yuval Steinitz, said that his Turkish counterpart, Berat Albayrak, is set to visit Israel by the end of this year to conclude an agreement regarding the construction of a natural gas pipeline to transport gas from Israel to Turkey.The visit by Albayrak, the son-in-law of Turkish President Tayyip Erdogan and part of his inner circle, is considered a significant diplomatic move by Ankara after improving relations with Israel following a conflict which lasted years due to the attack on a Turkish ship carrying aid to Gaza. This attack resulted in the death of ten Turkish activists in 2010. The conflict was settled in June 2016 and the 2 parties began discussing the gas pipeline project.Israeli energy minister said, in Istanbul, that the two countries decided to accelerate efforts to sign an interGovt al agreement by the end of the year. middle east minor
Maryam Mirzakhani, first woman to win maths' Fields Medal, dies
Maryam Mirzakhani, the first woman to receive the prestigious Fields Medal for mathematics, has died in the US. 40-year-old had breast cancer, which had spread to her bones.Nicknamed the "Nobel Prize for Mathematics", the Fields Medal is only awarded every four years to between two and four mathematicians under 40.It was given to Prof Mirzakhani, an Iranian, in 2014, for her work on complex geometry and dynamical systems."A light was turned off today. It breaks my heart... gone far too soon," her friend, Nasa scientist Firouz Naderi, posted on Instagram.BBC
What it means to be Muslim in secular India who saw 2002 Gujarat massacre:Seema Mustafa
How Basirhat, which never had Hindu-Muslim issue, was engulfed in violence due to false reports and lies:TCN
 Compiled and edited by Anwarulhaq (Released at: 6:40 PM)

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