17 October 2017

17 Oct.NEWS DIGEST: China speeds up work on $2 billion project in PoK that India has objected to/ CM Yogi cancels accreditation of 2,682 madrasas

17 Oct.2017: 26 Muharram 1439:Vol:9, No:22
China speeds up work on $2 billion project in PoK that India has objected to
New Delhi: China plans to complete a $2 billion hydropower project in Pakistan-Occupied Kashmir ahead of schedule, according to state-run media in Beijing.Karot Hydropower Project is being built on the river Jhelum. Construction began last year. It will be owned by a Chinese firm for 30 years, after which it will be handed over to the Pakistan Govt .India has consistently opposed China's funding of projects in PoK on the grounds that it violates India's territorial sovereignty.The company said in a statement that the project will help ease Pakistan's power shortage and generate local employment.The report in the Global Times, a nationalist tabloid, has not mentioned new timeline for the project. Last month, Bloomberg reported that the project would be ready nine months ahead of its Dec. 2021 deadline.China is spending about $54 billion on infrastructure projects for the China Pakistan Economic Corridor. "India has repeatedly expressed its concern over the project since the project is located in disputed Kashmir, but it won't affect cooperation between China and Pakistan, because the ties are unshakable and will not target India," Global Times quoted Hu Zhiyong, a research fellow at Shanghai Academy of Social Sciences' Institute of International Relations.China is spending about $54 billion on infrastructure projects for the China Pakistan Economic Corridor, which also runs through Pakistan-Occupied Kashmir and is part of  the massive 'Belt-And-Road' plan to connect China with Europe and Africa through a network of roads,  rail and ports.  India has denounced the project and boycotted a huge conclave in May in Beijing that was attended by 60 countries that have signed up to the Belt-and-Road project. NDTV
China to speed up construction of power project in PoK; will ties with India be hit again?
1989 Bhagalpur riots: SC to hear Bihar Govt's plea against Kameshwar Yadav's acquittal
http://www.firstpost.com/india/1989-bhagalpur-riots-supreme-court-to-hear-bihar-Govt s-plea-against-kameshwar-yadavs-acquittal-4148701.html
New Delhi: The Supreme Court has agreed to examine an appeal of the Bihar Govt  against the acquittal of Kameshwar Prasad Yadav in the 1989 Bhagalpur communal riots in which over 1,000 people had lost their lives.Yadav was acquitted by Patna High Court in June in 2017 in a case related to the killing of a Muslim teenager.The high court had set aside the life-term awarded to him by a trial court in the murder case.Yadav (58) was convicted by a Bhagalpur court on 6 Nov., 2009, after Nitish Kumar-led Govt  had decided to reopen the riots cases in 2006.A bench of Justice AK Sikri and Justice Ashok Bhushan admitted the appeal of the state Govt  and directed an expeditious hearing in the case.Senior advocate KTS Tulsi and advocate Shoeb Alam, appearing for the state, contended that the high court had "erroneously" set aside the conviction order on the ground of delay in lodging of FIR. Advocate said it was a settled law that in cases pertaining to communal riots, delay in FIR has to be seen in the light of the fact that the city was in turmoil and people were apprehensive and afraid of coming forward to depose against the perpetrators of crime. Alam claimed that Yadav's presence with arms at the spot cannot be disputed as the statements of victim Qayamuddin's father and brother, who were eye-witnesses to the crime, corroborates with testimonies of other independent witnesses. Yadav, who was first arrested in 2007, had been acquitted in separate three riot case and after the high court's June this year order in the case, he had walked out of jail in July.PTI
CM Yogi cancels accreditation of 2,682 madrasas in UP
http://indiatoday.intoday.in/story/yogi-adityanath-Govt -uttar-pradesh-madrassa-portal/1/1070237.html
UP Govt has decided to revoke the accreditation of 2,682 madrasas in UP  after they failed to submit their details despite several reminders and extension of deadline on two occasions. According to reports, the UP Govt had in August given a month’s time to all madrasas in the state to register themselves. However, of more than 19,000 madrasas in the state, around 2,682 did not submit their details. UP Govt had sought information pertaining to the managing committee of the madrasas, teachers, students and other information by Sept.15. Madrasas in UP have been in the cross-hairs of the BJP-ruled state Govt which questioned their patriotism and sought video evidence of their mandatory singing of the national anthem. Allahabad High Court rejected a petition challenging a UP Govt order making singing of the national anthem compulsory in all schools, including madrasas. intoday
Official figures out: UP  has over 16,000 madrassas
Lucknow: It's official now. UP  has 16,461 madrassas, including 560 Govt -aided and 8,171 attached to the Madrassa Modernisation scheme, as per the data on the madrassa portal of the UP Board of Madrasa Education.Until now, the state Govt  did not have official figures on the madrassas under the UP Madrasa Education Board, though the Board's estimates put them at 16,000."A total of 16,461 madrassas from across UP have locked in their details. The details will be verified by the district minority officers next week, and disputes, if any, will be settled at the district level. No more registrations will be done now," said Board registrar Rahul Gupta. Board officials said since the final number of madrassas is more than the estimates it's likely that there are no bogus madrassas in UP. On August 18 this year, the Board had launched the madrassa portal to weed out bogus madrassas. timesofindia
UP Shia board to gift silver arrows for Lord Ram’s statue in Ayodhya
Lucknow: After welcoming Yogi Adityanath Govt’s move to build a 100-meter high statue of Lord Ram on the banks of Saryu river in Ayodhya, the UP Shia Central Waqf Board has said it would gift 10 silver arrows for his quiver as a mark of respect.In a letter to CM, the board’s chairman, Waseem Rizvi said that the construction of the statue would be a matter of pride of all Indians and will put UP on the world map.“UP govt’s decision to erect a statue of Lord Ram is commendable. In keeping with the Ganga-Jamuni tehezeeb of Awadh, these silver arrows would be just a token of admiration and esteem in which Shias hold Lord Ram,” he said. “Nawabs of this region always respected the temples in Ayodhya. Even the land for Hanuman Garhi in central Ayodhya was donated by Nawab Shuja-ud-Daulah in 1739, while the funds to construct the Hanuman Garhi temple were provided by Nawab Asif-ud-Daullah, between 1775 and 1793,” Rizvi pointed out.Waseem’s statement comes days after members of the Muslim Personal Law Board Zafaryab Jilani and Asaduddin Owaisi criticised the UP Govt’s proposal. But Rizvi, who is now in the cross-hairs of the UP Govt for alleged anomalies in land deals and bunglings in the waqf board, brushed aside such arguments.HT
VHP speeds up stone carving at Ayodhya workshop
Lucknow:VHP has expedited stone carving work at its Ramsewakpuram workshop in Ayodhya for construction of Ram temple. Move comes at a time when the state Govt is all set for a grand Diwali celebration in Ayodhya on Wednesday. 3 truckloads of stones were unloaded at Ramsewakpuram on Saturday and Sunday.The stones were transported from quarries at Bharatpur in Rajasthan. Volunteers deputed by VHP supervised the transportation of the stone and its carving. Sharad Sharma, a VHP leader, told HT 27 trucks of stone were unloaded at the workshop since Sept. He admitted that administration had disrupted the supply of stones to the Ramsewakpuram workshop during SP regime, slowing down the carving of stones. But, after the formation of BJP Govt, the supply of stones resumed.He also said a Dharm Sansad scheduled at Udupi in Karnataka on Nov.24-26 will discuss construction of the Ram temple in Ayodhya. Prominent saints members of the Ram Janmabhoomi Nyas will deliberate on plans to expedite construction work.VHP has hired 12 artisans for carving stones and construction of pillars. Meanwhile, all eyes are on grand Diwali celebrations on Wednesday when over 171,000 earthen lamps will be lit to celebrate the festival that marks the return of Ram to Ayodhya after an exile of 14 years. Governor Ram Naik and CM Yogi Adityanath will be present at the function.HT
Taj Mahal, made by blood and sweat of ''Bharat Mata’s sons'', will be protected: Adityanath
Gorakhpur: Taj Mahal was made by the blood and sweat of “Bharat Mata’s sons” and its protection was the responsibility of UP Govt, CM Yogi Adityanath said.Announcing that he would visit Agra on Oct. 26 to review tourism schemes, the Chief Ninister said the Taj Mahal was a historical monument regardless of the emperor who built it. There was a Rs. 370 crore work plan for the city and it was the Govt 'ds duty to provide proper security and facilities to tourists. Adityanath’s comments come a day after BJP MLA Sangeet Som questioned Taj Mahal’s place in India’s heritage and observed that history would be rewritten to erase Mughal emperors from it.“It is immaterial as to who and how Taj Mahal was built...It was made by the sweat and blood of Bharat Mata’s sons,” Adityanath said in Gorakhpur.“It is famous the world over for its architecture... it is a historical monument and its protection and further development for tourism is the responsibility of the Govt ,” he said. Govt  was working for tourism development in the Kalinjer Fort (in Banda) and prepared schemes for the development of Rani Laxmibai’s Fort in Jhansi and the Chunar Fort (Mirzapur), he said.Following reports about the Taj Mahal being left out of the booklet, the State Govt  issued a press release that said, “Tourism projects worth Rs. 370 crore are proposed, under which schemes worth Rs. 156 crore for development of parks and various facilities are meant for the Taj Mahal and its surrounding areas in Agra.”PTI
Taj Mahal not a symbol of worship, most Mughals 'aiyaash': UP Shia Waqf Board chairman
New Delhi: Chairman of the UP Shia Waqf Board on Tuesday jumped into the controversy surrounding the Taj Mahal, saying that the monument cannot be a symbol of "worship." He also alleged that "most Mughals were 'aiyaash'" or 'dissolute.'"Taj Mahal can be a symbol of love but not of worship. Apart from one or 2, most Mughals were 'aiyaash'. Muslims don't consider them idols," chairman Syed Waseem Rizvi said. timesofindia
Why only Taj Mahal? Demolish Rashtrapati Bhavan, Qutub Minar too: Azam Khan
Rampur: SP leader Azam Khan has called for demolition of Rashtrapati Bhawan, Qutab Minar, Lal Qila as they were all “sign of slavery”. Khan was reacting to BJP MLA Sangeet Som, who courted controversy over Taj Mahal. Khan said, “Why only Taj Mahal? Why not Rashtrapati Bhavan, Qutab Minar, Lal Qila? All these are signs of slavery. RSS people call it a sign of traitor and if it is so, then Taj Mahal should be demolished.”ANI
Occupancy of Rashtrapati Bhavan, Hyderabad House represents victory of Hindus over Islam,Christians: Swamy
Subramanian Swamy hit back at Asaduddin Owaisi who had asked PM Modi to stop hosting dignitaries at Hyderabad House. Swamy waded into outrage over Taj Mahal. Reacting to Sangeet Som's statement that Taj Mahal was built by 'traitors', AIMIM leader Asauddin Owaisi had said: "It is very sad that a minister, who has taken oath on the Indian Constitution, has commented in such a way. I challenge this Govt to tell UNESCO to remove the Taj Mahal from the world heritage list. This statement clearly shows what the priorities of Govt are and that they have no relevance or respect towards Taj Mahal." Dnaindia
Delhi HC junks PIL to treat Vande Mataram on par with Jana Gana Mana
New Delhi:A bench of Acting Chief Justice Gita Mittal and Justice C Hari Shankar said that though it agreed with the petitioner’s view, but it cannot grant the relief sought.“Though we agree with the petitioner that ‘Vande Mataram’ be recognised by the respondent as equal to ‘Jana Gana Mana’. We are of the view that we are unable to grant the relief sought in the petition,” the bench said.The court’s order came on a plea of Delhi resident Gautam R Morarka, who had urged the bench that directions be given to the Centre in this regard so that proper dignity and respect can be maintained when ‘Vande Mataram’ is played or sung.PTI
Judicial custody of Geelani's son-in-law, 6 other Kashmiri separatist leaders extended till Nov.14
A court here on Tuesday extended till Nov. 14 judicial custody of seven Kashmiri separatists arrested on various charges, including receiving funds from Pakistan to sponsor terror activities and stone-pelting in J&K .During the in-camera proceedings, District Judge Poonam Bamba extended the judicial custody of Aftab Hilali Shah alias Shahid-ul-Islam, Ayaz Akbar Khandey, Farooq Ahmad Dar alias Bitta Karate, Nayeem Khan, Altaf Ahmad Shah, Raja Mehrajuddin Kalwal and Bashir Ahmad Bhat alias Peer Saifullah.Altaf Ahmad Shah is the son-in-law of Syed Ali Shah Geelani, who advocates J&K 's merger with Pakistan.Islam is a close aide of moderate Hurriyat leader Mirwaiz Umar Farooq. Khandey is the spokesperson for the Geelani-led Hurriyat.Meanwhile, the court also extended judicial custody of a businessman Zahoor Ahmad Shah Watali and two alleged stone-pelters Javed Ahmad Bhat of Kulgam and Kamran of Pulwama for 30 days.IANS
Civil society group from Kashmir in Jammu to discuss Art 35A
Jammu:A civil society group from Kashmir is in Jammu province, meeting leaders of various organisations with an aim of building consensus on Article 35A, which has been challenged in the Supreme Court. Article 35A of the Indian Constitution grants certain special rights and privileges to the residents of J&K. "We are here to dismantle the walls of hatred and bridge the gap between the people of Jammu and the Kashmir valley," leader of J&K Civil Society Coordination Committee (JKCSCC) Muzaffar Shah said. Shah, who is president of Awami National Conference, said "We are without our political baggage and simply a civil society initiative, keeping in mind the threat to peace if Article 35A is abrogated... Our initiative is to deter political parties from playing vote bank politics on the issue." He said that they met 20 delegations of Jammu province over the past two days and "came to the conclusion that the people of Jammu are on the same page regarding defending Article 35A." PTI
Continuous internet ban in Kashmir affecting livelihood of media persons: Valley-based Journalist body
Srinagar: J&K Young Journalist Association(JKYJA) on Monday strongly condemned the continuous clampdown of 3G and 4G Mobile Internet services in Kashmir. JKYJA said that the Internet ban not only heightens the state of paranoia amongst the citizens but also affects the work of journalists in Kashmir, adding that the internet ban also attacks the livelihood of dozens of people including professional journalists whose work is dependable on the Internet.KYJA said that the over the past years, the repeated suspension of mobile internet services has become common in Kashmir which reflects the total indifference of Govt towards the prosperity, development, economic and educational upliftment of Kashmiri people in addition to the promotion of tourism. Considering the adverse impact on the economic prospects due to the Internet Ban, JKYJA appealed people from IT sector, tourism, lawyers, traders, entrepreneurs, students and teachers to condemn the Internet ban in Kashmir.TCN
Tension in Kashmir’s Kupwara after mob thrashes soldier accused of braid-chopping
Srinagar:Tension rose in J&K’s Kupwara town on Tuesday after a soldier who was beaten up by a mob on suspicion of being involved in a braid-chopping incident.A senior police official in Kupwara confirmed that local boys had started thrashing the soldier, who was rescued by the army, after it was alleged that he was involved in braid chopping.He said the soldier was not critical. Further details are awaited. The army spokesperson did not immediately respond.About 40 cases of braid-chopping have been reported in Kashmir valley. A majority of such incidents were reported from densely populated urban areas and rural zones, and the victims were mostly young girls or middle-aged women. HT
Slain PDP leader’s house set on fire in J&K ’s Shopian
Srinagar:A mob of 200 set ablaze the house of slain PDP leader on Tuesday, who was allegedly killed by militants Monday night at Humhuna in south Kashmir’s Shopian district. According to police officials, nearly 200 people attacked the house of Mohammad Ramzan Sheikh when his family and neighbours were mourning his death Tuesday afternoon.“A mob attacked his (Sheikh’s) house. We have unconfirmed reports that some militants were also with them. They set ablaze the house,” said Shopian superintendent of police AS Dinkar.Dinkar said the fire brigade reached a bit late as the house was isolated and had a narrow road to reach. “…There was no water nearby to douse the flames. The family was rescued but a portion of the house was damaged.”According to the police, three militants had turned up at the PDP worker’s house Monday night. As Sheikh’s family resisted, one of the militants opened fire, which killed Sheikh and Kumar.Local reports said the militant purportedly opposed the plan to kill Sheikh and wanted to only shoot his leg. The police, however, have not confirmed this. Hindustantimes
BJP is India’s richest political party, Congress’ liabilities increase by over 4,000% 11 years: ADR Report
New Delhi: BJP is the richest national political party in the country with assets worth over Rs 893 crore in year 2015-16, according to a report released by Association for Democratic Reforms (ADR). The report analyses the assets and liabilities of seven national parties from the year 2004-05 to 2015-16, on the basis of data submitted by these parties to the Election Commission of India. According to the report, in the year 2015-16, BJP owned assets worth Rs 893.88 crore.Apart from BJP, the report also carries data on Congress (INC), BSP, Sharad Pawar’s NCP, Mamata Banerjee’s Trinamool Congress’, CPI(Marxist) and CPI.The report states that AITC’s assets have grown by 17,896 %  during these eleven years. Assets of Mayawati’s BSP and NCP have also increased by huge margins. While BSP recorded a growth of 1,197% in its assets, NCP’s increased by almost 809%. BJP registered a growth of 627% during this period. indianexpress
Charges against Kancha Ilaiah assault on right to freedom of expression: Amnesty
Bengaluru:The charges against writer Dalit writer Kancha Ilaiah, a staunch critic of the caste system, are an “absurd assault” on the right to freedom of expression, Amnesty International India said on Tuesday.Kancha Ilaiah’s latest book, titled Samajika Smugglerlu Komatollu (Social smugglers — Komatis), challenges the caste system in India and criticises the social and economic capital enjoyed by dominant castes that allows discrimination to prevail.On Oct.12, a complaint was filed in a court in Telangana stating that the book had hurt the sentiments of Vyasa community.On instructions of the court, a case was registered against Kancha Ilaiah. The charges include accusations of promoting enmity between different social groups and trying to maliciously outrage religious beliefs.“The charges brought against Kancha Ilaiah expose the dangerous environment that academics and other human rights defenders face in India, in which the right to freedom of expression is constantly under attack”, said Asmita Basu, Programmes Director, Amnesty International India. HT
Darjeeling: Calcutta High Court stays withdrawal of paramilitary personnel from hills
Kolkata:The Calcutta High Court on Tuesday put on hold the Centre's decision to withdraw 15 companies of CRPF from Darjeeling and Kalimpong. The paramilitary personnel were deployed to maintain law and order during the agitation for a separate Gorkhaland state.Court has put a stay on the Union Govt 's order till Oct.27.Earlier, the Centre had decided to withdraw 10 companies of CRPF from Darjeeling. TOI
Air quality enters ‘red zone’: Diesel generators banned in Delhi, Badarpur thermal power plant closed
New Delhi: With air quality in the national capital entering red zone, the authority on Tuesday banned diesel generator and ordered closure of Badarpur thermal power plant. Environment Pollution Prevention and Control (EPCA) chairman Bhure Lal and member Sunita Narain announced the decision following a review meeting.The air quality may also result in an increase in the parking fee for vehicles by up to four times in the next few days, PTI reported.Narain said parking fee may have to be hiked in Delhi, despite the fact that a parking policy is still being worked out, if air pollution aggravates further and in case it touches alarming proportions “cars will have to be off the roads”.The measure, if required, will be enforced under the Graded Response Action Plan, under which a series of measures will be taken based on the severity of air pollution during the winter months. Indian express
AMU is a perfect example of Indian nationalism and ethos: Pranab Mukherjee
New Delhi:Former President Pranab Mukherjee heaped praise on AMU, describing the institution as a perfect example of Indian nationalism and ethos, ‘where students from different religions, ethnicity, linguistic backgrounds and culture integrate and work together in productive ways.’“It is a privilege to be in AMU on the occasion of 200th birth anniversary of Sir Syed Ahmad Khan, the visionary leader of India,” said Mukherjee while delivering the commemoration address on bicentennial birth celebrations of AMU founder, Syed Ahmad Khan at the university’s Athletics Ground. AMU V-C, Professor Tariq Mansoor, also shed light on the contribution that Sir Syed has made towards the Indian education.“Sir Syed was a Messiah, who worked for education and secularism through his versatile writing and farsightedness,” Prof Mansoor said. indianexpress
'Nexus between Maoists, politicians trigger killings in Jharkhand'
Ranchi: The nexus between politicians and Maoists was an open secret. It has now come to be further unravelled with the arrest by NIA of former Minister Gopal Krishna Patar alias Raja Peter for the murder of JD-U legislator Ramesh Singh Munda in 2008.Munda was killed by Maoist guerrillas at a public meeting on the outskirts of Ranchi. According to NIA sources, Maoists were given a Rs 5 crore contract for the assassination. The murder mystery was unveiled after a Maoist commander, Kundan Pahan, carrying Rs 10 lakh reward and allegedly involved in the killing, surrendered in May and divulged details of many other cases. NIA then stepped into the picture.Till now, the case was buried in the police files. Vikas Munda, the slain legislator's son, had sat on a hunger strike after Pahan surrendered."More people could be exposed for my father's murder. My father was killed by hatching a conspiracy. Nothing was done in the last nine years to solve the murder mystery. We want justice," Vikas Munda had said after Raja Peter's arrest.Raja Peter had created history in January 2009 by defeating then CM and JMM chief Shibu Soren from the Tamar assembly constituency, whose seat fell vacant after Ramesh Singh Munda's murder. He then became a minister.Along with Raja Peter, NIA also arrested ASI Sheshnath Singh, Munda's bodyguard who allegedly passed on information about the victim to the Maoists.IANS
NIA yet to find proof of sabotage in U.P. derailment
New Delhi: Almost a year after the derailment of the Patna-bound Indore-Rajendranagar Express near Kanpur claimed over 150 lives, the NIA is yet to get any evidence of “sabotage.”Former Railway Minister, Suresh Prabhu, had alleged sabotage in 2 train accidents — Kanpur and Kuneru — and sent a letter to Home Minister Rajnath Singh demanding a probe by NIA.Multiple reminders sent by the NIA to the IIT experts, who have been asked to aid the investigations, have gone unanswered.“We roped in a team of IIT experts to ascertain the cause of accident. We have sent them three reminders but have not got any response,” said an NIA official. IIT team visited both the Kanpur and Kuneru accident sites and collected samples. The hindu
Mumbai: Movement launched to save nation, Constitution
Mumbai: Human and democratic rights activists launched a movement to 'save constitution, save nation' at a 2-day national convention of Alliance for Peace and Justice (AJP) at Mumbai Marathi Patrakar Sangh,attended by over 100 activists from across the country. Speakers said state and district-level committees would be formed to educate people about the dangers India's syncretic and pluralist ethos faces from the present regime."The present Govt at the Centre and Govt in many states are actively working to weaken ideals of secularism and democracy enshrined in our Constitution. Our Constitution is threatened. We have to replace these fascist forces with democratic forces," said former Supreme Court judge Justice P B Sawant. Former Bombay high court judge Justice Kolse Patil said the time had come for all democratic forces to join hands and fight increasing communalization of our institutions.Maulana Khaleelur Rahman Sajjad Nomani, spokesperson for All-India Muslim Personal Law Board, observed there was a huge social and economic turmoil within the country and some people were anatagonized with anti-poor and pro-rich policies of the present regime.Activist Teesta Setalvad said their movement was apolitical but cannot help if some ramifications of the exercise are felt during the crucial upcoming assembly polls in Himachal and Gujarat.TOI
RSS leader Ravinder Gosai shot dead in Ludhiana
Ludhiana:2 unidentified assailants gunned down RSS leader Ravinder Gosai (58) near his house in Ludhiana at 7.20am on Tuesday.The assailants pumped 2 bullets in his neck and his back minutes after he came out of his house with his pet dog. Gosai died at the spot while the assailants fled.Gosai was head of Raghunath Nagar Mohan Shakha of RSS Ludhiana and was a Mukhya Shikshak of Shakha,a senior post.On being informed the police reached the spot and initiated an investigation. BJP and RSS leaders huddled at his home after the killing.HT
Kurdish Peshmerga: Baghdad to pay heavy price for declaring war
Kurdish Peshmerga command has said Iraqi Govt will pay a "heavy price" for its military campaign in Kirkuk, which it described as "a declaration of war against the nation of Kurdistan". The warning by Peshmerga General Command (PGC) came as Iraqi federal forces, backed by Shia militia, said they had taken full control of oil-rich Kirkuk in a swift advance on Kurdish-held positions. PGC accused some of the leaders of Patriotic Union of Kurdistan (PUK) of "treason", alleging that forces under the party's control had withdrawn from areas they held. The PUK has denied the accusations, according to Kurdish news portal Rudaw."Unfortunately, some officials from the ... PUK helped this plot against the Kurdistan nation and committed a great and historic treason against Kurdistan and the martyrs who sacrificed their lives for Kurdistan under the PUK flag," the statement said.Separately, Hemin Hawrami, special assistant to Masoud Barzani, president of Kurdish Regional Govt  (KRG) and leader of the Kurdistan Democratic Party, posted on Twitter what he said was a statement by a main Shia militia group thanking PUK members for their cooperation in helping with the withdrawal from some of the areas around Kirkuk. aljazeera
Baghdad: Iraqi forces in full control of Kirkuk
ISIL capitalises on Peshmerga retreat in northern Iraq
ISIL group seized control of two villages west of Kirkuk following the retreat of Kurdish Peshmerga fighters from the area.The villages of Taweeli'ah and al-Maliha, in northwestern Dibis province,were under complete control by ISIL on Tuesday, Al Jazeera correspondent based in Erbil quoted security sources as saying.ISIL infiltrated villages from the desert of Anbar and Salahuddin provinces, taking advantage of the security vacuum left by the Peshmerga's retreat. aljazeera
US-backed forces say have captured Raqa from IS:AFP
US-backed forces said today they had taken full control of Raqa from the Islamic State group, defeating the last jihadist holdouts in the de facto Syrian capital of their now-shattered "caliphate".Kurdish-Arab Syrian Democratic Forces, who have been fighting inside the northern city since they broke in on June 6, flushed the few hundred IS fighters left in the city from their last positions in the main hospital and the national stadium."Everything is finished in Raqa, our forces have taken full control of Raqa, alliance's spokesman Talal Sello said AFP.
Taliban attacks kill 71 on Afghan security forces:AFP
2 separate suicide and gun attacks on police and soldiers in Afghanistan left at least 71 dead and nearly 170 wounded Tuesday in the latest devastating assaults on beleaguered security forces. Taliban claimed the more deadly of the two assaults, a coordinated attack on police in the southeast city of Gardez in Paktia province.That assault killed 41 people and injured 158, according to the interior ministry, and left hospital officials calling for blood donations. There were desperate scenes as relatives queued for news of loved ones after the hours-long battle.A separate ambush blamed on Taliban in the neighbouring province of Ghazni killed 25 security officials and 5 civilians with 10 wounded, interior ministry said.The attack, claimed by Taliban in a tweet, began when 2 suicide bombers driving an explosives-laden truck and a Humvee blew them up near the training centre, which is close to Paktia police HQRS.
2-3rds of Afghan girls missing out on school:Rights group
Kabul: 2-thirds of Afghan girls do not attend school due to growing insecurity and poverty, HRW said, underlining the challenges of educating women in the patriarchal country 16 years after Taliban were ousted. While millions more girls are receiving an education than during Taliban’s repressive 1996-2001 regime, progress has stalled in recent years, rights group warned, with the proportion of female students falling in parts of the country.About 85% of the 3.5 million children out of school are girls, HRW said in a report based on research in 4 provinces and Govt data.“16 years after US-led military intervention in Afghanistan ousted the Taliban,an estimated 2-thirds of Afghan girls do not attend school,” it said. PTI
Mass destruction continues in Myanmar's Rakhine: HRW
According to newly released satellite images, at least 288 Muslim villages have been partially or totally destroyed by fire in Myanmar's Rakhine State since Aug. 25, the Human Rights Watch said Tuesday.The rights group said they monitored and analyzed 866 villages in Maungdaw, Rathedaung, and Buthidaung townships in Rakhine and found that most damaged area was Maungdaw, adding destruction encompassed tens of thousands of structures, primarily homes inhabited by ethnic Rohingya Muslims."These latest satellite images show why over half a million Rohingya fled to Bangladesh in just four weeks," said HRW’s deputy Asia director Phil Robertson. "Burmese military destroyed hundreds of Rohingya villages while committing killings, rapes, and other crimes against humanity that forced Rohingya to flee for their lives."HRW said that 62% of all villages in Maungdaw township were either partially or completely destroyed, with about 90 % of the destruction happening between Aug. 25 and Sept. 25.
UN: 582000 Rohingya have now crossed into Bangladesh
Israel PM won't cut PA ties over Palestinian unity deal
Israel will continue to cooperate with Palestinian Authority even if its leading faction Fatah completes a unity deal with Hamas, which Israel has publicly opposed, Israeli Haaretz reported. Speaking at a cabinet meeting, PM Benjamin Netanyahu told ministers that while he will not recognize the reconciliation process,he also will not derail it because resumption of PA control will improve humanitarian conditions in the blockaded Gaza Strip, which is in Israel's interest, Haaretz reported quoting sources from the meeting. He also said that the return of PA control over Gaza would not mean resumption of long-suspended Israeli-Palestinian peace talks.Anadolu agency
Israel telecoms giant Bezeq warned over UN settlements database
CEO of Israeli telecommunications giant Bezeq has shared a letter from UNHRC, as the Geneva-based body prepares for the publication of a database of companies complicit in Israeli settlements in the occupied Palestinian territory (oPt).Stella Handler published the letter on her Facebook account, along with an attack on UNHRC and its mandate. The post was subsequently deleted, reportedly at the request of Israeli Ministry of Foreign Affairs.Letter summarises UNHRC’s findings regarding Bezeq’s involvement with settlements in the oPt, including “40 real estate properties in the West Bank used for telecommunication infrastructure”, as well as various antennas.Bezeq “provides landline, cellular, internet and cable TV services to residents of settlements in the West Bank”,UN letter continued, and, in addition, “operates sales points in [West Bank settlement] Ma’ale Adumim and two locations in East Jerusalem”.The letter, invites Bezeq’s CEO to respond within 60 days of the date of letter. middleeastmonitor
Yemeni source: Zindani under house arrest in Saudi
A Yemeni source said that Yemeni preacher Sheikh Abdul Majeed Al-Zindani has been under house arrest in Saudi Arabia.The source, who is close to Sheikh Al-Zindani, asserted that “Saudi authorities restricted the movement of the preacher within its territory and chose 2 cities he is allowed to travel between, Mecca and Riyadh. The measures included preventing him from reaching other cities, including Jeddah and Medina,” according to Arabi21. middleeastmonitor
Yemen forces release Al-Islah party deputy head in Aden
Security forces in Yemen’s southern city of Aden have released a senior party leader after a week-long detention, a party spokesman said today.Mohamed Abdul Malik, assistant secretary-general of Al-Islah party in Aden, was set free, Khaled Haidan told the Anadolu.He said security authorities have pledged to release eight party members tomorrow.Last week, security forces rounded up a number of party members and activists during raids in Aden.Al-Islah party is a main backer of the internationally-recognised Govt and Saudi-led coalition fighting Houthi rebels in Yemen. middleeastmonitor
Journalist who exposed Malta’s ‘Panama Papers’ link, killed in car blast
Malta:Maltese investigative journalist Daphne Caruana Galizia, who exposed her island nation’s links to offshore tax havens through the leaked Panama Papers was killed on Monday in a bomb explosion in her car, Malta’s PM Joseph Muscat said. Galizia had just driven away from her home in Mosta, a town outside Malta’s capital of Valletta, when the bomb went off, sending the vehicle’s wreckage spiraling over a wall and into a field. Muscat says Galizia’s death resulted from a “barbaric attack” that also amounted to an assault on the freedom of expression. He said she “was one of my harshest critics, on a political and personal level,” as he denounced her slaying.AP
Gujarat polls: Modi's defensive speech on GST shows nervousness building up in BJP: Dinesh Unnikrishnan
A call to left-liberals: Their silence on questions of caste could make them complicit in oppression of Dalit-Bahujan:Kancha Ilaiah
Cracker ban a project to civilise Hindus: Tarun Vijay, MP
Misreading Sir Syed: Erroneously believed to be a proponent of two-nation theory: Faizan Mustafa
Unable to appoint teachers despite extreme shortage, madrasas in W.Bengal face tough times: TCN
Compiled and edited by Anwarulhaq (Released at: 4:17 PM)


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