27 November 2017

27 Nov.ND: Want my freedom back, want to go with husband , says Hadiya; SC allows her to resume studies

27 Nov.2017: 07 Rabiul Awwal 1439:Vol:9, No:58
 Want my freedom back, says Hadiya; SC allows her to resume studies
New Delhi: Deposing before the Supreme Court for the first time, Hadiya, a Kerala-based Hindu girl Akhila who converted to Islam and later married a Muslim man, Shafin Jahan, told the bench on Monday that she wanted her freedom back and wanted to remain true to her faith.During the hearing, which went for over 2 hours, the woman said she wanted to go with her husband Shafin Jahan. “I want freedom…I want to remain true to my faith,” 24-year-old said.The SC bench, headed by Chief Justice Dipak Misra, then asked Hadiya if she wanted to continue her studies on the state’s expense. To this, Hadiya said she wanted to continue her studies but not on the state’s expense. “I want to (study) but not on state’s expense. My husband can take care of me,” she told the bench.The SC allowed Hadiya to resume her House Surgeoncy in Salem-based Homeo Medical College and asked the Kerala govt to make arrangements for her travel at earliest. The SC appointed the dean of the college as Hadiya’s guardian. Hadiya has been staying at her parental home for several weeks. The bench, also comprising Justices AM Khanwilkar and DY Chandrachud, directed the college to re-admit Hadiya and grant her hostel facilities.The conversion case, which has grabbed national headlines, saw a heated debate between the counsel of Shafin Jahan and that of Hadiya’s father KM Ashokan. NIA and Ashokan have contended that Hadiya had been indoctrinated by radical groups and her consent was not free in the marriage. However, in its status report to the SC on Thursday, NIA is learnt to have attached the statement of Hadiya, in which she has reportedly denied any pressure to convert to Islam or marry Jahan.Appearing for Hadiya’s husband, senior lawyer Kapil Sibal told the SC that he was saddened by the fact that instead of asking Hadiya on what she wanted, people were talking about the “venom” perpetrated by news channels. “Instead of asking Hadiya on what she wants, people are talking about the venom filled in news channels and media,” he said.Countering Sibal, the counsel for Hadiya’s father said the probe report submitted by the NIA should be looked into before hearing the version of Hadiya.Sibal further told the CJI that the court should listen to Hadiya and not the NIA. “When Hadiya is here, the court should listen to her, not the NIA. She is entitled to take decisions of her life,” the senior lawyer contended. The top court fixed the hearing on Jahan’s plea against Kerala HC order annulling his marriage with Hadiya to the third week of Jan. next year. Outside the court, Jahan said his stand had been vindicated. “The court’s ruling proves that my stand has been vindicated,” ANI quoted Hadiya’s husband.indianexpress

SC asks Hadiya to continue her education, college dean to be her guardian
I want my freedom, says Hadiya; SC tells her to return to college
Hadiya’s lawyer says she is entitled to make decisions about her life
Muslims should stop 'Love Jihad' or we will send Bajrang Dal youths to attract Muslim Girls:VHP Leader
At the "Dharma Sansad", a conclave of Hindu seers, mutt heads and VHP leaders, that concluded in Karnataka's UDupi on Sunday, Vishwa Hindu Parishad leader Gopal said if Muslims don't stop "love jihad", Bajrang Dal youths will have to be sent to attract Muslim girls. Passing on his "counter love jihad" tactic at the gathering, he said: "Muslims must stop love jihad, otherwise we will send our youths from the Bajrang Dal to attract Muslim girls. We are not opposed to love but our girls think Shah Rukh and Shirish are the same or Salman and Sunil are the same, but they don’t know that Hindu boys marry only once and the others will marry several times," reported The Indian Express.The right-wing gathering also demanded the immediate withdrawal of a directive, which it claimed was issued by the Centre to states on cow vigilantism. outlookindia
Junaid lynching case: Punjab and Haryana HC junks father’s plea for CBI probe
Chandigarh:Punjab and Haryana high court on Monday dismissed a petition seeking a probe by CBI into the lynching of Junaid Khan, a Faridabad youth, in June on board a Mathura-bound train, allegedly by right-wing sympathisers. Junaid’s father Jalaludin had filed the petition last month. A single-judge bench of Justice Rajan Gupta while pronouncing the judgment said that the petitioner could not bring before court any flaw in the investigation by the Haryana police, state’s additional advocate general, Deepak Sabharwal said. The detailed judgment is awaited. The petition was reserved for judgment on Nov.17In his petition on Oct.25, Jalaludin had sought CBI probe arguing that Haryana Police had deliberately distorted all witnesses’ statements to introduce “ambiguity, discrepancies and contradictions” to benefit the accused.“The stab injuries to two cousins accompanying Junaid and his lynching were motivated by deep-rooted communal hatred against the community of the victims,” the father had alleged in his plea. He had also submitted that the conduct of the accused and others in the lynch mob was concealed and projected as if the occurrence/events were sudden. “Police deliberately acted with undue haste because the crime had attracted huge nationwide outcry,” he had added.hindustantimes
Demands before J&K interlocutor Dineshwar Sharma: From land for house to release of political prisoners
Pulwama:On his second visit to Kashmir since his appointment as the Centre’s special representative, Dineshwar Sharma had his hands full on Sunday as he patiently lent an ear to the locals who had come to apprise him of their grievances and put forward their demands.Jana Begum stood outside the fortified Circuit house in Pulwama district before mustering up the courage to go inside. “Who is in there?” she asked a security officer. Struggling to find a translation for the word interlocutor, the official told her that the district administration was holding a meeting. No one stopped her or checked her identity as she crossed the gates. Her grievance: She wanted to speak to someone “high enough” to give her land for a house.Begum was one of the over 150 people who queued up at the Circuit house to meet Sharma. Among them, were 70 youths from the area, led by the ruling PDP’s youth wing president Waheed-ur- Rehman, who met the former IB chief and apprised him of their fears of being falsely detained. indianexpress
Hoist national flag at Srinagar’s Lal Chowk before PoK: Farooq Abdullah to Centre
Jammu: In yet another controversial remark, J&K’s former CM  Farooq Abdullah on Monday dared the Centre to hoist the national flag at Lal Chowk in the heart of Srinagar city before talking about unfurling it in PoK.Abdullah’s remarks drew criticism from the BJP, with deputy CM  Nirmal Singh saying National Conference leader was strengthening the separatists and militants. He said the tricolour was being hoisted in all parts of the state, including Lal Chowk.“They (Centre and BJP) are talking about raising flag in PoK. I ask them first you go and raise the tricolour at Lal Chowk in Srinagar. They can’t even do that here and they are talking about PoK,” he said.Abdullah, who had recently claimed PoK cannot become a part of India, said he only told facts and that what he spoke about PoK was the “truth”.“They (Centre and BJP) are talking about raising flag in PoK. I ask them first you go and raise the tricolour at Lal Chowk in Srinagar. They can’t even do that here and they are talking about PoK,” he said.“If you don’t like to hear the truth, then live in the untruth. The truth is that (PoK) is not our part and this (J&K) is not their part. That is the truth,” Abdullah said defending his comment that PoK does not belong to India.HT
Indian Express report thickens mystery surrounding death of Justice Loya: National Herald India
After several media reports raised questions over the circumstances surrounding sudden death of Justice Brijgopal Harkishan Loya in 2014 following the series reports published by The Caravan, an Indian Express report has thickened mystery surrounding death of CBI special judge.IE “investigative” report:“CBI judge BH Loya’s death in 2014: Nothing suspicious, say two Bombay HC judges who were at hospital, has claimed that the “crucial claims in Caravan report — ECG not working, judge virtually abandoned after death, body sent home unescorted — contradict records investigated by The Indian Express.”Ironically, the picture of the purported ECG report of Justice Loya issued by Dande Hospital in Nagpur—where Justice Loya, 48, allegedly died of a heart attack on December 1, 2014—published by the IE along with it’s report is dated November 30, a day before the reported time of Justice Loya's ECG was conducted and his reported death.“Wonder what kind of reporting does not take note of date and name of an ECG cited as crucial 'evidence' both being wrong and ECG was 'provided' to them. Very lack of attempt even to note or address huge discrepancy indicates mindset with which this reporting has been done,” political editor at The Caravan Hartosh Singh Bal said on twitter, reacting to the IE report.Commenting on The Caravan report and the deceased judge’s sister’s question “why no ECG was done at Dande Hospital, where the judge was taken around 4 am from his cottage at Ravi Bhavan government rest-house in the Civil Lines area”, the IE report claims that “records, show that an ECG was, indeed, done at Dande Hospital, a copy of which has been obtained by Indian Express.” IE quoting two judges from Bombay High Court, Justice Bhushan Gavai and Justice Sunil Shukre, who claimed to be with Justice Loya in hospital at the time of his death, a day after he attended the wedding and reception of the daughter of fellow judge Swapna Joshi, reported there was “absolutely nothing suspicious about the death or the events around it”.The deceased judge was presiding over the Soharabuddin “fake encounter” case at the time he died mysteriously in Nagpur. “Thank you Indian Express for adding more mystery to the story. Unfortunately it is not Justice Loya's ECG as according to the story being cooked up so far he was taken ill on the night of November 30th and the ECG is 5.11am November 30. The two judges have been finally surfaced is good news,” social activist Shabnam Hashmi wrote on her Facebook wall, wondering: “Why is Indian Express doing this is a question.”The IE report has raised many eyebrows with many questioning the veracity of “investigation” done the national daily.
CBI judge BH Loya’s death in 2014: Nothing suspicious, say 2 Bombay HC judges who were at hospital
A Family Breaks Its Silence: Shocking Details Emerge In Death Of Judge Presiding Over Sohrabuddin Trial:caravanmagazine
Admiral Ramdas asks SC to probe Justice Loya's 'mystery' death
Mumbai : Retired Admiral L Ramdas on Monday sought a special judicial enquiry to investigate the sudden death of a CBI Special Judge Brijmohan H Loya on December 1, 2014 when he was on a private trip to Nagpur.At the time of his death, Justice Loya, 48, was hearing the politically sensitive Sohrabuddin A. Sheikh 'encounter' case while he was in custody of the Gujarat Police in November 2005 in which an accused was BJP President Amit Shah, later acquitted.In his letter dated Nov. 24 to Chief Justice Dipak Misra and released to the media on Monday, Admiral Ramdas said: "Justice Loya, appointed by the Chief Justice of the Bombay High Court to investigate the murder of Sohrabuddin (A. Sheikh), dies under mysterious circumstance while on a visit to Nagpur."The silence of the two judges, who apparently persuaded the late Justice Loya to travel to Nagpur (Justice Bhushan Gavai and Justice Sunil Shukre) and accompanied him, was very disturbing, to say the least, he added."The inaction of the judiciary about this sequence of events thus far is indeed surprising. This is all the more puzzling in the context of recent revelations by family members of the late Justice Loya who have raised certain questions, apprehending foul play in the circumstances leading to his sudden death," Admiral Ramdas said in his letter.He added that a judicial probe at this point, at least to respond to the queries raised by the family and to uphold the image of the judiciary in the eyes of the people, was "absolutely necessary".IANS
Top insecure, no PMO weaker than one in power today: Arun Shourie
New Delhi:In an era of technology where everything and everyone is connected, falsehoods and distortions will show up swiftly and will delegitimise the whole project, author, journalist and politician Arun Shourie said in his keynote address, "A Few Lessons for Followers", at Times Litfest here on Sunday. Shourie said that in 40 years of observing politics in India, he had never witnessed an exaggeration of falsehoods of the kind happening now, and that the only way to challenge an opposing narrative was to counter it by reading and mastering their own texts. "If you find, for instance, BJP use Ambedkar to say he supported Hinduism or BJP, read his 'Riddles in Hinduism' and question them with what he has said in the book."In a sharp critique of incumbent Modi-led BJP Govt , Shourie, also a former minister in Vajpayee govt, said, "No PM 's Office has been weaker than the one in power today because of the insecurities of the people on top."Concerned at the rise in communal incidents in India, Shourie said, "Every group can be inflamed today. But what is important is that violence is not done by the masses as a whole; a very small minority has to be inflamed and the rest will appropriate the violence. It happened in 1984, and the same thing happened in 2002. These things are contagious. Unless we are cautious, we will all become participants in this."Shourie said it was most dangerous when small minorities indulging in violence "marry the state", multiplying in force as a result. "Mussolini's goons were nobody's until they met with the state," he said. He added, "I fear this will get worse because Modi realises he has not been able to, and won't be able to, deliver on his promise of development. So they will only work harder to do what they do best: divide people and then conquer."TOI
Populist nationalism damages economic growth: Raghuram
 New Delhi:Populist nationalism is potentially quite damaging to economic growth, and which is often articulated as the majority community’s feelings of aggravation at being discriminated against, ex-RBI governor Raghuram Rajan said on Sunday.In a conversation, the recording of which was shown at Times Litfest event here, he said that populist nationalism is ascedent all over the world and India is not immune to it.“Populist nationalism is damaging to economic growth... it has to set back the economy because it is divisive. It feeds off the sensation of the majority community feeling it is being discriminated against,” Rajan, who is not known to speak often on politics, said in response to a query on the issue.“It exists all over the world and also in India, while people exploit this sense of grievance,” he said, noting that the issue of reservations in the country is an instance of the phenomenon.“It is important to tackle the underlying economic problem (jobs). One cannot overstate the grievance of the majority community because minorities have also faced discrimination historically,” he said. He described populist nationalism as “inward looking”, while policies it advocates “often come in the way of growth.” “Nationalism is not patriotic because it is divisive and can even be quite dangerous. However, it is wrong to dismiss people who are voicing these things..dismissing them as rustic.HT
ONGC opposes govt plan to sell oil and gas fields
New Delhi:ONGC officers association has sought PM  Narendra Modi's intervention to stall Oil Ministry's plan to sell the company's producing oil and gas fields, saying the move has highly damaging implications for country. Association of Scientific & Technical Officers (ASTO) cited examples of falling production at the western offshore Panna/Mukta fields that were privatised in the 1990s, and Reliance Industries' flagging KG-D6 fields to state that ONGC has done well with its ageing fields.Most oil and gas fields of ONGC have been in production for 30 years and output has naturally shown a dip from the peak level but still accounts for the bulk of domestic output, ASTO president Sanjay Goel wrote to Modi on November 23.Oil Ministry has identified 15 producing oil and gas fields of ONGC and Oil India Ltd for handing over to private firms on the premise of raising output.The fields have in-place reserve of 791.2 million tonnes of crude oil, and 333.46 billion cubic metres of gas have been identified.PTI
Vajpayee wanted a mosque too at disputed site, but I refused: Puri Shankaracharya
Bhopal: Shankaracharya of Puri Nischalananda Saraswati criticized ex-PM  Atal Bihari Vajpayee for his desire to build a mosque along with Ram temple at Ayodhya. Shankaracharya, who was interacting with people here at MP Prabhat Jha’s bungalow, said that Vajpayee had sent film star and BJP leader Shatrughan Sinha seeking his consent for construction of mosque but he refused.Raising doubts over intentions of spiritual leader Sri Sri Ravi Shankar who is holding talks with various religious leaders over Ayodhya issue, Shankaracharya said that Ravi Shankar was mediating to take credit in the matter. The offering of namaz at Ram temple was stopped by the then PM  Jawaharlal Nehru, while the locks of the temple were opened on the directions of former PM Rajiv Gandhi, he said.He further alleged that PM Narsimha Rao got the disputed structure bulldozed and in a bid to protect his secular image, got BJP Govt  in five states ousted. Stating that over 100 fake Shankaracharyas are roaming in the country, he castigated Govt for lack of courage to initiate action against them. He demanded capital punishment for these fake saints. He claimed that PM Narendra Modi had contested polls on the promise of development and not on Ram temple.freepressjournal
Ram still in a tent in Ayodhya because we don't want a mosque: Puri Shankaracharya
Hyderabad Global Entrepreneurship Summit line-up raises question: Where are Muslim entrepreneurs?
Hyderabad:Line up of speakers for Global Entrepreneurship Summit (GES)-2017 includes a host of entrepreneurs and corporate leaders from India. However, there is a conspicuous absence of Muslim entrepreneurs or corporate leaders from the country in the list.In fact, in the entire list of speakers uploaded on the GES website there is just one Muslim woman entrepreneur from Afghanistan, Roya Mahboob. In the tentative list of ‘Breakout’ and ‘Master Class’ sessions, the only Muslim name from India is that of Tennis player, Sania Mirza.When contacted, Dr Shariq Nisar, an expert in development of financial products and services and Islamic Banking, said, “llevel of entrepreneurship in Muslim community is low. For a community, majority of which is facing insecurity over employment and literacy, entrepreneurship does not come easily. Moreover, the system of incubators, startups and entrepreneurship is such that it benefits privileged people the most. As can be seen, it is not just Muslims who are lagging but also in Hindu community there are not many entrepreneurs from Scheduled Caste communities.The exposure that disadvantaged groups get is limited. As a result, in hyped-up events like GES, those who do not get a chance of representation are often those from the disadvantaged groups. Only some popular figure from a disadvantaged community is brought in as symbolic gesture.”Faisal Farooqui, Founder and CEO of Mouthshut.com, one of successful Muslim entrepreneurs in India says, “There is a need for Muslim community to wake up and utilise available opportunities. If a person has a really good technology, develops a good product, it will be recognised.It is true that the Muslim community is weighed down by the issues of poverty, low literacy and high drop out rates but the community should allow people to have a role model to emulate. Unfortunately, the community tries to find perfection in setting a role model and ends up finding faults with everyone. No one is perfect.” newindianexpress
Bihar police alerts on minor Muslim girls’ trafficking to Middle East countries :TOI
Patna: Bihar police HQRS has alerted all the districts against trafficking of minor Muslim girls to Middle East countries for marriage. The alert has been issued following a directive from Union ministry of minority affairs a couple of days back.The police HQRS, through CID (weaker section), has written to all SSPs and SPs to act immediately in case anyone attempts to take a minor Muslim girl outside India for marriage purpose. Sources said men from Middle East countries were arrested in several states recently after they married minor Muslim girls and tried to take them outside India. State police have, however, no such specific data of minor Muslim girls married to men from Middle East countries."State police have various kinds of data on trafficking, but no such information is maintained separately about any minor Muslim girl trafficked to Middle East for marriage purpose," ADG (CID) Vinay Kumar told TOI. He said such kind of alert has been issued for the first time in the state. He said district police and Govt  rail police generally keep an eye on the movement of groups of children to madrassas or factories outside state. "Police verify with the madrassa officials before taking any step," he said. He also said trafficking of minor girls by Middle East men is a crime committed in several stages. "First, any such person preying on a minor girl for marriage either stays for sometimes with her family or takes her outside the state and resides there for several days before finally taking her outside India," he said.
Nationalism not defined by standing up for National Anthem:politicians
New Delhi:Not standing up when the National Anthem is played before a movie at a theatre cannot define a person’s nationalism, say politicians across the board. This was the common view expressed by Asaduddin Owaisi, President of MIM, JD(U) leader Pavan Varma, Congress MP Abhishek Manu Singhvi, former Solicitor General Gopal Subramanium and Rajya Sabha MP Swapan Dasgupta.Talking about the Supreme Court’s initial decision making it mandatory to stand up when the National Anthem is played before a movie in theatres, Dasgupta said the Centre appears not to have opposed it in the apex court apprehending what the opposition would say. He said that one should maintain a “basic attitude” of “no disdain for National Anthem or song”, but the issue of standing up while singing the National Anthem should not be made a “fetish”.“Problems arise when you make it (standing up for a National Anthem) a fetish,” he said. Singhvi was of the view that the “National Anthem certainly should not be enforced as a singing job”. “Here it is being enforced by a judicial edict, that is where the problem arises. Make a law to the effect through the Parliament,” he said. indianexpress
MP makes rape laws stricter, death for child rapists
Bhopal: In a landmark move, Madhya Pradesh Cabinet on Sunday approved handing out death sentence to rape convicts in cases involving girls of 12 years and below.The Cabinet also passed a resolution for death sentence for gang-rape convicts and approved the amendment in the penal code to increase the fine and punishment for rape convicts. zeenews
Guj: Save nation from 'nationalist forces', says archbishop; EC sends notice
Gandhinagar: Election Commission (EC) has issued a notice to the archbishop of Gandhinagar for asking Christians to pray to save the country from "nationalist forces" in the run-up to the Gujarat Assembly polls.Issuing a letter addressed to the Christians, the Archbishop of the Archdiocese of Gandhinagar, Thomas Macwan, had last week urged the members of the community to save the country from "nationalist forces" as its "democratic fabric" was at stake, amidst a growing "sense of insecurity" among the minorities.PTI
Gujarat: Mevani to contest as independent from Vadgam
On the last day of filing of nominations in phase-1 of the Gujarat Assembly elections, Dalit activist Jignesh Mevani announced he will be contesting as an independent candidate from Banaskantha’s Vadgam. He will be filing his nomination at around 12.30 pm on Monday.“Friends, I m contesting from Vadgam-11 seat of Banaskantha district of Gujarat as an independent candidate. We shall fight, we shall win,” Mevani tweeted. Arvind Kejriwal has sent his best wishes to Mevani.
Amanatullah may make comeback as Delhi Waqf Board
New Delhi:AAP MLA Amanatullah Khan may make a comeback as the chairman of the Delhi Waqf Board following his election as its member last week.Okhla MLA, who held the post for nearly 6 months, had in September last year resigned amid allegations of irregularities.The process for constituting a new board having seven members is on. Khan was elected as a member of the body last week.Sources said Khans election as chairman was "almost certain" and would materialise after nomination of four members of the Board by Delhi Govt .PTI
De-radicalised 86 people in last 2 years: Maharashtra ATS
 Maharashtra ATS de-radicalised 86 people in the last 2 years as part of its efforts to wean away misguided youth from the path of extremism in the aftermath of the 26/11 Mumbai terror attack, a senior official said on Sunday.Those who had strayed in the name of ‘jihad’ and brought into the mainstream include well-educated people like an aeronautical engineer and an IT professional, he said.He said all these people, including eight women, had come in contact with their handlers via social networking sites and were radicalised online. thehindu
Gautam Lahiri reelected as Press Club of India president
New Delhi:Gautam Lahiri was reelected as the president of the Press Club of India while Manoranjan Bharati became its new vice-president. The election of Press Club of India (PCI) office-bearers was held on Saturday and results were announced in the early hours of today. Lahiri, a senior journalist with the Millennium Post daily, has been elected president for a second time in a row. Bharti works with the NDTV. The post of secretary general went to Vinay Kumar while Sanjay Singh was elected as the joint secretary, Press Club said. Mohua Chaterjee was elected PCI’s treasurer. Besides, 16 managing committee members were also elected, it said. PCI is one of the largest representative body of scribes in the country.PTI
 80 people killed in just over 24 hours in 'Russian, Syrian govt' airstrikes
At least 80 people have been killed in just over 24 hours in suspected Russian and Syrian Govt  shelling in the eastern and southern parts of Syria. The majority of those killed were civilians. In the eastern province of Deir Az Zor, suspected Russian warplanes hit al-Shaf'ah village on the eastern bank of the Euphrates River on Sunday, killing about 51 people. 4 others were killed in an attack on the village of al-Darnaj, also on Sunday, raising the death toll in the province to 55. Deir Az Zor province is one of the final Syrian redoubts of the ISIL after the armed group was pushed out of its main strongholds, including Raqqa and Deir Az Zor city.Meanwhile, in Eastern Ghouta, a district just outside the capital Damascus, at least 25 people were killed in alleged Russian and Syrian Govt  shelling on several opposition-held areas on Sunday. The attacks targeted a local market in the residential neighbourhood of Misraba, where 16 people were killed. At least 9 others were killed in shelling on the neighbourhoods of Medyara and Douma. According to the UK-based Syrian Observatory for Human Rights, a war monitoring group, figure of 25 includes 5 children and 3 women.Eastern Ghouta has consistently been targeted despite being listed as a "de-escalation zone", where military activity is prohibited under an agreement endorsed by Turkey, Russia and Iran, which was signed in Sept. But due to its strategic location near the capital, where the Govt  of President Bashar al-Assad sits, the attacks there have not halted, in violation of the agreement. Fadel Abdul Ghany, head of the Syrian Network for Human Rights, said Eastern Ghouta was the main target for the Syrian Govt  now. "The regime is not interested in de-escalating. After they took back Aleppo, they went to Deir Az Zor, and now it's Ghouta. It's their main target now," Abdul Ghany told Al Jazeera. Since the implementation of the agreement, at least 250 people have been killed in suspected Russian and Syrian Govt  air raids in the district, according to medical centres and civil defence workers. Al Jazeera
Russian air strike against IS kills 53 civilians, including 21 children, in Syria's Deir Ezzor:AFP
OIC welcomes outcomes of Syrian opposition meeting
Jeddah;The Organization of Islamic Cooperation (OIC) lauded the results of the recent meeting of Syrian opposition groups in Riyadh. OIC Secretary-General Yusuf bin A. Al-Othaimeen appreciated in a press statement the Saudi role in hosting the Syrian opposition meeting, which came up with a unified position. Al-Othaimeen also hailed the formation of a single negotiating body as a good step that would lead to strengthening the opposition's negotiating position and fulfilling the expectations and hopes of the Syrian people. KUNA
Turkey, Iran and Qatar sign new trade-transport agreement
Turkey, Iran and Qatar signed an agreement on Sunday to facilitate trade movement between the three countries. The agreement was signed on behalf of Turkey by Economy Minister Nihat Zeybekci; Iran’s Minister of Industry, Mine and Trade, Mohammad Shariatmadari also signed at a ceremony in Tehran, as did Qatar’s Minister of Economy and Commerce, Ahmed Bin Jassim Bin Mohammed Al-Thani.The agreement makes provisions to facilitate sea and land transport in order to expand trade relations between the three signatories. According to the deal, Iran will act as a transit country for trade between Qatar and Turkey.A working group will also be established to represent the three states. Its members will assess the effectiveness of the agreement. middleeastmonitor
Israel, Trump administration ‘working feverishly’ to block UN settlements database
Israeli and US Govt s are “working feverishly” to block the publication of a UN database of companies complicit in West Bank settlements, according to AP. UN Human Rights Council (UNHRC)-mandated list of companies was due to be published in Dec., but will reportedly now occur “early next year”, the latest such postponement.“We will do everything we can to ensure that this list does not see the light of day”, Israel’s UN ambassador, Danny Danon, told AP, adding that its publication would turn UNHRC into “the world’s biggest promoter of BDS”, the Boycott,Divestment and Sanctions campaign. According to AP, “[Israeli] officials say they are taking the so-called ‘blacklist’ seriously, fearing its publication could have devastating consequences by driving companies away, deterring others from coming and prompting investors to dump shares of Israeli firms”. In remarks made to AP, Eugene Kontorovich, a pro-Israel academic and supporter of the West Bank settlements, said database would cause “reputational harm” to companies and put “a cloud over business in Israel”, even potentially being used as a basis for future legal action. middleeastmonitor
Israel bans sale of construction material to Palestinians in Negev: middleeastmonitor
Israeli occupation authorities have warned companies about selling construction materials to Palestinian Arabs living in villages “unrecognised” by Govt, Arabs48.com reported on Sunday. The warning notices explained that the Israeli police will confiscate cement mixers and other equipment owned by companies which sell such materials to the residents of the villages.According toreport, these measures are a modification of an Israel law which came into force on 10 October which includes strict measures against the firms that violate the directives. Orders to stop work for 30 days can also be issued and enforced, and work permits can be rescinded.The residents of the “unrecognised” villages described the measures as “illogical” because any work therein does not have a licence precisely because they are not recognised by the state. How, they ask, can the Israeli authorities impose such punitive measures and issue “stop work” orders?
Internal differences within Fatah over reconciliation with Hamas
A senior Fatah official revealed on Sunday that there are internal differences among the movement’s leaders regarding the reconciliation with Hamas and handing over the Gaza Strip to a unity Govt , Al-Resalah newspaper has reported.The official, who requested anonymity, said that the differences surfaced during the meeting of Fatah’s Central Committee as President Mahmoud Abbas refuses to lift his sanctions imposed on Gaza two months after Hamas handed over control of the coastal enclave.“A number of Fatah leaders asked Abbas to take practical measures to support the reconciliation and invest the spirit of the agreement in the current stage in order to reach [Palestinian] unity and finish the outstanding portfolios as soon as possible,” explained the official. “However, other leaders called for taking more time to see how the Govt will work in Gaza before lifting the sanctions.”He stressed that there is concern that handing over responsibility to the Govt  of national accord might create a new split between the Palestinian factions, citing the latest Fatah remarks about the issue as evidence. middleeastmonitor
Hamas denies accusations of hindering Palestinian govt
GAZA CITY;Palestinian group Hamas has denied accusations by rival Fatah movement of hindering the Ramallah-based Govt  from operating in the Gaza Strip.In a press conference in Gaza City on Monday, Hamas leader Khalil al-Hayya called on the unity Govt  to fulfill its obligations toward Gaza.  "Alleviating the suffering of the Palestinian people in Gaza is the duty of the [unity] Govt, which should not evade from its responsibilities," he said.On Sunday, two Fatah leaders accused Hamas of hindering the Palestinian Govt  from operating in the Gaza Strip.  Anadolu
Former Israeli minister ‘proud’ of killing most Palestinians
A former Israeli Defence Minister has said that he is “proud” of killing the most Palestinians, Safa news agency reported on Sunday. Moshe Ya’alon apparently made his comment during a meeting in Herzliya on Saturday night.Describing the Palestinians and Arabs as “terrorists and enemy soldiers” Ya’alon said that none of the Israeli Knesset or Govt  members had ever killed more Palestinians than him.According to Safa, the former Israeli PM  and Defence Minister Ehud Barak announced earlier his own pride over killing the biggest number of Palestinians and Arabs in the history of the Israeli army. In three major offensives led by Barak and Ya’alon against the Palestinians in Gaza between 2008 and 2014, the Israeli occupation forces killed about 4,000 Palestinians and wounded more than 20,000 others. middleeastmonitor
EU statement ‘deplores’ Israeli demolitions of Palestinian structures
European Union (EU) has “deplore[d]” the demolition and seizure of Palestinian structures by the Israeli occupation authorities, citing threats to entire communities in the occupied West Bank.In a statement released on 24 November by the EU Representative and the EU Heads of Mission in Jerusalem and Ramallah, EU condemned “the continuing threat of demolitions and seizures of Palestinian structures in the occupied West Bank”.The EU referred to “the recent military orders against Palestinians in communities of Ein al-Hilweh and Umm Jamal in Northern Jordan valley and the community of Jabal al-Baba are leaving properties of up to 400 persons at risk of seizure and demolition”.In addition, “last month four other herding communities covering 170 people in Northern Jordan Valley lost their case at Israeli High Court and two European donor-funded schools in Wadi as Seeq and Al Muntar are presently under threat of destruction and seizure”. middleeastmonitor
Israeli minister who called for Palestinian homeland in Sinai visits Egypt: middleeastmonitor
An Israeli minister who has called for an alternative Palestinian state to be established in Egypt’s Sinai Peninsula visited Cairo on Sunday. According to Israel’s Walla news website, “Social Equality Minister Gila Gamliel will represent her country at a regional conference organised by EU and Egyptian govt to promote the role of women and support gender equality.” The conference will also be attended by envoys from Jordan, it added.Earlier this month, Likud member Gamliel insisted that while her proposal may be unacceptable to the international community and to Arab countries neighbouring Israel, it stems from Israel’s “historical right” in the land of Israel. “A Palestinian State is a dangerous idea for the State of Israel,” she explained. “Between the River Jordan and [Mediterranean] sea there cannot, and must not, arise a Palestinian state.”
Move to ban media from publishing details of Palestinians killed or wounded by Israeli forces
Israel’s Knesset Ministerial Committee for Legislation discussed a bill on Sunday which would ban the Israeli media from publishing details about Palestinians killed or wounded by the security forces before officially informing their families, Al-Quds has reported. After a lengthy discussion of the bill, which was proposed by members of the right-wing Jewish Home party, it was postponed to next week.On Sunday, Haaretz said that the ministerial committee would discuss the bill, and claimed that its aim is to protect secret details related to the victims. Israeli paper explained that the bill recognises that there are special cases where details could be published, for instance when three main news outlets report confirmed information at the same time about victim(s). middleeastmonitor
Britain buys Israeli ‘Iron Dome’ missile defence system for Falklands: middleeastmonitor
British Govt  has purchased the technology used in the Israeli-made Iron Dome missile defence system, to be deployed in the Falkland Islands.According to Ynet, the £78 million-pound purchase will see the technology, developed by a subsidiary of Iron Dome developers and Israeli arms giant Rafael, “used for command and control of a British air defence system called Land Ceptor”.The Israeli news site said that “the British acquisition is part of a move by the Israeli company to sell the advanced system to the armies of Israel’s allies and NATO”.2 years ago, Britain’s Ministry of Defence “decided to equip the islands with a £280 million defence package following an exchange of threats with [Argentinian] Govt ”, Ynet reports.“We held an open tender at the end of which we decided to purchase the Rafael system”, a source at Britain’s MoD, said.
Pope Francis arrives in Myanmar amid Rohingya crisis
Pope Francis has arrived in Myanmar on his first trip to the Southeast Asian nation, where tens of thousands of Rohingya refugees have faced brutal military crackdown in the past three months.His trip comes as the Myanmar Govt  is accused of "ethnically cleansing" its Rohingya Muslim minority,over 600000 of whom have taken shelter in neighbouring Bangladesh. Leader of Catholic Church who has spoken against "persecution of our Rohingya brothers and sisters" in the past has been advised not use the word Rohingya. aljazeera
Wheat aid arrives in blockaded Yemen amid famine fears
About 25,000 tonnes of wheat has arrived in Yemen, the second batch of food aid that has been allowed into the country since the Saudi-led coalition imposed a blockade nearly three weeks ago.A spokesperson for the World Food Programme (WFP), Abeer Etefa, said the shipment landed on Sunday at the Houthi rebel-controlled Red Sea port of Saleef in western Yemen.The Saudi-led coalition battling Houthi fighters imposed the siege on Yemeni ports and airports in response to a ballistic missile they fired at the Saudi capital, Riyadh, which was shot down earlier this month. aljazeera
UNICEF: Over 11 million children vulnerable in Yemen
Millions of children are in desperate need of humanitarian assistance in Yemen, UNICEF’s Regional Director for Middle East and North Africa said in a press conference Sunday in Jordan’s capital Amman.“More than 11 million Yemeni children are today in acute need of humanitarian assistance. This number makes the 40 % of the population,” Geert Cappelaere, the regional director, said.He added that Yemen is one of the countries that faces the highest level of malnutrition in the world.Nearly 5000 children have been killed or seriously injured in the last 2 and a half years, said Cappelaere. middleeastmonitor
Pakistan law minister resigns, ending Islamabad standoff
Pakistan's federal law minister has resigned, acceding to a key demand made by thousands of protesters who have blocked a major highway into the Pakistani capital for weeks, the state radio broadcaster reported.An agreement has been signed that would see the demonstrators in Islamabad and other cities disperse, Interior Minister Ahsan Iqbal told the Islamabad High Court during a hearing on Monday,ending a weeks-long standoff that threatened to escalate into countrywide violence. "On the assurance of the Chief of Army Staff, we are calling off the sit-in," Muslim scholar and protest leader Khadim Hussain Rizvi told a crowd of around 2,500 demonstrators in Islamabad on Monday, AFP reported.The agreement would also see all protesters who were arrested during the sit-in, which began on November 8, be released within 3 days.The Govt  will also take responsibility for paying for any damage caused to both public and private property during the protest.An inquiry will also be ordered into a Govt  security crackdown on Saturday which saw thousands of riot police fire tear gas, rubber bullets and water cannon in an attempt to disperse the protesters.Demonstrators fought back with stones, sticks and metal rods, and were able to beat back the authorities.At least 5 people were killed and more than 217 - mostly members of the security forces - wounded in those clashes. Law Minister Zahid Hamid had been accused by clerics of committing blasphemy due to a change in the wording of an oath taken by parliamentarians in the South Asian country.The protesters, led by Rizvi and other scholars, perceived the change in wording as representing a softening of the state’s position against members of Ahmadi sect, who are not permitted to identify themselves as Muslims in Pakistan. The oath was hastily amended back to its original wording, but protesters held the capital under siege for weeks, demanding that Hamid resign from the cabinet.According to the agreement signed on Monday, Govt will also make public an internal inquiry into how the wording of the parliamentary oath was changed. Tehreek-e-Labbaik Pakistan, led by Rizvi, has also agreed not to issue any religious edicts [fatwas] against Hamid. aljazeera
Bangladesh mutiny case 2009: 139 get death penalty, 185 life term, 49 others acquitted
High Court on Monday upheld death penalty for 139 and commuted death penalty to life term for 8 in the much-talked about BDR mutiny case.The HC also acquitted four who had got death penalty and upheld life term for 146 out of the 160 who had been awarded life term by the trial court. Of the 160 who got life term, remaining 12, including ruling Bangladesh Awami League (AL) local leader Torab Ali, were acquitted. A 3-member HC special bench led by justice M Shawkat Hossain also sentenced 37 more to life term and 196 to different terms.HC acquitted a total of 49 convicts who had been sentenced to different terms.The other 2 members of the bench are justice Md Abu Zafar Siddique and justice Md Nazrul Islam Talukder.The HC bench had started reading out the verdict of about 10,000 pages on Sunday, but could not complete and resumed reading it out today and pronounced the verdict this afternoon.A total of 257 appeals were filed with the High Court against the lower court verdict. Seventy four people, including 57 army officials, were killed in the BDR mutiny on 25-26 February in 2009 at Pilkhana HQRS in Dhaka.Prothom Alo
More than 40 Islamic countries just met and vowed to wipe terrorism off the map
Saudi Arabia’s powerful crown prince Mohammed bin Salman has vowed terrorists will be pursued until they are “wiped off the face of the earth” in the first meeting of a new Arab alliance designed to defeat extremism.“We will not allow them (terrorists) to distort our peaceful religion. Today we are sending a strong message that we are working together to fight terrorism,” Prince bin Salman told assembled defence ministers in a keynote address in Riyadh on Sunday.

Defender Of Faith:In contending that secularism is a lie, Yogi Adityanath tragically gets it right:Faizan Mustafa
Muslim representation in govt departments remains poor even under AAP: Spl story caravan daily
Why number of minorities in jails is rising in India:M Reyaz
Gujarat Model’s Failure Explains Why the Economy Is a Significant Factor in the Coming Elections:Jayati Ghosh
Should Rajasthan’s Open Prisons Be Replicated Across Country? Gaurav Vivek Bhatnagar
State’s Tuberculosis Rampage Exemplifies the Failure of ‘Gujarat Model’:KIRAN KUMBHAR
Gujarat bishop’s plea to save India from nationalist forces is an act of citizenship we must support: Shiv Visvanathan
SC Should Reconsider Its Dismissal of Appeal Against Amit Shah’s Discharge in Sohrabuddin Case
Interview: ‘Muslims must stay out of politics as it helps Modi polarise society’:Ajaz Ashraf
Anonymous Threat to NDTV’s Ravish Traced to Exporter Followed by PM  Modi:ALT NEWS
Under Recep Tayyip Erdogan, Turkey is witnessing a joining together of nationalism and political Islam: Rakesh Sinha, Indian Express
What to expect from next round of Syria talks:Barbara Bibbo
Opinion: It’s becoming increasingly dangerous in UP  to even look Muslim:Shoaib Daniyal
New reports tell us more about Sohrabuddin judge’s death –bring up fresh questions:Rohan Venkataramakrishnan

Compiled and edited by Anwarulhaq (Released at: 8:16 PM)


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