16 December 2017

16 DEC.ND: Interpol gives clean chit to Zakir Naik, cancels red corner notice/Rajasthan HC sets stringent guidelines for religious conversion/Cabinet clears bill criminalising triple talaq

16 Dec.2017: 26 Rabial Awwal 1439:Vol:9, No:73
Interpol gives clean chit to Zakir Naik, cancels red corner notice
New Delhi:In a major setback to Indian agencies, the Interpol has refused to issue a red corner notice (RCN) against the Islamic preacher Dr Zakir Naik."A letter has been sent by the Interpol to the lawyer of Dr Zakir Naik informing that the request of Red Corner Notice by Indian agencies against him, has been cancelled due to insufficient evidence," said a close aide of Zakir Naik.India Today is in possession of Interpol letter which is dated Dec.11, 2017.In a letter to London-based attorney Peter Binning of Corker Binning law firm, which had earlier written to Secretary General of Interpol, France, seeking for a refusal to issue the red corner notice against Naik, the Interpol has said,"After a thorough examination, the commission found that the data challenged raised questions as to compliance with applicable roles. As a result, it considered that the retention of this data in the Interpol information system was not compliant with the Interpol's rules and decided that it should be deleted."The decision was sent to the Interpol General Secretariat, which deleted the data from Interpol's files in Nov. 2017. Grounds on the basis of which RCN request has been cancelled is insufficient evidence provided by Indian agencies. Indian agencies had earlier requested the Interpol to issue a red corner notice in an attempt to extradite Dr Zakir Naik and bring him to India to face the law after being charge-sheeted by NIA in terror cases.According to reports, Naik is in Malaysia, which has given him asylum. Indiatoday
Interpol denies India's request for red corner notice against Zakir Naik, cites lack of evidence as reason
Interpol cancels Red Corner Notice against Zakir Naik
Assam citizenship: SC says claims of left out persons to be included in subsequent NRC
New Delhi: The Supreme Court has said that claims of those citizens, whose names do not figure in draft National Register of Citizens (NRC) for Assam to be published by Dec.31, would be scrutinised and included in the subsequent list, if found genuine.The SC made it clear that publication of draft NRC was not the “end of the process” and claims and objections of aggrieved parties could be filed and would be verified in accordance with law.“We reiterate the aforesaid observation meaning thereby that the claims/cases of the left out applicants whose names are not included in draft NRC to be published on or before Dec.31, 2017 will be scrutinised and thereafter, if found eligible, would be included in the subsequent draft NRC,” a bench comprising justices Ranjan Gogoi and RF Nariman said.The SC gave the liberty to Assam to give wide publicity or coverage to its direction so as to ally all fears and apprehensions that may exist.The apex court had on Nov.  30 said that on the expiry of midnight of Dec. 31, the draft NRC pertaining to 2.38 crore claims, would be published. NRC is being prepared to identify illegal migrants in Assam.PTI
Rajasthan HC sets 10 stringent guidelines for religious conversion, inter faith marriages
Jodhpur: In a historical decision, the Rajasthan High Court on Friday charted out stringent guidelines for religious conversion through marriage in the state.In the hearing of a petition, the division bench comprising of Justices Gopalkrishna Vyas and Vineet Mathur issued a 10-point guideline to be followed by those seeking religious conversion.Additional advocate Shivkumar Vyas informed that one of the guidelines requires the parties seeking conversion through marriage, to approach the District Collector.“They have set some guidelines, wherein if there is any religious conversion, all necessary documents have to be sent to District Collector, who will then send a notice to their parents. Thereafter, following the set procedure, the District Collector will take the prescribed legal action and then the marriage will take place in compliance with the respective special marriage act,” Vyas told ANI.The guidelines are to be followed until a law in enacted.Issuing fresh guidelines for matters relating to religious conversions, Justice G.K. Vyas warned that strict action would be taken against those found forcing people to convert."If any particular organisation is found guilty (of forcing) for caste conversion, its licence will be cancelled," he observed.On Nov.28, amicus curiae appointed by the Rajasthan High Court to look into the legality of religious conversions in the state had advised the court to issue guidelines for conversions until a law was enacted by Govt in this regard. The amicus curiae was appointed by the court following a habeas corpus petition filed by Chirag Singhvi, brother of Aarifa Modi alias Payal Singhvi, which challenged the conversion of his sister from Hinduism to Islam and then her marriage to a Muslim man. newindianexpress
Rajasthan HC issues fresh guidelines for religious conversions, intimations required 30 days in advance
MP: 30 priests singing carols detained, car burnt after Bajrang Dal raises conversion cry in village
Bhopal:More than 30 priests and seminarians singing carols at a village near Madhya Pradesh’s Satna town were detained on Thursday after Bajrang Dal activists accused them of forced conversion. One priest was also arrested under the state’s anti-conversion law on Friday.Some of the priests and seminarians, released in the early hours of Friday, alleged they had been roughed up by members of the right-wing group on the police station’s premises. Both the police and Bajrang Dal activists denied the allegations.8 priests who had come to the Civil Lines Police Station on Friday to inquire about the previous day’s detentions were also detained, while their car was torched. Police said they were unaware of who torched the car, and added that they had registered a case in connection with the incident.On Friday, M George, who teaches at St Ephrem’s Theological College, and five unknown persons were booked under Freedom of Religion Act and Sections 153-B and 295-A of IPC on a complaint by one Dharmendra Dohar, who alleged he had been offered money to convert to Christianity.A resident of Bhumkahar village, the 21-year-old alleged that missionaries were active in his village for the last two years, and that he had been given “Rs 5,000, a cross and a Bible” after he took a dip in a pond to change his faith.Catholic Bishops’ Conference of India (CBCI) denied allegations of forced conversion, and said that 30 seminarians and two priests from the Theological College were detained by police when they were conducting a carol singing programme —a routine practice during Christmas season for the last 30 years.Secretary General of CBCI, Bishop Theodore Mascarenhas, said  that charges of conversion were yet to be proven, and accused the police of complicity with right-wing activists. He alleged that police stood by as the priests and seminarians were assaulted. indianexpress
Catholic priest arrested for ‘forced conversion’ in MP after Bajrang Dal men assault clergymen
AIMPLB says govt should have consulted Muslims before approving draft law on triple talaq
Lucknow: All India Muslim Personal Law Board (AIMPLB) said on Friday that Centre should have consulted Muslims before it approved a draft law under which the practice of instant triple talaq would be made illegal and would attract a three-year jail term for the offending husband.Before approving the draft law the Centre should have consulted the Muslim community, and also the experts, AIMPLB spokesman Maulana Sajjad Nomani said."If we live in a democracy, then we should have been given an opportunity. We also want to stop the practice of triple talaq. If the government's intention is to really stop it, then the Islamic way of stopping would have been more acceptable...If the law is forced upon, then it is not correct, he said.Head of Muslim Women League,Naisha Hasan, said, "Before approving the draft of the bill, the Centre should have held discussions with the people...There should be a provision that the person giving triple talaq should not be sent to jail immediately, and the path of mediation should be opted,"she said.PTI
Punishment in triple talaq unclear: Personal Law Board
Cabinet clears bill criminalising triple talaq
New Delhi: Union Cabinet on Friday cleared a bill that criminalises the triple talaq, ahead of it being taken up in the Winter Session of Parliament. In Nov. , the Narendra Modi Govt said it was ready with a bill that would provide a legal framework to prosecute Muslim men calling off marriages using a custom outlawed by the Supreme Court.The proposed bill hands out a three-year jail sentence as well as fine, and states that the offence will be cognisable and non-bailable. Titled the ‘Muslim Women (Protection of Rights on Marriage) Bill, 2017’, the proposed law also gives a “victim” of Talaq-e-Biddat a right to seek maintenance from her husband before a magistrate’s court. She will also be entitled to her children’s custody, the draft law says. hindustantimes
Triple talaq law politically motivated: S A R Geelani
Kolkata: Ex-Delhi University Lecturer SAR Geelani has strongly criticised the proposed law on triple talaq describing it as "politically motivated". Speaking at a peoples convention on various human right, Geelani said that people should be persuaded first for their acceptance of any law before its legislation."Even if the legislation against triple talaq is passed in the Parliament, its implementation will be very tough without its acceptance by the Muslim society," he said.Stating that there are different schools in Islam, Geelani said "you need to pursue people on new legislation first before bringing it to Parliament for legislation.""Such legislation is politically motivated and Govt must have something in its mind," he observed going against the Centres nod to a draft law against triple talaq.To a question on Kashmir issues, he said,"Neither India nor Pakistan, but people of Kashmir valley should have the right to decide their own fate." PTI
Sr Sri supports legislation against triple talaq
Kolkata: With the Union Govt giving its nod to a draft law against triple talaq to make it a criminal offence, Sri Sri Ravi Shankar today supported it and said that India should honour gender equality to be at par with the world.Asked about proposed law on triple talaq, the founder of the Art of Living Foundation also said that men and women should enjoy equal rights and he has always supported this.PTI
NCW chief welcomes cabinet's approval of triple talaq bill
National Commission of Women’s (NCW) acting president Rekha Sharma on Saturday welcomed the Cabinet's approval of a Bill to make instant triple talaq or talaq-e-biddat a criminal offence.“We fought because we were getting complaints regarding this. We welcome this move by the Cabinet. I also would like to add that any welfare scheme or policy should not be based on religion. The law should be common for everyone. This move is for the betterment of our society. I want triple talaq to be abolished all together,” she told ANI.ANI
Agra: Muslim clerics call Modi's triple talaq bill an interference with Islamic laws
Agra: With the Modi cabinet finalizing the draft of the law on triple talaq which contains a provision of up to 3 years in prison and fine for offenders, Muslim clerics are coming out openly against this law, claiming that it is an interference with the Islamic law.Mufti Mohd Mudassir Khan Quadri, secretary Tanzeem Ulema-e Ahle Sunnat, Agra, said, "Muslims will not tolerate interference of the Modi Govt in the Islamic law. If Modi had to prepare a law to restrict triple talaq, he should have consulted Islamic clerics first. He further said that even now it wasn't too late and Modi could still call a meeting with clerics for their inputs on the law before placing it before the Parliament.Qadri warned that if the Govt does not make an announcement in this regard soon, it will be treated as an anti-Muslim step of the Govt and be dealt with accordingly. He said that it is clear that Modi wants to polarize the majority of Hindus in his favor before 2019 parliamentary elections by showing his anti-Muslim character through such laws.Jamiat-e-Ulema-Hind spokesman Sageer Ahmed said, "BJP is in majority and can for any law. Whether the triple talaq law will bring any social change, it still hard to say. So far it only appears more like a political stunt." indiatoday
Triple Talaq bill ‘demonises’ Muslim community in guise of protecting women: Owaisi
Hyderabad: AIMIM president and MP Asaduddin Owaisi took serious exception to the Centre's "hurry" to introduce the bill treating triple talaq a crime.He expressed concern that the government's attempt to expedite the introduction of legislation criminalising triple talaq without any attempt to appreciate the legal nuances involved."In the absence of any genuine attempt at either holding broader consultations, the introduction of this legislation is essentially an attempt to demonise the Muslim community in garb of "saving' and 'protecting' Muslim women", Owaisi said in a strongly worded letter to Union law minister Ravi Shankar Prasad.In his 7-page letter, he further wrote, "It is regrettable that a Constitutional value as important as gender justice is being used to merely further cynical political goals. There is absolutely no chance of significant legal policy questions being addressed or discussed."Opposing the initiative, he warned the authorities that there "would have severe consequences on rule of law and social cohesion in this country.""It seems particularly out of place to make new legislation that is solely applicable to Muslim men. However, it may also be argued that the proposed scope of the legislation is merely re-legislation with discrimination' since it is exclusively meant to apply existing provisions only to Muslims", the MIM chief lamented.Mumbai Mirror
Will the PM give justice to those Muslim women who lost their husbands in the name of cow slaughter? asks Owaisi
Bill on triple talaq may be inadequate, says Mahila Andolan founder Zakia Soman
Muslim Women  Bill, cleared by Modi Govt on Friday, may not ensure complete justice to victims of triple talaq, fear activists. Zakia Soman, founder of Bharatiya Muslim Mahila Andolan (BMMA) who hails from Ahmedabad, said, “Cabinet clearing the Bill is a welcome step but what India requires is a comprehensive law on Muslim marriage that will end all kinds of injustice to Muslim women like nikah halala (divorced woman required to marry again and consummate it to be able to return to her first husband) and polygamy.” Need for such a law, said Soman, was because “while women following Hinduism, Christianity, Zoroastrianism and other religions have laws in place, Muslim women have no law to fall back on in case their rights are violated.” However, Soman fears their recommendations may not be included in the final law and end up as mere “suggestions”.On Friday, BMMA wrote to opposition party leaders like Rahul Gandhi of Congress, Akhilesh Yadav of SP, Mayawati of BSP, Mamata Banerjee of TMC and Left leaders, appealing to them to work together to see that a comprehensive Bill was brought out.Soman said, “Recommendations of various parties were sought in the making of previous laws like RTI.A similar drive should be launched to get suggestions from the public to improve this Bill, especially since it affects the lives of lakhs of Muslim women in the country.” According to Soman, more than the quantum of punishment, the bigger concern was whether women would get rights to the house, maintenance, custody of children and other welfare provisions.Ahmedabad Mirror
Congress to oppose triple talaq bill if it violates SC ruling
With Union Cabinet clearing a bill to criminalise instant triple talaq, Congress on Friday said that it will study the law before commenting but oppose it if it violates the Supreme Court verdict.“We have neither seen the bill nor its content and its scope. Parliament has started today, it is inappropriate to speculate on a bill not yet available to the Parliament... which has been promised,” said Congress spokesperson Abhishek Manu Singhvi.“We will certainly see the actual content and react in a measured responsible manner, depending on the language and the content,” Singhvi said, adding: “But I want to remind you that well before the judgment of the SC came, we have given you very specific strong answers supporting the stoppage of triple talaq.”“Any further bill which seeks to criminalise human action must be within the 4 corners of the 5 judgments written in that case. We have to see the bill if it is within the 4 corners of different nuances of the 4-5 judgments of that case. Yes, then we will support it.“If the bill seeks to violate and transgress the limits of that SC judgment, we may have to do a rethinking and let us see that,” he added.IANS
Rajasthan Afrazul killing: 12 policemen injured, 175 arrested after mob violence; section 144 to continue
Over 175 people were arrested and 12 policemen were injured in a demonstration as mobs defied prohibitory orders in Udaipur following the murder of a Muslim migrant labourer from West Bengal, according to reports. Section 144, which was issued as a precautionary measure, will continue in both Rajsamand and Udaipur. Labourer, identified as Mohammed Afrazul, was burnt alive last week. The accused, who was later arrested, recorded himself beating the victim and later setting him on fire.The accused, identified as Shabhu Lal Raigar, has called his action 'a war against love jihad' The Indian Express reported.Following the murder, protests broke out demanding the death penalty for Raigar and the protesters also shouted slogans against right-wing groups. When the protest videos went viral, the right-wing reportedly decided to hold their own demonstration.Police chasing activists during the protest rally. News18 reported that in an attempt to control the unruly mob, police had to lathicharge the protesters and both sides got injured in the clash that followed. The protests took place near Court Circle in Udaipur around 5 pm.Sudhir Joshi, ASP (city), was among those injured in the clash, the police said. They also claimed that at least 20 activists were also detained, the report added.The mob forcibly closed down shops, created a ruckus on roads and pelted stones in the city, forcing authorities to press additional forces into service on Thursday, TOI reported. Police said tension started about 1.30 pm and continued until late evening.A 24-hour ban on internet services was imposed in Udaipur after several inflammatory videos were circulated in the district,according to IndiaToday. Firstpost
Rajasthan Hate killing: Hindu Outfits Attack Police in Udaipur, Prohibitory Orders in Place
Minorities demand stern action post Afrazul killing
Jaisalmer:A protest rally by members of minority community in Jaisalmer decried the brutal murder of Afrazul commited in Rajsamand district of Rajasthan.The protesters condemned the incident and also handed over a memorandum to the district collector which was addressed to the CM  of Rajasthan.In the memorandum, it was mentioned that tension prevails in the state in the aftermath of the killing of Afrazul and after a video of him being burnt was shared on the social media. A demand of financial assistance of 25 lakh rupees for the family of Afrazul along with a job to a family member was also made. The community demanded stern action in light of the increased atrocities being committed in the name of so called 'Love Jihad' and cow protection. It also demanded that the Govt should take strong steps to ensure communal amity. Indiatoday
Rajasthan murder: 10 Muslim men arrested for organising rally in support of the victim a week ago
Rajasthan Police on Friday arrested 10 people and detained at least 13 others in connection with a rally organised by a group of Muslim men in Udaipur city to protest against the killing of a Muslim labourer in neighbouring district of Rajsamand.“10 persons have been taken into custody,” SHO of Pratapnagar police station Hanuwanth Singh told Scroll.in. scroll
 ‘No faith’ in Rajasthan, Afrazul’s family to move rights panel for Bengal trial
Family members of Afrazul Khan, a migrant construction worker killed in Rajasthan, will approach NHRC with a request that the murder trial be moved to West Bengal.“Afrazul’s family believes that the deceased will not receive a fair trial in Rajasthan. His wife and daughters also fear attacks if they go there for the proceedings,” said Asit Basu, special committee member of West Bengal bar council.HT
Malegaon Blasts: Why ATS, CBI, NIA reached different conclusions, asks HC
Bombay High Court today asked how the findings of NIA, which had absolved 9 Muslim men in its charge sheet and instead named four members of a Hindu extremist organisation in the 2006 Malegaon blasts case, were so different from those of the CBI and Maharashtra ATS.A bench of justices Naresh Patil and NW Sambre, which was hearing petitions challenging the discharge of the nine men in the trial court, pointed out that the Anti-Terrorism Squad, which probed the case first, booked them for the blasts which had claimed 37 lives, and CBI, which took over the case a year later, endorsed it. However, NIA, to which the probe was transferred in 2011, filed a charge sheet absolving them of all charges, and instead named four others, who were members of a Hindu extremist organisation, as the accused."How can the conclusions of NIA be so different from that of competent probe agencies such as the CBI and the state ATS? When ATS and CBI charged nine men for their role in the case, then how did the NIA arrive at the conclusion that both probes were wrong, and then named a new set of persons as accused?" the bench said.The bench was hearing petitions filed by Maharashtra Govt and 4 accused challenging the discharge of the nine men booked earlier. Accused -- Manohar Narwaria, Rajendra Chaudhary, Dhan Singh and Lokesh Sharma -- have also challenged an order of trial court rejecting their bail applications.Soon after the blasts in Malegaon, a town in north Maharashtra with a sizeable Muslim population, ATS arrested Noorul Huda, Raees Ahmed, Salman Farsi, Farogh Magdumi, Shaikh Mohammed Ali, Asif Khan, Mohammed Zahid, Abrar Ahmed and Shabbir Masiullah Batteriwala. However last year, a special court in Mumbai discharged them from the case, as NIA submitted that it had found no evidence against them. The probe revealed that a Hindu extremist organisation was behind the blast, it said. ATS moved the HC against the trial court's order, terming it as contrary to the evidence on record. Assistant Public Prosecutor Mankunwar Deshmukh, ATS counsel, told the HC that the special court order had "no legal basis"."Previous HC judgements, including its bail orders in the 2008 Malegaon case, had made it clear that in cases where probe agencies had filed contradictory charge sheets, the court must take cognisance of all charge sheets during the trial," advocate Deshmukh said.PTI
De-Freezing Accounts: SC rejects Teesta Setalvad, husband's plea; says they owe explanation
New Delhi: The Supreme Court today held that activist Teesta Setalvad and her husband owe an explanation to Gujarat Police for alleged misappropriation of "huge funds" received by their NGOs for the victims of the 2002 riots.The top court, which dismissed their pleas challenging the Gujarat High Court order rejecting de-freezing of their personal bank accounts, said investigations against them and their NGOs -- Sabrang Trust and Citizens for Justice and Peace -- were still in progress and there were allegations of non-cooperation by them in the probe which strengthens suspicion against them.It said police was in possession of materials pointing out circumstances which create "suspicion of the commission" of offences of cheating, breach of trust, forgery and criminal conspiracy.The freezing of nine bank accounts by Ahmedabad Police had come soon after its crime branch started probing a case in which Ms Setalvad and others were accused of embezzling Rs. 1.51 crore collected to convert Gulbarg Society, which was affected by riots, into a museum.While dismissing their appeals against the Oct. 7, 2015 verdict of the high court, a bench comprising Chief Justice Dipak Misra and Justice AM Khanwilkar, said "the suspicion entertained by the investigating agency as to how the appellants (Teesta Setalvad, her husband Javed Anand) appropriated huge funds, which in fact were meant to be disbursed to the unfortunate victims of 2002 riots will have to be explained by the appellants.""Indisputably, the investigation is still in progress. The appellants will have to explain their position to the investigating agency and after investigation is complete, the matter can proceed further depending on the material gathered during investigation," the bench said.PTI
BJP used Patel youths in 2002, Babu Bajrangi real Hindutva leader, says Hardik Patel
A day after voting process concluded for the Gujarat Assembly elections, Patidar quota agitation leader Hardik Patel on Friday fired a fresh salvo at the ruling BJP, alleging the party “used Patel youths” to come to power in 2002 and later “left them in a lurch”. He also hailed Naroda Patiya riots convict Babu Bajrangi as the “real leader” of Hindutva. In a Facebook, Hardik said he was not “anxious about the results on Dec.18” and will “continue fight for justice” regardless of which party wins the elections. Hardik, accompanied by PAAS Morbi convener Manoj Panara,  paid tribute to Sardar Vallabhbhai Patel on his 67th death anniversary, and urged the Patidar community to “ignite the spark in their agitation”.Hardik said, “I want to tell you that don’t worry about the results. It will be our victory. Continue to do the work you have been doing to bring awareness. The forthcoming days belong to us… I have already begun my work. I visited Ambaji temple to renew my energy to fight against  Narendra Modi, who inflicted atrocities on my community. The fight will go on regardless of the result, and I will fight honestly. I will meet all communities to awaken them.” Hardik, who also put out a series of tweets  about his visit to Ambaji, meeting with tribal communities, and about “cowards who never stepped out of their homes to fight”, echoed the apprehension of “EVM hacking”.“BJP is a tyrannical party. There is a lot of debate about EVM hacking. It can happen. If the elections are free and fair, BJP will lose hands down. The SC on today rejected the Congress petition for counting of VVPAT slips to confirm EVM results. Why do we have a VVPAT then? Budsil ki tarah jo ghar me baitha rehta hai, wo haar hi jaata hai.”Patidar leader put out a tweet claiming that the exit polls prediction favouring the BJP was a “ploy” to prove the EVM results right. Hardik went on to say that the Patidar community must remember that “the BJP has used Patel youths in their Hindutva agenda, but left them in the cold when they needed help”. Indianexpress
Questions raised over EVMs should be answered, doubts should be resolved: Congress
A day after Patidar agitation leader Hardik Patel citing public apprehensions made an appeal to use ballot papers for voting instead of EVMs, senior Congress leader Ashok Gehlot said the questions surrounding the alleged tampering of EVMs should be answered. “Doubts should be resolved. It is necessary for democracy that the elections are unbiased. Questions raised over EVMs should be answered,” he said.
Gujarat polls: Muslim turnout falls by 3.58%
Ahmedabad: The voting pattern among Muslim electors was no different from the general voting pattern in the 2017 Gujarat assembly polls. Voting by Muslims was down by 3.58% against the 3.61% decline in general polling. From 72.17% in 2012, voting by Muslims had come down to 68.59% this time. There are at least 34 constituencies where Muslim voters are sizeable in number, i.e., 15% or more. Muslims are little over 9% of total population in Gujarat. There are 4 constituencies where Muslim voters decide the fate of candidates- Jamalpur-Khadiya(61.28%); Danilimda(48%), Dariapur (46.23%) and Vagra (44%).While voting by Muslims in Dariapur was down by 5.93% this year, polling at Jamalpur witnessed a dip by 3.28%. In constituencies like Vagra and Danilimda, the decline in turnout among Muslim voters is slight over 1%. Congress fielded Muslims on 3 of these 4 seats. (Danilimda seat is reserved for ST candidate.) TOI
Hyderabad erupts in protests against US Jerusalem move
Hyderabad: Protests broke out in parts of the city on Friday against USA recognising Jerusalem as Israel’s capital.As many as 18 people associated with the controversial organisation Darsgah Jihad-o-Shahadat were detained during one protest. Police said that soon after Friday prayers, DJS activists arrived at Darul Shifa grounds and began to raise slogans. The activists walked on the US and Israeli flags and were picked up soon after they attempted to burn them.“DJS activists were picked up around 2 pm and released at 5.30 pm. They were prevented from burning flags,” deputy commissioner of police (south zone) V Satyaranaya said.In Humayun Nagar, dozens of activists associated with the Students Islamic Organisation (SIO) took to the streets in support of Palestine and gathered outside Masjid-e-Azizia after Friday prayers.They raised slogans against Israel even as they called the attention of people to the conflict in Palestine and said that Jerusalem is the third holiest site in Islam.While police were posted outside the masjid, a larger number of cops arrived at the scene during the protest. The flag and placard carrying protesters then moved from the masjid to towards Masab Tank and after Sarojini Devi Eye Hospital, they returned. The protest, SIO president Laeeq Ahmad Khan said, “The recognition of Jerusalem as Israel’s capital is a clear violation of international laws and several UN resolutions. Especially resolutions 476 and 478 which categorically call for withdrawal of embassies from the city of Jerusalem.”A similar protest was organised at Darul Shifa ground where Maulana Mohammed Husamuddin Sani condemned the move. Thehindu
Recognise Jerusalem as Palestine capital, sever ties with Israel, Owaisi tells govt
Mumbai: Muslim body from Mumbai asks Centre to clear stand on Trump’s Jerusalem move
Mumbai: Asking Govt to clear its stand on the US President Donald Trump’s recognition of Jerusalem as Israel’s capital, All India Muslim Majlis-e-Mushawarat (AIMMM) on Friday said it was opposing Trump’s declaration. “We are having an in-house meeting to discuss the issues concerning Jerusalem because it violates Oslo agreement,” said SM Mallik, executive member, AIMMM (Mumbai). Calling the Trump’s decision ‘unjustified and irresponsible’, AIMIM said the US move violate previous peace efforts initiated on various international platforms. “President Trump just destroyed every possibility of a two-state solution. It shattered decades of diplomacy and disrupted the Arab-Israeli peace talks. 1967 borders must be respected and Jerusalem must remain the capital of Palestine,” said Saeed Khan, vice president, ad hoc committee of AIMMM (Mumbai). The members also asked the Indian Govt to clear its stand, like it did in case of NAM — wherein India formed a bloc of nations who did not support either US or Russia — because relations with Palestine dates back to pre-Independence era. AIMMM also extended its support to an online petition ‘Jerusalem must remain the capital of Palestine’, which has garnered more than 14 lakh votes so far.“ Govt of India must take a note of it. The Indian policy has been in favour of Palestine since we believe in human rights and justice. It is time for the Govt to come forward and support Palestinians and oppose the declaration made by Trump,” Saeed said. HT
India most reliable regional partner of Afghan: Pentagon
India is Afghanistan’s “most reliable regional partner”, the Pentagon told US Congress as it welcomed additional economic, medical, and civic support from India to Afghanistan. “India is Afghanistan’s most reliable regional partner and the largest contributor of development assistance in the region,” said Pentagon in its report to Congress.This assistance includes civil development projects such as the Afghanistan-India Friendship Dam and the Afghan parliament building, report said.India provides significant training opportunities for Afghan officers and enlisted personnel and has frequently offered to increase its burden sharing for Afghanistan, it said, adding that approximately 130 Afghans travel to India each year to attend various military and commissioning programmes. India has also donated limited security assistance, most notably 4 Mi-35 aircraft, Pentagon said.PTI
Muslims and Not 'Special Segments' to Get 'Minority' Benefits in State: J&K to SC
New Delhi: Refusing to treat Hindus as a 'minority' in J&K , the state Govt has told the Supreme Court that it will continue to give 'minority' benefits to the Muslims, although the state is not bound by the National Commission for Minorities (NCM) Act and Muslims comprise a majority population here.In a 10-page affidavit that chooses to use “special segments of society” instead of ‘Hindus’, the J&K Govt has taken a peculiar position.It accepts the NCM Act so far as it recognises Muslims as one of the six minority groups in the country but holds in the same breath that the J&K Govt is not bound to identify minorities within the state under this Act.The state has further refrained from making any assurance on setting up the state minority commission to identify religious and linguistic minorities in J&K, which will include Hindus.CNN-News18
Force can’t bring peace in Kashmir, govts have to take risks: Mehbooba Mufti
Panaji:Force cannot bring peace in Kashmir and governments should take risks for it, J&K  CM  Mehbooba Mufti said on Friday. PM Narendra Modi’s “uninvited” visit to Lahore was one such risk but unfortunately it was followed by a terror attack in Pathankot, she said.According to Mehbooba, who was speaking at the Ideas Conclave organised by India Foundation, a think tank of which patrons are senior BJP leaders, peace measures taken by Atal Bihari Vajpayee led to de-escalation of tension for almost 10 years. “Force alone cannot change the situation in J&K. It requires the Govt to take risks just as PM Modi visited Lahore uninvited. It was statesman-like,” she said.
 Court seeks NIA’s reply on stone pelter’s bail plea
New Delhi;An alleged stone pelter, arrested by NIA in connection with its probe into the funding of terror and separatist activities in Kashmir Valley, on Friday moved a court in New Delhi seeking bail. District judge Poonam A Bamba sought a response from the NIA by Jan.18 on the application moved by 24-year-old Javed Ahmed Bhat, claiming that he was wrongly implicated in the case.NIA arrested Bhat on September 5 for his alleged involvement in stone pelting and organising groups of youths who would throw stones at the security personnel involved in counter-insurgency operations.In his bail application moved through advocate M S Khan, Bhat claimed that he neither indulged in any anti-national activity, nor was associated with any organisation or participated in stone pelting. “He (Bhat) is having clean antecedents and there is no material of any nature connecting him with the incidents of stone pelting in any manner whatsoever. He is a permanent resident of Kashmir, having roots in the society and a wife and a child to look after,” the application said.PTI
We support Kashmir Muslims: deputy speaker of Turkey’s parliament
Ankara: Deputy speaker of Turkey’s parliament on Monday voiced support for Pakistan over the Kashmir issue. In a meeting with Shah Ghulam Qadir, the speaker of the Pok Legislative Assembly, Ahmet Aydin said that Turkey is closely following the troubles of Muslims in the disputed region.Aydin called on Pakistan and India to find a solution for Kashmir in line with UN resolutions."We favor reaching a solution through dialogue between Pakistan and India in line with UN resolutions in light of the legitimate demands of the Kashmiri people," said Aydin.Anadolu agency
J&K Jamaat decries land  allotment to army
Srinagar: Jamaat-e-Islami J&K today termed as “vicious plan” the allotment of 1,600 kanals of land to the army at Humhama here saying it is aimed to “deprive the local population of their land on the pattern of Palestine.”“The veiled allotment of 1600 kanals of land to the army at Gogo land Humhama is a matter of great concern for the people and this is the vicious plan to deprive the local people of their land on the pattern of Palestine”, advocate Zahid Ali, chief spokesperson of Jamaat said in a statement. “Despite the publication of this sorrowful news in the media, the silence of the local Govt and administration is meaningful and points towards something fishy. This process has been going on for long with the result that the army cantonments and camps are almost in the main areas of the valley and a big chunk of fertile land have been taken over by the army and other Indian agencies with the connivance of the local governments from time to time,” the statement said. greaterkashmir
Friday prayers disallowed for 2nd week in Jamia Masjid in Srinagar
Srinagar: No Friday prayers were allowed for the second successive week in the historic Jamia Masjid in downtown Srinagar, where curfew-like restrictions have been imposed in view of call by separatists to hold a rally in south Kashmir district of Anantnag.Joint Resistance Leadership (JRL), comprising both the factions of Hurriyat Conference (HC) and JKLF, had urged people to attend a rally at Lal Chowk in Anantnag on Friday.However, curfew-like restrictions were imposed in most parts of Anantnag, besides Shehar-e-Khas (SeK) and downtown Srinagar on Friday as a precautionary measure to foil the rally by separatist organisations.UNI
Holy Quran has beautifully portrayed message of peace and harmony: Army Chief
New Delhi: In what seems to be a good effort by the Indian army to bring the Muslim youths in J&K  to mainstream and keeping them away from religious fundamentalists, Army Chief, Bipin Rawat has said that the youths should follow the message of peace mentioned in the holy Quran.The message of peace and harmony is “beautifully portrayed” in the holy Quran and people often do not understand its essence, he told a group of students. He also said that the holy book does not propagate violence.Interacting with the group of madrassa students at his office in New Delhi, General Rawat also asked them to pick up sports like cricket and football and work towards containing terrorism so that Kashmir valley flourishes again.“How many of you have read the holy Quran?” General Rawat asked the 25-member group which is in New Delhi as part of a national integration tour being conducted by the army. “I will tell you what is the message in it. It is the message of peace and harmony. And, it has been beautifully portrayed in it. And, all this noise made by the ISIS, it is nowhere mentioned in Quran,” he said.“So, you must follow the message embedded in the holy text. You think people understand the message. We do not properly understand it. In simple ways, Quran has given the lessons (on human values),” Army chief asserted.The students, aged 13-22, arrived in New Delhi on Dec. 12 and many of them were visiting Delhi for the first time. Siasat
Govt ignored warnings over GST roll out: Sources
Mumbai:Govt ignored several warnings from private companies that the complex technology required for a nationwide GST to work smoothly was not ready for launch, several people who worked on the project said.Weeks before the July 1 start of India's biggest tax overhaul in decades, Govt declared itself ready and chided industry experts who said more time was needed to prepare for the changes.Over 10 tax and IT consultants who worked on the project said that behind the scenes Govt was ignoring warnings for more testing of the complex system even as it was pushing through late changes. While sources said Infosys, which built GST technological network, made "basic errors", they said Govt officials have not accepted any responsibility for glitches in GST roll out.The Govt is still making changes to tax rates, filing deadlines, and other features, making it difficult to stabilise the system, they said, declining to be identified for fear of losing future Govt contracts."At that time, the powers in New Delhi were mocking industry, saying 'the government's ready, but industry's not," said the director of a financial planning firm involved in developing the GST network."Now people are laughingly asking, 'so who was really not ready?" he said.Reuters
Muzaffarnagar riots: Non-bailable warrant against minister Suresh Rana, BJP MLAs
Muzaffarnagar: A local court has issued non-bailable warrants against UP minister Suresh Rana, former Union minister Sanjiv Balyan, BJP MLAs Sangeet Som and Umesh Malik and others in connection with a 2013 Muzaffarnagar riots case following permission from the state Govt to prosecute them.Additional chief judicial magistrate Madhu Gupta on Friday issued the fresh non bailable warrants and asked the accused to appear in court on Jan.19, 2018, according to officials of SIT. SIT had sought permission from the UP Govt to prosecute the accused under Section 153A of IPC for allegedly making hate speeches and the state Govt has permitted it, they said.It is alleged that the accused participated in a mahapanchyat and incited violence through their speeches in the last week of Aug. 2013. They are also facing charges under various sections of IPC for allegedly violating prohibitory orders, deterring public servants from discharging thier duties and wrongful restraint.PTI
Bengaluru:Dr forces Muslim ldy to say 'Krishna Krishna'
Bengaluru: A woman has alleged that a Govt doctor forced her to chant “Krishna Krishna” to carry out a tubectomy surgery on her. The doctor, woman claimed in her police complaint, threatened to cancel her surgery if she did not obey his order. According to the complainant, Naseema Banu (22), a resident of Nandini Layout in Yeshwanthpur, she and her husband had decided that Naseema would undergo tubectomy surgery after the birth of their second daughter 10 months ago.Knowing of a tubectomy surgery camp being held at Chintamani Govt Hospital on Tuesday, Naseema, her husband and aunt left for Chintamani and enrolled her name in the hospital. After hours of waiting for her turn, when Naseema went to the operation area, she saw doctors asking patients to chant “Krishna Krishna” during the operation.Deccan Chronicle
Former TV show producer Suhaib Ilyasi convicted
New Delhi: A Delhi court on Saturday convicted TV serial producer Suhaib Ilyasi in connection with the death of his wife, Anju.The argument on the sentence will be held on Dec. 20.IIyasi who had shot to fame with the TV show 'India's Most Wanted' was arrested in March 2000 after his wife was rushed to a hospital from their east Delhi house with fatal stab wounds. Later, charges were framed against the serial producer after his in-laws alleged that he had tortured Anju for dowry.TOI
Babri masjid case: Sri Sri says out of court settlement is best
New Delhi: Art of Living founder Sri Sri Ravi Shankar while speaking to media on Friday said that out of court settlement is the best solution to settle the Ram temple-Babri Masjid dispute. In a bid to mediate a solution between the tussling parties, Ravi Shankar, in Kolkata, said, “I am speaking to many stakeholders, both the communities should come together, out of court settlement is the best.” financialexpress
900 wounded, 4 killed incl wheelchair-bound Gazan as Israel cracks down on protesters
Israeli occupation forces yesterday killed four Palestinian protesters and wounded 793 others in occupied West Bank, Jerusalem and the besieged Gaza Strip, Palestinian medical sources said.The Palestinian sources identified the four dead as Basil Ibrahim, 29, from Jerusalem, Mohamed Aqel, 21, from Hebron, Yaser Sukkar, 23, and Ibrahim Abu-Thurayya, 29, from Gaza.One of the dead, Abu-Thurayya, was disabled having lost both his legs previously. He was shot by an Israeli sniper in the head.Meanwhile, the Palestinian Red Crescent (PRC) said that the Israeli occupation wounded 793 protesters across the occupied territories.According to the PRC, 566 were wounded in the occupied West Bank and Jerusalem and 227 in the Gaza Strip. It noted that the Israeli occupation forces shot 111 of them with live bullets. Spokesman of the Palestinian Ministry of Health Ashraf Al-Qidra said in a statement that the Israeli occupation forces used explosive live bullets in its crackdown on the unarmed protesters.Al-Qidra called for the regional powers and the international community to protect unarmed Palestinian protesters from the “savage crackdown” of the Israeli occupation. middleeastmonitor
Palestinians killed in protests against Jerusalem move
Israeli troops kill 4 Palestinians, wound 160 in protests over Jerusalem
US sees E. Jerusalem's Western Wall as part of Israel
US expects the Western Wall in Jerusalem's Old City will be part of Israel, a senior Trump administration official said Friday as Vice President Mike Pence prepares to visit the region."I think we can’t envision a scenario under which the Western Wall would not be part of Israel," the official told reporters on condition of anonymity. "But as the president said, the specific boundaries of sovereignty of Israel are going to be part of the final status agreement." Western Wall is in East Jerusalem that was seized by Israel in 1967. Palestinians are seeking East Jerusalem as the capital of their future state, and the U.S. has never recognized Israel's sovereignty over lands it captured in Arab-Israeli War.Capital recognition has consistently been seen as a final status issue in Israeli-Palestinian peace talks, and Trump's declaration appeared to many, including Palestinians, to undercut that long-established understanding.
Trump aide heads to Israel after Jerusalem move
France 'has no plan' to move embassy to Jerusalem
French Foreign Minister Jean-Yves Le Drian said that his country had no plans to move its embassy to Jerusalem.AA
US recognition hurts Jerusalem businesses: Official
Jerusalem:U.S. President Donald Trump’s decision to officially recognize Jerusalem as Israel’s capital has negatively affected businesses in the holy city, according to Jerusalem’s chamber of commerce.“Trump’s decision has adversely affected the city market and tourism business,” chamber’s director Fadi al-Hidmi told Anadolu Agency on Saturday. He said there has been a dramatic decline in the number of tourists and hotel reservations in recent days, causing an economic recession in the city."Security concerns are the main reason for this decline,” al-Hidmi said. “Many reservations have been canceled after the U.S. recognition.”He said even before the U.S. move, Palestinian entreprenuers have complained of the difficulty of getting Israeli licenses to start a tourist business or repair existing shops.anadolu agency
Iraq Sunni powers refuse elections before return of 3 million displaced people
The Coalition of National Forces in Iraq, the main representative of political Sunni forces, said that parliamentary elections would not be transparent while there are around three million displaced Iraqis, the Anadolu Agency reported.Iraq had announced it would carry out elections in May 2018, however the head of the coalition, Ahmed Al-Masari, said: “The aim of the elections is to carry out reforms and having real and qualified representatives for the Iraqis who represent the voters without pressure.”He said that this would not be achieved in  light of the current “disastrous circumstance” as there are more than 2.9 million displaced people “living in bad conditions as they cannot return back to their destroyed cities” which are controlled by armed groups “affiliated to certain security services”.The statement noted that the head of the UN mission told Al-Masari that he “understands the fears of the coalition regarding the elections.” middleeastmonitor
Shia paramilitaries should be part of Iraq state security bodies: Ayatollah Sistani
Baghdad:Iraqi Shia paramilitary groups who took part in the war against Islamic State militants should be incorporated into state security bodies, the nation’s top Shia cleric said.n a message delivered at the Friday sermon in the holy city of Kerbala through one of his representatives, Grand Ayatollah Ali al-Sistani said all weapons used in fighting the insurgents should be brought under the control of the Iraqi government.Sistani’s position is in line with PM  Haider al-Abadi, who wants to prevent the commanders of the militias known as Popular Mobilisation Forces (PMF) from using the power and clout acquired during the war in elections due on May 12.Reuters
Syria blame game continues after failed Geneva talks
The United States has urged the Syrian Govt to "participate fully" in negotiations with the opposition, while a Syrian official blamed opposition preconditions for yet another failed round of talks in Geneva.Referring to the negotiations, which ended in the Swiss city on Thursday without any results, the US state department commended the Syrian opposition's "constructive participation", which it said stood in contrast to the "obstructionism and procrastination" of the Govt delegation.
"We support [UN Special Envoy for Syria Staffan] de Mistura's call for the regime's supporters to use their leverage to urge the regime to participate fully in tangible negotiations with the opposition in Geneva," Department of State spokesperson Heather Nauert said on Friday.This was the eighth round of Syria peace talks in Geneva. aljazeera

Pakistan SC clears Imran Khan, refuses to reopen case against Sharif family
Islamabad:Pakistan’s Supreme Court on Friday rejected a petition seeking the disqualification of cricketer-turned-politician Imran Khan as an MP for not declaring his assets, but disqualified his close aide Jahangir Tareen for life.In a separate case, the apex court rejected an appeal by the National Accountability Bureau (NAB), the anti-corruption watchdog, to reopen a Rs 1.2-billion money laundering case against former premier Nawaz Sharif and members of his family.An adverse ruling in both cases would have rendered Khan, head of the Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf party, and Punjab CM  Shehbaz Sharif ineligible for next year’s general election. Shehbaz Sharif is set to be the PML-N’s PM ial candidate following the disqualification of Nawaz Sharif for dishonesty in July.“The Bani Gala property is Imran Khan’s. He bought the land for his family,” Chief Justice Saqib Nisar said, referring to Khan’s sprawling house on the outskirts of Islamabad that had been at the centre of allegations against him. hindustantimes
Billionaire Sabih al-Masri detained in Saudi Arabia
Palestinian billionaire businessman Sabih al-Masri has been detained in Saudi Arabia on a business trip to Riyadh, his family confirmed to Reuters news agency.80-year-old founder of Zara Investment Holding and chairman of Arab Bank was held in the Saudi capital for questioning last week about "information related to corruption", according to Rai al-Youm. Arab news website reported on Saturday that no formal charges were made against al-Masri, who reportedly also holds Saudi and Jordanian citizenship.Al-Masri, one of Jordan's most prominent businessman, is the cousin of the billionaire Munib al-Masri, the wealthiest person in Palestine. Aljazeera
US may stop spouses of H-1B visa holders from working
In a move that could potentially affect thousands of Indian workers, the Donald Trump administration is considering a decision where it will seek to revoke an Obama-era rule that extends work authorisation to the spouses of H-1B visa holders. Since 2015, the spouses of H-1B, or high-skilled, visa holders waiting for green cards have been eligible to work in the US on H-4 dependent visas, under a rule introduced by the previous Obama administration. Indianexpress


Why criminalising Triple Talaq is unnecessary
Modi Govnt's Triple Talaq Law Is Deeply Flawed:Mohd Asim,Senior News Editor, NDTV
Gujarat elections: Pakistan spectre, talk of Rahul Gandhi’s Hindu credentials worrying, writes Barkha Dutt
BJP Should Stop Assuming Hindus are Communal:Jawid Laiq
Bengali Muslim workers have left Rajsamand out of fear after Mohd Afrajul’s murder: PUCL fact-finding report
A battle of consequence: A campaign of interesting OTMs (other than Modi): Rajmohan Gandhi

Compiled and edited by Anwarulhaq (Released at: 8:30 PM)


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