24 December 2017

24 Dec.ND: Triple talaq bill against women, will destroy families, Muslim Law Board urges Govt not to table it in parliament/ RK Nagar by-poll: Dinakaran defeats rival AIADMK by huge margin

24 Dec.2017: 05 Rabial Aakhir 1439:Vol:9, No:81
Triple talaq bill against women, will destroy families, Muslim Law Board urges Govt not to table it in parliament
New Delhi:All India Muslim Personal Law Board (AIMPLB) today in an emergency meeting said that the proposed triple talaq bill by union govt is against women and, if implemented, will destroy many families."No procedure was followed in drafting this bill, neither any stakeholder was consulted. President of AIMPLB will convey this stand to PM and request him to withhold and withdraw the bill", Sajjad Nomani of the AIMPLB said.Secretary of the board, Maulana Khalid Saifullah Rahmani said that the board is also opposed to the practice and is in favour of a strong law. However, it is not satisfied with the current structure of the bill, especially the provision of 3-year jail term."The board is also against instant triple talaq and agrees there should be a strong law against it and it should be made in consultation with senior clerics,"he added. "The bill is against women in the sense that courts talk of maintenance for women and the children by the husband after the divorce but this is in contradiction of the 3-year jail term proposed in the bill. How will there be maintenance provided for the wife when the husband is in jail?"he said. According to caravandaily AIMPLB in a statement said, that the Bill is against the principles of Shariah and is interference in Muslim Personal Law. “The proposed provisions in the Bill are also against the existing legal provisions set out in other legislations and hence unwarranted. Law relating to Guardianship, the domestic violence, CrPC are already in place. The terms set out in the proposed Bill also encroach upon the guarantees set out in the Constitution of India for the religious denominations. It is also against the essence of the Judgment rendered by the Supreme Court on 22 Aug 2017,” AIMPLB said in a statement after the meeting attended by 20 members including 2 women members.The Muslim board asked why an act, which has already been rendered as non-legal and ineffective, is now being declared as a criminal act.“A ‘non-legal’ ‘ineffective action’, which does not lead to giving effect to Talaq as per the Supreme Court Judgment, has been converted into serious criminal charges leading to destroying the future of women and the children (family).”The board said that stakeholders were not consulted before the drafting the bill.“While making/drafting the Bill, parliamentary procedure of law making has not been followed. Neither the stake holders/ affected parties/women organizations have been consulted to enable them in placing the actual position on the ground, correct position of law and the adverse consequences of the proposed law and welfare of the women and children pursuant to ‘non-effective’ talaq.” AIMPLB has urged the Central government not table the present bill in the Parliament and if wanted to enact any such it should first consult AIMPLB and true representatives of Muslim women organizations.“If the govt considers necessary for enacting such law, the government must have consultations with AIMPLB and true representatives of Muslim (women) organizations etcetera and only then Bill be prepared,” said the board.TOI/CaravanNews
AIMPLB terms triple talq bill as anti-Muslim women, urges Govt not to table it in Parliament
AIMPLB urges withdrawal of bill on triple talaq
AIMPLB holds emergency meet, says 'no stakeholder consulted before drafting Talaq bill, urges PM to withdraw
RK Nagar by-election result: TTV Dinakaran defeats rival AIADMK by over 40,000 votes
Sidelined AIADMK leader TTV Dinakaran, won RK Nagar bye-election with a massive margin of over 40,000 votes to his nearest rival, AIADMK candidate E Madhusudhanan. Buoyed by the early trends, Dinakaran claimed victory in the bye-election. “We are the true AIADMK… people of RK Nagar have elected Amma’s successor,” he said. RK Nagar assembly seat fell vacant following the demise of ex-AIADMK supremo and Tamil Nadu chief minister J Jayalalithaa. The bypoll contest in RK Nagar is widely being perceived as an acid test for AIADMK as this is the first election the party is contesting after the death of Jayalalithaa. A total of 59 candidates are vying for the bypoll assembly seat, including the BJP. But, primarily, the election is being seen as a direct contest between AIADMK, DMK and TTV Dinakaran, who is fighting as an independent. Dhinakaran who is in Chenna stood at 89,013 votes, AIADMK’s E. Madhusudhanan received 48,306 votes while DMK’s N. Marudhu Ganesh got 24,651, BJP’s Karu Nagarajan could barely manage 1,417 votes at the end of counting. Dhinakaran wins by 40707 votes.indianexpress
Bye-elections: TMC bags West Bengal’s Sabang seat, BJP wins in Arunachal, UP
Trinamool Congress’ Gita Rani Bhunia won the bye-election held on Thursday in West Bengal’s Sabang Assembly constituency, ANI reported after the counting of votes on Sunday. BJP candidates won in Arunachal Pradesh’s Pakke-Kessang and Likabali constituencies and also in Uttar Pradesh’s Sikandra. The bye-elections were held in five constituencies, including Tamil Nadu’s RK Nagar, on Thursday. In Sabang, Bhunia won by nearly 19,000 votes, India Today reported. Bye-elections were held after her husband and sitting Congress MLA Manas Ranjan Bhunia was elected to Rajya Sabha on a TMC ticket. In Uttar Pradesh’s Sikandra seat, the BJP’s Ajit Pal Singh defeated Samajwadi Party’s Seema Sachan by 7,000 votes , News18 reported. The seat had fallen vacant after BJP MLA Mathura Prasad Pal succumbed to an illness on July 22. In Arunachal’s Pakke-Kessang, BJP candidate BR Waghe eked out a narrow victory by a margin of 475 votes, in a contest against ex-Deputy Chief Minister Kameng Dolo, who fought on a Congress ticket. Waghe won 3,517 votes, while Dolo bagged 3,042, PTI reported. In the Likabali seat, BJP candidate Kardo Nyigyor got 3,461 votes, while Gumke Riba of Peoples Party of Arunachal came second with 3,156 votes. The seat fell vacant after the death of state minister Jomde Kena in Sept. 23 voters had opted for None of The Above. Scroll
Trinamool clinches Sabang in Bengal by-poll by over 60,000 votes
Subramanian Swamy claims GDP data bogus; says CSO pressurised by Modi govt to put out good data
BJP leader and Rajya Sabha MP Subramanian Swamy made some shocking claims. On Saturday while speaking to a gathering of chartered accountants in Ahmedabad, he alleged that Modi government forced Central Statistical Organisation (CSO) officers to present good data. As per him, this was done to show that demonetisation had no adverse impact on the economy. He termed the entire data released by the CSO as bogus. After demonetisation on November 8, 2016, questions were raised on its impact on the economy. As per government data, India’s growth rate slowed to 6.1% in the fourth quarter of 2016-17 from 7% in the preceding quarter, which highlights the impact of demonetisation on key sectors.Swamy said,”Please do not go by the quarterly GDP data, they are all bogus. I am telling you because my father founded the Central Statistical Organisation (CSO), Recently, I went there with Union minister Sadananda Gowda. He called the CSO person because there was pressure to put out data on demonetisation. So they put out the GDP data stating that there is no impact of demonetisation. I am feeling nervous because I know there is an impact. So I asked the director of CSO, how did you estimate the GDP for this quarter when the demonetisation was on November 2016 and you gave a printed economic survey report on February 1, 2017, which means it went for printing at least three weeks before.”“So on the first week of January 2017, you submit a report and you calculate GDP to show no impact. How did you calculate it? So he tells me, that the informal sector’s output last year as a ratio of the formal sector’s output last year, that ratio was applied to the organised sector in January. I told him that relationship has changed. He said, ‘what will I do? I was under pressure to give the data and so I gave it’. So do not believe in any quarterly data, don’t believe in these Moody’s and Fitches. You can pay them money and get any report published.”, he added.NewsX
Muzaffarnagar riots case: Court quashes warrants against UP minister, BJP MP
Muzaffarnagar: A local court has quashed non-bailable warrants issued against UP Minister Suresh Rana, BJP MLA Sangit Som and BJP MP Bhartendu Singh in connection with a Muzaffarnagar riots case.NBWs were issued on Nov.15 following permission from the State govt to prosecute them. Additional Chief Judicial Magistrate Madhu Gupta on Dec.23 quashed non-bailable warrants against four persons — Rana, Som, Singh and a man identified as Chandra Pal.Their lawyer in a plea had contended they had already been given bail under section 153a of IPC. Defence counsel Anil Jindal requested the court that the warrants be quashed. Accused are facing charges under various sections of the Indian Penal Code for violating prohibitory orders deterring public servants from discharging their duties and wrongful restraint.PTI
Rajsamand love-jihad case: Police says accused Shambulal was in ‘illicit’ relationship with a girl
Probing the Rajasthan’s Rajsamand alleged ‘love-jihad’ case, where a man was killed and burnt alive, the police during its investigation has found that the accused Shambulal Raigar was in an illicit relationship with a girl and to hide the truth from his family and society, he tried to gave it an angle of love-jihad. According to police, the accused was in a practice of watching hate videos, therefore, to save himself from public shame, he gave the entire episode a love-jihad angle.Speaking on this case, the police informed that they have videographed portions of their investigation as a proof and also to avoid any fake information circulating around. The police which is currently investigating this case said that they have videographed the statements of girl’s mothers who said that Shambulal was asked to bring back her daughter from a man in West Bengal. She further said their daughter did return from Bengal but she was kept at a rented place for about 10 months. The Woman also mentioned that due to fear of the society, they did not inform that matter to the police.Further speaking on the case while the investigation is still on, Anand Srivastav, Inspector General of police, Udaipur Range, “He was into illicit relation with a girl in the town for more than 10 months, The girl too was questioned who said she was continuously been hassled by the accused Shambulal. Thus, in order to deviate everyone’s attention towards this issue, he himself planned to do something that can change the perception of people,” said. However, it has also been learnt that the accused targeted the wrong person and mistakenly killed someone else.  Carrying investigation in the case to find out whether the accused Shambulal was in an illicit relationship or not, the probing team has also recorded the statements of accused’s mother, neighbours, girl’s mother and others. The entire case came into public view after a horrific video has surfaced where a man was killed and burnt alive. The deceased according to reports was identified as Mohammed Bhatta Sheikh. The incident has surfaced from Rajasthan’s Rajsamand district after a video where a man was shot being burnt alive, went viral on social media.  The accused, Shambulal Raigad, was later arrested by the police. The incident had taken place on Dev heritage road in Rajnagar area of Rajsamand district.NewsX
Christmas in India tarnished by 'climate of hate':  Al Jazeera report
There is a sense of unease leading up to Christmas celebrations in India, according to Christian groups. "There are open letters being written to schools in Uttar Pradesh asking them not to celebrate Christmas. What is going on in this country? This is not about Hindus, Christians, Muslims or Sikhs. It is about our beloved India," Reverend Theodore Mascarenhas, general secretary of the Catholic Bishops' Conference, told Al Jazeera.Earlier this month, radical Hindu groups allegedly assaulted a group of carol singers and set their empty car on fire in the state of Madhya Pradesh. Members of the right-wing Bajrang Dal said they had "proof to show how Christian priests were forcibly converting poor Hindus". The group has direct links with Prime Minister Narendra Modi's ruling Hindu-nationalist BJP.Eighteen years after Australian missionary Graham Staines and his two pre-teen sons were burned to death by violent Hindu groups in one of the worst hate crimes recorded in the country, Christians in India are reliving some hateful moments.Right-wing Hindu groups say they are prepared to battle "foreign influence corrupting Indian society"."It is not just about Christmas Day. It is about Hindu culture and what is foreign to us. Be it Christmas Day or Valentine's Day - all this is not Indian culture. See, by adopting Western festivals, Hindu youth are forgetting their roots and their own culture. We are against this. We will see to it that such Western ideas are stopped," Avinash Rana, a member of the Hindu Jagran Manch, told Al Jazeera. Christian leaders are wary of this "climate of hate", citing a "rampant state of impunity" fueling these hate groups."In many such cases and attacks against Christians, the police [force] has been either an idle bystander or has been complicit in the violence. How can one citizen of India threaten another citizen of India and get away with it? It is for the police and the government to act - when will they act?" activist John Dayal asked.India's minority groups, especially Muslims and the Christian community, have been under increasing attack since the BJP came to power in 2014.Activists say more than 700 cases of attacks on Christians were reported via United Christian Forum toll-free number (1-800-208-4545) since 2014.
Christmas controversy: Hindutva outfit leaders refuse to submit Rs 1-lakh bond
Aligarh:Reacting to the notices issued by the additional city magistrate (ACM) Renu Singh, local leaders of the Hindu Jagaran Manch (HJM) on Saturday refused to submit the Rs 1 lakh bond each that the administration had directed them to.The outfit had asked schools in Aligarh not to celebrate Christmas after which the local administration had on Thursday issued notices to 5 HJM leaders, warning them that they should not be found within 50 metres of schools on the Christmas day. ACM Renu Singh had issued notices to the leaders concerned under Sections 111,107 and 116 of the IPC with directions to submit Rs 1 lakh bond each.HJM state secretary Sanju Bajaj, convener Amit Raja, city president Sonu Kavita, Punit Sharma and Bablu Saini met ADM (city) SB Singh on Saturday and reportedly told him they would not submit the bonds as they were not criminals.HT
Ayodhya: Ram Lalla’s idol at disputed site gets blower to beat the cold after VHP threatens protest
The idol of infant Ram – Ram Lalla – at Ayodhya will keep warm this winter as authorities have installed a blower after the VHP demanded adequate protection for deity,the Hindustan Times reported on Sunday.However, the Hindutva group list of demand also included warm clothes for the idol and his three brothers and a quilt for Hanuman, so that they “can counter the cold weather”. The idols are present in the makeshift temple built in 1992 on the controversial Ram Janmabhoomi-Babri Masjid site in Ayodhya.After VHP threatened to protest if the demands were not met, Ayodhya’s Divisional Commissioner Manoj Mishra got the blower installed for the idol. scroll
Secularism not dead, but definitely under stress:Hamid Ansari
Kolkata: Ex-vice-president Hamid Ansari Saturday said that while secularism is not dead in the country, it is definitely under stress. He was speaking at a seminar on ‘Is secularism dead in India?’ organised by Muslim Institute and Jadavpur University in Kolkata. The event was also attended by TMC MP Sugata Bose and ex-Prasar Bharati CEO Jawhar Sircar. Addressing students, Ansari said: “Some of you may be familiar with the American magazine National Interest. In their latest issue… there are two essays on secularism in India. This is indicative of the concern in the wider international community about what India’s secularism means for the world… The fact that we are a plural society is not a matter of debate… As many as 4,600 communities live with diversity in language, faith, food, clothing, lifestyle and in every other conceivable way.”Stressing on the need for physical security of every citizen, he said: “The trouble today… is whether the state is doing or should be doing what it needs to as per the mandate of the Constitution. The dialogue about religion has always existed in this country and will continue to do so. But the only way this dialogue will be productive is if there is physical security. But the debate needs to move beyond the academics, elite and policymakers. After all, who can guarantee that my neighbour eats the same food as me and follows the same faith?”“Secularism is not dead, but it is definitely under stress. And we must address this collectively as citizens,” he added. indianexpress
Jignesh Mevani to attend 200th-yr celebration of ‘Dalit victory’ against Peshwa army
Pune: The commemoration of 200 years of a historical event that Dalits in Maharashtra celebrate as a moment of collective pride, will see the participation of a firebrand young community icon — the newly elected member of the Gujarat Assembly, Jignesh Mevani.The Independent MLA from Vadgam, who rose to national prominence after leading the Dalit agitation that followed the Una flogging incident of July 2016, has been invited to speak at a conference that will be part of a massive celebration of the Battle of Bhima Koregaon over the last day of this year and the first of the next.On January 1, 1818, a small army of the British East India Company succeeded in thwarting the advance of the forces of Peshwa Baji Rao II into Pune despite being outnumbered 3 to one. Over the past several decades, this “victory” in the Battle of Bhima Koregaon has become an important symbol of Dalit assertion in Maharashtra.In the Dalit narrative, East India Company’s force on that day was made up largely of soldiers from the Dalit Mahar community, who waged a war for “freedom” from the alleged castiesm of Peshwas, who were upper caste Brahmins. Every New Year’s Day, tens of thousands of Dalits from Maharashtra and elsewhere gather at Perne village in Pune where a jaystambh(victory pillar) erected by British commemorates the memory of the soldiers who fell in that battle. Dr B R Ambedkar is said to have paid a visit to the memorial in 1927 and Ambedkarites have since then been visiting the jaystambh as a “source of inspiration”.The coming New Year’s Day is special — being the 200th anniversary of the Battle of Bhima Koregaon. The scale of the event this time is likely to be unprecedented, some organisers say. They claim between four and five lakh Dalits from across the country are expected to join the Bhima Koregaon Shauryadin Prerna Abhiyan, making it one of the largest Dalit mobilisations of recent times.Mevani is scheduled to speak at the “Elgaar Parishad” conference on December 31 at Pune’s historic Shaniwar Wada, the headquarters of the Peshwas. The following day, Mevani, along with thousands of activists, is expected to march 30 km to the jaystambh, the venue for the main event. indianexpress
Burhan Wani factor? 117 youths joined militancy in J&K in 2017, most in a year
New Delhi:Ever since security agencies gunned down Hizbul Mujahideen commander Burhan Wani on July 8 last year, there has been a marked increase in the number of Kashmiri youths joining terrorist organisations. So much so that 2017 has seen the most number of youths taking to militancy since such data started being collated in 2010.Quoting data from security agencies, PTI reported that till December, 117 locals were recruited by terror groups compared to 88 in the whole of 2016. South Kashmir, the hotbed of militancy, has emerged as the main hub of cadre supply. J&K police, paramilitary forces and Army have made a joint appeal to local militants, asking them to return to the “mainstream” after a footballer Majid Arshid Khan from south Kashmir shunned militancy and returned last month following an appeal by his mother.indian express
Anger in Kashmir mounts following killing of 3 civilians at encounter sites
Srinagar: Every time 11-month-old Azrah cries, mourners in the room struggle to control their tears. She crawls into the lap of a young woman only to return the next moment, perhaps realising that she isn’t her mother.“How can an infant live without her mother,” an elderly woman moans as a young boy enters the room and takes the child away.Azrah is one of the newly orphaned children in the Valley. Her mother, Ruby Jan, was allegedly shot at by security forces during an encounter with militants in Batamarun, a remote village in south Kashmir’s Shopian district, on December 19, according to her uncle Ghulam Ahmad Bhat. 22-year-old woman died instantly.“She (Azrah) has been crying desperately to see her mother. How can we make her understand the tragedy that has befallen her?,” Bhat said. Azrah’s photograph has been widely circulated on social media in the Valley.While Jammu and Kashmir police have claimed that Ruby was killed in crossfire, her family and the villagers have termed her death a “cold-blooded murder”.Ruby was visiting her parents’ house in Batamarun around 10 days ago. When forces laid siege to the village on December 18, the entire family was inside the single storey house, located around 150 metres away from where two militants including a local from the adjoining village of Wanpora were trapped and killed the next day. The house and the encounter site are divided only by a road.The Wire
Calling J&K’s lost boys back: police promise parents if their children want to return, doors are open
J&K has held out an olive branch to local boys who recently joined militancy, police have reached out to parents to issue appeals to them to return, while militant groups have warned this won’t happen. Indian Express on the parents caught in the middle.On Dec.5, an unusual meeting took place at the heavily guarded Shopian Circuit House. Families of 30 young men who had left home to join militant ranks in the Valley took their seats, along with DIG (South) Swayam Prakash Pani and DSP Shriram Ambarkar Dinkar. The police promised the parents that if their children wanted to return home, the doors to the mainstream were “open”. “Every care will be taken for their dignified rehabilitation if they shun the path of violence,” said an announcement about the function on the Shopian Police’s Facebook page.The meeting took place three weeks after the return of Anantnag teenager Majid Irshad Khan following an appeal by his mother and other family members on social media. 18-year-old second-year Commerce student and popular football player returned within a week of leaving home and joining the Laskhar-e-Toiba.Majid’s mother’s appeal to him had gone viral on social media. His return was even more sensational. Within a few days, across Kashmir, videos or Facebook posts began surfacing — often with encouragement from the police — in which a mother or father of a youngster who had recently left home to pick up the gun, made similar appeals.By police count, 32 militants are active in Shopian. “The number quadrupled after Burhan Wani’s death. There were eight before he was killed. In the last few months, we killed 13 of them but again the number is 32,” says SP Dinkar. These militants are believed to have carried out big attacks, including the killing of Kashmiri Army officer Lt Ummar Fayaz in May, while he was home on leave.Those at the Shopian meeting were families of some of these militants. By all accounts, the exchange was stormy. The families accused police of forcing their sons into militancy, and of harassment.“It is a battle between you and our militant sons. Why are you dragging the families into it?” sources quoted Nazir Ahmad Malik, the father of top Hizbul Mujahideen commander Adil Malik, as saying. “Why do you harass the families? If somebody throws a stone, why do you beat the entire village, break the window panes?”Zubair Ahmad Turray’s father Bashir Ahmad accused the police of pushing his son into militancy. Zubair had escaped from police custody and then surfaced in a video saying he had joined militants and that police had left him with no option.“Yes, I told them ‘you turned my son into a militant’,” Bashir Ahmad says. “I told them you booked Zubair under the PSA, and when that was quashed, you booked him under another PSA, and when that too was quashed by the court, you illegally extended his detention. DIG replied that we know everything. He told me he would talk to me separately.”Admitting the anger of the parents, DIG Pani says their presence at the meeting, in a militant hotbed like Shopian, was in itself a step forward. “No parent wants their child to get into this rut,” he says. indianexpress
NIA summons Geelani’s son again
Srinagar: NIA has again summoned the son of Hurriyat chairman Syed Ali Shah Geelani to New Delhi in connection with a terror funding case as a witness. Geelani’s son was earlier summoned to NIA headquarters in August. The summons was send to Naseem-ul-Zaffar Geelani by SP, NIA, through the SSP, Srinagar. As per the summons, Naseem has been asked to report at the NIA headquarters on Dec.26 at 11 am.Naseem was summoned to the NIA headquarters twice in August. After several rounds of questioning, he was allowed to return to Kashmir. On his return, Naseem told media that he was given a clean chit by NIA.Geelani, meanwhile, demanded the shifting of all Kashmiri prisoners to the Valley from Tihar jail. Indian express
India cautious over Maldives curbs on envoy
Colombo/New Delhi:New Delhi appears to be weighing diplomatic options after Male reportedly placed restrictions on the movement of the Indian Ambassador to the Maldives. Asked to comment on reports that travel restrictions had been imposed on the Indian High Commissioner, spokesperson of the Ministry of External Affairs Raveesh Kumar said, “I don’t think this information is correct.”According to reports, the Maldives’ Local Government Authority has mandated that foreign diplomats in Male obtain government approval before meeting any Maldivian official. The government suspended three members of a local body allegedly for meeting Indian Ambassador Akhilesh Mishra without permission.However, Ibrahim H. Shihab, International Spokesperson at the President’s office, said the Indian envoy was a friend of the Maldives.“Maldives respects norms of diplomacy and diplomatic engagement and no diplomat posted to the Maldives by any country is restricted in their freedom of movement — anyone making such claims are severely misinformed,” he said.Maldivian Ambassador to Colombo Mohamed Hussain Shareef said all diplomats had to follow the regulations laid down by the host Foreign Ministry and take due permission to travel across the country. Thehindu
Media, Internet projecting sex as culmination of love:Court
New Delhi:A 26-year-old man has been sentenced to 10 years in jail for raping a minor girl, with the court blaming the media and Internet for projecting sex as the culmination of love among youngsters who are yet to reach the “permissible age”.It also said that it was quite evident that the intention of the convict was to have a “good time” with the girl.The observations were made by Additional Sessions Judge Seema Maini, who also slapped a fine of Rs 30,000 on north Delhi resident Neeraj. An amount of Rs 20,000 from the fine would be paid to the 14-year-old girl as compensation.The judge also said that with the advent of the media, telephone, Internet etc., the idea that sex was the culmination of love between a boy and a girl, had become rampant in today’s time.“Girls and boys are often found indulging in such bodily pleasure willingly, before attaining the permissible age of discretion as per law and decide to have physical relations, promising to marry each other later and even when there is no promise or even possibility of marriage between them,” the judge said.PTI
Jairam Thakur to take oath as Himachal CM on Dec 27
Jairam Thakur will be the new Chief Minister of Himachal Pradesh. He was elected BJP MLA Party leader at a meeting on December 24. Thakur will take oath on Dec 27. Senior party leader Prem Kumar Dhumal, who was the party’s chief ministerial face but lost the elections from his constituency of Sujanpur, proposed his name, seconded by ex- Chief Minister Shanta Kumar and Union Minister J.P. Nadda. Thehindu
‘No question of supporting BJP,’ AIUDF chief Ajmal rejects Sushma Swaraj’s request for support
New Delhi;AIUDF chief Badruddin Ajmal on Friday gave a stinging response to External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj, who had asked him to “vote for us” after the former complimented the Indian government for voting in the UN General Assembly against the US decision to recognise Jerusalem as Israel’s capital.“Our vote is always for India, Madam. The day BJP does not differentiate between Majority and Minority community, our vote will be for you,” tweeted Ajmal, who is the chief of AIUDF and Lok Sabha member from Assam’s Dhubri constituency. Indianexpress
Minority tag likely for Lingayats before Karnataka polls
Bengaluru: Karnataka chief minister Siddaramaiah intensified his efforts to capture the centre ground of the Veerashaiva versus Lingayat politics by setting up a seven-member expert committee to examine the demand of the minority status for Lingayats.The move appears to be a precursor to declaring the Lingayats as a minority community within Karnataka.While Siddaramaiah's detractors maintain there is no special provision in the Constitution to create and recognize a new religion, sources close to the CM said the Karnataka State Minorities Commission Act, 1994 allows the government to accord minority status to any community within Karnataka."Backroom discussions with legal experts are under way and that's why the committee was constituted by the Karnataka state minorities commission (KSMC). The probability of Lingayats being declared as minorities before the assembly polls is quite high," sources added. timesofindia
Indian Defence Under Illusion that US is Reliable Security Partner: Ex-Navy Chief Vishnu Bhagwat
Admiral Vishnu Bhagwat, ex-Navy Chief, talks about how our current defence policies focussed on building a partnership with US do not serve our national interests. He explains why Indian and US defence interests differ.US interests are centred on creating global tension since their armament industry is a major contributor to their economic growth. Newsclick
Haj rule change in India leads to sharp rise in female applicants: HT
New Delhi:A record 1,244 Indian women have applied to go for Haj next year after NDA government allowed for the first time Muslim women to undertake the annual pilgrimage to Mecca without the company of a male relative.Till now, Muslim women had to be accompanied by a mehram, usually a husband or a relative to whom marriage is unlawful, for the pilgrimage to Saudi Arabia.Officials in the minority affairs ministry said of the 1,244 applications from single women, 1,016 applications have been accepted so far.In 2017, at least 1.24 lakh Indians went for the pilgrimage, while the total number of applicants was nearly 4.5 lakh. hindustantimes
Palestinian Christian leaders denounce Trump's decision
Palestinian Christian leaders have rejected US President Donald Trump's decision to recognise Jerusalem as Israel's capital, calling it "dangerous" and "insulting".Trump's Dec.6 announcement has sparked protests across the Muslim world and drawn international condemnation. US move is offensive to "Christians and Muslims around the world who consider Jerusalem as an incubator of their most sacred, spiritual and national heritage",Atallah Hanna, the archbishop of Jerusalem's Greek Orthodox church, said in a statement. "We, Palestinians, Christians and Muslims reject the US recognition of Jerusalem as the capital of Israel," he added."The US gave the occupation what it does not deserve."His comments came as Christian Palestinians on Sunday took part in festivities taking place throughout the biblical town on the eve of Christmas.Al Jazeera's Hoda Abdel-Hamid, reporting from Bethlehem, said many Muslims were also attending the annual events in a show of solidarity against Trump's decision."This message of unity is one Palestinians are very adamant to convey, especially while there is this political crisis taking the area by storm," she said.Maher Canavati, a member of Bethlehem's local council, told Al Jazeera the celebrations are intended to deliver "messages of peace, love and understanding"."We want peace with our neighbours [but] we need to be able to share Jerusalem and to have easy access to Jerusalem as Palestinians [as well]."Bethlehem, normally brimming with tourists at this time of year, has been almost empty of visitors in recent days due to nearby confrontations between Israeli forces and Palestinian protesters in the wake of the US decision. "Unfortunately, after the statement of Donald Trump a lot of people were not sure about the security in this area. Many of those who were in the country did not make it to Bethlehem, they stayed in Jerusalem and in the nborthern part of the country," said Canavati."But we are here are celebrating, welcoming everybody - it is very important for us that all of the Christians coming to Bethlehem supporting the Muslim and Christian community here are taken care of."In the Gaza Strip, Palestinian Christians held a vigil to express their support for Jerusalem as Palestine's capital.Al Jazeera's Malcolm Webb, reporting from the besieged territory, said anger at Trump's decision is shared among Christians and the majority-Muslim populating living in the besieged territory."Everyone we have spoken to here is in opposition to the US move, and they say it only adds to the frustration of life here," he said.Some 1,000 Christians live in the Gaza Strip, fewer than half the amount 10 years ago.Rosette Saygh, a Christian still living in Gaza, said  life in the territory has become like a "prison" for those who have remained behind. "Life is very difficult in Gaza, we live under siege and we cannot move anywhere…We have witnessed many wars, during the bombing we had to sleep in the church for safety," she said. Aljazeera
Palestinian Christians slam US Jerusalem recognition
UN vote a ‘strong slap’ for US administration;Meshaal
Former Head of the Hamas Political Bureau, Khaled Meshaal, has described the UN vote against Donald Trump’s move on Jerusalem as a “strong slap from the international community” for the US administration, reported. “The vote in the General Assembly,” said Hamas official, “proved the isolation of the US.” He accused the US of “pride” and a “sense of superiority” when dealing with the international community. “It has a cowboy mindset with business,”he added.MEMO
Israel releases Turkish trio after Jerusalem arrest
An Israeli court has released three Turkish men a day after they were arrested at the entrance to al-Aqsa Mosque compound in the Old City of occupied East Jerusalem.The men were taken into custody on Friday evening. Two of them, Abdullah Kizilirmak and Mehmet Kargili, who are also Belgian citizens, were accused of carrying out an assault on police officers just outside of the compound.The third one, Adem Koc, was accused of "disturbing public order and attending an illegal demonstration". Aljazeera
Israeli abuse against Palestinian minors rises: report
Bethlehem:Fadel Tamimi feared for the worst as he rushed into the hospital.His 15-year-old son, Mohammed, had just been brought there after being shot point-blank in the face by Israeli forces, during last week's protests in Nabi Saleh."I met him at the hospital after he was injured. My wife fainted three times when she saw him," Tamimi told Al Jazeera. "The situation was so horrible."The bullet entered the teen's face below his nose, breaking his jaw before getting lodged in his skull. After undergoing a complex surgery, he was placed in a medically-induced coma.According to the UN, at least 345 Palestinian children were injured between December 5-18 in the wake of Trump's declaration. Aljazeera
Israel seals off entrance to Ramallah district
Israeli forces have indefinitely closed down the northern entrance to the occupied West Bank twin cities of Ramallah and al-Bireh.On Saturday night, amid ongoing protests over US President Donald Trump's decision to recognise Jerusalem as Israel's capital, the Israeli Coordinator of Government Activities in the Territories (COGAT) decided to close off the DCO checkpoint that connects Ramallah to the northern West Bank cities."Israel decides to close the DCO checkpoint until further notice due to the ongoing rioting that is taking place at City Inn roundabout near Ramallah's entrance," noted a statement on Twitter by COGAT, the Israeli military body that administers parts of the West Bank.Aljazeera
Refugee centre condemns decision to strip rights of Palestinian refugees in Iraq
The Palestinian Return Centre (PRC) has condemned Iraq’s decision to strip Palestinian refugees of the rights and benefits that they have enjoyed for decades, Quds Press reported on Friday.According to the London-based PRC, this decision was based on “discrimination” against the Palestinians as it strips them of basic rights such as free education, healthcare and residence. It noted that the decision also strips the Palestinians of the right to have a travel document and excludes them from recruitment in Iraqi state institutions.The PRC called for the Iraqi government to rescind this decision and respect the Palestinian refugees and their rights until they are able to return to their land occupied in 1948.The organisation called on the international community to put pressure on the Iraqi government to cancel the decision and guarantee full rights to all Palestinian refugees, who were given preferential treatment during Saddam’s era, when they enjoyed the same rights as Iraqis apart from citizenship. Middleeastmonitor
63 Gaza border tunnels destroyed in 2017: Egyptian army
Over the course of 2017, the Egyptian army has destroyed 63 cross-border tunnels linking the blockaded Gaza Strip to Egypt’s Sinai Peninsula, the army announced Friday.In a statement, the army also said that more than 6,000 illegal immigrants — of various nationalities — had been detained over the same period.Due to a decade-long blockade by Israel and Egypt, the Gaza Strip’s roughly 2 million inhabitants have come to rely on a sophisticated network of cross-border tunnels to import basic commodities, including food, fuel and medicine. Middleeastmonitor
Federal Judge partially blocks Trump's latest refugee restrictions
Washington:  A federal judge in Seattle partially blocked U.S. President Donald Trump's newest restrictions on refugee admissions on Saturday, the latest legal defeat for his efforts to curtail immigration and travel to the United States.The decision by U.S. District Judge James Robart is the first judicial curb on rules the Trump administration put into place in late October that have contributed significantly to a precipitous drop in the number of refugees being admitted into the country.Refugees and groups that assist them argued in court that the administration's policies violated the Constitution and federal rulemaking procedures, among other claims. Department of Justice attorneys argued in part that U.S. law grants the executive branch the authority to limit refugee admissions in the way that it had done so.On Oct. 24, Trump administration effectively paused refugee admissions from 11 countries mostly in the Middle East and Africa, pending a 90-day security review, which was set to expire in late Jan.A Reuters review of State Dept data showed that as the review went into effect, refugee admissions from the 11 countries plummeted.Robart ruled that the administration could carry out the security review, but that it could not stop processing or admitting refugees from the 11 countries in the meantime, as long as those refugees have a "bona fide" connection to the United States.Reuters
Jailed Saudi royal Alwaleed can buy freedom for $6B
Saudi Prince Alwaleed bin Talal, detained in a corruption probe, can buy his freedom for a price fit for one of the world’s richest men — $6 billion.62-year-old Syracuse University grad was among 11 princes and dozens of foreign ministers rounded up last month amid an investigation led by the kingdom's powerful Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman. Alwaleed would only have to give up a third of his estimated $18.7 billion fortune to win his release from a makeshift prison at the posh Riyadh Ritz-Carlton.But the Saudi royal is instead seeking to persuade the government to accept as payment a large chunk of his company, worth about $8.7 billion, according to The Wall Street Journal. New York Daily News
No sign Rohingya will be allowed back to Myanmar
After facing international outrage and charges of ethnic cleansing, Myanmar made a pledge: Rohingya Muslims who fled the country by the hundreds of thousands would start their journey home within weeks. With so many obstacles, however, and no real sign of goodwill, few believe that will happen.The returns are supposed to be voluntary. But many members of the religious minority, now living in sprawling refugee camps in neighbouring Bangladesh, are afraid to go back. They don’t trust the nationalist-led government and feel widely hated by the general population. Meanwhile, the military — which violently ousted them — says the refugees shouldn’t expect to return in large numbers.Myanmar, a predominantly Buddhist nation of 60 million, was basking in international praise just a few years ago as it transitioned to democracy after a half-century of dictatorship. Since then, a campaign of killings, rape and arson attacks by security forces and Buddhist-aligned mobs have sent more than 850,000 of the country’s 1.3 million Rohingya fleeing.AP
Rohingya: 500,000 unlikely to receive schooling in 2018
A humanitarian organisation has warned of a "lost generation" with more than 500,000 Rohingya refugee children in Bangladesh unlikely to receive schooling in 2018. International Rescue Committee (IRC) said unless interventions are "urgently funded", the humanitarian needs of children will only increase."Education in emergencies is a life-saving and life-changing intervention - helping children recover and cope with the continuing adversity they face," said Sarah Smith, the IRC's senior director for education, on Friday. aljazeera
North Korea slams new UN sanctions as 'act of war'
North Korea has slammed the latest round of UNSC sanctions against Pyongyang as "an act of war" and vowed to consolidate its nuclear programme.In a statement published by the state-run KCNA news agency on Sunday, the foreign ministry said new measures proposed by the US infringe North Korea's sovereignty and violate peace and stability in the Korean Peninsula.Aljazeera
Turkey sacks 2,766 civil servants over 'terror' links
Turkey has dismissed 2,766 people from their posts in state institutions over alleged links to "terror" organisations, according to an emergency decree published in the country's official legal database.On Sunday, a decree in the Official Gazette said 637 military, 360 gendarmerie personnel, 61 police and four coastguard members were among those sacked.Some 341 people were dismissed from the Directorate of Religious Affairs. aljazeera
When PM Modi Hit a New Low in Gujarat, Needs Lessons from Lohia and Nehru:Justice Rajindar Sachar
Criminalising Triple Talaq: Can this be the Way Forward?Women’s Rights activist and lawyer, Kirti Singh
            Parliament cannot punish Muslim man for triple talaq, already declared as illegal by the SC: Prof.Bhim Singh
Trump's UN Jerusalem failure a 'gift to Iran': Haaretz daily
Palestinian refugees in Lebanon denied many rights: Zeina Khodr

Compiled and edited by Anwarulhaq (Released at: 7:02 PM)


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