16 January 2018

16 Jan.ND: After Haj subsidy scrapped: Spotlight on state-funded Hindu pilgrimages, including Rs 2,500 Crore by UP govt for Ardh Kumbh/ Judge Loya case: SC adjourns hearing, stresses on transparency; tells Maharashtra govt to give medical docs to petitioners

16 Jan.2018: 28 Rabial Aakhir 1439:Vol:9, No:99
Modi govt ends Haj subsidy, says will use funds to empower minorities
New Delhi:In a big move, Govt  today withdrew subsidy for Haj pilgrims. Minority Affairs Minister Mukhtar Abbas Naqvi made this announcement. The minister added that “Haj subsidy funds will be used for educational empowerment of girls and women of minority community.” He also told reporters that despite the subsidy withdrawal, a record number of 1.75 lakh Muslims will undertake the pilgrimage this year.The decision to abolish Haj subsidy comes day after Govt  allowed Muslim women, above the age of 45, to go on haj without male guardian, in a group of at least 4.Ministry of Minority Affairs had, last year, constituted a committee to review the existing Haj policy and suggest a framework for a new Haj policy for 2018-22.Naqvi also said that Saudi Govt has in principle agreed to allow Haj journey from India by ships and officials of the 2 countries will sit together to finalise the modalities. “This is part of our policy to empower minorities with dignity and without appeasement,” Naqvi told reporters and cited a host of measures for the welfare of minorities.Haj subsidy is given to Muslim Hajj pilgrims by Govt in form of discounted fares on Air India. It also includes assistance to Muslim pilgrims for domestic travel to reach specially designed Haj departure airport terminals, medical cares, lodging assistance and meal. In 2008, total subsidy provided by Govt was US$1,815 per Muslim pilgrim.
Haj subsidy withdrawn,Govt says Muslims didn't benefit from it
Haj Subsidy: Modi Govt  ends Haj subsidy for Muslims -ends-haj-subsidy-for-muslims-says-wont-affect-cost-of-travel-to-mecca/1017463/
Centre ends Haj subsidy as part of policy to 'empower minorities without appeasement' -ends-subsidy-for-haj-pilgrims/articleshow/62523061.cms
After Haj subsidy scrapped: Spotlight on state-funded Hindu pilgrimages, including Rs 2,500 Crore by UP govt for Ardh Kumbh
Govt has withdrew the subsidy to Hajj pilgrims in accordance to a 2012 Supreme Court order that asked to phase out the scheme in a time period of ten years.The government move to divert the subsidy money to the welfare of the minority community is welcomed by the Muslim bodies who considered the money allocated for the purpose "Unislamic".Due to various concerns--regarding pilgrim safety, basic amenities-- the govt has been providing monetory assistance to various pilgrims. Very recently, Delhi govt proposed that a total of 77,000 pilgrims will be able to avail the facility every year MP govt subsidises various pilgrimages for senior citizens and their attendants under the same scheme. MP is the only state that subsidises travel to holy places in Pakistan (Nankana Saheb Shrine and Hinglaj Mata temple), China (Kailash Man Sarovar), Cambodia (Angkor Vat) and Sri Lanka (Sita Mandir and Ashok Vatika).Apart from Delhi, several other states like Chhattisgarh, Gujarat, Karnataka, Madhya Pradesh and Uttarakhand provide money to residents going on the Manasarovar yatra to cover a part of the expenses, which amount to about Rs 1.5 lakh each. According to official figures, the government has spent Rs 691 crore as Haj subsidy for 2013-14 and Rs 836 crore in 2012-13. In 2017, Haj subsidy was reduced by Rs 200 crore, from Rs 408 crore in 2016.At present, the Union government spends crores of rupees as subsidies directly or indirectly for pilgrims of different beliefs visiting various religious shrines. The major pilgrimage destinations receiving assistance from Centre include the Kailash Mansarovar Yatra and the Haj pilgrimage to Mecca and Medina. While the Kailash Mansarovar Yatra is currently organised under a bilateral arrangement with the Chinese government, the Indian government pays around Rs 6,000 towards boarding and accommodation of each pilgrim. Yatra is organised by the government, which spends money on security and health facilities for the pilgrims.Hindu megafest Kumbh, however, remains at the top of the spending list. Organised at four places in Haridwar, allahabad, Nashik and Ujjain, Kumbh-- which is also prone to many accidents-- receives maximum fund for preparations.n 2016, the event got a massive boost from the central govt. Union Culture ministry set aside Rs 100 crore for the Simhastha Mahakumbh in Ujjain on top of state government's allocated Rs 3,400 crore.Yogi led govt in UP last year announced that it will spend a massive fund of Rs 2500 crore for the preparations of Ardh Kumbh mela shceduled to be held in 2019. outlookindia
Hope govt honours SC direction to use Haj subsidy money for uplift of minorities: Cong
New Delhi:While noting that the decision of the Govt to abolish the Haj subsidy was pursuant to a 2012 Supreme Court order, the Congress expressed the hope that the Centre would also implement the second part of the apex court order -- to use the subsidy amount for the development and uplift of the minorities. AICC senior spokesperson and Leader of the Opposition in the Rajya Sabha Ghulam Nabi Azad said, ''the withdrawal of the Haj subsidy is as per the directions of a Supreme Court bench in 2012 headed by J Aftab Alam, directing abolition of Haj subsidy within 10 years.''The Govt has withdrawn the Haj subsidy four years before the date prescribed by the Supreme Court.We have no issue with it.Now that the first part of the Supreme Court judgement has been implemented by the government, I am sure that the second part of the judgement will also be implemented.UNI
UP removes Haj Committee secy after saffron paint row
Lucknow: Yogi Adityanath Govt  removed R P Singh from the post of UP  Haj Committee secretary following the controversy over the saffron paint on Haj office boundary wall. Govt  had earlier issued a notice to Singh, seeking an explanation on who ordered its office boundary wall to be painted saffron and why it was subsequently repainted."RP Singh, who is joint director in the minority welfare directorate, has been removed from his additional post of secretary, UP Haj Committee, with immediate effect," an office order issued by Principal Secretary (Minority Affairs) Monika S Garg said.Vineet Srivastav, an assistant director in the minority welfare directorate, will take charge as secretary, UP Haj Committee, the order added. UP's minister of state for Muslim Waqf and Haj, Mohsin Raza had earlier directed his department's principal secretary to get a clarification from Singh on the circumstances of the painting and repainting of the wall, which he said were not clear.Raza said the media has raised a number of queries about the incident. A 7-point notice was issued to UP Haj Committee's secretary.The notice sought clarifications on the rules under which the maintenance and painting work of Haj Committee office was done. It also sought to know on whose orders the boundary wall was painted for the first time."When a saffron coat was already given, then under which circumstances there was a need to change the colour, and on whose orders was the colour changed?" the notice said."Who is responsible for the second coat of paint, and who will bear the cost for the second coat of paint," it asked.outlookindia
UP  govt notice to Haj Committee: Why was saffron wall repainted?
‘Increase’ in Haj quota , Naqvi makes ‘false claims’ after returning from Umrah
New Delhi: Union Minister for Minority Affairs Mukhtar Abbas Naqvi on Tuesday claimed that India’s Haj quota “increased for the consecutive” second year because of “growing popularity” of the PM Narendra Modi and for “the first time” after the Independence, a record number of 1 lakh 75 thousand will go for Haj 2018. However, contradicting the Minister’s claim, a former Central Haj Committee chairman underlined the fact that the Saudi Govt has only “restored the old quota of all countries” including India.Naqvi, who returned from Saudi Arabia after signing the new Haj agreement with the Saudi Haj and Auqaf Affairs Ministry, has tried to give a political spin to the Haj issue by claiming restoration of old Haj quota as “Increased quota”.Contradicting the minister’s claim, a former Haj Committee of India chairman said on condition of anonymity that it is unfortunate that “the minister has also not been sparing the religious issue like Haj for his petty politics.” Last year also, the minister had made such “hyperbole claim” to mislead the people while the reality was that the Saudi Arabia Govt had restored the Haj quota of all other countries, including that of Pakistan and it had nothing to do the PM Modi’s so-called popularity in the Arab world, he said.Echoing this, Jeddah-based senior Indian journalist Siraj Wahab also told Muslim Mirror that Haj quota of all countries across the world had been slashed by 20 % for the last four years because of the Haram expansion work. When the Makkah Holy Mosque expansion work was completed the respective quota had been restored to what it was four years ago by Saudi Govt last year.The former chairman also pointed out that during first two years of the present Govt  the Haj quota was remained the same which was about 1, 36,020 because of expansion activities in Makkah.siasat/ Muslim mirror
High drama in parliamentary panel meet over Air India disinvestment
New Delhi: Most members of a parliamentary panel sought the withdrawal of a draft report opposing the disinvestment of Air India at a stormy meeting on Monday, prompting some opposition leaders to walk out in protest.Sources who were present in the meeting told PTI that the Parliamentary Standing Committee on Transport, Tourism and Culture decided to withdraw the contentious draft report.The panel’s chairman and Trinamool Congress leader Derek O’Brien was not present at the meeting and it was chaired by Bharatiya Janata Party member Rakesh Singh. It could not be independently confirmed whether the panel, in the absence of its chairman, could decide to withdraw a report.Without going into details, O’Brien said, “Parliament and parliamentary institutions are being destroyed by this Govt. They (BJP) need counselling”. When asked about the developments at the meeting, he said proceedings related to parliamentary panel cannot be discussed with the media.In its draft report, the committee had said it was not an appropriate time to divest stake in Air India and that the airline should be given at least five years to revive.Out of the 31-member panel, 16 had given in writing their opposition to adopting the draft report. The majority of these members, who are in favour of selling the Govt ’s stake in the national carrier, are from the ruling BJP.Strongly objecting to withdrawal of the report, three opposition members – Kumari Shelja (Congress), Arpita Ghosh(TMC) and Ritabrata Banerjee, who was removed from Communist Party of India (Marxist) – walked out of the meeting, sources said.All the three members said the officiating chairman had acted in a dictatorial manner and asserted that only the full-time chairman had the power to withdraw a report, sources said.PTI
Judge Loya death case: SC asks Maharashtra govt to give petitioners access to ‘confidential’ documents
New Delhi: The Supreme Court adjourned the hearing on 2 petitions seeking an independent probe into the death of CBI Special Judge Brijmohan Loya in 2014. The court has not fixed any specific date for the next hearing in the case.The petitions were filed in the top court last Thursday and allocated to Justices Arun Mishra and Mohan M Shantanagoudar next day who sought the Maharashtra Govt’s response on the pleas by Jan.15. The hearing was deferred to Tuesday as Justice Shantanagoudar was not available.In today’s hearing, in response to senior advocate Harish Salve, who appeared for Maharashtra, placing documents relating to Loya’s death in a sealed envelope before the court, 2-judge bench directed him to supply documents to petitioners. Justice Mishra observed it was “a matter where they should see everything”.The petitioners in the case are Maharashtra-based journalist BR Lone and Congress leader Tehseen Poonawalla. Lone sought a fair probe into the alleged mysterious death of Loya. Poonawalla, in his plea, called the death of the judge “questionable, mysterious and contradicting”. indian express
Judge Loya case: SC adjourns hearing, stresses on transparency; tells Maharashtra govt to give medical docs to petitioners
Loya’s Death Was Premeditated Murder: Late Judge’s Friend Uday Gaware
New Delhi: Justice BH Loya’s friend from law college, Uday Gaware, while speaking at a public meeting organised by the All India People’s Forum, an association of different civil society and political groups, stunned everyone when he said that the judge’s death was “premeditated murder”.The meeting, held at at New Delhi’s Indian Social Institute, was called “Suspicious Death of Judge: Implications for Democracy”. It was addressed by Caravan Magazine’s Niranjan Takle, the journalist who broke the story, the magazine’s political editor Hartosh Singh Bal, former judge of the Bombay high court BG Kolse Patil, senior advocate Indira Jaising and Gaware, who is a member of Latur bar association.Speaking in front of a packed house, the speakers demanded a probe and raised concerns over whether the executive was trying to influence the judiciary in any way.The Wire
Demand for Fair Probe in Death of Justice Loya
New Delhi: A public meeting organized by AIPF, which is a CPI-ML unit, at ISI (Indian Social Institute) saw stakeholders coming together to demand a fair probe in the death of Justice B.H. Loya. Speaker after speaker stressed on judicial crisis and the atmosphere of fear in country.Taking a potshot at TV channels like Republic and Times Now in a not-so-hidden-barb, Kavita Krishnan,CPI-ML, made it clear in her introductory remark that she “…doesn’t believe in sensationalism unlike the TV channels which stoke fire.” Linking the death of Justice Loya with the press conference of four senior SC Judges, she stressed on the need to restore faith in democratic institutions. What supposedly was a public meeting turned out to be a press conference with the audience largely of reporters and camera crews. It, however, was the panel of speakers that made the event significant, more so in light of the recent press conference of 21-year-old Anuj Loya, son of deceased Judge Loya where he stated that his father had died a natural death. Journalist Niranjan Takle, lawyer Indira Jaising, Advocate Uday Gaware (close friend of Judge Loya), Justice (Retd.) B.G. Kolse Patil (social activist) and Hartosh Bal (Political Editor at The Caravan) were the panelists at this meeting.Takle addressed the accusation against him, “kuch log kehne lage ki Niranjan dar gaya kyuki mera phone band tha. Darta toh story hi nhi karta” (Some people said that Niranjan was afraid as his phone was switched off. Would not have done the story in the first place if I felt scared). Sharing the backdrop of the story that he broke, Takle recounted the first meeting with Loya’s niece Nupur in Pune who came with a common friend to the hotel where he was staying. Niranjan Takle asked her to convince her mother for a video interview, which would enhance the story.thecitizen
Fresh demand for probe into Justice Loya's death
"Sad and deplorable" BJP attacks judiciary through RSS functionaries
New Delhi: Taking exception to an RSS leader's criticism of Supreme Court judges' move against CJI, Congress on accused BJP of attacking judiciary through "RSS functionaries" and told it not to "muddle and polarise" the issue. "Sad and deplorable! BJP attacks judiciary through RSS functionaries. All the 'Nation' wants is the issues raised by the senior-most judges to be resolved, but for which 'democracy' is in peril. BJP Govt should help resolution than muddle and polarise," Congress leader Randeep Singh Surjewala said in a tweet. J. Nandakumar, Akhil Bharatiya Sah Boudhik Pramukh of the RSS, was reported to have accused the four judges of hatching a "perfect political conspiracy" in a Facebook comment he posted on Jan.3. According to news reports, in his post written in Malayalam, Nandakumar questioned the "critical timing" of the judges' press conference and termed it as an attack on the "uncompromising faith of the people in the judicial system" and the judges' of "poisoning the waters". IANS
Top RSS Leader Finds Congress Ploy In Judges’ Open Criticism Against CJI, Seeks Action Against Them
4 judges who criticised CJI Misra not on Bench that will hear 7 key matters
New Delhi: 3 days after 4 senior judges questioned the conduct of CJI Dipak Misra in the allocation of cases, the Supreme Court Monday put out a list of seven cases which will be heard by a Constitution Bench starting Jan. 18. Not one of the four judges — Justices J Chelameswar, Ranjan Gogoi, Madan B Lokur and Kurian Joseph — figure in this Bench.The Constitution Bench, formed earlier to hear the matter of the challenge to Aadhaar, comprises CJI Misra and Justices A K Sikri, A M Khanwilkar, D Y Chandrachud and Ashok Bhushan.It will now take up for hearing the challenge to criminalisation of homosexuality (Section 377 case); restrictions on entry of women into the Sabarimala temple; the question raised by a Parsi woman that bars her entry into a fire temple because she had married outside her religion; a petition challenging the adultery provision in the Indian Penal Code which says a woman cannot be punished for adultery, and only the man can be punished; and a petition on whether legislators facing criminal cases should be disqualified at the stage of charges being framed against them. 6th petition before Bench concerns taxation while seventh deals with consumer law. indianexpress
CJI Forms Constitution Bench to Hear 8 Crucial Cases, Keeps Revolting Judges Out

CJI extends olive branch to 'rebel' judges but it may not be enough to contain trust deficit
Media reports indicate that CJI has reached out to his four dissenting colleagues and held a 15-minute meeting on Tuesday to sort out their "differences". They will meet again. This is a welcome step.It will be interesting to note the outcome of the meetings, given the seriousness of the charge that the 'rebel' judges had brought against the CJI. It is difficult to see how an "amicable solution" may still emerge. If the judges fall in line, their dissent will be deemed pointless and an exercise in vanity that did little else other than robbing the Supreme Court of its veneer of respectability. If they don't, we are in for a protracted crisis.However, we must not get ahead of the story. For now, "heart-to-heart" chat is slated to resume on Wednesday. At this stage, it is still unclear whether the four rebel judges have achieved their purpose in approaching the media. What is already clear though is that public perception about the Judiciary and the land's highest court has taken a severe beating. firstpost
Prashant Bhushan asks an internal inquiry in SC against CJI over medical scam allegations
New Delhi:Senior Advocate Prashant Bhushan has asked the Supreme Court to institute an in-house judicial inquiry against CJI Dipak Misra against allegations of misconduct against the latter.In a letter addressed to the 4 of SC’s most senior judges days after they called a press conference accusing the CJI of arbitrarily allocating work to colleagues, Bhushan, convenor of Campaign for Judicial Accountability and Reforms' (CJAR), said CJI Misra should have resigned over the allegations. Among the allegations Bhushan’s NGO wants investigated against Misra is his handling of a controversial medical college scam in which CJI Misra himself is an “interested party”. Other cases include a controversial land allotment made to the CJI when he was a practising lawyer in Odisha. The allotment was later rescinded, allegedly over fraudulent information he had provided in his affidavit. Bhushan claimed that there was enough prima facie evidence in the medical college scam case to establish that bribes were paid by the management to influence the case, although he made it clear that there was no clear evidence against CJI Misra. “The court did a number of flip-flops. First, it allowed the case to be withdrawn from it and allowed the Allahabad High Court to take it up. It later reversed the high court judgement and allowed a fresh plea,” Bhushan said at the press conference.He said the Central Bureau of Investigation had approached the CJI to allow a case to be registered against the high court judge who allegedly took a bribe of Rs 1 crore to give a judgement in favour of the college management. “When the Supreme Court set aside the high court order, he (the judge) was to return the bribe money,” he said. The CBI then intercepted the conversations, and asked the CJI for permission to catch the judge red-handed, but was turned down.He said that the case in the Supreme Court was later transferred from a Bench of senior senior judges already hearing the case, including Justice Chelameswar, to three-member Bench of junior judges.He however said that CBI should not investigate the allegations because it could compromise independence of the judiciary. The Govt  could use the evidence to blackmail the court, he said, instead calling for an internal inquiry into the allegations.He also said that the complaint had not been sent to the CJI because it would amount to conflict of interest.Tribune News
No Solution Found Yet To Problems Facing Top Court: Justice Chelameswar
“There is nothing to be settled because it is not a dispute,” Senior Supreme Court Judge Justice J Chemaswar told BloombergQuint in an exclusive interview, referring to the rift in India’s top court that prompted four senior judges to call an unprecedented press conference on Jan. 12Earlier in the day, CJI Dipak Misra met the four judges who had publicly questioned him for what they called selectively assigning matters of national importance to judges.“It is a problem and the solution needs to be found. And nothing has been found so far,” Justice Chemaswar said.bloombergquint
Veiled attack on Modi? Togadia claims being targeted by Central, Rajasthan, Gujarat agencies
Vishwa Hindu Parishad working President Pravin Togadia, who allegedly went missing, has made startling claims in a press conference he addressed in Ahmedabad this morning. Stunning all, Togadia said there was a conspiracy hatched against him by police. He even claimed of receiving a tip-off about the encounter. Togadia, without naming Narendra Modi or any other BJP leader, alleged Central, Rajasthan and Gujarat Govt  agencies are working against him. Both Gujarat and Rajasthan have BJP Govt s. He also appealed the police to not to work under political pressure. He termed last night events as a conspiracy to muzzle his voice. Here are some of the claims made by Togadia in today’s press conference:– Received Tip-off about the arrest from Rajasthan and Gujarat police: “I left office when I came to know that Rajasthan police had come to arrest me. I left office thinking my arrest would lead to chaos. I switched off my phone and went to Thaltej to an activists’ office.” He further alleged that conspiracy is being hatched against him to muzzle his voice. He also expressed fear from Enforcement Directorate.– “While I was offering Pooja yesterday morning, one person entered my office and said that I will be killed in police encounter,” Togadia said.– Togadia broke down: He became emotional and broke down while narrating the purported ordeal he went through. Asked about how did he went missing, Togadia said he was on his way to the airport when he fell unconscious near Kotarpur. “I contacted all my advocates in Gujarat and Rajasthan. They advised me to surrender before court. So I left for the airport to reach Jaipur. On the way, I fell near Kotarpur. I don’t remember anything else. I was alone covering myself with a shawl to dodge police,” he was quoted as saying.– Togadia further requested police to not work under political pressure as he has done nothing wrong. “I am not escaping. I have no complaints with Gujarat or Rajasthan police. All I have to say to Gujarat police that why were you going to search my room. Am I a criminal. Have not done anything wrong. I request Crime Branch not to get under political pressure,” he said.– Attempt to suppress the voice: “I am being targeted for a decade old case, there is an attempt to suppress my voice. Rajasthan Police team came to arrest me. Someone told me plan was being made to kill me in an encounter,” he said.financialexpress
Plan Being Hatched To Kill Me In Encounter: Togadia Day After He Went 'Missing' And Found
Families leave Naroda Gam for safer places
Ahmedabad: Even as VHP's president, Togadia was traced to Chandramani Hospital in Shahibuagh on Monday, rumours spreading throughout the day reminded the victims of Naroda Gam of the large scale violence in 2002 post Godhra riots.Fear gripped the entire area with about 50 families, who had suffered in the 2002 post Godhra violence, leaving their houses to take shelter at different places in Gandhinagar, Ramol with their relatives. Sharif Malek, a witness to the 2002 riots, said that residents of locality had approached Naroda police station to seek security, but they were informed that the security cover could be provided only after 11 pm."They panicked and did not want to wait for the protection to come so late in the evening and shifted to other areas," Malek said.It was not just the riot victims who had felt shaken after VHP supporters stopped vehicles at different places in the city but the rumours which started after that gripped the entire city."We got calls from different places asking us whether there were riots in the city. Though they were just rumours we have deployed sufficient security in sensitive areas," said a police official.TOI
Not Hindutva but Hindustan is certainly in danger: Hardik
Ahmedabad: Patidar leader- Hardik Patel met VHP president Pravin Togadia- who had mysteriously gone disappeared for around 12 hours on Monday. After meeting Togadia, Hardik stated that not Hindutva but Hindustan (India) is in danger. "I do not believe that Hindtuva is in danger but I firmly believe that chief of the Hindu organisation is in danger. I must say that farmers are in danger and unemployed youths are in danger. Thus entire Hindustan (India) is in danger. People know who conspired this plan of making Togadia disappeared," said Hardik before reporters on being asked if he thinks that 'Hindutva' is in danger. timesofindia
Adivasi our core identity, says Bhagwat at event boycotted by most tribal leaders
Raipur:With All leaders of Chhattisgarh tribal organisation Sarva Adivasi Samaj — barring its vice-president — boycotting the event, RSS chief Mohan Bhagwat on Monday addressed a rally in Raipur and said that tribals are the core of identity for Indians.“When we say adivasi, then that is our core identity. We are their children,” Bhagwat said during his 50-minute address before a gathering of RSS workers.While Sarva Adivasi Samaj vice-president Mohan Tekam was the chief guest, other leaders had on Sunday announced their decision to boycott the event. They accused the RSS of attempting to fuse together Hindu and adivasi identities.indianexpress
Presence of NSA at BJP meet a violation of norms: CPI(M)
New Delhi:CPI(M) has asked the Govt  to clarify why NSA Ajit Doval was present at BJP’s meeting on upcoming assembly polls in three northeastern states, alleging that it was a violation of norms.A party statement said it was reported by sections of media that the meeting was held on Sunday at Home Minister Rajnath Singh’s residence attended by the BJP and the RSS leaders to discuss about the elections in Tripura, Meghalaya and Nagaland.It said the media had reported that national security adviser also attended the meeting. “If correct, this is a shocking violation of norms and serious misconduct”, it claimed. Left party asked the home minister to clarify the Govt’s stand on the issue.“How can a senior Govt  functionary like NSA be present in a meeting to discuss the BJP’s election campaign? Union Home Minister must immediately clarify” the statement said.PTI
US trying to convince us that India is not a threat: Pak minister
Islamabad:US has been trying to convince Pakistan that India was not a threat to it and Islamabad should change its strategic stance towards New Delhi, defence minister Khurram Dastagir Khan has said.He also said that it is time for a courteous yet "ruthlessly candid dialogue" with the US "with everything on the table" to remove all misunderstandings between Islamabad and Washington.Reading out a policy statement on the Govt 's foreign policy contours and the security situation in Pakistan in the National Assembly yesterday, he regretted that the US played down India's aggressive posturing along the LoC and Working Boundary, Dawn reported.He said the perception of India was one of the foundational divergences between Pakistan and the US. "It's time for a courteous yet ruthlessly candid dialogue between Pakistan and the US with everything on the table," the defence minister said.Khan said that Washington had been trying to convince Pakistan that India was not a threat and, therefore, Islamabad should change its strategic stance."But the truism remains true. Both India's capacity and intents are today hostile towards Pakistan," he alleged.Pakistan accuses India of using Afghan soil for carrying out hostile activities against it,a charge India has dismissed.PTI
India using Afghan to carry out hostile activities: Pakistan
JNU deploys guards to thwart student union’s boycott
New Delhi,: JNU administration deployed guards outside several schools on Monday to thwart the student union’s call for boycotting lectures to oppose the mandatory attendance decision imposed recently.The administration wrote to the campus security agency to deploy “enough number of security guards” to not let the striking students detain others from attending classes.“JNUSU (JNU Students’ Union) has given a strike call on Jan. 15. In past, during such events they have forcefully stopped the entry and exit of students and faculties to their respective classrooms and school building.“Hence, you are instructed to deploy enough number of security guards (both male and female) so that entry of any of students and faculty may not be forcefully stopped by the strikers. You are further instructed to deploy some guards in civil dress and instruct them to videograph if any unruly situation arises,” the Registrar’s letter read.IANS
Keralite who tried to ‘sell’ wife to IS denies charges
Jeddah: Muhammed Riyaz, accused of seducing a 25-year-old Hindu woman, converting her to Islam to marry her and then trying to smuggle her to Syria as an IS sex slave, denied the allegations against him at a press conference in Jeddah on Sunday night.NIA has evinced interest in this case -- it has similarities to the 'love jihad' Hadiya case currently being heard by the Supreme Court - and has informed the Kerala high court that it will probe the case if the court permits.Riyaz, 26, and his father Abdul Rasheed, natives of Parimadam near Tellicherry in Kannur district, said the charges of forced conversion and the attempt to send his wife to Syria are baseless and are ready to face any investigation in the case.timesofindia
J&K police team visits AMU
Meerut: A 4-member team of the J&K  police began a probe into the activities of AMU research scholar, Mannan Basheer Wani, who is said to have joined a terror outfit. Wani hails from Lolab in Kupwara.The team from Kupwara district, headed by SI Zahoor Wani, visited AMU campus with a questionnaire.The team also visited the hostel room where Wani stayed.the hindu
Army Chief Remarks on Madrassas, Mosques Rock J&K Assembly
Jammu:Protests erupted in J&K  Assembly over Army chief’s remarks as the opposition NC created ruckus and walked out of the House demanding statement from the Govt  over the issue. Army Chief Gen Bipin Rawat had on Friday said social media and Govt  schools in the state were spreading a “disinformation campaign” resulting in radicalisation of youths.In his statement, he had also called for “some control” over mosques and madrassas in the state and suggested a “major revamp” of the education system.As the house assembled for the day, members of NC stood up and raised the issue of remarks of Gen Rawat and sought statement from the CM  Mehbooba Mufti or any other minister.Notably, the Education Minister of J&K , Altaf Bukhari had then accused the Army of “meddling in the state’s affairs”.PTI
Increase in abduction cases in J&K  in 2017: Govt /story-vT9K8FIcY0DU3dA80T2UYO.html                    
Jammu:J&K  witnessed increase in cases of kidnapping of women and girls as compared to 2016, the state Govt  said on Tuesday.As many as 877 cases of abduction of girls and women have been registered last year, in comparison to 775 cases in 2016, J&K  CM  Mehbooba Mufti said in a written reply to question of PDP’s Anjum Fazili in Assembly.She added that 534 people were arrested in abduction cases last year, while the number of arrests in 2016 were 479.PTI
Dalit Man Beaten Up In Muzaffarnagar, Attackers Shoot, Circulate Video
Muzaffarnagar:  A video of a Dalit man being brutally beaten by a group of people is doing the rounds in Muzaffarnagar district in UP  that was seared by clashes between Hindus and Muslims four year ago.The man, Vipin Kumar, is in hospital after the attack, which took place on Saturday. The police say they have filed a case and are looking for the culprits - a job that won't be easy since the video does not show their faces.  Kumar was returning from his shop on his motorcycle, when he was ambushed by the group. In the video, the men can be seen repeatedly hitting Kumar with sticks and abusing him. Towards the end, they forced him to chant the names of gods and goddesses.The attack, the police suspect, is retaliation to a recent episode of vandalism in which a group of young Dalit men had visited the homes of people in their community and tore off the pictures of Gods and Goddess from walls and removed all idols. In their place, they had left photographs of Dalit icon Bhimrao Ambedkar.Vipin, who reports suggest, belongs to the Dalit organisation Bhim Army, was one of the group. He and a few others were arrested after members of some local right-wing groups, filed a complaint with the police. He had been released on bail a few days ago.ndtv
Israeli PM visits iconic Taj Mahal, to inaugurate Raisina Dialogue later
Israeli PM  Benjamin Netanyahu along with his wife Sara today visited 17th century Mughal monument Taj Mahal. Netanyahu was received by UP CM Yogi Adityanath at the Kheria Airport.  He was accorded a traditional welcome by Braj folk artists on his arrival at the airport, the CM ’s office said on Twitter. The Israeli PM  is scheduled to inaugurate the third edition of the geo-political conference, ‘Raisina Dialogue’, in Delhi later today.The inaugural ceremony of the third edition of the geo- political conference, ‘Raisina Dialogue’ will also be attended by PM  Narendra Modi and External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj. 3-day event has an impressive line-up of more than 150 speakers and over 550 delegates.  Army chief General Bipin Rawat and Navy chief Admiral Sunil Lanba will also address a session, along with Admiral Harry Harris, Commander, US Pacific Command, General Chris Deverell, Joint Forces Commander, UK, among others, the statement said. “Former Afghanistan president Hamid Karzai, former PM  of Canada Stephen Harder and former PM  of Sweden Carl Bildt are among more than 150 speakers and over 550 delegates from around 90 countries who are participating in the dialogue,” it said.india tv news
Cops deny permission for anti-Netanyahu protest in Mumbai
Mumbai: 2 days before Israeli PM  Benjamin Netanyahu's scheduled visit to Mumbai, city police denied some Muslim groups permission to hold a protest meet against him at Azad Maidan on Monday. India Palestine Solidarity Forum, a group supported by left parties, though, insisted that it would go ahead and hold a protest meet on Thursday."We wanted to hold a peaceful protest meeting at Azad Maidan but as the police didn't allow it, we protested near Minara Masjid," said Asif Sardar of Rehmani Group.Saeed Noorie of Raza Academy, which joined the protest, said Muslims and all other "peace-loving" Indians were against his visit to India because of Israel's "continued occupation of Palestine's territory and persecution of Palestinian people".TOI
Mumbai Police deny permission to groups for protesting against Israel PM
Malegaon blast : Special NIA court likely to frame charges against Sadhvi Pragya, Purohit on 7 Feb
Mumbai: A special NIA court is likely to frame charges against Sadhvi Pragya Singh Thakur, Lieutenant Colonel Prasad Purohit and six other accused in the 2008 Malegaon blasts case on 7 Feb.The matter was listed on Monday. As the judge was unavailable, the case was adjourned to 7 Feb.PTI
Rajasthan Hate Crime: Afrazul's Murder on Babri Demolition Day Isn't Coincidence, Says Family
Kolkata: A month after Afrazul Khan, a migrant worker from Bengal's Malda, was killed in Rajasthan's Rajsamand district his family is alleging "a larger conspiracy" behind the murder.The victim's relatives allege that Afrazul, who was slain with an axe and then set on fire on 6 Dec.last year, was killed by right wing group members to observe 'Shaurya Divas' that marked the 25th anniversary of Babri Masjid demolition in Ayodhya in 1992.The video of 50-year-old Afrazul's horrific murder, where the victim could be heard screaming for mercy, was recorded and posted on a social network website by a civil contractor Shambhulal Regar. Police later arrested the accused and filed a chargesheet.Speaking to News18 from Sayedpur village in Malda, Afrazul's cousin, Nur Islam, said: "The accused Shambhulal Regar's allegation that he killed Afrazul for ‘love jihad’ is false and fabricated. He made the ‘love jihad’ excuse to gain the sympathy of right wing groups.""After Afrazul was killed, we conducted our own inquiry through other migrant labourers from Malda who were in Rajsamand and came to know that it was an attempt to bring notice to Babri Masjid demolition on 6 Dec.. Regar’s mother is also a daily wage labourer and it is possible that someone approached him with money for the job. There are reports that a day after the killing there was a transaction in Regar’s bank account; the amount was a few lakh of rupees. We want to know who had deposited the amount in his account and why?" asked Nur Islam.Asked about the girl from Regar's locality in Rajsamand who fled and married a Malda youth, Nur Islam said, "That is a separate case and has no relation with Afrazul. Regar is sensing that he could be behind jail for life for his crime and is trying to misguide the police with this 'love jihad' angle and is accusing Afrazul of helping the girl to flee home. This is completely false and I was told that even the Rajasthan police mentioned this in their charge-sheet."News18
Rohingya refugees to return 'within two years'
UN has raised concern over the return of hundreds of thousands of Rohingya refugees, who fled a military crackdown in Myanmar's Rakhine State, within the next two years as agreed upon by Bangladesh and Myanmar.As part of a repatriation deal signed by the two Asian neighbours in November last year, Bangladesh and Myanmar officials at a joint meeting in Naypyidaw on Tuesday agreed on plans to facilitate the return of those displaced since August."Much work remains to be done in the context of the Rohingya refugee situation to ensure that any potential returns are voluntary, that they occur in conditions of safety and dignity, and that they are sustainable," said Caroline Gluck, senior public information officer for UNHCR, UN's refugee agency."The protection of the Rohingya refugees must be guaranteed both in Bangladesh and upon their return to Myanmar," she told Al Jazeera in an emailed response.Earlier, Bangladesh's foreign ministry said in a statement that "the repatriation would be completed preferably within two years from its commencement".Under the arrangement, Bangladesh would establish five transit camps from where returnees would be received initially in two reception centres on the Myanmar side, the statement revealed.Some 1,550 refugees will be sent back each week, which will add up to approximately 156,000 over a period of 2 years."Myanmar has reiterated its commitment to stop the outflow of Myanmar residents to Bangladesh," Bangladesh foreign ministry said. The deal does not specify when repatriation will be commenced, but agrees to provide temporary shelter to the returning Rohingya and building houses for them later.More than 650,000 Rohingya have fled to neighbouring Bangladesh since August 25, when Myanmar's army launched a bloody crackdown in response to attacks on border posts by the armed group, Arakan Rohingya Salvation Army.Refugees who crossed the border reported mass killings, gang rapes and arson, prompting the UN and rights groups to accuse Myanmar's army of possible crimes against humanity.The mainly Muslim minority, who live primarily in Rakhine State, is not recognised as an ethnic group in Myanmar, despite having lived there for generations. They have been denied citizenship and are rendered stateless.Many refugees living in camps in Bangladesh have also raised fears about returning to Myanmar.aljazeera
Bangla, Myanmar aim to finish Rohingya return in 2 yrs
Israel plans for railway connecting it with Saudi
Israeli Govt has begun preparing plans to build a railway linking Israel with Saudi Arabia to transfer goods and people, Al-Araby Al-Jadeed reported.Reporting the Israeli newspaper Yedioth Ahronoth, the London-based website said that the $4.5 million cost of the plans for this project was included in the 2019 budget, which was approved three days earlier.The initial plan for the project is to build a railway station in the city of Bisan with a railway network which travels through Jordan to Iraq and Saudi Arabia.Currently, Yedioth Ahronoth said, Israel is transporting goods arriving in Haifa Port and heading to Iraq, Saudi Arabia and other Gulf States through Jordan, noting that the war in Syria led these countries to use Israeli ports instead of those in Syria. middleeastmonitor
Palestinian leaders reconsider recognition of Israel
Palestine Liberation Organisation's (PLO) Central Council, the 2nd-highest Palestinian decision-making body, has recommended revoking recognition of Israel until the latter recognises the State of Palestine in its 1967 borders, with East Jerusalem as its capital. During a meeting in the occupied West Bank city of Ramallah late on Monday, the PLO, which is an umbrella of major Palestinian political parties, said it "assigned" its Executive Committee "to suspend recognition of Israel until it recognizes the State of Palestine on the 1967 borders and revokes the decision to annex East Jerusalem and expand and build settlements," according to Wafa, the official Palestinian news agency. In a final statement read after the meeting, the PLO also said that the Oslo Accords, signed with Israel in the early 1990s, "no longer stand". It added that it would renew its decision to "stop security coordination [with Israel] in all its forms" and called on all Arab states "to sever all ties with any state that recognises Jerusalem as the capital of Israel and transfers its embassy to it". But several Palestinian political parties expressed their reservations on the final statement, saying the language was vague. aljazeera
Palestinians vote to suspend recognition of Israel, stop security coordination
PA warns of Israel plan to Judaise Ibrahimi Mosque
 Palestinian Authority’s Ministry of Endowment and Religious Affairs warned of an Israeli plan to Judaise the Ibrahimi Mosque in the occupied West Bank city of Hebron, Quds Press reported. The ministry said that a group of Jewish Israeli settlers had published a short film showing the mosque flooded with rainwater, stressing that this has never happened.The statement noted that this film also included calls to build a roof to protect it in summer and winter, adding that “this is false information”.According to the ministry, only way to protect the mosque is to allow maintenance work to be carried out to parts that have been damaged by the settlers themselves.MEMO
Israel prevents Hamas members, relatives from travelling for treatment
Israel decided to prevent Hamas members and their relatives from leaving the besieged Gaza Strip for treatment, Safa News Agency reported.The decision came in response to the Israeli High Court’s petition submitted by family of Israeli soldier Hadar Goldin who was captured as a prisoner of war during Israel’s ground invasion of Gaza in 2014.Principally, Israel prevents Hamas members from entering Israel for any reasons. It has allowed only few cases of their relatives who were in critical conditions.According to t Ynet News, Israeli Coordinator of Govt  Activities in the Occupied Territories has been tasked with implementing the new ban based on information provided by Israeli security services. middleeastmonitor
Israel banning reconstruction work at Al-Aqsa: Official
Jerusalem:Israeli authorities have warned officials at Jerusalem’s Al-Aqsa Mosque against undertaking any restoration work inside the flashpoint mosque compound, a Palestinian official said Tuesday. “Israeli police forced their way into the office of the Al-Aqsa reconstruction committee and warned engineers against carrying out any mosaic work or restoring the Dome of the Rock’s wooden ceiling,” Firas al-Dib, a spokesman for Jerusalem’s Jordan-run Religious Endowments (Awqaf) Authority, told Anadolu Agency.“Police have also prohibited any reconstitution work in the Al-Qibli and Marwani mosques [both of which are located in the Al-Aqsa compound],” he said.“They even threatened the reconstruction director with detention if any additional work was carried out,” al-Dib added.For Muslims, the Al-Aqsa Mosque compound is considered the world's third holiest site. Jews, for their part, refer to the area as the “Temple Mount", claiming it was the site of two Jewish temples in ancient times.Anadolu Agency
Rights groups to UK: Cancel Mohammed bin Salman's visit
UK PM Theresa May should withdraw an invitation extended to Saudi Arabia's Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman to visit the UK, a coalition of human rights group has said.The coalition, including the Campaign Against Arms Trade (CAAT) and Arab Organisation for Human Rights in the UK (AOHR UK), sent a letter on Monday to the British leader saying the visit was not in the UK's interest, nor in the interest of "the peoples suffering from the Crown Prince's adventurism"."The Saudi regime … has one of the worst human rights records in the world. Torture, arbitrary detention, and other appalling abuses are widely documented," the letter said."It shames us as a nation to support and associate with a brutal dictator who uses hunger as a weapon, and has allowed the largest cholera epidemic in history to develop in Yemen," it added.aljazeera
Pakistan Clerics Issue Fatwa Against Suicide Bombings:Reuters
ISLAMABAD: Over 1,800 Pakistani Muslim clerics have issued an Islamic directive, or fatwa, forbidding suicide bombings, in a book unveiled by the Govt  on Tuesday.Seeking to curb "terrorism" that has resulted in tens of thousands of casualties since the early 2000s, the clerics declared suicide bombings to be forbidden, or "haraam"."This fatwa provides a strong base for the stability of a moderate Islamic society," Pakistan President Mamnoon Hussain wrote in the book, prepared by the state-run International Islamic University and released at an official ceremony."We can seek guidance from this fatwa for building a national narrative in order to curb extremism, in keeping with the golden principles of Islam."The fatwa was ratified by a number of prominent clerics who are outspoken critics of liberalism and the West, and are seen as controversial for preaching sectarianism or supporting the Afghan Taliban.One of the clerics who signed, Muhammad Ahmed Ludhianvi, is the face of a banned sectarian organisation, Ahle Sunnat Wal Jamat (ASWJ), and has been placed on a Pakistani legislative list of individuals with suspected links to "terrorism".ASWJ figurehead, Aurangzeb Farooqi, attended the signing ceremony.Another signatory, Hamid-ul-Haq, is the son of a cleric widely regarded as the "Father of the Afghan Taliban" after many prominent militants, including Taliban founder Mullah Mohammed Omar, were found to have graduated from his seminary in the northwestern city of Peshawar.Pakistani officials deny frequent U.S. allegations about collaborating with militant ISIS proxies in Afghanistan and India, and say vast gains have been made over the past decade against militant outfits such as the Pakistani Taliban.
Pakistan releases pro-Taliban leader Sufi Muhammad
Pakistani authorities have released on bail prominent militia commander and scholar, Sufi Muhammad, known as the father of the Taliban in the Swat Valley, on health grounds, his lawyer says. Muhammad, 93, was imprisoned in the northwestern city of Peshawar in 2009 and charged with sedition and waging war against Pakistan, after he led demands for the imposition of a strict, conservative interpretation of Islamic law in the country's northern Swat Valley.He is the father-in-law of current Pakistan Taliban chief Mullah Fazlullah.aljazeera
Turkey bolsters Syria border as US force plan slammed
Turkey has sent military reinforcements along its border with Syria, according to state media, as Ankara, Damascus and Moscow all attacked a US plan to form a new border security force in the war-torn country's northeast.Citing military sources, Anadolu Agency reported on Monday that two dozen armoured vehicles had entered Reyhanli district of southeastern Hatay province.A separate 20-vehicle army convoy, which included tanks, had also arrived in Viransehir district of southeastern Sanliurfa province.The forces were sent to assist the military units already deployed along the Syrian border, said Anadolu.aljazeera
Iran slams US plan for ‘border security force’ in Syria
ISTANBUL:Iran on Tuesday criticized U.S. plans to draw up a “border security force” inside Syria, describing the move as “interference in another country’s domestic affairs”.On Sunday, U.S.-led coalition spokesman Ryan Dillon announced plans to establish a 30,000-strong border security force in Syria in tandem with the SDF -- a U.S.-backed group drawn up largely of PKK/PYD terrorist elements.The PKK/PYD is the Syrian offshoot of the PKK terrorist group, which has been designated a terrorist organization by Turkey, the U.S. and the EU.Since the mid-1980s, the PKK has waged a wide-ranging terror campaign against the Turkish state, in which an estimated 40,000 people have been killed."U.S. plans to establish a ‘border security force’ in Syria constitute flagrant interference in another country’s affairs,” Iranian Foreign Ministry spokesman Bahram Kasimi said in a Tuesday statement.Anadolu Agency
Russian warplanes hitting Idlib: Syria's White Helmets
IDLIB:7 civilians have been killed by Russian airstrikes in the Khan Shaykhun district of Syria's Idlib province, which is part of a de-escalation zone in which fighting is banned, a local civil-defense official told Anadolu Agency on Tuesday.According to the official, three districts within the Idlib de-escalation zone -- Khan Shaykhun, Saraqib and Kafr Nabl -- were targeted by Russian warplanes.All targeted areas are held by Syria’s armed opposition and the Hayat Tahrir al-Sham, an armed anti-regime group. Anadolu Agency

An Indian Haj subsidy that did not exist!Thank you PM  Modi for ending Haj subsidy that never existed:Bobby Naqvi, gulfnews Editor
49% FDI in aviation: The political privatisation of Air India is underway:The Wire
Death of a Judge: What We Know, What We Don’t Know:The Wire
Beyond the Modi-Netanyahu Bonhomie, India and Israel Struggle to Add Heft to Ties:DEVIRUPA MITRA
Rajsamand chargesheet: ‘Love jihad’ cover for Shambulal Regar ties with ‘Hindu sister’
TOI Fake News: “Roommate of AMU PhD student who joined Hizbul also missing”: Alt News
Privacy, Sequestered Courts and the Place of Dissent: Kalpana Kannabiran
How Selective ‘Activism’ Brought Goa’s Beef Traders to Their Knees:Devika Sequiera
Not Triple Talaq These 5 laws should be implement first more prior than triple talaq:IANS
Fact check: Are illegal Bangladeshi migrants responsible for increase in Assam's Muslim population?Ajaz Ashraf
Citizenship Issues Create Fissures and Tensions in N-E States:Ranju Dodum

Compiled and edited by Anwarulhaq (Released at: 8:19 PM)


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