20 January 2018

20 Jan. ND: After top judges' dissent, Chief Justice to hear judge loya Case on Monday/AAP MLAs disqualification: No due process, panel decided without hearings, ex-CEC frowns

20 Jan.2018:02 Jamadiul-1 1439:Vol:9, No:102
After top judges' dissent, Chief Justice to hear judge loya Case on Monday
New Delhi:  A bench headed by Chief Justice Dipak Misra will on Monday hear the case about Judge BH Loya's death, one of the main triggers for last week's unprecedented crisis in India's judiciary.Chief Justice's bench, which also comprises Justices AM Khanwilkar and DY Chandrachud, had yesterday fixed the next date of hearing and ordered that the case be put up "before the appropriate Bench as per the roster".According to court documents issued on Saturday, it will continue to remain with the Chief Justice's bench.2 petitions that sought an independent probe into Judge Loya's death had earlier been assigned to two judges including Justice Arun Mishra, the 10th most-senior judge of the Supreme Court.But the 2 judges remitted the case back to the Chief Justice on Tuesday in wake of an unseemly controversy after four senior judges last week questioned what they called selective assignment of cases with far reaching consequences. 4-Justices J Chelameswar, Ranjan Gogoi, Madan Lokur and Kurien Joseph - had underscored that sensitive cases should be heard by senior judges.They had confirmed that their complaints include the case of the death of a CBI judge, BH Loya.Justice Arun Mishra, who was one of the two judges hearing the Judge Loya case, had later broken down at a closed-door meeting of judges at the Supreme Court, complaining that he was "unfairly" targeted and questions raised about his "competence". He was, however, reassured by Justice Chelameswar that he wasn't the target. Judge Loya, 48, died in Nagpur in Dec. 2014 while he was hearing a case that accused BJP chief Amit Shah of ordering a fake encounter in 2005. Weeks after the judge's death, Amit Shah was discharged from the case with a new judge ruling that there was no evidence to merit his trial.2 months ago, judge Loya's relatives said his death was unnatural. His sister Anuradha Biyani also claimed that he was offered a huge bribe to rule in favour of Amit Shah. A Maharashtra journalist BS Lone and activist-petitioner Tehseen Poonawalla had filed a petition to seek an independent inquiry. NDTV
CJI decides to hear PILs on CBI judge Loya’s death
Sohrabuddin fake encounter case: Lawyers’ body moves HC against CBI not challenging Amit Shah’s discharge
Mumbai:A city-based lawyers’ association today filed a PIL in the Bombay High Court against CBI’s decision not to challenge a lower court order discharging BJP president Amit Shah in the Sohrabuddin Shaikh fake encounter case. The Bombay Lawyers Association, which filed the public interest litigation, termed as “illegal, arbitrary and malafide” the CBI’s decision not to challenge the Dec.30, 2014 order passed by a court here discharging Shah.PIL urged the high court to issue a direction to CBI to file a revision application challenging the sessions court’s order discharging Shah.The petitioner’s lawyer Ahmad Abidi said the plea would be mentioned before a division bench of justices SC Dharmadhikari and Bharti Dangre on Jan.22. “CBI is a premier investigating agency. It has public duty to observe the rule of law in its action but it has miserably failed,” the petition said.It submitted that the trial court had similarly discharged two Rajasthan Police sub-inspectors, Himanshu Singh and Shyam Singh Charan, and senior Gujarat police officer N K Amin in the case.“The petitioner has learnt that the CBI has challenged their discharge before the high court. This act of the CBI in challenging discharge of the accused persons on selective basis is arbitrary and unreasonable, rather malafide,” the petition said.It also claimed that the Supreme Court, while transferring the trial in the case from Gujarat to Mumbai, had ordered that it be concluded expeditiously. “The SC had said Administrative Committee of the HC would assign the case to a court where the trial may be concluded judiciously, in accordance with the law, and without any delay. “Administrative Committee would also ensure that the trial should be conducted from beginning to end by the same officer, the apex court had said in its order,” it said.In a related development, another judge of the high court today issued notices to CBI and the accused in the Sohrabuddin Shaikh case on 2 petitions filed by journalists against the trial court’s ban on the reporting the proceedings.Justice Revati Mohite-Dere will hear the petitions on Jan.23. Trial court had issued the gag order after defence lawyers referred to “misreporting” about the death of judge B H Loya who had dealt with the case earlier, and raised security concerns.CBI today told the high court that its stand on the issue was “neutral”.PTI
Gag order in Sohrabuddin trial: HC to hear scribes’ plea
2002 Gulberg Society massacre case defence lawyer in panel for picking tribunal chiefs
Rajkot:Central Govt  has appointed Abhay Bhardwaj, who was the defence lawyer in 2002 Gulberg Society massacre case, as a member of the search-cum-selection committee for selecting presiding officers of Central Govt  Industrial Tribunals (CGIT). The appointment of Bhardwaj comes close on the heels of his appointment as a part-time member of the Law Commission of India last year.A January 10 notification of Ministry of Labour and Employment stated that the Appointments Committee of the Cabinet (ACC), which is headed by PM  Narendra Modi and comprises senior ministers of his cabinet, had approved the composition of search-cum-selection committee. According to the notification, Justice (retired) L Narasimha Reddy, ex-chief justice of Patna HC, is the chairman of the committee. Bhardwaj has been appointed as one of the two expert members. The other expert member of the 5-member committee is Snehlata Srivastava, a retired IAS officer who had served as secretary in the Dept of Justice of the Central Govt . Incumbent secretaries of the Ministry of Labour and Employment and Legislative Dept are the other two members. These tribunals also adjudicate matters related to grievances of employees of public sector units and nationalised banks. In the recently concluded Assembly elections, Bhardwaj was a proposer of Rupani’s candidature when he filed his nomination from Rajkot (West). Bhardwaj is also an RSS swayamsevak and was associated with the outfit’s student wing, ABVP, during his student days. His younger brother, Nitin, is a BJP corporator in the Rajkot Municipal Corporation.indianexpress
Delhi 20 MLAs disqualification: AAP lashes out at PM Modi, calls CEC Joti ‘agent of BJP’
New Delhi: A day after the Election Commission recommended to the President to disqualify 20 of AAP’s MLAs for holding offices of profit, which has set the stage for their ouster from Assembly, AAP leader, Sanjay Singh has lashed out at Modi Govt and election commission. As per a TV report, Sanjay Singh said, “Modi Govt is violating various institutions of democracy. 4 judges coming out in the open and addressing media is a proof of it.”Singh laid out examples where the members holding office of profit who were never disqualified. He said, “It has happened during Congress rule in Delhi, it has happened in Bengal and Jharkhand as well. This proves that the EC is working at the behest of BJP.” But the shocker came from him when he commented on the working of the chief of the election commission, AK Joti. Sanjay Singh said, “CEC AK Joti is working for his boss PM Modi. He has a bungalow in Gujarat. Just 3 days before his retirement, he has shown his true face as an agent of BJP. I demand Narendra Modi’s resignation.”Another AAP leader, Gopal Rai jumped in quarrel. Rai said, “All intellectuals and political people are shocked that under the pressure of the CEC Joti, who retires after 2 days, did you decide to cancel the membership of the legislators?” Meanwhile, Sanjay Raut from Shiv Sena said, “There is a question mark on the decision of Election Commission. Questioning ECI is common when decisions like these come. Election Commission is itself responsible for it.” financialexpress
Disqualification of 20 AAP MLAs: Bypolls, 2019 loom, but AAP worry today is crack in ranks
AAP accuses EC of ‘discrimination’ after it recommends disqualification of its 20 MLAs
AAP MLAs disqualification: No due process, panel decided without hearings, ex-CEC frowns
New Delhi: AAP wasn’t the only one raising questions about the Election Commission’s adverse opinion in the office-of-profit case on Friday. Former officials of the Commission, who spoke on the condition of anonymity, said that the poll panel had decided the matter without holding any hearing on the merits of the complaint against the 20 MLAs. A former Chief Election Commissioner (CEC) pointed to the Commission’s order of June 23, 2017, to support AAP’s argument.“That order clearly states that the EC will continue hearing the office-of-profit case against the legislators even though the Delhi HC had set aside their appointment as parliamentary secretaries. So what happened after that?”EC did not hold a single hearing on the case after its order of June 23, 2017. In fact, the order clearly states that “the Commission will intimate the next date of hearing to all concerned parties in the present proceedings in due course”.Nasim Zaidi, who was CEC in June 2017, did not wish to say anything on Friday’s development when contacted him for a comment. Another ex-official of the EC told this newspaper that complaints of office-of-profit are decided only after the Commission is able to answer three questions: Whether the legislator held any office; Whether the office was held under the Govt  and whether that office carried any profit.“If you read the Commission’s order of June 23 (2017), it’s clear that it had decided only on the first question. EC was of the opinion that the 20 AAP MLAs had held the office of Parliamentary Secretaries even though it was by way of illegal appointment.“The order clearly states that this decision was taken without any ‘prejudice to the merits of the case’. This means that the EC should have held hearings on the merits of the case, which it didn’t,” the ex-official said.“The EC’s opinion, it seems hasn’t been arrived after following due process and, hence, may not hold up in the court of law,” he added. When asked about the EC opinion, ex-CEC SY Quraishi said: “To me, it’s unclear whether (the merits of the case) were heard or not because the Delhi HC is of the view that the these people (AAP MLAs) did not even appear before the Commission. This creates a confusing picture. Before we have all the facts and the written order of the EC, any comment is premature but everybody seems to be discussing it threadbare.”indianexpress
Mamata lends support to AAP, says a constitutional body was being used for political vendetta
Kolkata:Reacting to Election Commission’s recommendations to the President the disqualification of 20 AAP MLAs, West Bengal CM  Mamata Banerjee said a constitutional body was being used for “political vendetta”. She also described the development as “unfortunate” and said it goes against the principles of natural justice.Lending her support to AAP, she said in a tweet, “A Constitutional body cannot be used for political vendetta. 20 AAP MLAs were not even given a hearing by the Hon’ble Election Commission.Most unfortunate. This goes against the principles of natural justice. At this hour we are strongly with @arvindkejriwal and his team.”indianexpress
National Herald case: Hearing against Sonia, Rahul adjourned till Match 17
New Delhi: A Delhi court has adjourned the hearing in the National Herald case, involving former Congress chief Sonia Gandhi, her son and party president Rahul Gandhi and others till March 17.The court also ordered that documents submitted by the main petitioner and BJP’s Rajya Sabha MP Subramanian Swamy be kept in a sealed cover till then. According to reports, Swamy had produced before the court, Income Tax notices where Young Indian, a firm in which Sonia and Rahul Gandhi allegedly own a 38%  stake each, has been declared a tax offender.The court had began hearing the case earlier in the day.Apart from the Gandhis, Congress party leaders Motilal Vora, Oscar Fernandes, Suman Dubey, and Sam Pitroda and Young Indian – are facing trial in the case. Swamy had filed a complaint about “cheating” in acquisition of AJL, which published the National Herald newspaper, by Young Indian.# thestatesman
Ram Sene's Pramod Muthalik Claims Threat to Life from RSS Leaders, Fears 'Togadia-Like' Fate
Bengaluru: Shri Ram Sene founder Pramod Muthalik, who hit headlines after the 2009 attack on Mangalore pub revellers, has said that he faces a threat to his life from former RSS colleagues — days after VHP leader Pravin Togadia made similar explosive claims. Muthalik said, “I know my enemies well. Congress, Communists, intellectuals etc are my enemies. But they are known enemies. They work against me. I am worried about my own people who can harm me. They are good at backstabbing. What happened to Pravin Togadia might happen to me too.”Directly blaming RSS, the radical Hindutva leader said, "The top leader of RSS in Karnataka, Mangesh Bhende, does not like me. He has the backing of ex-CM Jagadish Shettar and Dharwad MP Prahlad Joshi.They don't want me in north Karnataka.”“My own people are after me. They don't like my popularity. I am worried,” Muthalik, a one-time Sangh leader, said. “They don't like anyone getting name and fame. They have a 'slave' mindset. I have achieved so much with them and later without them. Because of that, I was forced to leave the organisation.”Launching an all-out attack against RSS, Muthalik said he had "wasted" 40 years of his life for the RSS and was disillusioned now. “There are thousands like me. But they can't do anything now. RSS leaders talk about Hindu unity. They don't like their own people. How will they achieve unity then?"He, however, reiterated that his faith in Hindutva was intact.Muthalik was a firebrand leader of RSS and Bajrang Dal in Karnataka before he quit to form his own radical outfit called Sri Rama Sene over a decade ago.Soon after formation, members of his radical outfit attacked revellers at a pub in Mangalore. He recently joined Shiv Sena as its Karnataka unit chief. He said the Sena would be contesting in 50 seats in assembly elections this year and will “teach BJP a lesson”.CNN-News18
Muthalik claims threat to life from RSS leaders
Rajsamand killing: SC terms video of Muslim man’s murder as ‘horrendous’
New Delhi: The Supreme Court has termed as “horrendous” the video of a Muslim labourer from West Bengal being hacked and burnt alive in Rajasthan’s Rajsamand district on Dec.6 last year. A bench comprising CJI Dipak Misra and Justices AM Khanwilkar and DY Chandrachud was inclined to issue notice on plea filed by Gulbahar Bibi, wife of 50-year-old deceased Mohammed Bhatta Sheikh, seeking an impartial SIT probe into the dastardly murder.“The video is horrendous,” the bench said, adding it was willing to consider the plea and issue appropriate directions.The top court, however, said the petition was poorly drafted and asked senior advocate Indira Jaising, representing the wife of the slain labourer, to file a better plea and fixed Jan.29 as the next date of hearing.Jaising said the video has already been seen by millions of people and a direction be issued to the Centre and the state Govt  to ensure that it was not circulated further and withdrawn from the internet.She also said the victims be granted their fundamental right to access to justice, as “unruly crowd has been attempting to stall the judicial process to favour the accused.”Jaising said “unruly crowd” rush to the trial court during the proceedings in the case in support of the accused, leading to denial of access to justice to the victims. The Muslim labourer, hailing from West Bengal, was allegedly hacked and burnt alive on Dec.6 last year and the murder was recorded on camera by the minor nephew of accused Shambhulal Regar. The accused is now in judicial custody.PTI
Another Muslim from Bengal found dead in Rajasthan. Cops rule out murder, family thinks otherwise
After the brutal murder of Mohammad Afrazul last year, yet another migrant Bengali Muslim worker has been found dead in mysterious circumstances in Rajasthan.Saker Ali (30) originally from Chanchal in Malda, was found dead at his home in Narikhana in Jaipur’s Shastri Nagar area on Wednesday. While initially it was being said that killers tried to set Saker Ali on fire and murdered him with a sharp weapon, Rajasthan police later said that it wasn't a case of murder. The victim's family as well as the West Bengal police are both claiming that Saker Ali had been murdered.  “When his roommate came back home on Wednesday, he found Ali’s body on the floor. He had blood stains on his face and nose and there were some burn injuries as well,” said Saker Ali’s father Mohammad Ghyasuddin.Responding to the Rajasthan police's claim that Saker Ali died due to acid burns, his father said, "The post-mortem report sent by Rajasthan police said there were burn injuries. It didn't mention acid burns. We think he has been murdered". Victim’s family have demanded an inquiry and plan to meet West Bengal CM  soon.Even the West Bengal police says that according to the information available to it, it is a case of murder. "We have learnt that Saker Ali was murdered. We are in touch with the Rajasthan police to identify who is behind this murder and what was the motive,” said Sukumar Misra, inspector in-charge of Chanchal police station.Saker Ali had been staying in Jaipur for the past four years with his roommate, who also hails from Chanchal.  After the body was recovered, the police took some locals including the owner of the house and his son for interrogation. catchnews
Malda labourer dies mysteriously in Rajasthan: Family members allege murder, want CBI probe
Muzaffarnagar riots case: Balyan, Malik appear before court after NBWs were issued
Muzaffarnagar: Ex-Union minister Sanjiv Balyan and BJP MLA Umesh Malik appeared in the court today after non bailable warrants were issued against them for not appearing in connection with a Muzaffarnagar riots case.Additional Chief Judicial Magistrate Madhu Gupta directed the two to appear in court on Jan.29 for framing of charges against the accused in the case.BJP MP Balyan and Malik also furnished bonds of Rs 30,000 each.It is alleged that the accused persons had participated in a 'mahapanchayat' and incited violence through their speeches in the last week of August 2013.More than 60 people were killed and over 40,000 displaced during communal riots in Muzaffarnagar and adjoining areas in 2013.PTI
2013 Sonai Dalit youths  murder: Nashik court awards death sentence to 6
More than 5 years after the gory murders of 3 Dalit youths in Ahmednagar’s Sonai village shook the State, the Sessions court in Nashik on Saturday pronounced the death sentence on the 6 persons convicted of the crime.Earlier this week, the court convicted six of the seven men accused in the gory murders that occurred in Sonai village in Ahmednagar where three Dalit youths, Sachin Gharu (24), Sandeep Thanvar (25) and Rahul Kandare (20), were brutally murdered and their mutilated body parts scattered in a septic tank and a dried-up well.6 accused of the crime include Ramesh Darandale (43), Prakash Darandale (38), Ragunath Darandale alias ‘Popat’ (52), Ganesh alias Praveen Darandale (23), Sandeep Kurhe (37) and Ashok Phalke (44). Ramesh, Prakash and Popat are brothers, while Sandeep Kurhe is a relative of the Darandales. “It was the opinion of the court that caste prejudices ought to checked like one curbs the spread of a malignant disease. Persons who arrogantly flaunt the ‘superiority’ of their caste by keeping up an unfair status quo through means of violence and other means of spreading hatred should not be allowed to roam scot-free,” said Special Public Prosecutor  Ujjwal Nikam, speaking outside the courtroom after the verdict.thehindu
War Like Situation Along LoC: Schools Closed, Hospitals on High Alert; At least 12 civilians killed
Srinagar: J&K Govt  has put health institutions along the border areas of the state on high alert after the armies of India and Pakistan resorted to heavy firing and mortar shelling at each other’s posts and civilian areas, resulting in over dozen casualties, including 2 minors, since last week. Meanwhile both India and Pakistan went through the usual motions of summoning each others envoys in their respective capitals and registering protests against ceasefire violations by the ‘other’ side. Sources said that the situation had never been worse, and modicum of restraint had virtually been discarded. Tensions are on the rise along LoC and International Border in Rajouri, Poonch, Samba, Jammu and Uri areas of J&K with 6 civilian casualties and at least eight forces personnel on either side of the divide getting killed due to heightened tensions. Authorities have shut schools located within a radius of five km radius from the border to prevent untoward incidents."All Health Institutions (in areas along IB and LoC) have been put on high alert. Orthopaedicians, Surgeons, Anesthetists have been directed to remain available 24×7. So far 21 persons have been injured and four persons died including a BSF personnel who attained martyrdom. Four additional doctors have been deputed from GMC-Jammu and 21 Ambulances have been kept in Border Health Centres to meet any emergency,”J&K's health minister Bali Bhagat said.A civil society grouping comprising academicians, writers, journalist, doctors and business leaders yesterday evening issued a statement, squarely blaming the Army chief Bipin Rawat for fresh escalation along the border areas. General Rawat last week said the Indian Army will not hesitate in “calling the nuclear bluff” of Pakistan if it were asked to carry out strikes across the border.“The recent reckless statement made by the Indian Army Chief where, inter alia, he said, “We will call the (nuclear) bluff of Pakistan. If we will have to really confront the Pakistanis, and a task is given to us, we are not going to say we cannot cross the border because they have nuclear weapons. We will have to call their nuclear bluff,”statement says.“We have seen in the past that these irresponsible statements lead to the immediate escalation of violence at the LOC and accusations and counter-accusations. The same happened this time as well.”Civil society underlined that any escalation between the two countries takes a toll primarily on the people of J&K  which is “witness to and victim of Indo-Pak wars and unabated militarized violence for last many decades. Because of their experiences of suffering, the people of J&K  are very conscious that these irresponsible statements can escalate into a full-blown war between the two nuclear powers and lead to terrible brutalization, primarily of the people of J&K ,” they said.thecitizen
Family of arrested Kashmiri photojournalist accuses NIA of fabricating charges
New Delhi: On Jan.8, NIA filed a charge sheet in NIA Special Court at the Patiala House Courts Complex,against 12 persons including Kashmiri photojournalist, Kamran Yusuf alleging them to conspire to wage war against the country by carrying out “terrorist” and “secessionist” activities in J&K. 12,794-page charge sheet has been filed under sections 120B, 121, 121A and 124A of IPC and sections 13, 16, 17, 18, 20, 38, 39 and 40 of UAPA.NIA in its charge sheet has alleged that Kamran Yusuf was a stone pelter and worked under the overall guidance and instructions from Pakistan to form strategies and action-plans to launch violent protests and communicate the same to the masses in the form of ‘protest calendars’ released through newspapers, social media and religious leaders, creating an atmosphere of terror and fear in the State of J&K, a charge denied by the family.“If he was a stone pelter then why isn’t there a single police case registered against him in the local police station. From protest to funerals to army functions, he used to cover all and now all of a sudden he becomes a stone pelter,” Irshad Ahmed, maternal uncle of Kamran said. “He is innocent and being framed. The charges leveled are false and fabricated. Even the Ministers who we have visited regarding this case say that he is innocent,” said Irshad.NIA charges come after the media circles in the valley were abuzz with a breakthrough and subsequent release of Kamran after Kashmir Editor Guild took up the case with state and central authorities.“He lost his father and used to work hard to support his mother. She was expecting that he will be released soon but NIA charge sheet has shocked her,” he added.Committee to Protect Journalists (CPJ) in a statement following the NIA charge sheet has asked Indian authorities to stop abusing their power and asked for immediate release of the photojournalist.“Indian authorities must stop abusing their power and using heavy-handed tactics to go after a photojournalist who was merely doing his job,” said CPJ Asia Program Coordinator Steven Butler, in Washington, D.C. “Kamran Yousuf has already unjustly spent four months in jail and should be released immediately.”On 4 Sept.2017, Kamran Yusuf was asked to report at the local police station in Pulwama district from where he was taken to Srinagar, where NIA formally arrested him the following day.Yousuf, a resident of Tahab village, located 5 km from Pulwama town in South Kashmir, used to work for various local media organizations and covered protests, encounters between militants and security forces and funerals of militants who died in the encounters along with covering official functions organised by politicians, bureaucrats, army and police.In Aug.2017, Yusuf was named among 9 emerging photographers in J&K  by With Kashmir, a digital media company.twocircles
Delhi minister slams centre for Abolishing haj subsidy
Lucknow: Criticising the Modi Govt  for abolishing Haj subsidy, Delhi Social Welfare minister Rajendra Pal Gautam said that the policies of the Centre were responsible for backwardness of Muslims in the country. “The act of the Centre to end Haj subsidy is a wrong decision and reflective of a biased attitude against the Muslims,” he said while addressing media persons in Lucknow on Friday.Delhi minister said that the Constitution gave equal rights to all religions in the country. “The govt spends lavishly on Kumbh Mela, Kailash Mansarovar Yatra and even in Kanwar Yatra and Chhat puja, but by ending Haj subsidy it proved its bias towards Muslims,” he said.Gautam, who was in the state capital to attend a co-ordination meeting of nine states on Minority welfare called by the Centre said that Centre should reconsider its decision taken on the Haj subsidy. Commenting on backwardness of Muslims, the Delhi minister said that the loan provided by National Minorities Development & Finance Corporation (NMDFC) had stringent norms and as a result needy people do not get it.“The present norms says that a family whose yearly income is below Rs 65,000 in rural area and Rs 1.20 lakh in urban areas would get loan which is unethical. The limit should be increased as most families do not meet this norm,” he said. When his attention was drawn towards statements of Muslim clerics welcoming the Centre’s decision, AAP leader blamed the media for confusing Muslim leaders. “Muslim leaders are confused and the media played a big role in making the issue look small,” he said. Gautam also blamed the Centre as well as the UP Govt  for misusing funds for publicity for yesterday’s meet. “Entire Lucknow was covered with hoardings for yesterday’s meet which was an unnecessary expenditure for such a small meeting,” he stated.He also demanded that ‘No Detention’ policy in education system should be abolished immediately for the sake of uplift of Muslims in the education sector.“There is around 80 %  drop out of Muslims after class eight only due to ‘No Exam’ policy and the students get no education at all till eighth standard leading to dropout. Several states have demanded to abolish ‘No Detention’ policy, but the Centre was not at all interested,” he said.dailypioneer
Maharashtra: Govt’s decision to scrap Haj subsidy flayed s-decision-to-scrap-haj-subsidy-flayed/articleshow/62575194.cms
Chandrapur: State council member of Jamat-e-Islami Hind, Dr Salim Khan has strongly objected the union Govt 's decision to scrap Haj subsidy. He termed it as politically motivated decision and injustice against the Muslim community, during his visit to Chandrapur to address a public rally.Had the Govt  taken a policy decision to cancel all kind of state allocation for religious events, then there would have been no objection. But, while union and state Govt s continue to spend large sums on other pilgrimage and festivals, Haj subsidy has been deliberately cancelled for political gains, he alleged.Dr Khan slammed the Govt  for stepping aside from its development agenda and charged it of working on its own hidden agenda. Guests, Shiv Sena deputy district chief Kishor Jorgewar and social worker Farhat Baig too urged people to pledge fopeace and progress and strive towards replacing the atmosphere of fear with an ambience of love and brotherhood.TOI
Owaisi calls Padmaavat ‘rubbish’, wants Muslims to learn from Rajputs’ solidarity against film’s release
New Delhi:Describing the controversy-hit period drama ‘Padmaavat’ as “bakwas” (rubbish), AIMIM head Asaduddin Owaisi has called on Muslims to take a leaf out of Rajputs’ books who are standing firmly against the film’s release. “The film is ‘bakwas’ and bad…Muslim community has to learn from Rajputs, who are united in not letting the film release,” the Hyderabad Lok Sabha member had said while addressing a public meeting in Warangal district.Owaisi also urged Muslims not to waste their time watching the Sanjay Leela Bhansali-directed film. “Don’t go. God has not created you to watch a 2-hour film,”he said. “Mr Modi has formed a 12-member committee for that film; take out what you can…(but) nobody was consulted when law (to end triple talaq) was being made against us.”indianexpress
Out of 1189 complaints received by Minority Commission last year, 907 made by Muslims
New Delhi: According to the data made available by the National Commission of Minorities, the highest number of complaints in 2017 came from the Muslim Community.The Commission has received 1189 complaints between April and December 2017, and disposed of 1050 of them, data made available by the panel has revealed, reported PTI. According to the data, 907 complaints were received from Muslims — the largest minority community in the country.The tiniest share of the complaints received were from Parsis. The smallest minority community filed 3 complaints. Christians, Sikhs, Jains and Buddhists made 74, 65, 37 and 13 complaints, respectively.90 grievances came from those belonging to communities other than the six notified minorities.A total of 707 complaints were related to law and order.freepresskashmir
MP: Congress wins 20 of 24 seats in Raghogarh Municipal elections, BJP gets 4 wards
Congress on Friday won 20 of the 24 wards in Raghogarh Municipal Council elections in Madhya Pradesh’s Guna District. BJP could only win four wards. The voting is still underway and Congress candidate Aarti Sharma is said to be ahead of her BJP rival Mayadevi Agarwal with 4,500 votes. The Congress has been out of power in the state since 2003 and according to political experts, the party’s big win in the civic body elections would give a moral boost to the Congress which is planning to take on BJP in the assembly polls later this year.5 districts — Dhar, Barwani, Khandwa, Guna, and Anuppur held Municipal Council elections on Jan.17 this year. The voting was held from 7 am to 5 pm and elaborate security arrangements were made for the peaceful elections. According to Election Commission, a total voter turnout of 66% was recorded in the state. BJP has won 6 president posts, while Congress has managed to bag 2 posts in the civic body elections held across MP.newsx
Rockets recovered from open well are from Tipu era: Experts
A large number of unfired rockets, found in an open well at a farmhouse in Nagara village, Hosanagar taluk near here, have now been confirmed by experts to belong to the Tipu Sultan era.R. Shejeshwara, Assistant Director of the Department of Archaeology, Museums and Heritage, confirmed to The Hindu that 102 unused rockets were found in varying sizes in April 2017, during the de-silting of an open well on land belonging to Nagaraja Rao, a farmer from Nagara village. The farmer had handed over these objects to the department for study.The distinctive feature of the rockets is that they are filled with black powder (a mixture of sulphur, charcoal, and potassium nitrate) and encased in iron. They are seven to 10 inches long and 1 to 3 inches in diameter.“Rockets were corroded owing to continuous exposure to water,” he said.These objects were studied by a group of history experts, headed by H.M. Siddanagoudar, a retired officer of the department, and they concluded that these items were unused war rockets belonging to the 18th century. As Nagara was an important administrative centre of the Mysore state, and Tipu had established a mint and an armoury here, they concluded that the rockets belonged to the Tipu Sultan period. Shejeshwara said that after the fourth Anglo-Mysore War, there was the chance that Tipu’s army, stationed in Nagara, could have dumped the rockets in the well to prevent them from getting into the hands of the East India Company.thehindu
Trafficking ring that sold Andhra women to Arab sheikhs in Gulf nations busted:  HT
Rachakonda police in Telangana have busted a trafficking ring involving travel agents who allegedly sold women from coastal districts of Andhra Pradesh to Arab sheikhs in Gulf countries as sex slaves after promising the women jobs there.U Trimurthulu alias Murthy (32), M Tathaji alias Nani (26), P Dasu (30), G Rama Rao (40) and S Murali (37), all natives of East Godavari and West Godavari districts, were arrested by a special operations team (SOT) of Malkajgiri police station on Friday, for running the ring on behalf of six Indian travel agents in Dubai.The police have constituted special teams to arrest the Dubai agents, including their kingpin Pothula Srinu Babu alias Dubai Sinu.“The ring was busted following an investigation into the complaint lodged by a woman victim with the Ghatkesar police on the city outskirts,” Rachakonda police commissioner Mahesh Bhagawat said.According to the police, Dubai Sinu and his associates, who have been working as travel agents in Dubai, Muscat and other Gulf countries for the last 10 years, have been luring married women from coastal Andhra districts through their local agents to the Gulf countries promising them jobs as domestic servants, cooks, caretakers, baby sitters, etc. They offered women salary up to Rs30,000 per month.“Several innocent women, who got carried away by attractive offers, left their families to Dubai, Muscat etc. After reaching there, Sinu and others handed over them to local manpower agencies. These agencies sold them to Arab sheikhs, who exploited them sexually and used them as sex slaves. The hapless women had no chance to return to India, as they realised that they were brought to the Gulf countries on tourist/visit visas and not job visas. Moreover, their passports and other documents were seized by the local manpower agencies. The agents thus made lakhs of rupees by selling innocent women to Arab sheikhs,” police commissioner said. Hindustantimes
UP cops refuse to help dying teens in Saharanpur to 'avoid bloodstains' in police van
2 teenagers who met with an accident in UP's Saharanpur on Thursday night were left to die by the roadside, as state police personnel refused to take the injured to a hospital because they wanted to avoid bloodstains in their car, said media reports.According to TOI, 2 15-year-old boys succumbed to their wounds after police personnel from 'UP Dial 100', state's emergency management system, refused to take them to a hospital. The report added that the victims, identified as Arpit Khurana and Sunny, were lying motionless on the road, their motorcycle nearby, until another vehicle from the local police station reached the spot. However, it was too late by then and the 2 boys were declared dead on arrival at hospital.3 policemen who were present at the spot and were duty-bound to help teens were suspended on Friday, said HT report. firstpost
Russia supplies military essentials to Pakistan,says Russian Deputy Foreign Minister Morgulov: DNA India
Russian Deputy Foreign Minister Igor Morgulov has created a stir by confirming that his country was supplying military equipment to Pakistan and also accusing US-led NATO forces for helping the dreaded ISIS fighters to set up base in Northern Afghanistan. He was joined by ex-Afghanistan President Hamid Karzai, who said US has to explain the rise of ISIS and extremism, calling it a result of its relationship with Pakistan. Both participated in a discussion along with Minister of State for Foreign Affairs Gen VK Singh at Raisina Dialogue, a geo-political conference here organised jointly by Ministry of External Affairs and a think-tank Observer Research Foundation (ORF). It is believed that Pakistan Army Aviation Corps (PAAC) had recently received four Russian-made Mi-35M attack helicopters. 2 years ago, Russia had lifted an embargo on supplying weapons and military hardware to Pakistan. Morgulov said his Govt  has video evidence gathered from the ground that ISIS were being transported in helicopters to North Afghanistan. "We want to ask NATO and also to the Kabul Govt  who provides those helicopters. It is Kabul that controls Afghan airspace," he sai Russian minister and Karzai emphasised that the problem now is the support terrorists were getting from the western world in terms of weapons and funding. Russian minister also rejected any military solution to Afghan issue, describing Donald Trump's recent pronouncement an old policy which was also pursued by his predecessor Barack Obama. He said there was no escape for Kabul Govt, but to talk to the military opposition (Taliban) in order to bring reconciliation and peace in the region. He said Russia is trying to involve all in the talks, all the neighbours, stake holders and even the US. But he regretted that the US has not shown willingness to participate in this process.The Russian minister's statement has come at a time, when President Donald Trump on Thursday accused his country in unusually harsh terms of helping North Korea to evade UN sanctions The US policy maker at the White House and former American diplomat Zalmay Mamozy Khalilzad here also assailed the Russian approach, saying they were stepping in to prove President Trump's latest South Asia policy a failure. "While we are trying to isolate Pakistan for its bad behaviour and India is supporting us, the Russian behaviour to putting spokes in the policy," he told DNA.He asked Russians not to engage in old Soviet style intrigues by smelling an opportunity to step in and end potential isolation of Pakistan. He asked India to use its good offices with the old friend Russia to make them understand the situation. Khalilzad also described Russian minister's allegation of Americans helping ISIS an insult and a propaganda. Karzai also said that it was important to engage with Taliban because "they are from our own villages and homes. They are not foreign. If they are not involved, the peace talks would not succeed. There won't be sustainable peace." He said while Afghanistan was being accused of cultivating and making money of poppy crops, the fact is that the whole money is being pumped through banks in the west while the farmers and Govt in Afghanistan remain poor.He said poppy cultivation was more in areas controlled by NATO forces. Both of them disagreed that China will be a problem in finding a solution to the problem, as it is very friendly with Pak. "China is an enabler. It is well aware of the dangers from terrorists and it will never support it," they said.
Erdogan: Operation in Syria's Afrin has begun
A Turkish ground push to remove Kurdish fighters from the Syrian border town of Afrin has "actively" begun, Turkey's President Recep Tayyip Erdogan has said.Erdogan was quoted by Anadolu news agency as saying on Saturday that the operation in Afrin would be a followed by a push in the northern Syrian town of Manbij. Turkey considers Syria's Kurdish PYD and its armed wing, the YPG, "terrorist groups" with ties to the banned Kurdistan PKK, which has waged a decades-long fight inside Turkey.According to estimates, there are between 8,000 to 10,000 Kurdish fighters in the Afrin area of Syria.Erdogan said that all Kurdish armed groups "are all the same" and that changing their names "does not change the fact that they are terror organisations".aljazeera
Russia 'moving' military observers in Syria's Afrin
Russia has started moving military observers away from an area in northwestern Syria where Turkey is planning an offensive against Kurdish fighters, a Turkish official said.Moving the observers comes as Turkey's defence minister on Friday said his country would go ahead with the offensive in the enclave of Afrin, saying Syrian Kurdish fighters there pose a "real" threat to his country.Ahmet Berat Conkar, a ruling party MP and head of the Turkish delegation to the NATO Parliamentary Assembly, said: "Russia is taking steps to move its forces in Afrin away from the areas where there might be clashes [during Turkey's operation]."Al Jazeera
Civilian deaths in 2017 US-led anti-ISIL push 'triple'
The number of civilian deaths caused by a US-led coalition fighting ISIL in Syria and Iraq surged by 200 % in 2017 compared with the year before, a monitor has said.US and allied strikes killed between 3,923 and 6,102 non-combatants in both countries last year, Airwars, a UK-based group tracking allegations of civilian casualties said on Thursday, calling the 2017 campaign the "deadliest year yet for ordinary Syrians and Iraqis".The group said its estimates were based on publicly available data.The sharp rise last year was because of intense fighting in densely populated urban areas, as Iraqi troops and Syrian Kurdish-dominated forces, both backed by the US-led coalition, fought respectively to remove the ISIL group from Iraq's Mosul and Syria's Raqqa.The administration of US President Donald Trump, in power since January 20, 2017, was also partly to blame, Airwars said. "This unprecedented death toll coincided with the start of the Trump presidency, and suggested in part that policies aimed at protecting civilians had been scaled back under the new administration," the monitor said.In Syria, the toll for civilians killed in coalition air raids quadrupled compared with 2016, with between 2,786 and 4,374 deaths likely killed in 2017, the group said.In Iraq, deaths were up by 87 percent, with at least 1,128 non-combatants dying in more than 100 air attacks, it added.While US officials call the campaign "the most precise in history", according to Airwars, "the urban battlefields laid waste by bombs, artillery and improvised explosives told another story".Coalition forces carried out some 11,573 air and artillery attacks in 2017 and dropped a total of 39,577 bombs and missiles against ISIL.More than 70 % of those raids were in Syria, largely because of the campaign to capture Raqqa.By the time the city was seized from ISIL, over 1,450 civilians were killed, Airwars said, and 80 % of the city was left uninhabitable. Kinda Haddad, the head of Airwars' Syria team, said the coalition repeated Russian and Syrian Govt  "tactics of 'siege, bomb and evacuate' in order to achieve the stated aims of defeating" ISIL.Coalition raids, in 9-month battle for Mosul, which began in October 2016, claimed between 1,066 and 1,579 lives, Airwars said.That was "the biggest urban assault since World War Two", it said, and left the city reduced to rubble. aljazeera
Iraq’s war with IS: 1.3 million kids displaced, says UNICEF
Sisi, ex-army chief Sami Anan to run in 2018 election
Egypt's President Abdel Fattah el-Sisi has announced he will run for a second, 4-year term in the country's presidential elections that will take place in March.Sisi made the expected announcement during a televised conference in Cairo on Friday where he stressed the importance of citizens voting to "preserve the democratic experience that began 4 years ago". "Your participation in the election will be a strong message," he said, before jokingly adding that Egyptians would "become exhausted with me again because Egypt needs every sacrifice".Following the president's announcement, ex-Egyptian armed forces chief of staff General Sami Anan said that he will contest Sisi in the election."I call on civilian and military institutions to maintain neutrality towards everyone who had announced their intention to run and not take unconstitutional sides of a president who will leave his post in a few months," Anan said in a video statement on Facebook.Egypt must be saved from incorrect policies, Anan said.aljazeera
US top Court to consider challenge to Trump’s latest travel ban
Washington: The Supreme Court announced that it would consider a challenge to President Trump’s latest effort to limit travel from countries said to pose a threat to the nation’s security, adding a major test of presidential power to a docket already crowded with blockbusters.The case concerns Trump’s third and most considered bid to make good on a campaign promise to secure the nation’s borders. But challengers to the latest ban, issued as a presidential proclamation in Septembr, said it was tainted by religious animus and not adequately justified by national security concerns.The decision to hear the case, Trump v. Hawaii, No. 17-965, came almost a year after the first travel ban, issued a week after Mr. Trump took office, caused chaos at the nation’s airports and was promptly blocked by courts around the nation. A second version of the ban, issued in March, fared little better, though the Supreme Court allowed part of it go into effect in June when it agreed to hear the Trump administration’s appeals in two cases.nytimes
US Govt  shuts down over immigration impasse -shuts-immigration-impasse-180120050747561.html
US Govt  shut down on Saturday, after members of Congress failed to reach an agreement on the divisive issue of immigration and Govt  spending.In a late-night vote, opposition Democrats in the Senate joined to block a bill that would have kept the Govt  running for another four weeks.The shutdown comes exactly a year after Donald Trump took his oath as US president.On social media, Trump lashed out at the opposition for the impasse, saying the Democrats "want a shutdown in order to help diminish the great success of the tax cuts, and what they are doing for our booming economy".In a separate statement, the White House Press Secretary called Democrats "obstructionist losers, not legislators".Just a few hours earlier, the president had praised the Senate's Democrat leader Charles Schumer for an "excellent preliminary meeting" to avert the shutdown.Democrats had tried to get concessions from Republicans, particularly on the extension of the immigration programme protecting young immigrants from deportation, which is set to expire in March.Saturday's shutdown is only the fourth govt closure in 25 years.aljazeera
US withholds another $45m for Palestinian food aid
US is withholding another payment to the UN's relief agency for Palestinian refugees.45 million dollars pledged for food aid is now frozen.That's in addition to $65m, which was cut back earlier this week. Al Jazeera went to the occupied West Bank, where we spoke to people who rely on this money to survive.
US won't pay $45 million pledged for Palestinian food aid for now
Qatari royal: Gulf crisis to seize Qatar's wealth
A member of the Qatari royal family, who was allegedly held against his will in the UAE, has accused Saudi Arabia and the UAE of orchestrating a months-long Gulf crisis in order to seize Qatar's wealth, and threatened to commit suicide. Sheikh Abdullah bin Ali Al Thani was previously portrayed by Saudi Arabia and the UAE as an alternative to the Qatari leadership amid the major diplomatic dispute.In an audio recording from January 15 obtained by Al Jazeera, Sheikh Abdullah said the rift was triggered by the Saudi and Emirati crown princes, whom he accused of plotting to take Qatar's wealth by force.  "The Gulf crisis is based on interests and the desire of both Mohammed bin Zayed and Mohammed bin Salman to usurp the wealth and riches of Qatar," the sheikh said, referring to the Abu Dhabi and Saudi crown princes respectively. "I urge my fellow Qataris to defend your position," he added, warning his countrymen that the two crown princes "may blind you with money to destroy your own country".He went on to blame Mohammed bin Zayed "for the pressures on me, my confinement, and inability to return home (Qatar) or join my family, namely my two daughters", and added: "I have decided to end my life with the aim of preventing any harm to others." Majed al-Ansari, a professor at Qatar University, told Al Jazeera that the recording came as "no surprise".aljazeera
Saudi minister previously detained in corruption crackdown to head Davos delegation
Saudi Arabia’s delegation to the World Economic Forum (WEF) in Davos next week will be led by state minister Ibrahim al-Assaf, who was released from detention related to an anti-corruption purge in November, Saudi sources told Reuters.Assaf, who was also a former finance minister and a board member of national oil company Saudi Aramco, was among people detained and under investigation by a new anti-corruption body, a senior Saudi official had told Reuters.After he was seen attending a cabinet meeting earlier this month, a Saudi source said he had been cleared of wrongdoing and retained his positions as minister of state and adviser to the king.Saudi security forces have rounded up dozens of princes, ministers and business leaders and converted the Ritz-Carlton Hotel in Riyadh into a luxurious prison in what the authorities said was a crackdown on corruption.middleeastmonitor
Rohingyas seek safety, citizenship guarantees before repatriation process
Rohingya refugees in Bangladesh on Saturday asked for guarantees that their safety and security would be protected and that they would be granted Myanmar citizenship before being repatriated to Rakhine state. Bangladesh and Myanmar agreed earlier this week to complete the refugees’ return process within two years. Rohingya community leader Sirajul Mostafa, who lives in Bangladesh’s Kutupalong refugee camp, told Efe news that his community was demanding the “complete” implementation of the recommendations made by an advisory commission on Rakhine state led by former UN Secretary-General Kofi Annan before being repatriated.The commission proposed addressing the rights of Rohingyas to resolve sectarian violence in Myanmar’s western Rakhine state, including measures such as speeding up the verification process for citizenship and granting citizenship by naturalisation. “We are not here to stay, we want our rights back. If we had seen that peace was restored in Myanmar, there would no problem. People would go back directly,” Mostafa said, adding that the Myanmar Army was still allegedly carrying out torture as part of an ongoing campaign. He added that no one from the mostly Muslim minority had yet been asked to prepare for repatriation.IANS 
Exclusive: Rohingya refugee leaders draw up demands ahead of repatriation
UK: Kashmiri-origin MP Becomes First Female Muslim Minister to Address House of Commons
London: Nus Ghani, a Kashmiri-origin parliamentarian in the UK, on Friday became the first female Muslim minister to speak from the British Parliament dispatch box.Ghani, born in Birmingham to parents who migrated from Pakistan-occupied Kashmir, was cheered by her colleagues as she addressed the House of Commons as a junior minister in the Department for Transport."Made my debut as @transportgovuk Minister and made a bit of history as first female Muslim Minister to speak from the House of Commons dispatch box,? she tweeted soon after her first Commons outing in her new role. 45-year-old was appointed Parliamentary Under- Secretary at the Dept for Transport by British PM  Theresa May as part of her New Year reshuffle last week.Conservative Party MP from Wealden was also given the assistant Govt  whip in the reshuffle to oversee party discipline. "The roles are both exciting and challenging opportunities? Transport is a subject on which I have campaigned passionately since being elected as the MP for Wealden. Alongside my ministerial duties, I will continue to be a strong voice for Wealden and deliver for my constituents," Ghani had said in a statement. news18
Pakistan: Zainab's rape, murder sparks child sexual abuse debate
A minor girl's rape and murder earlier this month has sent a shock wave across Pakistan. The incident has drawn a wide public outcry, with many celebrities openly talking against child sexual abuse in the South Asian nation.Zainab Fatima Ameen, a seven-year-old girl from the city of Kasur in central Punjab, was found dead in a rubbish dump after several days of her disappearance. An autopsy revealed she had been brutally abused and strangled to death."Sex abuse prevention education is a necessity of the day but there should be some checks that obscenity isn't taught in its name," Farid Piracha of Jamaat-e-Islami, Pakistan’s largest Islamic party, told Al Jazeera. "The purpose should be propagation of ethical and religious lifestyle," he said. The Govt  insists it is not going for the westernisation of sexual education.aljazeera
A Committed Judiciary and Democracy:NIKHIL WAGLE
From Dalit activist to Gujarat MLA: Tracking Jignesh Mevani’s journey: HT

JNU administration is attempting to change the basic character of the university:Parnal Chirmuley
AAP won’t take EC disqualification lying down: Atishi Marlena

Compiled and edited by Anwarulhaq (Released at: 8:21 PM)


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