20 February 2018

20 Feb: ND: Assam citizenship issue: SC refuses to extend deadline to publish final NRC, orders to complete NRC by May 31/ Embraced Islam, married Shafin Jahan on my own free will, allow me to live with husband: Hadiya tells SC

20 Feb.2018:03 Jamadiul-2 1439:Vol:9, No:125
Assam citizenship issue: SC refuses to extend deadline to publish final NRC, orders to complete NRC by May 31
New Delhi: Supreme Court has refused to extend the deadline for publication of the final National Register of Citizens (NRC) in Assam and directed the Centre to complete the work by May 31.The SC said that the work of the verification of around one crore citizens in the State should continue without interference from any quarter.A bench comprising justices Ranjan Gogoi and R.F. Nariman said that it would monitor the progress of the NRC work in Assam after 30 days.When Attorney General K.K. Venugopal told the bench that it was not “physically possible” to complete the work by May 31, the SC said its business was to make the impossible possible.“Attorney General what everybody thought was a big joke, has been turned into a reality. Our business is to make impossible possible and we will do it. We are monitoring it for the last four years and we know this,” the bench said.The bench also made it clear that the upcoming panchayat and local body elections in Assam, which are scheduled to be held in the months of March and April, 2018 will be conducted by the state election commission and the state Govt . “The work of holding panchayat and local body elections in Assam will not be at cost of upgrading and preparation of NRC and the NRC work will continue as before with full deployment,” the bench said.The SC also said that the state election commission and the state Govt  would take all the necessary action for holding these elections. The bench also did not accept the request to appoint an additional state coordinator for NRC work and said that incumbent coordinator Prateek Hajela would continue to carry out the exercise till it reaches its logical conclusion.The bench has listed the matter for further hearing on March 27.PTI
Complete NRC by May 31: SC to Assam govt
SC rejects Centre’s plea to extend Assam National Register of Citizens publication deadline
 Embraced Islam, married Shafin Jahan on my own free will, allow me to live with husband: Hadiya tells SC
 New Delhi:Stating that she had embraced Islam and married on her own free will, Hadiya alias Akhila on Tuesday filed an affidavit before the Supreme Court seeking its permission to live with her husband Shafin Jahan.“I embraced the faith/religion of Islam on my choice as per my conscience and on my own free will after studying about Islam and thereafter I married a person, namely Shafin Jahan, the Petitioner herein, from the same faith as per my choice and on my own free will. However, despite the fact that I submitted repeatedly on affidavit, through my counsel and also in person, as the case may be, before the Hon’ble High Court of Kerala that I made the above choices (of my religion and my life-partner) on my own free will, the Bench of the High Court did not heed to my submissions,” she said in her affidavit.Akhila, a Hindu woman from Kerala, embraced Islam, changed her name to Hadiya, and married a Muslim, Shefin Jahan. But their marriage was annulled by Kerala HC in May last year.In her prayer, Hadiya also asked the apex court to appoint Jahan as her guardian. She claimed that her father, KM Asokan, an atheist, was under the influence of a few people as he would never had objected to her embracing another religion or marrying someone outside her religion. I do not see how my father, who is an atheist, would object to me changing my religion or marrying someone from a different religion. I further submit that all those people played and still playing behind my father and all those errant personnel, both official and non-official, who subjected or caused to subject me to the horrendous torture and torments as stated above are liable to be brought to justice. In the interest of justice and for the harmonious living of the citizens of India, I most respectfully pray that this Hon’ble Court may be pleased to pass appropriate orders to take appropriate action in accordance with law against all persons mentioned above, who tortured me horrendously and mercilessly,” she stated. Rejecting allegations that she has links to IS and is not mentally sound, Hadiya said she wishes to “live and die as an Indian citizen”. The baseless and malicious propaganda being made by the investigating agency and by the evil forces behind my father that I am mentally not sound, that I have connection with IS and media trial on these allegations would detrimentally affect my future and career as a Doctor, causing irreparable heavy injuries and loss to me. As per my faith, I believe that my obligation to my parents is invaluably and indeterminably huge; I don’t hate them; I have not left them in the lurch nor would I ever do so. Being my parents, I shall not denounce them. I could not go home even after completion of my studies in Islam only because my parents were insisting me to return to home by giving up my belief in Islam. I wish to live and die only as an Indian citizen, and nobody has got any authority to challenge the said right of mine,” Hadiya said.She alleged that some NIA personnel acted with prejudice against her.“Some personnel of NIA behaved with me with a prejudice as if I am a criminal or a terrorist.All those wanton horrendous sufferings were meted out to me not for any fault of mine, but for having exercised, on my own free will, my fundamental rights guaranteed under the Constitution of India to believe in the religion of my choice as well as to marry the person of my choice,”she said. indianexpress
'I am a Muslim, want to remain Muslim: Hadiya to SC
NIA attempted to mislead me by portraying Shafin Jahan as a terrorist, Hadiya to Supreme Court                                                
Embraced Islam on my choice & as per my conscience free will, allow me to live with Shafin Jahan as husband and wife: Hadiya files affidavit in SC
Pune techie murder case: Bombay HC to hear bail pleas of 3 accused afresh after being pulled up by SC
Mumbai: Bombay High Court has recently admitted the fresh bail pleas of all the 3 accused in the murder case of Pune-based Muslim youth. This comes after the Supreme Court pulled up HC and criticised it for making religious remarks.The SC had pulled up the single-judge bench of Justice Mridula Bhatkar, who had granted bail to 3 accused. The observations made by Justice Bhatkar while allowing the bail pleas, had invited the wrath of the SC which cancelled the bails.Mohsin Shaikh (22) died in June 2014, after being attacked by a mob near Unnatinagar in Pune, while he was on his way to home with a friend post evening prayers.freepressjournal
Did Modi govt snub Canadian PM? aljazeera -snub-canadian-pm-180220070516092.html
New Delhi:Canadian PM  Justin Trudeau's India trip that began on Saturday has been making the headlines in India for the wrong reasons. In the past 4 days of his first India trip as PM, Trudeau has travelled to iconic Taj Mahal, nearly 200km from the capital, New Delhi and Gujarat, home state of PM  Narendra Modi, and Mumbai, but no senior Govt  minister has met him so far. A junior Indian minister greeted the Canadian PM when he landed in New Delhi accompanied by his wife and three children.Modi has broken protocols in the past to receive guests personally, including Israeli PM  Benjamin Netanyahu in Jan.But the Indian PM , who famously hugs his guests, has not even tweeted welcoming Trudeau in a move being seen as a "snub" to the Canadian leader."I don't think this is any kind of snub. India values its relationship with Canada highly," Seshadri Chari, member of National Executive of BJP said.Modi is scheduled to meet Trudeau on Friday. Indian officials have accused Trudeau Govt of backing Sikh separatist movement known as the Khalistani movement that seeks an independent Sikh homeland in the Indian state of Punjab."Over the years, Canadian political establishment, across the spectrum (whether it is NDP, Conservatives or Liberals) has been mollycoddling Khalistani elements. Under the Trudeau Govt, this has increased. He had himself appeared on a Khalistani platform in Toronto in April last year,"Vishnu Prakash, ex-Indian envoy to Canada, told Indian news site The Print on Monday.Prakash, however, denied that Trudeau was being cold-shouldered, adding that "every courtesy has been extended to him".Balpreet Singh Boparai from the World Sikh Organisation - a non-profit outfit that claims to be working to promote and protect the interests of Canadian Sikhs - said the "snub reveals India's insecurity with minority rights"."The cold reception given to PM Trudeau has been noted in Canada," Boparai, who is based in Newmarket, Ontario said."PM  Trudeau has been unapologetic about the Sikhs in his cabinet, once also joking that he has more Sikhs in his cabinet than Modi. It is clear that there is an insecurity about this among some in the Indian Govt  and media who see Sikhs in positions of leadership as being inherently a threat to India. This is despite the fact that three of the four Sikh cabinet ministers have been raised in Canada and have never expressed any anti-India sentiments," he added.Canada boasts 17 Sikh members of parliament. Sikhs account for roughly 1.4 % of Canada's population of 36 million.Bharat Karnad, national security expert at the Centre for Policy Research, says the downplaying of Trudeau's visit is a direct fallout of Canada's inaction on "so-called Sikh radicalism".aljazeera
Khalistan factor casts a shadow over Trudeau visit
Modi govt giving backdoor amnesty to Samjhauta train blast perpetrators:activists protest in Canada
Surrey: Despite freezing cold and wind, dedicated community activists showed up at the vigil organized in memory of the Samjhauta blast victims in Surrey on Sunday.On Feb.18, 2007 a bomb ripped through the Samjhauta rail express killing 68 people, mostly Pakistani Muslims.The train was started to help the families separated by the Indo Pak division in 1947 to reconnect."Though the incident had happened on the Indian side of the border, the Indian intelligence had promptly blamed the Pakistan-based Islamic extremists for the crime.However, it was later revealed that this was a handiwork of the Hindu fanatics who want to turn India into Hindu theocracy", the organisers said."Even as one of the conspirators Swami Aseemanand has confessed his involvement before the courts, the current right wing Hindu nationalist BJP govt has been trying to shift the blame on the Muslim groups and help save Aseemanand", they added.Held under aegis of Indians Abroad for Pluralist India (IAPI) at the famous Holland Park, the vigil was aimed at building international pressure to dissuade the Indian Govt  from giving backdoor amnesty to perpetrators. Those in attendance were unanimous in their demand that the Canadian PM  Justin Trudeau who is currently on official visit to India must take up this issue with his Indian counterpart Narendra Modi.The breeze was so strong that the participants could not light 68 candles they had brought to remember the dead on the 11th anniversary of the tragedy.The vigil was started with special prayers recited by Muslim activist of Gujarati origin Imtiaz
Ready to join politics, says Sadhvi Pragya
Aurangabad: Malegaon blast accused Sadhvi Pragya Singh Thakur on Monday praised PM  Narendra Modi for "acche din" and said she would join politics and serve the country if she was asked to do so.Thakur, who is out on bail, appealed to Hindus to have more children. "It is saffron that is appealing to you to have more children for the sake of the country. This is not something which I should be saying, but something you should be thinking about," she said.Claiming that charges against her were false and fabricated, she said, "It was the conspiracy of the disbelievers to coin the term 'saffron terrorism' and blot the country's name at the global stage. It was the previous UPA Govt 's conspiracy to put me behind bar and forcefully extract statements supporting its theory."TOI
Previous Govt  framed me in false terror case, says Sadhvi -framed-me-in-false-terror-case-says-sadhvi-pragya-1776099.html
Maldives Emergency extended by 30 days
Maldives' Parliament approved extending the state of Emergency by 30 days following a request by President Abdulla Yameen.Only 38 MPs were present for vote despite the requirement of 43 lawmakers as per the Constitution.All 38 MPs were from the ruling party, the Maldives Independent reported.The opposition had boycotted the vote to ensure the vote could not take place, but the extension was granted anyway. New state of Emergency will end on March 22.IANS
MEA urges Maldives govt to implement SC order, abstain from extending emergency
Triple Talaq Verdict Doesn't Endanger Personal Laws, Argues Salman Khurshid in His Latest Book
New Delhi: Those who may think that the events around Triple talaq – from Supreme Court judgments to the debates in Parliament to the draft of instant Triple Talaq Bill – are slowing chipping away personal laws and ushering in a Uniform Civil Code are mistaken, SC lawyer and Congress leader Salman Khurshid has argued in his latest book.Titled, ‘Triple Talaq: Examining Faith’, Khurshid tries to explain how developments around the, now infamous, Islamic mode of divorce in no way suggests a need for bigger ‘reform’ in the religion.“Ultimately, the court will have to decide if equality is uniformity or diversity too is desirable. Triple talaq was obviously not a deserving test for that proposition because of its inherent odious nature and its questionable pedigree,” Khurshid says in his book.The author also argues that organic changes within Islamic society in India were already there to be seen.“Although polygamy remains lawful (subject, of course, to strict conditions), Govt regulations prohibiting polygamy for civil servants has been quietly accepted by Muslims. Similarly, restrictions on cow slaughter have been widely accepted across the country,” writes Khurshid.Talking about his book to a news portal, Khurshid explained the reasons for writing it —“It was a matter of interest to quite a few. People had imagined it to be something that it wasn’t... I am not advocating Triple Talaq, I’m against it but only to the extent that it’s not a valid form of divorce...The attempt to demonise the community because they have a somewhat unacceptable kind of divorce...that has to be put in the right perspective.”news18
Pension for victims of triple talaq shortly: RSS$largeimg20_Feb_2018_190318610.jpg
Kaithal:RSS national executive member Indresh Kumar disclosed the launching of private social pension scheme by Muslim Rashtriya Manch for Muslim women who have become victims of 'triple talaq'.Addressing a press conference here, RSS leader Indresh Kumar, who celebrated his birthday with simplicity along with his family and associates of social organizations, said initially the victims would get Rs 500 per month and later the pension amount could be increased if substantial funds were collected for this purpose. He appealed to Muslim brothers and others to make contributions to such fund so that the scope of this scheme could be widened and more Muslim women could be helped.UNI
Muslim Women in Bhopal Warn Centre Not to Meddle With Shariat, Say 'Triple Talaq Matter of Personal Law'
Bhopal: Claiming that ‘triple talaq’ comes under the jurisdiction of All India Muslim Personal Law Board (AIMPLB) and not the Centre, hundreds of Muslim women gathered in Bhopal on Tuesday to protest against the Govt ’s intervention.Muslim women from all age groups gathered at Neelam Park in Bhopal before taking out a rally till Raj Bhavan on Tuesday. While they criticised the practice of instant triple talaq, they also said that the Centre shouldn’t be allowed to intervene in Shariat, which they claim is “Allah’s voice”. A similar protest was organized in Ujjain around 160 km from Bhopal some time ago and another one is being planned in Indore in the coming days.Saleha Rizwan, a senior AIMPLB women’s wing functionary told News18 that the Centre should refrain from meddling into affairs of the Personal Law. “If the govt jails the husband for pronouncing triple talaq, who would take care of the family,” she said.On being asked what if Muslim women given talaq are left to fend for themselves, Rizwan said that religious groups would take care of such women. “Govt should rather focus on promoting education, arrangement for orphan kids and welfare measures.”Youngster Afsa Shahid, a post-graduate from a local Islamic seminary, who was part of the protest talking to News18, claimed that out of the total number of divorce cases, barely 0.3% cases were of triple talaq. However, Shahid also clarified that she was against instant triple talaq.“Ulemas are fighting hard to terminate this evil (instant triple talaq) but the Centre should not interfere in Shariat laws,” said the Islamic scholar, adding, “Shariat empowers men to pronounce triple talaq according to their will”.A housewife and resident of Neelam Park colony, Firdaus Shahid Khan too voiced a similar opinion.Islam is the only religion that allows both men and women to call off marriage if they don’t find each other suitable, she observed. Khan also said that Muslims are bound to follow all the decisions that come from the Supreme Court, but won’t tolerate any interference in Shariat, which is Allah’s words. Executive member of AIMPLB, Aif Masood said that the basic aim of such protests were to warn the central Govt  that Muslim women, too, were against these changes in Shariat. news18
VHP Leadership Impasse Worries RSS as Pravin Togadia Wants to Stay Put
New Delhi: With no compromise in sight, persisting impasse within VHP is increasingly worrying the RSS as it works hard to avoid divisions in the organisation. RSS has not been able to bring about a rapprochement on the leadership issues in VHP, which were triggered 2 months back at the Bhubaneshwar executive.“The larger worry for RSS is that VHP – along with the BJP – is the only other Sangh affiliate with a large mass base. Such leadership issues raise fundamental questions in an organisation which gives precedence to the institution than an individual,” says an RSS leader.In Bhubaneshwar executive of VHP in Dec, matters came to head in presence of RSS second-in-command Bhaiyyaji. RSS was apparently backing former Himachal Pradesh governor VS Kokje for the top post, while International Working President Pravin Togadia insisted on division.news18
Amid rows, Hindu Yuva Vahini grows in west UP, ‘waits for word from above’
Meerut:With a string of cases reported in western Uttar Pradesh involving alleged Hindu Yuva Vahini activists, senior leaders say no directions are coming from above, leaving members to take matters into their own hands.It’s been more than a year since CM  Yogi Adityanath, the founder of the Yuva Vahini, held a meeting of its leaders. Sachin Mittal, in-charge of the Yuva Vahini’s Meerut Vibhag (covering Meerut, Hapur and Baghpat districts), says the leaders whom Yogi appointed in his place haven’t held any state-level meetings either. “None of them has even visited western UP,” Mittal says.Vahini’s website has been dysfunctional now for almost four months, and recently, orders dissolving its district unit at Lucknow and Mau were posted on Facebook. Leaders said the Mau unit was dissolved as some expelled workers were “misusing the name of the organisation”.Yogi had named his loyalist Raghvendra Pratap Singh as the Vahini state in-charge, Rakesh Rai as state president and P K Mall as state general secretary. Says Mittal, “Raghvendra has confined himself to Domariyaganj after he was elected BJP MLA from there.”indianexpress
Pune: Bajrang Dal members arrested for violence, riots
Pune: 4 Bajrang Dal members have been arrested and 50 others booked for beating activists who were distributing comrade Govind Pansare’s book “Shivaji Kon Hota” at a school in Pune.The members threatened the activists saying that like the author of the book had been murdered, the activists would be murdered too.  The activists beat up Sharad Pokharkar, org-aniser and coordinator of the Maratha Kranti Morcha, Sambhaji Brig-ade; and his colleagues, Ganesh Bangar and Amol Shelar. Mr Pokharkar said, “We decided to distribute copies of the book ‘Shivaji Kon Hota’ at Bhairavnath Vidyalaya,  on February 17. Howe-ver, the principal of the school was warned not to hold the programme.asianage
Raj: Mobile internet services suspended for 24 hrs after 2 communities clash
Jaipur: Mobile internet services were suspended for 24 hours in Rajasthan's Tonk district following clashes between 2 communities, an official said. The clashes broke out when a marriage procession with D J sound system was passing by a mosque in the Hira Chowk area.Four people were injured in the stone pelting, Additional DM Lokesh Kumar Gautam said. He said mobile internet services were suspended as a precautionary measure. Superintendent of Police, Tonk, Yogesh Dadich said two two-wheelers were torched by the miscreants He said the situation was under control and additional forces were deployed in the area as a precaution. Two persons have been detained, he added. PTI
Arunachal: Mob drags two rape accused out of police station, beats them to death
An irate mob dragged out two rape accused and beat them to death on Monday. The incident took place at a police station in Tezu in Arunachal Pradesh. The accused have been identified as one Jagdish Lohar and Sanjay Sabar- both migrant labours from neighbouring Assam. According to a report in India Today, the two were allegedly involved in the rape and murder of a minor. 12-year-old girl from Namgo village in Arunachal was missing since Feb12. Her naked body was discovered five days later near a tea garden. Timesnownews
Amit Shah gives communal colour to incident involving Haris
BJP chief Amit Shah seemed to give a communal colour to a case involving Karnataka Congress MLA's son Mohammed Haris Nalapad, who has been accused of assaulting a youth in Bengaluru. Shah further launched a scathing attack on Siddaramiah-led Govt in Karnataka and said that CM  is wrong if he thinks that "politics of appeasement will be successful". "Appeasement and polarisation here reflects an example where son of MLA Haris thrashed a man but there was no FIR. Why? Not only bcoz he's Haris's son but because it involves appeasement of groups," Shah said in Karnataka. oneindia
Rohith Vemula's family accepts compensation from University of Hyderabad
Hyderabad: After a 2-year-long standoff with the University of Hyderabad, deceased research scholar Rohith Vemula's family accepted a compensation of ₹8 lakh offered by the institute in 2016.UoH offered the compensation to Radika Vemula, mother of Rohith Vemula as per National Commission for Scheduled Castes directive.Vemula committed suicide on Jan.17, 2016 after he and four other Dalit students were expelled from their hostels. Massive protests had taken over the varsity and across the country following his demise.In a media release, Radhika Vemula explained she accepted the compensation as it was their rightful due and she has not compromised with the management. “I refused to accept the money when it was first offered. I was under the wrong impression that this money was being offered at the behest of Appa Rao (V-C) and thought that they were trying to buy my silence...I want to State in no unclear terms that the acceptance of this compensation, which is rightfully due to dependents of Vemula, is in no way a compromise with university management,”she stated.thehindu
Now, Nirav Modi says PNB's overzealousness has shut the doors on his ability to clear dues
Mumbai: Nirav Modi, at the centre of a ₹11,500 crore banking fraud, has said PNB’s overzealousness has shut the doors on his ability to clear the dues, which he claimed were much lower than the amount stated by the bank.In a letter to the PNB management, a copy of which PTI has seen, Mr. Modi has pegged the amount that his companies owe the bank at under ₹5,000 crore.“The erroneously cited liability resulted in a media frenzy which led to immediate search and seizure of operations, and which in turn resulted in Firestar International and Firestar Diamond International effectively ceasing to be going-concerns. This jeopardised our ability to discharge the dues of the group to the banks,” said Mr. Modi, who left the country along with his family in the first week of Jan.thehindu
Nirav Modi’s letter to PNB: Your actions destroyed my brand, closed all options to recover dues
PNB’s 5-day market cap loss exceeds Nirav Modi’s Rs 11,400 crore fraud
As the shares of PNB continue to slide for the fifth straight day, 5-day loss in the market capitalisation of Punjab National Bank has exceeded Nirav Modi’s Rs 11,400 crore fraud. PNB shares are on a free-fall for the last five days since after India’s second largest PSU bank has said that it has detected some “unauthorised and fraudulent” transactions at the Brady road branch in Mumbai. Amid so-called scam, the alleged diamond merchant Nirav Modi was named in obtaining buyer’s credit from several Indian lenders by raising fake LOUs from PNB by unauthorised means.Shares of PNB has fallen about 30% in the last 5 days as the implications of the biggest banking scandal are coming out day after day. financialexpress
Modi govt ends Coal India monopoly, allows mining by private firms
In the most significant move involving the Indian coal sector since its nationalisation in 1973, Union Cabinet on Tuesday decided to end the monopoly status of state-miner Coal India Ltd (CIL) by opening commercial mining for private sector. Railway and Coal Minister Piyush Goyal said that the Cabinet had approved the methodology for auctioning coal mines to private companies in order to bring efficiency into the sector." Govt has taken several measures in the coal sector, which will enhance competition in the system, bring efficiency in coal production, reduce coal import, save foreign exchange and generate job opportunities for the people," Goyal said.As per the new methodology, the auction would be held as forward bidding on an online transparent platform, he said.IANS
Jay Shah case: Gujarat HC restores gag order on The Wire
New Delhi: Gujarat High Court has allowed the petition moved by Jay Shah, son of BJP president Amit Shah, challenging a lower court order that lifted the gag order barring news portal The Wire to write on the “exceptional” increase in his firm’s turnover. The development now means that the portal can’t write further on Jay’s firm’s turnover, which reportedly increased 16,000 times in over a year after the election of PM  Narendra Modi. The portal has said it will challenge the order in the Supreme Court.The court had on Jan.20 reserved its order in connection with the plea. indianexpress
Ready to Quit NDA for Dalit Unity: RPI leader Athawale
After the Bhima-Koregaon riots, the focus is once again on Dalit unity, in order to consolidate the votes for 2019 elections. During the entire event and politics which unfolded thereafter, Prakash Ambedkar, leader of Bharip-Bahujan Mahasangh has emerged as a strong national Dailt leader, whereas Ramdas Athawale, president of RPI -A and Union Minister for Social Justice has gone on the backfoot. While speaking with Vivek Bhavsar of Free Press Journal, Athawale highlighted the need for all Dalits to unite and wants Ambedkar to lead it.RPI leader Rajendra Gawai spoke about Dalit unity. freepressjournal
Kathua rape and murder victim Asifa was drugged in captivity, reveals investigation: greaterkashmir
The investigation into the rape and murder of eight-year-old Asifa Bano of Hira Nagar Kathua has so far revealed that the accused had drugged her so that she would not cry for help, said an official privy to the probe.The investigation is being conducted by Crime Branch of J&K police.“The accused initially administered her a locally available intoxicant. Later they gave her diazepam regularly so that she wouldn’t scream for help and catch attention of the passersby,” he said.The accused had held the girl captive for seven days before murdering her in a brutal manner. The official said CB has identified the drug store where the accused had purchased drugs.The revelations come at a time when questions are being raised over the investigation the police had carried out before handing the case over to the CB.The police had claimed to have solved the case by arresting a “minor boy”. But CB has so far arrested two special police officers in connection with the case.While SPO Deepak Khajuria Khajuria is believed to be directly involved in the abduction, rape and murder of Asifa, the role of the other SPO, Surinder Kumar, in the crime is being ascertained by CB.Deepak was also part of the police team that had “searched” for Asifa after she went missing on January 10. Asifa’s family has now sought monitoring of the investigation by the High Court. greaterkashmir
Citizens across divided J&K jointly urge India,Pakistan to resume ceasefire, end hostilities on the LoC
Jammu: In a joint petition, over 130 eminent citizens of the divided State of Jammu and Kashmir have urged Indian PM  Narendra Modi and Pakistan’s PM  Shahid Khaqan Abbasi to resume ceasefire along LoC and begin the process of dialogue to resolve the Kashmir issue by including all the people of Jammu and Kashmir.This initiative is led by two civil society activists across the LoC; Anuradha Bhasin, Executive Editor, daily Kashmir Times, and Ershad Mahmud, Executive Director, Center for Peace, Development, and Reforms from Pakistan. The petition has already gained momentum and people are coming together in significant numbers to encourage this initiative. It so far has got signatures from various senior political leaders, poets, authors, journalists, civil society activists, former civil servants, ex-diplomats and army personnel, as well as people from the academia.TwoCirles
Aghast at efforts of NIA to define working of a journalist: Kashmir Editors Guild
New Delhi :Kashmir Editors Guild (KEG), body of the editors of the papers published in Kashmir on Tuesday strongly reacted to the “new definition” of a journalist by NIA detailed in the chargesheet of incarcerated Kashmir photo-journalist Kamran Yousuf.“If the cops are supposed to define the roles and responsibilities of the journalists, which manage the fourth pillar of democracy, universities that train thousands of journalists in a year across India must be locked,” the statement said. “Re-defining journalism is usually been seen as an effort by totalitarian and dictatorial regimes and not democracies.”Not covering “developmental activity of any Govt dept” or “inauguration of a hospital or a school” or “statement of any political party in power” are some of the reasons NIA has listed as evidence that Kamran Yusuf was not a “real journalist”. The observations by NIA are part of the chargesheet into the terror funding and stone pelting in the Valley filed on January 18 against 12 people including Yusuf, a free-lance photojournalist arrested on September 5 for his alleged involvement in “stone-pelting incidents”.indianexpress
School of Education, AMU starts short-term courses for Madrasa teachers
Aligarh: School of Education, AMU under scheme of ‘Pandit Madan Mohan Malviya Mission on Teachers and Training’ (PMMMMTT), Ministry of HRD started short-term courses for Madrasa teachers on ‘Environmental Education and How to Teach Effectively’at the Dept of Education, AMU.These courses, which were started on Feb.18 will conclude on Feb.23. Chief-guest of the inaugural function, Prof Akbar Husain  said that since Madrasas are a bridge in religious and modern education, it is the onus of Madrasa teachers to focus on the personality development of students in the best of religious and modern ways. He also launched the School of Education website.TCN
Kashmiri scientist discovers prostate cancer treatment
Srinagar:A Kashmiri scientist has made a path-breaking discovery that not only adds to our understanding of spread of cancer but could also pave way for new treatment of prostate cancer.Dr Khalid MuzaffarMasoodi, a scientist working at SKAUST K, in collaboration with University of Pittsburgh USA has published a paper in February issue of Nature Oncogene, a leading cancer journal from Nature publishing group. The paper presents the identification of DHX15, a newly discovered gene that drives the spread and growth of cancerous cells in human body. This is the first study to reveal how DHX15 expression is associated with prostate cancer recurrence and provides a “potential new molecular target for the treatment of advanced prostate cancer”.greaterkashmir
Mayhem at Delhi secretariat, Kejriwal’s minister files police complaint alleging assault by govt officials  
Hours after Delhi Govt’s chief secretary, Anshu Prakash, sensationally alleged that he was assaulted by two AAP MLAs at CM Arvind Kejriwal’s residence, Delhi govt’s secretariat witnessed a mayhem of sorts. Imran Husain, a minister in Kejriwal Govt , alleged that he was stopped from entering his office by Govt  officials, who reported threatened to avenge the ‘assault’ on Prakash.Husain has filed a police complaint at Indraprastha Police Station alleging that he was assaulted by enraged mob, who threatened to kill him.The complain said, “Today when I was about to enter the secretariat building, some Govt  staff approached me and said that they had been told to avenge the attack on the chief secretary by teaching AAP MLAs and ministers a lesson… They held me captive in the lift, beat me up and even threatened to kill me. They also destroyed my mobile phone.” AAP leader, Ashish Khetan, said that he too was assaulted. He was quoted by Times Now as saying, “It was a riot-like situation, a crowd had gathered who became violent and even raised slogans, we don’t know who they were. Everything is on CCTV, it will be clear from it. Police were mute spectators.”He tagged Home Minister Rajnath Singh on Twitter seeking an appointment to meet him so that he could apprise him about ‘unfortunate incidents’ at the Delhi secretariat.He wrote, “Sir, I have sought a meeting with you to apprise you of the unfortunate incidents at Delhi Secretariat this afternoon. Minorities Minister & I were assaulted. The entire incident has been captured on camera. Hope you will do justice. He later tweeted to inform that he had received a call from Singh’s office but was told that the home minister was unavailable to meet him. He wrote, “I just received a call from Hon’ble HM @rajnathsingh ji’s office. I have been told that HM is very busy and he wont be able to meet me.jantakareporter
Aadhaar no more mandatory for distribution of ration: Delhi govt
New Delhi : Amid a high voltage drama over an alleged assault on Chief Secretary Anshu Prakash by AAP MLAs, Delhi govt has decided against making Aadhaar mandatory for the distribution of ration in the national capital. While addressing a press conference, Deputy CM  Manish Sisodia said the decision in this regard was taken by the cabinet which could not meet on Tuesday due to protests at secretariat after alleged assault of Prakash.“Delhi Govt  has decided to stop aadhaar being mandatory for the distribution of ration, this was decided at the cabinet which couldn’t take place at the Secretariat today due to protests,” said Sisodia.There have been numerous reports of hardship faced by people due to aadhaar authentication at ration shops. People often complain of long lines due to faulty machines, poor network connectivity and problematic fingerprint recognition.indianexpress
Private hospitals making profits of up to 1,737% on drugs, consumables and diagnostics: Study
New Delhi: An analysis of bills from four reputed private hospitals in Delhi and NCR by National Pharmaceutical Pricing Authority (NPPA) has revealed that they are making profits of up to 1,737% on drugs, consumables and diagnostics and that these three accounts for about 46% of a patient’s bill. The analysis, released,noted that “the major beneficiaries of profits in all these cases because of inflated MRPs have been hospitals rather than drugs and devices’ manufacturers”. NPPA noted that most drugs, devices and disposables were used and sold by the hospitals from their in-house pharmacies and patients didn’t have the choice of buying them from outside where prices could be lower. Institutional bulk purchase by private hospitals, in most cases by their own pharmacy, makes it easier for them to indulge in “profiteering on drugs and devices even without the need to violate MRPs”, since these are already inflated, stated NPPA.TOI
Hindu, Muslim weddings in one pandal at the same time
Rohtak;Setting an example of communal harmony, a Hindu couple and a Muslim couple tied the nuptial knot in one wedding pandal at the same time following their respective traditions. The weddings were solemnised at a banquet hall in Jind on Sunday afternoon. Jind residents Rajender Kumar and Shabbir Khan have been neighbours for a long time. For the marriage of their daughters Shaalu and Shabnam, both had booked the same banquet hall situated on Rohtak road. While Rajender had booked the hall for an evening ceremony on Feb.18, Shabbir had booked it for the afternoon.Due to some miscommunication, Rajender remained under the impression that he has booked the hall for afternoon, and made catering and other wedding-related arrangements accordingly. However, he was in for a shock on Sunday afternoon when he found that the hall where his daughter was to marry was given to someone else. A little drama ensued as a worried Rajender sought his options at the last minute, since all his guests were invited for the afternoon ceremony. But soon, Rajender received support from his neighbour Shabbir, who proposed that both the weddings could happen at the same time.HT
Assad forces continue bloody offensive in besieged East Ghouta, killing over 150 civilians
Residents from Eastern Ghouta say the incessant shelling of the besieged, rebel-held area has been "crazy and catastrophic", as Syrian regime forces have continued their bombardment, killing more than 150 civilians in the last 48 hours."From yesterday until this very moment, we've witnessed all kinds of shelling in our neighbourhood," Shams, a mother of 2 children, told Al Jazeera on Tuesday from Eastern Ghouta. "Warplanes have not stopped soaring over the city. When the shelling temporarily stops, they start firing missiles at us," she said.Over the past 24 hours, the relentless air raids and artillery fired by Syrian Govt  forces have left the residents of the Damascus suburb in a state of fright and panic. Khalid Abulabed, a field doctor in the Damascus suburb, under siege since 2013, described the current situation as "crazy and catastrophic."It's indescribable. It reminded me of what we used to see in Aleppo – shelling day and night," Abulabed told Al Jazeera."Nothing is excluded from the shelling, not schools, not residential areas, not even markets, which has caused a significant increase in the number of people martyred and wounded," he said.Since Sunday, more than 100 people lost their lives, including at least 20 children, according to the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights (SOHR).Over 300 people have suffered wounds, the London-based monitoring group said on Tuesday.Residents say there are no signs of life in the area - home to nearly 400,000 people - especially with the lack of basic necessities, including food and medicine."We reached a point where we don't even leave the house during these raids so that if we're attacked, we die together," said Shams. The attack that began on Sunday reportedly marks an upcoming ground assault, which will soon be launched by the Govt , the SOHR said. Eastern Ghouta is the last, remaining rebel-held area east of Damascus, and has been under siege by Syrian President Bashar al-Assad's forces since 2013.UN and other rights organisations have continuously called for a permanent ceasefire and for the Govt  to lift the "crippling" blockade. As a result of the tight siege, aid convoys have not been able to deliver much of the desperately needed food and medical supplies, and overall access to the enclave remains "woefully inadequate".On Feb.14,a convoy's deliveries reached only 2.6 % of the estimated 272,500 people in need of humanitarian aid, according to Ali al-Za'tari, the UN's humanitarian coordinator in Syria.The lack of commodities has left residents with 2 main - and scarce – options to stay afloat, including rice and bread.Facing severe food shortages, coupled with the sharp rise in food prices, mothers like Shams fear dying of starvation.Geert Cappelaere, UNICEF's regional director, said: "We no longer have the words to describe children's suffering and our outrage."Do those inflicting the suffering still have words to justify their barbaric acts?" he asked.And earlier on Tuesday, the UN said it was alarmed by "the extreme escalation in hostilities" in Eastern Ghouta.In a statement, it called for an "immediate" end to the bombardment of the rebel stronghold.aljazeera
'It's not a war. It's a massacre': Assad regime uses barrel bombs, attacks hospitals in east Ghouta
Nearly 100 civilians, including 20 children, killed in worst Syria shelling since 2015
UN issues blank statement because it ‘no longer has words’ to describe war on Syria’s children
UN: 'Senseless human suffering' must end in East Ghouta
UN says it is alarmed by "the extreme escalation in hostilities" in Syria's Eastern Ghouta and called for "immediate" end to the bombardment of the rebel-held area that has left more than 100 people dead since Sunday."The recent escalation of violence compounds an already precarious humanitarian situation," Panos Moumtzis, UN's regional humanitarian coordinator for the Syria crisis, said in a statement on Tuesday."It's imperative to end this senseless human suffering now. Such targeting of innocent civilians and infrastructure must stop now."aljazeera Aljazeera

Iraq MP accuses PKK of abducting Yazidis to fight in Syria
A Yazidi member of the Iraqi Kurdistan Parliament, Sheikh Shamo has accused the Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK) of kidnapping more than 1,000 young Yazidi men and women from Sinjar district and sending them to conflict areas in Syria.Shamo said the PKK has forced the young Yazidis to take up arms and fight among its ranks.He stressed that the group’s presence in Sinjar is not to protect the area but to recruit young Yazidis to join the fighting.The lawmaker pointed out that the organisation is sending Yazidis to their death.middleeastmonitor
Egypt: Ex-presidential candidate Khaled Ali resigns from own party
Egyptian human rights lawyer, Khaled Ali announced his resignation from the Bread and Freedom Party which he co-founded in 2013.Ali also resigned from his position as advisor at the Egyptian Centre for Economic and Social Rights (ECESR) following allegations of indecent conduct brought against him. A former colleague alleged that Ali sexually harassed her in 2015.In his first response to the claims, Ali wrote on Facebook: “I remained silent because I believe that we live a new world and have new tools to express our positions and opinions, the only way was to deal with this event with all seriousness and guidance.”middleeastmonitor
Egyptian, Israeli firms sign $15bn natural gas deal
Israeli company Delek Drilling has announced it will supply Egypt with $15bn worth of natural gas in the biggest export deal to date for Israel's natural gas industry.Egyptian company Dolphinus will buy 64 billion cubic metres of natural gas from Delek Drilling and its US partner Noble during a 10-year period, a statement released on Monday said. Israeli PM  Benjamin Netanyahu welcomed the "historic" agreement. "This will bring billions into the country's coffers," he said in a statement. Netanyahu said the deal would "strengthen [Israel's] security, our economy, and also strengthen our regional relationships". Yossi Abu, CEO of Delek Drilling, said the agreement would "establish Egypt's status as a regional energy centre". The companies have yet to determine what route the natural gas from Israel's Mediterranean Tamar and Leviathan fields will flow to Egypt. Delek's statement said "various possibilities" exist, including the use of the EMG pipeline.aljazeera          
UNICEF: 1 million children die the day they are born
One million children die on the day they are born every year, with another 1.6 million unable to survive past the first month, the UN's children's agency said in a new report.Newborns in Pakistan, Central African Republic (CAR) and Afghanistan have the least chance of survival, according to the UNICEF report launched on Tuesday.More than 80 % of newborn deaths are due to prematurity, complications during birth or infections, the report adds, and the deaths can be prevented with access to well-trained midwives, along with clean water and adequate facilities."Given that the majority of these deaths are preventable, clearly, we are failing the world's poorest babies," said UNICEF's Executive Director Henrietta Fore. Poverty, conflict, and weak institutions are being blamed for pregnant women and infants not receiving the assistance they need.In Pakistan, one in 22 newborns fail to live past the first month.In conflict-ridden CAR, one in 24 newborns meet the same fate.aljazeera
Israel proposes bill to revoke residency status of Palestinians in East Jerusalem
Israeli Ministerial Committee for Legislation has approved a proposed bill that makes it possible to revoke the residency status of persons in occupied East Jerusalem and Golan Heights if they are convicted of engaging in anti-Israel activities, Haaretz reported.The revocation of residency will make it possible for Israeli authorities to expel residents who are involved in the resistance against the occupation or who breach their loyalty to the State of Israel.Israel classifies Palestinians living in East Jerusalem and Druze in the Golan Heights as “residents” and not citizens.According to the Palestinian Ministry of Interior,Israel has revoked the residency status of more than 14,500 Palestinians from East Jerusalem since 1967 under the pretext that they were living outside the borders drawn by the Israeli authorities for Jerusalem after its occupation in the same year.middleeastmonitor
South Africa to cut diplomatic ties with Israel
South African Govt is intending to cut diplomatic ties with Israel in protest of its treatment of the Palestinian people, the country’s Science and Technology Minister Naledi Pandor announced yesterday. Pandor informed parliamentarians of the Govt ’s resolution during a ten-hour joint debate on South African President Cyril Ramaphosa’s State of the Nation Address (SONA) that he delivered last week.“The majority party has agreed, that Govt  must cut diplomatic ties with Israel, given the absence of genuine initiatives by Israel to secure lasting peace and a viable two-state solution that includes full freedom and democracy for the Palestinian people,” she said.The comments were made in response to opposition leader Kenneth Meshoe, who had argued that it was disappointing that national and provincial authorities in South Africa had refused help from Israeli companies to address the country’s current water crisis. middleeastmonitor
Netanyahu confidants named as suspects in new corruption probe by Israel police
Jerusalem:Israeli police revealed on Tuesday they had arrested the controlling shareholder and CEO of the country’s biggest telecoms company, as well as two former officials with close ties to PM  Benjamin Netanyahu, in a corruption case.The arrests in the investigation dubbed “Case 4000” came just days after police recommended Netanyahu himself be indicted for bribery and fraud in other cases, known as “1000” and “2000”.Shaul Elovitch, a family friend of Netanyahu’s who controls telecoms firm Bezeq through his Eurocom holding company, was arrested along with his wife, his son and Bezeq’s CEO Stella Handler.Former Netanyahu spokesperson Nir Hefetz and former communications ministry director-general Shlomo Filber, both known as close confidants of the PM , were also arrested.All the arrests took place on Sunday, but the identities of the suspects were withheld for two days under standard Israeli criminal procedure.Reuters
Abbas seeks alternative to US as peace mediator
The Palestinian president is expected to tell the UN Security Council on Tuesday that he wants to set up a new international alliance to mediate with the Israelis.Mahmoud Abbas is abandoning a quarter-of-a-century old policy of accepting the US as the main intermediary.It follows US President Donald Trump’s recognition of Jerusalem as Israel's capital.Al Jazeera's Bernard Smith reports from Ramallah in the occupied West Bank.aljazeera
Stranded Rohingya refuse to return to Myanmar without guarantees
COX's BAZAR: Rohingya refugees living in no man's land refused Tuesday to return to Myanmar without guarantees of citizenship and security after Bangladesh and Myanmar officials met to discuss their repatriation.6,000 Rohingya were among the first to flee Myanmar in the wake of a brutal military crackdown on the Muslim minority in late August. They have been living ever since in a makeshift camp in a strip of unclaimed land between the two countries.In recent weeks they have come under pressure to return, with a Myanmar minister warning of "consequences" if they remain in no man's land.But community leader Dil Mohammad told AFP they would not return without guarantees of security, citizenship and compensation for property lost in the clampdown."We are not going to return to our homes and villages in Myanmar unless our demands are met. We want citizenship, all rights, security to our lives and property and compensation," he said.AFP 
Rohingya children allegedly facing racial segregation in Rakhine schools
Myanmar to resettle 6,000 stranded Rohingya refugees

Medical report shows Tariq Ramadan’s health compatible with his continued detention
Muslim academic and rape-accused Tariq Ramadan will remain in custody following the emergence of new details related to the charges against him, according to AFP.A medical report ordered by the court on Monday to examine his appeal against his detention found that Ramadan's state of health was compatible with his continued detention.Ramadan has been indicted with rape on Feb. 2 and has since been imprisoned at the Fleury-Mérogis prison, south of Paris.His lawyers have claimed that Ramadan was suffering from multiple sclerosis and had requested his release under bail.Al Arabiya

300 arrested after Sufis clash with Iran police, killing 5
TEHRAN:Overnight clashes between followers of a Sufi Islam leader and Iranian police killed five members of the security forces and injured 30, Iranian media reported on Tuesday, the latest tension between the mystical order and authorities. Over 300 were arrested.Supporters of Sufi leader Nourali Tabandeh have been holding sporadic sit-ins near his home in Tehran, worried that the 90-year-old former deputy justice minister after Iran’s 1979 Islamic Revolution could be detained by police. That fear stems from the recent January protests in Iran in which police detained Sufis. Tabandeh has had close relationships with liberal activists.Sufis had rallied in front of a police station on Monday demanding the release of a detainee. They later rallied in front of Tabandeh’s home, where police started to try to disperse them. Previous rallies saw Sufi followers carrying clubs and knives, which they used to clash with police.AP
Saudi to host Arab Fashion Week for the first time
For the first time in its history, Saudi Arabia will be hosting Arab fashion week next month. The news was announced yesterday by Princess Noura Bint Faisal, the honorary president of the Arab Fashion Council (AFC).Speaking to a small group of industry insiders and journalists in London yesterday morning, Bint Faisal, reading from a letter from the General Entertainment Authority in Saudi Arabia, said: “Saudi Arabia’s artistic community has been growing in size and in confidence for a number of years and the General Entertainment Authority believes that such an event will allow a proper platform to showcase their fashion and arts talents as the vehicle for a comprehensive range of entertainment options in Saudi Arabia.”Bint Faisal went on to say that “the General Entertainment Authority is proud to support an event that seeks to bring people together in a mutual appreciation of the power of fashion and art.”middleeastmonitor
Unlike Nehru, Narendra Modi has no army of intellectual elite and the RSS is to blame:KUMAR KETKAR
 Rohingya need an 'autonomous region', not repatriation:Anealla Safdar
Compiled and edited by Anwarulhaq (Released at: 8:28 PM)


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