Tuesday, 20 March 2018

20 March ND: SC : No automatic FIR arrest againnst govt officials under SC/ST Act; bail possible/39 Indians kidnapped in Iraq dead: Congress slams govt for giving high hopes to families

20 March 2018:01 Rajjab 1439:Vol:9, No:146
SC passes slew of directions to safeguard govt officials under SC/ST Act; No automatic FIR arrest; bail possible
New Delhi:Underlining that "law should not result in caste hatred",the Supreme Court has ruled out automatic registration of FIR and arrest in complaint under SC/ST Act. A bench of Justices Adarsh K Goel and Uday U Lalit held there is a need to provide for safeguards against registration of FIRs and arrests under SC/ST Act in view of instances of misuse, as observed in the last 3 decades, and to protect the liberty of others. "The underprivileged need to be protected against any atrocities to give effect to the Constitutional ideals. The Atrocities Act has been enacted with this objective. At the same time, said Act cannot be converted into a charter for exploitation or oppression by any unscrupulous person or by police for extraneous reasons against other citizens," maintained the bench.The bench made it mandatory for the police to conduct a preliminary probe, not exceeding a week, to arrive at a decision whether an FIR deserves to be registered under the parameters of the Atrocities Act. "We are of the view that cases under the Atrocities Act also fall in exceptional category where preliminary inquiry must be held," said the Court. It added that even if an FIR is lodged, the accused will not be arrested automatically. "There is need to safeguard innocent citizens against false implication and unnecessary arrest," said the judges, as they laid down that arrest is not at all mandatory in cases under SC/ST Act.For a public servant, the Court said, permission of the appointing authority will be a must to make arrest whereas for others, written permission of the SSP or DSP will be necessary. "Such permissions must be granted for recorded reasons which must be served on the person to be arrested and to the concerned court," said the bench, adding as and when a person arrested is produced before the judge, it will be examined if further detention is required.Court also interpreted Section 18 of the Act, and ruled there cannot be any absolute bar against granting anticipatory bail in such cases. It held that a person is entitled to get a pre-arrest bail if it can be prima facie shown that allegations are false, fabricated and motivated. "It has been judicially acknowledged that there are instances of abuse of Act by vested interests against political opponents in Panchayat, Municipal or other polls, to settle private civil disputes arising out of property, monetary disputes, employment disputes and seniority disputes. It may be noticed that by way of rampant misuse complaints are ‘largely being filed particularly against Public Servants/ quasi judicial/judicial officers with oblique motive for satisfaction of vested interests",bench said. news 18
SC issues directions to prevent misuse of SC/ST Act, Govt servants can’t be arrested without prior sanction
39 missing Indians in Iraq are dead: Sushma Swaraj to Parliament
New Delhi:All the 39 Indians abducted by the ISIS terror outfit in Mosul in Iraq 3 years ago are dead and their bodies have been recovered, external affairs minister Sushma Swaraj said today. While it was not immediately known when the Indians were killed, their bodies were recovered from Badosh — a village in northwest of Mosul — and their identities established through DNA testing, she said in a statement in the Rajya Sabha.The mortal remains, which were exhumed from a mass grave in Badosh, will be brought back to India on a special plane and handed over to their relatives, she said.“I had said that I will not declare anyone dead without substantive proof... today I have come to fulfil that commitment,” she said. “I had said that closure will be done with full proof. And when we will, with a heavy heart, give the mortal remains to their kin, it will be a kind of closure.”A group of 40 Indian workers, mostly from Punjab, were taken hostage by the ISIS when it overran Iraq’s second largest city Mosul in 2014.Of the 40 Indians, one Harjit Masih from Gurdaspur had managed to escape and had claimed to have witnessed the massacre of the others. But the Govt rejected it.“His was a cock-and-bull story,” Swaraj said, adding he had managed to flee the ISIS by faking his identity as a Muslim from Bangladesh.Indians were first kept at a textile factory in Mosul and after Masih escaped, they were moved to a prison in Badosh.Relentless search for them led to a mass grave in Badosh, where deep penetration radar was used to establish the presence of bodies below a mound. The bodies, which were exhumed with help from Iraqi authorities, had distinctive features like long hair, ‘kada’, non-Iraqi shoes and IDs. Govt was told on Monday that DNA of 38 Indians matched with the remains of bodies found. One body was a 70 %  match, she said.Swaraj said she has previously maintained that the abducted Indians would not be declared dead without substantive proof.Now, there is proof, she said.Giving details, she said when ISIS overan Mosul, most Iraqis left the city but Indian and Bangladeshi workers stayed back.Inquiries from a caterer revealed that ISIS caught them when they were coming back after meals. They were first taken to a textile factory where Bangladeshi workers were separated and sent to the city of Erbil.The caterer stated that he had received a call from one ‘Ali’ who claimed that he is from Bangladesh and should be moved to Erbil as commanded by ISIS, she said, adding Masih had called her up from Erbil but could not say how he had reached there. The minister said after ISIS was overthrown, her deputy and minister of state for external affairs VK Singh visited Iraq in search of the missing Indians.He along with Indian envoy and an Iraqi official searched Badosh prison, the last known location of 39 Indians.Local inquiries led to the mass grave, from where bodies were exhumed and taken to Baghdad for DNA testing. Baghdad- based Martyrs Foundation was requested to help establish the identity of Indians on priority.She said Singh will travel to Iraq to bring back the mortal remains on a special plane. The first stop on way back would be Amritsar where 31 bodies of those from Punjab and four from Himachal Pradesh would be handed over to the relatives. It will then travel to Patna and then to Kolkata.PTI
Harjit Masih was lying, says Swaraj on his story of escape from IS in Iraq
Harjit Masih, the lone Indian worker who escaped from Islamic State captivity in Iraq in June 2014 , claimed he was shot in the leg but managed to flee.However, the minister Sushma Swaraj dismissed his claims during her statement in Rajya Sabha. “He was not willing to tell me how he escaped,” she said.She said that she had concrete evidence that he was lying.“Masih had escaped along with Bangladeshis with the help of a caterer using a fake name Ali. Details were revealed to me by Masih’s employer and the caterer who helped him,” she said. Masih was one of 40 Indian workers abducted by the terror outfit. Narrating his tale in 2017, Masih had said, “Everything was fine till May of 2014. We enjoyed our work at a factory, though some incidents of firing by IS militants happened in the outer parts of Mosul. But, a month later, they entered the factory and kidnapped all of us.”In 2017, Masih said, “we were shifted to a place I could not identify. On that fateful day, they forced us to sit on our knees, in a row, and opened fire. I received a shot in my right leg and was covered with bodies.I fell unconscious. Next day, when I regained consciousness, I found all my fellow workers dead.”“After a few days of walking, I managed to reach a Bangladeshi relief camp and was rushed to hospital.A week later, I returned to India.”Masih statement on being a witness to his Indian co-workers being massacred was then dismissed by central govt, which said they are treating them as ‘missing’. HT
'I told the truth, but govt mislead families: Harjit Masih
Harjit Masih, only Indian to escape from ISIS' captivity in Iraq, on Tuesday squarely blamed Govt of 'misleading' the families 39 persons who were killed in Mosul. Masih had earlier claimed that he was shot in the leg but managed to flee. However, External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj dismissed his claims during her statement in Rajya Sabha. Swaraj maintained that Masih had escaped by faking his identity, adding that she had concrete evidence that he was lying. "I told the truth that 39 Indians were killed. Govt has misled the 39 families who lost their relatives," ANI quoted Masih as saying. oneindia.com
39 Indians declared dead: Tharoor castigates Modi govt, asks why it gave 'false hope to nation'
Sushma Swaraj confirmed that 39 Indians, who went missing in Mosul in Iraq in the year 2014 have been killed.To this Congress MP Shashi Tharoor castigated the govt asking why it gave ‘false hope’.He said:“Sad news of the confirmation of the deaths of 39 Indians in Iraq. Thoughts & prayers are w/their families. But why did Govt give false hope to the nation for 3 and a half years that the people were still alive? That was disappointing behaviour.Meanwhile, Captain Amarinder Singh wrote on Twitter:“Shattered at heart-wrenching news from @SushmaSwaraj that the 39 Indians missing in Iraq, most of whom were Punjabis, are dead. My heart goes out to the families who had been living in hope since their reported abduction by ISIS in 2014. Prayers with all of them.dnaindia
39 Indians kidnapped in Iraq dead: Congress slams govt for giving high hopes to families
MEA’s Abject Failure: Why Did It Take Swaraj 4 Years to Say What She Has Confirmed Now?Seema Mustafa
Modi Govt slamemd by victims’ families, say ‘They told world before us’
39 Indians who were kidnapped, held hostage in Iraq dead: Sushma Swaraj told Parliament
May take 8-10 days to bring back bodies of 39 Indians from Iraq: V K Singh
Inconsolable families of dead 39 Indians slam govt for keeping them in dark
While External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj was confirming the death of 39 Indians, who were kidnapped in Iraq’s Mosul in 2014, opposition was busy hindering her speech in the Rajya Sabha on Tuesday with non-stop sloganeering. Once again both BJP and Congress were at loggerheads but for different reasons. Congress party attacked the ruling Govt for delaying the announcement and providing vague information on the death of the Indians while BJP made an attempt to explain the delay and ridiculed the opposition for being insensitive.The people who have been hugely sidelined in this political drama are the ones who are grieving the most.Families of 39 dead Indians are inconsolable and have lambasted the Govt for keeping them in the dark. Majority of the deceased hailed from the state of Punjab and CM of the state Capt Amarinder Singh took a dig at Govt saying “We had expected this, it should have been announced earlier,it was known since much earlier.”newsx
Protests erupt as VHP’s rath yatra, aims to mobilise support for Ayodhya temple, enters Tamil Nadu
Chennai: Protests erupted across the state and leaders of political parties and other organisations were arrested on Tuesday as Ram Rajya rath yatra organized by VHP entered Tirunelveli district in Tamil Nadu.Opposition parties, including DMK, created ruckus in Tamil Nadu assembly and condemned AIADMK govt for allowing yatra in the state.While raising the issue in the Tamil Nadu assembly, DMK working chief MK Stalin who is also the opposition leader, said the yatra will disturb communal harmony and affect law and order. “This is AIADMK Govt or BJP govt,” he asked.DMK MLAs, including Stalin, staged a protest in the assembly and were thrown out. They later staged a road roko and courted arrest.Earlier in the day, VCK leader Thol. Thirumavalavan and 33 others, who were on the way to take part in the protests in Tirunelveli, were arrested near Madurai, reported New Indian Express.On Monday, Tirunelveli district collector Sandeep Nanduri imposed Section 144 from 19 to 23 March across Tirunelveli district. Stalin, in a statement, said CM  Edappadi K. Palaniswami, who had vowed to contain religious extremism at a recent district collectors’ conference, had allowed the rath yatra. “BJP and its sister organisations are trying to nurture religious extremism in Tamil Nadu. But, in the land of Periyar and Anna, they will not succeed in their attempt,” he added.41-day rath yatra was flagged off from Ayodhya on 13 Feb.Yatra will cover about 6,000 km, demanding construction of Ram temple at Ayodhya. Stalin had earlier stated that the rath yatra would amount to contempt of court as the Ram temple issue was pending before the Supreme Court.livemint.com
TN govt rejects Oppn demand to ban Rath Yathra, DMK MLAs evicted from Assembly following uproar
No-confidence motions yet to be taken up, Parliament adjourned for the day
Lok Sabha proceedings were washed out – for a 12th straight day – within minutes of the House meeting on Tuesday, amid chants of “We want justice” echoing. Rajya Sabha has also been adjourned for the day after ruckus in the House. TDP leaders met Lok Sabha Speaker Sumitra Mahajan for taking up of their no-confidence motion against the Narendra Modi govt, and seeking a special category status for AP.While the Rajya Sabha was adjourned for the day within about 10 minutes, the Lok Sabha was first adjourned till noon and then for the day after the listed papers could not be laid.TDP MPs today protested in Parliament premises, demanding special category status for the state of AP. In a bizarre move, MP Naramalli Sivaprasad joined the protest dressed up as a schoolboy, wearing shorts & carrying a notebook.business-standard
Lok Sabha, Rajya Sabha adjourned for the day; no-trust motions disallowed again
Yashwant Sinha slams PM Modi, RBI on demonetisation ‘mistake’
Founder of Rashtra Manch and BJP leader Yashwant Sinha has said demonetisation has "failed comprehensively". Speaking on the launch of renowned economist Arun Kumar's book Demonetisation and the Black Economy, the senior BJP leader also noted that the abolition of ₹1,000 note, which was reintroduced by him in 2000, "pained" him."I felt pained personally. After 1978 demonetisation, I had brought back the ₹1,000 note that was abolished. I felt as if my child has been killed. Apart from that, in order to clean up, you introduced ₹2,000 note?" he said.BJP leader said that he felt PM  Narendra Modi was told demonetisation would fill Govt coffers. "My own feeling is that someone told the PM  that if he goes for demonetisation, ₹3-4 lakh crore will come. It will be a bonanza for the Govt... that unfortunately did not happen," he said.IANS
Upset with union ministers, Nitish says "communalism unacceptable"
Patna:Bihar CM  Nitish Kumar on Monday made it clear that he is upset with two Union Ministers, supported a third who advised course correction to BJP and renewed his demand for special status for Bihar, claiming he has never given up on the issue.In comments seen as an indirect rebuke to BJP -- whom he partnered to form the Govt last year after dumping Lalu Yadav and the Congress -- he said: "Please remember, neither did I compromise with corruption, nor I will compromise with those trying to divide the society. I'm for complete communal and social peace...I want to make it clear that this country will march ahead on the basis of love, compassion and communal harmony".He then went on to support Union Minister and LJP chief Ram Vilas Paswan, who on Sunday advised ally BJP on the "need to change mass perception among Dalits and minorities". "I know Paswan very well and without applying his mind he won't speak on these issues," Kumar said.BJP leaders in the state declined to comment over the remarks.CM 's remarks came in the backdrop of day-long opposition protests in the state assembly against Union Minister Giriraj Singh and Ashwini Choubey.ndtv
Without naming BJP, Bihar CM Nitish Kumar says, will not side with divisive politics
Yogi Govt’s Focus On Temples, Not On Welfare Of Poor: Minister From BJP’s Alliance Partner
As Yogi Adityanath led BJP Govt in UP  completes first year in office, NDA partners accuses it of not following the 'coalition dharma'."UP Govt is just focused on temples, and not on welfare of the poor," said minister OP Rajbhar of Suheldev Bharatiya Samaj Party, a BJP ally. He also pointed out 'his concerns' to the ruling party, he told news agency ANI, which fell on deaf ears."I have been expressing my concerns, lekin ye log 325 seats ke nashe mein pagal ho kar ghoom rahe hain (...but these people are still in the hangover of 325 seats)," he was quoted as saying.This comes at a time when NDA Govt at the centre in likely to face its first no-confidence motion in the Lok Sabha after its only southern ally-- TDP-- withdrew support. Rajbhar accussed the state Govt of not following the 'coalition dharma'. "Celebrating and talking about building temples in Mathura and Kashi mean nothing.No one else has the guts to question this Govt. If speaking the truth is revolt then I am revolting,"NDTV quoted him as saying.outlookindia
Smart Cities, other flagship Modi projects starved for cash, says report
Govt's flagship initiatives have barely spent any of the money allocated to them, a parliamentary committee has reported, raising questions about on-the-ground implementation of PM Narendra Modi’s most high profile national programs. Although the Govt insists figures are wrong, a report from the parliamentary standing committee on urban development said Modi’s six top infrastructure initiatives spent on average just 21%, or $1.2 billion, of the $5.6 billion allocated.India’s "Smart Cities" program, which Modi has championed, used just 1.8 %  of the funds released to it, the committee said, or just $28 million of a dedicated $1.5 billion. Other programs like Pradhan Mantri Awas Yojana and Swachch Bharat, used less than 30 %  of the available funds, the report said.Bloomberg
Unemployment crisis explodes: hundreds of students block railway traffic in Mumbai
Mumbai: In the second big sign of anger boiling in hundreds of millions of qualified but unemployed youths in the country, hundreds of students hit the Mumbai streets Tuesday and blocked railway traffic between Matunga and CSMT stations. Most of the protesting students have cleared the railway apprentice exams, but they have not yet been employed by the Indian Railways, one of the largest public sector employers in the country.They sat on the railway tracks at 7 am between Matunga and CSMT stations. The railways were forced to stop at least 30 running suburban and express trains.According to NDTV, a large number of policemen tried to remove the protesters from the tracks and even used batons as students refused to budge, holding up placards and shouting slogans demanding jobs in railways.The protesters claimed there has been no recruitment for these jobs in the last 4 years. “We are running from pillar to post. Over 10 students have committed suicide. We cannot let such things happen,” a student told the PTI news agency.Caravan News
‘We can’t trust anyone’: 8 months after Junaid’s killing, his family fights on
New Delhi:When Jalaluddin Khan was first informed about the death of his 16-year-old son Junaid, he reacted like any bereaved parent would have.“I thought this was a case of confusion or mistaken identity,” he says.Jalaluddin spent most of the last 3 decades driving a taxi.To his friends and neighbours in Faridabad’s Khandawli village, he was a diligent man, head of a lower middle-class family, husband to Saira Banu, and father to their 7 sons and a daughter. Junaid’s murder changed him. “I talk to myself a lot. I tell myself that I cannot afford to lose faith in the Almighty. It is as if this accident has added another layer to my belief in God,” he says.2 months after the killing in July 2017, 4 of the 6 accused got bail after the police withdrew charges of rioting, unlawful assembly and common intention against them. Jalaluddin moved Punjab and Haryana high court demanding that the trial at Faridabad court be stalled and CBI probe the alleged lynching. After the HC dismissed the petition, he moved a writ petition before the double bench of the SC which adjourned the proceedings of the trial court on Monday.“Apart from appealing for an independent trial, our demand is that the charges that were withdrawn must be added again,” says Jalaluddin, seated on a cot on the roof of his house in a narrow lane, part of the maze of green and pink 2-storey houses and cattle sheds. Over 8 months after Junaid’s murder, Jalaluddin seems older than his age, 50.However,he is alert and speaks with a steady voice.“All of them are complicit. We have been denied justice. Police, administration, the govt — all are trying to shield the accused,” he says. Every morning Jalaluddin says his prayers at a local mosque where his son,Hashim, leads congregation. Their pursuit of justice seems like a mirage as family oscillates between hope and despair, often finding themselves pitched against people they thought were their own. “Village panchayat has met 4 times wanting an out-of-court settlement,” says Jalaluddin. “They summoned me but I didn’t go because I would have left with no option but to concede. It appears that most of them are in favour of getting the matter resolved amicably. They just want my consent.” Members of the panchayat could not be reached for comments.“We cannot trust anyone,” says Qasim. “All the people in the village speak in our favour when they meet us. But we are not sure if they actually mean it. We cannot blame them. Ours is a Muslim village surrounded by predominantly Hindu hamlets. No one wants to antagonise the majority,” he says.HT
Sri Sri objects to AIMPLB charges against him
Lucknow:Sri Sri Ravi Shankar has dismissed as "baseless" the All India Muslim Personal Law Board's allegation that he was "inciting terrorists and anti-social elements.""I was shocked and saddened to note that the board thinks I am inciting terrorists and anti-social elements. I strongly object to this baseless accusation,"said the spiritual guru in a letter to AIMPLB general secretary Maulana Wali Rahmani on March 12."You are aware that people currently resort to crime at the drop of a hat, not just in India but all over the world. I have always strongly condemned any kind of violence irrespective of its nature or location, said the Art of Living founder in his letter.Sri Sri wrote to Maulana following his recent statement that "Sri Sri's comment that after court's decision, the situation in the country can become like that of Syria and that Muslims should leave their claim on Ayodhya is a threat to Muslims and the court both. This is an attack on the country's well being."PTI
Uniform Civil Code: Law Commission invites “detailed submissions”
New Delhi: In a significant move, the Law Commission has invited “detailed submissions” from the stakeholders on the contentious issue of Uniform Civil Code (UCC). All such submissions will have to be submitted by April 6. “Any individual/organisation (Govtal or non-Govtal) may send their submissions in form of consultation/discussion/working papers, on any of the issues pertaining to uniform civil code (except the issue relating to triple talaq, which is pending before Parliament) to Member Secretary, Law commission of India” reads the message posted by Law Commission on its website. The stakeholders can send their submissions [email protected] on or before April 6. The pabel has further said that “if the Commission needs further clarification on any submission(s) so made, the individual/organisation or other stakeholder may be called for a personal hearing/discussion”. An uniform civil code will mean a set of common personal laws for all citizens. Currently, for example, there are different personal laws for Hindus and Muslims. Personal law covers property, marriage and divorce, inheritance and succession. economictimes
J&K HC issues notices on feasibility of Islamic banking
Srinagar: High Court has sought response from the authorities to the PIL seeking feasibility of introducing Islamic Banking in the State.Division Bench of Justice Mohammad Yaqoob Mir and Justice DS Thakur granted 4 weeks time to Union Ministry of Finance, RBI, Chief Secretary of State, Principal Secretary Finance and J&K Bank for filing their response to the PIL.Union Ministry and RBI were represented by their counsel Tashir Shamsi and State was represented by Govt advocate Sheikh Umar. However nobody appeared on behalf of JK Bank as such notice has been issued to the Bank. PIL has been filed by an NGO (Peoples Forum) through its advocate Altaf Haqani with the prayer that Union Ministry of Finance be directed to file response and issue necessary notification for introduction of Sharia Complaint windows as recommended by Deepak Mohanty Committee and Report of Inter-Departmental Group of RBI & Its Feasibility of Introducing Islamic Banking in India. Petitioner NGO further prays that RBI be commanded to take immediate steps in this constituent banks including J&K Bank so as to facilitate Shariah Compliant Windows.JK Bank, NGO prays, be directed to take immediate steps for opening of Shariah Compliant windows to accomplish the object of mass level participation in Shariah Banking by the people of the state of J&K in particular and other people of the areas where ever J&K Bank has established in its branches.Dailyexcelsior
No plans to withdraw or amend AFSPA: Govt
New Delhi: Govt has no plans to withdraw or amend "Armed Forces (J&K) Special Powers Act, 1990", which gives the security forces immunity and special rights in carrying out operations in disturbed areas,Union minister Hansraj Gangaram Ahir said on Tuesday.Ahir, however, said in the Lok Sabha that a proposal is under consideration to make AFSPA more operationally effective and humane."There is no proposal to amend AFSPA. There is no proposal under consideration of Govt of India to withdraw the AFSPA from J&K ," he said replying a written question.PTI
J&K: Missing Kupwara youth joins militant ranks
Srinagar:After PhD scholar Mannan Wani, another young man from north Kashmir’s Kupwara town has joined militant ranks. Bilal Ahmad Shah (25), who was missing for the past three weeks, recently appeared in pictures on the social media with an AK 47 rifle. He is believed to have joined Hizbul Mujahideen.Shah hails from Shartmaqam village and his father Shamas-u-din was a Hizbul Mujahideen militant who was killed in an encounter in the early 90s.“We came to know about the youth joining militant ranks through social media,’’ said a senior police officer. Police have started an investigation.Shah was arrested in 2008 by the Special Operation Group of J&K Police and “tortured” in the custody.indianexpress
UN encourages call for dialogue between Indo-Pak: official
UN: UN chief Antonio Guterres is following the situation in Kashmir “closely” and encourages a dialogue between India and Pakistan to settle any outstanding differences, his spokesperson said. Spokesman for Secretary-General Stephane Dujarric made the comment while responding to a question on the tensions between India and Pakistan over the Kashmir issue. “Obviously, we are following the situation there as closely, as we always do, and we would encourage dialogue between the parties to settle any outstanding differences,” Dujarric told reporters at UN on Monday at his daily briefing.On whether the Secretary General has talked with the PM s of Pakistan or India, Dujarric said there is “nothing to report” on that currently. In the past, Dujarric, when asked at press briefings about the Secretary General’s response to the situation in Kashmir, has repeatedly said that Guterres follows the situation in the region closely. UN chief reiterated his call for India and Pakistan to find a peaceful solution through engagement and dialogue to resolve the Kashmir issue.PTI
India should have annexed Bangladesh: Assam BJP MLA
Guwahati: BJP MLA from Hojai Shiladitya Dev on Monday courted controversy yet again, calling the creation of Bangladesh a "great mistake" because of which Assam has been facing "Muslim influx" for decades and suggesting that India should have annexed the country after the liberation war."Even as the erstwhile East Pakistan was liberated, a mistake committed by (then PM ) Indira Gandhi and the then Congress Govt was not merging the newly-created Bangladesh with India. In fact, creation of Bangladesh was itself a great mistake. But that mistake could have been offset had Bangladesh been made a part of India," Dev told a local news channel in Nagaon on Monday.timesofindia
A Kerala preacher and the textbook controversy in his chain of schools
2 weeks ago, a district sessions court in Ernakulam granted bail to MM Akbar, a preacher who also runs a chain of schools. He had been arrested from Hyderabad on Feb.24, on charges of fomenting communal enmity through a textbook for primary school. Granting bail, the court observed, “The court does not find anything in the offending passage against any other community or religion or group of people, which is an essential prerequisite to bring out the offences alleged in the case.”Akbar, widely known as Kerala Zakir Naik, is managing director of the Peace International School chain, which has 12 CBSE schools — 10 in Kerala, one each in Minicoy and Mangaluru.Akbar, 52, who is also the director of Kozhikode-based Niche of Truth, an organisation engaged in propagating Islam through various media, began Peace Schools in 2006 under Peace Educational Foundation.Muslim businessmen invested in each centre, while Akbar managed the academic activities. About 90% of the 6,500 students covered by the chain are Muslim; each school offers Islamic and general education under one roof.All schools under the Peace Foundation have the same curriculum, but the one in Ernakulam was the first to face a police case in the textbook controversy. Although schools in Kollam and Thrissur too faced similar cases, both were stayed by the court later.Akbar claims the same textbook has been taught in 400 schools in the country since 2009. Even in Kerala, two schools under Muslim managements have been using it for religious education, he says. Last Jan., the education department ordered closure of the school; Kerala HC stayed the order.Akbar says his school is now in the process of preparing a new text for religious education for Muslim students.“While working as a schoolteacher, I was interested in religious discourses and writings. 20 years ago, I quit the school and became a full-time preacher on Islam and comparative religion. So far, I haven’t faced any case for fomenting communal enmity with my speeches,” he says.indianexpress
'Forceful conversion': Kerala HC seeks govt's views on bail plea
Kochi: Kerala high court has sought the views of the state Govt on a plea filed by the accused in a case alleging forceful conversion.The court is considering the bail plea of Muhammed Ali K of Vadakkangara in Malappuram, who is the 7th accused in the case over alleged abduction and forceful conversion of a 21-year-old woman named Athira.In the case originally registered at Cherpulassery police station, it is alleged that Athira was abducted on June 13, 2016, confined in a house, and compelled and coerced to convert to Islam against her free will and was compelled to marry a Muslim. It was alleged that the woman was forced to sign an affidavit consenting to convert to Islam against her free will. The case is presently being probed by Kozhikode crime branch. While seeking bail, the accused has contended that Athira herself had told a division bench of the HC that she converted out of her free will and that she was not compelled by anybody. She told the court about the nature of her conversion when she was produced at the court in response to a habeas corpus petition filed by her father, the bail plea said.It is also alleged that Athira had written letters to her father as well as to the local SI, CI, and DySP at the time of leaving her home. Athira had never complained that she was abducted or kidnapped. She later gave a statement before a magistrate that she left her house out of her free will, as per the petition.TOI
Koregaon- Bhima riot : Accused Ekbote attacked with ink at court, remanded in custody for 2 days
Shivajinagar sessions court turned into a stage for major drama during the hearing of Koregaon- Bhima riot case.Milind Ekbote, executive president of the Samasta Hindu Aghadi, who was arrested last week in connection with the riots on Jan.1, was attacked at the premises. The attacker, later identified as Sanjay Waghmare, tried to blacken Ekbote’s face but was prevented and eventually arrested on the spot by the police. Soon after the attack, Ekbote’s family members and supporters gathered at the lock-up area and demanded that Waghmare be handed over to them. Ekbote was arrested last Wednesday under charges of inciting the riots at Bhima-Koregaon and was remanded in police custody till March 21.punemirror
Koregaon riots:Right-wing leader seeks Ambedkar's arrest
Sangli: Right-wing Hindutva leader Sambhaji Bhide alias Guruji on Monday demanded the arrest of Bharipa Bahujan Mahasangh leader Prakash Ambedkar and others for allegedly inciting the riots of Jan.1in Bhima-Koregaon and its subsequent fallout.Bhide, who is the head of Shri Shiv Pratishthan, alleged that the roots of the riots lay in 'Yalgar Parishad' (conference) organized by various groups on Dec.31 in Pune.Among the speakers at the conference were Ambedkar, Gujarat Dalit leader Jignesh Mevani, JNU student leader Umar Khalid, retired high court judge, Justice BG Kolse-Patil and other leftist-Dalit personalities."At this meeting, all these leaders including Ambedkar had provoked people for violence and rioting. We demand that the Govt must immediately arrest them for Bhima-Koregaon riots," Bhide demanded.IANS
MNS targets Gujarati signboards in Mumbai; complaint against Thackeray
Thane: Maharashtra Navnirman Sena (MNS) workers pulled down signboards written in Gujarati from some commercial establishments in Mumbai and adjoining Vasai, hours after party chief Raj Thackeray yesterday alleged that there was a "design" of the BJP-led central Govt to separate Mumbai from Maharashtra.Addressing a Maharashtrian new year rally in central Mumbai, Thackeray had called for a "Modi-mukt Bharat", alleging that the Bullet Train project was a "ploy" to de-link Vasai-Virar belt, with an ultimate aim to separate Mumbai.Referring to "mushrooming" of Gujarati signboards, MNS chief had said encouraging outsiders (Gujaratis) to settle in the Vasai-Virar belt was a part of the "grand design" to achieve the said goal as in 1960, Gujarat had failed to get Mumbai, for which it had staked a claim.After the rally, MNS workers, carrying party flags, ransacked a few roadside eateries near Vasai, on the Mumbai-Ahmedabad highway, last night and destroyed their signboards written in Gujarati.Today, some shops in Mumbai that had Gujarati signboards, including a sweet shop in the north Mumbai suburb of Kandivli, faced the wrath of the MNS workers, police said.PTI 
Students allege discrimination against Dalits, Tribals, Muslims after being denied entry into EFLU campus
English and Foreign Languages University, Hyderabad has come under attack from students for allegedly discriminating against Dalit-Muslim students of campus, with administration passing various discretionary orders without any fair reason.Ashfaque Ali, a 22-year-old student of Certificate Course in Persian, was denied entry into EFLU premises couple of weeks back. Ali, who is also associated with Students Islamic Organisation of India, was stopped at the university entrance by security staff.“I went there to meet my friends and some faculty members. But security guards did not let me in. When I asked the reason, they referred to the order of University’s proctor behind the same,” Ali said.He further said, “When I showed them my identity card to avoid any confusion, they blatantly said that I was not a student.”Including Ashfaque, so far 12 students have been either barred from entering into the premises or their student rights have been denied in different ways. At least 5 students have been denied their hall tickets for various examinations, and few others have been denied admission even they got selected after due examination process.The reason why students from marginalised communities feel they are being targeted is because all students who have been barred entry belong to either Dalit, Tribal or Muslim communities and work with various politically active students groups. 4 students from SIO, 2 students from Dalit Adivasi Bahujan Minority Students Association (DABMSA), 1 from Telangana Students Association, one from Muslim Students Federation, 2 from Ambedkar Students Association and 2 from Students Federation of India have so far been discriminated against by the administration. twocircles
UGC releases Rs 11 crore for TISS following students’ strike but not for Scholarship issue; strike enters 27th day
As the ongoing strike at TISS enters its 27th day, UGC announced the release of Rs 4.7 crore and Rs 6.35 crore towards arrears following more than three weeks of students protests. However, the protesting students were left dejected when told that the allocated money will not be going towards resolving the Govt of India Post Matric Scholarship issue of providing fee waivers for SC,ST,OBC students of current and future batches. Speaking about the issue, Fahad Ahmad, General Secretary, TISS Students Union, Mumbai, said, “Those who were saying protests can’t do anything, look what we have done for the TISS administration. But we also need to understand that the release of arrears has nothing to do with our demands and the GoI Post Matric scholarship issue. Our protests have helped the TISS administration despite their continuous targeting of protesting students. Now the UGC and TISS administration should come up with a solution for which the students are fighting.”In spite of continuous demands by the students, the TISS administration has not furnished any data to the students regarding what is the exact amount needed to facilitate scholarships and waivers for GoI post matric scholars.TCN
2006 Mumbai train bombings: Activists demand justice for Kolkata's Majid serving life term, says ‘He is innocent’
Kolkata:Activists from two groups have come forward to demand justice for a Kolkata resident, who has been convicted in 7/11 Mumbai serial blasts case. Members of Persecuted Prisoners Solidarity Committee of West Bengal have launched a movement, demanding justice for Mohammad Majid. Majid, a resident of Rajabazar, has been sentenced to life imprisonment in the 2006 case, and is currently lodged at a Maharashtra jail.“Majid had never visited Mumbai. He was earning through his small shoe business. Thousands of Muslim youths have been falsely charged in scores of terror cases,” claimed Partha Sarathi Ray, a member of the outfit, at a press meet in Kolkata. The outfit supports and provides legal aid to those who have been allegedly falsely implicated in cases.Ray said that they are planning to request CM Mamata Banerjee to intervene in matter.Association for Protection of Democratic Rights (APDR) has also extended their support in demanding justice for Majid. “We support their demand and will also support the movement. West Bengal is no different. Here 60-70 Muslims have been falsely charged under sections amounting to waging war or under UAPA,” said Ranjit Sur, APDR vice-president.Majid’s wife, Farzana Yasmin, alleged that Maharashtra ATS had made her husband sign a confession statement. “ATS had picked him up from his shop (in 2006) and they didn’t share anything with us. My daughter was then only 38 days old. ATS tortured him to a point that he signed a confession statement. I am very sure that he is innocent. I want the West Bengal Govt to intervene and ensure that my husband is released. My daughter has grown up hearing that her father is a terrorist,” she said.Abdul Wajid Sheikh, who was acquitted in 2015 after spending 9 years in jail in the same case, claimed that he never met Majid before he was arrested.indianexpress
Kin of murder case accused demand action against NIA
Coimbatore:Family members of the 4 accused in murder of Hindu Munnani spokesperson C Sasikumar petitioned collector TN Hariharan, seeking action against NIA sleuths, who had raided their houses on Sunday.Sumaiya, wife of Syed Abudhakir from Karumbukadai near Ukkadam, said that her husband was framed.“We are residing in a rented house. Over 50 police personnel were deployed in our area before NIA conducted the search.Search was conducted early in the morning, causing discomfort to my family. Now, our neighbours are demanding an explanation from us. Also, NIA officers seized mobile phones that had the contact numbers of our relatives and doctors,” she said.S Nabeesha, mother of Zubair from GM Nagar near Ukkadam, said in her petition that her son was taken by CB-CID (SID) police on Oct.10, 2017 for inquiry and was arrested on Oct.12, 2017. “Police have registered a fake case against him. A petition for his conditional bail is pending before the Madras high court. Meanwhile, the case was transferred to NIA. A police team entered my house on Sunday around 4.39am. One of NIA officers threatened that he will keep my son in prison forever. The early morning search has affected the family mentally. But, we are co-operating for the sake of the legal procedure,” the petition said.timesofindia
BJP-RSS killing Muslims through private armies: Yechury
Srinagar:Blaming RSS and BJP for killing Muslims through private "armies" like "Gau Rakhshaks" and "anti-Romeo squads", CPM general secretary Sitaram Yechury on Monday blamed BJP for communally polarising the country for electoral benefits."They (BJP-RSS) kill Muslims in the name of 'Gua Raksha' and 'Love Jihad'. And then the killers are being projected like heroes.RSS-BJP and Modi sarkar decides the choice of one's eating habits, dress code and with whom one has to marry and make friendships. It is a fascist mindset," Yechury said while addressing a gathering at 11th state conference of CPM in Srinagar.While describing J&K as the crown of India, he said, "Kashmir can be an integral part of India only after the eroded provisions of Article 370 are restored. (But) ever since the Modi Govt took over, Kashmir is being tackled through military means only.""CPM believes that withdrawing of AFSPA has to start for confidence-building measure," Yechury said.While lashing out at the Centre's policies, he said, "Modi visited the US five times in last three years and accepted all the conditions of imperialist America. The developed countries, including the US, are facing recession from the last one decade and Modi is being asked to make policies which suit their economic interests.""When Manmohan Singhji was the PM, 49% of the wealth of the country was in the hands of 1% people. Today 73% of the wealth in the country is the hands of just 1% of people," Yechury said.deccan herald
'RSS signalled cadres to tear down Periyar statue';Rahul
New Delhi: A day after a Periyar statue was vandalised in Tamil Nadu, Congress president Rahul Gandhi alleged that the BJP and RSS "signalled their cadres" to destroy statues of those who oppose their Hindutva ideology."When RSS and BJP encouraged the tearing down of Lenin statues in Tripura, they signalled their cadres to destroy statues of those who opposed their ideology, like Periyar, the great social reformer who fought for the Dalits. His statue too was destroyed today in Tamil Nadu," said Rahul in a tweet today.Lenin statue Rahul was referring to was one in Tripura that was razed earlier this month, 2 days after the results of the Assembly elections there showed that the BJP had toppled the CPM.TOI
High risk of poor water quality in India’s river basins by 2050: UNESCO report
New Delhi:A new report released by UNESCO ahead of World Water Day on March 22 shows that the water crisis will be intensifying across India by 2050. Central India is staring at deepening water scarcity that means withdrawal of 40% of the renewable surface water resources.The already stressed ground water resources will face even greater pressure in north India. SK Sarkar, who heads the water resources division at policy think-tank TERI, said that groundwater depletion was extremely severe in Punjab, Haryana and Delhi. “Ground water depletion carries with it the risk of salinity,” he said.South and central India will experience high levels of risk from poor water quality in its river basins by 2050. The report relies on a study done by the International Institute for Applied Systems Analysis for its estimations in future scenarios.hindustantimes
India most vulnerable to climate change among 67 countries: HSBC report
Air strike on Syria’s Ghouta kills 15 children taking shelter in school: Monitor
Beirut:An air strike on a school in Syria’s Eastern Ghouta has killed 15 children and two women who were using its basement as a bomb shelter, a monitor said.The Syrian Observatory for Human Rights said the bombing raid hit Arbin, a key town in the dwindling rebel-held enclave of Ghouta that has been under attack by Govt troops for over a month.“Three missiles from a single air strike hit the school, where the underground level was being used as a shelter,” said Rami Abdel Rahman, who heads the Britain-based monitor.“Rescue workers are still searching for survivors,” he told AFP.The Observatory, which identifies air strikes based on flight patterns, munitions used, and aircraft, said Monday night’s raids were suspected to have been carried out by Russia.PTI
IS takes Damascus area kills 36 Syrian soldiers after rebels pull out: Monitor
Islamic State fighters holding a small district in Damascus have gained some ground after driving out Syrian army units that moved into a neighbouring area that rebels abandoned last week, a war monitor said.In fighting that lasted 24 hours, the IS group killed 36 Syrian soldiers,Syrian Observatory for Human Rights said. Syrian army could not immediately be reached for comment.The district of al-Qadam lies in the Syrian capital’s southern suburbs and has not been part of the month-long offensive waged by the army against rebels in eastern Ghouta.It is located next to the Yarmouk Palestinian refugee camp, a scene of fierce fighting early in the seven-year conflict. Last week, rebels that had held part of Qadam for years quit the district for opposition areas in northern Syria under an evacuation deal with the Govt, allowing the army to move in. However, the Islamic State group that had held a separate part of Qadam, and had sporadically fought the rebels there, launched an assault to take the area they had vacated.Reuters
UN envoy sees Syria partition 'catastrophe', fears return of IS: Reuters
Geneva: Syria is heading for a catastrophic partition and could see the return of Islamic State if there is no inclusive peace settlement, UN Syria envoy Staffan de Mistura said.“The truth is that a soft, long-term partition of Syria, which (is) the one that we are witnessing at the moment, in different areas of control, will be a catastrophe, not only for Syria but for the whole region,”he told an audience at Geneva’s Graduate Institute.
Tonnes of aid sent to Afrin during operation:Turkey
Turkey's disaster management agency says it has distributed more than 30 tonnes of humanitarian aid throughout Afrin since Ankara launched military operations in northwestern Syria on Jan.20.According to a statement sent by AFAD to Al Jazeera, agency also determined an area to potentially house 170,000 internally displaced persons around Syria's Idlib province, as well as Turkish military and allied rebel-controlled areas to the east.Turkish forces and FSA fighters started military operation into Afrin in late January to remove a US-backed Kurdish militia - known as the YPG - near its border. Ankara describes the armed group as "terrorists".Following the capture of Afrin city, the agency said it is preparing further relief operations.A senior Turkish official said tens of thousands of Syrians were expected to voluntarily return to Kurdish region after Turkey's military offensive ends. aljazeera
Erdogan vows to extend Turkey's operation to Syria's northeast
Turkey has vowed to expand its operation in Syria's Afrin region to other Kurdish-held areas further east, prompting fears for a possible confrontation with US troops stationed in the area. President Recep Tayyip Erdogan announced Turkey's plans to extend the operation a day after Turkish-led forces entered the city of Afrin in northwestern Syria virtually unopposed. "We will continue this process until we entirely eliminate this corridor, including in Manbij, Ayn al-Arab, Tal Abyad, Ras al-Ayn and Qamishli," he said.aljazeera
Russia blocks UNSC meeting on human rights in Syria
Russia on Monday blocked a meeting of the UNSC to discuss the human rights situation in Syria, Reuters reports.“We do not see any justification for this meeting since human rights is not a subject on the agenda of the security council,” said Gennady Kuzmin, deputy permanent representative of Russia to the UN.France and six other members had called for the meeting, which was expected to include a briefing from Zeid Ra’ad al-Hussein, UN High Commissioner for Human Rights.MEMO
UAE-linked George Nader organised Arab leaders to replace GCC
A Lebanese-American businessman with close ties the UAE crown prince organised a meeting of Arab leaders on a yacht in the Red Sea three years ago and proposed to start an "elite group" that would supersede Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC), according to a news report.George Nader's name has surfaced in recent weeks as a key witness in US special prosecutor Robert Mueller's probe into alleged foreign influence on the Donald Trump administration.According to a Middle East Eye report on Monday, Nader was the key player in bringing Arab leaders together onto the yacht in late 2015 to discuss forming the new group involving 6 Middle East countries: Saudi Arabia, UAE, Egypt, Bahrain, Jordan and Libya.While on the Red Sea excursion, Nader proposed the new grouping of countries could replace GCC and Arab League, MEE quoted two unidentified sources familiar with meeting as saying.aljazeera
Saudi Prince Alwaleed reached secret pact with govt for his release: Reuters
Saudi Prince Alwaleed bin Talal, the chairman of Kingdom Holding who spent nearly three months in detention in the kingdom’s anti-corruption campaign, told Bloomberg TV he had reached an agreement with Govt for his release.The prince declined to disclose the details of his “confirmed understanding” with authorities in the interview, which aired on Tuesday, but said it was easy to verify that he still held a 95% stake in his global investment firm.“When I say it is a confidential and secret agreement, an arrangement that is based on a confirmed understanding between me and Govt of Saudi, I have to respect that,” he said. The process with the Govt was ongoing, he said.The prince also said he was in talks with the country’s emerging sovereign wealth fund about co-investments in domestic projects, and that Kingdom Holding was looking at splitting its $13 billion of assets by spinning off some holdings. hindustantimes
Abbas blames Hamas for Gaza attack on PM's convoy
President of the Palestinian Authority, Mahmoud Abbas, has accused Hamas of orchestrating the explosion that targeted the convoy of PM  Rami Hamdallah as he entered the Gaza Strip last week. "We do not want them to investigate, we do not want information from them, we do not want anything from them because we know exactly that they, the Hamas movement, were the ones who committed this incident," Abbas said at a meeting of the Palestinian leadership in Ramallah late on Monday.Abbas said that if the "assassination attempt" had succeeded, the development would have opened the door for a bloody civil war.  In response to Abbas' accusations, Hamas called for elections.AL JAZEERA
Hamas and other factions condemn Abbas speech
Almost all of the Palestinian factions, including Hamas, Islamic Jihad and the Popular Front for Liberation of Palestine (PFLP), have criticised a speech by Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas in which he pledged more punitive measures against Gaza and its Palestinian residents.Hamas condemned in the strongest possible terms Abbas’s speech in Ramallah yesterday as “irresponsible”.Islamic Resistance Movement said that it was “surprised at Abbas’s belligerent remarks, which burn bridges, intensify the rift and support Donald Trump’s plan to liquidate the Palestinian national cause.” It accused Abbas of “working to push the Palestinians in Gaza to bend down [in submission] and trying to undermine their steadfastness at a very dangerous and historic moment.”Although Abbas criticised the US President’s plans in the Middle East and accused US Ambassador to Israel David Friedman of being more of a settler than the settlers themselves — and called him “a son of bitch” in the process — Hamas said that he is not merely targeting the Islamic movement, but is also undermining the chances to promote the national programme and the efforts to achieve Palestinian unity. middleeastmonitor
Israel cuts fresh water supplies to Gaza
Israel has been cutting drinking water supplies for the Gaza Strip since last Wednesday, Quds Press reported on Monday. Move was made without any prior notice being given.“Mekorot, the Israeli water supplier, told us last Wednesday that they would cut water for a couple of hours for maintenance purposes,” explained Maher Salem, Director of Gaza’s Water Authority. “Since then, the water has been off. The pumping of water was not resumed as was agreed with them.This has affected the distribution of water in Gaza.”MEMO
Israeli settlers call for evacuating Palestinian neighbourhoods in Hebron
Israeli settler group Regavim has filed a petition to the Israeli Supreme Court asking for three Palestinian neighbourhoods in the West Bank city of Hebron to be evacuated, Shehab News Agency reported yesterday.Regavim claimed that Palestinian neighbourhoods Um Al-Khair, Khashm Al-Daraj and Arab Al-Najadeh in the south of Hebron Hills are illegal and pose a strategic danger to Israel.The petition sent to the Israeli court states that these neighbourhoods are illegal and called for prosecuting Israeli ministers, Israeli military commanders and European officials because they allowed Palestinians to build homes in these three areas.According to Shehab News Agency, Regavim distributed copies of the petition to the residents of 3 Palestinian neighbourhoods. The anti-settlement activist in Musafer, Yatta Ibrahim Al-Hathalin, said that article number seven claims that the area where the three neighbourhoods are located is state land and is part of Area C, which is under Israeli administration and security control.MEMO
Maldives to lift state of emergency, charge ex-president, chief justice with bribery
Colombo:Maldives President Abdulla Yameen will lift a 45-day state of emergency on Thursday and the Govt will bring bribery charges against former leader Maumoon Abdul Gayoom and the chief justice, said a senior Maldives diplomat. Yameen imposed a state of emergency on Feb.5 for 15 days to annul a Feb.1 Supreme Court ruling that quashed convictions against nine opposition leaders and ordered his Govt to free those held in prison. He later extended the state of emergency for another 30 days with parliament approval, a move challenged by the opposition. Under the emergency, Yameen’s administration arrested former president Maumoon Abdul Gayoom, the chief justice, another Supreme Court judge, and a SC administrator on allegations of attempting to overthrow the Govt. They have all rejected the charges.“Unless something unusual happens, we should not have emergency by Thursday,”Mohamed Hussain Shareef, Maldives Ambassador for Sri Lanka told a Foreign Correspondents Association forum on Monday.“Govt has no intention of extending it any further barring very unusual circumstances like widespread violence. The intention is to do away with this state of emergency when the current 30 day period expires on March 22.” Reuters
'Poor, innocent' Afghan farmers killed in raid targeting Taliban
In the early hours of Saturday,as farmers watered their crops in Afghanistan's eastern province of Nangarhar, a unit of Afghan security and intelligence forces carried out a deadly raid.At least seven farmers were killed in the assault on 2 villages in the province's Chaparhar district."We heard helicopters coming our way where we had been watering our crops from midnight. We heard them at around 4am. The helicopter fired exactly two times," said Mohammed Razaq, a farmer who was present at the time of the raid in Mano, one of the two villages attacked."I lost 2 of my cousins in the attack," he told Al Jazeera. Inayatullah was 16 and Riazullah was 15 years old.According to Razaq, farmers informed the security forces' outpost in advance that they would be working on their crops."They still attacked, without taking into consideration that poor and innocent people would be working here," he said.aljazeera
Trump's pick to lead UN agency says has trust of Muslim states
Geneva:Donald Trump's nominee to lead UN migration agency said Monday that he has convinced member states that he holds no anti-Muslim views, after a series of reports accused him of prejudice against Islam.Ken Isaacs, who has a long record of humanitarian work with the Christian charity Samaritan's Purse and within George W. Bush's presidential administration, has been nominated by US State Dept to head the International Organization for Migration (IOM). Isaacs is in Geneva trying to rally support for his candidacy ahead of a June vote in which IOM's 169-member states will choose their next director-general, a post traditionally held by an American.But his candidacy has been complicated by reports detailing incidents where Isaacs apparently tweeted or re-tweeted material offensive to Muslims. Speaking to journalists on Monday, Isaacs said he has met with envoys from dozens of IOM member-states, including majority Muslim nations, and convinced them he was not a bigot. AFP 
1 in 5 Muslim Canadians say they face discrimination
Washington:According to a recent study, Islamophobia, defined as prejudice and hostility toward Muslims, exists in Canada.In the University of Waterloo research, one in 5 Muslim Canadians said that they experienced discrimination due to their religion, ethnicity or culture at least once in the past 5 years."There are negative attitudes towards Muslims in Canada as a specific group and they themselves are experiencing higher rates of discrimination than most other demographic groups in Canada. That is the reality," said author Sarah Wilkins-Laflamme."However, residents of Quebec,older respondents and persons who favour Conservative politics were found to be more likely to have greater negative feelings towards Muslims than towards members of other social groups."The study drew on information from the 2011 Canadian Election Study and 2014 General Social Survey by Statistics Canada.ANI
Proposed legislation in US Congress puts Indian call centre jobs in danger
WASHINGTON: A legislation has been introduced in the Congress that would require call centre employees overseas to disclose their location and give customers a right to ask to transfer their call to a service agent in the US.Introduced by Senator Sherrod Brown from Ohio, the legislation also proposes to create a public list of companies that would outsource call centre jobs and give preference in federal contracts to companies that haven't shipped these jobs overseas.The bill also guarantees US customers the right to ask to transfer their call to a customer service agent who is physically located in the US.PTI

UNSC: 13 million people need humanitarian aid in DR Congo
Humanitarian needs caused by conflict in the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) have doubled over the last year, the UN Security Council said.Speaking on Monday, the UN's Under-Secretary-General Mark Lowcock said 13 million people are affected by internal conflict gripping the country and require humanitarian assistance."More than 4.6 million children are acutely malnourished, including 2.2 million suffering from severe acute malnutrition," Lowcock said.aljazeera
Egypt: Sudan's Bashir arrives in Cairo amid easing tensions
Sudan's President Omar al-Bashir met Egypt's Abdel Fattah el-Sisi in Cairo on Monday as part of a one-day trip aimed at mending ties between the two countries.The two leaders discussed Addis Ababa's Grand Ethiopian Renaissance Dam currently under construction which - upon completion - could threaten Egypt's fresh water supply."As the Nile River is a lifeline for the people of the valley of the Nile, we agreed on working together along with our brothers in Ethiopia to reach an agreement of a partnership in the Nile that benefits everybody and to continue working on the results of Egypt, Sudan and Ethiopia's trilateral summit regarding the Renaissance dam," Sisi said.aljazeera
SP-BSP win in UP by-polls featured Dalits, OBCs, Muslims, disillusioned BJP voters:Badri Narayan
In promoting individual freedoms, India’s liberals must take on both Hindu and Muslim communalists: Ramachandra Guha
Postcard News spreads fake news about a Jain sage attacked by Muslim youth:Alt News
Ground report: Have ‘jihadis’ killed 23 Hindutva activists in Karnataka since 2014 as BJP claims?: Sruthisagar Yamunan
1993 Bombay Blasts Were in Response to an Entire Community Being Alienated:Nilanjan Mukhopadhyay
Syrian refugees share dreams and ambitions in 360 documentary:aljazeera
BJP Has Grown At Expense of Congress, With Blessings of Congress:Aijaz Zaka Syed
Save JNU: Former Professors to President of India:Aishwarya Adhikari
National Herald, Navjivan, Qaumi Awaz editorial team announced: Mrinal Pande appointed as Group Senior Editorial Advisor, Zafar Agha as Group Editor-in-Chief

Compiled and edited by Anwarulhaq (Released at: 5:40 PM)

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