16 April 2018

16 April ND: Hyderabad Mecca Masjid blast case: All 5 accused, including Aseemanand, acquitted by NIA court; judge quits after verdict/ Kathua gangrape victim’s lawyer: Being called anti-Hindu, I can be raped or killed

16 April 2018:28 Rajjab 1439:Vol:9, No:166
Hyderabad Mecca Masjid blast case: All 5 accused, including Aseemanand, acquitted by NIA court; judge quits after the verdict
NIA special court in Nampally, Hyderabad on Monday acquitted all the five accused, including the Right-Wing Hindu group Abhinav Bharat member Swami Aseemanand, in the Mecca Masjid blast case of 2007.The powerful blast caused by a cellphone-triggered pipe bomb rocked Hyderabad's iconic 17th-century mosque left 9 people killed and 58 persons injured. The bomb was placed near the Wuzukhana of the mosque.Soon after the blast, a SIT was constituted by the then Hyderabad police commissioner Balwinder Singh to probe the blast.SIT had picked up over 125 Muslim youths from across the Old City and interrogated them. Almost all of them were detained at a guest house where they alleged torture at the hands of SIT. Later, all were acquitted by a local court for lack of evidence.A special NIA court pronounced the verdict in the 2007 Mecca Masjid blast case today.The special NIA court judge of Hyderabad K Ravinder Reddy today resigned, immediately after pronouncing the verdict.Congress president Rahul Gandhi dodged a query on the acquittal of Swami Aseemanand and four others in the 2007 blast case.Lashing out at the NIA probe into the Mecca Masjid blast which had left nine persons dead and 58 others injured, the CPI questioned the agency for its "failure" to establish the truth behind the blast.Senior Congress leader Ghulam Nabi Azad today raised questions on the functioning of NIA after the verdict.NIA will examine the special court’s verdict in Mecca Masjid blast case and will further decide its course of action. newindianexpress
Mecca Masjid blast case: Special NIA judge who delivered verdict resigns, cites personal reasons
Mecca Masjid blast: Owaisi, Brinda Karat allege laxity in NIA’s probe
The president of MIM, Asaduddin Owaisi blamed NIA for failing to properly prosecute the accused in the decade-old Mecca Masjid blast case. A special NIA court acquitted all 5 accused. “I do not complaint against the courts as it is for the prosecution to prove, because this is not a small crime,” Owaisi said.Former Union Minister of Home Affairs Shivraj Patil told News18 that he had never used the term “Hindu terror” and expressed his disappointment with the verdict. “I am not satisfied with the Mecca Masjid blast case verdict,” Patil said. “Why should I apologise to anyone? Congress never misled the nation. I cannot give judgement on something that has not been said by the Congress party.”His colleague Ashok Gehlot said the government has to now examine the order and decide if a further appeal is required.CPI(M) leader Brinda Karat said the investigation agency should explain why it had failed to prove the case though all the witnesses were placed before the court. “NIA is answerable,” Karat told News18. “It is shocking to see how all the accused in Mecca Masjid blast case have been acquitted. It is very demeaning for the struggle against terrorism.”scroll.in
Kathua gangrape victim’s lawyer: Being called anti-Hindu, I can be raped or killed
New Delhi:Following the gangrape and murder of an eight-year-old girl in Jammu and Kashmir’s Kathua, the victim’s lawyer Deepika Singh Rajawat on Monday stated that she fears for her life and is being socially boycotted for taking up the sensitive case. “Today, I don’t know, I am not in my senses. I can be raped, I can be killed and may be they won’t allow me to practice in court. They (have) isolated me, I don’t know how I can survive,” the advocate was quoted as saying by ANI.She also alleged that she is being labelled as an ‘anti-Hindu’ and is facing social boycott for taking up the case of the rape victim who was found murdered in January. Talking to ANI, Rajawat also said that she would approach the Supreme Court and demand police security for herself as well as her family amid growing concerns for her safety.“I will tell this to the Supreme Court. I am feeling bad and it’s really unfortunate. You can well imagine my plight. But, I will stand for justice and we would seek justice for the eight-year-old girl,” she said.Earlier today, the Bar Council of India (BCI) said a panel has been formed to probe the actions of Jammu and Kashmir Bar Association lawyers, who had stopped police from filing a chargesheet in the Kathua rape and murder case.In connection with the case, 2 FIRs have been filed: one against eight people for allegedly being involved in the crime and another has been filed against a group of lawyers which had allegedly stopped the police from filing chargesheet against 8 accused.indianexpress

Kathua case: SC orders police protection for victim’s family, lawyer; issues notice
Senior Supreme Court lawyer Indira Jaising, appearing for the victim's father in the Kathua alleged rape and murder case, on Monday told the Supreme Court that while the Jammu and Kashmir state police had done a good job investigating the brutal case of rape and murder of an 8-year-old Bakerwal child, the atmosphere in Kathua was not conducive for a fair trial, the atmosphere is highly polarised,” reported ANI.The petitioner, ie victim’s father, had approached the Supreme Court on Monday asking that the case and trial in ‘State v. Sanji Ram and others’ be shifted from Kathua, Jammu and Kashmir to a court of competent jurisdiction at Chandigarh. The victim’s father had also asked the apex court for adequate security for family members of the victim, local advocate Ms Deepika Singh Rajawat and her family members and advocate Talib Hussain. Rajawat has said publicly that she is being threatened for taking up the case.nationalheraldindia
Kathua case transfer: SC seeks J&K govt's reply by April 27
Kathua: Bhushan files criminal complaint against Madhu Kishwar
Senior lawyer Prashant Bhushan on Monday filed a criminal complaint against Madhu Kishwar, "for serious offences u/s 153A, 295A & 505 of the IPC against serial fake news purveyor & communal hate & violence inciting tweets of Madhu Kishwar who thinks she can get away without accountability. Time to call her bluff.”The complaint, filed with SHO, Tilak Marg Police Station in Delhi, accuses Kishwar of publishing “misleading and false information” through her Twitter handle @madhukishwar, “for the last several months”.The complaint also includes Kishwar’s tweet dated April 14, 2018, in which she alleges that in the Kathua case, in which an 8-year-old Muslim nomad child was brutally raped and murdered, it was “very likely that family accused of rape have been scapegoated.” Kishwar further claimed that the "Murder of #Asifa suspected to be handiwork of jehadi #Rohingyas settled by PDP in Jammu region. Since Jammu people angry at settling criminal Rohingya in Hindu areas, Mehbooba used this murder as counterblast strategy”.nationalheraldindia
Kathua: Police caught Jangotra with help of selfie
Jammu and Kashmir crime branch team arrested Vishal Jangotra, accused in the kidnapping, rape and murder of an eight-years old girl, on March 17 from Meerapur, near Meerut. He was studying in Aakansha College in Meerapur which comes under Muzzffarnagar district. For past few months, Vishal had been living in this area which is known for communal harmony. He didn’t visit his home during the recent college vacations and spent most of his time in his room.Vishal was one of those who allegedly raped 8-year-old in Kathua. nationalheraldindia 
‘Our darkest hour’: 49 former IAS officers write open letter to PM Modi on Kathua, Unnao cases
New Delhi: In a strongly-worded open letter to PM Narendra Modi, a group of 49 ex-bureaucrats’on Sunday asked him to check the nations “free fall into anarchy” by acting tough against the culprits of the Kathua and Unnao rape cases and the perpetrators of hate crimes across the country.Holding Modi responsible “more than anyone else” for the “terrifying state of affairs” and pointing out that both in Uttar Pradesh (Unnao) and Jammu and Kashmir (Kathua) it is his party (BJP) that is in power, the 49 former civil servants who included Aruna Roy, Harsh Mander, Wajahat Habibullah, Jawahar Sircar and N.C. Saxena, termed the present state of affairs an “existential crisis”.siasat
Shaken by Kathua and Unnao, kids take the lead in Not In My Name protest
New Delhi: Paakhi Jain (15), a student of Mater Dei School who just gave her Class X board exams, had written about India as a democratic country in one of her answers. Later, on learning about the Kathua and Unnao rapes, she wondered: are we truly living in a democratic country? On Sunday, Jain read out her thoughts about the incidents — which she said had “shaken her” from within — before a large audience at the ‘Not In My Name’ protest in Parliament Street, led by filmmaker Saba Dewan.Jain was among several students who had come out on the streets to make their voice heard through speeches, poems and songs. “Navratron ke dinon me aap chhoti chhoti bachchiyon ki aarti utaarte ho, unki pooja karte ho aur dusri ore phir unhi ke saath rape karte ho? Aisi aarti aur pooja hume nahi chahiye (During Navratra, you worship girls. At other times, you rape them. We don’t want such worship),” said Jain. Improvising on Martin Luther King Jr’s famous speech, she added, “I have a dream that no girl, no woman will be tortured or molested or raped in the future… I have a dream that humanity will be the supreme religion of this nation one day.” Jyoti and Chanda, Class X students of a government school in Tughlakabad, spoke about moral policing in a poem: “They measure you by the length of your dupatta, the width of your kurta, and decide how much of respect and decorum I hav.”indianexpress
Women groups protest in Bareilly, Pilibhit, seek death for Kathua, Unnao rapists
Bareilly: On Sunday, scores of women gathered at the Mahatma Gandhi statue near Chowki Chauraha in Bareilly carrying placards and protested against the Kathua and Unnao cases demanding capital punishment for all the accused.Shobha Pal, media coordinator of Nari Vishwas Bharti (NVB), a social service organization, said that courts should give death sentence to the rapists without delay. “And if the legal system in our country finds itself helpless to punish such devils, hand over them to us. We will execute them to save our daughters,” she said. In Pilibhit, hundreds of women took out a candlelight march on Saturday evening and staged protests on Sunday.The agitating women said that the way legislator Kuldeep Sengar and his brothers were extended political patronage was highly condemnable. Meanwhile, in Pilibhit, women’s organizations staged demonstrations at all major city roads, stopped traffic and condemned the two cases. Women volunteers demanded from President death penalty for the guilty in both cases. Police and district administration could tackle the situation only with great difficulty. Heads of 6 other women organizations convened a meeting at the office of Jamaat-e-Islami Hind at Pilibhit city to decide their forthcoming course of action.In Sherpur town of Puranpur tehsil, hundreds of volunteers belonging to Tehreek-e-Tahaffuz-e-Sunniyat took out a candlelight march to pay tribute to the 8-year-old girl killed in Kathua. timesofindia
Mumbai students want culprits in Unnao, Kathua cases hanged
College students across the city and suburbs made their voices heard as they demanded justice for the victims in the Kathua and Unnao cases.On Saturday, students at TISS in Deonar held a candlelight vigil in remembrance of the eight-year-old girl who was allegedly raped and murdered in Kathua in Jammu and Kashmir. The students marched from the new campus to the old campus.They also held a protest rally on Sunday to demand punishment for the culprits.On Sunday, around 50 students from MH Saboo Siddik Polytechnic, Mumbra, organised a rally, demanding justice for the victim. “Our teacher told us about the incident and we also learnt about it through news media. So we thought that she should get justice,” said a student participant. Members of Students Islamic Organisation of India (SIO), along with its parent organisation Jamat-e-Islami Hind held protests outside Kurla and Mira Road stations. They collected signatures of the commuters who demanded punishment for the culprits. “Many people were very angry and wanted the culprits to be hanged. Some people were disheartened, and were afraid that the culprits will be let off scot-free,” said Shehriyar Ansari, a student of Dr MIJ Tibbia College, Versova, and one of the organisers.hindustantimes
Kathua-Unnao protests to follow Modi to London
Prime Minister Narendra Modi is going to face the heat of people’s anger over the rape cases in Kathua and Unnao during his visit to the UK as well. There is huge uproar over the cases and other issues among the Indian diaspora and South Asia community in UK, who are planning a huge protest on April 18 outside Downing Street, London. They are demanding answers from Prime Minister Modi about how and why BJP ministers in the Jammu and Kashmir government were standing in support of the rapists of Kathua, and why BJP MLA accused in gang rape case in Unnao, Uttar Pradesh was shielded for so long. They say they want direct answers from PM Modi about why crimes against women, Dalits and minorities have increased in India. The protest is organised under a poster-banner stating ‘Modi Not Welcome', by South Asia Solidarity Group, Castewatch UK and British Women Organisations. On April 18, more then 50 women activists and academics plan to issue a letter opposing the alleged “rape culture” and “protection of rapists” under Modi govt.nationalheraldindia
SIO members take out protest march against Kathua, Unnao rape incidents
The members of Students Islamic Organisation of India (SIO) and enlightened youths taken out a protest march against the increasing crime against women and protested against rape and killing of victims in incidents of Unnao and Kathua, on Sunday evening. To express resentment against such happenings the members of SIOItaken out a candle march on Sunday from Civic Centre. The youths, women attending the protest have strongly condemned the incident of rape with child and young girl and said accuse of such heinous crime should be given sentence to hang and strict sentence should be given.The Hitavada     
Goa: Candle march taken out to protest Kathua, Unnao incidents
Panaji: Students Islamic Organisation of India (SIO) Goa Zone in collaboration with Association for the Protection of Civil Rights (APCR – Goa Chapter) and other peace loving organisations took out a peaceful candle march from Miramar to Azad Maidan in the city on Sunday. The march attended by around 700 people was to show the unity among fellow citizenship towards non-acceptability of the 'unjust attitude' of the law enforcing authorities. Asim Shaikh, State President, SIO Goa Zone, said, ''The recent incidents of shame which caught national uproar involved abduction, rape and murder of a young Muslim girl hailing from Kathua, Jammu and Kashmir, an unidentified body which was found in Surat Gujrat today and the rape of a Dalit girl in Unnao whose father has been beaten to death in the custody.'' He said the perpetrators had not just stopped at attempting such heinous crimes, but had been using all their might to stop the judicial proceedings against them. uni
Watch: Delhi people speak up against Kathua, Unnao rapes, slam Modi govt
Anger and frustration was palpable in the voices of demonstrators who had gathered to protest the rapes in Unnao, Uttar Pradesh and Kathua, Jammu and Kashmir in New Delhi on Sunday. The demonstration was part of a multi-city protest, organised simultaneously in Bengaluru and Mumbai, among other Indian cities.The BJP, which is power in both Jammu and Kashmir and Uttar Pradesh, was in the firing line of the protestors, who came from all walks of life. Delhi protest, organised under the banner of ‘Not In My Name’, saw people expressing frustration at increased crimes against women.They targeted their anger at central govt and PM Narendra Modi.“They say “Beti Padhao, Beti Bachao”. Did they expect us to save our daughters from rapists? Is that why they coined the slogan? Another protestor said, “I hope the public wakes up in the 2019 elections and realises how their rights are being trampled upon.”
Crimes against women, including rape, on the rise: IndiaSpend report
Despite the outcry after the ‘Nirbhaya’ gangrape, India is seeing an increase in horrific incidents of rape and sexual violence against women. There was a 34% per cent increase in rape complaints from 2012 through 2015, according to the latest data available with the NCRB, cited by data journalism website IndiaSpend.In 2016, reported rapes in India stood at 38,947, translating in four rapes across the country every hour. Reported cases of crime against women increased by 83% from 1,85,312 in 2007 to 3,38,954 in 2016.The report states that 39 cases of crimes against women on average were reported every hour in 2016. ‘Cruelty by husband or relative’ constitute the most common crime against women in 2016, constituting 33% of all crimes. Rapes made up 11% of all the crimes against women, according to the government data.Further, only 18.9% of cases of crimes against women ended in conviction in 2016, the lowest in a decade, as per NCRB figures.nationalheraldindia
Rohingya refugees lose all they saved in last 5 years to Delhi fire
New Delhi: About 44 huts of Rohingya refugees caught fire in Kalindi Kunj area of Delhi on Sunday, April 15, leading to minor burn injuries to two persons besides reducing the shelters to ashes along with a complete loss of household materials.The fire which started in the early hours of Sunday morning also consumed a makeshift mosque and a madrasa.“The fire started at 3 am in the morning when everyone was asleep,” says Shabir Alam, 37 a Rohingya. He says that the fire started near the Toilets close to the makeshift mosque. “That time everyone was running to save their lives. I took my 5 children to safety and when I returned everything was on fire,” he said.The shanties were made of bamboo and polythene. “It is the reason why everything caught fire so quickly. The fire brigade arrived half an hour later. By then everything was turned into ashes,” he adds. Fayaz Ahmed, 31 lost everything to the fire. He had saved 80,000 rupees in last five years after toiling hard by collecting scrap.“I have lost everything. My house, money, utensils. I don’t even have clothes to wear. I had to ask NGO people to buy one shirt for me,” Fayaz said.The fire has affected 44 refugee families consisting of 230 members who mainly work as hawkers, laborers, rickshaw pullers.twocircles
Hyderabad cops’s stunning revelation, says sedition case against 3 Muslims to be closed after Republic TV refuses to hand over unedited sting tapes
In a stunning development, the Hyderabad Police have said that they will file a closure report on the sedition case filed against three Muslim men following a sting operation by Republic TV.The cops, according to a report by Indian Express, said that this was after Republic TV refused to hand over the unedited tapes of its sting operation carried out on three men, Abdullah Basith, Salman Mohiuddin and Abdul Hanan Qureshi. Republic TV, founded by Arnab Goswami with the help of BJP’s Rajya Sabha MP Rajeev Chandrasekhar and others, had broadcast a sting operation in May last year, showing the three men allegedly express their allegiance to the terrorist outfit IS. The three men had later alleged mischief by Republic TV saying that their comments were deliberately broadcast out of context.“We summoned them (three men) for questioning because from the footage it appeared that they still had a highly radicalised mindset and were ready to go join the IS if they got the opportunity,’’ a senior official in the Hyderabad Police was quoted by Indian Express.The cops also said that they “did not find much evidence” based on that footage.DCP Avinash Mohanty, was quoted as saying, “While one youth was seen bragging about his continued allegiance to the IS, the other two appear to be talking about their previous experience of getting radicalised and regretting it. But we did not find much evidence that they had intention of committing a crime or instigating violence. It was not that the three men were in hiding and making plans. They had been appearing before the investigation officer every week in regard to their previous case.”Republic TV said that it had provided the footage to the cops saying that it ‘physically handed over the entire unedited footage of the sting operation to the Hyderabad Police and on multiple occasions offered to share all the information with the authorities in writing.’Mohanty, however, said that the footage given to the investigation officer was an edited version. jantakareporter
Hyderabad: Sedition case against trio to be closed as Republic TV didn’t submit raw tapes on ‘sting’
Don’t tweak our law, clerics tell Centre
Patna: Muslim clerics on Sunday called triple talaq Bill as interference with Sharia, which was unacceptable to them. Addressing the ‘Deen Bachao Desh Bachao’ conference organized by Imarat Shariah under the banner of AIMPLB at Gandhi Maidan here, member of AIMPLB-Kolkata chapter Maulana Abu Taalib Rahmani said, “The bill calls for changes in the laws of Islam that we cannot allow.”Thousands of Muslims from Bihar and neighbouring states of West Bengal, Odisha and Jharkhand took part in the conference, which was open to all. The conference passed a resolution urging the central government not to intervene in the appointment of Supreme Court judges. The conference was called to highlight the deteriorating social conditions in the country.The Kathua and Unnao rape cases also found a mention in their speeches and the clerics called for protection of women and harshest punishment to the guilty so that no one dare repeat such crime.Demands were also made for protection of masjids, mausoleums and madrassas, which they said have often been targeted in the name of alleged centres of terrorism. The clerics also called for the arrest of miscreants who were responsible for the recent communal tension and violence in Bihar.The speakers also supported the dalit cause and demanded strengthening of the existing SC/ST Act. The resolution passed in the conference also called for the formation of women committees at state, district and block level in order to create awareness about Islam. The issue of illegal occupation of Wakf land under the Wakf (Amendment) Act 2013 was also raised and the speakers requested the central government to conduct a survey of these land on a priority basis. “The resolution passed in the conference is an effort to try to promote brotherhood and peace among communities. It is our request that the country should be run according to the Constitution, which promotes constitutional rights,” Imarat Shariah’s general secretary Maulana Anisur Rahman Quasmi said.Dalit leader Waman Meshram and AIMPLB general secretary Maulana Wali Rahmani also attended the conference.
Muslim personal laws under attack: AIMPLB
Mohan Bhagwat: Root of Indian culture will be cut if temple not rebuilt
RSS chief Mohan Bhagwat said if Ram Mandir was not rebuilt, the root of the Indian culture will be severed. Speaking at a rally in Palghar district, Bhagwat said that the temple was demolished by Muslims based outside India, and it is now the responsibility of the people to restore the demolished temple, where it originally stood.“Temple in Ayodhya was demolished by the Muslim community outside India. Indian nationals can't do such a thing,” Bhagwat said.“It is our responsibility to restore what was demolished within the country. The temple should be built where it actually was. We are ready to fight for it,” he added.theweek

Islam doesn’t allow mosque to be built at disputed site: RSS leader Indresh Kumar
Jaipur: RSS leader Indresh Kumar, who was in Jaipur on Sunday, said that Islam does not allow its religious sites to be built on similar sites of other faiths or any disputed property."According to Islam, mosque cannot be built at any disputed site. Islam also does not allow a religious structure to be named after an individual while Babur named the controversial structure after himself,’’ said Kumar, while addressing a talk on `Truth of Ayodhya, birth place of Ram’ in the city.``If mosque has to be built it can be built outside Ayodhya and Faizabad," he said.``The two and a half decade old dispute in Ayodhya is not over `Ram Mandir’ but over the birth place of Lord Rama,’’ he added. The senior RSS leader emphasised that there is only one birth place of the lord. "There are several Ram Temples, but Ayodhya is the only birthplace of Lord Ram and there is no dispute on Ram temple. Like Vatican city is to Christians and Mecca Madina is to Muslims, so is Ayoudhya to us (Hindus)," said Kumar.timesofindia
Togadia targets PM Modi, says got ‘disenchanted with govt’ in last 4 years
Ahmedabad:A day after quitting the Vishwa Hindu Parishad in wake of his nominee losing an organisational poll, firebrand leader Pravin Togadia on Sunday launched a vicious attack against the Modi government at the Centre. Togadia, who has decided to undertake an indefinite fast from Tuesday, said his “disenchantment” with Prime Minister Narendra Modi began right after the 2002 post-Godhra riots. “I am not in the VHP anymore…I will continue to work for the welfare of Hindus. From Tuesday, I will go on an indefinite fast in Ahmedabad for fulfilling the longstanding demands of the Hindus,” he had said yesterday after former Himachal Pradesh governor V S Kokje defeated his nominee Raghav Reddy in an election in Gurgaon for the post of VHP International president. Togadia, who returned here last night, met his supporters and top VHP functionaries in Gujarat today to finalise his plans for the fast at the state VHP headquarters. “I got disenchanted with this government in the last four years. The disenchantment, in fact, had started slowly after the 2002 events in Gujarat,” he said, speaking to reporters later.Claiming that scores of Hindus were killed in police firing during the post-Godhra riots, he said he could not understand how it could happen when “Narendrabhai” (Modi) was the chief minister.“Cases were registered against thousands of Hindus and they were put in jail,” he alleged.Togadia said his indefinite hunger strike would be aimed at the welfare of Hindus and to seek construction of Ram Janmbhoomi Temple at Ayodhya, nation-wide ban on cow slaughter, enforcement of the common civil code and relocation of displaced Kashmiri Hindus, he said.indianexpress
Karnataka: Muslims peeved over ticket share
Bengaluru:Muslim leaders in the Congress are upset that only 15 members from their community have been given tickets in the list of 218 party candidates announced on Sunday. "I am not happy with the representation the Muslims have been given. We were promised more tickets than what we were given in 2013 (19). On the contrary, the number has been reduced. We will meet AICC president Rahul Gandhi on Monday and take up the issue," former MP K Rahman Khan said on Sunday.Khan's son Mansoor Ali Khan was an aspirant for the Jayanagar seat, which has a huge chunk of Muslim voters. The ticket, however, has gone to home minister Ramalinga Reddy's daughter Soumya Reddy."All ministers' and leaders' sons or daughters have got tickets. Why was my son denied ticket from a constituency where Muslim voters are in big numbers," asked Khan.TOI
BJP nominates 2 Muslim candidates for UP legislative council seats
Lucknow: The ruling BJP today nominated two Muslim candidates for the forthcoming Uttar Pradesh legislative council polls.The two candidates are Mohsin Raza and Bukkal Nawab, of which the former is the UP minister of state for minority affairs. Nawab is a Samajwadi Party (SP) turncoat, who had joined BJP last year after resigning from his member of legislative Council (MLC) seat in favour of the saffron party.BJP announced the names of 10 candidates for the Vidhan Parishad polls to fill 13 vacant seats. On the basis of its strength in UP Vidhan Sabha, the party can elect 11 members to the Upper House. BJP has left one seat for its ally Apna Dal (S), which has nominated its national president Ashish Singh Patel for Parishad.business-standard
40% vacancies in Delhi Waqf board, some for 30 yrs
New Delhi:Delhi Waqf Board — responsible for over 2,000 Muslim properties in the capital — has a “severe” crunch of technical and revenue officials, sources said, adding that this was a major impediment to its functioning. As against 64 sanctioned posts, 28, mostly technical and revenue related, are vacant and the upkeep of properties and other works are hampered, a government official said. “More than 90 per cent work of the Waqf Board relates to revenue, but there are no revenue officials such as patwari, kanoongo and tehsildar. The last such official retired in 2012, while the post of kanoongo is vacant for the last 30 years,” he said. Apart from this, officials added, the Waqf board not being constituted was also hampering work.indianexpress
Police books 30 people for rioting in UP
Muzaffarnagar: Police today claimed to have booked 30 people for rioting at Deval village here over domestic dispute.Around 17 people were arrested in this connection, they said.The incident was reported last evening when two groups clashed with each other over sending a married woman to her parents' house forcefully, SHO Kuldeep Sharma said.The groups came to blows and pelted stones at each other, he said.6 persons, including two women, were injured in the incident, the officer said.PTI 
Religion can’t bar a person from writing a book about it: SC on ‘Nanak Shah Fakir’
NEW DELHI:It is a violation of secularism for a religion to bar a person from writing a book about it or portraying it through a painting, Justice D.Y. Chandrachud orally observed on Monday.A religion cannot be adamant that its sole portrayal should be confined to just one “book.” It cannot say that others are not free to sketch or render their version or ideas about the religion. Such a bar is just not enforceable, Justice Chandrachud said.The Supreme Court made the observation on a plea by Sikhism’s highest religious bodies to stop the release of the National Award-winning and Censor Board-certified movie Nanak Shah Fakir for having a human characterise Guru Nanak. The film won the National Award for promoting national integrity.thehindu
Rajasthan: 3 minors found hanging from tree in Barmer, cops claim suicide over alleged love affair
New Delhi:The mysterious death of three minors in Barmer has left residents of a remote village in Rajasthan shocked. In Barmer district’s Swaroop Ka Tala village, people woke up to the sight of three bodies hanging from a branch of the tree. As per The Indian Express, two Dalit girls and a Muslim boy were found dead on Saturday morning. The girls, 13-year-old Shanti and 12-year-old Madhu belonged to the Meghwal community. Shanti’s father, Bhairu Meghwal, alleged that both the girls were raped and murdered.However, it is reported that they were sleeping in their house along with other members. The Meghwals point at a 17-year-old Muslim boy, Deshal Khan, who was found dead with the girls. He is accused of loitering around houses in the village and was considered a “bad boy”, the report said. But, many villagers say there was a love relationship between the three minors that led to their death. As the girls’ families deny this, Deshal’s relatives echo what the villagers say. Deshal’s father said he believed that his son committed suicide. However, the father of one of the deceased girls claimed that they were raped and murdered and that even he was threatened by the Muslim community.financialexpress     
Army man joins Hizbul Mujahideen: J&K police officials
SRINAGAR: An Army man who had gone missing from south Kashmir earlier this month has joined the Hizbul Mujahideen terror group, police officials said today.Mir Idrees Sultan, who was posted in the Army's Jammu and Kashmir Light Infantry (JAKLI) regiment, joined the group yesterday, a police official said.PTI
390 chemical weapon use allegations recorded in Syria
More than 390 allegations of chemical weapon use in Syria have been recorded by the Organization for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons (OPCW) since 2014, the British envoy to the group said Monday.“The Syrian regime has an abhorrent record of using chemical weapons against its own people,” said Peter Wilson, adding that the use of chemical weapons “has become an all-too-regular weapon of war in the Syrian conflict.”The statement came during a OPCW Executive Council Meeting following joint weekend airstrikes by the U.S., U.K., and France on reported Assad regime chemical weapons facilities in Syria.The strikes followed the Assad regime allegedly carrying out a chemical attack in Douma, Syria which killed 78 civilians and injured hundreds of others.Wilson said the U.K. is clear about who is responsible for the atrocity.“A significant body of information, including intelligence, indicates the Syrian regime is responsible for this latest attack,” he said.“Open-source accounts allege a barrel bomb was used to deliver the chemicals, and a regime helicopter was seen above Douma on the evening of 7 April,” he added.Wilson said “reliable intelligence indicates that Syrian military officials coordinated what appears to be the use of chlorine in Douma on 7 April.”“No other group could have carried out this attack.”He underlined that the world has seen the “harrowing images of men, women and children lying dead with foam in their mouths” and “first-hand accounts from NGOs and aid workers have detailed burns to the eyes, suffocation and skin discoloration, with a chlorine-like odor surrounding the victims.”“The World Health Organization has reported that 500 patients, seen by its partners in Syria, had symptoms consistent with chemical weapons exposure,” he added.Pointing to some of the evidence known to the OPCW council, Wilson said: “The OPCW has recorded more than 390 allegations of chemical weapons use in Syria since the fact-finding mission was established in 2014.”Anadolu agency
Chemical weapons inspectors 'not yet' allowed in Syria's Douma: UK delegation
Arab leaders mute on Syria strikes at Saudi summit
Leaders at the Arab League summit have failed to discuss the US-led strikes that came as a result of the "criminal" alleged use of chemical weapons in Syria.The summit took place in Saudi Arabia on Sunday, a day after the coordinated attacks by the US, UK and France on three sites allegedly linked to the production of chemical weapons in Syria.According to a summit spokesman, the leaders were to discuss the Syrian conflict but not the strikes that targeted the sites near Damascus as well as in the province of Homs.The leaders called for an international probe while condemning the use of chemical weapons in Syria, Saudi Foreign Minister Adel al-Jubeir told reporters after the summit.Saudi Arabia, Bahrain and Qatar have previously issued statements in support of the action while Egypt, Iraq and Lebanon expressed concern.In their closing statement on Sunday, Arab leaders rejected US President Donald Trump's decision of recognising Jerusalem as the capital of Israel "null and illegitimate". Breaking with years of US policy, Trump also announced the US embassy would move to Jerusalem, drawing international condemnation and sparking a wave of heated protests around the world.In response, Saudi Arabia renamed this year's summit "Quds [Jerusalem] Summit". "We confirm that East Jerusalem is an inseparable part of the Palestinian land," Saudi King Salman said. Al-Jubeir, Saudi foreign minister, said Qatar was not on the agenda because "it's not a big issue"."It's not a big problem," he said. "It's a very, very small problem."While Qatar's emir did not attend the summit, the country's Arab League representative was present at the meeting.aljazeera
Haley: US troops to stay in Syria until goals achieved
US will not pull its troops out of Syria until Washington's goals are accomplished, Nikki Haley, the US ambassador to the UN, said.According to Haley, the three aims for the US are ensuring chemical weapons are not used in any way that poses a risk to US interests; ISIL is defeated; and there is a good vantage point to watch what Iran is doing."[It is our goal] to see American troops come home, but we are not going to leave until we know we have accomplished those things," Haley said on Fox News on Sunday.aljazeera
3 dead as Syria regime launches assault on Homs, Hama
The Syrian regime launched a renewed assault on opposition groups in the province of Homs yesterday, according to Syrian news agency Zaman Al-Wasl.At least three civilians, including one child, were killed by government forces in the eastern countryside of the province, as airstrikes fell on the villages of Deir Foul, Izza Al-Din and Al-Kul north of the city.Last night the military successfully took the control of the strategically significant point of Al-Jin mountain, between the provinces of Homs and Hama. Whilst regime troops also briefly entered Salim village, opposition forces retook the town earlier today following fierce clashes.MEMO
French FM warns of humanitarian crisis in Idlib
French Foreign Minister Jean-Yves Le Drian has warned of a humnitarian crisis in the Syrian opposition-held city of Idlib which could be the regime’s next target.In an interview with French newspaper Le Journal du Dimanche, Le Drian said currently Idlib has nearly two million people including hundreds of thousands of Syrians who were evacuated from cities previously controlled by the opposition forces and which were recaptured by regime armies.middleeastmonitor
South Africa president hails Palestinians’ defiance in face of Israel aggression
South Africa’s President Cyril Ramaphosa hailed defiant Palestinians during a memorial service held on Saturday for South African anti-apartheid icon Winnie Madikizela-Mandela.Addressing thousands of mourners at Orlando Stadium in Johannesburg’s Soweto, Ramaphosa said Madikizela-Mandela “lives on in the Palestinian teenager who refuses to stand by as he’s stripped of his home, his heritage and his prospects for a peaceful and content, dignified life.”Eighty-one-year-old Madikizela-Mandela died on 2 April after a long illness for which she had been in and out of hospital since the start of the year.Madikizela-Mandela was the ex-wife of the late Nelson Mandela, South Africa’s first black president. She was one of the country’s greatest icons in the struggle against apartheid.middleeastmonitor
Hamas: Abbas’ call for Hamas to disarm is ‘free help for Israel’
Calls by Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas for Hamas to disarm is a “free help for Israel”, a senior member of the movement said yesterday.Mousa Abu Marzouk said calls for Hamas to disarm come from America and Israel and “this is not strange” as Israel is “our enemy” and the US is its ally.“The strangest issue is Abbas’ call on Hamas to disarm,” he wrote on Twitter. “What is strange is that Abbas is serving the enemy without a price like what he is doing regarding the security cooperation which is being carried out in return for personal gains.”middleeastmonitor
Ex-FBI Director Comey: Trump 'morally unfit' to be president
Former FBI Director James Comey has accused US President Donald Trump of being "morally unfit" for the presidency and treating women like "pieces of meat" in his first television interview since being fired last year.Speaking to ABC's 20/20 programme, Comey said: "The challenge of this president is that he will stain everyone around him".The television interview on Sunday comes ahead of the release of Comey's book, A Higher Loyalty, on Tuesday.According to the transcript of the four-hour interview with ABC's George Stephanopoulos, Comey said he does not think Trump is "medically unfit to be president", but rather "morally unfit to be president".aljazeera
Morocco withdraws from the Arab Coalition Forces in Yemen
Moroccan newspaper has quoted what it considers as well-informed sources as saying that the Moroccan army has decided to retrieve its squadron of aircrafts from Saudi-led Arab Coalition, which has been waging a war against the Houthis group in Yemen since 2015, and redirect them to the goal of restoring the government’s control over the country.According to Moroccan website Al-Ayam 24, some observers have linked Morocco’s withdrawal of its squadron to the acceleration of events in the Sahara and the buffer zone. However some commentators consider suggest it is routine redeployment.The Moroccan website has quoted the “well-informed sources” as saying that under the direction of General Abdelfattah Louarak, head of Royal Armed Forces, a squadron of six planes, which had been sent to the United States improvements, has been ordered to return.middleeastmonitor
Ghana orders Mosques, churches to use Whats app for prayer calls
Ghana: The authorities of Ghana's capital Accra has ordered the mosques and churches to restrict the use of the loudspeakers and instead make use of the social networking application WhatsApp to initiate prayer calls to the people.The main reason behind the move is to curb the noise pollution in the urban areas.Often the places of worship attract heavy movement of traffic and a massive gathering of the pedestrians. In addition to that, the church bells and prayer calls add to the noise pollution adding to the woes of the people residing nearby, as reported by the German media group Deutsche Welle.ANI
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