06 September 2018

6 SEP ND: SC decriminalises homosexuality ;Jamaat-e-Islami Hind expresses dismay over the SC verdict/ SC extends house arrest of 5 activists till Sept 12

06 Sept. 2018: 25 Zilhajj 1439: Vol: 10, No:101
SC  decriminalises homosexuality by partly striking  down section 377
New Delhi:In a very consequential verdict, the Supreme Court today decriminalised homosexuality between consenting adults by declaring Section 377, the penal provision which criminalised gay sex, as "manifestly arbitrary". In separate but unanimous verdicts, a 5-judge Constitution Bench of Chief Justice Dipak Misra, Justice Rohinton Nariman, Justice A.M. Khanwilkar, Justice D.Y. Chandrachud and Justice Indu Malhotra partially struck down Section 377 of the Indian Penal Code as unconstitutional.The bench said it is no longer an offence for LGBTIQ (lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender/ transsexual, intersex and queer/questioning) community to engage in consensual sex between two adults in private. Reading out the judgment, CJI Misra said attitudes and mentality have to change to accept others' identity and accept what they are, and not what they should be.  "It is the constitutional and not social morality which will prevail," said the court. The verdict sparked celebrations in the LGBTIQ community across India even as the judgment was being read out. Many of the community members who had assembled outside the apex court jumped in joy and distributed sweets. Chief Justice Misra said consensual sex between adults in a private space, which is not harmful to women or children, cannot be denied as it is a matter of individual choice.  Section 377 will not apply to consensual same-sex acts between homosexuals, heterosexuals, lesbians, the court said, clarifying that sexual act without consent and bestiality will continue to be an offence under section 377. "An individual has full liberty over his or her body and his or her sexual orientation is a matter of one's choice," said the Chief Justice."Time to bid adieu to prejudicial perceptions deeply ingrained in social mindset. Time to empower LGBTIQ community against discrimination. They should be allowed to make their choices," he added.In a concurring judgement, Justice Nariman said homosexuality is "not a mental disorder or disease". He said the LGBTIQ community has an equal right to live with dignity and are entitled to equal protection of law. He directed the Centre to give wide publicity to this judgment to remove the stigma attached to homosexuality.Justice Chandrachud said to deny the LGBTIQ community their right to sexual orientation is a denial of their citizenship and a violation of their privacy."They cannot be pushed into obscurity by an oppressive colonial legislation... Sexual minorities in India have lived in fear, hiding as second class citizens," said Justice Chandrachud, adding "the state has no business to intrude on such matters".Justice Indu Malhotra said that history owes an apology to the LGBTIQ community for all that they have suffered on account of the ignorance of the majority about homosexuality. "LGBTIQ people have a right to live unshackled from the shadow," she said. The Supreme Court verdict, which overruled its own earlier judgment, assumes significance as in the earlier round of litigation in 2013, the top court had reversed a Delhi High Court ruling decriminalising homosexuality.IANS / sources
Jamaat-e-Islami Hind expresses dismay over the SC verdict on 377
The Jamaat-e-Islami Hind has expressed disappointment over the verdict. In a press statement, JIH secretary-general Muhammad Salim Engineer said: “Jamaat-e-Islami Hind is dismayed and disappointed over the Supreme Court verdict to legalize homosexual behavior between two consenting adults, effectively scrapping section 377 of IPC and overturning the earlier judgment of the Delhi High Court. It may be recalled that JIH along with leaders of different religious organisations had welcomed the decision of the Supreme Court (delivered on 11 Dec 2013) wherein the SC had refused to do away with section 377 and persisted with the view that homosexuality is a criminal offence. With that historic decision, the apex court had kept the country from going on to the path of moral degradation. But today the SC has ruled that ‘human sexuality cannot be confined to a binary and that homosexuality is not a mental disorder’.“Thus by decriminalising homosexuality and permitting male-male and female-female marriage will destroy the family system and prevent the natural evolution and progress of the human race. Jamaat firmly believes in the fundamental rights of all citizens and is a strong advocate of freedom and minority rights. However we wish to remind fellow citizens that with freedom comes moral responsibility and no society can accept crimes, vices and anarchy in the name of freedom and personal liberty. We will persevere to educate the people and exercise all democratic options to resist this shameful perversion and decadence in values which ignores religious teachings, our culture and the opinion of the overwhelming majority of the people. Such filthy experiments have destroyed human society and violated the rights of women on large scale in certain countries and we should learn a lesson from it. “Save this country from falling into sexual anarchy, protect our children from vile sexual predators, safeguard the rights of our daughters and sisters and prevent the infringement of the fundamental rights of its citizens as the abrogation of section 377 of IPC will have a cascading effect on the Personal Laws of many religions. We sincerely hope and pray that the country will be rescued from the dark precipice it is rushing headlong into." The Hindu
Decriminalizing homosexuality will lead country to sexual anarchy: Jamaat-e-Islami Hind, Caravan Daily
Jamaat-e-Islami-Hind calls gay sex 'filthy', says SC decision will create anarchy:Times Now
Jamaat-e-Islami expresses dismay over SC verdict on 377:theindianawaaz
'Legalizing homosexuality means you are encouraging more sexual violence'
Homosexuality not a crime, but against nature: RSS
New Delhi:RSS today reacted cautiously to the Supreme Court’s verdict decriminalising consenting homosexual relations between adults in private, agreeing with the court that homosexuality should not be a crime.However, it nuanced its position by saying that it did not approve of homosexuality, as it was against “nature” and against social beliefs.“Just like the SC, we also do not consider this criminal. But we do not support homosexuality, as same-sex marriages and relations are not in sync with nature. Traditionally too, Indian society does not accept such relations,”RSS Akhil Bharatiya Prachar Pramukh Arun Kumar said.He added, “Since humans learn with experience, it is necessary to manage this matter at the social and psychological level.”thehindu
Homosexuality not a crime, but same-sex marriages unnatural: RSS
Section 377: UN lauds SC verdict on homosexuality, hopes it will boost efforts to eliminate stigma
New Delhi:United Nations India Thursday lauded the Supreme Court for striking down a “key component” of IPC’s Section 377 which criminalises “specific sexual acts between adults” and said the judgement will boost efforts to eliminate stigma and discrimination against LGBTI persons. It also hoped the ruling will be the first step towards guaranteeing the full range of fundamental rights to LGBTI persons.Sexual orientation and gender expression form an integral part of an individual’s identity the world over, and violence, stigma and discrimination based on these attributes constitute an “egregious” violation of human rights, it said. PTI
India joins 25 nations where homosexuality legal, however, 72 countries criminalise it
India joins 25 other countries where homosexuality is legal. However, 72 countries and territories worldwide still criminalise same-sex relationships, including 45 in which such relationships between women are outlawed. indianexpress
Elgaar Parishad case: Ask your officials to be more responsible, SC tells Maharashtra Police, extends house arrest of 5 activists till Sept 12
The Supreme Court on Thursday extended the house arrest of the five activists, who were arrested by Pune police in connection with a meeting on the eve of the Jan.1 violence at Bhima Koregaon, till Sept.12. During today’s hearing, a Bench headed by CJI Dipak Misra took umbrage over the statements made by the Assistant Commissioner of Police of Pune on the matter, saying he was casting aspersions on the court.Justice DY Chandrachud hit out at the Maharashtra Police for holding a press conference and told the government to direct its police to be more responsible when the matter is in court. “You must ask your police officials to be more responsible. The matter is before us and we don’t want to hear from police officials that the SC is wrong,” the bench told Additional Solicitor General Tushar Mehta, who was appearing for Maharashtra government.The bench, however, refused to pass any order asking police not to share information with the media.indianexpress
After dissolution of Telangana Assembly, KCR calls Rahul ‘biggest buffoon’ of country, dismisses rumours about pact with BJP
New Delhi:Hours after the dissolution of Telangana state Assembly on Thursday, caretaker Chief Minister and TRS President K Chandrasekhar Rao called Congress President Rahul Gandhi as the “biggest buffoon” in the country and dismissed rumours about aligning with a “non-secular” party like BJP for 2019 elections.“Everyone knows what Rahul Gandhi is…the biggest buffoon in the country. The whole country has seen how he went and hugged Prime Minister Narendra Modi in Parliament and winked,” Rao said at a press conference, where he also announced candidates for 105 constituencies. He said only two sitting candidates were denied tickets.When asked about Gandhi’s plans to extensively campaign in Telangana, the TRS chief said, “The more he comes, it will be easier for us (to win elections).” KCR said the Gandhi scion had inherited the legacy of the Congress Delhi empire and appealed to the people of Telangana not to become slaves to Delhi. “The decisions of Telangana should be taken in Telangana,” he said.After meeting PM Modi on August 6, his second in one month, speculations started doing the rounds that TRS and BJP might be planning a post-poll alliance after the 2019 Lok Sabha elections. Putting to rest such rumours, Rao said, “TRS is a 100 per cent secular party. How can we join hands with BJP?”The Chief Minister met Governor ESL Narasimhan this afternoon and submitted a resolution adopted in the Cabinet meeting where a decision to dissolve the Assembly and call for early polls was taken. Accepting the resolution, the governor asked KCR and his council of ministers to continue in office as “caretaker government”till elections.Rao claimed the Election Commission had been consulted and that Telangana would go to polls along with Madhya Pradesh, Chhattisgarh, Rajasthan and Mizoram. He described Hyderabad MP Asaduddin Owaisi’s AIMIM as a “friendly party” and said TRS would continue to work with it.Rao, however, made it clear that TRS would go it alone in the Assembly elections and asserted the party would win more than 100 of the state’s 119 seats. The 120-member assembly also has a nominated member.
Telangana Assembly dissolved | Live updates: TRS announces candidates for next elections
Pawar was scout, bomb-maker for right-wing terror plots
Maharashtra ATS have found that arrested right-wing terror suspect Avinash Pawar had conducted recce at a few targets. He was also present in Belgaum when a Padmaavat screening was bombed, and in Pune when the Sunburn festival terror conspiracy was hatched. Mid-day had reported on Sept.3 that ATS had earlier found that during these dates Pawar was on leave from his job as a fitter at Mazgaon Docks Limited (MDL).  As per ATS officers, Pawar was the bomb-maker and also had training in firing arms. The agency wants to know if Pawar was part of the group for whom Shrikant Pangarkar, ex-Shiv Sena corporator from Jalna, had arranged training.Meanwhile, ATS have decoded Pawar's diary seized from a locker at MDL, in which he wrote coded messages. Officers said they are yet to question him on the same. The investigators said Pawar used a SIM card registered in someone else's name, and the cell tower location from the card shows he was in Belgaum and Pune.The probe revealed that the card was given to him by fellow accused Vaibhav Raut, who got it from Sudhanva Gondhalkar. mid-day
Treat Sanathan Sanstha Like a Terror Outfit if They Killed Gauri Lankesh:Sister
Bengaluru: Rightwing outfit Sanatan Sanstha should be treated like any other terrorist organisation if its involvement in killings of rationalists, including Narendra Dabholkar, was proved, Kavitha Lankesh, sister of slain journalist-activist Gauri Lankesh said.Her demand comes in the backdrop of the investigation by the SIT, probing the Gauri case, leading to the the arrest of key players in the killing of rationalists Dabholkar and M M Kalburgi.Talking to PTI on the eve of first death anniversary of her sister, Kavitha expressed her happiness over the progress made by the Karnataka SIT. "Right now we are hearing about subsidiary or off-shoot of Sanatan Sanstha like Hindu Janajagruti Samiti... If it is proved they are all involved... (in the killing), they should be listed as a terrorist organisation like any other (extremist) organisation," Kavitha said.The SIT has so far arrested 12 people and some of them were allegedly linked to Sanatan Sanstha and its allied outfit Hindu Janajagruti Samiti.PTI
Bharat Bandh: Protests against amendments to SC/ST Act in Bihar, MP and other states
Bharat Bandh called by several organisations belonging to upper-caste groups against amendments to SC/ST Act is hampering normal life in parts of North India and Central India. Due to tight security arrangement, situation remained calm in Madhya Pradesh. Reports of rail roko are being reported from Bihar. Police have tightened security across MP in view of ongoing protests against the amendment to the Scheduled Castes and Scheduled Tribes (Prevention of Atrocities) Act. Inspector General of Police (Intelligence) Makrand Deuskar said orders prohibiting gathering of people in large numbers have been imposed. "The administration in most of the districts have clamped prohibitive orders under CrPC section 144 in view of the bandh on September 6," he said. 34 companies of the special armed force of police have been deployed in various districts, he said. Jabalpur district collector Chhavi Bharadwaj has written to the state home department, seeking suspension of Internet services in the district till 6 pm on Thursday. District Education Officer in Bhind has ordered that schools in the district will remain closed. Life remained normal across Uttar Pradesh on Thursday despite a 'Bharat Bandh' call by some upper-caste groups against the recent amendment approved by Parliament to overturn a Supreme Court judgment on the Scheduled Caste/Scheduled Tribe (Prevention of Atrocities) Act."It (Bharat Bandh call) has no meaning. People have their feelings. In a democracy everyone has the right to express themselves," Uttar Pradesh CM Yogi Adityanath said when asked by reporters to comment on the 'bandh' call against the SC/ST Act.dnaindia
Bharat bandh: Swarna Sangrakshak Sabha state president puts up hoarding asking PM for death
The state president of UP Swarna Sangrakshak Sabha, Sri Krishan Gupta, has put up hoardings in Meerut asking for 'wishful death' for the general category people from prime minister Narendra Modi.The hoarding says that since the government has straightened the SC/ST Act, the  general community is "living in fear" and thus they want to be allowed to die by the prime minister.Gwalior observed a strict bandh in line with the Svarna Samaj agenda. Schools, colleges and markets remained shut. Rajput Karni Sena leader, Rishabh Bhadauri, has been kept under close watch by Gwalior Police to avoid any incitement of violence.In support of Bandh, Nalkheda based Baglamukhi Temple priests have postponed the religious activities in the area.  Over 1500 policemen were deployed in the area. Firstpost
Bharat Bandh: Section 144 in MP Districts, Police Gear Up for Protests Over SC/ST Act
'This Is Just the Beginning,' Say Protestors After Bringing a Sea of Red to Delhi
New Delhi: More than one lakh workers and peasant marched from the Ramlila Maidan to Parliament Street in New Delhi on Wednesday, protesting against what they called the apathy of the government in addressing issues faced by them. The protestors, brought together by affiliates of the Communist Party of India (Marxist) –  All India Agricultural Workers Union (AIAWU), the Centre of Indian Trade Unions (CITU) and All India Kisan Sabha (AIKS) – had travelled from 23 states across the country. The peasants’ and workers’ march brought large parts of Delhi to a grinding halt. The Delhi traffic police had issued an advisory suggesting that people avoid certain areas of central Delhi through which the protestors were supposed to march. In its advisory, the police mentioned that the march is expected to involve between 20,000 and 25,000 people. However, in reality, the number was at least 6 times more and the arrangements made by the police to manage traffic went for a toss.Over the last few years, India has seen several protests by farmers across the country. The intensity and frequency of these protests has increased since June last year, when 6 protesting farmers were shot dead by the Madhya Pradesh police in Mandsaur. Since then, several coalitions of farmers’ organisations from different states have come together to provide cohesion to the movement. Now, with the Kisan Mazdoor Sangharsh rally in the capital, workers and farmers have come together in a movement at the national level for the first time in recent years.“The issue of wage is a unifying factor for peasants and workers. Peasants do not get the minimum support price and workers do not get minimum wages. They are the two most marginalised classes. So it is only natural for them to come together,” said Vijoo Krishnan, joint secretary of the AIKS and one of the main organisers of the protest. A key demand across all farmers’ movements for the last few years has been the provision of remunerative prices for their produce. Tangibly, the demand is that the minimum support prices (MSP) be set at comprehensive cost of production plus 50%,as recommended by the Swaminathan Commission on farmers in 2006.In July this year, the Narendra Modi-led government announced MSP for the kharif crops and claimed that it had implemented the recommendations of the Swaminathan Commission and provided MSP at cost plus 50%. However, as The Wire had pointed out at the time, the government’s claim was misleading. It had chosen a cost of production lower than the one recommended by the Swaminathan Commission and falsely claimed – and continues to claim – that it has implemented the Swaminathan recommendations and fulfilled its election promises.the wire
‘2+2’ dialogue: India-US sign military communications pact, agree to speed up Delhi’s NSG bid
New Delhi :India and the US today held the first edition of the 2+2 dialogue in New Delhi, in which the major takeaways were the signing of the long-pending Communications Compatibility and Security Agreement (COMCASA) and setting up of a hotline between External Affairs Minister and Defence Minister with their American counterparts.After being canceled twice in the last 14 months, Foreign Minister Sushma Swaraj and Defence Minister Nirmala Sitharaman held the 2+2 dialogue with US Secretary of State Michael Pompeo and Defence Secretary James Mattis.“Signing of Communications Compatibility and Security Agreement (COMCASA) will enable India to access advanced technologies from the US,” Sitharaman said during the joint press briefing.COMCASA will provide a legal framework for the transfer of communication security equipment from the US to India that would facilitate “interoperability” between their forces — and potentially with other militaries that use US-origin systems for secured data links. It will also allow the installation of high-security US communication equipment on defence platforms being sourced from the US.Reuters quoted experts as saying that the signing of the COMCASA agreement could also reduce the chances of the US imposing sanctions on India for looking to buy Russian S-400 surface-to-air missile systems.Swaraj said both the sides also agreed on working together towards entry of India in the Nuclear Suppliers Group (NSG).The two sides also announced the deployment of an Indian liaison officer at the US Naval Forces Central Command (NAVCENT), which is in charge of naval operations in Afghanistan, Pakistan and the oil-rich Gulf countries. In a first, the two nations also decided to conduct a tri-services joint exercise off the eastern coast of India in 2019.On H-1B visa issue, Swaraj expressed hope that the US would not “act against” the interest of Indians. In their joint statement, the ministers called on Pakistan to ensure that their territory was not used to launch terrorist attacks on other countries. “We have discussed terror emanating from Pakistan and have agreed that Pakistan needs to do a lot more to curb terror originating from it,” Swaraj said.The two sides also expressed support for an Afghan-led, Afghan-owned peace and reconciliation process. “We welcome President Trump’s policy on Afghanistan. We are working together in the fight against terror,” she said. US has emerged as India’s second largest arms supplier, closing $15 billion worth of deals in the past decade.India is Iran's top oil buyer after China, and it is seeking a waiver from US.  According to reuters, ahead of the talks in New Delhi, a senior US State Department official said the US was engaged in "very detailed conversations"with India over Washington's request to completely stop India's oil imports from Iran. "We’re asking all of our partners, not just India, to reduce to zero oil imports from Iran and so I’m confident that will be part of our conversation with India," the official told reporters accompanying Pompeo.  indianexpress 
US,India seek to deepen defense ties,sign key pact
Pakistan focussed to undermine India's territorial integrity through terrorism: India at UN
UN: Pakistan's focus for decades has been to undermine India's territorial integrity through the "explicit use of terrorism" as a state policy, New Delhi said in a stern response after Islamabad raked up the Kashmir issue at the UN.Pakistan's Ambassador to the UN Maleeha Lodhi yet again raised the issue of Kashmir while addressing the High Level Forum on the Culture of Peace in the UN General Assembly Wednesday.She said "foreign occupation and the denial of fundamental rights including the right to self-determination exacerbate the sense of injustice among the occupied and the oppressed"."Nowhere is this more apparent than in the pain and suffering" of the people in Kashmir and Palestine, she said, citing the recent report on Kashmir issued by ex UN High Commissioner for Human Rights Zeid Ra'ad Al Hussein.Minister in India's Permanent Mission to the UN Srinivas Prasad said that a culture of peace is not just an abstract value or principle to be discussed and extolled in conferences, but needs to be actively built into global relationships between and among nation states. PTI
‘Imperative to find solution to Kashmir issue;Pak
Pakistan’s President and Prime Minister Thursday said it was imperative to find a solution to the Kashmir issue under the UN resolutions for peace in the region as they voiced their desire to promote mutual cooperation with other countries on the basis of equality.Pakistan observes September 6 as the Defence Day to mark the anniversary of the 1965 war with India.Prime Minister Imran Khan, in his first message on the occasion, said: “Pakistan believed in peaceful coexistence and wanted to promote mutual cooperation with all its neighbours and the entire world on equal basis”.Outgoing President Mamnoon Hussain said that people of Pakistan demonstrated unsurpassed national unity and stood by their armed forces to thwart the evil designs of the enemy. The President and Prime Minister, in their separate messages on the occasion, emphasised that the resolution of the Kashmir issue in light of the UN resolutions is imperative for peace in the region, Radio Pakistan reported.In his message today, Khan appreciated the courage and professionalism of the Pakistani armed forces in eliminating militancy and terrorism, saying “no doubt their efforts for national development, strengthening of democracy and world peace were laudable”.HT
Pakistan Seeks US Intervention to Ease Tensions with India
Islamabad: Pakistan on Wednesday sought US help to ease tensions with India, saying it wanted peace on the Eastern border in order to concentrate on the Western border with Afghanistan.“We want ease on the Eastern border if we have to look towards the Western side,” foreign minister Shah Mahmood Qureshi told reporters while briefing them on the outcome of his talks with US secretary of state Mike Pompeo.Stating that people suffer due to ceasefire violations along the Line of Control, he said, it was “important that we should look at it and see how we can improve that and who can help us to bring the improvement (on Eastern border).”PTI
Union minister Athawale to petition SC against bar on ‘Dalit’ use
New Delhi: Junior social justice minister Ramdas Athawale has said his political outfit, the Republican Party of India, will move the Supreme Court against the Bombay HC order “imposing restrictions” on the use of ‘Dalit’ in the media and in day-to-day conversations. Athawale said there is strong resentment among the Dalits against the government advisory and that while he supports the use of the constitutional term Scheduled Caste in official communication, the fight for the ‘Dalit’ identity is not merely a semantic battle, and as a former member of the Dalit Panther, he is strongly opposed to the government’s decision.Union minister Ram Vilas Paswan also batted for the use of Dalit as an identity marker for the community, and said Dalit and Scheduled Caste (SC) have become synonymous usage over the years. “Dalits and adivasis is commonly used even though Dalit is not a caste centric term. That may be the reason why specific ‘scheduled caste’ and ‘scheduled tribes’ was included in the Constitution when Babasaheb B R Ambedkar drafted it. Media has used the term as it is easily understood by people,” he said, adding that this was also the official position of the Lok Jantantrik Party, of which he is the chief. TOI
He Apologised, Chapter Over: BJP After Lawmaker's "Kidnap Women" Remark
MUMBAI: Maharashtra BJP accused the Opposition Wednesday of being less concerned about the people's issues and instead fuelling the controversy over its lawmaker Ram Kadam's anti-women remarks, even as ally Shiv Sena demanded strict action against the legislator. BJP MLA on Monday night bragged to young men that he would "kidnap" a girl they like, if she rejects their proposal, but had later expressed regrets over his remarks made at a "Dahi Handi" event in his Ghatkopar assembly constituency.With Ram Kadam's remarks triggering an "outrage", MNS and NCP Wednesday likened him to demon king Ravan for making the anti-women remark.BJP state spokesperson Madhav Bhandari played down Kadam's remark, saying as MLA has expressed regret over it, the matter is over."After Kadam regretted his comments, the chapter is over for the party now. He has tweeted about it, so there is no need to comment on it," Bhandari said.Asked about the Opposition slamming MLA and targeting the BJP, he said, "The opposition parties are not concerned about the 'real issues' of the state. They do not want to take any stand over issues that matter, hence they are continuing their tirade against Kadam."PTI
'My daughter didn't want to apologise, it's her freedom of speech': Sofia's father
Even as the clamour over the altercation between a Canada-based research scholar Sofia Lois and TN BJP President Tamilisai Soundararajan continues to dominate headlines, Sofia’s father, Dr Samy is still waiting on police action over his complaint against BJP cadre at the airport.Dr Samy, along with his wife and daughter, was travelling on a private airlines from Chennai to Thoothukudi on Monday- the same flight that Tamilisai was also travelling on. An eventless flight turned into a shocker for him when his daughter shouted at the TN BJP chief with the words, “BJP-yin fascist aatchi ozhiga”(Down with BJP’s fascist regime). “Tamilisai was sitting in the third row. We were sitting in the eighth row. She had to pass by us to deplane. When she was passing by, my daughter stood up and shouted ‘down with the fascist BJP government’. I didn’t expect that she would do that. Tamilisai turned and looked at my daughter and then walked out. She paid no heed to her. She couldn’t speak at that point. She should have either retorted to my daughter or gotten angry. She didn’t do either," Samy said.thenewsminute
Agricultural Loans Worth Rs 59,000 Crore Went to 615 Accounts in One Year
New Delhi: Government banks handed out Rs 58,561 crore to 615 accounts in agricultural loans in the year 2016. On average, each account has been given over Rs 95 crore in agricultural loans. This information was revealed by the RBI in response to a RTI application filed by The Wire.Agricultural loans incur lower interest rates as compared to other common loans, and they are also given under fewer preconditions than the average loan. These changes were made to make it easier to give loans to small and marginalised farmers. At the moment, farmers are given agricultural loans at the interest rate of 4%.Kiran Kumar Veesa, the founder of the farmers’ organisation Rythu Swarajya Vedika, said, “Many big companies involved in agri-business are taking loans under the agricultural loans category. Companies like Reliance Fresh come under the agri-business company category. They engage in the buying and selling of agricultural produce, and take loans under the agricultural loans category for the construction of godowns or other such related activities.”thewire
For 8 days IAS officer toiled at Kerala relief camp without revealing who he was
Thiruvananthapuram:For 8 days, Kannan Gopinathan worked at relief camps in flood-ravaged Kerala, spending two of those carrying large packages on his head while offloading relief material from trucks in the port city of Kochi. On the ninth day, he was recognised as an IAS officer and he quietly left, as discreetly as he had arrived and helped.Gopinathan, a 2012 batch IAS officer serving as district collector in the union territory of Dadra and Nagar Haveli, had arrived in Kerala on August 26 as the state battled devastation from deadly floods. He was on an official visit to hand over a cheque for Rs one crore from Dadra and Nagar Haveli for the Kerala chief minister’s relief fund.HT
NSA Doval’s comment on J&K constitution attempt to ‘distort’ history: CPI(M) MLA
Srinagar:NSA Ajit Doval’s assertion that a separate constitution for Jammu and Kashmir was probably an “aberration” was an attempt to “distort” facts and history, CPI(M) MLA Mohammad Yousuf Tarigami claimed Thursday. “J&K acceded to India under the guarantees provided by the Constitution of India. It is the constituent assembly which incorporated Article 370 in the Constitution providing a constitutional basis for the relationship of J&K with the Union,” Tarigami said.He said Article 370 was the only article of the Constitution of India which directly applies to the state of Jammu and Kashmir. It is not a temporary provision but part of the basic features and structure of the Constitution, CPI(M) leader said. He said at the time of partition in 1947, except J&K, all other states acceded to India by signing the Instrument of Accession without any condition or terms. These states became units of India accepting the Constitution of India totally,he said.PTI
Jharkhand: Man lynched, 2 injured on suspicion of being thieves
Medininagar :A 26-year-old man was lynched to death and two others were injured by a mob in Jharkhand’s Palamu district on the suspicion of being thieves, police said on Thursday. The three went to the house of a prospective bride at Tisibar village – around 200 km from Ranchi – on Wednesday evening. They were dragged out the house and beaten up by the mob after a member of the woman’s family apparently spread a rumour that they were thieves, said district Superintendent of Police Indrajit Mahatha.The deputy SP reached the spot with a police team and rescued 3 men, who are residents of the same village. Faced with stiff opposition, the police had to fire four rounds in the air to disperse the mob, but no one was injured, Mahatha said. 3, all in their twenties,were rushed to a nearby hospital, where doctors referred them to another one, about 15 km away. One of them succumbed to injuries after arriving at the hospital, SP said.Six people have been detained and family feud was suspected to be the reason behind spreading of the rumour, the officer said. PTI
Government knew of Johnson & Johnson faulty hip implants, took almost two years to ban
New Delhi :Globally, Johnson & Johnson recalled its faulty hip implant on August 24, 2010 but it took Indian regulators almost two years to ban its import and cancel its licence, official records obtained by The Indian Express reveal.This despite the fact that the regulator, Central Drugs Standard Control Organisation, which comes under the Ministry of Health and Family Welfare, was informed of the global recall in 2010 itself.The delay in cancelling the licence assumes significance as the firm told the expert committee — appointed by the Union Health Ministry in Feb. 2017— that it cannot trace as many as 3,600 patients who underwent the surgeries involving the faulty implant. The device, ASR XL Acetabular Hip System and ASR Hip resurfacing system, was first introduced in India in 2006 and its licence was renewed in 2010 before global recall.But warning bells had begun to ring as early as 2009 itself when Australian regulators red-flagged the high rate of revision surgeries and withdrew the product that year itself.indianexpress
Petrol, diesel prices soar to record new high
.Petrol prices in New Delhi and Mumbai rose to an all-time high of Rs 79.51 and Rs 86.91 per litre respectively, news agency ANI reported on Thursday.  Diesel prices too rose up by Rs 0.36 per litre in Delhi (Rs 71.55 per litre) and Rs 0.42 in Mumbai (Rs 75.96 per litre).Despite the spiralling prices, the Centre has decided not to cut excise duty on petrol and diesel as it has limited fiscal space available to make any dent in revenue collections
Paraguay to move its embassy in Israel back to Tel Aviv
Paraguay said Wednesday it was moving its embassy in Israel back from Jerusalem to Tel Aviv, prompting Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu to order the closure his country's mission in the South American country in retaliation.Paraguay's new President Mario Abdo Benitez, who took office in mid-August, took the decision "to contribute to the intensification of regional and international diplomatic efforts that aim to achieve a broad, just and durable peace in the Middle East," his government said.The original decision to move the embassy from Tel Aviv was taken by Abdo Benitez's predecessor Horacio Cartes shortly after President Donald Trump had announced the US would relocate its own embassy to Jerusalem.Cartes even joined Netanyahu in the new embassy's opening ceremony in Jerusalem in May.Abdo Benitez was already president elect at that point and had questioned the decision, complaining that he had not been consulted.Announcing the move, his government said it considered the return to Tel Aviv "appropriate" but Netanyahu's office replied that the decision had cast a shadow on relations between the two countries."The prime minister has asked the foreign ministry to close the Israeli embassy in Paraguay," it said in a statement.Trump broke with decades of US policy by moving the US embassy to Jerusalem on May 14, infuriating Palestinians and intensifying protests on the Gaza border, with 60 killed in clashes with Israeli forces that day.His move was followed by Guatemala while the Czech Republic decided to reopen its honorary consulate in Jerusalem as President Milos Zeman voiced his wish to also move its embassy from Tel Aviv.AFP
Israel won’t distinguish btwn Lebanon, Hezbollah in war
Jerusalem:Israel will not refrain from striking Lebanese infrastructure in any future conflict with Hezbollah, a senior military official said Thursday.“We will not draw a distinction between Hezbollah and Lebanon as we did in 2006,” an unnamed military official was quoted as saying by Israeli daily Haaretz.“We will not hesitate to strike Lebanon and any Lebanese infrastructure that contributes to the fighting,” he said.“The Israeli military, however, doesn’t believe Hezbollah is interested in a fresh round of conflict,” the official added.Anadolu
Amnesty: Israel SC ‘approves a war crime’
Israel’s Supreme Court has approved a war crime, Amnesty International stated yesterday, responding to the latest decision that paves the way for Israeli authorities to demolish the Palestinian village of Khan Al-Ahmar in the occupied West Bank.The Supreme Court justices ruled this week, for the second time in less than two months, that the planned destruction of the entire community can proceed.Responding yesterday, the international rights group slammed the ruling.Saleh Higazi, head of office in Jerusalem for Amnesty International.“The court has not only completely denied the petitioners the protection provided to them by International Humanitarian Law, it has also validated the discriminatory policies of the Israeli authorities,” Higazi continued.middleeastmonitor
Saudi prince rejects allegations of royal family rift after London comments
Saudi King Salman's brother has played down controversial remarks he made to anti-Saudi protesters in London that sparked furious speculation about possible discord within the royal family. Prince Ahmed bin Abdulaziz al-Saud apparently asked a crowd in London to stop chanting slogans against the Saudi royal family over the kingdom's involvement in the 3-year conflict in Yemen. "What does the family have to do with it? Certain individuals are responsible... the king and the crown prince," he said, according to a widely circulated online video of the incident in London. The comment was seen as rare criticism from a royal family member of the kingdom's leadership as well as its role in the Yemen conflict, dubbed by the UN as the world's worst humanitarian crisis.But in a statement, the prince dismissed that interpretation as "inaccurate"."I have made it clear that the king and the crown prince are responsible for the state and its decisions," the prince said in the statement released by the official Saudi Press Agency late Tuesday."This is true for the security and stability of the country and the people. Therefore, it is not possible to interpret what I said in any other way."In a bid to suggest unity within the royal family, multiple pro-Saudi social media accounts posted images of Prince Ahmed kissing the hand of King Salman.The internal affairs of the royal family are shrouded in secrecy and a public airing of disagreements is extremely rare.The remarks come as powerful Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman tightens his grip on power by cracking down on dissent with the imprisonment of prominent clerics, women and human rights activists.Bin Salman earlier detained several members of the royal family, including global investor Prince Alwaleed bin Talal, over allegations of corruption. They have mostly been released after agreeing to financial settlements.In an interview with Middle East Eye, dissident Prince Khaled bin Farhan urged Prince Ahmed and Prince Muqrin bin Abdulaziz to seize power from the powerful crown prince to protect the kingdom from his "irrational, erratic and stupid" rule.middleeasteye/AFP
US Congressperson Tulsi Gabbard denies association with World Hindu Congress, calls it a ‘platform for partisan politics’
Tulsi Gabbard, American politician of the Democratic Party and representative of 2nd Hawaii’s congressional district has dismissed all rumours about her being the chairperson of World Hindu Congress 2018 to be held in Chicago from Sept.7-9.The World Hindu Congress claims to be a global platform for Hindus all over the world to connect and share ideas and inspire one another. The congress is held once every four years. This year 2018 marks the marks the commemoration of 125 years of Swami Vivekananda’s address at the World’s Parliament of Religions in Chicago.Tulsi Gabbard has stated on record in a letter addressed to Dr. Asthana, convenor, World Hindu Congress, that she does not want to serve as the honorary chair for the said event as the event is a platform for partisan politics in India and withdrew her participation due to ethical concerns and problems that could arise due to her participation in the event.TwoCircles
7 demonstrators killed in Iraq’s Basra within 48 hours
The number of demonstrators killed in Iraq’s southern Basra province has risen to seven within the past 48 hours after another protester succumbed to injuries Wednesday evening, according to a local medical source. On Tuesday, 6 Iraqis were killed during a demonstration in Basra city held to protest high unemployment, poor public services and corruption. A source at Basra’s general hospital -- preferring anonymity -- said a seventh demonstrator had died after having been shot Wednesday evening.In a statement, Mahdi al-Tamimi, a member of a parliamentary human rights committee, confirmed the death of a seventh protester.Wednesday evening saw violent clashes between security forces and demonstrators outside Basra’s provincial headquarters, with protesters at one point setting the building on fire.worldbulletin
‘Considering the Cow as divine is an insult to humankind’: By Afshan Khan, BeyondHeadlines
One Year Since Gauri Lankesh’s Assassination: Independent Journalism in Peril:BHAVNA JHA
Does India's New Series GDP Data Overestimate Manufacturing Output?thewire
Full text: Supreme Court judgment decriminalises same-sex relationships under Section 377
The term 'Dalit' seeks to change structures of oppression, rather than adjust to them:Suraj Yengde
Arrest of dissenters is a way for government to shift focus from the discontent:P B Sawant
Advisory against using ‘Dalit’ must be seen within a context: The policing of identities is part of the Hindu Rashtra project:K. Satyanarayana
What next? Legalisation of incest? — NIDA FATIMA
SC refuses to drop Romila Thapar’s petition in Bhima Koregaon case
Modi desperately needs someone to blame for all the scams by his friends: FARAZ AHMAD

Compiled and edited by Anwarulhaq (Released at: 8:20 PM)


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